I am tired of petty politics. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had demonstrated that petty politics will trump principles every time. He needs to go.
First his decision to “fill the tree” barring an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood to the highway bill. The amendment would only require a majority vote, which admittedly because the squish brigade in the Republican caucus that is not guaranteed. McConnell agreed to “fast track” a stand-alone bill, but unfortunately that will probably be filibustered.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is the author of the stand-alone bill. Paul on Friday implemented rule 14 which would fast-track the bill.
“Since the inhumane acts of Planned Parenthood have surfaced, I have vowed to defeat and defund this taxpayer-funded organization. I am more appalled than ever by Planned Parenthood’s complete disregard for the sanctity of human life. Today, I implemented Rule 14 and fast-tracked legislation to strip every dollar of Planned Parenthood funding. I will continue to lead this charge in defense of the unborn,” Paul said.
Also on Friday U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted McConnell from the floor of the U.S. Senate. Cruz lashed out at McConnell for preventing the Planned Parenthood defunding amendment, among others, and for allowing a vote on reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank.
Then on Sunday, Cruz and U.S. Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) both attempted to offer amendments on a roll call vote. Both were rebuffed, presumably because of Cruz’ floor speech.
Republican leaders, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), delivered what senators described as punishment for Cruz’s brazen floor tactics — the Texas senator first accused McConnell of lying and later sought to change Senate procedures in order to push for an Iran-related amendment.
So when Cruz came to the floor looking for 16 senators to agree to hold a roll-call vote, only three raised their hands. McConnell, sitting at his desk, turned around and peered at Cruz, who looked stunned at what had just happened. The Senate dispensed with his effort by a voice vote and quickly moved on, doing the same to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a Cruz ally who sought to use arcane procedures to force a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood.
It all went down in an instant, but the message was clear: If Cruz doesn’t want to play nice with his Republican colleagues, they will respond in kind.
“You learn that in kindergarten: You learn to work well together and play by the rules,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, a close McConnell ally who was beaming after Cruz and Lee were handed such lopsided defeats. “Another thing you learn in kindergarten is to respect one another.”
First, Alexander should be ashamed. What a childish remark so I find it ironic that he mentions lessons from kindergarten and that this vote was retaliation of sorts. Secondly, pro-life Senators should know this is the BEST chance to defund Planned Parenthood. The fact that they would vote against this is disturbing. We expect our elected officials to be principled, not to be cowed by a Senate Majority Leader who has showed himself to be untrustworthy. If you are pro-life you shouldn’t have voted against having a roll call vote on this amendment, period. I frankly don’t give a rip about Senate decorum. If they want the Senate Majority Leader to be treated with respect they should vote in one who acts in a manner worthy of it.