If there was any doubt that Senate Republicans are eager to drag their heels when it comes to health care reform, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) removed it on Sunday.
The Kentucky Republican, during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday," demanded that the Senate take, at the very least, six weeks to deliberate legislation once it is sent to the floor for amendments.
"There will be a lot of amendments over a lot of weeks. The Senate is not the House, you saw in the House there was three votes and it was over in one day," McConnell warned. "This will be on the floor for quite a long time."
Warning that health care reform "cuts Medicare rates, raises taxes and raises insurance premiums," McConnell also insisted that Majority Leader Harry Reid had kept the legislation secret from his colleagues.
"We know it's been in Harry Reid's office for six weeks and the other 99 senators haven't seen it," he said. "I think we ought to at least have as much time for other 99 senators and all of the American people to take a look at this bill as Majority Leader Reid has had."
The strategy for Republicans, McConnell outlined, would be to "delay the process so we fully understand what's in the bill." That means a reform debate that's gone on for roughly nine months could extend to a tenth; if Republicans throw up enough parliamentary hurdles, reform could be delayed into 2010.
"I think it ought to be on the floor as least as long as it was in Harry Reid's office," said McConnell.