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Senate Proceeding on Apr 29th, 2009 :: 4:59:25 to 5:14:20
Total video length: 10 hours 21 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Tom Udall

4:59:22 to 4:59:42( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: america and that will give america confidence that they are going to have an economy once again. that economy will create jobs and good incomes for their families. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from delaware is recognized.

Tom Udall

4:59:25 to 5:14:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Udall

Tom Udall

4:59:43 to 5:00:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: mr. carper: thank you, i will talk, as my one that has been -- the resolution that has been prepared for our consideration that's occurred between the house and sate. i express to the chairman of the committee, to senator conrad, for the work he and his staff and other members of the committee, democrat and

Tom Udall

5:00:05 to 5:00:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: republican, including senator gregg. we are -- just to respond to what my colleague from texas just said, this administration didn't inherit a beach. th situation. we as a country have been around, sort of officially, since 1787.

Tom Udall

5:00:29 to 5:00:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: if you go from that's about, i think, about 214 years. we ran up in that period, roughly $5 trillion worth of debt. essentially we double that over the last eight years. we just in eight years. as muc new debt in the last eight years as the first 214 years as a nation.

Tom Udall

5:00:52 to 5:01:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: i didn't hear the kind of growth in the deficit and the national debt during those eight years as we hear from our friends on the other side of aisle. my colleague know i am not a partisan guy but it is important to say, this i been dealt, it is the hand the administration has been dealt. the question is, what do we do?

Tom Udall

5:01:13 to 5:01:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: we have a couple of wars we're fighting, an economy, the worst since the great depression, and we have to do something about it. one of the first things they decided to do is try to jolt the economy back to life. i rember the old movies with dr. frankenstein in the laboratory and

Tom Udall

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

Tom Udall: toll roads to the monster -- the elect toltheelectrodes and vote the back to life. hopefully, we will spend money that is used to produce jobs that will add to the value for good public purpose in our community.

Tom Udall

5:01:57 to 5:02:17( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: that is what we have done with the stimulus package. as we go through this year and next year the deficit will be a whole lot bigger than certainly i'm comfortable with. i was elected to the house and served there 10 years before i became governor of governor. i was a deficit hawk. in my heart i still am. what i want to do today is about things we can do, ought to do, in some cases are doing, to

Tom Udall

5:02:18 to 5:02:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: bring the deficit down i'm encouraged when i hear our new president say the deficit is large this year but the goal is over the next four years to reduce the deficit in half. i think that's fine. the important thing is we did not just stop there. if there is another four years in thisdministration or a new administration it is important we continue to make progress and

Tom Udall

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

Tom Udall: drive the deficit back closer zero. i amendment person who thi spend when we're in a time of economic calamity, a time of war. as it turns out now, we're in both, hopefully in four years we won't be, and hopefully sooner, and then we can trim back spending. when the economy is

Tom Udall

5:03:03 to 5:03:25( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: not in a national war, it is present to balance the budget. one thing i was proudest as governor, we balanced our budget for eight years, we taxes and repaid down our debt which made me proud. hopefully, we'll be in a position in years to come, much

Tom Udall

5:03:29 to 5:03:49( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: as we were in 1999 an and 2000 paying down the budget. i want to talk at length about some of the provisions. in order to better match revenues and expenditures going forward, we avoid the question of taxes. as far as i'm concerned before we raise a lot of taxes the

Tom Udall

5:03:50 to 5:04:13( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: first thing, maybe the better thing, is collect the taxes that are owed. and every year we hear of a tax gap. last one was officially done, i think, around eight or nine years ago by the i.r.s. and they figured out at the time we had a tax gap, monies owed to the treasury and not collected by the treasury of $300 billion a year but by most estimates i

Tom Udall

5:04:14 to 5:04:35( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: hear it is maybe $400 billion a half or a third of that, that is real money that makes a real dent on our deficit. we make a lot of improper payments in this government of ours. i chair add subcommittee with jurisdiction over that sort of thing and we know our improper payments that we federal government mostly overpayments. some underpayments.

Tom Udall

5:04:36 to 5:04:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: and we need to do a better job. we know now where the improper payments are going, or at least the departments that are making them but we are not doing a very good job of actually going back after we have made an overpayment, covering the money, recapturing the money. we are just going

Tom Udall

5:04:57 to 5:05:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: surface in medicar and medicare program we started about three years private firms and and monies that we have overpaid to p suppliers, let's go back and get the money we have overpaid. so we do it in three straights: california, texas, florida.

Tom Udall

5:05:19 to 5:05:40( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: the first year the effort recovered almost nothing. the little bit. last year we recovered about $700 million. that's real money. and the idea is not just to do it in three states but all 50 states and i'm encouraged we are going to do that. if we can recover that kind of money if overpayments for medicare, i guess we could

Tom Udall

5:05:41 to 5:06:01( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: probably recover money in medicaid and two of our big three programs that suck up a lot of money, one of the first issues we should face there is reducing the overpayments and going after the money and recovering that which we have spent or in some cases misspent. third area that we need to focus on, the area of major weapons systems, spending a lot of

Tom Udall

5:06:02 to 5:06:23( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: money. go back, i think, 2000 we were overspending on major weapon system in cost overruns about $50 billion in 2000 and by 2005 we were up to $200 billion, and last year up to $300 major weapons cost overruns. clearly that is an area we can do better. get to do better.

Tom Udall

5:06:24 to 5:06:44( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: secretary gates, god bless him, came forthwith a number of proposals that deserve our support. i hope they'll enjoy our support as we try to better align weapon systems we are ordering and buying with the wars we're likely to fight and do a better job in controlling costs for the weapon systems. next area, we own a lot of property.

Tom Udall

5:06:45 to 5:07:05( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: the federal government owns a lot of property of not just land or military bases and not just the building but all of the above. in some cases we don't use the properties. we don't use them. we may pay security for the properties. we may pay for utilities for the properties. but we depth u and we don't do a very good job of disposing properties that are not used. we need to dispose of t prop

Tom Udall

5:07:06 to 5:07:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: those are a couple of things we can do and ought to be doing and i hope in the years to come we'll do more of each of those. one of the things i mention is the president has, most governors have line-item veto power, the ability to go and lineout a single line

Tom Udall

5:07:27 to 5:07:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: temperature in in -- line item in the budget and they can go through lines of the bills and veto lines in different of a spending package. we have something like that in the federal government called rescission power. the president can sign an submit that to the congress, and the congress can vote it up or down but if we don't do anything

Tom Udall

5:07:48 to 5:08:09( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: it kind of goes away and the president sends rescission messages to us from time to time and we rescission of the proposal will sort go away. i think that we -- and back to 1995 and 1996, there was a proposal in the clinton administration to change that. and the idea was to make the president's rescission powers

Tom Udall

5:08:10 to 5:08:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: look powers. i thought it was a flawed effort. i think line-item veto powers are oversold in terms of their value of reducing the deficit but there is some virtue there. they are a good tool to have. in 1995 and up with, passed here, passed in the house, the president signed it, the president proposed a

Tom Udall

5:08:31 to 5:08:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: rescission and the congress has to vote on it and unless they vote it down with a two-thirds vote in the house and the senate the proposed rescission becomes law. we are not talking about a bill just a line or a couple of lines in a bill, the president could propose to rescrippe

Tom Udall

5:08:52 to 5:09:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: recommendations on a tax bill, entitlement bill or all of the above, could become law unless senate said no, we will override that. that's a huge shift of power from the legislative branch to the executive branch. i didn't think it was a good idea then. and the supreme court didn't

Tom Udall

5:09:13 to 5:09:33( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: think it was a good and a circuit cou of appeals through it out for being unconstitutional. i think the idea, having said that, t idea of at least compelling us to give a presidential court, a day on the floor, is a good idea. and what a number of us have done, 21 of us have done have

Tom Udall

5:09:34 to 5:09:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: cosponsored legislation that we introduced this week, democrats and republicans, and behind the legislation is when the president signs a spending bill, not a tax bill, not a revenue bill, not entitlement measure, but when he or she signs an appropriations bill into law, that he would have or she would have the right to send

Tom Udall

5:09:55 to 5:10:15( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: a rescission message to propose to reduce spending in that spending we were constrained how much the president could rescind. if they were unauthorized there is no limit. e long and short, the president sends a rescission message and we vote on it. we could vote it down with a simple majority.

Tom Udall

5:10:16 to 5:10:36( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: in the senate, 51 votes. or in the house, with 218. not a two-thirds override, not both houses just a simple majority in senate. we limit the time for this to occur amount to four years. four years. i call it a dpowr-year test

Tom Udall

5:10:37 to 5:10:57( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: drive -- four-year test drive for president. president should say to the presiding officer from new mexico, unless you vote for my top priorities here i will go after your top prioritie priorities and making sure they don't become law and try to intimidate a member of the senate or house. it could happen. as a result, we provide for this

Tom Udall

5:10:58 to 5:11:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: four-year sunset. after that, the law goes away. if presidents, country or future abuse this, continue to enjoy this power do i think this will balance the budget? no, i don't. do i think it might be of some help? yes, i do. i'll close with this, just a comment on earmarks, some people think earmarks are the devil's work.

Tom Udall

5:11:19 to 5:11:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: the earmarks we submit in our state, senator kaufman, myself, and senator bideen befor senator bideenefore that, in my state we had three budgets in delaware and a major budget is the operating budget that runs the state and the second i capital budget, brick

Tom Udall

5:11:40 to 5:12:01( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: mortar, schools, roads, prisons, that sort of thing. the third piece of our budget, the third budget and aid budget. the governor proposes the operating budget. the governor proposes the capital budget in my state. the governor does not propose the grant and aid budget. it comes from in the 1990's the grant and aid budget was growing like toxic

Tom Udall

5:12:02 to 5:12:23( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: crowding out spending in the operating and capital budget and we decided to put a constraint on the growth of the operating of the grant and aid budget. no more than and that put a halt to the growth and kind of put things back on the right keel. with respect to earmarks, among the things we have

Tom Udall

5:12:24 to 5:12:45( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: is nothing inherently wrong with earmarks and directed spending but when they grow like crazy, that is not a good thing. we decided to lim 1% of revenue which i think is appropriate. we didn't know, second, who was asking for an earmark. we did not know necessarily who would benefit from the earmark and we have addressed that.

Tom Udall

5:12:46 to 5:13:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: another thing we've addressed, and i believe we have addressed, the idea of airdrops where you have a conference committee with the house, a conference committee with appropriations bills and you don't have an earmark in either one and out of committee emerges an earmark for intoatd and we don't know where it came from and it was not in either will bill, that shouldn't be allowed. the last thing i would mention

Tom Udall

5:13:09 to 5:13:29( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: is, at the end of the day, you have the ability of the president to look through a bill, whether earmarks or other forms of spending and actually say, maybe this, maybe this is a bad idea; this is an egregious form of spending, it should be addressed and say to us in the senate, or the house, i've

Tom Udall

5:13:30 to 5:13:50( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: signed this bill into law but i want you to vote on a couple of the if i can't g 50 colleagues to vote for an earmark i made on behalf of delaware, if i cannot get 50 colleagues vote for should not be asking for that earmark in the first place. there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, the long and short it.

Tom Udall

5:13:51 to 5:14:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: we continue to make i know about 3% of g.d.p. by the end of next four years after this four years and i applaud that. there are other things we want to do and i look forward to working with our chairman of the budget committee. those are a five the tools and the ways we additional progress, and we need to. again, i applaud chairman.

Tom Udall

5:14:12 to 5:14:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Udall: thank you for all your work. i can't imagine what it's like to carry the burden of this budget or any budget and you

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