Delays for delays’ sake

DELAYS FOR DELAYS’ SAKE…. The Senate remains at a standstill, thanks to Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-Okla.) latest stunt, forcing the full reading of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) 767-page amendment on single-payer.

It’s apparently all part of the GOP plan.

August was bad for Democrats, and Republicans aiming to delay the Senate health care bill until after Christmas hope the holiday break will be even worse.

TPMDC checked in with Republican sources and some Democrats who say lawmakers could face the cold shoulder at best or angry constituents reminiscent of the summer town halls at worst if they leave town without voting on the bill.

Typical. It’s not about substance, policy, or the public’s needs — it’s about scoring some cheap points, delaying the process, and giving the Teabaggers something to do over the holidays.

But in this case, there’s a temporary spending measure that’s funding U.S. troops, which will end at midnight Friday. Coburn’s little stunt, if it continues, means the Senate won’t be able to take up a Defense spending bill until Saturday morning.

There was a point not too long ago — I believe it’s referred to as “when Republicans were in the majority” — that playing procedural games that threaten troop funding during two wars was considered about the most loathsome thing a lawmaker could do.

Coburn doesn’t seem to care. Killing health care is the priority.

* Update: Demonstrating, once again, who the bigger man is, Sanders pulled his amendment, rather than let the delays continue. He called the GOP tactics an “outrage,” which seems like the appropriate description.