|00:00:00||TO MAKE SURE THE RECORD IS VERY, VERY CLEAR WHAT THE VOTE WILL BE ON ON TUESDAY MORNING.|
|00:00:08||BEFORE THE DAY'S END, I WILL FILE CLOTURE ON A WORK PRODUCT.|
|00:00:14||IT'S A BILL THAT HAS THE APPROVAL OF BARBARA BOXER, A PROGRESSIVE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA, JIM INHOFE, A CONSERVATIVE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.|
|00:00:34||WE HAVE NOW ADDED TO THAT SOMETHING THAT CAME OUT OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE, SOMETHING THAT CAME OUT OF THE BANKING COMMITTEE, SOMETHING THAT CAME OUT OF THE COMMERCE COMMITTEE.|
|00:00:44||ALL THESE MEASURES HAVE BEEN RELATIVELY WITHOUT ANY CHALLENGE.|
|00:00:52||I CAN'T UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE WOULDN'T APPROVE THIS.|
|00:00:55||AND WHAT WE ADDED TO THIS IS 37 APPROVED AMENDMENTS.|
|00:01:04||THE STAFFS WITH THE RESPECTIVE SENATORS HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR DAYS TO COME UP WITH AMENDMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN FILED BUT NOT OFFERED, AND THESE AMENDMENTS, MR.|
|00:01:12||PRESIDENT, HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE RESPECTIVE CHAIR AND RANKING MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEES, 37 OF THEM.|
|00:01:17||SO WHAT WE WILL BE VOTING ON TUESDAY WILL BE THAT PRODUCT.|
|00:01:24||ALL OF IT, MR.|
|00:01:27||PRESIDENT, BIPARTISAN, ALL OF IT NONCONTROVERSIAL, SO THAT WE CAN COMPLETE WORK ON THIS BILL.|
|00:01:35||IF WE DID NOTHING ELSE, NOTHING ELSE ON THIS HIGHWAY BILL THAN WHAT WE ARE GOING TO VOTE CLOTURE ON ON TUESDAY, IT WOULD BE REALLY A GOOD, STRONG, GOOD, STRONG LEGISLATIVE DAY FOR THIS BODY.|
|00:01:50||THEN WE COULD HAVE A CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE.|
|00:01:52||THE HOUSE HAS ALREADY ANNOUNCED THAT THEY CAN'T DO THEIR SENSELESS PIECE OF LEGISLATION.|
|00:02:03||EVEN THE TEA PARTY-DRIVEN REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE RECOGNIZE THAT WAS SOMETHING THAT WAS A FIGMENT OF SOMEONE'S IMAGINATION TO GET IT DONE.|
|00:02:10||NOW THEY ARE GOING TO DO A TWO-YEAR BILL, LIKE US.|
|00:02:14||IT WOULD BE EASY TO CONFERENCE SOMETHING LIKE THAT.|
|00:02:16||THEY MAY HAVE SOME DIFFERENCES IN SOME OF THE POLICY EFFORTS, BUT THAT'S WHY WE HAVE CONFERENCES.|
|00:02:23||THIS LEGISLATION IS CRITICAL.|
|00:02:25||AT THE END OF THIS MONTH, THE END OF MARCH, THE HIGHWAY BILL IS NO MORE.|
|00:02:31||PROJECTS THAT ARE BEING WORKED ON IN HAWAII AND NEVADA AND AROUND THE OTHER 48 STATES WILL COME TO A STOP.|
|00:02:37||THERE WILL BE NO MONEY.|
|00:02:38||NEW PROJECTS WON'T BE ABLE TO GO FORWARD.|
|00:02:42||THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT BILL INVOLVING BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF CONSTRUCTION FOR OUR COUNTRY, WHICH IS BADLY NEEDED.|
|00:02:49||I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.|
Mr. REID. Mr. President, I want to make sure the record is very clear what the vote will be on Tuesday morning.
Before the day is out, I am going to file cloture on a work product. It is a bill that has the approval of Barbara Boxer, a progressive Senator from California, and Jim Inhofe, a conservative Senator from Oklahoma. We have now added to that something that came out of the Finance Committee, something that came out of the Banking Committee, and something that came out of the Commerce Committee. All these measures have been relatively without any challenge. I can't understand why people wouldn't approve this. And what we added to this is 37 approved amendments. The staffs, with their respective Senators, have been working for days to come up with agreement on amendments that have been filed but not offered, and these amendments have been approved by the respective chair and ranking members of the committees, 37 of them. So we will be voting on Tuesday on that product--all of it bipartisan, all of it noncontroversial--so that we can complete work on this bill.
If we did nothing else, nothing else on this highway bill, then what we are going to vote cloture on, on Tuesday, would be really a good, strong legislative day for this body. Then we could have conference with the House. The House has already announced they can't do their senseless piece of legislation. Even tea party-driven Republicans in the House recognized that was something that was a figment of someone's imagination that they could get done. Now they are going to do a 2-year bill, like us. It will be easy to conference something like that. They may have some difference in some of the policy efforts, but that is why we have conferences.
This legislation is critical. At the end of this month, the end of March, the highway bill is no more. Projects that are being worked on in Hawaii and Nevada and around the other 48 States will come to a stop. There will be no money. New projects won't be able to go forward. This is a very important bill involving billions of dollars of badly needed construction.
I suggest the absence of a quorum.