The Senate unanimously passed Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s bill to stop sending social security money to dead people Tuesday but seemed unaware that they had actually agreed to pass the bill.
Paul asked the Senate to pass the bill and Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn asked, “is there objection?”
In which the Senate accidentally passes a bill to stop accidentally sending checks to dead people. pic.twitter.com/gk2AXQOPwH
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“There is a unanimous consent request pending. There is a reservation and the right to object,” Blackburn said. Her question was met with several seconds of silence. (RELATED: ‘Fatal Conceit’: Rand Paul Snaps On Dr. Fauci During Senate Hearing)
“If there’s no objections, I guess it passes,” another senator said. Blackburn asked again if there are objections, then announced, “without objection.”
Two began arguing about whether or not the bills passed. In whispers, a Senator said “I asked, both of them passed.” His colleague replied, “no they didn’t,” and the Senator confirmed, “yes they did.”
“Parliamentary inquiry,” Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden asked, “has this bill passed now?
“Now, something just passed,” said Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy, “I’m gonna ask a ruling for the chair and find out what passed.”
Kennedy then said that it was his understanding that his bill and Paul’s bill were merged together, and asked the chairman if he’s correct.
“Uh… to be honest, the chair cannot answer that,” the chairman replied.
Paul’s bill, the “Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act,” would make changes to the Treasury’s “Do Not Pay Initiative,” the U.S. Treasury’s fraud prevention service, “for improved detection, prevention, and recovery of improper payments to deceased individuals.”
The legislation would also “amend the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Improvement Act of 2012.”