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Arkansas Week Special Edition with Senator John Boozman

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HELLO AGAIN EVERYONE. THANKS FOR JOINING US FOR A SPECIAL EDITION OF "ARKANSAS WEEK" WI SENATOR JOHN BOOZMAN AND THANKS FOR BEING WITH US.

ALWAYS APPRECIATE YOUR SHOW.

AND BECAUSE OF WEATHER AND SCHEDULES THE AUDIENCE WAS ADVISED -- WE WERE COMPELLED TO TAPE THE BROADCAST ON DECEMBER 5 SO THERE IS A TIME LAG HERE AND TALKING ABOUT THINGS RATHER THAN SPECIFIC SENATOR BUT BE THAT AS IT MAY.  THERE IS BROAD PUBLIC DISMAY WITH BOTH HOUSES AND THE WHITE HOUSE WITH WASHINGTON TO SAY IT'S BROKEN IT'S ALMOST A CLICHE' NOW BUT IT DOESN'T SEEM TO BE FUNCTIONING WELL.  DO YOU SEE IN HOPE IN THE YEAR THAT BEGINS NOW?

WELL, I'M AN OPTOMETRIST BY TRAINING STEVE AND I WOULD RATHER BE INTRODUCED THAT WAY AND WE'RE AT 8% NOW, THE LOWEST LEVEL.  YEAH, I THINK SO.  IT'S INTERESTING SOME OF THE BIG THINGS AND RIGHT NOW WE'RE WORKING ON THE FARM BILL.  I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING A LOT OF PEOPLE WANT TO GET PASSED. THAT'S NOT DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS.  IT'S REGIONAL DIFFERENCES MORE THAN ANYTHING SOUTHERN AGRICULTURE VERSUS THE MIDWEST AND WE GET A LOT, THEY DON'T, DIFFERENCES THAT WAY, BUT I THINK WE WILL GET SOME OF THE THINGS DONE.  THE BIG INFRASTRUCTURE BILL THAT HAS TO DO WITH OUR PORTS AND HARBORS AND INLAND WATER WAYS AND SO IMPORTANT AND THE UNDERPINNINGS OF THE COUNTRY.  WE CAN GET THOSE DONE.  WHERE WE REALLY STRUGGLE IS THE BUDGET AND WHERE YOU REALLY HAVE A DIFFERENCE OF OPINION.  DO YOU RAISE TAXES OR NEW PROGRAMS OR HUNKER DOWN AND TRY TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT WHICH IS GOING TO BE A TRILLION DOLLARS FOR THE LAST YEARS AND TRY TO REDUCE THE DEBT WHICH IS HOVERING AT $17 TRILLION.

THE TWO THINGS THAT YOU MENTION SIR, THE INFRASTRUCTURE BILL AND THE FARM BILL --

THE FARM BILL.

WELL LADIES AND GENTLEMEN ON YOUR SIDE OF THE CAPITOL HAVE REACHED CONSENSUS AND GOING NO WHERE IN THE HOUSE.  TO WHAT EXTENT IS IT URBAN RURAL?  TO WHAT EXTENT IS IT REGIONAL AND PARTISAN AND WHAT EXTENT IS IT INTRA PARTY?

I THINK YOU MAKE A GOOD POINT AND ESPECIALLY WITH THE URBAN-RURAL AND THE FARM BILL. IT'S ALL THOSE THINGS.  IT'S A COMBINATION OF ALL OF IT.  WITH THE FARM BILL LIKE I SAID IT'S REGIONAL MORE THAN ANYTHING. WITH THE BIG WATER RESOURCES BILL AND WE WERE ABLE LAST CONGRESS TO PASS THE REAUTHORIZATION OF THE HIGHWAY BILL AND THE PEOPLE THAT DID THAT WERE BARBARA BOXER AND JIM HIMOF.

CALIFORNIA AND OKLAHOMA.

NOTHING IN COMMON BUT THEY BELIEVE THAT THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE COUNTRY IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE NEED TO BE SPENDING MONEY IN THOSE REGARDS SO THOSE THINGS WE CAN GET DONE.  THE BIG THING IS THE BUDGET.  HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU SPEND NEXT YEAR? DO WE CONTINUE TO TRY TO RATCHET DOWN ON THE DISCRETIONARY SPENDING AND THINGS, AND THAT'S REALLY WHERE THE BIG IMPASSE IS.

IN THE FARM BILL IN THE HOUSE -- BETWEEN THE CHAMBERS AND IN THE HOUSE AND THERE IS A CONTINGENT THAT CONTINUES TO DEMAND FAR MORE IN FOOD STAMP CUTS THAN THE SENATE IS WILLING TO ACCEPT.

RIGHT.

SOMEBODY HAS TO GIVE.

AND THEY WILL.  WE'RE IN CONFERENCE NOW.  THE HOUSE PASSED THEIR BILL AND THE HOUSE PASSED SO WE'RE IN CONFERENCE NOW, BUT YOU'RE RIGHT THERE IS A HUGE DIFFERENCE, AND THE KEY THERE IS YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT THE NUMBER THAT IS SUCH THAT IT PROTECTS THE TAXPAYERS THAT SUCH THAT THEY HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT THE MONEY IS GOING TO THE PEOPLE THAT DESPERATELY NEED HELP. I'M A CO-CHAIR OF THE HUNGER SENATE AND IN THE HOUSE AND WE HAVE REAL PROBLEMS IN THAT AREA, SO EVERYBODY AGREES THAT WE NEED TO HELP THE PEOPLE THAT NEED TO HELPED.  THE QUESTION IS WHAT AMOUNT OF RESOURCES TO DO THAT BECAUSE THERE IS A FINITE AMOUNT OF DOLLARS, BUT AT THE END OFFED DAY I THINK WE WILL REACH AGREEMENT WITH THAT AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT NUMBER WILL BE. THE THING I FEEL GOOD ABOUT IS THAT EVERYBODY WANTS TO GET THERE WHICH IS REALLY IMPORTANT.

ARE YOU CERTAIN THAT THEY DO?

I REALLY AM IN A SENSE THE -- WHAT THEY'RE HEARING FROM THEIR CONSTITUENTS THAT IT IS IMPORTANT.  IT'S PROBABLY 18% OF ARKANSAS' ECONOMY.  I WAS OUT IN CALIFORNIA EARLIER IN THE YEAR TALKING TO SOME OF THE RICE PRODUCERS.  I AM ON THE AGCOMMITTEE AND WE THINK OF SILICON VALLEY AND ALL OF THE MARVELOUS THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN CALIFORNIA BECAUSE OF THE CLIMATE BUT AGAIN PROBABLY THEIR NUMBER ONE RESOURCE IS AGRICULTURE.  THEY ARE GROW ANYTHING.  THE SENATOR FROM DELAWARE, SENATOR COONS AND EVERY TIME WE SEE HIM "JOHN, WE HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON. CHICKEN AND THEY GROW A LOT OF POULTRY IN THE AREA AND THERE IS A LOT OF PRESSURE AND THE REASON IT'S SO IMPORTANT STEVE.  WE TALK ALL THE TIME JOBS, JOBS, JOBS, AND WHAT I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT AND I THINK EVERY ELECTED OFFICIAL IN THE COUNTRY NEEDS TO THINK EVERYDAY HOW CAN WE SAVE PENSIONS AND SAVINGS AND CREATE THESE THINGS BUT IF YOU DON'T HAVE CERTAINTY, IF THE FARMERS DON'T KNOW THE RULES FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS THEY CAN'T BUY THE EQUIPMENT THEY NEED AND MOVE FORWARD.  I HAD A YOUNG FARMER ON MY COUCH THIS YEAR AND HE WANTS TO BUY A TRACTOR WHICH IS OVER A THOUSAND DOLLARS AND HE'S NOT DOING THAT BECAUSE HE DOESN'T KNOW THE RULES AND WON'T MAKE THE LOAN TO THE BANK AND BUYING IT TO THE DEALER AND REALLY FILTERS DOWN THROUGH THE ECONOMY AND AFFECTS JOBS.

HAVE YOU TOLD THE TEA PARTY CONTINGENT IN THE HOUSE?  THAT SEEMS TO BE THE SNAG?

AT THIS POINT WE'RE IN CONFERENCE.  I THINK WE WILL GET SOMETHING OUT OF CONFERENCE AND WHATEVER COMES OUT OF CONFERENCE I THINK WE HAVE AN EXCELLENT CHANCE OF PASSING THE BILL.

WHAT DOES THE LANDSCAPE -- SINCE THIS IS SCENE IN 2014 WHAT IS THE OUTLOOK FOR THE BALANCE OF THE YEAR OF GETTING ANYTHING DONE?  AND IT'S AN ELECTION YEAR AND DICEY TIME TO MOVE ANY LEGISLATION OF ANY KIND.

IT IS.  HOPEFULLY WE MOVE WITH THE INFRASTRUCTURE BILLS AND THE OTHER BILLS AND REALLY IMPORTANT AND MOVING PRODUCTS AROUND THE COUNTRY AND EXPORTING AND IMPORTING WITH THE PORTS AND HARBORS, THINGS LIKE THAT. THEY'RE NOT VERY GLAMOROUS THINGS.  WE'RE WORKING ON GETTING A REAUTHORIZATION OF THE BILL THAT CONTROLS THE CHEMICAL PRODUCTION AND THINGS, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS, AND AGAIN I THINK WE HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF DOING THAT.  I THINK WHAT MIGHT DERAIL THAT A LITTLE BIT IS THE HEALTH CARE ISSUE.  THE WIND IS BEING SUCKED UP NOW BY THAT, AND YOU'RE RIGHT YOU REACH A POINT IN THE YEAR WHERE IT BECOMES DIFFICULT WITH REELECTION TIME WHERE PEOPLE ARE CONCENTRATING ON THOSE THINGS.

TELL ME IF WE'RE WRONG BUT THE THINKING SEEMS TO BE -- WELL, SINCE THIS PROGRAM IS BEING SEEN IN EARLY JANUARY THE BUDGET EXPIRES ON THE 15TH OF JANUARY.  THE THINKING SEEMS TO BE THAT YOUR PARTY IN PARTICULAR AND CONGRESS IN A WHOLE GOT A BLACK EYE OVER THE SHUT DOWN AND THE DEBT CEILING BRINKMANSHIP OF 2013 AND NOT LIKELY TO SEE IT AGAIN CERTAINLY IN AN ELECTION YEAR BUT I WILL ASK OR WILL WE?

NO, I DON'T THINK WE WILL AT ALL AND I WAS PRETTY UP FRONT AND I DON'T THINK THAT WAS A VERY SMART STRATEGY GOING INTO IT BECAUSE THE REALITY IS WHEN YOU DO THOSE THINGS YOU HOLD THE AMERICAN PUBLIC HOSTAGE IN THE SENSE THEY'RE THE ONES THAT SUFFER AND THEY HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS.  WE HAVE A FRAGILE ECONOMY RIGHT NOW.  WE NEED TO BE CONCENTRATING ON THAT AND THAT SIMPLY DOESN'T HELP THAT AT ALL SO I DON'T THINK AT THIS POINT ANYONE WANTS ANOTHER GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN, AND SO I THINK WE WILL GET IT WORKED OUT.  THE QUESTION IS WHAT WILL THE NUMBERS LOOK LIKE?  AND WE WILL EITHER COME TO AN AGREEMENT OR WE WON'T, AND THEN AT THIS POINT YOU GO FORWARD WITH THE CONTINUING RESOLUTIONS FUNDING THE GOVERNMENT AS YOU'RE FUNDING IT, AND THAT'S NOT A GOOD THING EITHER IN THE SENSE YOU KNOW YOU NEED TO BE LOOKING AT THESE INDIVIDUAL PROGRAMS.  SOME PROGRAMS WORK WELL.  THEY NEED INCREASED FUNDING.  OTHER PROGRAMS IN THE COURSE OF THE YEAR OR IN THE PAST YEARS ARE NOT WORKING AS WELL.  THEY NEED TO BE DECREASED FUNDING.  SOME OF THEM NEED TO BE ELIMINATED AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS AGREE WITH THAT, BUT IF YOU JUST HAVE THE CONTINUING RESOLUTION THERE'S REALLY NO MECHANISM TO DO THAT SO THAT'S JUST A GOOD WAY TO RUN A BUDGET.  THIS IS A HUGE BUSINESS.  IT'S NOT ANYWAY TO RUN AN ENTITY OF WELL OVER $3 TRILLION.

SEGUE TO OBAMACARE, THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, THREE DOZEN, MORE THAN THAT HOUSE VOTES -- ARE YOU REVOLVED IN YOUR OWN MIND SENATOR THAT IT IS THE LAW OF THE LAND?

IT IS THE LAW OF THE LAND. AGAIN I'M AN OPTOMETRIST --

AND LIKELY TO STAY IN PLACE?

  YES AND NO. WE LOOK A SITUATION THAT WASN'T WORKING VERY WELL AND INSTEAD OF E FORMING THAT BENDING THE COST CURVE WITH DOING SOME THINGS WE JUST ADDED A BUNCH OF PEOPLE INTO THE OLD SYSTEM ESSENTIALLY AND THEY'RE GOING FORWARD, BUT THERE'S REALLY NOTHING TO CONTROL COST AND AFFORDABILITY WAS THE PROBLEM THAT WE HAD THAT WE NEEDED TO SOLVE.  WE'VE DONE TO SOLVE THE AFFORDABILITY.  IF ANYTHING COSTS HAVE CONTINUED TO CREEP UP AS MUCH OR MORE THAN THEY HAVE, SO I THINK WE'RE REALLY GOING TO HAVE START LOOKING OUTSIDE THE BOX.  I HAVE BEEN ALL OVER THE STATE.  I ACTUALLY DO LOOK AT MY EMAIL, AND MAIL AND RESPOND TO THOSE THINGS AND I CAN'T TELL YOU THE HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE THAT ARE IN SITUATIONS WHERE THEY HAVE GOTTEN A LETTER, FELT THEY HAD PRETTY GOOD INSURANCE AND NOW GOING INTO THE EXCHANGES THEY'RE FINDING THAT THERE'S A VERY SIGNIFICANT INCREASE AND THEY SIMPLY CAN'T AFFORD IT.  WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT?  THE BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN POSTPONED FOR A YEAR BUT THOSE LETTERS ARE GOING TO START GOING OUT SOMEWHERE MIDYEAR, MAYBE THE FIRST QUARTER, AT THE END OF FIRST QUARTER WITH POTENTIAL RATES THERE AND I THINK YOU WILL FIND THE SAME SORT OF STICK ARE SHOT SO I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN WITH IT, BUT IT REALLY IS -- IT'S NOT A GOOD SITUATION RIGHT NOW.  I WOULD LIKE VERY MUCH LIKE TO GET RID OF IT AND START OVER IN THE SENSE THAT WE HAVE SIGNIFICANT PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH.  IT'S NOT RIGHT THAT YOU BECOME UNINSURABLE, THAT YOU LOSE YOUR JOB, YOUR INSURANCE, THOSE THINGS BUT I THINK WE CAN DO THAT WITHOUT 20,000 PAGES OF REGULATION AND THAT IS NOT AN EXAGGERATION.  IT'S OVER  7 FEET TALL AND A TRILLION IN TAXES.

ONE OF THE CRITICISM IS THAT YOUR PARTY HASN'T OFFERED AN ALTERNATIVE OR THE HEARINGS.

THEY HAVE.  THERE ARE SEVERAL BILLS OUT.  I WAS A MEMBER WHEN I WAS IN THE HOUSE OF THE DOCTOR'S CAUCUS AND THERE ARE MANY PROVIDERS OF HEALTH CARE IN CONGRESS AND A LOT OF THAT STUFF IS THERE AND YOU INCREASE COMPETITION.  THAT DOES LOWER COST.  IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU DO.  RIGHT NOW WE CAN WATCH THE GEICO COMMERCIAL OR SOME COMMERCIAL FOR CAR INSURANCE OR HOUSE INSURANCE IF THERE IS A GOOD DEAL IN MAINE YOU CAN BUY IT ACROSS STATE LINES.  WE NEED TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO THAT. YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT SUCH -- I REALLY LIKE THE HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT WHERE YOU SET ASIDE MONEY AND HAVE MORE OF A HIGHER DEDUCTIBLE, THOSE KINDS OF THINGS, BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS IT NEEDS TO BE WHERE PEOPLE HAVE SOME CHOICE.  RIGHT NOW IN THE EXCHANGES WE HAVE IN ARKANSAS AND MOST OF THE STATE THERE IS ONLY TWO -- REALLY TWO CHOICES THERE, SO IT'S JUST NOT A GOOD SITUATION.

WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE SENATORS -- AND THEY WERE TOLD -- A HUGE HUMILIATION FOR THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND NO ONE QUESTIONS THAT AND SOME THAT WERE TOLD YOU CAN KEEP YOUR INSURANCE IF YOU LIKE IT AND NOW YOU CAN'T AND BASICALLY IT WAS TRASH INSURANCE AND THEY WERE NOT ABOUT TO GET WHAT THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO GET HAD THEY UTILIZED?

AGAIN IF YOU VISIT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY IN THAT SITUATION THEY FELT LIKE THEY HAD GOOD INSURANCE.  WE'RE TALKING ABOUT BLUE CROSS, BLUE SHIELD.  THEY'RE NOT FLY BY NIGHT COMPANIES BY ANY MEANS BUT THEY HAVE MADE IT SUCH -- AND THESE ARE JUST NUMBERS BUT SAY YOU HAVE NINE DIFFERENT OPTIONS OF THE AMOUNT OF COVERAGE YOU WANTED AND JUST LIKE YOUR CAR INSURANCE AND THE MINIMUM COVERAGE OR ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES AND THEY ELIMINATED TWO THIRDS OF THOSE AND MADE EVERYONE IN THE TOP BRACKETS OF COVERAGE AND A LOT OF AMERICANS SIMPLY DIDN'T FEEL LIKE THEY NEEDED THAT MUCH COVERAGE AND THAT'S MADE IT WHERE THE COST HAS GONE UP DRAMATICALLY.  THE OTHER PROBLEM IS WHEN YOU DUMP MANY MILLIONS OF PEOPLE INTO THE SYSTEM SOMEBODY HAS TO PAY FOR THAT, AND THE PEOPLE THAT HAD INSURANCE AND INSURED ARE THE PEOPLE PAYING FOR THAT.

WELL, CAN THIS SYSTEM -- IN YOUR ESTIMATION CAN THIS SYSTEM BE REPAIRED? THEY POINT TO A PORTAL, A WEBSITE IS NOT HEALTH CARE. IT'S THE PORTAL TO HEALTH CARE OR THE COVERAGE.  CAN THIS BE FIXED?

WELL, THE WEBSITE CAN BE FIXED CERTAINLY AND THEY WILL GET THAT FIXED AND IT'S BETTER THAN NOW THAN IT WAS ALTHOUGH IT'S STILL STRUGGLING BUT YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT -- RIGHT NOW WE'RE IN A SITUATION I GO TO THE DOCTOR AND PAYING MANY HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS A MONTH FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.  YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR.  YOU ALMOST FEEL LIKE YOU NEED TO GO TO HAVE SOME BENEFIT FROM THE MONEY YOU NEED TO G THE DOCTOR SEES YOU.  HE KNOWS YOU'RE NOT PAYING THE BILL; THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS PAYING THE BILL, SO THE PERSON AND THE PROVIDER REALLY DON'T HAVE ANY SKIN IN THE GAME AND YOU'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING TO BEND THE COST CURVE DOWN. THE OTHER PROBLEM THAT WE'VE GOT IS JUST OUR HEALTH IN GENERAL. YOU'RE DOING A GREAT JOB OF TAKING RESPONSIBILITY.  YOU'RE WORKING OUT.  YOU LOOK GREAT. I NEED TO DO A BETTER JOB OF THAT.

OH MY.

AND I DO TRY TO WALK AND THINGS LIKE THAT, BUT THE REALITY IS THE WAY THAT OUR LIVES ARE DICTATES AND STRUCTURED NOW SITTING BEHIND COMPUTERS, NOT WALKING A LOT, NOT GETTING A LOT OF EXERCISE, THERE ARE JUST SO MANY COMPONENTS TO THIS THAT WE HAVE TO GET STRAIGHT AND IT'S A COMPREHENSIVE THING BUT I THINK OBAMACARE NOW THE WAY IT'S STRUCTURED HAS A BIG PROBLEM AND THE ONLY WAY TO CONTROL COST IS CUT PAY TO PROVIDERS SO RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A SITUATION WHERE MANY MEDICARE PROVIDERS ARE NOT TAKING NEW PATIENTS BECAUSE OF THE PAY ALREADY.  THE SAME WILL BE TRUE OF MEDICAID SO IT'S JUST NOT A VERY WORKABLE SYSTEM AS IT IS RIGHT NOW.

AND YOU'RE NOT MOVED IN BY THE CBO ESTIMATES THAT CONTINUES TO ESTIMATE PROJECT ENORMOUS COST SAVINGS TO  THE MAY AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS WELL.

YOU CAN DO THOSE THINGS BUT I AM DOING IT WITH MY EXPERIENCE RIGHT NOW WITH WHAT IS HAPPENING AND THE REALITY IS INDIVIDUALS WITH THEIR PREMIUMS MANY OF THEM ARE FINDING THAT THE COST IS GOING UP SIGNIFICANTLY.  MANY YOUNG PEOPLE ARE SAYING IT IS SO EXPENSIVE OR IT IS EXPENSIVE ENOUGH THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE A CHANCE AND JUST NOT GET INTO THE SYSTEM WHICH THEY NEED SO MUCH TO HELP PULL THE COST DOWN, AND THEN WE'RE ALSO IN REGARD TO BUSINESS WE'RE RAPIDLY BECOMING A NATION OF PART TIME EMPLOYEES BECAUSE BUSINESSES ARE TAKING THREE PART TIME EMPLOYEES TO TAKE TWO FULL TIME EMPLOYEES -- LET'S GET THAT STRAIGHT, TWO FULL TIME EMPLOYEES -- THREE PART TIMERS TO MAKE THAT UP AND THAT'S NOT JUST SOMETHING I AM SAYING.  THAT IS SIMPLY HAPPENING ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SO THAT'S NOT A GOOD SITUATION ALSO.

THERE IS SOME DISCUSSION OF A MINIMUM WAGE BILL.  WHERE DO YOU COME DOWN ON THAT?

WELL, WE HAVE TO LOOK AT THE NUMBERS.  THERE IS TALK OF ANYWHERE FROM A SMALL INCREASE TO DOUBLING IT, AND SO $15 AN HOUR, THINGS LIKE THAT, SO I THINK THE PROBLEM IS WHEN YOU START FIDDLING WITH THAT TOO MUCH IS YOU PRICE OUT IN AN EFFORT TO HELP PEOPLE THAT MANY OF THOSE ARE GOING INTO THE JOB MARKET FOR THE FIRST TIME. MANY ALREADY HAVE OTHER JOB OR SUPPLEMENTING AND SCHOOL AND THINGS.  IF YOU CAN HORSE AROUND AND PRICE PEOPLE OUT OF THE JOB MARKET AND YOU END UP  AT A WORSE SITUATION AND MANY ARE ENTRY LEVEL JOBS BUT YOU HAVE TO BE CAREFUL OF THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES OF BEING LESS JOBS AND ALSO IN THIS FRAGILE ECONOMY YOU HAVE SO MANY SMALL BUSINESSES THAT ARE BARELY STRUGGLING TO MAKE IT RIGHT NOW AND AS YOU PUSH UP THOSE WAGES THAT WILL CERTAINLY IMPACT THEM. DIFFICULT TO PASS ON.  THE OTHER THING YOU WORRY ABOUT THE PEOPLE ON FIXED INCOMES, THE RETIREES, THE PEOPLE ON SOCIAL SECURITY. THAT'S DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE AS WAGES GO UP THAT IS DEFINITELY GOING TO INCREASE THE PRICE OF PRODUCTS AND THEY DON'T HAVE THE ABILITY TO GET EXTRA INCOME TO COPE.

THERE WAS A SIGNIFICANT CHANGE -- ANY CHANGE IN SENATE RULES IS SIGNIFICANT.  AND MOVING A COMMA AND A CHANGE AND THIS WASN'T AN INSIGNIFICANT CHANGE AND REWORKING THE FILIBUSTER RULE.  YOU AND YOUR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUE WERE OPPOSED TO THAT CHANGE.  DOES IT NOT PORTEND SENATOR THE WORSE CASE SCENARIO MIGHT BE A DIMIN NIEWGZ SOMEWHAT OF THE ABILITY TO PROCRASTINATE -- AT LEAST THAT'S THE ARGUMENT FROM THE ADVOCATES OF THE CHANGE. YOU'RE NOT SILENCED BUT WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE THE TRAIN RUN BETTER.

I THINK THE DEAL IN ORDER TO CHANGE THE RULE THE WAY IT WAS CHANGED YOU HAVE TO BREAK THE RULES.  IT'S CLEAR YOU NEED A SIMPLE MAJORITY TO MAKE RULE CHANGES SO IF YOU DON'T THEN MAJORITY RULES.  YOU JUST CHANGE THE RULES ANYTIME YOU WANT WITH 51 VOTES SO YOU NEED A SUPER MAJORITY AND THE WAY THEY DID THAT WAS ESSENTIALLY --

SIDE STEP.

WELL, THEY USED PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE.

WORKS FOR THEM.

EXACTLY.  BUT AGAIN IT'S CLEAR THAT YOU SHOULDN'T DO IT THAT WAY SO YOU BROKE THE RULES IN ORDER TO CHANGE THEM.  I THINK YOU COULD ARGUE SOME OF THE -- SOME OF THESE CABINET OFFICIALS AND THINGS -- YOU MOVE THROUGH WITH 51 VOTES BUT THE COURT SYSTEM IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT WITH APPOINTMENTS SO I THINK YOU KNOW THE SYSTEM HAS WORKED.  THERE'S BEEN VERY FEW WHEN YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT IT FILIBUSTERED SUCCESSFULLY OVER THE YEARS AND AGAIN THESE ARE PRETTY SIGNIFICANT CHANGES. ONLY ABOUT 2% OF LEGISLATION THAT IS PASSED ALWAYS GETS TO [INAUDIBLE] SO IT'S NOT BAD IT TAKES -- ESPECIALLY IN THE SENATE WHERE THINGS  ARE SLOWED DOWN BECAUSE IN THE HOUSE BEING A HOUSE MEMBER AND THINGS IT'S MAJORITY RULES.  IT'S NO IF'S, AND'S AND BUT'S AND YOU MOVE FORWARD AND GET THINGS DONE WHETHER IT'S THE DEMOCRATS OR THE REPUBLICANS.  IN THE SENATE IT'S NOT THAT WAY SO IT SLOWS THINGS DOWN, SO I THINK THAT'S WHY I OPPOSED IT AND I CAN'T SPEAK FOR SENATOR PRIOR.

AND ADVOCATES OF THE CHANGE AND NOT A MATTER OF SLOWING DOWN JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS AND THEY CAME TO A GRINDING HALT AND YOU CONCEDE SENATOR A NUMBER OF JUDICIAL FILIBUSTERS HAVE OCCURRED IN THE YEARS OF   THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND YOU HAVE THAT IDEOLOGY GOING?

NO.  THE DEMOCRATS STARTED DOING THIS UNDER THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND BEFORE THAT DIDN'T EXIST MUCH.  ONE THING THAT IS PRESIPIS TO THIS IS THE DC COURT AND A CIRCUIT COURT THAT ISN'T THAT BUSY.  PRESIDENT BUSH WANTS TO PUT MORE ON THERE AND SENATOR SCHUMER AND OTHERS SAID NO AND YOU ACTUALLY NEED TO BE TAKING PEOPLE OFF AND PRESIDENT OBAMA WOULD LIKE TO FILL ALL OF THE SLOTS AND THIS IS WHERE ALL OF THE EXECUTIVE ACTION APPEALS WILL GO THROUGH, WHERE ALL OF THE OBAMACARE CHALLENGES WILL GO THROUGH, SO ALL THOSE THINGS SO THEY WOULD LIKE TO GET THREE MORE LIBERAL JUDGES ON THERE TO BALANCE THAT OUT AND REPUBLICANS SAID NO WE DON'T REALLY NEED TO DO THAT SO THAT'S THE CASE.

IF THE TABLES WERE TURNED WOULD THERE BE AN OBJECTION?  ? IN OTHER WORDS IF THERE WAS A REPUBLICAN IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND FILL THE VACANCIES AND BE A DISPUTE -- ON THE DC CIRCUIT?

VERY MUCH SO BECAUSE AGAIN LIKE I SAID WHEN PRESIDENT BUSH TRIED THAT OR JUST GET THE VACANCIES ELIMINATED WHERE YOU HAD A FULL CONTINGENT THE DEMOCRATS REALLY OBJECTED AND BLOCKED FROM DOING THAT.  NOW, AS FAR AS THE RULE CHANGE, DOING IT THE WAY IT WAS DONE, REPUBLICANS ACTUALLY TRIED WITH THAT AND THEN DIDN'T DO IT, AND AGAIN MY PROBLEM IS, AND I WOULD HOPE THAT CERTAINLY I WOULD STEP FORWARD AND SAY "NO, YOU DON'T BREAK THE RULES WHEN YOU CHANGE THE RULES."  IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT THIS PROBABLY COULD HAVE BEEN ON THE FIRST DAY OF CONGRESS IF YOU'RE GOING TO DO THESE THINGS, BUT THE WAY IT WAS DONE -- THE END DOESN'T JUSTIFY THE MEANS.  SIMPLY YOU CAN'T OPERATE LIKE THAT.

SENATOR WE HAVE LESS THAN A MINUTE REMAINING.  YOU'RE AN ADVOCATE AND NOW THE U.S. SUPREME COURT SAID YES THEY CAN DEAL WITH THE SALES TAX.  ANY CHANCE OF THAT.

WE HAVE TO WAIT AND SEE. IT'S A MATTER OF FAIRNESS.  IF A BUSINESS STARTS OUT -- I THINK THE AVERAGE SALES TAX IN ARKANSAS IS 9%, SO IF YOU START OUT 9% BEHIND AND YOU'RE DOWN THERE ON MAIN STREET, ON THE SQUARE TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING AND YOUR COMPETITOR ONLINE STARTS OUT WHERE YOU'RE PAYING 9% MORE THAT'S MORE THAN SOME PROFITS THAT --

OR SELLING.

YEAH I'M SORRY.  MAKEUPS THAT YOU'RE DOING IN THE STORE SO IT'S A MATTER OF FAIRNESS AND ONE OF THE BIG PROBLEMS IN THE PAST HAS BEEN THE TECHNOLOGY, NOT HAVING THE ABILITY -- HOW DO YOU FIGURE OUT ALL THE STATES AND THAT STUFF?  THAT'S PRETTY WELL -- THAT'S BEING SOLVED IN THE SENSE THAT MOST OF THE BIG -- THE WAL-MARTS, THE THIS AND THAT'S THEY ALREADY DO THIS SO THE TECHNOLOGY IS THERE, BUT BASICALLY IT'S A STATES RIGHT ISSUE ALSO.  IF THE STATE WANTS TO DO THAT THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO AND IF NOT OPT OUT.

SENATOR WE SIMPLY HAVE TO END IT THERE BECAUSE WE'RE OUT OF TIME.  THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU AND SEE YOU NEXT TIME.

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