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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 2, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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better than i did growing up. and that has been shaken to the core by the economic challenges that we inherited as a result of the crisis of 2008 that we have been working out of. so i have a problem every time we come to the floor to offer an opportunity to get those new jerseyans, to get those americans back to work when all i hear is no. no to refuse to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure, to creating jobs, to keeping us competitive in a global economy. now, they know that roads and highways and bridges in their states, in every state, are in critical need of improvement, and yet we have to come here time and time again, day after day, to fight back a
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politically charged ideological fueled opposition that says one thing but does another. the fact is even those who oppose this legislation for political reasons know that good governance means investing in our future. it means putting americans back to work. in an economy in which 70% of g.d.p. is consumer demand, if there is no job, there is no money, and if there is no money, there is no demand. so in addition to the lives of new jerseyans and americans which we could positively affect, this is about our global picture in terms of our economy. it means also keeping us competitive in this global economy. let me talk about that global economy for a moment because we're in it. we see what happens in europe
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and how we're affected here at home with our markets and whatnot but let's look at a different place, let's look at china, let's look at the competition. according to china's five-year plan they have a range of investment priorities for the future. clean energy technology, biotechnology, including pharmaceutical and vaccine production, high-tech equipment for manufacturing airplanes, a new space program and satellites. in fact, this week they launched a satellite, the first step towards a china space station by the end of the decade. china is planning more high-speed rail, next-generation power plants and manufacturing facilities, new nuclear, solar and wind energy technologies. the plan calls for building new energy efficiency cars and adding 9,000 kilometers to their
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highway system, expanding their national high-speed rail system to 45,000 kilometers and building light rail systems in 21 urban metropolitan areas. they are planning six new heavy material ports, adding 440 new 10,000-not to shipping berths, a second beijing airport and 11 regional airports. this is some pretty stiff competition that will allow chinese businesses to thrive. this is the challenge we have. yes, we have a debt question in our country that we must meet that challenge, and there is no question that we should and we can and we must. but by the same token, you need to grow this economy as part of
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meeting that challenge. an economy that was on the brink of ruin when this administration inherited, an economy i'll never forget that famous meeting or infamous meeting of september, 2008, that was called by the chairman of the federal reserve, members of the banking committee and others were called to it, i remember going to it and listening to him describe a series of financial institutions that were on the verge of bankruptcy and collapse, and in doing so would have created systemic risk to the entire country's economy and the vernal not of the great recession we talked about but a new depression. that is what we've been working out of. but even in this economy we have to make investments and build for a competitive future. we invest just 2% of our gross domestic product on infrastructure projects. europe and china invest between
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5% and 9% respectively. now, the president today called on congress to up the ante, the american jobs act would invest $50 billion in our transportation infrastructure and $10 billion in a national infrastructure bank. putting hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job, but it's not just the construction workers, so certainly we want to get them back to work, it's all the architectural firms, all the engineering firms, all of the people who work at those firms who will help build out this infrastructure, it is all of the suppliers for all of the materials that will be needed to do this, and everybody who produces those supplies, and everybody who transport it and everybody who installs it. so it is an enormous ripple effect in getting our people book work, hundreds of
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thousands, waiting to work, working for america's future. clearly, opposition to the rebuild america jobs act is not about good governance. because we have ways and we have offered ways to pay for this fully. it's about politics. it's about playing political games but it's playing political games with the lives and livelihoods of american families. mr. president, while china is planning major investments in retooling for their new economy, we can't even seem to agree to fix our own roads. it's like the story of nero fiddling while rome burned except american families and businesses are the ones who are going to get burned in this story. the president today released a report that highlights the importance of rebuilding our roads and bridges and railways and airports and has cited important projects around the
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country. they include over 17,000 jobs in new jersey that would be put to work, making our future brighter. one of the projects the president's report highlights is an example of success is in new jersey, the route 52 causeway bridge replacement between summers point and ocean city in atlantic and cape may counties. this is a critical emergency evacuation route for ocean city during floods and hurricanes. the new bridge eliminates the need to raise the draw bridge at the old section that is still being replaced. this is a critical $400 million project that is an investment in new jersey, in our community, in our infrastructure that will upgrade an old bridge to meet today's needs, protect the community and put people to work. we can make these investments and still find ways to reponsably reduce the
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deficit -- responsibly reduce the deficit. investment is not just about new projects of course, it is about maintaining the very infrastructure that we have already spent money on in the past that we need to preserve for future use. 36% of new jersey's bridges are structurally deficient or functionally objects sleed -- obsolete. 78% of new jersey's major roads are listed in poor or mediocre condition. 64% of new jersey highways are chronically congested because of a 29% increase in vehicle travel on new jersey's highways from 1990 to 2007. all of that, and we already have $13 billion worth of maintenance projects on hold because we don't have the money to pay for them. now, those are just numbers in one respect but those numbers are about lives.
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because when you have infrastructure, major roads, major highways, that are in bad condition, it means that you are sitting more time in traffic and less time being productive at work or having more quality time with your family. it means that businesses that have a product that they need to get to the marketplace are going over an infrastructure that means it's more timely, it takes longer to get that product to market, it has consequences, it adds to the costs, it creates a uncompetitive set of circumstances. it's about the quality of our life and our economy at the same time. the 13 billion is not to add even any capacity to new jersey's transportation system. it's just to keep the status
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quo. and as i've said for quite some time as we have attempted to work with my colleague, senator lautenberg to build a new trans-hudson passenger rail tunnel which is critically needed in that region and we've learned sips september 11 that multiple modes of transportation are incredibly important so that god forbid, we have a tragedy again, we learned on that day when all the bridges were closed and all the tunnels were closed that ferries brought people out of downtown manhattan to new jersey to ultimately be taken to hospitals. multiple modes of transportation and options are critical for our economy, they're also critical for our security. and yet we can't even keep up to date that which we have, much less create a new trans-hudson tunnel that would open up the entire region and economic
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opportunities. you know, you can't grow if you're stuck, and in that region as in many regions of the country, we are stuck. we can begin the long overdue process of maintaining, rehabilitating and replacing if we pass this legislation, we can do it if we act together as a nation as we did in 1956. in 1956, it was a republican administration that created the interstate highway system. and now we can't seem to get one republican to vote to maintain that system. in 2011 we can't get one republican to vote to keep us -- and to help us keep competitive and put americans back to work. we need our republican colleagues if congress to end the roadblock and fix the roads. they need to vote yes to
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providing every state with the resources they need to repair and rebuild aging roads and bridges and put people back to work. think of the jobs that we could create nationwide if we publicly committed to investing enough to keep up and stay competitive with the chinas of the world. even if china is able to meet only a fraction of its ambitious goals, it will be far beyond the course we are presently on. in 1956, i want to go back to that history, under a republican president, dwight d. eisenhower, congress passed the federal-aid highway act. it took 35 years but we committed this the nation to building 46,876 miles of highway, one of the largest public works projects at that time in the nation's history. why? because a young army officer, dwight eisenhower, saw the need. he drove across the country in
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an army convoy that left washington on july 7, 1919, went to gettysburg and took the old lincoln highway to san francisco. on the journey, bridges cracked and had to be rebuilt, vehicles got stuck this the mud, equipment broke, and they didn't arrive on the west coast -- they left july 7, it didn't arrive on the west coast until september 6. a two-month journey that gave birth to the american interstate highway system. let's not be so shortsighted that we will turn back the clock to the days of the old lincoln highway. mr. president, i understand the need to reduce our deficit, and these provisions that i've talked about that i support are paid for. but i do not understand the blind commitment to doing nothing, refusing to invest in
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our future and create american jobs in the process, and calling it good governance. good governance is what president eisenhower did when he signed the federal highway act into law. and now it's up to us to invest in maintaining it. let's be honest with ourselves about the fact that good governance means investing in our nation, in our people, in our progress, in our prosperity, in our future. investing in our infrastructure is an investment in our country and in our future. let's put today's ideologically driven politics aside and recall the practical republican politics of president eisenhower, who saw a national need and had the will and the wisdom to put the nation to work to build it. and so i ask my colleagues, where is the grand old
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republican party that united america behind an interstate highway system and put government and people to work to make it happen? mr. president, if we put aside the ideological posturing, if we put aside the suggestion that i have heard many times that the major goal here is by some of our republican colleagues is to make barack obama is one-term president and then ultimately use both the filibuster to stop progress here in the senate and/or use a constant no vote to stop progress for the nation under the guise that that's the way president obama will fail. the problem with that, that's really at the end of the day not about president obama failing, that's about the nation failing at one of its most critical times in our country's history.
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and it's one of the most critical times in our economy. so if we can put aside the ideological posturing, if we can put aside the political strategy and gamesmanship, if we are honest with ourselves about what good governance means and what it means to american families to invest in creating jobs and keeping us globally competitive so that we can continue to grow that economy and create other jobs for individuals that will help them realize their hopes and dreams and aspirations, that will help them contribute to the nation, that will create new revenues that will be part of meeting our debt challenge, we would pass this legislation and make it happen. that's the opportunity before the senate. it is one that i hope our colleagues would grasp. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and observe the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i'd ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, it shall be. mr. sessions: mr. president, earlier today my friend and colleague from illinois, senator durbin, came to the floor and criticized wrongly, i believe, my state of alabama and the state of arizona for something that i would think we would all want every state and locality to do, and that is to cooperate in the enforcement of federal immigration law. alabama and arizona are
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undertaking a legitimate effort in attempting to help enforce the laws of the united states when this administration too often has failed to do so. the american people and the rule of law and our country have suffered as a result. this administration has flatly refused to enforce our national laws, generous immigration laws that they are, despite the fact that there is on the books extensive and a fair code of laws designed to facilitate substantial legal immigration into our country. moreover, the obama administration is systematically going after states that attempt to assist arizona, alabama, now south carolina, indiana next. even more egregious, i think, is
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that the administration has refused to take any action against states and localities that affirmatively, proactively and intentionally impede the immigration enforcement in the united states. these jurisdictions include san francisco county, santa clara county, washington, d.c., and perhaps the most egregious example, cook county, illinois, which recently passed an ordinance -- part-d an ordinance -- passed an ordinance directing law enforcement officials to ignore u.s. immigration and customs enforcement detainers. the detainers are sent to local jails, and they request that officials at those jails detain illegal aliens for an additional 48-hour period, statutorily provided after the jurisdiction ceases -- after that local
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jurisdiction's business over that immigrant ceases. so that a nice officer may place an alien into federal custody. this is done on all sorts of crimes throughout the country. people are arrested in alabama, georgia has charges against them. they send a detainer over. somebody is arrested in illinois. the federal government has a charge against them. they place a detainer. so when they are finished in that trial or they're sentenced, before they're released out on the street, they're turned over to the other jurisdiction. maybe it's a murder charge. maybe it's a serious felony charge. this happens every day in america. it's common practice. if it were to cease, law enforcement in this country would be dealt a devastating blow. but, in other words, cook county has decided that it gets to
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decide who gets deported from the country and when and acting in this way undermines directly federal law enforcement. when testifying before the senate judiciary committee last week, the department of homeland security secretary janet napolitano said incredibly that she has had no contact with cook county and has had no discussions with the attorney general of the united states on this issue. so today i and senators grassley, cornyn and coburn sent a letter to secretary napolitano, and we requested that she and others in the administration consider taking action against cook county and other local jurisdictions that purposely and deliberately undermine the laws of the united states and offer sanctuary to illegal aliens who have broken our laws by entering the country
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illegally. is there no consequence to that in this country now? if that's the -- if that's so, aren't we in fact putting up a sign on our borders that say just get by the border, and you're home free, and nothing will ever happen to you? isn't that a magnet to illegal immigration? isn't that a mixed message to the world? we need to be sending a good and decent message. that is we believe in immigration. we're a nation of immigrants. we are the most generous immigration laws in the world. but you must comply with them. we can't accept everybody that would like to come whenever they'd like to come. we have to ask people to file applications, meet certain qualifications and come when your time comes to come to america. that's what law is all about. that's why people want to come to this country, frankly, because in their countries they have no law. they don't have the opportunity to earn something and be able to
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keep it. so the implementation of this ordinance -- so since the implementation of this ordinance in chicago, over 40 suspected illegal aliens arrested on felony charges have been released from cook county jails. last week the executive associate director of enforcement and removal operations at the federal department of immigrations and customs enforcement -- i.c.e. -- told my staff that cook county presents a major problem for immigration enforcement efforts. in fact, he said that cook county illinois, is the most egregious example of sanctuary city policies and is -- quote -- "an accident waiting to happen." close quote. and yet, the head of the department of homeland security stands silent, and the justice
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department is too busy prosecuting states that are trying to cooperate and uphold the law of the united states. senator durbin says that no state is above the law. but it's sanctuary jurisdictions like cook county and not states like alabama and arizona, south carolina and indiana that need to remember they are not above the law. the truth is that this is yet another example of a longtime trend in chicago of elected officials placating immigration lawbreakers while thumbing their nose at federal law enforcement, jeopardizing public safety and pretending that what they do is honorable and good and for the taxpayers who elected them. but releasing dangerous criminals is a dangerous thing to do. releasing dangerous criminals could be a person who goes and murders somebody, as we've seen
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time and time again. the cook county commission passed this ordinance less than a month after chicago-based open borders group national immigrant justice center sued the department of homeland security challenging a constutionality of these i.c.e. detainers, things that have been done by every state, city and county throughout america for decades, hundreds of years since the founding of the republic, i suppose. the lawsuit undoubtedly influenced the cook county commission. they decided to be open about it and voted in favor -- and voted in favor of this ordinance. so if one of those illegal aliens arrested on felony charges and released by cook county commits a crime now, cook county officials are to blame for it. you should not release someone when the federal authorities place a detainer on them,
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because they don't do that very often. they don't do it nearly enough, frankly. but there will be a good reason for sure if they placed a detainer on them. and to ignore that is really stunning to me. so sanctuary jurisdictions like cook county, illinois, undermine the ability of law enforcement personnel to enforce the laws that are on the books now and represents a threat to our security. these jurisdictions cannot choose if and when they will turn over illegal aliens charged with a crime and wanted by i.c.e. so if we're going to talk about who is and who isn't above the law, i suggest that my good friend, we work together on a number of things, some of them criminal justice issues. the senator from illinois needs to clean up his own backyard rather than casting unfounded
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criticisms on states that are taking up a valuable effort to see that our immigration laws actually are enforced. to help end the lawlessness that has caused so much disruption in our country and upset by the american people. the american people are not anti-immigrant. we're a nation of immigrants. the american people are not opposed to people being able to come to our country. the american people don't dislike people that are here. their anger basically is addressed to those of us in authority who are failing to maintain a lawful system of immigration, one that we can be proud of, one that is consistently enforced throughout the country. i believe that's what we should be striving for in our nation. and if somebody wants to change the law and allow more people to come or less people to come, let's vote on it, have it right here on the floor of the senate,
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and maybe we can have some changes. but fundamentally, it's the duty of homeland security, it's the duty of the department of justice to enforce the laws as they exist. they don't get to make the laws and enforce them. and it's a duty and responsibility of cook county to participate with the federal government in fulfilling its basic duties, such as honoring detainers. and when you don't have that, we've got a real problem in our country. so i would suggest that the attorney general take a little time out from his lawsuit against arizona or alabama or other states and focus a little bit of his attention on a major jurisdiction like cook county, who has willfully and deliberately acting to undermine federal law enforcement. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: resident?
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the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i rise today to speak on the bill that is before the senate now, the rebuild america jobs act. the rebuild america jobs act contains a variation of a bill that i am cosponsoring. we call it the build act. it is the building and upgrading infrastructure for long-term development act. we call it "build." but the changes that have been
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made in the bill that is before us today are untenable and i cannot support it. last march, i introduced the bipartisan build act with senator kerry, senator warner, senator graham and myself. it puts forward a method of addressing our infrastructure needs that i think is the right way forward. the need and demand for greater infrastructure investment is unprecedented. the american society of civil engineers estimates that a 2.2 trillion investment is needed over the next five years to restore our infrastructure to an adequate condition. ignoring these needs hampers our economic growth, impedes the flow of inter and intrastate commerce, and slows the development and distribution of domestic energy production. we should consider new,
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innovative ways of financing our infrastructure. traditional government mechanisms alone cannot keep pace with our national demand. our legislation, senator kerry's and mine, creates the american infrastructure financing authority. this would be an independent authority designed to facilitate private investment in critical infrastructure projects. it is designed like a bank, providing loans or loan guarantees for regionally or nationally significant projects in transportation, energy and water sectors. let me emphasize that this will not provide grants. grants will not be given. they will not be allowed. nationally significant projects or regional projects would be at least $100 million. there's a $25 million category for rural areas, but we are not
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looking at a stimulus where we go in and we get small grants or small packages. this is for dams, for desalination plans, for an electric grid that isn't working and causing brownouts in major areas. so we're talking about big dollars that are not easily raised just in the government sector nor the private sector because it doesn't make economic sense. but if you put the loans and the loan guarantees together and there's a prohibition against spending more than 50% of the loan guarantee from the federal government and the other 50% has to have -- come from another source, a private source or a state or local government source. in addition, there has to be a revenue stream that will have the ability to pay this loan back.
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we want the loans paid back so that more infrastructure can be created. so we're talking about a revenue stream from, say, water bills. if it's a water desalination plant that's going to provide water for economic development, or if it is a dam that's going to provide electricity, you have electric bills. you have to have a revenue source. so we have narrowed ours so that it will have payback, it is going to be something that can work. in its first ten years, it is estimated that our build act would provide $160 billion in financial assistance for major projects like this. so it would be highways, bridges. there would be a toll that would be necessary for the transportation, something that would have a revenue stream to pay these back but allow them to be built. because the private sector is sitting on the aid is lines --
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is sitting on the sidelines right now. the bank would not replace our existing federal funding mechanisms but it would supplement them for the large projects that have a major public benefit. the administration of this fund, the agency would apply sound underwriting principles to assess the risk of a loan or loan guarantee. the build act would require an initial appropriation. senator kerry and i have committed to identifying a reasonable offset. additional deficit spending has never been an option for the build act so it would be $10 billion that would be taken from a program today and put into this long-term bank, or bank guarantee, so that we can match it with private funds or state or local funds and do big things. not little things except in rural areas where you have a
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$25 million threshold but it's going to be $100 million or more and no more than 50% of it can be from this program. i appreciate that the bill before us incorporates some elements of the build act and seeks to correct some of the flaws in the previous infrastructure bank proposals that had been put forward by the administration. however, the differences between our build act and the act that is before us today was brought forward by the majority leader and i think takes away the bipartisan appeal of the bill. let me also say that there is, in addition to the $10 billion that is in our long-term plan that senator kerry and i introduced, a $50 billion stimulus package which is why i couldn't possibly support this bill. it's another $50 billion
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stimulus package. roads, bridges, airports and transit systems. i appreciate the need for investment, obviously. that's why i support the build act. but $50 billion in the bill, in addition to the $10 billion ba bank, is more of the same stimulus that has not worked. it is more debt and -- well, i guess it isn't more debt because they pay for it with a tax and that's even worse. so the bill that has the $50 billion is added and it's paid for with a surtax on people who are making more than a million dollars a year and mostly from their businesses. and that's why i can't support it. it proposes a permanent tax increase to pay for a temporary spending program. that's bad policy in itself. raising taxes on incomes that would harm business owners and
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job creators is part of the reason people aren't hiring today because the president keeps talking about more taxes on business. and on top of the obama health care plan, it's causing businesses not to hire people. we have a 9% unemployment rate in this country. so i think it is important that we defeat the bill that is before us today and try to come up with something that is more akin to the build act that senator kerry and i have put forward. the data from the august 2011 treasury report says that four out of five people would be hit by the surtax and are business owners. the same people that we need to encourage to create jobs. so i -- i think that it's going to be essential that if we are going to try to create jobs in our country, we've got to
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start -- stop talking about surtaxes on business. we've got to stop talking about more costs and we've got to stop the overregulation. you know, we've got overregulation, the talk of more taxes, and then we've got the obama health care plan that is going to have fines and taxes that are coming after the next election and that all comes together, and business people are seeing those and saying, i'm going to hold where i am now instead of hiring people and getting our economy jump-started. so i think job creation should be the key of anything we do in this congress. it should be the focus. it should be the priority. and that means we should have conditions in the private sector that will create job growth. the bill before us today is another $50 billion stimulus plan that we have shown already
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doesn't work and it's paid for with a new tax that is going to further stifle business hiring. now more than ever we must focus our efforts in this congress on commonsense measures that will jump-start the economy and make our business people think it's worth hiring more people because we will have a surge in the private sector which is the sector that can create jobs that will last. so i'm not going to be able to vote for the bill that is before us today but i would like to urge our colleagues to look at the kerry-hutchison bill that is the approach for the long term. it's not going to be immediate because it would take -- it would take a year to set this bill up. but, mr. president, we shouldn't be just talking about today. we shouldn't just be talking about something that will jump-start the economy between now and the end of the year.
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we should also be looking at the long term. we should be looking at the long term of our fiscal situation and how can we assure that not only are we trying to jump-start right now but we need to be looking forward to the future. and that's what a true build act would do. that's what an infrastructure bank that is put in place with solid principles would do. the kerry-hutchison bill is such a bill. the bill that is before us is not. i hope that we will be able to have a chance for our bill to go through the finance committee, to get the suggestions from our colleagues on ways to strengthen it. but the bill before us today would hurt our economy, hurt job creation and that's not the direction we should be going. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. derouchie: mr. president, i just left a meeting with president obama at the white house, and we discussed the jobs bill that's pending before the united states senate. it's a bill which the president put together and presented to congress almost two months ago. he invited the republicans at that time to come forward with their ideas and hope we could come up with a bipartisan approach to dealing with the
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9%-plus unemployment in our country and the 14 million people out of work, not to mention another 10 million who are underemployed and could do better with a better job. we had a briefing this morning from economists from labor and business who talked about some of the realities facing america today, and they are daunting. that one out of five men in this country are out of work, that we have seen since 1969 a 28% decline in the purchasing power of working families in america, that we're seeing growth rates which are at least anemic and maybe even worse in terms of the future of our economy. there are those who are criticizing the president and saying that his approach is all wrong, but what those who criticize him offer is nothing, nothing. there is no republican plan for creating jobs in this country. it is a litany of complaints
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that they have had about the federal government for decades. for example, they argue there are too many rules and regulations, and that's what's impeding job growth. i just spent two straight weeks going across illinois visiting with businesses large and small that have done well in this recession. not a single one has raised that issue, none. i don't think that's a real issue. it's an issue that we should be concerned about when it comes to job creation. it is not an issue with causation. secondly, the republican approach has been and consistently so that the most important thing they can do is to protect the income taxes paid by the wealthiest people in america. that's not why i came to congress. i think my responsibility is to look to the common good and beyond the wealthiest in this country, particularly to help working families who are struggling so much. the bill that will be up tomorrow will give the republicans a chance to join us, again in part of the jobs bill
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which they used to support. some of the elements of that bill were pretty straightforward. $60 billion that will be spent on infrastructure. $50 billion for transportation funding. another $10 billion for the infrastructure bank. of that, $27 billion for highways across america. i'll take a big chunk of that in illinois, and i'll bet you will in colorado. there is plenty to be done out there to alleviate congestion, to make the roads safer. another $9 billion for mass transit. we need it desperately. mass transit, of course, keeps people off the highways. moves them back and forth to work in the most economical way. our mass transit systems in illinois and most places could use a shot in the arm with investment for safety and for reliability. $4 billion for high-speed inner city passenger rail corridors. that is working. in illinois, proof positive, almost a billion dollars in our state. we got the money, incidentally, that the republican governor of wisconsin said he didn't want.
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he said we'll take it in illinois, and the people in wisconsin can wave when the train goes by. we're going to put that money into better rail beds, faster service, more reliability. we broke all records and amtrak passenger volume just a few weeks ago, 30 million passengers, the most ever in any one year in amtrak history. 82% of passengers say they are satisfied with the good service at amtrak. it's an enterprise that has a lot of support in america, and we want it to grow. unfortunately, the other side has come out against it many times, so the president puts $2 billion directly into amtrak. they could use it, for new trains, new locomotives and new passenger cars built in america. how about that? good-paying jobs in our country. $3 billion for grant loan assistance. $2 billion for f.a.a. airport improvement grants. $1 billion for nextgen air traffic control. for the record, those of us who fly on airplanes every week think this is long overdue.
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the air traffic control system in america is based on science that is decades old. it goes back to world war ii. it's time to move beyond it, and we can but we need to invest and to make sure that that happens. and then $10 billion for the national infrastructure bank. that's absolutely critical for us so that we can continue to grow and continue to build. when i look at this, what it translates into is pretty amazing. it would put people to work upgrading 150,000 miles of road in america, laying or maintaining 4,000 miles of train tracks, restoring 150 miles of runways at airports, and putting in place the next generation air traffic control system to reduce time, delays, and add safety. the plan includes $27 billion for roads and bridges, $9 billion as i mentioned for transit systems, and money for competitive grant program, $5 billion, $4 billion for construction of high-speed rail. it's no wonder that this has been supported not only by the labor unions, they want to put
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people back to work, but by businesses all across america that have an interest in highway construction. the national infrastructure bank of $10 billion will leverage private and public capital to fund a broad range of infrastructure projects. the bank would be based on a bill introduced by senators john kerry and kay bailey hutchison of texas, which has been endorsed by the u.s. chamber of commerce, so unless you think these are all democratic ideas with no business support, one of the central elements here, the infrastructure bank, has the support of the chamber of commerce. it builds on legislation offered by senators rockefeller and lautenberg and long-time bank champion congresswoman rosa delauro. how do we pay for this? and i think that's where the conversation starts falling apart on the floor of the senate. we pay for it and don't add to the deficit by adding a new income tax surtax on those making over a million dollars a year. listen carefully. those making over a million
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dollars a year. so you have to already be making making $20,000 a week before you pay a penny in new taxes and the tax applies just to additional money over a million dollars, and it's .7%. i want to apologize for the record. i misstated when i said that the first $100 of new income over $1 million that those who were millionaires would pay 7 cents more in taxes 678 i misstated it. i miss tted by a factor of 10. so the burden is ten times what i suggested. for every $100, a millionaire earns over $1 million under this bill to put america to work, they would have to pay 70 cents, 70 cents. the republicans have said, unacceptable. it is unconscionable that we would tax what they call the job creators. we did a survey, incidentally,
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and found out that 1% of small business owners make $1 million or more, 1%. so for 99% of small business owners, no, sir tax increase. so it isn't -- this is no tax increase. so it is no tax increase. it's hurting jobs. i can't believe that we're going to see this fail again tomorrow because we don't want millionaires to pay 70 cents more for every $100 more they pay over $1 million. i think the sooner we do it the better. let me say a word as well, mr. president -- the congressional budget office release add report that highlights the trend in household income between 1979 and 2007. as i mentioned earlier, american families, working families, are falling further and further behind. the data showed that the top 1% of earners saw a dramatic increase in their share of
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household income, the remaining 99% relatively unchanged. the share of after-tax income for the household for the top 1% of the nation nearly doubled, climbing from 8% in 1979. for the top 1% of househol housd earners, the highest earners in america, average real after-tax household income grew by 275% between 1979 and 2000. what happened to the others? the top quintiles were receiving 53% of after-tax household income in 2507, up from 43% in 1979. people in the lowest fifth of the population received about 5% of after-tax household income -- that's 20% of the people receiving about 5% of after-tax household income in 2007, going down from 7% in 1979.
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people in the middle, three-fifths of the population saw their share of after-tax income decline by 2% to 3% in those years, 1979-2507. so if you wonder -- 1979-2007. so if you wonder why people are sitting in tents in these occupied areas and why there is a rage across america, it has a lot to do with this. people are working hard, playing by the rules, and falling further and further behind. and they're looking up at the top and saying, i don't understand this. why is it that the bank c.e.o.'s are getting multimillion-dollar bonuses and the management of my company getting a dramatic increase while they tell us we're the most productive workers in the world? it's understandable that they want a fair shake. and it starts with putting people to work, with 14 million people out of work today, getting them jobs where they can start paying taifnls stead of drawing benefits is something they want and we should want. and it's worth saying to the wealthiest of america, pay your
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fair share -- maybe a little bit more that undo today. and it makes america a stronger nation and the economy stronger and my guess those folks making over 1*rdz million a year are going to prosper, too. that's the story of america. i'm sure it'll be a story that will be repeat. the question is whether thrm be- the question is whether there will be a single republican vote to support us? i don't think we've had one republican vote supporting the president's jobs bill so far, any aspebt of it. we're going to keep trying and the american people expect us to. the president spoke today at key bridge, right out here between arlington, virginia, and washington, d.c. it is a bridge right next to the dshes where i went to college and across it hundreds of times. it is a bridge that needs some work. he was making that point. let's put americans to work right there, creating good-paying jobs with this jobs bill. the president made a poirchts noting that while we were passing a -- we were making a point of passing a jobs bill,
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the united states senate was talking about -- there's no doubt in miss mind that people do trust. they just don't trust the house of representatives to get the job done here. to pass a jobs bill that will get people bac to work. i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. roll quorum call: are.
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mr. udall: i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call being lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: mr. president, come to the senate floor to discuss an issue that i've addressed several times in this chamber over the course of the past few years and that is the urgent need for this congress to come together to pass policies that will spur job creation in our country. i know the presiding officer, my colleague from colorado, has done so in powerful ways himself. and i want to talk specifically about the rebuild america jobs act, legislation that's pending, as i stand here and you sit here, for senate debate. and we both know that the rebuild america jobs act is one component of president obama's comprehensive job-creation package, which he and the
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american people have been urging us in this congress to pass. but my colleagues on the other side of of the aisle, the republicans, have uniformly filibustered the president's comprehensive job-creation package so that we're now attempting to debate the package in smaller legislative pieces. and this week we're attempting to begin debate on the rebuild america jobs act, which would put hundreds of thousands of americans back to work, rebuilding our crumbling bridges, our roads, and our airports. it's an important bill. it's worthy of this chamber's debate and consideration. it shouldn't be subject to another filibuster. that leaves the american people wondering why the heck we can't chart a path forward that would help create jobs and build our economy. mr. president, before i specifically address what's in the rebuild america jobs act, i thought it would be informative
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to briefly talk about how our economy got in a rough place. -- got in the rough place that it's in today. we are three years removed from a near-global economic meltdown. if you think about it, in the fine afinal year of the bush administration, we lost about 4.5 million jobs. that is very, very significant. our economy was bleeding over 800,000 jobs a month when president obama was sworn in. credit markets were frozen, job losses mounted, and there was real concern that we as a nation risked slipping into another great depression. the presiding officer remembers all too well, as we all do, the concerns and the dynamics that were present at that point. fortunately, president obama took a leadership role and the congress worked with him to take steps to avert a catastrophe. but we're left with an enormous hole that we're trying to climb out of. beginning in 2009, we slowed the economic freefall that we faced, and we put an end to the great
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recession, at least on paimple the present presiding officer knows that. but as typical of any recession, let alone the great recession, job growth has trailed economic growth. now, under the president's leadership in just the last year and a half, the economy has added nearly 2 million jobs. we're nearly halfway restoring the jobs lost under the bush recession. yet with unemployment at 9.1% nationwide, we still have a long, long way to go. now, as i mentioned in the beginning of my remarks, in order to speed up economic recovery and bring down this stubborn unemployment rate, the president presented to us just a few months ago an ambitious job-creation package called the american jobs act. now, the bill, which consisted of bipartisan proarnlings as we well know, proposals that both parties had supported time and time again, it ran into a wom wl
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of uncooperative partisanship in this chamber and was grounded by a republican filibuster. now, mr. president, you and i both adhere to the concept of bipartisanship, working with the other party, but this kind of obstructionism has become way too common in the modern senate, and it really truly is getting in the way of our capacity, our desire to create jobs. i mean, i say that in a plain and simple way. it's put in jeopardy our future, frankly. we've got to win a global economic race. we've traded the burden of governing -- i should say, also the responsibility of governing and legislating for seemingly a set of ideological positions and gamesmanship. and you know and i know when we go home, coloradans are flat-out tired of t they want their elected leaders to lead, to work across the aisle, produce some results that'll help working
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americans, will help small businesses. i couldn't agree more with our citizens at home. i have to say that i think -- and partial observers would say with regularity -- tea party interests in the congress have taken our economy shall walked our economy, driven our economy to the edge of a cliff with the repeated threats of a government shutdown. and if i can use the words of my colleague from colorado, can you imagine a city government leader allowing denver, for example, to forfeit and default on its financial obligations? it wouldn't happen. it wouldn't happen. and it just feels like we're creating, in this congress, crises oust thin air to rattle our economic markets. you don't have to look back to
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august to those dark days when the debate over the debt ceiling and the threat of default was an economic crisis, completely of this element's own make. and then what followed or was predicted to follow was our credit was downgraded and it had economic effects. i've been meeting with business people this week that can give example after example. now look, i was a businessman in the private sector, my colleague from colorado was, and we know that the federal government can only do so much to grow jobs. and positively affect the economy. but when you have self-inflicted wounds like those that were produced in august, you're going to stifle recovery and you're going to create real business uncertainty in the private sector. if we were serious about economic recovery, we would stop taking the federal budget to the brink of disaster at every opportunity. now, i know there are people in
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this town that want to score points, but hardworking americans, hardworking coloradans, and our businesses ultimately pay the price with this kind of increased uncertainty. if we were serious about providing businesses, particularly small businesses, with the capital they need, we would look for opportunities to do so. and one of the ways that i believe that the senate could help this be accomplished would be to consider and pass a bipartisan piece of legislation that i've introduced now in a series of congresses that will double the amount of loans credit unions can offer to small businesses. this would literally help tens of thousands of americans, business people create jobs for hundreds of thousands of americans and there would be no cost to the american taxpayer. this is a form of lifting a regulation. credit unions are regulated, overly regulated, and this
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simple change in the policy that applies to their access to the small business sector would really make a difference. instead, and this pains me to say this, what i -- what i hear from the other side of the aisle is my republican colleagues offer up proposals that rely almost entirely on attacking the administration or suggesting we implement the failed policies that got us into this situation in the past. and you see this in one area where the commonsense rules that protect our consumers and preserve our clean air and our clean water are designated as the problem, and there's -- frankly, there's scant evidence to support their regulatory boogiemen. and they offer up no hard evidence of these claims. i'm convinced that the constant drumbeat about regulations is more harmful to our country's job creation potential than the
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alleged effect of the regulations themselves. and, in fact, a recent bloomberg study noted that this administration has issued 5% fewer regulations than the bush administration at the same juncture. and economic data shows that these regulations have a minor effect, if at all, on the economy. in fact, i have in hand studies that show the right kinds of regulations, particularly when it comes to protecting the public's health, actually can create jobs. the assistant secretary for economic policy at the department of treasury recently wrote that -- quote -- "none of these data support the claim that regulatory uncertainty is holding back hiring." on the contrary, she found that a lack of demand in the market and global financial and economic conditions are the primary culprits for our slow recovery. and this jives with what i hear, we hear generally from business
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leaders who by large margins point to a lack of demand and uncertainty in the marketplace as the primary barriers to the their, not federal regulation. what feeds this uncertainty and lack of demand is the constant political threats to send our economy off a cliff and the constant scare campaign that tells americans to fear the obama administration. and, mr. president, i'm not unsympathetic to the plight of the regulated sectors of our economy. president obama put it well. he said, we should have no more regulation in the health, safety and security of the american people acquire. and we should make compliance with the regulations that we have as easy as possible. and that's why, again, i don't want to overstate this but that's why i've taken steps to eliminate unnecessary federal red tape, such as easing the cap on how much credit unions can loan to small businesses.
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but to constantly spread fear about our government's work to provide appropriate oversight, protect consumers and ensure clean air and clean water is the further uncertainty and worse than the lack of the demand, worse than the lack of demand that we see in our economy. so, mr. president, to break through this -- i don't use this word lightly -- this nonsense about the effect regulations are having, president obama has offered a real path forward based on sound economics and bipartisan ideas. the rebuild america jobs act and it was introduced yesterday, as is. it's part of the president's overall comprehensive approach. it was introduced yesterday and i hope we can move to debate this important infrastructure bill. we're going to have a vote tomorrow morning, i believe, that would allow the senate to move to actually debating the bill. and it would significantly and
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immediately boost job creation cross the country. we'd be able to ensure that we keep our roads and our bridges and other infrastructure safe while investing in new projects that will stimulate businesses to invest and begin to create new, good-paying, american-based jobs, the type of jobs that can't be shipped overseas. the american people without question overwhelmingly support the ideas in this pro-jobs bill. it's all about investing in the futures of hard-working americans and making sure that they have the tools to achieve the american dream. in colorado alone, the investments for highway and transit projects in the bill are estimated to support the creation of at least 600 -- let me say that again, mr. president -- 6,400 local jobs. we accept those jobs in a minute. we know those people. we know that the construction sector is one of the ones that's
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really languishing in our state. these are trained, committed coloradans who are dying to work to improve our state, to improve our infrastructure, to build our economy. why is that important just beyond our state, beyond our country? well, we can't compete if we don't have the infrastructure that allows commercial activity to thrive. that's been one of our competitive advantages for decades. and our competitors are not sitting back and waiting for us. they're investing in their infrastructure now. you don't have to go any further than china, india, africa, south america. those countries, those continents are investing in their infrastructure. mr. president, what was really heartening is that recently we've seen a great coalition, one that maybe we could mirror here in the congress, support the president's proposal. that is, the afl-cio, the leading labor organization in
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the united states that speaks for all of the various unions across our country, allied with business interests like the u.s. chamber of commerce. these are diverse interests. they're often at loggerheads of the they've come together to urge us to pass such a measure that would build america. now, the bill won't solve all of our infrastructure challenges. it won't respond to every infrastructure opportunity that we have. for example, we ought to reauthorize the federal aviation administration. that's another less than valiant effort we made this year. as the presiding officer knows, we left here in august with the f.a.a. not funded and that cost us some economic growth. it put people out of work even for a week or two. that was -- that was too much time to be out of work. but we -- we ought to reauthorize fully the federal
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aviation administration and in the process upgrade our national system of air travel. mr. president, i served in the house. i worked on the nextgen concept which would upgrade the way in which we direct airplanes to travel across our country using satellite technology. now we use radar technology. that's a 20th century technology. we need a 21st century technology. so let's pass a full authorization for the federal aviation administration. we ought to pass a robust highway bill. for too long we haven't had full funding and full direction on a robust highway bill. and i want to applaud the bipartisan work that's gone into that. senators boxer, inhofe, baucus and vitter, who've taken the first steps on a bipartisan proposal to do just that. mr. president, i note that many of my republican colleagues
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object to the rebuild america jobs act on the grounds that we would pay for it with additional revenue from those who make annually more than a million dollars. but i want to just point out that the american people disagree with them. polls show close to 70% of americans support offsetting the cost of the bill, because we're going to pay for this. we've heard that message loud and clear. that those who make over $1 million a year could help shoulder more of the burden. and i know i talk to people who've done quite well at home in colorado who are willing to make that kind of investment if they see the return on the investment. and the american people are ahead of us on this. they know that it's a matter of simple fairness. now, if i were in an ideal world, therefore, i'm running the show, i would make some changes to the bill to address our broad infrastructure challenges.
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i would fold in the f.a.a. i would fold in the highway bill that i mentioned. but let's take the first modest step, let's open the floor of the united states senate to debate on the rebuild america jobs act. just like the american jobs ack more generally -- jobs act more generally. we could discuss how to pay for it, what's the best mechanisms. perhaps there's another way to pay for it, but let's begin the process. mr. president, i want to close by focusing on our home state of colorado. i return home, as you do, almost every weekend and take the time to hear out my fellow citizens, those that hired notice represent them in the -- hired me to represent them in the senate, and they will briefly complain about our inability to get things done here, as you know, even the simplest things it seems like this year. and i know my colleagues have similar experiences. but they quickly move to what
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they're doing at home and how they're making their lives better. i get energized by their commitment to working in their own communities. the other thing i don't hear much at home is a litmus test as to what political party you're a member of or what their concerns are about who's up for reelection next year or not. they come together all across our state, in alamosa and durango and grand junction, out in sterling. the list goes on and on of communities that come together. that isn't to say there isn't disagreement or that the solutions come easy, but they don't deal in the kind of partisan bickering that's become so common here. so i know the presiding officer feels that -- that sense of possibility at home. so let's match that sense of possibility. let's match their energy.
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and we can take some heart from the fact that our economy's beginning to show some signs of improvement. the department of commerce's report for the third quarter showed a 2.5% growth in gross domestic product. that's welcome news and signals that we're slowly making progress. yet i want to underline, unemployment remains subbornly, demandingly high at 9.1%. we must do better. i hope we can start by at a minimum voting tomorrow at least debate the rebuild america jobs act. let's end the filibusters, particularly when it comes to starting a debate. i mean, literally we're -- we're not even going to debate this bill. if we were to open the debate tomorrow, in a few days' time, we would have to have an additional cloture vote to end debate on the bill itself. if the minority, my republican colleagues, don't want to move to end debate, they certainly have that option at that time.
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but let's keep faith with the description of the united states senate, which was one of my motivations for wanting to represent coloradans here, which is the most deliberative legislative body in the world. if we are the chamber that many look to for debate, for time spent to understand the best policies for the country, let's keep faith with that. let's keep faith with our obligations as u.s. senators. so the time for filibusters is over. let's go to work on behalf of the american people. i remain optimistic. i think we can bring creativity and a sense of cooperation. that's what we see at home. that's what happens in colorado. that's what happens in all the states that are represented he here. that's the american way. let's bring the american way to the united states senate. and put americans back to work. mr. president, i thank you for your -- your patience, your interest, your partnership, your
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service to the state of colorado, the united states itself, and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the call of the quorum be terminated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that on thursday, november 3, 2011, when the senate resumes consideration of the motion to proceed to the rebuild america jobs act, that it be in order for the republican leader or his designee to move to proceed to s. 1786, a motion to proceed be debated concurrently, with the
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time until 3:00 p.m. equally divided between the two leaders or their designees prior to votes on the motion to proceed in the following order -- reid motion to proceed to s. 1769, mcconnell or designee motion to proceed to s. 1786, the motion to proceed each be subject to a 60-vote threshold, that if the reid motion to proceed is agreed to, the vote on the mcconnell or designee motion to proceed be delayed until disposition of s. 1769. finally, that the cloture motion with respect to the motion to proceed to s. 1769 be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask, mr. president, we move to a period of morning business, senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that a time to be determined by the majority leader after consultation with the republican leader, the senate proceed to executive session to consider nominations calendar number 353, 356, that there be an hour for debate equally divided in the usual
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form. that upon the use or yielding back of that time, the senate proceed to vote with no intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed. two minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form between the votes. that the motions to reconsider be made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate, and that no further motions be in order to any of the nominations, any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, that president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that we now proceed to the following items. calendar number 130, s. 271, calendar 131, s. 278, calendar 139, s. 535, calendar number 140, s. 683, calendar number 141, s. 684, calendar number 142, s. 808, calendar number 143, s. 897, and calendar number 145, s. 997.
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the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measures en bloc. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that any committee reported amendments relative to these bills be agreed to en bloc or applicable that the bills be read a third time as amended if amended en bloc, that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table on each of those matters with no intervening amendments or debate, that any statements relating to the measure be placed in the record at the appropriate place as if given. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now ask unanimous consent that s. 1786 be placed on the calendar. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the senate -- when we complete our business today, that we adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, thursday, november 3. following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the morning hour be deemed expired and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following any leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 1769, the rebuild america jobs act.
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that the time until 3:00 p.m. be divided and control equally between the two leaders or their designees. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: there will be two roll call votes at approximately 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. the first will be on the reid motion to proceed. if that is unsuccessful, then it will be on the mcconnell motion to proceed. we also, as indicated a few minutes ago, we're going to have two votes on judicial nominations tomorrow. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that we adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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>> when i got into the public, i
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started selling my books. every person i worked with, i had a rejection letter from, which was cool. we went to a meeting, and they were like, i love your stuff. i was like, what about this? >> ben questions the motivations and ethics and morality of brilliant people. his account of the creation of facebook was adapted for the screen as the "social network," bringing down the house followed a group of mitt students who won millions in vegas, and sex on the moon tracks a possible candidate that steals a safe filled with moon rocks. call, e-mail, or tweet ben mezrich sunday on in depth sunday on c-span2. >> a bipartisan group of senators unvailed a bill to fix the post office problems. they encouraged cuts in staffing
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and reductions to the retirement benefits. they held a 40 minute news conference on their plan. >> we'll confident we'll pull the united states postal service back from the brink of bankruptcy and secure it for the future. we're introducing the legislation today, and we plan to mark it up before the full homeland security and governmental affairs committee next wednesday. five years ago, senator collins led congress in the adoption of postal reform legislation. they have been the real leaders in this area who have devoted a lot of work to trying to rescue the postal service. this year, senator brown and i had joined them in proposing this legislation, which really is an effort to rescue the u.s. postal service which needs a
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fundamental restructuring of the way it meets its obligations to its customers including individual and business mailers and to its employees. if our rescue legislation is adopted, we're confident that the u.s. postal service, a great iconic institution, founded in the 18th century, along with the country itself, will survive and flourish through the 21st century and beyond. the fact is too many people still rely on the postal service for us to sit back and allows to collapse. despite a 22% drop in mail volume since 2007, and think about that for a business, a 22% drop in mail volume in the last four years, the postal service will still deliver 167 billion
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pieces of mail this year. it is the second largest private sector employer in our country, and i say that because it's a public-private institution separate from the government. second only to wal-mart and has 557,000 full-time career employees. it also has over 32,000 post offices which means that the postal service actually has more domestic retail outlets than wal-mart, starbucks, and mcdonalds combined. the financial health of the u.s. postal service has been declining for years, but the rapid changeover in everybody's lives to electronic communications combined with the economic downturn in the country, swept the postal service into a financial death
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spiral. in this fiscal year alone, 2011, the postal service in july told our committee that it faced a total loss, a deficit this year of $8 billion. by september, it revised its estimate saying they will now lose $10 billion. the postmaster general told our committee unless he gets new authority from congress, the postal service will run out of money to deliver the mail by sometime next summer. that's why we're introducing this comprehensive legislation to put a number of cost saving measures in place which my colleagues will discuss in some detail in a moment. i want to say that we know that much of these proposals will be controversial because they include reducing the number of postal facilities in our country, both post offices and
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distribution centers, reducing the number of people who work for the post office and altering some of the delivery schedules that the post office following now, but without taking controversial steps like these, thek
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postal service prolapse, and all the awful effects it would have on our economy and the quality-of-life on the people in this country and we've got to act boldly to secure the postal service's future. as i mentioned a few moments ago the u.s. postal service was founded in 18th-century but the more you look at it, the more you appreciate that the post office is not an 18th-century royal like, is a great 21st century national asset and so too must the u.s. postal service
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i want to again thank senator collins and cementer carper for their leadership in this area and see how pleased i am and i know we all are that in the tradition of our committee we achieve a bipartisan agreement here. we are going to be battered from all sides when we go forward with this, but this really is a national problem. this is a national problem and we aren't going to solve it by putting partisan politics were being rigid about a particular remedy that each one of us have and that is the spirit that has propelled a were discussions to this point so i want to thank my colleagues for all that they've done and particularly want to thank all of the members of the respective staff who if you look at them carefully are suffering from sleep deprivation and other elements associated with being
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asked to do a lot of work in a short time. senator collins. >> thank you mr. chairman. first let me say how much i appreciate the hard work of german lieberman, cementer carper, cementer brown, that has brought us here today. it has taken a great deal of hard work but we have developed a bipartisan agreement that has put the postal service to back on a sound financial footing. both bipartisan legislation gives the postal service the authority it needs to restructure, modernize, survive and thrive, and i want to emphasize a point that senator lieberman made. we are not crying wolf here. the postal service literally and will not survive unless
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comprehensive legislative and administrative reforms are undertaken. absent action the postal service will not be able to meet its payroll a year from now to come together to develop a bipartisan bill in contrast to the approach taken by the house. i also want to make the point that the postal service is absolutely vital to our economy. jobs are at stake. the postal service is the linchpin of a $1.1 trillion mailing industry that in place approximately 8.7 million americans in the fields of diverse as direct mail,
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printing, paper manufacturing, cal blog companies -- catalog companies. the list goes on and on. yesterday i met with a group that included nonprofit organizations, peter manufacturing companies and ebay which tells you something about the reach of the postal service. in her bill we are asking the postal service, directing the postal service to make some painful choices to reduce its cause and not simply to slash services and raise prices. that approach would only produce a death spiral driving away more customers and that is causing the postal service to lose even more volume. no one will be happy with all of
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the provisions in our bill, least of all the four or five but that is almost always the case when painful decisions are required. let me just outline a few of the provisions that are in our bill. first, under our bill the postal service would receive a repayment of nearly $7 million from the office of personnel management that is due to overpayments that the postal service has made to the federal employees retirement system. everyone agrees that this is an overpayment. gao, 0 p.m., and all of us. which part of the overpayment, we would authorize the postmaster general to initiate a
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compassionate buyout program. the postmaster general believes that using this buyout program, he could reduce the number of employees by approximately 100,000 workers. second, we would change the amortization schedule that would set up an hour 2006 law to help pay the unfunded liability for the retiree health benefits. what is essentially we would do is stretch out the amortization schedule so that the annual payment would be less and more manageable but we also give the postmaster general and of sinn that he has requested, and that is to negotiate with the postal
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union to try to reach an agreement within the next two years on an alternative health care system that would be less expensive and the would greatly lower that unfunded liability. third, we would prohibit the implementation of a reduction to the five day delivery for the next two years. five day delivery could only be implemented if the postal rate of the port commission verifies the gao assessment that the postal service has implemented cost-cutting reforms and savings are still not sufficient to restore the postal service to financial liability. what we want to do is to ensure
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that slashing or eliminating saturday surface is truly the last resort, not the first option. this is so important to our newspapers, rural areas which lack access to broadband and seniors who receive prescription medicine through the mail. we also are concerned that an immediate move to eliminate saturday delivery would cause more and more businesses to leave the system, and once they are gone they are not coming back coming and the postal service revenue would suffer yet another blow. those are just some of the provisions that are in our bill. i do want to touch on just one more before turning over the
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podium to my colleague, senator carper, because this is one that i have been pushing for for a long time. we need a complete overhaul of the federal and postal employees workers' compensation program. just to show you how out of control this program is, the postal service currently has more than 2,000 employees, 70 or older who are receiving higher payments and tax free payments on workers' comp than that they would under the standard postal retirement program. it is obvious that is not the purpose of workers' comp. it is supposed to be a safety net program that helps injured workers by providing them with
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income while they are out of work and gives them hope rehabilitation services so that they can return to work. one postal employee is actually 99-years-old and is still receiving worker's comp. he is not ever going to return to work and should be either on a lower benefit so it's more comparable to what a retired worker would receive or switch to the retirement program. i am pleased that we were able to reach agreement. those reforms that we are proposing will save the postal service in total when you look at all of the reforms hundreds of millions of dollars a year in a workers' comp costs alone. the postal service is now
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spending more than a billion dollars a year on workers' comp payments much of it is appropriate and needed but much of it is not. those are just some of the reforms that are in our bill. there are many others because this is a very comprehensive bill. but again, our goal is a thriving postal service that is financially stable and able to serve america in the 21st century. thank you. >> cementer carper apart from being the lead is the chairman of the relevant committee and senator brown is the ranking member. welcome one and all its been a joy to work with senator collins the last five or six years on the social issues to make sure we have a vibrant postal service going forward in the 21st century delighted to be here with our chairman and thank him for his leadership and to be
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here with scott brown and who is a ranking republicans of the subcommittee has to destruction over the postal service but really i was thinking about three or four points. the first one is can we govern? can we still govern this country, are we capable here in the senate and in the house to tackle big problems and solve them? is this a problem we can fix and we believe the blueprint today is a great road map to the solution. the consequences of of doing nothing, the consequence of doing nothing but me put it in a job perspective. we are trying to do everything we can to save jobs in this country and to preserve jobs. there are 7 million jobs from the postal service direct and indirect, 7 million jobs. half a million jobs are associated with people who work for the postal service and another roughly 7 million flow from the work of the postal
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service. i want to draw a little bit on how do we get into this mess and draw a parallel if i could with the postal service and the auto industry which almost went down in this country about three years ago. and the last thing just to build on what senator collins has said about how we get out of business or help the postal service get out of this mess? i think the answer flows from the home depot campaign. remember the old home depot campaign you can do it, we can help? in this case the postal service can do it. that's a good idea the postmaster general and his team organized labor the stakeholders, any idea how to get out of the situation and our responsibility is to help. one of the ways we help the most is by accusing not to be a 535 member board of directors. the of their own board of governors they don't need a board of directors and part of what we need to do not everything but part of what we need to do is to get out of the way and let them do what they
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know they need to do. while what i describe as the golden rule to get other people the way we want to be treated that includes customers, residential customers, business customers and includes employees of the postal service and includes tax payers would be good back a few years if i can. not long ago, a couple years ago my mom and dad passed away and my sister or in our home looking for all kind of stuff you may have done this before with your family and we found a treasure trove of letters that they would send back-and-forth during of the world war ii. they wrote like every other day to each other from hearing none and so those letters. when i was in southeast asia in the early 1970's we couldn't wait for mail day, the best day of the week, and we just sometimes go and choose and scott and i go to afghanistan our troops still get the mail.
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but today they use skype, facebook, twitter, cellphone, the internet. the way we communicate is so different today. no more graphic demonstration jamdat. if we go back to when i was in southeast asia the u.s. auto industry had like an 85% market share. ford, chrysler, gm, towards 2,000 line when they almost lost them all the market share was under 50% and the auto industry said we have to be challenges here. number one, we have more than we need. number two, we have more auto plants than we need and number three we have to sort of mismatch between the structure of the big three compared to that in the competition especially given the market share that we enjoyed in 2009. and they said we need to address those three things in the right size the enterprise and they asked for us not a bailout but asked an investment and we've made that investment. it's been repaid for the most
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part with interest. the situation and the postal service is quite similar to what the auto industry faced years ago. the postal service has a market share today, they have more employees than they really need. they have more post offices than they really need. they have more processing centers than they really need and they are not as gun-free bailout as senator collins says they're asking for a refund of a $7 billion overpayment in the system. we believe we ought to allow them to do that, providing in some cases benefits for people there is 125,000 postal employees eligible to retire, 125,000 out of the 550,000 in the payroll and what we want to do is to give the postmaster general and his team the tools to incentivize people to go ahead and retired. bonus payments could be ten, $25,000, much like the auto industry. could be the ability to offer some extra credit time, credit
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service to go ahead and retire, but at the end of the david is a big part for every it saves $8 billion in year. $8 billion a year and we anticipate using maybe a quarter of the $7 billion overpayment to incentivize people to retire. senator collins was talked about not getting through today but the auto settlement contest for survival you recall was a big part of it as well as trying to figure out how to reduce the auto industry care costs and the work with the uaw very cooperative lee and we can to this impossibility to work in a very cooperative lead with five unions to further reduce their health care costs for the current employees and future retirees. the other thing and i want to mention in terms it is not just enough to cut for the postal service to cut its way out of this. the post offices are reducing the mail processing centers and
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incentivizing people to retire. part of it is the idea that moving into coaching the postal service to the site service and we've been working every neighborhood and every house but there's a lot of money to be saved if we can incentivize more of that as well. the last point i want to make is this. the postal service has to be innovative, entrepreneurial and come up with new ideas. what is an axiom of a good idea? if it is this week millet. other critics and was to cut the partnership the postal service has with fedex and ups fedex and ups they don't want to go to every door in america every day. the of a great partnership with the postal service because the postal service goes to every door six days a week and the postal service in many cases carries the fedex and ups packages for them and it is a great partnership. and going forward as we move
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more, further away like in the society for the mortar shopping and the postal service is an agreed position to capitalize on that service and make money doing that. the postal service is also in a great opportunity to the state and local government how about putting some of those operations in the post office? how about doing that? the idea of media exploring and creating a virtual mailbox which we are going to hear more about in the days to come. these are all ideas the postal service needs to pursue to create more business going forward. on will close with this comment to reflect on what suzanne has said we need to be a demonstration this country that we can govern again. we need to demonstrate the democrats, republicans and an occasional republicans can govern. we can take on a big problem that we can solve a problem, and this is a big one. the situation is dire. we can fix this problem and in
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the goodwill of a lot of people we will and we won't do it in a year or two or three years from now the idea to fix this problem by the end of this year. thanks very much. >> senator brown. >> i'm sure there's a lot of questions, going to be very, very brief. part of the personal privileges there is a reason why the three people behind me and i work together and i think there's a good lesson for the rest of the senate to show that we can actually do things in a bipartisan manner, and i would ask that others would take a lesson from what we've done. we have spent hundreds of hours trying to come up with a solution. our staff have done the work and we appreciate everybody working together in a truly bipartisan manner and we need to do it more so we can show people the we know how to solve problems. it's very real. and we have a choice. we can fix it or not. you get mail delivered or you don't. they are not even getting in the
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game and i for one want to try to solve the problem and work together to find that solution so the time for political future and games is over. we need to do our very best to push this through and i'm thankful to the chairman obviously for doing it. susan you denigrate job through the process are truly wonderful and tom, once again, it's an honor to try to get things done. fix it or not, i for one want to fix it and i know the u.n. to give us some questions, so fire away. >> thanks. go right ahead. yes? >> regarding the 2.9 billion you said part of that for the retirement for the postal service has the discretion to use. >> it's roughly a quarter of the $7 billion opening would likely
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be used to incentivize people to retire. the postal service has a line of credit as you know with 15 billion-dollar line of credit, and that's pretty much fully exhausted. the postal service has an obligation to pay workers' comp, and they are looking for the money to be able to do that so there are other things they could use the money for they wouldn't need 27 billion they might use as much as 2 billion to incentivize people 100,000 people who retire ultimately we save $8 billion for the postal service. >> the rest of the money the 5 billion can be used for the services? >> yes. as senator carper said, the likelihood from our discussions with the postmaster general is she would use about 1.7 billion for the buyout program. the body out is capped at 25,000
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per employee, that's the highest amount which is comparable to the cap for federal employees by of programs. in some cases obviously it would be less. the option also is there to give service credits for people who are not quite add the number of years that the need. it would be one year under the civil service retirement system under the federal employees retirement system. so the postmaster general has told us that somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.7 billion of that money would be sufficient for the buy-out program. then the rest he has told us he would use to help pay down some of that 15 billion-dollar debt to the federal treasury. that is the postal service is at or near the ceiling for its
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borrowing. also it could be used to meet workers, and health care obligations. so it has lots of uses for that money but certainly from the discussions with the postmaster general paying down debt is a priority. after the buyout. >> i just want to add one plug here. this refund from the retirement fund is not a bailout. it is not a bailout. it is the result of a legal analysis that everybody agrees with that this was in fact an overpayment by the postal service, and it is entitled to receive that money back and contrast that indirectly with the proposal was being made frankly by the postal service that they were also entitled to what was it, almost $55 billion
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from the csrs from the other fund for federal employees and we specifically decided that was not justified, and it was controversy about it so i just want to stress this is money that is owed. it is not a bailout but it will help them to carry out a buyout to reduce the level of their employment. yes? >> to questions -- [inaudible] across the street in the house say that it would be better and they have several -- senator collins you said that yours is an approach to what the house passed earlier. i'm curious what you are doing to talk to senator isi and senator mccain. and then you said that they didn't you were crying wolf but sweet to how the heck is this any different and what's to say you won't be backed? >> let me answer the first question first since he asked a
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number of questions. the house opposition was based largely i am told by the $55 billion from the csrs system. now as chairman lieberman has indicated whether or not there was an overpayment. there were too independent actuarial studies that it was an overpayment. one was conducted by the ig. but the administration said that it was not an overpayment. bye contrast the administration agreed from the first system is an overpayment and the president actually put the return of that money into his budget, so the house comments were largely
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directed at the 55 billion after the gao at our request looked at the 55 billion agreed with the administration and disagreed with the two independent actuarial studies we decided not to put that in our bill so this has changed considerably from earlier and the house is aware of that. my staff went over and had a very constructive meeting yesterday with chairman issa staff. we four together and have won a joint meeting already with our house counterparts they've taken a different approach but they recognize this is a very real problem as far as what happened in 2006 they clearly did put the
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system back on a better financial footing for a while unfortunately what happened the electronic mail was far more rapid than the postal service had anticipated the costs are higher than anticipated but the situation is so much more dire now than it was in 2006. the postal service is if nothing happens would lose $10 billion this year not able to meet its payroll by a year from now by next summer and stop their credit they maxed out there borrowing. the situation was very bad in 2006 but is many times worse now. many reforms we put in place in 2006 or helpful the crisis was
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exacerbated by the recession but caused primarily by a migration to electronic mail. >> [inaudible] >> i can't speak from my colleagues, but from my perspective, it is. 55 billion is no longer on the table. it is not in our bill, and it is not in the house bill. so i don't know of anyone who is talking about the 55 billion anymore. even the postal service has abandoned their request. >> we ask the general and they were good enough to play that role. they agreed that the overpayment for the question of whether or
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not is a vividly aware overpayment in the service retirement so let's set that aside. one of our friends and what our colleagues named mike enzi from the republican from wyoming let's fund 80% we agree on. the other 20% we don't agree on what said that aside. the reason why i think there's hope that we might not four or five years from now come to face-to-face with the situation i'm going back to the although xm if i could. dollar for the auto industry, not for investments, not for the tax, not even a dollar. let them go down. and today they've returned the possibility. today they are making some structure means in the world and today the market share is growing. and today they are hiring people back to work, thousands of people and part of what happened three or four years ago with the
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audio system is the right size to the enterprise for the 21st century in this country. what we are trying to do is help the postal service to the same thing and i think that is a goal shared by chairman issa in the house that they would lead and the ways they would get there is somewhat different from us and when they would create a black light commission and the aggregate the labor agreement and i'm not sure that we would need to do that and weigel and we may disagree on some cases to get where we won't postal service and stable i would agree on that and at the end of the day we will figure out how to agree on the particulars as well. >> i want to give you a last line on this because there was controversy about the csrl us payment being subject to call a bailout. but the other reason why i think all of us agree we shouldn't get into that is that it was a kind
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of temporary -- it would have injected some money into the postal service without the service changing fundamentally, which it needs to do, it would conceal their problems and what we have done in this bill is to require them and encourage them and in some sense facilitate and enable them with no authorities to make fundamental changes the postal service has to make to survive in this century, and including reducing work force services, changing services, and particularly facilities. and the good news here is that with the exception of the refund of the $7 billion everybody agrees the postal service deserves there is no taxpayer money, no additional taxpayer money being put into this. we think the wheat said the postal service on the course to, as i say, credit annual budget
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by $20 billion. and still, hopefully, not reduce service and therefore not accelerate the drop in the volume. so that's why we are very proud of this accomplishment. >> one quick point on that. even the first money that is coming back to the postal service is the rate payers money. it's the customers, it's the postal service. so there is no way that this bill is a bailout in any way.
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>> if the speaker of the house, the republican leader in the senate, all the democrats say this is important to do, why aren't we doing it? what is holding us back? let's get moving and put america back to work. if congress tells you they don't have time, they've got time to do it. we've been in the house of representatives, what have you been dating? you been debating a commemorative coin for baseball. you had legislation reaffirming
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that in god we trust is our motto. that's not putting people back to work. i trust in god, what god wants to see as help ourselves by putting people back to work. [applause] >> over at the capitol today a group of house republicans unveiled a jobs plan which proposes changes to the tax code and eliminating federal regulations. contrasting their ideas from the president's proposals. >> this is basically the exact opposite, if you will, of the so-called "jobs package," that the president has laid out, which is really no jobs package at all or is the proposal is a rehash of the proposal the job creation in the past by this administration which basically had simply consisted of spending more money, rolling out so-called job ready programs that we hear from the white house would immediately create jobs for the country but then quickly we learn that those job
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ready programs are not jobs ready programs and that in fact did not create the jobs the anticipated but simply cost the american taxpayers more money. >> watch with these events tonight beginning at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. in hampshire secretary of state william gardner announced today that the >> welcome. good to see a lot of you again since last week. this will be the 25th new hampshire primary. and contrary to what some of you have heard, this is only the ninth one that i actually set the date for.
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standing to my left is a former state representative and state senator who wrote the language and in 1975, 30 years ago was the first protection the was codified in state law to preserve the tradition of the primary coming and he's been with me when i set the date in years past, and to my right is gregg, the son of the late former governor who in my opinion championed the primary over the years during my years in office more than anyone else and i had gregg in the past and i hope to have heard this year but she was unable to be here with us so i asked if he would come in and he's been here in
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the past. he was with me in 2004 when i set the date then. last week near the end of the violent period, one of the candidates came up to me, and he had filed over 20 years ago the picture's right there and he said something to me that sums up in many ways with the new hampshire primary tradition is all about and he said there are still many tyrants in the countries around the world, but new hampshire is like no other place on earth we're all individuals regardless of their status in life can get their name placed on about what by a very simple process and have the
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chance to run for president. he made that comment as others have the past that the new hampshire primary has really been for those regardless of their status whether they have fame or fortune they have a chance here and it's my honor and privilege to say this morning that the tradition of the new hampshire presidential primary lives on and will be held on the second tuesday, the tenth day of next year, 2012. most of you in this room have, in your own way, whether you are a legislative leader, just a legislative party leader from
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all walks of life have helped inappropriate ways protecting and preserving the primary. and that certainly happened again this year whether it was work with candidates who took what appropriate action they felt was best, but a lot of individuals here have been part of preserving tradition, and i want to point out that our friends in iowa and south carolina and particularly the state republican shares they were very helpful at the critical time during this last month to six weeks demonstrating the solidarity of the early
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states and both were willing to come here to demonstrate that solidarity if it was necessary, but they were able in their own personal conversations to help without having to do that publicly. so i'm going to ask the former representative because without the language 36 years ago we wouldn't be where we are so that is the first time after having the primary for over half a century with a specific law having it on a specific day to change if we need it, to have the flexibility if we needed to preserve and honor the tradition i was in the legislature of the
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time and i know that there were a lot of people who were not exactly supportive of that at that time the language was put into the statute and the language has certainly come in handy over the years and she's always been there to make sure that in my years that i live up to what ball actually meant. so if that. islamic i've been involved in one way or another every primary in new hampshire since 1960 when i delivered little fly years in my neighborhood for a neighboring united states senator running for president and in all that time i've learned in seeing that the new hampshire primary really is not about new hampshire. it's about protecting the important element of the american democracy to make sure that there is a way and a place
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where candidates running for office and the real election which the new hampshire primary is can be quoted one to one face-to-face ytoy in their living rooms and on the streets to communicate their messages. it's not so much about money. it's not so much about the national networking and hampshire it's about being able to relate with people coming and we get to see them up close. they learn from us as well. it's never been about competition in new hampshire and any other states or any of the national party's. that we will consider in the future in 2015, 2021 never the scenario if necessary as the secretary of state indicated he might be willing to do this year should give a message to the other states and to the national party's the need to make sure the 7 billion or more after the
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hampshire as a protected window in the future it's incredibly well being a will to make clear that 7 billion is what the new hampshire primary is all about. it's not just with but there are seven days and likely will be more this time after the new hampshire primary that the candidates did well and came in first or second or communicated to the messages well and learned a lot in our state can go on to other states and do well there. today begins the next process. it kind of ends this regime by the past several months to make sure that new hampshire will stay for us but begins a process that really the election for the candidates begins today. january 10th, 2012 happens to be 68 days from now. the polls in new hampshire's open at midnight on that day and
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that is 1,644 hours from that so the candidates of a lot of work to do. everything that's been done before this date as the new hampshire primary seriously gets under way is what has happened in the past. we have seen a lot of unpredictable the candidates in the past elections and candidates might want us to get the polls. they might want us to get the fund raising that they have already done and they might want us to look at the next 68 days and make the messages in new hampshire because this is where it counts. you did a wonderful job again. thank you. [applause] >> realistically how close were we if that i hadn't moved to announcing a few weeks in
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december? >> well, i was sort of on the edge of a cliff and i was hoping that if i had to move that there would be a puddle of water to jump into if necessary, but this cycle in my opinion the most difficult cycle for new hampshire was 1984, then 1996 and then in 2000 and then 2008. laughter irca we have been asked the point if you consider the cliff going the year before, i first said new hampshire could
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possibly have its primary before the end of this year only after it was confirmed by me that nevada has a resolution that said nevada would have its event for days after new hampshire whenever do hampshire was going to have its event, and once i confirmed that, i knew that based on that we would have to have the possibility on the table that we might have to go the year before coming and we faced that before in the 90's. we had two states that actually had lost it said that they were going to have their primary and the same day as hours whenever that was going to be. and we know that after, the four days after this this year that we face that state decided to set a date and that state decided to change the date so it
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wasn't necessary. we never had to look to the other side of the cliff, we were just looking on the side that we had come from. >> what did the parties do in the case of florida in the next cycle to prevent this from happening again? half the delegates had been taken as a deterrent. >> this is a question certainly on a lot of people's minds across the country, and i'm always hopeful. i thought after the last cycle that we would not face this again, and i'm hopeful that in the next cycle we won't have to face again, but there is no
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simple answer to that question. [laughter] cementer are you encouraged by the way they handle the situation that they do understand going forward? >> certainly, and what they demonstrated that they were willing to do to help in that process. so, that was a good thing and it helped. >> for those who don't know [inaudible]
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>> the new hampshire -- the winner of the hampshire primary going the has become president except three times in an effective place finisher in new hampshire that became president. so that is the record of new hampshire. no one has finished below second and become president since we've had the listing of the names of the presidential candidates on about what in addition to when we had the delegates on the ballot to the other candidates so that a voter could actually -- that -- and you don't have to win in new hampshire to be perceived as a winner because in some cases a candidate who exceeded expectations substantially was perceived to be the winner and that is a
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historical fact over the years but has made a difference for some candidates and that was clearly the case in 1968 that when this primary really gained the attention of the country because of what happened here the sitting president changing his mind and deciding not to run for the reelection after the new hampshire primary and before the next state had a primary. >> with that record what is the seat of the new hampshire primary give that record? >> will come as a thing about the new hampshire primary and new hampshire in particular, you think about this, four years ago, over half a million individuals in this state went to a polling place on the ingenuity and voted over half a million voted that day.
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we had 529,000 votes cast. less than 5% were by absentee. they don't leave the game early innings or made innings or even leave innings. they want to watch all of it because significant events that happened here during the last weekend of the campaign. even some that sort of become symbolic for people sort of making because the difference among the candidates within the party are not as great as the general election certainly come and little things make a difference, and people in this state care deeply about who they choose and that a be right for the country. they put a lot of time and effort into this. they attend events and we had a survey after 2000 that actually
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affords them the people there were surveyed said they had shaken the hand of a presidential candidate. think about that, and people care here and we have this turnout that every person on the checklist in new hampshire can vote in the presidential primary. we have a closed primary because you have to declare your party before you vote but we don't have a requirement that someone has to stay in the party for a week, six months, six years we don't have a duration or retirement but before you vote you have to have declared your party. and that's why our numbers are so high and that's why the result here is so meaningful because it is a true cross-section not just a small percentage but a huge percentage
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of the people of this state. >> [inaudible] some say it was a distraction. what do you think, did it help? >> anything the candidate felt was appropriate on their own to help preserve the tradition of the primary helps us and is appreciated >> [inaudible] connect process you kind of get elevated into another world the status. it was new hampshire before bill gardiner good. its new hampshire now.
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[laughter] what do you think that this status you've kind of created around yourself? >> we didn't know much about it. there is a suspect in this room who is believed to have started that. [laughter] nobody is familiar, nobody is really tuitele and in this office and we have been talking about six weeks ago. i was actually asking a few people if they could show me what this was all about, but there was only one person here that actually had ever looked at, but it was -- it was pretty entertaining. it was person to mention it to me was the second day, and the person actually told me to of them and one of them was about 11 days versus the seven days
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and the other was i wasn't really involved i just my hair left in the future. [laughter] those are the first to i actually heard and then some of them were -- it's one thing when i first -- when i set the date for the first primary we had the three national networks and that was it. and then we got cnn and some of the others, and then leader cycles we had local student nations from detroit or atlanta, and each cycle technology has changed and how this is followed by the rest of the country, and it's become -- wherever you live in the country is almost in your backyard because of technology, and it was in 2000 that for the first time computers actually played a role in this and then
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in 2000 for bigger and now it is this twitter this suspect in here that got started and you may remember that is a change in how fast everything is. but i remember when i was just the three networks and we have come a long way that the primary tradition has come along with its >> do you know what paper? [laughter] >> what was the 11 of them was about new hampshire doesn't need a photo i.d. because i know everybody that votes. [laughter]
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many of you were here during the filing period and now you take it from here and it's your way of treating the candidate fairly , and new hampshire is unpredictable and it is unscripted and of those moments are precious because those moments have shown the rest of the country some insight into the candidate's character that may never have been made, that they have never had the chance to become aware of, and those moments are your moment because that's how they have been, and you play a big role in this as
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well and how the candidates remember their time here, so since i mentioned the party leaders, legislative activists, people that the person who puts the time into it really wants to do the right thing and really wants to make the right choice. they care about it and they do it and it's time for them to go from here. can we in 70 days? that's it. [laughter] thank you. >> would you continue your statement? >> i am prepared to wait for my answer until hell freezes over if that's your decision. ..


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