Mr. COBURN. Mr. President, we are about 10 minutes away from a vote on the energy and water conference report. I wanted to put forward one very cogent reason for voting against this bill.
This bill hides from the American people information to which they are entitled. There was clearly accepted by unanimous consent an amendment that said the reports in that bill will be made available to all Senators and all the citizens of this country--and rightly so--unless it had a national security implication for not exposing that information.
The best government is the one that is the most open. The best government is the one in which people have trust. By bringing this bill to the floor out of conference and dropping the transparency amendment, the transparency section where one can actually see what is going on in Washington, where one can actually see where their money is being spent, where one can actually see the information that a select group of Senators see but other Senators do not, as well as the American people--if, in fact, one can see that, that breeds accountability in Washington.
If my colleagues, in fact, vote for this conference report, what they are saying is they want to keep the American people in the dark; they do not want them to see what we are doing; they do not want them to see how we are doing it; they do not want them to see why we are doing it. They want the elite position of making a judgment without being held accountable.
I urge my colleagues to vote against this conference report.
I yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.