Illinois Senator Dick “our troops are like Nazis” Durbin can often be found on CSPAN in late evening hours of the day delivering rambling political speeches no one watches or cares about for what seems like forever. Seriously, when the Senate comes back into session, flip on CSPAN at 11:00 for 2 weeks straight and you will see him a lot. Probably more than his family does, which may not be a bad thing for them if you listen to his speeches.
Anyway, he was on the floor yesterday complaining about Senator Jim DeMint taking issue with Democratic Leadership’s (of which Durbin is number 2) push to vote on the omnibus bill without having had a realistic chance to read it. Congress often votes for things without reading them, generally things that are forced through by Leadership with friendly sounding names, because if people (especially the public) had a chance to learn what was in them they would be outraged (see the immigration debate).
DeMint wanted to read a bill that contained hundreds of billions of dollars in domestic spending to see HOWthat money was being spent. Durbin didn’t like that, which means it’s much worse than we thought.
So Durban took to the floor and said:
“For 46 hours and 8 minutes-the Senator from South Carolina has had an opportunity to go to the Internet and see this bill in its entirety, with his staff, and to read every page… Please, do not come to the floor and suggest that this is a mystery bill which no one has seen. For 2 days, this has been posted on the Internet . You have had your chance. Every Senator has had a chance.”
Well, never take anything Dick Durban says at face value because that value is $0.
This is where The Corner steps in. They busted out a calculator and did the math. The 3,417 page bill breaks down this way:
According to Senator Durbin’s math: A Senator that downloaded the bill when it was posted at 12:15 a.m. Monday morning would have had to:
• Read nearly 1.25 pages of the bill every minute for 46 hours and 8 minutes,
• Not sleep,
• Not eat,
• Take no bathroom breaks.
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of reading a bill even close to that long, not a bill that is short and to the point, we’re sorry. Congress should not move to ban waterboarding until they ban anyone having to read legislation! That’s true torture.
Try reading the bill yourself, after the monster downloads, at this great website.
At the end of the exchange below, not in the clip, DeMint asked Durbin if he’d read the bill. Dick didn’t answer.