The Republican National Committee says that the Senate Democrats’ all-nighter on the Senate floor Monday evening until 9 AM Tuesday was not about principle. The RNC claims Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) and the Senate Democrats rented out the Senate floor to the environmental cause of one of their biggest left-wing billionaire donors.
RNC spokesman Raffi Williams points to how liberal billionaire Tom Steyer–a major Democratic Party donor–supports environmental causes.
“If you thought living in the Ritz-Carlton was expensive, it’s peanuts compared to the $100 million contribution from California billionaire Tom Steyer which is the going rate to rent Harry Reid’s Senate,” Williams said in a Tuesday statement. “Last night’s talk-a-thon was nothing more than payback for Steyer’s donations to the Democrat Party. Either Mr. Reid or the Democrat Party needs to reimburse taxpayers for their campaign stunt.”
According to a February New York Times article, Steyer is planning to spend up to $100 million to help Democrats in the 2014 elections. “Our feeling on 2014 is, we want to do things that are both substantively important and will have legs after that,” Steyer told the Times. The Times piece notes that Steyer’s major focus is on climate issues.
In a Monday afternoon article, the Washington Post‘s Ed O’Keefe backed up the premise of the RNC’s charges by writing about the climate change all-nighter: “There is another more political reason for the decision by Senate Democrats to devote their time to the issue right now. And that issue is campaign cash.”
O’Keefe noted that environmentalists donated $20 million to Democratic-aligned campaign groups in 2012. O’Keefe also cited Steyer’s stepped-up influence in the campaign cash game.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has already criticized the Democrats for this, saying that instead of focusing on this environmentalist issue, they should be focused on helping struggling American workers in the Obama administration’s still-lagging economy.
“I wish there would be an all-nighter for the men and women of Florida who are struggling to find a job,” Rubio said on local TV in Florida on Tuesday morning. “I wish there would be an all-nighter for the people who have lost their health insurance because of Obamacare. I wish there would be an all-nighter for people whose businesses may close because of the economy isn’t getting better. And I wish there would be an all-nighter for students who went to college and now a bunch of money in loans, but can’t find a job in this stagnant economy,” he said.