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Senate Proceeding on Feb 1st, 2011 :: 0:28:40 to 0:42:15
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Claire McCaskill

0:28:36 to 0:28:56( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: she has been a leader on fiscal issues since she has been here, and i yield the floor this moment. mrs. mccaskill: thank you, like my colleague, i am appreciative of the work that he has done on this issue, and we have been talking about this for a number of weeks and our staffs

Claire McCaskill

0:28:40 to 0:42:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

0:28:57 to 0:29:18( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: have been hammering out the details. i think that this moment this morning -- in fact, i will be very candid. as i left my office, some members of my staff said well, okay, good luck walking that plank. we'll see how it work out for you, because this is politically risky, what the senator and i

Claire McCaskill

0:29:19 to 0:29:40( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: are trying to do. and as i was riding over here on the tram to make this speech, i got a text message from one of my kids, and all of a sudden it became very clear to me what this is like. this is like saying no when you're a parent. and it is so easy to say yes to

Claire McCaskill

0:29:41 to 0:30:02( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: your kids. when they want something, when they want to do something that you think is risky, the easiest thing in the world to do is to say yes. when they want money, when they want to have a new car when they want to borrow your car, when they want to go spend the night

Claire McCaskill

0:30:03 to 0:30:23( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: at a friend's that you don't know very well, when they want to stay out later, when they want this, that, they want to go to the mall. it's so easy to say yes. it doesn't take a lot of time. makes them happy. you feel good. but there's always that voice in your head that says, if i'm going to be a good parent, sometimes it's more important to

Claire McCaskill

0:30:24 to 0:30:45( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: say no. well, we have a bunch of people in congress that have made a lifetime career of saying yes. i understand it. you know -- you know, we run for office around here. we want everyone to be happy with us. we want everyone to love us. we don't want to disappoint anyone.

Claire McCaskill

0:30:46 to 0:31:06( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we don't want there to be controversy about the decisions we make. so how do we avoid the controversy? we say yes. we say yes. and we've said yes and yes and yes and yes and yes and yes and yes until we find ourselves at this point in our history. -- history where our

Claire McCaskill

0:31:07 to 0:31:28( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: unwillingness to say no, our unwillingness to embrace controversy and political risk has led us to an economic brink, a place where if we don't do something that's going to make some people angry, that's going to cause some negative ads to be run against us, that we really are doing our job as stewards

Claire McCaskill

0:31:29 to 0:31:50( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: much and that's all we are here. we're passing through. we aren't entitled to these jobs. we borrowed these jobs. they belong to the american people. and we have a responsibility as stewards to say no now -- to say no. now, i remember when i used to tell my kids, it's so much easier to tell you yes.

Claire McCaskill

0:31:51 to 0:32:12( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and they said, well, it's easier for you. easier for me. i said the right thing for me to do is to say no. they said, well, that's not easier for us. and that's beginning to be what's happening around here. i noticed some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, we're going to cut, cut, cut. and now it's bubbling up, all the people saying, no, you can't

Claire McCaskill

0:32:13 to 0:32:36( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: cut our subsidy. can't cut the oil company subsidy, you can't cut the farm program. you can't cut this, you can't cut that. everyone is coming out of the woodwork to protect the spending that is embraced by our bad habit of saying yes. that's why this bill is necessary. this is like telling congress, you've got to be better parents. and if you can't muster the

Claire McCaskill

0:32:37 to 0:32:57( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: courage to say no, these cuts are going to happen anyway. it's like a discipline for us and i don't go here lightly. i don't go here without understanding the political risks involved, but i go here because i deeply believe it is necessary for our country. we cannot get control of the

Claire McCaskill

0:32:58 to 0:33:19( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: deficit if we do not control spending. and let me talk for a minute about debt and deficit. as i go out and talk to people, there are a lot of people who use those terms, in fact, they use them interchanged, the two terms and don't understand there's a big difference between the debt and the deficit. the deficit is like your monthly budget and not having enough money to come in to meet your monthly expenses.

Claire McCaskill

0:33:20 to 0:33:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and we talk about the deficit on an annual basis, how much money is the government bringing in and how much money is going out? and when more is going out than coming in, we have a deficit. now, what happens to that deficit every year? it goes on our debt. it's like a family's mortgage. but instead of us paying down the mortgage every year, we keep

Claire McCaskill

0:33:42 to 0:34:04( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: adding to the mortgage every year. and that is why we now have a $1.4 trillion, $1.5 trillion deficit this year. we're going to spend that much more than we take in this year and we have $14 trillion in debt. that's the long-term mortgage

Claire McCaskill

0:34:05 to 0:34:26( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: our country has right now that we owe someone for. we have to pay. so we have to get ahold of this debt. now, i want to compliment the president of the united states because the short-term spending stuff is important. and i want to complement senator sessions. he and i have worked on short-term spending caps for the

Claire McCaskill

0:34:27 to 0:34:48( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: last year, for over a year. but now it's time for us to look at long-term discipline and what we can do to get our country on a glide path where we're no longer precariously on the edge of being the strongest power in the world. our deficits are understandable and our debt is out of control.

Claire McCaskill

0:34:49 to 0:35:09( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: this bill takes a very measured approach, gives us time to figure things out. it's not like the ridiculous proposal over in the house that we're going to cut $2.5 trillion this year. anybody who thinks that's going to happen, i've got like a tu-tu you need to wear down the hall tomorrow. that's a ridiculous proposal. that's impossible to do.

Claire McCaskill

0:35:10 to 0:35:31( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: but this bill, this is possible and responsible. this puts us on a glide path to say to the american people that our spending is going to be capped at a certain percentage of our economy activity this -- in this country. that is possible and it is responsible and we should do. it. now -- do it.

Claire McCaskill

0:35:32 to 0:35:54( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: now, who's to blame? let's be honest how we got here. the biggest factor in our deficit in the last two years is our poor economy. i know, i know. you would think it's the stimulus. you would think it's tarp. it's not. political cheap shots, but not true.

Claire McCaskill

0:35:55 to 0:36:15( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the biggest fiscal hole that we are facing is because of the poor economy. the biggest increase in spending in the last two years, well, you would think it is the auto bailout or the bank bailout or the stimulus or -- it's not. you know what the biggest increase in spending was over the last two years? unemployment benefits because of

Claire McCaskill

0:36:16 to 0:36:37( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: our bad economy. that was the biggest increase in spending over the last two years. our fiscal hole has grown primarily because of a bad economy over the last two years. but there also have been bad decisions by both parties over the last decade. when clinton left office, our

Claire McCaskill

0:36:38 to 0:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: debt -- he may have been running a surplus in terms of a deficit, but our debt was $5.6 trillion. when bush left it went fro $5.7 trillion to -- and today it is $14 trillion. over the past decade we've had two wars that we didn't bother to pay for.

Claire McCaskill

0:37:01 to 0:37:23( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: a brand-new medicare entitlement, brand spanking new that wasn't means tested. we're buying warren buffett prescription drugs. go figure. like we're busted and we're buying multihundred million dollar billionaires prescription drugs and we didn't bother to pay for it and increases in discretionary spending by both

Claire McCaskill

0:37:24 to 0:37:44( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: parties that increased -- that increased our deficit and exceeded inflation. i want to talk a minute for the boogieman of the tarp and the stimulus. i'm so sick of being blamed. it is so wrong and factually incorrect. we have tax cuts that go on forever that have contributed to this. we have wars that we're fighting

Claire McCaskill

0:37:45 to 0:38:05( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: that contributed to this. we have entitlement programs that aren't paid for, but the stimulus was a one-time expenditure. it's not something that goes on. it has no tail. anyone who understand economics and understands the balance sheet of the united states government knows this problem is not the stimulus. one-third of the stimulus was tax cuts.

Claire McCaskill

0:38:06 to 0:38:26( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the last time i looked, unpaid for tax cuts was the way of the world. one-third of the stimulus was tax cuts. and another one-third of it almost was unemployment benefits. that's not the problem. and tarp, let's be honest, it was a genius decision in many

Claire McCaskill

0:38:27 to 0:38:47( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: ways because it stablized owl financial sector -- our financial sector and cost us a mere fraction of the money that was used on a temporary basis to make sure that our economy did not twist down the drain it was a likely to do -- it was a likely to do had president bush

Claire McCaskill

0:38:48 to 0:39:09( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: not intervened with his economic team to ask us on a bipartisan basis to do something that was in the best interest of our nation. now, we can move on as to who's to blame because now we have to talk about tomorrow's problems. and i am proud that the president is dealing with

Claire McCaskill

0:39:10 to 0:39:31( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: short-term spending by his sprees. i am proud that he is working on earmarks and all of the other things that are a symptom of the disease around here. but really our challenge is long-term spending. in the long term, spending is going to drive the debt up even higher. medicare and medicaid cuts are going to double by 2021, social security is going to increase by

Claire McCaskill

0:39:32 to 0:39:52( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: 70% by 2021. i'm -- mr. president, i'd ask unanimous consent for three more minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. mccaskill: thank you. we've got to look at those issues and make sure that on a bipartisan basis we do what's responsible. we've got to make sure these programs, medicare, medicaid,

Claire McCaskill

0:39:53 to 0:40:13( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and social security are stable and secure for my children and their chain. -- and their children. if we can't agree even on the modest measures like the three-year discretionary spending cap that senator sessions and i have been pushing for for over a year, i question whether we have the discipline to do the hard work. getting control of spending is

Claire McCaskill

0:40:14 to 0:40:35( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: very, very hard. but we have to do it and we have to do it now. the first and foremost thing we need to focus on is eliminating the waste an mismanagement. that's what drives americans crazy. it drives people crazy that we're spending money on duplicative programs and not seeing if they work.

Claire McCaskill

0:40:36 to 0:40:56( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: it drives people crazy that the government runs huge deficits and we're paying out improper payments to health and human services and improper payments to treasury to people who don't even qualify. it drives america crazy when we don't make the reforms that our auditors recommend. the defense department has 1,200

Claire McCaskill

0:40:57 to 0:41:17( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: suggestions made by auditors on how to manage programs better and it has not acted on almost 1,200 of them. it drives people raisey that we're running deficits when we have the agriculture department and homeland security that gets failing grades for eight straight years. it drives people crazy when

Claire McCaskill

0:41:18 to 0:41:39( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we're running deficits and passing appropriation bills with $15 billion worth of earmarks. i've been working hard to try to clean up all this waste. we've been working on contract management. i've never requested an earmark. i voted against every omnibus appropriation bill that's come to the floor since i've been a senator. i've worked hard with senator sessions to cap spending and now

Claire McCaskill

0:41:40 to 0:42:00( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i look forward to working hard with senator corker and many of my republican -- many of my friends in the republican party to put a cap long term on spending in the federal government. as i say, this is a bold step. it has risks and if this bill is distorted and twisted, it could

Claire McCaskill

0:42:01 to 0:42:15( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: cost me my senate seat. say that -- i'll say that again. if this bill is distorted and twisted, it could cost my my senate seat. but it's a price i'm willing to pay it's a price i'm willing to

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