LATER WE BEGIN THREE HOURS OF DEBATE ON THAT SHORT-TERM SPENDING BILL FUNDING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH APRIL 8TH. LOOK FOR A VOTE AROUND 3:30 EASTERN. NOW LIVE SENATE COVERAGE HERE ON C-SPAN2. THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. TODAY’S OPENING PRAYER WILL BE OFFERED BY REVEREND THAD AUSTIN, ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF THE FIRST METHODIST CHURCH IN MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE. LET US PRAY. O LORD, IN WHOM WE FIND LIFE, BIND OUR NATION TO YOU.
20
00:01:07,000 –>00:01:06,999
MAKE US A PEOPLE DEVOTED TO PRAYER. TAME OUR WANDERING HEARTS AND HELP US DISCOVER THE MEANING OF FREEDOM, JUSTICE, AND MERCY. HELP OUR PEOPLE TO HAVE THE FAITH TO SEEK YOU AND THE GRACE TO PRAY FOR OUR ENEMIES.
28
00:01:29,000 –>00:01:28,999
DAY. LORD, THIS IS A SOLEMN AND HOLY TODAY WE CELEBRATE A SAINT OF YOUR CHURCH. MAY THE VIRTUES THAT ST. PATRICK EMBODIED BE INSTRUCTIVE TO US. FOR DESPITE ADVERSITY, PATRICK HELPED OTHERS FIND GOOD NEWS, AND HIS ACTIONS CHANGED A SOCIETY. MAY OUR LAWMAKERS, LIKE PATRICK, GROW IN THEIR LOVE FOR YOU AND THEIR SERVICE TO OTHERS. ENABLE THEM TO SEE BEYOND THE POSITIONS THAT DIVIDE THIS BODY AND HELP THEM TO LONG AFTER HUMILITY, PIETY, AND SHARED PURPOSE. INCREASE OUR FAITH, O LORD, AND HELP OUR UNBELIEF. ROUSE OUR SPIRIT AND MAKE US ONE NATION UNDER YOU. ETERNAL FATHER, SPIRIT, WORD, WE PRAISE YOU, THE LORD AND LIGHT OF OUR SALVATION. HEAR OUR PRAYER, O LORD. AMEN. PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG. I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD,
66
00:02:54,000 –>00:02:53,999
INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. THE CLERK WILL READ A COMMUNICATION TO THE SENATE. WASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 17, 2011. TO THE SENATE: UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF
76
00:03:13,000 –>00:03:12,999
OF THE STANDING RULES RULE 1, PARAGRAPH 3, OF THE SENATE, I HEREBY APPOINT THE HONORABLE TOM UDALL, A SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO, TO PERFORM THE DUTIES OF THE CHAIR. SIGNED: DANIEL K. INOUYE, PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE. MR. PRESIDENT? THE REPUBLICAN LEADER IS RECOGNIZED. IT WAS A GREAT HONOR TO HAVE THAD AUSTIN OF MURFREESBORO, TENNESSEE, PROVIDE THE OPENING PRAYER THIS MORNING. I — I THANK HIM FOR HIS WISE WORDS. I FIRST MET THE REVEREND AUSTIN AS AN ALMA MATER AT THE UNIVERSITY IN WILLMORE, KENTUCKY, WHEN I VISITED THERE IN 2007. IT IS TO ENGAGE THE WORLD AND SERVE THE WORLD THROUGH PUBLIC SERVICE. OUR GUEST CHAPLAIN HAS PURSUED THAT MISSION WITH GREAT SUCCESS. MAYBE IT IS A FAMILY CALLING. THE REVEREND AUSTIN A’S GRANDFATHER WAS AN ADMIRAL IN THE U.S. NAVY WHO VOLUNTEERED OVERSEAS AS A MEDICAL MISSIONARY. HIS FATHER IS A DOCTOR WHO CARES FOR OUR NATION’S VETERANS. THEY TAUGHT THAD THAT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO SERVE OTHERS. THAT IN A NATION THAT SO GENEROUSLY PROVIDES WHAT MANY IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD DO NOT ENJOY, IT IS IMPORTANT TO GIVE BACK. REVEREND AUSTIN HAS TAKEN THAT TO HEART. HE’S STILL A YOUNG MAN, BUT HE HAS ACCOMPLISHED A GREAT DEAL AND HE IS NOT ONE TO LOOK BACK WITH PRIDE ON WHERE HE HAS BEEN, BUT, RATHER, TO LOOK FORWARD TO ALL THAT HE HAS LEFT TO DO. REVEREND AUSTIN EARNED HIS DEGREES FROM ASBURY UNIVERSITY AND ASBURY THEOLOGICAL CEMETERY AND STUDIED AT OXFORD UNIVERSITY
131
00:05:06,000 –>00:05:05,999
AND HERE AT THE NATION’S CAPITOL. HE IS THE PASTOR OF CONGRESSIONAL CARE AT FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH AS WELL AS A COMMISSIONED ELDER THERE. THE REVEREND AUSTIN HAS PREACHED IN ENGLAND, SOUTH KOREA AND MEXICO AS WELL AS KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE AND SEVERAL OTHER STATES AN PROVIDED SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE AND VOLUNTEER WORK IN
143
00:05:29,000 –>00:05:28,999
MEXICO, GUATEMALA, KENTUCKY AND TENNESSEE. WHILE HE HAS GONE ON TO DO BIGGER AND BOLDER THINGS, IN 2009, HE SERVED AS AN INTERN IN MY OFFICE. ADMIRAL AUSTIN, HIS GRANDSON, IS BURIED AT ARLINGTON. OUR OWN SENATE CHAPLAIN, BARRY BLACK, DELIVERED HIS INTERNMENT SERVICE. I KNOW CHAPLAIN BLACK IS JUST AS PLEASED TO HAVE REVEREND AUSTIN HERE AS I AM. IT WAS A TRUE HONOR TO LISTEN TO
158
00:06:04,000 –>00:06:03,999
MORNING. REVEREND AUSTIN’S WORDS THIS I WANT TO THANK HIM FOR TAKING TIME FROM HIS IMPORTANT WORK TO BE HERE AND TO THANK HIM FOR HIS LIFETIME OF SERVICE TO HIS COMMUNITY AND TO OUR NATION. MR. PRESIDENT, NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: I ASK CON SEND THAT THE — CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED. WITHOUT OBJECTION. I THANK THE
176
00:06:50,000 –>00:06:49,999
AHEAD. LEADERS FOR ALLOWING ME TO GO I JOIN SENATOR McCONNELL FOR WELL COMING THAD AUSTIN. HE FORMALLY WORKED HERE, AS SENATOR McCONNELL SAID, WE’RE DELIGHTED THAT HE HAS THIS PRIVILEGE TODAY TO — TO PRAY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SENATE. SOMETHING THAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE SENATE, SINCE THE VERY FIRST DAYS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. SO THANK YOU FOR TAKING YOUR TIME TO BE HERE AND WELCOME. MR. PRESIDENT, WOULD — COULD YOU LET ME KNOW WHEN I’VE CONSUMED EIGHT MINUTES? THE CHAIR WILL DO SO. THANK YOU. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS A ST. — THIS IS ST. PATRICK’S DAY, WE CELEBRATE THAT. WE’RE COMING UP ON ANOTHER IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY AND THAT IS THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ENACTMENT OF THE HC LAW, WHICH THE — HEALTH CARE LAW, WHICH
206
00:07:44,000 –>00:07:43,999
HISTORIC MISTAKE. MOST REPUBLICANS REGARD AS A I WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THAT — THAT LAW. BUT THERE IS ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY THAT I REMEMBER VERY WELL, AND IT CAME A FEW DAYS BEFORE THE ENACTMENT OF THE HEALTH CARE LAW AND IT WAS THE SO-CALLED HEALTH
215
00:08:00,000 –>00:07:59,999
CARE SUMMIT HELD AT THE BLAIR HOUSE. IT WAS A A REMARKABLE EVENT. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HIGHLY INTELLIGENT, WELL VERSED ON HEALTH CARE, INVITED A BUNCH OF US DOWN TO DISCUSS HEALTH CARE AND WE STAYED, HE STAYED SIX OR SEVEN HOURS. DURING THAT DISCUSSION, IT WAS A PRETTY FREE EXCHANGE. I ESPECIALLY REMEMBER ONE EVENT. I HAD BEEN ASKED BY SENATOR McCONNELL AND REPRESENTATIVE BOEHNER IN REPRESENTING REPUBLICANS IN PRESENTING OUR SIDE OF IT. THE PRESIDENT GAVE AS YOU PLATFORM THAT WE USUALLY DON’T HAVE. HE HAS A BETTER PLATFORM THAN WE DO MOST OF THE TIME. WE MADE OUR ARGUMENT THAT WE WOULD PREFER AN APPROACH ON HEALTH CARE THAT INSTEAD OF EXPANDING A HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM THAT WE ALL KNOW COSTS TOO MUCH, THAT WE SHOULD INSTEAD GO STEP BY STEP TO REDUCE THE COST OF HEALTH CARE SO MORE PEOPLE CAN BUY INSURANCE. THAT WAS THE BASIC DISCUSSION WE WERE HAVING. I GOT DOWN TO SOME FACTS. I SAID ACCORDING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, THE PRESIDENT’S PLAN WOULD RAISE INDIVIDUAL PREMIUMS, MAKE INSURANCE COSTS MORE FOR INDIVIDUALS WHO BUY INSURANCE BY 14% TO 20%. THE PRESIDENT SAID, AFTER I HAD FINISHED, SO, LAMAR, WHEN YOU MENTIONED THAT PREMIUMS GO UP, THAT’S JUST NOT THE CASE ACCORDING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE. I SAID, MR. PRESIDENT, IF YOU’RE GOING TO CONTRADICT ME, I OUGHT TO HAVE A CHANCE TO RESPOND. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAID THAT THE PREMIUMS WILL RISE AS A RESULT OF THE SENATE BILL. THE PRESIDENT SAID, NO, NO, NO, NO — AND THIS IS AN EXAMPLE
270
00:09:43,000 –>00:09:42,999
STRAIGHT. WHERE WE NEED TO GET OUR FACTS I SAID, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT’S MY POINT. AND IT WENT ON FROM THERE. I HAD TO MAKE A DECISION AT THAT — AT THAT MOMENT — I SEE THE — I SEE THE LEADER — I HAD TO MAKE A DECISION AT THAT MOMENT WHETHER I SHOULD CONTINUE TO HAVE A PUBLIC DISAGREEMENT WITH THE PRESIDENT AND I DECIDED THAT — THAT WHILE I THOUGHT I WAS RIGHT, JUST AS HE THOUGHT HE WAS RIGHT, THAT IT WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE FOR ME NOT TO DO THAT IN PUBLIC, TO LET OTHER SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN HAVE THEIR SAY. AND SO I EXCHANGED A LETTER WITH THE PRESIDENT THAT DAY AND THEN I CAME TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE LATER THAT DAY TO MAKE MY ARGUMENT WHY I BELIEVE PREMIUMS WOULD GO UP. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD LIKE TO ASK CONSENT TO INCLUDE IN THE RECORD THE TRANSCRIPT OF MY EXCHANGE WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THAT OF SENATOR KYL AND — AND A COUPLE OF MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. THE LETTER THAT I — WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE LETTER I SENT TO THE PRESIDENT THAT DAY, OR REALLY HANDED TO HIM, MAKING MY POINT RATHER THAN PUBLICLY ARGUING WITH HIM, AND, FINALLY, THE REMARKS THAT I MADE ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE LATER THAT — LATER THAT DAY. NOW, WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES IN — IN DEALING WITH LEGISLATION. IN THIS CASE, I BELIEVE THE HEALTH CARE LAW IS A SITUATION WHERE WE HAD A LOT OF PREDICTABLE CONSEQUENCES. REPUBLICANS WERE SAYING, FOR
320
00:11:12,000 –>00:11:11,999
EXAMPLE, PREMIUMS ARE GOING TO RISE. AND, IN FACT, THEY HAVE WE WERE SAYING SPECIFICALLY THAT INDIVIDUAL PREMIUMS WILL RISE. AND IT WAS PREDICTABLE THAT THEY WOULD BECAUSE IN THE FIRST PLACE, THE HEALTH CARE LAW REQUIRES THAT YOU BUY A BETTER POLICY IF YOU BUY A POLICY. SO IF YOU’RE GOING TO BUY A CADILLAC INSTEAD OF A CHEVY, IT’S GOING TO COST MORE. SECOND, THERE’S TAXES IN THE HEALTH CARE LAW, SUCH AS MEDICAL DEVICES, THEY’RE PASSED ON TO
336
00:11:43,000 –>00:11:42,999
THE CONSUMER, YOUR PREMIUMS GO UP. THIRD, A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO MOVED INTO MEDICAID ARE GOING INTO A SYSTEM OF — OF GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE WHERE THE DOCTORS AREN’T PROPERLY REIMBURSED. SO MANY OF THESE DOCTORS SHIFT SOME OF THEIR COST OVER TO THE PEOPLE WHO BUY INSURANCE. THAT’S CALLED COST SHIFTING. SO FOR ALL THOSE REASONS WE’VE SEEN STORIES REGULARLY IN CALIFORNIA, NEVADA, WISCONSIN, CONNECTICUT, THAT INDIVIDUAL PREMIUMS OVER THE LAST YEAR HAVE GONE UP. AND LET’S LOOK AT SOME OF THE OTHER THINGS THAT WE TALKED ABOUT DURING THAT TIME.
356
00:12:15,000 –>00:12:14,999
TAXES. WE SAID THE BILL WOULD RAISE IN FACT, IT DOES. $813 BILLION. AND, AS I MENTIONED THE TAX ON MEDICAL DEVICES, THAT’S PASSED RIGHT ALONG TO INSURERS, TO PEOPLE WHO BUY INSURANCE, THEIR COSTS GO UP. WE SAID IT WOULD CUT COMPARE. IN FACT, IT HAS — MEDICARE. IT HAS. 11 MILLION MEDICARE ADVANTAGE RECIPIENTS HAVE SEEN OR WILL SEE THEIR BENEFITS REDUCED. WE SAID THERE WOULD BE THOUSANDS OF PAGES OF NEW REGULATIONS THAT WOULD HAMPER SMALL BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS THAT HE’S GO ABOUT THEIR DAILY LIFE.
376
00:12:58,000 –>00:12:57,999
COME. WE’RE BEGINNING TO SEE THEM THE MOST NOTORIOUS IS THAT FORM 199 — 1099, WHICH CAUSES 40 MILLION BUSINESSES TO FILE A REPORT EVERY TIME THEY BUY SOMETHING THAT COSTS MORE THAN $600.
384
00:13:13,000 –>00:13:12,999
REPEALING THAT. WE HEAR A LOT OF TALK ABOUT WE’VE TRIED TO REPEAL IT FOR
387
00:13:19,000 –>00:13:18,999
LAW. SOME TIME BUT IT’S STILL THE ONE THING THAT PARTICULARLY BOTHERED ME ABOUT THE DEBATE WERE THE UNFUNDED MANDATES ON STATE GOVERNMENTS. WE SEE ABOUT COLLEGE TUITIONS
394
00:13:30,000 –>00:13:29,999
40%. GOING UP IN CALIFORNIA, 30%, PEOPLE WOULD BE SURPRISED TO THINK THE REASON MAY BE IS BECAUSE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS IMPOSING MORE HEALTH CARE COSTS ON THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA AND THE MONEY THAT OUGHT TO GO FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
403
00:13:43,000 –>00:13:42,999
OR TENNESSEE GOES — ISN’T THERE. SO WHERE DOES THE UNIVERSITY GRIT THE MONEY TO KEEP ITS EXCELLENCE? IT RAISES TUITION. OUR FORMER DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, WHO JUST RETIRED, SAID THAT THE HEALTH CARE LAW IMPOSES ON TENNESSEE A — MORE THAN A BILLION DOLLARS IN NEW COSTS BETWEEN 2014 AND 2019. THAT’S AN UNFUNDED MANDATE FROM WASHINGTON THAT WILL COST THE PEOPLE OF TENNESSEE. FEWER JOBS WILL BE CREATED AS A RESULT OF THIS LAW. NOW, SOMEONE MIGHT SAY, WELL, HOW CAN YOU SAY THAT? I’LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. A LITTLE BIT WITH A GROUP OF LEAD — I MET WITH A GROUP OF
425
00:14:22,000 –>00:14:21,999
IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY. THEY’RE THE C.E.O.’S OF ALL THE BIG RESTAURANT COMPANIES. THEY’RE THE SECOND BIGGEST HIGHER OF PEOPLE. ONE SAID THAT THEY HIRED WITH 90 EMPLOYEES AND AS A RESULT OF THE HEALTH CARE LAW, THEIR GOAL WAS TO OPERATE IT WITH 70 EMPLOYEES. THAT’S FEWER JOBS. AND THERE WERE MANY OTHER EXAMPLES OF THAT AROUND THE ROOM. EVEN THE STUDENT LOAN TAKEOVER HAS CREATED A PROBLEM BECAUSE STUDENTS ARE ACTUALLY PAYING MORE IN INTEREST ON THEIR STUDENT LOANS TO HELP PAY FOR THE NEW HC LAW. WHICH I THINK — HEALTH CARE LAW, WHICH I THINK A LOT OF STUDENTS WOULDN’T APPRECIATE. SO THE HEALTH CARE LAW WHICH WAS PASSED A YEAR AGO WHICH SOME BELIEVE WAS A HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT WE BELIEVE IS A HISTORIC MISTAKE. WE BELIEVE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER AND WOULD BE BETTER TO, INSTEAD OF EXPANDING A HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT COSTS TOO MUCH, THAT WE GO STEP BY STEP TO REDUCE ITS COSTS SO MORE PEOPLE CAN AFFORD INSURANCE. AND SO WE’LL CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE THAT. WE VOTED TO REPEAL THE HEALTH CARE LAW. WE LOST THAT VOTE, BUT WE’RE CONTINUING TO WORK, SENATOR JOANS’ LEADERSHIP AND — SENATOR JOHAN’S LEADERSHIP AND OTHERS WILL WORK TO REPEAL THE 1099 PROVISION. SENATOR HATCH AND OTHERS ARE WORKING TO GIVE GOVERNORS MORE
472
00:15:49,000 –>00:15:48,999
FLEXIBILITY IN THE MEDICAID PROGRAM. WE’LL CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE SOLUTIONS LIKE ALLOWING PEOPLE
476
00:15:54,000 –>00:15:53,999
LINES. TO BUY INSURANCE ACROSS STATE SO NEXT WEDNESDAY IS A — AN IMPORTANT ANNIVERSARY. SOME BELIEVE IT’S AN HISTORIC ACHIEVEMENT. WE BELIEVE IT’S A HISTORIC MISTAKE AND THAT THERE IS A
484
00:16:06,000 –>00:16:05,999
BETTER SOLUTION TO HEALTH CARE COSTS. I THANK THE PRESIDENT. I THANK THE LEADER FOR HIS COURTESY IN GIVING ME A CHANCE TO GO AHEAD. I YIELD THE FLOOR. MR. PRESIDENT? THE MAJORITY LEADER IS RECOGNIZED. WHEN I WAS A LITTLE BOY GROWING UP, WE USED TO HAVE CHICKENS, AND EVERY MORNING THE ROOSTERS WE HAD, THEY WOULD MAKE THE MOST NOISE, UNBELIEVABLE NOISE THEY WOULD MAKE. YOU KNOW, MAYBE THOSE ROOSTERS THOUGHT THAT WHEN THEY CROWED, THE SUN WOULD COME UP, BUT IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT. I HAVE BEEN PLACES WHERE ROOSTERS DON’T CROW AND THE SUN STILL COMES UP. SO MY FRIEND FROM TENNESSEE IS USING THE ROOSTER ANALOGY AND HAS ABOUT AS MUCH FACTUAL FOUNDATION AS THE ANALOGY I JUST GAVE ABOUT THE SUN COMING UP WHEN THE ROOSTER CROWS. MR. PRESIDENT, I WAS IN A BREAKFAST THIS MORNING, AND ONE OF MY FRIENDS, HE WAS FORMER CHIEF OF STAFF TO ONE OF THE SENATORS HERE, SAID TO ME PASSING THE HEALTH CARE BILL WAS A MIRACLE IN THE LIFE OF HIM AND HIS FAMILY. THOSE ARE HIS WORDS, NOT MINE.
522
00:17:11,000 –>00:17:10,999
DIABETES. THEY HAD A CHILD THAT DEVELOPED THEY COULD NOT FIND INSURANCE FOR THAT CHILD. YOU KNOW WHAT? BECAUSE OF THE HEALTH CARE BILL, THAT CHILD IS FULLY INSURED NOW. THAT’S WHAT THE HEALTH CARE BILL IS ABOUT. NOW, FOR MY FRIEND TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE COSTS — I MEAN INSURANCE COSTS GOING UP, A LITTLE BIT OF FACTS WOULD MAKE A LOT OF DIFFERENCE IN THAT ARGUMENT. MR. PRESIDENT, THE HEALTH CARE BILL HAS NOT — DOESN’T GO INTO EFFECT UNTIL 2014 OR PARTS OF IT DO, BUT THE MAIN IMPETUS OF THE HEALTH CARE BILL TO COVER THE 50 MILLION PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO
543
00:17:49,000 –>00:17:48,999
HEALTH INSURANCE DOESN’T KICK IN UNTIL 2014. THE INSURANCE COSTS HAVE GONE UP BECAUSE THE INSURANCE COMPANIES HAVE RAISED THE PREMIUMS, AS THEY ALWAYS DO. ONE OF THE REASONS WE DID THE HEALTH CARE BILL IS TO REIN IN THE HEALTH CARE COMPANIES AROUND AMERICA WHO ARE REALLY BANKRUPTING OUR COUNTRY. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT IS IN EFFECT WITH THE HEALTH CARE BILL AND WHAT WILL BE IN EFFECT. I DIDN’T COME HERE TO DEBATE THE HEALTH CARE BILL. WHEN SOMETHING IS SO WITHOUT FOUNDATION OR FACT, I HAVE TO RESPOND. MR. PRESIDENT, PEOPLE LIKE MY FRIEND BOB TODAY HAVE HAD MIRACLES IN THEIR LIVES ALL OVER AMERICA DURING THE PAST YEAR BECAUSE OF THAT HEALTH CARE BILL HAVING PASSED, BECAUSE A CHILD UNDER 18 WHO HAS A PRE-EXISTING ILLNESS CANNOT BE DENIED INSURANCE. AND NOT ONLY DOES IT APPLY TO CHILDREN, EVERY STATE IN THE UNION HAS NOW SET UP PROGRAMS FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE LONG-TERM DISABILITIES, NOW THEY CAN’T BE
577
00:18:47,000 –>00:18:46,999
DENIED INSURANCE. NOT EVERYBODY GETS THAT. YOU HAVE TO BE UNINSURED FOR SIX
580
00:18:51,000 –>00:18:50,999
MONTHS UNDER CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS. IT’S NOT AS GOOD AS CHILDREN WHO
583
00:18:55,000 –>00:18:54,999
ARE UNDER AGE 18, BUT IT’S PRETTY GOOD. ALSO SAY THIS, MR. PRESIDENT. HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ARE IN COLLEGE TODAY WHO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE
589
00:19:05,000 –>00:19:04,999
BECAUSE THEIR PARENTS HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. THAT’S WHAT WE DID IN THE LAW. WE RAISED THE BAR ON THAT SO THAT CHILDREN CAN STAY UNDER THEIR PARENTS’ HEALTH INSURANCE FOR LONGER PERIODS OF TIME. I’M GOING TO DO AN EVENT NEXT WEEK IN NEVADA WHERE WE’RE GOING TO HAVE A NUMBER OF BUSINESSES TOGETHER. PEOPLE WHO EMPLOY LESS THAN TEN PEOPLE, WHOSE AVERAGE SALARY OF THOSE EMPLOYEES LESS THAN THAN $25,000 CAN HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES AND THEY GET A 35% REDUCTION IN THEIR PREMIUMS. THAT’S BECAUSE OF THE HEALTH CARE BILL THAT WE PASSED. 44,000 SMALL BUSINESSES IN AMERICA HAVE THE ABILITY TO HAVE REDUCED PREMIUMS. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THE HEALTH CARE BILL IS A VERY IMPORTANT BILL, IT’S A MILESTONE IN THE HISTORY OF THIS COUNTRY, AND WE’RE SETTING UP THE EXCHANGES NOW SO EVERYONE CAN HAVE THE SAME INSURANCE THAT I HAVE. THAT’S WHAT IT WAS ALL ABOUT. OF THE MILLIONS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HAVE NOT PERFECT INSURANCE BUT GOOD INSURANCE LIKE I HAVE. MY INSURANCE IS THE SAME AS AN F.B.I. AGENT HAS. AND WHAT OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYONE IN AMERICA HAS THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE INSURANCE SIMILAR TO US. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, THE PRESIDING OFFICER MAY HAVE A DIFFERENT HEALTH CARE PLAN THAN I HAVE BECAUSE EVERY YEAR WE HAVE — WE’RE PART OF AN EXCHANGE THAT WE’RE GOING TO SET UP FOR THE 50 MILLION PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO HEALTH INSURANCE. BUT EVERY YEAR WE GET QUOTES FROM INSURANCE COMPANIES AND WE CAN BUY DIFFERENT INSURANCE. WE CAN BUY A CADILLAC POLICY OR MAYBE A FORD POLICY, BUT WE HAVE A RANGE OF INSURANCE THAT WE CAN BUY, AND THAT’S WHAT — THAT’S WHAT WE’RE TRYING AND WE HAVE ALLOWED AMERICA TO HAVE, AND THOSE CHANGES ARE BEING SET UP. IN NEVADA AND OTHER PLACES ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY. AND FOR PEOPLE TO TALK ABOUT OBAMACARE AND LET’S GET RID OF
652
00:21:03,000 –>00:21:02,999
IT, GET RID OF IT FOR WHAT, MR. PRESIDENT? DO WE WANT MY FRIENDS — MY FRIENDS’ CHILD TO GO BACK WHERE THEY CAN’T GET INSURANCE FROM THESE INSURANCE COMPANIES WHOSE INTEREST IS ONE THING: MONEY, HOW MUCH MONEY THEY CAN MAKE. SO WE HAVE HAD TO REIN IN THOSE COSTS. MR. PRESIDENT, WE KEEP TALKING WITH THE — ABOUT THE COST OF THE HEALTH CARE BILL. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAID IT WILL REDUCE THE DEBT OF THIS COUNTRY BY $1.3 TRILLION.
668
00:21:34,000 –>00:21:33,999
THAT IS NOT SOME NUMBER I MADE UP. IT’S THE NONPARTISAN CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I AM
673
00:21:43,000 –>00:21:42,999
CONVINCED THAT MY FRIEND WAS RIGHT. IN HIS FAMILY’S LIFE, THERE WAS A MIRACLE DURING THIS PAST YEAR BECAUSE THEY HAD THE ABILITY TO
678
00:21:52,000 –>00:21:51,999
CHILD. GET INSURANCE FOR THEIR SICK MR. PRESIDENT, FOLLOWING ANY LEADER REMARKS, THERE WILL BE A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS UNTIL 10:30 THIS MORNING. SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES EACH. REPUBLICANS WILL CONTROL THE FIRST HALF AND THE MAJORITY WILL CONTROL THE FINAL HALF. AT 10:30, THE SENATE WILL RESUME CONSIDERATION OF S. 493 WHICH IS THE SMALL BUSINESS JOBS BILL. MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT PIECE OF LEGISLATION, WE — WE ARE WORKING THROUGH AMENDMENTS. VIRTUALLY EVERY ONE OF THE AMENDMENTS ARE NOT GERMANE TO THE BILL, BUT THAT’S OKAY. WE’RE IN THE SENATE AND THAT’S HOW THINGS WORK HERE. WE HAVE HAD SCORES OF AMENDMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN FILED. I’M NOT GOING TO FILE CLOTURE ON THIS BILL TODAY. WE’LL WORK OUR WAY THROUGH THESE AMENDMENTS. MAYBE WE CAN GET A FINITE LIST OF AMENDMENTS WHEN WE COME BACK, BUT I HOPE THAT WE DON’T HAVE TO FILE CLOTURE ON THIS BILL. AS I SAID, THIS IS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT BILL. SENATOR LANDRIEU WAS ON A NATIONWIDE TV PROGRAM TODAY, AND ONE OF THE COMMENTATORS — WHO, BY THE WAY, IS A REPUBLICAN, FORMER MEMBER OF CONGRESS — SAID WHY WOULD THE REPUBLICANS — I’M PARAPHRASING WHAT WENT ON ON THAT PROGRAM. WHY WOULD THE REPUBLICANS WANT TO HOLD UP A JOBS BILL? THAT’S WHAT THIS IS. THIS IS A JOBS BILL. A SMALL BUSINESS MATTER THAT IS NOW BEFORE THE SENATE IS A JOBS BILL. JUST LIKE WE DID WITH THE PATENT
728
00:23:09,000 –>00:23:08,999
BILL, JUST LIKE WE DID WITH THE F.A.A. BILL. IT’S A JOBS BILL, AND WE SHOULDN’T MOVE ON. WE — WE SHOULD MOVE ON. WE SHOULD HAVE THE AMENDMENTS FOCUSED ON HOW TO IMPROVE A JOBS BILL AND NOT DO ALL THIS OTHER EXTRANEOUS STUFF THAT VIRTUALLY WITHOUT EXCEPTION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS BILL. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, AT 12:00 NOON, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO CONSIDERATION OF H.J. RES. 43, THE THREE-WEEK CONTINUING RESOLUTION. THERE WILL BE THREE HOURS OF DEBATE ON THAT MATTER PRIOR TO
746
00:23:40,000 –>00:23:39,999
RESOLUTION. VOTE ON PASSAGE OF THE FOLLOWING THE C.R., THERE WILL BE TWO MINUTES FOR DEBATE PRIOR TO VOTE ON CALENDAR NOMINATION NUMBER 11, AMY BERMAN JACKSON TO BE U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. WE WILL HAVE A BRIEFING THIS AFTERNOON FOR SENATORS AT 2:00 DEALING WITH THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST. THAT WILL BE A CLASSIFIED BRIEFING. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK CONSENT THAT THE TIME USED BY MY FRIEND, WHO IS MY FRIEND, I HAVE
763
00:24:08,000 –>00:24:07,999
ALEXANDER. THE GREATEST RESPECT FOR SENATOR HE IS A TRUE GENTLEMAN. THAT THE TIME THAT HE USED IN HIS SPEECH THIS MORNING WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM THE MAJORITY’S
769
00:24:18,000 –>00:24:17,999
MORNING. TIME ON MORNING BUSINESS THIS THEY HAVE THE FIRST RUN AT THAT MORNING BUSINESS.
773
00:24:23,000 –>00:24:22,999
IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. THE REPUBLICANS’ TIME. YES, MR. PRESIDENT. WITHOUT
779
00:24:30,000 –>00:24:29,999
MR. PRESIDENT? OBJECTION.
781
00:24:32,000 –>00:24:31,999
THE REPUBLICAN LEADER IS RECOGNIZED. NEXT WEEK DOES INDEED MARK THE ONE-WEEK ANNIVERSARY SINCE THE DEMOCRATIC
786
00:24:39,000 –>00:24:38,999
HEALTH CARE BILL WAS SIGNED INTO LAW.
788
00:24:41,000 –>00:24:40,999
WE ALL RECALL THE DEBATE QUITE WELL.
790
00:24:43,000 –>00:24:42,999
DEBATES. IT WAS THE MOST PARTISAN OF THE ONLY BIPARTISAN MOMENT WAS IN THE HOUSE WHEN THERE WAS BIPARTISAN OPPOSITION TO THE NEW HEALTH CARE BILL. IN THE SENATE, IT WAS A STRICTLY PARTISAN VOTE. 60 DEMOCRATS VOTED FOR IT, 40 REPUBLICANS VOTED AGAINST IT. IF A SINGLE DEMOCRAT, EVEN ONE, HAD CHANGED HIS VOTE ON THAT CHRISTMAS EVE, WE WOULD NOT BE LOOKING AT THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEMOCRAT HEALTH CARE BILL. SO THIS MORNING, I’D LIKE TO LOOK BACK ON WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED DURING THAT YEAR. SHORTLY BEFORE THE FINAL VOTE, THEN-SPEAKER PELOSI FAMOUSLY SAID THE DEMOCRATS HAD TO PASS THE BILL SO THEY COULD FIND OUT WHAT WAS IN IT, AWAY, AS SHE PUT IT, FROM THE FOG OF CONTROVERSY. WELL, NOW THAT THE FOG HAS LIFTED, THE QUESTION ARISES WHAT DO WE KNOW NOW THAT WE DIDN’T KNOW THEN? WELL, WE NOW KNOW THAT THOSE WHO PROMISED US THAT IF YOU LIKE YOUR PLAN, YOU CAN KEEP IT WERE DEAD WRONG. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY ADMITTED THAT AT LEAST SEVEN MILLION SENIORS WILL NOW LOSE THEIR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS. AND ONE OF THE ADMINISTRATION’S OWN TOP HEALTH CARE ANALYSTS RECENTLY ADMITTED THAT THIS OFT-REPEATED PLEDGE WAS — QUOTE
832
00:26:08,000 –>00:26:07,999
— “NOT TRUE IN ALL CASES.” END QUOTE. WE ALL KNEW THE BILL CREATED STRONG INCENTIVES FOR BUSINESSES TO DROP OR CHANGE EMPLOYEES’ HEALTH CARE PLANS, THE ONES THEY GET THROUGH THEIR JOBS. NOW THAT THE BILL HAS PASSED, THE WHITE HOUSE ADMITS IT, TOO. ONE RECENT STUDY SUGGESTS THAT AS MANY AS 35 MILLION AMERICAN WORKERS COULD SEE THEIR EMPLOYER-BASED HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS DROPPED IN THIS WAY. SO THE ADMINISTRATION PROMISES ON THIS POINT WHICH WERE ECHOED BY CAPITOL HILL DEMOCRATS LIKE SPEAKER PELOSI TURNED OUT TO BE HOLLOW. AND TODAY THE ADMINISTRATION ITSELF PREDICTS THAT HALF, MORE THAN HALF OF ALL AMERICAN WORKERS WILL SEE THEIR CURRENT EMPLOYER-SPONSORED HEALTH CARE PLANS CHANGE WITHIN A COUPLE OF YEARS’ TIME. NOW, SHORTLY AFTER THE HEALTH CARE BILL BECAME LAW, THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR ACKNOWLEDGED ALL OF THAT. SMALL BUSINESSES WILL BE MOST AFFECTED, IT SAID, WITH AS MANY AS 80% EXPECTED TO HAVE TO CHANGE THEIR COVERAGE TO COMPLY WITH THE NEW LAW. FOR ALL REMAINING BUSINESSES, THE ADMINISTRATION NOW ESTIMATES THAT SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 39% AND 69% WILL BE FORCED TO CHANGE THEIR PLANS TO COMPLY WITH COSTLY AND BURDENSOME NEW DICTATES FROM HEALTH CARE BUREAUCRATS HERE IN WASHINGTON. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE REASSURING PREDICTIONS THAT EVERYBODY’S PLANS WOULD STAY THE SAME? IT TURNED OUT TO BE NONSENSE, UTTER NONSENSE. SO AMERICANS HAVE EVERY REASON TO BE OUTRAGED, NOT ONLY BY THE BILL ITSELF BUT ALSO BY THE RHETORIC THAT WAS USED TO SELL IT, AND FAR FROM BEING REASSURED OF ALL THE BILL’S MERITS, AMERICANS FEEL BETRAYED. CHECK THE RECORD. I DOUBT THAT ONE DEMOCRAT WHO VOTED FOR THIS BILL TOLD THEIR CONSTITUENTS THEY WOULD SEE A CHANGE IN THEIR PLANS, YET HERE WE ARE A YEAR LATER AND THEY JUST EXPECT PEOPLE TO ACCEPT IT. DEMOCRATS KNEW EXACTLY WHAT AMERICANS WANTED TO HEAR, AND THAT’S WHAT THEY TOLD THEM, AND PERHAPS THE BIGGEST DECEPTION OF ALL WAS THE CLAIM THAT PEOPLE
899
00:28:21,000 –>00:28:20,999
COULD KEEP THE PLANS THEY HAVE. OKAY.
901
00:28:23,000 –>00:28:22,999
BILL? WHAT ELSE DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE WELL, AT A TIME WHEN NEARLY 14 MILLION AMERICANS ARE LOOKING FOR WORK, WE NOW KNOW THIS BILL ONLY INCREASES COSTS AND BURDENS ON EMPLOYERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES, MAKING IT EVEN HARDER FOR THEM TO KEEP CURRENT
910
00:28:39,000 –>00:28:38,999
ONES. WORKERS ON BOARD OR TO HIRE NEW ACCORDING TO THE INDEPENDENT CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, THE HEALTH CARE BILL WILL RESULT IN A LOSS OF MORE THAN 800,000 JOBS OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. WHAT’S MORE, 200 ECONOMISTS AND EXPERTS, INCLUDING TWO FORMER C.B.O. DIRECTORS, HAVE SAID THAT THE LAW’S EXPENSIVE MANDATES AND PENALTIES CREATE MAJOR BARRIERS TO STRONGER JOB GROWTH. ANOTHER CHIEF SELLING POINT OF THE BILL WAS THE PROMISE IT WOULD LOWER COSTS, YET NOW WE HEAR ESTIMATES FROM ONE OF THE ADMINISTRATION’S TOP ACTUARIES
928
00:29:19,000 –>00:29:18,999
BY $311 BILLION. THAT IT WILL INCREASE COSTS BY AND THE C.B.O. NOW ESTIMATES IT WILL INCREASE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE SPENDING, HEALTH CARE SPENDING BY NEARLY A HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS OVER THE NEXT DECADE. WHAT ABOUT THE COST TO INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES? WELL, ACCORDING TO THE SAME INDEPENDENT ANALYSTS AT THE C.B.O., ONCE FULLY IMPLEMENTED, THE BILL IS EXPECTED TO CAUSE PREMIUMS ON FAMILY POLICIES TO INCREASE AN AVERAGE OF $2,100 A YEAR. $311 BILLION MORE COST TO THE GOVERNMENT, $2,100 A YEAR MORE COST TO THE AVERAGE FAMILY. MEANWHILE OTHER NEW RULES ARE MAKING IT DIFFICULT FOR FAMILIES TO SECURE A CHILD-ONLY PLAN. IN FACT, FAMILIES IN 19 STATES NO LONGER HAVE ACCESS TO THESE COMMON PLANS IS ONE OF THE HARMFUL, UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES AMERICANS ARE STUCK WITH NOW THE — QUOTE — “FOG OF CONTROVERSY” HAS LIFTED. TAKEN ALL BROKEN PROMISES ILLUSTRATE WHY SO MANY AMERICANS CONTINUE TO SUPPORT A FULL — A FULL REPEAL. WHICH THE NEW REPUBLICAN-LED HOUSE HAS PASSED. FOLLOWED BY COMMONSENSE REFORMS THAT WILL ACTUALLY LOWER COSTS, IMPROVE CARE, AND PROTECT JOBS. THE FOG OF COULDN’T CONTROVERSY MAY HAVE LIFTED, BUT TO THE CONTRADICTION OF SOME, — A YEAR LATER IT
970
00:31:00,000 –>00:30:59,999
LOOKS EVEN WORSE THAN IT DID THEN. AND THAT IS REALLY SAYING SOMETHING. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. MR. PRESIDENT? THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK THAT MORNING BUSINESS BE FOR ONE HOUR AND THAT THE TIME BE EQUALLY DIVIDED.
984
00:31:26,000 –>00:31:25,999
IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL BE IN A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS FOR 51 MINUTES WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK FOR UP TO 10 MINUTES EACH WITH THE TIME EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES, WITH THE REPUBLICANS CONTROLLING THE FIRST HALF AND THE MAJORITY CONTROLLING THE FINAL HALF AND THE TIME CONSUMED FROM THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE DEDUCTED FROM THE TOTAL TIME. WOULD THE CHAIR ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE 51 MINUTES NOW IS TIME. OF ONE LAWYER EQUALLY DIVIDE — ONE HOUR QULLY DIVIDED — EQUALLY DIVIDED MINUS THE TIME OF SENATOR ALEXANDER?
1010
00:32:17,000 –>00:32:16,999
THAT’S CORRECT. PRESIDENT OBAMA’S HEALTH CARE LAW TURNS ONE NEXT WEEK. IT HASN’T BEEN AGING VERY WELL. I WOULD LIKE TO REVIEW A FEW KEY DEVELOPMENTS RELATED TO THE LAW AND ITS IMPLEMENTATION AND NOTE AT LEAST TO ME IT’S VERY CLEAR THAT THIS BILL HAS NOT BECOME MORE POPULAR WITH AMERICANS, BUT DECREASINGLY POPULAR. GO BACK TO MARCH 23 OF 2010, JUST ABOUT A YEARS AGO, — ABOUT A YEAR AGO, THAT’S WHEN THE PRESIDENT SIGNED HIS HEALTH CARE BILL INTO LAW AND LATER THAT VERY DAY 13 STATES FILED LAW
1029
00:32:54,000 –>00:32:53,999
AGAINST IT IN A FLORIDA FEDERAL COURT. ANOTHER 13 STATES HAVE JOINED THE SUIT. VIRGINIA FILED A SEPARATE LAWSUIT ON THE DAY OF ENACTMENT. MAY 11, 2010, THE NON-CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE
1037
00:33:10,000 –>00:33:09,999
OBAMAKAYE. REVISED ITS COST ESTIMATE OF ACCORDING TO — KAYE CARE IT WILL COST $115 BILLION MORE THAN ORIGINALLY ESTIMATED PUSHING THE COST TO OVER $1 TRILLION. JUNE 10, — JUNE 2010, WITH PUBLIC OPINION STILL AGAINST THE LAW, A POLL AT THAT TIME FOUND THAT 58% OF AMERICANS SUPPORTED REPEAL THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES LAUNCHED A PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN TO TRY TO CHANGE PEOPLE’S MINDS. MANY SENIORS RECEIVED A PAMPHLET FROM KATHLEEN SEBELIUS THAT MADE CLAIMS LIKE AND I’M QUOTING YOUR GUARANTEED MEDICARE BENEFITS WON’T CHANGE WHETHER YOU GET THEM THROUGH ORIGINAL MEDICARE OR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLAN. END OF QUOTE. IT FAILED TO NOTE THAT IT CUTS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS BY BY $202 BILLION OVER 10 YEARS, MEANING HIGHER PREMIUMS, LESS BENEFITS AND FEWER PLAN CHOICES FOR SENIORS. THE C.B.O. ESTIMATES THAT THE CURRENT WILL BE CUT IN HALF. JULY 11, 2010, PRESIDENT OBAMA USED A RECESS APPOINTMENT TO NAME DONALD BERWICK ADMINISTRATOR FOR MEDICARE SERVICES, AN AGENCY THAT WILL PLAY A CRITICAL ROLE IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF OBAMACARE. IT WAS TO BYPASS THE REGULAR CONFIRMATION PROCESS BEFORE THE SENATE HELD A HEARING OR VOTED ON THE NOMINEE. IT ALLOWS DR. BERWICK TO RUN THE SENATORS FOR MEDICARE AND
1080
00:34:45,000 –>00:34:44,999
END OF THIS YEAR. MEDICAID SERVICES THROUGH THE A HEARING WOULD HAVE GIVEN SENATORS THE OPPORTUNITY TO QUESTION DR. BERWICK ABOUT HIS VERY CONTROVERSIAL VIEWS INCLUDING HIS ESPOUSAL OF HEALTH CARE RATIONING. HE HAS PRAISED THE BRITISH NATIONAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM WHICH ROUTINELY DENIES AND RATIONS CARE — EXCUSE ME — EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE — I’M
1093
00:35:12,000 –>00:35:11,999
CONSCIOUS. QUOTING HIM NOW — AND ON SEPTEMBER 24, 2010, THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ISSUED ITS FIRST WAIVER OF OBAMACARE PROVISIONS DEALING
1099
00:35:23,000 –>00:35:22,999
PLANS. WITH LIMITED BENEFIT OR MANY MED SINCE THEN A TOTAL OF 1,040 WAIVERS HAVE BEEN GRANTED. MANY TO THE ADMINISTRATION’S FAVORED POLITICAL CONSTITUENCY. IT SEEMS LIKE THEY LIKE THE LAW AS LONG AS IT DOESN’T APPLY TO THEM. DECEMBER 13, 2010, A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE IN VIRGINIA RULED THAT THE LAW’S MANDATE THAT INDIVIDUALS PURCHASE GOVERNMENT APPROVED HEALTH INSURANCE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. JANUARY 19 OF THIS YEAR, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES VOTED 245-189 TO REPEAL OBAMACARE. JANUARY 25, 2011, MY GOVERNOR OF ARIZONA ASKED SECRETARY SEBELIUS TO WAIVE THE MAINTENANCE EFFORT IN THE HEALTH CARE LAW, THAT IS THE PROVISION THAT FORCES AN UNFUNDED MEDICAID MANDATE ON STATES BY DENYING THEM THE FLEXIBILITY, THE ABILITY TO MANAGE THEIR OWN MEDICAID PROGRAMS TO FIT THEIR OWN BUDGETS AND THEIR OWN UNIQUE MEDICAID POPULATIONS. THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM BECAUSE ARIZONA, ALONG WITH MOST OTHER STATES, IS EXPERIENCING A DIRE BUDGET CRISIS. JANUARY 26, 2011, MEDICARE CHIEF ACTUARY RICHARD FOSTER TESTIFIED
1135
00:36:39,000 –>00:36:38,999
BEFORE THE HOUSE BUDGET COMMITTEE. HE ACKNOWLEDGED TO THE COMMITTEE THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PROMISE THAT AMERICANS WILL GET TO KEEP THEIR COVERAGE IF THEY LIKE IT — AND I’M QUOTING NOW — IS NOT TRUE IN ALL CASES. JANUARY 31, 2011, JUDGE ROGER BENEFITSON, A FEDERAL DISTRICT — BENSON, A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT JUDGE INVALIDATED THE ENTIRE LAW. HE CONCLUDED THE LAW’S REQUIREMENT TO BUY INSURANCE OR PAY A FEE AND I’M GOING TO QUOTE NOW, IS OUTSIDE CONGRESS’S COMMERCE CLAUSE POWER AND IT CANNOT BE OTHERWISE AUTHORIZED BY AN ASSERTION OF POWER UNDER THE NECESSARY AND PROPER CLAUSE. IT IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. HE ALSO WRITES, QUOTING AGAIN, IT IS DIFFICULT TO IMAGINE THAT A NATION WHICH BEGAN, AT LEAST IN PART, AS THE RESULT OF OPPOSITION TO A BRITISH MANDATE GIVING THE EAST INDIA COMPANY A MONOPOLY AND IMPROCESSING A NOMINAL TAX ON ALL TEA SOLD IN AMERICA WOULD HAVE SET OUT TO CREATE A GOVERNMENT WITH THE POWER TO FORCE PEOPLE TO BUY TEA IN THE FIRST PLACE. SURELY, HE SAYS, THIS IS NOT WHAT THE FOUNDING FATHERS COULD HAVE INTENDED. END OF QUOTE. ON FEBRUARY — EXCUSE ME, FEBRUARY 2, OF THIS YEAR, THE SENATE VOTED TO — ON THE SENATE VOTE TO REPEAL THE LAW, IT
1177
00:38:04,000 –>00:38:03,999
47-51. FAILED ON A PARTY LINE VOTE, SO THE SENATE DID NOT FOLLOW THE PATH OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO REPEAL OBAMAKAYE. ON — OBAMACARE. ON FEBRUARY 14, THE I.R.S. SUBMITTED TO CONGRESS ITS FISCAL YEAR 2012 BUDGET REQUEST. THE HEALTH CARE BILL IS MENTIONED BY I.R.S. MORE THAN 250 TIMES. THE AGENCY, THAT IS TO SAY I.R.S., WILL HAVE TO HIRE THOUSANDS OF NEW WORKERS TO IMPLEMENT THE MANY NEW TAX PROVISIONS. AS THE REQUEST NOTED, THE HEALTH CARE LAW — I’M QUOTING NOW — PRESENTS A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR THE I.R.S. IT REPRESENTS THE LARGEST SET OF TAX LAW CHANGES IN 20 YEARS WITH MORE THAN 40 PROVISIONS TO AMEND THE TAX LAWS. END OF QUOTE. MR. PRESIDENT, JUST TO REMIND MY COLLEAGUES AND OUR CONSTITUENTS THROUGHOUT THIS COUNTRY, THAT THE HEALTH CARE LAW HAS MORE THAN 40 PROVISIONS, THE LARGEST SET OF TAX LAW CHANGES IN 20 YEARS. FEBRUARY 22, OF THIS YEAR, A CLINTON-APPOINTED FEDERAL JUDGE RULED THAT OBAMAKAYE IS CONSTITUTIONAL BECAUSE IT ALLOWS THE COURT TO REGULATE WHAT IS CALLED MENTAL ACTIVITY. SO MUCH FOR KEEPING YOUR THOUGHTS TO YOURSELF. ON MARCH 3, 2011, AT THE REQUEST OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, A FEDERAL JUDGE — THE FEDERAL JUDGE WHO HAD PREVIOUSLY RULED THAT OBAMACARE IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL CLARIFIED HIS RULING AND NOTED HIS CONTINUING CONCERN WITH THE FACT THAT IF THE LAW’S UPHELD, HE SAYS, CONGRESS COULD INDEED MANDATE THAT EVERYONE BUY BROCCOLI. END OF QUOTE. I THINK THAT THE FIRST PRESIDENT BUSH WOULD HAVE A REAL PROBLEM WITH THAT MANDATE. MARCH 14, 2011, THAT’S JUST THREE DAYS AGO, THE LATEST POLL SHOWS THAT SUPPORT FOR REPEAL OF THE HEALTH CARE LAW HAS REACHED ITS HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE MAY OF 2010, 62% OF LIKELY VOTERS NOW FAVOR REPEAL. WELL, THAT’S WHAT WE SHOULD DO. THESE DEVELOPMENTS HIGHLIGHT JUST SOME OF THE REASONS WHY THE BILL IS SO UNPOPULAR AND SO DEEPLY FLAWED THAT THE AMERICAN
1246
00:40:28,000 –>00:40:27,999
PEOPLE AGREE THAT IT SHOULD BE REPEALED. AND IT SHOULD BE REPLACED WITH MORE SENSIBLE IDEAS. THE DEBATE ON THE HEALTH CARE LAW WILL NO DOUBT CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THIS YEAR. ESPECIALLY NOW THAT TWO FEDERAL COURTS HAVE ALREADY RULED THAT IT’S UNCONSTITUTIONAL. IT WOULD BE BEST IF WE COULD STAY THE LAW UNTIL THE SUPREME COURT RULES ON ITS CONSTITUTIONALITY. STATES AND BUSINESSES COULD SAVE A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY AND INSURANCE COMPANIES WOULDN’T HAVE TO RAISE THEIR RATES. WE’LL HAVE A CHANCE, I HOPE, TO VOTE ON SUCH A PROPOSAL. MR. PRESIDENT, SOME THINGS AGE WELL WITH TIME, NOT OBAMAKAYE. OBAMACARE. — NOT OBAMACARE. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT? THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA’S RECOGNIZED. I RISE TODAY TOO TO SPEAK TO THE ISSUE OF THE HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL, WHICH, AS MY COLLEAGUE FROM ARIZONA POINTED
1277
00:41:32,000 –>00:41:31,999
ANNIVERSARY. OUT, IS NOW ON ITS ONE-YEAR I THINK IT’S GOOD TO PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE THE ISSUES MOST AMERICANS CARE THE MOST ABOUT. I — AS I TRAVEL IN MY STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA AND ELSEWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY HERE — WE HEAR REPEATEDLY FROM MOST AMERICANS THAT THE THING THEY THINK WE OUGHT TO BE MOST FOCUSED ON RIGHT NOW IN WASHINGTON, D.C., IS THE ECONOMY, JOB CREATION, SPENDING, AND DEBT. THEY BELIEVE THAT THOSE ARE THE ISSUES THAT MOST IMPORTANT. AND I THINK THE PUBLIC OPINION POLLS REFLECT THAT. IF YOU LOOK AT ANY PUBLIC OPINION POLL TODAY GENERALLY THEY’RE IN THAT ORDER, IT WILL
1298
00:42:09,000 –>00:42:08,999
AND DEBT. BE JOBS, THE ECONOMY, SPENDING, AND SO I THINK THAT, AS I LOOK AT WHAT THIS HEALTH CARE BILL HAS DONE, IF YOU USE THE METRIC OF JOBS AND THE ECONOMY AND SPENDING AND DEBT AND LOOK AT IT ON ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY, I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE TO SAY THIS HAS BEEN A MAJOR FAILURE IN TERMS OF SPEAKING TO OR ADDRESSING THE ISSUES THAT MOST OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CARE THE MOST ABOUT. ON THE ISSUE OF JOBS AND THE ECONOMY, THERE WERE LOTS OF STATEMENTS SAID — MADE ABOUT THIS WHEN IT WAS PASSED THAT IT WAS GOING TO CREATE LOTS OF JOBS. THE FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, NANCY PELOSI SAID IN ITS LIFE THE HEALTH CARE BILL WILL CREATE 400,000 JOBS ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. WE HAVE THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, C.B.O., DIRECTOR TESTIFIED THAT THE NEW LAW WILL KEY DUES EMPLOYMENT — WILL
1325
00:43:05,000 –>00:43:04,999
JOBS. REFUSE EMPLOYMENT BY 800,000 SO YOU HAVE A PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT IS GOING TO, ACCORDING TO THE C.B.O., COST US JOBS AND THE ECONOMY. COUPLE THAT IT WILL RAISE TAXES AND RAISE TAXES DRAMATICALLY BY HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS IN THE FIRST 10 YEARS, $1 TRILLION WHEN IT’S FULLY IMPLEMENTED. YOU SEE AS BUSINESSES PASS THOSE COSTS ON TO — TO — TO THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY WHO BUY THINGS, CONSUMERS, OBVIOUSLY IT LEADS TO HIGHER COSTS FOR A LOT OF THESE THINGS, WHICH LEADS TO HIGHER HEALTH CARE COSTS BECAUSE MOST OF THOSE TAXES WERE IMPOSED ON PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES, MANY OF THOSE COSTS PASSED ON, BUT YOU’D HAVE TO ARGUE VERY, VERY HARD, MR. PRESIDENT, TO SUGGEST THAT ANY KIND OF A TAX
1349
00:43:54,000 –>00:43:53,999
INCREASE IS GOING TO CREATE MORE JOBS. IN FACT, HISTORICALLY I THINK IT’S VERY CLEAR THAT ANY TIME YOU RAISE TAXES, IT ACTUALLY COSTS THE ECONOMY JOBS. AND SO YOU HAVE THE C.B.O. DIRECTOR TALKING ABOUT THE LOSS OF JOBS. YOU HAVE THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE SOME MASSIVE TAX INCREASES IN THIS LEGISLATION THAT WILL COST US JOBS. AND YOU ALSO DRIVE UP THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE YOU ARE INCREASING THE COST OF HEALTH CARE. LOW OF — A LOT OF SMALL BUSINESSES TRYING TO PROVIDE COVERAGE TO THEIR EMPLOYEES. WHAT WE’VE SEEN CONSISTENTLY IS AN ARGUMENT FROM THE OTHER SIDE THAT THIS WAS GOING TO DRIVE DOWN THE COST OF HEALTH CARE AND, YET AGAIN, THE FACTS TELL AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT STORY. THERE WAS A STATEMENT MADE BY THE PRESIDENT, REFORM WILL LOWER THE COST OF HEALTH CARE FOR OUR FAMILIES, OUR BUSINESSES OUR GOVERNMENT. THE CHIEF ACTUARY THINKS A THAT IT WILL INCREASE HEALTH CARE COSTS BY $111 MILLION — 311 BILLION INCREASE. C.B.O., THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, ESTIMATES THAT THE NEW WHAT WILL INCREASE SPENDING BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BY
1390
00:45:11,000 –>00:45:10,999
BY $654 BILLION OVER THE NEXT DECADE. C.B.O. ESTIMATES THAT THE LAW WILL INCREASE INSURANCE PREMIUMS ON A FAMILY POLICY BY AN AVERAGE OF $2,100 PER YEAR. SO YOU HAVE AN INCREASED COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYERS, FOR EMPLOYEES, ALL OF WHICH IS GOING TO COST THE ECONOMY JOBS BECAUSE IT DRIVES UP THE COST OF DOING BUSINESS IN THIS COUNTRY, MR. PRESIDENT. SO YOU HAVE ALL THESE FACTORS IN THIS HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION THAT CONTRIBUTE TO A LOSS OF JOBS BECAUSE THEY MAKE IT MORE EXPENSIVE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IN THIS COUNTRY. SO ON THE — IF YOU USE THE METRIC THAT THE — OF JOB CREATION AND HOW THIS — THIS LEGISLATION IMPACTS THE ECONOMY, I THINK YOU WOULD HAVE TO DESCRIBE IT AS A MAJOR FAILURE. NOW, AGAIN, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, I THINK, DETERMINE WHAT’S IMPORTANT, AND THEY HAVE DECIDED — AND RIGHTLY SO — WHEN YOU HAVE GOT AS HIGH OF UNEMPLOYMENT AS WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY THAT JOB CREATION SHOULD BE THE NUMBER ONE PRIORITY OF THEIR POLICYMAKERS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., AND, IN FACT, WE SHOULD BE LOOKING AT POLICIES THAT WILL BE CONDUCIVE TO JOB CREATION, NOT POLICIES THAT WILL INHIBIT JOB CREATION, AND THE MASSIVE HEALTH CARE EXPANSION THAT PASSED LAST YEAR WILL HAVE EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE EFFECT THAT WE SHOULD BE
1433
00:46:29,000 –>00:46:28,999
JOBS. STRIVING FOR WHEN IT COMES TO WE OUGHT TO BE LOOKING FOR POLICIES THAT CREATE JOBS. THIS ACTUALLY WILL COST THE ECONOMY JOBS. SO YOU HAVE THE METRIC OF JOB CREATION, IF YOU MEASURE THE HEALTH CARE BILL AGAINST THAT A YEAR LATER, I THINK YOU WOULD
1443
00:46:42,000 –>00:46:41,999
FAILURE. HAVE TO SAY IT’S A COMPLETE SO THE ISSUES THAT I HAVE MENTIONED THAT ALSO BEAR ON THE — WHAT’S IMPORTANT TO AMERICANS TODAY, SPENDING AND DEBT, HOW DOES THE HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION STACK UP AGAINST THOSE CRITERIA? WELL, FIRST OFF, WITH REGARD TO SPENDING, WE ALL KNOW BY NOW THAT WHEN IT’S FULLY IMPLEMENTED, THIS NEW HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION WILL COST COST $2.6 TRILLION. $2.6 TRILLION EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT. LITERALLY, MR. PRESIDENT, THE LARGEST EXPANSION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THE LAST HALF CENTURY. YOU WOULD HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE 1960’S TO FIND A TIME WHEN YOU SAW THE GOVERNMENT EXPAND AT THE RATE THAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THE LAST TWO YEARS ALONE, AND I THINK THAT’S REFLECTED WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE DEBT AND DEFICIT FIGURES FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS, SINCE THIS ADMINISTRATION TOOK OFFICE, SINCE PRESIDENT OBAMA TOOK OFFICE, THE DEBT IN THIS COUNTRY HAS GROWN BY OVER OVER $3 TRILLION. AND, IN FACT, IF HIS BUDGET IS IMPLEMENTED, WHICH HE PRESENTED, THAT TOTAL DEBT WILL DOUBLE BY THE END OF THE NEXT DECADE. SO IF YOU TAKE A $14 TRILLION GROSS DEBT — ALMOST ALMOST $14 TRILLION, WHICH IS WHERE IT IS TODAY, IF THE PRESIDENT’S BUDGET IS IMPLEMENTED, YOU WOULD SEE THAT DEBT DOUBLE OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT DECADE TO ALMOST — TO OVER $26 TRILLION. AND SO YOU HAVE MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF BORROWING, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF DEBT, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF NEW SPENDING AND TAX INCREASES, ALL OF WHICH CREATE, I THINK, AN ENVIRONMENT THAT’S GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT FOR OUR ECONOMY AND FOR THE JOB CREATORS TO CREATE JOBS. YOU HAVE GROWN SIGNIFICANTLY THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT. HOW ABOUT THE ISSUE OF — AS I SAID EARLIER OF DEBT? WE TALK A LOT ABOUT THE THE $14 TRILLION GROSS DEBT THAT WE HAVE TODAY, AND WE HAVE A LOT OF RESEARCH OUT THERE THAT SUGGESTS THAT WHEN YOU’RE CARRYING THAT KIND OF A DEBT LOAD, IF YOU SUSTAIN IT OVER ANY AMOUNT OF TIME, THAT IT’S GOING TO COST YOU A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF ECONOMIC GROWTH. IN FACT, THERE IS A GOOD BODY OF RESEARCH OUT THERE THAT SUGGESTS WHEN YOU HAVE A GROSS DEBT TO G.D.P. RATIO OF 90% OR HIGHER WHICH IS WHERE WE ARE IN AMERICA TODAY, THAT IT COSTS BUT A PERCENTAGE POINT OF ECONOMIC GROWTH EVERY YEAR. WE KNOW FROM WHAT THE PRESIDENT’S OWN ECONOMIC ADVISOR, FORMER ECONOMIC ADVISOR CHRISTINA ROEMER SAID ANY TIME YOU LOSE A PERCENTAGE OF ECONOMIC GROWTH, IT COSTS BUT A MILLION JOBS. SO IF WE’RE LOSING BECAUSE OF THIS HIGH LEVEL OF DEBT A PERCENTAGE POINT OF ECONOMIC GROWTH EVERY YEAR, WE’RE LOSING A MILLION JOBS EVERY YEAR AS A RESULT OF THAT AS WELL. AND SO HOW DOES THE WHOLE HEALTH CARE DEBATE BEAR ON THIS ISSUE OF DEBT IN THE LONG TERM? WELL, I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT AGAIN THAT MANY OF THE THINGS THAT WERE PUT INTO THIS BILL THAT WERE SIGNED TO BE USED AS OFFSETS TO PAY FOR THE BILL END UP IN THE OUT YEARS ADDING MASSIVELY TO THE DEFICIT. AND I WILL USE A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THAT, THE CLASS ACT WHICH WAS A NEW LONG-TERM CARE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM THAT WAS PUT INTO THIS BILL, WHICH AT THE TIME THAT IT WAS BEING DEBATED WAS ACTUALLY DESCRIBED BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE, THE DEMOCRAT CHAIRMAN, AS A PONZI SCHEME OF THE HIGHEST ORDER, SOMETHING THAT BERNIE MAD OFFWOULD BE PROUD OF — MADOFF WOULD BE PROUD OF. THAT ACT WAS USED AS A A $70 BILLION OFFSET TO PAY FOR
1559
00:50:17,000 –>00:50:16,999
PROGRAM. THE NEW MASSIVE ENTITLEMENT WELL, WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN — AND WE’RE FINDING OUT NOW MORE AND MORE ABOUT THIS — IS THAT THAT PARTICULAR PROGRAM, ALTHOUGH IT GENERATES SOME REVENUE IN THE EARLY YEARS RUNS HUGE DEFICITS WHEN YOU GET INTO THE OUT YEARS. BECAUSE OF THE WAY THE PROGRAM IS STRUCTURED, BECAUSE OF ADVERSE SELECTION, BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT — THAT THE PROGRAM WAS DESIGNED IN THE FIRST PLACE, YOU START ADDING MASSIVELY TO THE DEFICITS IN THE OUT YEARS. AND SECRETARY SEBELIUS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ADMITTED TO ME IN A QUESTION AT THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECENTLY THAT THE CLASS PROGRAM IS TOTALLY, I QUOTE, TOTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE, END QUOTE. DURING YESTERDAY’S FINANCE COMMITTEE HEARING, I ASKED THE QUESTION ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS ACTUARIAL MODELING DONE PRIOR TO THE LOST PASSAGE SO THAT DEMOCRATS AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES WOULD HAVE KNOWN HOW BAD THIS PROGRAM IS, AND SHE WOULD NOT RESPOND TO OR ANSWER THAT QUESTION. SO I HAVE ASKED SENATOR CONRAD, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE, FOR A HEARING TO REALLY LOOK AT THESE ACTUARIAL MODELS, AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES HAS DEVELOPED TO ANALYZE THE CLASS ACT. WHY HAS SHE COME TO THE CONCLUSION NOW THAT IT IS TOTALLY UNSUSTAINABLE WHEN MANY OF US KNEW THAT IN ADVANCE? IN FACT, THAT’S WHAT I THINK C.B.O., THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, WAS SAYING IN ADVANCE. SO YOU HAVE CREATED THESE NEW ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS. THEY ARE GOING TO LEAD MASSIVELY TO HIGHER DEFICITS AND MORE DEBT WELL INTO THE FUTURE, THE CLASS ACT BEING ONE EXAMPLE OF THAT. I WOULD SUGGEST, MR. PRESIDENT, AS WELL THAT WHEN YOU CREATE A A $2.6 TRILLION NEW ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM, IF HISTORY IS ANY INDICATION, THAT THAT WILL DRAMATICALLY UNDERSTATE WHAT THE TRUE COSTS ARE. WE HAVE SEEN THAT HISTORICALLY, WHENEVER ESTIMATES ARE MADE ABOUT SOME OF THESE NEW GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS, THEY ARE SIGNIFICANTLY LESS THAN WHAT WAS ESTIMATED WHEN THEY WERE CREATED IN THE FIRST PLACE. AND SO I WOULD ARGUE THAT ON THE ISSUE OF HOW THE NEW HEALTH CARE BILL ON ITS FIRST ANNIVERSARY IMPACTS THE ISSUE OF DEBT, THAT WE ARE NOT GOING TO KNOW PROBABLY FOR SOME TIME, BUT I THINK WE CAN GET A PRETTY CLEAR IDEA THAT THIS IS GOING TO LEAD TO MUCH HIGHER DEFICITS AND MUCH HIGHER DEBT IN THE OUT YEARS BECAUSE OF THE STATEMENTS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE AND THE C.M.S. ACTUARY AND EVEN NOW THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ARE SAYING WITH REGARD TO PROGRAMS LIKE THE CLASS ACT WHICH WAS CREATED UNDER THIS BILL. NOW, I THINK A LOT OF THE — THE OTHER REASON YOU’RE GOING TO SEE THE DEBT AND THE DEFICIT EXPLODE IS BECAUSE OF THE GIMMICKS THAT WERE USED BY THE DEMOCRATS TO FINANCE THE HEALTH CARE BILL, AND I MENTIONED THE CLASS ACT WAS ONE OF THOSE, BUT THERE WERE A NUMBER OF OTHER GIMMICKS THAT WERE USED AS WELL. THERE WAS THIS — THE MEDICARE PAYROLL TAX INCREASES, THE MEDICARE CUTS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO OCCUR UNDER THIS TO PAY FOR THE NEW HEALTH CARE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM WERE ALSO INDICATED AT THE TIME WERE GOING TO EXTEND THE LIFE SPAN OF MEDICARE. ESSENTIALLY WHAT HAPPENED WAS
1665
00:53:20,000 –>00:53:19,999
THE SAME REVENUES WERE SPENT TWICE. THEY WERE DOUBLE COUNTED. IN OTHER WORDS, THERE WAS NEW REVENUE GOING TO BE COMING INTO THE MEDICARE TRUST FUND BECAUSE OF INCREASE IN PAYROLL TAXES AND BECAUSE OF REDUCE OR REDUCTIONS IN SPENDING IN THOSE MEDICARE ACCOUNTS THAT ALLEGEDLY THEN WOULD CREATE A CREDIT TO THE MEDICARE TRUST FUND. UNFORTUNATELY, ALL THOSE NEW REVENUES ARE GOING TO BE USED TO FINANCE THIS NEW HEALTH CARE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM. AND SO SOMEWHERE DOWN THE ROAD WHEN THE TIME COMES TO PAY THE BILLS OF MEDICARE, YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO BORROW MONEY TO DO THAT BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT THIS — THESE GIMMICKS WERE USED AND THE WAY THE DOUBLE COUNTING WAS USED, NOT ONLY TO CREDIT THE MEDICARE TRUST FUND BUT ALSO TO TO — TO USE AS AN OFFSET FOR THE NEW HEALTH CARE ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD ARGUE — AND IF YOU LOOK AT THE ACTUAL NUMBERS, IT’S SOMEWHERE ON THE ORDER OF ABOUT ABOUT $400 BILLION THAT WAS DOUBLE COUNTED IN THE MEDICARE TRUST FUND, AND ABOUT ABOUT $30 BILLION I BELIEVE WAS THE NUMBER IN THE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUND, BUT THESE GIMMICKS ARE ALL GOING TO COME — THE CHICKENS ARE GOING TO COME HOME TO ROOST AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE, AND IT’S GOING TO LEAD TO SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER DEFICITS AND A MUCH HIGHER DEBT THAN WHAT WE ARE
1710
00:54:41,000 –>00:54:40,999
LOOKING AT TODAY AND THAN WHAT WAS CONTEMPLATED WHEN THIS
1712
00:54:43,000 –>00:54:42,999
FIRST PLACE. LEGISLATION WAS PASSED IN THE SO I THINK YOU HAVE TO SAY, MR. PRESIDENT, WHETHER IT’S THE GIMMICKS THAT WERE USED, WHETHER IT’S THESE NEW ENTITLEMENT PROGRAMS LIKE THE GLASS ACT, WHETHER IT’S THE ACTUAL COST — EVEN ESTIMATED COST OF OF $2.6 TRILLION IN NEW EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT, WHETHER IT’S THE LOSS OF JOBS ASSOCIATED WITH THE HIGHER TAXES, THE HIGHER HEALTH CARE PREMIUMS IN THIS LEGISLATION, THAT IF YOU’RE GOING TO EVALUATE IT BASED UPON THE ISSUES THAT ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND THAT’S THE ECONOMY, JOBS, SPENDING AND DEBT, ON THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THIS HEALTH CARE REFORM LEGISLATION, THIS HAS BEEN ALREADY A HUGE FAILURE BY ANY OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENT, AND MY GUESS IS THAT BEFORE THIS IS ALL SAID AND DONE, THAT WE’RE GOING TO CONTINUE TO SEE MORE AND MORE OF OUR EMPLOYERS HAVING TO DROP THEIR COVERAGE, PERHAPS PAY THE PENALTY RATHER THAN CONTINUE TO PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR THEIR EMPLOYEES, AND JUST PUSH THEM INTO A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM. AND I THINK YOU’RE GOING TO SEE MORE AND MORE GOVERNMENT CONTROL, MORE AND MORE INFLUENCE AND INTERVENTION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, MORE AND MORE COST TO TAXPAYERS AND HIGHER AND HIGHER HEALTH CARE COSTS FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND FOR FAMILIES AND FOR INDIVIDUALS IN THIS COUNTRY. AND SO ON THE FIRST-YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THIS LEGISLATION, MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK THE BEST THING THAT CONGRESS COULD DO WOULD BE TO REPEAL IT AND TO START OVER WITH COMMONSENSE HEALTH CARE REFORMS THAT WILL ACTUALLY REDUCE THE COST OF HEALTH CARE IN THIS COUNTRY, THAT WILL BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE, THAT WON’T BREAK THE BANK AND THAT WILL — WILL HELP GET US ON A PATH WHERE — WHERE WE CAN CREATE JOBS AND GET THE ECONOMY GROWING AGAIN RATHER THAN INHIBITING THAT. MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.
1773
00:57:13,000 –>00:57:12,999
THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS IS RECOGNIZED. I ASK CONSENT THE QUORUM CALL BE SUSPENDED.
1778
00:57:17,000 –>00:57:16,999
WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. PRESIDENT, ARE WE IN MORNING BUSINESS?
1782
00:57:21,000 –>00:57:20,999
THAT’S CORRECT. AND THE DEMOCRAT SIDE IS NOW RECOGNIZED? THAT IS CORRECT. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MR. PRESIDENT, I USUALLY DON’T GET UP IN THE MORNING AND RACE TO READ THE EDITORIAL PAGE OF “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.”
1793
00:57:36,000 –>00:57:35,999
IT’S JUST NOT PART OF MY NORMAL ROUTINE. I DON’T AGREE WITH THEM ON MOST OF THE POSITIONS THAT THEY HAVE TAKEN, AND I HAVE FOUND MANY TIMES THAT THE STATEMENTS THEY MAKE ARE SOMETIMES GROSSLY INACCURATE. THIS MORNING WAS NO EXCEPTION. THEY PRINTED AN EDITORIAL ON THE ISSUE OF INTERCHANGE FEES ON DEBIT CARDS AND HAD SOME CRITICAL THINGS TO SAY, WHICH IS THEIR RIGHT, AND MY RESPONSIBILITY AS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL TO ABSORB. I KNOW THE FOLKS ON WALL STREET AND THEIR FRIENDS IN THE PRESS ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THE INTERCHANGE REFORM WHICH CONGRESS PASSED LAST YEAR. THEY ARE CERTAINLY ENTITLED TO THEIR OPINION, BUT THEY ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN ALTERNATIVE REALITY. WHEN I READ THIS “WALL STREET JOURNAL” EDITORIAL THIS MORNING, I FELT LIKE I HAD ENTERED INTO SOME FACT-FREE TWILIGHT ZONE. SWIPE-FREE REFORM IS AN IMPORTANT ISSUE SO THAT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE FOLLOWING THIS DEBATE UNDERSTAND WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT. EACH TIME THAT YOU USE A CREDIT CARD OR A DEBIT CARD TO PAY FOR SOMETHING, A MEAL AT A RESTAURANT, GROCERIES, PHARMACEUTICALS, A DONATION TO A CHARITY, BUYING GAS FOR YOUR CAR, EACH TIME THAT YOU DO, THERE IS A FEE THAT IS CHARGED TO THE MERCHANT, AND THAT FEE IS CHARGED BY BOTH THE BANK ISSUING
1837
00:59:00,000 –>00:58:59,999
CREDIT CARD COMPANY. THE CARD AND THE UNDERLYING IT IS CALLED AN INTERCHANGE FEE, AND IT IS A FEE THAT IS IMPOSED ON BUSINESSES LARGE AND SMALL
1842
00:59:12,000 –>00:59:11,999
ALL ACROSS AMERICA, LITERALLY WITHOUT NEGOTIATION. IT IS A FEE THAT IS DICTATED BECAUSE THERE IS LITTLE OR NO COMPETITION. NOW, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” PROBABLY PRIDES ITSELF ON BEING THE PROTECTOR AND DEFENDER OF THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM. THERE IS NO FREE MARKET SYSTEM WHEN IT COMES TO INTERCHANGE FEES. IT’S A TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT. IF YOU WANT TO ACCEPT A VISA OR MASTERCARD FROM A CERTAIN BANK, YOU WILL PAY A CERTAIN INTERCHANGE FEE EVERY TIME A
1859
00:59:41,000 –>00:59:40,999
CARD IS USED AT YOUR ESTABLISHMENT. AND WHAT I LEARNED AT A HEARING ON THIS SUBJECT YEARS AGO IS THAT THERE IS VIRTUALLY NO NEGOTIATION IN ESTABLISHING THESE FEES. AND MERCHANTS CAME TO ME. THE FIRST WHO CAME TO ME WAS NOT A MAJOR RETAILER BUT A BUDDY OF MINE IN QUINCY, ILLINOIS, NAMED RICH NEIMAN. RICH NEIMAN IS A VERY CONSERVATIVE MAN WHO PROBABLY READS “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” EVERY DAY, BUT HE HAS DONE QUITE WELL FOR HIMSELF AND HIS FAMILY AND HIS COMPANY BY OPENING UP FOOD STORES ALL OVER THE MIDWEST. RICH IS A REALLY ROLE UP YOUR SLEEVES GRASSROOTS BUSINESSMAN.
1881
01:00:24,000 –>01:00:23,999
AND HE SAID TO ME, SENATOR DURBIN, THESE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES AND THEIR BANKS ARE KILLING US. THE INTERCHANGE FEES BEAR NO
1886
01:00:31,000 –>01:00:30,999
OF THE TRANSACTION. RELATIONSHIP TO THE ACTUAL COST HE SAID, YOU KNOW, IF SOMEBODY PAYS FOR GROCERIES WITH A CHECK, IT CLEARS THE BANK FOR PENNIES, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THE CHECK IS FOR $10 OR $100. IF THEY USE A DEBIT CARD, WHICH IS A PLASTIC CHECK TRAWG DIRECTLY OUT OF — DRAWING DIRECTLY OUT OF YOUR ACCOUNT TO PAY, IT ENDS UP WE PAY AN INTERCHANGE FEE WHICH IS SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER AND WE HAVE NOTHING WE CAN SAY ABOUT IT. “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”, THE DEFENDER OF THE FREE MARKET SYSTEM HAS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY THAT THERE IS NO COMPETITION WHEN IT COMES TO THESE DUOPOLIES AND LITTLE COMPETITION WHEN IT COMES TO MERCHANTS WHO HAVE NO VOICE OR LITTLE VOICE IN ESTABLISHING WHAT THEIR FEE IS GOING TO BE WHEN IT IS CHARGED. SO WE CAME TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE AND SAID, WE NEED TO HAVE INTERCHANGE FEE REFORM. AND THE MEASURE PASSED, THE AMENDMENT PASSED BY A MARGIN OF 64 VOTES. 17 REPUBLICANS AND 47 DEMOCRATS. AND THEN WAS ACCEPTED IN CONFERENCE AND BECAME PART OF THE LAW AND THE DODD-FRANK WALL STREET PREFORM. IT SAID THAT THE FEDERAL RESERVE WOULD ANALYZE THE CURRENT STATE OF THE MARKET AND ESTABLISH WHAT A REASONABLE AND PROPORTIONAL INTERCHANGE FEE WOULD BE. WHAT’S FAIR? SINCE THERE’S NO COMPETITION HERE UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM,
1931
01:01:59,000 –>01:01:58,999
FAIR. LET’S AT LEAST ESTABLISH WHAT’S LET’S NOT LET VISA, MASTERCARD AND THE BANKS FIX PRICES FOR LACK OF COMPETITION. YOU KNOW WHAT THE EARLY ANALYSIS SHOWED? THE AVERAGE INTERCHANGE FEE WAS 40 CENTS PER TRANSACTION. THE ACTUAL COST — THE ACTUAL COST CLOSER TO 10 CENTS. MAYBE EVEN LESS. THEY WERE CHARGING THREE TO FOUR TIMES AS MUCH OVER THE COST OF ACTUALLY CLEARING THE TRANSACTION TO MERCHANTS AND RETAILERS ACROSS AMERICA, WHICH, OF COURSE, DIMINISHES THEIR PROFITABILITY, DIMINISHES THEIR ABILITY TO EXPAND THEIR SMALL BUSINESSES AND LARGE ALIKE. AND IT IT’S — IT’S PASSED ON TO THE CONSUMER. YOU WOULD THINK EVEN “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”, THIS BASTION OF CONSERVATISM AND DEFENDER OF THE FREE MARKET WOULD KNOW THE OBVIOUS, THE OBVIOUS IS SMALL BUSINESSES AN LARGE BUSINESSES ARE OVERCHARGED BY CREDIT CARD
1961
01:03:02,000 –>01:03:01,999
COMPANIES AND BANKS WITHOUT RESTRAINT. THAT’S NOT A FREE MARKET. THAT’S IMPOSING A COST. WHAT IS IT WORTH? WHAT IS IT WORTH IN TERMS OF INTERCHANGE FEES WHICH THEY REFER TO KIND OF DISMISSIVELY AS SMALL AND NOT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT? WHAT IS IT WORTH TO THE CREDIT CARD INDUSTRY AND THE MAJOR BANKS IN AMERICA EVERY MONTH, MONTH, $1.3 BILLION IN INTERCHANGE FEES COLLECTED ON DEBIT CARDS. $1.3 BILLION.
1978
01:03:33,000 –>01:03:32,999
MINUTE. SO LET’S DO THE MATH HERE FOR A IT’S OVER $15 BILLION A YEAR — $15 BILLION A YEAR, WHICH “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” WANTS TO PROTECT AS A HANDOUT TO THE BIGGEST BANKS AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES IN AMERICA. WELL, BE MY GUEST, “WALL STREET JOURNAL”, BUT DON’T SAY YOU’RE
1988
01:03:52,000 –>01:03:51,999
AMERICA. DEFENDING BUSINESS ACROSS BUSINESSES LARGE AND SMALL ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONCOMPETITIVE OPAQUE SYSTEM THAT CURRENTLY EXISTS THAT THEY’RE PAYING FOR. MY AMENDMENT DOES NOT CREATE PRICE FIXING. IT PLACES REASONABLE LIMITS ON PRICE FIXING THAT ARE ALREADY
1999
01:04:10,000 –>01:04:09,999
PRESENT IN THE INTERCHANGE SYSTEM. IF YOU LOOK AT ANY BANK’S WEBSITE SEE IF YOU CAN FIND HOW MUCH THAT BANK CHARGES MERCHANTS AND INTERCHANGE FEES. YOU WON’T FIND ANYTHING. THERE’S NO DISCLOSURE HERE. THERE’S NO TRANSPARENCY. WHY? BECAUSE FOR YEARS THE BANKS HAVE LET VISA AND MASTERCARD FIX THE INTERCHANGE RATE THAT EACH BANK
2012
01:04:31,000 –>01:04:30,999
RECEIVES WHEN ITS CARD IS SWIPED. THIS MEANS THAT BANKS DON’T HAVE TO COMPETE WITH ONE ANOTHER ON FEES THEY RECEIVE FROM MERCHANTS. THEY ALL RECEIVE THE SAME FEES NO MATTER HOW MUCH EACH BANKS DOES TO PREVENT FRAUD. THE CURRENT INTERCHANGE SYSTEM, THE ONE THAT NEEDS TO BE REFORMED IS A PRICE-FIXING SCHEME, PERIOD. MY AMENDMENT SAYS IF BIG BANKS ARE GOING TO LET VISA AND MASTERCARD DUOPOLY FIX FEES, THE FEDERAL RESERVE SHOULD REGULATE THOSE FEES SO THEY ARE REASONABLE. IF THE BANK WANTS TO CHANGE THEIR OWN FEES, SO BE IT. MY AMENDMENT DOES NOT REGULATE THAT AS LONG AS THOSE FEES ARE TRANSPARENT AND COMPETITIVE, I’M FINE WITH THEM. BUT WHEN THE BANKS ALL GET TOGETHER, WHEN THEY CONSPIRE TO LET VISA AND MASTERCARD FIX FEES FOR THEM, THAT’S WHEN MY AMENDMENT STEPS IN AND THAT IS WHAT OFFENDS “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL,”, THE DEFENDER OF AMERICA’S FREE MARKETS. WE KNOW THAT BIG BANKS TODAY RECEIVE FAR MORE IN INTERCHANGE
2047
01:05:34,000 –>01:05:33,999
THAN IT COSTS THEM TO DO DEBIT TRANSACTIONS. THEY USE THIS EXCESS INTERCHANGE SUBSIDY FOR THINGS LIKE ADS AND REWARD PROGRAMS AN EXECUTIVE BONUS AND CERTAINLY FOR PROFTS. THAT’S WHAT THEY DO. THE EFFECT OF MY AMENDMENT WILL BE TO SQUEEZE THE FAT OUT OF THE INTERCHANGE SYSTEM. BIG BANKS WILL BE ABLE TO USE INTERCHANGE TO PAY FOR REASONABLE PROCESSING COSTS BUT THEY WON’T BE ABLE TO USE THE INTERCHANGE SCHEME TO TAKE EXCESSIVE FEES OUT OF THE POCKETS OF ITS CUSTOMERS. YOU MIGHT ASK, MR. PRESIDENT, IS THIS THE CASE IN EVERY COUNTRY? AND THE ANSWER IS, NO. IN OTHER COUNTRIES THAT USE VISA AND MASTERCARD, SOMETHING INTERESTING HAS OH, KIEWRMTD TO YOU KNOW WHAT THE INTER — OCCURRED. DO YOU KNOW WHAT THE INTERCHANGE FEE IS ON VISA AND MASTERCARD
2074
01:06:22,000 –>01:06:21,999
CANADA?
2075
01:06:22,000 –>01:06:21,999
DEBIT CARD TRANSACTIONS IN ZERO. NO FEE.
2078
01:06:25,000 –>01:06:24,999
DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS IN EUROPE? IT’S A TINY FRACTION OF WHAT IT IS IN THE UNITED STATES. SO FOR VISA AND MASTER CARD THE BANKS THAT ISSUE THESE CARDS TO ARGUE THAT EVEN REDUCING INTERCHANGE FEES WILL CRIPPLE THEM, WILL FORCE THEM TO RAISE FEES, WILL CANCEL SERVICES THAT THEY ALREADY OFFER IS TO BELIE THE REALITY THAT IN MANY PLACES IN THE WORLD, UNLIKE AMERICA, THEY ARE NOT OVERCHARGING MERCHANTS. THEY HAVE REASONABLE INTERCHANGE FEES AND IN SOME PLACES NO INTERCHANGE FEES. LET’S LOOK AT “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” THAT BECAUSE OF SWIPE FEE REFORM YOU’LL SOON BE PAYING FOR CHECK WRITING PRIVILEGES. WELL, THIS IS AN OLD SAW. WE’VE HEARD IT BEFORE. AND IT’S SURPRISING THE “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” WOULD REPEAT THIS ARGUMENT TO SAY THAT INTERCHANGE REFORM WILL START CAUSING PEOPLE TO PAY FOR THEIR OWN CHECKING ACCOUNTS. I WOULD URGE THEM, IF THEY CAN,
2109
01:07:20,000 –>01:07:19,999
NEWSPAPER. READ BACK ISSUES OF THEIR OWN LET’S GO BACK TO NOVEMBER 12, 2008, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” ARTICLE ENTITLED — QUOTE — “BANKS BOOST CUSTOMER FEES TO RECORD HIGHS.” THIS IS LONG BEFORE THE DURBIN AMENDMENT, MR. PRESIDENT. THEY WERE ALREADY RAISING FEES AND THEY WILL CONTINUE TO RAISE FEES AND THAT’S WHY SOME OF THE BANKS ENJOY HUGE PROFIT MARGINS AND DRAMATIC BONUSES FOR THE EXECUTIVES THAT WORK THERE. THEY MIGHT READ THE OPENING LINE
2125
01:07:47,000 –>01:07:46,999
OF THAT ARTICLE WHICH SAID — QUOTE — “BANKS ARE RESPONDING TO THE TROUBLED ECONOMY BY JACKING UP FEES ON THEIR CHECKING ACCOUNTS TO RECORD AMOUNTS.”
2131
01:07:55,000 –>01:07:54,999
I’M QUOTING “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”. THEY WERE ALREADY RAISING FEES ON CUSTOMERS LONG BEFORE THIS DEBATE BEGAN. ANOTHER LINE IN THE SAME ARTICLE SAYS THE AVERAGE COST OF CHECKING ACCOUNT FEES INCLUDING A.T.M. SURCHARGES AND BOUNCED CHECK FEES HAVE HIT RECORD HIGHS. THAT WAS 2008, LONG BEFORE OUR DEBATE ON THE FLOOR HERE. IF “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” WRITERS CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO READ THEIR OWN NEWSPAPER, I URGE THEM WHAT THE BANK OF AMERICA
2148
01:08:29,000 –>01:08:28,999
SAID — QUOTE — “CUSTOMERS SPOKESWOMAN, ANN PACE SAID, SHE NEVER HAD FREE CHECKING ACCOUNTS. THEY ALWAYS PAID FOR IT IN OTHER
2153
01:08:38,000 –>01:08:37,999
FEES.” WAYS, SOMETIMES WITH PENALTY AGAIN, THIS IS A SPOKESMAN FOR THE INDUSTRY BEING BRUTALLY HONEST ABOUT FREE CHECKING. IT ASTONISHES ME HOW MUCH PEOPLE REPEAT THE BANKING INDUSTRY’S
2160
01:08:52,000 –>01:08:51,999
CHECKING. TALKING POINTS OUT FACT BANKS ALWAYS SAY IF ANYBODY TRIES TO REGULATE THEM IT WILL LEAD TO HIGHER CONSUMER FEES AND CHECKING FEES AND REPORTERS PRINT IT LIKE IT’S THE GOSPEL. HASN’T ANYONE REALIZED THAT THREATENING HIGHER CONSUMER FEES IS A GREAT STRATEGY TO SCARE AWAY ANY EFFORTS AT REFORM. IT’S A GREAT TACTIC BECAUSE IT’S ALL SPECULATION, YOU CAN’T PROVE
2173
01:09:14,000 –>01:09:13,999
HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE. OR DISPROVE WHAT’S GOING TO WHAT WE CAN DO IS LOOK AT PAST EXPERIENCE AN USE IT AS GUIDE. FOR EXAMPLE, WE KNOW IN THE LAST FEW YEARS BANKS AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES HAVE TRIED TO RAISE FEES ON CONSUMERS AND MERCHANTS AS HIGH AS THE MARKET WILL A ALLOW THEM TO GO. WE KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT COMPETITIVE MARKETS WHICH “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” SHOULD HONOR BEFORE THEY HONOR THESE DUOPOLIES INVOLVED IN PRICE
2188
01:09:40,000 –>01:09:39,999
FIXING, COMPETITIVE MARKETS OVERSEEN BY REASONABLE REGULATION ARE THE BEST WAY TO KEEP FEES AND PRICES AT AN APPROPRIATE LEVEL. UNFORTUNATELY WE ALSO KNOW THE CURRENT INTERCHANGE SYSTEM IS AN
2195
01:09:52,000 –>01:09:51,999
MARKET. UNREGULATED, UNCOMPETITIVE THAT’S WHY WE SEE FEES HIDDEN, NONNEGOTIABLE AND MANY TIMES HIGHER THAN A COMPETITIVE MARKET WOULD PRODUCE. LET’S TALK ABOUT “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”‘S SUITS ON HOW WIPE — VIEWS ON HOW SWIPE FEE REFORM WILL AJOURNAL. THEY SAY IT’S A HOAX THAT IT IS PRO-CONSUMER THAT THE LITTLE GUY IS GOING TO GET TRAMPLED. HOW FREQUENTLY HAVE YOU TURNED TO “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” TO FIND OUT WHO’S GOING TO STAND UP FOR THE LITTLE GUY IN AMERICA? ALMOST NEVER IN MY CASE.
2213
01:10:35,000 –>01:10:34,999
AND CERTAINLY THEY HAVE THIS WRONG. SOME SAY IT’S GREAT THAT “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” NOW CARES ABOUT CONSUMERS. I WOULD — YESTERDAY THEY SAID THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE CONGRESS
2220
01:10:45,000 –>01:10:44,999
KILL THE CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU. THIS IS A SERIES, MR. PRESIDENT, THERE IS A RECURRING THEME HERE, MR. PRESIDENT, AND THE THEME IS CONSUMERS ARE GOING TO LOSE AND MERCHANTS ARE GOING TO LOSE AND SMALL BUSINESS IS GOING TO LOSE
2228
01:10:57,000 –>01:10:56,999
IF THIS DEFENDER OF THE FREE MARKET, “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL”, HAS ITS WAYS. HERE’S THE REALITY. CONSUMERS RIGHT NOW ARE PAYING FOR THE INTERCHANGE SYSTEM. IN NOVEMBER 2009, THE G.A.O. SAID THAT UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM MERCHANTS PASS ON THEIR
2237
01:11:12,000 –>01:11:11,999
INCREASING CARD ACCEPTANCE COST TO THE CUSTOMERS. THE ASSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA, WHICH SUPPORTS MY AMENDMENT, AND OPPOSES THE REPEAL THAT IS NOW UNDER WAY, DOES CARE ABOUT CONSUMERS. THAT’S WHY THEY EXIST. HERE’S WHAT THEY SAID IN A LETTER THIS WEEK, THE CURRENT INTERCHANGE SYSTEM IS NONCOMPETITIVE AND HARMFUL TO CONSUMERS. IT IS UNJUST TO REQUIRE LESS AFFLUENT AMERICANS WHO DO NOT PARTICIPATE OR BENEFIT FROM THE PAYMENT CARD OR BANKING SYSTEM TO PAY FOR EXCESSIVE DEBIT INTERCHANGE FEES THAT ARE PASSED THROUGH TO THE COST OF GOODS AND SERVICES. THAT QUOTE FROM THE CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA. PUBLIC CITIZEN, HISPANIC INSTITUTE SUBMITTED TESTIMONY LAST MONTH WHERE THEY SAID THE CURRENT SWIPE FEE MARKET IS BROKEN AND ALL CONSUMERS PAY MORE FOR LESS BECAUSE OF
2266
01:12:00,000 –>01:11:59,999
ESCALATING SWIPE FEES. THEY SAID — QUOTE — “16 COUNTRIES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION REGULATE SWIPE A FEES — SWIPE FEES AND THAT IT BENEFITS CONSUMERS IN LOWER FEES AND LOWER COSTS OF GOODS. MAKE NO MISTAKE, MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT’S AT STAKE HERE WITH THE EFFORT TO REPEAL OR DELAY THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS REFORM ON BEHALF OF BUSINESSES, LARGE AND SMALL ACROSS AMERICA, WHAT’S AT STAKE HERE, MR. PRESIDENT IS A HANDOUT TO THE LARGEST BANKS IN AMERICA AND THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES OF MORE THAN $15 BILLION A YEAR. A BAILOUT WASN’T ENOUGH FOR THESE BIG BANKS, NOW THEY WANT A HANDOUT AND “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” IS STANDING ON THE
2288
01:12:44,000 –>01:12:43,999
NOTION. SIDELINES APPLAUDING THAT THESE DEFENDERS OF FREE ENTERPRISE CAN’T WAIT TO CONSTRUCT A SYSTEM WHERE THE LARGEST BANKS ON WALL STREET AND THE CREDIT CARD GIANTS CAN TAKE MORE MONEY OUT OF OUR ECONOMY FROM SMALL BUSINESSES AND CONSUMERS ALIKE. THAT’S THEIR IDEA OF FREE ENTERPRISE.
2300
01:13:03,000 –>01:13:02,999
“THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” IT’S NOT MINE. ACCUSES ME OF PUSHING FOR SWIPE REFORM AS A — QUOTE — “SOCK TO WAL-MART AND HOME DEPOT AND OTHER GIANT RETAILERS.” MAKE NO MISTAKE, EVERYONE MERCHANT, EVERY BUSINESS ACCEPTING DEBIT CARDS IS GOING TO BE ACCEPTED BY THIS REFORM, LARGE AND SMALL. BUT THE FACTS TELL US A DIFFERENT STORY TOO. EVERYONE WHO ACCEPTS DEBIT CARDS
2314
01:13:27,000 –>01:13:26,999
REFORM. WILL BENEFIT FROM SWIPE FEE NOT JUST BIG MERCHANTS, BUT SMALL BUSINESSES, UNIVERSITIES, HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, CHARITIES, GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, AND, AS WELL AS MANY OTHERS, CONVENIENCE STORES, THE LIST GOES ON. I HEARD A STUDY TWO YEARS AGO AND HELD A HEARING IN MY APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE HOW MUCH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS
2327
01:13:53,000 –>01:13:52,999
DOLLAR. INTERCHANGE WITH OUR TAXPAYERS THE TOTAL WAS $116 MILLION A YEAR. SUPPORTING THE REPEAL OR DELAY OF THIS REFORM ARE IMPOSING ADDITIONAL DEBT ON A GOVERNMENT ALREADY DEEP IN DEBT AN WHERE WILL THOSE DEBTS BE — AND WHERE WILL THOSE DEBTS BE INCURRED, FOR THE BIGGEST BANKS ON WALL STREET AND THE BIGGEST CREDIT CARD COMPANIES. I TRIED TO REFORM THE GOVERNMENT INTERCHANGE RATE LAST YEAR, BUT COULDN’T GET IT THROUGH. I’LL BE BACK. I’VE BEEN AT THIS INTERCHANGE REFORM EFFORT FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS. I GOT INTO IT BECAUSE OF A HEARING HELD BY THEN REPUBLICAN SENATOR ARLEN SPECTER. BEFORE THAT HEARING, I DIDN’T EVEN UNDERSTAND THIS ISSUE. AFTER IT, I DECIDED SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE. I WOULDN’T BE DOING THIS IF IT WERE JUST FOR THE BIG BOX COMPANIES. I WOULDN’T BE FIGHTING SO HARD FOR REFORM IF IT WASN’T GOOD FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND GOOD FOR
2360
01:14:46,000 –>01:14:45,999
ECONOMY. THE CONSUMERS AND THE AMERICAN I HOPE THAT “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” IS AWARE THAT CARD COMPANIES LIKE VISA CHARGE HIGHER INTERCHANGE FEES TO SHAWBS THAN TO BIG — SMALL BUSINESSES THAN TO BIG BUSINESSES.
2369
01:14:58,000 –>01:14:57,999
COMPETITION? HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT FOR WOULDN’T IT BE NICE IF “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” STOOD UP FOR SMALL BUSINESSES ONCE AND A WHILE. LOOK AT VISA’S WEB SITE AT THEIR INTERCHANGE RATES FOR RAIL DEB — RETAIL DEBIT. YOU WILL SEE THAT THE BIGGEST HAVE TO PAY 13 CENTS, SMALLER RETAILERS 95%. DOLLAR FOR DOL — DOLLAR, INTERCHANGE REFORM
2383
01:15:24,000 –>01:15:23,999
THAN BIG ONES. WILL HELP SMALL BUSINESSES MORE THAT’S THE REALITY OF THIS REFORM. MR. PRESIDENT, I DON’T EXPECT TO EVER BE ENDORSED BY “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.”
2390
01:15:32,000 –>01:15:31,999
ENDORSEMENTS. I DON’T EVEN KNOW IF THEY MAKE I HAVEN’T EVEN ASKED. BUT I’M GOING TO INSIST THAT THEY STICK WITH THE FACTS. AND I KNOW “THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” ISN’T GOING TO STRAY VERY FAR FROM WALL STREET BANKS, WHICH BEAR THE SAME BASIC NAME, AS WELL AS THE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES THAT ARE DUOPOLIES IN THIS AMERICAN ECONOMY. I’M GOING TO CONTINUE THIS
2403
01:15:51,000 –>01:15:50,999
BATTLE FOR MAIN STREET, NOT WALL STREET. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES WHO ARE BEING INUNDATED, LITERALLY INUNDATED BY BANKING LOBBYISTS RIGHT NOW TO STOP THIS REFORM, THAT WHEN THEY GO HOME, STEER AWAY FROM THE BIG BANKS. GO TO THE SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ACCEPT CREDIT CARDS AND DEBIT CARDS. GO TO ANY ONE OF THEM AND ASK THEM WHETHER THEY THINK THIS IS AN IMPORTANT REFORM FOR THE FUTURE OF THEIR SMALL BUSINESS, THEIR EMPLOYEES, AND FOR THE LOCAL ECONOMY. I THINK THEY’RE GOING TO HEAR THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STORIES. SOME OF THESE SMALL BUSINESSES CAN’T AFFORD THE LOBBYISTS THAT ARE PROWLING THE HALLS OF WASHINGTON TODAY, BUT THEY DESERVE OUR ATTENTION AS MUCH IF NOT MORE THAN THE BIG BANKS ON
2428
01:16:27,000 –>01:16:26,999
COMPANIES. WALL STREET AND THE CREDIT CARD MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR
2431
01:16:30,000 –>01:16:29,999
AND SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: