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Senate Proceeding on Sep 27th, 2008 :: 1:30:26 to 1:40:23
Total video length: 6 hours 29 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Robert Byrd

1:21:44 to 1:30:26( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Robert Byrd

Robert Byrd

1:30:13 to 1:30:26( Edit History Discussion )

Robert Byrd: i have been allocated a set amount of time. i think it was 15 minutes. the presiding officer: that's correct, you have been allocated 15 minutes. mr. cochran: i count i will use that amount of time for

Thad Cochran

1:30:26 to 1:30:45( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: others who are waiting an opportunity to speak. madam president, we have adopted, strictly speaking, an amendment to senate amendment to h.r. 2638, an act making appropriations for the department of

Thad Cochran

1:30:26 to 1:40:23( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Thad Cochran

Thad Cochran

1:30:45 to 1:31:02( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: homeland security for fiscal year 2008. but most members are aware that what this bill actually contains is the fiscal year 2009 homeland curity appropriations bill and the military construction and veterans'

Thad Cochran

1:31:02 to 1:31:25( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: affairs appropriations bill. it also contains a continuing resolution to fund the rest of the government through march 6th, and a substantial disaster submental in response to floods, wildfires, and hurricanes.

Thad Cochran

1:31:25 to 1:31:43( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: i highlight the title of the bill because it is indicative of the sometimes opaque and convoluted process by which the bill was drafted. madam president, its contents were determined almost exclusively

Thad Cochran

1:31:43 to 1:32:00( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: by staff members and a small handful of members of the senate. there was to opportunity for most senators to advocate for specific requests. there was no forum in which to offer amendments. there were no meetings

Thad Cochran

1:32:00 to 1:32:16( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: in which to argue policy or discuss grieves -- grievances that members may have had. there was in meeting of a conference committee. only a few elements of the bill have been previously considered on the

Thad Cochran

1:32:16 to 1:32:34( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: floor of the senate. only the military construction and veterans' affairs chapter was debated on the floor of the other body. yet, we have only a few days remaining in the fiscal year and we've been

Thad Cochran

1:32:34 to 1:32:51( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: compelled to either concur in the house amendment or risk the shutdown of the government. the appropriations process has rarely, if ever, been perfect, madam president. and i'm the first to admit that.

Thad Cochran

1:32:51 to 1:33:07( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: but in many years the regular order has been abandoned at some stage of the process because of pressures of the legislative and fiscal calendar. but this year we've thrown regular order completely out

Thad Cochran

1:33:07 to 1:33:24( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: the window. in the process we have failed both the senate and, in my opinion, the people we represent. not any of the 12 fiscal year 2009 appropriations bills have been brought to the senate floor.

Thad Cochran

1:33:24 to 1:33:47( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: only one appropriations bill was brought to the floor of the house. the senate committee did not markup even three of the appropriations bills. including the defense bill that supports men and women in

Thad Cochran

1:33:47 to 1:34:03( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: uniform, which accounts for almost half of all discretionary spending. we didn't consider the bill in committee, but, yet, we are in with a conference defense bill buried within a much larger appropriations

Thad Cochran

1:34:03 to 1:34:17( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: measure, which we have adapted. it is not without precedent to have regular bills appended to the continuing resolution or other appropriations bills. but this is a $1 trillion appropriations package that has

Thad Cochran

1:34:17 to 1:34:36( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: been presented for final action without a conference committee meet, without noncommittee members having had an opportunity to discuss the issues, to amend the bill, and without even committee members

Thad Cochran

1:34:36 to 1:34:50( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: having an opportunity to consider most of the provisis of the bill. now, the principal reason, we understand, is that the leadership made a conscious decision early in the year not to engage the president,

Thad Cochran

1:34:50 to 1:35:06( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: not to fuss with the president over appropriations bills. of course he's insisted that his request be honored. that the mission is that he's made to the congress for appropriations be honored in terms

Thad Cochran

1:35:06 to 1:35:19( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: of the top line figure that any bill increasing the amount above the president's request would be vetoed. but you know what? i don't remember any president, since i've been in the senate, who hadn't

Thad Cochran

1:35:19 to 1:35:32( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: said something like that what he -- when he submits the bills to senate. and i can remember the senate working its will, considering the president's request. i remember president reagan, you know,

Thad Cochran

1:35:32 to 1:35:46( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: standing there with a big continuing resolution and supplementals, and everything else you can imagine. it was about two feet high and tall. and in his state of the union or speech to the congress,

Thad Cochran

1:35:46 to 1:36:00( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: he said, don't ever send me another bill like this, i will veto it. guess what. we kept sending bills, if they weren't that high, they might have been close to it. and that's what we have on our

Thad Cochran

1:36:00 to 1:36:15( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: hands here is the chief executive insisting on his right to participate in the process and be an influence in the process through the budget mission is and the request for appropriations that he's bound to

Thad Cochran

1:36:15 to 1:36:34( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: make to the government every year. and we're bound to respond. we're bound to act. and we have. and so i'm not quarreling with just the technicality. what i'm suggesting is we've continued our own

Thad Cochran

1:36:34 to 1:36:48( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: members the opportunity to openly discuss, to debate, to offer amendments on these bills. and i think we need to reexamine that process. puttingalf of the day-to-day operations of government on autopilot, which is

Thad Cochran

1:36:48 to 1:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: what was the result, for six months -- for six months, rather than negotiate with the president, or attempt to override his a vote yoament we can override the -- veto. we can override a veto. it

Thad Cochran

1:37:00 to 1:37:13( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: is not the end of the world when the president vetoe a bill. the majority continues to express confidence that the majority will be able to come back next year and working with the next president,

Thad Cochran

1:37:13 to 1:37:32( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: we hope to complete action on the remaining appropriations bills. whether that's realistic or not to expect, we'll wait until the next congress and confront the next administration with our views

Thad Cochran

1:37:32 to 1:37:48( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: on the appropriations levels and the proper way to write these bills funding the federal government. i hope that the next congress will choose to extend this continuation -- i fear that the next congress

Thad Cochran

1:37:48 to 1:38:08( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: may refuse to do that and, instead, extend the continuing resolution through the end of the year. there may be some adjustments made here and there. we've done that before. we did it in 2007. and we

Thad Cochran

1:38:08 to 1:38:20( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: wouldn't spend much less under that scenario, but we might omit some details, guidance, and oversight provisions that are our responsibility to undertake. so if the majority was unable to win concessions from

Thad Cochran

1:38:20 to 1:38:36( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: the president on their spending priorities, we could have overridden the president's vetoes or rewritten the bills to accommodate the president's concerns. there's nothing to stop congress from coming

Thad Cochran

1:38:36 to 1:38:53( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: back next year and working with the next administration to address in supplemental legislation any shortfalls that may -- we may become aware of. that's probably what we'll end up doing. but with this

Thad Cochran

1:38:53 to 1:39:07( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: c.r., this continuing resolution, we will put half the government adrift, in effect, for the next six months. we've been able to take some comfort in the past by the fact that the appropriations committees

Thad Cochran

1:39:07 to 1:39:23( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: did that which was their responsibility to do. this year, however, even the committee has fallen short. in the senate we marked up only nine of the 12 appropriations bills. in the house only five

Thad Cochran

1:39:23 to 1:39:37( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: were reported from the full committee. my hope, madam president, is that we will admit we have responsibilities that go beyond putting the government on this autopilot as we have described. we are here

Thad Cochran

1:39:37 to 1:39:50( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: to challenge the president when we disagree with him. but we don't need to avoid completely our responsibilities or abdicate our responsibilities. madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the balance of my

Thad Cochran

1:39:50 to 1:40:23( Edit History Discussion )

Thad Cochran: remarks be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. i'd also like it note that cloture having been invoked on the motion to concur in the house amendment, the

Robert Byrd

1:40:23 to 1:41:02( Edit History Discussion )

Robert Byrd: motion to concur with an amendment falls. the senator from west virginia is recogzed. mr. byrd: madam president, let me say that i share the disdain that the able senator from mississippi has expressed

Robert Byrd

1:40:23 to 1:41:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Robert Byrd

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