Arcane Senate Rule Helps Preserve Antiquated Senate Practice
from the how-a-bill-becomes-a-law dept
Back in February, we pointed to a story about the absurd system that Senators use to disclose their campaign contributions. Unlike their counterparts in the House, Senators don’t have to file their contributions electronically, and instead file them using a tortuous process that involves needless photocopying and hand entry of the data. Not only is this time consuming, but it also costs taxpayers $250,000 per year. That’s not a whole lot by government standards, but since it’s a total waste it’s still depressing. It looked like the Senate was all set to scrap the old system, but just as it was set to come to a vote, another arcane Senate rule came into play as Senator Lamar Alexander stood up and announced that on behalf of an anonymous Senator he would block the vote. Yes, the Senate has a rule that allows an anonymous coward, as we’d call them around here, to block any vote. So at this point it’s not clear if or when electronic disclosure will be adopted in the Senate. It’s lovely how democracy works, isn’t it?