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Harry Reid has earned the scorn that's come his way for D.C. dysfunction

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: January 29, 2014

The Times labeled Reid's leadership style as “brutish.” The newspaper reported that after exempting nonbinding budget amendments, the total number of amendment votes allowed during Reid's tenure as Senate leader has plummeted from 218 in 2007 to just 67 in 2013.

In December, senators finally took up a National Defense Authorization Act, but couldn't offer amendments. Reid apparently feared an Iran sanctions amendment would easily pass with bipartisan support. By blocking that effort, Reid also prevented Senate debate on the U.S. role in the Syrian crisis, Afghanistan and the fight against terrorism. Those are serious omissions verging on neglect of duty.

Republicans are not the only ones affected. The Times noted Sens. Kirsten E. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., had major amendments derailed by Reid's tactics. Gillibrand's amendment regarded sexual assault cases in the military; Klobuchar's sought repeal of an Obamacare tax on medical devices.

Democrats often portray the House as being controlled by tea party “fringe” Republicans. But based on the actual results — last year's government shutdown notwithstanding — it looks as if those supposedly extremist lawmakers are much better at actual governing and consensus-building than the Democratic leadership of the Senate.

And Republicans are making sure the public knows it.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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