NEW DIRECTION FOR ENERGY INDEPENDENCE, NATIONAL SECURITY, AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT AND THE RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY CONSERVATION TAX ACT OF 2007--MOTION TO PROCEED -- (Senate - February 28, 2008)
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Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, I listened with a certain level of incredulity to my good friend the majority leader discussing the vote we had a few moments ago. Of course, this was a measure not crafted by the Banking Committee led by Senator Dodd and Senator Shelby. I am not certain whether Senator Dodd was consulted. I am fairly confident Senator Shelby was not consulted.
We know there is widespread opposition to the so-called cram-down provision, and we know that almost everybody in America, apparently, with the exception of one study at Georgetown that I heard my good friend the majority leader quote, believes it will drive up interest rates for all Americans in order to presumably benefit some Americans. This is the kind of thing that happens when you have a hastily concocted political exercise, which it strikes me we just went through.
Now, the way to legislate in a body such as the Senate is to come up with a fair process for consideration.
In fact, I offered it prior to the vote, I say to my good friend the majority leader, that we would go to the measure, take up five amendments on each side, and have a normal legislative process leading to actually making a law rather than trying to create an issue. So we are still very much interested in seeing what we can do in this area.
The majority leader mentioned the Isakson amendment. There is a lot of support on this side of the aisle for the Isakson amendment. I know there are conversations between Senator Carper and Senator Martinez that could conceivably lead to a bipartisan proposal that would enjoy support on both sides of the aisle. The way to achieve something such as that is through the consultative process that we frequently engage in around here when we are serious about legislating. So I would reiterate to my good friend the majority leader that I am open to any discussions for a unanimous consent agreement that gives both sides an opportunity to have their ideas considered.
We all know the Nation's economy is slowing. We all believe there is an appropriate role for the Government to play in trying to lessen that decline in the economy, and we are happy to try to work on a bipartisan basis to achieve a result, and that opportunity is still before us. Now that the box has been checked on the other side, maybe we can get serious now about trying to do something that will actually make a difference. I stand ready to talk to my good friend the majority leader about that at any time.
I yield the floor.
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