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Senate Proceeding on Dec 3rd, 2010 :: 4:51:25 to 5:10:50
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Lamar Alexander

4:51:07 to 4:51:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: good to see the distinguished presiding officer. he must have been here all he was here yesterday, and i'm grad to see him again. mr. president, how long do i

Lamar Alexander

4:51:25 to 5:10:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

4:51:28 to 4:51:49( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: have -- are there limits speaking time at the moment? the presiding officer: we've we have a 10-minute grant at this time. mr. alexander: thank you very much. i'll use -- would you please let me know what i've consumed nine. the presiding officer: questionyes.mr. alexander: and if no one else appears, i'll continue a little bit after that.

Lamar Alexander

4:51:50 to 4:52:14( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: mr. president, i just returned from the hudson institute, a distinguished think tank dow downtown where i made an address called the new program of american life, less of washington and more of ourselves ourselves. it included a panel of -- follow following my address there was a

Lamar Alexander

4:52:15 to 4:52:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: panel of kate o. burn of the "national review," christopher m mute, checker finnn bill crystal crystal, founder of the weekly standard, and william sham bra who is a fellow at the hudson institute.

Lamar Alexander

4:52:37 to 4:52:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and they commented on what i had to say. one of my most enjoyable experiences, because it was a re-price of something we did in 1995. in 195 i was a fellow at the hudson institute, and i was also touring the country trying to persuade merps that i was the next ledge coul choice for president of the united states.

Lamar Alexander

4:52:59 to 4:53:20( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: that didn't work out exactly right. in fact, when i lost my brother-in-law, who was preacher, he said i should think of that political loss as a reveres calling. i've always tried to think of it as that way. but, nevertheless, during that

Lamar Alexander

4:53:21 to 4:53:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: time, checker finf and i edited a book called "the new promise of american life." we selected that title because herbert control in 1999 had written a book called "the promise of american life" which really was a progressive manifesto that launched the thinking of president wilson and

Lamar Alexander

4:53:42 to 4:54:04( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: more recently president obama. and our thought then in 1995 and 1996, mr. crystal, mr. chambra, and mr. finn were all contributors to our vocialtion was that progressiism had gone too far understand that needed less of washington and more of ourselves.

Lamar Alexander

4:54:05 to 4:54:30( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: that's what we said in 1995. well, looking back over that volume, that was pretty good advice, but obviously nobody took it. and so what we decied to do today was the hudson institute sponsored another forum about the new promise of american life. i talked about it and the people that i just mentioned commented

Lamar Alexander

4:54:31 to 4:54:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: it. it was interesting for me in a vai right-of-ways. i am going to ask unanimous consent at this time if i may include in the "congressional record" the address i made at the hudson institute today as well as excerpts from the new promise of american life that was published in 1995. namely, the introduction, the

Lamar Alexander

4:54:53 to 4:55:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: preface and first chapter. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: mr. president, the chaning -- the premise of my remarks was that we don't do comprehensive well in the united states congress.

Lamar Alexander

4:55:14 to 4:55:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: now, that was challenged by some of the conservatives on the panel today. and that was my point. my suggestion is that those who were elected in the 2000 election not make the same mistake that those who were elected before made in my opinion, which was not just to head in the wrong direction but

Lamar Alexander

4:55:35 to 4:55:56( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: to do it all at once. it is one thing to think comprehensively. it is another thing to try to act comprehensively. and our health care law has been -- there have been multiple attempts to repeal it from the day it passed. our efforts at comprehensive immigration and comprehensive climate change fell of their own weight.

Lamar Alexander

4:55:57 to 4:56:17( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and i'm tempted, as i'm sure most people are, to make comprehensive changes. and we talked about som examples with the panel. take, i.g., education. i suppose i've had about every position on education reform possible. i have been for aboll iraq the united states department of education.

Lamar Alexander

4:56:18 to 4:56:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: i have been the united states department of education secretary. i remember as a governor in 1981 i went to see president reagan and asked him to swap all of elementary and secondary education for medicaid. the federal government would take all of medicaid and the states would have all of elementary and secondary education. the sprfer from the state of minnesota where there is a high

Lamar Alexander

4:56:39 to 4:57:00( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: value on education. in and my own view is that the high value in the communities of minnesota does much more to assure quality education than anything we could do here. so i thought that if we got rid of the idea that washington could make your schools better that we in our communities in tennessee would feel more responsibility for it.

Lamar Alexander

4:57:01 to 4:57:21( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: president reagan liked that but obviously it didn't anywhere. most big, comprehensive schemes don't. our country is too big and complicated and too diverse, and our constitutional system separates power into too many places, and you add on top of that that we just aren't smart enough to figure out a solution for all the many different

Lamar Alexander

4:57:22 to 4:57:43( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: things that are happening in this country. so my advice in this address is that those who are elected in 20 2010 ned a different direction. we talked a lot about less government, less taxes. we talked about fewer washington takeovers. we don't like all the czars and czarinas.

Lamar Alexander

4:57:44 to 4:58:05( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: there are more of them than the roman and a halfs ever imagied. as we head in a different direction, i suggest that we go step by step to reearn the trust of the american people. there ued to be scientist whose said think globally, ac locally. i think we might think comprehensively but act step by step. because if we don't, because if

Lamar Alexander

4:58:06 to 4:58:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: we don't, there are two dangers. one is that we won't succeed. it'll be a lot easier, for example, to fix no child left hierntiondz the education law, than it will to comprehensively reauthorize it, because its a a 1,000-page law filled wit investments by members of congress, teachers' unions,

Lamar Alexander

4:58:29 to 4:58:49( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: principals, people all over the country attitudes. that will be hard to do. but we can probably fix t we can probably pick the four, five, six things that need to be fixed and maybe in a biparti way go step by step to do that. if we want clean energy, a com economywide cap

Lamar Alexander

4:58:50 to 4:59:10( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and trade proved tiewch to swallow here. but we can create an environment for 100 new nuclear plants. we should be able to encourage electric cars. we should be able to double energy research and development. those are steps in the right direction. we took steps in the right direct with the america competes act. we did that in a bipartisan way.

Lamar Alexander

4:59:11 to 4:59:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: our overwhelming priorities today are just, debt, an terror. we're not likely to solve any of those problems all at once. we might think comprehensively about how to do it but we need to act step by step. for example, would be to make it easier and cheaper to

Lamar Alexander

4:59:32 to 4:59:52( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: create private-sector jobs. that shoobt first goal. and especially on this side of the aisle where we believe that raising taxes on anybody, anybody, in the middle of an economic downturn makes no sense, because it makes it harder to create private-sector jobs. but that's just one step. just one step. if i were to make my list, i

Lamar Alexander

4:59:53 to 5:00:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: would toad thatly, reducing the corporate income so our corporations can be competitive in the world and i would say defend the right to work law and the secret ballot in union elections. i would also say build an adequate transportation s i would also say increase funding for research and development at major universiies because it's that brain power that creates

Lamar Alexander

5:00:16 to 5:00:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: jobs for us. there are many different steps we take to create a progrowth economy. or take the issue of debt. we have a debt commission report today which has attracted all of our attention. we've got a horrendous problem with the federal debt. 42 cents out of every dollar we're spending is borrowing. if we try to fix it all at once, the country would collapse.

Lamar Alexander

5:00:38 to 5:00:59( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: but if we wait another day to begin to fix it, we should be ashamed. and we can take steps. we can say caps on discretionary spending. that's a third of spending. we can say no new entitlement programs. let's not dig the hole any deeper. we could say let's have a

Lamar Alexander

5:01:00 to 5:01:20( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: two-year budget so that every other year we can devote the year to reviewing the regulations we have and the laws we have and the rules we have so that we can get rid of some of them. we may need some new lawmakers but let's get rid -- new laws, but let's get rid of some of the old ones. i stood on the floor of the

Lamar Alexander

5:01:21 to 5:01:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: senate and voted against the higher education act. here i am a former university president, education secretary and so-called education governor -- and that's my passion, i say to the presiding officer, i -- if another senator comes to the floor, i'll be glad to yield the floor. but i voted against the higher education act.

Lamar Alexander

5:01:42 to 5:02:03( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: why did i do that? because i got permission to bring to the floor all of the regulations that now exist under the current higher education act. you have to ask for unanimous consent to bring demonstrative evidence on the floor. i had to do that once with minnie pearl's hat. i had it here in a drawer but

Lamar Alexander

5:02:04 to 5:02:24( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: couldn't bring it out unless i got unanimous consent, which i got. and i got it to bring all these regulations. i said i'm voting against this act because the reauthorization of the act would double the stack of regulations. so all these things have to do with debt, limited government and spreading prosperity and spreading freedom of the kinds

Lamar Alexander

5:02:25 to 5:02:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: of things that i believe in. so my argument is basically that those of us who are in the republican party, those of us who this year won more of the elections, we know what it's like to be on the other side too. two years ago we hardly won anything.

Lamar Alexander

5:02:46 to 5:03:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: two years before that we had elected one republican senator in the mix. those of us on the minimumming side this time -- those of us on the winning side this time i think would do well to head in a different direction. make it easier to create private sector jobs. be resolute in the direction we're going, but do it step by step. we're more likely to be able to

Lamar Alexander

5:03:08 to 5:03:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: persuade people to do it. when we get through we're more likely to be able to persuade them to live under those rules and regulations. when you do it comprehensively, when you bite off more than you can chew, when you offer a 2,000-page solution to anything, whether it's a comprehensive

Lamar Alexander

5:03:30 to 5:03:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: liberal solution or progressive solution or whether it's a comprehensive conservative solution, you're likely to frighten -- well, you're likely to make angry the people on the other side and scare the independent voters half to death. and as a result, you won't succeed. we as republicans won't have a

Lamar Alexander

5:03:51 to 5:04:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: chance -- we have a chance in the next two years to prove to the nation that we deserve to be the governing party. we're not today. there's a democratic president and there's a democratic senate and there's a republican house. so if we want to make progress, we have to work together when we can form a consensus. but if we want the privilege of

Lamar Alexander

5:04:13 to 5:04:33( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: being more than an ideological debate society and being actually a governing party, we have to reearn the trust of the american people. we have to say what are republicans for? and i'm suggesting when we say what we're for, we pick our goals -- easier and cheaper to create private-sector jobs, reduce spending closer to

Lamar Alexander

5:04:34 to 5:04:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: revenues, toughen strategic on terror, and then we go step by step in that direction. and we take people with us, but we gain their support. i've mentioned on this floor before the example of civil rights laws.?? the civil rights was the greatest injustice. segregation was the greatest injustice in our country's

Lamar Alexander

5:04:55 to 5:05:16( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: history, plagued us from the day of our country's founding. our founders punted on the subject and then we tore ourselves apart in a war. and then we waited a century to do much about it. by any intellectual standard, by any moral standard, we should have fixed that all at once.

Lamar Alexander

5:05:17 to 5:05:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: but lyndon johnson, who was the majority leader at the time, knew better than to try to do that. in fact, he knew he couldn't do that. starting in 1958 and then in 1964 and then in 1968 and then in 1975 with the major civil rights laws in the country, we

Lamar Alexander

5:05:38 to 5:05:58( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: went step by step to realize the promise of american life that all men and women are created equal. now it's easy to sit somewhere and say, well, that went too slow. and a comprehensive approach towards civil rights would have, would have been the right thing to do. it would have been the right thing to do but it never would have happened. and there's one other problem with it.

Lamar Alexander

5:05:59 to 5:06:20( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: it wouldn't have been accepted by the country. the civil rights laws of 1964 and 1968, during the time of democratic majorities and a democratic president were written where? in the office of everett dirksen.

Lamar Alexander

5:06:21 to 5:06:42( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: why did president johnson do that? you could say he didn't need the votes. he had huge majorities in the house and in the senate. well, it was a little more complicated than that because he had southern democrats and they were against it. so, first, he needed the votes to pass the bill. but the thing that president johnson understood so well was he not only needed to pass the bill; he needed the country to

Lamar Alexander

5:06:43 to 5:07:03( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: accept it. and as controversial as the civil rights act of 1968 was, the one written down the hall in the republican leader's office by a democratic president and a democratic congress, as controversial as it was, when it was over, senator russell of georgia, for whom a building here is named, went to georgia

Lamar Alexander

5:07:04 to 5:07:24( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and said i fought this for 30 years, but it's the law of the land and we obey it. lyndon johnson knew that going step by step in the right direction was the right way to get where our country had to go. so we've got some big challenges ahead of us, and some of them we'll be able to do in a bipartisan way.

Lamar Alexander

5:07:25 to 5:07:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: i hope we can do that with no child left behind. let's fix it with the four or five or six steps. arne duncan has good ideas, consistent with ideas of a number of democrats and a number of republicans. that would be a start. the america competes act, we should reauthorize at some point. that would be another step we could go. i think we have steps on clean energy. there are going to be areas

Lamar Alexander

5:07:46 to 5:08:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: where we disagree. we're going to have some republican ideas about making it easier and cheaper to create private-sector jobs that our friends on the other side will honestly disagree with. we're having one of those disagreements this weekend because we believe it makes no sense to raise taxes on anybody

Lamar Alexander

5:08:08 to 5:08:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: in the middle of an economic downturn if your goal is to make it easier and cheaper to create private-sector jobs and to have a little different view. so we'll have votes on that. so we'll have our differences of opinion. but if we want to be successful, we -- as a country, as a

Lamar Alexander

5:08:29 to 5:08:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: country, and if we as a party, the republican party, want to be successful in earning the trust of the american people to prove that we're eligible, qualified, worthy of being a governing party after 2012, then we better set our clear goal -- easier and cheaper to create private-sector jobs -- and go step by step

Lamar Alexander

5:08:51 to 5:09:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: towards that goal, explaining carefully what we're doing, attracting independent voters, keeping independent voters so in a when we pass the law the country accepts it and we move on ahead. so that's what our dis was about today, and it's an important discussion. it's not stkwruft some dust -- not just some dusty, dry thing.

Lamar Alexander

5:09:14 to 5:09:34( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: herbert crowly's book, "the promise of american life" the manifesto for american life that descended in the country right now. and our idea of more of washington and less of ourselves is for the resurgent movement in

Lamar Alexander

5:09:35 to 5:09:55( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: america that has begun ever since the yeomen farmer which is skeptical of great big policy schemes imposed from washington. that's the grand debate of this -- of the last century. and it's the one we're in the midst of today. soy thank the senate -- so i thank the senate for giving me opportunity to present my

Lamar Alexander

5:09:56 to 5:10:16( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: thoughts, and i thank my colleagues who attended the hudson institute discussion today. and i especially urge my republican colleagues to remember that if we want to re-earn the trust of the american people that, we need to set the right goals and move in

Lamar Alexander

5:10:17 to 5:10:37( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: that direction step by step. we'll have to be a little patient to get there, but that's a good way to get where we want i thank the president and yield the floor. the presiding officer: the

Lamar Alexander

5:10:38 to 5:10:55( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: senator from the university of arkansas on the -- mr. alexander: i see the senator from the university of arkansas on the floor, so i won't ask for a quorum call at

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