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National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, I know the majority leader has indicated he is going to file cloture on the Levin amendment and is setting up a cloture vote for Wednesday. It had been my hope we could have by consent set up a process by which we could put the Levin amendment in the queue with a 60-vote threshold such as we have had on virtually every Iraq amendment this week, and also a 60-vote threshold on the Cornyn amendment, which is a logical counter to the Levin amendment. As I indicated, it is my understanding the majority leader announced earlier it would be his intention to file cloture on the Levin-Reed amendment this evening. That would, as I suggested, allow for a cloture vote to occur on Wednesday of this week. As I indicated, it had been my hope we could have had the Levin amendment and the Cornyn amendment in juxtaposition by consent, both requiring 60 votes. This has been the way we have dealt with essentially every controversial Iraq amendment this year, no matter what bill it has been offered on.


Given the majority leader's intention to file cloture this evening on the Levin amendment, I now send an amendment to the desk and ask for its consideration.


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, it is a shame we find ourselves in the position we are in. The sensible and logical way to set up this debate with the Levin amendment and the Cornyn amendment would have been to do it by consent with two 60-vote thresholds. This continued effort to thwart the ability of the minority to get amendments in the queue and to get them offered and voted on is not, I might say, a very effective way to legislate, because it produces a level of animosity and unity on the minority side that makes it more difficult for the majority to pass important legislation.

In addition to the Cornyn amendment, we have the Warner-Lugar proposal, which certainly deserves a vote, as does the Salazar--the occupant of the Chair--the Salazar-Alexander amendment.

I hope we could do this in an orderly way. We have been on this bill now for a week and a half. We are clearly going to be on it through the end of this week. It would be important, as we move toward disposition of this measure, to have all Senators who have important amendments have an opportunity to be heard.

With that, I yield the floor.

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