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Unanimous Consent Request--H.R. 5481

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DORGAN. I want to make the point--and then ask a question--this is probably a fitting description near the end of at least this portion of this session of the almost total lack of cooperation that exists in this Chamber. The House of Representatives passed this almost unanimously. On commissions that are important--the Three Mile Island Commission, the Commission on 9/11, the Financial Crisis Commission--they were all given subpoena power. Why? Because you need that if you are going to force and compel people to produce the records.

I was on the Energy Committee, and we heard the three parties that were out there drilling in that well site: BP, Transocean, and Halliburton. They were all involved. All of them were pointing at each other. The only way this commission can function is with subpoena power. What on Earth can they be thinking of to block subpoena power for this commission four successive times?

I would ask the Senator--first of all, I thank the Senator for doing this. Second, it is unthinkable to me that we see continued blockage. It represents a complete lack of cooperation. They did not do that in the House of Representatives. The minority was very interested in seeing that this works. Here the minority seems very interested in seeing that the commission cannot work.

I would ask, is this not the fourth occasion on the floor of the Senate that the Senator has made this request, and on four successive occasions the minority has objected, in some cases for other--they have a new excuse each time--but isn't this the case that four times the Senator has asked for this consent and four times it has been denied?


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