Live! Bernie Sanders Speaking on Senate Floor.
Sen. Bernie Sanders speaking about the single-payer system Health Care Abroad: Taiwan.
Sanders withdrew his amendment some three hours later, after 139 pages had been read, with a broadside at Republicans. Pounding the lectern on his desk, his voice rising, he accused Republicans of trying to shut down the legislative process. “That is an outrage,” Sanders said. “People can have honest disagreements, but in this moment of crisis it is wrong to bring the United States government to a halt.”
WASHINGTON – Senate Democrats’ drive to pass health care overhaul by Christmas sputtered today as a lone moderate holdout remained undecided and Republican delaying tactics stretched an already protracted debate even further.
Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said he still has concerns about abortion and other issues. Nelson, the only known holdout among 60 senators whose votes are needed to move the bill.
To make matters more complicated, the Senate stumbled into health care gridlock after a Republican senator forced the clerk to read aloud a 767-page amendment.
GOP Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma had sought approval to require that any amendment considered by the Senate must be offered 72 hours in advance and with a full cost report.
When he was rebuffed by Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, Coburn invoked his right to require that an amendment by another Democrat be read aloud. That sent the Senate into limbo, since the amendment by Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders is 767 pages long. It calls for guaranteeing coverage to all through a public program similar to Medicare.