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McConnell, GOP Senators Hold DADT Repeal, Dem Initiatives Hostage in Letter to Harry Reid

All 42 GOP Senators have signed a letter from Mitch McConnellto House Majority Leader Harry Reid threatening to block all initiatives, including the Defense Authorization Act with DADT attached, until Republicans get their way on Bush tax cuts.

McconnellExcerpt from letter from GOP Senators to Harry Reid, via The Plum Line:

Dear Leader Reid,

The nation's unemployment level, stuck near 10 percent, is unacceptable to Americans. Senate Republicans have been urging Congress to make private-sector job creation a priority all year. President Obama in his first speech after the November election said "we owe" it to the American people to "focus on those issues that affect their jobs." He went on to say that Americans "want jobs to come back faster." Our constituents have repeatedly asked us to focus on creating an environment for private-sector job growth; it is time that our constituents' priorities become the Senate's priorities.

For that reason, we write to inform you that we will not agree to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to any legislative item until the Senate has acted to fund the government and we have prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers. With little time left in this Congressional session, legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities. While there are other items that might ultimately be worthy of the Senate's attention, we cannot agree to prioritize any matters above the critical issues of funding the government and preventing a job-killing tax hike.


We look forward to continuing to work with you in a constructive manner to keep the government operating and provide the nation's small businesses with economic certainty that the job-killing tax hike will be prevented.

However, Greg Sargent says that there's a good possibility that certain GOP Senators would abandon McConnell on this:

"Senator Susan Collins confirms to me that she could still vote for cloture for the Defense Authorization Bill containing repeal of DADT if ample time is alloted for floor debate and amendments...This wouldn't be the first time a tactic like this from McConnell has failed to maintain GOP unity, despite his threats to the contrary. On Wall Street reform, Dems were able to break the GOP filibuster despite McConnell's bluff...Someone should ask senators Richard Lugar, Olympia Snowe, and John Ensign whether they are willing to rule out a vote for DADT repeal if the Bush tax cut standoff isn't yet resolved. My bet is their answers might be surprising."

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  1. Motherfuckers, that's all I can say. These obstructionist Repugs should be lined up tried for treason.

    Posted by: Alexander | Dec 1, 2010 11:19:29 AM

  2. YES, Can we now PLEASE focus 95% of our ire and hate on the deserving target? REPUBLICANS = THE WORST. (Followed closely by Tea Party and Dems)

    Posted by: Fenrox | Dec 1, 2010 11:22:00 AM

  3. this a perfect example of the repuks cooperating to run the government. mmconnell is an asshole.these people would rather shut down the government and the military than do the right thing. the repuks don't have the best interest of the country in mind only the rich and powerful.

    Posted by: walter | Dec 1, 2010 11:22:06 AM

  4. Elections have consequences, and this is what they look like. Still think there is no difference between Dems and Repubs? Every GOP Senator is willing to hold up equal rights, defense authorization and a nuclear treaty until millionaires get an unfunded, $700B tax break they don't need (and which won't stimulate the economy -- it didn't exactly work the past decade, did it!).

    But hey, everything is Obama/Dems fault, right? There is no difference between the parties, right?

    Posted by: Scott | Dec 1, 2010 11:24:26 AM

  5. Why don't the Repukes just cut to the chase and be honest about their ultimate goal: NO taxes whatsoever for corporations and the insanely wealthy. Let the rapidly-vanishing middle class and the poor pay for everything, i.e. "Let them eat cake."

    Posted by: Alexander | Dec 1, 2010 11:24:29 AM

  6. How are they going to keep the givernment operating without approving the Defense appropriations bill?

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Dec 1, 2010 11:35:05 AM

  7. Let me see if I understand the thinking here. We are mad because the Republicans are standing up and actually doing something for their very small base? What an ideal, why the hell can't the Dems do the same for their base? Because they are don't really give a shit about us, thats why!

    Posted by: major707 | Dec 1, 2010 11:38:19 AM

  8. And to the 30-40 percent of gay geniuses who, according to various exit polls, voted Republican this year:

    Looks like you are going to get exactly what you wanted.


    Posted by: John | Dec 1, 2010 11:38:33 AM

  9. Not to mention letting unemployment benefits expire. These benefits cost about $50-60B over a DECADE and are extremely stimulative to the economy, because these people need and therefore SPEND the money. (not to mention the MORAL AND RIGHT thing to do). Contrast to $700B cost for extra tax cuts for millionaires, which is NOT stimulative because they just save/hoard the money.

    It is very clear who the GOP is fighting for -- corporations and the mega wealthy. At the expense of anything and everything else. Congratulations to all the disenchanted who sat out this election... we have gone from "slow progression" to "total regression."

    Posted by: Scott | Dec 1, 2010 11:44:19 AM

  10. Anyone surprised?....Kill the filibuster!

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Dec 1, 2010 11:49:47 AM

  11. This letter is but the latest proof of my long-held conclusion that Repugs have become the "opposition party" in the truest since of the word -- they're opposed to everything that has the stamp "Dem" or "Obama" on it. I can't help but laugh everytime these obnoxious pols remind the Dems that as of last month "elections have consequences". Once again, these consequences only matter when it favors the Repugs. I certainly didn't hear this sentiment dripping from their lips following the November 2008 elections! I don't see how Obama and the dwindling number of Congressional Dems are going to govern the next two years with this bunch continuing to obstruct everything that needs to be done to preserve and protect us. So, I suppose all those who voted more power to the Repugs are smug in the fact that -- as a country -- we're probably screwed until at least we know the outcome of the November 2012 election.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 1, 2010 11:54:56 AM

  12. Yeah, those poor unemployed millionaires...

    Let's assume for the sake of the argument that they actually did something that benefited poorer or unemployed people. It won't make a difference to them, whether they decide on that now or in January. The issue isn't THAT time-sensitive.

    Posted by: Steve | Dec 1, 2010 11:57:59 AM

  13. Simple advice for the Dems: publicly and politically embarrass the Senate Rethugs as often and as widely as possible. These political greedhead scum are clearly acting in bad faith and only idiots or the delusional can believe that there is any further gain in playing nicely with political saboteurs willing to sacrifice world peace, the future of our LGBT servicemembers, the unemployed, and those of immigrant college students for the sake of personal political gain.

    No retreat, no surrender from fighting for political progress!

    Posted by: Peter | Dec 1, 2010 12:12:05 PM

  14. "why the hell can't the Dems do the same for their base? Because they are don't really give a shit about us, thats why!"

    Your spot on and bright to boot! From DADT to Healthcare reform those Dems in your country are working for the right wing GOP's! Actually if the GOP are working against this and the Dems are working for, it means they are on opposites side.

    So by your bright comment which side are the Dems are? Centre Left? Centre? That still isn't the side of the GOP is it?

    But then something tells me you don't care and you are a sociopath. You must be part of getequal.

    Imagine if the Dems had actually be to the Left-not that it is possible with a right wing inherent culture-the GOP would've blown you guys up.

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 1, 2010 12:13:39 PM

  15. McConnell has one goal: 1 term for Obama. The Dems just don't get it. Regardless the damage done to the country, or world as with the SALT treaty it doesn't matter. In 2 years the shattered remains caused by "no compromise" will be blamed on Obama. It's a scortched earth policy. Even with the votes the Dems have shown no balls and the Repubs have shown that they want a failed economic and diplomatic policy on Obama's watch. It's not about issues. It's about driving the country into the ground to discredit the executive branch. To believe that the Repubs actually care about anything else is naive. McConnell made priority number one clear when he sait it was to one term Obama.

    Posted by: terry | Dec 1, 2010 12:29:02 PM

  16. The next person who bitches about Obama, I'm actually going to punch them in the face.

    Posted by: Gregoireire | Dec 1, 2010 12:30:08 PM

  17. Actually, it's not just DADT repeal that's being held hostage. With the decision to filibuster the Defense Approprations bill, the Republicans are holding the US military hostage.

    Let's see: (a) "You cut taxes for the wealthiest 2% of Americans, or we'll raise them on everyone." (b) "Let's allow unemployment benefits to expire (after all, the unemployed are just an unproductive drain on society, anyway)." (c) "We'll kill the defense appropriations bill unless we get everything we want."

    It's pretty clear who the Republicans are working for, and it isn't any American I know.

    Posted by: grothenberger | Dec 1, 2010 12:41:02 PM

  18. Here's an upside.... now Gates, Mullen, the DoD and the Pentagon see exactly how the republicans play.

    Posted by: Dale | Dec 1, 2010 12:42:31 PM

  19. Scum. Absolute disgrace to our nation.

    Posted by: ravewulf | Dec 1, 2010 12:46:21 PM

  20. I see the Washington Post has lined up with the homophobes. Their story on the survey was radically biased against repeal.

    They included six quotes from the report, and three paraphrases. Six of those were anti-gay, which means that two-thirds of the mentions were against gays when the survey showed that two-thirds were okay with DADT repeal.

    The Post placed the anti-gay material at the top of its story where people were most likely to read it. The supportive quotes were placed at the bottom of the story where people were less likely to read them.

    The author of the story was a writer who, a few months ago, had written to the Delaware Tea Party to offer her propaganda services on their behalf:

    "I am trying to reach as many tea party supporters as I can for a cultural story about the movement. What are your interesting/inspiring/amusing stories about revealing to your friends, family or coworkers that you support the tea party? There must be some great tales out there that have helped people in your community see through the stereotypes of the movement."

    Here is the Washington Post story:

    Here is the same writer's e-mail to the Delaware Tea Party:

    Posted by: Career | Dec 1, 2010 1:37:31 PM

  21. isn't this basically extortion?

    how is this sort of behavior even legal?

    Posted by: neverstops | Dec 1, 2010 1:41:12 PM

  22. How about this? Instead of holding us hostage to START, how about Dems making a deal that they won't make the Republican's lives a living hell by doing what they've done to us for 3 years? A single Democrat Senator can hold them up for years with filibusters. This is ridiculous.

    Posted by: Craig | Dec 1, 2010 1:43:26 PM

  23. This last lameduck session could actually be very productive if Reid has the balls to shut down debate early on. Don't allow them to drag this on and on.

    If it becomes clear the repugnants won't allow this to come to the floor for a vote, may I suggest reconciliation. After all, that's how the repugnants got their massive unfunded tax cut for the wealthy jammed through as well as the unfunded piss-poor Medicare Part D that only favored the drug manufacturers.

    Do this, because you have some other things that need to be passed like the Dream Act, Stark Treaty and ENDA. If only Reid would get a spine.

    Posted by: Keith | Dec 1, 2010 1:46:28 PM

  24. Reid needs to hold vote after vote. Let the GOP stand up and vote down the Defense bill over and over and over.


    Posted by: BobN | Dec 1, 2010 2:16:24 PM

  25. This is shaping up to be worse than 94 and liable to bring about worse consequences in the long haul during these unpredictable economic times.

    Posted by: Government Reporter | Dec 1, 2010 3:26:17 PM

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