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U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) speaks at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California April 29, 2013. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Republicans have successfully gotten the media talking about how mean Harry Reid is to prevent them from slowing down the emergency unemployment aid bill with dozens of poison-pill or unrelated amendments. Days after Reid said he'd allow "a reasonable number of relevant amendments," reporters like Jamie Dupree are still all:
While Democrats have harped for several years about GOP filibusters, not as much attention has been paid to how Reid has repeatedly stifled Republican efforts to amend bills on the Senate floor, using a parliamentary technique known as "filling the tree" to shut out any issues he doesn't want the Senate to deal with.

Reid's tight control of the Senate floor hasn't just blocked Republicans from forcing votes, as it has also restricted the work of both parties; since last July, only eight amendments have received a vote on the Senate floor - four from each party.

Because who cares that 1.3 million people are without unemployment checks if there's a juicy process story that lets you pretend Republican filibusters aren't the problem! Your average "both sides did it" political reporter sure doesn't. Reid may have a point about how voters are going to see this, though:
“You go explain to somebody that’s long-term unemployed in the state of Colorado, state of Illinois, state of anyplace and [Republicans] say they didn’t vote for this because they didn’t get to offer unlimited amendments,” Reid told Republicans who challenged him during an unusually heated debate on the Senate floor Thursday.
Republicans are now expected to block Reid's compromise offer, an unemployment extension bill that does what Republicans said they wanted back before they decided to get upset because they also didn't get the Obamacare repeal and screw-children-of-immigrants amendment votes they were looking to score points with their base on.

Sign and send a petition to your Republican senator or senators, demanding that they restore benefits to the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 08:46 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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