Senate's Reading Marathon Ends Early

Sanders pulls amendment after GOP delaying tactic
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2009 4:12 PM CST
Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt. gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Pity the poor Senate clerk's office, which finds itself at the center of parliamentary games. Staffers spent nearly three hours today reading aloud an amendment—a move forced by Republican Tom Coburn to gum up the works—before independent Bernie Sanders angrily yanked it back. They had gotten only to page 139 of the 767-page measure, which included phrases such as "maxillofacial region" and "dental prophylaxis."

The move may just be the beginning of the delaying tactics by the GOP, reports Politico. The Sanders amendment, which would have inserted a single-payer system into the bill, had no chance of passing, notes Time. But Democrats won't have the luxury of pulling back Harry Reid's eventual offering if Republicans force that to be read aloud.

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