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May 10, 2011

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[Page: S2756]  GPO's PDF 

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Mr. REID. Mr. President, every time we have a peaceful transfer of power at any level of our government, it speaks to the strength of our democracy. Today is no different.

Today, Nevada welcomes our newly appointed Senator, Dean Heller--until a few minutes ago, Congressman Heller--to this side of the Capitol. Nevada is still reeling, more than most, from the Wall Street recession that crashed our housing and jobs markets. I look forward to working with our new junior Senator to make the tough choices that will help our State and our citizens recover.

The Senate will soon confront one of those tough choices. We will continue our conversation about how to save taxpayer money and lower our Nation's deficit and debt. We have to recognize that we cannot do either so long as we keep giving away money to oil companies that clearly do not need taxpayer handouts. As gas prices and oil company profits keep rising, each Senator will soon have the opportunity to stand with the millionaires or with the middle class.

Also, today the Senate will vote on whether to advance the nomination of the Attorney General's top deputy, Jim Cole. The Deputy Attorney General runs the day-to-day operations at the Department of Justice. He also supervises the National Security Division and makes critical decisions each day that affect the safety of our great Nation. For instance, Jim Cole is one of the only people at the Department of Justice who can sign the critical warrants that permit our intelligence officials to conduct surveillance on suspected terrorists.

In the last week, our country has been reminded of the incredibly important role our intelligence community plays. It is unthinkable that partisanship and legislative ploys are keeping a public servant as well qualified as Jim Cole out of this important national security role. I hope the Senate will confirm him quickly this evening.

(Senate - May 9, 2011)

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