GOP To Paralyze Senate By Forcing Clerks To Read 1,924 Page Bill Aloud

The same party whose members are complaining about having to work so close to Christmas is now threatening to delay the legislative process even more:

Republicans will paralyze the Senate floor for 50 hours by forcing clerks to read every single paragraph of the 1,924-page, $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill.

Senate clerks are expected to read the massive bill in rotating shifts around the clock — taking breaks to drink water and pop throat lozenges  — to keep legislative business on track, according to a Democratic leadership aide.

The Senate is currently debating the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty. It is expected to take up the omnibus spending bill on a separate and parallel track later Thursday.

If Republicans follow through on their threat, legislative business couldn’t resume until late Saturday in order to give the staff enough time to read the bill aloud, according to a Democratic leadership estimate.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the Senate Republican Steering Committee chairman, vowed not to back down.

“If they bring this up, they’re going to read it. It’ll take them a day or two to read it,” DeMint said on Fox News. “Again, we’re trying to run out the clock. They should not be able to pass this kind of legislation in a lame-duck Congress.”

On one level, you’ve got to hand it to guys like DeMint. For two years they have successfully manipulated the rules of the Senate to frustrate the Democrats from bringing bills that could easily pass a majority vote. They’ve totally played the system, and they’ve won many times.

On another level, though, it’s fairly clear that DeMint is not actually interested in legislating. If he was, he wouldn’t be wasting everyone’s time with a bill reading that no member of the Senate is actually going to be present for anyway.

FILED UNDER: Congress, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. Stan25 says:

    DeMint is just following the rules of the Senate. That is what all of the panty waisted Dems are afraid of. They want to ram this down the throats of the American people. If he really wanted to be a hero, he would send the omnibus spending bill to committee where they would have to hold hearing on it.

  2. sam says:

    “That is what all of the panty waisted Dems are afraid of.”

    At least in the House they’re not headed by someone who cries at the drop of a bottle of tanning cream.

  3. DC Loser says:

    Doug – These are they guys you voted for?

  4. Pug says:

    I don’t have any problem with Jim DeMint demanding they read the bill aloud. However, he should be made to sit and listen to every word of it.

  5. An Interested Party says:

    “DeMint is just following the rules of the Senate. That is what all of the panty waisted Dems are afraid of.”

    As opposed to an incessant opportunist and whiner like DeMint who is talking nonsense about it being “sacrilegious” to conduct Senate business around the holidays. If he got his wish, he certainly wouldn’t be following the rules…

  6. schooner says:

    Sam wins the internets for the day

  7. Kylopod says:

    That is what all of the panty waisted Dems are afraid of. They want to ram this down the throats of the American people.

    Of course. It is in the nature of panty-waisted people to ram things down people’s throats. In fact, panty-waisted, limp-wristed Democrats with their arugula and their classical music are the scariest people in the universe. If you ever see one, run for cover, or they’ll get YOU.

  8. Buffalo Rude says:

    Read the bill. And I hope DeMint and Reid make every member of their respective caucuses sit and listen to all of it. Christmas eve and morning included. Lots of regular Americans work the holidays. Why shouldn’t the some of the most “important” people in the country do the same?