CommunityFDL Main Blog

Judd Gregg’s One-Stop Obstruction Manual for Health Care Debate

(photo by cindy47452)

(photo by cindy47452)

This could actually be damaging for the GOP. Never before has the reality of their historic obstructionism been so obvious. Judd Gregg has now created an obstruction manual that can be distributed in a viral way. You can do charts showing how many times the GOP has used the filibuster, or videos showing them objecting, but they don’t have the impact of this step-by-step guide for how to endlessly delay the health care bill, in this case, because they have no ideas and only wish to deny the American people any tangible benefit. The import of this goes beyond the health care debate and toward real procedural change. After all, if we had a Senate that worked like the House, a health care bill and a climate bill would already be behind us.

The letter, which can be found here, basically says that Senators can engage in a whole host of actions to obstruct the will of the majority. He discusses the use of hard quorum calls rather than waiving them, done specifically to slow down the process. He talks about amendments having to be read in full. He talks about offering unlimited amendments that are both “germane or non-germane.” There are even a set of delay tactics after the bill goes into the conference report, things like the “motion to instruct conferees” to endlessly play out that process.

I mean, this is just, in plain language, a 3-page summary of why American government doesn’t work. If Democrats cannot make use of that in the same way that conservative activists make use of stolen emails, they should get out of the whole “politics” game.

Every statement by every Democrat between now and passage of health care should cite this document.

[Ed. Note: Jon has more.]

CommunityThe Bullpen

Judd Gregg’s One-Stop Obstruction Manual For Health Care Debate

This could actually be damaging for the GOP. Never before has the reality of their historic obstructionism been so obvious. Judd Gregg has now created an obstruction manual that can be distributed in a viral way. You can do charts showing how many times the GOP has used the filibuster, or videos showing them objecting, but they don’t have the impact of this step-by-step guide for how to endlessly delay the health care bill, in this case, because they have no ideas and only wish to deny the American people any tangible benefit. The import of this goes beyond the health care debate and toward real procedural change. After all, if we had a Senate that worked like the House, a health care bill and a climate bill would already be behind us.

The letter, which can be found here, basically says that Senators can engage in a whole host of actions to obstruct the will of the majority. He discusses the use of hard quorum calls rather than waiving them, done specifically to slow down the process. He talks about amendments having to be read in full. He talks about offering unlimited amendments that are both “germane or non-germane.” There are even a set of delay tactics after the bill goes into the conference report, things like the “motion to instruct conferees” to endlessly play out that process.

I mean, this is just, in plain language, a 3-page summary of why American government doesn’t work. If Democrats cannot make use of that in the same way that conservative activists make use of stolen emails, they should get out of the whole “politics” game.

Every statement by every Democrat between now and passage of health care should cite this document.

Previous post

Expect An Extremely Long Health Care Debate

Next post

What will the Stupak Amendment do?

David Dayen

David Dayen