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After A Good Night’s Sleep, Harry Reid Now Believes Border Security Is Germane To Homeland Security.

Thursday, July 26, 2007  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt
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Posted by Generalissimo

Not 24 hours ago, Senate majority leader Harry Reid threw a tantrum and arm twisted the rest of the Senate Democrats, most notably Barack Obama, into throwing out a border security amendment offered by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham as being not germane to the homeland security appropriations bill. Last night, $3 billion dollars of funding for Border Patrol agents, 700 miles of fencing, 300 miles of vehicle barriers, all of the recommended steps to regain control of our Southern border, that, to Democrats, was not germane to homeland security.

Fortunately for America, Harry Reid slept on it. He arose this morning refreshed, with a more clear head, and took to the Senate floor this morning. This is what he had to say.

I say to my friend from Texas, what a difference a night makes. As you know, as some know, not very many, Senator Cornyn and I, Senator Graham and a few others, we were trying to work something out on this border security, and Senator Cornyn and I were the last two to speak on this issue. And like a lot of things around here, if you don’t get your way, you kind of throw a tantrum a lot of times. And I didn’t get my way, so I thought I would throw just a little tantrum. And the evening has brought to my attention that I was wrong, Senator Cornyn was right. I hate to acknowledge that, but that’s basically valid. And so having said that, Mr. President, and swallowing a bit of pride that I shouldn’t have had, I now ask unanimous consent that when the Senate resumes consideration of HR2638 today, which will be just in a few mintues, that the time until 11:35 be for debate with respect to the Graham-Pryor border security amendment. And that has Senator from Texas language in there.

Yes, Harry Reid threw a little tantrum. If you want to hear it, you can go here. Reid got caught off-guard yesterday by a Republican amendment to the homeland security appropriations bill, an amendment that would have embarrassed Reid two ways. It would have cut the legs out from under Ted Kennedy in that the amendment virtually ignored all of the liberal provisions written by Kennedy that caused so many conservatives to abandon support and openly revolt against the comprehensive immigration bill earlier this summer. This amendment focuses on an increase in funding for many of the security first provisions conservatives have been looking for. It’s not enough, but it’s a good start. The other embarrassment to Reid would be that the Republicans hijacked the floor agenda yet again, showing that Reid’s management skills as majority leader were questionable at best.

So in order to prevent being embarrassed, Reid put Barack Obama on the spot, for no other reason than he happened to have presiding officer duty at the time, having him rule that border security not be germane to homeland security. The Senate voted largely along partisan lines to support that ruling.

Today, Reid realized that was probably not the smartest move he’s made this year, which considering the Iraq and immigration gaffes he’s made in the last seven months is saying something, and reversed himself. After eating crow on the Senate floor, and an hour or so of debate, the Senate voted 89-1 to approve the Graham amendment, attaching it to the homeland security bill, meaning that in a less than one day span, about 40 Democratic Senators reversed themselves.

Barack Obama abstained from voting, which coming on the heels of walking the plank yesterday, adds to the doubt as to whether the first term Illinois Senator has the political acumen required for the presidency. If he would flipped a coin to decide how to proceed on these two votes, yesterday and today, the odds are he would have at least gotten one right, instead of making an error yesterday, and not even bothering to take the opportunity to correct the mistake today.

It’s good to know, however, that the Senate Democrats can get something right when it comes to national security…provided their leadership can sleep on it and have a second shot at it the next day.

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