Fireworks in Senate over detainee provision

"I would hope we could go ahead and vote on this amendment because I was informed… by Sen. Reid that there’s a limited amount of time that can be spent on this bill," said McCain, directing his comments to Durbin who was preparing to give his second speech in opposition. 

But Durbin shot down his request prompting an outburst.

"Well you know what?" asked McCain. "That's really too bad because you know what? Let me just say to the senator from Illinois this is a really important issue.”

“This legislation, sir, has a lot to do with defending this country,” continued McCain, his voice rising. “For you to hold up the entire bill because you don’t think its been discussed enough I think is a disservice to the men and women who are in the military. [S]o to the senator from Illinois, if we are forced to not be able complete work on this legislation I think he bears a pretty heavy burden on this.”

But Durbin was not cowed by McCain's wrath, arguing back that it would make no difference if the amendment were voted on tonight since President Obama would veto it. 

"I will tell you this," shot back Durbin. "If the argument is ‘if we don't vote on this amendment here tonight the U.S. is in peril,’ is a little hard to make because we are not going to finish this bill tonight… and it is pretty clear that the president opposes this particular amendment."

“This great body should take the time to debate this issue and vote on it in a timely matter," concluded Durbin. "I am not here to filibuster this issue, I am here to discuss it.”



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