Policy: Budgets & Deficits

Sen. Tom Coburn blasts Harry Reid: We have a czar running the Senate

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Charlie Spiering,Senate,Harry Reid,Tom Coburn,Budgets and Deficits,Spending

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., blasted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., on the Senate floor for restricting amendments to the omnibus spending bill and bitterly denounced the legislative process.

"So we have one person out of 100 [who] decides what amendments will be acceptable and what aren't," Coburn said, referring to Reid. "Jefferson has got to be spinning in his grave, because he wrote the original rules of the Senate."

Coburn reminded his Senate colleagues that the amendment process was an essential part of the bill process as it encouraged negotiation to generate consensus.

"When we have a czar running the Senate we no longer have the ability," he said.

Coburn is the latest Republican to complain about Reid's heavy-handed tactics in running the Senate -- but not the last.

“I'm just kind of fed up,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski R-Alaska, complained to the New York Times, referring to Reid. “He's a leader. Why is he not leading this Senate? Why is he choosing to ignore the fact that he has a minority party that he needs to work with, that actually has some decent ideas? Why is he bringing down the institution of the Senate?”

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