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Senate Proceeding on Jul 14th, 2010 :: 6:30:10 to 6:59:05
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George Voinovich

6:30:04 to 6:30:27( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: and grow our economy. the unemployment rate currently stands at 9.5% nationally and in my state, 10.7%. clearly, something's got to be done about this. it appears that the new senator we're expecting from the state of west virginia may be the deciding factor when we vote later this month to begin

George Voinovich

6:30:10 to 6:59:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: George Voinovich

George Voinovich

6:30:28 to 6:30:48( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: addressing this problem. first, i think we need to understand that we need to instill certainty into the economy by providing relief to the segment of our fellow citizens that cannot find work. because of the downturn in the economy, i have already voted multiple times to extend unemployment insurance from the

George Voinovich

6:30:49 to 6:31:11( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: standard 26 weeks to9 weeks, amounting to tens of billions of dollars. but this emergency extension has now expired, leaving many without the benefits they need to stay afloat. so let's extend unemployment insurance once again. resuming this emergency program through november the 30th will

George Voinovich

6:31:12 to 6:31:32( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: cost about $33 billion, and i believe we should pay for at least half of it from the stimulus funds. just before the recess, i supported an unemployment insurance extenon that was fully paid for but my democratic colleagues blocked that amendment offered by senator john thune, preferring instead to continually borrow money on

George Voinovich

6:31:33 to 6:31:56( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: the credit card of our children and grandchildren. last year, we borrowed $1.4 trillion that's 41 cents of every dollar that we spent last year we borrowed. over half of this debt is held by foreign investors, and by the end of this year, our national

George Voinovich

6:31:57 to 6:32:17( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: debt will be a staggering $13.8 trillion. that's an almost $2 trillion increase in one year. as the book of proverbs tel us in book 27, chapter 22, quote, "the rich rule over the poor and the borrower is the servant of the lender."

George Voinovich

6:32:18 to 6:32:39( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: america must address its debt and stoporrowing money from countries like china and others that don't have our best interests at heart. we just can't keep kicking the can down the road. our national debt is one of the most important problems we face and r failure to address to

George Voinovich

6:32:40 to 6:33:01( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: begin this fiscal crisis will damage our economy, our national security, and the kind o future we leave to our children and grandchildren. still, i know ohioans are hurting so i approached the majority leader and told him i'd provide the vote he needed to extend unemployment insurance if the democrats were willing to

George Voinovich

6:33:02 to 6:33:22( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: use some of the estimated $40 billion of unspent stimulus money to hefley help -- help offset at least haft of the unemployment insurance extension. he rejected my offer but he remained at the table on what i consider to be a simple bill,

George Voinovich

6:33:23 to 6:33:45( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: extend unemployment and pay for half of it. so i say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, let's get it done. let's extend u.i. benefits in a bipartisan manner and pay for at least half with stimulus funds. i'm confident that we could get 60 votes for that tomorrow. second, mr. president, i know that most people in america would rather have a job than

George Voinovich

6:33:46 to 6:34:06( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: collect unemploent insurance. they'd rather have a job rather than collect unemployment insurance. but my concern is that not enough is being deny by this administration or by congress, for that matter, to put people back to work or create an environment where businesses have enough confidence in the

George Voinovich

6:34:07 to 6:34:31( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: future to unleash a corporate private-sector stimulus. mr. president, i want to quote from a current "newsweek" article by farid zechariah called -- quote -- "obama's c.e.o. problem: he needs business on his side now." and i ask this article be submitted for the record with my statement. the presiding officer: without

George Voinovich

6:34:32 to 6:34:52( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: objection. a senator: he says the following -- quote -- "there is a second stimulus, one that could have a dramatic effect on the economy, even more so than government spending and it won't add to the deficit." he goes on, "the federal reserve recently reported that america's 500 largest nonfinancial

George Voinovich

6:34:53 to 6:35:13( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: companies have accumulated an astonishing $1.8 trillion of cash on their balance sheets, and yet most corporations are not spending this money on new plants, equipment or workers. were they to begin to loose irtheir purse strings, hundreds of billions of dollars would

George Voinovich

6:35:14 to 6:35:34( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: start pouring into the economy and these investments would likely have a greater effect and staying power than any government stimulus." he goes on to say, "the key to a sustainable recovery and robust economic growth is to get companies to start investing in america. so why are they reluctant,

George Voinovich

6:35:35 to 6:35:58( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: despite having mounds of cash lying around?" mr. zechariah put this question to a series of business leaders and -- quote -- "economic uncertainty was the primary cause of their caution. but in addition to economics, they kept talking about politics and about the uncertainty surrounding regulations and

George Voinovich

6:35:59 to 6:36:20( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: taxes." th business round-table, which has supported the obama administration, has begun to complain about the myriad of new laws and regulation being cooked up in washington." he goes on to quote, "one c.e.o. said 'almost every agency we deal with has announced some expansion of its authority which naturally makes me concerned

George Voinovich

6:36:21 to 6:36:43( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: about what's in store for the future.' another pointed out that between the new heah care bill, financial refm, possible cap-and-trade, his company lawyers -- his companies had lawyers working day and night trying to figure out the implication of these new regulations." and finally, mr. zechariah

George Voinovich

6:36:44 to 6:37:04( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: concludes -- quote -- "obama now needs to outline a growth of competitiveness agenda that will seem compelling to the american business community. this might sound like psychology more than economics and the populist left will surely scream, the last thing we need

George Voinovich

6:37:05 to 6:37:25( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: do is pander to business, but, in fact, the first thing we need is for these people to start spending their money soon. as a leading new york businessman who had publicly supported obama during the campaign said, 'their perception is our reality.'"

George Voinovich

6:37:26 to 6:37:47( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: john meechem, the editor of "newsweek," recently put it this way. he said -- quote -- "a populism that begs in the boardroom would really be a change that we could believe in mr. voinovich: so, mr. president, the administration and congress should listen to these concerns, give the private sector the certainty it needs to plan and

George Voinovich

6:37:48 to 6:38:08( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: grow and unlsh a lasting stimulus that doesn't cost a dime. i'm reminded of my second inaugural speech as governor in 1995. i made the following statement, which i believe is still relevant today. i was elected governor in 1990 and this was my second inaugural speech after being reelected.

George Voinovich

6:38:09 to 6:38:29( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: quote -- "we've tried to respond to a very clear message. the voters in 1990 and reaffirmed in 1994: people are fed up with big government, fed up with government that presumed to know or sought to provide all the answers, and fed up with government that had forgotten

George Voinovich

6:38:30 to 6:38:51( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: its mission and lost touch with its customers. they were telling those of us in government that we were no better than the people whose hard-earned dollars go in the tax basket. ohioans were expecting to work harder and smarter and do more with less, just as they were doing with their households,

George Voinovich

6:38:52 to 6:39:14( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: farms, factories and offices. and they were reminding us of how lincoln defined good government. he said, loi -- he said, 'the legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people that whatever they need to have done but cannot do at all or cannot do so well for themselves and their separate

George Voinovich

6:39:15 to 6:39:39( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: and individual capacities.'" that's what lincoln had to say. i still believe these words are relevant today. i think the government can serve the economic needs of the country by doing something that i've talked about, mr. president, for a long time. by passing a surface transportation reauthorization

George Voinovich

6:39:40 to 6:40:00( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: bill this year, which is a legitimate object for government. this is something people can't do individually or working with others. the government has to do this. with the u.s. economy struggling from the worst economic recession since the great depression, the immediate impact of this bill would be on jobs. according to the american

George Voinovich

6:40:01 to 6:40:22( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: association of state highway and transportation officials, aashto, which represents the state departments of transportation, there are over $47 billion of highway projects ready to go supporting 1.6 million jobs. you hear that? $47 billion of highway projects

George Voinovich

6:40:23 to 6:40:44( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: ready to go that would create 1.6 million jobs. according to the american road and transportation builders, artba, the transportation construction industry supports the equivalent of 3,383,200 american jobs.

George Voinovich

6:40:45 to 6:41:06( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: just think about the massive impact this agency has on employment in the united states. it directly provides more -- this is something that's really surprising to me. it directly provides more american jobs than the u.s. motor vehicle and parts manufacturers, plastics and

George Voinovich

6:41:07 to 6:41:27( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: rubber product manufacturers, beverage and tobacco product manufacturers and petroleum and coal products manufacturers, among others. our domestic transportation industry is the backbone of virtually all of the major industry sectors that comprise the u.s. economy and the american diswhroobz -- american jobs that they sustain. the infrastructure built,

George Voinovich

6:41:28 to 6:41:50( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: maintained and managed by this industry is a vital part of our economy. unfortunately, the american transportation construction section is currently in the worst condition since world war ii, over 60 years ago. the unemployment rate in construction is over 20%, higher

George Voinovich

6:41:51 to 6:42:13( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: than any other industry and two times higher than the unemployment rate in the u.s. economy generally. as a former member of the laborers international local 310 in cleveland, i'm particularly sensitive to the unemployment among my brothers and sisters in the labor movement. highway and transit construction

George Voinovich

6:42:14 to 6:42:34( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: accounts for about 75% of jobs for laborers in this country. the unions have underscored in meetings all over ohio, they don't want unemployment. they don't want unemployment. they want jobs, and they can't understand why congress is hellbent to push a climate bill that will put more of them out

George Voinovich

6:42:35 to 6:42:57( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: of work rather than to -- rather than the reauthorization of the surfe transportation. why aren't we spending our time on reauthorization of the surface transportation? why are we spending so much time on cap-and-trade? mr. president, i'd like to share with you some stories everyday people on main street have to say. lori soggs with the cleveland building and construion trades council, which represents more

George Voinovich

6:42:58 to 6:43:19( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: than 17,000 union workers in northeast ohio, said workers are not seeing much of a spike in jobs and unemployment figures range from 20% in some trades to 40% in other trades, such as the electricians. in cincinnati, ohio, matt brennan, c.e.o. of loveland excavating inc. says his company

George Voinovich

6:43:20 to 6:43:40( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: sales are down 53%. his work force is down 55%, and worker salaries are down 25% to 35% due to the lack of overtime. he has seen numerous projects abandoned due to lack of funding banks are calling lines of credit for creditworthy contractors.

George Voinovich

6:43:41 to 6:44:01( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: there are no lending sources available. many contractors fail -- are failing and closing their doors. that's happening all over. this is not occurring in my state but, as i say, across the country. mr. hammok, president of c.w. matthews contracting company, one of the largest road cotruction companies in

George Voinovich

6:44:02 to 6:44:23( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: georgia, said the ripple effect of a delay of the reauthorization bill has already reached firms like his. his company has already laid off 700 of its 2,000 employees since 2007 because of the recession. now the delay in passage of the transportation reauthorization bill and the dearth of state

George Voinovich

6:44:24 to 6:44:46( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: contracts means he's planning to lay off as many as 200 more employees by the end of the year. he said,"you can't proceed under business as normal when there's no direction out there. it's too dangerous to bet on the future and put your company in financial jeopardy." he said, "the administration's stimulus package, while a

George Voinovich

6:44:47 to 6:45:08( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: positive shot, hasn't provided long-term help for the heavy construction companies such as his. the stimulus package at least as it relates to georgia isn't putting the heavy equipment to work that moves dirt," he said. it's not a sustainable cure for what ails the transportation industry." paul campbell, the executive

George Voinovich

6:45:09 to 6:45:33( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: vice president of weider manufacturing -- machinery,

George Voinovich

6:45:34 to 6:45:54( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: caterpillar dealer in salt lake 629 employees that are left. there's very little private money going into any kind of construction, mr. campbell said. you take the federal contracts out of that and it gets a whole lot worse really quick. we need a reauthorization of the transportation bill. states are facing the most difficult financial situation in 50 years.

George Voinovich

6:45:55 to 6:46:16( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: and this year in spite of the dim constitutions 21 states have kitted that they would be forced to reduce spending in -- indicated that they would be forceed to reduce spending in transportation. reauthorization, mr. president, is a three-for. first it's jobs, jobs, jobs. th bill will give confidence and certainty to an industry that's struggling right now.

George Voinovich

6:46:17 to 6:46:37( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: recently a contractor testified before the e.p.w. committee on how long a long-term bill will provide certainty to the transportation industry. here's what he said. failure to pass a fullty year transportation bill creates significant market uncertainty. the uncertainty makes it

George Voinovich

6:46:38 to 6:46:58( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: difficult to hold onto valued employees. if makes it hard to convince subcontracts to work for us. it makes it hard to convince lenders to invest in us. and when there is an inconsistent flow of federal funding, state agencies hold up the release of projects that are ready to bid and construct.

George Voinovich

6:46:59 to 6:47:19( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: second, a reauthorization bill will be good for our competive position in terms of our economy and infrastructure. our nation's transportation needs exceed current investment at all levels. according to the department of transportation, the annual investment level needed to

George Voinovich

6:47:20 to 6:47:40( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: maintain the current condition and performance of our highway system is $1 0e 5.6 -- is $105.6 billion. while the cost to improve our highways and bridges would be more $174.6 billion. and the bridges, they're in terrible shape. how many more minnesota appea list i-35 bridges are lurking

George Voinovich

6:47:41 to 6:48:01( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: out there? the last reauthorization bill safetea-lu created the national surface transportation policy and revenue study commission to study our infrastructure needs. th commission came back -- we called for the dmoition give us the straight facts. the comaition called for investments of at least $225

George Voinovich

6:48:02 to 6:48:22( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: billion annually over the next 50 years, at all levels of government, to bring our existing transportation infrastructure to a good state of rair and support our growing economy. third, a reauthorization bill will help our environment.

George Voinovich

6:48:23 to 6:48:43( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: transportation contributes almost 30% of the greenhouse gas emugses that we've in this -- emissions that we've in this country. this figure really blows my mind. the average length of time that urban areas experience congested condition amounts to 6.4 hours each day. anyone that travels here in

George Voinovich

6:48:44 to 6:49:05( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: washington understands what that's about. vehicles caught in stop-and-go trafng emit far more emissions than they do without frequent vailings and braking. in recent years, drivers have experienced over 4.2 billion hours of delay. traffic congestion is also

George Voinovich

6:49:06 to 6:49:26( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: responsible for 2.9 billion gallons of fuel wasted each year. wasted fuel and lost pructivity due to traffic congestion costs the u.s. economy over $78 billion annually. think about that, $78 billion annually. a reauthorization bill is needed

George Voinovich

6:49:27 to 6:49:47( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: to reduce congestion and, consequently, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. a study recently prepared for the federal highway administration found that bottlenecks on the nation's highway system caused by congested intersections, poor highway operations, inadequate

George Voinovich

6:49:48 to 6:50:08( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: capacity and poor alignments impose 243 million hours of delay on truck shipments with direct cost of the delays totaling $7.8 billion per year. according to the american transportation association, miles traveled nationwide are off 17% last year.

George Voinovich

6:50:09 to 6:50:29( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: average miles per truck were down 20%. in other words, truck drivers are allowed to only work so many hours. they can only go -- they have "x" number of miles that they can go. and because of the congestion that we've here in our country today, they're getting almost 20% less mileage covered because of the congestion that they

George Voinovich

6:50:30 to 6:50:50( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: encounter all over this country. this is a great time to invest in infrastructure. we will get a better bang for our buck because of the economy today, the return on infrastructure investment is better than in recent years. over the years we saw a safetea-lu money kind of dwindle because of the high cost of oil. we saw also the high cost of steel.

George Voinovich

6:50:51 to 6:51:12( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: but because of the economy, project bids are coming in extremely low. in fact, in ohio, bids have been up to 30% lower. so what a time to invest? we're really going to get a return onur investment. the gas tax -- i want to you know that i'm n

George Voinovich

6:51:13 to 6:51:36( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: talking about borrowing the money for the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, like we do for everything else around here. that's what the american people are really very, very upset about. spend and borrow the money. the american people, as i say, are fed up because they're concerned with the deficit and budgets not being balanced as

George Voinovich

6:51:37 to 6:51:58( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: far as the eye can see. we will not have to charge our kids and grandkids' credit card. we can pay for this by increasing the gas tax, which has not been increased since 1993. the fact is that americans are willing to pay an increase in the gas tax to create jobs, improve our infrastructure, and

George Voinovich

6:51:59 to 6:52:22( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: better the climate. and many of my conservative collgues do not consider the gas tax as a tax but a user fee. the salet created national surface transportation infrastructure finance commission recommends that congress enact a 10-cent increase in the federal gasoline

George Voinovich

6:52:23 to 6:52:43( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: tax and a 15-cent increase in the federal diesel tax to just maintain our infrastructure. i remember i was mayor -- president reagan was faced with a similar situation with the economy in 1998 -- 1982 when we were facing record unemployment, about 10%. i remember that well, as i say, i was mayor of the city of cleveland.

George Voinovich

6:52:44 to 6:53:04( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: we had 20% unemployment in cleveland. during the lame duck session, the reagan administration proposed a gas tax increase and consequently -- or subsequently congress passed the surface transportation assistance act of 1982 which provided a 5-cent gas tax increase. the american people think

George Voinovich

6:53:05 to 6:53:26( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: they're already paying increased gas taxes. in 2009, building america's future conducted a poll which found that 60% -- that's edmund -- ed rendell's group -- they found that 0 6% of americans believe that the federal gas tax has been increased every year. as you know, the gas tax has not

George Voinovich

6:53:27 to 6:53:47( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: been indexed to inflation. so its purchasing power has declined by 33% since it was last increased in 1993. you know, i've been meeting with groups since march of last year. a year ago this last march. they desperately want a reauthorization bill and they're willing to pay an increase in the gas tax.

George Voinovich

6:53:48 to 6:54:08( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: groups that in the past have never accepted such an increase. listen to this: the chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturers, the american truck,the truckers -- bill graves, head of the truckers, inteational union of operating engineers, laborers international, association of general contractors, national league of cities, national association of economy, american

George Voinovich

6:54:09 to 6:54:30( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: public transit association, to name a few. and there are many more. want to insert a list of all the groups that support increasing the g tax. it is an unbelievable group. the league of american bicyclists. people are willing to do this. the presiding officer: without objection.

George Voinovich

6:54:31 to 6:54:52( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: mr. voinovich: today senator boxer -- and this is what's kind of exciting to me, mr. president -- today senator boxer, senator inhofe and baucus and our staffs are working full-time -- a lot of my colagues in the senate don't understanwhat's going on right now -- to get a bill done this year on a bipartisan basis. think of that. two republicans, two democrats, working together.

George Voinovich

6:54:53 to 6:55:14( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: this is real stuff, okay? that's something that the leader is going to have to zeal with in his office -- to deal with in his office in terms of climate change and some of the other things that we' been talking b the good news is that the house of representatives had been working on reauthorization for two and a half years, and the house bill has been voted out of subcommittee. and the bill is ready to be preconferenced as soon as we get

George Voinovich

6:55:15 to 6:55:36( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: our work done. unfortunately, and here's the thing that i'm really concerned about, we're still waiting to hear from the white house on their priorities. i met recently with secretary ray lahood and he indicated that he will be hearing from the administration we will be hearing from the administration soon. the fact of the matter is the

George Voinovich

6:55:37 to 6:55:58( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: person we need to hear from is president barack obama. that's who we need to hear from. they say he's out on the stump talking about creating jobs. here's an unbelievable opportunity. here's away to create real jobs and not borrow our money from our kids and grandkids to pay for it. on occasion, the president has said that he's oppod to any

George Voinovich

6:55:59 to 6:56:21( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: tax, including a gas tax on the -- quote -- "middle class." i'd like to point out, mr. president, that the kerry-lieberman bill, which he supports, includes an increase on the gas tax, between 20 cents and 60 cents higher per gallon. doesn't thack make sense. you know, he'll support that but

George Voinovich

6:56:22 to 6:56:42( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: not 10 cents for highways? it should be noted that all groups who want the reauthorization bill are willing to pay for it with a gas tax, and, by the way, theyre up in arms about the kerry-lieberman bill because they think it diverts fundsway from the highway trust fund. and i ask that a list of these groups be inserted in the record.

George Voinovich

6:56:43 to 6:57:03( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: they all sent a letter to the president saying hey, this money -- gas tax -- is used for transportation and transit in this country. we don't want it used in the kerry-lieberman bill to raise a bunch of hone for things that don't have -- a budge of money for things that don't have anything to do with the things that we've. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. voinovich: thank you. passing a surface transportation

George Voinovich

6:57:04 to 6:57:25( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: bill would put a large segment of the economy to bed. think about it. for five years that part of the -- part of our economy feels good about things. it helps states meet their infrastructure needs. it reduces greenhouse gases.

George Voinovich

6:57:26 to 6:57:46( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: and it provides certainty and stability to keep us on the road to recovery. mr. president, you show me another bill that has bipartisan support from labor, manufacturing, business, truckers, and state and local groups. i doubt any other piece of legislation will get this kind

George Voinovich

6:57:47 to 6:58:08( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: of support between -- before the election. you know what we need? we need a sorbet -- you know, a sorbet, to bring people together. let the american people know that we hear them. and you know something? we can get something done on a bipartisan basis. believe it or not.

George Voinovich

6:58:09 to 6:58:30( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: this legislation will create real jobs for americans. it will be paid for. and it will put a major part of the economy to rest without adding to an alrea staggering deficit. and it will eliminate the uncertainty about the future that's plaguing our country so we can move forward to provide brighter process expects for our

George Voinovich

6:58:31 to 6:58:52( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: children and grandchildren. i guess the most important guarantee is that the bill will give peace of mind to millions of workers and transportation -- in transportation and allied industries. they no longer will have to worry about unemployed compensation. they will have a job.

George Voinovich

6:58:53 to 6:59:08( Edit History Discussion )

George Voinovich: they can pay their mortgage. they can buy a car. they can pay for their kids' education. and they can have the peace of mind, the peace of mind, that

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