Harry Reid Steps In It

Earlier today, CNN Congressional Reporter Dana Bash asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid why the Senate would be blocking the small appropriations bills that the House will begin sending over today, including one that would allow for continued funding of pediatric cancer studies at the National Institutes of Health:

In this clip, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., gets a taste of the same medicine Democrats have been dishing out in the Obamacare debate for years. Why, he is asked by CNN’s Dana Bash, will he not go forward if the House passes a bill restoring NIH funding so that about three dozen kids with cancer can get treatment right away?

Reid, looking a bit flummoxed, personally attacks Bash’s intelligence for asking the question.

Speaking of the House, Reid asks, “What right do they have to pick and choose what part of government’s going to be funded?”

The answer to that question, of course, is that Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution states that all appropriations must be approved by Congress and, as David Freddoso notes in the linked article, as one of the two Houses of Congress, the House of Representatives certainly has a right to have a voice in appropriations. Perhaps Senator Reid may want to rethink his statement here.The Senate doesn’t have to accept the House’s appropriations bills, of course, but one does wonder if they’ll end up paying a political price for it.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, US Politics, ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. john personna says:

    Reid might be be asking why a minority think …




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  2. Moosebreath says:

    “the House of Representatives certainly has a right to have a voice in appropriations. Perhaps Senator Reid may want to rethink his statement here.”

    Or perhaps you might. The Republicans are not saying they have the right to a voice in appropriations. They are saying they should be the sole voice in appropriations.

    But of course, a person devoted to “both sides do it” would never see such a thing.




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  3. mantis says:

    It was a dumb response. He should have said Republicans can easily restore funding to the NIH by bringing the clean CR up for a vote in the House.




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  4. David M says:

    Possibly not the best way to word the response, but definitely the right idea.




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  5. JKB says:

    It’s worse than that. All appropriations bills must originate in the House. So actually, they can pick and choose all they want. The Senate can have their input and the President can have his. But if they can’t understand how federal appropriations works, perhaps they ought to sue their schools.




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  6. David M says:

    Reid and the Democrats should play some hardball here, substituting a clean CR for the partial funding bill and then pass it and sending it back to the House.




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  7. JohnMcC says:

    @David M: Ah… But having done that, they become vulnerable to a ‘filibuster’. All the alterations to the House-originated bills that have been approved by a 54 – 46 margin in the last few days are considered amendments (which by Senate rules, cannot be ‘filibustered’). Once a vote is actually taken (as in “move the question!”) any future House Bills become new bills and would require 60 votes to ‘pass’.




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  8. rudderpedals says:

    Time to squit or get off the pot. Force Boehner to appoint budget conferees for whatever part of the govt this funding comes from. Either Paulcruzubiolee filibusters or a conference occurs. What’s wrong with this?




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  9. rudderpedals says:

    By “forcing Boehner” I mean “forcing Cantor”




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  10. Matt Bernius says:

    While I agree with the overall Democratic strategy on this one and hope they stay firm on it, this is one of those “Biden-esque” statements that really makes one shake their head.

    Reid really needs to get some sleep. He, and the Dems, should have expected this strategy and had coherent talking points prepared.




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  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    So, basically, Dingy Harry’s holding the entire government hostage to get his demands — a blank check from the House to do whatever he wants with the budget. And he won’t negotiate — he gets everything he wants, or nobody gets nothing.




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  12. An Interested Party says:

    So, basically, Dingy Harry’s holding the entire government hostage to get his demands — a blank check from the House to do whatever he wants with the budget. And he won’t negotiate — he gets everything he wants, or nobody gets nothing.

    Oh my, he’s certainly learned well from the Teabaggers in Congress…




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  13. EddieInCA says:

    Doug –

    The entire quote from Reid is, in context:

    REID: Listen, Senator Durbin explained that very well, and he did it on the floor earlier. As did Senator Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It’s obvious what’s going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don’t know what other word I can use. They’re obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.

    BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

    SCHUMER: Why pit one against the other?

    REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.

    BASH: I’m just asking a question.

    That’s a little different than your misleading headline and commentary.

    But, I know… both sides do it.




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  14. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    “a blank check from the House to do whatever he wants with the budget. And he won’t negotiate — he gets everything he wants, or nobody gets nothing.”

    The Zombie Lie speaks.

    Of course, you can point to where Harry Reid has asked for an end to the sequester, for tax increases on the top 2%, and for everything else on his wishlist, right?




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  15. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “Dingy Harry.”

    Amazing how you never, never, never listen to Rush Limbaugh, and yet you magically managed to come up with his little pet name for Reid.

    But I’m sure you came up with it entirely on your own, just as with the rest of your “thoughts.”




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  16. rudderpedals says:

    @EddieInCA:

    Dynamic Dana spilled a bucket of steaming hot freshness all over herself and everyone stepped in it.




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  17. RaflW says:

    Reid was acknowledging that the GOP played the Dems on sequester: they go the FAA restored so that no one was inconvenienced at the airport, and after that, basically, poof all Sequester stories were gone, never to be seen again.

    There will be no room for nibbling at the edges of the shutdown. The GOP can try and spin away from owning the NIH shut-down, but it won’t work.




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  18. anjin-san says:

    So, basically, Dingy Harry’s holding the entire government hostage to get his demands — a blank check from the House to do whatever he wants with the budget. And he won’t negotiate — he gets everything he wants, or nobody gets nothing.

    In case anyone is unclear about what “tool” means when it is used in reference to a person instead of a hammer or screwdriver, Jenos has thoughtfully stepped up and provided an excellent example.




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  19. David M says:

    As a reminder, the 6 week CR that Reid and Obama support is at sequester funding levels, which are much different than what they want. So the CR is already closer to the GOP spending levels.

    The Dems are still using the regular budgetary process to push for changes they want.




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  20. Todd says:

    @EddieInCA:

    At times, Doug posts arguments that are perfectly reasonable, and make a lot of sense. Then we get these sort of out of context, not totally honest type posts.

    Perhaps this is an attempt to appear “fair and balanced”?

    I think I’m just going to start referring to Doug as Wolf. (anybody who’s ever wanted to throw a shoe at their tv while watching CNN will get what I mean)




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  21. James Pearce says:

    I fail to see how this is more offensive, or as offensive as, shutting down the government in the first place.

    the House of Representatives certainly has a right to have a voice in appropriations.

    Yes. Their voice was heard. It does not make up for the fact that they lost the vote and the last election. If that’s not in Article I, Section 9, it’s somewhere else in the Constitution.




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  22. bill says:

    i’m just shocked that anyone (that he would allow to ask him a question) would actually ask such a question, why didn’t she just ask if he still beats his wife?




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  23. beth says:

    So next week if we hear about one Yellowstone park ranger who hasn’t gotten paid and can’t afford his kid’s life saving medicine, do we open only Yellowstone to save that one child? Reid was absolutely right in his sentiments, just not very good in expressing them.




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  24. Jeremy R says:

    BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?

    The sad part is the entire point of what’s going on here is the GOP is seeking leverage to deny help for millions of Americans, not just with cancer, but with all sorts of diseases and ailments. Shouldn’t Dana be asking this same question of them? “But if you can help tens-of-millions of Americans, why wouldn’t you do it?” Add to that the fact that the GOP has been working overtime the past many years to gut NIH funding: http://www.mediaite.com/online/shocker-republican-budgets-devastate-nih-funding/




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  25. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    So, basically, Dingy Harry’s holding the entire government hostage to get his demands — a blank check from the House to do whatever he wants with the budget. And he won’t negotiate — he gets everything he wants, or nobody gets nothing.

    Not that you care to explain, but … how do you get to THAT, from this:

    REID: Listen, Senator Durbin explained that very well, and he did it on the floor earlier. As did Senator Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It’s obvious what’s going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don’t know what other word I can use. They’re obsessed with this Obamacare. It’s working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.
    BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?
    SCHUMER: Why pit one against the other?
    REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.
    BASH: I’m just asking a question.




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  26. Davebo says:

    And Doug continues to sink lower and lower.

    To be expected. But I’d hoped at least James wouldn’t swallow it.

    To me, this post is more damning of him than Doug. I mean, we expect it from Doug.

    But no. Crickets…




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  27. Pinky says:

    @Jeremy R: The Republicans genuinely believe that by blocking Obamacare, they will be saving health care for tens of millions of people. Even Dems tacitly admit that single-payer comes next when this thing fails. Every third comment around here is that “the Republicans know that Obamacare will be a success”. Don’t believe it. They genuinely believe it will fail. The scary thing to them is that it’ll fail in non-obvious ways, looking like it’s succeeding. It’ll make the entire system work more poorly while helping a few out, and it’ll get credit for the few and not blame for the many. That’s how unintended consequences work – they’re typically hidden, opportunity costs.

    Although maybe they’re not so hidden this time. This entire time since the recession (if you want to call this a recovery) there have been minimal full-time hires. The firms are called “29ers”. Everyone’s seeing it. Whether they can put two and two together remains to be seen. Or maybe the Dems’ hope will come to pass, that people will see it and demand single-payer instead.




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  28. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:

    Every third comment around here is that “the Republicans know that Obamacare will be a success”. Don’t believe it.

    If you genuinely believe it will fail, then take me up on my bet.
    The stakes: loser has to publicly admit in this forum that all of their political predictions were wrong and must defer to the winner in all comment threads here on OTB, conceding their position to be correct on whatever issue both are discussing.
    Come on man, if you are so sure you are right, you should take me up on my offer.




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  29. Pinky says:

    @Grewgills: Hey, I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. I don’t know the bill well enough to tell you if it will have long-term ill effects like the Republicans are predicting, and I’d love to see it work out well for the sake of the country, but I think it has had a dampening effect on full-time employment.

    This isn’t really a political prediction, anyway. I’m terrible at those, guessing who will win or what legislation will be passed. I’m more interested in policy. And policy questions rarely come out with clear winners and losers.




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  30. Grewgills says:

    @Pinky:
    The initial offer was in response to a prediction by you in another thread. What you have offered in response here is much more moderate.
    I have lived in two states that required full time employers to carry health insurance and in one that did not. I did not see much difference in levels of full employment. I live in HI now and our unemployment is some of the lowest in the nation and the state has required employers to provide full time (30+ hrs) employees healthcare with good minimum benefits since at least the 90s. Looking at the breakdown in unemployment and underemployment between states that require employer coverage and those that don’t doesn’t show it. I realize there are a lot of confounding factors between states, but if it were the kind of break that Republicans are claiming, then we should be able to see a sharp statistical difference between those states.




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  31. Matt Bernius says:

    @Davebo:

    And Doug continues to sink lower and lower.

    To be expected. But I’d hoped at least James wouldn’t swallow it.

    To me, this post is more damning of him than Doug. I mean, we expect it from Doug.

    But no. Crickets…

    What the heck does this even mean? That James should denounce Doug? Or ban him from posting?

    As an occasional contributor to OTB, I can tell you that James provides a forum and doesn’t edit any of our content. Just because something is published on this site doesn’t mean that James agrees with it — just as most traditional magazines don’t “agree” with all of their articles.




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  32. Blue Galangal says:

    @Matt Bernius: Maybe there’s a baseline expectation of intellectual honesty.




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