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Public Statements

Concurrent Budget Resolution on the Budget, Fiscal Year 2014

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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The amendment (No. 514) was rejected.

Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote.

Mrs. BOXER. I move to lay that motion on the table.

The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

AMENDMENT NO. 273

The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is now 2 minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment No. 273, offered by the Senator from Maryland, Mr. Cardin.

The Senator from Maryland.

Mr. CARDIN. Madam President, this amendment would set up a deficit-neutral reserve fund.

I ask unanimous consent that Senator Heinrich be added as a cosponsor of the amendment.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

Mr. CARDIN. It would improve the oral health care for our children who are Medicaid-eligible. We still have major problems. The majority of our children who are Medicaid-eligible have untreated tooth decay, which affects their general health.

Let me respond to my good friend from Alabama, Senator Sessions, and tell him why this amendment will not add to the deficit but will save us money.

I will give the example of Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old who died in my State of Maryland from untreated tooth decay. He needed an $80 tooth extraction. Instead, we spent $ 1/4 million dollars in unnecessary operations and he lost his life.

This amendment gives us a chance to find ways to save money in order to expand oral health for our children, and I urge my colleagues to support the amendment.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama.

Mr. SESSIONS. Madam President, I thank Senator Cardin for his hard work. He is correct that oral care for children is important. It does require that it be paid for if a new program is advanced.

I suggest a voice vote.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.

Mrs. MURRAY. Madam President, hearing no opposition, I suggest we have a voice vote on it.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. If there is no further debate, the question is on agreeing to the amendment.

The amendment (No. 273) was agreed to.

Mrs. MURRAY. I move to reconsider the vote, and I move to lay that motion on the table.

The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

AMENDMENT NO. 373

The PRESIDING OFFICER. Under the previous order, there is now 2 minutes equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment No. 373, offered by the Senator from Utah, Mr. Lee.

The Senator from Utah.

Mr. LEE. Madam President, under this budget, by the year 2020 we will be spending more every year on interest on our national debt than we spend on our national defense. This is alarming and ought to be a concern to every one of us. This amendment creates a point of order that would address this problem and all similar problems in the future with other budgets that have the same defect.

While we are on this note, I would like to add that I am concerned about the amendment process. I heard from our majority leader a few minutes ago a statement suggesting that he might cut off debate, cut off the amendment process--this after he promised us at the beginning of the week that there would be unlimited amendments. And he repeated that phrase twice.

It is imperative that we finish this job. Each of us was elected to do a job. Each of us deserves to have our amendments called up. We have no business taking a 2-week vacation until we have gone through every amendment that any Senator from either side of the aisle wants to present.

Thank you.

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Lautenberg

The amendment (No. 702) was rejected.

Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I move to reconsider the vote and to lay that motion on the table.

The motion to lay on the table was agreed to.

AMENDMENT NO. 673

The PRESIDING OFFICER. There is now 2 minutes equally divided prior to a vote on amendment No. 673, offered by Mr. Lee.

Mr. LEE. Mr. President, my amendment would establish a point of order for any piece of legislation brought before this body that would undermine the sacred right protected by the second amendment to bear arms. It is important that we safeguard this right so the government doesn't intrude upon it. That is why I have introduced this amendment, and I urge my colleagues to support it.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.

Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I raise a point of order that the pending amendment is not germane. The underlying resolution therefore violates section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974.

The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.

Mr. LEE. Mr. President, I move to waive section 305(b)(2) of the Congressional Budget Act for the consideration of the pending amendment No. 673 pursuant to section 904(c) of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, and I ask for the yeas and nays.

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Mr. LEE. Mr. President, the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Program was established to compensate local taxing authorities, such as counties, for the tax revenue lost due to the presence of Federal public land. Unfortunately, the funding for this program has never been offered to the degree necessary that it would, in fact, offset this revenue. In States such as mine, where most of the land is owned by the Federal Government, this is a big problem because our taxing authorities are not able to get the revenue they need from this land. As a result, programs ranging from public education to fire and safety programs--the basic services of government--are not able to be met because of inadequate revenue.

This amendment seeks to ensure that funding for the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Program is at least roughly equivalent to the actual lost property tax revenues due to the presence of Federal public land. I urge each of my colleagues to support this amendment.

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