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Senate Proceeding on May 6th, 2008 :: 2:03:03 to 2:17:45
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John Rockefeller

1:54:53 to 2:03:03( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: John Rockefeller

John Rockefeller

2:02:51 to 2:03:03( Edit History Discussion )

John Rockefeller: the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. rockefeller: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: the presiding officer:

Chuck Grassley

2:03:03 to 2:03:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask that the quorum be call be -- quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. grassley: mr. president, i have two unanimous consent

Chuck Grassley

2:03:03 to 2:17:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

2:03:13 to 2:03:27( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: requests. i ask unanimous consent that the next republican speaker be senator vitter. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. grassley: and my second request is that we have consent

Chuck Grassley

2:03:27 to 2:03:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that david greenwald of my finance committee staff, have privileges to the floor during the month of may. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. grassley: mr. president, we're in a situation

Chuck Grassley

2:03:45 to 2:04:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: where a couple hours from now we're going to have a vote, and i'm that people across the country watching this debate might be wondering what is going on on this federal aviation administration reauthorization

Chuck Grassley

2:04:03 to 2:04:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: bill. i'd like to shed some light on where we are. as i shed some light, i want to respond to some of the fiction that has taken the guise of debate. on wednesday of last week, two senators -- one

Chuck Grassley

2:04:18 to 2:04:33( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: republican and one democrat, senator durbin the democrat and senator hutchison, the republican -- offered an amendment to strike a provision in the substitute amendment then before the senate. the substitute

Chuck Grassley

2:04:33 to 2:04:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: then pending was the product of extensive staff negotiations and member discussions between two committees with jurisdiction over their federal aviation administration program. the two committees

Chuck Grassley

2:04:48 to 2:05:01( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: were the finance committee that i serve on and the other committee i don't serve on: the commerce commite. people that maybe don't understand hout senate works or doesn't -- how the senate works

Chuck Grassley

2:05:01 to 2:05:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: or doesn't work may wonder what the situation is. i'd like to explain there's certain elementary things about the united states senate that are very fundamental. first of all, nothing gets done in the

Chuck Grassley

2:05:22 to 2:05:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: united states senate that's not somewhat bipartisan because of the benefits of debate for minorities to hold up legislation until things are accommodated. in other words, meaning compromise. it's often

Chuck Grassley

2:05:38 to 2:05:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: difficult to get one committee of republicans and democrats together to bring an agreement and bring it to the floor that can get passed. it's much more difficult to get republicans and democrats on one

Chuck Grassley

2:05:56 to 2:06:11( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: committee together, but then you've got the added benefit of the commerce committee getting together for a compromise, and then working out compromises between the commerce committee and the finance committee

Chuck Grassley

2:06:11 to 2:06:27( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: makes it doubly or triply, in a triple manner difficult to get things done on the senate floor. so we have two committees that reached an accommodation bringi a bill to the floor. and then after it gets

Chuck Grassley

2:06:27 to 2:06:44( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: here, then it runs into trouble. now the finance committee's involvement in this is determining the aviation excise taxes and controls the airport and airway trust fund. we have to raise revenue. without

Chuck Grassley

2:06:44 to 2:06:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that money, there wouldn't be much that the federal aviation program could ever accomplish. on the other hand, the commerce committee develops all the policy and all the programs that involve airports

Chuck Grassley

2:06:56 to 2:07:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and aviation. so that's how you get two committees working together to get a bill to the floor. the finance committee works out its differences between republicans and democrats on financing. the

Chuck Grassley

2:07:14 to 2:07:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: commerce committee works out its differences between democrats and republicans on the policy of airports and aviation. then you have to get these two committees together to move things on the floor

Chuck Grassley

2:07:30 to 2:07:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of the senate. last year the commerce committee acted first. the finance committee acted a few weeks later. the finance committee, as part of its compromises, addressed airline pensions, and we've

Chuck Grassley

2:07:46 to 2:08:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: heard many arguments pro and con about the merits of the finance committee provision. i addressed the merits myself at length last week, so i'm not going to repeat those merits now. but in a few

Chuck Grassley

2:08:03 to 2:08:19( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: moments i want to respond to some of the points that have been made by opponents of the finance committee provision. now, as i said earlier, the substitute that was before the senate until last thursday,

Chuck Grassley

2:08:19 to 2:08:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i believe, was a product of a compromise between the finance committee and the commerce committee. but that compromise -- under that compromise, the feder aviation subcommittee chairman and ranking republican

Chuck Grassley

2:08:34 to 2:08:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: were managing the bill. they were, however, at a minimum, under the obligation to consult with the finance committee chairman, who was senator baucus from montana, and the ranking member, who happens

Chuck Grassley

2:08:51 to 2:09:12( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: to be this senator, with respect to the finance committee's matters in that substitute. that compromise and understanding was violated when the democratic floor manager unilaterally modified the substitute.

Chuck Grassley

2:09:12 to 2:09:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and under the rules of the senate, he had that right to do that. the modification was directly adverse to the interests of the finance comttee members' compromise among themselves. so, the managers breached

Chuck Grassley

2:09:29 to 2:09:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: that compromise. just plain and simple, that compromise was breached. now, what matters worse is that the democratic leader backstopped the democratic floor managers violation of the finance committee

Chuck Grassley

2:09:45 to 2:10:06( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: compromise by filling the amendment tree. the amendment tree. that means that basically, for those watching, that means that nothing is going to be brought to the senate floor as an amendment without

Chuck Grassley

2:10:06 to 2:10:24( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the unanimous consent of somebody who has that responsibility on the other side of the aisle. so, tremendous power in one person when the, what we call the amendment tree is filled. now, we all

Chuck Grassley

2:10:24 to 2:10:41( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: know that the proponents of the amendment, the democratic whip, has a lot of power. that power was displayed when the offending narrow pension provision i've already referred to -- i mean the

Chuck Grassley

2:10:41 to 2:11:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: pension provision that the finance committee was trying to correct was airdropped into a conference report on iraq pending last year. there were no hearings, there was no markup, there was no committee

Chuck Grassley

2:11:02 to 2:11:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: process, there was no transparency. just airdropped in a war supplemental conference committee report; something that everybody knew was going to pass and be signed by the president. so, airdropped. wham, bam!

Chuck Grassley

2:11:17 to 2:11:33( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: here it is, take it or leave it, special interest provisions cooked up in the office of the leaders of the democratic caucus. now, it's not the way that we ought to legislate, and we've been told that

Chuck Grassley

2:11:33 to 2:11:49( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: by people on the other side of the aisle many times, and i want to make reference to at least one of those times. i seem to recall a lot of outrage when these kinds of narrow provisions were airdropped

Chuck Grassley

2:11:49 to 2:12:06( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: into a conference report when we republicans were in a majority, and no one was louder than the proponents of the amendment that was last week on the senate floor than the democratic whip. if we

Chuck Grassley

2:12:06 to 2:12:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: had a c-span checker, you could roll the tape back a few years. but i'll have to settle, because i'm not going to roll c-span back to demonstrate the inconsistency of what's going on here. so i have

Chuck Grassley

2:12:18 to 2:12:31( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: a "new york times" article i want to refer to, and, mr. president, i'd like to insert this in the record. i'm only going to read from a small part of it, though. it's dated september 11 -- the presiding

Chuck Grassley

2:12:31 to 2:12:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. grassley: it is dated september 11, 1997. that article deals with a very successful effort on the part of the senate -- the present senate democratic whip

Chuck Grassley

2:12:48 to 2:13:06( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: to remove an extraneous matter th had been airdropped into a conference report on a popular tax relief bill by then the republican majority of the united states senate. the offensive measure was a tax credit

Chuck Grassley

2:13:06 to 2:13:28( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: for payments made by tobacco companies in the tobacco court settlement. the democratic whip successfully repealed that airdrop provision. i happen to think he did the right thing there, because i supported

Chuck Grassley

2:13:28 to 2:13:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: his efforts. the democratic whip noted his victory by saying this, and i quote from "the new york times" article of september 11, 1997 -- "don't try this type of backroom deal and deception in the future"

Chuck Grassley

2:13:45 to 2:14:01( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: -- that's a quote, and i want to continue to quote -- "it is really an example of old school of politics. the old style of politics." that's a quote from the very same person that's involved in this

Chuck Grassley

2:14:01 to 2:14:15( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: effort that we're speaking about now and that we're going to be voting on this afternoon. the distrust of the public for the old school of politics, the old style of politics, is something that

Chuck Grassley

2:14:15 to 2:14:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the junior senator -- not the senior senator, but the junior senator from illinois has eloquently raised on the presidential campaign trail. to be bipartisan, i might say that the senior senator from

Chuck Grassley

2:14:30 to 2:14:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: arizona, also a candidate for the presidency, has also touched a nerve about the old school of politics and the old style of politics as well. the democratic whip was right 12 years ago. i agreed with

Chuck Grassley

2:14:46 to 2:15:02( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: him 12 years ago. i voted with him 12 years ago.x unfortunately with respect to this air drop pension provision, the old school of politics, the old style of politics was applied. now, what do

Chuck Grassley

2:15:02 to 2:15:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i mean? in this case old school, old style power politics was at play. a powerful member of the democratic leadership. a key member of the appropriations committee did an end run around the finance

Chuck Grassley

2:15:18 to 2:15:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: committee and also the health education labor pension committee. for get about the nearly year-long conference negotiations that went on to get a pension bill passed in 2006 as well. it was bipartisan.

Chuck Grassley

2:15:30 to 2:15:47( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and involved the work of two committees, which i have spoken to that it is often difficult to get one committee together without getting two committees going in the same direction. forget about

Chuck Grassley

2:15:47 to 2:16:05( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the nearly year-long conference negotiations othe pension bill. forget about all of the hearings that the senate, tax writing has held on pension reform in the year 2006. forget about the delegate

Chuck Grassley

2:16:05 to 2:16:21( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: compromise -- the delegate compromise worked out on the way that the funding rules affected airlines. all of a sudden none of that mattered. the democratic whip noted his victory. none of that mattered.

Chuck Grassley

2:16:21 to 2:16:36( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and so consequently here we are. a person who 11 years ago found fault with a majority party, air dropping something -- in other words, stuffing something in conference without debate, without

Chuck Grassley

2:16:36 to 2:16:55( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: hearings, without committee markup. doing the same thing. -- doing the same thing 10 years later. and we're trying correct what he was able to successfully correct in 1997, we're trying to correct

Chuck Grassley

2:16:55 to 2:17:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: now and we have obstacles put in the way, things having a very unusual compromise worked out, junked by the managers of the bill and backed up by a -- an amendment tree being filled. so nobody can get a vote

Chuck Grassley

2:17:17 to 2:17:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: on things that ought to be voted upon. and compromises that were worked out in 2006 ought to be maintained and backed up as an -- as overwhelmingly passed at that particular time. i yield the floor.

Chuck Grassley

2:17:30 to 2:17:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to talk about the f.a.a. reauthorization bill and a crucial issue that

David Vitter

2:17:45 to 2:18:01( Edit History Discussion )

David Vitter: affects not only the entire airline industry and is therefore at the center of this effort, but also it dramatically affects every louisiana family, every american family struggling to pay its bills

David Vitter

2:17:45 to 2:44:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: David Vitter

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