Senate hearing about bark beetle legislation canceled because of anger over health care bill

Our hired help in Washington is implementing elementary school tactics to run our country.

From the Associated Press today:

DENVER (AP) _ U.S. Sen. Mark Udall and a Colorado state senator have gotten caught in the crossfire over health care. A hearing Tuesday on Udall’s bill to protect communities from bark beetles was canceled after Republicans angry over the passage of health insurance reform legislation blocked it by using an obscure Senate rule requiring a unanimous consent to hold hearings scheduled after 2 p.m.

If we give them the benefit of the doubt, they canceled the meeting because working past 2 p.m. would have been contrary to their preferred working hours, not because they threw a *hissy fit over the fact that some legislation was passed.

From Senator Udall’s office today:

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Today’s hearing on Senator Udall’s bark beetle legislation has been canceled due to Republican Obstruction

Washington, D.C. — Today’s scheduled hearing on Senator Mark Udall’s bill to protect communities from wildfire and falling trees as a result of bark beetle infestation has been canceled due to Republican obstructionism. Angry over the passage of health insurance reform legislation, Republican leaders are using an arcane rule, which requires the unanimous consent of Senators in both parties to agree to hearings scheduled after 2 p.m., and have objected to the bark beetle hearing and vowed not to cooperate with Democrats for the rest of the year.

“It is critical that this hearing go forward — especially with Senator Gibbs in Washington to explain how important this bipartisan bill is to Coloradans. Delay just prevents urgently needed resources from going to Colorado communities threatened by beetle-killed trees,” Senator Udall said. “I strongly urge my colleagues to re-think their strategy — this is a matter of public safety, and that’s too important for political gamesmanship.”

The bark beetle bill was introduced in November by U.S. Senators Mark Udall, D-CO, and James Risch, R-ID. Senator Risch is a graduate of  the University of Idaho’s School of Forestry.

*Hissy fit, from Urban Dictionary:

noun. A sudden outburst of temper, often used to describe female anger at something trivial. Originally regional from American South. Thought to originate from contraction of “hysterical fit.”

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.