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Senate Proceeding on Dec 16th, 2011 :: 0:00:00 to 0:20:00
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0:00:00 to 0:00:20( Edit History Discussion )

and now live to the senate floor here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black,

Rear Adm. Barry Black

0:00:21 to 0:00:44( Edit History Discussion )

Rear Adm. Barry Black: will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, the world and all that is in it belong to you. you laid its foundations in the ocean depths by the power of

Rear Adm. Barry Black

0:00:30 to 0:02:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Rear Adm. Barry Black

Rear Adm. Barry Black

0:00:50 to 0:01:12( Edit History Discussion )

Rear Adm. Barry Black: your voice. through your redemocrat alternative work you brought peace on earth, goodwill to humankind. lord, we need your peace today on capitol hill. release your peace so that our lawmakers will find purity of

Rear Adm. Barry Black

0:01:13 to 0:01:34( Edit History Discussion )

Rear Adm. Barry Black: motives and integrity of actions. and unity of purpose. teach our senators your ways; make yourself known to them today. lord, we place our reliance

Rear Adm. Barry Black

0:01:35 to 0:01:55( Edit History Discussion )

Rear Adm. Barry Black: squarely on your reliability as we pray in your merciful name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic

Rear Adm. Barry Black

0:01:56 to 0:02:15( Edit History Discussion )

Rear Adm. Barry Black: 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., december 16, 2011. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing

0:02:16 to 0:02:36( Edit History Discussion )

rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable mark r. warner, a senator from the commonwealth of virignia, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will be in a period of morning business. the majority will rule the first 30 minutes. republicans will control the

Harry Reid

0:02:37 to 0:02:57( Edit History Discussion )

Harry Reid: next 30 minutes. expect to consider the omnibus spending bill within the next 24 hours, or 36 hours. we will also continue to work on an agreement to consider the payroll tax compromise. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. as a reminder to all senators, cloture was filed on the motion to proceed to h.r. 3630, the

Harry Reid

0:02:55 to 0:03:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Harry Reid

Harry Reid

0:02:58 to 0:03:15( Edit History Discussion )

Harry Reid: house republican payroll tax bill. unless agreement is reached, that vote will occur saturday morning, tomorrow morning. h.r. 3094 is at the desk and due for second reading. the presiding clerk will read the title of the bill for the second reading. the clerk: h.r. 3094, an act

Mark Warner

0:03:16 to 0:03:36( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: to amend the national labor relations act with respect to representation hearings and the timing of elections of labor organizations under that mr. reid: i would object to any further proceedings at this time. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be placed on the calendar under rule

Mark Warner

0:03:20 to 0:04:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mark Warner

Mark Warner

0:03:37 to 0:04:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: mr. reid: will the chair announce morning business, please. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. the senate will be in a period of morning business until 12:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each, with the first hour equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the majority controlling the first 30 minutes and the republicans controlling the next

Mark Warner

0:04:03 to 0:04:18( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: 30 mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator fro mr. durbin: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

0:08:31 to 0:08:51( Edit History Discussion )

quorum call: mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durb call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i hope we're drawing to a close here. we're not certain. there are still some unresolved issues. but the omnibus appropriations bill is moving forward, and it will fund our government for the remainder of this fiscal year.

0:08:52 to 0:09:14( Edit History Discussion )

it's been a long and arrested whitehouse process. -- and arrest process. we called three appropriations bills in the senate and when we tried to call the next three we ran into opposition. the appropriations committee had to craft nine spending bills and put them together in one.

0:09:15 to 0:09:35( Edit History Discussion )

it was a long, involved and difficult process with the financial services subcommittee which i chair. included in that committee jurisdiction are the securities and exchange commission and the commodity futures trading commission. these are the two government agencies responsible for watching wall street and the

0:09:36 to 0:09:56( Edit History Discussion )

major financial institutions and markets across america. we are doing our best to not only restore america's confidence in some of these institutions that have been shaken by the recession, but also to make certain that it never happens again. there's resistance primarily from the banking community and some financial institutions who

0:09:57 to 0:10:21( Edit History Discussion )

don't want regulation even after the embarrassing failures of the last recession and the need for a federal gover we need to make certain that at the securities and exchange commission and future trading commission, there

0:10:22 to 0:10:45( Edit History Discussion )

are adequate funds to do the job. m.f.a. global has been the subject of repeated hearings on capitol hill as to what went wrong that led to the eighth-largest bankruptcy in the history of the united states. innocent people across america and the world have lost money, some of them have lost their savings because of

0:10:46 to 0:11:06( Edit History Discussion )

someone -- we still don't know who. but the agency responsible for monitoring this commodities future trading commission is facing a modest, almost immodest increase when they desperately need more. this is an agency which has a budget of about $200 million in the last year. the administration asked for

0:11:07 to 0:11:28( Edit History Discussion )

$300 million for this year. we'll be lucky to come up with anything in the range of $215 million. that is a 7% or 8% increase in an agency which desperately needs more not just for personnel -- and they need the best professionals -- but also for computer technology to keep up with the volume of trades taking place and to monitor

0:11:29 to 0:11:49( Edit History Discussion )

activity so as to avoid embarrassment and exploitation. this notion by many on the other side of the aisle that we can starve these agencies and somehow end up with a stronger economy is completely upside down. the strength of the american economy, whether we're talking about wall street or the chicago mercantile exchange or the

0:11:50 to 0:12:11( Edit History Discussion )

chicago board options exchange, the strength is the fact that we're guided by the rule of law. we encourage and put into law standards of transparency, and we have oversight that is adequate to the job. this year's appropriations bill falls short of that mark. i'm also troubled by provisions in this bill again this year, my

0:12:12 to 0:12:34( Edit History Discussion )

subcommittee, where too many members of congress, especially in the house of representatives, clearly have missed their real calling in life. what they really want it to be was not a member of congress, but a mayor. and so in their frustration, they decide that they will be a congressman from their district back home and a mayor, surrogate

0:12:35 to 0:12:55( Edit History Discussion )

mayor for the district of columbia. over 800,000 american citizens and taxpayers live in this great city. they have had nominally had home rule for decades. and yet time and again year after year they are subjected to those would-be mayors who all around america impose standards

0:12:56 to 0:13:16( Edit History Discussion )

on a city they would never suggest in their own home towns. it becomes primarily for the right wing. one of the programs each year that becomes a source of controversy is the tphaoelgdz exchange -- the needle exchanges program. this program, exchanging needles and syringes is for those

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addicted to, bring them out of their addiction into a healthy situation. why would we do this in the district of columbia? because the incidents of h.i.v.-aids innext this city is the of united states of america. that is a reality life on the streets of washington, a reality of those who oppose this program refuse to acknowledge. the medical professionals step

0:13:39 to 0:14:01( Edit History Discussion )

forward and say do this. we can help make this a cleaner, healthier, it. and time again some folks stand up in the house and say we're going to get rid of that to show that we're opposed to intra have

0:14:02 to 0:14:22( Edit History Discussion )

have -- intravenus drug use. the fact that's not taking place in the way that it should is an embarrassment. and i'm sorry that that will be included on part of this appropriations bill. mr. president, before we leave, we need to do two things in addition to funding our government. we need to make certain that the payroll tax cut which benefits

0:14:23 to 0:14:43( Edit History Discussion )

160 million americans continues after december 31. this is a lifeline to many struggling families and it is a way to insert into our economy the spending power of 160 million families buying goods and services that plays out into even more economic activity, more jobs and profit ability.

0:14:44 to 0:15:04( Edit History Discussion )

that's a must. the president insists on it. he's crossed america making that case. we cannot leave town without doing it. we're working on the final details today and we should close that as quickly as possible to make sure there is no gap in this coverage of the payroll tax cut.

0:15:05 to 0:15:25( Edit History Discussion )

secondly, the maintaining of unemployment insurance tax intefts essential for millions of americans out of work. the amount of money they receive will allow them to keep their family together not just for the holiday season but for the months to come. so while they're searching for a job they don't lose a home, at least have a roof over their heads and provide for the basic

0:15:26 to 0:15:46( Edit History Discussion )

necessities of life for their struggling families. i can't believe this has become a political football. i can recall a time not that long ago when republican and democratic presidents would renew unemployment benefits without question, without demand that it be paid for because they knew it was essential, it was as caring and needy as disaster aid is.

0:15:47 to 0:16:07( Edit History Discussion )

and now it's become a political football. we unemployment benefits before we leave town and we have to get that done. the president has insisted on it, and he is right. we know now with our high unemployment rate coming down slowly we still need to provide this assistance to families. were we to cut off these unemployment benefits in my home

0:16:08 to 0:16:29( Edit History Discussion )

state of illinois, 148,000 people would lose their benefits. 148,000 people. what a happy holiday they would have knowing that january 1 the benefits continue. let's get this job done and let's go home, at least with a clear mind that we have met our obligation to this economy and to the unemployed people across america that we funded our

0:16:30 to 0:16:50( Edit History Discussion )

government and that we'll return next year and i hope find a more congenial and bipartisan environment mr. presid floor. the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. mr. warner: i'd like to thank the presiding officer for taking a few moments so i can make my

Mark Warner

0:16:51 to 0:17:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: statement. i want to, again, thank my friend, the senator from illinois for his comments and let me start by saying that partly to hear the comments the majority leader made that we are close to an agreement, to make sure that we don't put the american people or the great

Mark Warner

0:16:55 to 0:21:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mark Warner

Mark Warner

0:17:13 to 0:17:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: federal workers through another one of these 11th hour fire drills where we get to the brink of the precipice of shutting down our federal government. nits that spirit that i rise today because -- it's in that spirit that i rise today because as many know, over the last year and a half or so i have come here

Mark Warner

0:17:34 to 0:17:56( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: of the senate to continue a tradition that was started by senator coffman from delaware where we recognize the contributions of great federal employees. and today i'm pleased to honor another exceptional, exceptional federal worker,

Mark Warner

0:17:57 to 0:18:18( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: mr. john merlino. mr. merlino is the assistant legislative clerk working on the legislative team on the office of the secretary of the senate. mr. merlino began his senate career in 19 doorkeeper. he then joined the secretary's legislative staff and has performed many of its functions, including the

Mark Warner

0:18:19 to 0:18:39( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: constitutional task, the constitutional task of maintaing the senate journal. another of mr. merliino's main responsibilities is to call the roll during votes and quorum calls. more importantly he is also one of those special works on the dais who have been known at

Mark Warner

0:18:40 to 0:19:04( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: times to actually keep new members, as they preside over the senate, awake during long stretches in the chair. he's always ready with a good sports quip, known as a person who goes above and beyond the call of duty. as a matter of fact i know it was his birthday yesterday and i've been planning this speech for some time.

Mark Warner

0:19:05 to 0:19:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: i wanted to make sure it was -- coincided with that important date for him. the secretary of the senate, nancy ericksen noted it is his great sense of humor that keeps many of -- that helps many of us keep smiling especially during the senate's late-night legislative sessions.

Mark Warner

0:19:27 to 0:19:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: a small cog in the greater legislative process, mr. merlino is a member of an often-unrecognized but dedicated team that keeps the senate running smoothly and one that is charged with ensuring continuity of operation, no matter what the situation. in fact, mr. merlino recently entered the history books.

Mark Warner

0:19:49 to 0:20:09( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Warner: during a pro forma session held at the postal square building immediately following the earthquake in august, mr. merlino unknowingly became one of only two people along with senator coons to have spoken during the only official session of the senate convened outside the capitol building since 1814.

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