Most often the subject of my Sunday article is what I deem to be the most important political story of the week just ended. This week, while not discounting its importance, the subject is the most disgusting occurrence of last week.
Late Friday morning the Senate finally voted on (or should I say tried to vote on?) H.R. 3233 – the authorization of a bi-partisan commission to investigate January 6. The Mitch McConnell led Republicans filibustered it and it died by a vote of 54 in favor and 35 opposed with 11 not voting. There is a lot to unpack there and I’ll give it a shot in the following paragraphs.
The 54 ayes came from every Democrat present and the two independents who caucus with them along with six Republicans. The 35 nays were unsurprisingly all cast by Republicans. Nine Republicans and 2 Democrats simply didn’t show up for work.
The 35 Republicans who voted against the commission are: John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming, John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Kevin Kramer and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Mike Crapo of Idaho, Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Den Fischer of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham and Tin Scott of South Carolina, Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Josh Hawley of Missouri, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, John Kennedy of Louisiana, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Mike Lee of Utah, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Dan Sullivan of Alaska, John Thune of South Dakota, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Tommy Tuberville of Alabama along with Todd Young of Indiana.
I will give this group “points” for actually showing up for work – is that a rewardable action? What they effectively said is that it is perfectly fine to attack the government if you don’t get your way. How does that square with American democracy?
The nine Republican who were absent are: Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Mike Braun of Indiana, Richard Burr of North Carolina, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, James Risch of Idaho, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Richard Shelby of Alabama along with Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The Democrats were Patty Murray of Washington and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona.
This vote was taken on the Friday of a long holiday weekend and it was preceded by an “overtime” session the night before. It was a nice day to have off. I’m certain almost all working Americans felt that way. The vast majority showed up for work anyway and few of them make a minimum wage of $174,000 a year. Blunt, Burr, Shelby and Toomey have announced their retirements. Hey guys, until you actually leave you are supposed to show up for work; if you don’t want to resign now! This may be the only time I have ever criticized Murray but a family matter is not a valid excuse. I missed a lot of family function during my working days and I’m certain most Americans have. Toomey said he would have voted for the commission but also had a family thing.
McConnell deserves special attention. He whipped the vote to filibuster the bill reportedly telling fellow Republican senators that he would consider a vote against it a, “Personal favor”. Politically this was a rare stupid move by Master of the Senate Mitch. The American people overwhelmingly support an inquiry and an independent commission – especially since it was amended to give House Republican leadership everything it wanted – would give the Republicans their fairest shot. Make no mistake this will be investigated, apparently just not by a truly bi-partisan independent commission, (unless it comes back to the floor and has a different result which is possible). What were you doing Mitch; acquiescing to Donald Trump, protecting complicit congressional Republicans or both?
Tomorrow is Memorial Day. Normally that would be the theme of my article. This year it will not. There is another major aspect of this affair that needs to be explored and I will write about it for Monday.
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