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tv   U.S. Senate Budget Debate  CSPAN  August 15, 2021 9:23pm-10:03pm EDT

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they have the ability today to force through this massive spending package on a totally partisan basis, but my republican colleagues and i will do everything we can to protect americans from the consequences of democrats' reckless, reckless legislation. and i hope some of my colleagues on the other side, on the other side of the aisle -- all it takes is one -- will intervene before their party's taxing and spending spree turns an economic recovery into an economic disaster. mr. president, i yield mr. sanders: mr. president, let me begin by thanking president biden and majority leader schumer for their leadership in the arduous process which has
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gotten us to where we are right now. mr. president, i do understand that many of my republican colleagues are in a bit of shock. they're in a bit of shock now. they are finding it hard to believe that the president and the democratic caucus are prepared to go forward in addressing the long-neglected needs of working families and not just the 1% and wealthy campaign contributors. that's not the way things usually happen around here. usually, it's the big-money interests, the campaign contributors, and the lobbyists who call the tunes. but not today. today we move this country in a
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very different direction. mr. president, the american people are sick and tired of growing income and wealth inequality in our country, where two people now own more wealth than the bottom 40%, where the top 1% owns more wealth than the bottom 92%, and where 45% of all new income has gone to the top 1% since 2009. in other words, the people on top are doing phenomenally well. meanwhile, while the very rich have become much richer, the gross unfairness of our current tax system has allowed in a
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given year some of the wealthiest people in our country and some of the largest and most profitable corporations to not pay a nickel in a given year in federal income tax. not one penny. well, that is about to change. the american people want a government which represents all of us and not just a few, and this legislation is going to ask the wealthiest people in our country to start paying their fair share of taxes so that we can address the needs of working families, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor. and despite what some of my republican colleagues may be saying, no one in america who
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makes less than $400,000 a year will pay a nickel more in federal taxes. in fact, what we are looking at in this budget proposal is an historic tax cut for working families and the middle class. further, and importantly, at a time when california is on fire, when oregon is on fire, when greece is burning, and when countries throughout the world are experiencing unprecedented drought which will clearly impact food production, this legislation begins the process of combatting climate change so that our kids and
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grandchildren can live in a country and a planet which is healthy and habitable. it would be immoral and an absolute dereliction of our responsibilities as elected officials to do anything less. we cannot ignore climate change any longer. now is the time for our great country to lead the world out of this existential crisis. and, by the way, as we address the long-neglected needs of working families and as we combat climate change, we are going to create millions of good-paying jobs, many of them union jobs. let me very briefly take this
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opportunity to describe some of what is in this budget proposal. first, we are going to address the disgrace of the united states having the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth. this is the wealthiest country on earth, and we should not have millions of our children living in poverty. this budget is going to provide the long-awaited for help that working parents all over this country desperately need. and when we do that, we will substantially reduce childhood poverty in america. and we're going to do that by extending the child tax credit
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so that families continue to receive monthly direct payments of up to $300 per child. we began that process in the american rescue plan. it has been enormously successful in vermont and all over this country as parents finally get the help that they need to raise their kids. and in fact, it has helped reduce childhood poverty in our country by 61%, and we are going to extend those child tax credits. further, we're going to help working parents by addressing the crisis in child care by making sure that no working family in our country pays more than 7% of their income for child care.
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and all over this country, talking to parents in vermont, elsewhere, people are paying 20%, 25% of their income for child care so that they can go to work. that makes no sense at all. and under our proposal, no working family will pay more than 7%. and when we do that, when we make child care more affordable and accessible, it will allow over a million women who are now home with their kids to reenter the workforce and improve our economy. and further, in terms of addressing the needs of our working parents and their kids, we will expand public education by providing universal pre-k to every three- and four-year-old in the country.
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madam president, this budget proposal is going to end the international disgrace of the united states being the only major country on earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave as a right. somebody who is sick today should not be forced to go to work and maybe by expanding their illness by contagiant make other people sick. parents should be able to stay home with their sick children and when a woman has a baby she should not be forced back to work a week after birth simply because she has no income to stay home. yes, in america we will join every other major country and
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guarantee paid family and medical leave. madam president, we will begin to address the crisis in higher education by making community colleges in america tuition-free. and this will give millions of young people and working people the opportunity to get the education they need to acquire the skills so they can go out and get the good-paying jobs that are out there. it will also give people the opportunity to transfer the two years of credits earned at a community college to a four-year school. now i hope in years to come we will go further. but two years of free community college is no small thing. madam president, this budget proposal begins the process of taking on the greed of the
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pharmaceutical industry and saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars by requiring that medicare negotiate prescription drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry. it is not acceptable to me and to the american people that we continue to pay by far the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. medicare must negotiate prescription drug prices, and this budget sets the stage for that to happen. madam president, we will use the savings acquired by negotiating prescription drug prices in medicare by expanding medicare, use those savings to expand medicare to cover the dental care, the hearing aids, the eyeglasses that seniors desperately need. this is the wealthiest country
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on earth, and yet we have millions of senior citizens who lack teeth in their mouth. they need dentures, they can't afford to get them. they need hearing aids in order to communicate with their grandkids, can't afford to do that. they need a decent pair of glasses, can't afford that. and in terms of health care, we will also substantially increase the number of doctors, nurses, and dentists who practice in underserved areas and expand the community health center program into new areas as well. madam president, this budget proposal will combat homelessness in america and address the reality that nearly 18 million households are paying over 50% of their limited incomes for housing through an unprecedented investment in
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affordable housing. we will ensure further that people in an aging society -- we're getting older as a societl ensure that those people can receive the health care they need in their own homes instead of being forced into expensive and inadequate nursing homes, and that the workers who provide that important care to the elderly and the disabled are not forced to exist on starvation wages. this is such important work and such emotionally draining work, those folks deserve a decent paycheck. madam president, we will bring undocumented people out of the shadows and provide them with a pathway to citizenship, including those very brave workers who have courageously
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kept our economy going in the middle of a deadly pandemic. madam president, as i mentioned earlier, we will take on the existential threat of climate change by transforming our energy system toward renewable energy and energy efficiency, among many other provisions in terms of climate change, we will establish a civilian climate corps which will give hundreds of thousands of young people good-paying jobs and educational benefits as they roll up their sleeves and get to work to help us save the planet. this proposal, budget proposal will make it easier, not harder, for workers to join unions in america. madam president, my republican colleagues are upset that we are
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using the reconciliation process and only 50 votes to pass this budget. they're very upset about that. but let us be clear, this idea of using reconciliation is certainly not a new idea. when republicans controlled the senate, they used reconciliation to pass trillions of dollars in tax breaks for the top 1% and large corporations. when republicans controlled the senate, they used reconciliation to make climate change worse by opening up the arctic national wildlife refuge to oil drill. when republicans controlled the senate, they tried to use reconciliation to repeal the affordable care act and throw 32 million americans off of the health care they had. well, today it is true we will
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also use reconciliation, but we will do it in a different way. we will use it to help the working families of our country and not just the wealthy and the powerful. madam president, it is no great secret that millions of americans are giving up on democracy, on moving toward authoritarianism and on -- are losing faith in their government. many of those people are working longer hours for lower wages. they can't afford health care. they can't afford to send their kids to college, and they worry very much about the future of their kids and the future of this country. this legislation will not only provide enormous support
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unprecedented in recent american history for the children in our country, for the parents in our country, to the elderly people in our country, to the working families of our country, but it will also, i hope, restore the faith of the american people in the belief that we can have a government that works for all of us and not just a few. thank you, madam president. mr. graham: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. good to see you back. mr. graham: good to be back. thank you for the inquiries and i appreciate the good wishes, phone calls and the food.
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i made it. if you haven't been vaccinated regarding the covid problem, you need to get vaccinated and i got covid anyway. a couple of really bad days, but i'm doing better and i yield on the mend and i'm confident if i hadn't had the vaccine, it would have been a lot worse. in my state 50% of the people are still unvaccinated. for your own good and the good of our state, i would urge you to consider getting vaccinated. i believe the vaccine is good and it is safe and the sooner we get through immunity through vaccinations, the better off we will all be. thank you to all the kind words and inquiries. we are back to work and i'm glad i made it to this debate. we just passed a trillion dollar
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infrastructure bill, the presiding officer, senator sinema, from arizona, was one of the originators. congratulations. we have been talking about infrastructure for ten years, and it goes into ports, roads, and bridges and rural broadband, 19 republicans voted for it. i hope we can make it a reality and get it to president biden's desk because i think infrastructure is much needed and we were finding bipartisanship in that space. now we're moving on to something completely different. i dare say radical. right after the majority was seized by the democratic party, you pushed through a $1.9 trillion package that had a lot to talk about covid, but most of it wasn't related to covid as we know it. after we worked together on
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$4 trillion of spending. now this budget resolution is proposing $3.5 trillion of additional spending and we'll talk about how that affects you and the public in a minute. the first thing i want you to know is not the $3.5 trillion. that's not accurate. when you look at the increase in public debt and the new discretionary spending is $3.2 billion. it is over $4 trillion. first you have to be honest with the product you're spending, this will cost well over $4 trillion if fully implemented. what else does this bill do? it changes the rule regarding emergency spending. right now we can spend, through an emergency, basically unlimited money and not have to worry about offsets and all that good stuff because it's truly an
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emergency, but you need 60 votes to declare something an emergency. this budget resolution will change that rule so that a simple majority of senators can determine anything they would like to be an emergency and spend without any accountability. i think that's a bad idea for the body because anything you can do, we can do and it really is an assault on the idea of minority rights. i think it's the biggest blow to the institution yet. it's buried in this bill but it eliminates the 60-vote requirement to declare items emergency spending, replace it with a simple majority, allowing a majority, a single party, to spend without restriction in the name of emergency. so to my friends on the other side, you need to look at what's in this bill and i hope you will find that to be unacceptable change the united states senate because when it comes to spending, it guts the idea that
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the minority matters because all you have to do if this budget resolution is implemented the way they've written it is to declare something an emergency, get 50 votes and spend. very bad idea. we hope to change that and hope to find some bipartisan support. so let me tell you about this bill. i will ask some questions. on the immigration side, senator sanders said that this bill creates millions of new green cards for people here illegally. so here's a question. if we told the world that the budget reconciliation we're going to increase millions of green cards for people here illegally, do you think that would entice more people to come here illegally? here's what i think. i think that's the dumbest idea i could think of in the middle
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of an invasion of this country by illegal immigrants, the democratic party, through budget reconciliation, is going to authorize millions of new green cards for people here illegally. it's in your document. senator sanders admitted that. here's what's happening as i speak. these statements are being translated into spanish and every other language and human traffickers all over the world are going to let the word get out that, hey, the senate is about to increase the number of green cards available for illegal immigrants, why don't you go and get in line? nobody's asked the border patrol how do you think this would affect our illegal immigration problem? have you spent 15 minutes talking to anybody at the border about what this policy change would do to a broken immigration
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system? i guarantee you haven't. if you talked to anybody with common sense on the border, they will tell you the last thing we need to do right now is incentivize for illegal immigration by allocating green cards for people already here illegally. what happened in the past six months. a 262% increase compared to last year. do any of the democrats have any idea what is happening here? has anybody explained what the hell is going on at the border? you don't care. the same people writing the budget resolution for a wish list are the same people in charge of the border. they haven't asked one border patrol professional the effect of this bill on a broken immigration system. we've had 1.2 million people come to the country illegally already. let's compare that to last year.
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a 262% increase. illegal crossings by unaccompanied minors that surged 168% compared to last year. why? the biden administration has kept the covid deportation title 42 law in place but it's made exception by unaccompanied minors. if you're a certain age, you can stay. guess what. the human traffickers found out and word is all over the northern triangle countries and there is a 186% increase of minors because of policy changes made by the biden administration. 27% of unaccompanied minors recently deported tested positive for covid-19. how many of the unaccompanied minors have been released into the country?
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of the 1.2 million people who have come here illegally, how many of them have been released? how many have been tested? how many are positive for covid? nobody if these numbers because nobody seems to a -- to have a clue on what to do about it. so what are the trends? look at this chart. look at 2020 compared to 1819 and 20 -- 2018, 2019, and 2020. an explosion of illegal immigrants. 1.2 million, almost, year to date in -- in 2020 we had 458,000, more illegal aliens across the border because the biden administration did away with -- we're allowing unaccompanied children to stay as an exception to title 42,
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along with families, and guess what, you have an explosion of illegal immigrant crossings in this country. if you pass this budget resolution the way senator sanders described, you're going to throw jet fuel on this. this number will go through the roof. every human trafficker in the world is going to get the word out throughout the world they are increasing the number of green cards made to illegal immigrants in america. come now. the time is right. what a dangerous idea, but it's part of this grand, new vision for america. let me tell you about this vision for america. open borders, dropping people by the thousands off into the interior of the united states, not adequately tested. enticing young people to take a very dangerous journey, destroying all of the gains we
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had, stopping a wall that was almost built. that's the vision being created by the budget resolution, and then some. the idea of increasing green cards for illegal immigrants already here will make these numbers explode beyond what they are already exploding. only god knows. has anyone told you the price at the pump? has anybody mentioned to you on the other side what is the cost of this bill when we implement climate change reforms to you as a consumer? senator markey, who is a very passionate believer in climate change, said the green new deal is part of the d.n.a. of this bill. senator sanders is an avowed
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voacialist, one of the -- -- this budget resolution is a dream for those who want to socialize america. it's a nightmare for working people. how much has gas prices gone up in the last six months? a dollar. here's what i think. if you implement the provisions of this budget resolution regarding climate change, you're declaring war on the internal combustion engine, you are going to shut down coal-fired plants. how much will gas prices go up if this bill becomes a reality? how much will your heating bill go up because you shut down supply? how has there been an increase of a dollar at the pump?
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policy matters. i dare say that if this bill is ever implemented, you are going to double gas prices. i hope you're listening america. if they implement this radical transformation of our economy, you will have a dramatic increase of gas prices and heating prices. this is the worst thoughtout idea i have ever seen. they are throwing every liberal idea and hope it sticks to the wall and their whole reason for being on the left is in this bill. there's a border adjusted carbon tax proposal floating around out there. what does that mean to you? what the hell a border adjusted carbon tax? the best i can understand it's going to be a tax on products coming into the country because the way the product was made is not sufficiently green enough. so they are going to charge for that product, put a tax on it at
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the border. guess what. that's going to increase the cost of whatever good we're talking about and where do you think that cost goes? it goes to you. this is the most inflationary idea i've ever seen. we've had 5.4% increase in inflation recently, wiping out all the gains in the economy. how could that be? you're spending money like drunken sailors and if this bill ever becomes law, if it's ever implemented and there's a border-adjusted carbon tax, it's going to be passed on to the consumer. if you're on a fixed income, this whole idea is a night entire you because your gas prices are going to go up, your heating bill is going to go up, and all the things they are going to make for free will create an inflationary effect, the size of the government is going to increase dramatically, interest rates will have to go up.
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so if you own a home, drive a car, breathe air, get ready for more taxes and more spending. all i can say is that i believe in climate change and i'd like to have a rational approach to solving the problem but this is not rational, this is partisan and this $4.2 trillion bill is -- it's not $3.5 trillion, it will lead to a wave of illegal immigration the likes of which you have never seen before. a 262% increase in the last six months. if this bill, this idea, ever becomes reality, you can double that. if this bill ever becomes reality, a dollar increase in gas prices are going to be the
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good old days. they shut down the coal-fired plants without any way to replace it other than a bunch of b.s. good luck with the heating bill. they're going to change your country. it's going to be more like venezuela and less like america. this idea is going to be paid for by taxing the rich is a bunch of b.s. if you took the entire wealth of the 1%, including their cars and their dogs, it's less than half we need to deal with the entitlement problems we already have, and you're growing exponentially the size of government. more government to pay for eventually interest rates are going to have to go up. you're putting in motion, i think, the demise of america as we know it. you're putting in motion a government that nobody's grandchild can ever afford to pay. you're putting in motion the
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destruction of energy independence. you've declared war on the fossil fuel industry in this country, and you've not done a damned thing about china, india, russia, or iran. so the bottom line here is if you believe in energy independence, you need to vote against this budget resolution because we'll lose it. if you believe that inflation is the death blow to the middle class, you need to vote against this budget resolution. if you don't know how much gas prices are going to be increased, they owe you an answer. so i'm going to ask this question for the next 15 hours -- do you have any idea if all of this becomes reality how much increase at the pump will be affected by the average consumer in the next year?
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how much will our heating bills go up? as to the border adjusted carbon tax, will it be inflationary? where does the money go from the tax? who gets it? little details like this. all i can say is that everybody has a dream in america. there's the american dream and the american socialist dream for america. this budget resolution sets in motion an assault on free enterprise, the destruction of energy independence, incentivizing illegal immigration at a time we can afford it the least. if you don't believe these things, then you haven't read what's in this blueprint. have you ever asked yourself the question, what the hell has happened in the last six months? why are we up a dollar a gallon
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at the pump? because they've declared war on fossil fuels made in america. why do we have a 262% increase in illegal immigration? because they changed all the policies that work at the border. why is inflation rising? because the fiscal policies of the biden administration and our friends on the left are driving up prices. the worst is yet to come. if this budget resolution becomes a reality, god help the american middle class. we'll be less energy dependent. our money will go not nearly as far. you're going to have dramatically raise taxes if you intend to pay for this monstrosity. there is no way in hell to pay for this bill unless you fundamentally raise taxes across the board. at a time we're struggling to get back on our feet. so this is why we have elections
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in 2022, this idea will be on the ballot. and my goal and my republican colleagues is to fight like hell to stop the increase at the pump, stop an increase of your heating bills, and to stop an invasion of our country by illegal immigrants all driven by bad policy choices. but everything they've done in the last six months pales in comparison to what they're going to do for this country if this budget resolution ever becomes reality. so yes,sir, we're going to have one hell of a fight. i don't know how long we're going to be here, but as long as it takes. america is worth fighting for, and america as we know it is at risk in this budget >> after debating the budget
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plan and holding numerous amendment votes through the legislation, the senate passed the bill 50-49. right now lawmakers are on break until monday, september 13. never turn, they will resume nomination on the under of education. watch live coverage on c-span2 and at >> middle and high school students, your opinion matters. let your voice be heard with c-span's studentcam video competition. create a documentary that answers the question, how does the federal government impact your life? c-span's studentcam competition has $100,000 in total cash prizes, and you have a shot at the grand prize of $5,000. entries for the competition will begin to be received wednesday,
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september 8. rules, tips, and more information on how to get started, visit our website at >> c-span sat down with 14 members of congress to get their first-hand experience what happened january 6 as they were counting and accepting electoral college votes for the presidential election. the talked about what they saw, heard, and experienced that day while in the house chamber. night we will hear from three house lawmakers. >> madame speaker, members of congress, pursuant to the constitution and the laws of the united states, the senate and house of representatives are meeting in joint session to verify other certificates and count the votes of the electors in the several states. the president and vice president of


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