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Public Statements

Department of Defense Appropriations Act - Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, I know we have Senators who have talked about bringing amendments to the floor. I know the distinguished majority leader is trying to get a finite list and a time to vote on them. I hope that can be done. I hope Senators who have amendments will bring them up, debate them, and vote them up or down so we can get on with this bill.

If you are a person whose home has been devastated or your children's school has been destroyed in this storm or your business is only a pile of rubble--those people really find it pretty difficult to see us, whether it is the U.S. Senate or the other body, standing around saying we may have amendments, we may not have amendments, we may have something that is not germane to what we have here but we want to make a message amendment. They are saying: We are Americans--we are Americans and we are suffering. Do something for us, just as this body always has. Whether the disaster has been in the Midwest, the West, the Northeast, the Southeast, or the South, we have come together for our fellow Americans.

Time is running out, and we should get moving. I urge Senators, bring your amendments. If you really think they have merit, if you really think they have anything to do with this disaster relief, if you really think they are going to be able to help, bring them in and let's vote them up, vote them down. But let's not just sit here thinking that maybe we can wait longer.

We get paid our salaries. I don't know of any Senator who has lost his or her home, certainly not his or her business. They are still here, and they still get paid every couple of weeks. That is not the case for hundreds of thousands of people. Let's start acting to take care of them.

I suggest the absence of a quorum.


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