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McConnell: Democrats' Tactics on Farm Bill Will Fail Again

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Location: Washington, DC


McConnell: Democrats' Tactics on Farm Bill Will Fail Again

‘I am not sure how the Majority defines wide open debate, but this no-amendments-allowed process clearly does not meet the standard'

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Friday regarding the Majority's decision to block a fair and open amendment process on the Farm Bill:

"I am disappointed the Majority has filed cloture on this bill prior to allowing a single Republican amendment.

"Republicans were further disappointed that we were prevented from improving this 1,600 page bill without the advance, expressed permission of the Majority after first being told the farm bill debate would be, quote, ‘wide open, as is usual in the Senate.' I am not sure how the Majority defines wide open debate, but this no-amendments-allowed process clearly does not meet the standard.

"As I mentioned on the first day of floor consideration, we've unfortunately been down this road before. During the last farm bill debate, then-Majority Leader Daschle attempted to limit amendments - he failed three times. I'd predict the Democrats' unfair procedural tactics will fail again today.

"In 2002, after the Majority finally agreed to an open amendments process, final passage of the farm bill occurred fairly quickly after only about a week. We on this side of the aisle believe that is a fair way to proceed on this bill, too.

"Unfortunately, the Majority has now wasted two weeks of floor time. If the Majority would have brought this bill to the floor under regular order last week, this bill could have been completed today and headed off to conference committee. Regrettably, not a single vote has occurred and progress has been stopped by a misguided attempt to quiet the voices of my colleagues.

"The Senate will pass a farm bill -- that is certain -- but only after an open and fair debate on the Senate floor. I urge my Colleagues to vote no on cloture and preserve our right to fair and open floor consideration of this bill and others like it. After all, that is only fair."


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