Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sen. Burr shuts down hearings

Sen. Burr and the Senate Republicans are throwing a tantrum. The Hill reports that
Republicans have blocked Senate committee hearings for a second consecutive day to protest moving healthcare fixes under special budget rules.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked for consent to hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon but Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) objected. Burr said he was acting on behalf of Republican colleagues.
Maybe when Sen. Burr has cried himself out, the nation can get back to business.

Update (6:24 p.m.): The business that Sen. Burr obstructed turns out to be damned serious; the stunt also proved to be a huge nuisance to several senior military commanders.
Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, decried the Republicans’ decision to block a hearing in his committee to protest moving healthcare fixes under special budget rules. Levin said that the Republicans disrupted the schedules of senior commanders who have traveled "thousands of miles from their troops" to provide the Senate with "information on pressing national security topics such as North Korea’s nuclear program, Chinese military capability and the threat of cyber-warfare."

"It is astounding to me that Republicans have taken a step of such pointless, blind obstructionism," Levin said in a statement Wednesday. "Our national security should not be held hostage to Republican pique over health care."
The officers that Sen. Burr decided to ice included the admiral in charge of the U.S. Pacific Command, the General in charge of the Air Force Strategic Command, and the General in charge of our Korean forces. Clearly, Sen. Burr thinks they have nothing better to do.