ORDER OF BUSINESS -- (Senate - September 29, 2006)
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Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, I thank the leader for working with me on getting the requirements of what we need to do to get control of our spending in this country. I also want to thank the House leadership for their commitment in attempting to do that.
I had threatened to object to the unanimous consent request that we pass this bill. That is not a desire or something I want to do. But what I do want to do is make sure the money we spend actually goes for Defense. And we had, in both the appropriations bill and in the authorization bill, by a vote of 96 to 1 in this body, that even though we do not report earmarks in the Senate, we do not label them, we do not say who put them, we did have an agreement--with amendments in both those bills--that we will allow the Pentagon to report to the American public on the status of those earmarks and back to us as a Congress whether or not they met the mission of the Defense Department because about 40 percent of them do not. It is all about transparency, the American people seeing where we are spending our money.
I appreciate the leaders both here and in the House agreeing to bring this amendment--which was offered and accepted and passed here; and what was thrown out of the conferences--up in the lame-duck session. And given that commitment from both the House leadership and the Senate leadership, I will not object to this bill.
I will tell people, other than the earmarks that are in this bill, this is a needed bill, and a lot of the earmarks are appropriate and needed. But the American people ought to be seeing where we are spending the money, and they cannot. This amendment would have allowed them to see that.
The agreement of, hopefully, bringing this back, so the American people can actually know where money is spent, I appreciate the leader's help in accomplishing that.
I yield the floor.