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Public Statements

Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012--Motion to Proceed

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CORKER. Madam President, this is a great Nation.

I was interested to hear the comments of our two leaders today, and I am saddened, as are all of us here, regarding the news of Ambassador Stevens and three other hard-working public servants who represent us. We are a great Nation. This is a great Nation. People such as those individuals demonstrate the exceptionalism of Americans all around the world.

That is why it saddens me to come to the floor today, on the eve of hearing about whether the Federal Reserve, which will decide tomorrow, is going to print more money. Our markets are volatile each day, trying to figure out and read the minds of what our central bankers are going to do. Two days ago I spoke with one of our leading administration officials--someone whom I respect greatly--who had just attended a meeting in the Asian area where Christine Legarde was speaking to a small group of folks. She is the head of the International Monetary Fund. She stated that the real difference in how the world is going to evolve over the next short term and how the economies of the world are going to react is based upon whether people in Europe and people in the United States of America are going to rise up and deal with the problems they have internally.

I look at what is happening on both sides of the Atlantic, with central bankers printing money to buy debt of great nations--nations that have evolved, that are sophisticated, that are democracies. They pave the way for other cultures to evolve and develop economically themselves. Yet we wake up in a world where because politicians in Europe and politicians here in the United States of America have not risen to deal with the fiscal issues within their own countries, the central bankers are left in a situation where they are printing money and buying debt in order to move a crisis further away from the day we now live in.

I know the majority leader talked about negotiations that are taking place regarding sequester and I know everybody in this body has been involved in some meeting of some kind to deal with the fiscal issues our Nation faces. I realize that over the next 60 days there is likely nothing that we as a body are going to do. I understand that. I don't think anyone in America expects that is going to happen over the next week and a half. We will figure out a way to move out of here and hopefully not do any damage to our country.

What I hope will happen is when we come back after the election, during a lameduck session or shortly thereafter, all of us will get serious about dealing with our Nation's fiscal issues. The majority leader spoke to the economy. I want our economy to do well. I want citizens in Tennessee and New York and all across our country to do well. Yet what we have done over the course of the last year and a half or so is passed silly little bills that have nothing whatsoever to do with sustaining a long-term economy, and we find ourselves again waking up on the eve of finding out whether the Chairman of our Federal Reserve is going to print more money to buy our debt to make it less painful for us and cause us to be in a position where we put off making the tough decisions. I hope the Federal Reserve Chairman tomorrow is going to show the humility he needs to show, that monetary policy has its limits, and it is up to us now to do our job.

So I am saddened today about the news of some wonderful public servants having lost their lives. I wake up every day with a tremendous sense of privilege to serve in this body and to represent people such as those who died, who are living in tough circumstances around the world, to make sure that all of us here are safe. I hope what will happen in this body is that Republicans and Democrats alike will honor the sacrifices, as we honored them yesterday and we today solemnly think about, that people make around this world on our behalf to keep us free and safe, and that we as a body, Republicans and Democrats, are going to rise and do the things we need to do to put in place a real fiscal reform package that will not rely upon the sugar of the Federal Reserve, but that we will do the things we need to do to create a sustained economy.

I believe--and I think most people in this body know it when they think about it--we are one fiscal reform package away from being able to focus on being a great Nation--we are a great Nation--but to be able to focus on that. When we look at where we are as a country, with the tremendous energy resources that 2 years ago we didn't even realize we had in this continent; when we look at the technology breakthroughs that are happening in this great country; when we look at the pharmaceutical breakthroughs that are happening and saving lives around the world, we are one reform package away from putting this problem in our rearview mirror and focusing on the greatness of this Nation.

So, again, I know we are not going to do anything over the next week and a half and we are not going to do anything over the next 60 days. But I hope Senators from all around this country and House Members from all around this country will come back after this election and have the courage that has been demonstrated so often by so many Americans to make the tough choices that are necessary to put our fiscal woes behind us, to cause this economy to grow, to allow the standard of living of Americans to rise and, candidly, to help lift hundreds of millions of people around this world out of poverty. That is what people are depending on. It is an embarrassment to find ourselves in this position where we are being diminished around the world, because people are looking at us--the great example to the world of free enterprise and limited government and democracy--and knowing that we don't have that courage today.

So I am hopeful we are going to come back and deal with these issues, we are going to do it in a bipartisan way, and then as a Nation we can continue to focus on our greatness and we can help not only uplift our own citizens through economic growth but help continue to be a beacon to the world.

I yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum.


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