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Senate Proceeding on Mar 24th, 2010 :: 7:54:50 to 8:04:45
Total video length: 17 hours 55 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Tom Harkin

7:54:46 to 7:55:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and i yield to him -- might i ask, how much time do we have left? the pres minutes, 48 seconds. mr. baucus: mr. president, i yield as much time to the senator as he wishes to take, including 11 minutes a seconds. mr. harkin: i thank you. mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, i want to thank my friend from montana, chairman of the finance committee.

Tom Harkin

7:54:50 to 8:04:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Harkin

Tom Harkin

7:55:08 to 7:55:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: i thank him for all of his great leadership. and also senator dodd, who just spoke. i might just -- if i might just add a little historical footnote. senator baucus, chairman of the finance committee; senator dodd, who led the effort through the "help" committee; myself, as now

Tom Harkin

7:55:29 to 7:55:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: chairman of the "help" committee committee; chairman miller on the house side, chairman of the education and labor committee, and; chairman waxman, the chairman of the commerce committee, all of whom had big parts of the whole health care bill to develop. historical footnote. we were all sworn in on the same day in january of 1975.

Tom Harkin

7:55:50 to 7:56:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: it was a great class and our classmates, as history would have it, survived to be able to put together this great health care bill. and i again want to thank my -- my longtim friend and colleague from montana, senator baucus, for his extreme endurance in getting to us this point. mr. president, we're in the

Tom Harkin

7:56:12 to 7:56:32( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: midst of nation's capital. health reform is no longer a bill -- it is the law of the land. it's been signed. and just as the history books remember 1935 as the year f.d.r. sign social security into law, 1965 when lyndon johnson signed medicare into law, they'll now remember the year 2010 as the

Tom Harkin

7:56:33 to 7:56:53( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: year president barack obama signed comprehensive health reform into law. each of these three bills marked a giant step forward for the american people. each was stridently opposed by the special interests and defenders of the status quo. but in the end, in 1935, in 1965, and now in 2010, a critical mass of senators and

Tom Harkin

7:56:54 to 7:57:15( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: representatives rose to the historic occasion. they voted their hopes, not their fears. they created a better, fairer, more compassionate america for all of our citizens. as a nobel prize-winning economist recently put it, "the, the

Tom Harkin

7:57:16 to 7:57:38( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: new health reform law is -- and i quote -- "a victory for america's soul." "a victory for america's soul." at long last we are realizing senator ted kennedy's great dream of extending access to quality, affordable health insurance to every american. we're endg the last shameful bastion of legal discrimination

Tom Harkin

7:57:39 to 7:57:59( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and exclusion in our country. think about it. over the decades, we have outlawed disimination based on race, color, national origin. we have outlawed discrimination based on gender and religion. we've outlawed discrimination based on age and disability. but until now, it has been

Tom Harkin

7:58:00 to 7:58:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: perfectly legal to discriminate against our fellow americans because of illness. because of illness. and to exclude tens of millions of our citizens from decent health care simply because they could not afford insurance or afford health care. blatant discrimination.

Tom Harkin

7:58:21 to 7:58:42( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: when president obama signed health reform into law on tuesday, he set in motion a series of changes that will tear down these last barriers of discrimination and exclusion. that truly is a great moral victory. it is, indeed, a victory for america's soul.

Tom Harkin

7:58:43 to 7:59:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: mr. president, our work is not done. the reconciliation bill now before us includes a number of modifications to strengthen the new health reform law. it also includes reforms in the student lending program that in their own way are also profound and historic. i regret that these landmark education reforms have not gotten the attention they deserve.

Tom Harkin

7:59:05 to 7:59:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: senator dodd, i just listened to his speech, outlined in great detail what these reforms are and what they'll mean for our families and for our students. this bill in front of us now eliminates $61 billion in wasteful subsidies to banks, redirects most of that money to low-income college students in the form o incased pell grants.

Tom Harkin

7:59:27 to 7:59:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the status quo in student lending is a bizarre rube goldberg process that makes no sense the federal government pays private banks to make entirely risk-free loans. the banks then sell the loans back to the federal government and pocket hundreds of millions of dollars in fees.

Tom Harkin

7:59:48 to 8:00:09( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this is a brazen case of corporate welfare, a huge government giveaway to bankers, and this bill at long last will put a stop to it. mr. president, i want to state forthrightly, i am not antibank. i'm not antibanker. i have family members in the banking business and they do a great job. but who doesn't like free money?

Tom Harkin

8:00:10 to 8:00:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: if you give the banks free money, they love it. but if we've got money that we want to give away, i say don't give it to the banks, give it to low-income students so they c go to college. banks have lots of ways in which they can make money. a low-income student has no

Tom Harkin

8:00:31 to 8:00:52( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: other way to go to college but that we provide him and her access to meaningful pell grants. mr. president, i am disappoint that had our republican colleagues are doing everything in their power to delay and obstruct and kill this bill. reportedly they now plan to offer dozens and dozens of largely meaningless amendments to try to stretch the process

Tom Harkin

8:00:53 to 8:01:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: out and delay a final vote. mr. president, you might call th march madness. they know it's going to end. they just want to drag it out. let's be clear what's at stake. a vote against this bill is a vote against eliminating the doughnut hole and the mayor prescription drug program for seniors.

Tom Harkin

8:01:14 to 8:01:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: a vote against this bill is a vote against parents rights to keep their kids on their insurance plans until age 26. a vote against this bill is a vote against crackdown on fraud and abuse in medicare and medicaid programs.

Tom Harkin

8:01:36 to 8:01:57( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: it is a vote against discrimination in rural areas. it is a vote against tens of billions of dollars in corporate welfare for banks, a vote against redirecting that money to more generous pell grants to needy college students. i might add, mr. president, a vote against this bill is a vote against a very important provision. and i know an amendment has been offered to do away with what's

Tom Harkin

8:01:58 to 8:02:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: called the class act. the class act is now the law of the land. and here's what it is: it's a voluntary program. no one has to join it. it's fiscally solvent for 75 years. all it says that an individual during their working years can set aside some money so that if they, god forbid,

Tom Harkin

8:02:19 to 8:02:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: become disabled, they can have some income to come in to live in their own homes and not be put in a nursing home. that's the law of the land right now, and there's an before us to do away with that. over 275 groups representing people with disabilities and seniors support the class act, and we ought to keep it in the

Tom Harkin

8:02:40 to 8:03:01( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: law and not repeal it with an in short, who are determined to reconciliation bill need to decide whose side they're on. are they going to continue their die-hard defense of the health insurance companies and the banks? are they going to stand with ordinary americans who want

Tom Harkin

8:03:02 to 8:03:22( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: access to quality affordable, reliable health coverage and with needy young people who need pell grants in order to go to college? mr. president, it's time to choose. we're going to have a whole series of some of them will sound nice. some of them i would probably like to vote for myself if it

Tom Harkin

8:03:23 to 8:03:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: weren't to this bill. but we can't be lured into this by the siren's song of amendments that sound good but only have one purpose. that's to kill this bill, to delay it, to kill it, to make sure that it is not enacted into law. that's the only purpose of these amendments, make no mistake about it. so, mr. president, if an

Tom Harkin

8:03:47 to 8:04:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: amendment comes up that i like, might want to support, i will vote against it because it's that important to make sure that this reconciliation bill gets passed and sent to the president for his signature. so i say to all my friends on this side of the aisle, don't be lured, don't be lured by the siren's song of amendments t

Tom Harkin

8:04:08 to 8:04:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: may sound good. don't be afraid they're going to use it against you in a campaign. hey, they can use anything against you in a campaign. we all know that by now. let's stand united, let'stand strong. let's say no to the amendments designed only to kill this bill. i urge my colleagues to support

Tom Harkin

8:04:31 to 8:04:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: passage of the health care and education reconciliation act of 2010 and defeat all the amendments. let's get this bill to t president, and let's help our students get to college, and let's help the people of this country have better health care. mr. president, with that, i

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