Senate Democrats

Objections to Budget Conference

This afternoon prior to the recess for the weekly caucus meetings, Senator Murray asked unanimous consent the Senate proceed to the consideration of Calendar #33, H.Con.Res.25; the amendment at the desk, which is the text of S.Con.Res.8, the budget resolution passed by the Senate, be inserted in lieu thereof; and that H.Con.Res.25, as amended, be agreed to. Further, that the Senate insist on its amendment, request a conference with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses; and the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the Senate; and that following the authorization, two motions to instruct conferees be in order from each side:

- Motion to instruct relative to the debt limit; and

- Motion to instruct relative to taxes/revenue;

That there be two hours of debate equally divided between the two Leaders, or their designees, prior to votes in relation to the motions; further, that no amendments be in order to either of the motions prior to the votes; all of the above occurring with no intervening action or debate.

 

Senator Rubio requested to modify Senator Murray’s request to go to a conference without having the debt limit raised within that conference.  Senator Murray objected to Senator Rubio’s request to modify and finally, Senator Rubio objected to Senator Murray’s original request.  Senator McCain also spoke about his objections to Senator Rubios’s modification. The unofficial transcript is below.

 

12:15:00 NSP (MRS. MURRAY) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

MRS. MURRAY: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT,

SENATE DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN WAITING A

TIME TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON OUR BUDGET. IN FACT, IT HAS NOW

BEEN 73 DA DAYS. AND UNTIL RECENTLY, WE’VE GOTTEN PRETTY USED

TO SENATE REPUBLICANS JUST SIMPLY STANDING UP AND SAYING, “NO.”

FOR MONTHS, REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN OFFERING A LOT OF EXCUSES FOR

WHY THEY DON’T WANT TO GO TO CONFERENCE ON THE BUDGET. THEY

HAVE SAID THEY WANT A PRECONFERENCE FRAMEWORK WHICH, BY THE

WAY, IS WHAT A BUDGET IS. THEY HAVE SAID THEY WOULDN’T ALLOW US

TO GO TO CONFERENCE UNTIL WE GUARANTEED THAT THE WEALTHIEST

AMERICANS AND BIGGEST CORPORATIONS WOULD BE PROTECTED FROM

PAYING A PENNY MORE IN TAXES. THEY SAID THEY DIDN’T WANT A

BIPARTISAN CONFERENCE TO TAKE AWAY THE LEVERAGE THEY HAVE ON

THE DEBT CEILING. AND THEN THEY CALLED FOR A DO-OVER, WHICH

ACTUALLY MY RANKING MEMBER ON THE BUDGET CALLED FOR AGAIN THIS

MORNING. TO BRING UP THE HOUSE BUDGET, HAVE 50 HOURS OF DEBATE,

A WHOLE NEW ROUND OF UNLIMITED AMENDMENTS, GO THROUGH THE

PROCESS ALL OVER AGAIN. AND THEY DID THIS AFTER THEY PRAISED

THE VERY OPEN AND THOROUGH FLOOR DEBATE WE HAD ON THE SENATE

BUDGET. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, THE STORY KEEPS CHANGING. BUT EVEN

AS SOME REPUBLICANS WERE FOCUSED ON FINDING EXCUSES TO MOVE US

CLOSER AND CLOSER TO THIS CRISIS RATHER THAN HAVE A BUDGET

DEAL, WE HAVE A NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS WHO ARE NOW JOINING WITH

US TO CALL ON REGULAR ORDER. SENATOR COBURN SAID THAT BLOCKING

CONFERENCE IS, AND I QUOTE, NOT A GOOD POSITION TO BE IN.

SENATOR BOZEMAN SAID — QUOTE — HE WOULD VERY MUCH LIKE TO SEE

A CONFERENCE. SENATOR WICKER SAID WEEKS AGO THAT — QUOTE –

“BY THE END OF NEXT WEEK, WE SHOULD BE READY TO GO TO

CONFERENCE.” SO WE HAVE KNOWN FOR A WHILE THAT BLOCKING REGULAR

ORDER, ESPECIALLY AFTER CALLING FOR IT SO EAGERLY JUST A MATTER

OF MONTHS AGO, WAS NOT SITTING WELL WITH A NUMBER OF OUR

REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES. AND NOW ACCORDING TO “POLITICO,” MORE

REPUBLICANS APPEAR TO FAVOR HEADING TO CONFERENCE THAN BLOCKING

IT. MADAM PRESIDENT, I WELCOME THAT. WE NEED TO MOVE THIS TO

CONFERENCE. IT IS THE REGULAR ORDER. IT WILL ALLOW US TO SOLVE

OUR COUNTRY’S PROBLEMS, AND WE — WE TRULY NEED A PROCESS TO

ALLOW US TO DEAL WITH OUR NATION’S PROBLEMS. MADAM PRESIDENT,

SENATOR McCAIN IS ON THE FLOOR, AND I WANT TO THANK HIM BECAUSE

HE UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE, NOT JUST FOR THIS BILL BUT FOR

ALL LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE, THAT WE COME HERE, WE

COMPROMISE, WE FIGHT HARD FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IN, BUT AT THE

END OF THE DAY JUST SAYING MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY, EVEN IF

YOU’RE A SMALL MINORITY, DOESN’T MOVE THIS COUNTRY TO THE PLACE

WHERE WE NEED IT TO GET TO. IT ISN’T A CRISIS BY MANAGEMENT

PLACE. AND I THANK HIM FOR TAKING A LEAD AND CALLING FOR

REGULAR ORDER. HE HAS SAID THAT REPUBLICAN PRECONDITIONS LIKE

DEMANDING THE CONFERENCE AGREE TO NOT RAISE THE DEBT CEILING OR

RAISE TAXES ARE ABSOLUTELY OUT OF LINE AND UNPRECEDENTED.

SENATOR COLLINS JOINED US ON THE FLOOR A FEW WEEKS AGO TO SAY

THAT EVEN THOUGH THERE IS A LOT WE DON’T SEE EYE TO EYE ON, WE

SHOULD AT LEAST GO TO CONFERENCE AND MAKE OUR BEST EFFORT TO

GET A DEAL. MADAM PRESIDENT, I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. THE

STALLING THAT WE HAVE SEEN IS, AS SOME HAVE SAID ON THEIR SIDE,

A LITTLE BIZARRE AND IRONIC, TO SAY THE LEAST, ESPECIALLY AFTER

I WOULD REMIND EVERYONE 50 HOURS OF DEBATE, INNUMERABLE

AMENDMENTS THAT TOOK US WAY INTO THE EARLY HOURS, WE OFFERED

EVERYBODY THE CHANCE TO SPEAK OUT, AND AFTER THAT SESSION WAS

OVER, MANY OF OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES CAME TO ME PERSONALLY

AND THANKED ME FOR FINALLY HAVING AN OPEN PROCESS. IF THEY WANT

US TO HAVE AN OPEN PROCESS, THEN THEY HAVE TO TAKE THAT PROCESS

AND TAKE IT TO THE NEXT STEP. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I AM DEEPLY

CONCERNED. WE ARE MOVING TOWARDS ANOTHER MANUFACTURED CRISIS

THIS FALL. WE HAVE OUR APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEES THAT NEED TO

MOVE FORWARD. THE COUNTRY IS VERY CLEARLY TIRED OF THIS COUNTRY

BEING MANAGED BY CRISIS, AND WE JUST HAD A BUDGET HEARING THIS

MORNING WHERE OUR WITNESSES, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS

ALIKE, SAID THAT MOVING US TO A CONSERVED CRISIS WOULD IMPACT

THIS ECONOMY IN A HORRIFIC WAY THIS FALL. WE DO NOT NEED TO

HAVE THAT HAPPEN. I WANT TO GO TO CONFERENCE. DO I WANT TO HAVE A COMPROMISE?

NOT REALLY. I LOVE WHERE I STAND, BUT I HAVE BEEN HERE A LONG

TIME. YOU DON’T GET EVERYTHING YOU WANT, BUT YOU DO HAVE TO

COMPROMISE IN ORDER TO MOVE THE COUNTRY FORWARD. AND I AM

WILLING TO GO TO CONFERENCE WITH MY COUNTERPART, CHAIRMAN RYAN,

WHO IS ON A VERY DIFFERENT PAGE THAN I AM, AND FIND OUR

COMPROMISE AND BE WILLING TO MOVE THAT FORWARD HERE IN THE

CONGRESS SO WE CAN GET TO A PLACE THAT ALLOWS US TO BE ABLE TO

LEAD THIS COUNTRY AGAIN. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I THINK WE ARE AT

A VERY CRITICAL POINT. I SEE SENATOR McCAIN IS ON THE FLOOR. I

WOULD BE HAPPY TO YIELD TO HIM FOR A COMMENT.

 

MR. McCAIN: MADAM PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT, –

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

 

MR. McCAIN: I UNDERSTAND THAT ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES WHO WILL

OBJECT IS COMING TO THE FLOOR, SO PERHAPS I WOULD RESERVE THE

RIGHT TO OBJECT ON — ON HIS BEHALF EVEN THOUGH I’M IN STARK

DISAGREEMENT. BUT INSTEAD, I’LL JUST MAKE A COMMENT AND I’M

SURE THAT MY COLLEAGUE WILL — ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE WILL

VOICE AN OBJECTION WHEN HE ARRIVES. HE’S HERE.

MRS. MURRAY: I CAN GO AHEAD AND OFFER THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AT

THIS TIME AND WE CAN MOVE FROM THERE.

 

MR. McCAIN: IF IT’S OKAY WITH THE SENATOR, BECAUSE WE KNOW

WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. I WOULD JUST LIKE TO MAKE REMARKS AND

THEN THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA WILL MAKE THE SAME ARGUMENT THAT

WE HAVE MADE THE LAST FEW DAYS, AND FORTUNATELY I DON’T HAVE TO

BE LISTEN AGAIN. FOR FOUR YEARS, MEMBERS ON THIS SIDE OF THE

AISLE ARGUED STRENUOUSLY THAT WE WERE DOING A GREAT DISSERVICE

TO THE COUNTRY BY NOT TAKING UP AND DEBATING AND AMENDING A

BUDGET THAT WOULD THEN GO TO CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE OF

REPRESENTATIVES — THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAPITOL, THE HOUSE OF

REPRESENTATIVES, AND THEN WE WOULD DO WHAT WE EXPECT, AND

UNFORTUNATELY EVERY FAMILY IN AMERICA HAS TO DO, AND THAT IS TO

PASS A BUDGET UNDER WHICH WE WOULD BE GUIDED IN OUR

AUTHORIZATION AND APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS. NOW, MY COLLEAGUE

FROM FLORIDA WILL COME TO THE FLOOR AND SAY THAT WE HAVE

AMASSED A DEBT BECAUSE OF THE BUDGET, BUT WE DIDN’T HAVE A

BUDGET FOR FOUR YEARS, SO HOW CAN YOU ARGUE THAT THE FACT THAT

WE MAY HAVE TO — WE MAY GO TO CONFERENCE ON A BUDGET, THAT

SOMEHOW THAT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEBT?

OBVIOUSLY, IT’S NONSENSE. OBVIOUSLY, IT’S NONSENSE. JUST AS

FRANKLY IT WAS NONSENSE WHEN THE SAME GROUP OF SENATORS SAID WE

SHOULDN’T EVEN DEBATE GUN MEASURES IN LIGHT OF A TRAGEDY THAT

TOOK PLACE IN CONNECTICUT AND ANOTHER TRAGEDY THAT TOOK PLACE

IN TUCSON, ARIZONA. DIDN’T EVEN WANT TO TAKE UP AND DEBATE A

WAY THAT SOME OF US HAD IDEAS TO TRY TO KEEP THE WEAPONS OUT OF

THE HANDS OF CRIMINALS, AND THE HANDS OF THE MENTALLY ILL. SO

NOW WE HAVE A SENATE WHERE WE REFUSE TO MOVE FORWARD ON ISSUES

AND HAVE OPEN DEBATE AND DISCUSSION AND VOTES. I ALWAYS

BELIEVED IN THE YEARS I HAVE BEEN HERE WITH REPUBLICAN AND

DEMOCRAT MAJORITIES THAT THE WAY WE ARE SUPPOSED TO FUNCTION IS

TO SAY OKAY, LET’S GIVE IT OUR BEST SHOT AND LET’S DO THE BEST

WE CAN AND LET’S HAVE VOTES. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WAS OUR

OBJECTIONS AGAIN TO THE MAJORITY LEADER WAS THAT HE WOULDN’T

LET US HAVE VOTES ON AMENDMENTS. WE HAD I HAVE FORGOTTEN HOW

MANY VOTES ON THE BUDGET THAT LASTED

UNTIL, I BELIEVE, AROUND 7:00 IN THE MORNING. SO THE OPPONENTS

OF MOVING FORWARD ON ANYTHING CAN’T ARGUE WE DIDN’T HAVE VOTES

ON THE BUDGET, CAN’T ARGUE THAT THEY WERE BLOCKED FROM WHATEVER

AMENDMENT THAT THEY WANTED TO HAVE VOTED ON, SO NOW WE’RE FACED

WITH A SITUATION WHERE WE WILL NOT GO TO CONFERENCE, AND I WANT

TO TELL MY COLLEAGUES THAT CONTINUE TO DO THIS THAT, WITH MY

STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS, THE MAJORITY WILL BECOME FRUSTRATED AND

THE MAJORITY CAN CHANGE THE RULES OF THE SENATE, THEY CAN DO

THAT. AND I MUST SAY THAT ALTHOUGH I

WOULD STRENUOUSLY. MAJORITY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE CAPITOL IS

OF OUR PARTY. THAT’S REALLY VERY DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND.

UNLESS YOU TAKE THE WORD OF ONE PI MY COLLEAGUES TO CAME TO

FLOOR AND SAID I DON’T TRUST DEMOCRATS AND I DON’T TRUST

REPUBLICANS. LET ME REPEAT WHAT HE SAID. I DON’T TRUST

DEMOCRATS AND I DON’T TRUST REPUBLICANS. IT’S NOT A MATTER OF

TRUSTING DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS. WHAT THIS IS A MATTER OF IS

WHETHER WE WILL GO THROUGH THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS THAT PEOPLE

SENT US HERE TO DO. AND I’VE PROBABLY LOST MANY MORE TIMES THAN

I HAVE WON. BUT I’VE BEEN SATISFIED IN THE TIMES THAT I HAVE

LOST THAT I WAS ABLE TO MAKE MY ARGUMENT, WAS — PUT IT TO THE

WILL OF THE BODY AND IT WAS EITHER ACCEPTED OR REJECTED. THAT’S

HOW PEOPLE, SCHOOL CHILDREN ALL OVER AMERICA, EXPECT TO US

BEHAVE. THAT’S THE WAY OUR CONSTITUTION IS WRITTEN. THAT’S WHAT

THIS BODY IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT. SO WHEN WE HAVE A — BY THE

WAY, MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS IS THE LAST TIME I’M GOING TO COME

TO THE FLOOR ON THIS EXERCISE BECAUSE IT’S OBVIOUSLY A

FRUITLESS KIND OF EFFORT, UNTIL SOMETHING CHANGES. AND

OBVIOUSLY THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE SHORT TERM. NOW, MY

FRIENDS ON THE — WILL BE SAYING THEY’RE REAGAN REPUBLICANS,

YOU’RE A REAGAN REPUBLICAN. I WAS HERE WHEN RONALD REAGAN WAS

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. PRESIDENT REAGAN RIGHTLY OR

WRONGLY PASSED AMNESTY FOR THREE MILLION PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY

ILLEGALLY. HE SAT DOWN WITH TIP O’NEILL AND THEY SAVED SOCIAL

SECURITY FROM BANKRUPTCY. RONALD REAGAN-RANK SAT DOWN WITH THE

DEMOCRATS AND THEY AGREED IN WAYS OF INCREASING REVENUES AND

CUTTING SPENDING. RONALD REAGAN’S RECORD IS VERY CLEAR. AND, BY

THE WAY, IT WAS ONE OF AN ASSERTIVE ROLE OF THE UNITED STATES

OF AMERICA AND LEADERSHIP IN THE WORLD AND NOT COME HOME TO

FORTRESS AMERICA. SO SOMETIMES WHEN I HEAR MY COLLEAGUES HERE

TALK ABOUT HOW THEY ARE RONALD REAGAN REPUBLICANS, I DON’T

THINK RONALD REAGAN WOULD HAVE DISAGREED WE SHOULD HAVE A

BUDGET. WE SHOULD HAVE A BUDGET FOR — TO GUIDE THE LEGISLATIVE

AGENDA OF THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES. SO AS I SAID, I

WON’T BE COMING BACK TO THE FLOOR AGAIN WHILE MY COLLEAGUES

OBJECT AND I SEE MY COLLEAGUE FROM UTAH THAT WAS SO UNFAMILIAR

WITH THE — WITH WHAT WE DO HERE THAT HE CLAIMED IT WAS BEHIND

CLOSED DOORS IN BACK ROOMS WHEN THE FACT IS THE BUDGET

CONFERENCE IS ON C-SPAN AND OPEN TO ALL. SO I CAN JUST SAY TO

MY COLLEAGUES THIS IS NOT A PROUD MOMENT FOR ME AS WE BLOCK A

PROCESS THAT WAS AGREED TO AND ENACTED FOR MANY, MANY YEARS,

WAS NOT ENACTED FOR FOUR YEARS OVER THE STRENUOUS OBJECTIONS OF

MYSELF AND MY COLLEAGUES WHO DID NOT ENACT A BUDGET, WE ENACTED

A BUDGET AFTER AN ALL-NIGHTMARE THON OF VOTE AFTER VOTE AFTER

VOTE ON LITERALLY ANY ISSUE AND THERE WAS NOT A SINGLE VOTE

PROPOSED BY MY COLLEAGUES HERE THAT SAID THAT WE CAN’T AGREE TO

A LIFTING OF THE DEBT LIMIT. NOW, THE FLOOR WAS OPEN FOR THAT

AMENDMENT. AND I DON’T KNOW WHY MY COLLEAGUES NOW VIEW THIS AS

THE CRITERIA FOR US MOVING FORWARD ON THE BILL. SO I WISH THEM

LUCK, AND I WILL NOT BE COMING TO THE FLOOR AGAIN TO OBJECT TO

THEIR OBJECTION, AND WE’LL LET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MAKE THE

JUDGMENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON.

MRS. MURRAY: I WANT TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA FOR HIS

VERY HEARTFELT REMARKS. HE AND I DON’T AGREE ON A LOT BUT WE

AGREE WE WANT THIS COUNTRY TO WORK. BECAUSE THE ALTERNATIVE

ISN’T GREAT. AND THE WAY FOR THIS COUNTRY TO WORK IS FOR FOR TO

US COME TOGETHER WITH OUR DIFFERENCES OF OPINION AND MOVE

FORWARD AND THAT’S WHAT THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE IS ALL ABOUT.

SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE

PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 33, H. CON.

RES. 25, THE AMENDMENT WHICH IS AT THE DESK, THE TEXT OF S.

CON. RES. 8, THE BUDGET RESOLUTION PASSED BY THE SENATE BE

INSERTED IN LIEU THEREOF, THAT THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID

ON THE TABLE, THE SENATE INSIST ON ITS AMENDMENT, REQUEST A

CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE ON THE DISAGREEING VOTES OF THE TWO

HOUSES, AND THE CHAIR AUTHORIZED TO APPOINT CONFEREES ON THE

PART OF THE SENATE, FOLLOWING THE AUTHORIZATION TWO MOTIONS TO

INSTRUCT CONFERENCES BE IN ORDER FROM EACH SIDE. MOTION TO

INSTRUCT RELATIVE TO THE DEBT LIMIT AND MOTION TO INSTRUCT

RELATIVE TO TAXES AND REVENUE. THERE BE TWO HOURS OF DEBATE

EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES

PRIOR TO VOTES IN RELATIONS TO THE MOTIONS, FURTHER NO

AMENDMENTS ANY OF THE AMENDMENTEDS PRIOR TO THE VOTE ALL OF THE

ABOVE OCCURRING WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTIONAM ?

THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA.

MR. RUBIO: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT — FIRST I THANK THE

SENATOR FROM ARIZONA FOR PROTECTING MY RIGHT TO OBJECT IN MY

ABSENCE BEFORE I MADE IT TO

FLOOR AND JUST TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT, I DON’T THINK THAT

WE OBJECT TO MOVING THE BUDGET CONFERENCE. WE OBJECT TO MOVING

THE BUDGET CONFERENCE AND HAVING THE DEBT LIMIT RAISED WITHIN

THAT CONFERENCE. I WOULD ASK THE SENATOR IF SHE WOULD CONSIDER

A UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT SHE MODIFY HER REQUEST SO IT NOT BE IN

ORDER FOR THE SENATE TO CONSIDER A CONFERENCE REPORT THAT

INCLUDES RECONCILIATION INSTRUCTIONS TO RAISE THE DEBT LIMIT.

MRS. MURRAY: MADAM PRESIDENT, IF THE SENATOR HEARD MY REQUEST,

I SAID THAT WE WOULD CONSIDER A MOTION TO INSTRUCT RELATIVE TO

THE DEBT LIMIT AS PART OF OUR AGREEMENT TO MOVE TO CONFERENCE.

SO SO THE SENATOR WOULD BE ALLOWED TO MAKE HIS VOICE HEARD AT

THAT TIME, AND I WOULD OBJECT TO MAKING A REQUIREMENT WITHOUT A

VOTE OF THE SENATE THAT SAYS THE MAJORITY WOULD AGREE WITH

THAT. SO I WOULD OBJECT TO HIS AMENDMENT AND AGAIN ASK FOR

CONSENT ON THE AGREEMENT THAT I HAVE BEFORE ME.

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD. IS THERE OBJECTION

TO THE ORIGINAL REQUEST?

 

MR. RUBIO: MADAM PRESIDENT?

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA.

MR. RUBIO: I OBJECT.

 

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD.

Bookmark and Share