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Senate Proceeding on Jan 31st, 2011 :: 1:33:10 to 1:50:20
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Jeff Sessions

1:33:06 to 1:33:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: means for protecting the nation and its deployed forces. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessio would like to ask consent that i be allowed to speak for up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without

Jeff Sessions

1:33:10 to 1:50:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

1:33:28 to 1:33:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: objection. mr. sessions: mr. president, i first would like to thank my colleague, senator kyl, who is, i think this body's premier student of the nuclear strategic posture of the united states. i served and have served as

Jeff Sessions

1:33:50 to 1:34:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: chairman of that subcommittee of armed services, and i share his concerns. i am thankful that he's here, that he's keeping up with these matters year after year, and most of us would rather not talk about them, but they represent serious responsibilities of a

Jeff Sessions

1:34:12 to 1:34:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: great nation who must be able to defend itself to be able to live freely and prosperously. so i thank the senator for sharing those remarks and i value his friendship and enjoy following his leadership. mr. president, last week, the

Jeff Sessions

1:34:33 to 1:34:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: congressional budget office issued a report that our congressional budget office, the leadership selected by the majority in the congress, the democratic majority, and that report showed that our deficit for this year that will end september 30 will be

Jeff Sessions

1:34:54 to 1:35:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: be $1.5 trillion. that's the largest deficit the nation has ever had. the last two years have been been $1.3 trillion, been $1.3 trillion, $1.2 trillio n, and this is projected to come in at $1.5 trillion. we have complained, i have complained that president bush

Jeff Sessions

1:35:16 to 1:35:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: cement more money than he should, but his highest deficit was one-third of that, that, $450 billion. so we are at unprecedented levels of annual deficit and debt. our gross debt, the total debt of the united states, internal

Jeff Sessions

1:35:37 to 1:35:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and external, will equal by the end of the year 100% of g.d.p. annual interest payments, we borrow money, people loan us their money, we give them treasury bills and bonds in exchange, and we pay them interest on the debt. our interest, the amount of

Jeff Sessions

1:35:58 to 1:36:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: interest we pay will rise to to $750 billion by the end of this decade. meaning that a one-year interest payment will cost us nearly as much as 20 years of current highway construction spending. we spend about $40 billion a year, for example, on federal

Jeff Sessions

1:36:19 to 1:36:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: highway expenditures. we're talking about a debt going from $170 billion or so -- interest payment of $170 billion or so a couple of years ago to to $750 because our debt will triple in that time,

Jeff Sessions

1:36:40 to 1:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: from $5 trillion to over over $15 trillion. the total amount of interest we expect to pay between now and the end of the decade is is $5.5 trillion in interest, enough money to fund our entire government for 18 months.

Jeff Sessions

1:37:01 to 1:37:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: the situation is so serious that former federal reserve chairman alan greenspan warned very recently that we may face a bond market crisis in the next two to three years. he said it's a little better than a 50-50 chance that won't happen, but not much better was his current.

Jeff Sessions

1:37:23 to 1:37:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: c.b.o. director doug elmendorf testified last week before the budget committee where i'm ranking member that we were entering -- quote -- "unfamiliar territory for all developed nations over the last several decades." close quote. unfamiliar territory. talking about financial debt is

Jeff Sessions

1:37:45 to 1:38:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: what he's talking about. andists with the standard and poor's stated that -- quote -- "absent a credible plan, the rating on the u.s. government will come under pressure." close quote. in other words, the rating on our debt, will it cease to be aaa? and if that happens, won't our interest rates that i have just

Jeff Sessions

1:38:07 to 1:38:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: been suggesting are threatening us, those interest rates will go up because of our -- if our ratings go down, people will demand a higher interest before they will loan us money. and the international monetar fund urged the united states to take much stronger action.

Jeff Sessions

1:38:29 to 1:38:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: this is the "washington post" business page just a few days ago." u.s. must reduce deficit, i.m.f. warns." must reduce deficit, i.m.f. warns. they claim to be -- they're not perfect, of course. they claim to be the conscience

Jeff Sessions

1:38:51 to 1:39:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: of the world and warn profligate nations to get their houses in order before it creates systemic problems for other nations and themselves. this article says -- quote -- "european countries have begun a pointed dialogue with their residents about what government can and cannot afford.

Jeff Sessions

1:39:13 to 1:39:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: moves to cut public salaries, trim services and curb public pensions have touched off strikes and protests but also put the deficits of those countries on what seems to be a securely downward path, "the i.m.f. said. "those are the choices the united states has been hesitant

Jeff Sessions

1:39:34 to 1:39:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: to make." close two prominent economists, professor carmen reinhardt who has testified before our committee i think more than once and dr. kenneth rogof, issued a paper explaing the negative impact of excessive debt on economic growth.

Jeff Sessions

1:39:55 to 1:40:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: actually wrote a book. this time, it's different. they studied in the last 200 years the countries that have had their economies collapse as a result of debt. a lot of south american countries have had it various times and others. they caution there is a point

Jeff Sessions

1:40:17 to 1:40:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: beyond which you do not want to go, and that point is when -- when your debt equals 90% of your economy, 90% of g.d.p. it's a very respected study. the first time anyone has ever studied economies have -- that have had economic collapse.

Jeff Sessions

1:40:39 to 1:41:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: this is a key factor in that. we're now at 94% of g.d.p., and by the end of the year, the c.b.o. projects we will be at 100% of g.d.p. our debt will equal 100% of the entire goods and services produced in this economy. so our nation is on a dangerous

Jeff Sessions

1:41:01 to 1:41:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and as everybody that we have had who have testified before the committee and virtually anybody that's expressed themselves, they call it an unsustainable path. the president has said we're on an unsustainable path. so we need strong leadership from our president. the day before his state of the union, i wrote an op-ed,

Jeff Sessions

1:41:22 to 1:41:42( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: published in "the washington post." i called on him to present a broad vision for reducing spending. i said that -- quote -- "his proposals cannot be timid" -- close quote and that this was -- quote -- "a defing moment for his presidency." i have to say he did not rise to

Jeff Sessions

1:41:43 to 1:42:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: that occasion. instead of a bold vision, he put forward a meek plan to continue spending at current levels for five more years, calling that a freeze, but we have had a surge in spending the last two years. freezing at that level cannot be acceptable. these are the levels that

Jeff Sessions

1:42:06 to 1:42:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: produce the $1.5 trillion deficit. so the president's speech, i must say, was disconnected. i say from reality. he nowhere in that speech entered into a dialogue with the american people about the severity of the crisis we face

Jeff Sessions

1:42:29 to 1:42:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: or made any attempt to call on them in a serious way to understand why it is that we can't continue at this level of spending. he failed to present a credible plan. so this is what "the washington post" said in an editorial yesterday. they weren't mean-spirited about

Jeff Sessions

1:42:50 to 1:43:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it, but you could tell they were very disappointed. they said this -- quote -- "in his state of the union address tuesday night, president obama failed to present a credible plan for long-term debt reduction. it's no secret we think he made a big mistake. if america can't get a handle on its finances, everything else is

Jeff Sessions

1:43:14 to 1:43:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: at risk." but not only has the president failed to lead with ideas, he has set about to thwart, to block others from taking action. this is concerning to me. this sunday on one of the big news programs, his new chief of

Jeff Sessions

1:43:37 to 1:43:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: staff, bill daley, balked at a republican plan to cut spending for the rest of the year. daley said any budget cuts must be paired with new spending, quote, investments -- close quote -- as he and the president called them. he taunted the republicans, i think, with where's the beef? let's see the cuts they're

Jeff Sessions

1:44:00 to 1:44:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: talking about, close quote. so the president refuses to lead and then sends his emissaries to attack any republican who makes a serious program, i assume as being heartless, wanting to throw children in the streets and so forth. for instance, the president's

Jeff Sessions

1:44:23 to 1:44:43( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: chief economic advisor, austin gould, he lashed out at republicans for wanting to reduce discretionary spending before we raise the debt ceiling. i mean, we have to have some sort of bipartisan agreement before we agree to raise this debt ceiling that we're going to reduce some of the spending. clip back on the credit card a

Jeff Sessions

1:44:44 to 1:45:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: little bit, something significant. the president's only secretary of treasury, tim geithner, recently argued that it was too early to begin cutting the deficits. it's unsustainable, it's unsustainable, but it's too early to start cutting now. maybe 2012.

Jeff Sessions

1:45:08 to 1:45:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: after that maybe. geithner's comments ring all too similar to those of his predecessor, hank paulson, secretary of treasury under president bush, who said that the housing downturn was under control before the wall street firms began falling like dominoes, but ignoreing the -- ignoring the reality of our situation does not change it.

Jeff Sessions

1:45:31 to 1:45:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: the money simply isn't there to support the president's spending agenda, he announced at the state of the union. we don't have the money. our nation cannot afford another era of big government. in two weeks on february 14, just two weeks from now, the president

Jeff Sessions

1:45:52 to 1:46:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: will submit a new budget to congress. it will go to our committee, the budget committee. this may be -- and i say this seriously -- his last chance to get it right, for the president to be a credible voice in this debate. and he must put forward a budget

Jeff Sessions

1:46:13 to 1:46:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: that significantly lowers spending levels. he cannot present congress with the same unserious plan he presented last tuesday night. three years into his term, i think this budget that he'll be submitting is a defing act of what he views and how he views

Jeff Sessions

1:46:41 to 1:47:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: the debt we face. i think if this budget fails to meet the necessary demands for curtailing spending, we will know pretty conclusively where the president is. you know, numbers count. you can have rhetoric and we can disagree, but at some point, you

Jeff Sessions

1:47:03 to 1:47:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: have to put out your budget that says what you're going to do, how much you're going to spend, and where you're going to get the money. in this case, where -- how much are we going to borrow to clear the -- to carry on the government at that time? and so we're going to see whether the president is moving with the american people to

Jeff Sessions

1:47:24 to 1:47:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: fiscal and economic sanity or whether or not he will continue his ideological commitment to big government. i think that's it. i think we'll know in two weeks. this is a serious matter. so i think we need to turn back from the cliff toward which we are heading and get on a new

Jeff Sessions

1:47:45 to 1:48:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: road. we need to reduce both the size of the deficit and we'll have to reduce the size of the government somewhat. we're not going to sink into the ocean. we go back to 2008, 2006 levels of federal spending, will the country collapse? give me a break.

Jeff Sessions

1:48:06 to 1:48:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: certainly it's not going to collapse. but it will put us on a road to fiscal sanity. it will restore not only public confidence in our economy but it will really restore the foundations of american prosperity.

Jeff Sessions

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

Jeff Sessions: i truly believe one of the clouds over the american economy is the perception, unfortunately too true, that we're spending at a reckless rate, that we are irresponsibly running up debt that could cause us to inflate the value of our currency, that

Jeff Sessions

1:48:49 to 1:49:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: could cause a debt crisis, as mr. greenspan said was almost a 50/50 hans in the next two to three years. and -- 50/50 chance in the next two to three years. and if you've got money to invest, what does that say now? maybe you better sit back and see a little bit more until we get this debt that's spiraling out of control under control, heading on a downward path

Jeff Sessions

1:49:11 to 1:49:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: toward a balanced budget, we're not going to see the economic growth that's possible. i don't know how -- i think that's where we should be heading. so strong, sustained reductions in spending will not be easy.

Jeff Sessions

1:49:32 to 1:49:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it will take us down a tough road but it's the only road, the only course that will lead to a better financial future for ourselves and our children and preserve the integrity of the united states economy in a way that is necessary for growth to occur. i thank the chair and would yield the floor a

Jeff Sessions

1:49:55 to 1:50:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

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