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Reply #31: if it happens [View All]

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bain_sidhe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-16-05 05:49 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. if it happens
The last I read was Reid is planning on a three-pronged slowdown strategy.

First, to refuse to agree to passing many bills by way of the "unanimous consent" roster. A lot of "routine" (uncontroversial) bills are put on a list for "unanimous consent," and passed in bulk on a voice vote. But if even one Senator objects to a bill's presence on the list, that bill has to be debated and voted on separately.

Second, there's the reading of the bill. Theoretically, each bill has to be read out loud twice before there can be a vote on it. In practice, the Senate almost always waives the reading of the bill. But, again, one Senator (I think) can object to the waiver, and the bill then has to be read out loud.

Third, there is a "rule" by which a bill can go directly to the floor for debate and a vote. Most bills are sent to a committee, and this is where Democratic bills go to die, as the committe chair (ALWAYS a member of the "majority party) can simply refuse to let them be brought up in, let alone voted out of, the committee. But Reid has announced his intention to use that rule to submit Democratic bills directly to the floor. He's got a great list of bills the plans to do that with, too! I read about it at PoliticalAnimal ( ) but I know other places have covered it too.

Here are the nine bills they have in mind, from the link above:

Women's Health Care (S. 844). The Prevention First Act of 2005 will reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions by increasing funding for family planning and ending health insurance discrimination against women.

Veterans' Benefits (S. 845). The Retired Pay Restoration Act of 2005 will assist disabled veterans who, under current law, must choose to either receive their retirement pay or disability compensation.

Fiscal Responsibility (S. 851). Democrats will move to restore fiscal discipline to government spending and extend the pay-as-you-go requirement.

Relief at the Pump (S. 847). Democrats plan to halt the diversion of oil from the markets to the strategic petroleum reserve. By releasing oil from the reserve through a swap program, the plan will bring down prices at the pump.

Education (S. 848). Democrats have a bill that will: strengthen head start and child care programs, improve elementary and secondary education, provide a roadmap for first generation and low-income college students, provide college tuition relief for students and their families, address the need for math, science and special education teachers, and make college affordable for all students.

Jobs (S. 846). Democrats will work in support of legislation that guarantees overtime pay for workers and sets a fair minimum wage.

Energy Markets (S. 870). Democrats work to prevent Enron-style market manipulation of electricity.

Corporate Taxation (S. 872). Democrats make sure companies pay their fair share of taxes to the U.S. government instead of keeping profits overseas.

Standing with our troops (S. 11). Democrats believe that putting America's security first means standing up for our troops and their families
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