DeMint On The Senate’s ‘Secret Bills’
“But I think it is important that America know what we’re talking about here. At this point in the Senate 94 percent of all the bills are passed unanimous consent. 94 percent. So this is hardly a lack of productivity, and what this means is that 94 percent of the bills that pass the Senate have no debate, no vote, no amendments, no reading of the bill, no online disclosure, and very often, no score from the Congressional Budget Office.“When I first took over the Steering Committee, one of the things I learned real quickly, is that whenever we’re having a break, if we’re going for a week like we’re going this week, on my way to the airport, I would get a call from staff telling me there were dozens of request to pass bills unanimous consent, cause they knew we were all going out of town. And a lot of them had some pretty big price tags on them.
“Folks, you don’t get $13 Trillion in debt when you’re doing things right. And part of the problem is that 94 percent of the bills that pass the Senate, pass in secret. The problem is not secret holds, it’s the secret passing of bills, when very often we don’t even know who’s requesting bills. And if we didn’t have staff available at night when they run their so-called hotlines, which means the phone in your office rings, they ask if you will agree to pass a bill, you haven’t read it, you don’t know what it costs, but if you don’t agree to pass it by unanimous consent, you are holding the bill.
“If you ask to read it for the next day or two, it’s very likely that some association is getting e-mails from either the Republican or the Democrat side that Senator DeMint is holding this desperately needed piece of legislation, who nobody else is read. I’d be glad to work with my colleagues on dealing with this issue if they believe secret holds are a problem, but I frankly think passing 94 percent of the bills without anybody even reading them or knowing they’re getting passed is not a good way to do business.”