Politico reports on a somewhat fascinating development regarding action to be taken on the almost 100 bills currently being held up by Senator Coburn (R-OK). It appears that Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) and other Democratic leaders are working on a “Coburn Omnibus” bill to be voted upon by the full Senate in July.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning a “Coburn Omnibus” for July that would wrap most if not all of the bills held by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) into one large measure to be voted on by the Senate, according to a Coburn aide and two Democratic leadership staffers.
Coburn is blocking roughly a hundred bills that are generally non-controversial or have broad support. By placing a hold, Coburn prevents the bills from passing quickly through the Senate under a unanimous consent request. With floor time at such a premium, Reid would have trouble bringing up each bill for an individual debate and vote.
But in a stroke of legislative creativity that may have no precedent, Reid could lump all of the bills into one package and bring up the Coburn Omnibus for a single vote. Coburn can still object, but the broad popularity of the bills means that there would likely be more than enough support for veto-proof passage.
Notably, the article mentions the possibility of a few somewhat controversial bills, which are not being held up by Senator Coburn alone, being snuck into the package. The reasoning for those bills being included in the overall package is that there are a limited number of “legislative vehicles” left in the Senate this year which have a chance of passing and being sent to the President.
Update: More back and forth between Senator Coburn and the Majority Leader. Additionally, we’ve posted another update dealing with a letter sent from Coburn to Reid which outlines the possible scenarios for floor debate.