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Senate Proceeding on Mar 16th, 2011 :: 1:58:20 to 2:03:55
Total video length: 9 hours 34 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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John Cornyn

1:58:16 to 1:58:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: a leader in that field. i would like to now turn it over to senator cornyn. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i'd like to call up amendment number 186 and ask its immediate consideration. i would ask unanimous consent that any pending amendments be set aside. the presiding officer: without objectio the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from texas, mr. cornyn, proposes an

John Cornyn

1:58:20 to 2:03:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Cornyn

John Cornyn

1:58:39 to 1:59:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: amendment numbered 186. mr. cornyn: madam president, i'd ask unanimous con further reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: thank you very much. madam president, this is an amendment, a very important amendment that addresses the three critical issues that face our country today. too many people out of work, the federal government engaged in

John Cornyn

1:59:02 to 1:59:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: runaway spending, and our unsustainable national debt. this actually comes from a portion of the president's -- president barack obama's fiscal commission report which pointed out a texas program that had been in place since 1977 and its

John Cornyn

1:59:24 to 1:59:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: impact on providing oversight or review of wasteful or no longer needed programs or spending. and that's what this amendment does. it establishes a bipartisan united states authorization and sunset commission actually that would be composed of eight members of congress who would go through programs that have spending associated with them

John Cornyn

1:59:45 to 2:00:05( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: but that have not been authorized by the congress and to review redundancies and duplicative programs like those pointed out most significantly by the general accountability office just within the last week to ten days. as i said, this is modeled after the sunset process that my state

John Cornyn

2:00:06 to 2:00:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: instituted in 1977 which has been enormously successful. it's eliminated more than 50 different state agencies and saved taxpayers in the hundreds of millions of dollars. madam president, i'd ask unanimous consent that senators vitter, enzi, demint, rubio, paul, ensign, ayotte and risch be added as cosponsors to my amendment. the presiding officer: without

John Cornyn

2:00:27 to 2:00:49( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: objection. mr. cornyn: this is what the president's own fiscal commission said about such a concept. and madam president, i know that members of the senate and the political parties are divided about many things but this is something that is -- should be noncontroversial and should be bipartisan and i hope my

John Cornyn

2:00:50 to 2:01:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: colleagues would listen briefly and consider cosponsoring and joining us in passing this important amendment establishing this sunset commission. but this is what the president's own fiscal commission said about this concept. they said -- quote -- "such a committee has been recommended many times and found bipartisan support. the original and arguably the

John Cornyn

2:01:12 to 2:01:37( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: most effective committee exists at the state level in texas. the legislature created the sunset commission in 1977 to eliminate waste and inefficiency in government agencies. estimates from reviews conducted between 1982 and 2009 showed 27-year savings of more than $780 million compared with

John Cornyn

2:01:38 to 2:01:58( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: expenditures of $28.6 million." they go on to point out that for every dollar spent on the sunset commission, it saved $27 in return. now, madam president, the -- we all know the challenges we face here in washington when it comes to proper oversight. once programs are created, even so-called temporary programs, they tend to take on a life of

John Cornyn

2:01:59 to 2:02:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: their own. indeed, i think that must be what ronald reagan was talking about, one of my favorite quotations when he said a -- the closest thing to eternal life here on earth is a temporary government program. and we all know what happens once a program's created, then a constituency is created, they

John Cornyn

2:02:20 to 2:02:41( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: come in and ask for a cost-of-living or other increase and they grow and grow and grow and there's no one -- and i'm not criticizing the standing committees, but there's not adequate time or opportunity given to -- to -- looking at these programs to see whether

John Cornyn

2:02:42 to 2:03:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: they're still needed or whether their budgets are justified. and so you see these programs growing and federal spending growing and no real time and effort given to cutting out wasteful spending and eliminating programs that have not been authorized or which are duplicative or redundant, as pointed out by the general accountability office. so my hope is that when we have

John Cornyn

2:03:03 to 2:03:24( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: a chance to vote on this amendment here soon, that we can all answer this important call. and i think in the process ask the single-most important question that congress can ask when it comes to spending and programs and that question is:

John Cornyn

2:03:25 to 2:03:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: is this program still needed? the sunset commission would help us do our job of oversight and accountability. it would help us rein in runaway federal spending and hopefully, along with growth of the private sector and investment by entrepreneurs and job creators, help us get past this -- the place we are now where we have not only runaway spending but

John Cornyn

2:03:47 to 2:03:57( Edit History Discussion )

John Cornyn: unsustainable debt and a private sector sitting on the sidelines and not creating new jobs the way we need them to do. mr. cornyn: so, madam president, i would yield the floor and

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