McConnell Won’t Let the Bill Move


Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refuses to let S.223 – a bill to require that Senators file their campaign finance reports electronically – pass by unanimous consent. Callers to his office receive the same response every time they call. The staffs of McConnell and Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY), the proxy Senator lodging the objection, say that the identity of the anonymous Senator will be revealed as soon as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) puts the bill on the schedule. These demands show that, no matter who is objecting to the bill now, McConnell and Bunning will ensure that whenever this bill comes up for unanimous consent some “anonymous” Senator will raise an objection.

We are also hearing the same talking point from other Senate offices. Many other offices that issued denials during last week’s hunt are now bottling up. It looks like McConnell has instituted a Stop Snitchin’ policy in the Republican caucus. We, however, are getting in contact with the editorial boards in each Senator’s state. And you should call your Senators and Mitch McConnell and ask them if they objected to S.223. You can give us your findings on this comment form.

McConnell’s demands, that Reid place the bill on the schedule, are also inaccurate demands to make. The bill is already on the schedule. When it was reported out of committee it was placed on the legislative calendar just like every other bill. What McConnell and Bunning want is for the bill to be scheduled for a floor vote where it will be open to amendments. This is the reason why Feingold and Feinstein have been trying to pass the bill by unanimous consent. Feingold explains this well in his post at Daily Kos,

“Basically, the way to get around an objection to action by unanimous consent is for the Majority Leader to bring up the bill and schedule a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to it. That vote takes place two days after a cloture vote is filed. I have no doubt we would win such a vote handily, maybe even unanimously. But then the bill would be subject to amendment and there are many controversial and contentious campaign finance amendments, or even amendments on other topics that might be offered. And the only way to limit those amendments would be to schedule another cloture vote to limit debate. So the process could take several days under the best of circumstances.

All of that could be done, but there are many other worthy bills competing for floor time. This bill is not controversial. No one has given a single reason to oppose it, or even debate it.”

Do McConnell and Bunning want to add amendments to this incredibly non-controversial legislation? There are many bills that have passed by unanimous consent in the Senate that have a lot more meat to them than this bill. Here are some of them:

H.R.475 : To revise the composition of the House of Representatives Page Board to equalize the number of members representing the majority and minority parties and to include a member representing the parents of pages and a member representing former pages, and for other purposes.

H.R.1130 : To amend the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to extend the authority to withhold from public availability a financial disclosure report filed by an individual who is a judicial officer or judicial employee, to the extent necessary to protect the safety of that individual or a family member of that individual, and for other purposes.

H.R.1681 : To amend the Congressional Charter of The American National Red Cross to modernize its governance structure, to enhance the ability of the board of governors of The American National Red Cross to support the critical mission of The American National Red Cross in the 21st century, and for other purposes.

S.1002 : A bill to amend the Older Americans Act of 1965 to reinstate certain provisions relating to the nutrition services incentive program.

S.888 : A bill to amend section 1091 of title 18, United States Code, to allow the prosecution of genocide in appropriate circumstances.

None of these bills had the number of co-sponsors that S.223 has. McConnell complains that Senators need time to review the bill. Did they need to review a bill about the prosecution of genocide or a bill restructuring the Red Cross? Clearly not. All of McConnell’s justifications and excuses come up empty. He clearly wants this bill to come to floor so that it can be weighed down by amendments. McConnell says that the only way he will release the name is if Reid allows McConnell’s party to weigh the bill down with amendments. This threat indicates that McConnell is the one who wants the bill to be blocked. Let your Senators and Mitch McConnell that you don’t appreciate them stonewalling their constituents. Call them and ask if they objected to S.223.

Senator Contact Objection?
Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) (202) 224-5744  
Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) (202) 224-4124  
Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) (202) 224-3004  
Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) (202) 224-6665  
John McCain (R-Arizona) (202) 224-2235  
Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) (202) 224-4521  
Wayne Allard (R-Colorado) (202) 224-5941  
Mel Martinez (R-Florida) (202) 224-3041  
Saxby Chambliss (R-Georgia) (202) 224-3521  
Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) (202) 224-3643  
Larry Craig (R-Idaho) (202) 224-2752  
Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) (202) 224-6142  
Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) (202) 224-4814  
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) (202) 224-3744  
Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) (202) 224-6521  
Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) (202) 224-4774  
Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) (202) 224-2541  
Jim Bunning (R-Kentucky) (202) 224-4343  
David Vitter (R-Louisiana) (202) 224-4623  
Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) (202) 224-5344  
Susan Collins(R-Maine) (202) 224-2523  
Norm Coleman (R-Minnesota) (202) 224-5641  
Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi) (202) 224-5054  
Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) (202) 224-6253  
Christopher S. Bond (R-Missouri) (202) 224-5721  
Chuck Hagel (R-Nebraska) (202) 224-4224  
John Ensign (R-Nevada) (202) 224-6244  
Judd Gregg (R-New Hampshire) (202) 224-3324  
John E. Sununu (R-New Hampshire) (202) 224-2841  
Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico) (202) 224-6621  
Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina) (202) 224-6342  
Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) (202) 224-3154  
George Voinovich (R-Ohio) (202) 224-3353  
James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) (202) 224-4721  
Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) (202) 224-5754  
Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) (202) 224-3753  
Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania) (202) 224-4254 Did not object
Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) (202) 224-5972  
Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) (202) 224-6121  
John Thune (R-South Dakota) (202) 224-2321  
Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee) (202) 224-4944  
Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) (202) 224-3344  
Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) (202) 224-5922  
John Cornyn (R-Texas) (202) 224-2934  
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) (202) 224-5251  
Robert Bennett (R-Utah) (202) 224-5444  
John Warner (R-Virginia) (202) 224-2023  
Craig Thomas (R-Wyoming) (202) 224-6441  
Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming) (202) 224-3424