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Senate Proceeding on May 12th, 2011 :: 3:17:30 to 3:31:50
Total video length: 8 hours 26 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Charles Schumer

3:17:27 to 3:17:47( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: first, i want to just give kudos and accolades to my friend and colleague and fellow madisonian -- madison high school in brooklyn, new york, that is -- bernie sanders. i have rarely met, not just here in the senate but in public life, people who display the

Charles Schumer

3:17:30 to 3:31:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

3:17:48 to 3:18:08( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: passion and the effectiveness combined that bernie does. and sometimes it's a lonely world for him in a certain sense because he feels these issues so strongly, he is so outstanding at articulating them in every way, and he wonders why the world doesn't change a little more. well, bernie, in terms of this

Charles Schumer

3:18:09 to 3:18:30( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: world, which changes slowly, unfortunately, we would agree with that, you've done a great deal of good for people who need help. and i'm just glad you're here and i'm glad you're my friend. thank you. anyway, madam president, i rise today in support of the legislation authored by my good friend from new jersey, senator menendez. as you know, the democrats here

Charles Schumer

3:18:31 to 3:18:53( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: on our side of the aisle are focusing on this legislation this week and next. but senator menendez has been championing this legislation for quite awhile. and he was prescient to focus on this idea and i'm glad we'll have a vote on it and i hope the vote will pass. i've heard a few of our republican colleagues now have said they'd consider voting for it.

Charles Schumer

3:18:54 to 3:19:14( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: nothing would be better in terms of showing some bipartisanness and giving us some hope that we can come to a fair agreement on the budget than to pass this legislation. now, in the last election, voters who gave those of us who have the privilege of serving in this chamber two distinct mandates.

Charles Schumer

3:19:15 to 3:19:35( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: they told us to do two things at once. first, perhaps foremost, make the economy grow, create good-paying jobs, make sure that that american dream burns brightly, the dream that says to the average middle-class family, the odds are pretty good that you'll be doing better ten years from now than you're doing today. and the odds are very good that your kids will do better than

Charles Schumer

3:19:36 to 3:19:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: you. that dream which has burnt so bright until this country for hundreds of years, the candle began to flicker a little bit in this decade because median income went down even before the recession, which meant that even if you had a job -- and we know that millions are out of work despite the fact that they look,

Charles Schumer

3:19:57 to 3:20:17( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and i think of all the people who i've met who are struggling because they don't have jobs -- but even people who do have work, they have a difficult time when they sit down at that dinner table friday night after dinner figuring out how they're going to pay the bills. the costs and needs keep going up. and even when you have a job,

Charles Schumer

3:20:18 to 3:20:40( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the income doesn't seem to keep up. so that is one obligation the voters sent to us and it's a very justified one. but second, they said in no uncertain terms, rein in the out-of-control federal deficit, rein it in. and they're right. because in a certain sense, madam president -- and i've said

Charles Schumer

3:20:41 to 3:21:02( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: this before but i think it's -- i think it's worth repeating -- the debt, the symbolic nature of the debt is as follows. we, the u.s. government, are a blindfolded man and we're walking towards the cliff, and once we fall off that cliff, there's no getting back up. now, the debate is whether we're

Charles Schumer

3:21:03 to 3:21:23( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: 20 feet from that cliff or 200 yards from that cliff. but we know sooner or later if we keep walking straight we're, going to fall off. so that means try to rein in this federal -- out-of-control federal deficit. is would be hard enough to accomplish one of these goals. to try to do both at once is a herculean task.

Charles Schumer

3:21:24 to 3:21:45( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and it's why we're having such divisions here and it's why everyone's grappling. and i think everyone's trying to do the right thing, regardless of their ideology, but there are strong feelings. so when we can come to issues that seem to have an easy, common ground, because things

Charles Schumer

3:21:46 to 3:22:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: are so difficult, we ought to jump at them. and that's what the menendez amendment is. it's a choice that's not a tough one, not by a mile, because it is obvious that at this time when there are so many needs, to continue to give the oil companies the kinds of tax break

Charles Schumer

3:22:07 to 3:22:27( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we do make no sense. getting rid of these corporate subsidies to big oil is a no-brainer. decades ago, these were passed. oil was $17 a barrel. and maybe it made sense in those days to give companies an incentive to explore, produce. one of the subsidies that the

Charles Schumer

3:22:28 to 3:22:48( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: menendez legislation repeals, the oil depletion allowance, dates back to 1913. that's the same year a man named william burton patented a new oil extraction process called thermal cracking. well, madam president, big oil no longer cracks petroleum using mr. burton's method. it's an outdated process,

Charles Schumer

3:22:49 to 3:23:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: decidedly, but the outdated tax subsidy still remains on the books, amazingly enough. with oil hovering at $100 a barrel, big oil reaping record profits, it defies logic for this government to spend billions of dollars, for these taxpayers to give dollars out of their pocket every year when they're struggling to tax

Charles Schumer

3:23:11 to 3:23:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: giveaways to big oil which is making record profits. believe me, the free market gives the oil companies enough of an incentive to produce. when oil is $100 a barrel, they don't need an extra subsidy from the federal government to produce. they're going to produce every bit of oil they can.

Charles Schumer

3:23:32 to 3:23:52( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: they make huge profits. so they don't need a financial nudge from washington. and at the same time, middle-class americans get hit with a double whammy. they're paying $70 or more to fill up their gas tank and then

Charles Schumer

3:23:53 to 3:24:13( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: their -- some of their hard-earned tax dollars are being used to line big oil's pockets. in my home state of new york, the price of gas is up 35% on average compared to this time last year. economists estimate the typical family will pay more than a thousand dollars more on gas this year than last.

Charles Schumer

3:24:14 to 3:24:35( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: families across the country are still struggling to make ends meet as the economy slowly recovers. they can't afford to get gouged at the pump. with billions of dollars worth of tax subsidies and gas prices at near record highs, it's no wonder that the top five oil companies just announced mind-boggling profits. these companies are not only among the most profitable

Charles Schumer

3:24:36 to 3:24:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: businesses in the u.s., they're among the most profitable in the whole world. in the first quarter of this year alone, the big five brought in $36 billion in profit. in the past decade, they took home nearly a trillion -- not a billion, a trillion dollars in profit. now, there's nothing wrong with these profits in and of

Charles Schumer

3:24:57 to 3:25:17( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: themselves. in america, we celebrat success. we want the private sector to thrive. but at a time when the government is looking to tighten its belt and we're grappling with painful cuts because we have the dual goal of growing the middle class but also reducing the deficit, it boggles the mind that we continue to

Charles Schumer

3:25:18 to 3:25:40( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: subsidize such a lavishly profitable industry. there are priorities. i said this to the oil company executives today when they testified before the finance committee. and i want to salute chairman baucus for holding such outstanding hearings. there are priorities. how many americans would say if we had to choose that we should

Charles Schumer

3:25:41 to 3:26:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: give oil companies an extra subsidy rather than help kids who deserve to go to college pay for college? that's what many of my colleagues are recommending. that's what the house budget recommended. how many of my colleagues would say that we ought to cut cancer research but still continue to

Charles Schumer

3:26:02 to 3:26:22( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: give the oil companies subsidies we do? again, the ryan budget does t that. now, i understand they would say, we have to cut spending. we do. but we also have to cut out wasteful giveaways like tax breaks to big oil. and i'd do that before i'd cut

Charles Schumer

3:26:23 to 3:26:45( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: aid to college students who are struggling to pay for college, which is more and more expensive. before i cut cancer research, which has saved millions of lives, including people we know and love. i would do that before i'd cut money for veterans or cut money

Charles Schumer

3:26:46 to 3:27:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: to keep our homeland secure. but the budget that mr. ryan has proposed -- and many of the budgets that i've seen come from colleagues on the other side of the aisle -- choose these subsidies to big oil over money to help kids pay for college, over cancer research, over helping our veterans, over keeping our homeland secure.

Charles Schumer

3:27:07 to 3:27:27( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: hardly any american would agree with that. hardly any american, democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, northeast, south or west. so just try to wrap your head around it. big oil is recording record profit, gas prices are near an all-time high, and we, the

Charles Schumer

3:27:28 to 3:27:49( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: american taxpayer, are subsidizing the oil industry to the tune of $4 billion a year. you don't need the imagination of lewis carroll to come up with a more ridiculous scenario. that's why i strongly support and i'm proud to cosponsor senator menendez's "close big oil tax loopholes act." this legislation will put an end

Charles Schumer

3:27:50 to 3:28:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: to taxpayer handouts to the five largest integrated companies, use the $21 billion savings to reduce the deficit. this $21 billion is an excellent down payment on our effort to get the nation's fiscal house in order. the bill repeals a host of byzantine tax provisions that only a lobbyist could love, such

Charles Schumer

3:28:11 to 3:28:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: as the deduction for tertiary injectants and the deduction for intangible extraction costs. small- and medium-sized oil firms are exempt. the legislation only deals with the big five -- shell, exxonmobil, chevron, conocophillips, and b.p. now, i've heard pundits from the

Charles Schumer

3:28:32 to 3:28:52( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: hard right parrot big oil's talking point that repealing these giveaways would increase gas prices for consumers. well, nothing could be further from the truth. independent analyses have repeatedly found that ending these absurd subsidies would not impact the price of gas. and in what was perhaps an inadvertent moment of candor at

Charles Schumer

3:28:53 to 3:29:15( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: this morning's senate finance committee hearing, exxonmobil's c.e.o.r x tillerson said -- and i quote -- "gasoline prices are a function of crude oil prices, which are set in the marketplace by global supply and demand, not by companies such as ours." now, that doesn't seem like an objectionable comment.

Charles Schumer

3:29:16 to 3:29:36( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it's true. but even -- when he made that comment, mr. tillerson of exxonmobil has conceded that repealing taxpayer-funded subsidies for the big five will not increase prices. prices are set, as he says, by global supply and demand. that's not to say that repealing the subsidies will necessarily bring down prices.

Charles Schumer

3:29:37 to 3:29:59( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we're not making that claim. all along, we've been clear that the purpose of this bill is to make a dent in the deficit by repealing tax breaks for the five companies that are the least in need of help from uncle sam. that's not lowering the cost and ridding our country on its dependence on foreign oil

Charles Schumer

3:30:00 to 3:30:20( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: requires a long-term, comprehensive approach. and in the months ahead, i expect the democratic caucus will unveil a thorough and forward-thinking plan to do just that. in the meantime, if republicans in the house are serious about deficit reduction, the menendez bill is their chance to show it now. there's no good reason mott to support this sensible

Charles Schumer

3:30:21 to 3:30:41( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: legislation. speaker boehner said earlier this week, he wants to make trillions of dollars in cuts. well, here's a good place to start. indeed, the speaker himself has said as much. let's not forget that he was in favor of repealing oil subsidies before he was against it. the bottom line is this:

Charles Schumer

3:30:42 to 3:31:02( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: at a time of sky-high oil prices, it is unfathomable to continue to pad the profits of oil companies with taxpayer-funded subsidies. the time to repeal these giveaways is now. our plan to cut the deficit begins with ending waistsful subsidies to big oil. the republican plan begins with

Charles Schumer

3:31:03 to 3:31:24( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: ending medicare as we know t that's a bright-line difference between our side and theirs. we know what choice the american people will make. i yield the floor. and i ask -- i ask that the president report the nomination. i don't yield the floor.

Charles Schumer

3:31:25 to 3:31:45( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: i note the nomination of. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order you the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination, whi clerk will report. the clerk: nomination: michael francis urbanski of virginia to be united states

Charles Schumer

3:31:46 to 3:31:52( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: district judge. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there willing an hour of debate is with respect to the nomination,

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