The nation’s security must wait…at least until September, or so moved Senator Frist on the Senate floor on Tuesday morning. Frist pulled the all-important Defense Authorization bill from the Senate floor in order to pass the NRA’s Gun Liability legislation. Astute and not so astute Congressional observers of both parties are still staring at their C-Span screens in disbelief.
The Defense Authorization bill contains, oh lets see…provisions or amendments to provide more funds to war widows and orphans, up-armor for Humvees, support for the Boy Scouts of America, better health care for our veterans, chemical weapons destruction, help for families of deployed soldiers. I could go on and on. You name the item important to the nation’s security the Defense Authorization contains it.
Of course Dick Cheney doesn’t like the bill because Republican Sentors McCain and Graham, as well as Democrats, want to rewrite the Administration’s detainee policy, believing it puts U.S. soldiers at risk. McCain would know. Cheney reportedly spent a day or two trying to persuade Senators of his own party to vote against amendments authored by Senators of his own party on this issue.
Frist was unhappy. Unhappy that the Cheney was unhappy. Unhappy that the NRA might become unhappy. And unhappy that debate and votes on the Defense Bill would go longer than a couple of days. Frist insisted again and again that the Gun Liability Bill was HIS priority and MUST pass before the Senate adjourns for the August recess–and as indicated by his actions today, the DEFENSE BILL IS NOT Frist’s priority.
So today Frist forced the Defense Bill off the floor–at gun point.
Of course this is the same Senator who made a Bolton cloture vote a priority–and lost.
Does Frist really want to be President? Doesn’t appear to be the case.
– 007 (a former official of the U.S. intelligence establishment)