Tag Archives: The US Senate

The Senate Tax cut bill and Budget would save Obamacare and the Dreamers?…

Republicans…..Rush…Rush….Hurry!

If you haven’t caught this in this way this story is running in the Senate ?….Stop and look….

The House tax cut bill is a straight out screw the poor and middle class period….

The Senate bill has little to do with the House bill….

Why?

Because there are reports that in their haste to get SOMETHING, excuse me…..ANYTHING passed in the next 30 days or so?

They are making promises to EACH senator they need….

HTF is this gonna work when the final vote from BOTH houses of congress needs to be made?….

The budget bill is probably gonna be connected to the tax bill…Democrats HAVE to be in on THAT vote….

Collins: Health-care fix will pass before tax bill

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said early Thursday that she expects legislation to lower health-care premiums to pass Congress before senators take a final vote on a $1.5 trillion tax reform bill that would repeal ObamaCare’s individual mandate….

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McConnell promises Collins tax bill won’t lead to Medicare cut

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is promising the GOP tax bill, which is projected to add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next decade, will not result in cuts to Medicare next year.

McConnell offered the vow to Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key swing vote, during a Wednesday meeting in his office….

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Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) said he is encouraging his colleagues to join him in blocking spending legislation if the legal status of “dreamers” isn’t resolved, the Washington Postreports.

“Durbin has repeatedly said in recent months that Congress needs to resolve the status of dreamers by the end of the year, but he is now the highest-ranking Democratic senator to raise the specter of a government shutdown sparked by an impasse over immigration… Durbin’s position is shared by at least four members of his caucus — Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).”

Politicalwire…

Note….

Right Now.?….This dog thinks there is a LESS than 50% chance there will be a new tax cut law come next year….

Update….

Senator Collins wants more folks….

A Senate Republican holdout on the GOP tax overhaul says she still has problems with the legislation.

Sen. Susan Collins of Maine says, “I have a lot of concerns that I’m trying to fix.” She spoke to reporters Thursday at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast.

She says it would be “very problematic for me” and hard for her to vote for the bill if it still includes elimination of the federal deduction for state and local taxes….

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McConnell probably will need 60 votes in the Senate to Repeal The Healthcare Law…

THAT is NOT gonna happen…..

The Senate would likely need 60 votes to overcome Democratic opposition and pass key portions of the GOP health care bill under the chamber’s rules, a blow to both the plan’s policy and its political fortunes unless Senate Republicans are willing to break decades of precedent or the bill is substantially rewritten.

The Senate’s so-called “Byrd Rule” is designed to make sure policies passed under “budget reconciliation” — which allows legislation to advance with only 51 votes instead of the usual 60 needed to get past a filibuster — directly affect the federal budget, either by decreasing spending or by increasing revenue. (Vox has explained the Byrd Rule in great detail.)

The findings of the Senate parliamentarian, who evaluates whether policies included in bills meant to pass through reconciliation comply with the Senate rules, were posted online late Friday afternoon and sent out by Democratic ranking member Sen. Bernie Sanders’s office. A Senate Republican aide noted that the parliamentarian reviewed a draft version of the bill, and the legislation could still be changed.

They are a critical blow to Republicans’ hopes of repealing and replacing Obamacare. Their plan is already short on votes, but Friday’s news could make it even more difficult for Senate leaders to sway their holdouts….

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Note….

McConnell CAN change the rules….

But if he does?

What would happen if the Republicans lost their majority?

What comes around?

Goes around, eh?

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Democratic Senate Minority Leader Schumer dances for different drummers within his own party…

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is now the most powerful national Democrat….

With only four more Republican Senators in the GOP majority and the Senate’s reverence for NOT changing the rules….Schumer is place to influence things…

But due to the Trump No Enter insistence ?

The Democratic left and OTHERS have pushed on Schumer hard to do EVERYTHING he can to stall the Trump choices for ANYTHING….

Sound familiar?

Yep it’s the same as the Republicans playbook for the last 8 years….

Problem for Schumer?

He actually HAS to get along with the Republicans to able to keep the rules that he used from being changed to lock him out….

AND…

He also  has several Democrats that he has to worry about leaving him and voting with the Republicans to save their seats …

About every two weeks, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer keeps an important dinner date with five of his colleagues, and they’re not the five most senior members of the Senate or even his closest advisers in his new job.

They are “the Big Five,” as Schumer calls them: five moderate Democrats representing states that President Trump won who are likely to face the most difficult reelection fights next year.

Given the stakes, “We have to protect these people,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said of his targeted colleagues. “And sometimes we’re going to have to do things to help them. We all have to watch each others’ backs.”

Here’s the rub: Alongside Schumer’s concern for these vulnerable Democrats is a sudden burst of energy on the left, not only to express deep-rooted anger at Trump but growing impatience with congressional Democrats. If they don’t push far enough, the liberals will be angry. If they push too far, they risk losing seats.

They also risk provoking Republicans. If Democrats try to block Judge Neil Gorsuch, for instance — Trump’s nominee for the Supreme Court — Republicans have the ability to eliminate the filibuster, which would enable Gorsuch’s confirmation on a simple-majority vote.

“I’m worried about the Senate coming apart,” said Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), who faces a multimillion-dollar reelection campaign next year. Senate Minority

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Senate Republicans KNOW Obamacare IS here to stay…..

Remember ALL that noise and anger about scraping the Affordable Healthcare Law?

Remeber how the Republicans where gonna tie President hands around the program?

Remeber how the program was a rallying cry by Republicans to knock the President?

I do….

And it’s several years later….

President Obama’s poll numbers are crusing along….

Close to TEN MILLION people have healthcare that did NOT when President Obama got elected….The rates ARE going about about 7% next year and people a 500,000 people have already signed up anyways…..

The Republicans aren’t gonna ditch Obamacare….

To do so would do some I have pointed out here for the last two years….

It would wreck most states budgets…..

It would drop 10 Million American out of their healthcare Insurance…

And it would wreack the American Healthcare system and the insurance companies…(The little carriers are ALREADY being put out of business by the big guys who have embraced the program)….

Therefore it is NO surprise that the US Senate and the US House cannot  and WILL NOT muster enough votes to SERIOUSLY cut the Affordable Healthcare Law, also known as Obamacare….

President Obama and American People have WON this…..

Oh, and a thanks to the US Supreme Court for helping both against the knuckleheads who had tried to undercut the law….

After years of promising to repeal the President’s crowning health care achievement, even doomed efforts that are essentially political shows are being thrown in to turmoil by the political and policy realities that surround the law. Republicans took over Senate nearly a year ago, and now their first meaningful attempt to get a repeal measure on Obama’s desk is being thwarted by the desire of some Republicans to protect the law’s expanded Medicaid program — a major target of conservative scorn.

The resistance of at least a handful of Republicans to a repeal measure that would dismantle the expansion reflects a growing realization — even in red states — that Obamacare is here to stay and attacking one of its most popular provisions is politically damaging. No longer are Republicans just coming up short when it comes to how to replace Obamacare. Some are now openly admitting that fully repealing it isn’t really feasible…..

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The Senate votes to NOT block the Iran deal….

Senate Democrats stuck together mostly to hand President Obama his agreement….

Republican efforts to stop the nuclear deal with Iran ended in failure Thursday, thwarted by unflinching Democratic support for President Obama’s landmark accord and familiar GOP infighting.

With no clear strategy remaining to prevent the internationally backed deal, Republican leaders in Congress were left conducting largely symbolic votes that will register lawmakers’ rejection of the deal but do nothing to upend it.

In the Senate, Republicans were met with a Democratic filibuster that blocked a resolution of disapproval, preventing it from being sent to the president’s desk and depriving the GOP of a hoped-for veto showdown.

On a vote of 58 to 42, the Democratic and independent senators backing the deal stopped Republicans from reaching the 60-vote threshold needed to advance the disapproval measure toward passage.

Four Democrats who opposed the deal joined all 54 Republicans, but they fell short. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) vowed to try again, pressuring senators to relent.

“No amount of saying this is over makes it over,” McConnell said after the vote, adding that if Democrats were so proud of the Iran deal, they should embrace the outcome. “Break out the champagne. Celebrate. Take credit for it. You own it.” He setup a vote next week to “move past this procedural snag.”

Obama praised the Senate for taking “an historic step forward” that will enable the U.S. to continue working with its partners to “prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

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Act 2 of the Iranian Nuclear Deal…The US Congress vs President Obama…

The US Senate is working overtime to craft a bill to enable it to double check President Obama’s efforts to craft a deal with other nations to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear bomb….

Their efforts could scuddle any deal…..

The Senate….With Republican and some Democrats are pushing on with efforts to carft a bill that gather enough support to overide the President’s effort to veto it….

With President Obama working against the bill….Several Senators have signalled that they will support a bill that is watered down from the orginal Republican efforts to come down hard on the Iranians and the Israeli Prime Minsisters effort to make a deal impossible…

Mr. Obama spent several hours Monday pitching the nuclear agreement in two private White House meetings as his aides began a furious, two-day lobbying effort on Capitol Hill aimed at heading off what they view as congressional interference.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew briefed House members in a classified session Monday evening. The officials are scheduled to hold a similar briefing for senators on Tuesday morning.

Jewish leaders who attended the first of the two White House sessions with the president said that Mr. Obama opened with a half-hour statement in which he provided a detailed, nine-point explanation of why he believes the nuclear deal with Iran is in the security interests of both the United States and Israel.

“His tone was very emphatic and very passionate,” said one official from a Jewish group who was briefed in detail on the discussion, and who asked for anonymity to discuss a private meeting at the White House. “He made the argument for why this is a good deal, and why he is not going down this road for the sake of bringing any harm to Israel.”

Critics in the room urged the president to push for a better deal, according to participants, saying it would allow Iran’s government to evade inspections of its nuclear facilities. And they told Mr. Obama that lifting sanctions would allow Iran to earn $100 billion from the sale of oil that would help finance terrorist activities around the globe.

Mr. Obama also acknowledged the strains in his relationship with Israel’s leadership, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but told the group that the disagreements were “not personal” and were instead evidence of serious policy disagreements, in particular about how to confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions….

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Breaking….Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) to retire….

Morning all!

The Washington Post has the Scoop:

image …poltico.com

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), the longest serving Woman in US Congress will announce her Retirement at a News Conference at 11am this morning the Paper reports….

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who has served in Congress longer than any woman in history, will announce at a news conference Monday that she is retiring from the Senate after five terms in office, three people familiar with her plans said.

Mikulski, 78, was the first woman to chair the powerful Appropriations Committe, a post she had to give up this year when the Democrats lost control of the Senate…

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Daniel G.

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Breaking…The US Senate Passes the 2015 $1.1 Trillon Spending Bill 56 to 40…..

The agreement goes to the President for his signature , afterwards it becomes Law….

Spending for the US Government is intact for a year (Except for the Homeland Security Department , which goes only to February)

The 113th Congress is OVER…..

The Senator’s can go home for the Holidays….

When they come back it will be Mitch MConnell’s chance to lead the place…

The Conservatives and Progressives may not be happy….

But Boehner, Reid, McConnell and the President Are….

The Senate voted 56-40 late Saturday evening to pass a $1.1 trillion spending package that funds most of the government through next September.

The vote culminates a weak of acrimonious sniping and sends the spending bill to President Obama’s desk for a signature.

The debate exposed divisions within the Democratic and Republican caucuses on both sides of the Capitol and sets the stage what could be a year of internecine squabbling in 2015.

The package includes 11 appropriations bills that fund most of the government through Sept. 30 and a continuing resolution (CR) funding the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through Feb. 27.

It nearly died in the House this week after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a rising star among her party’s liberal base, urged House Democrats to oppose it because of language repealing a key provision of the 2010 Wall Street Reform Act.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) needed dozens of Democratic votes after conservative Republicans revolted en masse because it does not block President Obama’s executive order on immigration and other reasons.

Conservative freshman firebrand Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made a last-ditch attempt to bring down the bill Saturday night by raising a point-of-order objection. He argued it violated the Constitution by funding Obama’s immigration order.

While the Senate roundly rejected Cruz’s objection, it sets up a fight over immigration early next year.

House Republicans leaders chose the short-term bill for DHS to give conservatives a chance to defund order at the end of February.

Cruz said he expects GOP leaders to wage a tougher fight once they gain control of the upper chamber.

“If we agree it is indeed unconstitutional, we have no business funding it when the GOP controls Congress next year,” he said in a statement before the vote on final passage. “The Constitution matters, and we must defend it.”

The package of appropriations bills, dubbed the “cromnibus,” narrowly passed the House on Thursday night in a 219-206 vote after Obama hit the phones to quell a Democratic uprising against it.

Most Democrats followed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) lead and voted against the package because of two riders she described as “egregious.”

One of the policy riders repeals part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law to allow banks to directly engage in derivatives trading. The other loosens limits on the amount of money people can contribute to national political parties.

Just after 9 p.m. Thursday, the House wound up passing the bill with the help of 57 Democrats…..

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Rand Paul wants a declaration of War against the Islamic State…

He has pushed the Senate to scheduling a vote…

It it unknown if a vote will actually be done since the Congress will adjourn shortly and other manner’s will come first…

But the action puts the Libertarian on record FOR a Foreign war, eh?

Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, on Thursday forced a vote on the contentious issue of setting limits on the military operation against the Islamic State.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will now take up on Monday Mr. Paul’s resolution to issue a formal declaration of war against the Sunni militant group, which is operating in Syria and Iraq and is also known as ISIS or ISIL. It is unclear if the full Senate will have enough time to address the matter before it adjourns for the year, though Mr. Paul and several Democratic senators said that was still their hope.

Mr. Paul’s action brings to the forefront a simmering debate in the Senate, where some Democrats have shared his view that the president needs to request express congressional approval for military action against the Sunni militant group.

The Senate had not been expected to address the American military campaign until sometime next year…..

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The 114 New Members of Congress…..

…from the Hill.….

Name Occupation
Rep.-elect Gary Palmer (R-Ala.-06) Policy analyst
Rep.-elect Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.-07) State representative; Marine veteran
Sen.-elect Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) Lawyer
Rep.-elect French Hill (R-Ark.-02) CEO Delta Bank & Trust
Rep.-elect Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.-04) Engineer and forester
Rep.-elect Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.-11) Restaurant owner, state senator
Rep.-elect Steve Knight (R-Calif.-25) State senator
Rep.-elect Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.-31) Redlands mayor, Redlands city councilman
Rep.-elect Ted Lieu (D-Calif.-33) State assemblyman
Rep.-elect Norma Torres (D-Calif.-35) State senator
Rep.-elect Mimi Walters (R-Calif.-45) State senator
Sen.-elect Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) U.S. representative, lawyer
Rep.-elect Ken Buck (R-Colo.-04) Lawyer
Rep.-elect Gwen Graham (D-Fla.-02) School administrator
Rep.-elect Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.-26) Attorney
Sen.-elect David Perdue (R-Ga.) Businessman

The Complete list...Here

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Now they will Have the Senate..What do they do with it?

I’m gonna get my popcorn and front seat for the next two years stage show…

It should be a doozy!

Top Republican leaders said Tuesday night and Wednesday morning that the party should use the opportunity to work with Obama to get some things done, while conservatives in the party are continuing to push the repeal of Obamacare and other nonstarters.

McConnell sounded conciliatory notes on Tuesday night and in an interview with Time that posted Wednesday. He told Time that the GOP might be able to reach agreements with Obama on trade and tax reform, adding that “we’re going to want to see what kind of things we might be able to agree on with the President. After all, he’s going to be there for two more years.”

On NBC’s “Today” show on Wednesday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s eyeing Obama’s job, said McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner should “sit down and decide what their priorities are and then sit down with the president. People want to get things done.”

And Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said on MSNBC on Wednesday that his party should find “real, achievable goals that are simple, that we can define for the American people … work with the president, get those things done, repeat and repeat and repeat.”

First, though, Republicans are going to have to figure out how to manage their own internal tensions.

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Please note….

Already the guys are focused on GOVERNING and the 2016 Presidential along with how to tramp down the Tea party faction within the GOP…..

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President Obama is fashioning a deal with Iran for no nukes…And he doesn’t want Congress involved…Update…

The NY Times is out with a piece that points to the President of the US steadfastly intent on making a deal with Iran to stop them from making nuclear weapons….

If President Obama can get a deal , which is verifiable , he would in turn lift sanctions imposed by America (And other countries would follow) …..

There is one catch….

To make the deal permanent ….

He would have to get a ok from the US Congress….

THAT is something he does NOT want to do….

Why?

Because the US Senate , even with a Democratic majority, would be hesitant to sign off on a deal without squeezing Iran from MORE that President Obama thinks he can get from Iran….

Even while negotiators argue over the number of centrifuges Iran would be allowed to spin and where inspectors could roam, the Iranians have signaled that they would accept, at least temporarily, a “suspension” of the stringent sanctions that have drastically cut their oil revenues and terminated their banking relationships with the West, according to American and Iranian officials. The Treasury Department, in a detailed study it declined to make public, has concluded Mr. Obama has the authority to suspend the vast majority of those sanctions without seeking a vote by Congress, officials say.

But Mr. Obama cannot permanently terminate those sanctions. Only Congress can take that step. And even if Democrats held on to the Senate next month, Mr. Obama’s advisers have concluded they would probably lose such a vote.

“We wouldn’t seek congressional legislation in any comprehensive agreement for years,” one senior official said.

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Update….

The White House is calling claims the administration is trying to bypass Congress on a nuclear deal with Iran “preposterous.”

“The notion that we are trying to avoid congressional consultation and input on this is preposterous,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Monday.

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The ‘Do Nothing’ US Senate…

With Midterms coming and the left and right NOT trusting each other?

Thinks have grind to a halt…

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Reid and Republicans Minority Leader McConnell have to protect their political flanks….

The situation is so alarming that former Senate leaders, including Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.), are mounting a public intervention to try to steer the chamber back toward effectiveness and maybe even some of its grand traditions.

“The Senate has degenerated into a polarized mess,” the former majority leaders recently wrote in a report that criticized both sides.

If the situation seems suddenly more urgent, it is just an escalation of an old problem.

A year ago things were so bad, relationships so frayed, that nearly all 100 senators gathered in the Old Senate Chamber for an off-the-record summit to try to clear the air, trying to conjure up the dealmaking ghosts of Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun and Daniel Webster. They spent three hours talking with each other, with no TV cameras, in a room where some of the great compromises of the first half of the 19th century were brokered.

“It was a great debate,” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) said as he exited the session. “One of the high points of my time here.” There was talk of more such gatherings, as well as lectures from retired leaders to the bulging crop of young senators so that the newcomers would understand that they were now part of a place steeped in noble history.

None of it happened, and after a brief respite the tension quickly reemerged.

“If anything, they’re worse,” said Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the back-bench lawmaker who initiated that marathon meeting. “There is no hope for the rest of the year.”

Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.), a frenetic former governor who is always trying to broker deals, continues to host bipartisan get-togethers for rank-and-file senators on his boat in National Harbor. The goodwill seems genuine, but nothing changes. “I can get them all together,” Manchin said. “They’re still not breaking the gridlock, because you know why? The gridlock is cloistered in a very small arena — the leadership.”

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Ted Cruz the Political brick thrower in the Senate…

As he has during the Government Shutdown….

The Junior GOP Senator from Texas seems to like very much shaking his fellow Senator’s up….

photo…flicker.com

Cruz Not Making Friends in the Senate

Dana Millbank has a fascinating look at how Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) nearly caused a catastrophe in the U.S. Senate this week by filibustering an effort to raise the debt ceiling.

“Watching the chaos from the side of the chamber was the man who caused it: Cruz, his hands in his pants pockets and a satisfied grin on his face. The Texas Republican strolled to the clerk’s table to check on the vote count and was met with a look of disgust from Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN). And the feeling was widespread: Moments after Cruz walked into the Republican cloakroom, four senators emerged from it and changed their votes to ‘aye.'”

“Cruz reemerged from the cloakroom, chewing gum, his hands again in his pockets. He smirked as his colleagues finally overcame his filibuster after a ­59-minute struggle. ”

…from politicalwire….

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Conservatives Double Down Against McConnell…

McConnell Auditions for Job as Cable News Commentator

By: Daniel Horowitz (Diary) @ RedState

At present, we are getting rolled in Washington.  Democrats have pushed an omnibus bill, a disastrous farm bill, endless debt ceiling increases, and amnesty for illegals.  Instead of an equal and opposing force in the opposite direction, Republicans have….. pushed an omnibus bill, a disastrous farm bill, endless debt ceiling increases, and amnesty for illegals.

There is a serious lack of leadership and vision within the Republican Party.  Naturally, as Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell is in a solid position to provide that leadership.  He is certainly proud of his position.  So where has he been on all of these important issues?

Lurking in shadows, as usual.

On most issues, McConnell quietly hopes yes and votes no because Matt Bevin has owned his voting record for the past year.  But when it came time to pass a terribly flawed farm bill, McConnell thought of a clever trick. He slipped in a popular hemp provision, thereby making it easier to pass the farm bill and grow government for years to come while concurrently hiding behind the logrolling to justify his vote.  Look at the gross dishonesty of McConnell’s press release on the bill:

McConnell Hemp Provision Passed by Senate; Measure Now Goes to President for Signature

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following comment regarding Senate passage of his hemp provision, which is included in the Farm Bill conference report:

“This is a huge victory for Kentucky agriculture and our economy. The measure I included in the Farm Bill conference report will give Commissioner James Comer the go ahead to cultivate hemp for pilot programs. I have heard from many Kentuckians who see this as a first step to establishing a market for industrial hemp in Kentucky. By exploring innovative ways to use hemp to benefit a variety of Kentucky industries, yet consistent with my long-standing support for Kentucky law enforcement’s aggressive efforts at marijuana interdiction, the pilot programs authorized by this legislation could help boost our state’s economy and lead to future jobs..”

Republicans got rolled in conference; the bill creates massive new subsidies and locks in Obama’s baseline for food stamp spending.  The $956 trillion cost is the best case scenario.  And yet he messages the bill as if it were a standalone hemp bill headed to Obama’s desk?!  Pay no attention to the trillion dollar price-tag.  I’m wondering if he’d vote for Cap and Trade or Dodd-Frank if he could slip in a provision for industrial hemp.

Now let’s move on to amnesty……

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The Senate Passes the Defense Bill ….

…from the Hill….

The Senate on Thursday evening passed the $607 billion Defense authorization bill that will reform the way the military handles sexual assault cases and loosen the restriction on transferring Guantánamo Bay detainees to foreign countries.

The Senate sent the bill to the president’s desk for the 52nd straight year in a 84-15 vote, after some legislative maneuvering was needed to extend the streak and quickly get a compromise bill through both chambers this month.

Nearly three-quarters of Republicans joined most Democrats in voting for the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorizes $527 billion in base defense spending and $80 billion for the war in Afghanistan.

Twelve Republicans and three Democrats voted against the legislation, including Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), and potential 2016 hopefuls Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

On Wednesday, the Senate voted 71-29 to end debate on the bill, showing there was bipartisan support for the last-minute defense deal negotiated by House and Senate Armed Services Committee leaders. But Some Republicans still insisted on dragging out the clock for debate as a protest for rushing the process and changing filibuster rules.

Armed Services leaders said the Defense bill had to be completed before the end of the year because it has a number of expiring provisions, such as special pay bonuses for troops. They argued the bill would not get a vote in a crowded calendar next year.

They argued the bill could not be altered because the House adjourned last week. The lower chamber passed the compromise Defense bill 350-69 in the final House vote of the year….

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