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Senate Proceeding on Mar 16th, 2011 :: 5:00:05 to 5:15:30
Total video length: 9 hours 34 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Mark Pryor

4:59:47 to 5:00:09( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: have before us. it's actually not an honor i expected to have after 12 years in the u.s. house representing southern ohio and serving in the bush administration, i returned home to cincinnati four years ago. although we kept our home there and raised our kids there, i commuted for 15 years and it was time to be home with three

Mark Pryor

5:00:05 to 5:15:30( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Mark Pryor

Mark Pryor

5:00:10 to 5:00:31( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: teenagers, my amazing wife jane and other family members including my dad. at that time my predecessor, george voinovich was serving with distinction and said he was planning to run. i was involved in two small family businesses, practicing law, teaching at ohio state university and enjoying being a

Mark Pryor

5:00:32 to 5:00:52( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: dad including getting to coach my daughter's soccer team. i was watching with apprehension the worsening economy and the way the administration and congress were responding to it. when george voinovich announced he would not seek reelection, i made a decision to run because i was so concerned about the direction of my state and our country.

Mark Pryor

5:00:53 to 5:01:13( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: i saw the bottom falling out of the ohio economy. i saw firsthand what happens with layoffs an downsizing. like others, i was frustrated while ohio small businesses and families were making tough decisions, the federal government seemed immune, out of touch. instead of cutting expenses and figuring out how to do more with

Mark Pryor

5:01:14 to 5:01:34( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: less and focusing on private sector job growth, the obama administration and congress responded with a big government approach. unfortunately the $800 billion stimulus package had less to do with creating private sector jobs than growing the size an scope of government. in the midst of all this i saw a new national health care bill working its way through the

Mark Pryor

5:01:35 to 5:01:56( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: system that would lock in place the unsustainable costs and inefficiency in our current health care system, making health care more expensive for families and small businesses and making it harder to deal with the exploding cost of health care in our federal budget. and i saw record deficits building up to dangerous levels of debt that further threatened our economy.

Mark Pryor

5:01:57 to 5:02:18( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: these issues, these deep concerns over jobs and the direction of our economy and the fiscal crisis we face as a nation are my focus now in the united states senate. and i'm not alone whether republican, democrat or independent i believe ohioans understand that our state and our country are in trouble. and it's going to take real change and all of us working

Mark Pryor

5:02:19 to 5:02:39( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: together across party lines to set things right. i believe the challenges of our time are to revive the economic america kal and -- miracle and to stop the overspending by government and one affects the other. without a growing economy and more jobs, we cannot hope to

Mark Pryor

5:02:40 to 5:03:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: reverse the dangerous trend of record deficits and deepening debt. without getting our spending under control we can't get our economy moving. it's not one or the other. in fact, these two goals are not inconsistent, they are reinforcing. with the fiscal time bomb on our doorstep and the uncertainty it creates, we will not sigh the

Mark Pryor

5:03:01 to 5:03:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: kind of strong -- see the kind of strong recovery we hope for. in addition to getting the fiscal house in order we move atbres live to clean the climate for job growth, innovation, invention, entrepreneurship. we need an environment that encourages risk taking and private investment which economists will tell you is the

Mark Pryor

5:03:22 to 5:03:43( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: biggest challenge we face in this weak recovery. the current economic climate is one of uncertainty and one of apprehension. i've seen it all over ohio. last fall i visited an independent trucking company in wayne county, ohio. paul williams pulled together a dozen or so businesses in the area for a roundtable

Mark Pryor

5:03:44 to 5:04:04( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: discussion, one of many i've had. struggling in a tough economy, these small businesses all wondered the same thing, why has washington made it harder on them to grow and create jobs? they talked about the threat of new e.p.a. regulations. they were worried about other specific regulations or mandates

Mark Pryor

5:04:05 to 5:04:25( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: on trucking on manufacturing and banking that would drive up their compliance cost and make them less competitive. they talked about the threat of higher taxes coming, increasing the uncertainty at the time when the opposite is needed, to incentivize businesses to invest and grow. like the vast majority of small businesses, most of these businesses paid their taxes as

Mark Pryor

5:04:26 to 5:04:46( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: individuals, not as corporations. the temporary extension of tax rates on capital gains, income tax, debt taxes and the possibility of higher taxes soon reduces their incentive to invest and create the jobs we need. every single small business owner around the table talked about health care. all of them said the same thing. they said since the health care

Mark Pryor

5:04:47 to 5:05:07( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: bill has passed, their health care costs are going up more, not less. they were already going up. now they say they're going up faster and that increases their cost of business making it harder for them to create jobs. they talked about premium increases of 10% to 25%, annual increases eating away at their

Mark Pryor

5:05:08 to 5:05:29( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: profits and any chance to expand. at one of the 80 factory visits i've made in the past two years bruce beagley in northeast ohio said that orders are up, but he wasn't hiring. he was paying overtime instead because he wasn't willing to hire permanent workers because of the embedded costs of health

Mark Pryor

5:05:30 to 5:05:50( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: care. and our education system and federal worker retraining system is also failing us in ohio. around the state high-tech companies told me they can't find the skilled workers they need. this is wrong. there is a skills gap in america. there are high-skilled jobs

Mark Pryor

5:05:51 to 5:06:12( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: available but our schools aren't producing a sufficient supply of well-trained american workers. you can't talk to workers in management without seeing these issues, but i've also seen it closer to home. in fact, on the prod -- i'm the product of a small family business. my tad, bill portman, who -- my dad, bill portman, who we lost

Mark Pryor

5:06:13 to 5:06:33( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: last year was one of those small business takers. he took a big risk when i was a kid. he had a good job as a salesman. he had health care and some retirement benefits. he gave it all up to start his own business, portman equipment company. started with five people. my mom was the bookkeeper. he couldn't get a loan because

Mark Pryor

5:06:34 to 5:06:54( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: his family didn't have any loan so he borrowed money from my mom's uncle to get things started. the company lost money the first few years, he kept it alive through hard work, ingenuity and sacrifice. my brother took the reins later,

Mark Pryor

5:06:55 to 5:07:15( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: but by the time my dad retired,?? the company hired 300 people. we all worked there and when i was growing up the discussion around the kitchen table was often about how government affects small business, how it affected him, rules, regulations, taxes. my dad is among my heroes because of his hard work and his sacrifice, but because they

Mark Pryor

5:07:16 to 5:07:37( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: built something of value. i've seen it done. i know the role government can play and should not play in helping create jobs and opportunities. about a year ago i asked my dad if he would take the same risk today. he thought about it for a while, kind of shook his head and said, i don't know. there's just so much uncertainty out there.

Mark Pryor

5:07:38 to 5:07:59( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: that's a word i hear a lot from small business owners all over ohio. that's why a lot of potential job creators are staying on the sidelines, keeping their cash on the sidelines rather than investing in plant, equipment, and people. liedership is -- leadership is needed to restore the american dream.

Mark Pryor

5:08:00 to 5:08:21( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: leadership is needed to keep a handle on serious fiscal issues. you'll see it play out on the floor of the senate, we're locked in a fierce partisan battle about less than 1% of federal outlays of federal spending in this fiscal year and we're not addressing the biggest and fastest growing part of our budget which is the important

Mark Pryor

5:08:22 to 5:08:44( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: but unsustainable entitlement programs. as american families tightened their belts and businesses have had to do more with less, the federal government has taken the opposite path, spending more, growing bigger and becoming more involved in our private economy and our lives. over the past two years, paul williams at that trucking company that i talked about had to cut expenses to stay afloat.

Mark Pryor

5:08:45 to 5:09:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: they had to sell a couple of trucks, let people go. here in washington during that same time, the u.s. government through going deeper into debt, brought on more government employees an grew in size. during that same two years, washington spent 27% more in the so-called domestic discretionary spending that's debated on the floor this week.

Mark Pryor

5:09:06 to 5:09:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: it doesn't count the stimulus bill, another one-time spending, i'm told that gives us a staggering 80% increase in spending over the past couple of years. this historic control of spending affects our economy. it pushes up interest rates affecting car loans, mortgages, student loans.

Mark Pryor

5:09:27 to 5:09:48( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: it crowds out private investment and leaves us with three bad choices, far higher taxes, even more borrowing or both. this will surprise no one, but recently a group of 47 respected business economists agreed the singling biggest threat to -- single threat to our economy was our debt.

Mark Pryor

5:09:49 to 5:10:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: restoring fiscal strength is needed to create jobs. across ohio and across our country. mounting debts are likely to lead to the kind of debt we've seen in other countries like greece. the government's spending more than it takes in hurts our economy today and mortgages the future for our kids and grandkids. think about this, every child

Mark Pryor

5:10:11 to 5:10:32( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: born in america today automatically through no fault of their own inherits $45,000 in u.s. debt. people are looking for a better way. people are looking for leadership from washington that takes on those challenges that ohio's businesses and workers are facing every day. the status quo isn't working. there's an urgency about this that the american people get even while many in washington

Mark Pryor

5:10:33 to 5:10:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: seem to be in denial. we need to rise to that challenge and work together across party lines to meet our economic and fiscal problems head-on by aggressively putting in place pro-growth measures. we've got to do it now. we've got to think and act differently to compete and win in the global economy and give working families the hope of a better tomorrow.

Mark Pryor

5:10:56 to 5:11:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: we can no longer rest on our laurels. no longer afford the luxury of living with a substandard education system that doesn't produce young people with the 21st century stills that we need. we can't have a hopefullily complicated tax code that favors social engineering over sound business decisions.

Mark Pryor

5:11:18 to 5:11:38( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: we can no longer sit back while our dependence on foreign oil charts our destiny rather than american innovation and technology. we can't compete and win if our health care system is doubled the rest of the world while the outcome is unsatisfactory, particularly those american families without coverage. this is wrong for the small businesses at the roundtable

Mark Pryor

5:11:39 to 5:12:00( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: that i talked about who are trying to provide health care and stay afloat and it is wrong for families -- to revive the american economic miracle we need to revolutionize the way we think about all the major institutions of our economy. we need structural reform of our regulatory system, of our tax

Mark Pryor

5:12:01 to 5:12:22( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: system, of our energy policy, worker retraining and education, health care delivery, our trade policy and legal system and, of course, we must fix our broken budgeting system that has us so deeply in debt. this is not insurmountable. i know that because we're americans and we've done this before. we've waged a world war that

Mark Pryor

5:12:23 to 5:12:44( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: required more resources and sacrifice that we face today and came out stronger. we survived a civil war, great depression and cold war to emerge as the beacon of hope and opportunity for the rest of the world. there's a long line of distinguished senators from ohio who were part of these historic times including william henry harrison.

Mark Pryor

5:12:45 to 5:13:05( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: one famous predecessor is john glenn, an american hero, along with his wife annie, i've been honored to know and work with. i immediately followed senator voinovich, one of the finest public servants our state has known we are thank full for the historic legacy they lead.

Mark Pryor

5:13:06 to 5:13:26( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: there's another former ohio senator whose desk i requested, robert a. taft, a fellow cincinnatian. like me, he also served in the house of representatives and the executive branch. unlike me, he was first in his high school, college and law school class and

Mark Pryor

5:13:27 to 5:13:47( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: was said to have had the -- quote -- best mind in washington, unquote. democrats joked that he had the best mind in washington until he made it up. he was a principled and effective republican leader. in fact, when his peers commissioned a review of the top five u.s. senators in the history of this place, he was selected to be among them. that's why he is one of only five senators to have a portrait

Mark Pryor

5:13:48 to 5:14:10( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: hanging in the president's room right here off the senate floor. he was a featured profile in courage in john kennedy's book, and on his memorial across constitution avenue, it is written that it -- quote -- stands as a tribute to the honesty, indomitable courage and high principles of free government symbolized by his life.

Mark Pryor

5:14:11 to 5:14:32( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: you know, it's always dangerous to predict how a former senator would react to today's predicaments, but i'm confident that were robert a. taft among us today, he would rise in full-throated support of addressing the twin challenges we've talked about today. his honesty would force him to admit that our economic systems are not up to the global competition of the 21st century. his courage would force him to

Mark Pryor

5:14:33 to 5:14:55( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: insist that we address our budget woes, including entitlements. and his love of liberty would compel him to fight for solutions to our economic challenges that promote free markets and the power and dignity of the individual over the heavy hand of government. i will rely on my faith, my family and the good people of

Mark Pryor

5:14:56 to 5:15:17( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: ohio in my work here in this senate. as we have discussed, there is a lot of hard work to do. in my role, i hope to be worthy of this great and temporary privilege. i will work constructively with my colleagues to achieve results, including working with the senior senator from ohio, sherrod brown and others across the aisle. i will work every day to try to earn the confidence and trust

Mark Pryor

5:15:18 to 5:15:31( Edit History Discussion )

Mark Pryor: the people of ohio have placed in me. as we go forward together, may god bless ohio and this great nation and help guide us in our shared commitment to a better future. thank you for listening.

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