The GOP Must Win The Senate—Here’s Whyby Don on Sep. 14, 2012, under Uncategorized
If you’re impressed with Richard Carmona’s background—as I am—remember this important fact. Richard Carmona isn’t the issue here. Harry Reid is.
Richard Carmona is running for the US Senate as a Democrat. (Although, if you go to his website, he seems more interested in touting his bona-fides with Arizona Republican notables, as opposed to Democratic ones. Reminds me of how hard Ann Kirkpatrick and Gabby Giffords fought to appear on Fox News Network in the 2010 election cycle—wonder why?)
Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader. The Democrats have chosen him to run the Senate, because Democrats currently hold the majority in the Senate in Washington.
This excerpt from the Senate.gov website describes the power of the Senate Majority Leader: (Emphasis added).
Majority and Minority Leaders
Elected at the beginning of each Congress by members of their respective party conferences to represent them on the Senate floor, the majority and minority leaders serve as spokesmen for their parties’ positions on the issues. The majority leader has also come to speak for the Senate as an institution. Working with the committee chairs and ranking members, the majority leader schedules business on the floor by calling bills from the calendar and keeps members of his party advised about the daily legislative program.
the majority leader schedules business on the floor by calling bills from the calendar.
Translation: If the majority leader refuses to schedule your bill, your bill never sees the light of day.
This allows candidates to tell voters one thing, without actually having to deliver on those promises. Here’s how.
Let’s say you’re running as a moderate, who promises to put principle and the voters over the interests of his political party. That leads voters to think that, once in Washington, you’ll be able to really change things!
But, what if the Senate Majority Leader doesn’t want to change things? What if he/she likes things just the way they are?
You can write all the moderate bills and make all the moderate speeches you want. If the Senate Majority Leader refuses to schedule those bills for a vote, they’ll never get to the Senate floor. They’ll never become law. It’s as if you get your drivers’ license, but you’re denied the keys to the car. Yes, you can technically drive…but in reality, you can’t get anywhere.
In the House of Representatives, members can use a “discharge petition” to force a vote by the full House on a bill. This gives the House a way to overcome an attempt by the chamber’s leaders to stop a bill they don’t like.
In the Senate, however, discharge petitions are subject to filibuster. “This potential for obstruction of all legislative business is one reason that the Senate almost never uses the discharge petition as a way to force a bill from committee to the floor.” Here’s the link to Wikipedia’s entry on the Discharge Petition. Read