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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 18, 2011 12:00pm-5:00pm EST

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for senator mccain, amendment 1132, related to a statement of budgetary resource auditability. for senator mccain, amendment 1248, related to authorizing ship repairs in the northern marianas. for senator mccain, amendment 1250 related to a report on the probation of the f-35-b program. for senator mccain, amendment 1118 to modify the availability of surcharges collected by commissary stores. and then i have to make a clarification on an amendment i've previously offered on behalf of senator mccain. 1230 as modified, senator mccain's amendment on tri care. and i would ask unanimous
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consent from the chairman of the armed services committee to allow the senator from alabama to speak. plefn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: before the chair recognizes our friend from alabama, let me thank the senator from new hampshire not just for her kind and warm remarks but also for the great contribution she has made to our committee. it's really been an extraordinary launch for her, if i may put it that way. i think -- and i know our presiding officer would agree, because he's been a witness as well. it's been a major contribution. we thank you. you've had the kind of experience and you are so committed to the security of this country that you are a real -- you're already venerable as a member of our committee. i yield the floor.
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ms. ayotte: thank you, mr. chairman. you're very kind and it's been wonderful to serve under your leadership on the armed services committee, which is one of the great experienceness the u.s. senate is the armed services committee at a time when people see so much partisanship we work on a very strong bipartisan basis to ensure that our country is protected. with that i would like to yield to my colleague, who also serves on the armed services committee, whom i have great respect for, senator sessions from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president. the presiding officer: without objection, the amendments that the senator from new hampshire has filed will be considered to have been read and will be considered in the order that they have been ordered. mr. levin: if our friend would yield for one second -- the speaker pro tempore: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: we are then on the regular order. is that correct?
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the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. levin: so the regular order, the levin-mccain amendment. is that correct? the presiding officer: that is correct. the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. president. i would ask for unanimous consent to allow commander mike moore, my defense legislative fellow, floor privileges through the time passage of s. 1867, the national defense authorization act. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: i would just say how much i've appreciated commander moore's contributions to our effort to preserve and protect and defend this country, and he is going to be returning to the full naval service before too much longer and it has been a great asset to have him on board. i do believe that the defense authorization bill has been moved and the kind -- in the way that more legislation needs
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to be handled in the congress, and i am confident that is in large part due to the leadership of senator levin, who is a professional, skilled lawyer who knows the big picture and the small details of the legislation. it's been a pleasure to work with him over the years and i've learned a great deal about our defense from him and how legislation is enacted. so i want to express my appreciation for that, and to senator mccain, who brings vast knowledge of defense and mill -- military issues and who was courageous in defending what he believes are the legitimate interests of the united states are and that's been a real pleasure. and i'll join with senator levin in thanking senator ayotte for her leadership and her contributions to our committee have been immediate and that's reflected in the fact senator
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mccain has asked to you manage the floor today for him. i also appreciate your work on the budget and the effort we've made there. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent to temporarily set aside the pending amendment and call up the following amendments en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sessions: amendment 1182, dealing with army combat brigade teams, 1183 dealing with the nuclear triad, 1184 dealing with naval service vessels, 1185 dealing with missile defense, and 1274 dealing with the detention of enemy combatants. the presiding officer: without objection, those amendments are considered being in that order. mr. sessions: i thank the chair and i would like to share a few
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general comments about where we are. all of us have been confronting, whether we want to or not, i think some of us more realistically than others, the debt situation this nation faces. we are indeed borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that we spend. that is an unsustainable path, and we've already had three consecutive years of deficits exceeding $1 trillion, and we're projected to have another $1 trillion deficit next year. the debt under president obama has now increased by 42% in the first three years of his term in office. it's an unsustainable course. we've got to do better. the national defense authorization act represents our committee's vision for defense in the future. we have done something about the spending problem america has.
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we calculate the numbers, we're down from $548 billion in actual money spent on the defense department last year to $527 billion this year, an actual reduction in noninflation-adjusted dollars of over $20 billion, which represents about a 5% reduction, 4% reduction in defense spending. well, that's what all of our accounts should be doing. but indeed, that's not happening. and the other aspects of discretionary spending, defense being the largest portion of discretionary spending in the congress, the other agencies and departments aren't showing a reduction at all. indeed, they're showing an increase. even after nondefense,
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discretionary spending increased 24% in the first two years under president obama. and some think that defense, the base defense budget has been surging and it has been increasing over the last decade, but it's increased 84% over the past decade. i would just note that medicaid, for example, has increased over 100%, food stamps are now up to $80 billion this year, is four times what it was in 2010 -- 2001. it went from $20 billion to just about $80 billion this year. so defense has not been surging out of proportion, i would suggest, to the other spending programs in our government. in fact, been increasing even in this decade long of war against terrorism at a rate
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that's not excessive, in my view. it's been a pretty significant increase on the realistic controls and not out of proportion to what we are concerned about. however, it is looking to be hammered a great deal more in the future. disproportionate, again, to what's happening in other spending accounts. the defense department now is working on a total reduction in spending of $489 billion more, which is about 10% of what we would expect to spend in the next ten years. and if the -- and that's because of the budget control act that we passed in august that required reductions in spending in the discretionary
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accounts, and the choices so far have been to reduce defense spending far more than the other account. in addition, if the deficit committee, the 12 -- the super committee members, if they do not reach an accord, we all need to understand that there would be an automatic sequester. and many people thought -- and i think senators probably thought -- that if that were to be done, it would be done across the board in an equal way. not so. if that happens, $600 billion additional would be taking out of the, shall taken out of the defense and items such as food stamps, medicaid, earned income tax credit, social security, all of those would have no reductions. and so it would amount to almost a 20% reduction in the defense department in real dollars over ten years.
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and it should not have been that way. the agreement should not have targeted the defense department this -- in such a draconian way, and we cannot allow that to happen. all accounts need to be tightened. every agency and department has to tighten its belt including the defense department. but not disproportionately so. admiral mullen said that if this were to occur, it would hollow us out, it would break the defense department and our military. so did leon panetta, president obama's secretary of defense. he said it was basically an unacceptable situation, and he agreed with admiral mullen who was sitting beside him at the time of that testimony and in response to questions i asked of him. when i asked him about it, he
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was on a -- the hearing was on another subject and he really responded with passion, secretary panetta did, and expressed deep concern about the course of our defense department if these cuts were to take place. i would quote, mr. president, from former secretary robert gates who served president bush and president obama, just a few days ago, he said this" i think frankly the creation of this super committee was a complete abdication of responsibility on the part of the congress. it basically says this is too hard for us. give us a brac, give us a package where all you have to do is vote it up or down and i don't have to take any spernl responsibility -- personal responsibility for any of the tough decisions. so now we're left with this
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sword of damocles hanging over the government, hanging over defense, and if these cuts are automatically made i think the results for our national security would be catastrophic." close quote. that's what former secretary of defense, most respected secretary said just a few days ago. i think that's fundamentally correct, that we are proceeding in a path that disproportionately impacts the defense department and would be damaging in a way that's not necessary and should not happen. a lot of these other programs have been surging out of control with problems after problems, whether it's solyndra loans that were made, apparently knowing the company is going under, those kind of things we need to focus on. and to suggest they can't have any cut and all the cuts have to
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fall on defense or a disproportionate number of them, is a mistake. and i'm a firm believer that the defense department and every department of our government has got to tighten its belt, and we cannot continue as business as usual and we should be having reductions in spending in every single bill that's coming before us. but i'm afraid, mr. president, the only bill that will actually show an actual reduction in spending is the defense bill. we got men and women in harm's way right now on guard to defend our country. and i feel that we need to get our act together. i'm hopeful that this committee of 12 can reach an accord that would not hammer the defense department additionally from the huge cuts they're already being asked to make over the next ten years and maybe can help us begin to get on a path to fiscal
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responsibility. but i'm do you feel that they're going -- i'm doubtful that mayor going to make a big change. hopefully they'll make some agreement but it does not look hopeful that we'll have the kind of financial alteration of spending in america that's necessary to get our country on the right path. after all, admiral mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, said last year the greatest threat to our national security is our debt. and we are already seeing how it impacts us when you see these cuts being discussed and being threatened. mr. president, i want to thank senator ayotte, a former prosecutor, attorney general of new hampshire, for jumping in right away into the very, very critical issue of detainees and how they should be treated in
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the united states, and in the short time she has been here making a big difference on that. i was involved in it on the judiciary committee. i've been involved in it on the armed services committee. i'm basically exhausted with it. i just remain flabbergasted. and i think you're right, senator ayotte, this is progress i believe you've made in these negotiations but i think we've gone too far in many of these ideas already. and it just does not make common sense. let me just say a couple of things about it. when a person is at war against the united states and they're captured in combat activities against the united states, they are able to be detained, they don't have to be tried, they don't have to be given miranda rights, they have to comply with the geneva conventions about food and the right to communicate and within limits.
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they can be interrogated. all these things are part of the geneva conventions. and they are to be detained until the war is over. that is so fundamentally logic logical. why in the world would a person who's fighting an enemy and could have killed the enemy at one moment and captures them the next moment, they're then required while the war is still ongoing to release them so they can shoot you again and attack you again? this is perfectly logical. it's part of the history of war and it's long been established that when you capture enemy combatants, you can detain them until the conflict is over. but we've had this obsessive desire and attack by some that the people that have been captured need to be released and they insisted they be released. they insisted that they be released.
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and so they started with the least dangerous numbers and released i guess now a majority of the people that have been detained. and among the least dangerous members that have been released, as senator ayotte says, we now have 27% that have been identified as in the war attacking us now and one of them is now the top leaders in al qaeda. this would never -- this was never necessary and guantanamo is a perfectly logical place to hold these individuals. and how it became such a political issue and president obama campaigned on it and attorney general eric holder was out there complaining about it and then he gets in, as the attorney general of the united states, and they commence to make some serious errors, in my opinion. one of the biggest errors was to create a presumption that
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somebody's who's been apprehended attacking the united states should be treated in civilian courts. and i know senator ayotte just said this earlier but people need to know, if you're going to try somebody in civilian courts, you have to give them miranda immediately. because when they come before the judge, if they've made an admission without miranda, it can't be used against them. and you have to tell them immediately they're entitled to a lawyer. you don't have -- when you capture people in a war, you don't give them lawyers. that's never been part of the rules of war. and they're guaranteed presentment, the right to speedy trial in federal court within 70 days. they're entitled to a preliminary hearing. so all the other bad guys and terrorists now have an opportunity to know that you've captured their coconspirator, perhaps, and are aware of the circumstances and may scatter in a way that you would not want to occur.
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so these are realistic things. so if there's a presumption -- first of all, i would think all of the cases should be tried in military commissions if they're tried and not in civilian. but certainly the presumption should be that they would be in military commission. because it's the presumption, as attorney general holder has declared, is that if it's civilian, then you have to do the warning. i remember in one of our hearings, senator lindsey grah graham, a j.a.g. officer with the air force and still trains as a reservist, grilled, i believe it was attorney general holder, and asked him, well, what would happen if bin laden were captured, would you give him miranda rights? and he couldn't answer the question. wouldn't answer the question.
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because under his presumption that if obama -- osama bin laden were apprehended, he should be given miranda rights. so i -- that's the -- the nub of the problem we've been wrestling with and we've had a lot of political rhetoric, in my opinion, and attacked president bush time and time and time again. they didn't conduct everything perfectly but many, many, many of the attacks on president bu bush, his department of justice, his military were unfair. do you know that not a single person in guantanamo was ever waterboarded, that the united states military never participated in that? these were intel interrogations done under limited circumstances to very few people. whether they should have been done or not, we can all argue and disagree, but the idea the
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united states military, the defense department was systematically torturing and abusing prisoners is absolutely untrue. no military under such difficult circumstances has performed so well. mr. president, on another subject, one of my amendments deals with a subject that i had an opportunity to be engaged in for some years around 2002 -- 2003 or 2004. i led a congressional delegation to europe dealing with the extent of our forces in europe, how much we have deployed there. and the opportunity we had and maybe the need that we had to bring home some of those forces. we were going through a brac process in the united states, closing bases and consolidating
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bases, that process did not apply officially to europe and bases around the world, and a number of us were engaged in that. i recall that senator saxby chambliss and mike enzi traveled with us to europe, and we examined and -- and went to germany and italy and spain and we saw the bases that were important for the united states, bases that we really needed and we had good support from our allies on and would be enduring bases. and there was a plan in place to reduce the deployments in areas where it was less important. so as a matter of background, i would share these thoughts. since 2004, the defense department had a plan to transfer two of its four combat brigades in europe back to the
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united states as part of a larger post-cold war realignme realignment. however, in april of this yea year -- april of this year -- the department of defense announced it would maintain three combat brigades and the fourth would not leave europe until 2015. earlier this year, admiral staviradis told the senate arm services committee that roughly 80,000 troops remain in europe. moving a brigade combat team back to the united states would have cut u.s. forces by 5,000 personnel. a 2010 plan developed by a congressionally appointed committee found that wught cup-third of the united states military presence in europe -- that cutting one-third of the united states military presence in europe and the pacific would save billions of dollars over ten yearsment years -- ten yea.
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i do believe significant cost savings can be realized. in addition to these savings, stationing these troops in the united states would have a stimulative effect on state and local economies. with these soldiers and families living in the local economy and being able to stay with their families more easily and reducing the number of expensive movements of personnel and families to deploy in different places around the world. so i feel like that we need to stay on track with this plan. february 2011 g.a.o. repor poste report and realignment does not include europe to include comprehensive cost data in its theatre posture plan. as a result, d.o.d. does not have critical information that could be used by decision-makers as they deliberate posture requirements. the g.a.o. analysis showed that
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of the approximately $17 billion obligated by the services to support installations in europe between 2006 and 2009, approximately $13 billion, 78%, was for operation and maintenance costs. now, those countries want our people there. it brings american money to their economies, just like we'd like to have a brigade combat team in alabama and new hampshire or some other places. good for the economy. nato and european allies, however, are not meeting their defense spending obligations. many of our allies do not meet the e.u. standards and the united states should not be continuing to subsidize nato and european allies' defense spending.
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they need to participate more. i believe there's significant savings that could be found by bringing both these brigade combat teams to the united states, as has been planned. and i would ask, is europe more threatened today than it was just two, three, four, six years ago? i don't think so. they don't think so. mr. president, the europeans committed to 2% of their g.d.p. to be committed to defense, but many of those nations are down to 1%. they're not even fulfilling their 2% goal. the united states is at 4% of g.d.p. on defense almost. and so i think the europeans need to be prepared to understand that they can't live off the united states. there's a great book by kagan called "paradise and power." very insightful. very insightful book.
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and it says, in a sense, europeans are comfortable. why? because they're under the umbrella of american power. and they've been comfortable with that. they don't feel threatened and they're not paying their fair share of the defense burden and they don't like it when we want to bring home troops. give me a break. it's time to do something about that and i believe all of our allies around the world, whether in the pacific or in europe or in -- in other areas of the globe ought to work with us in partnership so that we can be most effective in providing some stability around the world. but the idea that the united states can unilaterally fund a security force for the whole world is unrealistic. it can't be sustained and i just cannot possibly see how we need
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this many troops in europe at this point in history and i believe it would be good for our economy to have those troops back home in the united state states. you can have the base there's that we could surge and meet any challenge in short order. but i believe it's the right approach. i see my friend, senator enzi, and we traveled together on that trip to europe a number of years ago to examine the bases that we felt should be permanent and the ones that should be closed. mr. president, i thank the chair and i would yield the floor. ms. ayotte: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: thank you, mr. president. i would just like to -- to share my -- give my thanks to the senator from alabama for his comments about the concerns he has about our detainee policy and how important it is that we have the right policies in place
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to protect americans so that we can prioritize gathering intelligence, and i also wanted to share in his concerns about what's happening with the super committee in terms of the impact on our national security. there's no question that there are areas where we can do much better and be more effective with taxpayer dollars on defense spending, but we can't subjugate or national security for our failure around here to do our jobs and to have courage to take on the entire budget and bring ourselves on a path of fiscal responsibility. so i know that the senator from alabama has been a great leader in this area, and i appreciate his comments in that regard. and, mr. president, i also wanted to just speak briefly on an amendment that has already been made pending that senator mccain and i are cosponsoring together. over the last year as a new member of the senate, the senate
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armed services committee, one of the concerns that i have had is that the way that we do contracting at the department of defense, my overall impression has been that a third-year law student could negotiate much better terms for the united states of america than some of the terms we have been negotiating for the country and some of the terms we end up with our defense contracts where we're on the hook when contractors don't perform or it takes longer than they need or we seem to always bear the financial burden of that, and that when you look at the fiscal state of the country and where we are, we need to reform that process. that's what drew my interest to this issue. senator mccain has long worked on these issues to improve our acquisition process, and i have great respect for the work that he has done there. so we have offered on the
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defense authorization amendment 1249, which would prevent millions of dollars in wasteful contract cost overruns from the department of defense on major defense acquisition programs and help ensure that our war fighters have the weapons and systems they need to protect our nation, but doing so within budget and on time frames that contractors commit to for our needs to make sure that we have what we need to protect our country. according to the general accountability office, in a march, 2011 report, entitled "defense acquisition assessments of selected weapons programs," from fiscal year 2010 collectively, we ran more than $400 billion over budget and were an average of almost two years behind schedule for major defense acquisitions programs. today, half of the department of defense's major defense
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acquisition programs do not meet cost performance goals. 80% of our major defense acquisition programs have an increase in unit costs from initial estimates that we were given. while there can be many factors that explain the cost overruns, the cost type contracts have been a significant contributeing factor in why we have these overruns. both for production and development of our major defense acquisition programs. and we have to address these cost overruns, particularly at a time when we are asking our department of defense to reduce spending. we need to get the maximum bang for our buck and hold contractors accountable when they don't perform to what we have contracted with them for. make sure the terms of our contracts are good for the united states of america and fiscally responsible. and that's what this amendment would do. it would prohibit the use of
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cost type contracts for the production of major defense acquisition contracts and limb the use of cost type contracts for major defense acquisition, development contracts. this represents the core investment in our nation's military, and as these costs increase and as the department of defense faces the looming prospects of major budget cuts over the next decade, we have got to address this now for our troops, for our national security, and we have got to get this right, so i'm hoping that my colleagues and i would ask my colleagues to support this amendment that we're bringing forward. and again i would say on behalf of senator mccain who has done so much work in this area, that to reform our acquisition process and get this right is so important to what we're asking our military to do right now, more with less. so thank you, mr. president.
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the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, i would just ask unanimous consent to call up the following amendments. the first four on behalf of senator jack reed, 1148, 1204, and 1294. ander amendment 1293, levin amendment, 1296, boxer amendment, 1292, a menendez amendment, and that we return to the regular order. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: reno, nevada, is a beautiful place. it's right below the great lake tahoe, the beautiful sierra nevada mountains. it's really a picturesque, beautiful place. i was very troubled this morning to wake up and find that reno, nevada, is in trouble because of a devastating fire. we have about more than 500 acres that have been burned. we have a number of homes that
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have been des tried. the problem we have is because of these beautiful sierra nevada mountains, we get winds that are -- mr. president, could we have order in the senate? the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. mr. reid: because of those beautiful mountains that are towering over reno, we get devastating winds, and those winds are blowing now. the winds are at 60 miles an hour, and they are trying to control this fire. it's really ravaging. it's -- my thoughts are certainly with the families who have lost their homes and the thousands of residents who have been evacuated. the pine haven kaufman ranch neighborhoods particular have been particularly affected, but this terrible fire raging across these acres in reno and that county, we have fire crews from all over the region who are trying to stop this disaster,
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trying to get this rampaging fire under control. the winds are so strong that helicopters can't take off, so there is a lot of help that should be available that isn't because the winds are so difficult that the helicopters as i indicated can't get off the ground. i, of course, called my son leif as soon as i heard about this. the phone was answered by my little granddaughter nina who was trying to explain to me what was going on. her dad, my son, had been called to -- had made a call to his best friend's home to try to help him -- he had been ordered evacuated. they have no water. alfredo alsonso, his home is -- they have no water because there is a well and the electricity is out so you can't pump water, but my son couldn't make it there
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because the police stopped him because they wanted no one coming into the neighborhood. they are evacuating everyone. but my son and his children, my four grandchildren, seem to be well. they are quite a ways away from the fire. i, of course, expressed my appreciation to the brave firefighters who have been working around the clock to contain the blaze and the dedicated first responders who worked so quickly to protect lives and assist in evacuation. mr. president, it's at times like this that we understand what happens to local government when they have to lay off people -- firefighters and police officers. it's happened all over nevada and all over this country. and we were in here, of course, as you remember a week or two ago trying to get places like reno and other communities in america some help for their fire and place.
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it was defeated, as you know. but these people are short-handed, they are working these long hours there. it's impossible to say how many lives they have saved already, but they have. so my heart and all hearts go out to the firefighters as they carry on with this difficult work to control the flames and protect the communities. i continue to follow the progress of this fire, of course. i'm available to assist the mayor and members of the city council and the county commission with anything that they think i can do to help. i support governor sandoval's decision to request a federal emergency declaration. the firefighters and the first responders are doing their utmost to contain things. so to reno and all of the county, they can depend on my support in any way that they think that i can help, and i will continue, as i have
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indicated, i indicate for the second time, to monitor this very, very closely. a senator: let me say to the majority leader, our thoughts and priors go out to the folks in nevada, and we certainly hope this emergency situation is rectified in the near term. mr. chambliss: in georgia, we had about 400,000 acres destroyed by a forest fire back earlier this summer, and it's always a tragedy. loss of property is one thing, but to have injury and potential loss of life obviously is very much a part of that. thanks to these brave men and women that are fighting those fires out there as they did in my state to get them under
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control, and our hearts do go out to them. mr. president, i first of all ask that the current amendment be set aside and that my amendment which is at the desk be pending. the presiding officer: without objection. so ordered. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from georgia, mr. chambliss, for himself and others, proposes amendment numbered 1304. mr. chambliss: thank you, mr. president. i rise to voice my support for the 2012 national defense authorization act, s. 1867. this is one of the most important bills that the senate considers each year, and this is the ninth defense authorization bill that i have been involved in drafting since being elected to the united states senate. it sets funding levels and implements policies for the department of defense and provides pay raises for our men and women in uniform. after extended debate and discussion, this bill which
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authorizes $662 billion for the department of defense and national security-related aspects of the department of energy was passed unanimously out of the senate armed services committee. this committee was in a difficult situation this year, considering our nation's fiscal crisis. as i have firmly believed all along, everything, including defense spending, must be on the table to address our fiscal circumstances. in the midst of intense budget negotiations, i am pleased that we can offer up and debate a bill that addresses the real need to reduce government spending in a responsible and calculated manner. as several of my colleagues have already stated on the floor, the national defense authorization act cuts a considerable amount from the defense budget, as requested by the president. it is $27 billion less than the administration requested and $43 billion less than the amount
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appropriated for 2011. these were very difficult decisions to make, but they were the fiscally responsible thing to do, given our nation's fiscal situation. i am pleased that the committee was able to make these cuts without jeopardizing our national security. given the unstable state of affairs around the world, now is not the time to slash important programs that help our military carry out their responsibilities. we still have widespread enemies and interests around the world. with this in mind, the bill authorizes $3.2 billion for dodd's mine--- d.o.d.'s mine-resistant fund, authorizes authorizes $3 billion for special operations command, and increases above 2010 levels, and authorizes more than $2.4 billion for d.o.d.'s
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improvised explosive activities. in recent months, we have seen what a remarkable impact a small elite force of u.s. soldiers can have, and i am pleased that this bill authorizes a deserved funding increase for u.s. special operations command in order to expand their resources, training, technology and equipment to accomplish their missions. along with funding, this bill will extend the authority of special operations forces to provide support to operations fighting against terrorism around the world. regarding our ongoing operations in afghanistan and elsewhere overseas, the bill allocates $11.2 billion for training and equipping the afghan security forces, commensurate with recommendations from the commander of u.s. central command, and fully supports the budget request of $1.75 billion in coalition support funds to
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reimburse key partner nations supporting u.s. military operations in operation enduring freedom. i'm also i'm also pleased i'll be leaving later on today along with senator burr to afghanistan to visit our troops and visit our commanders on the ground with an intelligence and an operational standpoint. this is the fourth thanksgiving i've had the opportunity to be on frowned with our troops and look them in the eye with their woots on the ground and tell them how much we as policymakers but more importantly how much we as americans appreciate the sacrifice each and every one of them are making and the great job they're doing protecting america and protecting americans. this bill also authorizes $500 million for counterterrorism capacity building activities including targeted efforts in east africa and yes, ma'amen and fully supports the budget request of
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$524 million to support the activities of the office of security cooperation in iraq. and overseeing and implementing foreign military sales to the iraqi security forces. keeping in mind the strategic value of our nuclear deterrent and ongoing need to modernize and maintain our nuclear tria dmp, the bill authorizes $1.1 billion to continue to develop the ohio class replacement program, the ssbnx to modernize the sea based leg of the nuclear deterrent system. the u.s. military requires the capability to count area growing amount of nontraditional threats. in this bill we strengthen our forces on the threat of cyber warfare and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery. it is no secret that american computer networks are the attempted victim from state and
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nonstate actors around the world on a regular basis. with funds authorized in this bill, the department of defense will be able to better guard against the threat of cyber attacks. i'm also pleased that in this bill we were able to focus on the well-being of our brave men and women fighting on the front lines for our freedom overseas as well as their devoted family members back home that make sacrifices every single day. the bill authorizes $100.6 billion for military personnel including cost of pay alowpses, bonus, death benefits, and permanent change of station moves. the bill also authorizes a 1.6% across the board pay raise for our service men and women as well as authorizes over 30 types of bonuses and special pays aimed at encouraging enlistment, reenlistment and continued service by active duty and reserve component military
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personnel. our attention remains on improving the quality of life of the men and women of the armed forces and their families, as well as department of defense civilian personnel through fair pay policies and benefits, including first-rate health care while addressing the needs of wounded, ill, and injured service members and their families. let me also briefly address the amendment that i have just filed. i've been working for the last several weeks with my colleagues, senators isakson, hatch, lee, inhofe, and coburn, on an issue related to the reorganization of the air force materiel command. let me say first that i support this reorganization. it's the first major reorganization of the materiel command by the air force in some 60 years. i support it and i think the air force's need and desire to make
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themselves more efficient and more effective and for the most part i believe the proposed reorganization will do that. in these tight budget times where we are all going to have to accept streamlined budgets and resources, some loss of jobs and positions is unfortunately inevitable, and i realize that. powfer there is one issue with respect to -- however, there is one issue with respect to this proposed reorganization i think we are all having a hard time understanding and that relates to how the reorganization may affect the air force -- the way the air force organizes for sustainment of weapons systems. the proposed reorganization would take some of the key personnel who are currently helping to orchestrate these sustainment efforts and put them in a separate chain of command from their partners in carrying out those sustainment efforts. this is hard to understand, and in a time when our air force is working harder than ever in
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keeping their aircraft in the fleet longer than ever, it is hard to imagine how a change like the air force is proposing here will help sustainment of weapons systems. we are working with the air force on this issue, and we are still in negotiations. but this is an issue for which we have yet to receive a satisfactory explanation and we have not reached a conclusion of this issue. i think the air force needs to clearly understand that there is a risk here. there's a risk that this reorganization may have some unintended consequences specifically related to the readiness of our air force. this is serious. we have not seen any explanation for how the air force arrived at their proposed course of action on this specific issue, or why they think it will improve readiness. i would also note that the way the air force is seeking to reorganize in this respect goes against some of the basic principles and recommendations
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of a recent very thorough report on this specific issue. it is with these issues in mind that we are filing this amendment. i very much look forward to the air force's explanation on this issue and to having this reorganization be executed in a way that allows the air force to conserve personnel and resources, organize more efficiently, and sustain weapons systems and support the war fighter in the most effective way possible. in conclusion, i'm extremely proud of the hard work of the armed services committee members and staff have done to put together this defense authorization bill. i'd particularly like to compliment our leadership, chairman levin and ranking member mccain, on the job that they have done and their willingness to work with members of the committee on our specific issues. issues like the one that senator ayotte and i discussed on the floor yesterday along with senator graham and senator mccain and senator levin
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regarding detainee policy, of which we have none at the present time, and for which folks like senator ayotte have given a great deal of thought to and have come up with some very logical ways in which we can address this issue of the detainees so that we can get actionable intelligence from those detainees and at the same time ensure that they are treated in ways that are respectful to our system of jurisprudence on the military side as well as on the civilian side. i want to also say that we've had a couple of hick-ups along the way -- hiccups along the way but staff on both sides, both the majority and minority have addressed those hiccups and we have been working very closely to try to ensure that the issues that we raised with staff after the bill was filed have been addressed and are in
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the process of being taken care of. as a reflection of the extremely tight budget environment, we have taken responsible reductions in spending. however, we maintain our commitment to the armed forces by providing funds and authorizations to protect our national security, support our men and women on the front lines, as well as their dedicated families here in america. i look forward to the remainder of the debate on this bill, mr. president, when we return after our thanksgiving break, and to all of our men and women who wear the uniform of the united states of america, happy thanksgiving. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: i wanted to thank the senator from georgia for his leadership on the armed services committee and also for the important work he's been doing as the vice chair of the
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intelligence committee to make sure that our country is protected and he's been particularly knowledgeable about these issues on how we treat detainees and we did have a detailed colloquy yesterday on the floor and his insight has been so important in making sure that we have the right policies in place to protect america, and with that i would yield the floor. thank you. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i ask unanimous consent to be able to speak as though in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: mr. president, i rise today to introduce my buy back america bonds bill, s. 1909. this bill will not only help raise awareness of our nation's debt crisis, but it will also give every american the chance to be a part of the solution to fix our country's fiscal dilemma. my bill will allow americans to invest in this incredible country and bring foreign-held u.s. debt back to american hands, while at the same time
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reducing federal government spending. but before i talk about where my bill is going, i want to explain where i'm coming from. in world war ii, war bonds were sold to help pay for our nation's national defense and reduce the amount of debt up kurd. people from all kinds of backgrounds saved towards purchasing war bonds, often with nickels, dimes, and quarters. on the job people deducted the cost of war bonds from their meager paychecks. families invested in war bonds and saved for the future. during world war ii, president roosevelt even asked the boy scouts of america to sell war bonds, and they did. boy scouts and girl scouts worked with their packs and troops to sell bonds to their neighbors and communities. in other words, all across the country folks of all walks and types were working together for one collective goal -- to do their part for the country's war effort. men, women, and children were selling and purchasing these war bonds, all in the name of
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lending a hand to our fellow country mep and to pay for the cost of war. i was born during world war ii. when i was born, my parents bought me a war bond. i still have that $20 bond today. not cashing it was my first gift to my country. and it's also a keepsake to me. in 1941 when savings bonds were retitled as war bonds in the terrible and devastating aftermath of pearl harbor, the united states rallied as a collective nation in support of the war and war bond effort. at the time, though, the average american only earned about $2,000 a year. despite these hardships and tough times, 134 million americans were called on to be part of the war bond effort, and more than half of the united states population, 85 million people, responded to the patriotic call to participate. the scouts raised money, and
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personally donated their own funds 10 cents at a time in the form of stamps that could be pasted into a war bond booklet. when war bond books were complete, they could be taken to the local bank and sometimes even the local post office to purchase bonds. one it innovative group created a cardboard with slots for 75 quarters before it could be redeemed for a bond. showing his leadership and dedication to the effort, president franklin delano roosevelt purchased the first war bond issued. in part of president roosevelt's april 30, 1941 radio address to the american public, he said "one thought is uppermost in my mind as i make grateful acknowledgment of this dual honor. it is that in reserving the first defense savings bond and first defense savings stamps in the name of the president, the secretary of the treasury and the postmaster general have
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given emphasis to the national character of this defense savings campaign. this character of the campaign is national in the best sense of the word, for it is going to reach down, we hope, to the individual and the family and every community and on every farm in every state and every possession of the united states ." the president goes on to say "it is national and it is homey at the same time. for example i'm buying not one stamp but ten stamps each to go into a little book for each of my ten grandchildren and the first savings bond is being made out in the name of mrs. roosevelt as beneficiary. it's fitting that the president and his purchase should be a sort of symbol of the determination of all the people to save and sacrifice in defense of democracy. in a larger sense, this first defense bond and first defense stamps sold to the president constitute tangible evidence of a partnership, a partnership
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between all the people and their government entered into to safeguard and perpetuate all of those precious freedoms which government guarantees. in this time of national peril what we all must realize is 25 the united states government is you and i and all other families next door, all the way across the country and back again. it's one great partnership." that ends the quote from president roosevelt. the president concluded his address by asking his fellow americans to demonstrate their faith in america by investing in the new defense bonds and stamps. i remember as a child bringing dimes to school so that i could purchase a stamp for my savings bond book, one stamp at a time, saving towards the price of a full savings bond. i remember vividly that the bond was a a lofty $18.75. when i got my book filled, we could go down to the bank so i
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could finally trade for my bond. that piece of paper showing that i had done my small part to help in the effort and make this country better. kids of my generation learned the value of saving and helping their country through the savings bond program. today, i rise to speak about a different sort of fight and yet at the same time this fight is one that is no less seer -- serious than the one i remember as a child. today our nation is fighting to solve a growth debt problem. debts are a problem now. it's time to get all of america involved not with the promise of wealth but with a sense of investing in our country, of buying america back, pulling us back from the brink of bankruptcy to other countries. the national debt stands at $15 trillion, which breaks down to nearly $48,000 for every person in our entire country. these figures are a frightening
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reminder that we cannot continue to put off the tough choices and that we must restore the fiscal discipline to the federal government. this is a tough fight that has to be tackled on all fronts. today i'm proposing a step in the right direction and calling upon americans for support of this effort. i'm proposing that we bring american debt back to american hands. i'm proposing the buy back america bonds, s. 1909. it would buy back american bonds to american citizens in affordable $25 increments so that every american can afford to invest and do their part. the treasury would then use the funds from these bonds to begin paying down the $4.4 trillion in foreign-held u.s. debt. investing in buy back america bonds would allow americans to show their patriotism and faith in this great nation. unlike the war bonds of my
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childhood, buy back american bonds would create a new series of savings bonds which are indexed for inflation as well as earning a fixed interest rate. by tying buy back american bonds to inflation, we ensure the buying powers of consumers' investments remains the same while also earning them additional interest. these could be called gold standard bonds. that's two ways the buy back american bonds would earn and keep their values for investors in addition to their patriotic and symbolic investment. now these aren't going to be barn-burner investments, but they will keep our nation and help our nation not only pay down our debt, but pay down the amount of debt owed to foreign nations. what makes this bill particularly special is that for every bond purchased, citizens are also helping the federal government to reduce spending. every year after the first year the amount of buy back america
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bonds sold would be tallied, and that exact amount would then be cut from federal spending the following year. i stand before you today to explain not only where i'm coming from with my buy back america bonds but also why our nation needs a collective effort to rally around to make steps towards a more responsible federal budget and getting our national debt under control. investing in america and bringing foreign-held debt back to american hands is where i propose to start. i ask my colleagues and the american people to help me be an integral part of the debt crisis solution. not only am i a father, i'm a grandfather. and i want to be the first to purchase buy back america bonds for my four grandchildren. i want my grandchildren and yours to have every opportunity for a great quality of life, to know the meaning of faith and investment in a prosperous united states. i'm doing everything i can to ensure that that happens. that means proposing solutions
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to problems and working to get my colleagues on board. so today i rise and ask for the support of my colleagues for this great effort and support for s. 1909, my buy back america bonds bill. i'd ask unanimous consent that the bill be printed following the statement. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: what president roosevelt said then is equally true now. quote -- "in this time of national peril, we must all realize that it's the united states government is you and i, and all other families next door, all the way across the country, and back again. it's one great partnership." end quote. working together, we can solve all of this. we need to solve all of this. we need to start solving it right now. this is one way to do it. i yield the floor.
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i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i'd ask further proceedings under the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: i'd also ask unanimous consent to speak as in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: i was sorry to hear that the super committee was in trouble, that they might not be able to agree for a report. this morning's "washington post" front page headlines was -- quote -- "debt panel failure won't cause catastrophe." every day we don't find the solution, every day we spend is a catastrophe. we have maxed out our credit cards. here's one way that that came to my attention. i was traveling in wyoming and i checked into the hotel for the
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night, and the person checking me in very embarrassed said, i'm sorry, but it won't take your credit card." it was a federal credit card. i said, goodness, we're in more trouble than i thought. i gave him my personal credit card and that went right through. so i'm not sure where we are, but i know that we have maxed out our credit cards. also the symbolic credit cards that we have. we got as much debt as we can probably sustain. and as debt comes due across the world for other countries, it's going to be tougher and tougher and tougher to be able to sell more debt. we're kind of in the same situation as greece and italy except for two things. one is we are a big, flexible country that has pulled ourselves out of terrible situations time and time again. and we'll do it this time too. we also own our own money supply, and that really helps.
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now, when constituents ask what can they expect, i always start the conversation by saying you should expect to get no more than what the 2008 level was. and we increased things considerably after that with the stimulus bill, and that increased some bases, and we've got to get down to 2008 just as a beginning. i've got to say the president has had a chance to change direction, and i have to congratulate the president for naming a deficit commission. i even like the people that he named to it, with senator simpson from wyoming and erskine bowles heading up that committee. and i think they did some tremendous work. and i think we should pay more attention to what they had to say. now, i had a little disappointment when the president did his state of the union speech following their report. he had an opportunity to repaint the same bleak picture that that committee painted, and mesh
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would have understood better. although from traveling across our country, and particularly in wyoming, i know that the people there understand it better than congress does here. but he could have changed it by repainting that picture. and then he could have followed that up with a solution which would have been his budget. instead his budget was another stimulus plan. and it has been voted on by congress. it wasn't voted for by congress. it was voted on by congress. and it was voted 97-0. it was defeated. i think that the deficit commission report would have done much better. now, congress has also had the chance to change direction, and in some cases we have. we have kind of eliminated earmarks. there are still some of them that are slipped in there, but we kind of eliminated them. we have a couple of new problems now. we have demonstration projects. we've always had demonstration projects, but now we do it as a substitute for earmarks. that's where we allow maybe five
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states to have an opportunity to do a particular program to see if it works. and so we fund it in a minimal amount. that still is millions. the difficulty is that at the end of the period of time for that demonstration project, they all work. they're all spectacular. they all would save america if we just put it in every single state and fund it had from the federal government. can't happen. we're out of money. there are lots of good ideas out there, lots of good ideas that would help. when those ideas are proved, the idea with the demonstration is that it would demonstrate well enough how good it is that somewhere at the local level that project would be picked up and done, or forgotten. but, no, we do make them a national program and we do fund them forever in chunks of time. another thing that we're doing
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is that we propose a project, and because we like the word "pay for" because we should pay for whatever we're doing, we put up a project, we put a two-year limit on the project. and then we pick a pay-for by showing some program that if it were eliminated for ten years might bring in that amount of revenue. you can't pay for a two-year program with ten years' worth of revenue, because somebody's going to spend the rest of that anyway, and it would be collected and congress can change their mind all the time. so we've got to quit using gimmicks. and we have to quit adding new programs. what part of maxed out credit cards don't we understand? we have to quit buying boats with dollars we don't have. we do have to address mandatory spending. social security and medicare have been a problem for a long time. i remember when i first came to congress, president clinton was the president, and he called for
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a special conference on social security. and we had one day where we got to be initiated in to what all the problems were. fantastic speakers. we had a second day where members of the congress and house met in smaller committees to work on pieces of the social security prorbgs -- problem. and we came up with a plan and president clinton met with us and said if all of you are willing to put your finger print on this, we'll do it. we can only do it if everybody puts their finger print on it so that both parties are responsible for it, and everybody in the room agreed to do that. unfortunately, we were distracted a little bit by something called monica lewinsky, and that bill never came up anywhere. we're in a situation right now of patching bills to fail. each side i think has a tendency
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to put up a bill that has something really good in it, packaged with something that they really like but the other side doesn't like. so it's going to get defeated on the basis of what each side doesn't like. and the good part's left out. that's not going to get anything done for us. we have tried the stimulus bill. we got negligible effects on jobs. it did escalate the basis for budgets. and it was the use of onetime money. and that's created some problems for us. we hear that 30,000 teachers and firefighters are going to be laid off. that comes from safety money and education money that went to the states, and it was onetime money. you can't use onetime money for a continuing contract. if a state did, yes, they are having to lay off people because the stimulus isn't being repeated each and every year. so are there solutions?
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yes, there are solutions. and i'm optimistic about the solutions. i do recognize that everything has to be on the table, and we should all reread the deficit commission report. we have to ask consents to suggest their own programs to reduce. in the spring we'll be inundated by a whole lot of people that will be ready to have us support the program that really makes a difference in their life and the life of the community. i always ask them how we're going to pay for it, and they always suggest somebody else's program to cancel. there are never any suggestions on how to consolidate within their own program and do it. so, they've got to do it. and each of us in congress need to evaluate our own programs. not all of them can be sacred cows. i want to congratulate senator rubio and senator coons for a jobs creation bill that they put
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together. they've taken the diverse bills from both sides of the aisle and several others and looked to see if there was any common thread. and all they did was pick out the common thread from each of those and put them into a bill. if both sides and the other -- and others in congress like it, why wouldn't that pass and pass quickly? i want to congratulate our lone congresswoman. she is on the appropriations committee. she really gets into the detail of the budget. in fact, she has gotten into the details of the budget down to a very small amount so much that she has been told that she is not going to be invited on any trips with any of the rest of them. that's probably what we need right now, and i congratulate her on her detail. another thing we have got to do is make sure the bills go to committee. i have been a committee chairman. i have been a ranking member. i know that when a bill goes to
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committee, that's where you really can get into the details of the bill and you can do nuances. a bill comes to the floor and it came from the president to the leader and then to us. the amendments we put in are not very workable as far as reaching agreement from both sides. they are kind of an up or down vote and they are very political. that kind of stymies what we're trying to do. we have got to quit doing comprehensive bills. we can do them in stages. we can do parts of them. they can be very major parts, but they can be done in parts. i remember reading a book about the compromise of 1850. henry clay put himself in the hospital trying to pass this huge compromise. and when he did, some friends of his took up the bill, broke it up into parts, four parts, and got all the parts passed. now, there are only -- there
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were only four people in all of the senate at that time that voted for all the parts but all the parts passed. there should be a lesson there for us. i do follow an 80% rule which i found we can agree on 80% of the issues, and if we stick to that 80%, we can pick any one issue and we can solve 80% of that problem. we can solve 100% if we can get everybody together to think of an alternative to do that. one sticky part that we have had polarized for years. another thing we need to do is eliminate some duplication around here. senator coburn and i took a look at the primary department that comes under the jurisdiction of my health, education, labor and pensions committee. we found $9 billion in duplication. now, because it's duplication, you can't eliminate all $9 billion because there are some that would still stay that are doing the same thing as what the other group is saying, but it stimulates under coburn enough that he took a look at all of the programs and in all
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of the programs he found $900 billion worth of duplication. duplication isn't like fraud, waste and abuse. fraud, waste and abuse, we don't know how much there is out there. we discover a piece at a time, we speculate on how much it is. but duplication is specific because it's already in the budget. you can look at what they are being paid right now, and if you eliminate that, it's a specific amount. so when he talks about $900 billion worth of duplication, it's $900 billion worth of duplication. he ought to be able to get rid of at least $450 billion of that. half of it could be duplication. it applies twice as much of what you effectively need. why did we find $900 billion by looking at all of the agencies? when you go outside of the jurisdiction, you find out that there is -- this one always kind of interested me -- financial literacy programs in virtually every department and agency of this federal government.
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if we really got financial literacy, would we be in the position that we're in now? i don't think so. so that's a whole lot of duplication. it's duplicating each and every agency. but if you only have jurisdiction over one agency, that's the only place you can eliminate it. when i got here, there were 119 preschool programs. took a look at them, there were quite a few of them that were failing according to their own evaluation. not my evaluation, their own evaluation. they said what they were going to do, then they checked to see if they did it, they didn't. so we're able to get that down to 69 programs. there are 69 preschool programs at the present time. here's the interesting part of that. only eight of those are under the department of education. 61 of them are in the other departments. it seems like we could have some consolidation and maybe some elimination or duplication there. also, we have the states and the
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local governments coming to us and saying we're out of money, we need money. we don't have any money. we can't afford to help them that way, but i have put in a bill that would help them to collect the sales tax that's already due from them, and that's the marketplace fairness bill. that would take care of their infrastructure and their jobs. so i hope everyone will take a look at that. and finally, another solution would be these buy-back america bonds that i spoke about just a while ago. if everybody bought some bonds that could reduce the amount of debt held by foreign countries, that would help us, and then that would reduce the amount of spending by an equal amount. there are solutions out there. it's time that we got busy on them. i thank the super committee for their work and ask everybody to pay attention to whatever they come up with. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: mr. president, first,
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i ask unanimous consent that christopher white, a national security fellow in senator warner's office be given floor privileges during consideration of the pending bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the pending amendment be set aside and that the following amendments be called up en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: they are senator sherrod brown, 1259, 1260, 1261, 1262, 1263, senator leahy 1080, senator wyden 1296, senator pryor 1151 and 1152, and senator senator -- senator bill nelson 1209, 1210, 1236 and 1255. the presiding officer: without objection.
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ms. ayotte: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to temporarily set aside the pending amendment and call up the following amendments en bloc. senator mccain's amendment 1281 regarding the transfer of arms to georgia, senator blunt's two amendments, 1133 and 1134, senator murkowski's two amendments, amendment 1286 and 1287, and senator rubio's two amendments, 1290 and 1291. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: i would then ask for the regular order after all those actions are taken.
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the presiding officer: the amendments are now pending. mr. levin: mr. president, i now ask unanimous consent to call up en bloc five amendments which have been cleared by myself and the ranking member as follows -- amendment number 1071 on behalf of senator mccain to require the secretary of defense to report on all information with respect to the evolved expendable launch vehicle program that would be required if the program were designated as a major defense acquisition program not in the sustainment phase. amendment number 1086 on behalf of senators roberts and moran to authorize and request the president to award the medal of honor posthumously to captain emil capone of the united states army for acts of valor during the korean war. amendment number 1106 on behalf of senator mccain to require a report on the status of the -- of implementation of accepted
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recommendations in the final report of the 2010 army acquisition review panel. amendment number 1140 on behalf of senator casey to require a report by the controller general on the department of defense military spouse employment program, and amendment number 1219 on behalf of myself to provide authority to order military reserves to active duty to provide assistance in response to a disaster or emergency. ms. ayotte: mr. president, the amendments have been cleared on our side. the presiding officer: without objection. the amendments are listed. mr. levin: i ask unanimous consent then that the senate consider the amendments en bloc, the amendments agreed to, the motions to reconsider laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: i now ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: i thank the presiding officer. the chair.
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-- stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. there appears to be no objection. without objection, the senate will stand in recess subject to the call of the chair.
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the funds agriculture, commerce, science transportation and housing programs for fiscal year 2012 and the legislation keeps the entire government funded through december 16. us that the bill would allow it to count pizza as a vegetable because of the tomato paste. the agriculture department wanted to overhaul the school lunch program, changing the rules for pizza and limiting sodium and starchy vegetables, but the spending bill blocked the department from implementing those rules.
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again, president of unassigned to build this morning. >> the senate is in recess subject to the call of the chair in the house this afternoon. they failed to get the two thirds vote necessary to pass a balanced budget amendment for the first time in 15 years at the houses voted on a balanced budget amendment. the final vote was 261 to 165
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with four republicans voting against the balanced budget amendment. he has ceased and two for the senate to return.heormer supe the recess while the rate them to gavel back and coming or started this "washington journal."entative >> joining us now from capitol hill is representative treyfrom gaudi from south carolina to republicans carolina and served the fourth district. well, and good morning -- welcome and dgood morning. a mesa think the average this time around will be different -- what makes you think this time there will be different? guest: i think that we had had a series of surpluses, if my memory serves me in the mid 1990's. i'm not optimistic that it will pass. when you cannot exercise self restraint on your own behalf,
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you need to limit your own freedom. yesterday i drew an analogy to odysseus' leaving troy and having his men tied him up as they pass the sirens. rarely do you want to cede your own freedom and life. six times in the last 50 years we have had a balanced budget. you can do better just by guessing than six out of 50. i'm not optimistic that it will pass today. host: what is the point of the exercise if you're not optimistic? guest: we have elections. voters need to know like on any other vote whether elected leader stands. when you hear rhetoric like a balanced approach, it falls
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necessarily i would think that what is better than a balanced approach would be a balanced budget. it held all those accountable who say one thing and perhaps do the other. anytime you put a yes or no buy your name is good. i stand to be surprised this afternoon. we will pick up democrat votes. in this town, that makes it bipartisan. we will lose republican votes on the balanced budget amendment. their work to its proposals. this is the less draconian of the two. and we cannot even get this passed. i think it rings hollow when you talk about fiscal sanity and you will not even agree to spend less than you bring in. it makes it home when you go back call to tell your constituents that you are serious about fiscal restraint. host: if we can get a thought on
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the super committee work. i want to read something from the papers today. guest: well, i have yet to meet a person who voted for the debt deal that is happy with their vote. i have yet to meet a person who voted against the regrets it. i voted against it. i think it is emblematic of what congress likes to do, passing not a responsibility to the next congress or a super committee. i am a big fan of civility and public discourse. oftentimes that is confused with
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compromise. we have elections for a reason. voters are going to weigh in on whether or not they prefer to have your mix of cuts or whether they prefer a heavier mix of revenue enhancements. i have not met a republican who is not willing to have tax reform. the best way to raise revenue is to get more of our fellow citizens working. no one contends that revenues are down. they are down because we're in a recession. we could raise the marginal rates to 50% and we will deal with just 1/5 of today's deficit. the notion we can tax our way out of this -- we will have to have cuts. you have to have a debate about the size and scope of the government.
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that is why we have elections. host: does your state get affected it sequestration takes place? guest: a little bit. i don't think sequestration will take place. it is not need to think that if you just say we're targeting medicare providers and recipients that the recipients are not also to feel the pain. i did nothing that triggers are going to be triggered. i think we'll have some fancy accounting or will have a small target that gets us through maybe the next six months or to the next election cycle. i would not want to be on the super committee. there was no danger of me being on that in the first place. i'm not optimistic it will reach
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the so-called grand bargain. host: our guest is with us until 9:00. richard is on our republican line. caller: how much would it help our country if 95% of the stuff it if we sold in our stores today was made in america it is that of china and vietnam and all these other places? nobody seems to have on that -- nobody seems to hit on that. we don't make anything in this country. we told them 25 years ago that this would happen. now it is happening and that we have to cut this think that that. guest: that is a great question. i come from a region in the country where we have a significant textile presence for
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generations. we still make some things in south carolina. we make tires and automobiles. your point is well taken. for my judgment, it is a combination of our tax policy, our regulatory apparatus, our liberation structure -- our litigation structure. i voted against one of the three trade agreements if you weeks ago. when i go on tours of plants back home, it is the uncertainty and the regulatory apparatus that makes it difficult for us to compete. take china for instance. we respect intellectual property. we have a bill will be don't a a lot as soon as i leave here dealing with the nlrb. just chose to come to
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south carolina. ing isxt time bowe considering a new line of work, it will be between washington state and india or brazil. we have to be much smarter about our tax structure, our trade agreements, and our litigation structure. host: what would your bill do for the national relations labor board? guest: this would reverse one of the rules nlrb has promulgated. elections take place within 31 days. they want elections between 10 to 14 days. that the stock of the employer enough time to prepare -- that does not give the employer enough time to prepare. some of the union's that are
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endorsing presidential candidates for a race that is a year off. they understand the need to prepare for elections. they want to give employers 14 days. the chairman has a workforce democracy in fairness act. you have posters requiring that these posters be posted in all places of employment. it is important to note -- they say the workers need to know what their rights are. the only rights they tell about are the right to collectively bargain. i have seen those posters. you have the posting of posters. i think it creates an alarm if you're a business trying to decide whether to come to the united states are go to another tontry, you're going to have
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wonder whether the environment is conducive to growth and job creation here nowadays. host: 20 on the independent line -- tony on the independent line. caller: they keep talking about social security. all you have to do with the rich people is simple. take things that they can deduct and stop that. that will solve the problem. the main question, did you see c-span on sunday? they say they can do this stuff -- they have brokers to take care of that. do they think people are stupid?
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if i did inside trading, i would be gone to jail. thank you. guest: thank you for your service to our country. i was a prosecutor for 16 years. i have zero tolerance for breaking the law. i made a living putting people in jail. i sent a question to the judiciary staff for asking, is the problem one of enforcement or is it one of legal vehicle? i asked specifically about the insider-trading issue that the colleges brought up. 60 minutes" takes theut position that we don't have the legal vehicle.
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i will find the answer to that. host: how would you summarize legal vehicles? guest: i'm not convinced the existing law doesn't cover congress. that is not a vehicle issue. that is a lack of enforcement. it still needs to be fixed. if someone is not enforcing the current law, that is where you need to direct your attention. you still love no enforcement. -- you still have no importa enforcement. anything you sacrifice, you should not benefit from that. i will find the answer to the caller's question. he asked about social security.
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he is correct. social security trust is a myth. i have yet to add -- i ask workers who are 55 and below, would you work three more months if you knew that it would make the system solvent for your children and grandchildren? i have yet to have reached person say no -- i have yet to have a person say no. there are fiscal problems. they don't trust the people they send here or to any legislative body to do what they say they are going to do. social security is not hard to fix. medicare is more of a challenge than social security. the caller is right.
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it was supposed to be a trust fund. host: california, richard, democratic line. caller: i appreciate everything this gentleman is saying. in california, when someone gets killed last night. citizens against police units. he got killed. that is what happens when you don't handle your business in congress. you put us down there on the ground. the day-to-day activities -- that is why occupy oakland it is going on. you pick this -since-you pitch citizens-- this man lost his
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life because somebody rob a bank. he got killed. we have to deal is done here on the ground. this man killed last night -- this man got killed last night. guest: i do not know the facts of that. i think you can have a robust debate of ideas without pitting citizens against citizens. i don't know anything about the facts of what this caller was referring to. the loss of life is regrettable. i do not know the facts. i don't know if the shooting was justified. we have to stop the class war for. i do not mind idea warfare.
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mr. welch, he and i do not vote very similarly. he walked a realistic and coupled -- he walked over to me yesterday and complimented me on something i did yesterday. most people do not see that. you can battle on ideas and still the responsible for the person. maybe the message needs to go out to our fellow citizens. a robust debate, not name- calling and not violence. we have a rich tradition of civil disobedience in this country. it doesn't have to be hand in hand with violence. if you cannot express your view without breaking the law, you need to in larger vocabulary and be a better in argue your position. host: bob from carson city,
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nevada. caller: good morning. my name is bob. i have been a lifelong republican. i have a question about the closing of the whirlpool and maytag plants. the governor of michigan said she asked the world will people if they could locate -- gst whirlpool -- she asked the whirlpool peopple. -- people. an american worker is paid $10 to $12 an hour. is it true the republican party is getting paid off for jobs that are being of shored -- off-
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shored to china and mexico in corporations like john deere and caterpillar? host: mr. gowdy. guest: teacher the republican party is being paid off -- is it true at the republican party is being paid off? no. we have to elevate the discourse. this denigrates the debate a low bittle bit. labor costs are a small part of the consideration. it depends on which biz's you're referring to -- it depends on what business you're referring to. regulatory, litigation, and the uncertainty of not knowing what comes next. is it going to be health care, cap and trade?
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uncertainty is the real enemy of job creation. congress has all other problems -- congress has a lot of problems. i don't think it's destructive -- constructive to the debate. i have manufacturers that make earth-moving equipment, manufacturers who make textiles, military apparel. tire manufacturers. michelin is in my district. bmw is in my district. a worldwide textile little has pivoted more towards investment materials and chemical research. we have automotive research.
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the german let me share a subcommittee that has the additional columbia and also health care. politicians from time to time i get tired of the politics. i decided i was going to have a panel that included president obama supporters who up to the job creators. i invited one up from green ville who is an obama supporter. he explained how this particular -- the affordable care act will and his business -- will end his business. i believe it was an unintended consequences of russia to a major landmark piece of legislation. are we going to require
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temporary staffing agencies to provide health insurance? what you'll one of doing is closing the temporary staffing agencies. they cannot provide health care for two wish for someone. we have to be more thoughtful. pieces of legislation will impact 100 $ of the population -- 100% of the population. the house comes in and about 50 minutes. caller: the reason why most of these companies are going over to china or india is because the labor rates are 25, 50 cents an hour, 1/10 of what you have to pay the american worker in order to survive. because these companies to go to china. the products we get back are
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inferior to anything that was made by americans today. i'll take my answer offline. guest: bmw makes bmw in south carolina. if labor were the issue, it would go to china. michigan -- michelin makes tires in south carolina. we make lots of things in south carolina. you have not been with me when i've gone on plant tours. they say labor cost is a small part of their calculation. host: 4, good morning, skype -- florida, scott. caller: they were talking about shifting jobs to the young the states because it was a third- world nation, and no health
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care. i'm calling about the balance budgets. south carolina is low wages. we do not need a balanced budget amendment. we need people that have guts to go into congress. you said, i know this job. this job has 3 steps to it. you have not been able to produce your job yet. you've not sent one bill to the senate for financing that can pass the senate and get the signature of the president. so you're not doing your job. we do not have a balanced budget because you folks do not do your job.
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when you spend, you may. you have the power to make laws, spend money, and make money. guest: we have passed 60- something bills that has gone to the graveyard of ideas. cap and trade to market a vote. we passed paul ryan's budget. orion was courageous enough to take on medicare reform and he was vilified for it. the notion that the gop house has not done anything is false. if you want us to only send bills to the senate that the senate will pass, that you need a democrat house. we had a democrat house and a democrat senate and a democrat in the white house and things don't go swimmingly then either. we have sent appropriations
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bills that have not been voted on. the senate has not passed a budget in almost 900 days. it may be great politics to continue to blame the gop house. it happens to be incorrect. host: one thing from the manciple as the press conference was a debate over the tax cuts -- one thing from the nancy pelosi press conference. >> the goal of the republicans is to say that the speaker has said that the bush tax cuts must be extended. cannot report of the plan. if the plan is to repeal the medicare guarantee for our seniors, that is not balanced
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and that is a place we cannot go. guest: sheer political demagoguery. that is why we have a 9% approval rate. paul ryan was vilified for having the courage to take on our lodlargest unfunded liability. the 111th congress extended the bush tax cuts. i would ask this. if we agree to let the tax cuts expire, which you then agree to cap spending at 18% or 92 cent of gdp? would you tend to agree to a balanced budget amendment -- 18% or 19%.
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we are $1.5 trillion out of a this year alone. we're proven ourselves to be incapable of balancing the budget. if you connect in a mammoth the deals with alcohol and congressional sellers, we can have one that deals with fiscal sanity and balancing the budget. 49 states have thit. south carolina has sit. i had to let people that make $19,000 a year at be furloughed without pay. i had to let prosecutors and sick, we have to furlough you -- i have to let prosecutors --
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these may be career-ending decisions. i am ok with that. i'm not going to mislead the american people and say that we have a texting problem. what is a fair amount to tax the so-called rich? if 34% is not the right now, what about 50%? that is a fit of our deficit -- of ours that a fifth deficit. host:, texas mike, republican line. caller: i listened to the stock for the past couple of months on solving of months-- i have listened to this talk. the answer is simple.
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if we open it oilfield back up, that is 500,000 jobs and chemical plants and steel mills, etc., etc. $50 a week of social security payment by the employee, $50 by the employer, that is $100. $50 million a week paid into social security. $50 million paid in on income- tax. we have oil wells capped off in the state of texas for 30 years. we borrow money from china to give to our enemies, the terrorists. we have to open the oil field and we will put people to work. thank you very much. congress has been taking money out of the post office for 30
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years. guest: the caller corrected linked together our job creation crisis with our energy crisis. i hate to sound like a broken record. we passed a dozen energy bills since i came here in january. i'm not aware of a single one that has been voted on by the senate. i would love for us to be more energy independence. when the permitting process is as arduous as it is right now, then we will continue to get our oil from canada and mexico and from countries that are not always friendly to us. i would love frost be more energy dependent. but the pipeline from canada -- i would love for us to be more energy dependent. -- look at the pipeline from
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canada. we can pass a bill a week -- we have seen leaders on energy. we do not control the senate. host: 5 more minutes left. john on the independent line. caller: good morning. i did watch mr. ryan take his version of the health-care bill and he was virtually laughed at. i do see the republican party that the tail is wagging the dog. i see grover norquist who does not believe an economic multipliers and signed no more taxes in your district. jim demint -- our system is
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built on getting together and coming up with decisions. when i see the republican party being held hostage by rush limbaugh and people like that, what we see -- debate is a good thing. jon huntsman makes perfect sense. a moderate. host: we're almost out of time. caller: on the deficit, we're not getting anywhere because the republican party -- they want democrats to give nine things for one thing and republicans because theydo it are tied to grover norquist. guest: jim demint is my constituents. if the court thinks it is far right to spend less money than you bring in, we're going to
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have to agree to disagree. balanced inbudget 27 years. that was called draconian. that is the political and .armint we ira this caller likes jon huntsman. i respect that. he is likely not going to be the gop nominee. host: we assign grover norquist's pledge on taxes/ guest: i try not to sign pledges barring the candidacy -- during the candidacy. i have supported paul ryan's tax plan. that's a tax increase.
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i don't think i've met grover norquist. i have not met rush limbaugh. i want to do what i think is right consiste the mac amtran could you give us a sense if you have heard from leadership or other places about where the super committee has? >> basically what i hear as it is nowhere. there's not a lot of optimism. as much as the numbers of
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congress are outside looking at and its like were watching the vatican, waiting to see whether it be white smoke or black smoke. but the hope that a lot of this had, over 150 of us sent a letter of support to super committee, encouraging them to go bake and go bold. a lot of us think we be much more successful if you try to hit for charlie and an accomplished that by putting everything on the table. revenues, pentagon, spending programs and got to a bigger place where it appears the committee is going. from what we are seeing, it is the same as what you are seeing tonight is the divisions between the two sides are just too great on revenues and on spending cuts. so there's not a lot of thought to miss them among the members of congress that will come out of something significant and substantial if anything at all. >> of both sides, halfway and
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estimation? >> no, i don't think so. again, looking from the outside i think we would be much better off if we had a bigger plan because the scope of the problem is significant and we need a long-term realign it. there he thinks he could do if there is in it knowledge that we have to have revenues. but there's an ideological conviction on the part of many members of congress that she can't have revenues and that would be bad. the democrats obviously have to be willing to make some concessions on the spending programs. but there are things we could do that would strengthen medicare and save taxpayers money. things like the flavor of prescription drugs and medicare, the same way we do in the va, we save $160 billion over 10 years. why in the world do we do that? that is good for everybody. if richie neal from massachusetts has a good idea about fraud, there's $50 billion in fraud that could be recovered every 10 years. if we find an assistant u.s.
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attorney in every district in the country to crack down silly and medicare fraud. but that is over $200 billion it david medicare. these are the ideas that make a lot of sense that we can put on the table with the democrats had begun to territory are generally they don't. but it wouldn't require republicans on the committee to agree to revenues. in a bipartisan letter that had 100 signatures in the house, i really applaud some of my colleagues might make sense and from idaho who said that if we are going to solve this is a practical problem that they can have an ideological battle, we do have to put revenues on the table appeared there's not a lot of optimism on the basis of what we see. >> what happens if insisted questor takes place? >> you know, it's a bit of a fig leaf because the questor theoretically would have the cuts out of the pentagon and have to cut basically the rest of the budget.
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and what happens with the questor is that it doesn't actually go into effect until 2013. so this may be a lion that didn't work. if they had no deal, theoretically sequester would be up, but wouldn't go into effect until january 2013. the congress would have a whole year. there is a presidential election coming up. so obviously the likelihood is that there'd be a lot of effort to try to change that and modify it or whatever. so i don't know how much weight that threat is the questor is ultimately going to have. >> "the wall street journal" told the lead editorial. the spending cuts in 2013 would hardly be onerous. but they often make this point. i want to respond to it. sooner or later democrats must confront reality or unwillingness will require shrinking everything else the government spends money on. >> entitlement spending has to
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be addressed. particularly in health care. social security is solid and i don't think we should look at social security is the weight to resolve the budget deficit. it should be within the four corners of the program and intended to make it secure and sustainable. we all remember the bipartisan approach that president reagan and then speaker tip o'neill to come out they made minor modifications, added another generation of solving the social security. where we have a real challenge and democrats have to acknowledge in our country we are spending the most, even as we get to leave. if you have hot cares in maine and the general health care program, medicare and the general economy, going up to them three times the rate of inflation, that is not sustainable. that is why the types of things would help the general economy. it's things like i just mentioned, price negotiation on prescription drugs cracking down
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on fraud, but also changing the payment system from the volume driven before service approach to much more of a performance-based approach. so we've got to implement reforms on our health care system to bring that down, which incidentally in most cases where the attachment has improved improved quality. >> we in health care topics from joseph ramirez says that would not be adoption of both simpson recommendations solve the problem? >> it is a much more credible plan than anything being considered by the super committee now. you know, there's a lot at names in bowles/simpson that everyone at argue with, but we've had to have cuts and do things to shore up and make her entitlement system. much in contrast by the way to the ryan jay, where the approach of entitlements to individuals and the payments to providers. and also very directly we have
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to have residents. so the approach makes a lot of sense and there's a lot of room for congress to quibble around the edges. they take a sensible comprehensive approach. >> our guest was with us until late 20. the last of these are democrats sure to 737-0001. 202-737-0002. independence 202-628-0205 and you can e-mail atreides well. robert democrats find. you up with representative peter welch of vermont. go ahead. >> my concern is that the government is being drawn by nonprofits. i have a very hard time understanding how organizations that are strictly partisan can receive a nontax sadness and become political action committees and they tell me and yet they pay no taxes. grover norquist is selling an
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idea. he is a business. and here we are out here competing with people who are not even paying any taxes and their corporations. we see in the post office. they are going to close post offices. yeah, they can mail some things at 11 cents a night when a bloke i took to the post office that cost 54 cents for me to mail. but they are going to close post offices and allow these people to continue putting out their ideologies at the cost of us paid 44 cents for a stamp. >> mr. welch come to the outside influences on the work of congress. >> is right. the outside influences imported. to some extent it is those types of groups that have a privilege tax status and the question is whether there engaged in political activity in which case they should not. they are involved in educational activity and they do get it. in addition to the point the collar made, there is just as we know this explosion of money in
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politics it is really toxic and the supreme court is one of the worst decisions in our country if citizens united. it's just disgraceful that a corporation is allowed to spend shareholder money engaging in political dvd and gets to the first amendment protections of her intended by founding fathers to go to individual citizens in this avalanche of money. i don't care what they are on the left or the right. it's a special interest money is really dominating where they have to be made about people in this country, you are going to get a skewed approach and it's really a problem. >> chesapeake virginia, good morning to paul, republican line. >> yes, sir. but i would like to know is two things. one, the difference between the dad and the dataset, which a lot of people don't understand.
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and second night, when does the president and the senate intend to present a budget and not a continuing resolution for the united states? >> thank you. good questions. that is what we have accumulated since the beginning of our country and how much this country owes for the difference between the revenue we took him in the revenue that we spent periods of the dead right on the countries in the range of $15 trillion. the deficit is the annual difference between revenues and outlays. as far as when a budget is going to be passed, you are right. congress is in such gridlock and it's been so dysfunctional that the basic function of this congress has two pass a budget that tells our agencies how much money they are going to have too do the work they are assigned to do, there is such a division that we are unable to pass the
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budget. they had a field day criticizing democrat and now republicans find their having the same problem getting a budget passed. so it's emblematic of the division and is quite dangerous for the long-term well-being of this country. >> mr. welch, the "washington post" has a story about the bill that passed the house and senate yesterday and here's what they summarize. they said was a guide to what this congress cared about now that it can't care about everything. the bill favors law-enforcement agencies that has programs in sense to local government agencies or other nonvoting or sit in such as rivers and grasslands and woods. >> there's some truth to that. there's some area where there's less contention than others but also had disaster relief assistance. it is historically been the case that if there's any natural disaster, hurricane afflicted
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vermont, the biggest natural disaster we have had in 1927. historically when a country -- a status that hunt hard, katrina in the gulf coast, states along the mississippi river when it flooded, congress has always come forward and provided disaster assistance. this event has been recut in this incredible site about how to offset the disaster assistance money to assist that would have 455 members of the house are doing as the house is on fire and the river is rising. so i was quite delighted that we did get the disaster relief passed. there is a good part here. that was bipartisan. any democrat from vermont and i was grateful to mr. boehner and mr. canter that they did provide leadership to get this disaster assistance funding. here's the emblematic thing, too.
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i think it is really an opportunity for congress if we do identify areas, there's an earnest dispute about taxes and spending. but on highways, infrastructure and education there's a lot of area where we could agree. if we would focus on them and build some confidence to trust across party lines, we might be able to make congress and the more contentious long-term issues. >> speak about today's work on the balanced budget amendment. >> i'm against the balanced budget amendment, even if science were paying our bills and i see it essentially as something that is an alternative to doing the real word. in vermont we don't have a balanced budget amendment. it is the only state that does not have a, yet we always balance our budget. it's because we've had tradition of republicans and democrats understanding you got to pay your bills. also i was one of the sponsors of the pay-as-you-go legislation
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that was part of the congress from 2007 to 2010. that really was the fact day. anyone who had a proposal that was going to cost money or whether it's to spend my money on a program is supported or a tax cut you thought advantageous in that we had to, but the way to pay for it. i was in place during the clinton years. during the clinton years we got to four years of balancing our budget. that is where you have to take the responsibility to pay for your tax cut proposal and spending proposal. the new republicans took over in 2007 abolish that. why would you abolish a pay-as-you-go legislation when that has been worked in and then expose the data. the ryan budget would cut the deficit going from $15,000,000,000,223,000,000,000, 000 of men that is so you can pass the balanced budget amendment and evade the responsibility you have to pass today the spending program that
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is in balance. >> currently peter welch from vermont. the chief deputy web joining us in about 20 minutes from now, trey claudia south carolina in spokane, washington. good morning, go ahead. >> good morning. i just want to talk about the budget and the deficit back in when nixon was three tenths of a trillion dollars. in the national dad and up until now, the democrats have only been responsible for 1.6 trillion the republicans have been for quiet life. in the 5 trillion to expand after obama got man was bush's fault that they are responsible
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for 1.6. >> letter guests respond. >> i think he's got the numbers pretty right. how did you get here? ironically, i think that a lot of the rhetoric in this town is accusing the democrats are causing this and obviously there's plenty of responsibility to go around. the big driving to where the war in iraq, war in afghanistan. i mean, that's astonishing. if we have a national security situation that requires us to essman admits to go to war, why don't we pay for it? in both iraq and afghanistan that's irresponsible. then you have the tax cuts they weren't paid for and it was an immense amount of wishful thinking that tax cuts pay for themselves and that turned out to be not true. then there was a political maneuver to get the medicare prescription drug program passed
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without paying for it again. it's another half a trillion dollars. all of those things adding up. then you have to have such a meltdown with the financial crisis on wall street. analysts that adds up to just a real explosion in baghdad. so there was some very specific policies, bush tax cuts, the two wars paid for, medicare prescription drug mfa program that was not paid for. all of those were actions that the president bush promoted. the congress supported and this left us with the huge deficit. >> headline from the "washington post" story does highlight the bush cuts remain at the core of tax debates. also talks about tax proposals as far as revenue with representative tammy put forth. what do you think about the recommendations from him? >> two things. in the short term, what is good
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deceased or presence of revenues. what he is doing is to make permanent the books tax cuts and a condition of getting as revenue. that is the revenue i think is much less than what it should be a part of solving this problem. they guarantee the bush tax cuts will be forever in place. that makes no sense. the responsible legislative body is like a responsible household in the way. you have to make decisions based on the circumstances. so you save money you can send them to college the older. in good times you save money, increase spending. you keep it at a level pace. you've got to adjust to the circumstances. so the jimmy approach is the goal of imposing, senator timmy's view that the bush tax cuts basically should be permanent. >> i have to clarify. chicago, illinois.
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good morning. dave, independent line. >> thanks for taking my call. it has been kind of surprising to me the last couple of years. i am a recovering republican. i have become an independent because there is one thing i learned in manufacturing all my life. and that is when a thing doesn't work, you leave it alone and you let it go. the republican way has not worked. we have had 12 years of the consequences as the republican way of taxing and helping big business and pushing back on anything that has to do with helping america. we have invaded people, killed lots and lots of people all over the world, but we cannot get
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decent health care to americans. you pay your premiums on your insurance, but she can't afford to pay your co-pay is. the only race that you get is just what the company needs you to start paying extra on your insurance. so it is a net loss when you figure in the inflation every year, even if it's very late. >> go ahead, mr. welch. >> i think he's right. real wages are declining. since they say the recession has ended in 2009. i think most people experience that they would question it. since the recession ended, wages in this country has gone down nearly 7%. during the recession, 2007 at 2000 it went down 3.2%. so a lot of the reason it's going down is the cost of health
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care. even if you're lucky enough to have it through your employer has gone up. the co-pays, deductibles. and it's really, really a tough situation for working families. and this is where the income distribution in this country is back to in the 1920s just before the great depression. i think everybody knows that fundamentally when the economy is working, it means the middle class is expanding and strengthening. the heart and strength of america's democracy and its economy. so we have this broad base of participation it because we have people working on the wages have been going up as productivity is going up. but it is skewed. right now mostly the gains in productivity have created more profits that are flowing to the top one or 2%. so the caller has a pretty good point. >> twitter, james art asked to name one change in entitlement
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and it fits you are willing to support. >> what i mentioned is that i would have prescription drug price negotiation for the medicare program just like we have in the va. it is astonishing. the medicare program is the biggest purchase of drugs. we buy wholesale that we pay with retail price. and why not have the largest purchaser that buys wholesale come negotiate to get a wholesale price. that would save the taxpayers $160 billion over 10 years. so that is one specific thing. >> plantation florida, good morning to tom, republican mike. go ahead. >> good morning. you often hear people say that congress doesn't work anymore. i truly believe the same that is making congress stopped working anymore is the party line vote. how foolish do you think the
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american voter is when a vote goes strictly by party line and not a single republican in single democrat votes one way or the other? you hear about majority whip pressuring congressman, change their vote against what he is truly believe their vote should be. and i wish that this process would stop and the constitution would work the way our founding fathers were cannot deceased congressmen be free. and don't tell me they are free because the american voters know they are not because the reports of the pressuring. but somehow make it so that our congress, the process works accounts. congress doesn't work now.
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everything is pressure. >> representative outs. >> again unfortunately have to largely agree with what the caller said. most of the votes in committee and on the floor are pretty much partyline votes. there's a couple of problems with that. one is that i'm very contentious issues like for instance the budget battle we are having now, with a health care bill or climate change legislation in energy policy. if a strictly partyline vote, the american people think that it is just a function of pressure and they don't have confidence in the decision is where congress honestly looked at it and did its best to get more right than wrong. so i do believe that it has absolutely essential that we handle the process here that allows for there to be bipartisan votes in debates. if we have that come in the
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american people is the only thing that will give them confidence on some contentious issues like this budget, that we probably got more right than wrong and give the american people some assurance of a breakout from why the willingness to make ray. i cannot state legislature in a lot of my colleagues work in state legislatures, where they are always bipartisan votes. when i was in the state senate in vermont, i was the senate president, so it's able to appoint members to their committees and chairs of committees. in vermont there's a tradition to the point of the minority party to give them chairmanships. there were seven democrats, republican chair committees. some people say peter you're a good guy. i want to get things done and i knew these people were the best for the job, but it's also important to have a seat at the table so at the end of the day when we made a decision people
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had confidence that even if they disagree with it, it was a product of honest deliberation. i'd like to see congress somehow move towards the direction the color was suggesting. >> yesterday we had ernie sanders on this program and we asked about the go big approach to you advocated others as well. i want to have you listened to achieve that and get your response to it. >> in any case, with the agreement did as you know is it chopped $1.5 trillion cut for all kinds of important programs for working people and then it's sad that we would establish a super committee to look at 1.2 trillion. after all this stuff coming at how much the richest people in this country who were doing phenomenally well rested pay more in taxes? that went penny. largest corporations have been asked to pay more in taxes. so for all the cuts have come from working families. i don't have a crystal ball, so
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i can't tell you it's a super committee will end up if anything. but i am worried again that the burden will be placed on working families, cuts in social security, medicare and medicaid. >> representative outs, what about senator sanders worries? >> i share those worries. the only way that we are going to avert having the full burden be on the poor and working-class and middle-class who have been getting hammered in this economy is to have revenues be a major part of any solution we will propose. so we've got to have revenues be a part of this. also, when we talk about you care, there were things we can do that we should do that will make the program stronger, even as it saves people money. i come back to the notion that we buy wholesale rather than pay retail and save $160 billion. so senator sanders has a pretty good reason to be worried and that is why in fighting hard to make revenue is a big of this
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and make reforms in entitlements, ones that shore up the programs and make it sustainable for future generations. that is the focus of my approach. >> representative peter welch, lexington can tacky commissioning an independent line your next. >> yes, my question was i've been watching debates on this new balance the budget bill. why is it always an issue to cut the va benefits under social security whenever the debt in the nation reaches what it is and they can't reach a decision on it? >> well, it shouldn't be. i think you're right. social security should not be seen as a piggy bank to pay for the iraq war, tax cuts for the wealthy. all these things in the general fund budget. social security each and every one of us pays into it and everything to do in social security should be about making certain that that program is here for future generations and
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people on and about to go on to social security. i agree with you on that. >> when congress comes back with his s-sierra lasting through december 16, what is going to happen as far as any resolution to go pass out quick >> it will be contentious. what we have is brinksmanship politics. the resolution last december to late nearly went now. the debacle in august were really the debate was that there was optional. that was really damaging. and now we are going to come up against cr whether we are going to succeed to pass it is really rattling the markets and confidence in the institution. it's a major reason is taught in such disregard by most of the american people. >> gladys, democrats line.
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>> guest: i've exactly the same comment. why do they always want to touch social security, knowing very well they've raided the social security fund. i don't talk about that. and there are other things they can do in order to bring down the deficit. their other things they can do concerning the added terror. getting things they don't need for medicare. they should put it into that. the worst thing that's happened to this country with a supreme court rolling, allowing corporation to inject money. that is the problem we're having with the congress that doesn't work. and so we get the money out in the supreme court with their ruins that favor one party, that is not right. the supreme court should be ashamed of themselves for that really made me. >> i can't add anything to that. those eloquent tonight through
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with you. >> your thoughts on the supreme court taken at the present health care law. >> you know, i am nervous about that. the supreme court has made may view some really bad decisions. this notion the supreme court has said it is a person like you or me makes no sense. what it is doing is trying to equate these corporations that have billions of dollars in assets, that have their own point of view, that they have you in my equal to that. when obviously we are. those corporations have an outside influence on the team tennis. at the supreme court is going to be taken off the health care bill and it's the same supreme court decided its citizens united. so i am apprehensive because i think that should not be struck down, but which is going going all activated c. >> to change that drastically if demand a portion of struck down? >> i would change it quite significantly in the basic
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question in this country is this. if we're going to have health care available to every citizen in most people, republicans and democrats say here's what we should have, in my view some of us have to pay for it. that is where the individual mandate comes into play. but the supreme court is also taking a look at medicaid, where states have a medicaid program puts contribution from the federal government and there's some question as to whether or not the supreme court is going to challenge in its ruling will medicaid structure, which is essential to getting low income people access to health care. so that makes me quite apprehensive. >> republican line, troy, good morning. >> good morning. i'm asking six numbers. one, what was suspending the
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last year? what was the income for the government the last year? and what was the unemployment rate. the numbers are what is our project is pending for the current fiscal year. what is the project to unemployment for this year. >> i didn't come prepared with all those numbers. if you want to tell us what they are ip glad to educate out. >> collar, what is the overall point of doing the numbers? >> to dispose with the differences between the spending in the amount the income isn't what the effect of ms. additives. >> mr. welch, go ahead. >> i still don't know what the point is. during the bush years, we went into structural -- when bill clinton was the president when
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he laughs. yet for years to balance budget and created 20 million jobs during that time. read the clinton tax rates in the bush tax states. 20 million jobs created four years before we balance the budget. and we were on track to eliminate the deficit. it's the $5 trillion deficit. during the bush years are the two tax cuts, prescription drug care part d. we lost 700,000 jobs, even though we had the lower bush tax rates. and he exploded the deficit. so my view, the performance between mr. bush and mr. clinton economically and fiscally, one got an a in one got enough. >> we have time for one more call for a gas. jackie, democrats line, go ahead. >> thank you here this is a privilege. a couple of comments on a question. i don't know why this surplus when bush took over, instead of giving it back to the wealthy,
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why did they put it towards the medicare problem is that is where the problem lies? at which your thoughts are and what i saw on tv with the billionaires confronted the committee today, saying they want their taxes raised? >> we will leave it there. mr. welch, go ahead. >> there's a lot of people in this country who have done extremely well, with initiative by the wonderful economy that is possible for them to have. and they understand of the wealth is going to the top 1%, producing the 99% will not be able to purchase the product that they are making. so they want to share the responsibility and share the burden and i think those very wealthy individuals say hey, raise our taxes understand this is a just about them being
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pro-generous. this is an economy that works for everybody am the only way they continue to be successful is that the 99% also share in the success of this country. so that's a very, very good thing for some of our civic minded successful people around the country promoting. >> representative peter welch, serves as chief czech beauty. thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. >> this segment from this morning's "washington journal." if you missed any you can see it in its entirety at her website. go to and look in the c-span video library. the u.s. senate is returning from their recess. we will take you live to the senate floor here on c-span 2. >> "the new york post" saying their editors: a loud, but it was rather sure that there was nowhere near that tens of
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thousands of demonstrations -- demonstrators who were supposed to fan out across humbles new york. some of the demonstrators to liberty pursuit violence. that is behavior that has nothing to do with the first amendment. the editorial detailing this is what i call that 99% pointless. the editor saying they show just how poignantly of noxious they could be. on the "washington post" for the rest of it in the district of columbia as well as virginia, eugene robinson writing on the protest in new york occupier has, spreading activism is the op-ed. here's some of what he has to say mainly takes place in the guts of the peace. this is a conversation we haven't been having for the past 30 years for politicians and has to pay lavishly to fund their campaigns on the discussion is destabilizing because it does not represent traditional alignments. class voters are supposed to be routed against democrats for policies such as affirmative
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action and gun control for not posting agree with republicans were going to bail out the banks generally not the idea of relief and under mortgages. how about how people care about fairness, 1% of the top versus the other 99% has nothing to do with how they feel about limiting abortion or whether people think racism is a thing of the past or can tenuate discourage. fairness can't be dismissed as some sort of first step toward socialism us are going to see capitalism and terrorists are fundamentally incompatible to believe this is the case unoccupied protest opponent would like to disagree. in midtown manhattan, famously jaded new yorkers heard eager to talk about occupy wall street but all the people at random. i found a lot of support to clear 10 sleeping bags and other purchases of permanent settlements. but i found a lot of green with protesters as not everyone had the same idea about what protesters were saying. so what does things in mind, we will read more dinner for sport
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administer the protest, we want to get her sense of what you think about them. you can send us e-mail and treat us well. to get a sense of what happened in new york yesterday, a reporter with new york one, the cable news outlet there is on the shelf to talk about it. tell us a little bit for what happened not only in the financial district, but in the subway system given a sense of what happened as far as what happens to the protesters perspective and those watching it as well. >> well, from the protesters did, it depends which protest you attended. downtown early in the morning yesterday there were a lot more clashes with police it seemed and it was a bunch of protesters as well. and as the day wore on, there
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were different crowds depending which protest you attended. there was one -- the first one i went through personally was in union square. and i started around 3:00 p.m. and that was primarily students and grad students at nyu and the new school as well as laborers coming union workers. and that was primarily peaceful from what i saw. between police and protesters. the students wanted lower tuition. wanted amnesty for students at. that efforts to unionize, grad student. again, that was somewhat peaceful and not stop was chosen at union square because of the subway system and they tried to occupy 16 subways. the organizer told me unlike the
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occupation of wall street and the stock exchange earlier that day, the occupation of the subway tend to disrupt you can strengthen going to different locations. sure enough i didn't see any distraction on the subways. there is just rallying unintended conflict with the least on there either. getting to foley square, that is where there were similar issues, especially in the streets, going with a large portion of more than a thousand people in union square marched and close down fifth avenue. what was interesting for me was over the course of the six weeks of wall street, every time the protesters try to take to the street, it's an announced game with police trying to keep them out of the streets and on the sidewalks because occupy wall street protesters refuse to try to get permits for their marches
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and believe that's the way to go about asking permission from the dority that they are protesting. this time there was a mess much of an effort to keep protesters out of the street and perhaps it was an effort to have last conflict by the police department. i don't know, but it seemed to be less conflict as a result on the way they are. >> for the week that you've been covering this thing and we are looking at the committee and specific action right now, has there been some type of unifying message coming out of what's been going out in new york, particularly on one street, but some other areas as well as what the folks who are part of this movement, the message they want to send out quite >> cert me. i guess when i started covering it, there were all those messages from hydro franking to
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agree by corporations to health care issues. while those issues are still on the table, al find a route to what protesters see as corporate greed and disparity of wealth in the implants -- the undue influence of politicians that they see is bought and paid for and the system being unfair. so while it is issues they feel go back to those true causes. >> was there in a response from those who work on wall street that she talked to yesterday? >> i didn't speak to many people -- i wasn't covering the wall street portion yesterday. i had text messages from friends who work wall street and their impression was this is crazy down here. but many of them agreed with the
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fundamental message that the system has some fair. even some of them who benefit from the system feel that it is skewed. but just in all fairness, i have other friends who disagreed tightly and are opposed to the protest and believe people should work. i would say they stereotype the protesters and call them lazy. but i think that's unfair as well because there are just a variety of different types of protesters down there. >> so where do you think it goes after two months? is there still strings do so when you first covered this event? and is it sustainable been through the colder weeks and even in next year? >> well, it's certainly covered
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in mud and a half ago, where they were occupying for two days shy of two months it turned out, the sleeping bags to screw every single week. there were more and more unless someone's room to walk around. -- so it's certainly grew in strength. and then yesterday is any indication of what will happen moving forward, could be sustainable. i of course don't know. but perhaps as a result of mayors clearing out at the park, the numbers that we saw yesterday in the streets of new york and the different kinds of protests that were staged far exceeded what generally i had seen up until that point. and it might be because the clearing out of the park instigated more of a violence from people who are dissatisfied
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with the status quo. >> that is michael gerstenberger covering for new york city joining us on the phone. thank you for your time. >> to your calls on the occupied protest the two months and what you believe will go on and what you think about them. union missouri, craig republican might come you at first this morning. >> caller: jess, i was going to say to point the situation. these people don't have a plan or idea what they are doing. they had to be protesting at the white house where we lost half a billion dollars through so under a period for people to look at that. >> so the protests nationwide are in effect give? >> yeah, they are. george charles promotes this type of thing. this is a long list of president obama. >> kingsport pennsylvania, good morning. >> good morning. i couldn't disagree more. >> willy the "washington a
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journal" site and at this point to return to recess. we got out of the senate for a 0 live divided in the usual form, upon the use or yielding back of that time the senate vote with no intervening action on calendar 270, the motion to reconsider, there be no intervening action or debate, any related statements be printed in the report, the president of the united states, barack obama, be immediately notified. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session presently. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: thank you. we now consider calendar 446, 447, 448, 449, 451, 452, 455, 457, 466, 467, 468,
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469, 470, 471, and 498 that the nominations be confirmed en bloc, the motion to reconsider made and laid on the table, there be no interscreenings -- intervening action or debate, any related statements be printed in the report and president obama be immediately notified of the senate's action, the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 1541 and that we now proceed to its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 1541 a bill to revise the federal charter for the blue stars mothers of
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america incorporated to change eligibility requirements for membership. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent there be no interveepg action or debate, any statements relating to this bill be placed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to s. res. 335. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 335, honoring the life and legacy of evelyn h. lauder. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no no intervening action or debate and any statements printed in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent we proceed to s. res. 336. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 336
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to permit collection of toys and housewares in senate buildings for charitable purposes in senate buildings. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent the preamble be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, there be no intervening action or debate, any statements relating to this matter be printed in the record at the appropriate place. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i failed to note, mr. president, that i ask that the resolution be agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent notwithstanding the upcoming recess or ajurmts of the senate, the president senate, and the majority and minority leaderring be authorized to make appointments to boards, conferences or interparliamentary conferences authorized by law by the current action of the two houses or by order of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous
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consent november 18, through november 28 the senate pro tem be authorized to sign enrolled bills. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: not prior to december 5,the 2011, the senate proceed to executive session to consider 363, 364, 365, and 406,a total of one hour for debate divide qied in the usual form, upon the use or yielding back of time the senate vote with no interveepg action or debate on the nominations in the order listed. further that all the nominations the motions to reconsider be laid on the payable with no intervening action or debate, that any statements relating to nomination printed in the record and that president obama be immediately notified of the action of the senate and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent when the senate adjourn today, it adjourn until 11:00 a.m. on november 22 for pro forma with no business conducted and following that it adjourn until 10:30 a.m. on friday, november 25 for a pro forma session only, no business conducted and following the pro forma session the senate adjourn until 1:00 p.m. on monday, november 28, following the prayer and pledge, the journal be approved, the morning business be deemed expired, the time of the two leaders reserved for use later in the day. following leader marks the senate resume consideration of s. 1867, the defense bill and at 5:00 p.m. the senate proceed to executive session as ordered under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: the next vote will be monday, november 28 at 5:30. votes are possible monday evening and senators should be aware of that. senators levin and mccain want
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to move as many amendments as they can so we'll fry try to schedule amendments that evening to be voted on. i would indicate we worked long and hard today to try to have a concept agreement on amendments to the energy and water appropriations bill. senators feinstein and senator alexander have worked very hard on this. at this stapling we just can't do it. i'm sorry we didn't try to do it yet because -- yesterday, because yesterday's issues were easier than those today. 24 hours has not helped that. we'll continue to work on that. if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 11:00 a.m. tuesday, november 11:00 a.m. tuesday, november
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>> for those who say my friend, for those whose diets out we are writing this issue of civil rights, i say to them, we are 172 years late. [cheers and applause] to those who say that the civil rights program is an infringement on states rights, i say at the time has arrived in
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america for the democratic party to get out of the status of state rights and to walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine >> hubert humphrey spoke those words 20s before champion in 1964 civil rights bill. the two chain mayor and u.s. senator was vice president under lyndon johnson and later ran for president in 1968 hamas. we look at his influence on american politics this week on c-span series, the contenders
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>> mr. president, it gives me great pleasure to invite you to address the house. >> prime minister gillard, mayor abbett, thank you vote for your very warm welcome. mr. speaker, mr. president, members of the house and senate, ladies and gentlemen, i thank you for the honor of standing in this great chamber to reaffirm the bonds between the united states and the commonwealth of australia. to a the world's oldest democracies in two of the world's oldest friends. to you and the people of australia, gnu gnats for your extraordinary hospitality and here in the city, this ancient meeting place, i want to acknowledge the original inhabitants of this land and one
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of the world's oldest continuous cultures the australians. i first came to australia as a child, traveling between neighbors base of hawaii and indonesia where he would live for four years. as an 8-year-old i couldn't always understand your foreign language [laughter] last night i did try to talk some strine. today i don't want to subject you to any ear bashing. i really do love that one and i will be introducing that into the vernacular in washington. or to a young american boy, australia and its people, your optimism, your easy-going ways, your irreverent sense of humor all felt so familiar. it felt like home. i've always wanted to return. i tried last year twice, but
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this is a lucky country and today i feel lucky to be here as we mark the 60th anniversary of our unbreakable alliance. the bonds between us run deep. and each other story we see so much of ourselves. ancestors across vast oceans, some by choice, some in chains. settlers he pushed west across sweeping plains, dreamers who toiled at hearts and hands railroad and to build cities. generations of immigrants do with each new arrival at a new threat to the brilliant tapestry of our nations. and we are citizens of the viacom in creed. no matter who you are, no matter what you look like, everyone deserves a fair chance. everyone deserves a fair go.
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of course progress in our society does not always come without conscience or struggles to overcome the painful past. but we are countries with a willingness to face our imperfections and to keep reaching for our ideals. that is the spirit we saw in this chamber three years ago as this nation inspired the world with an historic gesture of reconciliation with indigenous australians. ..
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later today and are when i will join the prime minister in saluting our brave men and women in uniform and it will be a reminder that from the trenches of first world war to the mountains of afghanistan, audis and americans have stood together. we have thought together, we have given lives together in every single major conflict in the past 100 years. every single one. this solidarity has sustained us through a difficult decade. we will never forget the attacks of 9/11 that took the lives not only of americans but people from many nations including australia. the united states will never forget how australians for the first time ever showing that our two nations stood as one. and none of us will ever forget those we have lost to al qaeda's terror in the years since including innocent australians. that is why as both the prime
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minister and the opposition leader indicated, we are determined to succeed in afghanistan. it is why it i salute australia outside of nato the largest contributor of troops to this vital mission. it is why we honor all those who have served there for our security, including 32 australian patriots who gave their lives, among them captain bryce duffy, corporal ashley burke, and lance corporal luke gavin. we will honor their sacrifice by mate thing sure that afghanistan is never again used as a source for attack against our people, never again. as to global partners we stand up for the security and dignity of people around the world. we see it in when our rescue workers rushed to help others in times of fire and drought, flood
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and rains. we see it when we partnered to keep the peace from east timor to the balkans and when we pursue our shared vision, a world without nuclear weapons. we see it in the development that lifts up a child in africa, the assistance to save the family from famine to when we extend our support to the people of the middle east and north africa who deserve the same liberty that allows us together in this great hall of democracy. this is the alliance we reaffirm today. rooted in our values, renewed by every generation. this is the partnership we worked to deepen over the past three years and today i can stand before you and say with confidence that the alliance between the united states and australia has never been stronger. it has been to our past hour
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alliance continues to be indispensable to our future. here among friends i would like to address our larger purpose for my visit to this region. our efforts to advance security, prosperity and human dignity across the asian-pacific. for the united states this reflects a broader shift. after a decade in which we fought two wars that cost us dearly in blood and treasure, the united states is turning our attention to the vast potential of the asia-pacific region. in just a few weeks after nearly nine years, the last american troops will leave iraq and our war there will be over. in afghanistan we have begun a transition, a responsible transition so afghans can take responsibility for their future and so coalition forces can begin to draw down. with partners like australia we have struck major blows against al qaeda and put that terrorist organization on the path to
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defeat, including delivering justice to osama bin laden. so make no mistake, the tide of war is receding and america is looking ahead to the future that we must build. from europe to the americas we have strengthened alliances and partnerships. at home we are investing in the sources of our long-term economic strength, the education of our children, the training of our workers, the infrastructure that fuels commerce, the science and the research that leads to new breakthroughs. we have made hard decisions to cut our deficit and put our fiscal house in order and we will continue to do more. because their economic strength at home is the foundation of our leadership in the world, including here in the asia-pacific. our new focus on this region reflects a fundamental truth, the united states has been and always will be a pacific nation.
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asian immigrants helped build america and millions of american families, including my own, cherish our ties to this region. from the bombing of darwin to the liberation of the pacific islands, from the rice paddies of southeast asia to a cold korean peninsula, generations of americans have served here and died here. so democracies could take root, so economic miracles could lift hundreds of millions to prosperity. americans have bled with you for this progress and we will not allow it -- we will never allow it to be reversed. here we see the future. as the world's fastest-growing region and home to more than half the global economy, the asia-pacific is critical to achieving my highest priority and that is creating jobs and opportunity for the american people. with most of the world's nuclear
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power and some half of humanity, asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict or cooperation, needless suffering or human progress. as president, i have therefore made a deliberate and strategic decision. as a pacific nation, the united states will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future by upholding core principles and in close partnership with our allies and friends. let me tell you what this means. first, we seek security which is the foundation of peace and prosperity. we stand for an international order in which the rights and responsibilities of all nations and all people are upheld. where international law and norms are enforced.
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where commerce and freedom of navigation are not impede it. where emerging powers contribute to regional security and where disagreements are resolved peacefully. that's the future that we seek. now i know that some in this region have wondered about america's commitment to upholding these principles so let me address this dreck we. as the united states puts our fiscal house in order, we are reducing our spending. and yes after decade of the extraordinary growth in our military budgets and as we definitively end the war in iraq and begin the wind-down of the war in afghanistan we will make some reductions in defense spending. as we consider the future of our armed forces, we have begun a review that will identify our most important strategic interests and guide our defense priorities and spending over the coming decade. so here is what this region must know. as we and today's wars, i have
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directed my national security team to make our presence and mission in the asia-pacific a top priority. as a result, reductions in u.s. defense spending will not, i repeat, will not come at the expense of the asia-pacific. my guidance is clear. as we plan and budget for the future, we will allocate the resources necessary to maintain our strong military presence in this region. we will preserve our unique ability to project power and deter threats to peace. we will keep our commitments, including our treaty obligations to allies like australia. and we will constantly strengthen our capabilities to meet the needs of the 21st century. our enduring interest in the region demand our enduring presence in the region. the united states is a pacific power and we are here to stay.
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indeed, we are already modernizing america's defense posture across the asia-pacific. it will be more broadly distributed, maintaining our strong presence in japan and the korean peninsula while enhancing our presence in southeast asia. our posture will be more flexible with new capabilities to ensure that our forces can operate freely. and our posture will be more sustainable, by helping allies and partners build their capacity with more training and exercises. we see our new posture here in australia. the initiatives that the prime minister and i announced yesterday will bring our two militaries even closer together. we will have new opportunities to train with other allies and partners from the pacific to the indian ocean and it will allow us to respond faster to the full range of challenges including humanitarian crises and disaster relief.
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since world war ii, australians have warmly welcomed american servicemembers who have passed through. on behalf of the american people i thank you for welcoming those who will come next, as they ensure that our alliance they strong and ready for the tests of our time. we see america's enhance presence in the alliance that we have strengthened, in japan where are alliance remains a cornerstone of regional security. in thailand where we are partnering for disaster relief. in the philippines where we are increasing ship visits and training. and in south korea where our commitment to the security of the republic of korea will never waiver. indeed we also reiterate our resolve to act firmly against any proliferation activities by north korea. the transfer of nuclear materials or material by north korea to states or nonstate entities would be considered a grave threat to the united states and our allies.
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we would hold north korea fully accountable for the consequences of such actions. we see america's enhance presence across southeast asia in our partnership with indonesia against piracy and violent extremism and in our work with malaysia to prevent proliferation, in the ships will deploy to singapore and in our closer cooperation with vietnam and cambodia, and in our welcome of india as it looks east and plays a larger role as an asian power. at the same time, we will reengage with their regional organizations. our work in bali this week will mark a third meeting with ozzy on leaders and i will be proud to be the first american president to attend the east asia summit. together i believe we can address shared challenges such as proliferation and maritime security, including cooperation in the south china sea.
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meanwhile, the united states will continue our effort to build a cooperative relationship with china. all of our nations, australia, the united states, all of our nations have a profound interest and the rise of a peaceful and prosperous china. that is why the united states welcomes its. we have seen that china can be a partner rum reducing tensions on the korean peninsula to preventing proliferation. and we will seek more opportunities for cooperation with beijing including greater to mitigation between our militaries to promote understanding and avoid miscalculation. we will do this even as we continue to speak candidly to the beijing about the importance of upholding international norms and respecting the universal human rights of the chinese people. a secure and peaceful asia is the foundation for the second area in which america's leading again and that's advancing our
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shared prosperity. history teaches us the greatest force for the world has ever known for creating wealth and opportunity is free markets so we seek economies that are open and transparent. we seek trade that is free and fair and we seek an open international economic system where rules are clear and every nation plays by them. in australia and america, we understand these principles. we are among the most open economies on earth. six years into our landmark trade agreement, commerce between us has soared. our workers are creating new partnerships and new products like the advanced aircraft technologies we build together in victoria. we are the leading investor in australia and you invest more in america than you do in any other nation, creating good jobs in both countries.
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we recognize that economic partnerships can't just be about one one nation extracting another's resources. we understand that no long-term strategy for growth can be imposed from above. real prosperity, prosperity that fosters innovation, prosperity that endures, comes from unleashing our greatest economic resource, and that's the entrepreneurial spirit, the talents of our people. so he even as america competes aggressively and asian markets, we are forging economic partnerships that create opportunity for all. building on our historic trade agreement with south korea we are working with australia and our other apec partners to create a seamless regional economy. and with australia and other partners we are on track to achieve our most ambitious trade agreement yet and a potential model for the entire region, the transpacific partnership.
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the united states remains the world's largest and most dynamic economy, but in an interconnected world we all rise and fall together. that's why i pushed so hard to put the g20 at the front and center of global economic decision-making, to give more nations a leadership role in managing the international economy, including australia. together we save the world economy from a depression. now are urgent challenges to create the growth that put people to work. we need growth that is fair, where every nation plays by the rules, where workers rights are respected and our businesses can't compete on a level playing field, where the intellectual property and new technologies that fuel the nation are protected, and where currency's art market driven so no nation has been on their advantage. we also need growth that is
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broad, not just for the few but for the many. with reforms that protect consumers from abuses and a global commitment to end the corruption that stifles growth. we need growth that is balanced, because we will all prosper more when countries with large surpluses take action to boost demand at home. and we need growth that is sustainable. this includes the clean energy that creates green jobs and combat climate change which cannot be denied. we see it in the stronger fires, the devastating floods, the pacific islands confronting rising seas. and as countries with large carbon footprints, the united states and australia have a special responsibility to lead. every nation will contribute to the solution and its own way and i know this issue is not without controversy in both our
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countries. but what we can do and what we are doing is to work together to make unprecedented investments in clean energy, to increase energy efficiency, and to meet the commitments we made at copenhagen and cancun. we can do this and we will. has we grow our economies will also remember the link between growth and good governance, the rule of law, transparent institutions, the equal administration of justice. because history shows that over the long run democracy and economic growth go hand-in-hand. and prosperity without freedom is just another form of poverty. this brings me to the final area where we are leading. our support for the fundamental rights of every human being. every nation will chart its own course. yet it is also true that certain rights are universal.
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among them freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion and the freedom of citizens to choose their own related -- leaders. these are not american rights are as chilean rights or western rights. these are human rights. they stir in every soul as we have seen in the democracies that have succeeded here in asia. other models have been tried and they have failed, fascism and communism, rule by one man and rule by committee. they failed for the same simple reason. they ignore the ultimate source of power and legitimacy, the will of the people. yes, democracy can be messy and rough, i understand you mix it up quite well during question time. [laughter] but whatever our differences of
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party or of ideology, we know that are democracies we are blessed with the greatest form of government ever known to man. so as to great democracies we speak up for those freedoms when they are threatened. we partner with emerging democracies like indonesia to help strengthen the institutions upon which good governance depends. we encourage open government, because democracies depend on an informed and give citizenry. we help strengthen civil societies because they empower our citizens to hold their governments accountable. and we advance the rights of all people, women, minorities and indigenous cultures, because when societies harness the potential of all their citizens, the societies are more successful, they are more prosperous than they are more just. these principles have guided our
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approach to burma with a combination of sanctions and engagement. today on san su chi is free from house arrest in some political prisoners have been released. the government has begun a dialogue. still violations of human rights persist so we will continue to speak clearly about the steps that must be taken for the government of irma to have it better relationship with the united states. this is the future we seek in asia-pacific, security, ross parity and dignity for all. that's what we stand for. that is who we are. that is the future we will pursue in partnership with allies and friends and with every element of american power. so let there be no doubt, the asia-pacific in the 21st century, the united states of america is all in.
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still, in times of great change and uncertainty, the future can seem unsettling. across a vast ocean it's impossible to know what lies beyond the horizon. but if this vast region and its people teach us anything, it's the yearning for liberty and progress will not be denied. it's why women in this country demanded that their voices be heard, making australia the first nation to let women vote and run for parliament and one day become prime minister. it's why the people took to the streets from delhi to seoul from manila to jakarta to throw out colonialism and dictatorship and build some of the world's largest democracies. it's its way a soldier in a watchtower along the dmz defense of free people in the south and why a man from the north risked his life to escape across the border. it's why soldiers in blue helmets keep the peace in a new
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nation and why women of courage go into brothels to save young girls from modern-day slavery which must come to an end. it's why men of peace in saffron robes faced beatings and bullets and why every day some of the world's largest cities to dusty rural towns, small acts of courage the world may never see, a student posts a blog, a citizen science of charter, and activist remains on -- unbowed imprisoned in his home just at the same rights that we cherish here today. men and women like these no what the world must never forget. the currents of history may ebb and flow but over time they moved decidedly -- decisively in a single direction.
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history is on the side of the free, free societies, free governments, free economies, free people. and the future belongs to those who stand firm for those ideals in this region and around the world. this is the story of the alliance we celebrate today. this is the essence of america's leadership. it is the essence of our partnership. this is the work we will carry on together for the security and prosperity and dignity of all people. so god bless australia. god loves america and god bless the friendship between our two peoples. thank you very much. [applause]
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[applause] [applause] [applause] [applause] >> well mr. president, on behalf of the house i thank you for your address and the message that contained.
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you have been received as a most welcome friend, especially as we commemorate three strong years of a formal alliance. as an individual, you inspire us all. as a symbol of what we can achieve and as you remind us of what we got to achieve. as a former senator i know that you are pleased that we have the president with us, our senate colleagues. in thinking the president of the senate and the senators, i thank you for inspiring in them the appropriate behavior that the grandeur of the occasion speaks to. [laughter] i wish you a successful and enjoyable reminder of your stay in australia and success in your
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travels in the region. i hope that you have a safe return home to your cheese and kisses, that is the missus, the wife. and to the kids, your children. [laughter] [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> nationalism, tribalism, religious fundamentalism are far more powerful than ideology and we are not immune in this country to these forces and when the melting pot has been thrown out, you were preaching multiculturalism, what holds us together?
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>> house budget committee chairman paul ryan this week said politics may prevent a joint deficit reduction committee from reaching an agreement. he spoke at a forum hosted by "the wall street journal" for about half an hour. >> this is congressman paul ryan. two things you need to know about him. he is the happiest guy in the room because the packers won thp if you are a congressman from wisconsin that is very important. you might've heard he is not running for president contrary to what certain people say. you can urge him on later if you would like. that's your option >> you can urf you'd like. the most important thing he does in this town is run the budget committee in the house. he is the guy that put out an actual plan to reduce the deficit and set the tone for the debate. we were talking earlier, we might want to revisit lessons
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learned, what you can tell us about where this town is moving. let me dispose of the deficit >> our team put together a program together a program 1.5 children in savings a serious effort designed withfr the idea of not offending -- the basic spending package that we put together put revenue on ablet , but through base broadening and getting lower rates. that was pretty much rejected out of hand. like jim clark board said on sunday, the democrats have yet to coalesce around a plan.
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it is challenging to negotiate with the other side when they themselves are still negotiating with themselves. so we don't have much time left. these are statutory deadlines that cannot move. if the full $1.50 trillion agreement is out of reach, then hopefully we will get a plan b, which is something shy of that, to mitigate the sequestered. no matter what happens, we will put out another plan. we will budget in march, meaning the house of representatives. we will budget and showed the country specifically and exactly how we will take on this fiscal problem. not just postponed it, we will solve it. we will put our fiscal roadmap to replace the sequestered, but also keep the debt from getting up to these levels and reform these entitlements and programs in the tax code. we will approach -- propose again like we did in april a
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plan to do that. >> as you just noted, you did that in april. you put out a plan that was detailed and controversial. you still have the scars to show for that, i assume. i am just curious, in the months since then, seven months since that point, what have you learned about the viability of a serious plan about what the political traffic will bear, and whether you have brought anybody along the way. >> i started with this when i became the head of the budget committee in 2007. i set forth to write a plan to trim the desk -- the debt crisis. took about a year of running numbers with cbo and others to put together the road map for america's future. i had seven co-sponsors. congress and reintroduced it and had 13 co-sponsors.
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we got every republican but for to vote for it in the house. all republicans but five voted for it in the senate. largely because of the infusion of energy from our new freshmen , less career people, we dramatically moved the center of gravity on this issue, especially within our own caucus. what i get out of this, from spending time with erskine and allen on that commission, spending time with alice rivlin, to fix this problem in the making, it is erskine bowles and alice rivlin tight democrats who we agree with on the elements of tax reform, on the elements of and taught and tax reform, on the basic principles. the problem is, those are not the kind of democrats running the white house or in charge of the house and senate. what that means is we might have to wait for an election, but if the election goes the way we
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wanted to go, i see an opportunity to work with moderate democrats to form a center-right coalition where can once and for all fix this problem. we beat a lot of the blue dog democrats, but there are some jim cooper types still there. so i see some of these democrats there. >> be more specific. when ronald reagan came into office and he had to pass a budget that was also controversial, he could not do it with republican votes. he found roughly 60 -- is there a 60-vote caucus? >> no, but we don't need that. we still pretty good about the senate. you can never take these things for granted, but what i am saying is, i think there are intellectuals in the democratic party who are the centrist talks.
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they more agree with us on the nature of these things and then the progressives, but the progressive run the party, and if they are in the majority, they call the shots. if we can get the majority, then what we need to do is work with those centrist democrats to put together a coalition to fix this. >> just to play devil's advocate here, if you want to draw those kinds of people into this exercise, don't you have to make some move in their direction on revenues? >> is it really feasible to think in the political system have today that this is a problem that can be solved with no revenues? >> you saw pat solis, a great conservative senator from pennsylvania, show how we would do that with his offer in the super committee, which has -- which is broaden the base, lower rates for groat's, and on a static basis, you can still get more revenues. the neat thing about our tax code is the tax base is quite
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narrow. by broadening the tax base and hitting new rates that our program, you can actually deal with revenues that way. but let's not take our eye off the ball, which is spending is the problem. revenues still climb as a percentage of gdp, but nowhere near that. we have to deal with the spending problem. what i have learned in my 13 years in congress is if you first go to the revenue fix, what it does is this place the need to deal with spending. let's get spending under control. let's get fundamental tax reform that is pro-growth. our budget calls for a top tax rate of 25% for businesses. it is internationally competitive and is pro-growth and we can get through pro- growth tax policies of broader, more reliable income stream to meet this government which we
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are getting back down to 20%. we think that is the way to go. >> is that the size of government that america is going to be ready for? >> it is what we have had for the last 20 years. >> summer happy with that and some are not. is there a consensus? >> the average is 23%. >> are you would take the government back to that point. >> i don't look at some magic number. what matters most is economic freedom. do we have an entrepreneurial economy and our entitlements under control? open ended, defined benefit programs are totally unsustainable because these are pay-as-you-go programs and we are doubling the amount of retirees in the country. it is a consumer, patient centered system and we have to
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go to a defined contribution system where we finance the benefits for people who needed the most, the sick and the poor, and finance the benefit much less for the people who need it the least. that is a way to fix this problem, which i believe there are some centrist democrats who believe -- who agree with us on that, and to me that is the secret to fixing this problem. progressives want a government run health care system. they will not agree with us so far on lowering tax rates. they want higher tax rates. they want the top tax rate to go to 50%. in wisconsin, where i come from, nine out of 10 of our businesses file as individuals. we are going to crank up their tax rate to 50%. overseas, which in wisconsin means lake superior. [laughter] the canadiens are lowering their
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tax rate to 15% on all their businesses. we have to be competitive. >> let's go to the core of that spending issue you just mentioned, the entitlement program, and specifically to what you did earlier this year. you put on the table a premium support alternative to the current medicare program. you either moved the debate or you have created the campaign ad for every democrat in the country next year. >> that have not shown me pushing an older woman off the cliff in a wheelchair. this is the plan that bill clinton's bipartisan commission recommended in the late 1990's. this is similar to the plan that alice rivlin -- we offered this plan. i believe there is a center- right coalition in the making. premium support is basically the same thing federal employees and members of congress have.
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you get a list of guaranteed coverage options, which works like medicare advantage, plans that are pre selected by medicare competing against each other for our business as patients, and then medicare subsidizes are premium based on who we are. doing it that way, according to the actuaries, makes the program solvent and wipes out trillions of unfunded liability and keeps our debt load it is debt levels from getting out of control. it also helps us get at held inflation. that is a longer conversation, but i really think it is the right way to go with reform. the alternative is command and control, price control from this on license board of 15 bureaucrats that or appointed next year. what the medicare actuary is telling us is that by the end of the decade, medicare will be merged ad rates lower than medicaid.
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they will start at 60 cents on the dollar and go down to 30 cents on the dollar. it will be unsustainable and the system is going to collapse. we think this makes medicare viable. it applies to 55 and below. we think it is the smartest way to go, and it is an idea that used to have bipartisan support, but now you have more aggressive leadership among the democratic party that is trying to use it as a political issue. >> the president did put on the table last summer in the conversations with speaker boehner the idea of raising the eligibility age for medicare. that is not what you would do, but is that a sign that the back has been broken on this, that this conversation is no longer a debate but an actual search for a solution? >> the debate has been moving for a long period we could age
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reduction in our request as well. that does not fix the problem in and of itself. >> the president has done one thing that has been constructive. he has acknowledged that medicare cannot just be fixed with tax increases, but it is going bankrupt. now that we have that acknowledgment, are of the taking the plan -- do you want 15 bureaucrats rationing this program and telling your provide what they can and cannot give you, or do you want to be in control? do we want to support people who needed the most? i like our odds, and the nevada congressional race that was fought over this issue went very well for us. we cannot duck this issue. i have done over 500 town hall meetings in wisconsin talking about the specific ideas.
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we beat john kerry, but that is about it. [laughter] not from a big red area, if people see the facts, i think the respond very positively. >> one big picture question and then we will open it up to questions from the audience. when you step back from the picture we have been talking about, i am wondering what you think has really changed in washington. i am thinking about the possibility that maybe you start out with spending but something has happened here, that we are having this conversation about where and when you cut spending, not whether you cut spending. i am not sure that would have been a conversation in this town 10 years ago. has something happened here that is better than the ugly picture that presents itself to the country? >> the problem is from our perspective, we don't have
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partners on the other side of the aisle who have brought plans to show how they would do things differently. we put out a specific plan that keeps the debt from getting above the 60's of gdp and goes down from there. we never came close to the 90% debt levels. the president gave us a budget that was just a rubber stamp of the baseline. has been over 900 days since the senate passed the budget. in the budget control act, they deem themselves appropriation number so they don't have to do budget next year. they decided for three years now, don't even offer a budget. so our government has not had a budget since the 2009 obama budget. side.'t have that other the kind of tax increases you
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would need to close the gap are huge if you go down the be-50 route they were talking about going, 50 percent tax increase and 50% and spending. what i am trying to say is there are moderate democrats who do talk about these things, they are just not in charge. that is the point i am trying to make. i think the fact that they aren't having political problems to not offering a budget speaks to the fact that we are beginning to see rewards. >> a final thought, the art of politics is compromised, and one of the questions democrats raised is whether or not you could deliver a compromise of any variety, given the makeup of your caucus and the tea party. what is your answer when they raise that? >> it is tough to talk about compromise when they offer nothing in return.
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it is difficult to see where you are going to compromise when you have nothing in the alternative. we realize the president took a path on his budget. i were thinking at the time was we will put our budget out there and they will follow up and start negotiating. they never ended up doing that. alan simpson i went to the speech with the president where he double down on demagoguery and class warfare and all that, and decided to fight us politically, rather than join us with an alternative budget to actually negotiate and compromise. what we get out of that is, they are very tethered to ideology and if we are going to get a compromise, we will have to win an election and then include moderate democrats to get one. >> let's open it up to questions or comments. could we get a microphone up
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there really quickly? >> most corporate reconstructions, ceo's have a burning platform. there is an extra or internal event that causes change. sitting here this morning and listening to the sessions and the ones before, you wonder why external events needs to take place, as we witness the events in europe where there is significant meltdown, i think many of us thought they would model through, but now we doubt they will even be able to muddle through. what external event would shake people on both sides of the aisle into action? you are kicking the can down the road -- not you, but the government's kicking the can down the road continuously.
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obama said they were moving the ball but not kicking the ball down the road. what event has to take place? >> with the current government have, it would probably be a real credit crisis. the point we are trying to make with our budget is, let's do this on our own terms. let's do fiscal consolidation and reform on our terms where we have -- that means it is probably an election that is going to have to occur to do it the way i just described it. our hope is that the credit markets see that and give us time to have the election to do this. europe is the big wild card. if we have a real problem and that precipitates a contagion that starts washing up on our shores, that is the fear we have. our hope is, we go to the country in november 2012 and say
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here is what we will do if you give us the ability to do it. here is specifically a plan to preempt the debt crisis, to get the economy growing, to make america competitive, and to do it on our own terms, so if we do win that election, i call it the opportunity society, the safety net versus the welfare state unmanaged decline. then we have an affirming election that gives us the ability to implement it and fix it. that is our hope, given that we don't seem to have partners on the other side of the aisle who are sincere in working with us to get the kind of savings we need. it cannot fix this without doing health care. healthcare is the driver of our debt. you have to remember, they put in their health care law. they are not willing to open up that law. if they are not willing to open up that law, we are going to have to wait until an election
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to fix this. our hope is that it is an election on our timetable to fix it, and our fear is that the bond market vigilantes' get us in the meantime, and then it gets ugly. >> this is a version of the same question that martin asked, that kind of sock even if the change in the white house a year from now and you get six months or so for everyone to get their feedback on the ground -- even if all that happens, that is 18 months from now, and that is bullshit, i think. 18 months from now, maybe we get something done? >> i agree with you, but we control one-third of government. we don't control the other two-
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thirds of government. we put out a plan with revenues on the table to get a down payment. our hope is to get a single or a double. it a first down on the football field. our hope is to get a down payment because what i personally think is if we could show the credit markets that the american government is completely dysfunctional, if we can get a $1.50 trillion down payment on the problem, that helps by us the time we need to really fix the problem, but we are not even seeing that. one-third of government is what would control. we don't control the other two- thirds. just leave me to be realistic about it, which is, we are going to have to have the ability to actually pass legislation and get a president to sign legislation. if we are going to go to the country and say here is what we are going to do to fix the fiscal problem once and for all. i just don't think like in
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europe, a small austerity moves that move the retirement age in 2026 and trim the edges, that will not work. you need a real bazooka. you need to really fix these programs which are the drivers of our debt. health care and entitlements, and we are posing very specific solutions to do that, which will wipe out the debt problem and get us on the path to growth. >> [unintelligible] >> from my own experience where i come from in wisconsin, people know there is a big problem and they are ready to be talked to like adults, not pandered to like children. when we see elections go against that grain, i am a living testament to the fact that you can win in a began an evenly divided district. my purpose in putting these ideas out there three congresses ago or to demonstrate that these things are no longer third
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rails. if you can explain to people why we need to do this now and do it on our own terms versus an ugly credit market debt crisis process, the country will be there with us. we have to communicate this, and we can and we should. i think that is what we are going to do. >> questions, comments? >> you talk about communication. >> hang on a second for the microphone. >> he talked about communication. my question is, in the midst of an election year, a lot of different voices are speaking on behalf of -- how does the message across to be able to achieve what you are trying to do? >> our thinking on that was, we control the house and that is it, so our actions are the best message we have.
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we have to act and actually pass legislation defining who will learn what we believe in. our budget is called the path to prosperity, a specific document that shows us all the budget reforms. we feel like our actions will help define us, and that is what we are going to be doing again. we are meeting with all the various people running for president, and each one of these people are pretty much by and large on board with the direction we are going. we are as unified as we have ever been. the budget bill is usually the toughest bill to pass. danny hastert said the hardest will he ever had to pass was the deficit reduction act. the hardest thing he did in eight years. we just cut $6.20 trillion over 10 years, and it was one of the easiest things we have passed this year. we have 89 of these freshmen who
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came for a cause and not a career, and that has really helped us a lot. we are poised to do this and we are just going to go to the country and let them make the decision, the way we see it. >> congressman, thank you for taking the time. the forum brings together policymakers administration officials and chief executive to discuss the nation's policy changes. next former national economic council director and treasury secretary larry summers on the euro debt crisis. he is joined by imf deputy managing director. this is 35 minutes. [applause] >> i think we are all here. i uld like to welcome my guess.
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there's really no better group to have right now especially given some of the pressing issues in the global economy which frankly we have spent a lot of time on united states fiscal on united states fiscal position. ki a position four-point four 0.5%. the first question i have is, what role is the imf's going to play in the european debt situation? is it really too big to fail? -- italy too big to fail? >> if you are looking for them -- i think that brings the
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picture. net income is moving in the right direction. we are working closely with european members. we are pushing for comprehensive improvements. we are happy politically that the new government in italy and greece, we're looking forward to working with them. italy is in the g-20. we are happy and honored to have them. >> the yield is above 7%. that is or greece and portugal got bailed out. >> that is true. they're determined to do cuts
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and reform. that is all the right direction. they have to act now. implementation. >> larry, is there room? >> i am discouraged by what my friend zhu min said. recognition is the beginning of a solution. the october agreement was ludicrous to suggest that to greece was not going to default. it was impossible to suggest that the esfs could be leveraged and the kind of arithmetic in the stress test on the banks, if you believe that i have some stuff i would like to sell you. it was the beginning of having a solution to this problem.
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recognizing the things that have been said before have not been right and have been in denial. if the imf continues to stand with the october framework, it is continuing to perpetuate the denial that has brought us to this point. the great concern here is we have seen major changes in government for greece and italy. we have seen as much commitment to fiscal discipline as we are likely to see. it is likely to be erosion. the markets are giving a verdict. the prospect, this is not new. every financial crisis there is a m


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