UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST--S. 3001 -- (Senate - September 17, 2008)
Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, let me first thank our dear friend from Louisiana for allowing this interruption. It is a very important presentation.
In a moment, I am going to propound a unanimous consent request. Before doing that, there has been a lot of inquiry as to whether a managers' package is included in this. It is not. It has been unable to be cleared on the other side, so it is not included in this unanimous consent request, so that everybody understands it.
I now ask unanimous consent that at 6:30 p.m., morning business be closed; that after the bill is reported, all postcloture time be yielded back, the first and second-degree amendment be withdrawn, the bill then be read a third time, and the Senate proceed to vote on passage of the bill; that upon passage, it then be in order for the Senate to consider, en bloc, the following calendar items: Nos. 733, 734, and 735; that all after the enacting clause of each bill be stricken and the following divisions of S. 3001, as passed by the Senate, be inserted as follows: Division A, S. 3002; Division B, S. 3003; Division C, S. 3004; that these bills be read a third time, passed, and the motions to reconsider be laid on the table, en bloc; further, that the considering of these items appear separately in the Record.
Further--and this is what I am going to call the second half of this unanimous consent request--the Senate then proceed to the consideration of Calendar No. 758, H.R. 5658, the House companion, that all after the enacting clause be stricken and the text of S. 3001, as amended and passed by the Senate, be inserted in lieu thereof; the bill be read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table; that the title amendment which is at the desk be considered and agreed to; that upon passage of H.R. 5658, as amended, the Senate insist on its amendments, request a conference with the House on the disagreeing votes of the two Houses, the Chair be authorized to appoint conferees without further intervening action or debate, and that no points of order be considered waived by virtue of this agreement.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there objection?
Mr. WARNER. Madam President, reserving the right to object, and I shall object, but before doing so, finally, I would like to say to my colleague and Senators on both sides of the aisle, under the leadership of yourself, Mr. Chairman, and to some extent my participation as the acting ranking member and certainly the members of our committee and staff--we have all worked very diligently to achieve a bill. The particular request my distinguished colleague has put to the Senate, to which I shall object, really refers to those items we were unable to reconcile procedurally in the course of some several days of deliberation beginning, perhaps, as early as last Thursday. We were here Friday. We were here Monday and Tuesday. We were unable to achieve the reconciliation. There were objections, I say absolutely candidly and frankly and factually, on both sides. So it is not as if one side has weighed down the other, in my judgment. It has been the inability to reconcile differences between the Senators. I have been here 30 years. I have seen it happen before. It will happen many years after I leave.
At this time, I point out that the cloud seems dark, but the silver lining is that a group of us, 61 in number, voted for cloture. That enabled us to be here at this moment, and there will be a bill at some point in time. There will be an armed services bill by the Senate. I hope it will be favorably acted upon by a majority.
At this time, I object.