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Posted at 1:18 PM ET, 12/15/2010

Jim DeMint's office: Reading full START treaty is a delaying "tool"

By Greg Sargent

UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton just confirmed that the Senator will no longer insist on a reading of the treaty on the Senate floor, but claimed DeMint won this standoff, because the debate has been postponed:

"Senator DeMint opposes ramming the controversial START Treaty in the lame duck session. After Senator DeMint asked for the entire treaty to be read aloud to slow down the process, Senator Reid relented and agreed to delay the debate until tomorrow."

Reid and other Dems had sharply criticized DeMint for his demand. On the Senate floor, Reid derided DeMint's earlier claim that it's "sacreligious" to work through the Christmas holiday as"deeply offensive to me and millions of working Americans across this country."

UPDATE, 3:39 p.m.: A Dem leadership aide scoffs at DeMint's explanation: "I forgot how good DeMint is at making up stories. The truth is that Republicans got pummeled today for their ridiculous threat to read an entire treaty. In my book, we won the day."

******************************************************************

ORIGINAL POST:

As you may have heard, the White House and Dems are furious with Jim DeMint this morning, because the Senator has insisted that the full texts of the New START treaty and omnibus spending bill get read on the Senate floor -- an apparent effort to run out the clock on the lame duck session.

In a statement this morning, the White House slammed DeMint's move as a "new low in putting political stunts ahead of our national security."

What's interesting is that DeMint's office isn't even trying to disguise the fact that this is nothing but a delaying tactic. DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton sends over this defense of the Senator's maneuver:

"The State Department, after a year of denials, recently revealed there were talks with Russia on missile defense. There has also been movement of Russian tactical nuclear warheads toward NATO allies. Yet despite repeated requests, the Obama Administration has refused to share the full negotiating record of the START Treaty with the Senate. Every newly elected Republican senator has requested that they have a chance to review the START Treaty in January on behalf of their constituents. Senator DeMint has made it clear that he's going to use every tool available to stop it from being rammed through during the lame duck session. The Senate needs to have a full debate next Congress over the weaknesses of this treaty that could seriously limit America's missile defenses that protect our nation and our allies."

Emphasis mine. Of course, every newly-elected Republican Senator has had ample time already to peruse the START treaty -- it has been available for months and months and months. As the statement above states outright, DeMint is simply availing himself of a "tool" at his disposal to prevent the treaty from getting done during the lame duck session. No need to be coy about it.

By Greg Sargent  | December 15, 2010; 1:18 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Comments

Why do Republicans hate America?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"...the White House and Dems are furious with Jim DeMint..."

Oh stop, they are so used to being "held hostage" by now, you know they like acting "furious".

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"Why do Republicans hate America?"

Amen. DeMint is human waste doing everything he can to destroy the federal govt, just because his beloved South lost the Civil War. "The South shall rise again, because s..t floats." We don't need his kind. Can't we just let bastards like him secede?

Posted by: filmnoia | December 15, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Of course, there is a methodology to DeMint's actions. For the GOP the lame duck session was only for one thing - passing the tax extension for their corporate paymasters. Once that seemed to be in the bag, they now go to plan B - running out the clock, no DADT, no START, no Dream Act. Traitors all.

Posted by: filmnoia | December 15, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

They should be working on the budget and then moving to DADT repeal anyway...

Posted by: sbj3 | December 15, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

If a DEMOCRAT did this and made this comment it would be:

24/7/365 CONTROVERSY EN FUEGO

But a Republican? *crickets*

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Keep the Senate in session until all the Senate business is completed.

Posted by: maritza1 | December 15, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Republicans like it ugly. They want it messy, muddy, bloody... because when government can't be trusted, the advantage goes to the Republicans who advocate "small government".

Posted by: benintn | December 15, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Can Bernie Sanders start reading out the the entire Bush Tax Cuts bill, that is being extended?

If DeMint can do this, why can't Bernie do the same thing, with the Bush Tax Cuts bill? Do it Bernie.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 15, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

FYI --

~Statement by the Press Secretary on the New START Treaty~

"This is a new low in putting political stunts ahead of our national security, and it is exactly the kind of Washington game-playing that the American people are sick of. 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. This Treaty has been the subject of nearly 20 Senate hearings and 1,000 questions, and is supported by President George H.W. Bush, every living Republican Secretary of State, our NATO allies, and the military leadership of the United States of America. 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. It is the height of hypocrisy to complain that there is not enough time to consider this Treaty, while wasting so much time reading aloud a document that was submitted to the Senate months ago."

http://thepage.time.com/2010/12/15/gibbs-calls-out-demint/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Here is what I posted on the prior thread, and it looks like it is coming to pass.

"According to TPM, The Republicans are going to shut down the government soon. They are sticking to their guns.

This is what Democrats get, for lying down with dogs. They better not start whining then, about getting up with fleas all over them.

Imagine our President signing a bill to extend the Bush Tax Cuts, that did not work, and right after that; the people he struck the deal with, taking him "hostage" again."


Who couldn't have seen this coming, except all our myopic and spineless leaders of The Democratic Party!

Posted by: Liam-still | December 15, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

READ THE BILL


Read the treaty


READ the Spending Bill - how long does it take to read $1.2 Trillion in Spending ???

This lame-duck session is OUT OF CONTROL - it does not have the support of the American People


The liberals are disrespecting the election and the American People -


It is wrong to conduct the lame-duck session like this - jamming the liberal agenda down the throats of America like the liberas are.


63 Congressmen are GOING HOME - AND RIGHTLY SO.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

What a show of liberal truth from Mr. Sargent.

Imagine a Republican having the nerve, the unmitigated gall, to use the Senate rules to delay an important vote.

I'm absolutely certain that somewhere, sitting in his front seat in Hell, Teddy boy Kennedy is grimacing in appreciation.

The do as I say, not as I do mindset of the liberals is now openly displayed. Republicans may NOT use the same techniques as the liberals. That is Mr Sargent's message. I'm sure that Sherrod Brown will introduce legislation prohibiting libraries and book stores from providing copies of Saul Alinsky's magnum opus to people known to be conservative.

And why shouldn't Mr DeMint be honest about his goal? What's wrong with what he's doing? Nothing I've read leads me to conclude that time is of the essence on this. There are serious concerns about it and Mr DeMint is serving the country well by waiting for a more balanced senate to take the treaty on. Is it that Mr Sargent (and perhaps the left in general) has an issue with honesty?

Or is it that Mr Sargent can't quite wrap his head around the fact that things are different in the nation's capital right now?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 15, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

DeMint: Readthewholebillit'stakingtoolong

DeMint, an outspoken critic of the New START treaty, planned to object to what is normally a routine unanimous consent agreement to waive the reading of the text [...] DeMint and other GOP opponents contend that there is insufficient time

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/12/15/105332/republican-demint-threatens-to.html

The language of the treaty has been available for EIGHT MONTHS. EIGHT MONTHS!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Liam

I think Bernie could have required the reading of the bill.

Only, Bernie would have had to make that request before last Thursday -


Thursday there was actually a closture vote - so all these procedural things would have had to have taken place last week. However, Bernie said he wasn't really trying to delay the bill.

The liberals have 3 weeks left - they were supposed to go on vacation starting in 2 days.


Let them keep on going - the whole country is watching them now - and promising themselves that they will never even consider voting for this bunch of liberal clowns again.


The liberals are disrespecting the American People by running this lame-duck they way they have.


Go ahead - the liberals are only hurting themselves at this point.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Republicans really like to put partisan politics above national security. They have had since April to review the treaty and have stalled since then. The only reason they want to delay is political, plain and simple, and the Republicans are simply unpatriotic

Posted by: radum27 | December 15, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Jim DeMint of South Carolina, who “warned National Review Online on Monday about Reid’s potential maneuver. “Sounds like they want to dual-track [the START treaty] with the terrible omnibus bill,” he said. “I’m really concerned . . . . I’m not going to be sleeping very well this week.” Wesley Denton, a DeMint spokesman, tells NRO that despite pressure from Reid, the South Carolinian plans to read aloud the omnibus bill, for as long as it takes. He will point out that the Senate could easily pass a continuing resolution sans pork-laden projects.”

http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/255335/democratic-congress-determined-go-out-bang

Posted by: sbj3 | December 15, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

READ ALL THE BILLS

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Does Jim DeMint have to sit there and listen to it, or can he go get his next set of instructions from the Koch Brothers while the Senate is completely gummed up?

Posted by: willows1 | December 15, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Bernie Sanders talks on the Senate floor all day Friday, and he is a hero


DeMint says READ the treaty, and he is a villian.


UUMMMM what is wrong with this picture?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Sort of on-topic: Why do we even have lame-duck sessions, anyhow?

Posted by: sbj3 | December 15, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

DeMint's stalling has nothing to do with START and everything to do with the omnibus. if they reach a deal on the omnibus -- meaning demint gets what he wants -- he'll move to suspend the reading of the bill.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 15, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

On Twitter, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) writes that he has offered to help DeMint in his quest to require a full reading of the START treaty.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/15/kyl-demint-delay-start/

Republicans are the American Taliban.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Remember Obama's "Compromise" bill is going to cost the American People 900 Billion


Some compromise - and the democrats aren't happy with 900 Billion Dollars?


Which PLANET are they on ???


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

WHY is Deminto being allowed to do this?? Are Democrats prepared to reciprocate with EXACTLY the same form of behavior next year or the next???

DeMinto needs to be censured and removed from the Senate as an obstruction to democracy and an enemy of the state.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | December 15, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

For users of the WaPo Troll Hunter, I've recently made some very minor changes. Since nobody really uses the formatting, anyway, I left it in there, but changed it so ––n spaces to strike-thru–– (option dash on the Mac, figure it out yourself on the PC), bullets •should do italics• and also changed the comment to a smaller font size. That's about it. Mostly because I'd occasionally end up striking through my own stuff without meaning to, and because the italics (the way they were done before) would sometimes mess up the URLS. Not much, just thought you'd like to know . . .

http://userscripts.org/users/242253

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 15, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ethan

In the interests of transparency, don't you think you should tell us who you are working for, and how much they are paying you?

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Some of the mental midgets here don't know what http://thomas.loc.gov/ is.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 15, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

@sbj3 "Sort of on-topic: Why do we even have lame-duck sessions, anyhow?

So the outgoing majority can attempt to pass things that they didn't want to prior to the election due to the fear of possible voter retribution.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 15, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's put these pathetic, lame ducks out of their misery, and ours. Clean 'em out and drain their fetid swamp.

Congress's approval ratings are the lowest in history thanks to these Obama ducks. Send 'em home early, they're worthless.

America wants it's economic house to be put in order and jobs created and who do the liberals pander to????

Illegal aliens and homosexuals!! That's who. It's a total outrage to all regular Americans.

Shut 'em down!

Posted by: battleground51 | December 15, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

@jnc4p: "So the outgoing majority can attempt to pass things that they didn't want to prior to the election due to the fear of possible voter retribution."

Ha! And don't forget the pandering...

http://www.slate.com/id/2277085/

Posted by: sbj3 | December 15, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"...total outrage to all regular Americans..."

Don't you think having a hissy fit on a post-it-bored is a waste of electrons, not to mention key strokes?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

In 2008, the american people voted for these members of congress to legislate until Jan. 4th 2011.

In 2010, the american people voted for the next group to start legislating on Jan. 5th 2011.

Those are the rules. Live with them em. If you dont like em, run for office and change them. But for now, that is how it works.

Posted by: somethingelse2 | December 15, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Who do you guys think the Republicans learned their parlimentary tricks from???

Democrats, of course! When they were in the minority for 12 years.

It's payback time!

Next year, liberals will be using the same tricks and crowing about how clever they are.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 15, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010: "Republicans are the American Taliban."

Indeed. Forcing our elected officials to possibly have to listen to the full text of the legislation they'll be voting for is just the sort of the thing the Taliban would do, if they had legislation to vote on.

Like a suicide-bomber, only worse.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 15, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"...the full text of the legislation..."

talk about a weapon of mass destruction

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Wish I could take credit for the following but it's from a tweet by John Podhoretz. Bernie hardest hit, and I think shrink will laugh but not say anything. I expect Ethan to respond using ALCAPS.

"After saying he thinks tax cuts will grow the economy, Obama announces aid to Contras, says we will begin bombing in five minutes."

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 15, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

@Kevin_Willis "Indeed. Forcing our elected officials to possibly have to listen to the full text of the legislation they'll be voting for is just the sort of the thing the Taliban would do, if they had legislation to vote on.

Like a suicide-bomber, only worse."

Yes, but the real question is would reading the full text of the legislation to inmates at Guantanamo as an interrogation tactic count as torture?

Posted by: jnc4p | December 15, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@NoVAHockey "DeMint's stalling has nothing to do with START and everything to do with the omnibus. if they reach a deal on the omnibus -- meaning demint gets what he wants -- he'll move to suspend the reading of the bill."

This sounds like the likely reason to me.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 15, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"Forcing our elected officials to possibly have to listen to the full text of the legislation they'll be voting for is just the sort of the thing the Taliban would do, if they had legislation to vote on."

The Senate had all year to draft and debate next year's appropriations bill. It's leadership's fault that they waited until the last minute. The senate committee voted stuff out back in July. Had they keep any semblance of a real schedule and DeMint can stall all he wants, but this still passes with plenty of time.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | December 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

@TPM:

Late Update: We're getting early reports that DeMint has scrapped his plan to read the START treaty in its entirety on the Senate floor.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

@KW: "Like a suicide-bomber, only worse."

Yes. Actually, what the Republican Party is doing to America is far far worse than anything any suicide bomber can possible hope to achieve. I'm glad you agree.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

All, looks like House liberals are reading the writing on the wall on the Bush tax cut deal:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/top_house_liberal_concedes_oba.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 15, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

@ethan2010

Your hysterical comments reveal that transparency to the American people via a public reading of the START & Omnibus fiascos, after the duplicity of the Obama ["I will be the most transparent...blah, blah, blah...] State Dept. Are you one of those Russian sleeper agents? Like KW? And the Omnibus Bill is itself a complete farce, foisted on Reid as his last hurrah before succumbing to Chuck Schumer's energy & drive & ambition & utter lack of ethics, morality, and honor = a compleat Dem Congressional Leader.

Looks like the House Liberals are finally resigning themselves to admitting the reality that 85% of Americans HATE the 111th Congress. Maybe ethan2010 should go to Caracas and help his buddy Hugo overthrow the duly elected opposition by one-man rule---something Obama will try using Cass Sunstein and Administrative Law end-runs around Congress.

Posted by: djman1141 | December 15, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

@jnc: "Yes, but the real question is would reading the full text of the legislation to inmates at Guantanamo as an interrogation tactic count as torture?"

Is there any question? Of course it would. If not, it certainly should.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 15, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Someone should inform the "Dem leadership aide" that the only measure "winning the day" should be about is passing legislation.

Posted by: adskdr | December 15, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Hey djman1141:

Transparency? You don't know the meaning of the word. The language of the treaty has been available for EIGHT MONTHS.

E-I-G-H-T MONTHS.

Go back to your Taliban cave, idiot.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

What really outrages the loopy, leftist kooks, that still run Congress, is the fact that Republicans have turned their, old tricks against them and even notched it up a bit.

It's only unfair when Republicans do it, right?

Posted by: battleground51 | December 15, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

@Ethan2010 "The language of the treaty has been available for EIGHT MONTHS.

E-I-G-H-T MONTHS."

Keep in mind that this fact also begs the question of why the Senate Democratic leadership didn't bother to bring the treaty up prior to the lame duck session.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 15, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You should add this as an update:

Jim DeMint on Fox News this afternoon:

"What I'm trying to do is help run out the clock."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_12/027108.php

Why is he getting paid taxpayer money to make sure our government stays broken? What a disgusting travesty and insult to American democracy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 15, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"What I'm trying to do is help run out the clock."

But the posters here said it is about substantive problems with the treaty! And those apparently would have been resolved by reading the treaty outloud.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

yes it is about substantive problems with the treaty. Running out the clock is a means of getting a different group of people's advice and consent. People who agree that there substantive problems with the treaty.

Is that too simple for ya?

As I and others have noted the liberals are hating the fact that their techniques are being used against them.

poor babies.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 15, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Yes, skip, where all familiar with your "you did it first so stop whinning" message. You complained when we did it so we get to complain when you do it. Fair enough or are you the only ones allowed to complain about obstruction?

Lastly, I think details are important. When did Democrats delay a vote on a bill until after they took control of Congress when there is widespread public support for the bill and where democratic leadership from several administrations support the bill?

Kyl and DeMint should voice their "substantive concerns" and convice their fellow Senators of these problems. Surely they can convince 1/3 of the Senators. They wouldn't even have to convince all of their own Party members.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

To *Kevin*,

Thanks for the new formatting changes to the Great Troll Hunter Outer. No more accidental--strike outs--.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | December 15, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Anyone can identify the tool in this situation; no explanation required from De½Wit's flunky.

Posted by: misterjrthed | December 15, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

In any normal time Brillohead DeMint would have had to resign for this. This is a lot worse than coming onto a cop with footplay in an airport toilet. Nuclear weapons literally threaten human survival (note to the Republicans, that's bigger than "national security.") and START is supremely important national business.

But he won't resign, and there won't even be calls for his resignation, because your politics no longer makes any pretense of following rules or engaging in constructive process. It's bloodsport, "no holds barred," Rollerball with no time limit.

Just look at the cretinous posts here from the Republicans, "they started it," literally infantile.

This can't last. America is probably going to break up.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

No lame duck monkey business from Pelosi's discredited regime.

Shut it all down until the patriots return.

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 16, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

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