In case you missed it, the GOP is not pleased about the passage of health care reform, and after careful consideration they’ve decided that the best strategy going forward is to stomp their feet harder and scream louder.
In legislative terms, that means that they’ve chosen to invoke an arcane Senate rule that requires unanimous consent for any committee meetings after 2 p.m. That’s right. GOP Senators are so angry that they won’t work after lunch.
In a statement, Senator Leahy explains what that means for the Judiciary Committee.
I have previously accommodated requests from Judiciary Committee Republicans to delay the Committee’s hearing to consider Professor [Goodwin] Liu’s nomination. I had intended to hold this hearing two weeks ago but, at the request of Republicans, delayed it until today. We had agreed, instead, to proceed to a hearing for Judge Robert Chatigny, a nominee to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, on March 10. Republicans then reversed themselves and asked for additional delay in connection with that March 10 hearing. I, again, accommodated them. Earlier this week I sought to move this afternoon’s hearing to the morning, into the two-hour window of time after the Senate convened, that would not be subject to this arcane objection. Republicans asked that we keep it scheduled for this afternoon because it worked better for the schedules of the Republican members of the Committee, and they had planned to participate this afternoon. Now, having objected to holding the hearing this morning, they object to it not being held this afternoon. They pulled the plug on our hearing and put up roadblocks to the Committee’s process for working to fill judicial vacancies.
And, like most Republican obstruction tactics, it quickly moves from being “annoying” to being “harmful for our nation.”
Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill both complained that Republicans kept them from holding their hearings on budget requests for the military's Pacific and strategic and police training contracts in Afghanistan.
That, in a nutshell, is the political strategy of the GOP: prevent any effort to assist our armed forces or allow for a functioning judicial branch out of sheer petulance.
You stay classy, guys.