tv U.S. Senate - Sens. on Government Funding CSPAN December 22, 2018 2:06am-2:33am EST
of the senate to the bill hr 695 and act child protection act with the amendment. >> it is clear for the pending legislation with disaster relief and border security. with the republican conference with the reasonable request at the southern border. and then to complete the remaining appropriation bills however since any solution requires 60 votes in the senate is clear from the
beginning that two things are necessary and as a result the senate has proceeded in order to preserve maximum flexibility for a productive conversation between the white house and our democratic colleagues. s i hope senate democrats work with the white house to pass both houses of congress and receive the presidents signature so when the agreement is reached it will receive a a vote here on the senate floor i moved to concur with the house amendment to the senate amendment to the house amendment.
[laughter]5 the motion is pending. >> mister president as we said to president trump one week ago he does not have 60 votes let alone 50. that much is clear. democrats have offered three proposals to keep the government open including a proposal offered by leader mcconnell that passed unanimously a few days ago. we are willing to continue discussions with the leader and the president and the leader of the house all five are necessary to get something done. i yield the floor.
>> mister president i want to thank the two leaders for what they have done today and they may not understand what just happened if they just tuned in but the understanding senator flake and johnson o and others we are not voting on anything else in this chamber relative to this issue with - - until a global agreement has been reached not a test mode or a tabling vote the vice president over here negotiating is pushing this ahead to the negotiation that yields the result that is the best we can do to keep from shutting down government or shut it down very briefly thank you to the both leaders to go forth in this manner to allow us to move forward in a
positive way to keep negotiations alive only a bill can pass this chamber with all the agreements thank you for going forward in this manner. >> the senator from arizona. >> the senator from tennessee and alabama and others who have worked to ensure that the next vote that we have in this chamber is on the agreement not a test vote or cloture votes but what i wanted to do is to demonstrate not all republicans are for the house bill either. there is no path forward for the house bill. the only path forward is to a bill that has an agreement between thehe president and both houses of congress and the next time we vote is the
agreement not another test vote so with that i yield back. >> the senator for delaware and senator coons be recognized? >> is their objection? >> thank you to the leaders for their discussions and the vice president with his presence here today it should not be part of negotiations as a shutdown as nuclear should be part of thee warfare but to make it run for taxpayers not to shut it down some i hope is this puts us on t a path to recognize the presidents desire and then we can if
finish the appropriationsw process but now what was described in a very famous movie that jimmy stewart played mister smith goes to washington democracies mina show the right to talk your head off with the filibuster and unless somebody says senator alexander you just announced you will not run for reelection in twoo year years, see will change your tune i am not changing my tune is a - - i ask consent to include in theag record that the heritage foundation about the tradition of the legislative filibuster the best known part of the united states senate. and i would like to tell a story mister vice president in from utah
came here he was conservative and didn't know what he could not do so he took on the democratic establishment on their most important issue warren hatch one - - orrin hatch r who is retiring this year was the longest running senator decided to challenge nithe democratic leadership who wanted to pass the major objective of the time to change that relationship for years to come there was 62 republican senators more than enough to pass a bill so if not young and new maybe he wouldn't even try this but he did but he won with 1200
amendments the distinguished member of the senate bird tried six times to cut off debate we call that culture and he did not get 60 votes six different times t he tried to cut that off so the end result was with the minority view at that time to prevail against the democratic president and a democratic househe and the democratic senate that had happened beforeet dirksen was the republicanan leader of the senate sitting right over there he had even fewer republican senators when orrin hatch did his work 1978 there were 38 and he had fewer than that lyndon johnson and the
american labor movement decided in effect to make it illegal for any state to have a right to work law. that that they wanted to do they thought they could do it except the legislative filibuster was in place. at that time it took 67 votes he could defeat a measure with the overwhelming majority so now why do i tell this story? the shoe was on the other foot meter the president say get rid of the filibuster and legislative majority and do it our way. we should not do that. we have never done that in the united states senate may say that's the whole reason i came from the th house so every time the majority got an idea one
of those major purposes of the filibuster is to protect the minority in this country alexis de tocqueville wrote a book democracy of america may be the best book of democracy of america ever written and looking into potential problems and one was russia and the other was the tyranny of the majority and said in the 18 thirties one of the great problems for our country is the tyranny of the majority the united states senate is the bulwark to prevent the tyranny of the american democracy and has been from the beginning and it is today.
summer friend say get rid of it we may think about the fact that we republicans or conservatives are in the minority. since world war ii, nearly 70 years democrats have had complete control of government with the senate, the house for 22 years republicans have had it eight years. democrats have had control 22 years. democracies finest hour the opportunity for extended debateef they could save more than our side so why do we try
to change it? we weren't. in 1995 after the big republican w sweep, one of us is in charge then they get tiredre of us and put the other in charge. the democratic senator said get rid of the legislative filibuster every single republican even while they were in completely in charge voted no because the essence is the right to extend debate the right to talk our heads off america's finest hour and we will vote when we think we are ready it used to be 67 now it's 60 used to go on forever and c president wilson used to get mad and said wait tell 67. and then we will change that
and now it is 60. some of the most eloquent defense of the legislative filibuster came from the late senator byrd in his last speech he made in the rules hacommittee he said the legislative filibuster is the necessary defense against the excesses of the popular well - - will and the excesses of the executive. it is a necessary defense and we should keep it. this fractured nation needs a consensusbuilding institution and requiring 60 votes to pass major legislation that forces us to come to gather. we worked on the legislation to fix no child left behind. g
everybody has an opinion everybody's an expert on education but finally we got 85 votes. do you know what? we made some big changes and people accepted it and now those public schools don't have to worry about the education policy because we talked about it until we came to a conclusion and accepted it. one example of the other way to do it is obama care eight years ago democrats have the majority's all democrats voted for it all republicans voted against it and what happened we have been trying to repeal it ever since wet but a constant state of education and debate. madam president the tradition has been different for nominations sometimes people
get confused about that. legislative filibuster is one thing but nominations are another until recently they have alwaysy been decided by a majority vote. they could have been decided by 60 votes but they weren't at least since a century ago i'm not interested at this time to assign blame to the democrats or republicans or what has happened with nominations. but the fact is that even though a senator could've required 60 votes the cabinet member required to be confirmed by more than 51 but a federal district church had to get the votes they're never had to be a supreme court justice with the exception of
another i see the majority leader i would be happy to suspend. >> iic am suspecting you'll make this point in a moment but if there were ever a stressful moment for the tradition even though it was not possible to filibuster the executive calendar, it was not done would you agree that was the clarence thomas nomination for the supreme court quick. >> i would agree on that. i would. we could get into a lively dispute among us who shot whose back who is the fault over the democrats in 2003 who began for the first time to require 60 votes for circuit judges are the republicans who stopped a couple of obama's judges the fact of the matter is. i believe that i know for a fact that most of us believe
we should keep the legislative filibuster. how? because senator collins and senator coons who will speak following, offered into the record in 2017 from 29 republicans and 32 democrats is that we are mindful of the legislative process we steadfastly are committed to ensure the constitution continues to serve the deliberative body therefore we are asking you to join us to oppose any effort to curtail any existing rights or prerogatives for full robust debate as we consider legislation before this body in the future. madamef president that is 61 senators. on record about the legislative filibuster.
one reason the filibuster will stay is because they are not supposed to change it. so let me offer a better reason not to change it. and reason why we should change it in the right way. we have rules in this body to change a standing rule it takes at least 60 votes to get cloture it has been proposed on both sides which is the nuclear option which is a parliamentarian one - - maneuver to change the rule
without getting 60 votes. this is a country that prizes the rule of law i have heard president trump say that i've heard president obama say that i have heard most of us say that. if and i would ask if we don't follow our own rules why would we expect the american people to follow the rules that we write? we are the main rule writing organization of the united states of america we ought to follow our own rules. when we didn't and use the nuclear option in 2013 the democratic senator who was greatly respected said the senate that does not listen to the majority can always change the rules without any rules that they can change the rules without following the rules is a football game where the footballn game where the team can go 9 yards for the first down or three-point shot but
if a need for they counted 44. that's not the rule of law.re make these remarks i hope the senator from delaware is still here. just to remind the country and members of the senate that 61 of us have already signed a letter that the legislative filibuster the right to extend debate and the opportunity to talk your headefse off in defene of what you want, the ability of this body to function as a bulwark against the tyranny of the majority and in this fractured country as an institution to produce consensus lasting and accepted by most people is the most viable part whether we are in
the majority or the minority and we ought to make that clear. and if we ever do decide we want to talk about it and change it we should follow the rules. 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 change the rules of the senate. i will not vote to turn the sun into a rule breaking institution and if that opportunity ever arises that my colleagues will vote the same way a 61 of them did as senator collins and senator coons had done earlier adam president i yield the floo floor. >> the senator from delaware is recognized for michael's remarks just concluded from tennessee help to make it clear why so many of us do not look forward to his departure at the end of the upcoming
congress to his retirement we are so grateful for his measured leadership and his balance we are reminded of the best of our history what the senate stands for in the role we play briefly i will say thank you for your remarks and 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 on that day we thought it was important to get on the record with individual senators saying we are committed to not change the rules of the senate regarding legislation i am chcommitted to never voting to change the legislative filibuster and i willfr conclude by saying to my colleague from tennessee that there is important work for us to do to
strengthen our role of those numbers that gave speeches on the floor to talk about the ways in which we do not listen to each other we do not obey or work across the aisle. if we play the role for which the founders intended we must do more, not less. the agreement just reached here will allow us to nggotiate in good faith of the impending shutdown of the standoff between the white house and the house and the senate that the example we want to point to to work out that resolution to skip dozens of test votes. this body has a critical role to play rule of law is at the very foundation we are at a
moment in history where many question the stability of our commitment nobody will play a more important role to reassure our markets our society or the world the deliberative respectful resolution through debate and vote through those elected representatives is the best system for the governance of societies no better proof can be given them by this body and his disciplined and reasonable and appropriate way the rules of the senate i will not vote and i suggest your signature also reinforces you and many others will not vote to remove the last bulwark to ensure we have the right to talk her head off whenever we choose.
thank you madame president and i t yield to the senator of alabama. >> let me also thank my colleagues from tennessee and delaware. i was not here when it circulated but you have my permission as an addendum and i appreciate so much your commentsre because i have been here almost a year now and what i have seen is that is so easy in the political climate that we have when issues we are facing like today people go to their corners it is the proverbial line in the sand everybody wants to talk to each other and not to each other but at each other so i appreciate very w much that work
with my colleague senator flake and senator corker to make sure a motion to proceed is simply a motion to proceed to talk and to have these dialogues to go about the business of government to leave here for thee holidays at some point i believe that what has happened here late this afternoon is an important step going into the next congress to tell those that are coming in that we were put here to get something done not just retreat to our corners. i want to thank everyone that was involved late this afternoon to make sure this agreement was reached and for the leaders to proceed to go about the business of running the united states and go into the holidays with the