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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 23, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or change his or her vote? there being none, the, there are 59 ayes and 36 nays. so the motion to table, the motion to concur in the house amendment to senate amendment to h.r. 2608, the motion to table
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passes. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i now move to concur on the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 2608 with an amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada mr. reid moves to concur on the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 2608 with an amendment numbered 656. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask for the yeas and nays on that. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, i have a cloture motion at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion, we the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to debate on the motion to concur to the senate amendment to h.r. 2608 with an amendment numbered 656 signed by 17
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senators as follows. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada, mr. reid, proposes an amendment numbered 657 to amendment number 656. mr. reid: mr. president, i have a motion to refer the house message to the appropriations committee with instructions to report back forth with but with an amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from nevada, mr. reid, moves to refer the house message on h.r. 2608 to the senate appropriations committee with instructions to report back forthwith with an amendment numbered 658. mr. reid: i ask for the yeas and nays on that. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. reid: i have an amendment to my instruction. that's also at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from nevada, mr. reid, proposes an
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amendment numbered 659 to the instructions of the motion to refer. mr. reid: i ask for the yeas and nays on that. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. reid: i have a second-degree amendment to my instructions at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from nevada nevada mr. reid proposes an amendment numbered 660 to amendment number 659. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived with respect to the cloture motion that i just filed. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i now ask unanimous consent -- the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. without objection then. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur with amendment kourbg at 5:30 -- kourbg at 5:30 p.m., monday,
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september 26. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mcconnell: reserving the right to object and the indulgence of my good friend, the majority leader, let me make brief remarks about where we are. for anyone who's confused about what's going on in congress right now, let me make it easy. in order to keep the government running beyond next week, congress needs to pass a short-term bill that funds government operations at a spending level both parties can agree to. the good news is we've already agreed on a spending level. that's already been done. last night the house of representatives passed a bill that meets that figure that we agreed on a couple of months ago. here's the holdup: because of some of the horrible weather we've had over the past several weeks, we've all agreed to add emergency funds that we didn't originally plan in this bill,
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and republicans identified a couple of cuts to make sure we don't make the deficit any bigger than it already is, including an offset that leader pelosi has used in the past. the rest is from a cut to a loan guarantee program that gave us the solyndra scandal. now i think we can all agree that this program should be put on hold until we get more answers, but our friends on the other side don't like the idea. they'd rather just add these funds to the deficit. why? because they say that's the way we've always done things around here. well, i think there's a lesson we can draw from the debates we've been having here over the last six months, is that the american people won't accept that excuse any longer. the whole "that's the way we've always done it" argument is the reason we've got a $14 trillion debt right now. if we pass this bill fema will have the funds they need -- have the funds they need -- to
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respond to these emergencies. that's not the issue here. what's at issue is whether we're going to add to the debt or not. we have a path forward to get disaster funding done right here today. there's absolutely no reason, in my judgment, to delay funding for disasters until monday, as my opinion friend, the majority leader, is now asking us to do. i don't think we ought to delay at all. now we just received the amendment a few minutes ago, but we're aware of what it does. and i think it's important for us to try to resolve this issue sooner rather than later. let's just walk through the next few days. if we don't have this vote until monday, then that leaves 24 hours or so before the jewish holidays begin, and then several days before the end of the fiscal year. it strikes me that we'd be
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better off to go ahead and have this vote now and enter into the discussions that will probably now be delayed until sometime monday night to see how we can resolve this impasse between the house and senate. we'd be happy to have the cloture vote on my friend, the majority leader's proposal right now rather than monday night so we can get a clear sense of where we stand. so it's my view that we ought to have the vote today rather than wait until monday and basically squander the next few days toward getting an agreement we know we have to reach. therefore, mr. president -- and i thank my friend the majority leader for letting me explain my position, i object. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: first of all, my friend, i'm sure understands that this great piece of
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legislation that was sent to us by the house received 36 votes over here. it was tabled on a bipartisan basis. mr. president, the matter that's now before the senate is really a nice piece of legislation. it funds the government till november 18. that's what the house wanted. it also has money in the bill to take care of fema, and we recognize that even though we passed a bill here with bipartisan support that had $6.9 billion, which we believe is an appropriate figure, in an effort to compromise in this c.r., we have the number that the house thinks is a better number. that's what is before us. and so, mr. president, my suggestion to my friend -- and he is my friend -- is that the
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two democratic leaders, reid and pelosi, the two republican leaders -- mcconnell and boehner -- should cool off a little bit, work through this. there's a compromise here, and the compromise is now before the senate. everyone once in a while needs a little cooling off period. the government is not shutting down. fema is not out of money. we'll come here money. more reasonable heads will prevail and i would hope over the weekend that the four leaders can lead their troops in the right direction. so i again ask unanimous consent the vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to concur with the amendment occur at 5:30 p.m. monday september 26. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mcconnell: mr. president, reserving the right to object, obviously here in the senate we would have a 60-vote vote, and that's what we will have monday afternoon. i see no reason why we shouldn't
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advance that to now so that it can be clear whether or not this measure would pass the senate. i'm pretty confident it will not. and i don't see any purpose to be served by delaying the outcome of that, making the outcome clear to monday when we can have a clear outcome today. therefore i object. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: thank you, mr. president. first of all, we have a piece of legislation at the desk that takes care of all the issues. it takes care of funding -- it takes care of the c.r. until after october 1. it also takes care of fema for the forseeable future. that's a nice piece of legislation. it's not our number. it's the house number. so i ask unanimous consent the reid motion to concur on the house amendment to the senate amendment h.r. 2608 with
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amendment 656 be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate, and any statements relating to this bill be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. in fact, what we're asking here is that the c.r. with the fema language be passed. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mcconnell: mr. president, we'll have that vote on monday. i object. the presiding officer: socks lettered. mr. reid: i renew my request. the vote is monday, is that right? i would tell everyone, mr. president, as my friend said, we'll have the vote on monday. we'll keep the vote open if people are really pressed on planes. i'll work with the republican leader and make sure s protected as much as possible. the presiding officer: is there objection to th the renewd request for monday? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i note the absence
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of a quorum, mr. president. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be dispense distinguishedispensed ? the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. cantwell: thank you, mr. president. i know my colleagues here want to join in on the debate that just transpired, but i wanted to take a minute to talk about senate bill 1542 that passed last night and i know just as people are frustrated here with everything that's going on, i think it is important to so forth and for other purposes a second when something does pass and it is good policy that we talk about it, and that is the child and family services improvement and innovation act. congress took a prett pretty bip a last night by improving the lives of children by the passage of this legislation. it's about keeping families
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together. it's about rewarding government efficiency and driving down cost and it's about giving flexibility to invest in programs that are proven to work for kids and families. this bill is about america's children. it's about making sure that america's foster care program works for children so that they can keep their families together. too often our federal policies have punished states who have innovative programs, giving states money based on how many kids were still in foster care instead of rewarding success and innovation that helped transition children out of the foster care system and back with their families. let me tell you what has happened in washington state. we've been implementing innovative programs to improve foster care for many years now. when washington state noticed a disproportionate number of native american children being placed in foster care, our advocates took objection and implemented the washington indian child welfare act, developing strategies for
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strengthing tribal relationships and promoting the best interests of native american children. when washington state noticed in general how long children were staying in foster care, advocates took action, this time implementing policies to help reduce the length of stay for children in out-of-home care. as a result, th the median lengh of stay for dmirn out of care declined almost 100 days between 2009 and 2011. in addition, washington state reduce the its foster care caseload by 13.8% during a similar time period. unfortunately, instead of being rewarded for these actions, we were penalized and that is what this legislation has helped to correct. in fact, we lost $2.7 million during that time period. so this legislation helps us instead of punishing washington state for keeping kids out of foster care, helps us ensure the
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kind of innovation that will help us to make sure that the best programs are implemented. this allows washington to increase our capacity to -- to keep doing the things that keep children who have been in the foster care system from being in the foster care system the entirety of the their childhood. this, instead, drives them hopefully successfully back with their families. now our state can invest in evidence-based programs that have proven to work, and just as this legislation will help us to do, it will make sure that children don't bounce from foster home to foster home on a continual basis. we will help to keep kids out of the care system, but when possible place them back safely with families. washington state representative ruth kegey said it best. "the title 4-e waiver helps the state move from purchasing
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specific services to purchasing specific outcomes." i want to thank chairman baucus and ranking member hatch for their timely and i know strafe work on this legislation -- and innovative work on this legislation. i wish my colleagues could have been at the hearing that was held earlier this year when senator baucus asked young adults who had been part of the foster system for their entire lives how to change the system. i want to thank the chairman for taking into consideration the specific improvements and innovation that washington state has advocated for. and i want to thank my colleague, representative jim mcdermott and the washington state legislators who worked on this, including an organization, partners for our children, and the children's home society of washington, and the various social workers and advocates that in our state continue to try to innovate bh it comes to foster care in america. this legislation is a major step forward to promote innovation son a federal basis and to help people families together.
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in doing so, we will have the benefit of also driving more efficiency and driving down the cost. but, more importantly, we're going to be working to strengthen america's children and families by trying effectively to keep theme together. i thank the president, and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, mr. president. i want to speak for a few moments about what is happening, what has been happening all week here in the senate and in the house of representatives. first of all, this year we've seen a terrible string of natural disasters that have shut down businesses, left families homeless across america. as chair of the agriculture committee, i'm certainly very concerned about the flooding along the mississippi and missouri rivers and the record droughts that have devastated the livelihoods of men and women
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who grow our food across america. in response to that, the senate, on a bipartisan basis, a strong bipartisan basis, responded to provide the funding for fema to help with communities across america -- 48 states -- to be able to responding and be able to do what we always do as americans: to be able to step up and work together and meet these kind of natural disasters and the help that's needed. we sent that to the house. the house decided, on the other hand, that they not only would lower the funding amount, even though we know that means just multiple times now having to keep churning to work something out, but they've cut the amendment and then they added to it an effort to cut in half a public-private-sector effort that is creating jobs.
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now, i think -- i know people in michigan and people across the country would be scratching their heads saying, wait a minute. did i hear this right? we're stepping up to help families who've had their house wiped out or their business wiped out or their farm wiped out or some other horrendous challenge because of natural disasters -- in order to help them, the house republicans are saying, we have to cut jobs. that makes absolutely no sense. and i would say that while michigan was very fortunate that we were not one of the 48 states that has lost, because of weather disasters, lost homes or businesses or jobs for families,
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mr. president, we have had a different kind of disaster that has been going on, and it's an economic disaster, it's a jobs disaster. you know, i find it appalling that appallingthat, on the one e strong support on the other side of the aisle to rebuild homes and businesses and roads and schools in iraq, in afghanistan; we're not saying there, well, gosh, we need to take away an effort to fund jobs or education here at home to be able to fund what we're doing in iraq and afghanistan. but bh this comes to helping people in america -- but when it comes to helping people in america, in america, somehow we can't just work together and get that done without having to pit one state who has a jobs crisis against another state who has a flood or a hurricane or a
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drought. i don't find that to be very american. i think it's time to stop playing politics when hundreds of thousands of families and businesses have been devastated by unprecedented strings of floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and other natural disasters. we ought to be stepping up, doing what we did in the senate, passing a bipartisan bill, to help those families, those businesses, those farms, without playing politics and trying to hurt other states that have been hit by other kinds of economic disasters. mr. president, we have 14 million people out of work in this country. and that doesn't count people working part-time, two jobs, three jobs, or trying to piece it all together in some way. we know it's much higher than that when you count those
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individuals and families. and for each and every one of them, their job search a an emergency. it's an emergency every time they think about how to put food on the table for their family. it's an emergency every month when they have to scrape together the money they need for rent or to pay the mortgage. it's an emergency every time these men and women are filling out applications, every day going to job fairs, going on the internet trying to fill out forms, getting in lines to find the best way to be able to get back to work. it's an emergency. so, to me, it is outrageous that the house of representatives -- the republicans in the house have included a job-killing offset to what is an important disaster assistance bill. to pull the rug out from businesses across the country and put up to 50,000 american
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jobs at risk. let me tell you about what this particular program is, and i'm proud to have championed this, initiated it in the energy bill back in 2007, a bipartisan bill, singed bsigned by president bus. it was slow to get going initially to get the funding. i'm proud that president obama embraced it and moved forward with this to be able to put in place an alternative vehicle manufacturing loan program to help retool plants in america so we wouldn't be losing the production of new small plug-in electric vehicles and other new technology vehicles to other conings. countries. it is a loan program to retool plants in america. and it's working. in michigan, these retooling loans made it possible for ford motor company to save 1,900 jobs
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at their michigan assembly plant in wayne, michigan, so they could build the all, new ford focus electric and the battery electric focus in america. in the process of that between the retooling loans and our partnership with industry to invest and advance battery technology, we are now bringing jobs back from mexico. how many times have i heard colleagues before talking about how we want to make sure we're exporting products, not jobs, and that we want to bring jobs back? what the house republicans have done is to cut in half an initiative with the private sector that is actually bringing jobs back. back from other countries. so far 41,000 jobs saved or created through this effort around the country. obviously i care deeply about michigan and have fought for this. but we're talking about indiana, illinois, we're talking about
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florida and louisiana and california and all across our country where we are seeing communities have the opportunity to retool plants that would be idle, empty, an eye sore and be able to bring those back with new technologies that are going to get us off of foreign oil and are creating jobs. 41,000 jobs so far, and the real insult to me, as i look at what's happening to people in my state ands cross the country, is that they are poised to to be giving out up to 11 additional loans to partner with business in the next couple of mojtses that will create somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 new jobs. saving or creating new jobs in the next few weeks and right when this is about to happen, the house republicans are saying, oh, no, in order to help
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the folks in joplin, missouri, who are wiped out as a community, we want to make sure that we're not creating jobs in michigan. that we're not creating jobs in indiana, ohio, illinois, florida, louisiana, california, minnesota, where ever it is. but somehow we have to pit americans against each other. that's not the america i know and love, mr. president. you know, in michigan we don't have a weather emergency but we stand with every single state on this floor, every single member who has had one. we stand as americans together to support people across this country. but we say stop when that means that somehow an effort to make things in america, manufacturing, the backbone of our economy is somehow attacked one more time and partnerships
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taken away in order to make that happen. it makes absolutely no sense. and so that's what this debate is about. and i want to share some comments because we've received a lot of support and i want to just share a couple of comments, if i might on the floor. the national association of manufacturers, mr. president, has sent a letter opposing the defunding of this particular partnerships and they say "defunding the advanced technology vehicle manufacturing loan program will hurt manufacturers and their employees." now, everybody is spending a whole lot of time talking about jobs around here. and unbelievably in the middle of talking about jobs, how we need to create jobs and how we need to support employers and make sure we're competing
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internationally, by the way, with folks like china that says come on over, we'll build the plant for you. forget a loan that you're going to pay back with interest. we'll just build it for you. come on over. and by the way, we'll steal your patents and manipulate our currency and make sure you get the toughest deal possible to compete with us but that's what they do. and so we put together something that says we're going to partner with the private sector to be able to keep the jobs in america. and it's working. it's actually working. jobs are coming back. we are rebuilding communities. we are rebuilding plants. we are helping to get off of foreign oil because we are focused on new electric vehicles. and an advanced battery technology industry where because of our efforts we've gone from producing 2% of the world's batteries on our way to producing 40%, having the
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capacity to be able to manufacture and create 40% of the world's batteries within the next three years. why? because we've been working together in partnerships with industry. which is what our industry is competing against around the world. the u.s. chamber of commerce said the advanced technology vehicle manufacturing loan program promotes manufacturing in the u.s. and is an important component of america's energy security. we all want to get off of foreign ail, we don't want to be buying oil from folks that -- that we don't like and they don't like us and we can't trust them and we have an opportunity through the efforts that we're focused on around alternative vehicles, battery initiatives, to get off of foreign oil. so mr. president, this makes absolutely no sense to me. we have multiple other letters, the alliance for automobile
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manufacturers, the blue green alliance, the others who have come out and shared that as well. i would simply say yes, that we're at a moment, we know we need to pass a continuing resolution on the regular budget, we have a new process for -- a super committee to look at how we take on and tackle the issues around our national debt and economic growth and during the process that set that up there was an agreement on the budget numbers and we have the ability to pass that now. we have passed a bill to help our citizens across the country who have had weather disasters, natural disasters. we came together in the senate to do that. the house has that. there's one thing standing in the way: whether or not at this time we're going to say to people in michigan and in other
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states where the economic disaster has been overwhelming that we're going to pit your need for jobs against somebody else's need to have their home or their street or their school rebuilt. that is not who we are in america, i don't believe americans support that strategy, i think it's outrageous that there is a proposal that passed and i want to thank my house democratic colleagues and my house colleagues in michigan, the democratic leadership in the house were waging a fierce battle to protect those jobs. this is about making things in america, it's about rejuvenating an advanced manufacturing sector that is critical. we're not going to have a middle class if we don't make things in america. we're not going to have a middle class. this particular partnership which is nothing more than a
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loan repaid with interest but a support for our communities to rebuild -- rebuild, not in afghanistan, not in iraq, in america -- rebuild communities, create jobs, it's working, it's beginning to bring jobs back and it's outrageous that they have decided to take half of the funding for this partnership away. and so i want to support our effort to send over the continuing resolution on the budget that we need, i want to thank my caucus and our leadership for standing firm and standing up for american jobs. that's what we care about, that's what we've been fighting for and along the way we're going to make sure we're doing everything we can to help citizens who have been devastated by natural disasters across this country. thank you, mr. president.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the roll. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: i have a request for a committee to meet during the session, it has the approval of the majority and minority leader. i ask that this request be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: thank you, mr. president. i wanted to come to the floor and spend the next 15 minutes or so and maybe even longer to support the arguments made just recently and i might say eloquently and passionately by
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the senator from michigan. who was one of the key architects of this very successful job creation program that the republican house leadership is trying to kill. that is in large measure what this debate this weekend and through next week is about. and that is why almost unanimously democrats in the senate are supporting our democratic caucus in the house as we try to bring this debate forward so the american people can understand it and hopefully give their voice of support for what we're trying to do, keep government operating, and keep jobs being created in this country. which is a struggle. we know we're not creating as
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many as we would like but one of the programs that's creating thousands of jobs and has broad, broad support in america america -- and i'm going to read the groups supporting it in just a minute -- for some reason, republican leader in the house eric cantor decided last week even as the winds were affecting his district and the hurricane irene was calgarying the east coast -- challenging the east coast, the portion of the country that he represents, he decided that we needed to find an offset so that we could send money to his district and to other districts across the country and just picked this program. they couldn't have picked a worse one because this program is actually working.
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it has already demonstrated it has revilized communities -- revitalized communities. but in addition, mr. president, it's a republican -- it's a program that's created jobs that several dozen republican house members have sent private letters to the secretary of energy asking for the money to go back to their districts, but publicly they want to gut the program. so democrats have decided to bring this to the attention of the american public. how is it that dozens of republican leaders -- and i have those letters that i'm going to submit to the record -- how is it that dozens of republican leaders write private letters, which are public record, but, you know, they didn't put them -- they
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don't issue them to the press, they send them to the secretary, you can get copies of them, i did this morning and have them -- but they're private letters to the secretary asking for this program to loan money to a public-private partnership in their district and then they go home and they talk about efforts to create jobs and they come back to washington and try to gut the program under the guise that they need the money to help disaster victims. that is what this debate is about. that's why the democrats are not, at least at this point and i hope over the weekend and through next week -- going to give in to that nonsense and hypocrisy. and i hope the president and the white house will fight hard
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along with the democrats and i hope some of the republicans that have signed these letters will think twice when this vote comes up again. and i hope the press is reading these letters and asking these republicans whose signature is on these letters one go -- how is it possible that you sent a letter to the secretary asking for a loan to support job creation in your district and then at the same time stand on the senate floor and gut the same program? and then go back home and claim you're helping to create jobs in america? i'm going to start with the first letter, which is the most interesting to me.
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from darryl issa. he's a member of congress. he actually chairs an oversight committee. i think his district is in california. he's a republican from california. he's a very powerful member of the house. i'm going to read his whole letter. "i write to express my support of the aterra motor's application for a loan under the vehicle manufacturing and incentive program, otherwise known as the atvmip, the program that he voted last night to eliminate, the same one. funding will be -- will allow opterra to establish u.s. manufacturing facilities for the commercial production of its plug-in and hybrid electric cars. opterra motor plans to purchase and equip manufacturing facilities to begin commercial
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scale production of its energy electric vehicles. awarding this opportunity to opterra motors will greatly assist a leading developer of electric vehicles in my district. electric vehicle initiatives like opterra will aid u.s. long-term energy goals by shifting away from fossil fuels and using viable renewable energy sources like plug-in electric energy. additionally, opterr's vehicles will reduce dependence on foreign ail and enhance energy security. it will also promote domestic job creation through california as well as in other states. unlike many other electric vehicles, apartmentera's energy-efficient electric vehicles have a range of over 100 miles per charge and the possibility to become one of the most energy-efficient vehicles in the world. a loan to apartmentera will help
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accelerate the move from gasoline-powered vehicles to cleaner electric vehicles. i urge you to give aptera motor advanced vehicle manufacturing a set of program funding, funding application full consideration. if i can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me or, amazingly, my press assistant. now, normally when i write these letters, i say if i can be of further assistance on this, please contact me and my energy assistant because the energy leg person usually handles this, but he says that we should call his press secretary, so i guess the press secretary could go back to his district and claim that he's doing a great job creating programs in california. and maybe the press actually writes that darryl issa, republican leader, is promoting manufacturing in california because this is what he says in
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his district and this is the letter he sends to the secretary. but when he's in the floor of the house last night, he voted to gut this program. that's what this debate is about. and i am looking forward to having it. the next letter that i'm going to read -- and i'm going to do this all week, so i hope the press just gets ready to ask these republican leaders how could you possibly have the gall to hold press opportunities in your district promising people that you're helping them create jobs and then come back to washington and cut the rug out from underneath their feet, with a bogus excuse that you have to
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come up with a billion dollars, when the real need is only 175. i checked with craig fugate, very good friend of mine. i'm the chair of his committee. i talk to him all the time. when the real need for fema in 2007 is $175 million, but under the guise of having to provide a billion dollars, they want to gut this program that's creating jobs, and they themselves have asked for these loans to be made in their district. this is the next letter signed by several members, and i am going to submit their names to the record. there are several republicans. i'm sorry from this letter i'm not able to determine which ones are republicans and which ones are democrats, but there are many republicans on this letter. the presiding officer: without objection.
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ms. landrieu: thank you, and i'm going to read this. "the state of california has traditionally assumed a leading role in fighting global warming, working to eliminate our sources dependence on foreign sources of oil. we want to commend you for taking effective steps toward achieving these goals. the department of electric's component manufacturing initiatives, same program, is currently reviewing submissions for the construction of new lithium eye on battery facilities in the united states. this initiative is a huge step forward in our efforts to improve our environment, eliminate our dependence on foreign sources of oil and create a modern green-collar work force here in the united states. qualion, an innovative american company located in california, can be a valuable partner in your efforts because it is ready today to directly support president obama's goal to have one million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015.
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qualion is a world leader in the development of customized lithium batteries for medical, military, aerospace and vehicle applications. if qualion is successful in its bid for grants through the departments of energy electric drive and vehicle battery component manufacturing, it is set to immediately execute the construction of state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities to produce, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. the projects that this grant funding and the proposed facility could be fully operation alibi 2012 and could produce more than 20,000 of these new batteries each year. in addition, -- this is the killer. this is the killer. in addition, qualcomm projects that this funding will create more than 2,300 new and long-term jobs nationwide. and this is the program that
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representative cantor decided to use as an offset so he could fool the american people into believing that we need to find an offset to offset a billion dollars of expenses when we only have $175 million in expenses. so they write the letters privately to the secretary asking for funding to go in their districts to create jobs, and then they come to washington and they gut the program. for no reason. this is another letter a little close to home. this is a letter i wrote. i was joined by my colleague, nor -- senator vitter, republican from louisiana and my republican counterpart, rodney alexander, who represents the
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district in my state, we sent this letter on december 21. we are writing to reiterate our strong support for next auto works company loan application under the department of energy's advanced technology vehicle manufacturing program. next auto works resubmitted a revised application in may that was almost immediately declared substantially complete and expeditiously reviewed for technical and financial merit. we appreciate the department's work to move the application through several critical stage gates over the past several months. next auto works has the ability to transform communities in louisiana by bringing critical economic growth and jobs to our state and region. as you know, the company plans to reequip a former guide corporation plant in monroe, louisiana, that was shuttered in 2006 and establish a production facility that would approximately create 1,400
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direct jobs and an additional 1,800 indirect jobs to northeast louisiana. in addition, the project will create thousands of jobs at supply facilities across the u.s. the state of louisiana and local communities have already demonstrated their commitment by offering this company $82 million in grants, $128 million in employee training services and an estimated $33.8 million in tax abatements to support the project. this is how strongly our republican governor and republican legislature in louisiana feel about this project that we have put upstate and local money to see if we could attract this loan from the federal government to get this going. signed by my colleague, senator vitter, and signed by my friend and colleague, representative
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alexander, who represents this district, this is our -- one of our number one economic development projects in the state of louisiana, and what did the representative do last night? he voted to gut the program. i have dozens of other letters, but i'm going to pause because i think i have made my point, but i'm going to read every one that i have between now and when this debate ends, and i just pray that the press will do their job and ask the members that voted and sent these letters why did you send a letter to the secretary asking for the program and then turn around and gut the program when you came to washington? i'd like to ask for five more minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: now, the other point is this. this is not just an issue for
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like one state or two states. that's why democrats feel really strongly about this, because this is really about the whole country. the president has declared disasters this year in 48 of the 50 states. now, you know, maybe if we just had had disasters in one or two places and they weren't that terrible, maybe we could figure out some way, but the problem here is we have disasters in all states. and i want to show you what these pictures look like because they are heart wrenching. this is new jersey. this is someone's household belongings. this is a home that is completely uninhabitable. i'm not sure how high the water is but this is what your home looks like after a flood. i can still see those, visualize
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what it looked like in katrina and smell more than even the visual. this is what new jersey looked like a couple of weeks ago. now, this water has gone down, but this is bound brook, new jersey. we don't know much about this town. we hear about trenton, we hear about new york. i have never been to bound brook, new jersey, but i'm sure it's a lovely place and it needs our help. so what does representative cantor do? he comes to washington, he looks at places like this and he just decides out of the sky blue that he is now going to exert his power by demanding an offset for disaster funding, when it's not necessary, the offset is way more than what is required, and again it's an offset that's creating jobs in america.
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now, i want to say something else about the danger of requiring offsets and respond directly to what the minority leader mitch mcconnell said earlier today. he said -- i think he said something like the reason that we want to require offsets is because we have got to stop doing things the same way around here. and just because we have never required them in the past, that's no reason to not require them now. and i understand that. i'm kind of a person that likes to do things differently. i like to change things. i like to do -- just to say just because we have done it in the past. but i want to remind the leader here that not one republican, to
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my mind, either in the senate or the house ever asked for five minutes to debate one dollar to offset war or rebuilding in iraq and afghanistan, and i want to put this chart up. the red -- the red -- this is a ten-year from 2001, so this is a chart that shows, let's say the last year, because i think it's important for the public to understand not just today but ten years. if you charted, which we've done here, a lot of the supplement spending, emergency spending and disaster spending -- this is not just for natural disasters. these are for emergencies like when we went to war in iraq was an emergency, when we went to afghanistan, that's an
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emergency. when we had the avian flu, that's an emergency, not a disaster. these are disasters and emergencies. all of these red bars, let's take this one here, it says iraq and afghanistan, $79 billion. you see this zero here? that's zero offset. $79 billion, no offset. here we go here, this was money that -- this was war money and tsunami money that we actually sent to the tsunami. remember we had the tsunami in indonesia, we sent some money over there. did eric cantor come to the floor and say that we need to offset the money? no. and so we sent that money, and less than 2% of it was offset. here is another, iraq,
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afghanistan. none of it was offset. $87.6 billion. so i think disaster victims in his own district and around the country are saying so why are we now in this debate trying to find an offset we really don't need for a program that really works? that's a good question. if you wanted to find an offset, you should find another program. the offset only required is $175 million. but that makes too much sense. so i want the republican leadership to know that they are risking a very important debate. i don't believe that we should even talk about shutting the
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government down. people are tired of that. we just went through a challenge to the whole economy with the debt ceiling limit. but enough is enough, and democrats should not, in my view, cave on this point. we should fight and get them to compromise, which is reasonable. now, in addition to these arguments, i want to put up a hard chart to look at, but i think for the gulf coast republicans and senators, it's a very important chart. one of the dangers of requiring an offset is, number one, like right now, it's virtually impossible to get 535 members to all agree on an offset. and so what happens is if you demand to have one, you put the victims waiting while we debate.
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it also doesn't help to choose an offset that's very popular on one side. there might be a program that we could over the next couple of months decide is unnecessary. but you can't do that in a few days of the disaster. it takes time. they should know that. and for the gulf coast senators, let me explain what this is. i had this done after katrina just to show the vulnerability of the gulf coast. all of these red lines that look like spaghetti and then these bigger lines, the blue and the yellow and the orange, these are all hurricanes that have actually hit the united states between 1851 and 2008. it's a very frightening chart. one of the reasons i think that senator rubio from florida is voting with us is because he's seen a picture of this chart. and that's how many hurricanes
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have hit florida since 1851. and he is most certainly aware from this state that if he takes the position that you have to require an offset to fund disasters, that his job as a senator will be very, very, very difficult, even more challenging than it is today because the next time a hurricane hits florida, he's going to have to go sit down with the budget folks and find out before he can offer his people the $2,000 in emergency aid, the $30,000 that helps them, the loans through the small business committee, the loans to get their businesses back, that he's going to have to come back up here to negotiate to find an offset. now last night i watched the debate on the house side. i thought our democratic colleagues did a beautiful job, and i want to thank them for their beautiful way that they spoke. i didn't see one republican come to the floor, and they just had
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one of their leaders talking last night when the vote happened. maybe they're a little embarrassed, because they should be because i'm going to read the letters they sent. but also the gulf coast republicans, i think you really have to think about this, because these storms, as you can see, i say to my people that i represent, we're in hurricane alley. and these storms come, and this is hurricane rita, the blue, which was one of the most devastating storms. that's why it's a thicker line. hurricane argue staff is the orange -- hurricane gustav is the orange. hurricane ike is the dark pink. all of these storms hit us and just wrecked the gulf coast. now let me say what happened after that. haley barbour, the governor of mississippi, who's still the governor of mississippi, came up here when george bush was the
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president and got $4.6 billion without one penny of offset, and he got that within 60 days of the storm. i'm going to repeat that. governor haley barbour, who is still the governor of mississippi, came to washington, met with the president and left with $4.6 billion to build mississippi. they gave us, the congress gave louisiana $5.4 billion, which i was very grateful for but we had 70% of the damage but only got 55%. money. so we were shortchanged. i had to work for years. i finally got that squared away. this is why gulf coast republicans and republican senators from the gulf coast should think not twice, but three times before they vote to require an offset. and i'm just saying i am not going to forget this vote
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because i chair this committee. and if you vote to require an offset and another storm hits your state, then it is going to be the responsibility on your shoulders to tell your people, i'm sorry i can't help you until i go to washington and find an offset. and maybe it will get so ridiculous -- and i'm going to call this the cantor doctrine, maybe it will get so ridiculous that eric cantor will tell all the people in america -- there was a cartoon about this. i'm having it blown up because it is really sad, actually funny. there is a woman sitting on top of her roof. her house is completely flooded and she's got a phone. and she calls fema and fema says we can't rescue you right now. we're looking for an offset. maybe the new cantor republican model of pick yourself up by your bootstraps and swim away on
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your own will actually be put into practice because i think that's what they want. because before you can be rescued, before the debris can be removed, you're going to have to sit down at the table with your husband and kids in a broken-down house or trailer and suggest some offsets to send to your congressman before we can send you help? that is not right. that is' what this debate is about. now do we eventually have to pay for these disasters? absolutely. and the "wall street journal" editorialized against me the other day so let me answer them. they said there goes senator landrieu. sheep doesn't think she has -- she doesn't think she thaos pay for anything. that is not true. i believe we're paying for the war in iraq. it's very tough to pay for that. we're paying for the war in afghanistan. we didn't have to find the offset before we let our troops
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march in. we didn't have them standing at the border saying stand right here, hold your fire. eric cantor is working on an offset for you. we sent the troops in. we let the bombers go. and we'll figure out how to pay for it later. so i'm telling the republicans in the house, you better think very carefully about this vote. now, senator reid has sent a very good compromise. he said we'll give up our number. we'll take your number on fema. but we are not going to take this offset. now i still think, and i want to say for the record, as the chairman of this committee, $2.6 -- or 3.65 is not going to be enough to get us through all of next year, but it will get us through the next couple of weeks and months. not months. maybe weeks.
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the government won't shut down. fema will have money to operate, as the leader said. it's not ideal. it's not what is in our bill, which is the best, which is a $6.5 billion level, which will fund not just fema but it will fund the corps of engineers, community development, agriculture. what the house is doing only funds fema t. doesn't give any -- it doesn't give any money to the corps, doesn't give money to community development, doesn't give money to the farmers. if you're sitting out there looking at your farm with your crops ruined, please don't think the house of representatives is doing one thing to help you, because they're not. so i have given any number of reasons why this is an important debate to have. there is no guarantee that democrats will win. but every now and then it's a good thing to stand up for
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principle. and i think this is a principle worth standing for and worth fighting for. and i hope if the press does its job over the next several days and asks these republicans how in the world can you send a private letter asking for funding and then come back to washington and gut the same program? and if the press does their job and if the people in our country will ask those same questions, maybe a few of these republican leaders will compromise the way they should, either give up the offset, come up with a different one. let me just close my -- or come up with another one that's much less harmful. le me also end with this. we have three letters that i'm going to submit to the record that also say you can't take my word for any of this. you can listen to the chamber of commerce. what did the chamber of commerce say?
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i'm going to give you their letter. this is a wrong thing to do the chamber says. don't eliminate this program. it's creating jobs in america. so the republicans, i know they don't really like to listen to what i say a lot but they should listen to the chamber of commerce. the national manufacturing association, a very conservative group, they sent the republicans a letter saying bad deal. don't do it. they did it anyway. now i just got a letter from the u.s. conference of mayors. all the mayors in the country, republicans and democrats, sent a letter to the house saying don't do this. and they did it anyway. so the only people more powerful, the only group more powerful than the chamber, than n.a.m., than the mayors are the people themselves. if this weekend the people will say to their representatives
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don't cut out a program that's creating jobs, don't require disaster victims to have an offset, let's keep the government operating and let's find a way to pay for this over time together and get this deficit under control. i am willing to do that. and as the chair of this committee, i promise them we can do better budgeting in the future. nobody did it really great in the past. i'm willing to do that. i'm willing to work with them in any way. but let's not go down this dangerous, dangerous and inappropriate road. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. will the senator suspend? a senator: of course? the presiding officer: the calling of the role. the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, first of all, i would ask unanimous consent that i be able to speak for no more than five
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minutes and that the senator from west virginia follow my presentation. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: mr. president, first of all, i wanted to thank the senator from louisiana and i wanted to point out look at all those red lines. those are the paths of hurricanes. where do you think most of them are going between 1851 and 2008? and why are folks likeou like ue gulf coast and atlantic coast, why are we so sensitive about disaster money? it's because we've been hit over and over again. now, our lands we call "prayer dice," but they -- now, our lands we call "paradise," but they happen to be, like the senator from louisiana said, in hurricane highway. when i was in school, it was an
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excuse to get out of school. when i was a bachelor, it was an excuse to have a party. but now that i have the privilege of representing one of those very large gulf coast states and atlantic coast states, it is absolute utter destruction. when hurricane andrew hit miami, had it turned one degree to the north and instead drawn a beat on the dade-broward line in north miami, it would have been a $50 billion insurance loss storm in 1992 dollars. that would have been upwards much $80 billion today. it would have taken down every insurance company that was doing business in the path of that storm. this is the destructive power. and do our people need help? of course they need help. mr. president, i came to speak on a different subject. a retired f.b.i. agent named bob
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levinson over four years ago disappeared when he checked out of his hotel in the iranian tourist island of kish island in the persian gulf. he disappeared. it is only recently that his family -- and he leaves behind a family of a wife and seven children -- only recently that they have the belief that he is alive. we have brought this to all levels of our government. this senator, who represents the state that christine levinson lives in, has been to the iranian ambassador at the united nations years ago trying to intervene.
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and the secretary of state -- our secretary of state has, in fact, pushed this very hard. now, why am i saying all this? because on the occasion of the release of the hikers by the iranian government, for whatever compassion that they have shown the government bringing together disparate parts that have their own little power centers in iran, whatever success they had in bringing that together and releasing those hikers back to their loved ones, quey w we prar that that same decision-making apparatus in tehran would now activate the process to bring bob levinson home to his wife
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and seven children. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. manchin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: first of all, my good friend from florida, i appreciate him bringing it to our light and maybe we can help. i thank you, sir. to my good friend, the senator from louisiana, i think what she speaks about is us identifying and who we are as americans and the way we've taken care of each other. i don't know of any state that has not had to depend on fema for help, and not just the statististates that she showed - hurricane alley, where the hurricanes hit, but basically all of us have had to depend on assistance. i think what she brings to light
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is who we are as americans and doing what we can to take care of each other. i for one said we need to rebuild america, we need to take care of america first. i tries speak about the difficult fiscal choices that we as members of congress must soon make in the deficit-custing proposals that president obama has recently -- the deficit-cutting proposals that president obama has recently made. as we face our exploding debts and drveghts it is true that our nation sat a crossroads. a nation that was built on the strengths of our people's optimism must struggle to overcome the loss of confidence, a loss of confidence that comes from an economy that has struggled for far too long, a loss of confidence that comes from watching debt and deficits explode, a loss of confidence that comes from watching republicans and democrats engage in a fruitless partisan fight. the american people worry about how to get their families out of debt and their financial house in order. they worry about finding or
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keeping a job. they worry about how they're going to pay the rent, how they're going to take care of their children, how they're going to keep clothes on their back and how maybe they can buy them a christmas present. and once again, instead of all of us coming together to do what is right for the nation and right in their worries, republicans and democrats alike are again gearing up for a fight about politics even as our nation's fiscal and economic picture gets worse every minute. today we yet again find ourselves on the brink -- and i can't explain -- begin to explain why to the american people. this summer they watched us go through this exercise. the senate, the house, and the president, and then we agreed on the one hand spending cuts to keep the government working -- on spending cuts to keep the government working. where i come from, mr. president -- and the same as you, mr. president, the great state of minnesota -- your word is your bond.
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it shouldn't be changed midstream. i am committed to passing a katrina c.r. to keep our government working until the -- to i am committed to passing a clean c.r. to keep our government working. in the midst of this agreement over whether to keep the government running, the people of west virginia and the american people are demanding that we put our partisan differences aside and work together in the best interests of this country. they are pleading for us to quit fighting and worrying about the next election and start worrying about the next generation. with our nation facing a debt -- a spiral of debt, now is the time that each of us should be zeroing in on credible, commonsense solutions that have truly bipartisan support. after carefully reviewing the president's recommendations to the so-called supercommittee, i believe that they fall short of what this country needs to put our fiscal house in order.
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president obama's deficit reduction recommendation not only false short of his state $4.4 trillion goal, but could, according to analysis, have the perverse effect of addin addings much as $1.9 trillion to our nation's debt. i also am greatly concerned about rehashing unproductive recommendations like raising tax rates on small businesses in a recession and budget gimmicks like the notion that taxpayers will somehow save $1.1 trillion from not fighting wars in afghanistan and iraq, which i believe we shouldn't be there anyway. and i've said this. mr. president, on my best day, i can't sell that to the people of west virginia or should we try to sell it to the american people. that is not to say that the president's proposal is all bad. there's some good stuff in there. i have long said that our tax system needs to be more fair and balanced and that billionaires
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like mr. buffett should pay their fair share. i appreciate the concept of the buffett rule. and i look forward to seeing more details, and i agree that one of the best investments that we all could make is to the infrastructure of this great country. but as they stand right now, president obama's proposals are too skewed to appeal to both sides of the ievment so we see what we see happening again. if we're serious about addressing our debt and deficits, neither republicans nor democrats can propose partisan proposals and then pretend their crefnlt we can't do that any longer. the american people deserve better and i also know that we can do a lot better. in my short time in corntion i have seen only one plan that has earned support from members of both parties. in fact, the president's own bipartisan deficit commission, the bowles-simpson group, is the best example of what can be accomplished if we put politics aside. while no one, including me, will agree with everything in the
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bowles-simpson approach, it at least offered a commonsense, bipartisan template that would cut spending, restore tax fairness, and would help restore fiscal sanity to our nation. to date it is the only plan that has offered a framework that has had bipartisan support from the beginning and still has it now. but instead of this approach, there are many people on both sides of the aisle who have chosen a path that all but guarantees that republicans and democrats will continue to fight over how to solve our fiscal problems instead of seeking common ground and commonsense solutions. for the sake of our nation, for our families, we cannot let this havment we must act and we must act together. mr. president, looking ahead to vigorous debates of the fall, my hope is that the deficit supercommittee will seize the moment and seek common ground to develop a plan that puts our nation on the right path to fiscal accountability.
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common sense to me is that you would start with a plan that already has bipartisan support because it'll take both sides of the aisle to fix this problem. and i urge them and the president to look beyond partisan politics and do what is right for this cufnlt i continue to urge the committee to look past their legal mandate of $1.5 million in savings and instead look for reforms that will create much broader fairness in our system, that will lead to deficit reductions of at least $4 trillion. i for one will work with the senate democrats and the republicans who are committed to develop a commonsense debt fix that responsibly reduces spending, makes our tax system more fair, we cut waste, fraud, and abuse, and makes sure that we protect the criticals programs like social security and medicare. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor, and i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: consent to
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dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: and would ask consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: mr. president, this week, president obama stood beside israel and the cause of peace when he addressed the
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united nations general assembly. i rise today to also stand beside our ally and friend, israel, and the goal of a two-state solution. i firmly believe that only a two-state solution can lead to a lasting peace between israel and the palestinian people. unfortunately, we're heading down a path that will not lead to a lasting peace. involvement by the united nations general assembly will not lead to a solution but will act as a disruptive force. i would urge the parties to use the time in new york to begin a constructive dialogue towards agreement on final status issues. if peace is to be achievable, then we must break through the cycle of failure that is too often plagued -- that has too often plagued negotiations. u.n. action will not resolve the issues acting as a roadblock to
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peace. it is important also to notice the president has stated that peace will not come until each side -- and i quote the president here -- learns to stand in each other's shoes, learns to stand in each other's shoes." end quote. each party must realize the other's aspirations because their futures are intricately intertwined. no action at the united nations can remove or change what is an essential fact. for israel, the two-state solution will enable its people to enjoy a secure and peaceful future. for the palestinians, the goal of nationhood can only occur through negotiations with israel. i believe that the president is making a good-faith attempt to realize and understand the aspirations of each party while standing firm with our friends.
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the central reality is this -- that we will only recognize a palestinian state as part of an agreement that leads to a lasting peace. this is in the best interests of israel, the palestinian people, the united states and the international community. there is no time like the present to restart the hard work needed to achieve a lasting peace. former israeli prime minister ehud olmert recently pressed -- former prime minister olmert recently pressed on the urgent need to return to negotiations in an op-ed in "the new york times." and, mr. president, i would ask consent to enter prime minister olmert's op-ed in the record at the end of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: while i do not agree with everything the prime
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minister wrote, i do believe he was especially correct about one point, and i quote -- i truly believe that a two-state solution is the only way to ensure a more stable middle east and to grant israel the security and well-being it desires. as tensions grow, i cannot but feel that we in the region are on the verge of missing an opportunity, one that we cannot afford to miss. end quote. and he concludes in his piece, now is the time. there will knob better one. i hope that mr. netanyahu and mr. abbas will meet the challenge, end quote, and that's how he concludes the piece. and i also hope that today, both parties sit down in new york and avoid the disruption that will be caused by a vote in the
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united nations. and with that, mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. udall: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: i ask consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: and ask ask consent to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration of h.r. 2646 which was received from the house and is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 2646, an act to authorize certain department of veterans affairs major medical facility projects and leases and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read three times and passed, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate, and any statements related to the bill be placed in
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the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 2943, which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 2943, an act to extend the program of block grants to states and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. udall: i know of no further debate on the bill. the presiding officer: all in favor say aye. all opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, and that
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any statements related to the bill appear at this point in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the armed services committee be discharged from further consideration of s. con res. 27 and the senate proceed to its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. con res. 27, concurrent resolution honoring the service of sergeant first class leroy arthur petry and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent 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 any statements related to the measure be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. con res. 29 submitted earlier
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today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. con res. 29, concurrent resolution authorizing the use of the rotunda of the united states capitol and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table with no intervening action or debate and any statements relating to the matter be placed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the "help" committee be discharged from further consideration of s. con res. 248 and the senate proceed to its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res 248 resolution supporting the goals and ideas of national brain aneurysm awareness month. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed
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to -- the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed. mr. udall: 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 any statements relating to the matter be placed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from the following resolutions en bloc and the senate proceed to their consideration en bloc: senate res. 2737 and senate -- senate res. 2737 senate res. 261. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed en bloc. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc with no intervening
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action or debate and any related statements be printed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration en bloc of the following resolutions which were submitted earlier today: s. res 276, s. res 277, s. res 278, s. res 279, s. res 280 and s. res 281. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the resolutions en bloc. mr. udall: i ask unanimous consent the resolutions be agreed to, the preambles be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc with no intervening action or debate, and any related statements be printed in the record as if read.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: i understand that s. 1619 is at the desk and due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 1619, a bill to provide for identification of misaligned currency, require action to correct the misalignment and for other purposes. mr. udall: i would object to any further proceedings with respect to the bill. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the measure will be placed on the calendar. mr. udall: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. inouye: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from hawaii. mr. inouye: i ask that the quorum call being reunderstand ised. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inouye: mr. president, the united states senate is considering h.r. 2608, a continuing resolution to ensure that our vital federal programs can continue in operation before the congress completes action on our appropriations bills for this fiscal year. as all of my colleagues are aware, i do not welcome the reality that we once again need to approve a stopgap measure as we prepare to begin the next fiscal year. but unfortunately, that's the position we're in now. the acrimonious and time-wasting debate on raising the debt ceiling has led us to this place. put simply, mr. president, we have no choice but to pass this short-term measure.
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i would like to point out, however, that unlike last year, we see this as a short-term need, not a long-term remedy. because even though there was neither an agreement on spending levels nor an allocation to appropriations committee for discretionary spending until the august recess commenced, i'm happy to inform my colleagues that the senate appropriations committee has completed its work on 11 of the 12 bills required to fund our federal agencies. in the past three weeks, the appropriations committee has met to review and favorably approve ten bills for fiscal year 2012. eight of those bills were reported out of committee on an overwhelming bipartisan vote. and by that i mean something
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like 29-1. the senate has received five of these bills from the house. the appropriations committee is ready to take up any of these bills on the floor when time allows. in the interim, enacting a continuing resolution is essential before the congress goes on recess. the bill passed by the house provides the bare bones minimum required to ensure that government functions will be continued without interruption. it also includes a few critical legislative positions to sustain vital programs which would otherwise be terminate pedestrian. there were minimal items which the administration and members of this body would have liked to include, but the house did not agree to include them. the house c.r. also provides a
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limited amount of disaster funding, which has been addressed by others. i want to state for the record that i'm particular i did disturbed at the position of the house that f.y. 2011 emergency disaster systems would be offset by canceling the advanced technology vehicle program. mr. president, it has been the long tradition of the congress to approve disaster assistance without need for offset. mr. president, others will likely come to the senate floor to challenge that remark. they will point out that in many, if not most, emergency supplementals, the congress has recommended using rescissions to offset the cost of the bill. they are correct. but as usual, the details tell the true story.
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the appropriations committee annually reviews unonly dpaited balances -- unobligated balances that remain in programs and those that are unnecessary are recommended for rescission or reapplication to other programs. however, in the case of disaster assistance, i challenge my colleagues to review all appropriations bills for the past decade and find a single instance where the committee paid for disasters by rescinding funds from other programs. no one would find an example because quite simply, there aren't any. equally important, as noted above, year after year the congress rescinds unobligated funds, but only when they are no longer needed. in the case of the remaining balances for the advanced technology vehicle programs,
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these funds are needed. mr. president, hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't come up to the floor and note the need for job creation. here is a program that is creating jobs, good jobs, jobs with a future. investing in new technologies to make a nation more competitive in the international marketplace is exactly the type of program where federal government intervention makes sense. the notion that our republican colleagues if the house would propose rescinding $1.5 billion in funding from this program in the current economic climate borders on the nonsensical. finally, mr. president, i would note that today's balances in the disaster relief fund are now at $175 million. our people are in need of
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assistance now. the congress cannot wait any longer to address this need. all of my colleagues should come together in a bipartisan agreement to strip out the a.t.v. offset, approve meaningful disaster assistance today and return this bill to the house for reconsideration. mr. president, i hope that we have the good sense to resolve this matter. i thank you, sir, and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: objection.
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mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session and the "help" committee discharged from further consideration of presidential nomination 924, 567 nominations public health service received by the senate september 8, 2011, beginning with alicia aptar and hing with hmaca winter. the nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motions to reconsider be laid on the table, no intervening action or debate, and that no further motions be in order to the nominations and any related statements be printed in the record. the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: ask unanimous consent that the senate consider the following nominations: calendar number 371, 372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 381, 382, 383, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 390, 392, 393,
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394, 395, 396, 398, 397, 3999, 400, 401, 402, all nominations be placed on the secretary's desk in the air force, a.m., marine corps, army. the nominations be laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate, any related statements be printed in rt record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: ask consent that the senate proceed to s. res. 282. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 282, to authorize testimony in
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canilis county. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate proceeds to the measure. mr. reid: i ask consent that the resolution be agreed to, preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be in intervening action or debate, any statements relating to this matter be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: ask consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 3:30 p.m. on monday, september 26. following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, following any leader remarks, the senate will be in a peeferredz morning business until 4:30 p.m., senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each, and that following morning business, the senate resume the notion concur with respect to the house message to accompany h.r.2608, the vehicle for the continuing resolution, and the fema funtdzing, with the time until 5:30 p.m. equally
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divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. further, the secondary amendment -- the second-degree filing deadline for the motion to concur be at 5:00 p.m. on monday. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: the next roll call vote will be at 5:30 p.m. montana dairnlg the notion invoke cloture on the motion to concur in the house message, which is basically a six- week continuing resolution to fund the government together with fema. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order, with the understanding that the vote at 5:30 ought to continue -- i'll continue that for more than the normal time, but people need to be reasonable, can't keep it open forever. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 3:30 p.m. on monday, september 3:30 p.m. on monday, september
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>> the joint chiefs of staff joint chiefs of staff have agreed to remove the question regarding one's orientation from future version of the enlistment application and it will not be asked. >> next come a conversation about u.s. debt and deficit for the joint of that committee, calling on congress to go big and seek deficit reductions of $4 trillion or more compared to the proposed $1.5 trillion.
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or just basically former white house budget gear, alice ripley and erskine bowles, former cochairman of president abbas is that commission. i'm an event hosted via the new america foundation and the committee for responsible federal budget, this is just under an hour and 15 minute. [inaudible] [inaudible] [inaudible] >> those are truly terrifying. >> the national debt calls into
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credibility the full faith and credit of the united states and that means they are looked at almost as a third world country. >> countries decline either because they lose wars or get buried in debt. the failure to deal with that are literally catastrophic. >> the bigger threat to the future budgets and national priority, the bigger threat to the health of our economy most people recognize to allow deficits to continue as they are, they will crowd out almost all other spending in terms of interest on our deck. that is not an acceptable alternative for a country and certainly not an acceptable alternative for children and grandchildren. >> my good colleague, erskine bowles called it the most serious threat our country has ever had and the largest, most
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difficult thing to resolve and the most predictable as to where we are headed. >> i don't think you can express the threats to our economy that can crowd out future investments and what we need to produce and the joint chiefs of staff joint chiefs of staff have identified it as our greatest national security threat. >> there is nothing i can think of that would give the country more confidence than to see a longer-term plan of reform a fiscal sustainability. >> i think in a much larger sense, the whole idea is a threat to the notion that free people act and freely together can't discipline themselves for the future before the president chose interests ahead of their own. >> this debt issue is not a
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singular issue of concern just to our country, but the people who look to america for leadership. >> would need to do this for the world. >> we have to think that debt is our single biggest problem. >> we have a very large long-term deficit problem. we just have to fix it. >> there is no option. we have to reduce the future death. >> 16 people, both people and former business and government have really come out and asked the committee to think about going beyond the $1.5 trillion cut mandate. >> asked day after the letter sent i said i supported that object is and i it was critical that if we were going to get to where we need to be and how they country that is on a sound fiscal spending. >> the joint committee needs to go big. >> policymakers need to look and go big. >> as far as i'm concerned, we
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have to have a go big approach to this problem. >> i believe this committee had to go big. >> there's no substitute to a go big approach. >> winsomely and need to go big because the problems we face are big. [inaudible] >> thank you, so much. welcome everybody to urging the super committee to go big for trillion and beyond event we hosted an thank you to her audience on c-span. imi and mcguinness. can we turn the lights on? federal committee for responsible federal budget. as you heard from the first video coming era of using video technology and our vans. theravada voices out there that have been urging this new super committee of 12 men and women who are tasked with 1.2 to 1.5
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chine dollars in saving over the next decade to go beyond that and to go big. the early last week there was a letter released by 60 leaders from business former treasury officials, cbo, omb, outside will respect your voices are reclaiming or urgency for committees to go big. even acknowledge in a different reasons for why and what it should look like, but it's important to go beyond the mission. later last week there were 36 senators, and it was quite a sight to see 36 senators standing on a stage together, pushing to do something hard to come up with the savings package in the trillions of dollars that included an entitlement, revenue, all areas of the budget. so today what we've done is we've gathered really the leading voices in budget area. right and left, all different backgrounds, to come together and talk a little bit about the whole thing can apply and if they believe and why they
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believe that the super committee needs to go beyond the mandate of finding the trillion and a half to finding two or three times as much in savings. i guess the quick reason i would give him that we the committee think it's so important if you're going to do all this work and there's no question what they are tasked with his very, very difficult. these are other kinds of policy choices that policymakers have been ducking for the past decade of real spending cuts and real increases in revenue. but if you're going to go through all that work and all that political compromise that will clearly take me want to actually fix the problem. we are going to need something bigger than what they look at to stabilize but that and put it on a downward trajectory. we also haven't seen is very important that they go along. this isn't just a short-term problem. in the short-term come in the biggest problem is making sure that economic coverage takes hold and stays on track. but this is a medium and long-term problem and it's
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critical that members of the super committee look at and are supported for looking at the long-term drivers of the problem. so the areas of the budget going faster than sustainable. finally, we make a point that they have to go smart. but there are ways you can cut the budget and families it's what we've been doing over the past month, were you mindlessly putting cats and push things down, but don't pick and choose what programs are working on which programs are outdated and unnecessary or not well targeted. so if you go smart, you end up looking at the budget and saying for a new era unity budget that focuses more on public investment and less on consumption. if you go smart and revenues come the lookout to overhaul the tax system. there's something were lucky that when it comes to tax you for is that our tax code is so crummy to begin with, we can reform the tax code in so many ways that won't prove it come to simplify a come and make it more efficient and raise revenues. at least there's a lot of opportunities for the heavy lift. go big, go long, those smart
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needs to be what people are pushing in that in the super committee know they want them to help succeed in doing. so that's the point of discussion today. for those of you have your packets, we have a list of truly phenomenal people coming with us to speak today. what i would like to do now is invite my cohost of this band, steve l. from the bipartisan policy center to come up and say a couple words before we get started with our panel. steve. >> thank you very much, maya. we have been touring and the seals for a long, long time. you've done good work and we certainly appreciate it. i want to make three points. one couple were very glad to cosponsor this today. as you know, domenici and rivlin are the cochairs. dr. rivlin will speak to the first panel. senator rivlin will speak at the
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second panel. number two, i would like to tell you all the work we've done to date, the bipartisan cats, the budget control act has not essentially changed the debt are you for the next 30 years that this country at all. so while the fighting is. didn't make much difference. and that brings me to the third point that i am made. this group of people by the joint select committee has an opportunity to go big. it's written into the lot that establish in our judgment and they can do the similar things if they wish to bring about really big changes in taxes and spending. it's their choice and i think only external pressure will make that choice. maya, thank you very much for everything. >> well, maya and steve, pleasure to be with you.
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let me say i too have just three things to say on behalf of the conference coalition. i thoroughly endorse go big. i thoroughly endorse go on. and go smart wasn't on my list, but i can accept good listener. and what i was going to say is don't go it alone. and by that, i mean some of the work that the concorde coalition is in the field outside of washington is a bit of political advice for not just a super committee, but all members of congress because of the political difficulties that these choices, don't go it alone. to things like senator warner and senator chambliss did and could reach other states and try to explain why this is a bipartisan problem and they can be a bipartisan solution. and don't go it alone also means bring the public along with you. the last thing we want to have
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happen here is the super committee go and make some deal and nobody knows what's going on and nobody understands the choices and something comes out on the eve of thanksgiving and everybody spends december try to figure out what it isn't arguing about it, rather than having a good debate going towards a vote that might get consensus. so go long, go big. go smart event. but don't go it alone. and following my own advice, i'm going to have to hit the road on a trip, so i'm sorry i can't stick around for the great advice. thank you, maya. >> thanks. can we turn to the video for the panel?
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>> anyone who looks at projections that the u.s. federal debt sees that we are already high levels of debt to gdp. 90% gross debt, 70% that are historically high numbers in dangerous or economy. but even worse, going forward, there's quickly going to pass 100% debt to gdp and accelerate from there. that's an unsustainable trajectory that lead to a debt crisis crisis without any question. we are almost at 100% of our economy and total debt to gdp and we have tens of trillions of dollars of unfunded obligations that are off the balance sheet. we need to start dealing with these issues before we have a debt crisis in the united states. >> 20 or 30 years without we look at deficits of 16 or more% of gdp every year and that's completely and utterly unsustainable. no country has ever run deficits
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like that and actually manage to stay solvent. >> economists agree on various things, but i think most of them agree the debt to gdp about 60% is not a current. and debt to gdp at 90% has a very negative effect on growth. samite at the deficit congressional method fails, we'll go into a tailspin almost immediately. in fact, we thought most gone in this last time around, but i think everyone was waiting for what they probably viewed as a machine that would somehow, please come and save everybody at the last minute. but most people now recognize that can't happen anymore. the consequences are so dramatic that even failure to come up with something i was going to have enormous consequences economically in other ways for
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this country and our standard of living is going to go down immediately. >> i actually believe the indispensable staff in a growth and jobs strategy is to show to ourselves and show to the markets of the word that the united states does not intend to go bust. so beginning now, stealing down the debt levels we have an deficit levels and putting in place a long-term measure that shows that we are going to do with the unfunded obligations that are even being counted in these numbers. the joint committee needs to go big if they want to provide assurance to the capital markets. especially to our foreign investors that were serious about putting our financial house in order. i believe the super committee needs to achieve at least $3 trillion in additional deficit reduction over the next 10 years. >> we have two terrible problems. we have very high unemployment. more than 14 million americans are unemployed and we have a
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terrible long-run budget problem. and the answer is we just simply have to make progress on both of those things. and that is why it feels so strongly that the right policy is to pair an aggressive jobs program today, which requires more government spending, requires tax cut, the pair that with a much more serious reduction in our long-run deficit because that absolutely is the right economic policy for the united states. >> timing i think is the element. it is not an either or situation, but it's when you start making the cuts? doing it in a phased approach i think positions us for growth in the long term. >> i think of it as a two-step dance. in the short-term there's things that need to be done to get the economy going, but they won't affect the long-term deficit issue. the question of the long-term deficit is separate from the short-term recovery.
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if we correct long-term deficit and put in place proposals, which will lead to a fiscally responsible nation, to one where we can afford the debt we ran out, to want to wear a debt to gdp ratios fall below 60% over the next 10 years, they will actually help dramatically the short-term recovery because people have confidence in our nation again. people have confidence in our currency and our ability to finance our government. if we don't do that, they don't have confidence and they won't make investments in the short-term economy will slow in the long-term economy will be disastrous. >> in order to give the economy, the business community in the private sector confidence come in order to get the international community confidence, we need to balance a budget and bring our debt load down. at the same time, when we get that confidence, have invested in the short-term growing jobs in giving business and enterprises and people who want to go on business the
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opportunity to do so and encouragement to do so and the economic wherewithal to do so. >> i think at this super committee came up with a big solution, which put us on a path or at least directed the key committees to congress to put us on a path towards solving the long-term fiscal solvency, there would be a huge burst of enthusiasm and energy from the american people and the entrepreneurs in our culture that would cause a major economic expansion and create lots of jobs and make people feel good about the nation again. >> there is not an option. i mean, we really do have to do with our long-run deficit and we have put a lot of weight on the shoulders of the super committee and they just simply have to step a. >> rate, thank you. if we could have our first panel, then join us. erskine bowles was the cochairman of the fiscal commission. all of you come out.
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you don't have to wait for your introduction. senator mike crapo, senator from idaho also on the fiscal commission. dave cote, ceo of honeywell on the fiscal commission and alice rivlin, former director cbo, omb, vice chair of the fat on the fiscal commission and cochair of the domenici rivlin. we have a group of people who are together putting together bipartisan deals that in fact did go big and could go big and in many ways will inform the work of the super committee. i'm going to be joined now by my co-moderator, peter cook from bloomberg tv. peter, if you are ready, alternate server two for the first question to our group. >> maya, thank you for the participation. and the all-star panel he have to talk to about the issue in washington these days. as a reporter covering the super committee and actions over the next few weeks, this is a list
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to say a fascinating and important topic for us and our audience have bloomberg and important for not only this unanswered, the audience at home and around the country to find out why you won't believe going big is the right move because certainly forgot their voices in washington say that perhaps going small is the better way. erskine bowles, you have the benefit of being the chairman of the deficit commission along with alan simpson. you all came up with a package that did escape a $4 figure. it is a sense from your point of view like going big makes sense for the country and is feasible. >> try it. we'll see if it works. >> it was a great honor to serve on that commission and to work on a subject that i think is
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probably the most important work i've ever done in my life. why do i feel that way? and why do i feel like this super committee must go big? they've got to be bold and they darn well better be smart. i think if they don't okay, if they are bold, they are smart, i think we face the most predictable economic crisis in history. i think it is clear that the fiscal path our country is on is simply not sustainable. and if we do not an come if we take the ostrich theory and just stick our heads in the ground, i think the future of our country is not very bright. what worries me is people who go around saying gosh, we can simply grow our way out of this problem or we can simply and solely tax our way out or we can
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simply cut our way out of this problem. this problem is too big to be solved by anyone of those solutions. we've got to grow, we've got to raise revenue and we've got to cut spending and we've got to cut spending wherever we find that, whether it's in the tax code or the entitlement programs defense and nondefense. for reasons, i think it's got to be at least $4 trillion is that is the number we made that because the number forages past us on the street. 4 trillion is the minimum amount you have to reduce the deficit over 10 years in order to stabilize the debt and put it on a declining basis as a percentage gdp. that has got to be it. this is not an arithmetic game. i think it would be crazy if we did this and we didn't take into account the very fragile economic recovery we have today.
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so in the recommendations we've made, we made sure that we didn't have a cuts this year and next year, but we did eventually get back to precrisis levels of spending. again, we've got to make sure we don't disrupt the fragile economic recovery. we also have a responsibility to take care of you to the disadvantage that we make sure we didn't have cuts that affect truly disadvantaged cuts in things like food stamps or ssi or workers compensation. thirdly, we've got to invest if we are going to succeed in what is today a knowledge-based global economy, then we have to invest in things like education and infrastructure in high value-added research, but we have to do it in a fiscally responsible manner. lastly, as someone said, the tax code we have, you couldn't dream of a more anti-competitive, in effect they have come code. then we will simply broaden the base, simplify the code,
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eliminate all or most of these tax expenditures, which is just baiting in the tax code, but we can reduce rates and apply a significant portion of the money that we face in order to bring down the deficit by a significant amount. i think that's the kind of thing that makes sense. i think it would generate dynamic growth of the country and would create jobs here and i think it would put america back on the road to prosperity. >> senator crapo, you're a sitting member of congress, the only one at this table. there are questions about whether congress can go big at anything. it's more feasible, more realistic option. you're hearing congress on the deficit commission. what is going big feasible? why is it the right choice? >> well, first of all, let me say i agree with everything my good friend, erskine bowles, has just said. although the served on the commission together along with any other city in the audience and we did reach those conclusions that erskine just
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mentioned. 4 trillion is the minimum we can do. it is not the ideal. and frankly, i am one of those whose a little more aggressive. i think we need to do it twice or maybe three times over the next decade to truly get ourselves into the -- [inaudible] that we should be in fiscally. your question was, can we go bid? does congress have the ability to go bid? the short answer is that gridlock is no longer an option. my answer to your question is yes. one of the questions i answer it yes it's back to the fiscal commission and also like the gang escaped said by no overt, infamous game of six who was three democrats and republicans who were able to come together in a very big option. the republicans and democrats in that group represented the further side of the
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philosophical spectrum in the united states. the reason we were able to come together is because the crisis is so real and so imminent. and now, we've had these debates in washington d.c. and congress forever over whether we should tax the rich are not tax the rich or who is the rich and how much do they pay in relation to everything else? what programs are with the safety net should be? the bottom line as the fiscal commission concluded, we need to have at least a $4 trillion solution and we need to see everything on the table. that doesn't mean there aren't ways to protect the safety net. it doesn't mean there are ways to make sure the tax code we have the fairness and the reform that erskine has referenced. but it means that we've got to put aside their partisanship and get down to the business of doing it. having said that it can be done to people from my desk and come together. i also have to say is a very
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tough order right now with the political climate in washington d.c. it is nothing short of toxic right now in terms of the nature of the political battles that are taking place. i believe out of that comes an opportunity and perhaps one of the greatest opportunities that we have had in the recent past to truly reform a fiscal policy and our tax policy in this country in a way that will put us on a pathway to controlling our spending, but also put us on a pathway for developing a progrowth package for this country that will create the kinds of jobs and the kind of economic explosion that we are capable as if we will just create the proper climate. >> david cote, there's a lot of skeptics in the business community that we can even get
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$1.5 trillion. $4 trillion, tall order. from the business perspective, what is? raid? >> let me put an overview context on this. honeywell is about a $37 billion country. 137,000 employees, more than half our sales, have our employees across the u.s. and over a hundred countries. besides making a commercial for honeywell, i travel a lot to make it to see other countries and what they are doing. it is important for us to realize that the country that 20 years ago there were a billion participants in the global economy. today there are about 4 billion participants in the global economy. we've added china, india, cas, eastern europe, a lot of a lot of southeast asia that were not participants before. yet, we still act like we did 20 years ago and we brag about
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winning the olympics 20 years ago as opposed to what we have to do to win it today? that's the long way of saying we need an american competitiveness adjustment and we need to get our competitive show back to the way it used to be when our parents and grandparents actually got us into the position that we are today. there's a number of things that we need to address. that come energy policy, not the science education, infrastructure. these are all things to do if we are going to be globally competitive. the part that scares me is we are finding it so difficult to do what is it glaringly obvious problem and which through simpson/bowles i thought we had it glaringly obvious solution. and i would agree on the 4 trillion as being a minimum because if you look at the baseline that we use in simpson/bowles, we ended up at 20 trillion in debt in 10 years if we didn't do anything.
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and that are deceived the reduction in the were spending. it is said and four-point a year nominal gdp growth and it is said that medicare growth would moderate from 10% in the last decade to 6% and this decade. if you said okay, i'm going to be more realistic about those assumptions, 20 charlie becomes more like 25 or 26. using a 20 children baseline coming in it for just a get to the point that erskine and mike were talking about before. if you say it could be worse than not because some of these assumptions are going to happen, then you're exactly what senator crapo was talking about we may have to do this again. if we do this in one, $1.52 bytes, it's better than nothing. you have to assume it's a very good chance he'll have to do it six more times. when you think about the ridiculousness of her situation, read some in the other day that was very helpful.
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if you're trying to explain to a family what we are doing us a government, when you start talking trillions, it really gets difficult to understand. if you tell an american family, you know what is happening is we are making $21,000 a year and were spending 35 and were going to do it for a long time. how long do you think that will go? i think most american families would say, you know, at some point have to declare bankruptcy and that's not a good thing. and you all know this problem will get resolved in a book every solved 12 ways. one is we can do it now, thoughtfully, practically the way grown-ups do things and the way our congress and our president will hopefully do things. the other way as you can wait until it gets to a point where the bond market decides they don't trust you anymore. with more than 40% of our debt held outside the u.s., a musty trillion held by china, there's a point at which they'll say i want more price.
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i'm not going to give you any more money unless you give me more price, meaning a higher interest rate. if the interest rates go up on government debt, there's a tendency to think that the wall street problem. the fact is if the 10 year bond goes to 7%, good chance homelands are than 10%. car loans at 13%. what happens to the economy? what happens to main street band? we need to do this now and that's why he didn't go big is the only way to go. we have to have at least $4 trillion to have a chance. i can't assure you that if we do 4 trillion that were not going to have to do it again in a few years as senator crapo has said because the issue is that day. >> alice rivlin, your point about every budget hat in the book here. one b., vice chair the federal reserve. for $20. how hard is that really? it's not that hard. we should go even bigger. your view on that and maybe as a
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follow-up question, how much time do we have? [inaudible] >> i'm even more worried than he is. that's not very much time at all. if we don't solve this problem and i mean stabilize the data, shows the world that we're on track -- sorry. thank you. i think we may come up fairly soon. in the form of damaging our chances of recovering rapidly because we do need to spend more or attacks last in the near term to get the recovery back on track. it's worse than we thought it was a few months ago. but if we don't solve the deficit problem and quite fast,
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i think the world is going to look at us and we are going to look at ourselves and say we are not competent. this country we've had so much faith in all these years wanted to buy their bonds, it's really not facing up to ordinary province and its government does not work. that is very damaging to confidence all around the world, including here. and to the ability of our companies to make decisions that will help them in fast and for individuals to think well, yeah, i have a problem with my mortgage, but i can't begin spending again. it makes the whole world very, very uncertain. the super committee has extraordinary powers. couldn't have written us into the constitution. nobody would've wanted to give anybody that much power. but the ordinary process has never worked, so here we are with a committee of 12 people,
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which can write files, which change entitlement programs, tax code, get it to the floor, get it voted on. no amendments, no filibuster, no anything. that is a huge opportunity and is an opportunity to do both things to solve the trouble problem of revving up the recovery in the near term, but folding knife into a form of entitlement and reform the tax is that bring our debt onto a more stable pass. that's going to take compromise and it's going to take courage. and i thought we solved that on the simpson/bowles group. i became a vague fan of senator crapo. he may not know this. he is equally conservative republican colleagues senator
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coburn because they were willing to think outside of the usual box. they work through the arithmetic and realize this is going to take some revenue. i've always been a fan of senator german, but he also came to the difficult conclusion that this is going to take precedent entitlements. my party doesn't like that. but i'm going to have to join with the others and it was a display of courage and compromise that i hope will spread to the rest of the congress and especially to this committee. one of the points you all have made is that really 4 trillion is more like a minimum about books we should be thinking about. if you get to for trillion and savings coming stabilize the
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debt and from the downward trajectory. still, it's well above historical averages. our debt levels will reload 40% of gdp. everything for trillion dollars, though it put us closer to the high 60s in gdp and you don't watch her levels to be high because you want the fiscal flexibility who need to borrow in the future again, if you're hit with more emergencies, like we will be and will be the kinds of things you need to borrow. i think it's important people understand as much as we wish that you could balance the budget and the next couple years, that used to be what we talked about and were so far off the mat, that it really is critically important that these do debt not go faster than the economy. if you think about the 1.5 trillion, one of the problems is it's probably not enough to reassure credit markets. it's probably not enough to avoid another downgrade. to go through the huge political heavy lifting not have economic
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advocates of fixing the problem, it's kind of a lose lose for an awful lot of work. the question of what to go to the panel and output it to the whole panel, is in many ways you start seeing people the discussions, especially as economic news gets increasingly worse, sort of fall into one bucket. when you do either of were these the deficit and i think one of the thoughtful thing whether it's a monetary fund or the fed were some of the outside experts, many of you have weighed in how you can think about doing both simultaneously announced that reducing the debt over the multiyear. an credible and gradual and thoughtful way is actually part of an economic growth strategy. so i wondered if you could talk about how debt reduction affects economic growth and senator crapo, you may weigh in on tax reform because i made for tirelessly on figuring out how to make tax reform is progrowth along with this as well. so please, all of you, jump in. >> went to take the first stab
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at that thing. i think you hit the nail on the head. we have to remember the special committee was created as a result of the debt ceiling battle that we had in congress. it was a battle over extending the debt ceiling by about $2 trillion. and that is how the $2 trillion figure was achieved. it was not to solve our debt crisis. it was to counterbalance increasing the debt ceiling. and that's important for us to realize that because i am concerned that as americans and as a congress, we may think that $2 trillion target was the solution to our debt crisis. one of the main reasons we are here today is to point out that that is not the case and we have to move further. before answering your specific question, i'll go one further step. a couple days ago before the finance committee or subcommittee and the finance committee on which i said hi very prominent economic figures in the united states. i won't go through all of their names, but you all would
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recognize every one of them. one of my questions that i asked them, the last question was given pinon of how we should attack this problem come what do you think leaving aside the details the minimum step should be? for the 5-k financier. two of them said a minimum of four. two of them set a minimum of six. and the points i make -- the reason i bring that up again is just to put an exclamation point on the fact that we have a tremendous task ahead of us. two of them -- actually all five of them agree with those also said one of the problems we have, which davis just references that the assumptions we are making about the performance of the economy and the impact of the demands on our economy through our entitlement programs are unrealistic and we are not even addressing the full picture of the problem and our analyses. and we have to recognize that. so given that, your question focused on where do we need to head in terms of the balance
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here between the austerity we need in controlling congressional excesses in spending and a growth package for our country. and there is a huge impact on growth, simply by controlling our spending in controlling the growth of our deficits. the cbo has put up numbers on this that show there are hundreds of billions of dollars of growth that can occur and will occur, simply as a result of our control of our deficit. it's because of the trackback deficit places on the economy. add to that the kind that progrowth things this panel is talking about. tax reform, energy policy reform regulatory policy in the late here there's a number of other areas where we know what we need to do and we could create a climate where we have a very powerful progrowth, pro-competition agenda that is a company by posterity program with congress controlling its
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spending and we could put the united states in a position where the economic impacts that that would be the most phenomenally powerful part of the entire plan. >> days. >> just to build on what senator crapo assaying, when we say 4 trillion would stabilize the debt, that assumes 4.6% a year of nominal gdp growth for 10 years but were already missing not. and it assumes medicare and medicaid growth moderates from 10% a year to about 6% a year. so you can very easily get yourself into a position where it doesn't stabilize the debt. it just slows the growth of it. you can do both a short-term stimulus and the long-term intelligent plan at the same time. and it's oftentimes seems to be keyed up on everything from the press are things people made that those two are mutually exclusive. they are not. you can do both.
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the long-term plan in particular needs to address medicare and medicaid. and that's the one that i get to feeling like no politician really wants to discuss, but i think the american public needs to have an honest discussion about what the impact medicaid and it's as fundamental as the demographic timebomb. my generation, the baby boomers are retiring but we retired a high rate that we are going to crash the system. there isn't enough money going into the will to support it. the longer we wait for my generation to retire, the worse it gets because it is extremely difficult to take a benefit away from somebody who's already getting there. if you could reduce the program before people enter it, then i think you stand a chance. but this problem is coming. it's been coming for decades. people have known it. it's just that dallas-based finance. if we look at the next 10 years,
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medicare, medicaid growth grows from something like 700 billion a year to 1.5 trillion years, even with that reduced growth rate. you can't do that. can't do that. >> allen. >> i think it's not only feasible. it is necessary to do the two things at once. and the timing is actually good because as dave just sad, one of the big thing that has to be done to stabilize the debt is to reduce the rate of growth of entitlement programs. but their retirement programs and you can't fix them fiscally. not much do you do on entitlement reform friend will affect the budget for quite a long time. maybe 10 years or more and then you get the benefits further into the future. that has nothing to do with right now, but it's also true on the tax side. if you have a really comprehensive reform of the tax
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code that gets rid of a lot of loopholes, including very popular ones like converting the home mortgage deduction to a credit for example, if you're going to do that, you can't do it really fast. you have to phased in over time. the kind of long-term debt stabilization reforms that we are talking about and which are to come out of the joint select committee are not going to damage the economy in the short run. in the short run, we need or job creation and things that actually will widen the deficit a bit. but they will help get us on a track to stronger growth. >> i just want to have a thought i was thinking kristi roemer about how you really focus on the long-term that can help and
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free up the physical space in a short run to do more on growth and jobs. i will point out they were all be posted in their long full version so everyone can see them on that website. give us time to post it, but there's a number of thoughts of people weighing in as well. >> i went to pick up on something you will have touched on. to go big, you have to put revenue and entitlement program on the table spending cuts. senator crapo, i'll start with you. this is going to be a tough choice for republican colleagues , those on the super committee. what happens to babineau? how do you tell your entrants are your fellow republicans in a talk in the same sort of revenue president of him is talking about? >> you put your finger right on probably the biggest issue that has to be handled between the two parties that were going to resolve it. i personally think it can be
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resolved in a number of ways, but to me the easiest way for us to address it is to deal with the way congress scores various proposals and does the simpson/bowles commission recommended, allow us to become more fit than an accurate underscoring the impact of various policies. what am i talking about? in shorthand comest utilizing dynamic scoring rather than static scoring. if you do that, the various tax proposals can be understood to generate the kind of economic growth tickets to revenue without raising taxes. in fact, but the simpson/bowles commission did was to reduce tax rates, flatten the code and some people would pay more taxes under that kind of the system. some people at payless. but the bottom line is that we then were able to debate over whether an increment, if any of
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that should be allocated to debt retirement as a poster rate reduction. i believe that is the area where we can get the most progress. but we can't get past that if we assume there's a static response of the economy to any decisions that are made or proposals that were made. one of the key things we need to do is accept the notion of analyzing the impact of various tax proposals that they static -- excuse me, the dynamic model and from that point we can analyze the rep impacts we need to generate from the economy coming from different proposals. >> simpson/bowles is not a conversation most people are having right now. >> actually come as a conversation i've had in a number of times in the past several weeks of almost all of the members of the super committee. i've actually relatively hopeful. i wouldn't say optimistic, but hopeful for a couple reasons.
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first of all, i think since he came out with a plan in december of last year, the politics have changed quite a bit. i think most people here in town have actually understood the economics and the need to do for showing an array ten-year period, but the politics have gotten away because it was touch and is politically tough for either side to make decisions. but this will debt, default fiasco that we just went through i think brought the pain associated with doing nothing to the forefront of the minds of the american people and they got educated on what could happen if we do have a default in this country. so i think the politics exchange and if you look at the polls, to join republicans and democrats a majority of independents want to see a sensible deal done. they want to see this country move forward. secondly, in order to -- for
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something to pass this committee, instead of having to get a supermajority as we did, they can only has to get a simple majority and that's a lot easier task. we actually got a supermajority. we have 60% of the members of our commission to go for. with six senators and our committee, the republicans, three democrats. five of those senators voted yes. i think getting a simple majority is possible. third, in this case, doing nothing involves a lot of pain because you are going to have across-the-board cuts. you're going to have to sequester. your $600 billion in additional cuts to the military budget than $600 billion worth of cuts to the nondefense budget. so doing nothing is not without its own pain. we can do it a lot smarter. and lastly, our experience with the commission was that the more
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comprehensively made it, the more support we got. people didn't want to do this is just their own option was going to be going. but if everybody has skin in the game, if everybody was going to make some sacrifice, by golly everyone was going to get over 60% of the members of that commission of the georgia republicans and democrats to vote yes. >> alice rivlin, you seem to congressional passes here. to reach this can be a challenge to do that. you're asking than doubled down. >> we really are. i think the 1.5 or the sequester either way, sequesters worse. but if they only do that, but may well have failed because they will not destabilize the
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debt and shown we can solve the long-run problem and they wanted done anything but the shirt on probably there. so the only way you do that is to go big. i wanted to come back to tax reform because i think the potential there is for a real win-win. that you mentioned the president and i senator crapo with his was famous for president and he wisely didn't answer that. but what the president emphasized in his speech was higher contributions from upper income people. now, when you look at a thoroughgoing tax reform that the survey did in domenici rivlin, orrin simpson/bowles, people often look at it is going to tax rates and it's easier and rich people. no it isn't. it has to look what happens to the deductions and exemptions or exclusions. those benefit upper income people disproportionally.
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you can do for tax reform that will be very pro-growth and more progressive than our current system. >> you ever thought about the breakdown should be an spending reductions on the other? >> there is no right max. the big point is we have to do some of each. that is where our task force and the simpson/bowles group and everybody who has studied this problem says you can't get there on the spending side of him. you can't get there on the revenue side amount. >> are you going to win? >> first of all, we got it right on simpson/bowles also and i voted for it for that reason. i think risk incentive rate. it affect did everybody and we try to think about things to family. spending reductions were returned to do thoughtfully. there was additional revenue, but again i think we did that i
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say let's take the time to rethink the tax code so everybody wins in this. even if you pay more, there is a way to win because you have a better economy coming simpler system, something that everybody understands. the big advocate of continuing a pattern thinking about it that way. i've been asked a number of times after having spent time on this commission and spending my time on here what are some of the observations. and i've got a couple that i will share. one is i think that every conversation here is ruled by the three ages. hysteria common histrionics and hyperbole. everything. i mean, i say to guys like senator crapo, i don't know how you get your jobs done. the point where the meetings we look at someone and you can't possibly believe what you just said. i look at spending reductions we
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had and simpson/bowles you had words like drastic, trichotomy and can pick whatever your group is. get a sense for it if you did nothing, the average annual growth rate and spending was 5%. if you enact and simpson/bowles can the average annual growth rate in spending was 4%. the difference is five and four. get it drastic, trichotomy and. i've never seen such ridiculousness of language around something i view as an american competitiveness issue. in terms of directing something can happen, one of the things is having spent some time here, i am not a political savant, so i can't predict that, but one of the things that struck me as growing up in new hampshire and
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running companies, one of the things i learned is what i thought, what i said i'll have to do it to be the same thing. [laughter] the people are saying isn't necessarily what they're thinking, isn't necessarily that they're willing to do and i'd like to think if everyone can understand the magnitude of the problem were doing weights, recognizing the whole system to be cured to compromise the can't accomplish a fundamental growth. >> a day to give members of the unanswered chance to ask questions if there are anything. would it show microphone other as a plenty of questions i cannot. the microphone is coming to you. >> and a few words, what the
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naval postgraduate school in one of the things that distract because i'm also a c-span addict is that there is not enough detail. so when you say you want to cut something about what are you talking about? with his sister tax plan look like? the devil is in the diesel you want us to emotionally lead to a new space. and i'd like to be not only in words, but more importantly in pictures because it's so complex you can't see that device. you don't understand it and easy for others to understand it. >> i would say that's a fair criticism is the staff of exactly two of our commission work [inaudible] however, the information is there as the example -- i alwa


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