GOP Hypocrisy On The Heath Care Bill Voting Timeline
Republicans are up in arms about the cloture vote on the health care bill taking place at 1AM Monday. However, it was 1AM Friday when Republicans shamelessly voted no on a defense bill that would have cut off troop pay, in an attempt to hold up health care reform. And Republicans could waive objections and allow health care to proceed, but because South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint (r) has vowed to use every procedural tool to delay health care. So, when you hear them blaming Democrats for having to work around Christmas, here’s the real deal:
[Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid hopes that Republicans will waive some of the procedural formalities so senators are not forced to spend the evening before Christmas milling about the Senate floor.
But DeMint (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Republican Steering Committee and a leader of the conservative opposition, told The Hill he will not yield back any time.
DeMint also said he would force the Senate to return to Washington after Christmas to vote on a $290 billion increase to the federal debt limit. Treasury officials told lawmakers that they need an increase of borrowing authority to keep the government solvent beyond Dec. 31.
DeMint says, “I think it’s our responsibility to stretch this out.” And the arcane rules of the Senate dictate that if any senator objects to moving up a vote, that objection must be granted. And there must be a certain number of hours permitted for post-cloture debate. That’s why votes come at odd hours and the final vote is likely Christmas Eve.
Cloture motions need one day to ripen, so the earliest the Senate could vote to end debate on Reid’s manager’s amendment would be 1 a.m. Monday.
Democrats would have to allow 30 hours of post-cloture debate to elapse before voting to approve the manager’s amendment. A second cloture vote to end debate on the initial healthcare bill would happen as early as 7 a.m. Tuesday, followed by another 30 hours of post-cloture debate before a vote to adopt that amendment to the underlying bill.
Democrats would then have to repeat the same process on the third motion to end debate on the underlying bill, setting up a cloture vote at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
At any time, the chamber could move up a final vote if every senator agrees. But if a single senator objects, the earliest a final vote on the final package could take place would be 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve.Click here for reuse options!
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