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Senate Will Reconvene to Quickly Pass Border Security Bill

We have a new trend in American politics – the brief return to session in August. The House just did it with a one-day session, passing a state fiscal aid package and a border security bill. The latter required further Senate action because they screwed up on how to properly pass the bill in the first place. So now, the Senate will return briefly tomorrow to finish off the border security funding bill.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said the Senate would go back to work to unanimously pass a $600 million border security bill and a resolution honoring the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

The Senate would meet, said Reid spokesman Jim Manley, “for the sole purpose of receiving and passing by consent H.R. 6080, border security, and a resolution on the death of Sen. Stevens. This will be an extremely short session as we will just be doing these two items.”

Don Stewart, spokesman for Mitch McConnell, needled Chuck Schumer by saying that the Senate has to meet to fix “Sen. [Charles] Schumer’s (D-N.Y.) legislative error on the border security bill.” But he indicated it would pass unanimously. So this Senate session tomorrow will take a matter of minutes.

This brings us to another point. We hear a lot of talk about how the legislative process takes time, endurance, patience. Schumer and Claire McCaskill wrote their border security bill, after a lot of discussion previously, last week. They passed it on the floor of the Senate within a day, and if they attached it to the right bill it would be law already. The Senate can move quickly if they want to. With a fresh set of rules, the majority of the chamber could get through legislation in a manner appropriate to our fast-moving world. That way, the legislature can take the time on the bigger, more complex and controversial bills.

If only Presidential appointments and routine bills moved as quickly as measures to put drones in the sky at the border…

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David Dayen

David Dayen