Things are moving fast today…
As a follow up to the post John below, on the Senate floor a short time ago, Majority Leader Harry Reid said he is working with Senator Susan Collins and Senator Joe Lieberman to come up with some way to work on Defense bill. It really seems that if Senator Collins isn’t going to support moving ahead now, she probably never will.
Earlier this afternoon, after the Democratic caucus meeting, Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following remarks:
Let me talk about the defense authorization bill. We know the issue that’s created a lot of heartburn for my Republican colleagues is the “don’t ask/don’t tell.”
I have worked a lot with Senator Lieberman, Senator — and Senator Collins. Senator Collins has been most helpful in trying to figure a way to get this done.
There was some stuff in the paper today that mean it — that said that she couldn’t make up her mind what she wanted to do. That’s really not true. She had made up her mind what she wanted to do. I just thought it was too much time.
So we’ve been talking. I haven’t worked this out with either Lieberman or Collins. But the average number of amendments we’ve had over the last many years that we’ve voted on is about less than 15.
So I’m considering making it so it would be possible to offer 15 amendments. We would have an hour time agreement on those. Republicans would get 10, Democrats would get five.
We would also, if the Republicans felt that they needed extra time on a couple amendments, they could choose those. And that would give them an extra four hours. That is, they would have four hours on those two amendments rather than — than two hours.
So, again, I have — I said I have to talk to Senator Lieberman and Senator Collins. But I would hope that that — I don’t know how, with Christmas staring right down our throats, we have to do START, these other things I’ve mentioned, I don’t know why that wouldn’t be reasonable.
Okay. So hope is not lost.