CLIMATE SECURITY ACT OF 2008--MOTION TO PROCEED -- (Senate - June 02, 2008)
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Mr. KYL. This is one of the most dramatic--or would be, if passed--one of the most dramatic changes in law, as one publication pointed out, since the 1930s in terms of increasing the scope of Government. Surely we can spend 30 hours debating this important legislation. It is massive in its intent, in its goals, in its scope, and in its effect on the American people. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it would result in a tax increase on the American people of over $900 billion and a gas tax increase of 53 cents per gallon. Surely, the Senate, the greatest deliberative body in the world, can take 30 hours to debate something of this magnitude before we begin the amending process. I thank my colleagues for appreciating that point.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Massachusetts is recognized.
Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, I would politely point out to the Senator from Arizona--and I think he knows this full well--that the first amendment that comes up is subject to endless debate. There is no limit. The notion that we have to have 30 hours before we can get to a debate on an amendment--each amendment is subject to endless debate; the bill itself is subject to endless debate. So the concept of coming out here and saying: Oh, we have to have 30 hours--this bill will be debated, every amendment will be debated. But it would serve the Senate's purpose to actually get to an amendment now and then we could spend 30, 40, 48 hours, a week--we all know this is going to take a while--legislating an important bill does take a while here. But this notion that we have to spend 30 hours without any amendment just to talk about the bill when the bill will be exhaustively talked about in the context of any amendment is, frankly, specious.