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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 25, 2013 6:00am-10:01am EDT

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boy, with support like that ... it's like taking you areee supporting someone lie handing a gun to someone who will shoot you. we don't have to speculate. ilt not hypothetical that maybe, sort of, kind of possibly if you vote for cloture obamacare will be funded and the house of representatives' continuing resolution will be gutted. we know that because harry reid has announced i -- announced it. so any republican who cast a vote for cloture is saying, yes, i want harry reid to have the power to do that, and then i'll vote against it once it no longer matters, once it's a free, symbolic vote. mr. president, i don't think those kind of games are consistent with the obligation we owe to our constituents.
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you know, i made reference to the i.r.s. employees union asking to be exempted from obamacare, and the union sent a letter that they asked their members, please send. mr. president, i want to read that letter. this is prepared presumably by the aoupb bosses -- union bosses at the i.r.s. employees. dr. leader reid and mrs. pelosi, when you and the president sought our support for the affordable care act, you pledged that if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. sadly, that promise is under threat. by the way, who is saying this? the i.r.s. employees union, the people in charge of enforcing obamacare on us, the american people. right now unless you and the obama administration enact an equitable fix, the a.c.a. will shatter not only our hard-earned health benefits, but destroy the
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foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the american middle class. i think this letter i am reading may not be the i.r.s. employees union. it may be in fact the teamsters letter. i'm going to set that aside and see if we can get the actual i.r.s. union. it is a great letter and i may read it again. but i don't think that is the i.r.s. letter since it is signed by james hof iffa. instead let me read another note from a constituent. don't trust me. don't trust any politician what's happening on obamacare. trust the people, a constituent from spring, texas, wrote on april 12, 2013. my late husband worked for the same company for over 40 years.
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because of obamacare this year that company decided it would no longer offer supplemental insurance to medicare. the program i was forced into has increased my monthly premium by almost $100. not only that, but the prescription plan has increased increased -- the drug plan, a generic one at that, by 30%. ridiculous. mr. president, this body, democrats and republicans, need to listen to the people. together we must make d.c. listen. a senator: the senator from texas yield for a question without yielding the floor. mr. cruz: i'm very happy to yield to the senator from florida without yielding the floor. mr. rubio: thank you. the first question is what did you do last night? mr. cruz: i thank my friend from florida for that question. you know, i had a delightful night. i had a chance to read some
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bastiat, to read some tweets. there are few things more enjoyable than reading tweets. and i hope that you and i, senator lee, and many other senators who participated in this, i hope we have had some positive impact on moving this debate forward and making clear to the american people both the train wreck, the nightmare that is obamacare, as the words of james hoffa, president of the teamsters, but also that right now too many members of this body are not listening to the american people. and the only remedy for that is this week the american people demanding that we make d.c. listen. mr. rubio: would the senator from texas yield for a follow-up question without yielding the floor? mr. cruz: happy to yield for another question without yielding the floor. mr. rubio: it is interesting how much times changed around here. if a decade ago you were to tell someone you were tweeting on the senate floor, that would not be a positive thing. people would think that meant something else.
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the world changed a lot. i think you highlighted earlier in some of your speeches you were giving here about what a positive development that's been. it wasn't so long ago that in order to be able to do something in politics, to make a difference, to mobilize people to take action, you needed the benefits of the formal organizations that existed. you needed groups or the establishment, whatever term people want to use to get things done. but one of the things that's completely changed american politics is that anybody can become a political activist now because of access to social media, because of access to facebook and twitter and vine and instagram and all these other programs, anyone can take action and speak out. anyone can connect with like-minded people halfway across the country or quite frankly halfway around the world and begin a cause. and in many respects that's what i think you see happening in this country now. there's a lot of talk about how washington has changed, how there's things happening now
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that didn't used to happen before. i'm convinced that one of the reasons why is because people now have access to things that are happening in real time, and they have the ability to speak out on these things in real time. again, it used to be that you'd have to turn on the tv at 6:00 in the evening or 6:30 to watch the evening national news. not anymore. news is reported on a minute-by-minute basis. even as i speak now there's someone out there covering it, there's people out there saying something about it. and i think by and large that's been a positive development because it's empowered individual americans from all walks of life not just to be aware of what's happening in this capitol but to engage in it, speak out and be heard. at the end of the day this republic depends on that, on an informed citizenry that is also able to speak out on the issues of the day, communicate with the people that work for them. let me tell you what i hear from the people that i work for in the state of florida. i hear tremendous concern about the future. we focus a lot around here on specific issues, and we should.
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the national debt is a crisis. our tax code is broken. our regulations are out of control. we're talking about obamacare right now, which has been hugely detrimental to the american economy and to the aspirations of individual americans. but overriding all of this is the central concern that i find increasingly on the minds of people. let me describe it as this. i know that as a country we're divided on a lot of issues. you look at the polls. you look at the elections. i know that the country is divided on a lot of important issues, and that's why this body and congress is struggling to find consensus on many of the major issues we confront. but let me tell you what i believe is still the unifying principle that holds our nation and our people together. and that unifying principle is the belief that anyone who is willing to work hard and sacrifice should be able to get ahead. the idea that if you are able -- if you are willing to work as hard as you can to make sacrifices, you should be
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rewarded for that with a better life. by the way, when we talk about a better life, it's not the guarantee that you'll ever be a millionaire or a billionaire. but it generally means the ability to find a job that's fulfilling, helps you feel like you're making a difference in the world, a job that allows to you do something you love for a living, and a job that pays you enough money to do things like buy a house, provide a stable environment for your family, save so your kids can go to college and so that you can retire with dignity and security. and we still believe that it is unfair as a people. we are unified in this tpwhref that it is unfair that people who are willing to work hard and sacrifice as the vast majority of americans are, it is unfair when people who are willing to do that cannot get ahead when those people are held back. and we've been told our whole lives that if you work hard, if you sacrifice, if you go to school and graduate, if you do all these things that you will get ahead, that this is that kind of kubt. -- country. but now there are people that
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are starting to wonder if that is still true. increasingly people are starting to wonder is that we know as the american dream, is that still alive? they want to believe it still is. they believe in america, but they're starting to wonder is that formula that i've outlined to you -- hard work and sacrifice leads to a better life -- if that formula still works? why are they wondering that? they are working harder than they ever have. look at median incomes in america. look at the people who feel like their lives are stagnated. they are working hard. they are sacrificing. not only are they not getting ahead. sometimes they feel like they're falling behind. put yourself in the place of someone who is 56, 57, 58 years old, worked their whole life at some company or industry, suddenly they're laid off and they can't find anyone to hire them. they were getting ready for retirement. now they don't know when that's ever going to happen. put yourself in the place of a student. you graduated high school.
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while your friends were out playing around, you were studying so you could get good grades and get into a good school. you did that. you went to college. while your friends were partying, you studied. you graduated with a 3.5, 3.8, 4.4. you twoepbt grad school -- you went to grad school, did everything asked of you, and then you graduate and can't find a job in your career field. here's worse, you owe $40,000 or more in student loans. i know senator lee confronted that as well. i had $100,000 in student loans when i graduated. i grant you, it was a wise investment in my education but it was an anchor around my neck for many, many years. my parents were never able to save enough money to provide for our education so i had to do a combination of grants and work-study and student loans. there were months when my student loan payments -- when i got in the senate i still had these loans. there were months when my loan
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payments were higher than our mortgage. so you look at these things and you understand what people around the country are facing. think about the small businesses. you're someone who used to work for someone. you were an employee. then one day you decided, i can do this job better than my boss can. so i'm going to quit this job and i'm going to risk it. i'm going to take every penny i have access to. going to max out my credit card, take out my life savings and i'm going to open a small business because i believe in my idea. and i will guarantee you that for most people who did that, those first years were tough. this idea that you open up a business and tomorrow you're facebook is usually not the case. usually you struggle those first few years. oftentimes people fail in business two or three times before they finally succeed. interestingly enough, as part of this process, one of the most rewarding things i've been able to do is travel the country and meet and interact with very successful people in business and in life. it's amazing how many of these people you meet that when you
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ask them about how they got started and how they achieved, they usually focus on all the times they failed before they achieved. they take pride in the struggle because it means that they earned it. that they earned what they have. they take pride in that. anyway, put yourself in the position of someone who went through all that, someone who started this business by taking out a second mortgage on their home and literally came upon one friday when they didn't know how they were going to make payroll or stay open, but somehow they persevered and made it through. and now that business is open and functioning, and yet it's struggling. and they're wondering after all these years of hard work and sacrifice, they feel like they're slipping backwards instead of moving ahead. those -- there is a growing sentiment in this country about these things and let me tell you why that is so dangerous, because what i just described to you is what we have come to know as the american dream. there's this idea among the minds of some that the american dream is a material thing. the american dream is about how
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much money can you make so you can own more things. that may be an element of it for some people but the american dream is largely about being able to earn for yourself a better life. and you can only understand the american dream by viewing it from a global perspective. you see, for those of us who are born and raised in this country, lived here our whole lives and don't know anything else sometimes it is easy to take what i'm about to tell you for granted. in most countries around the world for almost all of human history and even today it doesn't really matter how hard you're willing to work and how much you're willing to sacrifice. if you don't come from the right family, if you're not well connected, you don't get into the right schools and you don't get into the right jobs. put yourself in that position for a moment. imagine now you have big hopes, big dreams and big talent and your hope is to do something with it. maybe you want to serve in
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philanthropy, set up a foundation, maybe you're an artist or musician, whatever it might be. imagine being trapped with all that talent and unable to put it into use. you would say that's unfair. and tilled you that was the hugh -- and i would tell you that was the human condition up until 200 years ago everywhere in the world and it is still a human condition in many parts of the globe today. the american dream is that here that's not true. here we believe that is wrong. here we believe that's unfair. here we believe all americans, democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives, everyone, we all believe it is unfair and it is wrong that someone should be prevented from achieving a better life because of where they come from, who they come from or where they started out in life. we believe that's unfair. we believe that's wrong. that is the american dream's essence. the notion that you should be able to achieve whatever you were meant to be, to be able to fully utilize your talents in whatever you find meaningful,
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the ability to have a career instead of a job, all these sorts of things. and that's what we're on the verge of losing in the minds of many americans, and that is supremely dangerous to the country. why? because i personally do not believe that there can be an america as we know it without the american dream. without the american dream, america is just another big, powerful country, but it no longer is an exceptional one. that's what is at stake in all these debates that we're conducting here in this body. what are the impediments? what's creating these problems that we're facing? i've identified three thi. there may be more. but i've identified three. the first is societal breakdown. it is real. this idea that somehow you can accept rapt the social well-being of our people from their moral well-being is absurd. the idea that you can separate those things is absurd. if you're born into a broken family, the statistics tell us that the chances that you're
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going to struggle significantly increase. the destruction of the family structure in america, the decline of it, is a leading contributor to poverty and educational underperformance. now, the question for policy-makers here in washington is, what can we do about that? can we pass thraws make people better parents? can we pass better government programs that make people better families -- or make families better? the answer is usually not. but i can tell you we can start recognizing that this is a real factor, that this is not a about moralize, this is not about imposing our religion views on anyone. this is a free cufnlter you havs is a free cufnlt you have the right to believe anything you want. but you better believe this: it doesn't matter how many diplomas you have on the wall. if you don't have the values of hard work, sacrifice, respect, perseverance, self-discipline, if you don't have those values, you're going to struggle to succeed.
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and no one is born with those values. no one. those values have to be taught. and they have to be reinforced. and one of the things that made america exceptional, one of the things that allowed the american dream to happen, is that in this country we had strong families and strong institutions in our society that helped those families instill those values in children. today there are millions of children growing this up this country that are not being taught these values because of societal breakdown. we refuse to confront it at our own peril. we better recognize it. we better start acting on it as a nation. because i'm it willing you, children that are born into broken families, living in substandard housing, with no beinaccess to health care, with difficulty accessing good schools, these kids have strikes against them. they are going to struggle to make it unless someone addresses that. and we are losing an entirely generation of talent because of t we better address it in a way that's good for the country and also good for those families.
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the second issue i would tell they'that's contributing to this we have a significant skills gap in america. 21st century jobs require more skills than jobs ever have. go to the grocery store -- i was there on saturday. there used to be 12 checkout lines. that meant 12 cashiers, right? now there were four or five self-checkouts. those jobs have been replaced by the job of the people that installed those machines, the jobs of the people who build that's machines, the job of the people who maintain the machines. a graphic example of the 21 century. the job has been replaced by a different job. to be a cashier you have to be trained on the site. my mom was a cashier. but to fix and maintain those machines, you need a higher level of skill that you need to
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learn in school somewhere. too many of our people don't have those schisms we've go ski. we've got to fix that. for the life of me, i don't understand why we stigmatize. we need electric trugs and plumbers and people to fix airplane engines. we should be teaching kid dozen that while they're skill in high school so they can graduate with a diploma and a certification that makes them job-ready. we should do that. beyond it our students today, many of them are nontraditional students. they're not just 18, 19-year-olds that just graduated from high school. thethere is a single mom who is working a as receptionist at a dental clinic somewhere, the first one to get laid off every time things go wrong. how can she improve her life by becoming an ultrasound tech?
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or by becoming any of these other proafltio professions thad in medicine? she has to go to school. how will she do that if she has to work and raise her kids? whether it's online programs or programs that i have go you credit for life experience and work experience, we have to answer that. we have to also address workers that are in the middle of their lives, have lost their jobs, a job that's never coming back. they need to be retrained. by the way, the traditional college route will still be the ticket to upward mobility for millions of americans. but we better figure out thousand pay it -- how to pay for it. because right now you have kids graduating with $30,000 and $40,000 around their neck. that's going to prevent them from starting a family, buying a house and moving ahead. we had better address it. we had better figure out why it is that every time more aid is made available to these students, it gets gobbled up by tuition increases.
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we better address that problem. we better address the skills gap. but here's the third and it goes right to the heart of what senator cruz from texas is dealing with here. the free enterprise system is the single-greatest eradicator of poverty in all of human history. free enterprise, american-style free enterprise has eradicated poverty than all of government programs in the world combined. you want to wage a real war on poverty? encourage free enterprise. why? because free enter surprise an economic system that rewards pome for hard work, sacrifice, and merit. free enterprise doesn't ask, what did your parent dozen for a living? who do you know? where do you summer? who do you hang out with over the summer? what clubs do you belong to? free enterprise doesn't ask that. free enterprise wants to know, what's your idea? is there a market for it? are you willing to work hard and
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sacrifice and persevere? because if you are, you are real estate going to have the opportunity to make it. you with a nts to know proof that that works? i have 200-some-odd years of american history to show you. it works. in fact, it works so well that other countries are trying to copy it in their own version. why are there millions of people in china today that just a generation ago lived in poverty and now are consumers in the middle class? is it because they've opened up their economy to free enterprise principles? the same is true in brazil, mexico, india, all over the world. what are the countries that are finding increased prosperity and growth in the middle class doing? er they're inching towards free enterprise. does that mean there's no role for government? no. of course there is a petroleum for government. there is an important role for government. it provides for our national security. it is hard to grow economy when you're under atafnlgt it provides for internal security.
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it is hard for people to invest in an economy if they don't know there is a court system that's going to enforce property rights. if they believe that crimes are going to go unpunished. beyond that, we believe in a safety net. free enterprise doesn't work without a real safety net. not as a way of life. the safety net is not a way of life. you can't live your whole life on welfare and food stamps and disability, unless you're truly disabled. and that's what the -- that's what the -- that's what the real safety net is there for. it's there to help people who cannot help themselves, and it's there to help people who have fallen to stand back up and try again. we believe in a safety net, not as a way of life but as a backstop to make people feel confidence that they can invest in the few of. what else should government be doing? as i talked, national security, infrastructure, the roads and brijts tharoadsbridges that we .
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it does create the backbone for the country to function. the most important thing that government should do in all of our policy-making decisions is we should ask ourselves, before you do anything, you pass a larks you create law,you createk yourself, will this foster the free enterprise system or will it undermine it? and to answer that question, you have to first recognize how the free enterprise system works. what creates prosperity and opportunity? here's what creates it. when someone invents something new, a new product, idea, service, when someone starts a new business or when someone grows an existing business. that's what creates opportunity and middle-class opportunity in the free enterprise system. that's what makes upward mobility possible. that's what allows people to climb out of where they started in life and improve it and leave their kids even better off. when people innovate, when they invest, by starting a new business or expanding an existing one. so as policy-makers, every time
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we make a decision around here, if you really want to help the middle class, if you really want to help the people who are t,ng make america the best place in the world to innovate, to start a new business, 0er to expand an existing business. you want to know what's wrong in historic today with our economy? look no further than a series of government policies -- by the way, pursued by both political parties, although my opinion is i haven't seen anything like the past six years -- but a areas oa series of policies that make it harder, not easier to start a business, to expand an exst existing business and to innovate. and chief among them right now before us is what the senator from texas is talking about all night -- obamacare. that's why we're passionate about this. you know, if you watch the news a little bit, you would think this is all because it is president obama's idea and the republicans are against it because it is his idea and that's what happening here. that's absurd. that's absurd.
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i certainly have an ideological objection to the expansion of government, but my passionate objection is that -- at least the reason why i am on the floor and at least why senator cruz is on the floor here all night -- is not because of ideology or theory. it is the reality that it law is going to hurt real people. it's going to hurt real people. i've met those people. i've talked to those people. if you've been to a walgreens late did i, you know those people, too. why? because walgreens has's announced that because of obamacare, it has to get rid of its insurance program that its employees are generally happy with. now they get thrown into the great unknown. and here's the rough problem with thatment. imagine if you're chronically ill or you have children or you have preexisting relationship with a doctor. they know your history, you can call them if you're -- that's why you've been going to them.
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now you get throng into the new exchanges. what we're hearing from these new exchanges that are being set up is, one of the ways that we're going to lower costs is we're going to limit our networks, less doctors, less hospitals. that's how we're going to save money and make these things affordable. that's what we're going to put people into? so all of a sudden this doctor you have been going to all these years, you can't go to them anymore. that's wrong. that's hurting real people. how about this for an example: imagine now these small businesses that i've met -- you've talked about this senator cruz -- i met a restaurant own. we had a small business committee meeting here a couple months ago, a small business owner from louisiana. he testified. he's got great ideas. he has calculated that there is a market for him to open a new restaurant. he owns a chaifnlt h chain. he wants to open one more.
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he's not going to because of obamacare, because the costs create u uncertainty about the future for him, because he's worried about triggering mandates. you may say, he's a business own. he already has "x" number of restaurants. why did he need more? it's not him we're worried about the most. he's going to tell you, i'm going to be okay. who's not going to be okay? well, if he opened that new strarnghts he's going to higher 20 or 30 more people. there are 20 or 30 people in louisiana right now who could have had a job, a job that could have helped them provide for their family, a job that could have helped them to pay for their school. those jobs aren't going to be created. there are multiple examples. how about this one: how about if you are a part-time worker now. and, look, the backbone of our economy can never be part-time work, but there's always a place for part-time work. i worked part-time work before.
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the senator has talked about t he had a to work part-time before. it primarily helps young people and retirees. and for young people had helps them to work their way through school. so imagine now if you want to work your way through school because you don't want to owe $50,000 in student loans, and so you're in central florida and you work for sea world. and right now maybe you're working 32 hours a week part-time and using the rest of the time to go to school. but here comes obamacare. so now sea world has a announced that instead of 32 hours, we're going to move you to 28 hours. that's real money. that is real money. that's hurting real people. here's once that doesn't get a lot of attention: iring's medicare advantage is a great choice program. it is not perfect. but it is a program on medicare that basically allows patients on medicare to sign up in a
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managed care system that manages their care but for that it adds additional benefits to their package. my mom is a medicare advantage patient. i can tell you the outcomes are generally better than people in the fee-for-service system. and the services are vafnlt my mom needs transportation to and from doctors' rifts. that's one of the services that the medicare advantage program provides. obamacare takes money out of medicare advantage. they don't like it so they took money out of it. you would think they're taking money out of medicare advantage to shore up the finances of medicare because it's going bankrupt. no. they're taking the money out to fund obamacare. what's going to happen practically is that at some point here over the next few months beneficiaries on medicare advantage are going to get letters in the mail, and that letter is going to inform them of services they were once receiving and are no longer receiving. the point is that all the uncertainty created by this health care law, by obamacare is
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it making america an easier place to start a business? no. does obamacare make it easier to grow an existing business? absolutely not. does obamacare encourage innovation in the marketplace? of course not. it undermines innovation in medicine. it undermines innovation in medicine. advances in medical technology that have added years and quality to the lives of millions of people, it undermines that. this thing is a complete disaster, and now we're being asked to take the taxpayer dollars and pour more money into this broken thing. of course we're passionate about being against that. so i go out across the state of florida, everywhere i go, i have people that voted for the president telling me that this thing is hurting them. this is not a partisan thing. there are democrats being hurt by this. there are supporters of the president being hurt by this.
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earlier this evening i lost track of when it was, senator cruz read letters from the teamsters union, from other unions across the country. we received news that the union representing i.r.s. workers in charge of enforcing this law through the fines or the tax, whatever they decided to call it, they want to be exempted from it. they don't want it to apply to them. by the way, all of this, all these exemptions people are begging for, whether it's members of congress or i.r.s. employees or unions, let me tell you what that is. that is a shining a light on this reality. big government always benefits the people who have access to power. everywhere in the world that's true. why? i'll tell you why. big government always writes a lot of regulations, arlt rules -- a lot -- rules. if you're a powerful labor union, if you're a rich billionaire, you can hire the best lawyers in america and they
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will help you figure out the loopholes in those laws. let me tell you what else you can do. you can hire the best lobbyists in washington to help you get those loopholes written in. don't be shocked -- you may not be shocked to know this, but in politics sometimes businesses use government regulations and laws to give them an edge over their competitors, to keep other people from coming in to their industry and competing against them. guys, it happens. it happens because in big government, that's possible. big government always helps the people who have access to power because they are the only ones that can afford to navigate it. so if you're a major corporation, if you're a major labor union, you can either deal with the impacts of obamacare or work to get an exemption, waiver or what have you from it. who can't? i'll tell you who can't. the person trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of their home, someone who has decided my business -- i met someone like this, by the
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way. it wasn't at starbucks. it was at a dunkin' donuts, and they were using the free wi-fi and that was their business, this little corner table at the dunkin' donuts, that's where they were starting out this software business they were doing, accessing free wi-fi to do it. you think they can comply with khreubgted rules and -- complicated rules and regulations? they can't. it forces people to go underground in their operations or not do it at all. it is not just an example of why obamacare fails. it is an example of why big government fails. and it's not fair. it's not fair that for people in this country who are willing to work hard and are willing to sacrifice, it's not fair that we're making it harder on them through the government policies being pursued here. obamacare is not the only one. we have a broken tax code. if i asked you please design for me a tax code that discourages people from investing money and growing their businesses, you would give me the u.s. tax code
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today. we've got to fix that. our regulations are completely out of control. there's no cost-benefit analysis at all. these people write regulations here in washington. no one ever asked the question how many jobs will this destroy? how many jobs won't be created because of this? no one asks that question. they measure the theory behind what it might do, the environmental benefit, the societal benefit. no one ever does the cost-benefit analysis. there's no employment impact statement attached to these laws. think about the absurdity of that. here we are with huge unemployment, a huge number of people dropping out of the search for jobs, a huge amount of underemployment, a vast number of the majority of the jobs created being part time and we're passing regulations that makes it harder to create jobs and opportunity for people. it's crazy. regulations are out of control.
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the debt, we're going to have to deal with the debt here in about six or seven days. the debt limit debate is going to come up. they want to raise the thing again. listen, i'm not negotiating on this, as the president. let's just raise it again. never mind the fact that he stood on the very floor of this senate less than ten years ago and said that raising the debt limit back then was a leadership failure, failure of leadership. now of course things have changed because a $17 trillion debt is no longer as pressing in his mind. and that's problematic. why? is the debt just an accounting problem. that's how we talk about it. you turn on the news, they talk about the debt as an accounting problem. they spend more money than they take in, but if they raised more taxes on richer people they would pay the whole thing off. that's not true, guys. it's not true. if you took every penny away from people that made over $1 million this year, it doesn't even make a dent in this. any politician that goes to you and says all we've got to do is
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raise taxes and the debt is under control is lying to you. period. here's the hard truth about the debt. and the sooner we confront it, the better off we're going to be as a people. the debt is growing because we have important government programs that are structured in a way that are not sustainable. they spend a lot more money than they take in and it gets worse from here. medicare, medicaid, social security, those are important programs. my mom is on two of them. i would never do anything to hurt her benefits or people like her. and that's why i'm so passionate about reforming them, because those programs are going bankrupt and we are going to have to deal with it. you cannot continue to spend $1 trillion more than you take in every year and not deal with it. the problem is the longer we wait to deal with it, the harder it is going to be to deal with it. it's no different than medical conditions, right. think about this for a second. is there any disease or any medical condition that you know of that's easier to treat the later you catch it?
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is there? is there any medical condition that's easier to fix the longer you wait to deal with it? of course not. what are doctors always talking to us about? early detection. it's the same with the debt. the longer we wait to address this issue, the harder and more disruptive it's going to be to solve it. and that's what's driving our debt. people want to focus on other things. foreign aid, cut foreign aid. foreign aid is less than 1% of our debt. it is not even defense spending. is there ways to save money in defense contracting. of course there is but that is not the driver of our debt. the driver of our debt are these unsustainable programs that if we want to save we must fix. the debt is not an accounting problem. why? what's the debt doing -- it's a moral problem; right? never in the history of this country has a generation of americans said to their kids, guys, we're going to run up your tab and you figure out how to pay for it later. we've never had that happen in the history of the united states.
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ever. but that's what they're doing. it's wrong. but it's more than that. this is not just about how high taxes are going to be 50 years from now on our kids. this is about the jobs that are being destroyed right now because let's go back to the simple equation of how jobs are created. jobs are created when someone invents something or jobs are created when someone starts a new business or expands an existing business. and people who looked at this debt and say they're going to have to deal with that debt one day through a debt crisis, they're going to have to raise taxes, make disruptive changes in government in the future. they're not encouraged about investing in the future now because they're fearful of the uncertainty provided by the debt. they're fearful. so there are jobs right now that are not being created. right now, there are jobs right now in america that do not exist that weren't created -- were going to be created, were not created because of the national debt. and we're going to have a debate here in a few days about it.
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and the attitude from a lot of people around here is we've got to raise the debt limit and we shouldn't do anything about it. come on. i stood on the floor of the senate, my chair was right back there, 2011. and i said when are we going to finally deal with this thing? two years later we're still not dealing with this thing. two and a half years later. this complacency, this lack of urgency about these issues is puzzling. you know what my fear is my fear is you fast forward 50 years in the future, historians are going to write the country was falling apart, they were destroying the free enterprise system, the american dream was crumbling and these guys stood by and did nothing. that's how feel is happening right now. it feels like those horror movies where you keep screaming at the screen don't go in that room, don't do it, but they do it anyway. in some ways everything we're facing here with the debt, with obamacare is like a horror movie. you know how this ends up if we stay on this path. you know what happens in the horror movie if they open that
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door. the bad guy is on the other side. it's the same thing with these issues we're facing. we know what happens if we continue on the path we're on right now. we decline as a nation. the sad part is that doesn't have to happen. there is no reason why the 21st century can't also be an american century. there's no reason why the next generation of americans can't be the most prosperous people that ever lived. but it requires us to act. it requires us to reform our tax code. not as a way of raising taxes, not as a way of creating new taxes but as a way of creating new taxpayers through economic growth. it requires us to deal with regulations. by the way, and i think the senator from texas would agree with this, obamacare, as much as anything else is a massive authorization to write a bunch of rules. it's not just a law. it's a bunch of regulations that are hurting job creation, discouraging investment, discouraging people from starting a new business or
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expanding an existing business. we have to fix that and deal with the debt. all these issues have to be dealt with. it the none of them get -- none of them get easier to fix as time goes on. they get harder and more disruptive, which leads me, i guess, to -- i don't know how you've done this for 18 hours. i'm already tired. at the end of the day, i guess i'll speak personally. the one issue that really makes me so passionate about all of this in its sum total, i often wonder, what would my life have been like if america had never existed. what if in 1956 there wasn't a place my parents could go to where people like them had a chance for a better life. i doubt very seriously whether i would be standing on the floor of the cuban senate. there isn't one now. i can't -- i can't imagine what
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my life would be like if america never existed. if god had not given my parents the opportunity to come to the one place on earth where people like them born into poverty and little formal education actually had a clans to build a better -- had a chance to build a better life. and i think about the millions of people out there now trying to do what my parents did, what senator cruz's father did and his parents did, what so many of our parents did, by the way. the great thing about this country is when you tell your story, everybody has one just like it. we're all the descendants of go-getters. every single one of us is the product of someone who overcame obstacles to claim the american dream. they overcame discrimination, poverty, in many cases this evil institution of slavery. this is who we are as a people. we're all descendants of go-getters. and i think about how that's changed the world. there is literally no corner of
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this planet that you can't go to where you won't find people who feel frustrated and trapped. and i can't tell you how many times i meet people from abroad who disagree with all sorts of things that america does, and yet they have this begrudging admiration for it. you know what that admiration is rooted in? that someone just like them who came from where they come from, and this country is doing extraordinary things, things they never could have dreamed of in the nation of their own birth. and i think we should all ask ourselves what would the world look like if america was not exceptional. if america was a big country in the world with a big military but wasn't special. what would the world be like? the answer is the world would be more dangerous and less free and less prosperous. and so, when we debate the future of our country, in many ways we're debating the future of the world, because if america declines, i want you to ask
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yourself this: who replaces us? the united nations replaces us? really? who replaces us? china? china doesn't even care about the rights of their own people. why would they care about the rights of people anywhere else? who replaces us? russia? who replaces us on the world stage? if america declines, who will inspire people around the world to seek not just freedom but economic opportunity? who will stand as proof that it is a lie when you tell people that they cannot achieve? and you know, the one thing that will lead quickest to america's decline snits not simply the debt, it's not simply taches, it's not these unconstitutional violations. the quickest way to decline is to undermine the american dream. to lose our identity as the one
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place on earth where anyone from anywhere can accomplish anything. that's the fast track to decline. and that's why we're so passionate about obamacare. it is a direct threat to the american dream. the irony of it is that obamacare was sold ras a way to help the -- sold as a way to help the people who are trying to make it. here is how it was sold. if you're working-class, if you're poor, can't afford health insurance, the government is now going to provide you health insurance. tell me the truth. that's what a the love people really perceived this to be. they don't have insurance now. this will allow you to have insurance. maybe for free if not at a very low cost. and by the way, anyone that already had insurance, this is not going to hurt you at all. that's how it was sold to peesm this is going to be cheap, easy-to-get insurance for people who are struggling. and so i understand why someone who is struggling to make it would look at that as something that's appealing. guess what?
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that's not what it is. people who have existing health insurance right now, guess what? many of you are going to lose it. when they told you that you could keep what you had, they were not telling you the truth. people that were told that this is going to provide them to cheap and quality health insurance? guess what? i can't tell you what you're going to get because it doesn't exist he yet. but people on october 1 are going to have a chance to signed up for one of these exchanges. you're going to find less choices, a higher price than you anticipated, perhaps that you can afford, and las less choicen doctors and hop hospitals includ in the exchanges. this is disaster all the way around. and by the way while these exchanges are being set up, may also be getting a notice from your employer that they are going to reduce your hours and maybe even your job. that's why this is a fight worth having. and it is interesting. you haven't had a chance to see
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it, senator cruz, because of a been here, but but it's intereg how the news covers all this. political reporters always cover this through the political angle. if this was a college football game, who's the winner, who's the loser. they love the process. ites there is a process for that. wouldn't be shocked to know there's politics around here. this issue is so much deeper than that. it really is. and there's not a lot of attention being paid to that. i think we should because it's having an impact on real people. in a real and powerful way. all th a tensio this attention , the process, when are they going to vote, who's going to vote which way, that's fine. i understand that's part of this process and we all enjoy watching it from time to time, right? what they're miss something the why. why is someone willing to stay
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up all night -- two people willing to stay up basically all night to speak e about this? why are so many people against it? the why. no one is asking the why. and the answer is, because it is undermining the opportunity for upward mobility. that's why. we're not fighting here against the president. we are fighting for people, for people that voted for us and for people that will never vote for us. for people that voted for mitt romney and for people that voted for barack obama. for real people, people who may never agree with us on any other issue, but they're going to be hurt by obamacare. people who, as we speak here, are about to wrack up wake up, r kids ready to go to school, put in eight to ten hours at work, come back home, try to make dinner while they make sure their kids are doing homework, put thep to bed. by the time that ends, they're exhausted. and they do that the next day and the next day and the next week and the next week again.
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the last thing these people need is another disruption in their life. the last thing these people need is to go to work tomorrow and being informed, i'm so, but we're moving, we're cutting four hours out of your workweek. i'm sorry, but we're changing your insurance plan, so that doctor you've been taking your asthmatic child to or that doctor you've been going to in your pregnancy, you're not going to be able to see them anymore because this new insurance plan, they're not covered in it. that's the last thing people need and that's what they're going to get. that is wrong. it is unfair. i'll close with this. and i alluded to they ear it ea. i hope we will do everything we can to keep america special, to keep it the shining city on the hill, as reagan called t as i outlined earlier, i think the future of the world depends on it the kind of world our children will inherit depends on it.
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i think it is important to remind us that america has faced difficult circumstances before. in fact, every generation of americans has faced some challenge. every single one. they were different, but they were challenges. this country had a civil war. this country lived thra througha great depression. this country lived through two very, very painful world wars. this country had to confront its history of segregation and overcome that. it had a very conplicte in vietnam. in the midst of that, tha it hao wage a cold war in the face of communism. there were many commentators in the late 1980's, we've got to accept the fact that comiefnl is here to stay. that was a real threat.
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again it is easy to forget that. but that was the way the world was just 25 years ago. every generation of american has had to face challenges and confront them and every generation has. not only have they solved their problems, every generation has left the next better-off. every single one. and now it is our turn. we have a very important choice to make. and it is a pretty dramatic one p. we will either be the first generation to leave our children worse off or our children will be the most prosperous americans that ever lived. it is one or the other. there is no middle ground, in my mind, on that. when we debate the future of this health care law and obamacare, we're debating that question. you know, i'm reminded of the story of the star spangled banner. i was reminded this morning. so during the attack on the
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fort, it was hard to imagine that after that bombard many, the u.s. could survive. after that bombardment, the thoation was, there's no way they'll make it through the night. but that next morning when the star spagged banner, when that flag was hoisted, when it was raised was a signal to the british and the world that the u.s. -- that this idea of freedom and liberty had surviv survived. it is interesting how time and again that idea has been tested. both in external and internal conflict. you may not realize this, but when the senate is in session, the flag is up. so usually i'm walking in early in the morning to the capitol, there's no flag up at 5:00 in the morning because there's nobody in session. i didn't have ny my tv on, but i walked over to the capitol and the flag was up.
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i said, my god, these guys are still talking. i'm glad they are. because what's at stake is the future of our country. economically in ways just as dramatic as those challenges we faced at the inception of the republic. because this debate is not just about whether a program named after the president will stay in law. this debate is about program that undermines the american dream, about the one thing that makes us special and different from the rest of the world, and if there's anything worth fighting for, i would think that is. if there's anything worth fighting for, i would think the american dream is worth fighting for. i think recalling exceptiona res worth fighting for. i think the free enterprise system is worth fighting for. i think i as someone who directy benefited from the free enterprise system, i personally
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have the right to fight for t not just on this issue, but in the debate to come next week. and this is what this is all about. so i'd close by asking the senator from texas, as i highlight all these challenges that we face, is this issue really not at the end of the day about us fighting on behalf of evereveryday people who have no voice in this proficiency who -o can't afford to hire a lawyer? at the end of the day, the big companies, the really rich, they're going to figure this out. they may not like this, but they're going to deal with this. but the people who are fighting for it are the people that cannot afford to navigate it. isn't that what this is all about? mr. cruz: thank the senator for his inspired comments and his excellent question. that's absolutely right. this fight is about whether hardworking american dream get
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the same exceptions the same benefit that president obama has given big corporations and members of congress. and i want to note, in response to the inspirational remarksr be five comments, the last two of which i think it may well be likely that senator rubio will be inspired to ask a question in response to. the first point is a very brief one, which is simply, thank you. i would thank the senator from florida for telling that story about the flag. i will confess, as we sit here a few minutes before 7:00 a.m., i'm a little bit tired. senator mike lee is a little bit tired. and i will ale tel tell you, the of the dust clearing, the smoke clearing and seeing the star spangled banner while the rockets red glare -- that inspired and encouraged me, and i appreciate your sharing it. that was very kind of you to
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tell that story, and it is very he meaningful, so thank you. so secondly, senator rubio talked about how the political reporters have been focusing predominantly on the game, on the political process. he's right. i haven't seen any of the news corchl. we've been here on the senate floor so i don't know what the coverage is. that doesn't surprise me what he reports, because that is the nature of political reporting in washington. so i'm going to make a request directly to those reporters who are covering this proceeding. those reporters who are reporting on this proceeding. to endeavor to have at least half of what you say be focused on the actual substance of this debate, on the fact that obamacare is a train wreck that is killing jobs, that is forcing more and more americans into part-time work, that is driving up health insurance premiums,
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that are causing more and more americans that are struggling to lose their hundreds. my real request would make all of your coverage. but i know that's too much to ask. if all of your cofnlg or most of your coverage son the political proficiency on this personality or that personality, on who's up or down or how this impacts the 2042 presidentdential election, i'm going to suggest two things. number one, that's not doing the job that you have stepped forward to serve and do. all of us have a job. those of us in this body elected to serve have a job to listen to the people and to fight for the men and women of america. imu those of you who serve in the media have a job to report to the men and women in america what's happening and not just on the political game. but, secondly, i want to say, if you just report on the personalities and political ga
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game, you are taking sides in this issue. why is that? because those who want to keep obamacare funded, those who want on friday or saturday when cloture comes up four a vote for members of this body to vote for cloture to give harry reid the abet tability to defund obamacah 51 partisan votes, they want all of the coverage to be about the personality, about the politics, about anything, anything, anything other than the substance. so if you choose to cover just the personality and the politics, you're doing exactly what some partisans in this body would like. and that's, i'm going to suggest, not responsible reporting. i know each of you wants to be a responsible steward of informing the public and it would strike me that the debate we have had here impacts people's lives in a way that nobody gives a flip
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about the politicians involved. a third observation of senator rubio's question, when he compared obamacare to a horror film, i enjoyed that comparison. in fact, in my mierntiondz i heard the music from "the shining" -- or from "psycho" in the shower scene. and it occurred to me that perhaps one of the great philosophical conundrums with which we must all wrestle is whether obamacare is more like jason or freddy. now that indeed is a difficult question. you can make a powerful argument for jason, because obamacare is the biggest job killer in this country. when jason put on his hockey
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mask and swung that machete, boy, there was carnage like nothing else. on the other hand, you could make a powerful argument for freddy, because as james hoffa, the president of the teamsters, said obamacare is a nightmare. it's a nightmare for the men and women of america. while the senate slept, the men and women didn't get a respite from the nightmare causing them to lose their jobs, never get hired, be reduced to 29 hours a week, driving up their health insurance premiums and jeopardizing their health care. the only way they get a respite from that nightmare, the only way we stop, there was a movie, jason versus freddy -- i forget, they fought each other, i forget what happened in that movie, but the only way we stopped jason and are freddy is if the american people rise up in such overwhelming numbers that the
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members of this senate listen to the people, and we step forward and avert this train wreck, we step forward and avert this nightmare. so those are three observations that i wanted to make at the outset. then i want to make two more, and i would note, mr. president, as you know well the rules of the senate are curious at times. while i am speaking, i'm not allowed to pose a question to another. i'm allowed to answer questions, but not to pose a question to another senator, but there is no prohibition in my asking a rhetorical question to the body, which may in turn prompt senator rubio to ask a question of his own and to comment perhaps on the rhetorical question i might raise. so the rhetorical question that i would raise to the body -- and i've got two i want to ask, but i want to start to the body thinking about senator rubio's family story.
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listen, i am inspired by senator rubio's story. part of it is because his family, like mine, we share many things in common. his parents, like my father, fled cuba. his father was a bartender. my dad washed dishes. his mother, i believe, cleaned hotel rooms, if i remember correctly. my mother was a sales clerk at a department store. the question i would ask the chamber is what would have happened if when senator rubio's parents came from cuba, when they arrived here, if obamacare had been the law of the land? what would have happened to his father and mother as they sought that job as a bartender, cleaning hotel rooms, if we had an economy with stagnant growth where jobs weren't available and they weren't able to get hired?
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what would have happened if they had been lucky enough to get that job and their hours had been reduced forcibly to 29 hours a week against their wishes? what would have happened if they had faced the economic calamity for working men and women for those struggling? that is obamacare. and i wonder, i've thought many times about what would have happened to my parents. i know it would have been catastrophic in our family. but i wonder how it would have impacted the rubio family if obamacare had been the law when senator rubio's parents came to this country seeking the american dream. would it have benefited them or would it have harmed them? mr. rubio: would the senator from texas yield for a question without yielding the floor? mr. cruz: i am happy to yield for a question without yielding the floor. mr. rubio: i heard the
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question, rhetorical question you posed to the body. it involved the direct question about how my family would have confronted those challenges. let me back up and talk about that for a second because while it is my family, i think we should all -- the reason why i got in politics and my view of the issues of the day are all framed through my upbringing, as all of ours are. you can't escape where you come from or what you're raised around. it influences the way you view the world and the way you view issues. and the experience my parents had has influenced me. i earlier talked about the student loans i once had. i paid them off last year, by the way, with the proceeds of a book which is available now in paper back, if anyone is curious. anyway, all joking aside, when i wrote that book, it required me to go back and learn a lot more detail about my parents. like anybody else, you grow up and listen to your parents talk, you kind of repeat it to other people, but when you're kwroeg
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up and you're -- growing up and you're in a hurry, you don't always have time to listen to the details. this forced me to go back and learn details about their lives. what ended up happening is i ended up meeting and discovering two people that i never knew. i mean, i knew something about them. i had grown up about them. i knew my parents in their 40's and 50's. i didn't know them in their teens, 20's and 30's. sometimes when you're young, you forget your parents used to be young too. sometimes you forget that when they were your age they had their own dreams and their own hopes and their own aspirations, and they certainly did. and it reminds me, as i learned about these stories, i learned when they came to this country it was not an instant success. the immigrant experience rarely is. you don't just get here and a week later you're running a very successful company or whatever t. doesn't work that way. my parents struggled. they were very discouraged those first few years.
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my dad bounced from temporary job to temporary job. my mom was hurt in an accident making aluminum chairs at a factory; cut her hand. they struggled. those first years were tough. but they persevered. what ended up happening was my father found a job as a bar assistant basically on miami beach. and then eventually through hard work he was promoted to bartender. then one of the top bartenders at the hotel. it wasn't going to make him rich but it made him stable. but 1966, ten years after they had arrived, they felt so confident in the future, they bought a home. five years after that, they were so confident that even though they were both over 40 years of age, they had me. then my sister a year and a half after that. now you asked a question rhetorically to the chamber, and i'm going to answer it. what would it have been like if a program like this would have been in place?
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but it's not just a program like this. it's not just obamacare. it's all the other things that government is doing. and to answer that question, i have to focus on why they had opportunities to begin with. so why did my job -- why was my dad able to raise our family working as a bartender at a hotel on miami beach and then in las vegas and then back in miami? because someone who had access to money risked that money to open up that hotel. that was not a government-run hotel. that hotel existed because people who had access to money -- i don't know if they borrowed it, don't know if it was their own, don't know the history behind it but someone who had access to money said instead of leaving it in the bank or investing it another country, i am going to risk this money and open and operate this hotel. and the result is the job my parents had existed. but that's just how you open a business. how does it continue? how does that business survive? it survives because americans, after they were done paying their taxes and all their other
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bills, had enough money left over in their pocket to get on an airplane and fly to miami beach or to las vegas and stay three or four nights at the hotel where my parents worked at. the answer to your question is the reason why my parents were able to own a home and provide us a stable environment in which we grew up is because free enterprise works. free enterprise works. it encouraged someone with access to money to open up those hotels and it left enough money and prosperity in people's pockets after they paid their bills and their taxes so they could take a vacation. and go to the hotels where my parents worked. without people in those hotels, there's no job for our parents. they were able to achieve for us what they did because of free enterprise. to answer your question about the impact of obamacare, anything that would undermine free enterprise would have undermined those hopes and those dreams. and obamacare is undermining it. now, i can't say for certain
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what would have happened, but here's a possibility. obamacare could have encouraged the hotel they worked at to move employees from 40 hours to 28. hire two bartenders part time instead of one. that would not have been good. obamacare could have led them to hire two cashiers at the crown hotel on miami beach instead of one. two part timers like my mom. that would not have been good. even beyond that, because obamacare is cutting people's hours all over the country, because obamacare is keeping people from getting hired all over the country, because obamacare is costing people their jobs all over the country, i suspect that the number of visitors to that hotel would have been diminished. the number of people -- when you lose your job, when you get moved from full time to part time, the next move you make is not to get on an airplane and go on vacation.
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the next move you make is to scramble to make up the difference. that's called personal discretionary spending, and people don't do that when they're uncertain about tomorrow. and obamacare would have made many americans uncertain about tomorrow. it's going to make many americans uncertain about tomorrow. the bottom line is it would have directly and indirectly harmed my parents' aspirations for themselves and for our family. and here's what's troublesome. there are millions of people in this country today trying to do what my parents did. and if you want to find them, walk out of this building and walk three blocks to the nearest hotel and you'll meet them there. they clean the hotel rooms. they serve food at therestauran. they cater the banquets, like my dad, the gentleman or the lady standing behind that little portable bar serving drinks at the next function we speak at. they're right down the street. they're in the halls of this building. you'll meet them. they have a little vest on. you'll see them with a little
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cart cleaning the bathrooms and the floors and providing an environment where we can work. these are people that are working hard to achieve a better life for themselves, and oftentimes for their children. these are folks, many of whom have decided i am going to sacrifice and work a job so that my children can have a career. i can't tell you how many of the people that work in this building that i talk to like the company that caters our lunches or in the cafeterias here, i can't tell you how many of them haven't said to me that the reason why they're working these jobs is they hope one day their children can do something like stand on the floor of the senate. that happens to be our story, senator cruz. that happens to be the american story too. we forget that some of the greatest heroes in the american story are not the people who have been on the cover of magazines. some of the greatest heroes in the american story are not people that have had movies made
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about them. some of the greatest heroes in the american story are not the famous people that are on cnbc being interviewed aultd time about how -- all the time about how successful they are. they are heroes too but some of the greatest heroes in the american story are people you will never learn about, who books will never be written about, whose stories will never be told. some of the greatest heroes in the american story are people who have worked hard at jobs, backbreaking jobs, difficult jobs so their children can have careers. and i want you to think about what that means. think about reaching a point in your life when you realize, you know what? for me, this is about as far as i'm going to be able to go because of age, because of circumstances. but now the purpose of my life will become making sure that all the doors that were closed for me are open for my children. imagine that. because that's what millions of people are living right now. it's not that they're not talented, not that they're not
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smart. it's that they're 45 or 40 or 46 and time is running out on them. but what america is going to give them a chance to do is it's going to give them a chance to open doors for their children that were closed for them. they're not going to be able to leave their children a trust fund. they're not going to be able to leave their children millions of dollars. they're not going to be able to leave their children a home even. but they're going to be able to allow their children to inherit their unfulfilled dreams and fulfill them. and there are millions of people in this country who are trying to do that right now. there are people that work in this capitol that are trying to do that right now. there are people working within blocks of here that are trying to do that right now. and obamacare is going to make it harder for them to do that. and it's ironic because obamacare was sold as a plan to help people like that. and instead, because it undermines the free enterprise system, it is hurting them. now many of those people who are
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being hurt by this may not have realized it yet. i think the job of leadership is to explain the consequences to people. but in the end, i feel like we have an obligation to fight on their behalf. i feel like we have, especially those of us who are a generation removed from that experience, have a special obligation to fight for that. the american story not the story of people who have made it and now everyone is on their own. the american story is a story of people who have succeeded and want others to succeed swvment - succeed as well. big government believes that the economy can't really grow and so what we need government to do is just divide it up among us. right? the economy is a limbed thing. there's only so much money to go around. so we need the government to go around and make sure the money is distributed fairly. that's what we're going to use taxes for. that's the view big government has.
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what makes america different is we jeeblghted that. -- we rejected that. we said that's not true. we believe in free enterprize. if you're successful, you can stay successful. other people can become successuccessful as well. free enterprise believes you don't have to make anyone worse off in order to make someone better off. that's different from the rest of the world, and it works. i remember growing up, especially when i lived in las vegas, there wasn't a lot of -- back then especially, there wasn't a lot of family-friendly things to do on the weekends. one of the things we used to do, my parents like d.o.d to do thi. they would drive us through the nice neighborhoods. liberace's house was there.
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when we looked at these houses, they wouldn't say, look at the people living in these houses. look how much money they're making. that's unfair. they're making all that money. that's why we're struggle, the reason why we live in a small house is because people like them live in big houses. on the contrary, they used to say, look what these hard people accomplished through hard work and sacrifice. that can be you, if that's what you want. look what these people were able to do. that can be you. and that's the difference in some ways between used and the rest of the world. we've never been a place of class envy and class warfare. we selwe celebrate success in a. we know it's not a zero-sum game. we know that you can be success
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fled and i can be successful. you can have a successful business and i can have a successful business. we know that in order for me to be more prosper arks i don't have to make anyone less prosperous. that is a big deal because that is not the way the world has functioned for most of its history. for moves its history, government -- for most of its history, governments and peoples didn't view it that way. think always viewed that there had to be a winner and a loser. we never viewed it that way. in america we've always viewed it, you can be a winner and i can be a winner. we can both benefit from each other. that's how free enterprise works. and free enterprise, you need your customers to be well-off. you need your customers to be doing well economically. you can't afford to bankrupt people by raising your prices because then they can't buy stuff from you. and it's all interrelated. last year during the campaign there was this big debate about
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job creators. every american is a job creator, whether you realize it or not. every time you go shopping at a department store you're a job creator. every time you order something on the internet, you're a job creator. every time you spend money into our economy, you are a job creator. now, some people open a business, but every american is a job creator because in free enterprise, the better off you are, the better off we are. and we can all be better off. and that's not the direction this is headed. that is one of the things they're trying flying to influence this debate on obamacare about. they're saying this is an effort to deny people something. not true. this is an effort to protect people from something. especially people that are vulnerable to this, because, i rearnghtrepeat, i am telling yoe
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talked to a the although of successful people. they don't like obamacare, but they're going to deal with it. they can afford to deal with t they don't like it. they're going to have to make decisions in business that they don't want to make. but they are going to figure out thousand deal with this one way or -- how to deal with this one way or the other. they're going to be fine one way or the other, whatever we do. they are not going to be the ones hurt by this. the ones hurt by this are the people trying to make it, the people whose hours are going to be cut, whose jobs are going to be slashed, and lose benefits they're happy w sadly, because they're so busy, they may not realize why all this is happening until it is too laivment the question that you posed to the body was a very insightful one because it goes to the heart of what this is about. who are we fighting for? what are we fighting about? and i fear that too many people
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still that are covering this process, this is all about an effort to keep the president from accomplishing something that he feels strongly about. not true. this is an effort to fight on behalf of people that are going to be hurt badly by this. this is an effort to fight on behalf of people are that do not have the influence or the power to fight here for themselves. that's why we're here. this is an effort to fight on behalf of people that are trying to do what my parents did. this is an effort to fight on behalf of the people that are trying to start a business out of the spare bedroom of their home. probably in violation of the zoning code, but they're trying to do it. this is an effort to fight on behalf of the people who are working every single day to achieve their full potential. this is an effort to fight on behalf of people who are working hard at jobs that are hard to get up in the morning to get up and go do you, but they're doing it because the purpose is to
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give their kids a chance to do whatever they wafnlts you know how many people i know like that? you can't walk ten steps in my neighborhood without running into people like thas that. the whole focus of their life is to make sure their kids get to do all the things they never got to do. they depend on the jobs that are being destroyed by obamacare. they depend on the opportunities that are created about obamacare. and that's wrong. i hope that we'll be successful with this effort. now, people are going to focus on how the vote is going to go down. this ain't going to end here, guys. we aren't going to stop talking about this, no matter how the vote ends up. we're going to continue to do everything we can to keep this from hurting the american people because it undermines the essence of our nation. and the reason i am know passionate about this -- i am so
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passionate about this goes right to the heart of the question you asked: because obamacare and big government in general makes it harder, not easier, for people that are trying to do what my parents did to achieve their dream as well. and so i think your question goes -- senator cruz your question goes to heart of what this debate is all about. i would just yield back to you to urge you to continue to highlight the impact this law is having on real people in their lives because it is going it take some time to break through the narrative out there that this is a big fight between republicans and democrats, between the president and his opponents. whether this law was called obamacare or not, we would have to oppose it. because it is hurting real people who are trying to achieve the american dream. mr. cruz: i thank th the senator from florida for his impies que, for his powerful insight about how this law would have impacted
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his family. i will say this: i have no doubt that at every gathering, every hotel where senator rubio speaks, that there is not a bartender, there is not a waiter there, there is not a dishwasher in the room who doesn't look over and think, i wonder if someday my daughter, my son could be in the u.s. senate? what an extraordinary statement. if we were in almost any other country on earth, you couldn't say that. most countries on earth, if you are not born into a family of power and prestige and fliewrntion you havinfluence, ye whatsoever of serving in a position of significant political leadership. only in america. that's the opportunity this country is. and i have no doubt the inspiration it serves every day.
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senator rubio shares his story. i have no doubt also that senator rubio is right that if obamacare had been the law when his parents came from cuba, when they wanted to support their family and eventually their young family when they had kids, if they hadn't been able to get those jobs or if they had had their hours forcibly reduced to 29 hours a week, so they couldn't earn enough to provide for their children, to give them the food, education, the housing that they needed, it could have had a dramatic impact. if obamacare had been the law, it may well -- very well be the case that senator marco rubio would not be in the senate right now. because it may have been that his parents would have struggled so much to make ends meet that they wouldn't have been able to provide for him as a young boy the way they did to give him the opportunities that they gave him
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and he may not be here and our country would be far the poorer for it. i know for me, if my dad had not had that opportunity to get a job washing dishes, if my mom had not had the opportunity to get her first jobs, there is a very good possibility i never would have had the opportunity to represent texas. when you cut off fiewnts for --n you cut off opportunity for those struggling to climb the economic ladder, it impacts not just them but their children and their children's children. and that leads to a second rhetorical question that i want to ask the chamber, but which it would not surprise me if it prompts in turn a question from senator rubio. which is, senator rubio and i both have the privilege of representing states in which there is a tremendous hispanic community. we both come from the hispanic
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community, were raised in the hispanic community, and we both have the great honor of representing a great many hispanics, he in florida, me in texas. you know, some of the discussion of the hispanic community focuses on individuals like his pare my father, who are young immigrants struggling, who may not speak english, who are on the first or second wrung of the economic ladder. that describes a great many in the hispanic community. but there are others who are not necessarily in that circumstance. in the united states, there are right now approximately 2.3 million hispanic small business owners. the hispanic community is tremendously entrepreneurial. roughly 50 million hispanics in the united states. that means one in eight hispanic households is a small business owner. so the question i would pose
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rhetorically to the chamber is, what is the impact of obamacare on the hispanic community? what is the impact of the crippling impact on jobs, of the punitive taxes, of the 20,000 pages of regulations? what is the impact on those 2.3 million hispanic small business owners? what is the impact on economic growth, on achieving the american dream? what is the impact on the hispanic community, because i am convinced there is no ideal that resonates more in the hispanic community than the american dream. in the idea that any one of us, regardless of who our mother or father is, regardless of where we come from, any one of us, through hard work and perseverance and the content of our character can achieve the american dream. the question i would pose is has obamacare made it easier or harder to achieve the american
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dream? how has obamacare impacted the hispanic community? mr. rubio: will the senator from texas yield for a question without yielding the floor? mr. cruz: i am happy to yield for a question without yielding the floor. mr. rubio: senator, that is actually a great question. because we talk about people who are trying to make it. we talk about the people who are working hard and sacrificing to leave their children and families better off. a disproportionate number of people that are trying to do that find themselves in minority communities, and you ask about the hispanic community. i live in an hispanic community. i live just blocks away from the famed 8th street in miami. if you've never been there i encourage you to cox the president actually visit and establishment about four blocks from my house, i think back in 2010, when he was in town campaigning for one of the candidate. literally -- and i mean literally -- every business, one
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after another after another after another is a small family-owned, family-operated business. every single wufnlt it's the bakery next to the dry cleaner, next to the grocery store, next to the liquor store, next to the uniform shop, next to the gas station, in exto the banquet hall, next to -- it goes on and on and on. i invite you to come down and see it. there is a a pep boys there and you'll find a mcdonald's. those franchises, by the way, are owned by families. literally every business on 8th street, on ocho, blocks from my house, one after the other is a small business. so are all my neighbors. i have a neighbor that runs an electronic alarm company, another neighbor who runs a pool cleaning business. i'm just speaking about my neighborhood. that's, i think, the story of the country.
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there are very famous people who started out as a small business and now are a big business and have been very successful too, of course. like the rest of the population, it reflects the concerns of whatever challenges they're facing. but an enormous percentage of americans of hispanic descent also happen to be people that are trying to accomplish the american dream. and perhaps the strongest burning desire you will find in minority communities in general, and in particular, the one that i know the best, the hispanic community, is that burning desire to give their kids the chance to do everything they couldn't. so maybe by the time you got here, you were already into your late 20's or early 30's, because you can succeed. there's many stories of people that have come here at that age and have accomplished extraordinary things. they started in small business, and before you know it they are being publicly traded. that is a great part of the american story. we celebrate that.
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but there are a great number of people that work jobs their whole life. they work those jobs so their kids can have the opportunity to get ahead. that is a very prevalent story in the hispanic community. interestingly enough, the hispanic community is very diverse on a lot of different things. so obviously we have a strong cuban american presence in south florida, but we also have a significant presence from south america. my wife's family is from colombia. we have a very vibrant venezualan community. by the way, coming to the united states to escape big government gone horrible, they just posted -- i don't know if you read this yesterday -- they just posted military officers at the toilet paper factory in venezuela because they're not producing enough toilet paper, and they think it is some sort of capitalist, imperialist plot to deny the people toilet paper so they have stationed troops at the toilet paper factory.
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this is the country, by the way, that many of those who find themselves on the american left love going down and have stolen the virtues of chavez and how great a country it was. they can't -- let me not say on the senate floor what they can't do anymore but they are struggling to provide toilet paper to the people. that is how good big government works. you want to see another socialist paradise, go to cuba. infrastructure crumbling, people trying to get out. there are no political freedoms in cuba. but the economic freedoms are a disaster. big government doesn't work. compare that to chile. compare that to panama. compare that to colombia. compare colombia to venezuela, two countries living next to each other. a decade ago colombia was caught in a deep struggle with drug lords and drug cartels. they still have problems with guerrillas and the farc. but colombia has turned things
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around. why? one, real leadership and two free enterprise. they emembrace free enterprise. compare that to venezuela, a country that is rich with oil, a country that has natural resources advantages that colombia doesn't have. venezuela. and they can't even produce toilet paper because big government failed. in fact, there has been a massive migration of experts in the oil industry leaving venezuela and moving to colombia . compare that to mexico. mexico still has some challenges, but mexico has a vibrant middle class. there is a real middle class in mexico, and it's growing. look at the moves the new president is making. they're not going to open up the oil industry there the way that we would do it here in the united states, but they're going
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to make changes to the oil industry because they want to grow and they want to create prosperity. by the way, this holds great promise for our country. stronger integration between canada and the united states and mexico is very promising. we can cooperate on all sorts of things from energy to security issues. i think that holds great promise. north american energy has the opportunity to displace energy coming from unstable parts of the world like in the middle east. but how is mexico growing its economy? what is mexico thinking about doing in order to grow its economy and provide more prosperity for its people? they are thinking about embracing more free enterprise. look at the countries of latin america that are succeeding. peru, chile, panama, mexico, colombia. i hope i'm not leaving anyone out. these are countries that are moving ahead. they've got struggles and challenges, and it's not a clear
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upward trajectory because there are global challenges in the economy, but they're moving ahead. look at the countries that are a disaster: cuba, venezuela, bolivia, ecuador and nicarauga. what's the difference? what's the starkest difference between these countries other than perhaps the individual lunacy of some of the leaders in these countries? what's the difference? the difference is the countries that are failing and embarrassing their people are the countries that are embracing big government and socialism. and the countries who are providing middle-class opportunity and upward mobility are the countries that are embracing more and more free enterprise. and so when you ask about the american and hispanic descent, these are the countries they come from. they came here to get away from big government. why is there a vibrant and growing venezualan community in miami dade county where i live?
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because big government is destroying venezuela. why are there over a million cuban exiles living in miami, and new jersey and concentrated in different parts of the country, including a sizable community in houston, texas? because they came here to flee not just big government, but the oppression that comes from really big government, socialism and marxism. why do people cross the border from mexico and come into the united states in search of job and opportunity? because for a long time mexico didn't embrace free enterprise policies. it is now increasingly, and what's happening in mexico, a vibrant and growing middle class, a sense of upward mobility. look, every country has challenges. they have challenges in mexico, but they're trying to turn it around and they're doing some good things to try to do that because they're embracing free enterprise. so the unique thing about it, senator cruz, is that americans
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of hispanic descent, particularly those here in the first generation or second, they've come here to get away from big government policies because in countries that have big government, you are trapped. you are trapped. in countries that have big government, the people that come from powerful families and powerful enclaves, they are the people that keep winning. in places where the government dominates the economy, as is disproportionately the case in the country that immigrants come here from, those are places where the same people keep winning. the same companies -- the biggest company 50 years ago is still the biggest company. the richest family in the country is still the richest family. the president is the grandson and the son of -- and just over and over again. that's what big government does. it traps people into circumstances of their birth. so what happens if you are a talented, ambitious, and hardworking person, living in a
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country like that? frustrated and trapped. you try to get to the only country in the world where people like you even have a chance. the united states. and so we've got millions of people living in this country of hispanic descent that experience that, that know what it's like to live in a place where you're trapped into circumstances of their birth. and the reason why they love america is because here they are not limited by that. i have said oftentimes, and i think you would share this perception in the story of your father, senator cruz, it's true that immigrants impact america. it's true, they do. immigrants impact america. they change america. they contribute to america. but i promise you, i promise you that america changes immigrants even more. and you find that in the hispanic community. the impact that america has on immigrants once it opens opportunities for them, long
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before my parents became citizens, they were americans in their heart. and that's still true. you will still find that out there in the hispanic communities. you will still find people that understand how special this country is because of the opportunities that it's giving them and their children. and that's why i think they will and are starting to understand how damaging this law may be. if you watch spanish language television, they're running these advertisements now talking about sign up for obamacare, it's good for you. they're making it sound like this is going to be cheap and free insurance for people. when you're working hard 10, 12 hours a day, not making a lot of money, maybe your employer doesn't provide health insurance, and along comes these politicians telling you we're going to give you health insurance cheap and free, it's enticing. but that's not what's going to happen. and when people realize that, not only are they going to be upset, they're going to be livid. and when they go to work one day and they tell them guess what,
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you're now a part-time worker, they're going to be livid. and when they go to work because they're working part time or they go to school and they lose hours, they're going to be livid. and by the way, when they go back to work one of these days, maybe working at one of these places where they have health insurance, as over 70% of americans do, and they're happy with it, and all of a sudden they find out you know that health insurance you have? that's not our health insurance anymore. you have to go on this web site and shop for a new one. and they go on the web site today, they can't shop for anything. it hasn't been set up yet. they're going to be livid. so when we talk about defending people who are trying to make it, people that are working hard to persevere and move ahead, i think that is the epitome of what you will find in the hispanic community in this country. i think that is the typical story of people who are here. they are working hard to get ahead, and they want their children to have a better life than them.
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and there's only one economic system in the world where that's possible. and that's the american free enterprise system. and obamacare directly undermines it. if for no other reason, we should repeal obamacare because it undermines the free enterprise system, the single greatest eradicator of poverty in human history, the only system in human history that has allowed people to emerge from poverty and into a stable middle class and beyond, the free enterprise system. the only economic system in human history that rewards hard work, sacrifice and merit. the american free enterprise system. and obamacare is undermining it. and so is it not, senator, as i yield back to you, is it not the case that what we are here doing today is not just standing against obamacare, we are fighting in favor of the american free enterprise where upward mobility is possible for so many people? mr. cruz: i thank the senator from florida for his passion,
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for his heartfelt commitment to opportunity, for his understanding this is not about the rich and powerful. the rich and powerful are just fine with obamacare. indeed the rich and powerful are better than just fine with obamacare. the rich and powerful get special exemptions. the rich and powerful get treated better because they're buddies with the current administration and so big business, giant corporations get exceptions from obamacare. members of congress get exemptions from kpwo*efplt -- from kpwo*efplt and mark my words, if congress doesn't act to defund obamacare to stop this train wreck before the end of the administration, unions are going to get exemptions from obamacare. it's going to be everyone that's a political friend of the administration that has juice, that has power will get exemptions. and the people that are left, you have nothing to worry about unless you don't happen to have several high-paid washington, d.c. lobbyists on your staff. unless you happen just to be an
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hispanic entrepreneur, a single mom, a hardworking american trying to provide for his or her family. then maybe you have something to worry about. because you're not going to get the exemption because what the senate has been saying to you is exemptions for everybody else but not for hardworking american families. mr. president, tpaoeubl -- i believe if it doesn't apply to everyone it shouldn't apply to no one. the senate shouldn't be picking winners and losers. the senator from florida talked about cuba. you know, some particularly in hollywood like to lionize cuba as this workers paradise. i would note cuba has socialized medicine. the majority leader harry reid has stated his intention that he believes obamacare will lead inevitably to socialized medicine, single-payer health care. some lionize cuba as this
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workers paradise. yet, i'm reminded, a comment president reagan said in the midst of the cold war, where he said the funny thing is if you go to the berlin wall and you look at the berlin wall, the machine guns all point in one direction. the same thing is true about cuba, that people talk about the workers' paradise. the funny thing about cuba, the rafts all go in one direction. in the decade since fidel castro seized control and began brutally oppressing the people of cuba, destroying that once great nation, i'm not aware of a single instance since the day of that revolution of one person getting on a raft in florida and heading over to cuba. ever. i am not aware of it ever happening. so if socialized medicine is
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this oasis, if you're to believe the michael moores of the world and hollywood, you would expect floridians to be jumping on rafts -- that 90 miles you can cross both ways. floridians can probably get a better boat than they can in cuba. nobody goes that way. they flee to freedom. they flee to america. and what gives freedom such vibrancy -- you want to talk about what matters for the hispanic community, you want to talk about what matters for the african-american community you? want to talk about what matters for single moms? it is the opportunity to work, to get a job. want to talk about what matters for young people? it's the opportunity to start a career, to move towards advancing to providing for their family, to having the dignity and respect of working towards your dreams, towards your passions, towards your desire. obamacare is stifling that, and that, mr. president, is a tragedy. it is a tragedy and the only way
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it will stop is if this body begins to listen to the american people. together we must make d.c. listen. mr. roberts: mr. president, would the distinguished senator from texas yield for a question? mr. cruz: i am happy to yield for a question without yielding the floor. mr. roberts: how are you doing? mr. cruz: i would thank the senator from texas. and i would tell you, i am doing fabulous. i am motivated by the american people right now. mr. roberts: saw a black car down in the parking lot, i figured it was yours. everybody was wondering whether you would still be standing. there you are. i appreciate this. and i think the thing i appreciate the most and the question will follow, mr. president, is how you have conducted yourself. because throughout the night you have had some folks at least making their point of view,
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which is obviously very different from yours. sometimes folks in this body get a little critical and arrows and slings, those wounds heal. but in each and every days of a person that has brought a different point of view, the senator has very defendan deftly skillfully acted like a senator and respected their point of view. not once, not once, did i see you do anything else -- i gave up about midnight, by the way; my wife, about 11:00, she fell asleep. but i want to thank you for being truly senatorial and basically doing what senators do, and that is respecting everybody's point of view. i especially like to comment with bernie sanders, who i like. you wouldn't know it, but he
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does have quite a sense of humor. a different point of view. if you want breakfast, i'd be happy to buy you breakfast. but we'll let that go. the other thing that i want to point out and it is a question on how do you feel coming here as a new senator and knowing on how the senate used to operate and knowing in the senate that i came to that every senator on an important issue had the opportunity to offer an amendment? it could be germane or it could not be germane. but for the last five years that has not been the case. there have been a few exceptions when we've had what's called regular order. the folks back home don't know what regular order is, but it's the way the senate used to operate. it is the difference between the senate and the house. it is the reason that i left the house and ran for the senate, because i wanted to have that
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opportunity to be an individual senator. and last year -- i'm going to reference the farm bill, which has somewhat something to do with what you are a h you're tog about because it -- what you're talking about because it involves not only us but a very troubled and hungry world. and food helps your health. you show me a country that cannot feed itself, and i will show you a country that's in tai chaos. so we do farm bills, they're much-maligned. right now not too many people care about t l but they're terribly important. and farmers and ranchers see no certainty out there because, like the health care law, at the end of this fiscal year, the farm bill is going to expire. and they wonder what on earth we're doing? and we're in a perfect storm. in the last farm bill -- not this one, but in the last farm bill, in talking to the majority
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leader, who i affectionately call "smoking joe" because he is a fan of boxing and joe frasier. and i said, we can do this in two and a half days. the chairperson of the committee, senator stabenow, also obviously weighed in. and we did the farm bill in two and a half days. that was a record. first -- first amendment on the farm bill was the senator from kentucky's amendment dealing with pakistan and saying no more aid to pakistan until they free that doctor that was very helpful to our intelligence community with regard to what happened with osama bin laden. what did that have to do with the farm bill? nothing. rand paul came to me and said, do you think we can get this amendment? and i think, yup. we've got an open rule. 73 amendments were considered. 73 this last farm bill about
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ten, probably less than that. senator thune had very key amendments. senator johanns had very key amendments. senator grassley had key amendments. and myself, the former chairman of the house ag committee, the former ranking member, i had some key amendments. all of the senior members on the agriculture committee, all of husband crinte contributed to tt process. we were locked out. sorry, it's over. no amendments. what's that all about? we have a one-person rules committee in this senate. and if it's anything i'm upset about, it is the lack of ability from the senator -- the lack of opportunity for the senator from texas or kentucky or kansas or anybody else in this body to offer an amendment. and here we are. what is it, five days away from the law that says, prescribed by law, that these exchanges and everything that has anything to do with the unaffordable health
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care act -- all right? -- is going to take place. and you have demonstrated time and time and time again with every awill he gor allegory youy come up about how this is a train wreck. and yesterday when you started, came to the floor and said, look, isn't it worth a fight, isn't it worth an effort -- and you're making that effort, and i appreciate that so much -- isn't it worth a fight knowing that this is the first, second, and third steps -- sti skip to the , my darling? we start with the secretary of health and human services, then we start with nancy pell low sis and then the distinguished majority leader here, yes, we want a single-payer system?
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it means socialized medicine. it means, as you pointed out during all of this rather unique and incredible time that you have taken to the senate, what that means is that the government pays for it, which means we all pay for it. premiums go up and the insurance companies had a health car heskd there is -- had a heck of a time and it's going to be exactly what you described in cuba. hopeful not that bad, but you pointed it out. after all of that rambling rose, wouldn't it be nice, wouldn't it be in the best interests of this body, wouldn't it be in the best interest of americans to open up this senate, go back to regular order, and at least have an opportunity to offer amendments? now, some of the folks that were somewhat critical of you said, well, what are you going to offer? there are about five -- five amendments i had aide like to
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offer -- i'd like to offer. and i don't know what you think the key amendments that you would like to offer, as a positive answer, as opposed to shutting down the affordable health care act with a lack of funding -- you can only do that partially because a lot of that gets into taxes and that's the mandated funds that we allegedly can't touch. but would the gentleman please just list about two or three amendments that you would like to offer -- i think i would like to offer the medical device tax needs to be repealed. but that's one of those mandatory things that we should do in the finance committee, of which i am a member. let's get on the positive side of this and just say, okay, if you had the opportunity to offer amendments and everybody else had an opportunity to offer amendments and you spent a great deal of time here overnight -- what was it, 2:40 in the afternoon. that's what they keep flashing on the news. quite frankly, it'd i wa i was g
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to "the good times," and then i thrippeflipped ond the on the n. there he is still talking. give me about three amendments. you shouldn't do more than three things. people forget about it after three. one other thing i want to tell you. i got a lot of criticism when this bill was first passed. i served in the help committee, health, education, labor, and pensions. we spent a great deal of time on this bill. i had three amendments to prevent rationing. the rationing boards. everybody says they're not rationing. they are. those decisions are not being made by the patient and doctor. they're being made by appointed bodies or we can use the term "bureaucrats." that's usually a perjurious term. but, at any rairkt rate, i was . there are a lot of cactus in the
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world. we don't have to sit on every one of them. but we're about-to-do that. and i had a few marine stories to tell. and then i got derided one, even on national news, oh, my gosh, here is this cowboy from dodge stivment i am an old newspaper person. riding in here and going p into a box canyon only to find out that four or five people have referred to it as a box canyon. we're in it. you got to ride out. so when we're riding out, what are we going to do, skille i wok the senator from texas. give me three amendments. mr. cruz: i would thank the senator for his very fine question. let me make a couple statements about the senator from kansas. i want it to say that senator roberts is an old lion of the senate, that you are here --
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that you were here last night, that you were here this morning supporting us is a big, big deal. that the senator from kansas, a respected leader of this body, a gray beard, and i wouldvery wele point i'll make about senator roberts, i would say, in my humble opinion, i think he is one of the two funniest senators in the republican conference. i would say senator roberts and lindsey graham both have fantastic senses of humor. i will yield for a question, but not yield the floor. mr. roberts: the question is some people are funny, some people are humorous. i may be one of the most humorous. senator graham is truly funny. mr. cruz: i can provide no response other than to say, q.e.d. at that point, it is granted.
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that point is granted. you about i will note, mr. president, that for the senator from kansas, as a respected senior senator, to come and support this effort and even more importantly for the senator from kansas to have the courage to disagree with party leadership and express a willing misto vote against cloture -- and express a willingness to vote against cloture, because doing so would allow the majority leader of the senate harry reid to fund obamacare on a straight party-line vote with no input from republicans, that takes courage. and i guarantee you mr. president, it is noticed that senator roberts is standing with us. it is noted that senator sessions is standing with us. it is noted that senator enzi is standing with us. it is one thing for the young
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turks, it is one thing for those who have been dubbed the wacko birds to be willing to stand and fight. but when you see senior elder statesmen of the senate standing side by side, i would suggest, mr. president, we are starting to see what i hope will happen this week. which is seeing republicans unify. i would like to see all 46 republicans vote together on cloture on friday or saturday, whenever that vote occurs. i would like to see air force stand together -- see all of us stand together because we can't in good conscience vote to allow the majority leader to fund obamacare on a partisan party-line vote. i would like to see that happen. and i would note senator roberts' presence here at night and in the morning is beneficial for making that happen, and i hope it causes other respected
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leaders in our party to give a second thought that perhaps the division in the republican conference is not benefiting the nation or benefiting the republican party. perhaps it is not serving the interest of our constituents. so, before i answer your question directly, that point, i believe, is an important point to make, mr. president, that senator roberts' support is significant, and also that senator roberts' very kind compliment about the way i've endeavored to conduct myself, i know the way senator mike lee has always conducted himself, with with respect for the views of others, not speaking ill of any member of this senate, republican or democrat, that is certainly what i have endeavored
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to do, and it is meaningful., senator roberts' compliments that in his judgment we have had some modicum of success achieving that. i would note that that characterization is at least mildly at odds with what one might think if one simply read "the new york times". if one read "the new york times," one would expect that perhaps i'm leaning over biting my colleagues with bare fangs, so i appreciate the senator from kansas' observation that in his judgment, we have not conducted ourselves in that way. and the reason is simple. "the new york times" wants to spill gallons of ink on personalities, on people, on politics and on anything stkpept stkpept -- except the substance. mr. president, i'll tell you i would be perfectly happy if not
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a single story coming out of this mentioned my name, if every story just focused on obamacare, is it working or not, is it helping the american people or is it hurting them. if every story simply said the senate stayed in session all night because obamacare is a train wreck, because obamacare is a nightmare, in the words of james hoffa, the president of the teamsters, because the american people are losing their jobs, are being forced into part-time work or facing skyrocketing health insurance premiums, are losing their health insurance. that's why the senate was here. and so i would be thrilled if all of the coverage focused on the substance instead of the distraction that is the silliness of the back and forth. senator roberts posed a very important question and it went to process. it went to how this proceeding is moving forward. there used to be a time when this body was described as the world's greatest deliberative body. i don't think anyone familiar with the modern senate will
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describe it as that today because this body doesn't work anymore. this body is no longer a deliberative body. this body is now an instrument of political power used to enforce the wishes of the democratic majority, disregarding the american's views, the american people's concerns. what are we told? the senate of days of old, there were two cardinal principles that were the essence of what it meant to be in the senate. one, the right to speak. and, two, the right to amend. and for a couple of centuries, any senator could offer any amendment on just about anything. that's what made this process work. an open amendment. did that make a few people take votes they didn't necessarily want to? yes. but, you know, mr. president, if we're being honest with our constituents, that shouldn't trouble you. if you're telling your
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constituents what you believe and if you're voting your principles, there shouldn't be a vote you're afraid of. it's only a concern -- votes are only problematic if you're trying to tell your constituents one thing and trying to do something else in washington. so what is the process that is supposed to play out here on this continuing resolution and this continuing resolution to defund obamacare, to fund all the federal government and defund obamacare? we're told that first there's going to be a vote on cloture on the motion. cloture on the bill, rather., to shut off debate. and if 60 senators vote to do so, if republicans cross the aisle and join harry reid and senate democrats in shutting off debate, we were told we will get one amendment, apparently drafted by the majority leader, harry reid, and that amendment will fund obamacare in its entirety. will gut the house bill.
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will deliberately do it. that is the stated intent. we're also told that other amendments will not be allowed. now, in the course of this discussion, we have discussed a number of other amendments all of which i think would be terrific. one amendment, the senator from kansas mentioned, would be an amendment to repeal the medical device tax. now, i would note that is an amendment which we had a vote on in the budget process, and an overwhelming majority of senators in this body voted for it. my recollection is nearly 80 senators voted for it. and yet, it didn't pass into law because of the peculiarties of the budget process. so that is an amendment presumably that if it was allowed would be adopted. and i would suggest that is perhaps the reason why it won't be allowed. because it would be adopted. and, look, repealing the medical device tax would take one aspect of obamacare, the punitive, crippling tax that is hammering
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the medical device industry that is driving medical device companies out of business or near out of business, that is hammering jobs and that is restraining innovation, that is restraining medical device innovation which means we know to a certainty if there is not innovation, if there is not research and development, if there is not medical devices that are not discovered, people whose pain is not alleviated, suffering is not alleviated, perhaps whose lives are not saved. so that would be one amendment. another amendment that i think we ought to have a vote on would be senator vitter's amendment. senator vitter's amendment to revoke the exemption that president obama contrary to law unilaterally put in place for members of congress and their staff. senator vitter's amendment would apply, subject every member of congress, every staff member and the political appointees of the obama administration to the
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exchanges just like millions of americans are going to be. indeed, i support an amendment that some republican senators have talked about that would expand senator vitter's amendment to all federal employees because our friends, the democrats, frequently tell the american people what a wonderful thing obamacare is. look at this tremendous benefit we're bringing the american people. well, if it's so wonderful, then the majority leader, then the democratic senators, then the congressional staffers should be eager to get it if it's such a tremendous improvement. if it's so wonderful, president obama, after all, his name is on the bill -- obamacare in the popular vernacular -- should be eager to get it. his political appointees forcing it on us should be eager to get it and the federal employees should be eager to get it. we all know they're not. we all know this exemption came after a closed-door meeting in the capitol with majority leader harry reid, the democrat senators, where according to the press reports they asked please
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let us out from under this because it will be so devastating. we don't want to lose our health care. and i understand that. look, i would not be eager myself to be on the exchanges. i'm certainly not eager for my staffer to be on the exchanges. many of them are very concerned about it. i may lose very good staff over it. but i think there's a broader principle, which is that different rules should not apply to washington than apply to the american people. if we're willing to subject millions of americans to the exchanges, if we're willing to let people lose their health insurance, as is happening all over this country, take u.p.s.. u. p-fpl -- u.p.s. sent letters to 15,000 employees saying you're losing your spousal health insurance. your husbands and wives are losing coverage. president obama said if you like your plan you can keep it. that has proven categorically wrong. a great number of husbands and wives may be forced on to exchanges with no employer
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subsidy. that is a lousy place to be, exactly the lousy place to be that members, senators, congressional staff are complaining don't put us in that briar patch. but you know what? if congress is going to put the american people in that briar patch, you better believe we should be there with them. and if we don't like it, the answer isn't exempt us. the answer is exempt the american people. if it is intolerable for us to endure, it should be intolerable for the american people. another amendment that i think we ought to vote on is an amendment stripping the i.r.s. of enforcement authority on obamacare. we have seen the political abuses that the i.r.s. is capable of. i don't know anyone who is eager to have the i.r.s. have the world's largest data base of our health care information. another amendment we ought to vote on is a delay in the -- mr. roberts: mr. president, on that point would the gentleman yield for a question? mr. cruz: happy to yield for a question without yielding the floor. mr. roberts: there are six federal agencies in the meta
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data base that are involved in this. when i kept inquiring, when the distinguished chairman of the finance committee, senator baucus, asked a representative from the center for medicaid and medicare services, c.m.s., referred to in the health provider community as it's a mess, and said who is a navigator? this was before we understood it was pretty much all community organizers. there's three basic organizations in kansas, 1.5 million. and so they're out there knocking on doors now. the problem is we don't know what people are signing up for. or they don't know. and i don't know. and we made all sorts of inquiries. finally i got the 16 pages that you have to fill out to be eligible to sign up, and the 61 pages that you had to fill out then to be a member of the
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exchange. that got a lot of news, and so they reduced the number by simply reducing the font size from about 16 point or 12 point down to 8 point. so you read more carefully. i got to page 3. i would not put down the information that they wanted to know, and there have been stories about scammers who are looking at these regulations or these sign-up sheets, no matter how big they are, and saying a-ha, if they have to give their social security number, i can call them and say it's the law and you're going to have a lot of fraud and abuse. maybe the i.r.s. can take a look at that. one other thing about the i.r.s., the finance committee in a bipartisan effort -- we haven't held many hearings but we're getting closer and closer and closer to the i.r.s. denying people first amendment rights. and i would give a lot of credit to senator hatch and senator baucus working in a bipartisan effort along about november there's going to be quite a
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story. and there's a "v." we have lois lerner here and it goes to the justice department. we're getting a lot of communications, we're not making a lot of hearings about it, not standing in front of mirrors. so we'll get there. but you've made an excellent point about the i.r.s. with all the problems they have had over this denial of the first amendment not only to tea party groups, conservative groups but pro-israel groups and a whole bunch of other groups, and they're still doing it. and so consequently you've made an excellent point. and so why on earth would we want the i.r.s. to be in charge of your health care? not to mention five other agencies in a huge data base? that information should be between you and your doctor. and you'd have to break down the doggone doors in order to get that in the dead of night, to get that kind of information as opposed to giving it to the federal government with all those different agencies, with
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all sorts of opportunity for fraud, abuse, and virtually everything else. sorry to get wound up on that, but you made an excellent point trying to take up a question to make this legal. don't you think this is a trail we don't want to go down? mr. cruz: i thank the senator from kansas for that excellent we. i'd like to make two points in response and then give the senator from oklahoma is waiting to ask questions so i want to move expeditiously to allowing them to do so. before that, it is important to address the very good point the senator from kansas raises. and i would say as the first observation, there are at least three more amendments that ought to be voted on in connection with the continuing resolution. one, the senator from kansas suggested is an amendment defunding these navigators, defunding the slush fund that is being used to basically fund
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liberal special interest groups in the states, much like the stimulus. yet another plan that is used to write checks to groups that are a little more than political action groups. that would be a vote we should have. another vote we should have is a vote to protect the privacy of our information. the i.r.s. is creating the largest data base in history of our personal health care information, and there's been report after report after report that the protections on privacy, on cybersecurity are pitifully woefully inadequate, that there are identity thieves, that there are unscrupulous characters just getting ready to mine those data bases. you know, the senator from kentucky has been a leader on praiprief sivment theprief sixp. the idea of the federal government gathering our
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information, we ought to have an amendment to require real protections for our privacy before any of this goes online and yet another amendment we a utah to hav -- we ought to havee president has unilaterally delayed the employer mandate. we ought to have a delay of the individual mandate. i would note that the house passed that and a substantial number of democrats voted for it. now, all of those points -- so that went through six amendments, and i'm pretty sure we could come up with moi mo more. i would neat earlier in the evening i had an exchange with senator kaine of virginia who asked a question, to paraphrase, he said, can't we work together on improving obamacare, stopping it from being -- he didn't say this but this is me saying this the train wreck, the a disaster that it is? and my answer was, absolutely, we should fix it, we should have amendments. i listened some of these that we
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discussed now. the problem is -- and i suggested to the senator from virginia, you should descreaf jur--you should address your con to majority leader harry reid, because he is the one saying we're not going to have an opportunity to improve it. let me make a final point on this. in terms of the political theater that is washington, why does this matter right now? look, there are lots of republicans who would like votes on everything i said, and there's some require tiew to via vote. to be honest, many are fighting to get that vote in some context where it is purely symbolic. they're real happy because every republican can vote together and every democrat can vote against it and it can become fodder for a campaign ad. let me suggest a far better approach. used to have these amendments voted on in a context where they can be passed into law and the continuing resolution is that context. everyone understands that at one
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stage or another this is must-pass legislation. everyone understands that we will fund the federal government. we have to fund the federal government. nobody wants a government shutdown. we may get one if harry reid and president obama forces one. but nobody wants it. and so voting on it now in the context of this continuing resolution is different from a symbolic vote, a political vote, because it actually could fix these problems. it's not simply washington symbolism. and that's why i find it all the more striking that so many senate republicans are suggesting they may be willing to vote with majority leader harry reid and with the senate democrats to cut off debate, to allow one amendment drafted by the majority that would totally fund obamacare, that would gut the house bill, and to shut off every other amendment of if this were any other context, my colleagues on the republican side would be up in arms. we would see the so-called old
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bulls of the senate united in saying, the process is being abused, and we would get 46 republicans voting against cloture. and, by the way, nobody, if this were any other context, would make the silly argument that, well, voting for cloture is really supporting the bill. once the majority leader has indicated that once cloture is granted he's going to introduce an amendment to gut the bill and go the exact opposite way, allowing him to do so in a 51 51-vote. the stakes of this right now is whether this body is willing to listen to the american people, whether democrats are willing, whether republicans are willing, and i would say, mr. president, what has to happen to change how this body operates is we must
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make d.c. listen. mr. inhofe: would the senator yield forefo for just a procedul question? mr. cruz: yes. mr. inhofe: last night at 10:00 when i was privileged to be down here with you and we went over a lot of things, something happened. this morning of cours -- of couu stayed here. i went home and i went to bed and i ate. the senator from kentucky has been waiting for 40 minutes. what i would like do is this: something happened after i left last night, after a statement i made having to do with hillary health care. i want to share that with you. but i'd like to hopefully, if you're going to be here at 9:00, i'd like to get back in line and share last night after i left here. is that all right? mr. cruz: i thank the senator from oklahoma, and i can tell you, as i said at 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday, that i intend to stand against obamacare as long as i'm able to
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stand. and at this point i feel confident that at 9:00 a.m., i will still be able to stand. there will come a point when that is no longer the case. but we have not yet reached that point. mr. inhofe: thank the senator from kentucky for allowing me to come in front of him? mr. paul: mr. president, will the senator from texas yield for a question? mr. cruz: i am happy to yield to a question without yielding the floor. rand rand there'mr. paul: theren some discussion of how we would fix obamacare, if we were allowed to. i think there's sort of two parts to that. the first part of the question is, will we be allowed to offer any amendments to try to make obamacare less bad, to try to fix obamacare? will republicans, which are virtually half of the country, be allowed to participate in this process at all? obamacare was passed with entirely democratic votes, not one republican vote. it's a poll that has been very,
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very partisan. it's a policy that now even supporters of obamacare are saying, my goodness, this is going to really be a problem for the country. but you're exactly right. we're getting ready to go through a process where there are going to be no amendments on fixing obamacare. there will be not one thing offered. president clinton saying there's problems with it. warren buffett saying there's problems with it. the 15,000 people at ups are saying there's a problem with it. are we going to be able to allowed to ove to offer amendme? it appears there won't be any amendments on this. it appears there's nothing forthcoming that there will be any debate. this is important for the american people because this is being portrayed as, oh, republicans are obstructionists, republicans won't want do this. well, it is exactly the opposite. the president wants 100% of obamacare, as he wrote it, as the democrats wrote it, with no
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republican input. so when we go around the country and people say, why can't you guys get along, why can't you figure out some way of making our health care system better, it's because we're getting 100% of obamacare as written by the president, and it's his way or the highway. what he's talking about is really even though they say the opposite, he wants to shut the government down. they salivate at shutting the government down. over the last three months as you brought this issue forward, who is a a been talking about -- who's been talking about hut shutting the government down? we've been specifically saying we don't want to do that. how talks about shutting the government down, nonstop every day? the democrats, the president, and their liberal friends in the media. so as i get to my question, what i want to ask is some things about how we would fix it. senator roberts say, oh, they don't have any answers. they're not willing to fix
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obamacare. the truth of the matter is, we've been talking about this for years but we've been drowned out by the obamacare, i want everything all the time. everything i want, i'm going to get. there are many fixes for our health care. i am a physician, in practice for 20 years. i saw it every day. number-one complaint i got: health insurance costs too much. so what did obamacare do for health insurance cost? it drove them up. did absolutely nothing. even they're admitting it. you have to understand why health care costs went up. health care costs went up because we're mandating what health insurance. people say, i would like to have my kids covered. well, sure, we can cover your kids, but it's not going to be free. irtsz going tit's going to have. so everything the people say they want, it's not free. it elevates the price of your health insurance. when you elevate the price of health insurance, what happens? more people have more of a difficulty buying their health insurance.
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what else did obamacare do that we did that's exactly the oppose soit of what we should -- exactly the opposite of what we should do? there's nothing called health savings accounts that originated 10-15 years ago. they were the best thing to happen to health care probably in the last 30 years. but what happened? we went the opposite way. obamacare is now narrowing health savings accounts. why is a health savings account important? because you can save money tax-free. you can carry it over from year to year, and then you can buy higher deductibles. so contrary to what people think and maybe counterintuitive to some people, the way to fix health insurance is to have higher dbltion. what does that mean? cheaper insurance. you want cheaper and cheaper and cheaper insurance as you have higher deductibles, you have cheaper insurance. when you have cheaper insurance, you've got all this extra mog that you can use to pay for day-to-day health care. when you do that, what happens? you drive the price of health care down. i know that's exactly right,
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mr. president. as you increase deductibles, as you get the consumer involved in health care, you drive prices down. in my practice, there were two things that really insurance didn't cover at all, and the prices were reduced most dramatically in the two areas in which. and the health insurance didn't cover anything. if you wanted to buy contact lenses, most of the time health insurance didn't cover it. lasik surgery, much more expensive, but the price went down because of the consumer pay. the average patient calls four doctors before they have lasik surgery. they drive prices down. people say, i don't want to pay more out of pocket. i want to pay less. that's sort of the natural impulse is to want to pay less. but you may pay less at the door, but you're paying more for premiums. or if you're not paying it and
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your employer is paying more for premiums, wheandzs up happening is -- what ends up happening is there are less jobs. the senator is familiar with the french philosophy frederic bastiat. bastiat often talks about the seen and the unseen. it's the consequences that are visible to the naked eye before you get started but then there are things that you didn't realize were going to hangar th- were going to happen, the unintended consequences. it's like saying, let's have government build the hospitals. let's have government hire the doctors. we'd see all these bright, shiny things but we wouldn't see where the money came from, where the money wasn't spent, where the economic growth could have occurred. so what we have to think about when we think about obamacare is we have to think about, do you believe in freedom or coercion? obamacare is riddled with mandatory -- manned $e mandatory
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this, mandatory that. i think there are several hundred and makes. when you hear the word band-aid. that's your government telling you you have to do something. it should be about mandatory versus mandatory. we should have bills that originate that say you're free to do things. we've gone the opposite way, we're taking away freedom and adding mandates. at its core, obamacare is about freedom versus coercion. and as you add in these levels of coercion, not only do you lose your freedom, they cost money. so it becomes more expensive. so we took a health care system where 85% of the people had insurance and we made it more expensive for everybody. we made it more expensive by mandating what goes into the snuns. -- into the insurance. so, for example, a 30-year-old or a 32-year-old, it is illegal to buy a high-double policy. you won't hear this. obamacare has made till legal to buy a -- has made it illegal to
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buy a high-deductible policy. why would you want one? maybe you are a plumber in your own business and you want to have a $5,000 deductible so you can pay $2,000 in preesmtion but how do you ever get there you? can't get there unless you alloo the marketplace. instead of limiting it, realize what you're getting. when you ask for obamacare, when you get obacare, you're getting mandates, but you're getting limbed choices. freedom means choices. mandates, coercion, means less choices. the exchanges will be very few choices. i will be on the exchanges. i will opt to go to the exchange in kentucky and buy my insurance. i'm not very happy about it. in fact, i think if i've got to do it i think justice roberts ought to do it. justice roberts loves obamacare so much, i'm for voting to have justice roberts trot on down to the obamacare registry, the obamacare index and get his insurance like the rest of us.
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so my amendment -- we've talked about some amendments to include people -- i think everybody, all federal employees, if obamacare is so good, everybody ought to get it. and the thing is we'd be so fed up, we'd rebel in this country. that's what i think the senator from texas has started. hopefully a rebellion against keyerings. a -- a rebellion against mandate, a rebellion that says everything in big government that wants though shove down your throat and say take it or go to jail. what will happen? you get fined first. if you don't, you go to jail. with absolutely no republican input, not one republican vote, and they're unwilling to have any amendments. what's this fight about? this fight is about whether or not we're going to have a society or a congress where we can debate over how to fix things.
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obamacare is a disaster. even its own authors are now saying it's a train wreck waiting to happen. even the president, who is in love with this obamacare, he's saying it's going to be a problem. he's delaying the individual mandate. or realize on another level what some of our kphaeupbts -- complaints are. some of our complaints are that by making it mandatory and by him doing it after the fact that he's not obeying the law. this is pretty important. we talk about the rule of law a lot of times around here. but what's important about the rule of law is that congress passes legislation and the president can sign it and execute it. obamacare was passed with only democrat votes, but here's the thing. he's now amending it after the fact. you saw one of the union officials coming out with a gleeful smile on his face from the white house. is he going to get a special deal nobody else gets?
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is the president going to come to your town in middle america or my town in middle america and meet with me and give people in my town an exemption? no. he's been giving exemptions to his friends. this is patently un-american. it's unconstitutional. we will fight this to the court cases, but it's going to take a year or so until we can get to the supreme court. but can the president amend legislation? can he write legislation without the approval of congress? that's what he's doing. his argument would be i'm just trying to fix the problems that the legislation created. yes, the legislation was 2,000 pages; nobody read it. and then created 20,000 pages of regulations. we have no idea. many of these states you don't know who to call yet. but if you know who to call and there has been an exchange set up, there are limited choice. whereas you might have had hundreds of choices, you now will have two or three choices. where you once had freedom, you're going to have coercion. where you once had the ability to buy cheaper insurance if you wanted it, if you want to make
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the decision to pay your out-of-pocket expenses on a day-to-day basis yourself and by cheaper insurance it will no longer exist because the government, the government now says they know what's best for you. they know what you should do, your choices really to them have gone out the window. so we talked about amendments. if we were allowed to have amendments, if we were allowed to try to fix obamacare, i'd try to bring the price down. the best way to bring the price down is not to tell people you have to have a high deductible minority to tell people they have to have an -- or not to tell people they have to have an h.s.a.. an h.s.a. is a health savings account. before obamacare you could put $5,000 a year in your h.s.a.. now it's gone to $25,000 a year. if you have a child who is autistic or a child with spina bifida or a child with a severe learning disability you can
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spend $10,000 a year on their health care in trying to help them adapt to life. right now what's happened is they're limit that ability. health savings accounts should be unlimited. we should take them from $2,500 where the president has squashed them, we should make them unlimited. if you get lucky and don't get sick your health savings account should be able to go into your kids education. we should have health savings accounts not just for the family but for every individual member of the family. they should be enormous over time and then you would buy cheaper insurance. this is also the answer as to how you drive the price down. and here's something that through the years as a physician people always came up to me and they asked. they would say, all right, i went to the hospital and i had heart surgery and it was $100,000. then i looked at my bill very closely and the mouth wash was $50 and i'm infuriated. i'll say did you call? did you try to negotiate with the hospital?
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they would say no, me deductible is $20. when you have a low deductible, you are not connected to the product. unless you're connected to the product, prices don't come tkoufpblt this is why when -- down. this is why when you go to wal-mart, any retail story, hobby lobby, wherever you go, prices are bid down because there's competition and you ask the price. think about it, if you went to wal-mart and your deductible was $10, so you paid a copay every time you went to wal-mart, would you ever look at any prices after $10? you can see what would happen to the entire retail world if we had health insurance for buying goods. if you had health insurance for going to the mall. if you had health insurance for going to buy shoes, cars, you name it. if you only had to pay $10 or pay $100 to buy a car, you had a co-pay to buy a car, the price of cars would go through the roof because you wouldn't care
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about the price. this is about having some sense. the people who gave you obamacare are not bad people. they have big hearts, i think, but sometimes not so big brains. really they want to help people, but they haven't figured out that the unintended consequences of obamacare are part-time workers will have less hours. full-time workers who are on the margin where the business is struggling will lose their jobs. if i have 51 khraoes, i may well -- 51 employees i may go back to 49 employees if i'm struggling. if i have 1,000 employees and i provide health insurance for them but my competitor decides to dump them on the government exchange, maybe i have to too to compete because maybe i have to offer the lowest price. maybe the end result of obamacare is the people it was intended to help is precisely who it's going to hurt. so i think we have to think this thing through.
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we have to think as a society whether we're for choice or against choice, whether we're for mandates or we're for volunteerism. i think it's very important that we look beyond the immediacy of what we're trying to do. i don't discount the motives of people on the other side. i think they want to help people, but i think they're going to hurt precisely the people that they want to help. as we look at this obamacare debate, as we look at this disaster, there's another question you might ask. if obamacare is such a great thing, you would think you could give it away. so this is something that's going to be free and they're having trouble giving it away. so what have they done? they're spending tens of millions of dollars to advertise to you it's such a great thing. so if you can't sell somebody something that's tpraou, i think there -- something that's free, i think there's a problem. so obamacare is free and they can't sell it. they've enlisted the president
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now to sell it. they're going to barnstorm all across america selling something that's free. they will have people, government agents on planes flying hither and yon knocking on your door saying please take this free health care. please sign up for free health care. if you can't sell free health care, there must be a problem with it. we are spending tens of millions of dollars on tv, millions more having people going door to door to convince people that it's a good idea. ultimately we should try to help those who can't help themselves. but in order to figure out how you want to help the 15% that didn't have health insurance, we should have looked at the problem more carefully. of the 15% that don't have health insurance, a third of them are young and healthy and make more than $50,000 a year. so a third of the problem had nothing to do with not being --
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it had to do with the health insurance costing too much. so we should have tried to figure out how we lower health care costs and a very young, healthy person we should have expanded health savings accounts. there were waeugz we -- ways we could fix this. what i would like to ask the senator from texas, my question is, do you see a way forward? do you see that we can get the other side to come forward and tell the american people that, yes, we made some mistakes, we made some mistakes and even our friends are telling us we made these mistakes, and that we want to work with you? because i think the problem with the perception out there is we don't want to work with them. but it's completely opposite of the truth. the truth of the matter is, as i see it, is they won't work with us. they won't open the process. we can't have a debate. we're having a debate, but where's the other side?
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and why can't we influence legislation? why can't we be part of trying to fix health care? i don't know if obamacare is fixable but health care is fixable, and all the things they didn't do. all the things about the main problem of health care is price. it costs too damned much. can we fix that? could they come to this body and say we're going to have amendments. we're going to have an open amendment process and we're going to try to fix obamacare. my question is, do you see an opening? do you see an opening where maybe the president would compromise? maybe the president would come and say yes i'm willing to work with you on fixing this? mr. cruz: i thank the senator from kentucky for his very fine question, and the answer is absolutely yes, i believe there is an opening to do that. i believe we can address the train wreck, the nightmare that the american people are facing that is obamacare. and we can address the very real harms that are being visited upon americans as a result. you know, i want to note the
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senator from kentucky has been a clarion voice for liberty, and that is one of the many things i appreciate about my friend, senator rand paul. i think my favorite phrase from his question was a phrase that occurred about midway through his question, where he said something to the effect of we need a rebellion against oppression. and that phrase i liked. that's a turn up phrase, a particularly excellent turn-up phrase, mr. president. i will confess it reminded me of a movie series that was in the theaters when the senator from kentucky and i were both kids, young adults, and that was the "star wars" franchise. the discussion of a rebellion against oppression, i think it captures a lot of what's going on here. we started this debate some 18 hours ago talking about the divide between the washington
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establishment that is not listening to the american people, that is forcing its will on the american people, and the people of this country. and i will confess that phrase, "a rebellion against oppression" conjured up to me the rebel alliance fighting against the empire, the empire being the washington, d.c. establishment. and indeed immediately on hearing that phrase, i wondered if at some point we were going to see a tall gentleman in a mechanical breathing apparatus come forward and say in a deep voice, "mike lee, i am your father." this is a fight to restore freedom to the people. this is a fight to get the washington establishment the empire, to listen to the people.
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and just like in the "star wars" movies, the entire will strike back -- the empire will strike back. but at the end of the day, i think the rebel alliance, i think the people will prevail. the senator from kentucky asked can we actually make real progress in this? yes, if the people do it. to be perfectly honest, the senator from kentucky can't get it done. i can't get it done. senator mike lee can't get it done. i don't think there is an elected official in this body who can get it done. only the american people can speak with a loud enough volume that it forces, number one, republicans to unite as we should be uniting, all 46 republicans against cloture to say, no, not a single republican will vote to give harry reid and the democrats the ability to force through a single amendment that guts the house continuing
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resolution, that funds obamacare and 51 partisan democratic votes and that shuts out all other amendments. and, number two, if the people rise up in sufficient numbers. i believe the democrats of good faith will ultimately have no choice but do the same thing. listen to the people. during this debate we have read, we have discussed the letters from the roofers unions, the letter from the teamsters, where each of them used the same phrase: they could remain silent no more. both of those letters began by saying that they were democrats who supported the president who supported democrats for senate, supported democrats for the house, who had campaigned, who had worked for them. yet, they could remain silent no longer because obamacare is hurting millions of americans. it is a nightmare, in the words of james hoffa, the president of the teamsters. now if they can remain silent no
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longer, mr. president, i would say to the senator from kentucky, i do have faith that there will be democrat senators who will feel that same pang of conscience to remain silent no longer, but to actually speak up for the american people. but it will only happen when republicans unite. if republicans are divided, if we are throwing rocks at each other, we can't expect democrats to cross their leadership. republicans have to unite first in order to get democrats to come together and listen to the people. you want to know what this whole fight is about? it is about together we must make d.c. listen. mr. paul: i have a follow-up question for the senator from texas. mr. cruz: i'm happy to yield for a question without yielding the floor. mr. paul: i think one of the questions that should not only be asked of you, but should be asked of the president, why doesn't the president voluntarily take obamacare? i mean, it's his baby.
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he loves it so much, why doesn't the president take it? he could voluntarily go on the exchanges. i'm sure they'd welcome him at the d.c. exchanges. i think that ought to be a question they ought to ask him at the press briefing today. mr. president, are you willing to take obamacare? if you don't want it, why are we stuck with it? if the president can't take it, if chief justice roberts doesn't want it, here's the thing. you want to see a rebellion? we should ask federal employees to take obamacare. that's what my amendment says, not just congress. i'm willing to take it. i don't want it. i absolutely don't want it. and i've been frank about it. i'm not a hypocrite. i didn't vote for t. i think the whole thing is a mess and i don't want it. but the thing is if i've got to take it, i think the president ought to get it, get a full dose of his medicine. i think justice roberts should get it. i think he contorted and twisted and found new meaning in the constitution that isn't there.
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and if he wants it so much, if he thinks it's justified and if he's going to take that intellectual leap to justify obamacare, he ought to get it. there's millions of federal employees, they don't want it. but guess who they vote for usually? i think it is a partisan question. i think if we were to put it forward and say, obamacare is such a wonderful thing for everybody, let's give it to the federal employees, my guess is we wouldn't get a single vote from the opposition party on this. but we won't even get a chance because they don't want to talk about it. obamacare is good. we're going to shove it down te rest of america's throat. we'll exempt ourselves. i have a constitutional amendment of i frankly think that congress should never pass any law that they're exempted from. i think there's an equal protection argument for how it would be unconstitutional for us to do so and yet we've done it repeatedly. but my question to you is, why what you think? do you think maybe we should ask the president to come down today
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and sign up for obamacare? i think we should ask him that today, every day and henceforth. mr. president, such a good idea, why don't you get it? mr. cruz: i thank the senator from kentucky. and my answer is, yes, yes, a thousand times yes. and indeed the washington press corps were focused on the substance of this debate, on the issues that matter to the american people, the reporters would ask the president at every news conference he conducts and every opportunity they have, mr. president, are you willing to be subject to obamacare, to be put on the exchanges like millions of americans are being forced? they would ask the majority leader of the senate and indeed every democratic senator who met with the president and who according to press reports at whose behest members of congress were exempted, if the press were doing the job of a watchdog press holding leaders accoun
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accountable speakin, are you wio be put on the exchanges without an employer subsidy just like millions of americans who are losing their health insurance because of becom obamacare? and if not, why? and as i have noted multiple times during the course of this debate, i very much support what senator paul suggested about making every federal employee subject to obamacare. let me be clear. doing that is a lousy thing to do to federal imleerks a lousy thing to do to congress, a lousy thing d.o.d. t to do to congresl staff. none of them like it. it is hard to find an issue that causes more dismay, if not panic, among congressional staff than the idea that they might be thrown into the exchanges with no employer subsidies, like
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millions of americans. ironically, including many of the staff who worked o on draftg barack obama, it is a reason why the american people are fed up with this. if washington, washington plays by separate rules. the rich and powerful, those who stroll through the corridors of power, they get exemptions. just not hardworking americans. if you are at home and it happens to be the case that you've got two or three high-paid washington lobbyists on your payroll, you might be in good shape and get an exemption. if you don't have the ability to walk into the west wing, if you don't have the ability to pull the levers of power, then what president obama and the majority leader in the united states national is saying to you is, you are out of luck. we answer to the friends of this
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administration, but not to the american people. listen, i think under no circumstances should members of congress be treated better than what we are doing under the law forcing upon millions and millions of americans. now, i would note, mr. president, that during the course of this debate i have been privileged to receive support from a great many senators, but two in particular. i want to mention them right now. senator rubio and senator paul. i want to mention them because on any measure of hipness or coolness, mr. president, i will readily concede i can't hold a candle to them. indeed, i remember in the debate over drones, senator rubio began quoting from rap lyrics, and i'll confess to being clueless
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enough that i didn't even know what he was referencing. i was sure it was something far too hip for me to know. although i will note i did read toby queegh keith lyrics. i will note that senator paul has a following with as he follows it, folks in berken stocks and birds and ear rings. a different short of cool. but again i could not remotely hope to compete with him. i am a lawyer from texas. but what i can try to do to keep up with, because after all we all have a little bit of competitiveness in wanting to keep up, i would like to provide a little more detail on something i referenced earlier, which is the speech that ashton kucher gave at the teen choice
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awards. referring to the senator from florida and the senator from kentucky as cool, as terrific human beings as both of them are, is almost oxymoronic. i don't believe there is any politician on the face of the earth that would qualify as cool. i suspect ashton kucher and mine politics may be different. he was there to accept an award for playing the role of steve jobs in the movie "jobs." he talked about the importance of work, hard work. and his speech was so remarkable that i took the opportunity to tweet it out because, frankly, mr. president, ashton can reach young people in way that i never can that you never can, that no member of this senate ever can. i thought it was importan impor.
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he said, "i believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. i've never had a job in my life that i was better than. i was always just lucky to have a job. and every job i had was a steppingstone to my next job, and i never quit my job until i had my next job. and so opportunities look a lot like work." he went on, "the sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart and being thoughtful and being generous. everything else is," and he use add mild expletive for "manure." "it is just manure that people try to sell you. don't buy t be thoughtful and generous." then he ended by saying "everything around us we call
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life was made up by people that are no smarter than you. you can build your own things. you can build your own life that other people can build in. find your opportunities and always be sexy." now, i salute that message. i think it is a message that i hope every young person in america hears. but it is also a message that embodies what is imperiled by obamacare. what mr. kucher talked about, "i was always just lucky to have a job. i've never had a job in plief that --in my life that i was ber than," it makes me think about my father, his first job making 50 cents an hour. he was lucky to have that job. he certainly was not better than that job. and if he hadn't had that job, "and every job i had was a stepping-stone to my next job." as we discussed in this debate, if he hadn't had that job, he
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wouldn't have had his next job as a cook. and if he hadn't had that next job, he wouldn't have been able to start a small business and work towards the american dream. you want to talk about the tragedy of obamacare, i it is te millions of young people, the millions of single moms, the millions of hispanics, of african-americans who are struggling, who want to achieve the american dream, who because of obamacare can't find a job, who because of obamacare, small businesses, they're not hiring, tear a no they're not expanding. small businesses create two-thirds of all jobs. if you're struggling, that first job washing dishes, if obamacare were the law in 19 5r7bgs i think there is a very good chance my father never would have gotten that job washing dishes. and if he had gotten the job, obamacare were the law, i think it is virtually certain his hours would have been forcibly
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reduced to 29 hours a week. couldn't have paid his way through college on 29 hours a week. so one of two things would have happened. he either would have had to drop oust college or he would have had to get a second job and juggled the balance between each of them. that is what is so critical about this issue is maintaining the opportunity for those struggling to achieve the american dream. i want to secondly share some more material during the wii hours of the morning. we had the opportunity to consider some excerpts from ayn rand. and i want to point to some more excerpts from ayn rand that i think are relevant to the battle before this body. first, from "atlas shrugged" we're on strike.
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we're on strike against self-emulation. we are on strike against the creative, unearned rewards. we're on strike against the dogma that is the pursuit of one's happiness is evil. we are on strike against the doctrine that life is guilt." another on the filibuster, on the effort of the american people to get washington to listen to us. "from the fountain head. integrity is the ability to stand by an idea. also from the nountain head, no speech is every considered but only the speaker. it's so much easier to pass judgment on a man than on an idea." mr. president, that particular quote, i think, more than anything, is addressed to our friends in the media. i want to read it again. "no speech is ever considered but only the speaker. it is so much easier to pay judgment ton a man than on an idea." mr. president, i like every
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member in this body is a flawed human being, a man of many imperfections. if a reporter wants to write on those imperfections, there's no shortage of material. but as long as they're writing on those, tear a not talking about the ideas -- they're not talking about the ideas. as long as they're writing about the personality, they're not talking about the american people who are cuffing, as long as they're writing about the person naments, the politics and the back and forth and the game plying and all of the insults and all of the none since, they are not talking about the millions of americans who are desperate for greater opportunity, desperate for a job, desperate to work to provide for their families, desperate to hold on to their health insurance. we've read letter after letter after letter of real people, real live people who are losing their health insurance. another quote -- "fight for the value of your pen much fight for the virtue of your pride. fight for the essence of that which is man, for his sovereign
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rational mind. fight with the radiant -- that yours is the rue morality of life, any value any gran diewrks any goodness that is has ever existed on this earth." another from the fountain head. "throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. their goals dfed but they all had this in common, that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received hatred. the great creators, thinkers, artists, inventors stood alone against the men of their time. every great new invention was denounced. the first motor was considered foolish, the airplane considered impossible, the power loom considered vicious, anesthesia considered sinful. but the men of vision went
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ahead, they fought, suffered, they paid but they won. mr. president, let me suggest that quote speaks directly to the millions of americans who are speaking up right now, who are saying washington says we can't stop obamacare. washington says we have to accept this train wreck, this nightmare. there's nothing we can do. and yet the message ms. rand says is that if the american people stand up together, if they believe in their vision, together we can make d.c. listen. and indeed, also from atlas shrug in terms of the divide we see in this body, ms. rand observed there are two sides to every issue. one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. the man who is wrong still retains some respect for the
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truth. if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. but the man in the middle is the nave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend no truth or values exist who is willing to sit out the course of any battle or just call on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning the robber and robbed to jail who solves consequences by ordering the foolish and the fooled by meeting each other halfway. i would think this speaks volume to that dispute. as we observed during the middle of this debate, there are some pheplgs of the democratic -- members of the democratic conference, indeed one we discussed, senator sanders from vermont, who openly embraces his ideals. there was a time when he ran for public office not as a democrat but as a socialist. now mr. sanders and i agree on
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very little when it comes to public policy, but i will say this. i respect his fidelity to his principles. i respect the honesty with which he embraces them. and as i observed earlier in this proceedings, i would far rather a senate with ten bernie sanders and ten mike lees to a senate where the views, the actual commitments are blurred by obfuscation. when it comes to the republican side of the aisle, there are some senators who have been quite open in saying they don't think we can defund obamacare. and i would respect any republican senator who says i'm convinced we can't do this, and, therefore, i'm voting for cloture because we can't do it. and so i'm voting against it. i don't agree with that. i think that is a defeatist
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philosophy, but it's an honest philosophy. i would suggest, mr. president, it's far different for a republican to say i'm going to vote for cloture. i'm going to vote to give harry reid and 51 democrats the ability to fund obamacare in its entirety with no amendments, no changes whatsoever but at the same time i'm going to go to my constituents today and say i fully, i enthusiastically support defunding obamacare. indeed i'm leading the fight. mr. president, that is not being honest with the american people. if we are to listen to the people, part of listening to the people is being honest with the people. part of listening to the people is embracing quite candidly the position we hold. if those members of this conference want to disagree with this strategy and say we agree with harry reid that obamacare should not be defunded on the
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continuing resolution, let them say so openly, not cloaked in robes of procedural deception and obscurity. let them say so openly to the american people and let them make their case. that has the virtue of truth. on obamacare, in atlas shrug, ms. rand wrote there is no way to rule innocent men. the only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. well, there aren't enough criminals. well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. one declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for me to live without breaking laws. but just pass the kind of laws that can be neither observed nor enforced, nor objectively interpreted. and then you create a nation of lawbreakers and then you cash in on the guilt. that's the system and that's the game and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal
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with. you know, mr. president, that is really a profound insight on the train wreck, on the nightmare that is obamacare. you know, one statement that the senator from kentucky made that i would disagree with slightly, is the senator from kentucky said president obama is committed 100% to obamacare, to making no changes, no alterations to defending it as is, not to improving it. i actually don't think that's accurate. i think what the president has done is far worse than that actually, which is the president has opposed legislative changes to fix the tremendous failures in obamacare that are hurting the american people. but the president has over and over again unilaterally abusing executive power just disregarded the law. when the president decided
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unilaterally that the employer mandate that was set to kick in on january 1 of next year would be delayed for a year for big business, there's no basis in law for him to do so. the statute says otherwise. but his decision was simply "i am the state. therefore, this is delayed." likewise, when the president made the decision that the eligibility verification for subsidies written into the statute would not be enforced, that's contrary to law. the president doesn't have the authority to disregard the statute. if he doesn't like it, he can come to congress and ask for an amendment. but the statutes written in the law books are binding law. and he simply announced no, they're not. i'm not going to enforce it. that, of all the differing unilateral changes that may be the most consequential. one of the least discussed but it's consequential because its
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effect is to encourage liar loans. whether you're eligible or not say you are and we're not going to check to find out. and perhaps most egregiously was the president's action exempting members of congress. the statute provides that members of congress shall be subject to obamacare, shall be put on the exchange, exchanges without employer subsidies, just like millions of americans. and, mr. president, as you and i both know well, that had members of congress, that had congressional staff in a panic. and so majority leader harry reid, democrat senators met with the president. and according to the public press accounts, asked for an exemption, said please exempt us. although the statute is clear and it was written that way, i would note because of my friend, senator chuck grassley, who added that amendment on the
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principle that if we're going to put a burden on the american people, we should feel it, we should have skin in the game. and according to the press reports, the president said he would take care of the problem, and shortly thereafter his administration did so and said we're going to disregard the law of the land. we're going to disregard the statutes. now let me say, mr. president, when the president of the united states begins picking and choosing which laws to follow and which laws not, when the president of the united states looks at this mess that is obamacare and begins pulling out the eraser and says i'm going to erase this part of the statute, i'm going to pick that it applies to these people but pick it doesn't apply to these people, that is the height of arbitrary enforcement. article 2 of the constitution object hraoeupblgs the presidents to take -- obliges the presidents to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
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to deliberately and openly refuse to execute the law is the antithesis of the laws to be fittingfully executed. it is taking care to refuse to faithfully execute the laws of the united states, and that's the pattern we've seen. and, mr. president, for any president to do so, democrat or republican, and i can tell you this, mr. president, if there were a republican president in office and he were saying i'm going to disregard the laws of the united states, i can promise you i would be right here on the floor of the senate decrying that republican president just as loudly as decrying president obama for disregarding the law. now look, i think obamacare is a disaster. i think it's a train wreck. i agree with james hoffa, president of the teamsters, it's a nightmare. but i don't think the president can just say i'm going to refuse to apply it to everyone. you haven't heard me call on president obama granting a lawless exemption to everyone.
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he didn't have an exemption to grant to big business and doesn't have authority to grant an exemption to the american people. only congress does. mr. president, that's why congress needs to act. that's why this body, why democrats in this body, why republicans in this body need to listen to the american people. mr. president, together we must make d.c. listen. mr. inhofe: would the senator yield? mr. cruz: i am happy to yield to the senator from 0 oklahoma for a question but not yield the floor. mr. inhofe: i mentioned a few minutes ago when i was here last night, something was said, and i went back and i got some phone calls because people didn't believe it. i think sometimes people like you, i say to my good friend, senator cruz, who are limiting
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this issue 24 hours a day, literally 24 hours a day, may assume that people understand the significance of some things that they really don't. because i got these phone calls last night when i was talking about, and i quoted our leader here in the united states senate when he said that -- harry reid, senator reid -- he said in the, a couple of days ago in the pbs nevada weekend review, senate majority leader harry reid said, was asked whether his goal was to move obamacare to a single-payer system, and his answer was, yes, yes, absolutely yes. now, i know i said this last night, but a lot of people didn't realize that because there is -- i'm going to, if you don't mind, i'm going to take a few minutes here to kind of set the question up because i think it's important. as the occupier of the chair will remember, since he was in the other body when i was elected many years ago to the
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house of representatives, i at that time, i recall now at that time nobody thought the republicans would ever be a majority of anything. the house or the national. and i know that would have pleased the occupier of the chair. and we -- you know, it's kind of interesting because we became very good friends and yet we're philosophically apart from each other. but i observed four things, and this was something, i didn't think about this until this morning and how this subject fits into this. i sat down at the time, and republicans were totally insignificant in the house of representatives. so i spent my time, i'd sit on the floor and i'd listen. and i observed some things, and i actually wrote a paper about this, and i'm going from memory now, but i recall in this paper i said there are, in my opinion, four flawed premises on which democrats' policies are based. and i listed those four flawed
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premises. they were the cold war is over. we no longer need the strong military. the punishment is not a deterrent to crime. deficit spending is not bad public policy. and then the fourth one that government can run our lives better than people can. well, i kind of went through that, and i remember so well, i remember one time there was an amendment on the floor, and i know that the -- those who were there at the time will recall this, that we were going to take some of these closed bases because of the cost of incarceration for prisoners, and we were going to take those and just take the fences and turn them around to keep people in instead of out. that made sense. so i had an amendment on a bill that was a bill, and i remember that was a big punishment bill that became very controversial at that time. but i had that amendment to do that. and they defeated the amendment, and the reason they defeated it
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was they said we can't expect our prison population to live in such substandard housing. then i remember, wait a minute, i was in the united states army. i lived in that housing. i know a little bit about that. so that was kind of punishment. then the end of the cold war, you know, so we don't need the military. a lot of them were saying we really need to cut back, and we did. we actually cut back. and republicans and democrats agreed at that time. but now it's changed because what we're doing now, i call it the obamacare disarming of america. i can remember and knowing -- and a lot of time when you talk about people as being liberals or conserveties, ira note -- conservatives, you're not name calling. you're saying what is the involvement of government? shoula liberal believes that the government should have greater involvement. a conservative believes the government has too much control. any way, i went to afghanistan when the first budget four and a half years ago came owvment i stood over there knowing that i
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had a get national attention, knowing that this would be the first step in what i call the disarming of america by obama. so i stood over there and i recall on that very first budget, he didwa did away with e f-22, did away with our future combat system, and did away with the ground-based interceptor in poland. we're paying dearly for that now. because we realize now with iran having the capability that they havhave,that we need to have sog to defend that part of that coast. then we went through and of course if you extend the budget of this president, it took $487 billion out of the military. i want to say that that is true. this is after several years, way back when i was in the house of
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representatives, deficit spending not bad public policy. that's something that we have heard quite often from some of our more liberal friends on the other sievmentd the fourth thing is, government can run our lives better than people can. now, this goes -- i tell my friend from texas, this goes all the way back to the late-1980's that this observation was made by me. and that is exactly what we're looking at today, a recognition by some people that somehow government can run this system bet than people can. and last night when i was honored to stand with my good friend from texas, i recalled having been here back during the clinton administration. we had a thing called hillary health care. now, that goes right along with this same thing. so a lot of people -- my phone calls that i got last night after being on the floor with you were people saying, well, i don't remember that. i didn't know we tried that before. and tapet at that time they
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thought it was -- and at that time they thought it was over, it was done, we're going to have hillary health care. and as senator reid said, yes, a single-payer system. this is what they want and this is what they wanted back in the middle 1990's. they thought it was over. they said, it's over. we're not going to win this thing. and consequently, a lot of people actually believed that. last night i talked about after we finally had victory, it happened that there's a full-page ad in "the wall street journal" by the a.m.a. saying that we embrace hillary health care, bu because they thought ty were going to lose the thing. anyway, that's kind of where we are today. at that time they thought there's no way in the world we're going to win this thing. it's going to be -- we're going to be able to defeat it because it's a done deal, and i think -- that's why i admire our good friend, senator cruz, for having the tenacity to stay in here and
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recognize that we went through this once before. if we did it once before, we can do it against, because the recognition, the reason that hellery health care lost way back in the middle 19 niendz is people realized -- in the middle 1990's is people realized that's socialized medicine. it doesn't work anywhere else, in canada, sweden, great britain. why would it work here? the answer that i noi they've never said but they believe is, well, if i were running it, it would. it's a kind of a mentality that government can run our lives better than people can. so i want to say one thing before i ask my question. and that is, i've had a great blessing in my life. that's getting to know a great american whose name is raphael cruz. raphael cruz came here the tough way, to this country, and recognized from his past experience what real freedom is. i have some quotes here that i wrote down because i use this
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quite often. "our lives are under attack. obamacare is going to destroy the editorial earl, by even perhaps denying treatment to people who are in catastrophic circumstances. i hear people all the time say, this would never happen in america. it is happening in america and our rights are being eroded more and more and more every day." in one of his speeches he said, "i think the most ominous words i've heard was in the last two state of the union addresses when our president said 'if congress does not act, i will act unilaterally.' scairlly reminiscent of how things were done in cuba. a law that no republican voted for is now the law of the land, governing by decree, did i executive order, just like cuba, -- close quote -- this is raphael cruz, the father of our
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own senator, ted cruz. he is one that came oarvetion he escaped the very overbearing power of government to come here for that reason. and so i look at that and i remember one of the greatest speeches i think -- i've said this often and a lot of people don't agree with this. probably the greatest speech i've ever heard was "rendezvous with destiny" by ronald reagan. in his speech he tells the story of someone -- it could have been a raphael cruz. twawn that wasomeone that was escaping to come in this country. in his speech, ronald reagan said, this is way back when he was goafn of california, he said, the boat came up and it washed up on the shore in southern florida, and there's a woman there and he was telling the woman about the atrocities of communist cuba.
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and when he was through, she said, well, we don't know how fortunate we are in this country. he said, no, we're the ones who are fortunate because we had a place to escape to. now, doesn't that tell the story? you know, that was a government running everything, and they escaped that and came to this country. and they're over here. and i no he that my kids -- i have 20 -- kay and i have 20 kids and grandkids. i was listening to you when you were reading a bedtime story last night. you stop and think, what kind of america are these kids going to be inheriting? why is it popular now? why would someone who believes that government should have a larger role in our life be reelected? what's happened to the american people and the stlals we hold -- and the values that we held -- we held for some so many years?
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that's a hard thing to answer. but i know there are several people who have experienced that, leaving slavery to come in this country. by the way, last night when i was reading the various things, i didn't have any statements from the people from oklahoma, so i was reading from louie gohmert, who represents the eastern part of texas. he had some stories from people from east texas. since that time, somebody called last night and they said, you should be using stories from oklahoma. kay matheson said stand with senator ted cruz. a single-payer health care system is nothing more than a socialized system. she's from oklahoma. sue, i won't give her last name. she said, thank you. what's to protect people from being victims of identity theft with all these so-called visors
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having access. why aren't members of white house and their staff included? they should be included. the senator from texas has been talking about that. we had in a twitter that came in this morning, "what allows the executive branch to get to pick and choose who must follow obamacare and what parts to enforce?" so we've got a lot of that stuff. the thing i wanted to bring up last night -- one of the things was something really good is happening. we're talking about the bad things. but there is another opportunity. we've got a great guy in oklahoma by the name of scott prewitt, our attorney general. i told my friend, senator cruz, while i was running for attorney general, i flew him around the state. i got to know him quite well. he told me at that time that he saw this threat coming. so what he has done is he has filed a lawsuit, and i'm proud
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to say that through the courts, they're leading the charge to dismanagement l obamacare. just last month a judge overseeing the lawsuit ruled against a motion filed by the administration to dismiss the case, which means the case will proceed. well, that was a major obstacle. no one thought that he'd be able to overcome this motion to dismiss. so it's still out there. and the law is a train wreck. we know that. there have been several proposals to prevent further damage. we need to defund the law. we need to make sure no additional taxpayer money would be used. now, if this is -- if he is successful, that will affect some 34 states who are in the same situation as oklahoma. and if he is successful, that will pull the funding out of obamacare and it could be that just one guy in the state of oklahoma will be responsible for that. so this is happening. yes, all the efforts that are
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taking place here -- and primarily by my good friend from texas. but in oklahoma we're involved in this thing, too. we're hoping to be able to have that opportunity. i want to mention one thing -- one other thing because this came in and i'm going to read this. and it is a letter. it is not all that long. but i think it is really revealing. it says "i cannot tell you how distressed i am with regard to the affordable care act. thithe become become. i am fearful for my kids, now 1 and 20. this is the effect it is having right now. employers are not allowing their workers to have full-time hours. they are hiring more part-time workers to make up the difference for the companies so they won't be penalized for not providing health insurance. both of my kids are unable to get full-time employment. for a year my daughter was able to work 40-plus hours a week.
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then when the implementation of the a.c.a., no one can work over 29 hours a week. instant paycuvment my son, who just graduated from high school, finally found a job at a restaurant and they give him four hours a day. he's still looking. additionally, i have adult friends whose hours are being cut. u.c.o.'s, so they don't get penalized for not providing health insurance to their part-time people. adults with families getting their wages cut" -- this is just a minority leaderra minoritya n. this is what people are thinking. "adultadults with families gettg their wages cut so the employer doesn't have to pay for health insurance. did you not think employers would find a way out of this at the expense of the american people? is everyone in washington so blind or is it selfish? my husband's employer now wants to penalize us if i choose to
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stay on his health coverage rather than take the inferior health care package at my employment. mr. inhofe, i dedicated my life to raising my kids and taking care of my family. i currently make $12.25 an hour and i a bachelor's degree and it would be senseless for me to pay for health care on a salary when my husband's health care is so much better and i have been on if for the last 13 years." she has to give that up. he takes care of me. as my husband. i should not be penalized for wanting to work full-time. if his company pushes the issue, i feel as if i won't be able to stay employed full-time, which is a violation of my basic human right. now that my kids are grown, i need to want to work. at 52 it is highly unlikely that i'm going to make a wage that is going to allow me to pay for health insurance. it is against my constitutional
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right to enforce me -- to force me to purchase health insurance i don't need. the law is unconstitutional and un-american. please tell me what we can do. the american people deserve to be able to work full-time without being penalized. i am tired of washington and it's dirty politics. everyone in washington should be held to the same laws it passes for the american people." amen. "each one of you needs to have the same health coverage expenses that we have. i feel as if our country is headed at lightning speed for a major breakdown. what are you going to do to stop it and how can i help? i am frightened for the future of my children and the future of america. and i'm dierd o i am tired of d. politics." that was lynn from oklahoma. i think the thing people didn't realize was we were able to talk last night about the fact that
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this is happened once before and they came dangerously close to pulling it off in the middle-19 90's. i have to say this, that the -- there's a strategy going on right now. i think -- i didn't realize this until yesterday. there are some of the pro-obamacare people who are doing robocalls. i know that the occupier of the chair knows what robocalls are but a lot of people don't. these are automated calls where a voice comes on and give a message and people listen to that. sometimes they believe it, sometimes they don't but most of the times they do. there is robocalls going on by pro-obama health care people going to the strongest opponents of obamacare and trying to make people think they're supporting it. it is to confuse the electorate. when you stop and think about it, that's pretty brilliant. and they did it.
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all day yesterday there were calls going around my state of oklahoma by someone, the message is something like this: this is joe smith. i'm with the abc tea party. these are not tea party people but nonetheless that's how they identify themselves. your senator jim inhofe is supporting obamacare an you've got to call his office. this is what his number is and all this. we started getting calls, and people didn't even know there were 14 of us who joined together with senator cruz about six weeks ago. i was one of the 14 and one of the strongest supporters of his cause. and yet they are trying to make people believe something else just to confuse it. frankly, it's dishonest but it is brilliant. so when we're looking and we're seeing what happened, what is going on today, i do applaud my friend. i feel guilty, i have to say, to my friend senator cruz, because i left him last night at 10:00. i went home. i had dinner. i went to bed. got 0 up and he was still
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talking. that's the depth of his feeling about this. and i really believe what we learned, the lesson we can remember in the middle 1990's, the lesson we learned there, when it was all over we lost but didn't lose because the american people came to our aid. we were a minority at that time. they came to our aid and they turned this whole thing around. that's exactly where we are today. and i guess my question to my good friend, senator cruz, is i believe that history could repeat itself. do you? mr. cruz: i thank the senator from oklahoma for his learned insight for that very good question, and the answer in short, mr. president, is yes, yes, yes, absolutely yes, to use i think the same phrasing majority leader harry reid used when asked if he supports single-pair government socialized health care. i'd like to make three comments
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in response to senator inhofe's question and his thoughts that he has shared with this body. the first is simply a word of thanks, mr. president, to the senator from oklahoma. senator inhofe is an elder statesman of this body. he has served many years. he has earned the respect of his colleagues on the republican side of the aisle and on the democrat side of the aisle. and from day one when senator mike lee began this fight, senator inhofe has been with us on saying obamacare is such a train wreck, such a nightmare, such a disaster that we should defund it. and i observed earlier it's one thing for the young terps, these so-called wacko birds to stand
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in this fight. it is another thing altogether to see elder statesmen like senator inhofe, like senator pat roberts, like senator jeff sessions, like senator mike enzi, standing with us. that is significant, particularly when the leadership of our party is publicly urging republicans to go the other way. i am grateful for your friendship. i am grateful for your steadfastness. i am grateful for the senator from oklahoma's principled and courageous willingness to fight for the american people. and i will say it makes a real difference. if you trust what's written in the media, this battle is doomed. indeed, i recall reading a day or two ago an article that purported to be an objective news story. not an editorial. an objective news story by a
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reporter allegedly reporting on the news that began with something like the fight to defund obamacare, comma, which is doomed to fail. that was reported as a fact. there was no editorializing. that is just an objective fact. it is doomed to fail. and i will say the momentum has been steadily with us. they said this fight was doomed to fail two months ago. and then we saw the american people unite and over 1.6 million americans signed a petition saying defund obamacare now because it is a train wreck, it's a disaster, it's hurting americans. they said it was doomed to fail. the house of representatives would never pass a continuing resolution continued on defunding obamacare. wouldn't happen. then last friday the house of representatives did that because the courageous conservatives stuck their neck out and because house leadership, in an action for which i commend them,
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listened to the american people. and so now this week the press says it's doomed to fail that republicans be united and yet i would note seeing elder statesman after elder statesman come down and support us, indicates the momentum that is with this movement. and listen, this is not a movement by any one or two or three or 100 senators. this is a movement from the american people. why are we seeing momentum move in favor of defunding obamacare? why are we seeing momentum for republicans in favor of voting against cloture so as to deny harry reid the ability to fund obamacare on a 51-vote partisan vote? because the american people are rising up and their voices are, heard. that is the first response i wanted to make to my friend from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: would the senator yield for a follow-up? cruz happy to yield -- mr. cruz: happy to yield for a
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question but not yield the floor. mr. inhofe: i don't think i've ever been referred to as a senior statesman but i kind of like that. when you mentioned the four of us coming down, we have been here for awhile. there is one thing we all have in common, we all had a career in the real world first. one of the things i've observed in people, people say what do you want to do? i want to be a member of congress. they least fraternity house and run for congress. they have never been in the real world. people ask me what should i do if i want to get in politics? i say go out for at least 15 years and live under this system and learn how tough things are out there. in my case, i spent over 20 years, did a lot of building and developing in the state of texas, where senator cruz is from. and i've talked to his daddy raphael, several times about this. i can remember there i was doing what americans are supposed to do. i was making money. i was losing money. i was expanding the tax base.
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and yet, the obstacle that i had all during those years was the federal government. the federal government. and here i was doing what americans are supposed to be doing. and that's when i decided -- i remember the last thing we did down in texas, i did in development, a pretty good sized development, i had to go to 25 governmental agencies to get a dock permit. i thought they are supposed to be on our side. so i decided i'd run -- come to congress and try to save the free enterprise system. now that's what all four of us have in common. so we may have been here for awhile, but here for a cause, here having experience how abusive government can be. and i've not seen a time when the abuse is greater than it is today on what's happening to us. to think that we have a policy by the president, he's been able to sell the idea and get the votes to get it through, and now in -- and it's socializing medicine, something that has failed year after year after
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year in every country where they've tried to do it. does my friend from texas see anything different about the united states of america, how socialized medicine would work here when it hasn't worked anywhere else? mr. cruz: i think the senator from oklahoma raises a very good question, and the clear facts are everywhere in the world socialized medicine has been implemented it hasn't worked. it produces results consistently. you can predict where socialized medicine leads. it leads to scarcity. it leads to waiting periods. it leads to poor-quality health care and it leads to government rationing. it leads to government bureaucrats deciding what health care you can get, what health care i can get. if you go in for a health treatment, a government bureaucrat may say, mr. inhofe, you can get that treatment in six months or maybe a year. on the other hand, perhaps your mom goes in for a treatment, the government bureaucrat may say, ma'am, i'm afraid you don't get that treatment. we've determined on our schedule
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we're not allowed on that. that's what happens on socialized medicine. if you want not to be able to pick your doctor, if you want a government bureaucrat making decisions for you instead of you and your doctor, then you should welcome what majority leader reid says is the inevitable result of obamacare, and that is single-pair government socialized medicine. that is where this law is headed. mr. inhofe: would the senator yield for a question? mr. cruz: i'm happy to yield for a question without yielding the floor. mr. inhofe: i hope my wife will forgive me because i know she's watching. or i suspect she is watching because she has an equal interest in this issue for a totally different reason. kay and i have been married, our 54th wedding anniversary is coming up. we have 20 kids and grandkids. she went through an experience and our whole family went through the experience with her a short while ago, less than a year ago, where she discovered she had a serious heart problem. it is the a kwror at that
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valve -- it is the aorta valve. and i have to praise her for not telling me anything about it. for four months she knew she was going to have to have this serious operation. she is a year younger than i am. she knew i would have to have the operation and didn't say anything because she didn't want to worry me. she was writing things about what thing it would go what kids because she didn't think she was going to make it. there was a good chance she wouldn't. we went through that experience with her. i'll tell you what's kind of funny. all of our grandkids call us -- my name is inhofe. i is for inhofe. they call us mimmi and pop eye. since she had a valve put in her heart from a cow. they now call her moo my. she went through this difficult thing, the best medical care.
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this happened at saint john's hospital in tulsa. the doctor, robert garrett, all the nurse, all the people all the way down. i was thinking that is my first experience at my age, my senior age of seeing this system work. where would she have been in camden? i've talked to some people and they said at her age she would have waited in such a long line that she probably would not have been able to make it. it was a serious thing she was going through. i don't think i'm the only one who had this experience but let me tell you, that was a wakeup call. i would just hope and suggest to the senator that other people speak up, even though it is some what uncomfortable, i thank god we have the system we have here that allowed kay and me to be able to look forward to our next 54 years of marriage. mr. cruz: i thank the senator from oklahoma for that excellent question and i'll make several
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observations in response. the first is hearing of your wife and her courage, and it reminds me, i will confess -- i knew there was many reasons why you and i have become friends, why i like and admire you, and i've discovered yet another. it sounds like you and i married very similar women. if it's anything like our marriage, at least in my marriage, i married way, way, way above myself, but i'll tell you a story that your story reminded me of. my wife heidi was taking a car to the airport and the car got hit. it got hit by another car. and the drive was very upset, and heidi called 911, an ambulance came and took the driver to the hospital. heidi proceeded to call a cab and take the cab to the airport, get on a plane and fly to a business meeting she had in new mexico. and at the end of the meeting, she noticed, she said i'm kind
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of hurting. my head hurts and my shoulder hurts. so she went to the hospital that afternoon in new mexico and discovered she had a concussion and a broken collar bone. and much like you relayed, heidi did not share this news with her husband until that evening. so she didn't call me when the accident occurred. she didn't call me even when she got the diagnosis. she called me back there, and she's describing, she called and said sweetheart i want you to know i had an accident but i'm all right. i have a broken collar bone and a concussion. i said my goodness, very disconcerting when your wife tells you that. she is describing where it happened. she described a street in houston. it happened in houston? what are you doing in new mexico if it happened in houston? she said i got on the plane and flew, without talking to the dollar, with the broken collar bone and concussion and went to
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the business meeting before bothering to get treated. let me say to anyone watching this, i do not commend my wonderful love of my life wife's conduct to anyone who has an accident. i would suggest getting medical treatment immediately. and i would strongly suggest not following the path of the senator from oklahoma's wife or my wife and not telling your husband. i would strongly encourage call your spouse and let them know. i certainly urge should that happen again to my wife, sweetheart, please let me know when it happens and not 12, 14 hours later. but it's the virtue of marrying strong women who know what they want and are able to tackle the world. and i, for one, am blessed. i have no doubt that you feel deeply blessed. with 20 kids and grandkids, you know, the psalmist talks about my cup runth over -- runneth over, bountiful blessings.
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an additional point i wanted to make is i want to thank the senator from oklahoma for his very kind comments about my father. as the senator knows, my father has been my hero my whole life. i have admired him for as long as i can remember. and i will note something particularly meaningful that the senator from oklahoma did, which is every week in the senate there is a prayer breakfast. it's a bipartisan prayer breakfast, which is nice. there are not a lot of bipartisan things we do here in the senate. there are a number of senators who attend regularly, republicans and democrats, and they invite a different senator each week to share his or her testimony, share some thoughts. and some weeks ago i was invited, i felt honored to have the opportunity and attended the prayer breakfast a number of times. the way it typically works is another senator is asked to introduce whoever is speaking that day. so at the prayer breakfast, senator inhofe was asked to
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introduce me and it's really quite interesting. almost anyone when asked to introduce someone will do so fairly easy. maybe they print out a bio to point out a factor. but most are treated as fairly rhee routine efforts. i'll tell you, senator inhofe didn't treat it that way. he picked up the phone and he called my dad. he picked up the phone and he called my college roommate. he picked up the phone and he called one of my dearest friends here in washington for whom heidi and i are the godparents of their kids. he called them totally out of the blue. said hi, this is jim inhofe. i've been asked to introduce ted cruz. they shared some mildly embarrassing stories.
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and i will say that showed a personal level of consideration that's unusual in this town. and i appreciated that. i thanked the senator then. but i want to take this opportunity to thank the senator publicly for putting that degree of personal consideration, to try to tell not just he went to so-and-so college and did this and this, not just the empty biographical facts but trying to put a little color on how this individual is. the final point i want to make is a point that goes to the substance of some of the remarks of ththat the senator from oklaa made in the process of making his first question,, which he talked about the battle over hillary care. and you know, i think that is quite fitting to the battle we're having right now over defunding obamacare. because i will tell you, mr. president, when the battle over hillary care was owe -- was
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occurring, i was in law school. if you remember the context at that time, when hillary care was playing out, all of the media said this is unstoppable. all of the media said, this is going to happen and there's nothing the hapless can do to stop t and indeed there were a umin of republicans -- there were a number of republicans who came forth and said, we can't stop this, so we propose, listen, what i deric derye civil referred to as hillary care-light. and i remember watching that, i will tell you, in the course of that debate, i almost put my boot through the television set. i remember yelling at the tv set -- that may be a sentiment that more than a few people watching this feel, where you feel you don't have a voice in the
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process. as a law student, i felt i didn't have a voice in the process sms i remembe. what are we doing? if we're going to acede to marching down the road to socialized health care, i'm going to move to an island and fish all my life. i remember at the time -- senator inhofe will remember this because he was part of this effort -- but at the time i was particularly focused on the senator from my state, th the senator from texas, senator phil gramm, a hero of mine for a long, loing time. indeed i'm particularly honored it that the desk at which i sit used to be senator phil gramm's desk. his name is written on the inside drawer. it is one of the curious traditions of the senate. senators when they leave the senate scrawl their signature on the desk. you're actually encouraged to
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deface senate property. and with some frequency, the next individual fortunate to have that desk appreciates it. i find it inspirational to sit at the desk that was senator phil gramm's. i remember when it seemed the whole stampede in the republican conference was listening to the media saying you can't stop this. hillary care is unstoppable. and i remember phil graham walking out to a microphone saying "this will pass over my cold body." when phil graham said that it was fairly loanly. he didn't have a whole lot of allies when he marched out and did that. as you know, because you were port of thapart of that fight ae scars, but that leadership ended up -- you saw republicans kind of look all around.
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gramm was standing there and he didn't get killed. and they all essentially ran behind him and said, yeah, what he said. but i'm convinced if we hadn't had a handful of leaders back then who had the courage to not read the papers and believe, oh, we've got to concede; the papers say they've already won, we're going to hillary care -- if we hadn't had just a handful of leaders willing to buck the conventional whic wisdom and sae can win when they're being told, no, you can't, obamacare would have passed 19 years earlier and it would have been called hillary care instead. that's the power of leadership. so everyone in this body who said two months ago and says this morning, we can't win this fight, i will point out that history is replete with example after example after example of those who stood up and listened
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to the american people and fought for the principles, for the values the american people share, fought for the interests of the american people and who with the support of the american people won those fights. that's what we're fighting for. listen, it is my hope that by the end of this process we see all 46 republicans unite, opposing cloture and saying, no, we're not going to allow harry reid and a bare majority of democrats on a partisan political vote to fund obamacare and it is my hope that over time, once that happens, that we start to get one democrat after another after another to come with us. now, will that happen now? probably not, as long as as republicans are publicly divided. no democrat is going to expwroi. but if we unite republicans and if democrats, particularly those democrats running for reelection in red states where their citizens passionately oppose obamacare and the damage it is doing to the economy and jobs, the damage it's doing to all of
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the people that are being hurt, if they hear from more and more and more of their citizens 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000, that starts to change the calculus. people have asked over and over again, what's the end game? how can you possibly win? i can't win. there's no way i can win or any elected official can inwith. the only way we can win is if the american people win. that's it. people ask what's your end game? it is very simple. i have faith in the american people. and ultimately i have faith -- or at least hope -- in the 100 members of the u.s. senate. listen, i hear the frustrations of americans across this country. that prig politicians on both ss of the aisle don't listen to the people. that instead the political establishment in washington protects itself, maintains its power, entrenches its power, does things like exempting itself from obamacare while letting the american people suffer under this nightmare.
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but i also know at the end of the day that if enough people speak up, that every member of this body at some point is compelled to listen to the constituents he or she represents. that's why i'm so encouraged by the outpouring we have seen over the last 19 1/2 hours, all of the people engaged, all of the people tweeting tweeting the ha, "make d.c. listen." the citizen activists that are transforming this debate, listen, all of washington wants to tell you the citizen, can't be done. you cannot win. your view will not be listened to. the disaster, the train wreck, the nightmare -- and i use the word "nightmare" over and over again. let me be clear where that comes from. nightmare is not my term. nightmare is the language that
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james who have farks the president of the teamsters -- that james hoffa, the president of the teamsters, used because it is hurting millions of men's. now, at some point, i believe, i hope that republicans will unite and the democratic senators will start listening to their people. you know, it is striking, if you listen to the letter from mr. hoffa -- and, mr. president, with permission, i'd like to share that letter again because i think it is powerful, it is potent, it is something that frankly i think every democrat in this body who is supporting obamacare, who is opposing deif --who is opposing defunding obamacare, who is going to vote with the jocialtion i think -- e majority leader, i think every democrat should be asked about this letter. these are not my words.
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these are the words of the president of the teamsters. "dear leader reid and leader pelosi, when you and the president sought our support for the a. cree a., you pledged if we liked the health plans we have now, we could keep them. sadly, that promise is under threat. right now, unless you and the obama administration affect an equitable fix, the a.c.a. will shatter not only our hard-erned health benefits but destroy the foundation of the 40-hour workweek that is the backbone of the american middle-class. " that's not a republican saying that. that's not a politician saying that. that is the head of the teamsters. who supported obamacare. the letter din continues, "our members are frontline workers in the american economiment we have been strong supporters of the notion that all americans should have access to quality, affordable health care. we have also been strong
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supporters of you. i remind you this letter is addressed to majority leader harry reid and house minority leader nancy pell low sivment "in campaign after campaign, we have put boots on the ground, gone door to door to get votes angz raised money to secure this vision." so it is worth emphasizing the teamsters are not fair-weather friends. they have been active, aggressive, full-throated members of the democratic coalition and played a significant part in helping elect this democratic majority in the senate, helping elect in president. now this vision -- "now this vision has come back to haunt us." the vision of electing democrats in the senate, electing the president. why? because obamacare is the law of the land and they're discovering it isn't working. what does he say next? "since the a.c.a. was enacted, we have been bringing our deep
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cernes to the administration, seeking rrnlg regulatory independences to the statute that would help prevent the destruction of nonprofit health plans. as you both know first hand, our persuasive arguments have been disregarded and met with a stonewall by the white house and the pertinent agencies." let me stop at the point and make a comment. for awful you it the home -- for all of you at home who are not leaders of powerful unions that have been major supporters of the president of the united states, major supporters of the democratic majority in the senate, my guess is, for those of you at home, you may not have the same access to the west wing, to the oval office, to the office of the majority of the united states senate, that james hoffa of the teamsters does. yet james wh hoffa says in writg that he was met with a stonewall by the white house and the
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pertinent agencies. listen, if a major union that in his own words was boots on the ground, went door to door to get out the vote, raised money to scwiewr thsecure the quement vit do you think we the citizens will -- what do you think a single mom who says obamacare is slamming me and making plief harder, how do you think this administration listens to you if even the politically powerful are lamenting what's happening with this law? mr. hoffa continues, this is especially stinging because other stakeholders reitedly -- repeat lid received successful interpretations for grievances. most disconcerting is last week's huge accommodation for the employer community extending the statutorily mandated december 31, 2013 deadline for the employer minute and


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