If you’re a NORMAL, outside-the-Beltway American, you are up to your eyeballs in Christmas travel or family hosting plans, cookie baking, school and church activities, etc. etc. etc. In the grand tradition of manufactured crisis, the politicians in Washington are exploiting your preoccupation with other things to do their dirty deeds.
Some stalwarts in both the House and Senate are on guard duty tonight. Sen. Jim DeMint is planning to read the full omnibus spending bill tonight.
At this moment, the Senate is in a quorum call.
The House has just approved a first procedural vote on the tax deal. Vote was 230-186. House then voted 214-201 to approve another rule on the tax deal, opening up three hours of debate.
You can watch the livestreams on C-SPAN. I’ll try and update in between family duties, but please help pitch in via comments or e-mail.
Update 7:30pm Eastern Harry Reid takes the floor. Invokes the Founding Fathers and asserts “I support the Constitution of the United States.” Segues immediately into a fear-mongering soliloquy about how children and seniors will be harmed if omniporkulus isn’t passed.
But announces that he will relent and work on a short-term continuing resolution to fund government. He doesn’t have the votes.
OMNIPORKULUS IS DEAD.
But our work is not over.
Reid announces he’s filing cloture on DREAM Act, DADT to be voted on Saturday. Debate on START tomorrow with amendments.
Reid, Durbin, and Patty Murray engage in a face-saving colloquy lamenting all the hard work they put into omniporkulus.
Reid bemoans the “deep, deep hole” they were faced with — translation: It’s BOOOOOOSH’s fault.
Update 7:50pm Eastern: Reid has filed cloture on DREAM and DADT — and used procedural moves to prevent amendments.
Update: 8:08pm Eastern Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill calls out pro-earmark Republicans. They deserve it.
Started new thread for House tax deal debate here.