Kentucky (the state that gave us Mitch McTurtle) Senator Rand Paul is holding his breath until his face turns blue, until he gets his way. This time, he’s taking advantage of loosened filibuster rules in the Senate to block President Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to Chair the Federal Reserve.
Now we all know that Paul hates the FED as much as his daddy Ron. And both Pop and son have sponsored nearly identical bills to mandate stricter auditing of the FED. Paul the younger, introduced H.R. 459, also known as the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2012. Like most bills passed in the current poop-head controlled House of Representatives lately, it was so partisan and so blatantly political, the Senate has refused to even take it up, and Rand is pissed. Yesterday he made his petulance known to his fellow Senate baggers.
“There’s no time to waste. Right now, the U.S. Senate is preparing to debate and confirm the new Obama nominee to chair the Federal Reserve,” Paul says in a voiceover. “I say not so fast. I say vote no on a new Fed chairman without a vote on my Audit the Fed bill.”
So, following TEA party tactics, he is going to hold his breath until his face turns blue. Loosened filibuster rules in the US Senate currently allow one member of the minority to block cloture votes on legislation, and to block presidential nominations to all kinds of positions in government and even spots on the Federal Reserve Board.
Now Janet Yellen is a remarkable woman. Her resume reads like the preferred credential list found on the job announcement. She is an American economist and professor, the current Vice Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President Bill Clinton, and Professor Emerita at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Not too shabby, and did I mention, she’s a woman, and would the first woman ever to chair the FED?
So Rand Paul finds himself in the perfect position to bolster his TEA party cred, make the President look ineffectual, and stop the wheels of government in their tracks.
The real issue here of course, is not Rand Paul’s petulance. It is not the need to audit the FED (which is actually a good idea). And it is not the qualifications of Ms. Yellen. No, the real story here is that one immature and power-hungry individual can hold all of us hostage on a whim. Blocking Obama’s nominees after they clear the Senate Judiciary Committee with broad support, then making them wait an average of 116 days for a confirmation vote.
Before Obama took office, there had never been more than 61 Senate filibusters in one year. In 2009, Obama’s first year in office, the were 112 filibusters. What more evidence of the Republican plan to make sure this president will fail do we need? And if this president fails due to conspiracy and obstructionism, we all lose. Being a gentleman has not worked, Harry Reid! Start kicking some ass and make the Senate functional again. Then we can start working on the House, and wow, that’s a whole different kettle of moray eels!
Watch a CNBC report on the story in the video below: