The Senate Will Convene At 3:00 PM Today
Senate Session - February 5, 2009

The Senate convened and resumed consideration of H.R.1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Speakers:
Time
Action
  • 09:29:30 AM

    none

    A PUBLIC SERVICE. TODAY, C-SPAN IS THE POLITICAL NETWORK OF RECORD. ON THE…

    A PUBLIC SERVICE. TODAY, C-SPAN IS THE POLITICAL NETWORK OF RECORD. ON THE THREE C-SPAN TELEVISION NETWORKS. C-SPAN RADIO AND A VIDEO-RICH WEB SITE, C-SPAN.ORG.

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  • 09:29:49 AM

    >>

    IN FOR ANOTHER DAY'S WORK ON THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN. YESTERDAY…

    IN FOR ANOTHER DAY'S WORK ON THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN. YESTERDAY LAWMAKERS APPROVED SEVERAL AMENDMENTS TO THE BILL THAT RAISED THE ESTIMATED TOTAL COST TO WELL OVER $900 BILLION. THOSE AMENDMENTS INCLUDING ONE RAISING THE HOMEBUYER TAX CREDIT TO $15,000. OFF THE FLOOR, SENATORS HAVE BEEN IN TOUCH WITH THE WHITE HOUSE, TRYING TO CUT THE OVERALL SPENDING IN THE BILL, WITH NEARLY 20 SENATORS WORKING ON A DEAL. YESTERDAY, MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID INDICATED THE DEMOCRATS WOULD ACCEPT A 60 VOTE THRESHOLD FOR PASSAGE. AND HOPES TO GET THE FINAL VOTE IN BY THE END OF THE DAY. U.S. HOUSE IS NOT IN SESSION TODAY. THEY ARE DONE FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK, BACK ON TUESDAY. SPENDING THE REST OF THE WEEK IN THEIR ANNUAL POLICY RETREAT. NOW, LIVE TO THE SENATE FLOOR HERE ON C-SPAN2.

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  • 09:30:49 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. TODAY'S OPENING PRAYER WILL BE OFFERED BY…

    THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. TODAY'S OPENING PRAYER WILL BE OFFERED BY GUEST CHAPLAIN REVEREND HENRY WILKINS IV FROM ST. JAMES UNITED METHODIST CHURCH IN PINE BLUFF, ARKANSAS.

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  • 09:31:05 AM

    THE GUEST CHAPLAIN

    GOOD MORNING. LET US PRAY. ALMIGHTY GOD OF LOVE AND MERCY, GOD OF POWER…

    GOOD MORNING. LET US PRAY. ALMIGHTY GOD OF LOVE AND MERCY, GOD OF POWER AND GRACE, TODAY WE PRAY THE UNDERSTANDING TO ALWAYS SEEK YOUR WISDOM AND JUSTICE. IT IS THROUGH YOUR AUTHORITY RIGHTEOUSLY ADMINISTERED THAT OUR LEADERS ARE ENABLED TO GOVERN THROUGH THE LAWS ENACTED FOR OUR BETTERMENT. SO WE PRAY FOR YOUR SPIRIT, THAT THESE MEMBERS MIGHT BE PROPERLY GUIDED BY YOUR DIVINE CHARITY AND BY FAITH F.P.L.NESS. GIVE BOTH COUNCIL AND COURAGE TO THE LEADERS. SUSTAIN AND DIRECT US. GIVE COUNSEL AND COURAGE TO THE LEADERS OF THIS GREAT BODY AND ITS MEMBERS. MAY THEY ALWAYS SEEK YOUR PURPOSE AND THE WELL-BEING OF THIS GREAT PEOPLE. BLESS THE LEADERS OF THIS GROUP OF SENATORS. BLESS THE PRESIDENT OF OUR GREAT NATION. GRANT NOW YOUR UNFATHOMABLE PROTECTION THAT THEY MAY LEAD OUR COUNTRY WITH THE HONESTY OF PROVIDENCE AND THE INTEGRITY OF HIGH IDEALS. WE ASK ALL THIS IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST. AMEN.

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  • 09:32:35 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG. I PLEDGE…

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG. I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

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  • 09:32:58 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL READ A COMMUNICATION TO THE SENATE.

  • 09:33:02 AM

    THE CLERK

  • 09:33:23 AM

    MR. REID

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 09:33:24 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 09:33:25 AM

    MR. REID

    WE'RE GOING TO GO BACK TO WORK IMMEDIATELY ON H.R. 1, THE ECONOMIC…

    WE'RE GOING TO GO BACK TO WORK IMMEDIATELY ON H.R. 1, THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT. YESTERDAY WE REACHED AN AGREEMENT ON A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS. THAT WAS CERTAINLY DONE AFTER WE COMPLETED THE VOTING HERE LAST NIGHT THAT THE MANAGERS OF THE BILL MOVED A A NUMBER OF PIECES OF OTHER LEGISLATION. SENATOR McCAIN IS GOING TO OFFER THE FIRST AMENDMENT TODAY. THIS WILL BE THE 14th AMENDMENT, WHICH IS PENDING. I THINK WE NEED TO DISPOSE OF ALL OR PART OF THESE AMENDMENTS BEFORE WE START ADDING MORE AMENDMENTS. WE'RE HAPPY THAT WAS AN AGREEMENT MADE LAST NIGHT FOR SENATOR McCAIN TO OFFER HIS AMENDMENT. IT IS AN IMPORTANT AMENDMENT, ONE THAT NEEDS TO BE DEBATED AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO THAT. HOWEVER, I WOULD JUST TELL SENATORS, I THINK WE SHOULD DISPOSE OF SOME OF THESE AMENDMENTS BEFORE WE START OFFERING ANYMORE AFTER SENATOR McCAIN. THERE'LL BE PLENTY OF TIME TO DO THAT. EVERYONE HAS AGREED TO TIME AGREEMENTS ON THESE AMENDMENTS. THAT'S WHAT I'M TOLD. I'M CONFIDENT THAT IS RIGHT. MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME JUST SAY A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE PENDING LEGISLATION. I HEAR COMMENTS ALL THE TIME, THIS IS THE GREATEST FINANCIAL CRISIS SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. I'VE SAID TO MYSELF, WELL, IS THIS WORSE THAN THE DEPRESSION THAT STARTED IN 1928? THE ANSWER IS NO. THAT SITUATION IS WORSE THAN WHAT WE FIND OURSELVES IN TODAY. AND THAT PERIOD OF TIME, THE STOCK MARKET DROPPED 89%. MORE THAN 25% OF THE PEOPLE HAD TO WORK. THERE WERE MILLIONS OF OTHERS THAT WERE UNDEREMPLOYED. IT WAS AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TIME IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY. BUT WE FIND OURSELVES IN A VERY DIFFICULT POSITION NOW, AND WE NEED TO DO WHAT WE CAN TO WORK OUR WAY OUT OF THE SITUATION SO WE DON'T HAVE A DEPRESSION, JUST A BAD RECESSION. AND I'M CONFIDENT AND HOPEFUL THAT WE CAN DO THAT. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, AS I MENTIONED LAST NIGHT, WE'RE GOING TO WORK OUR VERY BEST TO COMPLETE THIS LEGISLATION AS SOON AS WE CAN. BUT I'M TERRIBLY DISAPPOINTED TO SEE IN THE NEWSPAPER THIS MORNING, "G.O.P. CONSIDERS USE OF FILIBUSTER." IT IS A LONG ARTICLE BUT IT SAYS "A NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS SAY THEY BELIEVE LEADERSHIP MAY NEED TO BRING BACK THE USE OF PROCEDURAL FILIBUSTERS. QULINGS "WELL, ALL FILIBUSTERS ARE PROCEDURAL. AND THEN ON THE CARRY-OVER PAGE, "FILIBUSTER IS GOING TO BE BACK ON MENU." AMONG OTHER THINGS IT SAYS, "USING A PROARLT VOTE MUDDIES THE ISSUE FOR THE REPUBLICANS TO STICK WITH THEIR PARTY AND BLOCK A BILL WHILE STILL BEING ABLE TO TECHNICALLY VOTE AGAINST THE LEGISLATION." MR. PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS GIVEN THE CONGRESS A CHARGE: HELP ME, SAYS BARACK OBAMA, WORK OUR WAY OUT OF THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN WE FIND OURSELVES IN. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, THERE ISN'T A SENATOR, DEMOCRATIC OR REPUBLICAN SENATOR, WHO DOESN'T ACKNOWLEDGE WE HAVE A TREMENDOUS PROBLEM. NOW, HOW WE'RE GOING TO WORK THROUGH THIS PROBLEM IS ONE, OF COURSE, THAT SUGGESTS THAT EVERY ONE OF US COULD WRITE A BETTER BILL. WE ALL HAVE AN EGO. WE THINK WE COULD DO A BETTER JOB THAN PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS PEOPLE. MR. PRESIDENT, WE'RE AT A POINT NOW WHERE WE HAVE, AS I'VE INDICATED, 13 AMENDMENTS PENDING. WE HAVE 14. I HAVE NO PROBLEM WITH THAT. BUT THERE COMES A TIME WHEN WE NEED TO WORK TO COMPLETE THE LEGISLATION. AND I AM NOT IN A HURRY TO FINISH THIS LEGISLATION. I'D LIKE TO GET IT DONE. WE HAVE TO CONFERENCE ON IT. BUT UMA LITTLE TROUBLED BY SEEING THAT A NUMBER OF REPUBLICANS NOW ARE TALKING ABOUT USE OF THE FILIBUSTER. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, I CAN UNDERSTAND HOW WHEN WE WERE EVENLY DIVIDED, PEOPLE COMPLAINING BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER AMENDMENTS, BUT NO ONE CAN COMPLAIN ABOUT THAT. WHAT I ASK EVERYONE WHO IS CONSIDERING USING THE FILIBUSTER, WHAT IN THE WORLD MORE COULD WE DO TO BE COOPERATIVE AND TO TRY TO MOVE LEGISLATION THROUGH THIS BODY? WE'VE NOT TRIED TO USE THE POWER OF NUMBERS. WE SIMPLY WANT TO GET THIS LEGISLATION THROUGH. BUT I SAY TO EVERYONE WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE, THERE'S ONLY 58 DEMOCRATS. IF THEY DECIDE TO HAVE A FILIBUSTER ON THIS OR BLOCK IT PROCEDURALLY, MR. PRESIDENT, WE STILL NEED TWO REPUBLICANS. AND I'M HOPEFUL, AND I'M CONFIDENT, THAT REPUBLICANS OF GOOD WILL RECOGNIZE THE HOLE THAT WE'RE IN AND WILL HELP US GET OUT OF THIS. I FEEL PRETTY GOOD ABOUT THE WORK WE'RE TRYING TO DO HERE. THERE IS ESOME IMPORTANT AMENDMENTS I INDICATED LAST NIGHT AND I'VE BEEN TOLD ARE GOING TO BE OFFERED, ONE BY THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM ARIZONA, ANOTHER BY THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM NEVADA THAT'S IN KEEPING WITH THE MANY STATEMENTS THAT THE REPUBLICAN LEADER HAS MADE DEALING WITH WHAT THEY BELIEVE IS A WAY TO FIX THE HOUSING PROBLEMS IN AMERICA TODAY. SO I JUST DON'T KNOW -- I DON'T KNOW MORE THAT WE COULD DO TO TRY TO MAKE THE REPUBLICANS FEEL PART OF WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND HERE. I DO THINK THAT MOST REPUBLICANS FEEL WE'RE DOING JUST FINE. BUT, REMEMBER, IT ONLY TAKES A FEW TO GET STARTED AGAIN AND THEN WE HAVE TO FILE CLOTURE AND HAVE A CLOTURE VOTE ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, YOU KNOW. I JUST THINK IT WOULD BE A SHAME TO HAVE TO DO THAT, WAIT 30 HOURS, AS WE DID ABOUT 100 TIMES IN THE LAST CONGRESS. I HOPE THAT WE DON'T NEED TO GO THROUGH ALL THAT. WE HAVE TOO MUCH TO DO FOR THIS COUNTRY THAT IS SO VITALLY IMPORTANT TO NOT GET HUNG UP ON PROCEDURAL -- GET HUNG UP ON SOME PROCEDURAL QUAGMIRE. SO I ONLY SAY THIS, MR. PRESIDENT, BECAUSE I CAN READ. I CAN READ AND I UNDERSTAND WHAT APPEARS TO BE COMING AT US IN THIS LEGISLATION. I HOPE NOT, BECAUSE IT WOULD BE A REAL SHAME FOR WHAT THE PROBLEMS ARE. A FEW REPUBLICANS ARE BOUND AND DETERMINED TO THROW A MONKEY WRENCH INTO OBAMA'S RECOVERY PLAN. THAT WOULD BE TOO BAD.

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  • 09:40:07 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

  • 09:40:08 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 09:40:10 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

  • 09:45:03 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 09:45:04 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 09:45:06 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    PRESIDENT, I KNOW THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA IS EAGERLY WAITING FOR THE…

    PRESIDENT, I KNOW THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA IS EAGERLY WAITING FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER HIS AMENDMENT OF I JUST HAVE A COUPLE WORDS. TO KIND OF SET -- MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, THE BILL HAS TO BE REPORTED.

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  • 09:45:20 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. UNDER THE…

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL RESUME CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1, WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

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  • 09:45:28 AM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 09:45:37 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 09:45:39 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    JUST TO SET THE STAGE FOR THE DAY TO LET THE SENATORS KNOW THE LAY OF THE…

    JUST TO SET THE STAGE FOR THE DAY TO LET THE SENATORS KNOW THE LAY OF THE LAND. YESTERDAY THE SENATE HAD QUITE A LONG DAY. BY MY COUNT, WE CONSIDERED 28 AMENDMENTS. WE CONDUCTED 8 ROLL CALL VOTES AND WE ACCEPTED A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS BY VOICE VOTE. I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT ONE AMENDMENT THE SENATE ADOPTED, THE ISAKSON-LIEBERMAN AMENDMENT WHICH PROVIDED FEDERAL INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR HOME PURPOSES. THIS AMENDMENT ADDRESSES ONE OF THE CENTRAL POINTS THAT SENATORS'NT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE HAVE BEEN -- THAT SENATORS THE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE HAVE BEEN RAISING, NAMELY, WE NEED TO ADDRESS THE HOUSING MARKET. THE AMENDMENT WE TKOPTD YESTERDAY, THE ISAKSON-LIEBERMAN AMENDMENT, DOES JUST THAT AND I'M PROUD WE ACCEPTED THEIR IDEA. I ALSO WANT TO CLEAR UP THE RECORD ON THE CORNYN AMENDMENT. YESTERDAY I RAISED A PAY-GO POINT OF ORDER AGAINST THE CORNYN AMENDMENT. AFTER THE SENATE FAILED TO WAIVE THE BUDGET PROVISIONS, THE CHAIR RULED THAT THE AMENDMENT VIOLATED THE BUDGET. THE BUDGET RULES REQUIRE BOTH THE PRESIDING OFFICER AND MYSELF TO RELY ON THE BUDGET COMMITTEE TO DETERMINE WHETHER AN AMENDMENT VIOLATES THE BUDGET. THE BUDGET COMMITTEE STAFF ADVISED MY STAFF AND THE PARLIAMENTARIAN THAT THERE WAS A PAY-GO POINT OF ORDER AGAINST THE CORNYN AMENDMENT. BUT IN REALITY, THE AMENDMENT DID NOT VIOLATE THE PAY-GO RULES. SO I APOLOGIZE TO THE SENATOR FROM TEXAS FOR RAISING THAT POINT OF ORDER. BUT AS A VOTE TO WAIVE THE BUDGET WAS 37 IN FAVOR AND 60 OPPOSED, RAISING THE POINT OF ORDER DID NOT CHANGE THE RESULT. I HOPE THAT MY STATEMENT NOW WILL CLEAR UP THE RECORD. LOOKING FORWARD, WE EXPECT ANOTHER BUSY DAY TODAY. I EXPECT THAT WE WILL PROCESS A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS. WE MAY HAVE ROLL CALL VOTES THROUGHOUT THE DAY. WE MAY WELL WORK LATE INTO THE EVENING. BUT I HAVE GOOD REASON TO HOPE THAT WE MIGHT FINISH THIS BILL THIS EVENING, AND THAT IS A GOAL TOWARD WHICH WE ARE WORKING. FOR THE INFORMATION OF SENATORS, 14 AMENDMENTS ARE NOW PENDING. THOSE AMENDMENTS ARE THE UNDERLYING FINANCE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT NUMBER 98, MURRAY AMENDMENT 110, FEINGOLD AMENDMENT NUMBER 140 REGARDING EARMARKS. I MIGHT ADD THE MURRAY AMENDMENT NUMBER 110 IS WITH RESPECT TO INFRASTRUCTURE. AGAIN, THE FEINGOLD AMENDMENT 140 IS WITH RESPECT TO EARMARKS. THE THUNE AMENDMENT 197. THAT'S A HOUSE REPUBLICAN ALTERNATIVE. DORGAN AMENDMENT 200, RUNAWAY PLANTS. ENSIGN AMENDMENT 353, SUBSTITUTE HOUSING. DODD AMENDMENT 354, EXECUTIVE PAY. BARRASSO AMENDMENT 326, ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS. DeMINT AMENDMENT 189, RELIGIOUS FREE TKOFPLT BOX ARMED, ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS. HARKIN AMENDMENT 338, AUTO TRADE-IN. DODD AMENDMENT 145, FORECLOSURE MITIGATION. McCASKILL AMENDMENT 145, C.E.O. PAY. McCASKILL AMENDMENT 236 AS MODIFIED WITH RESPECT TO INSPECTOR GENERAL. THAT'S IT SO FAR. THIS MORNING WE EXPECT TO HEAR FROM SENATOR McCAIN ON HIS SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT. THEREAFTER, WE ALSO HOPE TO HEAR FROM SENATORS ENSIGN, WYDEN AND CAN -- ABOUT AMENDMENTS THEY HOPE TO OFFER. I ASK SENATORS TO LET US KNOW WHAT AMENDMENTS THEY WISH TO OFFER. SO I THANK SENATORS. A GREAT DAY YESTERDAY. I EXPECT ANOTHER ONE TODAY. WE MUST MOVE QUICKLY BECAUSE THE RECESSION IS SO DEEP. AMERICANS ARE DEPENDING UPON CONGRESS TO ACT. LET'S ACT. LET'S GET THE JOB DONE. OTHER PROBLEMS ALSO ARE VERY, VERY IMPORTANT BUT CAN BE PUSHED OFF TO A LATER DATE. BUT LET'S TODAY GET THIS BILL PASSED AND WORK WITH IT IN THE CONFERENCE, THE HOUSE SO THE PRESIDENT CAN SIGN IT AND PEOPLE CAN GET SOME RELIEF. A SENATOR: WILL THE GENTLEMAN YIELD?

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  • 09:49:49 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 09:49:53 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, DOES THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT HAVE AN URGENT MATTER THAT…

    MR. PRESIDENT, DOES THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT HAVE AN URGENT MATTER THAT HE'D LIKE TO RAISE? I'D BE GLAD TO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO YIELD --

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  • 09:50:02 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    FOR 30 SECONDS.

  • 09:50:05 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    30 SECONDS.

  • 09:50:06 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    WOULD THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA ANSWER A QUESTION? WE HAVE AN AMENDMENT…

    WOULD THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA ANSWER A QUESTION? WE HAVE AN AMENDMENT WITH MR. GRASSLEY THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO BRING UP. CAN WE GET IN THAT LINE OF ORDER AS WELL?

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  • 09:50:21 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

  • 09:50:24 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 09:50:25 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 09:50:26 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT. I COME TO THE FLOOR -- I ASK THE…

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT. I COME TO THE FLOOR -- I ASK THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE AND ASK CONSIDERATION OF AN AMENDMENT THAT I HAVE AT THE DESK.

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  • 09:50:36 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL REPORT…

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE AMENDMENT.

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  • 09:50:43 AM

    THE CLERK

    FROM ARIZONA, MR. McCAIN, FOR HIMSELF AND OTHERS PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT…

    FROM ARIZONA, MR. McCAIN, FOR HIMSELF AND OTHERS PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBER 364 TO AMENDMENT NUMBER 98. IN LIEU OF THE MATTER --

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  • 09:50:52 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT FURTHER READING OF THE AMENDMENT BE DISPENSED WITH.

  • 09:50:57 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 09:51:00 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 10:12:29 AM

    MR. DURBIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 10:12:30 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY WHIP.

  • 10:12:32 AM

    MR. DURBIN

    WILL THE SENATOR YIELD?

  • 10:19:38 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    YIELD FOR A QUESTION.

  • 10:19:39 AM

    MR. DURBIN

    YIELD FOR A QUESTION.

  • 10:19:40 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT I WAS INCORRECT IN THAT STATEMENT, AND I WAS ONLY…

    I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT I WAS INCORRECT IN THAT STATEMENT, AND I WAS ONLY SPEAKING ABOUT THE RESET, AND WE NEED A LOT MORE. I WOULD LIKE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I WAS INCORRECT IN THAT STATEMENT.

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  • 10:19:56 AM

    MR. DURBIN

    THE SENATOR. SENATOR McCAIN SUGGESTS $4 BILLION IN DEFENSE SPENDING IN HIS…

    THE SENATOR. SENATOR McCAIN SUGGESTS $4 BILLION IN DEFENSE SPENDING IN HIS AMENDMENT. THE BILL CONTAINS $4.5 BILLION IN DEFENSE SPENDING ALREADY. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, BUT WE HAVE DONE WELL BY DEFENSE. WE CAN DO BETTER. BUT WE HAVE NOT IGNORED OUR NATIONAL SECURITY NOR THE MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM IN THIS IMPORTANT STIMULUS PACKAGE. LET ME ALSO SAY THERE HAVE BEEN ARGUMENTS MADE THAT WE NEED MORE OVERSIGHT IN THIS BILL. I DON'T WANT TO WASTE A SINGLE TAXPAYER'S DOLLAR. I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT MONEY IS WELL SPENT. AND I CALL THE ATTENTION OF SENATOR McCAIN AND THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE AISLE TO PAGE 9 OF THE BILL. ON PAGE 9, YOU WILL SEE, AND PAGES THAT FOLLOW, ITEM AFTER ITEM WHERE WE ARE PROVIDING ADDITIONAL FUNDS TO INSPECTORS GENERALS IN EACH OF THE DEPARTMENTS TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE SPENDING OF THIS BILL. LET ME READ WHAT IT SAYS. "IN ADDITION TO THE FUNDS OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE, HEREBY APPROPRIATED THE FOLLOWING SUMMITS TO SPECIFIED OFFICERS AND INSPECTORS GENERAL TO REMAIN AVAILABLE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30, 2013, FOR OVERSIGHT AND AUDIT OF PROGRAMS, PROJECTS AND GRANTS FUNDED UNDER THIS ACT." OVERSIGHT IS IMPORTANT, BUT OVERSIGHT IS INCLUDED IN THIS BILL. AND SO WHEN YOU GO THROUGH THE LIST -- I HEARD SENATOR McCONNELL, I'VE HEARD SENATOR McCAIN, THEY OBJECT TO THE IDEA OF MAKING GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS MORE ENERGY-EFFICIENT. HOW SHORTSIGHTED CAN YOU BE? IF YOU OWN A HOME, IS IT WORTH INSULATING THE HOME IF IT COSTS A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY THIS YEAR, KNOWING THAT IT WILL SAVE YOU MONEY IN HEATING COSTS FOR YEARS TO COME? WOULD YOU PUT IN THERMAL WINDOWS? WOULD YOU INSULATE YOUR HOME? IT'S A PRACTICAL DECISION MADE BY FAMILIES EVERY DAY. AND WHEN WE SUGGEST INCLUDING MONEY IN THIS BILL SO THAT THE GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS THAT WE PAY FOR, AND THEY HEAT AND AIR CONDITIONING IN THOSE BUILDINGS THAT WE PAY FOR IS DONE IN AN ENERGY-EFFICIENT WAY, IT IS RIDICULED. IN THE WORDS OF SENATOR McCONNELL, "MONEY TO SPRUCE UP BUILDINGS." WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT PLANTING FLOWERS HERE, FOCUS. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY. AND THE NOTION THAT THAT'S WASTEFUL, IS IT WASTEFUL FOR YOUR FAMILY IF YOU GET RID OF THE INCANDESCENT BULBS AND BUY THE COMPACT FLURRY R.E.S. SENT? NO -- FLOURESCENT. IT'S SMART. THEN SENATOR McCONNELL CRITICIZED $70 MILLION USING THAT MONEY FOR RESEARCH AND CLIMATE CHANGE. THERE IS AT LEAST ONE REPUBLICAN SENATOR WHO CALLS CLIMATE CHANGE A HOAX, BUT I THINK ONLY ONE. AND MOST OF US UNDERSTAND SOMETHING'S HAPPENING IN THIS WORLD. THE CLIMATE IS CHANGING, AND NOT FOR THE BETTER. GLOBAL WARMING IS HAPPENING, AND IT CHANGES THE WEATHER PATTERNS, HURRICANES, IN MONTHS OF THE YEAR WHEN WE'VE NEVER SEEN THEM. STORMS WE'VE NEVER SEEN BEFORE. SHOULD WE JUST IGNORE THIS AND SAY, WELL, MAYBE GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF IT? OR WILL WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO TRY TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT? WILL IT AFFECT OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE? OF COURSE IT WILL. $70 MILLION, THEY RIDICULE IN THIS BILL FOR GLOBAL WARMING AND CLIMATE CHANGE. I DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT PART. LET ME ALSO SAY SENATOR McCAIN HAS SUGGESTED IN HIS BILL THAT THERE WILL BE $276 BILLION IN TAX CUTS. WELL, I WOULD SAY TO THE SENATOR, IN THIS BILL THAT WE HAVE BEFORE US FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA, THERE ARE $370 BILLION IN TAX CUTS ALREADY. SENATOR McCAIN IS REDUCING THE TAX CUTS FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES. DOES THAT MAKE IT A STRONGER BILL, A BETTER BILL FOR REVITALIZING OUR ECONOMY? I DON'T THINK SO. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS: PRESIDENT OBAMA INHERITED THE WORST ECONOMIC CRISIS IN 75 YEARS. IT IS THE PRODUCT OF MANY FACTORS, BUT IT ALSO CLEARLY IS THE PRODUCT OF FAILED POLICIES OF THE PAST. RETURNING TO THOSE POLICIES OVER AND OVER AGAIN IS THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY: TO DO THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN WHEN IT FAILS. AND THAT'S WHAT THIS AMENDMENT DOES. RETURNS TO THE SAME WORN, UNFORTUNATELY UNSUCCESSFUL CONCEPTS THAT WE HAVE HAD IN THE PAST. WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA BRINGS US TODAY IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO STEP FORWARD, TO WORK TOGETHER, DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS FACING OUR COUNTRY. THIS BILL NOT ONLY PROVIDES A HELPING HAND TO THE UNEMPLOYED, GIVING THEM ADDITIONAL MONEY EACH WEEK, IT PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR MANY OF THEM TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE WHICH THEY'VE LOST WHEN THEY LOST THEIR JOBS. IT PROVIDES A HELPING HAND FOR THE POOREST AMONG US WHO ARE STRUGGLING TO GET BY IN AREAS LIKE FOOD STAMPS. IT PROVIDES A SAFETY NET FOR THE MOST UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCES FACING AMERICANS. BUT, IT INVESTS IN GOOD-PAYING JOBS TOO. BUILDING ROADS AND BRIDGES AND HIGHWAYS, THE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT BUILDS OUR ECONOMY IN THE 21st CENTURY. MAKING CERTAIN WE INVEST BILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO HEALTH CARE TECHNOLOGY SO WE CAN COMPUTERIZE MEDICAL RECORDS, HAVE BETTER OUTCOMES OF MEDICAL CARE AND SO THAT IT'S A SAFER, A SAFER EXPERIENCE FOR MOST AMERICANS. MORE MONEY AS WELL IN EDUCATION. WE DON'T PUT MONEY INTO EDUCATION, HOW CAN WE EVER BELIEVE THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THE LEADERS WE NEED TOMORROW? MORE MONEY FOR 21st CENTURY LIBRARIES AND LABORATORIES AND CLASSROOMS, ISN'T THAT WHAT WE WANT FOR OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN? AND MONEY INTO ENERGY RESEARCH AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY SO WE CAN LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL AND BUILD THIS ECONOMY WITH HOMEGROWN ENERGY. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT ARE INCLUDED IN THE OBAMA PLAN. THIS PLAN -- THIS PLAN -- WILL FAIL WITHOUT THE HELP OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS. AT SOME POINT I AM HOPING THAT AT LEAST A HAND FULL OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS WILL SAY "WE'RE WILLING TO STEP FORWARD, SENATOR. WE'RE WILLING TO STEP FORWARD AND HELP." NOW, THEY HAVE ONE PAGE OF GRIEVANCES OUT OF A BILL OF MORE THAN 900 PAGES. ONE PAGE OF GRIEVANCES. THEY SHOULD REMEMBER WHAT ONE OF THE PAY TRARBGS AND SAINTS OF THE -- PATRIARCHS AND SAINTS OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, RONALD REAGAN, USED TO SAY. RONALD REAGAN USED TO SAY IF I CAN GO INTO A NEGOTIATION AND END UP WITH 80% OF WHAT I WANTED, IT'S A SUCCESSFUL NEGOTIATION. NOW WE HAVE REPUBLICANS WHO SAY KIND WORDS ABOUT THE GIPPER, FORMER PRESIDENT, SAY THAT 80% ISN'T ENOUGH. 99% ISN'T ENOUGH. IT HAS TO BE 100%. IF WE CAN FIND ONE PAGE OF GRIEVANCES IN THIS BILL, IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR US TO WALK AWAY FROM IT. YOU CANNOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS CRISIS. YOU CANNOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS CHALLENGE. IF THERE WAS EVER A TIME FOR US TO COME TOGETHER, TO COME TOGETHER WITH A SOLUTION -- NOT JUST A DEBATE. BOLD ACTION INSTEAD OF TENTATIVE ACTION THAT DOES HALF THE JOB WHEN WE NEED TO DO THE WHOLE JOB, TO BRING ABOUT REAL CHANGE AND REFORM, THIS IS THE DAY TO DO IT. I ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, PLEASE DON'T LET THE PERFECT BE THE ENEMY OF THE GOOD. LET US WORK TOGETHER AS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ASKED US TO LAST NOVEMBER 4. DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS. LET'S NOT LEAVE THIS ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE AT THE END OF THE DAY UNDONE. TOO MANY AMERICANS ARE COUNTING ON US. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT? A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 10:28:03 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 10:28:09 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, IN AN EFFORT TO MOVE THINGS ALONG HERE, I WOULD LIKE TO…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IN AN EFFORT TO MOVE THINGS ALONG HERE, I WOULD LIKE TO LOCK IN THE ORDER OF SPEAKERS, CONTINUING OUR PRACTICE OF ALTERNATING BACK AND FORTH. I ASK CONSENT THAT THE NEXT SPEAKERS BE RECOGNIZED, BE THE FOLLOWING SENATORS IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER: SENATOR KYL, THEN SENATOR SANDERS, SENATOR THUNE, MYSELF, SENATOR BAUCUS, THEN IT'S SENATOR GRAHAM. ACTUALLY I HAVE SENATOR GRASSLEY. STKP-PL -- WELL, THEN, WOULD SENATOR THUNE MIND IF HE SPEAKS FOLLOWING? I'LL PUT THUNE LATER.

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  • 10:29:02 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, IN ALL DUE RESPECT TO THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, IN ALL DUE RESPECT TO THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT, WE SHOULD STAY ON THIS AMENDMENT AND HAVE THE SPEAKERS ON THIS AMENDMENT, THEN MOVE TO THE SANDERS AMENDMENT. THE PENDING BUSINESS IS MY AMENDMENT BEFORE THE SENATE.

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  • 10:29:22 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    ALL RIGHT --

  • 10:29:23 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    I ASK THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA, SENATOR GRASSLEY AND I WILL BE PRETTY…

    I ASK THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA, SENATOR GRASSLEY AND I WILL BE PRETTY BRIEF. I DON'T THINK WE NEED MORE THAN TEN MINUTES.

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  • 10:29:31 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    OBJECT, BECAUSE ONE HERE NEEDS NO MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES. WE'RE ON THIS…

    OBJECT, BECAUSE ONE HERE NEEDS NO MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES. WE'RE ON THIS AMENDMENT, AND THE REGULAR ORDER OF THE SENATE IS THIS AMENDMENT AT THIS TIME.

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  • 10:29:41 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    IF I COULD SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA, WE WOULD LIKE SOME DEFINITIVE…

    IF I COULD SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA, WE WOULD LIKE SOME DEFINITIVE TIME.

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  • 10:29:47 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I'LL WITHDRAW THE REQUEST. WE'LL WORK THAT OUT WHILE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I'LL WITHDRAW THE REQUEST. WE'LL WORK THAT OUT WHILE SENATOR KYL IS --

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  • 10:29:54 AM

    MR. McCAIN

  • 10:30:07 AM

    MR. KYL

  • 10:30:08 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE REPUBLICAN WHIP.

  • 10:30:10 AM

    MR. KYL

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 10:34:00 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 10:34:02 AM

    MR. SANDERS

  • 10:38:51 AM

    MR. GRASSLEY

  • 10:38:52 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM IOWA.

  • 10:38:56 AM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    WOULD THE SENATOR YIELD FOR ONE MINUTE?

  • 10:42:41 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    WOULD THE SENATOR YIELD FOR ONE MINUTE?

  • 10:42:44 AM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    SENTENCE. THAT'S WHY I ALSO SUPPORT SENATOR DURBIN AND I WORKING TOGETHER…

    SENTENCE. THAT'S WHY I ALSO SUPPORT SENATOR DURBIN AND I WORKING TOGETHER ON A REFORM OF THE H-1B PROGRAM. I'LL YIELD THE FLOOR OR TO A QUESTION, WHATEVER THE SENATE WANTS.

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  • 10:42:57 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE DEBATE CONCLUDES ON THE…

    I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE DEBATE CONCLUDES ON THE McCANING AMENDMENT, I BE ATHROWED TO SET ASIDE THE AMENDMENT SO THAT I COULD CALL UP THE SANDERS-GRASSLEY AMENDMENT NUMBER 306.

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  • 10:43:06 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 10:43:09 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    COULD WE COME UP AFTER THE ENSIGN AMENDMENT?

  • 10:43:21 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    WE COME UP AFTER THE ENSIGN AMENDMENT?

  • 10:43:23 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    FINE.

  • 10:43:28 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION IS HEARD.

  • 10:43:34 AM

    MR. THUNE

  • 10:43:35 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 10:43:38 AM

    MR. THUNE

    PRESIDENT, I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE --

  • 10:43:41 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I MIGHT INTERJECT BRIEFLY -- I'M SORRY. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS…

    I MIGHT INTERJECT BRIEFLY -- I'M SORRY. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THANINE COMMITTEES MEET THIS MORNING AND ASK CONSENT THEY BE ALLOWED TO MEET.

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  • 10:43:52 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAK DAKOTA IS…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAK DAKOTA IS RECOGNIZED. -- THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA IS RECOGNIZED.

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  • 10:43:59 AM

    MR. THUNE

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AND I…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AND I WANT TO, BEFORE I SPEAK A LITTLE BIT TO THE AMENDMENT ITSELF, REMIND MY COLLEAGUES OF WHY THIS DEBATE IS SO IMPORTANT AND WHY THE McTAIN AMENDMENT IS SO IMPORTANT TO THIS DEBATE. AGAIN, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A $1 TRILLION BILL, $800 BILLION UP NOW TO $900 BILLION WHEN YOU ADD IN INTEREST, $1.2 TRILLION IN CHANGE. AND IT SEEMS LIKE EVERY AMENDMENT THAT'S BEEN OFFERED -- WE'VE HAD A LOST REPUBLICAN AMENDMENTS THAT HAVE ATTEMPTED TO ELIMINATE SOME OF THE WASTING SPENDING, ELIMINATE SOME OF THE THINGS MOST EGREGIOUS ABOUT THE BILL, NONE OF WHICH HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED IRONICALLY. IRONICALLY, THE ONLY AMENDMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED SO FAR HAVE NOT DECREASED THE SIZE OF THE BILL, THEY HAVE ADDED TO THE SIZE OF THE BILL. THIS BILL HAS GOTTEN BIGGER. AND I WANT TO REMIND MY COLLEAGUES AGAIN, BECAUSE I THINK -- AND I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO TUNE IN, BECAUSE WE THROW NUMBERS AROUND HERE IN WASHINGTON IN AN ABSTRACT WAY -- MILLIONS, BILLIONS, TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS -- EXACTLY WHAT THE DIMENSIONS ARE OF WHAT WE ARE TALKING B $1 TRILLION, MR. PRESIDENT. IF YOU TOO MANY HUNDRED-DOLLAR BILLS AND LINED THEM END TO END, YOU COULD LITERALLY GO AROUND THE ECONVEY TER ALMOST 39 TIMES. 969,065 MILES GOING AROUND THE ENTIRE EARTH RIGHT AT THE EQUATER. THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. I MIGHT ALSO ADD THAT IF YOU LOOK AT WHERE THIS IS COMING FROM, WE'RE BORROWING IT. LET'S BE HONEST TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE ARE BORROWING THIS MONEY FROM FUTURE GENERATIONS. A LOT HAS BEEN SAID ON THE FLOOR ABOUT WHO IS GOING TO GET HURT IF WE DON'T DO THIS. AND I AGREE, I MEAN THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE HURTING. UNEMPLOYMENT IS HIGH. BUT, FRANKLY, MR. PRESIDENT, LET'S THINK ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO BE HURTING THE MOST, AND THAT'S THE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICANS WHO ARE GOING TO INHERIT THIS ENORMOUS DEBT THAT WE ARE PASSING ON TO THEM. JUST TO PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE, BETWEEN THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND JIMMY CARTER'S PRESIDENCY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, BORROWED $800 MILLION. FROM THE ENTIRE TIME OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR TO THE CARTER PRESIDENCY, $800 BILLION WORTH OF BORROWING. WE ARE BORROWING MORE THAN $800 BILLION FOR THIS ONE PIECE OF LEGISLATION, NOT TO MENTION WHAT COMES NEXT. WE KNOW WE'VE GOT $1 TRILLION SPENDING BILL, CATCHALL SPENDING BILL COMING AT US, WHICH IS THE FIRST TIME THAT THE DISCRETIONARY APPROPRIATIONS BILL IS GOING TO EXCEED $1 TRILLION. WE KNOW THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL MONEYS COMING FROM SECRETARY GEITHNER TO STABILIZE THE FINANCIAL MARKETS TO THE TUNE OF SEVERAL HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS. WE KNOW THERE IS GOING TO BE A SUPPLEMENTAL SPENDING BILL REQUEST FOR THE ONGOING CONFLICTS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. AND IRONICALLY, ACCORDING TO C.B.O., THE BILL THAT WAS PASSED PREVIOUSLY ON SCHIP ACTUALLY LEADS TO $41 BILLION OF DEFICIT SPENDING. SO ALL THIS SPENDING THAT WE'RE DOING, ALL THIS BORROWING THAT WE'RE DOING IS BEING PASSED ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION, AND THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY GOING TO FEEL THE BRUNT AND THE IMPACT AND HURT THE MOST IF WE DON'T DO THE RESPONSIBLE THING HERE TODAY. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT THIS PARTICULAR AMENDMENT THAT SENATOR McCAIN HAS PUT FORWARD AND A NUMBER OF US ARE COSPONSORS BE HEARD, AND FAIR CONSIDERATION BE GIVEN, BECAUSE I THINK THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS ABOUT IT THAT DIFFERENTIATE AND DISTINGUISH IT FROM THE BILL THAT WE'RE DEBATING, THE DEMOCRAT PROPOSAL THAT'S ON THE FLOOR. AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DISTINCTIONS, AND SENATOR McCAIN ALREADY MENTIONED, IS IT COMES IN AT LESS THAN HALF THE COST. $421 BILLION; OKAY? YOU TALK ABOUT BORROWING OVER $800 BILLION ALL THE TIME FROM THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR TO THE CARTER PRESIDENCY, THE EQUIVALENT OF WHAT WE'RE DOING HERE VERSUS A MUCH SMALLER APPROACH, IN MY VIEW, MUCH MORE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE APPROACH, AND, FRANKLY, MUCH MORE TARGETED. BECAUSE THE CRITERIA THAT'S BEEN LAID OUT AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS DEBATE FOR WHAT MAKES SENSE IN TERMS OF A STIMULUS IS IT SHOULD BE TARGETED, TEMPORARY, AND TIMELY. AND WHAT WE HAVE BEFORE US IS NONE OF THE ABOVE. IT IS SLOW. IT IS UNFOCUSED, AND IT IS UNENDING. $140 BILLION OF THIS BILL ARE GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT TO SHUT OFF BECAUSE THEY ADD TO THE BASELINE. THERE'S A LOT OF MANDATORY SPENDING INCLUDED. I WANT TO ALSO SHOW YOU WHAT THE PRESIDENT'S CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, LARRY SUMMERS, SAID. HE SAID THIS IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES ON JANUARY 6 OF THIS YEAR. POORLY PROVIDED FISCAL STIMULUS CAN HAVE WORSE SIDE EFFECTS THAN THE DISEASE THAT IS TO BE CURED. NOW, WE'VE ALL TALKED ABOUT WHAT'S IN IN BILL AND ALL THESE SPENDING THAT'S IN IT. THE $600 MILLION FOR CARS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, THE MONEY THAT GOES INTO THE SEVEN POINT WHATEVER BILLION HERE FOR FEDERAL BUILDINGS. ALL GOOD THINGS. SMOKING CESSATION, THAT IS SOMETHING WE SUPPORT AND BELIEVE IN, BUT THOSE ARE THINGS THAT OUGHT TO BE HANDLED IN REGULAR OFRPLTD THOSE ARE NOT STIMULUS. THOSE ARE THINGS THAT DO NOTHING THAT CONTRIBUTE IN THE SHORT TERM TO CREATING JOBS AND HELPING GET OUR ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK. THE C.B.O. SAID THAT 12% OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT IN THE BILL THAT WE HAVE BEFORE US WOULD BE SPENT IN THIS YEAR -- 2009 -- AND LESS THAN HALF IN 2009 AND 2010. SO MUCH OF WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS GOING TO BE PUSHED OFF INTO THE FUTURE WHEN IT'S NOTHING KNOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. IT DOES CREATE SOME JOBS. MOST OF THEM ARE JOBS HERE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AT GREAT KOFPLT THE STATE DEPARTMENT -- AT GREAT COST. THE STATE DEPARTMENT, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE JOBS CREATED OVER THERE. THE AVERAGE COST PER JOB CREATED AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT, ACCORDING TO THIS, IS OVER $1 MILLION PER JOB. ON AVERAGE, YOU TAKE $900 BILLION AND DIVIDE IT BY 3 MILLION JOBS, WHICH IS THE ESTIMATE OF WHAT THIS WOULD CREATE, AND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT $300,000 PER JOB. I MIGHT ADD, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT THE AVERAGE ANNUAL SALARY IN MY STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA IS UNDER $30,000. NOW, IMAGINE HOW DIFFICULT IT IS TO EXPLAIN TO MY CONSTITUENTS THAT WE'RE GOING TO BORROW $1 TRILLION FROM THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO CREATE JOBS AT A COST OF $300,000 PER JOB. THAT'S AN AWFULLY DIFFICULT SELL, PARTICULARLY WHEN THEY LOOK AT HOW A LOT OF THIS MONEY IS SPENT. AND WE HAVE SOME REALLY -- REQUESTS FROM MAYORS AND CITY OFFICIALS AROUND THE COUNTRY, AND THESE ARE ALL GOOD THINGS. I'M NOT DOWNPLAYING AT ALL THE IMPORTANCE OF MANY OF THESE PROJECTS, BUT THERE ARE REQUESTS HERE FOR 42 SWIMMING POOLS, WATER SLIDES, GOLF COURSES, ALL SORTS OF THINGS THAT YOU CAN'T ARGUE THAT WE OUGHT TO BE BORROWING $1 TRILLION FROM OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN TO FUND AND TO SUPPORT. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE HAVE SOMETHING THAT WE CAN BE FOR THAT DOES IN FACT CREATE JOBS, THAT DOES IN FACT ADD TO THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY, THAT IS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. AND I WANT TO POINT OUT, SENATOR McCAIN MENTIONED IN HIS OPENING REMARKS SOME OF THE THINGS IN HIS BILL. IT IS APPROPRIATELY FOCUSED ON HOUSING BECAUSE WE BELIEVE, AND I THINK RIGHTLY SO, THAT HOUSING GOT US INTO THIS RECESSION. HOUSING IS GOING TO LEAD US OUT OF THIS RECESSION. IT IS FOCUSED ON GETTING DOLLARS INTO THE HANDS OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS. AND WHETHER YOU WANT TO HAVE THE -- THE DEBATE ABOUT WHETHER YOU WANT TO HAVE GOVERNMENT SPEND THE MONEY OR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SPEND THE MONEY IS A SIMPLE ONE. I BELIEVE IF YOU LET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SPEND THE MONEY, YOU GET A BETTER RETURN. YOU GET MONEY IN THE HANDS OF THE AMERICANS, THEY WILL HELP GROW THE ECONOMY. YOU PROVIDE INCENTIVES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES WHICH CREATE TWO-THIRDS TOR THREE-FOURTHS OF THE JOBS IN OUR ECONOMY, AND THAT DOES GOOD THINGS TO HELP GET THE ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK. THAT'S IN THIS BILL. REDUCING MARGINAL INCOME RATES, TAX RATES FROM 15% DOWN TO 10%, DOWN TO 5%, CUTTING THE PAYROLL TAX IN HALF FOR A YEAR FOR EMPLOYEES GETS MONEY BACK INTO THE HANDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SO THEY CAN GO OUT AND HELP STIMULATE THE ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS. IT ALSO, AS WAS NOTED EARLIER, MAKES SOME CHANGES WITH REGARD TO THE UNDERLYING BILL WHERE DEFENSE IS CONCERNED. WE HAVE SOME VERY SERIOUS NEEDS. NOW, SENATOR McCAIN MENTIONED IN HIS REMARKS, TALKED ABOUT THE DEFENSE SPENDING IN HIS BILL, AND THERE IS SOME, FRANKLY, IN THE DEMOCRAT PROPOSAL, ABOUT $10 BILLION, MOSTLY FOR MILITARY CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS. BUT THERE IS NO MONEY FOR RESET. WE HAVE SERIOUS NEEDS OUT THERE. SENATOR McCAIN'S AMENDMENT ADDS $7 BILLION FOR RESET TO, REPAIR MILITARY EQUIPMENT AND REPLACE DIRECT BATTLE LOSSES. $6.5 BILLION FOR THE ARMY. $600 MILLION FOR THE MARINES. $62 MILLION FOR THE NAVY. AND $82 MILLION FOR THE AIR FORCE. ADDS MONEY FOR DIRECT REPAIR OF MILITARY INFRASTRUCTURE AND FACILITY, MONEY THAT CAN BE PUT TO GOOD USE AND CREATE JOBS AND SERVE AN IMPORTANT NATIONAL PURPOSE. NOW, THE OTHER THING THAT HIS BILL DOES IS IT PUTS MONEY IN FOR INFRASTRUCTURE. INFRASTRUCTURE ARGUE PWHREURBGS SOMETHING THAT DOES CREATE -- ARGUABLY, SOMETHING THAT DOES CREATE JOBS OUT THERE, SHOVEL-READY PROJECTS THAT YOU CAN GET GOING QUICKLY. I THINK THAT'S A GOOD USE IN A REASONABLE WAY, NOT ADDING ALL KINDS OF PROJECTS THAT YOU'RE NOT GOING TO DO FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. BUT IF YOU'RE GETTING MONEY OUT THERE THAT CAN HELP FUND PROJECTS THAT CAN GET DONE IN THE SHORT TERM, THAT'S A GOOD THING. UNFORTUNATELY, MUCH OF THE MONEY IN THE DEMOCRAT PROPOSAL, AS I SAID EARLIER, ISN'T GOING TO GET SPENT OUT FOR YEARS. I OFFERED AN AMENDMENT LAST NIGHT NOT TO FUND NEW PROGRAMS, ASSUMING IT WAS GOING TO TAKE NEW PROGRAMS A LONG TIME TO GET IMPLEMENTED AND UP AND RUNNING. THAT AMENDMENT WAS DEFEATED. BUT THE POINT OF ALL THIS IS TO STKO THINGS THAT IN THE SHORT TERM CREATES JOBS. $45 MILLION IN THE McCAIN PROPOSAL FOR INFRASTRUCTURE. AND THE OTHER THING I'LL SAY WHICH I THINK IS CRITICAL IN THIS DEBATE BECAUSE I TALKED EARLIER ABOUT HOW IF WE DON'T PUT SOME RESTRAINTS OR SOME SAFEGUARDS IN HERE, THIS THING IS GOING TO GET, SPENDING IS GOING TO GO ON FOREVER. SENATOR McCAIN'S PROPOSAL INCLUDES A HARD TRIGGER, THAT WHEN WE RECOGNIZE TWO CONSECUTIVE QUARTERS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH, POSITIVE G.D.P., THAT THIS FUNDING TERMINATES. IT IS A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE APPROACH, AN AMENDMENT THAT HE OFFERED AS A FREESTANDING AMENDMENT LAST NIGHT THAT RECEIVED 44 VOTES. I HAVEN'T SEEN ANY EVIDENCE, MR. PRESIDENT, IN THIS CHAMBER YET THAT ANYBODY HERE IS SERIOUS ABOUT ADDING ANY MEASURE OF FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY OR SANITY TO SPENDING $1 TRILLION OF OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN'S MONEY. CONTINUING'S IMPORTANT THAT THIS DEBATE -- THAT THIS TK-FRPD -- CONTINUING'S IMPORTANT THAT THIS AMENDMENT GET A SROEFPLT I WOULD URGE MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES TO SUPPORT THIS AMENDMENT, TO TRY AND DO SOMETHING THAT IS FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE, THAT REDUCES THE OVERALL SIZE OF THIS, THAT ADDRESSES SUBSTANTIVELY THE THINGS IN THE BILL, THE SHORTCOMINGS IN THE DEMOCRAT PROPOSAL AND DO SOME THINGS THAT ACTUALLY WILL HELP STIMULATE THE ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS. SENATOR McCAIN'S PROPOSAL, MR. PRESIDENT, IS A MUCH BETTER DIRECTION IN WHICH TO HEAD WITH THIS. IT COSTS A LOT LESS. IT DOES A LOT MORE. AND I THINK THAT, I THINK IT -- I WOULD HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES WILL BE ABLE TO SUPPORT IT. ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES ON THE DEMOCRAT SIDE GOT UP A LITTLE EARLIER AND SAID IF IT COSTS A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY THIS YEAR TO DO THIS OR THAT -- THERE ISN'T ANYTHING IN THIS BILL THAT COSTS A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY. EVERYTHING IN THIS BILL COSTS A LOT OF MONEY. AND THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO GET HURT THE MOST ARE THE NEXT GENERATION WHO ARE GOING TO BE HANDED THE BILL. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. AND I HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES WILL IN FACT SUPPORT THE McCAIN AMENDMENT. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 10:56:04 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND. ST-RS.

  • 10:56:10 AM

    MR. REED

    THANK YOU. I WANT TO RISE IN SUPPORT OF BILL BEFORE US, THE AMERICAN…

    THANK YOU. I WANT TO RISE IN SUPPORT OF BILL BEFORE US, THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT. IT IS DESIGNED TO SAVE JOBS, CREATE JOBS AND RESTORE OUR SENSE SENSE OF CONFIDENCE AND HOPE TO THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE SEEN -- THIS MORNING JOB FIGURES RELEASED, ADDITIONALLAL OVER 600,000 JOBLESS CLAIMS. IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS WE'VE LOST 500,000 JOBS. WE HAVE TO ACT DECISIVELY, DRAMATICALLY AND WITH A SCALE THAT WILL HAVE AN EFFECT ON THE OVERALL ECONOMY. THAT IS, I THINK, INHERENT IN THE PROPOSAL THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS SENT US. I WANT TO SALUTE SENATOR INOUYE AND THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR, AND THE SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIRS AND CHAIRMAN BAUCUS FOR THEIR WORK IN BRINGING THIS BILL TO THE FLOOR. WE HAVE TO NOT ONLY REVITALIZE OUR ECONOMY, BUT RESTORE HOPE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. PRESIDENT OBAMA SET OUT VERY AMBITIOUS GOALS. HE WANTS TO WEATHERIZE TWO MILLION HOMES. THAT'S NOT ONLY TO PUT PEOPLE TO WORK IN AMERICA WITH THE SKILLS AS CRAFTSMEN AND CRAFTSWOMEN, BUT IN THE FUTURE IT WILL SAVE US MONEY. THIS IS NOT ONLY AN IMMEDIATE RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEM BUT IT IS A LONG-TERM INCREASE ON OUR PRODUCTIVITY AND OUR ABILITY TO BE COMPETITIVE IN A VERY DIFFICULT WORLD ECONOMY. I WILL ALSO INTRODUCE AN AMENDMENT WHICH I WILL NOT CALL UP, BUT IT WOULD INCREASE THE WEATHERIZATION FUNDS AND LIHEAP FUNDS AND OTHER FUNDS. BUT I HOPE IN CONFERENCE WE CAN RAISE THOSE TOTALS. WE NEED THESE INVESTMENTS. THIS IS THE MOST PERILOUS ECONOMIC SITUATION THAT A PRESIDENT HAS EVER FACED SINCE THE 1930'S. THIS IS THE INHERITANCE OF EIGHTS YEARS OF POOR POLICY. THIS IS THE INHERITANCE OF A HUGE, HUGE INCREASE IN OUR NATIONAL DEBT IN JUST THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. UNDER PRESIDENT BUSH, WE HAVE SEEN OUR NATIONAL DEBT EXPLODE. THAT IS THE LEGACY THAT IS FACING THE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICANS TODAY, AND UNLESS WE REVIVE THIS ECONOMY, THIS SITUATION WILL DETERIORATE. IT WILL NOT STABILIZE AND IT WILL NOT GROW. AND THAT IS OUR CHALLENGE, AND IT'S A MORE DIFFICULT CHALLENGE TODAY THAN IT WAS AT ANY TIME IN THE LAST SEVERAL DECADES. THIS IS NOT A CYCLICAL DOWNTURN. THIS IS NOT AN IMBALANCE OF SUPPLY AND DEMAND. THIS IS NOT A SITUATION WHERE IT WILL WORK ITSELF OUT. WE HAVE TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION, AND THAT IS AT THE HEART OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PLAN. OUR CRISIS TODAY HAS ITS ROOTS IN THE LAST EIGHT YEARS OF MISMANAGEMENT. AN ECONOMIC DONE TREUPB OF TAX CUTS FUNDED BY DEFICIT SPENDING SKEWED TOWARDS THE RICH, NOT TOWARDS WORKING AMERICANS. INADEQUATE SUPERVISION OF OUR FINANCIAL MARKETS, A LACK OF ADEQUATE RISK ASSESSMENT BY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS THROUGHOUT NOT ONLY THE UNITED STATES, BUT THROUGHOUT WORLD. AND A VERY DIFFICULT AND COSTLY AND UNFUNDED WAR IN IRAQ AND ALSO OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN. WE'VE GOT TO FOCUS OUR ATTENTION ON THE PRESENT, BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO UNDERSTAND HOW WE GOT HERE. PRESIDENT BUSH INHERITED A $236 BILLION FEDERAL BUDGET SURPLUS. HIS FIRST ORDER OF BUSINESS WAS TO CUT TAXES WHICH BENEFITED PROPORTIONATELY THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS. THREE MAJOR TAX BILLS: 2001 THROUGH 2003. THESE CUTS ADDED TO THE NATIONAL DEFICIT, REDUCED OUR CAPACITY TO MAKE MUCH-NEEDED INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE, EDUCATION, AND HEALTH CARE, AND EXACERBATED INCOME AND EQUALITY. THE MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME ACTUALLY FELL $2,000 BETWEEN THE YEAR 2000 AND THE YEAR 2007. FAMILIES LOST $2,000 IN THEIR INCOME. THAT WAS DESPITE STRONG PRODUCT KWREUFRLT GROWTH. AMERICANS WERE WORKING HARDER, BEING MORE INNOVATIVE, MORE CREATIVE AND YET AVERAGE FAMILIES WERE LOSING INCOME. IN TERMS OF JOBS CREATION, THE 2003 TAX CUT ACTUALLY REDUCED JOB GROWTH BELOW THE ESTIMATES THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS USING TO JUSTIFY HIS TAX PROPOSALS. AS WEALTHY THRIVED AND CORPORATE EARNINGS SKYROCKETED, CAPITAL INVESTMENTS COULD NOT KEEP PACE. INSTEAD MANY CORPORATIONS DECIDED TO DOLE OUT HANDSOME SALARIES AND USE THEIR PROFITS TO BUY BACK STOCK IN PURSUIT OF SHORT-TERM BOOST TO THE SHARE PRICE OWNED, BY THE WAY, MAKING THE OPTIONS THAT MANY OF THESE EXECUTIVES ENJOYED THAT MUCH MORE VALUABLE. CORPORATE PROFITS GREW BY 66% BETWEEN 2000 AND 2006 DESPITE THAT ANNUAL NATIONAL INVESTMENT IN NONRESIDENTIAL STRUCTURES, LARGELY COMMERCIAL STRUCTURES SUCH AS FACTORIES AND OFFICE BUILDINGS, FELL BY $135 BILLION OR MORE THAN 30%. OVERALL, INVESTMENT IN BUILDINGS, EQUIPMENT, GREW BY LESS THAN 6%. NOT ONLY IS THERE A FISCAL DEFICIT, THERE'S BEEN AN INVESTMENT DEFICIT IN THE UNITED STATES IN THE LAST EIGHT YEARS. AND WE'VE WITNESSED THE LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES OF THESE PROBLEMS. SINCE THE SALARY START OF THIS RECESSION, THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS 7.2%. IN RHODE ISLAND IN MY STATE IT'S PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT. WE ARE SEEING AN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE OF OVER 10%, SECOND ONLY TO MICHIGAN. WE'VE LOST A IN PREVIOUS DEBATE BY THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE WHICH SHOWS THAT JOBS CREATED BY THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS LEGISLATION BEING DEBATED IN THE SENATE WOULD COST THE TAXPAYERS BETWEEN $100,000 AND $300,000 APIECE. THESE NUMBERS SHOULD BE CONTRASTED TO THOSE UNDER THE JANUARY BASELINE OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE IN WHICH THERE IS NO STIMULUS THAT SHOWS THAT THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT PER WORKER IS ABOUT $100,000. IN OTHER WORDS, WITHOUT THE BILL. THE NEW ANALYSIS INDICATES THAT THE COST OF EACH STIMULUS JOB TO BE AS MUCH AS THEN THREE TIMES MORE THAN JOBS CREATED WITHOUT THE STIMULUS BILL. THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF TALK ABOUT GETTING THE MOST BANG FOR THE BUCK. BUT THERE'S NO TALK ABOUT ACTUALLY MAKING SURE IT HAPPENS SO THAT AMERICANS GET THE HELP THAT THEY NEED. BEFORE CONGRESS SPENDS ANOTHER $1 TRILLION, WE WE OUGHT TO MAKE SURE WE'RE GETTING OUR MONEY'S WORTH. I REITERATE A CAUTION THAT I GAVE THE OTHER DAY: BEFORE THIS BILL PASSES THE UNITED STATES SENATE, WE OUGHT TO HAVE THE FULL ANALYSIS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE THAT THEY SAID WOULD TAKE A FEW DAYS TO GET DONE. WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT THESE JOBS ARE GOING TO COST SO WE GET OUR MONEY'S WORTH. WE'RE CARETAKERS OF THE TAXPAYERS' DOLLARS, AND JUST TOSSING MONEY AT A PROGRAM WHEN YOU FIGURE THAT OUR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT WOULD PRODUCE ABOUT 100,000 -- $100,000 PER WORKER, AND WE HAVE IN THIS BILL THESE JOBS COSTING UP TO $300,000 APIECE. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:11:04 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH CAROLINA.

  • 11:11:08 AM

    MR. BURR

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 11:23:34 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 11:23:35 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK CONSENT THAT THE FOLLOWING SPEAKERS BE RECOGNIZED IN…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK CONSENT THAT THE FOLLOWING SPEAKERS BE RECOGNIZED IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER: I WILL BEGIN HONORING OUR TIME-HONORED TRADITION OF GOING BACK AND FORTH. FIRST THE CHAIRMAN OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, SENATOR INOUYE. SECOND, SENATOR GRAHAM. THIRD, MYSELF. FOURTH, SENATOR ALEXANDER. FIFTH, SENATOR SCHUMER. NEXT, SENATOR COBURN. NEXT SENATOR CANTWELL. SENATOR, SENATOR INHOFE. FOLLOWED BY A DEMOCRATIC SENATOR. FOLLOWED BY SENATOR HUTCHISON FROM TEXAS.

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  • 11:24:14 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 11:24:20 AM

    MR. INOUYE

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 11:24:21 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM HAWAII IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 11:24:25 AM

    MR. INOUYE

    MR. PRESIDENT, IN THE PRESENTATION OF THE BILL BUFFS, THE HONORED…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IN THE PRESENTATION OF THE BILL BUFFS, THE HONORED GENTLEMAN FROM ARIZONA -- IN THE BILL BEFORE US, THE HONORED GENTLEMAN FROM ARIZONA SINGLED OUT ONE GROUP: FILIPINO WAR VETERANS, AND SUGGESTED THAT THESE WERE MEN FROM FOREIGN COUNTRIES AND THAT WE'RE PROVIDING FUNDS FOR THEM. IF I MAY, MR. PRESIDENT, I'D LIKE TO SPEND A FEW MOMENTS DISCUSSING THIS MATTER. ON JANUARY 26, 1941, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, MR. ROOSEVELT, ISSUED A MILITARY ORDER THROUGH GENERAL MacARTHUR CALLING UPON FILIPINOS TO VOLUNTEER, TO SERVE IN THE ARMY, TO SERVE IN THE NAVY, TO SERVE IN THE AIR FORCE, BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT SENSED CORRECTLY THAT THERE WAS MUCH DISABILITY, INSTABILITY AND MUCH VIOLENCE IN ASIA. AND HE FELT THAT THE TIME HAD COME FOR THE UNITED STATES TO BE PREPARED FOR ANY EVENTUALITY. AS A RESULT OF THAT CALL, 470,000 FILIPINOS STEPPED FORWARD AND VOLUNTEERED TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY UNDER THE COMMAND OF GENERAL MacARTHUR. WELL, AS WE ALL KNOW, ON DECEMBER 7, 1947, WAR CAME TO OUR SHORES, TO MY STATE IN HAWAII. PEARL HARBOR WAS BOMBED. AND THEN THE FORCES OF JAPAN BEGAN ADVANCING TOWARDS THE PHILIPPINES. FIRST MAJOR TARGET WAS THE PENINSULA. THE 14th GENERAL ARMY SURROUNDED THE PENINSULA. THAT PENINSULA CONTAINED AT THAT MOMENT 80,000 TROOPS. WE ALL ASSUMED THAT THE 80,000 WERE AMERICAN TROOPS. NO. ABOUT 18,000 WERE AMERICAN TROOPS. THE REST WERE FILIPINOS. THE MAJORITY OF THE TROOPS WERE FILIPINOS, BUT SOMEHOW IF YOU LOOK AT HOLLYWOOD ON THE DEATH MARCH, YOU HARDLY SEE A FILIPINO MARCHING. OF THE SURVIVORS, 15,000 AMERICANS, 60,000 FILIPINOS. THE MARCH TOOK A LITTLE OVER A MONTH. THEY WEREN'T GIVEN MEDICINE OR WATER. BY THE TIME IT ENDED, 54,000 SURVIVED. VERY FEW FILIPINOS SURVIVED. THEN WE HAD CORRIGIDOR, THE SAME THING. AND SO IN MARCH OF 1942, THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES -- THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE -- PASSED A MEASURE THANKING THE FILIPINOS FOR THEIR GALLANTRY, FOR THEIR HEROISM, AND SAID THAT IF YOU WISH, YOU MAY BECOME A CITIZEN OF THE UNITED STATES. GET ALL THE BENEFITS OF A UNITED STATES VETERAN. WELL, THE WAR ENDED, AND IN FEBRUARY OF 1946, THIS CONGRESS PASSED A BILL REPEALING THAT ACT OF 1942. AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT, IT DECLARED THAT THE SERVICE THAT THE FILIPINOS HAD RENDERED WAS NOT ACTIVE DUTY. I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT MEANT BY THAT. IT WAS NOT ACTIVE SERVICE. THE FILIPINOS HAVE BEEN WAITING ALL THIS TIME. WE'VE HAD MEASURE AFTER MEASURE PRESENTED, AND WE DID SO IN THE PROPER FASHION, AND WE GOT FILIBUSTERED, WE GOT RULES OUT AND EVERYTHING ELSE. MR. PRESIDENT, AT THIS MOMENT, OUT OF THE 470,000 WHO VOLUNTEERED, 18,000 ARE STILL ALIVE. 18,000. THE AVERAGE AGE IS 90. AT THIS MOMENT, WHILE I'M SPEAKING, HUNDREDS ARE IN HOSPITALS ON THEIR DEATH BEDS. AND I'M CERTAIN WHILE I'M SPEAKING, SOME ARE DYING. TWO WEEKS FROM NOW, YOU'LL HAVE 17,000 SURVIVORS. I AGREE WITH THE GENTLEMAN FROM ARIZONA, THIS IS NOT A STIMULUS PROPOSAL. IT DOESN'T CREATE JOBS. BUT THE HONOR OF THE UNITED STATES, THAT'S WHAT'S INVOLVED. I THINK IT'S ABOUT TIME WE CLOSED THIS DARK CHAPTER. I LOVE AMERICA. I LOVE SERVING AMERICA. I'M PROUD OF THIS COUNTRY. BUT THIS IS A BLACK CHAPTER. IT HAS TO BE CLEANSED. AND I HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES WILL JOIN ME FOR FINALLY RECOGNIZING THAT THESE MEN SERVED US WELL. THEY DIED FOR US. THEY GOT WOUNDED FOR US. AND THEY DESERVE RECOGNITION. AND, INCIDENTALLY, THIS BILL DOESN'T CONTAIN A PENNY FOR THE FILIPINOS. IT RECOGNIZES THEM. AND WE WILL PROVIDE THE MONEY LATER. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:31:20 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA IS RECOGNIZED. A…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA IS RECOGNIZED. A SENATOR: WILL THE GENTLEMAN YIELD FOR A QUESTION? A SENATOR: ABSOLUTELY.

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  • 11:31:31 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    MY STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE COMPENSATION THAT OUR BRAVE FILIPINO ALLIES…

    MY STRONG SUPPORT FOR THE COMPENSATION THAT OUR BRAVE FILIPINO ALLIES RENDER TO THIS NATION AND THE COUNTRY? A SENATOR: YES.

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  • 11:31:45 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    IT ALSO CLEAR THERE ARE MAN WRONGS THAT NEED TO BE RIGHTED INCLUDING OUR…

    IT ALSO CLEAR THERE ARE MAN WRONGS THAT NEED TO BE RIGHTED INCLUDING OUR OWN VETERANS, INCLUDING HOSPITALS, MEDICAL CARE, INCLUDING P.S.D. A SENATOR: A LONG LIST.

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  • 11:32:03 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    GENTLEMAN BELIEVE THAT THAT IS NOT UNDER THE LABEL TO CREATING JOBS IS NOT…

    GENTLEMAN BELIEVE THAT THAT IS NOT UNDER THE LABEL TO CREATING JOBS IS NOT WHAT NEEDS TO BE ADDRESSED IN THIS BILL? A SENATOR: I COULD NOT AGREE WITH THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA MORE. WE HAVE A MISSION HERE -- YES, I AGREE WITH YOU.

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  • 11:32:19 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    IS THERE ANY QUESTION OF ANYBODY'S PATRIOTISM OR LOVE OF COUNTRY OR THE…

    IS THERE ANY QUESTION OF ANYBODY'S PATRIOTISM OR LOVE OF COUNTRY OR THE OUTSTANDING AND MAGNIFICENT SERVICE RENDERED IN WORLD WAR II BY OUR BRAVE FILIPINO ALLIES?

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  • 11:32:36 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    NO, SIR.

  • 11:32:41 AM

    MR. GRAHAM

    NO, SIR.

  • 11:32:44 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    THE SENATOR FOR ANSWERING MY QUESTIONS.

  • 11:32:48 AM

    MR. GRAHAM

    LET ME KNOW WHEN I'VE USED 15 MINUTES. THANK YOU. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST…

    LET ME KNOW WHEN I'VE USED 15 MINUTES. THANK YOU. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS THAT THE CONGRESS IS GOING TO MAKE AND THE NEW ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO MAKE IN THE FIRST FOUR YEARS OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND THE -- AND THE DEMOCRAT-CONTROLLED CONGRESS. MY GOOD FRIEND, SENATOR DURBIN, FROM ILLINOIS, WHO I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH IN SOLVING HARD PROBLEMS CAME TO THE FLOOR AND SAID SOME THINGS I WOULD LIKE TO RESPOND TO. KNOWING THAT WE'RE GOING TO GET THIS BEHIND US ONE DAY AND GO ON TO OTHER HARD SUBJECTS LIKE SOCIAL SECURITY AND GUANTANAMO BAY AND TRY TO FIND SOME BIPARTISANSHIP THERE. I WOULD SAY THAT TO TALK ABOUT INHERITING BUSH'S PROBLEMS IS RELEVANT TO A CERTAIN EXTENT. THIS IS AMERICA'S PROBLEM. AND YOU CAN BLAME GEORGE BUSH ALL YOU WANT TO. HE DIDN'T WRITE THIS BILL. YOU ALL DID. THIS IS YOUR BILL. IT NEEDS TO BE AMERICA'S BILL. AND WE MAY GET THREE OR FOUR REPUBLICANS TO VOTE WITH YOU, BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THE COUNTRY'S GOING TO INHERIT IF WE PASS THIS BILL IN TERMS OF SUBSTANCE AND PROCESS. WE'RE GOING TO LOSE THE ABILITY AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO GO TO THE PUBLIC AND SAY: GIVE US SOME MONEY. LET US BORROW MORE OF YOUR MONEY TO FIX HOUSING. BECAUSE THIS BILL STINKS. THE PROCESS THAT'S LED TO THIS BILL STINKS. THE HOUSE DID NOT GET ONE REPUBLICAN VOTE. MAYBE EVERY REPUBLICAN IS JUST CRAZY. I DON'T THINK SO. I THINK THERE ARE SOME REPUBLICANS IN THE HOUSE THAT UNDERSTAND WE NEED A STIMULUS PACKAGE AND BELIEVE YOU'VE GOT TO DO MORE THAN CUT TAXES. I AM ONE THAT BELIEVES THAT WE HAVE TO DO MORE THAN CUTTING TAXES. BUT THE REASON YOU DIDN'T GET A REPUBLICAN VOTE IN THE HOUSE IS BECAUSE NANCY PELOSI'S ATTITUDE IS WE WON, WE WRITE THE BILL. WELL, LET ME TELL YOU THIS AIN'T ABOUT ONE PARTY WINNING. THIS IS ABOUT AMERICA THAT NEEDS THE CONGRESS AND THE NEW PRESIDENT TO BE SMART. AND WORK TOGETHER. WE ARE NOT BEING SMART. WE'RE SPENDING MONEY ON THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CREATING A JOB IN THE NEAR TERM AND THE SPENDING WILL GO ON LONG AFTER THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS IS SOLVED. IT IS NOT SMART TO SAY NO TO AN AMENDMENT THAT WOULD STOP THE SPENDING WHEN THE ECONOMY GETS BACK ON ITS FEET. I WANT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO KNOW THERE WAS AN AMENDMENT YESTERDAY THAT SAID WHEN THE ECONOMY STARTS TO GROW AGAIN, 2% OVER INFLATION FOR TWO QUARTERS IN A ROW, WE'RE GOING TO SUSPEND ANY SPENDING THAT'S LEFT TO BE DONE IN THIS BILL AND REEVALUATE WHERE WE GO. IF WE DON'T HAVE A TRIGGER OR SOME BRAKES, WE WILL KEEP SPENDING THE MONEY NO MATTER WHAT THE ECONOMY'S DOING BECAUSE THERE SOME PEOPLE IN THIS BODY THAT THEY CAN'T SPEND ENOUGH. REPUBLICANS SPENT TOO MUCH OF YOUR MONEY. GUILT YEAS CHARGED. THIS IS NOT -- GUILTY AS CHARGED. THIS IS NOT THE SOLUTION. THIS MAKES US LOOK LIKE MISERS. AMERICA UNDERSTANDS 75% OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BELIEVE WE NEED A STIMULUS. ALMOST 60% OF THE PEOPLE BELIEVE THIS BILL NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. COUNT ME IN THAT GROUP. WE NEED TO BE SMART AND WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER. WE'RE DOING NEITHER. WE'RE NOT WORKING TOGETHER. THERE ARE 16 OF MY COLLEAGUES IN A ROOM SOMEWHERE IN THE CAPITOL, FIVE REPUBLICANS, AND THE REST DEMOCRATS, TRYING TO FIND A COMPROMISE. GOD BLESS THEM. THAT'S NOT THE WAY YOU SPEND $800 BILLION. YOU DON'T GET 16 PEOPLE IN A ROOM TRYING TO FIND A COMPROMISE TO GET TO 60 VOTES AND SAY THAT'S GOOD GOVERNMENT. RONALD REAGAN HAD A SAYING: IF I GET 80% OF WHAT I WANT, THEN I SHOULD BE SATISFIED. LINDSEY GRAHAM IS AN 80% GUY. I HOPE YOU BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE I TRIED TO SHOW YOU I'M AN 80% GUY. WHEN YOU NEGOTIATE -- THERE'S NO NEGOTIATING GOING ON HERE. NOBODY'S NEGOTIATING. WE'RE MAKE THIS UP AS WE GO. THE POLLING NUMBERS ARE SCARING THE HELL OUT OF EVERYBODY AND THEY'RE IN A PANIC, THEY'RE RUNNING FROM ONE CORNER OF THE CAPITOL TO THE OTHER TO COBLE VOTES TOGETHER -- COBBLE VOTES TOGETHER. THIS IS NOT THE WAY YOU SPEND $1 TRILLION. THIS WILL BITE EVERYBODY IN THIS BODY. BECAUSE WHEN WE GO TO THE PUBLIC TO SAY THAT WE NEED MONEY TO GET RID OF TOXIC ASSOCIATES THAT ARE CLOGGING UP THE BANKING SYSTEM, THEY'RE GOING TO SAY WHY SHOULD I GIVE YOU A PENNY MORE? LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO TARP AND LOOK WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS MONSTROSITY OF A BILL. I THINK, QUITE FRANKLY, WE'RE GOING TO NEED TO GO BACK. THIS $800 TO $900 BILLION PROCESS HAS DONE LITTLE FOR HOUSING AND NOTHING FOR BANKING. SO WE'RE DESTROYING THE ONE THING THAT I HOPE WE COULD REGAIN, CREDIBILITY, CONFIDENCE, AND TRUST. AS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, NICE MAN. GREAT POTENTIAL. REALLY HAS A BIG PLATE OF PROBLEMS AND I WANT TO HELP HIM. I WANT HIM TO SUCCEED WHERE WE CAN FIND COMMON GROUND TO MAKE AMERICA SUCCEED. I AM BEGGING HIM TO GET INVOLVED. DOING NEWS SHOWS AND COMING TO LUNCH IS NOT WHAT RONALD REAGAN AND TIP O'NEILL DID TO SOLVE THE SOCIAL SECURITY PROBLEM. I KNOW THAT WE HAVE TO ACT URGENTLY. BUT ONE THING I DO ALSO KNOW IS THAT THE PUBLIC IS NOT GOING TO LET US DO THIS OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WE NEED A TIME-OUT. NOT MONTHS, DAYS, HOPEFULLY NOT WEEKS OF WHERE WE CAN GET IN A ROOM, NOT WITH 16 PEOPLE, BUT WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF THE HOUSE, THE SENATE, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS AND THE WHITE HOUSE TO FIND A WAY TO SPEND LESS AND DO MORE. BECAUSE THIS WILL NOT BE THE END OF THE SPENDING REQUIRED TO GET THIS ECONOMY BACK ON ITS FEET. THERE IS SO MUCH IN IN BILL. NOT -- IN THIS BILL. NOT 1%. THERE IS $75 MILLION IN THIS BILL EARMARKED TO THE STATES THAT HAVE NO STRINGS ATTACHED AND WHAT HAS THAT GOT TO DO WITH STIMULATING THE ECONOMY? I KNOW MY STATE HAS A BUDGET SHORTFALL. BUT IF WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A BANKRUPT CONGRESS AND BORROW MONEY TO GIVE TO STATES AND TAKE CARE OF THEIR ECONOMIC PROBLEMS, THAT'S ONE POLITICIAN HELPING ANOTHER WITH THEIR POLITICAL PROBLEMS. IT'S NOT CREATING A JOB FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. NOW, WE'RE NOT BEING SMART. WE'RE NOT WORKING TOGETHER. WE'RE MAKING THIS UP AS WE GO. AND WE'RE LOSING THE GOODWILL AND THE TRUST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. YES?

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  • 11:39:37 AM

    MR. DURBIN

    LIKE TO CALL THE ATTENTION TO THE SENATOR TWO AMENDMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN…

    LIKE TO CALL THE ATTENTION TO THE SENATOR TWO AMENDMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN ADOPTED. BOTH OF THEM INITIATED BY REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND BOTH OF THEM NOW IN THE BILL. THE FIRST BY SENATOR GRASSLEY AND SENATOR MENENDEZ IN COMMITTEE THAT ADDED ABOUT $70 BILLION IN COSTS TO THE BILL FOR THE ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAX. SOMETHING THAT WE BOTH SUPPORT, BUT IT WAS CLEARLY AN EFFORT TO ENGAGE REPUBLICAN SENATORS IN CHANGING THE BILL IN A POSITIVE WAY. THE SECOND AMENDMENT WAS ADOPTED YESTERDAY BY SENATOR ISAKSON OF GEORGIA RELATIVE TO A TAX CREDIT FOR HOME PURCHASESES AND THE COST OF THAT I BELIEVE IS $19 BILLION. THOSE TWO AMENDMENTS ACCOUNT FOR FOR $89 BILLION OF THE $100 MILLION IN THE BILL. 10% OF THE BILL COMES FROM REPUBLICAN AMENDMENTS. TO SUGGEST THAT WE'RE NOT OPEN TO AMENDMENTS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE, I WOULD SAY TO MY COLLEAGUE, WE'RE TRYING. WE CAN DO MORE. WE WANT TO DO MORE. BUT WE DON'T WANT TO LOSE WHAT WE HOPE PRESIDENT OBAMA IS ASKING FOR HERE. SOMETHING THAT WILL HAVE A SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT ON THE AMERICAN ECONOMY.

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  • 11:40:46 AM

    MR. GRAHAM

    SENATOR FOR HIS COMMENTS. IF YOU BELIEVE THIS IS A GOOD PROCESS TO SPEND…

    SENATOR FOR HIS COMMENTS. IF YOU BELIEVE THIS IS A GOOD PROCESS TO SPEND $800 BILLION, WE'RE ON DIFFERENT PLANETS. WE'RE MAKING THIS UP AS WE GO. IF THIS IS A GOOD PROCESS, WHY ARE 16 SENATORS MEET NAG CORNER TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO KEEP THIS THING FROM STINKING UP WITH THE PUBLIC? THE IDEA THAT THE MARKUP LASTED AN HOUR AN 40 MINUTES AND -- AND 40 MINUTES AND ONE AMENDMENT WAS ACCEPTED, IS THIS THE WAY WE'RE GOING TO SOLVE SOCIAL SECURITY? LOOK AT THIS BILL? THIS BILL HAS TO BE DONE BY TONIGHT AND WE'RE FIGURING OUT AS WE GO WHAT'S IN IT. THERE'S A COBRA PROVISION IN THE BILL. WHAT IS COBRA? IF YOU LOSE YOUR JOCKS THERE'S AN ABILITY -- YOUR JOB, THERE'S AN ABILITY TO MAINTAIN HEALTH CARE INSURANCE THROUGH COBRA. PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS. THEY NEED COBRA BENEFITS, THE FILL SAY THAT'S WE WILL PAY 65% OF THE PREMIUM FOR ANYBODY THAT LOST YOUR JOB. WHAT IF YOU'RE A C.E.O. THAT'S BEEN FIRED AT ONE OF THE BANKS AND YOU'RE WORTH $20 MILLION, SHOULD WE PAY 65% OF YOUR PREMIUM? THAT IS NOT SMART.

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  • 11:41:50 AM

    MRS. BOXER

    WOULD THE SENATOR YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

  • 11:41:53 AM

    MR. GRAHAM

    YES.

  • 11:41:54 AM

    MRS. BOXER

    IT RATHER AMAZING THAT THE SENATOR IS HOLDING UP A BILL -- HOLDING UP A…

    IT RATHER AMAZING THAT THE SENATOR IS HOLDING UP A BILL -- HOLDING UP A BILL, THEATRICAL. DID YOU DO THAT WHEN GEORGE BUSH WAS PRESIDENT AND HE SENT DOWN A BILL TWICE AS BIG AS THAT? DID YOU EVER DO THAT. YOU CAN DO THAT. THAT'S THEATRICS. YOU CAN DO THAT.

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  • 11:42:13 AM

    MR. GRAHAM

    LET ME ASK YOU ANOTHER QUESTION.

  • 11:42:36 AM

    MRS. BOXER

    YOU ANOTHER QUESTION.

  • 11:42:37 AM

    MR. GRAHAM

    NO. IT'S MY TIME. I'M HERE TO POINT OUT THE FACT THAT IS NOT…

    NO. IT'S MY TIME. I'M HERE TO POINT OUT THE FACT THAT IS NOT BIPARTISANSHIP THIS PROCESS THAT IS -- WE'RE ENGAGING IN IS NOT SMART. WE'RE NOT WORKING TOGETHER. WE'RE ABOUT TO SPEND $800 OR $900 BILLION AND NO ONE HAS A CLUE WHERE WE'RE GOING TO LAND AND WE HAVE TO DO IT BY TONIGHT. I'M TELLING YOU RIGHT NOW THAT IF THIS IS THE SOLUTION TO GEORGE BUSH'S PROBLEMS, THE COUNTRY IS GOING TO GET WORSE. IF THIS IS THE NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS, IF THIS IS THE CHANGE WE ALL CAN BELIEVE IN, AMERICA'S BES DAYS ARE BEHIND HER -- BEST DAYS ARE BEHIND HER. I WANT TO MEET YOU IN THE MIDDLE. I WANT TO FIND A WAY TO SPEND MONEY BEYOND CUTTING TAX THAT'S WILL HELP PEOPLE WHO LOST THEIR JOBS. BUT I DON'T WANT TO THROW A BUNCH OF MONEY INTO A SYSTEM THAT'S NOT GOING TO CREATE A JOB IN THE NEAR TERM KNOWING THAT I'VE GOT TO WORK WITH YOU AND THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS TO PUT MONEY INTO THE HOUSING MARKET BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR HOUSES KNOWING THAT I'VE GOT TO COME BACK AND ASK FOR MORE MONEY FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO FIX THE BANKING SYSTEM AND WE'VE DONE NOTHING WITH BANKING. THERE IS PLENTY OF BLAME TO GO AROUND HERE. THERE IS PLENTY OF BLAME. IF YOU WANT TO LOOK BACK AND SAY THIS IS ALL GEORGE W. BUSH'S FAULT, YOU CAN DO THAT. I AM CHOOSING NOT TO DO THAT. I'M URGING THIS BODY TO SIT DOWN IN SOME METHODICAL WAY TO COME UP WITH A PRODUCT BETTER THAN THIS. I'M URGING A REJECTION OF THE MENTALITY, WE WON, WE WRITE THE BILL. NOW, IF YOU WANT TO DO IT THIS WAY, WE'RE GOING TO LOSE THE ABILITY, SENATOR, TO GO BACK TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THIS BILL IS NOT WORKING FOR THEM. THE PROCESS THAT WE'RE CREATING IS NOT WORKING FOR THEM. I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU TO WORK FOR THEM. I FEEL SHUTOUT. MAYBE IT'S JUST ME. MAYBE I'M THE PROBLEM. BUT I DON'T THINK SO. I THINK PEOPLE ARE FIGURING OUT PRETTY QUICKLY THIS CONGRESS, THE OLD ONE AND THE NEW ONE IS MAKING THIS UP AS WE GO. AND WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF GOODWILL. WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF CAPITAL. AND WE DON'T NEED ANYMORE NEWS CONFERENCES. WHAT WE NEED IS GETTING MORE THAN 16 PEOPLE IN A ROOM. WE NEED TO SLOW DOWN, TAKE A TIME-OUT AND GET IT RIGHT. I SUPPORT THE McCAIN AMENDMENT, BUT I AM WILLING TO DO MORE. I'M WILLING TO SPEND MORE IF IT MAKES SENSE. I'M WILLING TO CUT TAXES MORE IF IT MAKES SENSE. I KNOW THIS -- THAT WHAT WE'RE DOING IN THIS BILL DOES NOT MAKE SENSE AND WE'RE NOT DOING IT TOGETHER AND WE'RE GOING TO MACE CHANCE TO START OVER AGAIN TO MY GOOD FRIEND FROM CALIFORNIA AND WIPE OUT THE PAST AND START A NEW WAY OF DOING BUSINESS. WHAT WE'RE ENGAGING IN, IN MY OPINION, IS ALL THE WRONG THINGS IN THE PAST. AND THERE IS NOTHING NEW ABOUT THIS BILL. THERE IS NOTHING NEW ABOUT THIS PROCESS. AND, FINALLY, AMERICA WANTS SOMETHING NEW. AMERICA DE SERVES SOMETHING NEW. -- AMERICA DESERVES SOMETHING NEW. THIS IS NOT IT.

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  • 11:45:36 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA IS RECOGNIZED, UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER.

  • 11:45:40 AM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I WANT TO CORRECT -- IT IS A VERY MINOR MISTAKE THAT THE SENATOR MADE. THE…

    I WANT TO CORRECT -- IT IS A VERY MINOR MISTAKE THAT THE SENATOR MADE. THE MARKUP OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE TOOK OVER 11 1/2 HOURS, NOT 1 1/2 HOURS AS THE SENATOR REPRESENTED. BUT FRANKLY, MR. PRESIDENT, THE MAIN QUESTION HERE IS, HOW DO WE GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK? HOW DO WE GET OUR ECONOMY SNOFG THAT'S THE QUESTION HERE. AND THERE ARE LOTS OF IDEAS. A LOT OF PEOPLE SPENT A LOT OF TIME WORKING TO FIND THE BEST SOLUTIONS, A LOT OF ECONOMISTS, A LOT OF EXPERTS. AND IT IS TRUE THAT THIS -- WE'RE IN PROBABLY THE DEEPEST RECESSION THIS COUNTRY HAS FACED SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. THAT IS TRUE. AND IT'S ALSO TRUE THE ECONOMY IS MUCH DIFFERENT NOW THAN IT WAS BACK IN THE 1930'S. THAT IS ALSO TRUE. THE BANKING SYSTEM IS ALSO DIMP. SO, THEREFORE, IT IS TRUE THAT TO SOME DEGREE WE'RE KIND OF LEARNING AS WE'RE DOING. NOBODY HAS ALL THE ANSWERS HERE. NOBODY DOES. AND WE ALL -- MOST OF US WORKING ON THIS RECOGNIZE THAT. WE'RE DOING -- ALL OF US ARE DOING THE BEST WE CAN ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. WE'RE JUST TRYING TO FIGURE THIS OUT AND DO THE BEST WE CAN WITH THE RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE AND WITH THE GOVERNMENT THAT WE HAVE. NOW, IT'S -- THERE ARE DIFFERENT PEOPLE -- DIFFERENT PEOPLE OF COURSE HAVE DIFFERENT ESTIMATES. LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THE BASIC ESTIMATES ARE THAT PEOPLE HAVE TALKED OR SAY. THEY SAY THAT THERE'S ABOUT A $1 TRILLION GAP BETWEEN THE POTENTIAL AMERICAN ECONOMY AND THE ACTUAL ECONOMY. ABOUT $1 TRILLION GAP. AND THE REAL QUESTION IS, OKAY, HOW DO WE FILL IN THAT GAP? WHAT DO WE DO TO MAKE SURE THAT THE REAL ECONOMY MATCHES UP TO THE POTENTIAL ECONOMY? THERE ARE THREE BASIC COMPONENTS, MOST PEOPLE AGREE. ONE IS TO DO WHAT WE CAN TO UNFREEZE THE CREDIT MARKETS. BANKS AREN'T LOANING. IT'S AN ISSUE THAT'S BEEN DISCUSSED AT LENGTH IN THE LAST MANY MONTHS. SOCIETY QUESTION IS, WHAT DO WE DO TO UNFREEZE THE CREDIT MARKETS IN THIS COUNTRY SO THAT BANKS START TO LOAN MONEY, THEY START TO LOAN MONEY TO CREDIT-WORTHY BORROWERS? THAT'S ONE CHALLENGE HERE AND THAT'S THE REASON FOR ALL OF THESE PROGRAMS CALLED TARP AND SO ON AND SO FORTH. WE CAN DEBATE WHETHER THEY'RE PERFECT. THEY'RE PROBABLY NOT PERFECT. PART OF THE SOLUTION IS, DO WHAT WE CAN TO GET BANKS TO UNFREEZE THE CREDIT MARKETS. ANOTHER COMPONENT IS HOUSING. WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT ALL THESE HOUSES WHERE THE MORTGAGE IS MUCH GREATER THAN THE ACTUAL MARKET VALUE OF THE HOUSE? YOU KNOW, THE COMMON TERM HERE IS CALLED UNDER WATER. THE ESTIMATES ARE THAT BETWEEN ONE AND FOUR, MAYBE ONE IN FIVE AMERICANAMERICAN HOUSES ARE UNDER WATER. WE'RE WORKING ON THAT, MR. PRESIDENT. THERE ARE MANY FEATURES IN THIS BILL THAT ADDRESS HOUSING -- FOR EXAMPLE, THE $15,000 TAX CREDIT OFFERED BY SENATOR ISAKSON AND THE SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT, MR. LIEBERMAN, ADOPTED BY THIS COMMITTEE IS GOING TO HELP. IT IS A $15,000 TAX CREDIT FOR THE PURCHASE OF A HOME. AND THERE ARE MANY OTHER HOUSING PROVISIONS ENACTED BY THE BANKING COMMITTEE AND SOME ARE IN THIS BILL AND OTHERS IN OTHER BILLS. OF COURSE WE HAVE TO GO FARTHER. THE THIRD COMPONENT IS CONSUMER DEMAND WHAT. CAN WE DO IN THIS COUNTRY TO HELP PEOPLE KIND OF FEEL BETTER ABOUT THINGS SO THEY CAN START SPENDING SOME MONEY? FIRST THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE MONEY. AND THAT GETS TO JOBS. YOU ALSO WANT TO ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO SPEND MONEY SO THE ECONOMY STARTS TO LOOSEN UP AND THAT IN ITSELF CREATES JOBS. THAT'S WHAT THIS BILL IS ADDRESSED TO. THAT IS THE THIRD COMPONENT WHICH IS BASICALLY THE DEMAND SIDE, TO HELP PEOPLE SPEND MONEY. HOW DO WE DO THAT? ONE WAY TO GET MEASURES PASSED THAT -- AGAIN TO CREATE JOBS. IT'S BRIJTS, ROADS, INFRASTRUCTURE, SO FORTH. WITHOUT BEING TOO SIMPLISTIC, WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THIS COUNTRY IN THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS IS WE'VE BECOME WAY OVERLEVERAGED. BANKS HAVE BORROWED WAY TOO MUCH. HEDGE FUNDS, PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS BORROWED WAY TOO MUCH. LEVERAGED MAYBE 30, 40 TIMES. AMERICANS CREDIT CARD DEBT HAS GONE UP. A LOT OF INDIVIDUALS HAVE BECOME OVERLEVERAGED. BUSINESSES OVERLEVERAGED. WHEN YOU'RE OVERLEVERAGED -- WHEN YOU BORROW MUCH MORE THAN YOUR ASSETS ARE -- CLEARLY WHEN TIMES START TO CONSTRICT A LITTLE, IT'S A HUGE PROBLEM IN PAYING OFF YOUR LOANS, PAYING OFF YOUR DEBTS, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE LEVERAGED 40 TIMES YOUR ASSETS. I MEAN, THAT IS REALLY A PROBLEM. AND THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENED IN THIS COUNTRY. SO IN A CERTAIN SENSE, WHILE THE PRIVATE SECTOR IS DELEVERAGING, THE PUBLIC SECTOR IS STARTING TO LEVERAGE, TO FILL UP THE GAP, TO KEEP THINGS GOING HERE. THAT'S THE REASON FOR THE BORROWING. NOW WE'RE ALL CONCERNED ABOUT HOW FAR IT'S GOING TO GO, HOW MUCH DEBT WILL IT BE, WILL WE BE ABLE TO PAY OFF THE DEBT, IS IT GOING TO WORK OR NOT GOING TO WORK. AND THE ANSWER TO THAT IS, FIRST WE GOT TO SPEND TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. I DO BELIEVE FRANK LET'S BETTER TO SPEND MORE THAN LESS BECAUSE IF WE SPEND MORE, THERE'S A PSYCHOLOGY IN ADDITION TO THE ACTUAL MULTIPLIER DOLLAR EFFECT THAT THERE'S LIFE IN THE TUNNEL AND WE'RE GOING TO FIND THE SOLUTION HERE, COMPARED WITH BEING TEPID, TIM MID, ABOUT PUTTING OUR TOE IN THE WATER HERE. THAT I THINK IS NOT A GOOD IDEA. SO, THE $800,000 -- $800 BILLION -- THIS BILL IS NOW CLOSE TO $9 BILLION NOW, SOME SUGGEST MAYBE $800 BILLION IS WHERE WE END UP. I THINK THAT WOULD BE FINE. WILL THIS CREATE JOBS, THIS $800 BILLION IN THAT'S THE BASIC QUESTION? I THINK MOST PEOPLE WILL SAY, IF WE DO NOTHING, THAT $1 TRILLION GAP IS GOING TO DOUBLE TO $2 TRILLION. THESE ARE ECONOMISTS, RIGHT-WING ECONOMISTS, LEFT-WING ECONOMISTS. THERE'S A BASIC AGREEMENT AMONG ALL ECONOMISTS. WE'VE GOT TO SPEND SOME MONEY HERE TO GET THINGS GOING BACK ON TRACK AGAIN. I HAVE, AS A SUMMARY HERE, A LETTER FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE RELEASED YESTERDAY TRYING TO DETERMINE WHAT IS THE JOB EFFECT? WHAT IS THE EFFECT ON GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT OF THE BILL THAT WE'RE CONSIDERING? LET ME JUST READ HIGHLIGHTS. THIS IS A LETTER FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE. IT IS A NONPARTISAN ORGANIZATION. ER YOU KNOW, LET ME JUST SAY, A LOT OF COMMENTS HAVE THEIR INCOMES PAID FOR BY PEOPLE ON ONE SIDE OF THE ISSUE OR THE OTHER. THAT'S ONE REASON THINGS GET SLANTED SOMETIMES. BUT THIS IS THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE. THEY DON'T MAKE A LOT OF MONEY THESE GUYS AND WOMEN. BUT THEY'RE VERY, VERY GOOD. THEY ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS. WHAT DO THEY SAY? THEY SAY, BETWEEN NOW AND THE FOURTH QUARTER OF 2010, THE NUMBER OF JOBS CREATED UNDER THE UNDERLYING BILL/SAVED IS A RANGE. IT IS BETWEEN 1.3 AND 3.9. BETWEEN 1.3 MILLION TO 4 MILLION JOBS CREATED OR SAVED FROM THE FOURTH QUARTER -- FROM BETWEEN NOW AND THE FOURTHS QUARTER OF 2010. THAT'S C.B.O.'S BEST ESTIMATE. THERE IS A RANGE. THEY DON'T HAVE A PRECISE NUMBER BUT IT IS A RANGE. AND THE BILL -- THE AMENDMENT OFFERED BY THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA REALLY CUTS THAT IN HALF. AND SO LET'S CUT IT IN HALF AGAIN. THAT'S.6 VERSUS ABOUT 2 MILLION JOBS. I MEAN ROUGHLY. AND IT'S -- AND THAT'S NOT CLOSE TO BEGINNING TO FILL THE $1 TRILLION TO $2 TRILLION GAP BETWEEN THE REAL ECONOMY AND THE G.D.P. ECONOMY. IT WOULD DPREAS1. 6% AND 2.6%. THEY PREDICT, THEY CRANK OUT THE NUMBERS AND SAY THIS WILL INCREASE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT BY THAT AMOUNT. THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE WOULD DECLINE FROM BETWEEN.7% TO 2.1%. SO LET'S TAKE A MIDPOINT, THAT'S 1.5% ROUGHLY REDUCTION IN UNEMPLOYMENT. THE MIDPOINT OF G.D.P. IS ABOUT 2%, INCREASED G.D.P. BY ABOUT 2%. THE NUMBER OF JOBS CREATED IS ABOUT 1.7%, CLOSE TO 2 MILLION JOBS CREATED BY THIS BILL. WHEN YOU SPEND LET ME READ A SENTENCE FROM THE LETTER. "FOR ALL OF THE CATEGORIES THAT WOULD BE AFFECTED BY THE SENATE LEGISLATION, THE RESULTING BUDGETARY CHANGES ARE ESTIMATED TO RAISE OUTPUT IN THE SHORT RUN, ALBEIT BY DIFFERENT AMOUNTS." WHICH GETS TO MY NEXT POINT. DIFFERENT DOLLARS SPENT DIFFERENTLY HAVE DIFFERENT EFFECTS. THEY ALL ARE STIMULATIVE. SOME MORE STIMULATIVE THAN OTHERS. WHAT'S THE RANGE? BASICALLY, IT SAYS THAT DIRECT PURCHASES OF GOODS AND SERVICES BY UNCLE SAM TEND 0 HAVE LARGE EFFECTS ON G.D.P. IT FURTHER LISTS CATEGORIES. FOR PURCHASES OF GOODS AND SERVICES, THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT IS BETWEEN $1 AND $2.50. LET'S TAKE $1.75. SOMETHING LIKE THAT. FOR TRANSFERS, TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, THIS IS FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, IT'S ABOUT THE SAME. FOR TRANSFERS OF NONFRARKS IT IS LESS. IT'S ABOUT 7 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR. TRANSFERS NOT FOR INFRASTRUCTURE ARE LESS. FOR TRANSFERS TO PERSONS WHO ARE RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, IT'S HIGHER. PEOPLE WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED -- TRANSFERS TO UNEMPLOYED IS SPENT. THEY GO DOWN -- MAKE WORK PAY. THAT'S A KEY FEATURE OF THIS BILL -- THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT IS BETWEEN 50 CENTSS ON THE DOLLAR AND $1.75. SO IT IS CLOSE TO THE $1. I MIGHT SAY, THE EFFECT FOR A ONE-YEAR PATCH TO A.M.T. IS REALLY BETWEEN ONE CENTS AND FIVE CENTS ON THE DOLLAR. NOT A LOT OF MULTIPLIER EFFECT ON A.M.T. THE CARRY-BACK PROVISIONS, THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT IS BETWEEN DESIRE ROW AND 0.4%. THAT'S THE ESTIMATES BY THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE. DOLLARS SPENT ON ROADS AND BRIDGES AND INFRASTRUCTURE V. WILL HAVE A PRETTY HIGH EFFECT. AND DOLLARS TRANSFERRED TO LOWER-INCOME PEOPLE PARTICULARLY UNIMLOIT EMPLOYED ALSO HAVE A VERY LARGE EFFECT. WHY DO I SAY ALL THIS? I SAY THIS IN PART BECAUSE I THINK IT'S HELPFUL FOR US TO KNOW WHAT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE BELIEFS. THERE ARE SO MANY OPINIONS AROUND HERE, IT IS JUST UP TO US TO KIND OF SEPARATE THE WEAK AND THE CHAFEE AND TRY TO READ BETWEEN THE LINES AND FIGURE OUT WHAT'S GOING ON HERE. I THINK THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE IS A PRETTY GOOD INDICATOR. NOW, WE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE LONG-TERM DEBT. CLEARLY WE ARE. THERE ISN'T A SENATOR IN HERE THAT ISN'T CONCERNED ABOUT THE LONG-TERM EFFECTS. WE REALLY DON'T KNOW WHAT THE LONG TERM EFFECTS ARE GOING TO BE BUT WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT IT. THE PRESIDENT IS GOING TO HAVE A FISCAL SUMMIT ON THAT VERY ISSUE, INVITE AGO GOOD NUMBER OF PEOPLE. PROBABLY THREE TO FIVE WEEKS. IT IS OBVIOUSLY A CONCERN TO THE PRESIDENT. IT IS OBVIOUSLY A CONCERN TO ALL OF US. LET'S ALSO REMEMBER THE PRESIDENT IS GOING TO SUBMIT A BUDGET SOMETIME THIS MONTH, AND THAT'S GOING TO BE A BLUEPRINT, FRANKLY, FOR AT LEAST THE PRESIDENT'S PRAMS AND PLANS, AND CLEARLY HE'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE THINKING ABOUT THE LONG-TERM DEBT, TOO. I MEAN, OBVIOUSLY. AND I THINK TO SOME DEGREE THAT'S SOMEWHAT IMPORTANT FOR US TO SEE WHAT THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET IS IN WORKING WITH OUR BUDGET COMMITTEES BOTH IN THIS BODY AND THE OTHER BODY TO MAKE THAT KIND OF BLUEPRINT, TRYING TO GET A HANDLE ON LONG-TERM DEBT. THIS AMENDMENT OFFERED BY THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA, SENATOR McCAIN, TRIES TO GET AT THIS BY SETTING UP AN ENTITLEMENT COMMISSION. IT'S -- TO ADDRESS SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE. I THINK ON THE SURFACE THAT'S INTERESTING. BUT LET'S JUST LOOK AT THE FACTS. THE FACTS ARE THAT -- AND BY THE WAY, THIS IS AN ENTITLEMENT COMMISSION WHICH MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS TO CONGRESS AND THEN CONGRESS CAN ADMIT IT UNDER HIS PROPOSAL, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE GERMANE AMENDMENTS. NOTHING WRONG THERE, I SUPPOSE. BUT LET'S LOOK AT THE BASIC ENTITLEMENTS THAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT. ONE IS SOCIAL SECURITY. NOW, BACK IN 19 -- I THINK IT WAS 1983, THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND WAS ABOUT TO GO BELLY UP. IT WAS GO KAPUT. -- AND IT HAD SIX MONTHS LEFT IN THE TRUST FUND P. THEALS NOT ABOUT MUCH LEFT IN THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND. AND CONGRESS DESIGNATION A COMMISSION WAS ARRANGED. PRESIDENT REAGAN CALLED IT TOGETHER. AND THE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, ET CETERA, ET CETERA -- AND AT THE END THEY AGREED TO DO ABOUT THE ONLY THING YOU CAN DO AND THAT'S CUT BENEFITS AND RAISE TAXES. AND IT WAS PUT TOGETHER BASED ON A HANDSHAKE BETWEEN TIP O'NEILL AND JIM BAKER. THERE'S A FAMOUS TELEPHONE CONVERSATION AND, "MR. SPEAKER, IF YOU AGREE TO LOWER BENEFITS, WE'LL AGREE TO RAISE TAXES. WE'LL GREET EACH OTHER AND SHAKE HANDS ON IT AND NEITHER IS GOING TO ATTACK EACH OTHER." THAT WAS THE DEAL. AND THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED. BENEFITS WERE CUT AND TAXES WERE RAISE ADD LITTLE BIT. AGAIN, WE HAD -- THERE WAS A GUN AT THE HEAD OF EVERYBODY, ESPECIALLY SENIORS, BECAUSE IT WAS ABOUT TO GO BELLY-UP IN SIX MONTHS. WHAT'S THE SITUATION TODAY? IS THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND IN ENTIRE JEOPARDY? NO. THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND IS NOT -- IS DUE TO BE SOLVENT ALL THE ACTUARIES SAY, THE EXACT DATE 2041, 2042, SOMETHING LIKE THAT. SO I JUST -- I WONDER, SURE WE SHOULD START EARLY ON THINGS. BUT THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO PUT IT BEYOND 2031 AND THAT IS BY CUTTING BENEFITS AND RAISING TAXES. NOW, WHEN TIMES ARE TOUGH AND WE'RE IN A RECESSION RIGHT NOW I DON'T KNOW HOW WISE IT IS TO TALK ABOUT RAISING TAXES AND CUTTING BENEFITS FOR A PROBLEM THAT IS NOT REAL. NOT NOW. MAYBE IN A COUPLE OR THREE YEARS WHEN THE ECONOMY IS DOING BETTER WE COULD TACKLE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND BUT I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD ATTACK SOCIAL SECURITY AT THIS POINT. WHAT IS THE BIGGER PROBLEM? MEDICARE. THAT'S THE BIG PROBLEM. MEDICARE TRUST FUND IS NOT GOING TO LAST MUCH LONGER, SIX, EIGHT, NINE, 10 YEARS -- SOMETHING LIKE THAT. AND WHY IS THAT SUCH A PROBLEM? IT'S A PROBLEM BECAUSE HEALTH CARE COSTS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE RISING AT SUCH A RAPID RATE. CLOSE TO TWO TIMES THE RATE OF INFLATION. AND AS YOU KNOW, MADAM PRESIDENT, WE SPEND ABOUT TWICE AS MUCH PER CAPITA ON HEALTH CARE IN AMERICA THAN PEOPLE IN OTHER COUNTRIES, OTHER COUNTRIES. AND, SO, DOES THE ENTITLEMENTS COMMISSION CUTTING MEDICARE MAKE SENSE? YES, COSTS ARE GOING UP, THE COMMISSION IS CUTTING MEDICARE. BUT IF ONLY WE CUT -- THE ONLY WAY TO CUT MEDICARE IS TO CUT BENEFITS, AND I DON'T KNOW IF THAT IS WISE BECAUSE HEALTH CARE COSTS ARE SUCH A PROBLEM OR A MYRIAD OF OTHER THINGS, THE ENTITLEMENTS COMMISSION IS NOT QUALIFIED TO ADDRESS HEALTH CARE REFORM. HEALTH CARE REFORM IS AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT, INCREDIBLY COMPLICATED MATTER. IF WE GET HEALTH CARE REFORM ON TRACK -- THAT; LEGISLATION TO START TO REFORM OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, THAT WILL INCLUDE GETTING SIGNIFICANT REDUCTIONS IN COSTS. AND THAT'S THE WAY TO ADDRESS MEDICARE. HEALTH CARE REFORM WILL INCLUDE COVER OF 46 MILLION AMERICANS WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE, AND INCLUDE HEALTH CARE DELIVERY REFORM AND INCLUDES REIMBURSEMENT REFORM. THERE ARE LOTS AND LOTS OF WAYS IN WHICH WE SHOULD EMBARK UPON ADDRESSING THE HEALTH CARE REFORM. IN FACT, I ASKED THE PRESIDENT JUST YESTERDAY, HIS AGENDA, AND IT'S AFTER THIS BILL BEFORE US, AND WE'RE PROBABLY GOING TO GET INVOLVED IN FINANCIAL REGULATORY REFORM, HEALTH CARE REFORM IS A TOP PRIORITY AND HE WANTS IT DONE THIS YEAR. IT HAS TO BE DONE THIS YEAR. PART OF ECONOMIC RECOVERY IS HEALTH REFORM. LOOK HOW MUCH COSTS IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM IS ADDING TO PROBLEMS IN INDIVIDUALS BECAUSE THE COSTS ARE GOING UP, THE COST OF COMPANIES, THEY HAVE TO LAY OFF PEOPLE, NOT HIRING PEOPLE TO SOME DEGREE BECAUSE OF HEALTH CARE COSTS. CERTAINLY NOT INCREASING HEALTH CARE BENEFITS. AND ALSO TO GOVERNMENTAL BENEFITS, WHETHER STATE, FEDERAL, AND SO FORTH. AND SO I SUGGEST THAT IT'S NOT WISE, THE PROVISIONS IN THIS McCAIN AMENDMENT, TO SET UP A MEDICARE COMMISSION BUT RATHER TO TRY TO TACKLE HEAD ON THE HEALTH CARE REFORM. I DO BELIEVE THE PRESIDENT'S GOING TO ANNOUNCE A HEALTH CARE SUMMIT IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE AS A WAY TO GET THIS GOING. CERTAIN DASCHLE IS ALL LINED AND KEYED UP TO GET HEALTH CARE MOVING AND WROTE A BOOK ON IT. I KNOW THIS ADMINISTRATION IS DEDICATED TO MAKING SURE THAT HEALTH CARE REFORM DOES NOT SLIP AND IS VERY MUCH FRONT AND CENTER. ANOTHER PROVISION I WANT TO TOUCH UPON THAT IS IN THIS CASE WHICH I THINK, THE McCAIN AMENDMENT, WHICH I THINK SENATORS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BECAUSE IT'S, IT HAS A REAL AFFECT, AND THAT'S THIS: ESSENTIALLY IF THE McCAIN AMENDMENT LOWERS, TAXES IN THE 10% BRACKET AND IN THE 15% BRACKET SO AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THIS McCAIN AMENDMENT IF ENACTED, THEN PEOPLE PAYING INCOME TAXES TODAY WOULD PAY LESS INCOME TAXES. ALL AMERICANS WOULD. ALL AMERICANS WHO PAY INCOME TAXES THAT IS. AMERICAN WHO PAY INCOME TAXES WOULDN'T NECESSARILY PAY LESS BECAUSE OF THE WAY OUR SYSTEM IS SET UP. THAT SUNDAYS GOOD. BUT WHAT -- THAT SUNDAYS GOOD. BUT WHAT IS THE CONCERN HERE? THE CONCERN IS 49 MILLION AMERICANS GET NO REDUCTION IN THEIR TAXES. NONE. WHO ARE THEY? THEY ARE PEOPLE THAT DON'T PAY INCOME TAXES, AND THAT TENDS TO BE LOWER INCOME PEOPLE. THE UNDERLYING BILL BEFORE US REDUCES TAXES FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO WORK. IT IS PAYROLL TAX RELATED. IF YOU WORK IN THE UNDERLYING BILL YOU GET REDUCTION IN INCOME TAXES. IF YOU WORK, YOU GET A REDUCTION. THERE ARE 49 MILLION AMERICANS WHO WILL NOT RECEIVE A TAX BREAK UNDER THE McCAIN AMENDMENT. BUT WHO DO RECEIVE A TAX BREAK IN THE UNDERLYING BILL AND THE 49 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LOWER INCOME PEOPLE, BASICALLY, BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT EARNING ENOUGH TO PAY INCOME TAXES. THEY PAY PAYROLL TAXES BECAUSE THEY'RE WORKING BUT THEY DON'T PAY INCOME TAXES AND I DON'T THINK THAT'S FAIR. C.B.O. POINTS OUT AND OTHERS POINT OUT THAT LOWER INCOME PEOPLE, PEOPLE WHO GET A REBATE OR BREAK WILL SPEND THE MONEY. STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. WE ARE TRYING TO ADDRESS THE DEMAND SIDE. GET PEOPLE TO SPEND MONEY. THE CREDIT MARKETS IS ONE ISSUE. HOUSING IS ANOTHER ISSUE. THIS BILL, BASICALLY, ADDRESSES THE DEMAND SIDE. AND I JUST. : I THINK WE DO NOT WANT TO SHIFT DOLLARS AWAY FROM THE 49 MILLION BUT RATHER OVER TO THE HIGHER INCOME PEOPLE AS ACCOMPLISHED IN THIS BILL. SO ESSENTIALLY -- AND I MIGHT POINT OUT, TOO, MADAM PRESIDENT, FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH, THE McCAIN AMENDMENT -- LET ME BACKUP. THE UNDERLYING BILL HAS AN A.M.T. PAM. YOU WILL NOT HAVE -- A.M.T. PATCH. YOU WILL NOT HAVE TO -- THE ALTERNATIVE MINIMUM TAXES WILL NOT INCREASE IN 2009. BASICALLY IT IS DEINFLATIONARY FACTOR. THE McCAIN AM DOES NOT HAVE THAT. THE McCAIN AMENDMENT -- MILLIONS WILL PAY MORE TAXES BECAUSE HE DOES NOT HAVE THE A.M.T. PATCH OR "FIX" IN IT. OTHER THINGS I WILL SAY AT A LATER DATE BUT MY MAIN POINT, THIS BILL, ACCORDING TO ECONOMISTS, WILL HELP. THERE ARE, DOWN THE ROAD, WE WILL FIND WAYS IN THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET, FISCAL SUMMIT, ET CETERA, TO ADDRESS LONG-TERM DEBT QUESTIONS. BUT WE CAN ONLY DO THINGS ONE STEP AT A TIME. WE CANCELED -- CAN'T SOLVE ALL OF THE WORLD'S PROBLEMS IN ONE BILL BUT WE CAN TAKE ONE BITE OF THE ELEPHANT AND A PRETTY GOOD BITE, A PRETTY GOOD BITE OF THE ELEPHANT TO STIMULATE DEMAND AND JOBS AS WE WORK OUR WAY THROUGH ECONOMIC RECOVERY. MADAM PRESIDENT, THE SENATOR NEXT TO SPEAK ON OUR SIDE IS NOT AVAILABLE AND I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT SENATOR CANTWELL -- MADAM PRESIDENT, LET ME RESTATE THAT. THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK IS CALLED AWAY SO AFTER SENATOR ALEXANDER SPEAKS I ASK THE NEXT SENATOR BE SENT CANTWELL.

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  • 12:08:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO RULED. THE SENATOR FROM TEXAS IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 12:08:42 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 12:29:47 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    .MS. CANTWELL: MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 12:29:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER:.MS. CANTWELL

    THE SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 12:29:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I'M ON THE FLOOR TO --

  • 12:29:58 PM

    MS. CANTWELL

    FLOOR TO --

  • 12:29:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. PROCEED.

  • 12:30:02 PM

    MS. CANTWELL

    YOU. I'M HERE TO SPEAK ABOUT THE CANTWELL-HATCH AMENDMENT. I WANT TO CALL…

    YOU. I'M HERE TO SPEAK ABOUT THE CANTWELL-HATCH AMENDMENT. I WANT TO CALL IT UP, BUT IT WILL BE OBJECTED TO ON THE OTHER SIDE. WE WILL BE ASKING FOR A VOTE ON THIS AMENDMENT AT SOME POINT IN TIME SO FOR MY COLLEAGUES JUST TO KNOW THAT WE WILL BE -- WE WILL BE DEMANDING A VOTE ON THIS ISSUE. I THANK THE PRESIDENT AND I ALSO WANT TO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ADD SENATORS LEVIN, BROWN, ALEXANDER, CARPER, MENENDEZ AND UDALL TO AMENDMENT NUMBER 274.

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  • 12:30:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO RULED. MS. CANTWELLMS. CANTWELL:…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO RULED. MS. CANTWELLMS. CANTWELL: MR. PRESIDENT, WE ARE HERE TODAY TO INJECT CAPITAL INTO

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  • 12:30:47 PM

    MS. CANTWELLMS. CANTWELL

    YES, I WILL.

  • 12:37:46 PM

    MS. CANTWELL

    YES, I WILL.

  • 12:37:47 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 12:37:50 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    THANK YOU. I WANT TO ASK A QUESTION OF THE SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON STATE,…

    THANK YOU. I WANT TO ASK A QUESTION OF THE SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON STATE, BUT I FIRST WANT TO JUST THANK YOU FOR YOUR VISION. YOU HAVE BEEN THE PERSON WHO HAS UNDERSTOOD THAT THIS IS MORE THAN JUST ABOUT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, THAT THIS IS ABOUT ACTUALLY PUTTING ASSETS IN AMERICA AND JOBS HERE IN AMERICA THROUGH MANUFACTURING. AND I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR VISION, AND IT'S BEEN MY HONOR AND PLEASURE TO WORK WITH YOU ON THIS. BUT I'M WONDERING IF YOU ARE AWARE, IN FACT, OF OTHER COUNTRIES. SOUTH KOREA CERTAINLY HAS BEEN INVESTING IN THIS, BUT GERMANY LAST SUMMER DEVELOPED WHAT THEY CALLED THE GREAT BATTERY ALLIANCE. JAPAN CREATED THE FIRST BATTERIES. FORD MOTOR COMPANY IN DOING THEIR FIRST FORD ESCAPE HYBRID, THE FIRST ESCAPE S.U.V., WHILE WE ARE PROUD THAT WAS DONE IN AMERICA AND, IN FACT, THE BATTERY CAME FROM JAPAN. SO CHINA, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, GERMANY, INDIA NOW HAS ANNOUNCED A MANUFACTURING STRATEGY. AND SO I WOULD ASK IF -- AS YOU LOOK AT THIS, IF YOU HAVE LOOKED AT THOSE OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL?

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  • 12:39:05 PM

    MS. CANTWELL

    I THANK THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN AND I THANK HER FOR HER LEADERSHIP ON…

    I THANK THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN AND I THANK HER FOR HER LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE AS WELL BECAUSE SHE HAS BEEN STEADFAST IN SAYING THAT THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO CREATE MANUFACTURING INCENTIVES IN THE PLUG-IN AREA AND TO LEAD THE FUTURE OF THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. AND SO I THANK HER FOR HER QUESTION. SHE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THE UNITED STATES IS FALLING BEHIND. WE HAVE NO BATTERY PRODUCTION FACILITIES IN THE UNITED STATES, SO WE CAN PAT OURSELVES ON THE BACK ALL WE WANT ABOUT HOW WE'RE LEADING IN R&D IN BATTERY TECHNOLOGY, BUT THE TIME HAS COME WHEN AMERICANS AND PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE TO GET OFF OF FOSSIL FUEL AND THAT THE ELECTRICITY GRID HOLDS GREAT PROMISE BECAUSE OF THE ADD VENTED OF THESE NEW BATTERY TECHNOLOGIES THAT ARE ALLOWING CONSUMERS TO GO A HUNDRED MILES PER GALLON WITH A BATTERY CHARGE AND BUILDING AN INFRASTRUCTURE. SO AS MY COLLEAGUE MENTIONED, EUROPEANS ARE ALSO LEADING THE WAY KNOWING THAT GETTING THAT KIND OF MANUFACTURING IN THEIR COUNTRYIES WOULD BE A BIG BOOST TO THEIR ECONOMIES. AND SO OUR AMENDMENT DOESN'T SAY WHICH COMPANIES WOULD PRODUCE THIS BATTERY TECHNOLOGY. WE'RE JUST SIMPLY SAYING THAT WE SHOULD HAVE SOME OF THIS MANUFACTURING IN THE UNITED STATES.

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  • 12:40:17 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    YES.

  • 12:40:21 PM

    MS. CANTWELL

    YES.

  • 12:40:22 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    CAME FROM A VERY LARGE CONFERENCE CALLED THE BLUE-GREEN CONFERENCE, WITH…

    CAME FROM A VERY LARGE CONFERENCE CALLED THE BLUE-GREEN CONFERENCE, WITH ABOUT 2,500 PEOPLE WHO ARE IN TOWN FROM ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS, LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS FOCUSED ON EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. AND I WONDER IF YOU ARE AWARE THAT WE HAVE HAD PEOPLE ON THE HILL ACTUALLY SUPPORTING THIS WONDERFUL AMENDMENT AND ARGUING THAT, IN FACT, THERE ARE JORKSZ THERE ARE JOBS, GOOD-PAYING JOBS, FOR DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT. I WONDER IF MY COLLEAGUE IS AWARE OF THE EXTENT TO WHICH THERE IS SUCH A BROAD COALITION OF PEOPLE ACROSS THIS COUNTRY NOW SUPPORTING EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT?

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  • 12:41:06 PM

    MRS. CANTWELL

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 12:43:35 PM

    MR. COBURN

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 12:43:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 12:43:38 PM

    MR. COBURN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO RULED.

  • 12:43:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO RULED.

  • 12:43:56 PM

    MR. COBURN

    YOU. I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO THE DEBATE THIS MORNING. I WANT TO MAKE ONE…

    YOU. I'VE BEEN LISTENING TO THE DEBATE THIS MORNING. I WANT TO MAKE ONE POINT. HOW DID WE GET WHERE WE ARE? WE'VE SEEN ALL THIS FINGER POINTING. WE'VE SAID THAT PRESIDENT BUSH GOT US WHERE WE ARE BUT WE DON'T WANT TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FACT THAT HE COULDN'T SPEND A PEN THEE WE DIDN'T GIVE HIM. AND THE VAST MAJORITY, 97% OF THE MAJORITY VOTED FOR EVERY APPROPRIATION BILL THAT CAME THROUGH THIS PLACE. SO WHEN WE POINT TO THE PEOPLE, WHERE WE NEED TO BE POINTING IS TO US. THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE MAJORITY PARTY VOTED AGAINST EVERY AMENDMENT, OFFERED OVER $10 BILLION PER APPROPRIATION CYCLE ON THE BILLS. THE VAST MAJORITY VOTED AGAINST CUT. SO I THINK IT'S PROBABLY, IF WE'RE GOING TO POINT TO A POX ON A HOUSE, IT OUGHT TO COME RIGHT HERE. THE LACK THAT -- THE LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY, WHERE WE DEMONSTRATE WITH OUR ACTIONS EVERY DAY THAT WE'RE MUCH MORE INTERESTED IN THE NEXT ELECTION THAN WE ARE THE NEXT GENERATION. WE HEARD SENATOR ALEXANDER TALKING TODAY ABOUT IT'S NOT OUR MONEY, IT'S TAXPAYERS' MONEY. AND THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY IT BACK. NOBODY ALIVE IN THIS ROOM TODAY WILL PAY BACK ANY OF THIS MONEY. THEIR CHILDREN ANDAND THEIR GRANDCHILDREN WILL PAY BACK THIS MONEY. THIS BILL IS DOING EXACTLY THE SAME THING THAT WE DID TO GET INTO THIS MESS. WE'RE SPENDING, WE'RE ABOUT TO SPEND $1 TRILLION OF MONEY WE DON'T HAVE FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE THINGS IN THIS BILL THAT WE DON'T NEED. AND LET ME JUST EXPLAIN TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A LITTLE BIT OF SENATE. THERE'S ABOUT $300 BILLION WORTH OF SPENDING ON THE BILL WE HAVE ON THE FLOOR THAT HAS BEEN PUT IN THERE SO WE WON'T HAVE TO MAKE HARD CHOICES WHEN IT COMES TO THE APPROPRIATIONS BILLS THAT COME THROUGH THIS BODY THIS YEAR. SO WE TAKE $300 BILLION THAT WE KNOW SHOULD BE IN THE REGULAR APPROPRIATIONS BILLS AND PUT IT IN THIS BILL SO WE DON'T HAVE TO USE REGULAR ORDER. THAT GIVES US MORE ROOM TO DO MORE GOVERNMENT SPENDING, MORE INTERFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF AMERICANS WITHOUT BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR IT. SO WHEN I SAY "$300 BILLION," THE REAL COST IS $600 BILLION. YOU KNOW, IT STRIKES ME THAT IF YOU WERE PROBABLY GOING TO ASK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HOW BEST TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY AND YOU ARE GOING TO SPEND $1 TRILLION TO DO IT, THE BEST, THE SMARTEST ALLOCATION OF THOSE RESOURCES WOULD GIVE THE MONEY BACK TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. IN OUR WISDOM WE THINK WE KNOW BETTER THAN THEY DO HOW TO SPEND MONEY AND THE THING THAT MADE THIS THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD IS THIS WONDERFUL MARKET CAPITALISM THAT SAID PEOPLE WILL SERVE THEIR OWN BEST INTERESTS. AND WE HAVE THE VERY EGO TO THINK THAT WE CAN DECIDE FOR THEM. I THINK WE NEED SOME STIMULUS. I DON'T DISAGREE WITH THAT. BUT I DON'T THINK WE NEED TO DO IT RIGHT NOW. I THINK WE NEED TO FIX THE MORTGAGE MARKET AND THE HOUSING MARKET AND THE CREDIT MARKET BEFORE WE TOUCH ANY KIND OF STIMULUS. AND IF WE DO A STIMULUS THE BEST STIMULUS WE COULD DO WOULD BE TO GIVE THE MONEY BACK TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND LET THEM ALLOCATE IT IN WAYS THEY KNOW ARE BEST FOR THEM INDIVIDUALLY. THAT PROPOSAL WAS REJECTED OUT OF HAND. WHY WOULD THAT BE REJECTED? BECAUSE WE HAVE A FALSE SENSE THAT WASHINGTON KNOWS BETTER. I WOULD TELL YOU THE PREDICAMENT THAT WE'RE IN PROVES THAT WE DON'T. WE DON'T KNOW BETTER. WE HAVEN'T GOT A CLUE. AND WHEN WE BRING A $900 BILLION SPENDING BILL TO THE FLOOR AND WE'VE ACCEPTED ONE AMENDMENT TO CUT $246 MILLION OUT OF IT, WE HAVE HAD VOTES BOTH VOICE VOTES AND RECORDED VOTES ON LESS THAN 20 AMENDMENTS, AND WE'RE TOLD BY THE MAJORITY LEADER THAT WE HAVE TO FINISH UP SO WE CAN GET TO CONFERENCE -- THIS BILL OUGHT TO HAVE 1,000 AMENDMENTS ON IT IF WE'RE TRULY GOING TO DO THE WORK OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE OUGHT TO DEBATE THIS BILL LINE BY LINE. I WILL NOT AGREE TO ANY UNANIMOUS CONSENT UNTIL THE NEXT 15 AMENDMENTS THAT I'VE GOT HAVE A SCHEDULED TIME TO BE BROUGHT UP SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN HEAR OF ALL THE STINKY STUFF THAT'S IN THIS BILL. THE BIGGEST EARMARK IN HISTORY IS IN THIS BILL: $2 BILLION. THERE ARE TONS OF THINGS THAT NEED TO COME OUT OF THIS BILL AND AS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE LEARNED WHAT'S IN THIS BILL THEY'RE COMMONSENSE WHICH IS ON A ONE FOR ONE BASIS, 1,000 MORE COMMONSENSE THAN US AS SENATORS AND THAT IS WHY PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY ROUTINELY ARE REJECTING THIS BILL NOW. YOU CAN DO ALL THE PROMOTION OF IT, YOU CAN USE ALL THE WWW.MOVEON.ORG.COM, THIS BILL IS A SKUNK AND IS THE BIGGEST GENERATIONAL THEFT BILL EVER COMING THROUGH THIS BODY. WE HAVE A STANDARD OF LIVING IN THIS COUNTRY 30% GREATER THAN ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD AND IT WILL GUARANTEE YOUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN WILL LOSE EVERY BIT OF THAT EDGE. EVERY BIT OF IT. SO, HOW DID WE GET HERE? WE GOT HERE BY US THINKING WE KNEW BETTER, BY US IGNORING THE VERY PRINCIPLES THAT CREATED THIS GREAT COUNTRY AND THEN WE REFUSED TO ADMIT IT. WE CREATED FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC. AND THEN WE BLAME AN ADMINISTRATION WHEN WE TIED THEIR HANDS TO FIX IT AND WE SAY IT'S AN ADMINISTRATION'S FAULT WHEN IT IS OUR FAULT. WE TRIED TO SOCIALIZE THE RISK SO EVERYBODY IN THIS COUNTRY, EVEN IF THEY COULD NOT AFFORD IT, COULD HAVE A HOME. AND NOW WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE GOING TO CHARGE OUR GRANDCHILDREN TO GET US OUT OF IT. WHEN WE WERE IN BUSINESS THAT WE NEVER HAD ANY BUSINESS -- IF YOU LOOK AT THE ENUMERATED POWERS OF THE CONSTITUTION GIVE US NO AUTHORITY TO DO WHAT WE HAVE DONE SO WHEN YOU ABANDON THE PRINCIPLES WE WERE FOUNDED ON WE GET IN TREMENDOUSLY TALL, DEEP WEEDS. AND THAT'S WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES TODAY. THE IDEA THAT WE CAN BORROW MORE MONEY THAN WE DON'T HAVE TO SPEND ON MORE THINGS THAT WE DON'T NEED AND IGNORE THE WISDOM OF THE AVERAGE AMERICAN CITIZEN ON HOW BEST TO SPEND THEIR MONEY IS INSANE AND YET WE'VE SPENT 2 1/2 DAYS -- THAT'S ALL WE HAVE SPENT SO FAR ON A $1 TRILLION BILL, 2 1/2 DAYS AND HAD 20 VOTES AND NOW WE ARE TOLD BY THE MAJORITY LEADER WE NEED TO HURRY UP. HURRY UP IS WHAT'S GOT US IN THIS TROUBLE. WE NEED A METHODICAL EXPLANATION TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR EVERY LINE THAT IS TO THIS BILL. EVERY LINE ITEM. WE NEED AN EXPLANATION OF WHY WE'RE PUTTING IN MEDICAID FUNDS TO BAIL OUT THE STATES AT TWICE THE LEVEL OF WHAT THE GOVERNORS ACTUALLY ASK ASK FOR. WHY WOULD WE DO THAT? BECAUSE WE KNOW BETTER? IN OUR ULTIMATE WISDOM WE KNOW BETTER. AND WHILE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE STATES, THE WORST THING WE WELFARE DO IS BAIL OUT THE -- THE WORST THING WE CAN DO IS BAIL OUT THE STATES BECAUSE WE WILL BE SAYING YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. THAT IS WHAT WE WILL TELL THEM SO IN THE FUTURE THEY WILL NOT PUT IN A RAINY DAY FUND LIKE OKLAHOMA HAS, AND PLAN FOR THE FUTURE AND CONTROL THEIR SPENDING INCREASES. NO, THEY'LL SAY, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL COME BAIL US OUT. I AM ADAMANTLY OPPOSED TO US TRANSFERRING THE ABSOLUTELY ECONOMIC CHAOS THAT WE HAVE CREATED TO THE STATES. THE STATES NEED TO MAKE HARD CHOICES. WE NEED TO DO WHAT WE NEED TO DO WHICH IS FIX HOUSING, FIX MORTGAGES, FIX THE BANKING SYSTEMS AND WHEN WE'VE DONE THAT, WHICH WILL FIX ALL THESE OTHER PROBLEMS, THEN COME WITH A REAL STIMULUS THAT ALLOWS AMERICAN PEOPLE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, MUCH LIKE WHAT THE MAJORITY OF THE MCCAIN BILL DOES, TO DECIDE HOW THEY WILL SPEND THE MONEY. SINCE WE'RE SO DOWN ON THE BUSINESS SECTOR IN THIS COUNTRY THAT CREATES ALL THE JOBS -- SMALL BUSINESS AND LARGE BUSINESS ALIKE -- WHY DON'T WE THINK ABOUT MAYBE HAVING A COMPETITIVE TAX ON OUR CORPORATION THAT IS COMPETITIVE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD. NO, WHAT DO WE DO? WE HAVE ONE THAT IS 10% HIGHER THAN ANYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD. YET IT IS BUSINESS' FAULT THAT WE'RE IN THIS MESS. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. WE'RE IN THIS MESS BECAUSE CONGRESS PUT US IN THIS MESS. NOT ANY PRESIDENT. NOT BILL CLINTON. NOT GEORGE BUSH. AND CERTAINLY NOT BRAWB. AND CERTAINLY NOT PRESIDENT OBAMA. SO LET'S NECESSARY UP: WE ARE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE'RE DOING. $1 TRILLION BILL WAS COBBLED TOGETHER IN FOUR WEEKS WITH EARMARKS LIKE CRAZY THROUGH IT FOR EVERY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP THAT'S OUT THERE SO WE CAN LOOK GOOD TO CERTAIN OF OUR BUDDIES AND ESPECIALLY THE ONES THAT GIVE US CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. THAT'S WHAT DESCRIBES THIS BILL. NOT THE ETHICAL, METHODICAL, HOW DO WE FIX THE PROBLEM WE HAVE? YOU CANNOT FIX A PROBLEM UNTIL YOU KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. AND THE PROBLEM IS US. WE CREATED THIS MESS. AND OUR ACTIONS CREATED THIS MESS. THE PRESIDENT JUST SIGNED, JUST SIGNED THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH PROGRAM. NOT OPPOSED TO A CHILDREN'S HEALTH PROGRAM. I'M NOT OPPOSED TO HELPING CHILDREN GET THE HEALTH CARE THEY NEED. BUT THIS BODY REJECTED A WAY THAT WHO IS NOT INCREASED INCREASES AND WOULD HAVE COVERED EVERY CHILD BUT NO WE'RE SMARTER THAN THAT BECAUSE WE WANT TO TELL PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE GOING TO GET THEIR HEALTH CARE AND THEN WELFARE WANT AFFORD IT WE WILL RASH IT LIKE EVERY OTHER COUNTRY THAT HAS A CENTRALIZED CONTROL OVER THEIR HEALTH CARE AND THEN WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR CANCER CURE RATES WHICH ARE 50% HIGHER THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD IF THEY WILL BE THE SAME OF THE THEY WILL GO DOWN. AND NOW WE HAVE COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS THAT WE WANT TO PUT THROUGH THAT SAYS THE GOVERNMENT -- SOME BAWVMENT BUREAUCRAT WILL TELL DOCTORS HOW TO PRACTICE MEDICINE. THAT'S IN THIS, TOO. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE THEM TELL US HOW TO PRACTICE MEDICINE. WE JUST FORGOT ONE THING ON THE WAY TO THE BARN. AND THAT IS THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE IS 40% ART AND 60% SCIENCE AND EVERYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHERE THEY HAVE A CENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THEY HAVE THROWN THE ART OF MEDICINE OUT. WHICH TENDS TO DEAL WITH A WHOLE PERSON AND HOW THAT INTERACTS WITH THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF THAT PERSON. TO ME IT IS DEEPLY DISAIMPORTANTING THAT WE FIND OURSELVES WHERE WE ARE TODAY -- DISAPPOINTING THAT WE FIND OURSELVES WHERE WE ARE TODAY. I DON'T THINK POINTING FINGERS ANYWHERE EXCEPT BACK AT OURSELVES, ACCOMPLISHES ANYTHING YET I HAVE HEARD THREE OR FOUR TIMES THIS MORNING ON THE FLOOR. IT'S SOMEBODY ELSE'S FAULT. NO, IT'S NOT. IT'S OUR FAULT. AND THE FIRST THING, TO GET HEALTHY AS ADDICTS IS TO ADMIT WE HAVE A PROBLEM. WE NEED TO BE IN A TEN STEP PROBLEM. THAT'S WHAT WE NEED. A TEN STEP PROGRAM THAT WILL PUT US BACK ON THE BOARD TO WHERE OUR FOUNDING FATHERS THOUGHT WE OUGHT TO BE AND WHERE THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WANTS US TO BE. WE ARE ADDICTED TO THE EGOS OF TRYING TO RUN OTHER PEOPLE'S LIVES. WE'RE ADDICTING TO THE EGO OF SPENDING MONEY THINKING WE KNOW BEST HOW TO SPEND IT. WE'RE ADDICTED TO THE EGO WHEN SOMEBODY ELSE HAS PROBLEMS WE CAN ALWAYS FIX IT. WE CAN'T ALWAYS FIX IT. WE CAN'T FIX ALL THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE IN FRONT OF US TODAY. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, THROUGH THEIR OWN INGENUITY AND SACRIFICE HAVE TO MAKE SOME HARD CHOICES. AND WHEN WE DON'T MAKE HARD CHOICES, WE'RE DOUBLY GUILTY BECAUSE WHAT WE HAVE DONE IS MAKE THE TWISTS HARDER FOR THEM THAT THEY WILL HAVE TO MAKE. MY PRAYER -- AND IT'S A PRAYER -- IS THAT WE WOULD AS A BODY DROP THE WORD "DEMOCRAT-REPUBLICAN." DROP THE WORD "CONSERVATIVE-LIBERAL," AND THAT OUR GOAL WOULD BE: WHAT IS IN THE MOST EFFICIENT LONG-TERM BEST INTEREST OF THOSE OF US THAT ARE HERE TODAY AND THOSE THAT ARE COMING? YOU KNOW, I RAN A CAMPAIGN TO BECOME SENATOR. AND THE FOCUS OF MY CAMPAIGN, UNFORTUNATELY, WAS, WE WERE ABOUT TO FIND OURSELVES WHERE WE ARE TODAY. I'M SO SORRY I WAS RIGHT. I AM SO SORRY I WAS RIGHT. BUT IT DOESN'T TAKE A LOT OF VISION TO SEE WHERE WE WERE GOING. NOBODY HAS VOTED AGAINST PRESIDENT BUSH AND NOBODY HAS VOTED AGAINST MORE APPROPRIATIONS BILLS THAN ME. IT DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH PART POLITICS. IT HAD EVERYTHING TO DO WITH THE FUTURE. AND YET WE FIND OURSELVES BOGS DOWN IN DEBATE. I WANT TO ADD ONE OTHER THING. ONE OF THE REASONS WE HAVE TO GET OVER HERE, MEMBERS HAVE TO TAKE HOTELS THIS WEEK. HOW MANY PEOPLE IN AMERICA THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT REASON FOR US TO HURRY UP AND FINISH THIS BILL? THERE'S NO REASON FOR US TO HURRY UP, NUMBER ONE. THERE'S NO REASON FOR US NOT TO LOOK AT EVERY AREA OF THIS BILL AND MAKE SURE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT IT. THERE'S NO REASON FOR US NOT TO DO WHAT THE AVERAGE MAN WOULD DO. AND THAT IS, MAKE PRIORITIES. YOU KNOW, THE OTHER PROBLEM WITH THIS BILL WHICH IS EXTREMELY DISAPINTSING -- AND I KNOW IT HAS TO BE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA; HE CAMPAIGNED ON A LINE BY LINE LOOK AT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND GET RID OF SOME OF THE $300 BILLION EVERY YEAR IN WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE. THAT WAS ONE OF HIS CAMPAIGNS. A CAMPAIGN PROMISE WAS TO DO COMPETITIVE BIDDING ON EVERY CONTRACT OVER $25,000. THERE'S NOT ONE MANDATE IN THIS BILL TO FORCE COMPETITIVE BIDDING. THAT'S ONE OF THE AMENDMENTS THAT I WANT TO OFFER. IF WE'RE GOING TO PASS THIS STINKY BILL, AT LEAST IF WE WASTE $1 TRILLION, WE'LL WASTE IT EFFICIENTLY. I LOOK AT MY GRANDKIDS, LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE IN THIS COUNTRY, AND WE WISH FOR THE BEST FOR OUR GRANDCHILDREN. AND I'VE GOT TO TELL YOU THAT THIS BODY HAS PUT THE FIRST SHACKLE ALREADY ON THEIR FUTURE. AND WHEN WE PASS THIS BILL, WE'RE GOING TO PUT THAT LOCK AROUND THEIR OTHER LEG AND WE'RE GOING TO PUT A PADLOCK ON IT, WE'RE GOING TO THROW AWAY THE KEY, AND WE'RE GOING TO HOBBLE THEM AWAY FROM THE AMERICAN DREAM. WE'RE GOING TO TAKE IT AWAY. WE'RE GOING TO -- THE VERY BRIGHT LIGHT SHINING ON A HILL, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE AWAY. AMERICA, IF YOU'RE LISTENING, DON'T LET THIS BODY DO WHAT IT'S ABOUT TO DO. IT WILL RUIN YOUR CHILDREN'S FUTURE IN THE NAME OF US KNOWING BEST RATHER THAN YOU KNOWING BEST. I YIELD BACK THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: WILL THE SENATOR YIELD?

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  • 01:01:36 PM

    MR. COBURN

    TO YIELD.

  • 01:01:42 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    RELEASE THIS MORNING AT 11:30 THAT THE CHAIRWOMAN OF THE CONGRESSIONAL…

    RELEASE THIS MORNING AT 11:30 THAT THE CHAIRWOMAN OF THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL FOR THE BAILOUT FUNDS TOLD THE SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE THAT TREASURY IN 2008 PAID $254 BILLION AND RECEIVED ASSETS WORTH ABOUT $176 BILLION. I THINK EVERYBODY KNOWS WE PASSED TARP IN A BIG HURRY. JUST AS THIS LEGISLATION IS NOT GOING TO THE HEARINGS AND -- THROUGH THE HEARINGS AND THE NORMAL PROCESS. SO, APPARENTLY ACCORDING TO THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT PANEL FOR BAILOUT FUNDS THAT IN 2008 OUR TREASURY PAID $254 BILL AND RECEIVED ASSETS WORTH $176 BILLION. IT SEEMS TO ME THAT'S ABOUT $30-SOME BILLION THAT THE TAXPAYERS LOST.

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  • 01:02:44 PM

    MR. COBURN

    BILLION. -- $80 BILLION.

  • 01:02:54 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    BILLION. -- $80 BILLION.

  • 01:02:57 PM

    MR. COBURN

    OF THE SENATORS WHO VOTED FOR THE TARP FUND. IT WAS TO ADDRESS THE TOXIC…

    OF THE SENATORS WHO VOTED FOR THE TARP FUND. IT WAS TO ADDRESS THE TOXIC ASSETS. I GAVE A SPEECH ON THE FLOOR TWO NIGHTS AGO USING THE COROLLARY OF TREATING SYMPTOMS VERSUS TREATING DISEASE. THIS BILL TREATS SYMPTOMS. IT DOES NOT TREAT DISEASE. I HAVE SEVERAL COLLEAGUES WAITING TO TALK. WITH THAT, I WILL YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 01:03:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 01:03:30 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I HAVE TWO COLLEAGUES WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK. I DON'T KNOW WHO WILL GO…

    I HAVE TWO COLLEAGUES WHO WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK. I DON'T KNOW WHO WILL GO FIRST. I HOPE THEY WILL AGREE. AND I WILL TALK FOR TWO MINUTES.

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  • 01:03:47 PM

    MR. COBURN

    NOT A REQUEST THAT SENATOR SCHUMER, SENATOR INHOFE, AND THEN SOMEBODY FROM…

    NOT A REQUEST THAT SENATOR SCHUMER, SENATOR INHOFE, AND THEN SOMEBODY FROM THE JUROR SIDE AND THEN SENATOR WICKER AND THEN SOMEBODY FROM THE MAJORITY SIDE AND THEN SENATOR HATCH?

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  • 01:03:58 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THANK -- THE ORDER.

  • 01:04:07 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THANK YOU.

  • 01:04:08 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THANK YOU.

  • 01:04:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I WILL YIELD TO THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS FOR A QUESTION.

  • 01:04:13 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    YIELD TO THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS FOR A QUESTION.

  • 01:04:16 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM NEW YORK. I'D LIKE TO ENGAGE HIM.…

    I WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM NEW YORK. I'D LIKE TO ENGAGE HIM. I LISTENED TO SENATOR COBURN, MY FRIEND, A CONSERVATIVE, A REPUBLICAN. THERE ARE PERHAPS SOME ELEMENTS OF HISTORY THAT HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN. I KNOW THAT WE DON'T WANT TO DWELL ON THE PAST. BUT THOSE WHO DON'T LEARN FROM THE PAST ARE USUALLY DESTINED TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST. WHEN PRESIDENT CLINTON LEFT OFFICE, HE LEFT PRESIDENT BUSH A SURPLUS AND HE LEFT HIM WITH A NATIONAL DEBT ACCUMULATED SINCE THE TIME OF GEORGE WASHINGTON OF OF $5 TRILLION. EIGHT YEARS LATER WHEN PRESIDENT BUSH LEFT OFFICE, HE LEFT PRESIDENT OBAMA, WHO HAS BEEN PRESIDENT FOR TWO WEEKS AND TWO DAYS, HE LEFT HIM WITH THE BIGGEST DEFICIT IN RECENT MEMORY, $1 TRILLION AND A NATIONAL DEBT THAT HAD DOUBLED UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK IF HE IS FAMILIAR WITH THE FACT THAT THE DEBT INCURRED UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION COMES DOWN TO TO $17,000 FOR EVERY MAN, WOMAN, AND CHILD IN AMERICA FOR THAT EIGHT-YEAR PERIOD IN THAT ADMINISTRATION. I WOULD ASK THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK IF HE'S FAMILIAR WITH THAT.

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  • 01:05:39 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I WOULD THANK MY COLLEAGUE FOR THE QUESTION. I AM INDEED FAMILIAR WITH…

    I WOULD THANK MY COLLEAGUE FOR THE QUESTION. I AM INDEED FAMILIAR WITH THAT. IT SORT OF ASTOUNDS ME HOW THERE IS SORT OF ROLE REVERSAL. IN THE PAST THE REPUBLICAN PARTY HAS BEEN KNOWN AS THE FISCALLY YOU A STEER PARTY AND WE HAVE BEEN ACCUSED TAX AND SPEND. WHEN BILL CLINTON LEFT OFFICE, THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT SURPLUS, I BELIEVE CLOSE TO $300 BILLION A YEAR. BY THE TIME THAT GEORGE BUSH TOOK OVER, HE HE RUINED THAT SURPLUS RATHER QUICKLY AND WE NOW HAVE THE DEEP DEFICIT THAT HE HAS LEFT PRESIDENT OBAMA AND PRESIDENT OBAMA, TO HIS CREDIT, HAS AGREED TO DEAL WITH THAT DEFICIT AS SOON AS WE GET OUT OF THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS. I WOULD BE HAPPY TO YIELD TO MY COLLEAGUE FOR A SECOND QUESTION.

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  • 01:06:24 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS RECOVER ROY AND -- RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT BILL…

    COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS RECOVER ROY AND -- RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT BILL WHICH IS CURRENTLY AT $900 BILLION OVER A SEVERAL-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME. HAVEN'T WE RECENTLY BEEN BRIEFED THAT WE EXPECT IN THE NEXT CALENDAR YEAR $1 MILLION LESS IN SPENDING BY THE AMERICAN ECONOMY AND THE AMOUNT THAT WE'RE TRYING TO PUT BACK INTO THAT ECONOMY ACCOUNTS FOR LESS THAN HALF OF WHAT WE KNOW IS LYING AHEAD. SO IF WE'RE GOING 0 IN-- GOING TO INVIGORATE THIS ECONOMY AND GIVE BUSINESSES AND STRUGGLING FAMILIES A CHANCE, $900 BILLION, THOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE A HUGE AMOUNT ON ITS FACE IN COMPARISON TO THE ECONOMIC CRISIS WE FACE IS AT LEAST PROPORTION MALTO THE CAL -- PROPORTIONAL TO THE CHALLENGE.

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  • 01:07:11 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I THINK MY COLLEAGUE IS RIGHT. $2 BILLION SHORTFALL IN THE ECONOMY. THAT…

    I THINK MY COLLEAGUE IS RIGHT. $2 BILLION SHORTFALL IN THE ECONOMY. THAT IS NOT JUST A NUMBER. IT IS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE OUT OF WORK. IT IS TENS OF MILLIONS IF NOT HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF FAMILIES WHOSE PAYCHECKS ARE SQUEEZED. IT IS PEOPLE NOT ABLE TO GO TO COLLEGE THAT DESERVE TO GO TO COLLEGE. THAT IS SMALL BUSINESSES GOING UNDER. THIS IS SERIOUS STUFF. I WANT TO SAY TO MY COLLEAGUES, YOU KNOW, THERE IS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT LITTLE ITEMS IN THE BILL THAT ARE CALLED PORK. TAKE THEM OUT. BUT DON'T USE IT AS AN EXCUSE NOT TO VOTE FOR THIS BILL. I DARE SAY IF WE TOOK EVERY SINGLE 1 OF THOSE LITTLE RIGHT -- ONE OF THOSE LITTLE ITEMS, THE MALL, THE S.T.D. AND N.E.A., WE WOULDN'T GET MANY MORE VOTES. IT'S AN EXCUSE, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. NOTHING MORE TO MANY, NOT TO MOST. WE OUGHT NOT TO FORGET THAT. I WOULD ASK, IF I COULD, UNANIMOUS CONSENT, I WAS GOING TO SPEAK FOR 15 OR 20 MINUTES, BUT MY COLLEAGUE FROM WEST VIRGINIA HAS BEEN WAITING. WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR ME IT YIELD FIVE MINUTES TO HIM FIVE MINUTES AND BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT RETURN TO ME OR IS THAT NOT APPROPRIATE?

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  • 01:08:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? OBJECTION IS HEARD.

  • 01:08:24 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I WILL SPEAK MYSELF EVEN THOUGH I'M PROBABLY -- NEITHER AS ARTICULATE NOR…

    I WILL SPEAK MYSELF EVEN THOUGH I'M PROBABLY -- NEITHER AS ARTICULATE NOR AS AS INTELLIGENT AS MY COLLEAGUE FROM WEST VIRGINIA MIGHT BE. I HAVE A FEW TOPICS I WOULD LIKE TO ADDRESS, MR. PRESIDENT. THE FIRST TOPIC IS THIS: YESTERDAY THE PRESIDENT CORRECTLY PUTS SOME LIMITS ON EXCESSIVE COMPENSATION PAYMENTS BEING PAID OUT BY FINANCIAL FIRMS THAT HAVE RECEIVED TAXPAYER FUNDS. AND TO ME IT'S PLAINLY UNACCEPTABLE AT A TIME WHEN THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS BEING ASKED TO SPEND HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BAIL OUT MAJOR INSTITUTIONS AND TRILLIONS MORE TO STABLIZE THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM, THAT THESE INSTITUTIONS WOULD TURN AROUND AND REWARD THE VERY SAME EXECUTIVES THAT MANY OF WHOM CREATED THE CURRENT CRISIS. LET ME TELL YOU HOW THE AVERAGE AMERICAN FEELS AND WHY THIS ISSUE GENERATES SUCH FERVOR. VERY SIMPLY THE AVERAGE AMERICAN GOES TO. WORKS ON THE FACTORY LINE OR SITS AT HIS OR HER DESK AND DOES NOTHING WRONG AND ALL OF A SUDDEN AND MIGHT BE LAID 0. MIGHT HAVE THEIR PAYCHECK -- LAID OFF. MIGHT THAT I HAVE PAYCHECK SQUEEZED. THEY SAY WE DID NOTHING WRONG AND WE'RE SUFFERING. WHERE IS THE SHARED SACRIFICE? SOME TOP EXECUTIVES ARE CONTINUED TO BE PAID RECORD AMOUNTS OF MONEY. NOTHING BOTHERS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MORE THAN WHEN SOMEONE DOES SOMETHING WRONG AND DOESN'T HAVE TO SUFFER FOR THAT WHEN THEY'RE DOING NOTHING WRONG AND DO HAVE TO SUFFER. SO THERE'S REAL ANGER OUT THERE. AND THE PEOPLE IN THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS OUGHT TO UNDERSTAND THAT. I MEAN, SOME OF THE THINGS, THEY'RE JUNKETS, THE JET PLANES, SHOWS THE TIN EAR. SO PRESIDENT OBAMA WHEN HE DID WHAT HE DID YESTERDAY DID THE RIGHT THING. SOME PEOPLE SAY THAT'S GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE. HELLO. WHAT ABOUT GIVING THESE INSTITUTIONS, THAT'S GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE TOO. THE PRESIDENT IS NOT SAYING THERE SHOULD BE LIMITS ON COMPENSATION FOR THOSE WHO DON'T TAKE THE GOVERNMENT FUNDS. HE'S SIMPLY SAYING IF YOU'RE GOING TO TAKE THE GOVERNMENT FUNDS, USE THEM TO GET THE ECONOMY GOING AGAIN BY PUMPING MONEY INTO THE ECONOMY, BY LENDING SMALL BUSINESSES, INDIVIDUALS, AND OTHERS RATHER THAN FOR JETS OR EXCESSIVE SALARY. AND SO I SALUTE THE PRESIDENT. I SUPPORT WHAT HE DID. AND THINK THAT, AGAIN, THE PEOPLE IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR HAVE TO GET WITH IT. THEY'VE MADE BIG MISTAKES. -- BIG MISTAKES, THE PEOPLE AT THE TOP, AND EVERYONE IS HURT BY THOSE MISTAKES AND THE SACRIFICE SHOULD BE AT THE VERY LEAST SHARED. SECOND, I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING IN THIS BILL WHICH IS TUITION TAX CREDITS FOR COLLEGE FOR FAMILIES UP TO $160,000. NOW, THIS BILL, AND I WANT TO THANK CHAIRMAN BAUCUS, RANKING MEMBER GRASSLEY, PRESIDENT OBAMA, AND MANY OTHERS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WHO SUPPORTED THIS PROVISION. I WORKED LONG AND HARD TO MAKE COLLEGE AFFORDABLE, PARTICULARLY FOR MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES. YOU SAY WHY PARTICULARLY? NOT BECAUSE THEY DESERVE IT MORE THAN OTHERS. BUT IF YOU'RE POOR, THE GOVERNMENT WILL GIVE YOU HELP. I SUPPORT THAT. I WOULD BE AGAINST CUTTING PELL GRANTS IN THE PACKAGE. BUT THE FAMILIES IN NEW YORK, AND REMEMBER NEW YORK SALARIES DOWNSTATE ARE HIGH. THE FAMILY IN NEW YORK WHO IS MAKING $60,000 OR $70,000, WHEN THEY ARE HIT WITH A $20,000 TUITION BILL, THEY'RE LIKE POOR BECAUSE THEY'RE PAYING THE MORTGAGE, THEY'RE PAYING THE TAXES AND ALL THE OTHER EXPENSES AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THIS BILL HITS. AND DURING THIS RECESSION, SEVERE -- THE MOST SEVERE RECESSION WE'VE HAD SINCE THE DEPRESSION, THERE ARE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF COLLEGE STUDENTS WHO DESERVE TO STAY IN COLLEGE. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS MORE WHO DESERVE TO GET INTO COLLEGE WHO WILL NOT GO BECAUSE THEIR FAMILIES DON'T HAVE THE MONEY. AND WHEN THEY DON'T GO TO COLLEGE OR WHEN THEY DROP OUT OF COLLEGE OR DON'T GO TO THE COLLEGE THAT BEST SUITS THEM BECAUSE OF FINANCIAL REASONS, NOT BECAUSE OF ACADEMIC REASONS, THEY LOSE, THEIR FAMILY LOSES, BUT AMERICA LOSES AS WELL. AND THAT'S WHY I WORKED SO HARD TO GET THIS PROVISION IN. IT'S A $2,500 TAX CREDIT, PARTIALLY REFUNDABLE. SO IT HELPS PEOPLE MAKING $40,000 AND IT HELPS PEOPLE MAKING $80,000, AS IT SHOULD. AND IT WILL HELP KEEP OUR HUMAN CAPITAL. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT, I THINK PRESIDENT OBAMA SHOWED WISDOM IN MAKING SURE THAT THERE WAS A POWER GRID THAT IS MORE EFFICIENT. THAT WILL HELP US IN THE FUTURE. WISDOM IN MAKING SURE OUR HEALTH CARE HAS I.T. THAT WILL HELP US IN THE FUTURE. AND WHEN YOU READ THE POLLS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ONCE AGAIN SHOWING THEIR WISDOM SAY, YOU KNOW, WE'D LIKE TO HAVE LONGER-TERM PROJECTS IN HERE. BECAUSE GOD WILLING WHEN WE GET OUT OF THE RECESSION, WE'D LIKE TO HAVE SOMETHING TO SHOW FOR IT, WHETHER IT IS TRADITIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE, ROADS, MASS TRANSIT, OR NEW INFRASTRUCTURE, POWER GRID. BUT THERE IS HUMAN CAPITAL AS WELL. IF SOMEONE DROPS OUT OF COLLEGE BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD IT, DOESN'T GO, AND STATISTICS SHOW THAT THEY OFTEN NEVER GO BACK, WE LOSE. -- WE LOSE AS A COUNTRY. SO HUMAN CAPITAL, PRESERVING THAT DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES IS IMPORTANT. AGAIN, THIS PROPOSAL HAS BROAD BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. IT IS NOT TERRIBLY EXPENSIVE IN THE SCHEME OF AN $800 BILLION OR $900 BILLION PACKAGE, AND I HOPE WE MOVE FORWARD WITH IT. FINALLY, MR. PRESIDENT, THE LAST THING I WOULD LIKE TO TALK ABOUT IS TO MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE. I AM UTTERLY AMAZED AT THE LACK OF COOPERATION THAT WE'RE GETTING FROM SO MANY. THE LACK OF REACHING OUT AND TRYING TO MEET US PART OF THE WAY. THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE'RE IN THE MOST SEVERE RECESSION SINCE THE DEPRESSION. AND THE GREAT WORRY IS THIS, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT WE GO INTO WHAT THE ECONOMIST WOS CALL A DE -- WHAT THE ECONOMISTS CALL A DEFLATION ORDINARY SPIRAL. IT MEANS THAT THE PRICES GO DOWNWARD AND BUSINESSES PUT OFF ANY EXPENDITURES BECAUSE THEY THINK THE PRICE IS GOING TO GET LOWER AND LOWER. THE -- THE DEPRESSION WAS A DEFLATIONNARY SPIRAL. JAPAN'S 10 YEARS OF STAGNATION WAS A DEFLATIONARY SPIRAL. LESS SEVERE THAN THE DEPRESSION, BUT LESS NONETHELESS. THE ECONOMISTS DO NOT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH THE DEFLATIONARY SPIRAL. IF WE GET INTO THERE, WHICH IS NOT LIKELY, BUT POSSIBLE, WE DON'T KNOW HOW TO GET OUT. SO WISE, SOUND ECONOMIC POLICY WOULD HAVE US MAKE SURE THIS PACKAGE IS STRONG AND GETS MONEY INTO THE ECONOMY IMMEDIATELY. THE KINDS OF TAX CUTS PROPOSED BY MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE DON'T DO THAT BY THE ADMINISTRATION NOT OF CHUCK SCHUMER, BUT OF CONSERVATIVE ECONOMISTS LIKE MARTIN FELDSTEIN. IT TAKES LONGER FOR A TAX CUT TO GET INTO THE ECONOMY AND IT'S PARTICULARLY DURING DIFFICULT TIMES PEOPLE SAVE A LOT OF THE MONEY. SO I'M NOT SAYING WE SHOULD HAVE NO TAX CUTS. 36% OF THIS PACKAGE IS TAX CUT. AND YET WE HEAR FROM OUR COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE IT'S NOT ENOUGH. A, IT WORKS LESS WELL THAN THE SPENDING. B, YOU NEED A MIX. AND, C, YES, WE DID WIN THE ELECTION AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE OVERWHELMINGLY FOR THIS. AND, FRANKLY, I HAD EXPECTED GIVEN SENATOR REID SAYS WE'RE ALLOWED TO HAVE AMENDMENTS AND GIVEN THAT HE'S AGREED WITH SENATOR McCONNELL THAT WE SHOULD HAVE AN OLD-FASHIONED CONFERENCE WHERE AMENDMENTS ARE OFFERED BY PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, THAT WE WOULD GET REAL SUPPORT AND COOPERATION. THIS BILL HAS GOTTEN MORE EXPENSIVE. THE TWO MOST EXPENSIVE AMENDMENTS WERE TAX CUTS PROPOSED BY REPUBLICANS -- SENATOR GRASSLEY ALONG WITH SENATOR MENENDEZ, BUT GRASSLEY WAS THE LEAD HERE PROPOSED ADDING THE A.M.T., $75 BILLION; SENATOR ISAKSON FROM GEORGIA, SOMETHING I SUPPORTED, ALTHOUGH I'D LIKE TO SEE IT NARROWED AND MORE FOCUSED, $19 BILLION. SO NOW IF YOU ADD THOSE IN, THE TAX CUTS ARE RISING AND RISING AND RISING IN TERMS OF THE PROPORTION HERE. AND STILL WE DON'T SEE COOPERATION FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLEMENT AISLE. WELL, I'D LIKE TO SAY TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, SIR, YOU HAVE BENT OVER BACKWARDS TO LISTEN TO SUGGESTIONS. WE HAVE TRIED AS WELL. BUT WE ARE NOT GETTING -- IT TAX TWO TO TANGO. BIPARTISANSHIP MEANS TWO PEOPLE TANGOING. IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD GET YOUR WAY ON EVERYTHING OR EVEN HALF. ONE-THIRD, 40%, THAT'S PRETTY GENEROUS. AND WHILE I BELIEVE THIS PACKAGE WILL PASS, BECAUSE I DON'T BELIEVE THE OTHER SIDE WILL WANT IT ON THEIR DOORSTEP THAT IT FAILED. THEY DON'T -- YOU DON'T HAVE THE LUXURY, MY COLLEAGUES -- MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES IN THE SENATE DON'T HAVE THE HOUSE COLLEAGUES OF VOTING "NO" AND THE BILL WOULD STILL PASS. I AM RUEFUL AND REGRETFUL THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN MORE REAL BIPARTISAN COOPERATION. AT A TIME WHEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT IT, AT A TIME WHEN WE NEED TO ACT QUICKLY, AND AT A TIME WHEN SPENDING PROGRAMS, AN ANATHEMA AS THEY MAY BE TO SOME ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, ARE THE BEST WAY TO GET THE ECONOMY GOING. AND I WILL SAY THIS -- AND I'M SPEAKING FOR MYSELF -- THE REAL TEST HERE, MR. PRESIDENT, IS NOT HOW MANY VOTES WE GET, AS LONG AS WE PASS IT. THAT WILL LONG BE FORGOTTENMENT THE REAL TEST IS WHETHER THIS -- THIS PROPOSAL PUTS AMERICANS TO WORK AND GETS YOU TELL OUT OF THE ECONOMIC MORASS WE'RE IN, AT LEAST BEGINS TO GET US OUT OF THE ECONOMIC MORASS WE'RE IN. SO I, FOR ONE, WOULD SAY DON'T DECIMATE THIS PACKAGE AND MAKE IT INEFFECTIVE SO WIN OVER ENOUGH PEOPLE SO WE HAVE 80 VOTES. THAT'S A DISTANT MEMORY, THAT 80 VOTES. I KNOW IT WAS A HOPE OF THE PRESIDENT, BUT CLEARLY IT'S A DISTANT MEMORY. TO GET NO VOTES IN THE HOUSE AND TO HAVE AS LITTLE SUPPORT THUS FAR AS WE'RE GETTING FROM THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE AISLE SHOWS HOW OUT OF TOUCH, FRANKLY, MY COLLEAGUES ARE WITH THE ECONOMY AND WITH THE NEW WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE. MR. PRESIDENT, I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE. I CAME TO CONGRESS IN 1980 WHEN RONALD REAGAN WAS ELECTED TO BE PRESIDENT. AND CRIME WAS RIPPING APART MY WORKING CLASS AND MIDDLE CLASS DISTRICT. AND I GOT ON THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AND THE CRIME CHEMICAL WEAPON -- ANDTHE CRIME COMMITTEE. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT I FOUND WHEN I GOT THERE? THAT THE ACLU, AN ORGANIZATION I GENERALLY SUPPORT, WAS WRITING THE CRIME LEGISLATION. AND THEY HAD A VIEW -- I RESPECTED IT, DISAGREED WITH IT, THOUGHT SERVICE TO WRONG FOR THE TIME -- THAT YOU SHOULD LEAN SO FAR OVER ON ONE SIDE THAT YOU MIGHT LET HUNDREDS OF GUILTY PEOPLE GO FREE LEST YOU CONVICT ONE INNOCENT PERSON. AND WHEN I SAW THAT HAPPEN, I KNEW WHY DEMOCRATS HAD LOST AND I SAID, THE REAGAN ERA IS GOING TO BE DOMINANT BECAUSE WE WERE OUT OF TOUCH. WELL, I'D SAY TO MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, YOU ARE JUST AS OUT OF TOUCH TODAY AS WE WERE THEN. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT ACTION. THEY DON'T WANT AN IDEOLOGICAL ADHERENCE TO NO GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS, NO GOVERNMENT SPENDING SPENDING, TAX CUTS, PARTICULARLY FOR THE WEALTHY, ONLY. THEY WANT HELP WITH HEALTH CARE. THEY WANT HELP WITH EDUCATION. THEY WANT HELP WITH ENERGY INDEPENDENCE. AND WHILE THEY CERTAINLY DON'T WANT A GOVERNMENT TO WASTE MONEY AND THEY DETERMINELY DON'T WANT THE LITTLE PORKY THINGS IN THIS BILL, THE FEW -- LESS THAN HALF OF 1% -- THAT SHOULD COME OUT, THEY WANT THE BASIS OF THIS BILL. SO I'D MAKE A FINAL PLEA TO MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE -- GET WITH IT AND HELP US. DON'T STICK TO YOUR NARROW IDEOLOGICAL PHILOSOPHY THAT SERVED YOU WELL IN 1981 BUT DOESN'T WORK FOR THE BEST -- THE GREATEST RECESSION WE'VE HAD SINCE 2000 -- SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. AND MAYBE IN THE COURSE OF TODAY, AS WE WORK THROUGH THE AMENDMENT PROCESS, FOR THE GOOD OF AMERICA AND, FRANKLY, FOR THE GOOD OF YOUR OWN PARTY, THAT OTHERS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE WILL COME OVER AND TRULY WORK WITH US TO GET A STRONG, GOOD PACKAGE THAT WILL CREATE JOBS AND GET US OUT OF THIS RECESSION. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 01:22:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 01:22:34 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 01:22:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 01:22:55 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    PRESIDENT, I WAS DISTRACTED. DID THE SENATOR MAKE A REQUEST?

  • 01:23:00 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    I WAS MAKING A REQUEST TO YIELD, SAY TWO, MINUTES TO MY FRIEND FROM…

    I WAS MAKING A REQUEST TO YIELD, SAY TWO, MINUTES TO MY FRIEND FROM MISSISSIPPI WITHOUT GIVING UP THE FLOOR.

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  • 01:23:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I OBJECT.

  • 01:23:09 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I OBJECT.

  • 01:23:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WOULD THE GENTLEMAN YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

  • 01:23:13 PM

    MR. WICKER

    YES, I'LL YIELD FOR A QUESTION.

  • 01:23:16 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    YIELD FOR A QUESTION.

  • 01:23:18 PM

    MR. WICKER

    THE GENTLEMAN. AND A SURE MY COLLEAGUES THAT I WILL NOT TAKE LONG TO MAKE…

    THE GENTLEMAN. AND A SURE MY COLLEAGUES THAT I WILL NOT TAKE LONG TO MAKE THIS QUESTION, AND I THEEPPED MY FRIEND FROM NEW YORK -- AND I HOPED THAT MY FRIEND FROM NEW YORK AND MY FRIEND FROM ILLINOIS, WHO ENGAGED IN THE COLLOQUY, WOULD NOT HAVE LEFT THE CHAMBER. MUCH WAS MADE IN A DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE TWO SENATORS ABOUT THE DEBT THAT PRESIDENT BUSH RAN UP DURING HIS ADMINISTRATION. I DON'T KNOW THAT IT SERVES THE DEBATE VERY WELL TO POINT FINGERS BUT WE MIGHT AS WELL SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE PAYING ATTENTION. CONGRESS SPENDS THE MONEY, WOULD MY FRIEND ACKNOWLEDGE? IT IS CONGRESS WHO SPENDS THE DISCRETIONARY FUNDS AROUND HERE AND IT IS CONGRESS WHO SETS THE AUTOPILOT -- THE SPENDING ON AUTOPILOT IN TERMS OF THE MANDATORY SPENDING AND THE PRESIDENT DOESN'T SPEND A PENNY WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THIS CONGRESS. AND I HOPE MY FRIEND WOULD ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE WAS NOT ONE TIME DURING THE EIGHT YEARS OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WHEN OUR FRIENDS FROM THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE OF THE AISLE CAME FORWARD WITH THEIR BUDGET PROPOSAL AND PROPOSED A BUDGET THAT WOULD SPEND LESS THAN WAS SPENT BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. IN FACT, IN EVERY INSTANCE, OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE PROPOSED BUDGETS THAT EVEN MORE THAN WE ACTUALLY SPENT IN THE END. SO I JUST WANTED TO SEE IF MY FRIEND WOULD AGREE WITH THAT AND THANK HIM FOR ALLOWING ME TO MAKE THAT POINT IN THE ORDER OF THE DAY.

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  • 01:24:59 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    I WOULD RESPOND TO THE SENATOR FROM MISSISSIPPI AND THE ANSWER IS YES. MR.…

    I WOULD RESPOND TO THE SENATOR FROM MISSISSIPPI AND THE ANSWER IS YES. MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME JUST MAKE A COUPLE OF COMMENTS. THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK HAD TALKED QUITE A BIT ABOUT THIS STIMULUS BILL. OF COURSE, I CONTEND IT'S NOT A STIMULUS BILL AND I'LL TOUCH THAT FOR JUST A MOMENT. BUT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT COMING HERE IN 1980. AND I WOULD ONLY REMIND HIM THAT THERE ARE WAYS THAT YOU CAN STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. THIS BILL DOESN'T DO IT. THIS BILL SPENDS MONEY, ASTRONOMICAL AMOUNTS OF MONEY THAT ARE JUSTIN JUST INCONCEIVABLE WE COULD BE THINKING ABOUT. AND CERTAINLY IF YOU WIND THE CLOCK BACK TO 1980, NO ONE EVEN TALKED ABOUT IN TERMS OF HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY. NOW, I WOULD REMIND THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK THAT BACK IN 1980, THE TIME FRAME THAT HE WAS TALKING ABOUT, WE HAD A FLEAS CAME IN -- WE HAD A PRESIDENT THAT CAME IN IN THE 1980'S BY THE NAME OF RONALD REAGAN, AND HE REPEATED SOMETHING THAT WAS SAID BY ANOTHER GREAT PRESIDENT, WHO WAS JOHN KENNEDY. BACK DURING THE TIME THAT JOHN KENNEDY WAS PRESIDENT, THEY WERE GETTING INVOLVED IN THE GREAT SOCIETY PROGRAMS, THEY HAD A GREAT NEED FOR INCREASED REVENUE AND THIS IS A QUOTE FROM JOHN KENNEDY. HE SAID, "WE NEED TO INCREASE OUR REVENUE AND THE BEST WAY TO INCREASE OUR REVENUE IS TO REDUCE MARGINAL RATES." AND HE REDUCED MARGINAL RATES. AND HE REDUCED CAPITAL GAINS RATES. HE REDUCED INHERITANCE RATES. AND THAT RESULTED IN A MASSIVE INCREASE IN -- IN -- IN REVENUE. NOW, IF YOU TAKE THE -- THE TEN -- THE DECADE THAT WOULD BE CALLED THE REAGAN DECADE OF THE 1980'S, YOU LOOK AT 1980, THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT CAME IN, REVENUE THAT WAS GENERATED FROM MARGINAL RATES WAS $244 BILLION. IN 1990, IT WAS $466 BILLION. SO THE REVENUE THAT WAS GENERATED ALMOST DOUBLED IN A DECADE THAT HAD THE LARGEST TAX REDUCTIONS IN THE HISTORY, I BELIEVE, OF THIS NATION. NOW WE'RE LOOKING AT A BILL THAT DOESN'T HAVE THAT. IT HAS TWO LITTLE, SMALL THINGS THAT MIGHT STIMULATE THE ECONOMY IN TERMS OF DEPRECIATION AND SMALL BUSINESS. THE TOTAL AMOUNT IS -- DOES NOT EVEN EXCEED 3% OF THE BILL. THEN THE AREA WHERE I FELT -- AND I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH THIS -- I FELT THAT WE WOULD BE ABLE TO DO SOMETHING TO PROVIDE JOBS FOR AMERICANS WAS TO HAVE A MUCH GREATER PART OF THIS IN -- IN ROAD CONSTRUCTION AND INFRASTRUCTURE. BUT THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN. SO WE'RE LOOKING AT SOMETHING RIGHT NOW THAT HAS A TOTAL OF $27 BILLION THAT IS IN -- IN HIGHWAYS AND ROADS AND BRIDGES. AND CERTAINLY THE OCCUPANT OF THE CHAIR UNDERSTANDS THAT, HAVING SERVED FOR MANY YEARS ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE. THE GREAT NEEDS THAT WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY. AND I -- WE'VE HAD SEVERAL STATEMENTS MADE BY ECONOMISTS THAT SAID IF THERE'S A WAY THAT YOU CAN PROVIDE JOBS AT THE SAME TIME DO SOMETHING THAT'S GOING TO HAVE TO BE DONE FOR AMERICA, THIS IS THE TIME TO DO IT. WELL, IF YOU LOOK AT THE TOTAL AMOUNT THAT IS IN THIS BILL, IT WAS OUT OF SOME $900 BILLION, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT $27 BILLION IS ALL THERE IS IN THAT AREA. SO I WOULD ONLY SAY TO -- IN RESPONDING TO THE COMMENTS BY THE SENATOR OF NEW YORK, IF HE'S TALKING ABOUT 1980'S AND WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THAT TIME, IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT THAT PRECIPITATED A DECADE IN THIS -- THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY WHERE WE HAD MORE REVENUE GENERATED AS A RESULT OF TAXES BEING REDUCED THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE COUNTRY. AND SO WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHAT IS IN THIS BILL THAT WOULD REALLY STIMULATE, ALL THE REST OF IT'S SPENDING. ALL -- I'M NOT GOING TO GO IN AND START READING THE LIST OF ALL THE $650 MILLION TO HAVE PEOPLE CHANGE THEIR TV'S AND ALL THESE THINGS. I WOULD JUST SAY THE TWO AREAS THAT WOULD STIMULATE, ONE WOULD BE IN -- IN THE AREA OF HIRING PEOPLE AND ROAD CONSTRUCTION, PROVIDING JOBS. IN MY STATE OF OKLAHOMA, WE HAPPEN TO HAVE A HIGHWAY DIRECTOR THAT IS I THINK THE BEST ONE IN THE NATION. HIS NAME IS GARY RIDDLEY. HE HAS IDENTIFIED JUST IN MY STATE SOME $1.1 BILLION OF -- OF SHOVEL-READY JOBS WHERE WE'VE ALREADY HAD THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT, THERE ARE THINGS THAT COULD GET PEOPLE WORK TOMORROW AND YET WE CAN'T DO THAT IN THIS BILL, AND THAT'S THE TYPE OF THING WE SHOULD BE DOING. AND SO IF YOU ADD TOGETHER THE TAX STIMULUS AND THE AMOUNT OF OF -- OF WORK THAT IS BEING DONE DONE, IT WOULD BE -- IN TERMS OF ROADWORK AND PROVIDING JOBS, THAT COMES TO SOMEWHERE AROUND 7% OF THE TOTAL AMOUNT. WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER $900 BILLION? THAT'S -- THAT'S -- I THINK IT'S AN. YOU-- I THINK THAT'S ABSURD. THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK WAS TALKING ABOUT HOW THE REPUBLICANS DID NOT RESPOND FAVORABLY TO THE PELOSI BILL ON THE OTHER SIDE AND NO WONDER. IT'S THE SAME TYPE OF BILL AS WE'RE LOOKING AT HERE. IT ACTUAL HAD $3 BILL MORE FOR CONSTRUCTION THAN THE NIST BILL DID. SO I THINK WE HAVE TO ACT RESPONSIBLY. AND I HOPE -- MAYBE THIS WILL BE THE CASE, WHERE REPUBLICANS WILL BE WILLING TO STAND UP AND JOINTLY, ALL OF US, AGREE THAT THIS ISN'T GOING TO WORK AND THAT THERE IS A CHOICE NOW. WE DO HAVE THE SUBSTITUTE THAT McCAIN HAS PUT FORTH, SENATOR McCAIN, AND IT'S GOT -- IT RESOLVES THESE PROBLEMS, IT HAS THINGS IN IT THAT WILL ACTUALLY STIMULATE THE ECONOMY SO I'M HOPING WE'LL ALL BE ABLE TO STICK TOGETHER. I WOULD BE VERY PROUD IF THE REPUBLICANS FOUND THEY COULD DO THAT. THAT'S NOT THE REASON I WANTED TO GET THE PROBLEM. I WANT TO MENTION AN AMENDMENT I HAVE THAT HAS NOT BEEN CLEARED YET. I WANT TO COMPLIMENT SENATOR INOUYE. I VISITED WITH HIM. HE SEEMS -- EVEN THOUGH IT IS SOMETHING HE SAID HE WOULD NOT VOTE FOR HE WOULD NOT OBJECT TO HAVING IT CONSIDERED BECAUSE HE THINK IT'S VERY IMPORTANT. IT HAS TO DO WITH GUANTANAMO BAY. MONDAY I WAS AT GUANTANAMO BAY. WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY AT THAT TIME -- AND THAT IS MY THIRD TRIP THERE. THE FIRST WAS RIGHT AFTER 9/11 AND AT THAT TIME I REALIZED THE STATEMENTS BEING MADE ABOUT THE TREATMENTS OF DETAINEES WERE JUST NOT TRUE. A LOT OF THE MEDIA MISREPRESENTED IT BUT NONETHELESS IT WAS OUT THERE AND PEOPLE FELT SOMETHING REALLY BAD IS TAKING PLACE IN GITMO OR GUANTANAMO BAY. I ONLY SUGGEST WE HAVE HAD THAT RESOURCE SINCE 1903. AND IT HAS SERVED US VERY WILL. IRONICALLY, OUR LEASE, OUR ANNUAL LEASE IS $4,000 A YEAR AND WE'RE GETTING ALL THIS FOR THIS. I WANT TO SHARE WITH MY COLLEAGUES WHAT WE WITNESSED THIS PAST MONDAY A FEW DAYS AGO. AT THE TIME WE ARE DOWN NOW TO 245 DETAINEES. OF THE 245 DETAINEES, THERE ARE 170 OF THEM WHERE THEIR COUNTRIES WILL NOT TAKE THEM BACK. IN OTHER WORDS, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THESE GUYS? WE WOULD LIKE TO TRY THEM -- BY THE WAY, EVEN THOUGH PRESIDENT OBAMA CAME OUT WITH IN I THINK I SEE FIRST OR SECOND DAY IN OFFICE SAYING WE SHOULD CEASE ALL LEGAL PROCEEDINGS AND CLOSE IT WITHIN 12 MONTHS, NUMBER TWO. THERE'S A VERY COURAGEOUS JUDGE DOWN THERE I GUESS HE SOVIET THE CONSTITUTION -- HE FELT WHEN THE CONSTITUTION SAYS SEPARATION OF POWERS, IT MEANT SOMETHING. HE SAID, NO, WE WILL CONTINUE ON OUR TRIALS. HE IS TRYING SUCH PEOPLE AS SHEIKH MOHAMMED, THE BRAIN POWER BEHIND 9/11, FOUR OF HIS COCONSPIRATORS, INCLUDING THE PERSON WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THE U.S.S. COLE TRAGEDY THAT KILL MANY, MANY PEOPLE INCLUDING 17 OF OUR BRAVE SAILORS. THESE ARE THE TYPE OF HARD-CORE PEOPLE THAT ARE BEING TRIED DOWN THERE. THESE ARE MILITARY TRIBUNALS. THEY NEED TO CONSIDER. THAT'S WHAT THE JUDGE SAID. HE IS CONTINUING TO THIS DAY, BY THE WAY, WE ENDED UP HAVING TO START TRYING THOSE IN OUR FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM YOU HAVE TO, BECAUSE OF RULES OF EVIDENCE AND BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE TERRORISTS AND THE TESTIMONY THAT WOULD COME UP, THEY ARE ESTIMATING IT WOULD TAKE ABOUT 12 MONTHS TO BUILD A COURTROOM AS IT DID DOWN THERE AND $10 MILLION IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE THAT. SO MY CONCERN IS THIS: IN THE EVENT THAT SOMETHING... THAT WE WERE FORCED TO CLOSE GUANTANAMO IT WOULD NOT WORK TO DO IT AT THE PRESENT TIME UNTIL SOMETHING, SOME SOLUTION COMES UP AS TO WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH ALL THESE DETAINEES? SOME OF THE DETAINEES ARE CLEAN, READY TO GO BACK AND WILL BE TRANSFERRED BACK. WE HAVE THE 170, WHERE THERE IS NO PLACE FOR THEM TO GO. EVEN IF WE TRIED TO TURN THEM UP. THERE HAS BEEN SOME SUGGESTION THAT IF WE CLOSED GUANTANAMO THERE ARE SOME 17 MILITARY INSTALLATIONS IN THE UNITED STATES, CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, THAT WOULD BE ACCEPTABLE TO ACCEPT SOME OF THESE DETAINEES SO THAT'S WHERE THEY WOULD END UP GOING. WELL THE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS, I DON'T KNOW OF ONE UNITED STATES SENATOR SERVING IN HERE WHO WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT IT'S ALL RIGHT TO GO AHEAD AND PUT THEM IN MISSISSIPPI OR PUT THEM IN IOWA OR PUT THEM IN MY CASE, IN OKLAHOMA, ONE OF THE 17 INSTILLLATIONS HAPPENS TO BE FORCE SILL LOCATED IN OKLAHOMA. WE DON'T WANT IT, YOU DON'T WANT IT IN WEST VIRGINIA. THERE IS NO REASON TO TARGET OURSELVES IN THIS CASE. I HAVE TO ALSO SAY THAT ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ABUSED DOWN THERE ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS GO DOWN. I HAVE SEEN AND DONE TOURS OF PRISONS ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES AND MILITARY PRISONS ELSE WRVMENT I CAN SAY WITHOUT ANY DOUBT I HAVE NEVER SEEN A PRISON WHERE PEOPLE ARE CARED FOR BETTER. THERE IS ONE PRACTITIONER, MEDICAL PRACTITIONER FOR EACH TWO INMATES -- DETAINEES DOWN THERE. THE MEDICAL FACILITIES, THEY EVEN DO COLONOSTOMY FOR ANYONE OVER 50 FOR ANYONE WHO WANTS ONE AND NO ONE COULD HAVE KNIT THEIR COUNTRY-OF-ORIGIN. THE FOOD IS BETTER THAN THEY HAVE EVER HAD BEFORE. SO IT IS IN THE TRUE THEY ARE ABUSED. THEY HAVE SIX AREAS, ONE THROUGH SIX, STARTING WITH THE LEAST PROBLEMS TO THE REAL HARD CORE TERRORISTS. AND EVEN IN CAMP SIX, SUPPOSED TO BE THE TOUGHEST GUYS, THEY ARE OUTSIDE, RECREATION, THREE HOURS A DAY, SO PEOPLE ARE NOT BEING ABUSED THERE. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND THAT. THAT IS NOT WHERE I'M COMING WITH ON THIS AMENDMENT. I KNOW FOR A FACT IF WE CAN GET THIS VOTED ON IT WOULD PASS. THOSE INDIVIDUALS WHO BELIEVE WE SHOULD CLOSE GITMO ARE ALWAYS VERY CAREFUL TO SAY "BUT WE'VE GET TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO WITH THE HARD CORE DETAINEES THAT ARE DOWN THERE." YOU CAN'T TURN THEM LOOSE AND BRING THEM BACK TO OUR COURT SYSTEM BECAUSE THE RULES OF EVIDENCE IN A TRIBUNAL ARE DIFFERENT. YOU CAN'T READ THE RIGHTS WHEN YOU ARE APPREHENDING A TERRORIST. IT DOESN'T WORK. IN A TRIBUNAL, HERE SAY EVIDENCE IS ADMITSIBLE AND IT IS NOT IN OUR -- ADMISSIBLE AND IT IS NOT IN OUR COURT SYSTEM. SO I AGREE WITH THOSE INDIVIDUALS EVEN THOUGH I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD CLOSE GITMO NOW OR EVER. IT IS AN ASSET WE CAN USE. FOR THE INDIVIDUALS WHO FEEL WE SHOULD AT SOME POINT CLOSE IT I CAN'T FIND ANY WHO THINK WE SHOULD CLOSE IT UNTIL WE DETERMINE WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THOSE SOME 110-170 DETAINEES WHO DO NOT HAVE ANY PLACE TO GO. ALL I'M DOING; I HAVE AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 198. I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET IT UP FOR CONSIDERATION YET. BUT LET ME EXPLAIN WHAT IT IS. IT WOULD PROHIBIT THE USE OF ANY OF THE FUNDS IN THIS STIMULUS BILL -- THE STIMULUS BILL HAS MONEY THAT GOES INTO MODERNIZING AND DOING THINGS FOR VARIOUS PENAL INSTITUTIONS. I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT MONEY DOESN'T GO TO PREPARING OUR INSTITUTIONS IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES TO BE ABLE TO ACCEPT THESE TERRORIST DETAINEES AND HAVE THEM IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES INSTEAD OF AT GITMO. SO I THINK THAT IF YOU JUST LOOK VERY CAREFULLY AT HOW SIMPLE THIS LEGISLATION IS, THERE IS NONE OF THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED OR OTHERWISE MADE AVAILABLE TO ANY DEPARTMENT OR AGENCIES OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT BY THIS ACT MAY BE OBLIGATED OR EXPENDED IN THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES: TO TRANSFER ANY DETAINEE OF THE UNITED STATES HOUSED IN NAVAL STATION AT GUANTANAMO BAY TO ANY FACILITY IN THE UNITED STATES OR TERRITORIES. WHO'S GOING TO OPPOSE THAT? IS THERE ONE PERSON WHO WOULD VOTE AGAINST THAT IF OR TO CONSTRUCT, IMPROVE OR MODIFY OR ENHANCE ANY FACILITY IN THE UNITED STATES OR ITS TERRITORIES FOR THE PURPOSE OF HOUSING ANY DETAINEE DESCRIBED IN PARAGRAPH ONE? THOSE ARE THE GUYS THAT ARE DOWN THERE, THE BAD GUYS, THE TERRORISTS. AND THIRDLY, TO HOUSE OR OTHERWISE INCARCERATE ANY DETAINEE DESCRIBED. ALL WE'RE SAYING ON THIS, I KNOW THAT THE SENATOR FROM IOWA DOESN'T WANT THE DETAINEES TO COME TO IOWA. I KNOW THE SENATOR FROM WEST VIRGINIA DOESN'T WANT THEM IN WEST VIRGINIA. AND I SERIOUSLY QUESTION IF THEY WOULD WANT THEM IN OHIO. I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT THEM IN OKLAHOMA SO THAT'S ALL THIS IS. IT'S AN AMENDMENT THAT, SHOULD THIS BILL PASS, AND OF COURSE IF IT WENT TO CONFERENCE I DON'T HAVE ANY WAY OF KNOWING WHAT WOULD STAY IN OR COME OUT, I HOPE IT DOES NOT PASS WHEN WE VOTE TONIGHT OR TOMORROW, WHENEVER THAT TIME IS, BUT IF IT PASSES I WANT THAT PROVISION IN THERE SO NO ONE IS ATTEMPTED TO TRY TO TRANSFER THE DETAINEES NOW DOWN IN GUANTANAMO BAY TO ANY OF THE STATES IN CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES. WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 01:39:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA.

  • 01:39:39 PM

    MR. ROCKEFELLER

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK THAT THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN, SENATOR STABENOW, BE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK THAT THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN, SENATOR STABENOW, BE THE NEXT DEMOCRATIC SPEAKER AFTER THE SENATOR FROM WEST VIRGINIA.

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  • 01:39:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 01:39:51 PM

    MR. ROCKEFELLER

  • 01:39:53 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    AN ORDER. IT'S ALL, WOULDED OUT BUT I APPRECIATE THE SENATOR'S ASSISTANCE.…

    AN ORDER. IT'S ALL, WOULDED OUT BUT I APPRECIATE THE SENATOR'S ASSISTANCE. THE UNDERSTANDING IS THAT WOULD BE THE CASE BUT THAT WAS ALREADY AGREED TO.

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  • 01:40:06 PM

    MR. ROCKEFELLER

    WAS REINFORCING THE TRUTH. I'LL JUST SAY VERY BRIEFLY, I'M JUST STUNNED BY…

    WAS REINFORCING THE TRUTH. I'LL JUST SAY VERY BRIEFLY, I'M JUST STUNNED BY THE SPEECH FROM THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA. WHAT HE'S BASICALLY SAYING, AND I DON'T KNOW IF HE HAS EVER BEEN ON THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE OR NOT, BUT SOME OF US HAVE, AND HAVE WATCHED AND STUDIED INTERROGATION AND DETEN AT GUANTANAMO VERY CAREFULLY FOR A VERY LONG TIME AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENED UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION... I CHOOSE NOT TO GET INTO THAT RIGHT NOW.

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  • 01:40:48 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    NO.

  • 01:40:50 PM

    MR. ROCKEFELLER

    NO.

  • 01:40:51 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    WAS DIRECTLY REFERRED TO, AREN'T I ENTITLED TO ASK A QUESTION?

  • 01:40:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WEST VIRGINIA HAS THE FLOOR AND HE HAS DECLINED…

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WEST VIRGINIA HAS THE FLOOR AND HE HAS DECLINED TO YIELD.

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  • 01:41:03 PM

    MR. ROCKEFELLER

    WILL THE SENATOR YIELD?

  • 01:42:22 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    SENATOR YIELD?

  • 01:42:23 PM

    MR. ROCKEFELLER

    I WILL NOT. I RISE TODAY IN STRONG SUPPORT OF THE $87 BILLION IN TEMPORARY…

    I WILL NOT. I RISE TODAY IN STRONG SUPPORT OF THE $87 BILLION IN TEMPORARY AND TARGETED MEDICAID RELIEF IN THIS RECOVERY BILL. THERE'S AN UNDENIABLE LINK BETWEEN HEALTH CARE AND OUR ECONOMY. THAT IS OBVIOUS. THE FEDERAL INVESTMENT IN HEALTH CARE NOW IS PART OF THIS ECONOMIC RECOVER BILL WILL GO A LONG WAY TO STABILIZE OUR ECONOMY. HEALTH AND ECONOMIC STABILIZATION, STIMULUS, WHATEVER YOU WANT, ARE INTERTWINED. ACTUALLY, LEADING ECONOMISTS HAVE FOUND THAT TARGETED AID OF THIS SORT -- MEDICAID -- WILL GENERATE INCREASED ECONOMIC ACTIVITY OF $1.36 FOR EVERY $1 SPENT. BUT THERE ARE A LOT MORE PERSON THINGS THAN THAT. OUR ECONOMY IS WORSE THAN IT'S BEEN IN CERTAINLY IN MY MEMORY THE TRAGEDIES BEING PLAYED OUT IN WEST VIRGINIA AND OTHER PARTS MUCH THE COUNTRY ARE ALMOST BEYOND BELIEF. WE SIT HERE IN CONSTANT SESSION OF THE SENATE AND KEEP IN TOUCH WITH OUR STATES. WE HAD ANOTHER HUGE BUSINESS CLOSE IN WEST VIRGINIA YESTERDAY. JUST THE TRAGEDIES PILL UP ONE AFTER ANOTHER. PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHERE THEY WILL GET UP THEIR NEXT MEAL. HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY STARTS TO WORK AND PEOPLE SPIRAL DOWNWARD AS BANKS SPIRAL DOWNWARD. THEY FOLD IN ON THEMSELVES. WHEN THEY FOLD IN ON THEMSELVES THEY LOSE THEIR CONFIDENCE AND THEN THEY AREN'T WILLING TO TRY THINGS, ACCEPT THINGS, TO TAKE NEW STEPS. SO THE MEDICAID MONEY IS INCREDIBLY POINT. IT'S GETTING VERY HARD FOR PEOPLE TO PUT FOOD ON THEIR TABLE AND I THINK IT'S VERY EASY FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THAT MEDICAID IS PART OF THE FABRIC OF AMERICA. HARD-WORKING FAMILIES DEPEND ON MEDICAID. OUR FAMILIES TO WEST VIRGINIA ARE HARD WORKING: 50% OF ALL THE BABIES BORN IN WEST VIRGINIA ARE BORN UNDER MEDICAID. THAT'S NOT THE FAULT OF THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA. THAT'S NOT THE FAULT OF THE PEOPLE OF WEST VIRGINIA, IT IS SIMPLY A REFLECTION MUCH THE ECONOMIC TRAVAILS THAT FACE OUR STATE AND THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH. SO WE WANT TO HELP THEM GET BACK ON THEIR FEET. SO WE'VE GOT THIS $87 BILLION AND THERE'S GOING TO BE ATTEMPTS TO LESSEN IT. ESTIMATES FROM THE GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE STATE THAT LOCAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS ARE FACING $312 BILLION IN BUDGET DEFICITS OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT TWO YEARS. I THINK, PERSONALLY, THAT'S MODEST. IT'S UNDERESTIMATED. I WAS A GOVERNOR. I WENT THROUGH THE 83 AND -- 1982 AND 1983 RECESSION WHERE INTEREST RATES WENT UP TO 19%. IT WAS A HORRIBLE TIME. WE SURVIVED IT. BUT STATE REVENUES OFTEN EVAPORATE VERY, VERY RAPIDLY DURING AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN. ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS THAT GOVERNORS SOMETIMES DO IS TO CUT MEDICAID. THEY SORT OF CUT MEDICAID BECAUSE SOMETIMES PEOPLE FORGET THAT MEDICAID IS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE POORER THAN THEY ARE, WHICH IS SORT OF SAYING THAT SOMEONE IS NOT AS IMPORTANT WHICH IS LIKE SAYING SOME PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS, WHICH IS DEPENDED ON INCOME, WHICH IS SOMETIMES WHAT DIVIDES THIS BODY. SO I JUST SAY THIS IS IMPORTANT. THERE WILL BE A VARIETY OF AMENDMENTS BROUGHT UP TO CUT IT. AND THEY WILL ACTUALLY -- THEY WILL CLOAK THEMSELVES IN OTHER WORDS, WHICH IS GOOD, BUT THEIR PURPOSE WILL BE TO CUT MEDICAID. WHEN YOU CUT MEDICAID, YOU'RE CUTTING HEALTH INSURANCE, YOU'RE CUTTING ALL KINDS OF THINGS, THE ASSISTANCE THAT PEOPLE NEEDS IN TIMES OF TRAGEDY. WE'RE SURELY IN TIMES OF TRAGEDY SO HAVING SAID THAT, I SIMPLY NOTE TO THE PRESIDENT THAT -- WITH HIS PERMISSION THAT LATER IN DATE THAT I -- I DO HAVE ON FILE AT THE DESK TWO AMENDMENTS, ONE THAT WOULD JUMP-START SOMETHING WHICH IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT IN THIS COUNTRY AND THAT IS TO HAVING A G.P.S. DIGITALIZED AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM. OUR -- WE HAVE -- WE'RE THE ONLY COUNTRY IN THE MODERN WORLD, IN FACT, WE'RE BEHIND MONGOLIA IN THIS CASE, THAT DOES NOT HAVE A DIGITALIZED G.P.S. SYSTEM WHERE YOU CAN -- WHERE YOU CAN DOWNGRADE INEFFICIENCY IN LANDINGS AND DISTANCES OF PLANES APART FROM EACH OTHER BECAUSE OF THE PRECISION. OUR PRESENT SYSTEM IS AN X-RAY, ANNA LOG, THIS -- ANALOG. WE DON'T HAVE ONE. WE NEED ONE. IT'S A JOB CREATOR. AND I HAVE -- AND I'VE DISCUSSED WITH MY RANKING MEMBER, KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, WHO HAS A DIFFERENT WAY OF FUNDING IT, $550 MILLION. WE HAVE TO DO THAT. WE HAVE TO DO THAT FOR SAFETY IN THE SKIES. AS A JOB CREATOR, WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF AIRPORTS IN THIS COUNTRY. SO I JUST PUT MY COLLEAGUES ON NOTICE ON THAT THAT I PLAN TO GO TO THAT. AND ALSO WE HAVE TO EXTEND THE F.A.A. ITSELF. WE HAVE TO -- IT'S -- IT'S AUTHORIZATION WILL RUN OUT. WE NEED TO EXTEND IT FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS. I WON'T GO INTO THOSE AT THE PRESENT TIME, BUT THE EXTENSION OF F.A.A. REAUTHORIZATION IS IN THE INTEREST OF EVERY REPUBLICAN AND EVERY DEMOCRAT IN THIS BODY. AND I WILL BE MAKING A CASE FOR THAT IF GIVEN THE CHANCE LATER IN THE DAY. I THANK THE PRESIDING OFFICER.

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  • 01:48:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 01:48:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 01:48:52 PM

    MRS. HUTCHISON

  • 02:01:11 PM

    MR. McCAIN

  • 02:01:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 02:01:14 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ENGAGE IN A COLLOQUY WITH THE SENATOR FROM…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ENGAGE IN A COLLOQUY WITH THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA FOR A BRIEF PERIOD OF TIME TO TALK ABOUT THE DISPOSITION OF THIS AMENDMENT.

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  • 02:01:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 02:01:27 PM

    MR. McCAIN

  • 02:01:59 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 02:02:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 02:02:02 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I DEEP THE APPRECIATE THE DEMEANOR AND THE MANNER AND THE COOPERATION OF…

    I DEEP THE APPRECIATE THE DEMEANOR AND THE MANNER AND THE COOPERATION OF THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA. HE HAS AN AMENDMENT HE BELIEVES IN STRONGLY. MANY SENATORS HAVE SPOKEN ON BEHALF OF HIS AMENDMENT. MANY HAVE SPOKEN IN OPPOSITION TO HIS AMENDMENT. BUT HE'S -- HE'S BEEN VERY HELPFUL IN TRYING TO WORK OUT A MANNER AND A WAY AND A TIME AGREEMENT WHERE WE COULD DEAL VERY EXPEDITIOUSLY AND FAIRLY WITH THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA. MY INTENT, MR. PRESIDENT, IS TO GET A VOTE ON THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AS SOON AS WE POSSIBLY CAN. THE SENATOR SAID THERE ARE A COUPLE MORE SPEAKERS ON HIS SIDE WISH TO SPEAK. I IMAGINE THERE ARE A COUPLE ON THIS SIDE TOO. I CAN'T TELL THE SENATOR THAT WE'LL DEFINITELY HAVE A VOTE AS SOON AS THOSE FOUR SPEAKERS SPEAK. IT'S MY INTENTION TO HAVE THAT VOTE. I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN ARRANGE THAT AT THIS POINT YET. BUT PENDING -- PLAN B WOULD BE A SERIOUS OF AMENDMENTS BEGINNING A LITTLE LATER IN THE DAY, NOT MUCH LATER, APPROXIMATELY 3:30, AND THE AMENDMENT OFFERED BY THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA WOULD BE THE FIRST AMENDMENT. HIS AMENDMENT WOULD COME UP FIRST THEN VOTES ON OTHER AMENDMENTS WOULD COME UP LATER. BUT MY FIRST PREFERENCE IS TO VOTE EARLIER. IF WE CAN'T DO THAT, THEN THE WHOLE PACKAGE BEGINS AT 3:30 WITH OF THE SENATOR FIRST.

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  • 02:03:19 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 02:04:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 02:04:17 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, THE THE -- I DON'T SEE THE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR, OR SHE'S NOT…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THE THE -- I DON'T SEE THE DEMOCRATIC SENATOR, OR SHE'S NOT HERE TO SPEAK, SO THEREFORE I'LL GO DOWN THE LIST. I THINK THE SENATOR FROM MISSISSIPPI SHOULD BE NEXT RECOGNIZED.

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  • 02:04:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATOR FROM MISSMISSISSIPPI IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:04:32 PM

    MR. WICKER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. AND I DO WANT TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE McCAIN…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. AND I DO WANT TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AND REGRETTABLY AGAINST THE UNDERLYING LEGISLATION. WE ALL AGREE WHY WE'RE HAVING THIS DEBATE. EVERY CHAMBER IN THIS -- EVERY AMERICAN THIS CHAIRMAN INTERCONVINCED WE NEED TO JUMP-START OUR ECONOMY. PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE FACING HARDSHIP. MORE THAN 860,000 PROPERTIES REPOSSESSED BY LENDERS IN 2008, MORE THAN DOUBLE THE FIGURE FOR 2007. AMERICAN MANUFACTURING IS AT A 28-YEAR LOW. 1.9 MILLION JOBS HAVE BEEN LOST DURING THE LAST FOUR MONTHS OR WERE LOST DURING THE LAST FOUR MONTHS OF 2008. THE ECONOMY SHRANK AT A 3.8% PACE AT THE END OF THE LAST CALENDAR YEAR, THE WORST SHOWING IN A QUARTER CENTURY. THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE NOW STANDS AT 7.2%, 7.6% IN MY HOME STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, WITH MANY STATES EVEN LESS FORTUNATE THAN MINE. THESE FIGURES ARE A SOBERING REMINDER OF HOW MUCH WE HAVE AT STAKE BUT THAT IS ALSO WHY WE NEED TO ENSURE THAT WE GET THIS RIGHT. PART OF THE REASON I VOTED AGAINST THE BAILOUT LAST SEPTEMBER THAT WAS I THOUGHT IT WAS RUSHED. THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA JUST ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IT WAS DONE IN A HURRY. WE WERE TOLD THAT IF WE DIDN'T ACT IN A MATTER OF DAYS, THE WORLD AS WE KNEW IT MIGHT COME TO AN END. I THINK THERE ARE MANY MEMBERS OF THIS BODY WHO NOW WISH WE HAD TAKEN MORE TIME TO ENSURE THAT THE TARP LEGISLATION WAS DONE RIGHT. LET'S LEARN FROM THAT EXPERIENCE EXPERIENCE. MR. PRESIDENT, THE BILL WE'RE DEBATING THIS WEEK IS AN UNPRECEDENTED BILL IN ITS MAGNITUDE. A STAGGERING $1.2 TRILLION OVER TEN YEARS. AS A MATTER OF FACT, WHEN I CAME OVER HERE TO WAIT MY TURN, I WAS HANDED A LEGISLATIVE NOTICE, AND ACTUALLY THE BILL NOW HAS A NET IMPACT ON THE DEFICIT OF $1.273 TRILLION, INCLUDING $389 BILLION IN DEBT SERVICE. THAT MEANS THAT THE INTEREST ON THIS BILL IS ALMOST $400 BILLION. I WANT TO TAKE A MOMENT TO PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY. MANUFACTURE US IN THE CHAIRMAN INTRER -- MANY OF US HERE IN THE CHAIRMAN INTRER HEARD THESE EXAMPLES OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS BUT THEY'RE WORTH REPEATING TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AND I CAN ASSURE MY COLLEAGUES THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE BEGINNING MORE AND MORE TO LISTEN TO THIS DEBATE. THE ENTIRE VIETNAM WAR HAD AN INFLATION-ADJUSTED COST OF $698 BILLION. THIS BILL'S $1.2 TRILLION. OUR INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ HAS COST $597 BILLION. THIS ONE PIECE OF LEGISLATION IS OVER $1.2 TRILLION. F.D.R.'S "NEW DEAL," WHICH MANY HAVE TRIED TO COMPARE TO THIS PLAN, PALES IN COMPARISON WITH AN ESTIMATED 2009 INFLATION-ADJUSTED COST OF $500 BILLION. LESS THAN HALF THE AMOUNT OF THIS ONE PIECE OF LEGISLATION. LEGISLATION IN CURRENT DOLLARS. ON TOP OF THIS MASSIVE SPENDING REQUEST, LET'S ALSO REMEMBER TH WE'RE BEING TOLD SHOULD THIS LEGISLATION PASS, THE PRESIDENT WILL THEN SEND UP TO THE HILL ANOTHER $500 BILLION PACKAGE TO PROP UP THE FINANCIAL SECTOR. FOR THOSE OF US KEEPING SCORE, THAT WOULD BE CLOSE TO $2 TRILLION IN SPENDING WHEN WE FACTOR IN THE COST OF THE INTEREST. AND ALL OF THAT IS IN ADDITION TO THE $700 BILLION BAILOUT BILL PASSED LAST FALL. IT'S HARD TO GET A FIRM GRASP OF THE MAGNITUDE OF THE SPENDING. I'LL SAY WHAT OTHER COLLEAGUES HAVE. WE BEGAN SPENDING A MILLION DOLLARS A DAY ON THE DAY JESUS WAS BORN AND YOU SPENT A MILLION DOLLARS PER DAY EVERY DAY SINCE THAT TIME UNTIL TODAY, YOU WOULD STILL NOT HAVE SPENT ANYWHERE NEAR $1 TRILLION. OR TO PUT IT ANOTHER WAY, IF YOU HAVE $100 TRILLION IN $100 BILLS AND IF YOU CONNECTED ALL OF THOSE $100 BILLS END TO END, THEY WOULD ENCIRCLE THE EARTH 40 TIMES TO GET TO $1 TRILLION. BACK IN MY HOME STATE OF MISS, IT'S BEEN REPORTED THAT THIS PACKAGE COULD MEAN $1 BILLION TO $2 BILLION IN PROJECTS FOR OUR STATE. WHAT THAT MEANS, THOUGH, WHEN COMPARED TO THE MAGNITUDE OF THE BILL IS THAT AS LITTLE AS.1% OF THIS SPENDING WOULD MAKE IT BACK TO MY STATE IN PROJECTS. NOW,.1% RETURN IS NOT A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR MISSISSIPPI TAXPAYERS AND IT'S NOT A GOOD INVESTMENT FOR AMERICAN TAXPAYERS. ESPECIALLY WHEN, AS THE SENATOR FROM TEXAS JUST POINTED OUT, THIS MONEY WILL HAVE TO BE BORROWED FROM CHINA OR OTHER FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS IF WE CAN PERSUADE THEM TO CONTINUE LENDING US THE MONEY. AND IT WILL NEED TO BE PAID BACK BY FUTURE GENERATIONS. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE REPORTED THIS WEEK THAT THE PER-JOB COST OF THIS PLAN -- EVEN IF THE JOBS CREATED ARE WHAT WE'RE BEING PROMISED -- THE PER-JOB COST OF THIS PLAN IS FROM $100,000 PER JOB TO $300,000 PER JOB. NOW, WHEN YOU TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THE FACT THAT THE AVERAGE MISSISSIPPIAN EARNS $31,000 PER YEAR, IT'S HARD FOR NOTICE STAND HERE AND TELL HARD-WORKING PEOPLE BACK IN MY STATE THAT THE MOST EFFICIENT USE OF THEIR TAX DOLLARS IS TO SPEND UP TO $300,000 TO CREATE JUST ONE ADDITIONAL JOB FOR AMERICANS. BUT THAT'S WHAT OUR OWN BUDGET OFFICE TELLS US THIS BILL WILL DO. THAT'S NOT THE BEST USE OF AMERICAN TAXPAYER DOLLARS. WE NEED TO GET THIS RIGHT. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE A MATURE CONSIDERED PLAN, MR. PRESIDENT. AS THOMAS JEFFERSON REMINDED AMERICANS IN HIS DAY -- AND I QUOTE -- "DELAY IS PREFERABLE TO ERROR." LET'S NOT RUSH INTO DOING THIS THE WRONG WAY. MILLIONS OF -- BECAUSE GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, AND INDEPENDENTS, WILL PAY FOR OUR MISTAKE. IT HAS BEEN POINTED OUT ON THIS FLOOR TODAY -- AND IT'S WORTH MENTIONING AGAIN -- THAT WE REPUBLICANS ARE NOT ALONE IN EXPRESSING GRAVE, PROFOUND CONCERNS ABOUT THE ENORMITY OF THIS SPENDING PLAN AND THE EFFECT IT WILL HAVE ON THE UNITED STATES. PRESIDENT CLINTON'S FORMER BUDGET DIRECTOR, ALICE RIVLIN, AGREES. SHE RECENTLY TESTIFIED THAT WE SHOULD NOT RUSH TO SPEND THE AMOUNT OF MONEY THIS PROJECT WILL SPEND ON PROJECTS WITH SLOW SPEND-OUT RATES. SHE SHOULD -- AND I QUOTE -- "SUCH A LONG-TERM INVESTMENT PROGRAM SHOULD NOT BE PUT TOGETHER HASTILY AND LUMPED IN WITH THE ANTIRECESSION PACKAGE." AND HASTILY PUT TOGETHER WHAT THIS PROGRAM IS. ALICE RIVLIN, PRESIDENT CLINTON'S BUDGET DIRECTOR, WENT ON TO SAY, THE RISK IS THAT -- QUOTE -- "THE MONEY WILL BE WASTED BECAUSE THE INVESTMENT ELEMENTS WERE NOT CAREFULLY CRAFTED." THE WORDS OF THE BUDGET DIRECTOR UNDER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON. A TRILLION DOLLARS IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE. $1.273 IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE. MEMBERS OF THE NEWS MEDIA UNDERSTAND THIS TOO. "THE WASHINGTON POST"'S DAVID BROADBRODER, WHO COVERED CONGRESS FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS, A RESPECT JOURNALIST, WROTE ON SUNDAY REGARDING THIS PLAN -- AND I QUOTE -- "SO MUCH IS UNCERTAIN AND SO MUCH IS RIDEING ON IT THAT IT'S WORTH TAKING TIME TO GET IT RIGHT." AND YET WE'RE TOLD WE NEED STLOAT EVENING, WE NEED -- VOTE THIS EVENING, WE NEED TO TRY TO VOTE TODAY OR TOMORROW ON THIS, THE LARGEST SPENDING BILL EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES. IN ORDER TO GET RIGHT, THIS PACKAGE NEEDS TO BE LASER FOCUSED ON GETTING WORKERS BACK TO WORK, GETTING OUR HOUSING MARKET OUT OF THE GUTTER AND DOING SO IN A WAY THAT DOESN'T WASTE TAXPAYER DOLLARS. THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP IN THIS CONGRESS SAID ONLY RECENT THAT WILL THIS PACKAGE SHOULD BE TARGETED, TEMPORARY, AND TIMELY. I COULDN'T AGREE MORE. UNFORTUNATELY, THIS PACKAGE TODAY COULD MORE ACCURATELY BE DESCRIBED AS SLOW, UNFOCUSED AND UNENDING. AMERICANS HAVE REAL CONCERNS OVER SOME OF THE SPENDING CONTAINED IN THIS PACKAGE. $20 MILLION FOR REMOVAL OF FISH BARRIERS. $70 MILLION TO SUPPORT SUPERCOMPUTING ACTIVITIES FOR CLIMATE RESEARCH. TENS OF MILLIONS TO SPRUCE UP GOVERNMENT BUILDINGS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. $25 MILLION TO REHABILITATE OFF-ROAD A.T.V. TRAILS. $600 MILLION FOR NEW GOVERNMENT VEHICLES. $150 MILLION FOR HONEY BEE INSURANCE. AND THE LIST GOES ON AND ONMENT MY FRIEND FROM NEW YORK SAID A FEW SPEAKERS BACK, IF YOU WANT TO TAKE THIS PORK OUT, TAKE IT OUT. MR. PRESIDENT, WE COULD TAKE IT OUT WITH HIS VOTE AND WITH VOTES OF HIS LEAGUES, BUT WE CAN'T DO IT ALONE. BUT IF HE SAYS TAKE OUT AND HE'LL JOIN US IN DOING THAT, THEN WE'RE GETTING SOMEWHERE. THESE PROJECTS MAY HAVE MERIT BUT WHAT DO THEY HAVE TO DO WITH CREATING JOBS IMMEDIATELY? THERE'S A PROCESS FOR CONSIDERING THESE TYPES OF PROJECTS AND THESE EMERGENCY STIMULUS PACKAGE IS NOT THAT VEFNLGT I WAS PLEASED TO -- THAT VEHICLE. I WAS PLEASED TO HEAR THE PRESIDENT SAYING HE WANTED TO HEAR REPUBLICAN IDEAS INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE. SO WHAT ARE THE IDEAS? WE NEED TO TRIM THE UNNECESSARY SPENDING THAT DOESN'T IMMEDIATELY PUT PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. SECONDLY, THIS PACKAGE NEEDS TO GET RIGHT TO THE HOUSING PROBLEM. HOUSING IS WHAT CAUSED THE SITUATION WE ARE CURRENTLY IN. THEN LET'S FOCUS MORE ON TARGETED TAX BREAKS FOR THE WORKING CLASS AND FOR THE JOB CREATORS IN THE UNITED STATES, THE SMALL BUSINESSES OF OUR COUNTRY. THE PRESIDENT INITIALLY SAID 40% OF THIS PACKAGE SHOULD BE MADE UP OF TAX CUTS. REGRETTABLY, WE'RE NO LONGER CLOSE TO THAT GOAL. SENATOR MCCAIN HAS PROPOSED AN ALTERNATIVE PLAN THAT DOES ALL OF THESE THINGS. HIS SUBSTITUTE PLAN COSTS HALF AS MUCH -- THANKFULLY -- AND OFFERS FOCUSED SPENDING AND EFFECTIVE TAX CUTS AND ELIMINATES THE 3.1% PAYROLL TAX FOR ALL AMERICAN EMPLOYEES FOR ONE YEAR. IT LOWERS THE TWO LOWEST MARGINAL TAX RATES FOR ONE YEAR. WE ALSO NEED TO ACCELERATE DEPRECIATE FOR CAPITAL INVESTMENTS MADE BY SMALL BUSINESSES FOR ONE YEAR. WE NEED TO IMPROVE TAX INCENTIVES FOR HOME PURCHASES. WE NEED TO APPROVE EARLY INVESTMENT IN NATIONAL DEFENSE AND MILITARY INFRASTRUCTURE PRIORITIES. JUMP-STARTING THE ECONOMY WHILE MAKING AMERICANS SAFE. AND MANDATORY DEFICIT REDUCTION AFTER TWO CONSECUTIVE QUARTERS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH GREATER THAN 2%. IF THE STIMULUS PACKAGE WORKS AND THE ECONOMY BEGINS TO GROW FOR SIX MONTHS IN A ROW THEN WE NEED TO REIGN IN THIS UNBELIEVABLY LARGE SPENDING BILL AND DECLARE VICTORY AND START WORKING ON A PLAN TO PAY FOR IT. WE ALSO NEED TO ESTABLISH AN ENTITLEMENT COMMISSION TO REVIEW SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE. I WAS DELIGHTED YESTERDAY WHEN THE ISAKSON AMENDMENT WAS ADOPTED, DOUBLING THE CURRENT FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER TAX CREDIT TO $15,000 AND EXPANDING IT TO COVER ALL ROTS AND HOME BUYERS. IT'S A SMALL START BUT NOWHERE NEAR THE PLACE WE NEED TO BE IN THIS LEGISLATION. BUT I CONGRATULATE THE SENATE FOR TAKING THAT STEP. AS I STATED EARLIER, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT DEBATE. PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT DEBATE WE'LL HAVE THIS YEAR. THE PRESIDENT WAS RIGHT WHEN HE SAID THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE GOOD IDEAS. AND I HOPE, AS THE PRESIDENT SAID, WE CAN INCORPORATE THOSE IDEAS INTO THIS LEGISLATION. I HOPE WE CAN MAKE THIS PACKAGE MUCH SMALLER AND MUCH MORE TARGETED TO JOBS AND HOUSING. THAT'S WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, MORE AND MORE, ARE BEGINNING TO SAY AS THEY'RE BECOMING MORE AND MORE FAMILIAR WITH THE TAILS OF THIS PLAN -- THE DETAILS OF THIS PLAN. IF WE PASS ANYTHING CLOSE TO THE COUNTRY PROPOSAL AND GO TO CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE, DOES ANYONE REALLY BELIEVE THE FINAL PRODUCT OF THAT CONFERENCE COMMITTEE WILL BE LESS EXPENSIVE? IF WE PASS THE MCCAIN PROPOSAL AND CUT THE PRICE TAG OF THIS BILL IN HALF AND GO TO CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IT IS MY HOPE AND PRAYER THAT CONFERENCE COMMITTEE CAN REPORT A PACKAGE WE CAN SUPPORT IN AN OVER WOMENNING BIPARTISAN -- OVERWHELMING BIPARTISAN MANNER THAT CAN BRING ABOUT CONFIDENCE IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND MAKE US ALL PROUD. IT'S TIME TO REBUILD THIS PACKAGE. IT'S TIME TO REDIRECT THIS PACKAGE. WE NEED TO MAKE IT TARGETED, TIMELY, AND TEMPORARY. WE NEED TO DO IT TODAY. WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO STRENGTHEN THIS LEGISLATION SO THAT IT DOESN'T WASTE TAXPAYER MONEY, SO IT ACTUALLY PUTS PEOPLE BACK TO WORK QUICKLY AND PUTS FAMILIES BACK INTO HOMES AND AMERICANS BACK TO WORK. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE TO HAVE US DO THIS RIGHT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:20:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:20:24 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    THE SENATOR FROM UTAH.

  • 02:34:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM UTAH.

  • 02:34:34 PM

    MR. HATCH

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 02:34:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 02:34:52 PM

    MR. HATCH

    THE SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:53:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:53:12 PM

    MR. CASEY

    MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I WANTED TO SPEAK AS WELL ON THE BILL…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I WANTED TO SPEAK AS WELL ON THE BILL THAT WE'RE DEBATING FROM A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT VANTAGE POINTS. ONE IS ON THE BILL ITSELF AND WHAT'S CONFRONTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND OUR ECONOMY. SECONDLY IS AN AMENDMENT THAT I'LL SPEAK OF BRIEFLY. BUT I THINK IN A BROAD SENSE, WE'RE AT A POINT NOW WHERE WE'RE GETTING CLOSE TO THE POINT AT WHICH WE'LL VOTE ON THE BILL ITSELF, THE RECOVERY BILL. THE RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT. AND WE'VE HEARD A LOT OF DEBATE AND DISCUSSION ABOUT PARTS OF THIS BILL THAT PEOPLE DON'T LIKE. AND THERE IS NO REASON WHY WE SHOULDN'T DEBATE THOSE POINTS OF CONTENTION. BUT I THINK WE SHOULD ALSO STEP BACK AND LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING TO WORK FROM THIS BILL AND WHY THIS BILL IS SO ESSENTIAL TO OUR ECONOMY. THE BAD NEWS IS THAT THIS BILL IS NOT BEING DEBATED AND THESE AMENDMENTS ARE NOT BEING VOTED UPON IN A VACUUM. THE REASON WHY WE'RE HERE, THE REASON WHY WE'RE DEBATING THIS BILL IS BECAUSE WE HAVE ABOUT THE WORST ECONOMY THAT WE'VE SEEN SINCE THE 1930'S. AT LEAST THE WORST ECONOMY IN MORE THAN A GENERATION. THAT IS WITHOUT QUESTION. AND I KNOW THE PRESIDING OFFICER AS WELL AS OTHERS KNOW HOW BAD THIS IS IN OUR OWN STATES. I KNOW FROM PEOPLE IN PENNSYLVANIA THAT I TALKED TO, AND THE STORIES AND ACCOUNTS THAT I READ ABOUT OUR ECONOMY, IT IS GRAPHIC. I WON'T GO THROUGH ALL OF IT OBVIOUSLY, BUT IF YOU LOOK AT IT FROM THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, IT'S MORE THAN 7% NATIONALLY. SOME PROJECTIONS ARE IF WE DON'T TAKE STRONG, DECISIVE ACTION VERY, VERY SOON THAT THAT NUMBER COULD GO UP TO 10%, NUMBERS WE NEVER WOULD HAVE IMAGINED EVEN SIX MONTHS AGO. IN PENNSYLVANIA, OUR UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS A LITTLE LESS THAN THAT. AS OF DECEMBER, AND STATE NUMBERS TEND TO LAG BY A MONTH OR SO, WE WERE AT ABOUT 6.7%, BUT A MONTH EARLIER IT WAS 6.2%. I KNOW IN OUR STATE, IN NOVEMBER WE LOST MORE THAN 27,000 JOBS. IN DECEMBER WE LOST ANOTHER 27,000 JOBS. WE SAW THE NUMBERS TODAY ON CLAIMS FOR UNEMPLOYMENT -- FOR UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS; THE NUMBERS GOING WAY UP, WELL OVER 650,000 PEOPLE IN THIS WEEK'S TALLY. WE CAN ALSO LOOK AT IT FROM THE VANTAGE POINT OF A BUDGET. PENNSYLVANIA HAS A BUDGET WHERE THEY HAVE TO BALANCE IT EVERY YEAR, JUST LIKE VIRTUALLY EVERY OTHER STATE. GOVERNOR RENDELL HAS WORKED VERY HARD OVER THE FIVE YEARS HE'S BEEN IN OFFICE TO TARGET INVESTMENTS TO PRIORITIES LIKE EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE AND JOB CREATION AND CREATING NEW SOURCES OF ENERGY, BUT AT THE SAME TIME HE'S DONE THAT HE'S ALSO MADE SURE THAT HE'S TRIED TO HOLD THE LINE ON SPENDING. DESPITE ALL OF THAT EFFORT, REVENUES ARE COLLAPSING. IN A STATE LIKE OURS, WE'RE FACING ALMOST A $2.5 BILLION SHORTFALL. THE RAINY DAY FUND WHICH HAS BEEN BUILT UP TO THREE-QUARTERS OF A BILLION DOLLARS HAS BEEN DECIMATED OR WILL BE IN THE NEXT YEAR. SO WE NEED ACTION, AND WE NEED VERY, VERY SOON. WE SHOULD VOTE ON THIS BILL THIS WEEK. WE CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER. WE SHOULDN'T WAIT ANOTHER MONTH OR TWO TO CONTINUE TO DEBATE STRATEGIES WE KNOW WILL WORK, EVEN WITH A BILL THAT IS IMPERFECT. BUT WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THERE THIS BILL? WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE GET THROUGH THIS RECESSION WITH UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, WHICH ALSO HAS A JUMP-STARTING EFFECT ON SPENDING AND JOB CREATION. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS SO THEY CAN TAKE CARE OF THEIR FAMILIES. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ASSISTANCE TO STATES SO THAT STATES DON'T HAVE TO JACK UP STATE TAXES AND SO THAT LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND LOCAL COMMUNITIES DON'T HAVE TO INCREASE THEIR TAXES EXPONENTIALLY BECAUSE WE WON'T HELP THEM. SOME PEOPLE WANT US TO DO NOTHING. IN DOING -- AND DOING NOW RIGHT NOW, I KNOW MEANS ONE THING. IT MEANS MUCH HIGHER LOCAL AND STATE TAXES IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS. WE CAN'T ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. PEOPLE ARE PAYING TOO MUCH ALREADY ACROSS THE COUNTRY. IT HAS TAX CUTS THAT ARE PRUDENT AND TARGETED. IT HAS INVESTMENTS IN HEALTH CARE I.T. WHICH WILL PAY DIVIDENDS SHORT TERM WITH JOBS AND LONG TERM WITH BETTER HEALTH CARE OUTCOMES AND BETTER QUALITY. IT INVESTS IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. IT INVESTS IN CLEAN DRINKING WATER AND BETTER PORTS AND RAILS, BETTER ENERGY STRATEGIES, HOUSING, SCHOOL MODERNIZATION; THE WHOLE RANGE OF STRATEGIES THAT WE KNOW WILL CREATE JOBS IN THE SHORT RUN BUT WILL ALSO HAVE A STRONG IMPACT ON OUR ECONOMY. SO WE SHOULD MOVE FORWARD AND WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT WE DO THE RIGHT THING NO AND THE RIGHT THING IS TO ACT AND TO PASS A PIECE OF LEGISLATION WHICH MAY BE IMPERFECT, BUT WE SHOULD EMPHASIZE, WHAT'S WORKING. ONE NOTE ABOUT TWO AMENDMENTS AND THEN I'LL CONCLUDE. I AND SENATORS SPECTER, LEAHY, DODD, SCHUMER, AND KERRY HAVE AN AMENDMENT WHICH IS A SMART IDEA FOR HOUSING. WE KNOW THAT WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF CHAIRMAN DODD, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BANKING COMMITTEE, LAST YEAR WE PASSED VERY GOOD LEGISLATION TO DEAL WITH OUR HOUSING AND ECONOMIC RECOVERY, THE SO-CALLED HERA ACT WHICH HELPED TO ALLOCATE DOLLARS, $4 BILLION LAST SUMMER IN EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS TO USE FOR THE REHABILITATION OF ABANDONED AND FORECLOSED PROPERTIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. WHAT WE'RE ASKING FOR IN THIS AMENDMENT, THE AMENDMENT -- THE RECOVERY BILL, IS TO SAY AN ADDITIONAL $2.25 BILLION, WHICH IS ALREADY IN THE BILL FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION PROGRAM, THAT OUR AMENDMENT WILL ALLOW SOME FLEXIBILITY IN HOW THOSE DOLLARS ARE SPENT. SO THAT UNDER OUR AMENDMENT IT PERMITS UP TO 10% OF THE FUNDS TO BE USED FOR FORECLOSURE PREVENTION, WHICH WE'RE NOT DOING ENOUGH ON RIGHT NOW. IT ALSO ALLOWS STATES WHO ARE RECEIVING THE MINIMUM ALLOCATION UNDER THE STABILIZATION PROGRAM TO USE THEIR FUNDS TO ADDRESS STATEWIDE INSURANCE. AND FINALLY, IT SETS ASIDE $30 MILLION FOR LEGAL ASSISTANCE FOR LOW- AND MODERATE-INCOME HOMEOWNERS AND TENANTS RELATEED TO HOMEOWNERSHIP PRESERVATION, FORECLOSURE PREVENTION AS WELL AS TENANCY ASSOCIATED WITH HOME FORECLOSURES. SO IT'S A PRUDENT AMENDMENT TO THIS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION. BUT WHEN WE STEP BACK FROM THE BILL OVERALL -- AND I HAVE AMENDMENTS AS WELL ON STRONGER OVERSIGHT -- THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS WE CAN IMPROVE THIS BILL TODAY AND TOMORROW, AND WE DID FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS. BUT IN THE END, WE NEED TO VOTE, WE NEED TO PASS THIS BILL AND MAKE IT AS STRONG AS WE CAN. BUT THE WORST THING WE CAN DO TO , IN A TERRIBLE ECONOMY RIGHT NOW IS TO SAY, WELL, IT'S NOT A PERFECT BILL, AND WE'RE JUST GOING TO HOPE THAT THINGS WORK OUT. IF WE DON'T PASS THE BILL, STATE AND LOCAL TAXES WILL GO THROUGH THE ROOF. OUR ECONOMY WILL FALL FURTHER NEAR THE DITCH AND WE HAVE TO GET THIS ECONOMY OUT OF THE DITCH, CREATE JOBS AND BEGIN TO GROW OUR ECONOMY ONCE AGAIN. MR. PRESIDENT, I WILL YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 03:00:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD,…

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD, THROUGH THE CHAIR ASK THE -- THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE IF I WOULD BE ALLOWED TO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT NOT FOR TIME AGREEMENTS OR ANYTHING, JUST FOR AN ORDER -- AN ORDER OF THE SPEAKERS THAT WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO TELL -- JUST ON OUR SIDE GOING BACK AND FORTH BUT JUST ON OUR SIDE SO THAT THEY WOULD HAVE AN IDEA OF THE ORDER. WOULD THAT BE 0 -- WOULD THAT BE OK?

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  • 03:01:22 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATORS WISH TO SPEAK, COME TO ME. YOU'RE NEXT. IT IS YOU, SENATOR…

    THE SENATORS WISH TO SPEAK, COME TO ME. YOU'RE NEXT. IT IS YOU, SENATOR KOHL, AND THEN SENATOR CHAMBLISS AND THEN SENATOR DODD. WE HOPEFULLY WILL GET AN AGREEMENT SO AWAY CAN VOTE. THE SENATORS CAN SPEAK ON A LATER DATE AFTER THE AMENDMENT IS PASSED.

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  • 03:01:48 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

    MY SIDE TO TALK TO YOU. MR. PRESIDENT, WITHOUT A DOUBT THE COLLAPSE OF THE…

    MY SIDE TO TALK TO YOU. MR. PRESIDENT, WITHOUT A DOUBT THE COLLAPSE OF THE HOUSING PACT IS AT THE ROOT OF THE RICE IS WE'RE -- CRISIS THAT WE'RE FACING IN OUR COUNTRY. JUST A FEW YEARS AGO IN MY HOME STATE OF NEVADA HOUSING PRICES WERE THROUGH THE ROOF. IF YOU WERE IN A MARKET FOR A HOME, YOU HAD TO ACT QUICKLY AND YOU HAD TO PLAN ON BEING IN A BITTING WAR. AND FOR A WHILE IT SEEMED LIKE THERE WERE MORE REALTORS AN MORTGAGE -- AND MORTGAGE BROKERS THAN BLACK JACK DEALERS. THE AFTERMATH HAS BEEN BRUTAL. IF YOU DON'T LIVE IN AN AREA WITH A LOT OF FORECLOSURE, LET ME DESCRIBE THE SITUATION AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE. YOU DRIVE HOME FROM WORK TO FIND ONE HOME OR MAYBE SEVERAL HOMES IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD WITH DEAD LAWNS. THAT'S THE FIRST SIGN. THEN THE FOR SALE BANK-OWNED SIGN POPS UP ON THE LAWN. BUT THE MOST PAINFUL PART IS WHEN YOU FIND OUT HOW MUCH THE FORECLOSED HOME DOWN THE STREET FROM YOURS IS GOING FOR, IT IS PART OF THE REASON THAT CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS AT SUCH AN ALL-TIME LOW. WHEN YOU FIND OUT THAT THE BIGGEST INVESTMENT THAT YOU PERSONALLY HAVE, THE PROPERTY THAT GIVES YOU LEVERAGE IN THIS ECONOMY IS WORTH LESS THAN WHAT YOU BOUGHT IT FOR, IT CREATES A SENSE OF PANIC. LEFT MUCH WORSE OFF ARE THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST JOBS, BEEN UNABLE TO PAY THEIR MORTGAGES AND SOON FOUND THEMSELVES LOSING THEIR HOMES. NEVADA LEADS THE NATION IN FORECLOSURE RATES. SO THESE STORIES ARE A REALITY FOR TOO MANY OF MY CONSTITUENTS AND TOO MANY OTHER FAMILIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES. IF WE DON'T FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET THIS HOUSING MARKET BACK ON TRACK, NOTHING THAT WE DO IN THE NAME OF ECONOMIC STIMULUS WILL MATTER. IT HAS TO BE OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY. IF WE CAN FIX THE PROBLEM AND THE PROBLEM IS HOUSING, THEN WE HAVE A CHANCE TO FIX OUR ECONOMY. TO DO THAT WE ABSOLUTELY MUST INCREASE HOME SALES AN DECREASE -- AND DECREASE FORECLOSURES. IT SOUNDS LIKE AN IMPOSSIBLE TASK IN LIGHT OF THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE. BUT IF WE DON'T SUCCEED, OUR ECONOMY WILL CONTINUE TO CRUMBLE UNDER THE WEIGHT OF THE FAILED HOUSING MARKET. WE JUST REALLY DON'T HAVE A CHOICE. I HAVE A PLAN THAT WILL JUMP-START THE HOUSING MARKET AND BREATHE LIFE BACK INTO OUR ECONOMY. IT'S VERY SIMPLE. A LOWER MORTGAGE RATE WILL PROVIDE MORE THAN $40 MILLION -- 40 MILLION HOUSEHOLDS WHO ARE CREDIT WORTHY IN THE UNITED STATES OR WHO HAVE A FANNIE MAE OR FREDDIE MAC-BACKED LOAN WITH BASICALLY A $400 A MONTH TAX CUT FOR THE NEXT 30 YEARS. HERE'S HOW IT WORKS: AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS WOULD BE ABLE TO REFINANCE THEIR CURRENT MORTGAGES OR FINANCE THE PURCHASE OF A HOME FOR BETWEEN -- SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 4% TO 4.5%. HOMEOWNERS WHO HEAR ABOUT THIS PROPOSAL IMMEDIATELY BEGIN TO DO THE MATH. YOU CAN LITERALLY SEE THEIR EYES LIGHT UP AS THEY REALIZE HOW THIS WILL BENEFIT THEM. IMAGINE THAT. $400 PER MONTH ON A FIX-RATE 30-YEAR MORTGAGE. THIS SAVES $150,000 A YEAR ON THE TOTAL TERM OF THEIR MORTGAGE. THAT $400 A MONTH, IT WILL MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN THE BUDGETS OF MOST FAMILIES. OH, AND BY THE WAY, THINK OF THE STIMULUS EFFECT. REMEMBER, IF YOU SEND A CHECK OF $500 TO SOMEBODY AND THEY'RE UNSURE OF THE -- THEY'RE UNSURE WHETHER THAT WILL BE THERE IN FUTURE BECAUSE IT IS A ONE-TIME CHECK OF THE WE DID THIS LAST YEAR, WE FOUND OUT WHAT HAPPENED. PEOPLE DIDN'T SPEND IT -- WELL, THEY DID ACTUALLY. THEY SPENT 12 CENTS OUT OF EVERY DOLLAR. 12 CENTS. IT DIDN'T HELP THE ECONOMY THAT MUCH. IT JUST ADDED TO THE DEFICIT. WHAT PEOPLE DID IS THEY SAVE THE MONEY BECAUSE THEY SAW TOUGHER ECONOMIC TIMES AHEAD, THEY PAID DOWN SOME OF THEIR CREDIT CARD DEBTS, BUT THEY DIDN'T GO OUT THERE AND SPEND IT IN THE ECONOMY TO GENERATE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY. SO JUST THINK OF WHAT A FAMILY COULD DO WITH THIS KIND OF MONEY. IT'S ALMOST $5,000 PER YEAR THAT YOU CAN COUNT ON. YOU CAN BUILD THAT INTO YOUR BUDGET AND YOU CAN INCREASE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY WITH THAT. NOW, BANKS WOULD ISSUE THESE GOVERNMENT-BACKED LOWERED FIX FIXED-RATE MORTGAGES ON PRIMARY RESIDENCES AND THEY WOULD BE AVAILABLE BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF 2010. THIS NEW LOWER RATE WOULD BE BASED ON THE HISTORIC SPREAD BETWEEN THE 10-YEAR TREASURY AND THE 30-YEAR TREASURY. THE COST OF THE PROGRAM WE HAVE LIMITED TO $300 BILLION. BUT THE ECONOMISTS THAT HAVE LOOKED AT THIS THINK THAT THE COSTS WILL BE DRAMATICALLY LESS. IF YOU MULTIPLIED THIS OUT ACROSS THE COUNTRY, IT'S OVER $6 TRILLION IN SAVINGS OVER THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS. SO THE GOVERNMENT INVESTS INVESTS $300 BILLION AND AMERICANS SAVE OVER THE NEXT 30 YEARS $6 TRILLION. IT'S A PRETTY GOOD RETURN ON OUR INVESTMENT, I WOULD SAY. IT'S ALSO TIME TO EXPAND THE CURRENT TAX CREDIT FOR FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS. WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE EVERY CREDIT WORTHY POTENTIAL HOME BUYER TO JUMP INTO THE MARKET SO WE SHOULD EXPAND THE CREDIT TO ALL HOME BUYERS AND ALL PROPERTIES, NOT JUST VACANT AND FORECLOSED PROPERTIES. THAT'S WHY I STRONGLY SUPPORTED SENATOR ISAKSON'S PROPOSAL TO INCREASE THE CREDIT TO $15,000. WELL, SINCE OUR PROPOSAL IS THE SUBSTITUTE, WE'VE ACTUALLY INCORPORATED THE ISAKSON PROPOSAL TO UP TO $15,000 FOR THOSE WHO WILL BUY A HOME AND THEY'LL BE ABLE TO CLAIM THAT AGAINST THEIR TAXES EITHER FROM LAST YEAR OR 50% FOR EACH YEAR FOR THE NEXT TWO YEARS. WE NEED TO HAVE PEOPLE STAYING IN THEIR HOMES. THE ONSLAUGHT OF FORECLOSED PROPERTIES IN NEVADA AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY IS A SIGNIFICANT HURDLE TO ECONOMIC RECOVERY. THEY BRING DOWN PROPERTY VALUES AND THEY DRAG DOWN CONSUMER CONFIDENCE. PRIVATELY SECURITIZED MORTGAGES ARE AT THE CORE OF THE PROBLEM. THESE ARE MORTGAGES THAT WERE ORIGINATED WITHOUT A GUARANTEE FROM GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED ENTITIES. THEY ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN 50% OF THE FORECLOSURE STARTS DESPITE ACCOUNTING FOR ONLY ABOUT 15% OF ALL OF THE OUTSTANDING MORTGAGES. SO MY BILL, THE FIX HOUSING FIRST ACT, INCLUDES TEMPORARY INCENTIVES FOR PRIVATELY HELD SECURITIZED MORTGAGES TO BE MODIFIED. THAT WOULD ALLOW HOMEOWNERS FACING FORECLOSURE TO PAY LOWER MONTHLY PAYMENTS AN STAY IN THEIR HOMES -- AND STAY IN THEIR HOMES. IT PROVIDES TEMPORARY LEGAL PROTECTIONS WHO THOSE WHO DO LOAN WORKOUTS IN GOOD FAITH. THESE TWO STEPS ELIMINATE THE ECONOMIC AND LEGAL BARRIERS THAT ARE CURRENTLY PREVENTING MANY HOMEOWNERS FROM MODIFYING THEIR LOANS. THIS WILL HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON FAMILIES WHO MAY BE SLIGHTLY UNDER WATER ON THEIR LOANS, BUT WHO ARE ANXIOUS TO STAY IN THEIR HOMES. UNFORTUNATELY MORE THAN 860,000 PROPERTIES WERE REPOSSESSED LAST YEAR ALONE. THAT MEANS THAT NEARLY ONE MILLION FAMILIES LOST THEIR HOMES. IT WAS EASY FOR A WHILE TO BLAME IRRESPONSIBLE HOMEOWNERS FOR TAKING RISKY LOANS AND PLAYING THE SYSTEM. BUT THE CANCER CAUSED BY THE HOUSING CRISIS HAS SPREAD TO EVERY ASPECT OF OUR ECONOMY, OUR FINANCIAL MARKETS, EMPLOYMENT, THE AUTO INDUSTRIES, RETAILERS, STATE BUDGETS, LOCAL BUDGETS. THE LIST GOES ON AND ON. MR. PRESIDENT, IF WE WANT TO HEAL OUR ECONOMY, WE HAVE TO START FIRST WITH HOUSING. MY PROPOSAL -- AND BY THE WAY, I CALL IT MY PROPOSAL. I HAPPEN TO BE THE LEAD AUTHOR. THERE HAVE BEEN MANY PEOPLE WHO WORKED TOGETHER TO PUT THIS PROPOSAL TOGETHER. OUR PROPOSAL WILL FIX HOUSING. IT'S THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE OF ANY OF THE PIECES OF LEGISLATION OUT HERE. IT IS THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE PIECE OF LEGISLATION TO FIX THE HOUSING CRISIS IN THE UNITED STATES. BUT WE ALSO NEED TO DO PROPER -- PROPERLY TARGETED TAX RELIEF FOR FAMILIES IN SMALL BUSINESSES. THE UNDERLYING BILL ACTUALLY HAS SOME GOOD PROPOSALS UNTIL IT. UNFORTUNATELY THEY ARE A SMALL PART OF THE PACKAGE. BUT WE'VE INCORP. RATED SOME OF THOSE -- INCORPORATED SOME OF THOSE GOOD IDEAS. IF THERE'S A GOOD IDEA THROUGHOUT, LET'S DO IT. LET'S DO IT IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION. IT'S ACTUALLY THE WAY THAT WE SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS BILL IN THE FIRST PLACE. SO THE PRESIDENT CALLED -- THAT'S WHAT THE PRESIDENT CALLED ON ALL OF US TO DO. UNFORTUNATELY THE DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES DECIDED TO CUT REPUBLICANS OUT. DEMOCRATS IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE DECIDED TO CUT REPUBLICANS OUT WHEN WE WERE MAKING UP THIS BILL. IT'S UNFORTUNATE IT HAPPENED, BUT IT HAPPENED. IT'S NOT TOO LATE THOUGH, MR. PRESIDENT. WE CAN STILL SIT DOWN, TAKE GOOD REPUBLICAN IDEAS, TAKE GOOD DEMOCRAT IDEAS, AND HELP THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUT OF THIS TERRIBLE ECONOMIC MORASS THAT WE'RE IN. I BELIEVE THAT AMERICAN TAXPAYERS DESERVE A BREAK. AMERICAN FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY ON THE LOW INCOME END OF THE SPECTRUM NEED A TAX BREAK. SO WHAT WE'VE DONE IN OUR LITTLE IS WE'VE TAKEN THE TWO LOWEST MARGINAL RATE AREAS AND WE'VE CUT THEM. THE 10% BRACKET WOULD BE CUT TO 5% AND THE 15% BRACKET WOULD BE CUT TO 10%. AND THE AVERAGE COMBINED BENEFIT OF THESE CUTS FOR MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES WOULD BE ABOUT $1 00 PER YEAR -- $1,700 PER YEAR FOR EACH OF THE NEXT TWO YEARS. AS I MENTIONED BEFORE WE ALSO NEED TO GIVE SMALL BUSINESS A MAJOR BOOST. SMALL BUSINESS CREATES 80% OF THE JOBS. EVERY RECESSION WE GROW OUT OF IT WITH SMALL BUSINESSES AND ENCOURAGING SMALL BUSINESSES. IT ISN'T GOVERNMENT THAT GROWS US OUT OF AN ECONOMY, IT'S SMALL BUSINESS. AND THAT'S WHY THIS ENGINE OF OUR ECONOMY NEEDS SOME FUEL. EXTENDING BONUS DEPRECIATION, ELIMINATING CAPITAL GAINS TAXES FOR STARTUPS IN CERTAIN CERTAIN SMALL BUSINESSES WILL HELP SPUR JOB CREATION AND HELP GET THIS COUNTRY BACK ON ITS FEE. FINALLY, MR. PRESIDENT, THE FIX HOUSING ACT WILL HELP WITH WASTEFUL SPENDING ITEMS. THERE IS A LARGE LIST OF SPENDING ITEMS THAT SOME OF US MAY SUPPORT. THERE'S NEW PROGRAMS. BUT AT A TIME WHEN OUR COUNTRY FACING A FISCAL CRISIS AS WELL AS AS FINANCIAL CRISIS, IF WE'RE GOING TO HAVE NEW PROGRAMS, WE OUGHT TO ELIMINATE OLD, WASTEFUL PROGRAMS. THE UNDERLYING BILL DOES NONE OF THAT. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, AMERICANS ARE HURTING RIGHT NOW. SO MANY HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS, LOST THEIR HOMES, AND THEY NEED HELP. THEY NEED US. WE HAVE A ROLE TO PLAY HERE. WE NEED TO PUT CONFIDENCE BACK IN OUR CONSUMERS ACROSS AMERICA SO THEY START GETTING BACK INVOLVED IN THE ECONOMY. THEY UNDERSTAND THAT A A $1.2 TRILLION SPENDING BILL IS NOT THE ANSWER. AND THAT'S WHY DAILY YOU'RE SEEING THE POLLS GO DOWN IN SUPPORT FOR THE BILL THAT'S IN FRONT OF US TODAY. AND, BY THE WAY, THE BILL'S NOT GETTING SMALLER. EACH DAY THE BILL GETS LARGER AND THE INTEREST ON THE BILL GETS LARGER AND LARGER AND LARGER. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I CHALLENGE MY COLLEAGUE. IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE APPROACH THAT WE'VE DONE, LET'S SIT DOWN, LET'S DO IT RIGHT. THE TARP FUNDS THAT WERE PUT OUT OUT, WE WERE -- WE WERE TOLD THAT IF WE DIDN'T DO IT, WE DIDN'T DO IT THAT WEEK, THE WHOLE ECONOMY WAS GOING TO COLLAPSE. WELL, WHEN WE RUSH THINGS THROUGH, WE MAKE MISTAKES, AND WE'VE SEEN THE MISTAKES WITH THE TARP FUNDS. YOU SEE THE HEADLINES ALL THE TIME, $20 BILLION IN BONUSES FOR EXECUTIVES THAT TOOK MONEY FROM TARP. ALL KINDS OF NEWSPAPER STORIES HERE AND THERE ABOUT THE ABUSES WITH THESE TARP FUNDS. LET'S DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE BY RUSHING THIS BILL THROUGH. THERE'S AN ARTIFICIAL DEADLINE THAT'S BEEN SET ON THIS BILL. IT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT IS, AN ARTIFICIAL DEADLINE. SHOULD WE ACT QUICKLY? YES. BUT DOING SOMETHING WRONG QUICKLY DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT. AND THAT'S WHAT SOME PEOPLE SEEM TO BE SAYING. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I URGE US, LET'S DO WHAT'S RIGHT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, LET'S JOIN TOGETHER AS AMERICANS, FIGURE OUT WHAT WE NEED TO DO, TAKE GOOD IDEAS FROM BOTH SIDES AND LET'S HELP FIX THIS AMERICAN ECONOMY. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 03:15:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WISCONSIN.

  • 03:15:32 PM

    MR. KOHL

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. FOR MONTHS NOW, NEWS ABOUT OUR SINKING ECONOMY…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. FOR MONTHS NOW, NEWS ABOUT OUR SINKING ECONOMY HAS DOMINATED. THE FACTS ARE STAGGERING. WE NOW HAVE A 7.2% UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, UPWARDS OF 1 MILLION GOOD-PAYING MANUFACTURING JOBS WERE LOST LAST YEAR, CONSUMER CONFIDENCE IS AT OR NEAR AN ALL-TIME LOW, AND LAST WEEK BROUGHT MORE BAD NEWS. IN THE LAST QUARTER OF 2008, THE ECONOMY SHRANK BY THE MOST IN 26 YEARS. AT THE SAME TIME, MR. PRESIDENT, WE NOW WELL KNOW ABOUT THE IRRESPONSIBILITY OF SOME FINANCIAL EXECUTIVES WHO HELPED TO CREATE THIS CRISIS AND WHO ARE NOW BENEFITING FROM GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE. WHILE COUNTLESS FAMILIES STRUGGLE TO MAKE ENDS MEET, SOME WALL STREET EXECUTIVES REWARDED THEMSELVES WITH BONUSES TOTALING MORE THAN $18 BILLION LAST YEAR. SUCH OUTRAGEOUS REWARDS DURING AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN ARE WITHOUT ANY JUSTIFICATION AND THEY DRAW A HARSH CONTRAST WITH THE REST OF AMERICA. EACH WEEK, WITHOUT A WITHOUT A RESPONSE FROM OUR GOVERNMENT WILL MAKE THAT CONTRAST MORE PRONOUNCED. WITH MORE JOBS LOST AND MORE FAMILIES HURTING ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE. ECONOMISTS AGREE THAT GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO ACT AND ACT NOW. I SUPPORT THE PACKAGE BEFORE US BUT DIE HAVE SOME RESERVATIONS. THE PRICE TAG ON THIS BILL IS ENORMOUS AND IT IS TRUE THAT SOME OF THE COST IS IN LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS, SUCH AS IN EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND INDEPENDENCE, WHICH SOME ARGUE IS NOT IMMEDIATELY STIMULATIVE. THIS IS A CASE, HOWEVER, WHERE THE SUM IS GREATER THAN THE PARTS. AND ULTIMATELY, THIS LEGISLATION CONTAINS WHAT OUR ECONOMY NEEDS TO GET BACK ON TRACK. THE LEGISLATION BEFORE US COMBINES TAX RELIEF, INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE STRAWR INFRASTRUCTURE AND ASSISTANCE TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, ALL AIM AT PUTTING PEOPLE BACK TO WORK AND JUMP-STARTING OUR ECONOMY WITH $342 BILLION IN TARGETED TAX RELIEF, THE BILL WILL HELP MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES, FAMILIES IN WISCONSIN, FOR EXAMPLE, WHO WILL GET ON AVERAGE A TAX CUT OF $900 JUST THIS YEAR. AND THE BILL PROVIDES IMPORTANT TAX INCENTIVES AND BENEFITS FOR BUSINESSES TO SAVE JOBS AND STIMULATE GROWTH. THE BILL BEFORE US ALSO INCLUDES FUNDING TO GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK WHILE REBUILDING OUR NATION'S CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE. IN WISCONSIN, THE BILL FUNDS MORE THAN $537 MILLION IN HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENTS AND INCLUDES MORE THAN $218 MILLION FOR SCHOOL MODERNIZATION. THE BILL ALSO TAKES INTO ACCOUNT THE NEEDS OF AGRICULTURAL AND RURAL COMMUNITIES, FUNDING RURAL WATER AND WASTE DISPOSAL AND FARM OPERATING LOANS. ALSO, THE BILL PROVIDES FOR OUR NEEDIEST CITIZENS, THOSE WHO ARE HIT HARDEST BY THIS DOWNTURN, THROUGH INCREASED FUNDING FOR FOOD STAMPS, W.I.C. AS WELL AS FOOD BANKS. I'M PLEASED THAT THE BILL INCLUDES FUNDING FOR TWO OF MY PRIORITIES, JOB TRAINING AND THE "COPS" PROGRAM. JOB TRAINING IS AT THE CORE OF WHAT THIS LEGISLATION IS ABOUT: PUTTING PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. $1 BILLION IN FUNDING IN THE BILL WILL RETRAIN COUNTLESS WORKERS AND PREPARE PEOPLE FOR NEW JOB OPPORTUNITIES. IN ADDITION, THE BILL INCLUDES NEARLY $4 BILLION FOR FEDERAL AND STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT PROGRAMS. THESE PROGRAMS HAVE A TRACK RECORD OF REDUCING CRIME AND THE ADDITIONAL FUNDING WILL CREATE JOBS QUICKLY. IN SOME WAYS, THIS BILL IS TOUGH TO SWALLOW. I UNDERSTAND WHY THERE ARE THOSE WHO MAY WELL VOTE AGAINST THIS BILL WHO ARGUE THAT IT'S TOO MUCH MONEY. AND I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE 100 SENATORS HERE AND EACH ONE OF US WOULD CRAFT THIS BILL DIFFERENTLY. BUT EVEN THOSE VOTING AGAINST THE MEASURE WOULD CERTAINLY AGREE THAT DURING THIS TIME OF ENORMOUS STRESS ON OUR ECONOMY AND THROUGHOUT OUR LAND, WE CANNOT AFFORD TO DO NOTHING. WE ARE IN AN ECONOMIC CRISIS AND DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION. INDEED, BEFORE THE FINAL VOTE THERE, MAY WELL BE SOME MODIFICATION TO THIS BILL, BUT WE NEED TO VOTE FOR A RECOVERY PACKAGE SIMILAR TO THE ONE BEFORE US TODAY. MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO TALK BRIEFLY ABOUT AN AMENDMENT THAT I HAVE FILED THAT WOULD PROVIDE $30 MILLION TO THE MANUFACTURING EXTENSION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM. THE AMENDMENT IS OFFSET. I'M HOPEFUL THAT THIS AMENDMENT CAN BE INCLUDED IN THE MANAGERS' PACKAGE. THE AMENDMENT HAS THE SUPPORT OF SENATORS SNOWE, STABENOW, BROWN, WHITEWHITEHOUSE, LEVIN, SANDERS, SCHUMER AND WYDEN. M.V.P. MAKES SMALL- AND MEDIUM-SIZED MANUFACTURERS MORE INDEPENDENT BY HELPING THEM IMPLEMENT THE LATEST TECHNOLOGIES. IN 2007, M.E.P. BUSINESS CLIENTS REPORTED OVER 52,000 NEW OR RETRAINED WORKERS, INCREASED SALES OF $6.8 BILLION, AND OVER $1 BILLION IN COST SAVINGS. AS A LONGTIME SUPPORTER OF THE M.E.P. PROGRAM, I BELIEVE THIS WOULD BE A CRITICAL ADDITION TO THE BILL. A HEALTHY MANUFACTURING SECTOR, AS WE ALL KNOW, IS THE KEY TO BETTER JOBS, INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY, AND HIGHER STANDARDS OF LIVING. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. AND I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 03:21:12 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA.

  • 03:21:15 PM

    MR. DeMINT

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE TO SPEAK ON THE AMENDMENT, MY AMENDMENT, THAT…

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE TO SPEAK ON THE AMENDMENT, MY AMENDMENT, THAT PROTECTS RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES, AND I'D LIKE TO START BY ASKING UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ADD SENATOR MIKE ENZI OF WYOMING AND SENATOR JIM BUNNING OF KENTUCKY AS COSPONSORS OF AMENDMENT NUMBER 189.

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  • 03:21:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 03:21:39 PM

    MR. DeMINT

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. FOR TWO OR THREE WEEKS NOW, WE'VE BEEN TOLD TIME…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. FOR TWO OR THREE WEEKS NOW, WE'VE BEEN TOLD TIME AND TIME AGAIN BY COLLEAGUES AND THE PRESIDENT THAT WE NEED TO MOVE OUR COUNTRY FORWARD, SET ASIDE OUR DIFFERENCES, OUR IDEOLOGY, REMEMBER WHAT UNITES US AND COME TOGETHER, BUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WRITING THIS LEGISLATION TODAY HAVE NOT GOTTEN THAT SAME MESSAGE, AND WE'LL TALK ABOUT IT IN THIS BILL IN JUST A MOMENT. THIS MORNING I HAD THE PLEASURE OF SITTING WITH A NUMBER OF MY HOUSE AND SENATE COLLEAGUES ALONG WITH ABOUT 3,000 OTHER PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD, PEOPLE OF FAITH, AND HEARD PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA ADDRESS THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST. THE PRESIDENT SAID MANY GREAT THINGS BUT ONE OF THEM WAS THIS. THE PARTICULAR FAITH THAT MOTIVATES EACH US CAN PROMOTE A GREATER GOOD FOR ALL OF US. I DON'T EXPECT DIVISIONS TO DISAPPEAR OVERNIGHT BUT DIE BELIEVE WHICH IF WE CAN TALK TO ONE ANOTHER -- BUT I DO BELIEVE IF WE CAN TALK TO EACH OTHER OPENLY AND HONESTLY, THEN PERHAPS OLD RIFFS WILL START TO EXPHEND NEW PARTNERSHIPS WILL BEGIN TO EMERGE. WE HEARD PRESIDENT OBAMA AS WELL AS FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF GREAT BRITAIN, TONY BLAIR, SAY THAT FAITH GAVE US TOOLS TO SOLVE PROBLEMS THAT COULD NOT BE SOLVED WITHOUT FAITH. THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL MESSAGE AND I THINK WE ALL KNOW IT'S TRUE. BUT THEN WE COME HERE AND WE FIND A PROVISION IN THIS MASSIVE SPENDING BILL THAT WOULD MAKE SURE THAT STUDENTS COULD NEVER TALK OPENLY AND HONESTLY ABOUT THEIR FAITH. THE FACT IS THAT ANY UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE THAT TAKES ANY OF THE MONEY IN THIS BILL TO RENOVATE AN AUDITORIUM, A DORM OR A STUDENT CENTER COULD NOT HOLD THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST THERE ANY LONGER BECAUSE OF WHAT'S WRITTEN IN THIS BILL. THIS BILL PROVIDES FUNDS TO MODERNIZE, RENOVATE, REPAIR FACILITIES ON COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES, BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC, BUT THERE'S A PHRASE IN THERE, A COUPLE OF LINES, THAT SAYS THAT "THESE FUNDS CANNOT BE USED FOR SECTARIAN" -- OR THE FACILITIES THAT ACCEPT THESE FUNDS CANNOT BE USED FOR SECTARIAN INSTRUCTION, RELIGIOUS WORSHIP OR SCHOOL OR DEPARTMENT OF DIVINITY OR IN WHICH A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE FACILITY ARE SUBSUMED IN A RELIGIOUS MISSION. KEEP IN MIND THAT A PRAYER HAS BEEN CALLED BY OUR COURTS TO BE RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. WHAT THIS MEANS IS THAT STUDENTS CAN'T MEET TOGETHER IN THEIR DORMS IF THAT DORM HAS BEEN REPAIRED WITH THIS FEDERAL MONEY AND HAVE A PRAYER GROUP OR A BIBLE STUDY. THEY CAN'T GET TOGETHER IN THEIR STUDENT CENTERS. THEY CAN'T HAVE A COMMENCEMENT SERVICE WHERE A SPEAKER TALKS ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL FAITH. WHAT THIS MEANS TO UNIVERSITIES IS LEGAL RISK, THREATS OF LAWSUITS FROM THE ACLU IF THEY ALLOW ANY RELIGIOUS ACTIVITY ON A CAMPUS THAT'S TAKEN ANY OF THIS MONEY. IT'S NOT JUST THE PARTICULAR FACILITIES. THIS MONEY CAN BE USED FOR ELECTRICAL WIRING, PLUMBING, SEWER SYSTEMS AND OTHER THINGS THAT AFFECT EVERY BUILDING ON CAMPUS. THIS LANGUAGE HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY VERY SMART LAWYERS TO DO WHAT THEY TRY TO DO AND THAT'S INTIMIDATE THE FREE SPEECH OF TRADITIONAL FREEDOM LOVING AMERICANS. MY AMENDMENT WOULD JUST SIMPLY STRIKE THIS LANGUAGE AND AFFECT NO OTHER PARTS OF THE BILL. THE NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST COULD NOT BE HELD IN A BUILDING RENOVATED WITH FUNDS FROM THIS BILL. THE CAMPUS CRUSADE OR FELLOWSHIP OF CHRISTIAN ATHLETES, INTERVARSITY CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP, CATHOLIC-JEWISH STUDENT GROUPS THAT ARE MEETING ON CAMPUSES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY TODAY CAN NO LONGER MEET IN BUILDINGS THAT USED FUNDS FROM THE BILL THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY. THERE ARE CLASSES ON WORLD RELIGIONS AND RELIGIOUS HISTORY, ACADEMIC STUDIES OF RELIGIOUS TEXT COULD BE BANNED FROM FACILITIES RENOVATED BY THIS BILL. WHAT ABOUT A GROUP OF STUDENTS OR PROFESSORS WHO JUST WANTED TO START A MEETING WITH A PRAYER? WHAT ABOUT CHAPLAINS ON CAMPUS? WHAT ABOUT A PRIVATE BIBLE STUDY IN A STUDENT OAS DORM'S DORM ROOM? WHAT ABOUT A CAMP US THAT WANTS TO BRING BILLY GRAHAM OR RICK WAR TROAN SPEAK? WOULD THEY BE -- WARREN TO SPEAK? WOULD THEY BE BARRED FROM CAMP US? WOULD THE COLLEGE BE SUED BY THE ACLU? WHAT IF ONE OF, A MEMBER OF CONGRESS, WENT TO SPEAK AT A COLLEGE GRADUATION AND SHARED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE FAITH IN OUR LIFE? WOULD THAT COLLEGE BE SUED? THE PEOPLE WHO WROTE THIS BILL WANT TO CREATE RISK AND LIABILITY AND PUT A CHILLING EFFECT ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IN OUR COUNTRY. BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR US TO CONSIDER HERE IS WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE DOING IN THIS BILL IN THE FIRST PLACE? THE COURTS HAVE DECIDED THIS ISSUE. RELIGIOUS GROUPS HAVE THE SAME FREEDOM AS NONRELIGIOUS GROUPS. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ME AND EVEN LESS TO DO WITH STIMULUS. KEEP IN MIND, THIS BILL DIDN'T WRITE ITSELF. SOMEONE AROUND HERE THINKS IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE OF FAITH, TO DENY THEM THE EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES AND ACCESS TO PUBLIC FACILITIES. SOMEONE IS SO HOSTILE TO RELIGION THAT THEY'RE WILLING TO STAND IN THE SCHOOLHOUSE DOOR, LIKE THE INFAMOUS GEORGE WALLACE, TO DENY PEOPLE OF FAITH FROM ENTERING ANY CAMPUS BUILDING RENOVATED BY THIS BILL. THIS CANNOT STAND. IT IS IN HARD TIMES THAT OUR SOCIETY MOST NEEDS FAITH. IT PROVIDES THE LIGHT THAT NO DARKNESS CAN OVERCOME. THIS PROVISION IS AN ATTEMPT TO EXTINGUISH THAT LIGHT FROM COLLEGE CAMPUSES, FROM THE LIVES OF OUR YOUTH. IN THE WORDS OF THE PRESIDENT TODAY, "FAITH CAN PROMOTE A GREATER GOOD FOR ALL OF US." OUR VARIED BELIEFS CAN BRING US TOGETHER AND REBUILD WHAT IS BROKEN. AND LIFT THOSE WHO HAVE FALLEN ON HARD TIMES. OUR CULTURE CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT FAITH AND OUR NATION CANNOT SURVIVE WITHOUT FREEDOM. THIS PROVISION IS AN ASSAULT AGAINST BOTH. IT'S UN-AMERICAN AND IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. INTOLERANT AND IT'S INTOLERABLE. IT MUST BE STRUCK FROM THE UNDERLYING BILL, SO I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT MY VERY SIMPLE AMENDMENT, A FEW LINES THAT JUST STRIKE THIS PROVISION THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN DECIDED BY THE COURTS, HAS NO PLACE IN THIS BILL. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT IT. I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, COULD I ASK HOW MUCH TIME I HAVE REMAINING?

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  • 03:28:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 03:28:58 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 03:28:59 PM

    MR. DURBIN

  • 03:29:00 PM

    MR. DeMINT

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 03:29:05 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    PRESIDENT?

  • 03:29:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 03:29:09 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT --

  • 03:29:13 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT --

  • 03:29:16 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 03:29:19 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT.

  • 03:29:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT.

  • 03:29:22 PM

    MR. DODD

    THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 03:40:22 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 03:40:24 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    GOING TO RESPOND TO SENATOR DEMINT'S AMENDMENT BUT I SEE SENATOR THUNE ON…

    GOING TO RESPOND TO SENATOR DEMINT'S AMENDMENT BUT I SEE SENATOR THUNE ON THE FLOOR AND -- IT WOULD TAKE ME ABOUT TEN MINUTES BUT I WOULD YIELD TO HIM IF...

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  • 03:40:39 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    STILL WORKING ON A U.C. FOR SETTING UP VOTES. FOR THE BENEFIT OF MY…

    STILL WORKING ON A U.C. FOR SETTING UP VOTES. FOR THE BENEFIT OF MY COLLEAGUES, WE THINK IT IS ROUGHLY SOME TIME SHORTLY AFTER 4:00 BUT WE HAVEN'T COMPLETED THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT YET. THE INFORMATION FOR MY COLLEAGUES IS WE ARE WORKING ON IT FOR A SERIES OF 13 VOTES, AT LEAST. DIDMr. DURBIN: I ASK MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR THUNE, DO YOU WANT TO PROCEED?

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  • 03:41:05 PM

    MR. THUNE

    I WOULD LIKE TO DO, MY UNDERSTANDING, PERHAPS TO WASN'T LOCKED IN, WE WERE…

    I WOULD LIKE TO DO, MY UNDERSTANDING, PERHAPS TO WASN'T LOCKED IN, WE WERE GOING TO PING-PONG BACK AND FORTH WITH SPEAKERS AND I HAVE AN AMENDMENT I WOULD LIKE TO SPEAK FOR IF THAT IS OKAY.

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  • 03:41:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA. A SENATOR: DOES THE…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA. A SENATOR: DOES THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS WISH TO SPEAK AFTER SENATOR THUNE?

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  • 03:41:32 PM

    MR. CHAMBLISS

    WOULD ASK WHOEVER SPEAKS ON THAT SIDE, THAT I SPEAK AFTER THE NEXT…

    WOULD ASK WHOEVER SPEAKS ON THAT SIDE, THAT I SPEAK AFTER THE NEXT DEMOCRAT SPEAKS.

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  • 03:41:45 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    FRANKLY, MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK THE NEXT SPEAKER SHOULD BE YOU. THE…

    FRANKLY, MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK THE NEXT SPEAKER SHOULD BE YOU. THE SENATOR FROM GEORGIA.

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  • 03:41:57 PM

    MR. CHAMBLISS

    SENATOR THUNE, SENATOR BAUCUS -- MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, IF I,…

    SENATOR THUNE, SENATOR BAUCUS -- MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, IF I, THROUGH THE CHAIR COULD TELL SENATOR BAUCUS, SENATOR THUNE IS GOING NOW AND THE SPEAKER ON YOUR SIDE AND I WILL GO AFTER THAT SPEAKER.

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  • 03:42:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA.

  • 03:42:21 PM

    MR. THUNE

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TO SPEAK TODAY IN SUPPORT OF MY SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TO SPEAK TODAY IN SUPPORT OF MY SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT WHICH IS NUMBER 197 WHICH HAS BEEN MODELS AFTER THE SUBSTITUTES AMENDMENT THAT WAS OFFERED BY THE SENATOR IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. AND I THINK THE BIG QUESTION WE HAVE TO ASK AND THE QUESTION BEFORE THE HOUSE IS: IF WE ARE SERIOUS ABOUT DOING SOMETHING TO HELP THE ECONOMY RECOVER AND CREATE JOBS, WHAT'S THE BEST AND MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO DO THAT? WE HAVE A PROPOSAL EMPHASIZING MORE HEAVILY GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND THROUGH GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AND I HAVE CHOSEN TO OFFER TO MY COLLEAGUES IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE ON SOMETHING THAT DOES IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY, IT ALLOWS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO SPEND THE MONEY THAT WE USE TO INFUSE THE ECONOMY WITH DOLLARS AND HOPEFULLY WILL GROW THE ECONOMY IS CREATE JOBS. OUR NATION HAS LOST MILLIONS OF JOBS OVER THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS. FAMILIES ARE HURTING AND BUSINESSES ARE HURTING. AS OUR NATION WEATHER THIS TIME, WE HAVE THIS DECISION TO MAKE: SHOULD THE COME TAKE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF TAX DOLLARS AND INVEST IN EXPANDED FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR, ON THE OTHER HAND, SHOULD CONGRESS RETURN TAX DOLLARS DIRECTLY INTO THE ECONOMY IN THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF TAX RELIEF -- IN THE FORM OF TAX RELIEF TO CREATE JOBS AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY? THE RESPONSE OF THE DEMOCRAT MAJORITY IN FRONT OF US IS TO PUT MORE MONEY IN THE FEDERAL AGENCIES, TO RENOVATE FEDERAL BUILDINGS, AND BUY NEW CARS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. I BELIEVE WE OUGHT TO FOLLOW A DIFFERENT PATH, MR. PRESIDENT. THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY KEEP MORE OF THEIR HARD-EARNED DOLLARS AND LET THEM DECIDE HOW TO SAVE, INVEST AND TURN THE ECONOMY AROUND. PEOPLE KNOW BETTER HOW TO SPEND THEIR MONEY THAN UNELECTED BUREAUCRATS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND TAX RELIEF, NOT GOVERNMENT SPENDING, REDUCTIONS OF TAXES OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, CREATE JOBS AND GET US OUT OF THE RECESSION. THIS IS WHAT PRESIDENT KENNEDY KNEW, AND WHAT I BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WITH THEIR LACKLUSTER RESPONSE TO THE $1 TRILLION SPENDING PROPOSAL WE HAVE IN FLNTS OF US, KNOW AS WELL. THIS SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT, MR. PRESIDENT, DOES SEVERAL THINGS: IT SHIFTS SPENDING TO TAX RELIEF PROVIDING TAX RELIEF FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES, SECOND, TAX RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, THE JOB CREATORS IN OUR ECONOMY, THIRD, PROVIDES HOUSING ASSISTANCE, AND FINALLY, IT PROVIDES TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE TO THOSE DEALS WITH THE CURRENT RECESSION. THE BILL PROVIDES MEANINGFUL TAX RELIEF NOR WORKING TAX-PAYING FAMILIES. UNDER THE MAKING WORK PAY CREDIT, THE TAX PROVISION IN THE MAJORITY BILL, SEVEN MILLION HOUSEHOLDS ARE GOING TO RECEIVE A CHECK FROM THE GOVERNMENT THAT IS LARGER THAN BOTH THEIR PAYROLL TAX AND THEIR INCOME TAX LIABILITY. RATHER THAN A ONE-TIME CREDIT WHAT MY AMENDMENT WOULD DO IT WOULD REDUCE THE LOWEST TWO MARGINAL INCOME TAX RATES FOR YEARS 2009 AND 2010, THE 10% RATE WOULD GO DOWN 5%, THE 15% RATE WOULD GO DOWN TO 10%. THAT IS REAL TAX REDUCTION AND WILL BENEFIT ALL INCOME TAX PAYERS IN THIS COUNTRY. THERE ARE 100 MILLION TAXPAYERS WHO WOULD RECEIVE RELIEF FOR EACH. MARRIED COUPLES COULD RECEIVE UP TO $3,400 IN LOWER TAXES EACH YEAR. MR. PRESIDENT, CONSUMER SPENDING ACCOUNTS FOR 70% OF OUR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT. AS CONSUMER SPENDING DECLINED FAR RECORD SIX MONTHS IN 2008, IT IS NO SURPRISE THAT OUR ECONOMY CONTRACTED OVER THE SAME PERIOD OF TIME. IF WE WANT TO SPUR CONSUMER SPENDING, WE SHOULDN'T IMPLEMENT SINGLE-SHOT POLICIES LIKE A ONE-TIME CREDIT, AND WE CERTAINLY SHOULDN'T POUR HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS. INSTEAD, MR. PRESIDENT, THE BEST WAY TO STIMULATE CONSUMER SPENDING IS AN IMMEDIATE MEANINGFUL REDUCTION OF MARGINAL INCOME TAX RATES. WITH RESPECT TO SMALL BUSINESSES, MR. PRESIDENT, THE SECOND PART OF THIS BILL FOCUSES ON SMALL BUSINESS TAX RELIEF. SMALL BUSINESSES, AS I SAID, CREATE UP TO 80% OF ALL NEW JOBS AND REPRESENT 99% OF THE 27 MILLION BUSINESSES IN THE UNITED STATES. IF WE WANT TO CREATE NEW JOBS, WE SHOULD START WITH HELPING SMALL BUSINESS, NOT EXPANDING FEDERAL BUREAUCRACIES. SO THIS AMENDMENT EXPANDS SMALL BUSINESS BONUS DEPRECIATION AND EXPENSING TO ENCOURAGE INVESTMENT IN THIS CURRENT YEAR, WHICH IS WHEN WE NEED IT THE MOST. THE AMENDMENT EXPANDS THE NET OPERATING LOSS CARRYBACK PERIOD PERMITTING THEM TO CARRY IT BACK FOR FIVE YEARS RATHER THAN TWO. SEVERAL OF THESE PROVISIONS, GRANDED, ARE INCLUDED IN THE UNDERLYING BILL. THIS AMENDMENT, HOWEVER, MR. PRESIDENT, PROVIDES AN ADDITIONAL $47 BILLION OF SMALL BUSINESS TAX RELIEF. MY AMENDMENT INCLUDES A NEW PROVISION THAT WOULD ALLOW SMALL BUSINESSES TO DEDUCT 20% OF THEIR BUSINESS INCOME. THIS PROVISION SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCES THE TAX BURDEN ON SMALL BUSINESSES, WHICH WOULD ALLOW THEM TO CONTINUE TO HIRE AND REFEIGN HARD-WORKING -- AND RETAIN HARD-WORKING AMERICANS. THIS WOULD ALSO ALLOW SMALL BUSINESSES TO MAXIMIZE THEIR EARNINGS AND INCREASE IN VALUE, WHICH WILL ALSO GIVE THEM BETTER ACCESS TO CREDIT MARKETS, ANOTHER CRITICAL COMPONENT TO A RECOVERY. SMALL BUSINESSES, MR. PRESIDENT, ARE THE BACKBONE OF OUR ECONOMY AND UNBELIEVABLY ONLY 2% OF THE TOTAL IN THIS BILL, THE UNDERLYING BILL, THE MAJORITY MAJORITY BILL, IS DEDICATED TO TAX RELIEF FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. THE LACK OF SMALL BUSINESS INCENTIVES IN THIS BILL, IN MY JUDGMENT IS A SERIOUS FLAW, AND MY AMENDMENT SEEKS TO IMPROVE IT SUBSTANTIALLY. MR. PRESIDENT, I ALSO UNDERSTAND THAT PEOPLE ARE HURTING ON ACCOUNT OF THE ECONOMIC DOWNTURN. ACROSS AMERICA WE'VE GOT HARD-WORKING MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE BEING LAID OFF BECAUSE OF NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. TODAY, THEY'RE SITTING AT THE CAN IKITCHEN TABLE WONDERING THOUSAND MAKE ENDS MEET. EARLIER THIS YEAR CONGRESS ACTED TO PROVIDE A SAFETY NET FOR THOSE IN NEED. MY AMENDMENT WOULD EXTEND THE EXPANDED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROVISIONS THROUGH THE END OF THIS YEAR. ADDITIONALLY, THE AMENDMENT WOULD ELIMINATE THE INCOME TAX ON UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. THIS IS AN AUTOMATIC INCREASE IN THE REAL BENEFIT OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE TO THOSE WHO DERIVE IT. IT NEVER MADE STONES ME THAT INDIVIDUALS WOULD PAY TAXES TO THE GOVERNMENT TO FUND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND ONCE THEY'RE UNEMPLOYED RECEIVE THE BENEFITS, THEN HAVE TO PAY TAXES ON THE BENEFITS AS WELL. SO THIS AMENDMENT WOULD CORRECT THAT, AND IT WOULD ALSO, MR. PRESIDENT, MAKE HEALTH CARE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED AND OTHER FAMILIES WITHOUT EMPLOYER-PROVIDED HEALTH INSURANCE, BECAUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS AMENDMENT WOULD PROVIDE AN ABOVE-THE-LINE DEDUCTION FOR HEALTH INSURANCE COSTS. FINALLY, WITH RESPECT TO THE HOUSING MARKET, THIS AMENDMENT ADDRESSES OUR HOUSING MARKET CRISIS. THE HOUSING MARKET IS WHAT LED US INTO THIS RECESSION AND FIXING THE HOUSING MARKET WILL HELP LEAD US OUT. MY AMENDMENT WOULD EXTEND THE $7 $7,500 TAX CREDIT THROUGH 2009 WHILE EXTENDING THE BENEFIT TO ALL PRIMARY RESIDENCES. THIS WOULD ELIMINATE THE COMPLICATED RECAPTURE RULES THAT REQUIRE HOMEBUYERS TO PAY THE GOVERNMENT BACK IF THEY CLAIM THIS CREDIT. IN THE END, THIS PROVISION WOULD HELP STIMULATE THE FALTERING HOUSING MARKET AND ENCOURAGE RESPONSIBLE HOMEOWNERSHIP. MR. PRESIDENT, ACCORDING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, THERE ARE SOME REAL ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH THE DECISION THAT WE MAKE ABOUT WHEMG TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY WITH -- WHETHER TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY WITH FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENDING OR WITH TAX RELIEF. I WANT TO READ FOR YOU TO AUTUMN THINGS THAT C.B.O. SAID. "REDUCTIONS IN FEDERAL TAXES WOULD HAVE MOST OF THEIR EFFECTS IN 2509 AND 2010, THE VERY PERIOD THAT WE ARE TARGETING TO PROVIDE THE GREATEST ECONOMIC STIM LAWS AND HOPE OF JOB CREATION. "THEY ALSO STATED THAT PURCHASES OF GOODS AND SERVICES EARL DIRECTLY OR IN THE FORM OF GRANTS OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WOULD TAKE YEARS TO COMPLETE. IT WILL BE DIFFICULT, THEY GO ON, TO PROPERLY MANAGE AND OVERSEA A RAPID EXPANSION OF EXISTING PROGRAMS. AND FINALLY, THEY SAID, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT MANY OF THE LARGER PROJECTS INITIATED WOULD TAKE UP TO FIVE TO SEVEN DWREERS COMPLETE. IF WE WANT TO APPROACH THIS PROBLEM WITH A SOLUTION THAT DELIVERS ASSISTANCE QUICKLY, THAT IS QUICK-HITTING, THAT ET GOES MONEY INTO THE ECONOMY QUICKLY, THAT CREATES JOBS QUICKLY, MR. PRESIDENT, THE WAY TO GO ABOUT DOING THAT IS NOT TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT SPEND THE MONEY, TO HAVE IT COME OUT OF WASHINGTON, TO UNDERSTAND IS OUR -- TO SEND OUR MONEY TO WASHINGTON, HAVE THE GOVERNMENT DECIDE THOUSAND SPEND IT HERE, IS TO GET MONEY INTO THE HAND OF HARD-WORKING AMERICANS AND SMALL BUSINESSES WHERE THE REAL POWER FOR JOB CREATION EXISTS. INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, THIS -- THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION -- THE AMENDMENT THAT I OFFER -- WAS RUN THROUGH AN ANALYSIS THAT WAS USED -- AS METHODOLOGY THAT WAS DEVELOPED BY THE PRESIDENT'S CHAIR OF THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS AND HER NAME IS DR. CHRISTINA ROEMER AND DR. JARED BERNSTEIN. THIS WAS A METHODOLOGY THAT THEY USED BACK IN MARCH OF 2007 THAT CONSIDERS THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT OF VARIOUS POLICY PRESCRIPTIONS AND FISCAL DECISIONS THAT ARE MADE BY THE CONGRESS. AND WHAT THEY SUGGESTED IN THAT ANALYSIS IS THAT FOR -- IF YOU REDUCE TAXES ON THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, THAT YOU GET 2.2 MULTIPLIER IN TERMS OF G.D.P. WELL, MY AMENDMENT REDUCES TAXES AS A PERCENTAGE OF OUR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT BY 2.8%. IF YOU TAKE THAT BY THEIR MULTIPLIER OF 2.2, YOU GET 6.1% IN G.D.P. GROWTH AS A RESULT OF CUTTING TAXES. NOW, IF YOU GO ON FURTHER, THEY SUGGEST THAT FOR EVERY 1% INCREASE IN G.D.P., YOU GET.75% CHANGE IN JOBS. IF YOU MULTIFLY BY.75, YOU GET A 4.6% INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF JOFNLTS YOU TAKE OUR FULL -- THE SIZE OF OUR WORKFORCE WHICH IS ABOUT 133,876 EMPLOYEES AND YOU PLUG IN THAT 4.6% INCREASE, AND YOU GET A JOB GROWTH CONTRARY, A JOB INCREASE OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT TWO YEARS AS A RESULT OF MAKING THESE CHANGES IN TAX POLICY OF ALMOST 6.2% INCREASE IN JOBS. THEY HAVE SUGGESTED THAT THEY COULD GET UP TO ANOTHER 3 MILLION JOBS PERHAPS FROM THIS. BUT I WOULD SUGGEST THAT IF WE CAN CREATE DOUBLE THAT AMOUNT, 6 MILLION JOBS, AS A RESULT OF REDUCING TAXES, IT IS A MUCH BETTER SOLUTION FOR OUR COUNTRY TO GET OUR ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK AND IS ALSO DONE AT A LOT LESS COST. MY AMENDMENT IS IS ABOUT $440 BILLION COMPARED WITH THE $900 BILLION THAT IT WILL COST FOR THE PROPOSAL THAT THE DEMOCRAT MAJORITY HAS IT FRONT OF US. TWICE THE JOBS AT HALF THE COST. THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, SOUNDS LIKE A SOLUTION THAT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHO UNDERSTAND CLEARLY THAT YOU DON'T SEND YOUR MONEY TO WASHINGTON AND HOPE THAT THE GOVERNMENT CAN SPEND IT TO CREATE JOBS. THAT THE WAY TO CREATE JOBS IS TO GET MONEY BACK IN THE HNDZ -- BACK IN THE HANDS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND SMALL BUSINESSES. THAT IS WHAT WILL LEAD US TO THE GROWTH IN THE GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, THE EXPANDING ECONOMY AND THE JOB CREATION THAT'S ASSOCIATED WITH THAT. TWICE THE JOBS FOR HALF THE COST, MR. PRESIDENT. I HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES WILL SUPPORT THIS AMENDMENT. IT IS A MUCH BETTER APPROACH DEALINGDEALING WITH WHAT IS A VERY SERIOUS ECONOMIC CRISIS FOR THIS COUNTRY. I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT. I HOPE MY COMPLETION WILL SUPPORT IT AS WELL. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIEVMENT BEFORE I DO THAT LET ME ALSO SAY THE COSPONSORS ON THIS AMENDMENT ARE SENATORS KYL, DeMINT, JOHANNS AND HATCH. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

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  • 03:54:43 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 03:54:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.

  • 03:54:46 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. AND I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS THE STIMULUS PROPOSAL…

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. AND I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS THE STIMULUS PROPOSAL VANSD BY MY FRIEND AND REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUE FROM NEVADA, SENATOR ENSIGN, WHOSE PLAN IS TO HAVE THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDE FIXED MORTGAGES AT 4% TO ALL CREDIT-WORTHY AMERICANS. NOW, SENATOR ENSIGN HAS STATE -- HAS STATED PUBLICLY THAT HE THINKS THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE SEEKING TO STABLIZE THE HOUSING MARKET DURING THESE TUMULTUOUS TIMES. AS MY COLLEAGUES ALL KNOW BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN SPEAKING ABOUT IT FOR MONTHS, I COMPLETELY AGREE 14 U7B% THAT WE HAVE TO STABLIZE THE HOUSING MARKET. AND I'VE BEEN TOLD THAT THE TREASURY UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF SECRETARY GEITHNER IS WORKING ON A PLAN TO GET MORTGAGE RATES DOWN. IT IS A GOOD IDEA. BUT SECRETARY GEITHNER'S PLAN IS DIFFERENT WITH THE PLAN OFFERED BY SENATOR ENSIGN AND OTHERS. GEITHNER'S PLAN IS A PLAN -- I HAVEN'T SEEN THE DETAILS; I LOOK FORWARD TO SUPPORTING IT -- BUT IT'S DIFFERENT THAN THIS PLAN, WHICH I MUST OPPOSE IN A VERY SERIOUS WAY. NOW, LET'S START FROM THE BEGINNING. WE HERE IN WASHINGTON SOMETIMES SEEM TO FORGET THAT THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC TURMOIL WE'RE NOW EXPERIENCING -- AND THAT'S THE WORST MOST OF US HAVE EVER SEEN EXCEPT THOSE WHO LIVED DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION -- IS THE INABILITY OF HOMEOWNERS TO MAKE THEIR MORTGAGE PAYMENTS ON TIME. WHETHER IT'S BECAUSE THEY LOST THEIR JOBS OR SUFFERE UNEXPECTED MEDICAL COSTS OR, AS WAS TOO OBVIOUS THE CASE IN RECENT YEARS, BECAUSE THEY WERE TARGETED BY PREDATORY MORTGAGE LENDERS AND GIVEN A LOAN THEY COULDN'T AFFORD, OR BECAUSE THEY REACHED TOO FAR ON THEIR OWN, THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF HOMEOWNERS WHO ARE STARING INTO THE ABYSS OF FORECLOSURE. AND, OF COURSE, ALL AMERICANS KNOW THAT WE'RE NOW FACING POTENTIALLY THE WORST ECONOMIC CRISIS SINCE HERBERT HOOVER WAS IN OFFICE. AND SO, ON THE POSITIVE SIDE, I WANT TO APPLAUD MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES, BOTH FOR EMBRACING THE IDEA OF A BIG STIMULUS PROPOSAL -- THIS IS CERTAINLY BIG -- AND FOR RECOGNIZING THE CRITICAL IMPORTANCE OF HELPING AT-RISK HOMEOWNERS. THOSE ARE GOOD. BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE SPECKS OF THIS PLAN, YOU KNOW IT'S -- BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE SPECIFICS OF THIS PLAN, YOU KNOW IT'S ONE THAT YOU CANNOT SUPPORT. I DON'T CARE IF YOUR IDEOLOGY IS REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT, LIBERAL OR CONSERVATIVE. UNFORTUNATELY, THE PROPOSAL OFFERED FAILS MISERABLY AT EACH STABILIZING THE HOUSING MARKET OR AT PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE STIMULUS. AND IT DOES SO AT AN UNTHINKABLY LARGE COST AND RISK TO THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. THE COST OF THIS PROGRAM IS, TO PUT IT SUCCINCTLY, THROUGH THE ROOF FOR FISCAL CONSERVATIVES TO ADVOCATE IT I'M QUITE SURPRISED. THE REPUBLICAN PROPOSAL IS LIGHT ON DETAILS. BUT IT APPEARS TO OFFER ALL AMERICANS WHO QUALIFY FOR FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC CONFORMING LOANS, AN INTEREST RATE OF 4%. NOW, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. THIS IS NOT JUST FOR NEW HOME PURCHASES BUT ALSO FOR REFINANCINGS AS WELL. SO ANYONE WHO OWNS A HOME CAN REFINANCE AT 4% FREDDIE OR FANNIE-SUPPORTED LOANS. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THIS IDEA WILL BE PROHIBITIVELY EXPENSIVE AND MAY JEOPARDIZE THE CREDIT RATING OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. IT'S THAT SERIOUS. THE REPUBLICANS THEMSELVES SAY THEY'LL CAP THE PROGRAM'S COST AT $300 BILLION. $300 BILLION FOR THIS ONE PROGRAM. WHAT DOES THIS EVEN MEAN? DO THEY MEAN THE TOTAL SIZE IS $300 BILLION? IF THAT WORKS, IF THAT'S SO, IT WORKS OUT TO ABOUT 2.5% OF MORTGAGES IN AMERICA, GIVING ONLY A TINY HANDFUL OF AMERICANS AN ENORMOUS WINDFALL. 2.5% GET THIS BREAK, 97.5% DON'T. MORE LIKELY, THE REPUBLICANS MEAN THAT THE PROGRAM'S TOTAL LOSSES WILL BE $300 BILLION. A FIGURE WHICH CAN ONLY BE GOTTEN BY USING THE SAME ENRON-STYLE ACCOUNTING THAT GOT US INTO THIS MESS. THIS IS NOT A REALISTIC OR EVEN POSSIBLE FIGURE WHEN YOU CONSIDER HOW MUCH RISK THE GOVERNMENT LEND UP SHOULDERING. CURRENTLY, FANNIE AND FREDDIE HAVE MORE THAN $5 TRILLION IN OUTSTANDING CONFORMING LOANS, ALL OF WHICH WOULD QUALIFY FOR REFINANCING UNDER SENATOR ENSIGN AND SENATOR McCONNELL'S PLAN. AND YOU CAN BET THAT MOST AMERICANS WHO QUALIFY WILL TAKE THIS OFFER. WHO WOULDN'T? AFTER ALL, WHAT HOMEOWNER OUT THERE WOULDN'T REFINANCE INTO A 4% MORTGAGE? SO THE GOVERNMENT WOWOULD BE THE OWNER OF OVER $5 TRILLION IN MORTGAGES. AND YOU'RE TELLING ME THAT ANYONE CAN GUARANTEE THAT THE GOVERNMENT WOULD LOSE ONLY $300 BILLION ON THIS PLAN? IF YOU BELIEVE THAT I'VE GOT A HEDGE FUND I'D LIKE TO INVEST IN CALLED MADOFF SCIEWRTZ, L.L.C. AND EVEN IF THE REPUBLICAN PLAN COSTS $300 BILLION IT RECKLESSLY EXPOSES THE COUNTRY TO ENORMOUS FINANCIAL RISK. NO MATTER HOW ROSY THE ESTIMATES MAY BE OF HOW MUCH THIS WILL COST IN THE LONG RUN, THE FACT REMAINS IN THE SHORT RUN WE HAVE TO COME UP WITH THE MONEY TO FINANCE THESE NEW MORTGAGES, POTENTIALLY MORE THAN $5 TRILLION. WHERE WILL THE NEW MONEY COME FROM? FROM ISSUING NEW DEBT. DOES ANYONE BELIEVE THE UNITED STATES FOR THIS ONE PROGRAM CAN ISSUE $5 TRILLION OF NEW DEBT AND NOT JEOPARDIZE THE DOLLAR, IN THE WORST CRISIS IN OUR LIFE TIMES? I BELIEVE AS MUCH AS ANYONE IN THE STRONG CREDIT WORTHINESS OF OUR COUNTRIES. WE WILL AND CAN REPAY OUR DEBTS. INVESTORS AROUND THE WORLD KNOW THIS, WHICH IS WHY DEBT IS SOLD AT A LOW RATE. BUT ADD $5 TRILLION TO THE DEBT IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS. AFTER EIGHT YEARS OF TAX CUTS, WARS, ADDING ANOTHER $5 TRILLION COULD BREAK THE BACK OF THE U.S. DOLLAR. THE ODDS ARE ALL TOO HIGH THAT COULD HAPPEN. YOU KNOW WHAT THEN WILL HAPPEN? WE WILL ALL BE IN A WORLD DEPRESSION IMMEDIATELY. THIS PROGRAM CAN'T WORK. NOW, IF REPUBLICAN PLAN WERE ABLE TO REVERSE OUR HOUSING SLIDE, THEN IT MIGHT MAKE SENSE. BUT EVEN AT ITS GOAL, IT FAILS. WHY? IT DOESN'T CORRECTLY IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM, WHICH IS THERE'S AN OVERSUPPLY OF HOUSING RIGHT NOW THAT'S MADE WORSE EACH MONTH BY THE GLUT OF FORECLOSURES OCCURRING, DRIVING DOWN HOME PRICES. NOW, YOU TELL ME, YOU'RE IN YOUR HOME, YOU PAID YOUR MORTGAGE. YOU HAVE NOW AN ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO REFINANCE AT 4%. YOU'RE STAYING IN THE SAME HOME. HOW DOES THAT REDUCE THE GLUT OF HOUSING ON THE MARKET? HOW? IT DOESN'T. FURTHERMORE, IT DOESN'T ADDRESS THE VAST MAJORITY OF HOMES AT RISK FOR FORECLOSURE, THE 70% THAT ARE UNDER WATER WHERE THE OLD AMOUNT ON THE MORTGAGE EXCEEDS THE VALUE. UNDER WATER MORTGAGES ARE HIGH FORECLOSURE RISKS, NO MATTER WHAT THE MORTGAGE RATE IS. YOU CAN HAVE A 4% RATE, A 1% RATE, AN 8% RATE. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH INCOME TO PAY THE MORTGAGE, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO PAY IT. SO THE SECOND PROBLEM -- OR THIRD PROBLEM WITH THIS IS IT DOESN'T MAKE IT ANY BETTER. IF YOU OWE $400,000 ON A $300,000 HOME, AS MILLIONS OF AMERICAN HOMEOWNER ACROSS THE COUNTRY DO, YOU WON'T EVEN QUALIFY FOR THIS PLAN. YOU AREN'T EVEN ELIGIBLE FOR REFINANCING. SO IT DOESN'T GET AT THE PROBLEM. NOT ONLY DOES IT COST A FORTUNE, BUT IT DOESN'T GET AT THE PROBLEM. BECAUSE THE PROPOSAL IS VASTLY SKEWED TOWARDS REFINANCING RATHER THAN TOWARDS THE PURCHASES OF NEW HOMES, IT WILL NOT STIMULATE HOUSING DEMAND MUCH AT ALL. IF YOU'RE A NEW HOMEOWNER, YOU MAY TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE 4% RATE OR YOU MAY CONTINUE TO WAIT AND SEE IF HOME PRICES BOTTOM OUT. BUT IF YOU'RE A CURRENT HOMEOWNER, YOU'RE GOING TO REFINANCE, NO MATTER WHAFPLT NOW, WHAT ABOUT IT AS A STIMULUS? SO CLEARLY THIS IS NOT A HOUSING PLAN. IT'S A WAY TO PUT MONEY INTO PEOPLE'S POCKETS -- SOMETHING I'M NOT AGAINST -- THROUGH REFINANCING OF MORTGAGES. BUT WILL THIS PROVIDE AN ECONOMIC SHOT IN THE ARM THAT WE NEED TO GET BACK ON OUR ECONOMY -- OUR ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK? UNFORTUNATELY, THERE'S NO ANSWER. WE KNOW THAT MOST PEOPLE, WHEN GIVEN TAX CUTS DURING A DOWNTURN LIKE THIS DON'T RESPOND BY SPENDING MONEY BUT BY SAVING IT AND PAYING DOWN THEIR DEBT. THE POORER AND THE MORE WORKING CLASS SPEND MORE ON THE TAX CUTS THEY RECEIVE; THEY'RE LESS LIKELY TO BE ABLE TO USE THIS PROGRAM. THE PROGRAM TARGETS ITS LARGESS AT HOMEOWNER WHO HOLD MORTGAGES OF UP TO A VALUE OF $625,000. AND THE MORE EXPENSIVE YOUR HOME UP TO THAT LIMIT, THE MORE MONEY YOU GET BACK. SO IRONICALLY, THE PEOPLE GETTING THE MOST BACK ARE THE PEOPLE LESS LIKELY TO SPEND AND STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. IT'S HIGHLY INEFFICIENT. AND, FURTHERMORE, GUESS WHO'S GOING TO MAKE A BIG SLICE OF THIS MONEY? THE BANKS, WHO DO THE REFINANCING. EVERYONE KNOWS POINTS. WHEN WE'VE GONE FOR A MORTGAGE, WE HATE POINTS. POINTS MEAN YOU'VE GOT TO PAY $5,000, $10,000, WHATEVER.

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  • 04:04:53 PM

    MR. REID

    THE SENATOR FROM THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK YIELD FOR A UNANIMOUS CONSENT…

    THE SENATOR FROM THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK YIELD FOR A UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST?

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  • 04:04:57 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I'D BE HAPPY TO YIELD THE LEADER. REID RAO EUD PAP POLL SKWRAOEUZ --

  • 04:05:04 PM

    MR. REID

    TO THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT --…

    TO THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT -- AND I ALSO, WHEN I COMPLETE THIS UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST, I ASK SENATOR SHELBY BE RECOGNIZED. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AT 4:30 THIS AFTERNOON THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE IN RELATION TO THE AMENDMENTS LISTED IN THIS AGREEMENT IN THE ORDER LISTED, THAT NO AMENDMENT BE IN ORDER TO ANY OF THE AMENDMENTS COVERED UNDER THE AGREEMENT PRIOR TPO A VOTE OR RELATION THERETO, THAT PRIOR TO EACH VOTE THERE BE TWO MINUTES OF DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED IN THE USUAL FORM. THAT AFTER THE FIRST VOTE THE SUCCEEDING VOTES BE LIMITED TO TEN MINUTES. DORGAN AMENDMENT NUMBER 200. FEINGOLD-McCAIN AMENDMENT NUMBER 140. DODD AMENDMENT NUMBER 354. DeMINT AMENDMENT 189. HARKIN AMENDMENT 338. DODD AMENDMENT 14 56789 McCASKILL -- McCASKILL AMENDMENT 145 AND 236 AS MODIFIED. AND THAT A FURTHER MODIFICATION BE IN ORDER IF CLEARED BY THE MANAGERS. THUNE AMENDMENT 197. BOX AMENDMENT 363, WITH THE MODIFICATION AT THE DESK. BARRASSO AMENDMENT 326. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 04:06:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM OREGON.

  • 04:06:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM OREGON.

  • 04:06:25 PM

    MR. WYDEN

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. IT IS NOT MY INTENTION TO OBJECT. I SIMPLY WANTED TO…

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. IT IS NOT MY INTENTION TO OBJECT. I SIMPLY WANTED TO ENGAGE IN A BRIEF COLLOQUY WITH THE DISTINGUISHED LEADER. IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING, MR. LEADER, THAT IT IS TKWROUR DESIRE TO MOVE -- IT IS YOUR DESIRE TO MOVE TO A VOTE ON THOSE PARTICULAR AMENDMENTS THAT YOU HAVE JUST OUTLINED HERE THIS AFTERNOON. AND THIS WOULD NOT CUT OFF THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SENATORS TO CONTINUE TO OFFER AMENDMENTS. MYSELF, SENATOR SNOWE, WE HAVE DEVELOPED, FOR EXAMPLE, A BIPARTISAN PROPOSAL --

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  • 04:06:53 PM

    MR. REID

    IS RIGHT. THERE WILL BE AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER OTHER AMENDMENTS.

  • 04:06:58 PM

    MR. WYDEN

    MR. PRESIDENT, I WITHDRAW MY RESERVATION.

  • 04:07:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 04:07:02 PM

    MR. KYL

    MR. PRESIDENT, RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT.

  • 04:07:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 04:07:06 PM

    MR. KYL

    PROPOSE TO MODIFY THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT BY NOTING THAT THE TIME…

    PROPOSE TO MODIFY THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT BY NOTING THAT THE TIME BETWEEN NOW AND 4:30 BE DIVIDED EQUALLY.

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  • 04:07:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    DOES THE SENATOR ACCEPT THE MODIFICATION?

  • 04:07:20 PM

    MR. REID

    YES.

  • 04:07:22 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 04:07:28 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.

  • 04:07:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I YIELD TO THE --

  • 04:07:30 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I YIELD TO THE --

  • 04:07:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 04:07:34 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATOR IS CORRECT.

  • 04:07:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR IS CORRECT.

  • 04:07:42 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I YIELD FIVE MINUTES TO THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.

  • 04:07:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.

  • 04:07:47 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THE FINAL POINT, WHILE WE'RE PUTTING SOME MONEY…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THE FINAL POINT, WHILE WE'RE PUTTING SOME MONEY IN PEOPLE'S POCKETS -- AN ADMIRABLE GOAL -- WE'RE LETTING EVERY BANK THAT DOES THE REFINANCING TAKE A BIG CUT. POINTS. YOU HAVE A $150,000 MORTGAGE, YOU'RE GOING TO REFINANCE ABOUT $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, TKPWEPBGD ON THE BANK -- TKPWEPBGD ON THE BANK, WILL GO TO THEM. EVEN IF THIS IS NOT A HOUSING STIMULUS, WHICH YOU KNOW IT ISN'T, EVEN IF IT'S A W TO GET MONEY INTO PEOPLE'S POCKETS AT A COST AT LEAST $300 TRILLION AND AN IMMEDIATELY OUTLAY OF $5 TRILLION, WHY ARE WE GIVING EVERY BANK IN AMERICA THAT DOES THE REFINANCINGS A CUT? THAT MAKES NO SENSE. IT'S DONE WILLY-NILLY. IN ALL DUE RESPECT, I JUST WONDER AT THE DEPTH OF THE THINKING THAT WENT INTO PUTTING THIS PROPOSAL TOGETHER. PERHAPS IF IT WERE LIMITED TO FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS, PHRAPS F PERHAPS IF THE -- PERHAPS IF THE BANK'S POINTS WERE LIMITED, PERHAPS IF WE WOULD SAY THERE WOULD BE AN INCOME LIMITATION, BECAUSE ANOTHER PROBLEM WITH THIS IS MULTIMILLIONAIRES. THAT'S ANOTHER POINT. YOU MAKE $5 MILLION A KWRAOERBGS YOU GET THE REDUCED RATE, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS FOR IT. DO WE WANT TO GIVE MULTIMILLIONAIRES THE ABILITY TO REFINANCE? SO PERHAPS IF THERE WERE AN INCOME LIMIT AEUFPLGTS THE NUB OF THIS -- INCOME LIMITATION. THE NUB OF THIS IDEA MIGHT BE SUPPORTABLE. THE WAY IT IS PUT TOGETHER HERE ON PAPER, BECAUSE IT COSTS SO MUCH, BECAUSE IT DOES -- IT'S NOT GOING TO STIMULATE HOUSING, BECAUSE IT'S A VERY INEFFICIENT WAY TO GET MONEY INTO THE ECONOMY AND GET THE ECONOMY GOING, BECAUSE THE BANKS TAKE A CUT, AND BECAUSE VERY WEALTHY PEOPLE CAN APPLY FOR THIS WHO DON'T NEED ANY HELP, IT MAKES NO SENSE TO ENACT IT NOW. WHAT I'D SUGGEST TO MY GOOD FRIEND FROM NEVADA IS THIS: TAKE THE NUB OF THIS PROPOSAL, GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD AND REFINE IT. THE ADMINISTRATION IS COMING UP WITH A HOUSING PROPOSAL NEXT WEEK. WE WILL WORK ON HOUSING. WE HAVE TO. AND THEN YOU CAN HAVE YOUR PROPOSAL. WE'LL SEE WHAT THEIR PROPOSAL IS, WHICH I BELIEVE IS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT, ALTHOUGH THE INTENTION AT LEAST FOR HOME BUYERS IS TO BRING MORTGAGE RATES DOWN. MAYBE WE CAN COME UP WITH AN AGREEMENT OR A COMPROMISE. BUT TO VOTE FOR THIS PLAN RIGHT NOW WITH ITS HIGH COSTS, LACK OF AN INCOME LIMITATION, MONEY THAT GOES TO THE BANKS RIGHT OFF THE TOP AND LACK OF ABILITY TO MOVE THE HOUSING MARKETS, THIS AMENDMENT SHOULD NOT AND CANNOT PASS. I WOULD URGE MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES TO COME UP WITH A NEW BETTER PLAN THAT GETS AT THE ROOT OF THE HOUSING CRISIS AND THEN WE CAN BEGIN TO WORK ON SOLUTIONS. WE CERTAINLY NEED TO TACKLE THE PROBLEM. WE NEED TO TACKLE IT ON THE TKPWHAPBD AND THE SUPPLY -- ON THE DEMAND AND THE SUPPLY SAOEUFPLTD BUT THE DEMAND SIDE NEEDS TO BE TARGETED AT WAYS TO BOOST NEW HOME PURCHASES. ON THE SUPPLY SIDE, WE NEED TO ADAPT MEASURES THAT WILL EFFICIENTLY PREVENT FORECLOSURES AND REDUCE THE EXCESS SUPPLY OF HOMES. ENHANCED F.H.A.-INSURED LENDING, BANKRUPTCY REFORM AND THE EXTENSION OF FDIC LOSS MITIGATION. I AM CONFIDENT WE CAN COME UP WITH A GOOD PLAN THAT'S MORE TARGETED, LESS COSTLY, AND THAT WILL BEGIN TO GET US OUT OF THE HOUSING MORASS. AND I WOULD HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES, AGAIN, WOULD SCRAP THIS PROPOSAL, GO BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD, AND AFTER WE FINISH THE STIMULUS, WORK WITH US IN A BIPARTISAN WAY TO PRODUCE THAT RESULT. I YIELD MY REMAINING TIME BACK TO MY COLLEAGUE FROM MONTANA, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE.

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  • 04:11:49 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    PRESIDENT?

  • 04:11:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 04:11:53 PM

    MR. McCAIN

  • 04:15:24 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 04:15:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 04:15:29 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I YIELD SIX MINUTES TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, THE…

    I YIELD SIX MINUTES TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, THE SENATOR FROM HAWAII.

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  • 04:15:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM HAWAII.

  • 04:15:38 PM

    MR. INOUYE

    THIS PROCESS IN NOVEMBER, THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE WORKED WITH THE…

    THIS PROCESS IN NOVEMBER, THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE WORKED WITH THE INCOMING ADMINISTRATION AND OUR PARTNERS IN THE HOUSE TO IDENTIFY THE PRIMARY GOALS FOR LEGISLATION THAT WOULD HELP AMERICA REGAIN ITS FINANCIAL FOOTING. BASED ON THESE DISCUSSIONS WE IDENTIFIED ONE OVERWHELMING PRIORITY, PUTTING AS MANY AMERICANS AS POSSIBLE BACK TO WORK AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. AND WE ALSO IDENTIFIED TWO FURTHER FUNDAMENTAL PRIORITIES, FIRST, ASSISTING THE STATES SO THEY WOULD NOT FACE INSURMOUNTABLE BUDGET CRISIS THAT WOULD IN TURN FORCE SIGNIFICANT LAYOFFS AT A TIME WHEN THEY'RE FACING UNPRECEDENTED DEMAND FOR SERVICES AND, SECOND, MAKING THE RIGHT INVESTMENTS THAT WILL NOT SIMPLY CREATE TEMPORARY JOBS, BUT WILL REPAIR AND STRENGTHEN OUR FISCAL INFRASTRUCTURE SO THAT THIS NATION HAS THE FOUNDATION IT NEEDS TO ENABLE STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR YEARS TO COME. AND I'VE SAT HERE LISTENING TO THE DEBATE OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS. AND I FEAR THAT WE'RE LOSING SIGHT OF THE KEY GOAL. SEVERAL OF MY DISTINGUISHED REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES HAVE SUGGESTED THAT THE MEASURE PENDING BEFORE US WILL SPEND SPEND $88 BILLION -- $880 BILLION AND PRODUCE 3.5 MILLION JOBS SO THAT EACH JOB CREATED WILL COST $255,000. HOWEVER, THEY DON'T TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION OUR INVESTMENT IN ROADS, BRIDGES, RAILROADS AND OTHER MASS TRANSIT SYSTEMS WILL ACTUALLY CUT BACK ON ONE OF THE MOST WASTEFUL EXPENSES THAT AMERICANS DEAL WITH EACH AND EVERY DAY, TRAFFIC CONGESTION. ACCORDING TO THE TEXAS TRANSPORTATION INSTITUTE, AND I QUOTE -- "GRIDLOCK COST THE AVERAGE TRAVELER ALMOST 40 HOURS A YEAR IN TRAVEL DELAY AND COSTS THE UNITED STATES MORE THAN $38 BILLION EACH YEAR IN LOST WORK AT A TIME WHEN FUEL IS INCREASINGLY COSTLY, TRAFFIC JAMS ARE WASTING 2.9 BILLIONS OF GAS EVERY YEAR. ALSO IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE COST OF LABOR WHEN IT COMES TO CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ON ROADS AND BRIDGES IS AROUND 15%. THE REST OF THE BUDGET GOES TO SUPPLIES LIKE STEEL AND CONCRETE CONCRETE. THE COST OF ACQUIRING RIGHTS OF WAY, THE DRAFTING OF PLANS, AND, OF COURSE, THE COSTS OF PLANNING AND STUDIES. ANOTHER FORM OF CONSTRUCTION CONTAINED IN THE BILL IS SEWER REPAIRS. LET ME GIVE YOU A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE. THIS BILL RECOMMENDS RECOMMENDS $125 MILLION TO BE MATCHED AT 100% BY LOCAL FUNDS BY THE RATE BEARERS WHO CONTINUE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA LONG-TERM CONTROL PLAN. IT HAS IDENTIFIED UP TO 40 SPECIFIC NEAR-TERM ACTIVITIES THAT WOULD CREATE MORE THAN 250 JOBS. UNDER THE LOGIC THAT HAS BEEN USED SOME OF THE OPPONENTS OF THIS BILL, THIS WOULD EQUATE TO SOME $500,000 PER JOB. THIS IS MISLEADING. WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF TUNNELING, THE COST OF PIPES, THE COST OF ALL THE HEAVY EQUIPMENT, INSURANCE COSTS AND MANY MANY MORE. WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO THOSE WHO OPPOSE THE BILL THE COST OF THE CONSTRUCTION JOB IS NOT THE COST OF LABOR. IF WE'RE TO HAVE AN OPEN AND HONEST DEBATE ON THE MERITS OF THIS BILL, LET'S START WITH SOME FACTS. NOW OUR OBJECTIVE HERE IS NOT TO CREATE MAKE JOBS FOR ONE YEAR TO MAKE PAPER CLIPS. OUR GOAL IS TO CREATE JOBS FOR MANY YEARS THAT WILL LAST FOR MANY YEARS AND IN TURN CREATE JOB. OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE THAT AMERICA WILL REMAIN THE STRONGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD FOR MANY YEARS TO COME. WHILE OUR SHORT-TERM TACTIC IS TO PASS A BILL THAT WILL HAVE AN IMMEDIATE IMPACT AND HELP US THROUGH THE CURRENT CRISIS, WE MUST NOT LOSE SIGHT OF THE FACT THAT OUR SHORT-TERM TACTICS CAN HAVE A LONG IT WAS TERM IM-- LONG-TERM IMPACT, REBUILDING OUR INFRASTRUCTURE AND ACAPTAINING TO -- ADAPTING TO NEW TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL PUT US BACK ON TRACK IN A GLOBAL ECONOMY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. REINVESTING IN ROADS, MASS TRANSPORTATION, SUERS AN SIDEWALKS IS NOT A -- SEWERS AND SIDEWALKS IS NOT A GLAMOROUS THING. BUT THIS INVESTMENT PUTS AMERICANS TO WORK BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE. AND SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I STAND BY THE ORIGINAL VISION OF THIS BILL TO CREATE JOBS, SUPPORT OUR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND INVEST IN OUR BASIC INFRASTRUCTURE. THESE ARE THE PRIORITIES THAT WILL ENSURE THAT AMERICA EMERGES FROM THIS CRISIS STRONGER AND BETTER ABLE TO COMPETE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. DURING THE PAST -- IS MY TIME UP? DURING THE PAST TWO DAYS OPPONENTS OF THIS BILL HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT THE PROMISING OF TAX -- THE POLICY OF TAX CUTS OVER ALL OTHER POLICIES. THEY HAVE SPOKEN OF THE NEED TO CUT SPENDING THAT CREATES JOBS, GOOD JOBS, REAL JOBS THAT PRESERVE THE ENVIRONMENT AN IMPROVE HE'D -- AND IMPROVE EDUCATION AND SUCH. OPPONENTS OF THIS BILL HAVE SPOKEN ABOUT CUTTING PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE A LIFELINE TO THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HIT THE HARDEST BY THE CRISIS. ONE THOUGHT COMES TO MY MIND, THIS BILL IS ABOUT CHANGE. AND THEIR OPPOSITION IS SIMPLY RESPONDING TO THE BIGGEST CRISIS SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION WITH MORE OF THE SAME. MADAM PRESIDENT, MORE OF THE SAME HASN'T WORKED FOR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS. AND I BELIEVE IT'S TIME TO ACT AND TO PASS THIS MEASURE. I THANK YOU. I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT?

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  • 04:22:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 04:22:21 PM

    MR. KYL

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK THAT YOU ADVISE ME WHEN I CONSUME 90 SECONDS.

  • 04:22:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: OK.

  • 04:22:27 PM

    MR. KYL

    WANT TO REMIND MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE McCAIN AMENDMENT ON WHICH I…

    WANT TO REMIND MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE McCAIN AMENDMENT ON WHICH I SPOKE EARLIER AND I WANT TO SPEAK TO THE THUNE AMENDMENT WHICH DESERVES OUR SUPPORT. ACCORDING TO THE ECONOMIC MODELS DEVELOPED BY THE PRESIDENT'S ECONOMIC ADVISERS, THIS PROPOSAL WOULD CREATE TWICE AS MANY JOBS FOR HALF THE COST, 6.2 MILLION JOBS AS FOR THE ALLEGED THREE MILLION TO FOUR MILLION JOBS FOR $88 MILLION. ONE OF THE BEST PARTS IS A 7% RATE CUT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES DONE THE WAY THAT WE DID FOR CORPORATIONS UNDER THE FISC BILL. THIS WOULD APPLY TO BUSINESSES WITH FEWER THAN 500 EMPLOYEES, PRECISELY THE BUSINESSES THAT CREATE JOBS. FINALLY A PROVISION IN THE BILL THAT EXPRESSES OUR POLICY THAT THE UNITED STATES SHOULD NOT INCREASE ITS MARGINAL INCOME TAX RATE WHILE THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IS UN2008 AND TAX RELIEF SHOULD NOT PAY R THE -- THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT CAUSED THE SECOND HALF OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION HERE AND SLOWED DOWN THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN JAPAN. SO I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AND THE THUNE AMENDMENT.

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  • 04:23:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WHO YIELDS TIME? A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT, CAN I ASK HOW MUCH TIME IS…

    WHO YIELDS TIME? A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT, CAN I ASK HOW MUCH TIME IS REMAINING ON BOTH SIDES?

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  • 04:23:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: SIX MINUTES AN FOUR SECONDS AND -- AND FOUR SECONDS AND…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: SIX MINUTES AN FOUR SECONDS AND -- AND FOUR SECONDS AND 24 SECONDS. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE --

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  • 04:24:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM GEORGIA.

  • 04:24:09 PM

    MR. CHAMBLISS

    I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AND IN OPPOSITION TO THE…

    I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AND IN OPPOSITION TO THE UNDERLYING BILL. I WAS SITTING HERE LISTENING TO MY FRIEND FROM NEW YORK TALK ABOUT THE HOUSING BILL -- THE HOUSING AMENDMENT THAT SENATOR ENSIGN HAS BROUGHT FORWARD AND HOW HE NOW SPEAKS IN OPPOSITION TO THAT BUT HE SUPPORTS A PROPOSAL THAT'S COMING FROM THE ADMINISTRATION NEXT WEEK ON THE ISSUE OF TRYING TO FIX THE HOUSING ISSUE. WELL, YOU KNOW, I WOULD SIMPLY ASK MY FRIEND FROM NEW YORK, WHERE WAS HE LAST WEEK WHERE -- AS A MEMBER OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE HE VOTED OUT THIS UNDERLYING BILL THAT DOES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO FIX THE HOUSING ISSUE. WHAT GOT US INTO THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS THAT WE'RE IN TODAY IS THE HOUSING CRISIS THAT GOT WORSE AND WORSE, CONTINUES TO GET WORSE EVERY DAY. AND WHAT WE'RE NOW TALKING ABOUT DOING FROM THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE IS THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A PROPOSAL NEXT WEEK, THE DETAILS OF WHICH ARE NOT KNOWN BY ANYBODY, BUT WE NEED TO SPEND SPEND $800 BILLION, $900 BILLION, WHATEVER THE SIZE OF THIS BILL NOW, WE NEED TO SPEND THE $500 OR SO BILLION THAT SECRETARY GEITHNER IS GOING TO COME WITH RELATIVE TO TARP 3, PLUS WHATEVER HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT ARE RELATIVE TO THE HOUSE FIX PLUS THE TRILLION DOLLARS IN THE OMNIBUS BILL THAT IS LAYING OUT THERE THAT WE UNDERSTAND IS ALREADY APPROVED THAT WILL BE COMING FORWARD. MADAM PRESIDENT I WOULD SIMPLY SAY THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ASKED ONE SIMPLE QUESTION: WHEN IS ALL OF THIS SPENDING GOING TO STOP? WE'VE HAD MANY WORTHY AMENDMENTS TO THIS UNDERLYING BILL THAT WE DEBATED OVER THIS WEEK AND I COMMEND THE MAJORITY LEADER FOR ALLOWING BOTH SIDES TO BRING FORWARD AMENDMENTS. BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT AS WE HAVE HAD THESE AMENDMENTS COME FORWARD, THE SIZE OF THE BILL HAS GROWN. AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM. THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE'RE NOW SEEING BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE COME FORWARD WITH AMENDMENTS THAT OPERATE ON A TOP-DOWN BASIS WHERE YOU HAVE THE BASE BILL THAT SPENT SOME $900 OR DZ -- $920 BILLION, THE NUMBERS ARE SO ASTRONOMICAL, THAT IT IS IS EASY TO FORGET. RATHER THAN DOING THAT WHICH IS A POOR WAY TO DO BUSINESS, WHAT THE McCAIN AMENDMENT DOES IS A SUBSTITUTE FOR THE BASE BILL. AND IT IS A BOTTOM-UP APPROACH TO TRYING TO FIX THIS CRISIS THAT WE'RE IN. AND IT DOES SO WITH THREE SIMPLE COMPONENTS. FIRST OF ALL, THE HOUSING ISSUE IS WHAT GOT US IN THIS CRISIS THAT WE'RE IN. AND UNLESS WE FIX THE HOUSING ISSUE, ALL OF THIS TRILLION DOLLARS THAT THE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE ARE PROPOSING TO SPEND WILL ALL BE SPENT FOR NOT. IN THE McCAIN AMENDMENT WE DIRECTLY ADDRESS THE HOUSING ISSUE. THE ISAKSON AMENDMENT IS IN THERE, THERE ARE OTHER PROVISIONS RELATIVE TO HOUSING THAT ARE GOING TO ALLOW THIS HOUSING MARKET TO TURN ITSELF AROUND THE FREE MARKET TO OPERATE AND WE CLEAR OUT THIS INVENTORY OF FORECLOSED HOMES AS WELL AS INCENTIVIZING THE PURCHASE OF OTHER NEW HOMES SO THAT HOUSING CONSTRUCTION CAN BEGIN ONCE AGAIN. SECONDLY, THE McCAIN AMENDMENT IS GOING TO INCREASE JOBS AND IT'S GOING TO DO SO IN A VERY DIRECT WAY. IT'S GOING TO INCREASE JOBS BY REDUCING THE CORPORATE TAX RATE FROM 35% TO 25%. THERE WILLING MORE -- THERE WILL BE MORE MONEY IN THE POCKETS OF CORPORATIONS SO THEY CAN EXPAND THEIR BUSINESSES WHICH WILL AUTOMATICALLY CREATE JOBS. THERE IS NOTHING IN THE UNDERLYING BILL THAT DIRECTLY FOCUSES ON INCREASING JOBS. THE OTHER THING THAT FROM A TAX STANDPOINT IN THE McCAIN AMENDMENT THAT IS GOING TO GO TOWARD STIMULATING THE CONFIDENCE IN PEOPLE AS WELL AS THE MARKET ITSELF IS THE TEMPORARY ELIMINATION OF PAYROLL TAXES SO THAT WHEN EVERY HARD-WORKING AMERICAN GETS THEIR PAYCHECK, WHETHER IT IS WEEKLY, BIWEEKLY OR MONTHLY, THEIR PAYCHECK WILL BE BIGGER. THEY'LL HAVE MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS WHICH THEY SO DESPERATELY NEED RIGHT NOW. AND, THIRDLY, THERE'S A COMPASSIONATE PART TO THIS BILL. THERE'S A LARGE NUMBER OF AMERICANS OUT THERE TODAY WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. THEY'RE HARD-WORKING MEN AND WOMEN WHO WERE DOING A GOOD JOB, BUT BECAUSE OF THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS, THEY'VE LOST THEIR JOBS. THEY NEED HELP AND THEY'RE LOOKING TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THERE IS AN EXTENSION OF THE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN THE McCAIN AMENDMENT AND THAT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO. LASTLY, LET ME JUST SAY, MADAM PRESIDENT, THAT AS WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT THIS BILL, THIS UNDERLYING BILL THERE'S ONE ISSUE THAT HAS NOT BEEN TALKED ABOUT. ONE ISSUE THAT HAS NOT BEEN MENTIONED BY THE FOLKS ON THE OTHER SIDE AND THAT IS HERE WE ARE ONCE AGAIN AFTER RAISING THE DEBT CEILING JUST IN THE -- IN RECENT MONTHS ONCE AGAIN WE'RE SEEING THE DEBT CEILING RAISED BY ALMOST $1 TRILLION. NOW, WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO NEXT WEEK THE TREASURY SECRETARY SECRETARY'S PROPOSAL COMES DOWN ON TARP 3 AND ON HOUSING THAT THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK MENTIONED? WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WHEN THE OMNIBUS APPROPRIATION BILL COMES DOWN EITHER BEFORE THE BREAK BEFORE PRESIDENT'S DAY OR AFTERWARDS? ARE WE GOING TO HAVE TO RAISE THE DEBT CEILING ONCE AGAIN? YOU KNOW, MADAM PRESIDENT, AGAIN, I GO BACK TO THE QUESTION THAT I ASKED TO START WITH AND I HEAR TIME AND TIME AGAIN FROM FOLKS IN GEORGIA AND THAT IS, SENATOR, WHEN IS THE SPENDING GOING TO STOP AND THERE BE SOME FOCUS ON TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KEEP AND GROW OUR JOBS AS WELL AS FICTION THE HOUSING ISSUE? MADAM PRESIDENT, I URGE THE PASSAGE OF THE McCAIN BILL AND OPPOSITION TO THE UNDERLYING BILL. AND I WOULD YIELD BACK.

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  • 04:30:12 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY HAS 24 SECONDS REMAINING.

  • 04:30:17 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THAT 24 SECONDS TO THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN.

  • 04:30:20 PM

    MR. LEVIN

    I THANK THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA. MADAM PRESIDENT, I OPPOSE THE FEINGOLD…

    I THANK THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA. MADAM PRESIDENT, I OPPOSE THE FEINGOLD AMENDMENT WHICH WOULD REQUIRE THAT ANY ALLOCATION OF FUNDS IN AN APPROPRIATION BILL HAVE A PRIOR AUTHORIZATION. THERE IS ONLY ONE AUTHORIZATION BILL THAT PASSED THIS YEAR AND THAT'S THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION AUTHORIZATION. THERE ARE NO OTHER AUTHORIZATION BILLS THAT PASSED. THIS AMENDMENT IS A -- REPRESENTS A MASSIVE SHIFT OF POWER TO THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. IT IS NOT A TRANSPARENCY AMENDMENT. WE DID THAT LAST YEAR. THIS IS A SHIFT OF POWER AMENDMENT WHICH SHOULD BE DEFEATED. I ASK THE REST OF MY STATEMENT BE INSERTED IN THE RECORD.

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  • 04:30:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:31:10 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 04:31:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 04:31:16 PM

    MR. McCAIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:32:22 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 04:32:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 04:32:26 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    PRESIDENT, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT WE ARE NOW LIVING IN EXTRAORDINARY…

    PRESIDENT, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING THAT WE ARE NOW LIVING IN EXTRAORDINARY TIMES. THIS COUNTRY HAS NOT SEEN A RECESSION AS BAD AS THIS. THERE'S MANY PEOPLE WITH LOST JOBS AS WE'RE NOW SEEING SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. EXTRAORDINARY TIMES REQUIRE EXTRAORDINARY ACTIONS. IT IS TRUE THAT NO ONE KNOWS EXACTLY THE PRECISE PRESCRIPTION HOW TO GET THIS ECONOMY BACK GOING AGAIN. THIS UNDERLYING BILL IS CERTAINLY THE BEST EFFORTS OF SOME OF THE BRIGHTEST PEOPLE TO TRY TO FIND THAT SOLUTION. AND ECONOMISTS ALL SAY -- ALL SAY WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS TO GET US GOING. WITH THE GAP BETWEEN THE REAL ECONOMY AND THE POTENTIAL ECONOMY ALREADY HAVE ABOUT $1 TRILLION, AND IF WE DON'T PASS THIS, WE'LL PROBABLY LOSE ANOTHER $1 TRILLION. THE UNDERLYING BILL IS MUCH BETTER THAN THE ALTERNATIVE. THE ALTERNATIVE IS BASICALLY DON'T DO IT, WE DON'T DO IT, GOSH, THE JOB LOSSES WE SEE NOW, AS BAD AS IT IS, IS JUST GOING TO PALE IN COMPARISON TO OTHERWISE WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. SO I URGE TO

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  • 04:33:25 PM

    Senate Vote 45 - On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA McCain Amdt No 364 As Modified)

    In the nature of a substitute.

    Motion Rejected (40 - 57)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 40
    Republican - 40

    Vote Details: Nay - 56
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 2
    Democratic - 1
    Republican - 1

  • 04:58:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OTHER SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, ON THIS…

    OTHER SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, ON THIS VOTE THE YEAS ARE 40 AND THE NAYS ARE 57. THREE-FIFTHS OF THE SENATORS DULY SWORN AND CHOSEN NOT HAVING VOTED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, THE MOTION IS NOT AGREED. THE IF POSITIVE IS SUCCESS -- SUSTAINED. THE AMENDMENT FALLS. THERE ARE NOW TWO MINUTES OF DEBATUALLY DIVIDED PRIOR TO A VOTE IN RELATION TO AMENDMENT 200 OFFERED BY THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA.

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  • 04:59:05 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MADAM PRESIDENT? THE SENATE IS NOT IN ORDER.

  • 04:59:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 04:59:23 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE DORGAN AMENDMENT TEMPORARILY BE LAID ASIDE AND THE NEXT VOTE IS ON THE…

    THE DORGAN AMENDMENT TEMPORARILY BE LAID ASIDE AND THE NEXT VOTE IS ON THE FEINGOLD-MCCAIN AMENDMENT AND THE DORGAN AMENDMENT FOLLOWING THAT.

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  • 04:59:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE QUESTION IS ON THE…

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE QUESTION IS ON THE FEINGOLD-MCCAIN AMENDMENT. THERE WILL BE TWO MINUTES OF DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED. WHO YIELDS TIME?

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  • 04:59:50 PM

    MR. FEINGOLD

    MADAM PRESIDENT? MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:59:52 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MADAM PRESIDENT, THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER.

  • 04:59:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. MAY I PLEASE ASK THE SENATORS TO…

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. MAY I PLEASE ASK THE SENATORS TO TAKE THEIR CONVERSATIONS OUT OF THE WELL.

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  • 05:00:22 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:00:27 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I THANK THE SENATOR FROM WISCONSIN.

  • 05:00:31 PM

    MR. FEINGOLD

    AMENDMENT ESTABLISHES A NEW 60-VOTE POINT OF ORDER AGAINST UNAUTHORIZED…

    AMENDMENT ESTABLISHES A NEW 60-VOTE POINT OF ORDER AGAINST UNAUTHORIZED EARMARKS ON APPROPRIATIONS BILLS AND ALSO REQUIRES RECIPIENTS OF FEDERAL FUNDS TO DISCLOSE THEIR LOBBYING EXPENSES. OPPONENTS ARGUE IS THIS POINT OF ORDER DOES NOTHING ABOUT SO-CALLED PRESIDENTIAL EARMARKS OR EARMARKS IN AUTHORIZING BILLS. I'M HAPPY TO CONSIDER A PROPOSAL TARGETING THOSE THINGS, BUT TAXPAYERS AREN'T GOING TO BUY THE EXCUSE THAT I VOTED AGAINST IT BECAUSE IT WASN'T TOUGH ENOUGH. LAST YEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID THAT -- QUOTE -- "WE CAN NO LONGER ACCEPT A PROCESS THAT DOLES OUT EARMARKS BASED ON A MEMBER OF CONGRESS'S SENIORITY RATHER THAN THE MERIT OF THE PROJECT. WE CAN NO LONGER ACCEPT AN EARMARKS PROCESS THAT HAS BECOME SO COMPLICATED TO NAVIGATE THE MUNICIPALITY OR NONPROFIT GROUP HAS TO HIRE HIGH-PRICED D.C. LOBBYISTS." IF YOU WANT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT EARMARKS, VOTE FOR THIS AMENDMENT.

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  • 05:01:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:01:37 PM

    MR. INOUYE

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:01:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:01:40 PM

    MR. INOUYE

    PRESIDENT?

  • 05:01:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ORDER!

  • 05:01:48 PM

    MR. BYRD

    ORDER!

  • 05:01:49 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ORDER!

  • 05:02:04 PM

    MR. BYRD

    ORDER!

  • 05:02:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM HAWAII.

  • 05:02:08 PM

    MR. INOUYE

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE ARE NO EARMARKS IN THIS…

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT THERE ARE NO EARMARKS IN THIS BILL BEFORE THE SENATE. THEREFORE, THIS AMENDMENT IS NOT RELEVANT. NUMBER TWO, WE SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT THE CONSTITUTION GIVES THE POWER OF THE PURSE TO THE CONGRESS AND IT IS OUR JOB TO USE THIS POWER RESPONSIBLY. WE HAVE ALREADY PUT PROCEDURES IN PLACE TO MAKE THE PROCESS TRANSPARENT AND TO HOLD MEMBERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR SPENDING DECISIONS. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE SHOULD KEEP IN MIND THAT IF AN ITEM HAS NOT BEEN AUTHORIZED BY SEPTEMBER THE 1st, 2009, AND MONEYS HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATED, THAT MONEY IS TAKEN OUT. KEEP IN MIND THAT, AS OF THIS MOMENT, THE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HAS NOT HAD AUTHORIZATION BILLS FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS. THE SAME GOES FOR MANY OTHER COMMITTEES. IN FACT, THE AUTHORIZING COMMITTEE FOR --

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  • 05:03:13 PM

    Senate Vote 46 - On the Amendment (Feingold Amdt No 140)

    To provide greater accountability of taxpayers' dollars by curtailing congressional earmarking and requiring disclosure of lobbying by recipients of Federal funds.

    Amendment Rejected (32 - 65)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 31
    Republican - 26
    Democratic - 4
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Nay - 65
    Republican - 14
    Democratic - 50
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 2
    Democratic - 1
    Republican - 1

  • 05:22:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    DOES ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO VOTE ON THE FEINGOLD AMENDMENT? IF NOT, ON…

    DOES ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO VOTE ON THE FEINGOLD AMENDMENT? IF NOT, ON FEINGOLD AMENDMENT NUMBER 140, THE YEAS ARE 32, THE NAYS ARE 65, AND THE AMENDMENT FALLS. THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

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  • 05:22:38 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER -- A SENATOR: MOVE TO RECONSIDER.

  • 05:22:42 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:22:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:22:46 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:22:47 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:22:48 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I BELIEVE THAT UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE DORGAN AMENDMENT REOCCURS.

  • 05:22:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS CORRECT. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THERE ARE NOW TWO MINUTES DIVIDED…

    IS CORRECT. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THERE ARE NOW TWO MINUTES DIVIDED PRIOR TO A VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT NUMBER 200 OFFERED BY THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA, MR. DORGAN.

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  • 05:23:06 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT I BE ALLOWED TO SUBSTITUTE MY…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT I BE ALLOWED TO SUBSTITUTE MY AMENDMENT NUMBER --

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  • 05:23:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE --

  • 05:23:12 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE --

  • 05:23:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE BE IN ORDER.

  • 05:23:17 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    WE HAVE CLEARED THIS AMENDMENT ON BOTH SIDES. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT…

    WE HAVE CLEARED THIS AMENDMENT ON BOTH SIDES. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT I BE ALLOWED TO SUBSTITUTE MY AMENDMENT NUMBER 138 AS MODIFIED, REQUIRING ECONOMIC IMPACT REPORTS FOR MY AMENDMENT NUMBER 2 HUNDRED.

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  • 05:23:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 05:23:34 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    PRESIDENT, I ASK THE AMENDMENT BE CALLED UP, AMENDMENT 138, AS MODIFIED.

  • 05:23:40 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA, MR. DORGAN, PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBER 138…

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA, MR. DORGAN, PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBER 138 AS MODIFIED.

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  • 05:23:46 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:24:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:24:12 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. I RECOMMEND ACCEPTANCE OF THIS…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. I RECOMMEND ACCEPTANCE OF THIS AMENDMENT.

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  • 05:24:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:24:18 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:24:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA.

  • 05:24:21 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    IT HAS NOT.

  • 05:24:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    LET ME ASK THAT AMENDMENT NUMBER 200 BE WITHDRAWN.

  • 05:24:26 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:24:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:24:30 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    AND ASK FOR A VOTE ON AMENDMENT NUMBER 138 AS MODIFIED.

  • 05:24:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE QUESTION IS ON AMENDMENT NUMBER 138 AS MODIFIED. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR…

    THE QUESTION IS ON AMENDMENT NUMBER 138 AS MODIFIED. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR INDICATE BY SAYING AYE. ALL THOSE OPPOSED, SAY NO. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 05:24:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THERE ARE NOW TWO MINUTES OF DEBATE EQUALLY…

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THERE ARE NOW TWO MINUTES OF DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED ON DODD AMENDMENT NUMBER 354.

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  • 05:25:01 PM

    MR. DODD

    WHO YIELDS TIME IN OPPOSITION?

  • 05:26:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WHO YIELDS TIME IN OPPOSITION?

  • 05:26:15 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 05:26:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:26:18 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I DO HAVE NO OPPOSITION TO THIS AMENDMENT. I AGAIN…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I DO HAVE NO OPPOSITION TO THIS AMENDMENT. I AGAIN RECOMMEND ITS PASSAGE.

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  • 05:26:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE FURTHER DEBATE ON THE AMENDMENT? IF NOT, ALL THOSE IN FAVOR SAY…

    IS THERE FURTHER DEBATE ON THE AMENDMENT? IF NOT, ALL THOSE IN FAVOR SAY AYE. ALL THOSE OPPOSED, SAY NO. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO. A SENATOR: MOVE TO RECONSIDER.

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  • 05:26:41 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    LAY THAT MOTION ON THE TABLE.

  • 05:26:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 05:27:19 PM

    MR. DeMINT

  • 05:27:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA.

  • 05:27:22 PM

    MR. DeMINT

    ARE WE CONSIDERING THE DeMINT AMENDMENT NEXT?

  • 05:27:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WE ARE.

  • 05:27:26 PM

    MR. DeMINT

    THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 05:28:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 05:28:35 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    THE PROVISION IN THE BILL STATES FEDERAL FUNDS CANNOT BE USED TO SUPPORT…

    THE PROVISION IN THE BILL STATES FEDERAL FUNDS CANNOT BE USED TO SUPPORT FACILITIES IN WHICH A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE FUNCTIONS OF THE BUILDING INVOLVE A RELIGIOUS MISSION. I WANT TO SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH CAROLINA THIS LANGUAGE HAS BEEN IN THE LAW FOR 40 YEARS. IT IS THE RESULT OF THREE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS. IT WAS SIGNED -- NO, I WON'T. IT WAS SIGNED INTO LAW IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION REAUTHORIZATION ACT, SIGNED BY PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN, PRESIDENT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH AND PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH. IT IS OPPOSED -- THE DeMINT AMENDMENT IS OPPOSED BY THE JESUIT UNIVERSITIES. WE HAVE STRUCK A BALANCE HERE HELPING RELIGIOUS SCHOOLS ON BUILDINGS NOT PRIMARILY FOR RELIGIOUS FUNCTION. WE WILL CONTINUE DOING THAT AND CONTINUE HONORING OUR CONSTITUTION'S ESTABLISHMENT CLAUSE. I HOPE EVERYONE WILL SUPPORT ME IN OPPOSING THE DeMINT AMENDMENT AND STAND BY THE LANGUAGE THAT HAS BEEN TIME TESTED AND APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT IN THREE SEPARATE DECISIONS.

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  • 05:29:32 PM

    MR. DeMINT

    MR. PRESIDENT, MAY I CORRECT A MISCHARACTERIZATION --

  • 05:29:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    TIME HAS EXPIRED. THE QUESTION IS ON AMENDMENT NUMBER 189.

  • 05:29:43 PM

    Senate Vote 47 - On the Amendment (DeMint Amdt No 189)

    To allow the free exercise of religion at institutions of higher education that receive funding under section 803 of division A.

    Amendment Rejected (43 - 54)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 43
    Republican - 38
    Democratic - 4
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Nay - 53
    Democratic - 50
    Independent - 1
    Republican - 2

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 2
    Democratic - 1
    Republican - 1

  • 05:47:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:48:02 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:48:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE DODD AMENDMENT NUMBER 145 BE TAKEN OUT OF…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE DODD AMENDMENT NUMBER 145 BE TAKEN OUT OF THIS TRANCHE AND WE'LL ARRANGE ANOTHER TIME WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF THE REPUBLICANS TO DETERMINE WHEN TO VOTE ON THIS. WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS SENATOR CONRAD WANTS TO HAVE ANOTHER AMENDMENT GO BEFORE THIS ONE, AND SENATOR DODD HAS CONSENTED TO DO THAT.

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  • 05:48:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:48:30 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THAT'S RIGHT.

  • 05:48:37 PM

    MR. REID

    RIGHT.

  • 05:48:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:48:53 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    THE SENATOR FROM IOWA.

  • 05:48:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM IOWA.

  • 05:48:56 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    PRESIDENT, I STILL STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT WE NEED A STRONG AUTO INDUSTRY IN…

    PRESIDENT, I STILL STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT WE NEED A STRONG AUTO INDUSTRY IN THIS COUNTRY. I THINK ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO DO THAT IS TO GET PEOPLE TO BUY CARS. ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO DO THAT IS TO GIVE LOW-INCOME AND MODERATE-INCOME INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES THE WHEREWITHAL TO BUY THOSE CARS. THAT'S WHAT THIS AMENDMENT WAS ABOUT. HOWEVER, I MUST SAY THAT IN THE CURRENT I THINK DESIRE TO REDUCE THE SIZE OF THE BILL, I'M GOING TO ASK CONSENT TO WITHDRAW THE AMENDMENT, BUT IT WILL COME BACK AT SOME TIME IN THE FUTURE.

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  • 05:49:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS WITHDRAWN. UNDER THE…

    THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS WITHDRAWN. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER THERE, WILL NOW BE TWO MINUTES EQUALLY DIVIDED PRIOR TO A VOTE IN RELATION TO AMENDMENT NUMBER 125 125, OFFERED BY THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI, MRS. McCASKILL. THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

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  • 05:49:47 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    WE'RE PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE AMENDMENT.

  • 05:49:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE FURTHER DEBATE ON THE AMENDMENT? IF NOT, ALL THOSE IN FAVOR SAY…

    IS THERE FURTHER DEBATE ON THE AMENDMENT? IF NOT, ALL THOSE IN FAVOR SAY AYE. ALL THOSE OPPOSED SAY NO. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THERE WILL NOW BE TWO MINUTES EQUALLY DIVIDED PRIOR TO A VOTE IN RELATION TO AMENDMENT NUMBER 353 353, OFFERED BY SENATOR ENSIGN.

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  • 05:50:24 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

    WOULD THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE MIND IF I GO SECOND SO I CAN…

    WOULD THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE MIND IF I GO SECOND SO I CAN ANSWER ANY OF THE CHARGES THAT MAY COME UP?

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  • 05:50:32 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE PROPONENT GO FIRST?

  • 05:50:35 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

    WOULD RATHER THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE GO FIRST.

  • 05:50:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:50:44 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:50:46 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.

  • 05:50:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.

  • 05:50:51 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

  • 05:51:54 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

  • 05:51:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA.

  • 05:51:57 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

    MR. PRESIDENT, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT. 9 THE MORTGAGE INTEREST THAT…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THAT IS ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT. 9 THE MORTGAGE INTEREST THAT WE SET BETWEEN 4% AND 4.5%, RIGHT NOW IN THE NARCOTIC WILL BE BETWEEN 4% AND 4.5%, WE CAPPED AT $300 BILLION. IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO DO WHAT THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK JUST SAID BECAUSE WE PUT A CAP ON IT. IT COULD COST NO MORE THAN THAT. THE TREASURY CANNOT AUTHORIZE ANY MORE THAN THAT. THE SECOND UNTRUTH THAT HE JUST SPOKE, IT ISN'T FOR MILLIONAIRES. THESE ARE FOR HOMES THAT ARE NOT JUMBO RATE HOMES, SO IT'S NO HOME OVER ABOUT $700,000. IT'S ONLY HOMES UNDER THAT THAT WOULD QUALIFY FOR IT. WE HAVE OVER 600 ORGANIZATIONS THAT BUILD HOMES IN THIS COUNTRY COUNTRY, PLUMBERS, CABINET MAKERS, HOME BUILDERS AND EVERYTHING SUPPORT THIS AMENDMENT. THIS WILL GET THE HOUSING INDUSTRY GOING IN THE COUNTRY. AND IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT LOWERING INTEREST RATES. IT'S ALSO -- WE DO MITIGATION. ONE -- ANOTHER UNTHREUT THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK -- UNTRUTH THAT THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK SAID, BECAUSE WE MITIGATE FOR THOSE HOMES TO WHO ARE UNDERWATER RIGHT NOW TO GET THEM GOING. THERE'S BUSINESS TAX CREDITS TO GET THE ECONOMY GOING. WE FIX HOUSING. WE GET THE ECONOMY GOING.

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  • 05:53:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I URGE AN AYE VOTE ON THIS AMENDMENT.

  • 05:53:07 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:53:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 05:53:10 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 05:53:13 PM

    Senate Vote 48 - On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Ensign Amdt No 353)

    In the nature of a substitute.

    Motion Rejected (35 - 62)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 35
    Republican - 35

    Vote Details: Nay - 61
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2
    Republican - 5

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 2
    Democratic - 1
    Republican - 1

  • 05:57:51 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 06:10:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 06:10:26 PM

    MR. REID

  • 06:10:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 06:10:29 PM

    MR. REID

    IT HAS.

  • 06:10:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IT HAS.

  • 06:10:32 PM

    MR. REID

    THE SENATOR LEER.

  • 06:14:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR LEER.

  • 06:14:55 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    IF I COULD SAY A COUPLE OF THINGS.

  • 06:16:16 PM

    MR. REID

    COULD SAY A COUPLE OF THINGS.

  • 06:16:20 PM

    MR. REID

    THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 06:17:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 06:17:42 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:18:17 PM

    MR. REID

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 06:18:18 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 06:18:19 PM

    MR. REID

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I HAVE STATED VERY CLEARLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT I…

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I HAVE STATED VERY CLEARLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT I BELIEVE THAT THOSE EIGHT REPUBLICANS WHO ARE -- I GET THE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE -- THEY'RE WORKING VERY HARD TO TRY TO COME UP WITH AN ALTERNATE PROPOSAL. I APPRECIATE THAT. DOES THAT MEAN THE OTHER SENATORS, THE OTHER 33 REPUBLICAN SENATORS AREN'T WORKING IN GOOD FAITH? OF COURSE THEY ARE. BUT I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE THOSE REPUBLICANS WHO ARE OPENLY TRYING TO COME UP WITH SOMETHING DIFFERENT. ALL OF US ARE TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THERE ISN'T A SINGLE SENATOR WHO HAS COME TO THIS FLOOR WHO HASN'T SAID THAT THIS ECONOMY IS IN DEEP TROUBLE, AND WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING TO FIX IT. AND MY COMMENT WAS I HOPE WE CAN DO THAT. AND THAT'S THE REASON I'VE SAID WE'VE GOT TO WORK THE NIGHT. BECAUSE IF WE DON'T, MR. PRESIDENT, AND FRIDAY'S FINANCIAL MARKETS LOOK AT US NOT HAVING BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING, IT IS A BAD DAY NOT ONLY FOR AMERICA, BUT THE REST OF THE WORLD.

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  • 06:19:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:19:38 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 06:19:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 06:19:40 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE'RE PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE AMENDMENT.

  • 06:19:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE FURTHER DEBATE? THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 06:19:55 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED A MODIFICATION TO THIS AMENDMENT. WE NEED THE…

    I UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED A MODIFICATION TO THIS AMENDMENT. WE NEED THE MODIFICATION SENT TO THE DESK. PLEASE REPORT THE MODIFICATION, YES, AS MODIFIED. THE McCASKILL AMENDMENT AS MODIFIED.

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  • 06:20:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS FURTHER MODIFIED. A SENATOR:…

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS FURTHER MODIFIED. A SENATOR: MR. CHAIRMAN? MAY WE UNDERSTAND WHAT THE MODIFICATION IS?

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  • 06:20:20 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I MIGHT ASK THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI. THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI, EXPLAIN…

    I MIGHT ASK THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI. THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI, EXPLAIN THE MODIFICATION. THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI, EXPLAIN THE MODIFICATION, PLEASE.

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  • 06:20:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 06:20:35 PM

    MRS. McCASKILL

    ESSENTIALLY ADDS -- THERE WAS UNFORTUNATELY AN OMISSION OF MONEY FOR THE…

    ESSENTIALLY ADDS -- THERE WAS UNFORTUNATELY AN OMISSION OF MONEY FOR THE INSPECTOR GENERAL AT THE I.R.S. THE MODIFICATION ADDS THE MONEY FOR THE INSPECTOR GENERALS AT THE I.R.S.

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  • 06:20:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:21:35 PM

    MR. THUNE

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:21:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA.

  • 06:21:42 PM

    MR. THUNE

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 06:22:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 06:22:41 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    PRESIDENT, THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. IT IS MORE FOR LESS. IT'S MORE TAX…

    PRESIDENT, THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. IT IS MORE FOR LESS. IT'S MORE TAX BREAKS FOR UPPER-INCOME AMERICANS. IT'S LESS TAX BREAKS -- NO TAX BREAKS FOR LOW-INCOME AMERICANS. 49 MILLION AMERICANS DO GET SOME TAX BREAKS UNDER THE UNDERLYING. THE SUBSTITUTE HAS NOTHING FOR ENERGY, NOTHING FOR EDUCATION AND THE OTHER PROVISIONS -- AND THE OTHER PARTS OF THE BILL. I URGE IT NOT BE ADOPTED. MR. PRESIDENT, I RAISE A POINT OF ORDER THAT THE PENDING -- THAT THE PENDING CONFERENCE REPORT -- THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT

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  • 06:23:18 PM

    Senate Vote 49 - On the Motion (Motion to Waive CBA Thune Amdt No 197)

    In the nature of a substitute.

    Motion Rejected (37 - 60)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 37
    Republican - 37

    Vote Details: Nay - 59
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2
    Republican - 3

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 2
    Democratic - 1
    Republican - 1

  • 06:40:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ANY SENATOR WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, ON THIS VOTE THE…

    ANY SENATOR WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, ON THIS VOTE THE YEAS ARE 37, THE NAYS ARE 60. THREE-FIFTHS OF THE SENATORS DULY CHOSEN AND SWORN NOT HAVING VOTED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, THE MOTION IS NOT AGREED TO. THE POINT OF ORDER IS SUSTAINED AND THE AMENDMENT FALLS. A SENATOR: MOVE TO RECONSIDER.

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  • 06:41:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 06:41:42 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 06:41:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 06:41:47 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THESE ARE TWO AMENDMENTS THAT ARE PAIRED, THE BOXER EAMENTD, WHICH THE --…

    THESE ARE TWO AMENDMENTS THAT ARE PAIRED, THE BOXER EAMENTD, WHICH THE -- AMENDMENT, WHICH THE PRESIDING OFFICER DESCRIBED, AND SENATOR BARRASSO'S AMENDMENT. SENATOR BOXER WILL SPEAK ABOUT HER AMENDMENT AND SENATOR BARRASSO WILL SPEAK ABOUT HIS. THESE ARE TWO AMENDMENTS ON ROUGHLY THE SAME SUBJECT AND WE HOPE TO HAVE A VOTE ON EACH.

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  • 06:42:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 06:42:19 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    IS THERE OBJECTION TO THE MODIFICATION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT…

    IS THERE OBJECTION TO THE MODIFICATION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS SO MODIFIED.

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  • 06:43:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION TO THE MODIFICATION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT…

    IS THERE OBJECTION TO THE MODIFICATION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS SO MODIFIED.

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  • 06:43:15 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    OK. SO I ALSO WANT TO THANK IN ADDITION TO SENATOR BARRASSO FOR WORKING…

    OK. SO I ALSO WANT TO THANK IN ADDITION TO SENATOR BARRASSO FOR WORKING WITH ME ON DRAWING UP THIS -- I WOULD SAY PERFECTING THIS AMENDMENT, I WANT TO THANK A LOT OF THE GROUPS OUT THERE THAT HAVE BEEN VERY WORRIED AND WORKING AND CALLING ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES.

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  • 06:43:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR'S TIME HAS EXPIRED. BOX I WOULD --

  • 06:43:38 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:43:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:43:41 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO PLACE IN THE RECORD THE LIST OF THE…

    I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO PLACE IN THE RECORD THE LIST OF THE ORGANIZATIONS FROM THE LEAGUE OF CONSNSERVATION AND THERE IS A GROUP FROM ALASKA THAT GOT INVOLVED IN THIS SO I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO PUT THESE IN THE RECORD AND JUST --

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  • 06:43:56 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:43:59 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    BY SAYING, WHAT I DO IN THIS AMENDMENT IS TO SAY THAT ADEQUATE RESOURCES…

    BY SAYING, WHAT I DO IN THIS AMENDMENT IS TO SAY THAT ADEQUATE RESOURCES WITHIN THIS BILL MUST BE DEVOTED TO ENSURING THAT THE APPLICABLE ENVIRONMENTAL RULES UNDER NEPA ARE COMPLETED IN AN EXPEDITIOUS BASIS AND THIS WE ARE GOING -- WE REQUIRE A REPORT EVERY 90 DAYS JUST TO MAKE SURE THAT THESE PROJECTS ARE MOVING FORWARD WITH THE PROTECTIONS OF NEPA, BUT NO UNDUE DELAYS. WITH THAT I WOULD ASK FOR A VOICE VOTE, IF I MIGHT.

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  • 06:44:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:45:05 PM

    MR. BARRASSO

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:45:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WYOMING.

  • 06:45:09 PM

    MR. BARRASSO

    THE MODIFICATIONS OF THE AMENDMENT BY SENATOR BOXER. THE AMENDMENT RIGHTLY…

    THE MODIFICATIONS OF THE AMENDMENT BY SENATOR BOXER. THE AMENDMENT RIGHTLY STATES WE SHOULD TRY TO EXPEDITE NEPA. I APPRECIATE THE IMPROVEMENTS SHE HAS PHAEUTD TO THAT. MY AMENDMENT, MR. PRESIDENT, I URGE MEMBERS TO SUPPORT IT, AMENDMENT 327 OFFERED BY SENATOR ENZI AND VITTER AND CRAPO AND RISCH AND ROBERTS AS WELL AS MYSELF. THE AMENDMENT IS A PRACTICAL MODERATE SOLUTION TO A REAL PROBLEM BECAUSE EVERY SCHOOL, ROAD, BRIDGE OR DAM FUNDED UNDER THIS BILL WILL PREUR COMPLIANCE -- REQUIRE COMPLIANCE WITH THE NATIONAL POLICY ACT. WE MUST ADDRESS NEPA IN THIS LEGISLATION. MY AMENDMENT WOULD NOT WAIVE NEPA. IT WOULD ONLY REQUIRE THAT IT BE COMPLETED IN NINE MONTHS. I APPRECIATE SENATOR BOXER'S EFFORTS TO DO THIS IN AN EXPEDITIOUS WAY. THIS AMENDMENT GOES FURTHER AND SAYS NINE MONTHS. IF PROJECTS ARE TRULY SHOVEL-READY, THIS SHOULD BE NO PROBLEM. THIS AMENDMENT PREVENTS BUREAUCRATIC DELAYS AND PUT PEOPLE TO WORK. I'M ASKING YOU TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF AMENDMENT 326 AND APPRECIATE A VOICE VOTE.

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  • 06:46:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE ANY FURTHER DEBATE? IF NOT, ALL IN FAVOR SAY AYE. OPPOSED, SAY…

    IS THERE ANY FURTHER DEBATE? IF NOT, ALL IN FAVOR SAY AYE. OPPOSED, SAY NO. THE NOES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE NOES DO HAVE IT. THE AMENDMENT IS NOT AGREED TO. IT'S CLARIFICATION, THE BOXER AMENDMENT THAT WAS AGREED TO WAS AS FURTHER MODIFIED. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA IS RECOGNIZED.

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  • 06:46:47 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THE PENDING AMENDMENTS BE SET ASIDE AND AMENDMENT 176 BE CALLED UP.

  • 06:46:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? NO OBJECTION. THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 06:47:13 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA, MR. COBURN, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 176.

  • 06:47:18 PM

    MR. COBURN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 06:47:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 06:47:26 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 06:52:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 06:53:02 PM

    MR. UDALL

    I ASK THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT -- I ASK THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE…

    I ASK THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT -- I ASK THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE SO THAT I CAN CALL UP AMENDMENT NUMBER 359.

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  • 06:53:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL…

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

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  • 06:53:22 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO, MR. UDALL, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED…

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO, MR. UDALL, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 359. ON PAGE 485, STRIKE LINES --

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  • 06:53:31 PM

    MR. UDALL

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ.

  • 06:53:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 06:53:37 PM

    MR. UDALL

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:57:57 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:57:59 PM

    MR. FEINGOLD

    THE SENATOR FROM WISCONSIN.

  • 06:58:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WISCONSIN.

  • 06:58:02 PM

    MR. FEINGOLD

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE.

  • 06:58:06 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, WE'VE GOT TO GO BACK AND FORTH. IT'S TIME FOR…

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, WE'VE GOT TO GO BACK AND FORTH. IT'S TIME FOR ANOTHER REPUBLICAN AMENDMENT. SENATOR COBURN SHOULD BE RECOGNIZED. THEN SENATOR SANDERS AFTER THAT.

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  • 06:58:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 06:58:20 PM

    MR. COBURN

    LET THEE THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR HIS KINDNESS. I AGREE THAT WE SHOULD BE…

    LET THEE THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR HIS KINDNESS. I AGREE THAT WE SHOULD BE GOING BACK AND FORTH. WHATEVER WE DO WITH THIS BILL, WE OUGHT TO TAKE THINGS AND SAY WHAT'S MOST IMPORTANT AND WHAT'S LEAST IMPORTANT. WHEN WE TAKE $900 BILLION AND ARE ABOUT TO SPEND IT, WE OUGHT TO DO THAT IN A WAY, AGAIN, TO GET VALUE. WE AS A BODY OFTENTIMES ARE RESISTANT TO MAKE HARD CHOICES. I KNOW THAT. BUT EVERY FAMILY OUT THERE IN OUR COUNTRY TODAY IS MAKING HARD CHOICES. AND I FOUND IT PECULIAR WHEN THIS BILL CAME TO THE FLOOR THAT IT DIDN'T INCLUDE A PROHIBITION THAT WAS IN THE HOUSE BILL. SOMEWHAT STRANGE. WHAT WAS IN THE HOUSE BILL WHICH WAS PASSED BY THE HOUSE AND AGREED TO BY THE HOUSE WAS A PROHIBITION ON ANY FUNDING TO PAY FOR AQUARIUMS, ZOOS, GOLF COURSES, SWIMMING POOLS, STADIUMS, PARKS, THEATERS, ART CENTERS OR HIGHWAY BEAUTIFICATION PROJECTS. SOMEHOW STRANGELY MISSED OUT OF THE SENATE BILL. AND WHAT THIS AMENDMENT DOES -- IT'S AMENDMENT 309. I ASK THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE AND AMENDMENT NUMBER 309 BE CALLED UP.

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  • 06:59:58 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL…

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

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  • 07:00:21 PM

    THE CLERK

    FROM OKLAHOMA, MR. COBURNS PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBERED 339.

  • 07:00:28 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT FURTHER READING BE DISPENSED.

  • 07:00:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. IT PROHIBITS SPENDING TO PAY FOR CASINOS, MUSEUMS,…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. IT PROHIBITS SPENDING TO PAY FOR CASINOS, MUSEUMS, AQUARIUMS, GOLF COURSES, SWIMMING POOL, STADIUMS, PARKS, THEATERS, ART CENTERS OR HIGHWAY BEAUTYIFICATION PROJECTS. I'M NOT NECESSARILY AGAINST THOSE. BUT IF WE'RE GOING TO SPEND MONEY WE OUGHT TO SPEND MONEY ON THE HIGHEST PRIORITY THINGS FIRST. NOT THE FINER THINGS THAT WE REALLY CAN'T AFFORD NOW. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO REALLY SPEND A PENNY ON A MUSEUM RIGHT NOW WITH THE TROUBLE WE'RE IN. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO SPEND A PEN ANY ON A -- PENNY ON A GOLF COURSE. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO SPEND A PENNY ON THEATERS, ART CENTERS OR HIGHWAY BEAUTIFICATION. PLUS THOSE DO NOT GENERATE NEAR THE JOBS AS IF WE SPEND IT ON SOMETHING MORE SUBSTANTIVE. THERE'S BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN THIS BILL FOR VARIOUS GRANT PROGRAMS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, FOR SUPPOSEDLY LOCAL SHOVEL-READY PROJECTS. AND HOW DO WE KNOW THAT? BECAUSE THE U.S. CONFERENCE OF MAYORS HAS A WISH LIST. OF SHOVEL-READY SPENDING PROJECTS ENTITLED "MAIN STREET RECOVERY READY TO GO INFRASTRUCTURE REPORT." IT INCLUDES BILLIONS OF QUESTIONABLE AND WASTEFUL PROJECTS THAT SHOULD NEVER BE FUNDED BY THE TAXPAYERS EVEN IF WE HAD EXTRA MONEY, WHICH WE DON'T, AND CERTAINLY SHOULD NOT BE FUNDED AT THIS TIME WITH THE LIMITED DOLLARS THAT WE HAVE AND THE WAY WE'RE FUNDING THIS IS BY BORROWING -- ACTUALLY, NO, WE ARE NOT BORROWING, WE ARE STEALING THIS MONEY FROM OUR GRANDKIDS. MR. ROBERT --

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  • 07:02:28 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    WILL THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

  • 07:02:31 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I WILL.

  • 07:02:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM KANSAS.

  • 07:02:34 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:12:56 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:12:58 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    PRESIDENT, MIGHT I ASK -- I FORGOT WHAT THE QUESTION WAS THAT WAS --

  • 07:13:05 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    WE HAD SEVEN QUESTIONS FOR THE SENATOR AND I'M GOING TO HAVE ONE AND THEN…

    WE HAD SEVEN QUESTIONS FOR THE SENATOR AND I'M GOING TO HAVE ONE AND THEN I'M GOING TO CEASE AND DESIST.

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  • 07:13:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA HAS…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA HAS THE FLOOR. HE YIELDED FOR A QUESTION.

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  • 07:13:15 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 07:13:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:13:19 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I WAS TRYING TO FIND A FAIR WAY TO GO BACK AND FORTH HERE. ANOTHER…

    I WAS TRYING TO FIND A FAIR WAY TO GO BACK AND FORTH HERE. ANOTHER QUESTION.

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  • 07:13:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    DOES THE SENATOR FROM KANSAS HAVE AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION?

  • 07:13:29 PM

    MR. COBURN

    SENATOR FROM KANSAS HAVE AN ADDITIONAL QUESTION?

  • 07:13:32 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    THAT'S TRUE.

  • 07:14:04 PM

    MR. COBURN

    TRUE.

  • 07:14:05 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    NO.

  • 07:14:16 PM

    MR. COBURN

    NO.

  • 07:14:18 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    BASICALLY WE HAVE CONSIDERED AMENDMENTS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS IN THE…

    BASICALLY WE HAVE CONSIDERED AMENDMENTS TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS IN THE HOUSING MARKET, FIX HOUSING FIRST. ANYTHING IN THERE IN THAT THRAIS HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH FIXING THE HOUSING MARKET?

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  • 07:14:26 PM

    MR. COBURN

    NO.

  • 07:14:27 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    THESE SUGGESTIONS WOULD IMPROVE THIS BILL AND DESERVE -- AND WILL DESERVE…

    THESE SUGGESTIONS WOULD IMPROVE THIS BILL AND DESERVE -- AND WILL DESERVE OUR ATTENTION. WE CAN IMPROVE, I WOULD ASK THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA, TO PROVIDE THE RIGHT INCENTIVES TO STIMULATE THE ME AND CREATE PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS. LET US BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH AND THE SIREN SONGS OF THE STIMULUS. WE OWE THAT TO THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER. AND I WOULD SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA, TO OURSELVES, I THANK YOU -- I THANK YOU. A SENATOR: REGULAR ORDER.

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  • 07:14:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA HAS THE FLOOR.

  • 07:14:58 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    FOR DOING AN OUTSTANDING JOB TO WARN THE MAJORITY OF THE SAND TRAP THEY…

    FOR DOING AN OUTSTANDING JOB TO WARN THE MAJORITY OF THE SAND TRAP THEY ARE GETTING INTO WITH THESE PROJECTS.

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  • 07:15:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THANK -- THANK YOU.

  • 07:15:11 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    THANK -- THANK YOU.

  • 07:15:14 PM

    MR. COBURN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 07:23:40 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 07:23:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 07:23:44 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    IS THERE OBJECTION? A SENATOR:

  • 07:24:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? A SENATOR:

  • 07:24:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA, IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 07:24:08 PM

    MR. CONRAD

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:24:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:24:17 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, IF I CAN PROVIDE A LITTLE BIT OF GUIDANCE HERE. THERE'S…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IF I CAN PROVIDE A LITTLE BIT OF GUIDANCE HERE. THERE'S BEEN A GENERAL UNDERSTANDING HERE THAT AFTER SENATOR COBURN SPOKE ON HIS AMENDMENTS, SENATOR SANDERS WOULD BE ABLE TO CALL UP HIS AMENDMENT. AFTER SENATOR SANDERS, SENATOR CORNYN WOULD BE ABLE TO CALL UP HIS AMENDMENT. THEN SENATOR FEINGOLD IS AFTER THAT. AND THEN THE ORDER, THEN A REPUBLICAN AMENDMENT AFTER THAT. AND I'D LIKE TO, FRANKLY, GET A CONSENT AGREEMENT FAIRLY SOON TO AT LEAST VOTE ON A SMALL NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS, SAY, FOUR OR FIVE AMENDMENTS AND GET THAT OUT OF THE WAY. THEN WHILE WE'RE VOTING THOSE, WE CAN FIGURE OUT HOW WE GET THE REST OF THE AMENDMENTS PROCESSED.

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  • 07:24:57 PM

    MR. CONRAD

    TO GET IN THIS AMENDMENT TRAIN? SENATOR GRAHAM AND I HAVE AN AMENDMENT.…

    TO GET IN THIS AMENDMENT TRAIN? SENATOR GRAHAM AND I HAVE AN AMENDMENT. HE'S THE LEAD, SO IT WOULD BE A REPUBLICAN AMENDMENT. SENATOR GRASSLEY -- DOES HE HAVE...

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  • 07:25:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:25:17 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 07:25:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT STILL HAS THE FLOOR.

  • 07:25:24 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    LET ME THANK --

  • 07:25:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I WILL NOT --

  • 07:25:31 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    I WILL NOT OBJECT.

  • 07:25:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:25:41 PM

    THE CLERK

    FROM VERMONT, MR. SANDERS, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 306 AS MODIFIED.

  • 07:25:48 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME THANK --

  • 07:25:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 07:25:52 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    LET ME THANK SENATOR BAUCUS AND HIS STAFF FOR WORKING WITH US ON WHAT I…

    LET ME THANK SENATOR BAUCUS AND HIS STAFF FOR WORKING WITH US ON WHAT I BELIEVE ARE SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS TO THE ORIGINAL AMENDMENT THAT SENATOR GRASSLEY AND I OFFERED. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS AMENDMENT HAS BEEN CLEARED BY BOTH SIDES WITH A MODIFICATION. THIS AMENDMENT AS MODIFIED WOULD SIMPLY REQUIRE RECIPIENTS OF PARK FUNDING TO MEET STRICT HIRING STANDARDS TO ENSURE NONDISPLACEMENT OF U.S. WORKERS. I THANK SENATOR GRASSLEY FOR WORKING WITH ME ON THIS AMENDMENT AND WOULD YIELD TO HIM IF HE IS -- IF NOT, MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT I WOULD ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS.

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  • 07:26:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? IT APPEARS SO.

  • 07:26:34 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT STILL HAS THE FLOOR.

  • 07:26:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT STILL HAS THE FLOOR.

  • 07:26:40 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    YES.

  • 07:26:44 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    YES.

  • 07:26:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WE HAVE NO SUFFICIENT SECOND AT THIS TIME. THE YEAS AND NAYS HAVE…

    OFFICER: WE HAVE NO SUFFICIENT SECOND AT THIS TIME. THE YEAS AND NAYS HAVE NOT BEEN ORDERED.

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  • 07:26:51 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 07:26:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: MONTANA I…

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: MONTANA I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE CALL OF THE QUORUM BE DISPENSED.

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  • 07:29:45 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 07:35:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 07:35:12 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    I ASK THE FOLLOWING AMENDMENTS BE CALLED UP FOR CONSIDERATION. COBURN,…

    I ASK THE FOLLOWING AMENDMENTS BE CALLED UP FOR CONSIDERATION. COBURN, NUMBER 176 AND 309; SANDERS, NUMBER 306, AS MODIFIED CORNYN, NUMBER 268. FEINGOLD, NUMBER 486. BAUCUS-GRASSLEY, 404. GRASSLEY, 297. AND NO AMENDMENTS BE IN ORDER TO THE AMENDMENTS PRIOR TO A VOTE IN RELATION THERE TO AND THE TIME UNTIL 8:00 P.M. BE FOR DEBATE WITH RESPECT TO THESE AMENDMENTS. AT 8:00 P.M. THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE IN RELATION TO THE AMENDMENTS IN THE ORDER LISTED WITH TWO MINUTES EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN EACH SIDE.

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  • 07:36:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I OBJECT.

  • 07:36:11 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    I OBJECT.

  • 07:36:12 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

  • 07:39:19 PM

    MR. KYL

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 07:39:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 07:39:22 PM

    MR. KYL

    INCLUDING THIS ONE.

  • 07:39:42 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    THIS ONE.

  • 07:39:44 PM

    MR. KYL

    COMPLETE MY THOUGHT. THEY ARE TRYING TO PUT A LIST OF AT LEAST FOUR…

    COMPLETE MY THOUGHT. THEY ARE TRYING TO PUT A LIST OF AT LEAST FOUR AMENDMENTS, BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATS TO BE REPORTED IN A LITTLE BIT AND I SUGGEST THAT WE PROCEED ON THIS AND NOT TRY TO INJECT ANYTHING INTO THE PROCESS BECAUSE THAT WILL CAUSE US TO GLIEND TO A HALT AND WE WILL DISCUSS AS I TOLD YOU THE APPROPRIATE WAY OF PROCEEDING ON T.A.A. I AM CERTAINLY NOT TRYING TO TRY PROCEEDING TO T.A.A. TO A DATE CERTAIN ON COLUMBIA BUT I DO THINK WHERE APPROPRIATE, TO CAN BE WORKED OUT WITH THE PRESIDENT, AS NOTED, AND MEMBERS OF CONGRESS CONCERNED ABOUT IT TO FIND A WAY TO GO FORWARD AS WE ORIGINALLY DID, SO THAT EVERYONE CAN BE ASSURED THAT BOTH TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE AND COLUMBIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT CAN SUCCEED TO A SUCCESSFUL SOLUTION. NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO OBJECT TO THAT. TO KEEP THIS PROCESS GOING FORWARD I SUGGEST WE PROCEED AS WE HAVE BEEN IN GOOD FAITH AND NOT CONFUSE IT WITH THIS EXTRANEOUS ISSUE.

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  • 07:41:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:41:07 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    WILL PLEASE CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 07:41:24 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 07:47:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 07:48:00 PM

    MR. BAUCUS

    -- DISPENSED WITH.

  • 07:48:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 07:48:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I WISH TO TABLE 176.

  • 07:48:13 PM

    Senate Vote 50 - On the Motion (Motion to Table Coburn Amdt No 176)

    To require the use of competitive procedures to award contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements funded under this Act.

    Motion Rejected (1 - 96)
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 1
    Republican - 1

    Vote Details: Nay - 95
    Republican - 39
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 2
    Democratic - 1
    Republican - 1

  • 08:16:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 08:17:02 PM

    MR. REID

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 08:17:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 08:17:05 PM

    MR. REID

    THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 08:17:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 08:17:32 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 08:39:34 PM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDENT?

  • 08:39:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 08:39:37 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE CALL OF THE QUORUM BE VITIATED.

  • 08:39:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 08:39:44 PM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDENT, WE HAVE A LOT OF AMENDMENTS STILL PENDING. I'VE MADE A DECISION…

    PRESIDENT, WE HAVE A LOT OF AMENDMENTS STILL PENDING. I'VE MADE A DECISION IN CONJUNCTION AND IN COOPERATION WITH THE REPUBLICAN LEADER THAT WE'RE GOING TO STOP LEGISLATING TONIGHT AND COME BACK TOMORROW. COME IN AT 10:00. GO IMMEDIATELY TO THE BILL. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS PENDING MUCH OTHER SENATORS WANT TO OFFER AMENDMENTS. AND THE MAIN REASON THAT I LOOK FORWARD TO TOMORROW IS THERE ARE A NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS WORKING WITH DEMOCRATIC HE SENATORS TRYING TO -- DEMOCRATIC SENATORS TRYING TO COME UP WITH AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL. I HOPE SOMETHING WORKS OUT ON THERE. I KNOW THAT EVERYONE'S TRYING IN GOOD FAITH TO MOVE THIS BALL DOWN THE COURT. BUT I THINK WE NEED TONIGHT AND SOMETIME TOMORROW TO SEE IF WE CAN DO THAT. THERE'S PAPER FLOATING BACK AND FORTH THAT'S BECOMING FILLED WITH NUMBERS AND WE'LL ALL NEED TO TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. THE WORK DONE BY THE NEGOTIATORS, AS INDICATED EARLIER, ABOUT EIGHT REPUBLICANS, ABOUT THE SAME NUMBER OF DEMOCRATS TRYING TO WORK TOWARD MAKING THIS A BETTER PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT'S ONGOING. IF, IN FACT, WE FIND TOMORROW THAT WE'RE SPINNING OUR WHEELS, CAN'T GET SOMETHING DONE, THEN WE'LL FILE CLOTURE AND HAVE A SUNDAY CLOTURE VOTE. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, I'M OPTIMISTIC THAT WE CAN GET SOMETHING DONE. AND I HOPE THAT THAT, IN FACT, IS THE CASE. EVERYONE'S GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE A LITTLE. AND UNDERSTAND THAT THIS IS A PROCESS THAT WE HAVE TO MOVE THIS BALL DOWN THE COURT. THE REPUBLICAN LEADER'S INDICATED TO ME THAT IF WE GET THIS OUT OF HERE, WE SHOULD GO TO CONFERENCE. I AGREE WITH HIM. THAT TAKES A LITTLE BIT OF TIME AND I WOULD HOPE -- I'M SORRY. I WOULD HOPE THAT WE CAN COMPLETE THIS LEGISLATION TOMORROW. I HAVE HOPES AND I'M CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC THAT WE CAN DO THAT. SO I WISH I HAD ALL THE ANSWERS, BUT THE ANSWERS ARE NOT HERE TONIGHT BUT I THINK THE ANSWERS ARE COMING FORTH MORE RAPIDLY IN THE LAST FEW DAYS. I THINK STAYING HERE LATER TONIGHT WOULD NOT BENEFIT US. WE HAVE A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS THAT WE COULD DISPOSE OF, BUT I THINK THAT WE'RE WAITING FOR THE BIG AMENDMENT THAT HAS BEEN WORKED ON NOW FOR ALL THIS WEEK.

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  • 08:42:09 PM

    MR. MCCONNELL

    ABSOLUTELY.

  • 08:42:17 PM

    MR. REID

    ABSOLUTELY.

  • 08:42:18 PM

    MR. MCCONNELL

    BECAUSE THERE ARE A NUMBER OVER HERE AND YOU HAVE SOME AS WELL. WHILE THIS…

    BECAUSE THERE ARE A NUMBER OVER HERE AND YOU HAVE SOME AS WELL. WHILE THIS DISCUSSION IS GOING ON.

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  • 08:42:25 PM

    MR. REID

    AT 10:00 AND THE MANAGER OF THE BILL SHOULD BE HERE. WE WILL GO DIRECTLY…

    AT 10:00 AND THE MANAGER OF THE BILL SHOULD BE HERE. WE WILL GO DIRECTLY TO THE LEGISLATION. WE COULD HAVE VOTES EARLY IN THE MORNING BECAUSE THERE ARE AMENDMENTS RIGHT NOW PENDING THAT THE MANAGER ON THIS SIDE COULD MOVE TO TABLE, SET UP A STRING OF VOTES. BUT THE ANSWER TO THE REPUBLICAN LEADER IS, YES, WE'LL HAVE PROCESSED AMENDMENTS. -- WE'LL PROCESS AMENDMENTS. NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 08:42:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

  • 08:45:39 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 09:03:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 09:03:22 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA.

  • 09:03:25 PM

    MR. CASEY

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE CALL OF THE QUORUM BE VITIATED.

  • 09:03:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 09:03:29 PM

    MR. CASEY

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO A PERIOD…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERSONNED TO SPEAK FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES EACH.

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  • 09:03:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 09:03:43 PM

    MR. CASEY

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY, IT…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY, IT STAND ADJOURNED UNTIL 10:00 A.M. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 6; THAT FOLLOWING THE PRAYER AND PLEDGE THE JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS BE APPROVED TO DATE, THE MORNING HOUR BE DEEMED EXPIRED, THE TIME FOR THE TWO LEADERS BE RESERVED FOR THEIR USE LATER IN THE DAY AND THE SENATE RESUME CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1 THE ECONOMIC RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT.

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  • 09:04:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 09:04:16 PM

    MR. CASEY

    IF THERE'S NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK IT STAND…

    IF THERE'S NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK IT STAND ADJOURNED UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER.

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  • 09:04:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE STANDS ADJOURNED UNTIL 10:00 A.M. TOMORROW.

Briefings for February 5, 2009

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Hearings for February 5, 2009

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Statistics

115th Congress - Senate
Total Hours: 2056 (After 683 days)
  • Debate1184 Hours
  • Quorum Calls476 Hours
  • Votes335 Hours

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Source: Resume of Congressional Activity (senate.gov)