|00:00:00||AND THEY ARE NOT JUST -- PEOPLE SAY WELL, THIS IS A UNION THING.|
|00:00:04||NO, IT'S UNION, NONUNION, CHAMBER, ENVIRONMENTALISTS, NEIGHBORHOODS, COMMUNITY COUNCILS.|
|00:00:09||IT'S EVERYBODY YOU CAN IMAGINE BECAUSE THESE ARE REAL JOBS ABOUT REAL PEOPLE, ABOUT REAL COMMUNITIES.|
|00:00:16||OVER THERE, I THINK THEY THINK IT'S SOME THEORY THAT, OH, IF THEY DELAY IT, NOTHING REALLY WILL HAPPEN.|
|00:00:24||THEY'RE WRONG, BECAUSE YOU AND I HAVE LIVED ON THAT OTHER SIDE AND HAVE HAD TO LIVE WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF INACTION.|
|00:00:29||THIS IS ONE OF THOSE BILLS YOU LOOK FOR WHERE THERE IS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT, ALL THE GROUPS THAT ARE OUT THERE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE SUPPORT IT, AND EVERYDAY PEOPLE UNDERSTAND IT.|
|00:00:42||WHEN I WAS BACK IN ANCHORAGE AND I WAS GETTING SOME PETROLEUM, SOME GAS AT THE GAS STATION, SOMEONE WOULD COME UP, THEY WOULD ASK ME, BECAUSE WHY?|
|00:00:52||WE ARE JUST ABOUT TO START OUR SEASON IN THE BIDDING PROCESS BECAUSE YOU HAVE GOT TO TAKE 30, 60, 90 DAYS TO GET THE BIDS OUT AND THEN YOU ACTUALLY CONSTRUCT.|
|00:01:00||I THINK THEY SOMETIMES THINK OVER THERE IN THE HOUSE THAT IT'S SOME FANTASY LAND THAT WHATEVER THEY DO HAS NO EFFECT.|
|00:01:07||THIS DOES. YOU SAY IT VERY CLEARLY.|
|00:01:09||I APPRECIATE YOU ALLOWING ME TO ASK A FEW QUESTIONS AND MORE COMMENTARY AT TIMES HERE, BUT IT SEEMS THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, ALASKANS ARE TELLING ME EVERY DAY WORK TOGETHER, CREATE A BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION, WHATEVER IT MIGHT BE.|
|00:01:23||HERE IS ONE WE HAVE DONE SUCCESSFULLY, AND NOW WE'RE READY, BUT OVER THERE, THEY ARE JUST PLAYING POLITICS.|
|00:01:29||THEY HAVE NOW TRIED TWICE TO DO SOMETHING THIS WEEK, AND THEY STILL CAN'T GET IT MOVING.|
|00:01:35||SO I WOULD ENCOURAGE THEM ON THE OTHER SIDE TO JUST MOVE FORWARD ON THE BIPARTISAN BILL THAT THE SENATE HAS PASSED THAT I KNOW THEY WERE BANKING ON.|
|00:01:48||WE WOULDN'T PASS IT.|
|00:01:49||THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE WAITING FOR THESE JOBS.|
|00:01:51||THE CONTRACTOR COMMUNITY IS READY.|
|00:01:52||THE COMMUNITIES ARE READY.|
|00:01:54||IT'S TIME TO MOVE FORWARD.|
|00:01:55||SO THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO ASK A FEW QUESTIONS AND GIVE A LITTLE COMMENTARY.|
|00:02:00||COONS: THANK YOU TO THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA, AND THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT.|
|00:02:02||AS WE BOTH KNOW FROM OUR FORMER ROLES,|
Mr. BEGICH. The Senator and I have the same situation he has described: Yes, we are getting those calls and they are not just--people say this is a union thing. No, it is union, nonunion, chamber, environmentalists, neighborhoods, community councils. It is everybody you can imagine because these are real jobs, about real people, about real communities.
Over there I think they think it is some theory that if they delay it, nothing will happen. They are wrong because the Senator and I have lived on that other side and had to live with the consequences of inaction. This is one of those bills where there is bipartisan support, all the groups out there from all walks of life support it, and everyday people understand it.
When I was back in Anchorage getting some gas at the gas station, someone came up and they asked me, because why? We are about to start our season in the bidding process because you have to take 30, 60, 90 days to get the bids out and then you actually have to construct. I think sometimes in the House they think it is some fantasy land that whatever they do has no effect. This does. I think the Senator said it very clearly, and I appreciate being allowed to ask a few questions and comment here.
But it seems the most ridiculous thing to have Alaskans telling me every day to work together, create bipartisan legislation, whatever it might be. Here is one we have done successfully and now we are ready. But over there they are playing politics. They have now tried twice to do something this week and they still cannot get it moving.
I would encourage those on the other side to move forward on the bipartisan bill that the Senate has passed when I know they were banking we would not pass it. We did it; we did our work. The American people are waiting for these jobs, the contractor community is ready, and the communities are ready. It is time to move forward.
I thank the Senator and the Presiding Officer for allowing me to ask a few questions and give a little commentary.