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Senate Proceeding on May 1st, 2008 :: 6:59:06 to 7:17:15
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Pete Domenici

6:41:56 to 6:59:06( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Pete Domenici

Pete Domenici

6:58:48 to 6:59:06( Edit History Discussion )

Pete Domenici: included in the record. mr. domenici: i ask unanimous consent that the floor time now be given to the senator kennedy, who has been patiently waiting, for which i'm grateful. i thank you, senator.

Edward Kennedy

6:59:06 to 6:59:23( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts is recognize ed. mr. kennedy: thank you, madam president. i thank my friend and colleague from new mexico. we won't have the chance today to talk

Edward Kennedy

6:59:06 to 7:17:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Edward Kennedy

Edward Kennedy

6:59:23 to 6:59:37( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: about mental healthea parity, whenever i see him speak on the floor, i'm further inspired to make sure that we're going to get that legislation passed in this congress. and i thank him for all of his good work

Edward Kennedy

6:59:37 to 6:59:52( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: in that undertaking and we're strongly committed to ensuring that this very, very important health policy issue is going to be addressed in the congress. i see my friend from illinois here. i know he was

Edward Kennedy

6:59:52 to 7:00:11( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: desireous in seek seeking the floor, and i'd ask consent if he could be recognize recognized after i finish. i ask consent. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. kennedy: mr. president,

Edward Kennedy

7:00:11 to 7:00:23( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: on tomorrow we are going to have the report by the federal agency agencies about the unemployment figures in this country and those unemployment figures may be statistics to some, but they are lost

Edward Kennedy

7:00:23 to 7:00:41( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: hopes and dreams to hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens. and they are a key indicator in terms of the state of our economy, and i think most of us who've had the opportunity to travel our

Edward Kennedy

7:00:41 to 7:00:53( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: states and listen to working families understand the extraordinary kinds of pressure that these families are under.~ incredible anxiety. incredible anxiety that goes to the heart and soul of these families

Edward Kennedy

7:00:53 to 7:01:12( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: that really wonder whether in -- somehow that they are guilty in some way for not being able to deal with the kind of economic challenges that they're nice facing, whether it's -- that they're facing, whether

Edward Kennedy

7:01:12 to 7:01:25( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: it's the increase of costs at the pump or whether it's the increasing costs of few i, increasing costs of health care, -- costs of college, increasing costs of health care, and the increasing challenges of

Edward Kennedy

7:01:25 to 7:01:39( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: dealing with the environment that we are all confronted with. and this afternoon, i want to just speak for a few minutes about these -- the issues of unemployment and how that's impacted so many of

Edward Kennedy

7:01:39 to 7:01:58( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: our fellow citizens and what the implications are for so many of our fellow citizens. because even though we don't have the figures, mr. president, i think we can reliably suggest that there's going

Edward Kennedy

7:01:58 to 7:02:15( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: to be further increase in the unemployed numbers of americans when we get the figures on tomorrow morning. these are the figures here, mr. president. this is the figures here, mr. president. the -- this

Edward Kennedy

7:02:15 to 7:02:31( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: is january 2008, february 2008, march 2008. we see 76,000 lost in january; february, 676,000; some 80,000 in -- february, 76,000; some 80,000 in march. 20e6r00,000 jobs were lost during the period

7:02:31 to 7:02:47( Edit History Discussion )

of these -- 2 200,000 jobs were lost during the period of these months. now, if you look at this, mr. president, you see the total number of unemployed. these are the bureau of labor statistics in

7:02:47 to 7:02:58( Edit History Discussion )

march of 2008. you have 7.8 million unemployed and only 3.9 million jobs. so here we have individuals, americans who are working hard, playing by the rules and have through no fault of their own effectively,

7:02:58 to 7:03:09( Edit History Discussion )

because of the failure of fiscal and monetary policy, seen the increase in the total number of unemployed. and yet when you look back total number of job openings, they're limited. and these americans are

7:03:09 to 7:03:23( Edit History Discussion )

getting squeezed. how are they going to be able to find jobs when the jobs aren't available? even if they have the skills? and we're going to come back to that in just a moment. so these families are

7:03:23 to 7:03:41( Edit History Discussion )

hurting, mr. president, and that is why it is going to be so important that we're going to have an increase in the unemployment compensation program. that is now in surplus about $35 billion. that fund has

7:03:41 to 7:03:53( Edit History Discussion )

actually been paid into by american workers. they have paid into the fund. it's $35 billion. and the reason they paid in is for circumstances such as this. and that is because of fiscal and economic and monetary

7:03:53 to 7:04:08( Edit History Discussion )

policy has failed them. they are entitled to receive the unemployment compensation, and yet we have the administration which has consistently opposed providing the increase in the unemployment compensation.

7:04:08 to 7:04:24( Edit History Discussion )

i'm going to come to that in just a moment or two. so here, mr. president, is the recent veterans having served in the armed forces of our country are finding a hard time finding work. this is our

7:04:24 to 7:04:41( Edit History Discussion )

total work force, 5.2% unemployed. these are the veterans serving after 2001. we can see that their unemployment is 6.1%. and these are the young male veterans serving after the -- after september

Edward Kennedy

7:04:41 to 7:05:01( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: 2001 at 11.5%. these are just all veterans but this is young male -- 11.2%, mr. president. here we found that these young americans were the ones that had the burden of conflict and now they are facing

Edward Kennedy

7:05:01 to 7:05:11( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the -- the burden here at home of an economy that will not serve them and serve their interests. so where's the burden falling? it's falling on our young veterans.and it is -- veterans. and it is falling

Edward Kennedy

7:05:11 to 7:05:28( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: particularly hard. here's another chart, mr. president, and it indicates again where the burden of this this economy is falling, the harshness of it. and we find it is increasingly falling on adult women, seeing

Edward Kennedy

7:05:28 to 7:05:38( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: a sharper rise in unemployment rates than men. 21% increase for -- for women. 15% in terms of men. that's between march of 2007 and march of 2008. do we get this squeeze that it has for women,

Edward Kennedy

7:05:38 to 7:05:57( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: mr. president, when we find out that women are having their homes foreclosed at a more rapid rate than men? their unemployment rates are going up higher. their savings are lower. they are the ones

Edward Kennedy

7:05:57 to 7:06:20( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: that are taking the particular brunt for this recession, along with the young veterans. here we find, mr. president, women's earnings are falling faster. we find out in regard -- a half 16% for men

Edward Kennedy

7:06:20 to 7:06:34( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: -- excuse me, .5% for men, mr. president. 3% for women. this is a decline in median income in the recent figures going through 2007. so we see increasing numbers are unemployed and their wages -- the

Edward Kennedy

7:06:34 to 7:06:48( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: wages of those unemployed are adversely impacting on women at a much higher and more significant degree. mr. president, we see what has happened generally with regards to the economy. the stock market

Edward Kennedy

7:06:48 to 7:07:03( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: lost 2.7 -- $2 $2.7 trillion in value since may of 2007. this crisis has wiped out $2.7 trillion in home values. the dollar has lost one-third of its value. and the federal debt has nearly doubled

7:07:03 to 7:07:20( Edit History Discussion )

since this president took office. so this -- again, we're looking at home values, which is the wealth for so many middle-income and working families, $2.7 trillion effectively been wiped out over

7:07:20 to 7:07:32( Edit History Discussion )

the period of this last year.all these figures, mr. president, show -- last year. all these figures, mr. president, show that working families, middle-income families are taking the heavy brunt of the

7:07:32 to 7:07:50( Edit History Discussion )

recession that we're facing. now, mr. president, we should ask ourselves: well, what are we doing about this? well, if you look at what we've done at other times, mr. president, if you look at the last recessions

7:07:50 to 7:08:07( Edit History Discussion )

that we have had, from january 1980 to july 198 0, we find the benefits were -- to july 1980, we find the benits were extended in august of 1982. when we had that recession in 1980 from january to july

7:08:07 to 7:08:25( Edit History Discussion )

and then july -- in 1981 to november 1982, we found out that the average weeks of unemployed were 16 weeks. and we found that we had the extended unemployment compensation. then we -- the next

7:08:25 to 7:08:43( Edit History Discussion )

recession we had was july 1990 to march of 1991, and the average weesks unemployment was 13.9 weeks but we had an extension of unemployment compensation. march 2001 to november 2001, 15 weeks were the average

7:08:43 to 7:08:57( Edit History Discussion )

weeks of unemployed, and we had an extension of the unemployment compensation. here, mr. president, look at this, 16.2 weeks. the average weeks unemployed, american workers. 16.2 weeks. 16.2 weeks.

7:08:57 to 7:09:10( Edit History Discussion )

and this administration refuses to say that $35 billion that is in the unemployment compensation fund that you have worked for to contribute into that fund, it should be available to you when we

7:09:10 to 7:09:27( Edit History Discussion )

have adverse economic conditions, just the kind of conditions that should be there. this administration refuses to do anything about it. it's a crass indifference, mr. president, for working families

7:09:27 to 7:09:45( Edit History Discussion )

that are trying to make it and trying to provide for their families. mr. president, very briefly, this chart demonstrates when we have a recession where -- if we try and do a limited investment, which

7:09:45 to 7:09:58( Edit History Discussion )

are the most promising investments? we find out that the unemployment compensation for every dollar that invest, the unemployment compensation is effective $1.64. for infrastructures, mr. president, $1.59 for

7:09:58 to 7:10:13( Edit History Discussion )

every dollar invested. $1.73 in food stamps. this is on the moody's, mr. president. much limited impact, obviously, for the bush extended tax cuts. if we look what is happening, mr. president, over here

7:10:13 to 7:10:23( Edit History Discussion )

in food stamps, we do not think frequent 8 frequently about the numbers of our fellow american -- frequently about the numbers of our fellow american citizens that are dependent upon food stamps.

7:10:23 to 7:10:37( Edit History Discussion )

but we should pause now. we should if we go back home and listen to those who are running the food banks in our state and find out the condition of those food banks. here we have 28 million americans

7:10:37 to 7:10:57( Edit History Discussion )

projected to receive food stamps now in fiscal year 2009. 28 million americans are going to be eligible for food stamps in 2009. look at the indicators, mr. president. this is another indicator about

7:10:57 to 7:11:07( Edit History Discussion )

what is happening in the economy, the kinds of pressures that middle-income and working families have. so we could ask, mr. president, well, why aren't we trying to find the training for these workers. if

7:11:07 to 7:11:24( Edit History Discussion )

we improve their skills, they'll be able to find a job, isn't that right? well, no, that's wrong. what we're find, mr. president, is that americans can't access job-training programs. this administration

Edward Kennedy

7:11:24 to 7:11:41( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: has been cutting back virtually every year job-training programs. look at this, madam president. in massachusetts alone, for every available slot in a job-training program, there are 21 workers on

Edward Kennedy

7:11:41 to 7:11:52( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: a waiting list. do we understand that? 21 workers on a waiting list. these are men and women that want to work, have worked, want to provide for their families. and they can't get on even to the list,

Edward Kennedy

7:11:52 to 7:12:08( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: the training list, in order to be able to fill the jobs. we have about 80,000 in my state that are not being filled today but we haven't -- we've cut back. this administration has cut back on the

Edward Kennedy

7:12:08 to 7:12:18( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: training programs. and this is the kind of misstep, mr. president, that this administration has taken time in and time out. now, mr. president, i just remight not senate here -- remind the senate here

Edward Kennedy

7:12:18 to 7:12:32( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: about action we took just yesterday with regard to students and the student loan program. one urgent step that we must take to ensure that the slumping economy does not prevent young people from going

Edward Kennedy

7:12:32 to 7:12:44( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: to college was to provide some help and assistance, and we did on yesterday. right now in may, students and their parents are applying for financial aid and the loans they need to attend college in the

Edward Kennedy

7:12:44 to 7:12:55( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: fall. this is happening just as banks have said they're no longer offering student loans. so we can't allow the slumping economy to limit the horizons of a new generation of americans. students and

Edward Kennedy

7:12:55 to 7:13:11( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: passengers need to know that we'll do everything we can to guarantee that every single student who needs a loan to go to college in the fall will get one. mean these troubled economic times. and we will

Edward Kennedy

7:13:11 to 7:13:25( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: increase the amount of grant aid available to relieve the debt burden on needy students. so just yesterday, the senate passed legislation to do just that. house of representatives also passed the legislation

Edward Kennedy

7:13:25 to 7:13:43( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: just a few hours ago and president bush has indicated that he'll sign it into law. this is what the emergency legislation does. for students, if private loans through the banks dry up, then you can

Edward Kennedy

7:13:43 to 7:13:56( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: get a more -- you can get a lower-cost government guaranteed loan to take their place. so no matter what happens in the private loan market, the government loans will be there and they-'ll be -- and

Edward Kennedy

7:13:56 to 7:14:08( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: they will there be for you. this bill nuclear weapons two ways. first, this guarantees the loans will be there for the four years of college at an $8,000 increase. and second, it ensures that students

Edward Kennedy

7:14:08 to 7:14:16( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: will have easy access to federal loans. the banks resident willing to make these loans to -- the banks are not willing to make theseoans to students, the state-based nonprofit agencies called the guarantee

Edward Kennedy

7:14:16 to 7:14:30( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: agencies will, take their place. so for every student, there willables someone to provide the loans, either through the private sector -- will always be someone who prove the loans, either through the

7:14:30 to 7:14:40( Edit History Discussion )

private sector or through the government. also, for thousands of students, we increase the grant aid by up to $1,300 a year for underclassmen and $4,000 a year for upperclassmen. theants a lot but it's a part

7:14:40 to 7:14:51( Edit History Discussion )

of an ongoing commitment to help low-income college students avoted crushing burdens of debt that inevitably distorts their career -- avoid the crushing burdens of debt that inevitably distorts their

Edward Kennedy

7:14:51 to 7:15:06( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: career future. the bill also helps parents by providing them with better options for access to the low-cost federal plus alternatives. mr. president, what this does, we provide the help and assistance

Edward Kennedy

7:15:06 to 7:15:21( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: to the students. here it is now to the parents. allows the parents to delay the repayment on the loans until their children have graduated from college.~ it makes it easier for the parents who have been

Edward Kennedy

7:15:21 to 7:15:34( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: hit by the mortgage crisis to obtain the low-cost loans. help for the students. help, as well, for the families. mr. president, for the six million students and over 700,000 parents currently relying

Edward Kennedy

7:15:34 to 7:15:48( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: on the low-income subsidized loans, these steps mean they'll continue to have ready access to these funds even as the credit markets discourage lenders' participation in the federal program. in other words, as

Edward Kennedy

7:15:48 to 7:16:02( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: students and parents -- students and papers will now have multiple avenues for low-cost federal loans. fortunately, congress has taken prompt action to prevent college students from becoming the next

Edward Kennedy

7:16:02 to 7:16:15( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: victims of our failing economy. i commend president bush for urging us to do so. i'm grateful to senator enzi, congressman miller for their partnership on this legislation and the support and assistance

Edward Kennedy

7:16:15 to 7:16:26( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: of the secretary of education the i hope we can replicate this bipartisan effort in tackling other urgent economic issues. there is much work to be done to ensure that main street is insulated from the problems

Edward Kennedy

7:16:26 to 7:16:38( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: of wall street. mr. president, it's clear that the nation faces a serious ongoing economic challenge. we know what we have to do to put our economy and our country back on track. to do that, we

Edward Kennedy

7:16:38 to 7:16:48( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: need to seize the moment, act immediately, and help millions of americans who need our help the most. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois is recognized.

Edward Kennedy

7:16:48 to 7:16:59( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: mr. durbin: madam president, i see the senator from michigan on the floor.e i know she is here to address the same topic as the senator from massachusetts. she has a 5:00 conference committee

Edward Kennedy

7:16:59 to 7:17:15( Edit History Discussion )

Edward Kennedy: on an important bill pending best senate. i would ask unanimous consent that she be allowed to speak if my place and that i follow her. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. the senator

Richard Durbin

7:17:15 to 7:17:33( Edit History Discussion )

Richard Durbin: from michigan is recognized. ms. stabenow: thank you, madam president, and i want to thank our distinguished assistant majority leader if allowing -- for allowing me to do that. i thank my colleague

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