Page header for Floor Updates
Floor Updates for Thursday, December 11, 2008

Floor -- Senate Opening

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 11:01 AM

Senate Opening




The Senate is convened.  


Floor -- Reid

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 11:09 AM



Opening Remarks


Senator Reid: (10:02 AM)


·         Today --


o    We will have one hour of morning business.


o    We will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to H.R. 7005.


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "this is, in effect, the white house's legislation. there was a decision made that the minority would not participate in the preparing of this legislation, but the white house was heavily involved. negotiations took place for days between chairmens frank and dodd and the white house and we now have a piece of legislation. some have asked, well what we want is to set up a procedure where we have lots of amendments, and then we'll ultimately vote on the final version. mr. president, i think it's only fair, if the minority, the republicans, want to have a better bill, then they should offer an alternative. and i invite them to do that."


o    SUMMARY "what we will do is just we have under the rule we can have a motion to proceed to this thing tomorrow. and if the republicans want to come and say, well, you know, you haven't allowed us any opportunity to offer amendments, that's what's taken place for the last two years, and look what it got the republicans. lost seven or eight senate seats, lost the presidency. we want to legislate. we're doing the very best we can to do that."


o    SUMMARY "i've received a number of phone calls from republicans today saying, i have just the thing that needs to be done to make this a great piece of legislation. well, i would hope, mr. president, they would be ready to do that. if not, we'll have a vote tomorrow on a motion to proceed to h.r. 7005."


Floor -- Corker, Isakson, Inhofe

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 11:36 AM



Morning Business


Senator Corker: (10:14 AM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "all of us are going to be here next year, and i think it's our responsibility to deal with this issue in a professional, in a competent manner and actually solve this problem. i want to say to all of my colleagues on both the left and right, on the democratic and republican sides, we have an historic opportunity to actually solve this problem, and i think the solution is very, very simple."


o    SUMMARY "i felt like the best way for us to solve this problem was to actually cause these companies to go through reorganization, and any role that we might play as the federal government would be in the way of debtor in possession financing. after listening to the testimony and after talking to people all across our country that are involved, i do believe that the supply chain is in great distress. i think they're undercapitalized. i think that three companies have already been utilizing the supplier chain for financing by carrying payments for lengths of time. and so i think the supply chain is very fragile"


o    SUMMARY "we've drafted a bill as if we're saving the world. we're talking about three companies alone -- actually, two companies today alone and three covenants can solve this problem, put them on a solid foundation, move them ahead. we will have done the right thing for the american taxpayers. we will have done the right thing for these companies, and we would have acted responsibly together in concert doing something that, again, is great for our country"


Senator Isakson: (10:30 AM)


·         Responded.


o    SUMMARY "i want to thank the senator for all the work he has done over the last two mojtses. is it not true that almost all of those conditions in those three conditions you outlined were in whole or in part verballably contemplated by the automobile makers in terms of what it was ghg to take to allow them to come back and be profitable in the first place?"


Senator Corker: (10:31 AM)


·         Responded.


o    SUMMARY "their financial advisors have told them that they need for us to craft this legislation this way so that they have the hammer they need to make the bondholders reduce their debt, so that they can be healthy. without this kind of hammer, nothing is going to happen."


Senator Inhofe: (10:32 AM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "we just passed through this thing by a huge margin, 75-24. i was one of the 24 who voted against the $700 billion billout. wee but we passed it through by a huge, huge margin. this is something so much more than the $14 billion. where was all this concern, where was all of this outrage when we were talking about $700 billion? so we watched it and we saw that we gave the secretary of the treasury all the money that he was asking for, and then we find out that the amount of money that he was -- what he's going to use it for, wasn't used for that at all"


o    SUMMARY "why we now believe that government bailouts and government ownership of shares of these companies without a clear idea of what these companies would do significantly alter their business models and at least until well into next year is going to be a successful mission. i don't know why we think this because it hasn't happened. hasn't happened successfully before"


Floor -- Ensign, Vitter, McConnell

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 11:57 AM



Morning Business


Senator Ensign: (10:57 AM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the big three should not view chapter 11 as some sort of death sentence. instead, they should see it as the best opportunity to put themselves on the same competitive footing with companies like toyota and b.m.w. venerable companies in america, such as macy's and continental airlines, have filed for chapter 11 and have emerged as stronger, more viable companies"


o    SUMMARY "wouldn't it be better to have an spesht like a bankruptcy court judge oversee the process? not only would a bankruptcy judge have more tools than a a car czar, but the judge would not be influenced by the political process. a bailout would invite all sorts of meddling from lawmakers to have the companies carry out their own pet policies, and we should not be using this bailout as a vehicle to implement domestic social policy."


o    SUMMARY "we have come back to talk about saving just three companies. why aren't we considering pro-growth policies to help the larger economy? we should be considering long-term, pro-growth tax cuts rather than searching for ways to spend more of the taxpayers' money."


Senator Vitter: (11:11 AM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "i restate that commitment for one very simple, very compelling reason: because so much is as stake, because we need to get it right, because millions of individual workers and families and, indeed, all of us, through our economy, will suffer the consequences of our not taking appropriate action. so, mr. president, again, let me be clear. i'm not trying to block this package in spite of job losses that would occur if this companies went down. i'm trying to block this because of that in light of that"


o    SUMMARY "that's getting things in the right order, nailing down that essential restructuring now before any taxpayer dollars go out the door. a second alternative that i could support would involve a formal bankruptcy process. a lot of folks make the argument that bankruptcy isn't an option. consumers will never buy a car of a company in bankruptcy. they don't know if the warranty will be there or will be good six months or a year from now. well, we can fix that problem"


Senator McConnell: (11:25 AM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "now the american taxpayers are being asked to put their money behind a plan that is aimed at helping these companies survive. republicans received that plan late yesterday morning, about this time yesterday. we reviewed it closely to see if it meets the criteria that i've laid out repeatedly for taxpayer protections and an effective strategy for securing the long-term viability of these companies. in the end, i concluded that it does not."


o    SUMMARY "i've already enumerated some of the weaknesses in the plan, but in the end its greatest single snraw that it promises taxpayer money today for reforms that may or may not come tomorrow. and we would not be serving the american taxpayer well if we spent their hard-earned money without knowing with certainty that their investment would result in stronger, leaner automobile companies that would not need additional taxpayer help just a few months or weeks down the road. we simply cannot ask the american taxpayer to subsidize failure."


Floor -- Boxer

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Morning Business


Senator Boxer: (11:35 AM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "we are not taking up this auto rescue plan in normal times. if it was normal times, that would be one thing. i wouldn't be that sympathetic to the big three. in normal times. i've had my arguments with them since the 1980's. i think they're fighting california and the 19 other states that want better fuel economy is a huge mistake on their part. and i don't want to reward them for that. but i have to tell you, when you look at the times we are in, you recognize that we need to bridge these troubled times right now, bridge these troubled times with a loan so that we can take a look at this when we have a new president, we have a new congress, and frankly when we begin to see a light at the end of this tunnel, which i believe is going to come when our new president comes to us in january"


o    SUMMARY "we would be the only industrialized nation in the world not to have a domestic auto industry. so when i hear my colleagues say, well, i don't like this little sentence here or that sentence there, i understand that. believe me, there's a lot of things in these bills that i don't like at all. unparalleled since the great depression, do we want to leave here and risk the chance that we could wake up without a manufacturing base in our great nation? and i say the answer is no"


o    NOTABLE "with what we know about the state of houtsing, of -- of housing, of construction, of the number of people filing. this is the christmas season. my goodness, let's take a chance on this. let's take a chance on this."


o    SUMMARY "i don't have a great deal of sympathy for the management over there who was responsible for this. they didn't take the lead on research and development of advanced-technology vehicles. they put too many of their resources into gas guzzlers. they ignored signs that their future success would depend on an ability to adapt to a changing business climate with"


Senator Barrasso: (12:31 PM)


·         Spoke on water well contamination in Cheyenne, WY.


o    SUMMARY "it just makes sense to us and the cause is clear. given these findings, it is time for the army corps to provide the funding the city needs to manage and to complete the country clean up efforts."


Senator Nelson-FL: (12:38 PM)


·         Spoke in honor of Senator Warner.



Floor -- Whitehouse, McCaskill, Levin, Warner

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 02:29 PM


Morning Business


Senator Whitehouse: (12:50 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "some means of restructureing requires due process if they involve adjusting people's rights and claims. when we fail to provide that process, we unilaterally disarm government's response taking away its ability to restructure using those means. the price of this repeated omission has been high."


o    SUMMARY "now we have the auto bailout plan with its provision for a car czar. but, once again, it lacks a role for those due process powers of government. once we're committed to this deal, once we're in, the only tool we will have at that negotiating table is uncle sam's checkbook, that happen and the somewhat improbable threat to walk away and tank the auto companies after having put $15 billion into them. so now we'll have to negotiate about the companies continuing lavish executive and board compensation packages and other obligations impeding a fair and rational recovery. and as for looking backwards at preexisting obligations, as we say in rhode island, forget about it. that requires due process."


o    SUMMARY "the effect of all of this is to encourage special interests to play the holdout in the auto negotiations and dare us to tank the companies. it's going to be a high-stakes game of chicken. and no matter who wins, the taxpayers lose."


Senator McCaskill: (1:23 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "citigroup had gotten $50 billion; which we checked open their private jets? which we checked on their c.e.o. compensation? have we checked on their work rules and whether or not their workers are given enough flexibility? it is unbelievable to me we are setting this double standard. the thousands of jobs and families that build great american cars don't deserve this incredible hypocrisy in terms of the different treatment they're getting. what's good for the good is good for the gander"


o    SUMMARY "we are not hurting for qualified applicants for the federal judiciary. is it fair they have in the gotten a cost of living increase? probably not. but what is more unfair, what is a lot more unfair is to give somebody with a lifetime appointment, great health care, no cut in pay when they actually retire -- what's really unfair, mr. president, is to give them a pay raise on this day in this bill at this time. it's not the right time. and if it's in the bill i regrettably would have to vote against this piece of legislation because i feel so strongly that it sends the wrong message"


Senator Levin: (1:29 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the facts that i've just shared about improved quality and more fuel-efficient vehicle and alternative-energy vehicles being produce bid the big three may not be readily accepted by people who have beliefs that are to the contrary. but one fact is indisputable and will hopefully influence some who are opened to argument: auto industries around the world are seeking to support -- the support of their governments through loans and other methods and are getting it."


o    SUMMARY "the continuing relationship between the big three, the domestic auto industry and our u.s. army vehicle program. we all look back, some of us nostalgically to what detroit did during world war ii. that's the past. there's a present which is critically important in terms of the security of this country. some have pointed out the need to have a manufacturing base in order to quickly expand in the case of need and that is a powerful argument, a national security argument for keeping our big three auto industry around the way that the other countries keep their auto industries around."


Senator Warner: (2:08 PM)


·         Responded.


o    SUMMARY "i would hope this nation would never again be faced with a serious problem as was in world war ii; namely that we let our armed forces get down to very small levels and the equipment was old and tired. you remember the pictures they used broomsticks to practice maneuvers with and model t automobiles were used as tanks. that reflects the potential of not just the companies themselves but the workers and how quickly they took their knowledge and their skills at hand to wing -- swing into action and produce the war materials we needed quickly. today our military is much stronger, well-equipped thanks to the distinguished chairman and other who have served with us on that committee but i think the likelihood of our nation requiring that enormous buildup is not, hopefully, not there but nevertheless we should remember that chapter"


The Senate stands in recess until 3:00 PM.




Floor -- Baucus, Grassley, Bunning, Reid

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 05:43 PM

Morning Business


Senator Baucus: (4:34 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "in the past, congress has voted to shut down that tax shelter, and this week i sought to offer an amendment to strike the provision from the bill. but i have been prevented from offering that amendment. that this provision will remain in the bill makes this bill a far less attractive measure."


o    SUMMARY "we must remember this is an auto bill we're dealing with here. not a transit bill, not a bill to reinstate tax shelters. this is an auto bill. adding this provision in the bill weighs down the auto bill and makes passage that much more difficult. we should not forfeit the opportunity to bolster our automotive industry by cluttering the bill with unrelated and controversial proposals. there will be a proper time and place for everything, but this is neither the time nor the place to divert attention from the immediate task that is correctly an appropriate way, and i'm not sure this bill does it, in helping automakers. this provision has no business in the auto bill."


Senator Grassley: (4:45 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "this tax provision has no business being in this bill. there is a provision then in this auto bailout bill that deals with a number of transit agencies that assisted corporations in tax shelters. this provision in the auto bailout bill has nothing to do with automakers. it would prop up a tax shelter that senator baucus and i shut down in the year 2004."


o    SUMMARY "the internal revenue service has been working to recover money from these deals and if this tax shelter bailout were to pass, it would interfere with the working of the i.r.s. in these efforts to collect this money that should never have been deducted in the first place."


Senator Bunning: (5:02 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "much like the other bailouts we have passed, those bills rely on hopes and promises of future actions and do not require serious concessions. and those bills do not address the immediate problems facing the industry which is a lack of funding for car loans and dealer floor plans and many other related things. while the detroit manufacturers were forced to come to congress for aid at this time by the economic crisis, their problems are not just the result of problems in our current financial markets."


o    SUMMARY "what is needed is a serious restructuring of the companies that bring their cost in line with the cost of cars made by manufacturers like honda and toyota and their capacity in line with the true demand for new cars. not an artificially inflated demand of the last few years."


o    SUMMARY "if the majority allows you vote on senator corker's amendment i will support it. if the amendment is adopted to the senate version of the bill, i will support passage. if the majority blocks any minority amendments as they have done for nearly the entire congress, i will oppose the bill and any cloture motions. i will go ahead and state for the record that if the corker amendment passes and the bill becomes law i will oppose any and all attempts to weaken its requirements."


Senator Grassley: (5:12 PM)


·         Spoke on the upcoming confirmation hearing of Eric Holder.


o    SUMMARY "we haven't even gotten mr. holder's questionnaire, nomination materials or f.b.i. background investigation yet. the judiciary committee members just sent a letter to the justice department and the clinton library requesting documents relating to issues that mr. holder was involved in during his tenure in the clinton justice department. once we get these materials and once these documents come to us, it will take some time for committee members to review them. while it isn't unprecedented for the judiciary committee to hold a hearing prior to the inauguration of a president such as one held by, for former attorney general john ashcroft, there are significant differences"


Senator Reid: (5:18 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "there's good-faith negotiations on going on as we speak. the last i heard is that they would have something completed by 5:30. but i kind of smile when i say that, mr. president, because in the years i've spent here in the senate, sometimes i don't know if they're referring to 5:30 -- 10 minutes from now -- or 12 hours and 10 minutes from now. but they said 5:30."


o    SUMMARY "i think it's pretty clear that there's no need to vote on the house measure because it's pretty clear there aren't enough votes to pass that. but those decisions we'll make shortly. and i think that what we're going to be voting on is a series of competing alternatives. there's not going to be an opportunity to offer a lot of individual rifle shot amendments to these different proposals, but i know that a number of senators have one proposal, we have the one that we've talked about that we thought we would vote on today, and then we have the bipartisan issue that is being worked on right now."


o    SUMMARY "we hope to have some votes before the night's out. if everything falls apart, then we would be left -- we would be left with having a cloture vote on the democratic version that -- we can do that regardless whether or not we work something out or not. that would be tomorrow morning as soon as -- as early as we wanted to come in. but hopefully that's not the resolution to this because that may not be the best way to solve the problem of detroit"


Senator Baucus: (5:29 PM)


·         Propounded a UC that the Senate call up, read three times and pass H.R. 7327. (without objection)



Floor -- Kyl, Whitehouse, Coburn

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 06:41 PM

Morning Business


Senator Kyl: (5:35 PM)


·         Spoke on the upcoming confirmation hearing of Eric Holder.


o    SUMMARY "i see no reason why, if he is qualified -- and if he is confirmed -- that he could not take office very soon after the president himself takes office, perhaps as early as a week or two after that. so nobody is talking about a long, long, long delay. but we do need to have adequate time. and in that regard, since the chairman of the judiciary committee has indicated that he would like to begin holding the hearings on january 8, which is literally right after we begin the swearing in of the new members and the beginning of the next session, that's just not adequate time for the kind of things that have to be done, if that's the date that we meet."


o    SUMMARY "i don't know whether this controversy is sufficient to suggest that he should not be confirmed, but that's what the investigation and the hearings of course are all about. we're familiar with what these items are. he was involved in the pardons of members of the falm organization by president clinton, the pardons of pincus green, susan rosenberg and linda sue evans. he was involved in the very controversial raid in miami by the border patrol agents to take young elian gonzales into custody. he had been involved in the death penalty approves and rejections and other disputes and one that troubles me and i really want to get to the bottom of this, is the justice's department's decision not to defend the congress to enact 18 u.s.c. 3501, the dickerson case vs. u.s. and it included department of justice responses to judiciary's inquiries on the subject of u.s. attorneys and department advisory panls ! on the matter."


Senator Whithouse: (6:04 PM)


·         Spoke on the upcoming confirmation hearing of Eric Holder.


o    SUMMARY "we have had nominees for attorney general come through the process. and throughout that long span of time, the average time between the announcement by the president of his choice for attorney general and the nomination hearing, the average amount of time has been 29 days. and the average amount of time until a committee vote has been 37 days. so that's the background. if you average over 30 years, from the announcement, 29 days to the hearing, 37 days until the vote. the schedule that chairman leahy has proposed is 39 days to the hearing and 50 days to the vote."


o    SUMMARY "i think it is in all of our interest as americans to make sure that his choice is honored in a reasonable time frame so that when the president takes office, he has an intact team. certainly with the attorney general as such an important part of the president's national security team in this time of national security concerns, he should have an intact team"


o    SUMMARY "with respect to the concern that there is a lot to look at in eric holder's history, well, you know, every lawyer -- every lawyer who is experienced and active enough in the profession to be acandidate to be attorney general of the united states has got a long history to look at. that is a given."


Senator Coburn: (6:15 PM)


·         Spoke on the upcoming confirmation hearing of Eric Holder.


o    SUMMARY "but i can tell you that the information that we've re requested, both from the clinton libraries and others, won't be available to us to peruse and to study. and may, in fact, in the long term end up voting for mr. holder, but i'm not about to do anything less than a very thorough job"


o    SUMMARY "we will not allow a vote to occur until we have thoroughly, to each member of the judiciary committee satisfaction, have examined the record and had the questions answered that are going to need to be answered with regard to some of the events that have taken place during late in the clinton administration."


Senator Whitehouse: (6:25 PM)


·         Responded.


o    SUMMARY "i just would hope that the one or two red flags that he has mentioned are not such as to justify necessarily extending the period between nomination and confirmation hearings more than two weeks beyond what the senate gave for other nominees"


Floor -- Sessions, Carper

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 07:13 PM

Morning Business


Senator Sessions: (6:26 PM)


·         Spoke on the upcoming confirmation hearing of Eric Holder.


o    SUMMARY "i believe that senator specter is justified in asking that this hearing not start so soon. president obama's not in office -- will not be president. president-elect obama will not be president at that time. he's talking about starting it january the 8th and that is very early. and members of the committee have sought a bunch of record documents that are quite appropriate to be requested. and they've requested those and they need to be looked at because there are some questions that are going to have to be looked at"


o    SUMMARY "the president of the united states with the positive recommendation from then deputy attorney general holder gnted -- granted that pardon. of course we know through some method, mark rich or he or people close to him had been a very substantial contributor to matters important to the clinton -- to president clinton personally. this was not a good deal. i got to tell you that was not a good deal"


Senator Carper: (6:40 PM)


·         Spoke on the upcoming confirmation hearing of Eric Holder.


o    SUMMARY "we look forward to receiving the nomination and having full hearings and fair hearings so that this nominee can defend himself, present his case and present his credentials to us. i hope what the senior department of justice official said to me about this nomination, a brilliant choice, will, indeed, prove to be the case"


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the two positions that we're looking at here, one is position negotiated if you will, by the white house and by chairman dodd and others in the senate that says we want to put in place a car czar, sort of like a trustee, almost like a bankruptcy trustee, whose job it would be to work with the stakeholders -- labor, management, lenders, bondholders, dealers and others -- to ensure they make the kind of sacrifices and reductions that will lead to making g.m. and chrysler more vibrant and more competitive when the economy recovers and people start baying cars, truck -- buying cars, trucks and vans again. that is what the administration is proposing and what senator dodd and others have negotiated. on the other side we have friends on the republican side in the senate who believe it is appropriate for the senate almost to sort of stipulate the conditions of this shared sacrifice, almost for the senat! e to serve not exact but kind of like the bankruptcy judge, almost to be the car czar itself and to put those changes in legislative language. so that's sort of the two positions where we are and we have been at a logjam for much of the day and i'm encouraged there is still good will on both sides and a lot of folks have been involved"


Senator Sessions: (6:53 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the best way for the big three automakers to reorganize, come out lean and aggressive and competitive, was through the reorganization procedures in chapter 11 of the united states bankruptcy code that so many companies have taken advantage of over the years. it is what we would say in the senate the regular order. it is what happens when companies are not able to make all their debt obligations and payments. they seek protection under chapter 11. and the court has a desire that those companies be successful. they continue to operate. the people are not laid off. they're not liquidated as under chapter 7 of bankruptcy. but every effort is made to cause the company to be able to survive and to eliminate the burdens and legacy costs or other problems they have that are pulling them down and making them noncompetitive"


Floor -- Reid

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 08:35 PM


Morning Business


Senator Reid: (8:27 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the negotiation team broke up for purposes of having senator corker who has worked since 2:30 which morning on a compromise to see if we can get this legislation over the finish line. it's my understanding he is making a presentation to the republican caucus as we speak to see if they will accept his compromise"


o    SUMMARY "i am hopeful that we can finish this matter tonight. i don't know what the odds are that republican caulk will accept the work done by senator corker and others but we should know soon. i'm sorry that it is 8:30 at night and i know people -- i receive add call from a senator who has been here since early this morning and wishes to leave and come back tomorrow. there are other senators who have flights early in the morning to go other places that they would hope we could finish tonight"


o    SUMMARY "we democrats believe, that christmas season we don't need to pile on -- if we're not able to work something out -- 2.5 million people are going to be directly impacted and millions of others will be impacted. so this is christmastime. i hope we can give the american people a gift of hope that we're going to wind up with an automobile manufacturing industry"


Floor -- Reid, McConnell, Dodd, Corker, Shelby, Stabenow

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 10:55 PM

Morning Business


Senator Reid: (10:08 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "people have worked very hard. i believe everyone's worked in good faith. i'm terribly disappointed that we are not able to arrive at a conclusion."


o    SUMMARY "i've been extremely impressed with bob corker of tennessee. now, we were able to -- based on his good work to arrive at something we could get enough republicans to agree, but he did some wonderful work. and i think the work he did is going to pay dividends next year. because even though this is a real -- my personal feeling, a loss for the country. we are not going to be able to do something."


Senator McConnell: (10:15 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "none of us want to see them go down but very few of us had anything to do with the dilemma that they've created for themselves. and so the question was: is there a way out? and the administration negotiated in good faith with the democratic majority a proposal that was simply unacceptable to the vast majority of our side because we thought it, frankly, wouldn't work."


o    SUMMARY "he has diligently pursued an agreement that could pass, that could enjoy broad support on both sides. and he has made great progress in that direction. the sticking point that we are left with is the question of whether the u.a.w. is willing to agree to a parity pay structure with other manufacturers in this country by a date certain."


Senator Reid: (10:20 PM)


·         Propounded a UC that at 10:40 PM all time be yielded back and the cloture vote to proceed to  H.R. 7005 occur. (McConnell objected)


Senator Dodd: (10:20 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "at a time of great economic peril, when the confidence and optimism of our country is at risk, we run the risk over these days of watching this industry disappear. the blow to the american consciousness and confidence and capability is beyond economic terms if that occurs. now, i pray this evening that will not happen. no one can say with absolute certainty it will, but we have been warned, we have been cautioned by those whose jobs it is to analyze this industry that have told us that could happen"


o    SUMMARY "out of the three issues, we agreed on 2 3/4 but unable to come to closure on this one, which, frankly, in my feeling was a political issue not an economic one. we're not dealing with suppliers or anyone else. the only group we've asked this of are the work force. no one else in this bill is required on a date certain to meet any other obligations"


Senator Reid: (10:28 PM)


·         Propounded a UC that the vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to H.R. 7005 occur at 10:45 PM. (without objection)


Senator Corker: (10:29 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "what my colleagues would like to ny date in the year 2009 -- any date -- any date, just when will we actually get there and i think what we have offered is incredibly reasonable. i think there is a way for us to get there. i still do. there are an awful lot of bright people in this room. this is an important issue. we have solved everything substandively and about three words keep us from reaching conclusion tonight. again, we offered any date in 2009. we weren't able to get a definitive date."


Senator Shelby: (10:32 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "these aren't the general motors, ford and chrysler i knew but we all in america will benefit by competition. of course i come from the south where we have a growing automobile industry but there are 300 million people in this country, the largest automobile market in the world. there's no reason for general motors, ford and chrysler not to be competitive."


Senator Stabenow: (10:33 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the reality is, our national defense and our economy and the middle class of this country are hanging in the balance by this vote. shame on us if we walk away cavalierly thinking we can do this another time. now is the time. people are watching. not just in michigan but all across the country. businesses large and small. families and their homes. retirees who have done nothing but work hard their whole life and now want to know that their pension or their health care as part of something that they worked for all their life, is protected. this is about whether or not we're going to make a commitment to the middle-class and a commitment to american manufacturing."


Floor -- Vote Results (Cloture on H.R. 7005)

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 11:08 PM



Automobile Bridge Loan H.R. 7005




The vote results was 52-35, the motion to invoke cloture


on the motion to proceed to H.R. 7005 fails.




(Vote results will be posted here within an hour.)




Floor -- Senate Stands Adjourned Sine Die

Thursday, December 11, 2008 at 11:52 PM



Morning Business


Senator Reid: (11:08 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "we're going to be in a receivers pro forma sessions, and likely we'll be doing no more work until after we come back after the reconvening of the new congress. i appreciate everyone's work the past many hours. i've already given my remarks in that regard"


Senator Dodd: (11:09 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "many people who in this country owe a great debt of gratitude to these people who worked so tirelessly on their behalf but never get the credit and the recognition they deserve. so this evening, i thank them, thank them immensely for what they've done. and we'll be back another day to fight again. and my hope is to make a difference for people in our country."


Senator Reid: (11:12 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "i look forward to the next year. we -- we really need a productive year. our country's in big trouble. we have so many things happening to us, individuals, that it's -- doesn't matter where you look in america today, there's very little good news economically. and what happened today is not going to help that"


Senator Boxer: (11:15 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the american people said they wanted change in the senate and it is not here yet. and i think it was proven tonight by this vote. and the american people will see who stands with the middle class of this country and who doesn't; who cares about working people, and who doesn't by this vote tonight."


o    SUMMARY "we did get a major vote so the message to mr. paulson is, listen to that. more than 51 people here voted to give a chance with a bridge loan so i hope mr. paulson, that you are watching this and i hope you'll do it and then welfare have our new president and our new senate and our new house we can get back to work."


Senator Durbin: (11:19 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "the united auto worker whose represents most of them have already reached an agreement that as workers are bought out and retire, newer workers will come in at a lower wage scale so eventually their workforce will have a lower wage. but it won't work to the disadvantage of current workers. that's the plan. but the republican side of the aisle rejected that and said you have to bring down their wages now. think about that in this economy: think about that at a time when most american families are struggling, struggling to pay utility bills and gasoline when it goes up high and all the other costs of living that we face"


Senator Specter: (11:29 PM)


·         Spoke on the auto bailout.


o    SUMMARY "i want to comment about where the responsibility lies for failure to invoke cloture to move this bill forward and my hope that we would avoid fingerpointing and trying to assess blame each on the other side as it has become the pattern in this body during the course of the last two years in the 110th congress and beyond. the senator from illinois said there were not sufficient votes on the republican side of the aisle. well, there were sufficient votes on the republican side of the aisle had they been joined with sufficient votes on the democratic side of the aisle"


Senator Durbin: (11:45 PM)


·         Responded.


o    SUMMARY "i want to salute my colleague from pennsylvania for joining us in voting for cloture. he was one of 10 republicans who did this evening, senators bond, brownback, collins, dole, domenici, lugar, snowe, specter, voinovich and warner, the vote required 60 votes, it had 53. the senator of pennsylvania took exception to my characterization earlier that the republicans could have done more and could have passed that."


·         Performed wrap up.


The 110th Senate stands adjourned stands adjourned sine die, with periodic pro-forma sessions.




Quotes that appear in "Floor Updates" are taken from the Senate TV Close Captioning System and are not official record. For the official transcript, please visit the Congressional Record. Records are typically updated by 11 am the following day.

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11:09 AM
Floor -- Reid
12:52 PM
Floor -- Boxer
08:35 PM
Floor -- Reid