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[Congressional Record: October 27, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S11263-S11269]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []

                          DIFFERENT APPROACHES

  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I listened to the distinguished Senator 
from Idaho and the distinguished Senator from Nebraska, and I would 
like to say that there is a real difference between the two candidates 
for President. I think we in America can say that the candidates 
running for President and Vice President are decent people. Their wives 
are good people. I know them all very well. The differences between 
them, however, are really stark.
  I believe if you compare the Bush and Gore economic programs you will 
find that the programs of George Bush have much more justification than 
the other side.
  We all know that these comments about reducing the national debt are 
just a front. We haven't seen that happen since 1994 when the first 
Republican Congress in decades took over.
  The year 1994 was the first time in decades that we controlled both 
Houses of Congress and since then we have balanced the budget three 
times. We have paid down the debt $361 billion. By the end of next year 
it will be $\1/2\ trillion. That would not have happened had it not 
been for the first Republican Congress.
  I remember as a Member of this body in 1994 when the President 
submitted the budget for $200 billion in deficits well into this 
century. President Clinton said at the time that nothing could be done, 
there was no way we could have anything but those deficits for at least 
10 years.
  Of course, we have shown that good fiscal discipline can literally 
balance the budget. I have to say what we are in right now is a mess. I 
think it will take George Bush and Dick Cheney to straighten it out. 
One of the things I like about George Bush so much is that he picked 
Dick Cheney, who, without question, is head and shoulders over most 
people who have served in Washington. Cheney is bright. He is extremely 
intelligent. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a lot of experience. 
He is honest to a fault, and he is straightforward. He is just the type 
of a person we need in government today.
  When you have a $4.6 trillion projected surplus, it is pretty clear 
to me that taxpayers are being asked to pay too much in taxes. Frankly, 
Bush's approach is to set aside $2.3 trillion for Social Security; he 
has $1.3 trillion to give back to the taxpayers and use the other $1 
trillion to pay down the national debt.
  In order to have a $4.6 trillion surplus, we better pursue a wise 
economic approach. This economic approach has reduced the marginal tax 
rates from 70 percent down to 28 percent in 1986, and reduced capital 
gains from 28 percent to 20 percent 3 years ago. We had to think 
seriously about balancing the budget during our battles for the 
balanced budget amendment. But the first Republican Congress in decades 
managed to balance the budget. And we also had a wonderful head of the 
Federal Reserve in Alan Greenspan, a Republican, who basically has done 
miraculous work. There is no question that Secretary Robert Rubin did a 
good job and helped to stabilize world markets.
  In all honesty, if we want to keep this economy going, we have to 
realize that marginal tax rates have jumped from 28 percent in 1986 up 
to over 40 percent today. Of course, they are still 30 points below 
where they were when Ronald Reagan took office with double-digit 
inflation and double-digit interest rates.
  I hope the American people realize we have to have a change in 
Washington or we are going to go back to the old ways of deficits, high 
interest, and high taxes.
  I might also add that I get tired of this 1 percent business. Let's 
face it, the top 1 percent of those who pay income taxes pay almost 35 
percent of the income taxes in this country. The upper 50 percent, 
which comprises people with incomes over $27,000 a year, pay 96 percent 
of all taxes. The bottom 50 percent pay around 4 percent of all taxes. 
Naturally, Bush wants everybody who pays taxes to receive some benefits 
from having done so. Those who earn less than $35,000 a year are going 
to have a 100-percent reduction in most cases. Since the average wage 
in Utah is $37,000, it is easy to see we are going to have a lot of 
people in Utah benefiting from the Bush tax cuts. If you make $50,000 
or less, you

[[Page S11265]]

have a 50 percent or a 55 percent reduction in your tax burden. At 
$75,000, you have 25 percent.
  I felt it necessary to make these comments because the differences 
between the two candidates are stark. I think both candidates are good 
people. Vice President Gore and his wife Tipper are good people. There 
is no question that Governor Bush is a very good person, and his wife, 
Laura, is a wonderful person.
  The difference is philosophy. It is time for us to get the country 
going in the right direction. That is my view.
  Mr. President, I make a few comments to discuss a matter of great 
importance to immigrants and to all Americans.
  President Clinton has repeatedly threatened to veto the Commerce, 
Justice, State appropriations if it does not include his proposals for 
immigration amnesty for undocumented aliens, or in most cases, illegal 
aliens. He calls it the Latino Immigration Fairness Act.
  The CJS conference report does far better than the Latino fairness 
bill that the President is advocating. This CJS Report includes 
provisions that will restore fairness to immigrants from all countries, 
including hundreds of thousands of Latinos. The CJS bill contains a 
proposal carefully crafted by myself and others and we call it the 
Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, the LIFE Act. Our proposal has at 
its foundation a simple goal--to take a much needed step toward 
bringing fairness to our Nation's immigration policy by reuniting 
families and helping those who have played by the rules. Our proposal 
does not pit one nationality against another, nor does it pit one race 
against another. Our legislation provides relief to immigrants from all 
countries involved.
  By contrast, the Clinton-Gore proposal would grant a blanket amnesty 
to millions of undocumented aliens--many or most of whom have broken 
our immigration laws. It also picks out specific groups of immigrants--
namely, Central Americans--for special treatment. Unlike the Clinton-
Gore proposal, our plan does not provide relief to those who have 
violated our laws at the expense of those who have played by the rules. 
Instead, it restores due process to a class of immigrants wrongly 
denied the ability to apply for residency nearly 15 years ago and 
expeditiously reunifies husbands, wives, and children of resident 
aliens. In other words, legal aliens.
  It is important to bear in mind that at the same time the 
administration wants to grant amnesty to millions of people, it cannot 
even tell us how many people are waiting in line to come here legally. 
The administration's best guess on the number of immigrants waiting in 
line--a figure which is nearly four years old--is that over 3.5 million 
people are waiting to immigrate to the United States. Over 1 million of 
these applicants are spouses and children of permanent residents, that 
we take care of in our bill. The others we will look at, but not in the 
context of this bill. No; instead, the administration proposes to move 
to the front of our immigration lines those who have violated our 
immigration laws.

  That doesn't seem right to me. We have to focus our efforts on 
helping reduce this backlog in addressing any legitimate due process 
issues. Our proposal does these things to accomplish these goals. The 
first part of our LIFE Act creates a new form of visitor visa for 
spouses and children of permanent residents. Our plan puts our Nation's 
resources behind reuniting families, instead of processing amnesty 
applications. Eligible applicants would be allowed to reunite with 
their families residing in the United States, and work legally while 
awaiting a decision on the merits of their petitions.
  Our proposal would allow approximately 600,000 over the next 3 years 
to come to the United States legally, ahead of schedule, to be reunited 
with their immediate families.
  Second, the LIFE Act further strengthens family and marriage by 
permitting spouses of U.S. citizens married outside the United States 
to obtain visas allowing spouses to enter the United States to await 
immigrant visa processing. Before the Clinton-Gore White House proposes 
that we give residency to those who have broken our minimum immigration 
laws, shouldn't we first be in the position of letting the wives of our 
citizens into this country, those who are legal?
  Third, the LIFE Act restores due process to immigrants who are 
wrongly denied adjustment of status because of an INS administrative 
  My proposal allows the late amnesty class of 1982 to pursue their 
legalization claims under the original terms of the 1986 Act. We 
restore fairness to this group of individuals that has spent over 10 
years in litigation.
  This portion of the LIFE Act would assist approximately 400,000 
immigrants in the class of 1982 who have played by the rules and now 
deserve the chance to legalize their status in accordance with law. Our 
proposal is strongly supported by those who lived through this 
litigation and fought against the Clinton administration's INS for 
fairness--not the political interest groups that would prefer to divide 
our country over this issue. Members of the class of 1982 prefer our 
solution to the administration's. One member of the class recently 

       We urge President Clinton to now call upon his INS to lay 
     down its arms, to stop its decade-old battle to block our 
     legalization, to comply with the numerous court orders we 
     have won.

  In short, our LIFE Act will help close to one million people who have 
been treated unfairly by our nation's immigration laws.
  But Republicans have not stopped there. We recognize that there is a 
serious need to reform the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 
both its mission and its structure. We have complaints all the time 
about it. It is time to reform it. The INS should offer better service 
and a culture of respect for our newest Americans. Many Republicans and 
Democrats have worked hard toward promoting these broad goals.
  Although we have yet to receive any written or formal response from 
the administration concerning the LIFE Act, we have presented the White 
House with language that says we should hold hearings and consider 
legislation that addresses the backlogs in applications for lawful 
permanent residency, furthers keeping families together, and addresses 
whether there are worker shortages in different sectors of our economy. 
Further, we have proposed that the Attorney General prepare a report to 
Congress no later than March 1, 2001, addressing facts relating to the 
administration's proposal.
  Why do we need a report? Well, before the Congress is asked to 
proceed to grant separate treatment to different nationalities, or 
consider a blanket amnesty, I think it might make some sense to know 
how many people would be covered by the proposal. We have repeatedly 
asked for such information from the administration--they have yet to 
provide it. Let's be clear: the Clinton-Gore administration cannot even 
tell us how many people will be covered by their proposal. Why can't 
they tell us? Either they do not know the answer or they do know the 
answer but don't want the American people to know it. They would rather 
play politics with this issue.
  I have no objection to seriously considering immigration reforms 
during the next Congress. I am chairman of the Republican Senatorial 
Hispanic Task Force. I have worked very hard for Latinos throughout our 
country--frankly, throughout the world, and will continue to do so. But 
such major reforms should not be pursued in an election year rush to 
create wedge issues that divide, rather than unite Americans. Real INS 
reform requires that we proceed in a responsible way, after we know the 
  Unfortunately, the President appears not to care about the facts. If 
he did care, he would not threaten to veto this important bill since a 
veto jeopardizes funding for some of our most crucial government 
  This chart shows just some of the many programs funded by the CJS 
appropriations bill--programs which the President threatens to cut off 
funding for with his veto. The CJS appropriations bill allocates $4.8 
billion for the INS. If those funds are cut off by that veto we are 
going to be in a bigger mess on immigration then ever before, as bad as 
some think INS is. It contains an additional $15.7 million for Border 
Patrol equipment upgrades. How will President Clinton explain to 
Americans that he wants to shut down the INS and Border Patrol in order 

[[Page S11266]]

force Congress to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens? What 
kind of a message does this send to the men and women of the Border 
Patrol who risk their lives doing their job each and every day? I would 
note that the Border Patrol officers oppose his amnesty proposal--or 
should I say the proposal of those on the other side.
  This appropriations bill also contains $3.3 billion for the FBI, and 
$221 million for training, equipment, and research and development 
programs to combat domestic terrorism. How will President Clinton 
explain to the families of those killed in the U.S.S. Cole bombing that 
FBI agents may have to be brought home because he has cut off funding 
for the FBI in order to grant amnesty to millions of undocumented 
aliens who violated our immigration laws?
  This appropriations bill contains $4.3 billion for the federal prison 
system and $1.3 billion for the Drug Enforcement Administration. How 
will President Clinton explain to the American people that funding for 
Federal prisons and drug enforcement and drug interdiction will be put 
at risk because he wants to grant amnesty to millions of people who 
have violated our immigration laws?
  We do not even know how many millions because they will not give us 
the figures. I suspect the reason they will not give us the figures is 
because it amounts to more than 4 million people.
  Let me just put another thing up here. At the end of this Congress, 
we got into an awful bind that threatened to stop us from reauthorizing 
the Violence Against Women Act--for which we allocate $288 million. 
This is the Biden-Hatch bill. We passed it 6 years ago, as I recall. It 
has worked very well to help Women In Jeopardy Programs, legal aid for 
battered women and children, and a whole raft of other things to help 
cope with the problems of violence against women. This all goes down 
the drain if the President vetoes this bill. It is a matter of great 
concern. Like I say, this bill allocates $288 million for the Violence 
Against Women Act Program, legislation that I strongly supported and 
helped to break free at the end of this Congress.
  Does President Clinton want to cut off funding for assistance to 
battered women and their children in order to grant amnesty to millions 
of illegal aliens? It does not sound logical to me. I know we are weeks 
away from an election. I also appreciate the desire of the Clinton-Gore 
White House to play wedge politics. But I feel it is incumbent upon me 
to note this White House, indeed, some White House officials involved 
in this immigration effort, have a pretty poor record when it comes to 
letting political motivations cloud their judgment on matters, 
important matters of public interest and public safety. Let's not 
forget how the Clinton-Gore White House granted clemency to convicted 
FALN terrorists in order to, in their words, ``have a positive impact 
among strategic Puerto Rican communities in the U.S. (read voters).''
  The White House consciously targeted Puerto Rican voters and, it 
seemed to me, under the worst of circumstances and in the worst way.
  Actions have consequences. If President Clinton vetoes this bill, he 
is putting the public safety and well-being at risk, both at home and 
abroad. He is doing this all in an effort to play wedge politics. The 
President's veto threats ring especially hollow because this 
appropriations bill provides many proposals to help immigrants. The 
President himself has stated that he wants, ``to keep families 
together, and to make our immigration policies more equitable.''
  This is exactly what my LIFE Act does. In order to get that done, I 
have had to bring together people with all kinds of varying viewpoints, 
from those who do not want any immigration changes at all to those 
others who do not care about immigration.
  I believe in the Statue of Liberty. I believe this is a country that 
ought to be open for legal immigrants.
  I believe we ought to do everything in our power to solve these 
problems. I am willing to hold hearings right to see if we have not 
covered some of the problems that need to be covered. More than 1 
million people are going to be covered by the LIFE Act. We have been 
able to bring together both Houses of Congress, as far as Republicans 
are concerned, and I think a lot of good Democrats when they look at 
this will be very impressed that we have been able to get this much 
done. I cannot go beyond that because there are people who just will 
not go any further.
  I am willing to commit to holding hearings right after the first of 
the year to determine what else needs to be done. I am not prepared 
today, without all the facts, without hearings, without knowing where 
we are going, to grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens and put 
them on the list ahead of those who need their spouses and families to 
be brought together.
  When we fought these matters on the floor, there was a lot of anguish 
and whining by some on the other side that we were not taking care of 
families and children. I said we would try to do that and we have done 
  This bill does more than the President's bill, and it does it legally 
in the right way, giving preference to the people who have played by 
the rules rather than those who have not.
  Most Americans descend from someone who came to this great country in 
the hope of pursuing a better life, in the hope of fulfilling the 
American Dream. I believe the American Dream is still alive and that we 
in Congress should try to serve as its custodians. For this reason, I 
believe it is not right to penalize families and to disadvantage those 
who have played by the rules. Indeed, I believe most current and future 
Americans--most Hispanics, most Asians, most Africans, and most Arabs--
do not want to see people who play by the rules disadvantaged in an 
election year rush to help those who have not. And if you put the 
question to those the administration seeks to help, I think they would 
agree as well.
  A veto of CJS appropriations and the LIFE Act would elevate political 
posturing above immigrant families and would place interest group 
politics over protecting the health and well-being of all Americans.
  We have brought a lot of people together on this bill. I call upon 
the President to look at that. It is quite an achievement under 
circumstances that have been difficult for people such as myself.
  It surprises me that the administration has suddenly called for 
urgent immigration reform for fairness' sake. It was 4 short years ago 
that the President eagerly signed the Illegal Immigration Reform Act of 
1996. The President's current proposal stands the 1996 law on its head. 
Here is what the President said then about the 1996 Act in his signing 

       This bill also includes landmark immigration legislation 
     that reinforces the efforts we have made over the last 3 
     years to combat illegal immigration. It strengthens the rule 
     of law by cracking down on illegal immigration at the border, 
     in the workplace, and in the criminal justice system--without 
     punishing those living in the United States legally, or 
     allowing children to be kept out of schools and sent into the 

  I think the President ought to live by those words, instead of 
undermining existing law through Latino fairness. Getting our LIFE bill 
together has taken a lot of effort on my part and on the part of others 
under difficult circumstances. We have been able to bring together 
people who almost always have difficulty with immigration laws.
  Our proposal has something that will solve the 1982 problem of due 
process rights. Those people have not been treated fairly by the INS. 
The INS keeps appealing their cases even though they win them every 
time. We will solve that problem for them.
  It solves the problem of reuniting minor children with their parents 
in this country. It does it in the best of ways, and it does it 
expeditiously. It solves the problem of bringing spouses together with 
their husbands and wives who are legal, and it will help close to 1 
million people. That, to me, having worked on immigration matters over 
the last 24 years, is a pretty darn good accomplishment if we can get 
it done.
  I do not want to have this process break down because politics are 
being played. I know there will never be an agreement to allow up to 4 
million people who are illegal aliens into this country in preference 
over these three categories of people I have talked about, these 1 
million people who deserve to be treated better.
  I hope the President will listen to what I have said. I have not had 
a chance to personally chat with him, but I have talked with his Chief 
of Staff who is a good friend and decent

[[Page S11267]]

man and who I think, having served on the Senate Judiciary Committee 
for all those years on the Democratic side, understands how difficult 
these matters are to put together.
  I believe it is time to resovle these problems. I have done my best 
to do it. This is as far as we can go now, but we make a promise to 
look into every issue that is raised in hearings as soon as we get 
back, assuming we are still in the majority. Even if we are not, I will 
cooperate in seeing those hearings are held in an orderly and 
intelligent way.
  I reserve the remainder of my time.
  Mr. REID. Will the Senator withhold for a moment?
  Mr. KERREY. Yes.
  Mr. REID. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the Senator 
from West Virginia, Mr. Byrd, be recognized for 20 minutes following 
the Senator from Nebraska.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The Senator from Nebraska.
  Mr. KERREY. Mr. President, my good friend from Utah just described 
two things that I see much differently than he does. The conflict we 
are having right now over Commerce-State-Justice is occurring as a 
consequence of the House and the Senate not finishing their 
appropriations work. They are supposed to be done by the first of 
October. We are supposed to have all 13 bills passed. Our work is 
supposed to be done and all the bills sent to the President for 
signature. We were not able to get the work done. We are not able to 
look much further than what has happened to fiscal discipline around 
here to discover why we have been unable to get our appropriations 
bills done, why there have been delays on the appropriations bills. The 
answer is we are spending a lot more than the budget caps allow.
  According to Bill Hoagland, who in the New York Times lays it out as 
accurately as anybody--I consider him to be an extremely reliable 
analyzer of the numbers--the appropriations bills we are going to pass 
will be $310 billion over the caps as estimated by CBO over the next 10 
years, and that presumes that only inflation will be allowed over the 
next 10 years in growth in appropriations which we did not do this 
year. We are way beyond inflation this year. It is probably not $310 
billion. It is probably much more than that. That is the problem.
  It is very much a case where we had a glass slipper that was too 
small for our great big foot, and we could not get all the things we 
wanted to spend into that shoe. The Republican majority, facing that 
problem, had to decide what it was going to do. It has delayed, 
delayed, delayed, and as a consequence, we are now in a situation 
where, if we attach anything to it that is objectionable to the 
President, it is going to provoke a veto.
  You know what you have to do to get the President to sign it. He will 
tell you what to do to sign it. If you are 27 days late, do not be 
surprised if you have lost leverage. Of course you have lost leverage; 
you are 27 days beyond the battle line, what the law tells us we are 
supposed to be doing with our appropriations bills.
  There are two things I want to talk about as we head toward the end 
of this session that I find to be very troubling. The first is what we 
are doing with the surplus itself. Again, the second thing the Senator 
from Utah said earlier is we balanced the budget in 1997 and that it 
came about as a result of the election of a Republican House and Senate 
in 1995.
  I voted for a Republican budget in 1995. I voted for a Republican 
budget in 1997 in order to balance it. But we began down this trail in 
1990. That is when the budget caps were enacted. That is when we 
established sequestration to put in automatic across-the-board cuts if 
we were unable to get our budget inside the caps. There was a purpose. 
Balancing the budget was not an end in itself; it was a means to an 
  What was the end? The end was growth in the economy. We believed that 
if you balanced the budget--in other words, if you spent less than you 
taxed--that that would produce growth in the economy. That was the 
argument, not just in 1990, but way long before that.
  I recall, when I was Governor, signing a letter in support of what 
the Republican Senate was doing in 1985 to try to balance the budget. 
It included a freezing of the COLA, which some say contributed to the 
loss of the Republican Senate in the 1986 election. I do not know if 
that is true or not. It was tough medicine. It would have balanced the 
budget. It is not easy to balance the budget.
  I remember voting in 1990, 1993, and 1997--and the criticism is 
always the same: I want to balance the budget. I believe deficit 
reduction is important. I just don't want to pay any more or take any 
less. The only objection is, you cut my program and increased my taxes. 
Other than that, I liked what you did.
  We had tough medicine in 1990, tough medicine in 1993, and tough 
medicine in 1997. All during those years, we had a means to say to our 
citizens: Look, I have to say no; I have a spending cap up until this 
year. If you came to this floor, and there was a motion to waive the 
Budget Act, it was tough to get 60 votes. Not anymore. Today, it is 
relatively easy to get 60 votes. I am not even sure we are going to 
have a vote to break the budget caps on appropriations.
  Listen to what Mr. Hoagland says: This year we started off with a 
$2.4 trillion general fund surplus. The appropriations is going to 
reduce that surplus by $310 billion. An additional $295 billion in 
surplus goes for two tax cuts: the $240 billion package we are battling 
over right now and a separate $55 billion reduction in taxes on long 
distance telephone calls.
  I listened to the argument. This is a Spanish-American War tax. For 
gosh sakes, the income tax is a World War I tax. Let's get rid of that, 
too, if that is the basis of why eliminating a tax makes good sense.
  But we are going to eliminate a $55 billion tax. We are going to 
increase payments to Medicare. That is $74 billion more in the surplus, 
another $44 billion going to increased pension benefits to military 
retirees. Tax cuts and spending increases come to $723 billion over 10 
years. The surplus is actually reduced by an additional $187 billion 
because of interest costs, bringing the total to $910 billion.
  Since the 1990 Budget Act, signed by President Bush--all through the 
1990s--we had to come to the floor, and if you wanted to offer 
something that spent more money, you had to have an offset. It was 
called the pay-go system.
  We discovered that tucked in this little $247 billion tax bill that 
we are arguing about is a provision that waives the pay-go provisions. 
I mean, we are abandoning everything that got us to where we are today.
  Again, I emphasize to people who want to know, what is this all 
about? Twenty-one million dollars have been created. The recovery, in 
my view, started prior to 1993. It started in 1991 and 1992. The 
deficit started coming down in 1992, and in no small part because of 
what we did in 1990. The full story did not begin in 1997. It did not 
start in 1993. It started in 1990. And now we are just throwing it all 
out the window, saying: It does not matter anymore; we have a great big 
surplus. That is why the American people are distrustful. That is why 
they are saying to us: Take that surplus and pay down the debt. That is 
why they are not supporting big tax cuts.

  I voted for the Republican tax cut the first time it came up. Then I 
went home and the people of Nebraska said to me: We don't want it. We 
don't want it. Pay down the debt.
  This fiscal discipline has been good for us. It has created jobs. It 
has promoted economic growth. There has been a positive result.
  So I say, especially with the Governor of Texas saying he is 
committed to a $1.6 trillion income tax cut and a $1.1 trillion payroll 
tax cut, that on top of what we have already done, in my view, that is 
unquestionably going to put us right back in the soup. That is the 
failed policy of the past.
  The failed policy of the past is when we said it doesn't matter if 
our budget is balanced. The failed policy of the past is when we were 
taking 22 percent of our income and spending it with 18-percent taxes 
coming in. Now it is the opposite. Spending levels are at 18 percent--
the lowest level they have been since the middle of the 1970s, before 
this year, before what we have been doing in the past week or so--
heading to 16 percent. It has not been at that level since Dwight 
Eisenhower was President.

[[Page S11268]]

  I have to say that given what Congress is doing, and what we are 
seeing at the Presidential debate level, my hope is the American people 
will wise up and say: We got to where we are with tough choices. We are 
about ready to throw it all down the drain.
  My belief is that fiscal discipline has not just been good for us 
here domestically, it has given us the strength to do an awful lot of 
things throughout the world as well. That is our greatest source of 
strength, our capacity to keep our economy growing.
  You do not have to look any further than the former Soviet Union and 
Russia. They have a GDP that is $30 billion less than we have for 
defense. I am not saying our defense ought to be lower. I support 
taking it higher. I do not compare our defense against Russia, but 
their GDP is so low they cannot take care of submarines such as the 
  I took a trip to Africa. Of the 11 nations we visited, they spend 
less than $10 per person on health care and $10 per person on 
education. The reason is their income is insufficient. They do not have 
the growth and are not producing things that the world wants to buy, 
and the United States of America does.
  So I do not want to go back to the failed policies of the past. I do 
not want to go back to ``voodoo economics.'' I do not want to go back 
to those days when we said to the American people that it does not 
matter whether or not our budget is balanced.
  We paid too big a price to get to where we are today. The American 
people not only are more prosperous and more enthusiastic about their 
economy and their future, but they have an awful lot more confidence in 
democracy as a result of our finally being able to do something about 
what was public enemy No. 1, all the way through the 1980s, and all the 
way through the 1990s.

  I am sure former President Bush remembers what happened in 1992. He 
had a guy by the name of Ross Perot who made the deficit a battle cry 
and enabled him to have an impact upon that Presidential election, and 
probably enabled then-Governor Clinton to win that election, with 43 
percent of the vote.
  So you do not have to go back very far to see why it is that we have 
to reestablish fiscal discipline. We are going in the wrong direction. 
To get rid of the pay-go provisions is reason enough to vote against 
this tax bill for anybody who went all the way through the 1990s in 
this Congress. And that is the reason we are struggling with Commerce-
  The dirty little secret is that our spending appetite exceeds the 
budget caps that got us to where we are today. As I said, this sounds 
like all process arguments. But there was a big payoff in eliminating 
that deficit, paying down the public debt, and relieving the pressure 
upon the private sector of borrowing, as we have done.
  It did not just enable the economy to grow, it lowered the cost of 
borrowing money for a house, lowered the cost of borrowing money for an 
automobile, and lowered the cost of borrowing money for a business. In 
my view, at least as one former businessperson, it promoted an awful 
lot of economic growth. It has a huge impact on our capacity to create 
the kind of jobs that the American people want.
  There is a second troubling thing that I have heard said over and 
over during this tax debate and the debate on the Medicare balanced 
budget give-backs as well. Those are both provisions we have, 
recognizing in 1997 we took almost $300 billion out of Medicare for 
providers instead of the $100 billion that we thought. So we are trying 
to adjust that a bit and make things a little easier for--in my State, 
especially the rural providers--the providers, but also home health 
care people and long-term care providers, and so forth, that are in 
that package.
  I have heard it said over and over that, gee, this was largely 
bipartisan. Many of the provisions in this bill are provisions that 
were supported by Democrats. That is absolutely true. There are many 
provisions that are in this bill that were supported by Democrats. That 
is not the issue. The problem is, I heard one of my colleagues say 
earlier--he was describing negotiations with China--an agreement is 
just a temporary interruption in the negotiations.
  We had an agreement on pensions. We had an agreement on pension 
reforms. Democrats came on board saying: We recognize that in order to 
do pension reform, you are going to have to provide changes in the law 
that are likely to benefit upper income people.
  The distinguished Senator from Utah earlier talked about the 1 
percent. He is absolutely right.
  Almost 40 percent of the swing in the deficit from 1992 to today, 43 
percent, an estimate made by Bill Hoagland of the New York Times--43 
percent of that came because income tax rates were higher, and we had a 
big run-up in the stock market, a big cashing out of stock options, and 
a big cashing out of pensions as well. So upper income people are 
paying more taxes, especially Americans who have more than $1 million 
of taxable income. They are paying a lot of taxes.
  So Democrats--I for one--acknowledge that if you are going to do a 
pension reform bill, it is likely to benefit upper income people. We 
are not going to demagogue that. It is likely to be that that is the 
case. But we asked for a couple little provisions to help that low- and 
moderate-income worker. They were tax credits.
  The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Archer, doesn't 
like tax credits. So he stripped the two provisions out that we had in 
there for small businesses to help them defray the cost of start-up 
pensions. He stripped the provision out that had a matching in there 
for this low- and moderate-income worker who is working for small 
businesses that have fewer than 100 employees. He stripped that out 
because he doesn't like tax credits. We had a deal. So when the 
Republican leadership got together, they yielded to Mr. Archer and 
stripped out provisions of the pension bill we wanted that made it more 
  I said last night, God created Democrats so we can ask the question: 
Is it fair? Sometimes we don't ask: Can we pay for it? That is 
something we have to train ourselves to do, and I thought we had 
through the 1990s with the budget caps. I talked about that earlier. 
But we asked the question: Is it fair? If we are going to spend money 
and try to increase the amount of pension coverage we have in the 
United States of America, shouldn't we try to do it for low- and 
moderate-income working people in the workforce with employers who have 
fewer than 100 employees? Shouldn't we do that? We answered yes. And 
Republicans in the Finance Committee agreed with us. That is what we 
  Mr. Archer said he doesn't like tax credits. So when the Republican 
leadership all got together--without a hearing--they stripped it out. 
Guess what. With it stripped out, Mr. Archer still votes against it.
  So they took something out of the pension bill they now want us to 
pass, that we had insisted on in order to get Mr. Archer's support, and 
he still votes against the darn thing.
  That is why we are pushing back. That is why we urge President 
Clinton to veto this thing. We would like to get most of the things 
that are in this tax bill. We believe Vice President Gore is correct 
when he says we ought to make careful decisions and selections about 
whose taxes are going to get cut. That is what we ought to attempt to 
do. We ought to target those tax cuts.
  But you have to target the tax cuts, especially when you are dealing 
with pensions and health care, as much of this does, you ought to 
target it so as to increase the number of people who have pensions.
  All of us here in Congress aren't going to have any difficulty 
contributing to get another $5,000. We have plenty of disposable income 
to come up with the money to be able to increase our contributions. The 
problem is for that minimum-wage, or slightly over, individual in a 
small business who is struggling to get it done.
  The same on health insurance: If you are trying to increase the 
number of people who have health insurance, you have to do more than 
what is in this tax package. My friend from Texas, Senator Gramm, was 
talking about the value of the tax deduction. The value of the tax 
deduction is much greater the higher your income. I get a 40-percent 
subsidy as a consequence of the level of my income. But if my income is 
$16,000 a year, I don't get any deduction. If I am paying at the 15-

[[Page S11269]]

rate, I get a 15-percent deduction. That is how it works.
  The Joint Tax Committee estimates that 26 million people will get 
benefits as a consequence of the health care provisions, but only 1.6 
million of those people are people who currently don't have health 
  Republicans in Congress, I think correctly, are saying that what 
Governor Bush said in the third debate, ``That is the difference 
between my opponent and I;'' he wants Washington to decide and select 
who gets a tax cut. Republicans apparently are saying that the Governor 
is wrong, because we are going to select who gets the tax cuts.
  If you are going to have a tax cut right now, it seems to me one of 
the things we ought to try to do is to say: This remarkable recovery we 
are having right now has been fabulous, but there are some people who 
have been left behind. Let's try to help them acquire pensions in their 
part of the American dream. Let's try to help them acquire health 
insurance in their part of the American dream. We don't do that.
  As I said, I heard my Republican friends assert several times that 
Democrats were on board and support many of the provisions. That is 
true. But we added provisions that were stricken out. We added 
provisions that would have made the proposal much more fair. I believe 
you cannot apply a fairness test every single time you are doing 
things. There are times when life isn't fair. But when you are giving 
tax cuts to American working families, it seems to me a test of 
fairness is appropriate. When you are trying to increase the number of 
people who have pensions in the workforce, when you are trying to 
increase the number of people who have health insurance, a test of 
fairness is appropriate for Members of Congress to try to apply to the 
piece of legislation we are considering.
  Those are the two objections I have to what is going on right now. 
The first is, I think we have lost our way when it comes to fiscal 
discipline, the discipline that enabled us to say to a citizen, when a 
citizen comes and says, Senator, it only costs $100 million over 10, 
would you offer an amendment, and I would always say in the 1990s, 
well, I have to have a ``pay for.'' I have to find an offset.
  Not anymore. If the pay-go provisions of the Budget Act are repealed, 
as is proposed in this tax bill, no longer will that be necessary. It 
used to be I would say: Look, this is going to be tough because it is 
beyond what we authorized in the Budget Act and to get 60 votes to 
waive the Budget Act is going to be hard.
  Not any longer does it appear to be difficult to waive the Budget 
Act. That discipline that enabled us to get where we are today is at 
risk in the closing days of the 106th Congress.
  I hope that in this election the American people will say loud and 
clear we recognize the value of that fiscal discipline. We benefited 
from economic growth. We benefited from lower mortgage payments. We 
benefited from greater opportunity as a consequence of Congress getting 
its act together, all the way through the 1980s and 1990, 1993, and in 

  Secondly, I have great objection, as I look at especially the tax cut 
proposal, but also the BBA give-back proposal, that we simply haven't 
applied a test of fairness. That is why it was a mistake for 
Republicans to have a meeting with only Republicans. If you want 
something to be bipartisan, you have to let Democrats in the room. 
Likewise, Democrats can't hold a meeting and expect it to be bipartisan 
if we are the only ones in the room, and then go out and say: Gee, I 
don't understand why Senator Hatch won't sign on board. It is something 
he supported years ago. I don't understand why he won't support this. 
It is similar to something he was talking about. The answer is, he 
wasn't in the room. He didn't have an opportunity to voice his concern. 
He didn't have an opportunity to say what he liked or didn't like.
  What the Republicans did is they brought something that stripped out 
things we had agreed to, and they did not apply a test of fairness. As 
a consequence, I am pleased, especially connected to the loss of fiscal 
discipline, that in the closing days of the 106th the President has 
indicated he is going to veto these two pieces of legislation. I think 
the American people will be the beneficiaries of it.
  My hope is, on both of them, that it will result in bipartisan 
negotiation and producing something the President can sign. It can be 
done. We don't have to run out of here over the weekend. We know 
exactly what to do. It would take us about 30 minutes to put together a 
tax bill and a BBA give-back bill that would get 80 votes on this 
floor. We wouldn't have to sit and say, I wonder if the President is 
going to sign it. We would know he would sign it. If we have 80 votes, 
he is going to sign it. The last time I checked, that is still enough 
to override a veto. But we didn't do that.
  As a result, we are left here on October 27, 27 days beyond the time 
we were supposed to be done and home, we are left here, still a long 
way to go before we have an agreement, a long way to go before we will 
be able to say we have closed up shop and we have finished the people's 
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Utah.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, my colleague made some pretty good points 
on fairness, except we asked ``is it fair,'' too. Is it fair to allow 
3.5 million legal immigrants to be held in line so that we can take 
care of approximately 4 million illegal immigrants? That is the point I 
was making earlier in the day. Frankly, it is a matter I find of great 


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