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Mr. CHAMBLISS. Mr. President, I came over to speak on this bill and in opposition to the motion to proceed. I sit here and I listen to the distinguished chairman of the committee talk about the fact that this is an open process and that we have to get to this bill and everybody can file amendments.
Well, when it comes to filing amendments to the Defense authorization bill, the majority leader is just like me. He is a Member of the Senate. He has the right to file amendments. I have the right to file amendments. That is not the case here. That is not what we are arguing about.
What has happened is the majority leader, for political purposes, has come down and he has called up the Defense authorization bill and he has done what we call filling the tree. He has filed three Democratic amendments for his benefit and then he has filled the tree and he has not allowed me to file an amendment. He has not allowed the Senator from Florida to file an amendment.
So when the chairman stands and says: We have to get to the bill. Well, we are on the bill. Is it right for the majority leader to be able to file amendments and nobody else to file amendments? I do not think so. That is what we are arguing about today. If you believe that is a fair process and that is an open process, then you vote for the motion to proceed.
But if you believe the process ought to be that every Member of the Senate has the right to come down, whether you are a member of the Armed Services Committee or not, and file an amendment and call up your amendment and have a debate on it and a vote on it, then you need to vote against this motion to proceed. This is not the process that the Senate is used to following. It is the process this majority leader has seen fit to follow time and time again, and it is not right. It is not the way the Senate is supposed to work.
I intend to vote against the motion to proceed.
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