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Farm, Nutrition, and Bioenergy Act of 2007 - Continued

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

FARM, NUTRITION, AND BIOENERGY ACT OF 2007--Continued -- (Senate - November 14, 2007)


Mr. McCONNELL. I believe I heard my good friend say what we needed to do was get a list of amendments and a starting place. I remind my good friend from Nevada, the majority leader, we were prepared to do that yesterday. We are prepared to do that now, if we could enter into an agreement to have a finite list of amendments, which I offered to do yesterday. That would at least define the universe, and at whatever point we get back to beginning to make progress on the bill, it would be a good starting place.


Mr. McCONNELL. Would the majority leader agree with me that it would be at least desirable to prevent there being a further proliferation of amendments? It strikes me the longer we are out here, the more the amendments would multiply. Why would it not be a good idea to enter into a consent agreement now to limit the universe of amendments, as I was prepared to do yesterday, at least to give us a first step toward preventing the multiplicity of amendments that have a way of coming out of the woodwork around here, so at whatever point we go back to the farm bill we have at least defined the universe? That is the way we almost always start on a bill of that magnitude. It is the way we started on past farm bills. At the end we, of course, will pass a farm bill. We have in the past and we will this year.

I ask my friend from Nevada, what would be wrong with locking in the master, the universe--the list that we both produced yesterday? I was happy to enter into a consent agreement to limit the amendments to that 24 hours ago.


Mr. McCONNELL. Mr. President, obviously we prefer the tree be taken down so we didn't have one Senator, in effect, dictating to the rest of the Senate what amendments get to be considered. But it does strike me that at least that is a place to start. Both sides are familiar with the list that was produced yesterday. I wish to ask unanimous consent that that list be adopted as the list that could be--we all know the vast majority of these amendments are never offered and will not be offered on this one.


Mr. McCONNELL. Reserving the right to object, obviously I am not going to, I wish to make sure we do not have any misunderstanding. This is a little, small step forward. This does not mean we will invoke cloture on either the bill or the substitute.

But it does indicate there is an interest, on this side of the aisle and on the other side of the aisle, in preventing the further kind of proliferation of amendments that will go on a virtually daily basis until we define the universe.

At whatever point we go back to the bill and seriously try to go forward with it, we can have further discussions about some further limitation of amendments. We are certainly, in order to agree to any further limitation of amendments, going to want the tree to be unfilled so we can have a more free-flowing debate on this bill, as we have had in the past.


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