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Senate Proceeding on May 1st, 2008 :: 7:57:49 to 8:14:31
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Jim DeMint

7:47:35 to 7:57:49( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jim DeMint

Jim DeMint

7:57:36 to 7:57:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jim DeMint: in the midst of another filibuster in which the f.a.a. reauthorization is before us, but we have to wait for a cloture vote and we have to wait many, many days past, i think, what was appropriate. but

Jack Reed

7:57:49 to 7:58:01( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: it does give us an opportunity to talk about the issue that is of most concern to americans at this momicent and that is the economy. we have an economy that is heading, unfortunately, towards recession.

Jack Reed

7:57:49 to 8:14:31( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jack Reed

Jack Reed

7:58:01 to 7:58:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: some economists have already declared it there. over the last few months i have spoken about the situation and particularly in our home state of rhode island, mr. president, whereas we go about we

Jack Reed

7:58:18 to 7:58:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: are stopped constantly by our constituents, our neighbors, our friends, who, quite rightly, complain about the current economic situation. the senator for illinois was very accurate and very insightful when

Jack Reed

7:58:32 to 7:58:45( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: he noted that the incomes of most americans have not risen over the last decade or more. and that these individuals -- and we're not talking about low-income americans, entry-level workers, we're

Jack Reed

7:58:45 to 7:58:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: talking about going wayt up close to $100,000 or more, they've seen no real income growth. but what they have seen is accelerating prices. now for several years they thought they would be buttressed against

Jack Reed

7:58:57 to 7:59:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: the accelerating prices and slow income growth by the value of their homes. but as we know now, we're seeing a huge recession in the real estate market. the values of homes are beginning to fall. they're

Jack Reed

7:59:12 to 7:59:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: certainly not rising as they were. the foreclosure situation is deepening everywhere. again, in rhode island there was traditionally a few notices each week in the paper. it now seems that there is

Jack Reed

7:59:26 to 7:59:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: a whole section devoted to foreclosure in the "providence journal," just evidence of the worsening economic situation. now with the pressure of flat wages, flat income, housing values falling, these

Jack Reed

7:59:41 to 7:59:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: accelerating prices are becoming very, very difficult to endure by americans everywhere.~ according to a review -- a survey by the pew research center, fewer americans now at any time in the past

Jack Reed

7:59:58 to 8:00:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: essentially believe they're forwarding moving forward in life. and one of the great aspects of my youth in the 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's, is not only did families believe they were moving forward,

Jack Reed

8:00:12 to 8:00:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: they also had an unshakable belief that their children would have a better life than they. that belief is being shaken today. many parents -- and we're not talking about low-income workers workers;

Jack Reed

8:00:22 to 8:00:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: we're talking about a range of americans -- believe that unless we take positive and effective action, we're going to be in a situation where the next generation of americans will have it even more difficult

Jack Reed

8:00:35 to 8:00:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: than we do today. that's why it's very difficult to bear these filibusters because ultimately this is not about parliamentary maneuvering. it's about whether we can provide the leadership and the policy

Jack Reed

8:00:50 to 8:01:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: ies to reverse course here in america today and provide for that better future for our sons and daughters tomorrow. 79% of americans feel today that it's more difficult to maintain their middle-class

Jack Reed

8:01:06 to 8:01:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: standard of living. in fact, one of the greatest hallmarks of this country in the last century was the creation and the expansion of the middle class. and, again, there are many people that are sense

Jack Reed

8:01:20 to 8:01:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: ing that that middle class is not expand expanding any longer. it's shrinking. it's shrinking under the load of increasing pricesin, flat incomes and decelerating housing values. and that's not just

Jack Reed

8:01:32 to 8:01:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: the sum of statistics and analysis and reports. that's what people are talking about everywhere in this country country. in rhode island, for example, with respect to prices, the average price of gasoline

Jack Reed

8:01:48 to 8:02:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: is soaring to record levels. regular unleaded is currently at more than3.60 per gallon. diesel is getting close to $4.50 per gallon. and for our trucking industry, for all of the businesses that depend

Jack Reed

8:02:00 to 8:02:13( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: upon moving their goods around, for the service people that have to get to their service calls, when prices go up up, gasoline and diesel, that's an additional business cost. it's an additional tax

Jack Reed

8:02:13 to 8:02:26( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: on them because of, i think, the failed policies of this administration. and it is a tax that's taking a big bite out of their well-being and their welfare of their families. one thing we can do, i think

Jack Reed

8:02:26 to 8:02:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: we should do and we can do it immediately, is we can refrain at least temporarily from buying oil in the world marketplace and filling the stree strategic petroleum reserv that seems to be a very, you

Jack Reed

8:02:40 to 8:02:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: know, simple-minded approach to lessening at least in a small way demand for oil. at a time w hen oil is cornelling above $119 a barrel. i think it also will send a signal that we're at least doing something

Jack Reed

8:02:52 to 8:03:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: to relieve the pressure on working families. and that can be done with a signature by the president, an order by the president, and it should be done. at the same time families across this country

Jack Reed

8:03:05 to 8:03:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: and businesses across this country are seeing extraordinary price increases, oil companies are seeing extraordinary profits. i think we have to take action, and that action was once again stalled here

Jack Reed

8:03:21 to 8:03:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: on the senate floor several months ago, to eliminate some of the tax breaks that oil companies are receiving. i thought at $119 a barrel, there would be sufficient incentives to go drill. but apparently

Jack Reed

8:03:33 to 8:03:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: from the oil companies, they need tax incentives as well. i thought that the market would be working in this case, but apparently it works in strange ways for major oil companies. i think also we have

Jack Reed

8:03:49 to 8:04:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: to think about a windfall profits tax. we have huge expenditures. et the president, as the senator from illinois pointed out, is send up a supplemental appropriations bill for iraq -- billions, billions

Jack Reed

8:04:03 to 8:04:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: of dollars. and yet we can't tax some of the extraordinary profits of companies that are doing very, very well and don't seem to be reinvesting it robustly in drill drilling or searching for alternative

Jack Reed

8:04:18 to 8:04:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: sources. i think we also have to protect consumers from price gouging. price gouging at the pump and something else -- and that is speculation in the world oil markets. there are experts that suggest that 25%

Jack Reed

8:04:33 to 8:04:49( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: of the cost of crude oil could be the result not of supply and demand but of market speculation. we need to give the principal regulator for the energy commodity markets, the commodities futures trade

Jack Reed

8:04:49 to 8:05:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: ing commission, the tools they need to review these transnsactions and to ferret out unscrupulous conduct and speculation. that's why i support the "close the enron loophole act" introduced by senator

Jack Reed

8:05:03 to 8:05:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: levin, and it's been included in the senate senate-passed farm bill. and i continue to advocate that that provision should be adopted very quickly. because without it, we, i don't think, can effectively

Jack Reed

8:05:16 to 8:05:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: provide regulation to a market that is exacting in some estimates 25% premium -- not because of supply and demand but because there are financial forces at work, speculating in these commodities commodities.

Jack Reed

8:05:30 to 8:05:43( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: and that speculation will go on until we authori the appropriate regulatory authority to begin to supervise, regulate, review those transactions. the price of crude is also in many cases spinning

Jack Reed

8:05:43 to 8:05:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: out of contro l for so many working men's. since march of 2007, the price of eggs has jumped 35%, a gallon of milk is up 23%, a loaf of white bread has climbed 60%, and a pound of ground chuck

Jack Reed

8:05:59 to 8:06:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: is up 8% 8%. overall, u.s. food prices are expected to rise 4% to 5%, about double the increase of recent years. again, this is not just an economic statistic. talk to the bakers and the presiding

Jack Reed

8:06:14 to 8:06:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: officer knows these families -- in the caliste family and other families in rhode island who have been bake baking italian bread for 70 or 1 100 year, they've never seen the increases in prices

Jack Reed

8:06:25 to 8:06:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: prices like they've seen in the last several months. and it is affecting their ability to make ends meet for their businesses. when you have accelerating energy prices, gasoline prices, oil prices,

Jack Reed

8:06:39 to 8:06:56( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: accelerating wheel prices, family-owned bakeries -- it's very, very difficult and it's extremely difficult for those families who are struggle struggling to get by, to get frankly to the supermarket,

Jack Reed

8:06:56 to 8:07:10( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: fill up their basket and not walk out impoverished by the subpoenas. that's i've -- by the experience experience. that's why i've requested a hearing about the food versus fuel poly in in the u.s. we've

Jack Reed

8:07:10 to 8:07:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: been concerned about ethanol. but we do, i believe, have to begin to focus on the trade-off between energy production and food production. i've also sent a letter to the agriculture secretary expressing

Jack Reed

8:07:19 to 8:07:32( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: concern over the cost of wheat, as indicated, based upon comment comments i received from our bakers in rhode island and asked that the secretary work with the environmental protection agency and

Jack Reed

8:07:32 to 8:07:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: the department of energy to look at the need to develop a mechanism to balance this trade-off between food production and fuel production, requesting information about how the department of agriculture is

Jack Reed

8:07:47 to 8:08:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: managing the wheat stockpile, which is something that will influence the price of wheat, also requesting that the commodities futures trade ing commission provide information about how it's monitoring

Jack Reed

8:08:03 to 8:08:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: commodities' impact on prices. all of has to be done. what is becoming more difficult to bear on top of everything we've talked about -- flat income, rise ing rising prices, declining home values -- is

Jack Reed

8:08:19 to 8:08:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: now we're seeing unemployment start to accelerate. in rhode island we are, unfortunately, experience ing a 6. 6.2 unemployment rate, higher % unemployment raivment it is calling -- 6. 6.2% unemployment

Jack Reed

8:08:33 to 8:08:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: raivment it is cause ing real problems. it is something we have to address. we have to recognize that as we lose jobs, we have to think seriously about employing people again. as i mentioned, rhode

Jack Reed

8:08:51 to 8:09:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: island has a 6.1% -- 6.2% jobless jobless rate right now. it is only behind michigan, alaska, and california, the high highest unemployment rate in rhode island since august of 199 1995, more than 12 years

Jack Reed

8:09:08 to 8:09:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: ago. 35,100 people in rhode island are unemployed and this is a trend that's been going up, unfortunately, not down. we've also seen a shift recently from february to march 2008 in just a single

Jack Reed

8:09:21 to 8:09:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: month, 3,100 people were without jobs in rhode island, a decrease in 3,1 3,100 jobs. for a state with the population of just a million rng that's , that's a significant factor. and it adds not only to

Jack Reed

8:09:35 to 8:09:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: the decline in employment but the velocity of that decline. things seem to be trending much quicker downwards than returning or rebounding. now, it's no wonder that the labor department announce ed today

Jack Reed

8:09:48 to 8:10:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: that the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose to 380,000 nationwide. that's the highest level in four years. today's announcement included that rhode island had one of the largest increases

Jack Reed

8:10:05 to 8:10:18( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: in initial claims numbering 1,779. the direction is unfortunate and it's the wrong direction. half of those unemployed workers were eligible to collect un unemployed insurance benefits, and if of

Jack Reed

8:10:18 to 8:10:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: this number, nrly 90% face long-term unemployment. the number of rhode islanders in 2008 that continue to collect un unemployment benefits has also increased, 14.1% above the number of the same

Jack Reed

8:10:31 to 8:10:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: period last year. as a result of this situation, detersing employment, longer- longer-term unemployment, a significant number of rhode islanders are exhausting their benefits. they're receiving their

Jack Reed

8:10:44 to 8:10:57( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: final payment. that has occurred for more than 1,900 people and that percentage is increasing also. all these numbers suggest something very obvious -- more and more people need un unemployment insurance.

Jack Reed

8:10:57 to 8:11:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: more and more people are on un unemployment longer. the economy is not responding to their needs. they're not -- this economy is not generating jobs. it's shredding jobs. and that ultimately leads

Jack Reed

8:11:11 to 8:11:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: to the faght that the benefits run out if we do not extend unemployment insurance benefits. now, i think that's something that we have to do. i think we have an obligation in this economy, which is getting

Jack Reed

8:11:23 to 8:11:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: worse, not better, is we have to go ahead and provide extended un unemployment benefits. and oh, by the way, these benefits are one one of the best stimulus programs we have because the proportion

Jack Reed

8:11:35 to 8:11:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: of the money that is ex expended, that get respent in the economy, is significantly higher than other programs. i was pleased that the senate passed and the president signed into law the economic

Jack Reed

8:11:46 to 8:12:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: stimulus act in february. i voted for this package. it will provide tax rebate checks. they are on the way out to many families across the country. but given the historically high unemployment in rhode

Jack Reed

8:12:00 to 8:12:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: island and in other parts of the country, believe we need to do much more. this is a national problem. it needs attention. and that's why believe that we have to extend unemployment benefits. in those

Jack Reed

8:12:15 to 8:12:28( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: states that are hit hard by this economic crisis, individuals should be eligible for benefits for an additional 13 weeks and another 13 weeks of emerging benefits benefits in states where the unemployment

Jack Reed

8:12:28 to 8:12:40( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: is expeptionally high. i pressed, as so many did, for inclusion of these extended un unemployment benefits last february and i commend my colleagues who have fought also nor this benefit, including senators

Jack Reed

8:12:40 to 8:12:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: kennedy and durbin and stabenow. as i indicate ed also, many economists have pointed to the extension of unemployment benefits as not only something that helps the individual but it provides further stimulus

Jack Reed

8:12:58 to 8:13:09( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: for our economy. an extension of these benefits provides a very high rate of return on the money expended. generating approximately $1.64 in gross domestic product per dollar invested in this program.

Jack Reed

8:13:09 to 8:13:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: this is aespecially helpful when we're looking for ways to get the economy moving -- this is especially helpful when we're looking for ways to get the economy moving again. we get news each day of

Jack Reed

8:13:21 to 8:13:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: declining economic statistics. the last notice of our gross domestic product for the last quarter was a very unimpressive .6%. we need urgent action to move the economy. we need urgent action to help

Jack Reed

8:13:35 to 8:13:50( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: families that are struggle ing. they've worked, they've worked hard, and they're running out of their benefits. we can't run out on them. that's why i hope that in this stimulus package that comes before

Jack Reed

8:13:50 to 8:14:05( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: us we will not only recognize obligations overseas, we'll recognize obligations here at home. and i would hope we would enact a very robust extension of un unemployment benefits for all americans.

Jack Reed

8:14:05 to 8:14:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: mr. president, i would yield the floor. mr. brownback: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. brownback: mr. president, thank you. i appreciate hearing my colleague from rhode

Jack Reed

8:14:16 to 8:14:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jack Reed: island and the comments he was make. i was sitting here thinking, boy boy, thank goodness we have ethanol. without ethanol supplying 8% of our fuel needs, it would drive up gasoline prices another

Sam Brownback

8:14:31 to 8:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

Sam Brownback: 15%. i'm certainly pleased that we've got that. and i would note we had a hearing on this in the joint economic committee today. the price of corn and its impact on food prices, and it's really

Sam Brownback

8:14:31 to 8:22:27( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Sam Brownback

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