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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 10, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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olympics but to make certain that this day has not been forgotten here on the floor of the united states senate. mr. cardin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i want to thank senator gillibrand for bringing this moment to the attention of the united states senate and the american people and thank senator rubio, senator durbin for being here. it's hard to believe it's been 40 years. it's hard to believe it's been 40 years since that tragic event in which terrorists had the attention of the world in the olympics at munich. and it's hard to believe over the last 40 years we've experienced so much of the violence from extremists and terrorists, tomorrow we will commemorate the 11th anniversary of the attack on our own country, and we recognize that the only way that we can stand up to this type of extremism is to never forthe get. -- forget and dere-dedicate ourselves to do everything we can to root out extremists, to
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root out terrorists and to never forget the consequences of their actions. so i want thank senator gillibrand and senator rubio for the resolution that we passed in this congress, to let those who were victimized 40 years ago to know that we won't forget them and we continue to dedicate our efforts to root out this type of hatred, this type of extremism to make sure the olympic spirit, which is world's competition, is to bring peace in the world, that that spirit is alive and well in the united states senate and the united states of america. and we will continue to commemorate what happened so that we don't forget and dedicate ourselves to a more peaceful world. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. mrs. gillibrand: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: i ask that the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to the executive session to consider the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination,
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stephanie marie rose of iowa to be united states district judge. mr. leahy: mr. president, when the senate --. the presiding officer: there will be 30 minutes of debate equally divided in the usual form. mr. leahy: mr. president, we're beginning about three minutes late and i'd ask consent the time be divided in such a way the vote still starts at 5:30. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, when the senate recessed more than a month ago, 22 judicial nominees to fill vacancies in courtrooms around the country, courtrooms that taxpayers have paid to have staffed, were left pending awaiting a senate vote. and today senate republicans agreed to vote on just one of those nominees. i commend senator harkin for working with senator grassley and the majority to get this vote on the nomination of stephanie rose of iowa and i
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would urge a vote on the other nominees as well without further delay. there are currently 78 judicial vacancies, judicial vacancies during the last few years have been at historically high levels. and they've remained near or above 80 for nearly the entire first term of the president. a key reason for these numerous vacancies and for the extensive backlog of nominees is the senate republicans' -- allowed votes on just one district court nominee per week for the last seven weeks before the august recess. it's unnecessarily slow pace of consideration of judicial nominees and it's a disservice to the american public. i think it's across the board obstruction and foot dragging since day one of president obama's tenure means we're likely to complete his first
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term with more judicial vacancies than when he took office. partisan obstruction has been particularly damaging with respect to federal trial courts. the sharp departure from the past senate spluns stalled senate approval of district court nominees including those republican states, nerd republican state senators who worked with president obama to get a nominee they supported, they've been stalled, too. i mention this because at this point in president bush's first term, the senate democrats worked with republicans to confirm 165 of his district court nominees. president obama for some reason was treated entirely differently than president bush was. a letter in "the new york times," republican senators
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have created and applied practices that substantially depart from procedures employed in prior administrations even as recently as president george w. bush. most important change is refusal by the g.o.p. leadership to enter into voting agreements on well qualified uncontroversial district court nominees, they languish for months on the senate floor. and of course he's correct. i think of president bush's first term, democrats were in charge of the senate for 17 months. we -- we confirmed 100 of his judges, those 17 months. i know republicans worked hard in the other 31 months and they confirmed i think 104 or 105 of his judges. the irony is the democrats when they were in control moved
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president bush's nominees even faster than the republicans, much faster than the republicans did. but when you find senate republicans delaying and opposing president obama's district court nominees, voting against -- 36 of 127 installing confirmations for months even those supported by republican senators, this president is being treated differently than any president since i've been in the senate and i came here in the time of president ford. the republican supreme court recently observed it is bad for the legal system as a whole. he said makes the judiciary look politicized but it's not and it has to stop. district courts in particular shouldn't be politicized. they're chosen not in an ideological litmus test, they're chosen on their abilities and, of course,
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they're bound by the decisions of the courts of appeals of their -- of their district. so i wish they would schedule debate and votes. the 18 district court nominees could be confirmed with strong bipartisan support and without further delay if they were allowed to have a vote, they'd all be confirmed with strong bipartisan votes. to fill judicial emergency vacancies. and -- in 2008, we can do this even in september of presidential election years. i'll give you an example, mr. president. in 2008, the final year of president bush's presidency, senate democrats were willing to confirm ten of his district court nominees in a single day by unanimous consent. it took a few seconds.
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earlier in that republican presidency beginning with a democratic majority we confirmed 18 judicial nominees in one day. vacancies went down to 60 throughout the country on the way down to finally to 28. well, i ask consent my full statement be placed in the record. i see --. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: i see the distinguished senator from iowa here. i would reserve the balance of my time and ask that it be under the control of the -- senator harkin of iowa and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i thank the chairman of the committee, senator leahy, for his courtesies. i rise in support of the nomination of stephanie marie
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rose to be united states district judge for the southern district of iowa. in addition, she has the support of senator harkin and a is well regarded throughout my home state of iowa. she was reported out of our committee on voice vote. she was previously confirmed by this senate in her current position, u.s. attorney, northern district of iowa. ms. rose is a hawkeye through and through, receiving two degrees from the university of iowa, b.a., 1994, j.d., 1996. obviously, miss rose was on a fast track through law school. after graduation from law school, she rose -- she wisely chose to remain in iowa and iowa
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was fortunate for that decision. she first served as law clerk in the u.s. attorney's office, northern district of iowa, in 1997 she was hired as a full-time attorney in that same office, where she has risen through the ranks and now heads that office. she served as special assistant u.s. attorney, 1997 through 1999 and as assistant u.s. attorney, 1999 to the year 2009. during this time, she was lead counsel in the prosecution of more than 250 cases. these cases spanned a wide range of legal issues from violent crimes and drug offense to immigration violations and money laundering. additionally, she has handled approximately 45 federal civil
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cases. these cases have included post-conviction relief and asset forfeitable matters as well as freedom of information and property return lawsuits. in 2009, mz rose -- ms. rose was nominated by our president and confirmed by the senate to serve as u.s. attorney, northern district, iowa. in this role she oversees most every aspect of the office. this includes overseeing the civil and criminal work completed by office staff and making final determinations regarding charging decisions, plea offers, and civil settlements. the american bar association standing committee on the federal judiciary unanimously rated miss rose as well qualified for this position of district judge. in addition, she is supported
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by the legal community and judges throughout our state. newspaper articles published in the cedar rapids gazette on february 2 and february 20 this year captured some of that support. i ask unanimous consent to insert these two articles in the congressional record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: assistant u.s. attorney c.j. williams described miss rose's ability to quickly comprehend complex issues. former assistant u.s. attorney bob tigue who retired last year after 31 years said thursday that rose will make an excellent federal judge. he went on to say -- quote -- "she has experience in the courtroom and as an administrator. she has a broad view of the federal legal system and she's very intelligent. stephanie will make a good
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addition to the federal bench" end of quote. u.s. district judge mark bennett said -- quote -- "she is very skilled, she doesn't have a personal agenda, she goes by the law" -- end quote. u.s. district judge john jarvey of the southern district said her prosecution record is impressive, noting -- quote -- "stephanie has won the respect of prosecutors and defense lawyers" -- end of quote. miss rose is a member of the iowa academy of trial lawyers. membership in the academy is limited to just 250 attorneys whose prime-hour focus is on trial advocacy. membership in this distinguished outer loop group is by invitation only with unanimous approval by the board of governors. so miss rose is one of only 15 women in the jeamed.
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mr. -- academy. mr. leon spees who nominated miss rose for the academy said he did it because she exhibited exactly what the organization strived for, -- quote -- "the highest trial advocacy and ethical responsibility to clients and the law." if confirmed and i'm sure she will be confirmed miss rose will be the first woman to serve as federal judge in the southern district and only the second woman to serve on the federal bench in iowa's history. so so i congratulate miss rose and wish her well as she assumes her duties as a u.s. district judge. with her confirmation today, the senate will have confirmed 156 of president obama's nominees to the district and circuit courts. the fact is, we have confirmed over 80% of president obama's
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district nominees. during the last presidential election year, the year 2008, the senate confirmed a total of 28 judges -- 24 district and 4 circuit. this presidential election year, we will have exceeded those numbers. we have confirmed five circuit nominees and judge rose will be the 29th district judge confirmed. that is a total of 34 judges this year versus 28 in the last presidential election year. yet even as we make consistent progress in filling judicial vacancies, there are still voices out there claiming otherwise. for example, early last month, the "des moines register" of my state ran an editorial titled -- quote -- "judges remain hostages in the senate."
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they stated in that editorial, in reference to the nomination of miss rose, they stated -- quote -- "she will be lucky to come up for confirmation when the senate reconvenes." of course the vote had already been scheduled at that point but they overlooked that fact. the "register" and other critics who erroneously blame vacancy rates in the federal judiciary committee on republic obstructionism overlook other facts as well. you've heard me say on the senate floor that the senate can only confirm judges that have been sent up here from the white house. so if the white house hasn't sent judges up here, we can't obviously confirm judges that haven't been submitted to the senate. so in regard to that, i'd like to point out something from "the new york times," because a lot
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of times i think "the new york times" would not do much to give us a basis for our position that we've done a pretty good job of confirming judges and why aren't judges up here. so in an article dated august 17, 2012, sheds some light on this very subject. in that article -- quote" the title of the article, "obama lags in judicial picks, limiting his mark on the quote." this newspaper, "the times," points out how president obama made judicial nominations a lower political priority. the article discusses how two supreme court nominations, personnel upheavals and the president's emphasis upon diversity also slowed the nominations process for lower court judges. in fact, even as we continue to confirm judges, the president
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continues to lag in nominations, including nominations to so-called judicial emergencies. today, only 32 of the 78 current vacancies have a nominee up here from the white house. stated differently, nearly 60% of the current vacancies are without nominees. that has been the pattern for most of this administration. so once again, i wanted to set the record straight and i hope i have set it straight. republicans have been more than fair to this president and his judicial nominees considering the fact that we have so many vacancies that haven't had a nominee submitted to the senate for our consideration. again, i congratulate miss rose, and i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: mr. president, i spoke earlier in greater detail about the nomination of stephanie rose to serve as a district court judge in iowa's
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southern district. now, that's the vote that's coming up here at 5:30. so as the senate begins to vote, i just wanted to reiterate what an outstanding nominee she is. indeed, it's no surprise that the american bar association rated her unanimously well qualified, which is their highest rating. after graduating from law school in just two years in the top 5% of her class, she served for 12 years as an assistant u.s. attorney in the northern district of iowa under both attorneys that were nominated by -- appointed by republican presidents and democratic presidents. she was legal counsel in 260 felony cases -- lead counsel in 260 felony cases, made 30 arguments before the fourth circuit. most notably sh received a national award from the department of justice for her work in prosecuting the largest unlawful internet pharmacy case in the u.s.
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her work was so impressive that in 2009 i recommended her to the president to serve as united states attorney, and in 200, the united state --in 2009, the unis senate unanimously confirmed her and she has been outstanding in her work as u.s. attorney since then. throughout her career of public service, miss rose has worked to uphold the rule of law, made our neighborhoods safer, promoted civil rights and advanced the cause of justice. she possesses all of the qualifications necessary to be a remarkably good federal judge. she is a superb attorney and among jurists, prosecutors and the defense bar, she has a reputation as someone who is unfailingly fair and ethical and who possesses exceptional legal ability, intellect and judgment. and finally, let me reiterate again my great appreciation to senator leahy, the chairman, but also again to senator grassley, my senior senator from the state of iowa. to their staffs, especially
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jeremy parris, ted lehman and senator grassley's chief of staff, david young, for their support and all their assistance in getting this nomination through. i also want to thank my chief of staff, brian alberg, dan goldberg, derek miller and pam smith on -- on my staff and my committee staff. in essence, mr. president, miss rose is a person of truly outstanding intellect and character. she's exceptionally qualified to serve as united states district judge for the southern district of iowa. i urge all of my colleagues to support her confirmation when the vote occurs here in just a few minutes. and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. [inaudible] the presiding officer: without objection. is there a sufficient second? there is, appears to be sufficient seconds. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? seeing none, on this vote the yeas are 89, the nays are 1, the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate will resume legislative session.
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the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, madam president. as we come back into session
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this evening and on through september, as chair of the agriculture committee i have one message for colleagues in the house of representatives for the speaker, for the republican leadership, and that is we need a farm bill now. we have 20 days until the farm bill expires. only 20 days. if that happens, if the republican leadership doesn't work with us to pass a five-year farm bill, they're going to reset the clock for rural america. all the way back to 1949. because if the farm bill expires, we go back to depression-era policies that include government planning restrictions and expensive price supports. absolutely unacceptable. some of these policies even reference prices from before world war i. this would be terrible for our family farmers and ranchers, it would throw the markets into complete disarray. there's no reason that this
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should be allowed to happen. the full senate has worked together and passed a bipartisan farm bill. the house agriculture committee worked together and passed a bipartisan farm bill. it's time for the house to complete its work. the house republican leadership has refused to let the bipartisan bill come up for a vote despite our best efforts and speaking with colleagues and -- and working together over the august break to try to come up with a way to get this done, we find ourselves in a position now where our only opportunity is for the house to take up the bill that was passed by their committee and get this done. i have never seen a situation where a farm bill -- this is my fourth win i've been 1r068d with -- comes out of committee
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on a bipartisan basis and then the house won't take it up which is exactly where we are. instead they sent us a so-called disaster relief bill that, unfortunately, only helps some livestock producers with their drought this year. it does nothing for the rest of the nation's farmers who have been hurt so badly 24 year by -- this year by frosts ached freezes and our farm bill does that. in fact, our farm bill is better for livestock, it's a permanent livestock disaster assistance program with a better structure and support that was sent by the house of representatives. a full five-year farm bill gives much more comprehensive disaster assistance to livestock producers and to other farmers who have been hit. other farmers who have watched their crops wither under the forgiving sun want to know that not only will we have a five-year policy in place, but that we're going to strengthen
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crop insurance which really is the backbone of supporting farmers in these kinds of situations. we strengthen crop insurance and ex partnered it so more farmers can have access to risk management tools on their farms. madam president, that was the number-one issue that we heard in all of our hearings, was to strengthen crop insurance and that's what we did. and that's one of the reasons we need to get a five-year farm bill done. i'm looking at my colleague from iowa, the distinguished senator who chaired the committee before me and i know he shares the same feeling that i do, that we need to get this bill done in the house of representatives. we know that our farm bill also fixes dairy supports, so dairies don't go through what they went through in 2009 when thousands of farms went bankrupt. frankly not changing the policy for dairy is a disaster waiting to happen. and so we need to get the farm
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bill done. we also reform programs we know that we have ended direct payments and altoogget four different subsidies, saving $15 billion while strengthening crop insurance. we streamline and address duplication, crack down on waste, fraud and abuse and in the end our bill saves $23 billion for taxpayers, $23 billion to pay down the debt. it's the only real deficit reform we've passed in the united states senate is our farm bill that we worked on together. unbelievably, the house republican leadership still stands in the way of passing our bipartisan bill or their own committee bipartisan bill. now, on wednesday we're going to see thousands of farmers around the country coming to washington with a simple message: we need a farm bill now. members are going to have visits
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from farmers and ranchers, from their states, house members will be hearing from members in their districts and lee they have one simple message. those farmers know when there is work to be done you don't put it off until another day not if you're going to be successful as a farmer and we shptd be kicking the can down the road either. they can't say i don't want to harvest my crops right now, i'll do it in a few months or next year or tell the banker wait till later so i can figure out what i have to make decisions for next year. they know when the crops need to be harvested, the work needs to get done. now. we have 19 days left. this is day 20, we're going to count it down every day. because we have got to get this done in the house of representatives. we did our job in the senate. we did it in a bipartisan basis, i was very proud to join with my colleague, senator roberts, and all of our
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committee that worked so well together, worked so hard on this, and i thank again the leadership on both sides of the aisle for giving us the time to get it done. we got it done, we did it in enough time to get the house to do it in july before the august break, that didn't happen, now it's time to get it done. the house agriculture committee did their job. it's time for the house republican leadership to schedule a vote to get this done, to support rural america, our farmers, our ranchers, our families who are counting on the safest, most affordable food system had the world to be able to continue, we don't need to kick this can down the road and create another crisis for farm country. thank you very much, madam president. i want to thank my colleagues who are waiting to talk about another important subject. i appreciate their giving me the time for a few are words. mr. harkin: would the senator yield? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa.
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mr. harkin: i want to compliment the senator from michigan for her great leadership on agricultural policy, food policy. a big part of this bill is making sure that our kids in america get adequate nutrition, that our elderly get nutrition, our summer feeding programs, our after-school programs, our senior feeding programs are all wrapped up in this bill, too. i was in iowa in august and met with a lot of farmers in august, and they were a little perplexed. they said, wait a minute, you passed a bill in the senate. i said, "yes." i ask the senator from michigan, did not that bill have the support of all the major farm groups? ms. stabenow: absolutely. we had not only farm groups, conservation groups, groups all across the country. mr. harkin: i ask the senator from michigan, did not your bill, the bill you engineered and got through here, did it not also have the support of consumer groups and -- and
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parent groups? ms. stabenow: absolutely. mr. harkin: they had all that support? ms. stabenow: absolutely. and because of all your work on, the fresh fruit and vegetable program in schools across america. mr. harkin: conservation groups smentd thsupported the bill. so farmers ask me, mr. president, wait a minute, you had a group that passed the senate, supported by consumer groups, why didn't the house just pick it up and pass it? i didn't have an answer. does the senator from michigan have an answer? because i don't understand why the house can't just take a bill that's so widely supported and -- and such a bipartisan bill and just pass it. ms. stabenow: well, the distinguished senator is absolutely right. we would think that this would be the time to just pass it. and, frankly, if not, we know the house committee has a little different view on commodities. we offered to sit down all through of august and be able to work that out so we could come back right now and come up with something that was a compromise.
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the house committee wasn't able to do that because they don't have support of the leadership to be able to get that done. and so here's where we are. what i know is we have to have movement, we have to have the house act or we are not going to be able to get this done. mr. harkin: well, you know, i -- i say to my friend from michigan, my leader on agriculture policy, that, you know, there's enough anxiety in farm country right now because of the terrible droughts that we're having. mrs. stabenow: right. mr. harkin: around the country, shortages looming. and now is not the time to add more anxiety to farmers and to farm families and our rural communities across america. so i just -- i thank the senator for her great leadership and for pointing out that -- that she's acted, our committee's acted, our senate's acted and what the house is doing, i just can't figure it out. ms. stabenow: yes. mr. harkin: and, again, i compliment our chair -- chairwoman of our committee and for pointing out we got 20 days
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left and we're counting down, and i'm hopeful the house wil will -- will hear the voices of our farm country and -- and the bipartisan voices here in the senate and get their bill -- get our bill passed in the senate. i thank the senator from michigan. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that when i'm completed, senator harkin get the floor at that time. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: madam president, i want to thank senator harkin, because he and i were spending a little time together in your great state and he and i agreed that one of the issues that ought to be talked about a little bit more involves the stark choice that we're facing in november in large part due to the budget of paul ryan, who is now the vice presidential
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nominee for the republicans. and governor romney has endorsed and embraced the ryan budget. and i think -- and it was senator harkin's idea that we ought to explain that ryan budget. so i'm going to do my best to talk about it as the chairman of the environment and public works committee, who has the jurisdiction of highways, bridges, transportation systems and the environment. and also just make a couple of comments about medicare. and i know senator harkin's going to go into that in great depth. i just want to make sure everybody understands that what i'm talking about comes straight from the budget. so if you look at page 78 of the report accompanying the ryan budget resolution, mr. ryan makes it clear that he wants to
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make devastating cuts to transportation. now, what do i mean by that? i mean devastating. i mean 50% cut. that means about a million jobs that would be lost, madam president, if that ryan budget were to go into effect. we are talking about construction jobs. we're talking about an area that has been hit so hard. we still haven't come back from this recession. and it's the one thing we learned in your great state at that convention was the depth of this recession, the worst since the great depression. and what a time paul ryan picks to bring devastating cuts to the construction industry and i mean by that the businesses, because we are talking about mostly jobs in the private sector, not the public sector. and we have to think about the fact that 70,000 of our bridges
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are deficient and 50% of our roads are not in good condition. so we're not only -- we know bridges fail. we've seen it happen. we're not only talking about devastating cuts to construction industry and workers but a devastating situation for people who use our bridges, the 70,000 of which -- 70,000 of which are structurally deficient, and our roads, which need help. so no country can lead the world if we can't people and -- and goods and we cannot be a world power and yet when it comes to transportation, the ryan budget is a jobs killer. i'm talking about a million jobs would be lost in the private sector mostly and it would put our family at risk by neglecting our bridges, our highways and our transit systems. now, president obama, on the
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other hand, and, frankly, the -- a lot of us here on both sides of the aisle reject that notion that we can walk away from rebuilding our infrastructure. so this is a very, very key issue. now, i said i speak to you as the chairman of the environment and public works committee and i've talked a little about public works. what does the ryan budget do to the environment? now, what he does is he undermines the public protections, the health protections provided by the clean air act, the clean water act, the safe drinking water act and other landmark laws. if you look at page 13 to page 15 of his budget, you'll see that he cuts $62 billion for activities like protecting our drinking water, protecting our air, preserving our public lands. let's face it. when kids get asthma, when people are too sick to go to work, when children are too sick to go to school, and when people
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die prematurely from a heart attack because of the air quality, there are no real savings. he says he's cutting $62 billion from the budget. let me tell you, for every dollar you spend on clean air protections, we know we get $30 worth of benefits. in 2010 alone, the clean air act prevented 160,000 premature deaths. you ask a family that may lose the breadwinner in that family: did we save money? no. 1.7 million asthma attacks, 130,000 heart attacks, 86,000 emergency room visits, 13 million lost workdays, and 3.2 million lost school days. in 2010, the clean air act prevented all that. so what's the point, mr. ryan? what's the point? it will cost the american public dearly out of their pocket and out of their lives if they suffer more asthma attacks,
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emergency room visits, lost workdays, school days lost, more heart attacks, and premature deaths. that is shortsighted. the american lung association, they don't -- they're not republican or democratic. they say 40% of our population lives in areas with unhealthy levels of smog or toxic soot. so let's remember, when you look at a budget, it is a set of values that accompany the numbers, and i don't think it's an american value to say to our people, we don't care if they get sick, they miss work, they go to the emergency room. finally, i want to talk -- just set the stage for senator harkin's very in-depth discussion about health care. i'm just going to talk about medicare and medicaid as someone who is privileged to represent, along with senator feinstein, the largest state in the union, the most senior citizens. we have 30 -- almost 38 million
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people. so whenever we talk about this ryan budget and how many people get hurt, believe me, i speak from the heart when i say we can't let it happen. the american people know medicare, they like it and they don't want to change it. now, they're -- the republicans tell you their plan saves medicare, but just ask someone, ask -- ask someone who's going to be the victim of a paul ryan plan if we don't stop it. that person will find that they're getting a voucher. they're not getting medicare. medicare will be gone. they'll get a voucher, and experts tell us -- and the studies show -- that voucher will be $6,000 a year short. and imagine an older person who really is struggling to -- for quality of life having to have that added worry of not knowing
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if she will find or he will find health insurance. look, putting republicans in charge of medicare is like putting the cookie monster is charge of your favorite bakery. and i'm not overstating it. you would not put the cookie monster in charge of your favorite bakery. well, we can't put the republicans in charge of medicare. and i want to prove why. this isn't just rhetoric. listen. in 1995, newt gingrich said he thought medicare, in his words, should wither on the vine. in his 1996 presidential campaign, senate majority leader bob dole bragged -- quote -- "i was there fighting the fight, voting against medicare because we knew it wouldn't work in 19 1965." really. really. medicare works. why would we end it? we're not going to end it. but paul ryan gets into power, he'll have a good chance of ending it with his friend,
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presidential candidate mitt romney, who has endorsed the ryan budget. listen to what michael steele said, the head of the republican national committee, in 2009. quote -- "i mean, the reality of it is, this single-payer program known as medicare is a good example of what we should not have happen." so ryan budget, look at page 53, shreds medicare. shreds medicare. and i will tell you this, as if he hasn't slammed medicare enough, look what he does to medicaid. he cuts it by more than $800 million. and where are low-income families going to go? and, again, senator harkin is the expert, but i can tell you this -- so many of our elderly rely on medicaid for nursing home costs. i will tell you, it is a disaster.
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and -- and -- we know that in addition to all of this, these terrible cuts -- and, by the way, when paul ryan says and attacks president obama for cutting money from medicare, what he isn't telling you is the president has found savings from overpayments to providers. and you know what he does with the money? he puts it right back into medicare, extends the life of the program for eight years, closes the doughnut hole to help senators and give senior citizens preventive health care. well checkups and the like. so really that does take, to quote president clinton, a lot of brass, because the fact is, president obama has strengthened medicare, he's extended the life of medicare, and what paul ryan does is he takes those cuts and he gives tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.
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i'll yield to my friend. mr. harkin: i thank the senator for her keen eye on the ryan budget and what it does. i listened to the senator's explanation of obama -- president obama's goal was to cut down overpayments and things like that, fraud, abuse, put that money back in to helping beneficiaries. i ask the senator, isn't it true that both ryan budgets incorporate those very same cuts that president obama wants to do? mrs. boxer: absolutely. absolutely. both of his budgets takes the same amount. but instead of putting it back into medicare, he robs medicare and medicare will go broke. my understanding is in 2014, under the ryan plan. whereas president obama puts the money back into medicare, extends the life eight years and gives more benefits. mr. harkin: i thank the senator. mrs. boxer: so i will finish
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up and just say to you this: however you look at this, this ryan budget is a road map for disaster for the american people. he cuts the heart out of things the american people like. the american people want clean air, they want safe drinking water, they want medicare, they want to make sure our seniors can be safe in nursing homes. the american people want transportation, and they don't want to be worried if a car is on a bridge that's going to fall down into the water buy low -- the water below. it's a happened. and here's the deal. if you were to say to mr. ryan, are you cutting all of this so you can balance the budget today? he would say, oh, no, no, no, that's 25 years from now. what he doing from the savings -- quote, unquote -- "savings"?
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i'll close with this. people earning more than $1 million a year are going to receive $400,000 more in tax breaks every year. so he cuts everything to give these tax breaks to the people who already have millions and billions, but it's still not enough. as president obama has pointed out, he will then have to go after the middle class and take away middle-class tax deductions, like the home mortgage deduction because he doesn't even get enough money from these draconian cuts. he has to go ahead and raise taxes on the middle class. i watched the presidential nominee romney be asked this question, what are you going to cut? he said, we'll discuss it later. and mr. ryan said -- the
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vice-presidential nominee for the republicans -- we'll work with congress on it. right. listen, they know they have to make draconian tax increases on the middle class and the working poor. they have to cut the things america wants in order to pay for their tax cut. no wonder mr. romney picked mr. ryan. mr. romney will get less than a 1% -- he'll be in a 1% tax bracket. that's what the experts saivment caexperts --that's what the exp. can you imagine? while his secretary and everybody else pays through the nose. this is an important time for you these next 60 days or so many of and i want to thank my friend from iowa because i was very interested in laying out some of these issues, but he encouraged me to do so. i'm very delighted to be here with him, and i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: madam president, let me thank my colleague, senator boxer, for always being on point and for always being very he wil eloquent in her focn her exposition, i would say, of the fallacies of the ryan-romney budget and how it's going to affect our middle-class families in the future. madam president, since we recessed here in -- around the 1st of august, i guess is it was -- since we recessed, we have bun bee been out of sessio, congressman paul ryan, our colleague in the house, has become the vice-presidential nominee of the republican party. and of course mr. romney has accepted the nomination to be president.
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well, now, mr. ryan, congressman ryan is 23409 a not an unknown . he's been here quite a few years, and he has put forward, as the head of the budget committee, a couple of budgets. now, budgets are blueprints. if you're going to blil build a building or a house, you need a blueprint. if you're going to try to move the country in a certain direction, you need a blueprint. and that blueprint is a budget. so a budget sort of tells you where it is that the proponent of that budget wants to take us, as a country. a federal budget. if it was a state budget, you'd say, that's where they want to take the state. and so we on this side intend over the next several days, couple of weeks, however long we're in session, we intending
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to let the american people know what's in the ryan budget and where it would take america. what is the blueprint that they have for america 123? madam president -- madam president, before i go any further, i want to ask unanimous consent that mack leboon and mad i sin geek be granted floor privileges for the duration of today's session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: i ask that my rent - that my comments appear uninterrupted? the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: our nation faces an absolutely fundamental choice in november. are we going to rescue, restore the struggling middle class or are we going to continue to shift even more wealth and advantages to those at the top, at the expense of the middle class? republicans have made it very
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clear where they stand on this critical choice. they did so when nearly every republican in congress voted in favor of the ryan budget plan, and governor romney embraced that plan as -- quote -- "marvelous" -- marvelous, not exactly a word that most average americans would use to describe something they like. but i guess if you're having tea at the ritz, i guess "marvelous" kind of fits it for some people. but anyway, i embraced the planning as marvelous. the very centerpiece of the ryan budget is a dramatic shift of even more wealth to those at the top, huge new tax cuts for the richest 2%. the senator from california pointed out, if you take the bush tax cuts and extend those, which mr. romney would do and mr. ryan's budget does, then add on to it the tax cuts in the ryan budget, which mr. romney
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supports, so i can call it the romney-ryan budget ou or the ryan-romney ought about, if you do that if you make over $1 million a year, you're going to get nearly $400,000 a year in new tax cuts. think about it. that takes your breath away. $129,000 in the bush tax cuts would be extended, plus an additional $265,000 that would be in the ryan budget. now, you know, madam president, we hear a lot about entitlements. going to cut entitlements, cut entitlements, and i will refer to that more in my continuing remarks. but this is an entitlement. think about it. if you make over $1 million a year, you're entitled to that. you don't have to do anything else. don't have to jump through any
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hopes, don't have to show any hurt, anything else. it's just if you make over $1 million, you're entitled to it. how about this entitlement:, the republicans always can't to make to seems seem that entitlements only go to poor people. or the elderly. or children. they talk about medicaid as an entitlement. what about this? this is an entitlement to those who are rich, an entitlement. well, so how do they pay for all of this? how do the republicans pay for all of this? well, they don't want to say how they do but all you have to do is look at the ryan budget and that will tell you how they pay for it. they pay for it by massive cuts -- draconian cuts -- to programs that are undergird the middle class, essential to the quality of life of this country, like education cuts, student grants and loans cuts, law enforcement
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cuts, clean air and clean water cuts, food safety cuts, medical research cut, highways, bridges, and other infrastructure that were focused on by the senator from california ... cut. cut. all those would be cut. the republican plan would end medicare. it really would. people say, well, it would end medicare as we know it. it would end medicare, period. it would turn it into voucher care. so now we have a new word. not medicare, but voucher care. that would force seniors to pay nearly $6,000 more per year out of pocket for their health care in years. i'll explain that more later. you get a voucher. you don't get medicare. you get a voucher. well, that plan would strip tens of millions of americans of their health care coverage, cut millions of poor kids from
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nutrition programs. their plan would leave america with a less skilled workforce, a deteriorating infrastructure, "maybe" making us less competitive in the global marketplace. lastly, the republicans offset these big, new tax cuts by actually raising taxes on the middle class. that's a dirty little secret that you won't find unless you dig into the ryan budget. it's true. it's true. now, here's why. under the republican plan, under the ryan-romney budget, middle-class families are net losers paying significantly higher taxes. the wealthy are huge net winners. the nonpartisan tax policy center estimates that under the romney-ryan budget, middle-class families with children would see their taxes go up on average by nearly $2,000 a year.
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the bottom line is that the ry ryan-romney -- romney-ryan budget does not reduce the budget. you know, i -- i'm hearing -- i hear congressman ryan out there talking on the stump and mr. romney about the budget deficit and the budget deficit and they go on and on. why don't they own up to it. the ryan budget keeps us in a deficit for 28 more years. yes, you heard me right. the ryan budget keeps us in the red for 28 more years. now, when president clinton was inaugurated in 1993 -- january 1993, and we put through the clinton budget, which i might point out not one republican supported, it turned those deficits right around and within, what, five years, six
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years we were in a surplus. it doesn't take 28 years. it only took a democratic president and a democratic congress, passing the legislation in 1993, to end the slight into deficit deficits ant into surplus in only five or six years. the ryan budget keeps us in a deficit for 28 years. again, the savings that they gain by slashing spending, raising taxes on the middle class go to partially offsetting the $4.5 trillion in new tax cuts, most of which goes to the wealthiest americans. the truth is, representative ryan is not interested in balancing the budget. that's not his interest. even under the most rosy assumptions of his, as i said, the budget would not balance until 2040. the reality is, the ryan budge
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budget's recoverbudgetbudget's o reduce taxes on those at the top. congressman ryan has turned out to be a true acolyte, acolyte. acolyte. -- acolyte of former vice president cheney, who famously said in an unguarded moment -- quote -- "deficits don't matter." remember that? vice president cheney, "deficits don't matter." well, i guess they didn't to him and president george w. bush because look at the deficits they plunged us into. and now congressman ryan is basically with his budget -- he won't say it publicly, but with his budget, essaying the same thing. deficits just don't matter. what matters is tax cuts to the wealthy. now, mr. president, never in our history have we seen a budget
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proposal so radical and extreme, so radical and so extreme. i was here, i was in the house and later in the senate when president reagan was president. he was conservative, but he wasn't radical and as extreme as this budget. this is -- when i -- when i tell people back in iowa about the -- about the ryan budget, they say come on, that approach is so extreme and unbalanced, you must be making it up. well, mr. president, the romney-ryan plan is extreme and unbalanced, and i'm not making it up. don't take my word for it. listen to former house speaker newt gingrich. he criticized the ryan budget. he called it -- quote -- "right-wing social engineering." end quote. all i can say is, newt, you got
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that one right. mr. president, representative ryan believes in radically shrinking the size of government to what it was over half a century ago. his aim is to use the deficit crisis as a pretext for degrading and dismantling everything from medicare and medicaid to education, environmental protection, workplace safety, medical and scientific research and on and on. and it doubles down, as president clinton said, it doubles down on the theory that if we just give more and more of our national wealth to those at the top, it will magically trickle down. we've tried that before. it sure doesn't work. now, i'd like to focus some more of my remarks this evening on the devastating impact of the romney-ryan budget on medicare and medicaid, but health care
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more generally. now, since he first arrived in congress, representative ryan hases are tently -- has consistently pushed a very radical program to end medicare, end medicare, as we say, as we know it. but to go to voucher care, give everybody a voucher. but under his proposal, seniors would no longer have the guaranteed medical benefits that they have enjoyed for decades. instead, they would get a voucher from the federal government and they can go out and buy individual private insurance or medicare. well, now, that's the catchy little thing. you will hear mr. ryan and mr. romney say well, they can buy medicare if they would like it or they can buy private insurance. now, let's look at that. they say this is a tough-minded solution to our debt problem, but it's just a scheme, a scheme
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to shift costs on to america's seniors rather than making debt reduction a shared sacrifice for all of us. so again, let's look at this voucher system. they would get a voucher program, a senior could buy traditional medicare or health insurance. so what's the catch? the voucher won't be enough to cover health care costs, so seniors' out-of-pocket health care costs will steadily increase. the nonpartisan congressional budget office has projected that the ryan budget proposal could increase annual out-of-pocket costs by seniors by more than 1,200 in 2030 and $6,000 in 2050. now, what this chart shows is the increase in health care costs in today's dollars, constant dollars, that an
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elderly person will have to pay for during their respected life -- their average life expectancy from the time they retire. so in 2023, the average senior living an average life span would pay $59,500 more. senator boxer rounded that off and said $60,000 more. but look what happens when you get to 2030. the average senior will pay $124,600 more over their expected life span. 2040, $216,000 more. and by 2050, $331,000 more for the retirement years that they would have to pay in health care costs. and that's in constant $2,012. well, okay, you say well, but a
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senior can go out and buy traditional medicare or private insurance. now, here's the catch on that. what you do is you put medicare in a death spiral. here's how. if you're a very healthy senior, you can go out in the private insurance market and probably get a pretty good deal. you have no preexisting conditions, you have never had cancer, no one in your family has had it, you're very healthy, you have never smoked, you know, and you're just in great physical shape, you can probably go out and get a cheap private insurance policy with your voucher. so what stays in medicare then? the oldest and the sick. and therefore the costs of mcintyre spiral up and spiral up and becomes untenable. it's a death spiral. that's mr. ryan's way of killing medicare. oh, yeah, he says you will get a
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voucher, you can buy medicare or you can buy private insurance. but it puts medicare into a death spiral. the ryan budget turns this successful, reliable, comprehensive source of health care that seniors have relied on for decades and have paid into, i might add, during their years of hard work into some unproven, unpredictable right-wing conservative experiment. well, i don't want to experiment with the elderly. i want them to have good health care that they can afford that's universal and that they can count on. obama, president obama has fought to strengthen medicare, and he believes, as we do, that it's a sacred contract, and he has made a commitment to strengthen medicare in the affordable care act. for example, by eliminating the gaps in coverage, closing the doughnut hole which we have
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already started to do. elderly iowans got over $600 back this year just from closing the doughnut hole, reducing the cost of prescription drugs. according to medicare's own actuaries, the affordable care act, obamacare, extends the program's solvency from twict to 20 -- from 2016 to 2024. as the senator from california said, by fighting waste, fraud and abuse and by getting rid of wasteful subsidies to insurance companies. so our plan for medicare is basically summed up mend it but don't end it. now, i -- i was taken a little aback yesterday. over the weekend, governor romney stated he would keep some of the popular provisions of the affordable care act. like what? well, like kids staying on their parents' insurance plans until they are 26, insuring -- ensuring coverage for folks with
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preexisting conditions. well, i said well, wait a second, i thought he said on the first day he was going to repeal obamacare, but now he says he wants to keep them. well, i was a little confused, but my confusion was shortlived because his campaign then came out with a clarifying statement. they clarified what governor romney said, and this is the quote. quote -- "governor romney will ensure that discrimination against individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage is prohibited." end quote. well, "the washington post" reports that 89 million americans would be left out of romney's preexisting condition plan. why? they were working and they had a health plan, they were out of work for a month or two, maybe went someplace else to work, got a different plan. sorry, you didn't have continuous coverage, you don't
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get covered. these are the little games that governor romney and congressman ryan are playing with the american people. mr. durbin: would the senator yield for a question? mr. harkin: i would be delighted to yield to my friend from illinois. mr. durbin: i was trying to understand this republican position. it used to be crystal clear. 23 debates, we heard the republican candidates say, one after another after another, first day in office, obamacare is gone, but i heard the same thing you did. and i have tried to understand it. now, i do give governor romney some credence in this regard. i have said when asked he is the baby daddy of obamacare because it was governor romney who created the first version of obamacare in the commonwealth of massachusetts, and he understood, and i hope the senator from iowa can help me to understand and those listening,
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he understood the concept of insurance. if everyone who bought an insurance policy wrecked their car or got sick the next day, insurance wouldn't work. the only way it works is most people are safe drivers. they buy insurance and a small percentage use it, so there is a pool of money collected for premiums, creating a reserve for accidents. so here we have a situation where governor romney has agreed with us -- i commend him -- that people with preexisting conditions, when it comes to health care, should not be discriminated against, but the senator from iowa, as chair of the committee that dealt with obamacare, knows what adverse selection means. it means that if you wait until you're sick to buy your health insurance, the whole system falls apart. and so in massachusetts they required everybody to buy health insurance, individual mandates, some of the critics might say.
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we call it, some of us, individual responsibility, and we did the same when it came to health care reform, keeping in mind if you currently have health insurance, like your doctor, like your hospital, we're not going to change your life one bit, but for those who are out in the marketplace, the availability of health insurance will be there, but everyone has a responsibility to buy it. we don't think twice when we have a closing on a home when they say now, you need fire insurance on this home. my home has never burned down, thank goodness, but i buy fire insurance, individual responsibility, so there is somebody to pay the mortgage off if the house burns down. but in this circumstance, what i understand governor romney to say is we don't think insurance companies should discriminate against people with preexisting conditions, okay, i'm with him, but then he goes on to say i think the point that you have made, let's kind of bear into this for a minute, what he goes on to say is so long as you have
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had continuous insurance. well, what if you were unlucky enough to lose a job? out of luck. your preexisting condition just disqualified you from health insurance. you're stuck under the romney approach. what if you had any kind of interruption whatever in your insurance coverage? you're dead in the water. so when we talk about taking uninsured people, bringing them into insurance that has quality to it, quality coverage, where you can't discriminate against people, we're saying whatever your previous insurance experience, we're all going to get in this together. we're all coming under the tent together, and you can't be discriminated against because you're a woman, had a baby, all the different things that they have used. so when you listen closely to it, here was governor romney basically saying i'm against the discripple nation on preexisting
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conditions but then footnote down at the bottom of the page as long as you have had continuous coverage. it's an empty promise. it doesn't give you anywhere near the protection and assurance that obamacare gives. that, i understand, being the difference. is that the way you understand governor romney's clarification of his statement of yesterday? mr. harkin: i -- i thoroughly agree with my friend from illinois, mr. president, that, you know, governor romney makes the statement. it's on a very popular, well-viewed sunday talk show, "meet the press." so the average american says oh, governor romney, he is for keeping coverage for preexisting conditions. yeah, well, that's good. that's nice to know. they don't hear the clarification that came about later because that was not on "meet the press." that was sort of under the radar screen when they said that they wanted to clarify it, that
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governor romney what he meant was they would ensure that discrimination against individuals with preexisting conditions who maintain continuous coverage. as "the washington post" pointed out, there is 89 million americans out there that would be disqualified because they had a plan, they lost -- as the senator said, they lost their job or moved, something like that, picked up another plan, there goes your coverage. just think about that. you're a family. let's say your spouse has a preexisting condition. could be diabetes, could be cancer, could be anything. you've been covered under a plan. what president obama with the affordable care act, obamacare says beginning in 2014, just as we now cover children, beginning in 2014, no -- no plan can discriminate against you because of a preexisting condition. what romney is saying with his clarification is only if you've
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always had that plan. what if you're a family and moved from one state to another? that's where the job is. you moved. your spouse, maybe one of your children maybe who is still on your policy has had a preexisting condition. they won't cover you. they won't cover you. mr. romney didn't say that. he didn't say that on "meet the press." mr. durbin: i've met some people in illinois who have said i cannot leave my job. cannot leave my job because i don't know that i can ever find insurance again because i have a child with a problem prob, a spouse with a problem. the real world of human experience tells us this happens all the time. and you wonder sometimes, 89 million americans, almost one out of three americans are not covered by this romney plan. how does this solve any problems? if we are not going to have insurance that we can count on when we need it, it's worthless. it is a subsidy the insurance
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companies, doesn't pay off when the family needs it. i didn't mean to interrupt the senator from iowa but i wanted to make that point very strongly. mr. harkin: i appreciate the senator from illinois. by say one other thing my friend brought it up this idea of the individual manhattan that then-governor romney supported in massachusetts. we all have it within us, especially as americans, we don't like to be told anything. we don't like to have a mandate put on us. well, as the chair of the health committee and someone very much involved in this process of getting the affordable care act through, i want to make it very clear, you don't have to buy insurance. there is no individual mandate that you have to buy insurance. i want make that clear and keep making that point. i've been making it for months now. you don't have to buy it. it just says if you don't buy it and you get real sick and you want to get in line to get
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insurance, you pay a penalty. you call it a free rider penalty, that's what it is, a free rider penalty. have we ever seen that before? yeah, how about medicare? we have it in medicare. when you turn 65, you don't have to get part b. no one tells you you have to do that. but if you wait until you're 67 or 68 or 69 or 70, you pay more. be you will pay a lot more because it's a free rider penalty than if you picked it up when you were 65 or 62 when you retired. so we got to get this idea this is some kind of an individual mandate you're forced to do something. no, you're not forced to do it but if you're a free rider and you say, well, but i'll only go when i get sick like the car accident that the senator pointed out, yeah, you pay the a penalty, that's all. you don't have a mandate.
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when you describe it as -- they say yeah, that sounds fair. if you're not going to be in the insurance pool, it's like, you know, i'm not going to have car insurance. but if i have a wreck, i want to call insurance company and insure me to the moment right before the wreck. that's nonsense. of course we don't do that. of course we don't do that. well, again as i said, mr. president, i intend to take the floor today, tomorrow, and the next several days to point out what the ryan plan does, both in an overall but basically in health care. basically in health care. let's talk about medicaid. how about medicaid? medicaid. let's see. what does medicaid do? medicaid basically as i've said many times is there to give a decent quality of health care
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and quality of life to the hopeless, the helpless, and the hapless. people who otherwise just sort of fall through the cracks. people who need health care who can't afford it or who because of their life situation have never been able to get any kind of health care coverage. well, here's what he does. i'll get into this more. in medicaid funding, the senator from california mentioned this, over ten years takes 810 billion -- not million, $810 billion out of medicaid. so what does that mean? who does that hurt? who does that hurt? well, one out of every two americans with a disability. one out of every two americans with a disability uses medicaid. that's who's hurt.
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that's who's hurt. services from the medicaid program allow our citizens with disabilities to live with dignity and purpose in their homes, in their communities. three million seniors and people with disabilities use the program to avoid having to go into a nursing home. how about medicaid for middle-class families? we always think medicaid is people for boo with disabilities. i got that one, harkin. or just poor people. how about americans in the middle class? how about an american family, middle-class family, hundreds of thousands of american families who have children with lifelong disabilities. lifelong disabilities like down's syndrome or autism, medicaid gives them a life line.
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or they would be paying out of their pockets from middle-class families for the care and the health care costs of their children for their entire lifetimes. yes, this is one of the entitlements they want to cut. medicaid is an entitlement. well, how about that tax plan? if you're a millionaire, that's all you have to be. have an income over a million dollars a year and you get huge tax benefits. how about that entitlement? don't touch that one. so the ryan budget at the center is his promise to repeal the affordable care act, obamacare. obamacare. obamacare. a commonsense health reform that led the commonwealth of massachusetts to have one of the
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lowest uninsurance rates in the country. obamacare. republicans have been using thats a as a pejorative. i say it proudly. i was with president obama in iowa a couple of weeks ago when he spoke to a huge group of students at my alma mater, iowa state university. there was a big sign in the back said obamacare. and president obama loond looked at it and said yes, obamacare. he said speaking of himself in the third person, he said yes, obama does care. he said i care about making sure you're covered with preexisting conditions. i want to make sure kids can stay on their parents' policy while they're in college. yes, i want to make sure that the elderly have a good, affordable comaird program. i want to make -- medicare program. i want to make sure people have good preventive systems in america. obamacare. that's what obamacare is, obama
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cares and he cares very deeply that we have a health care system for all and not just for a few. as has been -- was said by commit president clinton in his speech, he said an american policy based upon we're all in this together is much better than the policy of tough luck, you're on your own. which is the ryan budget philosophy. well, when you get past the political theater and look at what the ryan budget actually means, it's not a very pretty picture. the ryan budget would repeal the prescription drug doughnut hole closure that we're doing. it would allow insurance companies to charge as much as $300 for preventive services, one of the key elements we put in obamacare. 86 million americans now receive
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at least one free preventive service last year, more this year. almost a million iowans received one free preventive service in 2011 meaning they got preventive care so they don't get sicker and cost us more money. the ryan budget, again, would allow people to deny you coverage or increase your premiums if you have a preexisting condition. this protection means a lot to this person right here. this is eleanor pierce, cedar falls, iowa. i spoke about her before. he who was denied health insurance when she lost her job because of her preexisting condition of high blood pressure. she racked up $60,000 in medical debt. the ryan budget, they would repeal obamacare. they would tell people like
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eleanor pierce, tough luck, you're on your own. we're not all in this together, you see. tough luck. you're on your own. you mean you're not worth a million dollars? tough luke luk. you're on your own. repeal would allow insurance companies to put limits on the coverage of more than 100 million americans stopping benefits right when they get sick. repeal would kick more than three million young people off their parents' policies. this is emily shlicting who testified before our committee, eloquent young woman goalg going to college in omaha. she side young people are the future of this country and we are the most affected by reform. we're the generation that is most affected. we need the affordable care act because it is literally an investment in the future of this country. she suffered sufers from a rare autoimmune disorder that would
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totally make her uninsurable. in the old days. and under the ryan budget, which is and which brings back those old days. thanks to the affordable care act she can stay on her parents' policies until she is 26 and by 2014, regardless of her preexisting condition she'll get affordable health insurance coverage. repeal under the ryan budget would allow insurance companies to spend americans' premium dollars on c.e.o.'s bonus perks marketing, fancy buildings rather than actual health care. under the health care reform medical loss ratio requirement, policyholders nationwide will receive more than $1 billion in rebates from insurers this year. $1 billion in rebates this year. back to policyholders. back to families.
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otherwise that billion dollars would be going into yes c.e.o.'s bonus, market, private jets, company planes, things like that, fancy buildings. well, these are just a few of the ways that the romney-ryan budget would repeal obamacare and drag america backwards. back to the bad old days. now, over the last few weeks, again, i would just repeat representative ryan has been selling telg everyone how the president's health reform plan robs medicare. totally facialous. -- fallacious. first the nonpartisan economists have certified that obamacare strengthens the medicare program, extends its solvency by eight years. what president obama did as the senator from california pointed out, it makes the program more efficient, saving money on wasteful overpayments to private insurance companies, cracking
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down on fraud. what mr. ryan won't tell you is that the very reforms that president obama has in our affordable care act is the same that he has in his ryan budget. what he doesn't tell you is that while president obama takes those savings and puts it back into medicare, mr. ryan takes those savings and yes, you guessed it, puts it into more tax breaks for the wealthy. by repealing the affordable care act the ryan plan would put americans at the mercy of insurance companies and deprive more than 30 million people of affordable coverage. i was just looking at my own state of iowa here. i have one here on iowa i wanted to point out because i'm obviously what happens to my
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seniors in iowa. the ryan plan means that -- almost 440,000 iowa seniors would be forced to vouchers when they retire. you get those vouchers, right? 60,000 iowa seniors would be forced back into the prescription drug doughnut hole. the doughnut hole would open up again. 400,000 iowa seniors would pay more for preventive services this year and i can tell you our seniors in iowa are flocking to get their preventive health care services. they know, they know an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. before those preventative services cost money. now they get them free. and it's going to save and make their lives better and save us a lot of money. so obamacare decreases the deficit by almost $110 billion over the first ten years, more than a trillion dollars in the
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next decade. mr. ryan and mr. romney won't tell you that. but it's true. reduces the deficit. reduces the deficit. and it insures more than 94% of all americans, over 94% of all americans will have that coverage. mr. president, the bottom line is very simple and i'll be talking about this in the days ahead. president obama will protect medicare, will protect health care not only for our seniors but for young people, for middle-class americans, and yes, for those on the bottom rung of the ladder who need medicaid to sustain them and give them quality health care. the ryan budget rolls back all of thi this, rolls it all back.
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and so again we are faced with this choice. faced with this choice -- the ryan budget or what president obama has come forward in his budget and with his obamacare, to make sure that america remains a good middle-class country, where people on the bottom have the rungs on the ladder to get into that middle class. where the middle class knows they can leave a job and go to another job and not lose their health care plan. where someone can start a small business and know that they will have health insurance coverage for themselves and the one or two or three or four or five workers who work for them. our small businesses now will become more competitive with the big businesses in america. mr. president, i think it's safe
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to say that if only the american people will just study the ryan budget, the blue print. this is where they want to take you, this is where they want to take me, this is where they want to take all of america -- back to an america that our parents moved beyond, that our parents said, no, we're going to move forward, which we have buttressed ourselves in our own lifetimes in moving america forward to a country where we truly are all in this together. where we are not just a lottery country. where if you live -- if you win the lottery, you're okay, you've got it made. if you don't, tough luck, sucker; you're on your own. that's not the america that our parents fought for in world war ii or in korea or vietnam. they're not -- it's not the kind of america that martin luther king jr. marched for and died for.
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it's not the kind of america -- not the kind of america that we want to see for our kids and our grandkids. so, mr. president, we have a choice. the choice is clear. let's move forward. i yield the floor. a senator: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, most commissions that are appointed in washington -- at least my experience suggests -- hardly make a ripple. people hardly notice them. after a lot of hard work, a report is published and that's about it. some historian at a later date may look at the work they've done and the research they've done and that's about it, the extent of it. there are a few exceptions. and i was fortunate enough a few years ago to be appointed to one of those exceptions and that was president obama's deficit reduction committee, the simpson-bowles commission. and i was appointed because i'm a member of the appropriations committee and senator reid said we should have someone on there from finance, appropriations and budget. i took the assignment, one of the three democratic senators -- there were three republican senators, three republican house members, three democratic house members and an additional 12
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members -- well, that would be an additional six members, i should say, appointed by the president, public members. the public members consisted of a number of people, alice rivlin, who's well respected in washington, as well as business leaders and community leaders. we met for about a year and considered the budget deficit and all of the federal spending and came to know one another a little bit during that period of time. one of the members of that commission was paul ryan, congressman from jaynesville, wisconsin, just over the border from my state of illinois. i knew paul before, got to know him a little better during the course of that commission. he's a very bright person. we have some common friends in the jaynesville area and i know that he had worked with senator feingold, democrat of wisconsin, on some issues before. what surprised me at the end of the day was despite his obvious
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training and knowledge in the budget deficit, when it came time for a vote on this bipartisan deficit commission report, all three house republican members, including congressman paul ryan, voted "no." i voted "yes." two out of the three democratic senators voted "yes." and i was surprised in a way because i thought that although the simpson-bowles plan had its miss -- its shortcomings, things i disagreed with -- and said so -- it really was a dramatic step forward to try to deal with our deficit in a fair fashion. jeb henserling of texas was another republican congressman and dave camp of michigan chairing the senate finance committee with congressman paul ryan, they all voted "no." i was surprised at the republican convention in tampa, florida, when congressman ryan, the republican vice presidential nominee, criticized president obama over this commission, the
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simpson-bowles commission report, saying he hadn't worked hard to implement it. i thought that was a curious position for congressman ryan to take because he had voted against it. now he was criticizing president obama for not working hard enough on the commission report. but i came to understand that a little more when i took a closer look at congressman paul ryan's budget plan for america. before he was chosen to run as governor romney's runningmate, paul ryan, the congressman and chairman of the house budget committee, issued his vision of what america should be doing over the next several years. one of the most controversial sections relates to medicare. medicare, of course, is the insurance policy for the elderly and many disabled in our count country. it is for 40-plus million americans a lifeline. it means even in their old age they will have good protection from health insurance because they've paid into it during all
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of their working years. paul ryan observed that the medicare program would come to an end if it weren't changed. we know that it has about 12 years left of solvency and change will be needed. his proposal, though, would do more than change medicare. it would end it as we know it. the ryan approach would create vouchers, coupons for senior citizens to buy health insuran insurance. it would force them to pay more out of pocket for medicare. according to c.b.o., congressional budget office, the romney-ryan plan would force medicare beneficiaries to pay up to $1,200 more by 2030 and almost $6,000 by 2050. that's about $500 a month ultimately. congressman ryan said seniors could choose to stay in traditional medicare or they could basically go into a private health insurance market.
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now, a senior who is both healthy and wealthy would have an option. those not so healthy or wealthy would find the only option traditional medicare, and more and more people with a history of illness would be forced into traditional medicare, making it a very expensive insurance program and difficult to maintain. the paul ryan voucher plan puts medicare in competition with the private insurance companies and, as i said, many seniors would find that the competition wouldn't want them and they'd be stuck with traditional medicare, much different than it is today. medicare would be taking care of the seniors whose care costs more so medicare premiums would increase. and as they go up and seniors begin to leave medicare, it causes premiums to rise further, which would cripple the program. the paul ryan plan eliminates all the consumer protections in the affordable care act, putting insurance companies back in the driver's seat.
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i don't think most americans believe that's a good place to be -- at the mercy of an insurance company, an adjustor who would decide whether you're covered and how much they'll pay. young adults would no longer stay on their parents' insurance plan under the romney-ryan proposal to eliminate obamacare. people with preexisting conditions would be denied coverage subject to the conversation i had earlier, dialogue with senator harkin, on the floor, families would once again face lifetime limits on coverage and seniors would be forced back into the doughnut hole, meaning paying more out-of-pocket expenses for their medicare prescription drugs. i don't think this is a good plan for america and i don't think americans once they hear the details are going to like it. the obamacare program has already helped a lot of people. the report today said that there was a 16% increase in coverage of younger americans because of obamacare. these are younger americans up to the age of 26 who now can stay on their family plans.
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1.6 million americans have been added into coverage under their parents' plan because of this change in the law. now, those who say "i'll repeal obamacare" would repeal that protection, forcing 1.6 million young people without jobs or coverage out of the protection they have today. i can't imagine 125,000 young adults in illinois who benefited from obamacare would believe that's a good idea, nor would their families. since the affordable care act was signed into law, medicare beneficiaries in illinois have satived over $171 million on their prescription drugs. there was a discussion earlier about medicaid program. medicaid is an important program in illinois and most states. i asked julie hamos who administers our program in i will hoyle explain it in a you words. "one out of three children in illinois are covered by medica
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medicaid." medicaid pays in illinois for 52% of the births -- that's prenatal care and delivery of the child. 52% paid for by medicaid. but those two things -- child coverage and coverage for new moms and their babies -- doesn't even represent half the cost of medicaid in illinois. 60% of the cost of illinois in medicaid is for the elderly and disabled, many of whom are just completely out of luck and out of money. they live on social security, medicare, and medicaid. they're in nursing homes and convolume lessent centers. they don't have any place to turn. so medicaid is a critical insurance program for some of the most vulnerable people in america. most seniors and disabled people on medicare also receive state medicaid, the dual-eligibles they're called. that's 15% of medicaid enrollees, but 39% of medicaid spending -- low-income elderly people who have no place else to turn. so when paul ryan in his budget
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suggests he's going to cut back on medicaid payments each year, giving a smaller amount of money to states, saying "make do," who is at risk? children, one out of three in illinois on medicaid. moms having babies, over half of the moms having babies in our state, and the elderly folks who have no place to turn. think about what that means? a child without basic health insurance, medicaid in my styte or any with i less likely to hae a doctor and an office visit to avoid a trip to an emergency room. a mother without prenatal care is, unfortunately, more likely to give birth to a child with a problem, and we don't want to see that for the sake of the child, first, seniorly for the mom, -- certainly for the mom, for the taxpayers. there's no money saved by
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scrimping on medical care for new moms. the ryan plan converts ned medicaid into a block grant and cuts federal funding for the program by 34% over the next ten years. 34%. so i'd ask congressman ryan, which of those groups do you want to cut back on in terms of coverage? according to the c.b.o., cuts at the level the ryan plan calls for would mean states would have to reduce eligibility for medicaid and children's health insurance or cover fewer services, and i might add, mr. president, i'm sure it's true in the state of oregon, it's certainly true in illinois, one of the most critical areas of medical need is dental care. i tal talk to doctors every timi go back home and this emergency rooms and hospitals who have people come in to see them in pain because of problems with their teeth, and they end up getting pain medication, but nothing is taken care of.
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so when we talk about restricting care, as paul ryan has suggested in his budget, i have to tell you, i believe think i-- i think itis extremel. a toothache can turn into a life-threatening situation. if anything, we ought to be reviewing basic medicaid services to expand at least into dental care. i would support that. i think it is extremely shortsighted for us not to include it. this paul ryan budget wouldn't expand medicaid. it would cut it back dramatically. states would lower payments to doctors and nurses by a third. can you imagine what that would do? it would reduce the number of providers, which makes it more difficult. just to give an example, in the quad cities in illinois, there is a great clinic put together by a friend of mine in an hispanic section of moline. they provide basic -- basic primary health care. if you need a specialist, you're
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referred at least an hour and a half drive to pe peoria or at lt three-hour drive to shy. these are the poorest people living in our towns. do they make it to a 13egsist? eer usually not. the paul ryan approach reducing the amount of money paid to providers would mean even fewer specialists would be willing to help those who are poor. but the thing that troubles me the most about congressman ryan is at least in his budget views, in his deficit views, as he talks a good game about reducing the deficit and voted against the si simpson-bowles commission report, he comes up with a budget that he produces in the house and cases he and governor -- and says he and governor romney will protect the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest people in america and increase defense spending. this does not work, it doesn't add up. it doesn't pass what president clinton called the arithmetic test. you can't increase tax cuts and
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increase spending on defense without, as president clinton said, digging the hole deeper and deeper. so they sound pretty good when they give the speeches about fiscal conservatism. we've the g.a.o. to be serious about the deficit. but their proposals just don't a madam chairwoman. the idea of lowering tax rates as they proposed, even below the bush tax cuts -- they said, we'll use tax reform to get to t the estimates suggest that the middle-income families will lose as a result of that. they think middle-income families face a higher tax of $2,000 a year to protect tax cuts for the wealthiest people. that is no, sir a positive -- that is not a positive thing in terms of helping a lot of working families living paycheck to paycheck. with each debated congres congrn ryan's plan for two years. the only ones who seem to like it are some republicans serving in congress. the majority of americans would oppose the paul ryan budget plan
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to end medicare as we mow it. the majority of americans seniorly is oppose his idea of raising taxes on middle-income families to pay for tax breaks for the wealthiest. congressman ryan has had his chance to make his case to the american people for his view of where we're going, and it won't work. i wish he'd joined us in a bipartisan effort of simpson-bowles. his vote in favor of that would have given him more credibility and maybe a better understanding. understanding -- a better understanding of the reality of budget deficit reduction. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed it a period of morning business with senators prime ministered to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent that the senate report number 208 be star printed with the changes at the desk. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i understand that s. 3519 is at the desk and due for a second reading. the presiding officer: clerk will read the title for the second time.
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the clerk: s. 35189, a bill to require sponsoring senators to pay the printing costs of ceremonial and commemorative senate resolutions. mr. durbin: i would to be any further proceedings with respect to the bill. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. durbin: i understand there are three bills at the desk. i ask for their first reading en bloc. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 8, an act to extend certain tax relief provisions enacted in 2001 & 2003 and for other purposes. s. 3522, a bill to provide for the expansion of affordable refinancing of mortgages and so forth. s. 3525, a bill to protect and enhangs opportunities for recreational hunting, fishing, and shooting and for other
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purposes. mr. durbin: i now ask for the second reading en bloc and to be my own request. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. durbin: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes -- the presiding officer: jukes a meme. -- just a moment the bill will be read for the second time on the next legislative day. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourning until 10:00 a.m. on tuesday, september 11, 2012, following the prayer and pledge, journal of proceedings, the morning hour be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders be reserved for that use later in the day. the majority leader be recognized and that the first hour be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the majority controlling the first half and the republicans controlling the final half. and that at 11:00 a.m., there be a moment of silence in observance of the 11th anniversary of the attacks on september 11, 2001. the senate adjourning from 12:30 to 2:15 for the weekly caucus
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meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: the first roll call vote will be at 2:15 p.m. if there is to further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 am team. -- 10:00 a.m.
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if they don't do anything, it would expire, so they're look at extending it past the lame duck session and into next year, taking that out of the politics. and >> and veterans job corps bill, which would create a veterans job corps similar to the great depression programs. for returning veterans, and
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government jobs like firefighters and police, and also conservation workers. >> you mentioned temporary funding, the continuing resolution to keep the government running. is there agreement between the parties in both chambers on short-term funding. >> the leaders of the democratic leadership and the senate and the republican leadership in the house announced they were going to take this off the table. they agreed -- we call it short-term, but it's actually a long-term extension, extending into next year, and they've already agreed on the outline of that. they're still working on the details, but they've agreed on that and the conservative faction are not going to put up a big fight. the big fight brewing on what the overall number is. this takes the current programs and extended them into next year. the question is, can
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conservatives get the spending number come down and they agreed to use the numbers from last year's deal. to adhere to those, and that taken a lot of the fight out of the issue this time around. >> there's a bill later this week dealing with sequestration. can you tell us about that bill? >> sure. this comes on the heels of a debate that's been happening over the last couple weeks or so. it went out in late july, early august. congress passed a bill that required the president to lay out specific sequestration cuts, and trying to put more political pressure on all sides to try to get rid of these cuts. the president actually missed the deadline. he signed the bill but missed the deadline for providing informationful the house is going to vote to undo the cuts. they say they've already taken a couple different votes to undo the defense cuts and they're
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going to take one more vote. this is not likely to go anywhere. the democrats like having those sequesters hanging out, the automatic spending cuts hanging out there, as pressure to force both sides to get a long-term deal done on spending issues. so i guess it's a messaging you'll see on the house floor. >> if we can redirect quickly back, what other measures are on the congressional agenda before lawmakers head home next month to campaign for reeleaks. >> the suspension cannelure, a lot of measures they need two-thirds vote, and you take care of easy stuff. among those the house is going to accept the frederick douglass statue that the district of columbia is going to provide. there's things on dealing with camping fees on federal land. so a lot of housekeeping things, even if they're going be gone, on


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