GOP Takes Out Their HCR Frustration on Open GovMarch 23, 2010 - by Donny Shaw
We already know that the Republicans have vowed to be as uncooperative as possible during consideration of the budget reconciliation bill to amend the health care bill. This is despite the fact that it adds policies they publicly support and removes policies they publicly oppose. So it’s only natural that their tactics to shut things down should spill over to other policies they publicly support, like increasing transparency in government.
This afternoon, while Sunlight Foundation‘s Ellen Miller was testifying at a Senate subcommittee hearing on “removing the shroud of secrecy: making government more transparent and accountable,” Sen. Thomas Carper [D, DE] interrupted to say that the Republicans had put a hold on the hearing. Here’s the video:
Sunlight’s Paul Blumenthal explains:
Senate rules require that hearings held after 2 p.m. be approved by unanimous consent to continue. After the Democratic majority won passage of a motion to proceed to debate the reconciliation bill by a vote of 56-40, Republicans refused to consent to the continuation of hearings.
This doesn’t delay consideration of the reconciliation bill or help their cause in any tangible way. Its only practical effect is block the Senate from hearing from one of the country’s foremost transparency experts on what they should be doing to make Congress more open.
More inside-the-Beltway coverage at The Hill:
“The GOP is upset that Democrats are using special rules to pass healthcare reform fixes with a simple majority of votes…. Senate Republicans say they will raise many more procedural objections against the bill and have expressed confidence that some of these points of order will be successful”