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Senate Proceeding on Jul 25th, 2008 :: 3:56:35 to 4:16:50
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Johnny Isakson

3:47:18 to 3:56:35( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Johnny Isakson

Johnny Isakson

3:56:22 to 3:56:35( Edit History Discussion )

Johnny Isakson: it that the two institutions thats ensure that americans can be homeowners -- freddie mac and fannie mae -- are strong and the investment markets have the confidence that they t have h the support of the

Chuck Grassley

3:56:35 to 3:56:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: united states of america. and lastly, that they're under the same type of o transparency anyd the same type of accountability that the americanri banking system has been under since alexand er hamilton.

Chuck Grassley

3:56:35 to 4:16:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Chuck Grassley

Chuck Grassley

3:56:50 to 3:57:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: mr. president, i yield back the balance of my time. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: if i can speak in morning business for 15 minutes? the presiding officer: withoutit

Chuck Grassley

3:57:03 to 3:57:20( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: objection. mr. grassley: m r. president, i come to the floor today to remind my colleagues and the american people once again about the deadly tornadoes, storms and floods that affected the midwest

Chuck Grassley

3:57:20 to 3:57:34( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: earlier this year. iowa -- my state -- was especially hard hit by this severe weather event. now, my people in iowa have great pride and resilience. they don't like to complain, and it's even harder

Chuck Grassley

3:57:34 to 3:57:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: for them to ask for help. however, i want my colleagues to know that iowans are hurting like people in other natural disasters. i see it in their eyes as they sort through the rubble and try to

Chuck Grassley

3:57:51 to 3:58:06( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: rebuild their lives. as their senator, as their friend and as their neighbor, i am here asking for my colleagues to help, and to help now. i want to thank t my colleagues who have come to me. i'd hrao

Chuck Grassley

3:58:06 to 3:58:23( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: eubg to thank the rest of the iowa congressional delegation and other members whose states were affected. we've had -- we've all had colleagues come to us to share their condolences and ask how

Chuck Grassley

3:58:23 to 3:58:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: they can help. however, i've heard some comments that this disaster was not severe enough to warrant special hrefgd attention. washington doesn't seem to understand the devastation. that's the way i see

Chuck Grassley

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

Chuck Grassley: it. in other words, it's not on television for two months in a row like it was in new orleans, so we don't see getting the attention from colleagues like we did from hurricane katrina. but, we do have

Chuck Grassley

3:58:58 to 3:59:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: an emergency, and congress needs tods respond, like we did after 9/11 for new york city or after katrina for new orleans. ten states were affected by this severe weather system. in iowa alone, 340

Chuck Grassley

3:59:14 to 3:59:28( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: communities were affected by these tornadoes, storms and flooding. iowa suffered well over $10 billion in damages. of this amount, approximately $4 billion was agriculture loss, $4 billion business

Chuck Grassley

3:59:28 to 3:59:52( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: loss, $1 billion housing damag hes and loss, and right now those are very figures. very rough figures. and i think they're only going to be climbing every day after these initial estimates. the floods

Chuck Grassley

3:59:52 to 4:00:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in iowa were well over a 500-year flood event, and it was well over 500-year flood event in many parts of my state. for example, in cedar rapids -- in the cedar river in cedar rapids area, was 11

Chuck Grassley

4:00:10 to 4:00:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: feet over record flood stage since we began keeping records in the 18 50's, the highest flood level had been 20 feet. the levees protected the city are just at 22 feet. in june, cedar rapids had 31 feet

Chuck Grassley

4:00:26 to 4:00:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of water instead of the 22 feet of the levy protection -- levee protection and the 20 feet of the previous record. even my small town of new hartford, iowa, which was first hit by an f-5 tornado,

Chuck Grassley

4:00:45 to 4:01:01( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: which caused several deaths and severe damages, just two weeks later hit by severe flooding. 240 out of 270 homes had moderate to complete damage. many of the businesses also suffered severe loss. they're

Chuck Grassley

4:01:01 to 4:01:16( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: trying to figure out how to stay in business, but unfortunately, for my small town, several have decided not to reopen. on monday, i visited this home that you see on the easel here, of one of my

Chuck Grassley

4:01:16 to 4:01:36( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: constituents in cedar rapids, iowa. as you can see, they're already taken out the molding dry wall. here this lady, shirley, is showing how high the water was on the first floor. that's after the basement

Chuck Grassley

4:01:36 to 4:01:52( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: had been completely filled with water. we should -- waoepls couldn't go to the second floor in this home because half of the steps were washed away. so we're not just talking about standing water. at

Chuck Grassley

4:01:52 to 4:02:08( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: one point this was rushing water turning over appliances, leaving boats in people's living rooms. it's people like shirley who are in limbo because congress is not acting, needing to know what assistance

Chuck Grassley

4:02:08 to 4:02:21( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: can be provided. they don't know whether the government will help, should they stay or should they leave? then we have business owners who are worried about their employees not having homes.p will they

Chuck Grassley

4:02:21 to 4:02:37( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: leave town because they don't have a place to live and then will the small businesses be closed because customers that use the local diner won't be there? or the local flower shop won't be there?

Chuck Grassley

4:02:37 to 4:02:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: it's a vicious circle when you don't have housing for your workers. my colleagues in the midwest and i have been working with appropriats on additional emergency assistance to help us with the recovery

Chuck Grassley

4:02:56 to 4:03:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and with the rebuilding process. i happen to be concerned that this additional emergency assistance is being held up by nonemergency, nonrelated and, in fact, quite controversial provisions. i believe

Chuck Grassley

4:03:13 to 4:03:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we should do what we did for new york and what we did for new orleans: consider the emergency portion separately from other appropriations that people think need to be done here and do it before the august

Chuck Grassley

4:03:30 to 4:03:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: recess. aid to the midwest should not be held hostage to politics. iowans are beginning to notice the inaction in congress. i get asked, why? why hasn't something been done? i'd like to read to you parts

Chuck Grassley

4:03:51 to 4:04:05( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of an editorial running in the waterloo courier. waterloo is close to my hometown. i will not read the complete editorial but i want to read portions because it tells what iowans arere thinking about

Chuck Grassley

4:04:05 to 4:04:22( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the inaction in congress and maybe a double standard. the headline is "congress needs to make time to help iowa." "iowans don't agree with the recent minuscule approval ratings of congress, may want

Chuck Grassley

4:04:22 to 4:04:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: to take a second look. congress has delayed consideration of a bill that includes further disaster aid for iowa until after congress' august recess." the editorial goes on, "that's quite a slap in the

Chuck Grassley

4:04:38 to 4:04:54( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: face to those people and businesses already confused by which direction to take concerning housing and rebuilding issues." it continues, -- quote -- "the senate appropriations committee was scheduled to

Chuck Grassley

4:04:54 to 4:05:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: take up the package on thursday and senator robert byrd, the chairman announced late tuesday it was putting off consideration until after the recess. then they quote senator byrd: "there is no opportunity

Chuck Grassley

4:05:14 to 4:05:36( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: to begin consideration of a supplemental appropriations bill during the next ten days." then the editorial goes on to say that "bird said "byrd said the senate was busy debating housing, defense policy,

Chuck Grassley

4:05:36 to 4:05:48( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and taxes before the r ecess." it continues, i continue to quote the editorial: "our response to senator byrd and the rest of the congress is, make the time; delay the recess if u have to. we'd

Chuck Grassley

4:05:48 to 4:06:07( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: also like to remind the senator of his comments last month after areas of west virginia were ravaged," so the editorial refers to that west st virginia statement and they quote senator byrd as saying

Chuck Grassley

4:06:07 to 4:06:23( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: "once again, west virginia has suffered at the hands of mother nature. every moment counts in the recovery of efforts and every little bit of help is crucial." and then the editorial wants to say --

Chuck Grassley

4:06:23 to 4:06:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: repeat again the last word of senator byrd's statement: "every moment counts." that was his plea then. now, it goes on to say "sounds very similar to situations faced today by many iowa communities,

Chuck Grassley

4:06:38 to 4:07:00( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: businesses, families, and individuals. it appears that byrd's view on timely assistance doesn't extend to the midwest." i'll put the entire editorial in the record so people can read it in its entirety.

Chuck Grassley

4:07:00 to 4:07:13( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i have also, as an individual senator, i would like to -- i have also been working on a comprehensive plan to provide tax relief to flood, tornado, and severe storm victims in the midwest. my hid

Chuck Grassley

4:07:13 to 4:07:29( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: western colleagues have been helping me with this effort. we urge congress to act quickly on enacting a tax relief law because we acted very quickly, within three weeks after katrina, for new orleans.

Chuck Grassley

4:07:29 to 4:07:44( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: on wednesday, i introduced this tax bill with senator harkin, bond, mccaskill, klobuchar, coleman, durbin, obama, roberts, brownback, lugar, bayh and called it midwestern disaster tax relief act of

Chuck Grassley

4:07:44 to 4:08:01( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: 2008, the same bill was introduced in the house by the iowa congressional delegation in a bipartisan fashion. federal tax relief is proven to be very helpful to disaster recovery efforts in recent years.

Chuck Grassley

4:08:01 to 4:08:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we models this legislation after the tax legislation that congress passed to help victims of hurricane katrina, rita and wilma in 2005 and the tornadoes of kansas in 2007. we took into account the lessons

Chuck Grassley

4:08:18 to 4:08:32( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: learned from the other disaster packages so we have been able to slim down this package and tailor it to meet the needs of this major natural disaster and not to repeat the mistake that we made for

Chuck Grassley

4:08:32 to 4:08:46( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: katrina that some people who weren't hurt by disaster were able to take advantage of it. so we are curtailing the cost considerably. but there's another inconsistency here. i've been told by the chairman

Chuck Grassley

4:08:46 to 4:09:00( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: of the house ways and means committee, mr. rangel, that our disaster tax relief package needs to be offset. well, he didn't hear chuck grassley say that the tax package we passed for new york city after

Chuck Grassley

4:09:00 to 4:09:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: 9/11 had to be offset. it was an emergency. new york city needed help and new york city got help from this senator, chairman of the committee at that time. i guess at that time i was ranking member,

Chuck Grassley

4:09:17 to 4:09:36( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: but, still helping. but when katrina came along i was chairman of the committee once again and we did not ask for offsets for katrina. people in new orleans were hurting and we passed the legislation

Chuck Grassley

4:09:36 to 4:09:49( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and the president signed it three weeks after katrina. and we appropriated $60 billion within five days after reconvening after labor day this -- in 2005. so i don't want anyone telling me we have to offset

Chuck Grassley

4:09:49 to 4:10:01( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: a disaster relief package when we are hurting and we didn't do it for new orleans. why the double standard? is it because people aren't on rooftops complaining for helicopters to revive them and you see

Chuck Grassley

4:10:01 to 4:10:23( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: it on television two months? we aren't doing that in iowa, we're trying to help ourselves in iowa. we have a can-do attitude. it doesn't show up on television like it did in new orleans for two

Chuck Grassley

4:10:23 to 4:10:38( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: months. so we're going to move ahead. we've targeted this assistance in this tax bill to those who have suffered damage and lost specifically from this severe weather event. individuals and businesses located

Chuck Grassley

4:10:38 to 4:10:51( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: in presidentally-declared disaster areas due to floods, tornadoes, or severe storms in iowa, arkansas, illinois, kansas, indiana, michigan, minnesota, nebraska, wisconsin -- just where the harm has happened

Chuck Grassley

4:10:51 to 4:11:03( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: this spring. among other provisions, this legislation would let disaster victims with damages to their primary residence tap their assets and access cash by withdrawing money from retirement plans

Chuck Grassley

4:11:03 to 4:11:15( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: without penalty, suspend limits on tax incentives for charitable contributions, thus strengthening local and other fund-raising drives collecting money to help small businesses and families recover.

Chuck Grassley

4:11:15 to 4:11:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we also create tax credit bond authority to help local governments rebuild infrastructure with interest-free loans, increase the amount of tax-exempt bond authority to help businesses receive below market

Chuck Grassley

4:11:30 to 4:11:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: interest rate financing. remove limitations on deducting casualty losses due to that will disasters. and reduce the 2008 tax burden for businesses by substantially increasing the 2008 deductions from

Chuck Grassley

4:11:45 to 4:12:00( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: depreciation and expensing of business property. we tried to add a disaster tax relief package as an amendment to the housing bill and i have to say that senator shelby and dodd and baucus were very

Chuck Grassley

4:12:00 to 4:12:14( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: helpful but we didn't get all the details ironed out in time to get it in the tax package but we agreed to pursue midwest disaster tax relief either on another tax bill or on -- mr. president, could

Chuck Grassley

4:12:14 to 4:12:28( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: i please have four more minutes? the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: either as a separate bill, which would have to start in the house of representatives; or, on another tax

Chuck Grassley

4:12:28 to 4:12:43( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: bill that's over here under consideration in the senate. i want to thank shelby, dodd and baucus for their consideration of putting that on the housing bill. now, we've had further discussions since

Chuck Grassley

4:12:43 to 4:12:59( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: then with chairman ran rangel and baucus and it is our hope to quickly reach a bicameral agreement with ways and means. i think we basically have it ironed out except for the offset issue and

Chuck Grassley

4:12:59 to 4:13:18( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we should pass this tax bill in both the house and senate by unanimous consent before we leave for the august recess. that would get it done, still, a longer period of time than it took me to get tax

Chuck Grassley

4:13:18 to 4:13:33( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: relief for new orleans. once again, assistance to iowa and the midwest should not be held hostage in politics and gamesmanship. we treated the victims of the gulf coast with quick and fair action, as i've

Chuck Grassley

4:13:33 to 4:13:45( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: indicated twice during my remarks. we passed $60 billion in appropriations bills within a week of returning to washington after the august recess, which recess katrina happened just days before labor day

Chuck Grassley

4:13:45 to 4:13:59( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and we passed the tax relief bill that i've told you about that was signed by the president within three weeks. these were clean bills. they weren't loaded down with controversial extraneous positions

Chuck Grassley

4:13:59 to 4:14:16( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and didn't need offsets. efforts underway by democratic leadership are letting down the people of the midwest. they're trying to use the disaster assistance as a vehicle to promote an agenda and pet

Chuck Grassley

4:14:16 to 4:14:26( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: projects. i'll give examples: the majority would like to include a provision to give $1.2 billion in tax credits to new york city although new stork does new york does thought pay taxes to provide

Chuck Grassley

4:14:26 to 4:14:39( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: the building of a train from manhattan to john f. kennedy airport through the use of liberty zone tax credits. according to the joint committee on taxation congress never before provided a limited tax

Chuck Grassley

4:14:39 to 4:14:52( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: benefit such as this to a government unit. this provision is very controversial. it is nonemergency. and it would slow down getting assistance to the midwest and iowa, people who are hurting, and

Chuck Grassley

4:14:52 to 4:15:04( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: hurting right now. i reiterate that politics should not get in the way of helping the victims of the storms and tornadoes in the midwest. to cut through this hogwash we ought to pass the midwestern disaster

Chuck Grassley

4:15:04 to 4:15:17( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: tax relie bill by unanimous consent even this week. as iowans and others in central united states start recovering and rebuilding their lives and communities after these record deadly storms and

Chuck Grassley

4:15:17 to 4:15:30( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: floods, they need and deserve swift federal action, the assistance should not be held up over politics. i'm often asked by constituents, not to forget them. therefore, i'm asking my colleagues here in

Chuck Grassley

4:15:30 to 4:15:43( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: congress this very municipality minute not to forget my constituents or other state weapons of midwest states. we only ask that congress give iowans and those in the mid-before the same consideration that

Chuck Grassley

4:15:43 to 4:15:56( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: we gave victims of other disasters most often i mentioned new york city, and i most often mention new orleans. nothing more, nothing less. if any of my colleagues doubt me that this is an emergency,

Chuck Grassley

4:15:56 to 4:16:10( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: and that federal aid is needed, i'm in iowa every weekend except this weekend i'm sorry to say because we're in session on saturday. but whenever they come i'll be happy to show them around and i have

Chuck Grassley

4:16:10 to 4:16:50( Edit History Discussion )

Chuck Grassley: all kinds of pictures here that i think my staff has been putting up there from time to time to demonstrate this disaster that we've had in the midwest. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.

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