|Targeted News Service|
"How do we help unemployed Americans go to work?" Alexander said in a speech Monday. "I can't think of an issue more important to our country. All of us have ideas about how to do this, but [Reid] brought up his idea. It hasn't been considered by committee. When he put it on the floor, he cut off amendments, he cut off debate and he cut off votes. ... Tennesseans didn't send me to
Alexander continued, "All we're saying is we would like to have a say, on behalf of the people who elected us, on the great issues facing our country."
In addition to unemployment insurance, which Reid has pushed without allowing Republican amendments for job training and other measures, Alexander noted that debates over the minimum wage and other issues are at risk of being cut off. Alexander said, "The Senate has become a Tuesday through Thursday club, run by one senator and orchestrated by the
Alexander's remarks follow a decision by Democrats in the Senate majority to invoke the so-called nuclear option, getting rid of the filibuster for presidential nominations so it only requires 51 votes - instead of 60 - to end debate on nominees, except in the case of the
Alexander said that in their book "
Alexander said the Senate is "losing its capacity to do the things it was created to do" by:
1. Providing less advice and consent. The
2. Operating without rules. When Senate Democrats changed the rules, they did so with a simple majority vote, the so-called "nuclear option."
Alexander noted that Senator
3. Ignoring executive orders. The Senate, Alexander said, "meekly watches" as the Obama administration changes Obamacare.
4. Tolerating more czars. "
5. Failing to pass appropriations legislation. Alexander noted that in recent years the Senate has ceded control over spending to the administration, though he said "hopefully, that is going to change" with upcoming consideration of appropriations legislation.