tv Senate Debate on Budget Resolution and Health Care Law CSPAN January 8, 2017 2:35pm-4:10pm EST
we will have a new president. for the first time in years, hard-working americans will have your voice heard as we take the first steps to repair the nation's broken health care system. washington from the equation and putting back control where it belongs. with patients, families, and doctors. premiums for hard-working families. i urge my friends to face the fact obamacare has failed to deliver on its core promises and it is hurting far more than it is helping. i know our colleagues on the other side of the aisle share our goal of a robust health care system for hard-working families. common ground will deliver low choices and a cost.
it is first important to remember how we got here so the actions will be considered in proper context. the 2008 election, democrats controlled the presidency and had a majority in the house and a super majority in the senate. allowed this to attach a health care plan without any republican support which is exactly what they did. the bill was approved with several important differences. congressional democrats needed plansust these concerns to iron these out were derailed in early 2010 one democrats lost the filibuster proof majority
with a massachusetts special election. to replace senator scott around 10the seat formerly held by -- ted kennedy. he held that since 1962. with that majority lost, democrats in the house approved a senate passed health care bill andout any republican votes sent it to the president while vowing to use the budget reconciliation process to a dress concerns with senate legislation. subsequent budget legislation was passed by democrats and signed into law that president obama. obamacare was created. i assure -- i share the brief history only as a reminder that while we will surely be -- colleagues will surely complain to --
will surely complain about using the reconciliation process to untangle the country from this and unworkable, unpopular and unaffordable law they should remember that they actually employ the exact same procedure to secure the passage of obamacare. recent headlines showed show the obamacare problem is only getting worse and discourages people from seeking so-called coverage. last october when berg's quote the year ahead summit in new york, the ceo of aetna discuss the issues surrounding their pa decision not to participate in obamacare exchanges saying quote-o as the rate to rise the health care people pull out because the out-of-pocket costs are worth it young people can do the math. if you are young and healthyo -- healthy obamacare is an easy choice to opt out of health coverage but if you are not so fortunate, for those who must have coverage it quickly becomes a frightening reality. i have constituents in wyoming who have written to me with worry and concern about theirri
searching health insurance -- their surging health insurance premiums had a recently heard from young woman who is experiencing the worst of this law. she said dear senator nc, i'm writing with concerns specific in the way that our country iservice heading in respect to health care services. i'm 25-year-old with no medical conditions. however -- i rarely needed doctor is it doctors -- doctors. however i looked into the health insurance for me and my 8-month-old son also without health problems and i found insurance to be incredibly expensive. based on the cost of our health care last year which included a c-section and the birth of ourss on son our family would spend less on health care for pay for medical expenses out-of-pocket and did not have health insurance. however in order to obey the law
this is not an option. i researched and calculated the most cost-effective health carey. -- care. option for our family and we are paying almost $800 a month forving insurance even with my husband receiving insurance through work this is about a third of our family's monthly income. insurance is becoming a huge burden for our family she says. now that's a reality for many of our constituents across the country. she is trying to do the right things for her family's health that the law is crippling them not financially. our answer must be to not ignore these problems. for many americans caught up in obamacare's tangled and expensive web of regulations the situation is grim and only getting worse by the day. it's time to act. one of the most disturbing parts of this law americans are now paying more in taxes to pay for the very law that is driving up insurance premiums.
the law will saddle american households with a truly in -- a trillion dollars in new taxes and penalties over the next 10 years unless congress acts. obamacare is crushing regulations mean smaller for paychecks for families while holding back small businesses from expanding and from hiring new workers. for every american obama more government, more bureaucracy and more rules and regulations along with soaring health care costs. the along with soaring health care costs. it's time to lift the burden placed on all americans. is poised to pass a repealed resolution that will set the stage for true legislative relief from obamacare thatwh americans have long demanded while ensuring a stable transition in which those
with insurance will not lose access to health care coverage. let me repeat that. the senate is poised to pass and a repeal resolution that will set the stage for a true legislative relief from obamacare that americans have long demanded while ensuring a stable transition in which those with insurance will not lose access to health care coverage. this will allow us to move step by step on a new set of reforms. listening carefully to the vice of millions of americans -- the advice of millions of americans affected and to do our best to make sure that we proceed wisely and do no harm. fortunately, americans have the president committed to appealing the obamacare and moving toward a system that offers more choices, lower costs and more individual control for millions of hard-working americans.
the american people have endured a lot under obamacare and its broken promises. as a presidential candidate not so long ago been then senator barack obama, democrat from illinois, promised americans that they could keep their health plan if they liked it. millions assume learned -- soon learned that they couldn't and others soon wouldn't. this is because obamacare is drastically reduced americans choice in health care plans for a federal takeover of the. insurance marketplace. in fact the president's promise quote if you like your plan you can keep it end quote has proven to be one of many unfulfilled and unattainable promises of the obamacare. in wyoming we have seen the real impact of obamacare on our health insurance market could wyoming now only has one health insurer in the individual market. both on and off the obamacare
exchanges. many states are experiencing similar issues having insurers leave the exchanges entirely. the obama administration's talking points about choice or end just more empty promises. americans were also promised lower health care costs but even the administration admits that obamacare is failing to address by costs with average premiums rising by 25% for silver level plans of the federal exchange. that's in one year. this means families have to decide whether to purchase unaffordable insurance or to pay a fine. in most cases they are literally paying more money for less control over their health care. health care costs in wyoming continue to be among the highest
in the nation with other states not far behind. obama cares mandates in taxes on employer-sponsored health plans are not only leading to higher out-of-pocket expenses but also fewer choices and fewer services. for the 150 million americans with employer-sponsored health benefits, let me repeat that. the mandates and taxes on employer-sponsored health plans are not only leading to higher out-of-pocket expenses but fewer choices and services for the 150 million americans with employer-sponsored health benefits. according to nonpartisan kaiser family foundation individual employees who have job taste -- job-based insurance have seen out-of-pocket expenses climb by hundreds of dollars a year afte- year. the employees working for small businesses now have deductibles of over $1800 average and since obamacare became law several large employers have stopped offering benefits to part-time employees the altogether.
over the past 50 years our nation has made great strides in improving the quality of life for all americans but these transformative changes are always forged in the spirit of bipartisan compromise andthe cooperation. these qualities are essential to the success and longevity of crucial programs such as medicare and medicaid. this is a crucial time for a health care in america. we do not have the luxury of ignoring the growing row homes in the health insurance market and the crushing premiums faced by families across the country. that's why we are doing doing this first. the failures of obamacare have metastasized since its passage. of we must act to repeal obama can provide relief to millions
of americans have been harmed by this law. relief will require a stable transition period which ensures those with coverage today continue to have access to health care tomorrow. unwinding the bipartisan gridlock to make meaningful changes will not be easy grade . our goal is to create a health care system where washington makes fewer decisions and families are empowered to control their own health care with more choices and lower costs. and so this is where we find ourselves today. t congress and soon the new president will be in a position to begin the process of repealing obamacare. passing this resolution is just the first step on the path to repair health care for millions of hard-working americans who have experiences with obamacare meant for the promises higher costs and fewer choices. this is a budget resolution that we are debating now.
as far as the budget part of it all this is as statement of where we are at the moment. this budget went into effect last october and has been changed a few times in the of meantime and this is just a reflection of the changes that have been made up to this point so the difference is entitled to whether reconciliation can take place and you will notice that it's a very simple title, not much to it. it requires the committee on finance and the senate should report changes in laws within its jurisdiction to reduce the deficit by not less than $1 billion but disco years 2017 through 2026. the committee on health education labor and pensions d will report changes in laws within its jurisdiction to not reduce the deficit by not less
than $1 billion in fiscal years 2017 through 2026. there is no specificity in this as to how the reconciliation will take place. that is up the finance committee and the health education labor and pensions committee on the senate side and the committee on energy and commerce and thee committee on ways & means on the house side to come up with the reconciliation bill which of course has to pass a lot of senate rules in order to be done but you'll notice there isn't any specificity in here on how to do it. that comes later. there will be another budget debate that we will have but it sets the stage so that can be done and hopefully will be done quickly and we will be able to find solutions for the hard-working americans whose experiences with obamacare meant
broken promises, higher costs, fewer choices and i would hope our democratic colleagues will join us in this effort so that we can come up with solutions so that americans can move or word with the insurance that they want and need. i remember when we started this debate 30 million people were uninsured and today i think there are 30 million people uninsured. the different 30 million though. the 30 million they couldn't get insurance now have insurance and 30 million people who have insurance now can afford their insurance. it's time for us to take care of those 30 million not just one. we will have that opportunity if we pass this current resolution to fix obamacare. i yield the floor and keep the balance of my time. >> the senator from vermont.
senator sanders: >> mike enzi, the senator from wyoming, is a friend of mind thatat comes from a beautiful rural state wyoming and i come from a beautiful rural state, vermont. probably that is banned of our -- that is the end of our commonality. we look at the world very very differently and i would hope in the course of this debate the american people will see the very profound differences that we have not only on health care, not only on tax policy, not only on the deficit but on many many other positions. mr. president, what we are looking at right now is a budget process whose ultimate goal is to remove health insurance from tens of millions of americans.
let me be clear, the united states of america today is the only major country on earth, the only one. i live 50 miles away from the canadian border. many of us have visited europe. we are the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people as a right, something that i passionately believe in. i believe that health care for all is a human right. i would have hoped that we would be working together to figure out what is a complicated issue as to how we could move forward providing health care to all all people in a cost-effective way. but that is not what we are debating today.
let us be very clear, the republican plan, their budget plan lays the groundwork for ending the affordable care act which will remove tens of millions of americans from the health insurance they get. now there is nothing wrong with change. we can always improve. i would hope that during the course of this debate my republican friends who want to repeal the affordable care act will come down and tell us what their plan is. now in fact they are going to provide quality, cost-effective -- how in fact they are going to provide quality, cost-effective health care to all americans. well, you know what? they all voted against the affordable care act. senator enzi's briefly did not get one get one, we did not republican to vote for it. they have had eight years to be thinking about how they are going to come up with a new plan
and i would hope that i do notto expect one republican to come to the floor and say oh yeah we are going to throw 20 or 30 million people out of their health insurance. this is our new plan. this is how we are going to provide health care to those people. they have no ideas. the theme is to repeal and delay. some day they are going to come up with a new plan. you don't destroy a house without having another house for people to live. you don't grow 30 million people off health care without a plan to provide health care to those people. number two, under the republican proposal, something that many republicans have been talking about for years, they wanted and medicare as it presently exists, a program which is life-and-death for millions of
seniors and they want to vouch erise medicare, give people a check and let them go out to the private insurance market and get the best deal they can. imagine that you are an 85-year-old senior citizen who has been diagnosed with cancer and you get your check or whatever it may be, we don't know what it will be. $7,000, 8000 dollars, $9,000, and you go the dash and that got $9000. " i am 85 and i've been diagnosed with cancer. i want you to take care of me. give me the insurance program which will take care of myil medical needs, my hospital needs
." and the insurance agent will laugh in your face because $9000 or $8000 would last you at most for one week. that is their plan. right now and i've been all over the country, the american people are outraged at the high cost of prescription drugs in this country. let us be clear the power of the pharmaceutical industry and their lobby and their campaign contributions, a power that exists by the way not only in republicans but too many democrats as well. we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. in fact one out of six americans who go to a doctor to get a prescription can't even afford to fill the prescription and get on the republican proposal if you eliminate the affordable care act the doughnut hole which helps seniors pay for their prescription drugs will be eliminated and prescription drugs for seniors could rise by
as much as 50%. and by the way at a time when wealth have more income and wealthmajor inequality than any other major country on earth with -- were the very rich are getting richer and while the middle class shrinks the republican proposal not only throws 20 to 30 million people off of health insurance, not only raises the price of prescription drugs for seniors, not only moves forward to privatize medicare but shock of all shocks our republican colleagues want to do massive tax breaks for the top 2%. now among many many other impacts of the repeal of the affordable care act will have will be one that will impact
heavily rural states likeermont wyoming, vermont and other rural states around this country. that is as a result of the repeal of the affordable care act, rural hospitals could be forced to close their doors, not getting the funding that they need, leaving millions of americans know where to turn for critical medical care. so i look forward to this debate. nobody here thinks that the affordable care act is perfect. nobody believes that at all. the goal is how we repair it, how we improve it, how we expand health care to more americans, how we end what has been the case for decades in this country that we paid by far the highest prices in the world per-capita for health care. and maybe we should understand that we are the only major country in the world that allows
private insurance companies to profit off of people's illness. mr. president, the proposal being brought forth by the republicans is not only poorly thought out, it's really is not popular. it's not what the american people want. go back to your hometown and ask people at a time when the top tenth of 1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90%, with the top 1% is earning 52% of all new income you go out and ask your constituents whether we should give huge tax breaks to the top 2% and they don't think that is a good idea. according to a poll released this month by "politico", 80% of
the american people think the federal government should benk spending more money on medicare and only 10% think we should be spending less. 71% of the american people think we should be spending more on medicaid. 84% of the american people think the federal government should be spending more on social security. in other words the proposal that we are seeing by the republicans today is way way out if place from where the american people are and there's another out there that i find extremely interesting. senator enzi mentioned it that within a couple of weeks we are going to have a new president. donald trump will be inaugurated as president. and i think it is interesting that we listen to what donald trump said during the campaign.
democrats heard what he had to say, what he campaigned on, and, more importantly, republicans listened and heard what their leader has to say about these issues. and this is what donald trump said and he didn't say it in an interview or once in the middle of the night. this was a central part of his campaign. this is what he asked millions of elderly people and working class people to vote on. these are the principles that donald trump ran and won the presidency on. on may 7, 2015 donald trump tweeted quote i was the first and only potential g.o.p. candidate to state there will be no cuts to social security, medicare and medicaid end of quote.
on april 8, 2015 mr. trump said and i quote, every republican wants to do a big number on social security. that's not bernie sanders talking, that is donald trump talking. they want to do it on medicare, they want to do it on medicaid and we can't do it. it's not fair to the people that have been paying for years in , and of quote. not bernie sanders, donald trump, our soon-to-be president. on march 29, 2016 mr. trump said and i quote you know speaker ryan, ryan is the republican speaker in the house. he wants to knock medicare waygo down and frankly you are going to lose the election if you were going to do that. i am not going to cut it and i'm not going to do all of the
things they want to do. but they want to really cut it and they want to cut it substantially. the republicans are not going to do that and what mr. trump said was exactly right. this is the day. they want to cut social security they want to cut medicare, they want to cut medicaid. mr. trump was right and millions of people voted for him on the belief that he would keep his word. it seems to me mr. trump right now has got to do one of two things. number one, if all that he was talking about was campaign rhetoric than what he was up -- obliged to do now is to tell the american people i was lying.
"i said i would not support cuts to social security and medicare but it was a campaign ruse. it's ruse. they just said what came to my mind to get votes." and if that's what he c believes let him come forward and say that. but if that is not what the case is, if he was sincere and i would hope that tomorrow or maybe today he could send out a tweet and tell his republican colleagues to stop wasting their time and all of our time and for mr. trump to tell the american people that he will veto any proposal that cuts medicare, cuts medicaid and cuts social security. what we are talking about right now let us be clear that is exactly what the school is and that is what this budget proposal is.
it is to move towards the on, theizati privatization of medicare to make massive cat cuts in medicaid for millions of people. there's a lot of responsibility on mr. trump's shoulders but i would hope you could save us a whole lot of time by telling the american people that he was sincere in what he said duringot campaign,, during the that he was not lying and if that is the case we can end this discussion and get into the seriousness of how we create a quality health care a system guaranteeing health care to all people in a cost-effective way. and with that mr. president i would yield the floor.
i ask unanimous consent that the detail is from budget committee for consideration off s.con.res. version three. >> without objection. the senator from vermont. senator sanders: i ask consent that mike jones and john smith give passes for the senate floor in budget resolution as contrary. >> without objection. >> mr. president. >> the senator from texas. >> there has been a flurry of activity this week with the beginning of the new year and the beginning of the new congress, the 115th congress and we have got a lot of work ton -- work to do. this election that we just went through on november the eighth was surprising in many ways, gratifying in many ways. personally i think the best thing about it is it gives us an opportunity to start anew, to
deal with the problems that the frank american people were frankly not all that happy with either of the political parties in terms of our solutions that we were to offer. i would hope that it would also give us an opportunity to hit t the reset button when it comes to working together to try to find political consensus to solve some of these big problems . i mentioned yesterday our friend the chairman of the budget committee in his 80/20 rule which i told him i have used time and time again to make the point that just because you disagree on some things doesn't mean that you can't get anything done. to the contrary. people of widely diversions philosophicald beliefs can work together by simply trying to find common ground and that is possible and that in fact is the way that our constitution created our government to force us to do that because what we decide here and packs a lot of people over 300 million people in the united
states alone. but if there was one consistentconsti complaint that i heard from my constituents back in texas that we are to the national media and beyond is about the failure of the promise of obamacare and we made a solemn commitment to the american people that if they provided us with the majority we needed to do it with and they provided a president who would sign it we would repeal obamacare and we would replace it with affordable health care that would be of their choosing as opposed to top-down mandateure of one-size-fits-all which is the failure of obamacare. in a previous life i was the attorney general of the state of texas. we had huge division of lawyers called the consumer protectionue -- protection division and what we did is we see people who committed peopl consumer fraud,
-- committed consumer fraud. people who promised one thing but delivered another and i can't think of a bigger case of consumer fraud then obamacare which was sold under false pretenses. if you like what you have the can keep it. if you like your doctor doctor you can keep your doctor. you are a family of four your premiums will go down by anro -- by an average of $2500. none of that has proven to be true and the reason why obamacare is so unpopular is because people are seen their premiums skyrocket. people have seen their deductibles grow to the point where they are effectively self-insured which is not having insurance at all and then many people have simply seen insurance companies pull out of the insurance market leaving them with little or no choices in terms of where to buy their health care. so many remember the pr campaign
that the president and democrats with which they sold obamacare to the american people and as i said the promise of better coverage more choices and lower prices and that means now that obamacare has failed to deliver that it's incumbent to us to try to repeal it which we will do and to replace it with more affordable coverage that fits their needs better. the bad news obamacare picked up last summer and drop the summer -- summer and fall is omissions insurance companies were losing money unable to operate and deliver health care under theo tight grip of obamacare budgets that tens of thousands of texans who are forced to find new insurance at higher prices not insurance that they would have chosen on their own but which they were forced to accept because there was no alternative
. instead of helping rural texans as the senator from vermont talked about rural residence in his state, instead of helping rural texans and i would submit people living in rural area s across the country the limitation of obamacare has hurt most of our rural counties by limiting the number of traces to what have corruption for the mo year but that sounds like a opposite of more choices and better coverage to me. we can't forget behind these numbers and headlines are real personal consequences for families across the country so today i want to provide just a snapshot of some of the thousands of letters that i've i received in my office aboutks of -- about obamacare and the burdens is placing on the backs of the people i represent in texas. one texan wrote telling the story that i've heard time and time again, she said her insurance plan is discontinued.
so much for "if you like what you have come he can keep it." but she did what she had to do and she switched to a more expensive plan one with a higher monthly payment and one with an 11,000-dollar deductible. what good is health insurance if you have to spend $11,000 out of your own pocket before your insurance begins to kick in? it's nearly worthless. nothing about that says affordable health care. unfortunately this individual is like many folks across the country full of questions and with nowhere to turn to find any relief for their families or their small business. another one of my constituents had a similar complaint. he wrote to me that he was searching for yet another health insurance plan for the third time in as many years after his
was canceled. he went on to highlight in this letter i got from a constituent on november 23, 2015 he said i seem to remember the president saying something about liking your insurance in being able to keep it. for myself, my family it's been just the opposite. we love their wheel -- insurance, he went on to say, prior to the passage of the act and said seven forced to purchase much more expensive insurance with much higher deductibles. this texan is right but unfortunately his experience was not isolated. it was shared by millions of people across the country for whom obamacare was a false promise.
it is not as if he had a freedom to choose. the choice was made for him. this is a fundamental flaw with obamacare appeared in a country as big and diverse as ours, this notion of one size fits all and that somehow the people who live and work inside the beltway are smarter than the rest of us and we can figure out what's good for them and a choice they would not themselves make is just simply implausible. it's not true. well, this constituent ended his letter by asking that congress -- quote -- "do anything, do anything within your power to reverse this terrible health care trend. i need relief," he i need -- he said. i believe, mr. president, after this historic election into the promises we've made to govern the majority with a president in the white house who would work with us i believe we have a clear mandate to repeal this law and make it a
relic of the past and we will do that by passing the budget resolution by the chairman of the committee. it's not just republicans that pointed out the defects of obamacare many of our democratic the colleagues pointed out the promises as well from our bedso -- as well. from the op-ed's to those that fit's the campaignthecampaign ads, many of our democraticken colleague have themselves been outspoken advocates for changing obamacare. they came up with an entire list of necessary changes. i for one would be happy to start with her list and say let's try to use this as a core -- the senior senator of missouri pointing out the huge problem obamacare has been in her state, coming up with an entire list of
necessary changes. happy to would be start with her list and say let's try to use this as a core of issues we can build consensus around to make that replacement and make it on a bipartisan basis. we have seen attempted fixes not supported by the obama administration and vastly insufficient to be met with frustration by democrats and republicans. i pointed out yesterday when the democrats voted, they had 60 senators. today they have at one point 48. they had back in 2009 when obamacare passed they had a majority in the house of representatives but they losti -- lost to that and now they lost the white house itself. i don't know how much longer, how much more needs to be said for them to get the message that this is not working because i
believe they are paying a political price as people wereay -- people are searching for accountability for what they have have to deal with day in and day out. a senior senator from indiana said he supported the affordable care act to help working middle-class families have access to health care. he said that does not mean the world -- the law is perfect. and that doesn't mean we still don't have work to do. mont, senator sanders say that he agrees obamacare's not perfect, and my request of him and others is to work with us to try to replace it with something better. i recognize that neither side's going to be able to get everything they want. that's just not the way this place works. and indeed, the single failure of the obama administration is to try to do things on a go-it-alone basis because we're going to see those executive orders that he issued
unilaterally rescinded from the first day that president trump takes office. all the massive regulations that have been issued, we're going to use the congressional review act to reign those in or to defund those through the appropriation process. so in order for legislation and policy to be sustainable, it's going to have to be bipartisan, and i realize that our democratic colleagues are disappointed with the outcome of the election on november 8. that's an understatement. and first, they started out in denial. it just can't be true. the next stage was met with anger. well, they're angry about it and they're going to obstruct everything that the new majority working with the white house tries to do. but i would hope that they woult that denial and past that anger and do what the united states senate was always designed to do, and that is to work on a bipartisan basis, as our friend and colleague from wyoming has
demonstrated to us working on the health, education, labor and pensions committee with the liberal lion of the senate, teddy kennedy. let's try the 80/20 rule and see how it works, and it will work. the senior senator from west virginia, senator manchin, this is another democrat, has said he would vote to repeal obamacare. he said we should be working together to identify which parts of the law are broken and need to be fixed. we may learn that some parts of the law can't be repaired, and we should eliminate those parts entirely. this is our democratic friend and colleague from west virginia, senator be manchin. well, i think that's a great place to start. because no matter which side of the aisle you sit on, you can see the affordable care act isn't working, certainly not as sold to the american people. the choice of the democrats now is whether to just obstruct or whether they will actually work with us, as we should have done
in the first place, to come up with something more sustainable and would address costs and preserve individual choice. well, it's interesting, it's not just the -- our democratic colleagues, many of whom voted for obamacare. i remembered during the presidential campaign that president clinton, former president bill clinton, made some pretty interesting comments. this would have been on october 5, 2016. i'm reading from a cnn story here. it said speaking at a democratic rally in flint, michigan, the former president ripped the affordable care act for flooding the health care insurance market and causing premiums to rise for middle-class americans who do not qualify for subsidies. here's what he said, and i quote. he said -- "so you've got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people
have health care, and then the people who are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half. that's the craziest thing in the world." close quote. former president bill clinton said in flint, michigan, on october 5, 2016. well, he's right, but that's what you get when you try to do things in a partisan, unilateral fashion. we should learn from our collective mistakes and try to do better. and shame on us if we can't do better than obamacare with all of its failed promises. by repealing obamacare, congress is doing more than just delivering on a promise we made to the people who put us here. we're providing a way forward for millions of people across the country who have been hurt,
hurt by obamacare and who are looking for relief. i look forward to making obamacare and the many burdens it's placed on the american family a thing of the past in this new year, and that's what we will do when next week we pass this budget resolution and then reconciliation instructions will be sent to the relevant senate and house committees. they will then report back with the replacement. and yes, it may take some time for transition into that replacement, because it's taken us six years to get into the mess, into the ditch we find ourselves in now. and when your truck or car's in the ditch, the first thing you need to do is get out of the ditch. and sometimes that takes a lot of hard work. well, we're going to have to work as hard as we can, and i would hope our colleagues would work with us. not just to resist for resistance sake, not just to take a partisan position because
they feel like they are required to do so because of their allegiance to democratic party policies, but let's do what this institution has always been best known for, and that is to try to find some way to work together on a step-by-step basis to produce reforms which will make health care more affordable and still preserve those choices for individuals and their families. not a one-size-fits-all government mandate which simply has failed in this tragic experiment known as obamacare. we can and we will do better. mr. president, i yield the floor. ms. stabenow: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: first, let me comment to my friend, the senior senator from texas, my car goes into the ditch, the first thing i don't do is dismantle the car. that doesn't help me get
anywhere in terms of transportation. so let me speak, first of all, on process before talking about the substance here, what we're really talking about and how it affects people. we have a bill in front of us that creates a process for the majority to be able to unravel and repeal essentially our whole health care system. you pull a thread and it goes through not only employer-based care, patient protections, people who have insurance, medicare, medicaid, all of it begins to unravel. and interestingly, also in this bill, in the text, it adds $1 trillion to the deficit. a trillion dollars to the deficit in the bill that our colleagues just voted to proceed to pass. now, it's clear, and we need to be very clear on this, if
colleagues want to work with us to fix problems and improve health care, we can start this afternoon. it's almost 3:30. by 4:00, we could put together a group of people. i'm sure our distinguished democratic leader on the budget committee would be happy to sit down and work together on ways to make health care reform better and make health care more affordable and make it more available to people. if that's what we want to do, count us in, but that's not what we're talking about here. we're talking about this crazy idea that no one in their real life would do. it's like deciding you want a new house so you tear down the old house. that's the easy part. then your family's homeless. then you say gosh, maybe i better have a plan how to get a new house for my family and figure out a way to pay for it, to be able to afford it. nobody would do that.
nobody would start by saying we're going to rip apart the entire health care system and create chaos, we're going to undermine medicare, we're going to undermine medicaid, we're going to take away patient protections for everybody who has insurance through their employer, and then we'll figure out later what we're going to do to replace it. if anything -- and i know there is a division on the republican side, certainly members in the house that don't think it should even be replaced at all. now, we actually -- it's interesting, we're talking about 1/6 of the economy here that would be destabilized. and there is no question that if you do a repeal and insurance companies don't know what's coming, i have talked to hospitals, they don't know what's coming. behavior will begin to change. rates will begin to go up. different decisions will be made because as businesses, they won't know how to plan.
their investors won't know how to plan. so no question about it. when you repeal, without creating certainty in the marketplace, you begin a process that results in chaos. now, we have an interesting example, one that i have been involved with for a lot of years, where we wanted to change just one piece of the health care system, reimbursement system for doctors. i was in the u.s. house of representatives when we passed medicare changes. we put in place a new policy that we were going to write a new policy to reimburse physicians for quality instead of quantity. makes sense. it took 18 years to get agreement. we got agreement last year, and it doesn't even take effect for four years. everybody here knows about this thing called the doc fix, the inside term, or s.g.i., which is
even more insider, but the truth of the matter is we were trying to change just one thing, one thing and couldn't get agreement to do it for 18 years. so anyone who thinks there is going to be a repeal without an a.c.a. extender going on hasn't looked at past process. so the most important thing, though, is what this means to real people. this really is about a plan of ripping apart the health care system. nothing in its place immediately. so we even know what will be coming. and this is going to make america sick again. we're talking about a process and a plan that for real people. it's not a game. it's not about smoke and mirrors. it shouldn't be about politics. it's about the mom and dad who
go to bed at night and say please, god, don't let the kids get sick. who now, many of them, close to 30 million, counting everybody with new coverage, don't have to say that. they can say a different kind of prayer because they can go see the doctor. so we know that when you unravel that system with nothing responsible in its place, that we're talking about making america sick again. we want affordable care, not chaos. and this plan goes from affordable care to chaos. now, we talk about some parts of what we passed in the health reform, but there is a lot of things that we don't emphasize that i think are important to recognize in this debate. first of all, what we passed in terms of changes in quality care
affects every single american with health insurance. a lot of people in my state are for the gnat to have employer-based insurance. and we have had a lot of folks at the collective bargaining table fighting every year to make sure they can keep their insurance. 150 million people across the country. all of them have benefited from the patient protections that we put into health reform. and when we take those away, and you immediately put insurance companies back in charge. so if you get sick, you get dropped. right now, you can't do that. and if you are sick or your child is sick, right now, you can't be blocked from buying insurance. we call it preexisting conditions. but before health reform, insurance companies were doing that every single day.
a child with juvenile diabetes, someone with cancer or alzheimer's disease. i think about a very good friend of mine who just found out their grandson has leukemia. two years old. he's going through treatments. we pray he's going to be able to get through it successfully. but he's going to have a preexisting condition the rest of his life. and with this repeal, there is no guarantee that he'll ever be able to get insurance. and on top of that, if he has to have treatments that go on for some period of time, caps will be reinstituted on the amount of care you can get, the amount of treatment per year, dollar amount or amount of visits you can get. and there's no guarantee that this little boy will be able to get the treatment he needs so that he can live a healthy, successful life going forward.
in talking with pediatric cancer doctors a couple of weeks ago, it was so amazing and gratifying to me to hear them talk about children whose lives have been extended, the quality of life that has been extended because of the fact that they're able to fully treat them and insurance companies can't put caps on how much they'll pay or how many treatments. now there are a whole other range of protections for everybody. one of the fights that i was proud to lead in the finance committee when we passed the a.c.a. was to make sure that the basic insurance package that every company has to provide has to include maternity care. now that seems like a no-brainer. people were shocked that it didn't. but before we passed health reform, 70% of the insurance companies, the policies you buy on the private market, didn't include maternity care.
in fact, women were viewed as being a preexisting condition because you might get pregnant, you might have a baby. not true anymore. women are not rated differently than men, and maternity care is now available regardless of the kind of insurance that you have. that's a pretty big deal. i with a son and a daughter with growing families, that is a big deal in my family. there are a whole range of things. we know about young people who are able to stay on their parents' insurance. get out of college, wrestling with a huge debt getting out of college but one thing they don't have to worry about is they can stay on their parents' insurance while they try to find a job. that goes away with a repeal. something i care deeply about is mental health, and we have all worked together on opioids and substance abuse treatment. because of what we did in health
reform, insurance companies cannot discriminate. if it's mental health or substance abuse treatment rather than physical health treatment. prior to what we passed, you could charge much higher co-pays, higher premiums. not anymore. so the whole body above the neck as well as below the neck is now being treated equally with our insurance reforms. so there are a multitude of things. preventive health services with no co-pays, cancer screenings for a mammogram, contraception. i was talking to someone who said how she thought it was so wonderful that her drugstore wasn't charging her for co-pays anymore on her contraception. i said that's actually the law. it was changed when we passed the affordable care act. so there are a whole range of things that relate to reviewing
premium increases and if you get removed from your insurance, you can have a right to appeal and a whole range of things. so that's under the first step. everybody right now will feel it when insurance companies are back in charge and through this vote and the subsequent action patient protections are repealed for everybody. secondly, this includes cuts in medicare and medicaid through what we did in health reform, we closed gap on high cost of prescription drugs. we all call it the doughnut hole. that was in the process of being closed so that if you have a lot of medicine and a lot of costs, you suddenly get to point to where there is a gap in coverage and you have to pay the full cost. that goes away. the doughnut hole comes back.
we and what we did added 12 years of solvency to the medicare trust fund. keep it strong longer. that goes away. wellness visits for seniors every year to be able to go in and get a physical without a co-pay, that goes away. so medicare is undermined. and then unfortunately when you add the incoming nominee as secretary of health and human services and couple that with the proposals that the speakers had and others, i'm sure we're going to see to turn medicare into a voucher so that you go into the the private market, here's your voucher, good luck. that's part of what the new regime is promoting, which only adds to this. medicaid, 80% of medicaid spending is seniors in nursing homes. and we know the majority of
those who -- many who have gotten care in addition to the exchanges have been folks working hard every single day in a minimum-wage job who couldn't afford or find insurance before, and now they're covered if their state, if their governor is willing to do that. we have a whole bunch of folks working hard every day at minimum wage who at least know they have access to health care and a doctor. and interestingly, this helps our hospitals, whether it's rural hospitals upstate or up north in michigan or whether it's our great urban hospitals, safety net hospitals in detroit and other areas. instead of people walking into the emergency room and not having insurance and having the costs be put on everybody who does, because of the medicaid expansion, when a working
person comes in with medicaid, they are able to pay for their own care rather than having everybody else with insurance carry the brunt of that, which has been the way it's been prior to that. so medicare and medicaid cuts. next we do know that altogether, counting medicaid, counting people who are using the new exchanges, we have about 30 million people that will be kicked off their insurance, folks who, like anybody else, want to have health insurance for their family. now can we design that in a better way? i'd love to work with you on that. i don't want to kick them off first. i don't want to say we're going to rip your insurance away, going to rip the small businesses that i've talked to, rip their insurance away and then, don't worry, somewhere down the road we'll figure out something to fix it. we don't know what it is, don't know what it's going to cost,
but trust us. i wouldn't be trusting that that would happen if i was counting on that for my insurance. and then in the fourth item is no, there is no question that costs will go up by destabilizing the marketplace, the cost for prescription drugs we know will go up because of taking away the extra help for prescription drugs. and there is no question that costs are going to go up for everybody else who has insurance. so i don't know when we look at this how anybody looking at this outside of a political lens or a rigid ideological lens could say that this makes any sense. taxpayer doesn't make any sense. me have a president who is
coming in, a president-elect, who said that he would not do anything to hurt medicare, medicaid or social security. and yet the first thing on the floor definitely undermines medicare and medicaid. and we have a president-elect who has said he wants to bring down the cost of drugs, of prescription drugs and yet by undermining medicare prescription, drug coverage those prices are going to go up. people who have the most medical needs and need the most medicine are going to see their costs go up. now what would be better would be if the new incoming h.h.s. secretary would be given the ability to negotiate through medicare for prescription drugs, something we have all fought for for a long time. let's allow drugreimportation.
our leader and i have put seniors on the buses to go across the bridge between windsor and detroit with the very same drugs, very same safety provisions. that would bring down costs. taking away medicare coverage and increasing the gap in coverage is exactly the wrong thing to be doing if -- if in fact the incoming president really means it when he says he wants to bring down drug prices. so there's a number of things that we who care deeply about health care, as someone who has worked on this for years, in fact, it was health care and health policy that first got me into politics, leaving an effort to save a nursing home in my community. i care deeply about this. and one of the folks -- i'm one
of the folks way down in the weeds on it. but you don't improve a system by ripping it out by its roots, by undermining the whole system without figuring out what comes next. and that only happens if you really don't care what comes next. because if you care, that is not a responsible position. so, mr. president, and to my colleagues, i feel very strongly that with everything we know that has been made available to strengthen quality, to give people back their own decision making instead of the insurance companies on basics like providing care for themselves and their families, the strengthening of medicare and medicaid, the coverage that has been made available, we know that there is a way to work together to make things better.
this is not it. a senator: would my colleague from michigan yield for a moment? ms. stabenow: i would be happy to. mr. sanders: i want to thank my colleague for what i thought a very thoughtful presentation of talking about the implications of simply repealing obamacare. the assumption that many of my colleagues seem to start from is that before obamacare, the health care system was great in america. everybody had health care in a cost-effective way and then obamacare came along and all of these problems arose. and what the senator from michigan just told us, and i want people to remember it, eight years ago you had cancer, you were diagnosed with cancer. you walk into an insurance companies, and they say why would we give you insurance? we'll lose money on you. your cancer may recur. you're a woman and you want maternity coverage? what do you think is going on? why should we do that? you're a family that has a kid
who's 21 years of age and you want insurance for that kid on your policy? well, you couldn't have it. i think what the senator from michigan pointed out is not that anyone thinks that the be affordable care act is perfect. nobody thinks it doesn't need improvement. but to simply throw out all of the benefits, for 30 million people off of health insurance. during the budget hearings a couple years ago when senator enzi chaired, i asked the question of my colleagues when this idea came up, and i would ask it again to my good friend from wyoming, what are the studies that you have seen in terms of the number of people who will die when they lose their health insurance? how many thousands of people will die because they no longer have health insurance and they cannot go to the doctor and the hospital?
and the studies that i have seen suggest that thousands of people will die. that's kind of common sense. you throw 30 million people off of health insurance, they're going to die. so how do you go forward providing a death penalty to thousands of people without having any solution to it? and further, i would add to the excellent points made by the senator from michigan. senator enzi and senator -- the senator from texas before him talked about the impact of health care problems on rural areas. i come from a rural area. michigan has large parts of the state being rural. the senators from rural areas on the republican side have said that they want to make sure that their constituents in rural areas can see a doctor. that is certainly a modest
proposal. of course they should be able to see a doctor. if that's the case, my republican friends should understand what the federation of american hospitals and american hospital associations have said about repealing the affordable care act. these are major hospital organizations. and organize to a very recent report, what they said -- and according to a very recent report, the repeal of the affordable care act will mean a reduction in payments to rural -- rural -- hospitals of over $165 billion over a ten-year period. according to the hospital associations, rural hospitals will suffer an additional loss of $289 billion from their inflation updates. and they said -- and in their report, i quote -- quote -- "thithisis a report from the fen of american hospitals and the the american hospital association, major, major health
institutions in america. they said in their report, and i quote, "this reversal of health coverage would represent an unprecedented public health crisis." end of quote. and, furthermore, they said, "the magnitude -- the mag if iitude of -- magnitude offer reductions would threaten hospitals' ability to serve patients." end of quote. so when we talk about the needs of rural americans, i would hope you listen to what the federation of american hospitals and the american hospital association has to say. with that, i yield the floor. mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: the more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. republicans won the white house.
republicans control the senate. republicans control the house. and what will the first order of business be for the new republican majority? to pass a budget that never balances. to pass a budget that will add $9.7 trillion of new debt over ten years. is that really what we exaindz on? -- campaigned on? is that really what the republican party represents? our first order of business will be a budget that never balances. a budget that adds $9.7 trillion to the debt. and they tell you oh, but it's not a budget. if you listen, they will say, no, no ... it is a vehicle to repeal obamacare. and yet i have the title in front of me. it says "a concurrent resolution for the budget of 2017."
we have special rules when you pass the budget that we may be able to repeal obamacare, and i am a i all for that. -- and i'm all for that. but why should we vote on a budget that doesn't represent our conservative view? why would we vote on a budget that adds $9.7 trillion to the debt? because we're in a hurry. we can't be bothered. it's just numbers. i was told again and again, swallow it, take it, they're just numbers. don't worry, it's not really a budget. and yet the legislation says it is a budget. the numbers say it will add $9.7 trillion of new debt. and so i say, if they're only numbers, and if the numbers don't matter what's in the budget, why don't we put numbers in that balance? why don't we put a vision into the budget that represents what republicans say they are for?
republicans say they are the conservative party. are we? when george w. bush was president for eight years, the national debt went from $5 trillion to $10 trillion. the debt doubled under a republican president and a partially republican congress. and yet the words were, well, he had democrats to deal with, and if we could ever take all three branches of government, things would be different. the republicans took over the house in 2010. they still didn't control the senate, but they said, if we only controlled the senate, we can be the conservative party again. we've had an election. the conservative party, the supposedly conservative party won. republicans control the house, the senate, and the presidency, and the first item of business for the republicans will be to pass a budget that never
balances, a budget that will add $9.7 trillion to the debt over ten years. this sign could have been put up for obama's budget. every republican rallied, $10 trillion. president obama will add $10 trillion, and he did. president obama doubled the debt again. it went from $5 trillion to $10 trillion, the national debt went from $5 trillion to $10 trillion under george w. bush, and then it doubled again under president obama. it went from $10 trillion to nearly $20 trvment and what are we looking at here? more debt, under a solidly unified republican congress and a republican president. so you might scratch your head and say, the more things change, the more they stay the same. is it all smoke and mirrors? is there really a difference? are republicans different than democrats? pretty important question.
we are in such a hurry to repeal obamacare. i am a all for it -- i'm all for t as a physician, nobody thinks that obamacare has been worse for the country. nobody other than methinks that it is a terrible piece of legislation that has not helped the country and has inflated our costs and not helped. and yet, do we have to add nearly $10 trillion of debt in order to get at it? so as this moves forward, i will offer a replacement. i will offer my own budget. i will offer to strike and remove $10 trillion worth of debt, and i will offer my own budget that balances within five years. how do we do it? we give the authority to make the cuts, where they should be, where they're most wasteful in government, and we offer this budget by simply freezing expenditures. you don't have to cut any expenditures. every department of government could get what they got the last year. if you think some departments of government need more money, cut
other departments of government. frankly, there are some departments of government you could eliminate and you would never know they were gone. if the department of commerce were gone, a few corporate executives would not be aiblg to fly around on -- would not be able to fly around on government jets. they could fly around on their own jets. you would never know the whole department of commerce were gone. you can cut spending. you could actually not get to the balance by not cutting anything. so here's what happens. if you freeze the on on-budget spending, within a little over five years wu'er budget balances. i remember a time when there were the moderates who were for freezing spending and the real conservatives were dught spending. no nobody is for cutting spending. when i bring it up that you cannot balance a budget, you can absolutely not balance a budget, if you're not lag willing to lock at entitlements, you know what i'm told? don't write it down. don't put it on paper because
people will be upset with you if you explain that to save social security, to save medicare you will have to reform these entitlement programs. they say, let's just talk about waste, let's just talk about fraud and abuse. and i dovment and we should eliminate all of those. but guess what? if you eliminate all of the budgetary spending that we vote on -- this is called the discretionary spending -- this would be the military and all the relevant of the nonmilitary. it is about $1 trillion not including the entitlements: social security, medicare, medicaid. if you reduced it 10% a year for ten years and you virtually wiped out all of discretionary spending, you still don't balance the bucket. so really you're not a conservative if you're not willing to look at all government spending. the budget cannot be balanced and the budget will never balance unless you look at entitlements. what does 245 mean? it means that because of
demographics -- this means that we had big families 60 years, three, four, five kids a family. and now we have less than three kids a family, probably two kids a fame. so you had all the baby boomers born right after world war ii. and they're all retiring, 60 million of them. so this huge population boom diewndz have as many -- and you don't have as many workers. so the demographics aren't work. you add to that the fact that we're living longer. so when social security was started, the average life expectancy was 65. so it worked pretty well as a pension plan because you died. but now its great, we're living on average to 80. and if you make 80, you may well make 90. what a great thing, longevity. but it is not working. social security is not working. we spend more on recipients than we bring in in the tax. medicare is even worse. the average taxpayer pays about
$100,000 over their lifetime in medicare taxes. the average recipient takes out $350,000. how big a problem is this? medicare is $35 trillion to $40 trillion in the hole. it is inexcusable that we're not talking about how we fix medicare. it is inexcusable that we're not talking about how to fix social security. if you don't fix them, there's going to be a cliff. within about a decade, the cliff is so severe, that everyone on social security will suffer a 20% decline in their monthly check. it'll happen all at once if you don't fix it. can you fix it? yes, you can't t -- you got to talk about it. but what we're doing today is i can canning the can down. we got our focus on obamacare but we're taking our focus on the debt. as much as it's destroyed and distorted the health care market, it may well be that the debt is a bigger problem. so i.t. not a popular stand that i take today. i will be the only republican to
vote against the republican budget. that won't be popular, but i ran for office -- i left my medical prarks i am away from my feavment i spend long hours traveling up here because i am concerned about the debt. we borrow $1 million a minute. the debt threatens the very foundation of our country. and yet here we are, the republican party controls the house, the senate, and the white house, and in their haste, they put forward a budget that's going to add this much debt. this is what the debt has been doing. here's 1980. you see the growth. it's become exponential, the growth of the debt. this should worry every american. but here's the republican ten-year budget that we're getting ready to passment pass. it's virtually a vitter cal line of accumulated -- vertical line of accumulated debt. how can we cut any spending? i'll give you a couple of
examples of where your government spends money and you tell me whether or not we ought to look long and hard about cutting spending. there was a grant given for autism. i have a great deal of sympathy. i know children with autism. for $700,000. but you know what they spent it on? they spent it studying neal armstrong's statement. he said "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." well, your government in their infinite wisdom wanted to know, did he say "one small step for man" or "one small step for a man"? your government spent $700,000 studying the proposition "a." did he say "a man" or just "man?" $700,000, money that should have been spent on autism was spent on something frivolous. is anybody going to fix it? 0 no. every year all of the spending
bills are globbed together in a 2,000-page bill and not one iota of reform. do you remember -- senator frocks mire from the 1980's -- proxmire from the 1970's used to have something called the golden fleece award. nobody fixes it. we don't pass individual spending bisms we do continuing resolutions, which means we continue doing the same thing we've done history of and over again. $700,000 spent studying neal armstrong's staivment you know what they are conclusion was? we're not sure. they spend $700,000 and they're still not sure. did he say "a man" or "one small step for man. " we spent money studying whether when you take a self
schee, does -- when the sun is smiling, does it make you feel better sna give them less money and maybe they'll conserve the money. maybe they'll eliminate waste if they have less money next year than they have this yea year. or freeze the spending. is anybody proposing that? no. we say -- spent $500,000 on selfies. give them more next year. so the republican budget will increase spending every year vmentz it increases spending at about 5% a year. so spending goes up, and they say it's the baseline. they say we're cutting off the baseline. no, the baseline goes up 5% a year. spending will increase over the ten-year period. the red line is spending. part of that is what the republicans are proposing. they are going to stay on the spending curve. if we stay on the spending
curve, they will continue to spend $700,000 studying neil armstrong's statements. they will continue to spend a half a million dollars on selfies. they spent another half a million dollars on a climate change game. they spent $45 million to build a natural gas gas station in afghanistan. $45 million. the first problem -- nobody in afghanistan has a car that runs on natural gas. they discovered this after they built the gas station. the gas station was 86 times cost overrun. the original estimate was about a half a million for the gas station, but lo and behold, somehow it costs $45 million. if your government has 86 times cost overrun, would you give him more money or give him less money? i frankly think we should give them less money. if you give them more money, they will not waste it less. they will waste it the same or worse. they should be given less money.
masara sharif is a city in northern afghanistan. we built an $85 million embassy there. we signed a ten-year lease. and then somebody looked at the place and decided that since there were tall buildings surrounding the entire entity, that people would shoot down into the courtyard and still our diplomat, and they said this building can never be occupied, after they spent $85 million, after they spent a ten-year lease. how will they get better? the people who made this decision, were they fired? no. they are federal employees, and you never fire federal employees. will they make wiser decisions because we give them less money? no. we give them more money. you would be excused for being upset if you went and voted and said i'm going to vote for the conservative party, if you went and voted and said i'm going to vote for the party that's going
to balance the budget. wouldn't you be upset? wouldn't you wonder which party that is? this is the spending curve. we're going to add $9.7 trillion in ten years. and yet they say oh, no, no, this isn't really a budget. i have got it in front of me, though. it is a budget. there is no reason why republicans couldn't have put forward a budget that doesn't add all the red ink. we're at $20 trillion. we're going to go to nearly $30 trillion under the republican plan. my goodness. what happened? where is the conservative party? where are the conservatives in congress that would say enough's enough? they say we just have to be done with this. don't distract the little people. don't let the people of the country know that we're voting on a budget. we're going to call this the vehicle to repeal obamacare. well, that's not what it is. it's a budget. and we have special rules for dealing with the budget that allow us to repeal obamacare,
which i'm all for, but this is a budget. and they say well, how could we get the votes? no democrats will vote for this budget. this is a republican blueprint. not one democrat will vote for this. so this is what republicans are for. this is the blueprint that the republican party says they're for. $10 trillion worth of new debt. i'm not for it. that's not why i ran for office. it's not why i'm here. it's not why i spend time away from my family, from my medical practice. it's because debt is consuming our country. there is a time and a place to debate obamacare, and i'm more than willing to debate that, but this is a budget. this is a vote on a budget. they say oh, it's just a gimmick, it's just a game. the numbers don't mean anything. well, if the numbers don't mean anything, put honest numbers in there or put conservative numbers in there. i for one will put forward a
conservative opposition to the republican majority's budget. i will put forward a budget that freezes spending and balances the budget over a five-year period. would there be some agencies that would get less money? yes. but it would force us to go to the government and pick and choose what is good spending and what is not good spending. if you go through, we have a waste report that we put out, if you will go on our facebook, you can find our waste report, hundreds. i listed four or five of the most egregious. there are hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of things we shouldn't be spending money on. i'll give you another example. we have spent $100 billion or we have sold $100 billion worth of weapons to saudi arabia. they were wanting to spend money giving f-16's to pakistan. you pay for them and give them to them. they are riddled throughout the pentagon. look, the pentagon has never
been audited. you're surprised? government that's never been audited. the federal reserve's not audited, the pentagon's not audited. so what is the pentagon's response to being audited? the pentagon says to us we're too big to be audited. i don't know about you, but that makes me kind of angry, that part of your government, even a necessary part such as national defense, says they're too big to be audited. meanwhile, we have $85 million embassies built that would never be occupied, $45 million gas stations that will never be used. i think it's time that we look at and say enough's enough. don't give government more money, give them less. government, they haven't been a good steward of your money. it's often been asked, the question has been asked are the people who spend your money, are the people involved in government inherently stupid? it's kind of a debatable
question. i think they're mostly well intentioned. i don't think they're inherently stupid, but i do think that they don't get the right incentives, because there is no profit motive in government, because there is no rationale or modus to conserve, money is spent. because of sheer ineptitude, we continue to pass the spending bills, glomed together, thousands of pages without reform. but i won't be party to that. i won't vote for the spending bills that are not individualized and don't have reforms in them. i won't vote for budgets that never balance. so while i may be a lonely voice on this issue, i will continue to bring up to the american people that it is important not to add more debt, it is important to slow down the accumulation of debt. it is important that we have a $20 trillion debt, and i'm not willing to add $10 trillion more in debt. so, mr. president, at the appropriate time, i will introduce an amendment that will
strike and replace this budget, and in its place, i will put forward a conservative vision for the country, a vision of a balanced budget that balances within five years. every republican in the congress that had been here for a while has voted for a balanced budget amendment. interestingly, the balanced budget amendment has -- which would be an amendment to the constitution -- has within the balanced budget amendment, it has the provisions that the budget would balance in five years. and even when republicans get around to saying oh, we'll have some gimmicks to balance in ten, ten is not what the amendment says. why bother voting on an amendment if you're not serious about it? republicans are completely in charge, it's a republican document, it's a document i disagree with, and at the appropriate time, mr. president, i will be introducing a replacement that will balance within five years and provides a conservative view for the >> on thursday, tc