- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, said the U.S. Senate has effectively become a one-man dictatorship being used by Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, as a “political weapon.”

Mr. Johnson countered a viewer’s question about Republicans’ use of the filibuster on C-SPAN Tuesday morning by saying Mr. Reid hasn’t allowed enough votes on Republican amendments to legislation.

“This is all political — that’s the problem,” he said. “Harry Reid is not running the Senate to actually pass bipartisan bills. He’s using the Senate, as [basically] a political weapon. It’s all about politics.”

Mr. Johnson pointed to a scheduled procedural vote on a proposal to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 an hour as an example. Mr. Reid’s 55-member Democratic caucus isn’t exactly united on the issue, meaning the proposal would have to gain at least a handful of Republicans to achieve 60 votes and head off a potential filibuster. Even if the proposal somehow made it through the Senate, it’s unlikely to be approved by the GOP-controlled House.

“These are just, again, very political votes — it’s not going to solve the problem; you’re not going to increase people’s wages,” Mr. Johnson said on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal.” “If anything you’re going to reduce the number of jobs available for those entry-level positions.”

As the Senate returned from its Easter break Monday, Mr. Reid derided the GOP’s focus on him ahead of the 2014 midterms.

“In Senate races across the country, Republicans will avoid the issues that matter most to Americans, trying instead to focus attention on a senator who is not up for re-election — me,” Mr. Reid said. “[T]he Republicans in Congress yawn at the idea of giving the American middle class a fair shot at financial stability, instead choosing to distract the American people by attacking me.”

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