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Senate Proceeding on Jun 15th, 2011 :: 5:12:40 to 5:23:05
Total video length: 9 hours 2 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Bob Corker

5:12:19 to 5:12:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: my colleague from illinois has spoken. i was in illinois this week, talking with a number of people there in the business community as part of what i do on the banking committee. i want to say that in talking to many of the great civic and business leaders that exist in illinois, one of the biggest concerns they have is, in fact, this debt ceiling issue and the reduction of debt. i appreciate the senator's work

Bob Corker

5:12:40 to 5:23:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bob Corker

Bob Corker

5:12:41 to 5:13:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: in trying to reach a -- a compromise. as a matter of fact, i salute anybody who is trying to work to solve this problem. i do want to say from my standpoint i -- i know the debt ceiling is a major issue. for me to be able to support it, we need to have dramatic changes in the way spending is taking place in this country.

Bob Corker

5:13:02 to 5:13:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i think there are numbers of people on both sides of the aisle that feel that way. i have offered the only, to my knowledge, concrete proposal that has bipartisan support in both the senate and the house, and i did -- i do want to mention that there is numbers of discussions about the medicare proposal that paul ryan has put forth, and certainly it's not perfect.

Bob Corker

5:13:23 to 5:13:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: i would love to see a proposal maybe from the other side since everyone knows medicare is going to be insolvent in the year 2024, and the worst thing we can do, of course, is just not to pay attention. i hope at some point in the near future, we'll actually hear a concrete proposal from the other side of the aisle regarding medicare. but let me go back to the state

Bob Corker

5:13:44 to 5:14:06( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: of illinois and just the state of our country and certainly the people in tennessee. tremendous uncertainty out there in the business community. as a matter of fact, in talking to one of our leading economists last night, corporate balance sheets today are flush are cash but companies are unwilling to invest that cash in long-term

Bob Corker

5:14:07 to 5:14:29( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: assets because they're concerned about here in washington what we're going to do. they are concerned about whether we as a country are going to actually deal with our debt ceiling, deal with our indebtedness in a way that makes progress. so there is question uncertainty out there. that is, in my opinion, one of the leading causes of the economic issues we're dealing with, the high unemployment.

Bob Corker

5:14:30 to 5:14:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: it has been 777 days since this body even passed a budget, and if you can imagine having a country like ours with 535 people in the house and senate spending money without a budget for that long, obviously it's a display of incredible lack of discipline and certainly sends the wrong signal to the business

Bob Corker

5:14:51 to 5:15:12( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: community. so i do think that our country is suffering, suffering economically. every person that i talk to is concerned em the uncertainty of whether we, as a country, are going to be able to deal with our indebtedness, the tremendous amount of debt that th country is piling up, because we're spending money that we don't v i

Bob Corker

5:15:13 to 5:15:36( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: do look at this august 2 deadline as a line in the sand for us as a country. there's plenty of time for us between now, jun 15, and august 2 to actually come to an agreement on these big issues. and, mr. president, one of the things that i hope will be a part of anything we do is something like the fiscal

Bob Corker

5:15:37 to 5:15:58( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: straitjacket that the "cap" act outlines. i don't think there's anybody in this body that disagrees with the fact that we as a body are spending money that we don't have and more than we should. as a country we have spent about 26.6% of our country's gross domestic product for the last 40 years. that's the post-entitlement period. today as a country we're

Bob Corker

5:15:59 to 5:16:20( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: spending almost 25% of our country's economic output on the federal government. and that number is rising geometrically. so we've put forth a bill. it's called the "cap" act. it has bipartisan support in the senate, bipartisan support? th-- bipartisan support in the house that would save our

Bob Corker

5:16:21 to 5:16:41( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: country about $7.6 trillion over what's called the alternative fiscal scenario as printed by c.b.o. mr. president, there is no doubt in my mind -- and i don't think there's anybody in this body that would disagree with this -- that the signals that we're sending to the country and the world about our inability to

Bob Corker

5:16:42 to 5:17:02( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: come to a conclusion around our spending is affecting the economy. i can't imagine there's anybody that would disagree with that. i mean, we've had people come in, economists telling us what will happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling, what'll happen if we do and we don't do those things that are necessary to lower the amount of spending

Bob Corker

5:17:03 to 5:17:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: that that's take place here in wawrchlt i've offered something that's practical. people on both sides of the aisle have joined in. i know there are discussions that are taking place -- they're called the blair house negotiations -- between the vice president and members of this body. and i am aide understanding that a fiscal straitjacket is part of that discussion. in other words, making sure that

Bob Corker

5:17:26 to 5:17:46( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: over the next 10 years, whatever cost that we cut are actually locked in and more cuts are gotten through the imposition, if you will, of a declining fiscal straitjacket where we in essence get back to the norm as it relates to spending and our economy in this country. so, mr. president, i want to say that i think one of the greatest

Bob Corker

5:17:47 to 5:18:09( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: things we can do to actually spur the economy i, as much as people care about spending in this country today -- and there are a lot of people that do -- believe it or not, they care as they should, even more right now about the economy and their own family situation. and i think these two are intertwined. and i think as a body

Bob Corker

5:18:10 to 5:18:30( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: work to show fiscal discipline, show some certainty into the future, so the business community and the world community that we have the ability to have discipline, to act responsibly, i believe it would unleash tremendous amounts of investment in this country. again, leading economists nye

Bob Corker

5:18:31 to 5:18:51( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: says he's never seen a situation where this much cash resides on balance sheets but corporations are unwilling to invest them in long-term assets -- what that means, what that translates into is they're not building plants, they're not expanding, because they are concerned about policies in washington, one of

Bob Corker

5:18:52 to 5:19:12( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: which is can we control our spending? i do think that august 2 is a seminal moment in our country's history. there's nothing happening in the senate. we're voting on judges that we don't even need to vote on. we could pass them out of here by unanimous consent. we have bills on the floor that mean nothing, that are never

Bob Corker

5:19:13 to 5:19:33( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: going to become law just to fill up time. we know that. it's got to be the most boring time in the world for a presiding officer. the oxygen is taken out of this room over this dead issue and -- this debt issue and we're debating things that are never going to lax it is almost a farce in many ways. so there's plenty of time -- it's june 15 -- for us to gocialt something that's -- for

Bob Corker

5:19:34 to 5:19:54( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: us to gsht something that's meaningful as it relates to cuts and certainly plenty of time to act to put something in place like the "cap" act toss part of the overall need to reform our entitlements and make sure they're here for future generations. let me just state one more time, i feel like what we're reading

Bob Corker

5:19:55 to 5:20:15( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: about these negotiations is almost a walking down of expectations. in other words, most of us really want to see something big happen for this country. we see this as a true seminal moment for our country. but what i read as the various snippets that are coming out of these discussions, it's almost

Bob Corker

5:20:16 to 5:20:37( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: intended to just each day sort of tamp down what our expectations r i just want to say to everybody in this body, unless i see dramatic changes in spending as a result of these negotiations, i absolutely will not vote for this debt ceiling increase. if we're going to have a calamity in this country and there's economist whose say we're going to have a calamity either way -- in other words, if we don't act responsible blands

Bob Corker

5:20:38 to 5:20:59( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: pass a debt ceiling, we're going to send a signal to the world markets that we don't have the ability to control spending. if we don't raise the debt ceiling, there are those who will say, there's going to be a clam tivment i'm 58 years old. came to this body because i wanted to solve our country's problems, or be a part of that working with others. i want to say, mr. president, i

Bob Corker

5:21:00 to 5:21:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: want to go on the record that i'd rather us have a calamity this summer on my watch while ema here so i can deal with -- while i'm here so i can deal with it than i would to pass a debt ceiling and not do something that dramatically alters our fiscal situation in the country and pass it along to someone else who may come behind me. i think there's a lot of

Bob Corker

5:21:22 to 5:21:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: sentment in that regard. i hope there's a lot of sentment in that regard that all of us -- all of us would rather bear the brunt of irresponsibility while we're here than pass it on down the road. so, mr. president, i'm here to talk about a component of a solution, which is the "cap" act.

Bob Corker

5:21:44 to 5:22:04( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: there may be some variation of this that makes more sense. certainly i have no monopoly on wisdom. but i hope that something like this, if it is not exactly the "cap" act, as written is a component of the negotiations. i know we're actually during these negotiations, this is actually being discussed, meaning how we cap spending and actually put congress in a fiscal straitjacket for lack of

Bob Corker

5:22:05 to 5:22:25( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: a better word. but, mr. president, this is a seminal moment. i hope that we will not water down expectations. i hope we will rise to the occasion and, as the senator from illinois mentioned, deal with this in a responsible way. and i hope very, very soon we'll

Bob Corker

5:22:26 to 5:22:46( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: actually have a debate on this floor about what it is that's actually been arrived at, what the deal is, so we can actually talk about it in a responsible way and do those things that we all know are very important to our country, very important to our country's solvency and certainly very important to all

Bob Corker

5:22:47 to 5:23:06( Edit History Discussion )

Bob Corker: those americans out there who are uncertain as to whether the heads of households who provide such great opportunities for those people coming under them have the opportunity for good-paying jobs. with that, mr.

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