Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 20, 2014

Reid, Durbin Accuse GOP of Putting Koch Brothers Ahead of Ukrainians

Senate Democratic leaders lit into Republicans Thursday over reports of an effort to tie aid to Ukraine to a move to block the IRS from clamping down on the political activities of tax-exempt groups.

“If you submitted that plot line that we can’t protect Americans and our friends overseas unless we protect the Koch brothers to ‘House of Cards,’ they’d reject it as a script incredible,” Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said. “No one would take that position.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been hammering Charles and David Koch and the conservative 501(c)(4) group Americans for Prosperity recently.

Earlier this week, Senate Foreign Relations ranking member Bob Corker, R-Tenn., made public a push by some in the GOP to insist on blocking the IRS from imposing new restrictions on the political activities of groups such as Americans for Prosperity claiming the not-for-profit tax status as part of a deal to adopt a package of International Monetary Fund proposals that date to 2010.

“This came up in the omnibus, so it’s been around for a while,” Reid said at a news conference Thursday. “I was glad to see the Republicans finally come out publicly and say this is what they want. This is hard for me to comprehend, how in clear conscience they could say, ‘Ukrainians, we probably can’t help you because we’re trying to protect the Koch brothers.’

“Not only that, they’re saying to the American people that protecting the Koch brothers is more important than protecting our country. The Ukrainian issue is important,” Reid added.

As for the underlying IMF funding issue, Senate Democrats and House Republicans disagree on the connection to events on the ground in Ukraine.

Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday the two are not really linked.

“Let’s make sure we all understand something: The IMF money has nothing to do with Ukraine. I understand the administration wants the IMF money, but it has nothing at all to do with Ukraine,” Boehner said. “The Senate should pass this bill and send it to the president’s desk before leaving for the district work period.”

Reid rejected both Boehner’s suggestion to pass the House bill and the argument about the Ukrainian connection. ”I’ll tell you this: I stand against the House bill,” Reid said. “Can you imagine to let Russia go unsanctioned?”

“I can’t imagine the gymnastics my friend the speaker would use to say that IMF has nothing to do with Ukraine,” Reid said, insisting it is “vitally important.”

  • Palindrome

    November can not come fast enough. The dems will be out of power for a generation after this election.

    • Michael Andereron

      So, you DO believe that political groups – left and right – should be exempt from taxes? While YOU pay for them?

      And you believe that aid to the Ukraine (yes, through the IMF) should be held hostage to making sure that political groups get tax benefits and the right to hide their identities?

      How is that a conservative idea? You are being suckered by the evil side of the GOP.

      • Palindrome

        Happens all the time ahole. The dems are holding the unemployment benifits package hostage as I type,

      • ggm281

        I think ANY group which engages in political activity should lose tax exempt status. That goes for all the unions (which donated over a billion dollars last election cycle), Planned Parenthood’s political action wing, LaRaza, Maldef, as well as all the various industry groups. It would not violate any groups’ rights to speech, only their right to have a tax exemption.
        And to pretend that these tradeoffs are somehow only done by “evil” GOP congresspeople is simply ridiculous. And I also don’t think we should have a nearly trillion dollar deficit, and be handing out 10′s of billions to other countries.

        • Jason

          Reagan said deficits don’t matter.

    • Sean R

      lol as if. In 2016 Millenials will make up 24% of the electorate. Guess who they vote for?

      • Palindrome

        The vote is a sacred right. I vote my conscience I expect them to do the same.

        • Sean R

          If we’re voting by conscience then they’ll never vote Republican.

          • Palindrome

            Develop a marketing strategy that confronts their conscience and moves it in the direction of republican values and you may win the day

    • Jason

      Someone who’s named PALINDROME clearly is a person I should listen to for unbiased political knowledge.

      • Palindrome

        how every wise of you.

  • iamsaved2

    Yada yada yada. Typical continuation of the lame Dem talking points. They’re like trained parrots speaking the same phrases. It’s almost uncanny how they all start sqwawking at the same time as if on cue.

    • Jason

      It’s called staying on message and is a common political tactic in American politics.

  • cpontherock

    at least we see the real Republican mantra. Squash Democracy.. When Putin takes over Russia, the GOP will squawk OBAMA did it.. ha, what patriots.

  • jhforsythe

    What idiots! The dems are really stretching their little pea brains. These fools should retire before they die on the floor demonstrating how stupid they are.

  • twinsfan1100

    Richard Durbin is the biggest hypocrite in the US Senate.

    Durbin and the rest of the Democratic Party are putting the interests of Bill Gates ahead of the interests of US workers.

  • Softie

    Over the long term, all forms of collectivism depend upon plunder and require certain people to decide who gets what, when, and how.

  • Hitched

    While the usefulness of goods, services, and resources tends to be self-evident, the merit of one’s efforts requires subjective evaluation.

  • The Crying Tangerine

    Just deport the Koch brother back to Russia where their commie daddie made all their money. Problem solved!

  • FedUpInNJ

    The problem Durbin and Reid are having with the Koch Bros is a personal problem for them and there is no room for it on the Senate floor, they were sent as representatives of the PEOPLE, not representatives of their PARTY. Reid and Durbin are whining liars.

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