Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 2, 2015

Coburn, Colleagues Explaining Holding Up the #WGDB

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma on Tuesday circulated a letter where he and five GOP colleagues explains circumstances in which he won’t allow legislation through the Senate quickly by unanimous consent using the chamber’s “hotline” system.

Hotlining is now largely conducted via emails from leadership staff to top aides in each Senate office and in some cases, senators themselves. The name came about from a reverse phone system to each Senate office based out of the Democratic and Republican cloakrooms.

CQ Weekly explained that telephone-based process back in 2010, when Coburn joined with then-Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., to propose requiring every bill and resolution on the hotline have legislative text and a CBO score available for three days before being called up.

Hotlining has been largely automated because verbally checking with each senator would take too much time. The Senate uses an automated telephone system, ringing a special phone in each office that plays messages recorded by the party cloakrooms. The hotline is also distributed electronically. Senators have a limited amount of time — sometimes 30 minutes — to respond and refuse consent. No response signals agreement.

Tuesday’s letter from Sens. Coburn, John McCain, Ron Johnson, Rand Paul, Kelly Ayotte and Jeff Flake appears after the jump:

Dear Colleague,

With our national debt exceeding $17 trillion, taxpayers are expecting us to work together to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending and be more vigilant about how we spend public funds.  As stewards of our nation’s finances, we must ensure our good intentions today are not paid for at the expense of future generations.  This means no longer spending money we do not have to pay for programs we do not need.

The House of Representatives has enacted a number of requirements to ensure any bill considered by the chamber does not grow the size or cost of the government or increase our national debt.  We believe the Senate should apply these and other commonsense practices to restore fiscal responsibility and increase accountability and transparency in the legislative process.

We, therefore, are notifying you of our intention to object to the consideration of any legislation that fails to meet any of the following standards:

  • All New Spending Must Be Offset with Cuts to Lower Priority Spending:  Congress authorizes billions of dollars in new spending every year to create new government programs or expand existing ones.  Yet, few bills are passed to eliminate outdated, duplicative, unnecessary, inefficient, wasteful, or low-priority programs.  To make government more efficient, any legislation authorizing new spending or creating a new agency, office, program, activity, or benefit, or increasing the authorization of an existing function, must offset the cost of this expansion by eliminating an existing program or function or reducing the authorized funding level of ongoing spending.
  • Government Programs Must Be Periodically Reviewed and Renewed:  Government programs that are outdated or no longer necessary must end.  Congress should periodically determine whether or not every government program is working as intended, is still needed, or is worthy of continued taxpayer support.  To ensure this happens, any legislation establishing or continuing an agency, office, or program must also include a “sunset” date at which point Congress must decide whether or not to update, extend, and end the program.
  • The Cost and Text of Bills Must Be Available Prior to Passage:  Too many bills costing billions of dollars with far-reaching implications are approved by the Senate with little debate, few if any amendments, and little time to read the actual text of the legislation.  To guarantee taxpayers and senators have sufficient time to review bills to understand their cost and impact, all legislation must be publicly available in an electronic format for at least three full days along with a cost estimate completed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prior to being passed.
  • Duplicative Government Programs Must Be Consolidated or Eliminated:  Despite the existence of hundreds of duplicative federal programs costing billions of dollars, Congress continues to create new programs with similar missions, goals, and purposes.  To reduce redundancy, any bill creating a new program that would replicate a current government mission must consolidate overlapping activities or eliminate the existing programs.
  • Congress Must Not Infringe Upon the Constitutional Rights of the People:  Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution grants Congress a very limited set of enumerated powers.  Far too often, Congress infringes upon the rights and liberties reserved for the people and the states provided elsewhere in the Constitution.  These overreaches are no more than an afterthought when most bills are debated.  To restore the intended balance of powers between the states and the federal government and to preserve the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, all bills must have a clear and obvious basis connected to one of the enumerated powers and must not infringe upon any of the rights guaranteed to the people.

By making clear these expectations now, it is our hope we can work together earlier in the legislative process to resolve any differences that could otherwise delay or stop the passage of your legislative priorities.  And while we expect all of these standards to be met for each bill the Senate considers, this is not an exhaustive list of all the reasons we may individually object to a particular bill or unanimous consent request.

Sincerely,

Tom Coburn, M.D.                                                     John McCain

Ron Johnson                                                               Rand Paul

Kelly Ayotte                                                               Jeff Flake

Comments (28)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    4:57 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What a perfect website.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  2. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    6:37 p.m.

    This blog is definitely rather handy since I’m at the moment creating an internet floral website – although I am only starting out therefore it’s really fairly small, nothing like this site. Can link to a few of the posts here as they are quite. Thanks much. Zoey Olsen

    http://www.furtdsolinopv.com/

  3. Anonymous

    July 6, 2015
    6:19 p.m.

    Hey are using WordPress for your site platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/homeowners-insurance.html

  4. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    4:38 p.m.

    Hello There. I found your weblog the use of msn. That is a very smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

  5. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    5:08 a.m.

    Usually I don’t read article on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, very nice post.

    http://blogs.forbes.com/people/infoasistenciaweb/

  6. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    11:02 a.m.

    I?¦ve recently started a web site, the information you offer on this web site has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

    http://godofindia.com/profile/vein69cup

  7. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    1:52 p.m.

    Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Bless you

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  8. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    2:22 p.m.

    It’s truly a great and helpful piece of info. I am glad that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  9. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    3:23 p.m.

    I have recently started a website, the information you provide on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. “One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea.” by Walter Bagehot.

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    6:44 p.m.

    I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    11:43 p.m.

    I believe you have observed some very interesting points, appreciate it for the post.

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  12. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    1:41 a.m.

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your site?

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  13. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    6:23 a.m.

    Would you be considering exchanging links?

    http://en.community.dell.com/members/shirt86rhythm

  14. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    8:13 a.m.

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my trouble. You’re wonderful! Thanks!

    https://www.scribd.com/alvie9harrell

  15. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    4:18 a.m.

    I reckon something genuinely special in this website .

    https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/45127275-edmund-chan

  16. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    5:18 a.m.

    Its fantastic as your other content : D, regards for posting.

    http://www.lingua2.eu/a/index.php?title=Low_Use_Auto_Insurance

  17. Anonymous

    July 19, 2015
    9 a.m.

    I think other website proprietors should take this web site as an model, very clean and fantastic user genial style and design, as well as the content. You are an expert in this topic!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  18. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    2:08 p.m.

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have presented in your post. They’re really convincing and will certainly work. Still, the posts are too short for beginners. Could you please extend them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

    http://fandaily.info

  19. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    7:14 p.m.

    Attractive part of content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing on your augment and even I fulfillment you get entry to constantly rapidly.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/esurance-auto-home-insurance-quote.html

  20. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    8:01 a.m.

    Hi would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a tough time making a decision between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique. P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com/home-insurance.html

  21. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    11:11 a.m.

    Hi, i believe that i noticed you visited my weblog so i got here to “go back the desire”.I am attempting to in finding issues to enhance my website!I guess its good enough to use a few of your concepts!!

    http://split.us

  22. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    10:27 p.m.

    Good article and right to the point. I am not sure if this is in fact the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to get some professional writers? Thanks in advance :)

    https://bestplumbers.com

  23. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:38 a.m.

    you are in point of fact a just right webmaster. The website loading velocity is incredible. It seems that you’re doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterwork. you have performed a great job on this subject!

    http://bathmatehydromax-x30.weebly.com/blog/tips-teknik-petua-kuatkan-zakar

  24. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    6:33 p.m.

  25. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    10:16 p.m.

    certainly like your web site however you have to check the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth however I¦ll definitely come again again.

    http://www.lyrical-lao.com/forum/discussion/261847/sbi-home-loan-general-insurance-calculator

  26. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    2:02 p.m.

    I regard something really special in this web site.

    http://www.warriorforum.com/showthread.php?t=1094532

  27. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    10:23 a.m.

    You have remarked very interesting points! ps nice internet site.

    http://noclegzoliborz.pl/

  28. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    5:10 p.m.

    This is really attention-grabbing, You’re an overly professional blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and sit up for in search of more of your fantastic post. Additionally, I have shared your website in my social networks!

    http://noclegzoliborz.pl/

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...