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Old 12-17-2009, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

Quote:
Senate debate stalls as GOP forces reading

As Democrats neared completion on a health care reform bill, Senate Republicans launched an offensive Wednesday to stall the debate, signaling their intent to use every procedural tool necessary to prevent passage before Christmas.

Senate Republicans forced the Senate clerk to read a 767-page amendment establishing a government-financed health care system, sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – but Sanders cut off the reading in the third hour by withdrawing his bill.

“We want to do what can to defeat the bill,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership. "We are going to do everything we can in terms of the rights we have to stop the bill from passing."

Sanders criticized Republicans for “trying to bring the United States government to a halt."

The GOP move appeared to be the opening shot in a Republican attempt to delay the bill past Christmas. And while Democrats were able to halt the reading by pulling Sanders’ amendment, they won’t be to do the same when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) presents an amendment containing a compromise he hopes will win 60 votes.

Sanders offered the amendment and asked to dispense with the reading of it, which is almost always agreed to by unanimous consent. But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) objected - it takes only one senator - forcing the reading.

Sanders called it a "bit absurd" that Coburn was objecting. And Coburn insisted he wasn't intentionally stalling the bill. "We're going to understand what single payer is all about and read the bill," he said.

Coburn’s move would have prevented senators from offering, debating or voting on any other amendments. While it might seem like the reading would set back efforts to finish the bill by Christmas, the timetable doesn't really depend on what happens on the floor.

It depends entirely on Reid's ability to reach a compromise on the bill that can pick up 60 votes to thwart any filibuster.

Before forcing the reading, Coburn asked to certify that every senator has read and understands the bill. But Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said it would be impossible for the Senate to certify that all its members understand the bill.

Sanders called it a "a stalling tactic on the part of Republicans."

"Sen. Coburn is so impressed by the Medicare-for-all, single-payer program that he apparently feels all the people of our country have to hear every single word for the next many, many hours about how the single payer program would be the only way to bring universal, comprehensive, cost-effective health care to all Americans," he said. " I really do appreciate his desire to make Americans know this. I think he may have overdone it a bit."

Reid has a tight timeline if he hopes to pass the bill by Christmas.

Under the rosiest scenario, he needs to begin taking the procedural steps by Friday to end the debate – and it would still take until Dec. 23 or 24 until the bill reaches final passage. This scenario depends on whether Reid receives a cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office within the next day, which is not guaranteed. Undecided senators have said they need to review the analysis before committing their vote.

But as Wednesday’s event signified, Republicans do not intend to cooperate. They can also force a reading of the “manager’s amendment,” which will include the compromise that Reid struck in order to win 60 votes. It is likely to be a lengthy document, as well.

Thune would not say whether Republicans planned to force more readings.

“I do think we are aware of what those opportunities and options are for us,” he said. “And the goal here is to defeat this thing.”

Reid told reporters that the forced reading of the bill is having a side effect: it is slowing down the Senate’s efforts to get to a Pentagon spending bill. He said that Sanders was prepared to take a voice vote on the amendment, and also insisted that the bill would get out of the Senate this year.

“We’re going to finish this bill before we leave here, and everybody knows that, Democrats know it. I think the Republicans are beginning to realize I,” Reid said. “It’s just too bad that they are using these types of things, but I accept it, I’m not complaining, I just think it shows the American people how they’ve been stalling for all these months – now they’re holding up the defense bill as we’re waiting to get that from the House.”

-- Carrie Budoff Brown, Chris Frates and Manu Raju
http://www.politico.com/livepulse/12...t_reading.html

I say they should sit down a read the whole effing thing to the American public before they pass this shit pile of a bill.
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

Even the people who hate the Republicans and everything they stand for need to take a moment and realize that the GOP is the LAST things standing between us and a HORRIBLE healthcare bill which will cause further damage, and will either cost trillions over it's lifetime, or need to be completely reworked in a few years.

This was a bad bill to start with, and as the Dems dumped stuff over the side to make it more palatable, they actually made it WORSE over time...
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Old 12-17-2009, 11:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

I find it offensive that the Senate is pissed that someone would want them to understand a bill before they voted on it.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

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I find it offensive that the Senate is pissed that someone would want them to understand a bill before they voted on it.
THIS!!!

If they're going to be passing laws, they need to understand what the law is that they're passing as well as the short-term/long-term ramifications it could have. That's what they get their exhorbitant salary for.
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

As I have said before-
The arrogance of these fkkers just appalls me. They have forgotten that they actually work for us---we the people. To believe that a bill should be passed without everyone reading it is just unbelievable. These people allegedly represent the citizens of the country (who put them into office). That's what a REPUBLIC is all about. Someone seriously needs to remind them of that fact (which means they need to be voted out of office). This, likely, won't happen because (and I'm sad to say) the vast majority of citizens are like lemmings---they don't bother to learn about the issues and who is voting for what. They just follow everyone else over the cliff...
Sad
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

Why read it??? Im sure the special interests groups will be fair to us Americans and our wallets.
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

Quote:
As Democrats neared completion on a health care reform bill, Senate Republicans launched an offensive Wednesday to stall the debate, signaling their intent to use every procedural tool necessary to prevent passage before Christmas.

Senate Republicans forced the Senate clerk to read a 767-page amendment establishing a government-financed health care system, sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – but Sanders cut off the reading in the third hour by withdrawing his bill.

“We want to do what can to defeat the bill,” said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), a member of the Senate Republican leadership. "We are going to do everything we can in terms of the rights we have to stop the bill from passing."

OK, I am a moderator in my association, which means that we run by the same rules of Order they run by, and have to, since we are a not for profit corporation, and our annual meetings are actually the equivalent of share-holder meetings.

The fact of the matter is, the amendment HAS TO BE READ. It is only by mutual agreement that it is not. For an Amendment to be dropped on to a bill.... means the amendement has to be offered, then seconded, then voted on.

The amendment CAN NOT BE PULLED OFF THE TABLE. except by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, The senate did not have unanimous consent to pull the bill off the table, and thus, the ENTIRE DEBATE IS NOW OUT OF ORDER.

The fact that senate rules on the ORDER is being violated is absolutely horrid. When the Dems were holding up nominations, the GOP KEPT to the rules... not even the Letter of the law, but the SPIRIT of the law.

This is the closest thing I have seen in my lifetime to a banana republic, because it actually affects THE WAY LAWS COMES INTO EXISTENCE.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

You expect them to follow the rules when they can't follow the Constitution.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

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Originally Posted by Indo View Post
The arrogance of these fkkers just appalls me. They have forgotten that they actually work for us---we the people. To believe that a bill should be passed without everyone reading it is just unbelievable. These people allegedly represent the citizens of the country (who put them into office).
and i agree...

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Old 12-17-2009, 09:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Forced Reading of a 767-page Amendment

If I was a Senator I believe I would actually want to understand and be sure about what I was voteing for..arrogance is totally the right word. Heaven forbid anyone asking Senators to comprehend a bill. Goes for both sides of the aisle.
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