Veterans and their supporters called on U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on Friday to drop his hold and allow a vote to be held on a bill to offer assistance and improve benefits to wounded veterans and their caregivers.
Without identifying Coburn by name, Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said a single senator is denying veterans improved benefits.
The White House and the Senate Democratic leadership definitely need to start doing more to turn up the heat on the rampant minoritarian obstruction. Step one, I think, would be to stop abiding by the rule of decorum that leads Akaka to not identify Coburn by name. The anonymous hold business is not a sacred element of parliamentary procedure, it’s an absurd procedural defect that there’s no reason to respect, especially now that it’s become a subject of routine abuse. At some point, senators are going to need to start putting their substantive policy objectives ahead of their narrow self-interest in preserving the senate’s idiosyncratic ways.