While the White House spent the day circulating desperate statements in support of its tax framework (it’s not just the president, it’s also a member!), Congress briefly shifted its attention to other urgent matters demanding immediate acquiescence. Susan Collins signaled that she needs more time to mull over DADT, because the last 17 years haven’t been enough. Rand Paul and Chuck Grassley couldn’t have been nicer about the president and his agenda. And Tom Coburn passed the hours by comparing federal spending with waterboarding and stuffing his bearded face with peanuts. This is HUFFPOST HILL for Wednesday, December 8th, 2010:
SENATE (don’t say ‘punt’! don’t say ‘punt’!) KICKS DADT, DREAM VOTES TO TOMORROW – The Senate spent the day waiting on the House to vote on the DREAM Act, which should come up shortly, but gave up mid-afternoon and put a pot of milk on the burner to sip while enjoying The News Hour in peace. Harry Reid spent the day in exceedingly fragile negotiations with Susan Collins, talks that essentially broke down several times, only to pick back up again where they left off. Late in the day, Collins told reporters she wouldn’t vote for the DADT repeal if it came up tonight. Lisa Murkowski has been largely in the same camp as Collins.
The Senate found other ways to screw up today! Right around the time Harry Reid decided to
punt postpone the DADT/defense vote, the Senate voted against cloture for a bill that would have set minimum arbitration standards for cops and firefighters’ state collective bargaining laws. AND the Democrats also failed to end debate on a $250 dollar cost-of-living increase for senior citizens on Social Security, facing united Republican opposition. If they keep on alienating old people, the disabled and first responders, these folks might actually have a shot in professional politics!!! Oh, and the tax-cut deal could be the end of Social Security. [HuffPost]