More on Caucus Discipline


There are some public, on-the-record comments, today, about Senator Mudpuddle’s rumored intention to penalize Dems who fail to support cloture votes.

First, it seems yesterday’s rumor is true: Reid really has put out the word.  Second, the usual suspects are pushing back.  Senators Ben Nelson and Mary Landrieu, who oppose key features of their party’s two biggest legislative priorities, the health care and energy bills, said they won’t be put in a “procedural straightjacket.”

Nelson said something I find very odd:

I’m not a closed mind on cloture, but . . . if it’s something that would be pre-emptive of Nebraska law . . . then I’ve always reserved the right to vote against cloture.

“Pre-emptive of Nebraska law”?  What are you, an interpositionist?  A Georgia-style state sovereignty nut?

You’re not in the Nebraska state legislature, Sen. Nelson.  You’re in the U.S. Senate.  (You’d think he could keep that straight, since Nebraska doesn’t even have a senate.)  Your job there is to write and support federal law.  If you prefer Nebraska law, you’ve run for the wrong office, dearie; the one you want is back in Lincoln.

Update (7/8/09 2:27 pm): Related, Reid has also told Sen. Max Baucus to get off the dime on the health care bill; specifically, to stop wasting time chasing Republican votes.  That suggests to me that Reid believes he can get the bill past cloture with nothing but Democratic votes.

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