November 17, 2014

Manchin votes right on Senate leadership | Charleston Daily Mail

Obstructionist Harry Reid didn’t deserve any senator’s vote

West Virginia’s own Sen. Joe Manchin smartly and courageously made the right move in a procedural vote in a secret U.S. Senate caucus last week.

The Democrat and former chairman of the Senate’s ‘no-labels’ group challenged his party’s majority and voted against Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to be the Senate minority leader.

“Today I cast my vote against the current Democrat leadership because the people of West Virginia spoke loud and clear in last week’s elections for change,” Manchin announced. “They voted for members of both parties to put aside partisan politics and start working together to vote on issues that are important to West Virginians and the American people.”

Hear Hear.

While Reid has been on the offensive in blaming Republicans for the gridlock in Congress since he became Senate majority leader in 2007 — a charge that seemed to work for several years — informed government watchers finally began to realize that it was Reid who limited amendments, debate and votes as the Obstructionist in Chief.

After the Nov. 4 elections when voters across the U.S. repudiated the partisanship in Congress, Democrats are no longer the majority in the U.S. Senate, thanks in large part to Reid’s actions.

Seth Mandel, assistant editor in Commentary magazine, wrote in 2012: “I’ve written before about the various Senate traditions and procedures that Reid has destroyed in his ongoing quest for a debate-free, vote-free, budget-free Senate. The amendment process is a major one, however, and those mourning the end of the Senate we once knew can either continue their partisan venting by attacking Republicans or they can be honest and go right to the source. They can talk to Harry Reid.”

It’s not just Republican measures that Reid blocked in his time as majority leader.

“Reid has refused to bring up measures that would almost certainly pass with bipartisan support, such as legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, or the ... medical-device tax repeal,” Mandel said.

Thanks to Sen. Manchin for listening to the voters instead of following the partisans in the Senate. It may cost him some power as a Democrat in the Senate, but it better represents the views of his constituents back home.