Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was for his bill before he was against it.
Looking to prove Democrats don’t have enough support to change how the government deals with the debt ceiling–a disputed point in the larger fiscal cliff fight–the top Republican senator pulled a risky move… and failed.
MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell did a play-by-play of Mitch McConnell’s filibuster “stunt” on Thursday’s Rewrite segment on The Last Word, calling it “the most idiotic thing any minority leader has ever done on the Senate floor.”
McConnell asked for a vote on legislation he brought up last year as a “last-choice option” which would give the president the ability to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling unless Congress got a two-thirds majority to stop him.
Calling his bluff, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid agreed to vote on it, whereby Mitch McConnell changed his mind and filibustered his own bill.
O’Donnell declared McConnell made history for two reasons. “One–a minority leader who has introduced a bill and asked for a vote, then opposing proceeding to a vote on his bill saying his bill should be subjected to the filibuster breaking vote threshold of 60 votes,” he said.
“And miracle number two was that the presiding officer, played that hour by Sen. Claire McCaskill, the presiding officer who is usually in a struggle to stay awake in the most boring assignment a senator can get, presiding over the Senate–a punishment normally reserved for the junior-most senators–the presiding officer is not only wide awake, she actually comments on what has just happened instead of simply issuing the normal to and three word traffic directions that the presiding officer is limited to.”