tv Senator Durbin Discusses Gun Violence and Public Health CSPAN August 27, 2017 12:02pm-12:52pm EDT
it is the second confirmed death from harvey. rescue attempts continue in houston for those stranded inside homes and vehicles in the wake of the storm. texas senator ted cruz is among the elected officials reading out this morning. he says, "heidi and i continue to lift up those impacted by flooding in houston, and the brave first responders serving in texas. please stay safe and off the roads." another congressman urges residents to stay at home and to pay close attention to the weather. member jackson lee, she has announced that the houston and harris county areas have just been declared a federal disaster area. abbott hasor greg
announced that his news conference will be held at 12:30 p.m. today. we will have that live for you on c-span. on wednesday, illinois sender dick durbin talk about efforts in his home city of chicago to curve gun violence. this is just under one hour. >> thank you. this is my first city club without paul green and i miss know we all do. fantastic person and a great a littleand always had jab for every speaker with tough questions. i'm k forward to it, and
sure you in his tradition make sure i face the music afterwards too. donna fentin there is one of my fa favs. to a d say would you go cubs game with me. she said, sure. naturally, opening day at wrigley field shgs you never to expect. it was a snowstorm, and we ended box, and we were there she had williams and the picture taken. darned if she wasn't waiting on box. ody in the i said, donna, you're a guest. work here ave to today. she's a wonderful lady. table,ld the folks at my with beretta's permission, she's my other girlfriend. donna, glad you're here. discuss thisant to
afternoon is serious and i hope each and every one of you will thoughts and re questions on anything that follows. it relates to the reality of the world that we live in. do you remember the world you in? some people do. and many are scratching their remember. to 63 people will remember because they went to an emergency room in chicago. some will escape with a scar. ome will face surgeries and brain damage and some will face paralysis. last ght chicagoans weekend, it was their last weekend on earth. deadliest weekend in since four weeks ago. 4,435 people have been shot in chicago. 454 have been killed. that's down from last year. chicago's deadliest year in 20 more than 4300 people
ere sthot in that year and 789 killed, but it's still horrifically high. spared from this children. ot even last year, more than 300 children in chicago were shot. 36 died. year, 176 r this children have been shot and 27 have died. the past june were deadliest month in chicago for more than 15 years. being killed on average every other day. 2000, gun violence in the city have taken the lives of children. in his frustration and anger morning, eddy johnson said, this weekend of killing of , quote, the culture chicago. he added, we cannot arrest our of this crise when the a minal justice is not
deterrence. many people are working from very conceivable angle to end it. faith leaders, many faith epresentatives today, and i'll go through the remarks. health parents, public communities, public and law enforcement. room. you in this sometimes it must feel like you're pushing a boulder up a you are saving lives. thank you for what you do. today, i want to talk about to this that i believe can help. first, we need to stop the flow illegal guns into our city's neighborhoods. applause] last year, and the year the chicago police department recovered more illegal guns than their and erparts than new york los angeles combined. guns out of the crime
of chicago come from another state. about what our founding fathers meant about the econd amendment to the constitution butted -- but we this, they weren't talking about 9-year-olds armed with guns. matic hand high are the types of powered fire arms. justice robert jackson once said, the suicide ion is not a pack. agree. we can respect the constitution. here are a few of the things and salute the state legislatures today. have to have ould icenses, follow safety measures, and i support the efforts in spring field and salute those who are here who do as well, to radio ir
reasonable safety measures. no state in illinois can top the illegal flow of guns alone. laws on should toughen illegal gun trafficking. trafficking ed a bill. also close the glaring gaps on fbi background it easy for ake s, victed felons, terrorist people with instability and others to get hand weapons. with you. nest congress will not act. he national gun lobby has our congress and our president noted even the most slaughter of children in
ongress will change that in washington. mike flager has spoken to this him before, and you know by reputation. friend. about a year and-a-half ago, i got a message he left for me. father wanted to tell me about a man 26 years old, a plaintiff's exhibit. this young man had an interesting history. the man had ago, father flager n for the gangs he was having in his neighborhood. the man came and asked, will you help me, i want out. this way. to live father flager helped him. he enrolled in a ged course.
later, he was driving down the street with his randmother when two gang mothers walked up and shot her head. she survived, but he didn't. said the funeral mass and asked the mourners this question. young brothers would like to give up this life. ow many of you want to go to school and get a job. altar. came up to the the father said, i could find obs for about three or four of them. how about the rest. how about them. until we can answer that question, we won't end the cycle. 39% of young black and brown men percent, between the ages of 20 and 24 are not in school. ot
remember that number, 39 percent. wide, it's 29 percent of oung african-american and latino men out of school. 8%. men, then the researchers looked at where the homicides occurred in chicago. they found five neighborhoods. englewood, back of the yards, and west crossing. 32 percent of the murders. neighborhoods, the jobless rates among young black from 71-90 n ranged percent. does anyone doubt there's a onnection between lack of jobs and violence. the mayor's one summer chicago program brought together organizations, community groups and businesses to provide jobs. i've seen them. they're transformative. people, of these young
it's the first time in their lives they've had the work. bility to many other organizations are bringing jobs to the neighborhoods. efforts. art of the thank you. president trump tweeted that he in the feds, send closed quote, if chicago doesn't fix the carnage. i say mr. president if you want touse the federal government endlet violence in chicago, we welcome your help. help for job training and apprenticeship programs. help us close outrageous tax jobs opes that ship oversaez. [applause] [applause]. >> the senator of ohio and i introducing a bill doing just that. a sponsor in the house. bill to expand a
tax credits for employers who at-risk youth. another bill to apply directly federal funds to support summer and year-round youth programs. i'm willing to meet with this president anytime and anywhere he wants to create jobs in the city. last proposal i want to give you, i think, is critically important and is overlooked. if we are ever going to stop the shed, we must learn to recognize and heal the deep violent and it, matic wounds expose to especially it developing brains of children. to the cook went county detention center and dayt the better part of the waiting for teenagers on trial waiting for those who shot
people. those waiting for trial come and go. they're there for long periods of time. high schools, gyms, rograms, and counseling, and i sent them there, what do you find when you sit down with men. argely men, young what's going on here. senator. erything, we find bipolar. we find depression. all. d it in 92% of those who are awaiting rial and come through this juvenile detention center, we find the same thing. they have either been victims of to ent trauma or exposed violent trauma. hat is not a coincidence, my friends. that is reality. poverty grown up in and chaos. when i visit classrooms in the and other places, they say have seen you here
somebody killed or had a close riend or family member murdered, more than half shoot up a hand in the classroom. of you have seen someone you know loved or murdered. had, you will never forget it. how many of you worry every day bullet could come out of nowhere and end your life loved. ne you now ask yourself, what if you years old and worried about both of those questions. went over to the hindz va. it was transformative to see veterans walk through the door, on a friday r afternoon and many break down in tears in front of me. battle e going through and battling the wounds they had them. home with think about that for a minute. our are former members of
military who were carefully inducted. fore hey were sent into combat with careful supervision and support. yet they come home with for counseling for psychological wounds. that childrenieve growing up around violence oping on their own could utgrow these traumatic experiences. proof has shown that xperienced and repeated trauma leaves emotional scars that can change afetime and can child's chemistry. in ould force a child to be fight or flight mode. could lead to many issues, cycles effectuate the
of poverty. we know children facing loss will have asthma, back. r flash they are likely to have trouble on learning in school. a 2012 study found that children vocabulary eading in the er a murder neighborhood performed dramatical dramatically worse than before. single bullet can ripple through a family and the community shattering the fragile sense of security. leaving in its place grief and heart break. adults that experience heart will suffer dren from heart break, stroke, addiction,epression, lung disease, liver disease, and many other conditions.
hey live sicker and die younger. it's important to stress that to all children exposed trauma and violence will develop hese problems or will have these challenges. with proper care, many children healed. armed or in too many children with scarred neighborhoods, their bio graphy becomes their biology. of estimated that only 25% the children in america who need mental health care receive it. and brown children, those likely to experience this to ence, are less likely receive the help they need to prevent trauma related mental physical disabilities. to put it another way, when it gun violence in a cago, sign me up for thousand cops but sign me up for a thousand counselors. we need them both.
. >> here's the good news. many have shown this path forward. shaketi am [sp], is she here. c colleen has an amazing staff. times about many her worth. on the daunting task of educating a senator and has done pretty well. she and her team for the center resilience works all over the state. will eaders and parents recognize and help. over tonths ago, i went pillson with her, we went to a hispanic kids, and they have decided to pick kids, 4 they could
help. 4 out of 1200. tell me was there to the story. hispanic lady. he had me the story, two little kids in the 1st and before,e and six months the husband had walked in the living room where they were all gun and took out a killed himself. went esult, these kids through flashbacks, night ter r terrors terrors, and became withdrawn in class. bhoeth ofrs suggested -- both of them be part of this program. the changes were profound. i met the kids afterwards. didn't know the circumstances of why i was there them. ing with perfectly normal kids who were oing through that life shattering experience. they said, senator, i'm getting counseling too.
we understand folks are looking for help and need places to turn. chicago has the ability to ecome a leader in childhood trauma. under mayor emmanuel and julie working to ago is become the largest trauma informed city in america. i've introduced a we have a lot of people who desperately need their help. i introduced a bill in the senate to help make it happen. it is called trauma informed care for children and families act. my partners are heidi heitkamp of north dakota and al franken from minnesota and in the house, congressman danny davis. he knows the heart break of gun violence. last year, his 15-year-old grandson was killed by two teenagers arguing over shoes and clothes. i could not ask for a better partner in this effort. the need for trauma informed
care is staggering. a 2013 study conducted in chicago, found nearly nine out of 10 kids age 15 to 17 had been exposed to this kind of violence. one in three lost a close friend or family member. one in five witnessed a murder first-hand. few received any mental health services at all. this bill will build on innovation here and other places, educate and trained a -- train adults who can help these young people, front line people, expand medicaid coverage of trauma informed counseling and services to more schools. enable more kids to benefit from these curriculum. provide proven mental health perhaps to help young people. young people are 21 more times -- 21 times more likely to go to a school clinic than another clinic for care. we want to make sure we're there to help them. our bill will enlist community leaders. jay and joy luster, i met jay in the course of this project. thousands of students in chicago are taking advantage of that now.
mentors from the ymca urban warriors programs. coach wayne garden, he has been on front lines of battle 42 years, am i right, wayne on that? he moved into lawndale neighborhood, raised his family there and never left. wayne, thank you for all you have done with mike and others in the community. one of my friends went to jerusalem and saw a program there dealing with trauma and violence decided to bring it back here. let me give a shout out to pastor chris harris in bright star church in brownsville. chris, thank you so much. we need to have the best practices that come out of these experiences and the ones we learned from around the country to make this better. making these changes will not break the bank. it will make better use of money we're currently spending on violence in this city. we'll look at every federal
program that reaches kids from head start to home visits to health care to make sure it includes strategies for identifying trauma. you know what costs more than treating trauma? ignoring it. it has been two decades since the first research showed us the link. think how much money we could have saved in health costs if we followed that lead? centers for disease control spendses that america $124 billion a year on health care for for adult patients with a history of early trauma. how many lives, how many billions of dollars a year might we save by treating childhood trauma to avoid the problem before it becomes worse? it costs dramatic amount of money to incarcerate these young people. wouldn't it be better to counsel them? our bill is supported by 100 chicago organizations -- american academy of pediatrics, national education association, national council of juvenile and family courts but the most powerful endorsements for trauma informed care may come from two young men from inglewood.
deshawn hanna and dan blake are cousins. deshawn is 20. dantrel will turn 21 this month. both men were shot in separate incidents months apart in 2015. dantrel has a bullet in his leg. the cousins caught a break that changed their lives when he went back to the hospital for a follow-up. let me thank you, tony, for the great work that you do every single day there. you deserve a lot of applause. [applause] any went back -- so when he went back to stroger, he went into a woman named arecia williams. with young people who are victims of violence. she convinced them to go back an -- and finish high school.
then she persuaded them to get involved with chicago fire. amazing program that uses glass blowing and therapy to heal scars of violence and chart a new course for their lives. before they met her, they never thought of going to college. between them, they have been accepted at five colleges and they're weighing their options. they're working as peer counselors at healing hurt people, helping other young men who have been shot and lost friends and family members to violence. helping to teach doctors and other health professionals how to recognize and heal the psychic wound that violence inflicts. somehow, even with all of these demands, they were able to join us today. ladies and gentlemen, a hand for them. [applause] there is a lot of hurt in this city but there's a lot of hope, too. i hope you ask yourself, what can i do about this? what can i do to make chicago a national leader healing
childhood trauma? statues of confederate leaders reflect painful racial wound from our history, many deep, racial disparities continue to wound us today. voter suppression, lack of jobs, traumatized kids in communities. we have to come to together to heal our communities. there are things we can do. defend voting rights, work for more jobs, be an advocate for change including trauma informed care for children. be a mentor for kids who need an adult to trust. if you're part of the corporate community and stepped up, thank you. if you haven't, please consider it. there are some great employers in our city who are hiring and training young men and women from violence scarred neighborhoods. if you talk to them, they will tell you young kids are resilient and determined workers they have. frankly, not enough businesses are getting involved yet. we need your help. in closing, let me leave you with words of hope from one of america's great poets maya angelou. here is what she wrote.
history despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived and if faced with courage need not be lived again. thanks for inviting me. i will take some questions. [applause] >> thank you very much, senator durbin. and if anybody back there in the audience has questions, hold up your blue card, members of our staff will come by, pick them up, the senator will try to answer as many questions as we can. thank you, i would like to recognize my congressman, congressman danny davis, who just joined us. [applause] this is like a triple header today.
i have my u.s. senator, my congressman and my alderman. boy, unbelievable. >> [inaudible] remember, all politics are local. this is from mike bowers sitting over here, city club member. what do you think of the proposed acquisition by sinclair broadcasting of tribune media? do you expect the acquisition to be completed? >> mike, i don't know what we'll have to say about that in terms of their acquisition. i am familiar with sinclair. , they are ofnd very conservative organization. they used to put editorial comments when they own to springfield station. i would demand, occasionally get opportunity for rebuttal. hard for me to imagine that kind
of operation taking over with wgn. seems like a hometown radio station with deep roots in chicago history. hard to imagine outsiders coming in. we've seen great dislocations already. the tribune, the sun-times, and other things. i worry about the change of the approach at the station. >> thank you. lots of questions, great. ok, charlie garder, roosevelt university trustee. do democrats have a chance to recapture the senate in 2018? >> right now, it is 48 democrats, 52 republicans. there are 25 democrats up for re-election, nine republicans. so the numbers are not in our favor. out of those 25 democrats, there are many in states that donald trump carried. now historically, except with one exception, off-year elections have not been kind to a president's party. the other party picked up seats in the house and senate. and so, maybe, just maybe we may pick up some seats but there are only two possibilities.
if you look at the nine republican seats. and that would be nevada and arizona -- at this point, way too early to tell how that is going to work out. i actually think that house of representatives, u.s. house of representatives may be as likely or more likely to turn. there are lots of candidates running in some of the republican districts in this state. there are as many as eight different democrats who are vying for the nomination. so there is a lot of interest that came out of the trump election on the democratic side, grassroots. could be a fascinating election. >> thank you, senator. this is from paul singer. not a city club member. paul, remember, we'll ask your question this time. we expect you to join. [laughter] he is in a liberal democratic voter. can president trump shut down the federal government if congress does not fund the wall? >> i doubt that is what is going to happen.
although he is adamant that he wants to see that big, beautiful wall built and paid for by the mexicans some way or another. i doubt that will happen. the reason i say that is i believe that we've been through this scenario a few months ago when we had to finish the budget for this fiscal year and the republicans now in control in the house and senate do not want to carry the burden of having shut down the government on their watch for any reason. so we face two critical votes right away. one of them is on the budget for the next year which may be delayed a little bit but even more compelling is the extension of the national debt which if we do not do, will have the same impact of shutting down the government and our economy. i just don't think the republican leaders or the president want that to happen on their watch. >> thank you. this is from city club member joe with sienna. senator, where do you propose funding will come from to support the necessary increase in mental health therapies?
>> well, i can tell you first we need to have a health care system that provide mental health services through health insurance in america. [applause] members of the senate and congress where i have served have the most passion, most effective, when they're dealing with an issue that touches them personally. there was a time when paul well stone of minnesota, with a brother who suffered from mental illness, pete domenici, conservative republican of new mexico who had a son who suffered from mental illness. the two teamed up and four years, kept beating the insurance industry you have to absolutely include mental health services with other services in health insurance, they finally won it. we put it in the affordable care act. it makes a big difference for vast majority of people like us, most of us who in this room have health insurance through our employers. you start there. it is not enough.
you make sure medicaid, serving many lower income populations has access to good mental health services, too. which means community clinics have to offer behavioral health. more and more are doing that but we have to keep the funding going. we are hanging by a thread as to what is going to happen to america's health care system. the president said let it sink, let it go under unless democrats what a go under. let the democrats crawl on their knees and beg us to fix it. i hope that doesn't happen, because throughout that, president and members of congress will still have their health insurance. people across america will pay a heavy price. the good news is lamar alexander, republican of tennessee, patty murray, democrat of washington will start hearings as soon as we return in couple weeks what to do with the health care system to strengthen it to move it forward. incidentally, that is where we should have started seven months ago. >> thank you very much. shifting gears a little, this is a question from steve who bills
himself as transportation consultant. he has a very good one, by the way. senator, is there hope for broad partisanship in the senate? what does that mean for an infrastructure initiative? >> steve, there is -- everybody cheers a trillion dollar infrastructure program. it is easy to explain. you look at china, what they're doing, other countries, and what we need in this state and country, you know it better than most. the problem is how do you fund it? how do you fund it? we haven't touched the federal gas tax in 15, 18 years? it a gas tax imposed by the gallon. as we drive more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, burn fewer gallons, less money comes into the highway trust fund but we still have potholes and need to build new infrastructure of the -- new infrastructure. the funding mechanism is easier aisle that itthe is on the other side of the aisle.
but that is crucial. let me add one more footnote. we're now moving toward more and more electric vehicles. we'll see more of that being done. as a consequence, fewer gallons of gas likely are to be burned. how are we then going to fund the infrastructure in this country? really calls out for some new calculations. instead of by the gallon, maybe by the mile, something reflects real use of the highway, reinvests back into it. that is only way. but funding is thing that will -- but the funding is the thing that will stop us. >> thank you. this question from tim eagan, committeeman of brian hopkins second ward, ceo of the new roseland hospital. is trumpcare dead, and what can we expect to see in the coming months? >> i have been in the house and senate for a long time and, thank you for those of you who helped me have this public career. and i have seen a lot of votes. half a dozen of those votes fit into the category of things like war. when you're voting about whether or not you will go to war, if you're not lying awake rolling back and forth at night you're not thinking because lives will be lost, one way or the other on that vote. so you're always remember those
votes and there are votes you remember because it is your bill. you remember that for a lifetime. thatdful of other votes occur that do not fit in those categories that you will never forget. the vote on trumpcare at 2:30 on floor of the senate was one of those. when i saw john mccain come through the senate doors, walk up to the desk on the republican side and lift his shoulder as far as he can, shattered in the plane crash and tortured say, no, that was the end of trumpcare, thanks to collins, murkowsky and mccain who stepped forward. it is not the answer what we do for our health care system. i voted for the affordable care act. i believe in it. i said on the floor, say to you, if you have ever been father of a seriously ill child and you have no health insurance, you will never forget it as long as you live. i know, i've been there. i don't want anybody else to be there. so i voted for affordable care
act. we reduced number of uninsured by 50% in illinois virtually nationwide. it is not perfect. the individual marketplace premiums are way too high because older and sicker people are signing up and younger, healthier are not. we have to fix that. there is nothing, absolutely nothing in the affordable care act to deal with the cost of prescription drugs. it is breaking the bank. blue cross blue shield pays more out each year on prescription drugs than they do for inpatient hospital care. go figure. it is reached the point there is no control in terms of the rise in prices. things we have to do to make this health care system work. if trumpcare is not going to pass, we have to get something that moves forward on a bipartisan basis. >> thank you very much. our weekly armenian-american question from laura. senator, please tell us your thoughts on initiating
impeachment and what cause requires? told you we would have some zingers. [laughter] >> impeachment is initiated in the house of representatives. [laughter] and, should it occur, i've been through one of them, i will be a member of the jury in the senate. so it is probably best that i leave it there. >> very good. this is from don sullenberger with baron and warner. you indicated your democratic house cochairs -- whyhave you -- why have you not tried to involve republican cochairs in the house? for example, adam kinzinger, rodney davis or peter roskam, all representatives from the state of illinois? >> certainly working on the senate side first and as i mentioned senator collins is cosponsor of the gun bill i
mentioned to you. i have so many bipartisan bills. lindsey graham and i introduced the dream act. some of you are aware of that when it comes to immigration. my cosponsor on criminal justice grassley fromk iowa. -- what isgrassley that all about? they're in the majority. i need them. they need me maybe. i am not adverse to having co-republican sponsorship and support. danny will tell you he and many issues we care about don't excite our republican friend as much. we'll keep asking, aren't we? you bet we will. >> while you're gathering your thoughts, senator, this is a compliment. let's work this in from susan hayes gordon from lurie children's hospital. thank you for your integrity and your steadfast leadership over so many years, working to serve humanity and our nation.
now in you especially these very difficult times. thank you. [applause] well, here's a question, even though we have limited time -- we could probably go on for hours. this is from kate with sutton place financial. can you add any clarity to what's going on in washington? [laughter] >> so, here is, i'm going to give you two numbers to give you an idea of where america is today. roughly 2/3 of the american people have said in a poll that they're embarrassed by the president. 2/3 of republican, identified republican voters say they don't see anything wrong yet. look, listen to what i just said, dichotomy between the general population and the republican primary voters. many republican senators, some i should say, some republican
senators have said to me, it is hard back home because my republican primary voters are still very loyal to the president. and i know that colors their decision about whether to speak out. that is part of the reality that we face. meantime, i would have to say this president comes to the office with virtually no government or political experience, and does not have a team that reflects any experience on capitol hill. i might be able to remember if i think hard enough but i can't tell you the congressional liaison for this president. i don't know the person very well. and you can't be effective in leading forward an agenda, whatever it may be without having somebody who understands how the hill works and to have loyal people working with you in your own party. what the president has said about mitch mcconnell makes it kind of hard for him to work with him in the future. i understand they haven't spoken to one another for a few weeks. so that's part of the reason that things are not moving very quickly. >> ok.
we have two last questions. the first one is, do you feel that the present governor of illinois is beatable? >> regardless of how i feel, the numbers say he is. you can -- senator harmon, senator hutchinson, others who are here, his numbers are not very good in the state at this moment. i will say this generically. i spent better part of my adult life working for this state. i'm honored to do it. great honor to do it. i am heartbroken what i've seen occur in the last 2 1/2 years in our state. there are things happened around our state which will take more than a decade to repair, that have happened in the last few years. the city of carbondale, illinois, they were blessed with this eclipse, all the tourists came down for a few days, but southern illinois university carbondale, went enrollment from 23,000 to 16,000.
they had more students transferring out of siu carbondale to kentucky and missouri and indiana schools than they ever have in history because of the uncertainty of the state budget. the city of carbondale, mike henry the mayor, republican businessman, nice guy who supports me in some crazy way, says to me, we've had 50 real estate closings in carbondale. we have 250 property force sale. for sale.perties the biggest driver of the economy is the university. there is doubt whether it will be there for students. i go to black hawk college at quad cities just yesterday, talked to a fellow in charge of admissions. the students would rather go to school in iowa, there is more certainty they will be able to finish. the state will provide whatever assistance they can provide to him than here. the damage has been done to illinois in the last 2.5 years is self-inflicted. this is not some great devastation came our way at the hand of god. it is something we've been party to.
we have to do something about. i will just add, to think that we are even questioning whether we're going to open the schools of illinois on time after all this is shameful. it is disgraceful. i will say one last thing. [applause] and this may be more political, but i will say it anyway, it is beneath the dignity of a leader of the state of illinois to put one region of the state against another. we are one state, should be treated as such. [applause] my father was born in deep southern illinois. i was born in east st. louis and raised my son paul and other kids in downstate illinois. i'm proud of it. i'mhaving said that, equally proud to represent this great city. it is a fantastic place. my wife and i spend every moment we can here. great restaurants and everything
goes with it and great people. to think we would have to choose, pit one against another, is something beneath the dignity of a public office. [applause] >> so, senator, speaking of great restaurants, have you eaten at the state lodge down in southern illinois you get the fried chicken dinner for 12.99? you can't get that at mcarthur's on the west side. ok, one last question. your colleague, mitch mcconnell, any thoughts about mitch and his relationship to the president? >> well, it is not very good and the president's been very public about that. i think senator mcconnell made a mistake the day after we swore in the new senate announcing he would go to something called reconciliation. that is something totally inside baseball for most of you. basically, he does not want to take it through the regular order of business. any issue. anything he can move through the reconciliation process,
basically, no committee hearings, no amendments. take it to the floor, simple majority passes. he has 52 votes. he doesn't want to get into the world of 60 votes. by doing that, he is, unfortunately, put us in a position on the health care system we're bringing a measure before us to change the health care system, 1/6 of economy of america no one has read and no one can possibly understand. that is why it fell apart. why his three members his own party would not support it. i hope senator mcconnell will call senator schumer, any of us, basically, i will take a fly at, flyer at the regular order of business. let's see how this works. see if we can do it together. put us on the spot. we should be doing it together. i think you elected us as democrats and republicans to solve problems together. that means -- [applause] that means that durbin has to compromise and maybe mcconnell
has to compromise. isn't that what it is all about at the end of the day? we do the best we can, get the most done we can. i'm still honored to serve, i tell you this last year has been very unusual in the united states senate, likely to continue. city club, thanks. [applause] >> folks, we have our drawing, the winner today, from governors state university, maureen kelly. maureen, where are you? [applause] >> former staffer. >> former staffer, inside baseball. ok. $200 gift certificate. you pick it up from amanda. senator, before you leave, it is a coffee cup. and a one-year complimentary membership in the city club.
>> we are waiting on texas governor greg abbott to get a briefing on the storm currently hitting the state. two people are confirmed to have died in the storm should thousands are waiting for rescue. brock long spoke about the government response under way. now tore going to go fema administrator rock long -- brock long who will give us the very latest on the ground situation. is afortunately, this dynamic situation which is only beginning to unfold. as we have been