The U.S. Senate is in the midst of a “vote-a-rama” as Congress seeks to pass COVID stimulus legislation.
Because Democrats elected to use the partisan budget reconciliation process, Senate Republicans have a rare opportunity to get Democrats on the record on a host of controversial issues via amendment votes.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered a preview of the topics that Republicans would bring up, warning that the items he was highlighting were just a “taste.”
“Senate Republicans will be ready and waiting with a host of amendments to improve the rushed procedural step that’s being jammed through,” McConnell said.
“We’ll be getting senators on the record about whether taxpayers should fund checks for illegal immigrants, whether Democrats should raise taxes on small businesses in the midst of this historic crisis and whether generous federal funding should pour into school districts where the unions refuse to let schools open. And this is just a small taste,” he added.
The votes are ongoing and will last well into Thursday evening.
However, we already have several outrageous votes from Colorado’s two Democrat Senators.
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet voted along with 41 other Democrats against an amendment to prohibit illegal immigrants from receiving COVID stimulus checks.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Believe it or not, 42 Senate Democrats voted against it.
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) February 4, 2021
Bennet faces a potential competitive primary next year and appears to be veering hard-left in the Democrat controlled Senate.
Even newly elected U.S. Sen. John Hickenlooper joined with Republicans to pass the amendment.
— The Colorado GOP (@cologop) February 4, 2021
However, barely an hour later Hickenlooper and Bennet joined with Democrats to unanimously oppose an amendment that would have prevented federal tax dollars from subsidizing public schools that fail to reopen after teachers have been vaccinated.
Democrats claim they care about doing what’s best for kids. They said they’d get kids back into the classroom. But every single Senate Democrat just voted against my amendment to do just that.
— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) February 4, 2021
The science is clear: in-person learning is safe.
Sen Rubio released a statement after Senate Democrats voted against an amendment to prohibit federal COVID relief funds from going to schools that do not reopen after teachers are vaccinated.
Read more 👇https://t.co/ujL4Tn12UY
— Senator Rubio Press (@SenRubioPress) February 4, 2021
This one is a real head scratcher, particularly because the Center for Disease Control recently argued that the scientific evidence supports reopening schools immediately with certain precautions.
Bennet hasn’t always been known for caving to the whims of teachers unions, but with the Bernie crowd in Colorado watching his every move that appears to be changing.
Others amendments up for votes include a measure sponsored by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Tom Cotton to support keeping nine justices on the Supreme Court.
Hickenlooper famously refused to disclose his position on the court packing during the campaign, so it looks like today Coloradans may finally get an answer.
— Compass Colorado (@CompassCOorg) October 27, 2020
We will update this post as more votes unfold.
UPDATE 2/5/21: Both Bennet and Hickenlooper voted against an amendment offered by Arkansas Sen. Cotton to oppose packing the Supreme Court.
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) February 5, 2021
How many Democrats voted against adding seats to the Supreme Court? Not a single one.
It’s not enough that Democrats control the White House, Senate, and House of Representatives. They’re determined to control #SCOTUS, too.
— John Kennedy (@SenJohnKennedy) February 5, 2021
Moreover, Bennet also voted against an amendment recognizing the importance of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee blasted Bennet over his flip-flop.
“The opening weeks of the Biden administration have been awful for hard-working Coloradans who work in the oil and gas industry, and it just got worse thanks to Sen. Michael Bennet. By voting against the Keystone XL Pipeline – in the middle of a pandemic, no less – Sen. Bennet has shown where his loyalties lie, and they aren’t with the people of Colorado. The threat of a primary challenge sure can make people do crazy things,” said NRSC spokesman T.W. Arrighi.
Bennet and Hickenlooper also voted against an amendment to prohibit the repeal of the state and local tax deduction (SALT) cap.
Repealing the SALT cap would effectively be a massive tax cut for wealthy liberals in blue high-tax states like New York, New Jersey, and California.
Senate Democrats voted to continue their effort to give the wealthiest Americans a big tax cut.
Repealing the SALT cap has nothing to do with the pandemic, and would incentivize state/local governments to INCREASE their taxes.
— Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) February 5, 2021