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Senate Proceeding on Apr 7th, 2011 :: 8:35:30 to 8:45:50
Total video length: 11 hours 48 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Claire McCaskill

8:35:28 to 8:35:49( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: floor. the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mrs. mccaskill: mr. president, i think there are times around here that we lose sight about what real people are -- are doing in our home states.

Claire McCaskill

8:35:30 to 8:45:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

8:35:50 to 8:36:11( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i think we lose sight of the struggles, their daily struggles, how they live their life with integrity and honor every day and go to work, and yesterday we got a call in my office from a young lady, and she was on her cell phone. she is a nurse, a nurse's aide at the v.a. hospital in st. louis.

Claire McCaskill

8:36:12 to 8:36:32( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: she was on her break, she was on her cell phone, and she talked to the young lady who answers our phone and said i want you to tell the senator that i've got kids and i bring home the paycheck, and the way i feed my kids is with my paycheck i get

Claire McCaskill

8:36:33 to 8:36:54( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: working here at the v.a. hospital, and i'm scared. i'm scared. about what's going to happen if all of a sudden i quit getting my paycheck. i've got really no place to turn i'm a single mom, and i am very worried.

Claire McCaskill

8:36:55 to 8:37:16( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and then she said would you hold on a minute? and then she handed her cell phone to someone else in the break room at john cochran v.a. hospital, and then that woman handed the cell phone to another woman. and by the time this conversation was over, the young lady that answers the phone in my office had talked to a half a

Claire McCaskill

8:37:17 to 8:37:38( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: dozen women who don't make a lot of money, who go to work every day caring for our veterans in a veterans' hospital. and you know what they all said? why is this happening? why is this happening? and if latonya and her friends were here right now, i would

Claire McCaskill

8:37:39 to 8:38:00( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: say, you know, that's a darned good question why this is happening. this is not a game. this is not a game of ping-pong where we're hitting the ball up and down this hall from the house to the senate, fighting over divisive social issues that, frankly, our country has struggled with for decades and

Claire McCaskill

8:38:01 to 8:38:21( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: will continue to struggle with. this is about running our government and about the money it takes to run our government, and that's all it should be about. it shouldn't be a time for us to argue about gitmo, it shouldn't be a time for us to argue about women's reproductive health. it should be about funding our government.

Claire McCaskill

8:38:22 to 8:38:43( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we have many other occasions we can debate those issues and disagree, and reasonable people do disagree. but now is not the time to debate those issues, at the 11th hour when latonya is not going to get a paycheck to feed her kids. i'm for cuts.

Claire McCaskill

8:38:44 to 8:39:05( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i have been the odd man out many times in my caucus fighting for cuts. i have worked on spending cuts last year for -- with senator sessions from alabama. i continue to work with senator corker about cuts. i am somebody who said the original proposals that my caucus made were way too little,

Claire McCaskill

8:39:06 to 8:39:26( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: but you know what i'm beginning to feel like? i'm beginning to feel like i have been duped, mr. president, because i thought that's what this was about. i thought it was about cuts. now, let's review the facts here. the chairman of the house republican budget committee and the speaker of the republican house said we need to cut

Claire McCaskill

8:39:27 to 8:39:47( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: cut $32 billion out of the remaining budget this year. i've got to tell you the truth, i didn't think that was unreasonable. now, i am -- you know, i will admit, i'm to the right of much of my caucus on some of this cutting stuff, but i didn't think that was unreasonable, so i was glad when we went to the republicans and said you know

Claire McCaskill

8:39:48 to 8:40:08( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: what? we'll cut, we'll cut what you wanted to cut. in fact, we'll cut more than what the house speaker and the chairman of the house budget committee wanted to cut, and that's where we are today. we have put more cuts on the table than they initially recommended. i'm beginning to realize this

Claire McCaskill

8:40:09 to 8:40:31( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: isn't about cuts. this is about a much more extreme agenda that has to do with social policy, not about money. they keep moving the goal post. what is the number? they keep moving the goal post. we have gone more than halfway, and in my neck of the woods,

Claire McCaskill

8:40:32 to 8:40:53( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: that's called a compromise. we have got republicans controlling the house, the democrats control the senate. that's why compromise is so important. what is wrong with a compromise? let's do the compromise, fund the government and get on with it so latonya can get her paycheck and the other women that work with her at the v.a. hospital can get their paycheck.

Claire McCaskill

8:40:54 to 8:41:15( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: they will not take yes for an answer on cuts at this point. they want to make it about something else. was the c.r. today just about military pay? no. no, it was not. i did notice one thing they didn't put in the c.r. today -- why won't the house republicans pass the bill that we've asked

Claire McCaskill

8:41:16 to 8:41:36( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: them to pass to cut our pay if the government shuts down? i will certainly not take a paycheck and no one should take a paycheck. why is that not being passed by the republican house of representatives? why wasn't that put on the c.r. today? they want to once again pass something about moving people out of gitmo, which has nothing

Claire McCaskill

8:41:37 to 8:41:58( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: to do with the budget through the rest of the year. when they were doing the gitmo thing, why didn't they put the pay for members in there? why didn't that occur? and i know the talking point is that this is -- this is one of the talking points we're hearing from the other side, well, you should have gotten this done last year. well, we can get it done today,

Claire McCaskill

8:41:59 to 8:42:20( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: we could get it done today. we have gone more than halfway on a compromise, and this is no longer about the cuts, this isn't about the money. this is about an extreme agenda, and latonya's paycheck hangs in the balance, and her friends in the break room at the v.a. hospital. let's review what happened last year on the budget. the republican party participated in every

Claire McCaskill

8:42:21 to 8:42:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: appropriations committee in the senate and every appropriations committee passed a bill, and at the end of the year, that bill was brought to the floor because the appropriators believed that the republican appropriators were supporting the bills they helped write. in fact, those republican appropriators stuffed that bill full of earmarks for republicans.

Claire McCaskill

8:42:42 to 8:43:02( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: hundreds of earmarks for republicans were stuffed in that bill, and it was brought to the floor, and i remember the night it was brought to the floor. it was in the lame duck. and then the republicans decided they didn't want to support it anymore. and by the way, it wasn't as if passing anything around here was easy last year. if anybody was paying attention, it was about let's drag this

Claire McCaskill

8:43:03 to 8:43:24( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: out, let's be stubborn, let's make sure they have got to get to 60 on everything. and is there blame to go around that the budget didn't get done last year? sure, there is blame that can go on both sides of this aisle. i'm not here to say that it was the republicans' fault or the democrats' fault, but there certainly -- it is really, really -- it really, really takes a lot of nerve to say the only reason we don't have a

Claire McCaskill

8:43:25 to 8:43:46( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: budget is because the democrats were not willing to pass a budget last year. it was a little more complicated than that, if people will remember the facts as they occurred at the time. so it appears to me now that there are certainly a lot of people down the hall that want the shutdown. i was really interested when i

Claire McCaskill

8:43:47 to 8:44:07( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: saw in the paper that when speaker boehner announced to his caucus they were preparing for a shutdown, he got a standing ovation. well, i can assure you there are no standing ovations in our caucus. there are no standing ovations. and i'll tell you what. when i go to sleep tonight, i'm

Claire McCaskill

8:44:08 to 8:44:28( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: going to be thinking about latonya. i'm going to be thinking about her kids and what she is telling them tonight and what not getting one paycheck means to that family. just one paycheck can make the difference, can send a family down a path of getting behind on their mortgage, getting behind on their bills, and then not having a way to catch up.

Claire McCaskill

8:44:29 to 8:44:49( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: and that's what we should be thinking about right now. not about those social issues that we disagree on and we can debate and disagree on for many, many years, as we have for the last 40 in this country, but really can we get a number, can we make the goal post quit moving, can we agree on the cuts, and then get on to the

Claire McCaskill

8:44:50 to 8:45:12( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: hard work. i mean, how embarrassing is it that we are fighting over literally a few billion dollars in differences, and if this is so much about cutting the debt, for another day i want to talk about this, but really the republican budget was released this week, and guess what it adds to the deficit over the

Claire McCaskill

8:45:13 to 8:45:33( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: next decade. the ryan road map. $8.2 trillion it adds to the deficit over the next decade. that's how serious they're getting about the deficit. cuts taxes for a lot of wealthy people, doesn't d deficit. so i'm all for cuts. i've stood for cussments i will continue to --

Claire McCaskill

8:45:34 to 8:45:50( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i've stood for cuts. i will continue to stand for cuts. this federal government has to shrink. but what's going on right now is a political game and it's shameful and it should stop. and we should make an agreement on the numbers, move on sure latanya gets paid. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.

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