Very good analysis from Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, as cited in Planet Gore.
On Wednesday just before 1 PM, Reid introduced on behalf of Boxer an amendment in the nature of a substitute. Whereas the Lieberman-Warner bill as passed out of committee in December was 150-some pages and the substitute that Boxer released on May 16 was about the same length, the surprise substitute was 491 pages. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) immediately objected to the motion that the amendment be considered as read, so the Clerk then spent from 1 to 9:30 PM reading all 491 pages aloud. It gave Senators a chance to catch up on their fundraising.
The reason McConnell objected was to call attention to Reid’s failure to keep his agreement to hold votes on at least three nominations for appeals court judges before the end of May. But taking all day to read it made another point relevant to the bill. Springing a new version on the Senate floor that is more than three times longer than the bill passed out of committee is outrageous. Reading it aloud gave citizens listening on C-SPAN some vague idea of the trillions of dollars of payoffs to special interests contained in the bill. But it will take weeks of study to find and analyze all the changes.
Ebell also notes an important element of the cloture vote, which many in the mainstream media are missing. Passage of cloture would have prevented any amendments to the legislation, any action to improve S. 3036. Supporters were calling on the Senate and the American public to buy a giant hot-air pig in a poke. Defeat of cloture kept that pig safely deflated and on the shelf…for now.
Do read Ebell’s entire commentary. It’s very good.
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