Archive for December 10, 2010
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) Launches Senate Filibuster
Sen. Bernie Sanders was on the Thom Hartmann show today (which unfortunately is not available anywhere in Iowa over the broadcast airwaves – you have to stream it) and also managed to launch a Senate filibuster today in opposition to the GOP-President Obama deal on tax cuts. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) speaking now.
Watch live on C-Span.org
Saying he was prepared to speak “as long as possible” against a tax deal between the White House and congressional Republicans, Sen. Bernie Sanders took to the Senate floor to make the case against deepening the deficit and widening the income gap in America by extending Bush-era tax breaks for the very wealthy. “I think we can do better, and I am here today to take a strong stand against this bill, and I intend to tell my colleagues and the nation exactly why I am in opposition to this bill. You can call what I am doing today whatever you want, you it call it a filibuster, you can call it a very long speech. I'm not here to set any great records or to make a spectacle. I am simply here today to take as long as I can to explain to the American people the fact that we have got to do a lot better than this agreement provides.”
BFIA Last Post on New START (We Hope)
by Paul Deaton
Now that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and President George H. W. Bush have added their names to the long, bipartisan list of supporters of the New START Treaty between the United States and the Russian Federation, one would think that is enough to convince Republicans to vote for ratification of the treaty when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) brings it up for debate.
Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) has said he is not sure the treaty would be ratified during the lame duck session. Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) has said he will do anything within his power to prevent ratification.
Key discussion in the Senate will be around the tax bill and the omnibus appropriations bill. Senate Republicans have indicated that they will not vote for cloture until those two bills are finalized. The question is whether all of this could be accomplished by December 17th, which is when Senator Reid indicated the Senate lame duck session will end.
With regard to New START, the Republican caucus is breaking up. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) has been an avid supporter. Retiring Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) is leaning towards a yes vote. Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) has announced her support, as has her Maine colleague, Senator Susan Collins (R-ME). There are others, and as they say in Washington, “momentum for the treaty is building.” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair, John Kerry (D-MA) is frequently discussing the matter with Senator Kyl, according to reports.
Blog for Iowa has written extensively about the New START Treaty and has advocated for its ratification. It seems likely that Senator Reid will begin debate during the lame duck session of the Senate, either before or after the tax bill is debated, maybe this weekend.
The conservative Heritage Action is pummeling the phones, using their significant financial resources to get their message of “Stop START” to members and constituents. We hope the Senators will see through this effort and consider the treaty on its merits.
So what is left for progressives to do?
Call our two Iowa Senators and urge them to vote for ratification. Senator Harkin has indicated his support. Senator Grassley has not.
So for what I hope is the last time, we urge you to contact your U.S. Senators and ask them to vote for ratification of the New START Treaty.
Here are the numbers:
Senator Harkin: (202) 224 – 3254