Jun 4 2013
Murray Calls On Senate Republican Leaders To Listen To Their Own Members, Agree To Bipartisan Budget Conference
Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) delivered a speech on the Senate floor urging Senate Republican leadership to listen to the many Republican senators who have recently called for a bipartisan budget conference, and allow the Senate and House to begin negotiations under regular order. Murray requested unanimous consent to move to conference and was blocked by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). This marks Senate Democrats’ twelfth attempt to begin formal budget negotiations with the House since the Senate Budget passed 73 days ago.
Murray expressed her strong agreement with Senator McCain and the many other Senate Republicans who have bucked their leadership and called for a bipartisan budget conference, and noted the Republican excuses for blocking conference—demanding a preconference “framework,” imposing preconditions on bipartisan negotiations, and asking for a “do-over” of the budget floor debate they strongly praised—just aren’t holding up under scrutiny.
Murray called on the minority of Senate Republicans who are blocking a budget conference to recognize that their strategy of delaying until the next manufactured crisis is unsustainable, agree to start formal bipartisan budget negotiations, and join Democrats at the table ready to compromise.
Key excerpts from Murray’s floor speech:
“…Madam President, Senate Democrats have been waiting a long time to go to conference. In fact, it’s been 73 days. And up until recently, we’d gotten pretty used to Senate Republicans standing up and saying no.”
“But even as some Republicans were focused on finding excuses to move us closer and closer to this crisis rather than have a budget deal, we have a number of Republicans who are now joining with us to call for regular order.”
“…according to Politico, ‘more Republicans appear to favor heading to conference than blocking it’. Madam President, I welcome that. We need to move this to conference. It is the regular order.”
“Madam President, Senator McCain is on the floor, and I want to thank him because he understands the importance, not just for this bill but for all legislation in the Senate, that we come here, we compromise, we fight hard for what we believe in, but at the end of the day just saying my way or the highway, even if you're a small minority, doesn't move this country to the place where we need it to get to.”
“Senator Collins joined us on the floor a few weeks ago to say that even though there is a lot we don't see eye to eye on, we should at least go to conference and make our best effort to get a deal. Madam President, I couldn't agree more.”
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