Metavid

Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding 01-27-11 on Jan 27th, 2011 :: 1:01:45 to 1:12:25
Total video length: 5 hours 46 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

Note: MetaVid video transcripts may contain inaccuracies, help us build a more perfect archive

Download OptionsEmbed Video

Views:314 Duration: 0:10:40 Discussion

Previous speech: Next speech:

Frank Lautenberg

1:01:23 to 1:01:47( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: and i yield. the presiding officer: the senator in new jersey. mr. lautenberg: madam president, people across this

Frank Lautenberg

1:01:45 to 1:12:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Frank Lautenberg

Frank Lautenberg

1:01:48 to 1:02:10( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: country from so many points of view: job loss, threatened losses in the future as pressure exists on businesses, particularly small businesses across our country.

Frank Lautenberg

1:02:11 to 1:02:32( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: they look to us -- we in the senate and in the house -- to help and what we've seen is -- results in an attitude about those of us who serve in the senate and the house of representatives with a degree of disdain, and the reason that

Frank Lautenberg

1:02:33 to 1:02:54( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: it's developed that way is because they think we're not doing our job. and they watch television or listen to what's going on, they're further -- it further confirms the fact that they have in mind that we're not doing our jobs, that we're wasting time, that we're not paying attention

Frank Lautenberg

1:02:55 to 1:03:16( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: to the country's needs. and that kind of a p appropriately formed with the situation as it is. the senate has become a roadblock to progress in our country. and i've spent time -- and i is a l

Frank Lautenberg

1:03:17 to 1:03:38( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: salute my colleagues, senator udall of new mexico, senator merkley from oregon -- for the work that they're doing, and the others that are associated -- and i commend the senator from tennessee from the other side for his willingness, for his interest in establishing a

Frank Lautenberg

1:03:39 to 1:04:00( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: consensus of view about how we can improve the functioning of our body here, and i salute him, commend him for it -- i mentioned it to him privately. but we've all been wrestling with this problem. but finally i think we're coming to a time when we can solve t now, i've spent the past year

Frank Lautenberg

1:04:01 to 1:04:23( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: trying to improve senate rules so that it -- we can improve our functioning, that we show the people in the country that we are actively trying to solve their problems, and they'll understand that when they see people on the floor debating the

Frank Lautenberg

1:04:24 to 1:04:45( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: issues, not seeing a clock working without any action to support it. last year -- and then this month -- i introduced the mr. smith act to require filibustering senators to come to the floor and actually filibuster. the filibuster is a right that's

Frank Lautenberg

1:04:46 to 1:05:08( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: reserved for senators when they object to a piece of legislation that we're dealing with to -- if they're able to get the floor, to keep it, until at the present time 60 votes develop that say, end this debate.

Frank Lautenberg

1:05:09 to 1:05:29( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: and so we know that at the moment that's a tool that the minority has used regularly, and it brings the senate to a halt. but if the plurality, the -- but if

Frank Lautenberg

1:05:30 to 1:05:50( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: the plurality of the majority shifts, the same thing is liable libel to happen, but with the filibuster being used by the democrats. what we're going to do here is make the body more transparent, reduce the grinding of the senate to a halt for no good

Frank Lautenberg

1:05:51 to 1:06:11( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: reason. today we'll have the opportunity to vote on a couple ever resolutions that include proposals based on the mr. smith act. and everybody knows what the mr. smith situation was. jimmy stewart came to washington, stood on his feet for hours -- unimaginable length of time -- to try and get

Frank Lautenberg

1:06:12 to 1:06:32( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: something done. and it was an heroic gesture and has lasted as an icon for the american people. like my bill, which we entitled the "mr. smith bill," the proposals put forward by senators merkley and senator udall, came down to -- come down

Frank Lautenberg

1:06:33 to 1:06:54( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: to a simple idea: senators who want to delay action on a bill or a nomination must stand up here and explain why we're delaying responding to their needs, to the american people. an empty senate chamber can't

Frank Lautenberg

1:06:55 to 1:07:16( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: help put americans back to work, protect people from dangerous weapons, and improve our country's schools. we can't invest in our railways, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure needs and help struggling americans to stay in their homes if there's nobody willing here -- sent here after

Frank Lautenberg

1:07:17 to 1:07:40( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: i'm sure in every case an arduous election, even though the numbers might not say that. but why then aren't they at work work? schoolchildren would have no tolerance if they continued their absence from their classrooms or their homework. why?

Frank Lautenberg

1:07:41 to 1:08:04( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: why in the senate should it be allowed without intervention? so we want people to be able to see that there are senators in this chamber to debate the issues, that they're not clock-watching and doing nothing to take care of the needs of the country. we're not making progress on vital issues because the rules

Frank Lautenberg

1:08:05 to 1:08:26( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: some of our colleagues are conducting silent filibusters, which really is a disguise for action -- for inaction. under these silent filibusters, senators are allowed to a bill or a nomination without ever having to defend their position.

Frank Lautenberg

1:08:27 to 1:08:48( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: instead of explaing to their colleagues and the american people why they oppose a bill, they're able to skip off to dinner, leaving this chamber to total gridlock. is it any wonder that so many americans have such a low opinion of congress? when people look at the senate

Frank Lautenberg

1:08:49 to 1:09:09( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: and they see us stuck in the nmorass of dilatory activities, they don't appreciate it, they don't like it, and they want action, they want people who they've sent here, who they wanted for, who they depend upon to do something in their behalf, and if there is a disagreement about whether one path is right

Frank Lautenberg

1:09:10 to 1:09:32( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: or not, then they'll understand that at least we're trying to do something. so that's why i've spent so many months trying to improve the way that we conduct business. passing these resolutions today will assure the american people that we are here to do their business in addition to the

Frank Lautenberg

1:09:33 to 1:09:54( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: merkley-udall resolutions, we'll be veeght to other important reforms to the senate rules today. for example, i support senator wyden's measure -- the senator from oregon -- to end secret holds because the american people again deserve to know who's holding up important legislation. transparency is something we talk about constantly around

Frank Lautenberg

1:09:55 to 1:10:15( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: here, but yet we're he not willing to put it in front of the people. there is -- this is a much-needed reform. but we need to do more to make the senate a more effective, more efficient chamber. the united states senate -- and i've been here a long time --

Frank Lautenberg

1:10:16 to 1:10:36( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: was once known at the world's greatest deliberative body. and at some point we decided -- it was decided some years ago that in order to bring the message more clearly to the american people, that we'd allow television come ras to be here so that the american people -- cameras to be here so that the

Frank Lautenberg

1:10:37 to 1:10:58( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: american people could see us at work, maybe even -- call it -- supervise us at work. we will, when they see a beautiful facility like the senate chamber with no action going on, it gets to be quite depressing, as far as they're concerned and as far as we generally here are concerned.

Frank Lautenberg

1:10:59 to 1:11:21( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: the united states senate was known again as the world's greatest deliberative body. the place where national conversations began and the major issues of the day were debated. and i and many of my colleagues want to see the senate regain the respect o of the american people, restore our reputation

Frank Lautenberg

1:11:22 to 1:11:43( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: for serious debate, and civil discourse, but we'll never adheef this if we continue to allow our own rules to be abused. so i say to my friends and colleagues, join in supporting these resolutions because if we want to help the american people get back to work, if we want to restore their confidence, if we want to let them know that

Frank Lautenberg

1:11:44 to 1:12:06( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: government is here to help, not delay, then we've got to get back to work, too. and the fact is that time is being spent, but it's not being spent on behalf of progress in the country. and with i yield the floor and i thank my colleague from iowa, senator

Frank Lautenberg

1:12:07 to 1:12:28( Edit History Discussion )

Frank Lautenberg: harkin, who agreed to let me intervene with my remarks before he spoke, as it was agreed to. thank you. i yield the i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

Personal tools

MetaVid is a non-profit project of UC Santa Cruz and the Sunlight Foundation. Learn more About MetaVid

The C-SPAN logo and other servicemarks that may be found in video content are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with Metavid