tv U.S. Senate 11152017 CSPAN November 15, 2017 9:29am-11:30am EST
>> certainly as long as i can remember. >> welcome, it's the closest thing to eternal life here, an eternal job of being able to negotiate a peace agreement between the palestinians and the israelis, wouldn't you agree. >> yes. >> so, since he has not been successful in over 21 years, and the embassy has not been in jerusalem, how could moving the embassy to jerusalem have affected his track record? . so if we move it-- >> this hearing is available on our website at c-span.org. we will leave it here as the u.s. senate is about to gavel in for more week on executive nominations, confirmation votes for armor secretary and mine safety health administration and a third to limit debate on comptroller of the currency. the senate finance committee is reviewing the republican tax
eternal god, our hope for years to come, we offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving. we thank you for your steadfast love that sustains our lawmakers every hour. we thank you for surrounding our senators with your presence that permits them to dwell in peace. lord, we are grateful for the joy we all receive by observing the works of your hands, finding pleasure in the beauty of the sunrise and the glory of the sunset. we gaze with wonder at the majesty of the butterfly and the soaring eagle, knowing that the
same hands that guide them in flight desires to direct our steps. generous god, we celebrate your love that provides redemption for humanity. you sacrificed yourself for our salvation. lord of all, to you we raise this our prayer of grateful praise. we pray in your bountiful name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c, november 15, 2017, to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable john boozman, a senator from the state of arkansas to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g.hatch, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: the majority leader is recognized. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, the need for troarmt
has been obvious for -- for tax reform has been obvious for a long time now. many republicans have said it. many democrats have said it. we certainly hope democrats will continue to stand by their strong statements in support of tax reform today because while the occupant of the oval office may have changed the need for
tax reform certainly hasn't. after many long years of an obama economy that so often failed the middle class its effects continue to be felt across the country for many. for single parents, they still struggle to make ends meet. for moms and dads, they still struggle to find a way to send their kids to college, make a car payment or save for retirement. for small business owners, they still find themselves frustrated when they try to hire more employees, reinvest in their business or pursue their dreams. there are many obstacles to tackle. an out-of-control regulatory state, for one. we've taken significant action to tame that already and we'll continue to do so. another huge factor is our seriously outdated tax code filled with complicated schedules, work sheets, deductions and loopholes it is
easy for the well connected and wealthy to gain and almost impossible for almost anyone else to understand. if you're wealthy, you hire accountants, have lawyers to navigate a complicated process. but the young small business owner starting out can't afford a team to do her taxes and bring on a new employee or raise wages. moreover, the tax code actively punishes both small businesses and the middle class with rates that are too high, provisions that are clearly outdated and incentives that are just plain ridiculous. like the fact that it actually encourages the shipping of american jobs and businesses overseas. our tax code actually encourages that. that's why this congress in conjunction with the white house is working hard to pass tax reform. today the senate finance committee will continue to examine its tax reform proposal under chairman hatch's leadership, members are
continuing to discuss the best path forward to deliver relief to the men and women we represent. this week's hearings are just the latest in a year's long process to write a tax code that supports the middle class. in fact, since chairman hatch has been the top republican on the finance committee, it has hosted 70 hearings in the last six years. 70. each one of those hearings considered how to improve the tax code to make it work better for all americans. the committee has made numerous serious efforts to engage across the aisle to get this done. members on both sides agree that a pro-growth tax plan will move our economy forward, help create more jobs, and help families keep more of their hard-earned paychecks or at least our democrat friends used to seemingly until president trump came along. the plan before the committee fulfills important goals that all of us should share.
it aims to make taxes for families lower, championship pler and fairer -- lower, simpler and fairer and according to the nonpartisan committee on taxation and recent news reports, the middle class are the biggest winners in the senate tax plan. it also aims to make it easier for small businesses to grow, invest, and hire. for kentucky small businesses and for those across the country, this proposal will help do just that by creating incentives to bring investment and jobs home and keep them here. the plan before the finance committee fulfills our main goal for tax reform, which is taking more money out of washington's pockets and putting more money into the pockets of the middle class. and last evening the committee released a modified chairman's mark that, among other important elements, will effectively repeal obamacare's individual mandate tax so that we can provide even more tax
relief to low- and middle-income families. in short, the goal is to repeal an unpopular tax from an unworkable law in order to provide more tax relief to middle-class families. and now as the committee continues its legislative markup through an open process, it will explore further ways to improve this good legislation. both republicans and democrats have offered hundreds of amendments. chairman hatch is setting aside full days for the committee to consider them. once the finance committee completes its work and reports its proposal to the senate floor, all members will have the chance to offer their amendments under the regular order. another senate committee is having an important markup today as well. the senate energy and natural resources committee is beginning its consideration of an important proposal to support good jobs, our energy future and our national security. so i'd like to once again
commend chairman murkowski and the members of the committee for their work on this proposal to further develop alaska's oil and natural gas potential in an environmentally responsible way. more american jobs, more american energy, more energy security and independence. i look forward to the energy committee reporting its legislation today. now on another matter, yesterday the senate continued its efforts to confirm the president's talented nominees to staff the federal government. we advanced the nomination of david zatezalo to serve as the assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, an important position to the thousands of miners in states like kentucky. i look forward to confirming his nomination early this afternoon. along with that mark asburger will be appointed as secretary of the arm. we'll turn to joseph otting as comptroller of the currency.
this position is crucial to protecting our national backing system and mr. otting has the experience necessary to excel. then the senate will continue our efforts to see our nation's judiciary fulfills its proper role by appointing two more talented nominees to serve as federal district court judges. president trump continued to nominate individuals who will interpret the laws as actually written, not as they wish it were. donald coggins has nominated to serve as district court judge in south carolina. he's been in private practice in south carolina for over three decades. the senate judiciary committee reported his nomination by a voice vote. he is a talented nominee and i look forward to confirming him soon. then the senate will consider the nomination of dabney friedrich to serve as district court judge for the district of columbia. ms. friedrich has a wealth of experience having been in private practice, served as an assistant u.s. attorney in both the eastern district of virginia
and the southern district of california and has been confirmed twice by the senate as a commissioner of the u.s. sentencing commission. the judiciary committee also reported her nomination by a voice vote. these nominees will respect the rule of law on the federal bench, and they should be confirmed without delay. i'd like to again thank chairman grassley for his commitment to bringing the president's impressive judicial nominees to the floor. these are both respected nominees who have the support of members on both sides of the aisle, and i hope
that we can consider their nominations without any partisan procedural hurdles. we should confirm them soon. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
quorum call: a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that a quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the zatezalo nomination,
which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of labor, david g. zatezalo of west virginia to be assistant secretary for mine safety and health. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota is recognized. mr. thune: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, on sunday, "politico" offered this headlint winners in senate tax plan, study says. that was the quote. the article goes on to say, and i quote, moderate income people would consistently see the largest percentage declines in their tax bills, according to an analysis released late saturday by the official nonpartisan joint committee on taxation. it goes on to say, and i quote, in 2019, people in the middle of the income spectrum earning between $50,000 and $70,000 per year would see their taxes fall by 7.1%. those earning between $20,000 and $30,000 per year would see a
10.4% decline. end quote. mr. president, this is what we set out to achieve with the senate tax bill that we released last week. real relief for american families. and that's what our bill delivers. i don't need to tell anyone that the american people have had a rough few years. stagnant wages and a lack of opportunities have left many american families stretched thin. a recent survey found that 50%, 50%, mr. president, of people out there consider themselves to be living paycheck to paycheck. and about one-third of those same people say that they are literally just $400 away from a financial crisis. well, mr. president, real help is on the way. last night, chairman hatch released a revised bill that provides even more relief for middle-class families. i applaud chairman hatch for his work on this revised bill that includes republican and democrat amendments and reflects feedback
that we have received from the whole republican conference. our bill provides immediate direct relief to hardworking americans. our bill doubles the standard deduction. that means beginning in january, a family making $24,000 a year or less per year won't be paying any taxes. and families -- and families making more than $24,000 a year will be paying significantly less than what they are paying today. our bill also doubles the child tax credit from $1,000 to $2,000 per child. we all know that raising children is expensive, and this provision will provide a significant tax cut to families across the country. i want to thank senators scott, heller, rubio, and lee for their leadership on this issue. their advocacy for expanding the child tax credit will result in substantial tax relief for working families. but, mr. president, that's just the beginning of what this tax bill is going to do for american
families. we're not just going to ensure that americans can keep more of their hard-earned money. we're also going to ensure that they can make more of it. our bill is not just going to cut americans' taxes, as important as that priority is to all of us. it's also going to give americans access to the kinds of jobs, wages, and opportunities that will set them up for a secure future. so how does that work? well, in order for individual americans to thrive economically, we need american businesses to thrive. thriving businesses create jobs. they provide opportunities. and they increase wages and invest in their workers. but our current tax code is not helping businesses thrive, mr. president. it's doing the opposite. it's strangling both large and small businesses with high tax rates. small businesses are incredit credibly important -- incredibly
important for new job creation, especially in places like my state of south dakota. but right now, the high tax rates that small businesses face can make it difficult for these businesses to even survive, much less thrive and expand their operations. so, mr. president, our bill will fix this. to start with, our bill implements a new deduction for businesses that will allow them to keep more of their money, which will allow them to reinvest in their operations, increase wages, and hire new workers. our bill also reforms a number of current provisions in the tax code that frequently leaves small businesses with very little cash on hand. under our legislation, small businesses will be able to recover the capital that they have invested in things like inventory and machinery much more quickly. in certain cases, immediately, which will free up capital that they can use to expand and create jobs. our legislation also includes provisions that i helped develop that will simplify accounting rules for small businesses, which will also help reduce
their tax burden, leaving more of their earnings to reinvest in their businesses and in their workers. mr. president, in addition to cutting rates for small businesses, our bill also reduces our corporate tax rate. our nation's corporate tax rate is currently the highest in the industrialized world, which puts u.s. businesses at a major disadvantage next to their international competitors. by reducing the corporate tax rate, our bill will enable u.s. businesses to compete on a more level playing field with their competitors, which will in turn free up money that u.s. businesses can use to create jobs and increase wages. the white house council of economic advisorses estimates that reducing the tax rate to 20% will increase average household income by $4,000 annually. our bill also ends the outdated tax framework that is driving american companies to keep jobs and profits overseas. our nation currently operates under a so-called worldwide tax
system, which means that american companies pay u.s. taxes on the profit that they make here at home, as well as on part of the profit that they make abroad once they bring that money back to the united states. the problem with this is -- is that american companies are already paying taxes to foreign governments on the money they make abroad. so then when they bring that money back home, they can end up having to pay taxes again on part of those profits and at the highest tax rate in the industrialized world. so it's no surprise that this discourages businesses from bringing their profits back to the united states to invest in their domestic operations in new problems and in increased wages. between 1983 and 2003, when the united states tax rate was much more competitive with those of other countries, there were 29 corporate inversions where u.s. companies moved abroad.
between 2003 and 2014, when other countries were dropping their corporate tax rates and shifting to a territorial tax system, there were 47 such inversions. well, mr. president, our bill addresses this drag on our economy by moving from our outdated worldwide tax system to a territorial tax system. by shifting to a territorial tax system, a move i should note that has been supported by members of both parties. we eliminate the double taxation that encourages companies to send their investments and their operations overseas. combine that, mr. president, with the reduction in our high corporate tax rate, and our bill provides a strong incentive for u.s. companies to invest their profits at home in american jobs and in american workers instead of abroad. all in all, the tax foundation estimates that in addition to increasing wages, our bill will
create nearly one million new jobs for american workers. mr. president, the legislation that we unveiled last week is the product of years of work here in the senate, work, frankly, by members of both political parties, and i hope that in the end, my democrat colleagues will join us to advance this bill, which is partly the result of their labors. this is the kind of chance we all dreamed of when we came to washington. a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of ordinary americans. to substantially improve their lives today and give them access to a brighter, more secure, and more prosperous future. mr. president, i look forward to debating this bill over the next few weeks. we're going to have a markup today, tomorrow, and friday in the senate finance committee where amendments will be offered. they will be debated, they will
be voted on. and then, of course, the bill will come to the floor of the united states senate where there will be an open amendment process, where individual senators will have opportunities to offer amendments, to debate those amendments, and to vote on those amendments. but when all that's said and done, i hope that we can send a bill to the president's desk that will bring much-needed relief to those americans who are living paycheck to paycheck, to those americans who are struggling to make ends meet, to raise their children, and to provide for a more secure retirement by allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned dollars in their pocket, by making their paychecks bigger, and by creating access to better jobs, higher-paying jobs, and higher wages. that improves all americans' standard of living, all americans' quality of life, mr. president. that's what this bill will do.
we need to get it across the finish line. there is a lot of work ahead of us, but i'm looking forward to the day when we can get this signed into law and give the american people access to a brighter and a more prosperous future for them and for their families. mr. president, i yield the floor. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum be dispensed with . the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president, the republican tax plan, even before yesterday, would exacerbate income
inequality at a time when it is also spiraling out of control, helping the rich get richer, big corporations get bigger, while the middle class is left stuck in neutral. many of -- many middle-class would wind up paying higher taxes at the end of the day,
20 million in 2027 under the senate plan. that's the wrong approach for our economy. it betrays the american worker and the american family who deserve tax relief because it concentrates more of our country's wealth at the very top, just what the american people don't want, but so many of those who fund the republican party do. for most of my colleagues and most of the american people, that's reason enough to oppose the bill, and the american people do, by large numbers. but yesterday republicans made two last-minute changes to their bill that make it even worse. first, republicans decided to throw the mother of all monkey wrenches into the bill, repealing the individual mandate. my friend, the majority leader, called this provision helpful to the bill because it raises revenue. i'd remind him, and all of my republican colleagues, that the nonpartisan congressional budget office said it would lead to
15 million fewer americans with health insurance. so we're kicking 13 million people off of health insurance to give tax cuts to the wealthy. also, according to c.b.o., it would lead to a 10% increase in premiums. each year there would be 10% higher than they otherwise would be. so our republican bill says, raise the premiums on average americans health care by 10% so we can give the wealthy a tax cut. this is the same thing they did in the health care bill until the public outrage forced them to back off and, of course, it lost, and they are doing it again because the republican belief is reduce the health care safety net for middle-class americans so they can give more tax cuts to the wealthiest and
most powerful amongst us. younger, healthier people, if republicans had their plan, would flee the market. if you're 50 to 64, this is very bad news for you. that's why the aarp is against this bill, and yesterday denounced the new change. i'd remind my republican colleagues that the provision raises 40$0 billion in revenues because it throws americans off insurance. $179 billion is saved because people wouldn't sign up for medicaid. so the republican bill takes $400 billion out of help for health care and gives it to the wealthy and powerful for even more tax breaks. does any american support that? a handful, maybe. but it seems a lot of people in this chamber might.
so when the republicans say this provision in their bill is helpful, they don't mean it's helpful to americans. it may help republicans in the senate give a larger tax break to the rich, but it hurts millions of americans seeking affordable health insurance. many will lose insurance. many more will pay an increase in their premiums while our colleagues have always promised to make premiums lower. now one other point. i've heard some on the other side say they'd be willing to pass the bipartisan alexander-murray compromise as a salve athey repeal the individual mandate. i'm here to tell my colleagues that won't work. you don't attempt to blow up the health care system and then say we're going to make a few tweaks to make it better. we're not falling for that. you shouldn't either, my republican friends. they're completely contradictory ideas.
alexander-murray is meant to stabilize markets and lower premiums. the republican plan destabilizes markets and raises premiums. in a way, that alexander-murray could never repair. furthermore, alexander-murray would not survive under the rules of reconciliation. too many of its provisions are under the help committee, not the finance committee. so anyone who thinks they can justify the changes that the majority leader has said he will put in the bill by saying okay, we'll then pass murray-alexander, it's wrong on the substance and wrong on the politics because it won't pass. at that point when it was negotiated, alexander-murray was -- when alexander-murray was negotiated, it was in good faith by the chairman and ranking member of the help committee as a compromise health care bill.
the republicans cannot expect to pass their own separate ideological health care provision and then turn around and ask democrats to vote to pass murray-alexander. again, you can't create major injury to the health care system and hurt millions and then say please give us a band-aid. that's not what's going to happen. that's not the right thing to do. any republican senator who thinks they can pass the individual mandate and then turn around and get murray-alexander passed is dead wrong. it's clear that the dark trade-off at the center of the republican policy agenda is back. cutting health care in order to fund tax giveaways to the very wealthy and very powerful. democrats won't go for it. so that's one reason this provision is a bad one. the second change that the republicans made to their tax
bill was to have -- or this is the second problem with the changes the republicans have offered. the second change the republicans made to their tax bill was to have many of their tax provisions for individuals expire while corporate breaks remain permanent. with this new proposal, republicans have put themselves between a rock and a hard place. the provisions for individuals that help individuals and not enough of them were helped -- middle-class folks -- expire by 2025. the corporate tax cuts to the wealthiest of corporations above all are permanent. why did our colleagues do this? well, for one, they favor the big corporate powerful interests over the middle class. but the second is they had a huge deficit problem. they had to figure out where to reduce the deficit. and so they took it out on the crumbs that they gave to the
middle class in the earlier years in this bill. well, one of two things will happen. some of our republican colleagues say don't worry, we'll extend the middle-class tax cuts after 2025. that will create a huge deficit. so i say to my colleagues, particularly the deficit hawks, you can't have it both ways. you cannot say we're going to protect the middle class after 2025 and we're going to reduce the deficit. this bill is a deficit budget buster. we all know what will happen. we all know that the deficit will skyrocket after 2025. and so we can't allow the sort of tricks that are put into this
bill to dissuade us from the fact that this bill dramatically will increase the deficit. so there are two problems with this tax bill. one is inside the confines of the bill and one is with the public after the bill passes should it pass, which i think it won't. inside the bill, as i mentioned, republicans are stuck between raising taxes on millions of middle-class families or busting the deficit. there is no choice. you can't have it both ways. the bill is a dramatic, dramatic -- dramatic, dramatic exposition of being between a rock and a hard place. two choices the bill gives people: raise taxes on the middle class or dramatically increase the deficit. but outside the bill with the public, the republicans have a
dilemma as well. if they pass -- if they don't pass the bill, they lech feckless and -- they look feckless and unable to govern and that's what's moat vague most of my -- motivating most of my colleagues but if they pass the bill there will be public outrage and they'll pay a real price in 2018. they know it. outside the bill republicans have two bad choices too. outside the confines of the bill, in the broad brush strokes, our republican colleagues can fail to pass the bill and look unable to govern. or they can pass the bill, dramatically unpopular, and pay a price at the polls. these are not enviable choices. they are a gordian knot that my republican friends will not be able to slip out of. if they pull on one part of the knot, they tighten another part of it. now the reason that my
colleagues are caught in this lose-lose situation is that they've elected time and time again toes -- again to eschew bipartisanship. voting legislation with the votes of one party is divisive and demanding. a small number, say the freedom caucus, can demand all the tax breaks go to the very wealthy or they won't vote for the bill. that gives the rest of the republicans a difficult choice. hurt the middle class or blow a hole in the deficit. on the other hand, if our republican colleagues had worked with us, that freedom caucus would have no say. they wouldn't have the votes to kill the bill because there would be lots of democratic support. passing legislation of this magnitude with votes of only one party is divisive and demanding. it is meant that republicans have produced legislation that
appeals to only a small number of americans and probably in their heart of hearts, even a minority of republicans. we are a fiercely divided country. legislation that's crafted to appease the extremes of only one political party is never going to be broadly popular with the american people. and, frankly, won't work. that's why we should pursue bipartisan legislation. both parties accepting the credit of success and the blame of failure. the american people are clamoring for us to work together in such a fashion. and working together doesn't mean a bill crafted behind closed doors under reconciliation which basically says to democrats take a hike, we don't need you. so i say to my republican friends there's a way out of this mess, and it's simple. reject your faustian bargains and come to work with democrats on a real bipartisan reform bill. you won't have to choose between
blowing up the deficit and hurting the middle class. you won't have to choose between unpopular legislation and legislative failure. just like alexander-murray proved, we can produce legislation on the thorniest of issues that will receive bipartisan support and prove the condition -- and improve the condition of working and middle-class americans. why don't we
give this a try on tax reform as well because the choices you're giving yourself now you will regret. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be ended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cotton: so, mr. president, i'm glad that you're here to replace me as the presiding officer of the senate. i spent the last hour presiding myself. for those of you in the gallery, who don't know these things, i'll pull back the curtain a little bit. they call it presiding officer duty, not privilege or honor because it's reserved for the young senators who are new to the senate, like senator sullivan and i. but also means that you actually have to listen to your colleagues' speeches which
doesn't happen very often around here anymore. so this morning i had the privilege of listening to the democratic leader's speech about our tax bill and the fact that we are going to repeal the hated mandate of obamacare as part of this tax bill. i just can't let stand what he said without correcting the record. first off, the senator from new york said that we're injecting health care into the tax bill, injecting health care into the tax bill. i would remind him and all the other democrats who have been denouncing this decision on the senate finance committee that the individual mandate is a tax according not to me, not to republicans but to the obama administration. that is what they argued in 2012 to the supreme court, even though he contended throughout the debate on obamacare in 2009 and 2010 that it wasn't a tax. in 2012 they argued to the supreme court that the obamacare mandate is a tax and the supreme court in 2012 upheld it as a
tax. mr. cotton: and i'm willing to bet, i'm willing to bet that the democratic leader issued a statement in the summer 2012 applauding that decision, which held the individual mandate as a tax. after all, it's collected on your 2040. -- 1040. it's collected by the i.r.s. it doesn't get more taxi than that -- taxy than that. the claim that 13 million americans will lose their insurance -- lose their insurance if we repeal the mandate, well, two-thirds of the american people want us to repeal the mandate so they must be up to something. and second, let's just think about what the mandate repeal does. it doesn't cut a single dime out of medicaid. it doesn't cut a single dime out of insurance subsidies for people on the exchanges and it doesn't change a single regulation of obamacare. all it says is the i.r.s. cannot fine you for being unable to afford the insurance that obamacare made unaffordable in the first place. that's right.
today if you cannot afford your insurance because obamacare made it unaffordable, the i.r.s. will fine you and your family up to $2,000 a year and that number goes up every year. let me tell you, more than five out of six households who pay that fine make less than the median income in this country. that's right. that is a direct tax on working families and poor people because they can't afford the insurance that obamacare made unaffordable. in arkansas, that's over 55,000 families who already have to go with the insecurity in the financial -- and the financial hardship of not having health insurance who then have to pay a fine to the i.r.s. that's why two thirpds of the american -- two-thirds of the american people have wanted us to repeal the individual mandate of obamacare since the very day that that law was passed. and that's why we are about to finally repeal that mandate. and in the meantime, it's going to pay for more tax relief for
working class families. we're going to be able to bring rates down for all of our families, preserve more popular or widely-used deductions or credit, to help people make ends meet, like the home mortgage interest deduction credit or help them to be more charitable to the local charities. help them set off the property or income tax, all because we're going to repeal the hated obamacare mandate. so i know the democrats are in high dungeon these days. turn on c-span if you don't have anything better to do and watch the senate finance committee and they'll say oh, we're injecting health care into the tax bill. 13 million people are going to lose their insurance. what we are doing is repealing the most hated tax of obamacare and giving the american people the freedom to choose insurance that is right for them without being threatened by a fine from
the i.r.s. if that insurance doesn't meet some washington bureaucrat's definite -- definition of what is suitable. that's why two-thirds of the american people support the repeal of the individual mandate, and that's why when we repeal it, the american people are going to have a big victory notwithstanding anything said by the democratic leader or any other democratic senator. so, mr. president, i yield my time. have fun during presiding officer duty. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: