Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coburn Pulls The Trigger

And forces the reading of a 767 page amendment no one expected to pass anyway. It took 17 minutes just to read the 6-page table of contents. I checked out the CSPAN feed, and, yes, some poor sap is reading this monster out loud.

Michelle Malkin notes that the bill is filibustering itself:

If you have cable TV, tune in to C-SPAN now. Or watch live here.

This is transparency in action.

The Senate’s chief socialist, Bernie Sanders, offered a single-payer health care amendment. It would open Medicare to all regardless of age, income, etc., and would be paid through higher income taxes. The normal procedure on the Senate floor would have been to dispense with the reading of the amendment. But “to alert taxpayers to this latest Washington scheme to take away your health care decisions,” Senator Coburn’s office writes, Sen. Coburn demanded that the full text of the 767 page Sanders amendment be read by the Senate clerk.

It’s being read now.

The clerk just read a droning bureaucratic section on government oversight of hearing aid tests and another on “dietary management” services.

(Fun fact: It took 17 minutes to read the 6 page table of contents.)

Big Nanny dreams and schemes laid bare.


10:55am Eastern. The clerk is now reading a section involving dental services, with specific details about “molars” and “posterior teeth.”

Ed Morrissey notes the strategy:

What does this do? It makes a hash out of Harry Reid’s plan to move the bill through the Senate by Christmas. Twelve hours of floor time for just a single amendment means that no other business can be conducted until at least Friday. Coburn apparently launched this effort in response to an attempt by Reid to shove the bill to a cloture vote without giving everyone enough time to read the bill or peruse the CBO analysis, due this week.

It’s a reminder that even with a supermajority, Reid needs to work with the minority to keep momentum. He can’t pull a Nancy Pelosi jamdown in the upper chamber, and any further attempts will mean weeks of bill reading as the legislation effectively filibusters itself.

It’s on.

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