September 28th, 2010
04:23 PM ET
11 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. Indie Woman in Denver

    What an arrogant SOB! Mr McConnell needs to have a chat with Mr Waterloo about who's the Minority Leader and who's NOT. And then someo e needs to remind all the Repubs that they are, in fact, the minority.

    September 28, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  2. Dale

    "Yeah, there's nothing serious in the Bill so don't read it, just vote for it." With that philosophy from the Democrats, it's no wonder this country is so screwed up. They just don't get it!

    September 28, 2010 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  3. SayWhat

    " 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."
    Thanks Big Jim for showing us how a democracy works. If the minority party does not totally agree with a bill, it can block the majority party. Way to go Jimbo. Keep blocking everthing in the interest of the GOP and the people that have paid for your votes. Don't act on the behalf of the bests interests of the American people. Don't worry about us GOP, we will take care of ourselves on Election Day

    September 28, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  4. Jamie

    Thank you and your colleagues for guarding against passage of controversial legislation during 'the 11th hour rush'! As you put it, so much crap gets passed when the universal consent rule is used. If you don't have time to read it thru, don't pass it.

    September 28, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. maliheh

    many years these very same Republicans have given big business,Wall Street and big banks all the money they want and more with the promise from the Fat Cats that if Republicans do this,they will somehow create jobs,only to find out that big business doesn't hold up to their end of the bargain.and never will!

    September 28, 2010 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Texas Doc

    Just another crybaby teabagger that doesn't realize that his views do not represent the majority. Sorry teabaggers, but you are not the majority. Get the people's business done now and keep your narrow minded Talibanic worldview to yourself.

    September 28, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  7. Video Guy

    You is he to warn anyone of anything. He is just another two-bet out of power Senate Republican. So Mr DeMint, you know where you can but it.

    September 28, 2010 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    Both Republicans and Democrats have used unanimous consent to pass bills and Senator DeMinte acts like it is a "dirty trick" pulled by Democrats. What a hypocrite.

    September 28, 2010 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    Boy they were really concerned during the Bush years. They rolled over and just passed anything. What a bunch of hypocrites. Starting with that quack from Oklahoma. I'm Texan, I know about quacks North of the Red River. Its time they get slapped down in November big time.

    September 28, 2010 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  10. Adalbert

    South Carolina is the most backwards state in the union and DeMint is the most backwards senator is the US senate. He is an ignorant religious fanatic elected and supported by same ignorant crowd.

    September 28, 2010 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  11. Gerry

    Jamie- we are not a Democracy, we are a Republic. Learn the difference child.

    September 28, 2010 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Hey dimwit, why don't you and all your rethug friends leave town and never return. You people are disgusting!
    As a matter of fact, maybe, if not you, some of your cronies might not come back after the November elections.
    I for one am sick and tired of you republikans looking out for your best interest and those of your rich friends and corporations.
    Yes, I am mad and I will do everything in my power to get rid of all of you by voting this year and in two years and so on and so on.

    September 28, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    Translation: "I'm Jim DeMint, and I firmly believe that all Senate and House members are supposed to stop doing their jobs when it's go-time during a mid-term election. In fact, I believe that the federal government isn't supposed to exist, so it is my position that my job is to do nothing when I am elected...which of course is why I keep trying to be elected."

    Someone pass me a list of the things the GOP has passed (a) using reconciliation (hint: think massive deficit-ballooning tax cuts for the wealthy), (b) by holding closed-door get-under-my-desk meetings and cutting backroom deals and (c) by calling votes at crazy times like 2am on Sunday morning and other crazy procedural shenanigans. Please...DeMint's self-righteous indignation is as self-serving and laughable as it is sad.

    Raise your hand if you think the GOP won't immediately engage the ideological thrusters in January and zoom right off at ludicrous speed, jamming whatever they can down everyone's throats. First stop, defunding the federal government. Second stop, loose collection of states. Third stop, no more America and they can finally rid themselves of that pesky Constitution. So make sure you dutifully believe everything they say (especially the scary parts), defend everything they do (especially the hypocritical parts) and buy your ticket in November to 49 more separate countries gracing the map of the Erf. Silly thinker...and you thought the Civil War was over.

    September 28, 2010 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  14. stufit

    Remember the Democrat libs tried and I believe were successful on several pieces of the Obozo Healthcare Fiasco. After all the backroom wheeling and dealing on that one, the protection of the unions and screwing of hardworking Americans on that deal, thank you Mr. DeMint. And the stimulus, that only benefited the union bosses and left wing nut organizations. I know that right now, the libs have substantial majorities in both houses, but they are about to be thrown out of power for decades, so lets limit the damage. See all the name calling libs responding already. They are proponent of civil discourse when the meds wear off or when they are losing, otherwise the call you names like dimwit.

    September 28, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  15. Chris

    LOL...they're 'not going to do it anymore?'

    Why not, Jim? You've been doing it your entire career with all pork projects that help you, especially during election years. More empty, mindless grandstanding from a guy who has spent his entire career filling up the coffers of the rich with taxpayer money.
    Duly noted, DeMint. We'll add this to your congressional record so it can stand along side all of the other mistakes you've made that people can look up online.

    September 28, 2010 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "'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."

    Right...they've done this before...served us a thinly veiled platter of steaming hot obstructionist turds with a side of malarkey sauce to help it go down easier. Eat up, GOPers and's your favorite!

    September 28, 2010 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  17. DeMintisaJerk

    Jim De MInt should look back to 1995. He's a radical idealogue and he's going to overreach. What an arrogant jerk.

    September 28, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    BTW, DeMint and Coburn's justification...72 hours blah blah so we know what's on the table...DOES NOT APPLY TO THE BUSH TAX CUTS. They know PRECISELY what it means to extend those just for the middle-class. Soooo, if (and it's admittedly a big IF), the Dems finally grow a pair and decide to pimp slap you, friendly neighborhood GOPers/Teatards, by placing that on the table this week...WE DON'T WANT TO HEAR THAT THE GOP DOESN'T KNOW WHAT'S BEING PROPOSED OR NEEDED MORE TIME.

    September 28, 2010 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  19. sam

    No wonder South Carolina verges on being a third world state. The plantation bosses like Demint think that this is a couple of centuries ago!

    September 28, 2010 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. Chad from Tampa

    Demint is right, most Americans are sick of Congress pushing through crap before they go off to one of their many vacations. The American people deserve a debate to find out what our tax money is going towards.

    September 28, 2010 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  21. humalog

    Dimento, being from a red state should stop taking fed $ as part of his "fiscal restraint". Everyone knows red states get most of what's paid to the fed back – FROM BLUE STATES!

    September 28, 2010 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  22. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    DeMint go back to your "witchcraft".

    September 28, 2010 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  23. John

    That all REPUBLICAN have done is try to block every BILL that try too pass for the last two years. Vote NO for the PARTY OF NO IN NOV.

    September 28, 2010 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  24. Rick CT

    All those here opposing DeMint on this issue either didn't bother to read what he's saying, or are OK with Congress passing laws they haven't even read.

    September 28, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. Steve (the real one)

    It's not so much the bills that bother me. Its the fine print in the bills that nobody reads BEFORE the vote that bothers me! Probably because some don't read the bills in the first place. For you naysayers, DeMint is right. Folks don't read bills when they have time. Exactly how is that going to change when Congress is rushing?

    September 28, 2010 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
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