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Senate Proceeding 04-30-08 on Apr 30th, 2008 :: 0:09:40 to 0:17:20
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James Webb

0:01:24 to 0:09:40( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: James Webb

James Webb

0:09:27 to 0:09:40( Edit History Discussion )

James Webb: democrat of the senator from virginia. i rise in support of senator durbin's amendment which we were on prior to the speech. i take it the reception is over or else the presiding officer would not

John Rockefeller

0:09:40 to 0:09:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: be in his seat. the debate is not about an arcane technical pension funding rule. it is not. the issue before us about whether we keep thousands and thousands of airline employees, whether they are allowed

John Rockefeller

0:09:40 to 0:17:20( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Rockefeller

John Rockefeller

0:09:53 to 0:10:11( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to keep their hard-earned defined benefit pensions or whether we will regulate them -- throw them out to the pbgc which has so much debt it cannot count the zeros much the issue is about whether or

John Rockefeller

0:10:11 to 0:10:26( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: not we will send additional major carriers who have so far avoided bankrupcy in the brutal financial circumstances into a downward spiral. this has been my premise: hold the main carriers harmless.

John Rockefeller

0:10:26 to 0:10:39( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: they are at the cliff. hold them harmless. adding this pension benefit to the f.a.a. bill would defeat the whole purpose of this compromise brokered by the finance committee and commerce commits done with

John Rockefeller

0:10:39 to 0:10:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the underlying principle we should hold the commercial airlines harmless during this turbulent economic times which are expected to last. that's sacred. that is why it would be unwise to load up

John Rockefeller

0:10:53 to 0:11:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: an additional liability on airlines trying to do the right thing by their employee. it would be especially wrong to cause that result in a misguided effort to put the preservation of regular order before

John Rockefeller

0:11:09 to 0:11:23( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: common sense. in other words, going around a committee. it happens. airline employees will pay the unnecessary price price for this change from current law. it cannot happen. during these testify

John Rockefeller

0:11:23 to 0:11:38( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: times of rising fuel prices -- during these tough times of rising fuel prices this is not the time to impose tougher requirements upon the airline industry. to do so risks more bankruptcies and

John Rockefeller

0:11:38 to 0:11:52( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: forts carriers -- and forces carriers to dump their pensions into the pbgc putting in danger the economic security of workers who refer to stay employed and not have their pensions frozen. in 2005

John Rockefeller

0:11:52 to 0:12:07( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: when the senate was considering the pension protection absent on act on the floor we passed an amendment by voice vote that i cosponsored with senator isakson and senator lott that would give all airline

John Rockefeller

0:12:07 to 0:12:25( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: carriers substantial pension relief. the amendment did not pick winners or losers within the airline industry but, rather, it focused on keeping their defined benefit pensions solvent. unfortunately,

John Rockefeller

0:12:25 to 0:12:42( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: as senator hutchison pointed out, the final product that came out of the conference in 2006 limited the pension relief the senate sought to give all airlines. led by the -- i'll just say he's gone

John Rockefeller

0:12:42 to 0:12:56( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: and i'm not sad -- the ways and means chairman, bill thomas, the conference committee report chose to choose winners and losers. ought gave some carriers more pension -- it gave some carriers more

John Rockefeller

0:12:56 to 0:13:09( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: pension relief creating an advantage for some carriers. a number of senators were not happy with the conclusion including senator durbin, reid, bill nelson, lautenberg, and a lot of the rest of

John Rockefeller

0:13:09 to 0:13:29( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: us. they entered a colloquy on the floor arguing that this disparity needed to be dealt with. that is why in last year's iraq war supplemental legislation, dick durbin did the only thing that he had available

John Rockefeller

0:13:29 to 0:13:43( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: to him to do and with the strong support of senator hutchison sought to right this wrong and inserted a provision to give the airlines the necessary pension relief that they deserved. i understand, perhaps,

John Rockefeller

0:13:43 to 0:13:53( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: this was not the best process. we're not a body known for our meticulous protocol but we're trying to get something done here, something which is lifesaving for the nation. as a senior member of the finance

John Rockefeller

0:13:53 to 0:14:08( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: committee myself which has jurisdiction over pension legislation, i agree with senator baucus that it would have been better, would have been more ideal, to go through regular order and have the finance

John Rockefeller

0:14:08 to 0:14:21( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: committee review and vet the provision. the problem was, it wasn't going to happen. however, airlines need and deserve pension relief. we cannot adoption the provision of the committee and impose higher

0:14:21 to 0:14:34( Edit History Discussion )

pensions on five domestic airlines which has been discussed by various people this morning during the tough economic times. remember, hold legacy commercial airlines harmless so we would be turning our backs

John Rockefeller

0:14:34 to 0:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: on american, on continental, on us airways and hawaiian and alaskan air that would risk more bankruptcies and job losses. i pointed out earlier one out of every six jobs in the airline industry in

John Rockefeller

0:14:46 to 0:15:01( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: this country has been lost in the last six years. in 2005, while we were debating the isakson-rockefeller-lott amendment that granted all airlines equitable pension relief i stated on the senate floor

John Rockefeller

0:15:01 to 0:15:15( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: that my goal was to protect the employees and retirees who is worked so hard to earn retirement benefits and that. s my goal today.x to deny disadvantage ed airlines the relief they rightfully deserve

John Rockefeller

0:15:15 to 0:15:33( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: in the pension protect act and which the senate vote ed to give them would be unfair. i have the utmost respect for senators baucus and grassley. i think they are a superb teevment team.i think they

John Rockefeller

0:15:33 to 0:15:47( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: did their very best on the whole on the pension prottion act. but the finance committee and the senate should not have dictate ed -- received the dictaof the now thoroughly retired former ways and

John Rockefeller

0:15:47 to 0:16:02( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: means chairman. the former house majory succeeded with their desperate efforts to achieve questionable policy goals by holding long- long-awaited pension reform legislation hostage. but that was then and this is

John Rockefeller

0:16:02 to 0:16:19( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: now, and we should not give the former house majority the satisfaction of achieving their desired objective over a jurisdictional squble. and that's all it is. it counts. i understand that. it counts. people

John Rockefeller

0:16:19 to 0:16:32( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: lie on the floor to protect it, but in this case we're dealing with something much larger. we can do better, and that must begin by us stepping back and invoke ing the -- quote -- "do no harm principle."

John Rockefeller

0:16:32 to 0:16:44( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: america cannot afford another major bankruptcy to cripple our aviation system. with all of my respect to the finance committee leadership, we just cannot do one more thing to jeopardize the health of our

John Rockefeller

0:16:44 to 0:17:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: domestic aviation industry, particularly in the commercial sector. the rest of it is doing very well. for that reason, i will support senator durbin's amendment, and i urge my colleagues to do the same.

John Rockefeller

0:17:03 to 0:17:20( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: i thank the presiding officer and yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i take a view opposite what was just spoken by senator rockefeller on the amendment that

Chuck Grassley

0:17:20 to 0:17:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: is before the senate, the durbin amendment, number one, because of a very carefully crafted compromise that was work the ed out when the pension reform bill was passed; and, number two, the purpose

Chuck Grassley

0:17:20 to 0:42:51( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

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