Transcript for Ted Cruz, Harry Reid Spar on Senate Rules
I would certainly support. Health Care Reform. -- increases competition that increase is free market alternatives that lowers. The rate. Of health insurance that is available to people by. Allowing interstate competition creating a national marketplace. But in my view any Health Care Reform. Should empower individuals in patients to make health care decisions in consultation. With their physicians. Not having a government bureaucrats getting in between them and their doctor and NF let me finish -- the the remainder of -- Points. -- -- -- He has told the story of Judy and I do think we should have reforms to address -- circumstance. But over the course. Of the last many hours we have read scores if not hundreds of stories. -- a small representation of the thousands or millions of people that are losing are in jeopardy of losing their health insurance right now. And they have to be balanced in this equation as well. And Obama care. It's causing people all over this country to lose their health insurance. Or be at risk of losing their health insurance and I am sure. If our promulgate the question of the senator from Illinois -- want all of these people who are losing their health insurance to lose their health insurance all of the names that I -- I'm sure you would -- now but. To date. Nolan on the democratic side of the islands proposed any way to fix that -- make his second point. And -- and have a third point and then if the senator would care for another question I'm happy to to do my best response. The second point. Senator from Illinois made a reference to. -- not needing to be in first class. But being content to be in coach. I like that analogy is a powerful one but what it really highlights. Is the special exemption that's been put in place for members of congress. Because President Obama has put an exemption. In place for members of congress that says members of congress will fly first class to use your line analogy. Average Americans who are being forced onto exchanges where their employers can't subsidize their premiums are not even flying coach they're being put in the baggage compartment. And I will -- I agree with the intent in the spirit of senator Grassley amendment. To obamacare that was adopted -- as part of the law that the president is disregarding. Which is that if we're gonna force millions of people lose their health insurance be forced into these exchanges. And we should have skin in the game congress should not be treated any better than the millions of Americans were forcing on in the exchanges. The point is let me make my third point -- -- -- -- to two to yield at that point for question. The third point is is twice. I have written -- course of this debate. The letter from mr. Hoffa the head of the Teamsters. Now. I assume. Senator from Illinois has read that letter in fact I expect the senator from Illinois has had direct conversations with the author of that letter and I don't know that. And I would. Asked the senator from Illinois. Number one. Has he read that letter. Number two does -- think mr. -- telling the truth. A number three in particular. Does he agree with the following paragraph on behalf of the millions of working men and women we represent -- the families they support. We could no longer stand silent in the face of elements of the Affordable Care Act that will destroy. The very health and well being of our members along with millions. Of other hard working Americans and south. My question is did do you believe mr. as telling the truth when he says that -- itself. There's a democratic majority in this body. And any plans any proposal any amendments to fix that problem for what mr. -- describes as millions. -- working men and women whose health care won't be in the word he uses an. -- -- -- -- I would happily. Welcome both senator from Illinois. -- -- of Texas from this dialogue. First class health care. Let me tell you who has first class helped clear care. The senator from Texas has first class health care the senator from Illinois -- first class health care. You -- members of congress members of the senate and the house under the federal employees health benefit program the best health insurance in America. We fly first class. Our employer of the federal government. As it does for every of the federal employee pace of revenue 2% of the monthly premium. 150 million Americans have that benefit or employer pays some share of ours pay 72%. We're lucky we're fortunate so our families and so -- staff. What what you're sitting in abolishing Obama care. You don't want -- fly first class you -- what other people to get on the plane. Fifty million Americans have no health insurance and you want to abolish the opportunity through the marketplace. For them to buy affordable health insurance for the first time in their lives for many people. That's what it comes down to. Don't say you want members of congress treated like everybody else if you work currently under the federal employees health benefit program -- -- ask -- senator crews. Or you currently when her family covered. By the federal employees health benefit program which includes a 72%. Employer contribution. From the federal government. For your family's health care protection. I appreciate the senator's question but I will. And -- the senator's question when the senator first. Answers three questions I asked him on a glitch the senator has chosen to answer -- -- have you read mr. Buffett's letter. I will do you agree with that paragraph do you think he's telling the truth. And what if anything -- the democratic majority report to do this about millions of working men and women. Whose health care according to mr. Hoffa is being just strolling. Because I would -- the -- from -- all right. Made an allegation impugning -- motives saying that I wanted fifty million people to be denied health -- let me be very clear. That statement is categorically false I want a competitive marketplace. Where health care is accessible as a -- all. Where it purchased across state lines -- it's personal words portable and more people have jobs so they can get health insurance and Obama care. -- is what's denying health insurance to millions of Americans and if you don't take my word for it. I assume you did not contend that mr. -- is being -- And truthful and would like to respond to that. If this were courtroom and you're an attorney once practiced law myself I -- -- your honor. The witness refused to answer the question about his very own health insurance policy now let me address the issue about mr. -- I've been approached by many labor unions. Some of them have Taft Hartley plans some of them have trust fund plans some have multistate plans. And they indeed provisions made in obamacare reluctant -- what their specific circumstances. Under the ordinary course of legislative and congressional persons over the last three years we would have addressed these anomalies. In the obamacare program. -- We can't get anyone to come to the table from your political party. 42. Or 43 times the house Republicans. Have voted to abolish obamacare. Not once have they proposed sitting down to work out. Any differences. Were cut any problems within the law I've heard do that I told. The labor unions including mr. -- saying I know the administration feels the same but unfortunately those who were opposed this plan. What it to descend into chaos they want as much confusion as many problems as possible they don't want to work to cover. The fifty million uninsured in America what you just described -- that you could sign up for frankly is obamacare. We're talking about a marketplace you know how many companies will be offering. Health insurance. In the state of Texas. Under the Obama care plan. You make sure -- get the script. It's my understanding at least 54 plants are going to be offered in the state of Texas 54. Choice and -- marketplace. For the first time ever for many people who were stuck with one plan or can't get into any plan. Let me ask you this question as we get back to this point. Do you still believe that we should abolish that provision obamacare -- that he can't discriminate. Against people with preexisting conditions who apply for health insurance. I'm I will answer that question since I have not yielded -- -- like to make it broader point after that -- and hold -- colloquy and I'll point out why which is that we're operating at some time constraints I want to do what you asked of detailing the unanimous consent request I want -- promulgate that you in the majority leader may consider them and I also want to be respectful. About senator Grassley and senator sessions who have been waiting to speak in new and I have engaged in multiple. Exchanges both now and earlier I wanna be respectful of the other senators on the floor. So what would let let me answer your question I believe we should repeal every word of obamacare I think it is failed I agree. With James -- Then on behalf of millions of working men and women. And the families they support. That of the Affordable Care Act will destroy the very health and well being of our members along with millions of other hardworking Americans and so I think we should. Repeal it I think we should be funded in the interim this is not a fighter repealing it through the fight over to funding it. And that I think we should adopt free market plans. To. Lower prices make health care more affordable make it portable and and allow it to go with individuals now. How the senator answered that question whether his family is protected by the -- -- administered. Federal employees health benefit program the best health insurance in America where his employer the federal government. -- -- 2% of his monthly premium will the senator from Texas for the record. Tell us now and those who watch this debate whether he is protect. -- -- thank you I'm eligible for -- and I'm not currently covered under it and let me note. But the senator from Illinois embrace the analogy and said yes and congress have first class health care we -- another you're analogy you want to stick -- In coach class and what senator Grassley is a -- it was all about -- you know what you stick it. It close coach class. Guess what members of congress are going back and -- that you and I may disagree I don't think duties in coach class I think she's down in the baggage claim but regardless -- -- -- -- your hypothetical. On your hypothetical. You're conceding. But the congressional health care plan right now is better than -- under obamacare. And you are saying that you support a special exemption for members of congress the -- doesn't get. And I agree with senator Grassley amendment that we shouldn't be forcing millions of Americans and the coverage that we're not willing to experience now. I recognize there. The passion of this of the senator but I would note that I had not yielded the floor. And I would like to describe. The unanimous request briefly describe it -- requests. That I would like to promulgate and and I would ask. The assistant majority leader the majority leader to confer with my staff and simply let me know if these these requests would be amenable or not. I'm not promulgating -- of them at this time because I don't want a surprise leadership staff without giving it time to consider them. The first unanimous request. That I would propose to problem. Is a request. That we initiate the cloture on the motion to proceed that is scheduled this afternoon. And agreed by unanimous consent to proceed -- this bill. To my knowledge I'm not aware of any senator in this body that. Opposes proceeding to dispel I think all of us agree we should proceed -- this bill -- keep the government -- some of us think we should keep the government open to defund obamacare others think we should fund it. But to the best of my knowledge no one disagrees. So with the majority is amenable I would propose officiating the cloture request and simply agreeing. To the motion to proceed. That would be the first unanimous consent request -- would promulgate if it is agreeable to majority. The second unanimous request. -- I would promulgate. Is it. The second one I would. -- if that's agreeable to the majority is as I understand on the timing if all of the delays are are put in place. Cloture on the bill would be scheduled to occur on Saturday. Now in my -- In order to defeat cloture on the bill you know I want to defeat cloture on the bill that it's no secret. I think the best chance to defeat cloture on the bill is for this vote to be visible for the American people. Highly visible. And so accordingly I would be amenable to shortening the time for post cloture debate. -- that that vote on cloture on the bill occurs on Friday afternoon rather than Saturday now why is that. Because I think Friday afternoon a lot more American people are gonna pay attention to what we're dealing that a vote on Saturday. During football games when people are paying attention to other things now that may or may not be amenable to majority. But if it is we can shorten this time by a period because I think we have a better chance of prevailing in this fight if that vote. -- note the majority leaders here so I don't know if he heard the initial. Unanimous consent which if it is amenable to the -- to the majority leader. We would negotiate the language with him and promulgate so the first one that I offered. Mr. later and -- not yielded the floor but I'm describing during my time on the floor. You sees that I would promulgate if -- the majority would be amenable the first would be to initiate the -- requested simply agree on the motion to proceed because. To my knowledge everyone in this body agrees we should proceed this bill although we have sharp disagreements -- -- we should -- The second you see if it's amenable. To the majority. That I would -- -- and I think the majority leader heard this as he was walking him. Is to agree to shorten the time oppose cloture debate such that cloture. On the bill would occur Friday afternoon rather than Saturday and the reason -- and I'm being very transparent about my reasoning. I think it is better for this country if this vote is at a time that is visible for the whole country. So that the American people have a voice and I think sticking it on Saturday in the middle football games. This serves that object. And then the third request. That if the majority leader would be -- mean. Well I would I would put forward. As I understand it under the rules of the senate and some 35 minutes. My time will be automatically cut off as a new legislative day begins. And the begins with a prayer. When I started. This filibuster. Yesterday afternoon I told the American people. That I intended to stand until I can stand -- more. And I will -- to the majority leader although I am. Leery. There is still at least strengthen my legs to stand. A little longer. So the third thing I would simply ask is if the majority would consent to allow me to speak. Until the conclusion of my remarks and then begin the next legislative day and have the prayer at the conclusion of those remarks. The majority says not. Then my time -- and then. Now under the rules of the senate so it is entirely up to the majority whether to let -- continue to speak or not but given that. I began by saying I'll speak to -- stand no more. I believe I should at least ask. If those. Consents are amenable and I would note that under the rules of the senate. If the majority leader cares to ask the question I can yield for a question and which. He might share his views -- if the majority leader wants to think about it to discuss it. With his staff. Then I would note that the majority leader could simply convey to my staff if any -- Any or none of those -- -- are amenable if none of them are that is fine and -- will -- at him. Majority lead. These are concerned that. Targets for me a deal -- consent has been -- management Matt madam president. There's been outstanding from Texas. -- just want to clarify have the flora haven't yielded Florida anyone. Neither the majority leader or any other member has a right of recognition right now. The majority leader wish his finance committee yield for a question and -- might yield for that limited purpose but other than that. No -- hands. As the -- by understands. The rules of this body correctly so this senator's current. So I make that -- -- the majority leader would care to ask a question I would be amenable to yielding for a question but -- the majority leader would not that is certainly his prerogative and I'm happy to continue. Talking about the issues that this debate has focused the country on because -- are issues of incredible importance. To work on -- -- of America. Without -- question. Very well. That matter president and I would simply -- to the majority leader if those unanimous requests. Are amenable I would ask that his staff convey that to my staff and if they're not I would ask that is -- and made it to my staff simply so we know which way to proceed. Regardless. I want to make sure before we wrap up because I assume now -- 31 minutes we will be included. I want and I want to yield to senator Grassley and in just a moment because I don't want to miss I apologize that are aggressive but I don't -- miss the opportunity within the limited time to do something that is is imperative. That -- that that idea of which is to thank the men and women. The living do word this this baton death march. And and I and I wanna take a little bit of time to thank my name I wanna start by thanking the Republican floor staff and cloak room I want to thank Laura -- For horror. Fairness. For her dealing with. Crises and passions on all sides and for her effectiveness in the job. And this is an interesting occurrence to occur -- early in her job and I thank you thank her for her service I want to thank Robert Duncan. Patrick Patrick kill Kirk Chris -- Megan Mercer Mary Elizabeth Taylor and Amanda Faulkner. I want to thank democratic floor staff and cloak room I want to thank Gary -- Tim Mitchell -- angle. Meredith melody -- Tinsley hit sequoia Delgado Brad witness Stephanie -- down. I want to thank the clerks and parliamentarians I want to thank. The capitol police I want to thank the sergeant at arms and the secretary -- of the senate employees. And the parliamentarians Elizabeth McDonna. Lee held Brandon Michael -- the legislative clerk Kathy Alvarez the journal scouts and burned the bill clerk Marion Clarkson. The daily digest Elizabeth stratus the enrolling clerk -- -- -- chief reporter Jerry -- -- congressional record. Sylvia Oliver tam Garland Desi your adult bright there Doreen -- -- Julie Brian Patrick Ramsey Mark Stuart Wendy -- as well and Riley Patrick Boyd. Mary carpenter a patio. -- -- us captioning Joseph Allen -- and Jim Hall Sandra showroom. So the sergeant at arms the secretary of senate employees the senate pages many of whom I may have caused you guys to miss school and I appreciate you all enduring this. And all of those who work in the capitol complex. I want to thank my entire staff many of whom have been here all night have been been here. And after this -- proceeded I intend to enter their names in the record but I will not read them at this point in the chamber. I want to thank. Democratic senators who presided. Senator Baldwin senator mention senator Warren senator Donnelly Senator McCain senator Murphy senator Schatz senator Baldwin again senator Don link. -- senator Durbin senator -- can't consider marking. And I want to thank. The Republican senators. Who have spoken in support of our efforts. Senator sessions senator rubio senator Paul senator in half senator enzi senator Roberts senator Vitter. Very soon senator Grassley I want to thank the house members who have come over senator of -- represented a -- represented -- brown. Representative Hudson I want to make special note of representative -- -- who was here the entire night in touring this. I want to make -- point particularly to the floor staff and everyone yelled at -- this. I appreciate the hard work and diligence going through the night that's not part of your typical -- -- responsibility. We would not I would not have imposed on your time and energy if -- if I did not believe this was an issue of vital importance to the American people but I want to thank you. For your hard work and diligence and cheerful -- Through what has been a very long night. And I want to thank. Second to last. Senator Mike -- Senator Mike Lee began this -- Senator Mike Lee has been here -- Throughout the course of this battle. Senator Mike Lee has been always cheerful always focused. Always ready to march in to battle and always focused on the ultimate objective. Which is serving the American people. -- standing and fighting to stop the train Iraq. The nightmare the disaster that is Obama care. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for senator -- principle first courage for his bravery under fire. And I feel particularly honored. The services -- they can to consider him a friend. Last I want to thank the American people I want to thank. People all across this country this watched on C span the tweeted that -- that have been involved in this process. Because this is ultimately about the American people and what this whole fight is about. Is whether this body to democratic senators in the Republican senators. Will change the broken ways of Washington and start. Listening to the people. That's what this fight is all about with those thank -- which I apologize but I felt obliged to can conclude before 12 o'clock when my time will be. Cut off by forced. I would note at this point senator Grassley had had wanted to ask question. And and -- Pete -- if he asks to be. I'm prepared to yield for a question -- senator Grassley wishes to ask me yield for a question. Present. The majority leader I ask. My friend from Texas. Two. Yield to me without losing his right before for colloquy. With that with the senators -- yield. With the reservation that I do not lose lose the right to the floor I'm happy to to engage in a colloquy with the majority leader. And our president. First of all. This is not a filibuster. This is an agreement that he and I made that you could -- Out when we say yes. We're gonna have a vote about 1 o'clock. After that it's over we'll follow the rules the senate put my goal he has. To get this to the house -- -- senate as quickly as possible. I think a lot of this time has been. Without -- but what's transpired at this point I would hope that we could collapse -- -- dramatically. And move forward so -- the house over tenant can get what we're going to send back to them. You know there's a possibility. And now they may not accept what we send them mourners made me want. To -- something back. If we use all this time under the rules is that now exists. Event I decided not -- my right to the floor I was amenable to a college -- but the majority leader is giving a speech and given that. As I understand -- the majority -- is not gonna consent. To extend the time I have 24 minutes and so I'm not only my -- -- might top my time on the floor since I have not yielded my time on the floor. I could get asking consent agreement with -- -- with my friend. His intention. There there is objection -- and I'm I'm sorry I cannot be be asked to. Consent to an unnamed consent agreement and given that the majority leader as I understand it is not gonna consent to extend my time that let me say quite simply -- the majority leader. But I will yield. Time to you for a question. When the majority leader is prepared to yield to the American people but I'm not going to yield prior to that. Because senator Grassley and senator sessions and center in half are waiting to speak. And I believe they are endeavoring to listen to the American people and if the majority leader is going to cut off and muzzle us and another 24 minutes. Then at this point I don't feel it is appropriate to allow the majority leader to consume that time. And and so I will. Note to any of the senators. Who are here if anyone would care to I -- -- number you were waiting to ask questions and I'm prepared it to yield. For a question any of you. I have a less -- I'd like to ask my friend from Texas. Senator from Texas -- -- -- Wednesday morning. Without losing. I will yield for a question without yielding floor. From between 12 and 1 o'clock. What my friend. Yield to Senator McCain for fifteen minutes of that time. That question is asked but it will not prove necessary absent. Consent that I promulgating and I'm assuming that would not be acceptable majority is Mike Tomlin then. So there's nothing left to yield because as I understand -- on the senate rules when the new legislative day begins in the prayer begins my time so. With that. He has the right to talk from 12 to 1 o'clock I'm asking. Consent yes but he allowed during that period of time. Senator McCain to speak for fifteen minutes. Under my understanding my time. Expires at noon and apps in the consent to extended I will honor the senate rules that allow -- time to expire. And there's nothing deal. -- senator sessions are standing if he cares to. We -- president -- for the senator yield for a question. I will yield with a question without yielding -- says. I'm the majority leader pat McEnroe not. -- parliamentary inquiry must not present. Does the senator from Texas -- for parliamentary inquiry. Given that the majority leader has cut off part time in twenty minutes now -- I'm sorry I do not. The parliament majority leader was welcome to come down any time in the past morning hours and ask parliamentary inquiries -- questions any time I would note it. That senator Durbin did so Senator McCain -- -- other senators did silent at this point our time is expiring and I want to allow. Other Republican senators who have appeared in and I asked to ask questions to have the opportunity -- -- -- matter president. The majority leader -- -- question to my friend from Texas. Does the senator yield fair question. I will yield for one more question without yielding the floor here's a question. You seem to not understand that you have after the prayers -- at 12 o'clock you have. -- -- 1 o'clock. During that period time my question was because you still have the floor would yield fifteen minutes of that John King. It is my intention. -- the consent request that I asked has not agreed to. To accept the end of this at noon under the senate rules. I understand thank you very much. Matter president. As -- energy content -- for quests -- -- I'm happy to yield for a question without yielding the floor. Thought down with the very gracious question that our offer -- unanimous consent. That -- -- we would initiate the vote and thirty hours. Debate. And you ask very little. In exchange for and continue our -- -- Talk. And I don't let me briefly clarify last nothing in exchange that. But the none of those were contingent on each other those -- three independent unanimous consent requests which are simply. The majority leader wanted to consent to any of those -- those were not it wasn't an offer of course trade it was simply. I think all three of those make sense I think anyone of the three of -- make sense if he chooses to reject -- all that's that's his prerogative and that's fine. I was just suggesting we not waste this body's time. -- -- -- Well. To follow up on that then it's -- remain there what you -- saying would offer would be an opera there -- it. Most everyone here will be pleased to receive and it sent out unless. -- have some. Surreptitious. Motive. In addition. I think your request. You ought to be allowed to continue to speak is reasonable I think you've learned -- ride that asks that you now. Spoken. And American people all watching. Fourth longest time out leaving a filibuster are just. Four time has been held by senator I think that's a perfectly reasonable request to allow you to continue to. Expressed the concerns that you've expressed. On so I'm somewhat. Taken aback that it was an agreed to and to just again -- Must make clear -- it would seem to mean little if any reason. That they would object of that majority would object of that. Well I thank my friend from Alabama. And and I would note that that. Unfortunately I'm not surprised. That that none of those consent -- taken -- about the first two could sense. -- one would think would be quite amenable and yet. Look throughout this debate the problem has been the majority. Does not want to listen to the American people and doesn't want to debate front of the American people. Particularly about the merits of obamacare they don't want to talk about how Obama cares failing millions of Americans they don't want to talk about how. Millions of Americans are losing their jobs are not being hired that a lot of talk about how millions of Americans are facing. Being pushed -- part time work they don't talk about how millions of Americans. Are either losing their health insurance. Or at risk of losing their health insurance. And so this process is all about sadly. The democratic majority not listening to the American people. And the whole purpose of this filibuster. Was to do everything we could to draw this issue to the attention of the American people so the American people could be heard at the American people speak. Was sufficient volume. I continue to have confidence. That this body but the senators on both sides of the aisle have no choice but listen.
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