SENATOR COLLINS’ STATEMENT ON DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL NEGOTIATIONS

            WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, who supports repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” released this statement tonight.

             “Senator Joe Lieberman and I continue to negotiate in good faith with the Majority Leader to try and come up with a fair process under which the important Defense Authorization bill could be considered in the limited time remaining in this session. Without a fair process, the motion to proceed to the bill would likely fail in the U.S. Senate.

            "Senator Lieberman and I requested a meeting with Senator Harry Reid last week during which we outlined a specific plan for allowing debate and amendments similar to how the Senate has considered the authorization bill in the past.
 
            "It wasn’t until 1:35 pm today that I received a legitimate offer from Senator Reid, which I consider a good starting point.  We made a counter offer which would provide sufficient time for debate, and includes protections to help ensure that Republicans would be able to offer a limited but fair number of amendments that are relevant to this legislation.

            "I am encouraged that the Majority Leader decided to postpone the vote he had scheduled for tonight.  I urged him to do this so that we could consider the tax legislation first, which I believe could be on the floor as early as tomorrow and completed quickly.  At that point, I believe we could move immediately to the Defense Authorization bill under a fair agreement, and I would vote to do so.  I would hope he carefully considers our proposal.  I believe we have outlined a very clear path forward for the Majority Leader to take that would allow this very important debate to occur."

 

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