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[Congressional Record: October 27, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S11281-S11283]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access []


  Mr. REID. Mr. President, my good friend from West Virginia talked 
about his opposition to the provision in the bill dealing with Latino 
immigrant fairness. He and I have had a number of conversations about 
that. I, of course, respect his views as were just laid out here, his 
feelings on that piece of legislation.
  Briefly, I would just say about this legislation that the Republicans 
have chosen to ignore what we felt is something that is very important. 
We have tried to have hearings. We have tried to do legislation on 
this. Simply, we were ignored.
  We, of course, have met with our counterparts in the House. And they 
feel strongly about this. They have been ignored, just as we have over 
here. We have received the support of the administration to help us in 
crafting legislation that would protect what we believe is a basic 
tenet of American justice.
  They have decided to ignore our bill and those who support it, and 
have decided to include their own immigration bill. The President has 
had no choice but to do this drastic maneuvering measure. We have 
tried, time and time again, to bring this bill to the floor, and it is 
always met by the other side's intransigence.
  We have a simple goal: One of fairness. We want one set of rules for 
all refugees and immigrants. And we offer a clear plan to correct 
serious flaws in our immigration code. Meanwhile, the majority is 
trying to cloud the issues, distort our bill, and create an intricate 
maze that helps very few.
  The current system is unworkable and unfair. Out plan aims to correct 
flaws in the current unworkable and biased immigration rules. For 
  There is one set of rules for Cubans and Nicaraguan refugees who fled 
left-wing dictatorships; and another, far stricter set of rules for 
refugees from Central America, the Caribbean, and Liberia who fled 
other dictatorships;
  Because Congress failed to renew Section 245(i), families who have a 
right to be together here in the U.S. are being torn apart, sometimes 
for up to 10 years; They are forced to leave their families and can't 
come back for 10 years. They haven't done anything illegal.
  Because of past Congressional action and bureaucratic bungling, some 
people who were eligible for a legalization program enacted in 1986 are 
now U.S. citizens; while others are facing deportation.
  Democrats want a simple set of fair rules that make sense and clean 
up the immigration code.
  We want to establish legal parity between Central American, Liberian 
and Caribbean refugees so that all refugees who fled political turmoil 
in the 1990s are treated the same.
  We want to renew 245(i). This provision, which has allowed all family 
members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to adjust their 
status while in the U.S., has been allowed to expired. Our proposal 
would renew it and allow all immigrants who have a legal right to 
become permanent residents to apply for their green cards in the U.S. 
and remain here with their families while they wait for a decision.
  The registry date would allow all persons who came to the U.S. before 
1986 to be eligible to adjust their status. This provision has been 
regularly updated since enactment in 1929 but has not been updated 
since 1972.
  Republicans now agree that Congress should help some immigrants, but 
their proposal provides no relief on parity, little on 245(i), and even 
less on the registry date.

[[Page S11282]]

  When you read the fine print, their immigration proposals don't fix 
what is broken in our immigration code.
  Instead, the majority wants to continue to pick and choose between 
immigrants and which countries they should come from--rewarding some, 
denying others, with no just cause.
  We want a simple, fair, family unification policy. That's what we're 
proposing. That's what we'll fight for. That's what Congress must do 
before we adjourn.
  The main reason I came to the floor today is to respond to my friend 
from Idaho who came to the floor to talk about some of the things the 
Vice President said that were exaggerations, according to him. I would 
like to comment on some of the statements he made. This is a difficult 
game. The game is that these men go around giving a lot of statements, 
Bush and Gore. And they should be held to the same standard. What is 
that standard? Listen to everything they say.
  Now, we know from an October 23 Washington Post in a column written 
by Michael Kinsley entitled ``The Emperor's New Brain'' that:

       George W. Bush's handling of the stupidity issue has been 
     nothing short of brilliant. A Martian watching the last 
     presidential debate might have concluded that this man would 
     be well-advised not to put quite so much emphasis on mental 

  This has been raised by the Senator from Idaho, and I am happy to 
respond. The same article says:

       But if George W. Bush isn't a moron, he is a man of 
     impressive intellectual dishonesty and/or confusion. His 
     utterances frequently make no sense on their own terms. His 
     policy recommendations are often internally inconsistent and 
     mutually contradictory.

  He further states:

       When he repeatedly attacks his opponents for 
     ``partisanship,'' does he get the joke? When he blames the 
     absence of a federal patients' rights law on ``a lot of 
     bickering in Washington, D.C.,'' has he noticed that the 
     bickering consists of his own party which controls Congress, 
     blocking the legislation? When he summarizes, ``It's kind of 
     like a political issue as opposed to a people issue,'' does 
     he mean to suggest anything in particular? Perhaps that 
     politicians, when acting politically, ignore the wishes of 
     the people?
       In the debate, he declared, ``I don't want to use food as a 
     diplomatic weapon from this point forward. We shouldn't be 
     using food. It hurts the farmers. It's not the right thing to 
     do.'' When, just a few days later, he criticized legislation 
     weakening the trade embargo on Cuba--which covers food along 
     with everything else--had he rethought his philosophy on the 
     issue? Or was there nothing to rethink.

  The article ends by saying:

       In short, does George W. Bush mean what he says, or does he 
     understand it? The answer can't be both. And is both too much 
     to ask for?

  My friend from Idaho talked about some things that Al Gore had said 
over the years. We will talk about those in a minute. He said he was 
here because of some of the statements I made. I didn't make any 
statements. I came here without any editorial comment other than saying 
I was quoting direct, verbatim statements made by Gov. George Bush.
  I am not going to go through the 20-odd pages of ``Bushisms" or 
whatever you want to call them. I am going to talk about a few that 
obviously got the attention of my friend from Idaho.
  Florence, SC, January 11, 2,000:

       Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?

  New York Times, October 23:

       The important question is, How many hands have I shaked?

  Concord, NH, January 29:

       Will the highways on the Internet become more few?

  Nashua, NH:

       I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.

  New York Daily News, February 19:

       I understand small business growth. I was one.

  LaCrosse, WI, October 18, a few days ago:

       Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take 
  Same day, WI:

       Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used 
     to know it.

  Saginaw, MI, September 29, a few weeks ago:

       I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.

  Redwood, CA, September 27:

       I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy.

  On the Oprah show:

       I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of humans.

  As I said, I have talked about some of the things he has said. I 
haven't in any way changed a single word, a single paragraph, a single 
spelling. I just quoted directly. This is a man who is running for 
President of the United States. I think it is something we need to 
consider, especially in light of the fact that on Wednesday, the Rand 
commission came out with a study. The Rand commission is bipartisan. 
They are widely respected. They are independent. Basically what they 
said is that all the claims that Governor Bush has made about education 
in Texas, how it has improved, simply are false, not true. Then we have 
the next day, on Thursday, the Actuary Commission came out and said 
that if you took into consideration all of the things that Governor 
Bush wanted to do with Social Security and taxes, it would, in effect, 
bankrupt the country.
  I think we have to recognize that Governor Bush is talking about some 
real big whoppers, if the Senator from Idaho wants to talk about 
  In fact, the Wall Street Journal, which is deemed by some to be the 
newspaper of the Republican Party, had in a news story, dated October 
12 of the year 2000, a headline saying ``The Biggest Whopper: The Bush 
Tax Cut.''
  Among other things, the article says:

       Writing before last night's debate, the winner for the 
     biggest exaggeration is easy: George W. Bush and his tax cut.
       The GOP nominee claims his tax measure principally will 
     help the working poor and middle-class Americans. The rich, 
     he says, will get a smaller percentage than they currently 
     do, and the tax plan comfortably fits with projected budget 
     surpluses and his Social Security plans.
       None of that is true.
       Instead of making the case that a huge tax cut is necessary 
     to reward the productive elements of society who will make 
     the investments that ultimately benefit everyone, Mr. Bush 
     misrepresents the size and shape of his proposal. He suggests 
     that after setting aside half of the 10-year surplus for 
     Social Security, he will divide the rest between tax cuts and 
     initiatives in areas like education, health care and defense. 
     In truth, he proposes over $1.3 trillion in tax cuts and less 
     than $500 billion for those other initiatives, not including 
     $196 billion of unspecified reductions in discretionary 

  The biggest whopper:

       The Bush claim that his tax cut not only doesn't reward the 
     rich but actually makes them pay more is really phony.

  The article goes on to say:

       The Republican nominee has been unsparing in his criticism 
     of the Clinton-Gore administration's defense spending, 
     claiming more needs to be done on pay, readiness and missile 
     defense. Yet over the decade, the Gore budget envisions 
     spending $55 million more than Mr. Bush proposes. Why? The 
     Texan can't afford it, given his tax cuts.
       The press has tripped all over itself to praise Mr. Bush 
     for suggesting a ``solution'' to long-term Social Security 
     with partial privatization. Yet unlike the serious Social 
     Security proposals--such as Senators Pat Moynihan and Bob 
     Kerrey--Mr. Bush insists he can do this without any cuts in 
     Social Security benefits.

  Of course, Mr. President, that is indicated in the study by the 
actuaries as absolutely impossible; it can't be done. And ``In His Own 
Words'' in the New York Thursday, October 26, 2000, there were remarks 
out of Sanford, Florida, where George W. Bush said:

       They're trying to say, you know, old George W. is going to 
     take away your check. But I'm going to set aside $2.4 
     trillion of Social Security surplus.

  On October 17, in the debate, here is what he said:

       . . . And one of my promises is going to be Social Security 
     reform. And you bet we need to take a trillion dollar--a 
     trillion dollars out of that $2.4 trillion surplus.

  Well, he heads to Florida and then increases it by $1.4 trillion. 
With all due respect, I am not sure that the good Governor understands. 
According to people who have studied the issue, he doesn't. You can't 
do both. You can't cut Social Security and think that those moneys that 
are set aside to pay benefits can also be taken out to put into 
privatization. It won't work.
  My friend from Idaho said today that one of the things that Al Gore 
is considered to be untruthful about is his statement that he was 
involved in the authorship of the book that was made into a great movie 
by Erich Segal called Love Story. He is saying it is simply untrue that 
Al Gore had anything to do with that. But understand that the author of 
the book, who I think should have some foundation to

[[Page S11283]]

speak about the book he wrote, says that his protagonist, Oliver Barret 
IV--the man in Love Story--was partly based on Mr. Gore. Now, that is a 
fact. Erich Segal, the author, said that his protagonist in the book 
Love Story, Oliver Barret IV, was based on Albert Gore. So what my 
friend from Idaho said, and what others have said, cannot contradict 
what the author of the book has said.
  Talking about exaggerations and misstatements, look at the Seattle 
Post-Intelligencer on October 4 of this year. Byline, Paul Krugman. He 

       I really, truly wasn't planning to write any more columns 
     about George W. Bush's arithmetic. But his performance on 
     ``Moneyline'' last Wednesday was just mind-blowing. I had to 
     download a transcript to convince myself that I had really 
     heard him correctly.
       It was as if Bush aides had prepared him with a memo 
     saying: ``You've said some things on the stump that weren't 
     true. Your mission, in the few minutes you have, is to repeat 
     all those things. Don't speak in generalities--give specific 
     false numbers. That'll show them.''
       First, Bush talked about the budget--``There's about $4.6 
     trillion of surplus projected,'' he declared, which is true, 
     even if the projections are dubious. He went on to say: ``I 
     want some of the money, nearly a trillion, to go to projects 
     like prescription drugs for seniors. Money to strengthen the 
     military to keep the peace. I've got some views about 
     education around the world. I want to--you know, I've got 
     some money in there for the environment.''

  Figure that one out, if you can.
  Mr. President, further in the New York Times of October 11, a man by 
the name of Paul Krugman writes a column, and the heading is: ``A 
Retirement Fable; No Fuzzy Numbers Needed.''
  Among other things, he says:

       Mr. Bush has made an important political discovery. Really 
     big misstatements, it turns out, cannot be effectively 
     challenged, because voters can't believe that a man who seems 
     so likable would do that sort of thing. In last week's debate 
     Mr. Bush again declared that he plans to spend a quarter of 
     the surplus on popular new programs, even though his own 
     budget shows he plans to spend less than half that much. . . 
     .And he insists that he has a plan to save Social Security, 
     when his actual proposal, as it stands, would bankrupt the 

  Michael Kinsley, in the Washington Post, on the 24th, a couple days 
ago, says, among other things, referring to Bush:

       His utterances frequently make no sense in their own terms. 
     His policy recommendations are often internally inconsistent 
     and mutually contradictory. Because it's harder to explain 
     and prove, intellectual dishonesty doesn't get the attention 
     that petty fibbing does, even though intellectual dishonesty 
     indicts both a candidate's character and his policy 
     positions. All politicians. . .get away with more of it than 
     they should. But George W. gets away with an extraordinary 
     amount of it.

  He continues to say.

       . . .he'll get the trillion dollars needed for his partial 
     privatization ``out of the surplus.'' Does he not understand 
     that the current surplus is committed to future benefits, 
     which will have to be cut to make the numbers work? Or does 
     he understand and not care?

  Kinsley further says:

       When he repeatedly attacks his opponent for 
     ``partisanship,'' does he get the joke? When he blames the 
     absence of a federal patients' rights law on ``a lot of 
     bickering in Washington, DC,'' has he noticed that the 
     bickering consists of his own party, which controls Congress, 
     blocking the legislation?

  Also, if we are talking about people who misstate things, let's 
really put a magnifying glass on some of the things that the Governor 
has said. In last week's debate, Gore described his own education plan, 
but Bush said that the ``three'' men convicted in the murder of James 
Byrd, a black man dragged to his death from his pickup truck, will 
receive the death penalty. That is not quite true. One faces life 
imprisonment. Bush took credit for expanding a child's health insurance 
program in Texas. He took credit in the debate for working with the 
Democrats to get a Patients' Bill of Rights. He vetoed that. And then 
he says we have a provision to allow lawsuits. He didn't sign that.
  Mr. President, we hear a lot about how the Vice President has been 
involved in the Russian situation. And he has. He has done a good deal 
to work out differences between the two nations--the former Soviet 
Union and now Russia. The Vice President has had extensive experience 
working on that. One of the people he worked with was Prime Minister 
Chernomyrdin, who he didn't pick, the Russian government picked him. In 
this debate--we all heard it--and I will get the citations from the 
Washington Post, byline by Howard Kurtz and others. He said:

       Money from the International Monetary Funded wound up in 
     the pocket of former Russian Prime Minister Viktor 
     Chernomyrdin. Chernomyrdin has been linked to corruption.

  Experts say there is no proof he received any IMF money.
  Further, Bush said that our European friends would put troops on the 
ground in the Balkans, where the bulk of the peacekeeping forces are in 
Bosnia and Kosovo. Bush also cited Haiti as example of a country from 
which the U.S. should withdraw its troops, when in fact all but 100 
troops have left.
  Mr. President, the Senator from Idaho said he will be back Monday 
afternoon. I am happy to visit with him on the statements that the 
Governor of the State of Texas has made. I didn't make them, he made 
them. I simply came to the Senate floor to discuss with the American 
people what he has said:

       I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of humans.
       Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used 
     to know it.
       I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.
       I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy.
       Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take 
       I understand small business growth.. I was one.
       Will the highways on the Internet become more few?
       I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.
       Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?
       The important question is, how many hands have I shaked?

  These are statements made by the Governor of the State of Texas.
  Anytime anyone wants to come and talk to me about the statements made 
by the Governor of the State of Texas, I am happy to do it. I didn't 
make them up. I am quoting them directly.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Rhode Island is recognized.
  Mr. REED. Mr. President, thank you very much.



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