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Public Statements

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. REID. Mr. President, from now until 11 a.m., there will be conversation on the floor. At 11 a.m., we will have six rollcall votes. The first vote will be 15 minutes and after that the votes will be 10 minutes each, as we said yesterday, and I enforced it. When the time is up, we are closing the vote. If the Republicans are not here, too bad; if the Democrats are not here, too bad. We are going to have a lot of votes today, so everyone should make sure they are here. Understand if you are not here in time, the clerk has been asked to turn the vote in.

After we complete the six rollcall votes starting at 11 a.m., there will be 2 hours of debate remaining on the resolution. Therefore, unless something untoward happens, the vote-arama is expected to begin at 3 p.m. this afternoon. I hope everyone will understand we have had about 400 amendments that have been filed. We are not going to vote on 400 amendments. The average is usually between 25 and 35 votes. So everyone should understand that is about where we should wind up.

Everyone is going to be tired. The two managers have worked very hard on this for a long time, so be considerate of their time, their thoughts, and their efforts also.

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Mr. REID. Mr. President, we finalize these amendments, and we will have disposed of 41 amendments. Senators are going to have to understand that this is not going to go on forever. The average is about 30 or 35 votes. After we finish, it will be 41. Everyone should understand that we had 400 amendments that had been offered, and we are not going to do that.

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Mr. REID. Madam President, a lot of progress has been made. We are doing extremely well. I admire the progress made by the two managers of this bill.

Over the last two decades, after the expiration of debate time on those budget resolutions, the Senate has offered and the Senate disposed of an average of 35 amendments. Today, since the expiration of that debate time on this resolution, we have now disposed of 33 amendments. We have considered and disposed of 44 amendments on the resolution in total, counting those we did yesterday.

We need to continue working. There are a lot of things that people want to have offered. But, you know, there are 400 amendments that have already been filed. Senator Byrd, whom we all revere, said, and I will quote:

I once described vote-aramas as pandemonium, which was the Palace of Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost. But that term fails to describe the ignominy of the Senate when it becomes engulfed in these budget vote carnivals.

So we are doing fine. We are not at the carnival stage yet. Let's proceed and try to finish this with a lot of dignity. I again tell Senator Murray and Senator Sessions what a good job they have done. We need to proceed to see what else we can get done.

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