Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) just put the ultimate slam on the Congressional Republicans he labeled as “crazies” for using the so-called “Hastert rule” to block a bill aimed at responding to a future outbreak of the Zika virus. Former House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL) is an admitted serial child molester, who’s serving time in prison.
Reid called out Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who criticized Democrats for blocking Zika Virus legislation because it prevented Planned Parenthood from providing contraception and restored use of the Confederate flag in federally funded national cemeteries.
The Nevada senator pointed out that House Republicans could have passed a bill both sides would have been happy with if it were not for the Hastert Rule.
The Hastert Rule prevents Republican leaders from moving legislation to a vote if the bill isn’t supported by the majority of Republican lawmakers. The rule also blocks House Democrats from joining with Republicans to push through bipartisan bills.
They have what is called the Hastert rule, named after a congressman from Illinois who was the Speaker of the House for a number of years,” Reid explained. “They didn’t want Democrats to be involved and they’re still that way. Even though Hastert’s in prison, they still follow the Hastert rule.
Making reference to the late night vote passed earlier in June during the House Democrat’s Gun Violence sit-in protest, Ried said that Republicans pushed through a terrible bill to make “all the crazies — I’m sorry to use that term, but that’s a term that Speaker Boehner used, and I think the more I see of this, I think he had it down pretty pat.”
They did everything they could to go after all the pet projects of the Republicans,” he insisted. “They hate Planned Parenthood. They hate it. Even though millions of Americans get their care there.”
“This Zika — young women are concerned about birth control and for the majority of young women, this is the only place they have to go,” Reid continued. “But what did they do? [Republican leadership] said, ‘We’re going to restrict funding for birth control provided by Planned Parenthood.’”
“Why would they do that? Only to get votes from the crazies over there.”
Reid, as well as other Democrats, are starting to show the type of backbone progressives have been waiting to see for a very long time. The Republicans are masters at playing political games with important legislation just to curry favor with their shrinking base of “crazies.”
It’s about time they got called on it.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images