tv Senator Cornyn on Federal Spending CSPAN May 2, 2017 6:13pm-6:33pm EDT
president bush passed a big tax cut break primarily for the wealthy, wrapped up debt and then he pursued deep cuts the social safety net to balance the letter. he might have gotten them but democrats stood in his way. this could be déjà vu all over again. in some very wealthy get a huge tax rate while the middle class gets very little and down the road programs like social security and medicare, so crucial to the middle class would be endangered. this administration wants to pursue such a plan all on their own, that's their choice. go it alone approach doesn't guarantee success. what it does guarantee is a vers partisan bill that will benefit the very wealthy and the special interests, a bill which i predict will be very, very unpopular with the american people.
thank you and i yield the floort next to mr. president, i'd like to offer a brief word on the events that occurred in my state over the last few days. tragic events, really. yesterday at the university of texas in austin a man wielding a knife began attacking students on campus. he entered three and tragically killed another. my prayers are with the entire community, particularly the friends and families of those l entered in the student who lost his life. this was a senseless act of violence and it's up for it. we don't yet know the details for why this deranged individual acted the way he did. local officials are still gathering details about the case but i'm grateful to the university of texas police for quickly apprehending the suspect and stopping further loss of life and injury.
i offer them and the rest of thc law enforcement any in austin and around the state and nation, my support is they seek justice and to continue production in this instance one of the states flagship institutions of higher learning. separately, mr. president, many are aware that major storms through parts of east texas including anderson, raines county last weekend. on saturday afternoon and evening for potatoes for through the area leaving a lot of damage in its wake. and canton. dozens of people were injured and taken to the hospital and tragically four people died. i plan to speak to the mayor of canton and judge kirkpatrick, later today and offer my condolences but more importantly to offer our help.e
i know they're working as hard as they can continue to assessst the damage done and find a way forward to helping assistance to those most in need. i particularly rightful and impressed by local leaders across my great state and around the country. they step up at a time of crisis like this and the organizations like the american red cross that always seem to show up and offer a helping hand as well as local schools and churches who come together to lend a hand to this area during a difficult time.s some have lost their own homes, as well as their vehicles, and of course, loved ones.k as i said, my thoughts and prayers are with all of them and i stand ready to work alongside this resilient part of my great state as they recover from these deadly storms. finally
separately, mr. president, as we all know by now, over the weekend an agreement was finally reached on the funding bill to keep the us government open and provide much-needed long-term funding for federal agencies. f i am particularly glad we found a way forward. now that's synonymous with saying i like everything in the bill but a piece of legislation like this is inherently a compromise. compromise means that usually people on both ends of the negotiation are not entirely happy with had to give up something in order to get something. this is the process we have to build consensus, even on controversial topics like the funding bill. this agreed bill consists of the 11 remaining appropriation bills with additional funding set aside for our military, disaster relief and border security. sec
i for one have been encouraged to hear folks folks from both sides of the aisle, republicans and democrats crafts, make sure we agree that we agree on more than we disagree. especially when it comes to securing our borders. president trump has made no secret of his position. he said from the beginning of border security would be a top priority for him and coming from a border state, as does the presiding officer, we understand particularly well how important this is to our communities along the border but through our states into the entire country. i'll be glad to read press reports and hear the minorityal leaders senator schumer talk about how providing more resources to secure the border is necessary to keep it safe and to stem the tide of illegal drugs and illegal immigration and contraband entering ourinory country. in fact, last week senator from new york minority leader and i quote, democrats have always been for border security.
i was glad to hear him say that. last month during the state wors i had a chance to speak with hundreds of my twits all across the state, ten cities in all. part of that time was spent visiting the folks who live and work along the us mexican border , specifically in laredo,ca and mcallen. all along the border we talked about the significant ties between the united states and texa mexico. how mexico is our largest trading partner with texas and how texas farmers rangers andut manufacturers rely on trade wits our southern neighbor. they pointed out that theiv chamber of commerce is issued a chart which documents that 5 million american jobs depend on by national trade with mexico i think most people are unawarec of that or don't pay enough attention to the fact that our
economies are inextricably tieda together. during my visit to the border i was fortunate enough to have the chance to talk about our mutual security concerns with the its governor. it's a state that shares our northern border with texas. i'm grateful to mexican leaders states who ambassador the new mexican ambassador to the united states who share a vision for more secure border and more robust trade at the same time. they're not mutually exclusive, it's important that we have both security and trade. it goes without saying that free trade has been a cornerstone of the economy in texas adding billions to our economy annuallo and bolstering our relationship with our partner to the south. in other words, free trade- agreement particularly the map of the free trade agreement are
critically important to many of my state's leading industries such as agriculture and energy. as i said, bilateral trade with mexico supports 5 million jobs across the entire country and it led to a vibrant border from el paso out to west texas all the way to brownsville in the south. of course, like anything that's 20 plus years old there's room for it to be updated and improved. that is no different. i hope to moving forward the president will work with us to modernize nafta. as we consider this recent bill specifically more resources to enhance security along the border, i think we can all agree that our approach should be to h hold: we must devote resources not only to enhance border security but to fix our aging infrastructure at our ports of entry. parts of the bill does that.
it contains the most robust border security funding in nearly ten years. and it includes funding for infrastructure and grades technology across the border and improving screening at ourd airports too. i'm glad we found a way to fundf the government and to actually govern while doing more for our national defense and security particularly security along they border. let's not lose sight of the ultimate aim here. our country needs long-term attainable funding for our government. particularly for our national security so they can plan and prepare for years ahead. the stop start of short-term resolutions with the threat of a government shutdown did not rotate that sort of planning and preparation. that's why the appropriationse'e process was designed to work best and that's what i hope were
all working toward, restoration of the normal appropriation process.'t no more of the narratives about shutdowns, we weren't elected, in my view, certainly not given the majority here in the senate and in the house as well as the president in the white house to shut down the government. we were elected to govern. yes, governing is hard. it's hard by design. it's hard for anything to navigate the maze of the legislator and the legislative process and it's hard to get people to agree in the house and in the senate and to get the signatures by the president of the united states. but that is the way our founding fathers designed our constitutional system. i think most of our colleagues in this paper will agree that we want to provide more stability, not less. it's important for our economy. if we want to see our economy grow, i just heard from some folks who visited my office andm they said that the political instability of rules changing
from one initiation to the next with executive orders and the kh like is a deterrent to investment they don't know whether the business model that they are employing today will be viewed the same way tomorrow with the new administration. we need to provide more stability by getting back to the consensusbuilding process that is legislative. we need to do away with short-term resolution and funding that hurts us strategically. th i know my family and most folks i know take a look at their budget, they consider what they want to do with it, including the things they have to absolutely pay for and then from there to decide if they have any left for a vacation or if they want to say more or if they need to make an improvement in their home down the road. that's how we responsibly
prepare for tomorrow in our personal lives.'s learning is no different, in that sense. that's how we can do better by the generation coming after us in the senate by putting our country on a budget and sticking to it. this bill, while not perfect, is a step in that direction. spendn it complies with the budget caps of the budget control act of 2011 which discretionary spending roughly flat. that's an amazing, amazing a compliment in many ways. if you look at the rest of what congress is not appropriate, the so-called mandatory or entitlement spending, it's been going up five and a half percent the fact of the matter is untilo we have the courage to come to grips with all of the money the federal government spends so we can prioritize it and responsible ways, in a fiscally responsible way, we will never adequately fund our military.
will never edit billy fund ournd national priorities as long as congress and the white house is left with 70% of that spending untouchable because of the politics involved. i hope someday will have the courage to deal with that. mr. president, just a couple other thoughts before i close. i hear people from time to time talk about whether a government shutdown is one of those tactics or tools you might use in a negotiation to gain advantage. i happen to think that a government down is basically an application of our responsibility. particularly, if you're in the , majority. on what basis would you argue to voters, look, elect me and i'll shut down the government our voters, the people who elected
authorities in both of the houses, and the president, did not vote for us in order to shut down the government. they voted for us to govern. to govern as hard as it is. i said it's hard by design. people get frustrated. people don't get everything they want the first time they try to get it. that is, people give up which is what shutting down the government is. it's giving up.ngs i hear other people talk about things like the filibuster. one recognize that basically two types of things that we do here in the senate. one is we take up the nominatior of president nominees like we did judge gorsuch to the united states court. we did that for his cabinet in the like. there's two choices there, if yes or no. we decided together that all of
the president's cabinet nominees and all of the judges will get an up or down vote. we've eliminated the so-called filibuster with the 60 vote requirement with regard to nominations. you can't offer an amendment to a nomination, you can't save it in order to try to develop this. i think there's a good argument that we should never have headed down the road of a filibuster of nominees. we need to get a majority vote, if they do, bill be confirmed. legislation is fundamentally of different. we have 535 members of congress, all of us come from a different experience, different points of view. again, the founding fathers made it hard for us to build sufficient consensus in order to for us to govern this big
country of ours, some 320 million people. what they understood fundamentally is the only way that happens is when we are forced to govern by consensus. that is build sufficient votes in order to have stability and durability of the loss to the past. medicare, social security, those were controversial in their day but there was a bipartisan consensus that supported them and that's why they remain durable to this day. rec i've heard some people recently, actually since the election, actually as recently as today, say maybe we ought to do with the intent away with the 60 votr requirement which is like saying will do away with filibuster on get i think i know how members of the senate feel about that, by f and large, if i'm not mistaken. senator from maine, our friend senator collins, led an effort
to get 61 signatures from senators saying they didn't believe you should ever do away with the legislative filibuster. i agree with them. it's really important that in a country as big and diverse of ours that we be forced or strongly encouraged to build consensus before we pass laws that will govern this great and vast country of ours. that's why the closure requirement of the filibuster requirement is so important. it may be frustrating, it may take longer to get things done but once you get them done bipartisan consensus than they are durable and they will last even beyond the next president in the next administration. w but there is another reason why it's important to keep the filibuster requirement to w legislation. it's because when you're in the minority, as republicans have
been from time to time, the majority can't get 60 votes because there sufficient dissension in different points of view that deny 60 votes. then you can pass legislation because you can't cut off debates under the culture ruling . i have in my hand, mr. president , 15 examples of bills that are democratic friends when they were in the majority supported but failed to reach the 60 vote threshold because republicans were not convinced t and thus, it was not achieved and the bills were passed. i can think of tax increases, i can think of card check in the labor law environment, i can think of things like climate change which remains politically controversial, at least, not the
fact of climate change but rather what government should do respond to it. there are examples like that ane others that republicans even when we were in the majority were able to stop into force a more extended conversation, to force a greater effort in consensus building before we passed legislation that might have such a dramatic impact on our great country.ad mr. president, at the end of my remarks i would ask that this document be made part of the record. back without objection mr. president, we will continue to debate the patient's bill and we will pass it by thursday, i hope we will move on to our other business. the house of representatives is revisiting the healthcare billn that will once pass the house and will come to the senate and the senate will have an opportunity to weigh in on thatn and then the consensusbuilding will continue until we open ultimately get it to the president for his s