Burris reads Christmas poem slamming GOP on Senate floor
WASHINGTON — Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) harnessed his Christmas spirit on Tuesday with a mostly-rhyming poem attacking Republicans for obstructing health care reform.
Burris read his own version of Clement Clarke Moore’s famous work “A Visit From St. Nicholas” on the Senate floor, in which he playfully accused Republicans of trying to “clog up the Senate” and sink health reform as a way to capitalize for the 2010 midterms.
“‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the Senate, the right held up our health care bill no matter what was in it,” Burris said, using his poetic license to rhyme “Senate” with “in it.”
Burris’ attempt to invoke the holiday season to support the health care legislation came just hours after the Senate cleared the second of three cloture hurdles on the way to a final vote.
“The people had voted, had mandated reform,” Burris continued, “but Republicans blew off the gathering storm. ‘We’ll clog up the senate,’ they cried with a grin, and in the midterm elections, we’ll get voted in.”
The freshman senator from Illinois has been a vocal champion of the public option, and pledged months ago to oppose a bill without one. But he has continued to back the legislation after its removal, tempering his stance last week.
“They knew regular folks needed help right this second,” Burris’ poem read, “but fund-raisers, lobbyists, and politics beckoned.”
On Sunday, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) — another outspoken supporter of the public option — blamed President Obama in part for the death of the public option. But Feingold is also still backing the bill.
With 60 Senators on board, the legislation is currently projected to pass through the Senate.
On Friday, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) targeted Democrats in his own version of the famous poem. Bond read it in his living room surrounded by dogs and released the video on YouTube.
This video is from C-SPAN, broadcast Dec. 22, 2009.
–Video captured and uploaded by David Edwards