From an exchange Wednesday between Sen. Ernest Hollings and Sen. Lawton Chiles, who offered an amendment to the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings bill to reduce the deficit:

Sen. Hollings: If you read this amendment carefully, you see it goes all over the lot with the Congressional Budget Office director as a king. He is to submit a report and he starts programming everything. There you go. That is not workable. The president is bound to veto it. . . .

I hope we can get serious on this, vote on it, reject it, get all the others up, give us a chance to debate their merits. You can tell by the descriptions here that they are not accurate at all. There is no intent to have a deficit reduction bill. There is an intent to have a parliamentary collision with the White House and, bove everything else, not have a vote. It is actually impossible to get done, and everybody else knows it. They say, "Well, we can't beat Gramm-Rudman-Hollings by a vote so we beat them by maneuvering."

Sen. Chiles: I know how much it strained my friend from South Carolina to have to make those brief critical remarks on this amendment. I know his conscience bothered him, but he felt he had to do it. I appreciate the great restraint in his manner. He is always a gentlemen. He is always temperate. He is always restrained. I am so very glad that he spoke so concisely, without exaggeration or hyperbole and in such a calm, sober, thoughtful, restrained and scholarly way. My, how I appreciate that. . . .

I am reminded of an old southern saying that if you take the lady to the dance, you better be prepared to dance with her. I appreciate that, too, and I understand it. I did not elect to take the other lady to the dance. I have my own lady, and so I am prepared to dance with her. But I understand that you need to be prepared to dance with the lady you agreed to take to the dance. . . .