Harry Reid Doesn’t Get It

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) longs for the old days when big-government spending bills were passed under the radar and without opposition. He longs for the days when the growth of the federal government was on autopilot, and he didn’t have to defend liberal policies. In the case of the Export-Import Bank, Sen. Reid wishes we could go back in time:

“Why do we have to go through this endless procedural process? Why can’t we just pass it as we’ve done in so many years past?”

The reason legislation isn’t sailing through Congress is because the American people have woken up and are now paying attention to what Congress is doing. Former New Hampshire Senator John E. Sununu drives the point home:

“During 2010, the Tea Party got the attention, but the election revolt against bailouts, subsidies, and spending came from all sides. Voter sentiment hasn’t changed much — but you wouldn’t know that from the action last week on the US House floor, where renewing Export-Import Bank subsidies for big business was the order of the day.

“Compared with big-spending Democrats, Republicans still have a long way to go before losing the mantle of limited government. But if the overwhelming vote to reauthorize the bank is any guide, they think the widespread disdain for subsidies has run its course. Last week’s Indiana primary shows otherwise.

“Worse yet, the Ex-Im Bank vote shows that too many members of Congress think that being pro-business means being pro-subsidy. Wrong again. Avoiding burdensome regulations is pro-business; lowering the marginal tax rate is pro-business; but programs that bestow unique benefits to favored companies or industries are simply giving away money.”

Sen. Reid wants everything to be easy for him. He’s changed Senate rules to make his job easier, blocked the minority from offering amendments and has the audacity to complain when he actually has to work for votes. Now he’s upset that he needs 60 votes to pass the Export-Import Bank reauthorization, as if it will be difficult to get that number:

“Monday’s agreement, as announced by Reid, came only minutes before a scheduled procedural vote in which he would have needed 60 votes himself to move on to the bill. By coming to terms on the amendments, Reid avoided that challenge, but as part of the same deal, he will need 60 votes for passage of the bill.

“That should not be a major problem given the pro-Republican business support for the package. And if Democrats hold together, the conservative challenges should fail. One proposal, for example, would terminate the bank after just one year. Another would reopen Cantor’s bargain and demand a much tighter link between the increased loan limits and progress being made in Treasury’s efforts to negotiate a settlement to end export subsidies.”

Unfortunately for the American people, Sen. Reid’s – and pro-business subsidy Republicans’ – desire for expediency and a political talking point will result in more government spending, and more taxpayer money at risk.

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