MCCONNELL EMBRACES DITHERING ON REFORM…. About a month ago, Roll Call reported that the Senate Republican caucus, unable to kill health care reform on their own, “have implemented a comprehensive political strategy to delay, define and derail.”
And now we’re getting a sense of what that strategy is going to look like.
If there was any doubt that Senate Republicans are eager to drag their heels when it comes to health care reform, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) removed it on Sunday.
The Kentucky Republican, during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” demanded that the Senate take, at the very least, six weeks to deliberate legislation once it is sent to the floor for amendments.
“There will be a lot of amendments over a lot of weeks. The Senate is not the House, you saw in the House there was three votes and it was over in one day,” McConnell warned. “This will be on the floor for quite a long time.”
The goal, McConnell added, would be to “delay the process so we fully understand what’s in the bill.” Given the willful ignorance of the minority, there’s no reason to think the minority caucus will ever “fully understand” the policy.
Nevertheless, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is almost desperate to expedite the process and finish work on the reform bill before year’s end, McConnell is outlining a parliamentary strategy to make a swift, efficient process nearly impossible.
McConnell rationalized his obstructionism by pointing to public opinion polls: “The American people are overwhelmingly telling us, ‘Don’t pass it.’ It’ll be up to whether the Democratic majority wants to listen to the American people or whether they want to pass this anyway, just to basically ignore the opinion of the American population.”
A majority of Americans supports a public option. A majority of Americans elected President Obama and handed him a huge electoral mandate. A majority of Americans gave Democrats their largest House and Senate majorities in a generation.
Since when does Mitch McConnell give a damn about “the opinion of the American population”?