[Guest post by DRJ]
This afternoon, Democratic leaders in the Senate reportedly broke Senate rules by allowing the withdrawal of Senator Bernie Sanders’ 767 page single-payer amendment to the health care bill and stopping its reading without the unanimous consent of all Senators.
In an effort to slow down the health care bill, Republican Senators had refused to waive reading of the amendment, an undertaking that would take an estimated 12-13 hours. (After 3 hours of reading, the Clerk had read 139 pages of the amendment.) Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded (the complete text is at the link):
“The plain language of the Senate precedent, the manual that governs Senate procedure, is that unanimous consent of all members was required before the Senator from Vermont could withdraw his amendment while it was being read.
Earlier today, the majority somehow convinced the parliamentarian to break with the long standing precedent and practice of the Senate in the reading of the bill.”
The ends justify the means, right?