Floor Updates

Corker, Reid

Morning Business

Feb 15 2012

03:17 PM

Senator Corker: (2:48 PM)
  • Spoke on S.1813, the Highway bill.
    • SUMMARY "What we're doing with this highway bill, is we have two years' worth of costs and ten years' worth of revenues. Now, again, I know all of us want to see a highway bill put in place. I think most of us would like to see a long-term highway bill put in place .... that I think is unbelievably irresponsible is that people in this body, knowing of the financial crisis that we have to deal with at some point, that we would go ahead and with a Highway bill pass something where we're going to spend all the money in two years, and pay for it over ten. So I'm just here to appeal to people on both sides of the aisle, this is a bipartisan issue, it's a bipartisan bill. This isn't one of those things where one side of the aisle is trying to pass something over the objections of the other side of the aisle. I'm just trying to appeal to the conscience of people in this body, to the moral high ground that sometimes this body can exhibit, representing the American people, that we not do the same kind of thing that we've done with SGR, the doc fix, and Medicare to the Highway bill. We either ought to spend the amount of money we have coming in and if we don't think that's enough money to pay for it annually, we ought to change the way the revenue structure is coming into the program. But there is no way in the world that households in Maryland or Tennessee or any other place could possibly consider doing this. We know that fiscally this just doesn't work. Financially, it doesn't work and I'm hopeful that enough people in this body will put aside expediency, put aside making everybody feel good back home in the short term, but creating a crisis - by the way, at the end of 2013 what we're doing if we pass this bill as it's laid out now by the Finance committee, even with the tweak that they're looking at on IRAs, what we're looking at doing is putting in place a cliff, a $10 billion cliff at the end of 2013. Again, I just think it's unbelievably irresponsible that we would transfer the same woes that we have in our entitlement programs to the highway program. So, again, we ought to either spend the amount of money that's coming in annually and reduce the amount of outflows, or we ought to do something different with the gas tax or some other revenue stream but to do something where we put our head in the sand and say that we know this doesn't work, but it is an election year and we want to get a highway bill behind us, we know it's going to be bad news for our country down the road, but it's good news for us today, to me is irresponsible."

Senator Reid: (3:04 PM)
  • Amendment #1515 was withdrawn.
  • Filed cloture on Reid amendment #1633. The amendment tree was filled.
  • Filed cloture on Executive Calendar #366, Jesse M. Furman, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
  • Under the rule, on Friday the Senate will proceed to 2 VOTES on the (1) Motion to Invoke Cloture on Reid amendment #1633 to S. 1813; and (2) the Motion to Invoke Cloture on Executive Calendar #366, Jesse M. Furman, of New York, to be United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York.
  • The Senate will proceed to a period of Morning Business until 6:15 PM, with Senators permitted to speak up to 10 minutes each.
  • Spoke on S.1813, the Highway bill.
    • SUMMARY "I was going to ask a number of consent requests which I thought were important to present to the Senate, important issues that have not been resolved. I decided not to do that. We have made some progress in working toward an end of the issues that are preventing us from moving forward on this bill. I hope that we can continue to do that in the next 24 hours. There's certainly enough importance in this legislation to do just that. We're talking about more than 2 million jobs with this legislation. So I hope that my friends, the republicans, will figure out a way to help us move forward on this legislation."