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Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I have a couple of points. The chairman of the Budget Committee, Senator Nickles, is certainly doing his job, and I understand his concern. But I have just a couple of observations.

The Commissioners of the new Election Administration Commission have their hearing next Tuesday. They will be confirmed before we leave this fall. This money can and will be spent. It all goes out by formula, all across America—directly out by formula. It doesn't require them to use some discretion on it. It goes out directly by formula, and it will be spent because this is a Federal mandate. We are mandating that this money be spent for the reasons specified in the bill.

If you are interested in having, to the maximum extent, an honest election next year, then we need to provide adequate funding early in the year because the election is 13 months away, so that these mandates can be carried out in time to guarantee that we have next fall, to the maximum number extent possible, an honest election.

It is because of these extraordinary circumstances I find myself in a position I would not normally be in, which is supporting waiving the Budget Act.

I yield the floor.

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