is gaveled out for the day. right now go live to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the senate chaplain, retired admiral dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. god of heaven, your are great and we come before your throne with reverence. lord, look at us and hear our prayers for our congress, our nation, and our world. make our lawmakers so
transparently just and fair that falsehood may be banished by the truth that sets us free. supply the needs of those who are hurting because of this government shutdown, as you give our senators the conviction that, with you, all things are possible. we pray in your great name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate flb a period of morning business for debate only until 4:00 p.m. this afternoon. senators will be allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each during that period of time. mr. president, senator schumer yesterday on the floor talked about what the house is doing, and he described it like "alice in wonderland." i don't know if that's an apt description. mamaybe it is beyond that. here is where we now are. the house has passed a bill to pay for federal employees. listen to this, though, mr. president: once the government opens. huh ... well, why wouldn't we do that? why wouldn't we do that? but the problem is, this
uncontroversial legislation is kind of unique, isn't it? so now what the republicans in the house are telling -- because they're the ones that set the agenda -- what they're telling all these federal workers, what we're going to do for you now, even though we don't like federal workers and we haven't given you a raise in three years, what we're going to do now is give you a paid vacation. that's what it is. these people who want to go to work, can't go to work. but they're going to get paidment, they know when we leave here. we heard today that the number of federal employees are applying for unemployment benefits. so it's really cruel to tell workers they'll receive back pay once the government opens and then refuse to open the government.
mr. president, let's open the government. hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal servants want to work. they should be allowed to work. we have, for example, right now in our national security agencies, we have 1,000 mathematicians -- the nulls may- --the numbers may be a little bit wrong, but very close. we have 2,500 computer scientists, 940 ph.d.'s who are -- they're home. they can't work, they can't get paid. it's not fair to them or our country. let them work. and we get these little piecemeal pieces of lels from -- pieces of legislation from the
house. for example, open the park service. in nevada, that's great because we have some national forests there. but 87% of the land in the state of nevada is owned by the federal government. the vast majority of that land is bureau of land management. we have some beautiful conservation areas, one called red rock, over a million people visit that every year. it's a closed. so opening the park service doesn't help place eight for nine miles out of las vegas where a million people come toist have. they come there to do that. some of the best rock climb something there. some of the best rock climbing in the world is there. these are ordinary americans who haven't been treated very well during the last several years by the republicans anyway. no pay raises, they treat
federal employees like they are a lower class of worker than other people. now, remember, federal workers work really hard. the presiding officer works ha hard. all 8 million federal employees work hard. thethere are exceptions, just le everyplace else. but i met two people yesterday. this hurts federal employees not being able to work. it hurts others. lockheed announced today they're laying off 3,000 people. they can't get inspections done. i was with someone yesterday evening from usair. they cannot tak -- a brand-new
airplane. it is sitting there. they can't take custody of the airplane. why? because they need a final inspection. now, these -- this is all through america. the federal government is involved in aspects of life that everyone has here in america. food inspectors, inspectors for making sure the safety on these $180 million airplanes. lockheed has things it is building. you know, madam president, some of them are missiles. they have to make sure that they're safe and reliable. one man told me that they must, in the warheads, in these nuclear weapons, test them after they've been here in service. they just can't leave them here. they need to test them. that time is there to beest ited.
the -- that time is there to be tested. the safety and reliability of our nuclear weapons, there's nobody to do it. and now we're saying to the federal employees, we're going to pay you when this is all over w but right now, you just stay home. you 1,000 mathematicians, you 9 wh40 ph.d.'s stay home. watch tv, play chess, whatever you want to do because we won't let you work. but look ahead ... you're going to get paid. so right now -- the absurdity of this. we like federal employees on this side of the aisle. i like federal employees. i look with great satisfaction at somebody who works for the f.b.i. or the park service. i want them to work. this is a really important time for people to visit our
monuments, our national treasures, but they can't do that. so not only does it hurt people who want to go see the washington monument up close, but also not in washington as much, but take the places around our national parks. there are little motels and restaurants that depend on those parks to make a living. and wintertime is coming, and the ability to visit these parks is now very limited. so, madam president, i've always cared about federal employees. they're doing these jobs -- take people that work for me and all members of congress here. i have, as we all do -- i have a rhodes scholar, she is a lawyer.
madam president, she could go out in the private sector and make ten times more money than she makes here. why isn't she doing that? she has two children. why doesn't she do that? because she cares about public service. i have people who work for me that are graduates of the best schools in america. they're here because they believe in public policy, they believe in being public servan servants. and they are a being told that they're non-- and they're being told that they're nonessential? now, some members of congress are showing off, i'm not closing my office. madam president, i've closed my office because i don't think my employees should be treated any different than someone that's working for the bureau of land management or the f.b.i. they're home.
mr. leahy: madam president, will the senator yield for a question? mr. reid: i will be happy to yield to my distinguished friend, the senior senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, the distinguished leader had the opportunity to serve in both bodies. this is what he said about his staff and the other staff -- i listened to what he said about his staff and the other staff. isn't it his observation that these staff people come here because of a love of this country and a love of this government, and without a doubt they put in extraordinary hours, far more hours than the public might realize. as a matter of facisn't that a ? mr. reid: madam president, it is so, so true. these men and women, for example, who are in the united states attorneys' offices,
assistant u.s. attorneys, they don't pufnlg punch a time cloc. they don't bill hours, how much they can make an hour. they take care of the needs of this country. if there are bad guys out there, they prosecute them. f.b.i. agent agents, people thak for the u.s. marshal service. they serve warrants to some of the most dangerous people in the world. they're home now. they're home. and they're doing those jobs, i say to the distinguished president pro tempore of the senate, because they chose public service. i'll be a little bit personal here, madam president. i have four boys and a girl, my daughter is the oldest. i love my children, as only a father could love their children.
my daughter is married to a lawyer. she is a schoolteacher. my four boys are all lawyers. my next youngest gave up a job, took a paycut of $200,000 a year so he could go to work as a city attorney in henderson, nevada. that's what public servants are all about. they're not in it for the money. they're not in it for the glory. they're in it because it's the right thing to do. as i look over this office, this chamber we're in, i see two of my staff in the back row. i look at one young man who was a graduate of stanford law school. it's either the first, second, or third-best law school every year in america.
could he go someplace else and make more money? you bet he could. he's an expert -- he's an expert on finances, the budget process. mr. nelson: madam president, would the senator yield for a quick comment? mr. reid: i would be happy to yield to my friend, the senior senator from the great state of florida. mr. nelson: madam president, since our leader is a former capitol policeman, might it be noted that all of this capitol police force that is protecting us and protected us the other day with the incident that occurred here, they're still here protecting us and they're not being paid. mr. reid: madam president, to my friend, i've given a couple
of statements the last two days about the capitol police. but i never brought up the fact that i was a police officer. but i was a police officer here in this building. my badge number is 364. i was an original. i still have it in my office here. i'm proud of that. now, mr. president -- madam president, i didn't have to do the dangerous things that these young men and women do here. some of them aren't so young anymore. they are really senior officers. but i carried a gun, and i did some things that police officers do. and to think, as we look around this room, plain clothes officers here, not getting paid. one of the officers that was hurt, was hospitalized in that accident, he wasn't getting paid. now, tell me, tell me, i say it to anyone who will listen or
answer this question, why don't we open the government and let people go to work and do their jobs? public service is a -- i won't say it is a calling, but some people feel it is. isee here, madam president, the senator from maine. he and i worked in this building, the capitol complex. maybe that's where we developed our love of public service. i don't know where we developed it. but we both have it. here's a man who has done such remarkable things. he not only worked in the senate many years ago, he was in the march, we celebrated the 50-year anniversary. he watched dr. king give the speech, from a tree. he loves public service, and he has a career that proves that. this junior senator from the state of maine is one of the
most dignified, experienced senators that this body has ever had. that's the way it is with everybody. the senator from north dakota -- she's the junior senator from north dakota -- she has dedicated her life to public service. many elected offices she held in the state of north dakota. she was a tax collector. she was an attorney for kent conrad when he was tax collector. she was attorney general. she ran for governor, would likely have been elected; she was stricken with breast cancer. but she came back. she came back because public service is in her blood, and she ran against great odds of becoming a united states senator. and she is a united states
senator not for the money, but because she is contributing to the welfare of this country. and we're having these people stay home. i mean it's hard for me to comprehend. it's been a week since the united states senate passed a bill to reopen the federal government. a week. for seven days the senate's been waiting for the house of representatives to act. now, madam president, speaker boehner has refused to allow the vote on the one bill that he said would reopen the government. it would open the government. keep it open. i mean, it's all over the press the last few days. he came to me. he said we can do a clean c.r.. i said what are the terms of that clean c.r.? he said it has to be this year's level. i said we can't do that. we passed a budget here. we're $70 billion above that. so we talked and we talked. he said that's how we can get a clean c.r.. what does that mean?
we can just get it done quickly. so i, as the press has indicated, i talked to senator murray. she may be small in stature, but she is one tough senator; chairman of the budget committee. and i also had to talk to barbara mikulski, the senior senator from the state of maryland. and that wasn't easy to get those two chairs to agree to do it. and once we got that done, i had to go to my caucus and sell that. i did it upon the representation that they would pass that and send it over to us. well, they sure didn't do that. the bill we're asking the speaker to vote on is one he told me he wanted.
now, if an economist that was john mccain's chief economic advisor during his campaign that has admiration of democrats and republicans, what he has said, if the shutdown drags on for three weeks, it will cost the economy $55 billion. how about that one? it's already one week. we can all do that math. that cost is on par with the economic damage caused by super storm sandy. what the house has done with their "alice in wonderland" operation is they created another sandy. it could be $55 billion. this is, though, not a act of nature. this is a man-made disaster. and it's a disaster waiting to happen for national security. the tea party shutdown is hampering our ability to enforce sanctions on iran, just when
they're beginning to really bite hard. the tea party shutdown is hurting our ability to gather intelligence. i talked about that here today. and according to the chief of staff of the army, the tea party shutdown is impacting the day-to-day operations of the united states armed forces. if the chief of the army isn't enough, how about secretary of defense who ridiculed what the house is doing. by the way, secretary hagel is a republican. so i know my republican colleagues are as concerned about the safety and security of the united states as i am. but they need to take a look at themselves and say, are they doing the right thing for the safety and security of our country. i am confident if they thought about it for a minute they would like to mitigate the impacts of the shutdown, the military and a dozen other government agencies as much as i do. but a piecemeal approaching funding the government by the --
funding the government bit by bit, that is not the answer. let them go to work. no matter how many bites the republicans take at the apple there is only one bill that makes sure everything is met. the senate bill to reopen the government. now, madam president, why are they doing this? the presiding officer is a distinguished attorney from the state of hawaii. but you don't have to be a distinguished attorney from anyplace to understand how crazy this is, what they're doing. they're saying we're not going to do anything until you let us hamper a bill that's already been around for four years. hamper is an understatement. they're not willing to do anything unless they take a big
whack with a meat-ax on obamacare. and already the obamacare has been on the federal web site, nine million hits on that in four days. nine million. the priorities the republicans have addressed so far: veterans, national parks, national guard, are worthy, but there are many other needs that will go unmet and priorities that will be ignored without fully reopening the government. take, for example, this. i haven't heard any speeches here on the floor from my republican colleagues about 1,300 rape crisis centers who rely on federal funding in support of victims of crime, they're losing their ability to stay open. unless the federal government reopens, organizations that advocate for victims of violence will be forced to close their doors or work without pay, and
that's in a matter of a few days. will house republicans pass a bill to help them? these people -- madam president, i remember when we didn't have all the domestic shelters that we have now. i remember when these women -- i did domestic relations work. how sad. we had no places to go. now they have a few places to go. domestic crisis shelters, rape crisis shelters, but the federal government is the one that supports it. a piecemeal approach to the house indicates that those people that i've just described, their needs will not be met. this is what william thane, kpharbd -- commander in chief of the veterans of foreign wars. i hope everyone here understands
this is not some left-wing organization out there demonstrating against democrats. the veterans of foreign wars is what i've described it is. veterans of foreign wars. they try to stay as neutral politically as any organization in america. here's what he wrote a couple of days ago -- quote -- "we expect more from our elected leadership, and not a piecemeal approach that would use military or disabled veterans as leverage in a political game." that's what he said. he's right. neither veterans nor the military nor hungry infants nor children with cancer should be used as political pawns. they should not be left out in the cold. there's only one bill. it's the bill that speaker boehner asked me to get out of this senate, and we did that. that bill he needs to allow the house of representatives to vote, it would pass by a huge margin. that bill would fund all the
priorities i've talked about to protect both our economy and our national security. a senate's clean bill to reopen the government, the one the speaker said he wanted me to get out of here, and i did it, and it was not easy. we've been waiting a week, but the speaker could end this government shutdown before they go home for sunday. it was the speaker's intention all along to pass a clean continuing resolution. i believe that. but instead he was waylaid by this tea party-driven nonsense in the house of representatives. he's even refused to allow a vote on a bill that he proposed. listen to this. republican congressman charles dent said last night -- quote -- "i believe it is imperative we have a clean funding bill to fund the government. that was the intent of the republican leadership all along, but obviously there were a few dozen folks in the house republican conference who weren't prepared to vote for a clean bill, and that's why we're
in the situation we're in right now." close quote. so i say to the speaker, go with your first instinct. charlie dent said it was to pass and fund the government. here's what one house republican, his name is nunez, from california, he says the speaker is taking his orders straight from the junior senator from texas. here's what he said. "what the next move would be" -- this is what congressman nunez said yesterday -- and i quote -- "you really have to call cruz. i'm not even jokeing about that. that is what you have to do because he's the one that set up the strategy. he's the one that got us into this mess, and so we've got to know what the next move is." close quotes. stop taking orders, i say to my republican friends in the house, from the tea party. all the speaker has to do is find the courage to fire the tea party for the good of our great
country. mr. leahy: madam president? madam president? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for debate only until 4:00 p.m., with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. mr. leahy: madam president? the presiding officer: the president pro tempore is recognized. mr. leahy: madam president, i thank the tkweurd majority leader for how he spoke -- the distinguished majority leader for how he spoke today. he has stayed strong on this issue. he also spoke about what this is doing to law enforcement. as chairman of the senate judiciary committee i'm going to speak further on that. i couldn't help but think i was asked by a friend in vermont, what's going on? i said, well, you know we had hundreds of hours of committee meetings and votes and all. hours and hours of debate in the
house and senate, and we passed the affordable care act. the tea party is totally opposed to it, even though it passed in the house and senate and signed into law by the senate. we're opposed to it, they say. and they did two things that they thought would knock it out. one, went to a republican-documented u.s. supreme court it -- republican-dominated supreme court and said let's knock out this law. the supreme court said no, they upheld the law. they ran a candidate for president of the united states, well-qualified person, but his main thing was get rid of the affordable care act. he lost badly. now throughout all this time, and 40 votes to get rid of it, they never say what would we give for an alternative. most parents like the fact that their children can stay on their insurance while they're in college. are they going to get rid of that? do they have something to
replace that? most people like the fact that if you have a prior existing condition -- you had cancer, you had a heart condition or something like that -- you can still get health care. they want to do away with that. what do they have to replace it? and on and on. now, the votes, a presidential election, the supreme court, they lose everywhere. it makes me think of general custer at little bighorn goes galloping in because he knows he's going to win. well, they have been handed the same kind of defeat that custer was at little bighorn, except that if you have got a better idea on health insurance for america, have the guts to bring it up and vote it up or down. not the way they're doing it. this is the fifth day of the government shutdown.
and what happens, the republican tea party people are threatening the critical functions of all three branches of the government. i said i speak about what it does to our treatment of the federal judiciary. you know, the last time republicans refused to pay the bills that we in congress have already incurred, it undermined the nation's credit rating and for the first time the nation's credit rating ultimately dropped. the resulting cuts of the federal judiciary, federal judicial branch, not just judges, the whole judicial branches, have been devastating. and so we have this small handful of ultrabright ideologues that are holding the entire federal judicial system hostage. earlier this year, a group of 87
federal district judges warned the sustained budget cuts that force us to slash our operations to the bone. we believe our constitutional duties, public safety and the quality of justice system will be profoundly compromised. now, thanks to a republican shutdown, according to a letter to all federal courts from judge john bates, director of the judiciary office, the judiciary will be able to remain open only into october. the distinguished presiding officer like myself had the opportunity to be a prosecutor. you know what happens after these ten days? can we bring criminals and terrorists to justice? there's no court to bring them to. how about small businesses and individuals who want to have their claims resolved? no court. every federal court in the country has to start making
decisions about what part of justice is essential and what can be delayed. here in the united states where we have the most open, transparent, honest, effective system of justice in the world, we're slamming the doors on everybody, republicans, democrats, independents alike. this coming monday, the first monday in october, marks the opening of the new term of our supreme court. they're going to hear an important case about a worker's right to bring in age discrimination claim. on the second day, we hear another significant case about whether there should be limits to the amount of money wealthy individuals can pump into an election to influence the election. now, what are they going to do? are they going to hear further arguments afterward? what about the fact that under gideon vs. wainwright, we have stated there's a constitutional right for an indigent to be
represented. how are they going to be represented? there is no public defender system. now, we do have, i believe, the greatest justice system in the world. its cost is less than 1% of the entire federal budget, but we're failing to support it. as judge bathes said the damage to the justice system becomes compounded. i ask unanimous consent that article be made a part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. leahy: i thank the men and women of our judicial branches. stood up on this. but our courts have been forced to run on fumes too long and they can't run on empty, so we should stop playing games with our co-equal branch of the government. we saw this terrible accident of a bus, people killed.
ntsb can't even go down and investigate what happened so it doesn't happen again because they're closed. i have businesses in vermont that have invested in their business, prepared to open them, one in particular -- and i will speak about this one later next week. all they need is a certificate which is going to come from the department of agriculture to open it. at this point, they have invested, now they can start making money, especially during tourist season. right now america is seeking help from the freedom of information october, but they are closed for business. the archives and records administration. a critical office which has established a bipartisan bill. the leahy-cornyn open government act to mediate disputes. they are not operating. according to several press reports, the department of justice decides several
important cases, we're talking about the patriot act and so on. nobody knows where we are. nobody knows where we are. the national security agency, they have a problem in trust. they will use foia to find out what they're doing. but we all ought to realize they have laid off a lot of the people who are their analysts. now, we should know whether a -- whether it's democrats, republicans or independents. we have an interest in making sure our government is fulfilling its responsibilities to its citizens. right now, house republicans, driven by the tea party, have chosen debate again. the nearly 4-year-old affordable care act, the critical spending bill. the act has been upheld by the supreme court. the act that was the key issue in a presidential election where the electorate in this country
overwhelmingly opposed the person who wanted to do away with it. you know, and here we are saying well, let's pick and choose what's most important. it's important for that business owner in vermont the department of agriculture is open. it's important to those who are facing criminal conduct by organized crime that our f.b.i. are open. it's important to those who may have their children riding on a bus that we have found out why this other bus accident isn't something that's waiting to happen again on a bus load of children. but instead we have general custer riding to little bighorn, claiming this is going to be victory. well, what they are creating is the same thing general custer saw at little bighorn. i ask my full statement be made
part of the record and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: madam president, this has been an interesting discussion for the last 37 minutes. it lacks a little bit of preamble. the reason that we're in the situation that we're in now is because congress didn't do the spending bills when they were supposed to do the spending bills. we have 12 spending bills. there's no reason that we didn't spend 12 weeks doing each -- one week doing each of those for a period of 12 weeks. it's the second-most important job that we have. i think the most important job we have is national defense. but budgeting, spending is the next biggest thing. and if we would have done one bill each week for the 12 weeks that we needed to and had open amendments on it, there wouldn't have needed to be any of this discussion. most of the things would have been resolved by now. they would have either won or they would have lost. that's what happens around here.
except we're busy deal making instead of legislating. we don't allow amendments now. when a bill comes up on the floor, there's a discussion between the two leaders to see how limited they can make the amendments. now, i try to only do relevant amendments. i wouldn't mind if that were the law around here. that's the law in the wyoming legislature. whatever the title of the bill is, your amendment has to be relevant to that. it helps to get through a lot of the process in a hurry. but we don't even bring them up. well, i take that back. the leader did come to the floor and chastise me for forgetting that we had the transportation bill brought up on the floor. now, we didn't get to do amendments on it, and when we didn't get to do amendments on it, our side said nuts to finishing that up right now. now, the leader could have brought it right back again and showed that we were not interested in doing transportation. he talked about us not being interested in transportation, but that was not the case. there were amendments that needed to be done to the
transportation bill. well, that's one bill out of 12. what happened to the other 11? if we would have done the bills timely, we wouldn't be in a continuing resolution. and what's the matter with a government that can't operate like a business and have a preplan for what's going to happen if this tragedy does happen? we don't have any plans like that. what we do is stand up and chastise each other for not having planned for what's happening. that's wrong. we shouldn't be doing that. we should be getting our work done in a timely manner, and we should be doing it through legislation, which means allowing amendments on the floor. yes, i know there are some amendments that i wouldn't want to vote on, there are some amendments the other side wouldn't want to vote on, but that's what we signed on for. you have got to vote on the amendments and get the process done. but we're not doing that. and as to the shutdown, i want to share -- it actually wound up
as a guest editorial from a guy named bill johnson who lives in pinedale but he got his guest editorial in "the powell tribune." that's quite a ways away from there. he is an old truck driver. he says he is tired of pulling the load. that it's time for a producers' shutdown. whoa. he says -- and i wouldn't verify his math, but this is the way that he sees it. he sees that there are 11 people taking money out of the pot and thus riding on the wagon. that leaves nine people paying the taxes into the pot and thus pulling the wagon. a bad rate ratio indeed. now, government people will tell you that they pay taxes, but let's not forget that all their wages first come out of the pot. government people don't create wealth. they spend the wealth. now, these same government people are enjoying quite a
party. we hear them bragging about the following. we have better pensions and wages. we have paid sick days, cheaper medical insurance, free vehicles. we get paid when the government shuts down and we come back to work without having worked. some states pay $15 an hour on welfare, so why work anyway? they say a state government agency's success is measured by the size of its budget, so there is no incentive to cut a budget. they say if a tax-paying person is successful, it's because the government people have helped him. they asked how can we raise the tax-paying people's taxes again? we need more money for raises and for obamacare. work harder, please. we'll take care of the rules and the regulations. now, i would ask unanimous consent that his entire article appear in the -- in the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. enzi: okay.
so -- so what can we do? here's his answer. so what can we do? the nonviolent answer is simple. when the time comes, just quit pulling on the wagon. take a three-day or a five-day vacation. take as long a vacation as the government takes. of course that means that farmers won't farm, stores won't open, manufacturers won't manufacture, power plants won't produce power, truckers won't truck, trainmen don't train, pilots don't plane, miners don't mine, marketers don't market, bankers don't bank, groceries don't go and pipelines don't flow. that's what would happen if we had a shutdown of the private sector, the ones that are carrying the load. so this scheduled vacation for our nation's producers, the tax-paying people still pulling the wagon ought to be nationwide. of course, he knows that that will never happen, but he hopes that people will get the picture.
it's amusing to listen to autopsy the hoopla about potential government shutdowns. big deal. remember the scene in crocodile dundee when the would-be robbers pulled a knife. mr. dundee says that's not a knife, this is a knife, and he pulls out his near machete. that's what a producers' shutdown would look like. this is a way to cut government spending -- lower the tax rates and shove some government people off the wagon. we would score a few touchdowns and give them a list of people's demands. so that's -- that's the view of a trucker in wyoming, and he gets to think about this a lot as he drives miles and miles and miles. it's a long way between towns. but he is pointing out that our government is being weighted down with a lot of different things. not just people's salaries with growing government. each one of those adds to the tax need, the tax need for increase.
but we're also weighted down with the interest load, and if the interest rate goes up, that wagon load is going to get mired in mud. and the rules and the regulations, he mentions those. paperwork alone kills jobs. eliminates people who could pull the wagon and government growth and benefits adds to the weight of the wagon. so we're in a shutdown, and what's happened? the government has shut down some of its revenue centers. the national parks, people pay to drive through those and then there are hotels and restaurants and things that there are concessionaires in there that pay a fee for the right to do that and collect money for the federal government. there aren't any customers. we've forced that on them with supposedly shutting down a revenue source for us.
the sequester, we made it hurt because there was no preplanning. now we have the shutdown, and we're making it hurt with the barricades and closing the national parks and all the other things that got mentioned out here. but it's because of no preplanning. i have a plan. incidentally, when we talk about obamacare and no plan, i had a plan before president obama became a united states senator, a ten-step plan that would have done more than the present bill does. i worked with senators coburn and burr on a substitute bill that would do what the president promised would be in the bill because was not in the bill. but there were 60 votes on the other side of the aisle and with a few special votes we're stalk with what's in the train wreck and we'll get what the democrats have always wanted, single pay, universal service through the government. but i have a plan for fixing this debt load, pulling the wagon a little easier, called
the penny plan. originally when i introduced the penny plan, eliminating one penny out of every dollar the government spends, it had to work for seven years in order to balance the budget. we need to be on the downtrend, seven years wouldn't be so bad. but with the sequester, with the sequester that turns out to be two years and we'd have a balanced budget. i hope we'd go a couple more years and pay down some of the debt we've got. the debt keeps me awake at nights. that's less than a 10% total decrease in what we're spending right now. businesses have to make that kind of a change sometime in less than a year. and sometimes it's painful the way they have to do it. if we have more time and two years could be quite a bit of time, we ought to be able to plan our way out of that. so let's quit spending, let's cut up the credit cards, that's the debt limit we're come up with, that's -- coming up
with, that's the crrdz and we could allow for a little bit of use of the credit cards as long as there's a plan for how we're not going to need the credit cards anymore. and that would be the penny plan. i hope you'll all take a look at it. i do feel sorry for the eight million federal employees that i know work hard. the presiding officer: time has expired. mr. enzi: that's a lot compared to the ones pulling the wagon. i'll have some more comments on this later because it is a major crisis, but it didn't need to be a major crisis. i yield the floor. . a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: i ask unanimous consent to speak up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: is there an objection? hearing none, please proceed. mr. markey: madam president, we need to bring --. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i was going to ask an extra five minutes be added to somebody on our side later.
i ask unanimous consent that one of our speakers get an additional five minutes. the presiding officer: is there an objection? without objection. the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you, madam president. we need to bring this government shutdown to an end and the way to do that is for the house of representatives to pass the bill for $986 billion budget to run the government for a year, which john boehner and the republicans in the house of representatives asked the senate to pass. that's the number they wanted. it's not the numbers that the democrats in the senate wanted. they wanted $986 billion to run the government for a year, that's the budget we sent over. they will not pass that budget. and so now we have a situation where we should be negotiating
over health care issues, over environmental issues, over other issues because the budget has been passed but no. they are going to hold the entire country hostage. so consider where our country stands right now. when george w. bush left office, the dow was at 7900. it is now above 15,000. at the height of the great bush recession, unemployment peaked at 10%. it is now at 7.3%. our deficit has been cut in half. we are making progress but we are not there yet. many americans continue to struggle. and as our country climbs back from the worst economic crisis since the great depression, the tea party republicans are sending america into reverse. the tea party republicans shut down the government, they are putting our economic recovery at risk, signaling to the world that america cannot perform the
most fundamental job of government, passing a budget. in the alternative, the tea party republican universe that they have created here, mr. president, has the tea party demanding that we fund health care research while simultaneously trying to end health care coverage for millions of americans. to pay for our troops, but sideline the intelligence agents who keep us safe from terrorist attacks. and claim to defend the constitution but shut down the building where it lives and breathes. this tea party republican logic is tying our country in knots. it makes no sense. although the government shutdown at mnlt this past monday, the seeds were sown years ago. this shutdown is the product of more than a decade of disdain for the democratic process waged
by the tea party republican party that is increasingly out of the mainstream. when the republican party started losing congressional seats, they redrew electoral maps in their favor and passed laws to suppress the american voters they had alienated and when an historic bill was signed into law to finally make health care a right for millions of low-income americans, a law that was upheld by the supreme court, a law that opened for business on tuesday, the response of the tea party republicans was to shut down the entire government. at the core of this tea party republican ideology is the idea that the democratic processes our country runs on can be dismissed, that they can be manipulated, that they can be contorted to cater to the privileged at the expense of the poor, the vulnerable and the disenfranchised in our country. this isn't about the republican party versus the democratic party. this is about tea party
republicans versus democracy itself. the essence of american democracy has been our ability to govern by majority rule, while respecting minority rights. our system is inherently designed to enable compromise and avoid the divisiveness of ideological streamism. -- extremism. i know about these tea party extremists. i served in showps with them. they live by the republican tea party paradox. they hate the government so much they have to run for office in order to make sure that the government doesn't work. now there's a new republican tea party paradox. they want to pay federal employees not to work while blocking the legislation that will put them back to work. the democrats are fighting to open the government so federal employees can return to work and can earn their pay, not pay
them for not working. that's the new republican paradox. so the tea party republicans have a three-step plan. number one, deny democracy. tea party republicans ignore the fact that the affordable care act passed the congress, was signed by the president and upheld by the supreme court. tea party step number two: manufacture a crisis. the tea party republicans shut down the government, put our country on the brink of default because they refused to accept the fact that the affordable care act is the law of the land and the american people reelected president obama. step three, turn out the lights. turn out the lights. just shut down the government. now, what is at stake if the affordable care act is repealed? without the affordable care act for women everywhere in america the agenda will go back to being a preexisting condition. they can be charged higher
insurance rates just because they are women. for families everywhere in america the threat of personal bankruptcy will return, and medical bills will lead to personal bankruptcies. for a young college graduate struggling to find a job, her parents' plan is no longer an option. for low-income families that spent years taking their kids to the emergency room instead of regular doctor appointments, it will mean more late nights in emergency waiting rooms. and who else will be harmed if the tea party republicans continue to refuse to expand the medicaid program in their respective states, the expansion that is a key part of the affordable care act? the answer is, two-thirds of the country's poor, uninsured african-americans, and single mothers, and more than half of the low-wage workers in the 26 states where governors where have turned down federal funds to expand medicaid. let's take texas, for example.
texas currently has the highest concentration of uninsured americans in our country, six million people, many of them live in poverty. under the affordable care act, every state has a choice, it could give the poorest, sickest and neediest of its citizens health care coverage through expanded medicaid paid for entirely by the government or it could say no thanks and leave these people, these poor people, these uninsured people in a state of uncertainty. texas turned down cold more than $100 billion in federal funding over the next decade denying health care coverage for the 1.5 million texas residents that live in poverty. that's what the tea party republicans are fighting for, to not take the money to ensure that the poorest people get health insurance. that's what it's all about. that's what they're fighting for. they believe they have a right to say no, we're not going to cover these poor people.
no, we're not going to give these mothers insurance. that's their fight. they should have the freedom to deny all these people that health insurance. and 26 other states, all with republican governors did the very same thing. every state in the deep south but arkansas said no. mr. president, there is an ancient greek prosh promb that says the world will know true justice when those who have not been harmed are as angry as as those who have been harmed. and you can see all across america people are angry, people have not been harmed are now angry at all those being harmed by what the republican tea party is doing here in congress. and that's where everyone in america -- why everyone in america wants this shutdown ended. they know that eliminating the affordable care act would grateful harm -- gravely harm the poor in our country, the children, the working families trying to make ends meet. not since the great depression have so many americans suffered from such severe economic
problems. there are 46 million americans in poverty today, that's $23,000 a year for a family of four. the poverty rate for african-americans is 27%, fors hispanics it's 23%. it's almost 50 million people in our country at risk of not having enough food. 16 million children live in poverty in the united states as we stand here today, 16 million children are living in poverty. there are more than 11 million americans out of work, 13% unemployment for african-americans. 9.2% for hispanics. and it's too high for whites, fear asians, for native americans, for everyone in our country. behind each of those numbers is a anymore, behind each of those statistics is a story, a face, and a future that is at risk. behind each furlough is a federal employee who has a vital job not being done. somewhere in georgia in the midst of the flu season there an employee of the centers for disease control who sat home
instead of stopping a flu outbreak at a elementary school. somewhere in florida there is an f.d.a. employee shut out of his job inspecting fish imports for toxic contamination while a mother shops at the local grocery store picking up salmon for dinner. somewhere in the gulf coast there is an oil rig safety officer catching up on their chores at home instead of stopping the next potential b.p. spill before it happens. somewhere in boston a doctor has put on hold a clinical trial to bring a new treatment to children born with a rare form of heart disease while a mother in milwaukee holds her sick newborn wondering if a cure could ever be found. somewhere in massachusetts a civilian military employee tasked with developing the best protective gear for our soldiers is barred from entering his military base while abroad a soldier takes fire on the front lines. and here at the capitol there are police officers who threw their bodies in between the
public and a threat just this week but are doing so without even receiving a paycheck. this government shutdown is just a preview of coming attractions. if republicans force us to default on our debts millions of jobs could be destroyed. we wee could go from a shutdown of our government to a meltdown of our entire economy. we won't be blackmailed, we won't back down, we will stand and we will fight. we will fight for the families who have dreamed of the security of health care. we will fight for the federal wo deserve a paycheck for their patriotism. we will fight for the american families reaching for the american dream. because make no mistake, what is at stake here isn't just health care, it isn't just a functioning government, it isn't just the stability of our economy. what's at stake is the future of our democratic system. because you can shut down the government, you can engage in revisionist history and revise the rules to fit your ideology. but the american people will rise up and they are