Feb. 9, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Senate GOP's Floor Show Takes Aim at Barack Obama, Senate Democrats

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Sen. Olympia Snowe was one of many Republicans to speak against President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats on the floor this morning.

The budget criticism has been a favorite talking point of Republicans in bashing Democrats for more than a year. Senate Democrats often respond - as Senate Budget Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) did later on the floor - that the debt limit deal from last year set spending caps in law for two years. Conrad, for example, noted the debt deal has the force of law, while a budget resolution would not.

After the GOP display, Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) decried what he called GOP "amnesia" on budget issues, noting that many of the Republican Senators on the floor this morning voted in favor of the debt limit deal, which McConnell was key to negotiating.

Reid also responded to McConnell by highlighting McConnell's statement that his top goal was ensuring Obama did not win re-election.

"This has been a remarkable show of hubris or arrogance from the Republican side of the aisle," Reid said.

He also renewed his call to change the Senate rules to expedite procedural motions to overcome GOP obstruction, recognizing Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) for leadership on that issue.

"I've had to file motions to overcome 382 filibusters in six years. Now, I know the Senate has changed since Lyndon Johnson was the Majority Leader, but during the six years that he was the Majority Leader, he had to file cloture once," Reid said.

Of course, in that era, filibusters were typically reserved for the great issues of the day, such as opposition to the 1964 civil rights bill. In the modern Senate, Reid files cloture to cut off debate as a means to force bills to the floor, limit amendments or prevent anticipated delays.

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