In another stunning display of wasted time on Thursday night, Mitch McConnell's Republican Senate voted 52-47 to repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood. The bill will be vetoed by President Obama, the ultimate goal of Republicans because they've stopped being a responsible opposition party and now just exist to be obnoxious.
Despite a half-hearted attempt by three Republican senators—Susan Collins (ME), Mark Kirk (IL), and Lisa Murkowski (AK)—to strip the Planned Parenthood defunding from the bill, Republicans held mostly firm against the organization. Only Kirk voted with Democrats on an amendment offered by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) to increase the organization's funding to provide great security. Collins and Kirk voted against the final package.
Likewise, at the urging of the NRA, Senate Republicans voted almost unanimously to keep guns widely available to potential terrorists. Sen. Kirk voted with Democrats on that one, while Democrat Heidi Heitkamp (ND) broke ranks to vote with Republicans. On keeping people who aren't allowed on airplanes also out of gun shops?
Speaking to reporters earlier Thursday, Feinstein called her amendment "the definition of a no-brainer."
She underscored the bipartisan support behind the proposal, pointing out that a House Republican has introduced a similar bill and the idea was initially backed by the Bush administration's Department of Justice in 2007.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), however, suggested that Feinstein's amendment would strip Americans of due process.
Cornyn is not so concerned with the due process of all those on the FBI terror watch list who should not be there, and whether they should have freedom of travel. It's too bad this one didn't pass—it might have provided the impetus for Congress to actually do something to force reform of this list. Also failing was a reboot of the 2013 Manchin-Toomey expanded background checks for gun purchases bill, despite the votes of four Republicans. As in 2013, Republicans Collins, Kirk, John McCain (AZ) and Pat Toomey (PA) voted for it and again, Democrat Heitkamp voted against it. Thus the majority of Republicans proved they DO have something more to offer than just thoughts and prayers: "nay" votes.
By the end of the evening, McConnell secured the votes of three of his extremists—Sens. Ted Cruz (TX), Marco Rubio (FL) Mike Lee (UT)—by substituting the original legislation.