Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Feb 28th, 2011 :: 0:54:55 to 1:01:19
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Bob Corker

0:54:55 to 1:01:19( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

0:55:02 to 0:55:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i ask unanimous consent that we dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. corker: thank you, mr. president. i rise today, mr. president, to talk about our dilemma here in the federal government, wherein the american people are watching as we try to deal with our spending issues.

Bob Corker

0:55:24 to 0:55:44( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: there is a dig debate over a two-week spending issue. an issue where we try to cut $4 billion. hopefully some resolve will come to that. but i think what the american people are watching is that unless there is some type of gun to our head or some type of gentes swigs in front -- urgent situation in front ever us, we

Bob Corker

0:55:45 to 0:56:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: don't have the ability in this body to deal with spending issues in a disciplined nor courageous way. i think everybody understands that, and they understand the only way we're looking at whatever spending cuts take place -- and i know there's discussions over what they might be -- but the only reason this issue is being

Bob Corker

0:56:06 to 0:56:26( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: addressed is that we have this deadline of a government -- of government funding ending in the next week or so. mr. president, i the presiding officer is someone who served as a county mayor and had to balance budgets each year and will to figure out to way to live within our means.

Bob Corker

0:56:27 to 0:56:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: and i know that upon arriving here a few months, a you had to be just totally aghast at the fablght fact that we are taking in $2.2 trillion this year and spending $3.7 trillion this year. and if you put all the discretionary spending that we had -- if you took every bit of

Bob Corker

0:56:48 to 0:57:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: -- quote -- "nonmandatory spending" or discretionary spending off the table, we still wouldn't have a balanced budget. and so everybody in this country, i think, knows that where we are is totally out of line. we're spending about 24 -- a little over 24% of our country's economic output today. over the last 40 years, we've

Bob Corker

0:57:11 to 0:57:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: spent about 20.6% of our country's g.d.p. so, mr. president, i've put in place with claire mccaskill from missouri, a bill -- we have numbers of cosponsors. we've put in something called the cap afnlgt and we hope that over the course of this next year, it's a bill that will over the course of the next several

Bob Corker

0:57:32 to 0:57:52( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: months, that this is a bill that will actually pass. what it does, i think in a very logical way, is it says that we're spending at levels relative to our economy today that are out of proportion and let's go from where we are today to the four-year average over a ten-year period.

Bob Corker

0:57:53 to 0:58:14( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: now, mr. president, as presiding officer, you'd have to agree that this is just a logical thing that gives us time to go from where we are today over the next ten years to where the country has been spending relative to our country's output for the last 40 years. what this also does,

Bob Corker

0:58:15 to 0:58:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: mr. president, is it puts congress in a straitjacket. i think everybody's watching and knowing if we didn't have this c.r., this continuing resolution bill that was that's ending this week and the government was going to shut down if it wasn't funded, there would be no negotiations taking place right now for spending. we know that.

Bob Corker

0:58:37 to 0:58:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: what this does is put in place a straitjacket on congress -- one that is needed, to take us from here to there over a ten-year period. what happens if we don't meet the requirements of this declining spending relative to our economy, then sequestration comes into place. what happens is the o.m.b. comes

Bob Corker

0:58:59 to 0:59:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: in and on a pro rata basis, based on which accounts, what their relative weight is to the overall spending levels, comes in and just takes out on a pro rata basis out of every account of government. mr. president, one of the problems that we have in this country is we want to deal with those things that are easy, and

Bob Corker

0:59:20 to 0:59:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that is discretionary spending. in many cases it ends up being non-defense discretionary spending, which ends up being about $600 billion roughly over the $3.7 trillion that we're spending. and everybody in the world knows there's no way for us to solve our problem by only dealing with discretionary spending.

Bob Corker

0:59:41 to 1:00:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: so what this bill would do is put all items on the balance sheet. in other words, it would include all of the entitlements. and i don't think there's a person in this body that believes if we continue are, the seniors that are counting on things like medicare and social security, we all know

Bob Corker

1:00:02 to 1:00:23( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that if we don't redesign these programs so they'll be sustained for the long hall, that -- long haul, seniors that are counting on this program are not going to have them. what this bill would do is force us in congress to deal with designing these programs in such a way that they would be here for the long haul. so it puts everything on the table.

Bob Corker

1:00:24 to 1:00:47( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: person in washington that doesn't know that we have to address these issues. there are a lot of people that say, well, you know, we cannot really do these draconian things right now because we're in the middle of a recession, which hopefully looks like it's changing and hopefully changing very rapidly. but these changes would begin

Bob Corker

1:00:48 to 1:01:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: from where we are in the year 2013. so you'd have a year or so to redesign these programs so we could act in an appropriate way to really ensure that they are here for the future but also put them in place in a manner that doesn't kill the american taxpayer.

Bob Corker

1:01:10 to 1:01:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: so, mr. president, with capped spending, we've got multiyear averaging processes in this bill to make sure if you have a change in the economy in one year, you don't have this volatile situation but that we

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