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Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation?

Last night I was wondering what was holding up Scott Brown's swearing in. I did a few searches and couldn't find much information about the delay except that he's expected to be sworn in on February 11th. Didn't we keep hearing that it would take around 10 days to certify an election? Ten days is today, so what's the hold up?

It is ridiculous to begin that Brown has not yet been sworn in but it's even worse that Paul Kirk is still voting on legislation, which he should not be doing, as SusanAnne Hiller correctly points out:

The Senate has voted on three pieces of legislation today that required 60 votes-to raise the debt ceiling to $14.3 trillion, to reduce the deficit by establishing five-year discretionary spending caps, and Ben Bernanke's confirmation-all of which interim Senator Paul Kirk (D-MA) has voted on. In addition, there have been other Senate votes since Scott Brown was elected as Massachusetts senator that Kirk cast a vote. The main question here is: why is former Senator Kirk still voting on these legislative pieces? According to Senate rules and precedent, Kirk's term expired last Tuesday upon the election of Scott Brown. Furthermore, Massachusetts law can be interpreted, according to GOP lawyers, as:
Based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys said Kirk will no longer be a senator after election day, period. Brown meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements in the Constitution to qualify for the Senate. "Qualification" does not require state "certification," the lawyers said.

The Republican leadership is absent in all this. Why? This is a flagrant violation of Senate rules, yet they say nothing. Meanwhile Kirk votes on legislation that has wide ranging impact on the American taxpayers.


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Comments (51)

Kirk is still in the Senate... (Below threshold)

Kirk is still in the Senate because the law and the Constitution are mere obstacles to these Democrats, to be circumvented or ignored outright -- or bashed into submission at the STFU speech -- when they don't yield the desired result.

There's a seven-letter word beginning with F that describes the eventual outcome of what today's Democrat-dominated government is creating, and it isn't "freedom."

I suspect that Brown, being... (Below threshold)
Edward Sisson Author Profile Page:

I suspect that Brown, being a liberal Republican, would be voting the same way Kirk is on most of these votes, and the Republican leadership would rather not have Brown compile such a voting record so soon -- it would step on the current message that the Brown election was a repudiation of Obama, if Brown was on-record voting with the Democrats on so many issues.

"republican leadership" -->... (Below threshold)

"republican leadership" --> oxymoron

The GOP has long since been... (Below threshold)

The GOP has long since been gelded.

I suspect that ... (Below threshold)
I suspect that Brown, being a liberal Republican, would be voting the same way Kirk is on most of these votes
So how did Olympia Snowe and Joan -- er, Judy -- er, Susan Collins vote on them?
No comments about Steve Gre... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

No comments about Steve Green? This can't be Wizbang!

Scott Brown SHOULD vote to ... (Below threshold)

Scott Brown SHOULD vote to represent his constituency...and they (the ENTIRE State) are Center-Left. So I do not expect him to vote the way a Republican from Alabama would vote.

But he SHOULD be allowed to vote...dammit!

Harry Reid will have Brown sworn in as soon as there is sufficient pressure to do so! And not a moment before. Rules & laws mean nothing to the Dems.

they revised Massachusetts law when they thought Kerry's seat might be vacant...revised it again when Kennedy's seat DID become vacant...and are now ignoring MA law and Senate rules to keep Kirk voting.

The Beatles said it perfectly: "You say you want a revolution..."
Keep it up, Dems, you'll get one.

Typical of the limp wrist o... (Below threshold)

Typical of the limp wrist of "Mitchie the Kentucky Kid" to allow this thuggery to continue. Not one word on any of the networks about the illegality of Kirks vote. That we expect. But nothing from ANY of the senate republicans??!! I guess it's easier to sell out your country than face a nasty article in the NY TIMES!

Quote of the Day:"... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

Quote of the Day:

"Tell me again why we're celebrating the election of a pro-choice RINO?"
~Jim Robinson, founder of freerepublic

"Why is Paul Kirk Still ... (Below threshold)

"Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation?"

Because whomever voted Him in is as stuck on stupid as He is!

no, Adrian, it's not.... (Below threshold)

no, Adrian, it's not.

I have no problem with Representatives actually REPRESENTING their constituents.

It's when people like Blanche Lincoln, Benedict Nelson and Bubbles Landrieu COMPLETELY IGNORE their constituents that I have a problem.

Kirk's voting is just anoth... (Below threshold)

Kirk's voting is just another example of RULES that apply to Republicans and rules that apply to Democrats. It's all in the 'nuance'.

Interesting question though. WHY hasn't the Republican leadership said something?

Tick tock, tick tock. 9 mor... (Below threshold)

Tick tock, tick tock. 9 more months and then the fun begins. Bye bye liberals and all your cheating ways. ww

It just means that the war ... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

It just means that the war is far from over.

The election of Brown wasn't the end or even the beginning. It was perhaps the end of the beginning...to paraphrase Churchill.

914Nobody voted Kirk... (Below threshold)

Nobody voted Kirk in. He was appointed by the Governor.

Dems will drag their feet until they get called on it. GOP leadership is gutless so that leaves Fox News and bloggers. MSM will drag their feet and cover up for the Dems until they are pressure into covering it as well.

"Why is Paul Kirk Still ... (Below threshold)

"Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation"

Because it was stated in Teddy's last will and testament that in the event He drives off a bridge while drunk and kills a young Woman, that 46 years later, His vote would be cast in defense of all Young Women as long as the offender was not a Kennedy!

How does anyone know that t... (Below threshold)

How does anyone know that the GOP hasn't protested ?

Or are we all guessing that they are stuck on stupid ??? cause that makes us the smart ones, Right ???

We are a bunch of keyboard cowboys with big hats and big boots but no cattle ...

"914Nobody voted ... (Below threshold)

Nobody voted Kirk in. He was appointed by the Governor."

Ok, I stand corrected.. So they just bypassed the voters as a mere non impediment.. Move along, nothing new here. Is He a liberal?

By the way, I think My math was a little off on Teddy murdering a Young Woman? I think he grieved for Her and fought in the senate tirelessly ( no pun intended )for Her, til death do us part about 40 years ago..

Maybe Michael Steele is too... (Below threshold)

Maybe Michael Steele is too busy running his book tour. Every time we get a win (read: Brown) we frak it up by remaining silent about nonsense like the Kirk situation.

Well, if you're actually in... (Below threshold)
Tsar Nicholas II:

Well, if you're actually incredulous about this sort of thing then you haven't been paying attention to machine Democrat politics for the last, oh, 150 years. Tammany Hall. "Landslide" Lyndon Johnson. The 1960 election. Mary Landrieu in '96. Torricelli in '02. Gregoire in '04. Etc., etc., etc.

As for blaming the Republican leadership, that's both facile and asinine. It's like blaming the cop for not quickly enough catching the criminal.

I sent messages to both my ... (Below threshold)

I sent messages to both my senators (Cornyn and Hutchisen) asking them to start pounding the table to get Kirk out. And I referenced the 1939 senate rule that states very clearly that Kirk is no longer a senator. Please do the same with your senators, R or D, and if D, let them know that the precedence may carry on when the R's are in charge again. Sauce for the goose, and all that.

If a COP just stands there ... (Below threshold)

If a COP just stands there and watches as a crime is committed then yes he is to blame for just standing there.

The Rep leadership is not responsible for the Dems actions but they are to blame for just standing there and doing nothing. Not even bringing attention to it.

"Why is Paul Kirk Still ... (Below threshold)

"Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation?"

Why is Obama still President?

This reinforces my platform... (Below threshold)

This reinforces my platform for the 2010 mid-term elections:


But he SHOULD b... (Below threshold)
But he SHOULD be allowed to vote...dammit!
My first thought was that K... (Below threshold)

My first thought was that Kirk's vote didn't matter for the questions at hand so it wasn't worth fighting over. But I just chedked the roll call on senate.gov and the debt ceiling measure passed 60-39 with 3/5 majority required. So Kirk was the deciding vote.

The charitable explanation (to the Rep. leadership) is that they didn't think this was a vote worth fighting over. There's some justification to that since refusing to raise the debt ceiling might essentially result in a government shutdown and the last time that was tried it blew up in their faces.

There's some ju... (Below threshold)
There's some justification to that since refusing to raise the debt ceiling might essentially result in a government shutdown and the last time that was tried it blew up in their faces.
The reason it blew up in their faces was, the shutdown as an issue was engineered by Clinton and Big Labor -- and at the time the Republicans were in the majority in both Houses of Congress for the first time since the invention of the wheel.

So of course 15 years later the congressional Republicans show, once again, that they learn the wrong lessons from their mistakes.

hmmmmmm.. Kirk has 2 of the... (Below threshold)

hmmmmmm.. Kirk has 2 of the 3 tree K's necessary to become a senatorial democrat, so thing's are looking up for him..

Paul Kirk is still voting..... (Below threshold)
Sir Toby Belch:

Paul Kirk is still voting..........
because he CAN! Laws about seating him
are whatever the DEMs choose to make of them.
Ditto: house and senate. Ditto: Whitehouse.

"Why is Paul Kirk Still ... (Below threshold)

"Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation?"

Maybe He's padding His resume for ACORN?

"Why is Paul Kirk Still Vot... (Below threshold)

"Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation?"

Warp speed now scotty!

No surprise in my eyes, thi... (Below threshold)

No surprise in my eyes, this is just a replay on the NY23 election. That dem winner was allowed to vote on health care bill but wasn't certified by his states secretary of state yet.

Maybe kirk is related to sp... (Below threshold)

Maybe kirk is related to spock and spock is obviously a lib.. So it follows logically that VULCANS get to vote twice for every vote Uhura forgot to count??

Unless spock currently resi... (Below threshold)

Unless spock currently resides in Taxa-chewsets, Manytaxota or D iabolical C riminal ville! Than He will have to spawn a new reason to tax us like, When and if ( hee hee ) You give someone a ride home from the bar and Your drunker than they are, Thats $1789.94 right there! See all the cash Barry is passing up? Heh, I HOPE IT DONT GET 25 BELOW AGAIN TONIGHT! It's a cold mile and a half

«Why is Paul Kirk ... (Below threshold)


Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation?

At least He votes present! And means [email protected]

Remember the months that fo... (Below threshold)
Steve Green:

Remember the months that followed Al Franken's election - and the delay after roadblock after delay thrown up by the GOP?

Payback's a bitch, ain't it?

Dear Moron,Franken... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

Dear Moron,

Franken's seating was delayed because a) the election results were disputed, and b) SEIU/ACORN and the CPUSA needed time to fabricate fraudulent votes for his worthless ass.

Brown's election was clear and undisputed, not even by your fellow morons.

So with that small but ever so significant distinction, there is no reason whatever not to afford the voters of MA with their Constitutionally-protected representation.

Steve Green,Have y... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Steve Green,

Have you answered Shawn's question yet?

I didn't think so.

"Remember the months that f... (Below threshold)

"Remember the months that followed Al Franken's election - and the delay after roadblock after delay thrown up by the GOP?

Payback's a bitch, ain't it?"

Amazing that a assclown like little stevie would come back day after day demonstrating his worthlessness. Into S&M are we stevie?

This issue is not that Scot... (Below threshold)

This issue is not that Scott Brown should be voting: He probably shouldn't be until his election is certified. It is why is Kirk still voting, when he was no longer Senator the instant the election was held.

In essence, there are only two legitimate states in the Senate: One where Massachusetts has a single Senator (John Kerry), or two Senators (John Kerry and Scott Brown).

The Franken thing doesn't enter into it, because when that whole thing was going on, Minnesota only had a single functioning Senator in Washington. Thus, this issue was not at issue at the time.

s green ""Remember the... (Below threshold)

s green ""Remember the months that followed Al Franken's election - and the delay after roadblock after delay thrown up by the GOP?"

In fact I do and as part of that memory I recall thousands of votes were, and are still questionable.

But hey you wanna play wayback machine, lets recall one of your fellow travelers who decided rather than concede an election [and STAY conceded] attempted to steal the election by demanding a recount.

A recount that only included the strongest dem counties in the state of FLA.

Remember that asshole?

Remember the old Toricelli-... (Below threshold)
Sir Toby Belch:

Remember the old Toricelli-to-Lautenburg
switcheroo in NJ a few years ago. Blatantly
illegal......unless you're the Dems, and can
find the right Dem judge to rule in the Dem's
favor. A Dem judge is the proverbial "ace in
the hole"...remember FLA in 2000. It took the
SCOTUS to finally stomp the Dem power grab.
The [email protected]^rds ALMOST pulled it off.

Two things need to happen:<... (Below threshold)

Two things need to happen:

1. The Massachusetts Secretary of State is William Francis Galvin. He has not certified the election, and he doesn't intend to for several weeks. What needs to happen? Well, the people of Massachusetts need to stand up for their right to vote, or disgusting Democratic Party hacks will take it away.

For starters, they need to call his office at (617) 727-7030. And keep calling every hour of every day.

Secondly, the local talk radio guys need to decide on a day for everyone to show up on Beacon Hill to complain - preferably when the state house or senate is in session. His office is McCormack Building; One Ashburton Place. A few thousand angry people filling the halls should get their attention.

2. The GOP leadership needs to file suit - immediately - to have Paul Kirk stripped of his credentials and removed from the Senate. They need to raise hell. And while we wait, they should filibuster the Senate. For real. Read the Constitution, the rules of the Senate, and then start reading the US Code. I don't stop until this mess is clearer up.

I urge everyone to call their Senators - even if they are scum-sucking Democrats - and ask to have this unelected hack removed.

This is one of the reasons I'm not a Democrat any more: the party abandoned the rule of law and stopped respecting the rights of citizens in their insane lust for power. They should be sued for false advertising: they are an undemocratic organization.

Hope and change: turning the US into a banana republic.

KeithK had it right the fir... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

KeithK had it right the first time: the reason the GOP isn't suing to keep Kirk from voting is that his votes don't matter. Nothing he is voting for would have failed without his vote.

It's true the debt ceiling only passed 60-39 with his vote, but if Kirk hadn't been there a Republican would have had to vote for it. We can't not raise the ceiling just because we disagree with the policy. It would precipitate a crisis and a partial government shutdown. Obama would shut down the parts most likely to tick people off and Republicans would get blamed for "shutting down the government" just like in 1995. It would screw up what is looking to be a great year for us, and would be an insane tactic.

This is why Kirk is being allowed to cast that vote.

The only thing insane about... (Below threshold)

The only thing insane about shutting down a federal government that was already too big thirty years ago and has only gotten bigger since, is that it only happened once in all that time.

Seriously -- when the 1995 ... (Below threshold)

Seriously -- when the 1995 "shutdown" happened, who here would have noticed if it hadn't been in all the papers?

Not me, and my wife works for the federal government.

You can bet that if someone... (Below threshold)

You can bet that if someone was preventing Al Franken from doing his job, the dems would do something about it.

Pay attention people. The p... (Below threshold)
John S:

Pay attention people. The primary goal is to gain control of Congress. All three of these party line votes are issues that the Republicans can use to bludgeon the Democrats this fall. They see no reason to raise a stink over these votes. On the other hand, if the Dems use Kirk to pass a healthcare bill, then they can sue all the way to the Supreme Court.

RE: "On the other hand, if ... (Below threshold)

RE: "On the other hand, if the Dems use Kirk to pass a healthcare bill, then they can sue all the way to the Supreme Court."

If the Democrats pass health care, they will do it in pieces, and the public will barely notice what is going on until it is too late. The damage will have been done, and suing on those grounds may not even be possible.

To stop the damage, it is best to attack this at once: kill the thing in the nest before it grows.

There are other tactical reasons to jump on this issue:
1. The Democrats took a big hit in the summer and fall because many Democrats disrespected the electorate in the townhalls. The GOP needs to show that this is another example of Democrats disrespect for voters.
2. This is another example of Democratic party corruption: a democratic party political machine doing what it does best: breaking the law, undermining the democratic process, and taking away people's right to choose. How's that for a talking point? The GOP defending the voters against the Democrats undermining their right to choose.
3. The GOP needs to stand up for basic principles, and among those principles are the right to vote, the right to fair elections, and the right of free people in our republic to choose their representatives.

And the GOP should hit the Democrats at every turn with this quote by Martin Luther King:

A right delayed is a right denied.

"Why is Paul Kirk Still ... (Below threshold)

"Why is Paul Kirk Still Voting on Legislation?"

From a king to a queen, the liberal mind is so obscene....

Feeding the dems rope is al... (Below threshold)

Feeding the dems rope is all, feeding them all the rope they need to hang themselves. Let them try cramming down the healthcare mandation and takeover bill now and see what happens. Waterloo.






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