"Washington may be dumbfounded that Reid would lie about ramming
important pieces of legislation and nominees through without seating Brown,
but there is so little accountability in the nation's capital it's not at all surprising."
—ALG President Bill Wilson.
February 2nd, 2010, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson today strongly criticized Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for continuing to hold important votes prior to Senator-elect Scott Brown's seating despite a pledge "not to rush into anything."
"Anything means everything, not just health care," said Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson. "Since Scott Brown's overwhelming election, Senate Majority Leader Reid has scheduled and won votes that may have been contested or even blocked had Brown been seated."
Scott Brown was elected to the open Massachusetts Senate seat on January 19th. But Reid has refused to seat the Senator-elect until February 11th.
"The people of Massachusetts elected Scott Brown to be the 41st vote against any and all controversial items as necessary, not just health care, and they're already being deprived of their due representation," Wilson said.
"Reid lied, there's no simpler way of putting it," Wilson added, pointing to Reid's pledge after the Brown election: "We're not going to rush into anything," as reported by Politico.
Since then, the Senate has voted to raise the debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion, confirmed Ben Bernanke to a second term as Fed Chair, invoked cloture on Patricia Smith for Solicitor of Labor, "and now is moving to get Craig Becker onto the National Labor Relations Board," Wilson noted.
Today, the Senate HELP Committee is set to hold a hearing at 4PM on Barack Obama's nominee for the National Labor Relations Board, Craig Becker. Source familiar with the process suggest that a vote could come as early as Thursday, and a floor vote on Saturday or Monday.
Americans for Limited Government is distributing a background on Becker at the hearing, and Wilson urged the Senate not to hold the final vote before Brown is seated.
Wilson said that "merely having Brown seated would have defeated the debt ceiling increase and Patricia Smith because no Republicans supported those two, and Senate Democrats would not have had 60 votes needed for passage. If Brown had been seated, it is highly likely Reid would not have even brought those items to the floor."
Wilson added that "clearly indicates that the Majority Leader is attempting to rush through as much as he possibly can get away with prior to Brown's seating, despite his vow not to. He is thumbing his nose at the American people. It's disgusting."
In the meantime, Reid chastised Senate Republicans for requiring cloture votes on several Obama nominees, as reported by Politico. "Republican senators refuse to let this body hold a vote on the highly capable people the President has asked to serve in those roles," said Reid.
Wilson said Reid was "misleading the American people yet again. Reid can schedule these cloture votes any time he wants. It's his problem if he can't keep all his ducks in a row to vote for them. Senate Republicans are under no obligation to vote for them.
"Blocking unqualified, radical appointments is the job of the Senate. Those Senators that have delayed or blocked these nominations are heroes," Wilson declared, adding, "No nominee is entitled to Senate consent on the mere basis of having been nominated."
Wilson said that "Reid's latest complaint shows once again that he is in a rush to get everything through. What more proof does anyone need?"
Wilson said Reid knows everything will change when Brown is seated, "and in the meantime is attempting to paint a misleading portrait of obstructionism, when quite the opposite is true."
"Washington may be dumbfounded that Reid would lie about ramming important pieces of legislation and nominees through without seating Brown, but there is so little accountability in the nation's capital it's not at all surprising.
"These items would not have passed had Brown been seated, and there will be even more next week," Wilson said, concluding, "which robs the people of Massachusetts their due representation on these critical issues facing the nation."