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Senate Proceeding 06-16-09 on Jun 16th, 2009 :: 0:33:03 to 0:51:15
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Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:33:03 to 0:33:23( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: the presiding officer: t senator from mr. casey: i guess we are not in a quorum call. the presiding officer: we're not. mr. casey: i ask consent that i be permitted to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. casey: and i'd also ask consent i be permitted to speak for what i hope will be 20 nutes. the presiding officer: without

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:33:03 to 0:51:15( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Robert P. Casey, Jr.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:33:24 to 0:33:45( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: objection, so ordered. mr. casey: finally, i'll have two subjects i'll cover, mr. president, separate subject matters but hope they -- i ask, i guess, they both be in the record as reflected in that way, that ty're separate topics. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. casey: mr. president,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:33:46 to 0:34:07( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: thank you very much. i didn't plan on responding to my colleague from kansas and i won't today but i still think on health care we have a long way to go. there is still a lot of work to be done in the committee i'm a member of, the health, education, labor, pension committee and still a lot of?? work on the finance committee in health care.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:34:08 to 0:34:28( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: but if a general sense, i think what we're all trying to do -- i know my colleagues on the democrat side this -- make sure at the end of this debate that the bill that emerges from the congress has a couple of one, it gives people choice in their health care. if you like what you have, you get to keep it, if you don't

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:34:29 to 0:34:50( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: like what you have, you have a choice; that the bill also reflects a cost reduction which is essential if we're going to move forward; and finally we provided kind of quality, affordable health care every american has the right to respect we would try to provide in this bill. if we keep that in mine, we can get to the right place.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:34:51 to 0:35:12( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: we have an awful lot of work to do and i think there are some conclusionary statements made in the last couple of days that don't reflect the reality which is we have a we have draft bills, but we don't have a final product yet so we have a ways to go. the first subject, mr. president, is on the iran inelections and the second will be -- on the iranian elections

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:35:13 to 0:35:34( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: and the second will be covered after that. i convey some brief remarks on the remarkable events we are witnessing unfolding in iran in the last couple of days. it is too soon to tell what w happen but we, what we do not know, i should say, if iran's brittle, these creatic regime will hear the voices of reform

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:35:35 to 0:35:55( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: emanating from such powerful, in such powerful fashion from the streets of iran today. we do not know if a credible investigation of electoral irregularities will occur but i'm confident that the events of this past weekend will be recorded in the history boxes books

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:35:56 to 0:36:17( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: for a major milestone for the iranian people. the hard-liners that continue to rule iran may further entrench their power in the coming days, they are only planning the -- planting the seeds for their defeat by the response to the democratic voices with the kind of force and suppression that we've seen play out on television.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:36:18 to 0:36:42( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: it's a promising sign that iran's supreme leader called on the guardian council to assess the claims of serious irregular lawyers including vote rigging and ballot fraud. however, we should not get our hopes raised that justice is imminent. in the last iranian presidential

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:36:43 to 0:37:04( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: yes questions of fraud raised after mr. ahmadinejad came out of nowhere to win an outright majority in the first round of that election. and after a previous announcement that there would be a run off. yet the final results of that investigation were never published back in 2005 and thereafter and mr. ahmadinejad's declared victory stood firm.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:37:05 to 0:37:27( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: because of that precedent i'm skeptical that the iranian regime will engage in an review of this election this count, i should say. president obama and his senior national security team have refrained from extensive comm recent days. that is as it should be. the u.s. government should not

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:37:28 to 0:37:50( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: give the iranian regime any flimsy rationals for further crackdown on protesters and reformist leaders. however, the administration officials, l by vice president biden, have made clear that the strategy of diplomatic engagement with iran's leadership to bring a peaceful resolution of iran's nuclear program will continue regardless of who may comprise that

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:37:51 to 0:38:11( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: leadership or how they may have assumed power. that, i believe, is the right strategy. we must deal not as we may wish it to be. r far too long the united states deprived it sell of the power of its mistaken insistence

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:38:12 to 0:38:29( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: agree to a set of preconditions before talks could commence. talking to your enemy can never be viewed as a concession. the united states has spoken to the soviet union during the worst excesses of the cold war but diplomacy, diplomacy cannot, cannot, be the only option that

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:38:30 to 0:38:50( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: the united states pursues with iran. the president knows this reaffirmed that other options are open to the united states on multiple occasions. any effective strategy toward iran must offer the regime a leer choice whe -- clear choice on its nuclear program. here is the choice: come into

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:38:51 to 0:39:13( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: compliance with multiple u.n. security council resolutions and reap the benefits of engagement and warmer diplomatic ties, choice one; or, choice two, for the iranian regime: face continued economic sanctions and international isolation that will steadily worsen if iran continues to engage in illicit nuclear activities.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:39:14 to 0:39:35( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: either regime has a choice to make before the world. effective diplomacy is successful if it can fully convey, fully convey that choice to the decisionmakers in iran. the congrs can also play a useful role here in showing consequences iran faces when it makes its choice on the nuclear program.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:39:36 to 0:39:56( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: some might call it good cop-bad cop. i prefer to call it diplomatic leverage negotiators can employ if and when they sit down to the table with iraan representatives. for those reasons, i'm proud to have joined my colleague, sam brownback, in introducing the iran sanctions enabling act.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:39:57 to 0:40:17( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: this legislation authorizes state and local governments as they see appropriate to direct investment from and prevent future investment in companies that hold investments of $20 million or more in iran's energy sector. mr. president, there is growing, there is a growing divestment movement across the country in

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:40:18 to 0:40:39( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: response to iran's accelerating nuclear program. it's support of hamas and hezbollah, and hateful statements against israel perpetrated by its president and others in iran's senior leadership. unfortunately, the federal courts have ruled divestment actions undertaken against a single nation may contra detect the president's -- contradict

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:40:40 to 0:40:45( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: the president's authority to enjoy exclusive authority over diplomatic relations so state

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:40:46 to 0:41:06( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: and local these measures with some legal jeopardy. the justice department in the past has taken legal action against -- against -- state local governments in cases involving other nations. this action, thive ran sanctions en-- the iran sanctions enabling act protects the rights of state and local government to ensure

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:41:07 to 0:41:27( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: pension funds are in companies that did business with the regime like iran. it is carefully targeted to focus only on financial ties with iran's energy sector to hit iran where it is most vulnerable and the bill includes a sunset provision to lift this authorization once the

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:41:28 to 0:41:39( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: president certifies, cer that iran has ceased providing support for acts of international terrorism and has ceased pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. i am proud to have assumed the

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:41:40 to 0:41:44( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: lead democratic role on this legislation tacking over for president obama, then senator

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:41:45 to 0:42:06( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: obama, who served the lead role when he was in the congress. mr. president, also take a brief moment to comment on the iran refined petroleum sanctions act of which i'm pud to be a cosponsor with the majority of the senate. the bill would clarify existing legal ambiguity by authorizing the president to sanction

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:42:07 to 0:42:28( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: foreign firms involved in supplying iran with refined gasoline and or assisting aran with increasing its refing capacity. iran is forced to import as much as 40% of its annual gasoline consumption due to the fact that the refing infrastructure was destroyed during the iran-iraq

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:42:29 to 0:42:50( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: war in the 1980's and economic sanctions have limited outside foreign investment. targeting iranian gasoline consumption increasing our leverage on iran's help and the iranian people may question why the

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:42:51 to 0:43:13( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: regime prioritizes a nuclear program condemned by the international communy at the cost of serious gasoline shortages in iran. mr. president, the images of recent days have bee stirring. just yesterday, we witnessed a procession of hundreds of thousands of iranians, both those dressed in

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:43:14 to 0:43:34( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: and elderly women wearing traditional veils, marching in silence in downtn tehran. indeed, whenever a chant our shout. merged it was hushed seeking to avoid provocation for the riot police standing watch to break up the march. it is e the incendiary rhetoric from

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:43:35 to 0:43:56( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: leaders like mr. ahmadinejad that the iranian people remain fundamentally pro american and envy or democracy and personal liberties. this week is a dark moment for the iranian people as their legitimate aspiration for greater reform have been apparently sidetracked by the regime.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:43:57 to 0:44:17( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: but i'm optimistic on their future and look forward to the day that the united states and iran can once again be at peace and enjoy mutual respect for and with one another. finally, mr. president, i know my time is short and i'll submit my, the next part of my remarks, the full text for the record, if i could ask consent to do that.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:44:18 to 0:44:39( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. casey: i ask how were time i have left? the presiding officer: you have used 11w? minutes, senator. mr. casey: so i have more time than i thought i did. that's good news. mr. president, i wanted to move to a second topic in the remaining time with regard to

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:44:40 to 0:45:02( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: the american recovery and reinvestment act but especially in regard to some leveled in recent days. in just over 100 days now the recovery and reinvestment act is at work doing many things but in some reform providing immediate relief for communities an hard-hit families, secondly,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:45:03 to 0:45:24( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: creating and saving jobs fl thirdly, jump-starting thousands of shovel-ready projects across america. ou economic problems were not created in 100 days and they will not be solved in 100 days or a little more than 100 thanks to the recovery act, we're meeting the greatest economic challenges in a generation head on.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:45:25 to 0:45:47( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: the early signs of across the country. a couple of examples of immediate relief measures under the act that are providing stability for hard-hit families. first, the making work -- the making work pay tax credit has increased take-home pay for 95% of working families.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:45:48 to 0:46:08( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: 95% of working families in america benefiting from that. i would note that in pennsylvania the number is 4.8 million households in pennsylvania benefiting from that tax credit. secondly, unemployment benefits third, cobra health insurance

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:46:09 to 0:46:31( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: premiums have been cut by 65%. 54 million older citizens across the country have received $250 in emergency relief checks in the mail. and, finally, in this section food assistance benefits have creased by 13% just when vulnerable americans need them. tax credits and other recovery

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:46:32 to 0:46:52( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: act incentives is starting to drive new consumer spending and creating new product demand. energy efficiency are providing frh opportunities for manufacturers or contractors that make or install green products. and the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit is proving to be a bright spot in the har

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:46:53 to 0:47:13( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: housing industry. the recovery act aided to state governments is helping to protect critical safety net programs and saving teaching and law enforcement jobs. over half states have qualified for the state fiscal stablization funds that are saving teaching jobs and improving education.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:47:14 to 0:47:35( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: and state governments are making up shortfalls in medicaid funds thanks to the recovery act. infrastructure improvement projects funded by the recovery act are bringing new jobs to hard-hit communities. over 20,000 -- 20,000 recovery act projects across the country have been approved already.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:47:36 to 0:47:58( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: in pennsylvania, j examples, $725 million for highway projects allocated, $600,000 for airport grants. the develop and commercialize new technologies that will be the foundation of the that are starting t boost confidence and spur some private sector investment across the country.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:47:59 to 0:48:21( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: businesses are converting crisis to opportunity because of the promise they see with the recovery act. the act is already making life a little easier for families and businesses like these. and work is just getting started. last week the president, president obama and vice president biden, announced the road map to recovery.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:48:22 to 0:48:45( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: 10 new major projects that will define the recovery act. here's what the 10 are. number one, help 1,129 health centers provide expanded service to approximately 300,000 patients. begin work on 107 naisht parks, start rehabilitation and improvement projects at 8

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:48:46 to 0:49:06( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: airports a over 1,500 highway locations across the country. fund 125,000 education jobs including teachers, principals and support staff. number five, begin improvements at 90 veterans medical centers across 38 states. hire or keep on the job approximately 5,000 law enforcement officers.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:49:07 to 0:49:28( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: start 200 new waste an water system projects -- and water system prompts in rural america. number eight, begin or accelerate cleanup work at 20 superfund sites from the national priority list. number nine,reate 125,000 summer youth jobs.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:49:29 to 0:49:50( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: and, finally, begin 2,300 construction and rehabilitation projects at 359 military facilities across the country. and billions of dollars in recovery act programs that will shape the economy of the 21st century will launch in the weeks and months ahead. for example, $8 billion for high-speed rail, $4.7 billion to

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:49:51 to 0:50:11( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: connect more americans to broadband internet. $4.5 billion to make a smart energy grid a reality. $800 million to accelerate the use of biofuels and bring them to $300 million to expand the vehicles through the clean city program.

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:50:12 to 0:50:32( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: this will get our economy moving today in a way that w our economy for tomorrow. the road to recovery is long and our economic problems won't be solved overnight. but with every dollar invested and every project started under the one step closer. and let me conclude with one thought. just as was the case when we

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:50:33 to 0:50:53( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: voted on the recovery act, mr. president, and you were here with us when we vetted on that, it was a choice between are you for the recovery act or are you for the status quo? fortunately enough of us voted for it so that we could jump-start the economy, get the economy out of the ditch and get it back on the road to recovery. a long way to go still and a lot

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

0:50:54 to 0:51:15( Edit History Discussion )

Robert P. Casey, Jr.: more work to do. so far the news is communities across the the commonwealth of pennsylvania and i know in your state of illinois. and with that, mr. pre would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mrs. lincoln: mr. preside

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