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Senate Proceeding on Mar 9th, 2009 :: 0:29:15 to 0:45:25
Total video length: 5 hours 19 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Dianne Feinstein

0:28:54 to 0:29:15( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: we have 1.852 million people unemployed. that's more people unemployed in california today than are people in 14 states put together in the united states. we have increasing wildfire, we have decreasing water, we are

Dianne Feinstein

0:29:15 to 0:45:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein

0:29:16 to 0:29:37( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the largest aicultural in the union -- $40 billion agricultural industry -- and for the great central of the delta, the water allocation for this year is zero. we are a state that is in great need of infrastructure repair. the great north delta, which

Dianne Feinstein

0:29:38 to 0:30:00( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: provides the drinking water for 16 million people of my state, is subject to collapse. levees collapse. we have major problems with collapsing sewers, bridge repair. doyle drive, going on to the great golden bridge, is in high

Dianne Feinstein

0:30:01 to 0:30:22( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: susceptibility tkoplg down in an earth -- to coming down in an earthquake. i've been for 14 out of the 16 years i've been here on the appropriations committee. and, yes, i fight for funds for my that's what i came here to do. and i want my earmarks which are congressionally added spending to be transparent and be out

Dianne Feinstein

0:30:23 to 0:30:43( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: there for the world to see. and if i make a mistake, i'll change the mistake. but i want to help my state. otherwise, why do i come here? i of the united states, with all he has on his desk, is going to take care of california's needs.

Dianne Feinstein

0:30:44 to 0:31:08( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: that's what i'm here for. that's what i became an appropriator to do. and to handcuff what is a coequal branch of government -- remember, we have three branches of government, and they are coequal under the constitution. to say i'm going to represent

Dianne Feinstein

0:31:09 to 0:31:33( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: this great state, the seventh or eighth-largest economic engine on earth, and not help its infrastructure, not help provide for the needs of its people, as somebody that sits as an appropriator, something i don't want to do. candidly, why be an appropriator if you can't help your state? if you have to depend on a president that may want to

Dianne Feinstein

0:31:34 to 0:31:54( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: ignore your happened in the past. it can happen in the future. and so, i think all of this dialogue is really misplaced. if i can't fight for my state, if i can't help my state, if i can't see that there's money for

Dianne Feinstein

0:31:55 to 0:32:15( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: sewers and money for water reconstruction and where education needs are vital and a state that had a $42 billion deficit and was almost ready to collapse because it couldn't come should be made worse off because i can't do anything to help my

Dianne Feinstein

0:32:16 to 0:32:38( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: state or senator boxer can't do anything to help our state? so i look at this as a way by some to reduce spending. no question about that. but also to create a more powerful president where the congress is less able to add on

Dianne Feinstein

0:32:39 to 0:33:00( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: vital projects. suppose a president has a bias against a given project? there's nothing then that an individual senator or house member or house members as a whole or the senate as a whole can do about it. we make ourselves impotent as a coequal branch of government if

Dianne Feinstein

0:33:01 to 0:33:21( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: there is necessary to add to the budget. now, earmarks have greatly declined declined -- and they have. and it's been said by some that they will be limited to 1% of the budget for the next year. i have no problem with that. i think that ought to be announced now.

Dianne Feinstein

0:33:22 to 0:33:42( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: i'm prepared to do that in interior budget. but we have to know what the rules are when we do the appropriations bill. what happens is we do the appropriations bill, and then they come out here and they run into this kind of opposition. i say set the rule ahead of

Dianne Feinstein

0:33:43 to 0:34:05( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: time. decide that earmarks are to be a certain part of the budget. they have been ratcheted down over the years. continue to ratchet them down and set a percent, so every one of us that's chairman of an appropriations subcommittee knows exactly what we have to work with.

Dianne Feinstein

0:34:06 to 0:34:27( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: now, quickly, let me speak to two amendments, one that has been -- that has been presented on the floor and one that has not but will be. the one that's been presented on the floor is the ensign amendment number 615 on d.c. vouchers. i'd like to speak on that.

Dianne Feinstein

0:34:28 to 0:34:48( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: and the barrasso amendment number 637 on oil gas drilling permits. now here's another situation that we're in. if the senate approves either of these amendments or any of the other pending, this omnibus bill dies. the bill has been passed by the

Dianne Feinstein

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

Dianne Feinstein: house. the house has said they will take no amendments. the bill is over here. and we have a number of amendments being presented, many of which some of us would like to vote for but cannot. the ensign amendment is one of those amendments for me.

Dianne Feinstein

0:35:10 to 0:35:32( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: if the omnibus bill dies, you then fund the federal governmen for another year. it's already been funded for six months out of a continuing resolution. and this year is already 43% gone. this means that no agency has been able to start a program, and funding levels have

Dianne Feinstein

0:35:33 to 0:35:53( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: been frozen at fiscal year 2008 levels since october as a matter of fact, we have pay for 1.2 million federal executive branch employees. it's of this year.

Dianne Feinstein

0:35:54 to 0:36:17( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the money for that is in this omnibus bill. if the bill doesn't pass, i suppose it has to be added to a c.r. and other things would have to be added to a c.r. as well. but i believe we should pass this bill. now let me speak for a moment about the ensign amendment.

Dianne Feinstein

0:36:18 to 0:36:38( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: i have supported the pilot program that provides vouchers on a pilot basis in washington, d.c. since its interception five years ago -- since its inception five years ago. i believe i was the deciding vote. this was added to an appropriations bill. i thought long and hard about it and decided to support it.

Dianne Feinstein

0:36:39 to 0:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: i am prepared to continue to support this if the comprehensive evaluation due this spring show that the program h are improving. i believe in my heart of hearts

Dianne Feinstein

0:37:01 to 0:37:21( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: that public education must fundamentally change. it must move away from the large institutional-type school into the s settings where teachers can spend more time with students and their families, in a student's younger habit-forming years.

Dianne Feinstein

0:37:22 to 0:37:43( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: i do not believe that youngsters from should be denied the oppornity to learn in these smaller, more personal settings. we have huge schools in california, some with thousands of students. d hundreds more than should be

Dianne Feinstein

0:37:44 to 0:38:05( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: in any one school. the washington, d.c. scholarship program is a five-year pilot program to determine whether low-income students do in fact learn more and learn better in the areas' private and parochial schools. 49 schools, private and

Dianne Feinstein

0:38:06 to 0:38:27( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: parochial, are included. 1,700 students are participating. they come from families under the average income of $23,000. they receive a federal of education in the private or parochial school possible.

Dianne Feinstein

0:38:28 to 0:38:50( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: and the appropriation is $14 million a year. now, i belve we need different models for children to learn. i mean, think of it. this country is so diverse, so many different people, so many different languages, so many different cultures.

Dianne Feinstein

0:38:51 to 0:39:12( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: and yet, there is one institutional-type public school. and that's the model that's followed. i don't understand why there can't be different models. and i believe there should be. so far preliminary evaluations by the united states department of education's institution of educational sciences have shown

Dianne Feinstein

0:39:13 to 0:39:34( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: some academic gains in reading and math. when these students entered the program, they were performing in the bottom third in reading and math tests in d.c.'s public schools. last year's evaluation, as i understand it, show that the reading test scores of three subgroups of students

Dianne Feinstein

0:39:35 to 0:39:55( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: representing 88% of students receiving a scholarship were higher by the equivalent of two to four months of additional schooling. these academic gains, again, are despite the many challenges these children face outside the classroom coming from families

Dianne Feinstein

0:39:56 to 0:40:16( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: where the average income is $23,000. i believe the results of the more comprehensive evaluation are critical, and we expect to have those results in spring -- next spring. i look forward to learning more in the months ahead of how students are performing overall in the program and the impact

Dianne Feinstein

0:40:17 to 0:40:38( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: that it has had. in closing, i believe that the debate over the d.c. voucher program is an important one. it's a valid one, and we should discuss it and debate it on this floor. but this bill is not the place to do it. if i were to

Dianne Feinstein

0:40:39 to 0:41:02( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: others were to vote "yes," it would kill this bill, and we all know that. simply stated, the house will not accept so i believe the debate is for another time, and i regretfully, will have to vote no on this amendment. i'd also like, as chairman of the appropriations subcommittee

Dianne Feinstein

0:41:03 to 0:41:24( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: on interior, to oppose the barrasso amendment. the 2009 interior appropriations bill as written carries a provision which allows bureau of land management to recoup the cost of processing

Dianne Feinstein

0:41:25 to 0:41:46( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: over 9,000 oil and gas drilling permits that were filed this year. now, appropriations bill are reete with user fees, sthis is nothing new. in fact, the language we're carrying in the omnibus bill is the same as what was in the 2008 bill and mirrors the proposal

Dianne Feinstein

0:41:47 to 0:42:07( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: put forward by the bush administration for the past two years. this language simply says to the oil and gas companies, if you're going to drill on public land, you need to cover the cost of processing your permit. you need to cover the cost of

Dianne Feinstein

0:42:08 to 0:42:30( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: processing your permit. for fy 2009, the fee is $4,000 per permit and issed to pay for the necessary environmental analysis that must be done before a permit can be issued. the $36 million raised through this fee is but a drop in the bucket compared to what these

Dianne Feinstein

0:42:31 to 0:42:52( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: companies are getting. listen to this. $23,293 -- 23,293 active leases produce 108 million barrels of oil, 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 2 million

Dianne Feinstein

0:42:53 to 0:43:14( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: gallons of liquid natural gas. in 2008, that resulted in $34.9 billion in revenues to oil and gas companies. from that, they paid $4.2 billion in royalties, leaving the companies with $30.7 billion. out of that substantial sum,

Dianne Feinstein

0:43:15 to 0:43:36( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: what we're asking the companies to do is pay $36 million in permit costs for environmental analyses and the processing of the permit. that's less than .8%.

Dianne Feinstein

0:43:37 to 0:44:01( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: or to be precise, .12% to offset administrative costs. and i'd like to ask you to consider this. from 2003 to 2007, the revenue of the oil and gas industry increased by 63%, from $1.1 trillion to nearly $1.9 trillion.

Dianne Feinstein

0:44:02 to 0:44:23( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: at the same t profits net income more than doubled, increasing from $72 billion to more billion during this time period. so this is not an industry that is in need of a special break. as a matter of fact, one of these companies, a corporation,

Dianne Feinstein

0:44:24 to 0:44:46( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: is the corporation that has the greatest net profit of any corporation in our nation's history. so these com -- these companies are well off. they can afford to patriot permit costs, and i believe the should. the amendment proposed by the senator from wyoming strikes the cost recoverof the permit

Dianne Feinstein

0:44:47 to 0:45:07( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: process and leaves the federal government and taxpayers responsible for paying all of the administrative costs, and i think that's fundmently wrong. furthermore the industry would cause the interior bill to exceed the subcommittee's spending allocation. right now our bill complies with

Dianne Feinstein

0:45:08 to 0:45:26( Edit History Discussion )

Dianne Feinstein: the allocation we have been given, but striking the cost recovery fee, th the amendment would put it $36 million over allocation, and i understand that a point of order will be made against the bill at a later time.

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