NPT Capitol: Voter ID Saturday, both sides warming up
The word on the House floor is that Voter ID will come up Saturday. If the bill is the earthquake that will tear this place down, then the tremors are already beginning.
Yesterday, House Democrats engaged in something called “chubbing” whereby they slow the Calendar down by talking endlessly, asking questions, offering amendments and so on. It’s not quite filibustering as the intent was to slow things down, not kill bills.
Why slow things down? To say to the pro-voter ID folks that the Dems are willing to crawl out the rest of the session. Two major state bills got bumped yesterday because the House was on snail time. Those bills, dealing with unemployment insurance and the college top ten per cent rule, are being heard today – they are not proceeding quickly.
Ironically, its the Reps dragging their feet today. When a Legler sponsored amendment was successfully defanged by Mark Strama on a narrow vote, the Republicans called for a verification – which takes about ten minutes. They won the verification. Strama motioned to reconsider. He was successful, but only just. The Republicans called another verification. One journalist exclaimed “we’ve entered a never ending death spiral feedback loop!” (Strama succeeded, then won the reconsider vote.)
I just finished talking with a different Republican member and joked that his party had just given the Dems a game plan for defeating voter ID. “How?” he asked. Well, if it makes it out of committee that’s because it has the votes to pass – but only just – maybe 75-73. If so, the Dems can send up amendments, and amendments to amendments all day long. They will probably all be shot down, but as they will all be close votes, the Dems can call for vote verifications all day (and all night) long. “Oh yeah. Shoot,” replied my Republican friend.