Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., has come up with a clever way to prevent Democrats from advancing a liberal agenda during the rest of the lame-duck Congress. He will require readings of both the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty bill and the $1.2 trillion 2011 omnibus spending bill, The Hill
reports. The White House mocked the idea, which would use up hours of congressional time.
It’s a senator’s privilege to require that bills be read aloud on the chamber’s floor. The readings could last seven to 12 hours for START and 40 to 60 hours for the spending bill, according to a DeMint spokesman.
DeMint's move drew fast support from former House Speaker and likely presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. "Sen. DeMint is right to demand the reading of the 2,000 page earmark filled spending bill. Senate GOP should stop the bill," Gingrich writes on Twitter.
As for the White House reaction, press secretary Robert Gibbs contends DeMint hit a “new low in putting political stunts ahead of our national security.” He issued a statement saying, “While some express concern that the Senate doesn’t have time to debate the Treaty, Senator DeMint wants to waste 12 hours to read the text of a treaty that has been available to every member of the Senate and the public for more than eight months. Every minute that the START Treaty is being read on the Senate floor increases the time that we lack verification of Russia’s nuclear arsenal.”
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