(Senate - May 06, 2004)

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[Pages S5025-S5026]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, we have had a number of discussions as to 
how we might go about finishing the FSC/ETI JOBS bill. Unfortunately, 
we have

[[Page S5026]]

been unable to reach an agreement this afternoon and tonight. It 
appears it will be necessary to file cloture tomorrow. We will continue 
to discuss our options on Friday and early next week, but I do believe 
that it is now time for us to finish this bill. I am disappointed in 
the number of amendments that Members have indicated they intend to 
offer, many of which have nothing to do with the underlying bill.
  At this point, I announce that no rollcall votes will occur on 
Friday, and all Members should be aware that the next rollcall vote can 
be expected Monday evening. I will say more on Monday's schedule 
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Nevada is recognized.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I noticed in the statement of the leader--I 
think it was a fair statement--that many amendments have nothing to do 
with the underlying bill, and he didn't designate that only Democrats 
were contemplating amendments that may not be pertinent to the bill. I 
am disappointed we have not been able to complete this legislation, as 
I indicated earlier. We are very close.
  I repeat very quickly, because I have said it before, we have four 
contentious amendments. The total time we would take would be an hour 
and 35 minutes. We have the Made in America amendment by Senator 
Feingold; the Lautenberg amendment dealing with foreign subsidiaries 
doing business with terrorist nations; the Corzine amendment dealing 
with section 301, which is having the President enforce the trade laws; 
then we had unemployment compensation. I am disappointed that we have 
not been able to get to those because I think it is important that we 
are able to do this bill.
  We are going to pass this bill. It is only a question of time. This 
bill is so important that we, the Congress, and the President cannot 
leave here without passing this legislation. This is a must-pass piece 
of legislation. It is only a question of how we get there. I think we 
would have been better off dealing with these amendments and going on 
to something else.
  The leader made a decision that cloture must be filed, and time will 
only tell whether cloture will be invoked. We have heard there may be 
an opportunity to vote on at least one of the contentious amendments. I 
hope that is the case. That may make things a little better. Everybody 
has tried hard and, in my opinion, it is not the fault of the managers 
of the bill. I know they have devoted a lot of time, energy, and effort 
to this most important piece of legislation. I understand where we are 
procedurally. I understand what the leader has stated.
  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, very briefly, in response, we have had a 
very productive week. As I set out really 2 weeks ago, and again last 
Friday and Monday, I agreed that we would work hard every day this week 
and we would consider relevant amendments, and we would consider 
amendments that may not be considered relevant on both sides of the 
aisle, and we have indeed considered germane amendments that really 
pertain to and are germane to the bill, and nongermane amendments. It 
is a matter of definition. We have done just that on Monday, Tuesday, 
Wednesday, and Thursday.
  We have reached the end of the week, having cast votes on a number of 
amendments and accepted others, working together. I, too, congratulate 
the managers for working together and moving this bill forward.
  At this juncture, we plan on filing cloture tomorrow, and that means 
we will still, once cloture is obtained--I hope it is obtained--we 
still will be considering germane amendments to the underlying bill. We 
have had a productive week and considered a lot of amendments.
  Although there is some disagreement about the best approach, I want 
to bring this to a close. We will have amendments in the early part of 
next week and they will be germane amendments.