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 - April 01, 2008)
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Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, the majority leader and I have had good conversations this morning, and a few moments ago, we reached an agreement on how to go forward on the housing bill. That agreement is as follows: that Senator Dodd, the chairman of the Banking Committee, and Senator Shelby, the ranking member, would come together after we invoke cloture on the motion to proceed and come up with a bipartisan substitute to be offered as an amendment to the bill upon which we are about to invoke cloture to proceed. That would be the underlying bill that would enjoy the confidence and support of the two leaders of the Banking Committee.
Most of my conference is very comfortable with that proposal. We understand fully there will be amendments after that, but that will at least give us an opportunity to get off on a bipartisan footing, reminiscent of the good work we were able to do earlier this year not only on the foreign intelligence surveillance bill but also on the economic stimulus package where we were able to come together and, by significant bipartisan majorities, pass the legislation.
We all know we have problems with housing in this country. Most of us believe we need to enact legislation to try to improve this situation. Many of these proposals are supported by people on both sides of the aisle. So this would give us a chance to begin in a way that is comforting to both sides before we open the process to amendments.
The majority leader has also assured me he has no intention of filling up the tree or employing any of the other techniques the majority is certainly free to do but which have a way of locking down the process on the minority side.
This has been a very good discussion, leading up to a process by which I think we can go forward and hopefully get something important for the country--I see my good friend, the leader of the Banking Committee, on the floor--get something important for the country accomplished in the Senate this week.
I thank the majority leader for his approach to this issue. I think it is entirely appropriate and gives us a good opportunity to move forward.
I yield the floor.
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