Best Hits: Saturday Night in the Senate

Jul 30, 2011 10:07pm

ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports:

The debate over the debt deal raged on in the Senate tonight. 

Originally a 1 a.m. Sunday vote was scheduled but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid postponed the vote on his debt plan to 1 p.m.

However the night gave way to some pretty impassioned speeches on the Senate floor.

Here’s a short roundup of some of the best, most powerful quotes from Senators that took to the floor with today.

The hour is late. We’ll have a vote at 1 00 a.m. in the morning. How dignified. What body comes together at the darkest hour to cast a vote?” Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-AK., said sarcastically.

“I've been in my office since early this morning and we've been answering the phones,” Senator John Barrasso, R-WY., said “What I’m hearing is what you all should be hearing if you're answering your phones enough is enough. Enough is enough.”

Senator John Kerry, D-Mass., railed against what other countries must think of what’s going on in the United States right now.

“Our economic rivals are laughing all the way to the bank. At a time of global economic uncertainty, we should absolutely not be adding to that uncertainty by failing to resolve our debt crisis,” Kerry said.

Kerry added that the Republican infighting has gotten so bad that it now seems like “a civil war between the reasonable and the unreasonable in the party.”

Pronouncing every word slowly, Senator Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., said point blank, “I… have…compromised.”

“As a democrat, as a new deal democrat, as a fair deal democrat, I have now agreed to more cuts than I would ever do under any other circumstances. I have compromised. Other democrats of my political persuasion have compromised. Where’s the compromise on the other side? We need compromise, first of all, to get a vote and then to get it done,” she said.  

Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, one of the Republicans in the Senate who voted against the Boehner bill, as a Balanced Budget Amendment is key for his vote quipped, “One of the points that I’ve heard made this evening by one of my colleagues is that the debt limit issue has never been held hostage quite like it has now. I’m not quite sure what was meant by this, but I do want to clarify this point. If someone had held this hostage before on any of the dozens and dozens of times that the debt limit has been raised over the course of many years, maybe it would have been a good thing.”

And, there seemed to be more support tonight, just a few days away from the Aug. 2 deadline for action, for the president using the 14th Amendment if negotiations do not lead to a deal.

“The least onerous option available to us today is for the President of the United States to exercise his authority under the 14th amendment to the constitution to pay the debts incurred by the United States,” Senator Bernie Sanders, R-Vt., said, “I think that's just what he should do if he is left with no other way to protect the full faith and credit of the United States.”

“We have to pledge allegiance to the flag, not to Grover Norquist. We have to do what is right for the country. And I pray and I hope that we do. And I will say this, if we fail this, I hope the president will invoke the 14th amendment,” Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. said later.

“If the Congress through inaction, through inaction or action, tries to destroy or alter those obligations I believe it is incumbent on the chief executive to exercise his authority to make sure the full faith and credit of the United States is not jeopardized,” Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said, “The president should use his authority to do so.” 

 

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