Video archive of the US Congress

Senate Proceeding on Nov 29th, 2010 :: 4:23:50 to 4:29:45
Total video length: 7 hours 59 minutes Stream Tools: Stream Overview | Edit Time

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Claire McCaskill

4:23:48 to 4:24:09( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: quorum call: a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. a senator: i would ask that the quorum call be set aside. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. mccaskill: madam president, i rise to talk about an amendment that we'll be voting on tomorrow concerning earmarks. i have, since coming to the

Claire McCaskill

4:23:50 to 4:29:45( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Claire McCaskill

Claire McCaskill

4:24:10 to 4:24:32( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: senate, decided that i'm not going to participate in what i think is a very flawed process. i don't think it's the right way to spend public money. i'm not going to quarrel that some of the projects that have been funded are meritorious. they are. in my state some of the projects that have received earmark funds

Claire McCaskill

4:24:33 to 4:24:53( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: are wonderful expenditures of public money, but it's the way in which the money is expended that is the problem. the way it's decided is the problem. it's the process. now, there have been a number of defenses of earmarking. and i want to spend a couple of minutes debunking the defenses

Claire McCaskill

4:24:54 to 4:25:14( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: of earmarking. i'll tell you my favorite one. we have somehow abdicating the power of the purse that is delineated in the constitution. give me a break. we decide every dime of federal money. congress makes the decision on appropriations for every federal

Claire McCaskill

4:25:15 to 4:25:36( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: program. now, how is giving up a secretive process where no one is really sure how it's decided who gets how much money, how is getting rid of that somehow removing our constitutional authority to make spending decisions? it's like they want the american

Claire McCaskill

4:25:37 to 4:25:58( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: people to believe if we quit earmarking the appropriations process is going to go away. that we will no longer be past judgment of the president's budget. that we'll no longer have oversight of the federal money. it's silly. it's absurd. in some ways it's almost?? insulting. the constitutional powers to

Claire McCaskill

4:25:59 to 4:26:20( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: decide how federal money is spent will remain with the congress long after this bad habit has been broken. and make no mistake about it it may not be this year. it may not be next year. but the american people are on to us. they now know and understand that earmarking is about who you are.

Claire McCaskill

4:26:21 to 4:26:41( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: it's about what committee you sit on. it's about who you know. if this is such a fair process, if this is something we should be proud of, then i want someone to come to this floor and explain to me how they decide who gets the money. i ask it at home all the time.

Claire McCaskill

4:26:42 to 4:27:03( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i say if you know how they decide how they get the money, will you tell me because i'm a member of the senate and i don't know. in some committees the ranking member and the chairman of the subcommittee get more money than everybody else. in other committees they don't. where is that decided? in what room? is there a hearing?

Claire McCaskill

4:27:04 to 4:27:24( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: can i go and watch? when the money is split up, who's in the room? who's on the phone? if we are brutally honest with the american people, we will tell them that's a process we just don't want them to see. an, yes, we are better, yes, we

Claire McCaskill

4:27:25 to 4:27:45( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: reformed and i'm proud that my party led the reforms on earmarking right after i came to the senate. and now your name is on your earmark. i'll tell you what's not public -- you know what people at home actually believe? they actually believe that the senators don't pick the winners and losers. they actually think there's some

Claire McCaskill

4:27:46 to 4:28:06( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: mysterious process -- i don't know where they think this occurs -- but what we don't know what are all the earmarks that senators say no to? senators say no to these earmarks. it's not a committee that says no to these earmarks. it's not a chairman. each individual senator decides winners and losers.

Claire McCaskill

4:28:07 to 4:28:28( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: i don't think the losers know that. i think the losers think that that senator had nothing to do with them being a loser. now if we could make all that public, this would be a much less popular activity. because then all of a sudden the people who wanted a bridge in this part of the state would realize that the senator thought that the bridge on the other side of the state was more important.

Claire McCaskill

4:28:29 to 4:28:49( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: so we take credit for the earmarks we get, but we're not willing to own the fact that we've chosen winners and losers. and, finally, this notion that we're taking somehow the bureaucrats that -- the bure -- that the bureaucrats are going to disievment most of the money that's taken for earmarks comes

Claire McCaskill

4:28:50 to 4:29:10( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: out of programs that are grant programs and formula programs that are decided by population or decided by local people. it's not washington bureaucrats. there's a planning, a judgment of one person for a local planning process, a state planning process, and that's not right way to spend money. i hope people vote for the

Claire McCaskill

4:29:11 to 4:29:31( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: coburn-mccaskill amendment tomorrow. we need to end earmarking. it's the wrong way to spend public money. and whether it happens tomorrow or whether it happens two or three years from now, make no mistake about it, the american people are tired of thank you, madam president, and i request the absence of a

Claire McCaskill

4:29:32 to 4:29:50( Edit History Discussion )

Claire McCaskill: quorum. quorum call: the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

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