September 13, 2016 05:17 PM

Durbin objects to Gardner request to move to H.R.5293, DoD appropriations

Senator Gardner asked unanimous consent that following the disposition of H.R.5325, the vehicle for the short-term CR, the Senate proceed to H.R.5293, the Department of Defense Appropriations bill.

Senator Durbin objected.

Unofficial transcript of the exchange below:

{ NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF THE SENATE PROCEEDINGS.}

SENATOR DURBIN:   I KNOW THAT THEY ARE CONSCIENTIOUS AND COMMITTED TO OUR

NATIONAL DEFENSE AND SECURITY AND TO THE MEN AND WOMEN THAT

MAKE IT POSSIBLE. I HAVE LISTENED TO THEIR SPEECHES ON THE

FLOOR AND BUT FOR SOME POLITICAL AUNTIL SEES, I WOULD SAY THAT

I WOULD AGREE WITH THEIR MOTIVES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE

ADEQUATELY AND PROMPTLY FUND THE DEFENSE OF OUR COUNTRY. THERE

IS NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. SECONDLY, I MIGHT SAY THAT I KNOW A

[ram]{17:00:39} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

LITTLE BIT ABOUT THIS BILL. I AM THE RANKING DEMOCRAT ON THE

DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. IN THE PREVIOUS CONGRESS, I

SERVED AS CHAIRMAN OF THE DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE. I'M

LUCKY BECAUSE I HAVE BY MY SIDE REPUBLICAN SENATOR, THAD

COCHRAN OF MISSISSIPPI WHO CURRENTLY CHAIRS THE COMMITTEE. I

CAN TELL YOU THAT FROM START TO FINISH, THAD COCHRAN,

REPUBLICAN, AND DICK DURBIN, DEMOCRAT, HAVE AGREED ON THIS BILL

AND WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THIS BILL. WE HAVE WORKED IT OUT TO THE

SATISFACTION NOT ONLY OF OUR OWN STAFF AND PEOPLE WE WORK WITH

[ram]{17:01:12} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

BUT OF THE PENTAGON AS WELL, THAT WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER A VERY

GOOD, SOLID, DEFENSIBLE BILL. AND THE POINT THAT YOU MADE

DEMONSTRATES THAT. WHEN IT WAS CALLED IN THE FULL

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, IT WAS UNANIMOUS, UNANIMOUS SUPPORT.

SO WITHIN THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE BILL, THERE IS NO

CONTROVERSY. THE ONLY QUESTION BEFORE US NOW IS WHEN IT WILL BE

CALLED FOR PASSAGE, AND I TAKE TO HEART YOUR EFFORT ALONG WITH

YOUR COLLEAGUES TODAY TO SUGGEST THAT WE SHOULD DO THIS SOONER

RATHER THAN LATER. I MIGHT TRY TO EXPLAIN FOR A MOMENT, IF YOU

[ram]{17:01:47} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

WILL ALLOW ME, WHY THE FEELING IS THAT WE CAN'T DO IT AT THIS

MOMENT IN TIME. THIS IS THE BIGGEST SINGLE DISCRETIONARY

SPENDING BILL IN OUR NATION'S BUDGET. 60% OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET

FLOWS THROUGH THIS BILL TO SUPPORT THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

AND INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES, SO IT IS THE MONSTER OF THE

MIDWAY, WE WOULD SAY IN CHICAGO. IT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT BILL

IN SIZE AT LEAST WHEN IT COMES TO OUR APPROPRIATIONS, BUT IT IS

[ram]{17:02:20} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

NOT THE ONLY BILL. AS THE SENATOR KNOWS, THERE ARE 11 OTHER

APPROPRIATIONS BILLS, AND WHAT WE ARE TRYING TO DO, AND I

BELIEVE WE WILL ACHIEVE THIS, IS AN AGREEMENT ON THE ENTIRE

BUDGET. WHEN WE REACHED A BUDGET AGREEMENT WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA

AND THE REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN CONGRESS, WE SAID THAT WE WERE

GOING TO FUND THE -- ANY INCREASES IN THE DEPARTMENT OF

DEFENSE, WE'RE GOING TO MATCH THEM WITH INCREASES IN NONDEFENSE

SPENDING, AND THAT HAS BEEN BASICALLY THE RULE OF THE ROAD FROM

[ram]{17:02:52} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE START, AND SO THERE IS A RELUCTANCE TO ALLOW ONE BILL, THE

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATION BILL, TO JUMP OUT AHEAD OF

OTHERS UNTIL WE HAVE THIS GLOBAL AGREEMENT ON THE BUDGET. NOW,

THE SENATOR MAKES A GOOD POINT WITH HIS COLLEAGUES. WHAT'S MORE

IMPORTANT THAN THE DEFENSE OF THIS NATION?

WHAT'S MORE IMPORTANT THAN NATIONAL SECURITY?

AND THE HONEST ANSWER IS, NO, THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT.

ISN'T THAT THE FIRST LINE, PROVIDE FOR THE COMMON DEFENSE IN

TERMS OF OUR RESPONSIBILITY?

BUT THERE ARE IMPORTANT THINGS AS WELL THAT ARE IN THE

NONDEFENSE BUDGET. I'M SURE THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO WOULD BE

[ram]{17:03:23} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE FIRST TO STAND UP AND SAY WE NEED TO ADEQUATELY FUND THE

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION. THEY WORKED NIGHT AND DAY TO

KEEP AMERICA SAFE. THEY'RE NOT INCLUDED IN THIS DEFENSE BILL.

THEY'RE IN ANOTHER APPROPRIATION BILL, STILL UNRESOLVED. I

THINK THE SENATOR WOULD PROBABLY AGREE WITH ME. THE DEPARTMENT

OF HOMELAND SECURITY. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT AGENCY WHEN IT

COMES TO SAFETY IN OUR AIRPORTS, OUR FAMILIES GETTING ON

AIRPLANES, PEOPLE CROSSING OUR BORDER. THE APPROPRIATION FOR

THAT DEPARTMENT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THIS BILL. SO THE POINT I'M

TRYING TO MAKE IS WHEN IT COMES TO THE SECURITY OF THIS NATION

[ram]{17:03:57} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

IS NOT JUST THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE. IT IS PRIMARILY AND

INITIALLY THAT DEPARTMENT. AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS MAKE SURE

WE HAVE ADEQUATELY FUNDED THE ENTIRE BUDGET OF THIS COUNTRY.

CAN WE DO IT?

YES, WE CAN AND WE MUST. THE SHORT-TERM SPENDING BILL, THE

CONTINUING RESOLUTION THAT WE'VE DONE BEFORE MANY, MANY TIMES,

DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, WON'T DISADVANTAGE THE DEPARTMENT OF

DEFENSE, AND BY THE SECOND WEEK IN DECEMBER, I BELIEVE IN GOOD

FAITH WE CAN WORK OUT OUR DIFFERENCES AND COME UP WITH SPENDING

[ram]{17:04:29} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

BILLS ACROSS THE BOARD FOR EVERY AGENCY. MEDICAL RESEARCH, FOOD

INSPECTION, THINGS THAT EVERYONE COUNTS ON. BUT TO JUMP AHEAD

AND SAY WE'LL JUST TAKE THE BIGGEST APPROPRIATION BILL AND PUT

IT ASIDE HERE, WE'LL GO AHEAD AND FINISH THAT ONE, AS THE

GENTLEMAN SUGGESTS WITH HIS UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST, REALLY

DOESN'T TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION ACROSS

THE GOVERNMENT TO DO OUR JOB, NOT JUST WITH ONE BILL BUT WITH

ALL OF THE APPROPRIATION BILLS. I BELIEVE IN THIS BILL, I HAVE

VOTED FOR THIS BILL, I WORKED ON THIS BILL. AS MUCH TIME AS MY

COLLEAGUE MAY HAVE PUT IN RESEARCH IN PREPARING FOR HIS FLOOR

[ram]{17:05:01} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

SPEECH, I WILL MATCH IT WITH THE TIME THAT I HAVE PUT IN THIS

BILL TO MAKE SURE IT'S WRITTEN RIGHT, BUT I WANT TO MAKE

CERTAIN THAT IT'S PASSED AND A BUDGET THAT IS FAIR TO THIS

COUNTRY THAT IS DONE IN A WAY -- A BIPARTISAN WAY THAT WE'LL

ALL BE PROUD OF. NOT JUST THE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM, BUT

EVERYONE IN THE UNITED STATES WHO IS SERVED BY OUR EFFORTS. SO

FOR THAT REASON, AT THIS MOMENT, I WILL OBJECT TO THE REQUEST

THAT'S MADE.

[ram]{17:05:28 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD. MR. GARDNER: MADAM

PRESIDENT?

[ram]{17:05:31 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO.

[ram]{17:05:34 NSP} (MR. GARDNER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

  1. GARDNER: I THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. THANK YOU TO MY
COLLEAGUE FROM ILLINOIS. WE'LL CONTINUE TO WORK ON THIS ISSUE

UNTIL WE PASS THIS BILL, THIS IMPORTANT APPROPRIATION BILL.

YOU'LL HEAR FROM OUR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE COUNTRY BUT

PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO WERE JUST ELECTED IN 2014. MADAM

PRESIDENT, I WOULD JUST ASK AT THIS TIME UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT

MY MILITARY FELLOW ACTUALLY BE GRANTED FLOOR PRIVILEGES FOR THE

REMAINDER OF THE CONGRESS.

[ram]{17:06:15 NSP} (THE PRESIDING OFFICER) { NOT AN OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT }

THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.