Coburn Demands Reading of 767-Page Single-Payer Amendment, Sanders Withdraws It

December 16, 2009

(ChattahBox)— Earlier this afternoon, the Republicans continued with their obstructionism to sink the Senate into further disarray, when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) demanded a full reading of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 767-page single-payer amendment on the Senate floor. Coburn invoked an arcane and rarely used Senate rule requiring that all legislation be read aloud before debate can begin. The normal procedure is for lawmakers to agree to unanimous consent requests to dispense with the reading. Coburn’s demand was a tactic to torCoburn’s demand was a tactic to torpedopedo Sander’s amendment and to further delay the debate of health care reform. Bernie Sanders decided to withdraw his historic amendment, which had zero passing, so that debate on health care reform could proceed. But not before Sanders took to the floor with a rousing speech in defense of a single-payer health insurance system.

Sanders, the liberal Independent from Vermont, spoke of the need for Medicare for all and his hope that America would someday benefit from a single-payer health insurance system:

“The day will come, although I recognize it’s not today, when the U.S. Congress will have to vote to stand up to … all those who profit every single year off of human sickness,” Sanders said. “That day will come.”

The full reading of Sanders’ nearly 800-page bill would have taken about 10 hours for the Senate clerks to read in full and during that time no other Senate business could be conducted. After two-hours of reading the lengthy measure, Sanders withdrew it and he blasted the Republicans for their obstructionism.

“The best the Republicans can do is try to bring the United States government to a halt by forcing a reading of a 700 page amendment! That is an outrage! … It is wrong to bring the United States government to a halt,” said Sanders.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) also condemned the Republicans for their complete disregard for the needs of the American people and the Senate’s business. “This is a strategy by the Republican leadership which not only endangers the passage of health care reform, it endangers the enactment of the Department of Defense appropriations bill,” said Durbin.

Sanders is withholding his support of the Senate health care bill for now. He would like to see the public option and the Medicare buy-in replaced with other reforms, before he commits his vote.


6 Responses to “Coburn Demands Reading of 767-Page Single-Payer Amendment, Sanders Withdraws It”

  1. Old Man Dotes on December 16th, 2009 6:55 pm

    Write your senator and demand that the next Defense Appropriations Bill be read on the Senate floor! What’s sauce for the goose…

  2. Sen. Bernie Sanders: ‘I’m Not Voting for the Bill’ and What About Sen Nelson? | ChattahBox News Blog on December 17th, 2009 9:46 am

    […] single-payer health care amendment in the Senate, after Sen. Coburn (R-OK) used a delaying tactic, forcing the clerk to read all 767-pages of the bill. Sanders withdrew his bill after a two hour reading, to prevent a delay in the passage of the […]

  3. D.Vader on December 17th, 2009 2:43 pm

    @Old Man Dotes

    Write your Senator and demand they do something to actually stimulate jobs and get money in peoples pockets so they can afford health care.

    After jobs come back write your Senator again and demand health care portability with some tort reform. Then we can truly see the free markets work. Right now Health Care does not exist in a free market. Competition is limited at best with a few key players per state, who have well paid lobbyist to manage the status quo.

    What this ill informed article neglects to reveal is —- READING OF LEGISLATION ON THE SENATE FLOOR IS A REQUIREMENT BY SENATE RULES AND PROCEDURE. Often this is dismissed by unanimous vote. This health care bill has already broken too many procedures. For anyone to complain about this HAS NOT BEEN PAYING ATTENTION.

    Government health care will be expensive, inefficient and a back door to reduce our rights due to the cost of health care.

    Get a Clue Dotes!

  4. D.Vader on December 17th, 2009 2:47 pm

    @Sue (the Author)

    You are ignorant to Senate Procedures if you think Coburn “demanded” the bill be read. He was 100% following rules and procedure.

    Your article makes it appear he was acting outside the rules. It’s obvious your political alignments are with Durbin and Sanders as your article is incomplete and lacks any quotes from Coburn.

    Journalism is dead, there is no skeptical reporting any more. Just take what is handed to you by political mouthpieces and regurgitate it as Gospel. Any monkey could do that job Sue. You should be ashamed of yourself.

  5. Fitness, Strength and Conditioning – Williamsburg, VA CrossFit … | Military Fitness Wisdom on December 18th, 2009 4:23 am

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  6. Republicans Gin Up Some Hate for the Troops, Dems Stop ‘Partisan and Cynical’ Filibuster | ChattahBox News Blog on December 18th, 2009 2:54 pm

    […] The Republicans have shown that they will stoop to shameful and despicable tactics to stop the passage of health care reform. The party of obstructionists are now a party of clowns […]

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