Coburn Forces Hours-Long Reading to Stall Debate
Parliamentary maneuver could take 8 hours or more
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2009 1:25 PM CST
Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., called the reading of his own amendment a "bit absurd."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Senate GOP has stalled floor debate on the health care reform bill with a demand that the entirety of a 767-page amendment be read aloud, a process that could take between 8 and 12 hours. The amendment’s sponsor, Independent Bernie Sanders, called the move by Tom Coburn a “bit absurd.” Said Coburn, whose party has been under pressure by critics to slow the bill with parliamentary maneuvers, “We’re going to understand what single payer is all about.”

“This is an option that was discussed for some time and our conference is unified in its execution,” a GOP aide tells Politico. Harry Reid put some spin on the tactic. The “stunt” just delays discussion of “the DoD appropriations bill that funds our troops, not exactly the kind of Christmas gift that our troops were expecting from Dr. No," said a spokesman, using Coburn's nickname among detractors.