(Senate - April 10, 2003)

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[Page S5103]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. BENNETT. Madam President, this morning the Senate will be in a 
period of morning business until 11 a.m. Following morning business, 
the Senate may address any of the following items: The FISA bill, if 
unanimous consent can be reached; the PROTECT Act conference report; 
the digital technology bill; the nomination of Priscilla Owen to be a 
U.S. circuit judge; the BioShield bill; and any other conference 
reports that may become available. Therefore, Members should expect 
rollcall votes during today's session.
  The ACTING PRESIDENT pro tempore. The Democratic whip.
  Mr. REID. Madam President, if I could, through you, ask the acting 
majority leader: All we know on this side is what we read in the 
newspapers and listen to on the news. Are we going to be able to work 
on the budget before we leave here, either today or tomorrow? Members 
are concerned some will leave. This is the most important vote we have, 
it and the supplemental. We have a pretty good idea what is happening 
in the supplemental but less of an idea of what is happening on the 
budget. Does the acting majority leader have any information for this 
side of the aisle?
  Mr. BENNETT. Madam President, I am not in a position to give any 
definitive answer to the Senator from Nevada. It is my understanding, 
however, that intense negotiations are going on with the chairman of 
the Budget Committee and other Senators who have an interest about the 
conference report. It is my understanding that an agreement has been 
reached and that a conference report will, in fact, be available to be 
voted on, if not late tonight, sometime tomorrow. But in the absence of 
any absolute word about that, I will simply put that in the category of 
rumors. They may be true rumors, but rumors nonetheless, that I can 
pass on as my best understanding.
  I will, as a courtesy to the Senator from Nevada, and to the Senate, 
ask the majority leader to come forward with that information as 
quickly as it has been firmed up. But it is my expectation that there 
will be resolution of the budget situation before we go out for recess.
  Understand, again, that is my personal expectation. That is not an 
official statement on behalf of the majority leader.