Thursday, March 26, while the U.S. Senate was considering amendments to the new federal budget resolution, a two minute debate took place on one of the many offered:
The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is now 2 minutes equally divided prior to a vote on the Schatz amendment NO. 1063. The Senator from Hawaii.
AMENDMENT NO. 1063 , AS MODIFIED
Mr. SCHATZ . I ask unanimous consent that my amendment No. be modified with the changes at the desk.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
The amendment, as modified, is as follows:
At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. __X. DEFICIT-NEUTRAL RESERVE FUND RELATING TO ENSURING EQUAL TREATMENT OF MARRIED COUPLES UNDER THE SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAM AND BY THE DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.
The Chairman of the Committee on the Budget of the Senate may revise the allocations of a committee or committees, aggregates, and other appropriate levels in this resolution for one or more bills, joint resolutions, amendments, amendments between the Houses, motions, or conference reports relating to ensuring equal treatment of married couples, which may include ensuring that all legally married spouses have access to Social Security benefits after the death of their spouse and to benefits under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, by the amounts provided in such legislation for those purposes, provided that such legislation would not increase the deficit over either the period of the total of fiscal years 2016 through 2020 or the period of the total of fiscal years 2016 through 2025.
Mr. SCHATZ . All legally married, same-sex couples deserve equal treatment under the law, regardless of
Plain and simple, this is wrong, and this doesn't reflect our American values. This amendment will fix this and provide equal protection under the law and the Social Security and veterans benefits that gay Americans have earned. I would be happy to entertain a voice vote in support of this amendment if the majority is amenable.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Wyoming.
Mr. ENZI. Mr. President, it has come to my attention that is not going to be possible [to hold a voice vote- Waldo] on this amendment.
Again, this is a statement that has to be handled by the committee of jurisdiction and has no real effect. So I would ask that everybody vote ``no'' on this one.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The question is on agreeing to the Schatz amendment No. 1063 , as modified.
Mr. Schatz . 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 senior assistant legislative clerk called the roll.
The yeas and nays resulted--yeas 57, nays 43, as follows:
Writing in National Journal, Lauren Fox underscored an emerging split in GOP ranks the otherwise largely symbolic vote represents: