At 10:15 Tuesday morning, on the Senate floor, Senator Mitch McConnell did the right thing.
McConnell proposed a unanimous consent agreement that would allow Obama’s unpaid-for unemployment insurance extension to move forward — but only if Reid would guarantee a vote on delaying the ObamaCare mandate.
Not surprisingly, Reid fumed — and objected. Obama’s allies had made it clear on the front page of the New York Times that the fight over the debt-increasing non-offset unemployment extension was being waged for the explicit purpose of picking a fight with Republicans — and distracting attention from the unpopular ObamaCare.
Slightly more surprising is the fact that, like lumbering sloths, six Republicans (Heller, Ayotte, Portman, Collins, Murkowski, and Coats) fell into the trap Reid had set for them.
68% of Americans want to delay the anti-gun ObamaCare mandate. Only 55% want to extend unemployment insurance.
This is because, whereas 1.3 million would be affected by unemployment insurance, over 6,000,000 Americans have lost their insurance under ObamaCare, and another 80-100 million will lose their health insurance when ObamaCare’s employer mandate kicks in.
Also remember this: Republicans are not demanding that the ObamaCare mandate be delayed. They’re only asking for a vote. And before the autocratic, corrupt Harry Reid came along, the proposition that the minority party could be frozen out of votes on the key issues of the day would have been considered contrary to the traditions of the Senate.
Not surprisingly, Senators Chuck Schumer and endangered Democrats running for reelection did a “victory dance” press conference. In the process, they made no secret of the fact that the victory the hapless six Republicans had just handed them laid the groundwork for changing the subject again and pushing a minimum wage increase.
But the good news, if there is any, if that cloture on the motion to proceed to a bill does not necessarily mean cloture on the bill. April’s gun control debate showed us that.
So the exercise becomes insuring that the unemployment bill is not clotured until Republicans have had an opportunity to offer amendments (1) delaying the individual mandate, and (2) defunding the bailout of insurance company “millionaires and billionaires” through the “risk corridor” provisions of ObamaCare.
This is a battle we can win if we fight hard.