One year ago, Senator John Thune penned an op-ed where he stated that,
“Under Republican control, the Senate will get back to work, returning to regular order, which means bills will be considered out in the open in committees before coming to the Senate floor, and all senators, regardless of party, will have a chance to propose and debate amendments.”
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t follow the Senate that closely, but here’s what I’ve observed this past year:
- Not a single appropriations bill passed the Senate.
- The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) was crafted behind closed doors in secret sessions.
- Amendments were not allowed on important legislation such as the USA Freedom Act.
- Both CISA and the USA Freedom Act were brought to the Senate floor just prior to recesses in an effort to limit debate.
- Not satisfied with the versions of CISA that passed in the House and Senate, the Republican leadership attached a new version of CISA as a rider to the omnibus spending bill. The new version of CISA stripped away consumer protections and may allow for warrant-less surveillance.
In my mind, the Senator Thune and Republican leadership have failed to deliver on their promises. They’ve proven themselves no better than the Democrats as the Senate majority.