January 26, 2015 A key vote to advance legislation green-lighting the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline failed 53-39 in the Senate on Monday.
The vote aimed at cutting off debate on legislation to approve the controversial project fell short of 60 votes after Democrats, angry at Republicans for blocking debate on a slate of Democratic amendments last week, blocked the measure.
“Last Thursday night the majority decided that they would not allow for debate,” Democratic Sen. Ed Markey said on the floor ahead of the vote, echoing a complaint that a number of Democrats expressed on Monday after the Senate reconvened to debate the bill.
Senate Republicans have instigated a “gag-a-thon,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.
Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware said he voted against ending debate because of the “failure of the majority to follow through on the open amendment process,” taking aim at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
If Republicans win the Senate, expect a ferocious tactical clash between Cruz and the actual leader Mitch McConnell
“Ted Cruz’s big (awful) plans: Why a clash is coming if GOP wins majority” by Jim Newell in Salon
No one’s more excited about the prospects of a Republican takeover of the Senate than the incoming Senate majority leader, Ted Cruz. He’s already been serving as Speaker of the House for two years, and come Tuesday night, he may well have control of both chambers of Congress. Once he’s elected President in 2016, he’ll be the first man in history to serve concurrently as Speaker of the House, Senate majority leader, and President of the United States. Whenever as the next Supreme Court justice keels over, he’ll appoint himself to that, too. This is ultimately the America that America deserves.
You may be asking how a junior Senate backbencher who’s not in line to chair any committee will effectively serve as Senate majority leader. He’ll do so the same way that, as a junior Senate backbencher, he’s effectively served as Speaker of the House the past two years. Through whatever feats of raw political talent and nimble exploitation of congressional process, Cruz positions himself as the go-to vehicle through which all far-right rage is channeled in Washington. He’s the front man for the interests of radicalized “outside groups” (well-funded organizations with presences in Washington D.C.) like Heritage Action, the Club for Growth, the Senate Conservatives Fund, Tea Party Patriots, and so forth. Whenever the specter of practical governance — funding the government, raising the debt ceiling — sweeps its way into the corridors of the Republican leadership, there materializes Ted Cruz, exorcising the demon. We simply do not care for Texas Senator Ted Cruz here at Salon dot com, but hey, the man fills a space.
WASHINGTON — In their first meeting since a budget impasse shuttered many federal operations, President Obama told Republican leaders on Wednesday that he would negotiate with them only after they agreed to the funding needed to reopen the government and also to an essential increase in the nation’s debt limit, without add-ons.
The president’s position reflected the White House view that the Republicans’ strategy is failing. His meeting with Congressional leaders, just over an hour long, ended without any resolution.
As they left, Republican and Democratic leaders separately reiterated their contrary positions to waiting reporters. The House speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, said Mr. Obama “will not negotiate,” while the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, said Democrats would agree to spending at levels already passed by the House. “My friend John Boehner cannot take ‘yes’ for an answer,” Mr. Reid said.
The meeting was the first time that the president linked the two actions that he and a divided Congress are fighting over this month: a budget for the fiscal year that began on Tuesday and an increase in the debt ceiling by Oct. 17, when the Treasury Department will otherwise breach its authority to borrow the money necessary to cover the nation’s existing obligations to citizens, contractors and creditors.
Only when those actions are taken, Mr. Obama said, will he agree to revive bipartisan talks toward a long-term budget deal addressing the growing costs of Medicare and Medicaid and the inadequacy of federal tax revenues.