‘It’s All Rigged’: Democratic Senator Caught Complaining by Hot Mic on Senate Floor

By Jenny Schlesinger

Nov 30, 2010 4:36pm

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports:  Sen. Michael Bennet, D-CO, was caught by a hot-mic on the Senate floor this morning complaining about Congress as the Senate struggles to make any progress on a wide range of issues during the lame-duck session.  “It’s all rigged. I mean, the whole conversation is rigged. The fact that we don’t get to a discussion before the break about what we’re going to do in the lame duck. It’s just rigged. This stuff is rigged,” Bennet said.  At the time the Colorado lawmaker was sitting in the chair on the Senate floor, apparently speaking to Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-MN, as lawmakers debated and voted on the food safety bill and a slew of other amendments. The Senate has focused on issues such as food safety and earmarks at a time when millions of Americans are about to lose their unemployment benefits. Meanwhile, a slew of other issues including government funding, the Bush tax cuts, the START treaty with Russia, the DREAM Act, and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal remain unresolved.    Bennet’s comments were picked up by an open mic. An aide eventually turned off the mic before any more of the senator’s complaints could be caught on tape.  A spokesman for the Colorado senator later defended Bennet’s comments.  “Michael was telling the same truths on the senate floor that he tells folks here in Colorado,” a Bennet spokesman said. “For almost two years, he has talked about needing to fix a broken Washington. We can’t move forward on major issues facing our country because of a broken system that is rigged to prevent progress. We are now in the second week of this work period, and the Senate hasn’t begun debating Defense Authorization, tax cuts that will expire at the end of the year, or unemployment benefits. Colorado and the rest of our country deserve better which is why he has proposed overhauling the way Washington works, including filibuster and lobbying reforms.”

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