Meanwhile, the Senate Is Basically Working

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 29 2013 4:12 PM

Meanwhile, the Senate Is Basically Working

The ordinary operation of some part of Congress isn't newsy. News happens when the House or Senate implodes somehow. So it's going largely without notice today that the Senate 1) voted for cloture on Richard Griffin, the National Labor Relations Board nomineee who was put up as part of this year's filibuster deal, and 2) voted against "disapproval" of the debt limit increase, the trigger that had been included in that deal. (Had "disapproval" won, the debt limit would not have been increased.)

Only 45 senators voted to disapprove of the debt limit hike; only 37 voted against cloture on Griffin. Before the votes, a group of Democratic senators led by Chuck Schumer asked for the "disapproval" widget to be codified, something that would forestall any future debt limit crisis.

"He wants to extend the debt ceiling permanently by going around Congress," said Mitch McConnell. "Let me repeat that: The so-called ‘Schumer-Obama Plan’ is a plan to permanently hand the president a credit card without spending limits, and without lifting a finger to address the national debt."

Advertisement

Democrats laughed this off—the "disapproval" dodge was included in McConnell's 2011 offer in the debt limit increase, and was used three times before the extra debt extension was reached.

"The Republicans seem to be walking away from their ideas," snarked Barbara Boxer, comparing McConnell's outrage to that of conservatives who opposed the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.