Floor Updates

Conrad, Paul, Levin

JOBS Act (H.R. 3606)

Mar 20 2012

02:42 PM

Senator Conrad: (2:15 PM)
  • Spoke on the Budget Control Act.
    • SUMMARY "I rise today to inform my colleagues that this morning, I filed the budget deeming resolution for 2013 pursuant to the Budget Control Act passed last year. This resolution sets forth the spending limits for fiscal year 2013 at the levels agreed to by democrats and republicans in last summer's Budget Control Act. It allows the appropriations committees to now proceed with their work in drafting bills for next year, and it ensures that the Senate will have the tools to enforce the spending limits we agreed to on a bipartisan basis. I want to emphasize to my colleagues that we do have a budget. Those who continue to claim that we do not have a budget are either unaware of what they voted on last year or are seeking to deliberately mislead the public. The Budget Control Act was passed by the House of Representatives, it was passed by the United States Senate and signed into law by the President. It is the law of the land, and it established the key components of the budget for 2012 and 2013. Here is the language from the Budget Control Act itself. It is very clear that the Budget Control Act is intended to serve as the budget for 2012 and 2013. It states, "For the purposes of enforcing the Congressional Budget Office of 1974 through April 15, 2012, the allocations, aggregates and levels set in subsection b-1 shall apply in the senate in the same manner as for a concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012." It goes on to use that exact same language for fiscal year 2013. In many ways, the Budget Control Act was even more extensive than a traditional budget. It has the force of law, unlike a budget resolution that is not signed by the president. I think most members here know a budget resolution is purely a congressional document. The Budget Control Act is actually the law. Number two, the Budget Control Act set discretionary spending caps for ten years instead of the one year normally set in a budget resolution. Three, it provided enforcement mechanisms, including two years of deeming resolutions which allow budget points of order to be enforced. And four, it created a reconciliation-like Super Committee process to address entitlement and tax reforms, and it backed that process with a $1.2 trillion sequester. So these claims that we do not have a budget can now be put to rest. By filing the deeming resolution provided for in the Budget Control Act this morning, the budget levels have been set for next year."

Senator Paul: (2:24 PM)
  • Spoke in opposition to corporate welfare.
    • SUMMARY "The President's big on saying well, these rich companies need to pay their fair share. Well, why then is the President sending loans out to these very wealthy corporations and he's actually giving them their fair share of our taxpayer money? Why is that occurring? I have often asked the question - is government inherently stupid? Well, I don't think government is inherently stupid, but it's a debatable question, but what government is, is government doesn't get the same signals that your local bank gets. Your local bank has to look at your creditworthiness, your local bank has to make a profit, your local bank has to meet a payroll. But once the government gets in charge of these things We don't have a good track record with government banks because they don't feel deep inside the same pain that an individual banker feels when he gives a loan. So we have got Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae losing $6 billion a quarter of your money, and what do they want to do? They want to expand another government bank. So get this right. The Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that are government banks are losing $6 billion a quarter. Just recently, they wanted to give them multimillion-dollar bonuses. They said well, you have got to pay people if you want to keep good talent. You know, my question is how much talent does it take to lose $6 billion a quarter? I think there are people here today watching the Senate that would take $19 million a year to run one of these government banks to have your only record be that you lose $6 billion a quarter, that's outrageous. And they are wanting to expand a new government bank and give money to very wealthy corporations that are making a profit. It makes no sense what over. Now, Jefferson said that government is best that governs least. Now, what did he mean by that? He meant that he wanted government to be small because government is inherently inefficient. Government doesn't get the same signals. That's why we should only let government do the things that the private sector can't do."

Senator Levin: (2:31 PM)
  • Spoke on the JOBS Act.
    • SUMMARY "Canny of us who lived through the fearful days of the fearful crisis, days we wondered if the entire economy would crumble, should any of us vote to rush through this body legislation that threatens harm to fragile financial markets? Do we really want to live through that again? We should amend this flawed house bill so that we can create opportunity for American workers, companies, and investors, and not opportunities for fraudsters, boiler room hucksters, and con artists. We can do that and we should do that. One way to do that is to invoke cloture on the alternative that Senators Jack Reed, Landrieu, and I have offered and to begin debate and amendments on that alternative so that the senate's deliberative process can begin. If that cloture vote fails, the only remaining prudent alternative is to reject the cloture motion on the underlying bill so that the senate can begin, begin to deliberate and consider amendments to a bill that has aroused such concern among so many experts whose very job it is to protect consumers. Now, some may fear that by slowing a runaway train that they risk being portrayed as hostile to job creation or to small businesses. After all, how can we oppose legislation titled the JOBS Act? Well, it takes more than a clever acronym to create jobs. And as the astonishing amount of concern among market experts tells us, this JOBS Act, this so-called JOBS Act, is not a JOBS Act. But an invitation to the kind of fraud that destroys jobs. The Senate, the U.S. Senate, is the place where care and deliberation are supposed to rule, and are supposed to rein in the excesses of haste and incaution and I urge my colleagues to undertake that responsibility today."