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Senate Proceeding 06-23-09 on Jun 23rd, 2009 :: 0:32:40 to 0:51:55
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Charles Schumer

0:32:38 to 0:32:59( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: quorum call: schumer the presiding officer: the ? senator new york. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. i rise to speak on two issues this afternoon to my colleagues. one is the nomination of judge sonia sotomayor for the united states supreme court, and the

Charles Schumer

0:32:40 to 0:51:55( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Charles Schumer

Charles Schumer

0:33:00 to 0:33:21( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: second is on the public option in health care. now,irst on judge sotomayor. several of my colleagues from across the aisle have come to the floor today to attack judge sotomayor's nomination to the supreme court, and i must say, i think these attacks are entirely misplaced. i've always had a consistent

Charles Schumer

0:33:22 to 0:33:44( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: standard for evaluating judicial nominees. i use it when voting for them. i use it wn joining in in the nomination process, as i did under president bush and continue to under president obama. and those three standards are excellence, moderation, and diversity. i am confident that judge sotomayor meets these criteria,

Charles Schumer

0:33:45 to 0:34:05( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: based on my review thus far of her lengthy and impressive record on both the district court and court of appeals, her impressive career in both public and private sectors and her stellar academic credentials. i've also been deeply impressed with her personal story story of an american dream.

Charles Schumer

0:34:06 to 0:34:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: she pulled herself up from the projects in the bronx to stand before this body as a nominee to the highest court in e land. her history is truly inspirational, a history of which we should all be extremely proud. it is a great american story. it is what the america is all about. as my friend from new jersey said earlier. i think some of the comments

Charles Schumer

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

Charles Schumer: i've heard from my republican colleagues this morning have distorted judge sotomayor's distinguished record, so let's take ainute to consider what the real story is and how judge sotomayor's record reflects highest ideals of judging. judge sotomayor's record reveals her to be most modest and moderate, dedicated to the rule

Charles Schumer

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

Charles Schumer: of law, and not outcome-oriented. for example, senator sessions spent some of his time this morning criticizing one particular case -- hayden v v.pataki -- because her dissent would have resulted in an outcome with which he did not agree.

Charles Schumer

0:35:13 to 0:35:33( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: but he neglected toention that her opinion was based on the plain text of the statute before the court and he also left out some of the key vealing comments she made in her dissent. "no one disputes that states have the right to disenfranchise felons." second, "the duty of a judge is to follow the law, not question its plain terms."

Charles Schumer

0:35:34 to 0:35:55( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and, number three, "i trust that congress would prefer to make any needed changes itself rather than have the courts do so for it." these are the kinds of statements in the very case my good friend from alabama uses to criticize the judge that we've heard from people on the other side of the aisle over and or and over again as to what a

Charles Schumer

0:35:56 to 0:36:16( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: judge should do. not replace his or her own judgment for that of the legislature or that of the law. judge sotomayor was following text to a result, not the other way around. these quotes tell us a lot more about judge sotomayor's judicial philosophy andommitment to

Charles Schumer

0:36:17 to 0:36:38( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: rule of law than simply looking at the outcome in any particular case. and even when we look at outcomes, the entirety of her record gives us a more accurate picture of her judicial philosophy than any outcome -- than the outcome of any one case. she rejected discrimination claims in 81% of the cases she

Charles Schumer

0:36:39 to 0:37:00( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: considered and in those 78 cases rejecting discrimination claims, she dissented from the panel that she was on only twice. when my office looked at her record on immigration cases, she sided with the immigrant in asylum cases only 17% of the time. now, that's average for the entire second circuit. this should put to rest any

Charles Schumer

0:37:01 to 0:37:21( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: notion she is swayed by outcomes rather than by law. obviously, she sympathizes with the immigrant experience. that's been clear. but she doesn't let those sympathies stand in the way of her judging what the law says and mandates. so she's clearly not a judicial activist, someone whoeaches

Charles Schumer

0:37:22 to 0:37:43( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: beyond the proper role of a yuj to impose her personal preferences; and i think it's about time to of judicial activism as some are using it. i think that judicial activism is starting many of my friends on the other

Charles Schumer

0:37:44 to 0:38:05( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: side of the aisle for -- quote -- "decisions outcomes i don't agree with." activist," they're not looking at how close or far from the law. they're rather looking, well, i didn't agree with the ultimate decision. that's why i prefer to use the term "modesty" when describing my ideal judge, and it is a term

Charles Schumer

0:38:06 to 0:38:28( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: that w used by justice roberts when he was before us. well, i'll quote from the federalist papers, as some of my colleagues have done. in federalist "no" 78, the primary source for justification for judicial review in the constitution, alexander hamilton explains the role of a judge very simply:

Charles Schumer

0:38:29 to 0:38:50( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: a yuj mu judge must interpret the constitution, interpret the laws when there is -- quote -- "irreconcilable difference between the two, that which h the superior valuety or to be preferred." an irreconcilable variance that imses a high bar on any judge that is attempting to strike down -- who is tempted to strike

Charles Schumer

0:38:51 to 0:39:12( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: down a law or a practice or any decision by a legislature executive, is unconstitutional. this is, by the way, exactly the standard judge sotomayor lived up to in ricci when she deferred to the elected local new haven and to federal title 7 law and to precedent.

Charles Schumer

0:39:13 to 0:39:33( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it's always been my view that a commitment to modesty is key in a judge, a judge who is modest understands that any concept of doing justice must have as its touchstone the meaning that the auths of the text intended to give it. i also believe it is consistent with judicial modesty to acknowledge that our constitution is written to

Charles Schumer

0:39:34 to 0:39:54( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: endure. it doesn't live and breathe like a flesh-andlood child does, who evolves throughout adolescence and adulthood to become irrecognizable. i don't believe in using those terms. rather, mr. president, the constitution endures. it endures because the people whom it governs, the people who

Charles Schumer

0:39:55 to 0:40:15( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: retain all of the many, many rights that are notisted in the document itself, believe that it continues to apply to them. and the only reason that it continues to apply to them is through who are modest in reaching their conclusions. they understand that people have

Charles Schumer

0:40:16 to 0:40:40( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: to live by the court's interpretation and judgment. they understand that people want justice and that justice means predictability, adherence to text, and the willingness to avoid patently absurd results. i'm looking forward to the confirmation hearing of judge sotomayor. she is a gifted lawyer, a

Charles Schumer

0:40:41 to 0:41:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: respected seriou and serious justice. her views will only seek to -- lessons taught by a grandfather in georgia, by a mother who died the day before he daughter graduated high school, bay single spanish-speaking mother who told her daughter should she could do

Charles Schumer

0:41:02 to 0:41:22( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: anything through hard worknd a good education. let's be reasonable and realistic. these experiences do not turn a good judge into a bad one or an impartial one or whatever my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are to recognize the role of

Charles Schumer

0:41:23 to 0:41:43( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: person experiences simply to acknowledge that in the art and science of interpreting the constitution and laws of our country we have to ask ourselves the following questions: do we trust more the decisions of judges who, as i have said before, have ice water in their veins, who view their role as stripping themselves of their pasts and ruling in a vacuum

Charles Schumer

0:41:44 to 0:42:05( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: free of human experience and common sense? or do we trust more the decisions of judges who acknowledge and address their own life experiences, even while striving always to be fair and within the law, as sotomayor herself has said? madam president -- madam mr. president, threes questions

Charles Schumer

0:42:06 to 0:42:27( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: i look forward to judge sotomayor's upcoming hearing. and now, mr. president, i rise to discuss the necessity of including a public option in the health care legislation congress is currently drofting. one of our top priorities as we undertake health care reform is

Charles Schumer

0:42:28 to 0:42:48( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: increasing competition among health insurance companies in orde and give consumers better choices. a recent "new york times"/cbs poll clearly shows that a large majority of the american people -- 72% in fact -- want a government-sponsored health care option that would compete with

Charles Schumer

0:42:49 to 0:43:11( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: private companies. 72%. what's even more of all republicans in this country want a public option. there seems to be a disconnect between my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and even their republican constituents. do you know why so many

Charles Schumer

0:43:12 to 0:43:33( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: amicans want a public plan? because despite what many of my colleagues o the aisle would have you believe, they don't feel they have affordable choices, and fundamentally this is what lies at t proposal. we want to ensure all americans have a guaranteed, affordable

Charles Schumer

0:43:34 to 0:43:56( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: choice when it comes to health insurance and right now too many of them don't. in many areas of the country, one or two insurers have a stranglehold on the entire market which produces costly premiums and health care decisions that often interests of the insurer, not the patient.

Charles Schumer

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

Charles Schumer: in fact, according to a study of the american medical association association, 94% of insurance markets are highly concentrated. that's right. 694%. -- 94%. this is why a public insurance program is absolutely critical to ensure the greatest amount of choice possible for consumers

Charles Schumer

0:44:18 to 0:44:38( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and provide at least one option that is patient- not profit-focused. when you read what percentage one insurance company or two insurance companies have of a market in each state, you know that robust competion is missing from the health care market.

Charles Schumer

0:44:39 to 0:45:01( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: and that is why so many people are worried about the future of the plans that they now have. the public plan is not about government-controlled health care, buzzwords that have been tossed around as part of this debate. i ask my colleagues: do they consider medicare socialist?

Charles Schumer

0:45:02 to 0:45:23( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: would they like to abolish medicare? probably some of them would. but medicare -- hello, my friends -- is a government-run plan. it is very popular with t very few propose eliminating medicare. so let's be real the public option is about

Charles Schumer

0:45:24 to 0:45:44( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: offering americans a the market that far too often offers them none. i'll tell you the choices too many americans face: whether to pay for health insurance or health care or to pay for other necessitie health care has become so expensive. that's not a choice anyone

Charles Schumer

0:45:45 to 0:46:06( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: should have to make. and maybe that explains why the american people don't agree with the critics of the half of all americans think the government plan will provide better health care coverage than private insurance com a significantly lower percentage disagree with that statement.

Charles Schumer

0:46:07 to 0:46:29( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: let's be clear, a public plan may not have special built-in advantages. it would be a coverage option that would compete on an equal footing alongside pri insurance plans in the market for individual and small business coverage. if then private insurers will have to compete based on quality of care and pricing instead of just

Charles Schumer

0:46:30 to 0:46:50( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: competing for the consumers. in this way, a public plan will accomplish many of our most important it will not waste money on costs incidental to providing health care. it will not focus on profits at the expense of outcomes. instead it

Charles Schumer

0:46:51 to 0:47:12( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: improving health delivery and on trying innovative technologies and systems in order to save -- money. it will force many insurers that have been shielded and protected from competion for far too long to compete with the plan that provides comprehensive care at an affordable rate. itill, most importantly, give

Charles Schumer

0:47:13 to 0:47:33( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: all americans a choice. in fact, i think the thing that really scares opponents of the public option is choice.? back on their friends at the insurance companies and

Charles Schumer

0:47:34 to 0:47:54( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: americans will finally see the hidden costs that have caused their premiums to skyrocket, the wasteful spending that improve health outcomes and the protection from competition that has been offered to private insurers over the last decade. to truly reform our health care

Charles Schumer

0:47:55 to 0:48:17( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: system, congress must pass legislation that includes a public option and a fig leaf public plan is no plan at all, and i will not settle for such a fig leaf. it is important to rember how we arrived here. for long time, when thinking hypothetically about health care reform, many in this country

Charles Schumer

0:48:18 to 0:48:38( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: suggested we move to a single-payer -- a senator: i would ne for the senator from new york that he has used ten minutes. mr. schumer: i mr. president. i ask unanimous consent i be given five more. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. schumer: the republicans rejected the single-payer plan. and so at the onset of this debate, we met them halfway with

Charles Schumer

0:48:39 to 0:49:02( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: a framework that continues to largely rely on private insurers. so then we said if we're going to continue rely mostly on private insurance, can we at least introduce greater competition into the market by having a public plan as one option. the republicans, most at least -- just about all, i think -- rejected that too.

Charles Schumer

0:49:03 to 0:49:23( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we said, well, wt if we insured that -- what if we insured that the public plan had to adhere to the same rules as private insurers? thus, guaranteeing a level playing field. the republicans here in the senate -- not in the country -- but the republicans here in the senate still saido, even a

Charles Schumer

0:49:24 to 0:49:44( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: level playing field so, some democrats came up with a new idea. what if we relied on a co-op model that has servedural states well? in a good-faith attempt to consider this idea, i proposed some ideas for ensuring that co-ops could do the job of

Charles Schumer

0:49:45 to 0:50:05( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: keeping private insurers honest. yesterday senator conrad indicated he could go along with many of but senator conrad has never been the problem here. he's been well open to negotiating on how to make a co-op plan have the kind of clout to go up against the private insurance companies, be available to all americans, be

Charles Schumer

0:50:06 to 0:50:26( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: able to bargain with the providers and be ready to go on day one to compete with the large n companies. senator conrad has always been willing to entertain all of that. he has been a good-faith negotiator with the best interests at heart. it has been those on the other side of the aisle who have not

Charles Schumer

0:50:27 to 0:50:48( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: been willing to negotiate. and so i'm that ever agree to the types of changes to a co-op to make it a viable alternative, a viable substitute to a traditional public plan that is nationwide and available to everybody, that

Charles Schumer

0:50:49 to 0:51:10( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: can go up against the private insurers and go up against the suppliers in buying power and that is formulated so that it hits the ground running on day one of the insurance exchange. we can only bend so much to try to win over opponents of health care reform. we cannot bend so far that we break.

Charles Schumer

0:51:11 to 0:51:31( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: we cannot say we're putting something else out there and not have it public option is what really does the job. we must not let the scare mongering about the possible consequences of a public option deter us from doing what the american people overwhelmingly

Charles Schumer

0:51:32 to 0:51:53( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: want and need. it is time to put the health needs of the american people -- not the insurance companies -- first. it is time to move past the partisan bickering and make sure that the health care reform passed by congress includes a real public option. it is the right thing.

Charles Schumer

0:51:54 to 0:51:55( Edit History Discussion )

Charles Schumer: it is the smart thing.

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