The South Carolina Senate finished up another slow legislative week. Even though the Republican-sponsored bill on state sovereignty which opposes the federal health care plan was passed this week, the podium appeared to be filled with more stalling, as it was last week. That’s when Orangeburg senator Brad Hutto told us that it was “just politics” as Democrats were attempting to work with Republicans over “some scheduling issues” on the Senate calendar.
Republican Senator Larry Martin of Pickens County says he would describe the mystery behind the process more as Democratic opposition to the substance of some piece of Republican legislation that the Senate would take up next, rather than the schedule in general, but he says there was definitely more stalling again Thursday. Martin isn’t saying what that legislation is. Democrats obviously know what it is but the ones we spoke with aren’t saying either.
And Martin told his collegues on the floor to remember that “the people are watching” lawmakers each day, over the ETV internet broadcast, and through news reports. He says all that stalling doesn’t look good. “There was a big stall underway to keep us from making certain motions,” he says. “And we need to recognize that when we do things that make the Senate seem pretty ineffective, when it comes to the point that we can’t even get past new bills and resolutions which are not debatable, then we need to realize that people are watching what we’re doing.”
Martin says a special order was to come before the senate Thursday, which he would not identify, but Democrats stalled it out.
Republican leadership in the Senate finally slowed down the process by limiting speaking time to five minute.
But does Martin expect this major stall to be over next week? “I think you’ll see more stalling.” And he laughed robustly,”We’re just going to have to figure out a way to deal with it.”
(Martin on stalling MP3 2:28)