Date: January 11, 2006
Senator: Various - Specter\Durbin\Leahy
DURBIN: Mr. Chairman? Mr. Chairman?
SPECTER: I just want it known that we're now into the lunch hour.
But go ahead, Senator Durbin.
DURBIN: Mr. Chairman, I sent you a note, and you were kind enough to come and speak to me about it.
I just ask for two minutes time to respond to comments made by members of the committee mentioning my name after I asked questions this morning. You've asked if I would wait until Senator Coburn returned to the committee, and in deference to the respect to my colleague, I will do that.
LEAHY: Could I also, Mr. Chairman, on this...
SPECTER: I appreciate it very much waiting for Senator Coburn. I think it is a good practice, when comments are made about other members, to do it while they're here or to ask their rejoinder. And that's why, if you have something to say to Senator Coburn, I want him here. Otherwise, he'll have something to say when you're not here.
DURBIN: He did already, Mr. Chairman.
SPECTER: Now, Senator Leahy is recognized into the lunch hour.
LEAHY: Into the lunch hour.
Mr. Chairman, if I might, I came very close to objecting when Senator Coburn was speaking and referring to Senator Durbin. Senator Coburn is a new -- he's a valued member of the committee, of course, but new, and I wanted -- but I really think -- I've been here for 30 years. I've always made it a point, if I wanted to raise something, to give word to the other party.
I think it's a good way of doing it. And you have been totally fair on that.
And I would urge senators, if we're going to start quoting each other, that maybe we have a quote time or something like that. Senator Durbin's absolutely right in wanting to be able to respond to what was said.
SPECTER: Well, I think that we might agree on best practice. But when you deal with senators, my view is to give senators great latitude as what they want to undertake to do.
And if Senator Coburn wants to make a comment without Senator Durbin here, I think that's going to be his call, although my preference would be to the contrary.
But when Senator Durbin wants time to respond, I immediately sent word to him he would have the time that he requested. And then I sent for Senator Coburn. And Senator Coburn was in a meeting that he couldn't leave, but we'll get the two of you together fairly promptly.
DURBIN: Thank you.
SPECTER: Lunchtime. Now we get lunch.