Skip to comments.Mitch McConnell: Democrats are ducking Senate rules (by ending the reading of a 767-page amendment)
Posted on 12/16/2009 4:14:17 PM PST by Libloather
Mitch McConnell: Democrats are ducking Senate rules
By MANU RAJU | 12/16/09 6:32 PM EST
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Democrats Wednesday of circumventing Senate rules by ending the reading of a 767-page amendment without permission from other members of the body.
Earlier Wednesday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) forced Senate clerks to read an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) that would have established a single-payer health care system. The reading paralyzed the Senate until the third hour, when Sanders withdrew the amendment. At that point, the Senate carried on with debating the health care bill, which Democrats are furiously trying to complete before Christmas.
But McConnell said that Democrats "somehow convinced the parliamentarian to break with the long-standing precedent and practice of the Senate" by withdrawing the amendment without asking for unanimous consent. Had Democrats asked for unanimous consent to withdraw the amendment, the GOP could have objected and stalled the Senate for the rest of the day.
McConnell took to the floor and read from the Senate rules, arguing that consent is required from all members to dispense with the reading of the amendment, a typically routine request.
"Its now clear the majority is willing to do anything to jam through a 2000-page bill before the American people or any of us has had a chance to read itincluding changing the rules in the middle of the game," McConnell said on the Senate floor.
Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said there is a 1992 precedent that provides that a senator has a right to withdraw an amendment during its reading.
"End of story," Manley said.
But McConnell said that the 1992 episode was a "mistake," and he cited another mistake: the infamous 1856 incident where Massachusetts Sen. Charles Sumner was caned by South Carolina Rep. Preston S. Brooks in the Senate chamber.
"If mistakes were the rule, the caning of senators would be in order," McConnell said with a grin. "Fortunately for all of us, it is not."
Manley said: "They are upset because they were thwarted in their latest stunt to derail health reform."
"The rules of the Senate are clear," Manley added. "Any senator can withdraw his amendment prior to the yeas and nays being requested. That is what happened in this case. Parliamentary Rules 101. Nothing biased or changed about that."
Sanders withdrew the amendment.
Doesn't THAT derail health reform?
Simple, start making them read EVERYTHING on the Floor, including the entire 2000 page bill.
Nope.....that was just an ammendment. Now.....if the Republicans do the same thing on a 1000 page health care bill......think they’ll withdraw that also? I doubt it but it will be fun to watch the Democrats get their shorts in a wad.
[The reading paralyzed the Senate until the third hour, when Sanders withdrew the amendment.]
Make them read the ENTIRE bill before the vote.
Maybe the ‘rats need a bill (that could be distributed and read before voting) supported by a majority to the voters in the US?
Don't be so hasty, Senator McConnell. I think some beatings are in order.
Rules? RULES? Since when do Dims have to abide by RULES?/s
Mrs. Prince of Space
Heard him say that on C-Span about 20 minutes ago. Yep, the grin was there.
You are too merciful.
“amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) “
Don’t let the I fool you, he’s a Socialist.
You'd think he'd realize by now that "Rules" are only to inconvenience Republicans and can be enforced or ignored.
So if the Rules of the Senate are not being followed, then who is responsible for enforcement? and what are the penalties?
the only problem with “caning” Congresscritters is that the ones most deserving of punishment will escape it </sarcasm>
I called both my GOP Senators, Isakson and Chambliss and demanded that they do that. DEMAND THEY READ EVERY AMENDMENT AND THE FINAL BILL IN ITS ENTIRETY.
BTW, Senate rules require THREE readings and I suggest they make them read the damned things all THREE times.
Standing Rules of the Senate
JOINT RESOLUTIONS, RESOLUTIONS, AND PREAMBLES THERETO
1. Whenever a bill or joint resolution shall be offered, its introduction shall, if objected to, be postponed for one day.
2. Every bill and joint resolution shall receive three readings previous to its passage which readings on demand of any Senator shall be on three different legislative days, and the Presiding Officer shall give notice at each reading whether it be the first, second, or third: Provided,That each reading may be by title only, unless the Senate in any case shall otherwise order.
Enforce the rules, pubbies.
And Senator Hussein voted to the left of the socialist.
Yes, but the important point is that Sen. Coburn and other Republicans are fighting back. They are the minority. They have very limited ability to stop or even delay this monstrosity, but some of them are fighting the good fight nonetheless.
The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.
The Senate is established by Constitutional authority.
The Constitution says that the Senate can establish its own rules.
Congress is the highest law-making body in the Republic.
When Congress ignores its own rules, it is breaking the highest laws in the country.
Congress has an authority to enforce its laws. It is called the Sergeant-At-Arms.
Why isn't somebody calling for the arrest of whomever caused this violation of Constitutional law? I say that coercing the Senate Parliamentarian to overlook the violation of its rules is a Constitutional Crisis.
Our government has become corrupt beyond repair. If they won't follow the rule of law if it gets in the way of their own personal interests, then why should I follow the laws they enact?
I’d be all for bringing back caning and dueling between senators. Might be an alternative to term limits.
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