News From
Richard Bryan
U.S. Senator  •  Nevada


CONTACT:   Dave Lemmon

DATE: October 29, 1999

Tom Foulkes


(202) 224-6244

Senator Lott Fails in his Effort to File a Cloture Motion on Nuclear Waste Bill

Bryan vowed to use every tool at his disposal to derail effort

WASHINGTON U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MI) today failed in his plan to file a motion to invoke "cloture" in the U.S. Senate in his first formal attempt to bring S. 1287, the Nuclear Waste Amendments Act of 1999, to the floor of the U.S. Senate for consideration. Majority Leader Lott backed off of his effort to file cloture after U.S. Senator Richard Bryan (D-NV) warned the Majority Leader that he would not allow the Senate to consider the Bankruptcy bill or any other legislation once a cloture motion for the nuclear waste bill was invoked. While Senator Lott failed to file cloture today, it is expected that he may file the motion at some point next week. However, with the Senate calendar for the year quickly coming to a conclusion, with an expected adjournment date within the next several weeks, the remaining time for the consideration of this misguided legislation is quickly slipping away.

"This was our closest call yet for the year," Senator Bryan stated. "Every day that the bill is delayed from being considered by the full Senate, is another day that Nevadans can breathe a little easier," Senator Bryan stated. "After warning Senator Lott that I intend to use every legislative and parliamentary tool at my disposal to delay the consideration of this misguided and dangerous legislation for as long as possible, he backed away from his earlier commitment to file cloture on the nuclear waste bill this week. If he is serious about bringing up this legislation for the Senate's consideration, I made it perfectly clear to him that I am committed to tying the Senate's schedule up in knots until he reconsiders," Bryan continued.

With the threat of a full-fledged filibuster from Senator Bryan to derail this legislation, Majority Leader Lott has continually stated that he is committed to invoking cloture to cut off debate on one of the most important health and safety issues facing our nation. The filing of a motion to invoke cloture is a procedural maneuver in the U.S. Senate designed to cut-off debate on a particular piece of legislation.

"The Republican majority in the U.S. Senate is certainly showing its callous disregard for not only the health and safety of every Nevadan, but for every American," Senator Bryan stated. "I have assured the Majority Leader that if he is hell-bent on trying to cram this bill down the throat of the U.S. Senate in the waning days of the Congressional session, I will use every trick in the book to delay and defeat the consideration of this disastrous legislation. It is incredibly ironic that the Majority Leader would be willing to sacrifice more than a week of the Senate's very limited time this late in the session with so much business still undone. With action still waiting on important legislation such as the final appropriations bills for the year, the patients' bill of rights, campaign finance reform, and the minimum wage, it would be the height of arrogance for the Majority Leader to further delay action on these bills to debate a bill that the President has already said he will veto and is dead in the water," Bryan stated.