IMMIGRATION -- (Senate - June 06, 2007)
Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, as I think my good friend, the majority leader, already knows, we are ready to work with the other side to schedule votes on pending amendments.
I think the two managers are working together this morning to set up a schedule of votes for this afternoon. All of that is a step in the right direction.
Many of the amendments we hope to schedule, however, for the afternoon are amendments that were offered prior to the recess. My concern with cloture being filed last night is that we do not want to deny Members who have yet to offer--and many of them have been denied the right to offer their amendments this week--and those who have been denied the right to offer their amendments should still get their opportunity prior to being shut out.
Now, I am counting progress on this bill not by calendar days--that is one way of looking at it--but by the ability of Senators to debate and to vote on their respective ideas is the way that I would consider progress on the bill. So I hope we can clear out the amendments that are currently pending and that we will also work together to schedule debate and votes on additional amendments that are going to be offered.
Let me remind everyone again, on the day my conference elected me leader I said that I thought we ought to do two big important things, at least, in this Congress. And one of the issues I mentioned was immigration. So I am among those in the Senate who would like to see us accomplish something on a very difficult, some days seemingly intractable, issue. Nevertheless, I am in favor of trying to pass an immigration bill. But there is going to be widespread reluctance on this side of the aisle to support cloture and thereby bring the bill to a conclusion unless amendments, a significant number, are being allowed to be considered.