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Senate Proceeding 05-17-11 on May 17th, 2011 :: 3:37:15 to 3:46:55
Total video length: 5 hours 16 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Charles Schumer

3:37:11 to 3:37:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: mr. schumer: mr. president, first, even though i don't agree with him, it's always a pleasure to listen to my friend from utah give his arguments, but i will just give mine instead of talking to him. just remind him of one thing. this bill is not intended to lower gas prices. it's intended to reduce the deficit. it clearly does that.

Charles Schumer

3:37:15 to 3:46:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

3:37:32 to 3:37:52( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and if my colleague cares so much about reducing that deficit, the oil companies are a good place to start. money does not go for spending, it goes for deficit reduction. anyway, i rise today in support of the legislation authored by my good friend from new jersey, senator menendez. senator menendez has championed this legislation for quite some

Charles Schumer

3:37:53 to 3:38:14( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: time and i applaud the work he's done to build support for it. as you know, our leader, senator reid, has scheduled a vote on it in just a few minutes and i sincerely hope the bill will pass. nothing would be better in terms of showing bipartisanship and giving the american people hope that we can come to a fair

Charles Schumer

3:38:15 to 3:38:36( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: agreement on our long-term fiscal challenges than to pass this legislation today. now, in the last election, voters gave those of us who serve in this chamber two distinct mandates. first and perhaps foremost, they said make the economy grow. create good-paying jobs.

Charles Schumer

3:38:37 to 3:38:58( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: make sure that american dream which says that the odds are high you'll do better ten years from now than you're doing today and the odds are higher still your kids will do better than you. that american dream, make sure it burns brightly. some have wondered if it's beginning to flicker. and their mandate to us in this election was, get that candle glowing again.

Charles Schumer

3:38:59 to 3:39:19( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: but, second, they said do something else at the same time. they said, in no uncertain terms, rein in the out-of-control federal deficit. they told us to take the bull by the horns and confront our mounting debt. and on that point, i'll agree with my colleague from utah. now, it's very hard to accomplish one of these two goals.

Charles Schumer

3:39:20 to 3:39:41( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: to accomplish both at once is a herculean task. there are many choices ahead, most of them rather difficult. that's why this is so hard. but one choice isn't tough at all, not by -- tough at all -- i said tough at oil. anyway, one is not tough at all, not by a mile. it is obvious at this time of

Charles Schumer

3:39:42 to 3:40:02( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: fiscal restraint, when we have to make cuts that are so painful and hurt middle-class families, to continue to give big oil companies giant tax breaks makes no sense whatsoever. getting rid of these corporate subsidies to big oil is a no-brainer. decades ago when these breaks

Charles Schumer

3:40:03 to 3:40:25( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: were enacted, oil was $17 a barrel. maybe it made a modicum of sense in those days to give companies an incentive to explore and produce. but with the price of crude oil hovering at a hundred dollars a barrel and big oil reaping record profits with every barrel they drill, it defies logic to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on these subsidies.

Charles Schumer

3:40:26 to 3:40:49( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: believe me, the free market gives the oil companies enough of an incentive to produce. when oil is a hundred dollars a barrel, they certainly don't need a financial nudge from washington. now, at the same time, middle-class americans get hit with a double whammy. they're paying $70 or more to fill that gas tank and then, in

Charles Schumer

3:40:50 to 3:41:11( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: addition, when they pay their taxes, some of those hard-earned tax dollars are being used to line big oil's pockets with these subsidies. 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 as much as a thousand dollars more on gas

Charles Schumer

3:41:12 to 3:41:33( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: this year than last. a thousand dollars a year. the average family makes about $50,000. it is so hard, they sit around the dinner table after friday night's supper, mom and dad, and they sit down and figure out, how are we going to pay these bills, how are we going to give our kids the life that we want to give them? and they're paying a thousand

Charles Schumer

3:41:34 to 3:41:55( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: dollars more for gasoline. and at the same time we're subsidizing oil companies. families across the country are still struggling to make ends meet as the economy slowly recovers. with billions of dollars worth of tax subsidies and gas prices at record highs, it's no wonder the top five oil companies just announced jaw-dropping profits.

Charles Schumer

3:41:56 to 3:42:16( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: these companies are not only among the most profitable 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 $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

Charles Schumer

3:42:17 to 3:42:38( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: these profits in and of themselves. in america, we celebra success. we want the private sector to thrive. but at a time when the government is looking to tighten its expwelt we're grappling -- 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 subsidize

Charles Schumer

3:42:39 to 3:43:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: such a lavishly profitable industry. moreover, as my great friend and colleague, senator mccaskill, highlighted this morning in a letter to the federal trade commission, those record profits smell a bit fishy. there is reason to suspect that some of the biggest oil refiners are artificially depressing supply in order to raise price

Charles Schumer

3:43:02 to 3:43:23( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: to pad their bottom lines. i am proud to have cosigned senator mccaskill's letter, as did the entire democratic leadership team, and i look forward to the f.t.c response. i'm also proud to cosponsor the bill we're considering today, senator menendez' "close big oil tax loopholes act." the legislation will put an end

Charles Schumer

3:43:24 to 3:43:46( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: to taxpayer handouts to the five largest integrated oil companies and use the $21 billion in 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

Charles Schumer

3:43:47 to 3:44:07( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: only a lobbyist could love, such as the deduction for -- quote -- "tertiary injectants" and the deduction for "inning tangible extraction -- intangible extraction costs." small- and medium-sized firms are exempt. the legislation, even though some might like to go further, deals with the big five --

Charles Schumer

3:44:08 to 3:44:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: exxonmobil, shell, chevron, conocophillips, and b.p. now, i've heard pundits from the hard right parrot big oil's talking point that the giveaways would increase gas prices for the consumers. the facts beg to differ. last week, two major independent studies. one from the c.r.s., the

Charles Schumer

3:44:29 to 3:44:49( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: congressional research service, and another from the joint economic committee, found that ending these absurd subsidies would not impact the price of gas, and i want to compliment senator casey for his leadership on the second study. and what was perhaps an inadvertent moment of candor at last week's finance committee

Charles Schumer

3:44:50 to 3:45:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: hearing, exxonmobil's c.e.o. rex tillerson said -- 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." unquote. when he made that comment, tillerson of exxonmobil conceded that repealing taxpayer-funded

Charles Schumer

3:45:11 to 3:45:33( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: subsidies for big oil won't increase prices. prices are set, as he says, by global supply and demand. that's not to say that repealing subsidies will necessarily bring down prices. we're not making that claim. all along, we have been clear. the purpose of this bill is to make a dent in the deficit by repealing tax breaks for the five companies that are the

Charles Schumer

3:45:34 to 3:45:55( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: least in need of help from uncle sam. lowering the cost of gas and ridding our country of dependence on foreign oil 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, i say to every

Charles Schumer

3:45:56 to 3:46:18( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: one of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, if you're serious about deficit reduction, the menendez bill is your chance to show it now. there is no good reason not to support this sensible legislation sponsored by my friend and colleague from new jersey. just try to wrap your head around it.

Charles Schumer

3:46:19 to 3:46:39( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: 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 alice in wonderland's louis carroll to come up with a more ridiculous scenario.

Charles Schumer

3:46:40 to 3:46:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: the bottom line -- at a time of sky-high prices, it's unfathomable to continue to pad the profits of companies with taxpayer-funded subsidies. time to repeal these giveaways is now. i yield the floor.

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