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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  June 8, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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with disabilities, including english language learners. and in the face of steadily rising college tuition we must maintain the maximum pell grant. so kids from low-income families can achieve the american dream and get a college education. madam president hundreds have attributed the g.o.p. loss in the special election in new york's 26th congressional district to voter anxiety and their -- voter anxiety because of the plan that the republicans have to end medicare. so a lot of the pundits have said well, this recent election in new york's 26th congressional district was a result of that. but public dissatisfaction with the republican budget goes way beyond medicare. americans see this budget as unbalanced and unfair. especially when it comes to education. the american people are asking,
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why do the republicans insist that trillions of dollars are available for new tax cuts, mainly for big businesses and the wealthy but supposedly we can't afford to sustain funding for public education? this is a classic case of eating your seed corn. it's an approach that does not remotely reflect the priorities of the american people. the republican budget, as i have said before is premised on the idea that america is poor and broke. our best days are behind us. we have no choice but to slash investment required in order to keep our middle class strong. i totally disagree. many americans are hurting because of the struggling economy. but the united states overall remains a tremendously wealthy and resourceful nation. quite frankly, madam president we are the richest nation on the face of the earth.
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even further, we are the richest nation in human history. we have the highest per capita income in america of any major nation. so one has to ask the question, if we're so rich, why are we so poor? the question is not the lack of money. it's not the lack of wealth. it's because the system is broken. we have a system malfunction in this country and we have to right that system. because we are an optimistic forward-looking people. we can do things. we can work together. and we can meet any challenge. but we expect the government to be on our side, not holding us back not dragging us down. not shorting our futures. not telling people who are low income or recent immigrants to this country or kids who don't
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have a good start in life that, sorry, we can't give you a world-class quality education. we can't afford to have the best teachers. we can't afford to have good schools for you. now, if you happen to be wealthy, and you live in a good, wealthy area that has high property taxes, and you have a good school and you have good teachers good 4. -- good for you. but if by happenstance of birth you are born to a family that doesn't have any money and maybe the parents never went to college, maybe as i said, they're new immigrants to this country, maybe they don't speak english that well, you're in a poor area, in an urban area or poor rural area, you've got low-quality schools low-quality teachers. chances are you never had any early learning available to you. so when you started kindergarten you were already
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way behind. those kids in that affluent school in high income areas. is that -- is that what we're about? is that what we're trying to say that -- that we're going to have this kind of almost like class warfare that if you're born wealthy and stuff you've got to made. if you're poor, forget about it when it comes to education. that's what the republican budget says. we're not going to have a quality public education for our kids. well as i said, this does not reflect the values of the american people. we want to make sure that our public education system is good for all children. that all have the best qualified teachers that they have good schools. good facilities, the latest technology. that they are challenged to do their best and that they know that if they do their best and they study hard and get good grades they'll be able to go to college and not have a mountain
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of debt hanging over their heads when they graduate. we have done great things as a society. things that we have to do together which we cannot do as individuals, like building an interstate highway system, a -- a rail system, mapping the human genome and again creating world-class universities. we've done this. we've done this as working together, as something that we can do together as government that we cannot do as individuals. through our government we come together to provide a ladder of opportunity to give every citizen a shot at the american dream, a ladder of opportunity that includes pell grants, g.i. bills, job training, early learning and yes world-class schools. madam president, i am convinced the great majority of americans
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share this positive vision. now, again, we are determined to bring deficits under control but we cannot eat our seed corn. we've got to make smart investments in education and we refuse to be dragged backward into a winner take all society where the privilege and the powerful sees an even greater share of the wealth even as our schools are crumbling our middle class is struggling and declining. for nearly half a century robust federal investments and quality public schools and access to higher education have been a critical pillar undergirding the american middle class. the american public would take a jackhammer to that pillar. this i believe it is a grave mistake. the middle class is the backbone of our nation, it's time our leaders showed the backbone to defend it.
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madam president i'd like to take this opportunity also to -- to strongly oppose the amendment offered by the senator from maine. if passed, the amendment would impose severe and unnecessary burdens on agencies charged with protecting the american people and would severely weaken our vital health and safety protections. my republican colleagues have tried hard to make the word regulation into a bad word. they've created an absurd are caricature, of the nameless bureaucrat arbitrarily imposing rand om names and rules on businesses and the only purpose is to make sure that the business fails. that's ridiculous. most americans understand this is grossly distorted. the truth is that the amendment offered by the senator from maine, senator snowe is not about the government working more efficiently a goal that we all share it's about using the sort of feel-good slogan of
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regulatory reform as a cover for an effort to paralyze the ability of the government tone force vital health and safety protections. really in effect, the snowe amendment really ought to be called the buyer beware amendment. go back to the days when the snake oil salesman could sell you anything and you took it at your own risk when we didn't have food drug laws and food safety laws and things like that protect people. it was a buyer's beware society. do we want to go back to that? i believe the american people want clean air and clean water and know they're not adult rated. the snowe amendment would weaken environmental protection. believe the american people want to make sure their children's toys are safe, that they're not loaded with mercury and other -- and other elements that will
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destroy their health. the snowe amendment would mean weaker protection of toys and other consumer products. i believe the american people want workers to come home safely at the end of the day. the snowe amendment would be more injuries and deaths in mines and other hazardous workplaces. i believe the people want the food they eat to be safe an untainted. the snowe amendment would mean that we could not enact a recent bipartisan food safety bill which we just passed last year. bipartisan. but when you pass a bill, obviously the food and drug administration is going to have to issue regulations. well the snowe amendment would severely restrict that and again, you'd be playing russian roulette with the food you eat. maybe it's safe, maybe it's not. buyer beware. i believe in the wake of the financial meltdown, 2008, which
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almost caused another great depression americans want oversight of bank and other financial institutions. the snowe amendment would mean that banks would be free to do the reckless predatory practice it's that nearly wrecked our economy. mr. president, there are already important checks on regulatory authority. the law already requires agencies to perform comprehensive assessments of the impact of regulations on business and local government. there's an extensive notice and comment period under the administrative procedures act where those impacted by potential rules including small businesses, are given an important say in regulation. agencies already engaged in regulatory flexibility analysis to ensure that their oversight does not needlessly overburden small businesses. in contrast, the aim of the snowe amendment is to impose
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additional hurdles to dramatically slow down the issuance of critically needed rules and in many cases stop the rule-making process all together. for example the snowe amendment would require an analysis of -- quote -- "indirect impact on small businesses." indirect impact. whatever that means. well, let me cite perhaps an example. instead of the mind safety -- mine safety health administration spending resources to protect miners, the amendment could require the agency to determine whether a new mine safety standard indirectly harms say a small paper company that supplies paper to the mine's corporate offices. this is a ridiculous waste of resources and time. so we don't even know what the indirect impact means. that could mean almost anything.
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likewise the amendment would permit businesses to sue to block a rule even before it's finalized. in other words businesses could seek to litigate a proposed rule. well, i often hear my republican colleagues speak against -- quote -- "activist judges" i can think of few mention more activist than for unelected judges to review a rule before the lengthy comment process to finalize a rule. it already takes year for agencies to promulgate health and safety rules. this amendment would exacerbate the problem and further clog up the court system. think about all the court cases that would be filed. just on a proposed rule. before it even goes to the comment period, before it's even finalized. moreover the bill requires an agency to review the impact of all -- all its current rules on
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small businesses to determine if a rule must be inside, rescinded or continued unchanged. in other words rather than addressing new problems and implementing new acts of congress an agency would need to spend all its times reviewing past-settled regulations some of which may have been in effect for the last 50 years. now, to its credit, the obama administration already is conducting a comprehensive rigorous review of all rules in order to see which ones should be repealed, modified or kept in place. we should let this careful review take place before implementing severe constraints on agency rule making. so mr. president the snowe amendment would make government less responsive. it seeks to cripple the government's ability to make sensible lifesaving regulations. again, it ought to be titled the
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buyer beware amendment. if you like living in that kind of society i suggest you go to some third-world country where you don't know what you eat or what you drink or the air you breathe or the water you consume is safe and healthy. if that's the kind of america you want, you should support the snowe amendment. but if you want an america where our kids are safe from -- from dangerous toys, where you know the food that you eat is going to be safe and the water you drink and the air you breathe where you know that there are safety rules in place so that you're not going to be unduly injured or harmed at the workplace, if you believe this is the kind of america that operates better and is more functionally productive than a buyer beware -- kind of society then i suggest you should oppose the snowe amendment. and, again i urge my colleagues to oppose the snowe amendment as ill-advised as again it's an
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amendment that -- that is a part of a bill that's never even gone to the committee hearing process. and if nothing else, it ought to go through committee have hearings and let's see if -- and let's see if it has any support at all out there before we bring it to the floor of the senate. so i urge my colleagues to defeat the snowe amendment. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president with all due respect i plan to be supporting the amendment that's been addressed by my good friend from iowa. you know, regulations and having come from the small business world, i'm fully aware of the cost of these things. and tomorrow i'll be introducing an amendment that is going to go -- address something different but rulely something with higher figures on it, and that is the
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cost of the e.p.a. regulations. this is something that is a little bit different than what my friend from iowa has been talking b when we stop and think about the regulatory things that are going on right now under the clean water act and the solid waste disposal act we're tbawg greenhouse gas -- talking about greenhouse gas regulations things that should be addressed by regulation, so they're trying to do it through regulation. utility mac ozone -- actually, the changing of the ozone standards, when they're not using, as the law requires, the newer, updated information. and particulate matter, coal ash and all the rest. i'm only saying that now because there's a cost to overregulation, and that's what i know that my friend, senator snowe, is trying to get at. i do have -- it is minding -- and correct me if i am wrong --
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that we are not trying to get recognized and move current amendments aside. is that correct now? yeah that's good enough. i won't try to do that. however, i do want to mention probably the most significant single amendment we're going to be having on this -- on the e.d.a. reauthorization bill would be the one to take down the maximum amount from the $500 million to $300 million. it's kind of interesting because this program in my state of oklahoma, has been really very successful. we've -- time and time again we've been able to do things, attract businesses and industry down in a little town called elgin, oklahoma, adjacent to the fort sill live range. we've been able to put together something that's going to attract about 150,000 square foot building and all of that with a very small initial grans.
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so it's worked we will. and i understand some of the critics incritics of this program. i have noticed that some of this jurisdiction is in the committee of which i am the ranking member the environment and public works committee, it is important to look at these things in these difficult time, i think it's important not to authorize more than we could anticipate would be very prudently appropriated. and since we've been authorizing $400 million in the past and the total amount has been -- what has -- it's something less than $300 million i'm going to have an amendment that will take down the existing limit on this, which is 500 million down to $3 00 million. that will be amendment number 430. it's already introduced. and interestingly enough, while i don't agree with with president obama on many things, he seems to agree on this, and i'm going to read a statement that he had. the administration supports the
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passage of s. 782. but down here it says, however the bill would authorize spending levels higher than those requested by the president's budget. and the administration believes that the need for a smart investment to help america win the future must be balanced with the need to control spending and reduce the deficit. and so the administration looks forward to working with congress in reducing the limits of this bill. so i'm going to make it easy for the administration and introduce this amendment number 430 and it is introduced right now. we're hoping to be able to at some point start setting aside and getting these amendments up for votes. that's one of the major reasons as one of the major sponsors of this bill, we have a lot of things that we need to be talking about on the floor. we've done nothing around here, nothing. we haven't done appropriations, haven't done anything except a hand ful of judges, noncontroversial nudges's judges. so -- and some controversial, i might add. but nonetheless, we should be talking about these things.
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there are a lot of things we want to get done and certainly this is one of them. the other amendment though, that is a little less understandable because it involves something that is i -- i throw in the category of not being believable. and that is we have a critter in oklahoma and it is around other parts of the country called a lesser prairie chicken. going all the way back to my days in the state legislature, a long time ago before a lot of you guys were born, people were concerned about the lesser prairie chicken and always trying to protect it and yet our farmers and ranchers had a problem with it because they burrow down and make holes and our cows and horses would break legs. that has nothing to do with what's happening today except they are talking about having that -- right now it is actually a candidate for an an endangered species. and the reason it is is because
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they are claiming that, of course the population is dwindling. well, it's not. the problem is we got too many of them. this is kind of interesting. the state, for those of you whose geography is not too good, immediately north of us is kansas. they have a hunting season for the prairie. you can go north across the border and they protect it. it is ludicrous that they do that. first of all federally mandated uses of alternative energies such as wind and all that, i think, is inappropriate. we have all the resources we need in fossil fuels around this country. we have the resources in terms of oil gas and coal. we have naff run this country for -- we have enough to run this country for 100 years without being dependent on the middle east. when you have these mandated percentages, that means you have to go into other forms of energy where the technology is not
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quite there. now, wind technology is there. it's -- although a lot has to happen before it's going to be in a competitive match and not have to be subsidized. nonetheless, oklahoma happens to be in the wind belt. if you go through oklahoma and you can see in northern texas all the way through oklahoma and southern kansas, tbher a wind belt. the problem that we're -- i have airplanes. my minute visa vice is to fly airplanes -- my mini vice is to fly airplanes. when i take people who have not been there, they are amazed at the number of windmills at any one place out there. you can see 200 or 300 that are out there. it represents a huge investment. a lost stakeholders are involved in it f they end up listing the lesser prairie chicken, that is going to all of a sudden put
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fish and wildlife in a position where they can stop this wind energy that is taking place right now. and the reason they can and it won't be their fault, they will they'll say if the habitat is threatened because there are towers and predators on these towers looking down, then they would have to stop that from taking place. they could conceivably have to take down millions of dollars' worth of investments there are a right nowvment so i have an amendment to this bill that is going to preclude them from being able to list it. i have had a visit with the caned who's been nominated to be the director of fish and wildlife dan ashe. and i had him along with secretary ken salazar, secretary of the interior, in my office. we talked at some length about some of these things. he has made a compliment to come out of oklahoma and see what a hardship this would be. so i think it would be an excellent idea to find some vehicle, and this vehicle seems to be the one that's being used
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right now to put such legislation on that would have precluded them from listing the lesser prairie chicken. the private investment in oklahoma wind power is one -- of course we're one of the top states. we're number 13 of all 50 states in terms of wind. it could be significantly curtailed. state senator bryce march let marlet noticed the investment. we want to protect oklahoma gas and electric, recently announcing the construction of a pie-power line from oklahoma city to woodward. then eventually going into gymon all the way through what used to be called no man's land in the panhandle of oklahoma. these would be multimultimillion-dollar investments. it could be severely challenged by the listing of the lesser
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prairie chicken. so i will be offering that amendment. i already introduced the amendment and would look forward to explaining that further as time comes. in the meanwhile tomorrow i do want to get into the cost of the resmtion it is one that if we're reallyreally sincere of doing something to promote business and industry, the first thing we need to do is get the bureaucrats off the backs of the businesses that are planning to expand. we will be addressing that tomorrow. with that, mr. president i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. a senator: america is full of amazing americans and at the thai top of this lace is frankry muse freeman. she has been selected to receive the extraordinary honor called
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the spring arm medal the naacp's highest national honor. ms. mccaskill: each year the naacp selects only one person in this country to receive the prestigious spingarn medal in recognition of particularly outstanding achievement. we in missouri are so proud of ms. freeman for her many accomplishments, including receiving this most distinguished award. while i am honored to come to the floor and congratulate frankie freeman i regret that i will not be able to be in st. louis at the st. louis city and county freedom and fund dinner and celebrate in great woman and her many admirers and supporters from the st. louis area. frankie freeman is an amazing story. she is 94 years old and still has the passion to serve her community. at age 16, ms. freeman enrolled in her mother's alma mater
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hampton institute. in 1947, before the presiding officer or i were ever born, she earned a law degree from howard university law school. during that time period, as one might imagine there really weren't law firms that hired either women or african-americans, much less an african-american woman. so what did frankie freeman do? she decided to open her own law firm. she began her practice with divorce and criminal cases, and with a huge dose of pro bono cases. after two years she became legal counsel to the naacp legal team that filed suit against the st. louis board of education in 1949. in 1954, freeman was the lead attorney for the landmark case davis v. st. louis housing authority, which ended legal
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racial discrimination in public housing in st. louis. in the almost 60 years since that decision, ms. freeman hasslesly fought for civil rights at home in st. louis and across the nation. she has endured abuse and discrimination but through it all she worked with intellect and dignity while employing one of her very best weapons: a warm and friendly personality and a very quick smile. in 1964, president lyndon johnson appointed her to serve as the first woman on the united states commission on civil rights. she continued to serve on the commission under presidents nixon, ford, and carter, recognizing that there was still much work -- much more work to do to end discrimination, ms. freeman joined with others to help form a bipartisan citizens commission on civil rights. frankie freeman's work hearnsed
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her many awards. she holds honorairery degrees from many universities, including hampton the university of missouri, washington university, and howard university. and she has been inducted into the national bar association's hall of faivment despite this long history of accomplishments frankie freeman still knows what's important: serving the community she loves. and at 94, she remains active in her local community by volunteering at her church and throughout her career she has served on local boards, including the national urban league of metropolitan st. louis and the united way of greater st. louis. along the way she's also had an opportunity to write a book about her life which i highly recommend to anyone for an inspiring story a uniquely american story of a woman who had a vision at a time when women that looked like her weren't supposed to have a vision.
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ms. freeman will become the 96th recipient of the spingarn medal this july when she is honored during the naacp national convention in los angeles. passed spingarn medalists include maya angelou and dr. martin luther king jr. this impressive list of exceptional americans gives you a sense of the caliber of the person attorney freeman really is. there is no doubt that attorney frankie freeman is deserving of this distinction. i am so proud of her for being honored with this recognition of her life long dedication to justice and civil rights. she is such an inspiration to me and she has been an inspiration to thousands of young people during her life and to so many americans, regardless of race, an inspiration for what she stands for and what she has
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accomplished in her lifetime. i am so grateful to call her my friend and i thank her for all that she has done for the people of st. louis the people of missouri and the people of this great nation. congratulations and thank you frankie freeman. mr. president, if i could also briefly spend a few moments to just talk about the economic development administration. there's lots of times that we debate legislation on this floor, and we do it in almost an academic way. and we think of the proposals in the abstract. unfortunately, there are many times that we don't think about the real consequences of legislation. this year, at this time this legislation feels very consequential to me. it feels very consequential because of what my state has gone through. the economic development administration plays a
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substantial role in making federal resources available to assist communities affected by disasters to rebuild and recover. as my colleagues in this chamber are well aware the first half of this year has been devastating to my state. since the start of the year, 28 states have suffered at least one federally declared major disaster. missouri has been particularly hard hit starting with severe storms on new year's eve, we've also had severe flooding on the mississippi river multiple tornadoes, including one that struck and caused severe damage in st. louis, and obviously the historic tornado that has in fact done such damage to the community of joplin. we are also expecting additional extensive flooding along the missouri river in northwest missouri and many families there are stealing for the worst as we wait for the waters to arrive. when disaster strikes the
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federal government steps in, as it should, to support the efforts of state and local governments, not for profits and the faith community to help communities recover and rebuild. in missouri, e.d.a. works with all 19 regional planning commissions in my state in a collaborative role to help carry out projects deemed important by local officials particularly in the event of a natural disaster. the economic development administration's explicit mission includes the assistance of regions experiencing sudden and severe economic dislocations, such as those resulting from natural disasters. i just visited with people from a radio station in joplin. this radio station broadcasts -- the man i visited with, he was on the air for 33 straight hours. this radio station turned out to be one of the few methods of communication that everyone could rely on in the immediate hours after the tragedy struck. and 8 of the 28 employees that work at that radio station had
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all lost their homes including the man that was on the air for 23 straight hours. there has been severe dislocation that has occurred in joplin missouri. 2,000 homes wiped away clean gone. another 6,000 structures, including homes and businesses, severely damaged and uninhabitable. there are thousands and thousands and thousands of people in joplin, missouri, that woke up that monday morning -- in fact, hadn't been to sleep the night before because they were busy huddling in rubble or camped out at a relative's home that had no place to go. in the past few years alone e.d.a. has provided similar assistance in kansas, oklahoma, arkansas nebraska, north dakota after disasters hit communities in those states. e.d.a. has already stepped up in
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joplin and established a $3 million revolving fund to assist small businesses in the area so that people are not -- have a place they can go back to in terms of their work after this kind of disaster. we have a long history in this country of rolling up our sleeves and working together in difficult times and the federal government has always been there providing financial support. the economic development administration is part of this support. it is my hope they will continue to provide this invaluable service. that is why this legislation is more important than words on a page. it can make a difference between someone being able to stay in the community someone being able to go back to work, someone being able to put the pieces back together after a tragic loss. i hope that my colleagues take this seriously and move quickly and promptly to support this legislation. and i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent for the quorum call to be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: i thank you mr. president, and i'm here to talk about the legislation that's before us, has been before the senate today and likely to be before the senate tomorrow on economic development, but specifically to talk about in the interests of promoting economic development and job creation a couple of amendments that i plan to offer to help give american employers some relief from regulatory mandates that are stifling economic growth and job creation. i hear it all the time in ohio, and i'm sure my colleagues hear it in their states, which is employers saying that we'd like to expand and begin hiring again, but one of the concerns is that there is a regulation that affects us. almost every business i meet with in ohio -- and i was in
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ohio last week meeting with businesses in the area of energy both companies that produce energy and companies that use a lot of energy, including chemical companies and steel companies in ohio. all of them have stories about some of the regulatory burdens that are making it more difficult to get jobs back and to get our economy back on track. by all accounts, the regulatory burden on employers is growing. a recent study by the -- estimates that the annual toll of federal regulations on the american economy has reached reached $1.75 trillion. by the way $1.75 trillion is more than the i.r.s. collects in federal income taxes. with the unemployment rate now at 9.1% and the unfortunate news we heard last month for job numbers should be a wakeup call to us to focus on economic development. and specifically how do we get
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businesses to nor in terms of hiring and spend less on red tape less on bureaucracy and reduce the regulatory burden in smart ways. the current administration has said some of the right things, but actually moved in the wrong direction. we've seen a sharp increase in the last couple of years in what are deemed to be major economically significant rules. that's defined as regulations that impose a cost on the economy of$100 million or more. according to the administration's office of management and budget, the current administration has been regulating at a pace of 84 rules per year. which by way of comparison is about a 50% increase over the regulatory output during the clinton administration which had 56 rules per year and an increase from the bush administration as well. we've seen more regulations and more significant regulations. i was encouraged to hear president obama's words when he talked about the executive order in january which is entitled
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improving regulation and regulatory review, but now we need to see action. we need to see it from individual agencies to be able to reduce this drag on the economy. one commonsense step that we can take is to strengthen what's called the unfunded mandates relief act. it was passed in 1995. it was bipartisan and i was a cosponsor in the house of representatives. it's an effort to require the federal regulators to evaluate the cost of rules to look at the benefits and the costs and to look at less costly alternatives on rules. the two amendments i'd like to offer over the next few days as we consider the legislation before us would improve this unfunded mandates reform act and reform it in ways that's entirely with the ways that president obama has laid out with his january executive order. the first amendment would
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require agents sis specifically to assess the potential effect of new regulations on job creation so focusing in on jobs and to consider market-based and nongovernmental alternatives to regulation. this would broaden the scope of the unfunded manage relief act to require cost benefit analysis that impose direct or indirect costs of $100 million a year or more. this is for major rules of of $100 million or more. a require agents sis to adopt the less regulatory option that achieves the goals set out by the united states congress. it seems to me it's a commonsense amendment. i hope we'll get bipartisan support for. it the second amendment would extend the unfunded mandate relief act to so-called independent agencies which today are actually exempt from the os benefit rules that govern all other agencies. in 1995 we had this debate and determine that we would not extend the legislation to independent agencies in interim
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times independent agencies have been providing more and more rules and having a bigger and bigger impact. an example of an independent agency would be the s.e.c., the security and exchange commission, or the sftc, which is the commodity futures trading commission. these are entities although independent in the executive branch are very much involved in putting out major rules and regulations. it's it sometimes called the headless fourth branch of government because their rules are not reviewed for cost benefit analysis even by the o.m.b. the office of management budget and its office of budget and regulatory affairs. we looked at some of the g.a.o. data and it appears there were 200 regulations issued between 1996 until today that would be deemed to have an impact of of $100 million, but we're at
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mawticly excluded from the unfunded act. so it's basically closing a loophole and closing this independent agency loophole is sensible reform. it's been endorsed by many people including interestingly the current administrator the president's regulatory czar, cast sunstein who talked about the fact that this was an area where umra ought to be extended there are so man agencies that impact job creation in this country. no regulation, whatever source, should be imposed upon american employers or state and local governments without serious considering consideration of the cost benefits and the availablity of a least burdensome alternative. mr. president, both of these amendments would move us further toward that sensible goal and i would hope that the leadership would allow these amendments to be authored. i believe they fit well with the underlying legislation. if they are offered i would
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encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support them. thank you mr. president. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the pres
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mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: and the members be allowed to speak in morning business for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to senate resolution 205 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 205, designating the period beginning on june 19, 2011, and ending on june 25, 2011, as poly seus tim kidney awareness -- poly cystic kidney awareness week. mr. durbin: 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 and these statements be place in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to resolution 206 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 206 designating june 20, 2011, as american eagle day and so
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forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on thursday, june 9 that following the prayer and pledge the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour deemed expired the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day that following any leader remarks the senate proceed to a period of morning business for one 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 republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final half, and that following morning business the senate resume consideration of s. 782, the economic development act. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president there are several amendments pending to the e.d.a. bill on the floor. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled.
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mr. president, if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
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congressional quarterly, how did the senate to vote on a proposed to delete on the debit card user fees? >> so the senate today rejected an eye amendment sponsored by jon tester democrat of montana and bald corker, tennessee republican 54-45 and they needed 60 votes to be adopted. >> can you explain what are the fees? >> sure. every time a customer buys something at a shop with a debit card, some goes toward the bank. merchants say that banks have been taking an outsized cut. the banks say no we need that for consumer protection and fraud and what not. so, that is what the debate was over. last year as part of the financial regulatory overhaul,
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the dodd-frank law the senate agreed to a durbin amendment to limit the fees that banks can charge retailers. so this was an attempt to kind of roll back the amendment. >> so what does that mean that attempt to roll back the amendment for the supporters of the amendment of tester and corker? >> they were trying to find a compromise to get 60 votes. initially when the interest this legislation they said let's delay these new limits on fees for two years. it then as they try to cobble together support they changed it to a 15 month delay and the amendment voted on today would have delayed the fees for one year. >> will there be another way for them to get this issue through? >> this was really their best chance. i spoke to senator corker after the vote and he said you know i think this is water under the bridge now, this is the best chance. the people have spoken and it's tough to get anything through the senate tough to schedule a
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vote, tough to find a bill that might get through and this was kind of probably their best chance. >> you mentioned senator durbin who was the original author of the language, the new restrictions. what were his arguments against the amendment? >> well, he said that the banks were trying to in a sense delay meaning killed. he was saying if you believe in regulating this interchange market it's called then we need to defeat this amendment. senators tester and corker said no this won't kill it but there was a disagreement there. >> how much of a lobbying effort occurred on this issue and why was that? >> this was a huge lobbying battle between the financial services industry and the merchants. and that's because a lot of money is at stake. roughly $16 billion a year i think an interchange fees, and so the banks are set to lose a lot of money and the merchants
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to gain. the merchants say they will pass on some of that money to the consumers, but the banks say we don't believe it. >> what is the next step for this issue? >> july 21st the federal reserve six expected to issue a final rule limiting of the fees. the proposal last december would have cut the fees at 12 cents per swipe. that's down from an average of 44 cents. so it seems like the fed is likely to issue a final rule next month, july 21st, and we will see how much they give to the bank. >> ben weyl of congressional quarterly, appreciate your time. >> thanks so much. >> now here's part of the debate on the tester amendment to delay the debit card swipe fees. members continue to debate the measure right up to the vote with four speeches from senators tester durbin, carper and corker. the measure failed 54-45
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meaning 60 ayes to pass. max. this is 45 minutes. for >> mr. president, i want to take a moment here to clarify for my colleague is the intent of this it amendment, to further clarify. not surprisingly, and number of groups have made a number of claims about what this amendment is and what it is not. requir drafting in the regulations required by -- in the drafting any regulations required by this are r amendment, any agencies involved only are required to a not only abide but by the letter of the law but of also the congressional intent of its authors. so let me take a minute to try c to make it crystal clear whatdment exactly the intent of thise amendment is. the first of all but me address some of the claims made about theon implementation of the did it interchange regulations. myment w my amendment would direct the fed to implement these provisions on the date of theirs langu determination.this why would this language include this way? the language is to provide thent t
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fed with the discretion to implement the regulations as f quickly as practically possibleworks for merchants, issuers and networks to prepare for such new to regulations to read the hope forhe suation t the language be to avoid the situation that we are in right these now.illely reporters impacted by these changes would likely have less si than a monthgn to implement the significant changes to the debit interchange system. to be clear, the fed may not disregard the implementation of the dead that regulations as some have articulated. arbitrari they also may not arbitrarily decide to implement these rulesany five years from now. be any delay in implementation beyond a reasonable time line of a few months would need to be justified by the fed.ut the let me take a minute to address concerns raised about theo language we have used tonsiderationshe fed describe what considerations the federal reserve must make with a determination made in this amendment and federal reserve is rules. directed to rewrite devotee
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interchange rules. the federal reserve shall nsider consider and again shall in cr consider all fixed and and incremental costs in determining pr what is reasonable and proportional interchange fees'. fed again, let me say this again calcute the fed shall consider not con include or calculate, but shall inementa consider all fixed and important incremental costs. f it's important because consider conder provides the fed with the discretion to consider ands reasoble determine using their judgment what is reasonable. co meaning that any cost considered would need to be justified to the ri to further clarify the language rex the fed to consider all income and costs associated with d eb a debit card transactions andm o programpe operations. for a more innovative and efficient and secure data card network.ed why did we include alll
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fixed-income entel costs? the that's because the originalral statute limited the cost that co thens federal reserve could consider to the costs associated with the authorization or settlement of a particular electronic debit transaction. the this language severely limitshe the cost to the issuer's the fed and may consider in a calculating tes and reasonable and proportionaly t rates and is in large measure by's the federal reserve proposed rules currently are at 12 cents.mber of there are a number of fixedith costs associated with debt them transactions, chief among them f als fraudulent costs, which are also arbiter of the limited in the th original statute. the fraud language states thatay -- not the federal reserve may, notud most, but may allow for fraud adjustment for costs associated with fraudn. prevention. the federal reserve draft i proposal did notnc include any fraud adjustment and we had no w idea what an adjustment might look like or whether the final
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call rule would include one, but if it did it could only include an adjustment related to fraudadjustme prevention not the actual cost for the losses associated withiated wi fraud. fraud so, take for example the recent bre data breached by michael breachreach, by the way that was the fault ofler who the retailer who had their debt. what compromised. w what was the cost to the issue of the cards which were sigficant compromised? they were first of all it was a community bank in illinois who have defrauded moderate program that tir identify the threat and alerted the retailer the kiosk had been these compromised. ers of then there's the cost of these issuers making their customersustain whole agained for the loss theyirank sustained by criminals from the bank accounts. 500 box at a time.foot the additionally they had to put the cost associated between thents for cards opening their accounts forbut non customers with compromised accounts. but none of those costs i ss
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associated with fraud and loss assumed by the issuer could bender t calculated in the fraud adjustment under the current statute. lan that's why we included language all directed at the federal reserve to consider all fixed and incremental costs associated t with the bit card transactions and program operations to capture those costs. monitorin fraud and losses and monitoring programs are not associated with individual transactions. nor is the creation or the reassurance of the physicald cards. accountho maintenance orhat cardholder surfacing. do let me also say that what we do not believe is included in any reasonable and proportional cost pgram associated with program o operations. as a result of the conversations and consultations with the fed not we do not believe that the rewards programs either would ors per should be considered asable permissible costs. nor would it be or should any executive compensation, nor
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should the cost of maintaining machin atm machines, and why did wenclude the include the language allowing rese the federal reserve and setting and p reasonable and proportional rates to allow incentives for a more innovative, efficient ande payment secure payment card network? in we added in the house and reservbout what conversations with the federalcost s reserve about what source of cost would be included in a indic reasonable and proportional cost abili the indicated right now they do not have the ability touers incentivize savings to make the process and more efficient oridea t sen secure. cor seem like a pretty goodker idea tohoul d senator corker. we should give the federal issue reserve this kind of discretion and the issuer should bever incentivize to lower the cost below what it for the federal reserve determines to beise, theee reasonable.ikely otherwise, the fee wo uld likelyears t stay the sam ce for years to come because there would be no incentive to lower-cost. in addition to the flexibility to s provided the federal reserve to t sethe the rates, the amendment di also intscends to provideitional discretion to the federal factor reserve to include additional factors. impact such as the overall impact of
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regulating interchange fees on small businesses and the economy as well as discretion in the w agency that the federal reserve may consoles when drafting the th study.ust in addition it is intended the findings must be made public and fro that the federal reserve is not required to start from square able one. the intent is for the federal reserve to be a will to build gathere already upon the information insight current they have gathered already and are a part of the current record.'t finally, this amendment doesn'te's abi to undermine or inhibit the federaling reserve ability to implement the routing and network expressivity in provisions in the underlyingte. statute and infected as quite the opposite. la weng sought to prefer deily tonallynclu preserve these language and provisions as they wereast cou originally included in the statute in the last couple of days senators suggested additional changes that would improve the consumer relateddy prod aspects of the study proposed by i very my amendment. i very much appreciate the concerns and their interest onoint this critically important point. and the ch anges that they have suggested are certainly once myself and other co-sponsors are
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open to. filled a unfortunately, a second-degree am amendment essentially closes that to make additional changes with the amendment once it was amen filed. i am more than willing to work with my colleagues to find ways to continue to improve this to amendment and ensure consumerss small businesses and small banks and credi andt credit unions get a fair deal as we move to thelated int interchangeerch marketplace for. tha the same idea that theody regulations and members of this bodyhe supported last year but the c difference between my amendment and the current law is that we set will ensure the federal regulations do not set the price below the cost of doing fed business. the current lawng prevented the fed from looking at any number of elements in the cost of be interchange. some costs were allowed to be others. included but not others, some technology costs were included but not others. mad why?hose because the senate made those rule
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arbitrary decisions. the result is sa proposed federal did it interchange rate of seven or 12 cents for all transactions where most folks agree is too low. let's allow the fed to find the actual correct number. i can tell you 3 million to it won't produce a bushel of wheat it i won't matter if i sellt it for $2 or 1 dollar or 50 cents. i will still go out of business doin because it's below my cost of doing business. hpen and that is precisely what will happen to our smaller banks and m presi de credit unions. with that mr. president, i yield the floor. e presid in >> the clerk will call the roll.? the pr >> mr. president? illois is >> senator is be >> without objection. s >> mr. president i have high regard from the center ofna.
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he montana and we will come out with a couple in about 40couple o minutes. b but i dout disagree with him on to make this. i would like to make it clear on from the start, the law on the books today specifically exempts community banks and credit unions specifically those less valued at $10 billion or less. that means 100 banks out of 7,000 in america are affected by this new small and three credit unions and all of america. haveome her now, the banks and credit unions have come here and said not enough protection because we from can't be sure you will protectcompanoming us from the critical companies ing coming back on us and hurting mor us.essaryut okay? we can write in more protection w if necessary.e'g but to argue that we are tryingom to save mom and pop banks from the credit card giants who have mess. created this price-fixing messn
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if a you are an autograph seeker and happen to want to meet ceo's yo of major corporations, you have walk hit it rich today. senat get over there and walk the meet the halls of the senate office buildings and you will need the ceos of the biggest companieswhy and banks inar america. why are they here today?why is thi because of this 2:00 vote. iortant why is this 2:00 vote important to the three biggest banks inf america, chase, bank of america and wells fargo because right the now what is at stake with the tester corker amendment is col $8 billion, $8 billion of feesse s they want to collect from consumers and businesses all across america. t 8 billion. now when we get in the business days? of t.a.r.p. -- remember those had to days -- when the bank's best of the economy so badly we had to come to the rescue of taxpayers' money and the average familyere across america watches the taxesthe they were paying this governmentanks going to the biggest banks on
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wall street welcomed that was about $800 billion. pr of the three big banks here that t profit the most from this bath at amendment, the three biggest most, banks that profit the most chase, bank of america and wellst tarp fargo each were the bail beneficiaries of the t.a.r.p. bailout money. chase $20,000 to chase. $45 billion to bank of america far. and $25 billion to wells fargo. we n they did quite well. we all the only rescued them,do you kw wha they sent us a card. you know what it was, it was a notice that they were giving their chief executive bonuses and out of the tax money. well, the question is not whether we are going to do another t.a.r.p. today, whether we are going to do a baby but t.a.r.p. the $8 billion for the out banks this time but i thirank it's an outrage.s it's an outrage to make consumers across america pay this fee they paid every time they use their debit cards.ll
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and if theec merchants of retailers who collected have noi wish some of voice in this process. i wish some of the people who come to a this floor and should bas and c re copious tears over communityalre banks and credit unions aresh theyould already protected in this law i wish they would shed a few tears for the people who run the shops and businesses across america. the restaurants, hotels, these by t are the people being hit by these that card fees everymall busi single day. where is the sympathy for the small business on this floor? all over illinois and all over america.key if we really believe the key to the economic recovery is the street to the small businessca creating and expanding jobs don't across america why don't we stand up for them?his you can't vote at 2:00 for thisusines amendment and say that you are for the small business. small business is lined ups across america saying for once give us a break. ca compani against these credit card companies and the big banks onng to
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wall street, give us a are weaid going to do it? afraid notam if we pass this amendment. m i look at ysthis amendment, and i banks thinkwr to myself why do the banks so that write this the way they did? the wrote it so that they could cost include i more cost into their charge calculation of the fees theyion charge on an interchange transaction with a debit cards. i will tell you this based onased on the language there was just read to us they will easily justifychargi a 44 parker currently chargingrom and they respect my colleagues from montana to include certain he things i wish he had beenguage specific. i thinks the language of this amendment is broad and wide enough to drive a truck through.he the banks are going to come out d quite well at the end of the alwa day, but don't they always? when it's all said and done our the usually the winners around her
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here? today is a chance to turn the table, to make the winners smallconsums acro ss businesses and consumers across group america. the that's why consumer groupss it support keeping all as it, they that's why when the banks wrotet this they said the four agencies that would decide what if he was going to be will be for bank seing, regulators searching searching re for any referencefe to consumers small businesses banks couldn't include thohossee people, could include those people in their say calculations. so to say that we are for the for little guy and that's why we need to work on the cement that is to ignore the amendment'stten. wording as it is written. a if you areme for the small vote and business people in america there is only one vote and it is no. of the federal reserve issued this rule. don't let the banks stopped them they wt to in their tracks and that is exactly what they want to doe nds to let them issue this rule.
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if more needs to be done on board. but the notion that we can't even trust the federal reserve to come up with a rule on this that may protect small businessus and consumers across america isair, on a fair. it's wrong and we ought to know . better. i reserve the balance of my time >> the senator from montana is recognized. >> i want to add fonts' to thelino senator from illinois, senator durbin and i are friends. we may not sound like it today but we are. we just happen to disagree on this particular piece of policy. there's one premise that i think mr. president is being taken as given a a given that isn't a given at all. w it was the durbin amendment that said we are going to exemptof $10 bon banks of $10 billion unless the of credit to unions so we are going to do g that. ved f the new the small banks couldn't distribute their cost so they he don't have and do harmful effects on the small creditsmall
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unions and community banks.theacts the facts are different since in the last year and they haven't by been borne s out by stuff that i have made up. c it comes from the regulators themselves and i have said many times on this floor that everyr i have regulator that i have talked to state or federal have said the exemption for small banks and credit unions will work. we it won't work. we tht we voted on something a year agok. we thought we had and it doesn't work. let me read you the quotes. fed chairman ben bernanke, still not sure the market forces that would work against this exception set may 12 of this year. bernanke another quote by chairman bernanke.reve it's going to affect the revenue of the small issuers and could t result in some of the smalleritable or banks being less profitable or once even failing. a once again in the banking.
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>> by the fdic chairwoman sheila bair i do not think -- i do to think this is going to reduce the revenue. "i let me sa dy it again.oing i do think this is going to o reduce the revenue in a number have of smaller banks, and they will have to pass it on to the higher customers in terms of higher fees. m what does that mean? a the loan, fees', all that stuff stuff. money doesn't grow out of the't air. if you don't have it and are doing business on the cost of make doing business you have to make it up somewhere. another quote from ben bernanke and it's about the two-tier system that is not likely to maintainma to protect smaller institutions institutions. o a number of networks, quote ont quote, a number of networks expressed theisr interest and willingness to maintain a tiered interchange the system that of course it's n not required. r chairwoman sheila bair again if view the federal reserve view is if t there's no legal review toome require that it does become more t problematic. g
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the two-tier system isn't goingatoraid it to work every regulators it is imp not going to work. the impacts will be small, the the wall street boys, they are fine. we agree on that.we agr on but the community banks and to credit unions are going to have twe're incredible impact.o the small businesses, we are trying to help get us out of this recession that we are in. this is not a bailout. this will ensure regulated did c it change in her system and i ichange don't believe in bailouts. i don't believe in the t.a.r.p.gainst t bailout, i voted against thegainst auto dealers bailout, i don'tstry bailo. believe in the bailout. i wouldn't be supporting this if this is a bailout.anks wall street banks are going to do just fine. jus they will be fine regardless what happens but the fact is if the the exemption for banks undernot $10 billion will not work that's why i'm here. it is as simple as that.ow i want to close for now with a by
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statement made by the franc in dodd-frank to this bill is named barney frank, who worked withthe hous and chris dodd, to craft this bill in house and the senate, here's what barney frank says. is today the eighth by the way? 8 he said it today. the eighth of june. and i quote speaking of the tester corker crapo bennett amendment, this amendment, i quote, this is a good balanced compromise approach. i support this and i hope will the pass. the author of this bill from the po house thinks this is a goododd-fran policy change to make dodd-frank better. and i yield the floor mr. president.elaware i >> the senator from delaware is mr. preside nt recognized.od t >> it's good to be with you morni
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again. spent most of the morning withthis you and part of the afternoon. is this-- is really a difficult issue for a number of us in the senate si because dewe have friends on both sides of this issue, and it'sf also a difficult issue for a lot b of people because we don't want to be unmindful of the concernsely raised legitimately by the merchants for a number of years about the dead it charges we had and to pay and we don't w want to be unmindful of the concerns raised by credit unions.redit one of my colleague said i don't want to vote on this again, i on had a vote on it once i don't want to vote on it again.want toave he said i certainly don't want to have to vote on it twice.e ide another colleague said to me i thcan d don't like the idea of kicking a can of the road having a 24he month pause and maybe the new congress administration that's not what i'm interested in doing. one colleague said why do we fixleague thiss problem?
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rather than kick the can come through for 24 months we don't we just say let's fix thisut problem? as it turned out for colleagues who voted with a center from voteith illinois, the author of the th amendment and the bill first actlly sat started they sat down twowo democrats and republicans andir sta their staff aboutff legislation de an were kucinich chichester and corker hesla that's who wrote to input fro the bill. get that's really the way this ought to work. the nuggets and republicans workthat's t together on legislation and seek input from not just banks and not st credit unions but consumers as life at i think back i spent a lot of the years and the navy and certainly governor in the senate with my colleagues i know a number ofs in
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m times y in my life i have done things i was sure was the right ha thing to do but had an unintended consequence. was i was sure i was doing the rightonsequence thing but it turned out there were consequences i didn'te. what i ha anticipate and i had to do is gopart ofhe back and help to be part of the solution addressing those unintended consequences. senator durbin put his finger on a big problem and the problem he put his finger on more than a year ago but a number of years ago was we have a situation withcards wer visa debit cardse where merchantsving have a lot of options and end up paying large fees to banks, sometimes big banks and ally don sometimes small banks than theye. don't have much choice. they don't like that. and they would like to see us do it. something about it so what senator durbin proposes is a way dea to deal withl that. try t he intended in his legislation to try to help consumers, to also help merchants but he also tried to protect small banks those in
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under i think $10 billion to protect credit unions and their see if we numbers. let me see if we have a quote allf here. banks the of different regulators, i don't have quotes from all ofere is them but here's a quote senator with tester shared i think at least bernankhe in bernanke as the chairman of theer federal reserve when he was talking about the unintended consequences and sheila bair says she's more concerned that these institutions may not actually receive, and she'sive" talking about institutions tal banks, community banks, creditbhl unions as well we are concernedaassets these institutions may not receive the benefit of the interchange fee limit exemptions explicitly provided by congress resulting in of income for the banks and ultimately hiding can communi cost for the consumers. that's what she said. i think some testimony before the house. john walsh was the interim control of the currency couragee to lead to the national banks
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says we believe the proposal takes an unnecessary narrow approach to the recovery of how cost. there will be an allowable under the law and that are recognized as a part of conducting a debit card card business.ness. th thisis is long-term safety and soundness consequences for the banks of all sizes. the thing we have got a problem here and they are talking to be the lack of for the financial th ei institutions. about they tried to think about it some times when we have abusesm. to clean up and how do we go about doing this? goi and we have come it comes down to big abuses and credit cards abuse and it was pretty much impossible for most people to get a credit card application in ge their t mailbox. we will get that credit card application may be got six of them the same week and decide which of the four or five or six are in the best interest to allow in this amendment.- credit
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we have banks, credit card banks taking advantage of people in ways that are unethical, and mmittee what we did in th we banking jus committee we had not just of he hearing, we had extensive hearings for months the samethey did the thing in s the house, and we had the gao, government accountability office with the study of the credit card industry to try to decide what changes were needed and my colleagues know and came back and said these are thehese recarommendations and out of all of those hearings a lot of senate - ideas, too. we passed legislation in thee banking senate and house the banking industry didn't like it much andd about they complained about confe re we went to the conference in the house and senate, worked out astry didt like compromise, the banking industry didn't like it much and the were industry, the regulators were required of the bank's required to help implement the to legislation and the had the right rick regulations that were true and consistent with the
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underlying law and they did. and the banks didn't like it veryer much.m but there were promulgated some a of them immediately in a period months but of several months but eventually got the job done. i ink con consumers are better off. t it hasn't been helpful to the car industry.ds we know that personally butly? ye consumers treated? yes they are and part of thee problem that happened here in involving the budget hearings involving lost fks a the gao for a lot of folks with different views on this and then acting in the is i think what's different in this t case is i don't believe the banking committee and other committees in the last awarehat the department, i'm not aware of the banking committee or others in the house and the senate actually had the opportunity to b hold hearings and bring people in on the the last congress and amendm say this is what is good about i the amendmentll proposed by is different from illinois and thisi t th is what is next. didn't havehe the gao can have the opportunity to come in and say we never invited them to come in on theas we
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credit card.therefor their their voices were not available to us and that is unfortunate.. that's unfortunate. was the legislation was passed withe've the best of intentions. pro he said we have a problem herehere is we ought to fix it. s here's my suggestion. we shou r he said we should regulate the markets, we should regulate the c market place for debit cards. and the free market said no, noo. we ought to find market solutions. something i generally agree a with. in this case he came up with an alternative and said let's see if there w is another way to do unrtunat this.e unfortunately we have these c unintendedon consequences. the question is what do we do them? about it? we have a situation where i'm by not sure consumers are going to be affected by the current law as it reads. we have to concern the big bankstheg t ak can take care of themselves, a lot of the smaller banks and
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folks from the community banks bee and smaller banks are beating on door my door and others are the folks from credit unions. they are less able to look out for themselves. and that is just like thety the intent, this explicit effort by that the amendment to try to make sure that a we provide the exception. the regulation says sari esn't doesn't work, doesn't work. so, that suggests to me that we not hit the pause button not for two as much years or a least for as much as six months and say to theregulato regulators okay do now what we or tw should have done a year or twoh ago, complete an in-depth studyrn s look at the concerns of theook at the merchants and the consumers, loo look at the concerns of big banks banks small banks and credit unions and come back to us with what you think would be a fair t approach. you can do it in less time let's do that.say, look, come back to us and say look the legislation as written in
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the current law is for consumersand is f and fine for institutions and is fair to the merchants. they will come back and say this, basically the different language and the la w prevails.t's it that's it. the regulators have spoken. we are done. say now we can come back and say we have ahe problem here.tfits, the these outfits, the regulators have i think it is up to six months to take out theix regulations that can then bemo implemented after the six months. to fix the problem. some will say how do we know that they will do things for consumers? aing fair they just did it for credit cards, they just did it for credit cards two years ago andidn't like the bankers didn't like it. they they still don't like it and in my state the unemploymenty numbers reflect that they didn't like t it and we don't know if it is cthovered but who is better off?ers are bter off consumers are better off because dthe congress does its job we sought were deliberate about it and salles input from outside.egulator the regulators did their job and now it's been implemented.
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i want to close mabey with this thought. there is an outfit called store michael's not far from where mythey sell family and i lived in wilmington an they are in national chain and pretty successful company.n the recently not because of the databecausef base story and a lot of folks st have accounts with them their information was, their customersas were disclosed, and there's great concern on the part of the consumer, the customers, the data consumers there is a data breach and some of this information was going to be w at risk could be r identityis theft who did those an customers, who did they turn to to say fix this problem?
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if they turn to michaels and say you fix this problem? it turns out they didn't. pro some probably did but most they probably didn't even know whoey turne they turn to? the turn to their banks, the th issuers of the credit cards and fix ts say you fix this problem, you issue a new credit card for us and cover this loss and the banks did that. tcarry finally, i'm not here to carry the water for the banks. allere t i think that we are all here to do what we think is right, andndecided to my colleagues i know some don't are, they don't want to chooseite between a two children, the merchants on the one hand and the financial and institutions credit unions on the other hand you don't have to choose between two children. ask yourself what is the right thing to do? yourwo ask yourself what is the rightask youelf what i thing to do? try to understand what is inand whats in this amendment, a bipartisan amement, amendment for people most most respected in this body and gs l drill down on that. barney listen to guys like barney frank
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who don't have a dog in the o fight but a lotf of talent and try to make the decision thatng t you think is othe right thing to do. thank you very much, mr. president. illinoi i >> the senator from illinois ismr. dbin: h recognized. is >> how much time is remaining? two minutes 15 seconds. 13 estimate any time remaining on the other side? mr. president >> zero. the >> of senator tester returns to t o the floor and wants to speak i'm before the vote, i'm going to to ask for unanimous consent thatt to each we each have two minutes for that purpose perhaps i want to make the record of matter herer o because i want to have a chance euplt to close. -- let me try to get down on the to basics here. .. out one of these cards to pay for something? if you're my age you don't do it as often as younger people. i was in the carry out this morning and a young woman who was a police officer put up a pack of chewing gum for $1.20 and put up her debit card.
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the average amount for a debit card is 44 cents for each transaction. how much money do you think the owner made? thensweis what is happening is that the bank is issuing theseng. debitissuth cards imposing interchange feesn swipe fees t on these transactions and the merchants and thens a retailers have no voice in the amount of that fee. t no voice whatsoever. the federal reserve did a studyaske andw asked well how much does it actually cost them to process that debit transaction a? the answer was 12 cents. in the range of 12 cents. the charge is 44 cents. cos the cost is 12 cents. is there something wrong with this picture? it means that person, every person buying goods in stores across america pays more to pay for this fee.eard now, we have heard the plaintiff cries of those offering this amendment on how we got to have sympathy for these banks.g
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these poor banks struggling to survive. if they can't collect a maximum fee on their debit fee interchangebgs fee, swipe fee, what is going to happen to them? we have barred exempted, incidentally, all banks witheady values of $10 billion or less so we are talking about the big boys, the big banks. so let's ask a few basicue questions.oe hows does the debit card interchange fee in america compared to other countries? aro visa and mastercard do businessd all around the world. banks issue these all around the all world, so how do we stack up? where's the good old u.s. of a.? i will tell you where we stack up. we have the highest interchangeighe fees charged by visa and mastercard anywhere in the world. the highest.thank thank you. can america express its gratitude any greater than to
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say thank you to the banks for charging us the most for using plastic? so what do they charge in other o countries?untrs? debit interchange fees in th e l european union, less than one fifth the charge in the united states. so, let's do the math. 9 cents a c transaction in europe 44 centse. here. we want to give a big sloppy kiss tyo these big tanks at 2:00 for the way they will treatise this. on treat us on this. but it gets better. and you go to canada visa and mastercard debit interchange fees d in canada, zero. ro there is no interchange fee. now we have people on the floor begging us to show some sympathys for these banks and give them an interchange fee and they charge nothing in canada, zero? that is the reality. and the biggest banks make the biggest money on this process.
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fares and away. chase, bank of america and wells fargo to the tune of almost $8 billion a year. s how long do they want to study to go on on interchange fees? if you are making $1.3 billion a the month you want the study to go on for months if not years. get back to you later we say to exactly the banks.wa yeah, that is exactly what they want and at 2:00 we will decide is the senate whether we are going to give it some -- this amendment drawn up by the banks compromises between the banks, gets to the banks exactly what they're looking for, a hugengeee loophole to assess theirtify interchange fees to justify what they are w charging today and charge more. nothing in here, nothing to protect consumers and businesses across america. i got started in politics with ais gs fellow named paul douglas.
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this goes back a few years.tude. i was a college student. douglas is a ph.d. in economics, much smarter than i am for sure. who he spent his whole life trying to pass something called truth in lending. to all he wanted the banks to do was to tell their customers how much they were charging them with interest rates. snt he spent 18 years battling bad left and he left the senate without getting it done. couldn't finish it. they tookan up the battle and passed it in wisconsin but paul douglas thought this banks for 18 years. goi it is a battle that has been going on a long time aroundbecae here.ot as you see there is a lot ofow power in the banking communityty the and these initial institutions.he when they come to the floor and say they want something, congress decides we had better start talking. it is rarely rarely that they st ever a i guess you could say the wall desve street reform bill was a lost form but they deserved it. look at the god-awful mess they put america into with their stup rotten practices, their stupidity, theirid reckless
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conduct. we are still paying for that. we still have a lot of people out of work and businesses with of yale. a many of the savings accounts andbank families are still suffering because those banks made those mistakes.ystem, and come in a free-market system did they pay for their mistakes? no.r the american taxpayers pay for their mistakes, giving credit where it is due to senator tester. hehe voted on the -- against a t.a.r.p. bill. the he said it and i want to be on i the record.t. bau i voted for it.en i did because i was told by ben bernanke of the federal reserve and hank paulson of the department of treasury, if you don't help these banks and they feel you are going to see a worse depression in 1929. i bought it.t, i voted for it. al almost $800 billion in bailouts to these banks. i was seething toi think we are going to spend taxpayer money to help these banks be rescued from their own stupidity and their own greed. we didth it. the three biggest banks involvedigge here some $95 billion we send
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to them. well, they are back.en they're looking for the second installment on their payment. this time not from the taxpayers. s this time from consumers and businesses across america. what they are asking us for the biggest banks the three biggest banks is almostks a billion dollars a year these interchangese fees.nge fee we have got as. chance now to try to bring t some balance to this conversation. we have got ati chance to finally stand up for small businesses and urchins and consumers across america who have been victimizedim by the credit card companies and the big banks for too long.can kambiz united states senate stand up once a year, once a decade forer consumers across america against these financialt institutions? that ish what is at stake with this amendment. i know it is going to be a heated vote because my poor colleagues up in the into a pulp. i both sides.his. i feel very intensely about this and i want to credit mye at
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colleague from montana because he told me at the outset when i d said john, please don't do this. he said the leavitt and john i admire you. for doing that, stillhough do.agre even though i disagree with you i admire you for doing it. you are a man of conviction and principle and a great senator. but this is an historic moment in the senate. the it is a moment where we will decide whether or not for once the big tanks are going to lose goi and the consumers are going tore gng win. whether or not we are going to reduce the cost of these transactions and help consumers across america, help smally businesses across america, mick the profit they need. some people say that well this hasn't been studied for 11 months now the federal reserve has been studying this, the best economist the best1, minds there. they have entertained 11,000 comments and they have heard sun everything under the sun.. they have heard it all. a in a matter. of days they are set to issue a rule, a rule which no one has seen, and rule which the
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banks don't want anyone to see. they don't want this rule to see at the light of day and that is why they are here today to stop theg a federal reserve from issuing athemn rule that may cost them in terms of their bottom line. n it is our choice now. it is their choice about whether or not these banks are going to d prevail or not. history will record the strength of consumers, small businesses across america against the wallthe ll street banks to take away more than half of the interchanget fees on debit cards that are collected across america. i hope that myd colleagues wille stand by the decision that we made a year ago. i hope they will give each of us an opportunity to see this rule come into effect and from that tilled on it a stronger growing economy, one that is fair for whe interchange fees have been dictated by the big banks and credit card companies for too longy. mr. president i reserve the balance of my time.
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>> remaining time, three minutes, 5in5 seconds. earlier t >> i sat on the floor earlier that i would like to give to my i'll colleague -- two minutes and then i will take two minutes and that will be the end. >> i ask unanimous consent -- ising fi there objection? without objection objections awarded. >> just to clarify, so i have got two minutes, senator durbin has two minutes and then we we vote? >> that is correct. that was the order just to enter. >> god bless the u.s. senate. [laughter]ect. i will say this, first of all to the folks in the gallery and members that are still in their offices, look at me. do i look like a banker? senator corker and myself do this amendment of. the banks did not draw this amendment out. with the help of senator crapoan and then it. as is usual, we agree on 90% and there's 10 person we disagree
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on. do i think some swipe these need to be regulated? re of course but the problem withh this amendment is the exemption on community banks and credit unions under $10 billion does not t work. it doesn't work. $10 i have read all the quotes from bernanke and bair in the and the head of the occ and the ncua in all of them. they said they don't know how to make us a system the system work as a free-market system and we will overrule that and that is that' how got to be in this country. so the bottom line is from a rural perspective and impact federalrn government has a ruralle we're american while we are tried toe p solve one problem we arero t creating two or three others. cou i could care less about the wall street banks. theygo are going to do fine but i we will tell you what. in we lose the banks we lose the banks in our small towns in montana or wyoming or tennessee, you can put another nail in themeri. coffin of rural america. with that i yield the floor to the good senator from tennessee.enneee speech the. senator from tennessee. >> i couldn't agree more. it is amazing in a way past the
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2400 page bill a year ago and on all the tough decisions weer deferred to the t regulators and the regulators are now creating all kinds of rules because we know that they had some wisdom that we didn't have.ave. and yet in this case, we are the regulators. every singer -- single regulator involved in telling us the way that the durbin amendment was written. we are going to damage theredit community banks, the credit unions. it won't work. it is amazing that in this case where the very people who regulate tell us please change this, ite won't work. we are saying no we -- this is going to benefit wall street. that is not the case. this puts the durbin amendment in in the middle-of-the-road where it needsin to be and i hope you. everyone will support it.dent >> the. >> the senator from am i. >> mr. president if you are interested in small-town america should be interested in thee small businesses that operate in small town b america and they are
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begging you to vote no on the tester corker amendment. i pp i happen to live in a town of0,000 120,000 people. it is a little bit larger than my colleagues hometown of tel montana but i can tell you what t the businesses there are saying. i can tellel you what wendy iscr saying who owns the road rangerkwre gas stations. she is saying to me, give me ae me break. they are hitting is so hard with so these debit interchange fees. we got letters here put in the record fromwe the military exchanges which says this is theaste-gro fastest uncontrollable costs they are facing. this is a problem which the credit card companies and thatompani banks have wanted to ignore and now this amendment wants toelay delay for six months, a year orr. longer. in terms of trusting theru regulators i'm afraid of the that the banking interests that wrote this amendment didn't trust them to even issue the rules. you had to call this debate before they issued a rule.ued the you don't know what the numbers going to be on interchange the but you have to stop them in
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their tracks. if you be will go to look at the corridors and rooms around won't capitol hill here can one find a lot of small-town bankers. you will find the biggest banks in america waiting in the wings, praying, putting in a billionarsor dollars worth of prayers that this amendment is going to pass. i don't question the intentions or motives of senator tester or carper and i never will but i can i tell you the effect of this amendment is going to be given to those big tanks of those creditit card companies a windfall of profits they do not deserve. if the interchange fee is zero in canada plays at of 44 cents stand here? can we stand up representing the people of this country and sayve it is fundamentally unfair? if we can stand up and do that why are we here? i hope we are here to standconoc stand up for economic fairness and for consumers and small businessesum across america making
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us to defeat this amendment and i yield the floor. >> staff writer and "congressional quarterly," how did the senate vote on a proposed delay of new amendments on debit card user fees? >> yes the senate today rejected an amendment sponsored by john tester, democrat of montana and of corker a tennessee republican 54-45 and they needed 60 votes for it to be adopted. >> can you explain what are the fees? >> sure. so every time a customer buys something at a shop with a debit card, a fraction of that goes towards the bank. merchants say that fee -- banks have been taking an outsized cut. banks they know we need that for consumer protection and fraud and what not. so that is what the debate was over. last year as part of the financial regulatory overhaul, the dodd-frank law, the senate agreed to a durbin amendment to limit the fees that banks can
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charge retailers so this was an attempt to kind of rollback that amendment. >> so what does that mean, they the they tend to roll the amendments made for the supporters of the amendment, namely senators tester and corker? >> yeah, so they were trying to find a compromise to the 60 votes. initially when they introduced this legislation they said let's delay these new limits on fees for two years. then they tried to cobble together support and change it to a 15 month delay. and the amendment voted on today would have delay these new fees for one year. >> will there be another way for them to get this issue through? >> annulled this is really their best chance. i spoke to senator corker after the vote. he said, you know you think this is water under the bridge now. this was their best chance. you know the people have spoken and it is tough to get anything through the senate and tough to schedule a vote, tough to find a bill that might get through.
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and this was kind of probably their best chance. >> you mentioned senator durbin who was the original author of the language, the new restrictions. what were his arguments against the amendment? >> well, he said that the banks were trying to in a sense, delay meaning kill. he was saying if you believe in regulating this interchange market it is called, then we need to defeat this amendment. senators tester and corker said no, this won't kill it but there was a disagreement there are. >> how much of a lobbying effort occurred on this issue and why was that? >> this was a huge lobbying battle between the financial services industry and the merchants, and that is because a lot of money is at stake. roughly $16 billion a year i think and interchange fees. and so the banks are set to lose a lot of money and the merchants to gain it. the merchants say they will pass on some of that money to the
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consumers that the banks say we don't believe it. >> what is the next step for this issue? >> well, on july 21 the federal reserve is expected to issue a final rule, limiting the fees. their proposal last december would have capped the fees at 12 cents per swipe. that is down from an average of 44 cents, so it seems like the fed is likely to issue a final rule next month july 21 and we will see how much they give to the banks. >> ben weyl of "congressional quarterly," appreciate your time. >> thanks so much. >> next debate on delaying restrictions on debit card fees. senators are debating an economic development program bill. >> mr. president, but the games
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began.e that is what is going on arounde games i have full respect for my colleague, and you can tell from the tone and tenor of senator paul that he finds irt amusing that he is authoring a clean debt ceiling increase that he is voting against. he is offering an amendment that he is voting against it may know we are in discussions with the president and his in discussions with the vice president, in discussions with the gangwi of six to try and figure out a way that we can come together not have got to votes on the united states senathee floor. it is outrageous. i will tell you why it isave outrageous. we have an underlyingly bill here mr. president that you have been very helpful with.ic s. 782 the economic development revitalization act of 2011 which will reauthorize a very important program that has been in place in i this country, in this great nation, since 1965.
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that was last passed when george w. bush was president and pass the senate unanimously without all of these amendments that are going nowhere. i mean, there is 27 amendments as of last night.obab man actually it is probably many more now and we know this game.nce eke as we have played it oncere before when senator landrieu stood where i'm standing now and try to get a small business billich would through here which would have created thousands of jobs in this nation. well here we are. we have the bill that came out of the committee i am fortunate enough to chair the environment of public works where a strong vote. wevowe had one dissent. senator inhofe is my merry co-sponsor. for 50 years this eda program the economic development administration, has created
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jobs, spurred growth and economically hard-hit communities. we know the struggle we are having coming out of this greatest recession since the great depression. reo and i want to remind the people within the sound of my voice that when president obama tooker over this country was bleeding almost a million jobs a month. bk and we are getting back on our feet. we got theo auto industry back on its feet. we are getting manufacturing back on ittss feet.ave t and it is too slow. we have to do more. we and once in a while we get an opportunity to work with small businesses, the private sector local government, attract funds from nonprofits organizations and bring jobs and important commu work to our communities. and this is one way. an arm of the chamber of
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congress wrote me a letterho yesterday saying how important his work is. do you have a copy of that? their leadership center said epa has served as a valuable partner in many communities that we have worked in including san jose california, seattle washington, cedar rapids iowa mobile alabama, new orleans louisiana atlanta georgia, boca raton florida, minneapolis and a soda network new jersey and many others signed by steven george executive director of the business civic leadership center of the u.s. chamber of congress. this is a bill everybody wants execu but games are being played on the floor of the united states comme senate, again just forrc the fun of it. just to stop us from doing our job. and what is our number one job? toor create jobs, to create
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what does the afl-cio say? you have got business and youas have got labor. the eda has established the economi admirable track record in assisting economically troubled low income communities withputt limited jobg opportunities by putting their investments to good use and promoting needed job creation and industrial and commercial development. signed by william samuel director, government affairs department afl-cio dated yesterday.ess now why is business and labor supporting this bill?o why do they want us to stop the games and pass this bill? because they want jobs for businesses and businesses want the work. now, let's just take a look at other people who were supporting in additioinn to the arm of the chamber of commerce and afo.
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the u.s. american public works association, the national associationasou of counties and i was a county supervisor and belong to that many in the years ago.. you want bipartisanship? go to the national association.icans, there are democrats, eve republicans, independents people of every stripe, liberals conservatives. they all come together.nd why? because business and labor are together and everybody wants have jobs. why do we have a 700 page amendment by my friend maine senator olympia snowe bundy regulation, bill that hasn't had one hearing and any commission commission -- committee and in will many ways the deseret the important rules and regulations that protect public health and the environment. the
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we should have a hearing on that though.m sur i am sure we could work together and make it wonderful. instead, it is offered on thisll bill, 700 pages.: w >> will the senator yield for a question? s. >> i will not yield at this time but i will yield when i have yld concluded.when we have a 700 page amendment that has been offered here to what? a 40 page bill? 29 page bill.-pag we have a 29e page bill that will create tens of thousandste of jobs and we have the first amendment offered by my good friend, 700t pages and it repeals all kinds
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of protections for the public health. i don't get it. there is only one thing that i can get.n with all these amendments, we have amendments on the debt the ceiling that had nothing to do with this bill. this bill will create income for taxpayers. ea becausete when jobs are created and people work, they pay their fair share of b this bill does not deserve to be treated this way. when it passed almost unanimously out of thelm committee, and it is totally bipartisan, and it has been in place for almost 50 years. but yet still, that is where we are. every senator has the right to do what he or she wants.ames, th they can play games, they can have fun but do you know what i
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care about? the people i represent. and mr. president they need jobs.ther i care about them, whether in kentucky california or sta maryland. and he stayed in thete t union, wes. are united states senators. we should care aboute. the people not get up here and play games. eta uses limited federal dollars to leverage large amounts of private sector investment. it is the little spark that creates economic activity in areas that are distressed and ithese creates these jobs all acrossevery the country. a every dollar of eda investment attracts nearly $7. o i will show you some other charts. when we vote for this bill, this is an authorization not an
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appropriation. we have authorized it atoupl 500 million historically in the last couple of years and it hasit been funded about 300, 250. every dollar attracts $7 from the private sector. now that is a fact and it has been documented in congressional testimony made on march 3, 2011. that is the history of the eda. and people say well how much senator do these jobs cost, each job? well, here is what we know.te one job is created for every two to $4000 invested. so it is an average of somewhere around $3000 a job.ur that is a good return on our investment. 220 and 500 jobs are created for every million dollars of eda
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investment. here is what we know. between 2005 and 2010, 450,000 jobs,0 were created by thesement investments and 85,000 jobs were ve saved. everybody in this senate i think, i could be wrong, is asked what is the most important thing we have to do today? it is to help spur job creation in the private sector. and most of these are in cooperation with the private some sector.ti sew sometimes they are sewer projects water projects thatnd i are needed by the private sectore and i'm going to give you some examples. since we are authorizing this at this stage, this bill is at
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$500 million i ask how many jobs would be created each year? and it looks like it would create nearly 200,000 jobs per year and between 430,001,000,000 jobs over the life of the bill.ant t i want to give you some examples.s some examples because this et isn't rhetoric. this is a program that has been in place since 1965. 196 the city of dickson in my home state got $3 million for a water system that will increase the city's w water supply and their m storage capacity andor will eliminate a major impediment to plan development and expansion of the city's commercial industrial areas.ou when you don't have enoughhen water, you can expand. i learned that when i was a county supervisor. you need to make sure there is adequate water adequate
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electricity, adequate sewer. se you have to make sure there are adequate roads. all thes e things are necessary for development and job creation. this project is expected to create a thousand jobs and leverage $40 million of privateenv investment, so we have a 3 million-dollar investment to improve the water system and it is going to leverage to $40 million. i call that a good deal for our taxpayers and a great deal for the american people to see jobs created. a thousand jobs, good jobs created. and that means 1000 dads and moms bringing home paychecks forave their families. but what do we havee? here? the same thing senator landrieu had to put up with, amendment after amendmente after amendment that had nothing to do with this bill. we then had an amendment for a republican friend that would dont away with this entire agency.
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unbelievable. the city of shafter in my state 2 million for sewer and water improvements to serve the eastogis shafter logistical center which will allow development of an additional 600 acres to enable continued growth of the center and support a multimodal transportation hub. this project is e t expected to 1 create 1400 jobs and leverage 200 200 privatee investment, so that is a 2 million-dollar goi investment that is going to be leveraged, leverage, leverage. we go through time and we have to cut spending and i love when the republicans lecture the democrats on. bill clinton in recent memory. t so don't lecture us about how to
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balance budgets. we know how to do it and guess what?o we know how to do it by creating 23 million jobs. so i don't need to hear the lectures. ta becauselk they are misplaced. talk to yourselves. you are d the ones he didn't say a word when george bush gave tax cuts to billionaires and put it to all on the credit cards and nownd you still want to extend those tax cuts and leave the revenue.ill >> will the senator yield for a question? >> i will not yield until i'm finished.inis i've stated that before but thank you for asking. here is where weyo are. i have to reiterate so i don't lose my place. under bill clinton, theeated democrats balanced the budget, created surpluses and 23 millionh came jobs. he george bush came over he had a press conference.heai i saw it last night. he said, we don't need surpluses. to this money belongs to the w american people and he didn't say what he meant.o he meant it belongs to rich
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people. superrich people who aren't over a a billion and $8 million he gave away the store. then he went to two wars and put it on the credit card. and my friends on the other side never once said gee i can't raise the debt ceiling to pay the debt. they all voted to pay to raise the debt ceiling when it wasclinto doubled from bill clinton. butn. now, after george bush left a mess, a god-awful mess in the dead and the deficits he handed president obama present upon my $1.2 trillion deficit and all of a sudden they blame president obam ga for allt. of this. the american people get it. they don't buy it, they understand it.appy they are not happy where we are and they shouldn't be.know but they know where the problem started. do deanna why?ory. because you can't rewrite history. you can try, but those deficits
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in those debts, those numberss are in the books. you and unless you a raise if they will remain in the books.i d i don'ton care whether you are talking about paul revere's ride or the deficits, that ishe history. so i will show you the deficits we had when we were in control. to we got it down to zero and we got surpluses and 23 million jobs. andan that all was erased and then we entered a situation in the last couple of years of the bush and administration where jobs were bleeding at 800,000 a month, 700,000 a month.tomobile credit was frozen. the automobile industry was in the tent and president obama take action. rov and this recovery is tough. the worst recession since the great depression so this is
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what i know we can do if we worked together. dare i say it. we can adopt a framework that understands billionaires and millionaires don't need their t tax cuts now.e we can get more revenue in hereut and cut the fat and cut the duplication and go after the people who don't pay the taxes they owe, and end the war in a afghanistan and save the trillion over 10 years.ears. i can come up with $4 trillionicar pretty easily.drugompa allow medicare toni associate with the drug companies for lower prices. house that? n 200 billion. but no, instead it there is demagoguery. and there is an attempt to bring down bills like this, clean ando nice bills that will do everything we know we need to do now, leverage our dollars,ic attract public investment, create jobs.
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no, we are facing a host of d amendments. i don't find it funny. i find it sad, that we cannot come w together. i have a city in california a fas very fast-growing city in the silicon valley, san jose. we got them through thisansion program, $3 million for the renovation and o expansion of theo center for employment training. what do they do that? they t teach skills, so when we see there are certain job losses going on, we teach people to do skills. we increased that centers by capacity by 860 students..e.d expanded access to a ged so people who didn't finish high school to get their diploma. we taught themip how to speak better, how to read that are. we taught them small business entrepreneurship.xp this is what we are expanding to is
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new people, and this project is going to create 4900 jobs and leverage $3 million in private investment. this one was 1-1. 3 million republican -- public investment, 4 million private investments, 4900 new jobs. cou i can tell you we are continuing with this program and by the way these are not earmarks. we have six regional offices and there are applications made for these grants and they are made by the eda. and it is under commerce department. on the west coast, this is in no to three, just to prove some points here. eda invested 1.8 million in the construction of a water and i energy technology incubator in the central valley of't kw california. for those who don't know the
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central valley, it is where you get a lot of your fruits and vegetables. they are suffering and they aretrug struggling with the downturn. in 03 according to eda thee incubator has house more than 15 entrepreneur since it opened and those entrepreneurs have obtained over $17 million in cated private capital that has created jobs for the central valley. 1.8 billion in the construction of more than 2300 square feet as an incubator for technology, business and look what happened. from that small investment, and17 mli attractedon 17 million. that is a huge leverage, a hugell leverage. you all know owing company. in order to help mitigate the t boeing company's decision to reduces manufacturing jobs in2006 washington eda invested 2 million in 06 to help build b infrastructure to serve aform 42-acre former aircraft
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manufacturing site.ed the redevelopment has created ausin mixed-use campus used byces, businesses focusing on d commercial services, high-tech and life sciences, 2500 jobs. in the midwest i talked about this yesterday, the city of duluth in minnesota. they did something terrific of there. they gave a grant of 2.5 million it was matched by city grant of 2.3 million, and they set up this aviation business incubator at the loose airport and a company named sires aircraft group from a handful of employees to 1000 by only. now, this incubator is now leased to sires design corporation which has the largest share of the worldwide aviation market. mr. president what we arent talking about here is planting a seed of economic development and that seed attracts morer, fro
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seats. from the private sector, from the local people, from the and a nonprofit and at the end oft the day, what have we done by that little seed?t's it really has grown and it hasn happened since 1965 when thishe program was created. and by the way you'll be shocked to know it was authorized for the same amount of money in 1965.? 500 million. is that right kathy? 500 million so the fact is this this isn't a program that has grown and grown. you it stays the same which means if you put inflation and, it is dramatically cut to a tiny part to of what it once was for the beautiful country. par but it is a beautiful part ofhat d economic growth and what do we need today? w jobs. and what is the second thing we need? jobs. and what is the third thing we need?.
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jobs. so i am not amused by you know,0 27 28, 29 30 amendments, some of which have nothing to do with what we are talking about. one of my friends on the other side of the aisle had amendments that are pending to repeal banking reform. everything we did and work on. to i guess he wants to go back to the days when the banks got bigger, biggeram bigger, bigger gambles with our money and weis almost lost capitalism in this country. what is he doing on this bill? without a hearing. another colleague has a 700 page amendment to end the regulation. i say to my friend, they protect the health and safety of the people. not one hearing on it. so, i think the american people have to wake up.meri
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i am saying wake up america today. wake up and pay attention to what is happening here. we have a bill on the senate floor that is meant to do one thing, create jobs. in areas they been hard hit by. these that economy. why wire the republican stalling it herding it putting forward amendments that have nothing to do with it? you h tave to ask that question. they voted for it under george bush.ed they voted for it nearly wh unanimously under our committee i say to my friend who is the senior member and a great chairman of the subcommittee on our committee. they voted for it. and now they are delaying it.fferg and offering all these poison pill amendments to it.econ and it is the second time they have done it. america, you have to wake up. this is the second time they t have done iot. they did it to the small
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business bill. to they hurt small they are doing it to this bill. an they are hurting job creation and they are hurting small business again. and they are hurting big i s business.e i said before, one of the things helped boeing. the maytag, there's another company you know the name of. in 07 they made tight plant headquartered in it nye which employed 1800 workers was closed down. w violateor the city identified to manufacturing operations that could be located on the old site. tpi composite a wind turbine blade manufacturing and trinity manu structural towers, manufacture of massive steel towers were windmills. can i ask my friend if he would like some time on this? i would like that.ling i am going to continue telling
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the maytag story and when i finish i'm going to'm turn to my very important member of the committee, senator cardin, for some remarks. eda invested 580,000 in 08 for grading site preparation and surfacing for wind power storage facility. that attracted, that 580,000lic attracted $21 million in publicame investment. that same year we saw investments in i iowa. sp so i'm going to stop now and yield the floor so that my friend can ask u ananimous consent that he be recognized.sena >> mr. president?r. prid >> the senator from maryland. >> thank youhe mr. president.di i believe we are in one of the pendingng amendments. >> that is correct. >> mr. president let me just c complement senator boxer for her leadership on this bill. bill.
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as senator boxer pointed out the eda bill that we brought forward is about jobs. it is about offering jobs ine a underserved areas.ult these are areas which are difficult to create jobs in good times, but in hard times they get even harder. the eda program leverages a small amount of public support for private sector investment that creates jobs in underserved areas. in my state of maryland, eda projects have been very successful in bringing jobs to the world, to western maryland, to our eastern shore. they have leveraged private sector investment and we maintained and created jobs. yesterday on the floor, i gave specific examples of eda easrn projects in western maryland on the eastern shore of maryland. i talk about an old
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manufacturing plant that was saved under any eda grant, leveraged 10-1 with private sector investment saving over 100 jobs and creating another 20. these are jobs that areour commu important for economic growth in ourni community.recove we all understand that this di recovery has been a very difficult one for us to get moving at the pace of job growthor that we know we need for thisut nation. we'll talkt about what we can do a better budget deficit but i'm defi hopingci we would all agree the most important thing we can do th would be to create more tt it is interesting that the majority leader has broughthree forward three major bills not to hav create jobs. i would like to have a little cooperation on the other side of can the aisle so we can get thissignate. bill to the president for signature. the faa bill that deals withviatio modernizing our aviation system which will create jobs and keep our air safer is tied up in congress. let's move it forward.ward let's get it done and get into
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the president. t we had the sbir bill before us that would help small businessesp small that are in innovation as far as job growth, and we had so many nongermane amendments that were offered to us we couldn't get it through the floor of the senate. but now we have in eda bill that.d.a came out of the environmental public works committee by a nearks unanimous vote. with a history of the eda and not controversial in itsn reauthorization, and now iteauthorization looks like we are going to n see that there is going to be numerous nongermane amendments offered in an effort basicallythe to just ignore the importance of the underlying bill that can create jobs for our communities. so i just want to urge myward colleagues to come forward with your amendments. there let's debate them. if they are not relevant to creating jobs under the eda billut
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than you know, let's be reasonable about this. s let's not have a whole series ofre amendments that are totally beyond the scope of this bill yo like the debt limit issues are the repeal of our financial reform of last year. i don't mind debating thoset issues that they shouldn't be debated at this particular moment. i do hope mr. president that we will be able to get to theuthoza reauthorization bill. i pointed out yesterday that one of the highest priorities from our local people in maryland was additional help from the federal government for planning dollars.commun planning dollars of local communities to develop a strategy that can help them with economic growth in the community.ian i can tell you having recently been out to the cumberland maryland, and the great part of ste our state of maryland, beautifuld part of our state of maryland, used to have a lot of and if x-ray and jobs there.
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a lot of those jobs have movedy on. they do have a strategy that t they need the planning help enable to put that together so that they can come forward with a game plan attracting more private sector interest in order to be able to create more jobtay in opportunities for families towestn stay in the westernpa part of ourit's stay. it is t that type of assistance that is critically important to america.y i come back to the point that senator boxer raised. the purpose of this bill is to create jobs, jobs, save jobs and create jobs. and we need to get on with that business here in the united states w senate. that is why i am proud to have worked in in the publics works committee to bring this billng t forward. and i hope myhi colleagues will be judicious with their amendment so that we can get this bill through t the senate, to the house so we will have an opportunity to get this to the president in the very near future.
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>> senator durbin chaired a subcommittee hearing today looking at the 2012 irs budget. you can see this hearing in its entirety tonight at 10:35 eastern here on c-span2. >> as i mentioned in my opening statement, the irs deals with the huge volume, processing more than 230 million tax returns and issuing over 109 million refunds. it is an indication of the challenge that you face and the people that you work with on a regular basis. and of course there are going to be cases where people set out to defraud or cheat the government in terms of filing these tax returns. i would like to call your attention to one that has received some attention over the last year or so. and this is the providing of refunds to people who are serving in prisons across the
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united states. the treasury inspector general for the tax administration reported that a rony as prisoner refund claims are on the rise. up to 44,944 claiming refunds of $295.1 million in the year 2009. even though the irs has been able to prevent large amounts of these refunds from being issued 256 million have been rejected in 2009 since the year to study. the amount of false refunds issued still hit a high of $39.1 million. since 2004, when 18,103 false tax returns were filed, barely $123 million in marginal refunds have been issued to those serving in prison. now, i can think of a situation where someone serving in prison may be eligible for a refund. it could happen but clearly in this case we are dealing with
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those ineligible to receive refunds who are trying to defraud the government. they aren't satisfied with being punished by sitting in prison. they are dreaming up new crimes to try, at the taxpayers expense here, to try to defraud the government. select me ask you at the outset. understand your he was your spoken to the u.s. bureau of prisons to try to make sure that they can have identification of those prisoners filing these returns but i also understand when it comes to the state prison systems that your authority to have this kind of information transferred will expire at the end of this year. can you tell me what is being done to stop these false claims by prisoners and what more we can do to protect the taxpayers and the treasury? >> mr. chairman is an issue we take very seriously. and we have been focused on. the bottom line is, when we have the name of a prisoner, we can stop the refund from going out and we do. the problem is getting the data,
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and with federal prisons, signed last year a memorandum of understanding so we will get the data in a format we need so we can put screens in place to block. i sent letters out to the governors of the 10 states that have the highest prison population in and the biggest problems here. we have since that time signed memorandums of added standing with seven of those states to get the information. we are in discussions with 17 other states so we have seen potential rock was with the state getting the information so we can block it. we have a bigger problem with big counties and municipalities because we need to get information from them. they have got budget constraints and we need to get it in a format in december so we can load it into our system so we can put blocks for the filing season. what i would tell you and i think the inspector general wreck rises in the last report is we are stopping more.
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we are detecting more and we are screening more now. >> are we prosecuting those who file false returns? >> one of the real issues is the biggest hammer that we have is sending someone to jail. and these people are already in jail. so what we have actually been doing in these memorandums with the state and the federal government and the authority he talked about is allowing them to share tax data back with you generally we can't under 6103 of the tax law, so that people can do things like have punishment in prisons and wardens can put a prisoner in solitary confinement and things of that like. the people we generally block or people that are there for life. as you mentioned there a lot of prisoners who are married who are filing jointly for a refund. he needs do is screen is so we make sure we are not hurting the spouse of a prisoner. i think we have made a lot of process -- my progress. this year we have done
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follow-ups of 100,000 more. i added the unit that does the screening and so all of this is moving in the right direction and as long as we get the information we can properly block. >> and the infinite wisdom of members of congress, we dream up new tax deductions and tax credits for perfectly valid reasons, at least in our opinion and then it is up to you to try to make it work. one of them related to tax credits for energy-efficient windows, doors and insulation and in geothermal heat pumps and solar hot water heaters. i probably voted for it. it sounded like a good idea. a part -- taxpayers claimed more than $5.8 billion of energy credits which were included in the 2009 economic stimulus recovery act. based on a review of statistically valid samples, 150 tax returns, the treasury
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inspector general for the tax ofwas unable to confirm homeownership for 30% of that sample, 45 of the taxpayers to course is required to claim credit. so there is at least a question mark going forward as to whether these 30% of the people who claim this money were eligible for it. in addition, this inspector general identified 360 to ineligible individuals who were allowed to erroneously claimed $404,578 in residential energy credits on their tax returns. these individuals included 262 prisoners and here they are again, now claiming they deserve a tax credit for energy-efficient windows in their prison cells i guess in 100 individuals under the age of 18 who were in eligible to file. so how do we get to the bottom of this and once again with the prisoners and again with those who are ineligible to try to police and make sure that people
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aren't filing and claiming credit that they are not entitled to? >> i think there are a couple of things. you know this is a worldwide phenomenon when people want to give incentives and when there was a major economic meltdown across the globe. people quickly use the tax system to push a lot of money out to help stabilize the economy. the tax system is efficient and there is an annual interaction that happens every year with most americans. when we have time, we can properly set up filters, think this through and engage with the industry find out where there is potential leakage, find out what data we can get through on our electronically filed returns and set up screens and filters and we do that. and so for instance, the report you referenced we generally when we are trying to do some
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things, we set up a set of filters. inspector general which provides incredibly valuable service and we learn along the way i think both of us as we go, we put more filters in place while we were having dialogue with that report. sum leakage occurred, which we would like to have zero leakage. there is going to be some leakage with any credit because we are only going to feel the screen and follow up with a certain amount but we did to follow-up. so when things happen very quickly sometimes more refunds go out the door that are questionable but then we have another program where we can audit and find out what is fair, follow-up and close. if we have a lot more time with more developed credits we actually can set up the screens ahead of time. but make no mistake i think we are we are getting better at this and we have a lot of sophisticated filters and we stopped the best majority of fraudulent returns from going up but if you were going to use the tax system which is built on voluntary compliance and we have
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to get this balance the balance right between getting refunds to people who are do that and need to spend them, or rely on those to spend and blocking the bad ones, there is going to be some leakage. our goal is to get that balance right, to narrow the leakage as much as we can. >> i want to ask two questions to close this line here. in the most egregious cases when someone is claiming they are a homeowner and entitled to these credits and in fact they are not, so clearly misrepresenting their eligibility for the program. it is not a mass air. is a clear misrepresentation. in those cases when you detect them, is there a follow-up in terms of penalties prosecution? >> penalties, yes. finds, yes. prosecutions, you know we have limited prosecutorial resources. we try to spend


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