As Congress struggles to adjourn for Christmas, relations between House Democrats and their colleagues in the Senate have devolved into finger-pointing.This is really not a story you want to see on page A1. Yuck.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) accuses Senate Democratic leaders of developing "Stockholm syndrome," showing sympathy to their Republican captors by caving in on legislation to provide middle-class tax cuts paid for with tax increases on the super-rich, tying war funding to troop withdrawal timelines, and mandating renewable energy quotas.
....Senate Democrats have fired back, accusing Pelosi and her liberal allies of sending over legislation that they know cannot pass in the Senate, and of making demands that will not gain any GOP votes. Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.) noted that, this summer, Reid employed just the kind of theatrics Rangel and other House Democrats are demanding, holding the Senate open all night, pulling out cots and forcing a dusk-till-dawn debate on an Iraq war withdrawal measure before a vote on war funding. Democrats gained not a single vote after the all-night antics.
"I understand the frustration; we're frustrated, too," Bayh said. "But holding a bunch of Kabuki theater doesn't get anything done."
....Republicans, who spent 12 years in similar battles, are just enjoying the spectacle.
"Just let 'em stew for a while," said soon-to-retire Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-Miss.), a veteran of the GOP's own squabbles.
NYET REVISITED....Say what you will about the Republican Party's indifference to anything other than obstructing Democratic legislation (and I have), it seems to be working like a charm. Jonathan Weisman and Paul Kane report in the Washington Post: