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tv   U.S. Senate - Sens. on Government Funding  CSPAN  December 21, 2018 8:32pm-9:01pm EST

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. >> the senate not in the agreement on how to move forward with government funding. a spending bill that was put forward at the house. a number of senators behind the scenes saying that version of will not pass muster with enough senators. then going over to the house with the freedom caucus. still trying to come to an agreement on the floors on the senate . the house will be in tomorrow and the senate has gaveled out for the evening. but working on things over the weekend and into the holiday on monday and tuesday. federal workers will have those days often we will see is the
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senate in the house come up with an agreement that the president will also sign. we'll take a look at what happened earlier on the floor after they took about on the house passed version of the spending bill. >> on this about, it's 47 in the know will be 47 with it being equally divided. >> resolved that the house agree to the amendment of the senate to the amendment of the house to the amendment of the senate to the bill hr 695 entitled an act -- with an amendment. >> colleagues. here's where we are. it is now clear there are enough votes to proceed to the pending
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legislation on government funding, disaster relief and border security. within the republican conference their strong support for the president's reasonable requests for more resources to tackle the emergency situation on our southern border. republicans support the house bill which includes additional border security funding and were also eager to complete the appropriation bills which the senate has passed. however, obviously since any eventual solution require 60 votes in the senate, it has been clear that two things are necessary. support from enough senate democrats to pass the proposal at 60 in a presidential signature. as a result, the senate has voted to proceed to legislation before us in order to preserve
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maximal flexibility or productive conversation to continue between the white house and our democratic colleagues. i hope senate democrats will work with white house on an agreement that can pass both houses of congress. and receive the president's signature. so, when an agreement is reached he will receive a vote here on the senate floor. i moved to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment to the house went to the senate amendment to hr 695. >> the motion is pending. >> mr. president. >> as we said to president trump a week ago, his wall does not have 60 votes in the senate, let alone 50 votes.
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that much is clear. democrats have offered three proposals to keep the government open, including a proposal offered by leader mcconnell that passed the senate unanimously a few days ago. we are willing to continue discussions on those proposals with the leader, the president, the speaker of the house and the leader of the house all five are necessary to get something done. i yield the floor. >> senator from tennessee is recognized. >> i want to thank the two leaders for what they have done today and what they have done even though some people tuning in may not understand what just happened. the understanding that has been raised and i think senator flake and senator johnson and others. we are not voting on anything else in this chamber relative to
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this issue until a global agreement has been reached between the president and these two leaders and the leader of the house. there is not going to be a test vote or tabling vote. the vice president has been here with his members negotiated. what this does is push ahead to negotiation that yields results does the best we can to keep from shutting down government. or if it does shutting down very briefly. i think the leaders for going forth in this manner. it allows us to move forward in a positive way. it keeps negotiations life only a bill can pass the chamber that has all of the agreements. i think them from going forward in this manner. >> senator from arizona. >> i think the two leaders of the senator from tennessee and
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others who have worked to ensure the next votes we have in the chamber will be on an agreement as senator corker said not a test vote, what i wanted to do with not proceeding is demonstrate that not all republicans would be for the house bill either. there is no password for the house bill. the only path forward is to a bill that has an agreement between the president and both houses of congress. the next time we vote will be on the agreement, not a another test vote. with that, i yield back. >> mr. president, i asked consent following my remarks senator coons be recognized. >> is their objection?
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>> i want to think senator corker, senator flake, senator schumer the leaders for their discussions. in my own view, the government shutdown ought not to be a part of budget negotiations anymore than chemical weapon should be part of warfare. we world elected to keep the government run for taxpayers not to shut it down. my hope is this will put us on a path towards a resolve and recognize the president's desire for increased border security which we support many democrats support as well. and we can finish our appropriations process. i would like to say a few words about what was described in a famous movie in which jimmy stewart played mr. smith goes to washington. democracies find the show, the right to talk your head off
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legislative filibuster. unless somebody say you just announce you're not going to run for reelection in two years so you're going to change your team. i'm not changing my tune. i asked consent to include in the record remarks i made in 2011 at the heritage foundation about the tradition of the filibuster, perhaps the best-known part of the senate. i would like to tell a story. in 1978, young utah senator came here. his conservative, he did not know what he could not do. he took on the democratic establishment on their most important issue. orin hatch was a senator. he's our longest-serving republican senator. he's retiring this year. he decided to challenge the democratic leadership who wanted
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to pass organized labor's major objection of the time. something would have changed the relationship between employers and employees for years to come. at that time there is a democratic president, or 62 republican senators, more than enough to pass a bill. there were 292 house members. the foreign hatch had not been new, young or know more about what he was doing he probably would not have tried this. but he did try it. he won. he offered 1200 amendments. senator berg is a distinguished member of the senate tried six times to cut off debate and he did not get 60 votes. six different times he tried to cut it off. the end result was the minority
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view of the republican view at that time prevailed. against a democratic president, democratic house and a democratic senate. that happened in the 1960s. dirksen was the republican leader sitting right over there. he had even fewer republican senators. when orin hatch did his work there are 38 republican senator. lyndon johnson and george mimi in the american labor movement decided they wanted to make it illegal for any state to have a right to work law. they thought they could do it. except the legislative filibuster was in place. at that time it took 67 votes.
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dirksen toured the country and he was able to defeat a measure supported by overwhelming. i tell the story because the shoe is on the other foot. the republicans are in charge. we hear many people say, get rid of the filibuster. let's do it our way. we should not do that. we have never done that in the united states senate. the senate has always been different. one senator said that's the whole reason i came here from the house. so every time you got an idea will be like a freight train. one of the major purposes of the filibuster is to protect the minority in the country. the young frenchman wandered in in the 30s. he wrote a book, democracy in america, that it could be the
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best book on democracy in america ever written. very perceptive. he said he saw looking ahead to potential problems for the american democracy. one was russia. the other was the tyranny of the majority. he said in the 1830s that one of the great problems for our country might be the tyranny of the majority. and it is the united states senate to prevent the tyranny of the majority in the american democracy. now, some of our republican and conservative friends say let's get rid of it. we might think about the fact that we republicans are usually the ones in the minority were usually the ones needing protection.
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since world war ii nearly 70 years democrats have had complete control of the government. it had the senate, the house and the presidency for 22 years. republicans have had it for eight years. so, democracy's finest hour, the right to talk your head off, the opportunity for extended debate has benefited our side democrats can say more than their side. why should we be the ones who try to change it. in 1995 after the big republican sweep, one of us is in charge and then people get tired of us who in 1994 republicans in charge of the senate and the democratic senator said let's get rid of the legislative
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filibuster every single republican even why they were in charge of the senate voted no. the essence of the senate is the right to extended debate. and then we will vote when we think we are ready to stop debate. used to be 67 out 60. for a long time there wasn't a limit. president wilson got mad about it a century ago so they said will debate until 67 of us think we should stop the we change the in out 60. some of the most eloquent offensive of the legislative filibuster came from the late senator berg. i remember his last speech where he said the legislative filibuster is the necessary offense against the excesses of the popular will the excesses of
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the executive. it was the necessary funds we should keep it. this fractured nation needs a consensus building institution and requiring 60 votes to pass major legislation is the discipline that forces us to come together. i saw the senator from washington on the floor earlier. we worked on the legislation to fix no child left behind. that was not easy to do. everybody has an opinion. we are all experts on education. yet we worked on finally we probably got to 85 votes. we made some big changes but people accepted it. it's a lasting solution and
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teachers and 100,000 public schools don't have to worry about us changing policy for the next several years because we talked about it until we came to a conclusion about it and accepted it. the other an example of the other way to do it is obama care. all the democrats voted for all the democrats voted against it. we've been trying to repeal it ever since it passed. it's a constant state of vegetation. the tradition has been different for nominations. sometimes people get confused about that. legislative filibuster is one thing. nominations another. until recently they have always been decided by a majority vote. could've been decided by 60 votes but they weren't.
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i'm not interested in assigning blame to the democrats or republicans or what has happened about nominations. the fact is, even though senator could require 60 votes there never has been a cabinet member who is required to be confirmed by more than 51 votes. there's never been a federal district judge needed 60 votes to get confirmed. there never had to be a supreme court justice with the exception of -- i see the majority leader. >> i expect my good friend from tennessee is going to make the moment. if ever there were stressful moment for the tradition that even though it was possible to filibuster the executive calendar it was not done.
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that would have to agree it was the clarence thomas to the supreme court. >> i would agree on that. we could get into a lively dispute among us about who shot john and who scratched whose back and whose fault it is, whether the democrats in 2003 who began to require 60 votes for circuit judges or the republicans who stopped a few of president obama judges. the fact of the matter is, i believe, i know most of us believe that we should keep the legislative filibuster. how do i know that? because senator collins who is presiding at the moment senator coons will speak following my remarks offered into the record
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a letter from 29 republicans and 32 democrats which said we are mindful of what the senate plays in the legislative process. were committed to ensuring this institution continues to serve as the world's greatest body therefore we are asking you to join us in opposing efforts to curtail the existing rights of senators to engage in extended debate as we consider legislation in the future. that is 61 senators. on record about the legislative filibuster. one reason the filibuster is going to stay is because they're not supposed to change it. as i come to a conclusion, let me offer a better reason not to change it.
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and the reason why we should change it if we consider it in the right way. we have rules. and over to change a standing rule takes at least 60 votes. it has been proposed on both sides use what we call the nuclear option which is a parliamentarian maneuver. it allows the senate to change a rule without getting 60 votes. this is a country that prizes the rule of law. i have heard president trump say that. i heard president obama say that. have heard most of us say that. i would ask him if we don't follow our own rules why would we expect the american people to to follow the rules that we write.
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we ought to follow our own rules. when we didn't and we use the so-called nuclear option in 2013, democratic senator said that the senate that does not in which a majority can always change the rules as a senate without any rules. the senate which the majority can always change the rules without following the rules is like a football game where the home team can save you gain 9 yards as a first down or if you make a three-point shot and you need for they counted for four. that's not the rule of law. madam president, i make these remarks and i hope the senator from delaware still here and willing. i make these remarks to remind the country and remind the
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members of the senate that 61 of us have already signed a ligh lr saying the right to extended debate, the opportunity to talk your head off in defense of what you want, the ability of this body to function against the tyranny of the majority and in this fractured country produces senconsensus is the most viable part of this body. whether were in the majority or minority we ought to make it clear. if we ever do decide we want to talk about it and change it we should follow the rule. we have rules. it takes at least 60 votes to change a standing rule. i want to put a stop to this talk about breaking the rules to
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change the rules of the senate. i will not vote to turn the senate into a rule breaking institution. to help with that opportunity arises, that my colleagues will vote the same way as 61 of them did in the letter that senator collins and senator coons signed earlier. i yielded the floor. >> the senator from delaware is recognized. >> the remarks just included help make it clear why so many of us do not look forward to his departure at the end of the upcoming congress to the retirement. we are so grateful for the balance of measured leadership of the senator from tennessee. he reminds us the best of our history for what it is the senate stood for and the role that we play. i will briefly thank him for his
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remarks and think the presiding officer for her hard work to make sure this letter was presented to the leaders of both caucuses with 61 signatures. we could have gotten more but in the work of that day we thought it important to get on the record and signature individual senator same we are committed to not change the rules on the senate filibuster rules regarding legislation. i'm committed to never voting to change the filibuster. i conclude by saying i think there is important work for us to do. to strengthen our wall. a number of the retiring members gave for speeches where they talked about the ways in which this body we do not listen enough we do not debate enough and if we are to play the role for which the founders intended
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we must do more, not less. the agreement just reached that will allow us to negotiate in good faith towards a resolution of an impending shutdown it will work out the resolution to skip dozens of intervening test votes and move right to the resolution. this body has a critical role to play. as my friend pointed out, rule of law is at the foundation. we are at a moment in history were many question the stability of our commitment to rule of law. nobody will play a more important role in reassuring our markets in our world that democracy, the respectful resolution of disputes through debate and votes by the elected
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representatives is the best system for the governance of society. no better proof can be given them by this body conducting itself in the reasonable way the rules of the senate allow. i will not vote and i suggest your signature also reinforces it. you and others here will not vote to take the step of changing the rules of the senate to turn it into the house and ensure that we have the right to talk our head off whenever we might so choose. thank you. i yield to my colleague. >> the senator from alabama is recognized. >> let me think my colic from tennessee and delaware. i wasn't here with letter circulated. if you want to do an addendum
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you have my permission to add my name to that letter. it is that important and i appreciate so much your comments. i have been here almost a year. what i have seen is it is often so easy and are polarized political climate that we have that when issues we face people go to their corners it is the proverbial line in the sand and everybody wants to talk at each other and not to each other. so i appreciate very much leader mcconnell, leader schumer, the work with my colleagues in trying to make sure a motion to proceed is simply a motion to proceed to talk. to have the dialogues so we can go about the business of government. as we leave here for the
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holidays i believe what has happened late this afternoon is important. it's important going into the next congress to tell folks committed and those coming back that we want to make sure we were put here to get something done just retreat to our corners. i think everyone that was involved late this afternoon to try to make sure this agreement was reached. i'm anxious for leaders to proceed so we can go about the business. i yield the floor. >> senator from maryland is recognized. >> thank you. when i conclude my comments are less consent that i lost senator van holland to speak. . . . sident, there is no such thing as


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