The Senate is set to vote on its final procedural hurdle on the huge housing legislation that would then send the measure back to the House, but Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) likely will prove to be a thorn in its side.
Although the housing bill enjoys bipartisan support, the fiscally conservative GOP lawmaker plans to object to a request that would bypass 30 hours of debate, forcing the bill to loop through another procedural hurdle. If he does so, lawmakers would not be able to move the legislation until Friday.
DeMint not only objects to the high costs of the housing bill, but also the way in which it was crafted, arguing that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has blocked the amendment process. Thus, DeMint plans to force more debate time, hoping that it will pressure Democrats to allow amendments.
“This is a $300 billion bailout for bad lenders that forces American taxpayers to foot the bill,” said DeMint spokesman Wesley Dent.
“Senator DeMint opposes this bill and believes it should be debated as long as possible. If Senator Reid wanted to pass this bill sooner, he would have allowed amendments to improve it. Instead, he is trying to ram it through the Senate and shove it down Americas throat,” Denton said.