The Star News Network’s Neil McCabe Weighs in on Washington’s Spending Snowball

The Star News Network’s Neil McCabe Weighs in on Washington’s Spending Snowball

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest host Ben Cunningham welcomed The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to outline the $5 trillion dollar infrastructure spending and the anti-Trump senators who continue their hostility toward Donald Trump.

Cunningham: Gosh, things are going on so quickly in Washington this week, and it’s just depressing if you care about any kind of fiscal responsibility.

Neil McCabe is on the line with us. Neil is the national political correspondent for The Tennessee Star and is the most connected man in Washington, D.C. Neil, tell us, is there any way that this big snowball can be stopped? This $5 trillion spending snowball, or are we doomed to just watch it roll through?

McCabe: First of all, yes, we are doomed to just watch it roll through. But it’s the confluence of a number of events. And I think the critical one for people of our ilk, Ben, is that Mitch McConnell has made the decision that he’s going to stick it to Donald Trump.

And sort of this cattery of anti-Trump Republican senators is going to get together and give Joe Biden a bipartisan win. And it’s just because of the different cultures of the House and the Senate. The Senate has always been culturally hostile to President Trump.

And I’m talking about Senate Republicans, whereas House Republican congressmen are overwhelming, not only do they like Trump, they support Trump, and they feel a kinship with Trump. Whereas Republican senators see him as an interloper, as this stranger from another planet who has just basically messed up all of their plans.

Mike Lee had this great line where he says everybody talks about wouldn’t it be great if Republicans and Democrats could learn to work together again? And Lee always says the problem in Washington is, when Republicans and Democrats work together, it’s to raise spending and to raise taxes.

And that’s exactly what this bill is going to do. And McConnell has now decided that this thing was dead and he’s brought it back and he’s going to do it to stick it to Trump.

Cunningham: They do. They treat Trump and the supporters of Trump like an embarrassment basically. They are just embarrassed, but they will go the distance. And the House Republican leadership is not doing much at this point, are they?

McCabe: What you’re seeing, thanks to the leadership of Jim Banks, who I have (Inaudible talk) Granted it’s in baby steps. But he is returning the Republican Study Committee to its roots. The Republican Study Committee was founded in 1973 as part of that effort to bring some services and back into the Republican Party.

It was that same movement, that same period of time, that created the Heritage Foundation and the Committee for a Free Congress. And the American Conservative Union was all part of that movement. And so the Republican Study Committee has been integrated under Boehner and then under Paul Ryan. And then McCarthy is part of leadership because instead of being the rebels, they became part of the empire structure.

Banks is waging a war against this infrastructure bill. And he’s doing it by actually reading the bill. And he and his people are reading the bill and they’re pulling stuff out of it. And guys in the Senate and conservatives are trying to delay it.

And that just gives people more time to read it. But really, it doesn’t matter what’s in the bill. McConnell wants to stick it to Trump and so do a lot of Republican senators.

Cunningham: That’s pretty depressing that that is the dynamic. How much can they delay it? There are two bills. And I certainly don’t understand it as well as I should because things move so quickly. There’s a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.

And then there’s the $3.5 trillion, which supposedly will pass with reconciliation. There’s so much stuff in that $3.5 trillion. Is the parliamentarian actually going to say yes, all of this stuff is qualified as budget, and we’re going to pass it with reconciliation. Is that going to happen?

McCabe: They’re going to work over the parliamentarian. Basically, that $3.5 trillion bill has been written almost in coordination with the parliamentarian, basically working as the referee. And so everything that Democrats can’t pass on their own is going in the $1.5 billion. So you now have the factor of 10, 15, maybe 20 Republican senators who are moving heaven and earth to give the Democrats everything they can’t get in the reconciliation bill.

And the test vote of that was the filibuster. And the Republicans joined the Democrats to break the filibuster. And so now when that comes to the floor, it’s just a simple majority vote.

Cunningham: That is so depressing. And obviously, Lindsey and Mitch McConnell obviously believe they can do this without incurring any penalty back home.

McCabe: Well, you know, McConnell and Lindsey Graham, they just won reelection. Portman, who’s one of the guys leading the effort, was the budget director under George W. Bush. He loathes Trump and loathes conservatives. He’s retiring.

That’s why J.D. Vance is in that race. And you have Pat Toomey, who was once the darling of the conservative movement. He was president of the Club for Growth, and he’s retiring. So he’s part of it. Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, she’s got a tough primary fight.

She’s underwater in some polls that I’ve seen. And so the senators who are on their way out are walking around like zombie senators. And their only goal right now is to set themselves up for their retirement and private life and also set up 20 or 30 of their aides with lobbying jobs as beltway bandits.

And all of those sorts of cookies, treats, donuts, and ornaments are going to be stuck into that bill to help out these senators and their staffers when they return to private life.

Henry: Neil, Grant Henry here with Americans for Prosperity.

McCabe: Hi Grant.

Henry: Pertaining specifically to this $3.5 trillion plan, one would hope that through that bird rule amendment process you could theoretically cut out some of this nonsensical trash. The Pro Act stuff, the Green New Deal stuff, and increased healthcare spending.

But if that doesn’t happen, it will come across as a fairly transparent con in my mind against the American people. It’s exactly what you just said a second ago, Neil. This is just a grab bag, a kitchen sink way to pass all the legislation.

In the last minute we have here, let me ask: if that happens what are the ramifications for the midterm elections? Does it do anything towards that at the last minute here?

McCabe: I think, Grant, you know more than anybody else that this is going to dull the knife of Senate Republicans as they try to retake the chamber. What you’re seeing in House conservatives, they are mounting a serious campaign against this bill, and that’s going to drive up their chances of retaking the lower chamber. Of course, Kevin McCarthy is nowhere to be seen.

Cunningham: Neil, we are coming up on a break. Can you stay over with us?

McCabe: Sure.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee’s Grant Henry Weighs in on the Infrastructure Spending and the Use of Budget Reconciliation

Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee’s Grant Henry Weighs in on the Infrastructure Spending and the Use of Budget Reconciliation

 

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grassroots Engagement Director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry, who weighs in on infrastructure spending and budget reconciliation in a partisan Democratic Congress.

(Mitch McConnell clip plays)

Leahy: That’s Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. I have two thoughts on his statement. First, it’s very obvious that inflation is a problem. Second, we need to have him here in the studio, and I need to give him a cup of the TriStar Trio coffee because he sounds like he’s asleep. (Laughter)

Ogles: Unlike the rant we just heard a moment ago.

Leahy: Unlike the three of us who are duly caffeinated and ready to rock and roll. Grant Henry, grassroots director for Americans for Prosperity of Tennessee. This infrastructure bill.

I can’t see any other direction – the consequence of this infrastructure bill – other than to dramatically continue the increase of inflation. What’s your thought on that?

Henry: Milton Friedman told us that inflation is essentially taxation without legislation and typically hits the lower-income individuals. Von Hayek told us that he said this: “I do not think it is an exaggeration to say history is largely a history of inflation. Usually, inflation is engineered by governments for the gain of governments.”

Leahy: Okay, now let me pause. People know who Milton Friedman is. You say it like he’s your best buddy, von Hayek, (Laughter) and he probably is your best buddy.

Friedrich von Hayek, a great, great economist. His famous work, The Road to Surfdom. That’s the guy you’re talking about there, right?

Henry: That is correct.

Leahy: And he is your best buddy.

Henry: (Laughs) Sure. Let’s say that. Let’s go with that.

Leahy: Andy Ogles, I look at what they’re trying to do, and there are a couple of elements here that really strike me. Number one, I don’t see how this is at all consistent with the American tradition of the legislative process. What’s your reaction to that, Andy?

Ogles: I mean, anytime you’re using budget reconciliation to legislate, it’s a slippery slope.

Leahy: Let’s talk about that. Explain to the audience what we mean by budget reconciliation. The Senate has a procedure by which they can essentially allocate monies and appropriated dollars for things that otherwise did not go through the normal legislative process. That’s a simplified version.

Leahy: And they’re supposed to be able to do it once, maybe twice a year, right?

Ogles: Yes. Look at legislative intent. This is something that should be done only as of the option, of last resort, and where there’s something that has to be done at the last minute. Otherwise, that could not flow through the normal process.

But what’s happened is that Congress is so partisan that it now is just the normal course of business, which is now stripping we the people of our normal representation. Because whoever is a majority controls the purse strings.

Leahy: Right. And it’s not a give-and-take legislative process. It’s my way or the highway with no give-and-take whatsoever from the Democrats. That’s what it seems like to me.

Ogles: The Senate has a lot of very formal rules that they can use, like the filibuster and things like that. And so it’s now become an issue of which side is better manipulating the rules to control what happens in the Senate.

Leahy: Grant Henry, you’re a graduate of law school, and my question to you is, the parliamentarian plays a role in the Senate.

Are you familiar with what their job is and how they can determine whether or not something should be included in this budget reconciliation process?

Henry: I’m not as familiar as I should be. And frankly speaking, I think there are very few people out there that are qualified to comment on that. There are a few.

Leahy: I may not be qualified, but I’ll comment on it. (Laughter)

Henry: But here’s what I’m saying. I think Mayor Ogles is correct that in the early 1970s we had this process of a reconciliation that was introduced primarily because we said, look, if we’re entering the day and age of partisan politics, we still have to pass a budget. We still have to spend money and make the government operate effectively or at least at all.

Leahy: This is a very interesting point because before the 70s and before the 80s, Congress ran through what they called regular order. That is, all bills would start at a subcommittee, and then they’d be vetted and then they’d to move up to a committee, and then they’d be vetted, and then they’d be going to the rules committee to see if they could go to a vote.

At each step back and forth continued, and then there would be a vote on the floor. Regular order has been disbanded by the Democrats, Nancy Pelosi in particular. And so they’re just in the land of the jam-through is what it seems like to me.

Henry: Yes. And I think that jam-through, which you really see a lot of times, is coming through this thing called the Byrd Rule, which is where this sort of parliamentarian is supposed to play a major role.

Leahy: Now the Byrd Rule, we’re talking about the former Ku Klux Klansmen, Robert Byrd, right?

Henry: I believe so.

Leahy: From West Virginia. He’s a Democrat by the way and his big ally in the Senate, Joe Biden.

Henry: So the primary thing about the reconciliation process that people need to understand and why your voice matters so much now is that the reconciliation process does not require 60 votes in the Senate. You can get it through with just 50 votes. And a Kamala Harris flip, right.

That’s the point of the reconciliation process that you don’t need bipartisan support to push something through. This Byrd Rule is a process by which Republicans should – in big air quotes in the studio here – should be able to say these certain things that are included in your $3.5 trillion package have nothing to do with what said that we’re spending money on.

That being if you’re gonna spend $3.5 trillion or rather, $500 billion on healthcare spending and call it an infrastructure spending, we’re gonna cut that out of your spending package through this Byrd Rule.

Now, much of that, I think, is left up to this sort of parliamentary procedure or that one individual to say what is and is not considered a part of the spending within that overall proposal or package.

That’s again, why I personally believe your voice matters so much now, to contact those senators, contact your legislators. Let them know if it’s this razor-thin, listen to me now more than ever.

Leahy: Andy Ogles, so there is a parliamentarian, and that recently appointed parliamentarian has ruled, that you can do it once and maybe twice, but only with certain circumstances.

What do you think Chuck Schumer is going to say if the parliamentarian says, you know what you want to do in that reconciliation package on the infrastructure bill? You can’t do it. What do you think Chuck Schumer is going to do?

Ogles: Well, just my opinion, but I don’t think they’ll care. The question is, can he move forward without an official ruling? I’m not a huge Mitch McConnell fan, I won’t go into the details. But all that to say, he has been a master of the Senate rules, which is why he’s been such an effective leader over the years.

This is where the Republicans are going to have to use the rules to their favor to try to block this, because, again, they’re not trying to pass a basic budget.

They’re not trying emergency spending for troops that are overseas or something that really necessitates this emergency action. And I think that’s really how you should look at budget reconciliation.

This is, again, the option of last resort. It should only be used where, again, you’ve hit gridlock to the point where basic functions of government are no longer working.

Leahy: The problem with that is that the Democrats have abandoned the concept of bipartisan cooperation. It’s my way or the highway.

Ogles: And they’ve abandoned the Constitution altogether. Look at what they’ve done during COVID.

Leahy: Minor point. Minor point. Actually a very good point.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Star News Network’s Neil McCabe Weighs in on Washington’s Spending Snowball

Washington Correspondent Neil McCabe and the Factors of Chuck Schumer’s Invisible Infrastructure Bill

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed The Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil McCabe to the newsmaker line to talk about Schumer’s rush to pass a blank infrastructure bill while coaxing Republicans to get on board.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by the very best Washington correspondent in the country. He represents The Star News Network, covering Washington, Neil McCabe. Neil, good morning.

McCabe: Good morning, Michael. Very good to be with you.

Leahy: So I think you called it. Now, Chuck Schumer has a bill. He’s calling it the infrastructure bill. Apparently, it is a blank sheet of paper.

And it’s $3.5 trillion of spending, something like that. What are the chances of that moving through the United States Senate or the rest of Congress?

McCabe: Well, it’s a very interesting gambit. Schumer is forcing senators to be working in Washington when they don’t want to be in Washington during the summer.

Frankly, no one wants to be in Washington during the summer. It was practically designed by the founders who knew when they put Washington in a swamp, the point was to keep people away because nobody would want to be there.

Roy Blunt, who is one of the 10 most rebellious of the senators working with Democrats on this infrastructure bill from Missouri, basically said that he doubts that this thing is going to move forward because the bill hasn’t been written, as you said.

Schumer is trying to get these Republicans who are negotiating with Democrats on an infrastructure bill to be on the record, moving it forward as a way of showing their good faith.

So why should we negotiate with you if you won’t move the bill forward? So McConnell at the luncheon that the Republicans have every week urged his colleagues to vote against it. And we’re going to set to see, I doubt that the Republicans are going to go against McConnell on this.

There’s a lot of pressure – both Republicans and Democrats – to basically hold the party line. If it’s a procedural vote. When it comes down to issues of agenda or policy, there’s a little bit more play there.

But you’re really supposed to maintain party discipline on a procedural vote, and that’s what the filibuster is. And I would also say that President Donald J. Trump has been really negative about McConnell lately.

And I think that actually strengthens McConnell’s hand inside the Republican Senate conference because the Republicans are going to want to show some unity and sort of support McConnell. McConnell’s name might be trash outside of Capitol Hill, but among senators, they’re routing to him.

Leahy: That’s a very interesting point. Now, these 10 I don’t know. You call them the weak-kneed Republicans who are trying to, “negotiate with a blank piece of paper” that had been presented to them by Chuck Schumer.

I know Blunt is not up for reelection. He said he’s retiring. Are any of the others going to face primary challenges on the Republican side if they partner with the Democrats?

McCabe: Well, that’s going to be a problem. It will also hurt their turnout – will also hurt their fundraising. So even if they don’t get a primary challenge, it’s not going to be the same enthusiasm.

But a guy like Blunt retiring, Portman’s retiring, Toomey’s retiring. Bird is retiring from North Carolina. When these guys are retiring, that’s almost when they’re the most dangerous, because not only are they trying to set themselves up for retirement, but now they’ve got dozens of aides and a lot of their senior aides.

And they got to set these guys up with lobbying gigs and whatnot. So there are different provisions hitting in these bills that their staffers are the experts on lobbying on.

And so that’s why the lame-duck session is so dangerous. So these guys are on their way out the door and they’re plotting their retirement and the retirement of their aides. So that’s their incentive.

Carmichael: Neil, let me ask you a question, though. In order for Schumer to be successful in the vote, he needs to get to 60 total, which means that 10 Republicans would have to side with the Democrats against the wishes of McConnell. And I think the likelihood of that is one in a billion.

McCabe: Well, the other problem is that everyone understands that this is both. After the filibuster, Schumer doesn’t need the Republicans anymore, because then the bill just needs a simple majority.

And then, of course, it goes to reconciliation. The Republicans will only have leverage before the filibuster. And that’s why Schumer is trying to get it out of the way.

And Schumer is racing against time. It’s like the legislative season is over, and he’s trying to get something done when everybody wants to be back home and time is running out. As time goes on, the Democrats are losing their grip on Capitol Hill because everyone knows the midterm is coming, and they know that Biden isn’t going to be able to bail them out.

I mean, you see what’s going on with inflation? There’s going to possibly be a six percent increase in Social Security. Forget the budget ramifications of that.

But that is confirmation that there is serious inflation out there. That’s the highest increase, I think, since like, 1975 or something. It’s crazy.

And people are talking about lumber and gas prices. But when you see a Social Security hike of six percent, that gets people’s attention, and people are going to start saying, wow, what’s going on with this Biden administration?

Certainly, he’s losing on crime. He’s losing on the border. And he’s kind of bouncing around. People are trying to say, well, what’s going on with this guy?

Carmichael: What time frame do we look at here? In other words, you’re going to have this vote or you’re not going to have this vote. What’s the drop-dead date for Schumer?

McCabe: Schumer votes today.

Carmichael: The vote is today?

McCabe: Schumer votes today.

Carmichael: If Schumer doesn’t get to 60 today, then it’s dead the water. Is that right?

McCabe: No. What the 60 votes means, he ends the debate. And that means they can have a vote on the floor for a simple majority.

So if they don’t end the debate now, they can end the debate tomorrow. You can keep trying to break the filibuster forever. And so Schumer is just trying to do it now because he wants to get people on the record.

And he’s trying to goose the process and basically say to the Republicans who are negotiating, there are a lot of Republicans that want high-speed rail.

They want 5G. They want bridges. They want highways. They want ports dredged. So there’s a lot of Republicans who want some of these goodies.

But if they want it, they got to go ahead with the filibuster. That’s what Schumer is trying to say. Why should we negotiate with you?

Because if you don’t want to negotiate with us, we’ll just go through the reconciliation process and we don’t need you. It’ll be a smaller bill, but you won’t get anything.

Carmichael: But if they vote to do away with the filibuster without knowing what’s in the bill, then they’ve lost their leverage anyway. Is that correct?

McCabe: If they end the filibuster, they have lost all of their leverage.

Leahy: So it just makes common sense not to cooperate with Schumer if you’re one of these retiring RHINO Republicans who, as you say, are very dangerous at that time.

Of course, sometimes common sense and some Republican senators are two things that don’t always go together.

McCabe: Schumer is not in a position of strength. The reason why he’s pushing it now is that he knows that there’s atrophy to his ability to get things done. And he needs action on things.

Pelosi doesn’t have a care in the world. She’s going up against Kevin McCarthy, and she just runs circles around him. But Schumer and McConnell is a “Clash of the Titans.”

Leahy: A clash of the Senate Titans. And on that note, Neil McCabe, thanks so much for joining us.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crom Carmichael on the Continued Persecution of Christians in Africa and the Democrats Push to Eliminate the Filibuster

Crom Carmichael on the Continued Persecution of Christians in Africa and the Democrats Push to Eliminate the Filibuster

 

Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to question whether or the continued killing of Christian Africans was considered racist or a hate crime by the Biden administration and the lingering issues surrounding the Senate filibuster.

Leahy: Crom we were talking a little bit in the earlier segment about viewpoints of the world that are held by Biden administration members now that are just not reconcilable with views that most of us in America hold today.

Carmichael: That part is accurate. But more importantly, the way that they view it, it’s unfixable. You can’t address it. All you can do is complain about it and then see anyone who disagrees with you as an opposition that needs to be crushed.

Leahy: Well, if they want it to be unfixable because that means they can crush the opposition.

Carmichael: Yes. Correct.

Leahy: Thank you. (Laughter) 

Carmichael: It’s an echo in here.

Leahy: Do I get an Amen? Amen, brother. Amen. (Chuckles)

Carmichael: But here is something that’s an interesting story. This is in The Wall Street Journal headline, Islamic State (this is ISIS) Seeks Revival in Christian Countries. Now, this is in Africa. So a question that should be asked of our new ambassador to Africa Linda Thomas-Greenfield is if a black Muslim kills a Black Christian, is that racist?

Leahy: Or a hate crime?

Carmichael: Or a hate crime? In fact, is it even wrong? That would be a question asked because so far the genocide that is now going on in Africa has been unaddressed by the Biden administration. And ISIS is resurrecting itself in countries in Africa that are dominated by Christians. In the Congo, it’s 95 percent, Christian.

The Congo is almost exclusively Black, but it’s also almost exclusively Christian. And the jihadists are going in killing men, women, and children just because of their religion. Now does the Biden administration think that’s wrong? Does either of the Muslim members of Congress think that Black Muslims killing black Christians is wrong? We don’t know. They don’t say anything about it.

Leahy: Certainly the mainstream media has not reported much at all.

Carmichael: It doesn’t even talk about it. So that’s an interesting thing. So let’s switch over, though, Michael, because as I was getting out of my car, you were talking about court-packing and you made a comment that I want to push back on just a little bit.

Leahy: What Crom? Pushing back on a comment from me?

Carmichael: You said that Mitch McConnell is not good at playing offense, but he’s very good at playing defense.

Leahy: That’s what I said.

Carmichael: Yes. And the difficulty is this, Mitch McConnell is a traditionalist and I’m not saying that’s necessarily wrong. I’m just saying that that’s a fact. So Mitch McConnell believes that to filibuster is a tool that the minority should be able to use in the Senate to thwart legislation that they don’t agree with.

Leahy: It’s been a rule of the Senate since 1806 and that major legislation can’t come to the floor unless basically, 60 senators agree.

Carmichael: Right. So if Schumer, if there are 48 Democrats, I’m just picking a number that is less than 50, it can be 45. It doesn’t matter if Schumer can keep his minority already grouped together, but have it be greater than the number of 40, then they can filibuster. And now they’ve changed the rules of the filibuster so that you don’t actually have to filibuster.

You just have to say we don’t agree with that, and we’re going to filibuster and so, therefore, if you just say it, then the filibuster is in place. McConnell believes that that tradition is good for the Senate. I’m not saying otherwise. When Harry Reid broke that tradition for judges, Mitch McConnell said, if you do that, you’ll rule the day that you did it, because when we get in charge, we will use that rule, which is a simple majority.

And Mitch McConnell, as a traditionalist, says, if you’re changing the rule, I’ll play by the new rule. But what Mitch McConnell has not done, and I’m not trying to find fault with this I’m just making a statement of fact, but like all majority leaders before him for over 200 years have honored the filibuster. And so things can’t get through the Senate unless there are 60 senators. So he can’t play offense because he abides by the Senate rules.

Schumer wants to break the Senate rules which would allow him to play offense and defense. But if he breaks the rule on the filibuster, here’s what Schumer’s great risk is. If they break the filibuster, which I think they have the ability to do with a 50/50 vote and Kamala Harris breaks the tie, Mitch McConnell has said, if you do that, we will not show up. You will not have a quorum.

Leahy: Has he said that?

Carmichael: Yes. He has said that.

Leahy: He must have listened to this program when you said that previously.

Carmichael: Well, I’m not going to try to take credit for that.

Leahy: I’ll let you take it.

Carmichael: Thank you.

Leahy: I will give you credit for it.

Carmichael: I will humbly not take credit for it. (Leahy laughs) But anyway, he said I might have just actually been quoting him, to be honest with you.

Leahy: No, he was listening. (Laughter)

Carmichael: So anyway, he said he said, if you do that, you have to have a quorum. You will not have a quorum. Business in the Senate will grind to an absolute halt. Nothing will happen. If McConnell was to do that after the filibuster is broken and McConnell actually does that and nothing happens, now if Republicans were to retake the House, the Senate, and the presidency, McConnell would play by the new rules. And if they had a majority in the Senate, then things would happen. So the Democrats take a huge risk at 50/50. Now, if they had a 51/49 majority right now they could get away with anything that they wanted to because 51 would be a quorum.

Leahy: Let me give you my view, an insight into how they think. They want power. And they look at the world today. What they have today. And they try to accomplish everything they possibly can today. They’re not looking long-term. They are looking for let’s get it done now. That’s a difference. And it’s a very ruthless approach.

Carmichael: It is.

Leahy: A very destructive approach.

Carmichael: Yes, it’s all those things. But if they do away with the filibuster, and then McConnell plays defense by eliminating the quorum, and nothing happens in the Senate, then the voters will probably react in the midterm.

Leahy: I think you’re right about that.

Listen to the full second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Washington Correspondent for Star News Network Neil W. McCabe Makes His Predictions on Senate Filibuster

Washington Correspondent for Star News Network Neil W. McCabe Makes His Predictions on Senate Filibuster

 

Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Tennessee Star National Correspondent Neil W. McCabe to the newsmakers line to give his predictions on what will happen with the filibuster in the U.S. Senate and a red wave in 2022.

Leahy: We are joined now by our good friend, great colleague, the best Washington reporter in the country Neil McCabe, Washington Correspondent for the Star News Network. Good morning, Neil.

McCabe: Michael, quick question. Michael Patrick, Leahy, is that an ethnic name?

Leahy: (Laughs) Well, Neil McCabe, I will tell you, Michael Patrick Leahy, Neil McCabe, born of Irish, through and through on St. Patrick’s Day.

McCabe: One of the holiest days of the year Michael.

Leahy: There are, I think, a few pub crawls going on in Boston where you’re from, and New York City. And even here in Nashville. What about Washington, D.C.? Who is pub crawling? What are they doing up there with the crazy Democrats now trying to get rid of the filibuster?

McCabe: The pub scene isn’t what it used to be in Washington. But it is interesting about the filibuster because part of the deal that Mitch McConnell struck with Schumer was that they were going to protect the filibuster. And when they found out that Joe Manchin the senator from West Virginia was going to be a stick in the mud. Now all of a sudden they realized how important the filibuster is to stopping their agenda and they’re going to try it.

I mean, basically, what the Democrats have to do now is smash and grab because they’ve lost control of the calendar. We talked about it last week the fact that Biden hasn’t even scheduled a date for a State of the Union. And so there’s going to be no do sort of buy what they call skinny budget, where the incoming president gets a chance to make adjustments to the ongoing fiscal year. There’s no Biden agenda going in Magisterium if you will.

There’s talk about gun control. But there’s no real push on anything. The people expected him to make a big announcement or propose some legislation on immigration. But that’s all jammed up now. One of the problems, of course, is that you don’t have a confirmed director of the Office of Management and Budget, where everything that goes past all the regulations and laws and legislation proposed by the president passes through that office.

And so, Schumer and Nancy Pelosi the speaker, they realize, and if they’re going to get any of their priorities done they need to basically stop waiting for the president, they’ve got to get rid of the filibuster. And they just might do it. If Democrats are serious about taking control of this country they really have no choice. The question is, will Nancy go along with it?

And also look at Mark Kelly, who’s the Democratic senator from Arizona who’s up for work reelection because he was finishing the old term of McSally. (Inaudible talk) Mark Kelly is up in Arizona. And then you also have Rapahel Warnock in Georgia who is up. So these are two Democrat incumbents who are in conservative states that were stolen from the president in the 2020 presidential election because of all the bogus rules that they put in in the different states.

And, of course, the Democrats are well aware Mike that there is going to be a red wave in 2022. Not just structurally or institutionally, because the first midterm of a president’s term is always going to go against the president in the White House, but in particular, there’s going to be a fervor against the establishment.

And I fully expect President Donald Trump to be on the campaign trail, beating the drum, beating the pots and pans to drive up turnout. The Republicans are going to have a big year in 2022. And so the Democrats are looking over the horizon and things aren’t good. If they want to get anything done, you’re going to have to get rid of that filibuster. It’s just do they have the guts to pull it off?

Leahy: So my question for you, Neil McCabe, the Washington correspondent for the Star News Network, The Tennessee Star, and all our pantheon of six state-based conservative news sites.

McCabe: Constellation.

Leahy: Thank you! That’s right. It’s not a pantheon of news sites. It’s a constellation of Star News sites around the country. An ever-growing constellation by the way. You have a way with words Neil McCabe.

McCabe: (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: Will the Democrats, yes or no, attempt to get rid of the filibuster?

McCabe: No.

Leahy: No?

McCabe: They won’t have the guts.

Leahy: They won’t have the guts.

McCabe: (Inaudible talk)

Leahy: Ah, that is a very interesting prediction. Crom and I were talking a little bit about this. Crom, why don’t you tell Neil a little bit about this little quorum element here that Mitch McConnell threatened to exercise. Describe it to Neil and Neil I’d like to get your reaction to whether or not McConnell might do this.

Carmichael: Neil, what McConnell said on the Senate floor yesterday was that if the Democrats actually do go through with using the 50 plus one to break the filibuster then what he will do is he will use the quorum rule and no Senator will show up in the Senate Chamber. And they won’t have a quorum of 51.

And the vice president cannot count in terms of the quorum. So without 51 senators, the Senate can conduct no business at all, including apparently committee hearings. They can’t do anything. And so McConnell says, if you’re going to blow up the filibuster, we simply will not show up, and nothing will happen in the Senate. Nothing.

McCabe: First of all, the report to that was the same device that they can use to get rid of the filibuster Federal rules are supposed to be changed with the two-thirds. But what Harry Reid did when he first started getting rid of the filibuster, is he used the device at 50. With a simple majority, you can overrule the ruling of a chair. So you get the chair to rule something, and then you override them.

And then that becomes a new rule. And so that’s how he was able to hotwire the two-thirds requirement to change any Senate rules. And so, frankly, if McConnell wanted to do that Schumer could just as easily and get rid of the filibuster. (Inaudible talk)  The Senate has the right to change whatever its rules are. Whether it’s the Supreme Court, House, or President. Nobody can rechange how they run their chamber. However, no one is better at defense than Mitch McConnell.

I would never count on Mitch McConnell to advance the conservative agenda. And there’s no evidence he has done anything and his entire career in the Senate to advance the conservative agenda, right? We want to ban abortion. We want gun rights, right? We want to deregulate. None of that stuff is being advanced by McConnell. But nobody is better at defense. And we saw the way he handled Kavanaugh. And we’ve seen it with Merrick Garland.

Leahy: Merrick Garland the now attorney general of the United States.

McCabe: And Schumer is afraid of McConnell. That’s for sure.

Listen to the full third hour here:


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