Floor Updates

Feinstein, Kyl

Export-Import Bank Reauthorization bill (H.R. 2072)

May 14 2012

03:30 PM

Senator Feinstein: (2:23 PM)
  • Spoke on Mongolia.
    • SUMMARY "Mongolia has been rightly acclaimed for the extraordinary progress it has made in building democratic practices and institutions since the collapse of the soviet union 20 years ago. Indeed, Mongolia is the only successful functioning democracy from the Pacific Ocean to Eastern Europe through the entire expanse of inner Asia. A small country, it has due to this achievement become a country of large significance on the world stage. The best argument that a free and brave people can move their country from authoritarian to democracy in a relatively short period of time. Having done so, Mongolians have enjoyed an extraordinary degree of support and attention from the outside world, led by our country, the United States. The Mongolian-American relationship now encompasses Mongolia's impressive economic potential as it develops its rich mineral resources with the help of foreign partners, many of them American companies with a strong interest in investment there. However, all this promise could be negatively impacted by the emergence of the practices we have seen in the case of Mr. Enkhbayar. The chill of intimidation is felt by every Mongolian citizen for if such treatment can be applied to a former president and still-popular leader, no one is safe. And then such harsh treatment tends to bring reciprocity and the country is in danger of falling into a vicious cycle of political score settling. For the sake of Mongolia and the future of its people, the country's leaders must step away from this risk immediately. It is equally true that once having lost one's good reputation, it is almost impossible to restore it. There is still time for Mongolia's authorities to correct a dangerous turn of events, probably no one expected or wanted. There are many friends abroad including this senator, pray that they will do so. Should the troubling circumstance of Mr. Enkhbayar's case continue, it would thereafter be impossible for Mongolia's friends in America and around the world in other democracies to continue speaking with the hope, promise, and optimism for the country's future with which we have for the last two decades. Much is at stake in Mongolia now. Its political leaders and people have been wise and skillful in choosing the right course in many times of challenges and crises in the past. So I call upon our friends there to help their country, their supporters, and themselves by taking the humane and lawful actions that are needed now to reclaim the reputation at the forefront of the communities of democracies. I hope it has been obvious that I speak as a friend, a concerned friend, but one who wishes Mongolia well."

Senator Kyl: (2:37 PM)
  • Spoke on the economy.
    • SUMMARY "The administration, unfortunately, has been claiming that the economy is continuing to heal, and touting the latest jobs report. And I think that misleads the American people. And here's why: it is true that by their measure the unemployment rate has declined from 8.2% to 8.1% but that doesn't really represent progress if you look behind the numbers. If you look behind the numbers and the data, employers added only 115,000 jobs last month. That's less than the 180,000 that Wall Street was expecting and more importantly, it's less than the 150,000 jobs that have to be created each month just to keep up with the new entrants into the work force. The kids graduating from college those graduating from high school that are entering the work force. In order to keep up with that number, about 150,000 per month, the private sector has to create that many jobs to stay at zero, and if it doesn't, then we're actually getting behind. So the fact that we've had several straight months where there's been an actual increase in the number of jobs increases doesn't measure it properly. You have to measure those months where it was above 150,000 and in that case less than half the months since the president has been in office from met that criteria. So we're actually sliding backward, not moving forward. Here's another way to look at the unemployment picture. There are so many people who have given up looking for work under the Obama economy now they that they don't show up in the unemployment statistics. That's why this mum 8.2% actually goes down to 8.1%. Not because people are finding work but rather a whole lot of people have stopped looking for work so they're not counted in the unemployed looking for work. In March, for example, there were about three people dropping out of the system for every one job created. Think of that. In April, the rate was 4.5 dropouts per new job. So each month we're finding more and more people are simply not looking for work. They're dropping out of that group of people who would like to be employed, who are looking for work. They've stopped. So they don't show in the unemployment numbers. In fact, in the month of April, 522,000 people dropped out of the labor force. Now, remember last month 115,000 jobs were created, and some people thought that was great. It's nice that it was 115,000 and not, you know, none, but the reality is if 522,000 people dropped out of the labor force, that same month, it shows you that there is just not much to cheer about. What that meant in terms of overall statistics was that a number that the labor department calls the labor force participation rate - in other words, how many of the people who could be working here are actually working, it dropped to 63.6%, which is the lowest level since 1981 when we were headed into a big recession at that time. In other words, we have fewer people actually working in this country as a percentage of those who could than at any time since 1981 James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute said "If the size of the labor force as a share of the total population was the same as it was when Barack Obama took office, 65.7% then versus 63.6% today, the unemployment rate to be 11.1%." 11.1%. That's why you here people say the real rate is not 8.1%, it's 11.1%. What that means is, the more people give up looking for work, the better the official unemployment number gets but it doesn't tell the real story. He also noted and I'm quoting, "If the participation rate stayed where it was last month, the unemployment rate would have risen to 8.4%.â€?"