GOP senator: Reid trying to 'gag us' like Putin

Greg Nash

Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) said Thursday that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) “dictatorial position” on amendment votes was something he would expect to see from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“The majority leader has found a way to procedurally gag us from representing the voices of the people of our state,” Coats said on the Senate floor. “We expect to see it from Russian President Vladimir Putin but that’s not what the United States is about. We’re a democratic institution here in the Senate.”

Republicans have blasted Reid for allowing less than 10 votes on GOP amendments since July. 

Fights over amendments killed a bipartisan energy efficiency bill earlier this week. Republicans pulled their support for the bill after Reid denied them five votes on GOP measures.

“The people are represent are not being heard,” Coats said. “We all ought to be ashamed that this is the way we’re operating around here.”

Reid has tried to flip the blame on Republicans, saying they’re like “greased pigs” who slip away after making a deal. He’s said no matter what deal he offers Republicans it’s never good enough.

Despite their anger over procedure, Republicans seem poised to allow a tax extender bill to move forward without any GOP amendments. Some groups, such as Heritage Action, have accused the senators are carrying water for special interest groups.

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