The Senate Will Convene At 12:00 PM Today
Senate Session - July 17, 2012
Speakers:
Time
Action
  • 10:00:31 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE CHAPLAIN, DR. BARRY BLACK,…

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE CHAPLAIN, DR. BARRY BLACK, WILL LEAD THE SENATE IN PRAYER.

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  • 10:00:36 AM

    THE CHAPLAIN

    LET US PRAY. GOD OF GRACE AND GLORY, YOU HAVE ALREADY BLESSED THIS DAY. WE…

    LET US PRAY. GOD OF GRACE AND GLORY, YOU HAVE ALREADY BLESSED THIS DAY. WE PAUSE NOW TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WE BORROW HEARTBEATS FROM YOU AND THAT BECAUSE OF YOU WE LIVE AND BREATHE AND MOVE AND HAVE OUR BEING. CONTINUE TO NOURISH AND SUSTAIN THIS NATION DURING THESE DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS DAYS. THANK YOU FOR THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN IN OUR ARMED FORCES AND THE MEMBERS OF THEIR FAMILIES, WHO DAILY SACRIFICE TO KEEP FREEDOM'S FLAME BURNING. SURROUND OUR LAWMAKERS THIS DAY WITH YOUR SPIRIT OF RECONCILIATION THAT THEY MAY PUT ASIDE THAT WHICH BRINGS DIVISION AND EMBRACE THAT WHICH ENGENDERS UNITY. MAY YOUR BLESSING AND BENEDICTION ENABLE OUR SENATORS TO WORK TOGETHER IN HARMONY AND PEACE. WE PRAY IN YOUR MERCIFUL NAME. AMEN.

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  • 10:02:14 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

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

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  • 10:02:32 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL READ A COMMUNICATION TO THE SENATE.

  • 10:02:38 AM

    THE CLERK

    WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 17, 2012. TO THE SENATE: UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF…

    WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 17, 2012. TO THE SENATE: UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 1, PARAGRAPH 3, OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE, I HEREBY APPOINT THE HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER COONS, A SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF DELAWARE, TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE CHAIR. SIGNED: DANIEL K. INOUYE, PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE.

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  • 10:02:57 AM

    MR. REID

    I NOW MOVE TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 446, S. 3E 3369.

  • 10:03:04 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 10:03:07 AM

    THE CLERK

    PROCEED TO S. 3369 A BILL TO AMEND THE FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT OF…

    PROCEED TO S. 3369 A BILL TO AMEND THE FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT OF 1971 AND SO FORTH AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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  • 10:03:15 AM

    MR. REID

  • 10:09:59 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 10:10:01 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

    LAST WEEK IN RESPONSE TO ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING MONTH OF JOB GROWTH,…

    LAST WEEK IN RESPONSE TO ANOTHER DISAPPOINTING MONTH OF JOB GROWTH, PRESIDENT OBAMA ISSUED A TRULY BIZARRE ULTIMATUM. A TRULY BIZARRE ULTIMATUM. LET ME RAISE TAXES ON A MILLION BUSINESSES OR I'LL RAISE TAXES ON EVERYBODY. LET ME RAISE TAXES ON A MILLION BUSINESSES, OR I'LL RAISE TAXES ON EVERYBODY. YESTERDAY DEMOCRATIC LEADERS IN CONGRESS TOOK THIS STRANGE NEW ECONOMIC THEORY WHEREBY POLITICIANS PURPORT TO HELP JOB CREATION BY HURTING JOB CREATORS, TO DIZZYING NEW HEIGHTS. YESTERDAY SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADERS SAID THEY WOULD ACTUALLY PREFER -- PREFER -- TO SEE AMERICA GO OFF THE SO-CALLED FISCAL CLIFF THIS COMING JANUARY ALONG WITH THE TRAUMA THAT WOULD UNLEASH ON OUR ECONOMY THAN LET BUSINESSES MAINTAIN THEIR EXISTING TAX RATES. THAT WAS THE POSITION OF DEMOCRATIC LEADERS YESTERDAY. THEY'D RATHER SEE AMERICA GO OFF THE FISCAL CLIFF IN JANUARY THAN LET A MILLION BUSINESSES MAINTAIN THEIR CURRENT TAX RATES. IT'S ANISTONNISHING ADMISSION. ANISTONISHING -- ASTONISHING ADMISSION. DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING THEY'D RATHER SEE TAXES GO UP ON EVERY AMERICAN AT THE END OF THE YEAR THAN LET ABOUT A MILLION BUSINESSES KEEP WHAT THEY EARN NOW. RATHER LET TAXES GO UP ON EVERYBODY IN THE COUNTRY RATHER THAN ALLOW A MILLION BUSINESSES TO KEEP THE MONEY THAT THEY EARN NOW. MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS ISN'T AN ECONOMIC AGENDA. IT'S NOT AN ECONOMIC AGENDA. IT'S AN IDEOLOGICAL CRUSADE. THIS MORNING ERNTENED YOUNG -- ERNST AND YOUNG IS RELEASING A STUDY THAT SHOWS PRESIDENT OBAMA'S PLAN TO RAISE TAXES ON THESE BUSINESSES WILL RESULT IN 10,000 FEWER JOBS. WHAT A GREAT IDEA. LET'S RAISE TAXES ON A MILLION OF OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESSES AND ELIMINATE 700,000 JOBS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOST TEPID RECOVERY IN ANYBODY'S MEMORY. WHAT A TERRIFIC IDEA. FOR THOSE WHO MANAGE TO KEEP THEIR JOBS, REAL AFTER-TAX WAGES WOULD FALL BY AN ESTIMATED 1.8%, MEANING LIVING STANDARDS WOULD DECLINE AS GOVERNMENT SUCKS MORE CAPITAL OUT OF THE ECONOMY. THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL, IN OTHER WORDS, IS A RECIPE FOR ECONOMIC STAGNATION AND DECLINE. A RECIPE FOR ECONOMIC STAGNATION AND DECLINE. BUT THE MURRAY PROPOSAL, THE IDEA WE SHOULD RAISE TAXES ON EVERYBODY, IS EVEN WORSE. NOT ONLY WOULD IT TRIGGER ANOTHER RECESSION, IT WOULD PUT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AT RISK. HERE'S THE DEMOCRATIC THEORY, THAT A MASSIVE INCOME TAX INCREASE ON 140 MILLION AMERICAN TAXPAYERS WOULDN'T BE SO BAD BECAUSE THE EFFECTS WOULDN'T BE FELT RIGHT AWAY. WOULDN'T BE SO BAD BECAUSE THE EFFECTS WOULDN'T BE FELT RIGHT AWAY. THIS BIZARRE CONCLUSION CAN ONLY BE REACHED BY POLITICIANS AND BUDGET ANALYSTS WHO NEVER WORKED A DAY IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. WHO DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT GOES INTO CUTTING A PAYCHECK FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES, AND WHO DON'T HAVE A CONCEPT OF THE PLANNING, THE PLANNING THAT IS NECESSARY WHEN YOU ARE OPERATING A BUSINESS ON THIN MARGINS IN A TOUGH ECONOMY. THIS SHOWS HOW OUT OF TOUCH THESE PEOPLE ARE. TO RELY ON THE ANALYSIS OF IVY TOWER LIBERALS INSTEAD OF LISTENING TO THE JOBS GROUPS THAT HAVE BEEN PLEADING WITH US TO FIX THIS PROBLEM SOONER RATHER THAN LATER AND END THE UNCERTAINTY THAT IS ACTING LIKE A BICK WET BLANKET OVER OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY. TODAY ANOTHER NONPARTISAN GROUP, THE BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE ROUNDTABLE, URGED CONGRESS TO ADOPT THE REPUBLICAN PLAN TO EXTEND CURRENT TAX LAW FOR A YEAR AND MAKE A BRIDGE TO TAX REFORM. IN A LETTER TO CONGRESS THE GROUP'S CHAIRMAN, THE BOEING C.E.O. JIM McNERNEY, WARNED THAT -- QUOTE -- "WITHOUT EFFECTIVE ACTION SOON, THIS UNCERTAINTY WILL SPAWN A DANGEROUS CRISIS, THREATENING OUR ECONOMY, BUSINESSES AND WORKERS." WHAT REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN SAYING IS THAT WE SHOULD ELIMINATE THIS UNCERTAINTY RIGHT NOW, GO ON AND ELIMINATE IT. ELIMINATE THE UNCERTAINTY THAT BOEING EMPLOYEES, NEARLY 85,000 OF WHOM WORK IN WASHINGTON STATE, AND SO MANY OTHERS ARE FACING RIGHT NOW. TACKLE THESE PROBLEMS NOW RATHER THAN WAITING UNTIL THE END OF THE YEAR. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME JUST BOIL IT DOWN. FACED WITH THE SLOWEST ECONOMIC RECOVERY IN MODERN TIMES, CHRONIC JOBLESSNESS AND THE LOWEST PERCENTAGE OF ABLE-BODIED AMERICANS ACTUALLY PARTICIPATING IN THE WORKFORCE IN LITERALLY DECADES, DEMOCRATS ONE-POINT PLAN -- ONE-POINT PLAN -- TO REVIVE THE ECONOMY IS THIS: YOU EARN AND WE TAKE. YOU EARN AND WE TAKE. THAT'S APPARENTLY THE ONLY THING THEY'VE GOT. SURELY WE CAN DO BETTER. I KNOW WE CAN, AND SO DO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 10:17:03 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. AND…

    OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. AND UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES, WITH THE REPUBLICANS CONTROLLING THE FIRST 30 MINUTES AND THE MAJORITY CONTROLLING THE SECOND 30 MINUTES. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 10:17:20 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA.

  • 10:17:27 AM

    MR. SESSIONS

    THE SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY.

  • 10:36:42 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY.

  • 10:36:49 AM

    MR. PAUL

    REMAINS SHOULD TAXPAYERS ARE FORCED TO SEND MONEY OVERSEAS TO COUNTRIES…

    REMAINS SHOULD TAXPAYERS ARE FORCED TO SEND MONEY OVERSEAS TO COUNTRIES THAT DISRESPECT US OR MORE PRECISELY SHOULD WE BORROW MONEY FROM CHINA TO SEND IT TO COUNTRIES WHO DISRESPECT US? SHOULD WE BORROW MONEY FROM CHINA TO SEND TO PAKISTAN? SHOULD WE BORROW MONEY TO SEND TO THE MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IN EGYPT? SHOULD WE SEND GOOD MONEY AFTER BAD? FOR A DECADE WE SEARCHED FOR BIN LADEN. WE SPENT HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS SEARCHING FOR HIM. WHERE DID WE FIND HIM? NOT IN THE REMOTE MOUNTAINS. WE FOUND HIM LIVING COMFORTABLY IN THE CITY IN PAKISTAN. WE FOUND HIM LIVING IN THE MIDDLE OF THIS CITY NOT FAR FROM A MILITARY ACADEMY. WE WERE HELPED IN THIS SEARCH BY A DOCTOR, A BRAVE DOCTOR IN PAKISTAN BY THE NAME OF DR. SHAKIL AFRIDI HELPED US TO FIND BIN LADEN, HELPED US WITH ULTIMATELY GETTING BIN LADEN. HOW WAS HE REWARDED FOR THIS HEROISM? WHERE IS DR. SHAKIL AFRIDI NOW? HE'S BEEN IMPRISONED BY THE PAKISTANI GOVERNMENT FOR 33 YEARS. SO FOR TEN YEARS WE SEARCHED FOR BIN LADEN HIGH AND LOW THROUGHOUT AFGHANISTAN, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, THROUGHOUT THE MOUNTAINS. WE FOUND HIM LIVING COMFORTABLY IN A CITY ONLY MILES FROM A MILITARY ACADEMY, AND THEN THE DOCTOR WHO HELPED US, PAKISTAN HAS NOW IMPRISONED THIS DOCTOR FOR 33 YEARS. SO HOW DID THE PRESIDENT RESPOND TO THIS? HOW DID PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ADMINISTRATION RESPOND TO THE IMPRISONING OF THIS DOCTOR, THE DOCTOR WHO HELPED US GET BIN LADEN? PRESIDENT OBAMA SENT HIM ANOTHER -- THEM ANOTHER BILLION DOLLARS LAST WEEK. WE ALREADY SEND PAKISTAN $2 BILLION AND THEY DISRESPECT US, SO WHAT DID WE DO? WE SEND THEM ANOTHER BILLION DOLLARS. PEOPLE AROUND THIS TOWN ARE BEMOANING THERE'S NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR OUR MILITARY YET WE TOOK A BILLION DOLLARS OUT OF THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT AND -- AN EXTRA BILLION AND SENT IT TO PAKISTAN LAST WEEK. WHERE IS DR. AFRIDI? IN JAIL FOR 33 YEARS. I'VE OBTAINED THE SIGNATURES NECESSARY TO HAVE A VOTE ON THIS. THE LEADERSHIP DOESN'T WANT TO ALLOW A VOTE ON THIS, BUT I WILL ONE WAY OR ANOTHER GET A VOTE ON ENDING AID TO PAKISTAN IF THEY CONTINUE TO IMPRISON THIS DOCTOR. HE HAS AN APPEAL THAT WILL BE HEARD THIS THURSDAY. IF HE'S NOT SUCCESSFUL IN HIS APPEAL, IF HE IS STILL IN PRISON FOR LIFE, WE WILL HAVE A VOTE IN THE SENATE ON ENDING ALL AID TO PAKISTAN. NOT A SMALL PORTION OF THEIR AID. EVERY PENNY OF THEIR AID, INCLUDING THE BILLION THEY GOT LAST WEEK. WE WILL ATTEMPT TO STOP ALL AID TO PAKISTAN, AND I ASK ANY OF THE SENATORS HERE, STEP FORWARD IF YOU THINK IT'S A GOOD IDEA AND TELL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHY YOU'RE SENDING THEIR MONEY TO PAKISTAN. WE'VE GOT BRIDGES CRUMBLING. WE'VE GOT ROADS CRUMBLING. WE'LL HAVE SCHOOL CRUMBLING IN OUR COUNTRY AND WE'RE SENDING MONEY TO PAKISTAN THAT DISRESPECTS US. WE SPENT BILLIONS IF NOT MAYBE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON THE WAR IN PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN TRYING TO GET BIN LADEN. AND THEN THE DOCTOR WHO HELPS US IS NOW IN JAIL FOR 33 YEARS. EVERYWHERE I GO ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, IN OUR STATE IN KENTUCKY WE HAVE TWO BRIDGES THAT NEED TO BE REPLACED. WE HAVE ONE THAT WAS CLOSED DOWN FOR SIX MONTHS LAST YEAR IN REPAIRS, IN THE MIDDLE OF ONE OF OUR MAJOR CITIES. WE DON'T HAVE THE MONEY TO REPAIR OUR INFRASTRUCTURE. WE'RE A TRILLION DOLLARS SHORT OF MONEY, PERIOD. WE'RE BORROWING OVER A TRILLION DOLLARS A YEAR. WE NOW HAVE A $16 TRILLION DEBT THAT EQUALS OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY, AND YET THEY'RE STILL SENDING YOUR MONEY TO DICTATORS OVERSEAS WHO DISRESPECT US. 80% OF THE PUBLIC THINKS THAT THIS SHOULD COME TO AN END. IF YOU ASK THIS QUESTION, SHOULD WE BE SENDING THIS MONEY OVERSEAS WHEN WE HAVE DIFFICULTY AND NEEDS AND WANTS AT HOME? 80% OF THE PUBLIC WILL SAY IT SHOULD END AND YET WHEN YOU FORCE THIS BODY TO VOTE, 80% OF YOUR REPRESENTATIVES ARE FOR SENDING MORE AID OVERSEAS. THEY'RE ALL CLAMORING AND CLAPPING THEIR HANDS. LAST WEEK WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID HE SENT THEM ANOTHER BILLION DOLLARS OVERSEAS, THEY ALL STAND UP AND CLAP. I DON'T THINK THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER IS CLAPPING. I DON'T THINK THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER IS HAPPY WE'RE A TRILLION DOLLARS IN THE HOLE AND STILL SENDING MONEY OVERSEAS TO COUNTRIES THAT DISRESPECT US. WHAT I SAY TO PAKISTAN IS IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR ALLY, ACT LIKE IT. IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR ALLY, RESPECT US. IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR ALLY, WORK WITH US ON THE WAR ON TERRORISM. BUT IF YOU WANT TO BE OUR ALLY, DON'T HOLD DR. AFRIDI, DON'T HOLD POLITICAL PRISONERS, DON'T HOLD PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY ARE WORKING WITH US TO GET BIN LADEN. I WILL DO EVERYTHING WITHIN MY POWER TO HAVE THIS VOTE. THEY DON'T WANT TO HAVE THIS VOTE. THEY MAKE FOREIGN AID UP HERE. THEY LOVE SENDING YOUR MONEY OVERSEAS BUT THEY DON'T WANT TO VOTE ON IT SO THEY'VE BEEN BLOCKING THIS VOTE AND THEY WILL ATTEMPT TO BLOCK THIS VOTE BUT I HAVE THE SIGNATURES NECESSARY AND YOU WILL SEE ME ON THE FLOOR NEXT WEEK IF DR. AFRIDI IS STILL IN JAIL NEXT WEEK, I WILL MAKE THEM VOTE ON THIS BECAUSE IT'S THE LEAST YOU DESERVE, THE TAXPAYERS DESERVE TO KNOW WHY ARE YOUR SENATORS VOTING TO SEND YOUR MONEY OVERSEAS WHEN WE'RE A TRILLION DOLLARS IN THE HOLE. WHY ARE YOUR SENATORS VOTING TO SEND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO PAKISTAN WHEN THEY IMPRISON THE GUY WHO HELPED US GET BIN LADEN. THIS IS UNCONSCIONABLE. IT HAS TO STOP. THE DEBT IS A THREAT TO OUR COUNTRY, IT'S A THREAT TO THE REPUBLIC. AND I WILL DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO FORCE A VOTE ON THIS THEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN DECIDE, IF YOU WANT TO KEEP SENDING THESE PEOPLE BACK TO WASHINGTON WHO ARE SENDING YOUR MONEY OVERSEAS TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO RESPECT FOR US. SO I WILL DO EVERYTHING IN MY POWER TO HAVE TO THIS VOTE AND WE WILL RECORD THE SENATE, YOUR REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE RECORDED ON WHETHER OR NOT THEY WANT TO CONTINUE TO SEND YOUR MONEY TO PAKISTAN WHILE PAKISTAN IMPRISONS THIS DOCTOR WHO TEND US GET BIN LADEN. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD BACK THE REMAINDER OF MY TIME. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 10:43:41 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM COLORADO.

  • 10:43:45 AM

    MR. UDALL

    I HAVE SIX UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUESTS FOR COMMITTEES TO MEET DURING…

    I HAVE SIX 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 WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THESE REQUESTS BE AGREED TO AND THESE REQUESTS BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD.

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  • 10:43:59 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:44:02 AM

    MR. UDALL

    FOR SEVERAL WEEKS NOW I'VE SPOKEN HERE ON THE SENATE FLOOR URGING MY…

    FOR SEVERAL WEEKS NOW I'VE SPOKEN HERE ON THE SENATE FLOOR URGING MY COLLEAGUES OF BOTH PARTIES TO EXTEND THE WIND PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT OR AS IT'S KNOWN, THE P.T.C. AND THE PRESIDING OFFICER HAS HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO LISTEN TO ME ON A NUMBER OF OCCASIONS. I THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND INTEREST AND SUPPORT. I'M HERE AGAIN THIS MORNING TO CONTINUE MY WORK BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO LOSE ONE MORE AMERICAN JOB BECAUSE OF OUR FAILURE, CONGRESS' FAILURE, TO ACT. I WANT TO ASSURE AS I KNOW THE PRESIDING OFFICER DOES, THAT WE, THE UNITED STATES, REMAINS COMPETITIVE IN THE GLOBAL CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY. TODAY, I WANT TO TALK SPECIFICALLY ABOUT THE P.T.C.'S IMPACT ON THE STATE OF UTAH, ONE OF AMERICA'S FASTEST GROWING WIND ENERGY PLOWERS. LIKE OTHER WESTERN STATES, INCLUDING MY HOME STATE OF COLORADO, UTAH'S GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE MAKES IT'S AN IDEAL LOCATION FOR WIND PRODUCTION. IT'S ESTIMATED THAT A -- IF FULLY UTILIZED UTAH'S INDIAN RESOURCES COULD PROVIDE UP TO 13 % OF THE STATE'S -- 132% OF THE STATE'S CURRENT ELECTRICITY NEEDS. THINK ABOUT THAT. THE ENTIRE STATE'S ELECTRICITY NEEDS TO BE MET BY WIND POWER ALONE. IF YOU LOOK AT THE MAP OF UTAH THAT IS DISPLAYED HERE, MR. PRESIDENT, YOU'LL SEE THAT THE LARGEST WIND PROJECTS ARE LOCATED IN BEAVER AND MILL FORD COUNTIES. THEY ARE IN WESTERN UTAH. IN THOSE TWO COUNTIES THE FIRST WIND CORPORATION INSTRUCTED THE -- CONSTRUCTED THE MILFORD PROJECT. THIS PROJECT AVOIDS 52,000 TONS OF Co2 EMISSIONS AND PROVIDES GOOD-PAYING JOBS TO HUNDREDS OF HARDWORKING UTAHANS. BEYOND THE OBVIOUS AND ENORMOUSLY POSITIVE EFFECT THE MILFORD WIND PROJECT HAS HAD ON JOB CREATION AND UTAH'S ENVIRONMENT, IT'S ALSO BEEN AN ECONOMIC BOOM TO THE SURROUNDING RURAL COMMUNITIES. BEAVER COUNTY'S TAX BASE HAS INCREASED SO MUCH THAT IT ALLOWED FOR A NEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TO BE BUILT WITHOUT ANY TAX INCREASES TO LOCAL RESIDENTS. AND IN EFFECT, MR. PRESIDENT, THOSE TAX RECEIPTS REPLACED A SCHOOL THAT HAD REALLY FALLEN INTO DISREPAIR. THIS PROJECT HAS BROUGHT MORE THAN $50 MILLION IN ECONOMIC BENEFITS TO UTAH AS A WHOLE, CREATED OVER 300 ON-SITE JOBS DURING CONSTRUCTION AND ENGAGED MORE THAN 60 LOCAL UTAH BUSINESSES THROUGHOUT CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT. THAT IS A WIN-WIN, WIN-WIN-WIN SITUATION, NO MATTER HOW YOU CALCULATE. MR. PRESIDENT, ONLY IF WE EXTEND THE WIND P.T.C. WILL WE CONTINUE TO SEE THE INVESTMENT, THE JOB CREATION AND THE ECONOMIC GROWTH LIKE UTAH'S SEEN IN RECENT YEARS. SO NOW IS THE TIME FOR US TO ACT TO PRESERVE AND CREATE THOUSANDS OF JOBS AND TO USHER IN A CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WITHOUT OUR SUPPORT, THE GROWTH OF THE WIND ENERGY INDUSTRY WILL SLOW AND IN FACT WIND ENERGY PRODUCERS LIKELY WILL SHED JOBS AND HALT PROJECTS. AN ART KEL PUBLISHED THIS WEEK -- AN ART -- ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN THE "WALL STREET JOURNAL" SUGGESTS IF CONGRESS DOES NOT VOTE TO EXTEND THE P.T.C., MY OWN STATE STANDS TO LOSE HUNDREDS, POSSIBLY THOSE OF JOBS. THAT IS JUST ONE STATE. NATIONALLY THE NUMBERS ARE MUCH HIGHER WITH ESTIMATES SUGGESTING WE COULD LOSE AS MANY AS 30,000 JOBS. THE P.T.C. IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF HOW CONGRESS CAN PLAY A POSITIVE, PRODUCTIVE ROLE IN ENCOURAGING ECONOMIC GROWTH AND SUPPORTING AMERICAN MANUFACTURING. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EXPECT US TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO CREATE JOBS AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. THEY EXPECT US TO WORK ACROSS THE POLITICAL AISLE AND PRODUCE RESULTS. THEY DESERVE RESULTS, AND WE SHOULD NOT DISAPPOINT THEM BY SUCCOMBING TO ELECTION YEAR GRIDLOCK. WE HAVE A SOLID BASE OF BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR WIND ENERGY AND FOR THE PASSAGE OF THE WIND P.T.C. THAT'S WHY I'VE BEEN URGING MY COLLEAGUES TO WORK WITH ME TO PASS IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. FROM COLORADO AND UTAH AND TO RHODE ISLAND AND BEYOND, THE P.T.C. HAS HELPED AMERICAN FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES PROSPER IN A TIME WHEN OTHER INDUSTRIES HAVE FALTERED. THE WIND INDUSTRY HAS BEEN ONE OF THE FEW INDUSTRIES TO HAVE REAL GROWTH IN RECENT YEARS, AND IT HAS SO MUCH MORE POTENTIAL. AMERICANS HAVE SAID AGAIN AND AGAIN THAT THEY WANT CONGRESS TO EXTEND THE WIND P.T.C. LET'S NOT LET THEM DOWN. OUR ECONOMY AND OUR FUTURE DEPEND ON IT. LET'S PASS THE P.T.C. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. IT EQUALS JOBS. MR. PRESIDENT, I'LL BE BACK ON THE FLOOR TOMORROW TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR THIS COMMONSENSE POLICY. COLORADOANS EXPECT NO LESS. LET'S PASS THE PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AND PROTECT AMERICAN JOBS. MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MIGHT, I'D LIKE TO TURN TO ANOTHER TOPIC THAT'S ON EVERYBODY'S MINDS, AND THAT'S THE EFFORTS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE TO REFORM THE WAY IN WHICH OUR CAMPAIGNS ARE FINANCED AND THE WAY IN WHICH THAT INFORMATION IS SHARED WITH THE PUBLIC. MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES TOOK TO THE FLOOR LAST NIGHT TO DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DISCLOSE ACT AND TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THE ENORMOUS VOLUME OF UNDISCLOSED MONEY THAT'S NOW FLOWING INTO THIS CAMPAIGN SEASON AND TO THOSE CAMPAIGNS. THE DEMOCRACY IS STRENGTHENED BY CASTING LIGHT ON SPENDING IN ELECTIONS ACT OR AS IT'S KNOWN IN ITS SHORTER FORM, THE DISCLOSE ACT, IS AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD. IT WAS CONCEIVED AS A RESPONSE TO THE U.S. SUPREME COURT'S 2010 CITIZENS UNITED DECISION. MANY OF US HAVE WATCHED WITH DEEP CONCERN AS THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT DECISION PLAY OUT THIS ELECTION SEASON. UNLIMITED AND OFTEN SECRET CONTRIBUTIONS TO ORGANIZATIONS KNOWN AS SUPER PACS ARE POURING INTO OUR ELECTION SYSTEM AND LITERALLY DROWNING OUT THE VOICES OF ORDINARY AMERICANS WHO DON'T HAPPEN TO BE MILLIONAIRES OR BILLIONAIRES. AND INSTEAD OF A SYSTEM WHERE CANDIDATES EXCHANGE IDEAS AND SHARE THEIR VISION FOR A MORE PROSPEROUS COUNTRY, THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION HAS UNLEASHED A RELENTLESS ARRAY OF ATTACK ADS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA WHERE THEY'RE COMING FROM OR WHO IS FOOTING THE BILL. AND THIS SORT OF UNLIMITED AND SECRET INFLUX OF CASH IS RAISING THE SPECTER OF CORRUPTION IN OUR ELECTIONS. AND, FRANKLY, MR. PRESIDENT, I'M WORRIED THAT WE'RE ENTERING INTO AN ERA OF POLITICS THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN SINCE THE WATERGATE SCANDAL SOME 40 YEARS AGO. THERE IS HOPE, HOWEVER, BECAUSE DESPITE WHAT I THOUGHT WAS A MISGUIDED DECISION TIED TO CITIZENS UNITED, THE SUPREME COURT DID UPHOLD CONGRESS'S POWER TO REQUIRE TRANSPARENCY WHEN IT COMES TO THOSE UNLIMITED CAMPAIGN DOLLARS. AND SO THE DISCLOSE ACT WAS FORMED. AND LET ME SHARE WITH VIEWERS WHAT THE DISCLOSE ACT WOULD DO. IT WOULD REQUIRE THAT SUPER PACS, CORPORATIONS, LABOR UNIONS AND OTHER INDEPENDENT GROUPS FILE A PUBLIC DISCLOSURE WITH THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION FOR ANY CAMPAIGN-RELATED DISBURSEMENT OF OVER $10,000 OR MORE WITHIN 24 HOURS OF THE EXPENDITURE. THIS BASIC REQUIREMENT IS DESIGNED TO BRING THE EXCHANGE OF THE SECRET CAMPAIGN DOLLARS OUT OF THE SHADOWS, SO COLORADOANS AND ALL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW WHO IS TRYING TO INFLUENCE OUR ELECTIONS. THAT'S IT. IT'S SIMPLE AND IT MAKES SENSE. WE ARE ONLY ASKING THAT POLITICAL SPENDING AND FUNDING BE DISCLOSED AND HELD TO THE SAME STANDARD AS TRADITIONAL POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES AND CANDIDATE EXPENDITURES. THIS SENSIBLE REQUIREMENT WILL NOT CREATE BURDENSOME REGULATIONS OR BE IN CONFLICT WITH ANY OF THE HOLDINGS OF THE SUPREME COURT. IT'S THE KIND OF COMMONSENSE TRANSPARENCY THAT COLORADOANS ARE CALLING FOR. IT MIGHT SOUND CLICHE, BUT SUNLIGHT IS TRULY THE BEST DISINFECTANT. IN FACT, I HEARD THE LEADER OF OUR CAUCUS, SENATOR REID, MENTION THAT THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, SENATOR McCONNELL, HAD USED THAT SAME CONCEPT. SUNLIGHT IS TRULY THE BEST DISINFECTANT. AND WE LITERALLY STOP ON THE BASIC PRINCIPLES OF DEMOCRACY WHEN WE ALLOW TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO BE SECRETLY SPENT ON OUR ELECTIONS. AND I WANT TO EMPHASIZE THAT THIS SHOULD NOT BE A PARTISAN ISSUE. DESPITE LAST NIGHT'S VOTE, YOU WOULD THINK WE COULD ALL SURELY AGREE ON TRANSPARENCY. FOR EXAMPLE, OUR COLLEAGUE, SENATOR McCAIN, HAS LAMENTED THAT WITHOUT REFORM AND TRANSPARENCY, THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION COULD LEAD TO A MAJOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE SCANDAL. AND OF COURSE THAT'S NOT HEALTHY FOR OUR DEMOCRACY. THE SUPREME COURT AFFIRMED CONGRESS'S AUTHORITY TO REQUIRE DISCLOSURE, SO LET'S DO OUR JOB TO PROTECT DEMOCRACY AND BRING SUNLIGHT TO OUR ELECTIONS. LET'S BRING THE DISCLOSE ACT FORWARD AND PASS IT RIGHT AWAY. I ALSO KNOW, MR. PRESIDENT, MANY AMERICANS WOULD LIKE TO SEE US OVERTURN THE EFFECTS OF CITIZENS UNITED ALTOGETHER, AND THERE ARE EFFORTS TO DO EXACTLY THAT. FOR EXAMPLE, SENATOR TOM UDALL OF NEW MEXICO INTRODUCED A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT THAT WOULD GIVE CONGRESS THE POWER TO REGULATE POLITICAL SPENDING. I SUPPORT THAT EFFORT. I ALSO SUPPORT AN EFFORT TO CHANGE THE WAY IN WHICH WE FUND PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. AND I'VE INTRODUCED LEGISLATION, THE PRESIDENTIAL FUNDING ACT, THAT WILL REFORM THE CURRENTLY OUTDATED PUBLIC FINANCE SYSTEM. IT'S A BILL THAT'S AIMED AT PRESERVING THE VOICES OF AVERAGE AMERICANS. IN 1974 THE PRESIDENTIAL PUBLIC CAMPAIGN SYSTEM WAS DEVELOPED IN AN EFFORT TO RESTORE PUBLIC FAITH IN ELECTED OFFICIALS AFTER THE WATERGATE SCANDAL AND IT'S BEEN USED IN NEARLY EVERY PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION SINCE. BY ESTABLISHING PUBLIC FINANCING, WE ALLOW CANDIDATES TO COMPETE BASED ON THEIR IDEAS INSTEAD OF COMPETING ON WHO HAS THE MOST SUPPORT FROM SPECIAL INTERESTS AND DEEP-POCKETED DONORS. IN FACT, MY FATHER, CONGRESSMAN MORRIS UDALL, WHO SERVED IN THE HOUSE REPRESENTING THE SECOND DISTRICT IN ARIZONA FOR SOME 30 YEARS, WAS ACTUALLY ONE OF THE FIRST TO USE THE PUBLIC FINANCING SYSTEM WHICH HE HELPED CRAFT TWO YEARS PRIOR WHEN HE RAN FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION IN 1976. MY FATHER WAS A BIG BELIEVER IN RUNNING FOR OFFICE ON BEHALF OF HIS CONSTITUENTS INSTEAD OF ON BEHALF OF BIG MONEY. AND I BELIEVE STRONGLY THAT THAT ETHOS OUGHT TO APPLY TO TODAY'S REPRESENTED CONSTITUENTS MORE THAN EVER. THE FUNDING CAMPAIGN SYSTEM HAS ENRICHED THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE OF THE COUNTRY BY ENSURING THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE MORE SWAY THAN CONNECTED INSIDERS, SPECIAL INTERESTS OR WEALTHY DONORS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE CURRENT SYSTEM'S ABILITY TO KEEP UP WITH THE ENORMOUS SPENDING REQUIRED IN PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS HAS RENDERED IT LESS EFFECTIVE. AND THANKS TO CITIZENS UNITED, PUBLIC FINANCING IS NO LONGER A VIABLE OPTION TO COMPETE AGAINST UNLIMITED SPECIAL INTEREST DOLLARS. MY LEGISLATION WOULD STRENGTHEN THE PUBLIC FINANCING SYSTEM, INCENTIVIZE CANDIDATES TO OBTAIN SUPPORT FROM ACTUAL CITIZENS, NOT SPECIAL INTEREST SUPER PACS OR SECRET FINANCIERS. IT WOULD ENSURE THAT OUR PROVEN PUBLIC FINANCING SYSTEM WOULD BE AVAILABLE FOR FUTURE ELECTIONS AND THAT CORPORATE AND SPECIAL INTEREST MONEY DON'T DROWN OUT GENUINE IDEAS AND DEBATES IN OUR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. SO FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE COMMITTED TO FIXING OUR CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM IN THE WAKE OF CITIZENS UNITED, THERE IS A LOT OF CHALLENGING WORK AHEAD. BUT I KNOW THAT COLORADOANS AGREE WITH ME THAT REFORM COULD BE THE SINGLE-MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE TO FIX THE WAY OUR DEMOCRACY FUNCTIONS. AS I'VE SUGGESTED AND AS WE KNOW, MR. PRESIDENT, UNFORTUNATELY, FEDERAL ELECTIONS ARE INCREASINGLY ABOUT WHO CAN SECRETLY APPEAL MORE TO WEALTHY AND SPECIAL INTERESTS INSTEAD OF WORKING TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF AVERAGE AND HARDWORKING AMERICANS. THIS SOWS CORRUPTION, DYSFUNCTION AND A GOVERNMENT THAT IS LESS RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE. TODAY WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO START WITH A SENSIBLE REQUIREMENT THAT WE SHOULD ALL BE ABLE TO AGREE ON. DISCLOSURE IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF, SO I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO RECONSIDER THEIR VOTE AND TO ALLOW THE SENATE TO AT LEAST DEBATE THE DISCLOSE ACT. WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LET ANOTHER FILIBUSTER STAND IN THE WAY OF FAIR AND OPEN CAMPAIGNS. LET'S PASS THE DISCLOSE ACT AND TAKE A BIG STEP TOWARDS TURNING THE POWER OF OUR GOVERNMENT BACK OVER TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION. I YIELD THE FLOOR. I NOTE THAT THE LEADER OF THIS IMPORTANT EFFORT, THE DISCLOSE ACT, SENATOR WHITEHOUSE OF RHODE ISLAND, IS ON THE FLOOR. I WANT TO THANK HIM FOR HIS LEADERSHIP AND FOR HIS COMMITMENT TO ENSURING THAT IT'S THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT DETERMINE OUR FUTURE, NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS, SUPER PACS AND MILLIONAIRES AND BILLIONAIRES AND FINANCIERS WHO LEAVE NO TRACK, NO TRACE OF WHERE THEIR MONEY IS GOING OR WHERE IT'S COME FROM. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 10:58:42 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND.

  • 10:58:44 AM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

  • 10:59:34 AM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS BE DISCHARGED FROM…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE COMMITTEE ON INDIAN AFFAIRS BE DISCHARGED FROM FURTHER CONSIDERS OF H.R. 205 AND WE NOW PROCEED TO CONSIDERATION OF THAT MEASURE.

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  • 10:59:41 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 10:59:46 AM

    THE CLERK

    TO AMEND THE ACT TITLED, AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE LEASING OF RESTRICTED INDIAN…

    TO AMEND THE ACT TITLED, AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE LEASING OF RESTRICTED INDIAN LANDS FOR PUBLIC, RELIGIOUS, EDUCATIONAL, RESIDENTIAL, BUSINESS AND OTHER PURPOSES, REQUIRING THE GRANT OF LONG-TERM LEASES, AND SO FORTH AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. MR.

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  • 11:00:03 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 11:00:05 AM

    MR. REID

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I ASK THAT THE BILL BE READ A THIRD TIME,…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I ASK THAT THE BILL BE READ A THIRD TIME, PASSED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, THERE BE NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE, ANY STATEMENTS RELATING TO THIS MATTER BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD AT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE AS IF READ.

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  • 11:00:16 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 11:00:22 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND.

  • 11:00:25 AM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, I BELIEVE THAT CHAIRMAN LEAHY WILL SHORTLY BE JOINING US TO…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I BELIEVE THAT CHAIRMAN LEAHY WILL SHORTLY BE JOINING US TO DISCUSS THE DISCLOSE ACT. IN THE TIME THAT WE HAVE BEFORE HIS ARRIVAL, I WANTED TO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AN OP-ED PIECE THAT WAS AUTHORED BY FORMER SENATOR WARREN RUDMAN AND FORMER SENATOR CHUCK HAGEL, TWO FORMER SENATORS, TWO REPUBLICAN FORMER SENATORS WHO REALLY DISTINGUISHED THEMSELVES IN THIS BODY, AND HAVE GOTTEN TOGETHER TO WRITE AN ARTICLE ABOUT THE DISCLOSE ACT. I'D LIKE TO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE OP-ED PIECE THAT THEY HAVE WRITTEN BE MADE A MATTER OF RECORD IN THIS DEBATE.

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  • 11:01:19 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 11:01:21 AM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

  • 11:10:19 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 11:10:21 AM

    MR. LEAHY

    MR. PRESIDENT, I APPRECIATE WHAT THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND HAS DONE.…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I APPRECIATE WHAT THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND HAS DONE. HE HAS BEEN A CHAMPION ON THIS NOT ONLY IN THE PUBLIC FORUM LIKE THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE BUT HE'S BEEN A CHAMPION OF IT IN THE -- IN THE CLOAKROOMS AND THE COMMITTEE ROOMS, EVERYWHERE WE MIGHT SPEAK ABOUT IT AND HE'S BEEN MOST CONSISTENT. AND THE PEOPLE OF RHODE ISLAND ARE VERY FORTUNATE IN HAVING SOMEBODY WITH SUCH A STRONG VOICE. FOR THE LAST TWO AND A HALF YEARS, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE DEVASTATING EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION. THAT DECISION BY FIVE SUPREME COURT JUSTICES OVERTURNED A CENTURY OF LAWS, A CENTURY OF LAWS THAT HAVE BEEN SUPPORTED BY REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE BECAUSE THEY WERE DESIGNED TO PROTECT OUR ELECTIONS FROM CORPORATE SPENDING. AND WHAT THESE FIVE MEN DID, THEY UNLEASHED A MASSIVE FLOOD OF CORPORATE MONEY INTO OUR ELECTIONS. NOW, MANY OF US IN THE CONGRESS MAY -- MANY OF US AROUND THE COUNTRY AT THE TIME OF THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION, WORRIED IT TURNS ON ITS HEAD THE IDEA OF GOVERNMENT OF AND BY THE PEOPLE. WE WORRIED THE DECISION CREATED NEW RIGHTS FOR WALL STREET AT THE EXPENSE OF PEOPLE IN MAIN STREET. WE WORRIED THAT POWERFUL CORPORATE MEGAPHONES COULD DROWN OUT THE VOICES AND INTERESTS OF INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS. I WISH I DIDN'T HAVE TO SAY THIS BUT TWO AND A HALF YEARS LATER, IT'S CLEAR THESE WORRIES WERE SUPREMELY VALID AND THE DAMAGE IS DEVASTATINGLY REAL. SINCE THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION STRUCK DOWN LONGSTANDING PRO PRO -- PROHIBITIONS, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM UNDISCLOSED AND UNACCOUNTABLE SOURCES HAVE FLOODED THE AIRWAVES WITH A BARRAGE OF NEGATIVE ADVERTISEMENTS. NOBODY WHO WATCHED OUR ELECTIONS OR EVEN TRIED TO WATCH TELEVISION SINCE THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION CAN DENY THE ENORMOUS IMPACT THAT DECISION HAS HAD ON OUR POLITICAL PROCESS. EVERYWHERE I GO IN VERMONT PEOPLE SAY, WELL, WHO'S BEHIND THESE ADS? THEY SAY WHO'S BEHIND THESE ADS? I SAY I DON'T KNOW. THEY SAY, WELL, YOU'RE A UNITED STATES SENATOR. YOU MONEY YOU DON'T KNOW? I SAY NO, BECAUSE THE SUPREME COURT HAS ALLOWED PEOPLE TO HIDE WHO'S PAYING FOR THEM, EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE DOING IT TO ADVANCE THEIR ECONOMIC INTERESTS, OFTEN TO THE EXCLUSION OF EVERYBODY ELSE'S. EVEN THOUGH THEY'RE WANTING TO GIVE THEMSELVES AN ADVANTAGE THAT ALL THE REST OF THE PEOPLE WON'T HAVE. AND NOBODY WHO IS STRAINED TO HEAR THE VOICES OF VOTERS LOST AMONG THE FLOOD OF SUPER PAC'S CAN DENY THAT EXTENDING THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS TO CORPORATIONS, THE SUPREME COURT PUT AT RISK THE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS TO SPEAK TO EACH OTHER AND CRUCIALLY, TO BE HEARD. JUST LAST MONTH, WITHOUT A HEARING, WITHOUT EVEN ALLOWING AMERICANS' VOICES TO BE HEARD, THE SAME FIVE JUSTICES WHO IN CITIZENS UNITED RAN ROUGHSHOD OVER LONG-STANDING PRECEDENT TO STRIKE DOWN KEY PROVISIONS OF OUR BIPARTISAN CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS DOUBLED DOWN ON CITIZENS UNITED WHEN THEY SUM LAIRLLY STRUCK DOWN -- STRUCK DOWN -- SUM MAYORLY STRUCK DOWN A MONTANA STATE LAW, A STATE LAW ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF MONTANA BECAUSE THEY HAD SEEN THE PERVASIVE AND SOMETIMES EVIL EFFECT OF THESE CORPORATE CONTRIBUTIONS. IN DOING SO THEY BROKE DOWN THE LAST PUBLIC SAFEGUARDS PREVENTING CORPORATE MEGAPHONES FROM DROWNING OUT THE VOICES OF HARD-WORKING AMERICANS. MAKE NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, IN MY STATE OF VERMONT WE HAVE -- WE HAVE -- WE HAVE A TOWN MEETING DAY. PEOPLE COME IN, THEY CAN EXPRESS ANY VIEW THEY WANT BUT YOU KNOW WHO IS EXPRESSING IT. YOU KNOW WHETHER IT'S JOHN JONES OR MARY SMITH. YOU KNOW IF IT'S THE HEAD OF THE LOCAL COMPANY OR SOMEBODY SPEAKING FOR A WORKERS' UNION. YOU KNOW WHO'S SPEAKING, AND YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAVE JUST AS MUCH RIGHT AND ABILITY TO ANSWER AS THEY DID IN SPEAKING. NOW WE'RE SAYING NO, NO. UNLESS YOU ARE A WEALTHY CORPORATION WILLING TO HIDE WHO'S SPEAKING, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE HEARD. THE SUPREME COURT DECISION NOT ONLY GOES AGAINST LONG-STANDING LAWS AND LEGAL PRECEDENTS BUT ALSO COMMON SENSE. CONTRARY TO WHAT AT LEAST ONE CANDIDATE HAS SAID, CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE. CORPORATIONS ARE NOT THE SAME AS INDIVIDUAL AMERICANS. CORPORATIONS DON'T HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS, THE SAME MORALS OR THE SAME INTERESTS. CORPORATIONS CANNOT VOTE IN OUR DEMOCRACY. WE CAN ELECT GENERAL EISENHOWER AS PRESIDENT, BUT GENERAL ELECTRIC OR GENERAL MOTORS CAN'T SERVE AS PRESIDENT. BUT IF YOU GO TO THE LOGIC OF THESE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS, IT VIRTUALLY SAYS LET'S ELECT GENERAL ELECTRIC OR GENERAL MOTORS AS PRESIDENT. NOR IS THE FACT THESE ARE ARTIFICIAL LEGAL CONSTRUCTS MEANT TO FACILITATE BUSINESS. THE FOUNDERS UNDERSTOOD THIS. THE FOUNDERS KNEW WE WERE NOT GOING TO ALLOW CORPORATIONS EITHER TO VOTE OR TO TAKE OVER OUR ELECTORAL PROCESS. VERMONTERS AND AMERICANS ACROSS THIS GREAT COUNTRY HAVE LONG UNDERSTOOD THIS APPARENTLY BY MEMBERS OF THE -- FIVE MEMBERS OF THE SUPREME COURT, JUST FIVE PEOPLE, DID NOT UNDERSTAND THIS. LIKE MOST VERMONTERS, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE, I STRONGLY BELIEVE THAT SOMETHING MUST BE DONE TO ADDRESS THE DIVISIVE AND CORROSIVE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT IN CITIZENS UNITED. THAT DECISION WAS WRONG. THE DAMAGE MUST BE REPAIRED. THE HARMFUL WAYS OF SKEWING THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS MUST BE FIXED. THAT'S WHY I HELD THE FIRST CONGRESSIONAL HEARING OF THAT TERRIBLE DECISION IN THE WEEKS AFTER IT WAS ISSUED. THAT'S WHY WE SCHEDULED A HEARING NEXT WEEK OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CONSTITUTION SUBCOMMITTEE, LED BY THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS, SENATOR DURBIN, TO LOOK AT PROPOSALS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TO ADDRESS CITIZENS UNITED. BUT TODAY, WITHOUT WAITING FOR THE YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT MIGHT TAKE, THE SENATE CAN TAKE ACTION BY PASSING THE DISCLOSE ACT, WE CAN RESTORE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS, BY ASSURING THAT ALL AMERICANS KNOW WHO'S PAYING FOR CAMPAIGN ADS. IT'S A CRUCIAL STEP TOWARDS RESTORING THE ABILITY OF VERMONTERS AND ALL AMERICANS, VOTERS TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK, TO BE HEARD AND TO HEAR COMPETING VOICES AND NOT BE DROWNED OUT BY POWERFUL CORPORATE INTERESTS. ANY OF US WHO ARE IN AN ELECTION, WE EXPECT OUR OPPONENT TO BE ABLE TO SPEAK OUT, AND THE PUBLIC EXPECTS IT. THEY WANT TO HEAR FROM BOTH OF US. AND THEY SHOULD. THAT'S WHY WE HAVE DEBATES. THAT'S WHY WE HAVE CANDIDATES FORUMS. BUT IT ALL BECOMES IRRELEVANT IF YOU HAVE A HUGE MEGAPHONE PAID FOR BY ANONYMOUS DONORS, ANONYMOUS CORPORATIONS. WHEN I COSPONSORED THE FIRST DISCLOSE ACT AFTER THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN 2010, I HOPED REPUBLICANS WOULD JOIN WITH DEMOCRATS TO MITIGATE THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION. FROM THE DEPTHS OF THE WATERGATE SCANDAL FORWARD UNTIL ONLY RECENTLY, THE PRINCIPAL DISCLOSURE WAS A BIPARTISAN GUIDE, A CLEAR-CUT REFORM LIKE THE DISCLOSE ACT WOULD HAVE EASILY DRAWN BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN THOSE DAYS AFTER WATERGATE. I HOPED THE SENATE REPUBLICANS, LIKE MY FRIEND FROM ARIZONA, SENATOR JOHN McCAIN, WHO ONCE CHAMPIONED THE BIPARTISAN FEINGOLD-McCAIN FINANCE LAW WOULD JOIN WITH US TO MAKE SURE CORPORATIONS TKPHOT ABUSE THEIR -- NOT ABUSE THEIR NEWFOUND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS. REGRETTABLY, EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN JOINED TO SUCCESSFULLY FILIBUSTER THE DISCLOSE ACT IN 2010. AND DESPITE A MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE AND A MAJORITY IN THE SENATE AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE VOTING AND BEING IN FAVOR OF PASSING THE DISCLOSURE LAW, IT FELL ONE VOTE SHORT OF BREAKING THE REPUBLICAN FILIBUSTER IN THE SENATE. ONE VOTE, AND NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN WOULD STAND UP AND HELP US RESTORE SOME OF THE CORE DISCLOSURE ASPECTS OF McCAIN-FEINGOLD. SENATE REPUBLICANS ARE CONTINUING TO FILIBUSTER THIS COMMONSENSE LEGISLATION. AND BY FILIBUSTERING IT, THEY DENY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AN OPEN PUBLIC AND MEANINGFUL DEBATE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY IN OUR ELECTIONS. LAST NIGHT THEY AGAIN FILIBUSTERED THE BILL, EVEN THOUGH A MAJORITY IN THIS SENATE VOTED IN FAVOR OF IT. IN FACT, THEY REFUSED TO EVEN PROCEED TO DEBATE ON THE BILL IN THE SENATE. BEYOND RECORD VOTING YES OR NO, THEY SAID WE VOTE MAYBE. IF WE FILIBUSTER THE PROCEEDING, WE VOTE MAYBE. WHAT A PROFILE IN COURAGE, TO STAND UP AND VOTE "MAYBE." VOTE "YES" TO LIMIT THE POWER OF CORPORATIONS OR VOTE "NO" TO ALLOW THE POWER OF CORPORATIONS. I KNOW WHICH VOTE I WOULD CAST. BUT STAND UP AND VOTE ONE WAY OR THE OTHER. HAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY EITHER I WANT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'S VOICE TO BE HEARD OR I WANT A SMALL NUMBER OF CORPORATIONS TO BE HEARD. DON'T HIDE BEHIND A "MAYBE," A "MAYBE" VOTE. THAT'S NOT WHAT THE UNITED STATES SENATE STANDS FOR. THAT IS NOT A PROFILE IN COURAGE. AND BY DOING THAT "MAYBE" WHICH IS WHAT THEY DO WHEN THEY SAY WE CAN'T PROCEED TO THIS BILL, THEY ENSURE THE ABILITY OF WEALTHY CORPORATIONS TO DOMINATE ALL IMMEDIATE HE -- ALL MEDIUMS OF ADVERTISING TO DROWN OUT THE VOICE OF INDIVIDUALS AS WE SEE AND WILL CONTINUE TO SEE IN OUR ELECTIONS. DESPITE THE CLEAR IMPACT OF WAYS OF UNACCOUNTABLE CORPORATE SPENDING THAT LED SENATOR McCAIN TO KNOW CONCEDE THAT SUPER PACS ARE DISGRACEFUL, A MINORITY IN THE SENATE CONSISTING EXCLUSIVELY OF REPUBLICANS CONTINUE TO BLOCK PASSAGE OF THIS IMPORTANT LAW. WHY ARE THEY AGAINST THIS BILL? WHY WHEN SO MANY IN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TAOUFD CHAMPION DISCLOSURE LAWS. WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO PREVENT US FROM HAVING A DEBATE? WHY WHEN THE SUPREME COURT MADE CLEAR EVEN WITH THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION THE DISCLOSURE LAWS ARE CONSTITUTIONAL. IT IS THE SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP'S INSISTENCE ON THIS REFORM. WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICANS WHO SAY OUR ELECTIONS SHOULD BE OPEN? WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE AMERICANS WHO SAID WE OUGHT TO KNOW WHO'S INVOLVED IN THESE ELECTIONS? MR. PRESIDENT, THERE SHOULD BE ONLY ONE THING SECRET IN OUR ELECTIONS. YOUR SECRET VOTE, YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE IN SECRET. ONE-PERSON, ONE-VOTE. BUT NOTHING SHOULD SAY THERE SHOULD BE A POWERFUL HIDDEN SECRET HAND OVERWHELMING THE VOTERS OF AMERICA AND TELLING THEM HOW THEY SHOULD VOTE. WE KNOW DISCLOSURE LAWS CAN WORK BECAUSE THEY DO WORK. INDIVIDUALS AMERICANS DONATING DIRECTLY TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS. MR. PRESIDENT, WHEN YOU AND I GIVE MONEY DIRECTLY TO A POLITICAL CANDIDATE, OUR DONATION IS NOT HIDDEN. IT'S PUBLICLY DISCLOSED AND THAT CANDIDATE, PEOPLE CAN LOOK AT WHO'S SUPPORTED HIM OR HER. AND THAT GOES INTO THEIR THOUGHTS WHEN THEY VOTE FOR HIM. YET THE DISCLOSE ACT PRESERVES RIGHTS FOR CORPORATIONS AND WEALTHY DONORS, RIGHTS, MR. PRESIDENT, YOU AND I DO NOT HAVE. WE'VE SEEN SINCE CITIZENS UNITED THAT THE LINES THE SUPREME COURT IMAGINED EXISTED BETWEEN INDIVIDUAL CAMPAIGNS AND THE SUPER PACS IS AN ALL BUT MEANINGLESS ONE AS SUPER PACS HAVE POURED MORE AND MORE MONEY INTO INFLUENCING ELECTION CAMPAIGNS. IN REALITY, SUPER PACS HAVE SIMPLY BECOME A WAY TO FUNNEL SECRET, MASSIVE FUNDS NONDISCLOSED DONATIONS TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS. CITIZENS UNITED DECISION ALLOWED CORPORATIONS AND LARGE DONORS TO AVOID DISCLOSURE LAWS THAT APPLY TO YOU AND ME BY GIVING MONEY TO GROUPS THAT FUND SUPER PACS AS A WAY OF LAUNDERING MONEY AND KEEPING SECRET THE REAL FUNDERS OF THESE CAMPAIGN ADS. THE AVERAGE VERMONTER WANTS TO CONTRIBUTE TO MY CAMPAIGN OR MY OPPONENT'S CAMPAIGN, THAT'S GOING TO BE PUBLIC. PEOPLE ARE GOING TO KNOW AND THEY'LL MAKE THEIR DECISION, PART OF THEIR DECISION WOULD BE BASED ON WHO SUPPORTS US. BUT WHEN YOU HAVE A SECRET, A SECRET, WEALTHY ENTITY SUPPORTING YOU, NOBODY KNOWS WHO IT IS AND NONE OF THESE ENTITIES USE THEIR REAL NAME. THEY ARE ALWAYS FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT, FOR CLEAN AIR, FOR MOTHERHOOD AND APPLE PIE, FOR THE SUN RISING IN THE EAST AND SETTING IN THE WEST. THERE'S NO REASON THOSE FUNDING THESE SUPER PACS SHOULD NOT BE BOUND WITH THE SAME DISCLOSURE RULE FOR GIVING DIRECTLY TO CAMPAIGNS. PUBLIC DISCLOSURE DONATION TO CANDIDATES HAS NEVER CHILLED CAMPAIGN FUNDING, NEVER PREVENTED MILLIONS OF AMERICANS FROM PARTICIPATING OPENLY. I FOLLOW THE RULE THAT RELEASING EVERY SINGLE DONOR TO MY CAMPAIGN -- I THINK WE HAD ONE OF 85 ONE KEPT DISCLOSED. BUT WE HAVE SEEN SOME ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS DEBATE DISGRACEFULLY COMPARE THE ATTEMPT WE'RE MAKING TO MAKE SURE THE SAME DISCLOSURE LAWS THAT APPLY TO YOU AND ME APPLY TO SAME LAWS THAT KEPT AFRICAN-AMERICANS FROM HAVING THE RIGHT TO VOTE IN THE 1950'S AND 1960'S. WE ALL REMEMBER THE BRIDGE IN SELMA AND THE BLOOD SPILLED IN THE LONG EFFORT FOR VOTING RIGHTS THAT LED TO THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT. AT A TIME WHEN WE'RE SEEING RENEWED EFFORT TO DENY AMERICANS THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE WITH LAWS THAT SERVE AS MODERN-DAY POLL TAXES. IN COMPARISON, TO BRING SUNLIGHT TO THOSE EVIL DAYS IS SHAMEFUL AND WRONG. OUR BALLOTS SHOULD BE SECRET BUT NOT MASSIVE CORPORATE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS. I CAN TELL YOU WHAT I'M FIGHTING FOR. TOO MANY VERMONTERS AND OTHER AMERICANS STILL LOOKING FOR WORK. WE NEED TO CONTINUALLY LOOK FOR WAYS TO SPUR JOB GROWTH AND ECONOMIC INVESTMENT IN THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE TO CONTINUE OUR EFFORT TO INCREASE JOBS AND REDUCE UNEMPLOYMENT, SUPPORT HARDWORKING AMERICAN FAMILIES STRUGGLING TO KEEP FOOD ON THE TABLE AND ROOFS OVER THEIR HEADS. WE HAVE TO PROTECT AMERICANS' ACCESS TO CLEAN AIR AND CLEAN WATER. WE HAVE TO FIGHT FOR THEIR ECONOMIC SECURITY. SO WE'LL KEEP ON FIGHTING FOR THOSE THINGS. I WANT TO PUT MY FULL STATEMENT IN THE RECORD AND ASK THAT IT BE CONSIDERED THAT WAY. I YIELD TO SENATOR WHITEHOUSE.

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  • 11:28:03 AM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    I THANK CHAIRMAN LEAHY. I'D LIKE TO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT IN TERMS OF…

    I THANK CHAIRMAN LEAHY. I'D LIKE TO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT IN TERMS OF SCHEDULING THE FLOOR TIME, THAT SENATOR MANCHIN OF WEST VIRGINIA BE RECOGNIZED NOW FOR UP TO FIVE MINUTES. AND I WILL TAKE HIS PLACE IN THE CHAIR. AND THAT SENATOR McCAIN, IF HE IS ON THE FLOOR, BE RECOGNIZED AT THE CONCLUSION OF SENATOR MANCHIN'S FIVE-MINUTE PERIOD. AND IF SENATOR McCAIN IS NOT PRESENT ON THE FLOOR THAT I BE RECOGNIZED IN HIS STEAD.

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  • 11:28:36 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 11:28:40 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM WEST VIRGINIA.

  • 11:28:43 AM

    MR. MANCHIN

    TIME HAS EXPIRED.

  • 11:33:17 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: TIME HAS EXPIRED.

  • 11:33:20 AM

    MR. MANCHIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 11:33:23 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 11:33:25 AM

    MR. MANCHIN

    IN FACT THE MEASURE IS QUITE SIMPLE. ANY TIME AN ORGANIZATION OR…

    IN FACT THE MEASURE IS QUITE SIMPLE. ANY TIME AN ORGANIZATION OR INDIVIDUAL SPENDS $10,000 OR MORE ON A CAMPAIGN-RELATED EXPENSE, AND THAT IS THE THING THAT IS IMPORTANT, CAMPAIGN-RELATED EXPENSE. THEY HAVE TO FILE A DISCLOSURE REPORT WITH THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION WITHIN 4 HOURS. EVERY ONE OF US THAT RUN FOR OFFICE HAVE TO DISCLOSE EVERY PENNY THAT WE GET AND THAT IT SHOULD BE THAT WAY. SOME STATES LIKE OUR SISTER STATE OF VIRGINIA ALREADY HAVE A TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE LAW AND IT IS NOT -- IT HAS NOT STIFLED THEIR FREE SPEECH THERE. NOR DOES THIS PROVISION AFFECT ORGANIZATIONS' REGULAR PRAIGDZ. THE DISCLOSURE IS ONLY REQUIRED WHEN ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS SPEND MONEY ON CAMPAIGNS OR TRY TO INFLUENCE ELECTIONS. INSTEAD, THIS BILL MAKES SURE THAT EVERY PERSON AND ORGANIZATION PLAYS FAIRLY BY THE SAME RULES. WHETHER THOSE ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS ARE IN THE MIDDLE, THE LEFT, THE RIGHT, FORWARD, BACKWARD, OR UPSIDE DOWN, THEY ALL HAVE TO PLAY BY THE SAME RULES. IN FACT, I TRULY BELIEVE THAT THIS PROVISION WILL TAKE AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS -- FORWARD TO INCREASE TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY. SEEMS ONLY RIGHT AND FAIR TO ME, AND I AM PROUD TO CAST MY VOTE IN FAVOR OF THE DISCLOSE ACT. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:34:49 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA.

  • 11:34:52 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    ARE WITH 41 MONTHS OF OVER 8% UNEMPLOYMENT IN AMERICA, THE NATIONAL…

    ARE WITH 41 MONTHS OF OVER 8% UNEMPLOYMENT IN AMERICA, THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION BILL LANGUISHING IN THE SHADOWS WHILE WE CONTINUE TO HAVE THIS DEBATE, AND OBVIOUSLY THERE'S NO DOUBT IN MOST PEOPLE'S MINDS THAT WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE OF THE SPONSORS OF THIS LEGISLATION THAT IT WILL NOT PASS, IT IS OBVIOUSLY FOR CERTAIN POLITICAL PURPOSES. I OPPOSE CLOTURE ON THE MOTION. MY REASONS FOR OPPOSING THIS MOTION ARE SIMPLE. EVEN THOUGH THE SUBJECT OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM IS NOT. IN ITS CURRENT FORM, THE DISCLOSE ACT IS CLOSER TO A CLEVER AATTEMPT AT POLITICAL GAMESMANSHIP THAN ACTUAL REFORM. BY CONVENIENTLY SETTING MY THRESHOLDS FOR REPORTING REQUIREMENTS, THE DISCLOSE ACT FORCES SOME ENTITIES TO INFORM THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF THEIR FINANCIAL SUPPORT WHILE ALLOWING -- ALLOWING OTHERS, NOTABLY AFFILIATED WITH ORGANIZED LABOR TO FLY BELOW THE REGULATORY RADAR. AS MY COLLEAGUES I AM SURE I HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF FIGHTING FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM AND TO BREAK THE INFLUENCE OF MONEY IN AMERICAN POLITICS AND REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT MAY DO OR SAY, I CONTINUE TO BE PROUD OF MY RECORD BECAUSE I BELIEVE THE CAUSE TO IMPROVE OUR DEMOCRACY AND FURTHER EMPOWER THE CITIZENS OF OUR COUNTRY WAS AND CONTINUES TO BE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. BUT LET'S BE CLEAR. REFORMS WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY ENACTED OVER THE YEARS HAVE NOT CURED ALL OF THE PUBLIC CYNICISM ABOUT THE STATE OF POLITICS IN OUR COUNTRY. NO LEGISLATIVE MEASURE OR SUPREME COURT DECISION WILL COMPLETELY FREE POLITICS FROM INFLUENCE PEDDLING OR THE PEERNS OF IT. BUT I DO BELIEVE THAT FAIR AND JUST REFORMS WILL MOVE MANY AMERICANS WHO HAVE GROWN MORE AND MORE DISAFFECTED FROM THE PRACTICES AND INSTITUTIONS OF OUR DEMOCRACY TO BEGIN TO GET A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF WHETHER THEIR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES VALUE THEIR COMMITMENT TO OUR CONSTITUTION MORE THAN THEIR OWN INCUMBENCY. FOR FAR TOO LONG MONEY AND POLITICS HAVE BEEN DEEPLY INTERTWINED. ANYONE WHO HAS EVER RUN FOR A FEDERAL OFFICE WILL ASSURE YOU OF THE FACT. CANDIDATES COME TO WASHINGTON NOT SEEKING WISDOM OR IDEAS, BUT BECAUSE THEY NEED HELP RAISING MONEY. THE SAME CANDIDATES WILL MOST LIKELY TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE ASKED ONE QUESTION WHEN THEY ANNOUNCE THEY'RE GOING TO SEEK OFFICE. UNFORTUNATELY, IT'S NOT HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT TAXES OR WHAT'S YOUR OPINION OF THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT. NO, THE QUESTION THEY ARE ASKED IS HOW ARE YOU GOING TO RAISE THE MONEY? COUPLE THIS SAD REALITY WITH THE DAWN OF THE SUPER PAC SPENDING FROM CORPORATE TREASURIES AND RECORD SPENDING BY BIG LABOR, AND ONE CAN EASILY SEE THAT A MAJOR SCANDAL IS NOT FAR OFF. AND THERE WILL BE A SCANDAL, MARK MY WORDS, THERE WILL BE ONE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW IT AND I KNOW IT. REFORM IS NECESSARY, BUT IT MUST BE FAIR AND JUST, AND THIS LEGISLATION BEFORE US IS NOT. I SAY THAT FROM MANY YEARS OF EXPERIENCE ON THIS ISSUE. A RECENT "WALL STREET JOURNAL" ARTICLE BY TOM McGUINNE TITLED "POLITICAL SPENDING BY UNIONS FAR EXCEEDS DIRECT DONATIONS" NOTED THAT ORGANIZED LABOR SPENT ABOUT FOUR TIMES AS MUCH ON POLITICS AND LOBBYING AS ORIGINALLY THOUGHT. $4.4 BILLION FROM 2005 TO 2011, ACCORDING TO "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL"'S ANALYSIS, UNIONS ARE SPENDING FAR MORE MONEY ON A WIDER RANGE OF POLITICAL ACTIVITIES THAN WHAT IS REPORTED TO THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION. REPORT PLAINLY STATES, AND I QUOTE, THIS KIND OF SPENDING WHICH IS ON THE RISE, HAS ENABLED THE LARGEST UNIONS TO MAINTAIN AND IN SOME CASES INCREASE THEIR CLOUT IN WASHINGTON AND STATE CAPITALS EVEN THOUGH UNIONIZED WORKERS MAKE UP A DECLINING SHARE OF THE WORK FORCE. THE RESULT IS THAT LABOR CAN BE A STRONGER COUNTERWEIGHT THAN COMMONLY REALIZED TO SUPER PAC'S THAT TODAY RAISE MILLIONS FROM WEALTHY DONORS IN MANY CASES TO SUPPORT REPUBLICAN CAUSES AND CANDIDATES. THE HOURS SPENT BY UNION EMPLOYEES WERE EQUIVALENT IN 2010 TO A SHADOW ARMY MUCH LARGER THAN PRESIDENT OBAMA'S CURRENT REELECTION STAFF, DATA ANALYZED BY THE JOURNAL SHOW. THE REPORT GOES ON TO NOTE, ANOTHER DIFFERENCE IS THAT COMPANIES USE THEIR POLITICAL MONEY DIFFERENTLY THAN UNIONS DO. SPENDING A FAR LARGER SHARE OF IT ON LOBBYING WHILE NOT UNDERTAKING ANYTHING EQUIVALENT TO UNIONS' DRIVES TO PERSUADE MEMBERS TO VOTE AS THEIR LEADERSHIP DICTATES. CORPORATIONS AND THEIR EMPLOYEES ALSO TEND TO SPREAD THEIR DONATIONS FAIRLY EVENLY BETWEEN THE TWO MAJOR PARTIES, UNLIKE UNIONS, WHICH OVERWHELMINGLY ASSIST DEMOCRATS. IN 2008, DEMOCRATS RECEIVED 55% OF THE $2 BILLION CONTRIBUTED BY CORPORATE PAC'S AND COMPANY EMPLOYEES WHILE LABOR UNIONS WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR $75 MILLION IN POLITICAL DONATIONS WITH 92% OF IT GOING TO DEMOCRATS. THE TRADITIONAL MEASURE OF UNIONS' POLITICAL SPENDING, REPORTS FILED WITH THE F.E.C., UNDERCOUNTS THE EFFORT UNIONS POUR INTO POLITICS BECAUSE THE F.E.C. REPORTS ARE MOSTLY BASED ON DONATIONS UNIONS MAKE TO INDIVIDUAL CANDIDATES FROM THEIR PAC'S AS WELL AS SPENDING ON CAMPAIGN ADVERTISEMENTS. UNIONS SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS YEARLY PAYING TEAMS OF POLITICAL HANDS TO CONTACT MEMBERS, EDUCATING THEM ABOUT ELECTION ISSUES, AND TRYING TO MAKE SURE THEY VOTE FOR UNION-ENDORSED CANDIDATES. SUCH ACTIVITIES ARE CENTRAL TO UNIONS' POLITICAL POWER. THE PROPORTION OF MEMBERS WHO VOTE AS THE LEADERSHIP PREFERS HAS RANGED FROM 68% TO 74% OVER THE PAST DECADES SAID AFL-CIO AFL-CIO AFFILIATED UNITS ACCORDING TO STATISTICS FROM THE LABOR FEDERATION. ADDITIONALLY, A FEBRUARY 22, 2012 "WASHINGTON POST" ARTICLE TITLED "UNION SPENDING FOR OBAMA DEMOCRATS COULD TOP $400 MILLION IN 2012 ELECTION" ASCME REPORTEDLY EXPECTS TO SPEND $100 MILLION ON -- QUOTE --"POLITICAL ACTION INCLUDING TELEPHONE PHONE BANKS AND MEMBER ACTION WHILE THE ISEU EXPECTS TO SPEND $85 MILLION IN 2012. THAT ANALYSIS COMBINED WITH THE $1.1 BILLION THAT THE UNIONS REPORTED TO THE F.E.C. FROM 2005 THROUGH 2011 AND THE ADDITIONAL $3.3 BILLION UNIONS REPORTED TO THE LABOR DEPARTMENT OVER THE SAME PERIOD ON POLITICAL ACTIVITY. THE NEED FOR EQUAL TREATMENT OF POLITICAL ADVOCACY UNDER THE LAW BECOMES READILY APPARENT. I REPEAT AGAIN, THE NEED FOR EQUAL TREATMENT OF POLITICAL ADVOCACY UNDER THE LAW BECOMES READILY APPARENT. GIVEN THE STRENGTH AND MUSCLE BEHIND ALL THESE FIGURES IT'S EASY TO UNDERSTAND WHY DISCLOSE MAY SOUND NICE BUT UNLESS THE TREATMENT IS COMPLETELY FAIR, TAKING INTO ACCOUNT THE DIVERSE NATURE AND PURPOSE OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF ORGANIZATIONS, DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS WILL LIKELY BE USED TO GIVE ONE SIDE A POLITICAL ADVANTAGE OVER ANOTHER. THAT'S JUST ONE OF THE FLAWS OF THE BILL BEFORE US TODAY. THE DISCLOSE ACT WOULD HAVE LITTLE IMPACT ON UNIONS BECAUSE OF THE CONVENIENT THRESHOLDS FOR REPORTING. BUT WOULD HAVE A HUGE EFFECT ON ASSOCIATIONS AND OTHER ADVOCACY GROUPS. FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, I CAN STATE WITHOUT QUESTION THAT REAL REFORM AND IN PARTICULAR CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM WILL NEVER BE ATTAINED WITHOUT EQUAL TREATMENT OF BOTH SIDES. A HALF DOSE OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM WILL LIKELY AND RIGHTLY BE 4R5EUB8D AS POLITICAL FAVORITISM AND UNDERMINE FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES FOR TRUE PROGRESS. FURTHERMORE, THESE GAMES AND MEASURES WILL ONLY MAKE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MORE CYNICAL AND HAVE LESS FAITH IN WHAT WE DO. THE AUTHORS OF THIS BILL INSIST IT'S FAIR AND NOT DESIGNED TO BENEFIT ONE PARTY OVER THE OTHER. SADLY, THE STATED INTENT DOES NOT COMPORT WITH THE FACTS. THE DISCLOSE ACT IS WRITTEN TO BURDEN LABOR UNIONS SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN THE OTHER GROUPS. IN THE UNITED STATES, THERE ARE ROUGHLY 14 MILLION TO 16 MILLION UNION MEMBERS, EACH OF WHOM IS REQUIRED TO PAY DUES TO HIS LOCAL UNION CHAPTER. HISTORICALLY, THESE LOCAL UNION CHAPTERS SEND A PORTION OF THEIR REVENUES UP TO THEIR AFFILIATED LARGER -- QUOTE -- "INTERNATIONAL LABOR UNIONS, AND WHILE EACH UNION MEMBER'S DUES MAY BE MODEST, THE AMOUNTS THAT ULTIMATELY FLOW UP TO THE CENTRAL POLITICAL ARMS ARE VAST. THE DISCLOSE ACT PROTECTS THIS FLOW OF MONEY IN TWO DISTINCT WAYS. ONE, ORGANIZATIONS THAT ENGAGE IN POLITICAL CONDUCT ARE ONLY REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE PAYMENTS TO IT THAT EXCEED $10,000 IN A TWO-YEAR ELECTION CYCLE, MEANING THE LOCAL UNION CHAPTER WILL NOT BE REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE THE PAYMENTS OF INDIVIDUAL UNION MEMBERS TO THE UNION, EVEN IF THOSE FUNDS WILL BE USED FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. WHAT'S THE FINAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONE $10,000 CHECK AND A THOUSAND $10 CHECKS OTHER THAN THE IMPACT ON TREES, VERY LITTLE. SO WHY SHOULD ONE BE FREE FROM HAVING TO DISCLOSE ITS ORIGIN IN TWO, THE BILL EXEMPTS FROM THE DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENT TRANSFERS FROM AFFILIATES THAT DO NOT EXCEED $50,000 FOR A TWO-YEAR ELECTION CYCLE. AS A RESULT, UNIONS WOULD NOT HAVE TO DISCLOSE THE TRANSFERS MADE TO IT BY MANY OF ITS SMALLER LOCAL CHAPTERS. GIVEN THE CONTRAST BETWEEN UNION AND CORPORATE STRUCTURES, THIS WOULD ALLOW UNIONS TO FALL BENEATH THE BILL'S THRESHOLD LIMITS. FOR LOCAL UNION CHAPTERS, THIS ANONYMITY IS PROBABLY VERY IMPORTANT BECAUSE AMONG OTHER EFFECTS, IT PREVENTS UNION'S CHAPTER MEMBERS FROM LEARNING HOW MUCH OF THEIR DUES PAYMENTS ARE BEING USED ON POLITICAL ACTIVITIES. WHILE THE EXEMPTIONS OUTLINED IN THE DISCLOSE ACT MAY BE APPLIED TO BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS, IT IS APPARENT TO ME THAT THE UNIONS' UNIQUE PIER PYRAMID STAOUL STRUCTURE WOULD ALLOW UNIONS TO NOT BE TREATED EQUALLY BY THE DISCLOSE ACT. UNLIKE UNIONS, MOST ORGANIZATIONS TKPHOT HAVE THOUSANDS OF LOCAL AFFILIATES WHERE THEY CAN PULL UP TO $50,000 IN -- QUOTE -- "AFFILIATE TRANSFERS." I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE ISSUE OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM FOR MOST OF MY CAREER. I AM PROUD OF MY RECORD. I AM SUPPORTIVE OF MEASURES WHICH CALL FOR FULL AND COMPLETE DISCLOSURES OF ALL SPENDING IN FEDERAL CAMPAIGNS. I REAFFIRMED THIS COMMITMENT BY SUBMITTING AN AMICUS BRIEF TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT REGARDING CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM ALONG WITH THE AUTHOR OF THE DISCLOSE ACT. THIS BILL FALLS SHORT. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL SEE IT FOR WHAT IT IS: POLITICAL OPPORTUNISM AT ITS BEST. POLITICAL DEMAGOGUERY AT ITS WORST. SENATOR FEINGOLD AND I SET OUT TO ELIMINATE THE CORRUPTING INFLUENCE AND HOW CAMPAIGNS ARE PAID FOR. WE VOWED TO BE TRULY BIPARTISAN AND DO NOTHING WHICH WOULD GIVE ONE PARTY A POLITICAL ADVANTAGE OVER THE OTHER. AND THE FACT IS THAT THIS GIVES ONE PARTY AN ADVANTAGE OVER THE OTHER. AND I SAY WITH GREAT RESPECT TO THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND, THE WAY I BEGAN CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, I'LL TELL THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND, IS I FOUND A PERSON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE WHO WAS WILLING TO WORK WITH ME, AND WE WORKED TOGETHER TO CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND AND THE SPONSORS OF THIS BILL HAVE NO ONE ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE. SO BY NOT HAVING ANYONE ON THIS AISLE, THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND IS NOW EMBARKED ON A PARTISAN ENTERPRISE. I SUGGEST STRONGLY THAT THE SPONSORS OF THE BILL, IF THEY ARE SERIOUS ABOUT CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, ABOUT CURING THE EVILS THAT ARE GOING ON NOW, THEY WILL APPROACH MEMBERS ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE AND MAKE SURE THAT OUR CONCERNS ABOUT THE ROLE OF LABOR UNIONS AND FINANCING OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS ARE ADDRESSED AS WELL. IT'S TOO BAD. IT'S TOO BAD THAT THE MEMBERS ON THAT SIDE OF THE AISLE ARE NOW ORCHESTRATING A VOTE WHICH IS STRICTLY PARTISAN IN NATURE WHEN THEY KNOW FULL WELL THAT THE ONLY WAY THAT TRULY CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM WILL EVER BE ENACTED BY THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES IS IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION. THIS IS A PARTISAN BILL, AND I AM DISAPPOINTED THAT WE ARE WASTING THE TIME OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE ON A BILL THAT, ON A CAUSE THAT IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE, IN MY VIEW, IN A PARTISAN FASHION. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 11:48:57 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND.

  • 11:49:00 AM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    PRESIDENT, BEFORE I YIELD THE FLOOR TO SENATOR SANDERS, I WANTED TO TAKE…

    PRESIDENT, BEFORE I YIELD THE FLOOR TO SENATOR SANDERS, I WANTED TO TAKE ONE MINUTE AND THANK SENATOR McCAIN FOR HIS MANY, MANY YEARS OF PRINCIPLED ADVOCACY IN THIS AREA. PEOPLE HAVE WRITTEN ENTIRE BOOKS ABOUT THE WORK THAT HE HAS DONE. I THINK IT WAS ELIZABETH DREW WHO WROTE ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS ABOUT THE COURAGE THAT SENATOR McCAIN HAS SHOWN OVER THE YEARS. SO I COME TO THIS DEBATE WITH ENORMOUS RESPECT FOR HIM. I WILL SAY THAT THIS BILL IS NOT BIPARTISAN, BUT THAT IS NOT FOR LACK OF TRYING. WE HAVE REACHED OUT OVER AND OVER AGAIN, AND IN THE FACE OF AN ABSOLUTE STONEWALL ON THIS SUBJECT, HAVE CHANGED THE BILL OURSELVES IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE CONCERNS. THE "STAND BY YOUR AD" PROVISION WAS CRITICIZED BY THE REPUBLICAN WITNESS IN THE RULES COMMITTEE, SO WE REMOVED IT. THE N.R.A., THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION, WAS LIVID ABOUT THE $600 THRESHOLD BECAUSE IT WOULD REQUIRE THEM DISCLOSE THEIR MEMBERS. SO WE RAISED IT TO $10,000. OVER AND OVER AGAIN WHERE THERE HAVE BEEN SUBSTANTIVE OBJECTIONS TO THE BILL, WE HAVE MET THEM. AND AT THIS POINT NOT ONE REPUBLICAN FOR ALL OF OUR CONTACTS ACROSS THE AISLE HAS EXPRESSED ANYPLACE IN THIS BILL WHERE AN AMENDMENT COULD BE MADE. WE'VE NEVER BEEN GIVEN ANY LANGUAGE. WE'VE NEVER BEEN SHOWN THE AREA THAT IN THEORY IS BETTER FOR THE UNIONS. IT IS, AS SENATOR McCAIN HIMSELF ADMITTED, FACIALLY APPLIED TO CORPORATIONS AND UNIONS AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS ALIKE. AND I WOULD REFER BACK TO THE OP-ED IN TODAY'S NEW YORK TIMES BY REPUBLICAN FORMER SENATORS, RUDMAN AND HAGEL AGREEING THAT THIS IS IN FACT A FAIR BILL. IT IS BALANCED AMONG ALL PARTIES, AND ALL SENATORS SHOULD SUPPORT IT. AND WITH THAT, I WILL YIELD THE FLOOR TO SENATOR SANDERS WITH APPRECIATION FOR HIM ALLOWING ME THAT MOMENT OF HIS TIME.

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  • 11:51:13 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 11:51:15 AM

    MR. SANDERS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO THANK SENATOR WHITEHOUSE, SENATOR SCHUMER AND ALL…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO THANK SENATOR WHITEHOUSE, SENATOR SCHUMER AND ALL THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN WORKING SO HARD ON THIS ENORMOUSLY IMPORTANT ISSUE WHICH HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT OUR COUNTRY REMAINS THE KIND OF DEMOCRACY THAT MOST OF US WANT IT TO BE. MR. PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE SENATE FLOOR TODAY TO EXPRESS MY PROFOUND DISGUST WITH THE CURRENT STATE OF OUR CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM AND TO CALL FOR MY FELLOW SENATORS AS A SHORT-TERM EFFORT TO PASS THE DISCLOSE ACT. PASSING THE DISCLOSE ACT WOULD BE AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD BUT CLEARLY WE HAVE MUCH MORE TO DO ON THIS ISSUE. LONG-TERM, OF COURSE WE NEED A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO OVERTERM THIS DISASTROUS SUPREME COURT DECISION, THE CITIZENS UNITED 5-4 DECISION OF TWO YEARS AGO. LONG TERM, IN MY VIEW, WE ALSO NEED TO MOVE THIS COUNTRY TOWARD PUBLIC FUNDING OF ELECTIONS SO THAT ONCE AND FOR ALL BIG MONEY WILL NOT DOMINATE OUR POLITICAL PROCESS. LONG TERM, THERE IS NO QUESTION IN MY MIND THAT CITIZENS UNITED WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY AS ONE OF THE WORST DECISIONS EVER RENDERED BY A UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. FIVE MEMBERS OF THE COURT CAME TO THE BIZARRE CONCLUSION THAT CORPORATIONS SHOULD BE TREATED AS IF THEY WERE PEOPLE, THAT THEY HAVE A FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO SPEND AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY WANT TO BUY CANDIDATES, TO BUY ELECTIONS, AND SOMEHOW IN THE MIDST OF ALL OF THIS UNBELIEVABLE AMOUNT OF SPENDING, MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS, THE SUPREME COURT CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THIS WOULD NOT EVEN GIVE THE APPEARANCE OF CORRUPTION. I THINK THAT IS, FRANKLY, AN ABSURD CONCLUSION. MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME TELL YOU -- AND MY TAKE ON THIS MAY BE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT FROM SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES -- WHAT CONCERNS ME MOST ABOUT THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION. AND THAT IS IF WE LOOK AT CITIZENS UNITED IN TANDEM WITH OTHER TRENDS IN OUR ECONOMY TODAY, WHAT WE SEE IS THAT THIS NATION IS RAPIDLY MOVING FROM AN ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL SENSE TO AN OLIGARCHIC FORM OF SOCIETY. ECONOMICALLY WHAT WE SEE ARE FEWER AND FEWER PEOPLE WHO CONTROL OUR ECONOMY. WE SEE A NATION WHICH HAS THE MOST UNEQUAL DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH AND INCOME OF ANY MAJOR COUNTRY ON EARTH, IN WHICH THE TOP 1% OF OUR NATION OWNS 40% OF THE WEALTH. THE BOTTOM 60% OWN 2% OF THE WEALTH. AND THAT GAP BETWEEN THE VERY, VERY WEALTHY AND EVERYBODY ELSE IS GROWING WIDER AND WIDER. THAT'S WEALTH IN TERMS OF INCOME DISTRIBUTION, THE SITUATION IS EVEN WORSE. THE LAST STUDY THAT WE HAVE SEEN SUGGESTS THAT 93% OF ALL NEW INCOME BETWEEN 2009 AND 2010 WENT TO THE TOP 1%. SO ECONOMICALLY, WE ARE MOVING TOWARD A NATION IN WHICH A FEW PEOPLE HAVE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF THE WEALTH OF AMERICA, SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF THE INCOME OF AMERICA IN TERMS OF CONCENTRATION OF OWNERSHIP. WE SEE A SITUATION IN WHICH SIX FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ON WALL STREET HAVE ASSETS EQUIVALENT TO TWO-THIRDS OF THE G.D.P. OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, OVER $9 TRILLION CONTROLLED BY SIX FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WHOSE RECKLESSNESS, WHOSE GREED, WHOSE ILLEGAL BEHAVIOR DROVE US INTO THE RECESSION THAT WE'RE STRUGGLING WITH RIGHT NOW. SO AS A NATION NOW, THE TRENDS ARE FEWER AND FEWER PEOPLE OWN THE WEALTH OF AMERICA. FEWER AND FEWER LARGE CORPORATIONS CONTROL THE ECONOMY OF AMERICA. BUT APPARENTLY THAT IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE 1%, FOR OUR MILLIONAIRE AND BILLIONAIRE FRIENDS. NOW WHAT THEY WANT TO DO IS TAKE THAT WEALTH AND EXERCISE IT EVEN MORE THAN HAS BEEN THE CASE IN THE PAST IN THE POLITICAL REALM, WHICH NOW TAKES US TO CITIZENS UNITED. NOW IN THE REAL WORLD, WE ALL KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON WITH CITIZENS UNITED. WE KNOW THAT BILLIONAIRES ARE SAYING, LOOK, IT'S GREAT THAT I OWN AN OIL COMPANY, GREAT THAT I OWN A COAL COMPANY, GREAT THAT I OWN GAMBLING CASINOS. BUT, GEE, I COULD HAVE EVEN MORE FUN BY OWNING THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. SO YOU HAVE ENTITIES OUT THERE WHO ARE WORTH SOME $50 BILLION -- THE KOCH BROTHERS COME TO MIND. AND IF YOU'RE WORTH $50 BILLION AND YOU HAVE ALL KINDS OF INTERACTIONS WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, YOU HAVE STRONG POLITICAL VIEWS, WHY WOULDN'T THEY SPEND $400 MILLION, WHICH IS WHAT THE MEDIA SAYS THAT FAMILY IS GOING TO SPEND, AND MAYBE EVEN MORE IF YOU CAN PURCHASE THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT? THAT'S NOT A BAD INVESTMENT. THAT'S WHAT CITIZENS UNITED IS ABOUT. IT IS BILLIONAIRES SPENDING HUGE AMOUNTS OF MONEY WITHOUT DISCLOSURE. WITHOUT DISCLOSURE. NOW I WOULD HAVE GONE FURTHER THAN THIS BILL, BUT THIS BILL IS CERTAINLY AN IMPORTANT STEP FORWARD. WHAT DOES IT REQUIRE? IT SAYS IF YOU'RE GOING TO SPEND MORE THAN $10,000 ON A CAMPAIGN, IN A CAMPAIGN, THAT YOU HAVE TO MAKE PUBLIC WHO YOU ARE. I DON'T THINK THAT IS A TERRIBLY ONEROUS PROVISION. NOW, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT STUPID. THEY UNDERSTAND THAT IF SOMEBODY IS GOING TO SPEND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON POLITICAL ACTIVITIES, THEY WANT SOMETHING. THAT'S WHAT IT IS ABOUT. WHY DO PEOPLE MAKE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS? NOW, MANY OF US GET A WHOLE LOT OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM FOLKS WHO GIVE US $25, $30, $40. MOST OF MY CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS COME FROM PEOPLE WHO SPEND -- GIVE US LESS THAN $200. BUT IF SOMEBODY IS GOING TO SPEND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ON A CAMPAIGN, I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHO THAT IS AND WHAT THEY WANT, WHO IS TAKING THAT MONEY AND WHAT THOSE CONTRIBUTORS ARE GOING TO GET IN RETURN. IF YOU'RE A BILLIONAIRE AND YOU WANT LOWER TAXES, HAVE THE COURAGE TO SAY, HEY, I'M A BILLIONAIRE, I'M PUTTING MONEY INTO A PARTY AND WHAT I'M GOING TO GET OUT OF IT IS LOWER TAXES FOR THE RICH. AND IF I'M SOMEBODY IN A CORPORATION THAT IS POLLUTING THE AIR AND THE LAND AND THE WATER AND I WANT TO GET RID OF THOSE REGULATIONS, HAVE THE GUTS TO COME FORWARD AND SAY, YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I WANT. I WANT TO EVISCERATE THE E.P.A. I DON'T CARE THAT CHILDREN IN VERMONT OR RHODE ISLAND GET SICK. THAT'S WHAT I WANT. SO WHAT THIS IS ABOUT IS FAIRLY ELEMENTARY. WHAT THIS IS ABOUT IS SIMPLY HAVING THOSE PEOPLE, THOSE INSTITUTIONS, CORPORATIONS THAT ARE PUTTING IN UNIONS, PUTTING MORE THAN $10,000 INTO THE POLITICAL PROCESS SAY WHO THEY ARE. NOW, WHAT CONCERNS ME VERY MUCH ABOUT THIS WHOLE PROCESS -- AND I THINK CONCERNS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE -- IS WHILE OUR MIDDLE CLASS DISAPPEARS AND POVERTY INCREASES, WHILE THE GAP BETWEEN THE VERY, VERY WEALTHY AND EVERYBODY ELSE IS GROWING WIDER, IT APPEARS VERY CLEAR RIGHT NOW THAT THESE FOLKS ARE NOT SIMPLY CONTENT. THE TOP 1% ARE NOT SIMPLY CONTENT WITH OWNING THE ECONOMY, WITH CONTROLLING THE ECONOMY. THEY NOW WANT TO CONTROL TO AN EVEN GREATER DEGREE THAN IS CURRENTLY THE CASE, THE POLITICAL PROCESS AS WELL. AND THAT'S WHAT THESE CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS OF HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE ABOUT. WHEN I THINK BAC -- WHEN I BACK ON THE HISTORY 6 -- HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY AND THE ENORMOUS SACRIFICES THAT MEN AND WOMEN MADE, THE ENTIRE WORLD LOOKED TO THE UNITED STATES FOR WHAT A STRONG DEMOCRACY WAS ABOUT -- ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE. IN MY STATE WE HAVE MARCH MEETINGS. ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE TO DISCUSS THE MUNICIPAL TOWN BUDGET, TO DISCUSS THE SCHOOL BUDGET. AND NOW WE HAVE EVOLVED TO A SITUATION WHERE ONE FAMILY CAN SPEND $400 MILLION BUYING POLITICIANS, BUYING ELECTIONS. THAT IS A LONG, LONG WAY AWAY FROM WHAT DEMOCRACY IS SUPPOSED TO MEAN IN THIS COUNTRY. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THE DISCLOSE ACT IS A VERY IMPORTANT FIRST STEP FORWARD, AND I HOPE THAT WE CAN GET STRONG SUPPORT FOR THAT IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION. AND WITH THAT, I WOULD YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 12:01:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND.

  • 12:01:22 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, SENATOR MURRAY WILL BE HERE SHORTLY, AND WHEN SHE DOES…

    MR. PRESIDENT, SENATOR MURRAY WILL BE HERE SHORTLY, AND WHEN SHE DOES ARRIVE, I WILL PROMPTLY YIELD TO HER. BUT I WANTED TO TAKE THE TIME PRIOR TO HER ARRIVAL TO FOLLOW UP A BIT ON WHAT I SAID I WOULD DO EARLIER, WHICH IS, BECAUSE THIS HAS BEEN IN SOME RESPECTS HALF A DEBATE -- OTHER THAN MY FRIEND, SENATOR McCAIN, WHO HAS COURAGEOUSLY FOUGHT ON THIS ISSUE FOR SO MANY YEARS, WE HAVE NOT REALLY HEARD VERY MUCH FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE HERE. AND SO IN SOME RESPECTS IT'S ONLY HALF OF A DEBATE. IN ANOTHER RESPECT, OF COURSE, IT'S NO DEBATE AT ALL BECAUSE WE ARE IN A FILIBUSTER SITUATION WITH THE REPUBLICANS BLOCKING US, ACTUALLY GOING TO THE SENATE DEBATE ON THIS BILL. SO WHILE IT'S DEBATE IN THE LAY SENSE OF THE WORD, IT IS A DISCUSSION; IT IS NOT SENATE DEBATE ON THE FLOOR BECAUSE WE STAND HERE BEING FILIBUSTERED WITH A MAJORITY OF SENATORS THAT DEMONSTRABLY SUPPORT GOING TO THIS BILL. BUT I SAID THAT I'D DESCRIBE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES HAVE SAID IN THE PAST ABOUT DISCLOSURE. AND SO LET ME BEGIN DOING THAT. SENATOR McCONNELL, OF COURSE, HAS BEEN VERY PUBLICLY IN FAVOR OF IT. THAT MAY RELATE TO THE FACT THAT A REPORT BY THE -- HANG ON, LET ME GET THE NAME ON THE FRONT PAGE -- CORPORATE REFORM COALITION WENT STATE BY STATE, AND THE REPUBLICAN LEADER'S HOME STATE OF KENTUCKY HAS A BAN ON INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES BY CORPORATIONS IN ITS STATE CONSTITUTION. HIS STATE CONSTITUTION BANS THE CONDUCT THAT IS AT ISSUE HERE. KENTUCKY HAS DISCLOSURE PROVISIONS THAT REQUIRE DISCLOSURE WHEN INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES OF OVER $500 ARE MADE IN ANY ONE ELECTION. HERE'S HERE OBJECTING TO A $10,000 LIMIT, AND KENTUCKY DISCLOSURE PROVISIONS, ACCORDING TO THIS REPORT -- QUOTE -- "REQUIRE DISCLOSURE WHEN INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES OF OVER $500 ARE MADE IN ANY ONE ELECTION." AND IF FURTHER REQUIRES UNDER KENTUCKY LAW, KENTUCKY STATUTES 121.190 SUBPART 1 THAT THE NAME OF THE ADVERTISING SPONSOR MUST BE PUT ON ANY COMMUNICATION. SO CONSISTENT WITH THE LAWS OF HIS HOME STATE, OUR REPUBLICAN LEADER HAS FOR MANY YEARS STOOD OUT IN FAVOR OF DISCLOSURE. HE SAID, "REPUBLICANS ARE IN FAVOR OF DISCLOSUREMENT. " AROUND 2000 HE SAID THAT. AND HE SAID "PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS AND SPENDING SHOULD BE EXPEDITED SO THAT VOTERS CAN JUDGE WHAT IS APPROPRIATE." OTHER LEADERS HAVE SAID, "I SUPPORT CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM. TO ME, THAT MEANS INDIVIDUAL CONTRIBUTIONS, FREE SPEECH, AND FULL DISCLOSURE." IN OTHER WORDS," HE CONTINUED, "ANY GIVE CAN GIVE WHATEVER THEY WANT AS LONG AS IT IS DISCLOSED EVERY DAY ON THE INTERNET." THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS BILL DOES, BUT ONLY FOR DONATIONS DONATIONS $10,000 AND MORE. I DON'T BELIEVE THERE WAS A FLOOR IN SENATOR ALEXANDER'S REMARKS. SO I SEE THAT THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM IOWA HAS ARRIVED. AND IN THE SPIRIT OF GOING BACK AND FORTH, I WILL YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 12:05:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM IOWA.

  • 12:05:20 PM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    SEPTEMBER PRESIDENT OBAMA RESPONDED TO AMNESTY PROPONENTS DENYING THAT HE…

    SEPTEMBER PRESIDENT OBAMA RESPONDED TO AMNESTY PROPONENTS DENYING THAT HE HAD AUTHORITY TO UNILATERALLY GRANT SPECIAL STATUS TO INDIVIDUALS WHO MAY BE ELIGIBLE UNDER THE DREAM ACT. THE DREAM ACT HAS BEEN AROUND THE SENATE FOR DISCUSSION FOR ABOUT A DECADE, AND IN DIFFERENT FORMS. IT'S BEEN VOTED DOWN SEVERAL TIMES BY THIS BODY, AND MOSTLY BECAUSE THE LEADER WON'T ALLOW FOR AN AMENDMENT PROCESS TO IMPROVE THE BILL. OTHERWISE IT PROBABLY COULD HAVE BEEN WORKED UPON. WHEN ASKED BY AMNESTY ADVOCATES TO PUSH THE BILL THROUGH EXECUTIVE ORDER -- THIS GOES BACK TO A FEW MONTHS AGO -- PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID THIS, AND I QUOTE, "THIS NOTION THAT SOMEHOW I CAN JUST CHANGE THE LAWS UNILATERALLY IS JUST NOT TRUE. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THERE ARE LAWS ON THE BOOKS THAT I HAVE TO ENFORCE, AND I THINK THERE'S BEEN A GREAT DISSERVICE DONE TO THE CAUSE OF GETTING THE DREAM ACT PASSED AND GETTING COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION PASSED, PERPETRATING THE NION THAT SOMEHOW, BY MYSELF, I CAN GO AND DO THESE THINGS. IT'S JUST NOT TRUE. WE LIVE IN A DEMOCRACY. YOU HAVE TO PASS BILLS THROUGH THE LEGISLATURE AND THEN I CAN SIGN IT." END OF QUOTE OF PRESIDENT OBAMA. SEPTEMBER LAST YEAR. BUT JUST ONE MONTH AGO, PRESIDENT OBAMA CONTINUED HIS "WE CAN'T WAIT" CAMPAIGN AND CIRCUMVENTED CONGRESS, AGAIN TO SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE THE LAW ALL BY HIMSELF ON JUNE 15, HE ANNOUNCED THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WOULD LAY OUT A PROCESS BY WHICH IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE COME HERE ILLEGALLY COULD APPLY FOR RELIEF AND REMAIN IN THE UNITED STATES WITHOUT FEAR OF DEPORTATION. SO NOW WHAT HAS CHANGED IN THE LAST NINE MONTHS, WHEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAID LAST SEPTEMBER THAT HE COULD NOT UNILATERALLY DO AMNESTY? BEFORE I DIVE INTO THE DETAILS OF HOW POORLY PLANNED AND IMPLEMENTED THE DIRECTIVE OF JUNE 15 WILL BE, I HAVE TO QUESTION THE LEGAL AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT TO INSTITUTE A PLAN OF THIS MAGNITUDE. I, ALONG WITH 19 OTHER SENATORS, SENT THE PRESIDENT A LETTER AND ASKED IF HE CONSULTED WITH ATTORNEYS PRIOR TO THIS JUNE 15 ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT HIS LEGAL AUTHORITY TO GRANT DEFERRED ACTION AND WORK AUTHORIZATIONS TO A SPECIFIC CLASS OF IMMIGRANTS WHO HAVE COME HERE ILLEGALLY. AND IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE GET THAT QUESTION ANSWERED BECAUSE, JUST LAST SEPTEMBER, THE PRESIDENT SAID HE DIDN'T HAVE THE LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DO IT. WE ASKED THE PRESIDENT IF HE OBTAINED A LEGAL OPINION FROM THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL OR ANYONE ELSE WITHIN HIS ADMINISTRATION. TO DATE, WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED ANY DOCUMENTATION THAT DISCUSSES ANY AUTHORITY WHATSOEVER THAT HE HAS TO UNDERTAKE THIS MASSIVE IMMIGRATION DIRECTIVE. I KNOW THAT THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS DISCRETION TO DETERMINE WHO IS PUT IN REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS. PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION HAD BEEN AROUND FOR A LONG TIME, BUT IT HASN'T BEEN ABUSED TO THIS EXTENT. THE PRESIDENT IS CLAIMING THAT THE SECRETARY WILL IMPLEMENT THIS DIRECTIVE USING PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION. HOWEVER, MILLIONS OF IMMIGRANTS COMING HERE ILLEGALLY WILL BE INSTRUCTED TO REPORT TO THE U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICE AND PROACTIVELY APPLY. THIS IS NOT BEING DONE ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS, AS THEY WANT TO MAKE IT APPEAR. THE PRESIDENT'S DIRECTIVE IS AN AFFRONT TO OUR SYSTEM OF REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT AND THE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS, AND IT'S AN INAPPROPRIATE USE OF EXECUTIVE POWER. BASED UPON WHAT HE SAID LAST SEPTEMBER THAT HE DIDN'T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DO THIS. THE PRESIDENT BYPASSED CONGRESS, BECAUSE HE COULDN'T LEAD AN IMMIGRATION REFORM, AND HE COULDN'T WORK IN A BIPARTISAN MANNER ON AN ISSUE THAT INVOLVES UNDOCUMENTED YOUNG PEOPLE. THE PRESIDENT'S DIRECTIVE RUNS CONTRARY TO THE PRINCIPLE THAT AMERICAN WORKERS MUST COME BEFORE FOREIGN NATIONALS. HIS POLICY ONLY INCREASED COMPETITION FOR AMERICAN STUDENTS AND WORKERS WHO STRUGGLE TO FIND EMPLOYMENT IN TODAY'S ECONOMY, AND THAT UNEMPLOYMENT IS 8.2%, OFFICIAL. 11% OR 12% UNOFFICIAL. ACCORDING TO THE BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS, THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AMONG THIS AGE GROUP 16-24 HAS BEEN NEARLY 1 7% FOR THE LAST YEAR. ACCORDING TO A GALLOP POLL, 2 2% OF THE 18-YEAR-OLDS IF NOT UNEMPLOYED ARE UNDEREMPLOYED. THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN TO GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK IS TO GRANT IMMIGRANTS WHO COME HERE ILLEGALLY A WORK AUTHORIZATION. HE MUST BE SERIOUSLY OUT OF TOUCH, IF HE DOESN'T THINK THERE'S COMPETITION ALREADY FOR AMERICAN WORKERS. NOW, I'D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT HOW POORLY THIS DIRECTIVE HAS BEEN THOUGHT OUT. THIS IS THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A DIRECTIVE THE PRESIDENT SAID HE DIDN'T HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO DO IN THE FIRST PLACE, BUT IF YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE AN ILLEGAL DIRECTIVE, YOU OUGHT TO AT LEAST NOW THAT IT WILL WORK. IT IS MY UNDERSTANDING THE WHITE HOUSE INFORMED THE HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIALS OF THIS PLAN JUST DAYS BEFORE IT WAS A ANNOUNCED JUNE 15. THEY WERE UNPREPARED AND HAVE SINCE BEEN SCRAMBLING TO FIGURE OUT HOW IT WILL BE CARRIED OUT. U.S. CITIZENSHIP AND IMMIGRATION SERVICE, THE AGENCY IN CHARGE OF ALL IMMIGRATION BENEFITS, INCLUDING WORK AUTHORIZATIONS, VISA APPLICATIONS, ASYLUM PETITIONS, AND EMPLOYMENT VERIFICATION FOR EMPLOYERS, WILL BE THE AGENCY TASKED WITH HANDLING MILLIONS OF NEW APPLICATIONS FOR DEFERRED STATUS AND WORK PERMITS. AGENTS IN THE FIELD ARE CONFUSED AS TO HOW TO DO THEIR JOBS AND FEAR RETALIATION IF THEY DON'T DO THE RIGHT THING. 10, IN ESSENCE -- SO, IN ESSENCE, THE WHITE HOUSE IS TELLING AGENTS IN THE FIELD TO BEGIN A PRACTICE CALLED "CATCH AND REELS RELEASE." JUST LAST FRIDAY, HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIALS BRIEFED THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ON THE DIRECTIVE. STAFF OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WAS TOLD THAT AGENTS OF THE AGENCY WOULD BE REQUIRED TO RELEASE IMMIGRANTS WHO COME HERE ILLEGALLY IF THEY FELL INTO THE CRITERIA LAID OUT. BUT WHAT ARE THE RAMIFICATIONS IF AN AGENT DOES NOT RELEASE THEM YOU BUT INSTEAD USES THEIR DISCRETION TO SAY THE PERSON WAS NOT ELIGIBLE AND PUT THEM IN REMOVAL -- REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS? WELL, YOU'LL BE ASTOUNDED BY THE ANSWER WE GOT, BECAUSE THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY EXPLAINED THAT SUCH AN AGENT WOULD BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINARY ACTION. DISCIPLINARY ACTION IF YOU'RE DOING WHAT YOUR JOB IS REQUIRING YOU TO DO IN THE AGENT'S ACTIONS WOULD BE CONSIDERED DURING THE ANNUAL PERSONNEL REVIEW. SO THERE WILL BE NO DISCRETION FOR AGENTS, AND THEY WILL BE FORCED TO GIVE DEFERRED ACTION TO ANYONE THAT COMES CLOSE TOSS THE CRITERIA LAID -- CLOSE TO THE CRITERIA LAID OUT, EVEN DESPITE THEIR HESITATION TO DO SO, OR FACE RETALIATION FROM BUREAUCRATIC HIGHER-UPS. IT IS AS IF HOMELAND SECURITY FORGOT THEIR MISSION, WHICH IS, QUOTING THE LAW, TO ENSURE A HOMELAND THAT IS SAFE, SECURE, AND RESILIENT AGAST TERRORISM AND OTHER HAZARDS WHERE AMERICANS' INTERESTS, ASPIRATIONS, AND WAY OF LIFE CAN THRIVE. END OF QUOTE OF THE LAW. ONCE WE OVERCOME THE QUESTION OF LEGAL AUTHORITY AND THE REALITY THAT THERE WAS LITTLE THINKING PUT INTO THIS PLAN BEFORE IT WAS ANNOUNCED ON JUNE 15, WE'RE LEFT TO OVERSEE THE DETAILS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION PLAN. HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIALS SAY THAT THEY WILL HAVE A PROCESS LAID OUT BY AUGUST 15. WE HAVE VERY LITTLE DETAILS, BUT HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIALS DID SOME INSIGHT ON FRIDAY IN THIS BRIEFING TO MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STAFF. HERE'S WHAT WE LEARNED. WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 30 WHO ENTERED BEFORE THEIR 16th BIRTHDAY WILL HAVE BEEN HERE FOR AT LEAST FIVE YEARS AND ARE CURRENTLY IN SCHOOL MAY QUALIFY FOR DEFERRED ACTION. WE KNOW THAT THERE ARE CAVEATS TO THE CRITERIA. SOME CRIMINAL OFFENSES WILL BE OKAY, AND YOUNG PEOPLE CAN FINISH THEIR EDUCATION AFTER THEY ARE GRANTED DEFERRED ACTION. WE KNOW THAT INDIVIDUALS WITH FINAL ORDERS OF REMOVAL WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR DEFERRED ACTION. WE KNOW THAT THESE PEOPLE WILL NOT HAVE TO APPEAR FOR AN IN- IN-PERSON INTERVIEW TO BENEFIT FROM THIS DIRECTIVE OF THE PRESIDENT OF JUNE 15. WE KNOW THAT THIS'LL BE GRANTED THIS SPECIAL STATUS FOR TWO YEARS, AND THOSE THAT ARE DENIED WILL NOT BE PUT ON REMOVAL PROCEEDINGS. WE KNOW THIS ISN'T AIMED AT HELPG JUST YOUTH SINCE THE AGE LIMIT IS 30, SO WHO ARE WE GOING TO HELP OVER AGE 30? BECAUSE WE THOUGHT BY THE PRESIDENT'S ANNOUNCEMENT THAT IF YOU'RE OVER 30 YEARS OF AGE, NOBODY'S GOING TO BENEFIT FROM THIS. WE KNOW THAT PEOPLE UNDER THE AGE OF 30 ARE NOT THE ONLY PEOPLE GOING TO BE CONSIDERED FOR RELIEF. SECRETARY NAPOLITANO SAID SO HERSELF. SHE TOLD CNN'S WOLF BLITZER THE FOLLOWING -- AND I QUOTE -- "WE HAVE INTERNALLY SET IT UP SO THAT THE PARENTS ARE NOT REFERRED FOR IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT IF THE YOUNG PERSON COMES IN FOR DEFERRED ACTION." NOW, I WASN'T BORN YESTERDAY. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS GOING TO GIVE A BENEFIT TO IMMIGRANTS HERE ILLEGALLY AND THEN FORCE HIS OR HER PARENTS TO LEAVE THE COUNTRY, WHICH BEGS THE QUESTION: WHAT WILL THEY DO IF THE

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  • 12:17:14 PM

    QUESTION

  • 12:23:34 PM

    MRS. MURRAY

    I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO SPEAK IN STRONG SUPPORT OF THE DISCLOSE ACT,…

    I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO SPEAK IN STRONG SUPPORT OF THE DISCLOSE ACT, WHICH WILL HELP PUT AN END TO SECRETIVE CAMPAIGN SPENDING AND CLOSE THE GLARING CAMPAIGN FINANCE LOOPHOLES THAT HAVE BEEN OPENED UP BY THE CITIZENS UNITED RULING. MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND FOR HIS TREMENDOUS LEADERSHIP ON THIS REALLY CRITICAL ISSUE AND ALL THE WORK HE'S GOTTEN TO US -- TO THIS POINT HE TODAY ON THIS VERY -- POINT TODAY ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT BILL. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS SUPREME COURT RULING WAS TRULY A STEP BACKWARDS FOR OUR DEMOCRACY. IT OVERTURNED DECADES OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW AND POLICY AND IT ALLOWED CORPORATIONS AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS TO SPEND UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF THEIR MONEY INFLUENCING OUR DEMOCRACY. THE CITIZENS UNITED RULING HAS GIVEN SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS A MEGAPHONE THAT THEY CAN USE TO DROWNED OUT THE VOICES OF CITIZENS IN MY HOME STATE OF WASHINGTON AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE DISCLOSE ACT WOULD RETURN TRANSPARENCY TO THIS PROCESS, IT WOULD RETURN ACCOUNTABILITY TO THIS PROCESS, AND IT WOULD BE A MAJOR STEP TO RETURNING CITIZENS' VOICES TO THE IMPORTANT ELECTION DECISIONS THAT WE MAKE IN OUR COUNTRY. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS A VERY PERSONAL ISSUE FOR ME. WHEN I FIRST RAN FOR THE SENATE BACK IN 1992, I WAS A LONG-SHOT CANDIDATE WITHOUT A LOT OF MONEY OR WEALTHY CORPORATE BACKERS. BUT WHAT I DID HAVE WAS AN AMAZING AND PASSIONATE VOLUNTEERS WHO WERE AT MY SIDE. THEY CARED DEEPLY ABOUT MAKING SURE THE VOICES OF WASHINGTON STATE FAMILIES WERE REPRESENTED. THEY MADE PHONE CALLS, THEY WENT DOOR TO DOOR WITH US, THEY TALKED TO FAMILIES ACROSS OUR STATE WHO WANTED MORE FROM THEIR GOVERNMENT. WELL, MR. PRESIDENT, WE ENDED UP WINNING THAT GRASS-ROOTS CAMPAIGN BECAUSE THE PEOPLE'S VOICES WERE HEARD LOUD AND CLEAR CLEAR. BUT, TO BE HONEST, I DON'T THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE IF CORPORATIONS AND SPECIAL INTERESTS HAD BEEN ABLE TO DROWNED OUT THEIR VOICES WITH THIS UNLIMITED BARRAGE OF NEGATIVE ADS AGAINST CANDIDATES WHO DIDN'T SUPPORT THEIR INTERESTS. SO THAT'S WHY I SUPPORT THIS DISCLOSE ACT. I WANT TO MAKE SURE NO FORCE IS GREATER IN OUR ELECTIONS THAN THE POWER OF VOTERS ACROSS OUR CITIES AND TOWNS. AND NO VOICE IS LOUDER THAN CITIZENS WHO CARE ABOUT MAKING THEIR STATE AND COUNTRY A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE. MR. PRESIDENT, THE DISCLOSE ACT OF 2012 SHOULDN'T BE CONTENTIOUS CONTENTIOUS. IT SIMPLELY DOES WHAT A MAJORITY -- IT SIMPLY DOES WHAT A MAJORITY OF AMERICAN PEOPLE VIEW AS A NO-BRAINER. IT REQUIRES OUTSIDE GROUPS TO DIVULGE THEIR CAMPAIGN-RELATED FUND-RAISING AND SPENDING. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. AND IT DOES THIS BY SHINING A VERY BRIGHT SPOTLIGHT ON THE ENTIRE PROCESS AND BY STRENGTHENING THE OVERALL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR GROUPS WHO ARE ATTEMPTING TO SWAY OUR ELECTIONS. YOU KNOW, TOO OFTEN CORPORATIONS AND SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS ARE ABLE TO HIDE THEIR SPENDING BEHIND A MASK OF FRONT ORGANIZATIONS BECAUSE THEY KNOW VOTERS WILL BE LESS LIKELY TO BELIEVE ADS IF THEY KNEW THE MOTIVES BEHIND THEIR SPONSORS. FOR INSTANCE, AN INDICATION OF WHO IS FUNDING MANY OF THESE SHADOW ORGANIZATIONS CAN BE SEEN IN THE DELAYED RECENTLY REPORTED THAT 30 BILLIONAIRES -- 30 BILLIONAIRES -- NOW BACK -- ARE BACKING ROMNEY'S SUPER PAC. IT'S UNKNOWN HOW MANY OF THESE SAME BILLIONAIRES OR THEIR CORPORATE INTERESTS ARE PROVIDING TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS WITH EVEN LESS SCRUTINY. DISCLOSE ACT ENDS ALL OF THAT. SPECIFICALLY, THE ACT REQUIRES ANY OF THESE FRONT ORGANIZATIONS WHO SPEND $10,000 OR MORE ON A CAMPAIGN TO FILE A DISCLOSURE REPORT WITH THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION WITHIN 24 HOURS AND FILE A NEW REPORT FOR EACH ADDITIONAL $10,000 OR MORE THAT'S SPENT. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS A MAJOR STEP IN PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN ON THE OUTLANDISH AND UNFAIR SPENDING PRACTICES THAT ARE CORRUPTING OUR NATION'S POLITICAL PROCESS, AND IT IS A MAJOR STEP TOWARDS THE KIND OF OPEN AND HONEST GOVERNMENT THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DEMAND AND THEY DESERVE. THE DISCLOSE ACT BRINGS TRANSPARENCY TO THESE SHADY SPENDING PRACTICES AND MAKES SURE THE VOTERS HAVE THE INFORMATION THEY NEED SO THEY KNOW WHO THEY CAN TRUST. IT REALLY IS, IT'S A COMMONSENSE BILL. IT SHOULD NOT BE CONTROVERSIAL. AND ANYONE WHO THINKS VOTERS SHOULD HAVE A LOUDER VOICE THAN SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS SHOULD BE SUPPORTING OUR BILL. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS BILL AIMS TO PROTECT THE VERY CORE OF OUR FEDERAL ELECTION PROCESS. IT PROTECTS THE PROCESS BY WHICH OUR CITIZENS FAIRLY ASSESS THE PEOPLE WHO THEY BELIEVE WILL BEST COME HERE AND BE THEIR VOICE AND REPRESENT THEIR COMMUNITIES. IT EXPOSES THE HIDDEN HAND OF SPECIAL INTERESTS AND IT CREATES AN OPEN PROCESS FOR WHO GETS TO STAND HERE BEFORE THEM REPRESENTING THEM. SO I'M VERY PROUD TO SUPPORT THIS BILL AND I'M VERY PROUD OF THE EFFORTS BY SENATOR WHITEHOUSE AND SO MANY OTHERS HERE IN THE SENATE. I URGE ALL OF OUR COLLEAGUES TO VOTE FOR THIS BILL. LET'S MOVE TO FORWARD. LET'S DO WHAT'S RIGHT FOR AMERICA. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:15:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE TIME…

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE TIME UNTIL 3:00 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES.

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  • 02:15:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND.

  • 02:15:36 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A NUMBER OF SPEAKERS WHO ARE COMING…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A NUMBER OF SPEAKERS WHO ARE COMING OVER FROM THE CAUCUS LUNCH TO DISCUSS THE UPCOMING VOTE ON THE DISCLOSE ACT. I WANTED TO TAKE THE TIME THAT'S AVAILABLE UNTIL A SPEAKER SHOWS UP TO CONTINUE TO REPORT THE PREVIOUS SUPPORT FOR DISCLOSURE FROM REPUBLICANS, FROM OUR COLLEAGUES AND FROM OTHER REPUBLICAN OFFICEHOLDERS AND OFFICIALS. I THINK WHERE I LEFT OFF IN MY PREVIOUS LISTING, THE NEXT WAS SENATOR LISA MURKOWSKI, WHO WANTS CITIZENS UNITED REVERSED. AND SAYS SAID THAT "SUPER PACS HAVE EXPANDED THEIR ROLL IN FINANCING THE 2012 CAMPAIGN DUE IN LARGE PART TO THE CITIZENS UNITED DECISION THAT ALLOWED UNLIMITED CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE POLITICAL ADVOCACY DECISIONS. I STOOD TO GAIN FROM THAT HOWEVER, IT IS ONLY APPROPRIATE THAT ALASKANS AND AMERICANS KNOW WHERE THE MONEY COMES FROM." MY FRIEND, SENATOR JEFF SESSIONS, THE RANKING MEMBER ON THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AT ONE POINT, HAS SAID, "I DON'T LIKE IT WHEN A LARGE SOURCE OF MONEY IS OUT THERE FUNDING ADS ADS ADS AND IS UNACCOUNTABLE. TO THE EXTENT WE CAN, I TEND TO FAVOR DISCLOSURE." SENATOR CORNYN HAS SAID, "I THINK THE SYSTEM NEEDS MORE TRANSPARENCY SO PEOPLE CAN EASILY REACH THEIR OWN CONCLUSIONS." SENATOR COLLINS HAS BEEN QUOTED, "IT IS IMPORTANT THAT ANY FUTURE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS INCLUDE STRONG TRANSPARENCY I GUESS PROVISIONS SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOWS WHO IS CONTRIBUTING TO A CANDIDATE'S CAMPAIGN AS WELL AS WHO IS FUNDING COMMUNICATIONS IN SUPPORT OF OR IN OPPOSITION TO A POLITICAL CANDIDATE OR ISSUE." THAT'S FROM "THE HILL." SENATOR SCOTT BROWN HAS SAID, "A GENUINE CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM EFFORT WOULD INCLUDE INCREASED TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND WOULD PROVIDE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD TO EVERYONE." SENATOR TOM COBURN HAS SAID, "SO I WOULD NOT DISAGREE THAT THERE OUGHT TO BE TRANSPARENCY IN WHO CONTRIBUTES TO THE SUPER PACS, AND IT OUGHT TO BE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE. WE OUGHT TO HAVE TRANSPARENCY. IF LEGISLATORS WERE REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR CAMPAIGNERS THE PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE WOULD NATURALLY RESTRAIN LEGISLATORS FROM ACTING OUT OF THE CURRENT QUID PRO QUO MIND-SET. IF YOU HAVE TRANSPARENCY, YOU WILL HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY." AS I REPORTED EARLIER TODAY, THE REPUBLICAN SENATE SUPPORT FOR THIS GOES TO PEOPLE WHO HAVE LEFT THE SENATE AS WELL, AND I WOULD REMARK AGAIN ON THE EXTRAORDINARY EDITORIAL WRITTEN IN "THE NEW YORK TIMES" BY SENATORS HAGEL AND RUDMAN. THE HOUSE SPEAKER HAS SAID THIS, REPRESENTATIVE BOEHNER:INGS, "I THINK WHAT WE OUGHT DO IS WE OUGHT TO HAVE FULL DISCLOSURE. FULL DISCLOSURE OF ALL OF THE MO ENTHAT WE RAISE AND HOW IT IS SPENT, AND I THINK THAT SUNLIGHT IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT." REPRESENTATIVE ERIC CANTOR, WHO IS THE MAJORITY WHIP, I BELIEVE, HAS SAID, "ANYTHING THAT MOVES US BACK TOWARDS THAT NOTION OF TRANSPARENCY AND REAL-TIME REPORTING OF DONATIONS AND CONTRIBUTIONS, I THINK, WOULD BE A HELPFUL MOVE TOWARDS RESTORING THE CONFIDENCE OF VOTERS." NEWT GINGRICH HAS CALLED FOR REPORTING EVERY SINGLE NIGHT ON THE INTERNET WHEN PEOPLE MAKE POLITICAL DONATIONS. MITT ROMNEY HAS SAID THAT, "IT IS AN ENORMOUS, GAPING LOOPHOLE IF YOU FORM A 527 OR 501(C)(4) THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO DISCLOSE WHO THE DONORS ARE." WELL, THAT IS CHANCE FOR OUR COLLEAGUES TO CLOSE THAT ENORMOUS, GAPING LOOPHOLE THAT THEIR PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE HAS POINTED OUT. ONE OF MY FAVORITE COMMENTS IS BY MIKE HUCKABEE. HE SAID, "I WISH THAT EVERY PERSON WHO GIVES ANY MONEY" TO FUND AN AD "THAT MENTIONS ANY CANDIDATE BY NAME WOULD HAVE TO PUT THEIR NAME ON IT AND BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AND ACCOUNTABLE FOR IT." HE WENT OPERATION "AND IT'S KILLING ANY SENSE OF CIVILITY IN POLITICS BECAUSE THE CHEAP SHOTS THAT CAN BE MADE FROM THE TREES BY SNIPERS THAT YOU NEVER CAN IDENTIFY." "THE CHEAP SHOTS THAT CAN BE MADE FROM THE TREES BY SNIPERS THAT YOU ARETHAT YOUNEVER CAN." " LET ME GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF THAT. IN THE NEWSPAPER, I THINK THIS MORNING -- "THE NEW YORK TIMES" -- JUST ONE QUICK STORY WHILE I'M WAITING FOR MY COLLEAGUES TO APPEAR. I'M JUST GOING TO READ FROM THE ARTICLE SOME PARTS OF IT. "IN EARLY 2010, A NEW ORGANIZATION CALLED THE COMMISSION ON HOPE, GROWTH BE, AND OPPORTUNITY --" -- WITH A NAME LIKE THAT YOU KNOW IT'S GOT TO BE PAD IN THIS ENVIRONMENT -- "FILED FOR NONPROFIT TAX-EXEMPT STATUS TELLING THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE THAT IT WAS NOT GOING TO SPEND ANY MONEY ON CAMPAIGNS. WEEKS LATER, TAX-EXEMPT STATISTIC NEWS HAND, AS WELL AS A SINGLE $4 MILLION DONATION FROM AN ANONYMOUS BENEFACTOR, THE GROUP KICKED OFF A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST 11 DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES, DECLINING TO REPORT ANY OF ITS POLITICAL SPENDING TO THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION, MAINTAINING TO THE I.R.S. THAT IT DID NOT DO ANY POLITICAL SPENDING AT ALL, AND FAILING TO REGISTER AS A POLITICAL COMMITTEE REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE THE NAMES OF ITS DONORS. THEN FACED WITH MULTIPLE ELECTION COMMISSION AND I.R.S. COMPLAINTS, THE GROUP WENT OUT OF BUSINESS. AS CITIZENS FOR RESPONSIBILITY IN WASHINGTON SAID, 'THIS OR, CHGO'S STORY IS A TUTORIAL ON HOW TO BREAK CAMPAIGN FINANCE LURKS IMPACT ELECTIONS AND DISAPPEAR. THE POLITICAL EQUIVALENT OF A HIT-AND-RUN." "A CHEAP SHOT FROM THE TREES BY A SNIPER YOU CAN NEVER IDENTIFY" AND TO THIS DAY NO ONE HAS EVER IDENTIFIED THE $4 MILLION DONOR THAT FUNDED THOSE. I SEE THAT THE SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY IS HERE. I AM DELIGHTED TO YIELD TO HIM, SO HE HAS A CHANCE TO MAKE HIS RANCHES I YIELD THE FLOOR. -- TO MAKE HIS REMARKS. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:22:38 PM

    MR. LAUTENBERG

    THANK THE SENATOR FROM I ARE. MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 02:22:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY.

  • 02:22:44 PM

    MR. LAUTENBERG

    WE WITNESSED QUITE A SIGHT HERE. NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN WAS WILLING TO…

    WE WITNESSED QUITE A SIGHT HERE. NOT A SINGLE REPUBLICAN WAS WILLING TO STAND UP TO OPPOSE SECRET MONEY IN EXWILLS. TODAY THEY'LL HAVE ANOTHER CHANCE TO ANNOUNCE THEIR SUPPORT AND TELL THEIR CONSTITUENTS WHETHER OR NOT THEY PREFER THAT SECRET MONEY BUYS THE POLITICIANS OR DOES IT TAKE THEIR CONSTITUENTS' VOTES TO GET PEOPLE IN PLACE WHO CARE ABOUT WHERE THIS COUNTRY IS GOING. REPUBLICANS WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO SHOW AMERICANS WHERE THEY STAND WITH MILLIONS OF INDIVIDUAL VOTERS OVER THE FEW BILLIONAIRES WHO SEEK TO DROWN OUT THE VOICES OF OUR CITIZENS BY USING SECRET MONEY. YESTERDAY I CAME TO THE FLOOR TO PRESENT THE IDENTITIES OF TWO OF THE BIGGEST SOURCES OF MONEY IN POLITICS -- DAVID AND CHARLES KOCH. THEY'RE ALSO JOINED, WE READ IN THE PAPERS, HEARD IN THE NEWS, ABOUT A FELLOW NAMED SHELDON ADELE SON, WHOSE BRAIN MONEY EARNED FROM JAPANESE GAMBLERS TO BUY AMERICAN POLITICIANS. THAT'S SOME DEAL. THE KOCH BROTHERS ARE PUTTING TOGETHER A SEAT FOR A GROUP OF WEALTHY FRIENDS WHO WILL SPEND $400 MILLION TO MANIPULATE THE UPCOMING ELECTION. THIS EFFORT IS ONE OF AN EGREGIOUS EXAMPLE OF THE FLOOD OF BIG, SECRET MONEY IN OUR POLITICS, AND THIS UNACCOUNTABLE MONEY IS SPENT WITH A CLEAR GOAL OF DETERMINING OUR LAWS AND DECIDING OUR ELECTIONS, AND THE POLICIES THAT THIS COUNTRY WILL FOLLOW IN THE FUTURE. THE KOCH BROTHERS -- HERE THEY ARE -- ARE SO SET ON PICKING THEIR PREFERRED POLITICIANS. TOO BAD, A COUNTRY OF OVER 300 MILLION PEOPLE, AND THESE TWO FELLOWS WANT TO DECIDE WHO SHOULD RUN THIS COUNTRY OF OURS. KOCH INDUSTRIES CONTROLS OIL, CHEMICAL COMPANIES THAT DO BUSINESS AROUND THE GLOBE, A UNDERSTAND SO WHAT DO THE -- AND SO WHAT DO THE KOCH BROTHERS AND THEIR ANONYMOUS FRIENDS WANT FROM POLITICIANS WHO BENEFIT FROM THEIR SECRET MONEY? THEY WANT LAWS THAT BENEFIT THE COMPANIES LIKE THE ONES THAT THEY OWN, EVEN WHEN THOSE LAWS COME AT THE EXPENSE OF MILLIONS OF OTHER AMERICANS. I THINK THE REASON IS CLEAR. THEY WANT PEOPLE IN OFFICE WHO WILL PUT THEIR SPECIAL INTERESTS ABOVE THE PUBLIC INTERESTS. THESE BROTHERS RUN KOCH INDUSTRIES, GIANT INTERNATIONAL CONGLOMERATE, AND ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATELY HELD COMPANIES IN THE WORLD. THE KOCH BROTHERS, TO TAKE ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF SECRET MONEY -- AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY HAS OPPOSED E.P.A.'S NEW AMERICAN POLLUTION STANDARDS. THESE HISTORIC STANDARDS WILL PREVENT 130,000 ASTHMA ATTACKS, 4,700 HEART ATTACKS, AND UP TO 11,000 PREMATURE DEATHS. AND AMERICANS FOR PROSPERITY FUNDED BY SECRET MONEY, OPPOSE THE RULE THAT WILL SAVE THESE LIVES. THEY'D RATHER HAVE THE MONEY. WE KNOW WHAT MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE NEAR POWER PLANTS WANT. THEY WANT THE PLANTS TO CLEAN UP THEIR ACTS AND STOP POISONING THEM AND THEIR NEIGHBORS NEIGHBORS. THE KOCHS AND INDUSTRY LOBBYISTS ARGUE THAT THESE STANDARDS JUST COST TOO MUCH. WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A LIFE TO THESE GUYS? LET THEM ANSWER THAT QUESTION PUBLICLY. TURN IN THE SECRET MONEY AND LET THE PEOPLE ACROSS OUR COUNTRY DECIDE WHO THEY WANT IN THE SENATE, IN THE HOUSE, AND IN THE WHITE HOUSE. HOW MUCH POORER IS OUR SOCIETY WHEN CHILDREN ARE BORN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL PROBLEMS? A CHILD BORN WITH POLLUTION IN THEIR BODY IS SET BACK FROM DAY ONE. THAT CHILD'S POTENTIAL IS STUNTED BEFORE THEY HAVE EVEN TAKEN THEIR FIRST BREATH. POLLUTERS JUST IGNORE THE COST TO AMERICAN FAMILIES. THEY THINK THEY'RE RIGHT TO POLLUTE -- THEIR RIGHT TO POLLUTE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE AVERAGE PERSON, THE CHILDREN IN OUR COUNTRY HAVE THE RIGHT TO BREATHE. IT'S FOUL PLAY YOU'VE EVER SEEN IT. PUTPUT YOUR MONEY UP. TAKE FRESH AIR AWAY FROM YOUNG PEOPLE. CREATE PROBLEMS THAT MERCURY IN OUR ENVIRONMENT DOES. MR. PRESIDENT, SECRET MONEY IN POLITICS MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR POLLUTING COMPANIES TO SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS INFLUENCING ELECTIONS, AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS KEPT IN THE DARK. SO I SAY TO MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES, LET YOUR CONSCIENCE RULE YOUR DECISION. LET'S SAY -- LET'S TELL THE TRUTH. I WISH THAT THE VOTE COULD SAY, YEAH, I WANT SECRET MONEY TO CONTINUE BEING SPENT. THEY WOULDN'T DARE USE THAT LANGUAGE. SO, COME ON, GUYS. THERE ARE GOOD PEOPLE OVER THERE. LET'S SHINE SOME LIGHT ON WHO'S PULLINGS THE STRINGS IN THIS COUNTRY. IS IT THE PEOPLE OR IS IT THE MONEY THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WAY THIS SOCIETY FUNCTIONS? I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:28:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA.

  • 02:28:42 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I'D ASK THAT I BE NOTIFIED AFTER FIVE MINUTES.

  • 02:28:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 02:28:46 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I UNDERSTAND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A SECOND VOTE ON THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I UNDERSTAND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A SECOND VOTE ON THE DISCLOSE ACT. IT GOT ONLY 51 VOTES PREVIOUSLY. WE NEED 60 TO MOVE FORWARD TO PASSAGE. IT'S NOT LIKELY TO HAPPEN. I KNOW OUR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES WERE DOWN HERE LAST NIGHT INTO THE MIDNIGHT HOUR TALKING ABOUT THE DISCLOSE ACT, WHICH IS POLITICAL CAMPAIGN-RELATED THAT WE HAVE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ABOUT AND IT IS NOT GOING TO PASS. SO I'D LIKE TO ASK MY FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES, WHAT IS IT THAT WE OUGHT TO BE DISCLOSING HERE? IS IT SOME INDIVIDUAL AMOUNT OF MONEY, SOME INDIVIDUAL AMERICAN MADE HONESTLY AND SPENT? OR MAYBE THERE'S SOME OTHER THINGS WE OUGHT TO DISCLOSE. I WOULD SAY THIS SENATE OUGHT TO DISCLOSE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHAT ITS BUDGET PLAN IS FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVEN'T HAD A BUDGET IN THREE YEARS. SENATOR REID SAID IT WOULD BE FOOLISH TO BRING UP A BUDGET. FOOLISH BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE TIME? WE HAVE TIME TO SPEND ALL NIGHT LAST NIGHT -- OR HALF THE NIGHT, HAVE A SECOND VOTE ON THE SAME BILL AGAIN TODAY. WHY DON'T WE -- WHY DON'T WE SPEND SOME OF THAT TIME ON SOMETHING REALLY IMPORTANT LIKE DEAL WITH OUR $16 BILLION DEBT. WHY DON'T WE DISCLOSE -- WHY DON'T OUR DEMOCRATIC LEADERS DISCLOSE TO US WHAT THEIR PLAN IS TO DEAL WITH THIS SURGING DEBT, A DEBT THAT'S INCREASING AT $1.3 TRILLION A YEAR, UNSUSTAINABLE AS EVERY ESTIMATE WE'VE EVER BEEN TOLD AND WITNESSES TESTIFIED TO BEFORE THE BUDGET COMMITTEE AND OTHER COMMITTEES. UNSUSTAINABLE. YET THEY REFUSE TO EVEN LAY OUT A PLAN FOR HOW WE'RE GOING TO CONFRONT THAT. THE HOUSE HAS. THEY LAID OUT A REALLY HISTORIC PLAN. CONGRESSMAN RYAN AND HIS TEAM IN THE HOUSE PASSED A LONG-TERM BUDGET PLAN THAT WILL ALTER THE DEBT COURSE OF AMERICA AND PUT US ON A RESPONSIBLE PATH. NOT SO IN THE SENATE, EVEN THOUGH THEY TALKED ABOUT IT IN SECRET AMONGST THEMSELVES THAT THEY HAD A PLAN. WELL, LET'S DISCLOSE IT. WHY DON'T WE HAVE A DISCLOSURE OF IT. AND OCTOBER IS 1st COMING UP PRETTY FAST, PARTICULARLY SINCE WE'RE GOING TO BE IN RECESS VIRTUALLY THE ENTIRE MONTH OF AUGUST, AND IT LOOKS LIKE THE ENTIRE MONTH OF OCTOBER. SO BY OCTOBER 1, THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS HAS A DUTY AND A RESPONSIBILITY TO PASS LEGISLATION THAT FUNDS THE GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THE NEW GOVERNMENT FISCAL YEAR BEGINS OCTOBER 1. SENATOR REID JUST ANNOUNCED HE'S NOT GOING TO PRODUCE A SINGLE APPROPRIATIONS BILL. THERE ARE 13. WE USUALLY -- WHEN I FIRST CAME HERE, WE TRIED TO PASS ALL 13 EVERY YEAR, BEFORE OCTOBER 1, WHEN THE YEAR STARTS. NOT EVEN GOING TO ATTEMPT IT. SO I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OUGHT TO ASK, WELL, WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO SPEND YOUR MONEY ON NEXT YEAR? THE COUNTRY'S SUFFERING SUBSTANTIALSUBSTANTIALLY. WHY DON'T YOU DISCLOSE, SENATOR REID, WHAT THE APPROPRIATION BILLS ARE GOING TO BE, HOW MUCH MONEY YOU'RE GOING TO SPEND ON EACH ONE OF THE ITEMS AND SUB-ITEMS AND SUB-ITEMS AND SUB-ITEMS AND SUB-ITEMS SO WE CAN EXAMINE IT, BRING IT UP ON THE FLOOR, WE CAN BRING UP AMENDMENTS LIKE THE UNITED STATES SENATE IS SUPPOSED TO OPERATE. WHY DON'T YOU DISCLOSE THAT? ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT FOR AMERICA? I'D HAVE TO SAY, SINCE I'VE BEEN HERE, THIS WILL BE THE LEAST PERFORMING, MOST DISAPPOINTING YEAR OF THE SENATE IN OUR HISTORY. NO BUDGET, NO ATTEMPT TO BRING UP A BUDGET, NO APPROPRIATIONS. THOSE ARE OUR BREAD-AND-BUTTER REQUIREMENTS OF ANY -- ANY SENATOR. FOOD STAMPS, THE SNAP PROGRAM. IN 2000, WE WERE SPENDING ABOUT $17 BILLION ON FOOD STAMP PROGRAM. LAST YEAR WE SPENT $79 BILLION. IT'S GONE UP FOUR TIMES. IT'S OUT OF CONTROL. IT NEEDS TO BE MANAGED. IT NEEDS TO BE FOCUSING MORE ON HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED, NOT JUST SUBSIDIZING PEOPLE IN NEED, HELPING THEM MOVE FORWARD TO INDEPENDENCE AND RESPONSIBILITY. WHY DON'T MY COLLEAGUES DISCLOSE A PLAN FOR THAT? ISN'T THAT IMPORTANT TO AMERICA? I THINK IT IS. THERE ARE A LOT OF OTHER THINGS THAT OUGHT TO BE ON THE TABLE.

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  • 02:33:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR'S FIVE MINUTES HAVE EXPIRED.

  • 02:33:47 PM

    MR. SESSIONS

  • 02:34:10 PM

    MR. NELSON

    MR. PRESIDENT, LEST WE GET TOTALLY OFF TRACK HERE AND BEFORE THE SENATOR…

    MR. PRESIDENT, LEST WE GET TOTALLY OFF TRACK HERE AND BEFORE THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA LEAVES THE CHAMBER, I WANT TO THANK HIM AND CON DPRAT LATE HIM. THE SYSTEM WORKS WHEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS COME TOGETHER. AS THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA AND I HAVE WORKED ON MANY THINGS TOGETHER, INCLUDING THE NATION'S NATIONAL SECURITY, SO TOO JUST RECENTLY THE SENATE SHOWED HOW IT COULD WORK ON THE RESTORE ACT ON THE GULF OF MEXICO WHEN WE ADDED THIS ACT THAT WILL DIRECT THE FINE MONEY THAT WILL BE IMPOSED BY A JUDGE IN NEW ORLEANS, WE DIRECTED THAT FINE MONEY TO COME BACK TO THE PEOPLE ASK THE ENVIRONMENT AND THE CRITTERS OF THE GULF. AND THAT PASSED IN THIS CHAMBER 76-22, A HUGE BIPARTISAN VOTE. I'VE HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF WORKING WITH THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA ON MANY OTHER THINGS, INCLUDING THE TIMES THAT THE TWO OF US LED THE STRATEGIC SUBCOMMITTEE IN THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE ON SOME OF THE NATION'S MOST SIGNIFICANT THINGS, SUCH AS OUR OVERALL STRATEGIC UMBRELLA, PROTECTING THIS COUNTRY. AND THERE AGAIN, IT WAS DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS WORKING TOGETHER. SO TO HEAR A LOT OF THE RHETORIC RHETORIC, SOMEONE OUTSIDE OF THE SENATE WOULD THINK THAT WE ARE TOTALLY IN GRIDLOCK. THAT HAS NOT BEEN THE CASE. HOWEVER, WE COME TO A POINT OF GRIDLOCK AGAIN BECAUSE OF THE SENATE RULES REQUIRING 60 VOTES TO SHUT OFF THE DEBATE SO THAT WE CAN GO TO THIS BILL CALLED THE DISCLOSE ACT. NOW, WHAT THE DISCLOSE ACT DOES IS COMMON SENSE. IT'S COMMON SENSE TO SAY, IF YOU'RE GOING TO AFFECT THE POLITICAL SYSTEM BY GIVING MONEY TO INFLUENCE THE VOTES AT THE ENDS OF THE DAY IN AN ELECTION, ALL THE CAMPAIGN LAWS SAY THAT YOU HAVE TO DISCLOSE THAT MONEY. AND BUT FOR A 5-4 SUPREME COURT DECISION WHICH IS CONTORTED AT BEST AND IS WAY OVER THE EDGE AT THE VERY LEAST, ITS RULING COMES UP AND SAYS OUTSIDE, BECAUSE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OUTSIDE OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM, YOU CAN MAKE ADVERTISEMENTS, YOU CAN SPEAK FREELY, IN OTHER WORDS, BY SPENDING MONEY BUYING ADS AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO DISCLOSE THAT. AND OH, BY THE WAY, THAT WHEREAS THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAW PROHIBITS IN THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS CORPORATIONS FROM DONATING, THIS CONTORTED SUPREME COURT DECISION SAYS THAT THAT CAN BE CORPORATE MONEY AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE DISCLOSED. WELL, THAT'S WHAT WE'RE SEEING AN ABUNDANCE OF THAT KIND OF POLITICAL SPEECH RIGHT NOW. AND ALL OF THESE ATTACK ADS, AND THESE ATTACK ADS ARE GOING JUST RAPID FIRE. AND YOU LOOK AT WHO IT'S SPONSORED BY. IT'S NOT SPONSORED BY THE CANDIDATE. IT'S SPONSORED BY SOME ORGANIZATION THAT HAS A HIGH-SOUNDING NAME, BUT YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE THE MONEY IS COMING FROM. NOW, ALL THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION IN FRONT OF US, OF WHICH YESTERDAY WE GOT 53 VOTES FOR. WE NEED SEVEN MORE VOTES TO CUT OFF THE DEBATE JUST TO GO TO THE BILL. THIS VOTE IS COMING AT 3:00. WE'RE NOT GOING TO GET IT. IT'S GOING TO BE THE SAME VOTE, 53-47. WHY? BECAUSE THESE OUTSIDE, UNLIMITED SOURCE OF FUNDS THAT ARE NOT DISCLOSED ARE AFFECTING ELECTIONS. AND IT IS ACHIEVING THE RESULT. AND YOU KNOW IT. YOU PUT ENOUGH TV ADVERTISING. YOU CAN SELL A BOX OF SOAP, WHATEVER YOUR BRAND IS. THAT'S THE WHOLE THEORY BEHIND THIS. ELECT WHO THE UNDISCLOSED DONORS GIVING UNLIMITED SUMS, ELECT WHO THEY WANT AND THAT'S GOING TO COMPLETELY DISTORT THE POLITICAL SYSTEM. YOU KNOW, WE START FROM A BASIS OF OLD IS HE IS A SECRATIC IDEAS GOING BACK TO SOCRATES. THAT IN THE FREE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS, THAT THE CROSS-CURRENTS OF THOSE IDEAS BEING DISCUSSED, THAT OUT OF IT, TRUTH WILL EMERGE AND THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION WILL EMERGE. AND IT IS UPON THOSE IDEALS THAT THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUND. THIS COUNTRY, WANTING A REPRESENTATIVE BODY SUCH AS THIS, TO COME FORTH, FREELY DISCUSS, FREELY, OPENLY DISCUSS THE IDEAS AND HAMMER OUT POLICY. AND YET WHAT WE'RE SEEING IS THAT IN BRINGING THOSE ELECTED OFFICIALS HERE, BY ELECTING THEM BY OVERWHELMING ADVERTISING FROM UNLIMITED SOURCES, THOSE ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES WILL BE BEHOLDEN TO THOSE PARTICULAR SOURCES AND WILL NOT HAVE AN INDEPENDENCE OF JUDGMENT, WILL NOT HAVE THE SECRATIC ABLE IN THE FREE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS TO HAMMER OUT THE DIFFERENCES OF IDEAS AND ACHIEVE CONSENSUS IN ORDER TO DIRECT THE DIRECTION OF THE COUNTRY. SO THE VERY UNDERPINNINGS OF THE COUNTRY ARE AT STAKE. NOW, WHY IS THIS BEING FOUGHT? SOMETHING THAT OUGHT TO BE LIKE A MOTHERHOOD BILL. YOU'RE FOR DISCLOSURE OF WHO ALL IS GIVING MONEY TO INFLUENCE THE POLITICAL SYSTEM, JUST LIKE ALL OF THE FEDERAL CANDIDATES HAVE TO DISCLOSE? AND, OH, BY THE WAY, ARE LIMITED IN THE AMOUNTS OF CONTRIBUTIONS TO EACH CANDIDATE. WELL, WHAT IS SUCH COMMON SENSE IS BEING THWARTED IF THIS LEGISLATION WERE TO PASS AND THEY HAD TO DISCLOSE WHO IS GIVING THE MONEY. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? MOST OF THEM WOULD STOP GIVING IT. AND THEY'D HAVE TO OPERATE UNDER THE NORMAL CAMPAIGN FINANCE LAWS WHICH SAY, YOU REPORT EVERY DIME OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION, YOU'RE LIMITED AS TO THE AMOUNT THAT YOU CAN GIVE, AND THE CANDIDATE IS LIMITED AS TO THE AMOUNT THAT THEY CAN RECEIVE. NOW THAT IS FAIR, BUT IT'S MORE THAN FAIR, IT'S ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO THE FUNCTIONING OF THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM IN ORDER TO ELECT A REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. THAT'S WHAT'S AT STAKE, AND THAT'S WHAT WE'RE GOING TO VOTE ON AGAIN. AND UNFORTUNATELY, WE KNOW WHAT THE OUTCOME OF THE VOTE'S GOING TO BE. 53 IN FAVOR OF DISCLOSING AND 47 AGAINST. AND YOU'RE NOT GOING TO KNOW WHO IS GIVING ALL OF THIS MONEY. MR. PRESIDENT, I -- I CAN'T SAY IT ANY BETTER. IT'S OLD COUNTRY BOY WISDOM THAT SAYS THIS OUGHT TO BE AS EASY AS NIGHT AND DAY, UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE, AND YET THAT'S WHAT WE ARE FACING. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:43:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA.

  • 02:43:46 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

  • 02:55:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW YORK.

  • 02:55:11 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    FIRST, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT I BE GIVEN FOUR MINUTES, THE SENATOR…

    FIRST, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT I BE GIVEN FOUR MINUTES, THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND BE GIVEN SIX MINUTES TO CONCLUDE AND WE VOTE IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER.

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  • 02:55:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 02:55:23 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    THANK YOU. FIRST, I'D JUST LIKE TO MAKE ONE PRELIMINARY COMMENT AND THEN…

    THANK YOU. FIRST, I'D JUST LIKE TO MAKE ONE PRELIMINARY COMMENT AND THEN I'D LIKE TO ADDRESS WHAT MY COLLEAGUE FROM ALASKA HAS SAID IN THIS BILL. JUST ON AN OTHER ISSUE. I HAVE JUST HEARD THAT VICE PRESIDENT CHENEY CAME TO ADDRESS THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS ON OUR FISCAL CLIFF. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT THE MAN WHO SAID DEFICITS DON'T MATTER IS NOT A VERY GOOD TEACHER FOR THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS WHEN IT COMES TO DEFICIT REDUCTION AND THE FISCAL CLIFF. THEY COULD GET BETTER TEACHERS THAN THAT. NOW, AS FOR THIS ISSUE, FIRST, I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM ALASKA FOR HER HEARTFELT COMMENTS. SHE IS WHAT WE NEED, SOMEBODY WHO CARES ABOUT THIS ISSUE, SOMEBODY WHO HAS GREAT REACH ACROSS THE AISLE AND SOMEBODY WHO IS WILLING TO WORK WITH US. IT IS TRUE, IT IS OBVIOUS THAT WE WILL NOT HAVE THE VOTES TO WIN THE DISCLOSE ACT. IT IS SIMPLE DISCLOSURE. WE TRIED TO MAKE IT UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF SENATOR WHITEHOUSE, I WILL ADDRESS THAT IN A MINUTE, WE TRIED TO MAKE IT AS NARROW AS POSSIBLE. WE TRIED TO DEAL WITH ALL THE OBJECTIONS WE HEARD ABOUT LABOR UNIONS AND OTHER THINGS. THAT'S WHY THERE IS A 10,000-DOLLAR AMOUNT, FAR BEYOND LABOR DUES AND ANY DUES THAT I AM AWARE OF. WE TRIED TO MAKE IT AS DOWN THE MIDDLE AS POSSIBLE FOR SIMPLE DISCLOSURE. BUT I UNDERSTAND WHERE MY COLLEAGUE FROM ALASKA IS COMING FROM, I RESPECT IT, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH HER. SHE MIGHT BE THE BRIDGE WE NEED, BECAUSE MARK MY WORDS, MR. PRESIDENT, IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS, WE WILL NOT HAVE THE REPUBLIC WE KNOW IN FIVE YEARS. IT'S THAT SIMPLE. THIS GREAT COUNTRY THAT WE ALL LOVE HAS BEEN DRAMATICALLY CHANGED BY CITIZENS UNITED AND THE FAILURE TO CORRECT ITS HUGE DEFICIENCIES. TO HAVE SUCH A SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE SUCH HUGE INFLUENCE ON OUR BODY PUBLIC. WE HAVE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE. OH, YEAH, WE READ ABOUT OUR HISTORY AND WE KNOW THAT THERE WERE SMALL GROUPS THAT WERE POWERFUL IN THE PAST, THE ROBBER BARONS, ET CETERA. BUT NEVER, NEVER, NEVER HAVE A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE HAD SUCH AWESOME TOOLS TO INFLUENCE OUR POLITICAL SYSTEM IN A WAY THEY CHOOSE WITHOUT ANY ACCOUNTABILITY, NEVER. THE ROBBER BARONS WERE MORE ACCOUNTABLE AND MORE DIFFUSE, THE SMALL GROUP THAT LED AMERICA SUPPOSEDLY IN THE 1920'S WAS MORE ACCOUNTABLE AND MORE DIFFUSE, THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX THAT PRESIDENT EISENHOWER WARNED ABOUT WAS FAR BROADER AND MORE DIFFUSE. TO HAVE A SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE, MOST OF THEM ANGRY PEOPLE, MOST OF THEM PEOPLE WHO DON'T EVEN GIVE ANY ATTENTION TO SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T AGREE WITH THEM, TO GIVE THEM SUCH AWESOME POWER, WHICH IS THE POWER TO RUN NEGATIVE POLITICAL ADS OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND HAVE NO ACCOUNTABILITY AS TO WHO IS RUNNING THEM, THAT IS A TRUE DANGER TO THE REPUBLIC. AND IT BEFUDDLES ME THAT OUR U.S. SUPREME COURT DOESN'T SEE IT. WE WANT OUR COURTS TO BE INSULATED FROM THE VICISSITUDES OF POLITICS, BUT TO HAVE A COURT THAT IS SO INSULATE THAD IT DOESN'T SEE, SMELL, HEAR, TOUCH WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS REPUBLIC DOESN'T SPEAK WELL OF THAT COURT, AND I THINK IT'S THE MAIN REASON THAT ITS POPULARITY HAS DECLINED. AND I HOPE OUR JUSTICES WILL WAKE UP AND REALIZE WHAT THEY ARE DOING. NOW, I WOULD SAY AGAIN -- FIRST I WANT TO THANK SENATOR WHITEHOUSE. HE HAS BEEN A GREAT LEADER ON THIS ISSUE. AND I WANT TO THANK ALL MY COLLEAGUES. WE HAVE BEEN DEBATING THIS BILL FOR TEN HOURS, MORE THAN TEN HOURS, I BELIEVE, AND THERE HASN'T BEEN ONE QUORUM CALL, WHICH MEANS THAT THERE HAS BEEN SPEAKING TIME FROM 6:00 LAST NIGHT UNTIL 1:00 IN THE MORNING --

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  • 02:59:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR'S TIME HAS EXPIRED.

  • 02:59:52 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE REST OF MY REMARKS BE ADDED TO THE RECORD, AND YIELD…

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE REST OF MY REMARKS BE ADDED TO THE RECORD, AND YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:59:58 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 03:00:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND.

  • 03:00:07 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    PRESIDENT, AT LEAST -- AT LEAST TEN REPUBLICAN SENATORS ARE ON RECORD…

    PRESIDENT, AT LEAST -- AT LEAST TEN REPUBLICAN SENATORS ARE ON RECORD SUPPORTING TRANSPARENCY AND DISCLOSURE IN ELECTION SPENDING. SOME OF THEM ARE VERY SIGNIFICANT LEADERS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. SENATOR MITCH McCONNELL, I THINK DISCLOSURE IS THE BEST DISINFECTANT. SENATOR JOHN CORNYN, THE HEAD OF THE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN OPERATION, I THINK THE SYSTEM NEEDS MORE TRANSPARENCY, SO PEOPLE CAN MORE EASILY REACH THEIR OWN CONCLUSIONS. OTHER SENATORS, COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS, COME FROM STATES THAT REQUIRE DISCLOSURE IN ELECTION SPENDING. THE STATES THAT THEY REPRESENT KNOW THAT THIS IS WRONG. THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST THIS BILL ARE FEW. SOME OF THOSE ARGUMENTS ARE FALSE. OTHERS DON'T HOLD WATER. HUGE MAJORITIES OF AMERICANS, REPUBLICAN, DEMOCRAT, AND INDEPENDENT, SUPPORT CLEANING UP THIS MESS. MORE THAN 700,000 AMERICANS SIGNED UP AS CITIZEN COSPONSORS OF THIS BILL IN THE LAST FEW DAYS. I THINK THE ACTUAL NUMBER IS 721,000. BUT THEN THAT RAN UP AGAINST THIS. OUTSIDE POLITICAL SPENDING THAT WENT FROM 1% TO 44% NOT DISCLOSED. IN THE LAST ELECTION AND THESE SECRET GROUPS LIKE CROSSROADS WITH $76.8 MILLION, THE MAJORITY OF THE MONEY THAT THEY SPEND, SECRET MONEY. AND THAT HAS CHANGED THE DEBATE. BUT THOSE WHO ARE OUT OF THE NEED FOR THAT SECRET MONEY, LIKE REPUBLICAN SENATORS RUDMAN AND HAGEL, ARE CLEAR. A BILL BEING DEBATED THIS WEEK IN THE SENATE CALLED THE DISCLOSE ACT OF 2012, THIS BILL, IS A WELL-RESEARCHED, WELL-CONCEIVED SOLUTION TO THIS INSUFFERABLE SITUATION. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERY SENATOR SHOULD EMBRACE THE DISCLOSE ACT OF 2012. THIS LEGISLATION TREATS TRADE UNIONS AND CORPORATIONS EQUALLY AND GIVES NEITHER PARTY AN ADVANTAGE. IT IS GOOD FOR REPUBLICANS AND IT IS GOOD FOR DEMOCRATS. MOST IMPORTANT, MR. PRESIDENT, IT IS GOOD FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE TO FOLLOW THE EXAMPLE OF THEIR FORMER COLLEAGUES, SENATOR WARREN, SENATOR RUDMAN, SORRY, WARREN IS HIS FIRST NAME, SENATOR RUDMAN AND SENATOR HAGEL, AND I PLEDGE TO SENATOR MURKOWSKI WE TAKE HER COMMENTS VERY SERIOUSLY. SHE HAS CAST A SLIVER OF DAYLIGHT AND I INTEND TO PURSUE THAT SLIVER OF DAYLIGHT ARDENTLY TO WORK THROUGH THIS PROBLEM AND I WILL CONCLUDE BY ALSO COMPLIMENTING SENATOR McCAIN WHO CAME TO THE FLOOR. HE BELIEVES THERE IS A BENEFIT FOR UNIONS IN HERE THAT I DO NOT SEE, THAT I DISAGREE EXISTS BUT CERTAINLY HE HAS A RECORD OF COURAGE AND DETERMINATION ON CAMPAIGN FINANCE THAT UNLESS HIS JUDGMENT TO OUR RESPECT AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH BOTH OF THEM AND OTHERS. I YIELD THE FLOOR. I YIELD BACK OUR TIME.

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  • 03:03:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO THE MOTION TO…

    OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER THE VOTE BY WHICH CLOTURE WAS NOT INVOKED ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S. 3369 IS AGREED TO AND THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER IS AGREED TO. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

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  • 03:04:01 PM

    THE CLERK

    UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF 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 446, S. 3369, A BILL TO AMEND THE FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT OF 1971 TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR CORPORATIONS, LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, SUPER PAC'S AND OTHER ENTITIES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, SIGNED BY 18 SENATORS.

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  • 03:04:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

    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. 3369, A BILL TO AMEND THE FEDERAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN ACT OF 1971, TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADDITIONAL DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS FOR CORPORATIONS, LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, SUPER PAC'S AND OTHER ENTITIES, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, 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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  • 03:04:57 PM

    Senate Vote 180 - On Cloture on the Motion to Proceed (Upon Reconsideration Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to Consider S3369)

    DISCLOSE Act of 2012 Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections Act of 2012

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

    Vote Details: Yea - 52
    Democratic - 50
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Nay - 45
    Republican - 45

  • 03:27:37 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? IF NOT, ON THIS 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 UPON RECONSIDERATION IS NOT AGREED TO. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

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  • 03:30:16 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:43:23 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT, IS THE SENATE NOW IN A QUORUM CALL IN.

  • 03:43:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE IS IN A QUORUM CALL.

  • 03:43:27 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THAT BE TERMINATED.

  • 03:43:35 PM

    MR. REID

    MOTION PENDING MOTION TO PROCEED. FER IF THE MOTION IS WITHDRAWN.

  • 03:43:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:43:48 PM

    THE CLERK

    TO PROVIDE AN INCENTIVE FOR BUSINESSES TO BRING JOBS BACK TO AMERICA.

  • 03:43:54 PM

    MR. REID

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE CLOTURE MOTION.

  • 03:43:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE CLOTURE MOTION.

  • 03:44:02 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 442, S. 3364, A BILL TO PROVIDE AN INCENTIVE FOR BUSINESSES TO BRING JOBS BACK TO AMERICA. SIGNED BY 17 SENATORS AS FOLLOWS: REID OF NEVADA, STABENOW, WHITEHOUSE, FRANKEN, DURBIN, BROWN OF OHIO, BLUMEENING THAT WILL, MERKLEY, COONS, CASEY, CARDIN, SHAHEEN, GILLIBRAND, SCHUMER, REED OF RHODE ISLAND, MIKULSKI, ROCKEFELLER.

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  • 03:44:48 PM

    MR. REID

    THE MANDATORY QUORUM REQUIRED UNDER RULE 22 BE WAIVED. FER IF WITHOUT…

    THE MANDATORY QUORUM REQUIRED UNDER RULE 22 BE WAIVED. FER IF WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

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  • 03:44:57 PM

    MR. REID

    AGAIN, I'M DISAPPOINTED, AS I THINK MOST PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY ARE, ON AN…

    AGAIN, I'M DISAPPOINTED, AS I THINK MOST PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY ARE, ON AN ISSUE AS TIMELY AS THIS, OUTSOURCESOURCING JOBS, THAT WE ONCE AGAIN ARE BEING SOMETIME MID INTO -- STYMIED INTO MOVING TO THAT LEGISLATION. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A RULE ON THIS -- WE CAN'T HAVE A VOTE ON THIS UNTIL TWO DAYS GO BY, SO THAT'S A VOTE ON THURSDAY. AND IF CLOTURE IS I VOKED ON THAT, THEN WE'RE ONLY ON THE BILL. AND THEN TO GET OFF OF IT, TAKE ANOTHER SERIES OF DAYS. I MEAN, GET FINAL ACTION ON THIS IS GOING IT TAKE A WEEK. THAT'S SO UNFORTUNATE. THAT'S SO UNFORTUNATE THAT WE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS, AND WE'VE GONE THROUGH THIS SO MANY TIMES. AND THERE'S, I REPEAT, NOT AN ISSUE MORE TIMELY THAN THIS, OUTSOURCING JOBS. WHETHER IT'S THE OLYMPIC UNIFORMS OR THE MANY OTHER JOBS THAT HAVE BEEN LOST AROUND THIS COUNTRY, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE TIRED OF THIS. AND I THINK IT'S UNFORTUNATE THE REPUBLICANS ARE STOPPING US FROM BEING ABLE TO START LEGISLATING ON THIS BILL.

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  • 03:46:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN.

  • 03:46:11 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE MOTION WE HAVE BEFORE US, TO BEGIN CONSIDERATION OF MY BILL, THE BRING JOBS HOME ACT. I WANT TO THANK OUR LEADER FOR MAKING THIS A PRIORITY AND THANK THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR ALSO MAKING THIS A PRIORITY AS WE MOVE FORWARD. AND LET ME FIRST START ON PROCESS TO SAY IT IS TRUE, OF COURSE, AS THE LEADER INDICATED, WE COULD BE SIMPLY ON THIS BILL AND WORKING TO COMPLETE IT AND TO PASS IT. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, AS HAPPENS ON EVERYTHING NOW, WHEN THE LEADER ATTEMPTS TO MOVE TO A BILL, THERE IS AN OBJECTION TO DO THAT THAT. WHEN THERE IS, IT PUTS US INTO A SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE TO SPEND SEVERAL DAYS TRYING TO OVERCOME A POTENTIAL FILIBUSTER TO BE ABLE TO MOVE TO THE BILL. SO THAT'S PROCESS-WISE WHERE WE ARE. BUT FROM A SUBSTANCE STANDPOINT, IT IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL THAT WE MOVE TO THIS BILL AND THAT WE PASS IT. THE GREAT RECESSION AND THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE OF 2008 WERE ABSOLUTELY DEVASTATING TO OUR ECONOMY. WE KNOW THAT DURING THAT TIME, 8 MILLION AMERICANS LOST THEIR JOBS. 8 MILLION AMERICANS. MANY, MANY STILL STRUGGLING TO GET OUT OF THEIR OWN DEFICIT HOLE BECAUSE OF WHAT HAPPENED. THESE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED ALL THEIR LIVES AND PLAYED BY THE RULES ONLY TO HAVE THE RUG PULLED OUT FROM UNDER THEM. MANY OF THESE PEOPLE WERE -- WERE FOLKS WHO WORKED IN MANUFACTURING AND MANY IN MY GREAT STATE OF MICHIGAN. WE ARE SO PROUD THAT WE MAKE THINGS IN MICHIGAN AND WE DON'T HAVE A MIDDLE CLASS, WE DON'T HAVE AN ECONOMY UNLESS WE MAKE THINGS. AND THAT'S WHAT WE DO IN MICHIGAN. AND FOR DECADES, THIS HAS BEEN THE FOUNDATION OF OUR ECONOMY AND IT, FRANKLY, CREATED THE MIDDLE CLASS OF THIS COUNTRY AND WE'RE PROUD THAT IT STARTED IN MICHIGAN WITH THE BEGINNING OF THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY. IT'S NO COINCIDENCE THAT AS THOSE JOBS HAVE DISAPPEARED OVER THE DECADES, THAT THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS BEGUN TO DISAPPEAR AS WELL AND FAMILIES ARE FEELING MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT -- ARE FEELING IN MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT SITUATIONS PERMANENTLY AS A RESULT OF THAT. THOSE JOBS HAVE BEEN THE DRIVING FORCE OF OUR ECONOMY FOR DECADES, AS I INDICATED. THOSE JOBS ARE THE JOBS THAT HAVE ALLOWED THE GREATEST GENERATION TO BUILD THE GREATEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD. THE GREATEST ECONOMY WE'VE EVER SEEN. AND THOSE JOBS LED TO TREE-LINED STREETS WITH AT LEAST ONE CAR IN EVERY DRIVEWAY AND THE FREEDOM TO RAISE A FAMILY AND SEND THEM TO COLLEGE AND MAYBE HAVE THE COTTAGE UP NORTH OR BE ABLE TO TAKE FAMILY ON VACATION AND HAVE THE AMERICAN DREAM. TODAY, IN FACT, THAT DREAM IS IN JEOPARDY AND EVERY AMERICAN FAMILY KNOWS THAT. BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. IN THE LAST DECADE, COMPANIES SHIPPED 2.4 MILLION JOBS OVERSEAS. 2.4 MILLION JOBS WERE SHIPPED OVERSEAS. AND TO ADD INSULT TO INJURY, AMERICAN TAXPAYERS WERE ASKED TO HELP FOOT THE BILL. YOU KNOW, IT'S AMAZING WHEN I EXPLAIN THAT TO FOLKS IN MICHIGAN, THEY SAY, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING. OR THEY SAY OTHER THINGS THAT I CAN'T REPEAT ON THE FLOOR OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. JUST IMAGINE IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE WORKERS IN MICHIGAN, OR IN VIRGINIA, OR IN OHIO, OR IN WISCONSIN, OR ANYWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO MAYBE WAS FORCED TO TRAIN YOUR OVERSEAS REPLACEMENT BEFORE YOU WERE LAID OFF. IMAGINE WHAT YOUR REACTION WOULD BE. MORE COLORFUL THAN I'VE BEEN ABLE TO STATE HERE. WHEN AN AMERICAN WORKER IS ASKED TO SUBSIDIZE THE MOVING EXPENSES, AS THEY DO TODAY UNDER CURRENT TAX POLICY, THE MOVING EXPENSES AND COSTS SO THEIR OWN JOB CAN BE SHIPPED OVERSEAS, THERE IS SOMETHING SERIOUSLY WRONG WITH OUR TAX CODE AND WITH OUR PRIORITIES. IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE THAT WAY. IN FACT, WE CAN CHANGE THAT. WE CAN CHANGE THAT THIS WEEK ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE BY PASSING THE "BRING JOBS HOME ACT" AND SENDING IT TO THE HOUSE AND THEN SENDING IT TO THE PRESIDENT, WHERE I KNOW HE WILL ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND IMMEDIATELY SIGN IT. INSTEAD OF REWARDING COMPANIES FOR SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS, WE WANT TO REWARD COMPANIES FOR BRINGING JOBS HOME. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS BILL. WE STOP THE TAX DEDUCTION FOR MOVING EXPENSES RELATED TO MOVING JOBS OVERSEAS. THAT'S WHAT THIS BILL DOES. RIGHT NOW YOU CAN DEDUCT THOSE EXPENSES AS PART OF YOUR BUSINESS EXPENSES. WE SAY, NO MORE. SECONDLY, WE SAY, HOWEVER, IF YOU WANT TO COME HOME, WE'LL HAPPILY GIVE YOU THAT DEDUCTION FOR THE COSTS OF MOVING BACK TO THE UNITED STATES AND WE WILL ADD AN ADDITIONAL 20% TAX CREDIT FOR THOSE COSTS OF BRINGING JOBS BACK TO THE UNITED STATES. THAT'S WHAT WE ARE DOING IN THE BRING JOBS HOME -- IN THE "BRING JOBS HOME ACT." THIS IS JUST COMMON SENSE, UNFORTUNATELY NOT THAT COMMON THESE DAYS. BUT IT IS COMMON SENSE, AND IT'S GOOD ECONOMIC SENSE AS WELL, MR. PRESIDENT. IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE PASS THIS BILL. WE TALK ABOUT TAX REFORM, WE TALK ABOUT HAVING A LOT OF TAX LOOPHOLES. THIS IS ONE WE CAN ELIMINATE RIGHT NOW TOGETHER ON A BIPARTISAN BASIS. LET'S START HERE. NUMBER ONE LOOPHOLE, WE'LL CLOSE IT. NUMBER ONE PRIORITY, JOBS IN AMERICA. NOW, I KNOW SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES DON'T BELIEVE THAT THESE JOBS ARE EVER COMING BACK. I HEAR THAT ALL THE TIME. WE IN MICHIGAN HAVE BEEN SEEING THAT SAME DEFEATIST ARGUMENT FOR 20 YEARS. BUT, IN FACT, THAT'S NOT TRUE. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I'M PROUDEST OF IN THE LAST 3 1/2 YEARS IS THAT WE HAVE REFOCUSED ON ADVANCED MANUFACTURING, MAKING THINGS IN AMERICA IN THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE A LOT MORE TO DO BUT WE HAVE, IN FACT, REFOCUSED ON JOBS HERE AT HOME. AND WE ARE SEEING, BECAUSE OF THAT, A WHOLE RANGE OF POLICIES, WHETHER IT'S THE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING TAX CUT I AUTHORED IN THE RECOVERY ACT THAT ALLOWS A 30% WRITE-OFF FOR CLEAN ENERGY MANUFACTURING JOBS, OR WHETHER IT'S THE RETOOLING LOANS THAT WE PUT IN PLACE TO BE ABLE TO HELP RETOOL PLANTS, TO BE ABLE TO MODERNIZE THEM WITH ADVANCED MANUFACTURING, IT'S BRINGING JOBS BACK. WE HAVE PUT IN PLACE SOME INITIAL THINGS THAT ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE AND WE ARE NOW SEEING EVERY MONTH THAT MANUFACTURING IS HAVING AN UPTICK. IT'S BEEN REALLY ONE OF THE -- THE ONLY AREAS THAT HAS SEEN PRETTY MUCH EVERY MONTH, WE'VE BEGUN TO SEE A SLOW RETURN. WE'RE BEGINNING TO SEE SOME OF THESE JOBS COME BACK AS A RESULT OF THAT. OUR COMPANIES ARE DOING THE CALCULATIONS, FINDING OUT THAT BRINGING JOBS HOME MAKES GOOD BUSINESS SENSE. AND IT'S TIME OUR TAX CODE -- TAX CODE STOPS STANDING IN THE WAY AND ACTUALLY CAUGHT UP WITH WHAT MANY BUSINESSES ARE DOING. FORD MOTOR COMPANY BROUGHT JOBS BACK FROM MEXICO TO SUPPORT ADVANCED VEHICLE MANUFACTURING AT THEIR NEWLY RETOOLED WAYNE ASSEMBLY PLANT IN WAYNE, MICHIGAN. CHRYSLER'S GROWING AND EXPANDING THEIR OPERATIONS HERE IN THE UNITED STATES, INVESTING 95%, I BELIEVE, IS THE LAST NUMBER I HEARD OF THEIR INVESTMENTS ARE BEING DONE IN AMERICA AND WE'RE PROUD TO HAVE THEM INVESTING IN DETROIT AND IN MICHIGAN. AND LAST WEEK WE SAW REPORTS THAT G.M. IS ABOUT TO GO ON -- QUOTE -- "A HIRING BINGE" -- AND I LOVE THIS. I LOVE ANYTHING CALLED A HIRING BINGE -- AS THEY BRING ALMOST ALL OF THEIR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY NEEDS BACK IN-HOUSE AND TO AMERICA. WE HAVE A GREAT COMPANY IN DETROIT, ACTUALLY FROM NEW JERSEY NOW IN DETROIT, GALAXY SOLUTIONS, WHO HAS AN OUTSOURCE TO DETROIT EFFORT GOING ON TO BRING I.T. JOBS BACK FROM PLACES LIKE INDIA AND BRAZIL AND CHINA. AND THEY HAVE ON THE SIDE OF ONE OF OUR LARGEST BUILDINGS, MR. PRESIDENT, THIS GREAT SIGN THAT SAYS, "OUTSOURCE TO DETROIT." IF WE'RE GOING TO OUTSOURCE SOMEWHERE, LET'S OUTSOURCE TO OUR AMERICAN CITIES. AND WE LOVE THE FACT THAT THEY ARE PART OF THE EFFORT TO REBUILD AND REFOCUS ON DETROIT. WE HAVE COMPANIES THAT WANT TO INVEST IN AMERICA. WE HAVE STORIES ABOUT G.E. COMING BACK. WE HAVE STORIES IN EVERY STATE OF COMPANIES THAT ARE BRINGING JOBS BACK TO AMERICA. WE HAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO WANT TO WORK, WE HAVE COMPANIES THAT ARE LOOKING AT BRINGING JOBS BACK. AND CNBC CALLED IT THE STUFF THAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF. I THINK THAT GOING FORWARD, THE GREAT ECONOMIC RESURGENCE FOR US IS INVOLVED IN ADVANCED MANUFACTURING, MAKING THINGS IN AMERICA AND BRINGING OUR JOBS BACK TO AMERICA. AND IT IS MORE THAN TIME. IT'S WHAT OUR WORKERS ARE DREAMING OF. AND WE ARE PROUD IN MICHIGAN OF OUR WORK FORCE, THESE FOLKS THAT KNOW HOW TO WORK, THEY WANT TO WORK, THEY WORK HARD EVERY DAY. AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT EFFORTS LIKE OUTSOURCE TO DETROIT ARE GIVING THEM A NEW CHANCE TO DO THAT, AS WELL AS THE OTHER EFFORTS THAT ARE GOING ON AROUND MICHIGAN. THERE ARE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES RIGHT HERE IN AMERICA. WE'VE GOT THE GREAT NEW IDEAS. WE'VE GOT THE INGENUITY, THE INNOVATION. WE JUST MAKE -- WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE THE RIGHT POLICIES TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. THAT WE AROUND DOING ANYTHING IN OUR TAX CODE THAT ENCOURAGES JOBS TO GO OVERSEAS, THAT WE DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO SUPPORT EFFORTS TO BRING THEM BACK AND THEN TO REINVEST AND TO EXPAND UPON RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, INNOVATION, RETOOLING THE PLANTS THAT WE HAVE, REINVESTING IN COMMUNITIES, REINVESTING IN OUR CITIES AND FOCUSING ON A STRATEGY OF AMERICAN JOBS. THAT'S WHAT EVERYONE WANTS US TO BE DOING. AND THERE'S A GREAT PLACE TO START AND THAT IS WITH OUR TAX CODE SO THAT IT CATCHES UP WITH WHAT LEADING-EDGE BUSINESS LEADERS ALREADY KNOW: AMERICAN BUSINESSES, AMERICAN WORKERS CAN COMPETE WITH ANYBODY IN THE WORLD IF WE HAVE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD AND WE GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO DO IT. THIS IS REALLY A MOMENT, I BELIEVE, FOR US TO INDICATE VERY STRONGLY TO EVERYBODY IN THE COUNTRY THAT WE GET IT AND THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO ALLOW THE TAX CODE TO CONTINUE TO CREATE A SITUATION WHERE IF SOMEONE WANTS TO CLOSE UP SHOP AND MOVE OVERSEAS, THEY GET A TAX WRITE-OFF AS A RESULT OF THAT. THAT THAT MAKES ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE. YOU KNOW, I CAN'T IMAGINE ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD ALLOWING THAT TO HAPPEN. WHEN I THINK ABOUT PLACES LIKE CHINA, WHERE, MADAM PRESIDENT, AT THIS POINT, THEY'LL -- THEY SAY, COME ON OVER, WE'LL BUILD THE PLANT FOR YOU. FORGET ABOUT A RETOOLING LOAN. WE'LL BUILD THE PLANT FOR YOU. OF COURSE, THEN WE'LL STEAL YOUR PATENT. AND THERE'S A WHOLE RANGE OF OTHER CHALLENGES. BUT COME ON OVER AND WE WILL BUILD THE PLANT FOR YOU. THE LAST NUMBERS I SAW SHOWED THAT CHINA WAS SPENDING $288 MILLION A DAY -- IT'S PROBABLY MORE NOW -- ON CLEAN ENERGY POLICIES IN MANUFACTURING AND NEW CUTTING-EDGE EFFORTS TO TRY TO COMPETE AND BEAT US IN AN AREA THAT WE SHOULD OWN. YOU KNOW, BETWEEN OUR UNIVERSITIES AND OUR BUSINESSES AND OUR GREAT WORK FORCE, WE OUGHT TO COMPLETELY OWN THESE TECHNOLOGIES. NOW, I'M VERY PROUD TO SAY THAT MICHIGAN IS NOW NUMBER ONE IN NEW CLEAN ENERGY PATENTS, AND WE WERE PROUD TO OPEN LAST FRIDAY THE FIRST U.S. PATENT OFFICE OUTSIDE OF WASHINGTON, D.C., IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN. AS A RESULT OF THAT. AND THERE ARE GREAT IDEAS HAPPENING ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY RIGHT NOW. INNOVATORS. FRANKLY, PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS AND ARE NOW BACK IN THEIR GARAGE OR THEIR BASEMENT OR THE EXTRA BEDROOM WITH NEW IDEAS. WE WANT TO CREATE BUSINESSES, SUPPORT THEIR CREATION OF BUSINESSES BY INCENTIVIZING THEM THEM. NOT HAVING A TAX CODE THAT INCENTIVIZES SOMEBODY TO MOVE OVERSEAS. SO THIS LEGISLATION I THINK IS PRETTY SIMPLE, MADAM PRESIDENT. IT'S VERY SIMPLE. IT'S ABOUT BRINGING JOBS HOME TO AMERICA AND IT'S VERY SIMPLE. WE'RE GOING TO STOP WRITING OFF THE COSTS, ALLOWING THAT BUSINESS TO BE SUBSIDIZED BY ALL OF US, INCLUDING THE PEOPLE THEY LAY OFF, IN ORDER TO MOVE OVERSEAS AND INSTEAD WE'RE GOING TO SAY, NO, YOU MOVE OVERSEAS, YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN. BUT IF YOU WANT TO COME BACK, WE ARE HAPPY TO ALLOW YOU A BUSINESS DEDUCTION FOR THOSE MOVING EXPENSES AND WE WILL ADD ANOTHER 20% TOWARDS THE COSTS OF YOUR EXPENSES ON TOP OF IT. THAT'S WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING. THAT'S SMART TAX POLICY. IT'S COMMON SENSE. IT'S ONE STEP IN A SERIES OF THINGS THAT WE NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO BE ABLE TO BRING JOBS HOME AND MAKE THINGS IN AMERICA AGAIN, AND I HOPE THAT WE WILL SEE AN OVERWHELMINGLY POSITIVE BIPARTISAN VOTE ON THIS BILL. IT WOULD SEND A WONDERFUL MESSAGE THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER. YOU KNOW, WE WORKED TOGETHER NOT LONG AGO TO PASS A FARM BILL WITH A STRONG BIPARTISAN VOTE BECAUSE WE KNOW WE NEED TO GROW THINGS IN AMERICA. WE NEED TO MAKE THINGS AND GROW THINGS. THAT'S HOW YOU HAVE AN ECONOMY. THAT'S HOW WE HAVE A MIDDLE CLASS IN THIS COUNTRY. WE CAME TOGETHER AND I'M VERY APPRECIATIVE OF EVERYONE COMING TOGETHER WORKING WITH SENATOR ROBERTS AND I TO BE ABLE TO GET THAT DONE. THIS IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY, ANOTHER WAY FOR US TO COME TOGETHER AND SAY WE GET IT, WE UNDERSTAND WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE COUNTRY, AND LET'S WORK TOGETHER AND LET'S GET THE JOB DONE. SO I STRONGLY URGE COLLEAGUES TO COME TOGETHER AND TO PASS THE BRING JOBS HOME ACT. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT.

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  • 04:02:15 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 04:02:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM…

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

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  • 04:06:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA.

  • 04:06:45 PM

    MR. HOEVEN

    QUORUM CALL BE SUSPENDED.

  • 04:06:49 PM

    MR. HOEVEN

    SPEAK ON THE NEED FOR COMPREHENSIVE PRO GROWTH TAX REFORM. ONE WEEK AGO…

    SPEAK ON THE NEED FOR COMPREHENSIVE PRO GROWTH TAX REFORM. ONE WEEK AGO MONDAY, PRESIDENT OBAMA PROPOSED TO RAISE TAXES ON OVER ONE MILLION SMALL BUSINESSES IN THIS COUNTRY. EVEN THOUGH HE HAS SAID IN THE PAST THAT WE CANNOT RAISE TAXES IN A RECESSION AND THAT HIGHER TAXES WILL HURT OUR ECONOMY AND HURT JOB CREATION, HE PROPOSED RAISING TAXES ON MORE THAN ONE MILLION SMALL BUSINESSES ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. SO LAST WEEK I CAME TO THE FLOOR TO TALK ABOUT WHY THAT IS NOT THE RIGHT APPROACH AND TO DISCUSS THE APPROACH THAT WE SHOULD TAKE, THE RIGHT APPROACH. I POINTED OUT THAT HIS APPROACH, THE ADMINISTRATION'S APPROACH, HAS MADE OUR ECONOMY WORSE SINCE HE HAS TAKEN OFFICE. NOW, HERE THE FACTS SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. LET'S GO THROUGH SOME OF THOSE FACTS. TODAY WE HAVE 8.2% UNEMPLOYMENT. WE HAVE HAD OVER 8% UNEMPLOYMENT FOR 41 STRAIGHT WEEKS. WE HAVE 13 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE OUT OF WORK. MORE THAN 13 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE LOOKING FOR WORK AND ANOTHER 10 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDEREMPLOYED. THAT'S 23 MILLION PEOPLE WHO ARE EITHER UNEMPLOYED OR UNDEREMPLOYED. MIDDLE-CLASS INCOME. MIDDLE-CLASS INCOME HAS DECLINED FROM AN AVERAGE OF $55,000 DOWN TO $50,000 SINCE THE PRESIDENT TOOK OFFICE. FOOD STAMPS, FOOD STAMP USAGE IS UP. 32 MILLION FOOD STAMP RECIPIENTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, TODAY 46 MILLION RECIPIENTS. SO WE HAVE GONE FROM 32 MILLION PEOPLE ON FOOD STAMPS TO 46 MILLION PEOPLE ON FOOD STAMPS. HOME VALUES HAVE DROPPED FROM AN AVERAGE OF $169,000 TO AN AVERAGE OF ABOUT $148,000. ECONOMIC GROWTH. G.D.P. GROWTH IS THE WEAKEST FOR ANY RECOVERY SINCE WORLD WAR II. IN THE LAST QUARTER, THE RATE OF GROWTH WAS 1.9% OVER THE PRIOR QUARTER. JOB CREATION. JUNE'S NUMBERS, 82,000 JOBS CREATED IN THE MONTH OF JUNE. WE NEED 150,000 JOBS GAINED EACH MONTH JUST TO KEEP UP WITH POPULATION GROWTH AND TO REDUCE THE UNEMPLOYMENT ROLLS. SO THOSE ARE SOME OF THE STATISTICS, BUT WHEN I SPOKE ON THE FLOOR LAST WEEK, I ALSO READ A LETTER FROM ONE OF MY CONSTITUENTS BACK HOME, A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER. HE OWNS AN ACE HARDWARE STORE. AND IN HIS LETTER, HE STATED VERY CLEARLY AND VERY ELOQUENTLY THAT THE PRESIDENT'S APPROACH AND HIS APPROACH WITH SMALL BUSINESS IS HURTING OUR ECONOMY. I'M NOT GOING TO READ THE FULL LETTER, BUT I DO WANT TO READ ONE OF THE LINES, A COUPLE OF THE LINES IN HIS LETTER. IN THE LETTER, HE STATES THE PRESIDENT'S PROGRAM -- PROGRAMS NOT ONLY LIMIT MY COMPANY'S POTENTIAL TO GROW BUT THEY DESTROY ANY INCENTIVE TO WORK AND HIRE MORE PEOPLE. I JUST DON'T KNOW IF HE DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE'S DOING OR HE JUST DOESN'T CARE. I'M TAKING THAT RIGHT OUT OF A SMALL BUSINESS PERSON'S LETTER. SO KEEP THAT LAST LINE IN MIND FOR JUST A MINUTE. QUOTE -- "I JUST DON'T KNOW IF HE, PRESIDENT OBAMA, DOESN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT HE'S DOING OR JUST DOESN'T CARE." END QUOTE. AND I REFERENCE THAT BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT GAVE A SPEECH LAST FRIDAY. HE WAS IN ROANOKE, VIRGINIA. IN HIS SPEECH, HE FOLLOWED UP ON HIS PLAN TO RAISE TAXES ON SMALL BUSINESSES, HE FOLLOWED UP WITH THE FOLLOWING, AND I'M GOING TO READ RIGHT FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH BECAUSE I THINK IT GIVES INSIGHT AS TO HIS VIEW OF SMALL BUSINESS AND HOW OUR ECONOMY WORKS. SO THIS IS RIGHT OUT OF HIS SPEECH. THERE ARE A LOT OF WEALTHY, SUCCESSFUL AMERICANS WHO AGREE WITH ME BECAUSE THEY WANT TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK. THEY KNOW THEY DIDN'T LOOK. IF YOU HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL, YOU DIDN'T GET THERE ON YOUR OWN. YOU DIDN'T GET THERE ON YOUR OWN. I AM ALWAYS STRUCK BY PEOPLE WHO THINK WELL, IT MUST BE BECAUSE I WAS JUST SO SMART. THERE ARE A LOT OF SMART PEOPLE OUT THERE. IT MUST BE BECAUSE I WORK HARDER THAN EVERYBODY ELSE. LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING, THERE ARE A WHOLE BUNCH OF HARD-WORKING PEOPLE OUT THERE." AGAIN, THIS IS FROM THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH AND I'M QUOTING DIRECTLY. HE GOES ON -- "IF YOU WERE SUCCESSFUL, SOMEBODY ALONG THE LINE GAVE YOU SOME HELP. THERE WAS A GREAT TEACHER SOMEWHERE IN YOUR LIFE. SOMEBODY HELPED TO CREATE THIS UNBELIEVABLE AMERICAN SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE THAT ALLOWED YOU TO THRIVE. SOMEBODY INVESTED IN ROADS AND BRIDGES. IF YOU HAVE GOT A BUSINESS, YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT. SOMEBODY ELSE MADE THAT HAPPEN. THE INTERNET DIDN'T GET INVENTED ON ITS OWN. GOVERNMENT RESEARCH CREATED THE INTERNET SO THAT ALL THE COMPANIES COULD MAKE MONEY OFF THE INTERNET." END QUOTE. SO THAT'S RIGHT OUT OF THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH IN ROANOKE, VIRGINIA, LAST FRIDAY. I THINK THESE COMMENTS PROVIDE REAL INSIGHT INTO PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VIEW OF OUR ECONOMY AND THE ROLE OF SMALL BUSINESS IN OUR ECONOMY. HE SAYS THAT WE HAVE ALL HAD HELP IN OUR LIVES, AND THAT'S CERTAINLY TRUE, NO QUESTION. I DON'T THINK ANYONE DISPUTES THAT. BUT HE MAKES CLEAR THAT HE BELIEVES GOVERNMENT, NOT SMALL BUSINESS, IS THE DRIVER OF OUR ECONOMY. HE SAYS THAT IT'S GOVERNMENT THAT PAVES OUR ROADS, IT'S GOVERNMENT THAT INVENTED THE INTERNET. IN ESSENCE, IT'S GOVERNMENT THAT MADE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE SUCCESSFUL AND GOVERNMENT THAT MAKES OUR ECONOMY GO. AND THAT'S JUST NOT RIGHT. IT'S SMALL BUSINESS THAT MAKES OUR ECONOMY GO. IT'S SMALL BUSINESS THAT MADE OUR ECONOMY THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. IT'S SMALL BUSINESS, SMALL BUSINESSES THAT SERVE AS THE BACKBONE OF OUR ECONOMY, THAT EMPLOY OUR PEOPLE, THAT GENERATE TAX REVENUE TO BUILD OUR ROADS, THAT CREATE INNOVATION LIKE THE INTERNET AND THAT PROVIDES AMERICANS WITH THE HIGHEST STANDARD OF LIVING IN THE WORLD. SMALL BUSINESS IS THE ENGINE THAT DRIVES OUR ECONOMY, AND WE NEED TO GET IT GOING, AND YOU DON'T DO THAT BY RAISING TAXES AND GROWING GOVERNMENT. CLEARLY, THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO GO. BUT THE PRESIDENT SAYS WELL, EVERYONE NEEDS TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE. WELL, AGAIN, OF COURSE EVERYONE NEEDS TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE, BUT THE WAY TO ENSURE THAT THAT GETS ACCOMPLISHED IS WITH PRO GROWTH TAX REFORM, COMPREHENSIVE PRO GROWTH TAX REFORM AND CLOSING LOOPHOLES. LET'S EXTEND THE CURRENT TAX RATES FOR ONE YEAR, AND LET'S SET UP A PROCESS TO PASS COMPREHENSIVE PRO GROWTH TAX REFORM THAT LOWERS RATES, THAT CLOSES LOOPHOLES, THAT'S FAIR, THAT'S SIMPLER AND THAT WILL GENERATE REVENUE TO REDUCE OUR DEFICIT AND OUR DEBT THROUGH ECONOMIC GROWTH RATHER THAN THROUGH HIGHER TAXES. THE REALITY IS THAT'S THE ONLY WAY TO GO, ALONG WITH REDUCING GOVERNMENT SPENDING THAT WILL GET OUR DEBT AND OUR DEFICIT UNDER CONTROL AND THAT WILL GET OUR PEOPLE BACK TO WORK. TO BE SUCCESSFUL, THIS EFFORT NEEDS TO BE BIPARTISAN. AND THE CLOCK IS TICKING. SO LET'S GET STARTED. LET'S GIVE SMALL BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY THE LEGAL TAX AND REGULATORY CERTAINTY TO ENCOURAGE PRIVATE INVESTMENT AND INNOVATION. THAT'S THE AMERICAN WAY. THAT'S THE REAL AMERICAN SUCCESS STORY. WE CAN DO IT, AND WE NEED TO MAKE IT HAPPEN NOW. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT, AND I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 04:15:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 04:16:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM IOWA.

  • 04:16:14 PM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    I SUGGEST -- I ASK THAT THE CALLING OF THE QUORUM BE SUSPENDED.

  • 04:16:18 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:16:21 PM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE FLOOR TO ADDRESS MY COLLEAGUES ABOUT A…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE FLOOR TO ADDRESS MY COLLEAGUES ABOUT A FEDERAL AGENCY THAT HAS FORGOTTEN THAT THIS FEDERAL AGENCY IS SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THIS IS AN AGENCY THAT HAS GOTTEN REALLY TOO BIG FOR ITS BRITCHES. SOME OF ITS OFFICIALS HAVE FORGOTTEN WHO PAY THEIR SALARY. THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION IS SUPPOSED TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. EXCEPT LATELY, THE ONLY THING THAT THE F.D.A. BUREAUCRATS SEEM TO HAVE ANY INTEREST IN IS PROTECTING THEMSELVES. ACCORDING TO WHISTLE-BLOWERS AND PUBLISHED REPORTS IN "THE WASHINGTON POST" AND "THE NEW YORK TIMES," THE AGENCY IN CHARGE OF SAFEGUARDING THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND PROVIDING FOR THE PUBLIC SAFETY HAS TRAMPLED ON THE PRIVACY OF ITS VERY OWN EMPLOYEES. THE F.D.A. MOUNTED AN AGGRESSIVE CAMPAIGN AGAINST EMPLOYEES WHO WOULD DARE TO QUESTION ITS ACTIONS AND CREATED WHAT "THE NEW YORK TIMES" TERMED AN ENEMIES LIST OF PEOPLE IT CONSIDERED DANGEROUS. IT KIND OF REMINDS YOU OF PRESIDENT NIXON AND THE I.R.S. GOING AFTER ENEMIES. THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN SPYING ON THIS ENEMIES LIST. THE F.D.A. HAS BEEN SPYING ON THE PERSONAL EMAILS OF THESE EMPLOYEES, AND EVERYBODY THAT THESE EMPLOYEES CONTACTED. THAT INCLUDES THEIR PROTECTED COMMUNICATIONS EVEN WITH THOSE OF US IN CONGRESS. WE WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN THE EXTENT OF THE SPYING IF INTERNAL F.D.A. DOCUMENTS ABOUT IT HAD NOT BEEN RELEASED ON THE INTERNET, APPARENTLY JUST BY ACCIDENT. WE WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN HOW THE F.D.A. INTENTIONALLY TARGETED AND CAPTURED CONFIDENTIAL PERSONAL EMAILS BETWEEN THE WHISTLE-BLOWERS, THEIR LAWYERS, AND THOSE OF US IN CONGRESS. IN THESE INTERNAL DOCUMENTS, THE F.D.A. HAS NEVER WANTED THE PUBLIC TO SEE, IT REFERRED TO WHISTLE-BLOWERS AS -- QUOTE, UNQUOTE -- "COLLABORATORS. F.D.A. REFERS TO CONGRESSIONAL STAFF AS ANCILLARY ACTORS. F.D.A. REFERS TO NEWSPAPER REPORTERS AS MEDIA OUTLET ACTORS. THESE MEMOS MAKE THE F.D.A. SOUND MORE LIKE THE EAST GERMAN STASI THAN A CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY IN A FREE COUNTRY. AT THE BEGINNING OF COMMISSIONER HAMBURG'S TERM, SHE SAID WHISTLE-BLOWERS EXPOSE CRITICAL ISSUES WITHIN THE F.D.A. THAT SEEMS TO BE A VERY APPROVING COMMENT. SHE VOWED TO CREATE A CULTURE THAT VALUES WHISTLE-BLOWERS. THAT APPEARS TO BE A VERY APPROVING STATEMENT. IN FACT, IN 2009 SHE SAID AND I WANT TO QUOTE, "I THINK WHISTLE-BLOWERS SERVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE" END OF QUOTE. I WANTED TO BELIEVE COMMISSIONER HAMBURG WHEN SHE TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE DURING HER CONFIRMATION. I WANTED TO BELIEVE HER WHEN SHE SAID SHE WOULD PROTECT WHISTLE-BLOWERS AT THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. HOWEVER, THE FACTS NOW APPEAR VERY, VERY DIFFERENT. IN THIS CASE, THE F.D.A. INVADED THE PRIVACY OF MULTIPLE WHISTLE-BLOWERS. IT HACKED INTO THE PRIVATE EMAIL ACCOUNTS AND USED SOPHISTICATED KEY STROKE LOGGING SOFTWARE TO MONITOR THE ENTIRE AND EVERY MOVE ONLINE. WHEN AN F.D.A. SUPERVISOR WAS PLACED UNDER OATH IN THE COURSE OF AN EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMPLAINT, THAT EMPLOYEE, THAT SUPERVISOR, TESTIFIED THAT THE F.D.A. WAS CONDUCTING -- QUOTE, UNQUOTE -- "ROUTINE SECURITY MONITORING." THAT IS ENTIRELY FALSE. THIS MONITORING WAS ANYTHING BUT ROUTINE. IT TARGETED SPECIFICALLY AT FIVE WHISTLE-BLOWERS. IT INTENTIONALLY CAPTURED THEIR PRIVATE EMAIL TO ATTORNEYS, TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, AND TO THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL. THE INTERNAL DOCUMENTS SHOWED THAT THIS WAS A UNIQUE, HIGHLY SOPHISTICATED AND HIGHLY SPECIALIZED OPERATION. ACCORDING TO THE OFFICE OF INSPECT TORE GENERAL -- INSPECTOR GENERAL, THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION HAD NO EVIDENCE OF ANY CRIMINAL WRONGDOING BY THESE WHISTLE-BLOWERS. THIS MASSIVE CAMPAIGN OF SPYING WAS NOT JUST AN INVASION OF PRIVACY. IT WAS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO INTERCEPT COMMUNICATIONS THAT ARE PROTECTED BY LAW. THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL, YOU KNOW, IS AN AGENCY CREATED BY CONGRESS TO RECEIVE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPLAINTS AND TO PROTECT WHISTLE-BLOWERS FROM RETALIATION. THE LAW PROTECTS COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE SPECIAL COUNSEL AS A WAY TO ENCOURAGE WHISTLE-BLOWERS TO REPORT WASTE, FRAUD, ABUSE, MISMANAGEMENT, AND THREATS TO THE PUBLIC SAFETY, AND TO DO THAT REPORTING WITHOUT FEAR OF RETALIATION. THE F.D.A. KNEW THAT CONTACTS BETWEEN WHISTLE-BLOWERS AND THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL ARE PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL. BUT THE JAMES BOND WANNABEES AT THE F.D.A. JUST DIDN'T SEEM TO CARE WHAT THE LAW SAID. IN THE END, THE SELF-APPOINTED SPIES TURNED OUT TO BE MORE LIKE BUMBLING MAXWELL SMART. ALONG WITH THEIR OWN INTERNAL MEMOS ABOUT SPYING, THE FRUITS OF THEIR LABOR WERE ALSO ACCIDENTALLY POSTED ON THE INTERNET. IT'S TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF EMAILS AND PICTURES OF THE WHISTLE-BLOWER COMPUTER SCREENS CONTAINING SOME OF THE VERY SAME INFORMATION THAT THE F.D.A. BUREAUCRATS WERE SO KEEN TO KEEP SECRET. WHEN I STARTED ASKING QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS, F.D.A. OFFICIALS SEEMED TO SUFFER FROM A SUDDEN BOUT OF OOM NEARBYA, COLLECTIVE AM NEARBYA. IT TOOK THEM -- AM NIECIA. IT TOOK THEM MORE THAN SIX MONTHS TO ANSWER A LETTER LAST JANUARY STARTING MY INVESTIGATION OF THIS ISSUE. WHEN I PUSHED FOR A REPLY DURING THOSE SIX MONTHS, F.D.A. TOLD MY STAFF THAT THE RESPONSE WOULD TAKE TIME TO MAKE SURE IT WAS ACCURATE AND COMPLETE. WHEN I FINALLY GOT THE RESPONSE ON FRIDAY, IT DOESN'T EVEN ANSWER THE SIMPLEST OF QUESTIONS, SUCH AS WHO AUTHORIZED THIS TARGETED SPYING. AND ISN'T IT A COINCIDENCE, JUST FRIDAY, BEFORE "THE NEW YORK TIMES" ARTICLE WAS GOING TO COME OUT, SOMETIME THEY FINALLY ANSWERED A LETTER GOING WAY BACK TO MY QUESTIONS OF JANUARY. WORSE THAN THAT, THOUGH, IT IS MISLEADING IN ITS DENIALS ABOUT INTENTIONALLY INTERCEPTING COMMUNICATIONS WITH CONGRESS. WHEN I ASKED THEM WHY THEY COULDN'T JUST ANSWER SOME SIMPLE QUESTIONS, THEY TOLD MY STAFF THAT THE RESPONSE WAS UNDER REVIEW BY THE -- QUOTE -- "APPROPRIATE OFFICIALS IN THE ADMINISTRATION." END OF QUOTE. THE NONANSWERS AND THE DOUBLESPEAK WOULD HAVE FIT RIGHT INTO SOME GEORGE ORWELL NOVEL. OF COURSE WHEN MY STAFF DUG DEEPER, AND ASKED IF THE RESPONSE WAS BEING REVIEWED BY THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION RESPONDED NO, IT WASN'T BEING REVIEWED BY O.M.B. F.D.A. REFUSED TO IDENTIFY WHO WITHIN THE ADMINISTRATION WAS HOLDING UP THE F.D.A.'S RESPONSE TO MY LETTER. NOW, THAT'S IN AN ADMINISTRATION THAT SAID ON JANUARY 20, 2009, THEY'RE GOING TO BE THE MOST TRANSPARENT IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY. F.D.A. REFUSED TO SAY HOW LONG IT HAD BEEN SITTING ON THAT PERSON'S DESK OR WHY IT HAD BEEN APPROVED BY THE POLITICAL OFFICIALS OUTSIDE THE F.D.A. WHO IS THIS SHADOWY FIGURE CONDUCTING SOME SECRET REVIEW OF THE F.D.A.'S RESPONSES TO THIS SENATOR'S QUESTIONS? WHY WAS THERE ALL -- ALL OF A SUDDEN INTEREST IN EXERTING POLITICAL CONTROL OVER THE CORRESPONDENCE OF THIS SUPPOSEDLY INDEPENDENT FEDERAL AGENCY? AND WHEN WE USE THE WORD "INDEPENDENT FEDERAL AGENCY" AROUND HERE, WE MEAN NOT SUBJECT TO POLITICAL CONTROL. WE NEED ANSWERS, AND WE NEED ANSWERS NOW. I'VE BEEN DEMANDING ANSWERS FOR SIX WEEKS -- OR SIX MONTHS. FOR THE PAST SIX MONTHS, F.D.A. HAS BEEN TELLING ME JUST BE PATIENT. F.D.A. HAS BEEN TELLING ME THAT THEY HAVE A GOOD STORY TO TELL, AND THAT'S THEIR WORDS. A GOOD STORY TO TELL. APPARENTLY, THOUGH, THERE'S SOMEONE IN THIS ADMINISTRATION, PRESIDENT OBAMA'S ADMINISTRATION, WHO DIDN'T WANT THEM TO SAY ANYTHING FOR AS LONG AS THEY COULD POSSIBLY GET AWAY WITH NOT SAYING ANYTHING. I FINALLY GOT COMMISSIONER HAMBURG ON THE PHONE IN JUNE THIS YEAR. COMMISSIONER HAMBURG PERSONALLY ASSURED ME THAT THE F.D.A. WAS GOING TO FULLY COOPERATE WITH MY INVESTIGATION. AND YET THE F.D.A. HAS PROVIDED ME WITH NOTHING BUT MISLEADING AND INCOMPLETE RESPONSES. THE F.D.A. HAS FAILED TO MEASURE UP TO COMMISSIONER HAMBURG'S PLEDGE OF COOPERATION. THE F.D.A. BURIED ITS HEAD IN THE SAND IN HOPES THAT I WOULD LOSE INTEREST AND GO AWAY. THEY DON'T KNOW ME VERY WELL. AND THAT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I DON'T CARE WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT. I AM GOING TO CONTINUE DEMANDING ANSWERS. WHEN GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS OBSTRUCT AND INTERCEPT MY COMMUNICATIONS WITH PROTECTED WHISTLE-BLOWERS, I'M NOT GOING TO STOP. WHEN GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS STONEWALL FOR MONTHS ON END, I WILL NOT STOP. WHEN GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS TRY AND MUDDY THE WATERS AND MISLEAD, I WILL NOT STOP. I INTEND TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT. I WILL CONTINUE TO PRESS THE F.D.A. UNTIL WE KNOW WHO AUTHORIZED SPYING -- CAN YOU IMAGINE SPYING IN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT, A TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT? SUPPOSED TO BE TRANSPARENT. SPYING ON WHISTLE-BLOWERS THAT ARE PROTECTED BY LAW, THAT HAVE A SPECIAL OFFICE SET UP TO PROTECT THEM. AND SPYING ON COMMUNICATION BETWEEN A LAWYER AND THEIR CLIENT. SOMEONE WITHIN THE F.D.A. SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED SPYING ON PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS WITH MY OWN OFFICE, AND WITH SEVERAL OTHER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. SOMEONE AT F.D.A. SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED SPYING ON PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS WITH CONGRESSMAN VAN HONORABLE'S OFFICE. -- CONGRESSMAN VAN HOLLEN'S OFFICE. SOMEONE AUTHORIZED SPYING ON PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE STAFF OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON ON -- SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON AGING. SOMEONE AT F.D.A. SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED SPYING ON PRIVATE COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE LAWYERS FOR WHISTLE-BLOWERS, AND THOSE LAWYERS ARE CALLED THE OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSEL. THESE WHISTLE-BLOWERS THOUGHT THE F.D.A. WAS APPROVING DRUGS AND TREATMENT THAT IT SHOULDN'T. THESE WHISTLE-BLOWERS THOUGHT THE F.D.A. WAS CAVING TO PRESSURE FROM THE COMPANIES WHO WERE APPLYING FOR F.D.A. APPROVAL. THEY HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS THOSE CONCERNS WITHOUT ANY FEAR OF RETALIATION WHATSOEVER. IF THE LAW IS GOING TO BE FOLLOWED. THE LAW PROTECTING WHISTLE-BLOWERS. BUT AFTER DOING SO, TWO OF THESE WHISTLE-BLOWERS WERE FIRED. TWO MORE WERE FIRST FORCED TO LEAVE F.D.A. AND FIVE OF THEM WERE SUBJECTED TO AN INTENSE SPYING CAMPAIGN. SENIOR F.D.A. OFFICIALS MAY HAVE BROKEN THE LAW. THEY AUTHORIZED THE CAPTURING OF PERSONAL EMAIL PASSWORDS THROUGH KEY STROKE LOGGING SOFTWARE. THAT POTENTIALLY ALLOWED THEM TO LOG IN TO THE WHISTLE-BLOWERS' EMAIL ACCOUNTS AND ACCESS EMAILS THAT WERE NEVER EVEN ACCESSED FROM A WORK COMPUTER. WITHOUT A SUBPOENA OR WARRANT, THAT WOULD BE A CRIMINAL VIOLATION. AFTER SIX MONTHS, THE F.D.A. FINALLY DENIED THAT OCCURRED. HOWEVER, THAT DENIAL WAS BASED ON THE WORD OF ONE UNNAMED INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EMPLOYEE INVOLVED IN THE MONITORING. WE NEED A MORE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION THAN THAT. I HAVE ASKED THE F.D.A. TO MAKE THAT PERSON AND SEVERAL OTHER WITNESSES AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS WITH MY STAFF. WE WILL SEE HOW COOPERATIVE F.D.A. PLANS TO BE NOW. I WILL CONTINUE TO PRESS THE F.D.A. TO OPEN EVERY WINDOW AND EVERY DOOR. EVENTUALLY ENOUGH SUNLIGHT ON THIS AGENCY WILL CLEANSE IT. THE F.D.A. GETS PAID TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC, NOT TO KEEP US IN THE DARK. SECRET MONITORING PROGRAMS, SPYING ON CONGRESS, RETALIATING AGAINST WHISTLE-BLOWERS, THIS IS SAD COMMENT ARY ON THE STATE OF AFFAIRS AT THE F.D.A. I KNOW THAT THERE ARE HARDWORKING AND PRINCIPLED RANK AND FILE EMPLOYEES AT THE F.D.A. WHO CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT THEIR MISSION TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC FROM HARM. UNFORTUNATELY, ALL TOO OFTEN THOSE RANK-AND-FILE EMPLOYEES ARE UNFAIRLY TARNISHED BY OTHERS, SUCH AS THOSE INVOLVED IN THIS SPY RING. THIS IS A SAD COMMENTARY ON PRESIDENT'S PROMISE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT THIS WOULD BE THE MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION IN HISTORY. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN'T LOSE FAITH IN THE F.D.A. UNFORTUNATELY, AFTER THIS DEBACLE, SOME OF THAT FAITH MAY DETERIORATE. THE F.D.A. HAS A LOT OF WORK TO DO TO RESTORE THE PUBLIC'S TRUST. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 04:32:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM UTAH.

  • 04:36:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM UTAH.

  • 04:36:38 PM

    MR. HATCH

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:36:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:36:42 PM

    MR. HATCH

    PRESIDENT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE STRUGGLING. OUR ECONOMY IS BARELY…

    PRESIDENT, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE STRUGGLING. OUR ECONOMY IS BARELY KEEPING ABOVE THE WATER -- ITS HEAD ABOVE THE WATER. MILLIONS OF CITIZENS REMAIN OUT OF WORK. PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS SPENT TRILLIONS IN TAXPAYER DOLLARS, AND THERE'S NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT. HE TALKS ABOUT INVESTMENTS, INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE, IN ROADS AND IN BRIDGES. WELL, HE HAS SPENT TRILLIONS. WHERE ARE THE ROADS? WHERE ARE THE BRIDGES? WHERE'S THE NEW ELECTRICAL GRID? HIS RECKLESS SPENDING IS A SIN OF COMMISSION. BUT THE ADMINISTRATION'S SINS OF OMISSION ARE PERHAPS WORSE. WITH BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES LACKING ANY CERTAINTY AT ALL ABOUT THEIR TAX RATES NEXT YEAR, THE PRESIDENT AND HIS LIBERAL ALLIES HAVE NONETHELESS STEADFASTLY REFUSED AN EXTENSION OF THE 2001 AND 2003 TAX RELIEF. EVEN WORSE, THEY ARE SO COMMITTED TO RAISING TAXES ON SMALL BUSINESSES, THE SAME SMALL BUSINESSES THAT MUST BE CULTIVATED TO GET OUR ECONOMY AND JOB GROWTH MOVING AGAIN, THAT HE AND HIS DEMOCRATIC ALLIES IN THE SENATE HAVE PUT THEIR FEET DOWN AND ARE DENYING TAX RELIEF TO ANYONE UNLESS THEY GET THEIR WAY ON TAX INCREASES. AND MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, INCREASING TAXES IS WHAT THEY INTEND TO DO. AND THEY INTEND TO DO IT SO THEY CAN SPEND MORE. THEY LIVE TO RAISE TAXES. IT IS ALMOST AS THOUGH THEIR ONLY SOURCE OF PLEASURE IS HIKING TAXES. TAKING MONEY OUT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND CONTROLLING IT FOR THEIR LIBERAL AGENDA IS LIKE SOME POWER TRIP FOR THE LEFT. AND DON'T FALL FOR THAT RED HERRING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY ARGUMENT ADVANCED BY MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE. IF YOU LOOK AT A COMPARABLE POLICY BETWEEN THE HATCH-McCONNELL AMENDMENT AND THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER'S POSITION, THEY DIFFER BY ABOUT $41 BILLION FOR THE POLICY FOR 2013. THAT $41 BILLION REPRESENTS 1.1% OF THE SPENDING PROPOSED IN THE PRESIDENT'S BUDGET FOR 2013. THE HOUSE BUDGET REJECTED BY OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE WOULD REDUCE THE DEFICIT BY RESTRAINING SPENDING BY $180 BILLION, MORE THAN FOUR TIMES THE DEFICIT REDUCTION THAT WOULD BE ACHIEVED THROUGH THE TAX HIKES INSISTED UPON BY THE DEMOCRATS. WHAT DOES THIS TAX INCREASE MEAN IN TERMS OF HARM TO THE ECONOMY? MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE SHOULD CONSIDER THIS. TODAY A STUDY COMMISSIONED BY THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESSES, THE S CORPORATION ASSOCIATION AND THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CONFIRMED AGAIN THAT THE PRESIDENT'S ATTEMPT TO STICK IT TO THE RICH IS GOING TO END UP SKEWERING AND SMALL BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES THAT WOULD LIKE TO WORK FOR THEM. THIS REPORT BY ERNST & YOUNG AND AUTHORED BY DR. ROBERT CAROL AND GERALD PRONT FOUND IF THE PRESIDENT GETS HIS WAY THE ECONOMY WILL BE 1.3% SMALLER THAN IT WOULD BE AND THERE WOULD BE 710,000 FEWER JOBS. STUDY AFTER STUDY CONFIRMS THAT THE PRESIDENT'S POLICIES PRIORITIZE SPREADING THE WEALTH AROUND, OVERGROWING THE ECONOMY AND CREATING JOBS. THE VICE PRESIDENT SPOKE YESTERDAY ABOUT THE VALUES OF REPUBLICANS AND THE VALUES OF DEMOCRATS. NATURALLY HE SPOKE PEJORATIVELY ABOUT REPUBLICAN VALUES. I DISAGREE WITH HIM, NATURALLY, ON HIS NEGATIVE ASSESSMENT. BUT I DO AGREE THAT THERE IS A CLEAR DISTINCTION, A CLEAR CHOICE BETWEEN THE VALUES EMBRACED BY REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. REPUBLICANS WANT TO GROW THE ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS SO THAT AMERICAN FAMILIES CAN THRIVE. HOWEVER, TO JUDGE BY THEIR SINGLE-MINDED PURSUIT OF TAX INCREASES, PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS LIBERAL ALLIES APPEAR TO VALUE A POLITICS OF CLASS ENVY AND WEALTHY REDISTRIBUTION. HAVING WASHINGTON BUREAUCRATS MANAGE THE ECONOMY IN THE NAME OF WEALTH EQUALIZATION IS THEIR FIRST PRIORITY, REGARDLESS OF ANY EVIDENCE THAT THIS TAX POLICY UNDERCUTS ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION. UNFORTUNATELY, THE PRESIDENT'S ECONOMIC ETHIC IS SIGNIFICANTLY HAMPERING OUR ECONOMIC RECOVERY WITH DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES FOR AMERICA'S FAMILIES. TODAY BEN BERNANKE -GS -- THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE. AS THE DEMOCRATIC LEADERSHIP AND THE PRESIDENT IGNORED THE FISCAL CLIFF, CHAIRMAN BERNANKE'S WORDS ARE A SOMBER REMINDER OF WHAT WE FACE IF WE DO NOT ADDRESS THE FISCAL CLIFF HE. HE TESTIFIED THAT THE RECOVERY -- QUOTE -- "COULD BE ENDANGERED BY THE CONFLUENCE OF TAX INCREASES AND SPENDING REDUCTIONS THAT WILL TAKE EFFECT EARLY NEXT YEAR IF NO LEGISLATIVE ACTION IS TAKEN." HE STATED THAT THE PUBLIC UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THE RESOLUTION OF THESE ISSUES IS A NEGATIVE DRAG ON THE ECONOMY. AND HE CONCLUDED THAT ADDRESSING THIS CLIFF -- QUOTE -- "EARLIER RATHER THAN LATER WOULD HELP REDUCE UNCERTAINTY AND BOOST HOUSEHOLD AND BUSINESS CONFIDENCE." BUT INSTEAD OF HE ADDRESSING THESE CRITICAL ECONOMIC ISSUES, THE SENATE SPENT ANOTHER DAY VOTING ON THE SAME DOOMED PIECE OF PARTISAN LEGISLATION. RATHER THAN TAKE ON THE HARD WORK OF ADDRESSING THE FISCAL CLIFF THAT OUR ECONOMY IS APPROACHING, WE SPENT PRECIOUS TIME YESTERDAY DEBATING THE DISCLOSE ACT. FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT AWARE, THIS IS A BILL THAT HAD ONE PURPOSE: TO DISCOURAGE POLITICAL ENGAGEMENT BY PRESIDENT OBAMA'S OPPONENTS. IT TAKES A PRETTY BAD BILL TO UNIFY THE ACLU -- THAT IS THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION -- AND THE N.R.A. AGAINST IT. BUT THE DISCLOSE ACT HAS BROUGHT THE LIEAN AND THE LAMB TOGETHER -- THE LION AND THE LAMB TOGETHER AGAINST IT. IT IS BAD ENOUGH WE SPENT ALL OF YESTERDAY DEBATING A BILL THAT HAS NO SHOT OF BECOMING LAW, IT IS EVEN WORSE WE DEVOTE NEARLY AN ENTIRE DAY -- TODAY -- TO DEBATING THE SAME BILL AGAIN. IN THE MEANTIME THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CONTINUE TO SUFFER UNDER THIS WEAK ECONOMY. AND TO DEFEND THEIR LACK OF ACTION, THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ALLIES HAVE ENGAGED IN SOME REVISIONIST FISCAL HISTORY. I WANT TO BEGIN BY CORRECTING THE RECORD ON THIS REVISIONIST FISCAL HISTORY. I WILL FOLLOW THAT WITH A DISCUSSION OF THE OTHER SIDE'S INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR TAXES AND SPENDING. WE'VE RECENTLY BEEN DEBATING WHETHER WE SHOULD ADOPT THE PRESIDENT'S POLICY TO RAISE TAXES ON SMALL BUSINESS. WE'VE ALSO DISCUSSED THE TAX MONSTER THAT IS STALKING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE UNDER THE GUISE OF OBAMACARE. IN BOTH OF THESE DEBATES, WE'VE HEARD A GOOD DEAL OF FICTIONAL ACCOUNTING. THESE ACCOUNTS SHARE MUCH WITH OTHER STORIES WE HAVE HEARD FROM THE OTHER SIDE OVER THE PAST DECADE. YOU THAER FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE -- YOU HEAR IT FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE MAJORITY WHENEVER THE SENATE DISCUSSES SPENDING OR TAX POLICY. I HAVE NOTICED THAT THE ARGUMENTS BOIL DOWN TO TWO POINTS. MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, THE FORMER CHAIRMAN AND RANKING MEMBER OF THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, SENATOR GRASSLEY, CAME UP WITH THIS THUMBNAIL DESCRIPTION OF THIS CREATIVE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT. FIRST, EVOLVE THE SO-CALLED GOOD FISCAL HISTORY OF THE 1990'S -- FIRST, THIS IS -- LET ME GET INTO THIS THE RIGHT WAY. FIRST, ALL OF THE SO-CALLED GOOD FISCAL HISTORY OF THE 1990'S WAS DERIVED FROM THE PARTISAN TAX INCREASES OF 1993. THAT'S THEIR ARGUMENT. SECOND, ALL OF THE SUPPOSEDLY BAD FISCAL HISTORY TAKING PLACE WITHIN THE PAST TEN YEARS IS TO BE BLAMED ON THE BIPARTISAN TAX RELIEF PLANS ORIGINALLY ENACTED DURING THE LAST ADMINISTRATION AND CONTINUED UNDER THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION. YOU COULD GO ONE STEP FURTHER AND, AS A POLICY PREMISE, REFINE THAT THUMBNAIL DESCRIPTION TO TWO SHORT SENTENCES. FIRST SENTENCE: LOWER TAXES ARE BAD. SECOND SENTENCE: HIGHER TAXES ARE GOOD. NOT SURPRISINGLY THESE REVISIONIST HISTORIANS SUPPORT HIGHER TAXES AND HIGHER GOVERNMENT SPENDING, AND NOT SURPRISINGLY THE REVISIONISTS OPPOSE CUTTING TAXES AND CUTTING GOVERNMENT SPENDING. I DIRECT FOLKS TO SENATE FLOOR REMARKS I MADE ON VALENTINE'S DAY LAST YEAR. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REITERATE THE IMPORTANT POINTS OF THOSE REMARKS. OUR FRIENDS ARE CERTAIN THAT RAISING TAXES WAS THE DEGROWING THE ECONOMY IN THE 1990'S AND RAISING TAXES COULD WORK THIS MAGIC AGAIN. A QUICK LOOK AT DATA FROM THE 1990'S SHOWS THAT THIS ASSERTION CAN BE SUMMARILY DISMISSED. I HAVE A CHART HERE. ACCORDING TO THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'SCLINTONADMINISTRATION'S OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, OR O.M.B., THE IMPACT OF THE MUCH-BRAGGED-ABOUT TAX-HIKE BILL OF 19 THE 3 WAS MINIMAL. THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION'S O.M.B. CONCLUDED THAT THE 1993 TAX INCREASE ACCOUNTED FOR ONLY 13% -- AS YOU CAN SEE THE GREEN PART ON THAT CIRCULAR CHART. THE 1993 TAX INCREASE ACCOUNTED FOR ONLY 13% OF DEFICIT REDUCTION BETWEEN 1990 AND 2000. 13% PUTS THE 1993 TAX INCREASE BEHIND OTHER FACTORS SUCH AS DEFENSE CUTS, OTHER REVENUE, AND INTEREST SAVINGS. THE DATA CLEARLY SHOW THAT TAX INCREASES DID NOT DRIVE THE DEFICIT REDUCTION. SO, AS A MATTER OF FACT, ONLY 13% REALLY OF THE POSITIVE FISCAL HISTORY IN THE 1990'S IS DUE TO THE PARTISAN 1993 TAX INCREASE. THAT'S IT. 13%. IT'S RIGHT HERE IN THE GREEN PART OF THAT CHART. WELL, WHAT ABOUT THE LAST DECADE, THE PERIOD OF 2001-2010 SAW A LOT OF DEFICITS. FROM WHAT YOU HEAR FROM OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE, THOSE DEFICITS ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF THE TAX RELIEF THAT BENEFITED VIRTUALLY EVERY AMERICAN TAXPAYER. YET C.B.O. TELLS US A DIFFERENT STORY. ON MAY 12, 2011, C.B.O. RELEASE ADD RECAP OF THE CHARGES. C.B.O. PROJECTED A SURPLUS OF $5.6 TRILLION. OVER THE DECADE, DEFICITS OF $.2 TRILLION MATERIALIZED. THAT'S SWING OF $11.8 TRILLION. WHAT DID C.B.O. SAY WERE THE CAUSES? MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE MIGHT BE SURPRISED TO LEARN THAT THE ANSWER IS NOT PRIMARILY TAX RELIEF. HIGHER SPENDING ACCOUNTS FOR 44% OF THE CHANGE. HIGHER SPENDING, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. LET ME JUST REPEAT THAT. HIGHER SPENDING WAS THE BIGGEST DRIVER OF THE DEFICITS OF THE LAST DECADE. ECONOMIC AND TECHNICAL CHANGES IN THE ESTIMATES ACCOUNTED FOR 28% OF THE CHANGE. SO ALL TAX RELIEF, INCLUDING THE TAX RELIEF PASSED BY DEMOCRATIC CONGRESSES AND TAX RELIEF SIGNED INTO LAW BY PRESIDENT OBAMA, ACCOUNTS FOR 28%. THE TAX RELIEF LEGISLATION, MUCH-MALIGNED BY OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE, ACCOUNTS FOR LESS THAN HALF OF THE FISCAL CHANGE ATTRIBUTED TO TAX RELIEF. THE BIPARTISAN TAX RELIEF BILLS OF 2001 AND 2003 INCLUDING THE A.M.T. PATCHES ACCOUNTED FOR 1.7% OF THE FISCAL CHANGE OF THE LAST DECADE. THAT'S NOT ORRIN HATCH SPEAKING. IT IS THE NONPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL SCORE KEEPING C. SO HOW MUCH OF THE BAD FISCAL HERE OF THE LAST DECADE IS ATTRIBUTE TO BELIEVE TAX RELIEF IN 28%. THAT'S IT. THAT INCLUDES THE TAX CUTS IN PARTISAN BILLS LIKE THE STIMULUS. IF YOU ISOLATE THE BIPARTISAN BILLS THAT ARE THE OBJECT OF SHARP CRITICISM BY OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SAID, THE 2001 AND 2003 TAX CUTS, YOU WILL FIND THAT THOSE BILLS ACCOUNT FOR ONLY 13.7% OF THE FISCAL CHANGE IN THE LAST DECADE. ABNORMALLY LOW LEVELS OF SPENDING CONTRIBUTED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE SURPLUSES OF THE 1990'S. ABNORMALLY HIGH SPENDING DROVE THE DEFICITS OF THE PAST DECADE. ABNORMALLY HIGH SPENDING IS DRIVING OUR CURRENT DEFICITS, AND IT WILL DRIVE OUR FUTURE DEFICITS AS WELL. TO MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE, IF WE FOCUS INSTEAD ON HIKING TAXES WAY ABOVE THEIR HISTORIC AVERAGE, WE ARE MISREADING AND MISTREATING THE PROBLEM. THE REASON FOR OUR PREVIOUS SURPLUSES WAS LOW SPENDING, AND THE REASON FOR OUR CURRENT DEFICITS IS HIGH SPENDING. WE CANNOT TAX OUR WAY TO FISCAL HEALTH. NOW, MADAM PRESIDENT, I WOULD TURN TO A SECOND ISSUE THAT DEMANDS A RESPONSE. AND AS A COROLLARY OF THE REVISIONIST FISCAL HISTORY I JUST DISCUSSED, IT IS THE INSATIABLE SPENDING WE SEE FROM THE PRESIDENT AND MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE. LAST WEEK PRESIDENT OBAMA ONCE AGAIN CALLED FOR TAX INCREASES IN ORDER TO FUND HIS SO-CALLED PROGRESSIVE VISION OF GOVERNMENT. I'M SPECIFICALLY SPEAKING OF THE PRESIDENT'S LATEST PROCLAMATION THAT THE TAX RELIEF OF 2001 RAND 2003 -- TAX RELIEF SUPPORTED BY THE PRESIDENT AND 40 SENATE DEMOCRATS IN 2010 -- SHOULD NOT BE EXTENDED FOR PEOPLE EARNING $250,000 OR MORE A YEAR. THIS WAS BREATHLESSLY REPORTED IN SOME QUARTERS OF THE FOURTH ESTATE, AS IF IT CONSTITUTED NEWS. IN MY OPINION, THE MORE PROPER AND ACCURATE RESPONSE WOULD BE TO BORROW FROM PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN WHEN HE SAID, "THERE YOU GO AGAIN" TO JIMMY CARTER IN THE 1980 DEBATE. PERHAPS IRONICALLY PRESIDENT REAGAN WAS RESPONDING TO PRESIDENT CARTER'S COMMENTS ON A NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE PROPOSAL. PRESIDENT REAGAN WAS MORE RIGHT THAN EVEN HE KNEW, GETTING BACK TO TAXES AND THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT, PRESIDENT REAGAN WAS MAKING THE SAME POINT THAT THIS CHART SHOWS. AS YOU CAN SEE, LIBERAL LOGIC. MANY PROBLEMS, ALWAYS THE SAME SOLUTION. HEALTH CARE IS TOO EXPENSIVE. RAISE TAXES. SPENDING IS OUST CONTROL. RAISE TAXES. GAS PRICES ARE TOO HIGH. RAISE TAXES. TOO MANY PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED. RAISE TAXES. IT'S A BROKEN RECORD. NO MATTER WHAT PROBLEM FACES THE LEFT, THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS THE SAME. MORE TAXES ARE ALWAYS NEEDED IN ORDER TO INCREASE THE SIZE AND SCOPE OF THE GOVERNMENT IN PEOPLE'S LIVES. THE SUPREME COURT RECENTLY AFFIRMED THE POINT OF THIS CHART. THE LIBERAL SOLUTION TO RISING HEALTH CARE COSTS AND LACK OF COVERAGE WERE TAX INCREASES. THE PROPENSITY OF PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS IDEOLOGICAL ALLIES TO RAISE TAXES IS NOTHING NEW AND IT IS WIDELY ACKNOWLEDGED AS WELL. BACK IN AUGUST 2008, DAVID LIONHARDT WROTE A PIECE IN "THE NEW YORK TIMES" THAT QUOTED THEN THEN-CANDIDATE BAM. HERE'S WHAT HE SAID. QUOTE -- IT WAS ENTITLED "OBAMANOMICS." "IF YOU TALK TO WAR REASON, HE'LL TELL YOU HIS PREFERENCE IS NOT TO MEDDLE IN THE ECONOMY AT ALL -- LET THE MARKET WORK, HOWEVER WAY IT'S GOING TO WORKS AND THEN JUST TAX THE HECK OUST PEOPLE AT THE END AND JUST REDISTRIBUTE IT." OBAMA SAID. "THAT WAY YOU'RE NOT IMPEDING EFFICIENCICY, AND YOU'RE ACHIEVING EQUITY ON THE BACK END." UNQUOTE. IN ORDER THAT PEOPLE MAY PERUSE THE WHOLE SO, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE INTERNET WEB ADDRESS TO MR. LOENHARDT BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD.

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  • 04:53:28 PM

    MR. HATCH

    I HAVE A CHART THAT SHOWS THE LATEST TACTIC USED TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT…

    I HAVE A CHART THAT SHOWS THE LATEST TACTIC USED TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT EXPLODING GOVERNMENT SPEND SOMETHING NOT THE DISASTER IT APPEARS TO BE. THIS IS HOW CALLED THE RICH GUY CHART. AS JOHN STOSS L HAS POINTED OUT, PEOPLE LIKE FREE STUFF. THE PROBLEM WITH FREE STUFF FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS THAT NOTHING IS FREE AND TO QUOTE JOHN STOSSEL, "IT IS AN UNCLE SAM SCAM." STOSSEL WAS SPECIFICALLY DISCUSSING THE ABILITY OF PEOPLE TO EXPLOIT A TAX CREDIT FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN ORDER TO ACQUIRE GOLF CARTS BUT THE PRINCIPLE APPLIES TO ANY INSTANCE WHERE THE GOVERNMENT SUPPOSEDLY PROVIDES SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. THIS IS WHERE THE CARTOON OF THE RICH GUY BEHIND ME COMES IN. GOODIES FROM THE GOVERNMENT ARE A LOT LESS APPEALING WHEN THERE IS A PRICE TAG INVOLVED. AND MANY PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO DECIDE HOW THEY ARE GOING TO SPEND THEIR OWN MONEY. THE LEFT'S PREFERRED SOLUTION TO THIS LITTLE QUANDARY IS TO HAVE SOMEONE ELSE FOOT THE BILL. TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS, IN HIS WORDS, THE RICH. WHICH INCLUDES ALL OF THESE SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE FORMED IN SUBCHAPTER "S" CORPORATIONS AND OTHER PASS-THREW ENTITIES INCLUDING PARTNERSHIPS, L. ALREADY C.'S AND SO FORTH, SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE VITAL TO OUR. ECONOMIC RECOVERY. UNFORTUNATELY, THAT'S JUST AS ELICIT AS THE CARTOON I'M USING TO ILLUSTRATE MY POINT. WHILE MANY OF US MAY NOT WILE AWAY OUR LEISURE TIME DOWN AT THE CLUB PLAYING WIST WITH ROBBER B BARONS, A LOT OF US KNOW ABOUT BUSINESSES IN SMALL COMMUNITIES THAT EMPLOY US AND APPLY GOODS AND SERVICES THAT THE CONSUMER WANTS AND OUR ECONOMY DEMANDS. WHEN LIBERALS ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS GUY IN THE TOP HAT WITH THE MONDAYMINICLE -- MONICLE, THEY ARE REALLY TALKING ABOUT THE HARD WORKING BUSINESS OWNER. SO WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA TALKS ABOUT INCREASING TAXES ON THE RICH, HE'S REALLY TALKING ABOUT INCREASING TAXES ON AROUND 940,000 SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS. WHO ARE ALREADY IN THE TOP TWO TAX BRACKETS. A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT PAY THE OBAMA TAX INCREASE WORK FOR SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE HIT BY IT. WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IS THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS ALLIES WANT TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT AND, IN PART, THEY WANT TO FUND THIS EXPANSION WITH HIGHER TAXES ON SO-CALLED RICH PEOPLE. NOW, I WANT TO CONCLUDE MY REMARKS WITH A QUESTION. IF WE ARE GETTING MORE GOVERNMENT, WHAT ARE WE GETTING LESS OF? I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE CHART I DISPLAYED EARLIER OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING AS A PERCENTAGE OF G.D.P., THIS ONE RIGHT HERE. AS YOU CAN SEE. WE CAN SEE THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS GOING UP, BUT WHAT IS GOING DOWN AS A RESULT? WHAT DOES THE AREA IN THE TOP OF THAT CHART, WHICH IS DIMINISHING, REPRESENT? THIS IS A SUBJECT THAT LENDS ITSELF TO PROLONGED DISCUSSION, BUT FOR ONE ANSWER, WE CAN GO BACK TO MR. LEONHART'S PIECE IN "THE NEW YORK TIMES." THIS IS THE SAME PIECE FROM AUGUST 24, 2008, AND CONTAINS A QUOTE FROM THEN-CANDIDATE OBAMA CRITIQUING HIS FRIEND, WARREN'S ARGUMENT. PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID -- QUOTE -- "I DO THAT I WHAT THE ARGUMENT MAY MISS IS THE SENSE OF CONTROL THAT WE WANT INDIVIDUALS TO HAVE IN DETERMINING THEIR OWN CAREER PATHS, MAKING THEIR OWN LIFE CHOICES AND SO FORTH. AND I ALSO THINK YOU WANT TO INSTILL THAT SENSE OF SELF-RELIANCE AND THAT WHEN YOU DO WILL HELP DETERMINE OUTCOMES." -- AND THAT WHAT YOU DO WILL HELP DETERMINE OUTCOMES." WELL, LET ME JUST REFER TO THE OBAMANOMI CS CHAFORT -- THE OBAMANOMICS TOO CHART. IF PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS IN THE MIDST OF AN INTERNAL STRUGGLE OVER THE APPROPRIATE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT BACK IN 2008, THAT STRUGGLE IS OVER. SELF-RELIANCE LOST AND TAXING THE HECK OUT OF PEOPLE IN REDISTRIBUTION WON. IT RUNS THROUGH THE THEME OF HIS REVISIONIST FISCAL HISTORY, AND IT IS THE ETHIC UNDERLYING THE INSATIABLE APPETITE MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE HAVE FOR TAXES AND SPENDING. THIS IN AND OF ITSELF IS NOT REALLY ANYTHING NEW FOR LIBERALS AND PROGRESSIVES, SO ONCE AGAIN, I'LL QUOTE MIRE FRIEND, PRESIDENT -- MY FRIEND, PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN N. MY RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN TO TAX THE HECK OUT OF PEOPLE IN THE NAME OF REDISTRIBUTION, THERE YOU GO AGAIN. MADAM PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 05:00:15 PM

    >>

    THAT SHOWS THE LATEST TACTIC USED TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT EXPLODING…

    THAT SHOWS THE LATEST TACTIC USED TO CONVINCE PEOPLE THAT EXPLODING GOVERNMENT SPEND SOMETHING NOT THE DISASTER IT APPEARS TO BE. THIS IS HOW CALLED THE RICH GUY CHART. AS JOHN STOSS L HAS POINTED OUT, PEOPLE LIKE FREE STUFF. THE PROBLEM WITH FREE STUFF FROM THE GOVERNMENT IS THAT NOTHING IS FREE AND TO QUOTE JOHN STOSSEL, "IT IS AN UNCLE SAM SCAM." STOSSEL WAS SPECIFICALLY DISCUSSING THE ABILITY OF PEOPLE TO EXPLOIT A TAX CREDIT FOR ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN ORDER TO ACQUIRE GOLF CARTS BUT THE PRINCIPLE APPLIES TO ANY INSTANCE WHERE THE GOVERNMENT SUPPOSEDLY PROVIDES SOMETHING FOR NOTHING. THIS IS WHERE THE CARTOON OF THE RICH GUY BEHIND ME COMES IN. GOODIES FROM THE GOVERNMENT ARE A LOT LESS APPEALING WHEN THERE IS A PRICE TAG INVOLVED. AND MANY PEOPLE WOULD LIKE TO DECIDE HOW THEY ARE GOING TO SPEND THEIR OWN MONEY. THE LEFT'S PREFERRED SOLUTION TO THIS LITTLE QUANDARY IS TO HAVE SOMEONE ELSE FOOT THE BILL. TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS, IN HIS WORDS, THE RICH. WHICH INCLUDES ALL OF THESE SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE FORMED IN SUBCHAPTER "S" CORPORATIONS AND OTHER PASS-THREW ENTITIES INCLUDING PARTNERSHIPS, L. ALREADY C.'S AND SO FORTH, SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE VITAL TO OUR. ECONOMIC RECOVERY. UNFORTUNATELY, THAT'S JUST AS ELICIT AS THE CARTOON I'M USING TO ILLUSTRATE MY POINT. WHILE MANY OF US MAY NOT WILE AWAY OUR LEISURE TIME DOWN AT THE CLUB PLAYING WIST WITH ROBBER B BARONS, A LOT OF US KNOW ABOUT BUSINESSES IN SMALL COMMUNITIES THAT EMPLOY US AND APPLY GOODS AND SERVICES THAT THE CONSUMER WANTS AND OUR ECONOMY DEMANDS. WHEN LIBERALS ARE TALKING ABOUT THIS GUY IN THE TOP HAT WITH THE MONDAYMINICLE -- MONICLE, THEY ARE REALLY TALKING ABOUT THE HARD WORKING BUSINESS OWNER. SO WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA TALKS ABOUT INCREASING TAXES ON THE RICH, HE'S REALLY TALKING ABOUT INCREASING TAXES ON AROUND 940,000 SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS. WHO ARE ALREADY IN THE TOP TWO TAX BRACKETS. A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD NOT PAY THE OBAMA TAX INCREASE WORK FOR SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE HIT BY IT. WHAT WE HAVE SEEN IS THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS ALLIES WANT TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT AND, IN PART, THEY WANT TO FUND THIS EXPANSION WITH HIGHER TAXES ON SO-CALLED RICH PEOPLE. NOW, I WANT TO CONCLUDE MY REMARKS WITH A QUESTION. IF WE ARE GETTING MORE GOVERNMENT, WHAT ARE WE GETTING LESS OF? I WANT TO GO BACK TO THE CHART I DISPLAYED EARLIER OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING AS A PERCENTAGE OF G.D.P., THIS ONE RIGHT HERE. AS YOU CAN SEE. WE CAN SEE THAT GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS GOING UP, BUT WHAT IS GOING DOWN AS A RESULT? WHAT DOES THE AREA IN THE TOP OF THAT CHART, WHICH IS DIMINISHING, REPRESENT? THIS IS A SUBJECT THAT LENDS ITSELF TO PROLONGED DISCUSSION, BUT FOR ONE ANSWER, WE CAN GO BACK TO MR. LEONHART'S PIECE IN "THE NEW YORK TIMES." THIS IS THE SAME PIECE FROM AUGUST 24, 2008, AND CONTAINS A QUOTE FROM THEN-CANDIDATE OBAMA CRITIQUING HIS FRIEND, WARREN'S ARGUMENT. PRESIDENT OBAMA SAID -- QUOTE -- "I DO THAT I WHAT THE ARGUMENT MAY MISS IS THE SENSE OF CONTROL THAT WE WANT INDIVIDUALS TO HAVE IN DETERMINING THEIR OWN CAREER PATHS, MAKING THEIR OWN LIFE CHOICES AND SO FORTH. AND I ALSO THINK YOU WANT TO INSTILL THAT SENSE OF SELF-RELIANCE AND THAT WHEN YOU DO WILL HELP DETERMINE OUTCOMES." -- AND THAT WHAT YOU DO WILL HELP DETERMINE OUTCOMES." WELL, LET ME JUST REFER TO THE OBAMANOMI CS CHAFORT -- THE OBAMANOMICS TOO CHART. IF PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS IN THE MIDST OF AN INTERNAL STRUGGLE OVER THE APPROPRIATE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT BACK IN 2008, THAT STRUGGLE IS OVER. SELF-RELIANCE LOST AND TAXING THE HECK OUT OF PEOPLE IN REDISTRIBUTION WON. IT RUNS THROUGH THE THEME OF HIS REVISIONIST FISCAL HISTORY, AND IT IS THE ETHIC UNDERLYING THE INSATIABLE APPETITE MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE HAVE FOR TAXES AND SPENDING. THIS IN AND OF ITSELF IS NOT REALLY ANYTHING NEW FOR LIBERALS AND PROGRESSIVES, SO ONCE AGAIN, I'LL QUOTE MIRE FRIEND, PRESIDENT -- MY FRIEND, PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN N. MY RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT'S PLAN TO TAX THE HECK OUT OF PEOPLE IN THE NAME OF REDISTRIBUTION, THERE YOU GO AGAIN. MADAM PRESIDENT, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 05:05:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

  • 05:05:18 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 05:18:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA.

  • 05:18:26 PM

    MR. THUNE

    IS THE SENATE IN A QUORUM CALL?

  • 05:18:30 PM

    MR. THUNE

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH.

  • 05:18:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:18:34 PM

    MR. THUNE

    MR. PRESIDENT, ONE OF THE FOREMOST THREATS TO OUR ECONOMY IS THE FISCAL…

    MR. PRESIDENT, ONE OF THE FOREMOST THREATS TO OUR ECONOMY IS THE FISCAL CLIFF. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES AND I HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR SEVERAL MONTHS NOW CALLING FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY AND THE SEQUESTRATION THAT WILL OCCUR AT THE END OF THE YEAR, A REPLACEMENT OF THE DEFENSE SEQUESTER, AN ACTION TO PREVENT A MASSIVE TAX INCREASE ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. SENATE DEMOCRATS WHO HAVE ONLY RECENTLY ACKNOWLEDGED THE LOOMING FISCAL CLIFF ARE NOW THREATENING TO GO OVER THE CLIFF UNLESS REPUBLICANS AGREE TO INCREASING TAXES ON AMERICA'S SMALL BUSINESSES DURING THIS DIFFICULT ECONOMIC PERIOD. NOW, THINK ABOUT THAT. SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE WILLING TO PUT OUR ECONOMY AT SERIOUS RISK AND OUR NATIONAL SECURITY IN JEOPARDY UNLESS REPUBLICANS AGREE TO A MASSIVE TAX INCREASE ON AMERICA'S SMALL BUSINESSES, AND I WANT TO POINT OUT THIS IS FROM "THE WASHINGTON POST" OVER THE WEEKEND, AND THIS IS THE HEADLINE FROM THE NEWS STORY. IT SAYS DEMOCRATS THREATEN TO GO OVER FISCAL CLIFF IF G.O.P. FAILS TO RAISE TAXES. THAT'S THE HEADLINE OF "THE WASHINGTON POST" STORY. OF COURSE, THE STORY GOES ON REPORTING IN THERE, THEY QUOTE SENIOR DEMOCRATS SAYING THAT THEY'RE PREPARED TO WEATHER A FISCAL EVENT THAT COULD PLUNGE THE NATION BACK INTO RECESSION IF THE NEW YEAR ARRIVES WITHOUT AN ACCEPTABLE COMPROMISE, WHICH, AS THEY HAVE DEFINED THAT TO BE A MAJOR TAX INCREASE ON SMALL BUSINESSES IN THIS COUNTRY. SO YOU THINK ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THAT, WHAT THAT MEANS TO PEOPLE ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE HAD NOW FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS A COMPLETE FAILURE IN THE SENATE TO PRODUCE A BUDGET. WE'RE NOW FACED WITH THIS FISCAL CLIFF WHICH AS I SAID CONSISTS OF THE SEQUESTRATION, THE ACROSS THE BOARD CUTS THAT WOULD OCCUR EARLY NEXT YEAR IF NOTHING IS DONE TO PREVENT THEM, THE TAX HIKES, WE'RE GOING TO REACH THE DEBT LIMIT. ALL THREATEN OUR ECONOMY AND AN ALREADY ANEMIC RECOVERY. IT'S HARD, I THINK, MR. PRESIDENT, TO OVERSTATE THE MAGNITUDE OF THE TAX INCREASES THAT ARE GOING TO HIT OUR ECONOMY STARTING NEXT YEAR IF WE DON'T ACT. OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS, THIS TAX INCREASE WOULD RESULT IN NEARLY $4.5 TRILLION IN NEW TAXES ON AMERICAN FAMILIES AND ENTREPRENEURS. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO THE AVERAGE FAMILY IN THIS COUNTRY? THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION RECENTLY PUBLISHED A STUDY THAT ESTIMATED THE TAX INCREASE PER TAX RETURN IN EVERY STATE. I WILL JUST GIVE YOU, FOR EXAMPLE, MY STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA WHERE THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION ESTIMATES THAT THE AVERAGE TAX INCREASE PER TAX RETURN WOULD BE $3,187 IN THE YEAR 2013. NOW, I WOULD SAY TO MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE WHO I THINK MANY GENERALLY BELIEVE IN KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS, DEMAND-DRIVEN KEYNESIAN ECONOMICS THAT THE AVERAGE FAMILY IN SOUTH DAKOTA CAN DO MORE TO STIMULATE OUR ECONOMY AND CREATE NEW EMPLOYMENT BY KEEPING THEIR 3,187 AND SPENDING IT AS THEY SEE FIT, NOT AS WASHINGTON SEES FIT TO SPEND IT ON THEIR BEHALF. NOW, TAX-MAGEDDON IS A VERY APT DESCRIPTION THAT'S BEEN APPLIED TO THIS FISCAL CLIFF WHEN YOU CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF THESE TAX INCREASES NOT JUST ON INDIVIDUAL FAMILIES BUT ON OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY. UNTIL REPEATLY, WE COULD JUST SPECULATE ABOUT THE IMPACT OF THESE TAX INCREASES ON OUR FRAGILE ECONOMY, BUT THE MAGNITUDE OF THE DAMAGE WAS IN DISPUTE. WELL, NOT ANYMORE. LAST MONTH, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE GAVE US THE MOST DEFINITIVE ESTIMATE YET OF THE IMPACT OF THE NEARLY $.5 TRILLION OF TAX INCREASES THAT WOULD HIT IN 2013 WHEN COMBINED WITH MORE THAN $100 BILLION OF SPENDING CUTS THAT WOULD OCCUR UNDER THE SEQUESTER THAT I MENTIONED EARLIER. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE PROJECTS THAT THE COMBINATION OF THE MASSIVE TAX INCREASES AND THE SEQUESTER WILL RESULT IN REAL G.D.P. GROWTH IN CALENDAR YEAR 2013 OF ONLY.5%. THINK ABOUT THAT. .5%. WE'RE RIGHT NOW GROWING AT SOMEWHERE THEY THINK, ANYWAY, IN THE RANGE OF 1.9%, 2% THIS YEAR, BUT IN THE FIRST HALF OF NEXT YEAR OR ALL OF NEXT YEAR, I SHOULD SAY, THE REAL G.D.P. GROWTH WOULD AMOUNT TO ONLY.5%. AND THE PICTURE IS EVEN BLEAKER IF YOU CONSIDER THAT C.B.O. PROJECTS THAT THE ECONOMY WILL ACTUALLY LOSE OR WILL HAVE A DECREASE IN G.D.P. OF 1.3% IN THE FIRST HALF OF 2013. SO YOU HAVE GOT THIS CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAYING THAT OVER THE ENTIRE YEAR IN 2013, THE LIKELIHOOD IS THAT IT WILL GROW AT.5 PERCENT IF WE DON'T ADDRESS THE FISCAL CLIFF, BUT IN THE FIRST HALF OF NEXT YEAR, THE FIRST HALF OF NEXT YEAR, WE ACTUALLY SEE A DECREASE OF 1.3% OF ECONOMIC GROWTH. NOW, ACCORDING TO THE C.B.O., AGAIN, A CONTRACTION IN OUTPUT OR A REDUCTION, I SHOULD SAY, OF 1.3% OF ECONOMIC GROWTH IN THE FIRST HALF OF NEXT YEAR WOULD, AND I QUOTE, PROBABLY BE JUDGED TO BE A RECESSION. PROBABLY BE JUDGED TO BE A RECESSION. THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, AGAIN, WHICH IS THE NONPARTISAN, AUTHORITATIVE REFEREE THAT WE USE AROUND HERE TO EVALUATE THE IMPACT OF THE SPENDING AND DEBT TAX ISSUES. JUST THIS MORNING, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OF GOVERNORS, BEN BERNANKE, TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE, AND HERE'S WHAT HE SAID, AND I QUOTE. FISCAL DECISIONS SHOULD TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE FRAGILITY OF THE RECOVERY. THAT RECOVERY COULD BE ENDANGERED BY THE CONFLUENCE OF TAX INCREASES AND SPENDING REDUCTIONS THAT WILL TAKE EFFECT EARLY NEXT YEAR IF NO LEGISLATIVE ACTION IS TAKEN. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS ESTIMATED THAT IF THE FULL RANGE OF TAX INCREASES AND SPENDING CUTS WERE ALLOWED TO TAKE EFFECT, THE SCENARIO WIDELY REFERRED TO AS THE FISCAL CLIFF, A SHALLOW RECESSION WOULD OCCUR EARLY NEXT YEAR, END QUOTE. THAT'S ACCORDING TO, AGAIN, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD OF GOVERNORS BEN BERNANKE, IN HIS TESTIMONY JUST AS RECENTLY AS THIS MORNING. YOU TALK ABOUT A SHALLOW RECESSION OCCURRING NEXT YEAR AND THE ENDANGERMENT OF THE RECOVERY THAT'S UNDERWAY IF WE HAVE THIS CONFLUENCE OF EVENTS HAPPEN AT THE END OF THE YEAR. HE WENT ON TO SAY AND I WANT TO QUOTE AGAIN, THESE ESTIMATES DO NOT INCORPORATE THE ADDITIONAL NEGATIVE EFFECTS LIKELY TO RESULT FROM PUBLIC UNCERTAINTY ABOUT HOW THESE MATTERS WILL BE RESOLVED, END QUOTE. IN OTHER WORDS, MR. PRESIDENT, THE ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY THAT'S ASSOCIATED WITH ALL THESE THINGS HAPPENING AT THE END OF THE YEAR ARE IMPACTING THE ECONOMY TODAY AS PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT HOW THEY'RE GOING TO MAKE INVESTMENT DECISIONS AND THAT OUR ECONOMY IS LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE NEGATIVE EFFECTS FROM THAT PUBLIC UNCERTAINTY ABOVE AND BEYOND THE DIRECT IMPACTS THAT THE C.B.O. HAS INCORPORATED IN ITS ANALYSIS. SO LET'S BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT THE FISCAL CLIFF MEANS. WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT A SLIGHT SLOWDOWN OF A FEW TENTHS OF A PERCENT. WHAT WE ARE FACING IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN POSITIVE GROWTH ON ONE HAND, WHICH WILL MEAN MORE JOBS AND HIGHER INCOMES, AND A POTENTIAL RECESSION ON THE OTHER HAND. WE CAN AND MUST PROVIDE AMERICANS SOME CERTAINTY AS TO WHAT THEIR TAXES ARE GOING TO BE NEXT YEAR. NOW, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS ALREADY AGREED TO HOLD A VOTE TO EXTEND ALL OF THE EXISTING TAX RATES BEFORE THE AUGUST RECESS IN ORDER TO AVERT THE FISCAL CLIFF. THEY'RE GOING TO ACT ON THIS SOMETIME BEFORE WE GO OUT IN AUGUST TO EXTEND ALL THE RATES AT THE END OF THE YEAR, SO THERE IS CERTAINTY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT YEAR FOR THOSE WHO ARE MAKING ECONOMIC DECISIONS. UNFORTUNATELY THUS FAR, THE SENATE AND THE SENATE DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP HAS ONLY AGREED TO HOLD A VOTE ON A PLAN TO RAISE TAXES ON NEARLY A MILLION SMALL BUSINESSES. THIS TAX INCREASE ON INDIVIDUALS EARNING MORE THAN $200,000 A YEAR AND FAMILIES MAKING MORE THAN $250,000 A YEAR WILL RAISE TAXES ON MORE THAN HALF OF ALL INCOME IN AMERICA EARNED BY S CORPORATIONS, SOLE PROPRIETORSHIPS, L.L.C. PARTNERSHIPS AND OTHER PASS-THROUGH BUSINESSES THAT PAY THEIR TAXES AT THE INDIVIDUAL RATES. NOW, JUST A POINT OF CLARIFICATION, THAT APPLIES TO A LOT OF MOM AND POP BUSINESSES IN THIS COUNTRY. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THAT RESTAURANT OWNER, THAT ELECTRICIAN, MANY OF WHOM ARE ORGANIZED IN THE FASHION IN WHICH THEY -- THEIR INCOME FLOWS THROUGH TO THEIR INDIVIDUAL TAX RETURN AND THEY PAY AT THE INDIVIDUAL TAX RATE. AND SO THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION HAS ESTIMATED THAT THE NUMBER OF BUSINESSES THAT WOULD BE IMPACTED BY THAT IS 940,000. SO ALMOST A MILLION SMALL BUSINESSES WOULD SEE THEIR TAXES GO UP AS A RESULT OF THE FISCAL CLIFF BE AND TAX RATES EXPIRING AT THE END OF THE YEAR FOR THOSE WHO ARE MAKING MORE THAN $200,000 AND INDIVIDUALS OR FAMILIES MAKING MORE THAN $250,000 A YEAR. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS, THE SMALL BUSINESSES MOST LIKELY TO BE HIT BY THE DEMOCRAT TAX INCREASE EMPLOY 25% OF THE TOTAL WORK FORCE, SO WE ARE TALKING NOT JUST ABOUT THE SMALL BUSINESSES WHO ARE GOING TO BE FACED WITH HIGHER TAXES BUT WE'RE ALSO TALKING ABOUT A HUGE AMOUNT, A HUGE PORTION OF THE AMERICAN WORK FORCE IN THIS COUNTRY. 25% OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY, EMPLOYEES IN THIS COUNTRY WORK FOR THOSE SMALL BUSINESSES WHO WILL SEE, ACCORDING TO THE JOINT COMMITTEE ON TAXATION, THEIR TAXES GO UP AS A RESULT OF THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSAL. SO WE ESSENTIALLY HAVE IN FRONT OF US THREE CHOICES. WE CAN LET ALL THE TAX RATES EXPIRE, WHICH WE KNOW IS GOING TO PLUNGE OUR ECONOMY BACK INTO A RECESSION. WE CAN DO WHAT OUR DEMOCRAT COLLEAGUES WANT TO DO, WHICH IS TO RAISE TAXES ON SUCCESSFUL SMALL BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS, SLOWING OUR ECONOMY EVEN FURTHER AND RISKING, ACCORDING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE AND THE CHAIRMAN OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BOARD, A RECESSION, OR WE CAN DO WHAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL SOON PASS AND WHAT I WOULD SUGGEST, AND THAT IS WE CAN PREVENT A TAX INCREASE FROM HITTING ANYONE AND GIVE THE LACKLUSTER ECONOMIC RECOVERY AT LEAST A CHANCE TO GAIN SOME STEAM. THAT'S WHAT WE OUGHT TO DO, MR. PRESIDENT. WE OUGHT TO DO WHAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS GOING TO DO, AND THAT IS TO EXTEND THE RATES FOR A YEAR SO THAT PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE SOME CERTAINTY AS TO WHAT THEIR TAX RATE IS GOING TO BE AT THE END OF THE YEAR. I HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES HERE IN THE SENATE AND THE SENATE DEMOCRATS WILL REALIZE -- SENATE DEMOCRATS IN PARTICULAR THE SEVERITY OF THE FISCAL CLIFF AND COME TO THE TABLE TO PREVENT THIS MASSIVE TAX INCREASE AND THE UNBALANCED AND TROUBLING CUTS THAT ARE GOING TO OCCUR TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY IF WE DON'T TAKE STEPS TO AVERT THIS FISCAL CLIFF. WE'VE GOT TO PREVENT THE DANGEROUS CUTS TO NATIONAL DEFENSE THAT ARE SCHEDULED TO GO INTO EFFECT UNDER SEQUESTRATION BY FINDING SAVINGS ELSEWHERE IN THE BUDGET. IN ORDER TO DO THAT, WE NEED A DETAILED PLAN FROM THE ADMINISTRATION AS TO HOW THEY PLAN TO IMPLEMENT THE SEQUESTER. MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE HAVE CALLED FOR MORE TRANSPARENCY ON THE SEQUESTER FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION, BUT THEY HAVE SO FAR FAILED TO PRODUCE A PLAN. MR. PRESIDENT, THAT IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE, AND I WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO SEE THAT A REQUIREMENT BE ENACTED SO THAT THE ADMINISTRATION WILL FINALLY BE TRANSPARENT WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND GIVE ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS A CLEAR IDEA AS TO WHERE THE CUTS ARE GOING TO BE APPLIED. MR. PRESIDENT, OUR ECONOMY IS WEAK. WE KNOW THAT GROWTH IN THE FIRST QUARTER WAS A MERE 1.9%, EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER HAVE BEEN DOWNGRADED. WE HAVE WITNESSED NOW OVER 41 STRAIGHT MONTHS OF UNEMPLOYMENT ABOVE 8%. WE WE HAVE 23 MILLION AMERICANS WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED OR UNDEREMPLOYED, AMERICANS WHO HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. WE HAVE A WEAK ECONOMY. AND THE AMAZING THING ABOUT THIS DEBATE IS THAT TWO SUMMERS AGO OR TWO YEARS AGO, I SHOULD SAY, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAID THAT RAISING TAXES WOULD STRIKE A BLOW, STRIKE A BLOW TO THE ECONOMY. THAT WAS AT A TIME WHEN WE HAD 3.1% ECONOMIC GROWTH. WE NOW HAVE, AS I SAID, ACCORDING TO THE ESTIMATES, 1.9% OF ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR IN EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND QUARTER HAVE ALREADY BEEN DOWNGRADED. SO WITH 41 STRAIGHT MONTHS OF UNEMPLOYMENT ABOVE 8%, 23 MILLION AMERICANS UNDEREMPLOYED OR UNEMPLOYED, AND THE WEAKEST RECOVERY LITERALLY SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR II, NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO RAISE TAXES. WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD THINK THAT IT WOULD MAKE ANY SENSE AT ALL TO RAISE TAXES WHEN YOU'VE GOT AN ECONOMY THAT IS GROWING AT SUCH AN ANEMIC RATE, PARTICULARLY GIVEN THE FACT THAT TWO YEARS AGO WHEN WE HAD MORE ROBUST ECONOMIC GROWTH THE PRESIDENT SAID AT THAT TIME THAT IT WOULD STRIKE A BLOW TO OUR ECONOMY IF WE RAISED TAXES. SO HERE WE ARE WITH ECONOMIC CONDITIONS ARE WORSE, CIRCUMSTANCES THAT HAVE DETERIORATED SINCE THEN AND HE'S PROPOSING A TAX INCREASE ON A MILLION SMALL BUSINESSES THAT WILL IMPACT AND HAVE A RIPPLE EFFECT ALL ACROSS OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY AND HURT JOB CREATION IN THIS COUNTRY AT A TIME WE CANNOT AFFORD THAT. I WOULD JUST POINT OUT ONE OTHER THING, MR. PRESIDENT. THERE WAS ANOTHER STUDY, ANALYSIS THAT CAME OUT TODAY DONE BY ERNST AND YOUNG IN WHICH THEY ANALYZED THE TAX HIKES THAT WOULD OCCUR ON SMALL BUSINESSES NEXT YEAR AND CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT IT IT WOULD COST 700,000 JOBS IN OUR ECONOMY, THAT IT WOULD COST US 1.3% OF ECONOMIC GROWTH WHICH IS, AGAIN, CONSISTENT WITH WHAT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS SAID. AND THAT IT WOULD REDUCE WAGES TO PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY BY 2%. SO YOU NOW HAVE THE ERNST AND YOUNG STUDY OUT THERE WHICH SUGGESTS NOT ONLY DOES THIS IMPACT THE SMALL BUSINESSES OUT THERE WHO ARE GOING TO SEE THEIR TAXES GO UP, BUT IT PUTS AT RISK AND IN JEOPARDY JOBS FOR HARD-WORKING AMERICANS AND A WAGE BASE THAT WOULD ACTUALLY SHRINK IN IF IN FACT WE DRIVE THE CAR OVER THIS FISCAL CLIFF. MR. PRESIDENT, WE CAN'T AFFORD TO DO THAT. AND IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE TO HAVE PEOPLE OUT THERE SAYING THAT THEY ARE SO ANXIOUS FOR -- TO PROVE SOME POINT OR TO WIN SOME ARGUMENT ON RAISING TAXES THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO SEE THIS COUNTRY RUN THE RISK OF PLUNGING INTO A RECESSION AND RAISING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED IN THIS COUNTRY. IT REALLY IS. I MEAN I HAVE TO SAY WHEN I SAW SOME OF THE REMARKS AND SOME OF THESE STORIES AND SOME OF THE REPORTING ABOUT STATEMENTS THAT ARE BEING MADE BY OUR COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE AND MEMBERS OF THEIR STAFF WITH REGARD TO THE FISCAL CLIFF, AND -- AND THE -- THE WILLINGNESS ON THE PART OF MANY OF OUR COLLEAGUES TO SUGGEST THAT THIS COUNTRY COULD GO THROUGH AND ENDURE EVEN MORE DIFFICULT ECONOMIC TIMES THAN WHAT WE'RE ALREADY EXPERIENCING, EVEN HIGHER UNEMPLOYMENT THAN WHAT WE'RE ALREADY SEEING WAS REALLY, REALLY PRETTY REMARKABLE AND TRULY UNFORTUNATE AND I WOULD HOPE FOLKS WOULD WALK BACK FROM THAT POSITION, WALK BACK FROM THOSE REMARKS, AND ENTER INTO A DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE THE NECESSARY ECONOMIC CERTAINTY FOR OUR JOB CREATORS AND SMALL BUSINESSES, HOW WE CAN GET PEOPLE BACK TO WORK, HOW WE CAN GROW AND EXPAND THIS ECONOMY, FRANKLY EXTENDING THE TAX RATES SHOULD ONLY BE THE FIRST PART. THE SHORT-TERM SOLUTION. THE LONG-TERM SOLUTION IS TO GET TAX REFORM, COMPREHENSIVE TAX REFORM. I THINK PEOPLE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE AGREE WITH THAT, AND IF WE COULD ENTER A DISCUSSION HOW WE COULD REFORM OUR TAX CODE SO IT BROADENS THE BASE, LOWERS THE RATES, DOES AWAY WITH LOOPHOLES AND DEDUCTIONS COUPLED WITH ENTITLEMENT REFORM WE ALL AGREE HAS TO BE DEALT WITH OR WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO SEE A COUNTRY ON A FISCAL TRAJECTORY AND THIS UNSUSTAINABLE OVER TIME, WILL LEAD TO THE SITUATION THAT WE SEE MANY EUROPEAN COUNTRIES DEALING WITH TODAY. THAT'S WHAT WE OUGHT TO BE FOCUSED ON. WE OUGHT TO BE PROVIDING CERTAINTY TO OUR BUSINESSES, EXTENDING RATES AT LEAST FOR NOW, UNTIL SUCH TIME HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR WHEN WE ALL AGREE THAT WE NEED TO SIT DOWN AND SOLVE THIS TAX MESS THAT WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY, THIS TAX CODE THAT'S BECOME WAY TOO COMPLICATED, COME UP WITH SOMETHING THAT'S MORE SIMPLE, MORE CLEAR, MORE FAIR, AND SOMETHING THAT MAKES US MORE COMPETITIVE IN THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE BECAUSE RIGHT NOW WE'RE LOSING -- WE'RE LOSING TO A LOT OF COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD SIMPLY BECAUSE WE HAVE A TAX CODE THAT IS JUST -- MAKES AMERICAN BUSINESSES NONCOMPETITIVE IN THE INTERNATIONAL MARKETPLACE. TAX REFORM, ENTITLEMENT REFORM, COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY POLICY, REGULATORY REFORM, IT'S NOT THAT HARD TO FIX THIS IF WE HAVE THE WILL, THE POLITICAL WILL TO DO IT. BUT WE CAN'T START BY SAYING TO SMALL BUSINESSES IN THIS COUNTRY THAT WE ARE GOING TO RAISE YOUR TAXES NEXT YEAR, RUN THE RISK OF -- OF PLUNGING THE COUNTRY INTO A RECESSION, AND INCREASING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO ARE UNEMPLOYED. THAT IS THE EXACT WRONG PRESCRIPTION. WE OUGHT TO BE PROVIDING CERTAINTY, EXTENDING THE RATES AND GETTING INTO A DISCUSSION AND HOPEFULLY ACTION ON LEGISLATION THAT WOULD REFORM THE AMERICAN DISOARD DISOAD TO MAKE US MORE COMPETITIVE IN THE WORLD, DO AWAY WITH COSTLY OVERREACHING, EXCESSIVE AND BURDENSOME REGULATIONS THAT ARE MAKING IT MORE DIFFICULT AND MORE EXPENSIVE TO DO BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY, AN ENERGY PLAN THAT MAKES SENSE, THAT RELIES UPON AMERICAN SOURCE HE OFS OF ENERGY AND A SPENDING PLAN, A BUDGET, SOMETHING THE SENATE HASN'T DONE NOW FOR THREE YEARS, AN ACTUAL BUDGET. LO AND BEHOLIDAY --, BEHOLD, GO FIGURE WE COULD DO A BUDGET THAT PUTS US ON A MORE SUSTAINABLE FISCAL PATH BY REFORMING ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS THAT WILL SAVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS. THAT IS THE LONG-TERM PRESCRIPTION TO WHAT AILS AMERICA BUT IT CERTAINLY IS IN THE SHORT TERM MAKES MATTERS MUCH, MUCH WORSE WHEN WE TALK ABOUT PILING A TAX INCREASE ON THE VERY PEOPLE THAT WE'RE LOOKING TO TO CREATE JOBS AND TO GET THIS ECONOMY BACK ON TRACK. I HOPE THAT THIS CONGRESS WILL COME TO ITS SENSES ABOUT THIS AND THAT WE WILL VOTE DOWN ANY PROPOSAL THAT WOULD RAISE TAXES ON HARD-WORKING SMALL BUSINESSES AND ENTREPRENEURS IN THIS COUNTRY AND INSTEAD GIVE THEM THE CERTAINTY THAT THEY NEED FOR THE MONTHS AHEAD UNTIL SUCH TIME WE CAN DEAL WITH THE ISSUE OF TAX REFORM. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR:

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  • 05:38:01 PM

    MR. THUNE

    I WOULD SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 05:38:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 05:43:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 05:43:14 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    CONSENT THE QUORUM CALL BE SUSPENDED.

  • 05:43:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:43:21 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I INTRODUCED THE DREAM ACT TO ALLOW A GROUP OF STUDENTS WITH GREAT…

    I INTRODUCED THE DREAM ACT TO ALLOW A GROUP OF STUDENTS WITH GREAT POTENTIAL TO CONTRIBUTE MORE TO AMERICA. THE DREAM ACT, IN ORDER TO QUALIFY THEY'D EARN THEIR WAY TO 0 LEGAL STATUS AND THEY HAD TO COME TO THE UNITED STATES AS CHILDREN, BE LONG-TERM U.S. RESIDENTS, GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL AND AGREE TO SERVE IN OUR MILITARY OR COMPLETE TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE. THESE YOUNG PEOPLE LITERALLY CAME TO THE UNITED THE UNITED STATES AS INFANTS AND CHILDREN. THEY GREW UP, WENT TO SCHOOL WITH OUR KIDS AND THEY'RE THE VALEDICTORIANS, THE ATHLETES AND EVEN THE ROTC LEADERS IN SCHOOLS ACROSS AMERICA. THEY DIDN'T MAKE THE DECISION TO COME HERE. THEY WERE JUST KIDS. THEIR PARENTS MADE THE DECISION. THIS HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO SAID IMMIGRANTS WHO WERE BROUGHT HERE ILLEGALLY AS CHILDREN LACK THE INTENT TO VIOLATE THE LAW CLOSE QUOTE, AND IT'S NOT THE AMERICAN WAY ANYWAY TO PUNISH CHILDREN FOR THE WRONGDOING OF THEIR PARENTS. IT'S BEEN 11 YEARS. I'LL WORK ON IT AS LONG AS I HAVE TO TO GET IT DONE. IT IS THAT IMPORTANT. BUT THE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE ELIGIBLE, WOULD BE ELIGIBLE, CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER. MANY HAVE ALREADY BEEN DEPORTED TO COUNTRIES THEY NEVER REMEMBERED AND WITH LANGUAGES THEY DON'T SPEAK. THERE ARE STILL SOME AT THE DISK OF DEPORTATION. THAT'S WHY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DECISION A FEW WEEKS AGO TO STOP THE DEPORTATION OF YOUNG PEOPLE ELIGIBLE FOR THE DREAM ACT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. THE ADMINISTRATION SAYS WE'LL ALLOW THE IMMIGRANT STUDENTS TO APPLY FOR A FORM OF RELIEF KNOWN AS DEFERRED ACTION THAT PUTS THE DEPORTATIONS ON HOLD AND ALLOWS THEM ON A TEMPORARY BASIS TO LIVE AND WORK LEGALLY IN AMERICA. I STRONGLY, STRONGLY SUPPORT HAD DECISION. I THINK IT WAS A HUMANE DECISION BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ON BEHALF OF THESE YOUNG PEOPLE. WHEN THE HISTORY OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS ERA THAT WE'VE LIVED THROUGH SINCE THE 1960'S IS WRITTEN, THIS WILL BE AN IMPORTANT CHAPTER. THE ADMINISTRATION'S DEPORTATION POLICY HAS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. TWO YEARS AGO REPUBLICAN SENATOR RICHARD LUGAR OF INDIANA JOINED ME IN A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT ASKING ME TO DO JUST THIS. LAST YEAR SENATOR LUGAR JOINED ME AND 22 OTHER SENATORS TO SIGN A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT ASKING THE SAME THING. WHAT DO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THINK ABOUT PRESIDENT OBAMA'S DECISION ON DREAM ACT STUDENTS? WELL, IT TURNS OUT 64% OF LIKELY VOTERS, INCLUDING 66% OF INDEPENDENTS SUPPORT THE POLICY COMPARED TO 30% WHO OPPOSE IT. EARLIER TODAY MY COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND FROM IOWA, SENATOR GRASSLEY, GAVE A SPEECH ON THE FLOOR ABOUT THIS DECISION BY THE PRESIDENT. AT ONE POINT IN TIME SENATOR GRASSLEY WAS A COSPONSOR OF THE DREAM ACT. YOU WOULDN'T KNOW IT FROM HIS SPEECH TODAY. HE'S CHANGED HIS POSITION ON THIS BILL LIKE SO MANY OTHER REPUBLICANS. LET ME TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO RESPOND TO SPECIFIC POINTS. HE CLAIMED THE PRESIDENT'S POLICY TO NOT DEPORT THE DREAM ACT STUDENTS IS GOING TO HURT THE AMERICAN ECONOMY. I COULDN'T DISAGREE MORE. GRANTING DEFERRED ACTION TO DREAM ACT STUDENTS MAKE US A STRONGER COUNTRY, GIVING THESE TALENTED IMMIGRANTS A CHANCE TO BE A PART OF AMERICA AND ITS FUTURE. STUDIES FOUND THE DREAM ACT STUDENTS CAN CONTRIBUTE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE ECONOMY, GIVEN A CHANCE TO BE PART OF IT. WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT IMPORTING NEW FOREIGN WORKERS INTO THE UNITED STATES TO COMPETE WITH AMERICANS. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TAKING YOUNG PEOPLE, EDUCATED IN OUR SCHOOLS AT OUR EXPENSE, TRAINED AND READY TO GIVE SOMETHING TO AMERICA, AND GIVING THEM A CHANCE. THEY'RE GOING TO BE TOMORROW'S DOCTORS AND ENGINEERS AND TEACHERS AND NURSES. WE SHOULDN'T SQUANDER THEIR TALENTS. IN ALL THE YEARS THAT WE'VE INVESTED IN EDUCATING THEM BY DEPORTING THEM AT THIS PRODUCTIVE POINT IN THEIR LIVES. SENATOR GRASSLEY CLAIMED PRESIDENT OBAMA CIRCUMVENTED CONGRESS TO SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE THE LAW ALL BY HIMSELF. END OF QUOTE. I DON'T THINK THAT'S HOW IT HAPPENED. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S NEW DEPORTATION POLICY IS LAWFUL AND APPROPRIATE. THROUGHOUT HISTORY ALL GOVERNMENTS AND OUR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAVE TO DECIDE WHO TO PROSECUTE, WHO NOT TO PROSECUTE. IT'S CALLED PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION. IT'S BASED ON LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITIES AND RESOURCES. EVERY ADMINISTRATION, DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN AS WELL, HAVE STOPPED DEPORTATIONS OF LOW-PRIORITY CASES, AS THEY SHOULD. JUST LAST MONTH THE SUPREME COURT REAFFIRMED THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BROAD AUTHORITY TO DECIDE WHO TO DEPORT, JUST AS ANTHONY KENNEDY APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH WROTE THE OPINION FOR THE COURT AND LISTEN TO WHAT HE SAID: A PRINCIPAL FEATURE OF THE REMOVAL SYSTEM IS EXERCISED BY IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS. DISCRETION IS THE ENFORCEMENT OF IMMIGRATION LAW EMBRACING HUMAN CONCERNS, UNAUTHORIZED WORKERS TRYING TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES, FOR EXAMPLE, LIKELY POSE LESS DANGER THAN ALIEN SMUGGLERS OR ALIENS WHO COMMITTED A SERIOUS CRIME, SO SAID JUSTICE KENNEDY. THE ADMINISTRATION'S POLICY ISN'T JUST LEGAL. IT'S REALISTIC AND IT'S SMART. TODAY THERE ARE MILLIONS OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES. IT IS PHYSICALLY, LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DEPORT THEM. SO THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY HAS TO DECIDE PRIORITIES. SHOULD THE HIGHEST PRIORITY BE TO DEPORT THOSE WHO ARE MOST DANGEROUS TO THE UNITED STATES? I THINK EVEN THE SENATOR FROM IOWA WOULD HAVE TO CONCEDE THAT POINT. AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS MADE THAT THEIR PRIORITY. SENATOR GRASSLEY CALLS THE ADMINISTRATION'S DEPORTATION POLICY -- QUOTE -- "AN AMNESTY." WELL, SENATOR GRASSLEY, THAT'S JUST NOT RIGHT. THE DREAM ACT STUDENTS WILL NOT RECEIVE PERMANENT LEGAL STATUS OR CITIZENSHIP UNDER THE PRESIDENT'S POLICY. THEY HAVE TEMPORARY RENEWABLE LEGAL STATUS. TEMPORARY RENEWABLE LEGAL STATUS. DURING HIS SPEECH TODAY, SENATOR GRASSLEY READ A QUOTE FROM THE INTERVIEW THE PRESIDENT GAVE LAST YEAR TO SUPPORT HIS CLAIM THE PRESIDENT HAD CHANGED HIS POSITION ON THE DREAM ACT. BUT HE ONLY READ PART OF THE QUOTE. HERE'S WHAT SENATOR GRASSLEY READ. THE NOTION THAT SOMEHOW I CAN JUST CHANGE THE LAW UNILATERALLY IS NOT TRUE, THE PRESIDENT SAID. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS THERE ARE LAWS ON THE BOOKS I HAVE TO ENFORCE AND I THINK THERE'S BEEN A GREAT DISSERVICE DONE TO THE CAUSE OF GETTING THE DREAM ACT PASSED AND GETTING COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION PASSED BY PERPETUATING THE NOTION THAT SOMEHOW BY MYSELF I CAN GO AND DO THESE THINGS. IT'S JUST NOT TRUE. THAT'S WHAT SENATOR GRASSLEY READ. HERE IS THE REST OF THE QUOTE: WHAT WE CAN DO IS PRIORITIZE ENFORCEMENT. SINCE THERE ARE LIMITED ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES AND SAY WE'RE NOT GOING TO GO CHASING AFTER THIS YOUNG MAN OR ANYBODY ELSE WHO'S BEEN ACTING RESPONSIBLY AND WOULD OTHERWISE QUALIFY FOR LEGAL STATUS IF THE DREAM ACT PASSED. THAT'S WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID. I WISH SENATOR GRASSLEY HAD READ THAT IN THE RECORD. THE PRESIDENT HAS DONE WHAT HE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO DO, AS OUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER TO EXERCISE PROSECUTORIAL DISCRETION. I PERSONALLY DISCUSS THIS HAD WITH SECRETARY IN IN A NAPOLITANO. SHE ASSURED ME THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IS GOING TO FOLLOW THE PRESIDENT'S LEAD BUT HAVE STRICT ENFORCEMENT OF FRAUD. IF ANY YOUNG PERSON COMMITS FRAUD IN THIS PROCESS THERE WILL BE A PRICE TO BE PAID. SENATOR GRASSLEY SHOULD KNOW THAT AND SHOULDN'T QUESTION IT ABSENCE EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY. IT IS SAD WE HAVE REACHED THIS OPPONENT THAT SO FEW REPUBLICANS WILL STAND UP FOR THESE YOUNG PEOPLE. THERE WAS A TIME WHEN SENATOR HATCH WAS THE LEAD SPONSOR ON THIS BILL AND I WAS BEGGING HIM TO COSPONSOR. AND THEN IT REACHED A POINT WHERE HE ONLY VOTED FOR IT AND THEN IT REACHED A POINT WHERE HE VOTED AGAINST IT. SENATOR GRASSLEY HAS VOTED FOR THIS BILL IN THE PAST TOO. IN 2006 WHEN THE REPUBLICANS LAST CONTROLLED CONGRESS, THE DREAM ACT PASSED THE SENATE OUT AN AMENDMENT TO THE COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION BILL, 62-36. 23 REPUBLICANS VOTED FOR IT. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, THE REPUBLICAN LEADERS IN THE HOUSE REFUSED TO TAKE UP THAT BILL IN 2006. WELL, REPUBLICAN SUPPORT FOR THE DREAM ACT HAS DIMINISHED OVER THE YEARS. I HAVE TO SAY I NOTED, MR. PRESIDENT, THE LACK OF VOLUME AND FIREPOWER CRITICIZING THE PRESIDENT ON THIS DREAM ACT DECISION. I THINK MANY OF OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES REALIZED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DO SUPPORT THIS 2-1 AND IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. MR. PRESIDENT, I'M GOING TO DO WHAT I'VE DONE 48 OTHER OCCASIONS HERE AND TRY TO MAKE THIS DREAM ACT DISCUSSION MORE THAN AN ABSTRACT CONVERSATION. I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE UNDERSTAND WHO IS INVOLVED IN THESE DECISION PROCESSES. THIS IS A PHOTOGRAPH OF MARIA GOMEZ. HER PARENTS BROUGHT HER FROM MEXICO TO LOS ANGELES WHEN SHE WAS EIGHT YEARS OLD. STARTED SCHOOL IN THE THIRD GRADE WITH ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE. BY THE TIME SHE WAS IN THE SIXTH GRADE, THREE YEARS LATER, SHE WAS AN HONOR STUDENT. IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, MARIA DISCOVERED ART AND ARCHITECTURE. IN HIGH SCHOOL SHE WAS ACTIVE IN COMMUNITY SERVICE, CAPTAIN OF HER SCHOOL SPIRIT CLUB, PRESIDENT OF THE GARDEN CLUB AND SHE EXCELLED IN ACADEMICS, GRADUATING TENTH IN HER CLASS WITH A 3.9 GRADE POINT AVERAGE. MARIA WAS ACCEPTED BY EVERY COLLEGE SHE APPLIED TO. HER DREAM WAS TO ATTEND U.C. BERKELEY, THE ONLY STATE COLLEGE IN CALIFORNIA THAT OFFERS ARCHITECTURE TO UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS. BUT SHE COULDN'T AFFORD IT. MARIA AND THE OTHER DREAM ACT STUDENTS AREN'T ELIGIBLE FOR ANY FEDERAL ASSISTANCE TO GO TO SCHOOL. INSTEAD SHE DECIDED TO LIVE AT HOME AND TO ATTEND UCLA. SHE WAS A COMMUTER STUDENT. SHE RODE THE BUS TO AND FROM UCLA TWO AND A HALF HOURS EACH WAY, EACH DAY. WHILE SHE WAS A FULL-TIME STUDENT SHE WORKED CLEANING HOUSES AND BABY SITTING TO HELP PAY FOR TUITION. SHE GRADUATED FROM UCLA WITH A MAJOR IN SOCIOLOGY AND MINOR IN PUBLIC POLICY. SHE IS THE FIRST MEMBER OF HER FAMILY TO GRADUATE FROM COLLEGE. BUT SHE WAS DETERMINED TO ACHIEVE HER DREAM OF BECOMING AN ARCHITECT. SHE ENROLLED IN THE MASTERS OF ABG -- ARCHITECTURE PROGRAM AT UCLA. SHE STRUGGLED FINANCIALLY. AT TIMES SHE HAD TO EAT AT THE UCLA FOOD BANK. AND BECAUSE SHE COULDN'T AFFORD HOUSING NEAR THE CAMPUS, SHE SPENT MANY NIGHTS IN A SLEEPING BAG ON THE FLOOR OF THE SCHOOL PRINTING ROOM. LAST YEAR MARIA RECEIVED HER MASTER'S DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN DESIGN. SHE WROTE ME A LETTER AND HERE'S WHAT SHE SAID. I GREW UP BELIEVING THE AMERICAN DREAM AND I WORKED HARD TO EARN MY PLACE IN THE COUNTRY THAT NURTURED AND EDUCATED ME. LIKE THE THOUSANDS OF OTHER UNDOCUMENTED STUDENTS AND GRADUATES ACROSS AMERICA, I AM LOOKING FOR ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY. THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE BACK TO MY COMMUNITY, MY STATE AND MY COUNTRY AND TO THE COUNTRY THAT IS MY HOME: THE UNITED STATES. I ASK MY COLLEAGUES WHO ARE CRITICAL OF THE DREAM ACT AND PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NEW POLICY, WOULD YOU PREFER THAT WE DEPORTED MARIA GOMEZ BACK TO MEXICO AT THIS POINT IN HER LIFE, A COUNTRY SHE'S NOT LIVED IN SINCE SHE WAS A SMALL CHILD? SHE GREW UP HERE. SHE O'OVERCOME AMAZE -- SHE'S OVERCOME AMAZING ODDS TO BE SUCCESSFUL. THIS DETERMINED YOUNG WOMAN CAN MAKE AMERICA A BETTER NATION. THANKS TO PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NEW POLICY, MARIA IS GOING TO BE ABLE TO WORK. I HOPE THAT SHE'LL BE ABLE TO BE LICENSED AS AN ARCHITECT IN HER STATE. BUT A FUTURE PRESIDENT COULD CHANGE THIS POLICY SO MARIA'S FUTURE IS STILL IN DOUBT BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T ENACTED THE DREAM ACT. MARIA ISN'T THE ONLY ONE. THERE ARE TENS OF THOUSANDS JUST LIKE HER. THE DREAM ACT WOULD GIVE MARIA AND OTHERS LIKE HER THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE OUR ARCHITECTS, ENGINEERS, TEACHERS, DOCTORS, SOLDIERS. TODAY I AGAIN ASK MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THE DREAM ACT. THE PRESIDENT'S NEW DEPORTATION POLICY IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, BUT ULTIMATELY IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY. HE'S DONE HIS PART. WE NEED TO PASS THIS HUMANE, THOUGHTFUL BILL AND GIVE PEOPLE LIKE MARIA GOMEZ A CHANCE TO MAKE AMERICA A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES EACH.

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  • 05:55:26 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 05:55:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 05:55:36 PM

    THE CLERK

    RESOLUTION 483 COMMENDING EFFORTS TO PROMOTE AND ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY ON…

    RESOLUTION 483 COMMENDING EFFORTS TO PROMOTE AND ENHANCE PUBLIC SAFETY ON THE NEED FOR YELLOW CORRUGATED STAINLESS STEEL TUBING BONDING.

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  • 05:55:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION THE COMMITTEE IS DISCHARGED AND THE…

    IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION THE COMMITTEE IS DISCHARGED AND THE SENATE WILL PROCEED.

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  • 05:55:53 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE, AND ANY STATEMENTS BE PLACED IN THE RECORD AS IF READ.

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  • 05:56:06 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I UNDERSTAND S. 3393 INTRODUCED EARLIER TODAY BY SENATOR REID IS AT THE…

    I UNDERSTAND S. 3393 INTRODUCED EARLIER TODAY BY SENATOR REID IS AT THE DESK. I ASK FOR ITS FIRST READING.

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  • 05:56:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL READ THE TITLE OF THE BILL TOR THE FIRST TIME.

  • 05:56:19 PM

    THE CLERK

    A BILL TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO PROVIDE TAX RELIEF TO…

    A BILL TO AMEND THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE OF 1986 TO PROVIDE TAX RELIEF TO MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES.

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  • 05:56:30 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    ITS SECOND READING AND I OBJECT TO MY OWN REQUEST.

  • 05:56:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION HAVING BEEN HEARD, THE MEASURE WILL BE READ…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION HAVING BEEN HEARD, THE MEASURE WILL BE READ FOR THE SECOND TIME ON THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE DAY.

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  • 05:56:41 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:57:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:57:06 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    MAJORITY LEADER FILED CLOTURE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S. 3364, THE…

    MAJORITY LEADER FILED CLOTURE ON THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S. 3364, THE BRING JOBS HOME ACT. IF NO AGREEMENT IS REACHED, THE CLOTURE VOTE WILL BE ON THURSDAY. IF THERE IS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK THAT IT ADJOURN UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER.

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  • 05:57:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE STANDS ADJOURNED UNTIL 9:30

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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)