Skip to comments.Who's responsible for the Senate's middle-of-the-night vote?
Posted on 12/21/2009 9:10:35 AM PST by Servant of the Cross
Why did the Senate gather at 1 a.m. Monday for a vote to move ahead on the Reid Amendment to the Democrats' national health care bill? Democrats blame Republicans. "Everyone knows we're here at one in the morning because of my friends on the other side of the aisle," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said moments before the vote. On CBS Sunday, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu said, "We don't have to vote in the middle of the night, but [Republican Sen. Tom Coburn] is the one making us do it -- not Harry Reid, not the Democrats. It is a Republican obstructionist that is making us vote in the middle of the night."
Coburn has no doubt slowed debate on the bill. But the fact is, there is no reason the Reid Amendment vote could not have been held at a more reasonable hour. One a.m. Monday was the earliest moment that Senate rules allowed a vote, but there is no rule keeping the Senate from voting at some time after 1 a.m. If Reid had scheduled the vote for, say, 11 a.m. Monday, that would have been fine. If he scheduled it for 4 p.m. Monday, or 10 a.m. Tuesday, that would have been fine, too.
But Reid is determined to pass the national health care bill by Christmas, and to do so he has to get the cloture vote on his amendment done at the earliest moment. The timeline is Reid's and Reid's alone. "The bottom line is, Sen. Reid schedules the floor," says one well-connected GOP aide. "He is the only one who can schedule the floor." If Reid had scheduled the vote during business hours on, say, Tuesday, a final vote would not have taken place until the day after Christmas -- an outcome Reid apparently found unacceptable.
This is how it works. Reid introduced his amendment Saturday morning. (It's the one that has the Sen. Ben Nelson Medicaid buy-off and other curious features.) Senate rules say there has to be an intervening day between the introduction of the amendment and a vote on limiting debate on the amendment. That intervening day was Sunday. That meant the cloture vote could be held Monday, or any time thereafter. The rules also say that the vote has to be held at least one hour after that next day has begun. So the Senate's Monday business began at 12:01 a.m., and the Reid Amendment vote could be held at 1:01 a.m. (As it happened, Reid himself spoke last, and his remarks went over the mark by six minutes.)
After the middle-of-the-night vote, there will be a maximum of 30 hours debate on the amendment. Then there will be a 30-hour period for a Republican substitute bill, followed by a 30-hour period on the final bill. Reid's schedule calls for a final, final vote on the health care measure to take place at about 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Voila! The bill will be passed by Christmas. That couldn't be done unless the Reid Amendment cloture vote were held in the earliest hours of Monday morning, setting off the final chain of votes and waiting periods. "This is purely to satisfy a self-imposed, arbitrary deadline," says the GOP aide.
By the way, when the 1 a.m. vote took place, the Reid Amendment had been public for about 36 hours, and the public had not had a single business day to examine it. "Make no mistake," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a few minutes before the vote. "If the people who wrote this bill were proud of it, they wouldn't be forcing this vote in the dead of night." Referring to the Nelson buy-off and other special arrangements in the bill, McConnell said few people would have imagined that the health care debate would have ended "with a couple of cheap deals and a rushed vote at one o'clock in the morning."
But that's what happened. In the end, to no one's surprise, the Reid Amendment moved ahead, 60-40, on a straight party-line vote. Democrats can blame Sen. Coburn and Republicans all they like, but the fact is, there is no reason, beyond the Christmas deadline, that the vote had to take place at 1 a.m.
They are both wrong as to the blame.
As it is with most things, “It’s Bush’s fault”...
The STUPID Voters...
Ok, so where is Coburn to refute this? He just going to let it stand?
Actually the vote should have been scheduled for 3:00 am, generally considered to be the ‘witching’ hour, when all the spooks, creepy-crawlies, evil spirits and demons start prowling around.
Oh wait, the ‘Rats and RINOs do that 24 hours a day anyway.
Evil is usually done in the darkness.
Of course! Why should ANY of the Republicans grow a spine now?
The GRAND prize winner ....
The DemocRAT party (not going to use the word Democratic, it doesn’t fit this bunch of fascists) has become the party of absolute evil, so I’d expect nothing less. If their lips are moving...well, you know the rest.
We are the laughingstock of the world...People the world over look at the fools we ourselves elect to run our country and they have to laugh...
We elect the weakest, dumbest, most self-centered among us, then we have the audacity to complain....
Hey Reid, go F yourself you POS. I have seen repulsive people in my life but you take the cake. I hope you burn in Hell Harry.
Please take us out of this nightmare with these pigs.
You’re full of it. You don’t know Tom Coburn, and all he has done to thwart this bill. Sheesh.
More democrat lies. Republicans don't have enough votes to stop anything. I'm so sick of the party of corruption being in power (not that the republicans were much better).
28:28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.
Gregg: Welcome to a New America [Robert Costa]
American government changed last night. We are now functioning under a parliamentary form of government, says Sen. Judd Gregg (R., N.H.) in a conversation with NRO. An ideological supermajority in Congress, along with a government run by community organizers, has taken over.
Theyve taken over the student-loan program, theyve taken over the automobile system, and now theyre taking over the health-care system. There is no limit to their belief that people should be controlled by smart bureaucrats in Washington, says Gregg. Theyre putting our country on a path that will reduce the quality of life for the next generation, undermine our nations wonderful exceptionalism, and Europeanize our economy to curb its growth.
Harry Reids health-care bill was purchased, says Gregg. Our system of checks and balances is gone. We now have a government that lurches with great speed even though our system is founded upon incremental change. And dont hope that the House stops the runaway train, he says. I think the House is ideologically even further to the Left than the Senate. There are many people there who are committed to taking us down the road toward nationalization.
In the future, discretionary dollars wont be able to be spent on college or a new house, but on this massive new burden for Americans, says Gregg. Eventually, at some point, the pressures on the private sector will tip the scales so that employers offering private insurance send people over to the health-care exchange. Its all part of their ultimate goal to get a vast amount of people subsidized by the government.
This is an unsustainable course for our nation, says Gregg. We cant sustain the debt were adding. Soon well reach banana-republic status.
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
don’t expect on dem to ever take the blame for anything...they are perfect walking in the footsteps of the messiah himself....
Revolution is near!!
A Christmas deadline is an arbitrary deadline with other legislative steps (reconciliation) to follow it.
The bill needs to die. If it doesn’t these socialist bastards have their name on it exclusively. NO Republicans voted in favor. NONE. It needs to stay that way.
This time that's true. The 2006 and 2008 elections were referendums on his performance. Elections have consequences and the midnight vote is one of them.
Harry Reid is a horse’s ass.
If Ted Kennedy had been there, it would have been then. The bars would've just closed.
Jim, I cannot believe that you would say a insult like that. The horse is offended.
Well, looks like it is taxation without representation. The Comuno-Nazis in Washington have shown their disdain and will not allow an election in 2010. You can bet on that.
What to do?
No more talk, as it is useless. No more demonstrations, as they have proven to be waste of time. No more web sites protesting the Congress, as they are the refuge of scoundrels.
It is time to follow the example of the Founders in Boston and at Concorde.
It is time to shed the shekels of tyranny.
True. Good point.
I’m so sorry. I hang my head in shame. I love horses.
Directly, the filthy animals that are in Congress.
Indirectly, the American voter for electing these filthy animals to Congress.
I’m more of a results-oriented person. Liberals are the ones who place value on intent without victory.
Nothing worse for politicians than angry, armed citizens that are out of work, just had most of what they have left confiscated, and have nothing better to do.
Truly, history does repeat itself, but only if those in power choose to ignore it.
lol...what, you mean all those on-line petitions I signed didn’t accomplish anything real?! What?!
They are like thieves in the night...
When there are plenty of REAL RINOs in congress, why pick on one of the few who actually works for the good of the country? By your standards, perhaps none of us should bother to speak out against the horror that is Obama, since obviously none of us are getting “results.” Including you.
Actually, Reid is more like what comes OUT of the horse’s arse. 100% horse manure.
Where is Scott Coleman when you need him? Time for Term Limits.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you accept welfare, or medicaid for more than one year, your forfeit your right to vote. At that point your vote is not about what’s best for the country but rather what’s best to help you continue to be a parasite on the hard-working tax PAYERS of this country.
Rats always come out at night.
That is so true.
The truth is, We The People are the only thing left that obama and his fellow travelers DO fear. The country is his for the taking and he knows it.
When governments prepare and strategize in direct opposition to the overwhelming majority of it's people, as the obama administration is doing, while KNOWING that government has enumerated, specific limits, it is glaring apparent they have become the RULERS of that people. That is where we are. They rule us, we know they rule us and they know we know they rule us, and the line is drawn in the sand.
The Constitution specifically that we are to throw off the shackles of an oppresive government and start over. The monolith has grown to have a life of it's own and will seek to preserve itself, even if people have to die. So what are we going to do? Probably nothing.
Sorry to be so pessimistic, but this is reality.
You're far too kind, Jim.
Satan and all of his willing followers.
To that wisdom I would add the dark rumination of Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor.
In the story, Jesus returned to Earth at the height of the Spanish Inquisition. Not long after He returned and started preaching his “heresies”, he was brought before the Grand Inquisitor. You have come to make people free, the Grand Inquisitor said, but people do not want to be free.
We Are Those People
I have abhorred the wars and despised the liars, laughed at the frightened
And forecast victory; never one moment’s doubt.
But now not far, over the backs of some crawling years, the next
Great war’s column of dust and fire writhes
Up the sides of the sky: it becomes clear that we too may suffer
What others have, the brutal horror of defeat
Or if not in the next, then in the nexttherefore watch Germany
And read the future. We wish, of course, that our women
Would die like biting rats in the cellars, our men like wolves on the mountain:
It will not be so. Our men will curse, cringe, obey;
Our women uncover themselves to the grinning victors for bits of chocolate.
I had been thinking it would get interesting once we find out what is in this actual bill which has been written behind closed doors. We don’t actually know what’s in it, do we?
Our rulers in washington recognize there is nothing that will motivate the american citizen to revolt. They can operate with impunity and do what ever they wish to enrich themselves and enslaves the subjects. The people have already demonstrated they are willing to bend over and take whatever comes without any limit