This may be a moment in Senate history, when a senator made a proposal that, when given an opportunity for a vote on that proposal, filibustered his own proposal…I don’t think this has ever happened before.Sen. Dick Durbin, after Mitch McConnell’s latest scheme blew up in his face. McConnell introduced legislation today that would allow the president to unilaterally raise the debt limit, suspecting that Democrats wouldn’t have the guts to vote for it. When it became clear that Democrats did indeed have the votes to pass the bill with a simple majority, McConnell filibustered it, preventing its passage. The United States Senate, ladies and gentlemen. source
We have reached a point where we do so little and waste so much time that it really does, I’m sure, weigh heavily on us all.Sen. Dick Durbin • Discussing the snarling issues that have turned the Senate into the most deadlocked part of Congress — an issue emphasized by the fact that, well, nothing gets done. Reuters’ piece on the legislative body notes a number of symbolic “message” votes that never get anywhere (such as a balanced budget amendment and the “Buffett rule”) and a toxic atmosphere which convinced Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire at the end of her term. Can the Senate be saved from itself?
» A fight that directly affects small businesses: We’ve been to many small businesses in our day that have gone out of their way to avoid using debit cards, specifically for this reason. We’re with them in this case; really high charges for every purchase, even tiny ones, is straight up greedy. Fortunately, a key senator, Dick Durbin, agrees with us: ”Honestly, are we going to stand here and say we can’t protect small businesses across America struggling to survive?” The fight for keeping the fees has bipartisan support; the main guys backing banks in the Senate are Bob Corker (R-TN) and Jon Tester (D-MT). They claim that banks will have to replace the interchange charges with higher fees on consumers. Maybe they should; the benefit to small business as an economic driver makes it worth it.
…it is incumbent upon all Americans who love this nation and the values our Constitution protects to make it clear to defend the civil rights of our Muslim neighbors are as important as the rights of Christians, Jews and non-believers.Senator Dick Durbin • On his Senate hearings on anti-Muslim discrimination, broadly viewed as a counter-weight to Rep. Peter King’s hearings on radicalized Islam in the House. For what it’s worth, King’s anti-terrorism zeal wasn’t beyond the scope of his responsibility, nor could it not have been handled tastefully as a hearing on terrorism writ large. The standard of tacitly condemning an entire community for the actions of the very few, however, was and is unpleasant, and its given Durbin a chance to shine some light in the other direction. Also, isn’t it cool that non-believers get a shout out, too? The first time we can recall that was during Obama’s inauguration, and it’s a welcome and overdue addition to the public discourse on faith. source (via • follow)