3:46 PM EST
Patrick J. Leahy, D-VT

Mr. LEAHY. Mr. President, it is hard to respond to all the inaccuracies in the statement of the junior Senator from Nevada.

One, incidentally, he may be interested in knowing, as I was leaving Burlington, VT, this morning after saying goodbye to a number of our Guard members I ran into Howard Dean. He hopes we will pass the bill that is on the floor.

Second, the motion he talks about and those who voted, including this Senator, was a procedural motion on a question of tabling Senator Kennedy's amendment. We thought he should be allowed to have a vote. It was not a vote in favor of caps.

Lastly, if you look at what he has done with this amendment, he is saying that the insurance companies and the hospitals or somebody who may have cut the wrong leg off or paralyzed you by giving you the wrong medication, they can spend all the money they want to stop you from getting any relief. You, however, will be limited and the Federal government will override the laws of your State and tell you what you can contract for on fees with your attorney.

In other words, the people who caused the damage can spend any amount of money they want to escape liability from the damage. The poor individual who has been damaged would not have an equal chance at recompense. Come on. Is the Senate actually going to vote for something like that? I would hope not.