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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 29, 2015 8:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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defense strategies. the director of mental health told a senate panel more needs to be done to treat mental illness. that is coming up later tonight. next, military analyst talk about ways to improve u.s. military strategy testifying at the senate armed chair committee chaired by senator john mccain of arizona. >> good morning. we are pleased to have with us a group of witness who want to realize and reshape the future.
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we are focused on the forestructure, the challenges in the future, the need for reform in every area of national defense, and i would seek and urge both subcommittee chairman and ranking members as well as all members to engage in a series of examinations of natural defense in all aspects.
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this year's ndaa. i know that senator reid is committed to the same prospect and i know we can embark on the odyssey in a completely bipartisan fashion. i think the men and women who are serving deserve it. but i think more than that america deserves a thorough examine nation of how we can best equip our military in the ability to defend this nation in very turbulent times. we are pleased to have shawn
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brimley, executive vice president of director of studies at the center for new american studies, andrew krepinevich and chr christopher probe preble. robert gates echoed last week what was testified to the committee all year. that we should not forget the threats we faced in the past times that the current threat is complex and uncertainty. many have spent the past decade or more investing billions to build up and reshape their militaries in developing technologies to thwart america's technology advantages.
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many of the technologies that made america the unparallel global military power just 15-25 years ago, such as provision guidan guidance ammunition and stealth are declining. our advisaries are finding new ways as well to attack us from space and cyber. we face growing networks of violent extremist that will engage in a low conflict of technology.
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we have a similar but decline version of the military from the 1980s. we are spending the same amount as 30 years ago but getting 35% combat, 53% fewer ships, 63% combat and air squads. our forces are more capable than ever but not capable of being in multiple places at once. capacity still matters especially giving the number of contingencies we face. our ad visaries are more soph
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sophis -- sophisticated as well. we are now facing the dual problem of quantitative and equalitative erosion of our military edge. at the level of strategy, we are now living through an all too familiar pattern in american history. a period of exertion and retrench from the world that goes too far and we end up courting disaster through action and self-imposed harm done to our ability to project power and influence. that is where we are today. relearning that under reaching can be as dangerous as overreaching if not more so. now, more than every, we need a clear strategy or strategies to guide our actions in defense investments. unfortunately, all too often, senior leaders in the government don't seem able to define the
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concept. when pressed for strategy, they offer objectives in general interest and means and hopes and dreams but not a strategy. not a description of the way they i will marshall limited ways to achieve their means. we get what we heard on tuesday: the three r's. what is worse is national security strategies have become a speech writing process telling us little about strategy as does the defense review which as many of our witnesses told us last thursday is more of a sustained explanation of the program of record. strategy, like governing, is to chose. we must set priorities and determine what missions are more important than others, what capabilities we have at the expense of others, and there are no short cuts around strategy. doing more with less is just a
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rationalization for doing less. more money spent in the wrong way and on the wrong thing will still fail if we think we can succeed with business as usual. we cannot. that is why defense reform is so important, not merely as a cost saving measure, although there are cost to save at the department of defense, but because we need to be smarter and more innovative about how we prioritize our security inter t interest, what size and shape our military must be to succeed now and in the future. the choices entailed here will not always be poplar in all quarters of the defense establishment. but these are the choices we must make to insure our military is built and postured to deter and if necessary defeat our
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advisaries. senator reid? >> let me join you and say thank you to the witnessess for being here. let me thank the chairman for providing the committee with the opportunity to take a review of the structure, missions, and essentially look forward very cretively and thoughtfully. we had bob gates and former officials and historians. they talked about the defense department and the complex issues going forward. it is worthwhile has the chairman did to quote dr. gates. he said americans are leaders
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regarding international crisis and conflict as arberations when they are the norm. our record of predicting the future is perfect; we have never got it right. we must focus on treatment across the broadest spectrum of conflict. following dr. gates testimony, we heard comments from panelist about outdated ways and ways that guidance is crafted including the national strategy. among other things and our witnesses highlighted the resources and overtaking by global resources by the time they are published. i am interested in hearing each of the win witnesses comments on
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this. the strong leadership was commented on as well particularly by the secretary. this point is self-evident. dr. gates said satisfy battlefield needs cannot depend on the intense personal involvement of the secretary. the challenge of institutions. nearly 30 years after the passage of gold water nickels, it is appropriate to ask what missions the military should perform in the future, and how it should be structured to carry out tasks and how we must make
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more products relevant to planning and budget efforts and i commend the chairman for leading this effort. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for inviting me to appear before you today. i present views for you on this important topic. given the limited time, i would like to summarize my testimony by making five points. >> all witnesses key statement will be made part of the record. >> it is in the context of i would say a medical analogy. first you need a good diagnose of the environment you are in before writing the prescription.
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we are now in a period where we face threats growing in scale, and shifting in form, from those against which we spent most of the last quarter century planning for. these powers are interested in overturning in significant ways the rules-based international order that has benefited us and our allies and partners over an extened period of time.
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china russia and iran, besides these, we see the rise of powerful non-state entities. we are seeing a shift in the form of the challenges they produce. any good strategy giving sources of advantages you can use to exploit enemy witnesses. for example, focusing on the tendency we have had to operate in per missive environments, areas where the operation is not contested, and second, if
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advisa advisaries don't cake us on directly, whether the green men in iran, or the proxy war iran has waged throughout the middle east, and para military forces in the form of organizations like china's coast guard pushing to overturn in the in asia. we are facing the space, cyber space and under sea as well where it might be difficult to detect acts of aggression or attribute them once we have detected them. and finally there is what is called the second nuclear age come i could think would be described as a new wage of warfare. if you look at writings, they talk about nuclear weapons and new kinds as well with specified affects, very low yield weapons,
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using weapons in warfare there is the issue of cyber warfare and the ability to hold targets at risk that were reserved for nuclear weapons. on an array of new challenges on a greater scale and presented in a different formism -- this
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means you are diminished resources for training, equipping, modernization of the force and readiness. our capital stocks, planes ships and tanks and guns, may depreciate ad an accelerated rate if the form of the challenges presented is shifting and in fact it is. so our emphasis on forward deploying forces to large bases when you have adverse people increasing able to target the bases with my accuracy may make what was a source of reassurance
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to partners a lack of assurance. if there is an arms race going on between ourselves and allies and partners it is more of a disarmorment race. we have yet to see japan break through the 1% of gdp barrier. we are not just restricted to the budget in terms of responding to threats and increasing shifts and forms and challenge we face. in terms of the budget, how the budget is distributed, our
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capital stock, and the ability or willingness of allies and partners to step up when they are needed, i think there is a growing disconnect tobetween th threats we face and the means to address them. i think there is a need for a well-defined strategy. one that employs resources effectively. in the '90s when there was no threat, we didn't have to focus on strategy as much. but after 911, we didn't have to take tough choices because of the cap spending being open.
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but now it is this period again are resources are diminishing but threats are growing. it is time we begin to focus on strategy. one final comment, in terms of the size and scope of our military, in terms of the forces we have and the mix and where they are positioned around the world, we have to come up with a strategy where we can make informed decisions about these kinds of issues. how are we going to deter china from advancing revisions in the far east. we ought to limit the focus to block aiding china. that as an enormous affect on
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the forces, where you position them, what we ask of our allies. so first you have to come up with that strategy. i will close with a quote from a british admiral jacky fischer who, along with nelson is regarded by many brits as their two greatest admirals. fischer said i was asked what kind of parliament and navy we need and i said the first thing is make up your mind how you will fight or as we would say how you would deter and fight if you need to. how many of us made up our minds he said? and famously he said and how many admirals even have minds. thank you, mr. chairman. >> chairman, mccain, ranking member reed, thank for the
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opportunity to contribute the the testimony. i am delighted to know this committee is challenging all aspects of u.s. defense policy. the section on for sizing, rational in military capabilities is an important step in the process. there are differing opinions on how and why the military should be equipped to defend interest. with russia, ukraine, syria, iran is deeply involved in expanding the portfolio trying to engage even more provocative, having the right forces in sufficient quantity is critically important. in work i have been involved, we took a different approach to consider how one might think about sizing the u.s. military and posturing it for the future.
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instead of predicting where the forces might be needed and the type of conflict we look at history's use of military force. we reviewed other top level stories to include the bottom up review in 1992. what we found was that from the korean war onward the united states has been found to be in a major war over 15 years. further each of the nine studies came to roughly the same recommendations for end strength and formation. in general, the historical record in the study indicates the army needs 15 burr gade teams, navvy of 350 ships, and air force of 1500 fighter attack and a marine core based on 36,000 bitalion. this will help us handle a war or sustained fight and having capacity to handle large scale
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con political elsewhere and respond should someone trito take advantage of the perceived opportunity. the force enables the country to handle a crisis. this historical record spans 65 years encompassing decades. even shifts in political control of the legislative branches of the government. there are practical realities. the space it is waged require large forces to control territory or deny such. numbers matter. sustained operations require a large base, conventional combat operations, and to rotate into the battle.
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small numbers of equipped forces are inadequate to such situations and can lead to a force that is overly senseive to losses. numbers matter for preparing the future. when the force is small and hard pressed to meet demands, little capacity is available to prepare for the future. if we believe new ways are needed to maintain a competitive advantage over opponents and a portion of the course must be available for experimentation. instead, we continue to see further reductions in increased work load. former secretary of defense, robert gates, appeared before there committee and he said the united states cycles between ramping up for a crisis and then cutting the force to a bare minimum once the crisis is over
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assuming another crisis will not come along and we will be able to predict where, when and whom it will occur against. they are usually expensive and come at a cost in capacity. we should continue to explore the advantages of unmanned system and precision guided mission. we should not lose site of the fact that numbers matter when combat losses remain a future. on the current path at existing levels of funding, we are likely to find state of the art capabilities but encapsulati in conducting the active. so to sum it up numbers matter, the overall size of the force and how much is used appears to
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be independent of technology, perhaps strategy, internal organization or foresizing rational. once again, i thank you for the opportunity and look forward to answering your questions. >> thank you, senator mccain. senator reed, distinguished members of the committee, it is an honor to be here. i would briefly discuss the military capabilities required under the new strategy. the single word best describing foreign policy today is primacy. strategy that hinges on a military poised at a stop threats before they are materialized. this discourages them from taking steps in their interest. as one government document explained the military power
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aims to deter competitors from aspiring to a larger global role leaving aside where the strategy is challenging such, the cost is kr considerable. u.s. allies are content to focus on domestic priorities as the defenses languish. going forward, we should ask more of our security partners. we should not merely expect them to support us when we use force abroad but require them to address threats before they become regional or global. what are these threats? we are good at identifying a dizzying array of them but far less proficient at prioritizing them. we are designed to express all threats. a more resilient world would not
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be so dependented on the military power of one country. this would move us in the right direction. reluctance to use military power allows for a smaller one but we first determine things. let me turn to three aspects of the overall force structure consistent with a foreign policy of self-reliance and restrain. a capable navy, a nuclear deterant and a flexible, mobile
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capable of deploying, not a permanent presence force committed to prevent bad things from happening all the time and everywhere. what about our number denorthwestern it's a key component of the u.s. security
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policy but does not require 1600 nuclear weapons on delivery vehicles shame nuclear force based on submarines would be more than sufficient. the triad grew up during the cold war. it's clear it was required to deter soviet attacks against the united states. the case for the triad today is even more dubious. no adversary can destroy all u.s. ballistic submarines and all delivery vehicles and there would be time to change if the circumstances did. lastly, what about our ground forces? our troopers overtaxed. we have asked much of them and they have responded honorably, but they cannot do everything, and they cannot be everywhere. more troops is not the answer. a more judicious use of those that we already have is. in that context we should consider the wisdom of armed nation building, aka counterinsurgency or c.o.i.n. to observe the united states is ill suited to such missions is not the fault of the us military
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them american people will support missions to strike our inept but most doubt that nation-buildings worth the effort. the public skepticism is warranted. the crucial factors for success are outside the forces to control and the track record of democratic powers is abysmal. then again, americans are accustomed to doing the impossible if that is what is required. the role reason we will not master state-building is it's not needed. we should deal with threats as aarise and drop the pretense we must succeed at nation building abroad in order to be safe here at home. i if we revisit the other possible rationals for a large standing army, reduce our overseas presence and encourage other countries to defend themselves we could rely more heavily on -- here at home. it's generally assumed the roles and missions we assign our military will grow more owner --
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>> you can watch this at the senate that come back into session. senator ted cruz on the floor. live coverage on c-span 2. with lobbyists and special interests here in washington and grow and grow and grow government. the washington cartel is, i believe, the source of the volcanic frustration americans face across this country. and it is difficult to find a better illustration of the washington cartel than the charade we are engaged in this evening. this deal that we are here to vote on is both shockingly bad on the merits and it is also a manifestation of the bipartisan corruption that suffuses washington, d.c. what are the terms of this budget deal? well, in short, what the house
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of representatives has passed and what the senate is expected to pass shortly is a bill that adds $858 billion in spending increases. $85 billion in spending increases. $85 billion to our national debt. $85 billion to your children and my children that they're somehow expected to pay. i don't know about your kids but my girls don't have $85 billion laying around in their rooms. and it's put together in a way only washington could love. the spending increases, when do they occur? surprise to nobody, $37 billion in 2016, $36 million in 2017, $12 billion in 2018. but, we were told, fear not. there are some spending cuts to offset them. and wonderfully, marry rack husbandly, ostensiblier there oe
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suppose to be a few spending cuts in at the very end, 10 years from now, when my daughter caroline will be getting ready to graduate high school -- she's 7 now -- 10 years from now we are told $33 billion will be cut in 2025. well, mr. president, if you believe that, i have a bridge to sell you in brooklyn and i have some beachfront property in arizona. nobody in this chamber believes that. nobody in the house of representatives believes that. no member of the press believes that. everyone understands this is a lie. it is an agreed-to lie by everyone. we'll spend now for a promise that 10 years hence we'll magically cut spending that will never, ever, ever occur. that's on the face of it. but beyond that. you know, it's worth thinking about just how much $85 billion
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is. it's more than the senate negotiated with the house when harry reid was majority leader. when harry reid was majority leader, the ryan-murray budget agreement, which was a flawed agreement, an agreement i voted against, increased spending by $63 billion over two years. now, mr. president, what does it say to you that a supposedly republican majority of the united states senate negotiates a bigger spending bill than harry reid and the democrats? when harry reid and the democrats were in charge of this body, they jacked up spending on our debt $63 billion. when the republicans take charge, ooh, baby, we can do it better, some $85 billion. not only that, this deal's not content with spending increases.
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it also takes the debt ceiling and essentially hands president obama a blank credit card. it says to the president, you can add whatever debt you like for the remainder of your team with no constraint from this body. we are abdicating any and all congressional authority over the debt that is bankrupting our kids and grandkids. now, you and i both campaigned telling the citizens of nebraska, telling the citizens of texas that if we were elected, we would fight with every breath in our body to stop the spending and debt that is bankrupting our kids and grandkids. how, pray tell, does handing president obama a blank credit card for the remainder of his tenure do anything to follow those commitments? and let me note for the remaining 15 months, we are going to see a binge from this president that makes the preceding 6 1/2 years pale.
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for 6 1/2 years, we've seen an assault on rule of law, an assault on our constitutional rights, a retreat from the world stage, all of which i think will pale compared to what's coming in the next 15 months. the next 15 months abroad, i have said before, we are essentially in a hobzian state of nature, where the enemies of america have made the judgment that the commander in chief is not a credible threat and so they are limited only by the limits of their own strength. like "lord of the flies. "on the regulator -- lordof the" on the regulatory side, we are seeing an affront on freedom, to destroy businesses, to destroy jobs, to destroy our constitutional liberties and when it comes to spending, i shutter to think what president obama for 15 months will do with a blank credit card. that the republican majority in the house of representatives and the republican majority in the senate are preparing to send over.
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you know, american express has a whole series of credit cards. it has the green card, the introductory card. i remember when i was a freshman in college, i was 17 years old, i got a little application for an american express card. i was really excited. i got an amex when i was 17. it was a green card. now, if you spend more and you spend more, eventually you can upgrade to a gold card. then you can upgrade to a platinum card. and then you can actually upgrade to a black card above that. well, i've got to say, a multitrillion-dollar presidential card -- that's got to be an extraordinary card. i assume it's encrusted in diamonds and glows in the dark. that's what the republican majorities have just given president obama. is a diamond-encrusted, glow-in-the-dark amex card. and it has a special feature. the president gets to spend it now and they don't even send him the bill. they send the bill to your kids and my kids. it's a pretty nifty card. you don't have to pay for it,
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you get to spend it and it's somebody else's problem. but, you know, not only is this bill spending us deeper and deeper in a hole, but it's chock-full of gimmicks. and these are gimmicks that everyone writing it knew were there. for example, it contains a spending gimmick that targets single-employer pension plans while ignoring the oncoming union multiemployer pension plan funding tsunami. beyond that, this bill also addresses obamacare. but what does it do? it provides a targeted obamacare fix for big business. those with more than 200 employees. by repealing the law's automatic enrollment provision which requires employers to automatically enroll new full-time employees in one of
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the company's health plans unless the employee opts out. now, what does it say, mr. president, that the congress of the united states exists to provide a special exemption for giant corporations? but turns a blind eye, turns a deaf ear to the small businesses that are being driven out of business over and over and over again by obamacare. what does it say that if you are a giant corporation in america, if you have lobbyists -- and fear not, the washington cartel is here for you -- a special carve-out no doubt just as soon as you hand over your campaign contribution. but for the small business, you know, we're facing a time unique in recorded history where more small businesses are going out of business than are being created. for as long as they've kept record, that has never been true until recent years under the obama economy.
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now, why does that matter? that matters because over two-thirds of all new jobs come from small businesses. when you hammer small business businesses, you end up getting the stagnation, the misery, the malaise we have right now. when you hammer small businesses, you have young people coming out of school who can't find jobs, who have student loans up to their eyeballs but can't find a job. when you hammer small business businesses, you have people like my father, who in the 1950's was a teenage immigrant washing dishes, unable to find a job. what does it say that congress will pass a special exemption for giant corporations but for the single moms, for the teenage immigrants, for the young african-american teenagers struggling to achieve a better life, there's no answer to their plight? to the some 6 million americans who had their health insurance canceled and their doctors canceled because of obamacare, there's no answer to their plight. to the millions of americans who've seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket so they could no longer afford
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them, there's no answer to their plight. but fear not, the cartel is here for the giant corporations. and let's be abundantly clear, the cartel is not a partisan phenomenon. it is not just the democrats, although it is most assuredly the democrats. but it is far, far too many republicans as well who are card-carrying cartel members, who when the k street lobbyists summon action, snap to attention. you look what else does this deal do? this deal additionally takes $150 billion the next three years from the social security trust fund and moves it to the disability insurance fund. mr. president, i would advise all of the members of this body, the next time you're at home, the next time you're visiting with a senior, the next time the topic of social security comes up, if you vote for this deal tonight, be sure to say, "ma'am, just so you know, i voted to
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take $150 billion out of your social security." because that's what they're doing. that's what they're doing is they're saying to seniors, well, there's a little bit of money here, we're going to take it and move it over here. why? because actually fixing the disability program, reforming the program, that would be too difficult. stepping forward to address the fraud in that program, that would be too difficult. stepping forward to put in place work incentives, to help people with disabilities find meaningful work even if it's not everything they're capable of. a great many people with disabilities are capable of meaningful work. reforming that program to help people work to provide for their families, that makes a difference in people's lives. but, mr. president, that isn't easy. that's hard work. that's actually what we were elected to do. far easier just to go raid the social security trust fund.
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far easier to go pull $150 billion from our seniors and reallocate it and do nothing, zero, to fix the underlying problem. the deal also sells 58 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserve. now it's always interesting to see the federal government selling off federal assets. i have argued for a long time we should be selling off federal land, far too much of which in this country is owned by the federal government. and i'm not talking about national parks, which is a treasure that should be preserved. i'm talking about the vast amounts of land that are held utterly nonproductive by the federal government. so it is a good thing that this bill is selling some assets. but it's interesting, number one, they estimate that that will yield $5 billion because they estimate that it will be selling at $86 a barrel.
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now, i've got to say, representing the state of texas, if you know how to sell oil today at $86 a barrel, you are truly a magician, because it is selling at about half that right now. but when it comes to budget trickery, you just make up a number and put it in there. because as i said before, on this chart everyone knows it's a lie. nobody believes it's true. it's a game. it's the washington game. and i would note that in selling 58 million barrels of oil, they're not using that remnant to pay down our national debt. you're actually selling assets. you would think it would go to something like at home. if you sell an asset and you have a massive credit card debt, the prudent thing to do would be to use the revenue from that asset to pay down that credit card debt. oh no, that's just more and more spending.
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i would note a group called the conservative action project consists of the c.e.o.'s of over 100 organizations representing all of the major elements of the conservative movement, the economic, social, and national security conservatives. they sent a letter to this body, the letter reads as follows: the latest budget deal negotiated by the white house and outgoing speaker john boehner, the bipartisan budget act of 2015, proposes increasing spending by $85 billion over the next three fiscal years. what the deal doesn't include are meaningful accountability measures that ensure p responsible spending limits. the deal would allow treasury unfettered borrowing power until 2017 in exchange for theoretical budget cuts down the road. they included offsets are spending gimmicks at best.
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according to budget analysis from the congressional budget office and the heritage foundation, the deal would result in a spending increase of $85 billion over the next three years while significant spending cuts would not take place for another ten years, until 2015. furthermore, we cannot reasonably expect a future congress will abide by these measures. moreover, the busting of the caps presently is proof that the gimmicks which promise reform later are hollow. the bipartisan deal -- in quotes -- indicates a dangerous trend that has become commonplace in washington. rather than answer hard questions about spending, the congress is choosing to eliminate the possibility of these conversations or votes for the next two years. furthermore, the deal represents total surrender on important conservative principles while
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capitulating to every demand of the white house. it is this sort of irresponsible spending that has resulted in a debt of over $18 trillion. for the first time in nearly six years, republicans have control of both houses of congress and a real chance to send responsible budget reforms to the president's desk, a responsible alternative would acknowledge the importance of appropriating funds for government operations while simultaneously addressing our statutory debt limit and staying within the budget caps. instead, lawmakers have foregone the chance at meaningful reforms and instead are digging us deeper into the mire of debt that our nation has already accrued. in potential, the most egreedges portion of the -- egregious portion of the deal, the overseas contingency operation
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or o.c.o. fund is typically designated to support troops on the ground in emergency situations, is turned over to a slush fund for non-defense spending. we oppose the bipartisan budget act of 2015 not only because it fails to curtail spending, but it prevents future reforms for an entire two years. lawmakers should reject this deal and attach earnest, meaningful reforms to any hike of the debt limit. it is signed by former attorney general edwin meese, the honorable becky norton dunlop and dozens and dozens of names of respected conservative leaders across this country, across the full spectrum of the conservative movement, across fiscal conservative, social conservative, national security scerveghts, all united the conservative movement. i would note many of the people that worked very hard to elect us to this body, many of the people that worked very hard to
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give us a republican majority in the senate, they're now all speaking in unison saying what in the heck are you doing? some of them may be using stronger language than that. let me point something out. you know, this bill that we're voting on, this bill was not cooked up overnight. this wasn't a slap dash on a post-it last night. this represents days or weeks or months of negotiations. this represents the cartel in all of its glory because this is the combined work product of john boehner and nancy pelosi and mish mcconnell and harry reid -- and mitch mcconnell and harry reid. the entire time republican leaders have been promising we're going to do something on the budget. we're going to rein in the president, they have been in the back room negotiating to fund
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every single thing obama did. we saw el chapo dug out of his prison cell. one of the first thing you realize is that that wasn't dug overnight. the drug cartel spent many months digging that cartel. our leadership has spent many months breaking el chapo out on the american people, digging us deeper into debt. i'll point out it is contrary to the promises, the promises that our leaders have made. in august of 2014, majority leader mitch mcconnell was quoted as saying, "so in the house and senate, we own the budget. so what does that mean? that means we can pass the spending bill. and i assure you that in a
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spending bill we will be pushing back against the bureaucracy by doing what's called placing riders in the bill. no money can be spent to do this or do that. we're going to go after them on health care, on financial services on the environmental protection agency across the board, all across the federal government we're going to go after it. let me ask you, mr. president, have we done any of that? any of that at all? no, no, wait, wait. leadership might come back and say, well, sure, we have appropriations bills, there are riders. but the democrats are filibustering it. mr. president, everyone understands why the democrats are filibustering appropriations bill. when republican leadership begins the negotiationing by peremptory surrendering by saying we're going to fund everything, 100% of what you want, what rational democrat would ever agree to allow an appropriations bill to go forward? i'm reminded of a football game
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where at a football game if the coach comes out at the beginning of the game when the coin is being flipped and forfeits, you know the results in 100% of those games. 100% of those games, that team will lose. well, sadly, that team is the american people because it's republican leadership that goes out and forfeits at the coin toss over and over again. i would note beyond that, that was in 2014. in 2015 senate majority leader mitch mcconnell vowed -- quote -- "some big fights over p funding the bureaucracy" saying that his party would use spending bills now being written in the g.o.p.-controlled congress to extract policy concessions from president barack obama. well, mr. president, where are those policy concessions? where are those fights? i don't recall seeing any fights. actually, that's not fair. there are fights, fights against
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conservatives, fights against efforts to rein in the obama administration. fights against efforts to stop the spending, fights against effort to turn around our debt. on that the republican leader fights ferociously. but where are the promised fights against the obama agenda or anything? name one concession. and let's go back to the substance of this deal. one of the things this deal does is it utterly makes a mockery of the budget control act. it abrogates the caps, the budget caps. it wasn't too long ago that republican leadership was touting the budget control act as one of the greatest successes of republican leadership. indeed, when asked, why does it matter to have republicans in control, typically the answer would be, well, look at the budget control act. indeed, another quote from
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majority leader mitch mcconnell quo quoap politicians regularly come to washington promising fiscal responsibility. but too often they can't agree to cut spending when it counts. and that's why the budget control act is such a big deal. mind you, a big deal that right now the republican congress is abrogating. since congress passed the b.c.a. with overwhelming bipartisan majorities in 2011, washington has actually reduced the level of government spending for two years running. this is the first time that has happened since the korean war. leader mcconnell continued, the b.c.a. savings are such a big deal in fact that the president campaigned on it endlessly in 2012. and yet, the lone fiscal accomplishments supposedly of the republican majorities, this deal throws overboard. they didn't have much to point to but they had this one. we have the budget caps. guess what? we don't have those either.
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then there is the debt ceiling. you know, in 2011 then-minority leader mitch mcconnell talked about what the debt ceiling should be used for. thes a quote from an op-ed he wrote. what republicans want is simple. we want to cut spending now. do this is do this? no. we want to cap run-away spending in the future. does this do this? no. and we want to save our entitlements and our country from bankruptcy by requiring the nation to balance its budget. again, this does not do this. we want to get our economy growing again at a pace that will lead to significant job growth. well, surely there's some progrowth measures in this. no. that wasn't an isolated
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statement. earlier in 2011 leader mcconnell explained -- quote -- "no president in the near future, maybe in the distant future, is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a reignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get america ahead in the right direction?" that was four years ago. well, why is it that republican leadership is giving president obama trillions in more debt without any -- let's go back to leader mcconnell's words "reignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get america headed in the right direction," a clear promise made to the american people. and this deal makes that promise a mockery. it makes it an utter mockery. instead republican leadership is taking the lead to remove the debt ceiling from barack obama. he will never have to worry about it again.
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you know, why do these matter? why do we have these fights? to understand why, you have to understand the dynamics of congress today. in congress today, there are essentially three types of spending limits. there are, number one, show votes. show votes is a particular favorite of leadership. show votes is anything, frankly, the men and women who elected us care about. we've had show votes on planned parenthood. we've had show votes on the iran nuclear deal. we've had show votes on amnesty. show votes are designed for all the republicans to vote one way, all the democrats to vote the other, and for us to lose. show votes are a game of political posturing. leadership is happy to give show votes.
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and, frankly, leadership is irked that the men and women who elected us are not satisfied with show votes anymore. you know, there was a time when politicians in washington could look down at our constituents and say they don't understand what's going on. we give them a show vote, they'll be satisfied with that. a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. the electorate has gotten much more sophisticated, much more informed with the advent of the internet, with the advent of social media, people can now tell a show vote. a vote that is designed to lose from day one, that is an exercise in political theater, in kabuki theater is not, in fact, honoring the commitments made to the men and women who elected us. there's a second type of legislation which is simply a collected spending bill that pays off the washington cartel, pays off the lobbyists and that can often get bipartisan agreement. if you're giving money to giant
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corporations, it is amazing how many democrats and republicans can come together to say, hey, these corporations write campaign checks. we're all for that. the pesky taxpayers, they don't know enough to fight against this. we can keep them in the dark, so let's keep robbing the single moms waiting tables to take her paycheck and give it to the giant corporation. mr. president, that stinks. you want to know why america's mad? that's it right there. the legalized looting that occurs in this city every day. but then there's a third type of vote and that is the must-pass legislation. i would note this year in the senate, there are a number of senate freshmen and senator leadership has done what senate leadership always done, which is wrap their arms around senate freshmen and bring them into the bosom. and one of the things i'm hoping senate freshmen observe firsthand, i have not been here
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much longer than the senate freshmen, but one of the things you quickly realize is the only fights that have any chance of actually changing law, the only fights that have any chance of actually changing policy are must-pass bills. if you want to do more than a show vote, if you want to actually fix a problem, if you want to actually address a wrong, you either fight on the must-pass votes or you do nothing. those are the choices. leadership knows that typically must-pass votes are one of three things. they are continuing resolutions. they are omnibus appropriation bills. or they are debt ceiling increases. if you look historically how has congress reigned in a recalcitrant president? it has been through continuing resolutions, omnibus appropriations or debt ceiling increases. if leadership foreswears using
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any of them, we will not use any must-pass legislation to do anything. well, you know what that means? that means the congress of the united states has become all but irrelevant. and that's what leadership has done. you know, it's all captured in one innocuous little statement. no shutdowns. that's what leadership has promised. we're going to have no shutdowns. now, listen, to most folks, that sounds like a very reasonable proposition. in the private sector, you generally don't shut a business down. saying we're not going to shut things down, that seems very commonsensical. but here's the problem. when you're dealing with zealots, when you're deal with idealogues and you tell them, if you do the following, i will surrender, if you tell them, if you say the word "zuccini" i will give in. we all know what will happen,
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immediately, they will begin saying, zuccini, zuccini, zuccini. that is washington today. republican leadership in both chambers has told president obama, we will never, ever, ever allow a shutdown. because lord knows the last time we had a shutdown, it resulted in us winning nine senate seats, taking control of the senate, retiring harry reid as majority leader and winning the largest majority in the house. and goodness gracious, we don't want that to happen again. well, once republican leadership tells obama, we will never, ever, ever allow a shutdown, then suddenly the president has a little furry rabbit's foot in his pocket. on any issue, any fight, any topic that comes up whatsoever. all the president has to do is whisper quietly in the wind, "shutdown." and republican leadership runs to the hills. it really is a wonderful negotiating tactic. why is this happening? because president obama whispered "shutdown."
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and leadership said, we surrender. if you are not willing to fight on any must-pass legislation, we will not win anything. you know, leadership responds, though, it's not reasonable. you cannot win, you can never win a fight on must-pass legislation. now, mr. president, the problem with that is history is to the contrary. you know, john adams famously said, facts are stubborn things. of the last 55 times congress has raised the debt ceiling, it has attached meaningful conditions to that 28 times. it has historically proven "the" most effective leverage congress has. so when leadership says, and, by the way, when press outlets echo leadership in saying, it's
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hopeless, nothing can be done, do not fight on thi these issue, they never seem to address the reality of history that's directly to the contrary. graham-rudman, one of the most significant spending restraints of modern times came on the debt ceiling. if congress wasn't willing to fight on the debt ceiling, you'd have no gramm-rudman. but yet, mr. president, leadership might respond, okay, fine. historically that was true but not with barack obama, not with harry reid. this current incarnation of democrats, they're too partisan, they're too extreme, they're too zealous, it will never work with them. the only problem is, that's not true either. indeed, what we are talking about right now, the budget control act, came from the debt ceiling. the newly elected republican house majority -- newly elected majority in the house of representatives used the debt
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ceiling to extract the budget control act from president obama, which until just recently, leadership hailed as their greatest fiscal success in modern times. now, why, mr. president, if the tool that yielded the greatest fiscal success was the debt ceiling, why would leadership say we'll never use it again? you know, it's like the san francisco 49ers of great saying we're never going to again allow joe montana to throw to jerry rice. that worked too well -- never again. if you discover a tool that works, who in their right mind would say, the tool that has proven most successful in reining in the president, we will take off the field forever? i don't know if anyone in their right mind would but that is, in fact, what congressional republican leadership has done. this debt ceiling is kicked down
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the road until the end of the obama presidency. now, i would note that when speaker boehner announced his resignation, on that day i predicted this outcome. on that day within minutes of speaker boehner announcing his resignation, i stated publicly what this means is that he has cut a deal with nancy pelosi to raise the debt ceiling and to fund the entirety of obama's agenda for the next two years. you know, it was interesting, mr. president, when i said that, there were those in the media who criticized me. oh, you don't know that. why are you so cynical? why would you say such a thing? i would say such a thing because i understand how the washington cartel it's not two parties but it is, in fact, one party, the party of washington. i mentioned that this deal took
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months to negotiate. we're seeing the fruits of it right here. this is exactly what i predicted the day john boehner resigned. why? because that then freed the speaker to pass this through the house of representatives. how many democrats do you think voted for this? i'll tell ya -- every single one of them, 100% of the house democrats who voted, voted for this. 79 republicans voted for it. a handful, a small minority of republicans. so how did this pass the house? with all the democrats, house leadership, and a handful of republicans. how is it likely to pass this body? every democrat will vote for it. republican leadership will vote for it and they'll get some of the republicans. that pattern, a lame-duck speaker of the house cutting a deal with a lame-duck president,
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to add $85 billion on our national debt and to give away any and all leverage for the remainder of the obama administration. because that's what this deal means. it's worth understanding. this deal means that republican majorities in both congress will extract nothing of significance from president obama. this deal means that republican leadership have fully surrendered. it's interesting, they call it clearing the decks. that's a uniquely washington term. you recall back in december, the trillion-dollar cromnibus bill, very first thing we did after winning majorities in both houses, was also called clearing the decks. boy, these decks need a lot of clearing. i've got to say, these chairs get rearranged like they're on the deck of the titanic and no one addresses the fact that the ship of the united states is headed towards the iceberg. $18 trillion in that the party of washington, the washington
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cartel, has created, is complicit in growing. the only people losing are our kids. and their kids. and the future of this country and the future of the free world. that's all that's being lost. but, hey, there are cocktail parties in washington this week. lobbyists are hosting them. they're writing checks. if we actually stood up to that, that would be difficult. there's a reason so many politicians talk about standing up to washington and yet so few actually do it. because it's far easier to take the path of least resistance. it's far easier to go along to get along. it's far easier simply to agree. to be agreeable. to get along. why can't you get along with the politicians that are bankrupting your children and my children? you know what? i don't make it a habit to
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acquiesce in people who are doing enormous damage to this country. that's what we're seeing. now, what could have been done instead? imagine a hypothetical, mr. president. imagine we just had republican leadership that wanted to fight on something, on anything. for pete's sake, at this point, i think most voters would take -- give me something that matters and fight on that, whatever it is. they're so frustrated. how can it be we won majorities in both houses and there is nothing, nothing, nothing that matters to the people that you're willing to fight on? now, do i think the continuing resolution or the debt ceiling could have magically transformed this country? do i think we could have done fundamental, wholesale reforms? probably not. that would have taken truly inspired leadership and that may be asking too much.
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but is the alternative, if we couldn't have solved every problem, is the alternative really that we could have solved nothing? is the alternative really we had to give obama everything and do nothing to fix the problems? let me suggest seven things this deal could have included. number one, how about the default prevention act? it's legislation pat toomey has introduced. he also calls it the full faith and credit act. you know, every time we have a debt ceiling fight, the democrats scare monger. they say, if you don't raise the debt ceiling, america will default on its debt. now, let us be clear. that is a blatant lie. they know it's a lie. i'll note when barack obama was senator obama, he voted against george w. bush raising the debt ceiling. he said it was unpatriotic to raise the debt ceiling.
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that's when the debt was about half of what it is now. everyone who votes here later tonight, you should remember that senator obama said, if you're voting to raise this debt ceiling, what you're doing is unpatriotic. those are the words of a young barack obama. but the reason it is a lie, every month's federal revenue is about $200 billion. interest on the debt runs between $30 billion and $40 billion a month, which means in any given month, there are ample revenues to service the debt. no responsible president would ever allow a default on the de debt. and, indeed, what a responsible president should do is stand up at the very outset and say let me be clear, under no circumstances will the united states ever, ever, ever default on its debt. that's what a responsible president would do. sadly, that means that's not what president obama's done. instead, what he does
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consistently when we approach a debt ceiling is he threatens we will default on the debt if you don't give me a blank credit card. so what is the default prevention act do? it says in the event that the debt ceiling is not raised, we will always, always, always service our debt, that we will never, ever, ever default on the debt. i recognize there are some skilled demagogues in washington but, mr. president, how exactly does the democratic party demagogue republicans for risking a default on the debt in order to pass legislation preventing defaults on the debt? that's some slick talking. but you know what? the republican leadership didn't want to do that because if we did that, the next debt ceiling conservatives would expect us, okay, now let's use this leverage to fight for something, and they don't want to fight for something. the democratic scare mongering
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is useful because they are working to meet the same priorities. if you pass the default prevention act, then suddenly some spines might stiffen and people might be prepared to fight. and that is a nightmare to leadership, that we would actually fight. so no, no, no, we will not attach the default prevention act. how about another one? shutdowns? you would think senator rob portman has legislation prohibiting government shutdowns. you would think for republican leadership that has made one promise carved in stone, we will never, ever, ever allow a shutdown, if there were anything on earth to attach to this deal, it would be that. senator portman's legislation says in the event a continuing resolution isn't passed, in the event appropriations expire, funding will continue but it will gradually ratchet down slowly over time. we pass that bill, there will never ever, ever be a government shutdown. now, gosh, if i listened to the
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rhetoric of leadership, i would think they would want to pass that bill. why is it in this? the answer is simple. because if it was in this, members of this body would actually expect us to stand up and fight for something. instead leadership wants to be able to tell the freshmen, the new members of of the senate a shutdown is terrible. it's the worst thing in the world. so we can't fight for anything. so you must acquiesce in anything obama wants. if we actually passed legislation prohibiting shutdowns, that scare mongering would be taken off the table. democrats don't want that. because democrats support shutdowns. you look at the last shutdown over obamacare. revisionist history aside because the media loves doing revisionist history, republicans voted over and over and over again to fund the government,
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and it was harry reid and barack obama that shut the government down. now reporters scoff at that when they hear it, without ever acknowledging that harry reid very publicly said we think shutdowns help democrats politically. why is it a difficult proposition that if the leader of the democratic party says we think a shutdown is politically beneficial, why is it difficult to understand that they are the one forcing a shutdown? the last thing democrats want to take shutdowns off the table. but the dirty little secret, the mendacity in this body is republican leadership doesn't want that either. they don't want us standing and resisting anything because it's not two parties. it is one. what else could we have done? how about growth? you remember mitch mcconnell's comments about economic growth? why doesn't this bill have a provision lifting the ban on crude oil exports? that would produce economic
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growth across this country. it is a no-brainer economically. is this in there? no. did we try? no. maybe it was brought up behind closed doors and the democrats laughed and said, no, and we surrendered. i don't know. it doesn't matter, because leadership is not willing to fight for it. if you're not willing to fight for it, it won't happen. what else could we have done? we could have repealed the waters of the united states rule, one of the most crushing rules that is hammering farmers and ranchers that poses an immense threat to jobs across this country. by the way, you've even got some bipartisan opposition to it in this body. but fear not, mr. president, next week we've got a show vote on the waters of the united states bill scheduled. leadership is very happy, we'll have a show vote, we'll get to vote. it will fail. every farmer and rarchler that is face -- rancher that is facing hundreds and thousands of dollars in cost because of this rule should rest assured our show vote will allow us to
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pretend to be with them. why not attach to this a provision rescinding the waters of the united states? because that actually would prompt a fight. how about another option on the spekd side. how about putting in a work requirement for welfare. in the mid-1990's welfare reform, one of the most successful public policy reforms of modern times moved millions of people off of welfare into work, out of poverty and into the middle class. lifted their spirits, their hopes, their dreams, provided the dignity of work, provided children with homes that were more stable, had more future, more opportunity. we could have added to that to that. is that here? no. why? because president obama would fight it. because it is contrary to his big-government agenda to expect anyone receiving welfare to work or look for work.
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and by the way, let me say as an aside, you are not helping anyone when you make them dependent on government. you're not doing them a favor when you sap them of the dignity and self-respect of going to work. arthur brooks has a wonderful new book out. one of the things he talks about is the happiness that comes from going to work and working hard. the dignity that comes from looking your kids in the eyes and having a job. the democrats are not helping the people they trap in dependency. they are hurting them profoundly. i said many times when my dad was a teenage immigrant in the 1950's washing dishes making 50 cents an hour when he couldn't speak english, thank god some well-meaning liberal didn't wrap his arms around him saying let me give you a check, let me sap your dig knit and self- -- dignity and self respect. one of the most self-p
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destructive thing you could have done to my father. what about adding a provision of internet tax freedom permanent. the internet will be tax free in perpetuity. i tried to by that up numerous times. the democrats routinely can be expected to block it. why? because they want to threaten taxing the internet. ain't nothing politicians like more than to get their little grubby hands on our dollar and freedom. are republicans really that lousy at political battle that we fear the president would shut the government down, blame us and we would collapse in ignimity because we fought for internet tax freedom? if we're that bad at this, why are we doing this? one other option, how about auditing the federal reserve? something else that has bipartisan support, something
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else that would address the effects of debasing the concurrence. one of-- currency. one of the effects of debasing the currency are seniors, people struggling living paycheck to paycheck. single moms are seeing it harder and harder to make ends meet. those are seven things we could have added to this. and, by the way, i would note when leadership says, gosh, you're being unrealistic to expect us to fight, i didn't say any one of those is a must have. i gave a choice of seven. is it really the case, mr. president, that we could have fought for nothing? is that really the case? that's what leadership tells us. no, nothing parole growth, nothing limit -- no progrowth, nothing limiting spending, nothing addressing any of the promise we make. that's the position of leadership. i ask my republican colleagues to name one thing president
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obama is unhappy with regard this deal. there is an old line, if it's a good negotiation, both sides are unhappy, both sides will have given something. name one thing president obama is unhappy with. what did we get in return? name one thing. the answers to both questions are exactly the same: nothing. the fact is president obama's already told us what he thinks of this deal. just this week he stated -- quote -- "i'm pretty happy about the budget deals because it reflects our values." whose values are those? he's right. this budget deal reflects the obama values. and who negotiated this budget deal? that would be republican leadership. what does it say, mr. president, that republican leadership's budget deal gives president obama everything he wants
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because it reflects obama's values? this is why the american people are so frustrated. we keep winning elections and nothing changes. in 2009 we were told if only you had a republican majority in the house of representatives, then things would be different. we rose up, millions of us in 2010. won a majority, and very little changed. then we were told the problem was the senate. harry reid in the senate, if only we had a republican majority in the senate, then things would be different. 2014, millions of americans rose up again, won another historic tidal warfare victory, won nine senate seats, retired harry reid as majority leader. you and i have been here ten months. can you point to one single accomplishment the republican majority has given to the men and women who elected us? now mind you, there are things we have accomplished.
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it just wasn't anything we promised the men and women back home. one of the things i discovered as a freshman, how often leadership would effectively pat you on the head and say now, son, that's what you tell the folks back home. we don't actually do it. you don't expect us to actually do those things. you know, a few weeks back i was meeting with a number of house republicans. i suggested to them go back to your district, convene a town hall meeting, set up a white board and just ask your constituents what should be the top priorities of republican majorities in both houses of congress? and make a list. if you make a list of 20 things from your constituents, yours in nebraska, mine in texas, i guarantee you of those 20 things at least 18 of them will be nowhere on leadership's priorities. they simply are not what majorities are endeavoring to do. the second thing i suggested to
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the house republicans is i said go down to k street. assemble the biggest lobbyists in washington. take out that same white board, what are your top priorities. write a list of 20 things. 18 of them will be leadership's top priorities. that is the divide. people ask me, is it that leadership is unwilling to fight? is it that they're not very good? do they not know how to fight? sadly it's worse than that. they know how to fight. they're actually quite capable of it. and they are willing to fight. it's who they are fighting for. washington is working. it's just not working for the american people. it's working for the giant corporations. it's working for the lobbyists. it's working for the rich and powerful. six of the ten wealthiest counties in america are in and around washington, d.c. that's who the washington cartel works for. that's the basic divide. and indeed as we look back over the last ten months, one is left
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with the conclusion that is a rather shocking conclusion, which is that majority leader mcconnell has proven to be the most effective democratic leader in modern times. that is in the parlance of washington a surprising statement. but let's take a moment to review the statistics. between january and september 30 of this year there have been a total of 269 roll call votes. in the same time period, in the prior congress under harry reid, there were 211 roll call votes. let's look at the differences, and in particular i want to focus on the total number of times a majority of democrats voted aye, a majority of
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republicans voted no, and the measure passed. now, if someone is an effective democratic leader, you would expect them to be able to pass legislation when a majority of democrats supported it and a majority of republicans opposed it. if you're a partisan democrat that would be almost the definition of an effective democratic leader. 19 times in the last nienl months this so so-called republican majority has passed legislation, has had a vote succeed where a majority of democrats supported it and a majority of republicans opposed it. one example: we can look to is the d.h.s. funding, funding for the department of homeland security. when president obama issued his lawless and unconstitutional executive amnesty. you know, republicans across the
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country campaigned promising to stop it. you and i campaigned together in your home state of nebraska. i spent two months in the year 2014 campaigning with republican senate candidates all over this country. i think in those two months before that election i slept in my own bed about five days. over and over again republicans senate candidates said if you give us a majority in the senate, we will stop this unconstitutional amnesty. i have to tell you, i shared with republican leadership how about we honor that commitment. the response from leadership was i didn't say that. i can tell you senate candidates across this country did because i was standing next to them when they said it. what happened when we voted? when we voted for it, all 45 democrats voted aye. 100% of them. that's impressive for a leader to get 100% unanimity among his party. but notice i said "his party."
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there's a reason i said right now, sadly majority leader mitch mcconnell is the most effective democratic leader we've seen in modern times. 100% of the democrats are united. how about republicans. well, 31 voted "no" and 23 voted "yes." so under this majority leader, the democrats had their way and a majority of republicans lost. well, surely that's an outlier. yes, the president was behaving lawlessly. yes, he was behaving unconstitutionally. yes, indeed, he was behaving in his own terms like an emperor. and let me note, calling a president an emperor, that's -- that's fairly overheated rhetoric but it's not my rhetoric. it is president obama's. president obama was asked by activists, could he decree amnesty unilaterally and he sa said, i don't have the constitutional authority to do so. i am not an emperor. those are barack obama's words.
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i am not an emperor. then just months later, magically that same power he said he didn't have under the constitution, just months before presidential elections materialized. suddenly the man who said, "i am not an emperor," apparently became an emperor in his own assessment. and yet what did the republican majority in the senate do? it joined with 100% of the democrats to overrule a majority of the republicans in funding president obama's lawless amnesty acting as an emperor. you know, you and i both sat through a republican lunch a couple of weeks ago where our colleagues were quite puzzled why approval of the republican majority is at such low levels. they couldn't understand why right now republicans in congress have 10% lower approval rating than we had in the middle of the shutdown. they were utterly befuddled by. this i'm going to suggest a very easy reason. when our leader acts like an effective democratic leader, the people who elected us, their heads explode.
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but, surely, you might say, this is an isolated example. well, let's look at the next example. not that. that's not the next example. they were in a different order. yet another example, the bennett climate change amendment -- the bennet climate change amendment. a climate change amendment saying it's real, it's manmade, it's a national security threat and we need to act to stop it. now, listen, let me say something. on global warming, i am the son of two mathematicians and scientists. i believe we should be driven by the science and evidence. sadly, the far left is not interested in science or evidence. they're interested in politics and political power. so when it comes to global warming, they do not want to confront the inconvenient truth, as al gore might put it. that the satellite data demonstrate there's been no
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significant warming whatsoever for 18 years. they get very angry when you point that out. well, we had an amendment on that. how many democrats voted for it? oh, look, again, 46, 100%. every single democrat. how many republicans voted against it? 47. and just seven republicans. and yet it passed. now, that is an impressive victory for a democratic leader. you've just got 46 democrats. for a democratic leader to get a win with just 46 democrats, that's impressive. that's what current majority leader did. produced a win, ran over the wishes of 47 republicans. let's use another example. the motion to waive the budget
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rules on h.r. 2. now, this was the so-called doc fix. now, the doc fix, it's been a perennial challenge in congress. part of medicare that assumed unreasonable cuts in doctor reimbursement rates. now, for a time, it served a purpose, it actually allowed washington politicians to shake down the doctors election after election after election to write checks. so for a time, the washington cartel liked the doc fix but it came a time to get rid of it, and getting rid of it was a good thing. here's the problem. when we got rid of it, we didn't pay for it. we just put it on a credit card. we didn't actually do the hard work of finding spending cuts. we didn't do the hard work of figuring out how to pay for it. we just said, more debt. well, but at least it's not that much more debt. well, unfortunately it is. this so-called doc fix will spend more than $200 billion and add more than $140 billion to our deficits over the first 10
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years and more than $500 billion to our nation's deficits over 20 years. $500 billion. look, even in the world of washington, $500 billion is real money. $500 billion. but surely it is unreasonable to expect anyone to figure out thousand pay for a doc fix. well, you know, it's interesting, since 2004, congress has passed periodic doc fixes. and since 2004, doc fixes have been fully offset 94% of the time. 98% of the time if you count some of the budget gimmicks. if you count the gimmicks, 98% of the time. just this time, $500 billion, no, we're not going to offset that. we're just going to put it on the credit card. after all, obama has a diamond-encrusted glow-in-the-dark emex. we'll put it on that and the
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bill goes to your kids and my kids. now, what does that irresponsible profligate spending do? how many democrats voted for it. well, there's a surprise, every single one of them. 46 democrats. and yet republicans, 29 republicans vote "no,," $25 "yes." now, for a democratic leader, what a great victory. a democratic leader with just 46 democrats added $500 billion in spending without paying for it? holy cow. i don't recall harry reid ever being able to campaign saying give me a democratic majority, i'll add $500 billion in spending without paying for it. this is an accomplishment. the prior democratic leader harry reid was not able to achieve. and yet the current majority leader got this win for the democrats. let's look at the next example. confirmation of the attorney general, loretta lynch.
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now, i serve on the judiciary committee. i participated in multiple hearings where miss lynch over and over again refused to acknowledge any limits on president obama's authority whatsoever. when miss lynch was asked how she would differ from eric holder, who's been the most lawless and partisan attorney general this nation has ever seen, she said, no way whatsoever. when pressed repeatedly if she could articulate even a single limit on the authority of this president, who has since implicitly declared himself an emperor, she refused to articulate even a single limit. when asked if she would appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate the i.r.s. for wrongfully targeting citizens because of their free speech, because of their political view, when richard nixon tried to do
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it, the career professionals at the i.r.s. refused. richard nixon was rightly denounced in bipartisan terms for attempting to use the i.r.s. to target his political enemies. when the obama administration not only attempted but succeeded in doing so, no one has been held to account. instead, the holder justice department appointed in charge of the investigation a major democratic donor who's given over $6,000 to president obama and the democrats. you know, there's a yiddish word for that, chutzpah. when you appoint a major obama donor to be in charge of the investigation as to whether the obama administration is targeting the political opponents of the president, measure rackless -- measure mir, miraculous, everyone was exonerated. mistakes were made, we're told. it was rather classic, they used the same passive tense, passive
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voice that in the watergate scandal, mistakes were made. yes, mistakes were made. well, miss lynch told us, no, she would not appoint a special prosecutor. now, a number of members of this body, a number of republicans voted to confirm eric holder. that may or may not have been a mistake. i was not here at that time. i did not have the opportunity to examine his record prior to his being appointed attorney general. i can understand those who voted "yes." prior to becoming attorney general, eric holder had built a reputation, by and large, as a law-and-order prosecutor. and so you could understand senators who would believe that his tenure as u.s. attorney, his tenure as deputy attorney general might suggest he would not be partisan and lawless. with miss lynch, it was qualitatively different. with miss lynch, she told us she would do the very same thing. i suspect there are quite a few people on this side of the aisle have given speeches about the i.r.s. targeting.
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no one should be surprised the department of justice has now exonerated everyone, because you know what? we confirmed the attorney general who basically told us she would do that. and i would note, by the way, the majority leader had complete and unilateral authority. if we hadn't taken up this nomination, she would not have been confirmed. indeed, when president obama put in place his illegal executive amnesty, i publicly called on the soon-to-be majority leader, if the president violates the checks and balances in the constitution, if the president usurps the authority of congre congress, if the president ignores our immigration laws, then the majority leader should have responded and said the senate will not confirm any obama nominees, executive or judicial, other than vital national security positions, unless and until the president rescinds his illegal amnesty. now, that would have been strong medicine, to be sure. that's a serious pushback.
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it happens to be an authority directly given to the congress by the constitution as a check and balance. how do you get an imperial presidency? you get an imperial presidency when the other pranches of the government lay -- branches of the government lay down and hand over their authority. nothing prevented the majority leader from doing so other than that violates the norms of the washington cartel. and so instead, it was the majority leader who brought this up for a vote. and what happened? you know, sadly there's no drama or suspense anymore in look to what happened. with the democrats, all 46 democrats voted to confirm loretta lynch. all 46. 34 republicans voted "no." and yet she's confirmed. and the lawlessness continues at the department of justice. now, i've got to say, for a democratic leader, it's not clear to me harry reid could have gotten this done.
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harry reid in charge of this floor with just 46 democrats, it's not clear to me at all he could have gotten this done. but i've got to say, leader mcconnell has proven to be a very effective democratic lead leader. with just 46 democrats, the outcome is exactly what harry reid and the democrats would want. mr. president, is this not a curious state of affairs? why is a republican majority leader fighting to accomplish the priorities of the democratic minority? we'll look at one other example. the export-import bank. now, president obama, when he was senator obama, described this as a classic example of corporate welfare. over a hundred billion dollars in taxpayer-funded loan guarantees going to a handful of giant corporations, predominantly. and yet, as we talked about
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before, if there's one thing the washington cartel is good at, it's corporate welfare. the export-import bank, how many democrats? well, here's a shock, only 42 democrats. not 100%. you had one, i believe it was bernie sanders. i will commend senator sanders for standing up against this corporate welfare. on that, he and i are on the exactly the same page. and yet 42 democrats, just 22 republicans in favor of this corporate welfare. 28 republicans voted "no." and yet what happens? it passes. now, it's not at all clear that harry reid as democratic leader with just 42 democrats, it's not at all clear he could have gotten this. but leader mcconnell once again is a very, very effective democratic leader. and i would note one of speaker boehner's parting farewells was to tee up the export-import bank
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in the house of representatives. it expired this summer. you know, we talked before about how the budget control act was one of the few victories republican majorities could point to. you know, actually the expiration of the ex-im bank is another one, an example of over a hundred billion dollars in taxpayer loan guarantees to a handful of giant corporations and it expired. what does it say that in a period of two weeks republican majorities in both houses are working to undo not one, but both of the only two meaningful victories the republican majorities have produced? and mind you, for the same reason. because the cartel demands it, because the giant corporations want it, and because they want checks. what does that say? what does that say indeed? well, if you want to know what it says, we can look to the
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previous democratic leader, harry reid. who tweeted out, "i commend senate majority leader for setting up a vote to authorize the export-import bank. this bill is critically important for u.s. businesses." set aside how rich it is for the democrats to be claiming to be fighting for u.s. businesses. any time they say that, what they mean is cronies. because when washington particularly under the obama administration fights for u.s. businesses, it is giant corporations and not the little guy. over and over and over again it is those who employ armies of lobbyists and lawyers and accountants that get favors from washington. because when washington is handing out favors, it empowers politicians. iran wrote in atlas about how productive members of society, business members would be forced
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to go to parasitical politicians although some might suggest that is a redundant phrase, to go to parasitical politicians on bended knee begging for special dispensations. when you're standing for business, it means giant corporations that pay little to no taxes because they have tax loopholes carved in. it never means the mom and pop. it never means the little guy. it never means the sabina lovings of the world. who is sabina loving? sabina loving is a woman who testified before the senate in a hearing i will chaired a couple of weeks ago. sabina loving is an african-american woman, a single mom who started a small tax preparation company in the south side of chicago. the obama i.r.s. put in place new rules regulating tax preparation authorities, rules for which they had no legal authority. in fact, they used a statute called the dead horse act as
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their justification for regulating tax preparers. the obama i.r.s. regulation exempted lawyers. it exempted high-priced accountants. it exempted the rich and powerful. the giant accounting firms, they didn't have to worry about it at you will a. but ms. loving who started this business on the south side of chicago, she was facing thousands in costs, costs she felt could drive her out of business. ms. loving sued the i.r.s. and ms. loving won. you want an heroic, incredible story of a single mom standing up against big government and the lawless regulations of the obama i.r.s., you know what, sabina loving has no lobbyists in washington. the washington cartel doesn't listen to the sabina lovings. it listens to the rich and powerful corporations that write checks for both pawrts because it is one party, the party of washington. that is the sad reality of where we are.
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you want to nope why -- know whe american people are frustrated, you want to know why they're ticked off, you want to know why they cannot understand. it's into the we keep losing elections. that would be frustrating. but you could stand, we've got to do a better job, got to motivate people, got to convince people, we've got to get a message that resonates. we keep winning and the people we will elect don't do what they say they would. by the way, to lead the ex-im bank authorized, all congress had to do was do nothing. if there is one thing the united states congress is good at doing, it is doing nothing. and yet, the phrase that gets repeated so often, washington is broken, that phrase is actually not true. washington is working. it's just not working for the american people. it's working the cartel is
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working for the lobbyists and the giant corporations and those with power and influence in the obama administration. this deal is a classic example of the washington cartel. and i would note, by the way, you know, today we have a new speaker of the house, paul ryan. i congratulate paul ryan on his speakership. i hope that we see bold, principled leadership from the new speaker. one of the things that speaker ryan articulated was the ryan rule. that under speaker ryan, they would not bring to the floor of the house any bill that didn't have majority support upon the republican conference. mr. president, i ask you something: why doesn't majority leader mitch mcconnell articulate a similar rule for the united states senate? if the ryan rule is good enough for the united states house, why is the ryan rule not good enough for the united states senate? every one of the examples i just
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gave you, where majority of democrats -- in fact typically unanimous democrats, beat a majority of republicans, yef on- every one of those would never have come to the floor if the senate followed the ryan rule. how about that for a meaningful reform, that if the majority leader disputes the characterization that he is the most effective democratic leader modern times have seen, how about majority leader promulgating a similar rule to the ryan rule that we will not bring to the floor of the senate something that does not have at least majority support from republicans. that would be a sensible reform. sadly, i think the odds of it happening are not significant. because here's the reality the american people understand and it frustrates them. the cartel is all one happy family. the lame duck speaker on his way out will no doubt land in a
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plush easy chair in in the washington cartel, will soon be making millions of dollars living off the cartel. the lame-duck president when he moves on, like bill clinton before him, will make hundreds of millions of dollars. the cartel operates at one. in the senate we have one leadership team. it is the mcconnell-reid leadership team. in the house we have had the boehner-pelosi leadership team. they operate in complete harmony growing washington. that frustration is what is driving every day the growing and growing rage from the american people. and the truth of the matter is republican leadership does not spend time thinking how do we beat president obama? how do we beat harry reid?
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how do we beat nancy pelosi? how do we change any of these disastrous policies that are hurting millions of americans? instead leadership spends all their time thinking how do we beat the conservatives. in the house, how do we crush this freedom caucus, these crazy radicals who actually believe we should do what we said we would do? what a shocking revolutionary, radical statement for washington, d.c. that elected officials actually do what we told our constituents we would do. republican leadership with recent deals on planned parenthood, republican leader ship led the fight to fund planned parenthood. and indeed their press team went to the press and said isn't it great, we boxed out conservatives. we played the procedural game so there was nothing conservatives could do to stop $500 million in taxpayer funding for planned
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parenthood. what does it say, when i said majority leader mcconnell is the most effective democratic leader we've seen in modern times, you know what? harry reid didn't spend that much time thinking about how to beat republicans. leader mcconnell spends more time focused on how to defeat conservatives than harry reid ever did. that is the problem. it is our own leadership that cooks up deals. why do you think, mr. president, we're voting at 1:00 in the morning? is that an accident? it is by design. 1:00 in the morning, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. pay no attention to another $85 billion in debt. pay no attention to the fact that it is republican majorities giving a blank credit card to barack obama. votes at 1:00 in the morning, the republican leadership hopes no one notices so that right after we vote on it we can run out, get on plane and go to our
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constituents and say we've got to stop the debt. you know, i shutter to think for anyone l standing too close to a politician who says we've got to stop the debt after voting for this. the lightning strike that may hit them, the mendacity of this city. you no he, leadership -- you know, leadership always counsels prudence and reasonableness. how is it prudent to continue bankrupting this nation? how is it prudent to have gone from $10 trillion to over $18 trillion in debt? how is it prudent to stay with languishing economic growth from 2008 to today the economy has grown on average 1.2% a year. that's prudent? how is it prudent to watch as your children and my children's future is washed away? how is that reasonable? how is that pragmatic?
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why are we not instead trying to fix these problems? and not even just fix them all, not even solve everything with a perfect magical bow. because leadership plays in game, you can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. mr. president, where's the good? leadership's position is we can't do anything. leadership's position is that with republican majorities in both houses, we should spend more, $85 billion than we did with the democratic majority, $63 billion. leadership will say it's about expectations. you shouldn't set unreasonable expectations. gosh, it seems to me it was leadership who said if we had a republican majority in the senate, then we would fight. on what are we willing to fight?
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we may have some more show votes. by the way, we just had a show votes on sanctuary cities. mr. president, why wasn't kate's law attached to this bill snr why wasn't sanctuary cities attached to this bill? that actual was something we campaigned to our constituents and the democrats wouldn't like that. remember he said what in this -- remember i said what is in this that president obama is unhappy about? nothing. because leadership's position is we can do nothing -- if we can do nothing, it makes one wonder what was all the fuss about winning the majority? i don't believe we can win every fight. i don't believe we can magically transform everything, at least not without winning the presidency. but surely the alternative is not we can do nothing. is there not a reasonable middle ground that we can accomplish something? i would note the last time we
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had republican majorities in congress and a democratic president, with newt gingrich as speaker of the house and bill clinton as president, we accomplished a great deal. we accomplished welfare reform. we balanced the budget. what have these republican majorities done? made the problem worse. and as a result, mr. president, with apologies to the late great journalist michael kelly, i want to sum up my opinion views as simply saying i believe. i believe. i believe what republican leadership tells us. i believe every time the mainstream media echoes leadership's wisdom. of course it is right that we cannot set expectations too high. we cannot promise too much. we cannot be expected to deliver on any of our promises.
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i believe republican leadership when they said if only we had a republican majority in the house, then we would stand and fight. after winning the house in 2010, i believed leadership that if only we had a republican majority in the senate also, then we would stand and fight. today i believe republican leadership that if only we had 60 votes in the senate, then we would stand and fight. and if we were to get 60 votes, i will believe republican leadership when they tell us that if only we had 67 votes in the senate, then we will finally stand up and fight. i believe that there is no way congress could do anything whatsoever to stop obamacare or even to try to provide meaningful relief to the millions who are hurt by that failed law every day. i believe that congress has no power to do anything about the
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president's unconstitutional executive amnesty or sanctuary cities or anything else that might secure our borders. i believe that republican majorities in both houses of congress can do nothing meaningful on spending or the debt or tax reform or regulatory reform, that we can do nothing to rein in the e.p.a. or the cfpb, no matter how many millions of jobs they kill. i believe that congress must acquiesce to the obama administration's declaring the internet to be a regulated public utility. and the administration's attempt to give away control of the internet to an international cartel of stakeholders, including russia and china. i believe that congress can do nothing, absolutely nothing, to stop this catastrophic iranian


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