Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013—Motion to Proceed—Continuedby Senator Richard J. Durbin
Posted on 2013-03-12
DURBIN. Mr. President, let me thank the Senators from Maryland
and Alabama for their leadership on this bill. I might say to my
friend, the Senator from Arizona, that I have a new assignment in the
Appropriations Committee following the departure and passing of our
great friend Senator Danny Inouye. I am trying my best to make sure we
are doing our best on national defense, which I know is near and dear
to the Senator from Arizona.
There was an extraordinary effort made in the House to accommodate the Department of Defense in the continuing resolution as well as accommodating military construction and veterans. I think it is a good bill. It comes over to us with provisions that will be helpful with some of the problems and challenges they will face.
What these Senators have tried to do is to add several other areas of agreement in the appropriations process. If I am not mistaken, most everything they have added has been subject to debate within the subcommittee and full committee. So there is no attempt here to conceal anything, and we knew full well that the watchful eye of the Senator from Arizona and his friends would be applied to this bill.
I think what we were trying to achieve today is to start the amendment process--not to close it down but start the amendment process. That would give Members who want to come forward with an amendment the time to offer those amendments and others the time to review this legislation closely. I think that was our goal, only to have this shut down now, where no amendments can be taken up or considered. Without foreclosing the Senator from Arizona or the Senator from Oklahoma, wouldn't it be a healthier situation for us to be actively considering amendments of Members who know what they wish to offer at this point? Mr. McCAIN. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to engage in a colloquy with the Senator from Illinois.