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Senate Proceeding on Mar 29th, 2011 :: 0:51:50 to 1:15:05
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Jeff Sessions

0:51:46 to 0:52:09( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: celebrate. small businesses, our job creators, deserve no less. madam president, thank you. i yield the floor.

Jeff Sessions

0:51:50 to 1:15:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

0:52:12 to 0:52:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: senator from alabama. mr. sessions: government funding is set to expire next week on april 8. we are in the midst of a 2011 fiscal year that ends september 30, and the congress has only appropriated money through april 8.

Jeff Sessions

0:52:34 to 0:52:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: if congress does not a time, the government would shut down. congress needs to act, but congress needs to listen to the american people, listen to the financial experts that we have dealt with, and to reduce spending and reduce the surging debt that we have, the surging

Jeff Sessions

0:52:58 to 0:53:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: annual deficit that we face this year. last predicted i think $1.6 trillion or so. maybe $1.5 trillion now. the largest deficit in the history of the republic. nothing has ever been seen like it before. and it has got to be addressed. there's no way around it.

Jeff Sessions

0:53:19 to 0:53:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: so we've got this deadline hanging over our heads, and the reason is that my colleagues and the democratic leadership here in the senate won't agree to the kind of substantial but realistic spending reductions that the house of representatives has sent to us. they sent us a budget plan that

Jeff Sessions

0:53:41 to 0:54:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: i think will work. but what we hear is that the sky will fall if we trim the $61 billion from a $3.7 trillion. $3.7 billion that we spend. if we reduce that spending by $61 billion, somehow this will

Jeff Sessions

0:54:05 to 0:54:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: cause the country to sink into oblivion. the american people know better than that. that is not realistic. of course we can cut those kind of numbers out of this huge budget that we have. and the american people will be better off for it. as ranking member on the budget committee, we've looked at the

Jeff Sessions

0:54:28 to 0:54:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: numbers, and that $61 billion reduces the baseline of federal spending by $61 billion. but over ten years, because its baseline reduction would save $860 billion. this is the kind of small but significant step that does make a difference.

Jeff Sessions

0:54:49 to 0:55:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: people say it doesn't make any difference. why don't we just increase spending? why do we cut spending at all? of course we've got to reduce spending. the american people know that the borrowed money and overspending of the past two years have failed to produce what it promised. instead, all that has been

Jeff Sessions

0:55:11 to 0:55:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: achieved through this massive surge and federal spending through the stimulus package and other programs is a crushing debt burden that weakens our economy and is a drag on our economy. as experts witnesses have told us, it threatens our economic future.

Jeff Sessions

0:55:32 to 0:55:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: alan simpson, former republican senator; erskine bowles, formerly the chief of staff to president clinton, appointed by president obama to cochair the debt commission, the fiscal commission, reported to us -- and jointly they submitted a written statement that said that if the united states fails to

Jeff Sessions

0:55:55 to 0:56:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: act, it faces the most predictable economic crisis in its history." this is a real warning. and they said that such a crisis could arrive as soon as or two years. people have been saying we're on the wrong track f. we don't get off of it if three, four, five

Jeff Sessions

0:56:16 to 0:56:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: years we're going to have a crisis. more and more people are warning us that that crisis is sooner. mr. bowles said give or take a little bit, we'll have a crisis. mr. simpson said i think within a year. the american people rightly expect their elected leaders to confront this threat with seriousness and candor.

Jeff Sessions

0:56:38 to 0:57:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: but the president has never once looked the american people in the eye and told them the truth about the financial crisis we face. has he ever discussed those kind of words with the american people that we face an actual crisis? we could have a debt problem that hit us very quickly, just like the one in 2007, that put us in a tkraoep session, and

Jeff Sessions

0:57:01 to 0:57:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: we're on a fragile recovery now. we need to keep that recovery going. the last thing we need to do is have another recession, some sofrt financial -- sort of financial kickback, pushback, collapse. it puts more people out of work. it weakens an already struggling economy.

Jeff Sessions

0:57:24 to 0:57:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it's not necessary that this occur. the president and his budget director have instead, being truthful with us, falsely boasted to the american people that their budget, that under their budget we will -- quote -- "live within our means." and -- quote -- "not add more to

Jeff Sessions

0:57:45 to 0:58:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: the debt." and -- quote -- "we're not going to spend any more money than we're taking in." he submitted his ten-year budget to the congress, and that's what he says this does. but not one of those statements is true. not one.

Jeff Sessions

0:58:08 to 0:58:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: when the budget was announced, mr. bowles, whom the president appointed to head the debt commission, said it's nowhere close to what we need to be doing to get our house in order. in fact, the congressional budget office finds this, that our annual deficits never once fall below $748 billion.

Jeff Sessions

0:58:29 to 0:58:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: i was saying $600 billion. now the congressional budget office has done an independent analysis of the president's budget, and they say the lowest single annual deficit in ten years would be $748 billion. well, is it going down, you ask? isn't this budget going to put us living within our means and

Jeff Sessions

0:58:52 to 0:59:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: live on what we take? well, in the outer years, the deficits, out seven, eight, nine, ten years of the president's budget, they're going up. and in the tenth year, the budget deficit is $1.2 trillion, $1.2 billion deficit that year.

Jeff Sessions

0:59:14 to 0:59:34( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: you might ask: what do those numbers mean? we take in about $3.7 trillion -- excuse me. we spend this year about $3.7 trillion through september 30. we take in $2.2 trillion. this is why we're on an unsustainable path, and we've got to get off of it. it's not a partisan matter.

Jeff Sessions

0:59:35 to 0:59:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it's a matter that we've got to face reality. we still have members of the senate in denial. we have the majority leader down here complaining that he might not get money for his poetry cowboy, poetry festival in nevada. give me a break.

Jeff Sessions

0:59:56 to 1:00:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: this country is heading in a path of great danger, and we need to turn around. just imagine, if you would, the fate of a c.e.o. if in the process of asking for shareholders to buy company stock, he declared -- quote -- "we're not adding to our debt."

Jeff Sessions

1:00:17 to 1:00:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: while his accountants were telling him that the company's debt was on a path to double, as our debt is. the president even nominated a budget director, helen higgenbottom, who has no budget experience, deputy director, who attempted to defend these claims before the budget committee last week.

Jeff Sessions

1:00:39 to 1:00:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: i don't know, maybe they couldn't find anybody that would take the job with experience. the best i can tell, she has never had a single business course or economics course, never managed any kind of organization or budget ever. majored i think in political science and campaigned for president obama and senator john

Jeff Sessions

1:01:00 to 1:01:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: kerry. we need some seriousness here. and we in congress are not stepping up to the plate, frankly. we're not taking the kind of decisive action needed to curb our rising debt, and the

Jeff Sessions

1:01:21 to 1:01:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: majority leader, our good friend, senator reid, which is a tough job, i've got to tell you, it's a tough job, but now he's saying that the problem is as a division within the republican party. you see, you have got these extremists over here, new republicans who got elected last election promising to do something about spending, and they are out of you see, they are extremists.

Jeff Sessions

1:01:42 to 1:02:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and there are some good republicans over here that they have been here a long time. you know, we know how to get along and cut deals, and we're going to take care of this thing. you have just got to keep these people under but i might remind the leader that nearly -- that every single

Jeff Sessions

1:02:06 to 1:02:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: republican either voted for the the $61 billion in cuts or called for more cuts. there is no division in the republican party about the need to have reasonable and significant reductions in expenditures. there is an essentially anonymous republican agreement,

Jeff Sessions

1:02:28 to 1:02:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: we ought to cut $61 billion or more from this year's discretionary budget. by contrast, the majority leader lost nearly 1/5 of his caucus on his proposal which was basically to do nothing. cut $4 billion, i think, reduce spending by $4 billion. ten members or more defected. they knew that wasn't enough,

Jeff Sessions

1:02:49 to 1:03:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: even under pressure from the president and from the majority leader. so it's clear where the momentum lies, and i just want to repeat again, though, this is not and cannot be seen as a partisan squabble. the chairman of the federal

Jeff Sessions

1:03:15 to 1:03:36( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: reserve talked to us a few weeks ago. he to the budget committee, and this is what mr. bernanke said. he talked about the congressional budget office debt projections. i have made some reference to those and how dangerous they show our path to be.

Jeff Sessions

1:03:37 to 1:03:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: this is what mr. bernanke said." the c.b.o. projections, by design, ignore the adverse effects that such high debt and deficits would likely have on our economy, but if the government debt and deficits were actually to grow at the pace envisioned in this

Jeff Sessions

1:03:59 to 1:04:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: scenario, the economic and financial effects would be severe. diminishing confidence on the part of investors that deficits will be brought under control would likely lead to sharply rising interest rates on government debt, and potentially

Jeff Sessions

1:04:20 to 1:04:42( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: to broader financial turmoil. moreover, high rates of government borrowing would both drain funds away from capital private formation and increase our foreign indebtedness with adverse long-term effects on u.s. output, incomes and standard of living. he goes on to say it is widely understood that the federal

Jeff Sessions

1:04:43 to 1:05:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: government is on an unsustainable path, yet as a nation, we have done little to address this critical threat to our economy. doing nothing will not be an option indefinitely the longer we wait to act, the greater the risk and the more wrenching the inevitable changes on the budget will be. by contrast, the prompt adoption

Jeff Sessions

1:05:06 to 1:05:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: of a credible program to reduce future deficits would not onlien hans the economic growth and stability in the long run but would also yield substantial near-term benefits now, in terms of lower long-term interest rates and increased consumer and

Jeff Sessions

1:05:29 to 1:05:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: business confidence. close quote. this is the head of the federal reserve, the man most, i guess, supposedly knowledgeable about the economy of the united states of america. we're not making this up. so we have a proposal from our democratic majority in the senate to do nothing. basically, to do zero, nada.

Jeff Sessions

1:05:50 to 1:06:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and this kind of warning we have got, we are living in a fantasy world if we don't think we can cut $61 billion from this budget. my friend, john mcmillan, just elected the director of agriculture and industries in alabama, is facing a critical crisis in his department.

Jeff Sessions

1:06:13 to 1:06:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: i just saw the headline in the paper. he has 200 employees -- he had 200 employees. he's going to have to lay off 60 of them. cities and counties are doing this kind of thing all over the country. do you think the state of alabama will cease to exist if that happens? it's too much. i hope -- it's sad that they

Jeff Sessions

1:06:36 to 1:06:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: have got that kind of challenge before them. we don't have to do that much right now, but if we took those kind of steps, something significant, we could make a bigger difference than a lot of people realize in the debt that we're facing.

Jeff Sessions

1:06:57 to 1:07:17( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: governor cuomo in new york and christie in new jersey and brown in california and others all over the country are making real significant alterations in their level of spending while we worry about protecting the cowboy poetry festival in nevada.

Jeff Sessions

1:07:18 to 1:07:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and remember this: people have forgotten this. since bob took -- since president obama took office, discretionary spending on our federal programs in congress have increased 24%. we didn't have the money for that. we never should have increased

Jeff Sessions

1:07:39 to 1:07:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: spending that much. it was a big error. but you know what they said? don't worry, we're making investments in the future. but you've got to have money to make investments. if you don't have money, how can you make investments? all of this increase was borrowed. we're in huge debt, and when you increase spending, you have to borrow the money to increase

Jeff Sessions

1:08:00 to 1:08:24( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: spending. every penny is borrowed. we did an $800 billion stimulus package. every penny was borrowed. we will pay $30 billion-plus a year interest on that borrowed money for as long as i'm alive, and longer, no doubt. there is no plan to pay that

Jeff Sessions

1:08:30 to 1:08:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: debt off. and i know people are talking about working out. they are trying to reach a compromise so we don't have to shut the government down, and i certainly hope that's true. but i do not believe that we need any tax and spend compromise, and i will not

Jeff Sessions

1:08:51 to 1:09:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: support that, and i don't think the american people will support it either. they know we spend too much. they know we have ramped up spending $800 billion for the stimulus package, discretionary spending has gone up 24% in two years, and they know we can reduce federal spending without

Jeff Sessions

1:09:12 to 1:09:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: this country sinking into the ocean. that's what they expect us to do. that's what governors are doing, mayors are doing, county commissioners are doing, all over my state, all over america. we have got to recognize that washington is spending too much, not taxing too little.

Jeff Sessions

1:09:33 to 1:09:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: how can we ask americans to pay more in taxes when washington is not even willing to cut cut $61 billion from our bloated bureaucracy? if i have a proposition from our colleagues who wish to raise taxes before we consider asking the american people to pay another cent in taxes, why don't we first drain every cent of

Jeff Sessions

1:09:55 to 1:10:17( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: waste from the federal bureaucracy? we will never ourselves out of this crisis and put this nation on a real path to prosperity unless we bring our spending under control. america's strength is not measured by the size of our government, but the scope of our

Jeff Sessions

1:10:18 to 1:10:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: freedoms and the vigor and vitality of the american people and their willingness to invest and work hard for the future. that's what makes us strong. endless spending, taxing and borrowing is a certain path to decline, and we're on that path today and we must get off it. so we know the threat, we know

Jeff Sessions

1:10:39 to 1:10:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: what we need to do. the economy is trying to rebound. so let's take some good steps today. let's pass this $61 billion reduction in spending this fiscal year. it will amount to about about $860 billion over ten years. it will be a very significant

Jeff Sessions

1:11:00 to 1:11:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: first step. that's what's before us today. not the other issues. we have got to decide what we are going to do about funding the government between now and september 30. that's the rest of this fiscal year. let's take a firm step on that. let's begin to look at what we

Jeff Sessions

1:11:23 to 1:11:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: are going to do for next year's budgets and what we're going to do about our surging entitlement programs that are on an unsustainable course. we can do all those things and leave our country healthy and vigorous and prosperous for the future. i truly believe that that's the kind of thing that we need to be

Jeff Sessions

1:11:45 to 1:12:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: doing now. so i am really baffled that we don't know why that the president is not leading more, he's not talking directly to the american people about why this is important. is it just a political squabble

Jeff Sessions

1:12:06 to 1:12:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: with the president sitting here and going to rio and talking about libya, or is it true, as mr. bernanke says, we -- we are on an unsustainable path? or is it true that mr. erskine bowles, the president's own director of the fiscal

Jeff Sessions

1:12:28 to 1:12:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: commission, says that we are facing the most predictable economic crisis in this country's history, and said it could happen within two years? are we making this up? the american people get they tell me what's going on in washington?

Jeff Sessions

1:12:49 to 1:13:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: you've got to get your house in order. that's what this past election was about. people understand we need some action and some leadership here, but we're not getting i just truly believe if we could get together, if we could get a

Jeff Sessions

1:13:11 to 1:13:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: bipartisan effort to look at this $61 billion, we could disagree on how to reduce that spending. maybe republicans have this idea and democrats have that. let's work all that out, but let's reach an agreement that actually reduces spending by enough to make a difference, that the world would say wow, the congress is beginning to

Jeff Sessions

1:13:32 to 1:13:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: take some steps. that was a nice, good, strong first step. now if they will stay on that path, maybe the united states will get on the road to prosperity again and stay out of this dangerous debt crisis area that we're in today and get on the right path to prosperity. this country's ready to grow.

Jeff Sessions

1:13:53 to 1:14:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it's ready to rebound. it just needs a clear signal from washington, in my opinion. american leaders, those of us in this congress, have no higher duty, no greater moral responsibility than to take all appropriate steps to protect the good people we serve from the

Jeff Sessions

1:14:16 to 1:14:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: clear and present danger we face. it's time to get busy about it, madam president. i believe that if we act strongly and with clarity, the american people not only will support it but they will be happy with it and it will make a positive difference for our country, and i would thank the president and would yield the

Jeff Sessions

1:14:38 to 1:14:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:

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