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Spin Control

Tue., Feb. 9, 2010, 12:19 p.m.

WA Lege Day 30: Debate on debate

OLYMPIA -- A debate on how to debate the changes to tax-raising laws pits Republicans, who want to be able to have unlimited debate, against Democrats, who say that three-minutes per senator is enough and unlimited debate is really just obstructionism.

Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said the three-minute speech rule should be suspended for "one of the critical issues of this session."

Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, said that proposal is "in the spirit of obstrucing" the issue through filibustering. With five different amendments, and each of the 49 senators speaking, that's 250 speakers. At three-minutes per, they could be there all day, she noted.

"We're prepared to be here as long as it takes," Brown said.

Schoesler's proposal dies on a party-line vote.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.