Senate Floor Speech on Senate Passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013, S. 3254

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mr. LEVIN. Madam President, I will be very brief. I feel so grateful and so proud that the tradition of our committee and this Senate has been maintained on our 51st consecutive Defense authorization bill, a bill that is so vitally important to the Nation. I am grateful to all of our colleagues for working on a bipartisan basis through the normal and open legislative process to produce this bill. I am grateful to stand here with my partner, Senator McCain – we worked together on this bill – to all of the members of the committee, to our staff and the floor and cloakroom staff. We passed over 100 amendments. It was a process that allowed us to be just as accommodating as we humanly could.

One person I wish to single out as someone who has worked for the committee for 41 years – this will be her last year – is Chris Cowart. She is our chief clerk, and I would like to take an additional 2 seconds to mention her name as a symbol of the staff for whom we are so grateful.

I don't know if Senator McCain is here, but I know that I speak for him about our staffs and about our colleagues on the committee.

I yield the floor.

[The bill was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading and was read the third time.]

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The bill having been read the third time, the question is, Shall it pass?

Mr. BAUCUS. I ask for the yeas and nays.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Is there a sufficient second?  There appears to be a sufficient second.  The clerk will call the roll.

[The legislative clerk called the roll.  The bill (S. 3254), as amended, was passed 98-0.]

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, the Committee on Armed Services is discharged from further consideration of H.R. 4310, and the Senate will proceed to the consideration of the measure, which the clerk will report.

[The legislative clerk read as follows:  A bill (H.R. 4310) to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.]

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, all after the enacting clause is stricken, and the text of S. 3254 as passed is inserted in lieu thereof.  The clerk will read the title of the bill for the third time.

[The amendment was ordered to be engrossed and the bill to be read a third time.  The bill was read the third time.]

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, H.R. 4310, as amended, is passed, and the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table.

Under the previous order, the Senate insists on its amendment, requests a conference with the House, and the Chair appoints the following conferees:

Mr. Levin, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Reed of Rhode Island, Mr. Akaka, Mr. Nelson of Nebraska, Mr. Webb, Mrs. McCaskill, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mrs. Hagan, Mr.Begich, Mr. Manchin, Mrs. Shaheen, Mrs. Gillibrand, Mr. Blumenthal, Mr. McCain, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Chambliss, Mr. Wicker, Mr. Brown of Massachusetts, Mr. Portman, Ms. Ayotte, Ms. Collins, Mr. Graham, Mr. Cornyn, and Mr. Vitter