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Senate Proceeding on May 16th, 2011 :: 4:05:40 to 4:20:25
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Charles Schumer

4:05:40 to 4:06:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: is -- he's had the precious and fore early on. and i applaud the hard work he's done to build support for it. i'm also glad that our leader, senator reid, has scheduled a vote on it this week and i hope the bill will pass. i've heard even a few of my friends from the other side of the aisle say they're considering voting for it. nothing would be better, mr. president, in terms of

Charles Schumer

4:05:40 to 4:20:25( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

4:06:02 to 4:06:22( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: showing bipartisanship and giving the american people hope that we can come to a fair agreement on the budget than to pass the legislation this week. now, in the last election, voters gave those of us who serve in this chamber two distinct mandates. they told us to do two things at once, either which -- either one of which alone would be hard to

Charles Schumer

4:06:23 to 4:06:43( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: do. first and perhaps foremost, they said make the economy grow, create good-paying jobs, make sure that that american dream that says the odds are you'll be doing ten years better than you're doing today, they're pretty good, and the odds are better still that your children will do better than you.

Charles Schumer

4:06:44 to 4:07:04( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: that's the american dream. and since the founding of our great republic, that candle has blown -- has burned brightly in the eyes of americans who have been here, whose ancestors have been here since the mayflower has landed as well as in the eyes of americans who are just here for a generation or two and even immigrants.

Charles Schumer

4:07:05 to 4:07:25( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: but they also gave us a second mandate. not just grow the economy, not just employ people but they gave us a second -- rein in the out-of-control federal deficit. reign it in. and the american people -- rein it in. and the american people had wisdom because both these goals are important. some say that the debt isn't important.

Charles Schumer

4:07:26 to 4:07:46( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: i believe it is. and here's the way i put it. we, the federal government, are a blindfolded man and we're walking towards a cliff. once we fall off that cliff, there's no getting back up. now, the debate is whether we're 20 feet from that cliff or 200 yards from that cliff. but we know sooner or later, no

Charles Schumer

4:07:47 to 4:08:07( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: matter what our distance, if we keep walking, we're going to fall off. once you fall off, there's no getting back up. so that means we have to take the bull by the horns and confront our mounting deficit. it would be hard enough to accomplish one of these two goals. to try to do both at once is a herculean task.

Charles Schumer

4:08:08 to 4:08:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and i think everyone's trying to do the right thing, regardless of their ideology, but there are strong different feelings and clear policy differences. there are many tough choices ahead, but one choice -- there's at least one choice that isn't tough at all, not by a mile. it's obvious to me and to most

Charles Schumer

4:08:29 to 4:08:51( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: americans, whether people you just talk to as you go about your state or whether looking at the polling data, that at this time of fiscal restraint to continue to give the big oil companies giant tax breaks makes no sense. getting rid of these corporate subsidies to big oil is a no-brainer. decades ago, when these breaks

Charles Schumer

4:08:52 to 4:09:14( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: were enacted, oil was $17 a barrel. and maybe it made sense in those days to give companies an incentive to explore and to produce. one of the subsidies that the menendez legislation repeals, the oil depletion allowance, dates back to 1913. that's the same year a man named william burton patented a new

Charles Schumer

4:09:15 to 4:09:36( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: oil extraction process called thermal cracking. well, mr. president, big oil no longer cracks petroleum using mr. burton's method. it's an outdated process but the outdated tax subsidy still remains on the books, amazingly enough. with oil hovering at a hundred dollars a barrel and big oil

Charles Schumer

4:09:37 to 4:10:00( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: reaping record profits, it defies logic for the government to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on these subsidies. we are writing out a check, $4 billion, to the big oil companies. does that make sense, when we have so many other needs and we have a huge deficit? to me it doesn't.

Charles Schumer

4:10:01 to 4:10:23( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: at the same time americans get hit with a double whammy. when they drive up to the pump, they're paying $4, close to it, a gallon for gasoline, diesel fuel, and big oil is taking some dollars out of their pockets because their taxes, a small

Charles Schumer

4:10:24 to 4:10:46( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: percentage of it, goes to pay these big oil subsidies. how galling. in my home state of new york, the price of gasoline is up 35% on average compared to this time last year. economists estimate that a typical new york family, a typical american family will pay as much as a thousand dollars

Charles Schumer

4:10:47 to 4:11:07( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: more on gas this year than last. a thousand dollars, when these families sit around the dinner table friday nights after dinner, mom and dad, and they try to figure out how they're going to pay all the bills. those gas prices make things much harder. families across the country struggle to make ends meet as

Charles Schumer

4:11:08 to 4:11:28( Edit History Discussion )

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

Charles Schumer

4:11:29 to 4:11:49( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: businesses in the u.s. but they're among the most profitable businesses in the whole world. in the first quarter of this year, the big five brought in $35 billion in profit. in the past decade, they took home nearly a trillion -- that's a trillion with a "t." now, there's nothing wrong with profits in and of themselves.

Charles Schumer

4:11:50 to 4:12:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: in america, we celebrate success. we want the private sector to thrive. we want them to make good profits. but at a time when the government is looking to tighten its belt and we're asking every family to tighten their belt and we're grappling with painful cuts because we have the dual goal of growing the middle class but reducing the deficit, it

Charles Schumer

4:12:11 to 4:12:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: bogels the -- it boggles the mind that we continue, we continue to subsidize such a lavishly profitable industry. there are priorities. i said this to the oil company executives last week when they testified before our finance committee. there are priorities. how many americans would choose

Charles Schumer

4:12:32 to 4:12:53( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: to give oil companies an extra subsidy rather than kids who deserve to go to college help them pay for their tuition? that's what some of my colleagues are recommending. and when i asked mr. mulva, the head of conoco, one of the big five oil companies, i said, well, we -- what -- which would you choose? he said, well, they're two different things.

Charles Schumer

4:12:54 to 4:13:15( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: mr. mulva, in all due respect, they're not. if we have to reduce the deficit by a certain amount, if we take the $21 billion that we're giving you, that gives us some money to play with that we might be able to deal -- or not play with but to use for good purpose, that we could give to

Charles Schumer

4:13:16 to 4:13:36( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: prevent cuts in helping middle-class families defray the cost of tuition and sent their kids to college, which is part of the american dream. so they are related, at least in a government deficit world, at least in a budget world in which we live, every dollar, every dollar that you don't spend on one thing is a dollar you might be able to use on something

Charles Schumer

4:13:37 to 4:13:57( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: else. 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 american taxpayer, are subsidizing the oil industry to the tune of $4 billion a year. you need the imagination of lewis carroll, who wrote "alice

Charles Schumer

4:13:58 to 4:14:18( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: in wonderland," to come up with a more scenario. that's why i strongly support and i'm proud to cosponsor senator menendez' "close big oil tax loopholes act." this legislation will put an toned taxpayer handouts to the five largest integrated oil companies and use that $21 billion in savings to reduce

Charles Schumer

4:14:19 to 4:14:40( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the deficit. this $21 billion is an excellent down payment on the effort to get our fiscal house in order, and if we use this $21 billion, it will be a little easier to reach our huge goal of reducing the deficit. it will be a little easier to complete our dual goals of reducing the deficit but still growing the economy.

Charles Schumer

4:14:41 to 4:15:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the bill repeals a host of byzantine tax provisions that only a lobbyist could love, such as the deduction for tertiary injectants and deduction for intangible extraction costs. someone thought these up a long time ago. they've sat in our tax code but they mean lots of money to big oil.

Charles Schumer

4:15:02 to 4:15:23( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: small- and medium-sized oil firms are exempt. the only companies the legislation deals with are the big five -- shell, exxonmobil, chevron, conocophillips and british petroleum. now, i've heard pundits from the hard right parrot big oil's talkingpoints that repealing these giveaways would increase

Charles Schumer

4:15:24 to 4:15:44( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: gas prices for sciewmples nothing could be further from the truth. last week taboo major studies -- one from the nonpartisan congressional research service and another from the joint economic committee -- found that ending these absurd subsidies would not -- would not -- impact

Charles Schumer

4:15:45 to 4:16:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the price of gas and neither -- neither of these studies -- these were scientific studies done by economists; they didn't have any biases -- and in what perhaps was an inadvertent moment of candor at last week's finance committee hearing, exxonmobil's c.e.o., mr. rex tillerson said, and i quote,

Charles Schumer

4:16:07 to 4:16:27( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: "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." let me repeat what he said. because it directly answers the argument that some on the other side of the aisle have made that if we repeal these subsidies we'll raise gas prices, because that means that the companies

Charles Schumer

4:16:28 to 4:16:48( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: would decide to raise them bec they're getting less subsidy. here's what tillerson said. "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

4:16:49 to 4:17:11( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it's true, but when he what i had that comment, mr. tillerson of exxonmobil was conceding 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

4:17:12 to 4:17:32( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we are 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. lowering the cost of gasoline and ridding our country of its dependence on foreign oil

Charles Schumer

4:17:33 to 4:17:54( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: requires, of course, a long-term comprehensive approach. it's something we must do. it is outrageous that our country sends $1 billion a day overseas -- wealth out of american pockets -- and who do we send them to? people we dislike intensely.

Charles Schumer

4:17:55 to 4:18:17( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: ahmadinejad of iran, chavez of venezuela. why are we doing that? because we failed to come up a long-term policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil. in the month ahead i expect the democratic caucus will unveil a thorough and forward-thinking plan to do just that. in the meantime, if republicans

Charles Schumer

4:18:18 to 4:18:41( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: in the house are serious about deficit reduction, the nen nen des bill is their chance to show it now. if we're going to come together, isn't this the easiest place to coul together? we're going to have a lot of hard strulings as we attempt to reduce the deficit, as the debt ceiling looms over us. but this is an easy one. and many people on my side of

Charles Schumer

4:18:42 to 4:19:02( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the aisle are scratching their heads. for if colleagues on the other side can't give in on something like this, what are they going to give in on? speaker boehner said earlier this week he wants to make trillions of dollars in cuts. well, here's a good place to stamplet the speaker himself has said as much.

Charles Schumer

4:19:03 to 4:19:24( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: at one point he seemed to say that subsidies to the big five make some sense to eliminate them. let's not forget that speaker boehner was in favor of repealing oil subsidies before he was against it. so the bottom line is this:

Charles Schumer

4:19:25 to 4:19:45( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: at a time of sky-high oil prices, it's unfathomable to continue to pad the profit of companies with taxpayer-funded subsidies. the time to repeal these giveaways is now. no more should we send $4 billion this year -- next year, or any year to the five bi

Charles Schumer

4:19:46 to 4:20:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: companies which have made record profits and admittedly by the admission of mr. tillerson will not affect -- we take it away from them, won't raise gas prices a blum nickel. our plan to cut the deficit begins with ending wasteful subsidies to big oil. the republican plan, as embodied

Charles Schumer

4:20:07 to 4:20:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: by the ryan amendment, which almost every republican in the house voted for, begins with ending medicare as we know it. that's a bright-line difference between our side and theirs. we know what choice the american people want us to maifnlg make. i yield the

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