Senator Heidi Heitkamp likes to say things, but she often doesn’t mean them.
Like opposing the filibuster, for instance. When Heitkamp was campaigning to join the Democrat majority in the Senate she pledged to gut the filibuster. Acting as a member of the majority, she did vote to gut the filibuster for judicial confirmation votes.
But now as a member of the Senate minority Heitkamp has no problem voting for all sorts of filibusters.
Say one thing, do another.
Now we have another example of this hypocrisy before us. Pro-abortion activists on the left decided to throw a hissy fit over a pro forma amendment to prohibit the use of taxpayer dollars for abortion which has been added to bills since the 1970’s. In this instance the language had been added to bipartisan human trafficking legislation which had emerged from committee with full Democrat support.
This is the legislation that prompted Heitkamp to hustle away from reporters the other day.
Since this sort of language, called a Hyde Amendment, was so routine Democrats were caught off guard by the push back from their base, and their backpedaling has now devolved into a standoff on the legislation complete with a Democrat-led filibuster today.
Heitkamp didn’t join the filibuster this time around, but she did send out this self-righteous tweet about sticking “divisive, unrelated” provisions in legislation.
— Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (@SenatorHeitkamp) March 17, 2015
I fail to see how language prohibiting the use of taxpayer dollars for abortions is unrelated to legislation dealing with sex workers. And I also don’t understand Heitkamp’s faux outrage given that she has had no problem inserting divisive and actually unrelated provisions in other bills.
Like the Keystone XL pipeline bill, which she claims to have supported.
Heitkamp proposed using the authorization of the Keystone pipeline as leverage for a hike in the federal minimum wage.
“Her pitch was basically we should use Keystone as a chit to trade for other things,” a Senate aide, commenting on the condition of anonymity, told the Huffington Post, which broke the story about Heitkamp’s plot.
Among the “other things” Heitkamp wanted to dump into the Keystone bill was a renewal of wind-power subsidies that expired last year.
Whatever your opinion of the minimum wage, or the production tax credit for wind energy, those policies should be debated on their own merits and not used as a way to sabotage legislation backed by the opposition party.
If Heitkamp wants to use tactics like the filibuster and poison pill amendments to get her way in Washington DC, then so be it. She certainly isn’t the first politician, liberal or otherwise, to do so. But it would be nice if she stopped the pretend disdain for such tactics.
Heitkamp can’t subscribe to these bare knuckle tactics while simultaneously posturing herself as a moderate “let’s work together” politician.