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Press Release by Sen. John McCain

Friday, June 22, 2001

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) today made the following statement regarding the Majority Leader's unanimous consent request on the Bipartisan Patient Protection Bill, S. 1052:

``Mr. President, I want to reiterate my strong support for the Majority Leader's unanimous consent request. His request is not only fair, but is crucial for allowing us to finally engage in a real and meaningful debate that will get Americans the protections they need and want.

``This unanimous consent request is almost identical to the one that we followed during the campaign finance reform debate. It allows for a free and open debate of the issues and does not impose undue restrictions or impede upon the rights of any one Senator to offer amendments.

``Unlimited amendments can be offered and each one will be provided a significant period of time for debate. After a full debate, the amendment will be voted on by the full Senate. At that time, if the amendment does not fail it could be open for second degree amendments with no time limit on that debate and no restrictions on the number of second degree amendments that could be offered.

``I am struggling to understand how anyone in this chamber could not agree that this is not only a fair proposal, but truly affords each and every one of us with an opportunity for engaging in a free and spirited debate. This format embodies the full spirit of the traditional Senate and should not be ignored or misconstrued as anything but a reasonable and honest proposal.

``Mr. President, Americans are watching us to see if we can come together on an issue of great importance to everyone across our nation. We must not delay. We must not obstruct. Let's get to work and bridge our differences.

``I am confident that engaging a truly open debate on this issue-without stringent time restraints or limits on amendments--will result in the passage of a strong bipartisan patient protection bill that will be signed into law by President Bush.''

© 2001 The Washington Post Company


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