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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 7, 2012 9:00am-12:00pm EST

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the current budget proposal deal sufficiently with the kinds of threat and responds we are providing to those threats? >> it absolutely does. senator nelson, i can say this because i am first among equals when it comes to the combat commanders. if i need something that go to secretary norm mineta and get it. i am well resources. ..
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>> rob? rob. just want to make sure you knew i was in my seat, prepared to go. >> that is awesome, lawrence. we are trying to keep up the laws and traditions. we have this echo going with the speakers and the mic. can you hear it? it's kind of cool. it's like i'm at a concert. all right. i'm just telling you. very good. our next panel is going to focus on the attorneys general role in combating intellectual property hybrid see on college campuses.
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we are very honored to have senator chris dodd, chairman and ceo of the motion picture association of america to provide us with an introduction on the topic. and again we're getting serious backlog here. can you guys adjusted or not? there's a bit of a delay. how about now? that's much better, thank you. will you please join me in welcoming senator chris dodd? [applause] >> good afternoon and thank you immensely for the invitation to do with all of you. today i'm delighted to comply as many of you may know i is that my previous three and half decades in the other building up the road from your. someone asked me if i missed congress, and i said yes, but not this congress. so i'm glad to be in my new job as the head of the motion picture association following in the steps of the and glickman, and before that jack. who served almost four years,
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the ceo and chairman of the association. i left the senate last year, minus seven year old, i have two very young children, i was the only candidate i knew who had mail from diaper services and aarp for a while. christine astin, i asked her what she'd like her father to do now that he was leaving public life in the senate. she paused a moment and said, she said i would like you to own the zoo and a candy store. so when i took this job i told her i had fulfilled both of her life's ambitions. it's an honor to be invited to comply this morning and to introduce the panel on campus piracy today. i would like to personally again thank rob mckenna for the invitation to come by, and also or everything he and all of you are doing. along with the international association, the attorneys general to help advance the battle against online content theft and counterfeiting.
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also apply to recognize as will those who will be the panelists you hear from shortly to my industry colleague and good friend from nbc, universal. larry conrad from the university of north killer, and joseph from the university state university of new york at as we discussed the problems posed by online piracy, and counterfeiting, there is an important fundamental truth to remember about our business, the film and television industry. hollywood is pro-internet. we are pro-innovation. our business is built on innovation. just look at imax, 3-d, instant streaming, video on demand, along with many other ideas that have occurred and built by this industry. i believe it is critically important that any solution to the piracy problem protecting free and open internet and continue to foster cutting edge innovation. but it's also clear that any overall solution will need to include a plan of action that our nation's colleges and universities. congress recognized this in 2008
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with the passage of the higher education opportunities out, under that law requires institutions of higher learning to reduce digital content theft on their own university networks. university students are growing up in an era far different from the one that many of us were involved in when we went to college or the universities. it's far different from states who attended college even a few years ago. information is at their fingertips like never before, in both legal and illegal forms. some of our youth, freedom of speech universities and cherish cannot coexist. i couldn't disagree more. the supreme court reaffirmed just this year the founders of the course and i quote, saw copyright as an engine of free expression by establishing a marketable right to use of one's expression, copyright supplies, the economic incentive to create
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and disseminate ideas. end quote. i firmly believe universities can and should play a vital role in reducing, or educating rather, students about the importance of representing the property rights in law. and the motion picture a solution stands ready to work with those universities and colleges and their students along with the state attorneys general to represent these state universities to a sure that this nation remains the most creative and innovative on this planet. a place i want edwards to congratulate him to fulfill their creative ambitions and dreams, whether it be new york, nashville, boston, seattle or hollywood for that matter, aren't many of the other growing centers where creative content is produced throughout our nation. but as this panel will discuss campus piracy, it is critical that not just being considered the debate about downloading music and movies, in dorm rooms,
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as attorney general mckenna wrote last fall, i quote him again, the sale of counterfeit product and piracy of copyrighted content online not only undermines our nation's economy, it robs state and local governments of much-needed tax revenue and jobs. even worse he went on to say, some counterfeit goods could pose serious health and safety hazard to consumers. i couldn't agree more. the study by envision now nearly one quarter of all global internet traffic involves copyright theft. let me repeat that. a study found that nearly one quarter of all internet traffic involves copyright theft. at the heart of the problem is the proliferation of foreign rogue sites whose sole purpose is to facilitate and profit from the theft and counterfeiting of intellectual property. according to the institute for policy innovation, the theft of credit content all creative content driven by rogue sites
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foreign and domestic, cause our nation $16 billion in earnings each year, $3 billion in state, local, and federal taxes each year, at a total of 58 billion in economic output each year. as attorney general mckenna also mention, the growth of these rogue sites also has potentially serious health and safety risk for our nation as well. these are sophisticated enterprises. they do not just traffic in stolen movies and television. they market counterfeit products such as prescription drugs, auto parts, aerospace and defense equipment. even equipment for local police and firefighting departments. they are selling american parents children's pajamas that turn out to be flammable anti-american law enforcement officers will approve this that are anything but. as "the wall street journal" recently reported, the makers of the career of a cancer drug have announced a counterfeit vials of
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that drug have made a way to the american patients posing additional risks. recent research by the national association of boards of pharmacy found that more than 96% of sites offering prescription drugs for sale are doing so illegally. creating a significant health risk for all americans. criminal activity doesn't end there, unfortunately. these rogue sites often look just like legitimate websites that use valid methods of payment, which means many people use them and intentionally without realizing they are criminal site. when they enter their credit card information, they are extremely vulnerable to identity theft which is a growing problem in our country. these cyber criminals also are becoming increasingly sophisticated in selling their products to popular online search engines and advertising services that make their products appear to be legitimate. some american companies are reaping huge profits from this illegal activity by selling the
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advertising linked to these counterfeit products. simply put, they're taking money from the illegal companies in exchange for the prime space advertising in america, to american consumers. in the past year according to technology, there were more than 690 million uploads and downloads of unauthorized copies of major motion pictures via the p2p technologies. this is just a small portion of the piracy problem. infringing copies of movies that were viewed, unaccounted millions of other times by accessing links to cyber lockers by streaming from largely foreign websites and through other technology means. in the mega upload? federal investors tell us that the man and his colleague made more than $175 million through subscription fees and online ads. while robbing authors, publishers, movie makers,
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musicians, video game developers and other copyright holders more than $500 million. some continue to argue that the debate about piracy and counterfeiting is not about the money. don't believe it. as the famous '20s century punk and h. in macon was fond of telling you, when it's not about the money, it's about the money. just look at he's not alone. there are companies out of both legal and illegal who are reaping huge profits from the theft of intellectual property. when it comes to piracy, college students are just one part of the problem i would add, but this is a generation of the future as all of us understand end of the ever took any hope of being successful in this effort we need to come eat with these students and help them understand the full ramifications and dangers to them personally of engaging the theft of intellectual property. we need to engage them in her effort to ensure that the internet remains a free and open
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cornerstone of innovation in our businesses. young people are key consumers of our content online, and we want to ensure that they can continue to legally watch the shows and movies they love and a whole host of different formats online. we believe that both innovation and cooperation of the tech companies are critical parts of the conversation about content theft. but as all of you know, the problem also goes much deeper than young people in college. in any real solution will need the assistance of our nation's law enforcement community in curbing this rampant criminal activity. i believe that our attorneys general will and must play a major role in that effort. i look forward as we do at the mpa along with others in working with you to provide answers to this ever-growing problem. i thank you for listing this afternoon. [applause]
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>> so we are going to go right into the three presentations. first, we are going hear from joseph storch, counsel for the state university of new york. joe? >> okay. thank you, thank you, general. thank you, senator. and my fellow panelist. thank you so much for having me. i'm going to tell you a story about three sets of two years, 1998-99, 2008-'09, 2018 and 2019. it is a true honor to be representing the state university of new york and i really appreciate you having me. suny is one of the largest universities in the world. we do everything from educating students to running research farms, operating a nuclear power plant and the u.s. s. empire state that navigates the globe each year. it is an honor to serve my alma mater and about to be here speaking to the attorneys general. let me start with a word about fair use. as an intellectual-property attorney who spends his days
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with academics i tend to make some use of content under fair use. hopefully we can a copyright law which some find a little dry to be a little more entertaining. i see some yawning in the back already, so let's get to it. of course, if you feel it isn't fair use, feel free to speak to my little. is a very good lawyer. and if i may just pause for a second in new york as in many other states our office of attorney general handled sunnis litigations i'm not only in house counsel, but often a client as well. if you have similar relationship in your states. i have to tell you in new york i am routinely bowled over by the creativity, published and proficiency of our assistant attorneys general on the state council site. speak as a somewhat regular client of theirs they ourselves advocates for university and we appreciate that agree to. i know it is the same in all of your states. so when i sit down to think about copyright and piracy i recall the words carved into the bench in my law school, dean roscoe pound's very, very powerful quote that the law must be stable and yet it cannot
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standstill. i think back to my job taking tickets at the movie theater. back then i made $5.15 an hour which was then the minimum wage. i had been a music fan since i was a young child and spent a a healthy my mediocre take over a on cds and concert. in order to listen to a single phone at home i had to buy an entire cd from tower records, $20 for the cd meaning i had to direct people down the hall on the right come down the hall, ma'am, could you please ask your son to stop spilling soda. for three or four hours just to listen to a single song. there were millions of music fans in the same boat. it was only a year later that northeastern university sophomore release the first version of napster. all of a sudden the pent-up frustration of not being able to access music at economically appropriate price along with a feeling that if it is on the internet it is accessible, it must be okay, led millions to illegally upload and download copyrighted music. these were not hardened
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criminals. they would never think of stealing a cd or dvd from a store. this is not to justify their behavior, only to attempt explained economically what had happened to some of us understood the moral issues. there are many people including members of my family to make their living by making music, and discuss with is the impact of filesharing. through those discussions i found myself signing up while my classmates were downloading from napster. what interested me most was even the media was changing at the time to the magazine cosmo girl featured an article in this section your fabulous life, that advised teenagers how to swap cds, show your great music with a friend and vice versa. that's right, a magazine published by the hearst corporation, one of the biggest in the world, with teaching how to pirate music. and, of course, there's the often speakers have any of you ever faced dilemmas in the workplace? >> anybody? >> this is a chance for you to
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say something without any repercussions. stanley, author, come on? anybody else? >> i downloaded i voted music. >> who hasn't? good, good. >> i would like to talk to you more about that. >> around the same time congress passed the copyright act. the great and administered method for rights holders to take notice is hosting an operator and a true. although the dmca has its detractors, i would argue that congress acted properly to avoid a glut of minor copyright cases that would cloud courts all over the country. there's a process, albeit a coveted and rarely used one, for those with materials legitimately to make that argument and had to content restored to the isp. they dmca provides isvs with a safe harbor provided do not actively participate in or benefit from the sharing of that infant accounting and that they take certain actions when they received a dmca takedown notice.
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skipping 10 years ahead, the 2008 and 2009, we saw congress passed a higher education opportunity act already reference. among the requirements for college and universities that are too concerning peer-to-peer fire shelling on what my co-author and i referred to as the notice provision and the written plan provision. the notice element was not burdensome but it required institutions published a statement that unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material may violate civil and criminal law, a summit of the penalties for violating that law, and a description of the college's specific penalties and policies for addressing piracy. the written plan component is somewhat more involved. there are six elements to the written plan and i want to key in on three. you have to have a written policy and the policy must include an education component. colleges have addressed this requirement in different and creative ways. cornell and ucla have created
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innovative videos that are accessible on the web and powerful teaching tools for the students. several suny institutions -- the legislation is clear that active monitoring is not required that rather as a dmca institutions must take action when notified of a violation. finally, the policy must include potential use of the disciplinary process for student violators. the plan must include the use of one or more technology bases. the regulations that came out of the statute are technology neutral. institutions need not purchase anything but they may, as marshall state and the suny system speaks well of their purchase of the package. each institution may choose for itself and appropriate technology based deterrent including packet shaping and content filters, and, of course, the low-tech option of accepting and responding to dmca notices. the university of michigan has developed an intriguing warning program where students receive a message when a potentially uploading music, and you hear
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more about their innovative hall pass program from larry conrad in a few minutes. colleges may offer legal alternatives as they deem appropriate. higher education has had some difficulty for some time now fight a successful legal alternatives to offer to students at appropriate prices. although recent events lead me to believe we may be moving in a good direction on that front. let me spend a minute or two on the president to show where we may be going in the future. those of you who follow basketball the have heard a word or two recently on a recent phenomena that has hit new york called the insanity. long-suffering knicks fans like my wife and myself hadn't seen a really talented knicks team with a chance of going anywhere since those days when i was back at the playhouse taking tickets at the movie theater that was the last time the knicks had a team that was deep enough that could go into the players. so here we are in 2012 from elderly out of the blue drops jeremy lin, a harvard graduate from harvard in nba cut by two other teams and finally makes fans who are knicks fans to our natural has invested bunch
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believe again. why am i telling you about this? because due to a contract dispute between a network which carries knicks and rangers games and time warner cable, knicks fans across new york including newly minted knicks fans excited by his play and could story to an into games only to see when they turned on msg. and traditional hollywood fashion the story comes with a happy ending thanks to the efforts of you guessed it, my lawyer, attorney general schneiderman, msg and time warner settled and there were many, many happy makes fans who have the attorney general to thank. but prior to the evolving of the general schneiderman, schneider, what is intended do when faced with a situation? that is to succumb even if one called up time warner and offer to pay more to see the game, they could not do so nor could they received similar relief from msg. "the new york times" had coverage of what could be called the linsanity piracy issue and a report came in the many upstanding citizens, downloading
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or uploading music or movies, who went to the computer's and watched illegal streams of games and the certainty violated laws in doing so. is generally law-abiding citizens could not have access to these games lately on the cable system no matter what they would've been willing to pay. so what's correct is legally clear. to watch the knicks from a site, is against the law. as they say, it's more complicated. but what does the future hold? i can confidently say that efforts now ongoing will likely bring about significant positive changes in this area. a few weeks ago suny general counsel and i met with david greene at her next speaker, rick cotton, at 30 rockefeller center to discuss potential ways to unpack and solve these complicated issues. this is not an exact rendition of the meeting. all joking aside i got to the meeting early and one of the things that impress in both about the room to put his income and a maven simply accidental was that we sat around the round
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table for a constructive discussion. they are insert a different feeling sitting around a roundtable been sitting on opposite sides of the table as the industry in our education have done for many years. it set a nice tone and my hope is that i continue to work together we can find creative and efficient methods for higher education to comply with the law and for the entertainment industry to protect the intellectual property. suny understands this all too well. our universities spend more than one thing dollars a year in spite of research and her faculty and students create untold amounts of copyrighted material. intellectual property is crucial to the mission and future of the state university of new york as it is to the future of the members of the entertainment industry. i will and where i began with those walls on that into the courtroom. the law must be stable and yet again that standstill. society has changed and copyright law must be strong but it must advance. higher education and injured -- and exciting and innovative ways to protect intellectual property while providing in need of legal and appropriately priced option
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sources. you as the chief wife wasn't officers have a role to play in assisting and encouraging such advancement technological change need not read the. let's seize the opportunity provided by two technologies to forge the 2018 were college students access content and appropriate price that protects and encourages our creation. i look forward to seeing you there. thank you. >> thank you, joe. [applause] next we'll hear from rick cotton, executive vice president and general counsel for nbc universal. rick. >> thank you very much. i appreciate the opportunity to be here. i come before you certainly in my day job as general counsel of the nbc universal but also serve and have served in the last five years as the chair of the coalition against counterfeiting and piracy of the u.s. chamber of commerce. and in that coalition we have more than 700 trade associations
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and companies, representing roughly 24 of the highest growth sectors of the u.s. economy. i would like to put in context the discussion we're having about the universe and the role of universities in addressing what i think of as the rule of law on the internet. what i can report to you is that every single sector of the 24 so sectors represented in the coalition has indicated that the problem, stolen digital content and the distribution of counterfeit goods on the internet is getting worse, not better. every single sector. and so the framework here, i think in fairness of terms of what we're discussing, is to the question of how does a rule of law come to the broadband internet. everyone is familiar with the fact that in every aspect of modern 21st century's society, the internet is visualized as a key pillar.
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whether that is information, commerce, and on and on. and in the framework, i think everyone around this table would agree that we cannot have a vision of the broadband internet of the wild west him as somalia, where there is simply no, where anything goes. and what i would say is that there's a certain degree of which the broadband internet didn't begin with this notion of it should be lightly regulated, it derives growth, it in fact does bring huge positive. but what we are talking about here is not the notion of economic regulation, but it is the basic regulation of lawful, civilized behavior which starts with f. and certainly extends way beyond that to child pornography and to other issues, where we cannot be the ultimate outcome, whether simply no rule of law on the internet. and i would put that framework around the fact that in terms of talking about stolen digital
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content, the distribution of counterfeit goods, it is one element of a much broader challenge to assure that, in fact, our normal day-to-day laws apply in the physical world are applied in a sensible and effective way on the internet. the second is just to stress the importance of the issues. i would say, and i don't mean this as a criticism, but this is not a nuisance crime. and i think what has happened over the last 20 years is that we've gone from, and here i would quote the former head of the world customs organization, to where the distribution of counterfeit goods and stolen digital content has gone from what he called a cottage industry, this is in the time of his 20 years, to what he called the second industrial revolution. and simply the scale of counterfeiting and stolen digital theft is out of control. it is growing larger and it issued. just to pick up on one of the basis does ask that senator dodd reference but it's not only that a corner of the broadband, other
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broadband bandwidth is utilized for distribution of stolen digital content, but if you look at the number, the quantity of activity, that same study found that if you just go to the normal comscore which is like the nielsen of the internet, you have to hundred 15 million visits a month to torrent sites which are overwhelming for the purpose of acquiring stolen digital content. before the upload was indicted and shutdown, it had more than 90 million visits a year. pirate bay has more than 35 million visits a year. so the u.s. chamber of commerce did a study which included 138 sites, which included both counterfeit physical goods as well as stolen content, and found that every year there are more than 50 billion visits, 50 billion visits every year to those sites, collectively. that's more than any individual site like google that you can
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name with the highest number of visits. so we have a set of activities on the broadband internet which is truly astonishing in its scale. final point with respect to that, as everyone in this room understands, the u.s. doesn't aspire to be a low-cost manufacturing site. what we aspire to was to have high growth, high value add sectors of our economy, which are inadvertently driven by our technical invention, are innovation and our creativity. if we don't assure that the economic benefits of those qualities, which are almost unique to the u.s. economic society in terms of their strength, we compromised seriously both the country's economic future, but i think exactly the economic future of the students of universities we're talking about today. so point number three is that in terms of talking about university efforts with respect to reducing the amount of
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accessing stolen digital content, i would just like to point out that we're talking about the context of multiple sectors that support the broadband internet. and my own view is that unless we affect activities of the sectors that create the broadband internet and support it and building technological queues, particularly to the younger generation as to what's acceptable and what is not. we won't make forward progress. but if you look at the video sharing site led by youtube, the fact is they have put in filtering technology that prevents the easy upload of copyrighted content but if you look on the tragedy, the isps voluntarily made an agreement which became public last july in which they have agreed to forward on a very substantial scale notice is received from content companies about individual ip addresses that have been detected uploading or downloading unauthorized
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content. the payment process, the credit card companies entered into an agreement which was actually promoted by the white house in which they have agreed not to do business with the foreign sites mentioned by the center which are dedicated to infringing activity. there are similar conversations going on with the advertising networks and the framework here is that the sectors that create the internet that are the basis, either of the traffic or the funding that flows to participants within the ecosystem really have to become part of a solution. and that is the framework. this is not an exclusive focus on universities. it is that they are a very important element. in fact, i would actually say in terms of the demographic of the students and the demographic of the age group that actually primarily engages in this kind of content, kind of conduct, that they are really critical. it is really important the younger generation growing up to
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understand both on a technological basis as well as an educational basis. as to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. and so here generally that the framework for the legal obligations in terms of documentation and a written plan. i think that it goes, it is really critical that they're not only be a technological messages that come from the way that the university i.t. system is operated, as well as messaging, so that the students, the younger generation, really comes to understand what is acceptable conduct and what is not. and so i think what we are talking about here is universities both leading by example in terms of specific measures that they put in place, and really critically engaging and educational task of educating the younger generation. that is their futures and their jobs that are at stake, unless we respect intellectual property on the internet. so thanks very much. [applause]
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>> next we'll hear from larry conrad, vice chancellor for i.t. and the cio for the university of north carolina. >> good afternoon and thanks for the opportunity to come and speak on this topic, which i think i can speak on behalf of my cio colleagues across the country in higher education. we do take this very sickly. but anyway, as i was talking with my panel colleagues, as were planning about how to approach this, without a degree to sort of work our way down, if you will, a hierarchy which leads me batting cleanup. so we have heard lots of things about the problem. lots of things about the challenges, and college and universities altar boys all the stuff comes down to someone like me has to figure out okay, so what do we do, what can we do about it. the good news i think, for unc
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chapel hill we've come up with what we think is a multi-faceted approach to this thing. and while we certain have technologies, their fundamental idea is not really a technological i.t. what we are trying to do as we've heard a thing from everyone here is our goal is to change people's behavior. you know, it's a terrible analogy i guess, but it's like trying to work with the mexican government to cut down drug smuggling. you've got to work on the demand side of that, not just the supply-side. at any rate, let me go to, let's see, speaking of technology, this isn't working. is this the right one? good, great. okay, so from my standpoint, cio, this is how the landscape roughly looked to me. so we are receiving hundreds of these, dmca notices every year, from content providers and
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reporting these detection of problems on our campus. it's not a mystery. it's not uniformly distributed. for the most part our cancer research, researchers are not doing illegal filesharing. its students, and in our case we have a large resident populati population, the fast, i should say a large majority of those are coming out of our resident halls, our resident arena. so that's what we thought would be the place to attack this. this is a serious problem. we want our students to come to campus to be educated and to help discover new knowledge. as a former colleague of mine at yale once said, we want our students to leave with a degree, not with a rap sheet. so we are very interested in trying to address this. so complaints expose the students to potential negative
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issues, and it also exposes the university as well. and university has a responsibility to try to minimize their exposure. our hope, i think all of us here, if we can get our students to fundamentally change behavior, at least in the time that they're with us before they go out and ultimately become gainfully employed, we will make a substantive and real and permanent difference in people's behavior over time. next. there we go. so let me run through quickly the concepts of the hall pass program. the basic program is to comply with the higher education opportunity act of 2008, and you heard the three components that were involved with it. the hall pass program is focused on number one and number two. number three issue i think as joe pointed out, there's some promising developments are those things go beyond things -- so
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what we have decided to do is pilot program in 2011, and i will talk more about that in a minute, and then we implemented sort of in full form in the residence halls for last fall. so the fundamentals of how this works, when a user connects and the resident halls, mike to come when they connect to the network they are required to have an agent download on the computer, and then in our particular case, the company -- it runs on their machine and if the user does not have the agent, they just can't get on the network. they don't have to install the agent but if they want to be in the residence hall and connect to a network, they do have to install the. the agent run some test cases that we developed looking for pdp program signatures but if we find a pdp program, then user is automatically, first of all, the
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network connection is automatic restrictive. the user is automatically contacted and prompted to do one of two things. one is remove the offending software, in which case they will scan again and they can go on. or if they believe that they have some legitimate reason for running that ttp software, and there are some legitimate uses of the software, then they can accept our so-called hall pass program and we will let them continue to run the program and have access to the network. >> there's a bit of a delay. okay, but if they do the come if they choose to join the hall pass program and if we get another copyright notice on them, then again this is all automated, the users directly referred to the dean of students and that typically results in
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honor court charges. so previous to that, this had been a fairly time intensive activity, time my staff spent on this even though it was meant as student affairs issue. we would have to do the contacting of the students. we would schedule and upon the. we would recommend, give them a lecture, and then the material about the problem, and then they were sent off to hopefully do good. sometimes they did, sometimes they didn't. but anyway it didn't get -- that became a problem. all right, so some of the tidbits that we found in running this thing is the first of all the vast majority of our students that have had ttp detected have chosen to remove the software. very good thing. the hall pass agreement are reset every semester such as because everything is clear or fall, you have to do it all over again in the spring, for
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example. for last fall we had 40 out of our nominal eight, 9000 residence hall students who elected to the hall pass program. so far at least in preparing for this presentation for spring semester 2012-15. you can see very, very rarely that someone join the program. interestingly enough to me, we had a couple hundred students who just, they have to digitally accept the software, and i guess there's some people who are against the idea of the green to anything online. so they refused to agree to our automated program. but they still install the software so we got the kind of results we are looking for. there's a bit of a challenge involved with this but as i said just some technology involved, we do have to watch the signatures and change those signatures. there's some maintenance involved to make that happen, it's not terribly onerous but it does have to be done. and one of the issues, questions
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i got earlier was, well, do we do bandwidth shaping or any kind of restrictions or resident halls? no, we decided early on that just squeezing down the pike wasn't changing, you were going to change people's behavior all you do is sort of move those, you know, the point at which they will do the crime, if you were. so we believe that students should have free and open access to the internet, and wanting to change their behavior. and then finally as part of, you know, that's technology is the main piece the one i want to talk about. also i do want to point out that we did implement multifaceted, multi-point communication program with our students. we get them before, i should say as they are admitted, we send letters to their homes, to their parents. we get them during orientation. we get them when they come in and connect to the network to we
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get them once a year. so we try to keep that message out there, repeat, repeat and repeat. spent all right, so what do we think? so the results, these are not huge number's but we think they are very meaningful numbers. so for the fall of 2010 before the hall pass program went in, we found that one in seven computers that we stand in residence hall have some kind of p2p software but in the spring of 2011, when we didn't restrict them from access, but basically we did, we detected the program and send them a message saying we detected the program. we didn't do anything about it but we just let them know that when you that they were doing it. that did have an impact, and that change the ratio from one to 12 to one to seven. but if you will, pull the trigger, or fall of 2011 that went to one out of 200. so that is a huge difference.
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and the comparison for the semester, and this is just the resident hall, mind you, we separated those out, so for fall 2010 with 170 dmca complaints for fall 2011, we had 25. so that's a pretty dramatic impact. okay, now bottom line, to date we have had no, we received no copyright notices on any of the students who agreed to participate in a hall pass program. so the people who said they're going to do whatever is there going to do legally have stuck by it, and that's huge. so next step, clearly the program is effective. we like it. i love the fact i don't have to burn -- constantly trying to follow up with dmca complaints, and we're getting much better results from students. it's not cheap, and that's important to keep in mind. i have lost 25% of my budget in
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the last four years, as most public institutions have around the country. so it's tough in these difficult economic times, but, you know, understanding that, get those results we spent $120,000 to put that technology in place. but again, the return on investment was eight, 9000 students. we've also worked with industry and implemented and the school of medicine is being of limited. the point of all that is, it's probably not realistic certainly in these economic times to think that you can eliminate everything to everybody. but, you know, it's not, it's not an even field. you have to prioritize the problem, go after the subsets, if you will, that makes sense, and just makes injured in good return on your investment. that was, there we go, that was totally unreadable but -- are these slides going to be available afterwards? i did include a link. so you can follow that link at the bottom of the page.
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i thought some of you might want to go look at what is the hall pass agreement. so if you're so inclined, just follow that link. are we ready for questions because we will extend the panel 10 minutes as was 13 or 15 minutes beyond schedule to allow time for questions or do we have questions from any of the ag's around the table? >> i have one if you don't. mark? i wanted to ask about sopa and what happened in congress and which are forecast is moving forward since i know ndaa was heavily involved in that, and the problem of piracy continues to persist. general hood and i've been working on this for how long now? four years at least. by the way, he's been a tremendous leader on this whole topic, including especially the issue of piracy on campus. really glad you could be here for this. but any thoughts on where go next with sopa?
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>> it was a threshold event. i mean, i think and watching events as many of you have, how a bill becomes law. normally if you look at this process you have a unanimous vote out of the senate judiciary committee, democrats and republicans agreeing with the bill that senator leahy and senator hatch average worker. the house had a similar situation, not quite as unanimous but i think any of us would be hard-pressed to name another issue in the last four or five years we had that degree of unanimity a ready subject matter. all of you know we've had domestic legislation to do with domestic sites. in fact, have shut down some 300 or so in the last year or two but the criminals have learned very quickly that they can get outside the shores of the united states and beyond the reach of the law, and are able to avoid the kind of effort that are made domestically. and again, i have great respect for lamar smith and for howard
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berman who led the effort in the house, but i think and italy the legislation has issues that need to be addressed. but normally you do that. you have a bill introduced and then an amendment process you get back to a point where people decide this is a workable solution, move forward. this takes on a whole new life, between eight and 10 million e-mails they came flooding into a lot of it was about freedom of speech, the terms of the debate changed. a globalized the issue. you'd be hard-pressed to find 20 people interested in the the. then candidly the opportunity for it to respond was almost eliminated entirely. but the issue doesn't go away. as you've heard from the panel and others today, looking for solutions to this. i don't believe anything will happen maybe this year, against election year politics are always difficult at any level. the idea of having another issue, but this is probably unwise, although i lived up to the members of congress who
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decide that issue. my guess would be they would not try to move forward right now but there are efforts underway, and we need to try to define the solution to the issue. my hope is that we get, i mentioned briefly in my remarks, that this is where a level of cooperation between technology community and the content community, both need each other. the idea that technology can exist without content or content will exist without technology is sort of ludicrous on its face. particularly when you consider the value to this country, we didn't talk about these numbers today, the context of this and i realize they are not highly persuasive but there's a lot of misinformation about the film and television industry. this industry employs 2.2 million people every day. some are selling popcorn and others are making a lot of money. but average salary is $55,000 a year, detention, good health care benefits from the industry. we bring back more revenues to the united states than aerospace, agriculture or automobiles. it's a product that the world
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enjoys, even those who are not necessarily our friends around the world, given the choice between watching a product made by a film and television industry anywhere else in the work which is the american product. so there's a lot more at stake. this is an issue, if you have a high school diploma, a year or two of technical training, get a very good job in this industry. any of us would be hard-pressed in another industry with that kind of opportunity that exists without having completed a college education or beyond to get a good job. those are not persuasive statistics because again as rick pointed out people see this as a victimless kind of crime. how much harm can i really cause if i am stealing a film or television product from what we perceive as overpaid people in this business. i think if more people are aware how many average people, people whose names are never going to see on a marquee, but watch the credits at the end, they people in this room standing behind the cameras, opera and the sound
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systems, 90% of the employees in this business. the 2% that we read about and hear about represent a fraction of the people affected by this industry. and so, it's an important issue and my hope is that over this gap, if you will, between now and next january, they don't arsenal, that people can come together around solutions for national legislation. memorialize ideas that will allow us to move forward. in this 21st century where content and intellectual property is protected. it is the lifeblood of any country. in fact, the internet itself would've been in deep trouble if you would've had this had this attitude about copyright 20 years ago. the very idea that gave birth to this remarkable industry would be at risk, in my view. so we need some leadership on this issue and my hope is in the coming and must we will get a. i think the idea of sopa, whatever you call us, i'm pleased but don't call a sopa. think of some new name by this. this has been a mantra, almost internationally. >> very good.
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i like the answer. other questions? >> first of all, i'm going to let you use an acronym that i coined, p2p is good. peer-to-peer within sharing is good. sharing information. what we are concerned is what i call p2p three-peat. since before grokster decision which many of us who are here to testify join in on an amicus brief in support of we've been looking in utah ways to better protect those whose intellection property is being stolen but it's still a big problem in sopa and get the. but my view of what happened there and sing never set my delegation the company turned around was extremely well orchestrated internet-based, false, misinformation about what sopa and tranninety. we know wasn't perfect but the lies that were told online is
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what killed it. and then a very the orchestra internet campaign to label anybody in support of soap a, pipa, who wrote op-ed in support of sopa, pipa, people who are anti-free speech who wanted a sense of inner, who wanted to cripple the innovative economy on the internet, even my own kids, teenagers and this came down on me for being against free speech and against the internet. i'm looking right now by a major corporation who has represented in this room with her end piracy not liberty mantra, and you know, telling people to contact congress, stop censorship of the internet. i guarantee you that as trenches go for them and i'm inclined to do so, i would be right now, go forward with efforts to hold isps respond to in some way so what's going on, that we will face the same attacks that any
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ag who steps up and tries to do something will be called anti-internet, want to send your big brother and it is a very powerful lobby that will be the. so my question, and i don't have an answer right now, but ask you to think about it, as we do move forward what the plan is or urge you to think of a plan to counter and to back us up when we go forward and stick our necks out and trying to exercise our responsibility to protect citizens and those who are being victimized by this. on how to counter this in a way that will match what i believe we will see again as we move forward. >> i'm going to turn to rick and others and quickly, let me say first of all thank you. he wrote a very, one of the best pieces written during the whole debate that you will, the op-ed piece in utah. so my thanks to you for doing so, and sticking your neck out. one of the things, first of all, understand we've got to be, again, i think rick a concept as
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well, i believe him to talk more about this. we allowed ourselves to become more the opposition. again, given the general reputation, i see that respectfully, picking up the film and entertainment industry as sort of the opposition. there was little arm no mention of pharmaceutical, aerospace, long list of issues that are subject to candidate and intellectual property theft. far more dangerous in many ways but as long as it is a movie or film, how much harm could because, put aside the obvious economic impacts women talking about. i think it's important we allow this conversation to talk about the consumer being victimized in ways. i think talking about the jobs uses while some people be impressed with that, i think the idea of identity theft of actual exposing people to the dangers because of falsely marketing false or phony pharmaceutical products, last year there was some 81 people who lost their lives in this budget because they utilize a phony pharmaceutical product that cost them their lives.
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are the ways in which you demonstrate that they are at risk in many ways as a result of engaging in a practice here, where the information say credit cards can cause them lifelong problems, particularly if you're dealing with a foreign site that gets that information. so i think that has to be done. we have to move into the social media space i think to make sure we can also answer the question. we were not in that space at all and i think not being in there and i think content people, whatever it is, have a lot to say to talk to people about what we do, what we produce, why it is important to i think in the absence of having part of the discussion you leave yourself vulnerable once again to do exactly what you wiki with your your own children. >> two things very quickly. first of all, i really appreciate your support and those of many of the other attorneys general around the table. i completely agree with what you said and i think the short answer that i would give is that the coalition that supported the
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legislation included the u.s. chamber of commerce, it included the afl-cio, it included actually many of the individual sectors out of the legislation impose obligations on. but it was largely a washington-based coalition. and i think the challenge, really the two buckets that the senate are just identify, which is we need to broaden and deepen the coalition that is in support, there needs to be voices across the country well outside of washington, and that's partly an education process. it's partly simply encouraging actually both the sectors of the economy and the workers and the groups actually who derived benefit from the u.s. being a leader in technology and invention and innovation, creativity, to actually speak up and have their voices heard. and then secondly, i think we have to get a lot smarter and a lot more engaged in terms of documentation and the social
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media and respond in the way that the campaign was run this time, and be in a position to contradict claims that don't have a basis, and interest. so i think those are the big challenges, broadening and deepening the coalition and have it well outside washington, and being much more effective in communicating. >> i appreciate that. when it became this, you, silicon valley versus hollywood and big companies, are literally the millions of artists, struggling to do with the ones who are being truly injured on this. their voice needed to be heard. van stephenson has been working with us for 12 years now, and he is a great -- >> he's not getting a pay raise. >> i'm sorry. keep working with him. >> he does a great, great job. >> please join in the thanking our panel. well done. [applause] >> senator, thank you.
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>> i can accept a gift now. [laughter] >> [inaudible conversations] this weekend there are two ways to watch the tucson festival of books on book tv. live on c-span2 and live online apple on c-span2 saturday starting at 1:30 p.m. eastern jeffrey rosen on the history of the supreme court.
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>> you are watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs your weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events, and every week in the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> the u.s. senate is about to gavel in to start the day. it will be general speeches for the first hour or so. lawmakers are expected to resume work on the transportation bill at about 11 a.m. eastern. "cq" is reporting that republicans and democrats are still negotiating off the floor immediately how to proceed with amendments to the measure. the senate is expected to recess at 5 p.m. eastern for a closed briefing from holistic the
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secretary napolitano on cybersecurity issues. and now live to the senate floor here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. lord god omnipotent, you are above all nations.
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take our lives and use them for your purposes. cleanse our hearts, forgive our sins, and amend our ways, as your transforming grace changes our lives. today, make our senators true servants of your will. in these challenging times, give them the wisdom to labor for justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with you. keep their minds and spirits steady as they strive to do your will. we pray in your sovereign name
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amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., march 7, 2012. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable kirsten e. gillibrand, a senator from the state of new york, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks, the senate will be in a period of morning business for an hour. the republicans will control the first half. the democrats will control the
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final half. following morning business the senate will resume consideration of the surface transportation act. i ask consent that recess, there be a recess at 5:00 p.m. and that be extended until 6:30 p.m. to accommodate a senators-only briefing. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president, we're having a briefing this evening at the request of senator mikulski, who is a longtime member of the intelligence committee, to have an actual demonstration of why we need to pass a cybersecurity bill. all senators should be there, and that's why we ask for the recess. madam president, 47 years ago today a group of 600 freedom-loving men and women set out on a march from selma, alabama, to montgomery, alabama. the purpose of the march was calling for an end to discrimination and violence against african-americans.
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among those peaceful protesters was a young man by the name of john lewis, now congressman john lewis. his life has been one of truly a great civil rights leader, outstanding legislator and a patriot beyond excellence. only six blocks from the church where the march began, they were met at edmund pettis bridge by police dogs and clubs. the violent day known as bloody sunday was broadcast across the country. it was a turning point in the civil rights movement as americans cried out against injustice and bloodshed they saw on television. later that month about 25,000 courageous souls finally complete that had 12-mile march from selma to montgomery that started on bloody sunday. six months later president
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lyndon johnson signed a voting rights act in 1965. a year ago, madam president, i was privileged to lock arms with congressman john lewis and congressman jim clyburn, two men who i admire deeply, as we reenacted the march across the pettus bridge. it was a humbling experience as john lewis with throngs of people, but we were together, and explained to me what he remembered from that day. as we were starting up the bridge, there was a drugstore that doesn't exist anymore, but a lot of whites were gathered there, and they were, of course, up to mischief. and john lewis had on his back -- backpacks were not very familiar in those days, but he had a little backpack on his back. he had a book he thought perhaps
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he'd be arrested as he had been many times, and he had something to read while he was in jail. he had a book and an apple in that backpack. of course he was beaten very, very badly, and no one will ever know what happened to the backpack and the apple and the book. it was really a humbling experience -- i repeat -- one that i will never forget. on this day i think we should all pause to think while we have come a long ways, we have a long way to go to make sure that we have civil rights for everyone in america. madam president, we were disappointed, as i indicated yesterday, being able not to invoke cloture on this highway bill. i was satisfied yesterday that the speaker of the house indicated that he thought the best thing to do, at least as i read the reports, would be to
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take the senate version of a bill, if we can figure out a way to pass one, and they would use that as the -- he would bring it to the floor for a vote. i hope that's the case. the press doesn't always get things right, but perhaps, i hope in this case they did. senator mcconnell's staff and my staff are exchanging paper as we speak, and i hope that we can work our way through this bill. i think it's unfortunate we're going to have to have votes on a number of amendments that have nothing, nothing to do with this underlying piece of legislation. this is one thing that the american people really don't like, and our town hall meetings, our visitations with people throughout the state, i've come to the realization that they hate this so-called, what they call riders, things that have nothing to do with bills. senate rules allow them in most
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instances, and so if it takes this to get this bill done, we'll have to move forward in that way. i hope we can do that. as i said, we're going to exchange paper. and i hope both sides will react positively. i'm confident that we will over here, and i hope we can work something out. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: last week i came to the senate floor to speak out on an issue that's on the minds of a lot of americans these days: the rising cost of gas at the pump and how the administration's policies are actually making matters worse.
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the president may try to take credit for production gains that are entirely the work of others, but more to the point is the fact that production is up on private lands and down on federal lands. the property, the president and the interior secretary actually manage is the property upon which production is down. in fact, when it comes to the rising cost of gas at the pump, it's my view that the administration's policies are actually designed on purpose to bring about higher gas prices, a view that shouldn't be the least bit controversial given the fact that the president's own energy secretary has suggested on a couple of occasions now that his goal certainly isn't to drive gas prices down. for the president's part, he often says americans should judge him not only by his words but on his deeds. so when it comes to gas prices, i pointed out that the president continues to look at offshore
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areas to energy production and is granting fewer leases on public land for oil drilling. using countries like brazil to move shore with our own offshore drilling projects, continues to impose burdensome regulations on the domestic energy sector that will further drive up the cost of gasoline for the consumer, has repeatedly proposed raising taxes on the energy sector which we all know would only drive up gas prices even higher, and finally has flatly rejected the keystone x.l. pipeline. all of these things help drive up the cost of gas and increase our dependence on foreign oil. so the president simply can't claim to have a comprehensive approach to energy because he doesn't. he simply doesn't. and at a time he says he does, the american people should remember one word: keystone. keystone. another thing they might want to do is play a clip of the press
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conference the president held just yesterday. ask about whether he actually wants gas prices to go up, the president's facetious attempt to deflect the question only served to confirm the premise. it was the president's admission that rising gas prices that hurt the economy that really betrayed the administration's attempt to have it both ways on this issue. because if higher gas prices hurt the economy, then why in the world is the administration calling for higher taxes on energy manufacturers? we know these taxes would drive up the price at the pump and send jobs overseas, the congressional research service said that. if the president wants to drive prices down, he should stop calling for these increases in taxes. look, if the president wants americans to think he's serious about lowering gas prices, he's got to do more than simply say that no president -- and this is what he said yesterday -- "no president would want higher gas prices in an election year."
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no president would want higher gas prices in an election year. what about other years? would they want them in other years? it's only in election years that it's a problem? he's got to get serious about changing his policies, and he might want to consider an energy secretary that's more committed to helping the american people than in helping the administration's buddies in the solar business. and that brings me to a larger point. the president likes to talk a lot about fairness. we've heard a lot about fairness. but when it comes to rising gas prices, the american people don't think it's particularly fair that at a time when they're struggling to fill up the tank, their own tax dollars are being used to subsidize failing solar companies of the president's choosing, not to mention the bonuses that executives at these companies keep getting. i think most americans are tired of reading about all the goodies this administration's allies are getting on their dime, even as the president goes around
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lecturing everybody about fairness. i'll tell you what's not fair. i'll tell you what's not fair. what's not fair is that it costs about $40 more to fill up a 20-gallon tank of gasoline than it did when this president took office. that's not fair. and yet, this administration continues to pursue policies that would make it even worse. earlier this year the white house launched a campaign in support of the payroll tax holiday, asking americans what $40 a month would mean to them. yet now when it comes to gas prices, they're doubling down policies that are taking away that $40 a month given by the payroll tax holiday to fill up the gas tank. once again they're trying to have it both ways, and frankly, the american people have had it. madam president, on another issue, i want to pay tribute today to a friend of many
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decades, a kentuckian who is a hero to many and a personal hero of mine for his work on behalf of children that has had a national impact. in his 28 years of service at the national center for missing and exploited children, john raeufrpb has -- raven has saved literally thousands of lives and averted tragedy for thousands of families. at the very first -- as the very first employee of the national center since its creation back in 1984, he has been the heart and the soul of that organization. and his dedication and passion for the issue will continue to shape the national center long after he leaves it. quite frankly, for john, saving children is not just a job. it was his mission. and that is why it is such a blow that after 28 years of service, john raven will retire from his work at the national
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center for missing and exploited children this friday, march 9. i cannot say enough how much this man will be missed. john and i have a history that stretches back almost four decades, dating to his time as a social worker in jefferson county, kentucky. of course jefferson county contains the city of louisville, which is my hometown, and in the late 1970's and early 1980's, i served as the judge executive for jefferson county. what that is, madam chair, is from new york, it's like the county executive of the county. it was in this capacity that i first met and got to know john raven. john earned his bachelor's degree in macon, georgia. john managed the company's group home for kids and was one of the first in town to identify the growing crisis of child abduction and sexual
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exploitation. working in those foster homes, john saw the problem firsthand and saw what local police and social services were not seeing. he saw that information between social service workers and law enforcement wasn't being shared as it should have been. he realized a lot more could be done. so john, along with a friend and fellow social worker, keri rice, approached ernie allen, who at the time was the director of the louisville county crime division. ernie is now known as the director and c.e.o. of the national center for missing and exploited children, which he helped build alongside john. but way back then the issue of missing and exploited kids had yet to receive the national focus that it deserved. it was john who proposed to ernie that the county create a special unit bridging the
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traditional barriers between social services and law enforcement to try to combat this serious problem. they came to me, as the c.e.o. of the county, with this idea and together we created what i believed to be the first police-social services team in the nation dedicated to working child abduction and sexual exploitation cases. eventually we created the jefferson county's first exploited and missing child unit with john as its manager. almost immediately under john's leadership the unit began to solve cases, rescue victims and put some very good news on the front pages. john became famous nationwide as the leading expert on missing and exploited child cases. in 1980 the u.s. department of justice asked me to send john and ernie to atlanta to consult on a grisly child murder case. john is now so recognized as a
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leader in the field that he has provided expert testimony to congress seven tiles on child be a ukes -- seven times on child abduction cases and is an instructor for the f.b.i. satellite training network. john has provided consultation at nearly 1,000 hospitals and for over 62,000 personnel in america, canada and the united kingdom on the abduction of newborns in hospitals. and he is the author of the book "for health care professionals: guidelines on prevention of and response to infant abductions." thanks in large measure to his efforts, what was once recurring problem is now all but eliminated. john has been recognized by the f.b.i. as one of only 27 investigators nationwide with the highest -- highest -- expertise in the investigation of cases concerning missing and exploited children. he's appeared on television shows such as "20/20," "prime
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time," "good morning america," "larry king live" and of course "america's most wanted" with his friend and my friend, john walsh. in 1984 john signed a lease for office sprays for the national center for missing and exploited children right here in washington. he began working as that organization's executive vice president and chief operating officer. it's a post he's held ever since. as the national center's executive vice president and c.o.o., john manages a staff of 350 and a budget of $42 million a year. he is the hub of the wheel for all interagency communication between the center, the justice department, the state department, the secret service, the f.b.i., the department of homeland security, as well as state governments. madam president, when i say john rafferavening has araven has a n
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it. he is absolutely dedicated to rescuing children who would otherwise fall through the cracks. back when he was running the jefferson county crime unit, he prosecuted the pastor of a major church for sexually abusing over a dozen children in his congregation. after this pastor's conviction, the judge shockingly sentenced him merely to probation with a community service requirement. john leapt from the prosecutor's table and cried, "your honor, will you at least stipulate this community service not be with children?" the judge held john in contempt of court. luckily, the prosecutor quickly scurried john out through a side door before he could be taken into custody and after a few days the heat died down. but this story goes to illustrate how john will stop at
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literally nothing to see justice is done for those who are weakest among us: our children. john's lifetime of service to children has directly led to the rescue of over 80,000 kids -- 80,000 kids. let me share with my colleagues just one success story. about a year ago a los angeles police detecter contacted the national center for missing and exploited children for information 0en a 10-year-old boy who had been missing for many years. in 2004, the child's parents separated and although the mother received custody, her son was abducted from their home. a search began for the boy and his father, which continued for seven years. law enforcement had no leads on the child's whereabouts, suspecting the father may have be abducted him back to his nate father of guatemala. upon receiving the call from that los angeles detective, the
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national center's case management team began coordinating the center's resources with the child's mother and detectives in the los angeles police department. a missing child poster was created and disseminated around california, and detectives were provided with detailed public database searches throughout the national center's case analysis division. just a little over a month ago, the center received a lead from a school official who believed he had recognized the boy as a 5th grader at a los angeles elementary school. this official had searched the center's web site, saw the missing child's poster, and contacted the center's 24-hour hotline. the center passed this lead along to police, and i am a he pleased to say that on january 21 of this year, eight years after his d his abduction, thisy
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was reunited with his mother and hihis father was arrested. imagine this mother's relief. multiply that by thousands. only then can you begin to imagine the service jon raven has done for his country. so that's why we're all going to miss jon so much. no one can say he could have done more. however, neither could anyone say his retiewrmt is not extremely well-deserved. i'm sure he's looking forward to being able to spend more time with his lovely wife, betty, a retired school teacher, and their two children and five grandchildren. the national movement on behalf of america's most prey schuss
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resource -- our children -- was launched because one social worker in lou i shill kentucky saw that too many children were at risk and minority enough was being done. if every family impacted by the center's work could thank jon raven personally, it might take another 28 years, and he would never get to retire. but on behalf of a greater and safer america, on behalf of a grateful and safer america, i hope that the recognition of this u.s. senate and the friends of thi -- and the friendship ofs senator will suffice instead. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, there will now be a period of morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for ten minutes each, with time equally divided and
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controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the republicans controlling the first half and the majority controlling the second -- the final half. the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: thank you, madam president. i rise today to speak regarding the highway bill, and we each come in to work daily with different thoughts. i come in today very hopeful. we have a bipartisan bill that will hopefully have the finance component of it on the floor soon. we've had it worked through the virginia yaws committees of the senate -- the various committees of the senate, the banking committee, the commerce committee, the e.p.w. committee. i think what this body is waiting for right ma now is the finance committee package. the reason i come down here today in a very hopeful way is i think all of us certainly support the highway bill. we want to see a bill like this passed. but i think we also want to see it passed in the appropriate way. a understand some oand some of r
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renditions that have come out of the finance committee unfortunately have not paid for this bill. and it is my sense that maybe what's happening right now is that maybe there's some work being done to try to make that not be the case. i know the senator from new york is really familiar with the health care debate that we had years ago, and one of the things that many of the folks on this side of the aisle were concerned about and many folks i think even on the other side of the aisle were concerned about was some of the gimmickry used to pay for it. we'd six years' worth of spending and ten years' worth of revenue. people were rightfully concerned about that. what we ended up having at present anyway with this highway bill is something that's even worse from that. we have two years sings worth oe have two years' worth of spending and ten years' worth of revenue.
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there's no family that could possibly survive under that scenario. so, madam president, i had an op-ed that was published this morning in "the washington post" talking about the fact that we've had so many bipartisan efforts here to try to deal with deficit reduction. we had the bowles-simpson report that came out. we had 64 senators, 32 on each side of the aisle, that wrote a letter to the president to encourage him to really embrace deficit reduction and pro-growth tax reform. we had another group of folks who got involved in something called "go big." and the whole focus was to deal with the fiscal issues of this country. what i fear is happening right now, though -- and again i come in somewhat hopeful this morning -- but what i fear is happening is, because this highway bill is so popular, that members of both sides of the aisle are willing to kick the can down the road and in an area where we could, in a bipartisan way, really address deficit reduction and
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really get the highway bill on a spend-as-you-go basis -- meaning that you pay for it as you go -- instead of doing that, because this is an election year and this is a popular bill, that both parties instead of leading on deficit reduction are going to cave and basically kick the can down the road because this is -- quote -- "a popular bill." to me, that's not what the american people sent us here to do. so we have this opportunity to pay for it. i don't know whether we're going to get where we need to go. as a matter of fact, even though i'm hopeful we're going to make some progress on this issue, i don't think we're going to quite get there. i just sense in this body a desire to kick the can down the road, to turn our head, to really not live up to our responsibilities as it relates to this bill. and so i'm going to be offering two amendments. one amendment would say, look, we have a highway trust fund. we've had to transfer $34
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billion or $35 billion into it from the general fund since t 2008. we have a trust fund. we ought to either spend the money that comes into it accordingly and reduce the amount of spending on highways, or what we should do is lower discretionary spending someplace else. it appears right now, based on where this bill is -- and again we haven't seen the final bill because i know there are negotiations taking place -- it appears to me that in order to live up to our responsibilities to the american people, that what we'd have to do is cut about $11 billion or $12 billion out of the discretionary caps that we agreed to as part of the budget control act to make this be appropriate. and i'll be offering an amendment once we see what the final package is that does just that. in other words, if we all think that highways and transit bills are important -- and, by the
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way, i do. i used to be the mayor of a city and i know that infrastructure is very, very important to our economic growth in this country. but if we believe that spending on highways and transit is important and it is a priority, then what we need to do is lower discretionary caps, lower spending in another area. for us to do anything short of that, to me, would be making a mockery of the american people and certainly making a mockery of the deal -- of the arrangement that was created through the budget control act. i'm hopeful certainly that this amendment would pass if we continue on the course that we're on. i can't imagine that in a bipartisan way both sides would show the irresponsibility that has led up to today anyway. i'm still hopeful that by the time we pass this highway bill that we'll come together and act
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responsibly and actually pay for this. but i think the american people understand that passing a bill that spends money over two years and tries to recoup it over a ten-year period is a highway to insolvency. madam president, i'm committed more than ever to us living up to our responsibilities to the american people. i believe that there's something brewing in this body that really says that we have to live up to these responsibilities. and i think the best place for us to start is on this highway bill. i'll close with this. i know the senator from utah wants to speak for a few moments also. a lot of people are saying, senator corker, this is such a small amount of money. gosh, this is such a popular bill that everybody likes. can't we just turn our head on this issue and kick the can down the road and do something that we know fiscally is totally irresponsible because all of us
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like highways? my response to that is is this: if we cannot deal with the highway bill that, by the way, is just simple math. it's not like -- this isn't something like medicare reform or something elsewhere you have all kinds of moving parts that are very difficult to deal with. the highway bill is just simple math. if we don't have the ability in this body to deal with something like this, just, you know, addition and subtraction, there is no way the american people are going to trust us with things like medicare reform, social security reform, making sure that those programs are solvent down the road for seniors who depend upon them. what i would say to this body is we have a great opportunity this week and next week to show the american people that we are serious about getting this country on a solid footing. there's no better place to do that than on a popular bill. in other words, if we have to make priorities, if we have to
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make choices, if we have to cut spending in other places to make two years worth of outgoes equal to two years worth of in-goes, there is no place better to do it than on the highway bill. i urge this body to stand up to meet its responsibilities and only pass this bill if it's paid for over the same amount of period that it's expended for. that means all the money coming in between now and 2013 is spent -- all the money that goes out is spent for over the next two years. i'll be offering amendments to do that if the finance committee doesn'tdom that in themselves. -- doesn't come to that in th*pls. madam president, i thank you for listening, and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: madam president, the american people need help because the american people are
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suffering at the gas pump. with the national average price for gasoline up at around $3.75 per gallon, representing an increase of about 40 cents from a year ago and about 20 cents from just one month ago, citizens really are suffering, and they need relief. it's important to point out in this context that when president obama took office, gas prices were about $1.85 per gallon. now that they're up to about $3.75 per gallon, we can see a steady increase. over this 38-month period of time of his presidency so far, gasoline prices have risen on an average of about five cents per gallon per month. this is staggering when you think about the fact that if he's reelected.
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so if he serves out the rest of this term and is reelected, it's a total of an additional 58 months w. that increase, gas prices will be up at around $6.60 per gallon. this is a lot of money. it's staggering, and it affects everything we do not just from the miles that we drive, but also to the products that we buy at the grocery store. everything gets more expensive when our fuel that we use to transport ourselves and our products becomes more expensive. to some extent, one could suggest that this was not only forseeable, but it was actually foreseen. and to some, it was considered a desired outcome. let's consider, for example, that in 2008 dr. steven chu, who now serves as president obama's energy secretary, said "somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to
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the levels in europe." well, mr. chu, it looks like we're headed that direction. and if we continue to follow this administration's energy policies, we may get there. as a member of the senate's energy and natural resources committee, i was somewhat surprised as a suggestion was made just a few days ago that there are some who believe that there's no relationship between u.s. production of petroleum and the price of gasoline in the united states. that simply is not true, and it cannot be true. with oil being the input ingredient into gasoline, it is the precursor for gasoline, any time you do anything that cuts off or restricts or limits the supply, that's necessarily going to have an impact on the price. and it does. the fact that it's indisputable
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that there are other factors that also influence the price of gasoline makes it no less true that we do have to produce petroleum here at home in addition to buying it from other places in order to keep gasoline prices at reasonable levels. we've got to produce more. there are some things that we can do in order to help improve that trend. for example, we could open up anwr for drilling. we could open up our country's vast federal public lands to development for oil shale. it's a little known fact that in three rocky mountain states, a small segment of three rocky mountain states -- utah, colorado, and wyoming -- we have an estimated 1.2 trillion barrels of proven recoverable oil reserves locked up in oil shale. 1.2 trillion barrels is a lot of oil.
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that's comparable to the combined petroleum reserves of the top-ten petroleum producing countries of the world combined. just in one segment of three rocky mountain states. yet, we're not producing it commercially in part, to a very significant degree because that oil shale, speurpl *f especially in my -- oil shale, especially in my state, the state of utah is overwhelmingly on federal public land. it is almost impossible to get to it to produce it commercially on federal public land. we need to change that. we need to create a sensible environmental review process for oil and gas production. we need to improve the process for offshore development in the gulf of mexico and other areas. we need to allow states to regulate hydraulic fracturing without the state of duplicative federal regulations. we need to keep all the federal lands in the west open to all kinds of energy development.
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and, of course, we need the president to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. this will contribute substantially to america's energy security and will provide an estimated 20,000 shovel-ready jobs right off the bat. there are things we can do to help americans with this difficult problem, one that will affect almost every aspect of the day-to-day lives of americans. we need the government to get out of the way. we need the government to become part of what the president laudably outlined as an "all of the above strategy" in his state of the union address recently. we need to get there. we cannot afford $6.60 per gallon gas which is exactly where we're head fundamental we continue to do things, as this administration has done and has led to an increase in the price of gasoline at staggering rate of five cents per gallon every
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single month. now, madam president, i would like to turn my attention to a different matter. i stand in this moment in opposition to the railroad antitrust amendment offered by my distinguished colleague, senator cole. and i urge my fell lore senators to do likewise. as the antitrust modernization commission noted in 2007, free-market competition is a fundamental economic policy of the united states. in advancing this overarching policy goal, we should be wary of particularized exemption s from our nation's antitrust laws. i know that senator kohl shares my view in that regard when properly applied and i trust law's function to help ensure market forces promote robust competition, spur innovation and result in the greatest possible benefit to the american consumer. in many respects, federal and state agencies enforced
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antitrust laws in order to force the need for burdensome and long lasting government regulation. if market forces thrive properly there is no need for extensive government intrusion or interference. likewise, when the antitrust laws do apply, comprehensive economic regulations should not dictate how an industry operates. it, therefore, makes little sense to impose upon a heavily regulated industry, an additional layer of government oversight and enforcement through the application of antitrust laws while at the same time leaving in place a comprehensive regime of government oversight through economic regulation. piling layer upon layer of government interference will not advance the cause of free-market competition, innovation and consumer welfare. i'm concerned such layering of government regulation is effectively what the kohl amendment does. i worry extending the reach ofant trust laws to the freight
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rail industry, the amendment does not remove any authority or jurisdiction of the surface transportation board, the regulatory agency currently overseeing the rail industry. as a result, the amendment simply imposes additional government supervision over the rail industry with increased regulatory burdens and costs as well as inevitable conflicts and uncertainties resulting from a second layer of government oversight of the same activities. given the highly regulated nature of the freight rail industry, application of antitrust laws would likely require courts to wade into the complex realm of state -- rate setting and other highly technical matters, a task for which judges are particularly ill equipped. in addition to this fundamental unease over multiplying government regulatory burdens, i'm also very concerned with a number of the amendments' provisions that seem to reach
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simply beyond, beyond simply eliminating antitrust exemptions for the rail industry. first i worry section 4 of the amendment limits the doctrine of primary jurisdiction in which antitrust cases, in those antitrust cases that involve railroads. under this long-standing doctrine which was established in 190 # -- 1907, a court will normally defer to an expert agency when that agency has jurisdiction over the subject matter of a legal dispute. this doctrine allows courts to balance regulatory requirements with the legal requirements for regulated industries. the primary jurisdiction doctrine is not an antitrust exemption. and discouraging the use of this would be a legal and judicial change that reaches far beyond the antitrust laws and its implications. i would note section 4 would give trial courts the power to disregard agency action, but
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only with respect to the railroads. as a result, railroads would be singled out for special treatment, leaving the doctrine of primary jurisdiction available to the courts in cases involving electrical utilities and other regulated industries. i'm unaware of any compelling justification for this disparity. my second concern relates to section 7-a of the amendment which not only repeals antitrust immunity for rail rate bureaus but also repeals procedural protections that facilitate lawful rail transportation services. because of their route structures, railroads are often not individually capable of providing rail transportation service to all locations that a customer may request or that regulations may require. as a result, approximately 40% of all rail traffic is jointly handled by more than one railroad. while the railroads must work together to provide true service on some routes in order to meet
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their regulatory obligations and to meet their customers' transportation needs, the railroads compete one with another for freight movements on routes not involving full service and are fully subject to the antitrust laws. current law provides proof of an antitrust violation may not be inferred from discussions among two or more railcar yers relating to interline movements and raids. in the conditions report for the staggers rail act of 1980, congress explained the need for the h evidentiary protections as follows. "because of the requirement that carriers concur in changes to joint rates, carriers must talk to competitors about interline movements in which they interchange. that requirement could falsely lead to conclusions about rate agreements that were lawfully discussed.
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to prevent such a conclusion, the conference substitute provides procedural protections about lawful discussions and resulting rates." close quote. these evidentiary protections are not antitrust exemptions. they are designed to avoid prejudicprejudicial infrerchesen order to implement joint arrangements. i'm unaware of any compelling reason to alter congress's judgment in establishing these procedural recreatio protection. were these protections to be discarded, railroads would be exposed potentially to legal liability for interline discussions that they may choose -- and they may choose simply not to participate. and rail customers would be faced with the burt burden of hg to deal separately with each railroad in a given route in order to work out commercial and
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service details. third and perhaps most critically, i'm concerned that section 8 of the amendment would effectively lead to retroactive election of laws allowing a government agency or private plaintiff to bring a case against pos paste activities. section 8-b would allow antitrust lawsuits for ongoing to railroad activity that was previously immunized from the railroad antitrust laws. this would leave open the possibility that conduct in accordance with the railroad merger and line sale transactions previously approved by the interstate commercial commission or the service transportation board, as in the public interest, immunized by statute from the antitrust laws and implemented by the railroads, consistent with the agency's approval, could not be challenged as unlawful. were this to become law, the impact on the railroad network
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and its ability to plan and invest to meet our nation's growing transportation needs would be adversely affected in a significant way. this summary, if this amendment eliminated regulatory intervention in the marketplace for rail transportation and left the rail industry subject solely to the antitrust laws, i could perhaps endorse that effort. however, that's not the case here. this amendment increases rather than improves government oversight of the rail industry's activities, and in my view, is inconsistent with the overarching goal of seeking greater competition in the transportation marketplace unfettered by intrusive government regulation. in addition, the amendment goes beyond simply eliminating the antitrust exemptions and instead changes long-standing policies and judicial doctrine that are not antitrust law tenents. last year when the judiciary committee favorably reported s. 41, which is the text of senator kohl's sent's the current amendment, i made clear
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that my support was contingent upon these and other concerns prior to floor consideration. regrettably, such a resolution did not occur, and i must now oppose the amendment and ask my colleagues in the senate to do likewise. thank you, madam chair. mr. bingaman: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. bingaman: madam president, first i'd ask unanimous consent that hanna bruehl, who is a detailee from the department of energy, working on the staff of the committee on energy and natural resources this year, be granted floor privileges during today's session of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bingaman: madam president, i wanted to speak for a few minutes about gasoline prices, which my colleague from utah just talked about a few minutes ago. also about domestic oil and gas
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production and also about access to federally owned oil and gas resources. these are issues that have been raised by numerous senators on this transportation bill. they're issues of critical importance to our country's economy. -- to national security and to resource management, and i've been increasingly concerned that the issues that we're debating and the facts that are being put out there are often not the true facts. there's widespread misunderstanding of what needs to be done to deal with this set of issues, in my opinion. let me start with the issue that's most important to most americans, and that is the price of gasoline at the pump, the price of oil and then of course the price of gasoline. we need to understand clearly
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what is causing this, and we need to be direct with our constituents about what is causing this. let me state as clearly as i can what i believe is really without dispute among experts, and that is that we do not face cycles of high gasoline prices in the united states because of a lack of domestic production. we do not face these cycles of high gasoline prices because of lack of access to federal resources. or because of some environmental regulation that is getting in the way of us obtaining cheap gasoline. as was made clear in a hearing we had in the senate energy committee in january, the prices that we are paying for oil and the products refined from oil such as gasoline are set on the
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world market. they're relatively insensitive to what happens here in the united states with regard to production. instead, the world price of oil and our gasoline prices are affected more by events beyond our control, such as instability in libya last year or instability in iran and concerns about oil supply from iran this year. first, i've got two charts that i think make this point very clearly. this first chart, i believe, is very instructive. this is entitled "weekly retail price for premium unleaded gasoline, including taxes paid. and there are two charts here. this top -- or two lines on the chart. the top line contains the prices, the retail prices, weekly retail prices in belgium, france, germany, italy,
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netherlands and the united kingdom. so you can see how that has fluctuated. this is through january of this year -- or of last year, excuse me. the comparable prices paid in the united states are reflected in this bottom line and of course that is because we pay much lessness taxes than do these other countries. so it's a useful chart that i think makes a couple of important points. first point it makes is that the price patterns are remarkably similar in all countries. that is, the prices for gasoline in all of these countries reflect the world price of oil. second, while the patterns are similar, the u.s. price is significantly lower because of the lower taxes that we pay in this country.
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the second chart shows u.s. domestic oil production and u.s. gasoline prices between 1990 and 2011. and here the red line is the change in domestic production year over year. the blue line is gasoline prices. and what's striking about the chart is the lack of relationship between the two lines, even with u.s. production increasing, as it was at some points, oil prices also were increasing, and gasoline prices were increasing. so while domestic oil production plays an important role in the energy security in the economy of our country, it's contribution to world oil balance, the world oil balance is not sufficient to bring global oil prices down. and for this reason, increased
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domestic production, unfortunately, will not bring down gasoline prices in our country. we also need to understand the status of domestic production. here again the facts are often misunderstood. for example, we've heard the claim that the united states and the obama administration have turned away from producing the domestic oil and gas resources that we possess. facts are very much to the -- the facts are very much to the contrary. at the hearing we had in january in the energy committee, jamesberjamesburkehart describer situation in this country as the great revival of u.s. oil production. he provided this next graph, which clearly demonstrates what we are experiencing in the united states. this graph shows the net change in production of petroleum liquids in the united states and
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in other major countries -- oil-producing countries -- between 2008 and 2011. the u.s. increase is this very large column here on the left. we can see that it is far greater -- our increase in production is far greater than that of any other country in the world. the united states is now the third-largest oil producer in the world, after russia and saudi arabia. another chart on domestic production is also instructive. this shows total u.s. oil production between 2000 and 2011. it clearly demonstrates that current increases in oil production are reversing several years of decline in that production. we've not had to change any environmental laws or limit the protections that apply to public lands in order to get these increases.
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this next chart shows the percentage of our liquid fuel scum on this that's imported -- liquid fuel consumption that's imported, including the projections that the energy information administration has made out to 2020. the trend is very encouraging. in 2005, we imported almost 60% of the oil that we consumed. now we import about 49% of the oil we consume. the energy information administration projects that these imports will continue to decline to around 38% by 2020. this is an enormous improvement that we would not have thought possible even a few years ago. now let me say a few words about natural gas because that is also something which greatly affects utility bills in this country, and of course is very important to our economy. the good news continues as we look at natural gas.
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this graph shows u.s. natural gas production between 2000 and 2011. as we can see, there's been a dramatic increase in recent years. as we've heard from the international energy agency headquartered in paris, u.s. gas production grew by more than% in 201 -- by more than 7% in 2011. our natural gas reserves are such that the united states is expected to become an overall net exporters of natural gas in the next decade. the natural gas inventories are now at record highs. 20% of their level at the same time last year -- 20% above their level at the same time last year. in fact, there's so much natural gas being produced, frankly, some producers are shutting production. they are waiting and hoping that
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prices improve before they actually sell the natural gas that they are able to produce today. this next chart contains production data for the world's largest natural gas producers for the years 2008 through 2010. and there are three bars here. the green bar is 2010 production, the most recent data available. this chart shows that in 2009, the u.s. surpassed russia and became literally the world's leader in natural gas production. the green bar shows that that trend continued in 2010. so, unlike oil, natural gas is not set -- the price of natural gas is not set on the world market. for natural gas, our increased production and resources has a
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price on the price that american consumers have to pay, on their utility bills especially. natural gas prices are at historic lows, near historic lows, and this is important to consumers who depend on this fuel for lea electricity and for heating. it is good for manufacturers who depend on natural gas. it is good for our economy oveƱ -- overall. further evidence of our extremely robust domestic oil and gas production is the fact that the number of oil and gas drilling rigs active in the united states exceeds that of most of the rest of the world. as of last week there were 1,981 rigs actively exploring for or developing oil and natural gas in the united states. the best comparable figure we have for rigs operating internationally is 1,871. this does not include russia. it does not include china.
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it is probably safe to say, though, that more oil and gas drilling is occurring here in the united states than in any other country in the world. despite our relatively modest resource base, the conventional petroleum industry in the united states led the world in developing state-of-the-art technology for oil and gas exploration and production, tapping both conventional formations and unconventional resources such as shale and tight sands. so to use a boxing metaphor, we are punching above our weight in oil and gas production, thanks to the technology lead that our companies have developed. and it's a success story that our country should celebrate. even in light of this good news on domestic production, we hear claims that the obama administration has withheld access to the oil and gas that is available on federal lands and the outer continental shelf. so we in congress are urged to mandate that virtually all
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federally owned oil and gas resources be leased for development quickly without regard to any impact that that might have on other resources or economic interests, without any scientific analysis that is currently required. however, the facts tell us a different story. secretary salazar testified before our energy committee on the 28th of february that oil production from the outer continental shelf increased by 30% since 2008. it is now at 589 million barrels in 2010. annual oil production onshore on federal lands has increased by over eight million barrels between 2008 and 2011. it's now over 111 million barrels of production. industry has been given access to millions of acres much of either which they have not leased, not chosen to lease, or
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they have not put into production. in 2009, 53 million acres of the resource-rich central and western gulf of mexico were offered for lease. industry chose to lease only 2.7 million out of that 53 million acres. in 2010, 37 million acres of the gulf were offered. only 2.4 million acres were actually leased. in that year. in june of 2012, three months from now, the administration will offer another 38 million acres in the central gulf of mexico for lease. interior department estimates that these areas could produce a billion barrels of oil and four trillion cubic feet of natural gas. the administration recently proposed a leasing plan for 2012 through 2017 that would make at least 75% of the undiscovered
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technically recoverable oil and gas resources on the outer continental shelf available for lease. even when the industry leases these resources, it often does not move to produce oil or gas from these areas that they've leased. onshore, out of 38 million acres currently under lease, the industry has about 12 million acres actually producing. offshore, there are a total of 35 million acres under lease. six million acres of that is actually in production. as of september 2011, the industry held over 7,000 permits to drill onshore that were not being used. i heard it stated that only 2% of the acres on the outer continental shelf are currently leased and that this is evidence of lack of access to the resources. in my view, this is a misleading
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way to think about the current situation. just as oil is not found uniformly everywhere on land, but instead is concentrated where the geology is favorable, the very same thing is true offshore. the total acreage in the outer continental shelf is huge. it's 1.7 billion acres. much of it does not have oil and gas reserves that can be tapped economically. oil and gas occurs in the greatest kwoupbts in only a -- quantities in only a few areas such as the central and western gulf of mexico. it is those productive regions in which the industry expresses interest and which are the primary areas where leasing either is occurring that the -- is occurring that the obama administration plan would cover. the total 1.7 billion acres is not a useful metric without consideration of which of those
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acres actually have significant oil and gas resources that are economically recoverable. much more relevant is the amount of the resources that are being made available. as i pointed out, secretary salazar testified that the proposed five-year oil and gas leasing plan that they put forward would make more than 75% of the outer continental shelf resources available for development. the bottom line is that an increased amount of federal acres and resources onshore and offshore are being made available to industry. production on federally owned resources continues to increase. the increase in this production can be even greater if industry would lease and explore and produce on a greater percentage of the lands that are offered to them for lease. the lands that are believed to have some of the highest
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resource in oil and gas potential. before i close let me return to the issue of gasoline prices. it's clear we're increasing our domestic production significantly but gasoline prices continue to rise. so we need to look for other solutions, and this does not mean that we are powerless to help reduce the price of gasoline. we know what we need to do if we want to reduce our vulnerability to world oil prices and to volatility of world oil prices, the most important thing we can do is to find ways to use less oil. one of our colleagues gave a good speech a few years ago in which he advocated that we produce more and use less. well, we are doing a pretty good job of producing more and we need to do a better job of using less. we can do much better in this use less part of the equation
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without affecting the quality of life in this country. we can do that by being more efficient in our use of fuel, by diversifying our sources of transportation fuel away from oil. we've taken some first steps along this path, notably in the energy tph-pldz act of 2007 -- independence act of 2007. that law required us to make our vehicles more fuel efficient, and it is working. demand is down. biofuel use is up. consumers save money on fuel for their vehicles. our percentage of imported oil has dropped by over 10%. so how do we continue on this path forward, toward reducing oil use and dependence? i think there are three areas we can focus on. first, we need to enable further expansion of our renewable fuel industry, which is currently
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facing infrastructure and financing constraints. second, we need to move forward the time line for market penetration of electric vehicles. and finally, we need to make sure that we use natural gas vehicles in as many applications as make sense based on that technology. every barrel of oil that we are able to displace in the transportation sector and that we, therefore, do not need to consume makes our economy stronger. obviously it also helps our personal pocketbooks. it makes us less vulnerable to the volatility of the current marketplace. this is not to say we should not keep drilling and that the obama administration should not continue to move forward with its plans to bring even more supplies into the market. we lead the world in innovative exploration and production technology. it's helpful to our economy and our national security to increase domestic supply, and
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that's exactly what's happening. but in the many debates that we will have in the future over issues related to gasoline prices, we need to recognize that the key issue very clearly is not lack of access to federally owned oil and gas resources. our public lands contain many resources and uses that americans value. we don't need to sacrifice science or balanced protection of those other resources and economic interests in order to have robust dough musk production. the long-term solution to the challenge of high oil prices is to continue to reduce our dependence on oil, period. this is a strategic vision that president george w. bush who had previously worked in the oil industry, clearly articulated in his state of the union speech in 2006. we subsequently proved in congress in 2007, the year after that state of the union speech, that we have the ability to make
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significant changes in our energy consumption and that it is possible to mobilize a bipartisan consensus to do that. a bipartisan path that the senate embraced in 2007 is still the right approach today. as part of whatever approach we take to energy and transportation in the weeks and months ahead, we need to be honest with our constituents about what works, and we need to keep moving in the direction that we began moving in with that 2007 bill. we need to allow the facts and not the myths to be our best guide. madam president, i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i rise to address the surface transportation bill that is on the floor today. it has been a mark of the challenges that this body faces in deliberation that we've now been on this bill for three weeks. we haven't had a debate over transportation amendment, but hope does spring eternal. and in the spirit of that, i wanted to come to the floor and share some thinking about amendments that we should be debating and should be approving in this process. certainly the underlying transportation bill is a great step toward our number-one goal of passing legislation that would create jobs. put people back to work in the hardest-hit sectors of our economy. building and repairing our
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transportation infrastructure will create or save two million jobs nationwide, good-paying jobs that will provide a huge boost to our struggling construction industry, their families, to the workers and to our economy. you know, this infrastructure that we would be building is a down payment for the success of our future economy. china is spending 10% of its g.d.p. on infrastructure. they're preparing for a stronger economy in the future. europe is spending 5% of their gross domestic product. but here in america we're spending only 2%. indeed, it wasn't but a few months ago that colleagues on the house side of capitol hill said we should cut transportation spending by 30% to 35%, which would devastate the infrastructure efforts that are underway, even within the existing 2%, this small amount that we're spending. is it any wonder that our communities are struggling to repair the bridges and roads
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that we have, let alone to solve the challenges, the bottle necks in the transportation lines that need to be addressed for the future? now we have made a good start in committee on this bill, despite the paralysis on the floor of the senate, because in committee we had elements of this bill go through four different committees, and incorporate good ideas from both sides of the aisle in each of those committees and come to the floor in a bipartisan fashion. so i want to share a couple of other thoughts to build on this groundwork that came out of our committees. commonsense fixes, cutting red tape and clothing loopholes -- and closing loopholes. the first amendment, number 1653 is one that i'm sponsoring with my colleague, senator toomey, and senator blunt. right now farmers are exempt from certain federal regulations
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when they transport their products in farm vehicles as long as they're transporting those products inside of their own state. but should they venture across state lines, even just by short distance, then the federal regulations are triggered. so you have farmers who are simply trying to get their product to market. the local grain elevator, if you will. and they have to cross a state border, and suddenly their challenge becomes very complex indeed. for instance, oregon farmers who live just across the border from idaho, in these cases, the best market might be the nearest processing facility just across the state line. these farmers are exactly the same as their counterparts elsewhere, except for one small fact: the processing facility is across the border.
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this arbitrary distinction can mean major differences in how these farmers and ranchers have to do business in the form of additional burdensome regulations. things like vehicle i inspectios for every trip the vehicle takes. or having reporting reports for things like hours of service requirements. or obtaining medical certifications. this amendment would simply make life a little more logical, a little easier for farmers by exempting them from regulations designed for interstate transport, not designed to intervene or interfere when a farmer is trying simply to take his product to market. we put limits in this bill on mileage and limits on purpose to make sure it serves the function intended, to get rid of that
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arbitrary boundary that creates a regulatory nightmare. a second amendment is related to freight. now, the underlying bill has a freight program that improves the performance of the national freight network, and that is an excellent proposal. it will help make the improvements that are needed. there are a few technicaller improvements that would further improve bill. that is to recognize funding should be used in the most effective and efficient way to ensure that high-value goods are being moved quickly to market. we often think of freight in terms of volume or tonnage. but when you start looking at the high-tech sector, you can have enormously important high-value content such as that produced by the microchip industry in oregon and the roads necessary to make sure that freight gets to market, that
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high-value freight driving a tremendous number of jobs, is just as important to address as is routes that involve high tonnage or high volume. so, let's turn to a third issue and that is "buy america" and i salute my colleagues, senator sherrod brown and senator bernie sanders, who are working on these issues. we recognize the principle that if we are paying to complete a public infrastructure project in america, it only makes sense for american businesses and workers to do as much of the work as possible. but there are several loopholes that have undermined this basic premise in recent years. so amendment number 1599 is an amendment that addresses one of these loopholes. this summer construction of a rail bridge in alaska to a military base will be undertaken
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by a chinese company because the federal rail administration, unlike the federal transit and federal highway administrations, doesn't have the "buy america" provision. an american company was ready to build this bridge, but because of this loophole, the contract went to a chinese company using chinese steel. so isn't it frustrating that the infrastructure to provide access to a military base involves the jobs and the steel going across the pacific ocean? then i wanted to note that a related amendment led by senator brown, senator sherrod brown, number 1807, addresses another "buy america" challenge. states have been using a project
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segmentation loophole to avoid putting americans to work, to avoid buying american steel. the bay bridge in california is split into 12 separate projects -- 12 -- 12 separate projects so that federal funds would only apply to a couple of those pieces, and this allowed the bulk of the bridge to be built -- you guessed it -- chinese steel, chinese workers. my amendment is modeled after a republican amendment in the house transportation bill by representative kravic of minnesota to close this loopho loophole. i urge my colleagues to support these amendments to make these simple, common sense fixes to our transportation programs. we must have a debate over
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amendments on this floor. this room should not be empty. the conversation should not be quiet because transportation is at the heart of our economy. we have a construction industry flat on its back. we have interest rates that are low. and we have infrastructure that needs tock built. -- that needs to be built. so this is a win-win for our future economy and for our current workers and our current economy. so let's get to work. i ask my colleagues who continuously object to amendments being debated and for those who are listening in, the senate has had a rule that any senator can block an amendment. you have to get 100% of the senators, 100 out of 100, to agree to bring an amendment to the floor. and the the social contract that allowed this to happen on a regular and orderly fashion in the past has been broken. so while families across this
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country look to us to put a transportation plan into place for our future economy and to put america back to work right now, we're sitting here fiddli fiddling. so let's end the fiddling and do our work here in this chamber so america can do its work of rebuilding our highway infrastructure. thank you, madam president. madam president, i do not yield the floor because i have a request. madam president, i have nine unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: thank you. and i yield the floor. madam president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mrs. boxer: i ask that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the
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senate, having received h.r. 4105, the text of which is eye dent to s. 2153, the senate proceeds to consideration o thed to its immediate consideration of h.r. 4105, the bill is considered and passed. the senate will resume consideration of s. 1813, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 311, s. 1813, a bill to reauthorize federaloid highway and highway safety construction programs and for other purposes. mrs. boxer: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, you thought i would use this opportunity to just inform our colleagues and anyone who is following this transportation debate as to where we are. yesterday we had an opportunity to stop the filibuster and get right to our bill and get it done and protect 1.8 million
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jobs and create another million. we didn't do that -- pretty much a party-line vote. the filibuster continues. the hopeful sign we had was right before that vote republicatherepublican leader se would open to an agreement, to reaching an agreement. i was hopeful that agreement would not contain extraneous votes. i don't think that that's going to happen. i think we're going to face extraneous votes to repeal clean air act rules, to open up our states that rely on fishing and tourism and recreation to i will drilling when we know the oil companies have millions of acres of land to drill on without
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going to these areas that are so essential to our economic and environmental future. we look like we're going to face that. we're going to face a vote probably on the x.l. pipeline and we're going to face these votes. again, i'm very sad that we couldn't come together when we have a bill that got an 85-11 vote to proceed to. we still had to face a filibuster, and we still had to lose two votes to cut off debate. but the senate being the senate, this is -- this is it. so now we have to hope that the two leaders can agree on a path forward. i am hopeful. i think they are both working together to achieve an agreement whereby we would have some votes on these extraneous matters. hopefully we won't prolong debate on them because this is a highway bill. you know, thousands and thousands of businesses are waiting for us to act.
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by march 31, if we don't act, everything stops. and, madam president, your state and mine -- all these highway projects are going to shut down that have any federal contribution at all, which is really most of them. so i a i'm hopeful. i can't report to the senate that we have an agreement at this point. but i am hopeful that we will have an agreement at some point today. and once we do have that, we have a path forward and we work together in good will. we can get this done. frankly, i don't think we have a choice but to get it done, because everything, as i said, expires on march 31, and here we're at -- i think it's march 7. and we have a few days left before this whole thing, you know, blows up, and we have no highway bill and people are laid off in this economic time, and that's the last thing we need. we need to fix our highways and
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our bridges and our roads. so, madam president, you are a proud member. environment and public works committee. you have worked hard to get us to this day. i know you have worked hard to bring this debate to a close and get a path forward. we could all hope ha that that happens today. i'll be back on the floor with senator inhofe, inhofe. i'm hopeful the two of us can lead to us a conclusion and get this bill done. then we can have the house follow our example of having democrats and republicans working together. they start that over there they'll have a bill quicker than they think and we can finally put this behind us and send a message that we're functioning. you know, this is -- this concept of a federal highway system was brought to us by a republican president, device eisenhower. -- dwight eisenhower. i understood logistics better than most, and he knew, you cannot have a thriving economy if you can't move goods and you
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can't move people. so i'm hopeful and i'll be back on the snar senate floor when we an agreement and can move forward. i thank you very much. i yield the floor. i note the senator from vermont is here, and i always look forward to his comments. thank you very much. mr. sanders: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: madam president, two years ago, the suprem supret rendered what i considered to be one of the worst decisions in the history of the united states supreme court and that is regarding the case of citizens united. in that case, the supreme court, by a 5-4 decision, determined that corporations were people and they had first amendment rights to spend as much money as they wanted on elections. and i think when that decision first came about, a lot of
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people in this country didn't pay attention to it, they looked at it as an abstract legal decision, not terribly important. well, the american people today understand the disastrous impact that that decision has had. because what they are seeing right now on their television screens all across this country is a handful of billionaires and large corporations spending huge amounts of money on the political process. and the american people are asking themselves, is this really what people fought and died for when they put their lives on the line to defend american democracy? is american democracy evolving into a situation where a small number of billionaires can put hundreds of millions of dollars into the political process in this state and that state, in presidential elections and then elect the people who will govern this country?
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and i believe very strongly that the american people do not think that that is appropriate. i am very happy to tell you, madam president, that yesterday, a town meeting day in the state of vermont, my small state i think has begun the process to overturn this disastrous citizens united decision. we had 55 towns at town meeting demand that the u.s. congress move forward to overturn citizens united and restore american democracy to the concept of one person, one vote. and what the towns in vermont are saying -- and that's what we do at town meeting day in vermont, all over our state people come together and they argue about the school budget, they argue about the town budg budget, they debate the issues and they vote. and what people in vermont are
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saying is they do not want to see our democracy devolve into a situation where corporations are determining who will govern our nation. so i am very, very proud that in the state of vermont just yesterday 55 separate towns voted to urge the united states congress to move forward on a constitutional amendment to overturn citizens united. and i would hope that we would heed what the towns in vermont are saying. i would hope that other towns and cities and states all over the country would move forward in that direction. and i would hope that the day would come sooner than later where the united states congress will entertain a constitutional amendment and bring it back to the states. so, madam president, at this difficult moment in american democracy, it is imperative that we stand up, we reclaim our
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democracy and we say to the millionaires and the billionaires and the large corporations, sorry, this country belongs to all of us, this democracy belongs to all of us and not just to you. and, madam president, i would like to present to the record the names of the 55 towns who passed resolutions yesterday to overturn citizens united. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: thank you. i would yield the floor.
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mr. sanders: madam president, i urge a quorum call. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: .
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quorum call:
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