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Harry Reid

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11John McCain Fearful ENDA Could Result In 'Busing' And 'Reverse Discrimination'

A Human Rights Campaign organizer convinced Cindy McCain to sign a petition on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which protects LGBT employees from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the Washington Post reports.

However, Cindy McCain’s husband, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) still needs to decide how he will vote to support ENDA, citing landmark civil rights legislation could lead to “busing” and “reverse discrimination” as his reason.

McCain told the Huffington Post: “Whether it imposes quotas, whether it has reverse discrimination, whether it has the kinds of provisions that really preserve equal rights for all citizens or, like for example, busing. Busing was done in the name of equality. Busing was a failure. Quotas were a failure. A lot of people thought they were solutions. They weren’t. They bred problems.”

McCain added that others, specifically young people, have the same opinion as him.

“I think the young people know we do not need reverse discrimination, they don’t believe in quotas and they don't believe in some of the programs we saw in the name of racial equality implemented in the past which turned out to be counterproductive,” he said.

Tico Almeid, founder and president of Freedom to Work, told the Huffington Post that ENDA bans quotas in particular. He said his group already discussed the legislation with McCain’s office and a follow-up meeting will be held sometime this week, where they will call attention to the section of the law that bans quotas.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that the Senate will bring ENDA up for a vote during the current work period, which ends the week before Thanksgiving.

Currently, ENDA has 56 supporters in the Senate, and Senator-elect Cory Booker (D-N.J.) will make 57 once he takes office this week, putting it just below the 60-vote threshold needed to clear the Senate.

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11Bill O’Reilly: Harry Reid is a Cold-Hearted Fanatic, Hates Kids with Cancer (Video)

The U.S. government shutdown has been a battle of optics from the onset, and that doesn’t figure to change any time soon.

On Wednesday, a day after Democrats emphasized how harmful the shutdown was because, among other things, it will impact kids with cancer – Republicans struck back. Essentially, they took that talking point and put it to work for themselves by proposing to fund the part of the government that covers cancer research for children. This would come in the form of a mini bill, something that wouldn’t re-open the government for business, but would allow the parts of it that everyone enjoys to operate.

The GOP looked at it like this: If the Dems said yes, people would hate the shutdown a little less. If the Dems said no, then all of a sudden liberals hate kids with cancer.

And that’s how Harry Reid found himself in this exchange, as transcribed by the Atlantic Wire:

DANA BASH: You all talked about children with cancer unable to go to clinical trials. The House is presumably going to pass a bill that funds at least the NIH. Given what you've said, will you at least pass that? And if not, aren't you playing the same political games that Republicans are?

HARRY REID: Listen, Sen. Durbin explained that very well, and he did it here, did it on the floor earlier, as did Sen. Schumer. What right did they have to pick and choose what part of government is going to be funded? It's obvious what's going on here. You talk about reckless and irresponsible. Wow. What this is all about is Obamacare. They are obsessed. I don't know what other word I can use. They're obsessed with this Obamacare thing. It's working now and it will continue to work and people will love it more than they do now by far. So they have no right to pick and choose.

BASH: But if you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn't you do it?

CHUCK SCHUMER: Why put one against the other? 

REID: Why would we want to do that? I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is -- to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you're irresponsible and reckless --

BASH: I'm just asking a question.

Naturally, on Thursday, Bill O’Reilly and others condemned Reid for being a ‘cold-hearted fanatic’ and hating kids with cancer.

What’s the lesson here? Well, it’s that when your primary objective is PR victories as opposed to a genuine presentation of facts, you’re susceptible to the other side getting PR wins over you. The Democrats are emphasizing that kids with cancer are suffering because of the shutdown, and understating the fact that the shutdown also reveals how many government employees are not essential. It’s a PR game.

The Republicans are no better. They brought this shutdown on because they didn’t want to fund Obamacare. Now, after the shutdown has started, they say that they’re willing to fund it – so long as people can opt out if they want to and government workers don’t get an exception. That’s great. But where was this compromise before the threat of a shutdown? Why was this compromise only presented after the nation had been taken hostage?

Both sides are playing games here, and anyone who calls ‘false equivalency’ on that is too much of an ideologue to see their own bias.  

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11Leaked E-mails Shows Speaker John Boehner Flip-Flop on Federal Obamacare Subsidies

An exclusive report from POLITICO published yesterday reveals that despite Rep. John Boehner’s vocal opposition to a “so-called exemption” for lawmakers and staff in the Affordable Care Act, he actually worked behind the scenes with Democratic leaders in Congress to save the much-maligned subsidies.

The news site obtained documents and e-mails, most likely leaked from the Democratic side, in which Speaker Boehner’s staff even worked to set a meeting with the President about the issue, and then claimed the meeting was about “immigration,” which at the time was being dealt with in a bill before Congress.

The issue is whether or not lawmakers and staff will continue to receive their employer contribution towards their healthcare from the federal government, which POLITICO estimated are between $5000 to $12,000 annually. However the Office of Personnel Management or OPM ruled that once lawmakers and their staff enroll in the healthcare exchanges they were no longer eligible for those subsidies.

After an “uproar” from Congress, OPM then reversed their decision in early August saying the subsidies would continue. However, from February to July, the staffs of both Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid worked closely to figure out a fix for the problem before the White House got involved.

Speaker Boehner’s aides are quoted as saying there was never any intention to pass a bill to fix the problem, and that his intention has always been to “repeal Obamacare.” However, those who were in the meetings say that Speaker Boehner asked if there was any way to “slip it in” a bill without anyone noticing, and that he used to do things like that in the State Legislature “all the time.” 

On Monday night, Speaker Boehner finally attached language banning the subsidies to one of his many bills rejected by the Senate.


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11NSA Security Briefing Is Skipped By Half Of US Senate

More than half of the U.S. Senate neglected to attend a Thursday briefing meant to specifically address concerns about recently revealed National Security Agency programs.

Only 47 of 100 senators attended the briefing. It was scheduled in response to lawmakers who claimed they had not been briefed on the NSA’s surveillance programs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., made a point of recessing the Senate for an hour on Thursday, saying it was so no one would have an excuse for missing the briefing.

"For senators to complain that, 'I didn't know this was happening,' we've had many, many meetings that have been both classified and unclassified that members have been invited to," Reid told reporters.

Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dianne Feinstein was clearly frustrated by the lack of attendance.

"We have discussed this, we have voted on this in committee, on the floor," Feinstein said. "People should go out and see how the program is set up, see how it's conducted, ask questions, come to the briefings. It's hard to get this story out. Even now we have this big briefing — we've got Alexander, we've got the FBI, we've got the Justice Department, we have the FISA Court there, we have Clapper there — and people are leaving."

Sources: HuffingtonPost, CBSNews

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11Senator Reid Blames Gosnell Case on Anti-Abortion Forces

Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) blamed laws restricting abortion, and anti-abortion protestors who picket and vandalize abortion clinics, for causing poor women to seek out dangerous clinics like that of the former Dr. Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted Monday of the murder of three infants.

"What led to this -- these convictions of murder for this man -- is the fact that people have been pushed back into these holes to do something that's legal," Reid told reporters at a press conference yesterday. "I think that all this picking [sic] of these clinics and throwing chemicals into them to make them so they can't use them, you can't get the chemicals out, all these restrictive laws -- the law of the land is now what the Supreme Court has said. And I think to keep pushing these clinics back into situations where they wind up like this is wrong....

"I think that no matter how you stand on the issue of abortion, people who make that decision should do it and not have to be worried about infections and some butcher like this doing the bad things they do," Reid added. "They should be in a place that's clean and sterile and have people that know what they're doing and care about what they do."

Gosnell, 72, practiced as an abortion provider in Philadelphia and nearby states between 1972 and 2011. On Monday, he was convicted on charges of first and third degree murder, illegal prescription of drugs, conspiracy related to corruption, illegal abortions, and related medical malpractice offenses. Several of his employees have also been convicted on related charges. One employee claimed that over 100 babies had their spines “snipped” after live birth.

Republicans have been touting the case as an example of the dangers of abortion to women.

Reid's statements were in response to a question about a bill that would ban late-term abortions in Washington, DC; there are currently no restrictions on abortion in the federal district.

Reid has traditionally identified as "pro-life," and in 2003 voted against an an amendment supporting the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Sources: Weekly Standard, Huffington Post, Wikipedia.

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11Sen. Harry Reid Calls Ted Cruz A 'Schoolyard Bully' on Senate Floor

Name calling and procrastination aren’t usually acceptable in the workplace, unless of course the workplace is Congress.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called fellow Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) a “schoolyard bully” on Monday after Cruz’s attempts to delay budget negotiations on the Senate floor.

"My friend from Texas is like a schoolyard bully," Reid said. "He pushes everybody around and is losing, and instead of playing the game according to the rules, he not only takes the ball home with him but changes the rules. That way no one wins except the bully who tries to indicate to people he has won. We’re asking Republicans to play by the rules and let us go to conference."

The "rules" Reid was referring to is that Senators can either object or not object in their decision to go to conference about budget resolutions. Cruz decided to “reserve the right to object,” a neither-here-nor-there category he decided to create as a way to delay doing the job he was voted in to do. Congressional Democrats have been attempting to move to discuss the budget resolutions, but Republican senators have strongly resisted.

Reid continued, “I object too, but what my friend suggests is fairly ridiculous if you want the truth -- before we go to conference determine what you do and not do in the conference, that's not how we do things around here.”

"I wasn't aware we were in a schoolyard,” Cruz responded.

"There's either an objection or no objection," Reid snipped back at Cruz. "We've had enough of reserving the right to object."

"Reserving the right to object," Cruz said again.

"Mr. President, there is no such thing," Reid said, which finally resulted in Cruz announcing his objection.

Cruz said his problem with the conference is that the Republicans, the minority party in the Senate, would not have “sufficient” (meaning “majority”) input about the debt ceiling and so would like to put off discussions about the debt ceiling, likely until the GOP is back in the majority. 

Sources: Politico, Huffington Post

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11Harry Reid Still Supports Obamacare Despite Current Funding Issues

Stressing the need for more time and funding, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, will be a “train wreck” if it is not implemented properly.

“Max said unless we implement this properly it’s going to be a train wreck and I agree with him," Reid said, referring to fellow Senator Max Baucus (D-MT).

Reid blamed uncooperative Republican lawmakers for not allowing the administration to use more resources on the health care reform law. Reid made the comments during a recent segment on “The Rusty Humphries” show.

“Here’s what we have now, we have the menu but we don’t have any way to get to the menu,” Reid said in the interview.

Reid also said the Obama administration will be forced to take funds from less crucial parts of the law in order to educate the public and lawmakers on exactly how Obamacare will and will not change the health care industry.

"I wish we had the money just to do this on its own, but he’s agreed, he’s determined he’s going to take money from some of the other things that he feels are less important in the healthcare bill and put it on letting you and others know what’s in the bill. And what they can do to either accept parts that would be helpful to them, or not," Reid said.

The estimated 10-year cost of the Affordable Care Act is $1.1 trillion. What’s left to be seen is whether the bill will, as supporters claim, reduce the countries health care costs in the long run. Legislators behind the bill claim that by eliminating trillions in health care costs caused by America’s current health care system, the act will reduce the national deficit by $200 billion during its first 10 years, and by over $1 trillion over the next 20 years.

For reasons like this, combined with Reid’s belief that all Americans have a right to health care, Reid continues to still support the bill despite current funding issues.

“I believe that a country of our size, the only superpower left in the world, it’s not right that we have 50, 60 million . . . people with no health insurance," Reid said. "We have a program where health insurance shouldn’t go to the people that are rich, people who are upper-middle class.

"I believe the middle class and people who are below the middle class deserve to go to the hospital when they are sick. You shouldn’t have to declare bankruptcy when you have a traffic accident or some dreaded disease hits your family," he said. 

Sources: Newsmax, The Hill, ObamaCare Facts

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11New Bill Could Require Background Checks for Ammo Purchases

Following the Boston bombing, Senator Harry Reid (D, NV) has proposed new legislation that would require a background check on anyone purchasing “explosive materials” or “powders” that could be used to create a bomb.

The basic motivation behind the legislation is fairly reasonable – the Tsarnaev brothers manufactured bombs, so regulating explosive materials could lead to fewer terrorist bombings.

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D, NJ), who wrote the bill, stated, “It defies common sense that anyone, even a terrorist, can walk into a store in America and buy explosive powders without a background check or any questions asked. Requiring a background check for an explosives permit is a small price to pay to ensure the safety of our communities.”

The problem? Bullets and other mundane items might get caught in the crossfire.

The Boston bombers, for example, used black powder from fireworks to create their bombs. Bullets also contain small pockets of smokeless powder. In small qualities they aren’t terribly dangerous (except for when they’re used to propel a bullet, of course), but a person could conceivably take apart enough bullets to create an explosive device.  

In fact, there’s already a similar law in place. A background check is necessary whenever somebody purchases 50 pounds or more of black powder. The bill would lower that threshold and add smokeless powder to the list. Theoretically, purchasing 50 pounds of ammunition could trigger a background check under the new bill.

Some gun rights proponents are wary of the bill. Silent Prepper of Prepper Central wrote, “Reid and Lautenberg will also give the Attorney General power to forbid the sale of explosive powders to anyone who is believed to be purchasing it for the purpose of terrorism, [including] anyone who may have second amendment oriented views.”

It’s almost like legislative sleight of hand. Legislators couldn’t require universal background checks on all gun sales, so requiring background checks on ammunition is the next best thing. Cutting down on terrorist bombing attacks is a commendable goal, but is there any way to draft legislation that controls explosives without also regulating ammunition?

Source: Prepper Central

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Harry Reid Wants to Tax Guns

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wants to tax your gun rights. His new legislation charges you a fee that is in essence a federal tax on selling or giving away your firearm, and he lets Attorney General Eric Holder decide how big that tax will be.

Senate Democrats Charles Schumer of New York, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, and Barbara Boxer of California have introduced a raft of gun control legislation (S. 374, S. 54, and S. 146, respectively). Senator Leahy, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, rammed the legislation through committee in record time—not even bothering to issue the customary committee reports to explain the bills—and Reid combined the bills into a single gun control bill (S. 649). Firearms owners across the country and others who care about their right to keep and bear arms should keep a close eye on the Reid legislation. Your rights are under attack.

Gun rights have been important since before there was a U.S. Constitution. In Federalist No. 84 of May 28, 1788, Alexander Hamilton dismissed the idea of adding a bill of rights to the Constitution, saying “why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do?” But the people of the several states had a healthy skepticism of the proposed central government, and their skepticism extended to the potential for that new government to infringe upon their right to firearms.

Nearly a third of the delegates to the Pennsylvania ratifying convention dissented from ratification because the new Constitution did not sufficiently protect individual rights. On December 18, 1787, they published the 14 amendments they thought necessary, the seventh of which was:

That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and their own state, or the United States, or for the purpose of killing game; and no law shall be passed for disarming the people or any of them, unless for crimes committed, or real danger of public injury from individuals…

In Virginia, it was a majority rather than a minority that had doubts about whether the Constitution sufficiently protected individual rights. Ultimately, the Virginia convention ratified the Constitution, but it recommended on June 27, 1788, early adoption of a bill of rights, to include: “That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; that a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defence of a free state….”

Advocates of the people’s gun rights ultimately carried the day in the federal Congress, and the states ratified what is now known as the Second Amendment, which guarantees the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

Title I of the Reid gun control bill purports to “fix gun checks.” The proposed “fix” in section 122 of S. 649 is to take away an individual’s right to sell or give away a firearm to another individual unless, in most cases, the individual (1) uses a licensed importer, dealer, or manufacturer to make the transfer of the firearm and (2) pays a fee to that importer, dealer, or manufacturer to make the transfer. The individual transferring the firearm is not actually receiving a service; the federal government is receiving the service. The service the government gets is a background check on the intended recipient of the firearm, because the law requires the importer, dealer, or manufacturer to run the recipient through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Forcing the individual to pay for the government-mandated service, which is in fact a service to the government, is in essence a federal tax on the individual. And the amount the individual pays as a fee is not limited by the legislation; section 122(a)(4) of the Reid bill enacts a new section 922(t)(4)(B)(i) of title 18 of the U.S. Code to grant to Attorney General Eric Holder the power to set the maximum fee by regulation.

The Reid gun tax is but one of the dangers of the Senate Democrats’ gun control legislation. Senator Reid has the gun control bill on the fast track through the Senate. Those who care about their gun rights should remember Obamacare: The faster and harder Senators try to ram legislation through the Senate, the more you know the legislation is bad for America.

The post Senator Reid’s New Tax on Guns appeared first on The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation.

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