"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Dems Use Defense Bill To Push Liberal Agenda, While Americans Want A Focus On The Economy

September 21st, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

This afternoon, the Senate will be voting on a procedural motion to take up the Fiscal Year 2011 Defense Authorization bill. As The Hill notes, “The defense authorization bill, which includes many critical military policies including authority for pay raises, is considered a must-pass bill. It’s been passed by Congress for 48 consecutive years.” But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats have apparently decided that instead of simply passing a bipartisan bill for our military, they’re going to use it to advance controversial policies at the behest of various special interest groups.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell explained the situation this morning, pointing out Democrats “want to use this week for a political exercise they want to weigh this bill down with controversy in a transparent attempt to show their special interest groups that they haven’t forgotten about them ahead of the election. It’s astonishing, really. Democrats have called up this bill not to have a vote on it or to consider amendments to help our troops in the field, but to put on a show to use it as an opportunity to cast votes for things Americans either don’t want or aren’t interested in seeing attached to a bill that’s supposed to be about defense.”

Even some Democrats don’t think this is the way to handle this defense bill. The Hill reports today, “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is getting pushback from Democratic colleagues balking at the legislative agenda he set for the weeks before Election Day. Several Democratic senators have questioned the wisdom of voting on the military’s ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy and a scaled-down version of immigration reform, known as the DREAM Act. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said Democrats are worried about bringing up hot-button political issues that are likely to rev up the liberal base but could alienate more conservative swing voters. ‘I think there’s a little concern about bringing these issues up right now,’ he said. . . . One of the critics is Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), a prominent member of the Armed Services Committee. Webb argues that Congress should not vote to repeal ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ until the Pentagon has completed an analytical study of how it may affect the armed services.”

The Hill article also notes, “Some lawmakers would prefer to consider legislation that focuses on jobs and the economy . . . . They expressed their concerns at a Democratic policy meeting on Thursday, according to sources familiar with the meeting. . . . Since January, Democratic leaders have promised to focus on ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,’ in the words of Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). Much floor time this year has been spent debating healthcare reform and Wall Street reform, bills that were not on the Democratic jobs agenda.”

As Sen. McConnell said, “It seems like the more Americans say they want Democrats to stop what they’re doing and focus on jobs and the economy, the more determined they are to press ahead with their various liberal agenda items while they’ve still got the chance. And that’s basically what today’s vote on the Defense Authorization Bill is all about.

Related:

Rasmussen Reports:52% of Likely U.S. Voters think a child who is brought here illegally and completes two years of college should get a chance at citizenship.

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