Senate Democrats

No Roll Call Votes; Begin Consideration of S.1867, DoD Auth Thursday morning

Following morning business on Thursday, November 16, 2011, the Senate will begin consideration of S.1867, the Department of Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate is now in a period of morning business.  There will be no roll call votes today.

 

Senator Reid expressed his intention to return to the consideration of H.R.2354, the Energy and Water Appropriations Act when the Senate can reach an agreement regarding amendments to that bill.  The unofficial transcript of Senator Reid’s remarks is below.

 

17:01:32 NSP} (MR. REID) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, WE STARTED OUT THIS WEEK HOPING WE COULD COMPLETE A MINIBUS. WHAT THAT MEANS IS TO DO WHAT WE DID A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO AND COMPLETE THREE APPROPRIATION BILLS AT THE SAME TIME. WE HAD THREE GOOD SUBJECTS OF THAT, WE HAD THE UNDERLYING BILL WHICH WAS ENERGY AND WATER, WE MOVED FROM THAT WE ADDED TO THAT FINANCIAL SERVICES, AND FOREIGN OPERATIONS. WE WERE UNABLE TO GET A CONSENT AGREEMENT THAT WE COULD TREAT THE PACKAGE OF BILLS THE SAME WAY WE TREAT OTHER APPROPRIATION BILLS. THAT IS, THERE IS A — THERE IS — YOU CAN’T LEGISLATE ON AN APPROPRIATION BILL AND IT HAS TO BE A GERMANE AMENDMENT. SO WE DIDN’T GET THAT AGREEMENT WHICH I WAS DISAPPOINTED, IT’S REALLY TOO BAD BUT THAT’S THE WAY IT IS. I ACCEPT THAT. THE BEST NEWS OUT OF THIS IS WE HAVE WITH THE UNDERLYING BILL TWO OF THE FINEST SENATORS THAT WE HAVE IN THE SENATE OR HAVE EVER HAD, ACTUALLY, SENATORS FEINSTEIN AND SENATOR ALEXANDER. THEY ARE KNOWLEDGEABLE, THEY’RE EASY TO WORK WITH, AND THEY UNDERSTAND THAT LEGISLATION IS THE ART OF COMPROMISE. TO WORK THROUGH ISSUES. AND THEY’VE DONE A WONDERFUL JOB IN THE LAST 24 HOURS BREAKING DOWN THE AMENDMENTS. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, A FINITE LIST OF AMENDMENTS. WE SHOULD HAVE THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE OF THOSE VERY QUICKLY. I THINK WE NEED TO WORK IT DOWN A LITTLE MORE, BUT I APPRECIATE VERY MUCH THE GOOD WORK OF SENATOR ALEXANDER AND SENATOR FEINSTEIN. THE NORMAL PROCESS WOULD BE TO PULL THE BILL AND COME BACK SOME OTHER TIME. WE’RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE THE BILL ON THE CALENDAR OF THE SENATE SO WE CAN MOVE TO IT AT A MINUTE’S NOTICE, REALLY. AND WE’LL KEEP THIS AROUND, WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO MOVE TO THAT SOON. WE’RE GOING TO HAVE ALSO AROUND HERE THERE’S DOWN TIME AND THERE WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO FINISH THIS BILL IN A DAY, A DAY AND A HALF ONCE WE GET THESE AMENDMENTS WORKED OUT. THIS WILL GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY TO MOVE TO THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL. I INDICATED SENATORS LEVIN AND SENATOR McCAIN, WELL MORE THAN A MONTH AGO I WOULD MOVE TO THIS BILL. NOT EVERYTHING IS WORKED OUT IN IT BUT THAT’S NOTHING THAT’S UNUSUAL. THIS IS A HUGE BILL. SENATORS LEVIN, McCAIN, LINDSAY GRAHAM, AND OTHERS HAVE WORKED VERY HARD TO TRY TO WORK OUT ONE OF THE PROBLEM AREAS WE’VE HAD AND SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE THERE. IT REALLY DOESN’T MATTER. I’VE SPOKEN TO ONE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR AND HE STILL ISN’T REAL HAPPY ABOUT THAT INFORMATION THAT’S IN THAT BILL BUT I TOLD HIM THAT WE OFFER AN AMENDMENT VERY QUICKLY AND HE COULD TRY TO ASSERT HIS POSITION. I THINK THAT’S HOW WE SHOULD DO THINGS AROUND HERE.

 

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