"Believe it or not, they are going to require us — these wonderful clerks who work up here — they are going to require them to stand up for 50 hours and read that bill on the floor,” said Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M. "The normal thing we do to get to something is we waive the reading. But they are going to require it ... I cannot understand that.”
In an interview, Coburn said his intent was for him and some of his colleagues to read the bill — not Senate employees — and explain some of the provisions as they went along.
"My (Republican) conference as a whole did not think that was a good thing to do,” Coburn said.
Abandoning the plan to have the bill read meant that the Senate didn’t have to be in town next week for a second procedural vote after the first test vote on Saturday.
But a long debate will mean several amendments and opportunities to insist that those be read in their entirety.
Among the possible amendments is Coburn’s own health insurance bill, which he authored with Burr. That plan would use tax credits and subsidies to encourage private coverage for the uninsured, while abolishing the portion of Medicaid that covers health care for the poor.
Whether he and his colleagues choose to read it aloud remains to be seen.
"I think they’re going to win.”
Sen. Tom Coburn said about the health care reform bill
Ongoing coverage: Health care reform