From Igor Volsky at the Wonk Room, a list of military priorities the lockstep brigade in the Senate managed to stall.
What’s happening here is that the very same Republicans who were blasting Democrats for voting against military funding to protest the Iraq war are now using their objection to Don’t Ask Don’t Tell — which the majority of the military actually supports — to obstruct and delay the above benefits and pay increases. In fact, they’re even prioritizing extending tax cuts for the richest Americans to the provisions in the defense bill. And, they’re somehow getting away with it all.
Of course they're getting away with it -- the Democrats and the MSM are working overtime to make sure they do.
I'm about to fire off an e-mail to my freshman senator, Mark Kirk, who made such capital of his military service (or tried to -- it turns out he was lying through his teeth) during the campaign. It's quite obvious that the Republicans think that somehow national security is dependent on making the rich richer, hence hanging everything off the Bush tax cuts -- which, as it happens, were the single biggest factor in our current deficit, give or take a war of choice and the war that Bush didn't want to fight -- at least, not once we were actually there.
The House is on top of it, though:
To be sure, some (but not all) of these pieces will be transferred into the continuing resolution (CR) and several are already included in the House CR, which passed last night. For instance, the CR “Provides DoD broad authority to realign funding to accommodate programs and projects planned for FY 2011″ and “Extends several authorities required for military pay and bonuses and compensation for civilian employees serving in theater, and authorities needed for overseas contingency operations in Afghanistan and elsewhere.” The House CR also includes including “funds for a 1.4% military pay raise” — which was part of the Senate defense bill.
But only in the Senate are two pages in a bill and a completely unrelated priority reason enough to vote against even starting debate on the issue.
The left blogosphere seems convinced it's all because of DADT, but I'm not so sure: we're still in "sink the president" mode, and he's not been doing much to fight that. I think DADT is just this week's excuse.
However, we'll see on that one. Lieberman, Collins and by some reports Mark Udall are preparing to introduce a stand-alone DADT bill. Reid has promised a floor vote.
Pelosi has promised to push it through the House if it passes in the Senate.
But then, when's the last time anything actually passed in the Senate?