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Senate Proceeding on Apr 13th, 2011 :: 3:03:25 to 3:26:00
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Benjamin L. Cardin

3:03:16 to 3:03:36( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: they have been approved by the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: mr. president, there has been a live debate on the floor of the senate concerning our budget, our 2011 budget. now we're starting to talk about

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:03:25 to 3:26:00( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Benjamin L. Cardin

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:03:37 to 3:03:59( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the 2012 budget, and i just think it's important that we point out what i hope is the obvious, and that the budget of our nation represents our vision for our future. it's a policy document that speaks to what our priorities will be. it provides the financial tools for us to be able to meet those objectives.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:04:00 to 3:04:21( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: and i know that we're in very difficult fiscal times. this is not the first time in the history of america. let me just remind my colleagues that in the 1990's, we were confronted with a large budget deficit. i happen to have been in the house of representatives during that time. and we saw through the leadership of president clinton that we were able to bring our

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:04:22 to 3:04:44( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: budget into balance, and we did from large deficits, but we did it in a way that maintained america's priorities and maintained the priorities for our children and our future, because we continued to fund those essential programs that allowed our nation to grow. and as a result of what we did in the 1990's, we saw

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:04:45 to 3:05:05( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: unprecedented growth in our economy because we did our budget the right way. speaking to america's future, speaking to our priorities and doing it in a fiscally responsible way. i think president obama was correct when he stated in his state of the union address that america will meet the challenges

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:05:06 to 3:05:27( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: of international competion, will do that by outeducating, outinnovating and outbuilding our competitors. well, that requires a budget that speaks to those priorities, a budget that speaks to educating our work force to provide the type of climate where america can continue to lead the world in research and

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:05:28 to 3:05:48( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: innovation, and that we pay attention to our infrastructure, whether it's transportation, whether it's water infrastructure, whether it's energy infrastructure so that we have the capacity to be able to compete internationally, that we can create the jobs that will be critically important for america. we know we need more jobs, we need good-paying jobs, and

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:05:49 to 3:06:10( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: that's what president obama's vision is about, and our budget needs to underscore that vision. yes, we need to do it in a fiscally responsible way, but we need to do it in a way that allows america's future to be secure. and that is why, mr. president, i so much opposed the budget that was sent over to us from

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:06:11 to 3:06:31( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the house of representatives, the 2011 budget, the h.r. 1 before the ability to reach a compromise. i did that because when you look at what h.r. 1 would have done, particularly in light of what the budget agreement we have now reached on the 2011 budget, you can't help but notice a huge

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:06:32 to 3:06:52( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: difference between our vision for america. when you look at providing for a competitive work force -- and i know we all agree, we have to have a work force that can compete -- look at the stark differences between the budget agreement and the house-passed budget. in n.i.h. research -- and i take

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:06:53 to 3:07:13( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: pride in this since n.i.h. has headquarters in the state of maryland -- most of the funding for our basic research, which is kate cally important for innovation, you can't get to the applied research unless you had the basic research. you can't get those good high-tech jobs unless you invest in basic research. well, thanks to the budget agreement that we have reached,

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:07:14 to 3:07:34( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: most of the funding will be able to be maintained for the basic research at n.i.h. if the house budget would have become law, it would have been been $1.4 billion less. that would have been a huge hit on america's ability to be able to compete in this global marketplace. well, you also need to have a

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:07:35 to 3:07:55( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: trained work force. you need job training and job corps programs. most of the funding has been maintained in this budget agreement for our job training and job corps programs, whereas if you look at the house-passed budget, they eliminated all the funds for job training and a 40% reduction in the job corps program.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:07:56 to 3:08:16( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: that was restored under the budget agreement that allows america to have the competitive work force it needs to meet its future challenges. but perhaps the area that i'll -- that i think people in maryland and the people in minnesota might recognize the most is what happens to pell grants, because i tell you, most students can't make it today unless they have some help in higher education.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:08:17 to 3:08:38( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: it's just too expensive to be able to afford without the help of programs such as pell grants. you need to have education behind -- beyond high school if you're going to be competitive today. well, the house-passed budget would have reduced pell grants by 15%. now, mr. president, i can assure

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:08:39 to 3:09:00( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: you, tuition isn't going down by 15% this year. tuition at our colleges and universities are going up, up and up. and i'm proud that we were able in the budget agreement to maintain the maximum pell grants at $5,550. we maintain the funding for race to the top funds because we want

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:09:01 to 3:09:21( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: excellence in k-12. the house-passed budget would have zeroed out, zeroed out the race to the top funds. head start. to me, if you would talk to a budget that really speaks to america's values, get young children the chance to succeed in school.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:09:22 to 3:09:43( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: head start has never been a partisan program. it's been supported by democrats and republicans, because you know why? there is proven results in head start. children that participate in head start will do better. we had those results. it's in our economic interests. the republican-passed budget in the house would have knocked

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:09:44 to 3:10:05( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: 218,000 children off of the head start program. it would have reduced 55,000 teachers and aides from head start programs around our nation. mr. president, i am pleased to see that the agreement that we will be voting on shortly restores all of the funds, all of the funds for the head start

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:10:06 to 3:10:26( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: program so that our children can get the head start they need to succeed in k-12. the budget speaks to our energy policies and transportation policies. it's interesting to look that the agreement reached by the --

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:10:27 to 3:10:49( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: by our negotiators restores more than $268 million in renewable energy and alternative energy sources. well, if we're going to be able to be competitive, we need to have an energy policy that makes sense. if we're going to keep jobs in america, we need an energy policy that makes sense fsm we're going to be secure, we've got to get ourselves off of foreign oil. if we're going to be fair to our environment, we need to have

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:10:50 to 3:11:11( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: alternative energy sources that compromise, restores a lot of the funds that were not in the house-passed budget document. and i might talk about one issue that's very important to the people who live in this region. we made a commitment two years ago that the federal government would participate with the surrounding jurisdictions in the

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:11:12 to 3:11:33( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: funding of the nation's transit system, the washington metropolitan area transit system, which is critically important to get federal workers to work and to our nation's capital. the federal government made a commitment of $150 million a year to help modernize that system. the taxpayers of virginia, maryland and the district are contributeing also to the

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:11:34 to 3:11:55( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: modernization of a system that is aged and critically important. we live in the second most congested area in the nation as far as commutes are concerned. the house of representatives in the republican-passed budget took out that $150 million, took it out. i'm proud that the compromise

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:11:56 to 3:12:19( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: that was reached restores that that $150 million. our budget speaks to our health and our environment. the health resources services administration was severely cut, severely cut in the republican-passed budget, and it would have affected care in each one of our communities.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:12:20 to 3:12:41( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: our negotiators restored restored $900 million to that budget. what does that mean? well, it means that for the 11,000 community health centers that are located in all of our states, that they will be able to continue the services that they're currently providing. now, i have before talked about

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:12:42 to 3:13:02( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the greater baden center located just a few miles from where we are today, how they have expanded service this year to deal with prenatal care because in america and in maryland, our infant mortality rate is too high. for a wealthy nation, for a wealthy state to have the type of infant mortality rates that we have is inexcusable.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:13:03 to 3:13:23( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: it's because we have low birth weight babies. some die, some survive and have a tough time in life and are expensive to our health care system. well, in our health centers, we're doing something about that. at the greater baby center, they're now going to provide prenatal care so pregnant women

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:13:24 to 3:13:44( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: can get the attention they need and deliver healthier babies. they're going to be able to continue that program. under the house-passed budget, they would not have. the math is simple. we invest in the health of americans. we understand that. that's our budget. the republican-passed house budget would have cut off those funds.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:13:45 to 3:14:06( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the affordable care act, we will be able to implement it. we're not going to be stopped as was the efforts made in the republican-passed budget. and as far as the environmental protection riders that we've talked about, these are the policy riders. i know that this is confusing to the people that are listening to this debate to understand that

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:14:07 to 3:14:28( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: the house-passed budget -- the house-passed budget by the republicans had a lot of policy issues that had absolutely nothing to do with the budget. they block the environmental protection agency from protecting the environment. let me say that again. they block the environmental protection agency from protecting the environment. they couldn't enforce the clean

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:14:29 to 3:14:49( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: air act, the clean water act for the people of maryland in this region, blocking the enforcement of the chesapeake bay program, a program that enjoys broad support from the people not only of our region but the nation. well, i'm pleased to say that the budget that we'll be voting on later this week eliminates

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:14:50 to 3:15:10( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: those restrictions. all of them are out. and thank goodness they are because they should never have been in the budget document to start off with. now i'll make it clear, mr. president, i'm disappointed by many of the provisions that are included in this compromise. it's a true compromise. it's not what the democrats would have written, i can assure you of that.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:15:11 to 3:15:31( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: it's certainly not what the republicans would have written. it's a true compromise, and that's what we need to go through, i understand. i feel? -- i feel compelled to let the people of maryland know of the need to reach a compromise. for example, the general services administration will have about a billion dollars less to deal with government construction. what will that mean?

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:15:32 to 3:15:52( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: well, at white oak, maryland, in white oak, we have f.d.a.'s expansion. well, that's going to be put on hold, which is not only going to community, it's going to affect our country, because we are talking about public health and safety. there's a rider that was attached that did survive that deals with the endangered

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:15:53 to 3:16:13( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: wonderful under the endangered species act. that's not how we should be acting. there's a remedy for dealing with the delisting, there's a process to go through. you shouldn't go down a dangerous precedent that starts congressional action, political action on delisting species that are included under the

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:16:14 to 3:16:34( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: endangered species act. the cuts for community development block grant are much more than i would like to see. these are programs that are important for our urban centers. at these times when their budgets are being hit the hardest, i think it's very unfortunate that we tell them we're just going to add to their challenges.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:16:35 to 3:16:55( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: we should be helping them during these times. we shouldn't be taking resources away from them. the federal transit administration has a major cut in this budget. i find that regrettable, particularly as it relates to their new start budget. i come from a state that has major new transit projects that we want to get moving. purple line to connect our suburban areas around

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:16:56 to 3:17:17( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: washington, the red line in baltimore, the carter city transitway to connect the 270 corridor for high-tech jobs. all those depend upon us continuing to move forward with sensible transit projects that, quite frankly, i think are in jeopardy as a result of the compromises that were needed to be made.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:17:18 to 3:17:38( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: teach for america is eliminated, the federal participation in that is eliminated. on monday, i had a chance to teach in teach for america. i was in a high school in baltimore with some very dedicated young people that are willing to give of their lives so america can compete in the future. we certainly should have continued the federal partnership in teach for america. and i talked about the environmental protection agency

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:17:39 to 3:17:59( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: and i didn't point out that the republican budget in the house cut that agency by 30%. 30%. well, we restored half of those funds but the cut's still going to be pretty severe. so i just wanted my colleagues to know that whereas i am very

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:18:00 to 3:18:20( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: pleased that a -- many decisions that were made in this compromise for 2011 budget that will allow us to be able to move forward as a nation for america's vision of being able to outeducate, outinnovate and outbuild our competitors, there are challenges as a result of the compromises that had to be made.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:18:21 to 3:18:41( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: and, mr. president, these discussions will continue now to the 2012 budget. we're already seeing that happen in. the house, they're already starting to -- we're already seeing that happen. in the house, they're already starting to act on what we know is the ryan budget, which is pretty much inspired by the tea party. it's pretty extreme, it's pretty radical. it's not a credible plan, in my view.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:18:42 to 3:19:05( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: it's not a credible plan to reduce the federal deficit. why do i say that? well, the ryan budget concentrates on domestic spending. it doesn't touch military spending and doesn't touch our revenues. let me correct that. it does deal with our revenues but it deals with it in the

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:19:06 to 3:19:27( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: wrong way. it not only extends every tax break that's curre available, providing tax relief for millionaires, but it provides additional tax relief. it lowers the highest rates. how's that going to be paid for? well, they're expecting they're going to take more out of

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:19:28 to 3:19:48( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: middle-income families. that's bad for middle-income families. but my guess is they're not even going to be able to reach those targets and we're going to have huge deficits as far as the eye can see. it's not a credible plan. the debt commission taught us if you're going to have a credible plan to deal with the deficit, you've got to deal with domestic spending, you've got to deal with military spending, you've got to deal with mandatory

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:19:49 to 3:20:09( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: spending and you have to deal with revenues. you've got to deal with all of them. the ryan budget does not. it's going to be hard for middle-income families. it protects amer wealthiest. and it attacks our seniors. attacks our seniors. the ryan budget would turn

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:20:10 to 3:20:30( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: medicare into a voucher program now, i can tell what you that means in dollars and cents. it means that our seniors who currently have -- currently have -- the largest out-of-pocket costs for health care than any other age group of americans, will see their health care costs go up dramatically,

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:20:31 to 3:20:51( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: double. and some of us rember what -- how it was for seniors to get health care before we had medicare. they had to fight with private insurance companies. private insurance companies are not interested in insuring people who make a lot of claims. guess what, as you get older, you make a lot of claims. what the republican budget would

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:20:52 to 3:21:12( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: do is tell our seniors, we're going to give you a voucher, now you go -- it's a limited amount of money. now, you go find a private insurance plan out there. and whatever it costs, you're going to have to pick up the difference. and we know it's going to cost a lot more than the voucher we're giving you. that's what they're doing. they're making it more expensive

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:21:13 to 3:21:34( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: for our seniors to afford health care where they are asking us to reduce their costs, not make it more expensive. but then the ryan budget goes further by block granting the medicaid program. that means, quite frankly, the medicaid program will not survive. we can talk about the hardships it will have on providing health care in our community, how it's going to have more and more

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:21:35 to 3:21:56( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: people use the emergency rooms rather than using their -- the preventive care or seeing doctors. that's all going to be -- absolutely happen if we ever were to block grant the medicare program. but let me just follow up on our seniors. many of our seniors depend upon the medicaid system and their families depend upon it for long-term care, nursing care.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:21:57 to 3:22:18( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: that's not going to survive. if we block grant that to our states. so the ryan budget not only is incredible as it -- isn't credible as it relates to dealing with the deficit, it also is very punitive against our seniors. but what i find probably the most i started this discussion, by saying our budget is our vision for our future. it speaks to our priorities for

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:22:19 to 3:22:39( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: our future. the ryan budget leaves our children behind. if we're going to be able to succeed, we've got to take care of our children. they're our future. we've got to deal with their education. we've got to deal with their health care. the ryan budget puts them at severe jeopardy. it's a -- it's a philosophical document that i don't think

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:22:40 to 3:23:00( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: represents the values america. i think our values are in our children and our future and in our ability to meet those economic challenges. i think there is a better way president obama is calling for a comprehensive pro-growth economic strategy that will

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:23:01 to 3:23:21( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: invest in winning the future. i would hope all of us could embrace that. don't we want a comprehensive pro-growth economic strategy that invests in winning the future? invests in our children? invests in education? invests in innovation? as president obama says, he wants to meet our values for

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:23:22 to 3:23:42( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: dignity of our retirees. think about that for one moment. how we treat our retirees speak to what we are as a nation. the dignity of our retirees. think about a retiree trying to find an insurance company that will take care of their insurance needs because we

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:23:43 to 3:24:03( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: dumped the medicare system. we can't let that happen. we can't let that happen. there is a better way. 64 of us in the senate have said there is a better way. we have said, look, it's time for us to be serious about a credible plan for our deficit.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:24:04 to 3:24:24( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: and we are prepared, 64 of us -- 32 democrats, 32 republicans -- have said we are prepared to not only cut our -- our domestic spending, we'll go after -- we'll look at bringing down mandatory spending and we'll look at military and we're look at revenues. there's a better way to do this.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:24:25 to 3:24:45( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: i think we can represent the best of america's future in our budget by providing education, innovation, job growth, health and environment policies that make sense and we can do it with fiscal responsibility. that's our mission. i know a lot of my employees come down here and say we've got to take care of the deficit, do the deficit.

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:24:46 to 3:25:07( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: i agree with that. but remember, our budget document is our statement about america's future. it's our policy document. and america needs stand up for quality education, for the belt health care in the world. we're encouraging innovation

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:25:08 to 3:25:30( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: that will give us the jobs of the future so that america can continue to lead the world. i think america deserves nothing less and i intend to continue to fight for that type of vision for america. and with that, mr. president, i notice an absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk

Benjamin L. Cardin

3:25:31 to 3:25:36( Edit History Discussion )

Benjamin L. Cardin: will call the roll.

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