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Patriot Act

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. COBURN. I thank the Chair. In the earlier discussion we had, it was stated by the minority leader that the Presiding Officer can debate from the chair. I did not think that was right. In fact, it is not correct.

I want to wrap up with a couple of thoughts. We have had a lot of discussion this evening about process and precedent and keeping your word. As we think about what that means to our country, we ought to go a little further back and think about the heritage that has been given to this country by those who came before us. I want to characterize a couple points of that.

One is doing whatever we have to do, including personal sacrifice, to assure opportunity and a great future for those who follow.

It seems to me, as we get hung up on a discussion of process, that we ought to pay as much attention to heritage. I mean by that, we are having trouble passing the Labor-HHS bill. It is the first bill to come through this Senate in a number of years that doesn't have any earmarks on it. I suspect the reason people don't want to vote for it is because they did not get the political benefit of placing the public's dollars to their own political advantage.

The other point is we hear debate that it does not supply enough. The real heritage that came before us is Members of this body making the hard choices--not easy choices, hard choices--about priorities. We are at such a point that this next year is going to be a very difficult year for us in terms of how we pay for a war, how we pay for Katrina, and the related items we have an obligation to pay for, and not diminish the opportunity and the future of our children and our grandchildren.

I think we would be very wise to not put the purity of our own process ahead of our basic morality and ethics of maintaining the heritage this country has.

I will not say any more. I know we are about to wrap up, and I appreciate the time.

I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a quorum.

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