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Senate Proceeding on May 5th, 2006 :: 1:21:27 to 1:41:36
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Previous speech:

Chuck Grassley

1:07:59 to 1:21:27( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

1:21:03 to 1:21:27( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business for as long as i shall require. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: mr. president, i come to the floor

Lamar Alexander

1:21:27 to 1:21:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: to address two topics today. the first has to do with medical liability and the second has to do with my resolution to have the senate express what i think almost every american understands which is that when

Lamar Alexander

1:21:41 to 1:21:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: we say the pledge of allegiance, when we sing the national anthem, when we take the oath of allegiance for citizenship in america we should do it in our common language, english. but first let me express

Lamar Alexander

1:21:53 to 1:22:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: my concern about the medical liability crisis that is occurring in tennessee and across our country. mr. president, i'm particularly concerned about a crisis in access to medical care for mothers and

Lamar Alexander

1:22:13 to 1:22:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: babies in tennessee. in 45 of tennessee's 95 counties, pregnant mothers have to drive for miles to get prenatal health care and to deliver their babies. in 15 of those counties, pregnant mothers

Lamar Alexander

1:22:34 to 1:22:49( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: have no access whatsoever to any prenate al care within our counties. only one of 104 medical students graduating from vanderbilt university medical school chose to be an ob/gyn, according to dr. frank bone,

Lamar Alexander

1:22:49 to 1:23:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: professor of on stettics and gynecology at vanderbilt medical center. he cautions that -- quote -- "we must not lose sight of the fact that one of side effects of our current medical malpractice crisis

Lamar Alexander

1:23:07 to 1:23:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: is ob/gyn is a steady loss of medical students choosing to practice one of our most important medical specialties. if this decline in ob/gyn doctors continues, patients having babies or needing high-

Lamar Alexander

1:23:29 to 1:23:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: high-risk gynecological care will be faced with access problems this country has not seen." that's doctor frank bone of vanderbilt medical school. dr. ron blankerbaker. associate dean of the university

Lamar Alexander

1:23:45 to 1:24:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: college of medicine chattanooga, said doctors pro who provided on stettic care have stopped work in this specialty because of fears of medical malpractice lawsuits. it's clear we're in a crisis and

Lamar Alexander

1:24:01 to 1:24:19( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: we must do something to improve access to care for mothers and their babies. for this reason, mr. president, i'm proud to be a cosponsor of s. 23, the healthy mothers and healthy babies access to care

Lamar Alexander

1:24:19 to 1:24:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: act, a bill to protect access to care for mothers and babies by providing reform for on stettic and gynecological care. i'm also proud to be a sponsor of the medical protection act of 2006, a comprehensive

Lamar Alexander

1:24:29 to 1:24:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: medical liability reform bill. this is the third time during my tenure in the senate that i've come to the floor to discuss medical liability concerns. while we've debated solutions every time, we

Lamar Alexander

1:24:45 to 1:25:02( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: have not had the votes necessary to end those solutions. sadly, during this time of inaction the situation has gotten much worse in my home state of tennessee. in february of this year, tennessee

Lamar Alexander

1:25:02 to 1:25:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: was declared a med cad lie -- medical liability -- quote -- "crisis state" by the american medical association joining other states where broken liability systems are jeopardizing access to health

Lamar Alexander

1:25:15 to 1:25:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: care. i've heard from doctors and hospitals from one end of tennessee to the other all concerned with the sky rocketing cost of medical liability premiums. the average medical liability insurance premium

Lamar Alexander

1:25:31 to 1:25:46( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: for tennessee doctors has increased 84% since 1999 due in large part to our owl of control jury awards. that's according to the tennessee medical association. in the past ten years, 100% of cardiac

Lamar Alexander

1:25:46 to 1:26:00( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: surgeons, 92% of ob/gyn's, 92% of orthopeedists and 70% of all doctors in tennessee have faced legal action. again, according to the tennessee medical association. the medical liability crisis is driving up

Lamar Alexander

1:26:00 to 1:26:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the cost of health care in tennessee for all tennesseeans.~ the annual cost of defensive medicine, so-called -- that is, the extra tests and procedures prsmd performed by doctors to protect them

Lamar Alexander

1:26:13 to 1:26:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: from lawlts -- is estimated estimated at $70 billion to $120 billion per year nationwide according to the u.s. department of health and human services. defensive medicine adds $2 billion to health care

Lamar Alexander

1:26:30 to 1:26:44( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: costs just for tennesseans. that's almost $1,000 for every tennessee household that is spent on unnecessary defensive medicine costs. tests and procedures performed by doctors to keep them from getting

Lamar Alexander

1:26:44 to 1:26:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: sued, and they're still getting sued. in tennessee, 78% of doctors report ordering extra tests and procedures due due to litigation fees. nearly half those doctors estimate that 20% or more of their

Lamar Alexander

1:26:58 to 1:27:16( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: procedures fall into the defensive medicine category. so, again, i believe it's pretty clear: we're face ing a crisis. here's what the bills would do, mr. president. the healthy mothers and healthy

Lamar Alexander

1:27:16 to 1:27:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: babies access to care act would help us get out of this crisis. i hope we can pass these bills and see them signed into law. these bills ensure fair and just compensation for patient injury by providing

Lamar Alexander

1:27:31 to 1:27:48( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: full compensation for economic damages. now, in plain english, mr. president, if you're actual actually hurt, this bill permits you to be paid 100% of the value of those damages. it does not interfere

Lamar Alexander

1:27:48 to 1:28:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: with that at all. if a patient is injured, he or she will have unlimited being a he is to economic damages, so- so-called, to pay for recovery. these bills also place a sense sensible cap of up to $750,000 on

Lamar Alexander

1:28:06 to 1:28:23( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: awards for noneconomic damages. the caps on noneconomic damages are fashioned after the texas state law. after texas passed statewide medical liability reform in 2003 2003, medical malpractice rates

Lamar Alexander

1:28:23 to 1:28:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: addressed sdecreased sdecreased. current doctors are staying in texas and new insurers are he entering entering the texas liability market create ing more choices for physicians. mr. president, i'm

Lamar Alexander

1:28:36 to 1:28:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: happy for texases texans. a lot of our family lives in texas. but i'd like to see tennesseans and other americans have some of these same advantages. our senate bills are modeled after the texas law

Lamar Alexander

1:28:52 to 1:29:10( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and i hope to see this success story spread to tennessee and spread nation nationwide because tennessee mothers and tennessee babies and all medical patients deserve access to health care. now, mr.

Lamar Alexander

1:29:10 to 1:29:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: president, i would like to turn my attention to another subject, one i have asked for several times, and i would like to, as a courtesy, let me friends on the other side know that i intend to ask unanimous

Lamar Alexander

1:29:21 to 1:29:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: consent at the end of my radio, that my resolution be -- at the end of my remarks, that my resolution be discharge ed by the judiciary committee. i hope that will be approved. but it is not, i want my

Lamar Alexander

1:29:36 to 1:29:57( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: friends on the other side know that they need to have a way to register their objection before i make that request. mr. president, today is may the 5th. in mexico, and in mexican restaurants across this

Lamar Alexander

1:29:57 to 1:30:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: country, this is sing code cinco demayo. this is the day they defeated napoleon iii. in the united states we often think of this holiday as a a good reason to go to a mexican restaurant and enjoy a margarita

Lamar Alexander

1:30:13 to 1:30:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: margarita. for where you our southern neighbors, it is a very important who will daivment france invade ed mexico. it took the mexicans five years but once they succeeded in driving out the french occupiers

Lamar Alexander

1:30:34 to 1:30:46( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: occupiers, their country was finally free and it's remain the free since that time. aces new england celebrate in important takers day, i have no doubt that many mexican will be celebrating. i make

Lamar Alexander

1:30:46 to 1:31:00( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: this point because at the beginning of this week on monday, i introduced a resolution in the senate to affirm that here in the united states of america a statement of national unity, especially the pledge

Lamar Alexander

1:31:00 to 1:31:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: of allegiance, and the national anthem, ought to be said or sung in our common language, english. i'm not talking, mr. president, about what we're free do as americans. i'm tock talking about what

Lamar Alexander

1:31:15 to 1:31:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: we ought to do as americans. i offered this resolution last monday, which now has 12 co cosponsors including the distinguished presiding officer, because i thought it was important for this body to remember

Lamar Alexander

1:31:34 to 1:31:49( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: what unites us as merchlts americans. ours is a nation not based upon race, not based upon ethnicity, not based upon national origin, but based upon our shared values enshrined in our founding documents

Lamar Alexander

1:31:49 to 1:32:03( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: ingdocuments, the declaration and the constitution, and yes upon our shared common language, english. every senate office received a request for this resolution of mine to be passed by unanimous

Lamar Alexander

1:32:03 to 1:32:16( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: consent. that request was agreed to by every senator on the republican side, but the other side, the democratic side, objected. i can only assume that at least some on the democratic side objected because

Lamar Alexander

1:32:16 to 1:32:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: at least some of them believe that americans should at least some of the times sing our national a anthem in sfan spanish or some other foreign language. perhaps they also believe that we should

Lamar Alexander

1:32:29 to 1:32:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: recite the pledge of allegiance in chinese, which is the second-most spoken language in the united states. yesterday, mr. president, i tried again. i tried to pass this very simple and straightforward

Lamar Alexander

1:32:47 to 1:33:01( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: resolution, and again i was blocked by objections from the democratic side. i'm surprised by this reaction because leading hispanic democratics have said they agree with me. on monday wolf blitzer of cnn asked

Lamar Alexander

1:33:01 to 1:33:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: a mayor about sing the national an nem in spanish. here's what the mayor of los angeles, an hispanic and a democrat, had to say in his conversation with wolf blitzer, and i quote wolf. "let me just

Lamar Alexander

1:33:13 to 1:33:33( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: say to you, let me make it absolutely clear, i was offended, i was offended because for me the national anthem is something i believe deserves respect and i think that without question that the vast

Lamar Alexander

1:33:33 to 1:33:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: majority of people in the united states of america were offended as well well." continuing the quote from the mayor of los angeles, mayor vivment a re goso a, "our anthem should be sung in spanish.

Lamar Alexander

1:33:45 to 1:33:56( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: "so is offend by it." said the mayor of los angeles "and i think most people were and very few people bought into that. it really was a nonissue and i think it was important to dis dismiss it as

Lamar Alexander

1:33:56 to 1:34:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: quickly as possible." well, mr. president, apparently a few of the people who buy into that are on the other side of the aisle. they're objecting to this resolution that say when we start the day with

Lamar Alexander

1:34:07 to 1:34:18( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the pledge of allegiance, when we sing the national anthem, when we take the oath of allegiance, we taught to do it in our common language, english. it doesn't require it. it doesn't make it a law.

Lamar Alexander

1:34:18 to 1:34:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: it doesn't say we're not free do do whatever we want to. it just says we ought to. as the mayor of los angeles says says, he was offended by the suggestion that we shouldn't do it. he thought very

Lamar Alexander

1:34:28 to 1:34:40( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: few people bought into that. it is a nonissue. dismiss it as quickly as possible. the way do that is to adopt this resolution sponsored by 12 members of the united states senate. so i agree with the mayor

Lamar Alexander

1:34:40 to 1:34:56( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: of los angeles. we should dismiss this idea of singing the national anthem in foreign languages as quickly as possible and that's what i try to do by offering this resolution. governor bill richardson

Lamar Alexander

1:34:56 to 1:35:11( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: of new mexico, also a democrat and an hispanic, agrees. he appeared on the cbs "early show" with me on monday morning. we were talking about the day without immigrants. after i explained my view on sing

Lamar Alexander

1:35:11 to 1:35:25( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the national anthem in english and talked about this resolution, here's what governor richardson had to say. "well, i agree. the national anthem should be in english. and i believe that again most

Lamar Alexander

1:35:25 to 1:35:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: immigrants want to become americans. they want to learn english. they want to be part of the american mainstream. they wear nfl jersey circumstance they want to be american. 'so i don't believe that

Lamar Alexander

1:35:38 to 1:35:53( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: that view that immigrants with a tonight learn the anthem in spanish is accurate. i think that was a sideshow. but definitely our anthem is english." '" that's governor bill richard richardson of new mexico.

Lamar Alexander

1:35:53 to 1:36:08( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: but parntsly some senate democrats disagree. apparently some of them think we should some of the time sing it in a foreign language. but maybe i've misunderstood. let me say that i understand from

Lamar Alexander

1:36:08 to 1:36:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the other side that there's no one here to object. that the democrats have all gone home. and that if i were to bring up my resolution today, as i had intended to do, that it would pass by unanimous

Lamar Alexander

1:36:21 to 1:36:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: consent without an objection from the democratic side. i think as a matter of senatorial courtesy, i shouldn't do that. i respect my colleagues, and i don't intend to surprise them anymore than

Lamar Alexander

1:36:37 to 1:36:47( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: i would like to be them to surprise me. so i will not today ask for a unanimous consent that s. res. 4 458 be discharge ed from the judiciary committee and that the senate proceed to itsz consideration

Lamar Alexander

1:36:47 to 1:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and ask that the resolution and preamble be agreed to and the motion motion to reconsider be laid upon the table. i will not do that today. but i would like to put my friends on the other side on notice

Lamar Alexander

1:37:00 to 1:37:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: that i intend to do this every other day, every oir other day that i am here, and as long as this is not enacted, i intend to do it. and each day i will do it in a constructive way. i will try to help

Lamar Alexander

1:37:13 to 1:37:26( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the american people have a short civics lesson on what unites us as a country. mr. president, this is not a country where we're based on our race. this is not a country where we're based on our ethnicity

Lamar Alexander

1:37:26 to 1:37:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: or where our ancestors came from. this is a country that is based on a few ideas that are founded in our -- that are found in our founding documents, based on our common history and our common language.

Lamar Alexander

1:37:36 to 1:37:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: we're proud to be wherever we come from or wherever our ancestors came from. we're proud to be an american. almost every american agrees with that. we created our common schools 150 years ago. knelt

Lamar Alexander

1:37:52 to 1:38:04( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: words of al schanker, as i said yesterday, to help mostly immigrant children learn to read and write in english and learn math and to learn what it went meant to be an american. in 1906 we said that

Lamar Alexander

1:38:04 to 1:38:17( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: anyone who budgets becomes a citizen of this country needs to pass a test in english at the eighth grade level. that's the level it is at today. this senate by a 91-1 vote last week said, as we consider

Lamar Alexander

1:38:17 to 1:38:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: an im imgraying immigration bill, we ought to focus especially and redouble our efforts on helping prospective citizens citizens become americans. because when we have a lot of people from other countries

Lamar Alexander

1:38:28 to 1:38:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: come here, the real limit is how quickly we can assimilate theme in our culture. how quickly they can become americans. we want loot lots of new immigrants but we do not want enclaves of people living

Lamar Alexander

1:38:38 to 1:38:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: here who have their alleyians to other countries and who-- --allegiance to other countries and who permanently decide to speak in another language and who don't pledge of allegiance to our flag. that underlines

Lamar Alexander

1:38:50 to 1:39:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: our debate on immigration as much as anything else. so this is a very fundamental issue for me, mr. president. and i believe for a great many americans. so i think it is important for the people

Lamar Alexander

1:39:07 to 1:39:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: of this country to know that 12 of us in the senate have before this body a very simple resolution, not about what we're made to do but with w. about what we ought to do and what we ought to do,

Lamar Alexander

1:39:21 to 1:39:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: whether we're at our boy scout or cub scout or whether we're beginning the senate and we say the pledge of allegiance, it ought to be in our common language. if we're singing the national anthem before

Lamar Alexander

1:39:28 to 1:39:43( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: a football game, it ought to be in our common lang, english. if we're taking the oath of allegiance of citizenship to the united states america, which a half million to a million new citizens do

Lamar Alexander

1:39:43 to 1:39:57( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: every year since 190 1906, by law it's been in our common language. and we ought 10 say 10 to say that as united states senators. the mayor of los angeles said it it. he is offended by the idea,

Lamar Alexander

1:39:57 to 1:40:10( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: he says, that our national anthem should be sung in some other language. governor bill richardson says it it. he's -- he disbreaz agrees. he doesn't think it ought to be aaron. this bill has been introduced

Lamar Alexander

1:40:10 to 1:40:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: in the howrment. it has strong support there. what's wrong with the senate democrats. why do they insist day after day that our national anthem, our fledge fledge, and our-- --our pledge of allegiance,

Lamar Alexander

1:40:21 to 1:40:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and our oath of citizenship ought to be sung in some other language than our common language, english? i'd like to get this cleared up. so out of respect to my colleagues in the senate and the fact

Lamar Alexander

1:40:36 to 1:40:44( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: they're not here to object -- but they do objectdditional not ask for unanimous consent today. but i do again want to say to my friends, this floor here is for the debate ising of important is -- is

Lamar Alexander

1:40:44 to 1:40:56( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: for the debate ing of important issues issues. we have so little civics taught in american schools today that perhaps we need a little civics lesson every single day on the floor of the senate. i intend

Lamar Alexander

1:40:56 to 1:41:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: to provide it every single day that i'm here until this legislation is vote ed on and when it is vote ed on, mr. president, i will predict it will pass by a wide margin with bipartisan support. it might

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