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List of United States senators from Massachusetts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Current delegation

Below is a chronological listing of the United States senators from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. According to the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution adopted in 1913, U.S. senators are popularly elected for a six-year term. Elections are held the first Tuesday after November 1, and terms begin on January 3, about two months after the vote. Before 1914, and the enforcement of the Seventeenth Amendment, the state's U.S. senators were chosen by the Massachusetts General Court, and before 1935, their terms began March 4.

The current senators are Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey. Ted Kennedy was Massachusetts's longest-serving senator, serving from 1962 until his death in 2009.

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  • Senator Judd Gregg: "The Role of the Senate"
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  • The Senate and the House of Representatives Explained (Congress - AP Government Review)


>> Ron Shaiko: Good afternoon. Welcome, and happy Constitution and Citizenship Day to you all. The new academic calendar here at Dartmouth now allows us to actually celebrate Constitution Day on Constitution Day. In years past, we've been off campus or wandering about the country side before getting back to Hanover. So today we can actually celebrate it on its correct day. My name is Ron Shaiko, I'm the associate director of the Rockefeller Center here at Dartmouth College. It is my distinct pleasure to introduce today's Constitution Day speaker, Senator Judd Gregg. Throughout his more than three decades of service to the citizens of New Hampshire, beginning with his election to the governor's executive council in 1978, through his service in the United States House of Representatives from 1981 to 1989, here serving the congressional -- the second congressional district of New Hampshire. His two terms as governor, from 1989 to 1993, and finally 18 years of service in the United States Senate from 1993 to 2001. Or 2011. Throughout this time, Judd Gregg was a steadfast champion for Dartmouth College and for higher education in the state of New Hampshire, more generally. He has left his mark on this campus and on campuses across the state. It is safe to say that IIIP, the Institute For Information Infrastructure Protection, and ISTS, the Institute For Security Technology and Society would not exist today on their current footprint or their research trajectory without the support of Senator Gregg. His work on these and other projects in the Senate on our behalf has served countless students, faculty, and administrators very well for the past three decades. And for that, we as a college will be always grateful to you. We can only hope that Senators Shaheen and Ayotte aspire to champion our cause is Washington to the extent that Senator Gregg has and had. While Senator Gregg is no stranger to the college of public speaker, today's Constitution Day lecture marks Senator Gregg 's first public presentation as the inaugural Dartmouth distinguished fellow. This newly created position at the college will allow Senator Gregg to interact with students, faculty, and the community for the next three years through lectures, meetings with faculty and students in classes, and individual advising sessions. He will serve as an important resource for the faculty and for students with broad interest in government and the public policy making process. In fact, this very lecture today is directly linked to one of our fall courses in public policy, Public Policy 20, Contemporary Issues in American Politics and Public Policy, taught by Charlie Whalen. Senator Gregg will meet with that class after the elections in November. Today's lecture by Senator Gregg is entitled The Role of the Senate in the Coming Fiscal Crisis. As the Constitution Day lecture, we will focusing at -- on Article One of the Constitution as our jumping-off point. Article One plays out the framework for the legislative branch of our federal government and out lines the enumerated and applied powers of congress. Article One, Section 8, includes among a laundry list of enumerated powers, one key clause of special relevance to today's topic. The congress shall have the power to borrow money on the credit of the United States. Not the president, congress. Therefore, while presidents may be coconspirators in creating and in fact accumulating our national debt, ultimately it is the congress that controls the purse of our federal government. Perhaps more accurately, the United States House of Representatives an the United States Senate who control our purse strings and who ultimately will have to solve our budget problems. Throughout his career in the house and the Senate, Senator Gregg has focused his attention on the federal budget process, eventually serving as chair and then ranking member of the Senate budget committee. He entered the house when the current budget process we know today was still in its infancy. When the budget committees were still trying to figure out their institutional roles, what they would be. And the congressional budget office was still wrestling with how to establish itself, vis-a-vis the Office of Management and Budget in the White House in setting budget targets and baselines. Today, more than 30 years later, Senator Gregg remains significantly engaged in federal budgetary matters, among several other pursuits. Now that he has left office, the Senator has become accustomed to wearing many hats. In addition to his position here at Dartmouth as the inaugural distinguished fellow, Senator Gregg also serves as -- on several corporate boards , he's an international advisor to Goldman Sachs, he's a senior advisor to New Mountain Capital, he writes a weekly column in the Hill Newspaper in Washington, he serves as a regular contributor to C NBC, you've seen him on Squawk Box, Kudlow Report, and many other shows on that cable network channel. If weren't enough to keep a retired Senator business, Senator Gregg now co-chairs with former Senator Alan Simpson, former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former governor of Pennsylvania Ed Rendell the Fix the Debt Campaign. A national, bipartisan effort to convince and promote significant congressional action to reduce the budget deficit and the national debt. Or more succinctly, have them act like adults in congress. We at the Rockefeller Center are thrilled to have Senator Gregg join us today to share his thoughts on an institution he cares deeply about, the United States Senate, and on a problem he has invested much of his career to resolve, our national debt. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming Senator Judd Gregg. [Applause] >> Senator Gregg: Thank you for that very generous introduction. Very much appreciate it. And it's a great pleasure to be here. It's even a great -- more of an honor and a privilege to be named the first distinguished fellow here at Dartmouth. Somebody suggested it should be extinguished because I'm former. But as a very practical matter, it is an honor and a privilege. And Kathy and I have spent years, literally, when we were very young. We used to come up here a lot and continued that, and we've always had a wonderful relationship with Dartmouth. Three of our children went here, so it's been great fun watching what Dartmouth gave them, which was a wonderful zest for life and ability to succeed once they left Dartmouth in a way that was extraordinary. So just a pleasure, pleasure to be named to this post. It's nice to be here today to talk about -- on Constitution Day, the role of the Senate and specifically the role of the Senate as it has evolved, and then as it is -- what role it's going to play in what I consider to be the single biggest issue we face as a nation, after the Number One issue, which is of course terrorist using a weapon of mass destruction against our nation is our Number One concern as a nation. But after that, the biggest issue we have, in my opinion, is the issue of how we get our fiscal house in order, because we are on a path which is unsustainable and we are on the verge of passing on to our children a nation that does not have the financial capability of giving our children the type of prosperous lifestyle that we had, and will actually lead to a diminishing to a standard of living in this country if we continue on our present course. It's interesting that today is Constitution Day. My colleague in the Senate for years, in fact he's the longest-serving member of the Senate, so I wasn't there as long as he was, Bob Bird always used to carry around this copy of the Constitution, which he had memorized. I have not memorized mine. And it's really fascinating document, as we all know. I hope many of you have read it, taken the time. Although not too many Americans I think have read it. Interestingly enough, today is the wrong day for Constitution Day. Just to start out. Constitution Day should be June 9, because that's when New Hampshire ratified the Constitution. And it took nine states to make the Constitution effective, according to the Constitution Convention. New Hampshire was the ninth. Just barely beating out either New York or Virginia, I'm not sure which. But in any event, the only reason the Constitution exists is because of New Hampshire. That's the way we view it here in New Hampshire. I don't know if any of you have taken the time to read a book called Miracle of Philadelphia, but it's a fascinating become about what happened in the creation of the Constitution. It's a short book, came out during the 200th anniversary of the Constitution. And one of the things that is fascinating to me, at least, is how, you know, we take it for granted now that there's a written Constitution for our nation. This was totally new at the time , the concept of a written document that would guide a nation. It involved the people preparing the document. Closest thing of course would have been the Magna Carta. But that wasn't really the type of document that our Constitution was. Is that interference bothering you folks? Because I can just turn this off and talk, you can probably hear me, right? Is that interference effecting you? Okay. It's hard to find -- there's a lot of sources for the Constitution, of course. And the starting with the Greek republics and Plato and Aristotle. But really, the essence of the Constitution grew out of what's known as the Scottish Enlightenment, which was begun by John Locke and it led to Lord Cane, Francis Hendrickson and David Hume and Adam Smith in the early 1700's. And it was really their thought process that caused this extraordinary collection of people at Philadelphia to develop our concept of governance. And what I find interesting is these groups that sort of gather and feed off of each other. You see it all through history, where there's a small -- here in Edinborough and Glasgow in Scotland really the genesis of all the great thought that led to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution began. Just with a small group of people. And the thing they stressed -- struggled with mostly was how do you balance liberty and government, because most of the governments they saw were autocratic at the time, they were kings. And liberty for them was the ability to pursue happiness and own property, and they understood that you couldn't have liberty unless you had a government to protect the liberty, because the person with the gun might take away were your property, the person with the gun might take away your happiness. And you needed the government to manage that. But they hadn't quite conceived yet how you'd actually merge the two in a way that would actually work, because they -- the governments they were used to were all autocratic governments. So they came up with the theories, and it took Madison, Randolph, Jefferson, although he wasn't at the convention, Franklin, to basically take those theories and bring them into something, bring them into our Constitution, which is a most amazing document. The Bill of Rights being obviously equally amazing, but it was not of course designed at Philadelphia. It came as a result of the states wanting to make sure that the rights of the states and the individuals were preserved with the ratification of the Constitution. So we want to talk about the Senate's role in the Constitution. And I think it's important to just look at what it says about the Senate, not the enumerated powers which were mentioned, because those apply to both the Senate and the House. But it's a pretty simple statement, and it says Article 3, Section 3 Article 1. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state for six years, chosen for six years, each Senator shall have one vote. This language was at the essence of what allowed the Philadelphia Convention to reach an agreement. It was called The Great Compromise. The struggle in Philadelphia involved a lot of different issues, regional issues, agriculture versus the north east, the New England mercantile states, free traders in the north east versus protectionists in the south. But the biggest struggle of course was the role of the different -- what had been colonies, states, as they related to each other. Because their sizes were significantly different, the amount of population was significantly different. And the smaller states were very concerned about the larger states basically taking everything over. And the whole convention probably would have broken down except for, in fact, want to read you a quote, talking about that, except for this Great Compromise. And the Great Compromise was essentially this, that the Federalists, the people who wanted a very strong central government, remember we had the Articles of Confederation, which was really an incredibly weak form of central government, also a government by unanimity, which has never worked. Didn't work in Poland in the 1700's, it didn't work here. That central -- desire to have a strong central government, not strong as we see it today, of course, central government is so strong. But back then a government that was strong enough would have the right to raise revenue, the right to defend the nation, the right to control commerce. These were big things, big gives on the part of the those folks who were suspicious of central government. And most of those folks came from small states. And so they agreed to that Federalist system, which was basically the design of Randolph and Madison, in exchange for the protection of the small states by the creation of the Senate. And it's interesting, which gave each state two votes -- it's interesting during the ratification process that the -- the debate over ratification, and it went state by state of course, very much involved the debate over what was the role of the Senate. And there was a real sort of view that the Senate was an appendage that you didn't need, I mean, what do you need a Senate for? And in fact, there was a guy named Singletary, who was a farmer from Massachusetts who during the convention said these Senators, they're just going to become perpetual people in government. And they're going to -- they're going to move where the seat of government is. They're not going to come back to their states. Can't believe he said that. Think about it. And then another -- another person, I think it may have been Jerry from Massachusetts said well, they're going to arrogant people. Said it's going to be filled with a lot of arrogant people. Because they're independent, and they've got these six-year terms. Everybody was upset about the six years terms. But James Wilson, who was basically from -- from Pennsylvania and who was at the convention, and who originally opposed the concept of a federal government, but after participating in the convention came to the conclusion there should be one, he said no, we have to have a Senate because we wouldn't have a constitutional -- we wouldn't have a Constitution to vote on if we didn't have the Senate. It was the essence of the ratification process that the Senate be included for the smaller states to participate. In fact, just to read his quote at the Philadelphia convention, said, "the Philadelphia convention" -- in the convention in Pennsylvania to ratify the convention. "The Philadelphia convention would have broken up if it had not been agreed to, to allow representation in the states through the Senate." This is -- this was what was at the essence of what got the compromise to go forward. And then it took -- took Madison to come along and really explained the purposes of the Senate in the Federalist papers, which I'm sure some of you have read. But in Federalist 63, he said -- basically out lines three things. I want to read them all to you. Because they're really important. He said -- this is why we have a Senate, the paper was on why we have a Senate. In this spirit it may be remarked, and this is Madison writing, obviously. This is late 1700's, so his language is of that period -- "that equal vote allowed to each state is at once a constitutional recognition of the portion of sovereignty remaining in the individual states, an instrument for preserving that residuary sovereignty. So far, the equality ought to be no less acceptable to the larger than the small states. Because they are not solicitous, to guard, by every possible expediency against the improper consolidation of the states into one simple republic." So that was his first point, that basically you needed a Senate to protect the states so that they didn't end up getting consolidated into one country in the way that you would have no Federalist system. The second point he makes is, "it is a misfortune instant to public governments, though in a less degree than to other governments, that those who administer it may forget their obligation to their constituents and prove unfaithful to their important trust. In this point of view, a Senate as a second branch of the legislative assembly distinct from the dividing powers with a first must in all cases be a Statutory check on the government. It doubles the security of the people." Then he went on to say as his third purpose, as history third key purpose, "that you have a Senate because you don't want a mutable government." You don't want a government that basically doesn't have stability. And by having a Senate you have stability and respectable in the government. In fact, I -- I'm not sure I can work this machine. But I'm going to take a run at it. There we go. All right, it worked. Wow. Boy. [Inaudible] technology -- you know, leaving the Senate is giving me all sorts of new skills. I went from 75 staff people, I had staff from my budget committee staff, my health committee staff, my appropriations committee , my own staff -- on December -- on January 4 I got a Blackberry. That was it. And now my wife Kathy, she doesn't consider -- she keeps me on track. But anyway, this is the -- the Federalist second. He says no government any more than an individual will long be respected without being truly respectable. Nor be truly respectable without possessing a certain portion of order and stability. And he saw the Senate as the place where the government would be respectable and maintain order and stability. I can accept that as a former Senator, that that's a pretty good approach to the way you should approach the Senate. So we got through the Great Compromise, and the Constitution was ratified. And the government started going forward, and it evolved. And that's of course one of the most amazing things of our Constitution, is it is a very malleable document, although its core values are very clear and definable. Those values are constantly mutating as to how they're applied. And of course the Senate became the dominant force in American political culture in the beginning of the country. Especially in the period 1820 to 1830, when you had the major debates, which were occurring around the issue of whether the country could be separated and pulled apart. And you had Clay and Calhoun and Webster, and Calhoun wanted -- from South Carolina -- wanted the states to be able to nullify any federal law. And he felt that was a right, that that was protected under the Constitution and under the Bill of Rights. Clay and Webster felt that that would undermine the concept of the nation and would basically lead to our dis-union. And of course this was all a growing ferment which was built around the issue of slavery. And this came to a peak in a debate in the Senate between Daniel Webster and Senator Hanes from South Carolina. And the debate went on over three or four days. Webster spoke for two days, I believe. And he wrapped it up by saying "liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable." And those words became the dominant strain of commitment to one nation until Lincoln came. And that speech was memorized in schools across the country for years, well past the Civil War. And I believe -- and I don't think there's any question about this, although I've never seen a lot of discussion of it -- that our nation would not exist today if it had not been for Webster's and Clay's management of and defeat of the nullification language. We were a weak country still then. We were a regional country still then. And had our country broken up and gone to Civil War in 1830 as versus in 1860, I think it's very unlikely that the north would have been able to dominate the south and keep the country together. And so you can argue, and I do argue, that it was the Senate and really the leadership of the Senate that kept the country together long enough so that Lincoln could come along and nascently preserve the union when we finally decided to settle unequivocally the issue of slavery. Which had to be settled at some point. And of course the Senates evolved over the years. Never really retained -- gotten to that level of status, but still maintain the primacy of the position within the congress, and there's been great Senators who have had a huge impact on the course of American life, Large and Vanderburg being two, but there's many, many. Now we're at a point where the question is, I believe, and it's legitimately asked, is the Senate still maintaining that sort of relevance. Or has it become a collection of egos, has it become a marginalized body. And that's a legitimate question, because there has been over the last few years a change in the Senate. Which I am concerned about, and which I want to talk about, and we'll lead into the discussion a little bit about fiscal policy. But basically, it went from a body will the purpose was to protect the states to a body where its purpose is to protect the minority. It remains within our check and balance structure the only place where a person with minority views must be heard, historically, because of the right of amendment and the right of open debate on the floor, within the three branchs -- within the two branchs that are legislative or administrative. The presidency, obviously, doesn't hear from the minority. The president is one party. The House, because it's an autocratic body, built off of a set of rules which basically give the Speaker of the House absolute power over the House is also not a balanced, open system. The Senate, on the other hand, as Washington said, is the saucer into which the hot coffee is poured. It's the place where things are supposed to be debated. But most importantly, it's the place where the rights of the minority are protected. Robert Bird, who I mentioned earlier, who not only was the longest-serving Senator but the historian of the Senate, said the Senate is the one place in the whole government where the minority is guaranteed a public airing of its views as long as the Senate retains the power to amend and the power to unlimited debate, the liberties of the people will remain secure. And I agree 100% with that. But the question today is, is that character of the Senate going to be maintained? The Senate appears to be -- if not broken, severely damaged on two levels. One is doing the ordinary business of the government. It hasn't passed the budget in four years, the House has. It hasn't passed appropriation Bills. This used to come across the floor one at a time. I was the chairman of the appropriating committee, and when I was in the Senate from the mid-90's as chairman to the mid-2006 period, we took up 13 and then 12 appropriation bills in order, they call came to the floor. Appropriations bills discuss how you're going spend money on certain functions of the government; the Defense Department, the Education Department, the Health Department. And you voted on them. Doesn't do that any more. And committees used to be the place where laws were written and structured. Committees are no longer where laws are written. Laws are written and structured in the cloak room of the majority leader. In fact, Obama care, which was arguably the most significant law passed in the last four years, was written in the majority leader's office by staff of a couple of committees and by his staff, and then it was brought to the floor of the Senate on a Saturday afternoon before Christmas, and then was voted on Christmas Eve, three days later, without any significant amendments. And what we're seeing now, unfortunately, now the Senate is a movement -- and I think this is in part because so many of the Senate leadership came out of the House, a movement towards a House type of system, where basically debate is not allowed unless it is very structured, amendments aren't allowed unless they're pre-cleared by the majority, and as a result the openness of the body is being, in my opinion, put at risk. And I'll just show you one statistic, which sort of reflects this. This is called filling the tree. Now under the rules of the Senate all Senators are equal except for one thing. All Senators are equal on the floor of the Senate except for one thing. The majority leader has right of recognition. So that if I am a Senator and I'm on the floor and I want to offer an amendment or I want to speak, and I rise to ask for the chair's recognition, and the majority leader rises at the same time, the chair must recognize the majority leader. The effect of that is the majority leader controls the flow of legislation and amendments to the floor if he wishes to. And filling the tree is when the majority leader takes a bill to the floor, brings it up, and then immediately files amendments on every point in that bill that can be amended so that nobody else can come to the floor and amend the Bill. That's called filling the tree. It is a way of shutting down debate and taking control of the floor, almost identical to what the House does under the Speaker of the House, which they have a rules committee which tells the floor what can be offered as amendments. And it is extremely stultifying event. It means basically that the floor is now under the total and absolute control of the majority leader. And that as a result there's going to be no amendments and virtually go debate, that's not acceptable to it. And you can see that this process has been used over the years, filling the tree. But then in the last two sessions of congress, last two congress's, it's been dramatically increased. And the practical effect of it is to shut down the Senate as the place where the minority gets its views heard. Now you hear a lot of debate about the filibuster. And about the abuse of the filibuster. This is all tied to the filling of the tree. Because when the minority has the tree filled on it and can't offer amendments, it basically it written out of the legislative process. So what the minority -- minority's only way to address -- redress that is to do something called filibustering the motion to proceed. The motion to proceed is a motion brought up by the majority leader to go to a bill. You have to do that before you can go to a bill. You have to -- unless it's a unique bill leak the budget. But if the minority can't filibuster the motion to proceed, then the minority has no leverage to force the majority leader to allow amendments. But as long as the minority can filibuster the motion to proceed so that the motion to proceed can't go forward then the bill can't go forward. And so why you hear about all these filibustering events is because the minority is trying to protect its rights when the bill gets to the floor to keep the tree from being filled and be allowed to amend. And this is a huge issue. Huge issue. And it unfortunately isn't understood. It's not understood by the press especially, which sees that -- sees the filibustering of the motion to proceed as dilatory and obstruction when in fact what it's doing is protecting the most important activity the Senate has today, which is the right of the minority to participate in the process. If you take the Senate out of our constitutional system as a place where the minority can participate in the process you are going to fundamentally harm our system over the long run. You might benefit briefly with some bills that pass that you like. But over the long run you're going to harm the system. And so this is a huge issue that the Senate is wrestling with right now. Which brings us to the question of can the Senate under this atmosphere where it's not passing any budgets, it's only passing appropriations, omnibus bills, and it's shutting down the floor to debate and amendment, can the Senate be the place where really tough decisions are taken on? And we've got some very tough decisions we have to take on. this chart which some of you have seen, if you've been in the talk before, I know a couple of you have, this chart reflects the problem we're headed towards as a nation. The biggest problem we have after a weapon of mass destruction being used by a terrorist. It shows that our spending as a nation is going up dramatically. That's the red line. The historical spending of the country is the dotted line. Which has always been about 20% GDP. It's going up exponentially. The initial blimp up was the really severe recession caused by the fiscal financial collapse of 2008. Revenues are on the bottom line. They're the dotted blue line. Historically, revenues have been about 18.6% of GDP, 18.2%. And you can see they that they drop precipitously. And this costs this point in here caused these really historically bad deficits of 1.3, 1.4, 1.2 trillion dollars, which we've had for the last three years. Now as the recession ended, theoretically, at least, or actually in practice, as the recession ends spending usually comes down because the safety net issues which kicked in to drive spending up start to back out. And revenues start to come back because the economy picks up. And the lines are supposed to start to meet in the post-recessionary climate. And you can see the revenues are coming back up, and projected to be well over their estimated levels, heading towards 20% of GDP. Unfortunately, spending is going up exponentially. And this gap here, this gap out here, is where our problem as a nation is. It's a fact under all projections that our deficits are going to run at about a trillion dollars a year for as far as the eye can see, maybe even more. And to try to put that in context, we never had a deficit over $450 billion until 2009. And that the spending of the federal government is going to continue straight up until it hits about 30% of GDP. What's driving this are a couple of things, but what's driving it is the retirement of the post-war baby boom generation, of which I am a member. This generation is the largest generation in the nation's history. We're going from 35 million retired people to 70 million retired people, and they will arguably be, or technically be, fully retired by 2017. All of our entitlement systems, especially the important ones, the big ones, social security, Medicare, were built on the philosophy of a pyramid, that will would always be many more working people paying in than retired people taking out. And in fact, in the '50's for example, in social security, there were almost 16 people paying in for every one person taking out. Because of the retirement of the baby boom generation, we've gone from a pyramid to a rectangle. Today, in social security, 2.2 people pay in for every one person taking out. So these entitlements simply are not sustainable. Now there have been two or three runs trying to get this under control. And because these issues are so big, and so pervasive in the way they effect all Americans, I happen to believe you can't get them under control unless you have an agreement that involved both sides of the isle and is bipartisan. First effort to do this was Simpson-Bowles commission I served on. And it produced a $4 trillion reduction in deficits over ten years. The majority of the reduction came from spending, but there was a significant amount of revenue. We picked as a sides of the federal government, instead of the 24% it's at now and headed up, we picked a size of the federal government of 21.3%. And so you can see spending had to come down to that, revenues had to come up to that. And it was a good proposal. $4 trillion of savings over four years. Didn't address healthcare, which it needed to. But it was as good as we could get, and it was voted for in a bipartisan way. Three of the most conservative, fiscally conservative members of the Senate voted for it, two of the most liberal members of the Senate voted for it. But unfortunately, it didn't move forward for a lot of reasons. That was followed by last summer, not this last summer, but the summer before, the debt sealing debacle, which produced the super- committee, and the super-committee was basically supposed to do the same thing that Simpson-Bowles did. But it had statutory authority to act. So whatever they produced couldn't be ignored the way Simpson-Bowles was, had to go to the floor of the House and the Senate, had to be voted on up or down, and could not be amended. Very powerful committee. In fact, you could argue for a brief period of time we actually legislated that we would be a parliamentary government as versus electing it, super majorities. They didn't reach agreement. That was followed by the gang of six or right in that group was the gang of six, which were six members of the Senate, equally divided Republicans and Democrats, who tried to work out an agreement. Now the gang of six wasn't actually six, it was about thirty. Now that -- they didn't reach an agreement either. Now we're coming on to another major decision point on the issue of fiscal policy which is the fiscal cliff. Now I'm sure you're all familiar with what this means. But basically at the end of this year three major fiscal events happen. One, a sequester goes into place. That's an across the board cut, the vast majority of it is discretionary spending. Remember, federal spending is divided into discretionary spending and entitlement spending. Discretionary spending has to be appropriated every year, and it's about 30% of the budget. It involves things like national defense, environmental programs, educate -- a lot of the education programs, health, a lot of the healthcare programs that are research-oriented, like NIH. Entitlement programs are not appropriated at all. They're laws that exist. And if you have certain -- if you meet certain criteria, if you're a veteran, if you're over 62, social security, if you're over 65 with Medicare, you have the right to a benefit paid by the federal government. And it's on automatic pilot. Well, the sequester is a $1.2 trillion cut over ten years applied against discretionary spending. The vast majority of discretionary spending is defence spending. So the majority of the sequester falls on defence. That occurs on January 1. That's followed by a tax increase because a whole series of tax deductions and exception laps. The Bush tax cuts which you hear about lapse, the R and D cuts lapse, the AMT fix lapses. Whole series of things representing 3 to $5 trillion of new taxes if they go forward. And then lastly, there's the debt ceiling. We're coming up again to another debt ceiling, like we had two Augusts ago, which is a pressure point. So this -- these three effects together are sort of the perfect storm of fiscal policy, and we're going to have a congress coming back in December which is going to be arguably a lame duck congress. You may have a different control of either the House or the Senate, you may have a different president. But they have to make these decisions on what's going to happen where all these events go into place. And if they all went into place in their present form there would be a massive, massive retardation of our economy. The estimates vary between 2 and 5%. It would be significant. And we would probably move back into some sort of potentially recessionary period. So there has to be an ordinary approach to this. All of these are driven, however, by a desire to get our spending and our debt under control. So there has to be an orderly decision on spending and debt. There's a group of us that was mentioned involving Alan Simpson, which involves myself and Ed [Inaudible] trying to put together a template or a resource for the congress to work on, but the question becomes -- that they can reach an agreement on. But the question becomes is it possible for our government the way it's structured to accomplish that type of agreement. Or are we just simply going to sort of founder into either the fiscal cliff, which would create huge economic disruption, or potentially the stock markets and the capital markets at some point saying they no longer have confidence in our currency because our debt is too high, which leads to a much higher increase in deficits, and we end up in a crisis of the type that Europe has. Or can we do it in an orderly way. Which brings me back to the topic, which is who can do this? Well, the House can't do it. And the reason the House can't do it is because the House over the years has become Gerrymandered based off of political positions, political parties. 60 to 65% of the House seats are elected by the party. In other words, if you win your party primary you are the member of the House of Representatives from that district, because the other party doesn't have any votes of any significant in that district. To win your party election you have to go through a primary, usually. And to win a primary you have to speak to the base. And the base on both sides of the isle is uncompromising. And so what you get are people going to congress who by definition if they want to get reelected can't compromise because they'll upset their base, which is the people who elect them to the position. So the House is sort of locked into this stratified situation. We then have the presidency, which should be leading on this, and hopefully the next president, whether it's President Obama being reelected or President Romney will lead, but if you listen to what they've been saying so far in their campaigns they haven't really defined a plan which would lead and give us definition on this. And of course the President Obama did walk away already from Simpson-Bowles so we know what I consider to be at least the most viable entity is probably not there as the vehicle that would be used. Which comes back to the Senate. The Senate is essentially the only game in town on this issue. Because it is still in the Senate, the Senate is still the place where compromise is required in order to get things done. In my years in the Senate, probably the best legislator I ever came across in the Senate was Ted Kennedy. He was chairman of the committee I was ranking on, and then I was the chairman of the committee he was ranking on. And the reason he was such an exceptional legislator was because he knew he couldn't get anything done if he didn't produce a bill that he could pass. Pretty simple, right? You have to govern to actually govern. Well, it's an idea that's escaped many of my colleagues because they want to stand in a corner and shout for the purposes of speaking to their constituencies. But as a practice matter, in the Senate at least, there's still a working middle that has the capacity to produce a product that could actually address our fiscal problems. And I believe they're making progress on this, about two weeks ago, three weeks ago, myself and Erskine Bowles were invited up to speak to a group of Senators. I expected 20 or 30 at the most, 15 or 20, maybe. 40 Senators showed up. And we spoke for over an hour-and-a-half, we talked. About what the process will have to be in December, what the procedures need to be. What type of structures should a grand bargain be, for lack of a better word. A Simpson-Bowles type of exercise. And engagement was total. I know it was total because as a Senator, one of the things you learn very quickly is that if you can leave a meeting legitimately, you leave and you never come back. And these Senators had three votes during this meeting, and all of them kept coming back. Because they wanted to talk about how to do this, and it was totally a bipartisan group. It had folks like Dick Durban and Chuck Schumer, and Tom Coburn, my [Inaudible] all there. So there is an energy now to do this. And it is the place where it can get done. And I genuinely believe that if we're going to get a majority agreement in December, it will probably be a procedural agreement that puts us on a path to actually getting legislation by the middle of next year, if we're going to get that agreement it's going to come out of the Senate, the leadership is going to come out of the Senate. But the Senate is going to have to be careful. Because it can't accomplish this if it tries to shut either side out. It has to be done with both sides participating, and that means the leadership of the Senate has to open the floor so everybody thinks they can participate. That's where we are as a government. I'm actually reasonably optimistic, but I wouldn't guarantee it. Thank you very much, I'll be happy to take any questions you have. [Applause] >> Senator Gregg: I've been directed to recognize students first, you must be a student? >> Formerly a student. [Inaudible] -- >> Senator Gregg: No, no. Go ahead. You're the only one courageous enough to put your hand up. >> Just a couple of questions. Are you able to share with us any of the components of what might be taking shape as a grand compromise on the fiscal cliff? And secondly, wouldn't anything that made it through the Senate have to go to the House? >> Senator Gregg: Well -- >> What is the dynamic that would be existing there, particularly since -- I don't have to elaborate, there's a recalcitrant House. >> Senator Gregg: Right. Well on your first point, it's still fluid. But I tend to think that the template of Simpson-Bowles is the one that makes the most sense. But basically, the next one would have to include healthcare, because healthcare wasn't addressed. And healthcare is our biggest issue. In fact, just in Medicare and Medicaid alone we have a $65 trillion -- trillion, that's with a T -- dollar unfunded liability. So those have to be addressed, and they have to be brought into the package. But I think it will be a package -- I'll out line Simpson-Bowles. Simpson-Bowles had some very specific discretionary cuts, basically a menu which reached a center number. It had a social security reform package which made social security solvent for the next 75 years, and it had a tax reform package which basically eliminated a massive under of deductions and exceptions, took the revenue from that and used it primarily to reduce rates, so the rates in Simpson-Bowles were 9, 15, and 23%. But took another chunk of it, small but compared to what it used to reduce rates to reduce the debt. I think that's the framework of an agreement. And that's why we're working so hard to produce a package that will be available. We don't expect to write the law, we're not in congress, but have a resource that can be used. On your second point, how do you deal with the House? I think the only way you can deal with the House -- well, not the only way, but the best way to deal with the House is you have to have a package that is reached as a compromise coming out of the Senate that has the president's support. And then the president has to go to his party in the House and say we're going to do this package. And you can vote for it, because I'm going to give you political cover within our party. So members of his party at least will be able to cast their vote for that package and know when they go back to their districts which are Gerrymandered their base can't overly ex-orate them, because they will be able to say I was supporting the president and he asked me to do this. That's how they can get through that. Other questions? Yeah. >> You think -- you talk about all these governmental [Inaudible] that have failed to come up with a solution. And do you see, like, increasing actions of non-elected officials such as, like, the Federal Reserve and stuff, trying to fill the void. Or do you see, like, further moneyization of the debt as a way of dealing with this. >> Senator Gregg: That's really a good question. First off, on the first part, which is the failure of these different initiatives, government does not move in a linear way, okay? One of the things I learned is it moves forward, then it moves backwards, then it moves side ways, then it moves forwards, then it moves backwards. It just bounces all around. But it -- if it's done correctly it moves towards consensus. And I think that's what we're doing, we're moving towards consensus, an awareness, specifically, by the American public that the problem is real, significant, and it's going to have been a huge impact on their life but on their children's life. And that's -- I think one of the big issues of this lecture is the American people are really discouraged not by their -- they're discouraged by their government. But they're more discouraged by the fact that for the first time in history our generation may pass on to the next generation a less prosperous nation. And that really upsets people. That violates a basic black letter rule of American governance. So I do believe we're making progress. And I do believe the fiscal cliff is going to be another pressure point hopefully that will lead to actual decisions and that will depend on who the president is and how aggressive he is and whether the Senate can reach an agreement. On the second question of whether or not the Federal Reserve is monetizing this in a way that is reflective or makes the -- involves in the process, yes, very much so. I think -- I wrote a piece last week -- actually, I wrote a piece two days before they decided to go to QA3, saying they shouldn't go to QA3 because I think it takes the pressure off the congress to act. You know, if they're going to print all this money and put it in the economy then the congress is going to be able to get away with not acting. In fact, it becomes very cheap to borrow money. But at some point you've got to pay the piper. I mean, it's just -- common sense tell you this. You can't just print all this money and not have to have an inflationary event at some point. You know, the fed obviously feels it can get it out of the economy and there are reasons why of that, I've had that discussion a number of times. But I just think they're so overboard on this that they're basically setting us up for an inflationary event. Maybe a year, two years, three years from now. What? [ Inaudible audience comment ] >> Senator Gregg: It's hard to say. It's a really good question. The fed, as you know, obviously, has two charges. One is to protect the value of the currency which is to avoid inflation. And two is to do things that encourage full employment. The second point was put in very late, in fact, I think it was put in, in the '60's, under something called Humphry Hawkins. It was only recently that the fed has raised that really to the status of being equal to protecting the currency. And so I think that Bernanke is reacting to his full employment charge more than anything else. Now he's obviously also trying to take pressure off the banks, and to some degree this does that. But on the other side of the coin, I think it sets up a banking problem down the road. Because if banks are lending at 1%, 3%, somewhere in that range, and then they're doing short term arms, three, five year arms, which means you borrow for three to five years and then your rate gets reset, if when that rate gets reset, say it gets reset at five, seven, eight percent, the person who's borrowed the money can't meet those obligations at that type of an interest rate, then you're going to have a huge banking problem. So I think that's something they haven't really thought about. But I think it's more as full employment, but I don't know, I don't have any insight into this. But that's what he said, publicly. It's the full employment. Clearly, the ECB, which is the fed in Europe, is trying to monetize its way out of the problem that they've got in Europe. But their balance sheet is two or three times larger than the fed's, on a relative basis. So that's what they're doing. But I don't think that's Bernanke's goal. Yup. >> You retired at what many people would say was the peak of your career. Certainly, you were chair, widely respected in both parties and so forth, and clearly you're very deeply engaged with issues that occupied you in the Senate. Are you of the opinion that you can have a bigger impact outside the Senate than as an esteemed Senator and committee chair? >> Senator Gregg: Well, I was ranking because we lost the majority. I would have been chairman the next time. You know, Kathy and I did public service for 32 years. I ran in nine major campaigns, we ran in nine major campaigns, and we just decided, you know, time's up. Time's up, you know? Been there, done that, time to move on. Granted, the issues are moving my direction from the stand point of what I was really involved in. But after I while you get tired of being Sisyphus, trying to push that rock up the hill. And you turn it over to somebody else. So I don't regret leaving. I also didn't leave as a cynic. A lot of people leave and say, oh, the place is broken. I disagree. I think the Senate is still a great institution. I think it's a really spectacular place to serve, and I think it's still the most extraordinary deliberative body on Earth that's ever been created for a Democracy. And as such, I was -- I didn't leave -- I left with great feelings about it. But it was time to move on. Yup? >> Yeah, I know there's been a lot of -- okay. I know that there has been a lot of talk about, like, a House that's not able to compromise. But there's also many [Inaudible] and all these proposals assume, like, revenue generation and tax increases. But there have been many Senators that pledge not to do even for one dollar of revenue generation for ten dollars of spending cuts. So how do you reconcile that, even the Senate may not be able to pass -- even if consensus is moving toward that way, that there is a huge body that doesn't want -- >> Senator Gregg: Well, there's no question -- within the Senate there are folks who shout from the corners, just like the House. And that's our form of government. But the Senate also has a working center. I mean, 30 to 40 -- 40, actually -- Senators showed up for this meeting. I've had other Senators tell me if they reached an agreement it would be 60, 65. And I think it would be. Because I just think that's the nature of the Senate. There are clearly some people who want to speak to their constituencies and use that for a national platform down the road, some reason aren't willing to come across the isle under any scenario. But they're, in the Senate at least, they're not anywhere near the majority. I think the working majority is very much capable of reaching an agreement on entitlement reform, which means you're going to have to change the benefit structure for social security and Medicare and on tax reform, which means you're going to have to generate some revenues. >> You [Inaudible] strikes me as the biggest communication change in the history of the country, which is the emergence of television, as well as radio, replacing newspapers and print as the meaning of communication. And I wonder if you want to comment on how you see that evolving with the added change of the Internet. Which makes it possible now to have a network across state lines very easily. >> Senator Gregg: I think it's absolutely extraordinary and it's had a massive impact on governments in this country. When I first got involved and went to the House, you had probably twenty newspapers who had fully-staffed Washington offices with numerous -- numerous investigative and regular reporters spreading out, producing content. Now you've maybe got four papers in this country that produces content. Everybody else feeds off of that and repeats it. And then you have national television which has become cable television, which has become cable news, and it's for the most part very opinion-oriented, as versus content or substance-oriented. And you have people basically yelling at each other, hyperbolating, you know? Because that's the way they get their listeners and that's the way they get their advertising. And it's on both sides of the isle. And so you really aren't seeing a lot of good, substantive content coming up, out of the media, in my opinion. Especially out of the print media. Can't afford to do it. Then you overlay that with the point that you make, which is social media. Which I think has had an immensely negative effect on political discussion. People say well, it's great, everybody gets to talk. Well, the problem is rational voices don't get to talk. They get drowned out by people who are obvious irrational, conspiracy-driven, and very loud. When I used to -- in the House, I used to host a lot of town meetings. I held them in the Senate too, but much more so in the House because it's sort of more your House activity. And I held them all over the state, every place, all the time. Little towns, big towns, every place. I used to held them on Monday night, so people who come for Monday night football have to get to that, but basically, I -- I enjoyed them. People would come. But almost invariably, a small handful of people would show up who were former SDMS members from the '60's, and a small handful of people would show up who read Trim Magazine, which was the John Birch Society, and they'd meet there. It was the only place they ever met, it was the only place they could talk. And they'd suddenly get together and they'd go in the corner after the meeting and they'd start getting all exited about their issues. Now of course you've got the social media, where literally the megaphone of the marginal is massively amplified. And it drowns out the capacity to get really substantive, thoughtful discussion. Just read the blogs and response to somebody making a statement. It's just -- it's outrageous. And -- so I know, you can't change it. The genii is out of the bottle. But it has, I think, really undermined political discourse in my opinion. >> I'm generally left of center, so I'd be on the other side from where you are. >> Senator Gregg: You're in Vermont? >> Actually, Florida. But the -- I mean, it's refreshing to hear someone such as yourself and really want to give you kudos for working in a bipartisan way to try to attack the problems that we do face. And I think the American public actually, with a Simpson-Bowles type of approach, probably in favor of it. I also really respect, even though I probably I suspect disagree with him 80% of the time is that Tom Coburn voted for Simpson-Bowles. And went against, you know, Republican Orthodoxy, or [Inaudible] I do have a question about bipartisanship. I was a little bit still concerned when Mitch McConnell made the statement that the first priority, and I don't recall, maybe I don't have the statement 100% correct, but basically the first priority of the Republicans in the Senate is to see that Obama doesn't get reelected. And that's certainly a political thing, I don't know if that's something that was fostered by partisanship. And I want to recall it, because it's now four years ago that we're facing, you know, almost a financial collapse, you know, certainly in the credit markets. And if you recall, the House did not -- and I don't know -- I assume you voted for TARP, as distasteful as it would be, but the House did not vote for it the first time. And the stock market that day went down 777 points. And in a bipartisan way, because the democrats really came through on this, again, as distasteful as it was to benefit bankers who caused -- part of the reasons for the problem -- is that, you know, it was a bipartisan approach to at least accomplishing -- getting us out of the potential abyss. If that occurrence for years ago was happening today with the current president, do you think that congress actually would have voted for TARP, or would the inability to be bipartisan have caused us to have a fighting intercollapse. >> Senator Gregg: Well, I actually wrote TARP. I was the point person in the Senate and responsible for writing it. Carried [Inaudible] and the Senate Republican position and my -- along with Chris Dodd who wrote it on the democratic side, we negotiated it for 72 straight hours. And the House did vote it down. That was an interesting vote. It was voted down in a pretty much bipartisan vote. It's one of those votes where I think everybody in the House thought that somebody else was going to vote for it, so they could cast the easy no vote and get away with it. And it turned out that everybody cast the easy no vote and it went down. If you'll recall, what happened immediately was that Mitch McConnell and Harry Reed stepped outside of regular parliamentary order and announced they were going to take it to the floor of the Senate, and it passed the Senate I think 79 -- with 79 votes. Totally bipartisan. And that got the House to get their act together, and then they turned around and passed it. Yes, I think if that type of crisis struck again, you'd see congress acting aggressively and effectively. We are a country that acts in crisis, we are really a country that -- and TARP's a good example of that. And it's been vilified since by people who, again, use it as a phraseology but didn't understand it And don't even admit to its success, which was it did exactly what it was supposed to do, it stabilized the financial system which was on the verge of collapse and would have basically destroyed millions of jobs in the United States. I mean, we would have had a depression with potentially 20, 30% unemployment. And every bank in this country would have been either under or on the verge of going under. It stabilized that, so that didn't happen. And then it made about $30 billion for the tax payers on [Inaudible] that have been paid back since the banks were able to stabilize themselves. So it actually turned out to be a very, very good proposal, in my opinion. would it happen again? I honestly believe it would. I am an optimist about our government and our people in crisis. We do handle crisis well. We pull together. Whether it was TARP or whether it was 9/11. We do pull together. And I think Winston Churchill said it the best, he said, "the United States will do the right thing after it's tried all the wrong things." And we're just checking off wrong things right now. But we're going to get to the right thing. Now the question is going to be do we get it to through regular order, in an orderly way or do we wait for the markets to give us another crisis where we have to act and straighten out our financial House. Hopefully we'll do it in an orderly way. But I don't think -- I think at that point the -- the people who were responsible, the leaderships on both sides of the isle in the House and in the Senate understood the seriousness of the situation and basically made an incredible piece of legislation from the stand point of the speed at which it was brought up, the speed at which it was passed. Tell me tell you a little story about that. We were negotiating this all day and all night for three days. Around 12:30 at night on Saturday night, Paulson had told us, Hank Paulson, Secretary Paulson, told us that if we didn't reach a closer on this thing by 5 o'clock on Sunday the Asian markets would open and it would be over. It would be over. So around 12:30 at night I was negotiating, I was outside the speaker's office, speaker Pelosi's office, it was myself, Ron Emmanuel, Barney Frank, chairman -- secretary of policy was in another room negotiating another part. But the part I was negotiating was regrettably the most difficult. It was called -- we were talking about how we're going to get the money back from the banks. And basically, it broke down. We couldn't reach an agreement. And Ron Manual got up, opened the door, went into the speaker's office, called in Barney Frank, came back 15 minutes later with the speaker, and the speaker came in. She hadn't been engaged up until that point, personally, she had her staff and everything. She said we're going to do it this way and we're going to do it now. So in crisis, we act. You know, I always respected for that. It was actually the idea I put on the table about five hours before. But I respected her anyway. So you know, we are a nation that can deal with crisis. And I think that's what the world looks at us now and says they can't possibly let themselves continue on their road. They're too resilient. They're a nation of problem-solvers, the United States isn't going to allow itself to bankrupt itself. And that's what I think holds our currency up now and why our debt is selling at such great discount, because -- if you look at the rest of the world, we're really the only place people think that of. And I still believe it. I just think our path to getting there is not linear, it's back and forth, back and forth, and hopefully we'll get to a decision here soon. You had a question? Yeah. >> Thank you. I have a couple of questions. The first one is what changes do you think the 17th Amendment would change the election ascenders from the legislatures to direct election made on the, you know, Senate as a body. And the other is what specific changes do you think we need to make to programs like Medicare, because the fee for, you know, service model is isn't working. >> Well the first, the 17th Amendment. It was necessary. I mean, we were no longer going to allow legislators to elect Senators and popular vote was the appropriate way to do it. And by that time the nation had gotten past the tension of the convention, the Continental Convention, because the Philadelphia convention, because nobody -- everybody knew the federal government wasn't going to be able to overtake the states, and the states were going to have their rights, and that fear was no longer the priority. So it was no longer necessary to give the states that comfort that was needed to get the ratification passed. On Medicare, boy, that's a complex issue. But I'll tell you most of the really good work on this is being done right down here, right down here at Dartmouth Hitchcock, at the institute, following up on Weinberg's -- Dr. Weinberg's great work, and basically the thumbnail answer is this. You've got to shift from a -- from a utilization system to a values and outcomes system, and you've got to shift from a system where people aren't sensitive to what they're purchasing to a system where they have some involvement in the cost structure of what they're buying. And you do those two things and at 30,000 feet you'll start to address the problem. But it's really a complex issue. Students, I've got to go to students, give them directions. >> One of the big themes of your talk today, of general political discourse is bipartisanship and maybe a lack thereof. In your experience, you know, as long tenures in the House and the Senate, have you noticed today's political climate as a specifically hanged or heightened level of polarity or is it something that's been relatively consistent, and if there was a change what would you attribute that to? >> Senator Gregg: Well, I actually don't think it's changed that much. When I was first elected to the House, Tip O'Neill was spiker of the House. And you want to talk about a tough partisan, this guy was right out of the Boston, and he was classic. The House had been controlled by democrats for 40 straight years. And they could care less what a Republican said, did, or whether they even showed up. And they were tough, tough. And you look through our history and partisanship and intensity of conflict. I mean, look at what they said about Lincoln. Just incredible things. And of course you had Senator Summers being bludgeoned with a cane on the floor of the Senate. And so the intensity has always been there. The difference, I think, goes to the question from the professor here, which is the fact that the media, and especially the social media, and the 24/7 cable cycles has really reduced discourse to its lowest common denominator of the base and to conspiracy theories. And rather than -- you can't -- you know, you don't see a lot -- you won't recognize the name, a guy named David Broder, wrote for the Washington Post for years. You know, he's a very liberal writer. But he was really substantive. You know, he took issues, and he went through them, and he analyzed them, and gave both sides a fair hearing. You don't see people like that around. They're there, but they don't have any visibility, because they're so overwhelmed by this media. But I don't think the intensity of the conflict, the tension between the parties is any higher or lower than it's historically been. >> How did you as a Senator deal with having to read through the huge, huge bills that you had to vote on, and how did the other Senators that you knew deal with that, and how did that change over time? >> Senator Gregg: Basically, you would obtain a working knowledge of the bill. If it was an important piece of legislation you obtained a very significant working knowledge of the bill. If it was highly controversial. If it was not, if it was, let's say, the defense appropriations bill, you knew generally what it said. And then somebody in the caucus who you respected, you knew they knew the bill inside and out, because they'd written it. If it was a budget bill, theoretically, I knew it inside and out. And so other members of the caucus would come to you and say well, what's it do here, what's it do there, they'd ask you the questions. And then usually if you have respect for that person, you'd vote with them, if the questions you had you felt comfortable with their answers. You can't be knowledgeable on everything. It's just -- it's not physically capable. You have a lot of staff, and they're very good, usually. And they do a lot of work of analyzing the legislation, very important work. And then they tell you -- they know your views, so they come and tell you, well, this is going to be sensitive to your view, this isn't, this is something you may have a problem with, this isn't. And so you can think about that. But you know, on the average -- on a budget bill that we would have on the floor we would have 40 amendments voted on. 40 amendments. I mean, you -- nobody on that floor understood all those amendments with the exception of the people managing the bill. I mean, just physically incapable of doing it. So you had to have confidence in people you got to know and respect over the years for their knowledge. And then you took with a grain of salt what they told you and made your decision. You know? >> You have a very clear chart up there about spending and taxes. If I understood you correctly, there were two assumptions that the spending level would stay approximately at the historical average and that taxes and spending would be equalized. Now both of those involve a lot of political compromise. And I'm wondering if your committee it more on the empirical side, that took -- because what I think you're trying to do is stabilize or increase the GDP. And I'm wondering if we could get away from some of the political issues and look at the effect that different tax levels and different spending levels have on GDP growth. >> Senator Gregg: Well, it's a very good question, and it's highly debated when you're doing these budget type of issues. Dynamic scoring, which is what it's called, is not allowed. The CBO sets the strike zone. It's very arcane in the way they analyze things, and in most instances, it does not score for what you would think might be a natural cause. Let me give you two examples. If you cut tax rates in capital gains, it's likely that people are going sell their assets which they've had locked up in capital gains, and take that money, invest in something else, because they're going to turn their money over because they want to make more money. And they're going to make much more efficient use of their money than sitting on an asset they're not willing to sell because they don't want to pay the taxes. That will not be scored by CBO as revenue. In the healthcare, we're talking about the fact if you move from an -- to an outcomes and values system, they won't score that. They will score if you cut doctors because that they know what it -- they theoretically know what it is. It doesn't ever work out that way, but they'll give you a score for that because it's a hard number. But they won't score a system that incentivizes people to produce better outcomes at lower cost, because they see it as dynamic. So the scoring mechanisms really restrict a lot of the activity that occurs in the area of budgeting. And you know, you can argue, well, they should go to dynamic scoring. But really you need a fair broker. You need a fair broker. My dynamic scoring is somebody else's, you know, political gamesmanship. So it's better to have the strike zone, know what it is, and live with the fact that you don't get the dynamic scoring. And that's the way we function as a government. I don't see a better way to do it, to be honest with you. >> I was curious about your reaction to being nominated as the commerce secretary by President Obama? Did you see that as more of a political move on his part or of recognition of your skills as a bipartisan legislator. Or just comment on your thoughts, you know, what went through your mind in considering that position. >> Senator Gregg: He was obviously looking at my skills. You know, at the time you've got to go back to the time. It was great enthusiasm, all of us were excited about having the president, especially the fact he was African American, I think it was a great statement for the nation. And he was talking in terms of inclusion, and you know, bringing things together. That had been his campaign. And it just seemed like an interesting opportunity. Had I thought about it, honest -- if I step back and thought in an analytical way about it, I would have known immediately that it wasn't going to work. Because my views of fiscal policy and his views of fiscal policy are very different. And it took me about a week to step back and say, geez, this isn't going to work. You know, the Number One job of a member of the cabinet is to be 100% of the president -- 100% of the time with the president, and I just knew I wasn't going to be able to do that and maintain my own personal positions that I respect. So it was my mistake, I should have recognized it earlier. He was always very gracious, he was very gracious about it. And it was not a good time for him because he had already had a couple of cabinet people step back. But he was very decent and gracious about it, and it was my mistake. Well, I think our time is pretty much up here. But thank you very much for being here, and look forward to being part of the Dartmouth community. [ Applause ]

Mid-term vacancy appointment processes

Through the 20th century, mid-term vacancies were filled with the governor's appointee, with the appointment expiring at the next biennial state election. In 2004, the Democratic-controlled state legislature changed the vacancy-filling process, mandating that a special election occur, which removed the governor's appointment power. This statute was enacted over the veto by the governor, Mitt Romney. The leadership of the Massachusetts legislature at the time was concerned that the Republican Governor Mitt Romney would appoint a Republican if Democratic Senator John Kerry were elected president of the United States in the 2004 election.[1][2][3][4] Generally, the law requires a special election within 145 to 160 days from the date of the filing of a Senate resignation. The law contemplates resignations that become effective some period of time after the filing of the resignation, so long as the election occurs after effective date of the resignation.[5]

While terminally ill with brain cancer, Ted Kennedy requested that the Massachusetts legislature change the law to allow an interim appointment. Kennedy died shortly thereafter, and the legislature quickly passed a bill providing for an interim appointment.[6] On September 24, 2009, Governor Deval Patrick signed the bill, and appointed Paul G. Kirk, who had previously served as one of Kennedy's congressional aides and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

List of senators

Class 1

Class 1 U.S. senators belong to the electoral cycle that has recently been contested in 2006, 2012, 2010 (special election), and 2018. The next election will be in 2024.


Class 2

Class 2 U.S. senators belong to the electoral cycle that has recently been contested in 2008, 2013 (special election), 2014, and 2020. The next election will be in 2026.

# Senator Party Dates in office Electoral history T T Electoral history Dates in office Party Senator #

Tristram Dalton
Mar 4, 1789 –
Mar 3, 1791
Elected in 1788.
Lost re-election.
1 1st 1 Elected in 1788. Mar 4, 1789 –
Jun 1, 1796

Caleb Strong

George Cabot
Mar 4, 1791 –
Jun 9, 1796
Elected in 1790.
2 2nd
3rd 2 Re-elected in 1793.
Federalist 4th Federalist
Vacant Jun 9, 1796 –
Jun 11, 1796
Vacant Vacant Jun 1, 1796 –
Jun 11, 1796

Benjamin Goodhue
Federalist Jun 11, 1796 –
Nov 8, 1800
Elected to finish Cabot's term. Elected to finish Strong's term.
Retired to run for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Jun 11, 1796 –
Mar 3, 1799

Theodore Sedgwick
Also elected to full term in 1796.
3 5th
6th 3 Elected in 1798.[7]
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of War.
Mar 4, 1799 –
May 30, 1800

Samuel Dexter
Vacant May 31, 1800 –
Jun 5, 1800
Elected to finish Dexter's term.[8]
Jun 6, 1800 –
Mar 3, 1803

Dwight Foster
Vacant Nov 8, 1800 –
Nov 14, 1800

Jonathan Mason
Federalist Nov 14, 1800 –
Mar 3, 1803
Elected to finish Goodhue's term.
Vacant Mar 2, 1803 –
Mar 3, 1803

John Quincy Adams
Federalist Mar 4, 1803 –
Jun 8, 1808
Elected in 1803.[9]
Resigned, having lost re-election to the next term.
4 8th Elected to finish Foster's term. Mar 4, 1803 –
Mar 3, 1811

Timothy Pickering
9th 4 Re-elected in 1805.[10]
Lost re-election.

James Lloyd
Federalist Jun 9, 1808 –
May 1, 1813
Elected to finish Adams's term, having already been elected to the next term.
Elected in 1808.[11]
5 11th
12th 5 State Senate failed to elect. Mar 4, 1811 –
Jun 28, 1811
Elected in 1811, to finish the vacant term.
Retired or lost re-election.
Jun 29, 1811 –
Mar 3, 1817

Joseph Bradley Varnum
Vacant May 1, 1813 –
May 5, 1813

Christopher Gore
Federalist May 5, 1813 –
May 30, 1816
Appointed to finish Lloyd's term.
Elected to full term in 1815.
6 14th
Vacant May 31, 1816 –
Jun 11, 1816
8 Eli P. Ashmun Federalist Jun 12, 1816 –
May 10, 1818
Elected to finish Gore's term.
15th 6 Elected in 1816.
Resigned to run for Mayor of Boston.
Mar 4, 1817 –
May 30, 1822

Harrison Gray Otis
Vacant May 11, 1818 –
Jun 4, 1818

Prentiss Mellen
Federalist Jun 5, 1818 –
May 15, 1820
Elected to finish Ashmun's term.
Resigned to become Chief Justice of Maine.
Vacant May 16, 1820 –
Jun 12, 1820

Elijah H. Mills
Federalist Jun 12, 1820 –
Mar 3, 1827
Elected to finish Mellen's term.
Re-elected in 1820.
Lost re-election in 1826.
7 17th
Vacant May 30, 1822 –
Jun 5, 1822
Elected to finish Otis's term. Jun 5, 1822 –
May 23, 1826

James Lloyd
18th 7 Re-elected in 1822.
19th National
Vacant May 23, 1826 –
May 31, 1826
Elected to finish Lloyd's term. May 31, 1826 –
Mar 3, 1835

Nathaniel Silsbee
Vacant Mar 4, 1827 –
Jun 8, 1827
Vacant 8 20th

Daniel Webster
Jun 8, 1827 –
Feb 22, 1841
Elected late in 1827.
21st 8 Re-elected in 1828.
Re-elected in 1833. 9 23rd
24th 9 Elected in 1835.
Resigned to become Governor of Massachusetts.
Mar 4, 1835 –
Jan 5, 1841

John Davis
Whig 25th Whig
Re-elected in 1839.
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of State.
10 26th
Vacant Jan 5, 1841 –
Jan 13, 1841
Elected to finish Davis's term. Jan 13, 1841 –
Mar 16, 1845

Isaac C. Bates

Rufus Choate
Whig Feb 23, 1841 –
Mar 3, 1845
Elected to finish Webster's term.
27th 10 Elected to full term in 1841.

Daniel Webster
Whig Mar 4, 1845 –
Jul 22, 1850
Elected in 1845.
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of State again.
11 29th
Vacant Mar 16, 1845 –
Mar 24, 1845
Elected to finish Bates's term. Mar 24, 1845 –
Mar 3, 1853

John Davis
30th 11 Re-elected in 1847.
Vacant Jul 23, 1850 –
Jul 30, 1850

Robert C. Winthrop
Whig Jul 30, 1850 –
Feb 1, 1851
Appointed to continue Webster's term.
Lost election to finish Webster's term.

Robert Rantoul Jr.
Democratic Feb 1, 1851 –
Mar 3, 1851
Elected to finish Webster's term.
Vacant Mar 4, 1851 –
Apr 24, 1851
The legislature initially deadlocked on who should succeed Daniel Webster. Sumner was eventually elected late. 12 32nd

Charles Sumner
Free Soil Apr 24, 1851 –
Mar 11, 1874
33rd 12 Elected in 1853.
Mar 4, 1853 –
Jun 1, 1854

Edward Everett
Vacant Jun 1, 1854 –
Jun 3, 1854
Appointed to continue Everett's term.
Successor was elected.
Jun 3, 1854 –
Jan 31, 1855

Julius Rockwell
Elected to finish Everett's term. Jan 31, 1855 –
Mar 3, 1873
Free Soil

Henry Wilson
34th Republican
Republican Re-elected in 1857. 13 35th
36th 13 Re-elected in 1859.
Re-elected in 1863. 14 38th
39th 14 Re-elected in 1865.
Re-elected in 1869.
15 41st
42nd 15 Re-elected in 1871.
Resigned to become the Vice President of the United States.
Liberal Republican 43rd Vacant Mar 3, 1873 –
Mar 17, 1873
Elected to finish Wilson's term.
Lost renomination.
Mar 17, 1873 –
Mar 3, 1877

George S. Boutwell
Vacant Mar 12, 1874 –
Apr 16, 1874

William B. Washburn
Republican Apr 17, 1874 –
Mar 3, 1875
Elected to finish Sumner's term.

Henry L. Dawes
Republican Mar 4, 1875 –
Mar 3, 1893
Elected in 1875. 16 44th
45th 16 Elected in 1877. Mar 4, 1877 –
Sep 30, 1904

George F. Hoar
Re-elected in 1881. 17 47th
48th 17 Re-elected in 1883.
Re-elected in 1887.
18 50th
51st 18 Re-elected in 1889.

Henry Cabot Lodge
Republican Mar 4, 1893 –
Nov 9, 1924
Elected in 1893. 19 53rd
54th 19 Re-elected in 1895.
Re-elected in 1899. 20 56th
57th 20 Re-elected in 1901.
Vacant Sep 30, 1904 –
Oct 12, 1904
Appointed to continue Hoar's term.
Elected to finish Hoar's term.[12]
Oct 12, 1904 –
Mar 3, 1913

Winthrop M. Crane
Re-elected in 1905.[12] 21 59th
60th 21 Re-elected in 1907.
Re-elected in 1911. 22 62nd
63rd 22 Elected in 1913.
Lost re-election.
Mar 4, 1913 –
Mar 3, 1919

John W. Weeks
Re-elected in 1916. 23 65th
66th 23 Elected in 1918.
Lost re-election.
Mar 4, 1919 –
Mar 3, 1925

David I. Walsh
Re-elected in 1922.
24 68th
Vacant Nov 9, 1924 –
Nov 13, 1924

William M. Butler
Republican Nov 13, 1924 –
Dec 6, 1926
Appointed to continue Lodge's term.
Lost election to finish Lodge's term.
69th 24 Elected in 1924.
Mar 4, 1925 –
Mar 3, 1931

Frederick H. Gillett

David I. Walsh
Democratic Dec 6, 1926 –
Jan 3, 1947
Elected to finish Lodge's term.
Re-elected in 1928. 25 71st
72nd 25 Elected in 1930.
Mar 4, 1931 –
Jan 3, 1937

Marcus A. Coolidge
Re-elected in 1934. 26 74th
75th 26 Elected in 1936. Jan 3, 1937 –
Feb 3, 1944

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Re-elected in 1940.
Lost re-election.
27 77th
78th 27 Re-elected in 1942.
Resigned to return to active duty in the U.S. Army.
Vacant Feb 4, 1944 –
Feb 7, 1944
Appointed to continue Lodge's term.
Did not run for election to finish the term.
Feb 8, 1944 –
Dec 19, 1944

Sinclair Weeks
Elected to finish Lodge's term.
Didn't take seat until Jan 4, 1945 in order to remain Governor of Massachusetts.
Dec 19, 1944 –
Jan 3, 1967

Leverett Saltonstall

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.
Republican Jan 3, 1947 –
Jan 3, 1953
Elected in 1946.
Lost re-election.
28 80th
81st 28 Re-elected in 1948.

John F. Kennedy
Democratic Jan 3, 1953 –
Dec 22, 1960
Elected in 1952. 29 83rd
84th 29 Re-elected in 1954.
Re-elected in 1958.
Resigned to become U.S. President.
30 86th
Vacant Dec 22, 1960 –
Dec 27, 1960

Benjamin Smith
Democratic Dec 27, 1960 –
Nov 7, 1962
Appointed to continue John Kennedy's term.
Did not run for election to finish the term.
87th 30 Re-elected in 1960.

Ted Kennedy
Democratic Nov 7, 1962 –
Aug 25, 2009
Elected to finish his brother's term.
Re-elected in 1964. 31 89th
90th 31 Elected in 1966. Jan 3, 1967 –
Jan 3, 1979

Edward Brooke
Re-elected in 1970. 32 92nd
93rd 32 Re-elected in 1972.
Lost re-election.
Re-elected in 1976. 33 95th
96th 33 Elected in 1978.
Retired and resigned early to give successor preferential seniority.
Jan 3, 1979 –
Jan 2, 1985

Paul Tsongas
Re-elected in 1982. 34 98th
Appointed to finish Tsongas's term, having already been elected to the next term. Jan 2, 1985 –
Feb 1, 2013

John Kerry
99th 34 Elected in 1984.
Re-elected in 1988. 35 101st
102nd 35 Re-elected in 1990.
Re-elected in 1994. 36 104th
105th 36 Re-elected in 1996.
Re-elected in 2000. 37 107th
108th 37 Re-elected in 2002.
Re-elected in 2006.
38 110th
111th 38 Re-elected in 2008.
Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of State.
Vacant Aug 25, 2009 –
Sep 24, 2009

Paul G. Kirk
Democratic Sep 24, 2009 –
Feb 4, 2010
Appointed to continue Ted Kennedy's term.
Did not run for election to finish the term.[13]

Scott Brown
Republican Feb 4, 2010 –
Jan 3, 2013
Elected to finish Ted Kennedy's term.
Lost re-election.

Elizabeth Warren
Democratic Jan 3, 2013 –
Elected in 2012. 39 113th
Appointed to continue Kerry's term.
Did not run for election to finish the term.[14]
Feb 1, 2013 –
Jul 16, 2013

Mo Cowan
Elected to finish Kerry's term. Jul 16, 2013 –

Ed Markey
114th 39 Re-elected in 2014.
Re-elected in 2018. 40 116th
117th 40 Re-elected in 2020.
To be determined in the 2024 election. 41 119th
120th 41 To be determined in the 2026 election.
# Senator Party Years in office Electoral history T C T Electoral history Years in office Party Senator #
Class 1 Class 2

See also


  1. ^ Belluck, Pam (June 25, 2004). "Massachusetts Politicians Fight Over a Kerry Victory". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2008.
  2. ^ Zezima, Katie (July 2, 2004). "National Briefing: Massachusetts: Senate Approves Interim-Appointment Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2008.
  3. ^ Greenberger, Scott S. (July 31, 2004). "Romney veto overridden: Governor can no longer fill vacancies in the US Senate". Boston Globe. Retrieved May 21, 2008.
  4. ^ Anderson, Rob (July 16, 2004). "Devil in the Details: After Kerry, The Deluge". The American Prospect. Retrieved May 21, 2008.
  5. ^ "Chapter 236 of the Acts of 2004". Acts of 2004 (Session Laws). The General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. July 30, 2004. Retrieved May 21, 2008.
  6. ^ Viser, Matt (September 23, 2009). "Legislature gives final approval to bill to fill Kennedy seat". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 23, 2009.
  7. ^ "Massachusetts 1798 U.S. Senate". Tufts Digital Collations and Archives. A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University. Retrieved February 5, 2018., citing Connecticut Gazette (New London, CT). June 20, 1798.
  8. ^ "Massachusetts 1800 U.S. Senate, Special". Tufts Digital Collations and Archives. A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University. Retrieved January 25, 2018., citing Hampshire Gazette (Northhampton). June 11, 1800. The Kentucky Gazette (Lexington, KY). Jul 3, 1800.
  9. ^ "Massachusetts 1803 U.S. Senate, Ballot 4". Tufts Digital Collations and Archives. A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University. Retrieved January 30, 2018., citing Columbian Centinel. Massachusetts Federalist (Boston, MA). Feb 5, 1803. The Independent Chronicle (Boston, MA). Feb 7, 1803. Columbian Centinel. Massachusetts Federalist (Boston, MA). Feb 9, 1803. Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, MA). Feb 9, 1803. Boston Gazette (Boston, MA). Feb 10, 1803. Republican Star or Eastern Shore General Advertiser (Easton, MD). Mar 1, 1803. Frederick-Town Herald (Fredericktown, MD). Mar 5, 1803.
  10. ^ "Massachusetts 1805 U.S. Senate, Ballot 3". Tufts Digital Collations and Archives. A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University. Retrieved January 29, 2018., citing The Providence Phoenix (Providence, RI). Feb 9, 1805.
  11. ^ "Massachusetts 1808 U.S. Senate". Tufts Digital Collations and Archives. A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University. Retrieved February 3, 2018., citing The Pittsfield Sun (Pittsfield, MA). Jun 11, 1808.
  12. ^ a b The World Almanac and Encyclopedia 1906. New York: The Press Publishing Co. New York World. 1905. p. 108.
  13. ^ "Paul Kirk officially appointed state's interim senator". September 25, 2009. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  14. ^ Battenfeld, Joe; Chabot, Hillary; Cassidy, Chris (January 30, 2013). "Gov names adviser Mo Cowan to interim Senate post". Boston Herald. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
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