By Peter Sullivan / The Hill
Republicans are touting an open amendment process on House spending bills to argue the minority is treated far better in the lower chamber than in the Democratic-held Senate.
Republicans point to Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) as an example of how much better life is in the House than the Senate for the minority party.
Jackson Lee has had 18 roll call votes on her amendments in the House in the past year, more than the entire Republican caucus in the Senate.
“We’re going through the appropriations process right now in an open process,” incoming House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told “Fox News Sunday” last month. “So what is the hold-up here? Harry Reid and the Senate.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is deeply frustrated with the charges that he needs to allow more amendments to make the Senate work, so much so that he invited a group of columnists to his office earlier this month to make his case.
“It irritates me so much when people say, ‘Why don’t they just work together?’ ” Reid told them. He said the real problem is that Republicans made a decision “to oppose everything Obama wants.”
The number of cloture votes, a way to measure the number of filibusters, climbed to a record of 163 in this Congress, up from 54 during the last time Republicans controlled the Senate.
Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), countered the charge that Republicans are blocking everything by pointing to recent bipartisan successes on terrorism insurance, known as TRIA, and job training.
“We just passed TRIA (after Sen. Reid agreed to amendments), we passed the job training bill (again, after Sen. Reid allowed amendments),” Stewart wrote in an email. “We’re on track to pass a highway funding bill. And that’s all within the past couple weeks.”
In the House, amendments sponsored by Democrats to spending measures have actually been approved by the entire chamber. They include measures to fund improvements in gun background check systems, prevent federal interference in state medical marijuana laws and restrict the NSA’s ability to search for Americans’ communications in its database.
The House has had roll call votes on more than 180 amendments offered by the Democratic minority since last July, compared to just 12 roll call votes on amendments from the Republican minority in the Senate during that period.
Cry me a river...GOP whining about how they are treated in Congress while the GOP is on a mission to crush the tea party? No sympathy here guys...Man up and do something about it and while your at it go ahead and open up that big tent you keep saying you have...