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Senate Proceeding on Jan 5th, 2011 :: 6:43:25 to 6:57:10
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Frank Lautenberg

6:43:24 to 6:43:44( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: the presiding officer: the mr. lautenberg: thank you, mr. president. first, i want to say that i'm so pleased to be with colleagues here who are standing up activity on behalf of the citizens, the constituents that we represent to get things done.

Frank Lautenberg

6:43:25 to 6:57:10( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Frank Lautenberg

Frank Lautenberg

6:43:45 to 6:44:07( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: now, i doubt, mr. president, that many of us here would be happy with the report cards that we got in either high school or college or whatever education we got behind that. i doubt that we would be proud of any report card that resembles that which we have

Frank Lautenberg

6:44:08 to 6:44:28( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: obtained in this facility. in this great house of debate, in this distinguished body of legislators, one of the most prominent -- the most prominently qualified of legislative bodies across the world. and the

Frank Lautenberg

6:44:29 to 6:44:49( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: think that the united states is still one great country and we want to do the right but ourselves in a morass of dilatory activities. things that do nothing but stop progress. and that's the mission that we seek.

Frank Lautenberg

6:44:50 to 6:45:10( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: and i congratulate my colleagues who have taken hold here to make sure that we do whatever we can to change the facility. now, i have here jimmy stewart, mr. smith, and while i'm not anxious to admit it, i do, i rember seeing the

Frank Lautenberg

6:45:11 to 6:45:31( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: picture. we needn't discuss the precise date, but it was some time ago when i saw this, and it left a vid impression in my mind, but i can't tell you what it was about except that he was one trooper, that he stood on his feet for hours, so many hours

Frank Lautenberg

6:45:32 to 6:45:53( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: it's hard to understand how the body responded to the opportunity. and trying to clean things up. the date of the film was somewhere around the end of the 1930's, 1939, most likely that was the exact date, but in that i have sinty.

Frank Lautenberg

6:45:54 to 6:46:14( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: and even -- vicinity. and even then they were discussing what could be done to move things along and how the kind of effort that he gave, as mr. smith, was required to honor the people, the responsibility he had to the people. and so we know what kind of

Frank Lautenberg

6:46:15 to 6:46:35( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: report cards the legislators here in the house have gotten from the american people because they're sick and tired of seeing all of this empty space, listening to words that i could describe more in the vernacular

Frank Lautenberg

6:46:36 to 6:46:58( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: as well that nothing's happening that will benefit them. so when we see this low public opinion from all americans across the country, it's because they don't believe that we're getting things done that they sent us here for. and each one of us who have been elected, i don't care how popular or how remote, the fact

Frank Lautenberg

6:46:59 to 6:47:19( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: is you had to work hard to get elected. and so proud, and i look today as i saw person after person hold their hand up to take the oath, i've done it five times here, and each time was a thrill. and even as i watched colleagues walk up there and hear their names called and see them raise their hand and feel the pride that they felt, i don't

Frank Lautenberg

6:47:20 to 6:47:40( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: republican or democrat, the pride that they felt to be able to take this -- this job on their hands, to get the support of the public in their states enough to win an election. and when a lack of activity here.

Frank Lautenberg

6:47:41 to 6:48:01( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: we've been through discussions, speeches made earlier, good ones ones, describing the number of times a filibuster has been used. far more -- i think it's a record year by my -- ask the majority whip here, is it the record number of filibusters

Frank Lautenberg

6:48:02 to 6:48:24( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: ever in the history of the senate? the senator from illinois confirms that and here we are. and the need has never been greater to get something done to let the american people know that their government is there to help them through a crisis, to help them regain their jobs

Frank Lautenberg

6:48:25 to 6:48:45( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: and regain their -- their pride in themselves. no -- no mistake about it, the absence of progress in the senate promotes bitterness and anger among the american people. make no mistake. an empty senate chamber is no way to respond to the public's needs.

Frank Lautenberg

6:48:46 to 6:49:06( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: and all too often this is what happened because the minority now has senate rules. they can do it. but it's process. last year constant struggle to help jobless americans. several tim

Frank Lautenberg

6:49:07 to 6:49:27( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: bring legislation to the floor to extend unemployment for millions of people who had no other source of income, who were in jeopardy of losing their -- their homes, losing their opportunity to care for their families, and being personally humiliated and disgraced about that, and we

Frank Lautenberg

6:49:28 to 6:49:48( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: couldn't get an agreement here to -- to pass an unemployment benefits bill until it was included with other things that -- that had to pass. back in june 59 senators wanted to restore aid for these workers, who had gone without income for weeks. our colleagues on the other side

Frank Lautenberg

6:49:49 to 6:50:10( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: of the aisle objected, delayed the vote, and then left town for a week-long break. and, by the way, i keep on reminding those that are hearing me, that this is under the disguise of a filibuster, a legal process that is permitted by the senate rules to be

Frank Lautenberg

6:50:11 to 6:50:32( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: engaged in when there is a disagreement about a piece of legislation or a process that has to take place. we let more than a million americans in -- left more than a million americans in limbo for severallin agonizing weeks. our opponents said they were simply filibustering the bill. in other words, they wanted to

Frank Lautenberg

6:50:33 to 6:50:53( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: talk more about the subject, but they didn't want to talk about the subject. they didn't want the public to hear the truth about their -- their views. bu talk on the floor. they just left the senate empty and silent. and that's why i reintroduced my mr. smith bill.

Frank Lautenberg

6:50:54 to 6:51:14( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: i brought this up initially last march. it's almost a year now since i brought mr. smith back to this chamber. and, as we know, legislation named for character in the classic movie "mr. smith goes to washington," and now, frankly, we look, the

Frank Lautenberg

6:51:15 to 6:51:35( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: names are different, the mission is the same. there are those who want to make progress and those who want to do nothing more than delay progress. as i said earlier, mr. smith wanted to make a point. he spoke for 23 hours.

Frank Lautenberg

6:51:36 to 6:51:56( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: object to the away, and leave an empty chamber behind. now, how are we supposed to create jobs in an empty chamber? how are we supposed to increase educational opportunities in an empty chamber, how supposed to keep people in their homes in an empty chamber?

Frank Lautenberg

6:51:57 to 6:52:17( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: the mr. smith act will bring deliberation back to the world's purportedly greatest deliberative body. it will make lawmaking more transparent and senators more accountable. members of this body will no longer be able, if we pass this legislation -- or this rule change to be able to launch a

Frank Lautenberg

6:52:18 to 6:52:40( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: filibuster and then skip town, leaving the senate stalemate. and i ask, if you've got the courage, to stand up and explain to the american people why you're objecting can help the average family. this is still a recession. yes, there are a lot of people at the top making lots and lots of money.

Frank Lautenberg

6:52:41 to 6:53:03( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: we've seen it in the newspapers. we've seen a list of billionaires who make that much money in a single year. but we don't see the same pictures of people who are forelorn because they can't help themselves and they look to the government to be there for them. i know from personal experience that my life changed radically

Frank Lautenberg

6:53:04 to 6:53:24( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: when i got out of the army and was afforded a g.i. bill. my father died after i enlisted, my mother was a 37-year-old widow, my father was sick for 13 months with cancer, and at the time there wasn't -- there weren't the products that make

Frank Lautenberg

6:53:25 to 6:53:47( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: pain less acute or that provide more help for recovery. it wasn't there. so we had not only the loss of a father. i had joined the army when i was 18 years old. i enlisted. and we had bills and bankruptcy and life was miserable.

Frank Lautenberg

6:53:48 to 6:54:08( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: the g.i. bill, mr. chairman -- mr. president, made the difference in my life. i was able to join two other people in -- in my -- my home city, friends of mine, in creating a company, the three of us, now employs 45,000 people. the company is called automatic

Frank Lautenberg

6:54:09 to 6:54:31( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: data processing, better known as a.d.p., because i got help when we desperately needed it, when my family and i could never think about my going to college. i wound up at columbia university. something so far out of sight i never dreamed it was possible. but it was there. and there are times when people across the country say to our

Frank Lautenberg

6:54:32 to 6:54:52( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: leadership, please, give us a chance. give a chance to stay in our home. give us a chance to educate my son or my daughter. they can learn. we don't have the money. make sure that health care is available, that no matter what your condition of -- of being is, that you can be -- can't be precluded from getting

Frank Lautenberg

6:54:53 to 6:55:13( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: insurance, that's what's proposed in the health care bill that right now is in deigner of being re -- in danger of being repealed if the house takes the action that it's purported to see. what we're talking about, mr. president, is to summarize that we have to get busy here and show the people across the

Frank Lautenberg

6:55:14 to 6:55:35( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: country that this isn't just a -- a -- a ring for showing how clever a speech can be or how cute an idea might be when all that is being done is stopping progress, progress. there -- they object to bills

Frank Lautenberg

6:55:36 to 6:55:58( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: being even moved along so that they can be considered. anything they can do to obstruct -- obstruct -- obstruct a movement. so we may be unable to bring mr. smith back, but we can bring real accountability for filibusters and for the sake of a functioning democracy we

Frank Lautenberg

6:55:59 to 6:56:20( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: should -- more than a functioning democracy, a degree of dignity and hope for people who have been hurt by an unemployment record never before seen in country and the number of people out of work and the multiple -- in the multiple millions.

Frank Lautenberg

6:56:21 to 6:56:41( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: and they say, mr. senator, help us. be there to help us now. we're not looking for charity. we're looking for a hand that will get us started, get this economy going. and we owe it to them. and i say to those who want to obstruct it, be brave enough to stand up and tell the people here or the people on television

Frank Lautenberg

6:56:42 to 6:57:02( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: or who read about what we're doing, tell them why it is you're objecting and then we'll make -- we'll restore a degree of confidence in those who serve here, those who worked so hard to be elected and those who -- who can represent the people

Frank Lautenberg

6:57:03 to 6:57:12( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: but we cannot sit here in silence just wasting time. so, mr. president, yield the floor and hope that we'll come to our senses, make

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