Do Your Job

Democrats ‘Throw A Monkey Wrench Into The Gears’ Of The Appropriations Process For Fear Of Having To Defend The President’s Iran Nuclear Deal

SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “I think we've come up with yet another definition of obstruction today. Our democratic friends are going to prevent the passage of an energy and water appropriations bill because of an amendment that is not yet pending to the bill. And yet a new way to blow up the appropriations process. Our democratic colleagues were great at dysfunction when they were in the majority and they're pretty good at it when they're in the minority. No matter what the issue -- no matter what the issue -- there's some new and creative way to try and throw a monkey wrench into the gears.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 4/27/16)

FLASHBACK: ‘If These People Are Afraid … That Somebody Is Going To Dream Up A Bumper Sticker And A 30-Second Ad, Think About Another Job’

SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “I used to have a friend of mine named Mike Synar, from Oklahoma. We used to laugh when Members of the House of Representatives would say, ‘Man, I hope we don't have to vote on that tough issue again.’ He said, ‘If you don't want to fight fires, don't be a firefighter. If you don't want to come to Congress and vote on tough issues, get another job somewhere else.’ I think he was right. He is still right. If these people are afraid … that somebody is going to dream up a bumper sticker and a 30-second ad, think about another job.” (Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.6187, 7/22/10)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “I think people make a mistake trying to run from votes… I think it’s a foolish way to go.” (“Reid Reopens Senate Debate,” Roll Call, 3/2/09)

Democrats A Few Days Ago: ‘We Are Ready To Do Regular Order’

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “…I believe it is a very reasonable and bipartisan agreement that Chairman Alexander and I can work together to get through the Senate.” (Sen. Feinstein, Press Release, 4/13/16)

SEN. BARBARA MIKULSKI (D-MD): “We have on the floor today the Energy and Water Committee bill. This is the first bill of the Appropriations Committee to come to the floor. It signals that we are ready to do regular order. I so appreciate the leaderships' commitment to do that, so we don't end up with a big omnibus bill at the end. Every bill comes, they can be amended, and everyone can have their day and their say.  It is an excellent kickoff to what I hope will be the ability to move all 12 bills and some crucial, urgent supplementals. … They have a bill that is free of poison pill riders. When you look at what they have done in terms of energy and water, it is an excellent bill from the standpoint of national security and economic development, whether it is the funding for the Army Corps of Engineers that is so important to those of us who have ports, to science in terms of our fields of energy.” (Sen. Mikulski, Congressional Record, S.2368, 4/21/16)

  • MIKULSKI: “If this is the way it is going to be to move appropriations, I think it is a good day. It is not only a good bill, but it shows when the Senate practices the ability to work together to bring legislation to the floor, to follow regular order, we can get our job done. It can be open, it can be transparent, and we can have amendments. I so look forward to this being the tone and the tempo of the rest of the appropriations season.” (Sen. Mikulski, Congressional Record, S.2369, 4/21/16)

Obama Administration: ‘You Want To Buy Heavy Water From Iran, You Can Buy Heavy Water From Iran’

SEN. LAMAR ALEXANDER (R-TN): “This is a decision by the U.S. Department of Energy that was announced over the weekend without any notification to the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee or to the Intelligence Committee or to the Armed Services Committee...” (Sen. Alexander, Floor Remarks, 4/27/2016)

“The Obama administration agreed Friday to buy 32 tons of Iran’s heavy water, a key component in atomic-weapons development, a new gambit in a growing White House effort to encourage Tehran to stick to the nuclear agreement reached last year. The move, immediately criticized by opponents of the original deal, came hours before Secretary of State John Kerry met his Iranian counterpart, Javad Zarif, in New York to try to facilitate Iran’s access to tens of billions of dollars of oil revenues frozen by U.S. sanctions in recent years.” (“U.S. to Buy Material Used in Iran Nuclear Program,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2016)

  • “Under the nuclear accord, Iran must keep its supplies of heavy water to below 130 tons during the initial years of the deal, and under 90 tons later. But U.S. officials said Iran has been struggling to find buyers for the material on the international market and that its stockpile is at risk of rising above that level. The U.S. hopes its initial purchase will give other countries the confidence to purchase Iran’s heavy water in the coming years. The deal, estimated at $8.6 million, was formally signed by U.S. and Iranian officials Friday in Vienna.” (“U.S. to Buy Material Used in Iran Nuclear Program,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2016)

ENERGY SECRETARY ERNEST MONIZ: “That will be a statement to the world: ‘You want to buy heavy water from Iran, you can buy heavy water from Iran. It’s been done. Even the United States did it.’” (“U.S. to Buy Material Used in Iran Nuclear Program,” The Wall Street Journal, 4/22/2016)


‘Senate Democrats Blocked The First Spending Bill Of The Season’

“Senate Democrats blocked the first spending bill of the season over Sen. Tom Cotton's attempt to force a vote on Iran, injecting controversy over the administration's nuclear deal into what had been a relatively smooth appropriations process.” (“Dems Block Spending Bill Over Iran,” Politico,” 4/27/2016)

  • SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN (D-CA): “I go to the White House, I pick up the phone, I call the chief of staff. I say, ‘This is an amendment. It may affect the Iran deal. I'd like to know what the administration's position is.’ And the word comes back that the administration will veto this bill if these words are on it...” (Sen. Feinstein, Floor Remarks, 4/27/2016)


Related Issues: Appropriations, Senate Democrats, Iran, Iran Nuclear Deal