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Senate Proceeding on Dec 12th, 2007 :: 0:58:36 to 1:14:56
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Tom Harkin

0:58:36 to 0:58:50( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we look forward to a reply from our colleagues and moving this bill forward. but we ask our colleagues, join with us and move this bill. thank you very much. and i yield the floor. a senator: mr.

Tom Harkin

0:58:36 to 1:14:56( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Harkin

Tom Harkin

0:58:50 to 0:59:04( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa's recognized. mr. harkin: mr. president; i want to speak for a little bit on the two bills that really should have passed here by unanimous consent

Tom Harkin

0:59:04 to 0:59:19( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: because they're so widely supported, but there are objections to them being held by some republicans on the other side. the first is a christopher and dana reed paralysis act and the other is training

Tom Harkin

0:59:19 to 0:59:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: for real-time writers act. i'm disappointed that the objections have been raised to the christopher reed and dana reed paralysis act. i speak on behalf of tens of thousands of americans who suffer

Tom Harkin

0:59:34 to 0:59:52( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: from paralysis and their families. the christopher and dana reed paralysis act is a bipartisan bill, it is a fiscally responsible bill and addresses the critical need to discover better treatments

Tom Harkin

0:59:52 to 1:00:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and one day a cure for paralysis. currently paralysis research has carried out multiple disciplines, time, effort, and valuable thrars are used -- thrars are used inre-- dollars are used inefficiently

Tom Harkin

1:00:07 to 1:00:21( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: because of this problem. many are unaware of critical research results, information about clinical trials and best practices. the bill will improve the long-term prospects for people with paralysis and other

Tom Harkin

1:00:21 to 1:00:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: disabilities by providing information an support to caregivers an their families. -- and their families. providing employment assistance, and encouraging wellness among those with pa ral sill. i am -- paralysis.

Tom Harkin

1:00:34 to 1:00:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: i'm surprised that there continues to be an objection to moving this bill forward. i negotiated this bill with my republican colleagues on the health education and labor pension committee before it was

Tom Harkin

1:00:47 to 1:01:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: marked up in july. we received specific requests relating to the n.i.h. we accepted those requests. we moved forward. we removed the n.i.h. reporting provisions in response to concerns that they

Tom Harkin

1:01:00 to 1:01:20( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: were duplicative to what n.i.h. already had. we responded to all of the feedback from the department of health and human service and n.i.h. by incorporating substantive and technical changes. at

Tom Harkin

1:01:20 to 1:01:37( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: that point we were assured that there were no objection. as a result of the good faith negotiations, the bill passed out of the health committee with no amendments. and given that senators had an opportunity

Tom Harkin

1:01:37 to 1:01:48( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to file amendments at that time but chose not to, i had every expectation that the bill would pass the full senate. instead it continues to be held due to republican objections. one of my republican colleague,

Tom Harkin

1:01:48 to 1:02:03( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: mr. president, has said that he will object to all disease specific bills because he does not believe that congress should be able to pass legislation specifically targeting the fights against cancer,

Tom Harkin

1:02:03 to 1:02:23( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: a.l.s., alzheimer's and so on.~ i disagree with the senator on this point. i believe congress can and should be involved in setting national priorities in these fields. putting that aside, the fact

Tom Harkin

1:02:23 to 1:02:45( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: of the matter is this act is not a disease-specific bill. paralysis and mobility impairment are not disease specific issues. they are symptoms or side effects resulting from numerous diseases and situations.

Tom Harkin

1:02:45 to 1:03:03( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: including traumatic brain injury, stroke,als, , and a.l.s. and from combat and many other things. so, paralysis is not a decease-specific thing. there is another objection to this bill -- one of our republican

Tom Harkin

1:03:03 to 1:03:17( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: colleagues said he will not allow any bills to pass by unanimous consent including spending without an offset. let me be clear. there is no funding in the christopher and dana leave bill, only an authorization

Tom Harkin

1:03:17 to 1:03:30( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to allow the centers for disease control to improve the quality of life for those with paralysis and other physical disabilities. our colleague from oklahoma, senator inhofe, made this case very

Tom Harkin

1:03:30 to 1:03:47( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: clearly in his discussion on the water resources development bill. he explained the significant difference between authorizing and appropriating. authorization bills are not spending bills. they

Tom Harkin

1:03:47 to 1:04:12( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: determine which projects and programs are eligibl to compete if future for future funding and provide for oversight. authorization bills provide criteria for spending bills but do not contain direct

Tom Harkin

1:04:12 to 1:04:25( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: spending. any spending for the paralysis programs authorized by the legislation would be subject to the annual appropriations process. mr. president, the christopher re. ve reeve past passed in october.

Tom Harkin

1:04:25 to 1:04:44( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the director of n.i.h. spoke in support of the bill and he said -- and i quote -- "so, really, as the director of an institution committed to making the discoveries that will make a difference

Tom Harkin

1:04:44 to 1:04:54( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: in people's lives i feel proud and pleased and humbled because in many ways this bill, the christopher reeves paralysis act is what i see the combination of the public, the leadership in congress,

Tom Harkin

1:04:54 to 1:05:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the administration and government in our country that is absolutely unique. i'm humbled because at the same time i know it contains a lot of expectations from us and i, at the same time, confident

Tom Harkin

1:05:08 to 1:05:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we can deliver on these expectations of n.i.h. with sister agencies. but the key thing i would like to provide is an expression of commitment. at the end of the day if you do not have leaders and champions that

Tom Harkin

1:05:26 to 1:05:42( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: look at a rob in its entirety, today in the 21st century you cannot make progress." that's what he said on the day we introduced the bill. i agree whole heartedly. progress is vital in science and

Tom Harkin

1:05:42 to 1:05:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: vital in the legislate you legislative process. we have a duty to ensure due diligence in considering legislation. but for one senator, or two senators, or three, to stall this bill, i believe

Tom Harkin

1:05:56 to 1:06:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: without legitimate cause, if the objections are that it is disease specific, i point out, it is not. secondly, if it is held up because there is not an offset i point out it is only an authorization bill,

Tom Harkin

1:06:11 to 1:06:26( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: not a spending bill. it is only an authorization for appropriations that then would be legitimately subject to the hold or objection to unanimous consent because it did not have an offset if that was

Tom Harkin

1:06:26 to 1:06:41( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the case. anyway, i think for just a handful of senators to block action on this bill seems to undermine the trust people put in us as legislators to move forward on things, to respond to certain

Tom Harkin

1:06:41 to 1:06:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: national needs. let's be clear. by putting the bill on hold senators are putting people with paralysis and their families -- on hol it's not just a shame. i'm asking the senators -- not asking you to vote

Tom Harkin

1:06:55 to 1:07:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: for the bill. i'm only asking you to allow the entire senate to work its will. don't slam the door on our fellow citizens living with paralysis. too many americans live with paralysis of arms or

Tom Harkin

1:07:07 to 1:07:19( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: legs or both. many others live where multiple sclerosis. hundreds of soldiers returning from iraq and afghanistan with spinal cord injuries face a lifetime of disability and should not be placed

Tom Harkin

1:07:19 to 1:07:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: on hold. they shouldn't have to wait. they shouldn't have to have further delay. they should have the bill passed. i urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to reconsider their decision to block

Tom Harkin

1:07:34 to 1:07:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: this bill. i worked with republicans before it went to the help committee. we worked with the department of health and human services downtown, with n.i.h. we met all objections and redrafted it and

Tom Harkin

1:07:46 to 1:08:02( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: there were no objections. no amendments remain offered. that's the kind of legislation you would think would be subject to a unanimous consent procedure here on the senate floor. it is a fiscally responsible,

Tom Harkin

1:08:02 to 1:08:14( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: bipartisan bill, that does not spend any money but only authorizes. how much time remains? the presiding officer: the senator has just under four minutes remaining. mr. harkin: mr. president, i want

Tom Harkin

1:08:14 to 1:08:27( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to talk about the training for real time writers act. on behalf of more than 30 million americans who are deaf or hard of hearing i express my disappointment that, again, one or two senators on

Tom Harkin

1:08:27 to 1:08:43( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: the other side of the aisle are blocking passage of this important legislation, the real time writers act of 2007. again, it's a bipartisan bill, fiscally responsible and addresses an urgent national need

Tom Harkin

1:08:43 to 1:08:55( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to train more real time captioners at a time when the demand for the professionals has outstripped the supply and when, in fact, the law of the land says that all programs have to be real time

Tom Harkin

1:08:55 to 1:09:08( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: captioned. well, for those who don't know what real time captions are, these are the people that if you are in your office and watching the senate floor and you put your button on "mute" and you see the

Tom Harkin

1:09:08 to 1:09:24( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: closed caption go across the bottom of the screen that is someone sitting in the bowels of the capitol watching what we say is on a machine typing in so if you are deaf or hard of hearing you can

Tom Harkin

1:09:24 to 1:09:39( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: read what is happening. this is true for programs on normal television. so, again, we all use that, i know that, at different times. you don't have to be deaf or hard of hearing to use closed captioning.

Tom Harkin

1:09:39 to 1:09:51( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: now, how this came about, mr. president, is very simple. in 1996, in the telecommunication act, it requires that all english language television broadcasts be captioned by the year 2006. all -- all

Tom Harkin

1:09:51 to 1:10:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: television broadcasts be real type captioned by 2006. that was last year. it is now 2007. many stations across the country are not in compliance with the law. as a result, a lot of deaf and hard of

Tom Harkin

1:10:06 to 1:10:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: hearing americans are not able to access the full range of television programming that we take for granted. why aren't they complying? well, it's a legal requirement. the fact is there are not enough

Tom Harkin

1:10:18 to 1:10:38( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: captioners. we knew that back when the bill was passed in 1996 and that's why we gave it 10 years for implementation. and, little by little we have been trying to get more real type captioners but

Tom Harkin

1:10:38 to 1:10:50( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: we do not have them so this bill was an effort, is an effort, to bolster that program to put focus on it, again, and to provide a comettive -- again, it's an authorization bil it authorized the

Tom Harkin

1:10:50 to 1:11:06( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: creation of a competitive grant program to train captioners at funding legal of $20 million a year for five years. again, it's an authorization bill not an appropriations bill. so there has been a shortage of

Tom Harkin

1:11:06 to 1:11:17( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: real type time captioners. if there is a shortage, why aren't there more? a lost people don't know about it, we need the training and expertise. this is a difficult job. our stenographers here take

Tom Harkin

1:11:17 to 1:11:31( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: down our words and they have a difficult job but at least they have time to go back and print it out after they put it into the machines. a real time captioner has to listen and watch what we're saying

Tom Harkin

1:11:31 to 1:11:44( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and put it on immediately! so it takes a lot of expertise and training to do this. it authorizes, again, the funding and creates no new entitlements and sunsets after five years because once we get the

Tom Harkin

1:11:44 to 1:11:57( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: number up and we get schools across the country teaching this, i have no doubt we are beginning to have enough in the pipeline. let me point out this bill passed the senate by unanimous consent three

Tom Harkin

1:11:57 to 1:12:07( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: times before. only language in the house of representatives -- the presiding officer: the majority time has expired. mr. harkin: i ask unanimous consent for two more minutes. the presiding officer:

Tom Harkin

1:12:07 to 1:12:18( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: without objection, so ordered. mr. harkin: again -- mr. cornyn: and i ask for a similar amount added to our time otherwise we have no objection. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered.

Tom Harkin

1:12:18 to 1:12:34( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: mr. harkin: again, the house indicates they would take it up and it languished, but it passes the senate by unanimous consent three times already. so, again, it's time to keep the promise that congress

Tom Harkin

1:12:34 to 1:12:45( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: made to 30 million americans in 1996. again, i would low pressure we would not block the real time writers bill and let it go through with unanimous consent like it has done three times in the senate

Tom Harkin

1:12:45 to 1:13:00( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: before. i ask those who have a hold on the bill, are they saying that 100 senators before that let it go through didn't know what we are doing? we all have staffs paying attention to what legislation

Tom Harkin

1:13:00 to 1:13:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: goes through here. it is indicative of the support we had on both sides of the aisle that the real time writerrers act pass by unanimous consent three times in the past. so, mr. president, i wanted to

Tom Harkin

1:13:11 to 1:13:36( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: talk about both of those bills because they both are widely supported. we have worked out agreements with people in the past. i don't think there's any real legitimate reason to keep a hold on these bills

Tom Harkin

1:13:36 to 1:13:46( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: and not let them pass. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate take up and pass calendar no. 326, s. 1183, the chris ter reeve paralysis act and s. 675, the training if for real time writers

Tom Harkin

1:13:46 to 1:14:01( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: act. mr. coburn: i object to both and will give my reasons why in our time. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. harkin: mr. president, in my closing remarks, in case an objection is raised

Tom Harkin

1:14:01 to 1:14:11( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: to the training if real time writers act this is something that can be done already by the administration, i point out that they have in the done it in 10 years either under democratic or republican

Tom Harkin

1:14:11 to 1:14:28( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: presidents. quite frankly, they are not focusing on it and they say they can do it in their high-growth training initiative but they haven't done it. that's the point of the legislation. they

Tom Harkin

1:14:28 to 1:14:42( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: have not done this. quite frankly if those interested in earmarks and here, 90% of the money in the -- the presiding officer: the time is expired. mr. harkin: i wanted to close with 30 seconds:

Tom Harkin

1:14:42 to 1:14:56( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Harkin: 90% of the money was noncompetitive, $235 million over six years has gone out in noncompetitive grants and not one penny for real time writers. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr.

Tom Coburn

1:14:56 to 1:15:09( Edit History Discussion )

Tom Coburn: cornyn: mr. president, may i ask how much time remains on this side of the aisle in morning business time? >> there are 90 minutes and 16 seconds. mr. cornyn: i ask the senator from oklahoma, senator

Tom Coburn

1:14:56 to 1:28:07( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Tom Coburn

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