SCHEDULE; Congressional Record Vol. 152, No. 42
(Senate - April 05, 2006)

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[Pages S2849-S2850]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                                SCHEDULE

  Mr. FRIST. Mr. President, this morning, we are returning to the 
border security bill which has been pending since last Wednesday. Last 
night, the minority leader filed a cloture motion on the chairman's 
substitute amendment. I was a little surprised when I heard this 
happened, although I was not on the floor when it was filed. I 
certainly understand the rules that permit the minority leader to file 
this motion. I know it is a rare occurrence when the minority leader 
files such a cloture motion, and at this point he did on the bill. I 
believe we can make real progress on addressing the amendments if we 
allow them to come forward, debate them openly, and then vote on them. 
We do still have the first amendment which was offered to the bill last 
week pending before the Senate; that is, the Kyl-Cornyn amendment on 
which we voted on the motion to table last night, 0 to 99--a unanimous 
vote. The motion had been made and it was not tabled; therefore, it is 
the pending amendment. We have three other amendments Senators have 
offered and debated, but we have not been given the opportunity to vote 
on those.
  As I said at the outset of the debate last week, my intention was to 
give ample time to have amendments come forward, to debate, to fully 
understand what is in the Judiciary bill, to modify the Judiciary bill 
by debate and amendment. I encourage Members to come to the floor to do 
just that, to offer their amendments. Members show up, and then there 
is an objection to even offering the amendments from the other side. I 
specifically set aside these weeks for the Senate to debate this 
particular issue, the border security and immigration issue, because it 
is one that is important to the safety of the American people, the 
security of the Nation, and fairness to immigrants. We are a nation of 
laws, and we are a rich nation of immigrants. Both of those principles 
need to be respected in the debate, but we can only do so by making 
sure that the laws we pass are upheld and that we address the people 
who have broken the law. That can be done in a comprehensive bill, and 
we have to have debate and amendment.

  The debate over security on our borders and handling immigration has 
generated a lot of ideas. The debate has matured, and we have had good 
debate on the floor. Now we have the attention of all 100 Senators and 
people around the country looking at what we do. They expect us to 
legislate, to address the very real problems that are out there today, 
and that requires debate and amendment.
  If you look at other large bills we have done, the Medicare 
prescription drug bill, we had 128 amendments considered; the Energy 
bill, we had 60 or 70 amendments considered; on the highway bill, 47 
amendments; bankruptcy reform, 61 amendments. It is important that we 
debate these amendments and act on them. We just can't sit on the side 
lines; the problem is too big, too important. It is growing. An 
estimated 3 million people crossed our southwestern borders illegally 
last year, and we don't know who they are. We don't know what their 
intentions are. We need to bring a rational, fair framework to assist a 
system that is just flatout broken. That is our responsibility.

[[Page S2850]]

  Today is a new day, and we are just getting started. With that, I 
hope we will have the opportunity to start afresh. The two managers 
last night indicated they would be working together and would try to 
work out a list of amendments to be voted upon. I assume those would 
include the amendments that were offered last week. I would hope that 
they are. I encourage them to work out a process to give Senators on 
both sides of the aisle the chance to offer amendments and to have them 
voted upon so that we can complete that path to finishing a bill which 
is critically important to the safety and security of the American 
people.

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