tv U.S. Senate CSPAN June 19, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EDT
who have produced two failed wars, stagnant wages. people are looking around, and the president has fallen short of the promises and the hopes that people had in him, so they're looking around. but, look, a long way to go, a small malleable group in the population they're going to be catering to, so it kind of forces the incumbent to try to get that base tother. i don't think they can mobilize the base like they did last time when they only got 52.9% -- >> which is pretty good for a democrat. >> they're going to need independents in the end. >> let me play devil's advocate. 95% chance that whoever wins the popular vote wins the electoral college. 2000 was a pretty fluky situation. and if it's, you know, if it's not, if the popular vote goes one way, the electoral college goes the other, you know, my assumption has always been, well, a democrat might be more likely to win the popular vote,
lose the electoral college than the ore way around -- other way around just because democrats waste so many votes by winning california and new york by huge margins. once you win by more than one vote, you've wasted all those other votes. republican votes are more efficient hi allocated around -- efficiently allocated around the country. besides the fact that it's a 95% chance that it's going to go the same direction, but i guess i push back in looking at it state by state in the new world order means paying a lot of attention to some polls that i'm going to use the technical political science term, crap. n. [laughter] i mean, and we won't name the specific pollsters, but this is like at best dimestore stuff if not total garbage. we're talking about 80% of the state level polling in this country. >> yeah.
>> you know, i've sort of decided, you know what? i'm watching the time box instead because the obama campaign is spending millions of dollars on survey research, the romney cam -- campaign's spending millions of dollars on research. if it's one of the top five or six states they're spend anything, my guess -- and they're both in there, you know what? it's probably pretty damn close. and if only one side's in, the other's not, then maybe less so. and if they're not spending so much, then it's not. i'm just not getting torqued up over whatever's the latest, you know, rasmussen or ppp or quinnipiac poll, you know? the day of the largest newspaper in the state and the leading tv station in each market getting together and commissioning a fabulous statewide survey, that's pretty rare now. >> you know -- >> sorry.
>> one thing i would note is right now the polls tell you one thing. it's a competitive race. this race really doesn't engage until after the conventions. i would wait a week after the democratic convention before i would put much behind any of these polls in terms of the direction. at that point a lot of undecided voters start focusing, the candidates start focusing their message and getting to the debates. this is, you know, within four or five be points going into that. it's anybody's race. you know, international, national events can determine the outcome at that point. but i do think the metrics on the economy are going to set the voter mood and are probably the most important indicator of where this is going. >> you know, charlie, going to your point we, of course, tom and i live in the washington, d.c. area now, and we see local television here. and i've noticed that the obama campaign has a very clean and, i believe, effective ad on right now in this market which i believe they're focusing on virginia. they're advertising because of
virginia being a swing state. it's, and they show obama at the beginning where he says i've authorized this ad. i think that's kind of a countermessage that i'm not hiding anything, here you have all these shady groups who are attacking me. i'm right up front at the beginning of the ad. and then he focuses on romney's record in massachusetts as governor of massachusetts and how the state was 47th in job creation. that is a very clean, effective ad. it's obviously running because virginia's up for grabs. i'd be curious as to where else they're running that ad. >> let's make a segway over and talk about congress for just a couple of minutes. and, um, i'm -- actually, i'm not going to say anything. [laughter] >> i have some things to say. >> martin's got -- okay, democrats are maybe 25 seats to get a majority in the house back. i'm kind of skeptical.
[laughter] but martin, if you want to make the case or if someone who was going to make the case, what would they say? >> well, charlie, i'm trying to give as independent a view as i can knowing i was chairman of the dccc for four terms -- for two terms, four years. [laughter] it is early in the morning. i think it's not impossible for democrats to take back the house, but it's a pretty heavy lift. i mean, it's not just 25 seats. there are some other seats where democrats are e retiring in the south that are going to be hard to hold on to. it's not impossible. if there really is an anti-incumbent mood out there, and i have felt for some time that there is more of an anti-incumbent mood this election than we've seen in some previous elections, and there are more republicans in office in thehouse than there are democrats, i think the democrats can make senate gains. the important thing for the
democrats is there are a lot of new republicans who haven't established themselves in their districts. they haven't been in long enough, they haven't done what tom did to go around to all the little league games and to go to all the pta meetings. they've only been in for a year now, or they'll have been in for a year and a half. and it takes a while to really become a figure in your district. so there are a lot of new rep palins who are vulnerable -- republicans who are vulnerable, some of them swept in by the tide last time who are going to lose. when you have a landslide election just as you did in 994, we knew who the accidental congressmen were, we knew the people who got swept in, we knew the guy who beat rostenkowski wasn't going to make it more than one term, and that turned out to be the case. the redistricting has been a wash. republicans thought they were going to benefit, it's been a wash. democrats will pick up some seats in california and illinois, republicans will pick
up some in north carolina. but i think it's not impossible for democrats because of the unrest out in the country to take the house back. the most likely outcome is that republicans will lose some seats, and it will be much closer and that if this turned out to be a very unusual election, it's not inconceivable democrats could take the house back. >> i'll bet you $10,000. [laughter] >> no, no, no. >> we're not doing that. >> i'm not going there. >> i'm standing up for martin here. martin, i'm not going to allow this to happen. >> i wouldn't take his money. >> steak dinner's okay. we both win on that. >> the republican problem is they so overperform inside the last midterm, you had the highest midterm turnover since 1938, that they have some seats that are at risk, but they have used the redistricting process where they controlled more seats at the redistricting table than at any time since 1920 to strengthen a lot of those seats. and on top of that, there are at least a half dozen democratic seats that are gone because of
retirements that republicans pick up on top of that. and historically when you look at presidential reelects, there respect coat tails in house elections. you look at eisenhower in '56, republicans lost seats. nixon swept 49 states, virtually no coat tails. reagan in '84 -- >> clinton in '92. >> you -- well, '96 was his re-election. you get a regime change. well, but '92's not a reelect. >> we gained seats in '96. >> but not enough to take back the house like you thought you would. [laughter] reelects traditionally, and, again, that was because of republican overperformance in '94. but if you reelect the president, people aren't that upset, and they tend to reelect congresses along with it. just look at the history of this. it's very difficult for people to vote to oust obama on the one hand or be close there and have coat tails, and you have a divided congress. it takes the whole argument away
from running for president when you have a democratic senate. it's a much more difficult narrative. look, republicans, i think, are likely to lose a handful of seats just because they so overperformed last time, but i think 25 seats is a wave that i just think is unlikely to occur within the context of a presidential -- >> charlie, could we talk about the senate for a minute? >> oh, let me finish one thing in the house, and we'll get to the senate. the, i think a statistic that makes tom's point is that in the postwar era the party in the white house only gained more than 15 seats once, and that was in '64 with the lbj landslide. other than that it's been under 15 or lost a few. and so that's why it's not that 25 is an enormous number, but in the context of a presidential re-election for that party 25 is a, that is a very heavy lift. >> yeah.
yeah, i don't disagree with that. i'm just saying this is such an extraordinary year, strange thing could happen. >> yeah. >> can we talk about the senate? >> do you want me to introduce it? >> no -- >> you go. >> i've got some thoughts about the senate. not charlie, but some other people in the press don't, haven't quite figured out what's going on in the senate. because while democrats have a three-vote majority, the hill for the republicans is actually significantly more than that. they need to pick up more than a net of three seats because they're going to ruse -- there'll be an independent probably elected in maine who will caucus with the democrats, that's four. if obama is reelected, then the vice president, biden, presides over the senate, that's five that they have to pick up to gain control of the senate. if we win either nevada or massachusetts, two currently states held by republicans and we could win one of those, then that's six. and can so the republicans probably have to pick up at least six seats in the senate to
gain control, and i don't think they can do that. i think there are a lot of very closely-contested senate races, and some of those will break democratic, some of them will break republican. there are a couple of wildcards floating around, but i think when this is said and done, democrats have a reasonable shot of retaining control of the senate maybe by one vote, maybe by two. >> let me make this observation. you have, um, elections have become very parliamentary over the last few cycles. and although the last time the republicans overperformed and they won a handful of red senators in blue states -- illinois, pennsylvania, wisconsin -- that is the exception to the rule. and you're just seeing very few blue senators in red states and red senator, in blue states and. as you look at the lineup this time, you have 235 democrats -- 23 democrats up for re-election, and 11 not running again. so, basically, 11 open senate seats.
so it can go either way. i think sometimes there's an exuberance on the part of my party to think we're going the take it. nothing is automatic. you have some democrats that won in '06 which was a huge democratic wave year that have to protect themselves this time, folks like tester, mccaskill. they're tough holds for the democrats. but you have a number of these other seats that, i think, could go east way. i feel very good about republican prospects in wisconsin, montana, north dakota, nebraska, missouri. that gets us over the hump right there -- >> that doesn't get you six. >> well, it gets you five right off the bat, and then you can take a look around. virginia is a possibility. then you get into the second tier which is, and you didn't mention indiana. indiana, i don't think it's clear for us at this -- >> that's a republican seat. >> well, i know --? >> it's a possible pick-up. >> yeah. the polling on that is still close. i think by the time it straightens out and you get into the parliamentary voting
patterns, it's likely to stay republican, but it's not this yet. after what i would call the drip from the republican primary there and the feelings within the coalition. >> yeah, but very interesting -- >> so i, let me just -- >> yeah. >> i think the senate is very much up for grabs. my gut on this is that if romney wins, it will probably portend a republican senate. if he doesn't win, it becomes much more difficult because it says other things about the makeup of the electorate. >> it's interesting, you know, i'm from texas, and i represented texas in congress for many years. i went to school in missouri at the university of missouri because i was a journalism major, in fact, worked as a reporter for a while. and the missouri senate race is one of the most interesting in the country. claire mccaskill, running for re-election, it's a tough campaign. they have a late primary, they have three candidates, and it is possible that the republicans will nominate the weakest candidate out of the three. and can it's possible claire mccaskill could be reelect inside a state that under normal
circumstances would go republican. so there are a lot of things going on here, and some of these other races are very close. >> it's all possible. [laughter] >> but i'm just saying, the race in montana with tester is a very interesting race. he fits that state. it's a, it's a republican state, but he fits the personality of the state. >> so does reaper. >> we'll see. and don't forget the ultimate wildcard in this election that no one, including charlie, says has a chance, bob kerrey. >> right. [laughter] >> bob kerrey was the chairman of the senate campaign committee the same time i was chairman of the house campaign committee. he is a very interesting candidate, he's an unusual candidate. it's not going to be easy for him to win in nebraska but not impossible. >> he's lived in new york the last ten years. >> i understand that. [laughter] >> the thing is, bob kerrey needed a badly-flawed republican -- >> he got an unknown republican. >> and of the three republicans that were running, one of them
was politically speaking horrifically disfigured -- [laughter] >> yes. >> one of them, i won't say who it is, but his last name's stenberg. [laughter] the second one had some issues that someone as smart as kerrey might have been able to take. and the other thing is sort of a more -- and i'm not saying in a derogatory way -- kind of a placebo and was able to win the generic republican vote. so i think it was the worst outcome for kerrer, but he's certainly an enormously able guy. the only thing that sort of jumped out of what tom and martin have said is i'm not rushing to a judgment on what angus king is going to do. i, i think, first of all, i think this is a guy that desperately wants to stay independent. now, if -- and it obviously depends on, you know, what happens in the other -- i kind of jokingly say we don't have 33
senate races, we have 32 senate races and one silent auction -- [laughter] but that's not fair. [laughter] but the thing is that, you know, historically they don't let you sit in the aisle, in the center aisle. i mean, they don't let you sit there, number one. number two, you've got to get your committee assignment from someplace. but the thing about it is sort of depending on what happens in the other 32 states, what's happened in the presidential, i think this guy would love apparently one -- part of his tenure as governor the state senate in maine was evenly divided. and that they had, there was a forced power-sharing agreement there. and i don't know whether, a, the circumstances would allow this or, b, whether this would make things happen. and lord knows it would be over harry reid and mitch mcconnell's dead bodies, but, you know, i'm just not sure.
i mean, i think in his heart of hearts, oh, i think he is closer to being a democrat than a republican, but i think the guy really is an independent. and if he can figure out a way to do that, and he has said i will do it as long as i can still be effective for maine. in other words, he's not going to do -- if it means siding with the minority party no matter what, well, you know, i don't think he's crazy, he's not going to do that. is i'm kind of watching that very carefully. but to me on a bad night republicans pick be up two seats which would take them from 47 to 49, a bad night for them. >> net. >> yeah, net. a good night for them would get them to 52. the days of them potentially doing better than that were gone and effectively ended went olympia snowe retired. but i think martin has a good point, and i don't want to get too specific because i don't want to get a bunch of nasty phone calls. but there are a number of places
this year and two years ago where republicans have not been able to get the optimal people to run. i mean, i know history and that happens in both parties. >> right. >> but where -- >> that is an understatement. [laughter] >> or where the best candidate is not likely to win -- >> is prevented from running. is prevented from running in the virginia. >> virginia or let's say, you know, florida. you know, this isn't likely to be an optimal situation for republicans. missouri, i think martin is dead on -- >> her name is steelman, and if she wins the republican nomination, claire's got a very interesting -- >> we could go, we could go through -- let me make a comment about angus king because he's from alexandria originally. uva law school. his aunt -- >> you know, between these two guys, they've got an angle on everybody. i love it. [laughter] >> i have a daughter in maine,
and i want to talk about maine. [laughter] >> his aunt is mayor offal sapped drink ya in the state senate with my wife. if you're angus king and susan collins could be chairman of the government committee, your colleague if if the republicans take control, this is an angle to that too. so i don't dismiss that he's automatically democrat, and i think he desperately wants to be independent, and i think he's going to represent that group of people that are us frustrated wh both parties. >> charlie, maine elected an independent governor who's a republican, he ran as an independent, very unpopular in the state of maine. so i'm not sure an independent alining himself with the republican party makes a lot of sense in the state of maine right now. >> actually, i learned something interesting amendmently, that angus king's first political involvement was as a driver for senator hathaway. it was like, really?
>> well, you know, the current governor of maryland, you know how he got his start in politics? he was a driver for gary hart in 984, so being a driver is a very interesting thing. [laughter] >> there that was one of my first two jobs. [laughter] >> exactly. >> that and elevator operator. >> elevator operator was a good deal. >> yeah. yeah, yeah. they were so old, i don't think o o diswas around. >> who made the old russell building elevators, do you have any idea? >> [inaudible] >> okay. well, there weren't that many elevator companies back in aught six. anyway --? that's a job that has its ups and downs. >> have we beaten the senate hard enough here? >> i think we may have. >> okay, let's -- >> well, there's some intriguing races. the massachusetts race, to me s one of the most intriguing races because when we talk about people voting parliamentary, scott brown is gearing his campaign toward independents of which 52% of massachusetts
voters are registered ip dependents. i think it's 13% republicans in the state, so that makes a lot of sense. elizabeth warren is not gearing her campaign towards independents at all. she is just running straight in the democratic coalitions. she is clearly gown, academic. he can pull this thing off in terms of his reelect, and the polls seem to illustrate that. the other interesting race where you have red on blue is in hawaii, and the democrats there have a very contentious primary on their side. lingle, elected governor twice, carried every legislative district in the state in her last reelect. now obama, that's one of his home states, and he's going to do very, very well there. but you get a bitter democratic primary, you know, things can add up, and funny things can happen. so usually when you see a trend like this, there's always one or two that pop out, and these are two races that i think could distinguish -- >> yeah, the massachusetts race is interesting because obama's going to carry massachusetts by
a very wide margin, and the question is does elizabeth warren get swept in on that wide margin. this happened once before, although people don't talk about it very much in 1964 in the state of new york when lbj won by a very large margin, and bobby kennedy actually got -- >> it happens all the time. >> -- on lbj's coat tails. >> happens all the time. >> so these things can happen. i think that elizabeth warren has a little problem. the 1 32nd cherokee problem. [laughter] it is such an overwhelmingly democratic state for the president that she could win it. >> in the senate sometimes the problem is too many chiefs and not enough indians, and i think elizabeth warren -- >> oh! [laughter] >> where's the seven-second replay? [laughter] well, clearly, massachusetts a landslide for republicans would be 52% or 51%. and so he's got no margin for
error. but i tell you, if i had a choice of being him or her, i think i'd rather be him at this point. let's switch because we want to get to questions and everything. but i want to go to the fiscal cliff and the end of this year. and, you know, this is a sophisticated washington audience and, you know, you guys know all the background, and my best friend over here, billy moore, has written some really good stuff on what may happen at the end of the year and what some of the consequences are. let's see, who wants to go first? i mean, and think of, okay, between now and the election lame duck or sudden death meaning particularly the 1st of january? >> i vote for sudden death. nothing's going to happen between now and the end of the election. lame ducks are unproductive generally. there are going to be a lot of lame ducks in both parties.
i think it's going to be hard to do much. i think whatever happens happens january, february. >> in that case will whatever that happens happens, will it be preceded by a very, very, very significant stock market selloff? >> tom, you want to try that? >> yeah. i think really what these folks need is a market tremor of some kind to get them to act and put this thing together because the coalitions in each -- you know, look, moat members today -- most members today, their race is the primary election, it's not the general. it's the way lines are drawn -- >> house races. >> well, yeah. but senate, too, because you have blue/red states, and they're worried about the primaries. ask dick lugar, robert bennett, ask -- >> hatch. hatch is not out of the woods yet. >> so it doesn't allow them to act, and compromise is not rewarded by primary voters. the other thing i would note is you get to the lame duck session, it's done in the context of leadership elections.
>> yeah. >> who debts elected, i won two caucus votes, you've won a bunch of caucus votes. they are secret ballots and, by the way just a hint, when i call up members and say will you support me, they invariably say, yes, and you say can i make you public, and they invariably say, no. [laughter] the only member you can believe is a member who looks you in the eye and says he's voting against you. [laughter] but this is done in the context of caucus votes, and you have the extension of the bush tax cuts, amt fix be, sequestering, you have a cbo report showing this could put us over the financial cliff. but two years ago they did reach some accords during the lame duck session, but all they did is added about $800 billion to the debt. this time they have to go the other direction. it's much harder, and i think it's going to take a market tremor or something like that to spark these folks to act. >> to force behavioral change. >> exactly. and by the way, you'll have the
appropriation bills hanging out there, and i think it would be a big mistake to let those continue to hang out there. you're still doing appropriations with a new president and new congress, you're not going to get anything else done. >> is the dynamic of you have to let -- there's an argument made that you have to let the bush tax cuts expire so that republicans can vote for something that's not a tax increase. in other words, the rates have to jack up to the pre-bush tax cut level for them to be able to come up with anything less than that. >> that's interesting.laugh. >> with i've heard the argument. >> yeah. it is a good argument, and it probably gets them off grover's pledge at that point. i think what they'd like to do is lower rates but take care of these provisions that could be a
net -- >> with but the thing is at least on the personal side, i mean, on the corporate side that's its own set of issues, but on the personal side isn't that so much easier said than done? i mean, we're talking about the duck, you know, paying taxes on your health insurance premiums, wow, that goes over big. >> mortgage interest. >> mortgage interest -- >> charitable. >> i mean, wow, you're talking about going straight to marrow. >> it's like simpson-bowles. it sounds great until you read the fine print, and that's -- >> yeah. >> let me just say, this is tough stuff. if this were easy, they would have resolved this a long time ago. none of these choices are popular, and somebody's got to be willing to lose an election. >> but you're asking two different questions, charlie. i mean, one is do you have tax reform that everybody says they're for which took four years last time when we did it in '86, do you have tax reform that is revenue positive, that is it actually raises more money than the current system no matter how you play with the
rates and change the deductions, but actually general rates some revenue that -- generates some revenue that can be used to pay down the deficit. the parties respect even there on this point, that tax reform should be revenue positive. you may have revenue newt central tax reform at the end of the day, and as tom indicated, that's very difficult to figure out. but there's a shorter-term question. are you going to do something anytime soon about the size of the deficit. separate and apart from the issue of overall tax reform. and i don't think the parties are capable be of doing that between now and the first of the year. there may be an external shock which will force them to do something early on, and i don't know, this business of playing games saying, oh, well, let the bush tax cuts expire, the maximum rate goes to 39.6, and then the republicans can vote for something a little bit less than that, and it's really not a tax increase because they're actually going to bring the 39.6
rate down, it's pretty, it's pretty indirect. maybe that argument would work with some folks, i don't think it plays very well with the general public. the bigger issue, one of the bigger issues is the sequestration because that's a 50% cut on defense be, a 50% cut on domestic spending. that's going to happen automatically on december 31st, january 1st if there's no action between now and then. i don't think congress is capable of acting between now and the first of the year to avoid sequestration. the question is, how quickly can they act after the first of the year so that they mitigate some of the real problems that that's going to cause. and it's going to cause real problems in the defense industry, and it's going to cause real problems on some domestic programs. and i think congress will do something about that in the january, february, march time frame separate and apart from whether there's some sort of
external economic problem that causes them to really focus on deficit reduction. they have to deal with this, these automatic cuts that no one thought were going to happen. this was the sort of dam close that was over everybody's head. everybody thought it would just hang there, and congress deadlocked. .. >> let me clarify. i know, and we have to or do we have three votes for the single most likely outcomes, meaning
post december 31? >> i'm there. >> i'm a sudden-death guide. >> we have three votes for going into the sudden-death with the emphasis more on death. [laughter] >> billy says for. let's open it up. arthur roving mics or anything? yes. so wade your hand in a nonthreatening way. somebody with a microphone will come. >> mark tom with hewlett-packard. the question i have is on the sequestration front. the issue came out this past week that if they do go ahead with sequestration as you suggested, the requirement is they will notify the employees 60 days prior to the impetus of the sequestration. that puts it early november, i think three days before the election. how much impact will that have on the outcome of the election? >> it will have some. if the planned closing required
a 60 day notice when you get to close a facility or dramatically decrease the employment, that could have a chilling effect in some places, but i don't think congress or the president or anybody is capable of avoiding that. we will see what kind of effect it has. >> they will be home campaign during that time period. each side will get their talking points, putting it to the other. i'll tell you this. members who voted for the compromise at that point are on the hook for. members who didn't vote for our off the hook. >> i think if you have a gas stove that's called turning up the heat. cranking it out. >> i don't know how they're capable of solving the sequestration problem ahead of time. you have the supercommittee, every indication, this is what they came up with. it is really going to be ugly. crash and burn. we know where this is going but i just don't see anything in an election context where they can find the offset to do something
else. we have deficit talks that will be down their throats and everything else. you've got to find a cut summer. we know where a lot of the money is. nobody is going to touch that. let me say one thing about entitlements. i have maps that use that show the counties in this country that get the highest percent of the population getting medicare and social security, and they are republican counties. these are rural areas that the republicans and. you start messing with those -- >> throughout the midwest. >> you start messing with these benefits and to watch voting patterns change pretty quickly. >> i think the only way this happens before the election, and i've talked about the stock market, it has to be the equivalent of attaching electrodes to sensitive body parts and cranking up the electricity. i think that's the only way you're going to change behavior sufficiently to do this before the election. and if that sounds kind of grisly and stuff, yep.
>> charlie, let me make one other point. not on quite such a pessimistic note. >> don't get out of line. >> i am somewhat optimistic that if the president is reelected, and it is still an if, if the president is reelected, that he will show real leadership in the second term in terms of resolving these problems. without presidential leadership, these things don't get solved. >> the last president who has had a successful term? >> ronald reagan had a successful second term. and bill clinton had a reasonably successful second term. you that some presidents who did okay in the second term. in both parties. >> in defense, how do you define success? >> i think bill clinton did pretty darn well in his second term. >> 5.5 on a 10-point scale. >> six.
>> who else do we got? >> jack bagley with the bagley grew. since both of you are creatures of the house, let's assume that the election and the house get closer without taking a number, what is your prediction on leadership of the house, both republican and democratic? >> let me jump in and politely modified that question just to give it a little twist. on the republican side, how many seats could republicans lose before john boehner gets in some difficulty? and if you'd like to take the fifth amendment, i'm sure -- >> no, because i was there. that's all i got elected to leadership was after we took, and it was a big loss, like a five or six -- >> 1998, i was chair [talking over each other]
>> just over that kind of block. we will see how boehner can manage expectations but the truth of his ideas will pick up 10 or 15 seats is probably, you know, -- >> nonsense. >> well, probably not within the realm of high probability. i will be a little gentler to that. >> i think would take a 15 something in the range of 15-20 seats loss on this to jeopardize. remember this, they come to town right after the election. they do this on purpose so nobody can organize against them. there's nobody out there right now that is organizing. then they elect the leaders and then they let the committee chairman in january. so the leader always takes care of themselves first so they don't get time for you to organize. if the democrats were to lose seats, that's a different issue in terms of what they do. >> is 15 a good number?
>> i want to go back something tom talked about earlier, and that's the secret ballot. when i was elected caucus chair, i won by seven votes on a secret ballot. when tom daschle was elected democratic leader, the one by one vote in a secret ballot. so it's kind of unpredictable. you never know how these things will turn out. what happened in 98 was that gingrich, interesting, linda was on the right side. lender did not want impeachment an issue in the concluding week of the 1998 election and i was chair on the democratic side. lender and i were on tv two weeks before the election and he said we will not make this a big issue out of in beachwood. he was overruled by gingrich. gingrich close that election on the impeachment issue. the republicans lost five seats. that was the first time in more than 100 years that the president's party had lost, had
gained seats in the six-year of an eight year term. gingrich was in disgrace at that point. he had a lot of other problems internally inside the republican caucus. i can't predict how the republicans love you john boehner. if the -- how the republicans will do you john boehner. >> boehner server to be in trouble. tom would be more of -- >> i think you'll be fine. >> are you convinced that pelosi is going to seek reelection speaker is i don't know. i have not talked to her about that. i simply don't know. >> if the democrats close this thing, close this gap pretty substantially, my guess is that she does try to stay around for another run. if, in fact, immigrants don't pick up the seats, then there probably would be a lot of interest inside the democratic caucus having different
leadership. but she is turned out to be exactly the right leader, interestingly enough come in this election. the republicans made her an issue during the 2010 election, and i think dean some seats by running against her. but she has been exactly the right person for the 2012 election because she's a great fundraiser. she's enthusiastic and she is kept democrats in the game. so it was the right decision for her to stay out of the 2010 election. the caucus will have to make a decision after the 2012 election in terms of how -- >> a very low profile. see how it turns out. >> alone. i'm with at&t. [inaudible] >> i have a question that we love to talk about which is the sweepstakes. [inaudible] do you think it will matter in this particular election? >> let tom start on that since that is a republican issue.
>> yeah, i think it matters. look, the old rule is the first do no harm. but it can matter. for romney it will be the first window into how he makes decisions at that level in terms of who he picks, putting his imprint on things and identification of the electorate. so i think it matters. i think most people vote for president. they don't vote for vice president but you don't want to do any harm. if you can add a state or two, or a constituency on the way, so be it. >> let's ask each person to do something. three picks -- pick three people that you think would be considered, and what percentage chance of each one of getting picked. >> as the outset of the new start on this. since this is a republican issue. i think romney, cautious politician makes a cautious choice.
i think portland, olympia, and i don't know if there's anybody third on the list spent and if you're going to put percentage is? >> he is a safe choice. is a competent person. romney is a cautious politician, and i can't see him making and out of the box choice. but, you know, who knows. see what happens. thomas i in the party and he may have a different view on it. >> i don't know what he will do. i mean, i don't know what he will do at this point. i hesitate to take a choice because i have some and friends that -- [inaudible] that are auditioning. everybody has some strong attributes and they all have some negative backgrounds. >> for the record, my number, what i was thinking was portman at 35%, and pawlenty at 20 over 25. i don't, i personally would put
mitch daniels like real high up, but i don't give a sense that he's giddy actively and aggressively looked at, but i would certainly put him there. but after that, you know, it's just sort of -- >> the governor of virginia, you have to put the governor of virginia in the mix. >> i have to. my wife is in his cabinet. [laughter] >> for the record, tom did it. spent and i think you would be a great day. i also think rudy would be a good. let me just say, he suspended because nothing else he helps you ensure that his generation and i think be a turn on any teacher tea party base and sulfites and without alienating others. so i don't have how he does but i think would be every attractive choice. >> let me push back here. i was at a small breakfast lastly, 20 reporters with rubio. smart guy, smooth, impressive guy. i think he has a terrific
terrific future. but i absolutely wouldn't take them this time for a couple of reasons. one is its for the subtext of your candidacy is that we shouldn't have elected a guy last time who have never been anything before and was two years out of the state legislature. and then you put on your ticket somebody who's never run anything and two years out of his state legislature. do you undercut yourself a little bit, number one? you know, because, i need, to me republicans their argument is that was a mistake, so we really sort of shouldn't do something remarkably similar there, but then there is the latino argument, you know, to me if republicans need help with cuba, we are to shut the election down. save a lot of money. [laughter] the idea of going after mexican-americans or dominicans
or puerto ricans, with the cubans, i need to suck up to the irish. i'll take an englishman. [laughter] >> look, you're only talking that moving a couple points, and i think, i think that he would help with all the groups, particularly certified the cubans input in florida out of play. >> i think the key thing is if the sun has a gray streak in his hair then -- [inaudible] >> one last question before we get the hook. do we have time to squeeze out a couple more? >> okay. >> we will go with whoever has the mic. >> i'm marked with the government affairs institute at georgetown university. you all have talked about how the republican brand really suffers among hispanics. the one thing though no one has mentioned is women, particularly women who are not -- the republicans voted democrat
anyway, as the damage to republican brand healed since primary season? and if it hasn't healed, does it matter in either the congressional or presidential election? >> i'm going to start it is because i'm kind of mystified by this issue. my initial reaction when you had all this first come up about health care bill and about contraception, that this was a real blow for republicans and among women. but the polling since been has not borne that out. i don't quite understand, because republicans should be having problems among female voters right now, and they may before the election is over, but the current polling does not show that. >> i think is -- >> it's fun. if you look at tracking polls at the time, you can't find where that happened but it just sort of -- you could make a great reason why it should have, but
either way, it didn't. and what i started doing is what i do in my talks at a talk about the obama campaign was a stool with four legs, independent, 18-29 euros, latinos, african-americans and three of those four are wobbly. i started getting people saying what about the women's vote? so i am sort of arming myself here. the problem is when you're talking about 52% of the electorate, you're talking about kind of a big group. and they are not all alike. and so i pulled up, this is, gallup did this. this is the first four months of the president's approval rate, the first four months combined. president obama's approval rating among single women was 63%. wow, 63%. among divorced women it was 52%. among married women it was we
4%. so you say well, what about women. which one? spin how about white women and black women? >> kind of get into -- let's see, white married women with kids, romney wins by 18 to 54-36. nonmarried women -- action, without kids, obama wins white. obama wins by one, 46-45. you can kind of go through -- >> we did it. >> the interesting thing, charlie, we haven't talked about this at all but the interesting thing to me is the catholic vote. and you may have followed that in the polling, is that i think obama has taken a hit amongst catholic voters. i'm for obama and i still think he wins the election, but i think that -- [inaudible] >> and i'm not catholic. [laughter]
but this was, i don't think this issue was played very well. and i think he, i don't know that he could have headed off all the opposition from the catholic church, but i think this is potentially harmful to him in a couple of swing states. >> one last question. >> charlie, i'd like to remind our online viewers that they too can participate in the conversation via twitter at #njcharliecook. speaking of twitter we have it on line question for you. it is as follows. there are two big phenomena in this years election. social media and the rise of the super pac. which has more of an impact this year, and why? >> super pacs. >> let me be very clear. tom davis and i both spoke out against mccain-feingold when it was being considered by congress more than 10 years ago. and what we said at the time was
that this is going to force money, it's taking money away from the political party and it's going to force money out into the fringes for these independent groups. and everybody ignored us. everybody. and that's exactly what's happened. it is unfortunate. now we're in a position where you'll have to amend the u.s. constitution to do anything about this, and it's very hard to amend the u.s. constitution. the people who drafted our constitution knew what they were doing. they made it damn hard to ever change the constitution. >> but just a huge variation when a bomb had a huge spending advantage, you didn't have super pacs and he didn't take the federal match so he could spend unlimited amounts. >> mccain did. >> three to one spending advantage in virginia. this time it will be made advantage republicans. don't underestimate the effects that can have. >> let me go back to the
original question. first, you know, we need to recognize the obvious is that we've got three guys here, we are not collecting 175 years old, but probably getting in that general area. >> in the ballpark. in the ballpark. >> we are not exactly the right people to be asking about social media. >> that's exactly right. >> ask my granddaughters. >> yes. and less it is just for pure and are tainted -- pure entertainment purposes to see what these old white guy say about social media, but, you know, i think it clearly, and go for we talked about before a lot, clearly the bush campaign used what was then state-of-the-art, you know, microtargeting and it was sort of a before social media so much. and clearly the obama campaign is doing that. you know, isn't able to overcome where the economy is, the challenges of fun decided, we will see.
they will use it very effectively, and my guess is the romney campaign will probably do a competent job and the obama campaign will probably be better at it. but will it make a difference or not, i don't know. i'm kind of on edge. i'm in, i personally am not real wild about the idea of super pacs, but it obviously flowed from, if you're going to say spending is a form of free speech, then that is sort of a slippery slope that led us to this. now, when you democrats get really court up about this, you know, i didn't notice a lot of getting upset with george soros and peter lewis who were writing some pretty damn big checks. not that many years ago. and so, you know, i would say, you know, be consistent here. but, i mean, my theory has been so that there's a law of dimension of returns in politics. and for then senator obama raised and spent around 650,
700 million total last time, half of it roughly went to win the nomination. and he outspent mccain better than two to one, almost three to one in the general election. so, you know, to me, and he was this time going to spend 752 billion, that whatever number the president is going to spend this time, i think it's going to be into the law of diminishing returns point. and i think romney will spend an anonymous amount, and beyond that point, you know, i'm not sure each additional dollar flared in on one side versus the other is going down that much of an impact. but my hunch for the super pac is the congressional level. >> that's about what i was going to say. >> yeah. i don't know that you will be at a point where, you know, the presidential sides will have more money than they were really know what to do with.
and so, extra money on one side, i don't think it's always going to be? at the congressional level and that's why think the super pac may have a big impact. >> surely the senate races, i think some of the democrat senate candidates will be out of outspent by the super pacs. the house race gets a little harder because the candidates are better known in the area they are running in. still a lot of money could come into a house race and make a difference, but i think where the money could have an effect are in some of these battleground senate races. >> next question. >> hi. i'm susan. i just have a question about the supreme court decision on health care, how does that affect the elections because supreme court health care. >> well, we know that normally the supreme court -- hands down
the hottest case of the last turn. you can't accurately predict that right now. if the supreme court strikes down the individual mandate, but basically leaves the rest of the law in effect, then it's somewhat becomes a nonissue for the rest of this campaign. clearly congress will have to figure out what to do, how to put humpty dumpty back together again, assuming the law will continue after the election. if, on the other hand, the green card were two totally cash if the supreme court were totally invalidate the law, then becomes a real issue in the campaign, because the law, a lot of parts of the law are very popular, and i think it gives democrats an interesting issue to run off. i don't know what the republicans do if the supreme court upholds it, totally upholds the law.
>> i think we continue the narrative. it's not a popular bill. me speaking. if they uphold the law, it's the issue that will come in and repeal and put another built in its place. but if they knock it down i don't see any legislation coming forward at this point because what have you put out there, someone will die. i think both sides will try to play it safe between now and election to play this thing out. >> my hunch is that in october, november we are not going to be talking about well, the supreme court decision was pivotal. i mean, for the next, let's say the decision comes down next week, and for three weeks you are going to have over caffeinated people on television say this is the biggest thing in the election and will dominate everything. now, for the most part it'll be the same people that said that contraception was going to be the biggest issue in the election, and then they were
saying that same-sex marriage was going to be the biggest thing. this is pretty much the same group of people. and then we will move onto something else. i personally don't think it's going to have a huge impact, because to me, is there any, the cliché, is there any other issue that has been so thoroughly litigated in the court of public opinion that health care reform? and i think no matter what side you're on, i don't think you are likely to switch, and i think that, in a, it sort of factored into stock price for and against president obama. i think it is a huge impact on his numbers among independents is one reason why he is in the gym using, but i don't think it will change because of what the supreme court is going to do. now, i'm not a lawyer, no expert, but actually had an interesting theory that a friend of mine who's a federal judge, a reagan appointee, listen to the recordings of the first two days oral arguments.
and you know, but okay, they'll probably throw out the individual mandate. and then he listened to the third day, which centered on severability, and can you -- if you throw out individual mandate, can you take that part out? and he came out of it at the very end thinking, you know what? i'm not sure they're going to do this after all. and one of the things he said was, and he knows justice roberts reasonably well, that roberts desperately does not want a 5-4 bush-gore political decision. that's what his tenure as chief justice will be remembered by as this decision, more likely than anything else, just as the previous chief justice that it was bush-gore. he thinks that justice roberts especially going to want a 6-3 to see one or the other. and the severability, i mean,
when he even had its leader, was included will vote against, we even have scalia asking are we supposed to go through all 2700 pages, and parse out what stays, what goes, and can you really do this, all that? this guy, you could see chief justice roberts basically turn to anthony kennedy, who was the swing vote, and suggests to him, to ask them to write a majority opinion, a 6-3 opinion, or what would turn out to be a 6-3 opinion most like in terms of upholding the law. i mean, i have no idea. it's not in my lame but i thought that was a very, very interesting theory from somebody who's been a federal judge or a really, really long time, and not, you know, not a liberal in any way. >> charlie, i have a wonderful expense of clerking for a
federal judge right out of law school, a district court judge but not at the appellate level. based on that experience i would never try to predict what a federal judge is going to do. i think just leave us alone and we will see what the decision is when it comes to spend but i think it is factored into the stock price for both candidates and i agree that the most important metric is where is unemployed going to be as we move into october, and in terms of the economy's think i was a real personal disposable income, same thoughts. which is the numbers are not good on that. but again, i just want to go back, this is going to be fought state by state. and what's important is some of those midwestern states, particularly the otto bailout, and their unemployment rate being somewhat better than the rest of the country, that may turn this election. >> welcome on behalf of "national journal" and most importantly united technologies, and greg ward and his terrific team, thank you all for coming, and thank you, guys. you were awesome.
[applause] [inaudible conversations] >> and live now to the u.s. senate where members will continue work today on the farm bill. last night, they came to an agreement on 73 amendments to that bill.e presidin now live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal and dependable creator, who harmonized the world with seasons and climates, sowing and reaping, color and fragrance, we
praise you for sustaining us on this pilgrimage called life. today, illumine the path of our lawmakers so that they will relinquish any motives that are contrary to your will. lord, strengthen them to do their part to serve you and country with faithfulness and integrity. let your peace radiate on wings of faith, hope, and love in their hearts this day and always. we pray in your holy name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag.
i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, june 19, 2012. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable richard blumenthal, a senator from the state of connecticut, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i now move to proceed to calendar number 250, s. 1940. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 250, s. 1940, a bill to amend the national flood insurance act of 1968 and so forth and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president?
following my remarks and those of the republican leader, there will be two hours equally divided and controlled with the with the majority controlling the first half, the republicans controlling the final half. i ask consent now that senator kerry be recognized for the hour that we have allotted to us. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: that will be a full hour to senator kerry and are a full hour to the republicans. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: the senate recess from 12:30 to 2:15 for the weekly caucus meetings. there will be several roll call votevotes beginning at 2:15 tod. everyone should understand who has amendments here that -- that if you know the result of your amendment, senator roberts and
senator stabenow will tell how the votes will wind up. people can look some very, very long nights the next night or two. we'll also begin debate today on the joint resolution of disapproval regarding e.p.a.'s mercury rare and toxic standards. that will also occur during today's session. republicans in congress are fond of complaining that this country's immigration system is broken. we've heard it for months andaman, going into 00 years. they're less interested to work with democrats to fix this problem. we've tried. they are totally opposed to our doing anything. we've tried. but we just get a handful of republican votes. mr. president, no one disagrees that i know of that our system needs repair. it certainly does. but every time we offer as democrats to work together on
comprehensive immigration reform, republicans find an excuse to fight sensible change and every time democrats propose bipartisan legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for children brought her illegally, through no fault of their own, republicans have found an excuse to oppose our practical reform. there's no better illustration of the republicans' hypocrisy than their phony outrage this past weekend. on friday, president obama announced the administration would suspend deportation young people -- upstanding young people brought here by their parents as children -- provided these young children attend college or serve in the military. more than 800,000 young people who have done well in school and stayed oust trouble will benefit from this policy. and become productive members of society. that's what we should all be very happy about. in this congress and the last congress, senator marco rubio,
has talked up a similar idea to the press for months, although he never actually proposed a proposal. this was just talk. there wasn't a single word ever in writing. yet republicans' glowing expressionexpressions -- republe cried about the way the the issue. they propose a long-term solution. of course we all do. they don't like the timing. they should have been consulted on an issue this important, should have been left to congress. being left to congress? we've tried to do that for years, and we can't because they won't let us. they stop us procedurally. their complaints are varied but they have one in this common:take issue with the substance of president obama. the polling today,
overwhelmingly sported by independented and by democrats and frankly republicans aren't that much opposed to it either. but the only republicans opposed to it as -- by a large margin are the republicans in the congress. leading republicans's voices on immigration are yet to actually disagree with the decision. they just don't like the way the president made the decision. i guess because he'll get credit for bringing out of the shadows 800,000 trustworthy young men and women who know no other home but the united states. america is their home. that's the only home they've known. i've talked about a girl here yesterday from nevada, astrid. mr. president, she came here to america as a little tiny girl. she doesn't know anyplace else. she pledges allegiance to her
flag. so i remind my colleagues in both houses of congress, the next move is yours. this reprieve for dreamers shouldn't be seen as a free pass for congress. there are lots of other issue that we have to deal with dealing with immigration. instead we should see it as a chance for democrats and republicans to work together on lasting answer to the serious shortfalls of our broken immigration system. as we work we'll have the benefit of knowing the specter of deportation no longer hangs over the heads of hundreds of thousands of young people. so now is hardly the time to walk away from the dream act which would have created a pathway for young people brought to the country through no fault of their own. it is no time to ban done calls for comprehensive immigration reform. that's exactly what the republicans are doing, they're taking their marbles and sayin sayings, okay we'll just go home. quite frankly, mr. president, they've never been here anyway
to go home. they haven't helped us any way. so since last friday, the leading voices on immigration reform all but ceded the debate until after the election. the republicans are now abandoning efforts to find common ground. the same republicans who complaininged they weren't involved enough in the president's decision are now giving up any involvement in the broader immigration conversation. it really makes you wonder whether they were committed to passing the dream act or passing immigration reform at all, because, mr. president, senate republicans have twice had a chance to vote for the dream act. both times they've filibustered the measure to a legislative death. so perhaps it should come as no surprise that my republican colleagues are more interested in complaining about a system that's broken than working with democrats to fix it. will the chair announce the business of the day in. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. the following two hours will be
equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees between the two leaders or their designees with the majority controlling the first hof hour and the republicans controlling the second hour. mr. kerry: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: mr. president, i would yield five minutes to the senator from colorado. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. udall: mr. president, let me thank the senator for generously yielding to committee. i would like to ask unanimous consent to include my complete statement in the record. mr. president, i am on the senate floor today to continue urging this body to extend the production tax credit for wind. i intend to return to the floor every morning until the p.t.c. has been extended and i am going to talk about the economic and jobs effect on the nonextension in each state, and i will going to press my colleagues for an immediate extension. today i want to focus on a wind
giant in our country, texas. texas leads the nation in wind energy production. the lone star state has more turbines than all but five countries. you can see this on this chart that outlines all the installed wind projects in texas. from the state -- the south and the west, el paso, from galveston in southern texas, the wind n.r.c. has created -- the wind industry has created thousands of jobs. the town of sweetwater, 11,000 people, has become the new spindle top. you drive past it and there are a forest of joined wind turbines among the fields of this city. even oil-rich houston has become something of a -- mr. president, they say that everything is bigger in texas
and that certainly -- and that certainly applies when it comes to their energy resource. texas has it all, from oil and go to renewable energy like hydroand wind. no, sir accidents. thanks to smart state policies including a renewable standard that was amended in 2009 as long as strong support for the p.t.c. texas has an all-of-the-above energy strategy. the senator from massachusetts supported that kind of strategy. texas embodies this. they have shown great promise when it comes to renewable resources. so if you look at what's happening in texas, 7,000 jobs, more energy from wind than any other state in our country and it powers -- wind power over 2.7 million texas homes and almost 7% of texas's overall electric power comes from the wind. it was the first state to reach
10,000 megawatts. that wind power has helped avoid greenhousgreenhouse gas emissio. as well, the supply chain, the manufacturing opportunities in texas standed out. it is home to wind turbine manufacturers like dewind. five major tower tousers, blade manufacturer, molded fiberglas and many component suppliers. so this is an example of why we have to act, why we have got to extend the p.t.c. without certainty, wind energy companies are not able to grow and they frankly will shed jobs and halt projects. in the senate, we have a bipartisan coalition. senators grossly, bozeman, hoeven and moran and thune have engaged with many of us on this side to extend the wind p.t.c. let me end by quoting karl rove, who is mean to as a proud texan, former senior advisor to president george w. bush.
he explained the wind p.t.c. as follows. "it is a market mechanism, you don't get paid unless you produce the power and we're not picking winners and losers. we're simply saying saying that for some period of time we'll provide this incentive." let's extend the p.t.c. nowern. the solution is simple. we've got to act. it'll help american jobs. it will happy the american economy. it'll help our energy security efforts. so, mr. president, thank the senator from massachusetts again. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection, the materials referenced by the senator will be placed in the record. the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: mr. president, i would ask that i be notified when i've consumed about 45 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. kerry: mr. president, 20 years ago this month a republican president of the united states helped bring together all of the world's largest economies in rheo, in brazil, to congress front the issue of global climate change. 20 years ago. the president was uneyequivocal about the mission. george herbert walker bush said
simply, "the united states fully intends to be the world's preeminent leader in protecting the global environment. we have been that for many years. we will remain so. we believe that environment and development can and should go hand in hand." a growing economy creates the resources necessary for environmental protection, and environmental protection makes growth sustainable over the long term. when he was asked over his own target of subsequent meetings with global stakeholders, president bush could not have been more clear. he said the united states will be there with specific plans prepared to share, but more important, that others who have signed these documents ought to have specific plans also. so i think this is a leadership role, president bush said. we are challenging them to come forward. we will be there. i think the third world and others are entitled to know that the commitments made are going
to be commitments kept. that was the president of the united states speaking on behalf of our nation and indeed the aspirations of the world 20 years ago. how dramatic and sad it is that 20 years later shockingly we find ourselves in a strange and dangerous place on this issue, a place that this former president probably wouldn't even recognize. thomas payne actually described today's situation very well. as america fought for its independence, he said it is an affront to treat falsehood with kphraeu -- come play -- complacence. it is well past time, mr. president, that we actually heed thomas payne's admonition
and reaffirm the commitment made by george herbert walker bush. as a matter of conscience and common sense we should fight today's insidious conspiracy of silence on climate change, a silence that empowers misinformation and mythology to grow, where science and truth should prevail. it is a conspiracy that is not just stalled, but demonized. any constructive effort to put america in a position to lead the world on this issue. as president bush promised we works and as americans have a right to expect we will. mr. president, the danger that we face could not be more real. in the united states, a calculated campaign of disinformation has steadily beaten back the consensus momentum for action on climate change and replaced it with timidity by proponents in the face of millions of dollars of phony, contrived talking points,
illogical and wholly unscientific propositions and the general scorn for the truth wrapped in false threats about job loss and tax increases. yet today the naysayers escape all accountability in the truth. the media hardly murmurs when a candidate for president of the united states in 2012 can walk away from previously held positions and blithely announce that the evidence is not yet there about the impact of greenhouse gases on climate. the truth is, mr. president, that scientists have known since the 1800's that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases trap heat in our atmosphere. with the right amount of those gases, the earth is a hospitable place for us to live. it is indeed the greenhouse effect that makes life possible on earth. but if you add too much, which
is what we're doing now, at a record pace, temperatures inevitably rise to record-breaking levels. it's not rocket science. every major national science academy in the world has reported that global warming is real. it is nothing less than shocking when people in a position of authority can just stand up and say, without documentation, without accepted scientific research, without peer-reviewed analysis; just stand up and say, oh, there isn't enough evidence. and they say it because it suits their political purposes to serve some interest that doesn't want to change the status quo. facts that beg for an unprecedented public response are met with unsubstantiated, even totally contradicted denial. and those who deny have never ever met their de minimis
responsibility to provide some scientific answer to what, if not human behavior, is causing the increase in greenhouse gas particulates and how, if not by curbing greenhouse gases, we will address this crisis. in fact, when one measures the effect of taking action versus not taking action, the naysayers' case is even more con founding. just think about it. if the proponents of action were somehow incorrect, contrary to all that science declares, but nevertheless if they were incorrect and we proceeded to reduce carbon and other gases released in the atmosphere, what is the worst that would happen? well, under that scenario, the worst would be more jobs as we move to the new energy economy. the opening of a whole new $6 trillion energy market with a
more sustainable policy. a healthier population because of cleaner air and reduced pollution, reduced expenditure on health care because of environmentally induced disease. an improved outlook for the oceans and the ecosystems that are affected by pollution falling into the earth and the sea. and surely greater security for the united states because of less dependence on foreign sources of energy, and a stronger economy. that, mr. president, is the worst that would occur if the proponents were wrong. but what if the naysayers are in fact wrong, as all the science says they are? what if because of their ignorance we fail to take the action that we should? what is the worse then? the worse then is sheer, utter disaster for the planet and for all who inhabit it. so who's worst would most
thinking people rather endure? the level of dissepl pwhrelg of out-- tkeus dissembeling false actions is so far removed from legitimate analysis that it confounds for its devilishly simple appeal to the lowest common denominator of misinformation. in the face of massive and growing body of scientific evidence that says catastrophic climate change is knocking at our door, the naysayers just happily tell us climate change doesn't exist. in the face of melting glaciers and ice caps in the arctic, greenland and the antarctica, they say -- quote -- "we need to warm up the truth." and in the face of animals disappearing at alarming rates, species being destroyed, they
would have us adopt an ostrich policy and just bury our sands in the sand and pretend it can go away. just last week a group of state senators in north carolina passed a bill that bans planning for rising sea levels when creating rules for housing developments and infrastructure in coastal communities. jeffers williams is the head author of the u.s. national climate assessment report. ask him what he thinks about this legislation, he'll tell you it's not based on sound science. that's an understatement. but somehow the state senators that voted for this bill know better. al gore spoke of the assault on reason. well, exhibit a is staring us in the face. coalitions of politicians of special interests that peddle science fiction over science fact, multimillion-dollars that
go beyond the evidence and cash that pass the status quo of recklessness and inaction over responsibility and change. in short, we are living through a story of disgraceful denial, backpedaling and delay that has brought us close to a climate change catastrophe. nothing go more than the facts of the cap and trade program. cap and trade was a republican-inspired idea during the debate over ozone and the montreal protocol 1980's. it was actually inspired by conservatives looking for the least command and control, the least government regulated way to meet pollution standards. it was implemented and it worked, and it is still working. but lo and behold, when the
strategists for the political right decided to make it a target because democrats relating the charge to address climate change, suddenly this free-market mechanism was transformed into cap and tax and job-killing tax. and guess who told the leading carbon polluter was leading the funding for those efforts? what's worse, we have all stood by and let it happen. we've treated it with complacence and allowed climate change to infiltrate our politics. we've had our chances to act in these last few years but every time we get close to achieving something big for our country, small-minded appeals to the politics of the moment block the way. the conspiracy of silence that now characterizes washington's handling of the climate issue is in fact dangerous. climate change is one or two of
the three most serious threats our country faces, if not in some people's minds the most serious. the silence that enveloped a once robust debate is staggering for its irresponsibility. the cost of inaction gets more and more expensive the longer we wait. and the longer we wait, the less likely we are to avoid the worst and to leave future generations with a sustainable planet. in many cases what we're talking about here is vast sums of money funneled into gas-guzzling industries and coal-fired power plants. we're talking about pollution. pollution on a wide scale. the kind of dirty, thick, suffocating smog that poisons our rivers, advances chronic diseases like asthma, lung cancer, and creates billions in hospital costs and lost economic opportunity. it's the same pollution that rachel carson warned us about in "silent spring" when she said
why should we tolerate a diet of weak poisons, a home in insipid surroundings, the nose of motors -- the noise of motors with just enough relief to prevent insanity. who would want to live in a world that is just not quite fatal? today we do live in an world where there is absurdity in the air and it's got kphraeu sense written all over it. fish are dying in water-polluted pesticide. roadless forests are being threatened by indiscriminate drilling. industrial chemicals are sweeping into all of us. young children are born with a burden of chemicals unprecedented in their amount. the burning of fossil fuels has overloaded our ecosystems with my troe general and ravaged our plant life. go out and look at the forests and look at the change of the
topography of our country. bottom line, we have substituted fantasy for reason. sheer women is i for -- sheer whimsy for proven epidemiology and it is wreaking havoc on our environment. you don't have to take my word for it, mr. president. i'm confident a lot of our colleagues won't. but you can see it across the planet with your own eyes. ice caps are melting. seas are rising. deserts are expanding. storms are more frequent, more violent, more destructive. pollution, famine, natural disasters killing millions of people every year. these are changes that many experts thought were still years down the line, but climate change is now, radically altering our planet at a rate much faster than the scientists or even the pessimists expected. all you need to do is look out your window. we just had the warmest march on
record for the contiguous united states. the naysayers will tell you that one hot year doesn't prove global warming. but just look at this chart, which charts the acceleration of warming in the united states after 1970. this isn't an anomaly. it's a giant step in the wrong direction. 2010 was the hottest year on record. and the last decade was the hottest decade since we've started recording the whr*fplt and april -- recording the weather. april, may and june of this year are already continuing the trend. for the first time in memory, the augusta national az stp-rbs stp-rbsazaelaeas bloomed and wilted before the masters. people talk about official jackets and gloves and coffee, who are you kidding? they're talking about hats and sun screen and gatorade and
medical tents filled with heat-exhausted runners starting at mile 10 of the 26-mile court from hopkins into boston. i've been working, mr. president, to connect the dots on this issue for a long time. in 1988, 24 years ago, on an already hot june day, al gore and i took part in the first hearings on climate change in the united states senate with jim hansen, who testified then that the threat was real, that climate change was already happening in our country 24 years ago. four years later we joined a delegation of senators to attend the first earth summit in rio where we worked with 170 other nations to put in place a voluntary framework of climate change and greenhouse gas reductions. back in 1929 we all came forgot a simple reason: we accepted the science. president george h.w. bush traveled to the climate change
talks to help plant the seeds of this new beginning. we knew the read ahead would be long but we also knew this was a watershed moment, that it created the kind of momentum that made people sit up and start to listen and understand the damage that we were doing to the environment and sit up and listen they did. the principals that came out of -- the principles that came out of rheotransformed into mandatory requirements under the kyoto protocol. each nation accepted -- each of the developed nations accepted its own target goal. the union european reduction would be 8%, japan's would be 6%, and so on. we were thinking big back then and our goal was to reach a total decrease in global emissions of 5.2% below the 1990 levels and reach it by the year 2010. well, 2010 has come and gone, and so, too, have the targets. we all know the story -- global
political leadership was distracted or absent, international negotiations in buenos aires turned tense. the timetables for greenhouse gas reductions were seen as a western market conspiracy and then there were the trumped-up industry-funded so-called studies that challenged the scientific assertions for climate change scenarios. looking back, it is not hard to understand why the final agreement got sidetracked in the senate. after all, the developing countries were excluded from the reduction targets even though it had already become clear that china and india were significant enough as industrial powers that to exempt them would be a mistake. nations left out were deemed capable of undoing all of the reductions that would have been achieved by the developed nations. so it's no wonder that people were reluctant, no wonder that american companies were understandably reluctant to put themselves at a pettive
disadvantage. and many in congress had not yet digested the science of climate change, even though we knew climate scientists were already studying the phenomenon of greenhouse gases. so the question is not whether or not the kyoto treaty had flaws. the question is whether we got the fundamentals right. and i believe the evidence is overwhelming, beyond any reasonable doubt, that we did. as i remind my colleagues, the view from 2012 is a whole lot different from 1992. countries like china, south africa, brazil and south korea have now made choices to reshape their economies and move forward in a new and very different global area. take china. china is already outspending the united states 3-1 on public clean energy projects. last year alone, china accounted
for almost a fifth of the renewable energy investment with the united states and germany trailing behind. steven chu, the secretary of energy, said it best. for centuries, america has led the world in innovation. today that leadership is at risk. our indifference to climate change is putting america's economy and leadership with respect to economics and the future of energy policy at risk. so the united states is now the laggard. we're missing out on achieving sustained economic growth by securing enduring competitive advantage through innovation. the facts speak for themselves. today's energy economy is a $6 trillion market, with 4 billion users worldwide growing to 9 billion users in the next 40 years. by comparison, the market that made people so wealthy in the 1990's in america and created 23 million new jobs and lifted
everybody was a $1 trillion market, with only a billion users. this is $6 trillion in 6 billion users today. the fact is that it is projected to grow a $2.3 trillion market in the year are 2020. america needs to get into this. we need to get our skin in the game or we're going to miss the market of the future, if not miss the future itself. and i'll tell you something. we would be delusional to believe that china, given the evidence or any of the other of competitors, are going to sit on the side lines and let this market opportunity fall through the cracks. they're not doing now and won't do in the future. only the united states is sitting there with an indifference towards these alternative and renewable possibilities. i realize that some will argue, we ford to address climate change. in these tough economic times nothing could be further from the truth. and nothing could be more self
self-defeating. we will recover from this slowdown, and when we do we need to emerge as the world's you leader in the energy economy. that will be a crucial part of restoring nerc as a nation -- of restoring america as a nation in a way that honors hard work and innovation and measures prosperity in those terms. anyone who worries whether this is the right moment to tackle climate change should understand, we can't afford not to do this now at the risk of our economic future. it is now that the most critical trends and facts actually all point in the wrong direction. the co2 emissions that cause climate change grew at a rate four times faster in the first decade of this new century than they did in the 1990's. several years ago the u.n.'s intergovernmental panel on climate change issued a series of projections for global emissions. based on the likely projections of energy and land use patterns.
today our emissions have actually moved beyond -- this is a chart, mr. president, that shows how the emissions are going up from the 1960's all the way through to 2010. and today we've moved beyond the worst-case scenarios that were predicted by all the mottling that was done by the opcc. mean while our oceans and forests which act as the natural repositories of co2, are losing their abet to absorb more carbon dioxide. this means the effects is being felt faster than was expected. the plain fact there isn't a nation on the planet that is has escaped the steady onslaught of climate change. when the divert is creeping into east africa and ever-more scarce resources push farmers and herders into deadly conflict, that is a matter of shared security for all of us. when the people of the maldives
are forced to abandon a place they've called home for hundreds of years, it is a stain on you are a our collective conscience and a challenge to each of us. when our own grandchildren risk growing up in a world we don't recognize and don't want to, then clearly, urgently, profoundly we need to do better. frankly, those who look for any excuse to continue challenging the science have a fundamental responsibility that they have never fulfilled. prove us wrong. prove us wrong. show with some science how this theory in fact is not being borne out. prove that the pollution we put into the at most fear is not having the harmful effect that we know it is and that the science says it is. tell us where the gases go and what they do if they don't do what the scientists are telling
us they do. pony up one single coagents, legitimate, scholarliages sis. prove that the ocean isn't actually rising. prove that the ice caps aren't melting, that deserts aren't expanding, and prove -- prove, above all, that human beings don't have anything to do with it. i till you here right now -- they can't do it. they haven't done it and they can't do t there are over 6,000 peer-reviewed articles, all of which document clearly, irrefutably the ways in which mankind is contributing to this problem. sure we know the naysayers have their, you know, bought studies that don't stand up to scientific review. and a few scientists who trade in doubt about things like sun clouds, there is not a single
credible scientist who can regarding and withstand the peer review that climate change isn't happening. in fact, even the naysayers are starting to come around in their judgment. just this year a well-known climate change skeptic dr. richard mueller released a series of reports funded in part by the koch brothers. dr. mueller thought his results would show something different than all the other climate studies and what he found was not what the koch brothers sent him looking for. dr. mural in his own -- dr. mueller said in his words said, you could not be a skeptic at least not any longer. bottom line: his studies found exactly what all the other credible climate studies have been telling us for decades: that global warming is real. if you just step out and look around for aempt mo, you can see the effects everywhere, in the floods and droughts and passages generals, disease, habitat loss,
sea level rise, storm surge that threatens cities. no continent -- not one of our continents -- is escaping unscathed. increasing ground instability in permafrost regions, increasing avalanches in mountain zones, warmer and drier conditions in africa leading to a shorter growing season, and coral breaching events in the great barrier reef -- all of these are attributed to -- attributed to this changing climate. i just want to take a moment to bear down on the science, on the cold, hard, stubborn facts that ought to guide news addressing this challenge. it's detailed to some agree but its the very detail that detractors can never address. or refute. and it is important to see the detail in its cumulative force. unlike the naysayers, i am going to give point by point some of the false hoods and lay out the summary of the critical evidence
that ought to lead america and the world to action. here's what the science is telling us. atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased by nearly 40% in the industrial era, from 280 parts per mill to over 393 parts her million in the atmosphere. before long we're likely to see a global average of concentrations at 400 parts per million and more. within the last few months, monitoring stations in the arctic region for the first time reported average concentrations of co2 at 400 parts per million. and because of the remote nature of those monitors, they generally reflect long-term trends as opposed to marginal fluctuations. as atmospheric scientist tennes with the national oceanographic association on ends "the monitoring sites tell us what is
coming soon to the globe as a whole. we will likely see global average co2 concentrations reached 400p.p.m. about 2016. why is this important? this is important because scientists have told us that anything above 450 parts per million, a warming of two degrees celsius, could lead to severe, widespread, and irreversible harm to human life on this planet. when concentrations of other greenhouse gases like methane and black carbon are factored into the equakers the analysis suggests that stabilizing concentrations around 400 parts per million would give us about an 80% chance only of avoiding a two-degree fahrenheit increase above the present global temperatures. considering what a 2-degree fahrenheit increase would mean, scientists obviously are urging
us not to take the risk. james hansen, director of the nasa goddard institute for space studies has done the math. his analysis shows what we need to be shooting for is a stablization level of 350 parts per million in order to increase our chances of avoiding the tw two-degree fahrenheit increase. now we've already exceeded that. so we're going to ar have to fia way to go backwards in order prevent when scientists are telling could create huge dama damage. even if we slam on the brakes now, science tells us we could be headed for a global temperature increase of 2-4 degrees by the century's end and greater warming after that. let me share with colleagues what sort of some of the postcards from the edge be, if you will, look like when you examine what is happening to our air, our health, our environment. warming temperatures, first of all.
the first ten years of this century were the warmest decade on the one hand record. 2010 was tied with 2005 as the hottest year ever record. noaa has reported that 2011 was the second-warmest summer on record. just .1 degree fahrenheit below the 1936 record and the u.s. climate extreme index, a measure of the area of the country experiencing extreme conditions, was nearly four times the average. last year many northeastern states experienced their wettest summers, especially those states caught in hurricane irene's destructive path. meanwhile persistent heat and below-average precip ation across the southern united states created record-breaking droughts in louisiana, new mexico, oklahoma, and texas. and these were of greater intensity than the 1930's famous dust bowl. texas endured the country's hottest summer ever recorded for any state at an average
temperature of 86.8 degrees. what's shocking is that the evidence of the rate of this transformation is happening faster and to a greater degree than the scientists predicted. so you would think that reasonable people would say, wait a minute, they predicted this but we're getting this way up here, and you'd sort of stop and take stock of what is happening. according to the new climate report from noaa, the lower 48 states elbowed their way into the record books with -- quote -- "the warmest march, third warmest april, second warmest may the first time that all three months during the spring season ranked among the ten warmest since records began in 1895." the average temperature this spring was so far off the charts that the lower 48 states beat out the old 1910 record by a full two degrees farenheit.
inland, worsening conditions are going to create persistent drought in the southwest and significantly increase western wildlife burn area, and that is critical. we've already seen the damage done to millions of acres of forests because of the pine bark beetles which live longer because it doesn't get cold and therefore they don't die in the normal cycle. it's also having an impact on our health. as average temperatures rise, we can expect to see more extreme heat waves during our summers. and as we know from history, that impacts people with heart problems and asthma, the elderly, the very young and the homeless. in the united states, chicago has s projected to have a 25% more frequent heat wave days by the end of the century. climate change may also heighten the risk of infectious diseases, particularly diseases found in warm areas and spread by mosquitoes and other insects,
like mall hear i can't -- malaria and yellow fever. in some places climate change is altering the patterns of disease. in the kenyan highlands it is one of the major drivers of malaria epidemics. not just the health cost is sounding the alarm. as many have seen with their own eyes the arctic is one of the most startling places to witness the adverse effects of global climate change. great sheets of ice have been breaking off of glaciers, sheets of ice the size of the state of rhode island. marine mammals are now struggling to survive. and where there used to be only frozen landscapes, there is now open water. every new report that's public suggests the situation is getting grimer in the arctic. last year the multicountry arctic monitoring and assessment program released a new assessment of the impact of climate change in the arctic. it found that the period from 2005 to 2010 was the warmest
ever recorded. according to a map researchers, the changes in ice melt over the past ten years are dramatic and represent an obvious departure from the long-term patterns. their conclusion is startling. they expect the arctic ocean to be nearly ice-free within this century likely in the next 30 to 40 years. think about that for a second. within our children's lifetimes one of earth's polar ice caps will be completely gone. average annual temperatures in the arctic have increased at approximately twice the rate of average global temperatures. within a generation, maybe two, kids will grow up learning geography on maps and globes that show simply an empty blue expanse on top of the world, no longer the white one we have
grown accustomed to. in terms of impact, all of us who have been following this issue understand that the melting of the arctic is at least partly mitigated by the fact that the ice is already floating, so the displacement in the ocean as it melts is not that significant. but if there's an ice melt from the glaciers, as we are now seeing not only in the arctic but we're seeing in greenland and in antarctica and across north america, south america and africa -- this is a photograph of the glaciers that exist out in the western part of our country, or used to. that was 1909. this is 2004. almost gone. and here is another vision of the -- of a glacier, the national glacier park with it has almost disappeared. i think there is one other.
it's obvious for all to see the degree to which the glaciers have been disappearing. many people may not also realize that a lot of communities in the united states rely on annual glacial melt from municipal water supplies and for hydropower. so as this disappears, the energy sourcing and water sourcing for the united states disappears with it. just ask washington state, where glacial melt water provides 1.8 trillion liters of water every summer. or talk to the folks in alaska where glacier melt plays a key role in the circulation of the gulf of alaska, important to maintaining the valuable fisheries, the halibut and salmon that reside in that body of water. all of these impacts are interconnected. again the skeptics say there are a couple of glaciers that are actually expanding. and, yes, there are some glaciers that are responding to
unusual and unique local conditions and increasing in snow and ice accumulation. but the overwhelming evidence when you look at the vast majority shows that most of america's glaciers are shrinking. over the last four decades of the 20th century, north american glaciers have lost 108 cubic miles of ice. that's enough ice, translated into water, to inundate california, arizona, nevada, utah, colorado with one foot of water if it happened all at the same time. in 1850 there were approximately 150 glaciers in what is now glacier national park. today, due to warmer temperatures, there are only 25 named glaciers remaining, and some models predict the park's glaciers could disappear in just a few decades. and the photographs depict that. to make matters worse, temperatures are likely to increase exponentially in the next coming years. and because the environment is a
closed system, the more conditions change, the faster they change. because each change has an impact on other other interconnected component of the environment. as the ice and permafrost melt, methane plumes from under the surface that have been trapped for hundreds of thousands of years are now emerging. during a survey last summer in the east siberian arctic seas, a team of scientists encountered a high density of methane plumes, some more than one kilometer abg across and they are emitting methane into the atmosphere at concentrations up to 100 times higher than normal. mr. president, there are people that have stood by these methane plumes, lit a match, and they light on fire. and the fact is that methane is 20 times more damaging than
co-2. so we may become the victims not just of the climate change it is, but of the vicious kind of feedback and feedback cycles in the climate system, cycles associated with less cloud cover, changes in aerosols, peat land, soil. one study indicated thawing permafrost may turn the arctic from a carbon sink -- that is to say a place that gathers and stores carbon. it could turn it into a carbon source by the mid2020's, releasing 100 billion tons of carbon by the end of the century. what does that mean? 100 billion tons of carbon is about equal to the amount of co-2 that would be released worldwide from ten years of burning fossil fuels. so that's the future that we're looking at if we don't respond.
there is another postcard from the edge, mr. president. north carolina doesn't think they need to worry about the sea level rise, but take a look at the evidence. our best studies predict a higher sea level rise than previously projected, with a melting of the west antarctic ice sheet alone global sea levels could rise by as much as 3.26 meters in the coming years, and the pacific and atlantic coasts could be in for a 25% increase above the average level by the century's end. in all, the melting of the greenland ice sheet has the potential to raise global sea level by actually seven meters. when people say, well, global, it may not melt, there are senators who have traveled to greenland, who have stood on the ice sheet, and looked down into it into a hole 100 feet deep and seen a massive, torrential river running underneath the ice out to the sea as the ice is melting. and some scientists are even
worried about the effect of that river under the ice. could it act as a slide that actually whole chunks of ice break off and slide down on this watery base that the ice is sitting on. the now what you benjamin strauss coauthor of a study on topographic vulnerability said the following -- quote -- "sea level rise is like a tsunami building force while we do almost nothing. we have a closing window of time to prevent the worst by preparing for higher seas." i think that's exactly right and that's why city officials in boston are currently actively planning for how to manage 100-year floods that are now arriving every 20 years. we don't have 100-year floods anymore. we have them every 5 years, 20 years. in the face of global sea level rise of three to six feet, by the end of the century it's going to be a massive amount of flooding. we ought to pass legislation at
the state level to plan, not to ban the planning. it's easy politics to ban it but it's not smart politics. and it certainly isn't courageous leadership. we also have raging floods and water scarcity die come my in various parts of the world to vera cruze to tiled, floods are -- to thailand. on my travels i've seen children orphaned by raging flood waters, families deprived of basic necessities like food, clean drinking water and medicine. i've also seen ways in which climate changes interact with conflict, food insecurity, water insecurity. people are fighting and killing each other over water scarsty in various parts of the world. darfur and south sudan there are tensions over arable land.
these are tsunamis spoken of and they devastate communities just as surely as they would, as they should kindle our sense of urgency about the cost of inaction. in addition, mr. president, i'm not going to go into the details now but there is major decimation of animal life, plant life and species life as a consequence of this interconnectedness. in addition, forests. forests are under siege from drought and experiencing more fires and more die-off as a consequence of insect infestation because it doesn't get cold enough anymore to maintain the previous cycles of those insects dying off. so, the fact is that unmitigated climate change is creating enormous economic dislocations already, and it's only going to get worse if we don't act.
professor frank akroman, a prominent economist at tufts university, found that inaction in the face of clive could cost the american -- in the face of climate change could cost the american economy more than 3.6% of g.d.p. or $3.8 trillion annually by the end of the century. and he's not alone. a harvard economist joseph aldi estimated if temperatures moves past the 2 degrees mark, or up to 2% to 4% of world g.d.p. would be lost. so developing countries are going to face similar costs. back in 2005, the world bank estimated the total value of the world's natural assets to be $44 trillion. the countries that manage their forests agriculture lands, energy and minerals and other natural assets are going to be the economic leaders in the 21st century, and they will be able to reap the benefits of ecosystems that they maintain. mr. president, the message from all of this could not be more
clear. over 40 years ago, 20 million americans, fully one-tenth of our country's population at the time, came together on one single day to demand environmental accountability in our country. it was called earth day. and they didn't stop there. they elected a congress that passed the clean water, clean air act, marine mammal protection act, coastal zone animal act, the endangered species act and the toxic substance control act and that created the e.p.a. america didn't have an e.p.a. until the 1970's when people said we don't want to live next to wells that give us cancer, we don't want to live next to rivers that actually light on fire. and so we made a huge transformation. we need congress now to do what the science tells us we have to do, to do what our economists
tell us we have to do, to do what common sense tells us we have to do. i don't know how many people have read the book "down to the wire" confronting climate collapse, but it is important for everyone to understand his argument. nowhere is the challenge of our moment more clearly expressed. he says, "the real fault line in american politics is not between liberals and conservatives. it is, rather, in how we orient ourselves to the generations who come, who will bear the consequences for better or for worse of our actions. as he reminds you "we're rat a tipping point and it's going to take leadership to respond to it." unfortunately, we have been witnessing just the opposite. in a talkingpoint memo to his fellow republicans last summer, house majority leader eric cantor of virginia tack aim at the environmental safeguards. "job killers," he called them,
listing the top ten job-destroying regulations. the labor department keeps close tabs on extended mass layoffs and in 2010 the department found that of the 1,256,666 mass layoffs, employers attributed just 2,971 to government regulation. that's only about .2% of all layoffs. in fact, decreasing carbon pollution actually presents a huge economic opportunity in terms of new jobs and innovation. for every $1 we spend, we get $30 in benefits. and the u.s. environmental technology industry in 2008 generated approximately $300 billion in revenues and supported almost 1.7 billion in jobs. if we don't use the market, the other option is inevitably to recognize regulation and it's clear that besides pricing
pollution, which we already know to be effective, it is important to maintain the ability to be able to regulate in any event that the situation mandates further action. we also know, mr. president, that we need deadlines to instill a sense of urgency. there's a deadline coming up this week in rheo, and -- in rio, where they are now having rrio plus -- rio plus 20. we're still further behind than ever. the science is screaming at us and the planet is sending us an s.o.s. we obviously fail to be held accountable or toempt kbr the commitments we put in place 20 years ago. i spoke earlier of the need to take advantage of the green energy economy. our best economists say that to ward off catastrophic climate
change, the green revolution has to happen three times faster than the industrial revolution did. that's why america and the rest. world are facing this moment of truth. will restep up an put in place the policies that galvanized our green entrepreneurs, that reenergize the economy and tackle climate change all at the same time? we are the country that invented solar and wind technology. but the germans, the japanese, and the chinese are the ones who are developing it. it is a tragedy. accelerating the tran significance to a new energy paradigm is the most important single step the world can take in order to reduce the threat of climate change. i am convinced that countries that take advantage of the opportunities are going to be the leaders of the 21st century. i've already seen that success in massachusetts. massachusetts was recently ranked first in the nation in energy efficiency and clean energy leadership, edging out california for the first time
ever. i think my state is an example of the speed with which you can turn things around. our unemployment level just went down into the 6% level, and it's because we do have that diversity and we are moving in that direction. now, obviously, the government alone can't solve this. government can help create a structure. but the private sector is the key. but we need to put in place the policies that send a message to the marketplace that we are serious about doing this. the bottom line is, would end to face up to this challenge once and for all. not just as individuals or separate interests but as a nation with a national purpose. i know the pew poll recently showed a 46-point gap between republicans and democrats on the need to protect the environment. so i understand that if there's a 46-point gap and we've had all this discounting and disinformation, this is going to be hard still. but david orr is right on mark.
our challenge is fundamentally political. it's not about budgets. it is not about regulations. it is about leaders in the country who are unwilling to deal with the truth about climate change and who have cowed the silent majority with their contrived and concerted attacks without facts. we need today a transformative moment in our politics. david orr spoke to that in the book i cited. he said "our situation calls for the transformation of governance in politics in ways that are somewhat comparable to that in u.s. history between the years of 1776 and 1800. in that time, the americans forged the case for independence, fought a revolutionary contrary, crafted a distinct political, established a constitution, created the first modern democratic government and invented political parties to make the machinery of governance
and democracy work tolerablely well." colleagues, we have made transformative changes before. and there are other kind of examples. we once burned wood for our fuel. then we transitioned to relying on oil and coal and now other things. we can make the leap to a mix of renewable energy sources, hydro, wind, solar and oh, but we need to set our sites on that -- advise and consents on that next tran formation. as the old saying goes from the oil minister, the arab oil minister in the 1970's, the stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones and the oil age is not going to end because we run out of oil. truer words could not be spoken. in the end, the question is not whether we're going it pay for climate change. we're already paying for it. it's warmer temperatures, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, floods, droughts, wildfires, loss of crops, insurance on homes, increased storms -- we're
paying for it. the real question is whether we're going to walk the path that now addresses it in a responsible way and helps us break humanities addiction to the easy way, to oil and turns away from the other alternatives that face us. the question is whether we're going to suffer the consequences later on with massive, unpredictable scale in the form of environmental devastation, war, human misery, famine, poverty, reduced economic growth for decades to come. mr. president, i'd just close by stating fork in the road points in two directions -- the task for us is to take the one less traveled by. at the height of the american revolution, thomas payne wrote about the summertime soldiers and the sunshine patriots who have a h. who abandoned the call of the the science has shown us and continues to show us that we cannot afford to be summertime soldiers. so in this time of challenge and
opportunity, i hope and pray colleagues will take stock of this science, will take stock of the choices in front of us, will understand the economic opportunities staring us in the face. i hope we will confront the conspiracy of silence about climate change head on and allow complacence to yield to common sense. and narrow interests to bend to the common good. future generations are counting ounce. i yield the floor. mr. mccain: mr. president? mr. kerry: mr. president, i have eight unanimous requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority leader and the minority leader. i ask that these requests be agreed to. and that they be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. cane mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president, over the last two weeks several members of this body and i have
raised serious concerns about a series of leaks that recently appeared in several publications concerning certain military and intelligence activities, activities that the authors themselves cite as among the nation's most highly classified and sensitive. these enormously troubling leaks have raised concerns amongst both democrats and republicans in congress, including leaders of our intelligence, armed services, foreign relations and homeland security committees. according to senator dianne feinstein, who chairs the senate select committee on intelligence, and i quote, "these disclosures have seriously interfered with ongoing intelligence programs and have put at jeopardy our intelligence capability to act in the future. each disclosure puts american lives at risk, makes it more difficult to recruit assets, strains the trust of our
partners, and threatens imminent and irreparable damage to our national security in the face of you are urgent and rapidly changing threats worldwide." for these reasons and more, 26 other members and i filed a resolution that conveying the sense of the senate -- that sways the sense of the national that the attorney general should appoint anoid special counsel to investigate these leaks. now, mr. chairman, i have been around for quite some time. i think there is no doubt that these leaks are almost unprecedented in that they are ongoing covert operations that are directly involved with the greatest threats to our nation's security. and i certainly understand that robust public debate about the
nation's offensive use of cyber-related and unmanned strike capabilities is valuable and warrants. that debate and discussion is valuable and warranted. use of these kinds of military capabilities is new and how these secretive war-fighting capabilities should be deployed by a modern democracy deserves careful and thoughtful discussion. and we will have discussions in the future about these new aspects of warfare and counterterrorism. but the detail with which these articles lay out particular counterterrorism activities and as one commentator recently described -- quote -- "the triumphalist tone of the leaks, the tarzan-like chest beating of the various leakers greatly exceeded what is necessary or appropriate for that discussion."
something else -- something very different is going on. considering how closely in time these items were published and how favorable of an impression they left upon the president's approach to national security, it is not unreasonable to ask whether these leaks were part of a broader effort to paint president obama in the midst of an election year as a strong leader on national security issues. that is the strong impression that is given. the most compelling evidence is the obvious participation of some of the administration's senior-most officials. among the sources that "new york times" journalist david sanger cited in the passage of his recent book pertaining too u.s. cyber tax deduction on iran are "administration officials" and "senior officials." "senior aides to the president." "members of the president's
national security team who were in the white house situation room during key discussions." and official "who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program." "current american officials who would not allow their names to be used because the effort remains highly classified and parts of it continue to this day." and several sources who would be fired if what they divulged presumably because what they divulge was classified or otherwise very sensitive. some of the sources in recent publications specifically r refused to be identified because what they were talking about related to classified or ongoing programs. in his book which describes the administration's use of drones in yemen, "newsweek" journalist
daniel klegman writes "when i quote president obama or other key characteristics, i do so only if that coat was relaid to me by a source who personally heard it." that certainly narrows down the number of people that could be guilty of these leaks. on sunday, a reviewer of both mr. sanger and mr. klegman's books found "both authors were clearly given extraordinary access to key players in the administration to write their books." and that in some cases they appear to have talked to the same sources, several of their stories track nearly word for word. perhaps most illuminating in all of the articles and books is how taken together they describe an overall perspective within the obama white house that has viewed u.s. counterterrorism and
other sensitive activities in extraordinarily political terms and taken on a related approach about how classified information should be handled. both approaches would have predisposed the administration to the most recent egregious national security leaks. there are plenty of examples of how the administration apparently viewed these highly sensitive matters through a political prism. in his book, mr. clagman observed that then-white house chief of staff rahm emanuel, i quote, "pushed the c.i.a. to publicize successes associated with a covert drone program because 'the muscular attacks could have a paoupblg political upside -- huge political upside effect on obama.'" mr. clagman noted the killing of
particular c.i.a. public affairs officers announcing their triumph leaking tidbits to reporters with newspapers describing the hit in cinematic detail. a recent article in "the new york times" similarly noted david axelrod, the president's closest political advisor, began showing up at the -- quote -- "terror tuesday meetings." by the way, those meetings where drone targeting was discussed. his presence, a visible reminder of what everyone understood. a successful attack would overwhelm the president's other aspatials and a -- aparticipations and achievements. in his recent book mr. sanger notes overred course of 2009 more and more people inside the obama white house were being read into the cyberprogram, even those not directly involved.
as the reports from the latest iteration of the cyberbug arrived, meetings were held to assess what kind of damage had been done and the room got more and more crowded. let's look at another anecdote in mr. sanger's book that provides another powerful example of what i'm talking about. in this excerpt, mr. sanger depicts a curious meeting that occurred in the fall of 2009 in pittsburgh at the g-20 economic summit. i am now quoting from mr. sanger's book. he says -- he writes, "as often happens when the president travels, there was a dinner organized with a number of other reporters and several of obama's political aides, including david axelrod and rahm emanuel. the talks was mostly politics and the economic downturn. but just as coffee was being served, a senior official in the
national security council tapped me on the shoulder. after dinner, he said, i should take the elevator to the floor of the hotel where the president had his suite. 'we'll talk about iran' he whispered. obama was not back at the hotel when we gathered that evening outside his suite but most of the rest of the national security council was present and armed with the intelligence that had been collected over many years about iran's secret site. as it laid it out on a coffee table in a hotel suite, it was clear this new site was relatively small. it had enough room, they estimated for 3,000 centrifuges. via satellite photos, the united states mapped the construction of the building, useful if it ever had to hit it. it was clear from the details hat united states had interviewed scientists who had been inside the underground facility. we spent an hour reviewing the
evidence. i probed them to reveal how the facility was discovered and received evasive answers. then i went down to my hotel room and began writing the story. it absolutely eludes me under what circumstances it would be appropriate for a senior national security official to provide a reporter the opportunity to review for an hour what appears to have been raw intelligence supporting the government's recent discovery of secret nuclear sites in iran. this vignette is indicative of what appears throughout the book as a pervasive administration perspective that viewed even the nation's most secretive military and intelligence activities in starkly political terms and was overly lax on how related intelligence should be handled. these stories provide a revealing context for the most
recent leaks, leaks that everyone has conceded have compromised our national security. i'd like to believe that the justice department will get to the bottom of all this. but after watching senior white house advisor david plouffe's appearance on fox news on sunday, i highly doubt that it will. i was particularly troubled by mr. plouffe's inability or refusal to answer whether the white house will cooperate fully with the investigation and whether president obama would agree to be questioned by investigators as president bush was during the valerie plame case. i was also discomforted by mr. plouffe's statement that the white house talked to mr. sanger for his book but did not leak classified information, which, of course, prejudges the outcome of the investigations. as one commentary observed yesterday, his answers were so
rehearsed, clumsy and full of forced distraction and frustration that if his interview on fox news had been conducted by law enforcement he would have been told he was going downtown for a ride to the police station for further questioning. as this author noted from these appearances it is apparent -- quote -- "the administration has something to hide. plouffe could not have been more poorly prepared or unconvincing." moreover, just this last friday, past friday, "the washington post" reported that federal authorities have interviewed more than 100 people in the two ongoing weak investigations and specifically citing -- quote -- "officials familiar with the probes." described these interviews as the start of a process that could take months or even years. months or even years. according to anonymous officials, the post also noted that the pace of the investigations is partly driven
by the large number of government officials who had access to the material that was disclosed and who now must be interviewed. the fact that details about these leak investigations are themselves being leaked does not inspire me with confidence that we're on the right track. furthermore, according to the post, citing officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, the two pending investigations focused on the associated press article about a disrupted terrorist bomb plot by al qaeda's affiliate in yemen and the new york "time"'s report about the obama administration's role about authorizing attacks against iran. there appears to be no probe of leaks relating to u.s. drone operations. officials told the post such information had not been requested. why not? with the passage of time, the need for the attorney general to
appoint an outside special counsel to independently investigate and where appropriate hold accountable those found responsible for these egregious violations of our national security becomes clearer and stronger. at the end of the day can we really expect the administration to investigate itself impartially in the midst of an election on a matter as highly sensitive and damaging as this leaks case? especially when nose responsible -- when those responsible could themselves be members of the administration. plus we're not talking about an isolated incident of one leak. as my colleague, the senator on the intelligence committee, senator dianne feinstein, rightly observed, we are talking about -- quote -- "an avalanche of leaks on national security matters, the implications of which are severe." to date i have seen no evidence
that suggests that the american people should rely on the direction that the white house has chosen to provide a full and timely investigation of these leaks. for these reasons, i once again call on the apappointment of an outside special counsel to do so today, just as former senator biden and former senator obama called for a special counsel in the case of valerie plame, a case for, far less severe as the implications of our national security are of concern. mr. president, as i've said at the beginning of my comments, i've been around this town for quite awhile. i like the rest of our colleagues have never seen leaks of this nature at such a high level concerning ongoing covert operations. they deserve an investigation which will have credibility with the american people. that so far has not been
forthcoming from this administration. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. coburn: thank you. and i assume we're in morning business. because we're in morning business, i'm going to use that time to talk about four amendments that i have to the agricultural bill. i want to make one really, i think, acute observation to the american people on what's going on in washington. and the four amendments that i'll have on the agriculture bill, they're a symptom of the disease that's in front of our nation. this year we're going to run about $1.3 trillion deficit. at the end of this fiscal year, we'll have $16.25 trillion worth
of debt. i'm 64 years of age. my children and grandchildren are going to pay back my portion of that debt. i'm not going to be paying it back. the question in front of our nation is: one, how did we get to this point? and number two is what are we going to do about it? and what you're going to hear today as we begin voting on the amendments, what you're going to hear from the senate is why we can't cut spending, why we can't limit our appetites kwr-rbgs -- why we can't end subsidies to some of the richest co-ops in the world, why we can't stop sending money to the republican and democrat conventions out of the treasury kwr-rbgs we -- why we can't limit some of the conservation programs that go to
millionaires. why we can't do it. we're going to hear why we can't. this country can't wait for us to continue hearing excuses about why we can't trim our expenditures. the real problem is that the federal government is going to take in $2.6 trillion this year. it's going to spend about $3.8 trillion. that's the real problem. we ignore it politically by not making hard decisions, by not reforming the tax code for progrowth, lower rates, broader base where everybody is participating in the tax code. people don't get out of, through their well connectedness, don't have special benefits to them, which is $30 billion a year for the very wealthy in this country in the tax code. we refuse to do those things. we have campaigns going on all across the country and nobody is talking about the number-one threat to this country, which is our debt and our deficits. and the reason there's no job
creation isn't because the politicians don't want job creation. it's because they refuse to reform the very things that are keeping job creation from happening. and so i'm going to have four amendments. all of them actually save money for the american taxpayers, our kids and our grandkids. they're all common sense. most people outside of washington will agree with them except the very people that are getting the benefits. and they are the well-heeled and they are the well-connected that continue to get things for themselves to the detriment of our future. and so the question the american people have to start asking is: when is washington going to grow up? when are they going to start taking responsibility for their addictive behavior? everybody that comes in to my office that's lobbied me on these four amendments said well,
you can't take anything away from me. do you realize what the answer is when everybody says you can't take anything away from me? the answer is bankruptcy and a position in terms of the economics of this country that will be far worse than the great depression ever had. it will be far worse than anything our country has ever experienced if everybody says what i'm getting now i got to keep. regardless if you're a multibillion-dollar conglomerate co-op and we're sending you $100 million every ten years to advertise your product. the second point i'd make before i outline these four amendments is the one thing that we refuse to look at that can guide us on how to make these decisions is article 1, section 8 of the constitution. what is the real role for the federal government? and i would tell you as you look at these four amendments, you're
going to have trouble squaring what our founders said was our role with what we're doing now in these four areas and saying we're not violating the constitution by spending money that we don't have, money that we're going to have to borrow to be able to spend and spend it in areas that help the well heeled and the well connected. and so all of these amendments are very straightforward. i want to make one of other poi. we spend $200 million a year through five separate programs of the government to promote agricultural products outside of this country. $200 million a year. that's $2 billion every ten years. let's show how effective they have been. whether you think it's constitutional or not, what kind of a job have they done since 1997? i don't think that trend line looks very good. so if we're going to spend
$200 million paying for promotion of agricultural products outside of this country, maybe we ought to ask the question why are we on a declining slope as far as a percentage of the world's agricultural sales? at the same time when farm income in this country has never been higher. why is it? why is it is because the federal government's not very good at doing things that the private sector is very good at. and so we have five separate programs within the department of agriculture to do this, and the question the american people ought to be asking is why do you have five programs? if, in fact, it's a role for the federal government -- which i highly doubt under the constitution -- why do we have five? so that's how well we're doing on -- and i'll just talk about the first program. the market access program is just one of the five programs that the federal government has in the department of agriculture to do this.
the obama administration actually agrees with this amendment. in their budget, they put a recommendation to trim this. and yet, all we have heard from everybody out there who gets the soft ride on this is that you can't take any money away from this program. if we can't take $40 million a year out of a program that's ineffective, history's here. we're going to be belly up. and the consequences of that will be devastateing -- devastating, not just for our kids but for us because it's going to come in the very near future. so all this amendment does is say out of this one in five programs, let's cut it 20%. the obama administration recommended doing that. the g.a.o. says there is no -- there's nothing to say that this is effective use of your tax dollars, and you would think
that we're pulling toenails out. but to hear -- just to hear the people scream. i won't go into the details on this amendment because my time is limited, but that means we're still going to spend $160 million in this one program, which is one of five, to promote structural products that we're not being successful in spending that money anyway. so the question is why would you vote against it? because there's a parochial interest somewhere that you are going to be beholding to that's greater than your interest and fidelity to the u.s. constitution or your interest and fidelity to the future of this country. that's why people will vote against this amendment. it doesn't have anything to do with common sense. it doesn't have anything to do with looking at the life -- that we're going to run this significant deficit, we have a $16 trillion debt. it has to do with how to make
sure i'm not in trouble with parochial interest rather than doing the right best thing for our country. the second amendment -- and i have received a lot of criticism for it -- is in conjunction with senator durbin for those people with adjusted gross incomes of greater than 3/4 of a million dollars a year, all this amendment does is decrease the subsidy that the middle-class, hard-working factory worker or service worker in this country pays with their taxes to subsidize a crop insurance program that guarantees a profit and yield. and instead of being 62% subsidy by the federal government, when they're making more than 3/4 of a million dollars per year, we take it to 47%. and what do you hear? oh, you can't do that to us. if you're making $750,000 a year
farming, your capital should be in pretty good shape and you should be able to afford to take on some of the risk -- some more of the risk. we're going to hear that, well, this will be too hard to implement. there isn't another agriculture program that doesn't have an income payment limitation of some type associated with it, except this one, and when we're spending out of every dollar that's spent on crop insurance, the average hard-working american is paying 62% of it, it is not too much to ask those that are on the upper income stream in the agricultural community to participate a little bit more in helping pay for that subsidy by taking a reduced subsidy. so what we're doing is taking 15% out. under this agriculture bill that's on the floor, there is three ways to ensure your crop, every one of them the american taxpayer, who is not a farmer, is paying for.
there's no other business in this country where you're guaranteed that your profit and your revenue will be there through an insurance policy that's paid by the rest of us. so to take 15% -- now, the g.a.o. report said you should actually limit it to $40,000 and you'll save $5 billion over the next ten years. this amendment will only save a billion dollars over the next ten years. but the way you get rid of a trillion dollar deficit is to ask everybody to share a little bit. and all this amendment is doing is asking the most well-off farmers, the ones that we have been subsidizing for years, the ones that are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars every year from you as american taxpayers to pay 15% more on their crop insurance so that the average individual in this country isn't taken off their table to subsidize somebody that's making
3/4 of a million dollars a year. the third amendment is an amendment to end conservation payments to millionaires. almost every other program we have in terms of our farm programs has some limitations on it, but the department of agriculture has an exception where they can exclude this limitation, and all this amendment would do would say you no longer can accept -- if somebody has an adjusted gross million dollars a year, would that money not be better spent somewhere else in the farm conservation area, one, and number two is if it's in the best interests of the farm or production agricultural acreage and somebody -- acreage and somebody has that kind of income, isn't it in their best interests to do these things? so it's a very simple amendment that just says you're -- you're
receiving or producing and making adjusted gross income of a million dollars or more a year, then we're going to put some limitations on how much money that we spend on your property and then go spend it on other properties where we might, in fact, have more effective resource conservation. and then the final amendment that i have on the bill, which really has nothing to do with the agricultural bill but it has everything to do with the problems in this country. this year, in february of this year, the u.s. treasury wrote a check to the democratic national convention and the republican national convention, each for $18.4 million. when the presidential checkoff system was created, the politicians in washington wired it so that you thought you were giving money to a presidential campaign, but what, in fact, is
that they took a percentage of it for a party for both parties. we don't have $18.4 million to spend on a republican convention or a democrat convention. the nominees of both parties are known. and so what we have done, besides spending $100 million in security for both of those events, $50 million apiece, we sent $18 million to both of those heads of those parties to spend it any way they want to spend it. what is wrong with us? that $18.4 million we borrowed from the chinese. so we're borrowing money from the chinese to fund a hallelujah party in both tampa and charlotte this year, each one of them getting $18.4 million. it's time that kind of nonsense stops. and this is going to require 60
votes. i don't know why they put it at 60 votes. maybe so a lot of people can vote for it but it still won't pass. but here's a test vote on whether or not the senate gets the problems that this country's in. if somebody votes against this amendment, what it says is they believe politics is belove principle shall -- is above principle, that careerism trumps character and that they can pull the wool over the vast portion of american citizens. what could we do with $18.4 million times two? well, there is tons we could do. the first thing is we could quit paying interest to the chinese for it. the second thing is who could we help in terms of their health care or their housing? how many h.i.v. patients that are waiting on adap that can't get the treatment that they need
today could we help with $18.4 million? so the point is this amendment is probably going to get defeated, but i want you to look in that realm of the universe in america where all the politicians reacted with disdain with the g.s.a. conferences spending $880,000 in what was said to be a foolish way, if they made any comment about the excesses of government agencies on conferences and parties, how can they not apply the same standard to their own political party? my hope is that america will wake up. i'm in the twilight years of my life. i have seen vast changes in our country, both good and bad. but we have maxed out the credit card in our country. we can't get another credit card without severe pain. we're trying to not do the right
thing in the congress of the united states. we're trying to kick the can down the road. we're trying not to make the hard decisions. and everyone who comes and lobbies us says yes, i agree there's a problem, but please don't take anything away from me. the answer to our country is leadership that says we all have to sacrifice to get our country out of the depths of the problems that we're facing today. this will be a great key vote on whether or not the senators understand priorities and the depth of the problems that we're in. there's no way we should ever again send any money to the democratic party or the republican party of taxpayer funds for a convention, and this amendment would eliminate that in the future. mr. president, i notice the absence of a quorum and yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. pryor: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. pryor: i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. pryor: mr. president, i know that we're in republican time, and i would like to use some of the democratic time -- i'm sorry, use the republican time to talk about an important issue in the farm bill, which is catfish. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. pryor: thank you,
mr. president. i'll be brief. i know we have other colleagues on the way so i will be brief and i will yield when they get here and are squared away. mr. president, thank you for acknowledging me and let me just talk for a few minutes about catfish and something that i think is very, very important, and that is that catfish be inspected. this may sound like a no-brainer, something that's simple, we certainly would expect and april that all cat -- anticipate that all catfish raised in the u.s. would be inspected and call all the usda and other requirements and it does and that's one of the good things that we know that our food supply is safe and wholesome and it's ready for consumption by americans. however, that's not the case for catfish that's imported from asia. and, by the way, i think people in my state and other catfish producing states would dispiewtd
whether -- dispute whether this is actually catfish in the first place. it's valley a variety of fish that's native to asia and it's grown in places like vietnam and i'm certainly for trade and for fair trade and not for protectionism, but we need to make sure that that fish that's coming in from overseas, we need to make sure it's properly labeled but also properly inspected. and i think that the way the bill is currently drafted is appropriate, and it's proper, and we should leave the language that senator stabenow and the agriculture committee have established. we should leave that language in the legislation as it currently is so that the catfish will be inspected here in the u.s. and imported fish that's marketed as catfish will also be inspected by is same standards that our domestic catfish is.