tv [untitled] CSPAN June 22, 2009 2:00pm-2:30pm EDT
the faa. >> well, you know, it was just another committee early this morning and described a federal agency that was willfully blind and cheerfully ignorant for about 10 years and i don't ascribe that to the faa except to say that i had a bellyful of enforcement requirements by certain agencies that have completely neglected in the opportunity or the requirement to do so. the faa as we said to randy babbitt the new administrator last week, we need new diligence here. a new level of interest in making certain that we have one standard. >> is this hearing concludes we take you live now to the u.s. capitol as the senate convenes. we expect general topic speeches this afternoon and a measure to encourage foreign travelers to visit the u.s.. senators plan a vote on moving forward with an amendment to the bill at 5:30 p.m. eastern time.
we can't work well without your help and blessings. guide our lawmakers. give them the wisdom to listen to your voice and follow your leading. lord, remind them that no one knows what a day might bring, so they must not put things off until a tomorrow that may never come. help them to use their lives wisely and not foolishly, generously and not selfishly. as they labor, may they remember that one day they shall give an account of their work to you. to that end, empower them to
live for your honor. we pray in your matchless name. amen. the presiding officer: 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. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., june 22, 2009. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable mark warner, a senator from the commonwealth of virignia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: robert c. byrd, presidet pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president?
the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will be in a period of morning business for up to one hour. then we will resume the consideration of s. 1023, the travel promotion act. the time from 4:30 until 5:30 is equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. at 5:30 the senate will proceed to a roll call vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the dorgan amendment to the travel bill. filing deadline for first-degree amendments is today at 3:30. mr. president, later today democrats will try to move forward on a bill sponsored by democrats and -- the presiding officer: if the leader will suspend? mr. reid: of course. the presiding officer: so the senate may receive a message from the house of representatives. >> mr. president, a message from the house of representatives. the clerk: mr. president, i've been directed by the house of representatives to inform the senate of the appointment and
the managers on the part of the house may exhibit the articles of impeachment against samuel b. kent. the presiding officer: the message will be received. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: later today democrats will move forward on a bill sponsored by democrats and republicans, lots of republicans, a bill that creates jobs at a time when we need them the most. i encourage the republicans to join with us. i want us to move forward on this piece of legislation. democrats will do our job using this great legislative body to legislate and make life better for struggling americans. i encourage my republican colleagues to do the same. the travel promotion bill is critical for our economy. mr. president, tourism and travel generate $1 trillion in economic activity every year. $1 trillion. in its first year this bill will
create 40,000 new jobs. mr. president, there isn't a state in the union that doesn't depend on tourism. i can remember the first time i went to a place -- we had a democratic retreat in west virginia. i walked out -- i'm sorry in virginia. pardon me -- in virginia. i walked out in my room, and i saw this huge body of water. i thought, gee, i didn't know we were on the ocean. it was just a huge, it must have been a mile at least to the other side of that body of water. it was the james river. it was a river. now the reason i mention that, mr. president, i've had the good fortune of traveling around virginia, and it is a wonderful place to go to visit. there are all kinds of tourist attractions in virginia. mr. president, every state is about the same. every state has its unique
possibilities. i've been to virtually every state in the union, and there are so many wonderful places. i know virginia better because for quite a long time, my non-nevada home was in virginia, and three of my five children graduated from schools in virginia. it's a wonderful place, virginia, and tourism is important to virginia. very important. this bill is important to virginia. again, travel and tourism generate $1 trillion in economic activity around the country every year. and in its first year, this bill will create more than 40,000 jobs. the bill will cut our deficit -- this bill. we're not asking for money from the public trough to take care of this. this bill will cut our deficit by $425 million over the next decade. we save money by doing this. we make money by doing this. we'd be taking the strategies that have made las vegas such a
success and bring them to our entire nation's tourism industry. it's one of the many ways we're working to create jobs and help our economy recover. but so far the minority, they've shown no interest in doing either. the republicans have shown no interest in creating jobs or helping our economy recover. i hope that this is, in this case past is not prologue. mr. president, one of my staff, floor staff came and said they saw a republican staffer just a short time ago and the republican staffer said why won't you let us offer amendments? mr. president, that's some kind of game being played. on this bill, i had conversations with the republican leader. i had conversation with other republican senators. i said let's move on with this legislation. under the rules, the senate, mr. president, amendments ultimately have to be germane.
i said i don't care if they're germane or not. if you want to offer amendments, go ahead. that's the way we've done it all year, we'll do it here. they wanted to offer four amendments on tarp. and i said, well, that has nothing to do with tourism, but if you want to do that, go ahead and do it. in response, senator sanders from vermont told me he had an amendment he wanted to offer. i said listen, bernie, if you want to offer a nongermane amendment, you can do it. if they want to offer a nongermane amendment. otherwise we're not going to do that. he said okay. they have all these nongermane amendments they want to offer and he has an amendment he wants to offer, which really is so -- all it does is restate the law and make it a little stronger. in effect what it does is take a look at the oil companies to see if they're manipulating prices. so the republicans said, no, we're not going to agree to that. we want you to take all of our
amendments, we'll vote on them and none for you. well, mr. president, that's not fair. it's not reasonable. it's only an excuse for republicans to, again, stymie legislation. so let's get the facts straight. at the start of the debate we offered republicans, they could do nongermane amendments. they could have more amendments than we had. we agreed to do that. not a single one of the republican amendments was related to this bill, and some of the amendments were even duplicates. but i said let's go ahead and do it anyway. of course the republicans said no. they refused to let us move forward, once again wasting americans' time and money. they refused to let us move forward. i repeat -- once again wasting the american people's time and money. it's difficult to watch what's going on here and come away with the sense of the republicans having the slightest interest in
legislating, or that they have the slightest understanding of what families are facing across the country. mr. president, just last week in the "roll call" publication, a republican senator said -- it's the front page -- "senate g.o.p. still saying no." republican senators said this last week, one of the newspapers that covers capitol hill, roll call. and i quote, democrats need to know when they bring the bills up, we're going to extend debate as long as we can, even if we can't win it. end of quote. so i say to this republican senator and automatic republican senators, this isn't a game. i say to those watching and listening today, the next time republicans try out their stale, standard talking points about congressional approval ratings or the inefficiency of government, pay attention to see whether they also quote the fellow republican senator who
admits they're not here to work. these partisan tactics have consequences. these consequences will be evident on every kitchen table, every family budget and every american's peace of mind. mr. president, i encourage republicans to finish this legislation. i've said if there are germane amendments they file under, we'll -- even though we have no obligation to do that, we'll have those amendments during the 30-hour postcloture time and dispose of them. i don't understand what the deal is here, mr. president. we've had -- this will be the 18th time we've had to file cloture this year. 18th time. and in spite of that, we've been able to get a lot of work done. but i do encourage republicans to join with us in moving this legislation forward. it's important. it's important for -- mr. president, i look around the floor here. virginia, nevada, arizona
senators here, very important. tourism is very important. it will create jobs. it will cut our deficit. that's not a bad combination. and so i would encourage republicans to join on this important travel promotion bill and to ultimately pass it so we can create jobs here at home, help our economy recover and prosper once again. we know if we can get past this procedural hurdle, where we need 60 votes, all democrats will vote to move forward. that is the right thing to do. shouldn't we get at least the sponsors of the bill to join in? we haven't stopped the amendment process. that's -- you're going to have to come up with a different reason for voting against it than that because everyone's had that opportunity. i hope we can move forward on this. it's a bill that was originally going to be managed by senators dorgan and ensign. now we've had senator martinez has been heavily involved in this. i thought we had things all
worked out with he and -- with him and with senator dorgan on thursday, but it all fell apart because of the inability to have sanders have his amendment. so, i can't possibly understand what excuse they have for not moving forward on this legislation, mr. president. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time be reserved and there will be a period of morning business for one hour with time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president, i -- there is a news report from the associated press entitled "iranian police use force to break up protests.
tehran, iran, riot police attack hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas and fired live bullets in the air to disperse a rally in central tehran monday, carrying out a threat by the country's most powerful security force to crush any further opposition protests over the disputed presidential election. witnesses said helicopters hovered over head as about 200 protesters gathered at a square, but hundreds of antiriot police quickly put an end to the demonstration and prevented any gathering, even small groups, at the scene. iran said at least 17 protesters have been killed in a week of unrest after the electoral press said that ahmadinejad was the winner are of the elections. severe restrictions on reporters have made it almost impossible
to report on any demonstrations, clashes an casualties. iran has ordered reporters from foreign news agencies to stay in their offices barring them from any reporting on the streets. so the story goes on. demonstrations followed by repression, followed by murder in the streets and as these things seem to evolve, an event took place which may be the defining moment just yesterday in the struggle of the iranian people to be able to peacefully disagree with their government in this case because of a corrupt and fraudulent election without being killed in the streets and beaten and imprisoned. and it has to do with a woman
named nada, and i quote from an nbc news story dated june 22, 2009. and i quote -- "she sinks to the ground and a few minutes later she's dead. a video that has been repeatedly posted on the internet reports to show the last moments of nada, a young iranian woman shot in the heart by government sharp shooters. overnight she has become a symbol of the opposition. the shaky blurred images of a young woman collapses on to the pavement. a dark pool of blood spreads beneath her body. two men kneel against the -- next to the woman and press on her chest emscreaming. the camera filming him zooms in on her face, her face turns to the side and blood streams out
of her nose an mouth. madda, don't be afraid says 1 man. another man seeks to put her in the car and the video stops. the video appeared on the network sites facebook and twitter saturday evening and it became a sensation being forwarded repeatedly. user groups were determined to get around youtube's ability to get around the graphic film. it became forwarded so often, that it became imresponsible for youtube to remove it. so -- so, mr. president, we've seen, as we have in cases of brutal repression throughout history, the living example or the dying example of martyrdom. and by sunday morning nada
became the fifth more commented topic on twitter. she had already become a kind of joan of arc. -- quote -- "it took only one bullet to kill nada, it will take only one nada to stop iranian tyranny was one posting. quote: nada died with opened eyes. shame on us who lived with closed eyes. they killed nada, but not her voice was another. during the day, people replaced their profile pictures with tributes to the young woman such as, "i am nada," or "nada forever." another posted images of a broken heart in green, the color of the opposition movement. so, mr. president, a debate has been going on as to how much the united states of america, its president, the congress, and the american people should speak out
in favor and in support of these brave iranians, average age in tehran is 33 years of age, and their quest for the fundamentals of freedom and democracy that we have enjoyed for more than a couple of centuries. so, mr. president, today i, and all america, pays tribute to a brave young woman who was trying to exercise her fundamental human rights and was killed on the streets of tehran. all americans are with her. our thoughts and our prayers for her, her family, and her countrymen. now, mr. president, i'd like to talk a bit about health care since that seems to be a -- a major issue also of concern to all americans. today's june 22, 2009.
millions of americans still lack health insurance coverage and we need to pass reforms that help them get coverage. yet, more time has gone by with no plan from the majority. while we wait, how many more people will forego needed care today? how many emergency rooms will have to care for americans who could have received care yerlier and -- earlier and at a lower cost from a medical professional if they had insurance? mr. president, the majority talks about reform and how critical it is to move with urgency. they also assert that the economic recovery depends on health care reform. so many of us would like to know where's the plan? it's impossible for us to move forward in any manner, let alone with urgency if we don't even have a complete bill. on tuesday, june 9th, after months of waiting the majority in the "help", on which i serve,
offered a pargs list of -- hargsal list of health care proposals accounting that the missing pieces will be shortly coming. the majority pull together a roundtable, and held walkthroughs with our side on issues of prevention, quality, et cetera. the following week we were told we were receive the missing pieces soon or early last week. then we were told they would come foortsdz with the missing -- come forthwith the missing pieces last friday and now it is monday and we have received nothing. while we've waited the congressional budget office told us what many of us had expected and feared about this bill. the cost of the bill would have a cost exponentially higher than many predicted. in fact, the incomplete bill would cost over $1 trillion. but this cost would only cover
one-third of the 48 million americans who are currently uninsured. so we wait and wait and wait. having no details of the much-funded government plan or the proposal regarding penalties that the government wants to impose on employees are can't provide coverage or are not able to provide the coverage. now we hear that this friday might be the day we have a chance to see what they've been working on behind closed doors. friday also happens to be the day of the fourth of july recess. the press and congressal democrats have told the american people that health care reform legislation must be passed by the senate prior to the august recess. given that we won't have the text of the legislation prior to the fourth of july recess, i'm skeptical that the "help" committee ant finance committee will -- and the finance
committee will be able to complete their work, combine two possibly divergent bills on the senate floor and pass the bill in the five weeks remaining in the july work session. one thing i have found out here, mr. president, we miss a lot of things, but we merv miss a recess -- we never miss a recess. the senate passed a blueprint in april, that included consideration health care reform legislation. one must wonder -- one must wonder if the majority is intentionally pushing back the schedule and dragging out this process so that a bipartisan process and a solution is not feasible. under budget reconciliation sounds arcane to most americans. the majority would be allowed to jam this important policy through the senate with 51 votes instead of the typical 60 with a
limited time for debate and amendments. i am left to wonder if this contingency wasn't planned on all along to use reconciliation to muscle through the health reform that we all know is desperately needed, but to circumvent the normal procedures of the united states senate. so i and my colleagues on this side of the aisle continue to await the democrats' complete bill in their plan to make taxpayers pay for this trillion dollar new government program. so many questions remain until the missing parts of the bill are provided. when will we get details of the government insurance plan we're told is essential to reform? when will we see what employer health care mandates look like? how much will the complete plan cost? how will it be paid for? each day the majority fails to
provide a complete plan, along with a complete cost and how it will be paid for, is another day that millions of americans go without health insurance. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to have two news articles that i quoted in my complete statement as part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
according mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. dorgan: i ask consent that the quorum call be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dorgan: i ask consent to speak in morning business for as much time as i may consume. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. dorgan: mr. president, as this country tries to pull itself out of a very significant economic crisis, in which millions of americans have loss their jobs, lost their homes, lost hope there are a number of things that we have to do that also threaten the future of this country in addition to trying to restore some economic health and those are health care, to be
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