|00:00:00||TIME TO WATCH HOW THE SENATE WORKS.|
|00:00:03||AND HOW THE SENATE TRADITIONALLY HAS WORKED.|
|00:00:10||AND I KNOW IT APPEARED TO MY PAL FROM TENNESSEE THAT THIS LOOKED LIKE SOME ORGANIZED AMBUSH.|
|00:00:18||-- AMBUSH OF THE SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY.|
|00:00:20||AND I GOT TO TILL THE TRUTH, WE'RE NOT THAT WELL MANUFACTURE ORGANIZED.|
|00:00:24||IF WE WERE THAT WELL OFF ORGANIZED, WE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN DOING MORE OF THIS A LONG TIME AGO.|
|00:00:31||I -- I HONESTLY CAME DOWN TO THE FLOOR, UNDERSTANDING A DEAL HAD BEEN MADE TO GIVE SENATOR BUNNING A VOTE.|
|00:00:37||-- A VOTE ON THIS AMENDMENT.|
|00:00:39||I EXPECTED THAT VOTE TO OCCUR.|
|00:00:42||I HADN'T TALKED TO MY OFFICE.|
|00:00:44||I WAS SURPRISED WHEN I GOT TO THE FLOOR AND REALIZED THAT SENATOR BUNNING, WHICH YOU CAN DO NDERS THE RULES, WAS GOING TO HOLD THIS.|
|00:00:52||AND I WALKED UP, AS I WAS FINISHING VOTING ON THE THIRD BILL AND I SAID TO DICK, ARE YOU GOING TO STICK AROUND AND MAKE HIM OBJECT AGAIN?|
|00:00:59||YOU KNOW, I THINK I'M GOING TO STICK AROUND FOR A WHILE.|
|00:01:03||I JUST DON'T FEEL LIKE GOING HOME.|
|00:01:04||AND AT THAT MOMENT, I THOUGHT TO MYSELF, I DON'T REALLY FEEL RIGHT ABOUT GOING HOME EITHER.|
|00:01:10||I KIND OF THINK IT'S TIME, IF WE'RE GOING TO DO AN OBJECTION EVERY FIVE MINUTES AND IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE HOLDS -- NOW, THIS WAS A HOLD ON A NOMINEE, IT WOULD WAIT UNTIL MONDAY.|
|00:01:26||BUT WHEN SENATOR BUNNING DECIDED TO DO THIS, IT CAME AT A RISK, AND THE RISK IT CAME WITH WAS THAT THERE WERE GOING TO BE SENATORS THAT WERE GOING TO SPEAK OUT ABOUT IT.|
|00:01:36||THERE WERE GOING TO BE SENATORS THAT WERE GOING TO DISAGREE WITH HIM AND THEY WERE GOING TO PUBLICLY SAY THAT THIS IS NOT THE MOMENT -- THIS $10 BILLION WALL OF THE DEFICIT SPENDING THAT'S GONE ON FOR THE LAST DECADE, THIS IS NOT THE MOMENT TO HAVE ONE SENATOR SAY, I CAN STOP IT.|
|00:01:56||AND SO I FELT LIKE I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT IT.|
|00:01:59||BUT NOBODY ORGANIZED THIS.|
|00:02:01||NOBODY SAID, YOU KNOW, JEFF MERKLEY, STAY -- OR, ARE YOU STAY?|
|00:02:06||JUST SOME OF US DECIDED THAT WE WANTED TO STAY AND TALK ABOUT IT.|
|00:02:09||AND HERE'S WHAT I THINK: I MEAN, HAVE THERE BEEN THIS MANY OBJECTIONS AND HOLDS TRA DURABLELY IN THE SENATE, THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS?|
|00:02:18||HAVE REALLY HAVE WE HAD THIS MANY -- HAVE THERE BEEN IN MANY OBSTRUCTIONS TO THE REGULAR ORDER OF THE SENATE TRADITIONALLY?|
|00:02:26||MR. DURBIN: I'VE BEEN HERE 14 YEARS, 14 14 YEARS IN THE SENATE, 14 YEARS IN THE HOUSE.|
|00:02:35||THIS SENATE HAS CHANGED SO MUCH SINCE I HAVE A BEEN HERE.|
|00:02:37||WE'D HAVE MEMBERS OFFERING AMENDMENTS BACK AND FORTH, I MEAN, GOOD DEBATES.|
|00:02:41||AND I THOUGHT IT REALLY WAS A JOY TO BE PART OF A DELIBERATIVE BODY THAT REALLY ENGAGED|
Mrs. McCASKILL. The Senator from Tennessee and the Senator from Vermont and the Senator from Rhode Island all came here in the same class. The Senator from Oregon just arrived in January. So we have not been here for a long time to watch how the Senate works and how the Senate traditionally has worked. I know it appeared to my pal from Tennessee that this looked like some organized ambush of the Senator from Kentucky. I have to tell you the truth, we are not that well organized. If we were that well organized, we probably would have been doing more of this a long time ago.
I honestly came down to the Senate floor understanding a deal had been made to give Senator Bunning a vote on his amendment. I expected that vote to occur. I had not talked to my office. I was surprised when I got to the floor and realized that Senator Bunning, which he can do under the rules, was going to hold it. [Page: S791] I walked up as I was finishing voting on the third bill, and I said to Dick: Are you going to stick around and make him object again? He said: You know, I think I am going to stick around for a while. I just do not feel right going home.
At that moment I thought: I do not feel right about going home either. I think it is time, if we are going to do an objection every 5 minutes, and if we are going to have holds--if this was a hold on a nominee, it could wait until Monday. But when Senator Bunning decided to do this, it came at a risk. And the risk it came with was that there were going to be Senators who were going to speak out about it. There were going to be Senators who were going to disagree with him, and they were going to publicly say that this is not the moment.
This $10 billion, with all of this deficit spending that has gone on for the last decade, this is not the moment to have one Senator say: I can stop it. So I felt like I wanted to talk about it. But nobody organized this. Nobody said: Jeff Merkley, can you stay? This is just some of us decided we wanted to stay and talk about it.
Here is what I ask. Have there been this many objections and holds traditionally in the Senate?