Blowup between Reid and Snowe threatens to kill small business bill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to pull a small business bill off the Senate floor Thursday evening after a blowup with Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

Snowe angered Reid when she attempted to secure a vote on an amendment that would restrict the federal government’s ability to impose regulations by mandating economic studies on the impact of those regulations.....Snowe tried to add the Small Business Regulatory Freedom Act to the list of the amendments the Senate will consider in relation to small business legislation.

Reid said the maneuver threatened to bring down the entire bill, which has sat on the Senate floor since March 14.....Tempers flared as Reid and Snowe argued back and forth over the amendment.

“My friend from Maine’s legislation is not relevant or germane to this legislation,” said Reid, who was visibly irritated. “What is going to happen if she objects to the consent which I have offered, this bill will not go forward, and that is too bad."

Reid said he was “terribly disappointed” that Snowe “is going to cause this legislation to fail,” something he noted was all the more galling because as the ranking member of the Senate Small Business Committee, Snowe should recognize the importance of the underlying small business legislation.