Coburn Says Democrats Are Ignoring Serious Rules Abuses

Posted May 6, 2010 at 1:45pm

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) complained Thursday that Democrats were ignoring “outrageous” abuses of Senate rules that are much more serious and common than secret holds.

Coburn said in statement that the current process used to clear much of the chamber’s legislative business “has become an outrageous abuse of power and a perversion of the legislative process that punishes Senators for doing the work of legislating they were elected to do.”

Coburn said the process of “hotlining” bills to passage punishes Members who want to read legislation before signing off on its approval. Coburn directed a veiled attack at Democrats who are pushing for an end to secret holds, suggesting it is far more harmful for the Senate to pass spending bills without taking the proper time to consider them.

“Disclosing so-called secret holds is not the fundamental problem,” Coburn said. “The problem that impacts our country is secret spending, secret deliberations and the McCarthyite hotline process.”

Coburn wants all hotline notifications to be made public three days before they are acted on and require all Members to certify that they have read the legislation that leadership is seeking to approve.