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Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell
Not to be outdone by the meltdown of House Republicans Thursday, Senate Republicans did their best to muck up the final day of legislative work before Congress's five-week recess. And muck it up they did, filibustering the Senate alternative to the border crisis bill that would have provided $2.7 billion in funding to provide both additional border security and humanitarian relief to refugee children. But that's not all they gummed up.
The Senate was also unable to come to an agreement on aiding Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and fighting wildfires in the West; Republicans blocked the measure over concerns that it would add to the deficit. […]

Attempts to increase U.S. influence in global hotspots failed as well. Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) tried to swiftly confirm more than a dozen new ambassadors to countries like Russia and Guatemala, which is sending thousands of immigrants to the U.S. border. But bitterness from Senate Democrats’ unilateral rules change to eliminate filibusters on most nominees has not abated, and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) objected to approval of ambassadors, citing Democrats’ use of the “nuclear option.”

Republicans did allow the Senate to pass a highway trust fund bill sent over from the House, though no one was too happy about it. Without it, funding would have started drying up immediately for ongoing transportation projects. The Senate had hoped to pass a bill that would have expired in December, forcing Congress to complete work on a multi-year, comprehensive transportation bill during the lame-duck session this fall, but the House refused that effort, instead opting for funding until next May, when Republicans can set up another funding crisis and try to extract more cuts.

The Senate finished business Thursday night, and will have just a pro forma session today, not expecting to be back to work until September 8.


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Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 07:13 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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