September 28th, 2010
04:23 PM ET
4 years ago

DeMint warns against slipping last minute bills through before Senate recess

(CNN) - Conservative Republican senators, led by Jim DeMint of South Carolina, are warning all other senators they will block any attempts to slip controversial legislation through the Senate in the final hours before the upcoming recess, unless they sign off on it first.

"What happens is at the end of a session, crap gets out of here that nobody knows what's in it and we're not going to do it anymore," Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn told CNN.

At issue are last minute requests from senators from both parties to get legislation cleared by unanimous consent, an often-used time saving parliamentary procedure that allows measures to pass without a recorded vote. As a recess approaches, it's common for dozens of measures to pass by UC, as the procedure is known on Capitol Hill.

"We said if you're going to try to give bills UC, give us 72 hours and give us a [Congressional Budget Office] score. Nobody said no, we just said give us time," Coburn said.

The warning came in a letter to Senate offices on behalf of the Senate Steering Committee, a conservative group of senators chaired by DeMint. It said any bill submitted after Tuesday would be blocked because there would not be enough time to vet the legislation ahead of the recess, which could start as early as Thursday.

'We've done this before," DeMint said. "All we're asking is that if folks want unanimous consent or something before we leave, to give us a few days to ready it and try to clear it."

DeMint, who told CNN that 40 to 50 pieces of legislation have already been submitted to his group for review, said he's tired of "trying to read things in the cloakroom while people are heading for the airport."

A top Democratic leadership aide insisted the conservative senators' complaints are overblown because most of the items that pass by UC are no more controversial than a recent measure designating September 16, 2010 as "American Legion Day."

However, DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton said that's because DeMint and others had blocked the more controversial bills.


Filed under: Jim DeMint • Senate • Tom Coburn
soundoff (34 Responses)
  1. 678

    Doesn't anyone find it suspicious the Republicans suddenly have become so interested in insuring nothing gets passed during the final days before the Congressional recess? Slipping legislation through at the last minute is what the Republicans have been doing for decades in order to get favorable treatment for their big sponsors and donors. Now that they no longer control the House and Senate, they suddenly want to make sure nothing gets passed in the last days before the recess.
    This is just more of the Republican talk that does not match their actions when they were in power. Just watch what happens after they regain control of the House. I bet they suddenly decide it once again is OK to stuff bills through at the last minute. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    September 28, 2010 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. Poser

    Conservative Republican senators, led by Jim DeMint of South Carolina, are warning all other senators they will block any attempts to slip controversial legislation through the Senate...

    Why don't they just admit they're going to continue to block ALL legislation from going through the Senate just like they've been doing for nearly two years.
    Vote NO to the party of NO.

    September 28, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  3. Dave

    The Party of No strikes again (no brains, no integrity, no insight, no class, no shame, and solutions).

    September 28, 2010 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  4. James Denver, CO

    Very good idea that if you want something controversial at least get it through the CBO.
    However, if the Republican definition of controversial are bills like the outsourcing of jobs which they just blocked then this process is merely political games. There's nothing controversial about it. We want jobs here in the U.S. not overseas, that bill would help bring them here by providing tax incentives and tax breaks.

    September 28, 2010 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...any bill submitted after Tuesday would be blocked because there would not be enough time to vet the legislation ahead of the recess, which could start as early as Thursday..." States DeMint.

    It would not matter if the bill was presented to you 10 weeks before Christmas Eve – you will still vote NO!!

    September 28, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  6. montag

    I think you right-wingers are in for a big surprise this November. The Dems are going to keep both houses of Congress and Barack Obama will be re-elected in 2012.

    Suck it up, GOP morons.

    September 28, 2010 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Nola

    Please someone tell me " Who Died and made this character "HEADMAN IN CHARGE"?

    September 28, 2010 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  8. PaDoc

    "...Conservative Republican senators...Jim DeMint...will block any attempts to slip...legislation through the Senate in the final hours..." Do we mean as they've done for the past two years?

    September 28, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  9. Moderate Sean

    This is how Senators and Congressmen become and act when they've been in office for too long! Swollen heads/egos/etc...It's time for SC to vote this nut case out of office; however, we all know how backwards the state is, so that isn't going to happen anytime soon. What a shame...

    September 28, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
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