(Host) An amendment introduced by Bernie Sanders brought the U-S Senate to a grinding halt Wednesday.
Senator Sanders proposed a single-payer health insurance plan.
Republicans used it as an opportunity to slow down the larger debate on the health care overhaul bill. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma demanded that the entire 800-page amendment be read aloud.
Sanders was livid.
(Sanders) "The whole country is looking to Washington to begin to address the very serious problems facing this nation. And this guy, on behalf of the Republican leadership, says, ‘Oh, no. Let’s spend a day or two reading the Sanders amendment. Let’s see if we can waste a whole lot of time. Let’s make sure that nothing gets done here and then we can blame President Obama and the Democratic leadership.’ I think that’s pretty pathetic. So, to be honest with you, I was not a happy camper."
(Host) Republicans are solidly opposed to the Democratic health care bill and have tried a number of tactics to slow it down or defeat it altogether.
Sanders says it’s bad politics.
(Sanders) "Minorities have rights and they should have rights. But to deliberately make it impossible for the majority to rule leaves you in a dysfunctional system in which democracy doesn’t work."
(Host) After about two hours, Sanders gave up and withdrew his amendment.
He says he knew it would never pass, but believed it at least should have been discussed in the Senate.