WASHINGTON — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) refused repeated requests for a roll call vote that would have put senators on the record on a resolution apologizing for past failures to pass anti-lynching laws, officials involved in the negotiations said Tuesday.
As dozens of descendants of lynching victims watched from the Senate gallery, the resolution was adopted Monday evening under a voice vote procedure that did not require any senator's presence.
Eighty senators, however, had signed as co-sponsors, putting themselves on record as supporting the resolution. By the time the Senate recessed Tuesday evening, five other senators had added their names as co-sponsors, leaving 15 Republicans who had not.
But the group that was the driving force behind the resolution had asked Frist for a formal procedure that would have required all 100 senators to vote. And the group had asked that the debate take place during "business hours" during the week, instead of Monday evening, when most senators were traveling back to the capital.
Frist declined both requests, the group's chief counsel, Mark Planning, said Tuesday evening.
"It was very disappointing" that Frist handled the matter the way he did, Planning said. "Other groups have gotten roll call votes, so there was nothing new to this, nothing different that we were asking for."
Bob Stevenson, Frist's chief spokesman, said Tuesday evening the procedure the majority leader established was "requested by the sponsors."
The chief sponsors of the resolution, Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and George Allen (R-Va.), disputed that assertion.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
What a lying degenerate racist enabling sack of shit:
by Atrios at 07:52