Old And Busted: Donald Trump Wins On First Ballot. New Hotness: A Scorched Earth Convention
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This week should be the last week of this Congress for the year. The House and Senate need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the government into next year and then they can leave. Of course, liberals will try to jam a few more pieces of legislation through the House and Senate before they leave town. Conservatives should keep a close eye on Washington to make sure they don’t sneak a few billion of new spending past the goaltender in the last moments of this Lame Duck Congress.
The Senate will continue work on the New START Treaty. They also must pass a CR to fund the government past Tuesday, the date the current short term funding bill expires. The 9/11 health care bill may come up in the Senate this week and a scaled back defense authorization bill. The House will come back in to pass a CR and maybe the America COMPETES Act, H.R. 5116.
Over the weekend, some Republicans voted for a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The L.A. Times reports that “White House officials were ‘elated and emotional’ after Congress agreed to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. armed forces, redeeming one of Obama’s campaign pledges, said a senor aide. But otherwise, the internal response to the wins of the last few days has been a cautious one.” Many conservatives are watching closely to see if this is an isolated incident or a trend. Will Senate Republicans will cave on other issues because they are terrified of being called obstructionists.
We shall find out later this week when a critical vote is taken on the New START Treaty. The AP reports that the vote on the New START Treaty will be close. A two-thirds vote of Senators is necessary to approve any treaty.
A top Democrat predicted Monday that the Senate will approve a new arms control treaty with Russia, but conceded that it will take “house by house combat” to collect enough votes from recalcitrant Republicans to prevail.
According to the AP, Senate Republican Leader McConnell pledged opposition on the same day that Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) pledged support.
Schumer said Democrats have now picked up the support of GOP Sen. Thad Cochran Mississippi, and said he thinks Democrats will get the 67 votes the Constitution requires to ratify a treaty. He said Democrats will need nine or 10 Republican votes to prevail.
Conservatives have raised verification and missile defense as the two strongest objections to Senate ratification of the Treaty:
On Sunday, McConnell criticized the treaty’s verification system and expressed concern that the pact would limit U.S. missile defense options even though Obama insisted Saturday that the treaty imposes no restrictions on the system aimed at protecting the United States and its allies from ballistic missile attacks.
The two strongest arguments against the New START Treaty are the following:
The Senate vote on this Treaty is going to be close and these two issues have yet to be resolved sufficiently for conservatives to ratify the New START Treaty. A Treaty that will bind the United States on a hampered missile defense capability.