Senate Democrats

Objection to consideration of FISA bill

Senator Reid made the following unanimous consent request for consideration of S.3276, the FAA Sunsets Extension Act of 2012 .  Senator Chambliss objected to the request.

 

The text of the request and the unofficial transcript of their remarks are below.

 

At time to be determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with the Republican Leader, the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar #463, S.3276 and the only first degree amendments in order be the following:

– Judiciary committee reported substitute;

– Leahy (sunset);

– Leahy (oversight);

– Wyden (public reporting);

– Wyden (back-door searches);

– Tester (reverse targeting); and

– Merkley (declassification of FISA Court opinions)

And that there be one hour of debate equally divided between the proponents and opponents on each amendment, and up to two hours of debate on the bill equally divided between the proponents and opponents.  Further, that upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate proceed to votes in relation to the amendments in the order listed; and that there be no amendments in order to any of the amendments prior to the votes; and upon disposition of the amendments, the bill be read a third time and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill, as amended, if amended.

 

 

MR. REID: THE SENATE HAS BEEN CONSIDERING THE SUPPLEMENTAL

APPROPRIATION BILL FOR TWO DAYS NOW. THE REPUBLICANS, I’M TOLD,

ARE IN THE PROCESS OF FIGURING OUT WHAT THEY WANT TO DO. WE

HAVE OTHER CONCERNS, AS YOU KNOW, WE HAD THE TRAGEDY IN

CONNECTICUT, THE UNTIMELY DEATH OF OUR FRIEND, SENATOR INOUYE,

BUT TIME DOESN’T STOP FOR ANYTHING. IT KEEPS MARCHING ON.

CHRISTMAS IS COMING. WE HAVE A FISCAL CLIFF THAT’S IN THE

HORIZON. SO I HOPE WE CAN MAKE PROGRESS ON THIS BILL IN THE

MORNING. IF NOT, I’LL BE FORCED TO FILE CLOTURE TO TRY TO

FIGURE OUT A PATH FORWARD ON THIS BILL. IT’S BEEN OPEN FOR

AMENDMENT, THAT’S WHAT MY FRIENDS SAID THEY WANTED, THAT’S WHAT

THEY HAVE. WE HAVE THE D.O.D. AUTHORIZATION. WE NEED TO

COMPLETE ACTION ON THAT CONFERENCE REPORT THAT’S BEEN COMPLETED

NOW. WE EXPECT THAT THEY WILL FILE TONIGHT OR TOMORROW SO WE

NEED TO COMPLETE THAT BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK. CHRISTMAS IS

SEVEN DAYS FROM TODAY. WE HAVE JUDICIAL NOMINATIONS, WE’VE BEEN

MAKING SOME PROGRESS WITH THE DISTRICT COURT NOMINATIONS. WE

HAVE TO DO THREE MORE BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK. WE HAVE

EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS WE NEED TO CONSIDER BEFORE THE END OF THE

WEEK. FISA, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT PIECE OF

LEGISLATION. IMPERFECT AS IT IS, IT IS WHAT IS NECESSARY TO

HELP US BE PROTECTED FROM THE EVIL THAT’S IN THE WORLD. WE HAVE

TO COMPLETE THIS BEFORE WE LEAVE HERE THIS WEEK. TODAY’S

TUESDAY. SO EVERYONE ELSE CAN DO THE MATH JUST AS WELL AS I CAN

ABOUT HOW MANY DAYS ARE LEFT. SO I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT

AT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED BY ME AFTER CONSULTATION WITH

SENATOR McCONNELL, THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF

CALENDAR NUMBER 463, S.3276, THAT THE ONLY FIRST-DEGREE

AMENDMENTS IN ORDER TO THE BILL BE THE FOLLOWING, JUDICIARY

COMMITTEE REPORTED SUBSTITUTE, LEAHY SUNSET, LEAHY OVERSIGHT,

WYDEN PUBLIC REPORT,, WIENDZ BACK DOOR SEARCHES, AND MERKLEY

WHICH IS ABOUT DECLASSIFICATION OF FISA COURT OPINIONS. THAT

THERE BE AN HOUR OF DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED

BETWEEN THE OPPONENTS AND PROPONENTS ON EACH AMENDMENT, THAT

THERE BE UP TWO TWO HOURS OF DEBATE ON THE BILL EQUALLY DIVIDED

BETWEEN THE PROPONENTS AND OPPONENTS, UPON THE USE OR YIELDING

BACK OF THAT TIME, THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE IN RELATION TO

THE AMENDMENTS IN THE ORDER LISTED, THAT THERE BE NO AMENDMENTS

IN ORDER TO ANY OF THE AMENDMENTS PRIOR TO THE VOTES, THAT UPON

DISPOSITION OF THE AMENDMENTS THE BILL BE READ A THIRD TIME AND

THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE ON PASSAGE OF THE BILL IF AMENDED.

BEFORE THE CHAIR RULES ON THIS, MR. PRESIDENT, IT’S PRETTY EASY

TO FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH TIME THIS INCLUDES. THIS IS THE BETTER

PART OF A DAY, THE BETTER PART OF A DAY IF WE GOT THIS CONSENT

DONE. SO I ASK THAT CHAIR APPROVE THE CONSENT AGREEMENT.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION?

 

MR. CHAMBLISS: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, AND I DO INTEND TO OBJECT.

FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO SAY TO THE LEADER THANKS FOR MOVING

TOWARDS THE FISA BILL.

YOU’RE EXAMINING RIGHT, THIS IS A BILL THAT MUST

BE DONE BY THE END OF THE YEAR SO WE CAN BE SURE THE

INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY IS ABLE TO GATHER IN A LAWFUL AND LEGAL

WAY THE KIND OF INTELLIGENCE THAT KEEPS AMERICANS SAFE AND

SECURE. THERE ARE TWO DOCUMENTS, ONE A STATEMENT OF

ADMINISTRATION POLICY FROM THE WHITE HOUSE WHERE THEY HAVE

AGREED TO THE BILL THAT HAS ALREADY PASSED THE HOUSE, AND

SECONDLY, A LETTER FROM THE LEADERSHIP OF THE INTELLIGENCE

COMMUNITY, NAMELY, THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE AS

WELL AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DIRECTED TO THE LEADERSHIP BOTH OF

WHICH LETTERS AND STATEMENTS SUPPORT THE HOUSE BILL. AND IT’S

BECAUSE OF THAT AND BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT IF THE HOUSE BILL

COMES THROUGH HERE AND I UNDERSTAND WE MAY HAVE TO HAVE DEBATE,

MAY HAVE TO HAVE AMENDMENTS DEBATED, WHATEVER THE LEADER

DECIDES, BUT THE IMPORTANT THING IS THAT WE CAN HOPEFULLY GET

THAT BILL PASSED AND ACCEPTED IT DIRECTLY TO THE PRESIDENT’S

DESK. SO I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE LETTER FROM THE

D.N.I. AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL DATED FEBRUARY 8 AS WELL AS THE

STATEMENT OF MPTION POLICY DATED SEPTEMBER 10 BE INCLUDED IN

THE RECORD AND, MR. PRESIDENT, I DO OBJECT.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD. AND WITHOUT

OBJECTION THE LETTERS WILL BE INCLUDED.

 

MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

MR. REID: I’LL CONTINUE TO WORK ON PATH FORWARD IF ANYONE HAS

ANY IDEAS HOW TO HELP ME WITH THAT, I WOULD BE HAPPY TO LISTEN

TO THEM BUT THIS IS SOMETHING WE MUST DO BEFORE WE LEAVE HERE.

CHRISTMAS IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THIS LEGISLATION. I’M

SORRY, I HOPE I’M NOT OFFENDING ANYONE, BUT THAT’S THE WAY IT

IS. WE HAVE TO GET SOMETHING DONE ON THIS BEFORE THE END OF THE

YEAR AND I THINK WE WOULD BE WALKING ON VERY, VERY THIN ICE TO

TRY TO WAIT UNTIL AFTER CHRISTMAS TO TRY TO DO THIS

LEGISLATION. I DON’T — IT’S HARD FOR ME TO COMPREHEND THE

POTENTIAL DAMAGE TO OUR COUNTRY IF WE DID NOT EXTEND THIS

LEGISLATION.

 

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