CONTINUING RESOLUTION; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 55
(Senate - April 14, 2011)

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[Pages S2463-S2468]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                         CONTINUING RESOLUTION

  Mr. VITTER. Mr. President, I rise today to explain why I am voting no 
on the budget deal later this afternoon.
  First and foremost, I am voting no because I do not think this is a 
meaningful, substantial start to getting our hands around what is the 
biggest threat and potential crisis we face as a nation--out-of-control 
spending and debt. I suppose $38 billion is more of a cut than we have 
ever done. But if we put it in any other context, it is very modest 
indeed.
  Take a look at the 8 days leading up to the announcement of this deal 
and those 8 days alone--barely more than a week. We as a nation racked 
up $54 billion of brandnew debt, way more than the $38 billion of cuts 
in just 8 days. That gives some perspective on exactly how modest and 
how limited in meaning this is.
  When you dig a little deeper to look at the details of the cuts, I am 
afraid the picture gets even worse. A lot of these cuts are paper cuts 
only--only cuts on paper that do not have a meaningful impact in the 
real world. There has been significant reporting about this. The 
Justice Department fund and other examples--that probably accounts for 
$12 billion or $13 billion of the cuts.
  In addition, yesterday the CBO issued a report that said only 1 
percent of those cuts--$350 million or so--would have an impact this 
fiscal year. All the rest is pushed off well into the future. Because 
of that, I am voting no. I think we need a much stronger start to 
getting our fiscal house in order.
  In addition, I am very concerned about what this budget deal 
continues to fund in terms of policy, in terms of impact on Americans' 
lives. The clearest example of that for me is the continuing funding of 
Planned Parenthood. I believe it is morally wrong to end an innocent 
human life. I also believe it is morally reprehensible to take tax 
dollars of millions of pro-life Americans in order to fund 
organizations that do just that. Americans should not be forced to 
subsidize abortions, much less fund our Nation's largest abortion 
provider. That is what Planned Parenthood is, pure and simple.
  Opponents of defunding Planned Parenthood have argued in the news and 
even on the Senate floor that the organization provides many other 
health care services other than abortions, such as mammograms. We have 
seen recently that is a big fiction. Planned Parenthood's CEO repeated 
this assertion recently on news shows. She claimed:

       If this bill ever becomes law--

  Meaning the defunding of Planned Parenthood--

     millions of women in this country are going to lose their 
     healthcare access--not to abortion services--to basic family 
     planning, you know, mammograms.

  As I said, in recent days, this has been shown to be a huge fiction. 
Live Action, which is a pro-life group, recorded calls in the last 
several days to 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 States. In each 
conversation, a woman calls in and asks if she can schedule an 
appointment for a mammogram. And in each conversation, without 
exception, the Planned Parenthood representative tells her they do not 
provide mammograms. Period. One staffer admits:

       We do not provide those services whatsoever.

  Another explains:

       We actually don't have a mammogram machine at our clinics.

  The staffer at Planned Parenthood in DC was perhaps clearest. She 
said:

       We do not provide mammograms . . . we don't deal with the 
     health side of it so much. We're mostly a surgical facility.

  By the way, surgery means one thing: abortion.
  This Planned Parenthood staffer is exactly right: 98 percent of their 
services to pregnant women constitute abortions--98 percent.
  This chart lays this out very clearly. This pie chart represents 2009 
Planned Parenthood services to pregnant women. The universe of services 
to pregnant women, abortions is in dark red, 98 percent. Adoption 
referrals is in blue. I apologize if you cannot see that. The sliver is 
that tiny. You have to be up close. And all other prenatal care is in 
green. That is the reality of Planned Parenthood.
  We have also seen a recent onslaught of ads that claim Planned 
Parenthood is simply a leading provider of women health services, but 
abortion accounts for roughly one-third of the $1 billion generated by 
its clinics. In fact, Planned Parenthood's annual report acknowledges 
it provides primary care to 19,700 of its 3 million clients. Number of 
clients: 3 million; those to whom it provided primary health care: 
19,700.
  The provision to cut title X funding for health services, such as 
breast cancer screenings, HIV testing, counseling, and other valuable 
family planning services, would not block funding for those services at 
nonabortion providers. It would simply block funds from subsidizing 
America's largest abortion provider, and abortion is almost everything 
Planned Parenthood does.
  Furthermore, Medicaid spends $1.4 billion on family planning each 
year. Not $1 of those funds would be affected by this resolution and 
this proposal. The question we face today is not if family planning and 
women's health services will be provided but, instead, if we are going 
to use that as an excuse to fund the biggest abortion provider in the 
country which does little else.
  Although I personally believe abortion is not a right guaranteed by 
the Constitution, I recognize the sad reality that abortion on demand 
is legal in this country. Again, this debate is not about that. It is 
not about whether Planned Parenthood has the right to perform 
abortions, and it is not about funding true health care services. The 
question before us is whether millions of pro-life taxpayers have to 
fund this entity.
  Every year since 2000, the government has increased its funding of 
Planned Parenthood on average $22.2 million per year. As a direct 
reflection of that, the number of abortions they perform has 
dramatically increased, even though the overall abortion rate, thank 
God, in the United States has declined until 2008.
  This chart lays out the situation clearly. What is in green 
represents government grants and contracts to Planned Parenthood. It 
has consistently gone up and up, a significant increase virtually every 
year. What is in red represents abortions by Planned Parenthood. Very 
interesting. There is

[[Page S2464]]

virtually the same slope of an increase, while at the same time for 
this entire period until 2008 abortions nationwide were actually going 
down.
  I do not understand how anyone can look at this and say there is not 
a connection, say we are not using taxpayer dollars to promote and fund 
abortion. This notion that it is not used directly for abortion 
services is a convenient fiction because it is a shell game, because 
it, in fact, funds Planned Parenthood, and 98 percent of what they do 
is about abortion.
  According to their latest annual report, Planned Parenthood boasted 
more than $363 million in taxpayer funding, the same year it performed 
an unprecedented 324,000 abortions.
  Planned Parenthood's abortion rate massively outpaces its adoption 
referrals in particular. In 2008, a woman entering a Planned Parenthood 
clinic was 134 times more likely to have an abortion than to be 
referred for an adoption.
  In fact, this final chart shows that as Planned Parenthood's abortion 
rate steadily increased to that staggering number of 332,000 in 2009, 
its adoption referrals actually decreased to 977 that same year. So 
again, abortions are in deep red, adoption referrals are in blue, and 
all other prenatal care is in green. What is the reality, what is the 
history, what are the facts? Abortions go up dramatically in Planned 
Parenthood, prenatal services go down, and adoption services go down as 
abortions go up.
  Planned Parenthood has made a profit every year since 1987, including 
a $63.4 million return in 2009. There is no justification for 
subsidizing Planned Parenthood's profitable venture with taxpayer 
dollars, particularly when roughly half or more of those taxpayers 
deeply disagree with abortion. The sanctity of human life is a 
principle Congress should proclaim at every opportunity, and the time 
has come to respect the wishes of so many millions of Americans who 
have adamantly opposed using taxpayer dollars for abortions by denying 
all Federal funding to this abortion machine.
  This is a social issue, of course. It is also a fiscal issue. Our 
Federal budget is out of control. We are facing unsustainable debt. So 
given that, in particular, isn't it time to stop funding an 
organization that millions of Americans have fundamental problems with? 
If our Federal Government has any hope of regaining fiscal restraint, 
we have to make significant cuts--more significant than are being 
proposed in the deal before us today.
  I refuse to believe that Planned Parenthood is the one sacred cow 
that should stand untouched and be untouchable. The time has come to 
change this situation and to respect the wishes of the huge majority of 
Americans who, whether they are pro-life or prochoice, think taxpayer 
dollars should not subsidize abortion. And that is clearly what is 
going on with Planned Parenthood.
  Mr. President, I yield the floor, and I suggest the absence of a 
quorum.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will call the roll.
  The assistant legislative clerk proceeded to call the roll.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent that the order for 
the quorum call be rescinded.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  Mrs. BOXER. Mr. President, I am so amazed that the lies that have 
been stated about Planned Parenthood on this floor have been repeated 
again and again. You know, it gets pretty bad when you are so 
outrageous that Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart start to look at what 
you are saying on the Senate floor. That is a rarity.
  This all started when Senator Kyl took to the floor and said that 90 
percent of what Planned Parenthood does is abortions. Well, that was a 
little bit wrong. Ninety percent of what Planned Parenthood does is 
health care--no abortions. As a matter of fact, it is 97 percent. And 
every dollar of Federal funds that goes to health care may not, since 
the 1970s--not one slim dime--go toward abortion.
  Senator Vitter upped that just now and says that 98 percent of what 
Planned Parenthood does is abortion. I don't know what he is thinking. 
But let me reiterate, Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization. 
He says they make a profit. You could say anything, but that doesn't 
make it true.
  I think it is interesting that in the 1960s and 1970s Planned 
Parenthood, which has become the prime target of the rightwing of 
Republicans, drew the support of prominent members of the GOP. Richard 
Nixon signed family planning legislation that authorized Federal 
funding for groups such as Planned Parenthood. Former Senator Barry 
Goldwater's wife Peggy was a founding member of Planned Parenthood in 
Arizona, and former President George Herbert Walker Bush, as a 
Republican Congressman from Houston, spoke frequently on the House 
floor about the issue. So it is astounding how the rightwing of the 
Republican Party has walked so far away from their most revered 
leaders. That is their choice. But it is also our choice as to whether 
we are going to stand here and take it or come here and rebut what they 
are saying.
  So count me in and count the Democratic women and many men on this 
side of the aisle who have stood sentry on this and told the truth 
about this. And the truth is we are in a budget debate. Everything the 
Republicans have said is that we have to close the deficit gap, we have 
to cut spending, cut spending, cut spending. And we said: Okay, we will 
join you, but where were you during George Bush's day? You never said a 
word. But putting that aside, we will meet you. When we had the 
majority and Bill Clinton was the President, we were the only ones who 
did get a balanced budget and 23 million jobs. So we know how to do it, 
and of course we are going to work with our colleagues. We met them 
over 70 percent of the way on spending cuts. But guess what. They are 
so ideological and so extreme that what we heard from Senator Vitter 
today is not a discussion about the budget deficit and the fact that we 
have to get on top of it and get that budget balanced, as we did under 
the Clinton administration. We heard about abortion, abortion, 
abortion, which has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Because, as I 
said, not one slim dime of Federal money has been able to be used for 
abortion since the 1970s, and 97 percent of what Planned Parenthood 
does is health care, not abortion.
  We know the real priority of these Republicans in Congress. We know 
the real priority. We know what it is. It is an ideological agenda 
that, frankly, puts women's health and women's lives at risk. Here we 
had this huge debate over the budget--tough, getting down where we were 
all sweating it out to within an hour of the moment the government 
would shut down--and the two things the Republicans insisted on voting 
on, on a budget bill, have nothing to do with the budget.
  For every dollar that Planned Parenthood gets to help them do cancer 
screenings for women, Pap smears, breast cancer screenings, STDs--and 
they do for men as well--HIV testing, blood pressure checks, diabetes 
checks, they charge a sliding scale. You walk in there, you have no 
insurance, you have no money, you get the services for free. If you 
have some, you pay some.
  The bottom line is, this is what they are holding up this agreement 
over, and they are forcing us to vote on Planned Parenthood and 
repealing health care reform. I say that is extraordinary, because we 
met them on the numbers. But in order to appease their rightwing 
agenda, they are forcing these votes. If these bills were to pass, who 
gets hurt? Women and their families.
  I have some letters I have received from Californians, because 
750,000 women are served by Planned Parenthood clinics in California--
750,000 women. That is actually more than some States have. I am going 
to share a letter. I have shared a few of them, but I got this one 
today.

       Dear Senator Boxer, I don't write to you often because you 
     already stand up and fight for everything I believe in. I 
     heard you on NPR this morning talking about women's health 
     and the cuts the Republicans want to make to Planned 
     Parenthood.
       I'm a 42 year old married professional. My husband and I 
     aren't in the highest bracket, but our combined income puts 
     us in the $170,000 year range. Frankly, we're happy, more 
     than happy to pay our fair share of taxes for the things that 
     will help our society as a whole.
       We are appalled by the budget discussions. If you really 
     want to cut spending, do so where it is really outrageous . . 
     . defense and military. There's 60 percent right there. 
     However, what has me outraged right now is . . .


[[Page S2465]]


  The Republican Party is.

       . . . willing to shut down the government over a few 
     dollars for Planned Parenthood.
       If you really cared about limiting abortion funding, family 
     planning is the first step. When I was 20 years old, I was 
     working my way through school. I was a sophomore in college 
     with limited income, no parental support, no health 
     insurance. The one thing I did have access to medically was 
     Planned Parenthood. The services were on a sliding scale, so 
     at my income of $850 a month, a gynecological exam was $10. 
     This meant that I went.
       . . . I also got birth control pills there . . . However, 
     probably the most significant cross road in my life came 
     about because of Planned Parenthood. My family has a history 
     of female cancers. I had a Pap smear come back abnormal when 
     I was 21.
       1). Had it not been for Planned Parenthood, I would not 
     have been able to afford the annual Pap smear.
       2). Planned Parenthood did a biopsy on the ``abnormality.'' 
     Again, it was a sliding scale and while I can't recall 
     exactly how much this was, it was something I could manage . 
     . .
       3). Biopsy showed that it was a potentially very dangerous 
     pre-cancerous growth that needed to be removed.
       4). I did eat beans and rice for the next 2 months to pay 
     my share to Planned Parenthood for removing this growth.
       5). I had to have Paps 2 times a year for the next several 
     years . . . Again, all I could afford was Planned Parenthood.
       Frankly, if it wasn't for Planned Parenthood, there's a 
     pretty good chance I wouldn't be here today. It's not about 
     abortion, it's about women's health.

  I have to say, these are the letters I have been getting day after 
day after day, and I am very proud of the people who have stood up and 
told the truth to counter the lies I have heard, frankly from Members 
of Congress. This woman's name is Heather Jones from Costa Mesa.
  The bottom line is, if you turn and look at the two votes we are 
going to have today, they both hurt women disproportionately. This 
isn't about the budget. If it were about a budget, they would give more 
money to the Title X program because for every dollar we invest, we 
save $4 on the other side. What would have happened if Heather hadn't 
found out she had a dangerous precancerous growth? That would have gone 
forward, she would have gotten cancer, and Lord knows what it would 
have cost. She didn't make any money at that time, so she would have 
had to have help from her county. It would have cost taxpayers. She 
would have been ill and gone through hell and back fighting this, and 
who knows if she would have made it.
  The second vote we are having has to do with rolling back health care 
reform--another attack on women. It is an attack on everyone, but I 
want to look at what it does to women. I know the Presiding Officer 
knows this, because he has been a leader on this issue, but before we 
passed our health reform law, being a woman was a preexisting 
condition.
  If you were the victim of domestic violence and you were a woman, 
they wouldn't insure you. They would say: You have a preexisting 
condition. What is that? Well, your husband beat you. And guess what. 
He could do it again, so you are a high risk. Goodbye. We said no. No, 
that can't happen. If you had a cesarean section and you tried to get 
insurance, they would say: No, no. Since you had a cesarean section, 
you could have another one. It is too expensive. Bye.
  We said, no; you can't do that. You can't turn away people simply 
because they were the victim of domestic violence or had a Caesarean. 
You cannot turn away a person because she is a woman. In 2014, 
insurance companies will not be able to deny anyone coverage because of 
a preexisting condition.
  Another issue my colleague fought hard on, along with all of us, is 
gender rating. Insurance companies charge women in California nearly 40 
percent more than men for similar coverage. Can you imagine? So when 
they say let's repeal health reform, who are they hurting? 
Disproportionately women. When they say no more funding for Planned 
Parenthood to continue their great work on basic health care, who are 
they hurting disproportionately? Women.
  Preventive care was a key in that health reform. I thank the 
Presiding Officer. He served on the appropriate committee that made 
that decision. I will tell you, right now women delay or avoid getting 
preventive care, but once health reform goes into place we know there 
will be preventive health care services such as mammograms without a 
copay or a deductible. So when you repeal the health reform and 
everything we did for the people, who do you hurt? Women. Who is going 
to get sick more than any other group? Women.
  Maternity care is not covered by many insurance companies. We changed 
all that. By 2014 insurance will be required to cover maternity care 
services.
  Let's look at Medicare. We made many reforms in health care dealing 
with Medicare. More than half of the people who depend on Medicare are 
women; 56 percent of Medicare recipients are women. When you end 
Medicare, as Mr. Ryan does in his so-called Ryan budget where he ends 
Medicare--let's call it what it is--you are throwing women under the 
bus. This time it is elderly women. How proud are you of that, Mr. 
Ryan? I am not proud that kind of proposal would come out, and it is 
starting here today, when we vote to repeal health care reform.
  Health care reform extended the life of the Medicare trust fund by 12 
years, to 2037. Why on Earth would the Republicans want to repeal a law 
that strengthens Medicare and makes it viable until 2037?
  Let me tell you what else would be repealed if they have their way 
today. Every senior on Medicare is going to get a free annual wellness 
exam. Let me repeat that. Every person on Medicare is going to get a 
free annual wellness exam. It will get them access to preventive health 
services such as vaccinations and cancer screenings with no copay and 
no deductible. Why did we do that? First and foremost, we did it 
because it is the right thing to do, but it saves money at the end of 
the day when we invest up front in prevention.
  That is why the Congressional Budget Office said our bill saves 
billions of dollars over time. Investing in prevention--just like 
Planned Parenthood did with my constituent, Heather, where a cancer was 
discovered early--means that an individual will get the care early, 
will get on top of this and will not have to spend a lot of money on it 
and will be spared the pain and suffering and all the rest that goes 
with cancer.
  There is one more thing that they repeal. I didn't see this one. If 
they get their way today, seniors are not going to see that infamous 
doughnut hole that they fall into on their prescription drugs closed. 
They are not going to see that closed. Right now it happens after they 
pay a certain amount of money for their prescription drugs, a couple of 
thousand dollars. Then they say Medicare prescription drug coverage is 
not going to cover them. So they fall into that doughnut hole. We close 
that forever by 2020. They want to cancel that so seniors are going to 
have to pay more for their prescription drugs.
  We live in the greatest country in the world, and we have access to 
so many wonderful health advances--be they medical devices, be they 
prescription drugs. But what good does it do if we cannot get those 
things?
  By repealing health care reform--which our Republican friends want to 
do, and today we have a vote to do it--seniors, women, and their 
families will lose access to lifesaving drugs. They will lose access to 
preventive care. They will lose access to fair insurance coverage. 
Again, disproportionately it impacts women. That is just the way the 
demographics are because 56 percent of Medicare recipients are women.
  Let's be very clear. Let's send a strong message tonight, or whatever 
time it is that we vote on these two amendments, that we are standing 
strong--if we vote them down--we are standing strong for women, we are 
standing strong for their families, we are standing strong for 
Americans. Anyone who would take these important reforms away, anyone 
who would say we do not care about the 3 million people who get their 
health care from Planned Parenthood, are saying they do not care much 
about those people.
  By the way, there was some news program that said: What do you need 
Planned Parenthood for? You can go to Walgreens and get all those 
services? Somebody said. I never heard of getting a Pap smear at 
Walgreens or a breast cancer screening, that doesn't come to mind. So 
Walgreens actually had to put out a press release stating they do not 
do those things.

[[Page S2466]]

  Let's start talking the truth on the floor of the Senate. The truth 
is, there is an ideological agenda around this place, and it is 
crystallizing. My Republican friends have gone a bridge too far. People 
are catching on because now it is starting to affect them. They are 
Republicans, they are Independents, they are Democrats. This is not 
about party. I can assure you, the people who are writing me who go to 
Planned Parenthood to get their health care, their preventive care, 
their blood pressure checked, their diabetes checked, they come from 
every political party.
  The Title X program, in the beginning, and when it was formed, had 
the strongest support from Republicans. That is how it was. But these 
Republicans today have walked so far away from their own party that 
they are looking at a bill signed by Richard Nixon, voted for by George 
Herbert Walker Bush, and saying: No, we are not interested in family 
planning. They are distorting the debate.
  If people want fewer abortions there is one place we can all walk 
together; that is, prevention of unwanted pregnancies, birth control, 
contraception. They do not even want that. They do not even want that. 
They have just overreached.
  I am a person who says I respect you know matter what your views are. 
I would stand in front of a truck to protect your right to state your 
views, whatever they are. I do not tell people what to think about 
issues. I think they should be respected for what they decide. But big 
government should not be telling people what to think about the most 
personal decisions. That is not what America is about.
  We have, over the years, crafted some good compromises in the area of 
reproductive health care. We have said people have a right to choose in 
the early stages of a pregnancy. That is what the Supreme Court has 
said. It has been upheld since the 1970s. In the beginning of a 
pregnancy, a woman and her family and her doctor and her God, that is 
who will be consulted. It is up to her to make that decision, early in 
the pregnancy.
  As the pregnancy moves on, the State has an interest in the decision 
on this issue. As the pregnancy moves on--but always her life and 
health must be protected. That is the law. Not one penny of Federal 
funds can be used for abortion except in the case of rape, incest, life 
of the mother.
  I happen to be the one who carried that amendment on rape and incest 
because before that, we did not have that amendment. That was over on 
the House side many years ago. We have a compromise. I would say to my 
friends, if you do not like that compromise then come on the Senate 
floor and make a woman a criminal and make a doctor a criminal--
introduce your legislation. We will fight it out and the people will 
weigh in. What the people will say is: Compromise. Compromise is fair. 
It is not perfect, but it is fair. But, no, that is not what they will 
do because they know if they say a woman is a criminal, it is a bridge 
too far.
  So what they try to do is vilify an organization that has been in 
place for 95 years, Planned Parenthood. They will vilify an 
organization when 97 percent of their work goes to basic health care 
and family planning. It is really sad. It is wrong. I am here to say 
every time it comes up--the women Democrats, we have been on the Senate 
floor already. We are going to continue this battle with our male 
friends because nobody can tell me they care about women when they are 
about to vote to deny women basic health care. No one can tell me they 
care about families when they are about to deny families basic health 
care. No one can tell me they care about families when they want to 
repeal a law that outlaws gender discrimination, that outlaws the 
ability of an insurance company to turn you away if you were the victim 
of domestic violence or had a Cesarean section.
  Nobody can tell me you care about seniors when you embrace the Ryan 
budget that ends Medicare. No one can tell me you care about seniors 
when, today, you are going to have a vote to repeal health care reform 
that gives them more funding for their prescription drugs, that gives 
them free wellness checks without a copay or deductible.
  We always say around here: Whose side are you on? Are you on the side 
of the people, or are you on the side of the insurance companies? Are 
you on the side of the people, or are you more interested in scoring 
political, ideological points with the extreme wing of your party? 
Those are the questions. I think the answer is going to come back 
tonight. I think we are going to defeat these two radical amendments. I 
hope it will send a message to our House friends who are going to have 
a radical budget that the experts tell us is going to lose hundreds of 
thousands of jobs--I correct myself, the experts tell us the Ryan 
budget would lead to the loss of 2.2 million jobs. Can you imagine?
  The only beneficiary of that budget is billionaires and 
multimillionaires. I am happy to be in the Senate at this moment in 
history because, to me, these are the issues. I have to say, these are 
the issues I had in my campaign, and they were very direct.
  I thank the people of California for sending me back here. We have 38 
million people, the largest State in the Union. Every time you take 
away something from a Planned Parenthood or another health care center, 
you hurt more of my people than anybody else because we are such a 
large State. Today we start the votes, and I am grateful I could stand 
up and speak out against both of these radical amendments--one to 
defund an organization that is helping 3 million people a year in 
America, and, second, repeal of health care reform that does so much 
good. I think we are going to win those votes, and I certainly hope so.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alabama is recognized.
  Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. President, we as a country are in a very serious 
financial situation. We all know we have to reduce spending. This year 
we will spend $3.7 trillion but take in only $2.2 trillion--40 cents of 
every $1 is borrowed.
  The President has acknowledged a stunning revelation, that under his 
budget he submitted 2 months ago, something I repeatedly have talked 
about--in the 10th year, the amount of interest on our debt will be 
almost $1 trillion. This is fact.
  We are on an unsustainable course. As every witness to come before 
the Budget Committee has told us: You have to do better. You cannot 
continue in this fashion any longer. The President's debt commission 
Chairmen, Mr. Erskine Bowles and former Senator Alan Simpson, told us 
we are facing the most predictable debt crisis in our history if we do 
not change.
  They did not say it could happen to our children and grandchildren, 
they said it could happen in 2 years. Mr. Bowles said maybe earlier 
than 2 years, maybe some time after that. Senator Simpson said, I think 
we can have a debt crisis in 1 year. Hopefully, this will not happen.
  But we have to get spending under control. There are two ways to do 
it. One is to work hard, do what we are paid to do as legislators and 
identify the less-productive, less-defensible spending programs and 
eliminate them and try to protect as much as we can the programs that 
are more productive and doing good for America.
  Another way to do it is reduce everything across the board and just 
cut it all by a certain percentage, and reduce spending that way. You 
could do either. I think most people would say, we should eliminate the 
programs that are least defensible first, before we have to reduce 
spending in programs that are more justified.
  So, regardless, how do we make the decision?
  I have heard the debate about Planned Parenthood and the money they 
get. I have not been particularly knowledgeable about it until 
recently. I serve as ranking member of the Budget Committee, so I know 
something about the debt crisis we are in. So the question is, Is 
Planned Parenthood a program that is less defensible and ought to have 
its funding eliminated or reduced significantly so other programs that 
are more defensible do not have to be cut?
  Looking at the facts, I find that Planned Parenthood has far more 
difficulty defending its legitimacy as a Federal recipient of millions 
of dollars than other institutions. This is a private group that sets 
about to do all kinds of things. One of the largest things it does is 
provide abortions. They have a very strong ideological agenda that a 
lot of the American people do not agree with. Why should we

[[Page S2467]]

fund it? There are many other organizations out there, all over 
America, that do what they think to be good things and are not funded 
by the U.S. Government.
  So let's just look at it a little bit. I was sort of surprised 
actually. In 2009, the last year we have gotten a report, Planned 
Parenthood reported providing 332,278 abortions in the United States. I 
didn't know that--332,000. This is the highest total ever recorded, and 
the 15th consecutive year that the number of abortions they have 
provided has increased.
  Overall, though, abortions in the United States are going down. You 
see that sonogram and you see that unborn child and the American people 
are getting a lot more uneasy about this idea taking an unborn life.
  Overall, abortions have decreased by almost 25 percent in the past 
two decades nationwide, voluntarily reduced by individual decisions by 
Americans. Yet during that same time, Planned Parenthood abortions have 
doubled.
  Planned Parenthood consistently claims that abortions account for 
only 3 percent of their services; 97 percent is spent on other 
projects, they say. But yet in that same fact sheet on which they make 
that assertion, they state that 12 percent--that is more than in 1 in 
10--of their health care patients receive an abortion.
  That is a surprise to me. Think about that. They state that 12 
percent--that is more than the 1 in 10--of their health care patients 
who come in to Planned Parenthood receive an abortion. So what about 
the other solutions? Are there not other solutions to pregnancies other 
than abortion?
  In 2009, their report indicates that Planned Parenthood made 1 
adoption referral for every 340 abortions performed. They made a scant 
977 adoption referrals compared to over 330,000 abortions. That is a 
decline of almost 60 percent from 2008. In 2008, they did 60 percent 
more referrals when it made 2,400 adoption referrals. So this is a 
major change in what is going on at Planned Parenthood.
  It appears this is an advocacy organization that is committed to one 
solution for people struggling with pregnancies. I tell you, I have a 
letter here, I will not quote it, but I have a letter from a woman in 
Alabama who had an abortion who still feels pain about that and wrote 
me saying not to fund this. I just say that because my colleague 
suggested only men would favor reducing this funding.
  I tell you another thing that I did not know and was very surprised 
about: the amount of Federal money that they receive. No wonder there 
is a big brouhaha here, because this is a lot of money. Congress is 
providing $363 million a year to Planned Parenthood. That is a lot. 
Over 10 years--as we have been scoring everything here over a 10-year 
budget--that is $4 billion--quite a lot of money.
  Many people in the country feel strongly that, OK, they say the 
Supreme Court has ruled on this. They have said that under the 
Constitution abortions under some circumstances cannot be prohibited. 
But they are saying the Federal Government does not have to pay for it, 
does not have to fund it, and should not use taxpayer money to do so.
  So my colleagues say: Well, we agree with that principle and Planned 
Parenthood money does not directly fund abortions. We are giving the 
money to Planned Parenthood, but they are not able to use it for 
abortions. But if 12 percent of their patients are obtaining abortions, 
and they are getting $363 million per year, I think it is a fact that 
the Federal funding furthers their ability to grow and expand their 
lead as the No. 1 abortion provider in the country.
  I think, all in all, we do not have enough money to do a lot of good 
things. We have, some people forget, rural health clinics and urban 
health clinics that are funded and organized by the government to meet 
health needs of the poor. We do not have to use money to help fund this 
private entity that has an agenda. I do not believe it is radical to 
say this is one place we could save money. I do not think it is 
extreme.
  My best judgment tells me that if we do not have enough money, and 40 
percent of what we spend is borrowed, we shouldn't borrow $363 million 
this year to fund a program like Planned Parenthood. This is one 
program that we could legitimately say does not have to have taxpayers' 
money and should have its funding terminated.
  I also would support the resolution concerning the health care bill. 
It is clearly a piece of legislation that costs the taxpayers large 
sums of money. It is not a piece of legislation that adds money to the 
Treasury, as has been suggested. The Congressional Budget Office has 
written a letter to me that stated explicitly that the administration 
is double-counting money to claim savings. If they were not double-
counting the money they took from Medicare to fund this new program, 
then the health care bill would score to be a clear drain on the 
Treasury.
  They have to use a gimmick of double accounting to justify that. It 
is not the right way to do it and is the reason the country is going 
broke.
  So, while today's vote may largely be symbolic, it is a crucial step 
in showing the necessity of eliminating this intrusive and costly 
healthcare law and replacing it with reforms that will provide 
Americans with access to quality, affordable health care, reduce 
skyrocketing health care costs and put our Nation on a more sustainable 
fiscal path.
  The Democrats' health legislation was sold as a package that would 
reduce insurance premiums by $2,500 per family, trim the Federal 
deficit, and immediately create 400,000 new jobs. Sadly, none of these 
promises have been met.
  Instead, the new health care law will cause health care spending to 
surge over the next decade, and Americans will see dramatic increases 
in their premiums, and many of them already have. Half of those 
recently polled in a Kaiser Family Foundation poll claim that their 
premiums have gone up recently. The Federal deficit will increase by an 
additional $700 billion, and the law's expensive mandates, penalties, 
and tax hikes will lead to job losses and persistent economic 
uncertainty, as many small business owners have told me.
  As our Nation's reckless fiscal policy brings us ever closer to a 
tipping point, respected economists across the country have stressed 
the need for Congress to reduce Federal spending and contain our 
mounting health costs.

  Rather than tackle these problems that threaten the long-term 
stability of our Nation, the new health care law exacerbates our fiscal 
crisis by creating an open-ended entitlement and introducing $2.6 
trillion in new Federal spending.
  According to the Congressional Budget Office, the new health care law 
will cause insurance premiums in the individual market to soar by 10 to 
13 percent for American families, translating to a $2,100 increase for 
families purchasing their own health care coverage by 2016.
  Total health care spending in the U.S. already consumes 17.3 percent 
of GDP, the largest of any industrialized nation. Under the new law, 
national health care spending will approach 20 percent of GDP by the 
end of the decade.
  Sadly, many supporters of the health care law continue to perpetuate 
the myth that it will not increase the deficit. A thorough examination 
of the law pulls back the curtain to expose the deceptive budget 
gimmicks and reveal its true cost.
  When the bill was first introduced, the Democrats sold the plan to 
Americans by double-counting $398 billion in Medicare cuts and taxes, 
$29 billion in Social Security taxes, and $70 billion in new long-term 
care premiums to pay for the new health care spending. This is 
according to a CBO report I requested. This double accounting was 
stunning and existed to justify the claim that the law will reduce 
costs.
  Additionally, since CBO reports evaluate legislative proposals over a 
10-year budget window, the new law was written to delay most of the new 
spending until 2014, while immediately implementing the program cuts 
and tax increases to allow 10 years of offsets to pay for only 6 years 
of spending. In order to convince Americans of the plan's merits, which 
they failed to do, they had to use accounting gimmicks that hide the 
true long-term costs of this monstrous law.
  Only in Washington will people claim that spending $2.6 trillion and 
dramatically expanding the size and scope of the Federal Government is 
good for our Nation's fiscal health.

[[Page S2468]]

  Former Director of the Congressional Budget Office Douglas Holz-
Eakin, an economist who understands the budget gimmicks used in 
Washington, cowrote an article in the Wall Street Journal in January 
that eliminates any confusion about the law's impact. This article 
titled ``Health Care Repeal Won't Add to the Deficit'' clearly refutes 
the law's supporters:

       Repeal is the logical first step toward restoring fiscal 
     sanity. . . . How, then, does the Affordable Care Act 
     magically convert $1 trillion in new spending into painless 
     deficit reduction? It's all about budget gimmicks, deceptive 
     accounting, and implausible assumptions used to create the 
     false impression of fiscal discipline . . . Repeal isn't a 
     budget buster; keeping the Affordable Care Act is.

  A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University 
conducted around the same time that this article was written revealed 
that the American people are seeing through these ploys: 60 percent of 
the country believes the health care law will increase the deficit over 
the next 10 years, while only 11 percent thinks it will lower the 
deficit.
  Once again, the America people prove that they are wiser than 
Washington. The final point I wish to make about the health care law is 
its debilitating impact on jobs and our economic recovery. In meeting 
with many small businesses, they are passionate on this point.
  The expensive mandates and penalties included in the health care law 
coupled with the rising costs of insurance facing families and 
businesses have enveloped our economy in a cloud of uncertainty. 
Already, over 6,000 pages of new health care regulations have been 
written by the Obama administration, burdening employers of all sizes 
as they make strategic decisions about business expansion, hiring 
additional employees, and long-term investments, three keys to the 
private sector recovery essential to getting Americans back to work.
  Economic estimates indicate that repealing the health care law that 
threatens our economic recovery would save 700,000 American jobs.
  It is imperative that Congress repeal this law that is burdening 
employers and stifling economic growth, and replace it with solutions 
that will lower health costs and avert the mounting fiscal crisis 
facing our Republic.
  During the recent election, the American public rebelled against the 
unchecked spending and unprecedented government expansion that threaten 
our children's future. Their message to Congress was clear: adopt 
policies to change our unsustainable trajectory and rein in the cost 
and size of the government. Congressman Paul Ryan has submitted a 
budget for 2012 that is responsible, honest, and straightforward in the 
way that it deals with the debt problem facing our children and 
grandchildren. Repealing this flawed and fiscally unsustainable health 
care law, which is an important part of his plan, would be another step 
in the right direction and would help to change the devastating 
trajectory that we are on.
  I urge my colleagues to heed the public's call and repeal this 
legislation.
  I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Missouri is recognized.

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