Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Feb 1st, 2011 :: 0:19:30 to 0:28:35
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Bob Corker

0:19:26 to 0:19:46( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: america is grateful for their service and for their sacrifice. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the leadership time is reserved. under a previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business until 12:30 p.m. with senators permitted to speak for up to t minutes

Bob Corker

0:19:30 to 0:28:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

0:19:47 to 0:20:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: mr. president, thank you. i'm glad to be here today with the senator from missouri, my friend, claire mccaskill. we today are introducing a bill called the commitment to american prosperity act, the cap act. it is a 10-page bill designed to limit spending here in

Bob Corker

0:20:09 to 0:20:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: washington and back on a sustainable fiscal path. mr. president, i'd like to announce that we have cosponsors in senator alexander, senator burr, senator mccain, senator isakson, senator chambliss, senator inhofe and senator kirk, and i want to thank them for joining us in this effort, and i

Bob Corker

0:20:31 to 0:20:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: hope that many more will do the same. mr. president, i spent a lifetime in business and i came to the united states senate not to score political points, not to be involved in messaging, but to solve our country's problems. i think everybody in this body understands that we have tremendous fiscal and financial

Bob Corker

0:20:52 to 0:21:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: issues to deal with in this country. this morning, i was happy to see that 3 senators met over at the visitor's center on both sides of the aisle to listen to people involved in the financial industry talking about the path that we're on and what that's going to lead to as far as the ruination of our fiscal situation in this country and

Bob Corker

0:21:14 to 0:21:37( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: our ability to borrow money at low rates as we are today, and all of us know what that will mean to citizens of this country. mr. president, i think there is no one in this country that doesn't understand how problematic our financial situation is. i know the congressional budget office just said that this year alone, we're going to have have $1.5 trillion in budget

Bob Corker

0:21:38 to 0:21:59( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: deficits, and i think all ofs -- of us, everyone in this body is very aware we cannot continue on. for that reason, senator mccaskill and i have crafted a 10-page bill. it's a very simple bill. it does a lot in it, there are not a lot of whereases. its purpose is to do two things.

Bob Corker

0:22:00 to 0:22:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: one is to cap spending relative to our economy. mr. president, i think most people understand that when we look at the economies and countries of this world, people look at the amount of spending that their federal governments do relative to their economic output. i know senator mccaskill's husband is a businessman, and when he looks at the amount of debt that he has in his company, he looks at that in relation to

Bob Corker

0:22:23 to 0:22:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: the revenues of that company and the amount of income that he has in his ability to pay that debt. that's the way the world looks at the health of countries. mr. president, for the last four years, this is the post entitlement period, our country has been spending 20.6% of our country's gross domestic

Bob Corker

0:22:44 to 0:23:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: product or economic output at the federal level. i think, mr. president, everybody knows that right now, we are way above that number, at over 24%. so, mr. president, again, not to try to create some messaging tool but to really solve this problem, senator mccaskill and i have joined together to say that

Bob Corker

0:23:06 to 0:23:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: we need to get back to the norm over a ten-year period, on a glide path that takes us back to fiscal health and takes us back to that 20.6% of our economy being spent at the federal level. what it does is it does a multiyear averaging so we can make sure that economic differentials don't create

Bob Corker

0:23:27 to 0:23:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: volatility so we know exactly what those targets are in advance so we can go about our work in appropriations in a very methodical and thoughtful way. mr. president, in addition to that, it creates something called sequestration. what that means is if congress does not have the courage -- which we recently have not

Bob Corker

0:23:49 to 0:24:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: shown -- if congress does not have the courage to do things that it needs to do to go ahead and make those cuts to live within this glide path that we have laid out, then sequestration will take place. the office of management and budget at the end of the year, at 45 days after the end of the year, we have not done those things that we need to do to

Bob Corker

0:24:11 to 0:24:33( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: make sure that we're on this glide path, then they will on a pro rata basis take money out of the accounts of both mandatory and nonmandatory spending. in addition to that, if there is an emergency that comes up, it would take a two-thirds vote by both houses of congress to overcome those spending limits. mr. president, to my knowledge,

Bob Corker

0:24:34 to 0:24:54( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: this is the first time, the first time in the entitlement era that we have ever tried to put in place a total spending limit on government. so many of us around here talk about discretionary spending, and i think all of us know that discretionary spending is only -- is less than a third of all federal spending, and i

Bob Corker

0:24:55 to 0:25:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: think all of us know that if we don't redesign the programs, the entitlement programs that are about two-thirds of our spending at the federal level, then there is no way for us to deal appropriately with this. so for this reason, this bill would kick in -- if implemented, would kick in in 2013, giving us time to redesign the entitlement

Bob Corker

0:25:16 to 0:25:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: programs, especially medicare and social security, so that we know that they're here for future generations, so that we know that seniors have the benefits that they need. mr. president, this is the first time we would be putting everything on the table in a global or comprehensive way as

Bob Corker

0:25:37 to 0:25:57( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: we looked at the federal budget. i will close by this. mr. president, simply, this bill will cause us to live within our means. it will make us as we should have been doing all along -- by the way, mr. president, i want to emphasize, the problem we find ourselves in today is not a republican problem or a democratic problem.

Bob Corker

0:25:58 to 0:26:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: both parties have contributed to the situation that we're in, but what this bill would require us to do is to set priorities. it would mean that we would have to ensure that programs are being run as effectively and efficiently as possible. i know our main cosponsor, senator mccaskill, has spent a lot of time looking at waste and abuse within our federal government.

Bob Corker

0:26:19 to 0:26:42( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: and, mr. president, one of the best things about this bill is if you want to limit spending relative to the country's economic output, then it's obviously easier to do so if the economy is growing. so what that would do is mean that both parties would be joined at the hip to put in place policies that promote economic growth. mr. president, again, i close by

Bob Corker

0:26:43 to 0:27:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: saying that i thank senator mccaskill for her courage in stepping forthwith me and others on this bill. it's my hope that we'll have people from both sides of the aisle that would join in this effort. again, this is being put forth as a serious bill. it's a bill that has no ideology

Bob Corker

0:27:06 to 0:27:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: base, simply a bill to solve a problem. we're going to a 40-year average of spending relative to our country's gross domestic product. we're not trying to do things differently than they have been done in the past, but i think both of us know that we have not had the courage in recent times to live within our means, to set

Bob Corker

0:27:27 to 0:27:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: priorities as they need to be set, and i think this bill is something that will take us towards that end. we have a very monumental vote that will be taking place a little bit later this year regarding the debt ceiling, and i think all of us know that -- that it would be irresponsible not to be responsible prior to that debt ceiling, and so,

Bob Corker

0:27:48 to 0:28:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: mr. president, we offer this bill as a responsible way to put us on a glide path towards a place that is reasonable for this country, giving us time to redesign the programs that need to be redesigned, and it's my hope, mr. president, that this bill or something of this nature will pass prior to this debt ceiling vote. it's also my hope, mr. president, that we'll

Bob Corker

0:28:10 to 0:28:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: already go -- we will go ahead and vote on actual cuts to the federal budget prior to that time so that we can show the markets around the world and show the american people that we have the ability to work together to solve what i think is our most pressing domestic issue, and that is getting our fiscal house in order. with that, mr. president, i

Bob Corker

0:28:31 to 0:28:35( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: thank you for the time. i want to thank again senator mccaskill.

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