Q: How many current members of the Republican Senate caucus are rotten? A: All of them and they proved it Saturday.
After delays, many of which were foolish (I’m being kind in my choice of words again), the Senate finally voted on HR 1319 Saturday afternoon. It passed by a vote of 50-49-1 with all the nay and the lone I couldn’t bother to show up for work vote coming from the Republicans. The only winner in the Senate “numbers game” was Vice President Kamala Harris in that she didn’t have to come in and break what would have been a tie if Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan would have put starving constituents ahead of a family funeral.
The legislation in question is better known as the current COVID relief bill. While imperfect (when was the last time you saw a perfect piece of legislation in Congress?) it provides economic relief for many Americans who are really hurting in the form of direct payments and supplemented unemployment compensation. It also provides funding for vaccination programs along with aid to state and local governments. There are other things in the package but those are arguably the most critical elements. All 50 Senate Republicans think Americans don’t need them. Sullivan doesn’t get a pass here. His office put out a statement that he was against the bill.
Here are the 49 who actually had the audacity to vote nay: John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummins of Wyoming, Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty of Tennessee, Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley of Missouri, John Boozman and Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Mike Braun and Todd Young of Indiana, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz of Texas, Kevin Cramer and John Hoeven of North Dakota, Mike Crapo and James Risch of Idaho, Steve Daines of Montana, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina, Cindy Hyde-Smith and Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Jim Inhofe and James Lankford of Oklahoma, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah, Roger Marshall and Jerry Moran of Kansas, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul of Kentucky, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Rob Portman of Ohio, Mike Rounds and John Thune of South Dakota, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott of Florida, Richard Shelby and Tommy Tuberville of Alabama along with Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
At this point the following are up for reelection in 2022 and have not announced their retirement: Blunt (MO), Boozman (AR), Crapo (ID), Grassley (IA), Hoeven (ND), Johnson (WI), Kennedy (LA), Lankford (OK), Lee (UT), Moran (KS), Murkowski (AK), Paul (KY), Rubio (FL), Scott (SC), Thune (SD) and Young (IN). Several of those are probably unwinnable races for a Democrat in 2022 but there are certainly some Republican incumbents who are vulnerable to a well-funded, “first round draft choice”.
Here is the bottom line. On Saturday the current crop of Republicans in the Senate told you that they don’t care about you, your family or your community. In future elections you need to tell them the feeling is mutual by voting to oust them. For a minimum annual salary of $174,000 I’m sure we can do better and we might even find people willing to work an occasional Saturday.
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