A Senate effort to establish a bipartisan debt-reduction commission could be in jeopardy following Republicans' move to force a 767-page healthcare amendment to be read aloud, one of its sponsors said Wednesday.
While Democrats have long reacted lukewarmly to Sens. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Judd Gregg's (R-N.H.) tough proposal, Conrad in particular predicted this afternoon that Democratic leaders might block it from their short-term increase to the country's debt ceiling.
"Filling the tree" describes the process by which the chamber's majority leader may stall and ultimately block consideration of competing or unwanted amendments.
However, Conrad did add that neither he nor Gregg would give up their fight to create the bipartisan commission, which would have the task of reporting to Congress a series of spending, tax and entitlement recommendations designed to reduce the country's debt.
He described that effort as "absolutely essential" to reducing the country's burgeoning debt.