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Senate Proceeding on Feb 8th, 2008 :: 2:01:50 to 2:25:31
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Bill Nelson

2:01:50 to 2:02:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: ~ quorum call: ~ quorum call: mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senior

Bill Nelson

2:01:50 to 2:25:31( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

2:02:00 to 2:02:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: senator from florida is recognize ed. nunn-lugar mr. nelson: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: i ask consent

Bill Nelson

2:02:14 to 2:02:38( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. nelson: mr. president, i have two subjects that i want to discuss for the before the senate. the first is

Bill Nelson

2:02:38 to 2:03:03( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: with the dramatic events shifting as we select the knolls nominees for president from our two great parties. we potentially have a significant train wreck that may start occurring in the democratic

Bill Nelson

2:03:03 to 2:03:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: party as a result of a divisive issue of seat ceding the michigan and florida delegates to delegates.because the florida legislature, a legislature that is controlled by the republican party, passed

Bill Nelson

2:03:30 to 2:03:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: a bill that moved the florida primary earlier than the date a allowed by the democratic national committee -- in fact, it moved it instead of the deadline of february the 5th, one week earlier, earlier

Bill Nelson

2:03:48 to 2:04:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to january the 29th, , the democratic national committee then stripped all of florida's florida's delegates to the national convention. now, mind you, the bill that was passed was an election reform bill,

Bill Nelson

2:04:10 to 2:04:27( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and while it was being deliberated in the state legislature of florida, in fact the democratic leader of the state senate offered an amendment to take out january 29 and instead put it back to february the 5th

Bill Nelson

2:04:27 to 2:04:44( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: which would have complied with the democratic national committee's request and rules. that amendment by the democratic leader of the state senate was defeated. the bill then went on to pass because

Bill Nelson

2:04:44 to 2:04:57( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: it was an election reform bill having to do with the functioning of election machines in florida, something that we are quite sensitive about in our state as a result of our electoral history. and, as

Bill Nelson

2:04:57 to 2:05:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: a result, the democratic national committee took great umbrage at this and instead of theirules providing that they would take away half of florida florida's delegates to the national convention,

Bill Nelson

2:05:15 to 2:05:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: they took a away all of florida's delegates. and, in fact, the first four privileged states that were a allowed to have primaries or caucuses prior to february the 5 5th -- namely, iowa, new hampshire,

Bill Nelson

2:05:31 to 2:05:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: nevada, and south carolina -- extracted a pledge from all the democratic candidates for president that said that they would not campaign in the state of florida florida. they honored that pledge. the election

Bill Nelson

2:05:50 to 2:06:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: was held pursuant to state law, a law passed by the legislature and signed into law by a governor, who our governor happens to be republican. and because of that, florida is being penalize ed by

Bill Nelson

2:06:15 to 2:06:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the national committee of national having any delegates. in the meantime, the state of michigan, under a democratic legislature, signed into law by a democratic governor, moved their primary up

Bill Nelson

2:06:34 to 2:06:48( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to january the 125 15th, had their primary january the 15th. likewise, the democratic national committee took away their delegates to the national convention, but the difference was that only a couple of

Bill Nelson

2:06:48 to 2:07:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the presidential candidates' names were on the ballot because of a michigan law that allows the candidates to withdraw their names from the ballot when in fact the florida law does not allow that.

Bill Nelson

2:07:13 to 2:07:33( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the florida election on january 29 had all of the candidates on the ballot. now, here is the coming train wreck. one of our two leading candidates does not get a majority by the time that all

Bill Nelson

2:07:33 to 2:07:54( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the primaries and the caucuses are over, which is the last -- the last one is a south dakota primary on june the 3rd -- if that does not decide who is the winner of the presidential sweepstakes of

Bill Nelson

2:07:54 to 2:08:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: being the democratic nominee, then we go into a period during june, july, and all the way to the end of august at the national democratic convention, a period of enormous uncertainty and turmoil -- first

Bill Nelson

2:08:13 to 2:08:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of all, the turmoil of whether or not the superdelegates who are generally the members of the d.n.c., the congressional delegations, both house and senate and the governors, who are all unpledged unpledged,

Bill Nelson

2:08:36 to 2:08:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: who they would vote for, so they would be getting in their back rooms decide ing deciding, and the turmoil of what to do with florida and michigan's delegations. now, why is this important? well, it's

Bill Nelson

2:08:58 to 2:09:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: certainly important to this senator, the senior senator from florida, because in fact not only did florida voters turn out on january the 29th in the primary, they turned out in record numbers. about

Bill Nelson

2:09:14 to 2:09:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: 1.8 million florida republicans turned out, and the republican national committee was penalize ing florida republicans. but not by taking away all o the delegates to the national convention; by only taking

Bill Nelson

2:09:40 to 2:09:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: away half. and over 1.7 million florida democrats turn the ed out to vote, and they expressed their will. and so the turmoil is what to do about the ceding seating of the michigan and the florida

Bill Nelson

2:09:55 to 2:10:13( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: delegations. and just recently the chairman of the democratic national committee, an esteemed, very distinguished former governor of vermont, governor dean, our chairman of the party, as report reported in

Bill Nelson

2:10:13 to 2:10:35( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: "the new york post" a couple of days ago, was proffering maybe having a caucus caucus, a new caucus in michigan and florida as a way of select selecting the delegates to the national convention from those

Bill Nelson

2:10:35 to 2:11:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: two states. but, mr. president, you can't un undo an election with a caucus, and especially you can't undo an election where 1.7 million florida democrats have gone to vote in a secret ballot and re replace

Bill Nelson

2:11:00 to 2:11:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: it with a caucus that maybe 50,000 people would show up. it's a basic underpinning of our democracy, and it is a basic underpinning of a constitutional right to vote and to have that vote counted.

Bill Nelson

2:11:20 to 2:11:38( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: so what do we do? well, i am certainly amenable for anyone who has a suggestion to get us out of the potential train wreck because the potential train wreck could well be that if the florida and

Bill Nelson

2:11:38 to 2:11:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: michigan delegations are not seated at the national convention in august, those are two key states that only two months thereafter would be vote voting on who is going to be the next president of

Bill Nelson

2:11:58 to 2:12:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the united states. and so, with this speech, i am mack ing a plea to mack making a plea to all of our colleagues in the senate and beyond to try to find an accommodation of which the right to vote

Bill Nelson

2:12:14 to 2:12:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and to have that vote counted can be respected, especially in the state of florida, where all of the candidates' names were on the ballot. now, mr. president, that's the first thing i wanted to talk

Bill Nelson

2:12:36 to 2:12:56( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: about. the second thing i want to talk about is, i want to put on my hat as the chairman of the space subcommittee of the senate commerce committee. i want to talk about it's important in this international

Bill Nelson

2:12:56 to 2:13:08( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: space station, of which the space shuttle launched yesterday successfully, and it was a magnificent launch -- they are now close ing in on orbit onto the international space station; they are taking up a

Bill Nelson

2:13:08 to 2:13:37( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: european module that will be an important component of this international space station, a understand this international space station is -- and this international space station is two football fields long.

Bill Nelson

2:13:37 to 2:14:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: this thing is huge, about 325 miles up, orbiting the earth at 17,500 miles per hour. the international space station was create ed as a multibillion dollar facility to do research internationally, and

Bill Nelson

2:14:00 to 2:14:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: one of the major experiments that nasa has yet to find space on the space shuttle to fly and be attached to the space station is the alpha magnetic speck trom spectrometer. this is an international

Bill Nelson

2:14:22 to 2:14:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: consortium of some 20 countries and 50 university ies around the world. it is being built as we speak. it is almost completed. it is being built in geneva, switzerland. it is looked upon as a scientific

Bill Nelson

2:14:40 to 2:15:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: experiment that possibly several nobel prizes will come as a result. but, mr. president, we got to get it up there. and the nasa administrator, dr. dr. michael griffin, is saying number, no, we don't have space

Bill Nelson

2:15:00 to 2:15:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: on the space shuttle. thissal about a magnet particular spectrometer was designed to fly in the cargo bay of the space shuttle. it takes up about 25% of the cargo bay of one sprays shuttle flight. and

Bill Nelson

2:15:59 to 2:16:24( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the administrator, in de detailed tes timony in front of our committee with this senator questioning him, said that he doesn't have space.~ and what do we do in the mean time, nasa is planning that we are

Bill Nelson

2:16:24 to 2:16:45( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: going to pay for russian souyaass. what is the politics going to be in 2011, 2012, 14, 15, before we will have a human capable rocket to get to the space station, we are going to pay for russian vehicles.

Bill Nelson

2:16:45 to 2:17:12( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: in other words, we're going to layoff nasa employees and contractors in order to buy russian vehicles in a geopolitical setting that we don't even know what our relationship with russia's going to

Bill Nelson

2:17:12 to 2:17:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: be in the year 2011, and, therefore, if it isn't particularly good, what's the cost of that or what's the ability of them to say, no, we're not going to sell you an aria on a russian soyuz vehicle.

Bill Nelson

2:17:26 to 2:17:38( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: so russia is going to complete the construction of the space station. it has two contingency flights. i said, why are they contingent? i asked that of dr. griffin, the administrator of nasa. he said,

Bill Nelson

2:17:38 to 2:18:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: well, they have additional equipment for the space station and they have extra spare parts that we want to put up. i said, well, then you mean they're not contingent? and he says, yep, i guess you're

Bill Nelson

2:18:00 to 2:18:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: right, they're not contingent. but he says, we don't have space to fly the alpha magnetic speck speck spectrometer. what is it that these nations are so interested in getting it up there to go to

Bill Nelson

2:18:21 to 2:18:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: work. because what it does is it identifies the origin of cosmic rays, and that means it can help us understand the origin of the universe. this is not just an american experiment. this is an international

Bill Nelson

2:18:40 to 2:18:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: experiment of countries around the world. this is a part of us wanting to understand our beginnings. this is a part of our nature as a people to want to explore the heavens and understand the universe.

Bill Nelson

2:18:58 to 2:19:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: this is an essential part of our space program. but the nasa administrator says, he doesn't have space to fly it on the space shuttle. and he's going to shut down the space shuttle in october or september

Bill Nelson

2:19:15 to 2:19:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of 2010, he said you will have to put it over on to an expendable rocket and that won't be for another five years, and instead of it being 25% of the cargo bay of a space shuttle or an additional

Bill Nelson

2:19:34 to 2:19:56( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: cost of of $100 billion, he's putting it over here on an expendable rocket five years later that is going to cost between between $500 million and $800 million. now, that's not a good tradeoff. how do

Bill Nelson

2:19:56 to 2:20:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: we get it on to the space shuttle before they shut down the space shuttle? all right. there are three flights that this could be done. s.t.s.129, which is set to go in august of 2009, it has two express

Bill Nelson

2:20:25 to 2:20:53( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: logistic carriers and, in fact, you could reconfigure that flight or another flight in july of 2010, you could reconfigure those two flights by taking some of the payloads on those express logistic

Bill Nelson

2:20:53 to 2:21:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: carriers and creating space of 25% of the cargo bay and put on this critical experiment, the alpha magnetic spectrometer, or in the flight that is to go on february february 2010, sts-131, you could

Bill Nelson

2:21:20 to 2:21:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: take the integrated cargo carrier vertical light deployable and a docking cargo module, you could take that flight and you could reconfigure that integrated cargo carrier vertical light tee deployable

Bill Nelson

2:21:47 to 2:22:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and create space for the alpha magnetic spectrometer, and that would allow the space shuttle to launch 8,800 pounds of these orbital replacement units, plus the iccvlv to the international space station

Bill Nelson

2:22:09 to 2:22:35( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: on the same flight as this critical experiment, the alpha magnetic spectrometer. now, why am i saying this? because these are the specialists at the centers of nasa around the country that are saying that this

Bill Nelson

2:22:35 to 2:22:57( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: can be done. but the administrator tells our committee that they can't be done. but they can. and so i am making a plea and it's not just this senator. seated right by me is senator kay bailey

Bill Nelson

2:22:57 to 2:23:16( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: hutchinson of texas. during that hearing late last year, making the plea as well, in a bipartisan way. making a plea to nasa to reconfigure those last several flights to find room for the a.m.s.

Bill Nelson

2:23:16 to 2:23:41( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: because if you don't, dr. griffin, if you don't, nasa, you're going to kill this experiment that has enormous support in the international scientific community all of which is the very reason for having

Bill Nelson

2:23:41 to 2:23:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: an international space station up there in the first place is to do scientific research. i hope that all of the management of nasa will do a recompute ing. my tremendous congratulations to them.

Bill Nelson

2:23:58 to 2:24:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: and dr. griffin knows how i have been a supporter of him as he has turned around nasa, as he's taken very difficult times after the tee trucks of the destruction of the last space shuttle colombia,

Bill Nelson

2:24:19 to 2:24:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: as he brought back nasa with a professionalism that is the hallmark of nasa and the launch yesterday was another example of that professionalism. and that space shuttle is closing in as i speak on the international

Bill Nelson

2:24:36 to 2:25:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: space station to renedevous and to dock, to thrifer that deliver that european module and to equip that international space station to do what it is designed to do, than is scientific research. let's

Bill Nelson

2:25:00 to 2:25:16( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: complete that task before the space shuttle is shut down by finding space on the manifest to fly the a.m.s., the alpha magnetic spectrometer. mr. president, i yield the floor floor. the presiding officer: the

Bill Nelson

2:25:16 to 2:25:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: junior senator from alabama's recognized. a senator: mr. president, it is great to be with my colleague, senator nelson and his great knowledge of space and military defense issues are very valuable

Jeff Sessions

2:25:31 to 2:25:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: to this country. mr. sessions: he chairs the strategic subcommittee in armed services in addition to his nasa work on the commerce committee and i value his leadership and expertise. and i'm going to share

Jeff Sessions

2:25:31 to 3:06:27( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Sessions

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