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Public Statements

Health Care And Education Reconciliation Act Of 2010

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mrs. McCASKILL. Mr. President, we have had a lot of that childhood story we all learned of ``Chicken Little.'' We have had a lot of Chicken Little around this building in the last few months: The sky is falling, the sky is falling. You know, I woke up this morning, I looked up and the sky was not falling. Every day that goes by in America people are going to realize the sky is not falling. In fact, as time goes on that sky is going to get bluer and brighter because people in America are going to realize this bill is not full of booby traps, it is full of good things that will reform health care.

I rise this afternoon to take a couple of minutes to talk about a new low of obstructionism, taking game playing to a whole new level. In 10 minutes I was supposed to convene a hearing on the contracts for police training in Afghanistan. This is a very important part of our mission in Afghanistan, the training of local police departments. There was a witness who was going to be there from the State Department, a witness there from the Defense Department, the Inspectors General were going to be there.

Just last week GAO wiped out a contract that had been let on police training because of problems in the way the contract was competed. So this hearing was timely and it is important. We cannot succeed in Afghanistan if we do not have effective police training. These contracts are problematic. The State Department is supposed to be overseeing them. We have hundreds of millions of dollars not accounted for.

So what do I find out this morning? The Republican party is not going to let us have the hearing. What in the world? Why in the world are we not being allowed to work this afternoon? Why in the world are we not able to ask questions at a hearing in a few minutes as to why the police training is not going well in Afghanistan and how we can do better?

Our men and women are over there and they are at risk if we do not get this right. I don't get it. I don't get what the purpose of saying no is. I don't get what we accomplish. We are sent here to work. We are paid by the people of this country to work. The idea that I had to call these witnesses and say go home because the Republicans will not let us have a hearing--somebody has to explain this to me. Disagree with us, debate, vote no--but let us work. I implore you: Let us work.


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