Leader Losing It
There was a remarkable exchange on the floor of the Senate this past Thursday between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. It offers pretty stunning evidence of how personally petty Reid is, as well as his penchant for defining “partisanship” as anything that keeps him from getting his way.
The particulars here aren’t terribly important, but what happened was this: The Senate was voting on a Medicare bill bloated with new spending. The bill was also an attempt to prevent cuts in payment rates to doctors who treat seniors on Medicare, and Democrats wanted to pay for that by taking the funds from Medicare Advantage, a private fee-for-service plan. The president would likely have vetoed the bill in its current form and Senate Republicans opposed the gutting of Medicare Advantage, so Senate Republicans blocked the bill.
The trouble is that if the Senate doesn’t resolve the issue very soon, doctors will stop receiving Medicare funds. So Republicans proposed a 30-day extension to allow more time to hammer out a compromise. Democrats blocked the proposed extension. The impasse here caused Reid to go apoplectic on Mitch McConnell (I’ve highlighted the juicy parts):