Via National Journal and McConnell Puts Democrats in a Box (the title here alone is a clue that McConnell’s people have planted this story):
[mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] has caught Democrats between a rock and an abortion rider.
After weeks of Democrats questioning his unwillingness to schedule the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be attorney general, the Senate majority leader announced at a press conference Tuesday that the Senate will vote to confirm her next week. There’s just one catch: Members will have to get past legislation that includes a controversial abortion rider first.
“This is bad,” Jessica Brady, a spokeswoman for Judiciary Committee Democrats, said Tuesday.
Not long after agreeing unanimously to move forward with a bill to combat human trafficking on Monday, Democrats discovered the abortion language that had been sitting near the start of the bill. They’re now refusing to allow Republicans a final vote on the bill, potentially carrying out a filibuster that could last well into next week.
To get their vote on Lynch, Democrats will have to get off of the trafficking bill. And, so far, Republicans aren’t showing any willingness to remove the controversial abortion language.
First and foremost, given the answers provided by Loretta Lynch during her confirmation hearing, it is a travesty that she was voted out of committee. She is clearly not a big fan of the rule of law or the rights of Americans in general rather that enhanced rights for every racial/ethnic/sexual minority with an axe to grind. Every day she is not confirmed is a day that America is safer. That her vote should even be offered as a concession is just offensive.
There is precious little evidence that this drama, the children’s matinee at Failure Theater, is anything more than McConnell trying to show conservatives how super tough he is. If McConnell was really going to use the Lynch nomination as a bargaining chip he should have used it when it mattered: on the DHS bill. But he didn’t. He forfeited a chance to refuse to fund Obama’s amnesty, a position that had wide national support and he could have done so by inflicting a little temporary pain on a very unpopular and superfluous agency headquarters. Now he is now holding up a bill that most Americans support — one that allegedly will have an impact on human trafficking — for the sake of an unrelated amendment that will be used to beat the GOP.
In fact, the whole story smells like something cooked up by Reid and McConnell to give McConnell a little breathing room to further betray conservatives:
Cornyn earlier told reporters he did not think it was possible Democrats didn’t know about the anti-abortion provision, which represents a change from current law in applying the Hyde amendment to something other than an appropriations bill.
“The legislation that the Senate unanimously agreed to go on yesterday was filed on Jan. 13 with Democratic co-sponsors,” Cornyn said. “It was out in the public domain for a month before it was marked up in Judiciary Committee on Feb. 26, and all members of the Judiciary Committee voted to support it.”
“That leads me to believe that … some of the suggestions being made now that there were provisions in the legislation that people didn’t know about are simply untrue. That presupposes that none of their staff briefed their senators on what was in the legislation, that nobody read a 68-page bill, and that senators would vote for a bill, much less co-sponsor it without reading it, and knowing what’s in it,” Cornyn said. “None of that strikes me as plausible.”
The language itself should have been easy enough to see for a staffer or senator who is familiar with the reading of legislation. It applies the Hyde language directly from a recent spending bill, although it is incorporated by reference.
Don’t misunderstand. Anytime we can restrict infanticide it is a manifestly good thing. But here it is difficult to draw any conclusion other than this scheme has been hatched to divert attention from McConnell’s manifest failures as majority leader.