If there was a theme to Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s 2012 campaign to the U.S. Senate (outside of running as far away from Barack Obama as she could) it was the idea that she is a pragmatic leader who would help cut through obstruction to get things done. On her still-active campaign website Heitkamp said there are “too many extreme politicians in Washington” who hold the country “hostage to advance their narrow political agenda.”
But now she’s turning a lot of those campaign promises on their head. Heitkamp is now a part of the Senate minority using the filibuster to block even beginning debate on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security because Republicans are using it as a vehicle to overturn President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration.
Heitkamp’s posturing on this issue seems to be purely politics. On one hand she’s been critical of Obama’s executive order, and questioned his authority in issuing it, but on the other hand she’s joined arm-in-arm with fellow Democrats in refusing a bill which would challenge that executive order to even come up for debate.
That’s right. Senator Heitkamp, who campaigned on putting the U.S. Senate back to work, doesn’t even want to let the Senate debate (let alone vote) on the immigration bill.
There’s plenty to be critical of in that stance alone, but it’s particularly hypocritical for Heitkamp to take this position given that it runs 100 percent contrary to how she campaigned.
Senate Majority Mitch McConnell has scheduled another vote on beginning debate on the DHS funding bill (which the House has already passed, Rep. Kevin Cramer voted for it) for today.
Will Heitkamp vote to allow debate on this bill as Senator John Hoeven has?
Or will she continue to be a hypocrite?
North Dakota voters should be watching closely. Again, Heitkamp campaigned against this sort of procedural obstruction. Is she more loyal to her political party, or to the voters she made a promise to?