Reid targets Gregg’s obstructionism manual

REID TARGETS GREGG’S OBSTRUCTIONISM MANUAL…. We learned yesterday that Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) has distributed a three-page memo to his Republican colleagues, reminding them of various procedural tactics they can utilize to obstruct, delay, and undermine the debate on health care. Sam Stein called it “the equivalent of an obstruction manual — a how-to for holding up health care reform.”

This morning, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) seized on the document: “The good news is that Senate Republicans finally, at long last, have put a detailed plan down on paper. The bad news is that it’s not, as we’d hoped, a plan to make health care insurance more affordable; it’s not one to make health insurance companies more accountable; and it’s certainly not a plan to reverse rapidly rising health care costs and draw down our deficit.

“The Republican plan we’ve waited weeks and months to see … [is] not even about health care at all. The first and only plan Senate Republicans could be bothered to write up is an instructional manual on how to bring the Senate to a screeching halt. We knew that was happening anyway, but they had the audacity to put it in writing.”

I’m certainly pleased to see Reid go after Gregg on this, though it’s probably safe bet to assume the criticism won’t actually deter the GOP tactics.

For that, lawmakers will have to reevaluate the procedural rules that allow obstructionism in the first place. There’s some evidence some Democratic leaders are taking an interest in the subject.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.