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Senate Proceeding on Dec 23rd, 2009 :: 8:03:50 to 8:23:50
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Max Baucus

7:59:40 to 8:05:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Max Baucus

Max Baucus

8:03:39 to 8:04:00( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: we would have been been in far worse economic shape had not we passed that stimulus legislation. to cover measures, those of the bush administration and those of the obama administration, the treasury department has had to borrow record amounts of money. unfortunately as it is we had to do it.

Max Baucus

8:04:01 to 8:04:22( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: had we not, we'd ben much worse shape today. as a result of this unprecedented borrowing, the treasury isbout to reach the it is clear that we have no choice but to raise the ceiling on the debt that the treasury can borrow. we've spent the money. we've got to raise the debt limit so that bills can be if we don't, the united states will default on our interest payments for the first time in

Max Baucus

8:04:23 to 8:04:43( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: its 220-year history. we cannot let that happen. and we'll not be able to pay all the monthly social security benefits to which people are entitled. that would be unthinkable. it is true that we have to work harder, mr. president, to reduce these deficits. we have no choice. and, although, therere to reduce our national debt

Max Baucus

8:04:44 to 8:05:04( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: certainly as a percent of gross domestic product. we have no choice. point is we're beginning to reac accumulation of our deficits and, therefore, our debt. that is clear. we must as a country, as a congress reduce those deficits and our national debt. however, we have to pay our bills. if we don't pay our bills, we

Max Baucus

8:05:05 to 8:05:25( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: default. that would consequences. to prevent those catastrophic consequences, there thus other countries having less confidence in the united states government, less confidence in the united states being able to pay its debt, we must increase the treasury's borrowing limit. and for a short period of time

Max Baucus

8:05:26 to 8:05:46( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: that, i think, is appropriate and prudent. so i u for this legislation. there is no way around it. it is a necessity. we simply have n we have to pay our debts. but in the future let's work hard tore get our deficits under control. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. dodd: mr. president, i'm not a member of

Max Baucus

8:05:47 to 8:05:58( Edit History Discussion )

Max Baucus: committee and don't have the responsibility that senator baucus does in dealing with these deb ceiling issues, but let me just corroborate what he

8:05:59 to 8:05:59( Edit History Discussion )

has been saying.

8:06:00 to 8:06:02( Edit History Discussion )

someone once drew the analogy

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this is like going out to dinner and enjoying a good meal and refusing to pay end of it. we have a meal in front of us. the bill got too large because the past administration accumulated debt without asking the american people to pay for it and it left us in a hole larger than all previous

8:06:24 to 8:06:44( Edit History Discussion )

administrations combined, over 225 years of our history. a remarkable achievement. it's not just t administration, all 43 previous presidents combined never accumulated the amount of debt that one administration did in eight years. i want to commend my colleague from montana. this is no easy task. it is always a painful vote for anyone to cast but obviously critical. this is more than just a vote in

8:06:45 to 8:07:06( Edit History Discussion )

this chamber. it goes to the very stability of global, the global economy. and so we have to meet our obligations. i, for one, am certainly glad to cast a vote. i don't think it's a difficult vote. it's a hard vote because of what's at stake. considering the implications of refusing to sport this would be -- to support this would be

8:07:07 to 8:07:27( Edit History Discussion )

catastrophic for o so him for his comments. we're ten minutes short of 12 hours. we're going to cast our final vote on the natnal health care proposal. and i've got some closing remarks on this historic debate.

8:07:28 to 8:07:48( Edit History Discussion )

but before i do so, i want to thank once again our staffs who have been involved in all of this. i know my dear friend and colleague from iowa will talk about this more and i've already names of the majority staff who made a contribution to this effort. and i think it's fairly clear

8:07:49 to 8:08:09( Edit History Discussion )

that tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. when we cast our votes on this proposal, this is going to be a very divided chamber. sadly, we're a very partisan vote. i suspect something along the lines of obviously we need less than 60

8:08:10 to 8:08:30( Edit History Discussion )

votes to pass the bill at this point but i suspect the vote will be something like that. i regret that deeply. it saddens me that we've come to that moment, but it is what it is. while last evening i mentioned the members of the staff who are part of the majority staff who made such a contribution, and i want to thank them once again for their efforts.

8:08:31 to 8:08:51( Edit History Discussion )

i want to also mention the minority staff that served their members well and admirably in this effort. certainly during the markup of our bill in the health, education, labor and pensions committee, that senator kennedy chaired for so many years, that

8:08:52 to 8:09:12( Edit History Discussion )

i had the honor of taking over for him during his period of illness, it is now chaired by my friend from iowa, senator harkin. mike enzi is the ranking minority member of that committee, the senator from wyoming. we ultimately had a divided partisan vote in that committee. but as my colleagues have heard me say over and over again

8:09:13 to 8:09:33( Edit History Discussion )

during these days andeeks of debate, a good part of our bill, mr. president, even though it ended up with a partisan vote, included 161 amendments offered by the minority in that markup session. more than half of all the amendments considered were offered by the republicans on that committee, on my committee

8:09:34 to 8:09:54( Edit History Discussion )

at the time, that were adopted almost unanimously in most cases. and so i want to mention the minority staff tonight who made that possible, i think strengthened our bill, made it a stronger one. and beginning with frank

8:09:55 to 8:10:16( Edit History Discussion )

machioralla, chuck clampton, todd spangler, amy moeg le r. jay closom, patty delaschu.

8:10:17 to 8:10:38( Edit History Discussion )

along with paul williams of senator hatch's s significant contribution to the bill. while again there was division on a partisan basis, i want to thank them for their efforts. they put in long hours as well, and i want to thank them. on that note let me say before getting to the substance of my remarks, i chaired the senate

8:10:39 to 8:11:00( Edit History Discussion )

banking, housing and urban affairs committee, and we've been working diligently. in fact, today, my good friend and colleague from alabama, richard shell pweurbgs and i spent about -- richard an hour or so again and five or six republicans and democrats on that committee spent about an hour together as we have every

8:11:01 to 8:11:24( Edit History Discussion )

day over the last several of weeks trying to fason a bill on services r to present to our colleagues here on our return in january and february that will deal with the catastrophe that's occurred economically in our nation. and my hope is as a chamber here -- i know my colleagues have heard me say this. i arrived in this chamber as an

8:11:25 to 8:11:46( Edit History Discussion )

employee of the senate about 50 years ago, and i sat on these steps right over here. lyndon johnson sat in your chair. he was the vice president. john kennedy was the president of the united states. and i was a senate page and listened to the all-night debates in the rights and got to witness history, watched the members of

8:11:47 to 8:12:07( Edit History Discussion )

this chamber, some of the historic figures -- hubert humphrey, lyndon johnson, everett dirksen, just remarkable people. barry goldwater. we served with barry together in this chamber for a period of time because he was here when i arrived in the senate. 35 years ago on january 3 of the xt month i arrived as a 30-year-old member of the house

8:12:08 to 8:12:28( Edit History Discussion )

of representatives. and six years later arrived here as a freshman senator 30 years ago. going back to the 1960's, i've had a lot to do with this chamber and watched it over the years. the best moments occur when we work together. this has been a bitter and difficult battle over these last number of months. as someone who takes great,

8:12:29 to 8:12:50( Edit History Discussion )

greatride in having been a part of this chamber, as my father was before than a quarter of e life of our country, i want to see us once again return to the days when we have our partisan debates -- which we should because it's built the country. partisanship, there's nothing wrong with that. it's our ability to act civilly with each other.

8:12:51 to 8:13:12( Edit History Discussion )

i've been deeply disturbed by some of the debate i've heard usuall from newer members here, the ones that have been here a year or two or three that don't have any appreciation of what this chamber means and how we work together and why we have our differences. the ability to walk away from differences and forge those new relationships the next day is critically important.

8:13:13 to 8:13:33( Edit History Discussion )

it always seems to me the newest members who fail to understand how the senate has worked for more than two centuries. we need to get back to that sense of civility once again. so i hope when we return in january to deal with new issues that we'll get back to that comity that's important. not the disagreements. disagreements are important. but the ability to deal with

8:13:34 to 8:13:55( Edit History Discussion )

each other and forge the kind of proposals that serve all of our constituents and serve all of our countrys going toe critically and so i want to share that thought with my colleagues this evening, as someone who now at the ripe old age of 65 has spent well more than half of my life deeply involved in this institution.

8:13:56 to 8:14:16( Edit History Discussion )

and so it saddens mehen we end up being divided and engaged in the arguments that i think ridicule the institution, tkhreul pwhr eul and de -- belittle and demean the contributions each member wants to make. even though we've had very strong disagreements, i've never once in my life in this chamber

8:14:17 to 8:14:38( Edit History Discussion )

questioned the patriotic intentions of any member of this chamber. we may have strong disagreements how best to achieve that more perfect union. another member's patriotism, their honesty, their integrity does a great disservice to this institution, in my view. again, i regret that sometimes it's newer members who fail to understand the importance of

8:14:39 to 8:15:00( Edit History Discussion )

maintaing that which our founders envisioned when they created this institution. mr. president, rise to suppres express once and for all and lastly in this debate my strong support for this bill, our patient protection and affordable care act of 2009. in a little over a week this

8:15:01 to 8:15:21( Edit History Discussion )

decade, the first decade of the 21st century will come to a close, mr. president, and it has been a turbulent o for our country. we've been tested by the acts of god and the acts of evil this decade. we've entered two wars and have been through a profound recession, almost a depression. our financial markets have failed. middle-class families have lost

8:15:22 to 8:15:44( Edit History Discussion )

their footing. the american dream is fading for far too many of our families in this nation. we wear these ten years heavily. we have seen tkpaoep division in our country -- deep division in our country, bitter debates within the walls of this chamber in which all of us have been proud to serve. mr. president, we do have

8:15:45 to 8:16:05( Edit History Discussion )

the luxury of tackling only one of those challenges solved easily. we do not have the luxury of tackling only those challenges as thomas payne wrote, and i quote him -- "the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph." those words come from a pamphlet

8:16:06 to 8:16:29( Edit History Discussion )

called "the american crisis." it was published 233 years ago this very week at another v uncertain moment in american history. that pamphlet begins with these words -- "these are these are times that try men's souls. the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will in this cris shrink for the service of his country, but he that stands

8:16:30 to 8:16:51( Edit History Discussion )

it now deserves the love and thanks of man and woman." general george washington outmanned, outgunned and sensing that light of recent setbacks ordered that this pamphlet and these words be read to his deeply troubled and impoverished

8:16:52 to 8:17:12( Edit History Discussion )

troops, and on christmas eve 1776, he gathered his officers mcconaughey's ferry to plan the crossing of the delaware. this body has been in session on christmas eve only once since 1963, and we will tomorrow when in the wake of president kenn united states senate met to

8:17:13 to 8:17:33( Edit History Discussion )

consider a bill to fund our operations in vietnam. we'll be in session tomorrow morning, madam president, embroiled again in times that certainly try men's souls. and like general george washington, we have an opportunity to meet history's gaze, to steel ourselves for the difficult work of making our

8:17:34 to 8:17:55( Edit History Discussion )

union more perfect. the journey we complete tomorrow has been a long and difficult one, but i for one would not trade it for anything. we who will hav the privilege to cast our votes at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow morning for health care reform will never cast a more important vote in our senate careers.

8:17:56 to 8:18:17( Edit History Discussion )

history will judge harshly those who have chosen to shrink from this moment, but those of us who more secure, to make our union more perfect we will never forget this christmas eve, for this christmas eve we have given an incredible gift. we have been granted a rare

8:18:18 to 8:18:42( Edit History Discussion )

opportunity to deliver an enormous victory to the american people for generations to come. we have a chance to alleviate tremendous burdens of anxiety and fear and suffering, to make our country stronger and healthier, to deliver the leadership our constituents have demanded, and rightfully so, and to real and meaningful change that they voted for 13 months

8:18:43 to 8:19:03( Edit History Discussion )

ago. and so in the last week of this decade in which so much has been asked of the american people, that is what history now asks of us in this chamber. over the past weeks and months, i've come to this floor to talk about this -- what this bill will do for the citizens of my state and my country. i've talked about how reform will guarantee every american will have access to quality,

8:19:04 to 8:19:26( Edit History Discussion )

affordable care when they need it from the doctor that they choose. i've talked about how reform will reduce our national deficit by finally getting health care costs under i've talked as others have about what reform will do for small business, giving them access to health insurance exchanges where they can find the best deals for their workers and a tax credit

8:19:27 to 8:19:47( Edit History Discussion )

to help them pay for it. and i've talked, as others have, about how reform will help our older citizens, our seniors, by strengthening medicare, closing the so-called doughnut hole for prescription drugs and creating new, voluntary programs to pay for long-term care. and i along with others have talked about how refor will help doctors and health care

8:19:48 to 8:20:09( Edit History Discussion )

providers spend more time caring for their patients which they want to do and less time fit fighting with insurance company bureaucrats. i and so many others have talked about how reform will finally making ins affordable for the 350,000 residents of my state and the 31 million people across our nation who today don't have it,

8:20:10 to 8:20:31( Edit History Discussion )

whether it's because they can't afford it or because they have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition. and i've also talked, madam president, along with my colleagues about how reform will finally make insurance a buyers' market, ending a wide variety of abuses that the insurance industry has empowering consumers to make

8:20:32 to 8:20:53( Edit History Discussion )

smart decisions. as has been said so many times, madam president, this bill is far from perfect, and we a know that. it represents not the end, but as my friend and colleague from iowa said so many times, the beginning of our work. long after all of us have left this chamber, however we depart, those who come after us will work on our product. they'll make it better, they'll

8:20:54 to 8:21:14( Edit History Discussion )

make it stronger, they'll find our shortcomes in they'll add to it, they will subtract from it, but they can never engage in those efforts if we do not do the job that i'm confident we'll do tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. on christmas eve, and that is to renew the american dream to revive our middle class and rebuild the foundation upon which future generations will

8:21:15 to 8:21:36( Edit History Discussion )

stand. but i'm very proud of this legislation with all of its shortcomings. i'm proud have had a role in bringing it to a vote, an accidental role as all of us know. i wouldn't be standing here other than as a member of this chamber talking about it in this context were it not for the tragic death of my great friend and colleague from massachusetts.

8:21:37 to 8:21:59( Edit History Discussion )

president teddy roosevelt famously said, madam president, and let me quote him here -- "it's not the critic not the man or woman who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. the credit belongs to the man or woman who is actually in the

8:22:00 to 8:22:22( Edit History Discussion )

arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood who strives valiantly, who com short again and again, because there is no effort without shortcoming, but it does actually strive to do the deeds, who knows great thiewsms, the great devotions, who spends himself or herself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in

8:22:23 to 8:22:44( Edit History Discussion )

the end the triumph of high achievement and who at worse if he fails while daring greatly, so that his or her place shall never be for those cold timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." end of quote. here who stand in the arena

8:22:45 to 8:23:05( Edit History Discussion )

today who have fought and argued and compromised and organized so that we might cast this historic vote at eve, we would not trade this opportunity for anything. this also year has proven that progress is not easy. tomorrow will prove that it's not impossible. may the next decade in our untry's history be shaped by that spirit, by the promise of a

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brighter tomorrow, by the unshakable desire to rise to the challenges that fate places in our our great one, and i yield the mr. harkin: madam president? the presiding officer: senator from iowa. mr. harkin: i ask unanimous

8:23:27 to 8:23:47( Edit History Discussion )

consent that the remainder of the time used on the bill for the presiding officer: wit objection. mr. harkin: madam president, first of all, before he leaves the floor, i just want to thank my dear friend, my colleague, my classmate from 1975 for all of his great leadership on this bill.

Tom Harkin

8:23:48 to 8:24:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we were a that o kennedy, could not over the last year to guide and direct and see his lifetime dream of -- fulfilled of health care reform, but it fell upon chris

Tom Harkin

8:23:50 to 8:46:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Harkin

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