Senate leaders trade written jabs
October 11th, 2011
01:41 PM ET
11 years ago

Senate leaders trade written jabs

(CNN) - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's op-ed in the Washington Post Tuesday caught the red edit pen of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's communications director in an email sent to reporters.

In the latest example of partisan rancor in Congress, Don Stewart broke down Reid's article and inserted his own editorial context.

Sen. Reid's article titled, "Trying to restore Senate comity" criticized Senate Republicans for preventing the passage of "job-creating" legislation and abusing the rules of the chamber. Sen. McConnell's rebuttal, which came in the form of red type, touted legislation passed since Congress returned from the August recess and pushed back against Reid's claims that Republican-backed amendments are proposed to score political points.

An example of one such paragraph, written by Reid, D-Nevada, shows the edits from McConnell's office in parentheses.

"None of the amendments Republicans demanded were about policy [Again, one was on Chinese currency, one was the President's stimulus bill, and the other five were all about job creation]. Each was an attempt to score political points or provide fodder for campaign ads. None was related to the legislation on the floor [The Hatch amendment was directly related, the rest were jobs amendments, and Sen. Reid agreed to vote on all but one], which would support 1.6 million American jobs. None would put a single American back to work [Wow, strange thing to say about the President's stimulus bill that he introduced]. Yet still we tried to reach a compromise with our Republican colleagues."

When asked for a response to the McConnell, R-Kentucky, edits, a Senate Democratic leadership aide told CNN it "sounds like we really got under his skin."

The Senate floor has served as a ring for similar debates across the aisle as the Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to take up President Barack Obama's $457 billion jobs bill this week, with a procedural vote on the measure Tuesday.

Democrats and Republicans are largely divided over the package and specifically over tax increases on those with annual incomes over $1 million per year.

- CNN's Ted Barrett and Gabriella Schwarz contributed to this report.

Filed under: Congress • Harry Reid • Mitch McConnell • Senate
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    McConnell and Cantor typify why our congress and senate are dysfunctional.

    October 11, 2011 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans think that job creation means give the wealthy 1% even bigger tax breaks. That is not job creation, Mitch.

    October 11, 2011 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Who is the guy dressed up as a ninja turtle standing with Reid?

    October 11, 2011 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Facism = Liberalism

    I think he really meant to label it "Trying to restore Senate comedy"

    In reality, the United states would be better off without either of these two senior statesmen serving their curent terms. Senators and Representatives become addicted to power and forget the true meaning of what the job is supposed to be.

    October 11, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  5. Joe M

    HOW TO FIX THE ECONOMY. Do like the BANKERS and POLITIANS. lie cheat and steal.

    October 11, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  6. zb

    Tax cuts for the wealthy and big corporations – Tax increases for everyone else (cutting education, health, SS, conumer protection, and other benefits amount to a tax increase for most Americans including, seniors, disabled, veterans, workers, students, and the entire middle class)

    Makes perfect sense if you are a member of the Republican/Tparty – the party of lies, ignorance, stupidity, hate, hypocrisy, and making the world safe for exploitation.

    October 11, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  7. Brian Nordin

    I think the Republicans are going to get a beating in the 2012 election as it becomes more and more clear that they represent the interests of so few people. If they lose control of the House and more seats in the Senate, they have nobody to blame but themselves – polls consistantly show overwhelming support for a higher tax on the wealthiest Americans and that people want a real "Jobs Bill" – not some tax break to a millionaire who's just going to invest his money over-seas anyway so he doesn't have to pay taxes on it. They had their chance to compromise from a real position of strength but they blew it – just like the Democratic House blew it two years ago. And Obama will be the next president by virtue of running against the Clown of the moment – whoever the Republicans nominate.

    October 11, 2011 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Bill in VA

    Poor Harry – a couple too many punches to the head I fear. Where was he last week when McConnel asked to have the President's jobs bill brought top the floor as is? He wouldn't do it because he knew many Democrats are rightly opposed to certain provisions.

    October 11, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. anthony78

    FIRE all these good for nothing politicians who wont even TRY to solve anything. Hate the President all you want but at least he's TRYING to help YOU. These other politicians think doing NOTHING is going to help. Its not.

    See you in 2012.

    October 11, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    memo to: PA_outofwork- Get off your butt and get a job. Herman Cain thinks you are just plain lazy.

    October 11, 2011 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  11. AlaskaPalin

    Obama was made president to fix the economy. He did not do it. The democrats did not work with him and it was unreasonable for him to expect the 'opposition' to work with him. If he was hired to do a certain job and was unsuccessful, all will see it as fair that he must be FIRED!

    October 11, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. ja

    how in the hell does these guys get paid, their pay should be base on the state of america's economy, effective now no more senate payroll, most jobs heads roll with poor performance

    October 11, 2011 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. W L Jones

    As we know through the years government money go out into the ecomony and make seven stop before it return back to them as waste paper. Job well done. Bless.

    October 11, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    Congress approval rating 11%. This kind of crap is one of the reasons why.

    October 11, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    AlaskaPalin-President Obama never had 60 votes in the senate. He had 58 democrats and two independents.(remember Lieberman?) It was the republicans that obstructed every program that would help Americans. Republicans have been waging war on workers and the middle class for 30 years. Republicans must be fired for incompetence.

    October 11, 2011 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |

    If the Rethuglicans are so sure the Presidents Jobs bill won't work why not let the democrats pass it and then campaign against it as failed? Simple, they know it will work and don't want to give the President or the Country a win for the people. Isn't it about time that the rethuglicans think about Country instead of party?!?

    October 11, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  17. Vigla

    AlaskaPalin - Your candidate wussed out and is now proof that with fame comes wealth. Glad to see you're sticking to your guns there... As for firing, it should be ANYONE who stands in the way of creating jobs. The filibuster happy Republicans in the senate and the do nothing tea-party clowns in the House. They need to go.

    October 11, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Vigla


    This new dogma of trying to link totalitarianism to liberalism is a stretch at BEST! Everyone knows that corporatism uncontrolled results in fascism along with fear and hatred of anyone not like you. This more suits conservative thinking. The extreme of liberalism may perhaps be leninism, but everyone knows extremes of anything is probably no good. Just because Hitler favored road contruction and health care for all does not make him a liberal. But laziness is the mantra of conservatives these days.

    October 11, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. The Greedy Old PIgs have declared class war on US!

    "'many Democrats are rightly opposed to certain provisions"

    "The democrats did not work with him and it was unreasonable for him to expect the 'opposition' to work with him. "

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is what the GOBP deathcult has been reduced to: fear, lies, ignorance, propaganda and warmed over rhetorical manure served up by Fakes News and their deathcult leaders with no ideas that aren't proven failures.

    The "provisions" the Dems are arguing about in the first line are about how to pay for the bill, not the substantive aspects of the bill itself. The GOBPbaggers, on the other hand, not only rejects the premise of the bill (putting Americans back to work), they also object to ANY tax increases whatsoever, even if limited only to millionaires. This is the essence of the GOBP death cult: care only for the greedy and not the needy.

    And who can ignore AlaskaPalin's gigantic fib about the Dems working with President Obama? While Dems generally cover a wider range of ideologies with its so-called big tent (as compared to the GOBP's old, white, phony christian pup tent), the Dems worked to pass the ACA and the stimulus bills, Seeing as how the GOBP went AWOL when real Americans needed help, such lies by the extreme rightwing radicals cannot go unnoticed.

    October 11, 2011 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  20. normajean

    You Repubs can't even speak for yourselves. First, you do NOTHING for three years but complain and screw everything up but then instead of writing your own ideas {[ which we have yet to see} you take someone elses writing and stuff in your meager shots. YOU GUYS ARE PATHETIC!!! Why do'nt you just take your confused Tea Party buddies and go to a park somewhere and have a picnic.....that's all you're good for anyway......DO YOU REALLY THINK THE VOTERS AREN"T AWARE OF JUST HOW USELESS YOU ALL ARE???? YOU"RE ABOUT TO FIND OUT!!!!!

    October 11, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. normajean

    To writers who can't read. George Bush took more than eight years with two unpaid for wars and exorbitant spending to mess up this country and you expect a new president {any new president} to clean it up in three years with NO help from the other party. YOU really need to get an education!!!!!!

    October 11, 2011 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Wire Palladin, S. F.:
    AlaskaPalin-President Obama never had 60 votes in the senate. He had 58 democrats and two independents.(remember Lieberman?)
    And that intermittent edge only lasted until August 2009 when Sen. Ted Kennedy passed. Add that to the fact that Teddy had been absent from Congress during much of that year.

    October 11, 2011 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Jim

    The truth means nothing to the repkes, they lie and lie and lie and the "so called Liberal media" lets them get away with it.

    The Stimulus was not "an utter failure", it was hamstrung by the garbage we had to insert to get ANY repuke to vote for it. Had they put Country before Party, we would not be in this mess.

    700,000 jobs a MONTH lost before President Obama took office. Stuff THAT record in your crack pipe, McConnell.

    October 11, 2011 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  24. AlaskaPalin

    From day one republicans say they'll not work with obama (see to it he is one term, waterloo) and stuck to their guns (pun). Let's look at this jobs bill- the fact is that it's political but it will also help the economy yet democrats knowing the political climate are still causing problems for Reid. The fact is- the discipline shown in both chambers by the republicans was completely lacking with the democrats and that is what caused all these problems for obama. He never could count on wholescale democrats support. So blame the democrats not the republicans.

    October 11, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |

    If any city should be occupied by protesters right now it's Washington, D.C.

    I'm thoroughly disgusted with Congress these days. What did we elect them to do? Legislate. I guess this is what we get when we elect millionaires to represent us.

    October 11, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |