“We were told earlier in the session that what the Republicans wanted was an open-amendment process,” said Reid, referring to a January deal between parties to allow unlimited amendments in exchange for a reduction in filibusters. “That's changed; they won't let us vote on the amendments or the bills anyway.”
On Tuesday Reid had indicated the Senate would vote on the two most controversial amendments: an amendment to repeal the 1099 tax reporting requirements and an amendment that would strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
Reid said Wednesday that those two amendments were the “most glaring” of the amendments and that the Senate was working hard to reach resolution on them.
“If we can get some votes scheduled, if the logjam is broken, we'll schedule them as soon as we can,” said Reid.
According to Senate sources, Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.) is one Republican who is blocking the process. Coburn is refusing any unanimous-consent agreement that would allow the Senate to begin voting on amendments until a vote on his amendment that would repeal a $5 billion subsidy to ethanol producers is allowed. Talks on how to handle the impasse took place into Tuesday night, and were thought to be continuing Wednesday morning.