5

Pages S6075–76 Pending:

McConnell (for Cochran) Amendment No. 5082, in the nature of a substitute.

Page S6075 McConnell Amendment No. 5083 (to Amendment No. 5082), to change the enactment date.

Page S6075 McConnell Amendment No. 5084 (to Amendment No. 5083), of a perfecting nature.

Page S6075 McConnell Amendment No. 5085 (to the language proposed to be stricken by Amendment No. 5082), to change the enactment date.

Page S6075 McConnell Amendment No. 5086 (to Amendment No. 5085), of a perfecting nature.

Page S6075 McConnell motion to commit the bill to the Committee on Appropriations, with instructions, McConnell Amendment No. 5087, to change the enactment date.

Page S6075 McConnell Amendment No. 5088 (to (the instructions) Amendment No. 5087), of a perfecting nature.

Page S6075 McConnell Amendment No. 5089 (to Amendment No. 5088), of a perfecting nature.

Page S6075 A unanimous-consent agreement was reached providing for further consideration of the bill at approximately 10 a.m., on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.

Is there a reason why this series of amendments were introduced like this? Could an enactment date not be changed with one amendment or does it have to go through increments like this? Is it a tactic to stall similar to quorum calls to allow for additional time to work on this bill?

UPDATE: So they passed H.R. 5325 and here are the results of the pending amendments:

Adopted:

McConnell (for Cochran) Amendment No. 5082, in the nature of a substitute.

Withdrawn:

McConnell Amendment No. 5083 (to Amendment No. 5082), to change the enactment date.

McConnell Amendment No. 5085 (to the language proposed to be stricken by Amendment No. 5082), to change the enactment date.

During consideration of this measure today, Senate also took the following action:

The motion to proceed to the motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on McConnell (for Cochran) Amendment No. 5082, on September 27, 2016, was agreed to.

The motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on McConnell (for Cochran) Amendment No. 5082, on September 27, 2016, was agreed to.

By 77 yeas to 21 nays (Vote No. 149), three-fifths of those Senators duly chosen and sworn, having voted in the affirmative, Senate upon reconsideration agreed to the motion to close further debate on McConnell (for Cochran) Amendment No. 5082.

McConnell motion to commit the bill to the Committee on Appropriations, with instructions, McConnell Amendment No. 5087, to change the enactment date, fell when cloture was invoked on McConnell (for Cochran) Amendment No. 5082.

McConnell Amendment No. 5088 (to (the instructions) Amendment No. 5087), of a perfecting nature, fell when McConnell motion to commit the bill to the Committee on Appropriations, with instructions, McConnell Amendment No. 5087 fell.

McConnell Amendment No. 5089 (to Amendment No. 5088), of a perfecting nature, fell when McConnell Amendment No. 5088 (to (the instructions) Amendment No. 5087) fell.

McConnell Amendment No. 5084 (to Amendment No. 5083), of a perfecting nature, fell when McConnell Amendment No. 5083 (to Amendment No. 5082) was withdrawn.

McConnell Amendment No. 5086 (to Amendment No. 5085), of a perfecting nature, fell when McConnell Amendment No. 5085 (to the language proposed to be stricken by Amendment No. 5082) was withdrawn.

The motion to proceed to the motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the bill, on September 27, 2016, was agreed to.

The motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not invoked on the bill, on September 27, 2016, was agreed to.

By 77 yeas to 21 nays (Vote No. 150), three-fifths of those Senators duly chosen and sworn, having voted in the affirmative, Senate upon reconsideration agreed to the motion to close further debate on the bill.

So amendment 5082 was agreed to and the other amendments were withdrawn. Now it looks like the amendments may have been introduced like a set of options that they could agree upon. I'm still unsure.

1

Background

H.R.5325 was a continuing resolution to fund the government from October 1, 2016, through December 9, 2016.

On September 22, 2016, in the Senate, S.Amdt.5082 (aka SA 5082) was proposed to amend H.R.5325.

Sen. McConnell, the majority leader, proposed SA 5083 through SA 5089.

SA 5083. This Act shall take effect 1 day after the date of enactment.

SA 5084. Strike ‘‘1 day’’ and insert ‘‘2 days’’.

SA 5085. This Act shall take effect 3 days after the date of enactment.

SA 5086. Strike ‘‘3 days’’ and insert ‘‘4 days’’.

SA 5087. This Act shall take effect 5 days after the date of enactment.

SA 5088. Strike ‘‘5’’ and insert ‘‘6’’.

SA 5089. Strike ‘‘6’’ and insert ‘‘7’’.

Immediately following this series of amendments, Sen. McConnell called for cloture to end debate. The cloture vote was taken on September 27, 2016. It failed 45 - 55.

Additional amendments were considered; then on the 28th, SA 5082 passed, whereupon, Sen.McConnell withdrew, by unanimous consent, his prior amendments from September 22nd.


Questions

Why were these amendments introduced to H.R. 5325 in this manner?

Is there a reason why this series of amendments were introduced like this?

Could an enactment date not be changed with one amendment or does it have to go through increments like this?

Is it a tactic to stall similar to quorum calls to allow for additional time to work on this bill?


Answer

The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction, p 11.

Majority leaders of the Senate have sometimes offered a series of amendments, one immediately after another, taking up available slots for pending amendments for the purpose of “freezing” the amendment process so that no other amendments can be offered (except by unanimous consent) at that time.


It should be noted that had SA 5082 failed completely, it would have required reconsideration of H.R.5325. In that case, Sen. Reid, the minority leader, had nine amendments ready (SA 5094 - SA 5102), apparently, to prevent Senators from introducing other amendments to H.R.5325.

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