They finally got cloture on the Agriculture appropriations bill. The usual suspects voted against it. No one much cares. The only reason I even mention it is because the cloture vote was preceded by votes on 14 amendments over four days, most of them stupid grandstanding amendments intended to make Democrats look bad rather than to fix any problems with the Agriculture bill. You can view the sad saga here. It was definitely not a high moment for the U.S. Senate. Yet, The Hill writes it up as a “nobel experiment,” and Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid say it made them feel nostalgic for the good old days when the Senate actually functioned. What a couple of dicks!!
All that happened is that Harry Reid allowed an open rule, meaning senators had the right to bring as many amendments as they wanted to. And so they brought them. Tom Coburn brought three. One of them even passed. I love how Coburn crafts his statements of purpose. I just love it. He says his amendment will “end lending schemes that force taxpayers to repay the loans of delinquent developers and bailout failed or poorly planned local projects.” Who wants to vote against that? But what’s his amendment actually do?
SA 796. Mr. COBURN submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 2112, making appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2012, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
At the appropriate place, insert the following:
Sec. __. A person or entity that receives a Federal loan using amounts made available under division A, division B, or division C of this Act may not repay the loan using a Federal grant or other award funded with amounts made available under division A, division B, or division C of this Act; Provided further, a grant or other award funded with amounts made available under division A, division B, or division C of this Act may not be used to repay a Federal loan.
The jackass doesn’t even have a section in mind for this amendment. And it doesn’t do anything. Money is fungible. You can’t tell me that I can’t pay off a federal loan with a federal grant unless I’m not allowed to have both a loan and grant at the same time. But he wasted a ton of everybody’s time by introducing this ridiculous amendment, and then he scared 73 senators into voting for it.
Yeah, Mr. Reid and Mr. McConnell, pat yourselves on the back. It’s just like the good old days!