Heeeeeeeere we go. Right now in the Senate chamber, GOP delay tactics on the Democratic health care reform bill are in full swing. The Senate clerk is reading out aloud the text of an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders that would insert a single-payer system into the health care bill. The process of verbally entering amendments into the official record is typically waived, but a senator - in this case Republican Sen. Tom Coburn - can force it to happen. The Sanders amendment is particularly long at 767 pages.
Coburn is reading straight from the GOP delay manual written by Judd Gregg, but it turns out that he's not just delaying health care reform -- he's also delaying a vote on troop funding.
Today, Democrats were planning to file for cloture on the Defense Appropriations bill, in order to get it passed by Friday before midnight when department funding runs out. If the entire amendment is read aloud, it's likely that the Senate won't be able to pass the defense bill until Saturday at the earliest, and would have to pass a short-term continuing resolution to keep money flowing.
Who knew that Tom Coburn would rise up as the leading voice in the Senate against the Afghanistan surge and a private insurance mandate? Oh, the irony...and the eye roll.