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Senate Proceeding on May 12th, 2011 :: 6:50:15 to 7:11:25
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Sheldon Whitehouse

6:49:56 to 6:50:18( Edit History Discussion )

Sheldon Whitehouse: consent that the time for morning business for debate only be extended until 6:00 p.m., with senators permitted until then to speak for up ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. whitehouse: with that, i

Jeff Sessions

6:50:15 to 7:11:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions

6:50:19 to 6:50:42( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: yield the floor. mr. sessions: madam president? the presiding officer: the senato recognized. mr. sessions: madam president, i thank the chair and just would share a important matter of the financial health of the united states. we had a nice meeting with the

Jeff Sessions

6:50:43 to 6:51:04( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: president earlier today. republican senators, virtually all, were there, shared their thoughts, and the president responded. all in all, it was a good exchange. those are the kind of meetings that i don't talk about what is said in detail or quote anyone. i was asked by a number of

Jeff Sessions

6:51:05 to 6:51:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: reporters what happened and what qusay about it -- and what could you say about it. and i guess my conclusion is that not much happened, that no commitments were made that i could see that indicated to the president had mad the budget he had submitted or

Jeff Sessions

6:51:28 to 6:51:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: the speech he gave somewhat amending his budget a few weeks ago. he did not make any the plan that i am seeing out there. he discussed it. maybe something will happen.

Jeff Sessions

6:51:49 to 6:52:11( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: well, what is the status of the senate business? this is the senate. the senate has serious responsibilities. the budget act was designed ensure that congress passes a budget because it was learned over the years -- it goes back to the 1970's -- that a budget is important for a country to have. families have them, businesses

Jeff Sessions

6:52:12 to 6:52:35( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: have them, you need a congress was having trouble passing a budget, so they passed the budget act that allowed a budget to become law without 60 votes in the but they could be passed with 350 votes. -- but they could be passed with 50 votes. we know there are 54 democrats

Jeff Sessions

6:52:36 to 6:52:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: in the guess, than that with independents, that caucus with the democrats. so this is a situation we're the president complied with the budget act a week late by submitting his budget. and his budget failed to meet

Jeff Sessions

6:52:59 to 6:53:20( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: the requirements of our time to a very significant every witness we've had in our budget committee -- i'm the ranking republican on it -- has indicated and told us, many in great detail and with passion, we're on an unsustainable course. you can't continue to borrow 40 cents of every dollar and try to

Jeff Sessions

6:53:21 to 6:53:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: fund the government borrowing that kind of money, that we will hit a budget deficit this year of $1.5 trillion, the largest in the history of america. and in four years the president will have doubled the entire debt of the united states based on the trillion-dollar deficits he's had each single year.

Jeff Sessions

6:53:42 to 6:54:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: so this is not an path for us to be on. and we had hearings in the budget committee about the critical issues we face. we considered and from the fiscal commission that president obama appointed, erskine bowles and alan sirch

Jeff Sessions

6:54:04 to 6:54:25( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: sofnlt -- alan simpson. we had the riff are inand dim commission. alice rivlin was o.m.b. director for president clinton and a wizard herself with numbers. and they proposed some real changes in the debt projectory we're on.

Jeff Sessions

6:54:26 to 6:54:46( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: so i thought after that, and based on the comments of senator conrad, our chairman, and the strong witnesses that we heard that called on us to make significant changes in what we were doing, that we would move forward with a budget that would be a good bit stronger than the

Jeff Sessions

6:54:47 to 6:55:07( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: one president obama submitted. indeed, president obama's budget was not serious. president obama's budget took the current spending line for ten years that the congressional budget office says we're on, and it made it worse.

Jeff Sessions

6:55:08 to 6:55:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: it made the deficit worse, $2 trillion worse than the current plan we were on. totally unacceptable. he proposed in his budget increasing education funding by 10.5%, increasing energy department funding funding.5%. increasing state department

Jeff Sessions

6:55:31 to 6:55:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: funding 10.5%, proposed increasing the transportation department 62%. i mean, in a time when inflation is, what, 2%, we're having those kind wire we're submitting a budget that recognizes we're on an unsustainable course and we've

Jeff Sessions

6:55:52 to 6:56:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: got to change? well, it was unacceptable. i was very disappointed about it. and i think even the man he appointed to head the debt commission, erskine bowles, said it was -- they've close to what's necessary to

Jeff Sessions

6:56:13 to 6:56:33( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: avoid our well -- so, we were told by our budget chairman, senator conrad, who it's been a pleasure to work with, that we would have a budget beginning -- budget markup beginning this monday.

Jeff Sessions

6:56:34 to 6:56:54( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: told us that last week. we wilwell, it didn't happen on monday, maybe it was ghg to be tuesday. maybe it was going to bence with day. all of the sudden, the white house invited the democrats over onence with dorks the preens hon thursday. and everything is o i asked my staff, have we received a notice that we're going to have a budget committee hearing next

Jeff Sessions

6:56:55 to 6:57:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: week? and the answer is "no." so what do we say about that? the budget act says that the senate and the house should commence budget action april 1. we've not done that. it sthais a budget should be

Jeff Sessions

6:57:17 to 6:57:38( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: passed -- it says that a budget should be passed by april 156789 the senate has not done that. the republican house has. the republican house has proposed an historic budget. they've passed it. they passed it on time. it would reduce spending by about $6 trillion. that would actually reduce taxes

Jeff Sessions

6:57:39 to 6:58:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: also and get the rates down to help encourage more economic growth, and put us on a path to fiscal sanity, not only this decade but in decades to come, because it dealt with some of the exploding entitlement programs like medicare.

Jeff Sessions

6:58:03 to 6:58:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and so what resulted from that? well, mr. ryan, a brilliant, young congressman, who has worked on budget issues for many, many years, is the most knowledgeable person probably in america about the details and the financial condition of america -- they attacked him. like he did something wrong.

Jeff Sessions

6:58:24 to 6:58:44( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: so the democratic senators and the president are spending their time attacking the one person who stood up and produced a budget that can be defended, and he's prepared to defend it anywhere, anytime. he goes to town hall he goes to town hall meetings. he explain what had his budget s it may not be perfect.

Jeff Sessions

6:58:45 to 6:59:06( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: but it is a change. it would put on a budget to financial stability. and what has the senate done? complained about his budget. well, it's time this senate produces a budget. let me say this:

Jeff Sessions

6:59:07 to 6:59:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: 743 the senate has passed a busmgh a budget. now, let me ask you, if you took a poll of the american people, how many of the american people would say, the senate shouldn't pass a budget? we've got a whole act that requires one to be passed and brought up and voted on.

Jeff Sessions

6:59:32 to 6:59:52( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: what happened last year? the budget committee did produce a budget. it came to the floor and the democratic leader, senator reid, well, he just didn't have time to bring it up. well, why? well, you know, there's a vote-a-rama. we don't like vote a-a-rama.

Jeff Sessions

6:59:53 to 7:00:14( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: everybody gets to file an amendment. you have senators that are supposed to vote. has to be brought up and passed. you have 50 howmplets it is passed bay simple majority. why? because we want to elevate the debate, make sure a budget is passed because a nation that intends to be serious about its

Jeff Sessions

7:00:15 to 7:00:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: financial stability needs a budget, does it not? it began in the 1970's. and so, we're now beginning to wonder, well, will the committee even pass a budget? is senator conrad not even going

Jeff Sessions

7:00:38 to 7:00:59( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: to have a committee markup and produce a budget? is the democratic senate just not even going to move one out of committee? at least it moved one out of committee last year. and if the committee does meet and does move a budget, is senator reid prepared to stand up like congressman ryan, lay his budget down before the

Jeff Sessions

7:01:00 to 7:01:22( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: american people, and defend it before the world? oh, well, we need to have talks. we've got talks going on. the vice president's having a meeting. the president is inviting everybody over. why don't we move forward with our budget process, i why don't

Jeff Sessions

7:01:23 to 7:01:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: well, why not? you read in one of our local newspapers that covers the senate, i think it was "the hill," that senator conrad had a hard time with his democratic colleagues. his budget, which i very much

Jeff Sessions

7:01:48 to 7:02:09( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: was afraid wouldn't be -- wouldn't contain spending enough, but certainly i felt it would be better than the budget president obama had submitted, was discussed with his democratic colleagues last week in the conference, and it didn't go well, we are told.

Jeff Sessions

7:02:10 to 7:02:31( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and so this week he came back again apparently and another budget. and according to the report, senator sanders, probably the most aggressive and articulate advocate for greater government spending and affectism in the senate, senator sanders seemed to be very happy that he changed the budget and it had $2

Jeff Sessions

7:02:32 to 7:02:53( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: trillion in tax increases, they said and $2 trillion in spending reductions. that's supposed to be balanced. but that's not what the debt commission said. didn't agree with really, they said, well, you should have at

Jeff Sessions

7:02:54 to 7:03:15( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: least $3 worth of spending reductions for increases. and now we have another report, i think it was in the "c.q." publication that does work around here and digs up information, they said it looks like it's going to b spending reductions than that.

Jeff Sessions

7:03:16 to 7:03:37( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: looks like it's going to be about $2 trillion in tax increases and only $1.5 trillion in reduced spending. so it's less than even one to one. well, i think if i were the majority leader, i wouldn't really feel comfortable about

Jeff Sessions

7:03:38 to 7:03:58( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: bringing such a budget as that before the american people and standing right down here and defending such a weak response to the fiscal crisis that we're now in. of course that budget is irresponsible. if that's so -- and i don't think the american people will be happy with it.

Jeff Sessions

7:03:59 to 7:04:19( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: i certainly will oppose it with every strength in my body if that's the nature of it. why don't you know, sessions? well, i haven't been told what's in it. we members of the committee wrote the chairman and asked that any budget numbers that are produced

Jeff Sessions

7:04:20 to 7:04:41( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: be produced 72 hours in advance of a hearing so we can study it, offer amendments or substitute as we chose to do so. we've been basically told that you will get the budget resolution that the chairman intends to file the morning it

Jeff Sessions

7:04:42 to 7:05:02( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: starts, when you c hearing to mark up the budget, we'll be getting a copy of it, what they propose to forward. and we really think that that's not a healthy way to do business

Jeff Sessions

7:05:03 to 7:05:23( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: on a matter this important. this period in history represents the most significant long-term threat to american financial stability that we've seen maybe ever. sure we had a tough time during world war ii and the debt went up.

Jeff Sessions

7:05:24 to 7:05:47( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: but you could see when the war was over and the strength of our workforce and the economy grew, we came right out of that and got that situation under control quickly. but now we're in a situation in which our nation is aging. the number of people working is down.

Jeff Sessions

7:05:48 to 7:06:08( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: the number of recipients is up in medicare and social security, and we have to figure out a way to honestly deal with that without in any way placing our seniors at risk and other people who benefit from government programs. it's going to take some change. it's first going to take change in wasteful washington spending.

Jeff Sessions

7:06:09 to 7:06:30( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: all our discretionary spending needs to be looked at aggressively and we also are going to have to look at the long-term prospects for our financial future as our creditors, those who are loaning us this money we are borrowing, are getting uneasy. they're not too comfortable with

Jeff Sessions

7:06:31 to 7:06:51( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: what we're doing. i just believe that any party, any president who desires the mantle of a leader, desires to demonstrate a commitment to a firm footing for our financial

Jeff Sessions

7:06:52 to 7:07:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: future should come forth with a plan as part of the budget process and lay it out so the american people can see it. and i'm becoming very concerned that once again, even though 743 days have passed since a budget has cleared this senate, that we

Jeff Sessions

7:07:13 to 7:07:34( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: may not get one this year. what an event. that, to me, is unthinkable. how irresponsible could we be to go another year under these circumstances? for example, the congressional budget office has analyzed the

Jeff Sessions

7:07:35 to 7:07:55( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: president's proposal for the future, and that scoring of the president's budget concludes a couple of things. last year our interest that we paid on the money this nation has borrowed was $200 billion. in ten years under the president's plan, the

Jeff Sessions

7:07:56 to 7:08:16( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: congressional budget office said the amount of interest that would be paid in one year is $940 billion. that's bigger than the defense department. that's bigger than medicare. it would be the largest single item in the entire budget. it's unthinkable we get no

Jeff Sessions

7:08:17 to 7:08:39( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: benefit from that whatsoever except the money we borrowed to live off of. we're passing huge debts off to our grandchildren, and the expert economists and financiers that testified before the budget committee said don't think that you can just assume that the problem falls on your grandchildren.

Jeff Sessions

7:08:40 to 7:09:00( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: they said we could have a crisis much sooner than that. mr. bowles and mr. simpson issued a statement to us when they testified that said we're facing the most predictable debt crisis in american history.

Jeff Sessions

7:09:01 to 7:09:21( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: when asked could we have a -- when such a crisis could hit us, and mr. bowles -- chosen by president obama to head the commission -- said two years, maybe a little earlier, maybe a little later. alan simpson said, i think twobgd be one year -- i think it could be one we hope we don't have some new

Jeff Sessions

7:09:22 to 7:09:42( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: debt crisis. we hope that the people that have been loaning us money don't get so nervous as they've done in greece that our interest rates surge, puts this economy in a dangerous condition and damages our country. i hope that's not within two years or one year. wouldn't that be a disaster for

Jeff Sessions

7:09:43 to 7:10:03( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: us? how do we prevent it? we take action now that changes the debt trajectory of our countr whole world. we get it, we know we can't continue on this path, and we're changing.

Jeff Sessions

7:10:04 to 7:10:27( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: and the government is set up, the way that change occurs is through the adoption of a budget. and, madam president, i remain very disappointed that while the house has produced an historic

Jeff Sessions

7:10:28 to 7:10:48( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: budget on time, by april 15, we now have not even begun to mark up a budget in the senate. that's irresponsible. and we need to american people need to know, that the majority leader, if a budget is passed out of committee -- and certainly it should be -- that he will move it on the floor and bring it up for vote in amendment and

Jeff Sessions

7:10:49 to 7:11:12( Edit History Discussion )

Jeff Sessions: debate. and then it goes to the house in conference, and they hammer out the differences, and we adopt a budget that can help put this country on a sound financial path and avoid the kind of cris that so many experts have warned us could occur. i thank the chair. i see my fabulous colleague,

Jeff Sessions

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

Jeff Sessions: senator hatch, here, ranking republican member of the finance committee, and my former chairman on the judiciary committee who is honored to serve with him. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. mr. hatch: madam president?

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