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Senate Proceeding 03-04-09 on Mar 4th, 2009 :: 2:23:20 to 2:33:40
Total video length: 7 hours 4 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Claire McCaskill

2:23:17 to 2:23:37( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: endeavors here in the washington, d.c. area. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mrs. mccaskill: mr. president, i disagree with earmarks. i disagree with the process. although we have made great strides if reforming earmarks, i

Claire McCaskill

2:23:20 to 2:33:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

2:23:38 to 2:23:58( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: do think there are further steps we need to take. and today i have introduced a resolution, a senate resolution with the senior senator from colorado, senator udall, to bring even more transparency to this process. basically this resolution requires all requests to be posted on member web sites and the committees' web sites within 48 hours of the request.

Claire McCaskill

2:23:59 to 2:24:21( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: it requires all information in the request letter be posted on-line, including location, purpose, and cost. this is not currently required. it requires electronically searchable text of all bills and conference reports. and it strengthens the ability to remove earmarks by, b a point of order. there are some loopholes that

Claire McCaskill

2:24:22 to 2:24:42( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we, i think, inadvertently created when we did senate bill 1 early in my first year as a senator. this resolution will require earmarks to be in the bill text. i discovered that there were some airdropped earmarks in the bill. and because they were in the

Claire McCaskill

2:24:43 to 2:25:04( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: managers' statement, a point of order was not possible. so this requires all the earmarks to be in the bill text which will subject them to the rules. it applies the airdrop rule of order -- point of order to the authorization bills in addition to the appropriations bill. and it further limits earmarks to public projects only.

Claire McCaskill

2:25:05 to 2:25:26( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and this time i don't think we can afford to be earmarking in the private sector or anywhere other than the public sector as we struggle with our deficits and our spending. but i really rose today not to speak so much about the resolution that i have introduced today, but more to speak a little bit about how confused i have been over the

Claire McCaskill

2:25:27 to 2:25:47( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: last few weeks by many of my friends on the otheride of the aisle. we have a lot of work to do in regards to earmarks, and i want to congratulate my party because we have created transparency. we now know who is earmarking. and because of that, we now know that earmarking has nothing to

Claire McCaskill

2:25:48 to 2:26:08( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: do with party. yes, there are thousands of earmarks in this bill by democrats, but there are thousands of earmarks in this bill by republicans. earmarking is not about party. earmarking is about power. this is about whether or not you

Claire McCaskill

2:26:09 to 2:26:29( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: have the power to get an earmark. and power depends on various things when it comes to earmarking. it depends on what committee you're on, depends on whether or not you're an appropriator. it depends on your seniority. it depends on whether or not you have a tough election fight. it depends on, to some extent,

Claire McCaskill

2:26:30 to 2:26:51( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: whether you're in the minority party or the majority party, because the split is 60-40 right now. 60% of the earmarks -- it's kind of an unwritten rule go to the majority party and 40% go to the minority party. it was the other way around when

Claire McCaskill

2:26:52 to 2:27:12( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the democrats were not in power. now, that doesn't seem to me to be a very logical way to spend public money. it should be about the merit of the project. it should be about a cost benefit. and there are many people that are making the argument that we shouldn't let bureaucrats decide. congress has had the power of

Claire McCaskill

2:27:13 to 2:27:33( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the purse for over 200 years. congress has been directing spending in this country for over 200 years. and earmarks e a really new creation. the first earmarking started in the 1970's. that ability to make a solitary, lonely decision as to where money is going to be directed.

Claire McCaskill

2:27:34 to 2:27:54( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: in fact, in 1999, there were only 541 earmarks. anat the height of earmarking, under president bush and under a republican-controlled congress, there was $27 billion in earmarks. in fact, the number of earmarks have been cut in half under the

Claire McCaskill

2:27:55 to 2:28:15( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: leadership of my party. and this notion that bureaucrats are doing the decisionmaking, we have the power to tell the buaucrats how to spend the money. we can tell them that it's formula grants. we can tell them it's competitive grants. in fact, that's what we do for

Claire McCaskill

2:28:16 to 2:28:37( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: 99% of the budget. we tell to snd the money. it's now only for 1% that we've decided that we cannot tell the bureaucrats how to spend the money. so this notion that somehow we need to do emarks because the bureaucrats are going to run amock, i don't get, in fact,

Claire McCaskill

2:28:38 to 2:28:59( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: most earmarks skim money off other programs. you can look at the history of byrne grants. they have gone down over the last eight, nine years. now we are increasing them, which is great. byrne grants are competive at the local level. but what happened whaoeuplt byrne grants were going down at the same time earmarks were going up.

Claire McCaskill

2:29:00 to 2:29:20( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: there is a connection. when money is skimmed off the formula for highways, that's just more local projects that the local people want to build that are not built because a senator or a congressman knows better. now, here's the weird part about this and this is what i want to focus on today are my friends on the

Claire McCaskill

2:29:21 to 2:29:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: other side of the aisle. i listened while there was talk about wasteful the debate on the stimulus bill, during the debate on the economic recovery bill. i watched as my friends across the aisle took to the airwaves

Claire McCaskill

2:29:42 to 2:30:02( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and gave many different speeches about wasteful spending in the stimulus bill. let me quote some of the things they said. pet programs, honey pot for whateverou need, a porkuluous

Claire McCaskill

2:30:03 to 2:30:23( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: bill, pet projects, earmarks, earmarks, earmarks, an orgy of spending. that is what they said about the stimulus bill when in reality there were no earmarks in the stimulus bill. everything that was spent in the stimulus bill was either competitive grants or formula

Claire McCaskill

2:30:24 to 2:30:45( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: funding. now, here's the weird part. they went on and on and on during the stimulus bill about earmarking. no fewer than 17 different republican senators stood up and absolutely with righteous indignation, talked about the pet projects in the stimulus bill.

Claire McCaskill

2:30:46 to 2:31:07( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and guess what? every single one of them has earmarks in this bill. one member, a republican leadership, said and i quote exactly: "that is the problem with earmarks. all senators are equal except

Claire McCaskill

2:31:08 to 2:31:28( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: some senators are more equal than others when it comes to slippinghings in bills. " every single member of republican leadership has earmarks in bill.

Claire McCaskill

2:31:29 to 2:31:51( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: every single one of them. every single one of these people rejected the stimulus that was one of the largest tack cuts in american his -- tax cuts in american history and had no earmarks because supposedly they were so upset about wasteful spending. those very same senators have

Claire McCaskill

2:31:52 to 2:32:12( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: interstate shell fish sanitation conference. the interstate shell fish sanitation conference. beaver management, parking lots all brought to you by the very same people that called out wasteful spending in the president's economic recovery

Claire McCaskill

2:32:13 to 2:32:33( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: bill. if you don't take my word for it, check out the taxpayers for common sense website. according six of the top 10 earmarkers in this bill are my friends on the on the other side of the aisle. in fact, the republican leader

Claire McCaskill

2:32:34 to 2:32:57( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: s twice as many solo earmarks in this bill than the democratic leader. america, don't be fooled. earmarking is an opportunity activity. it's a bad habit and the minority party is taking full advantage of it. don't take anyone seriously that

Claire McCaskill

2:32:58 to 2:33:18( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: says one thing and does another. that's the worst sin of all. any parent knows one basic rule: the example you set is way more important than anything you say. thank you, mr. president, i yield t

Claire McCaskill

2:33:19 to 2:33:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii is recognized. mr. inouye: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: will call the roll of the senate.

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