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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 18, 2013 2:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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the financial sector. now, the good news is that to a significant degree, we have stabilized that situation. we're not losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month, the stock market is, in fact, doing very well. but what is important to understand is that it is imperative that we not accept the quote, unquote, "new normal" for the economy as it is today. because the reality is that today, while the situation is better than it was five years ago, for the middle class and for the working families of this country, the economy is still in very, very bad shape. and i'm not just talking about a five-year period. i'm talking about a generational situation. madam president, you may have seen that just yesterday the
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census bureau came out with some new and extremely disturbing statistics. and it tells us why so many americans are frustrated and angry with what's going on in washington and why so many people respond to pollsters and say yes, we believe the country is going in the wrong direction. and what they're saying is true. they have every reason to be angry, every reason to be frustrated and, in fact, economically this country is moving in a very significant way in the wrong direction. this is what the census bureau reported yesterday. they said that the typical middle-class family, that family right in the middle of american society, that median family income today is less than
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it was 24 years ago. median family income today, for that typical american family is less than it was 24 years ago. in 2012, typical middle-class families -- that family right in the middle -- made 51,017. back in 1989, that family made $51,681. what does that mean? it means that 24 years later after all of the effort and the hard work of people, today they are worse off than they were 24 years ago. think about what that means. it means that despite the explosion of technology and all of the robotics and all of the cell phones and everything else
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that has made this economy more productive, the average -- not average -- the median family income today is worse than it was 24 years ago. now, i'll just give you an example of what that means. if, madam president, during that period from 1989 through 2012, that typical american family had received just a 2% increase in their income, just 2%, a very modest increase, that family today instead of making $51,000 a year would be making $81,000 a year. $30,000 gap. so if over that 24-year period people had seen a modest -- i'm not talking about a huge increase. a modest increase in their income of 2%, which people
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certainly deserve, that family would make $81,000 a year. today that family is making $51,000 a year, less than that family was making 24 years ago. and this is what the census bureau also reported. they said that the typical middle-class family has seen its income go down by more than $5,000 since 1999 after adjusting for inflation. $5,000. they told us that the average male worker made $283 less last year than that same worker made 44 years ago. so you want to know why people are angry? they see an explosion of technology, they see an explosion of productivity, and
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yet a male worker today is making less than a male worker, average male worker made 44 years ago. average female workers earn $1,775 less than they did in 2007. a record breaking 46.5 million americans live in poverty last year. that more people living in poverty than at any time in american history. mr. president, 16 million children live in poverty. that's almost 22% of all kids in america. that is the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. that is the future of america, and over one out of five kids in this country are living in poverty. mr. president, a higher
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percentage of african-americans lived in poverty last year than was the case 15 years ago. 9.1% of seniors lived in poverty last year, higher than 2009. more american seniors were living in poverty last year than in 1972. today, 48 million americans are uninsured, no health insurance. that will change as a result of obamacare, but as of today, 48 million americans are uninsured. three million more than in 2008. so, mr. president, when people call your office in delaware or my office in vermont and they say you know what, we are hurting, are they are telling the truth. what they are saying is congress seems to deal with everything except the reality facing the
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middle-class and working families of this country and people worry desperately not only for themselves, they worry more for their kids, what kind of education will their kids have, will there be enough teachers in the classroom, will their kids be able to afford to go to college, will hardworking families be able to find quality affordable childcare, what kind of jobs will their kids have when they get out of high school or they get out of college. those are the questions that tens of millions of americans are asking all over this country, and here in washington we are not giving them clear and straightforward answers. now, mr. president, what makes this moment in american history unique is that while the great american middle class is
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disappearing and while the number of americans living in poverty is at an all-time high, something else is going on in this society, and that is that the people on top, the top 1%, have never, ever had it so good. now, last week we learned an astounding fact. i want everybody to hear this clearly. and that is between 2009 and 2012, the last years we have information, 95% of all new income created in this country went to the top 1%. 95% of all of the new income created in america went to the top 1%, and the bottom 99% shared in 4% of the new income.
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so what we are seeing as a nation is the disappearance of the middle class, millions of families leaving the middle class into poverty, struggling desperately to feed their families, to put gas in their car to get to work, to survive on an $8 an hour wage. you got that reality over there and then you got another reality, is that the people on top are doing better than at any time since before the great depression. today, mr. president, the top 1% owns 38% of the nation's financial wealth. meanwhile, the bottom 60%, the majority of the american people together, own only 2.3% of the wealth in this country. we used to, when i was in school -- and i'm sure all over this country -- kids studied what we called oligarchy.
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and an oligarchy is a nation in which a handful of very wealthy people control the economy, control the politics of the nation and it doesn't really matter about political parties because they own those parties as well. well, guess what. what we used to look at latin america and laugh about or worry about has now come home to this country. today in america we have the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth, and that gap between the very, very rich and everybody else is growing wider. now, i don't believe that the american people feel that what this great country should be about is that the top 1% own 38% of the wealth while the bottom 60% own barely 2% of the wealth. that is not the dream of what this great country was about.
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mr. president, earlier this week "forbes" magazine reported that the wealthiest 400 americans in this country -- 400 people -- are now worth a record breaking $2 trillion. 400 people worth $2 trillion. in other words, the concentration of wealth is getting greater and greater and greater. the wealthiest 400 americans now own more wealth than the bottom half of americans, over 150 million americans. we could probably squeeze 400 people into this room. and if we did and they were the wealthiest people in this country, 400 people in this room would own more wealth than the bottom 50% of the american people. just one family, one family in america, the walton family,
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the owners of wal-mart, are worth over $100 billion and own more wealth than the bottom 40% of the american people. one family owns more wealth than the bottom 40% of americans. mr. president, while the middle class disappears, while children in this country go hungry, while veterans sleep out on the street, corporate profits are now at an all-time high, while wages as a share of the economy, are at a record low. wall street, the major financial institutions in this country, whose greed and recklessness drove us into this economic downturn, and the group of people that the american middle class bailed out five years ago, they are now
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doing phenomenonally well. so wall street drives the country into a severe economic downturn, wall street is bailed out by the american middle class, wall street now is doing phenomenonally well while the middle class is disappearing. and you want to know why the american people are angry and disgusted and frustrated? that's why. in fact, mr. president, the c.e.o.'s on wall street, the executives there, are on track to make more money this year than they did in 2009. that is the time in which wall street greed destroyed our economy. the american middle class is disappearing, poverty is increasing, the gap between the rich and everyone else is growing wider and wider. that is the economic reality
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facing this country and the time is long overdue for this congress and this president to start in a very forceful, aggressive way to address that issue. but where are we today? are we having a major debate on the floor of the senate as 0 to how we're going to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and are create millions of jobs? i don't hear that debate. are we having a debate on the floor of the senate that says it is an outrage that working people around the country are trying to survive on a minimum wage of $2.25 and we have to raise it substantially so when people work 40 hours a week they can take care of themselves and their families? are we having that debate? i don't hear that. are we having a debate which says that not only should we not be cutting social security, medicare and medicaid, but we
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should draw in the rest of the industrial -- join the rest of the industrialized world and guarantee health care to all of our people as a right of citizenship? i don't hear that debate. quite the contrary, mr. president. here's the debate that i hear. this is what i'm hearing from my colleagues over in the house and the republican leadership over there. what i'm hearing them saying is that while poverty is at an all-time high, while our childcare system, early childhood education is a disaster, what they want to do is continue sequestration and push for more across-the-board spending cuts to head start while elderly people throughout this country who are fragile and hurting are dependent on the meals and wheels program, they want to continue cuts in that
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program while millions of families are wondering how they're going to send their kids to college, they want to continue sequestration, make it harder for working families to send their kids to college, they want to continue cuts to unemployment insurance and a number of other vital programs. so in other words, instead of addressing the very serious problems facing the middle class and the working class of this country, what i am hearing from my republican colleagues is let's make a bad situation even worse. mr. president, let me just conclude by saying this. instead of cutting the head start program, we should be expanding the head start program. study after study makes it clear that the most important years of a human being's life are 0 to 3.
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give those little kids the intellectual and emotional nourishment that they need so that they will do well in school is perhaps the most important thing that we can do. we have got to increase funding for head start, not cut funding for head start. mr. president, it is a moral outrage in this country that anybody here talks about cutting back on the meals on wheels program, which provide at least one nutritious meal a day to fragile and vulnerable senior citizens. we should not be cutting back on that program. we should be significantly expanding that program. mr. president, i can tell you that in vermont, you talk to the people in my state, they will tell you that we have significant problems with our
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bridges, significant problems with our roads, significant problems with rail, significant problems with waste water and water plants. people want to invest in our crumbling infrastructure, make us a more productive nation, and when you do that, we can create jobs. right now on the floor, i don't know if we're going to get to vote on it, there is a very modest bill brought forth by senators shaheen and portman which talk about energy efficiency. in vermont and throughout this country, people are paying higher fuel bills than they should, wasting enormous amounts of energy, contributing to global warming through greenhouse gas emissions because we are not aggressive on energy efficiency, making our homes more efficient. we should be investing in energy efficiency and create jobs doing
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that. so, mr. president, the bottom line is we are in a pivotal moment in american history. the hitch are getting richer -- the rich are getting richer, middle class is disappearing, poverty high. people are demanding that we create jobs, address the problems in this country. and yet we have folks who want to make a bad situation worse by protecting the tax breaks that have been given to the wealthy and large corporations and they want to cut back on the needs of ordinary americans. so i hope, mr. president, that the american people will stand up, they will say enough is enough, and that they will demand that finally the united states congress stands with the middle class of this country. and with that, madam president, i would yield the floor.
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ms. stabenow: mr. president, i would ask suspension of the quorum call. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. without objection. ms. stabenow: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to talk about the relentless assault on the poor and hungry in this country that is being waged right now in the house of representatives and too often here on the senate floor. the meltdown on wall street caused a recession in this country as we know that was worse than anything we have
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experienced since the great depression. eight million people, eight million americans lost their jobs. trillions of dollars in the stock market were wiped out. and with that money went the life savings of many middle-class families. many families lost their homes. small businesses closed up shop. this was an economic disaster that hit communities across this country as hard as any natural disaster that we have seen. and while wall street is doing well again these days, millions of families on main street are still waiting for their situation to improve. we are seeing new job creation, but millions of americans are still out of work. and in fact when we look at the chart on employment rates, we see what happened in 2008 and
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2009. the numbers of people who lost their jobs. and while based on the population, we're holding our own, we're just barely at this point keeping up with the population and beginning to grow again. now, what the house republicans are saying is this -- get a good-paying job or your family will just have to go hungry. but there aren't enough good-paying jobs, as we all know. and to add insult to injury, they are slashing job training money which makes absolutely no sense. job training money as states get to help americans find work. economists point also to the irresponsible sequestration cuts as a cause of this sluggish job growth. in the senate, we have passed a budget that will replace the
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sequester with a balanced solution to reduce the debt and balance the budget. but a handful of senators on the other side of the aisle are blocking us from even being able to send negotiators to the house to finalize the budget. and so we're now stuck with a policy that makes absolutely no sense, that economists say is slowing down our economy and costing us jobs because of political games, pure and simple, in washington. and this is having a very serious effect on the wallets of americans who continue to find it difficult to put food on the able for their families. this is very real. it's not a political game for american families all across the country, and certainly in my great state of michigan. even those people who are able
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to find work are working for less, and in fact wages as a percent of the economy are at 30-year lows. so when we look at what's happened, it's not only job growth not coming back as fast as it should, we're seeing people who have been in the middle class struggling by their fingertips, trying to hold on or most of the time, much of the time losing ground because we are seeing wages going down and down and down even for the jobs that are available. this is the situation that millions of american families find themselves in today. they're struggling to find work, and when they do find work, the salary isn't even close to what it was before the recession. many people have taken pay cuts to keep their jobs or they have had their pay and benefits
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frozen for four or five years. families that just ten years ago were doing fine are now in dire straits. and now the same republicans who refuse to fix the sequester, who refuse to work with us to get the economy moving again for millions of middle-class families, again they're trying to take temporary food assistance away from the children and their families who are out of work or who are working one, two, three part-time jobs trying to just make ends meet. and let me stress as we debate the question of hunger and food assistance in america, we know that many families receiving snap, the supplemental nutrition assistance program, are working, they're working. we are looking now at about half
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of those in families receiving food help are working. there are people with children whose wages are falling behind so they are no longer to be able to feed their families. for those who have lost their jobs, snap is a short-term lifeline to keep food on the table while they search for a job. we know that the average new snap recipient only receives help for ten months or less. let me repeat that. the person that's coming on during this recession worked before they needed help, they're getting an average ten months' worth of help so their family doesn't starve while they're looking for work and trying to put the pieces back together, and then after that, they're going back to work. here's what we also know, mr. president. we know that men and women,
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families on supplemental nutrition assistance, are using that money to feed their children. nearly half of the people who are getting food assistance help are children in this country, children. we are looking now at nearly half being children, children who are going to bed hungry at night while their parents are doing the best they can to get back on their feet. we see senior citizens who find themselves in a situation where their only income is social security, and that little bit of food help makes a difference between whether or not they can go to the grocery store and put food in the cupboard or not. the real faces of food assistance are veterans who went to war for this country, many of whom were injured and returned home only to find that they can't find a job or their
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disabilities make it impossible to work. people are disabilities are the faces of food assistance. and instead of honoring these men and women for their service, house republicans want to take away the little bit of help, the little bit of help they get each month to help buy food. if you add all of this up, mr. president, 85% of the faces of food assistance of the snap program are children with their parents, people with disabilities including our veterans and senior citizens, 85%. the bill being considered in the house of representatives would kick millions of children and their families off of food assistance. that's how majority leader eric cantor and house republicans
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will cut $40 billion in food assistance, and that's what they will be voting on probably tomorrow. they do it by cutting off individuals and families who need the assistance the most. ue republican plan, which eric cantor says, encourages people to get back to work. benefits for a jobless adult without children would be limited to three months every three years. you better eat a lot during those three months. that means if you lose your job and are unemployed for six months, half of the time you'll be able to have help in order to be able to put food on your table. and once you find a new job, you better make sure your company doesn't close, doesn't go overseas within the next two and a half years, or you won't be able to have any help to put food on the table as well.
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mr. president, it's important to note that the nonpartisan congressional budget office has said that 14 million people will stop receiving food assistance over the next ten years the right way. the right way. as the economy improves, they will get back on their feet financially and be able to find a good-paying job. 14 million people we build into our farm bill, reduce costs in snap because the economy is beginning to improve. but the house of representatives, the house republican majority leader's bill eliminates families from food assistance the wrong way, by eliminating food help to those who most need it. 1.7 million poor, unemployed
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adults next year whose average income is about $2,500 a year -- a year -- $2,500 a year, those are the folks that would lose help with food. 2.1 million low-income working families and seniors next year. next year alone. and 210,000 children would receive cuts, would lose their school lunches under the house republican plan. and other unemployed parents and their children, parents who want to work but can't find a job or a training program to join, will be eliminated from help. republicans say it's about
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getting people back to work. but this bill cuts worker training and job placement for people who are trying to get back to work, who are mortified that probably for the first time in their lives they've needed help with food. they are people who've paid taxes their whole lives, got caught in this great recession, are trying to climb out but need a little help for one of the things i think we would all consider pretty basic, which is the ability to eat and to provide food for their families. mr. president, people on snap want to work. they're like any american wanting to work, but there just aren't currently enough jobs, which is why we should be focusing on jobs and growing the economy. right now we have three
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unemployed workers for every job opening. it's better. i can remember standing on the floor a few years ago saying the number was six unemployed workers for every job, and then five, and now it's three. but it is still three for every job opening. so does the republican plan do taoepbg help people find -- do anything to help people find jobs or the job training skills they need to get a good-paying job so they can care for their families? no, absolutely not. in fact, the republican plan would offer cash-strapped states a truly perverse incentive. i had to read this several times to be able to see whether or not this was actually written down this way. allowing states to keep half of
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the federal money that would be spent on food whenever they cut somebody off the program. so the incentive is to eliminate help for people so the state can keep half the money and use it for something else. that's in the house bill. let me be clear. we have seen occasions of fraud and abuse in the food assistance program, and that's why the senate farm bill includes major reforms. to crack down on misuse, to make sure only people who truly need help are getting help. we heard reports of people winning the lottery, two in my home state, and still getting snap benefits. that will not happen again under our bill. we've seen liquor stores accepting food stamps when they don't really sell much food. we've reformed that to make sure that cannot happen again. as well as a number of other areas where we can bring more
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accountability and tighten up the program. we want every dollar to go to the people that i'm talking about today, who worked hard all their lives, found themselves in a bad situation, they're trying to climb out, and they just need a little bit of help because their children are hungry, because they are hungry. or maybe they're a veteran or maybe they're a senior or maybe they're somebody with a disability who just needs a little bit of help. so we have passed real reforms to crack down on abuses that we have found, and we did it in a bipartisan way in the senate, and i'm very proud of that. but what the house republicans are voting on is nothing more than extremely divisive, extremely partisan political exercise that is, by the way, going nowhere. and it's jeopardizing the
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passage of a five-year farm bill. mr. president, we have never seen this kind of partisanship injected into agricultural policy, food and policy in our country before. it is shocking what has happened in the last two years in the house of representatives. and shame on the majority floor leader and his allies for doing it now. our farmers, our ranchers, our small towns and rural communities and our children and families do not deserve this. the 16 million people who work in this country because of agriculture do not deserve this. what is happening this week in the house of representatives is not about reality. it's about some fiction they've made up, an idea that if the stock market is doing well, if wealthy members of congress and
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others are doing well, then surely in america must doing well too. and anyone who isn't must be lazy or not trying hard enough. the reality is that most people in america are still struggling to get back on their feet from the recession. there still aren't enough jobs for every person who needs and wants one. the jobs that are there pay less than they did five years ago and families getting food help are making about $500 a week. they don't have money in the stock market. they don't have investment income. in fact, the average snap family doesn't have more than $300 in assets. what they do have, though, because of our policy of
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supporting those families, is $4.53 a day to eat. $4.53 a day to eat. less than one specialty coffee at our favorite stores. and some members of the house of representatives have decided this is too much. $4.53 a day is too much for our disabled veterans. it's too much for our senior citizens living on social security. it's too much for our children, for families working multiple, part-time jobs and trying to figure out out of the hole that was created not by them but by others in the great recession. mr. president, we all want to spend less on food assistance, and the good news is that under the senate farm bill we all
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voted on, we do spend less. the baseline for food assistance is going down. why? because the economy is improving. $11.5 billion in reduced spending is built into our farm bill because people are finding jobs, and that's added to the $4 billion in fraud and misuse that we have included. again, the congressional budget office projects that 14 million people will leave the supplemental nutrition program as the economy improves because they will no longer need temporary help. costs are going down the right way, because the economy is beginning to improve and as it improves more aggressively, which is what we should be
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working on together, we will see those costs go down. and we should also add that snap recipients are already going to see an arbitrary cut, unfortunately, to their benefits on november 1 because of the expiration of the recovery act help that temporarily pwaofrs to assistance to families in need that will be dead -- that we did in 2009. if we want to continue to cut spending the right way, we should be working together to invest in our economy, to support our businesses, large and small, to outinnovate the global competition to, get rid of the sequester and to help people get the training they need to find good-paying jobs. you know, mr. president, the republican approach is like saying we are so tired of spending money on wildfires, so we'll just cut the budget for
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the fire service. this isn't going to work. the fires will rage on, and it's only going to get worse. if we want fewer fires, we've got to find ways to prevent fires and contain the fires in order to reduce the costs. the republican approach is also like saying we're tired of paying for the cost of drought, flooding, other crop disasters, so we're going to cut crop insurance. the government's kofs of crop insurance went up over $5 billion, 50% last year because of droughts and flooding. 50%. while we're seeing increases in crop insurance, it's projected that food assistance is actually going down over the next ten years of $11.5 billion. are the house republicans proposing we eliminate funding for farmers in a disaster? or just low-income families,
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children, seniors, disabled veterans when they have a disaster? what's happening in the house right now is a complete reversal of 50 years of great american values. today in the united states of america, one in six people say they don't know where their next meal will come from. one in six americans in the greatest, the wealthiest country in the world. we have a long history in this country of making sure that poverty and hunger are kept in check. in fact, the presidents of both side understood this. president ronald reagan said as long as there is one person in this country who is hungry, that is one person too many. it's one person too many.
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i wish our house republicans could hear that and understand what he was saying. what would he have to say about this effort now in the house of representatives to blame the victims of poverty and unemployment? to blame the children? to blame the seniors? to blame the veterans who only want enough food to be able to eat, and for those who are able to work, to get back on their feet and get a job. the house republicans who are appropriating these drastic cuts -- who are proposing these drastic cuts all have enough to eat. we in the senate are not living on $4.53 a day for food. we have enough to eat. none of us wonder where our next meal is going to come from like one out of six americans. none of us have to worry about whether or not our children will
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go to bed hungry tonight. none of us have to skip meals so our children don't have to. we in america are better than the debate that is being waged in the united states house of representatives. and the good news for children, families, seniors, the disabled, and veterans across america is that the house bill will never see the light of day in the united states senate. it's time to stop the political games around hunger in america. it's time to work together to pass a five-year farm and food bill, to grow the economy, and reduce the need for food assistance the right way: by making sure every american has the ability to have a good-paying job so they can feed their families and achieve their part of the american dream.
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thank you, mr. president. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i wonder if i could make a parliamentary inquiry. the presiding officer: the senator from california. boosm box jusmrs. boxer: just te because senator roberts and i had a question. he has gotten some time from senator cruz, is that correct? senator heitkamp wanted to make a couple of comments for a couple of minutes following senator stabenow, so this is what i would ask: after senator heitkamp is recognized, i would be recognized. if senator cruz comes, i will stop at that time and yield the time over to senator cruz and then continue after he has finished, if that's all right? that would be a consent. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. roberts: reserving the right to object -- and i am not going to object -- senator, i don't know what's keeping senator cruz, but my remarks
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will only take four minutes to identify myself with his efforts on benghazi. i know senator inhofe would like to say just a few words. perhaps we could start -- although he does have the time, i also have time reserved. i think it is a joint effort, so perhaps i could start? mrs. boxer: well, let me just say, i am happy to allow that go forward, but there needs to be a definite time. how much time will all three senators -- my understanding was twos senator cruz for how many minutes? mr. roberts: i think it was is a minutes of response time. -- it was 15 minutes of response time. mrs. boxer: so if the senator is saying that he will take senator cruz's 15 minutes, i have no objection. if the senator says he will take part of senator cruz's 15 minutes, i have no problem with that whatsoever. is that all right? so i would revise to say that senator heitkamp would be going for 3 minutes, senator roberts would be going for 5 minutes,
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and then i would be recognized. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. roberts: it is a 15-minute slot that we had intended, and i am sure that the senators will arrive. mrs. boxer: when senator cruz arrives to take the additional ten minutes, that's fine. is that all right with the senator? so in other words, the senator takes five minutes, senator cruz comes, and then i would yield to him for the rest of the ten minutes. because he's not here, so -- mr. roberts: i withdraw any objection. mrs. boxer: i'm sorry. i didn't er what you said. mr. roberts: i withdraw any objection. mrs. boxer: all right. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the senator from north dakota. ms. heitcamp: mr. president, i will be very brief, recognizing the other urgent business that the senate needs to address. but did i want to associate myself with the remarks of the
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very able and capable chairwoman of the ag committee, senator stabenow. we have a disaster in the making. it's called the farm bill. months ago this body passed a comprehensive farm bill, recognizing a 50-year compromise, a 50-year association of nutrition assistance with the ability to provide disaster assistance for our farmers in this country. for 50 years that effort has served us very well. today in the house of representatives and this week in the house of representatives, they will do something that is unprecedented for 50 years. they will segregate, pass separate bills, and do, i think, a disservice to struggling, unemployed, underemployed american families, and that is,
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dramatically reduce the food stamp allocation. food stamps are there when people need them, the same way farm disaster payments are there when farmers need them. anyone who thinks that someone is living kind of high on the hog, so to speak, on food stamps needs to spend time with people who are trying to make it work and feed their families on $1.40 per meal. and we know that with a recovering economy we are going to see a dwindling number of those folks move on, but yet we see this move almost in a way that is going to challenge this long-term relationship that has basically enabled a great partnership between many of our urban and rural legislators and senators and members of the house of representatives but also something that speaks very -- to the very important value that we have, which is that kids
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ought not go hungry in this country. that's not who we are. we are not a country that allows children and families who are working in many cases to go hungry and that when they need that help, that temporary help that they've been receiving, that they ought to get it, because it makes sense; it makes them better citizens, it makes them better students, and it tells us that, yes, when times are very, very tough, as they have been for so many american families today, as times are very, very tough, we'll be there. let's not let this happen. let's fight back. let's continue to have this conversation, and let's pass a comprehensive farm bill that recognizes the need to feed people as well as providing disaster assistance for farmers. i yield the floor. mr. roberts: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. roberts: mr. president, senator yous is now on the
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floor, and -- senator cruz is now on the floor, and he'll be speaking right after me. this is sort of a tee o-up situation. it seems to me to be a great shame that a year after the heinous attacks on our consulate in benghazi and four americans being murdered -- and making the confidence, this is tremendously important, of our men and women deployed in service of this nation, that the united states would never leave anybody behind. i was told that when i joined the marine corps a long time ago. it is a great shame that we are still in the same place. justice is yet to be seen or done. the families of those done at the consulate in benghazi are waiting for answers about what happened that night, and they simply want to know that this president and this administration are working to seek justice for what has actually happened. yet it appears that what's happening is that the
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administration is doing everything but to seek justice. and, quite frankly, i think americans -- and i share their concern and frustration and anger -- are sick and tired of hearing delays, even silence. the president and the administration have stonewalled on this case in my personal view. today the f.b.i. continues to seek tips from libyans. this should have been called a terrorist attack a long time asmg the intelligencago. the intelligence committee should be handing this but that is not the case. the f.b.i. has posted an entire page on their web site dedicated to finding suspects. there are photos of 29 suspects on that page -- 29 of them. no arrests have been made. cnn and "the new york times" have even had access to one of the top suspects, kamata. the administration refuses to answer simple questions, such as, who told the military to
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stand town? who is responsible for misleading the american public? what intelligence did the administration have? i know what this is. and it is actionable intelligence. this is why we need a joint select committee. at the very least this deserves a vote, so i urge my colleagues blocking this legislation, please drop your hold. let's at least have a vote this. if you want to defeat it, defeat it. but at least allow the senator from texas to introduce t senator cruz, thank you for introducing this legislation. i believe this should be a top priority for our government. i yield back whatever time i have to the distinguished senator. mr. cruz: mr. president is this. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: i thank my friend from kansas for his leadership and for his reasonable call that we ascertain the truth on this very important matter. as we do every year, last week as a nation we marked the somber
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anniversary of the terrorist attacks of september 11, 2001. for the first time this year, we also remembered the victims of benghazi. foreign service officer sean smith, former navy seals glenn dougherty and tom woods and ambassador christopher stevens, our first ambassador murdered while serving since adolf dubbs in 1879. the attacks should not simply be an act of remembrance. it should serve as a wake-up call. an entire year has gone by since these american heroes lost their lives in the service of our nation and we still have far too many unanswered questions. why was the state department unwilling to provide the requested level of security in benghazi? why were no military assets mobilized while the attacks were going on, even if they might not
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arrive before the attacks were over? if then-secretary panetta had -- quote -- "no question in his mind" that this was a coordinated terrorist attack while it was going on, why did ambassador rice, secretary clinton, and president obama all tell the american people that the cause was a spontaneous demonstration about an internet video in the days after september 11, 2012? why did the state department edit the intelligence talkingpoints to delete the references to -- quote -- "islammic extremists" and "al qaeda?" why did the f.b.i. not release pictures of militants taken the day of the attack and release them only eight months after the fact? why not immediately? 'as proved so effective in the boston bombing last april. what role if any did the state department's own
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counterterrorism office play during the attack in their immediate aftermath? why have none of the survivors testified to congress? and why do the benghazi still fear retaliation and retribution? to get the answers to these question, we need to hear from the survivors of the attack to gain firsthand understanding of what happened that night. we need to ensure that the whistle-blowers on benghazi can tell their stories without fear of reprisals. we need the president to make good on his promise of september 12, 2012 -- quote -- "to bring justice to the killers who attacked our peevment" that "--o attacked our people." that still has yet to happen. it has become evident that we need a joint select committee because we have an administration ha that is activy
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avoiding obtaining more information. "what difference at this point does it make." we have a current secretary of state who responds to congressional inquiries about why the administration deliberately misidentified the nature of the attack by saying that he does not want to spend a whole year quotes comin -- quotg up here talking about benghazi in congress." we have a white house press secretary who responds about difficulties interviewing the survivors by simply dismissing benghazi as something that -- quote -- "happened a long time ago." and we have a president who complains that -- quote -- "phony scandals are distracting him from his domestic agenda by which, as press secretary clarified the next day he meant the i.r.s. targeting and benghazi. in addition, we have seen in recent weeks an escalate being pattern of obstruction by the
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administration into any investigation into benghazi and a will heluctance to take any action to -- and a reluck tangs to take any action to preset future episode. on august 14 there were press reports that the team of special oarpts who were in libya to track down those responsible for the benghazi attack were being pulled out despite repeated recommendations for action, some as recent as august 7. on august 20, we learned that the only disciplinary actions taken after benghazi would be reversed as the four state department that had been placed on administrative leave were reinstated. the state department said it was "not prepared to allow the benghazi survivors to testify to congress." a denial that was reportedly reiterated by secretary of state john kerry on september 10. on september 11, whreerche we lm
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the state department's own internal review that the department is "lagging behind in implementing the new security measures recommended after the benghazi attack with, for example, only 100 of the recommended 1,000 marines being disee plied for potential hot spots." on september 15, whreerchged of serious allegations in a draft house committee for oversight and government report that the accountability review board report requested by secretary clineton white 1 washed the responsibility of senior state department officials for the decisions that resulted in the lack of proper security at benghazi facilities. and just today at a house foreign affairs committee, under secretary of state for management patrick kennedy admitted that the f.b.i. investigation in benghazi has ground to an indefinite halt because of the security situation in libya.
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mr. kennedy also asserted in this hearing that the reassignment of four state department employees represented -- quote -- "serious accountability for the four americans who died in benghazi." this state of affairs, in a word, is unacceptable. truth is not partisan, and every member of this body should want to ascertain what happened. given the yearlong collective failure of our government either to gain clarity on what happened in benghazi on september 11th or for ack extract any retribution for the terrorist attack, congress should now form a joint select committee to launch a proper investigation. the atoox our diplomatic far -- attacks on our diplomatic facilities in benghazi are part of a larger threat we have faced for the last 12 years from radical islamic terrorism. we cannot just let this
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anniversary pass with just -- quote -- "a thought, a hope, a prayer or a wish," as secretary kerry recommended in an all-staff e-mail to the state department regarding the benghazi attack. we need a chief counsel who can systematic the ascertain truth and can follow the actual facts of what happened that night to their full and logical conclusion, wherever that my l lie, so that we can honor these american heroes and we can ensure that we're doing everything we can to prevent this sort of attack from ever happening again. if we refuse to seek the answers to these questions, then we are inviting future tragedies. we have four dead americans. it has been a full year. my cosponsors on this recommendation and i have had enough without answers and without the truth. i, therefore, ask unanimous consent the rules committee be
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discharged from further consideration of senate resolution 225, that the senate proceed to its consideration, that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mrs. boxer: i object. and i would make -- i would like to explain why, if that would be appropriate, for the next two minutes, if i could? the presiding officer: objection is heard. the senator may proceed. mrs. boxer: thank you. i'm proud to be on the foreign relations committee for many years and this benghazi tragedy occurred and the foreign relations committee held ours of hearings. i sat through those hearings. and i want to say to my friends, i share their dismay that we haven't caught the perpetrators, but i want to remind them that the president, who caught osama
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bin laden, who killed so many of our people, was president obama. and when he says he's going to, he won't rest until he does it. now, secretary clinton immediately called for an accountability review board and that accountability review board was not partisan. and what my colleague wants to do is set up some kind of committee filled with politicians, of which i happen to be proud that i'm one, but i put more faith, frankly, in the professionalism and the nonpartisanship of the accountability review board. who headed that accountability review board? ambassador tomas pickering, who was first picked for public service under the first george bush, and admiral michael mullen, former head of the joint chiefs of staff. now, there are many other reasons why i oppose this.
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secretary kerry has addressed this and continues to address it. we had two classified briefings. the intelligence committee is preparing to release a bipartisan support on the events that occurred in benghazi. and last december, homeland security released a bipartisan report on the security deficiencies. and the good news is, of course as a result of this tragedy, changes have been made all over the world. so i sense there's politics he here, you know? i sense here's politics here, and i don't think it's right to inject politics into such a tragedy. and, therefore, i object. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: yeah, well, i can't disagree with her that there are politics here. this is the united states sena senate. but let me say one thing. i strongly support this amendment. let me ask in the order of things right now, do you -- does the senator from texas still have the floor?
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the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma has the floor. mr. inhofe: very good. very good. i appreciate that. you know, one thing, as i read this -- the resolution that our -- my good friend, senator cruz, has, i thought it really doesn't go far enough, because i think all people are talking about now is, how can you preclude this from happening again, what happened and all that. to me that's not even the issue. the issue is the coverup. i mean, you know, i stlat as the ranking -- i sat there as the ranking member of the senate armed services committee and i watched the day that this happened, 9/11, then of course the annex came after that, that was 9/12, the next day, when that happened there was never any doubt but that was an organized attack, terrorist attack. never any doubt. now, we all know -- i happen to know chris stevens. he was in my own right before he deployed to go over there. he was telling me in my office
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how dangerous it was over there. he said, you know, there are threats, there are terrorist threats. there are -- al qaeda has a presence over there and we don't have a lot of -- a lot of security. and he started requesting security. this was a long time before this happened. and i've got all the dates. i didn't bring them down with me because it would be redundant. it's been in the record so many times. that he knew this was happening, he knew there was this kind of activity in that part of the world and he wanted to do something about it, offer more security. well, he's dead now and he knew he was getting into at that time. and when the threats came for what happened on 9/11, people were aware of that. you remember the brits? they left and several others just up and left because they knew what kind of threat was out there. so anyway, what we did right after 9/11, and it's just a matter of hours after that that they attacked the annex. now, they can't say for certainty that the original
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attack was organized -- i think it was, it was an organized terrorist attack addition but theattack -- but they cansay wii won't use my words, i'll use their words -- it was unequivocal -- unequivocal, that we knew at that time it was an organized terrorist attack. i remember when secretary panetta came forward and he said that he used the same word, uny give cap. then the n.s.c. chief brennan at that time, that was his job, he said sitting in my office and then again before a hearing that it was unequivocal, we knew that it was an organized terrorist al qaeda-related attack. we knew it. now, the coverup is this. and i -- you know, i've studied coverups for a long time. iran-contra, i went all the way through that. i remember that well. the pentagon papers, watergate -- all these things were coverups. but this one, where five days after our -- all of our people
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and the top security people knew it was an organized attack, to send secretary rice to the talk shows to say for purely political reasons and cover up the reality of it, that this was due to some video. so i will only say this, that i -- i would like to pursue this in terms of the coverup, which is really not covered in the resolution that we're discussing right now. i think it should be, it should have been. i was not a part of drafting it. i strong the support it. i know where we're coming from here and i -- i think we need to get to the bottom of it and all the questions need to be answered. but the big thing that needs to be discussed that nobody likes to talk about is the coverup. so with that, i will yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, i appreciate my colleague from the foreign relations committee having already objected but, you
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know, i just want to make a few remarks because there are those, regardless of what is reviewed, regardless of what comes forth, regardless of all the information, who want to keep this alive for whatever is ultimately election purposes. and i know the next presidential election's a few years away but it seems it's very alive today in the united states senate. look, i am always for getting to the truth, particularly when the lives of american diplomats have been lost. and that's a honorable pursuit. by the sa same token, from my perspective -- and let me say why i'm going to have this perspective -- my perspective is we have two of the most
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outstanding individuals in secretary pickering and admiral mullen. certainly no one questions their integrity -- a least i haven't heard anyone question their integrity here on the senate floor -- they conduct the condue accountability review board. and in the process, there recommended 29 recommendations that are in fact being implemented and our committee has continued to pursue oversight on in the senate foreigforeign relations. we've held two hearings, we've had multiple high-level briefings, including intelligence briefings, bringing in all the respective parties that are responsible here today. and, in fact, we had the former secretary of state before the committee at a hearing that i chaired at the time who addressed all of these issues. we had before that the former chairman kerry, now secretary kerry held a hearing of the committee on the events that
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transpired with deputy secretary burns and nyes. and we had two classified briefings on december 13 and 19 specifically on the circumstances surrounding the attack. in those classified briefings, we had the key individuals who could get us to the truth. i understand the intelligence committee is presenting a bipartisan report on the events that occurred in benghazi. last december, the senate homeland security and governmental affairs chairman at the time, senator lieberman, and ranking member collins released a bipartisan report on the security deficiencies at the temporary u.s. mission in benghazi that led to the deaths of those four americans, including our ambassador, chris stevens. the house has conducted its own hearings and investigations. and yet we have those who want to continue to pursue this
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despite all of these different efforts independently of the senate, between the house, the accountability review board. now, you know, there is a lot of culpability and maybe there's coverup in a different sense. the coverup is a congress that doesn't want to put the money where it's necessary to ultimately take the high-risk, high-threat posts in this country and ultimately protect them. it's nice to talk about, you know, who's responsible. let's talk about who is also responsible in terms of obligations. we have over 30 high-risk, high-threat posts in the world right now. right now, as we speak on the senate floor, that are at risk and that do not meet the present security standards. and yet the congress seems to move ever so slowly towards getting to the resources that
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would accelerate the pace on which we create the physical and other protections for those high-threat, high-risk posts and, that of course, is the 30 that exist today. and we know from history that, in fact, what exists today as a high-risk, high-threat post, tomorrow there could be another one on the list. and so we have diplomats who not only are at institutions that don't meet the present standards, and yet at the pace that we're going, based upon the appropriations of this senate, we would find ourselves a decade from now dealing with just those 30 posts. now, i'd like to see the members who don't seem to be willing to put their vote for the security of diplomats abroad when the next attack comes -- and inevitably unfortunately in the world in which we live in, that is very possible -- that didn't put their resources to accelerate the pace where maybe we would have succeeded at
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preventing injuries or death. so let's be honest about this process. yes, there was a process that ultimately led to a series of recommendations. the legislation that the committee has ultimately reported out in a bipartisan basis, working with senator corker, the ranking republican on the committee, would deal with these challenges. it would deal with language issues. it would deal with the funding issue. it would deal with the diplomatic security preparation where we have scattered across a whole bumple o bunch of institut don't meet the goal. it would deal with all of these elements. it would create greater account ability. and do you know what tels would do? it would let the secretary of state have the ability to ultimately fire those individuals who might be found derelict in their duty, which is not presently on the law, the ability for the secretary to pursue. so let's move that legislation
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and i hope my colleagues are going to support that as we move forward to try to find the success that we want in making sure that our diplomats across the globe are as safe as humanly possible. as they advocate america's national economic interests, its national interests, its national security interests, still always facing a risk but minimizing those risks to the greatest example. if not, then i certainly believe that the garish light of attention should be passed upon the institution of the congress, which is not meeting its responsibility as it relates to our diplomats abroad. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that i be acknowledged as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection -- is there objection? mrs. boxer: objection. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mrs. boxer: we have had a very
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carefully constructed list of who would speak. i wonder how long the senator wishes to be recognized for. mr. inhofe: i actually have three different subjects i want to talk on. let me talk about one very briefly. mrs. boxer: how much time does my friend need to talk about his first subject? mr. inhofe: nine and a half minutes. mrs. boxer: what was going to happen, i was going to speak next. i'll give my place up so senator murray can speak followed by senator coons and senator, i don't know how many tie my friend needs, five, and my friend -- 12, and i would follow following senator inhofe's nine and a half. is that right? mr. inhofe: is that a unanimous consent request? that you be followed by --. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: the scoinlt i made was we would go to senator
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murray for 12 minutes, to senator coons then for five minutes, we would go to senator inhofe for nine and a half minutes, and then i would get to go for about ten minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. inhofe: point of inquiry. is this after i speak now or is that start now? in other words, would you four democrats before i speak? mrs. boxer: two. mr. inhofe: you already had one and senator coons. mrs. boxer: we had a number -- had you quite a few on your side. you had three, one after the other, and now we're going to have three and then it goes back -- mr. inhofe: reserving the right to object if you'll take two now, let me speak and then you can have two of them after that. that's still 2-1. okay? mrs. boxer: that's what i said, senator murray, senator coons, senator inhofe, senator boxer. is that all right? the presiding officer: is there
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objection? without objection. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i thank my colleague from california for accommodating all of us. i really appreciate it. mr. president, let me start today just by joining my colleagues who have been out here on the floor expressing my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost someone in monday's tragic shooting. i know that the thoughts and prayers of the nation are with those who are still recovering and i know i speak for my constituents in washington state in thanking the law enforcement community here in washington, d.c. who put their lives on the line every day to protect our families and workers here in the nation's capital. we don't have all the answers to the many questions of the tragedy like this raises but those questions will continue to be asked and i'm hopeful the answers will help our nation heal and guide our continu work to prevent these treadges in the future. i'm here today because like many of my colleagues i spent this past august traveling around my home state and meeting with my
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constituents. i heard from washington state families about a wide range of issues facing our nation but the one sentiment that i heard over and over again from every part of my state was they were sick and tired of the constant lurching from crisis to crisis. they told me how disappointed and disgusted they were every time they turned on their televisions over the past few years and saw another story about congress, hurtling towards another artificial deadline, hurting our economy and causing more uncertainty for our businesses. they told me they want congress to work together. they want us to focus on the economy. they want us to put our country and our families that we represent before partisanship and political games. and, mr. president, i couldn't agree more. like them, i am frustrated that we seem to be now once again headed towards another completely avoidable, completely unnecessary,
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self-inflicted crisis. you know, it has now been 179 days since this senate and the house passed our budgets. when the senate budget passed, i was optimistic that because both republicans and democrats said they wanted to return to regular order, we might be able to get back to a responsible process. at that time we had 192 days to reach a bipartisan budget agreement and i thought the next step would be a budget conference where the two sides would get in a room, hash out our differences and we would work together towards a deal. but as we all know, some of our republican colleagues had other ideas. they immediately seemed to regret their push for a senate budget and they started running away from a debate as quickly as they could. i came to the senate floor with my colleagues a total of 18 times to ask for consent to start a budget conference with
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the house, but every time we tried, mr. president, a member of the tea party in the senate backed by republican leaders stood up and blocked us. instead of using the months we had to work out a compromise, republicans seemed to think it was in their best interests somehow to stall as long as possible under some misguided theory a crisis would give them more leverage. now, mr. president,ed hoped my republican colleagues had spent their time back home talking to their constituents and would be ready to come back to d.c. and get to work on a balanced and bipartisan budget deal. but sadly, the opposite has happened. now, while i believe that the majority of republicans are interested in working with us as democrats to get to a fair budget deal, a few of my republican colleagues spent the summer riling up the tea party and making them promises they couldn't keep. since republican leaders know they need to find a way to avoid another crisis, that would be
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blamed on them, a full-scale civil war has broken out within the republican party. they are in disarray, they're having trouble figuring out how to pull themselves out of the hole they've climbed into and while we wait for republicans to join us at the table, the tea party is pushing our country closer and closer to a government shutdown. and closer and closer to what would be a catastrophic default on our loans. why are they doing this? not because they're concerned about the budget. not because they're interested in jobs or economic growth. to them, it seems it's all about obamacare. everything they're doing now they are doing in order to cut off health care coverage for 25 million people. to end access to free prevent -- free preventive health care, cause seniors to pay more for their prescriptions, cut off young difficult adults from their coverage, bring back lifetime
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coverage caps and let patients be denied care, put the insurance companies back in charge of our health care system and so much more. mr. president, these political games might play well with the tea party base but here's the reality: obamacare is the law of the land. it passed through this senate with a supermajority. it passed through the house. the president signed it into law. this supreme court upheld it. it's already helping millions of americans stay healthy and financially secure, and it is on track to help millions more. and, mr. president, when i see some of my colleagues working so hard to defund obamacare, i have to wonder whether they've taken the time to meet some of their own constituents who are already benefiting from this law. now, just this last month i was home in washington state and i met an incredible woman named nikki mackie who lives in seattle.
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on september 16 of 2010, nikki was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer. 36 years old. terrified of what this disease would do to her. and to make matters worse instead of focusing on her treatment she had to worry about her coverage and that's because just a few months before her diagnosis in the midst of the recession, nikki had been laid off from her job. there we she was with coverage at risk and years of treatment ahead of her. but thanks to obamacare, a law some of my colleagues want to undermine at any cost, nikki will never have to worry about reaching a lifetime cap. and she will never have to worry about not getting coverage due to her now preexisting condition. and, mr. president, that is why we have worked so hard to pass this law because it says now in america you shouldn't go broke just because you get sick. and you shouldn't be denied care
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simply because you can't afford it. so let's be very clear about what's happening here and the political calculation that some of my colleagues have made. they've decided they're willing to play politics with americans' health care, they've decided it's better for them to sabotage this law rather than improve it, and they've decided that beyond all that, they're also willing to devastate our nation's economy to kill this law. well, mr. president, we're not going to let that happen. mr. president, nikki told me that when she turns on her tv and sees members of congress using every trick in the book to kill this law, she feels -- quote -- "her own well-being is under attack." so, mr. president, i want to be clear. democrats are not going to defund or delay health care reform. it's not going to happen. we should be all working together right now to make sure it is implemented in the best possible way for our families and our businesses and our communities. and we certainly -- are
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certainly very interested in hearing from anyone, democrat or republican, who has good ideas about how the law could be improved. but we are not going to allow the income of nikki or millions of other americans be used as a con in a political game. we are not going to let this law get sabotaged as it continues to benefit millions of families and small business owners and the sooner republicans realize this, the sooner we can get to work defusing this latest artificial crisis. mr. president, we know the families we represent don't support the republicans' sabotage tactics. recent polls show fewer than one in four people support efforts to make health care reform fail and that a majority believe we in congress should be trying to make the law work. it's also very clear that americans would rightly blame republicans if the government shuts down, especially over an issue like this, and a lot of republicans know that.
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my colleague senator johanns said these defunding and delaying efforts have -- quote -- "zero chance of being successful." senator burr said -- and i quote -- "the dumbest idea i've ever heard of." house republican leaders know this, too. that's why they introduced a bill that would a he lou government funding to pass while giving house republicans a vote to defund health care that has no chance of becoming law. but as we know now the tea party wasn't interested in that. they don't want a show vote. they want a shutdown. and they're going to keep fighting until they get it. so, mr. president, we now have less than two weeks before the end of this fiscal year and the potential of government shutdown. it is a shame that we've gotten to this point, but we're here. we owe it to the american people to come together, find a solution and a path forward that is good for our economy and fair for our middle class. my goal has been and will continue to be a long-term budget agreement that replaces
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sequestration, tackles our debt and deficit responsibly, and invests in our workers and our economy. but since it seems clear that the house won't be able to get its act together in the next few weeks the least they should be able to do is send us a clean short-term extension of the current budget levels so government doesn't shut down while we continue to negotiate on this longer-term budget deal. so, mr. president, i want to be clear about something. democrats are not going to negotiate over whether or not congress should allow the federal government to pay its bills. as speaker boehner said in the past, default would be -- quote -- "a financial disaster not just for us but for the worldwide economy." republicans need to take those words to heart and stop threatening the economic recovery with their saber rattling and brinksmanship. we went through this earlier this year and back then after spending months saying they wouldn't raise the debt limit unless they got dollar for
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dollar spending cuts, republicans dropped their demands, dropped the so-called boehner rule and allowed the debt ceiling to be increased. going back now to that reckless approach of 2011 and drumming up this unfernt again is nothing but a huge and harmful waste of time. so, mr. president, it is ridiculous that we find ourselves on the brink of an artificial crisis again. we should be doing everything possible to support the economic recovery and help our workers get back on the job. we should be spending time finding common ground to tackle our long-term fiscal challenges responsibly, and we should be working together to build on the affordable care act to continue improving our health care system for all of our families and small business owners. but as you know, we are now mired in the muck of perpetual partisanship and constant crisis. mr. president, the american people deserve better. nicky and the millions of families like hers deserve better, and i am really hopeful that the republican leadership
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stops focusing so much on their extreme party minority and comes to the table with us to work on a balanced and bipartisan deal that the vast majority of americans want, and i hope they don't make us reach a crisis to get to that point. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i'd like to associate myself with the remarks of the budget committee chair. as a member of the budget committee, i join her in expressing her strong view that this country does not need another shutdown or pointless fiscal cliff but needs us to listen and work together in this chamber and the house of representatives and move forward on the agenda that all of our constituents want us to proceed on. mr. president, i rise today specifically to speak to the bill that is on the floor that has been the subject of debate and discussion, 1392, the energy savings and industrial competitiveness act of 2013. this is a broadly bipartisan bill. its two primary authors, my colleagues from new hampshire
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and ohio, senators shaheen and portman, have worked tirelessly to make sure that it respects the priorities of members of both parties. its passage by a vote of 19-3 out of the energy committee on which you serve speaks to its support across partisan lines. yet sadly now that it's on the floor, a few republicans have decided they want to use it to carry out their own narrow or partisan political agendas. rather than showing our constituents and the american people that we can come together across our differences of region and party to pass this commonsense bipartisan legislation, they would rather confirm the frustration and even discuss so many -- disgust so many of our constituents feel about this body. we were all home last month, mr. president. we all heard from our constituents, and i don't know about my colleagues but what i heard from delawareans about what they want, what they deserve is not more displays of selfish partisanship that frustrates them but rather that we can listen to each other and work together on bipartisan
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bills that moves this country forward. energy efficiency, the topic of this bill, the topic we should be moving forward on today, its only agenda is creating a stable, dynamic and prosperous future. and the shaheen-portman bill really has been written with only that goal as its north star. it's not about who's right or wrong, about whether climate change is real or not, about whose science you are going to choose to believe today. energy efficiency is fundamentally something that makes sense. it allows us to bridge competing interests and concerns because it promotes energy independence, it helps our environment and it promotes american jobs, jobs today and jobs tomorrow. when we need to purchase new equipment to promote the efficiency of our buildings, whether it's dupont's tyvek prapg or dow's foam spray insulation, both made here in america, we create good manufacturing jobs in our country. when we install new equipment, new energy efficiency equipment in homes and buildings, we hire americans to do that work. sheet metal workers,
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electricians, laborers. when we set voluntary new goals for efficiency, as this bill does, we incentivize the kind of research and innovation that will create jobs well into the future. it's simple. mr. president, there is no reason we shouldn't be able to get this done. i come to this debate today as someone who has seen the power of energy efficiency up close in the private sector and public sector in my work in delaware. when i was in the private sector, more than 15 years ago, i came to understand that power when our then-governor appointed me to chair the conservation and efficiency working group of her energy task force. over two years of meetings, i grew to appreciate how powerful energy efficiency can be for the commercial and industrial balance sheet of our country. it later translated into my work as county executive of new castle county, delaware, where i led a countywide effort to make our buildings more energy efficiency. we had old and energy wasteful buildings and we knew that by investing in energy efficiency upgrades, we could save taxpayer
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money and put delawareans to work. we started with our old city-county headquarters, a building constructed in the 1970's, almost designed to be monumentally energy inefficient. as we audited it, the auditor was stunned at how energy-inefficient it was. so we overhauled. we upgraded the lights. put in new energy management systems. replaced the boilers and chillers and cooling towers and got that building up to energy star standards. did a host of other things on a constrained budget. it was a resounding and lasting success, with improvements just to that one small building. the county saves $350,000 a year, and it will pay for itself over 15 years, and because of that success, the county has gone on to do retrofits to 20 more buildings. in total, providing work for more than 150 delawareans and reducing emissions by 12 million pounds of carbon dioxide a year, the equivalent of taking a thousand cars off the road.
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those jobs, they can't be offshored. these are jobs for electricians, labors and sheet metal workers. these are good quality building trades jobs. they are also sustainable because as each contractor learns how to do an energy efficiency retrofit in one building, they can go on and do it for more. once folks understood the impact, once they saw the difference we could make in that county, it became an issue that transcended partisanship or political loyalties, and that should have been the case here, if we had a healthy and functioning senate, because this issue is no more partisan across the united states than it was in our county. it saved us money. it helped our environment. it put delawareans to work, and that same is true for the shaheen-portman bill thatd be moving forward today. earlier this year, hi a chance to visit dover air force base, our largest air force facility in delaware, and see what the u.s. military is doing. to use less energy and employ alternative energy solutions. they have made dramatic progress, looking across every corner of that base to reduce their energy use and to be more efficient in how they transport
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material for the united states air force. these are real ideas and real technology-based solutions that could be applied nationally. there is companies up and down our state in the private sector which have applied the same approach, the same initiative this bill would take and seen real savings. p.p.g., kraft, others have all realized savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars that add to their balance sheet and their bottom line. this bill, mr. president, has been scored as creating 136,000 new jobs by 2025, saving consumers $13 billion and nearly three billion megawatt hours by 2030. in total, this is exactly the sort of bill we should be moving to, exactly the sort of bill we should be coming together to pass. instead, sadly, what i'm hearing is that it is likely that the partisanship of this chamber is going to defeat our opportunity to take up and consider this important balanced and bipartisan bill. americans are looking to us to take action to create jobs, save
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them money and build a better future for that country. this bill genuinely gives us a chance to do all of those things. i am a proud cosponsor of this bill. i had hoped to have a chance to debate, discuss and vote on many amendments directly relevant to this bill that deal with energy efficiency and would strengthen it. instead, it seems we are again mired in partisanship as folks here seek to add to this bill amendments utterly irrelevant to the core of what should be the focus today -- helping to create high-quality jobs for americans, improve our environment and add to our nation's bottom line on this commonsense matter. it is my hope, mr. president, that we can get past the partisanship and back to the real work our constituents expect and demand of us in the weeks ahead. with that, i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: when we are establishing our time, i say to my good friend and colleague from california, i was joking around a little bit about the
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nine and a half minutes. is it all right if i make that 19 and a half minutes, maximum? mrs. boxer: no, because i say to my friend i was promised that i would be able to speak at 3:30. so i'm already giving up so much time. so if you could just take nine and a half. mr. inhofe: okay. i will do that. i ask unanimous consent at the conclusion of the remarks of the senator from california that i be recognized for 15 minutes. mrs. boxer: all right. and i would say i would ask to be recognized for 15 minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. inhofe: mr. president, we -- first of all, i wasn't going to do this, but since my good friend from california is on the floor and it's our favorite subject to talk about, i thought i would. i'd like to take the opportunity to talk about the first round of the major global warming regulations the president is set to release this week. now, these rules will govern the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted from power plants, and they are the first
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round of rules following the president's major speech on global warming in june. the rules represent the most aggressive representation of the war on fossil fuels that we've seen in this administration, and we've seen a lot of them. we know that the rules will require any coal fire plant to have carbon capture and sequestration technology, that's c.s.s. technology. while the clean air act only allows feasible technology to be mandated, the c.c.s. technology is not feasible. it's really not there yet. no power plant has ever been built with the technology unless it is -- it has been supported by a massive taxpayer subsidies. the rule would kill the coal power plant industry, and while the rules may be constructed in a way that allows natural gas fired power plants to meet the mandates, we have to know that that's coming next. after all, natural gas is a
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fossil fuel as well. there have been several statements, people say well, just wait around until fossil fuel, that's going to be next. the only thing that these new rules would do is cause energy prices to skyrocket, and i expect the rule to be one of the key issues covered by the media this week. that while the exact details of the rule won't be known until it's published later this week, there are a few things that we do know right now. first, the science behind the global warming is now more uncertain than ever. just last week, this is the first time this has been -- i talked about this this morning in our hearing. just last week, it was reported all over the media the telegraph -- this is in london, one of their largest publications, the guardian also in london, "the wall street journal" and others that this year there has been a 60% more ice coverage in the arctic than there was this time last year. now, you might remember the hysterical people were saying at one time that there would be no
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longer an ice cap by 2013, so instead we find out it's actually increased by 60%. this is equivalent of almost a million square miles as being observed before the winter refreeze and is even -- and is even to be set in again. now, what makes it more interesting is that 2007, the bbc reported that global warming would leave the entire arctic ice free by the summer of 2013. the scientists who made this claim, professor weinstock meslevik, said in typical bravado we have come to expect from the climate scientists that this is not a cycle, not just a fluctuation. in the end, it will all just melt away suddenly. that's 2013. well, here we are, 2013. if you can guess what, they are wrong again. there is 60% more ice than there was this time last year. a lot of the yachts and the ships expected to use the
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northwest passage. they can't use the northwest passage. it's closed, closed because of the ice is there. this follows reports earlier this year and notably from the economists showing that global warming has been on a pause for the last 15 years. the economists wrote, and i quote -- over the last 15 years, air temperatures and earth surface have been flat while greenhouse gas emissions have continued to soar. the u.n.'s intergovernmental panel on climate change did not expect this development to occur, nor did its models predict that there would be a 15-year stall in global warming. professor anastocio sonas at the university of wisconsin recently concluded -- quote -- "we are already in a cooling trend which i think will continue for the next 15 years at least. there is no doubt the warming of the 1980's and 1990's warming has stopped. this reminds me of all the hysteria in the 1970's, the global warming trend is coming.
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you know, i can't tell you how many times on the senate floor i have talked about how these cycles come and they go, about every 25 years. here it is right on schedule going into a cooling period. starting back in 1895. every 15-20 years. they started out with a new ice age is coming. everyone was hysterical. then in 2007, 1970, it was 1919, they went into a period of warming, and then in 1995, in 1945, they went into another cooling spell. that happened to coincide with the year that had the greatest surge in co2 on our planet. so i only want to say that this finally has come to our attention that we are looking at a situation that is quite different than we have seen in the past, and i mentioned that the -- later in this month, the long-awaited event is going to happen. it -- it comes up every five,
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six or seven years. that's when the ipcc comes with its assessment. this just came up. i saw it's dated today in "the wall street journal," and i will read this. it says later this month, a long-awaited event that has happened in 2007 will occur -- recur. like a returning comet. it will take it to portend ominous happenings. i refer to the intergovernmental panel on climate change fifth assessment. that's what we're talking abouty learned from within that assessment. they have been leaks from this document i have had a glimpse of the key prediction at the heart of this document. keep in mind, this is the ipcc. this is the united nations. the big news is that for the
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first time since these reports started coming out in 1990, the new one dials back the alarm. it states that the teaches rise we can expect as a result of man-made emissions from carbon dioxide is lower than the ipcc. this is something we didn't anticipate would happen, just as recently as a few days ago. i would just, real quickly, it's my hope that we get to some of these amendments, and i'm going to mention one that is very, very significant. the amendment a few months ago when we were debating the continuing resolution, the senate adopted amendment number 29 which prohibited the e.p.a. from enforcing the spill prevention containment and countermeasure rule, the spcc rule. we all remember that they were going to put this, enforce this against farmers. the reason we did this is clear. e.p.a. first threatened to enforce this rule against
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farmers at the beginning of the obama administration, but they did very little outreach. most farmers don't even know even today about this rule or what they would have to do to comply. the only reason other members know about this rule is because of the work senator pryor and i have done to highlight the problem for what it is. this rule was originally drafted for compliance by major handlers of oil refineries, pipelines like the ones that are shown on chart 1. this chart actually is cushing, oklahoma. millions of barrels are stored in this town each day. it is incredibly important that the handlers of oil follow appropriate regulations to make sure that accidents don't cause significant environmental damage. they understand why the regulations are in place and they follow the rules with
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precision. we're talking about the people in the adjoining times. now these refineries and tank operators who it is designed for in the first place, that makes sense, but now the e.p.a. wants to enforce that against farmers. what would it look like if we did this? first, take a look at this chart number 2. this is a diesel fuel container on a farm. it's small. it doesn't hold that much fuel. but right now it is the subject of the same regulations that you'd have for oil companies and refineries. i asked a friend of mine, keith, kissing, a wheat farmer in western oklahoma, what it would take for him to comply with this rule designed for refineries. he said tp*eud i'd -- he said i'd have to purchase a double wall container that would cost thousands of dollars. the e.p.a. justifies by saying it would prevent leak. now keith thinks diesel is expensive, so keith is not going
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to let his tanks leak, whatever kind it is. just sit on a farm and realize that is leaking money, and obviously they don't want to do that. the next thing he'd have to do was build a berm all the way around his tank to contain a spill if all of the diesel fuel came out of it. this would be expensive and tkeufrlt to operate -- and difficult to operate -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent if i could have three more minutes to conclude this? the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. inhofe: keith would have to hire and pay a professional engineer to certify his spilled plan if he could find one. in oklahoma farmers can't find professional engineers which makes this requirement virtually impossible. keith would have to pay somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000 to comply with the rule and the environment is not better for it.
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after we secure the amendment prohibiting the e.p.a. from enforcing the rule in march, senator pryor and i worked to secure a permanent exemption, and we did this. as the senator from california will remember into the wrda bill. it is not final law yet and this is the dilemma we have right now. last month during the august recess, i received word from the national cattlemen's beef association that producerness kansas and other areas out west were hearing from the e.p.a. enforcement officers that they were at risk of having the sbcc rule retroactively enforced against them once the prohibition was enforced and expired on september 23. this comes despite the clear actions of congress that has been taken to provide relief for farmers. i honestly don't know of anyone who wants to subject our farmers in the united states of america to the same requirements the
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refineries and oil companies and these operations have. so i do have an amendment that would go on. it's my hope that we'll be able to get to the amendments on the bill, the underlying bill that's under consideration today. and i think this is one of two amendments that i have that should be accepted unanimously. with that, i thank the senator from california for giving me that additional time, and i yield the floor. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, first i want to add my voice of condolence to that of senator murray's and say to the navy family how heavy our hearts are and that i stand ready any minute, any hour, any second to work with my colleagues to make sure that mentally ill people don't get their hands on weapons. and as soon as we can get a breakthrough on that, maybe on background checks, maybe we can finally do something for 90% of
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the american people that want us to. i also want to note that senator inhofe and i have an ongoing dispute, though it is quite friendly, on climate change. and we went through this this morning. he sees evidence that climate change irosbly still a hoax, and he talks about the great news that we don't have climate change. i think he should tell that to the people in colorado. but not withstanding that, forget that, i will ask unanimous consent to place in the record three articles that appeared in the recent days about how the consensus on climate change is growing, and there's 95% certainty that the cause is human activity. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: thirdly, i want to ask senator durbin how much time he needs and i'll make a request -- mr. durbin: i thank the gentlelady from california -- mrs. boxer: i'm not the gentlelady anymore. mr. durbin: pardon me?
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mrs. boxer: remember ten years of being the gentlelady? mr. durbin: i see on the floor the senator from wisconsin. i don't want to step on him. but i ask unanimous consent five minutes to speak after the senator from california. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mrs. boxer: okay. i want to talk about what's happening in this congress, or better yet what's not happening. we have to pass a continuing resolution so we can fund this government. that means all the functions, whether it's air traffic controllers, whether it's building our highways, whether it's f.b.i. agents, whether it's paying social security, all the things that we do -- medicare part-d -- we have to pass a continuing resolution to keep this government going, sending meat inspecial interests out to make swhaoeur -- sending meet
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inspectors out to make sure we don't get poisoned and the rest. and where is the house? all spending bills have to start over there. republicans control it. they have not sent us a continuing resolution. we also have to make sure that we pay our debts, just like all americans. debts that we voted for, whether it's military spending, domestic spending, spending to help our farmers, spending to help recover from hurricane sandy; we have to pay our debts. and to do that, we have to increase the debt ceiling. october 15 it's coming. if we don't do it, if the republicans play games, we'll see a crash in the stock market. i'm sure every american looks forward to that. they're not doing their work because they're obsessed. they're obsessed with repealing a law they have tried to repeal
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for 41 times. they're obsessed. they tried to get it overturned in the supreme court. the supreme court said it's constitutional. they tried to take away a law that is helping every american. and i'm going to talk about it. they're obsessed. and they refuse to understand that raising the debt ceiling is not about future spending, it's about past spending. so their reason is they're very upset about the affordable care act, or obamacare, however you want to call it, and they're very upset about the deficit, which has come down by half from its height with this president's leadership. so here's the thing. i do a lot of speaking to youngsters in school. and when i explain to them what
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the role of a senator is, i say in essence, it's to make life better for the people. that's what i think it is, and to do it in a smart way. and to work with your colleagues to make sure you can compromise and get things done, whether it's building highways or making sure our ports are dredged or funding the military, we must work together. no one gets everything he or she wants. that's life. you have to compromise. you can't be an ideologue and say my way or the highway. and to go after a law that was passed years ago, that you tried to repeal 41 times and failed, that you tried to overturn in the court and failed, and then not to do your most fundamental responsibility of keeping the government open, there's something really wrong about this. now, let's take a look at this
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economy. why are they so upset at what the president has been able to achieve? president clinton left office with a surplus, over $200 billion. remember that. eight years later president bush left office with a $1.3 trillion deficit. i won't go into why because i don't have the time, but that's the fact. and no one can erase it from the books. since president obama took office, the annual deficit has been cut in half. it's less than $650 billion, and yet they're willing to shut the government down by making believe no progress has been made when we have cut the deficit in half. and we're trying to get out of a disastrous recession. under the clinton administration, the economy created more than 20 million
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private-sector jobs. under george w. bush, we lost 665,000 jobs. remember, clinton, millions of jobs created. george bush, the republicans, hundreds of thousands of private-sector jobs lost. and under obama, we've added 3.9 million private-sector jobs coming out of the worst recession since the great depression. you can say what you want, but president obama and the democrats here, even though it has been a bear to do it, we've managed to wrap our arms around this recession and get us on a course. now, how about housing? home prices are up more than 12% over the last year. home sales have increased 47% since the crisis low. recent housing starts are up 75% from april 2009.
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housing was the cause of this recession. people sliced and diced mortgages and sold them on wall street and brought everything down. deregulation, that was the republican mantra. it went too far, and we lost our way, and people suffered through the worst recession since the great depression. the republicans, instead of working with us to keep the progress up, want to shut the government down, want to say we're not going to pay our bills , thaoepb they voted to -- even though they voted to rack up those bills. look at the auto industry. in 2009 the auto industry lost more than 100,000 jobs. rescuing the auto industry saved more than a million jobs. and the news is great coming out of detroit. people are buying cars. the republicans put it all at risk by shutting down the government and not paying the bills. there are
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going to be no more bailouts. i was so proud -- i orved the first amendment. i think my friend remembers. no more government bailouts of the big banks. so we're on our way to saying once and for all we're not going to let this crisis happen again. do you know the dow fell from 6,500, mr. president? since then it's rebounded 2,000 points. yet they'll put it all at risk because they're saying they're going to play games, shut down the government, not pay the debt. the last time they played these games, the republicans, g.a.o. found that threatening to breach the debt limit cost the treasury $1.3 billion just in 2011 and over the years $18 billion over the next ten years. the next time a republican tells you how fiscally conservative they are, ask them why it is they ha added $18 billion to the debt by playing games with the debt ceiling.
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i want to quote republican president ronald reagan, one of the heroes of my friends' party. he said "the full consequences of a default -- or even the serious prospect of a default -- by the united states are impossible to predict and awesome to contemplate. denigration of the full faith and credit of the united states would have substantial effects on the domestic financial markets and the value of the dollar." that's ronald reagan in 1983. he said, even talking about a default has terrible consequences. they're not even talking about a default. they're planning for a default. my friend who is such a great leader in the senate, senator durbin, you informed us, and senator reid informed us, that the republicans in the house have a bill that they love. we call it "pay china first." if there is a default, they'll
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keep paying china the interest we owe them, but they'll default on all the americans here and all the contractors, the highway contractors, the people who dredge our ports. they'll default on what they owe the american people, but they'll pay china. douglas holts eakin, the c.b.o. director under george w. bush said, "dwrult. "it's a a bad eye. little defaulting big defaults, default's a bad idea." he sthaid in 2011. there's no thing as a good default. i have shown you how far we've come with this economy. if we don't have the far right of the republican party take mirk's country hostage -- taking america's country hostage, if
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they play games and try to shut down this government, it could all turn archltdz if they play games and they try to default on the debt, they could turn it all around in a bad way. and we'll see the result results social security recipients start to worry, as medicare recipients start to worry, as contractors start to worry, as federal f.b.i. agents can no longer get paid, and it goes on and on and on. now, one of the reasons they're so crazed is, they are obsessed over the affordable care act which they call obamacare. now, i wan i want in my time tol you what the affordable care act does and see whether you think it's worth shutting down the government over this bill. they tried it 41 times, but 42, they hope, will be their winner.
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over 1 million californians -- this is just in my state -- already newly insured. 3 million young adults are now insured through their parents' plans in this nation of ours. 3 million are now insured. 400,000 in my state. 71 million americans are getting free preventive care like checkups and birth control and i am munizations. they don't like that, i guess. they're willing to shut the government down over it. 17 million kids with preexisting conditions like asthma can no longer be denied coverage. insurers can't cancel your health insurance because you get sick. there are no more lifetime limits on coverage. and anyone who's had a catastrophic disease, knows it's pretty easy to hit that cap. no more caps. no more caps in a year.
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no more lifetime caps. this is what they're so obsessed about, so they're willing to shut down the government, to take away these benefits? now, they all said, oh, health care costs are going to go up because of the affordable care act. well, guess what? health care costs are growing at the slowest rate in over 50 years, mr. president. insurance companies now have to justify their hikes. before they could just hike your rates and they could do it with impunity. now, insurers have to spend at least 80% of your premium on your medical care, not on overhead. they can't pocket the money. they have to spend it on health care. and 8.5 million americans have received rebate checks from their insurance company because they were overcharged. is that what the republicans are
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so upset about, they're willing to shut down the government to take away these benefits from the people? insurance companies can't deny coverage or charge more for preexisting conditions. they can't charge women more than men. there's no more discrimination. and, again, in a single year, they can't impose dollar limits on you. so, i'm going to say this. the republicans are upset about the deficit. the deficit has been cut in half. i would ask for three additional minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? so ordered. mrs. boxer: the house has voted 41 times to defund the affordable care act. they took it all the way to the supreme court, the republican attorney generals. they lost. they made it a centerpiece of the 2012 election, and they lost. they lost the presidential election. and now they're willing to shut down the government unless they
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get their way. so i would conclude by asking some rhetorical questions here. why are the republicans so obsessed with kicking young people off their parents' insurance? why are the republicans so obsessed with stopping preventive care, like checkups and birth control and immunizations? why are republicans so obsessed with repealing benefits that guarantee insurance coverage for children and adults with preexisting conditions? and why are they so obsessed with stopping 13 million people from getting insurance who never had the chance before? and why are they is h so obsessd with stopping 24 million people from getting insurance under the new state health exchanges? and why are they owe h so objece ised with allowing an insurance company to cancel a insurance policy by stopping that practice? why are they obsessed that we are stopping that practice 1234
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why are they so obsessed when they say you can no longer have an annual dollar limit on benefits? why do they want to change that? and why are they so obsessed with saying to insurance companies, you can't have lifetime limit on benefits? and why are they so obsessed that finally we stop discrimination against women? you know, being a woman was considered being a preexisting condition. honestly. and you had to pay twice as much as a man for your health care. and if you were a victim, if you were a victim of some kind of spousal abuse, that was considered a preexisting condition, and your rates went up or maybe you never even got insurance. and i got to say the finally, why are they so obsessed about doing away with the affordable care act when c.b.o., the congressional budget office, says it i it will save,
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mr. president, $10 billion over ten years and over $1 trillion the following decade? i cannot answer these questions. all i can think of is, it's politics. it's politics. i've been here a long time. uma proud of it. i -- i'm proud of it. i thank my people of california for allowing me to have this honor. there were many laws i didn't like. me. i served with five presidents. i didn't agree with quite a couple of them. two or three. but when i lost the battle, i didn't try to shut down the government. when i lost a battle, i didn't say we can't pay our debt. oh, maybe i voted once or twice as a symbolic vote, but i knew that the votes were there. and so i would say to my friends, get over your obsession and proceed with your responsibilities to keep this government open, forget about
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repealing a health care law that's about to kick in that's good for the people and pay your debts. thank you very much. i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader is recognized. mr. durbin: mr. president, i rise too thank a good friend for his service to our nation, america's soldiers, and their families. tom lamont of springfield, illinois, is retiring this week as assistant secretary of the army for manpower and reserve affairs, the army's top personnel officer. it's a post that thomas held for more than four years. these were not four ordinary years. they were four of the most challenging years in the army's modern history. the list of challenges that tom lamont faced from day one was daunting. at the top of his list he had to help coordinate the drawdown of u.s. troops from iraq. at the same time, he had to support a surge of troops in afghanistan and then help the
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return home of those same troops. he also had to address many of the most important issues facing the military and our army today, including post-troughmatic stress, traumatic brain injuries, sexual assault in the military, and the disturbingly high incidence of suicide among active duty soldiers and veterans. i was proud to introduce tom lamont at his confirmation hearing before the senate armed services committee four years ago. i said then that with the tremendous strain that the wars in afghanistan and iraq had created for soldiers and their families, the army needed a leader like tom lamont. as he prepares to complete his mission in the pentagon, i am proud but not at all surprised that tom was every bit the leader that our army needed. in the time of historic challenge for the united states army, assistant secretary thomas lamont has consistently risen to the challenge. he made clear from the start that his number-one priority was
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the well-being of america's soldiers and their families, especially those coping with multiple deployments. he also supervised the development of the army's first total-force policy, a new policy that integrates the active duty, guard, and reserve components of the army into a single, effective, unified force. it was signed by secretary of army gong mccue. the new total-force policy reflects a fundamental fact that as decades of war in iraq and afghanistan have demonstrated, our army, guard, and reserve are now as integral to the fight as the active duty component and we are not going back. very few people could bring to that task the experience and personal commitment that tom lamont did. assistant secretary lamont also oversaw a review of the army's integrated disability evaluation system. the ides system is a partnership between the defense department and the department of veterans
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affairs. it is used to evaluate the wounded, ill, or injured service members, to determine whether they are fit for duty and, if not, what disability rate being and benefits they receive. thanks to tom's focus, wait times are down more than 40% and the process more consistent, less adversarial. we need to cut back on backlog even further, and we will. tom lamont's leadership over the last four years has made a real difference in reducing the so-called benefits gap for service members transitioning to civilian life. one reason that tom has been such an effective assistant secretary of the army is the respect he brought to this position from the sacrifices made by all soldiers, whether they are active duty, guard, or reserve. that respect is something tom learned during his 25 years as a judge joact general in the i will fill -- judge advocate general in the illinois national guard. he retired with the rank of
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colonel in 2507. his years of experience in the illinois national guard gave him a deep understanding of the needs of the army. tom is also a respected attorney in our home towfng springfield, illinois, a former partner in two distinguished law firms. one of those firms, brown, hanes, stevens, is the oldest law practice in illinois. from 1837 to 1841 it employed abraham lincoln. in his second inaugural address, president lincoln spoke of the solemn obligation of any nation that has been through a war. he said, "we have a moral responsibility -- quote -- "to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and orphan and to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." tom lamont has kept faith with that moral responsibility that abraham lincoln spoke to. tom lamont has also served the
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people of illinois in many important positions: executive director of the office of the state attorney appellate prosecutor, director of the civil litigation in the office of illinois attorney general, executive director of the illinois board of education, special council to the university of illinois, member of the united states senate judicial nomination commission. a while back, john dempsey gave a speech in which he described the historic challenges facing the u.s. formed forces. he said in those remarks -- quote -- "if we don't get the people right, the west of it won't matter." he went on to say, "we might get the people right, the organization right, but if we don't get the people right, we're going to put the public at risk." and president obama nominated thomas lamont, he got the people right. his service these last four years leaves the army better
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prepared for what lies ahead. i want to thank tom for his extraordinary record of public service. tom and his wife bridgity are good friend of loretta's and mine. i know better than most the personal sacrifice they both have made it so that tom can serve this president, the united states army and the nation that he loves. i wish tom an and bridgette the best in life's challenges. how much sometime remaining? i ask for three additional minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. durbin: mr. president, i'd like to have this statement put separate in the "congressional record." the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. durbin: mr. president, i want to salute my colleague from california, senator boxer. the statement that she made before i spoke really summarized what we face. people say to me, "are you really going to shut down the government?" is that what you were elected to do, to come here and be unable to reach an agreement between the parties, between the house and the senate and to shut down the government, to cut off the
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basic services of the government of the united states of america, the leading nation in the world when it comes to striving for social justice as well as peace? are you going to shut down the? is that the best you can do in this congress? the answer is -- it is not worthy of this great institution or this great nation for us to entertain the thought of shutting down this government. or, even worse, to default on america's debt for the first time in our history. people don't understand this term "debt ceiling." let me explain it. you have a mortgage on your ho home. what would happen if you didn't make a payment next month? you might get by with it. but by the second month, there would be a knock on the door or a squall oa call or an e-mail ad be saying, you know, you missed a payment and you want to stay in this house, you better make it. well, feighan to even if you mat
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payment, and you try get another one, people will remember and you're likely to pay a higher interest rate. translate that to the united states of america f. we don't raise the debt ceiling, if we don't pay the mortgages that we've both engaged in in both political parties, we will have defaulted on america's debt for the first time in history. we may get through it -- i'm sure we will -- but at the end of the day, what will happen? the interest rate paid by americans to borrow money will go up. it means that a dollar sent to washington in taxes will no longer buy a dollar's worth of goods and services. no. it will buy less because more has to be paid in interest to someone loaning money to the united states. golly, it's an awful outcome. wish we could avoid it. the answer, is we can't avoid it. the default on america's debt, the failure to extend the debt
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ceiling is a self-imposed crisis generated, sadly, by the majority in the house of representatives who happen to belief this is good politics. the american people will just rally to the notion that we're going to default on our debt for the first time and we're going to stop funding the government. what a glorious day for this great nation. closing the doors of our government in every single agency -- virtually every agency -- and defaulting on our debt for the first time in history. if that is what the tea party republicans think is leadership, god save the united states of america. we need leadership where democrats and republicans sit down and act like adults, not like squealing political pigs trying to get attention. we need to basically sit down in both political parties and solve this problem. i've been waiting patiently, watching as we've asked for a budget conference committee to work out our differences. time and again we've come to the
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floor over the last six months and said, senator murray's budget that passed the senate is ready to be negotiated with the house. consistently four senators on the republican side of the aisle have taken turns standing up and objecting to working out our differences and coming up with an agreement on how much we'll spend. that's not how you should govern this nation. i don't believe that's how you should serve in the senate. the latest excuse -- and i won't go into detail -- is the republicans have said, of course we have to shut down the government and we have to default on our debt for the first time in history to stop obamacare. senator from california, senator boxer, went through the details of what obamacare means to millions of families and the opportunity for health insurance for the first time for many of them in their entire lives. it's working. and i think that's what infuriates many republicans the most. we can fix it. it can be better. we should do it. but to bring this government to a halt and to default on our
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debt over this question of a bill that passed over three years ago and is the law of the land, found constitutional by the supreme court? that is the height of irresponsibility. the american people have a right to be angry at congress but, please, take a moment and realize that this desperate, awful strategy is inspired by one political party who thinks that somehow this is going to appeal to the american people. i don't believe it will. the american people are too smart to fall for that one. i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from oklahoma is recognized. mr. inhofe: thank you, mr. president. and i -- i sat through the speech given by the junior senator from california and i have a long list of things with which i disagree and i'm going to get to as many of those as i can in a minute. but i -- i feel an obligation to make a statement about some foreign policy issues that nobody talks about, certainly
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not partisan in any way, so i'd kind of like to get that out of the way first and then i'll have time on the time that i have been given to go back and -- and cover as many of the issues that were misrepresented by my good friend, the junior senator from california. today i want to encourage the obama administration to review its current policies regard, the country of sri lanka and seek further engagement to assist them as they continue their progress toward reconciliation and reconstruction after 30 years of a bloody civil war against the tomville tiger terrorists. just thee years ago they defeated the terrorists and is currently recovering from economic and social unheefl caused by the instruct -- upheaval caused by the destructive civil war. i think a lot of people didn't expect this to happen with this administration but it is.
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peace is happening. sri lanka is bringing the dividends of peace in an exclusive manner and particularly to those in the north and to the east of the country from where tomill suicide bombers and other terrorist attacks were once launched. specifically, since the war ended, those two areas have seen an economic growth of 22% compared to an average of 7.5% in the rest of the country. sri lanka has removed half a million antipersonnel mines, resettled 300,000 internally displaced people and reestablished vital social services in the areas of health and education. it is also conducting local elections in the formerly tomill controlled north on the 20 -- i think it's the 21st of september they'll be having these elections. i see this as an important sten
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toward the political reconciliation, such as processes take time as we have learned from our own civil war. now, it seems to me that sri lanka is developing into a key economy, both in its own right and as a gateway to india. a lot of people don't know where sri lanka is. it's that little point at the bottom of -- of india, in that part of the world. and sri lanka is geostrategic location. the deepwater ports could be vital to the long-term financial and national security interests of the united states. you know, we want them on our side. some 50% of all container traffic, for example, and 70 percent of th0% ofthe world's es within site of sri lanka's coast. u.s. diplomatic efforts there have lagged and as a result i think our long-term and national and economic security interests are suffering. at a time when the united states pivoting or rebattling toward
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asia, we may be giving this island nation reason not to consider the united states a friend and strategic power. understandably, the united states policies towards sri lanka have focused on accountability for what happened during the last phases of the civil war as well as on steps toward political reconciliation and respect for human rights. while these aspects are very important and deserve of support, i also believe there is an opportunity to engage in a wider simultaneous approach that also takes into account economic and national security consideration. the -- maybe this wider and dual-track approach would have a positive influence overall and make up for lost ground. i've expressed these views in letters to both secretaries kerry and hagel in recent mont months, and while both agree with me about sri lanka and their economic and geostrategic importance to the united states, both still point to the lack of
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political transparency and poor human rights record to reject a review of the administration's position which restricts military-to-military relations and foreign assistance funding. i take secretaries kerry and hagel at their word and believe that the upcoming september 21st provincial council elections in the north can be a meaningful act of political reconciliation between the singh hala majority and the minorities f. they are conducted in a free and fair manner, free of human rights violations, i will strongly renew my request to the administration to reassess our current policies toward sri lanka. i know it's a little bit controversial but we've watched what's happened over the years over there. we watched the civil war. and then when you consider the very strategic location of sri lanka, it's really important in
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my view that we establish these relationships and recognize them. let me just mention just a few things that i took issue with. i -- some of them i had a hard time understanding what my -- the junior senator from california was talking about when she was singing the praises of this administration. first of all, i agreed with her on the tragedy at the -- at the navy yard. you know, i've been down there many times and i was envisioning as i was coming from tulsa up here on monday, the place -- at that that time they said that ronald reagan airport was going to be closed. they thought it was going to be closed down because of the proximity to the navy yard. well, it didn't turn out that way and we ended up landing there. but when i went down and i saw the scene -- which i've seen many times before -- and i looked at it, it just -- it's gust wrenching to think that one deranged person could -- gut wrenching to think that one
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deranged person could do this. we've seen it before in waco, we've seen it in boston and other places. it's something that we -- i assume is going to be with us. i don't know how it can be precluded. i will say this, though, i fully expected several of my liberal friends to try to use that as an excuse to come up with some more stringent gun regulations. i would only suggest, mr. president, that the district of columbia has the most stringent anti-2nd amendment gun control laws anywhere in the country and that's where this take place. so you can't really say this has anything to do. but i knew it was going to happen. another thing my friend talked about was the debt and all of this, talking about the different administrations. i would only remind you, mr. president -- and this is something that's incontrovertible -- the amount of debt that this president has had in his -- well, up to today, he has increased our deficit by $6.1 trillion, had is more than all of the other presidents from
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george washington on up through recent administrations combined. and -- and you wonder where is all that money, where did it all go? it went to his social programs. my major concern -- you may, mr. president, have heard that i was making quite an issue out of the fact that the president wanted to send cruise missiles into syria. i don't think there's anyone naive enough to believe that you can do that and not get repercussions. we heard from iran, which i consider to be the greatest threat to the united states, and our intelligence has told us since 2007 that iran would have the chemical -- the nuclear weapon and the delivery system in place by 2015. that's a year and a half from now. so, yeah, it's something where we would be going in. however, in the disarming of america, as i've referred to, i would -- i remember going to afghanistan back 4 1/2 years ago. it was after the president's
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first budget. i went there because i wanted -- i knew what was going to happen to the military. in spite of all this spending that has given us all this new debt -- $.1 trillion -- where -- $6.1 trillion -- where did it go? i can tell you a lot of places it didn't go, it didn't go to defending america. so i went over there and the very first budget our president had, the first thing he did was did away with the if-17, the c-17, the only advancement of ground capability in some 60 years, did away with the ground-based intercepter in poland, which now puts us in a position where we're hustling all over trying to figure out where we can get a third site to protect the united states of america against a missile coming in from the east. you know, we have 33 of them out there, all on the west coast. that doesn't help us here. anyway --, and on top of that this administration has extended budget has now taken already
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$487 billion out of our defense budget and it's talking about another half trillion through his sequestration. now, i know nobody believes this and that's why none of the members on this floor will talk about it but this disarming of america puts us in a very serious problem and i think when the junior senator was praising this president and all of his -- the things she felt he's been doing, it's time to hear the truth. she was praising him on obamacare, how wonderful this is and how thankful everyone is. why is it the most recent polling showed 88% of the people of america want to do away with the individual mandate and the vast majority of them say it's a bad idea. that's the word that they say. so it's not working. i can remember when we were going to have hillary health care during the clinton administration and you asked the question, you asked any liberal who wants to get to a single
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payer or ultimately have socialized medicine which i think would be down the road in the vision of this administration, you say, well, wait a minute if this hasn't worked in the -- in great britain, hasn't worked in denmark, hasn't worked in canadian canada, why would it work here? they'll never tell you this but they're saying if they were running it, it would work here. so this is something that is not popular as was misrepresented by the junior senator from california and then away she said news is great coming out of detroit. that's a quote. except they filed bankruptcy last week. so when you look at all the things that were -- that were stated just keep in mind this is still america, we still have certain values that have been completely reversed by this administration, it's time to keep that in mind. and to move on ahead. with that, mr. president, i will yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior senator from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. casey: thank you very much. i rise this afternoon to talk about two overarching issues that are confronting the united states senate and the house at the same time. both, unfortunately, in this circumstance are directly related. normally we would talk about these two issues separate and apart. first of all, the affordable care act and what that means for
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the country, what it means for families, the impact it's having now in a very positive way, but also what it means for those families in the future and also the concerns that i have about what a small group, but a very powerful group in the united states congress want to do that i would argue would adversely impact the economy. so let me talk first about the affordable care act. i was a strong supporter, worked hard for its passage and will continue to work hard on the implementation. we have seen in the last couple of years since implementation began in 2010, continued in 2011, 2012, and 2013, the benefits that the affordable care act has brought to the united states of america. we've also seen where we've had to make changes. where we've had to come together, often in a bipartisan
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manner to make changes to the legislation to make it work. and there will be plenty of other changes in the future. but the worst thing we could do right now is to pretend, as some in this body and in the other body do as well, and that is to pretend that nothing has changed for the better for families. let me just give a couple of examples. i'll use pennsylvania examples, but, of course, in every one of these there's a national number that correspondence to the -- corresponds to the state-by-state numbers. but just consider this in the commonwealth of pennsylvania, 222,703 pennsylvania seniors save money on prescription drugs, directly as a result of the affordable care act. health reform provides seniors who hit the so-called doughnut hole with more than a 50% discount on brand-name drugs.
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so already just in pennsylvania that many seniors have had some measure of support when they get into that doughnut hole. that's a very nice way of saying a coverage gap where they have to come up with the dollars for prescription drugs. that has saved -- i mentioned the number of 222,000 seniors in pennsylvania, but that has already saved them $168 million on prescription drugs directly as a result of this legislation. so if you're -- if you're for repealing this, you got to fell us how you're going to help those 222 thee 723 pennsylvanians with their prescription drug coverage if you want to take away that benefit. two more examples and i won't go through all of these. five million 489,162
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pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions will no longer have to worry about being denied coverage. that part of the legislation as the presiding officer knows so well, is an enlargement of what we had before. what we had in the first couple years of implementation was a legal prohibition that a child who had a preexisting condition would not be denied coverage. just imagine where we were before this legislation. we were saying, the federal government and the nation really was saying to those families, we know your child has coverage, we know you're paying the premium for that child, we know that technically your child has some kind of health insurance coverage, but if that child has a preexisting condition, he or she does not get covered. that was the prevailing -- that was the prevailing policy before the affordable care act was passed. what we said in the act was that is unacceptable, the united
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states senate -- the united states of america is not going to say any longer to a child or to the family if you your child has a preexisting condition he or she will be denied coverage and treatment. so we wiped that out by virtue of passage of the act and then implementation. now we're saying as implementation proceeds in 2014 that that kind of coverage for pre-existing conditions will apply to adults a as well. we couldn't afford to do it right away, now we're able to move in that direction. but just imagine what happens upon repeal. if you repeal the affordable care act, we go back to the old and i would argue very dark days where children with pre-exists ing -- preexisting conditions and adults with preexisting conditions don't get the coverage they need and surely, surely deserve. what kind of a country are we if we say that a child whose
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parents have health insurance and they've been paying premiums, we're saying that that child should not be covered or treated because an insurance company says that they're not entitled to coverage? if you repeal the bill, we're going back to those days. so whether it's a child or an adult, the least that we can do is to say that we will have a health insurance system in the united states of america that if you are paying your premiums, that you will be given the coverage that you're paying for and that you're entitled to. we couldn't say that before the passage of this act. so repeal affordable health coverage, preexisting conditions are no longer covered and i haven't heard a lot from the other side about how they would achieve that. maybe they will. maybe they'll come up with a plan to do that.
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finally, 91,000 young pennsylvanians have been able to find health coverage under the act young adults ages 19 to 25 are able to stay on their parents' plan in order to maintain coverage. a lot of families out there who had a lot of worry and, frankly, a lot of financial burden but especially the anxiety of knowing that a young person who may have been in college years or maybe they want -- had a two-year college education or four-year education but somewhere in that time period of being in college, roughly that age and after college up to age -- through age 25 have no coverage. this has solved that problem. just imagine the numbers across the country. in both of these instances young people having coverage on their parents' plans, children being covered by -- getting coverage for preexisting conditions, you're talking about the tens of millions of americans here,
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children and young adults. so there are just three examples, just three examples, seniors getting help with their prescription drug coverage which they never got before, this level of protection and help, children with preexisting conditions, now adults, and then thirdly young people across the country. so, mr. president, i will submit for the record and that it be included as part of my remarks a summary entitled "the affordable care act as providing stability and security for middle-class pennsylvanians." a senator: the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. casey: i won't go into the national numbers. i know others have done that. but this is what -- this is just some of the examples of what this legislation has meant. now, the act is not perfect. no act passed by the senate ever has been perfect especially something as challenging as
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health care. and we'll make changes to make it work but the worst thing we could do is for the united states senate to turn its back on children and say you don't deserve to have coverage if you have a preexisting condition or turn our back on older citizens who fought our wars, worked in our factories, taught our children, gave us a middle class and gave us in younger jengsz life and love and helped us in so many ways to say to them you know what, you can be on your own when it comes to prescription -- prescription drug coverage. that's the affordable care act, but, unfortunately, this isn't just a debate about the act. now we're getting into a debate about some people in washington wanting to use the affordable care act as a political weapon in other contexts to say that if they don't have a repeal of or a defunding of the affordable care
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act that somehow they think a government shutdown would be the right way to go or that we would default on our obligations. we, of course, -- i, of course, and many others don't believe that's the right way to go. in essence holding in the case of the debt limit, holding the debt limit hostage to a relitigation of the affordable care act. that is dangerous for the economy but i think it's also very bad for those families that i just mentioned. this debt limit crisis which is ahead of us just like the end of the fiscal year crisis is ahead of us, is manufactured. we don't need to have a crisis on the debt ceiling but it's being manufactured to make a political point by some in washington. not all republicans agree with this. certainly not around the country but even here in washington, but some seem to believe this is the right way to go. so this is the kind of edge of
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the cliff brinksmanship we saw in 2011 which had a substantially and i think this is irrefutable, adverse impact on the economy. the dow dropped 2,000 points because of the last debt ceiling debate, a debate which resulted in us getting an agreement at the very last minute, not going over the deadline but some paraphernalia think it's a good credited -- apparently think it's a good idea to default on our obligations for the first time since 1789. what does that mean for most americans? you have the dow drop 2,000 points or maybe higher if you actually go over the deadline, that means lost savings for americans. it may not affect people in the senate who are wealthy or people in the senate who have job security and health care security and everything else but it will hurt a lot of americans and it will crater the savings of americans if that happens.
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an adverse credit rating is another adverse consequence. that means more expensive credit for everyone, it translates into higher costs for housing, education and other critical household expenses. local governments would also bear the burden of higher credit rating, or lower credit rating in a drop in credit ratings in the united states which makes every project that much more difficult and expensive. i -- i was struck by an article -- and, mr. president, i will put this article in the record. this is a "wall street journal" op-ed entitled "uncertainty is the enemy of recovery," dated april 28, 2013, written by bill mcnabb, the c.e.o. of vanguard. i just ask that that be included in the record. mr. president, i won't read it, obviously, but he talks about this problem of uncertainty which has many causes. one of the measures of
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uncertainty that was calculated as part of -- or to support this op-ed was done by two economists, and here's what they concluded just as it relates to the uncertainty that results from a debt ceiling battle. he said, and i am quoting -- "at vanguard, we estimate that the spike in policy uncertainty surrounding the debt ceiling debate alone, not to mention other -- these are my words, not to mention other reasons for uncertainty, but surrounding the debt ceiling debate alone has resulted in a cumulative economic loss of $112 billion over the past two years." unquote. this is what bill mcnabb, someone who knows something about markets and all these related issues, that's what he said in april of this year. so two-year impact of $112 billion because of a
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politically motivated and manufactured crisis because some people want to use -- want to make a political statement about the debt ceiling, which puts the economy at risk. so that's what we're talking about here, and i hope that some folks come to their senses because we can have debates about -- and should have debates about reducing spending, about how to do that, how to do it in a bipartisan fashion, how to reduce spending like a business does, how to reduce spending like a family does. but does it make any sense to -- to do this kind of high wire act. and this is very dangerous for the economy. and this isn't theoretical. we had a dry run, unfortunately. we had a rehearsal of this, if you want to say that, in 2011 where we didn't go over the line, we didn't default, but we came very close. we came within days of defaulting. that alone, getting close to that alone had an adverse impact
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on the economy. so this is -- to say this is fiscally reckless is a vast understatement. i don't know how you express it beyond saying that. to say that it's dangerous for the economy, for jobs, for families, for the middle class, for companies all over the country, to say that defaulting on our obligations or coming close to that or playing -- playing with fire in a sense, to say that that's dangerous is an understatement. here's what we should do, and i will conclude with this, mr. president. i know i am over time. here's what we should do. we should stop the games in the fiscal high wire act, and we should focus on what middle-class families want us to focus on. when i go home in pennsylvania, they say to me in a couple of short words what they want me to do and want all of us to do. they say work together to create
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jobs. work together to create the conditions for growth, whether that's tax credits or tax policies, whether it's efforts to jump-start the economy. and one of the more depressing, if i can use that word, charts i have seen in six months or maybe even six years is a chart that was in "the new york times," and i will put this in the record. it's called shifting economic tide. "new york times," july 25, 2013. i will just put that on the record, mr. president. and that depicts -- and i won't hold it up because you won't be able to see it. here is what it depicts. the change in income from 1996 -- and it's a long line going up and down, spikes and then the line going down, but the two most relevant numbers here, the one comparison between what is the top 1% done during the recession and then in the recovery. well, the top 1% got hit pretty
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hard like a lot of people did, even the very wealthy got hit. they lost about 36% of their real income. but in the recovery, even though they lost 36%, they are up plus 11 in the recovery, okay? so they went down by minus 36, but they are up plus 11. still not back yet. but what happened to the bottom 90. not the top 1%. what happened to the bottom 90%, recession and recovery? well, the bottom 90%, according to this chart in "the new york times" july 25, the bottom 90% lost 12% of their real income, but they are still at minus 1.5. they haven't even gotten to steer. they haven't even gotten -- gotten to zero. they haven't even gotten into positive territory yet, when you compare the real income and the recession, the hit they took and where they are today. the bottom 90% of the country. so what does that mean for us?
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that means that both parties have a lot of work to do. it means that both parties should be working together to create more jobs, to create more economic certainty instead of playing this game, which is dangerous, fiscally reckless for sure, and the record shows that, and very damaging to the economy and i think even the moral of the country. they want us to work together. they don't want us to play games like some want to play here. so, mr. president, i know i went over time but i -- i appreciate the fact that we're having a debate about the affordable care act. it's very important to have that debate. make sure we get the implementation right, but we should not be using, no one should be using the affordable care act as a political weapon in these debates about our fiscal policy. i think we can do that in a rational way as long as people are willing to set aside their
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political ideology for a short period of time so we can resolve some of these issues. mr. president, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senior senator from maryland is recognized. ms. mikulski: mr. president, what is the pending parliamentary business? the presiding officer: s. 1392 is pending. ms. mikulski: excuse me? the presiding officer: s. 1392 is pending. ms. mikulski: are there any amendments that need to be asked to be laid aside? the presiding officer: no, there are not. ms. mikulski: thank you, mr. president. actually, i'm not going to speak on the bill. i am going to speak from the heart, a heavy heart, because six marylanders died at the navy yard on monday. i join with all americans in expressing my deepest
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condolences to all of the families of those killed and injured in the navy yard shooting and to particularly express my condolences to the maryland families. i want to also thank our first responders, including the local and federal law enforcement officers who were first to arrive at the scene and took control of this terrible, horrific situation. i want to thank the doctors and all the support staff at medstar trauma center who worked so hard to help the injured and saved lives that day. and every one of those who played such an important role in responding to that emergency. my heart goes out to the victims of the families and to everyone who is mourning the loss of the men and women who died there. this has deeply affected those of us in maryland, as it has in nearby virginia and the district
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of columbia, but for we in maryland, this is who we mourn. a cluster of people, the dead, the shooting victims. this is maryland and virginia, hands across the potomac, and we just can't believe it. we think of kenneth bernard proctor. he was 46 years old. he was a civilian utilities foreman at the navy yard who worked for the federal government 20 years. he lives in charles county, married his high school sweetheart in 1994. they have two boys, teenagers. he loved his sons and the redskins. then there was sylvia frazier, 52 years old. she is a resident of maryland and one of seven children. she studied computer information systems at strayer college. she received an undergraduate and a master's degree in
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computer information systems. she worked hard to get her education and she wanted her education to work hard for america. she worked at the navy sea systems command since 2000. she worked a few nights a week at the wal-mart as a customer service manager, helping her family, paying off student debt. sylvia really was a remarkable person. then there is frank kohler. he is 50 years old. he lived in a community called tall timbers, maryland. we certainly say to frank he was a tall timber when it came to working for his country. he, too, was a computer specialist. he worked as a contractor for lockheed martin. he was a graduate of the pennsylvania college where he met his wife michelle. he was a president of the rotary club and was honored for his rotary club's work. down in southern maryland in
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st. mary's county, they have an oyster festival that is coming up. he held the title king oyster for his community service and organizing the rotary club's annual festival to raise money for the much-needed rotary club challengers. he was a great family man and loved by many. there is john rogers johnson, a civilian employee for the navy who lived in deerwood, maryland, for more than 30 years. he was a father of four daughters and a loving grandfather. his 11th grandchild is due in november. like so many who live in our community, he loved the redskins. his neighbors described him as smart, always had a smile, and was always there for his neighbor. then there is vishnu pandit, 61 years old. he came from india in his early 20's. he lived with his wife on jolly in north potomac, maryland. he is the father of two sons.
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he is so well liked in his community and he was known for helping people and particularly those in the community in maryland that are part of the indian heritage community. he was known for talking about job opportunities, educational opportunities and was a strong advocate for them. he was proud of his heritage from his mother country, but he was proud of being a citizen of the united states of america. richard michael regell, 52 years old, a father of three. this guy, though, was a ravens fan. when ravens came in to baltimore in number one, he bought season tickets and has owned them for the last 17 years. he grew up in a community called brooklyn, maryland, but settled in carroll county in westminster. he was a maryland state trooper before he came to work in federal service. a great guy and someone who really liked to protect and defend people in many, many
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ways. those are the six, and there are the 13 that died, and there are those that are recovering. it's just a heavy, heavy heart that we have. in the wake of yet another senseless tragedy and mass casualties, i hope we do take an action to end this kind of violence. senseless acts of violence are taking innocent lives in our communities. i hope we do something about it. there are those who are calling for renewed background checks. i support that. renewed efforts to get guns out of the hands of dangerous people, i support that. but you know, mr. president, there is always people who suffer from mental illness. this case is currently under investigation, so i'm not going to comment on the person we know who has done this horrific, horrific act and the struggles that he had with the demons
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inside of him. i just know we have got to come to grips with problems. yes, background checks are one thing, but really i -- this is where i truly agree with the n.r.a. we have got to do something about mental illness and early detection and early treatment. we mourn for those whose lives we lost on monday. we mourn for their families, and we hope now that out of this, some positive thing grows. but i want to say to their families today's not really the day to talk about public policy. what i want to say about these families is the men and women who were at that navy yard are federal employees. they work hard every single day. they were proud to work for the united states government. they were proud to do everything from i.t. service to security service. some had master's degrees. some had high school educations.
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whatever was their education, whatever zip code they came from, they really served one nation and one flag, and i want to, one, acknowledge their tremendous service to this country. i want to acknowledge the wonderful way that they were involved with their family and their community, and on behalf of all maryland, i know that senator cardin and i wish to express our deepest gratitude to them for their lives and to express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i first want to thank the senator from maryland for her beautiful, beautiful remarks on behalf of her constituents and their families. our thoughts and prayers are with those families and also her thoughts on some of the policy ramifications that come out of this terrible tragedy. but i thank you for that, and i know you'll stand by those families as you have stood by so many military families in the
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state of maryland. mr. president, i first ask unanimous consent that senator brown follow me after my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: i rise today in support of the industrial savings and support of competitiveness act of 2013. i believe the role energy efficiency improvements can have for consumers and also for industrial competitiveness often gets overlooked in today's debate about energy policy. when i travel around the state, i'm always hearing from businesses and manufacturers about the importance of keeping energy affordable. that's why it's so important that we're having this debate and that we're looking and taking real steps on meaningful energy legislation. this legislation will help consumers save money on the utility bills and help our businesses be more competitive. minnesota has long been an example of leadership in energy policy with the 25 by 25
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renewable energy standard. we also actually are -- our largest energy proeul -- agreed to a standard by 2020. this bill was signed by governor polente with strong bipartisan support. i would say as a result among other things, but i would say it hasn't hurt our economy. we have one of the lowest unemployment rates. we're at 5.2%. it came out today the twin cities had its biggest year in the last year of any years in terms of economic gain. minnesota is leading the way with a 1.5% energy efficiency standard. our utilities work with businesses and consumers to find ways to save energy and reduce costs in energy improvements much like those contained in the
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shaheen-portman bill. i believe we need an all-of-the-above plan to get serious about a new ph-rg agenda for minnesota. a plan that helps preserve our environment and restarts the engine that helps our economy going, the engine of innovation. although senators may differ on these specific details on an all-of-the-above energy plan, i believe we can find broad agreement that energy efficiency must be a part of any plan. senators shaheen and portman produced a bill i strongly support but they also know there are a number of good ideas, many bipartisan, that promote energy efficiency and i thank them for the opportunity to build on their legislation to build energy efficiency. mr. president, one goal i share with my friend and colleague from north dakota, senator hoeven, was to find new opportunities to engage the nonprofit community in making energy efficiency improvements. i spoke on the senate floor
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earlier in the week about this important issue. when faced with the choice nonprofits including hospitals, schools, faith-based organizations and youth centers often make the decision to delay or forego improvements in energy efficiency to help stretch budgets so they can perform their mission to serve more people. we also know investing in energy efficiency improvements today can lead to savings over time that go beyond the initial cost of investment. so it is a difficult question. should we do a little less for a year or two so that upgrades can be made if you're a nonprofit, your heating system, so that you can use the long-term savings in the end to help people? that's why i introduce the nonprofit energy efficiency act as an amendment with senator hoeven and we have the support of senators blunt, pryor, risch, schatz and stabenow. our amendment would provide $10 million each year for the next five years to create a pilot grant program so that nonprofits can save through energy
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efficiency. we work with stakeholders to ensure grants will achieve significant amounts of energy savings and are done in a cost-effective manner. the grants would require a 50% match so that there is complete buy-in from the nonprofits and grants would be capped at $200,000. our amendment has the support of many groups including the national council of churches, the ymca, union of orthodox jewish congregations. and, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that these letters of support for the nonprofit energy efficiency act be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i want to again thank chairman wyden, ranking member murkowski as well as senators shaheen and portman for their tireless work on this bill and i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. i want to raise another important energy issue that i've worked on this year that impacts nearly every family, business and industry in america. that's the price of gasoline. this past may in minnesota, in
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just one week we saw gas prices spike 40 cents higher per gallon and over 80 cents higher in just one month. we actually had higher gas prices than hawaii at one point. i notice my colleague from hawaii is on the floor. we know that the sharp spike in prices was caused when a number of refineries including those in illinois and indiana that serve minnesota and the region went off-line for scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. i understand the need to adjust and make those necessary repairs, but scheduled, routine maintenance should not be an excuse for major gas shortages and steep price spikes. think about it. it's scheduled. there has to be a way to stagger the scheduling so people don't suddenly see 80 cents a gallon price increases. gas prices in minnesota have subsided after setting records this spring of over $4.25 a gallon but we know refinery outages will continue to have significant impacts disrupting
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commerce and hurting consumers, small businesses and farmers if we don't act. that is why i introduce the gas refinery act of 2013, again, with senator hoeven, franken and durbin. our bill requires that refineries give advance warning of any planned outage and immediate notification for any planned outage. this information would serve as an early warning system because, by the way, they know years in advance when they were going to do the scheduled maintenance which protects consumers from paying the price at the pump when there are production problems within the refining industry. with more transparency and more lead time, fuel retailers will have the opportunity to purchase fuel at prices that better reflect the underlying cost of crude oil and better reflects supply and demand across the country because when we had this recent increase, you couldn't explain it by supply and demand. we had ample supplies. demand was down. the only reason we could find besides perhaps speculation was these refineries that had
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planned closures. we're trying to create an early warning system and i appreciate the bipartisan support for this bill. i also thank chairman wyden for holding a hearing on this issue in july. although this amendment looks like it will not come up for a vote at this time, as this bill is being considered, i look forward to continue to working on this bill and this issue to get it before the senate. mr. president, one last thing. most -- i wish to discuss the energy policy but it is intimately involved. ask any power company or power construction crew across the country or even operators of things like ice skating rinks in minnesota and you will learn about the growing national problem of metal theft. i have filed my bipartisan bill, the metal theft prevention act to the energy efficiency bill to bring attention to the metal theft issue. i introduced it last february with senators graham, schumer, coons and hoeven. the bill is the much-needed federal response to the increasingly pervasive and damaging crime of metal theft.
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metal theft has jumped more than 80% in recent years hurting businesses and threatening public safety and communities across the country. metal theft is a major threat to american businesses and a recent study the u.s. department of energy found that the total value of damages to industries affected by the theft of copper wire alone is approximately $1 billion every year. why is that? they are just taking a wire. when they take those wires it sometimes destroys an entire system that's hooked into those wires, not to mention the danger that workers face as we've already seen houses that have exploded across the country. copper thieves have targeted construction sites, power and phone lines, retail stores and houses. they've caused explosions in vacant buildings by stealing metal from gas lines and caused blackouts by stealing copper wiring from street lights and electrical substations. thieves are taking brass stars from veterans graves.
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on memorial day in 2012 thieves he stole more than 200 bronze star markers from veterans graves in the state of minnesota. this sounds like a joke. it isn't. that is how valuable this metal has become, so they will go extreme to just take that metal to sell it. in another case, it shows how dangerous metal theft can be, georgia power was having a problem with thieves targeting a substation that feeds the hartsfield international airport. the airport was getting hit two to three times a week and surveillance didn't lead to any arrests. last winter at a recreation center in st. paul, thieves stole $20,000 worth of pipe from an outdoor ice rink causing the center to close. this rise in incidents of metal theft across the country underscores the need for federal action. our metal theft prevention act will help combat this growing problem by putting modest record keeping requirements into the recyclers who buy scrap metal,
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limiting the value of cash transactions simply requiring that a check be written so that we can track who is actually selling this metal to scrap metal dealers. the amendment makes it a federal crime to steal metal from critical infrastructure and directs the u.s. sentencing commission to review relevant penalties. the amendment respects state law. our intention is not to preempt state laws. so if a state already has laws on the book regarding metal theft, they would not apply federal law. i realize that the majority of cases will likely continue to be handled by state and local law enforcement but the federal government needs to be a strong partner and the metal theft prevention act will send a clear message that metal theft is a serious crime. listen to us endorse this bill and then you will remember this when a major incident happens, because it will. it has been endorsed by the national role electrical co-ops, the american supply, edison electric institute, national
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electrical contractors, national association of home builders, national retail federation, u.s. telecom association, major cities police chiefs, major county sheriffs, national sheriffs, fraternal order of police and the national association of police organizations. we need to get this bill done. i would love to just bring this bill to the senate after i've gotten it through the committee already in judiciary unanimously, but there are people that are still holding it up. i again, i commend senator shaheen and senator portman on their legislation to encourage energy efficiency, as we work forward with this bill in the future, i hope that these amendments will be part of it. thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor. and i see that senator brown is here. thank you. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you. i thank the senior senator from minnesota for her words and especially her work on this energy bill and on consumer
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issues that she's made a real name in this body in her work. i rise today to discuss the most significant reform to our nation's health policy in decades, the affordable care act is the result of extensive policy discussions, late-night deliberations, 400 amendments that we considered in the health, education, labor, pension committee; more than 100 of those amendments that we adopted coming from republican ideas and republican senators. there's a reason that people across the country, mothers and fathers and students and faith leaders and business owners and workers are paying attention. it's because the law benefits all americans, a wide range of americans, and especially my home state which i'll discuss. more than 900,000 people in ohio will be eligible for financial assistance to buy coverage that provides good coverage -- to buy insurance that provides good coverage at a price they can afford. ohioans suffering from preexisting conditions will no longer be denied coverage or
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charged higher premiums. young ohioans stay on their parents' plan until the age of 26, giving them a chance to finish school and secure a job that provides coverage. those with the greatest need will get the greatest help. for years we've heard countless stories, story after story after story of americans frustrated by and failed by our health system. last fall my wife connie was waiting in line at the local drugstore in an affluent community outside of cleveland. the woman in front of her was for all intents and purposes negotiating price with the pharmacist to save money. what if i cut my pill in half and then take it twice a day, she asked. the very understanding pharmacist told her the doctor wanted her to take her full medication twice a day. but isn't it better, since i can't afford this, to take half a pill twice a day than the whole pill just once, she asked. after the woman left, my wife said how often does this happen?
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the pharmacist said every day, every day all day. but the tide's turning. there's hope as we start to see the health law take effect. i hear from constituents at round tables, in restaurants and letters and tweets and e-mails about their concerns for their families' health. a woman in cuyahoga falls, a community near akron explained she graduated from law school, she is a type 1 diabetic. without the health care law she would have been paying out of pocket for extremely costly, lifesaving medication because she couldn't afford it on her own. i can imagine, she said, there are many oweians like me working hard for my future but finding myself in a tough financial spot while still needing care. health care marks a milestone for millions of ohioans including myself. 20 years ago i was running for congress and made a promise in 112 that i would not accept congressional health care. i pay my own health insurance,
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until similar coverage was available to all americans. did that for well over a decade. i can now say i will be enrolling in the health care marketplace alongside hundreds of thousands of people from ohio. while millions will be able to enroll in benefits beginning in less than two weeks, the health care law has already provided immeasurable benefits. let me share with you how ohioans are already helped. 97,000 young adults are now able to stay on their parents' health insurance until their 26th birthday. we're closing the doughnut hole. the senator pennsylvania mention what had it means in his state. similar numbers in ohio. closing the doughnut hole for seniors' prescription drugs, saving ohioans an $7,4 hundred a year. rebates are received from insurance companies because those companies failed to follow
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new federal law that required them to spend at least 80% to 85% of their premium dollars on health care. these companies spend more than 15% of your dollar that you've paid to these insurance dollars on market, on executive salaries, on various kinds of administrative expenses, they owe you money back because not a high enough percent -- 80% to 85%, of your health care dwhrars spent on health care itself. ohioans have received free preventive care, no co-pay, no deductibles. mostly seniors who have gotten tested for the screenings. children are no longer denied coverage for preexisting conditions. my daughter -- my wife was diagnosed with asthma at a young age, way before i knew her, denied -- she could not today -- today she might have been denied coverage today -- she and young people like her at that stage in
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their life can't be denied coverage for preexisting conditions. asthma, diabetes, cancer, whatever they might have. soon all ohio yoons will have access to quality affordable health care. we'll see all aspects of this health care fully glemented, which will make a huge difference for all businesses, especially small businesses for businesses and communities. from ash at that beulah to athens, from bryan to bell err. middle-class families across ohio have been in the mocial position of paying monthly premiums only to find out they were stripped of coverage or the coverage was so minimal as to be useless when they became sick. that will no longer exist. for students in ohio state or worcester or youngstown state or xavier, the choice between paying for another semester in school or health insurance won't be the concern it's been for so many years. for ohioans from cleveland to cincinnati already covered, they can keep their current plan without lifting a finger. the only changes they'll see are
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new benefits, better protections, and more bang for their buck. for millions in my state, the new law will meaning less worry, less anxiety and more known in their wallets. for some americans the health insurance marketplace will lower premiums at least 10% more than previously expected. work needs to be done. the system is not perfect. but this law is already bringing our mechanic into the future. it is a forward-looking law. i have been proud to support it. october 1, mr. president, frustrations, worry, and failed health care protections will soon become a thing of the past for millions in my state and tensions of millions around the country. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hire ro hirono: i want to sk
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about the energy savings and industrial competitiveness act of 2013. it's taken a long time for this bipartisan legislation to make it to the floor of the senate and i commend senator shaheen and portman as well as senators wyden and murkowski and all of their staffs for their hard work. energy efficiency doesn't grab headlines in the same way as fracking or nuclear reactors or even renewable energy policies for wind and solar. but this bill is good, solid policy that will shrink energy bills for families and businesses. it is exactly the kind of legislation the senate should be working on, and i urge my colleagues to support it. this bill strengthens and updates the voluntary building codes that states and tribes can adopt in order to determine and meet targets for energy efficiency and continues to strengthen the federal
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government's efforts to reduce energy use. as the nation's largest energy consumer, the federal government can play a significant role in helping to provide a market for innovation in energy efficiency -- energy-efficient technologies and, in turn, reduce our nation's co2 emissions. while also saving taxpayers money. this is the kind of policy that everyone should be able to agree to. the bill also provides resources to train workers on energy-efficient building design and operation, a crucial component of making sure that energy efficiency translates into real well-paying jobs. in addition, the bill provides incentives for more energy-efficient manufacturing and the development and deployment of new technologies. finally, the bill would establish a supply star program which will help provide support to companies looking to improve the efficiency of their supply
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chains. this program could be particularly helpful to hawaii, where transportation of goods from the mainland and other places can be very costly. while individually these provisions may sound like modest proposals or changes, when taken together, the policies in this bill make significant progress towards reducing energy costs. that's good for consumers and businesses, driving innovation, reducing environmental harm, and positioning the u.s. as a leader in clean energy technology and jocks. it goes without saying that the cost of energy is an important consideration for families and businesses across our country. when energy costs go up, they can be a drag on the economy. we see this very clearly in hawaii where we are uniquely impacted by the price of oil. in 2011 hawaii's energy expenditures totaled $7.6
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billion, almost equal to 11% of our entire state economy. in addition, no other state uses oil to generate electricity to the extent that we do in hawaii. as a result, we have electricity prices that average 34 cents per kilowatt hour. that's over three times the price on the mainland. moreover, 96% of the money we spend on energy leaves our islands to buy oil from places outside of hawaii. that's money that could be better used to create jobs, bolster paychecks and making investments in hawaii's future. obviously our state's energy security and economic potential it is severely undermined by a reliance on fossil fuels. while breaking that reliance is a challenge, it is also an opportunity. hawaii has set some of the nation's most aggressive goals for generating renewable energy and improving energy efficiency.
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we're working to show that renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies aren't just good for the environment, they can be an engine for economic growth and innovation. that's what makes energy savings and industrial competitiveness act such an important bill. at its core, this legislation is about updating federal energy efficiency policies to better meet the needs of today's marketplace. for example, updating voluntary building code codes will give ss and tribes the opportunity to reduce their energy use while also giving the private sector signals that there will be demand for innovations. the use of energy savings performance contracts is an example. energy savings performance contracts are private agreements that make energy and water efficiency retrofits more affordable. a third-party company covers the
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cost of the upgrade and it is repaid over time from the resulting savings in energy costs. thanks to the state of hawaii's commitment to improving energy efficiency, hawaii is the nation's number-one user of energy savings performance contracts. in fact, just a few weeks ago, the state of hawaii was awarded the energy services coalition's race to the top award, which recognizes the state's commitment to pursuing energy savings through performance contracting. and this is the second year in a row that hawaii has won this award. these are the types of innovative financing models and partnerships that can happen when there is clear, sustained demand for improving energy efficiency. another thing to keep in mind is that, even something as unglamourous sounding as improving building codes or advantaging energy-efficient construction techniques can have
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a profound impact on the lives of families across the country. in 2011, hawaii's first net-zero affordable housing community opened on oahu. the 19 single-family homes and community center in the village were constructed to maximize energy efficiency and use renewables toss achieve -- renewables to achieve net-zero energy performance. the development has earned a lead platinum status. each home in the community was designed with optimal building envelope design, high-efficiency lighting, natural ventilation, solar water heating, and energy star appliances. the village also provides affordable homes. a population that has faced many challenges in achieving economic success and homeowner.
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these homes were completed at an average cost of less than half the median price of homes on oahu, which are some of the nation's highest home costs. thanks to technical assistance from the national renewable energy lab, or nrel, this partnership between the department of hawaiian homelands, hawaiian electric company, the state of hawaii, and private and federal partners, is a model for other communities. homeowners at the village are able to conserve energy and save money. by optimizing their high-tech homes while also maintaining a lifestyle firmly rooted in traditions that go back thousands of years. homeowner cala described her home by saying "we grow our own veg tacialtion raise our own fresh-water tilapia, we are passionate about net-zero living. there is so much pride in our
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home and our community. we feel we can be an example to others." these are the types of stories that i imagine every member of the senate wants to do all they can to help bring about, stories of strong communities, happy, vibrant families, new opportunities that create a bright future. the energy savings and industrial competitiveness act is bipartisan legislation that can help to make those stories real for more people in hawaii and across the country. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill. i yield the floor, and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent we proceed to a period of morning business, senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s. res. 164. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 164, designating october 30, 2013, as a national day of remembrance for nuclear weapons program workers. the presiding officer: is there objection? if there is no objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: mr. president, i now
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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. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 240. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 240, designating the week beginning september 15, 2013, as national hispanic serving institutions week. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding with the measure? if not, no objection. mr. reid: 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. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, thursday, september 19. that following the prayer and the pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their
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use later in the day. that following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for an hour with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the majority controlling the first half, the republicans the final half. following that morning business, the senate will resume consideration of the energy savings bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
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>> the young people coming to you, and said how can you be in the congress if he got arrested? you violated the laws. and i set, they were bad laws. they were customs, they were traditions and we wanted america to be better. we wanted america to live up to the deck duration of independent. love up to our creed, make real our democracy and make it real. so when i got arrested the first time to focus and that i felt free, i felt liberated and today
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more than ever before, i feel for him liberated. abraham lincoln 150 years ago freed the slaves. but it took the modern-day civil rights movement to free and liberated nation. >> and you see their representatives while we have new york, democrat before the house rules committee, joining that life here on c-span 2. >> any major piece of legislation there have been on the way. so i will never say it is perfect the way it is.
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the u.n. i know that the president is not going to sign a bill that gets rid of the affordable care act and turns back process to the insurance company who'd been raising prices every year. so i hope we can work together on improving, making changes and not including it into acr and to pay china first act that may be a very important piece of legislation, but to attach it to a continuing resolution in my judgment is expand. we may have different ideas, my friend, about the role of government. and i do feel that government fair not to just give handouts, but to help people, to lift people up and have a partnership to the private sector and create jobs. and if we are going to stop, you are going to have a tremendous
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impact on the economy. people will be out of work. and if you have one person out of work, that person can't go to the supermarket. that person can't pay their rent. that person, who knows, this scenario can go on and on. i just hope, and jeremiah rogers and i am sure agree chairwoman mikulski and ranking member agree, let's were without your thoughts get rid and let's put a plan in place for the 12 bills that make sense, cut out waste and not forget that we already qaeda $2.52 in the budget control act. i believe it at that, my friend. >> maybe we should. i'll tell you i really want to approach the ideas have to listen to you. but they could have sequestration or obamacare.
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>> was tagged about jobs that are real important and they're both killing our economy. we have to come together as republicans and democrats. luscious but on this thing. >> well, i am talking about where we do away with sequestration trade amount. that's $500 billion worth of this for obamacare. i'll try to approach each minor and see if you're interested in signing up for that. we will both take credit. >> you and i know with great respect, mr. chairman, that obamacare is lost. you can collect obamacare or the affordable care act, which ever you prefer. and with all the benefits that will occur with all the people that are going to get insurance, you and i are not going to have to pay for this night of the people who come to the emergency room have had insurance. so we have that debate, so i
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will continue it now. >> mr. chairman. >> yes, sir. >> i think you would ask about what is available for aid to colorado. and i'm sure -- you want to answer that now? >> what would be available to the gentleman from colorado with the knowledge he is paying attention to this hearing? >> it's considered now a 500 year event. the cost for most likely exceed 1 billion. flooding is estimated to cover an area the size of connecticut. so our thoughts and prayers are with people as they face this. and our committee stands at the ready to provide assistance if necessary. fema is currently funded to
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respond to all current disasters, including colorado. as of 7:00 this morning, the balance in the disaster relief fund was 9 .1 billion, consistent with fiscal 13. arnott over first, this cr will provide an additional 7 billion for disasters for fiscal sport team. so no doubt that sina has all the funds they need at this time for a response. over the last week, fema has obligated 9 .2 million for colorado. they can immediately access fema funding for debris removal from roads and highways. the department of transportation authority provided site alien and what is called quick release from for immediate emergency
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road repairs, a program for that purpose. once the damage can be assessed, they'll be eligible for 100 million of the balance is available from the sandy supplement. in addition, they will be eligible on october 1 for up to 100 million of the 14 emergency relief programs that becomes available under the map 21, seven jurisdiction structure. after 200 million is available to address emergency transportation requirements. and since the program operates to reimburse states for their cut should be marse issued of meeting requirements through december 15th, we will continue to monitor the situation. they want to ensure the colorado
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delegation and the people of colorado that their emergency transportation needs are addressed as well as other name. so i think we have sufficient funds and need to cover that another nurse. thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. bishop. >> i appreciate you being here. sometime i would like your staff to tell me our walk through what language is here that deals with wildfire mitigation funds, which is something the industry should have proposed for the upcoming budget that is significantly lower. i'm not going to ask it now because i don't want to take the time to go through. just explain what those numbers would mean if you had one of her staffers do it, i would appreciate it. i yield back. >> have your staff or call will smith, to chief clerk of the committee for an error. >> mrs. slaughter.
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>> thank you. thank you both. mr. rogers, what you say about sequestration, i couldn't agree with you more. it has really been one of the most distant things they think the congress has ever done. we know that science is, we're losing them from nasa. we have closed on research and i can tell you it is something we can't turn off and on. there has to be some continuity. they have the human genome project and they sat there for years away from a cure for cancer. we have closed all that talent. what we are home on break, we make our district, all we heard, every place was where the heck is the sequester coming from and why don't you get read of it? mr. van holland was here a few minutes ago. he's tried seven times to
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replace. i know if you'd been up here commute how they know that. i remember he's going to do the buffet role, doing away the farm subsidies and was one other at the moment, but it would replace the money that we are cutting out for the sequester. we should do that. with regards to standing in the way, we are really hurting this country. where pedaling backwards as fast as we can go because of what we are doing with each pace and with health care, scientific research. the authority fallen so far behind. we are no longer number one in almost anything. so i really am very much concerned can appreciate yours as well. frankly coming in now, this bill today is not going to do a thing about sequestration. and i am sure the fact that the
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farm subsidies -- [inaudible] anyway, this bill won't do it. as i rank it number set, i think so eloquently, the fact that we are going to pay china first while they are on this bill, i will never know. putting the repeal of the health care, which is doing so well in the country, yesterday sedalia said it would be possible for people to get monthly premiums of $100, which has been unheard of and the cost of health care is plummeting. it's going down very fast. things are really going great. i have a feeling that great loss of jobs and health care. i think it's going to work out so most people are going to be here or there. but tomorrow there's no point do they bring all of this at all.
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we've debated at 100 times. we will all do what we have to do when they on friday or thursday, whenever it is than continue the same thing but absolutely no legislation being passed and having everybody in the united states had not at their fingertips and try to survive and wonder what the heck were doing here. the thank you for your work nonetheless. thank you very much appreciate that. but think how nice it would be. we've got the transportation report on the status of bridges and roads in the united states and the numbers of bridges were totally unusual now. wouldn't it be great if we could put all those people out there to work, rebuilding its infrastructure? after spending $2 billion a week on a war in iraq, should we build to send a little bit of money? i would like to close this thing. i see ms. norton is here. we talk about disaster, there's not much we can do.
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i was very much impressed with what she said that when something happens to people who live in the district of columbia committee take it personally and so do we. it was a tragedy of major proportions that makes me wonder if everybody in the world doesn't have top security clearance since apparently we have to ask for one. but that was a disaster of major part versions as well. so thank you very much, mr. chairman and i yield back. tonight the chairman gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. out to obviously knowledge may chairman and ranking member from appropriations and it's no mystery to anybody around this table on either side of the aisle butcher if it numbers they are, how well they work together, how they communicate with one another. they even cost together as you can see. they are as close as you can ask the people and i think if we can
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give them the time and their colleagues in the senate's time, i don't have any doubt we can reach that goal of having an agreement and working through semblance of regular order through standards-based, maybe establish the platform that we can get better at this. i think this is a real opportunity. i do want to also thank my friend because we did get a great deal of help during our disaster and i want to thank the administration as well because i have to tell you the hope came and it came abundantly in quickly and professionally and has been very well done. i think the administration to tell you they've got a lot of cooperation on the other end. if the decision had not been made on the congress on a bipartisan basis to help sandy and replenish the fema disaster fund, we would not have had that whole. we have the assurance of the very beginning of the site that they'll come assert that sherman rogers and i know mr. wallace
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who is not here commute to the difficult situation will take a great deal of comfort in it that we will be there to help them as well in this problem for any other group of americans. i'm going to take the opportunity to point out sequester was the president's idea. we could not read bob woodward's book or follow his reporting. this is his suggestion. he advocated for it. he signed it into law and frankly we've offered on multiple occasions to train to attempt to redistribute the statements in a more logical manner. some of the roughly half the $2.5 trillion we're talking about savings are sequester savings. so you can't claim to .5 billion then undo what those savings. we all agree there is a much more rational way to do it. we proffer that on a couple occasions. i'm sure we would be willing to do that again in the forthcoming negotiations. the savings have to occur, otherwise they want to have achieved the objectives laid out
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in terms of lowering our dad. obviously, i will disagree with my friend. i don't think there's something called the china first act. i think there's something called the full faith and credit act and that is to make sure we pay people money required on time and in full and they know it doesn't matter if they are from china or they're american citizens who buy a considerable portion of our dad or anybody else come up the action to know they are going to get paid back. that is essential to maintain the credit of the country and that is why this particular piece of legislation missing here. finally i know there's a lot of talk about what the senate will involve two. i don't think we know what they are going to do. i think we have to send them all over there and give them an opportunity to do something because this are they'll find on both sides of the aisle about what ought to be done. so let's see what they can do. let's give them what they asked
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for, at least to some of the mass for an do what they can do and then be prepared to act when they send something back. i think that it's important. i agree with my friends about shutting down the government. but i think it's ever wise thing to do. i think we're moving the vehicle over to the senate and giving them an opportunity to act. frankly i think many of my friends on the other side of the aisle, particularly the united states senate may come to the conclusion whether it is to fund or delay or whatever that they might want to do some thing because this legislation is costing -- the affordable care is costing a lot. we have companies right now that are deciding they are not going to ensure spouses are part-time workers are moving people into the exchanges that nobody thought in the administration claimed would never be moved into those exchanges. i also think there is a great many people who supported this bill. a lot of labor unions that once
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thought it was a good idea now that they've read and digested them to see what is beginning to do to their members. they are beginning to ask for a fix. let's bring the senate into the game so to speak. i think that they must legislation to let them do that and then we will see what they actually return. the one thing i do take, while this is very difficult process, i have a lot of faith frankly in the good faith about the chairman, the ranking member and every member of our committee. i think he went to work and they want to get this done. i go back to sherman rogers remark. as above our pay grade at leadership level to the administration of both parties in both chambers. they need to give us a common number and i hope we can reach out. i don't pretend to judge of that number is going to be. that's going to be a negotiated process. once they get there, fortunately because the two of you have worked long and hard and well
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under challenging circumstances, i am confident our committee will move in a bipartisan fashion to not only fund the government from now until the end of the year, the latest foundation to move that projected into the next era for the course for the fiscal year and avoid what we all know what unit per day. could be another year-long roughly cr. that is not good government and not good way to work. i just think my personal commitment to work in a bipartisan way. lisp is this particular resolution, let the senate acts, see what they do. see if they can find some common ground over there and address of this and that to us in a timely fashion. i think that's why were all going to be here next week when that was not the original schedule. we've got folks in the senate that i think this is bipartisan and have a lot of opinions about what the house should do. the house should act and lucy
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with the senate the senate does and respond accordingly. but again, i had very high confidence in my two friends, the chairman, the ranking member and i've watched them work together before they were chairman and since they've been chairman and ranking member respectively. we've gotten a lot done in our committee. we just made a couple of decisions. one or two pay grades above and then watch this committee work. it will do a remarkable job. i want to thank my friends for being here, think them for their help with my district in my state was going through difficult times and look forward to working with both of them through this very difficult and challenging process. >> if the gentleman would yield? >> certainly. >> thank you for those last remarks. you are right, if the powers that be can have an agreement on a number that we can remark to with common in the senate, we can get things worked out.
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on our bills along with the senate partners. so we just need a number. it is a little bit right the yankees, babe ruth. he needed to know how far it was to the centerfield fence. and when they told him, he said that's where it is going and he did it. we can do the same dang i think they give us a number. tell us how far it is. >> mr. chairman, i just want to thank my friend, mr. cole for his kind words. i will respond to every single point because i know there a lot of people that want to speak. but because it is so relevant to your district and to mr. paulus' district, i do want to say a word about those that the government is too big and we had to shrink government until you need it. there are those who are not willing to fund fema at a level
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that would give us the power to respond to the terrible disaster in your district in new york and now in colorado is just beyond comprehension. so i think we as appropriators and the wisdom of the people in this panel have to educate some of our colleagues who may not be her this long and just say it would want to cut government and cut a thin cut that. cutting fema and not providing the funds that are absolutely necessary would have been a disastrous mistake. and i certainly know your district, not as well as you know your district, but i know how needy. it's not as if the people there aren't strong. it's not as if they are self-reliant, but it's a partnership between government and the private sector, government and the people that
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makes the united states of america work so that consistently. so we need as much government as we need. none of us want to avoid cutting out waste, fraud and abuse, could always find it. but these sequester cuts, that it had a terrible impact on fema, and i frankly reach out to all these people who benefit as i mentioned before, but mass general institutes of health to get there is a person in this country and i'm sure there is a person in this congress who doesn't know somebody who is waiting for a cure for cancer, who was waiting to see what causes autism. and i am so proud of the work we do there and i could talk about many other agencies, which have been mentioned. so i do hope we can all work together, support the government and work in a bipartisan way to come up with a number that makes sense and make sure that there
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isn't a shutdown because frankly you talk about shutting down the government. that is shutting down the economy and the jobs that would be lost will be attributed to this congress is in fact we don't work together as they can, we have and we show them love to get together and pass a good bill, continuing resolution of course we would like to get an omnibus bill passed so we can thoughtfully, thoughtfully put the needs of this country on the table and have a fair debate and pass this bill. sir thank you for your kind words. thank you, mr. chairman. and >> well, it is very easy to be kind to my friend because she is a professional as well as my chairman. i'm sequester, that is part of the deficit reduction of authority achieved. we are very agreeable. there's vast parts of the budget that would last untouched,
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mostly on the nondiscretionary side. the amount of money we're talking about is a considerable sum of money. f. remember the numbers correct way, around $85 billion. that's a $3.5 billion total federal budget. so we can fine-tune 2.5% of fun is the entire budget is available. i suggest there are some things the president's budget, which i give him credit for, because i know some of my friends disagree pretty strongly, so my friends on the other side of the aisle. the president suggested to change the pianist budget, which i think is a tough thing to do, but the right thing the president suggested means testing for medicare in his budget. the president suggested some substantial medicare cuts. those are things that can be used to replace some sequester cuts that we all agree are onerous and yet still keep us moving on a downward slope in terms of lowering the deficit. the cbo, which we like to quote around here, has also put it
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quote at great length went through the entitlement crisis has been a driver in a dead and an unsustainable position. if we don't deal with that, we have an opportunity to deal with that, both in this period between now and the end of the year going forward. but we can't start that process until we get the ball to the senate side is primarily our responsibility in the majority. i understand that. and then, let's see what they send back. i may give us the basis to find a bipartisan solution. that is what i hope happens. but one that does not throw away the sequester cut. the president had proposed this and having taken a great deal great to upright in the deficit coming down can't reinstated without some offset changes somewhere else. otherwise, the process he rightly appoints two is going to be last. so again, we can't talk about two and a half, 3 billion pass
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if we are going to redo them without replacements. the friends on the revenue side, i pray that we get the fiscal cliff. they got a lot of revenue there. what i'm dead -- it was meant to be temporary cut in the payroll tax for people. that was another source of revenue. there is one of taxes i'm not particularly in favor of backup uttered by my friends but upon the care was passed that were also in place. the idea we are going to have a fourth one at my friends who like to pick up the energy industry to beat up on that tokay subsidies. they get a tax break. they get a tax break to manufacturing gets. if we eliminate that from manufacturing industries, i am not sure i would favor that, but that is a different discussion than vilifying one industry. i appreciate people being sympathetic to my state. it is an energy state as well, so these kinds of things will hurt employment, job creation and long-term will hurt american
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energy independence, again an area the president likes to point a great deal of pride to, but one he's had very little to do with on the production side. we have an opportunity to be energy independent, crips and the energy is the wrong way to achieve that. i went back, i certainly held back by time, mr. chairman i look forward to working together in a bipartisan fashion. obese and interesting twist and turns, but we can get there between now and the end of the year. >> the gentleman yells back to dysthymic take the gentleman for his engagement with their gas. >> i want to thank you both for being here. all the hard work you put into your work and i know this is for both of you and you are able to work your will here. would be very much in a different situation. i think my colleagues who spoke before me, i think what is really aggravating the american people is the fact that you are
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provoking a confrontation over the affordable care act and basically holding the government hostage. and we have voted -- you have tried to repeal the affordable care act 41 times and, you know, you haven't succeeded. it is the law of the land. it's moving forward. that's a good thing. senior citizens are finding preventative care is being paid for their previously wasn't, closing the doughnut hole, going on and on and on. yeah, i will yield. [inaudible] >> -- and i think there's a way to have a conversation on some of those things you have problems with them as a way not to. and kind of threatening a government shutdown, you know,
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if we don't repeal the affordable care act i suggest is not a very constructive way to have a conversation on reforming anything. and i would just say one other thing. i understand what is going to happen here. what we're talking about here before the rules committee will pass the house, the senate, something different will go back and forth and i hope you come to a number and we can get this country moving forward. i just say one thing with regard to deficit reduction. deficit reduction and another self is not an economic policy and we all want to reduce the deficit, but there's a way way to do it that could be ruinous to the economy. i would say some of the cuts being proposed are going to make things worse rather than better. i mean, we've infrastructure falling apart. with the gentlelady from new york talk about nih research. i don't know whether doctors and researchers are come into your office or coming to mind, but we
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are falling behind in other countries. there were people behind some of these numbers. earlier, before we considered this bill, we had a hearing on a bill we were going to take up tomorrow, which would at this map programs by $40 billion. it would remove governor's ability that they currently have to be able to allow people to stay on the program longer with their areas of high unemployment or take that away from them. you know, there are 9 hundred thousand veterans who are on snap. veteran, people who file for this country who were on this program. according to cbo data, close to 200,000 of them will lose their benefits. again, that will go through the agricultural committee a regular order, but as we talk about improving things, saving money,
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there has to be common ground. we have to do this in a thoughtful way. sequester was not at fault. i would argue the bill you bring to the floor tomorrow on nutrition is not doubtful at all. you know, it even goes to the committee of jurisdiction. and i am hoping that both of you will work your magic and ultimately get us to a point so that in december, you know, we will be hearing more of a bipartisan way, not in confrontation note, but in talking about what we have in common here. and so, i thank you for being here today. i thank you for all your hard work, but i don't think this constant confrontation is very constructive. hopefully we will get beyond that and come back next week with something we can all agree
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on. thank you. >> the gentleman yells back his time. the gentleman, mr. woodall is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the time. i appreciate my colleagues in the appropriations committee. i always learn something when the appropriations committee comes to the rules committee. mr. chairman, i appreciate what you had to say about the clean cr that you brought before us. ms. lowey, i want to understand you opened your comments but i regret that i can't support what the chairman has brought here today because it has all of these things added into it. i understand there is a lot of work to be done between the product the chairman rings and what gets reported out and what shows up on the floor. but can i take from that band that you do support the clean continuing resolution that the chairman has brought before us? it is just the additions that you -- >> let me say it could not support the continuing
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resolution where you pay china first, detached to it and it alluding the affordable care act. as to numbers and other provisions, they would have to be a combined meeting of my chairman has said, with the senate, to be sure if i were to, as the chairman knows, i was hoping that we could put in place a bill that would fund the government at 8,000,000,000,058, which is the senate number. if in fact we had gone to conference, which mr. ryan has suggested we do over and over again with the senate, we began with a number that we could both agree on and that is what is unfortunate about this process. certainly my chairman i assembled like to get a number and then you just write a bill that everyone agrees on.
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>> let me ask you about that because a lot of those decisions will be left to be made. i thought that i had heard absolutely every sin one of my colleagues, particularly my appropriator colleagues, talk about what a uniformly bad idea across-the-board cut our, how sequester assay technique achieves absolutely none of the goals. have i understood that concern correctly? >> yes, because we have the responsibility as appropriators and the 12 committees, we worked together to come up with bills that make sense. for example, i use fema as an example because it's so important to colorado, to oklahoma and new york. so i think we have the expertise on the committees and with our colleagues. we always reach out and reappearing from the top to people, to be intelligent about
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the bills and not just say we're going to take it across the board. and as long as you mentioned that -- go ahead. >> we will be here a while this evening and i want to learn with the one that because i agree with you, but it seems like what the chairman and your committee have done is because 1058, as you propose, is not the law of the land. that's the maximum cap what could possibly spend. just as soon as we appropriate to that level, just as soon as your committee goes to the hard work of setting priority decisions, the impact of the law of the land as it exists today is that come 15 days into 2014, we are going to splash all of those accounts across the board at a level that is even a low 967 because we have to recoup the three months we ignored in this poll. with the chairman in the committee did and i don't know how they did it because what an amazingly difficult task that is
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to appropriate 2967. do what they did to say that every single member of this body has to a man or woman said across-the-board cuts are bad for their constituents. they said why let the lawmakers decisions for us? what did we come in the people's house, what if we make those decisions? i am just so term it is a proud that he took that, but it sounds like what you are saying that he wished the committee hadn't taken that path, that the appropriators had made those decisions, but instead we went ahead and appropriated those 1058 levels that are in mods and then come january next year, we completely collapse those accounts across the board assets have been. >> let me make sure i understand you have clarified, as my chairman would say, the defense bill came first, then we did better in, then we get homeland security. by the time we got to t. had,
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and i couldn't even pass because he was so low that there was no support on the republican or the democratic side. i can say the same thing with labor health and human services education. so to fit it into the 967, the chairman of the reason he made that statement about sequester did the very best we could, but the end of the process, we couldn't get anything done. >> to tell me because i respect the work you all do. >> and other republicans couldn't get the votes because it was too low and labor eight they didn't even bring bring to the committee because it was 22%. >> the law of the land has sent out how much we can spend. it doesn't sound like the problem you are identifying as we have a problem making tough decisions.
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appropriate in the 1058 on paper would make it easier to vote for those things because those things we know about what could plus up and pretend those maps were going to stick, but we know the law of the land is what the law of the land is an absolutely everyone of those accounts would be splashed across the board by the impact of sequester. so all this talk about working together and cooperate in a bipartisan way, this is really hard what you all did. i mean, really hard. as a budget committee guy, i'd vote against you. i didn't think you could do it. i don't know why you embarked upon that task because i knew would be absolutely every bit as hard as you are describing it to be. but you are appropriators and i guess he never mind it being dealt a tough hand. he said if we are going to do it, we are going to do it right. if folks are going to be helped or harmed by the law of the land, they are going to be helped or harmed because we made
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those decisions, not because we planted those decisions to some across-the-board trimming mechanism. i guess i'm asking, even if you are not happy with the spending levels that are the law of the land and we can change the law of the land of the one-two as we sit here trying to change other laws of the land, don't you really appreciate the fact that his heart set us is this and 67 models that rather than just punting chemie you and your committee did what you always do, which is to step up to the plate and say you give us the number we are going to get the work done. >> but maybe we are talking past each other because what i tried is that the defense bill was done at the trillion .58 level. but as they went further down, there is no money left. so when you cut the national institutes of health by 22% and
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you make drastic cuts in money for infrastructure, transportation, rail, highways, roads, you couldn't even pass it with republican votes. so not only was there not bipartisan support, but let me repeat again that bill, transportation hud, which is very popular and also has a lot of support, with such unrealistic levels that the republicans couldn't get it. so what was taken off the floor. again, i want to make -- remind you as a 22% cut went nowhere. >> you're talking about the bill my good friend from georgia had the unenviable responsibility of shepherding her the process. i hope will have a chance to vote on that. absolutely do. you know, there's a trust deficit in this town that we do have serious issues that we've got to solve. if i can just put in my 2 cents on working together, we're going
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to take up the nutrition title and my friends know that not one single family that is entitled to food stamps is going to lose even a calorie of help for them or their children under the reforms. and yet we characterize it as if it is taking food out of the mouths -- >> would the gentleman yield? >> at what moment i would be happy to yield. >> the gentleman knows we been down that road before. i say the same thing about the china first act. the gentlelady knows that is not the name of the act. we do slightly different things, but if you are on the budget committee, and i suspect you do also know, china only owns about 10% of america's debt. in fact, all foreign government international commodities combined on a third. china's number has been coming down. the truth is that we talk about
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full faith and credit of the united states can we talk about making sure that americans get paid. we talk about making sure their pension programs, school teachers in your district get paid. we talk about making sure retirees under 60 come, who depend on that money can believe was backed by the full faith and credit of the united states, that they get paid. i understand if folks don't believe that's a good bill to pass for whatever reason. i understand if folks wish we were not having this discussion at all. but i don't know how we've reached the serious gaps, when we is very serious members sometimes can't deal with these topics in a serious way in which i think that our constituents expect us to. i asked the gentlelady, did she know that only about 10% of america's debt is held by china and only 33% held by foreign entities altogether?
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>> we could have a good debate. the point that i was making the point that our distinguished chairman has made, but not mix up apples and oranges. the idea is we had a faulty date on the affordable care act. and yet, to attach that to the continuing resolution, i think we should have a serious discussion about whatever that bill is called, paying china for. >> full faith and credit. >> full faith and credit. we should have a discussion about that. the problem here is we are trying to get government-funded. we are trying to find famous that we take care of catastrophes such as oklahoma went through and colorado went through in oklahoma went through. we are all very grateful for that. i want to keep the research going at the national institute of health.
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by the way, i was looking up some numbers. since the health care law was passed, 6.7 million jobs were created. >> are those net jobs or gross? >> this was net jobs. and i was looking at some other numbers. under the eight years of president bush, as you know, even though mr. paulson did some heroic work, we lost private-sector jobs, losing a total of 653,000 jobs. and by the way, 808,000 jobs i'm talking about are the health care industry. i just want to say, we could have serious debates, serious differences, whether it is the affordable care act, but that is behind us. that is the lot now. if you want to amend it, and i
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constituents who want to amend it. i have dozens of meetings. >> i would have to direct the gentlelady to united parcel service, ups has had to drop insurance for so many members ever so workfare. i direct those gentlelady to delta air lines in my district i just had record-setting in creases in their premiums. the gentlelady knows of walgreens and trader joe's and ibm and on and on, folks who are losing and if it's because of the affordable care act. you are right. that is a full discussion. >> 41 votes on the affordable care act a faint clicks maybe we should have more discussion and i would welcome any discussions from a constituents because nothing is perfect. certainly not a bill of that magnitude. but we are the appropriations committee and i think we have to keep the government running. we cannot close down the economy. remember, it is not disclosing down government.
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you are closing down the economy. >> by closing it down, and committed to moving forward the package the chairman has brought to us today. the e.u. would not be me. i am enthusiastic about moving forward. i think the great work of your committee gives us an opportunity to do that. >> i want to make sure i hope the gentleman correctly if he could repeat what he said about the nutrition bill. outsider to say that one person would lose a single calorie who is deserving -- maybe you could repeat what you said. >> absolutely. $40 billion worth of savings that you quoted, 20 billion of which come from saying the only people who would get food stamps are those people who qualify for food stamps. meaning anyone who doesn't qualify wouldn't get food stamps. >> the gentleman is absolutely incorrect. >> reclaiming my time, let me get to the second 20. the second one he goes to the
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work requirement that if you're an able-bodied american and you don't have child care needs, you're not disabled, you are an adult, then you should either be employed or get a job training programs so that you can be employed. and that's for the second 20 billion -- >> you are correct on both counts. a major essay on the second count, which basically takes the states ability to request a waiver during very difficult economic times, where there may not be jobs available in your community, where there may not be work force, training programs available, which by this nutrition bill is no workforce training. you take that away. you will deny people food stamps to make on average about $2500 a year. so you know, you can spin this all you want, but according to cbo, 3.8 million lowered the people would be cut from this program. close to 200,000 children would
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lose their free breakfast and lunch program at school because their parents are on this benefit. so this is a very draconian, a very cruel bill. so this notion that somehow you have a talking point because nobody will be affected once they qualify. sure to qualify people from getting the benefit, it is wrong to say people are not going to be harmed by this. >> reclaiming my time, i would say to the gentleman, if we can't have an honest conversation about who qualifies for food stamps and who doesn't, we are doing the $40 billion bill this time. we had the same debate on the $20 billion that we try to move two months ago. if we can't agree us americans that we should have the food stamp program that helps families in need and absolutely everyone who qualifies for a should receive it and absolutely not 1 dollar, not 1 dollar that
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was intended for food assistance for people who desperately need it, who qualify for food stamp program, not 1 dollar should be directed elsewhere because we can help people. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> the gentleman does know. the gentleman understands both been most categoric eligibility. the gentleman understands better than most to gain seats way to get more dollars into the region in the gentleman understands better than most. i do not doubt for a moment. i do not doubt for a moment to gentleman's commitment to those families in need. but what i do doubt is the likelihood we are going to find a solution if we can't even talk candidly about who qualifies and who does that.
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requested the waiver. i don't think they are leading liberals. the point of the smart, you are veteran, you're going harm working people, and you're going harm low-income individuals who cannot find job who cannot get to a work force program. there's no funding for work force training. by the way, i just say finally to the jebt --
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gentleman, i think we have a better discussion on the committee in jurisdiction held a hearing on the bill. if the committee in jurisdiction ask a markup on the bill instead of having it be written in erick cantor's living room. maybe we could listen together see what people say. to suggest it's not a big deal. it's a huge deal. it's going create a bunch of problems. >> if i my point wasn't made proofsly how the heated rhetoric takes away from the substantiative conversation i think the point has been made now. the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. >> i gather my good friend from georgia does not proceed the rant you put on. >> if the gentleman would yield. absolutely not. i welcome the counsel to be more reason. >> i'll show you what i finished what he really look like.
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>> i take the word he'll demonstrate that. most respectfully, mr. chairman, i ask that and i would ask my colleague do you think there are, and i surely thank chairman rogers that ranking member they have done an an extraordinary job to get us to appoint where we have a reason, but i'll continue my dialogue with my friend from georgia. do you believe there are job training program everywhere? >> if the gentleman would yeemed. i come from one of the larmingtest recipient of food stamp in the nation. the great state of georgia. unquestionably could we do with more job program but higher. >> let me instruct you there are places in the country where there are no work force
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program. among other things over the course of time we have cut back on work force programs. a colleague of mine and pete and hal, anita, louise, i'm going his funeral his memorial service and our friends from florida know him as well. clay shaw introdpiewsed a program i thought made a lot of sense. it was -- final analysis welfare. but he also had a component that had work -- [inaudible] different man me. i gather i would be called a socialist. i thank the people where there are no jobs that the government meaning city, federal, state ought to be the employee of last resort. i used to say to him if you have
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to pay yellow lines and the dog days in florida, you would find yourself another way to go about your business. but we don't have that. what we have in america is serious unemployment with jobs not only be made with the congress with businesses deciding not to invest and investing overseas. we are left with this dilemma. i'm sure you don't believe in the government of the employer of last result. i would. i thought we had in pen 0 cola, extraordinary test of the program and it diminished over the course of time and became nothing more than idle talk because there wasn't the component that carried the job with it. what i would ask, i ask chairman rogers and mrs. lloyd, do the two of you feel that it is
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appropriate for us to be carrying the measure, i understand, is likely to be self-executed in a rule offered by of louisiana as hj residence 59. i gather the question i have for both of you. why is it on under appropriation measure. why is it in a cr, when in fact ting ought to be next week we're going to, i guess, sometime we're going the debt ceiling. that would seem the appropriate place. i would ask the two of you to instruct me as to whether or not you deem it proper for this measure to be considered in a c. r. and appropriations measure. >> of course the bill that i filed the base cr. continuing resolution.
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simple. what the committee does to do that is not my business. it's -- [inaudible] >> in fact that would be correct. i appreciate the gentleman. >> you do agree, though, that, do you not, chairman rogers, that ordinarily this would be on the debt ceiling and not here on a c. r. or appropriations? >> if i may go all of this has been to adestroyed -- avoid a government shut down. >>, -- absolutely. and the damaging effects on the country and the economy. i support the leadership's strategy for this current situation, which will allow the package topaz the house in short order, and be sent to the senate for it consideration. i'm hopeful that will lead to the quick completion of the cr
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to then congress can turn the attention to negotiating the larger fiscal challenges that soon before us, including debt ceiling, sequestration. >>. >> i just realized, mr.wood al, you're a member of the budget committee. it's my ignorance i didn't realize it earlier. it seems to me, we're in this pickle here with the senate that wants to markup -- because the house budget committee refused after -- i think it was dozens of times calling on the senate to -- >> yield for a second. >> yeah. >> i have control of the time. >> yes. i yield it to mr. rogers and mrs. lloyd. you're asking them questions? we just don't question -- you don't show to question our members. >> okay. we're not here to be questioned.
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we're aiming them at you. >> okay. >> you're a guest of the committee. >> i apologize. >> i'm not sure that i have time today to do that. >> that's fine. respectfully request the gentleman who has the time and has been yield to him to engage in the gentlewoman. >> i'll -- i'll just respond and i apologize. i was going to say, in response to your question that the chairman of the committee put together a clean cr without anomalies. and maybe a few. but without. a few anomaly very simple. the affordable care act attached to it -- >> yes, ma'am. >> as was -- >> yes, ma'am. i believe the gentleman and the chairman of the committee. i'm not trying to interrupt was added by myself. and republican leadership. >> i'm not questioning that.
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i know, that. what i'm trying to say, i was asked before whether the final product would be this product with the senate -- what i was trying to say is the reason the senate and the house not working off the same page is because the house didn't conference with the senate. so the senate is looking at the 1 -- this is why we're in a pickle because the house didn't conference with the senate. >> let me say i was handed earlier on this measure by -- i didn't know anything at all on it. don't give it any particular names, as i sat here and tread
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over and over again, in the measurement, chairman, if you are involved in it and the leadership is involved in. it rather than just -- nawrnl there's a prohibition on compensation for congress. and i don't know many members know that and it is not that iom selfish about what it is. i'm willing to make my contributions to what i say about the poor, and cause me more taxes, so be it. when you talk about my salary, and i live paycheck to paycheck, you're going med land, i think some of my other colleagues are likely to feel the same way. i disagree with you about why we are in this pickle. let me just say it. other people tip toe around it. we're in the pickle --
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let me put it another way. in this unfortunate unworkable process because my republican friends have a -- [inaudible] that did not come to congress. they came here to obstruct and on sphruct they are. one of the arts of politics in a conversation they had with powell many years ago, he commented to me that among the outside of politics is to be able to comprise. these people don't have that. and they don't have that mind set. that is what they feel their constituents require of them. i don't make any argument about that. the leadership is in the position of having to deal with the obstructions and that's causing basically the problem that you all are having and basically the problems the leadership is having of trying to get the measure passed, and i
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just thought to myself the tale in this particular session of congress is wagging the dog, al gaiter, and donkey. there's no question in my mind about it. somebody needs to say it and talk to them. i don't deem them mean, i don't deem them crazy. i deem them not understanding this ebbing the record their process that allows for us to the democracy we do. and where they are is about to destroy. that's what they came here for. i hope they get to go home real soon forever. thank you, mr. chairman. we move to the gentleman from florida. >> mr. chairman, there's -- i think it's been said by a lot of folks around here. in -- i do understand the gentlelady not wanting to answer the
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question, particularly as it relates to your continued referral to china first or whatever you're saying. but the facts are clear. i don't think that's even debatable in regard who owns the most public debt, and i think gentleman from georgia hit it right on the head. when it is going to effect our seniors the most and our pensioners the most, and those that have vested in federal treasury bond that live here in the united states are unions, teachers, firefighters, police officers, they're the ones that are going to be hurt the most i don't hear us saying over here talking about a government shut down. i hear that coming from the democrats, but that's not the position that we're in. and it's not where we want to go.
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i want to make it perfectly clear to people that when you start talking about the full faith and credit of the united, that is public debt that we owe. we owe i think it was 10% quoted by my good friend from georgia to china. i wish we didn't owe them anything. we owe some other friends that whether it's the u.k. or japan or other countries, more importantly we owe two-thirds of it to citizens here in the united states. i want to make sure we don't default on this. so call what you may, the truth is that we don't want to default on our debt. and certainly don't want to default on our full, faith, and credit that will cause us additional problems forward particularly relating to debt we owe almost $17 trillion today. we're going play games with
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that, and we're going to owe even greater dollars in as appropriators you knoww pay in a debt payment. we are paying nothing off on the debt itself just the interest. and if the interest rate goes up, i'm -- you know what that does, and what we're going to be having additional problems to meet all the needs that this country has. and so i appreciate the dlem ma you're in as appropriators. i appreciate that. i do also appreciate leadership in listening to its members and its members listening to the people back home. with that, i yield back. >> the gentleman yield back. the gentleman from florida, mr. webster is recognized. the chairmanwoman. >> thank you so much. i know, i was asked yesterday but mr. webster said are you a
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new member of the rules committee. one day, but that's how heavily missed. >> you were missed. >> i'm glad to be back. and just to respond my good friend from florida, mr. hastings, i don't think that anyone in our g.o.p. caucus as he was referring to is obstructionists, but i think that sometimes the democracies when they talk about working in a bipartisan manner, they mean us voting the democratic way. your way. when we vote in a different way, we're called on destructionists. maybe there's another definition we can work on. i see members of my caucus, and many of whom, i don't agree with on 100% of the issues. i see them as patriotic americans who want to get our republican going and get our economy back on track. i don't see them as obstruction ises. even though i disagree with some
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of them a lot of the time. so i hope that if he sees another part of us maybe not in a partisan light. sees us as willing partners in trying to resolve america's problems together. i would love to yield to my good friend. >> [inaudible] most of my colleagues that way. if you want know call names, i'll call them. >> thank you for claiming my time. i thank my chairman for the opportunity, and look forward to supporting the bill this week. the gentleman from texas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. thank you for your time. he described the law of the land, which it is. and that law came from -- did it not? signed by the president who is
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in fact the current president, is that correct? >> so if there are a problem of the law of the land the president issues a veto on everything i have seen in the rules committee in the short eight months i have been here. it's the law of the land. i disagree with mr. about across the board cuts. the medical practice and in a business. there were times we got in trouble. as far as meeting our cash flow obligations. what do you have to do? you have to look at your budget. that's what i have to do. you hope you have good managers that the point, and you don't destroy or distort your core function or missions. we have heard a lot of discussion about the nih. i believe in the nih. i believe they go good work. can i ask either of you one
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clarification on the nih budget. it's been under some discussion today. when we did the reauthorization of the nih in 2006, there was something that came up and it was called the health and human service program and evaluation tap. does the tap still exist? [inaudible] it's a slush fund for the secretary, is it not? [laughter] so, you know, here is the point. we're in a tough situation and tough budgetary situation. we need to make sure we spend every dollar wisely, and
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continue to go on, and back in 2005 it was for reducing the nih budget -- i don't know what it is today. might be more, might be less. whatever it is, maybe we ought to leave them in nih and not give them to secretary -- >> we went through last year and the food and drug administration with the reauthorization. so those fees are paid by industries to fda, to allow them to do their job or help them do their job. those monies outside -- those of them because they manage the budget said those will be governed by the
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sequester. those have been unavailable to the food and drug administration to do their work. is that correct? [inaudible] >> that's my job here. >> chairman recognized an hour. [laughter] i would hope that after the hearing, we can -- [inaudible] >> okay. and i appreciate that. i do appreciate that. mr. chairman, i appreciate you being here and being patient with us and answer our question. this is, this is an important bill we will be dealing with this week. it will affect a lot of us and our constituents and in a lot of ways. i know we to do the right thing. thank you, mr. chairman, for your indulgence. >> mr. chairman, if i may. >> gentleman yield back from the time. the gentlewoman evidently has a question. >> i want to thank the doctor
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for the thoughtful questions. these are the kinds of questions you come up both in the authorizing committee, and in the appropriations committee at the appropriate time because certainly make a lot of sense. and i want to say if the g.o.p. is not trying to shut the government down by putting forth a bill that cannot be enacted, and refusing to work together with the democrats on a bill that can be enacted, i'm very concerned that the action of the g.o.p. could shut the government down, because if we work together such as chairman rogers and i have always done or chairwoman mccull sky have done. if there are have been a conference between the house and
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the senate we would a number, sit down and work it out in a are a tell me way. we know the affordable care act after being voted 41 times, was it? is not going to be resintded. we know that, and pay china first act may be an important act. i'm not going -- >> [inaudible] >> it could be happen as a bill in i.t. for what i'm just saying is i would hope we move forward the house and the senate could agree on a number. the extraneous provisions such as the affordable care act and the pay china first act can be dealt with separately. and move forward together, bipartisan and get it done. >> mr. chairman, i have no idea. i heard it all day long. i have no idea what the pay china first act is. >> i'll describe it to you. it's a talking point from very
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abilitied people who are trying to suggest that we would give china their money back in the event we are in a circumstance first. and as has been ably discussed, i believe by the gentleman, others that the people who are debtors to the united states -- about 30% or outside the -- if we indicated that we will not go to a default, we will pay the people who are loaning us money. >> how does that become the pay china first? >> you had to get up on the wrong side of the bed day, hal. [laughter] that's okay. i get it. there are a lot of things i don't get. i get it. >> it sounds like a pr firm has taken over. >> you know, i appreciate both of you being here. i see no further questions from the committee. i want to thank both of you, not only for taking your time.
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i want to assure mrs. lloyd, if i can, tonight, the republican leadership in the house has absolutely no interest in trying to shut down the government. what we are interested in doing is following as the young chairman has outlined allowing you enough time to -- all twelve appropriation bill. i believe we personally believed and it was much discretion on me the first opportunity a week ago to put information about defunding obamacare to the continuing resolution. it was met with a hardy respect by our membership. we are trying it in a different direction right now. we're going give our colleagues, who have requested this
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opportunity a chance for them. they believe they will be successful. we're just going to follow a process. we have already advised our rules committee member. i believe everybody in the body knows we're expected to be back next wednesday to work further with what might come back from the united states senate. i have confidence in that. >> mr. chairman, if we were determined or -- i would never have filed the bill. the bill is to continue the government. that's what it's all about. it's my bill, hopefully, amended. if we wanted to shut the government down, we wouldn't be here. we are here to keep the government. if there's a shutdown, it's going to come from somebody else. not us. >> well, i think we are negotiating in each other.
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i want to thank you for take the better part of the afternoon and evening to be with us u. you are excused. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. >> we have at this time, what i think are two additional members, and we would ask both of you please to come forward at this time with a chance that we will continue the dialogue. the honorable eleanor holmes norton. we recognized and applauded for her appearing on the scene, and being standing up very appropriately the other day, and i want you to know, i saw you. i recognized you not just as a colleague but as a person who is deeply concerned about the people involved in this committee, at least by myself. and i'm sure we wish to thank you. we recognize some days are sad, give you great respect and
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honor. i would also like to welcome the gentleman from louisiana, without objection, both of you, anything you have in writing will be entered to the record. and i would like to recognize, if i can, at this time, mr. holmes-norton. >> thank you. >> if you can please -- you have a very soft voice. >> i will try to speak louder. >> as long as others can hear. i'll suggest i'm okay too. >> thank you. >> i appreciate you letting me know whether you can hear me. mr. chairman, only the most extraordinary circumstances would lead come forward and ask for an amendment to the congressional resolution. i've been in the congress a long time. as i understand why there are clean crs. i also appreciate that you are trying your best to deep the government open. i think the fact that this cr goes to december 15th,
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illustrates i have watched what the leadership has been doing to try to keep the government open. i'm not here because i believe the government is going to close down i'm here to talk to you this evening about how the very posture that the bill is in there. even assuming that the cr passes. if my amendment is not included, if will be caught unintended costs to the district government as a result. my amend would allow the district to remain open even -- the government were to close down.
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the district submitted on time, months ago, a balanced budget. i believe it has perhaps the strongest reserves of any jurisdiction in the united states, $1.5 billion in reserves and growing. the appropriations committee, both of them, have passed the appropriation. difficulty, of course, the appropriations have not yet come up. a big city, a complicated city to spend its local funds and only the local funds for the fiscal year 2014. because of the cost and the
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effect on wall street of continuing resolutions that effect the local budget of the district of columbia. speaking of a anomaly, it's one of the the fact end the budget -- the house and the senate contributed not one dime to th $8 billion that the district of columbia raises on its own in the city. what makes it frustrating to the city, mr. chairman, is that there has never ban member that i have heard that indicated they wanted to shut down the district government under any circumstances. i believe many members do not know that the district local budget is even up here.
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they would be astonished to find a local budget in a federal appropriations. and they certainly don't know most don't know that a local budget, the budget of the nation's capitol could be caught in a possible shut down. i think the chances of keeping the government open are as you're trying to do are decent. but i need you to know what the effect on the district of columbia is at? moment even if it occurs. i know, from experience, mr. chairman, i was here when the government did shut down, and the district government shut down for an entire week. the results were so catastrophic that even though did shut down a
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number of times thereafter i worked closely with speaker gingrich who never allowed the district to shut down again during the serial shut down. having that had that experience, beg to allow the district to be put at risk. over a fight that everybody understands we're irrelevant to. nothing to prove it. why have i -- i believe that you are trying your best to keep the city open. the very risk we know face that we may shut down after december 15th, puts the nation's capitol in this position. let me look at the most recent statistics. in 2011, we had three separate
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threats. the district devoted 3,000 hours of total staff time, and 131 -- in contingency plan. they are unintended costs that congress didn't intend. they pailed in comparison to the catastrophic cost that would be imposed if in fact there was a federal and district government shut down. the district provides basically knew -- newmunicipal services not only to the residents 600,000 people, but to our businesses, the commuters that come from maryland and virginia, and west virginia to the federal office buildings, to the embassyies. most ominously -- , by the way, i'm a --
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i'll give you an example from the last shut down. if the shut down occurs, garbage collection stops. under the law, it cannot resume until there has been no garbage collection far week. you can then declare a health emergency. that is the position we would be put in if there were a shut down. i only responsible thing for me to do is to keep the district going for the next fiscal year. more obviously than even that, if there are certain payments that the government would almost certainly miss it it shut down. and the republican they would miss them is they can expend no money, they can pay no bills of any kind if the government shuts
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down. for example, the district leases much of it equipment. it leases automobiles and task lights, public safety equipment, it leases computer hardware. in addition to that, it has a -- participation outstanding on certain d.c. buildings including our emergency preparedness and communications command centers. the budget authority pay those on time. if you do not pay those bills on time, then the bondholders must -- one payment gone. the bondholders must be apprised. the district worked too long and too hard to get the plan. we are very proud of it.
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its reputation is stellar on wall street. it's something that the congress didn't intend. no member of the house or senate intended to occur simply because we -- t not what everybody intends. the successes -- keep coming back eleanor. we'll keep you open. the success or sos cr have killed us. they indicated 3,000 more than $130 -- 3,000 hours more than $130 ,000 the last time. imagine running a big city on a few months at the time not knowing whether there will be two or three more months. nobody intends that. we ask you to take action so i will not have to come here t no
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longer an issue for the fiscal year 2014 alone. mr. chairman, the other reason that i think this would be so unintended is that pending as i speak if we can get bills out of here from closing down. we have gotten it out of the authorizing committee. that's the oversight and government reform committee with the districts authorizing authority line. the appropriation committee has in it that keeps the government from shutting down. the house appropriators have said a lot they defer to the authorizers they would be
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harmful for the district government to shut down. the.of the united states shut down avoidance language and his own budget. we have not only intended consequences. those who know the district budget as no member -- i do not ask you to study the district of columbia. you sent here for your district and for the nation. so if you don't know about this, i'm coming before you today. you can imagine what the average member knows about this catastrophe. the district is not being held hostage. because there's nothing the district can give. nobody knows we're in this fix. so i'm asking you to extra candidate us from it. do not intend us to be caught in it. it's an acronymism of history. it's the 21st century, and it is
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time at least on this temporary basis for the coming fiscal year to take us out of the spectrum where there could be multiple crs. there will certainly have to be something else on december 15th. and everyone here knows it could be another cr. it would be for the first time in some times a plain old bill. everyone knows how it worked in recent years. sky you to take the district of columbia for whom all of this is irrelevant to you and to us out of this struggle and leave it. the house and the senate. i thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. gentleman from louisiana is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. member of the rule the committee, i appreciate your time to present this amendment.
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as we're working to properly fund the government on the cr. this amendment would do two additional things. one, it would defund the president's health care law, it would also protect through the full, faith, and credit act, the credit of the united states of america by ensuring that our debts are paid. i want to walk through the details of the amendment and specifically why we're at the point. i think most of us recognize whether you voted for the law or like myself. the majority of the committee were oppose to the law, the law is unworkable. you look at the october deadline that are coming up, you look at the january 1st deadlines coming up. hearing after hearing with obama administration officials have made it clear they missed deadline after deadline on so many of the requirement in the law to the point where president
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obama himself has acknowledged it's unworkable. but the president has only offered to extend relief in the form of a delay to big businesses and to insurance companies. it extends the relief to all american family. and the law should be defunded because it's not ready for prime time. it's destructive that some of the very people who actually came to washington to help pass it. the affordable care act will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefit but destroy the foundation of 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the american middle class. we have a problem, you need to fix it. the unintended consequences of the affordable care act are severe. perverse incentive are creating night-mare scenarios. it creates an incentive to keep employee work hours below 30-hours a week.
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numerous employers have cut the hours. many are doing so openly. are the impact is two-fold. fewer hours means less pay. while also losing our current health benefits. this is not a letter from somebody on the right-wing inspect is not a letter from a republican member of congress inspect is a letter from james b. hoffa. the president of the international brotherhood of teamster who recently wrote the letter laying out the problems they're facing. when i go back to my district, as many of you do, i the largest complaint i cigarette small business owners and families people who have electric they like is the threat that this law places upon them. clearly it's not ready for prime time. we have a responsibility to ensure that the effect of the law don't devastate the good things that work in health care. the president made a lot of promises during the debate on the health care law in 2009. if you like what you have, you can keep it. it will lower the deficit.
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so many of the promises made have been broken. we have an opportunity do something about it. it's clear the law is not ready to be implemented both on the october 1st component, and especially on the january 1st component that vet to take effect. we need to stand up for all american people. not just the privileged few who can find a way to get access to the white house and get exemption, which a number have. all americans deserve the opportunity. that's what the amendment would do. the second part of that, dealing with the full, faith, and credit ensures we pay our debts. as you talked about, mr. chairman, who are the debtors? the vast majority are american citizens. not just retirees, many of whom have those treasury notes not just pension funds. many of whom are count on for american workers.
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we should not, in this room allow the seniors paid to the -- place at risk this amendment protects them from it happening. we don't want to fault the amendment prevents default. the only person i hear talking about default in washington is president obama. the amendment takes default off the table. ic we recognize how devastating the threat of default would be. i think we have a responsibility as we are negotiating and trying to find a way keep government funding. i know we are moving on time. i would like the gentlewoman a hypothetical question. if she did find that the amendment was on the bill, and if she had a vote on the floor would she vote for the cr if the language were not in there?
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>> mr. chairman, i have to think about that. i'm sure you would. >> first and foremost, think about my city open. i would have to look at the whole. >> that's just a question wh i didn't ask. i'm sure somebody else woul >> i know who accept me here. i'm saying i would have to look at the entire -- i haven't seen what it's going to say. let me say this then, that was a tough question. in fairnd it was a tough question. i'll also tell you it would like for you to know that we do not intend to move the to shut down
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the government. you must know i deeply believe what i'm saying and the gentlewoman is welcome to come wack to drk back to the rules committee. when we are back next wednesday, i believe you should stand up and advocate on behalf of your constituents and not center to answer hypothetical questions also. i did not press the gentlewoman at all. it was a question. and something that might be there to ponder. perhaps it could come back at some point. and the gentlewoman would be a bit more prepared. i want to thank you. the gentleman from utah. i think to -- the people i hear from talking about government shut down are members of your party, marco
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rubio, ted cruz, among others. say if you don't defund we're going shut the health federal government down. i say it -- >> house republicans we brought forth a number of different opportunities to keep government -- [inaudible conversations] >> the leaders in your party that you're talking about being presidential candidates. so i would assume that, you know, they're speaking for your party. i thank the gentleman. >> the gentleman yields bark his time. i appreciate that. the gentleman and the chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank our good friends for being here. of course, have the opportunity to work with the republican committee. where i think he's done an amazing job. i particularly want to thank our good friend, the gentlelady from the district for amazing manners that have been extraordinarily challenging week for you.
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the manner you represented your twenties and frankly, all of the country and trying situation brings great credit to you and great credit to your constituents and constituency and toirnl house. i want to extend the sympathies of any -- my personal sympathy. to let you know how much -- the fact you have the week that you add and here you are fighting for your constituents yet again is an indication of how fortunate they are to have you as their representative. thank you. on hypothetical that was a bad premise hypothetical to begin with. i acknowledge that up front. it was all i can do hold back.
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i hope i acknowledged that. [laughter] that's why i'm here. assuredly, one of the things that down the road that we should do as soon as possible is allow those who have come from the district of columbia and the territory to have a vote, and certainly in the committee where we vote on amendments. mr. -- i support the measures by holmes-nor norton. there was thing she put forth i'm sure many of russ -- [inaudible] accused your amendment and those in the leadership. what i talked about was things that people don't like don't
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like to talk about. that's the prohibition on compensation for members. that is in this measure. people don't like to talk about what it is that we have to deal with. i know; there ever blank blng i'm glad they did. because they were advocating that we be [inaudible] one of my democratic colleagues want to take away a little from flight that particularly those in the west use for their family. that can self-execute and go whatever it is they choose.
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it would be appropriate if you will bring the measure, perhaps you will, on the debt ceiling once you see it when it comes back from the senate. nevertheless, i find it -- a problem that causes me to want to answer the united. and i as a prablght call matter. if he doesn't negotiate, then all that is left
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and this president and the position the signature legislation that whether we like it or not, he said it sounded like a pr firm. obamacare sounds like a pr foirm me. when it was nuanced initially, even though he sense adopted the words when of done it was done. but certainly members of your conference, and the president of the united states have discussed default, and as a practice call matter, if you suggest that any
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of this stuff that is going to defund toward the end i'm in a position to easily say that watching your -- [inaudible] suggest to me that it is not only the president that is saying that if these measures -- the debt ceiling, and the budget matters are not attended, that he feels are that you would be provoking a shut down of the government. solet not just put this all on president obama, and i'm trying to restrain myself and not call name -- >> you've already --
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some. >> you've already said some. [laughter] >> i -- [inaudible conversations] the name he called in the senate, i agree with all that have. that's what they've said. and -- [inaudible] i didn't call no nate name. if you want me to start calling the house names, i will do that as women. -- well. there have been members who said they want to shut the government down. i don't -- they continue have that prerogative, as a matter of fact, there are some of us that feel the best thing for us do is shut up and let you go on and self-destruct. there are members that call your potential action in that regard
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does the possibility of the united states government shutting down. i yield to the gentleman. if you look at the member of the republican study committee. i'm chairman of the republican study committee. it reflects the hard work of the members who have been diligent in making sure that the government will be properly funded and assure that default is never an option. in fact, that is the intent of the full faith and credit act to ensure that all seeking seeking
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that default. we have brought forth legislation to prevent default. that's what it does. as it relates to the debt ceiling. not just this president, you know, and he's a student of history. a lot of the big deals that have helped us get back to fiscal sanity, to get us to a balanced budget under bill clinton, as well as what happened with sequester and president obama. those came through the debt ceiling negotiations. they suggest that negotiates is some new concept or something that the president won't engage
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in. i think a lot of us agree is good for our country and healthy for our economy. and so we want to get out there. we want to get to a place where we can ensure that as we're negotiating over how to properly fund government, how to set priorities, that markets aren't scared, families aren't scared about consequences that would come from things like default. that's why this amendment actually says that won't it be an option. default won't be an option. >> i hear you. with the exception of the fact that i think the president has used exact language you use about full, fate, and credit of the united states. i heard him say it on television. and that he is not going to allow for that to occur. >> here is where i think your amendment as well as the base
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bill will -- not the base bill, but your amendment now puts in place the defunding of the affordable care act. and i just -- i ask you, do you really believe that the president is going to accept the defunding of the affordable care act as a matter of the negotiation that may go on assuming for the moment that he negotiates about other things revenue or cutting, spending, but what have you. assuming he does that. your -- defunding the affordable care act. do you really believe he's going to find something that defunds the affordable care act? >> i think as we've been talking about defunding and delaying the president's health care law, if you look at some of the president's comment over the last few months, he's mocked the 40 votes that the house has taken. he's mocked it many times on the campaign trail saying the house
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wasted all the the time 40 times voting to defund or delay component of the health care law. keep in mind, president obama himself actually signed seven of the bills in to law. seven of those bills he mocked on the campaign trail, he signed in to law. i didn't sign them in to law. president obama signed them to law. clearly the president admitted there's serious problem with the health care law when union leaders, not supporters of mine over the years, somebody -- groups that come to the capitol to pass the law say it's unworkable. the president itself through the waiver process has given over 1400 waivers to -- i asked people in my district every time i have meetings, i said has somebody got a waiver from the white house. ..
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and navigate bad ll's and we had a democratic study group some of the most thought old members in congress as are those on the republican study group were the people that participated and i know you know many of them as people that were extremely thoughtful. the problem that i


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