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Senate Proceeding on Jan 5th, 2011 :: 6:20:10 to 6:34:50
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Charles Schumer

6:20:06 to 6:20:26( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: all 99 other members of the senate to make the senate the senate that we know and love and believe is the greatest deliberative body in the world. mr. president, thank you. i yield the floor. mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. let me start thank you, mr. president.

Charles Schumer

6:20:10 to 6:34:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

6:20:27 to 6:20:47( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and i want to thank my colleagues. i am going to talk about the issue they've been talking about for a while in a minute. but first i want to say a few words about my dear friend, dear colleague, someone i so admire, senator barbara mikulski, on her remarkable accomplishment. today, as she took the oath from office, the jo gentlemanwoman

Charles Schumer

6:20:48 to 6:21:09( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: from maryland made history as few others can make. senator mikulski has long been affection nationally known here in the senate as the dean of the women. now she is facially the longest-serving female senator in the history of this great nation. the distinction adds to the considerable respect and admiration i already have for senator mikulski.

Charles Schumer

6:21:10 to 6:21:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and so much of who she is and what she does. barb, like me, cram from a decidedly middle-class fink. we often talk about her dad, will cheerks who owned a grocery store in east baltimore, and my grandfather and dad who were exterm nairts. they were similar because they were people of the community. and barb would tell me that

Charles Schumer

6:21:32 to 6:21:53( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: people would come in during difficult times and they'd lost their job and willie would say, pay me when you can. wasn't quite the same with my feavment but my grandfather and then father like him felt that people who had roaches or rats crawling through their little houses and apartments, when they couldn't pay, they shouldn't cut

Charles Schumer

6:21:54 to 6:22:14( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: off service for them as well. and so we were both infused with that great upwardly mobile, middle-class, help-your-neighbor, be part of the neighborhood, be part of the community being. barb started her career as a social worker, made a name for herself when she led the fight to stop a highway project from

Charles Schumer

6:22:15 to 6:22:35( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: destroying an historic section of her community. that's what launched her into politics and like our best politicians she came from the community. she didn't decide to be a politician. she came from the community, took on a fight, and saw how she could make government a friend to the people. so she went from the baltimore

Charles Schumer

6:22:36 to 6:22:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: city council to the house of representatives, and of course to this august chamber, but all through, she never lost sight of where she came from. she's fought tirelessly and effectively to protect maryland seniors, ensuring they have access to an affordable, healthy, and happy environment; shshe's been a leading advocate of medical research securing

Charles Schumer

6:22:57 to 6:23:17( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: billions in funding for cutting-edge research into things as diverse as breast cancer, alzheimer's. she's helped countless women and veterans get the health care need, the list goes on and on. let me just say one other thing, mr. president. 89 as somebody who believes that we have to focus on the middle class, talk to the middle

Charles Schumer

6:23:18 to 6:23:38( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: class and have middle-class beings and values infused in our bones, no other senator does that as well as senator mikulski, because it's who she is. and because being the essentially humble and modest person that she is, she has never lost sight of where she's come frvment so, barb did, senator barb, as your

Charles Schumer

6:23:39 to 6:23:59( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: constituents know you, you're beloved here as much as you're beloved in your home state of maryland. your sense of humor, your tenacity, your work ethic, our love of community and your mother's crab cake recipe sun rivaled. it is an honor to serve along such an accomplished woman.

Charles Schumer

6:24:00 to 6:24:20( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: senator mikulski, congratulations again. you are a great senator and a great friend. and now, mr. president, i'd like to turn to the issue that we've been discussing. and first let me congratulate my colleagues who have been on the floor on this issue, particularly the senator from new mexico, senator udall; the

Charles Schumer

6:24:21 to 6:24:41( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: senator from oregon, senator merkley; the senator from colorado, also named udall; and the senator from iowa, senator harkin, and many others who have participated in this debate. and they've done a great job today n., and the other thing i think i appreciated -- and senator harkin helped do this -- there was not just debate; there

Charles Schumer

6:24:42 to 6:25:03( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: was actual discussion even when we didn't agree. i thought it was pretty interesting watching on the tv in my room -- in my office when senator roberts came and stood by a desk here on the democratic side and was just a desk away from senator harkin. and they didn't agree on the issues but they debated the issues. what a great first step metaphor

Charles Schumer

6:25:04 to 6:25:24( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: for the kinds of debates we really want to have here on the senate floor. so this has been a very positive and hopefully prescient opening of the debate to change the rules, because, mr. president, we all know that if in the last congress the senate didn't function effect tiflt and the

Charles Schumer

6:25:25 to 6:25:45( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: time for change as come and i want to salute the leaders as well as senator klobuchar, who has been so involved in our discussions; senator franken has been involved, so many others; senator lautenberg, for the work that they have done. and i want to say to my colleagues, this is not something that's just happened recently. this idea that all of a sudden

Charles Schumer

6:25:46 to 6:26:07( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: these -- this has been popped on the senate is wrong. last year the rules committee -- i was urged by senator udall to do this among the first days of the session two years ago, and i think we don't a pretty extensive and good job -- we held six theergs examined the history of the filibuster, trends and the use of the

Charles Schumer

6:26:08 to 6:26:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: filibuster, secret holds, stalled nominations and proposals for change. in those hearings, we heard from snow showers from both parties -- from senators from both parties who have valuable ideas about the need to reform the filibuster. senators harkin, lautenberg, wyden, grassley, udall, udall, mccaskill, grerks and bennett all testified at the hearings.

Charles Schumer

6:26:29 to 6:26:50( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we also brought former senators of both parties, former scholars and former senate staff of both parties to come and testify. now, in the first half of the 21st century, filibusters and filibuster threats were relatively rare events. that's been documented already. and our hearings document it extensivelyment. but since that tiernlg the

Charles Schumer

6:26:51 to 6:27:11( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: number has continued to dramatically increase and when you face an average of two cloture petitions per week, which is what's happened currently, then we know there's a proficiency and it is no mystery that the senate is labeled "dysfunctional." between 1917 and 1971 there was

Charles Schumer

6:27:12 to 6:27:34( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: an average of one cloture motion filed per year. in the 110th and 111th, we had more than 70. the cloture motions counts are a spreens to the filibuster and it's disport t torting the way the senate does business. for the legislative branch, hundreds of bills passed by the house in the 111th congress

Charles Schumer

6:27:35 to 6:27:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: were not considered, even though they had passed the house by voice vote or with a majority of house republicans voting yevment the senate is posed to be a cooling saucer, not an icebox. in the executive branch, in the judiciary, dozens of judicial appointments were delayed or

Charles Schumer

6:27:57 to 6:28:17( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: blocked from floor consideration in the last congress. many of these were approved unanimously by both democrats and republicans in committee and yet sat on the executive calendar for months. because of secret hold. this is dangerous at a time when we need a federal government using awful its resources to fight terrorism, protect our curntion and address our economic needs.

Charles Schumer

6:28:18 to 6:28:39( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and i want to salute senators wyden and mccaskill and grassley for focusing us on this issue. it's important to end anonymous or secret holds and shine some light on the kinds of long-term delays that can hold up a nomination for a bill for weeks

Charles Schumer

6:28:40 to 6:29:00( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: or months or even longer. also, during the fiscal year 23010, half of all non-defense spending -- $290 billion -- was appropriated without legal authority, because congress hadn't reauthorized the programs. the unpress debited threat of a --

Charles Schumer

6:29:01 to 6:29:21( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: unprecedented threat of a filibuster prevented debate frequently that extended deliberation is a dying commodity. make no mistake about it, the everyday threat of the filibuster doesn't ensure debate. it restricts it. reforming the rules in a thoughtful way would clear the way for more legislating, not less.

Charles Schumer

6:29:22 to 6:29:42( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: filibusters provide a minority of senators a way to make their voices heard, but they should not provide a way for a minority of senators or even a single senator to grind the senate to a halt regardless of whether they're democrats, republicans, or independents. reform will engage the american

Charles Schumer

6:29:43 to 6:30:03( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: people and reenergize this institution. this would not end the filibuster or cut off debate. on the contrary, it will pull back the curtain and show the american people what we actually believe and what our deliberations are really about. there have been many ideas for reform pented by my colleagues that are -- present bid my

Charles Schumer

6:30:04 to 6:30:24( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: colleagues worthy of discussion. the senator from lautenberg testified before the rules committee about his plan which he called the "mr. smith goes to washington proposal." senator merkley, senator udall, and others developed their own versions of this important concept which i call the talking filibuster.

Charles Schumer

6:30:25 to 6:30:45( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: this talking filibuster idea would require filibustering senators to keep speaking on the floor after cloture fails to show clearly their wish to continue debate and to allow them to talk for as long as they wish. currently the only evidence the senator is face -- the senate is

Charles Schumer

6:30:46 to 6:31:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: facing a filibuster is the vote on cloture. the senate floor has evolved into a place where the majority assumes that each bill will be opposed and that little actual debate occurs on legislation. the rules require a vote of three-fifths of the senators chosen and sworn to end debate on a matter or measure.

Charles Schumer

6:31:07 to 6:31:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the very question that is posed to the senate in a cloture vote is: is it the sense of the senate that debate should be brought to a close? those are the words. if it turns out that enough senators answer that question "no, we want more debate," then those senators should actually be required to debate.

Charles Schumer

6:31:29 to 6:31:50( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it's difficult to explain to the american people that the senators who voted for additional debate are silent when then given that opportunity. if they want to debate, well then, let's debate. one way we can guarantee fair and meaningful debate after senators vote on a cloture to continue debate and cloture

Charles Schumer

6:31:51 to 6:32:12( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: fails, the senate remains on that measure and senators must actually debate the bill. senators may be recognized one after the other as long as debate is continuous, if no more senators seek to debate the issue then the majority leader can move to close debate. obviously there are technical things that have to be worked out and we're working hard to do

Charles Schumer

6:32:13 to 6:32:34( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: that to make sure this proposal works and is viable. in the past attempts to debate have been frustrated by quorum calls or unnecessary motions, all aimed at avoiding actual debate. if we change the rules tone courage -- to encourage extended debate after cloture fails, then the priority during this period will be to debate the matter or

Charles Schumer

6:32:35 to 6:32:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: move forward and not play parliamentary games. the american people deserve better of their elected officials than what the senate has been giving them. governing is not a game of share raids. -- charades. the majority will not choose to waste floor time on a matter the minority is committed to stop

Charles Schumer

6:32:57 to 6:33:18( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: but will the minority choose to filibuster every single piece of legislation if actual debate is required? i don't think so, and that would apply whether republicans are in the majority or democrats are in the majority. in addition to the other worthy options proposed for reform, i think this proposal is strong because it allows the minority the same ability to debate and

Charles Schumer

6:33:19 to 6:33:40( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: block legislation so long as they actually debate. if there is no actual debate, there can be no filibuster and the senate can proceed to do its business for the american people. now i believe this modest proposal is one that both democrats and republicans should agree on.

Charles Schumer

6:33:41 to 6:34:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it could be appointed bipartisan agreement and i will present it in the bipartisan negotiations happening over the next few weeks. of course there are other good-faith proposals that my colleagues have put forward. many of them are thoughtful. most all of them would represent meaningful change without altering in a too jarring way the rules of this institution. nobody wants us to become the

Charles Schumer

6:34:02 to 6:34:23( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: house of representatives. everyone understands that we should not rule simply by majority vote on every issue. however, we can pull the curtain back and make sure when people say they want more debate, they debate. in the next two weeks we should

Charles Schumer

6:34:24 to 6:34:45( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: look at these proposals, all of them. during the recess we need to talk to each oh democrats and republicans, about genuine ways to reform this body to restore the senate to its traditional role as the world's greatest deliberative body and to do is so in a way that encourages full and open debate, both which the majority which proposes and for

Charles Schumer

6:34:46 to 6:34:50( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the minority, which wishes to modify what the majority proposes.

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