This is the stupidest thing I’ve heard lately: On Thursday, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) proposed an amendment to a transportation funding bill that “would have allowed not only religious groups but any employer with moral objections to opt out” of the requirement that insurance plans cover birth control.

It died on a (mostly) party line vote, 51 to 48.

It’s not that this amendment was stupid given the fact that 6-in-10 Americans support the rule. Heck, 4-in-10 Republicans support the rule!

No, it’s stupid because there is no nexus, no connection, between a funding bill for highways and a prohibition of health care coverage.

U.S. senators have something that, “so far as is known, no other legislators worldwide possess.” That is “an unlimited opportunity to offer amendments, relevant or not, to legislation under consideration.”

Relevant or not.

I think we can all agree that a health-related amendment is not relevant to funding highways. Right? Lovers Lane isn’t enough to tie birth control to a highway bill!

The Senate is rife with posturing like this. And that is all that it is. Posturing. Both parties do it when they are in the minority. Cloture is enough power for the minority party, in my opinion.

I don’t know what it would take for the Senate to amend its own rules. Public outcry, maybe? The steep decline in voter confidence in Congress doesn’t seem to be enough to instigate change. Do we really have to throw them all out to get them to wake UP?

KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst
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