National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013

Floor Speech

By:  John McCain III
Date: Dec. 3, 2012
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCAIN. I want to thank Senator Levin and also the majority leader for giving us this time. Also I am in agreement that the time has come for cloture to be invoked, unfortunately. The total time of debate for this bill up to now has been 27 hours of debate and 371 amendments have been filed. We have disposed of 94 amendments, some by voice vote, some by rollcall vote.

Of those amendments, many of them were offered by members of the committee, but a majority of them were offered by nonmembers of the Senate Armed Services Committee. So I think we have had a very inclusive and interesting debate and voting.

I tell my friend Senator Levin, I have just been informed that the Senator from Kentucky has objected, voiced an objection to taking up any further unanimous consent agreements or votes. That means that there will be many amendments which have been approved by both sides which will now not be allowed to be offered or acted upon. It also means that if cloture is invoked, and I anticipate that cloture will be invoked--I understand that will be the second vote we have today--a number of those amendments that are nongermane, which we have cleared and would have been passed, will now be put aside.

I will have a reading of a number of those amendments. There are 15 to 16 amendments that we would be ready shortly to approve. I am not exactly sure how many of them are nongermane in nature, which will fall when cloture is invoked.

All I can say to my friend the chairman is that, again, I find it disappointing that one Member of the Senate feels his particular agenda is so important that it affects the lives, the readiness, and the capabilities of the men and women who are serving in the military and our ability to defend this Nation. I think it is hard to answer to the men and women in the military with this kind of behavior, but I will leave that up to the Senator from Kentucky to do so.

In the meantime, I guess postcloture, we will continue with the legislation and try to get it completed. I have some guarded optimism that we may be able to do so.

Mr. Chairman, I again apologize for what seems to have happened. Much to my dismay, it lends some credence to the argument that maybe we ought not to do business the way we are doing here in the Senate.

I yield the floor.


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