I’ve been wondering why the only opposition to Obamacare has seemed to come from the Blue Dog Democrats, with Republicans appearing silent. Sure, none of them in the Senate are voting for it, but they haven’t been doing anything to fight it either… This is basically the equivalent of Obama’s famous “present” votes. Well, one Republican finally grew a pair and decided to be an obstructionist, at least for a dozen hours or so.
Senator Tom Coburn, MD (R-OK) has just demanded that the Senate clerk read the single-payer amendment offered by Senator Bernie Sanders – and it’s 767 pages. Typically, Senators offering amendments will ask for unanimous consent to avoid reading the entire measure, but all it takes is one Senator to object to demand its reading, and Coburn objected to Sanders attempt to dispense with the reading of the amendment. To give you a sense of how this could delay things, it took the Senate clerk 18 minutes to get through the first 6 pages of the amendment, which were the table of contents. … The body of the bill seems to be going faster than the table of contents, but it still looks likely to take at least 12 hours at this pace.
This is the sort of parliamentary procedure that the Republicans should have been doing with every Amendment to this abomination. Better late than never, and hoping that this is a sign of more resistance to come … and I also like the fact that the Senator who called for the reading is an actual medical doctor. (This might also be the only way to get the Amendment actually read by someone before it’s voted on!)