Democrats Violate 200-Year-Old Standing Senate Rules
On Saturday, December 12, Erick Erickson of Redstate.com published an article titled "Fight." This short, incisive article presented a crystal clear methodology Republican Senators could use to effectively hobble the monstrosity that has come to be known as "Obamacare." Relying on the many parliamentary procedures specifically created to force slow, careful deliberation on important issues, these tactics, if Republicans conjured the guts to use them, could grind this train wreck to a halt.
Yesterday, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) decided to do just that. Senators have the right to request that any amendment offered to pending legislation be read aloud in its entirety. In the interest of time, the Senate usually dispenses with this rule. Given the way Democrats have been so secretive about the healthcare bill however, the rule seems fortuitous, and makes one wonder why Republicans haven't used it until now.
"...the amendment must be read and further interruptions are not in order." That seems pretty clear, yet when the Democrats realized the reading could take sixteen hours or more, Senator Sanders asked that the amendment be pulled. In defiance of the rules, the Democrats recognized Sanders and pulled the amendment, denying Senator Coburn's 200 year old right to the floor."The features embedded in this monstrous legislation break every precedent in the book. The enforcement mechanism alone, requiring citizens across the country to purchase government mandated insurance, under threat of criminal liability, is blatantly unconstitutional. The method by which Senate Democrats have shielded the legislation from examination, much less debate, is clearly unethical. The budget estimates used deliberately exclude or hide most of the actual cost are shocking in both duplicity and magnitude."As Erickson said in today's column, what happened yesterday: "... violates the sacrosanct nature of the Senate's rules; rules so inviolable that until yesterday neither Democrat nor Republican ever risks crosses the rules in over 200 years... Hopefully the Senate Republicans now realize they are dealing with third world kleptocrats, not American legislators."