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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 23, 2015 7:30pm-8:01pm EDT

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s at 17%. and african-american youth unemployment is much higher than that. what the american people want and what the republican budget completely ignores is the need to create millions of decent-paying jobs. if you go out to maine to vermont, to wyoming to california, you ask people what they want and they would say we need more jobs, and those jobs should be paying us a living wage. in my view and in the view of many economists, if we are serious about creating jobs in this country the fastest way to do it is >> the fastest way to create jobs in the country is to rebuilt the crumbling infrastructure, roads, bridges, waste water plants airports broadband in rural areas. according to the american society of civil engineers we
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need to invest $3 trillion by 2020 to get the nation's infrastructure under repair and then we will create millions of decent paying jobs which is exactly what we should be doing and what our side of the aisle will fight for but it is an issue virtually ignored by the republican majority. crumbling in -- in fuand the need to create jobs don't talk about. we need a budget that increases wages for low in come and middle income workers. in the year 2015 no one who works in this country for 40 hours a week should be living in poverty. i would hope that is a tenant
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that all of us could agree on. no one should be making the totally inadequate minimum wage of 7.25. raising the minimum wage to at least $10.10 i would go high but it would be good for low-wage workers and reduce spending on medicaid and public housing and federal benefits of $7 million a year. sadly when i called for the increase in minimum wage not one of my republican colleagues voted. i am going to give them time to rethink the era of the ways and bring an amendment on the floor to do what americans want and that is significantly increase the minimum wage of the country so no one working 40 hours a week is in poverty.
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and we need pay equalty so women don't make 77 cents on the dollar compared to a man. we need to address the overtime scandal in which many people are worker 50-60 hours a week but fail to get time and a half for their efforts. i have not heard during the committee meetings budget committee meetings i didn't hear one republican word about the need for pay equity for women worker the need to address the overtime scandal and the minimum wage. these are the issues american people want address but look high and low in the republican budget and you will not find one word addressing these issues. i can tell you in vermont and i suspect every state in the country young people and their families are frustrated by the
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high cost of college education and the oppressive student debt many leave school with. student debt at $1.2 trillion is the largest category of debt in the country more than credit card and auto loan debt. does the republican budget do anything to decrease the interest rate? no. it would make it worse be eliminating subsidized loans. does the republican budget support or comment on president obama's initiative to make two years of community college free? or provide any other initiative to make college affordable? sadly, they don't. what they do do is cut $90 billion in pell grants making college more expensive for 8
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million low-income college students. my republican colleagues say they are concerned about the deficit which by the way has been reduced by more than two thirds since president obama has been in office. and we should be clear this side of the aisle is concerned about the deficit. my republican colleagues are concerned about an $18 trillion national debt that has skyrocketed in the recent years. one of the reasons why it skyrocketed is we went to war in iraq and afghanistan and the experts tell us by the time we take care of the last veteran those wars may cost over $5 trillion and my deficit friends on the republican side -- how did they pay for the wars the what taxes did they raise? what programs did they cut? they didn't. they put it on the credit card.
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that is how they paid for it. i would tell you, madam president, what concerns me is two unpaid for wars is not enough for my republican colleagues in the committee markup they put another $38 billion into defense spending on the credit card off budget. so i think we should ask ourselves how does it happen that the move toward their balanced budget approach they want to cut nutrition, education, health care virtually every program that working families need but when it comes to defense spending, another $38 billion? that is not chump change even here in washington. that is off budget. no problem. just add it to the deficit. madam president, when we talk about sensable ways of
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addressing how deficit or sensible ways of addressing the national debt you cannot ignore the reality that major corporation after major corporation in a given year pays what in taxes? 20%? 10%? 5%? 0%! profitable corporations like general electric verizon, bowing and others have not only paid nothing in federal income taxes in some recent years they actually get rebates from there irs. can we talk about that issue? or is the only way toward a balanced budget to gut programs for the elderly, the children, the sick and the poor? according to a recent report from the congressional research service, each and every year profitable corporations are avoiding $100 billion in taxes by slashing their profits in the kay man islands -- >> the senator's time expired.
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>> with that madam president, i would yield. >> who yields time? >> i would suggest the absence of the corum but if the senator needs -- >> i am happy to split. i thank my colleague and i will take a few minutes and if he has more he should take the rest. >> senator from vermont is recognized. >> thank you madam president. the point i am making is if we are serious about reducing the deficit
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deficit. in 1952 corporations contribute about 32% of tax revenue and today it is 2%. it is not conceivable. each and every year profitable corporations are avoiding a hundred billion dollars in taxes. how can you not look at that issue? how can you only approach that? i look forward to the debate that we will be having over the next several days. i suspect it will be a lot of amendments being looked at. i think it is fair to say on this side of the aisle the amendments will be saying is
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that we need to create millions of jobs. we need to raise wages in america. we need a tax system that is fair and does not contain loop holes that allow the wealthy and large corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes. we need a budget that says women workers should earn the same as male workers. we need a budget that says we have got to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. i think there will be a lot of very serious debates. i think the differences between the two sides will become pretty apparent and i hope the american people pay strong attention to this discussion. with that i will yield. >> so the senate's done for the day but members return tuesday at 10 a.m. eastern to continue debate on the 2016 republican
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budget plan. last week the senate budget committee met to markup the resolution that aims to balance the budget in ten years and cut $5.1 trillion in projected spending over the next decade. debates and votes on amind mendments are expected to take up most of the week setting aside a human trafficking bill that failed to advance due the abortion language in the bill. following the senate live when they return original tuesday. tonight on the communicatee comparts. we -- we met up with tim moynihan who gave us a tour. >> what does led stand for? >> organic light emital dial. led set refer do is the back light system. led uses back light to color
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liquid crystal displays and this one is using the individual whole led particles as a source of light. so they can be turned on and off independently. with an led set they will take some light seeping through there. to my eyes it is pretty amazing. this is 4-k and led which are two big buzz words at the show and have been. this is the holy grail of tv. >> tonight at 8 eastern on the "the communicators" on c-span2. earlier today, supreme court justice anthony kennedy and steven bryant testified on high court's 2016 budget request. justice kennedy also spoke about cameras into the courtroom and laid out our arguments for having them.
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here is more now. >> people suggest that maybe the court should televise oral argument and people could see first-hand what goes on. i know the court has historically rejected that. i think it was justice sotomayor before going on the bench thought it would be a good idea to televise oral arguments and once on the bench she changed her mind. i wonder if you think there will be a day when oral arguments will be on television? do you think that is good? or that is not good in the context of education for folks? could you all comment on that. >> the question do i think there will be a day sound like we are behind the times. >> it just a matter of history.
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if you had english style debate and you were handed the topic and had to be the pro/con you could make a lot of good arguments for television in the courtroom. number one it teaches. we teach what the competition is. we teach what rights and responsibility are. why don't we go on television? it would be very good for lawyers preparing -- who have been before us and want to see the dynamic of argument. it is open. the public could see we spend a lot of time on paton cases and railroad cases so we have a commitment. and they could see we hope on an argument that is rational and
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respectful. when we are in disagreement our institution has the tradition of not to make our colleagues look bad but the institution look good. and part of that is the way we conduct oral argumenteds. we are concerned the presence of a camera or the knowledge we will be on tv will affect the way we behave. it is an incidious dynamic that they ask questions so they look good on tv. we would prefer a dynamic in which we have a discussion where we are listening to each other and the council and we think the television would detract from that. so you could make good arguments either way. but we -- i think i can speak
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for most of the colleagues don't think television should be in the courtroom. we have the audio available and the transcripts are available. the press does a good job of covering this. the press has the advantage -- they know three to six months what the issue are and can prepare the background and are ready to write. we have good press coverage as well. i think cameras in the courtroom are not a good idea. >> that is some of what justice kennedy had to say about a hearing held by the subcommittee on the 2016 budget request. you can see the entire event at 8:30 p.m. eastern here on c-span
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2. tomorrow on washington journal, texas congressman michael burgess discusses work on a bill aimed at providing a permanent solution to the annual medicare dock fix. and then win moore examines house and senate budget plans being proposed by the republican majority and then after that the oil news director jeff mowler looks at oil prices and the impact on u.s. drilling. plus your live calls, tweets and e-mails. earlier today, mitch mcconnell and harry reid came to the floor to discuss the fifth anniversary of the health care law and the republican budget plan. >> mr. president, we begin by remembering a failed idea from the past; obamacare.
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and we will end by passing balanced budget legislation about the future. five years ago today a partisan obamacare bill was signed into law over the objections of the american people. it was rushed through and defied the experts who warned it would result in higher cost fewer choices and broken promises for the middle class and tragically that is what we have seen. millions of americans lost health care plans they were promised they could keep ration premiums skyped deductibles sky rocketed and tax burdens were costly. and family doctors and trusted hospitals for too many fell out of network. listen to letters like karen from lewisville to know that americans deserve better than what obamacare has given them.
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karen was paying $325 a month for her health insurance and now she said her premium spiked to almost $550 a month with a deductible well in access of $6,000. i cannot afford this karen wrote, but i do not have a choice. it scares me to think what the will happen if i do get sick. that is karen's story and it is hardly unique. every member in this body should be striving for something better than the pain of obamacare. and we can't. by passing a balanced budget that is about the future we can leave obamacare's higher cost and broken promises where they belong; in the past. and start fresh with real health reform. that is just one of many renes
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for senators to support the balanced budget before us. it is as a budget that recognizes seriously fiscal and economic challenges recognizing the country and works to address them in a common sense way. americans know washington can't tax away the challenges con fronting us. and americans know washington cannot ignore away the problems con fronting us. americans know every dollar sent on the growing national debt is wasted. every dollar spent on interest is one less dollar for social security or helping those who need it or for tax relief. that is why the balanced budget is premised on the truth that washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. i know this can be hard for some to acknowledge but politicians have a duty to the american people to simply admit it. they owe it to the american
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people to explain why the budget blue prints from the whitehouse are unserious chatty. the president's budget is never balanced ever and keeps spending more. never balanced other. contrast to the budget before the senate. it balances without raising taxes and it is the result of omen and transparent committee work led by the chairman. this budget is another example of the new senate getting back to work for the american people. it is another example of the senate moving past failed ideas from the past like obamacare and positioning america for the future instead. this balanced budget is all about growing an economy that can work better for the middle class of today and leaving a more prosperous future to the middle class of tomorrow.
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it will also provide the procedures and tools via the budget reconcilation process to bring an end to the nightmare of obamacare. that is something all of us should want. since our friends across the aisle are not offering a budget of their own i would invite them to join us. join us in supporting the growth oriented balanced budget that is before us now. senate majority leader -- >> i move to proceed to escon resolution 11. >> the clerk will report. >> motion to proceed to the consideration of s-con resolution 11 setting forth the congressional budget for the united states of america for
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fiscal year '16. >> the question is on the motion to proceed. all in favor say aye. oppose? the ayes have it and the motion is agreed to. the clerk will now report the major. >> setting forth the congressional budget for the united states government for fiscal year 2016 and so forth for further purposes. >> mr. president? >> senator democratic leader? >> i ask consent the statement not count against the budget resolution >> without objection, so ordered. >> mr. president, as the republican leader mentioned it is hard to believe that five years have gone by since we passed the affordable care act. but it has been five years. we can all look back to that cold cold winter day when we
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were able to finally get it done. but to me it doesn't seem that long ago. the memories of what took place to get where we did to pass that are very fresh in my mind. it wasn't an easy thing. president going become to truman and esinhower have tried to pass something for health care and they were all unable to do it. so it was a great accomplishment congress could pass this. it would not be a stretch to see president obama risked his presidency by pushing for health care reform. it was really a defining moment for many many people. republican opposition at the time was overwhelming. no matter what we democrats did
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or tried to do there was nothing we could do to get the republicans to join in giving health care to the american people even though mr. president, the original health care bill we passed was patterned after republican proposals. so we worked hard and got it done. we pled for help and got none. republicans simply were not interested in working with us to fix our nation's health care system. outside of the capital, sophisticated and public relation campaigns were being waged against obamacare by lobbyist insurance companies, and many others. we pressed on and on and did the best we could. it was pretty good. was it perfect? of course not. no legislation is. but we passed something that was good for america. i was really surprised to hear
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my friend the senior citizen from kentucky, talk about a woman from kentucky. that is really unusual since 400,000 people in kentucky today have insurance because of obamacare that they didn't have before. five years later, i am very proud of the work we did. i am just as proud today as i was when president obama signed affordable care act into law. reducing cost, expanding access and no more prior conditions. 16.4 million americans have quality health care coverage. 16.4 million. you have seen the largest decline in the uninsured rate probably ever. and in the last 18 months the
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uninsured rate fell by 35%. health care cost have grown at the lowest level in 50 years. now listen to this mr. president, patient safety initiatives are keeping americans safe. since we passed this legislation, the number of preventable deaths hospitals and care centers has dropped by 50,000 people. that is 50,000 people that are alive today that would not have been if it were not for obamacare. that is just one aspect of people that are alive today because of obamacare who would not have been otherwise. but for all of the incredible national statistics that are available the best evidence the affordable care act is working can be found in our homes, neighborhoods and communities. in nevada obamacare is making a difference in the lives of 75,000 people who signed up for
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coverage with the health care market place and nevada was off to a slow start because they were contracted state and they did an awful job. the republican governor in the state of nevada i applaud. he stepped forward and made a huge difference in nevada. but only are they getting covered but they are getting tax breaks. 65,000 qualified for a credit of $242 per month. mr. president, no matter what standard to you that is real money in the pockets of people recovering from the coming downturn because of what happened on wall street. stories like this all across america. after five years it is clear this bill is working. americans are benefiting from increased coverage improved
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consistency and lower cost. since 2013 the united states has seen the largest decline in the uninsured rate in decades. in the last few months it fell from 35% and health care cost are growing at the slowest rate in 35 years. since 2011, the number of preventable deaths dropped by 50,000. the ranking member of the budget committee is on the flor and won of the great things we don't talk about into the affordable care act is community health centers. the good man from a junior center came to me and talked to me about community health centers. as a result of his advocating we put billions in the act for community centers. it has changed the health care
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system in america significantly and we must continue the program. the affordable care act for all of the reasons we mentioned, mr. president, is something that is very important and it is important everyone understands how absolutely fantastic it was for the people of this country. after five years it is clear it is working, americans are benefiting from increased coverage, lower cost and improved efficiency. i invite my republican colleague to accept obamacare is the law of the land put aside the unrealistic notion of repealing the law that gave 16.4 million people health care. the republican plans would basically drop them all. instead, republicans join us and help more americans getting the funds they need. per perhaps five years from now they look back seeing we made a good law better for


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