Small Business Help Fails in Senate...over the amendment process

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Yeggo, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Yeggo
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    Yeggo Rookie

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    Oh, don't act so surprised:

    ....

    "Senate Republicans blocked progress on small-business legislation Thursday morning, handing Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) his second legislative defeat of the week.

    A vote to cut off debate on a substitute amendment offered by Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) failed by a vote of 58 to 42.

    Aides on both sides said the setback would force Reid to set the small-business bill aside and move on to an oil-spill response and energy bill.

    “I expect we will to try to move to the energy bill,” said a Democratic aide.

    Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) accused Democrats of derailing the bill by playing political games.

    “It takes a lot of effort to make a partisan issue out of a bill that should have broad bipartisan support. I mean, you have to go out of your way to make a small business bill controversial,” McConnell said. “But they’ve pulled it off.”

    McConnell has charged that Democrats refused to allow Republicans to offer and vote on amendments to the bill, poisoning the process.

    Reid countered McConnell’s argument in a Thursday morning floor speech before the vote.

    “This is about as fair as it could be,” he said. “My friends on the other side of the aisle indicated they wanted to offer some amendments. We say, ‘Go ahead and do that.’ They can’t take yes for an answer.”

    Reid noted an amendment to set up the small-business lending fund was sponsored by Republican Sen. George LeMieux (Fla.).

    Reid said he was willing to agree to votes on other Republican amendments as long as Democrats had a chance to vote on their own alternatives.

    It would raise the cap on Small Business Administration loan limits to increase lending by $5 billion within a year; establish a $30 billion small-business lending fund for community banks; allow small businesses to carry back business tax credits to offset tax burdens from the previous five years; and provide $900 million in grants to states to support small business lending programs.

    ...

    Now, I’m not a legislative process junkie. I think the guys that used to carry Roberts Rules of Order to SGA meetings in college were insufferable. But it seems like this bill failed because of a process argument. I didn’t hear anything in that quote (or anywhere else) from Mitch McConnell that indicated a policy difference with the legislation. Now, if there is one, and a legitimate one, that’s different. Still terrible, but different. But that’s not what McConnell was talking about. Nor was Olympia Snowe:

    “We could have addressed this issue long before now, give it the attention it deserves rather than treating it as a mere afterthought in the legislative process that we’ve got to ram in there and deny the minority the opportunity to offer a few amendments,” the usually staid Maine moderate thundered on the floor."

    Now, I understand the minority wanting to improve the bill with amendments. But the minority also has to accept that, well… they’re the minority. Part of being the minority is recognizing you need to judge the bills that the majority bring forward as they are, not as you wish them to be. As President Obama enjoys saying “don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.”

    And that’s just what they’re doing, I think.

    Despite complaining about the delay in consideration, Republicans filibustered the measure by a vote of 58 (in favor of cloture) to 42 (against). GOP leadership argued that it wasn’t against the aims of the bill per se. They objected mainly to Reid’s refusal to allow consideration of amendments to the legislation.

    “It’s not going to die,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spokesman Don Stewart, who noted that another vote could be held as early as today. “We just want to have amendments considered. They made a start, allowing three — so we’re making progress.”

    In the meantime, the money isn’t flowing.

    Crossposted from conversation101.squarespace.com
     
  2. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    All small bidness needs if for those bungling halfwits in the District of Criminals to get the hell out of the way, and quit pretending that their meddling is helpful.
     
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  3. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    Indeed.

    All small business needs is for the government to roll back spending to 2007 levels, make the Bush tax cuts permanent, get rid of ObamaCare, and void the inane and misleading Financial Reform Bill.
     
  4. Meister
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    Meister VIP Member Supporting Member

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    Before anyone can make an educated opinion on this, we really would need to know the details. What were the amendments that the democrats were asking for?
     
  5. boedicca
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    boedicca Uppity Water Nymph Supporting Member

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    It's a feeble attempt to raise lending to small businesses.

    Small Businesses are not going to take on debt to expand when they are faced with huge economic uncertainty, increased taxes, and a more oppressive regulatory burden.
     
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  6. asterism
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    asterism Congress != Progress

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    "It's Harry Reid's fault" is as tiresome as the current Administration's penchant for blaming "the previous Administration."

    McConnell was around when the Bush tax cuts excluded the AMT. I remember.
     

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