My friend Tom Rothman explained how the practice of filling the amendment tree is a procedural move the majority leader routinely used to effectively kill bills or create a quasi-veto for President Obama. Hatch, noted for his statesmanship, was visibly upset when the tax cut bill died. That said, Reid may end up wishing he had let the measure get through the chamber. His party lost control of the Senate weeks later.
Now, the incoming GOP senate majority promises to take up the measure again which virtually ensures it of having a stronger right-wing tilt. This will be the way the government will work for President Obama’s remaining two years in office. Reid’s senate inaction allowed the president to enact his agenda using executive memos and orders. Now, the GOP will be sending him legislation which he will have to either sign or veto.