Harry Reid took to the Senate floor today to accuse Republicans of holding up legislation to help Ukraine so they can help billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Sound like a fantastical stretch?
Senators are still quibbling over a proposed aid package to Ukraine that passed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and must now be taken up by the full Senate. The package includes reforms to the International Monetary Fund that a number of Republicans oppose.
CNN reports that “some Republicans” have floated the idea of trading the IMF reforms for a delay in proposed regulations by the Internal Revenue Service that would change the definition of “political activity” by tax-exempt groups, like some of the tea party groups that say they were improperly targeted by the IRS in 2012.
Excuse me CNN, but what do you mean by “tea party groups that say they were improperly targeted? The freaking IRS admitted to improperly targeting them and apologized. Obama initially declared that he was outraged over the offense. (If the tables were turned there would be no “that say.” Anyone even tangentially connected to the scandal would have been fired, impeached, tried for treason, and jailed by now.
Anyway enter Dingy Harry to conflate defending the First Amendment rights of all Social Welfare groups with “protecting the Koch brothers.”
“This is hard for me to comprehend, how in clear conscience [Republicans] could say, ‘Ukrainians, we probably can’t help you because we’re trying to protect the Koch brothers,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said at a press conference Thursday. “And not only that, they’re saying to the American people that protecting the Koch brothers is more important than protecting our country.”
The man is batshit. But what really scares and saddens me – is that there are legions of mindless drones out there, who hear that —- and think it makes sense.
It is about damn time someone took to the floor to defend the Koch brothers from Dingy Harry’s now daily 2 minutes of hate from the Senate Floor. He is supposed to be the Majority Leader of the Senate. Talk about impropriety.
Cruz released the following statement blasting Senate Dems for holding Ukraine aid hostage to politics.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today spoke on the Senate floor in opposition to Sen. Reid’s measure to inject unnecessary provisions to the International Monetary Fund into a U.S. aid package to Ukraine.
“The world, Russia and the people of Ukraine should understand – Mr. Putin should understand – that all of us are united in standing with the people of Ukraine, that the United States will act,” Sen. Cruz said. “I am convinced we will act decisively to impose sanctions and serious consequences on Russia for their unprovoked act of war. We will act decisively to stand with the people of Ukraine. There should be no doubt in any observer’s mind that this will unify both parties, we will stand together. We would have done so tonight had the Majority Leader not made the cynical decision to hold Ukraine aid hostage to politics. Politics should end at the water’s edge, and I think it’s unfortunate to see the Majority Leader trying to use the crisis in Ukraine for political advantage. That’s the mistake, but there should be no ambiguity. We will impose sanctions. We will stand with Ukraine.”
Sen. Cruz highlighted four main reasons that the IMF provisions contained in the Ukraine aid package are harmful to the U.S. and misguided:
- They are unnecessary. Estimates show that Ukrainian aid would cost no more than 5 percent of IMF’s current resources, which it is completely capable of handling without increased contribution from the U.S.
- It could double the U.S.’s contribution to the IMF. We should not be opening up U.S. taxpayers to billions in additional financial reliability.
- It would diminish U.S. influence on the IMF, reducing our ability to control IMF’s decisions and taking away the U.S.’s veto authority over the funds.
- Most astoundingly, it would increase Russia’s control over the IMF, at a time when we are seeking to punish Russia for its act of war and aggression.
In his remarks, Sen. Cruz also outlined four immediate actions that the U.S. should take to respond to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:
- Press to expel Russia from the G8;
- Immediately enforce the Magnitsky Act (which the Administration has so far failed to do) to punish human rights by Russian officials and expand the act to include Ukrainian human rights abusers;
- Immediately reinstall the anti-ballistic missile program (cancelled under President Obama in an unsuccessful effort to appease Mr. Putin) so that Eastern Europe can defend itself;
- Offer the government of Ukraine a free trade agreement, particularly access to energy exports, including liquid natural gas (LNG), which will help free Ukraine from economic blackmail by Russia.
In regard to creating a free trade agreement with Ukraine, Sen. Cruz said, “We should move immediately to give Ukraine access to U.S. energy exports, particularly liquid natural gas, not just because it would help Ukraine and represent a serious blow to Russia, but because it makes perfect sense from the perspective of the United States. At a time when we’ve got the lowest labor rate participation since 1978, when millions of people are out of work and hurting, we should be developing and expanding our resources, and energy provides an opportunity to transform the geopolitical playing field, to use our abundant resources in a free market manner to free and liberate the people of Ukraine.”