The Senate Will Convene At 12:00 PM Today
Senate Session - December 8, 2010
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Time
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  • 09:32:37 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. 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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  • 09:33:01 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

  • 09:33:06 AM

    THE CLERK

    D.C., DECEMBER 8, 2010. TO THE SENATE: UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 1,…

    D.C., DECEMBER 8, 2010. TO THE SENATE: UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 1, PARAGRAPH 3, OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE, I HEREBY APPOINT THE HONORABLE TOM UDALL, A SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE CHAIR. SIGNED: DANIEL K. INOUYE, PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE.

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  • 09:33:25 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER'S RECOGNIZED.

  • 09:33:29 AM

    MR. REID

    LEADER REMARKS, THERE WILL BE A LIVE QUORUM TO RESUME THE IMPEACHMENT OF…

    LEADER REMARKS, THERE WILL BE A LIVE QUORUM TO RESUME THE IMPEACHMENT OF THE TRIAL OF G. THOMAS POART JR. PORTEOUS JR. SENATORS ARE ENCOURAGED TO COME TO THE FLOOR IMMEDIATELY. ONCE A QUORUM IS PRESENT THERE WILL BE A SERIES OF FIVE VOTES ON THE IMPEACHMENT AND ARTICLES RELATED TO THE IMPEACHMENT. ON THE CONCLUSION, THE SENATE WILL RECESS TO CLEAR THE CHAMBER. WHEN THE SENATE RECONVENES, THEY WILL RESUME MOTION TO PROCEED TO S. 3991, THE PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEE-EMPLOYER COOPERATION ACT WITH THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 P.M. EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE LEADERS AND DESIGNEES. THE SENATE WILL RECESS FROM 12:30 UNTIL 3:00 P.M. AT 3:30 THE SENATE WILL RESUME CONSIDERATION OF THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO 3391, THERE WILL THEN BE A PERIOD OF 30 MINUTES OF DEBATE THAT WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE LEADERS AND THEIR DESIGNEES. UPON THE USE OR YIELDING BACK OF THAT TIME, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO A SERIES OF UP TO FOUR ROLL CALL VOTES. MR. PRESIDENT, AS TO HOW WE'RE GOING TO SCHEDULE THOSE VOTES, I'VE HAD INQUIRIES FROM BOTH SIDES. THERE'S SOME ISSUES TONIGHT AS TO TIME. WE'LL DO OUR BEST AS COOPERATIVELY AS WE CAN. WE HAVE A LOT OF VOTES WE HAVE TO COMPLETE TODAY. AND I'M LIKELY GOING TO MOVE TO MY MOTION TO RECONSIDER ON THE DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT THIS EVENING. ALLOWING, AS I WILL INDICATE AT THAT TIME TIME FOR AMENDMENTS TO THAT PIECE OF LEGISLATION. WE'LL BE MEET -- MEANWHILE I WILL MEET WITH THE REPUBLICAN LEADER. THERE'S WORK BEING DONE ON THE TAX ISSUE. IT'S FURTHER ALONG THAN MOST PEOPLE WOULD THINK. I DON'T THINK THERE'S A GREAT DEAL MORE WORK TO BE DONE ON THAT AND THEN PEOPLE CAN DECIDE WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO ON IT. I HAVE A MEETING CONTEMPLATEING WITH THE REPUBLICAN LEADER SOMETIME LATER TODAY TO DECIDE HOW WE'LL PROCEED ON THAT. THE VOTES THIS AFTERNOON WILL BE ON THE PUBLIC SAFETY MATTER THAT I'VE JUST SPOKEN ABOUT, THE EMERGENCY SENIOR CITIZENS RELIEF ACT, THE DREAM ACT, AND THE MOTION ON THE ZADROD ACT. IF CLOTURE IS INVOKED ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED THERE WILL BE 30 HOURS OF DEBATE AS WE KNOW. I WOULD NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 09:36:08 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

  • 09:36:30 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 09:54:26 AM

    MR. REID

    A QUORUM PRESENT?

  • 09:54:33 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    A QUORUM IS PRESENT. WILL SENATORS TAKE THEIR SEATS. THE PRESIDENT PRO…

    A QUORUM IS PRESENT. WILL SENATORS TAKE THEIR SEATS. THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: UNDER THE

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  • 09:55:07 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, A QUORUM HAVING BEEN ESTABLISHED, THE SENATE…

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, A QUORUM HAVING BEEN ESTABLISHED, THE SENATE WILL RESUME ITS CONSIDERATION OF THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST JUDGE. G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR. THE SERGEANT AT ARMS WILL MAKE THE PROCLAMATION. THE SERGEANT AT ARMS: HEAR YE, HEAR YE, HEAR YE, ALL PERSONS ARE COMMANDED TO KEEP SILENCE, ON PAIN OF IMPRISONMENT, WHILE THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS EXHIBITING TO THE UNITED STATES ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST G. PORTEOUS JR., JUDGE OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA.

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  • 09:55:55 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE MAJORITY LEADER IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 09:55:58 AM

    MR. REID

    THE SENATE DELIBERATED YESTERDAY EVENING FOR A LONG TIME ON THE ARTICLES…

    THE SENATE DELIBERATED YESTERDAY EVENING FOR A LONG TIME ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT AGAINST JUDGE G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR. AND THE RELATED MOTIONS. WE MEET TODAY TO VOTE ON THE ARTICLES. BEFORE PROCEEDING TO VOTE ON EACH OF THE ARTICLES, HOWEVER, THE SENATE HAS AGREED TO VOTE ON THE MOTION FILED BY JUDGE -- A MOTION NOTWITHSTANDING IMPEACHMENT, THE SENATE WILL HOLD PRELIMINARY VOTES ON INDIVIDUAL ALLEGATIONS IN THE ARTICLES. MR. PRESIDENT, CAN THE CHAIR CONFIRM FOR THE BENEFIT OF SENATORS THAT A YES VOTE IS A VOTE TO DESEGREGATE THE ARTICLES AS SOUGHT -- DISAGGREGATE, PARDON ME, THE ARTICLES SOUGHT BY JUDGE PORTEOUS, AND A NO VOTE IS A VOTE TO PROCEEDING DIRECTLY TO VOTING ON THE FOUR ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.

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  • 09:56:48 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    BEFORE I PROCEED, WILL THE PANEL BE SEATED? THE MAJORITY LEADER IS CRENGT.…

    BEFORE I PROCEED, WILL THE PANEL BE SEATED? THE MAJORITY LEADER IS CRENGT. THE SENATE WILL NOW VOTE TO DISAGGREGATE THE ARTICLES. THE QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 09:57:24 AM

    Senate Vote 260 - On the Motion (Motion to Disaggregate the Articles of Impeachment Against Judge Thomas G Porteous)

    Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Motion Rejected (0 - 94)
    Nay

    Vote Details: Nay - 93
    Republican - 40
    Democratic - 52
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 6
    Democratic - 3
    Independent - 1
    Republican - 2

  • 10:07:35 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE MOTION IS NOT AGREED TO. THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 10:07:40 AM

    MR. REID

    I MOVE TO RECONSIDER THAT MOTION.

  • 10:07:46 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    SO ORDERED. MR. LEADER.

  • 10:07:50 AM

    MR. REID

    BEFORE PROCEEDING ON THE FINAL VOTE ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, I ASK…

    BEFORE PROCEEDING ON THE FINAL VOTE ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT SENATORS MAY BE PERMITTED WITHIN SEVEN DAYS FROM TODAY TO HAVE PRINTED IN THE RECORD OPINIONS OR STATEMENTS EXPLAINING THEIR AND THAT THE SECRETARY BE AUTHORIZED TO INCLUDE THESE STATEMENTS ALONG WITH THE RECORD OF THE SENATE'S PROCEEDINGS IN A SENATE DOCUMENT PRINTED TO COMPLETE THE DOCUMENTATION OF THE? 'S HANDLING OF THESE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS.

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  • 10:08:14 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    HEARING NO OBJECTION, IT IS SO ORDERED. THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 10:08:17 AM

    MR. REID

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE TO REMIND ALL SENATORS TO REMAIN IN THEIR…

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE TO REMIND ALL SENATORS TO REMAIN IN THEIR SEATS DURING THE VOTING ON ALL FOUR ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. UNDER IMPEACHMENT RULE NUMBER 22, ONCE WE'VE BEGUN VOTING ON THE FIRST ARTICLE, VOTING WILL PROCEED ON EACH OF THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. WHEN THEIR NAME IS CALLED, SENATORS SHALL RISE FROM THEIR SEAT AND CAST THEIR VOTE. THIS WILL ENSURE THAT THE DECORUM OF THE SENATE IS MAINTAINED WHILE THESE GRAVE PROCEEDINGS ARE UNDERWAY. THESE PROCEEDINGS AFFECT NOT ONLY JUDGE PORTEOUS BUT ALSO THE SENATE AND OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. THE CHAIR WILL SHORTLY INSTRUCT THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE ON THE QUESTION TO THE PUT AND THE MANNER OF RESPONSE.

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  • 10:08:53 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE CLERK WILL READ THE FIRST ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT.

  • 10:09:03 AM

    THE CLERK

    I. WHILE A FEDERAL JUDGE FOR THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE…

    I. WHILE A FEDERAL JUDGE FOR THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, ENGAGED IN A PEARCH CONDUCT THAT IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE PLACED IN HIM AS A FEDERAL JUDGE AS FOLLOWS. JUDGE PORT, WHILE PRESIDING -- JUDGE PORTEOUS, WHILE PRESIDING AS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE IN LIFE MARK HOSPITALS OF LOUISIANA INCORPORATED VERSUS LILJEBERG ENTERPRISES, DENIED A MOTION TO RECUSE HIMSELF FROM THE CASE. DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE HAD A CORRUPT FINANCIAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LAW FIRM OF AMATO AND CREELY P.C., WHICH HAD ENTERED THE CASE TO REPRESENT LILJEBERG. IN DENYING THE MOTION TO RECUSE, AND IN CONTRAVENTION OF CLEAN CANNONS OF JUDICIAL ETHICS, JUDGE PORTEOUS FAILED TO DISCLOSE THAT BEGINNING IN OR ABOUT THE LATE 1980'S, WHILE HE WAS A STATE COURT JUDGE IN THE 24th JUDICIAL DISTRICT IN THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, HE ENGAGED IN A CORRUPT SCHEME WITH ATTORNEYS JACOB AMATO JR. AND ROBERT CREELY WHEREBY JUDGE PORTEOUS APPOINTED AMATO'S LAW PARTNER AS A CURATOR IN HUNDREDS OF CASES AND THEREAFTER REQUESTED AND ACCEPTED FROM AMATO AND CREELY A PORTION OF THE CURATORSHIP FEES WHICH HAD BEEN PAID TO THE FIRM. DURING THE PERIOD OF THIS SCHEME, THE FEES RECEIVED BY AMATO AND CREELY AMOUNTED TO APPROXIMATELY $40,000 AND THE AMOUNTS PAID BY AMATO AND CREELY TO JUDGE PORTEOUS AMOUNTED TO APPROXIMATELY $20,000. JUDGE PORTEOUS ALSO MADE INTENTIONALLY MISLEADING STATEMENTS AT THE RECUSAL HEARING INTENDED TO MINIMIZE THE EXTENT OF HIS PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THE TWO ATTORNEYS. IN DOING SO AND IN FAILING TO DISCLOSE TO LIFEMARK AND ITS COUNSEL THE TRUE CIRCUMSTANCES OF HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE AMATO AND CREELY LAW FIRM, JUDGE PORTEOUS DEPRIVED THE FIFTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS OF CRITICAL INFORMATION FOR ITS REVIEW OF A PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS, WHICH SOUGHT TO OVERRULE JUDGE PORTEOUS'S DENIAL OF THE RECUSAL MOTION. HIS CONDUCT DEPRIVED THE PARTIES AND THE PUBLIC OF THE RIGHT TO THE HONEST SERVICES OF HIS OFFICE. JUDGE PORTEOUS ALSO ENGAGED IN CORRUPT CONDUCT AFTER THE LIFEMARK v. LILJEBERG BENCH TRIAL AND WHILE HE HAD THE CASE UNDER ADVISEMENT IN THAT HE SOLICITED AND ACCEPTED THINGS OF VALUE FROM BOTH AMATO AND HIS LAW PARTNER CREELY INCLUDING A PAYMENT OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN CASH. THEREAFTER AND WITHOUT DISCLOSING HIS CORRUPT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ATTORNEYS AFTER MAT TOE AND AMATO AND CREEL HE WILL CREELY P.L.C. OF CASH AND OTHER THINGS OF VALUE, JUDGE PORTEOUS RULED IN FAVOR OF THEIR CLIENT, LILJEBERG. BY VIRTUE OF THIS CORRUPT RELATIONSHIP AND HIS CONDUCT AS A FEDERAL JUDGE, JUDGE PORTEOUS BROUGHT THIS COURT INTO SCANDAL AND DISREPUTE, PREJUDICED PUBLIC RESPECT FOR AND CONFIDENCE IN THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY, AND DEMONSTRATED THAT HE IS UNFIT FOR THE OFFICE FEDERAL JUDGE. WHEREFORE, JUDGE GEORGE THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. IS GUILTY OF HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

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  • 10:12:17 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE CHAIR WILL READ FOR THE BENEFIT OF EVERYONE PRESENT IN THE CHAMBER AND…

    THE CHAIR WILL READ FOR THE BENEFIT OF EVERYONE PRESENT IN THE CHAMBER AND IN THE GALLERIES PARAGRAPH I OF RULE 19 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE, WHICH STATES AS FOLLOWS: WHENEVER CONFUSION ARISES IN THE CHAMBER OR THE GALLERIES OR DEMONSTRATIONS OF APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL ARE INDULGED BY OCCUPANTS OF THE GALLERIES, IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE CHAIR TO ENFORCE ORDER ON HIS OWN INITIATIVE AND WITHOUT ANY POINT OF ORDER BEING MADE BY A SENATOR SENATOR. THE CHAIR WOULD DEEPLY APPRECIATE THE COOPERATION OF EVERYONE IN THE CHAMBER AND IN THE GALLERIES IN MAINTAINING ORDER. THE CHAIR REMINDS THE SENATE THAT EACH SENATOR, WHEN HIS OR HER NAME IS CALLED, WILL STAND IN HIS OR HER PLACE AND VOTE GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY. UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, CONVICTION REQUIRES A VOTE OF TWO-THIRDS PRESENT ON ANY ARTICLE. THE QUESTION IS ON THE FIRST ARTICLE. SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU? IS THE RESPONDENT, G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY? THE ROLL CALL IS AUTOMATIC, AND THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 10:13:48 AM

    Senate Vote 261 - Guilty or Not Guilty (Article I Articles of Impeachment v Judge G Thomas Porteous )

    Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Guilty (0 - 0)
    Guilty

    Vote Details: Guilty - 95
    Republican - 40
    Democratic - 53
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 4
    Democratic - 2
    Republican - 2

  • 10:23:53 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 96 SENATORS HAVE…

    PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 96 SENATORS HAVE VOTED GUILTY, NO SENATOR HAS VOTED NOT GUILTY. TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT HAVING VOTED GUILTY, THE VERDICT ON ARTICLE I IS GUILTY. THE CHAIR NOW ASKS THE CLERK TO READ THE SECOND ARTICLE.

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  • 10:24:22 AM

    THE CLERK

    ARTICLE II. G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., ENGAGED IN A LONGSTANDING PATTERN OF…

    ARTICLE II. G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., ENGAGED IN A LONGSTANDING PATTERN OF CORRUPT CONDUCT THAT DEMONSTRATES HIS UNFITNESS TO SERVE AS A UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE. THAT CONDUCT INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING: BEGINNING IN OR ABOUT THE LATE 1980'S WHILE HE WAS A STATE COURT JUDGE IN THE 24TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT IN THE STATE OF LOUISIANA, AND CONTINUING WHILE HE WAS A FEDERAL JUDGE IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, JUDGE PORTEOUS ENGAGED IN A CORRUPT RELATIONSHIP WITH BAIL BONDSMAN LOUIS M. MARCOTTE, III, AND HIS SISTER LORI MARCOTTE. AS PART OF THIS CORRUPT RELATIONSHIP, JUDGE PORTEOUS SOLICITED AND ACCEPTED NUMEROUS THINGS OF VALUE, INCLUDING MEALS, TRIPS, HOME REPAIRS, AND CAR REPAIRS, FOR HIS PERSONAL USE AND BENEFIT, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME TAKING OFFICIAL ACTIONS THAT BENEFITTED THE MARCOTTES. THESE OFFICIAL ACTIONS BY JUDGE PORTEOUS INCLUDED, WHILE ON THE STATE BENCH, SETTING, REDUCING, AND SPLITTING BONDS AS REQUESTED BY THE MARCOTTES, AND IMPROPERLY SETTING ASIDE OR EXPUNGING FELONY CONVICTIONS FOR TWO MARCOTTE EMPLOYEES, IN ONE CASE AFTER JUDGE PORTEOUS HAD BEEN CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE BUT BEFORE BEING SWORN IN AS A FEDERAL JUDGE. IN ADDITION, BOTH WHILE ON THE STATE BENCH AND ON THE FEDERAL BENCH, JUDGE PORTEOUS USED THE POWER AND PRESTIGE OF HIS OFFICE TO ASSIST THE MARCOTTES IN FORMING RELATIONSHIPS WITH STATE JUDICIAL OFFICERS AND INDIVIDUALS IMPORTANT TO THE MARCOTTES' BUSINESS. AS JUDGE PORTEOUS WELL KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD, LOUIS MARCOTTE ALSO MADE FALSE STATEMENTS TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IN AN EFFORT TO ASSIST JUDGE PORTEOUS IN BEING APPOINTED TO THE FEDERAL BENCH. ACCORDINGLY, JUDGE G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., HAS ENGAGED IN CONDUCT SO UTTERLY LACKING IN HONESTY AND INTEGRITY THAT HE IS GUILTY OF HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS, IS UNFIT TO HOLD THE OFFICE OF FEDERAL JUDGE, AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

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  • 10:26:31 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT. SENATORS, HOW SAY…

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE SECOND ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT. SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU? IS THE RESPONDENT, G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY? THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE:

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  • 10:26:54 AM

    Senate Vote 262 - Guilty or Not Guilty (Article II Articles of Impeachment v Judge G Thomas Porteous)

    Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Vote Details: Guilty - 69
    Republican - 23
    Democratic - 45
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Guilty - 26
    Republican - 17
    Democratic - 8
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 4
    Democratic - 2
    Republican - 2

  • 10:38:25 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 69 SENATORS HAVE VOTED GUILTY, 27 SENATORS…

    ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 69 SENATORS HAVE VOTED GUILTY, 27 SENATORS HAVE VOTED NOT GUILTY. TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT HAVING VOTED GUILTY, THE VERDICT ON ARTICLE II IS GUILTY. THE CHAIR NOW CALLS UPON THE CLERK TO READ THE THIRD ARTICLE.

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  • 10:38:51 AM

    THE CLERK

    III. BEGINNING IN OR ABOUT MARCH 2001 AND CONTINUING THROUGH ABOUT JULY…

    III. BEGINNING IN OR ABOUT MARCH 2001 AND CONTINUING THROUGH ABOUT JULY 2004, WHILE A FEDERAL JUDGE IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., ENGAGED IN A PATTERN OF CONDUCT INCONSISTENT WITH THE TRUST AND CONFIDENCE PLACED IN HIM AS A FEDERAL JUDGE BY KNOWINGLY AND INTENTIONALLY MAKING MATERIAL FALSE STATEMENTS AND REPRESENTATIONS UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY RELATED TO HIS PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY FILING AND BY REPEATEDLY VIOLATING A COURT ORDER IN HIS BANKRUPTCY CASE. JUDGE PORTEOUS DID SO BY: ONE, USING A FALSE NAME AND A POST OFFICE BOX ADDRESS TO CONCEAL HIS IDENTITY AS THE DEBTOR IN THE CASE; TWO, CONCEALING ASSETS; THREE, CONCEALING PREFERENTIAL PAYMENTS TO CERTAIN CREDITORS; FOUR, CONCEALING GAMBLING LOSSES AND OTHER GAMBLING DEBTS; AND FIVE, INCURRING NEW DEBTS WHILE THE CASE WAS PENDING, IN VIOLATION OF THE BANKRUPTCY COURT'S ORDER. IN DOING SO, JUDGE PORTEOUS BROUGHT HIS COURT INTO SCANDAL AND DISREPUTE, PREJUDICED PUBLIC RESPECT FOR AND CONFIDENCE IN THE FEDERAL JUDICIARY, AND DEMONSTRATED THAT HE IS UNFIT FOR THE OFFICE OF FEDERAL JUDGE. WHEREFORE, JUDGE G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., IS GUILTY OF HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

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  • 10:40:23 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE THIRD ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT. SENATORS, HOW SAY…

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE THIRD ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT. SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU? IS THE RESPONDENT, G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY? THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE:

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  • 10:40:42 AM

    Senate Vote 263 - Guilty or Not Guilty (Article III Articles of Impeachment v Judge G Thomas Porteous)

    Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Guilty (0 - 0)
    Guilty

    Vote Details: Guilty - 88
    Republican - 38
    Democratic - 49
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Guilty - 7
    Republican - 2
    Democratic - 4
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 4
    Democratic - 2
    Republican - 2

  • 10:50:59 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 88 SENATORS HAVE VOTED GUILTY, 8 SENATORS…

    ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 88 SENATORS HAVE VOTED GUILTY, 8 SENATORS HAVE VOTED NOT GUILTY. TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT HAVING VOTED GUILTY, THE VERDICT ON ARTICLE III IS GUILTY. THE CHAIR NOW CALLS UPON THE CLERK TO READ THE FOURTH ARTICLE.

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  • 10:51:24 AM

    THE CLERK

    IV. IN 1994, IN CONNECTION WITH HIS NOMINATION TO BE A JUDGE OF THE UNITED…

    IV. IN 1994, IN CONNECTION WITH HIS NOMINATION TO BE A JUDGE OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., KNOWINGLY MADE MATERIAL FALSE STATEMENTS ABOUT HIS PAST TO BOTH THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE OFFICE OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE. THESE FALSE STATEMENTS INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING: ONE, ON HIS SUPPLEMENTAL SF-86, JUDGE PORTEOUS WAS ASKED IF THERE WAS ANYTHING IN HIS PERSONAL LIFE THAT COULD BE USED BY SOMEONE TO COERCE OR BLACKMAIL HIM, OR IF THERE WAS ANYTHING IN HIS LIFE THAT COULD CAUSE AN EMBARRASSMENT TO JUDGE PORTEOUS OR THE PRESIDENT IF PUBLICLY KNOWN. JUDGE PORTEOUS ANSWERED "NO" TO THESE QUESTIONS AND SIGNED THE FORM UNDER THE WARNING THAT A FALSE STATEMENT WAS PUNISHABLE BY LAW. TWO, DURING HIS BACKGROUND CHECK, JUDGE PORTEOUS FALSELY TOLD THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION ON TWO SEPARATE OCCASIONS THAT HE WAS NOT CONCEALING ANY ACTIVITY OR CONDUCT THAT COULD BE USED TO INFLUENCE, PRESSURE, COERCE, OR COMPROMISE HIM IN ANY WAY OR THAT WOULD IMPACT NEGATIVELY ON HIS CHARACTER, REPUTATION, JUDGMENT, OR DISCRETION. THREE, ON THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE'S "QUESTIONNAIRE FOR JUDICIAL NOMINEES," JUDGE PORTEOUS WAS ASKED WHETHER ANY UNFAVORABLE INFORMATION EXISTED THAT COULD AFFECT HIS NOMINATION. JUDGE PORTEOUS ANSWERED THAT, TO THE BEST OF HIS KNOWLEDGE, HE DID "NOT KNOW OF ANY UNFAVORABLE INFORMATION THAT MAY AFFECT HIS NOMINATION." JUDGE PORTEOUS SIGNED THAT QUESTIONNAIRE BY SWEARING THAT "THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS STATEMENT IS, TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, TRUE AND ACCURATE." HOWEVER, IN TRUTH AND IN FACT, AS JUDGE PORTEOUS THEN WELL KNEW, EACH OF THESE ANSWERS WAS MATERIALLY FALSE BECAUSE JUDGE PORTEOUS HAD ENGAGED IN A CORRUPT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LAW FIRM AMATO & CREELY, WHEREBY JUDGE PORTEOUS APPOINTED CREELY AS A "CURATOR" IN HUNDREDS OF CASES AND THEREAFTER REQUESTED AND ACCEPTED FROM AMATO & CREELY A PORTION OF THE CURATORSHIP FEES WHICH HAD BEEN PAID TO THE FIRM AND ALSO HAD ENGAGED IN A CORRUPT RELATIONSHIP WITH LOUIS AND LORI MARCOTTE, WHEREBY JUDGE PORTEOUS SOLICITED AND ACCEPTED NUMEROUS THINGS OF VALUE, INCLUDING MEALS, TRIPS, HOME REPAIRS, AND CAR REPAIRS, FOR HIS PERSONAL USE AND BENEFIT, WHILE AT THE SAME TIME TAKING OFFICIAL ACTIONS THAT BENEFITTED THE MARCOTTES. AS JUDGE PORTEOUS WELL KNEW AND UNDERSTOOD, LOUIS MARCOTTE ALSO MADE FALSE STATEMENTS TO THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION IN AN EFFORT TO ASSIST JUDGE PORTEOUS IN BEING APPOINTED TO THE FEDERAL BENCH. JUDGE PORTEOUS'S FAILURE TO DISCLOSE THESE CORRUPT RELATIONSHIPS DEPRIVED THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND THE PUBLIC OF INFORMATION THAT WOULD HAVE HAD A MATERIAL IMPACT ON HIS CONFIRMATION. WHEREFORE, JUDGE G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., IS GUILTY OF HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS AND SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM OFFICE.

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  • 10:54:54 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE FOURTH ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT. SENATORS, HOW SAY…

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE FOURTH ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT. SENATORS, HOW SAY YOU? IS THE RESPONDENT, G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR., GUILTY OR NOT GUILTY? THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. ON THIS ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT, 90 SENATORS HAVE VOTED GUILTY, 6 SENATORS HAVE VOTED NOT GUILTY. TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT HAVING VOTED GUILTY, THE VERDICT ON ARTICLE IV IS GUILTY. THE CHAIR DIRECTS JUDGMENT TO BE ENTERED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE JUDGMENT OF THE SENATE, AS FOLLOWS: THE SENATE, HAVING TRIED G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR., U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, UPON FOUR ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED AGAINST HIM BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT HAVING FOUND HIM GUILTY OF THE CHARGES CONTAINED IN ARTICLES I, II, III AND IV, IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT THE SAID G. THOMAS PORTEOUS, JR. BE, AND HE IS HEREBY, REMOVED FROM OFFICE. THE MAJORITY LEADER.

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  • 10:55:18 AM

    Senate Vote 264 - Guilty or Not Guilty (Article IV Articles of Impeachment v Judge G Thomas Porteous)

    Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Guilty (0 - 0)
    Guilty

    Vote Details: Guilty - 89
    Republican - 40
    Democratic - 47
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 4
    Democratic - 2
    Republican - 2

  • 11:07:19 AM

    MR. REID

    THAT IS CORRECT.

  • 11:07:32 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THAT IS CORRECT.

  • 11:07:34 AM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE AN ORDER AT THE DESK. I WOULD ASK THAT IT BE STATED.

  • 11:07:42 AM

    THE CLERK

    ORDERED THAT THE SECRETARY BE DIRECTED TO COMMUNICATE TO THE SECRETARY OF…

    ORDERED THAT THE SECRETARY BE DIRECTED TO COMMUNICATE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE AS PROVIDED BY RULE 23 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE IN THE SENATE WHEN SITTING ON IMPEACHMENT TRIALS AND ALSO TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THE JUDGMENT OF THE SENATE IN THE CASE OF G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. AND TRANSMIT A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE JUDGMENT TO EACH.

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  • 11:08:07 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE ORDER WILL BE ENTERED. THE MAJORITY LEADER IS…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE ORDER WILL BE ENTERED. THE MAJORITY LEADER IS RECOGNIZED.

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  • 11:08:14 AM

    MR. REID

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, I MOVE AS THE SENATE SITTING FOR THE…

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, I MOVE AS THE SENATE SITTING FOR THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT FOR G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. ADJOURN ADJOURN SINE DIE. AND I ASK THAT SENATORS McCASKILL AND HATCH BE RECOGNIZED FOR FIFE FIVE MINUTES EACH.

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  • 11:08:33 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE ORDERED IS AGREED TO. AND THE SENATE SITTING AS A COURT OF IMPEACHMENT…

    THE ORDERED IS AGREED TO. AND THE SENATE SITTING AS A COURT OF IMPEACHMENT IS ADJOURNED SINE DIE. THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI IS RECOGNIZED. MR.

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  • 11:08:44 AM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT? CAN WE HAVE ORDER, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT,…

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT? CAN WE HAVE ORDER, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, I, THEREFORE, MOVE THAT THIS MAN, JUDGE PORTEOUS, BE DISQUALIFIED FROM HOLDING OFFICE AT ANY TIME IN THE FUTURE OF THE UNITED STATES.

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  • 11:08:59 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    IT IS SO ORDERED.

  • 11:09:11 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

  • 11:09:25 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE:THE PRESID

    PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: IS THERE DEBATE ON THE MOTION? APPROXIMATE IF NOT,…

    PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: IS THERE DEBATE ON THE MOTION? APPROXIMATE IF NOT, IT IS SO ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

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  • 11:09:32 AM

    MRS. BOXER

    THE SENATE IS NOT IN ORDER. I CAN'T HEAR YOU. I CAN'T HEAR THE LEADER. AND…

    THE SENATE IS NOT IN ORDER. I CAN'T HEAR YOU. I CAN'T HEAR THE LEADER. AND ARE WE NOW GOING TO VOTE ON SOMETHING ELSE AT THIS POINT?

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  • 11:09:46 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE MOTION IS ON TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE PORTEOUS FROM ANY FUTURE OFFICE. 34RS…

    THE MOTION IS ON TO DISQUALIFY JUDGE PORTEOUS FROM ANY FUTURE OFFICE. 34RS BOXER:MRS. BOXER: SO THERE'S A ROLL CALL VOTE AT THIS POINT?

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  • 11:09:59 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE SENATOR IS CORRECT.

  • 11:10:05 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    CAN WE HAVE ORDER.

  • 11:10:06 AM

    Senate Vote 265 - On the Motion (Motion to Forever Disqualify G Thomas Porteous Jr to Hold and Enjoy Any Office of Honor Trust or Profit Under the United States)

    Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.

    Motion Agreed to (94 - 2)
    Yea

    Vote Details: Yea - 93
    Republican - 40
    Democratic - 52
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Nay - 2
    Democratic - 1
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 4
    Democratic - 2
    Republican - 2

  • 11:10:09 AM

    MR. DURBIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, THE SENATE'S NOT IN ORDER. MR. PRESIDENT, WITH REIN A ROLL…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THE SENATE'S NOT IN ORDER. MR. PRESIDENT, WITH REIN A ROLL CALL VOTE?

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  • 11:10:15 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE SENATOR IS CORRECT, WE'RE IN A ROLL CALL VOTE. IT HAS STARTED. VOTE:

  • 11:11:34 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: WE ARE STILL IN SESSION. VOTE: VOTE:

  • 11:36:07 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: ON THISSSOCIATE THE YEAS ARE 94, THE NAYS ARE 2.…

    PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: ON THISSSOCIATE THE YEAS ARE 94, THE NAYS ARE 2. THE SENATE, HAVING TRIED G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE EAST DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA, UPON FOUR ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED AGAINST HIM BY THE HOUSE AND TWO-THIRDS OF THE SENATORS PRESENT HAVING FOUND HIM GUILTY OF CHARGES CONTAINED IN ARTICLES I, II, III, AND IV OF THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT, IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT THE SAID G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. BE AND IS HEREBY REMOVED FROM OFFICE AND THAT HE BE AND IS HEREBY FOREVER DISQUALIFIED TO HOLD AND ENJOY ANY OFFICE OF HONOR, TRUST, OR PROFIT UNDER THE UNITED STATES.

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  • 11:37:04 AM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 11:37:06 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE LEADER IS RECOGNIZED. THE CHAIR WILL CLARIFY THAT IT REQUIRES A MOTION…

    THE LEADER IS RECOGNIZED. THE CHAIR WILL CLARIFY THAT IT REQUIRES A MOTION THAT THE CONVICTED OFFICIAL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM EVER HOLDING OFFICE OF HONOR, TRUST, OR PROFIT UNDER THE UNITED STATES. THE SENATORS JUST AADOPTED SUCH A MOTION.

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  • 11:37:30 AM

    MR. REID

    I SEND A MOTION TO THE DESK.

  • 11:37:32 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE CLERK WILL READ.

  • 11:37:37 AM

    THE CLERK

    THE SECRETARY BE DIRECTED TO COMMUNICATE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE AS…

    THE SECRETARY BE DIRECTED TO COMMUNICATE TO THE SECRETARY OF STATE AS PROVIDED BY RULE 23 OF THE RULES OF PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE IN THE SENATE WHEN SIGNATURE ON IMPEACHMENT TRIALS AND ALSO TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THE JUDGMENT OF THE SENATE IN THE CASE G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. AND TRANSMIT A CERTIFIED COPY OF THE JUDGMENT TO EACH.

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  • 11:37:58 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE ORDER WILL BE ENTERED AND THE LEADER IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 11:38:02 AM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RENEW THE REQUEST I MADE PREVIOUSLY THAT THIS COURT --…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RENEW THE REQUEST I MADE PREVIOUSLY THAT THIS COURT -- THIS SENATE SITTING AS A COURT OF IMPEACHMENT FOR THE AFERLS AGAINST G. THOMAS PORTEOUS JR. ADJOURN SINE DIE AND AS SOON AS WE GO TO LEGISLATIVE SERKS SENATORS McCASKILL AND HATCH BE RECOGNIZE THE.

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  • 11:38:17 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE MOTION IS AGREED TO. THE SENATE SIGNATURE AS A…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE MOTION IS AGREED TO. THE SENATE SIGNATURE AS A COURT OF IMPEACHMENT IS ADJOURNED. SINE DIE.

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  • 11:38:26 AM

    MR. REID

    WE ASK THAT -- MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK THE ORDER THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY ENTERED…

    WE ASK THAT -- MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK THE ORDER THAT WAS PREVIOUSLY ENTERED BE VITIATED DIRECTING THAT THE SENATE RECESS SUBJECT TO THE CALL OF THE CHAIR.

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  • 11:38:41 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 11:38:47 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE SENATOR FROM

  • 11:38:49 AM

    MS. McCASKILL

    PRESIDENT, OUR CONSTITUTION IS A GLORIOUS THING. IT IS IN FACT THE ENVY OF…

    PRESIDENT, OUR CONSTITUTION IS A GLORIOUS THING. IT IS IN FACT THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. AND ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND ELEGANT ELEMENTS OF THE FOUNDATION OF OUR GOVERNMENT IS THE PROVISIONS THAT PROVIDE FOR THE CHECKS AND BALANCES OF OUR THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT. IT HAS BEEN AN INCREDIBLE HONOR TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROCESS THAT WAS DEVISED BY VERY WISE PEOPLE VERY LONG AGO THAT ACTUALLY PROVIDES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE REASSURANCE THAT THE CONSTITUTION IS WORKING THE WAY IT WAS DESIGNED TO WORK WHEN IT COMES TO THE CHECKS AND BALANCES OF THE THREE BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MODERN CONGRESS, BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE, ARE EXTENSIVE. I DON'T NEED TO SPEND MUCH TIME, MR. PRESIDENT, TALKING ABOUT HOW BUSY WE ARE RIGHT NOW. BUT THE FACT THAT WE SET ASIDE EVERYTHING THAT WE WERE DOING AND CAME TOGETHER AND SAT AS A SENATE AND LISTENED TO THE ARGUMENTS AND DELIBERATED EXTENSIVELY ABOUT THIS IMPEACHMENT SHOULD BE REASSURING TO EVERY AMERICAN. I THINK THE RESULTS ARE INTERESTING IN THAT IT REFLECTS THAT EACH SENATOR MADE AN INDIVIDUAL DECISION ABOUT THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. THERE WAS SOME UNANIMITY ON SOME OF THE COUNTS BUT ON OTHERS IT WAS REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, CONSERVATIVES, PROGRESSIVES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE QUESTIONS, AND I THINK THAT SHOWS THE EXTENT TO WHICH EVERYONE MADE AN INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT AND TOOK THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES VERY SERIOUSLY. I WANT TO TAKE JUST A FEW MINUTES NOW TO THANK SOME PEOPLE THAT REALLY ARE UNSUNG HEROES HERE. OBVIOUSLY I THANK THE DISTINGUISHED VICE-CHAIRMAN, THE SENATOR FROM UTAH, FOR HIS SUPPORT, HIS EXPERIENCE, AND HIS WISDOM IN DISCHARGE THE COMMITTEE'S DUTIES. HE WAS ESSENTIAL TO THIS PROCESS AND A GREAT ROCK FOR ME TO LEAN ON AND MANY TURNS -- AT MANY TURNS DURING THIS PROCESS. I ALSO WANT TO THANK THE TEN OTHER MEMBERS OF THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL COMMITTEE FOR THEIR DEVOTION AND DILIGENCE AND COMMITMENT TO THIS IMPORTANT WORK. AND THEN I WOULD LIKE TOO TAKE JUST A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO TALK ABOUT THE STAFF. I WANT TO BEGIN WITH DARREN PARKS WHO IS SEATED WITH ME HERE ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE. DARREN WALKED INTO MY OFFICE AND WAS HIRED TO BE A LEGISLATIVE ASSISTANT FOR HEALTH CARE. IN THE MIDDLE OF SOME PRETTY DIFFICULT TIMES ON HEALTH CARE. AND THEN I SAID TO HIM, OH, BY THE WAY, COULD YOU RUN AN IMPEACHMENT OF A FEDERAL JUDGE ALSO? SO AS A BRAND-NEW MEMBER OF MY STAFF, HE TOOK ON INCREDIBLE RESPONSIBILITY. AND ALL OF THE THANKS I'VE GOTTEN REALLY BELONG TO HIM. BECAUSE HE WORKED HARD, HE WORKED SMART, HE WAS A GREAT LEADER, AND DID A REMARKABLE JOB OF MARSHALING A BUNCH OF SENATORS, A BUNCH OF STAFFS, A BUNCH OF WITNESSES, A BUNCH OF EVIDENCE, A BUNCH OF LEGAL RESEARCH AND DID IT IN A WAY THAT I THINK THE SENATE CAN BE VERY PROUD. I ALSO WANT TO THANK TOM JIPPING, WHO IS SENATOR HATCH'S STAFF PERSON WHO HELPED WITH THIS, AS THE DEPUTY STAFF DIRECTOR FOR THE IMPEACHMENT COMMITTEE, LESS PUT IN AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF WORK AND GAVE A VERY VALUABLE CRIFNTLE AND JUSTIN KIM, COUNSEL. JUSTIN WAS VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE WHENEVER THERE WAS A DISAGREEMENT ABOUT WHAT WAS THE RIGHT ROAD TO TAKE IN TERMS OF HISTORICAL PRECEDENT, RULE OF LAW, DECISIONS ON MOTIONS, HE WAS ALWAYS A GOOD SOUNDING BOARD. THERE WERE ALWAYS MORE THAN ONE SMART LAWYER IN THE ROORNLINGS SO THAT THE IDEAS COULD BE BOUNCED BACK AND FORTH AND SOMEHOW WE COULD COME UMWITH THE RIGHT ANSWER BASED ON THE LAW, THE CONSTITUTION, AND HISTORICAL PRECEDENT. REBECCA SIVMENT DELL, WHO WAS ALSO VERY VALUABLE TO THE COMMITTEE, ANOTHER COUNSEL WHO WAS ESSENTIAL IN THIS PROCESS. AARON JOHNSON, THE DEPUTY COUNSEL AND CHIEF CLERK WHO DID FRANKLY SOME OF THE MOST DIFFICULT WORK AND THAT WAS MAKERRING SURE WE HAD A QUORUM DURING THE TRIAL, WHICH WAS HARD, AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, MR. PRESIDENT. KEEPING SENATORS IN ONE SEAT FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME? THAT'S TOUGH. AND SHE MANAGED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ALWAYS HAD A QUORUM THAT THE LAW DEMANDED. AND LAKE DISHMAN, ANOTHER MEMBER OF THE STAFF THAT DID A WONDERFUL JOB. SUSANNA VAIR ROW SMELTZER, FROM C.R.S., DID WONDERFUL WORK FOR US IN TERMS OF ALLOWING US SOME HELP ON THE RESEARCH OF THE HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS AND DECISIONS THAT GUIDE OUR WAY. MORGAN FRANKEL, WHO WAS HERE ON THE FLOOR FOR THE CONCLUSION OF THIS IMPEACHMENT MATTER. THE SENATE LEGAL COUNSEL, LIKE SENATOR HATCH, THIS WASN'T HIS FIRST TIME TO DEAL WITH IMPEACHMENT MATTERS. SO HE WAS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION AND A WONDERFUL HELP TO US. AND PAT McBRIAN, SHE ALSO DID GREAT WORK. GRANT VIVMENT NICH AND TOM CAVARRO WERE ALSO FROM THE SENATE LEGAL STAFF. AND THEN ALL THE COMMITTEE MEMBERS HAD THE STAFF PEOPLE THAT HELPED ON THIS. I WILL NOT PUT ALL OF THEIR NAMES ON THE RECORD NOW. BUT THEY WILL BE MADE PART OF MY ENTIRE STATEMENT. I WILL HAVE MORE EXTENSIVE COMMENTS ON THE IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS, WHICH I WILL INSERT IN THE RECORD. I JUST WANT TO CONCLUDE BY SAYING, I'M VERY PROUD TO BE A SENATOR TODAY. THERE ARE DAYS THAT THAT'S NOT AS EASY TO SAY. THERE ARE TIMES THERE TH PLACE IS PRETTY DYSFUNCTIONAL. BUT I AM VERY PROUD OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND HOW WE CONDUCTED OURSELVES DURING THIS VERY IMPORTANT AND GRAVE PROCEEDING. I THINK THE RESPONSIBILITY WAS HANDLED JUST AS THE FOUNDERS WOULD HAVE WANT THE US TO HANDLE IT AND I THINK WE ALL SHOULD BE PROUD OF THAT. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT THE FULL TEXT OF MY STATEMENT APPEAR IN THE RECORD AT THIS POINT FOLLOWED BY AN APPENDIX WHICH IS REFERRED TO IN THE BODY OF THE STATEMENT. AND I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 11:45:17 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM UTAH.

  • 11:45:19 AM

    MR. HATCH

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 11:51:08 AM

    MR. HATCH

    NOW HAVING SAID THAT, THE DEFENSE COUNSEL, THEY DID THE VERY BEST JOB THEY…

    NOW HAVING SAID THAT, THE DEFENSE COUNSEL, THEY DID THE VERY BEST JOB THEY COULD. JONATHAN TURLEY IS AN EMINENT PROFESSOR AT GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. I'VE KNOWN HIM FOR A LONG TIME. HE'S VERY INNOVATIVE, VERY CREATIVE AND SOME THOUGHT IN THIS PARTICULAR MATTER WAS QUITE INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE AS WELL. LET ME SAY, HE'S A VERY INTELLIGENT, VERY KNOWLEDGEABLE MAN. AND HIS OTHER COCOUNSEL DESERVE GREAT RECOGNITION FOR WHAT THEY DID HERE. I FEEL SORRY FOR JUDGE PORTEOUS. TO RISE TO THE DIGNIFIED POSITION OF A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE AND THEN HAVE THIS HAPPEN AFTER 30 YEARS IN PUBLIC SERVICE, OR MORE, I'M SURE IT'S JUST AN ABSOLUTE, ABSOLUTE PAIN AND PROBLEM AND DAMAGE TO HIS REPUTATION. I WISH HIM WELL. I HOPE THAT HE WILL ANALYZE THESE THINGS AND MAKE SOME CHANGES IN HIS LIFE THAT WILL BE BETTER FOR HIM, FOR HIS FAMILY AND OTHERS. HE HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS DOWN THERE IN LOUISIANA, AND I THINK PROBABLY EARNED A LOT OF FRIENDSHIPS. BUT THE SENATE HAS RULED PROPERLY IN THIS MATTER, AND THE IMPEACHMENT SHOULD BE UPHELD. AND HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF THESE -- OF AT LEAST ONE OF THESE ARTICLES, IF NOT ALL FOUR. I DON'T BELIEVE HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CONVICTED ON TWO OF THEM, AND THERE WERE GOOD LEGAL REASONS FOR NOT GOING THAT FAR IN THE CASE OF THE CHAIRMAN AND MYSELF. BUT NEVERTHELESS, I RESPECT THE VOTES OF ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES HERE ON THE FLOOR. I KNOW THAT THEY PAID STRICT ATTENTION, SAT THROUGH ALMOST ALL OF THE PROCEEDINGS AND THE CLOSED SESSION AS WELL. I REALLY COMMEND THEM. FINALLY I WANT TO COMMEND OUR TWO LEADERS. THE TWO LEADERS CONDUCTED THESE PROCEEDINGS WITH DIGNITY AND WITH RESPECT AND IN THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. YOU CAN'T ASK FOR MORE THAN THAT, AND I'M VERY PROUD OF BOTH OF OUR LEADERS AND OTHERS AS WELL. MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S BEEN A PRIVILEGE FOR ME TO SERVE ON THIS COMMITTEE. I'VE TRIED TO DO THE BEST I POSSIBLY COULD. I BELIEVE THE RESULT HERE TODAY IS AN HONEST AND JUST RESULT. AND I JUST HOPE THAT THIS SENDS A MESSAGE TO ALL OF OUR JUDGES ON THE FEDERAL BENCH AND OTHERS AS WELL, THAT IT'S IMPORTANT TO LIVE UP TO OUR RESPONSIBILITIES AND TO DO THE THINGS THAT WE KNOW WE SHOULD BE DOING. HAVING SAID ALL THIS, I WANT TO AGAIN THANK THE STAFF ON THIS COMMITTEE. WHAT A TREMENDOUS BUNCH OF YOUNG PEOPLE WHO DID A TERRIFIC JOB AND WHO DESERVE REALLY THE BULK OF THE CREDIT FOR ANY CREDIT THAT IS DUE. AND I'M JUST GRATEFUL TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO KNOW THEM, WORK WITH THEM AND TO LOVE THEM FOR THE WORK THEY'VE DONE. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS THAT THE SENATE CAN ENGAGE IN. I WANT TO THANK OUR PARLIAMENTARIANS. PEOPLE MANY TIMES DON'T REALIZE HOW IMPORTANT THE PARLIAMENTARIANS ARE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. WE COULDN'T FUNCTION WITHOUT THEM. I'M GOT TO -- I'VE GOT TO SAY WE'RE VERY BLESSED TO HAVE THE PARLIAMENTARIANS THAT WE HAVE HELPING US IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. MANY TIMES THEY GO UNRECOGNIZED, BUT NOT BY ME. I REALLY HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF ADMIRATION FOR THEM. AND THEY KEEP US OUT OF A LOT OF DIFFICULTIES. SOMETIMES THEY GET US INTO DIFFICULTIES BECAUSE OF THE RULES, NOT BECAUSE OF THEM. I JUST WANT TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THEM AS WELL. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS WAS A JUST RESULT. IT'S WHAT I THINK HAD TO BE DONE. THE COUNTRY WILL BE BETTER FOR IT. IT DOES SEND AN APPROPRIATE MESSAGE, OR MESSAGES I SHOULD SAY. AND I FEEL BLESSED TO HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PARTICIPATE ON THIS COMMITTEE AND ON THIS SENATE FLOOR. THIS IS A GREAT HONOR TO SERVE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. IT'S DAYS LIKE THIS THAT HELP BRING THAT HOME TO ME. AND I WANT EVERYBODY TO KNOW IT. MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO AGAIN THANK THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRWOMAN AND TELL HER HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE HER WORK. WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 11:55:42 AM

    MRS. McCASKILL

    MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE TWO HOUSEKEEPING MOTIONS THAT THE MAJORITY LEADER…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE TWO HOUSEKEEPING MOTIONS THAT THE MAJORITY LEADER ASKED ME TO PUT TO THE SENATE. I HAVE TWO UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUESTS FOR COMMITTEES TO MEET DURING TODAY'S SESSION OF THE SENATE. THEY HAVE THE APPROVAL OF THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY LEADERS. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THESE REQUESTS BE AGREED TO, THAT THESE REQUESTS BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD.

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  • 11:56:05 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL RESUME…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL RESUME CONSIDERATION OF THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S. 3991, WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

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  • 11:56:20 AM

    THE CLERK

    MOTION TO CONSIDER CALENDAR NUMBER 662, S. 3991, A BILL TO PROVIDE…

    MOTION TO CONSIDER CALENDAR NUMBER 662, S. 3991, A BILL TO PROVIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS EMPLOYED BY STATES OR THEIR POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS.

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  • 11:56:35 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY…

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:56:45 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM WYOMING.

  • 11:56:47 AM

    MR. ENZI

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 11:56:52 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 11:56:55 AM

    MR. ENZI

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 12:05:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 12:05:35 PM

    MR. ENZI

    I FORMERLY SERVED AS THE MAYOR OF GILLETTE, I WOULD WYOMING, CITY OF…

    I FORMERLY SERVED AS THE MAYOR OF GILLETTE, I WOULD WYOMING, CITY OF 20,000 PEOPLE. THERE ARE TOO FEW HERE WHO HAVE HAD EXPERIENCE TRYING TO BALANCE A BUDGET FOR A CITY OR TOWN, WHICH MAY EXPLAIN WHY THIS UNFUNDED MANDATE PROPOSAL IS BEING BROUGHT UP WITH SO LITTLE ATTENTION GIVEN TO HOW IT WILL INCREASE THE DIRE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF STATES AND MIEWMENTS. A RECENT REPORT FOUND THAT MUNICIPALITIES WILL FACE A SHORTFALL BETWEEN $56 BILLION AND $83 BILLION FROM 2010 TO 2012. HEADLINES ACROSS THE COUNTRY CONFIRM THAT CITY LEADERS ARE RESPONDING TO DEFICITS WITH LAYOFFS, FURLOUGHS, PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS, AND CUTTING CITY SERVICES, ALL OF WHICH WILL IMPACT THE POLICE, FIRE, AND EMERGENCIES SERVICES DEPARTMENTS. THIS WEEK IT WAS CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, LAYING OFF SEVERAL HUNDRED EMPLOYEES. ANOTHER SURVEY FOUND 87% OF THE CITY FINANCE OFFICERS SAID THAT THEY WERE LESS ABLE TO MEET THE CITY'S FISCAL NEEDS IN 2010 THAN A YEAR BEFORE. THE OUTLOOK FOR STATES IS JUST AS DIRE, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT FEDERAL STIMULUS DOLLARS WHICH MANY STATES HAVE USED TO PARTIALLY FUND BUDGET GAPS, WILL RUN OUT AFTER 2012. STATES WILL FACE AN ESTIMATED $300 BILLION BUDGET SHORTFALL FOR 2011 AND 2012, AND THE EXTENT TO WHICH STATES AND MUNICIPALITIES ARE FACING UNFUNDED PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSIONS IS TRULY STAGGERING. A PEW CENTER ON THE STATES REPORT OUST THIS YEAR'S -- OUT OF THIS YEAR -- OUT THIS YEAR PEGS IT AT A $1 TRILLION GAP -- THAT'S TO BE ABLE TO PAY PENSIONS. DURING THIS DOWNTURN CITIES ACROSS AMERICA ARE STHUG STRUGGLING TO MAINTAIN SOLVENCY. UNLIKE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, THEY CANNOT PRINT MONEY. THEY HAVE TO ACTUALLY BALANCE THEIR BUDGETS. HERE'S THE REALITY: WITHOUT REGARD TO PAY OR BENEFITS, JUST THE ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS ALONE OF COLLECTIVE BARGAINING REPRESENT A VERY SIGNIFICANT LINE-ITEM THAT CONGRESS NOW PROPOSES TO FORCE ON STATES, CITIES, AND TOWNS. TOWNS, PARTICULARLY SMALL TOWNS, THAT CURRENTLY DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO NEGOTIATOR AND ADMINISTER MULTIPLE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS, MUST NOW HIRE AND PAY THESE ADDITIONAL SERVICES. TOWNS AND CITIES THAT DO NOT DEVOTE THE LONG HOURS OF MUNICIPAL TIME TO THE COMPLICATED PROCESS OF BARGAINING AND OVERSEEING MULTIPLE UNION CONTRACTS AND TO ADMINISTERING CONTRACT PROVISIONS AND RESOLVING DISPUTES UNDER A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING SYSTEM WILL BE REQUIRED TO SPEND THAT TIME. NOBODY SHOULD BE FOOLED. THOSE ADDITIONAL MANPOWER AND MAN-HOUR REQUIREMENTS ARE ENORMOUSLY COSTLY AND BURDENSOME. THIS BILL WOULD IMPOSE THOSE COSTS BY FEDERAL MANDATE BUT WOULD NOT PROVIDE A SINGLE PENNEY OF FEDERAL MONEY TO HELP OFFSET THESE COSTS. AS A FORMER MAYOR AND THE ONLY ACCOUNTANT HERE IN THE SENATE, I WOULD REMIND MY COLLEAGUES ABOUT THE COLD REALITIES OF MUNICIPAL FINANCE. IF YOU INCREASE MUNICIPAL COSTS, YOU ROLE IS TWO WAYS TO MEET THOSE ADDITIONAL COSTS: EITHER INCREASE REVENUES OR DECREASE SERVICES. THIS BILL WILL UNQUESTIONABLY PLACE MANY MUNICIPALITIES IN THE DIFFICULT POSITION OF COMOSING BETWEEN RAISING STATE AND LOCAL TAXES OR DECREASING AND ELIMINATING LOCAL MUNICIPAL SERVICES. MERE CONSIDERATION OF THIS BILL TODAY REVEALS THAT MANY OF THIS BODY REMAIN SADLY OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE REAL NEEDS OF OUR CONSTITUENTS AND THE REAL FISCAL PROBLEMS THAT OUR CITIES AND TOWNS FACE EVERY DAY. WITH STAGNANT OR DECLINING PROPERTY VALUES AND AND HELESS PARADE OF INCREASING FIXED COSTS, DON'T OUR CITIES AND TOWNS ALREADY HAVE ENOUGH ON THEIR PLATE WITHOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IMPOSING NEW COSTS THROUGH THIS MANDATE? MR. PRESIDENT, SINCE THIS LEGISLATION BEFORE US HAS NOT GONE THROUGH THE COMMITTEE PROCESS, I HAVE A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS I WILL HAVE TO OFFER HERE ON THE FLOOR. I ALWAYS LIKE DOING IT IN COMMITTEE. IT IS A SMALLER GROUP, MORE UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT THE DIFFERENT ISSUES ARE, AND IT ALSO GIVES YOU THE CHANCE TO KIND OF GROW AN IDEA TO GET THE GERM AFTER AN IDEA AND GROW IT BETWEEN SEVERAL PEOPLE THAT ARE INTERESTED. THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN ON THE FLOOMPLET IT IS ALL UP OR DOWN. BUT I DO HAVE A NUMBER OF AMENDMENT THAILZ HAVE TO OMPLET THESE AMENDMENTS ARE DIRECTED TOWARDS PROTECTING THE FISCAL HEALTH OF OUR COMMITTEES THAT FALL UNDER THIS MANDATE ENSURING THE INTEGRITY OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE SAFETY ORGANIZATIONS AND PREVENTING UNION ABUSE OF PUBLIC-SECTOR EMPLOYEES, AMONG OTHER ISSUES. BUT THESE PROBLEMS REPRESENT ONLY THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG. IF THIS BODY DECIDES TO TAKE THIS ISSUE UP TODAY AND SPEND THE NEXT WEEK DEBATING IT YOU'LL HEAR MORE DETAIL ON THIGH CONCERNS AND THOSE WILL BE RAISED BY OTHERS OPPOSED TO THIS PROPOSAL WHO HAVE ALSO NEVER HAD ANY CHANCE IN THE PROCESS FOR INPUT. MR. PRESIDENT, I URGE MY COMPLETION TO OPPOSE THE MOTION ON PUBLIC SAFETY ANDS EMPLOYEE-EMPLOYER COOPERATION ACT, SENATE 3991. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. I ALSO SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 12:10:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 12:12:09 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM -- ARE WE IN A QUORUM CALL?

  • 12:12:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ZY THAT THE QUORUM BE DISCRIMINATED.

  • 12:12:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. SHIEWM MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY IN STRONG SUPPORT --

  • 12:12:21 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY IN STRONG SUPPORT OF THE 9/11 HEALTH AND…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY IN STRONG SUPPORT OF THE 9/11 HEALTH AND COMPENSATION AFNLGT NOW, YESTERDAY WE OBSERVED PEARL HARBOR DAY, MARKED THE 69th ANNIVERSARY OF THAT TRAGIC ATTACK ON AMERICAN SOIL. NINE YEARS AGO OUR NATION WAS ATTACKED ONCE AGAIN. SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, WAS A DAY OF INDESCRIBABLE HORROR, NOT ONLY FOR NEW YORK, THE CITY I'M PROUD TO CALL HOME, BUT FOR THE ENTIRE NATION. IN THE MINCE, HOURS, AND DAYS AFTER THE TWIN TOWERS COLLAPSED, THOUSANDS OF FIRST RESPONDERS RUSHED TO LOWER MANHATTAN TO DIG THROUGH THE RUBBLE. FIRST THEY SEARCHED FOR SURVIVORS. WE ALL REMEMBER THE HORRIBLE -- I -- I -- I -- THIS IS VIVID IN MY MIND, MR. PRESIDENT. THE SIGNED PEOPLE WERE HOLDING. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS PERSON? IT IS MY HUSBAND, MY WIFE, MY CHILD, MY PARENT. BECAUSE NO ONE KNEW WHERE EVERYONE WAS AMIDST THE RUBBLE. AND WE THOUGHT, UNFORTUNATELY WE WERE DISAPPOINTED DEEPLY, THAT THERE WERE SURVIVORS AMIDST THE RUBBLE. AND TIME WAS OF THE ESSENCE. AND TIME WAS OF THE ESSENCE TO FIND THEM. THEN IN DAYS LATER WHEN WE REALIZED THAT THERE WEREN'T MANY SURVIVORS, THERE WAS STILL A GREAT NEED TO SADLY SEARCH FOR THE BODIES OF THOSE WHO PERISHED. YOU CAN IMAGINE THE ANGUISH OF FAMILIES WHO WANTED A SIGN, SOMETHING, REMAINS OF THEIR LOVED ONES AND THAT SEARCH CONTINUED. VALIANT MEN AND WOMEN, NOT JUST FROM NEW YORK OR NEW JERSEY OR CONNECTICUT, BUT FROM MINNESOTA AND COLORADO AND ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY, CAME -- FIREFIGHTERS, FIRST RESPONDERS, POLICE OFFICERS, ORDINARY CITIZENS -- TO HELP US IN OUR HORRIBLE HOUR OF NEED, A MOMENT, A DAY, A WEEK, A MONTH THAT I WILL NEVER FORGET. I STILL LOOK OUT MY WINDOW FROM MY HOME IN BROOKLYN EVERY DAY WHEN I'M HOME AND NOTE THAT THOSE TWO TWIN TOWERS ARE NO LONGER THERE AND I THINK OF THE PEOPLE I KNEW WHO WERE LOST. A GUY I PLAYED BASKETBALL WITH IN HIGH SCHOOL, A BUSINESSMAN WHO HELPED ME ON THE WAY UP, A FIREFIGHTER WHO DEDICATED HIS LIFE FOR MY NEIGHBORHOOD IN BROOKLYN WHERE I WAS RAISED TO HELPING GET PEOPLE TO DONATE BLOOD. SO WE THINK OF ALL THESE PEOPLE THIS A. THEY WERE RESOLUTE, THEY WERE BRAVE, THEY WERE SELFLESS, THOSE WHO WERE LOST, AND THEN THOSE WHO CAME TO THE RUBBLE: CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, THEY DIDN'T ASK IF THEY WERE GOING TO GET PAID. THEY DIDN'T ASK WHAT THE DANGER WAS TO THEM. THEY WERE BRAVE. THEY WERE RESOLUTE. THEY WERE SELFLESS, AS WERE FIREFIGHTERS, E.M. IT'S AND OTHERS. AMIDST THE CHAOS AND THE CARNAGE, THEY SAID TO THEMSELVES, "THIS IS WHAT I AM TRAINED FOR, AND I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO HELP, EVEN IF IT MEANS RISKING MY LIFE." THOUGH THE DUST IS SETTLED AND THE RUINS OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER HAVE BEEN CLEARED AWAY, THE EFFECT OF THE ATTACKS ARE STILL BEING FELT NOW MORE THAN EVER BY THOUSANDS OF THOSE FIRST RESPONDERS. MEDICAL EXPERTS HAVE DETERMINED THAT ON SEPTEMBER 11 AND THE DAYS AFTER, THE AIR AROUND GROUND ZERO WAS FILLED WITH MICROSCOPIC CEMENT AND GLASS PARTICLES. THIS DUST HAS CAUSED THOUSANDS OF FIRST RESPONDERS TO DEVELOP CHRONIC RESPIRATORY AND GASTRO INTESTINAL DISEASES. JUST LAST WEEK WE LOST 9/11 FIRST RESPONDER KEVIN TURESKY, AN NYPD, NEW YORK POLICE NARCOTIC DETECTIVE. HE'S THE THIRD HE TROE PASS AWAY IN THE PAST -- THIRD HERO TO PASS AWAY IN THE PAST MONTH. BACK IN 2006, DOCTORS FROM THE MOUNT SIGH KNEE MEDICAL CENTER -- MOUNT SINAI MEDICAL CENTER THAT THEN-SENATOR CLINTON WORKED SO HARD TO BRING INTO THE PICTURE, FOUND THAT A STAGGERING 70% OF 9/11 RESCUE WORKERS SUFFERED FROM HEALTH PROBLEMS, MANY OF WHICH WERE IRREVERSIBLE. AND THE FACT IS, MR. PRESIDENT, RIGHT NOW THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO RUSH TO THOSE TOWERS WHO DON'T KNOW THAT THEY'RE ILL. THE SYMPTOMS OF THESE ILLNESSES AND DISEASES, WHEN YOU GET THESE PARTICLES IN YOUR LUNGS AND IN YOUR GASTRO INTESTINAL SYSTEM, THE CANCER AND OTHER ILLNESSES THAT DEVELOP TAKE YEARS AND YEARS BEFORE THEY CAN BE DETECTED. SO WE KNOW THAT IN THE COMING YEARS THERE ARE GOING TO BE MORE HEROES WHO WILL BECOME ILL, AND THOSE WHO ARE ALREADY SUFFERING MAY SEE THEIR CONDITIONS WORSEN. THE 9/11 HEALTH AND COMPENSATION ACT WILL FINALLY PUT THESE FIRST RESPONDERS AT EASE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY'LL RECEIVE TREATMENT FOR HEALTH PROBLEMS RELATED TO RESCUING VICTIMS OF THE ATTACK AND HELPING CLEAR THE DEBRIS FROM GROUND ZERO. -- THE BILL ENSURES THOSE WHO GET SICK HAVE A RIGHT TO TREATMENT. THE BILL ALSO ENSURES ONGOING DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS FOR EXPOSED POPULATION SO WE CAN TRY TO CURE OR TREAT IN ADVANCE PEOPLE WHO MIGHT BECOME ILL, AND CRITICALLY. THE LEGISLATION WOULD ENSURE STEADY FUNDING FOR THESE VITAL PROGRAMS SO THAT THOSE IN TREATMENT NO LONGER HAVE TO WONDER WHETHER OR NOT CONGRESS WILL APPROPRIATE ADEQUATE FUNDS TO ALLOW THEIR TREATMENT TO CONTINUE YEAR TO YEAR. WE HAVE APPROPRIATED FUNDS EVERY YEAR. EVERYONE IN THIS CHAMBER HAS VOTED FOR THOSE FUNDS. BUT WHEN IT'S YEARLY FUNDS AND YOU NEED AN ONGOING MEDICAL REGIME, IT'S VERY HARD TO PLAN, TO BUY THAT MACHINE TO, SET UP A TEAM THAT WOULD WORK FOR THREE OR FOUR OR FIVE YEARS UNDER NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THE HEROES WHO RUSHED TO THE TOWERS DESERVE TO BE GUARANTEED PROPER TREATMENT, NOT TO HAVE THEIR MEDICAL NEEDS SUBJECT TO THE WHIMS OF WHAT'S GOING ON AT THAT MONTH, THAT TIME IN WASHINGTON. AND LET ME SAY THIS: IN ADDITION TO ADDRESSING HEALTH NEEDS, THE BILL WOULD REOEPT VICTIMS -- REOPEN THE VICTIMS COMPENSATION FUND ALLOWING THOSE WHO MISSED THE DEADLINE OF DECEMBER 22, 2003, TO SEEK COMPENSATION. THIS DEADLINE UNFAIRLY BARRED RESPONDERS WHO BECAME ILL OR LEARNED OF THE FUND AFTER THE DATE. YOU RUSH TO THE TOWER, AS OF 2003 YOU WERE AWARE OF THE FUND BUT YOU DIDN'T APPLY. YOU DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING WRONG WITH YOU. AND SIX MONTHS LATER YOU GET CANCER OF THE LUNGS OR CANCER OF THE ESOPHAGUS OR STOMACH, WHICH WE FOUND SO MANY GETTING. WHY UNFAIRLY PREVENT THEM? SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS BILL IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THE THOUSANDS OF FIRST RESPONDERS WHO RISK THEIR LIVES ON THAT FATEFUL DAY NINE YEARS AGO. WE SAY TO THEM, IN OUR NATION'S TIME OF NEED YOU GAVE US YOUR ALL. NOW IN YOUR TIME OF NEED, WE WILL GIVE YOU OUR ALL. LET'S NOT FORGET. ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WE HAVE MIGHTILY STRUGGLED TO HELP OUR VETERANS FROM THE WARS IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. IN 2001 AND 2002, WE SAW THAT VETERANS HEALTH CARE WAS NOT UP TO SNUFF, AND THERE WAS A BIPARTISAN EFFORT TO BRING IT UP TO SNUFF, TO MAKE THE HEALTH CARE ADEQUATE FOR THE NEW NEEDS OF THE VETERANS WHO RISKED THEIR LIVES FOR US IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN. WHY? BECAUSE THIS NATION HAS A TRADITION, WHEN YOU VOLUNTEER, AS OUR SOLDIERS DO TODAY, AND RISK YOUR LIFE TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM, PARTICULARLY AT A TIME OF WAR, WE WILL BE THERE FOR YOU AND DEAL WITH YOUR MEDICAL PROBLEMS THAT WERE CAUSED IN THAT CONFLICT. I WOULD ARGUE TO EVERY ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES HERE TODAY, THOSE WHO RUSHED TO THE TOWERS IN THOSE FATEFUL HOURS AND DAYS AFTER 9/11 ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN OUR VETERANS WHO WE EXALT. IT WAS A TIME OF WAR; OUR NATION WAS ATTACKED. THEY VOLUNTEERED. NO ONE COMPELLED THEM TO DO IT. AND THEY RUSHED TO DANGER, LIKE OUR VETERANS DO. SO WHEN THEY ARE INJURED, WHICH GOD -- WHICH HAS HAPPENED, THEY SHOULD BE TREATED THE SAME AS OUR VETERANS. THIS IS NOTHING WE SHOULD PLAY POLITICS WITH, JUST LIKE WE DON'T PLAY POLITICS WITH VETERANS' NEEDS. I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY HEARS US. I KNOW THERE'S OTHER LEGISLATIVE CONCERNS, WHETHER IT'S TAX BILLS OR FUNDING BILLS OR WHATEVER. I WOULD SAY TO MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, IT THE NOT FAIR AND IT IS NOT RIGHT TO SAY WE WILL NOT REMEMBER THESE PEOPLE WHO VOLUNTEERED AND RISKED THEIR LIVES TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM AT A TIME OF WAR. WE WILL NOT HELP THEM UNTIL X OR Y OR Z GETS DONE. NOT FAIR, NOT RIGHT. IT IS ALSO TIME FOR THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST THIS BILL TO STOP SPREADING LIES ABOUT IT. THEY SAY IT'S VULNERABLE TO FRAUD. IT'S BEEN VERY TIGHT. MY GOOD COLLEAGUE, THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK, SENATOR GILLIBRAND, HAS DOCUMENTED THOROUGHLY AND COMPLETELY HOW THE EXISTING COMPENSATION HAS NOT CREATED ANY FRAUD OR OTHER TYPES OF PROBLEMS. AND SO, WE'RE HERE. WE'VE DEBATED THIS BILL FOR YEARS. IT'S BEEN LIKE RUNNING A MARATHON AND THIS IS THE LAST 100 YARDS. THOUSANDS OF FIRST RESPONDERS, POLICE OFFICERS, FIREFIGHTERS, CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AND OTHER HEROES WHO ARE ORDINARY CITIZENS FROM EACH OF THE 50 STATES IS WAITING FOR US TO ACT. AND FOR ALL TOO MANY OF THEM, HELP CANNOT COME SOON ENOUGH. THE FINISH LINE IS IN VIEW. LET US ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE CROSS IT TOGETHER. I IMPLORE MY COLLEAGUES TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE 9/11 HEALTH AND COMPENSATION ACT. BEFORE I SIT DOWN, I JUST WANT TO PRAISE MY COLLEAGUE WHO HAS LED THE FIGHT ON THIS, SENATOR GILLIBRAND FROM NEW YORK. SHE HAS MADE IT HER PASSION. SHE WORKS FOR HOURS EVERY DAY AND HAS DONE AN AMAZING, AMAZING JOB. AND I ALSO WANT TO THANK OUR OTHER COLLEAGUES ON THIS LEGISLATION, PARTICULARLY MY COLLEAGUES FROM ACROSS THE RIVER: SENATORS LAUTENBERG AND MENENDEZ, WHO HAVE BEEN OUR PARTNERS IN THIS. I WANT TO THANK PETER KING, CAROLINE MALONEY, GERALD MADLER IN THE HOUSE AND MANY OTHERS IN NEW YORK AND THEIR DELEGATIONS. AND AGAIN, HOPE THAT THOSE EFFORTS WILL NOT GO IN VAIN NOT BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED ON THE BILL LIKE WE DID, BUT BECAUSE OF THE PEOPLE WHO NEED OUR HELP LIKE THOSE WHO HAVE ALL KINDS OF ILLNESSES BECAUSE THEY VOLUNTEERED TO HELP OUR GREAT NATION AND PRESERVE ITS FREEDOM IN A TIME OF WAR. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 12:24:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO.

  • 12:24:31 PM

    MR. BENNET

    URBGS MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE -- THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE TO…

    URBGS MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE -- THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE TO THANK THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM NEW YORK FOR ALL HIS EFFORTS OVER MANY YEARS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FIRST RESPONDERS FROM 9/11 RECEIVE THE SETTLEMENTS THAT THEY DESERVE. I RISE TODAY, MR. PRESIDENT, TO SPEAK IN STRONG SUPPORT OF THE DREAM ACT. THE DREAM ACT WILL ENABLE SOME OF THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST YOUNG PEOPLE WHO GRADUATEED FROM OUR SCHOOLS TO SERVE IN THE ARMED FORCES AND TO EXCEL IN COLLEGE AND THEIR CAREERS. AND THE DREAM ACT ACTUALLY RAISES REVENUE TO REDUCE OUR DEFICIT. AND IT'S FOR THESE REASONS THAT THE DREAM ACT HAS A HISTORY OF BIPARTISAN SUPPORT AND WHY I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THIS BILL TODAY, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. I HAVE BEEN A STRONG SUPPORTER OF COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM THAT WILL SECURE THE BORDER, REFORM OUR BROKEN FAMILY AND IT EMPLOYMENT VISA SYSTEMS. ADDRESS EMPLOYERS WHO WILLFULLY BREAK THE LAW AND UNKWEURD -- REQUIRE THE UNDOCUMENTED TO BECOME LEGAL, PAY A FINE, BACK TAXES, LEARN ENGLISH AND PASS CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS. UNFORTUNATELY, CONGRESS HAS BEEN UNABLE TO GET COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM DONE EVEN AS OUR IMMIGRATION SYSTEM BECOMES MORE AND MORE BROKEN. AS A RESULT, WE NEED TO LOOK AT SMALLER MEASURES TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE ADDRESSING THE IMMIGRATION ISSUES THAT CAN'T WAIT. FRANKLIN RAINES, RECENTLY THE -- FOR INSTANCE, THE SENATE APPROVED $6 MILLION TO SEND 1,500 NEW BORDER PATROL AGENTS ADDITIONAL UNMANNED AERIAL DRONES AND COMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT TO OUR SOUTHWEST BORDER IN ORDER TO STEM THE FLOW OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRATION AND PREVENT THE FURTHER SMUGGLING OF WEAPONS AND MONEY. THIS IS AN EFFORT THAT I SUPPORTED. THE DREAM ACT IS ANOTHER STEP TOWARD IMPROVING THE OVERALL SYSTEM. IT IS A PROGRAM TARGETED FOR A RELATIVELY SMALL, DEFINED, SELECT GROUP OF IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN THIS COUNTRY WITH FEW OPTIONS THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. THESE ARE STUDENTS AND GRADUATES OF OUR SCHOOLS WHO DID NOT CHOOSE TO COME HERE BUT HAVE SUCCEEDED AND BEGUN TO CONTRIBUTE TO OUR COUNTRY. THIS DEBATE IS ABOUT WHETHER A CHILD WHO'S EXCELLED IN THE CLASSROOM HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND COLLEGE AND LATER CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY AS A TAX-PAYING CITIZEN. THIS DEBATE IS ALSO ABOUT WHETHER A CHILD WHOSE ONLY HOME, WHOSE ONLY HOME IS OUR COUNTRY, CAN HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE AMERICA IN OUR ARMED FORCES. AND IT'S ABOUT WHETHER IT MAKES GOOD FISCAL SENSE TO HAVE OUR GOVERNMENT INVEST IN THE EDUCATION OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE AND GENERATE WHAT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ESTIMATES TO BE $1.4 BILLION IN SAVINGS THROUGH NEW REVENUES TO BE GENERATED WHEN THESE KIDS ENTER OUR WORKFORCE ARMED WITH AN EDUCATION OR VALUABLE MILITARY EXPERIENCE. EACH YEAR ROUGHLY 65,000 UNITED STATES-RAISED STUDENTS WHO WOULD QUALIFY FOR THE DREAM ACTS BENEFITS GRADUATES FROM HIGH SCHOOL. THESE INCLUDE HONOR ROLL STUDENTS, STAR ATHLETES, TALENTED ARTISTS, HOMECOMING QUEENS, ASPIRING TEACHERS, DOCTORS AND U.S. SOLDIERS. AS A FORMER SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS I SAW FIRSTHAND THE ACHIEVEMENT AND POTENTIAL OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE. STUDENTS LIKE KEVIN WHO WROTE MY OFFICE THIS FALL TO TELL HIS STORY. KEVIN GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL IN COLORADO WITH A 3.9 GRADE POINT AVERAGE AND ALWAYS DREAMED OF BECOMING AN ENGINEER. HE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER WITH A 3.5 GRADE POINT AVERAGE AND A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN CONTROL AND ROBOTICS AND MINOR IN MATH. UNFORTUNATELY BECAUSE OF HIS STATUS AND DESPITE THE FACT THAT OUR COUNTRY IS IN DESPERATE NEED OF ENGINEERS, KEVIN CANNOT PURSUE HIS DREAM OF BECOMING AN ENGINEER AND IS NOW WORKING AT A FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT. THIS IS JUST ONE EXAMPLE OF OUR FAILED POLITICS, WHERE WASHINGTON SETTLES FOR RHETORIC OVER COMMON SENSE. ACCORDING TO DEFENSE SECRETARY ROBERT GATES, ABOUT 35,000 NONCITIZENS SERVE AT 8,000 PERMANENT RESIDENT ALIENS ENLIFT IN OUR MILITARY EVERY YEAR. IN A LETTER TO SENATOR DURBIN THIS PAST SEPTEMBER, THE DEFENSE SECRETARY WROTE THAT THE DREAM ACT REPRESENTS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPAND THIS POOL TO THE ADVANTAGE OF MILITARY RECRUITING AND READINESS. PASSING THE DREAM ACT WOULD PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR FANNY, ANOTHER YOUNG WOMAN, TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY. SHE CAME TO DENVER AT THE AGE OF 7. WHEN SHE ENTERED HIGH SCHOOL, FANNY JOINED THE AIR FORCE ROTC PROGRAM, THE DRILL TEAM AND COLOR GUARD. HER DREAM WAS TO ATTEND THE AIR FORCE ACADEMY AND SERVE IN THE MILITARY. UNFORTUNATELY FANNY IS BARRED FROM SERVICE IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THIS IS THE ONLY HOME SHE KNOWS. RATHER THAN OPENING THE DOORS TO SERVICE IN THIS TIME OF WAR, YOUNG PEOPLE LIKE FANNY WHO WANT TO STAND PROUDLY AND SERVE OUR COUNTRY ARE PRECLUDED FROM DOING SO. TAXPAYERS ALSO STAND TO GAIN FROM THE DREAM ACT, WHO WILL RECEIVE A SIGNIFICANT RETURN ON INVESTMENT THROUGH THE CONTRIBUTION OF YOUTH TO OUR SOCIETY AND THE REVENUE GENERATE BID THEIR NEWLY LEGALIZED TAX-PAYING STATUS. IT'S BEEN ESTIMATED BY THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE THAT SUCCESSFUL DREAM ACT APPLICANTS WILL GENERATE $2.4 BILLION IN NEW TAX REVENUE. THIS IS BASED ON THE FACT THAT THESE YOUTH WILL BE ABLE TO TRANSITION INTO HIGHER-PAYING JOBS AND WILL BE PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE OF TAXES. IF WE'RE GOING TO GET OUR FISCAL HOUSE IN ORDER, WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE'RE GETTING THE FULL RETURN ON OUR INVESTMENT AND NOT CLOSING THE DOOR ON NEW TAX REVENUES. I KNOW MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES MAY STILL BE UNDECIDED. SOME HAVE SUPPORTED THE "DREAM" ACT IN THE PAST ONLY TO MOVE AWAY FROM IT IN FACE OF HEATED RHETORIC AROUND THE ISSUE OF IMGRAISMTION I ASK THAT BEFORE ANY OF YOU MAKE A FINAL DECISION THAT YOU STEP BACK AND TAKE A FRESH LOOK AT THE FACTS AND THE REALITY FACING THESE YOUTH. SUPPORT FOR THE "DREAM" ACT IS NOT ONLY A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE FOR ME, SINCE IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, IT'S ALSO A PRACTICAL SOLUTION. CONTINUED DELAY IS AN IRRESPONSIBLE WASTE. WE OWE IT TO THE TAXPAYERS WHO HAVE INVESTED IN THE EDUCATION OF THESE YOUTH, THE TEACHERS WHO HAVE FOSTERED THEIR DEVELOPMENT AND OUR MILITARY WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THESE NEW RECRUITS TO MOVE FORWARD ON THE "DREAM" ACT. I PLAN TO VOTE "YES" AND STRONGLY URGE ALL MY COLLEAGUES TO DO THE SAME. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 12:31:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE STANDS IN RECESS UNTIL 3:30 P.M.

  • 03:34:18 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 03:34:21 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    ASK THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED.

  • 03:34:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WE ARE NOT IN A QUORUM CALL.

  • 03:34:29 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    I WOULD ASK TO SAY A FEW WORDS.

  • 03:34:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 03:34:33 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    MR. PRESIDENT, LATER ON THIS AFTERNOON WE'RE GOING TO BE VOTING ON A VERY…

    MR. PRESIDENT, LATER ON THIS AFTERNOON WE'RE GOING TO BE VOTING ON A VERY SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD PIECE OF LEGISLATION CALLED THE EMERGENCY SENIOR CITIZENS RELIEF ACT. THIS LEGISLATION IS COSPONSORED BY MAJORITY LEADER REID, SENATORS LEAHY, SCHUMER, SIMILAR ROD BROWN, WHITEHOUSE, LAUTENBERG AND MENENDEZ. AND WHAT THIS LEGISLATION WOULD DO IS AT A TIME WHEN FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR SENIORS AND DISABLED VETERANS HAVE RECEIVED NO COST-OF-LIVING ADJUSTMENT, KOL COLA ON THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY, THIS WOULD PROVIDE THE EQUIVALENT OF A 2% INCREASE BY PROVIDING THEM WITH A ONE-TIME $250 CHECK. IN ADDITION TO THE SENATE COSPONSORS, THIS LEGISLATION IS SUPPORTED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA, AND I APPRECIATE THAT. IT IS ALSO SUPPORTED, FOR ALL THE RIGHT REASONS, BY VIRTUALLY EVERY SENIOR ORGANIZATION IN THE COUNTRY AND EVERY VETERANS ORGANIZATION BECAUSE THIS BENEFITS NOT JUST SENIORS, MANY OF WHOM ARE STRUGGLING HARD TO PAY THEIR BILLS WHEN THEIR HEALTH CARE COSTS AND PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS ARE RISING, BUT ALSO IMPACTS DISABLED VETERANS. THE ORGANIZATIONS THAT ARE SUPPORTING THIS LEGISLATION ARE THE AARP, WHICH IS THE LARGEST SENIOR ORGANIZATION IN AMERICA, THE AMERICAN LEGION, THE LARGEST VETERANS ORGANIZATION IN AMERICA, THE V.F.W., THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE, THE DISABLED VETERANS AMERICANS, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RETIRED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, VIETNAM VETERANS OF AMERICA, AND MANY OTHER VETERANS AND SENIOR ORGANIZATIONS. MR. PRESIDENT, JUST THIS MORNING EARLIER TODAY 25 MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE -- 253 MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE, INCLUDING 26 REPUBLICANS, VOTED TO PROVIDE THE SAME $250 COLA INCLUDED IN THE BILL THAT WE ARE GOING TO BE VOTING ON WITHIN A SHORT TIME. SO IT WON OVERWHELMINGLY IN THE HOUSE. IN THE HOUSE THEY PUT IT ON THE SUSPENSION CALENDAR. IT NEEDED TWO-THIRDS VOTE. DIDN'T QUITE GET THE TWO-THIRDS. I AM CONFIDENT IF WE CAN COME TOGETHER HERE, GET THE 60 VOTES THAT WE NEED, THE HOUSE WILL RECONSIDER THE MEASURE AND PASS IT WITH A STRONG MAJORITY OVER THERE. MR. PRESIDENT, IN THE STATE OF VERMONT, AND I THINK ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY, SENIORS ARE WONDERING AS TO HOW COME THEY ARE NOT GETTING A COLA THIS YEAR WHEN THEY ARE EXPERIENCING SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN THEIR EXPENSES. AND THE REASON THAT THEY ARE NOT GETTING THEIR COLA IS THAT, IN MY VIEW, WE HAVE A VERY FLAWED METHODOLOGY IN TERMS OF HOW WE DETERMINE COLAS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY. WHAT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR NOW DOES IS KIND OF COMBINE ALL OF THE PURCHASING NEEDS OF ALL AMERICANS, PEOPLE WHO ARE 2 YEARS OLD, KIDS WHO ARE 16 YEARS OLD AND PEOPLE WHO ARE 96 YEARS OF AGE. AND THE FLAW THERE IS THAT WHILE LAP TOP COMPUTERS AND IPADS AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY MAY, IN FACT, HAVE GONE DOWN, LOWERING THE COST OF INFLATION, THE NEEDS OF SENIORS AND WHAT THEY SPEND MONEY ON HAVE NOT GONE DOWN. MOST SENIORS SPEND THEIR DISPOSABLE INCOME ON HEALTH-RELATED COSTS, VISITS TO DOCTORS, HEALTH CARE, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. THOSE COSTS, IN FACT, HAVE GONE UP. SO IT IS UNFAIR FOR SENIORS WHEN ALL OF THE AMERICAN PURCHASING HABITS ARE COMBINED BECAUSE I THINK WHAT IS NOT FAIRLY APPRECIATED ARE WHAT THEY ARE SPENDING MONEY ON. JUST GIVE YOU ONE EXAMPLE. "THE NEW YORK TIMES" REPORTED LAST YEAR THAT 2009 MARKED THE HIGHEST ANNUAL RATE OF INFLATION FOR DRUG PRICES SINCE 1992 WITH THE PRICES OF BRAND NAME PRESCRIPTION DRUGS GOING UP BY ABOUT 9%. SENIORS SPEND A LOT OF MONEY NOT ON FLAT-SCREEN TVS OR IPADS OR COMPUTERS, BUT, IN FACT, ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. ACCORDING TO THE AARP'S PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE, THE AVERAGE PRICE OF BRAND NAMED PRESCRIPTIONS MOST WIDELY USED BY MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES ROSE BY 3.88% FROM MARCH OF 2009 TO MARCH OF 2010. MEDICARE PART-B PREMIUMS HAVE MORE THAN DOUBLED AND DEDUCTIBLES INCREASED BY 55%. SENIORS ENROLLED IN PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLANS HAVE SEEN THEIR PREMIUMS INCREASE BY 50% BETWEEN 2006 AND 2010 INCLUDING AN 11% INCREASE BETWEEN 2009 AND 2010. IN OTHER WORDS, THE SENIORS WHO ARE CALLING UP MY OFFICE, AND I SUSPECT YOUR OFFICE, AND OFFICES ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY ARE SAYING, EXCUSE ME, OUR EXPENSES ARE GOING UP, WE NEED SOME HELP. AND THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE FOR THE MILLIONS OF SENIORS AND DISABLED VETERANS WHO ARE LIVING ON LIMITED INCOMES. THEY ARE IN TROUBLE. AND, FURTHERMORE, MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT I WOULD SAY THAT IN THE MIDST OF THIS GREAT DEBATE WE'RE HAVING NOW ON HOW WE GO FORWARD IN TERMS OF TAXES, THERE ARE A LOT OF SENIORS OUT THERE WHO ARE WONDERING HOW WE CAN PROVIDE HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAX BREAKS TO THE TOP 2% AND, YET, WE CANNOT PROVIDE A $250 CHECK TO A DISABLED VETERAN OR A SENIOR ON SOCIAL SECURITY. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS A VERY SIMPLE PIECE OF LEGISLATION. THE HOUSE HAS ALREADY PASSED IT WITH A STRONG MAJORITY. I HOPE VERY MUCH THAT WE CAN PASS IT THIS AFTERNOON. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. AND I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 03:41:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    5 1/2 MINUTES.

  • 03:41:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    1/2 MINUTES.

  • 03:41:32 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:41:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:41:38 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, OUR FIRST RESPONDERS ARE SWREN WIN HEROES. ON -- GENUINE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, OUR FIRST RESPONDERS ARE SWREN WIN HEROES. ON -- GENUINE HEROES. THEY CONFRONT CRIMINALS AND PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES. THEY HAVE INVALUABLE SKILLS AN KNOWLEDGE ON HOW TO PROTECT OUR PUBLIC AND STAY SAFE ON THE JOB. ONE OF MY MOSS VIVID MEMORIES IS OF 9/11 WHEN WE SAW PEOPLE RUNNING AWAY FROM THE COLLAPSING BUILDING AND THE CLOUDS OF DUST AND SMOKE, THAT TERRIBLE TRAGEDY, PEOPLE RUNNING AWAY FROM IT. AT THE SAME TIME YOU SAW THE FIREFIGHTERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS RUNNING INTO THAT TO SAVE LIVES. UNFORTUNATELY UNDER CURRENT LAW FIRST RESPONDERS HAVE NO DECISION IN WHAT AFFECTS THEIR LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS. CURRENTLY THE PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES HAVE THE RIGHT TO FORM A UNION IF THEY CHOOSE. WE LEAVE IT UP TO STATES AS TO WHETHER FIREFIGHTERS CAN FORM A UNION. NOW OVER HALF OF THE STATES ALLOW COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, ALMOST 300,000 POLICE OFFICERS AN 141,000 FIREFIGHTERS NATIONWIDE ARE LEGALLY FORBIDDEN FROM EXERCISING THEIR BASIC FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING. THAT'S AN INJUSTICE TO OUR POLICE AN FIREFIGHTERS. IT'S INCONSISTENT WITH OUR AMERICAN VALUES AND WITH THE WAGNER ACT OF 1938. THAT'S WHY I SUPPORT THE PUBLIC SAFETY EMPLOYEE EMPLOYER ACT. THIS HAS THE SUPPORT OF A WIDE COALITION OF SENATORS, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. THIS BILL PROTECTS THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS OF OUR FIRST RESPONDERS BY REQUIRING STATES TO PROVIDE THEM WITH FOUR BASIC PROTECTIONS, THE RIGHT TO FORM AND JOIN A UNION, RIGHT TO SIT DOWN AT THE TABLE AND TALK, THE RIGHT TO SIGN AN INFORCIBLE CONTRACT WHEN BOTH PARTIES AGREE AND THE RIGHT TO GO TO A NEUTRAL THIRD PARTY IF THERE ARE DISPUTES. THE BENEFITS OF THIS BILL GO TO OUR FIRST RESPONDERS AND THE COMMUNITIES THEY SERVE. WE KNOW THAT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IMPROVES SAFETY FOR WORKERS. THE FIREFIGHTER FATALITY RIGHT FOR THOSE WITHOUT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING IS HIGHER THAN IN STATES WITH THESE RIGHTS. IT ADDRESSES WORKER FATIGUE, ON THE JOB ERRORS, EMPLOYEE FITNESS AND SAFETY HAZARDS LIKE ASBESTOS. EQUALLY IMPORTANT IN THESE TIMES, THERE ARE COUNTLESS EXAMPLES ACROSS THE COUNTRY OF UNION FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICE OFFICERS VOTING TO FORGO SCHEDULED SALARY INCREASES, DEFER PENSION PAYMENTS, PAY INCREASED BENEFIT PREMIUMS OR TO REDUCE OVERTIME HOURS IN ORDER TO HELP STATES CUT THE COST AND AVOID LAYOFFS. WHILE GUARANTEEING THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO ORGANIZE, THE ACT RESERVES MAXIMUM ABILITY FOR STATES TO SHAPE THEIR OWN LAWS. THE 26 STATES THAT ALLOW COLLECTIVE BARGAINING WILL NOT HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR LAWS AT ALL. OTHER STATES WILL HAVE TO ENSURE THE FOUR BASIC PROTECTION THAT'S I JUST MENTIONED. BUT EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT HOW TO CRAFT THEIR LABOR LAWS IS LEFT ENTIRELY TO STATE'S DISCRETION. MR. PRESIDENT, IT IS LONG PAST DUE, PAST TIME WHEN WE ENSURE THAT OUR PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS HAVE THE BASIC SAME RIGHTS THAT PRIVATE SECTOR WORKERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ALREADY ENJOY. MR. PRESIDENT, EARLIER TODAY, MY COLLEAGUE FROM WYOMING WAS ON THE FLOOR AND MADE SOME STATEMENTS ABOUT THIS BILL, MY RANKING MEMBER, SENATOR ENZI. I JUST WANTED TO RESPOND TO A COUPLE OF THOSE. MY FRIEND FROM WYOMING SAID THAT THE BILL DIDN'T GO THROUGH THE "HELP" COMMITTEE DURING THIS CONGRESS AND WE WEREN'T GIVEN A RIGHT TO CONSIDER THE BILL IN THE APPROPRIATE VENUE. WELL, SENATOR GREGG ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE HAS INTRODUCED THIS BILL FOR THE LAST FIVE CONGRESSES. THE "HELP" COMMITTEE HAS MARKED UP THIS BILL AND APPROVED IT TWICE AND A MAJORITY OF THE SENATE HAS TWICE VOTED TO CONSIDER THE BILL. SO WE HAVE BEEN DEBATING THIS BILL FOR YEARS. SIMPLY BECAUSE IT DIDN'T GO THROUGH THE COMMITTEE THIS TIME DOESN'T MEAN IT DIDN'T GO THROUGH THE COMMITTEE MANY TIMES BEFORE, WHICH IT DID. SECONDLY, THE BILL DOES NOT IMPOSE AN UNFUNDED MANDATE ON OUR STATES THAT WAS MENTIONED. IT DOES NOT REQUIRE CITIES AND STATES TO SPEND MONEY. ONLY TO ENGAGE IN A DIALOGUE. IT DOES NOT ALLOW STRIKES AND IT DOES NOT IMPOSE ARBITRATION OR REQUIRE PARTICULAR TERMS. THESE ARE INDEED LEFT UP TO THE STATES. MR. PRESIDENT, I ALSO WANTED TO PUT INTO THE RECORD A REPORT -- EXCUSE ME. A SENATOR: WOULD THE SENATOR YIELD? I BELIEVE HE IS USING MY TIME.

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  • 03:46:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I STILL IS USING HIS OWN TIME.

  • 03:46:44 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    I WAS TOLD WRONG. THANK YOU.

  • 03:46:48 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    I JUST ASK TO PUT INTO THE RECORD A REPORT THAT WE GOT FROM -- THAT WE GOT…

    I JUST ASK TO PUT INTO THE RECORD A REPORT THAT WE GOT FROM -- THAT WE GOT FROM THE G.A.O. AND OTHERS ON THE -- ON THE PRIVATE SECTOR SCHOOLS AND THE FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS, AND I WANTED TO JUST GET THAT INTO THE RECORD TODAY. I WILL HAVE MORE TO SAY ABOUT THE REPORT COMING UP.

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  • 03:47:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE SENATOR'S TIME HAS EXPIRED.

  • 03:47:13 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO ENTER THIS REPORT INTO THE RECORD.

  • 03:47:17 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    AND THAT MY REMARKS ON THE REPORT COME IN FRONT OF THE REPORT THAT'S IN…

    AND THAT MY REMARKS ON THE REPORT COME IN FRONT OF THE REPORT THAT'S IN THE RECORD.

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  • 03:47:22 PM

    MR. HARKIN

    THANK YOU. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

  • 03:47:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA.

  • 03:47:33 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO SHARE A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LEGISLATION THAT I…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO SHARE A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT THE LEGISLATION THAT I UNDERSTAND WE WILL BE VOTING ON -- AT LEAST VOTING ON CLOTURE LATER THIS AFTERNOON, ON THE "DREAM" ACT. ONE OF THE MOST MAJOR THEMES OF THE RECENT ELECTION WAS AN IDEA IDEA -- AN IDEA SET FORTH IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. THE IDEA IS A BEDROCK PRINCIPLE OF OUR COUNTRY, AND THAT IS THE GOVERNMENT DERIVES ITS JUST POWERS FROM THE CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED, BUT MANY AMERICANS HAVE FELT FOR SOME TIME NOW THAT WASHINGTON HAS BECOME DISCONNECTED FROM THE PEOPLE IT SERVES. INDEED, A RECENT POLL FOUND THAT ONLY ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS FEEL THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS OPERATING WITH CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED, AND NOW ON THE HEELS OF A HISTORIC MIDTERM ELECTION, THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP IN THIS LAME-DUCK SESSION ARE, I BELIEVE, FURTHER ERODING THOSE BONDS OF TRUST BY REFUSING TO LISTEN AND MOVING AN AMNESTY BILL THAT VIOLATES, I BELIEVE, A CLEAR AMERICAN VIEW THAT BORDER SECURITY SHOULD BE FIRST, AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE CORRECT IN THAT. IT'S NOT A NEGATIVE, MEAN-SPIRITED THING. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE UNDERSTAND UNDERSTAND -- AND I THINK CONGRESS IS COMING TO UNDERSTAND ALSO -- THAT ENDING THE LAWLESSNESS AT OUR BORDERS IS THE FIRST THING THAT MUST BE DONE, AND AT SOME POINT AFTER THAT, THEN WE CAN WRESTLE ABOUT WHAT TO DO ABOUT PEOPLE HERE ILLEGALLY, OR ELSE WE ARE SURRENDERING TO LAWLESSNESS. THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS HAVE INTRODUCED NOW FOUR INVESTIGATORS OF THE "DREAM" ACT IN JUST THE LAST TWO MONTHS, THREE IN THE LAST TWO DAYS OR THREE DAYS, A SHELL GAME, REALLY, THAT ABUSES THE PROCESS. WE HAVE NOT HAD HEARINGS ON IT IN SEVEN YEARS. MEANWHILE, THE "DREAM" ACT HAS BEEN PROMOTED AS A BILL FOR AMBITIONS USED ON A TRACK TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL OR COLLEGE OR JOIN THE MILITARY, BUT THE TRUTH IS FAR DIFFERENT FROM THAT TALKING POINT. IN REALITY, THE "DREAM" ACT WOULD GRANT NEARLY UNRESTRICTED AMNESTY, A GUARANTEED PATH TO CITIZENSHIP, TO MILLIONS OF ILLEGAL ALIENS, ADULTS AND YOUTH ALIKE. THEY DO NOT EVEN NEED A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. THEY CERTAINLY DO NOT NEED A COLLEGE DEGREE, AND THEY DO NOT NEED TO JOIN THE MILITARY. IN FACT, THE BILL'S ELIGIBILITY PROVISIONS ARE SO BROAD THAT EVEN REPEAT CRIMINAL OFFENDERS WOULD FALL WITHIN ITS LOOSE REQUIREMENTS AND QUALIFY FOR THIS MASS AMNESTY. THE PUBLIC HAS PLEADED WITH CONGRESS TIME AND AGAIN TO SECURE THE BORDER, BUT THOSE PLEAS HAVE BEEN IGNORED BY THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN PUSHING THIS BILL. WHY AREN'T WE SEEING CALLS FOR THAT? AMERICANS WANT US FIRST TO ENFORCE THE LAWS WE HAVE, BUT THE BILL WOULD REWARD AND ENCOURAGE THE VIOLATION OF AMERICAN LAWS. AMERICANS WANT CONGRESS TO END THE LAWLESSNESS, BUT THIS BILL WOULD HAVE US SURRENDER TO IT. IT'S REALLY A GIVE-UP-TYPE APPROACH. CONSIDER THE "DREAM" ACT CORE FEATURES. IT IS NOT LIMITED TO CHILDREN FIRST. ILLEGAL ALIENS AS OLD AS 30 OR 35, DEPENDING ON THE BILL, ARE ELIGIBLE ON THE DATE OF ENACTMENT, AND THEY REMAIN ELIGIBLE TO APPLY AT ANY FUTURE AGE. AS THE REGISTRATION WINDOW DOES NOT CLOSE. ONE DOES NOT NEED A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, A COLLEGE DEGREE OR MILITARY SERVICE. A PERSON ILLEGALLY HERE CAN RECEIVE INDEFINITE LEGAL STATUS AS LONG AS THEY HAVE A G.E.D. THE ALTERNATIVE TO A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA. THEY CAN RECEIVE THAT IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE, AND THEY CAN RECEIVE PERMANENT LEGAL STATUS AND A GUARANTEED PATH TO CITIZENSHIP AS LONG AS THEY THEN COMPLETE TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE OR TRADE SCHOOL, BUT THEIR STATUS CHANGES UPON APPLICATION AFTER HAVING A G.E.D. I WOULD JUST -- MY FAITHFUL STAFF HAS JUST DISCOVERED -- MADE A COPY OF THIS GOOGLE PAGE, AND IT HAS HAD 273,000 HITS, AND THE TITLE OF IT IS "FAKE DIPLOMA." AND IT HAS PLACES ON HERE THAT ONE CAN OBTAIN FAKE DIPLOMA, FAKE DEGREE, FAKE DIPLOMAS. OR HOW ABOUT ANOTHER ONE? FAKE DIPLOMAS, FAKE G.E.D.'S, HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS. BUY A G.E.D., HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, COLLEGE DIPLOMA, COLLEGE TRANSCRIPT, COLLEGE DEGREES OR HIGH SCHOOL TRANSCRIPTS AT DIPLOMA COMPANY, YOUR ONLINE SOURCE. IT GOES ON DOWN THERE. FAKE DIPLOMA, FAKE DIPLOMA, FAST DELIVERY, FAKE DIPLOMA, TRANSCRIPT, BIRTH CERTIFICATE. SO THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE EASY TO ENFORCE, AND I WOULD ASSURE YOU WE HAVE INSUFFICIENT PERSONNEL TO GO OUT AND RUN DOWN ALL THESE MATTERS. SO ONE VERSION OF THE "DREAM" ACT OFFERS ILLEGAL ALIENS IN-STATE TUITION FOR WHICH MANY AMERICANS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE. ALL FOUR INVESTIGATORS THAT ARE NOW PENDING PROVIDED ILLEGAL ALIENS WITH FEDERAL EDUCATION BENEFITS SUCH AS WORK STUDY PROGRAMS, FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS AND ACCESS TO PUBLIC COLLEGES THAT ARE ALREADY FUNDED, BUT WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MORE MONEY FOR THESE LOAN PROGRAMS AND ALL, BUT IT WOULD HAVE TO BE SPREAD OUT AND THE BUDGETS TIGHT. SO MORE PEOPLE WOULD BE THEN REWARDED, ILLEGAL ALIENS WOULD BE REWARDED FOR THESE PROGRAMS. THE C.B.O., THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, HAS SAID THE BILL OVER TIME WOULD ADD $5 BILLION TO THE NATIONAL DEBT, BUT THE NUMBER, I BELIEVE, IS LIKELY TO BE HIGHER BECAUSE C.B.O. CLEARLY FAILED TO ACCOUNT FOR A NUMBER OF MAJOR COST FACTORS WITH THE "DREAM" ACT, INCLUDING PUBLIC EDUCATION COSTS, CHAIN MIGRATION AND FRAUD, AND NOR DOES THE C.B.O. TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHAT HISTORY HAS PROVEN, THAT PASSING AMNESTY WILL INCENTIVIZE EVEN MORE ILLEGALITY AND LAWLESSNESS AT THE BORDER. I WISH IT WEREN'T SO, BUT EXPERIENCE TEACHES US THAT IT IS. IF YOU HAVE -- IF YOU'RE HERE LEGALLY OR ILLEGALLY AND YOU HAVE A YOUNG BROTHER, A NEPHEW, THEY CAN GET INTO OUR COUNTRY AND GET INTO A HIGH SCHOOL. THEY CAN'T DENY THEM IF THEY ARE ILLEGALLY HERE. AND THEY CAN GET A DEGREE OR A G.E.D., THEY ARE PUT ON A GUARANTEED PATH TO CITIZENSHIP, AND AT THE POINT THAT THAT OCCURS, THEY COULD EVEN MAKE APPLICATION FOR THEIR FAMILY MEMBER TO BE GIVEN A PRIORITY, THE ONE WHO WAS ILLEGALLY HERE TO BEGIN WITH WHO BROUGHT THEM HERE. AND THAT'S THE REALITY UNDER OUR IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES. IN ADDITION, THE C.B.O. ASSUMES A LARGE PORTION OF THESE INDIVIDUALS WILL OBTAIN JOBS, BUT THERE IS NO JOB SURPLUS TODAY. INDEED, THERE IS A SURPLUS OF LABOR WHO CAN'T FIND EMPLOYMENT. SO THIS SCORE DOES NOT COUNT UNEMPLOYED AMERICAN CITIZENS WHO CAN'T GET JOBS BECAUSE OF ADDITIONAL COMPETITION. ESTIMATES CONSERVATIVELY SAY BETWEEN 1.3 AND 2.1 MILLION ILLEGAL ALIENS WILL BE IMMEDIATELY ELIGIBLE FOR THE "DREAM" ACT AMNESTY. BUT THAT NUMBER WILL GROW SIGNIFICANTLY AS THERE IS NO CAP OR SUNSET. MOREOVER, THOSE WHO DO OBTAIN LEGAL STATUS CAN DO THE SAME FOR THEIR RELATIVES, AS I INDICATED. MANY -- WITH CRIMINAL RECORDS WILL ALSO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE "DREAM" ACT PROGRAM. THEY SIMPLY MUST HAVE LESS THAN THREE MISDEMEANOR VIOLATIONS. LESS THAN THREE. THOSE POTENTIALLY ELIGIBLE WOULD INCLUDE DRUNK DRIVERS, GANG MEMBERS, EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE COMMITTED CERTAIN SEXUAL OFFENSES. MANY OF THOSE ARE MISDEMEANORS, AND A MOST RECENT VERSION OF THE BILL ALSO GIVES THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY BROAD AUTHORITY TO WAIVE INELIGIBILITY FOR EVEN THE MOST SEVERE CRIMINAL OFFENDERS, AND THOSE WHO POSE EVEN A THREAT TO NATIONAL SECURITY. REMEMBER, EVERY DAY FOR A HOST OF REASONS -- I WAS A FEDERAL PROSECUTOR, A STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL. I KNOW FOR A FACT THAT EVERY DAY FOR A HOST OF REASONS, MAYBE A WITNESS DIDN'T SHOW UP. MAYBE THE CASELOAD IS OVERWHELMING. PROSECUTORS ALLOW PEOPLE TO PLEAD TO MISDEMEANORS WHEN THE OFFENSE THEY HAVE ACTUALLY COMMITTED IS A FELONY. SO ALLOWING A PERSON TO HAVE THREE MISDEMEANORS IS A SERIOUS LOOPHOLE AND DOES NOT SUGGEST THAT THE CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES THEY HAVE BEEN PARTICIPATING IN IS INSIGNIFICANT OR NONCONSEQUENTIAL. SURPRISINGLY, THOSE WHO COMMIT DOCUMENT FRAUD OR WHO LIE TO IMMIGRATION AUTHORITIES ARE ELIGIBLE FOR THE AMNESTY AS WELL. THIS IS PARTICULARLY TROUBLING AS IT CONTAINS A POTENTIAL LOOPHOLE FOR HIGH-RISK INDIVIDUALS TO BE PLACED ON A PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP. ONE OF THE WARNING SIGNS MISSED PRIOR TO 9/11, AS WE RECALL, WERE THE FRAUDULENT VISA APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED BY THE 9/11 HIJACKERS. THE "DREAM" ACT EVEN CONTAINS A SAFE HARBOR PROVISION THAT WOULD PREVENT MANY APPLICANTS FROM BEING REMOVED AS LONG AS THEIR APPLICATION IS PENDING, EVEN IF THEY HAVE A SERIOUS CRIMINAL RECORD. THIS PROVISION WOULD DRAMATICALLY, DRAMATICALLY HINDER OUR FEDERAL AUTHORITIES AND WILL UNDOUBTEDLY UNLEASH A TORRENT OF COSTLY LITIGATION. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S BEEN HAPPENING TOO MUCH IS WHAT WE CALL CATCH AND RELEASE. PEOPLE ARE APPREHENDED, THEY ARE PLACED IN JAIL, AND THEN THEY ARE RELEASED, ILLEGAL ALIENS AND TOLD TO REPORT BACK TO THE COURT FOR FINAL DISPOSITION OF THEIR CASE. NOT SURPRISINGLY, OVER 90%, I THINK, 94% DON'T SHOW UP. SO WHEN YOU ALLOW THESE PROCESSES TO BE DELAYED SIGNIFICANTLY, IT REDUCES THE ABILITY OF THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICES TO BE ABLE TO PROCESS CASES AND ALLOWS MANY TO BE RELEASED ON BAIL FROM WHICH THEY ABSCOND AND DO NOT RETURN. MR. PRESIDENT, HOW MUCH TIME IS LEFT ON THIS SIDE?

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  • 03:59:42 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: 12 SECONDS.

  • 03:59:46 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    12 SECONDS. THANK YOU. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS COUNTRY NEEDS TO END THE…

    12 SECONDS. THANK YOU. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS COUNTRY NEEDS TO END THE LAWLESSNESS AND AFTER THAT'S DONE AND IT CAN BE DONE SHORTLY, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT US TO WRESTLE WITH HOW TO HANDLE PEOPLE WHO HAVE ENTERED OUR COUNTRY ILLEGALLY. THE REVERSE IS NOT TRUE.

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  • 04:00:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR, YOUR TIME HAS EXPIRED.

  • 04:00:12 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 04:00:16 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    MINORITY LEADER, SENATOR McCONNELL, ON THE FLOOR. I WILL MAKE A UNANIMOUS…

    MINORITY LEADER, SENATOR McCONNELL, ON THE FLOOR. I WILL MAKE A UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST, BUT I WANT TO MAKE CERTAIN HE HAS HIS OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK CONSENT THAT AFTER SENATOR McCONNELL HAS COMPLETED HIS REMARKS THAT I BE GIVEN 10 MINUTES TO SPEAK AND AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF TIME OFFERED TO THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE AISLE BEFORE THE FIRST ROLL CALL VOTE.

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  • 04:00:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 04:00:40 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. DID YOU SAY TEN MINUTES?

  • 04:00:44 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    MINUTES. AND I'D OFFER THE SAME AMOUNT TO YOUR SIDE.

  • 04:00:49 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I WOULD SAY TO MY FRIEND FROM ILLINOIS, WE DON'T NEED TEN MINUTES.

  • 04:00:53 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    IS MY FRIEND FROM ILLINOIS ASKING A CONSENT?

  • 04:01:09 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    IS MY FRIEND FROM ILLINOIS ASKING A CONSENT?

  • 04:01:12 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS SCOANT AFTER YOU COMPLETE YOUR REMARKS, I HAVE TEN…

    I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS SCOANT AFTER YOU COMPLETE YOUR REMARKS, I HAVE TEN MINUTES TO SPEAK, AND I BELIEVE IT WILL ACCOMMODATE EVERYONE'S SCHEDULE.

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  • 04:01:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE AN OBJECTION?

  • 04:01:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE REPUBLICAN LEADER. WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:01:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 04:01:31 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    THE SENATOR IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 04:01:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 04:01:38 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S PERFECTLY CLEAR BY NOW THAT OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S PERFECTLY CLEAR BY NOW THAT OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE ARE MORE INTERESTED IN PLEASING SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS THAN IN ADDRESSING OUR NATION'S JOB CRISIS. ONCE AGAIN, THEY'RE INSISTING THAT THE SENATE SPEND ITS LAST REMAINING DAYS BEFORE THE END OF THE SESSION VOTING ON A LIBERAL GRAB BAG OF PROPOSAL AS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO -- PROPOSAL AS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO FAIL. THEY DON'T EVEN INTEND TO PASS THESE ITEMS. THEY JUST WANT TO SHOW THAT THEY CARE ENOUGH TO HOLD THESE SHOW VOTES. WHICH RAISES A QUESTION: ARE WE HERE TO PERFORM OR ARE WE HERE TO LEGISLATE? OUR FRIENDS HAVE FOCUSED ON PARTISAN VOTES FOR FOUR YEARS NOW. MEANWHILE, MILLIONS OF AMERICANS HAVE LOST JOBS AND HOMES AND IN MANY CASES HOPE. AND THE NATION'S DEBT HAS SKYROCKETED THROUGH MISGUIDED SPENDING ON GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS AMERICANS DID NOT WANT. IT'S TIME TO PUT THEM ASIDE AND ACTUALLY ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SUPPORT. IT'S TIME TO GIVE BACK THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS TO THE PEOPLE WHO SENT US HERE. AND THAT MEANS, MR. PRESIDENT, PREVENTING A TAX HIKE THAT'S ABOUT TO SLAM EVERY WORKING AMERICAN. IT MEANS DOING SOMETHING TO ADDRESS THE JOBS CRISIS TO GIVE FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO REVIVE THIS ECONOMY AND GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. IT'S TIME TONED THE POSTURING AND TO WORK TOGETHER TO ACCOMPLISH SOMETHING NOT FOR THE LIBERAL BASE BUT FOR THE VAST MIDDLE OF AMERICA THAT NEEDS US. THE WHITE HOUSE HAS SIGNALED IT'S CONCERNED OVER THE ECONOMY, THAT ITS POLICIES AREN'T HELPING AND THAT IT'S TIME TO WORK WITH REPUBLICANS ON FORGING A NEW PATH. WE'VE REACHED A BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT. IT'S TIME DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS REACH A SIMILAR CONCLUSION AND ENABLE US TO ACT FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE COUNTRY. AMERICANS ARE COUNTING ON US. THEY'VE WAITED LONG ENOUGH. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 04:03:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 04:03:30 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    ONCE AGAIN, LET ME THANK THE MINORITY LEADER FOR GIVING NECESSITY…

    ONCE AGAIN, LET ME THANK THE MINORITY LEADER FOR GIVING NECESSITY OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK. MR. PRESIDENT, LATER IN THIS CUE OF VOTES THERE, WILL BE A VOTE ON AN ISSUE KNOWN AS THE DREAM ACT. I INTRODUCED THIS BILL TEN YEARS AGO. TEN YEARS AGO. WHAT I'M ATTEMPTING TO DO IN THIS BILL IS TO TRY TO RESOLVE AN ITEM OF GREAT INJUSTICE IN AMERICA. ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY ARE YOUNG BOYS AND AND GIRLS, YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN WHO CAME TO THIS COUNTRY WITH THEIR PARENTS WHEN THEY WERE ONLY CHILDREN, WHO WERE BROUGHT IN BY PARENTS WHO WERE HERE IN ILLEGAL STATUS. THEY COULD HAVE BEEN PARENTS WHO CAME HERE ON A STUDENT VISA AND STAYED BEYOND WHEN THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO. BUT THE CHILDREN HAVE BEEN RAISED IN AMERICA. THEY'VE GROWN UP IN THIS COUNTRY. I CAME -- I LEARNED OF THIS ISSUE IN CHICAGO WHEN A YOUNG KOREAN AMERICAN MOTHER CALLED AND SAID, MY DAUGHTER, I BROUGHT HER HERE WHEN SHE WAS TWO YEARS OLD, AND I NEVER FILED ANY PAPERWORK. SHE JUST COMPLETED HIGH SCHOOL. SHE'S BEEN ACCEPTED TO JUILLIARD SCHOOL OF MUSIC. SHE'S AN ACCOMPLISHED PIANIST, WHAT SHOULD DIE? WHEN I ACTED -- WHAT SHOULD DIE? WHEN I CONTACTED THE INSTITUTION, THEY SAID SEND HER BACK TO KOREA, SHE'S NOT AN AMERICAN CITIZEN. NOW MULTIPLY THAT MANY TIMES OVER AND YOU'LL UNDERSTAND WHY I INTRODUCED THE DREAM ACT. IF YOU WERE PULLED OVER BY A POLICEMAN AND GIVEN A TICKET, WE'D UNDERSTAND IT. THESEBUT IF THEY GAVE A TICKET TO YOUR DAUGHTER IN THE BACK SEAT, THAT WOULD NOT BE FAIR. SHE WAS NOT DRIVING. BUT THEY'VE ACHIEVED SOME REMARKABLE THINGS. I'VE MET THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN ACROSS AMERICA. THEY ARE INSPIRING IN EMS OF TERMS OF WHAT THEY'VE ACHIEVED COMING FROM POOR IMMIGRANT FAMILIES. THEY'RE THE VALEDICTORIANS OF THEIR CLASSES, THEY'RE PRESIDENTS AND STARS ON THE SPORTS TEAMS AND THE PEOPLE WHO WIN THE COLLEGE BOWLS, AND THEY ARE UNDOCUMENTED, THEY HAVE NO COUNTRY, AND THEY HAVE NO PLACE TO GO. SO WE SAID, IN THE NAME OF COMPASSION AND JUSTICE, GIVE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE A CHANCE. I INTRODUCED THE BILL TEN YEARS AGO AND I'VE BEEN FIGHTING EVER SINCE TO PASS IT, AND THIS AFTERNOON WE WILL HAVE THAT CHANCE TO MOVE TO THIS BILL, THE DREAM ACT. BUT WE DON'T MAKE IT EASY ON THESE YOUNG PEOPLE. DESPITE THE FACT THAT HALF OF THE HISPANICS IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY DON'T GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL, WE REQUIRE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT ALL CHILDREN COVERED BY THE DREAM ACT MUST TBRAD WAITED FROM HIGH SCHOOL -- GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL. AND THIS ARGUMENT FROM THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA THAT THEY MAY GO TO A PHONY HIGH SCHOOL, LET ME TELL YOU, THESE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE GOING TO BE CAREFULLY SCRUTINIZED. THEY HAVE TO MEET THE TEST. THAT ISN'T ALL THAT THEY HAVE TO MEET THERE. WILL BE OTHER TESTS TOO. HAVE THEN BEEN GUILTY OF A FELONY BEYOND SIMPLE MISDEMEANORS? DISQUALIFIES THEM. VOTER FRAUD OR UNLAWFUL VOTING? DISQUALIFIES THEM. COMMITTED MARRIAGE FRAUD? DISQUALIFIES THEM. HAVE THEY ABUSED THE STUDENT VISA? DISQUALIFIES THEM. HAVE THEY ENGAGED IN ANY KIND OF ACTIVITY THAT WOULD CREATE A PUBLIC HEALTH RISK? IT DISQUALIFIES THEM. AND FOR TEN YEARS, FOR TEN YEARS, WE'LL HAVE A CHANCE TO -- THESE YOUNG PEOPLE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO DO ONE OF TWO THINGS. TO ENLIST IN OUR MILITARY -- THINK OF THAT. WE HAVE YOUNG UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY WHO ARE WILLING TO RISK THEIR LIVES TO SERVE IN THE UNITED STATES MILITARY ALONGSIDE OUR HEROES, OUR MEN AND WOMEN CURRENTLY SERVING. LET ME TELL YOU THE STORY OF ONE THAT I'VE MET. THIS IS CAESAR VARGAS. THIS IS AN EXTRAORDINARY YOUNG MAN WHO CAME TO NEW YORK AT THE AGE OF FIVE, BROUGHT HERE BY HIS PARENTS. WHEN 9/11 OCCURRED, CAESAR VARGAS WENT DOWN TO THE RECRUITER'S OFFICE AND SAID, I WANT TO SIGN UP, I WANT TO FIGHT FOR MY COUNTRY. THEY SAID, MR. VARGAS, THIS ISN'T YOUR COUNTRY. YOU MAY HAVE LIVED HERE ALL YOUR LIFE, BUT YOU HAVE NO PLACE HERE. YOU CANNOT ENLIST. HE WAS DISAPPOINTED BUT HE DIDN'T QUIT. HE WENT ON TO FINISH COLLEGE. HE IS NOW IN LAW SCHOOL. CAESAR VARGAS AT NEW YORK SCHOOL OF LAW HAS A 3.0 G.P.A. HE'S FLUENT IN SPANISH, ITALIAN, FRENCH AND ENGLISH, AND HE'S MASTERING CANTONEES AND RUSSIAN. WHEN HE GRADUATES FROM LAW SCHOOL, HE WILL AN I CHOICE CANDIDATE AT SOME MAJOR LAW FIRM. THAT ISN'T WHAT HE WANTS TO DO. HE WANTS TO ENLIST IN THE MILITARY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. HE CANNOT DO IT TODAY BECAUSE CAESAR VARGAS, WHO HAS LIVED HIS ENTIRE LIFE, TO HIS KNOWLEDGE, IN THIS COUNTRY, HAS NO COUNTRY. THE DREAM ACT WILL GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO VOLUNTEER TO SERVE AMERICA. AND IF HE DOES, IT PUTS HIM ON A PATH TO BECOME A CITIZEN. I THINK THAT'S FAIR. WE ALSO SAY TO THE YOUNG PERSON -- IF A YOUNG PERSON COMPLETES TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE, WE WILL PUT THEM ON THE PATH TO LEGALIZATION. DO YOU KNOW WHAT PERCENTAGE OF UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS GO TO COLLEGE TODAY? 5%, 1 OUT OF 20. IT IS A HUGE OBSTACLE FOR THESE PEOPLE. AND YET THEY ARE PREPARED TO CLEAR THAT OBSTACLE. AND NECESSITY DO -- AND IF THEY DO, THEY WILL WAIT FOR TEN YEARS -- TEN YEARS -- WITH CONDITIONAL IMMIGRANT STATUS. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? THEY HAVE NO LEGAL RIGHTS FOR TEN YEARS, EVEN IF THEY DO THESE THINGS: ENLIST IN THE MILITARY OR GO ON TO FINISH TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE. FOR TEN YEARS, THEY CANNOT DRAW A PELL GRANT, A FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN, NO MEDICAID, NO GOVERNMENT HEALTH PROGRAMS. THEY DON'T QUALIFY FOR ANY OF IT. FOR TEN YEARS. AND THEN WE PUT THEM IN A PROCESS OF ANOTHER THREE YEARS OF CLOSE EXAMINATION AND SCRUTINY BEFORE THEY REACH THE STAGE OF LEGALIZATION. 13 YEARS. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT? SOME OF THEM ARE GOING TO MAKE THAT JOURNEY SUCCESSFULLY BECAUSE THAT'S WHO THEY ARE. IF YOU MEET THESE YOUNG PEOPLE, YOU WILL UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE THINGS SAID ON THE FOR ARE SO WRONG. -- SAID ON THE FLOOR ARE SO WRONG. THESE ARE THE MOST ENERGIC, IDEALISTIC YOUNG PEOPLE YOU COULD MEET IN YOUR LIFE. THEY'RE TOMORROW'S LAWYERS AND DOCTORS AND ENGINEERS. THAT'S WHY MAJOR BUSINESS GROUPS HAVE ENDORSED THIS LEGISLATION, SAYING WE NEED THIS TALENT POOL. THAT'S WHY THE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE HAS ENDORSED THIS LEGISLATION, SAYING WE NEED THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR MILITARY TO SERVE OUR NATION. WE CAN GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO SERVE, WE CAN PUT THEM ON A ROAD WHERE IT WILL BE DIFFICULT BUT NO MORE DIFFICULT THAN WHAT THEY'VE GONE THROUGH IN THEIR LIVES, OR WE CAN SAY NO, WAIT FOR ANOTHER DAY. SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE SAID OH, WE'LL TAKE UP THE DREAM ACT ONCE THE BORDERS OF AMERICA ARE SAFE. MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE SIGNED UP FOR EVERY BILL, VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING THAT'S BEEN PROPOSED TO MAKE OUR BORDERS SAFE. COME JULY, WE PUT $600 MILLION MORE INTO BORDER PROTECTION. I DIDN'T OBJECT. DO IT. LET'S MAKE OUR BORDERS SAFE. BUT FOR GOODNESS SAKES, IS IT FAIR TO THESE YOUNG PEOPLE TO SAY TO THEM, YOU CANNOT HAVE A LIFE UNTIL OUR BORDERS ARE THE SAFE NEST THE WORLD, WHEN WE HAVE THE LONGEST BORDER IN THE WORLD BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND MEXICO? KEEP WORKING ON MAKING THOSE BORDERS SAFE BUT GIVE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE A CHANCE. THESE PEOPLE EMBODY WHAT I CONSIDER TO BE THE IMMIGRANT SPIRIT WHICH MAKES AMERICA WHAT IT IS TODAY. I AM PROUD TO STAND HERE AS THE 47th SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS AND THE SON OF AN IMMIGRANT. MY MOTHER CAME TO THIS COUNTRY AT THE AGE OF TWO FROM LITHUANIA AND I THANK GOD THAT HER MOM AND DAD HAD THE COURAGE TO GET ON THAT BOAT AND COME OVER HERE AND FIGHT THE ODDS AND GIVE ME A CHANCE TO BECOME AN AMERICAN CITIZEN AND A UNITED STATES SENATOR. THAT IS WHAT AMERICA'S ABOUT. THAT'S A STORY OF OUR COUNTRY -- THAT'S THE STORY OF OUR COUNTRY, THE STRENGTH, THE DETERMINATION OF THESE IMMIGRANTS AND THEIR CHILDREN. THESE PEOPLE ARE IMPORTANT TO OUR FUTURE. THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN DESERVE THAT CHANCE, AND WE'LL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TODAY. NOW, I KNOW THAT SOME WILL VOTE AGAINST IT FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS AND I DON'T QUESTION THEIR MOTIVES AT ALL. BUT I HOPE THEY GET A CHANCE TO MEET THESE YOUNG PEOPLE. THEY'RE ALL OVER CAPITOL HILL. THEY DON'T HAVE PAID LOBBYISTS. THEY'RE WALKING AROUND USUALLY IN -- IN GRADUATION GOWNS AND BOARD BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THEY WANT, A CHANCE TO GO TO SCHOOLIMPROVE THEMSELVES. AND IF YOU MEET -- SCHOOL AND IMPROVE THEMSELVES. AND IF YOU MEET THEM AND TALK TO THEM, YOU'LL BE CONVINCED, AS I AM, THAT THIS IS THE SINGLE BEST THING WE CAN DO FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY. IT'S THE SINGLE BEST THING WE CAN DO IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE. THIS IS OUR CURRENT CHALLENGE WHEN IT COMES TO THE FUTURE OF IMMIGRATION. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE TO REALLY IGNORE AND SET ASIDE SOME OF THE ARGUMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE THAT REALLY DON'T STAND UP TO SCRUTINY, TO UNDERSTAND THAT WHAT WE ARE DOING IN THIS BILL IS TO GIVE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE A CHANCE BUT TO HOLD THEM TO A STANDARD WHICH VERY FEW OF US COULD LIVE UP TO. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY APPLY WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THIS BILL PASSING. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY HAVE THEIR CHANCE TO SUCCEED. AND WHEN THEY DO, WE'LL BE A BETTER NATION FOR IT. ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, THE LEADERS AT UNIVERSITIES AND COLLEGES TELL US THESE ARE THE YOUNG PEOPLE WE WANT WHO WILL MAKE THIS A BETTER NATION. SOME OF THE ARGUMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN MADE SUGGEST THIS IS GOING TO BE A PIECE OF CAKE AND SO EASY FOR THESE YOUNG PEOPLE. IT WON'T BE. IT WILL BE A HARD, HARD PROCESS AND A DIFFICULT ROAD FOR THEM TO FOLLOW. BUT IN THE NAME OF JUSTICE, IN THE NAME OF FAIRNESS, GIVE THESE YOUNG PEOPLE A CHANCE. A CHANCE TO BE PART OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, BUT FOR THOSE WHO WERE NATIVE AMERICANS HERE LONG BEFORE THE WHITE PEOPLE ARRIVED, HAVE COME TO THIS COUNTRY AS IMMIGRANTS, NOT THIS GENERATION, PERHAPS, BUT IN PREVIOUS GENERATIONS. THOSE WHO ARE AFRICAN-AMERICAN MAY HAVE COME AGAINST THEIR WILL. BUT THE FACT IS, THEY ARE HERE AND THEY ARE WHAT MAKES AMERICA THE GREAT NATION THAT IT IS. OUR DIVERSITY IS OUR STRENGTH AND THESE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE AS STRONG AS THEY COME. LET'S PASS THE DREAM ACT. LET'S MAKE THESE DREAMS COME TRUE. LET'S STAND UP ONCE AND FOR ALL AND SAY, THIS JUST NATION NOT ONLY HAS ROOM BUT WELCOMES ALL OF THIS TALENT THAT HAS COME TO OUR SHORES. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 04:13:42 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

  • 04:13:45 PM

    THE CLERK

    MOTION. WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF…

    MOTION. WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE, HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE THE DEBATE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 662, S. 3991, THE PUBLIC SAFETY, EMPLOYER-EMPLOYEE COOPERATION ACT OF 2009. SIGNED BY 18 SENATORS.

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  • 04:14:05 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    I MAKE AN INQUIRY. WAS THERE TEN MINUTES TO EITHER -- BOTH SIDES?

  • 04:14:11 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, SENATOR McCONNELL SAID THAT YOUR SIDE DID NOT WANT THE TEN…

    MR. PRESIDENT, SENATOR McCONNELL SAID THAT YOUR SIDE DID NOT WANT THE TEN MINUTES.

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  • 04:14:17 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA.

  • 04:14:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA.

  • 04:14:28 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    I WOULD SAY TO MY DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUE, SENATOR DURBIN, WHO I KNOW…

    I WOULD SAY TO MY DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUE, SENATOR DURBIN, WHO I KNOW CARES DEEPLY ABOUT THIS ISSUE. I THINK THERE'S NOT REALLY AN INJUSTICE TODAY. THE LAW IS, IF YOU'RE BORN HERE, EVEN FROM ILLEGAL PARENTS, YOU ARE A CITIZEN. BUT IF YOU COME INTO THE COUNTRY OR ARE BROUGHT INTO THE COUNTRY, YOU'RE HERE ILLEGALLY. THAT'S WHAT THE LAW IS. IT'S NOT AN INJUSTICE TO ENFORCE THE LAW. NUMBER TWO, I WOULD NOTE THAT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE APPLY AND WAIT FOR CITIZENSHIP BUT THESE INDIVIDUALS WHO CAME ILLEGALLY, MAYBE AT 14, 15, 16 APPLY AND GET TO THE HEAD OF THE LINE OR PEOPLE WHO WAITED FOR -- OVER PEOPLE WHO HAVE WAITED FOR A LONG TIME. AND I DON'T KNOW THAT THAT'S JUSTICE. THE MILITARY ALREADY ALLOWS PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT CITIZENS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE ILLEGALLY IN THE COUNTRY TO JOIN THE MILITARY, AND THEY'RE GIVEN CITIZENSHIP. LOTS OF THEM ACHIEVE CITIZENSHIP THAT WAY. THIS BILL IS NOT NECESSARY TO DO THAT. AND THE TEN YEARS, I WOULD JUST SAY THAT THE COST IS SCORED THERE BY C.B.O. AS $5 BILLION. THERE IS A COST. AND, IN ADDITION, FOR PELL GRANTS -- THIS IS GRANTS, NOT LOANS, THAT STUDENTS GET TO GO TO COLLEGE -- THESE INDIVIDUALS WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR THOSE AS SOON AS THEY GET IN COLLEGE. AFTER EVEN A G.E.D. INSTEAD OF A HIGH SCHOOL DIE P.L.O. MAVMENT AND THE IDEA IS THAT WE'RE ALREADY DOING ENOUGH AT THE BORDER AND WE'RE DOING EVERYTHING THAT'S POSSIBLE. I WOULD NOTE THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT COMPLETED THE FENCE THAT CONGRESS AUTHORIZED. WE ARE NOT DEPORTING PEOPLE EFFECTIVELY. THEY'VE SUED THE STATE OF ARIZONA, WHO TRIED TO HELP THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ENFORCE THE LAWS. THEY REFUSED TO MAKE THE E-VERIFY PROGRAM PERMANENT. NO WORKPLACE RAIDS ARE BEING CONDUCTED. THEY WERE STOPPED SOON AFTER THIS ADMINISTRATION TOOK OFFICE. SO I WOULD SAY FOR A HOST OF REASONS WE ARE NOT DOING WHAT CAN BE DONE AND SHOULD BE DONE TO BRING THE LAWLESS NO, SIR AN END AND TO -- THE LAW ALSONESS TO AN END AND, TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO VIOLATED WITH THE LAW AND CAME NIL LEGALLY. I THANK THE CHAIR AND YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 04:17:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED.…

    OFFICER: BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE QUESTION IS, IS IT THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT DEBATE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S. 3991, A BILL TO PROVIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS FOR PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS EMPLOYED BY STATES OR THEIR POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS SHALL BE BROUGHT TO A CLOSE? THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE MANDATORY UNDER THE RULE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 04:17:36 PM

    Senate Vote 266 - On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S 3991)

    Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2010

    Cloture on the Motion to Proceed Rejected (55 - 43)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 54
    Democratic - 52
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Nay - 43
    Republican - 40
    Democratic - 3

  • 04:40:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: ARE THERE ANY SENATORS IN THE CHAMBER WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE…

    OFFICER: ARE THERE ANY SENATORS IN THE CHAMBER WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE THEIR VOTE? ON THIS VOTE, THE YEAS ARE 55. THE NAYS ARE 43. THREE-FIFTHS OF THE SENATORS DULY CHOSEN HAVING SWORN, NOT HAVING VOTED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, THE MOTION IS NOT AGREED TO.

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  • 04:41:04 PM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 04:41:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. IF WE COULD…

    THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. IF WE COULD CLEAR THE AISLES AND ANY CONVERSATION INTO THE BACK.

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  • 04:41:27 PM

    MR. REID

    THE ATTENTION OF THE SENATE.

  • 04:41:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER.

  • 04:41:38 PM

    MR. REID

    HAPPENS, THERE'S ALWAYS BUMPS IN THE ROAD HERE IN THE SENATE, MOST OF…

    HAPPENS, THERE'S ALWAYS BUMPS IN THE ROAD HERE IN THE SENATE, MOST OF WHICH WE DON'T FORESEE. WE HAVE SCHEDULED NOW FOUR VOTES. WE'RE GOING TO MOVE TO THE NEXT ONE AS SOON AS WE CAN. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS IN THE PROCESS OF VOTING ON THEIR DON'T ASK -- SORRY. WRONG PROBLEM. ON THE "DREAM" ACT. AND THEY'RE GOING TO DO THAT, BUT THEY MAY NOT GET TO IT FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS. I NEED TO HAVE THEM FINISH THEIR VOTE BEFORE WE VOTE OVER HERE. SO, HAVING SAID THAT, WE MAY BE IN A LITTLE DOWN TIME HERE AFTER WE FINISH THIS VOTE FOR A COUPLE OF HOURS, OR WHENEVER WE CAN GET TO IT, BUT I HAVE TO HAVE THAT VOTE COMPLETED OVER THERE. THEY KNOW WE'RE IN A HURRY TO GET THAT. WE ALSO WILL GET TODAY FROM THEM THE CONTINUING RESOLUTION TO ALLOW TO US DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE SPENDING. SO I'M DOING MY BEST TO WORK THROUGH THESE ISSUES, INCLUDING THE ISSUE THAT IS -- THAT HAS OVERWHELMED US ALL OVER THE LAST FEW DAYS, AND THAT'S THE FRAMEWORK FOR THE TAX THING THAT'S BEEN NEGOTIATED. THE MAIN REASON FOR INTERRUPTING EVERYONE HERE TODAY IS THE NEXT TWO VOTES WILL NOT FLOW AUTOMATICALLY. WE NEED TO DO THEM SOMETIME TONIGHT. I'M WORKING WITH SENATOR COLLINS, SENATOR LIEBERMAN, SEPTEMBER 11 AND OTHERS TO -- SENATOR LEVIN AND TOERS TRY TO COME UP -- AND OTHERS TO TRY TO COME UP WITH SOME WAY TO WORK ON THE DEFENSE BILL. THERE ARE OTHER THINGS GOING ON AROUND HERE LIKE THE START TREATY AND A FEW OTHER THINGS. WE'RE TRYING TO WORK THROUGH THAT. I'M SORRY WE'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO PROCEED RIGHT THROU THESE VOTES. WE MAY HAVE TO HAVE DOWN TIME FOR A FEW HOURS. WE'RE GOING TO VOTE RIGHT NOW, MR. PRESIDENT. THE SENIOR CITIZEN CO-OP.

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  • 04:43:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE ARE FOUR MINUTES OF DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED PRIOR TO THE NEXT CLOTURE…

    THERE ARE FOUR MINUTES OF DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED PRIOR TO THE NEXT CLOTURE VOTE.

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  • 04:43:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 04:43:46 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, I'D LIKE --

  • 04:43:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ORDER IN THE CHAMBER, PLEASE. ORDER IN THE CHAMBER. THE SENATOR FROM…

    ORDER IN THE CHAMBER, PLEASE. ORDER IN THE CHAMBER. THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

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  • 04:43:55 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE A MINUTE NAVAL IF I COULD, AND THEN --…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE A MINUTE NAVAL IF I COULD, AND THEN -- A MINUTE AND A HALF, IF I COULD, AND THEN I'D LIKE TO YIELD TO SENATOR WHITEHOUSE.

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  • 04:44:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    TAKE YOUR CONVERSATIONS TO THE CLOAKROOM. THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE…

    TAKE YOUR CONVERSATIONS TO THE CLOAKROOM. THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

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  • 04:44:20 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THIS IS A PRETTY SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THIS IS A PRETTY SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD PIECE OF LEGISLATION. MR. PRESIDENT, AT A TIME WHEN MILLIONS OF SENIORS AND DISABLED VETS --

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  • 04:44:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE PLEASE BE IN ORDER. PLEASE, ANY CONVERSATIONS, TAKE IT…

    OFFICER: THE SENATE PLEASE BE IN ORDER. PLEASE, ANY CONVERSATIONS, TAKE IT TO THE CLOAKROOM. CLEAR OUT THE FRONT IF WE WOULD, PLEASE. IF WE COULD CLEAR DOWN IN FRONT, WE WOULD APPRECIATE IT. THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER.

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  • 04:44:53 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE A MINUTE AND A HALF THEN I WILL YIELD TO MR.…

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'D LIKE A MINUTE AND A HALF THEN I WILL YIELD TO MR. WHITEHOUSE. THE REALITY TODAY IS THAT MILLIONS OF SENIOR CITIZENS AND DISABLED VETS ARE HURTING. THEY ARE SPENDING A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. THEY'RE SPENDING A WHOLE LOT OF MONEY ON HEALTH CARE. AND YET, FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS THEY HAVE NOT GOTTEN ANY COLA BECAUSE, IN MY VIEW, OF POOR METHODOLOGY IN TERMS OF HOW WE DETERMINE COLA'S FOR SENIOR CITIZENS. WHAT THIS AMENDMENT DOES --

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  • 04:45:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PLEASE, THE SENATE BE IN ORDER.

  • 04:45:30 PM

    MR. SANDERS

    AMENDMENT DOES IS PROVIDE A ONE-TIME $250 CHECK TO SENIOR CITIZENS AND…

    AMENDMENT DOES IS PROVIDE A ONE-TIME $250 CHECK TO SENIOR CITIZENS AND DISABLED VETS. THAT'S WHAT IT DOES. THIS AMENDMENT IS SUPPORTED BY THE AARP, THE LARGEST SENIOR GROUP IN AMERICAN, THE AMERICAN LEGION, THE VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS, THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE. VIRTUALLY EVERY SENIOR GROUP, EVERY VETERANS ORGANIZATION. PEOPLE ARE WONDERING HOW IT COULD BE THAT WE COULD PROVIDE $1 MILLION IN TAX BREAKS TO THE RICHEST PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY BUT WE COULDN'T COME UP WITH $250 FOR STRUGGLING SENIORS AND DISAIBLED VETS. I HOPE THAT -- DISABLED VETS. I HOPE MY COLLEAGUES WILL SUPPORT THIS IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION. I YIELD TO MY COLLEAGUE FROM RHODE ISLAND.

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  • 04:46:17 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, IN RHODE ISLAND SENIORS GET AN AVERAGE SOCIAL SECURITY…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IN RHODE ISLAND SENIORS GET AN AVERAGE SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS OF $13,500, WHICH MAKES IT TOUGH SLEDDING TO LIVE ON IN THE COLD NORTHEAST IN THE WINTER TIME. THE COLA ADJUSTMENT IS MISFIRING FOR SENIORS. THEIR HEATING COSTS GO UP, THEIR PRESCRIPTION COSTS GO UP, THEIR PHARMACEUTICAL COSTS GO UP, AND WE MISSED THE COLA TWICE. WE FIXED IT IN 2008 WITH A ONE-TIME VOTE, WE FIXED IN 2009 WITH A ONE-TIME VOTE. LET'S, PLEASE, DO IT AGAIN FOR 2010. SUPPORT SENATOR SANDERS AMENDMENT AND LET'S NOT BE SCROOGES TO OUR SENIORS WHILE WE'RE SO FABULOUSLY GENEROUS TO OUR MEGA MILLIONAIRES.

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  • 04:47:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WHO YIELDS TIME? THE REPUBLICAN LEADER. ALL TIME IS YIELDED BACK.…

    OFFICER: WHO YIELDS TIME? THE REPUBLICAN LEADER. ALL TIME IS YIELDED BACK. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

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  • 04:47:29 PM

    THE CLERK: CLOTURE MOTION

    CLOTURE MOTION: WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE…

    CLOTURE MOTION: WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE, DO HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE DEBATE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 655, S. 3985, THE EMERGENCY SENIOR CITIZENS RELIEF ACT OF 2010 SIGNED BY 18 SENATORS.

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  • 04:47:58 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. QUESTION…

    BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. QUESTION IS, IS IT THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT DEBATE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S. 3985, A BILL TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO EXTEND CERTAIN EXPIRING PROVISIONS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES SHALL BE BROUGHT TO A CASE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE MANDATORY UNDER THE RULE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 04:48:30 PM

    Senate Vote 267 - On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S 3985)

    Emergency Senior Citizens Relief Act of 2010

    Cloture on the Motion to Proceed Rejected (53 - 45)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 52
    Democratic - 51
    Independent - 1

    Vote Details: Nay - 45
    Republican - 40
    Democratic - 4
    Independent - 1

  • 05:09:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ARE THERE ANY SENATORS WHO WISH TO CHANGE HIS OR HER VOTE? IF NOT, ON THIS…

    ARE THERE ANY SENATORS WHO WISH TO CHANGE HIS OR HER VOTE? IF NOT, ON THIS VOTE THE YEAS ARE 53, THE NAYS ARE 45. THREE-FIFTHS OF THE SENATORS DULY CHOSEN AND SWORN NOT HAVING VOTED IN THE AFFIRMATIVE, THE MOTION IS NOT AGREED TO.

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  • 05:09:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE LEADER.

  • 05:09:40 PM

    MR. REID

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WE GO INTO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS UNTIL 6:30…

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WE GO INTO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS UNTIL 6:30 TONIGHT, THAT SENATORS BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES EACH.

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  • 05:09:47 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:10:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ARKANSAS.

  • 05:10:55 PM

    MR. PRYOR

    THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 05:10:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 05:13:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM OHIO.

  • 05:13:11 PM

    MR. BROWN

    THANK YOU. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO DISPENSE WITH THE…

    THANK YOU. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO DISPENSE WITH THE QUORUM CALL.

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  • 05:13:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:13:17 PM

    MR. BROWN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:13:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:13:22 PM

    MR. BROWN

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I -- I JUST STAND HERE AMAZED AT WHAT JUST…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I -- I JUST STAND HERE AMAZED AT WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE, ALTHOUGH I PROBABLY SHOULDN'T BE. I STAND HERE AMAZED BECAUSE IN THIS ECONOMIC TIMES -- IN THESE ECONOMIC TIMES WHEN SENIOR CITIZENS FROM -- FROM ASHTABULA TO MIDDLETOWN TO TOLEDO IN MY STATE AND FROM THE IRON RANGE TO ROCHESTER, MINNESOTA, THE PRESIDING OFFICER'S STATE AND ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, SENIOR CITIZENS WHO DIDN'T GET A COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT THIS YEAR, WHO ARE VICTIMS OF INFLATION, MEDICAL INFLATION ESPECIALLY, BUT THE COST OF THE INFLATION RATE IS NOT VERY HIGH IN OUR SOCIETY SO THEY DOESN'T GET A COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT, EVEN THOUGH THEIR COST OF LIVING HAS GONE UP, THAT EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN IN THIS INSTITUTION, EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTED NO ON A $250, ONE-TIME CHECK TO GO TO SENIOR CITIZENS. IT WOULD HAVE MEANT THE EQUIVALENT OF ABOUT, I BELIEVE, 1.5%, A LITTLE LESS THAN THAT, COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENT. NOW, IF THEY ARE SO INTERESTED IN BALANCING THE BUDGET THAT THEY DON'T WANT TO DO THAT, MAYBE THAT'S ONE ARGUMENT, ALTHOUGH I DON'T THINK IT'S A VERY GOOD ONE IN THESE ECONOMIC TIMES, BUT WHEN THE SAME WEEK THEY SIGN A LETTER SAYING WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING, EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN SIGNED A LETTER SAYING WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING IN THIS -- IN THE SENATE, WE'RE NOT VOTING YES ON ANYTHING UNTIL WE GET THE TAX CUT FOR MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES, THAT'S PRETTY OUTRAGEOUS, AND THE TAX CUT THEY'RE ASKING FOR, SOMEBODY THAT MAKES $10 MILLION A YEAR GETS A $40,000 TAX CUT. SOMEBODY MAKING $1 MILLION A YEAR -- I'M SORRY, GETS A A $400,000 TAX CUT, I BELIEVE. SOMEBODY MAKING $1 MILLION GETS A $40,000 TAX CUT. AND WE ARE -- THEY ARE SAYING THEY ARE WILLING TO VOTE FOR THAT, BUT THEY'RE NOT WILLING TO VOTE FOR $250 TO EVERY SENIOR CITIZEN IN THIS COUNTRY. THE COST OF THAT, IF YOU WANT TO GET IN THE WEEDS AND TALK ABOUT BUDGET ISSUES, THE COST OF THAT THAT $250 THAT SENATOR SANDERS SPONSORED WOULD BE ABOUT ABOUT $13 BILLION. THE COST OF THESE TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY -- THE COST OF THESE TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY ARE ABOUT $700 BILLION OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. SO BASIC WHAT WILL WE ARE DOING, WHAT THEY'RE DOING FOR THE TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY IS BORROWING -- IN ESSENCE, BORROWING $700 BILLION FROM CHINA, PUTTING IT ON OUR CHILDREN'S AND GRANDCHILDREN'S CREDIT CARD TO PAY OFF LATER, LET THEM WORRY ABOUT IT, AND GIVING THAT MONEY TO MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES. THEY'RE WILLING TO TO THAT BUT THEY WON'T -- THEY WON'T VOTE $250, A TOTAL OF $13 BILLION, ONE TIME, THEY'RE NOT WILLING FOR THIS YEAR, THEY'RE NOT WILLING TO HELP THOSE SENIORS IN YOUNGSTOWN AND LIMA AND ZANESVILLE IN CHILLICOTHE AND TIP CITY, OHIO. I JUST DON'T GET IT. MAYBE -- I KNOW IT'S THE CHRISTMAS SEASON. THAT'S NOT A REASON TO DO IT BUT YOU'D THINK THERE WOULD BE A LITTLE MORE GENEROSITY IN THEIR HEARTS DURING THIS MOST DIFFICULT TIME FOR SENIORS THAT ARE BARELY MAKING IT. THE AVERAGE SENIOR CITIZEN IN THIS COUNTRY GETS ABOUT $14,000 SOCIAL SECURITY A YEAR. MANY SENIORS IN MY STATE, IN PLACES LIKE COLUMBUS AND PLACES LIKE DAYTON AND PLACES LIKE PORTSMOUTH LIVE ON NOT MUCH MORE THAN THEIR SOCIAL SECURITY CHECK. AND A $250 PAYMENT WOULD HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE IN MAYBE NOT HAVING TO SPLIT THEIR MEDICINE IN TWO AND TAKING HALF A DOSAGE EACH TIME OR MAYBE ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO HEAT THEIR HOMES AS THE WINTER -- AS IT GETS COLDER AND COLDER AS THE WINTER COMES UPON US, THAT THEY WOULD HAVE A LITTLE OPPORTUNITY TO AT LEAST DO THAT AND LIVE A LITTLE MORE COMFORTABLY. INSTEAD, THIS PLACE AGAIN SAID YES TO TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH, NO TO SENIOR CITIZENS. IT WASN'T A MAJORITY. A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE, ALL DEMOCRATS, VOTED FOR THIS. BUT EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN VOTED AGAINST IT. I DON'T GET IT, MR. PRESIDENT. I DON'T MEAN TO SOUND PARTISAN HERE, BUT WHEN IT'S LIKE THAT, IT'S JUST -- IT MAKES ME -- IT'S JUST UNBELIEVABLE THAT -- THAT SENATORS WHO, MOST OF US ARE GOING TO GO HOME AND ENJOY OUR HOLIDAYS, THAT WE WOULD PUT OUR OUR -- OUR NATION'S SENIORS THROUGH SOMETHING LIKE THAT. MR. PRESIDENT, I -- I YIELD THE FLOOR. I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 05:17:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 05:17:47 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 05:29:28 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I ASK THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH.

  • 05:29:31 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I'D LIKE UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS FOR THE TIME…

    I'D LIKE UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS FOR THE TIME I MAY CONSUME, PROBABLY NOT LONGER THAN 20 OR 25 MINUTES.

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  • 05:29:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:29:45 PM

    MR. COBURN

    AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE WATCHING WASHINGTON RIGHT NOW. WE'RE REALLY AT A…

    AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE WATCHING WASHINGTON RIGHT NOW. WE'RE REALLY AT A DEFINING MOMENT. THERE'S NOT ANYBODY IN THIS BODY THAT DOESN'T RECOGNIZE THAT OUR COUNTRY IS ON AN UNSUSTAINABLE COURSE. THEY KNOW IT. WE ALL KNOW IT. THE WORLD KNOWS IT. WE CAN ARGUE ABOUT HOW WE ARE TO CLOSE -- HOW CLOSE WE ARE TO A DEBT CRISIS AND A LIQUIDITY CRISIS, BUT NO ONE DISPUTES THAT ONE IS COMING. WE JUST DON'T KNOW WHEN. YET IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS, CONGRESS IS GOING TO MAKE THAT PROBLEM $1 TRILLION WORSE. AND WE CAN SAY THAT A LOT OF WHAT WE'RE DOING IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. BUT WHAT WE'RE NOT DOING IS ADDRESSING THE REAL ISSUES THAT NEED TO BE ACCOMPANIED BY GROWN-UPS AS WE LOOK AT THIS. WHAT SHOULD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MAKE OF THIS? IT'S KIND OF LIKE WE'RE ON THE TITANIC HERE IN AMERICA AND EVERYBODY SAYS, THE BAR IS OPEN. WE'LL JUST HAVE A PARTY THE NEXT TWO WEEKS. WE'RE GOING TO SPEND ANOTHER $900B OR WE'RE GOING TO SET IT UP SO IT CAN BE SPENT. I DON'T OFTEN AGREE WITH THE COLUMNIST BY THE NAME OF THOMAS FRIEDMAN. BUT HE HAS A COLUMN TODAY THAT I THINK EVERYONE IN OUR COLLECTIVE BODY SHOULD READ. IT'S APTLY TITLED "STILL DIGGING." HERE HE WRITES, "GIVEN WHERE WE NEED TO GO, THIS TAX DEAL" -- THIS TAX DEAL, SCHOLARSHIP DEAL, UNEMPLOYMENT DEAL, TAX HOLIDAY DEAL -- "IS JUST ANOTHER SHOT OF MORPHINE TO A COUNTRY THAT NEEDS TO DO THINGS THAT ARE BIG AND HARD AND STILL ONLY WANTS TO DO THINGS THAT ARE EASY AND SMALL." HE CONCLUDES, "ECONOMICS IS NOT WAR. IT CAN BE WIN-WIN. SO IT CAN BE GOOD FOR THE WORLD IF CHINA IS DOING BETTER, BUT IT CAN'T BE GOOD FOR AMERICA IF EVERY TIME WE COME TO A HARD CHOICE WE BORROW MORE MONEY FROM A COUNTRY THAT IS NOT JUST OUTSAVING AND OUTHUSTLING OUT US BUT IS ALSO STARTING TO OUTEDUCATE US. WE NEED A PLAN." I COULDN'T AGREE WITH HIM MORE. I WAS PART OF THE DEFICIT COMMISSION. HAVE TAKEN A LOT OF CRITICISM FOR SAYING WEENGDZED TO HAVE THAT DEBATE ON THE -- WE NEEDED TO HAVE THAT DEBATE ON THE SENATE FLOOR. STILL THINK WE NEED TO HAVE THAT DEBATE ON THE SENATE FLOOR. BUT THIS BODY WON'T EVEN AGREE ABOUT HAVING A DEBATE ABOUT HAVING A PLAN. LAST WEEK THE MEMBERS OF THE DEBT COMMISSION REFUSED TO EVEN DEBATE THE PLAN -- THE MEMBERS REFUSED TO EVEN DEBATE THE PLAN IN CONGRESS. WE DIDN'T GET 14 OUT OF 18 VOTES. WE ONLY GOT 11. AND I WANT TO CONGRATULATE SENATOR DURBIN AND SENATOR CONRAD AND SENATOR CRAPO AND SENATOR GREGG FOR THEIR EFFORTS ON THAT COMMISSION. YOU SEE, THEY THINK WE NEED A PLAN. SENATOR CONRAD HAD A WONDERFUL STATEMENT ABOUT IT. AND HE SAID THIS: "THE ONLY THINGS THAT'S WORSE THAN BEING FOR THIS PLAN IS BEING AGAINST IT." BECAUSE WHAT HE WAS REALLY ADDRESSING THE FACT IS THAT WE'RE NOT WILLING TO MAKE THE HARD CHOICES. WE WON'T COME TOGETHER AND DO WHAT'S BEST FOR AMERICA. WHAT WE'LL DO IS JUST TAKE ANOTHER SHOT OF MORPHINE, DRINK ANOTHER DRINK ON THE TITANIC AND HOPE THAT SOMEHOW IT GETS BETTER. THE FACT IS WE ALREADY HAVE A DEBT COMMISSION. IT'S CALLED THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS. THAT'S WHY I VOTED INITIALLY AGAINST THE DEBT COMMISSION. I SPENT EIGHT MONTHS, HAD A FULL-TIME STAFFER WORKING ON THAT COMMISSION FOR THE LAST EIGHT MONTHS. WE ARE THE DEBT COMMISSION. WE HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN TO AVERT THE CATASTROPHE THAT IS IN FRONT OF US. AMERICA NEEDS TO KNOW IT'S YOU URGENT. IT IS NOT SEGREGATION THAT -- IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN WAIT A YEAR. WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A MAJOR LIQUIDITY CRISIS AND WE'RE ALSO GOING TO HAVE A MAJOR INTEREST RATE CRISIS. THE QUESTION IS NOBODY KNOWS WHEN IT COMES. BUT THE ONE THING WE DO KNOW IS THAT WE DON'T HAVE A PLAN, WE WILL NO LONGER CONTROL OUR ABILITY TO GO TO OUT OF OUR PROBLEM. THE PEOPLE WHO OWN OUR DEBT WILL CONTROL HOW WE GET OUT OF OUR PROBLEM. SO IF IN FACT WE WANT TO HAND OVER OUR RESPONSIBILITY IN THE SENATE TO THE BONDHOLDERS OF THE WORLD, THEN WE SHOULD CONTINUE NOT HAVING A PLAN. BUT IF IN FACT WE WANT TO EMBRACE THE OATH THAT WE WERE GIVEN, THEN WE SHOULD HAVE A PLAN, AND AS WE DEBATE OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS COMING UP TO CHRISTMAS, PART OF THAT DEBATE HAS TO BE WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE GROWN UP ENOUGH TO RECOGNIZE THE PARTY IS OVER AND THAT WE BETTER START BAILING WATER, WE BETTER FORM THE LINE, THE BUCKET BRIGADE. ," WE'RE GOING TO GO DOWN WITH THE SHIP. AND PEOPLE CAN SAY, WELL, THAT'S -- YOU'RE SCARING PEOPLE. THAT'S REALISM. THAT'S WHAT'S GETTING READY TO HAPPEN TO US. MR. BERNANKE CANNOT SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS IN THIS REGARD. ONLY WE CAN SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. CUTTING SPENDING SHOULD BE THE EASY PART. -- THE EASY PART OF OUR SOLUTION. WE CAN DOCUMENT HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS A YEAR THAT ARE EITHER WASTED, DEFRAUDED, OR DUPLICATIVE IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. AND I'VE GIVEN HUNDREDS OF SPEECHES OVER THE LAST SIX YEARS OUTLINING THOSE THINGS, WHETHER IT BE THE $5 BILLION THE PENTAGON PAID TO CONTRACTORS FOR PERFORMANCE BONUSES WHEN THOSE CONTRACTORS DIDN'T MEET THE PERFORMANCE RIRMTDS TO GET THE BONUS -- REQUIREMENTS TO GET THE BONUS. OR IT IS THE $100 BILLION A YEAR IN MEDICAID AND MEDICARE FRAUD. THOSE ARE FACTS. THE FACT THAT WE PAY THREE TIMES AS MUCH FOR A MOTORIZED WHEELCHAIR THAN WHAT IT COSTS ... WE HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING TO ADDRESS THOSE ISSUES. IT IS NOT HARD TO CUT SPENDING. IT IS HARD TO GET THE WILL TO HAVE A PLAN THAT RECOGNIZES THAT WE HAVE TO KEEP ON KEEPING ON UNTIL WE GET AMERICA OUT OF THIS VERY DANGEROUS TIME PERIOD THAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING. WE JUST LEARNED THAT WE RANK 25th IN THE WORLD IN MATH, 17th IN SCIENCE. YET WE HAVE 105 DIFFERENT SEPARATE GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS TO INCENTIVIZE EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, EDUCATION, ENGINING AND MATH -- ENGINEERING AND MATH. THIS IS JUST A TINY LITTLE EXAMPLE OF THE WORK WE NEED TO DO. WE NEED TO HAVE ONE PLAN. IT NEEDS TO HAVE MEASUREMENTS ON IT. WE NEED OVERSIGHT AND THEN WE NEED TO LOOK THE NEXT YEAR, IS IT WORKING? IS IT EFFECTIVE? WE HAVE 105 SETS OF BUREAUCRATS. ADMINISTERING -- AND WE HAVEN'T MADE THE HEADWAY THAT WE ALL KNOW IS REQUIRED FOR US TO BE COMPETITIVE IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. YET NOT ONCE THIS YEAR, NOT ONCE LAST YEAR, NOT WHEN REPUBLICANS WERE IN CONTROL, NOT WHEN DEMOCRATS ARE IN CONTROL DO WE DO THE EFFECTIVE OVERSIGHT THAT'S NECESSARY TO GET US OUT OF THE JAM WE'RE IN. OVERSIGHT IS HARD WORK. IT'S NOT EASY. IT REQUIRES THAT WE ACTUALLY HAVE TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE GOVERNMENT, WHICH IS PART OF OUR OATH TO BEGIN WITH. WE HAVE TO DO THE WORK, WE'VE TO READ IT, WE HAVE TO GO TO THE ATEN DANTSZ, WE HAVE TO INTERVIEW THE PEOPLE, WE HAVE TO NO INVESTIGATORS SO WE KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON, AND YET WE DO NOT DO THAT. I OFTEN HEAR FROM MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE, WE NEED TO PAY FOR THE SO-CALLED BUSH TAX CUTS, WHICH ARE REALLY YOUR TAX CUTS. THE ASSUMPTION IS ONCE THE MONEY COMES FROM THE GOVERNMENT, IT IS NOT YOURS, IT IS THE GOVERNMENT'S. LET'S GRANT THAT PREMISE FOR A MINUTE. LET'S GRANT THE PREMISE THAT IT'S THE GOVERNMENT'S MONEY, NOT THE INDIVIDUAL'S. I'D ISSUE THIS CHALLENGE: ANYONE WHO THINKS WE OUGHT TO PAY FOR TAX CUTS OUT TO HAVE TO -- OUGHT TO PUT UP A LIST OF PROGRAMS THAT WE OUGHT TO ELIMINATE IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THEM. I PUT UP EVERY TIME WHEN PEOPLE ARE WANTING TO SPEND MONEY A LIST OF OPTIONS THAT WE CAN DO TO MAKE IT WHERE WE DON'T INCREASE THE VERY PROBLEM HOLE THAT WE KEEP DIGGING IN. THE FACT IS THE BODY ISN'T INTERESTED IN CUTTING ANY SPENDING. AND THE PROOF IS WHAT WE DID LAST YEAR. THE VERY SAME PEOPLE THAT CLAIM WE NEED TO PAY FOR THE TAX CUTS UNIFORMLY VOTED TO OVERRIDE PAYGO TO THE TUNE OF $266 BILLION LAST YEAR. JUST IN THIS LAST YEAR. NOT IN WHOLE CONGRESS, JUST THIS LAST YEAR. SO THE CLAIMS WERE CAUSED -- SO WHAT WE NEED TO DO IS MOVE AWAY FROM THAT RHETORIC. THE PROBLEM IS TOO BIG FOR US TO TAKE POTSHOTS AT EACH OTHER ON WHAT WE THINK IS A POLITICAL POINT. AND WE NEED TO GET DOWN TO THE REAL BUSINESS OF HAVING A PLAN THAT GETS THIS COUNTRY OUT OF THE VERY REAL DIFFICULTIES THAT WE FACE. AND THE VERY FACT THAT WE DON'T KNOW WHEN THE PROBLEM IS COMING, THE VERY FACT THAT WE CAN'T CONTROL OUR OWN DESTINY UNLESS WE START TAKE ACTION NOW SHOULD GIVE US ALL CHILLS THAT WE ARE ABOUT TO BE THE SENATE, THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES THAT ALLOWED THIS TO HAPPEN. WE CAN'T LET THAT HAPPEN. NO MATTER WHAT OUR POSITIONS R THE ONLY WAY WE GET OUT OF THE HOLE WE'RE IN IS IF WE MAKE SHARED SACRIFICES. AND THAT MEANS POLITICAL SACRIFICES, THAT MEANS POSITION SACRIFICES, THAT MEANS MONETARY SACRIFICES, THAT MEANS SACRIFICES AGAINST OUR WISH LIST IT MEANS WE ALL HAVE TO SACRIFICE. SOME PEOPLE SAY IT'S SUICIDE TO TELL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THEY HAVE TO SACRIFICE. I ADAMANTLY DISAGREE WITH THAT. THEY'RE GROWN UP. THEY GET IT WAY AHEAD OF US. THEY'VE ALREADY SEEN WHAT'S HAPPENING TO US. THEY'RE FEELING IT NOW. THEY HAVE THIS SENSE THAT WE'RE DISCONNECTED FROM THE VERY REAL PROBLEMS THAT WE'RE THEY'RE SEEING. THEY'RE READY TO DO THEIR PART. I'LL BORROW A LINE FROM SOMEONE FAR MORE HE ELEGANT, J.F.K. I REMEMBER. I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL. ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU BUT ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY. IT WAS A GREAT STATEMENT THEN. IT IS MORE APPROPRIATE NOW THAN EVER. WHAT IS DOES THE SHARED SACRIFICE MONEY? IT MEANS IF YOU LIVE IN THIS COUNTRY AND MAKE A DECENT INCOME, YOU NEED TO BE MORE RESPONSIBLE WITH YOUR HEALTH CARE AND RETIREMENT THAN YOU ARE TODAY. IF YOU GAME THE SYSTEM TO GET DISABILITY BENEFITS OR WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION, SORRY, YOUR FREE RIDE IS OVER. IF YOU ARE RECEIVING A SPECIAL TAX DEDUCTION BREAK BECAUSE YOU HAVE A GOOD LOBBYIST, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GIVE THAT UP. IF YOU ARE A DEFENSE CONTRACTOR, YOU MIGHT ONLY GO TO A BONUS FOR DOING EXCEPTIONAL, NOT STANDARD WORK. NOT FOR JUST SHOWING UP FOR WORK. AND IF YOU'RE A POLITICIAN, IT MIGHT MEAN YOU HAVE TO LOSE AN ELECTION TO DO EMPHASES BEST FOR THIS COUNTRY. -- TO DO WHAT'S BEST FOR THIS COUNTRY. IF WE THINK ABOUT WHAT IS REQUIRED AND HOW WE WOULD ACHIEVE REAL CHANGE, WE HAVE TWO TRUTHS OF INTENTION: ONE, WE HAVE THE GOVERNMENT WE TOLERATE. TWO, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THAT GOVERNMENT. WE CAN SOLVE ALL THE DIFFICULT CHALLENGES BEFORE US, BUT WE CAN'T SOLVE THEM IF WASHINGTON WON'T EVEN DEBATE THE PROBLEM. AND IF WE CAN'T OVERCOME OUR COURAGE DEFICIT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO REPLACE US ALL. TO REPLACE EVERY ONE OF US. YOU KNOW, COURAGE IS HAVING THE FORTITUDE TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THE RIGHT MORAL REASON AT THE RIGHT TIME REGARDLESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES TO YOU. AND WE LACK THAT IN OUR BODY POLITIC TODAY. I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE SEE THIS TAX DEAL AS A BIG POLITICAL VICTORY. I DON'T SEE IT AS A VICTORY AT ALL FOR THE COUNTRY OR FOR OUR SIDE. ACTUALLY, A FORMER BUSH STAFFER SAID -- DONE BARTLETT SAYS, "ONCE YOU GET IT IN LAW IT BECOMES ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO REMOVE IT. THE FACT THAT WE WERE ABLE TO LATE TRAP DOES FEEL PRETTY GOOD, TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH." THIS GENTLEMAN JUST IGNORED THE MAGNITUDE, SEVERITY, AND EMERGENCY OF THE PROBLEMS THAT FACE AMERICA. AND THE POLITICAL CYNICISM THAT IS A-- THAT ACCOMPANIES THIS SHOULD GIVE US ALL PAUSE TO THINK FOR A MINUTE ON THE GAMES THAT ARE BEING PLAYED IN WASHINGTON. CONGRATULATIONS, SOMEBODY EMBARRASSED SOMEBODY ELSE. I'D ASK HOW DOES MAKING OUR ENTITLEMENT DILEMMA WORSE WHEN WE PASS MEDICARE PART-D FEEL? IT'S NOW UP TO $13 TRILLION IN UNFUNDED LIABILITY. THE RICHEST GET THE SAME BENEFIT AS THE POOR. DOES THAT FEEL GOOD? OR HOW ABOUT DOUBLING THE SIZE OF THE GOVERNMENT SINCE 1999? DOES THAT FEEL GOOD, ESPECIALLY AT THE TIME WHEN THE FRAUD, WASTE AND ABUSE DOUBLED? DOES IT FEEL GOOD THAT WE'VE DONE NOTHING TO REFORM SOCIAL SECURITY IN THE YEAR SINCE PEOPLE APPLAUDED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, PRESIDENT BUSH'S FAILED ATTEMPT TO REFORM SOCIAL SECURITY? HOW DOES THAT FEEL? IS THAT GOOD FOR OUR COUNTRY? DOES THAT SOLVE SOMETHING OR WAS THAT POLITICAL SHOWMANSHIP? THAT BELIES THE HISTORY OF THIS BODY. OUR FOUNDERS CREATED THE SENATE TO TRY TO FORCE CONSENSUS. THAT'S WHAT THE RULES WERE ALL ABOUT. AND WHAT WE NEED TO DO, I BELIEVE, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS AND OUR INDEPENDENT COLLEAGUES, IS I THINK WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE THE DEPTH AND MAGNITUDE OF OUR PROBLEM RIGHT NOW, AND I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE A GREAT BIG TIME-OUT. WHO CARES WHO'S IN CHARGE IF THERE'S NO COUNTRY TO RUN THAT CAN BE SALVAGED? IT DOESN'T MATTER IF YOU TALK TO SOME OF THE ECONOMISTS THAT I TALK TO, BOTH WORLDWIDE AND SOME OF THE BRIGHTEST PEOPLE AT HARVARD AND M.I.T. AND UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND PENNSYLVANIA, THEY DON'T SLEEP AT NIGHT RIGHT NOW BECAUSE THEY KNOW WE'RE ON THE RAZOR-THIN EDGE OF FALLING OVER A CLIFF. THE FACT IS BOTH PARTIES HAVE LAID A TRAP FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS BY OUR INACTION, OUR LAZINESS, OUR ARROGANCE, AND THE CRASS DESIRE FOR POWER. WE ARE WATERBOARDING THE NEXT GENERATION WITH DEBT. WE ARE DROWNING THEM IN OBLIGATIONS BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE THE COURAGE TO COME TOGETHER AND ADDRESS OR LET, EVEN LESS, EVEN DEBATE HAVING A REAL SOLUTION. YOU KNOW THE REAL REASON WHY I VOTED FOR THE DEFICIT COMMISSION REPORT? IT HAD A LOT OF STUFF IN IT THAT I ABSOLUTELY HATE. IT HAD ONE THING IN IT OKLAHOMA CAN'T TOLERATE THAT WILL HAVE TO BE CHANGED. BUT THE FACT IS I BELIEVE THE PROBLEM WAS SO BIG AND SO URGENT AND SO NECESSARY THAT WE OUGHT TO HAVE THAT DEBATE. AND WE OUGHT TO MAKE SURE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROBLEMS THAT FACE US. AND BOTH SENATOR CONRAD AND SENATOR DURBIN AND -- HAVE TAKEN HEAT AND THE GUYS ON OUR SIDE HAVE TAKEN HEAT BECAUSE WE DARE TO TALK ABOUT THE REAL PROBLEMS THAT FACE OUR COUNTRY. THE SPECIAL INTERESTS IMMEDIATELY STARTED TO ATTACK FROM BOTH SIDES. YOU KNOW WHAT THAT TELLS ME? IT TELLS ME WE WERE DOING SOME GOOD. IT TELLS ME WE WERE DOING SOME GOOD. I OFTEN HEAR MY COLLEAGUES ASSERT THE POWER OF THE PURSE WHEN IT COMES TO EARMARKING, BUT I NEVER HEAR THE SAME THING, THAT POWER OF THE PURSE WHEN WE TALK ABOUT TRYING TO CUT SPENDING. THE BIAS IS TO SPEND. THE BIAS IS NOT TO CUT SPENDING. YOU KNOW WHAT? WE'RE EITHER GOING TO DO IT OR OUTSIDE FINANCIAL FORCES ARE GOING TO FORCE US INTO WHAT WE DO. IF YOU THINK THAT ISN'T TRUE, LOOK WHAT'S HAPPENED SO FAR THIS YEAR WITH SOME OTHER COUNTRIES. IN THE FIRST COLUMN, YOU SEE THE DEBT IN U.S. DOLLARS IN FIXED TERMS. THE SECOND IS WHAT THEY'VE DONE IN TERMS OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING. IN TERMS OF DEBT, WE OF COURSE LEAD THE WORLD, $13.8 TRILLION. YOU'VE GOT FRANCE AT $2 TRILLION, GERMANY AT $1.46, SPAIN AT $6 BILLION AND CANADA. EVERY ONE OF THEM FREEZE OR REDUCE THE PAY OF THEIR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. EVERY ONE OF THEM CUT THEIR FEDERAL WORKFORCE. EVERY ONE OF THEM CUT FEDERAL SPENDING. CUT BY SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS. WHAT HAVE WE DONE? A BIG GOOSE EGG. ZERO. ZERO. THAT'S WHAT WE'VE DONE. SO NO WONDER THE WORLD DOESN'T HAVE CONFIDENCE AND NO WONDER OUR BUSINESS INVESTMENT ISN'T COMING IN, BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T CREATED AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY WOULD HAVE CONFIDENCE. THERE'S NO QUESTION WHEN THE TAX BILL GOES THROUGH, WE'LL SEE A BUMP UP IN CONFIDENCE. THERE'S NO QUESTION WHEN PEOPLE GET 2% MORE ON THEIR PAYCHECK WE'LL SEE BUMP UP IN CONFIDENCE. BUT IT'S GOING TO BE VERY SHORT-LIVED, VERY SHORT-LIVED. THE PROBLEM IS NOT THE TAX DEAL BUT THE FACT THAT WE AREN'T ADDRESSING OUR REAL PROBLEMS. WE'RE ADDRESSING THE SYMPTOMS OF OUR PROBLEM. THERE IS A TWO-YEAR EXTENSION GIVE BUSINESS SMALL AND LARGE THE CONFIDENCE THEY NEED TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE? I CERTAINLY HOPE SO. BUT TAX REFORM THAT HAD MEANINGFUL EFFECT ON FUTURE CAPITAL INVESTMENT WOULD DO A WHOLE LOT MORE. THE PROBLEM IS WE'RE NOT EVEN WILLING TO CONSIDER THE HARD CHOICES. WE WON'T EVEN HAVE AN HONEST DEBATE ABOUT A DEBATE ABOUT HARD CHOICES. WE JUST WANT TO TAKE OUR SHOT OF MORPHINE AND GO DOWN THE ROAD, HAVE ANOTHER MARTINI ON THE DECK OF THE TITANIC. I THINK THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY, AT LEAST WHAT I SAW GROWING UP FROM THE 1940'S, 1950'S, 1960'S AND 1970'S, WAS THAT OUR NATION THRIVED BECAUSE WE ALWAYS EMBRACED THE HERITAGE OF SERVICE AND SACRIFICE WHEN OUR FUTURE WAS AT STAKE. AND WE ACTUALLY HAVE SEEN SOME OF THAT IN THE LAST TEN YEARS IN OUR COUNTRY. I CHALLENGE MY COLLEAGUES TO GO TO GETTYSBURG OR GO TO PHILADELPHIA OR GO VISIT GROUND ZERO AND ASK YOURSELF WHAT WENT THROUGH THE MINDS OF THE BRAVE YOUNG AMERICANS WHEN THE DOORS OF THEIR LANDING CRAFT OPENED ON OMAHA BEACH? WHAT MOTIVATED THE HEROES ON FLIGHT 93 ON 9/11 WHEN THEY STORMED A COCKPIT OCCUPIED BY TERRORISTS? AND WHAT DID OUR FOUNDERS THINK WHEN THEY SIGNED THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE KNOWING THEIR LIVES AND FORTUNES WERE ON THE LINE? THEY WEREN'T THINKING ABOUT THEN. THEY WERE THINKING ABOUT THE FUTURE. THEY WERE MAKING THAT CRITICAL DECISION TO HAVE COURAGE IN FACE OF ADVERSITY AND TAKE WITH IT WHAT MAY COME. BUT THEY KNEW DOING THE CORRECT AND HONORABLE AND RIGHT THING WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE REPUTATION OR ANY OTHER THING THAT THEY HAD. HERE'S WHAT ONE OF OUR FOUNDERS THOUGHT. ALMOST 234 YEARS AGO THOMAS PAYNE WAS CONTEMPLATING THE GREAT AND UNCERTAIN STRUGGLE THAT LAY AHEAD OF THIS YOUNG COUNTRY IN OUR BATTLE OF INDEPENDENCE AND OUR BATTLE FOR FREEDOM. HE SAID "IF THERE MUST BE TROUBLE, LET IT BE IN MY DAY THAT MY CHILD MAY HAVE PEACE." THE TIME OF CHRISTMAS AND HANUKKAH, ISN'T THAT REALLY WHAT WE WANT FOR THOSE THAT FOLLOW US, IS PEACE, PEACE OF MIND, TO NOT BE THREATENED BY WHAT WE HAVE SET UP AS AN UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT DUNGEON? I WOULD SAY I THINK WE OUGHT TO HAVE IT IN OUR DAY. LET IT BE OUR DAY. LET IT BE TODAY. LET IT BE STARTED WITH THIS DEBATE THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE ON THE TAX BILL THAT'S GOING TO COME BEFORE US. LET'S MAKE THE EFFORT TO COME TO CONSENSUS THAT WE HAVE TO HAVE A PLAN. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE MY PLAN. IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE SENATOR BENNET OR THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE'S PLAN. BUT WE'VE GOT TO HAVE A PLAN. WE'VE GOT TO SIGNAL TO THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT WE'RE WILLING TO START MAKING SOME OF THE APPROPRIATE SACRIFICES AND GENERATE THE AUSTERITY THAT WILL ALLOW US TO CONTINUE THIS WONDERFUL EXPERIMENT. WE ARE NOW FACING THE MOST PREDICTABLE CRISIS IN OUR HISTORY. WE'RE DOING NOTHING TO AVERT THE CATASTROPHE. NOTHING. ZERO. IN FACT, WE'RE STILL DIGGING. IT'S TIME WE STOP DIGGING. HOW WILL WE BE STPHRERD AS A GENERATION -- REMEMBERED? AS A GENERATION OF POLITICIANS WHO SAW A GATHERING STORM AND TOOK ACTION? OR A GENERATION OF POLITICIANS WHO PUT OFF THE HARD CHOICES OF HONOR AND DISHONORED THE SACRIFICES OF OUR PAST? THE CHOICE IS OURS. WE DO HAVE A CHOICE. WE CAN CHOOSE TO COME TOGETHER AND WORK TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM IN THE VERY SHORT TERM THAT WILL HAVE TREMENDOUS IMPACT IN THE LONG TERM WHAT WE DON'T HAVE IS A LOT OF TIME. AND AS I HEARD SOMEBODY SAY TODAY, TIME FLITTERS AWAY SO FAST UP NEAR WASHINGTON, IT JUST GOES BY SO FAST, WE'RE ALL SO BUSY. THERE IS NO PROBLEM IN FRONT OF US IN ANY COMMITTEE ON ANY ISSUE THAT'S GREATER THAN OUR PROBLEMS THAT FACE THIS COUNTRY. AND WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER ACROSS THE AISLE TO PUT A PLAN TOGETHER THAT WILL GIVE SECURITY TO NOT ONLY THE GENERATIONS THAT COME AND ARE HERE ALREADY, BUT THE PEACE OF MIND TO KNOW THAT WE ARE LISTENING, WE UNDERSTAND AND WE'RE WILLING TO MAKE AND LEAD BY EXAMPLE IN THE SACRIFICES THAT HAVE TO COME FOR US TO SOLVE THAT PROBLEM. MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK YOU FOR YOUR INDULGENCE AND I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 05:56:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO.

  • 05:56:42 PM

    MR. BENNET

    I WANTED TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROPOSED TAX COMPROMISE, BUT…

    I WANTED TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PROPOSED TAX COMPROMISE, BUT BEFORE I DO THAT, SINCE THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA WAS ON THE FLOOR, I WANTED TO SAY TO HIM HOW GRATEFUL I AM FOR YOUR COURAGE IN SUPPORTING THE BIPARTISAN COMMISSION'S REPORT ON THE DEFICIT AND THE DEBT. YOUR VOTE FOR THAT, A VOTE OF SENATOR CRAPO AND SENATOR DURBIN, SENATOR CONRAD, IN 22 MONTHS IN THIS PLACE, IT'S THE FIRST TIME I'VE FELT ANY CONFIDENCE THAT WE MAY ACTUALLY BE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. SO I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO YOU FOR CASTING THAT VOTE. NO ONE THAT VOTED FOR THAT, DEMOCRATIC SENATOR OR REPUBLICAN SENATOR, AGREES WITH EVERYTHING THAT'S IN THE PACKAGE. BUT WHAT YOU DO AGREE WITH IS WE NEED A PLAN TO GET THIS RIGHTED. THAT'S WHAT WE NEED TO DO. THERE'S A LOT OF TALK IN THIS TOWN ABOUT WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON. I HEAR THAT ALL THE TIME. ARE YOU ON OUR SIDE? ARE YOU ON THEIR STPHAOEUD WHOSE SIDE ARE YOU ON? I'LL TELL YOU ONE QUICK STORY FROM THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. I'VE BEEN ON THAT TRAIL FOR THE LAST 22 MONTHS. EVERY SINGLE TOWN HALL MEETING I HAD, THE ISSUE OF THE DEFICIT AND THE DEBT CAME UP. PROFOUND ANXIETY AMONG THE PEOPLE OF MY STATE THAT WE'RE GOING TO LEAVE LESS OPPORTUNITY, NOT MORE, TO OUR KIDS AND TO OUR GRANDKIDS. BY THE WAY, I SHARE YOUR VIEW AS WELL THAT TIME IS SHORT ON THIS. IF WE DON'T MAKE THESE DECISIONS, THE CAPITAL MARKETS ARE GOING TO MAKE THEM FOR US. IT'S NOT GOING TO TAKE, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE LIKE THAT FROG IN THE BOILING WATER. THIS IS SOMETHING, ONE MORNING, ONE DAY SOMEBODY IN THE CAPITAL MARKET IS GOING TO WAKE UP AND A I'M NOT GOING TO BUY YOUR PAPER ANYMORE AT THAT PRICE AND WE'RE GOING TO SEE OUR INTEREST RATES GO THROUGH THE ROOF AND WE'RE GOING TO SEE ECONOMIC TURMOIL FAR WORSE THAN WHAT WE'RE GOING THROUGH NOW, THE WORST RECESSION SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. I WOULD TALK ABOUT THAT IN THESE MEETINGS ABOUT HOW WE NEED TO COME TOGETHER AS DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS. THE FRUSTRATIONS PEOPLE HAVE AND OUR INABILITY TO WORK TOGETHER TO CREATE SOLUTIONS. I SAY, LOOK, WE HAVE A MORAL OBLIGATION TO THE NEXT GENERATION TO GET THIS STRAIGHTENED OUT SO WE DON'T CONSTRAIN THEIR CHOICES. THE PROBLEM IS MORE URGENT THAN FOR OUR KIDS AND GRANDKIDS. I WAS LUCKY ENOUGH THAT MY DAUGHTERS CAME WITH ME ON A LOT OF THESE TRIPS, AND THEY SAT THROUGH A LOT OF THESE TOWN HALL MEETINGS. AND I REMEMBER ONE NIGHT, OR ONE MORNING, MY DAUGHTER CAROLINE FOLLOWED ME OUT. SHE'S NOW 11 YEARS OLD. SHE HAD HEARD THIS ABOUT THE CONSTRAINTS WE WERE PUTTING ON THE NEXT GENERATION OF AMERICANS. SHE TUGGED AT MY SLEEVE ON THE SIDEWALK AND SHE SAID DADDY? I SAID WHAT. SHE SAID JUST TO BE CLEAR -- SHE WAS MAKING FUN OF ME BECAUSE I OVERUSE THAT SUPPRESSION. "JUST -- OVERUSE THAT EXPRESSION. JUST TO BE CLEAR, I'M NOT PAYING THAT BACK. IF PEOPLE ASK ME WHOSE SIDE I'M ON, I'M ON CAROLINE'S SIDE, I'M ON THE SIDE OF KIDS THAT DON'T DESERVE TO BE LEFT WHAT WE ARE LEAVING THEM. I WANT TO YOU KNOW, SENATOR, I'LL WORK WITH ANYBODY, REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT IN THIS CHAMBER OVER THE TIME THAT I'M HERE TO MAKE SURE WE'RE NOT THAT GENERATION THAT LEAVES LESS, NOT MORE, BEHIND. I WANTED TO TALK, MR. PRESIDENT, BRIEFLY ABOUT THE DISCUSSIONS AROUND TAXES. I'VE BEEN A STRONG SUPPORTER OF THE EXTENSION OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS TAX CUTS THAT SUPPORTS OUR SMALL BUSINESSES, FARMERS AN RANCHERS AND EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FOR COLORADANS STRUGGLING TO FIND THEIR WAY DURING THIS DIFFICULT ECONOMY. OVER THE LAST YEAR IN -- IN THE VERY TOWN HALL MEETINGS I WAS JUST TALKING ABOUT, COLORADANS OVER AN OVER AGAIN HAVE SHARED THEIR FRUSTRATION WITH ME ABOUT WASHINGTON'S COMPLETE FAILURE TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT AND BY BOTH PARTIES LACK OF WILLINGNESS TO EVEN DISCUSS A COMPROMISE AND I COULDN'T AGREE WITH THEM MORE. THE BOTTOM LINE IS SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD. THESE TAX CUTS WILL EX TIRE IN LESS -- EXPIRE IN LESS THAN FOUR WEEKS IF WE DO NOTHING. IF WE DO NOTHING HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF COLORADANS WILL SEE A TAX INCREASE AN THOUSANDS MORE WILL LOSE THEIR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IN THE WORST RECESSION SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. THIS IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE TO THEM AND COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE TO ME. IF I WERE WRITING THIS BILL IT WOULD LOOK DIFFERENT THAN THE COMPROMISE THAT HAS BEEN REACHED. IT WOULD PROPOSE A ONE-YEAR EXTENSION OF ALL TAX CUTS. I SAID THAT DURING THE CAMPAIGN BECAUSE I FELT IT WAS IMPORTANT FOR US TO HAVE THE TIME TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE WERE ACTUALLY GOING TO PAY FOR THESE TAX CUTS. THAT WOULD BE ONE YEAR AND A LONGER TERM EXTENSION FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. I WOULD RAISE THE EXEMPTION LEVEL OF THE ESTATE TAX BUT KEEP RATES AT THE 2009 LEVEL. BUT, MR. PRESIDENT, I WANTED TO COME DOWN TO THE FLOOR TO SAY THAT AT THE END OF THE DAY WHILE I'M GOING TO LOOK FOR OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THIS FRAMEWORK AND LISTEN TO OTHER PEOPLE'S IDEAS AS WELL, I INTEND TO SUPPORT THE COMPROMISE. I'M NOT CONVINCED THAT DELAYING THIS LEGISLATION UNTIL NEXT YEAR WILL PRODUCE A BETTER BILL. I AM CONVINCED IT WILL CREATE HUGE UNCERTAINTY FOR PEOPLE ALL OVER MY STATE AND ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AT A TIME WHEN THE LAST THING WE CAN AFFORD IS UNCERTAIN TIVMENT AND THE REALITY IS -- UNCERTAINTY. AND THE REALITY IS THE NEW CONGRESS MIGHT PRODUCE SOMETHING FAR WORSE THAN THE AGREEMENT THAT'S BEEN REACHED. WHENEVER I CAST A VOTE I DO SO FOCUSED ON THE DANGER CAUSED BY OUR MEDIUM-TERM AND LONG-TERM DEBT. IT'S WHY I SUPPORTED MULTIPLE MEASURES TO GET SPENDING UNDER CONTROL. IN THIS CASE I THINK IT WOULD BE FAR WORSE TO FURTHER WEAKEN A FRAGILE ECONOMIC RECOVERY BY LETTING THE MIDDLE-CLASS TAX CUTS EXPIRE AND THROWING THOUSANDS OF COLORADANS OFF THE UNEMPLOYMENT ROLES. BUT SIMULTANEOUSLY AND MOVING FORWARD WE DESPERATE LIT NEED A MORE CONSTRUCTIVE AND HONEST CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO TURN OUR CUSTOMER AROUND FOR THE LONG TERM AND I WILL WORK WITH ANYONE, DEMOCRAT OR REPUBLICAN, TO DEVELOP A TAX CODE THAT ACTUALLY ENCOURAGES INNOVATION, DRIVES INNOVATION HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, BUILDS BACK OUR MIDDLE CLASS AND BRINGS JOBS BACK TO COLORADO AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY. UP CLOSE, AS I SEE THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE IS HERE, JUST BY SAYING THIS, WE FACE GRAVE CHALLENGES, BOTH ECONOMIC AND FISCAL AT THIS MOMENT IN OUR COUNTRY'S HISTORY. AND THE MESSAGE THAT I GOT LOUD AND CLEAR OVER THE LAST 22 MONTHS IS THAT PEOPLE WANT TO SEE US WORKING TOGETHER AND SOLVING PROBLEMS. AND THAT'S WHAT I INTEND TO DO. MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE FINANCE COMMITTEE BE DISCHARGED FROM H.R. 4994, THE TAXPAYERS ASSISTANCE ACT OF 2010 AND THAT THE SENATE THEN PROCEED TO ITS IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION.

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  • 06:04:15 PM

    THE CLERK

    ACT TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO REDUCE TAXPAYER BURDENS…

    ACT TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO REDUCE TAXPAYER BURDENS AND ENHANCE TAXPAYER PROTECTIONS AND FOAMS.

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  • 06:04:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE MEASURE. A SENATOR: MR.…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE MEASURE. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT --

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  • 06:04:43 PM

    MR. BENNET

    A SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT AT THE DESK AND I ASK THAT THE AMENDMENT BE…

    A SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT AT THE DESK AND I ASK THAT THE AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AND AGREED TO, THE BILL BE READ A THIRD TIME AND THE BILL AS AMENDED BE PASSED, THE TITLE AMENDMENT AT THE DESK BE CONSIDERED AND AGREED TO, FURTHER ANY STATEMENTS RELATED TO THE MEASURE APPEAR AT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE IN THE RECORD AS IF READ.

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  • 06:05:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE CLERK WILL READ THE LETTER.

  • 06:05:11 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE STATEMENT OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF PAYGO LEGISLATION FOR H.R. 4994 AS…

    THE STATEMENT OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF PAYGO LEGISLATION FOR H.R. 4994 AS AMENDED, TOTAL BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF H.R. 4994 FOR THE FIVE-YEAR STATUTORY PAYGO SCORECARD NET INCREASE IN THE DEFICIT OF OF $2.278 BILLION. TOTAL BUDGETARY EFFECT OF H.R. 9 -- 4994 FOR THE 10-YEAR STATUTORY PAYGO SCORECARD NET DECREASE IN THE DEAF THE SIT OF OF $17.276 BILLION. ALSO SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD AS PART OF THIS STATEMENT IS A TABLE PREPARED BY THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE WHICH PROVIDES ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE BUDGETARY EFFECTS OF THIS ACT. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 06:05:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE.

  • 06:05:59 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WAS GLAD I HAD A CHANCE TO HEAR THE SENATOR…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WAS GLAD I HAD A CHANCE TO HEAR THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO AND THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA CONGRATULATE THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO ON HIS RER- REELECTION. HE MENTIONED WORKING ACROSS PARTY LINES, ONE AREA WHERE WE CAN DO THAT IN THIS NEXT YEAR WHERE HE CAN MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION IS IN THE AREA OF FIXING "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND", THE ELEMENTARY AND EDUCATION ACT. HE HAS LOTS OF EXPERIENCE EARNED THE HARD WAY ON THE GROUND IN THAT AREA AND HE'S ON THE RELEVANT COMMITTEES AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH HIM. SECOND, I JOIN THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO IN SUPPORT FOR THE TAX PLAN AGREED UPON BY THE PRESIDENT AND DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN LEADERS. I'VE NOTICED THAT OVER THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS A LARGE NUMBER OF THE NEWS STORIES IS ABOUT WHO WINS. YOU KNOW, WHO GETS POLITICAL POINTS FOR THIS TAX AGREEMENT. I THINK THE STORY IS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WIN. I MEAN, THE FOCUS OF THIS CONGRESS SHOULD BE, NUMBER ONE, HOW CAN WE MAKE IT EASIER AND CHEAPER TO CREATE PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS? VIRTUALLY EVERY ECONOMIST WHO'S COME BEFORE US CALLED BY DEMOCRATIC SENATORS OR REPUBLICAN SENATORS HAS SAID THAT RAISING TAXES ON ANYBODY IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN MAKES IT HARDER TO CREATE PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS. AND THEN IN ADDITION TO -- SO -- SO THIS LEGISLATION WHICH WOULD STOP THE AUTOMATIC INCREASE OF TAXES FOR TENS OF MILLIONS OF AMERICANS, SOME SINCE THE LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY, MAKES IT EASIER AND CHEAPER TO CREATE PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS. SO DOES THE PROVISION TO PROVIDE 100% EXPENSING FOR BUSINESSES. WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT COMPANIES CAN -- WHO BUY EQUIPMENT IN THE NEXT YEAR CAN IMMEDIATELY DEDUCT THAT. SO DOES THE PROVISION FOR GIVING WORKING PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY A REDUCTION BY ONE-THIRD DURING THE NEXT YEAR IN WHAT THEY PAY ON THE PAYROLL TAX. THAT WILL MEAN THEY HAVE MORE MONEY IN THEIR POCKETS AND PERHAPS THEY'LL SPEND IT AND PERHAPS THAT WILL HELP THE ECONOMY GROW AS WELL. AND IN ADDITION THERE'S THE PROVISION TO GIVE SOME CERTAINTY TO THE ESTATE TAX. SOME WANT ZERO. SOME WANT 100%. THIS COMES TO A COMMON, REASONABLE DECISION FOR TWO YEARS. NOW, NO ONE ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE AISLE IS COMPLETELY HAPPY WITH THIS AGREEMENT. WE WANT THE TAX RATES PERMANENTLY WHERE THEY ARE OR AT LEAST NOT HIGHER. WE BELIEVE THAT SHORT-TERM DECISIONS ABOUT TAXES DON'T CREATE THE KIND OF CERTAINTY THAT DOES THE BEST JOB OF HELPING TO CREATE PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS. BUT WE WELCOME THE FACT THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS ACCEPTED THIS AS A PART OF AN AGREEMENT AND AT THE SAME TIME HE HAS GOTTEN THE PRIORITY THAT HE PUT A HIGH GOAL ON WHICH WAS THE EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION. WE DON'T LIKE TO SEE THAT PASSED IN A WAY THAT ADDS TO THE DEBT. SO WE HAVE SOME DEMOCRATS WHO DON'T LIKE EVERYTHING IN THE BILL AND SOME REPUBLICANS WHO DON'T LIKE EVERYTHING IN THE BILL. WHAT WE HAVE IS SOMETHING WE HAVEN'T SEEN VERY MUCH FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS. INSTEAD OF WE WON THE ELECTION, WE'LL WRITE THE BILL, WE HAVE A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE. LET'S SIT DOWN AND TALK AND WE WHAT WE -- SEE WHAT WE CAN DO FOR THE GOOD THE COUNTRY. I THINK THIS WILL NOT ONLY RESULT IN THE BILL BEING PASSED, I THINK IT WILL RESULT IN IT BEING ACCEPTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY. I THINK IT WILL HELP TO BUILD CONFIDENCE IN OUR ECONOMIC GROWTH. I THINK IT WILL HELP BUILD CONFIDENCE IN THE ABILITY OF OUR GOVERNMENT TO FUNCTION AND DEAL WITH BIG PROBLEMS, AND I CONGRATULATE THE DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN LEADERS OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE. AND I CONGRATULATE THE PRESIDENT FOR BRINGING IT THIS FAR. NOW WE HAVE A WAYS TO GO. IT'S NOT DECIDED YET, BUT IT'S A GOOD STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION. INSTEAD OF SCORING POLITICAL POINTS, I THINK WE'RE TRYING TO SCORE SOME POINTS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AND WHEN THEY GET THEIR PAYCHECKS IN THE MIDDLE OF JANUARY AND SEE THE LOWER WITHHOLDING AND SEE THE AMOUNT OF TAXES THAT THEY'RE NOT GOING TO HAVE TO PAY IN A TAX INCREASE, I THINK THEY'LL -- A SMALL BUSINESS PERSON IN TENNESSEE LOOKING AT THIS MIGHT SAY THEY'RE NOT GOING TO RAISE TAXES AND TAKE MONEY THAT MY COMPANY EARNED AND TAKE IT TO THE GOVERNMENT, SO MAYBE I'LL TAKE SOME OF THAT MONEY AND I'LL SPEND IT TO HIRE SOMEBODY THE OR THEY'RE GOING TO LET ME DEDUCT EVERYTHING I SPEND FOR NEW EQUIPMENT SO MAYBE I'LL GO AHEAD AND DO THAT THIS YEAR INSTEAD OF OVER THE NEXT TWO, THREE, OR FIVE YEARS -- OR FOUR OR FIVE YEARS AND -- AND MAYBE THAT WILL HELP MY BUSINESS GROW AND MAYBE I'LL HIRE SOMEBODY. AND MAYBE IT WILL SAY TO THE PEOPLE WHO WORK THAT THE COMPANY -- AT THAT COMPANY, I'M GOING TO HAVE A LITTLE MORE MONEY IN MY POCKET, I'LL SPEND IT AND MAYBE THEY'LL BUY SOME OF THE GOODS MADE AT THAT SMALL BUSINESS OR SOME OF THE OTHER SMALL BUSINESSES AND THE ECONOMY WILL GROW. THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT THIS ADDS TO THE DEFICIT. BUT THERE ARE TWO WAYS TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT. ONE IS TO REDUCE SPENDING, WHICH WE MUST DO AND WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DEAL WITH THAT THAT THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA TALKED ABOUT. THE OTHER WAY IS TO CREATE NEW REVENUES AND THE WAY YOU DO THAT IS ECONOMIC GROWTH. THIS BILL WILL HELP MAKE IT EASIER AND CHEAPER TO CREATE PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS, THAT'S ECONOMIC GROWTH, THAT HELPS REDUCE THE DEFICIT. I ALSO WANT TO CONGRATULATE SENATOR COBURN WHO SPOKE BEFORE THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO. SENATOR COBURN, SENATOR CRAPO, SENATOR CONRAD, SENATOR DURBIN, THE MAJORITY WHIP, ALL VOTED FOR THE DEBT COMMISSION REPORT. THAT WAS A COURAGEOUS ACT ON BEHALF OF ALL FIVE OF THEM. IT'S ONE THING TO GO AROUND THE COUNTRY SAYING WE NEED TO REDUCE THE DEBT. IT'S ANOTHER THING TO TAKE ON A WIDE-RANGING PROPOSAL THAT ACTUALLY DOES THAT. BECAUSE IT'S VERY, VERY PAINFUL. YOU CAN'T JUST SAY WE'RE GOING TO GET RID OF EARMARKS WHICH DON'T SAVE A PENNY. YOU CAN'T JUST SAY WE'RE GOING TO FOCUS ON DISCRETIONARY SPENDING THAT DOESN'T AFFECT DEFENSE, WHICH IS 15% OF THE BUDGET. YOU'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH THE WHOLE PICTURE. YOU'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH NATIONAL DEFENSE. YOU'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH SOCIAL SECURITY. YOU'VE GOT TO DEAL WITH MEDICARE AND MEDICAID. AND IT'S TRUE THAT THE REPORT DIDN'T DO AS MUCH ON ENTITLEMENTS AS I WOULD LIKE FOR IT TO HAVE DONE, BUT I'M VERY PROUD OF THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION. THEY'VE GIVEN US A SERIOUS PROPOSAL AND I AS ONE SENATOR INTEND TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY AND DO MY BEST TO SUPPORT AS MANY OF ITS PROVISIONS AS POSSIBLE SO WE CAN TAKE A STEP FORWARD NOT JUST IN CREATING PRIVATE-SECTOR JOBS, BUT IN ATTACKING OUR OTHER MAJOR GOAL WHICH IS REDUCING SPENDING SO WE CAN REDUCE THE DEBT. MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE ONE OTHER COMMENT I'D LIKE TO MAKE AS I'M HERE THIS AFTERNOON. IT INVOLVES THE ABUSE OF LEADERS IN IRAN. I RISE TODAY, MR. PRESIDENT, I'M HERE ON THE FLOOR TO DISCUSS AN ISSUE THAT SOME CONSTITUENTS OF MINE BROUGHT TO MY ATTENTION WHEN I WAS IN NASHVILLE THIS SUMMER. WE MET TO DISCUSS THE PLIGHT OF THE BAHI IN IRAN. THE BAHI FAITH WAS FOUNDED IN PERSIA IN 1844 AND IS ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING RELIGIONS IN THE WORLD WITH MORE THAN FIVE MILLION FOLLOWERS AN -- IN MORE THAN 200 COUNTRIES AN TERRITORIES IT IS THE LARGEST NONMUSLIM RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY IN IRAN TODAY. THE HIGH FOLLOWERS HAVE BEEN PERSECUTED FOR THEIR FAITH BY THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT SINCE THEIR RELIGION WAS ESTABLISHED. BUT THE FREQUENCY AND SEVERITY OF THE PERSECUTIONS HAS INCREASED UNDER THE PRESIDENCY OF AHMADINEJAD. MORE THAN TWO YEARS AGO A GROUP OF SEVEN OF THE HIGH LEADERS OFFENSE REFERRED TO AS THE URON OR FRIENDS WERE ARRESTED. THEY WERE CHARGED WITH PURSUING PROPAGANDA ACTIVITIES AGAINST ISLAM AND FOR SPYING ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL. AFTER MORE THAN TWO YEARS OF TEMPORARY CONFINEMENT, THE SEVEN WERE TRIED IN A CLOSED COURT PROCEEDING THAT DID NOT MEET EVEN THE MINIMUM INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS FOR PROPER CRIMINAL PROCEDURES AND PROTECTION OF CIVIL RIGHTS. THE SIX MEN AND ONE WOMEN WERE EACH SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON AUGUST THE 8. THIS IS YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT STRIKING OUT AGAINST ITS OWN PEOPLE. WE SAW VIOLENT EXAMPLES OF THIS WHEN IRANIAN CITIZENS PROTESTED THE UNFAIR ELECTIONS. THOSE WHO DARED TO -- FACED BASELESS CHARGES, CLOSED COURT PROCEEDINGS, EXTREMELY HARSH SENTENCES, POSSIBLY EVEN DEATH. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS EXPRESSED ITS OUTRAGE ABOUT THE SENTENCING OF THIS GROUP, AND SECRETARY OF STATE CLINTON HAS ISSUED A STATEMENT ON AUGUST 12 THAT REAFFIRMS OUR COUNTRY'S COMMITMENT TO PROTECTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AROUND THE WORLD, INCLUDING THAT OF THE BAHA'I IN IRAN. THIS IS MORE THAN A STORY FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. THERE ARE MORE THOON -- THAN 168,000 BAHA'I IN THE UNITED STATES. THERE ARE MORE THAN 2,000 IN MY HOME STATE OF TENNESSEE. THE MEN AND WOMEN WITH WHOM I MET IN AUGUST HAVE FAMILY MEMBERS, FATHERS, MOTHERS, SONS, BROTHERS, IN-LAWS WHO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED AND IMPRISONED IN IRAN SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH. THEIR ONLY REQUEST WAS THAT WE AS MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE CONTINUE TO DO ALL THAT WE CAN TO KEEP THE SPOTLIGHT ON IRAN AND ITS PERSECUTION OF PEACEFUL CITIZENS. THAT IS WHY I WANTED TO BRING THIS MATTER TO THE ATTENTION OF THE SENATE TODAY. THE UNITED STATES HAS ALREADY IMPOSED SANCTIONS ON IRAN BY ENACTING THE IRAN SANCTIONS ACT, BUT I HOPE THAT BY SHINING A SPOTLIGHT ON THIS EXTREME AND CONTINUED ABUSE OF PEACEFUL ADHERENCE OF THE BAHA'I FAITH BY THE IRANIAN GOVERNMENT, THAT WE CAN, ONE, REAFFIRM OUR COMMITMENT TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AROUND THE WORLD, AND, TWO, MAKE A LITTLE MORE COMFORTABLE -- MAKE A LITTLE MORE UNCOMFORTABLE THE REGIME IN IRAN WHICH PERPETRATES THESE CRIMES AGAINST ITS OWN PEOPLE. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. AND I NOTICE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 06:16:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MR.…

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 06:17:11 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 06:58:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM

  • 06:59:01 PM

    MR. WICKER

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED.

  • 06:59:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:59:07 PM

    MR. WICKER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR, I JOINED MY FRIEND AND…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR, I JOINED MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, SENATOR BEN CAR DIRNTION HERE ON THE SENATE FLOOR TO DISCUSS AN ISSUE OF GREAT CONCERN TO BOTH OF US, AND TOMORROW AMERICANS, AND TO -- AND TO MANY AMERICANS, AND TO MANY ADVOCATES OF FREEDOM AND THE RULE OF LAW INTERNATIONALLY AND THAT ISSUE IS THE ONGOING TRIAL IN RUSSIA OF MICK COAL GOURD COUGH SKI AND HIS BUSINESS PATTERN. THIS TRIAL OR WHAT GARE GARRY KASPAROV CALLED THE LATEST JUDICIAL TRAVESTY CAME TO A CLOSE NOVEMBER 2, A DECISION BY THE COURT IS EXPECTED ON DECEMBER 15. KHORDOKOVSKY WAS FIRST ARRESTED IN 2003 AND ARRESTED ARRESTED IN 2005. THIS TRIAL WAS UNFAIR AND POLITICALLY MOTIVATED, ACCORDING TO WESTERN HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS, WESTERN IMMEDIATE YARGS AND MANY OTHER INDEPENDENT OBSERVERS. THERE'S BROAD OPINION THAT THIS SECOND TRIAL HAS BEEN STAGED, HAS NOT PROVIDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO JUDGE FACTS IN A CLEAR AND PARTIAL MANNER, AND IN GENERAL HAS NOT HONORED THE RULE OF LAW. I WOULD NOTE THIS IS NOT A JURY TRIAL. THE FINDER OF FACT IS A SINGLE JUDGE. MANY HAVE CLAIMED THAT THIS JUDGE HAS COME UNDER BOTH DIRECT AND INDIRECT PRESSURE IN THIS CASE. IN ADDITION, THE PROSECUTION HAS USED LANGUAGE IN CLOSING ARGUMENTS AS IF A GUILTY VERDICT HAD ALREADY BEEN RENDERED. SADLY, THERE SEEMS TO BE LITTLE HOPE IN A JUST VERDICT FROM THIS SECOND TRIAL, AND NOW KHODORKOVSKYPE AND LEBEDEV FACE THE PROSPECT OF MANY MORE YEARS IN JAIL. THESE MEN SERVED SEVEN YEARS IN PRISON PAINED AN UNJUST PRICE FOR A CAMPAIGN AGAINST THEM. THEY HAVE SACRIFICED MANY OF THEIR HRAOEUFRBGS THEIR FREEDOMS AND THEIR -- THEIR FREEDOM AND THEIR LIVES. IT IS TIME FOR BOTH MEN TO BE SET FREE AND JUSTICE TO BE SERVED IN RUSSIA. THIS CASE IS BROADER THAN KHODORKOV? SKY AND LEBEDEV AS INDIVIDUALS. IT RAISES THE QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THERE ARE TRULY FUNCTIONING INSTITUTIONS IN RUSSIA. A GUILTY VERDICT WOULD SHOW THAT WHEN RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES WANT TO, THEY CAN ACT ABOVE THE LAW, AS THEY DID IN THE FIRST TRIAL. IT WOULD ALSO UNDERSCORE THAT PROPERTY RIGHTS IN RUSSIA ARE MEANINGLESS, SENDING A CHILLING MESSAGE TO INVESTORS AND BUSINESSES ALIKE. BOTH DOMESTICALLY IN RUSSIA AND INTERNATIONALLY. I FEAR WE WILL SEE MORE CASE WHERE RIGHTS ARE VIOLATED AND THE LEGAL PROCESS UNDERMINED. THANKFULLY, IT IS BECOMING INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT FOR RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES TO HIDE THE ILLEGITIMACY OF THE CHARGES AND THE PROCESS. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS, JOURNALISTS AND OTHERS CONTINUE TO RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LEGITIMACY OF THIS TRIAL. SOME MIGHT SUGGEST THAT WE IN THE CONGRESS AND THAT WE IN AMERICA SHOULD REFRAIN FROM COMMENTING ON CASES IN A SOVEREIGN NATION'S COURT SYSTEM. I DISAGREE. I DO NOT THINK THIS IS TRUE WHEN A NATION'S COURT SYSTEM IS CLEARLY NOT INDEPENDENT AND IS BEING USED TO UNDERMINE THE RULE OF LAW AND FUNDAMENTAL DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES. I HAVE LED EFFORTS TO SUPPORT CONGRESSIONAL RESOLUTIONS AND HEARINGS TO DRAW ATTENTION TO SPECIFIC ISSUES ABOUT THIS CASE BECAUSE I BELIEVE THEY ARE SYMBOLIC OF BROADER AND DISTURBING TRENDS IN RUSSIA. AEUPBD AND OTHER COLLEAGUES -- AND I AND OTHER COLLEAGUES IN THE SENATE WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. AS I SAID IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR, THE UNITED STATES STANDS BEHIND THOSE THAT CALL FOR FREEDOM FROM TYRANNY AND JUSTICE AROUND THE WORLD. WE MUST CONTINUE TO STAND WITH KHODORKOVSKY AND LE PW E DE -- AND LEBEDEV. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY WILL BE CLOSELY WATCHING THE OUTCOME OF THIS CASE AND I URGE MY COLLEAGUES, I URGE PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE ADMINISTRATION TO DO THE SAME. I HOPE RUSSIA WILL CHOOSE THE RIGHT PATH AND SOMEHOW THAT JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL IN THIS INFAMOUS CASE. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. AND I YIELD THE FLOOR TO THE DISTINGUISHED MAJORITY LEADER.

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  • 07:04:31 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE CLOTURE VOTE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE CLOTURE VOTE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 663 P-RBGS S. 3992 OCCUR AT 11:00 A.M. TOMORROW MORNING, DECEMBER 9, THAT THE TIME FOLLOWING THE LEADER TIME UNTIL 11:00 A.M. EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES, THAT FOLLOWING ANY LEADER STATEMENT SENATOR DURBIN BE RECOGNIZED FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES. THE SENATE THEN RESUME THE MOTION TO PROCEED S. 3992. DURING THURSDAY'S SESSION SENATOR TPWH EPBT BE RECOGNIZED TO -- BENNET BE RECOGNIZED TO GIVE HIS FAREWELL SPEECH AND SENATOR DORGAN BE RECOGNIZED FOR HIS FAREWELL AND SENATOR BUNNING BE RECOGNIZED AT 1:00 P.M. FOR UP TO 20 MINUTES -- SENATOR BUNNING WANTS 30 MINUTES, SO THAT'S FINE.

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  • 07:05:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:05:24 PM

    MR. REID

    CONSENT THAT WE DISCHARGE THE FINANCE COMMITTEE FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION…

    CONSENT THAT WE DISCHARGE THE FINANCE COMMITTEE FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 4337 AND THAT WE MOVE TO IT RIGHT NOW.

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  • 07:05:36 PM

    THE CLERK

    AN ACT TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO MODIFY CERTAIN RULES…

    AN ACT TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO MODIFY CERTAIN RULES APPLICABLE TO REGULATED INVESTMENT COMPANIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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  • 07:05:47 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE COMMITTEE IS DISCHARGED. THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE COMMITTEE IS DISCHARGED. THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE MEASURE.

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  • 07:05:51 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE BINGAMAN SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT AT THE DESK…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE BINGAMAN SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT AT THE DESK BE AGREED TO. THE BILL AS AMENDED BE READ THREE TIMES, PASSED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, ANY STATEMENTS RELATING TO THIS MATTER APPEAR AT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE IN THE RECORD AS IF READ.

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  • 07:06:11 PM

    MR. REID

    PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 647, S. 3167.

  • 07:06:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:06:18 PM

    THE CLERK

    NUMBER 647, S. 3167, A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 13 UNITED STATES KO ET CODE TO…

    NUMBER 647, S. 3167, A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 13 UNITED STATES KO ET CODE TO PROVIDE FOR A FIVE-YEAR TERM OF OFFICE FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE CENSUS AND SO FORTH AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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  • 07:06:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE MEASURE.

  • 07:06:31 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED AMENDMENTS BE CONSIDERED,…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED AMENDMENTS BE CONSIDERED, THE CARPER AMENDMENT AT THE DESK BE AGREED TO, THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED AMENDMENTS, PLURAL, BE AGREED TO, AND THE BILL AS AMENDED BE READ A THIRD TAOEURPBLGS PASSED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER -- THIRD TIME, PASSED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, ANY STATEMENTS RELATING TO THIS MATTER APPEAR IN THE RECORD AT THE APPROPRIATE -- AS IF READ.

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  • 07:06:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:07:02 PM

    THE CLERK

    67 5, S. 3076, AN OFFICE TO ESTABLISH THE NATIONAL ALZHEIMER'S PROJECT.

  • 07:07:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE MEASURE.

  • 07:07:11 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT BE…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT BE AGREED TO, THE BILL AS AMENDED BE READ A THIRD TIME AND PASSED, THE COMMITTEE REPORTED TITLE AMENDMENTS BE AGREED TO, THERE BE NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE, ANY STATEMENTS RELATING TO THIS MATTER APPEAR AT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE IN THE RECORD AS IF GIVEN.

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  • 07:07:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:07:30 PM

    MR. REID

    PROCEED TO S. RES. 697.

  • 07:07:38 PM

    THE CLERK

    697 RECOGNIZING THE 15th ANNIVERSARY OF THE DAYTON PEACE ACCORDS.

  • 07:07:42 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE MEASURE.

  • 07:07:45 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:08:05 PM

    MR. REID

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT MEMBERS HAVE UNTIL THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16 TO SUBMIT…

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT MEMBERS HAVE UNTIL THURSDAY, DECEMBER 16 TO SUBMIT TRIBUTES.

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  • 07:08:14 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:08:22 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:08:24 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:08:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:08:53 PM

    MR. REID

    A.M. THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO UP TO THREE ROLL CALL VOTES. IF CLOTURE…

    A.M. THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO UP TO THREE ROLL CALL VOTES. IF CLOTURE VOTE IS NOT INVOKED THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE VOTE TO H.R. 847, THE 9/11 HEALTH COMPENSATION. IF CLOTURE IS NOT INVOKED, I MAY RECONSIDER THE FAILED CLOTURE VOTE AND THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL.

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  • 07:09:16 PM

    MR. REID

    IF THERE IS NO FURTHER TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK IT ADJOURN UNDER…

    IF THERE IS NO FURTHER TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK IT ADJOURN UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER.

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  • 07:09:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE

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Statistics

115th Congress - Senate
Total Hours: 2039 (After 651 days)
  • Debate1175 Hours
  • Quorum Calls474 Hours
  • Votes333 Hours

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Source: Resume of Congressional Activity (senate.gov)