Tags: After | Selling | Out | Daschle | Lott | Rushes | His

After Selling Out to Daschle, Lott Rushes His Re-election as Leader

Monday, 11 November 2002 12:00 AM

As NewsMax.com has reported exclusively, Lott, R-Miss., made a pre-election deal with Senate plurality leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., that no matter how the Nov. 5 election turns out, the Democrats would remain in control of the committees.

If Sen.-elect Jim Talent, R-Mo., is sworn in before the end-of-the-year session ends, Lott would be recognized as majority leader, but Democrats would retain the all-important committee chairmanships. Talent, replacing the appointed Jean Carnahan, is scheduled to take office Nov. 22, and Republicans will then control the Senate, Fox News Channel reported Monday.

A spokeswoman for Dachle passed on to us that this is the essence of the Lott-Daschle deal.

Monday afternoon, NewsMax made inquiries of conservative senators to determine if there is any move to oust Lott for his cave-in. We found none.

Lott, who is only too willing to roll over for Democrats, plays hardball with his own troops when he has reason to believe that they will challenge him. Putting some upstart senator on an obscure committee or denying him legislative action on a bill popular with the folks back home can quickly humble the most principled lawmaker.

Free Congress Foundation President Paul Weyrich, who has been tracking these developments, says Lott is seeing to it that any grassroots protest is crushed before too many conservatives realize what is going on.

NewsMax asked Weyrich if he knew of anyone who might be contemplating taking on Lott for majority leader in January.

"No, Lott will be unopposed,” he responded. "The vote will not be in January, I believe. If not this week, then the next. He scheduled the vote immediately after the election for just that reason.

"Given a couple of months, the troops might get their act together. With such an early election, no way.”

Lott apparently is so fearful of a rebellion in the ranks, he’s not even willing to wait for all the senators in the next Congress to be elected or appointed.

Weyrich added that if GOP candidate Suzanne Terrell wins Louisiana's runoff election Dec. 7 in the race against incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Terrell would not get to vote because it will be all over by then. Similarly, outgoing Sen. Frank Murkowski, R-Alaska, who has just been elected governor of his state, will be appointing a replacement senator when he resigns.

"He has five days to do so, or it becomes a special election,” Weyrich explained. "That person may not get to vote in leadership elections either.”

Lott thus looks to seal his re-election bid before all of the GOP senators in the 108th Congress have been officially declared members or take their seats. Once the party caucus makes it official, the whole Senate will ratify what the party caucuses have done.

As NewsMax pointed out, President Bush has placed a premium on Senate passage of his bill to create a Department of Homeland Security during the lame-duck session. The president has made clear that while he is fighting the w3ar on terror, the new department cannot wait until next year.

The House has passed a bill that closely resembles what Bush wants. The Senate, on the other hand, is dragging its feet because the union-pandering Democrats, led by Daschle and company, want to make sure the employees of the new department are afforded union privileges that could cripple the president’s ability to deploy the department quickly to save lives in this time of war.

Moreover, judicial nominees, energy policy, and making the tax cuts permanent could conceivably be acted upon if the Republicans held control of the all-important committees. Otherwise, the same Democrat obstructionism that prevailed before the Nov. 5 election will continue as if the voters had not weighed in at all.

One conservative activist pointed out to Weyrich that even if Talent is sworn in to give the GOP an numerical majority in the end-of-the-year session, it would still require a a 60-vote, three-fifths majority to reorganize at this late date in the expiring 107th Congress. "So maybe Lott is making a virtue of necessity,” the activist opined.

To Weyrich, that is no excuse for caving in. The GOP could have claimed the moral high ground on this one, he argued.

"There were 4 million more votes for Republicans than for Democrats" on Nov. 5, the FCF president noted. "The Republicans could have gone to the public with the argument that the voters had spoken” and that it was only right that the Democrats let the GOP use its newly acquired majority immediately to carry out the will of the American people.

"Your defense of Lott is rejected,” Weyrich told his fellow conservative.

While Lott is giving away some of the fruits of the GOP’s victory to the defeated Demcorats, the left-wing establishment is in no way reciprocating.


"Democratic and moderate Republican senators must be more involved in the confirmation process to ensure that the Justice Department ideologues do not have a free hand in shaping the federal judiciary for decades to come.”

Not every conservative is surprised that a GOP leader would cave in to Democrats so soon after prevailing in the election. Judicial Watch Chairman Larry Klayman told NewsMax.com during a TV interview Monday that Republicans have repeatedly given away the fruits of victory to their adversaries.

"This is so typical of Lott,” said Weyrich. Recalling his own years as a top aide to GOP leaders in Congress, he said he was not adverse to "making deals,” as long as it is understood that the "deal” is a two-way street.

"Lott makes a deal and doesn’t get anything for it,” he said.

For the time being, the Democrats remain in charge. Interim Sen. Dean Barkley, an independent appointed by independent Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura to fill the remaining weeks of the late Democrat Sen. Paul Wellstone's term, announced Monday he would caucus with neither party. But he does say he favors a Homeland Security Department. He will be succeeded in January by victorious Republican Norm Coleman, who defeated Walter Mondale.

Now the GOP's numerical control of the Senate in the lame-duck session, which in some years has lasted as late as Dec. 23, depends on Talent's swearing-in. Of course, if Lott's deal with Daschle holds, not much will change until the newly elected Congress convenes in January.

To quote Weyrich: "What Lott has done borders on the unethical.”

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As NewsMax.com has reported exclusively, Lott, R-Miss., made a pre-election deal with Senate plurality leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., that no matter how the Nov. 5 election turns out, the Democrats would remain in control of the committees. If Sen.-elect Jim Talent, R-Mo.,...
Monday, 11 November 2002 12:00 AM
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