tv [untitled] CSPAN June 10, 2009 12:00pm-12:30pm EDT
mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: and ask consent to sneak morning businessment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: madam president, after the closure of morning business, we will return to the family smoking prevention and tobacco control act. this is a piece of legislation that has been in the making for two decades or more that would finally say that tobacco is going to be regulated as it
should have been a long time ago. for the longest time, the tobacco lobby was the most powerful lobby on capitol hill. and they managed to create an exemption in virtually every law so that no federal agency could take a look at them and regulate them and basically know what we know about every product and service offered in america. they said, well, the food and drug administration shouldn't have any authority. the tobacco lobby argued, we're not really a food and we're not really a drug. and so they managed to just wiggle their way through the federal statute book and at the end of the day have virtually no regulation or oversight. unfortunately, while they've been doing that, 400,000 americans have been dying every year of tobacco-related disease. it's the number-one preventable cause of death in america today. it is a product which is sold legally and a product which kills with leathality. that's a fact. and we know from experience that
the tobacco industry has a tough assignment. what kind of business can survive that lose 400,000 of its customers every year? customers who die because of addiction to tobacco-related products. well, they needed a marketing campaign. the problem was, if you try market tobacco products to adults, most of them have the good sense to say, that's not a smart thing to do. i'm going to stay away from tobacco. so they had to change their marketing strategy. if you couldn't market to adults, you know that the kids may be vulnerable and that's where they went with a vengeance with the idea of addicting children to tobacco early in life because, of course, tobacco products with nicotine are addictive. to some, it's a very strong addiction that they fight for a lifetime with patches and doctor's care and hypnosis and anything they can think of.
some people can shake it and move away from it. others spend a lifetime addicted. so the tobacco companies went after the kids. they knew that if they could get their products in the hands of children and children would try them, that they would become the next generation of smokers and ultimately a future generation of victims of tobacco. so this deadly cycle began by the tobacco companies and the federal government took a hand-off attitude. back in the 1960's, we created a little warning label on tobacco cigarettes and you see it on billboards. it's so small, people don't notice it. and it's become so commonplace, nobody even registers with the message that it dliferred deliv. so for the longest time, we have argued that tobacco should be regulated. the products that are sold in america should have an agency with oversight keeping an eye on them. the tobacco companies fought it off year after year after year.
finally, with this new president, with this new congress, we've reached the moment where we have a chance to pass this important legislation. this is a bill that will protect children and it will protect america, and it will reduce tobacco use. the house passed their version last month with a wide majority and now it's time for the senate to act. every day that we don't act, 3,500 american kids, children, will light up for the first ti time. that's enough to fill 70 school buses of kids who will try cigarettes every single day for the first time. a thousand of those 3,500 will then become regular smokers. the addiction will begin. tobacco companies spend nearly $40 million every day to lure this new generation of customers with blatantly deceptive advertising, promotions of candy-flavored cigarettes, and
advertising that's aimed directly at kids. all the while, they're loading their products not just with tobacco leaf but with chemicals. they put in extra nicotine, incidentally f. there isn't enough nicotine naturally occurring in tobacco, they load it up so that your addiction becomes stronger, your caving grows, your body demands more and more tobacco. it's time that we put a stop to this marketing and give the food and drug administration the authority to regulate this industry. 43 million americans smoke tod today. people often say to me, well, why don't we just ban this product? well, if i thought that would end smoking in america, i might consider it but we know better w.43 million americans currently -- we know better. with 43 million americans currently addicted, they're not going to quit cold turkey tomorrow. the black market would emerge and the next thing you know, the underground economy would be
sustaining tobacco. that would not be the result we're looking for. in my home state of illinois, about one out of five kids smo smoke. that means every year, 65,000 kids in illinois try a cigarette for the first time and almost 20,000 become regular daily smokers. these kids consume 34 million packs of cigarettes a year. 8 po 6 million people i.8 misyo- 8.6 million people in the u.s. currently suffer from tobacco-related disease. it's responsible for 90% of lung cancer deaths, one-third in all cancer death, and one in five deaths from cardiovascular disease. approximately half of all continuing smokers will die prematurely as a result of the disease. sadly in illinois, 317,000 kids alive today will eventually die from their smoking addiction which they started as kids. here's what the bill does.
we put teeth in the law to restrict the marketing and sales of tobacco product to kids. we require tobacco companies to disclose the ingredients on their products. we require the food and drug administration to evaluate any health claims for scientific accuracy and public health impact. we give the f.d.a. the power to require companies to make changes to tobacco products to protect public health, and we require larger, stronger warning health notices on tobacco products. these are just commonsense reforms that will start to reduce the terrible toll that tobacco has taken on families all across this nation. the f.d.a. is the right agency to do this. it's the only agency that can bring together science, regulatory expertise, and the public health mission to do the job. and through a user fee on tobacco conditioners the bill gives the agency -- tobacco crngz the bill gives the
agencies the money to needs to conduct its new responsibilities. this is a strong public health bill and it is a bipartisan bill. after more than ten years of effort, we have never been close to giving the f.d.a. the authority it needs to regulate tobacco. i urge my colleagues to resist any amendments that would weaken this bill or add provisions that might stop it from becoming a law. f.d.a. regulation of tobacco products is long overdue. i can recall arriving on capitol hill as a new congressman years and years ago, and in the first orientation meeting we had as new democratic congressmen, one of the older members of the house came in, closed the door and said, i want to tell you something. when tobacco issues come up, we vote can the tobacco companies. that's for your friends in tobacco producing states. you give them a helping hand. someday they may give you a helping hand. that's the way it works. well, that was one of the first things we were told about being a member of congress. tobacco was that important on
the political agenda. certainly for some members from tobacco-produce states, it may have been the most important thing that brought them to capitol hill. however, over the years, some of us wandered off of this agenda. i offered an amendment to ban smoking on airplanes that had the opposition of all of the leaders in the house of representatives, democrat and republican. but it turned out that so many members of the house flew in airplanes and couldn't stand this fiction of smoking section and nonsmoking section, but they supported my amendment. so over 20 years ago we banned smoking on airplanes. frank lautenberg was my champion over here in the senate, and together we started a federal policy that i might say kind of tipped one domino over, and people started saying if secondhand smoke is dangerous on airplanes, then it's dangerous in other places. that movement has grown in intensity. we've seen the kind of leadership at local and state
levels that have continued to make it a potent force. but today, today is our chance. as i mentioned earlier, i'm sure senator dodd would join me in saying we wish that one of our colleagues were here with us today, and that's ted kennedy, who is home recuperating. ted kennedy was our champion and our inspiration for years and years on this issue. he hung in there and fought for this when a lot of people had given up. ted never gave up when it gets to the issues that are in his heart and soul. he fought as long as he possibly could. we're continuing that fight today, and he handed the banner over to senator dodd, who's done an extraordinarily good job on this bill. he's been called into action here on the senate floor repeatedly. just a few weeks ago he passed the credit card reform act after more than 20 years of trying. finally got it done, a dramatic change in the law to protect consumers and families across america. and now today, with the passage
of this -- well, at least the movement of this bill forward toward passage this week, we're going to be able to protect millions of children and americans from deadly tobacco-related disease. i thank senator dodd for his leadership. i commend this bill to my colleagues. this is our moment in history. let's not miss it. let's seize this opportunity to create protection for a lot of young people who will otherwise find their lives compromised by this deadly tobacco product. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 1256, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 47, h.r. 1256, an act to provide the public health -- protect the public health by providing the food and drug administration with certain authority to regulate tobacco products, and so forth and for other purposes. mr. dodd: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: as i understand it, we're going to have a vote at 12:30.
i'd ask unanimous consent that the time between now and 12:30 be equally divided between the minority and majority. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: and further unanimous consent that a statement from our colleague, senator kennedy, be made a part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: and that these letters of support for h.r. 1256 and the list of over 1,000 supporting organizationing be made a part of the record as well. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dodd: madam president, let me just take a couple of minutes. i know my colleague and friend from wyoming, senator enzi, i think is coming to the floor as well. i think senator coburn is going to be here to make a point of order. i'll keep an eye out so i don't exceed the time. but i wanted to point out to my colleagues that this is now -- we're down to the last few votes on this matter. i had hoped, madam president, that we would have been able to consider some of the other amendments that were being offered. but as my colleagues, i think, are probably aware, one of the amendments to be considered was an amendment offered by my
colleague, senator lieberman. there was an objection to that amendment coming up. and as a result, we couldn't reach agreement on the other, allowing time for the other amendments to be considered, amendments offered by -- to be offered by senator enzi, senator bunning, senator coburn, senator hagan. in fact, an amendment offered by senator enzi and i reached an agreement on that, and regrettably -- hopefully we can fix it another time. that's an example of what happened when we weren't able to get the unanimous consent to go forward. nonetheless, i would hope the substitute would be adopted, cloture would be invoked and we could schedule a vote for final passage, as i believe we will, in the next day. this is important. a lot of work has been done on this bill. senator durbin, our friend from illinois, just pointed out, this is work that has gone on for a decade between republicans and democrats. it is a bipartisan bill. we spent two days on markup, despite the efforts of over the last seven or eight years in the "help" committee, considering
amendments, adopting some, accepting some that brought us to the position we are in today with this legislation. as i've said over and over again over the last number of weeks, as we've considered this bill this is an unprecedented action that we'll be taking, an historic moment in many ways. for the first time ever in the history of our country the 100-year-old regulatory agency, the food and drug administration, which regulates all the food and products that we ingest and consume as americans will now for the first time be able to regulate tobacco products. the f.d.a. -- the food and drug administration -- as i pointed out not only regulates the food that we humans consume, but also pets: cat food, dog food, bird food, hamsters. all those products have to be approved by the f.d.a. the one product that we have not been able to regulate because of opposition from the tobacco industry are tobacco products. we're about to change that. my hope is with a vote today and
tomorrow and then agreement with the house, the president will be in a position to sign the legislation that will once and first give the food and drug administration the opportunity to regulate these products. and more importantly, or as importantly, to go and determine and set guidelines and regulations dealing the sale and marketing to young people. it's been said, i know, over and over again, maybe not often enough, 3,000 to 4,000 children begin every day smoking in america. every day that we delay having the f.d.a. take on this responsibility and begin controlling the marketing and sale of these products, we run the risk of more and more children starting the habit. and we know of that 3,000 to 4,000 that start smoking every day, 1,000 of them end up becoming addicted to the products. one in five children in my state of connecticut today smoke. i suspect those numbers are fairly uniform across the country. of that number that i mentioned, the 1,000 that become addicted,
about half that number will die from smoking-related illnesses. 400,000 people riff year lose their lives as a result of tobacco-related illnesses. again, this is a self-inflicted wound, because obviously we have known for a long time, the surgeon general has warned for years, every scientific study that's been done has caution pw-d what happens if people develop the habit of smoking and the dangers associated with it. we talk about the loss of life and those who become debilitated through contracting various diseases associated with smoking. i apologize of making this case with numbers, but it's so important that my colleagues understand where we are and where this vote is to be able to do this. we're now already beginning the debate about health care in the country, and that debate is going to go on for the next number of months. a major feature of the health care debate is prevention to try to prevent people from getting the diseases that cost them and
their families and our country so much. what better way to take a step on prevention than to deal with an issue like smoking and tobacco products which cause so many deaths in our country and so many illnesses. in fact, if you take suicides, violent deaths, a.i.d. aids, if you take as well alcohol-related deaths, automobile accidents and combine all of them, madam president, they do not equal the number of fatalities that occur every year as a result of use of tobacco products. what better way than to begin to deal with the issue of marketing of sale of tobacco products to young people. that's what a major part of this bill does. we also provide help to the tobacco-producing states because we recognize that farmers of these states, this will be a major adjustment to them economically, and this bill accommodates that as well. i regret, i say to my friends on the other side, particularly who
have offered, might want to offer these amendments, didn't have a chance to consider sph-fr them. it wasn't objection on this side. it was objections to the lieberman amendment going forward that created this problem. but nonetheless, the work that's been done on this bill i think is deserving of our support. it's worthy of our unanimous adoption. as i've said over and over again, even if you were to collect all of the adult smokers in this country -- and 90% of adult smokers began as children by the way -- but if you ask all of them their opinion on whether or not we ought to do something about marketing these products to children, i would be willing to venture a guess, madam president, that 98% of adult smokers, if they could speak with one voice today would tell us pass this bill. the last thing a parent who smokes want is their children to start smoking. they know the hazards. they know the damage. they know the heartache that comes with this kind of illnesses associated with these products. so on behalf of all parents in
the country, smokers and nonsmokers, let us adopt this legislation and make a major headway and a major step in dealing with this dreaded problem, health problem associated with tobacco products. i see my colleague from wyoming, so let me stop here and give him the remainder of the time. he needs to comment on this as well. i thank him and his staff for the work over the many years. he's worked with senator kennedy on this matter long before i was directly involved in it, and i thank him for his work. mr. enzi: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: and i want to thank the senator from connecticut, senator dodd, who is working as the chairman on this committee, and for his passion, enthusiasm and for listening to us on these things. and we do have a few things that are in the bill. but there are several other things that ought to be considered in this. we want the bill to be as good as possible. when we do cloture we cut off that possibility. i have a couple of amendments
that i think if were addressed -- i know one has been on both sides, but we can't get them in. that's a frustration, and we shouldn't be having frustrations on something as important as this bill. it's important that we stop kids from starting smoking and we get people who are already smoking to stop smoking. it's a cost-shift that we're experiencing. it's not good for their health. and then there are family members who are having secondary smoke, and people don't realize the problems they're having for their family members by doing that. i do oppose cloture today. there are several amendments that i'd like to offer, and i think a considerable number -- they're all germane amendments, and i'm glad they are germane amendments. but we've been trying to reach agreement on offering these amendments, but it's been without success. if we vote cloture, we won't have a chance to consider these afpltdz i hope we have a way to give these amendments serious
consideration. i think we can get it worked out in a relative hurry, but not unless the train stops for just a moment. a little hesitation here. i want to get this bill done. i'm hoping that we can complete it. but i think the's some important points that have to be made on it. so i yield the floor. mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: madam president, on behalf of senator lieberman, i ask unanimous consent not withstanding rule 22, that i be permitted to call up amendment number 1290 and that the amendment be modified with the changes at the desk, that once this modification is made, that amendment 1256 be withdrawn. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: i object. i make a point of order -- prosecutes -- the presiding officer: objection is heard. the point of order is well taken. the amendment falls. a senator: thank you, madam president. the presiding officer: under
the previous order, the substitute amendment is adopted. mr. dodd: the pending matter will be a vote at 12:30, in a couple of minutes, the cloture motion. is that correct? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. dodd: let me just say we'll go to the vote right away. again, i appreciate the comments of my friend from wyoming. i would like the record to reflect that there were no objections on this side to any of the amendments being offered that were germane amendments. my colleague from wyoming is absolutely correct. i regret that that we didn't have a chance to debate those. let me say there may be a time and opportunity to deal with these and other vehicles as well. my hope is that we can vote cloture and move forward. madam president, i am prepared to yield back time and proceed to the vote.
the presiding officer: the clerk will read the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 47, h.r. 1256, an act to protect the public health by providing the food and drug administration with certain authority and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: we the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on calendar number 47, h.r. 1256, the family smoking prevention and tobacco control act. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call is waived. the question is: is it the sense of the senate that debate on h.r. 1256, the family smoking prevention and tobacco control act, shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will now call the roll.