Best Speeches of
Barack Obama
through his 2009 Inauguration

Most Recent Speeches are Listed First

• Barack Obama -
Election Night Victory / Presidential Acceptance Speech - Nov 4 2008

Barack Obama - Night Before the Election - the Last Rally - Manassas Virginia - Nov 3 2008

• Barack Obama - Democratic Nominee Acceptance Speech
2008 National Democratic Convention

Barack Obama - "A World that Stands as One" - Berlin Germany - July 2008

• Barack Obama - Final Primary Night:
Presumptive Nominee Speech

• Barack Obama - North Carolina Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Pennsylvania Primary Night

• Barack Obama - AP Annual Luncheon

• Barack Obama - A More Perfect Union
“The Race Speech”

• Barack Obama - Texas and Ohio Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Potomac Primary Night

• Barack Obama - Super Tuesday

Barack Obama - Iowa Caucus Night

Barack Obama - California Democratic Convention - April 28, 2007

Barack Obama - Announcement For President - Feb 10 2007

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007

Barack Obama - The Time Has Come for Universal Health Care

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on President's Decision to Increase Troops in Iraq

Barack Obama - Race Against Time - World AIDS Day Speech

Barack Obama - A Way Forward in Iraq

Barack Obama - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Groundbreaking Ceremony

Barack Obama - Military Commission Legislation

Barack Obama - Floor Statement on the Habeas Corpus Amendment

Barack Obama - Energy Independence: A Call for Leadership

Barack Obama - An Honest Government, A Hopeful Future

Barack Obama - Xavier University Commencement Address

Barack Obama - AFSCME National Convention

Barack Obama - Vote against the Gulf of Mexico Energy Bill

Barack Obama - Support of H.R. 9, the Voting Rights Act

Barack Obama - Statement of Support for Stem Cell Research

Barack Obama - Campus Progress Annual Conference

Barack Obama - “Call to Renewal” Keynote Address

Barack Obama - Iraq Debate

Barack Obama - Northwestern University Commencement Address

Barack Obama - Katrina Reconstruction

Barack Obama - Take Back America

Barack Obama - Network Neutrality

Barack Obama - Federal Marriage Amendment

Barack Obama - University of Massachusetts at Boston Commencement Address

Barack Obama - General Michael Hayden Nomination

Barack Obama - Opposition to the Amendment Requiring a Photo ID to Vote

Barack Obama - Employment Verification Amendment for the Immigration Bill

Barack Obama - Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Commencement Address

Barack Obama - Honoring Our Commitment to Veterans

Barack Obama - EMILY's List Annual Luncheon

Barack Obama - A Real Solution for High Gas Prices

Barack Obama - Immigration Rallies

Barack Obama - Amendment to Stop No-Bid Contracts for Gulf Coast Recovery and Reconstruction

Barack Obama - Updates on Darfur, Immigration, Gas Prices

Barack Obama - Immigration Reform

Barack Obama - Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet

Barack Obama - Immigration Reform

Barack Obama - Improving Chemical Plant Security

Barack Obama - 21st Century Schools for a 21st Century Economy

Barack Obama - Meals Amendment

Barack Obama - Debate on Lobbying and Ethics Reform

Barack Obama - Energy Security is National Security - Governor's Ethanol Coalition

Barack Obama - Floor Statement S.2271 - PATRIOT Act Reauthorization

Barack Obama - Darfur: Current Policy Not Enough

Barack Obama - Foreign Relations Committee regarding Lugar-Obama legislation S.1949

Barack Obama - Hurricane Katrina Child Assistance Amendment

Barack Obama - Supreme Court Nomination of Samuel Alito - Podcast

Barack Obama - Confirmation of Judge Samuel Alito, Jr. - Speech

Barack Obama - Lobbying Reform Summit National Press Club

Barack Obama - Meeting on Iraq with President Bush

Barack Obama - Remarks: Honest Leadership and Open Government

Barack Obama - From the Road: Israel and the Palestinian territories

Barack Obama - From the Road: Speaking with American Troops in Iraq

Barack Obama - The PATRIOT Act

Barack Obama - Moving Forward in Iraq - Chicago Council on Foreign Relations

Barack Obama - Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award Ceremony

Barack Obama - National Women's Law Center

Barack Obama - "Sex on TV 4" Report

Barack Obama - Non-Proliferation and Russia: The Challenges Ahead

Barack Obama - Chicago White Sox

Barack Obama - Death of Rosa Parks

Barack Obama - Teaching Our Kids in a 21st Century Economy

Barack Obama - Avian Flu

Barack Obama - Confirmation of Judge John Roberts

Barack Obama - Resources for the Future

Barack Obama - Statement on Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

Barack Obama - AFL-CIO National Convention

Barack Obama - Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill and the Avian Flu

Barack Obama - American Legion Conference

Barack Obama - Literacy and Education in a 21st-Century Economy

Barack Obama - Pritzker School of Medicine Commencement

Barack Obama - Nomination of Justice Janice Rogers Brown

Barack Obama - Knox College Commencement

Barack Obama - Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery

Barack Obama - America’s Nuclear Non-Proliferation Policy Remarks

Barack Obama - Rockford Register Star Young American Awards

Barack Obama - NAACP Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner

Barack Obama - National Press Club

Barack Obama - SIUC College of Agriculture's 50th Anniversary

Barack Obama - Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Barack Obama - Amendment for Meals/Phone Service to Wounded Veterans

Barack Obama - The Nuclear Option

Barack Obama - Confirmation Hearing of John Bolton

Barack Obama - Herblock Foundation Annual Lecture

Barack Obama - American Legion Legislative Rally

Barack Obama - CURE Keynote Address

Barack Obama - Remarks of TechNet

Barack Obama - S256, the Bankruptcy Abuse & Prevention Act of 2005

Barack Obama - John Lewis's 65th Birthday Gala

Barack Obama - Keynote Address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention

Barack Obama - 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War

  Amendment to Stop No-Bid Contracts for Gulf Coast Recovery and Reconstruction

TOPIC: Katrina & Gulf Coast Recovery
May 2, 2006
His Amendment to Stop No-Bid Contracts for Gulf Coast Recovery and Reconstruction
Complete Text

Mr. President, after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, millions of Americans opened their hearts, their homes, and their wallets to help the victims in the Gulf Coast. Even before Katrina’s winds and rains died down, Americans across the country called national hotlines and pledged their hard-earned dollars, their time, and their prayers to the relief effort.

But they didn’t just pledge ? they also delivered. They delivered to the tune of $3.5 billion dollars. Many of these donations came from working-class families who didn’t have much to give, but they gave what they could.

Like the American people, President Bush made a pledge after the disaster. He pledged that he would provide the Gulf Coast with the federal assistance it needed to get back on its feet. With the bill now before us, the total amount of federal funding for hurricane recovery will exceed $100 billion, and it’s safe to say that more money will be needed in the months and years to come.

But in order to make good on the President’s pledge, we need to do more. We need to pledge to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars. We owe this to the Americans who donated their own funds to hurricane relief efforts and who trust us each day with the tax money they send to Washington.

Unfortunately, we haven’t done a very good job so far of delivering on this pledge.

Yesterday, Senator Coburn and I came to the floor to detail the numerous instances of waste, fraud, and abuse in the use of Katrina funds.

We know that FEMA spent nearly $880 million in taxpayer money on 25,000 temporary housing trailers stored around the country, including 11,000 that are rusting away in a field in Arkansas.

There are reports of prime contractors charging upwards of $30 per cubic yard for debris removal ? work that actually costs subcontractors as little as $6 per cubic yard.

And, as the Washington Post reported, four large companies are charging a 1,500% mark-up to cover damaged roofs with plastic tarps.

Senator Coburn and I have tried to address these problems by offering a sensible package of amendments to ensure fiscal accountability and transparency. We have proposed the appointment of a chief financial officer to oversee the spending of federal funding. We have proposed limits on the amount of overhead expenses that a contractor can charge the federal government. And we have proposed that the details of all large Katrina contracts be posted on the Internet.

Unfortunately, these amendments are not germane now that cloture has been invoked.

That is unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because the interests of the American taxpayer are not being well-served by the U.S. Senate. Even though we will have appropriated well over $100 billion by the end of this week for Katrina relief and recovery, we haven’t put any accountability systems in place to ensure that the money is well-spent.

I know I’m new to this body, but I’m troubled that Senate rules are getting in the way of sound policy. I understand that’s how the Senate works, so Senator Coburn and I are here to offer one modest amendment to protect taxpayer dollars. Our amendment addresses no-bid contracting and is germane to the underlying bill.

Immediately after the hurricane, FEMA awarded four $100 million no-bid contracts to four large companies. $400 million taxpayer dollars, without full and open competition.

Acting FEMA Director David Paulison was asked about these contracts when he testified before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on October 6, 2005. He said the following:

"I've been a public servant for a long time, and I've never been a fan of no-bid contracts. Sometimes you have to do them because of the expediency of getting things done. And I can assure that you we are going to look at all of those contracts very carefully. All of those no-bid contracts, we are going to go back and rebid."

Senator Coburn and I expected Director Paulison to stick to his word and rebid these contracts. But a month and a half passed, and the contracts still had not been rebid. So last November, we introduced an amendment to the tax reconciliation bill expressing the Sense of the Senate that FEMA should immediately rebid these contracts. Our colleagues agreed and passed this amendment by unanimous consent.

After our amendment passed, both Senator Coburn and I met with Director Paulison, and again he assured us that these contracts would be rebid.

Yet, these contracts still have not been rebid. And to add insult to injury, FEMA said in March that the contracts would not be rebid after all. In fact, the contracts actually have been extended, despite the fact that GAO found that three of these four firms had wasted millions of dollars in taxpayer funds.

The abuse doesn’t stop with these four contracts. We learned just two weeks ago that the Army Corps of Engineers missed an opportunity to negotiate a lower price on a $40 million contract for portable classrooms in Mississippi. Instead, a no-bid and overpriced contract was awarded to an out-of-state firm.

I’ve often heard it said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. Frankly, what we’re doing with Katrina funding borders on insanity ? we in Congress just keep trusting FEMA to enter into competitive contracts even though there’s no evidence that it has any intention of doing so.

So the amendment we’re offering today is our effort to say enough is enough. Our amendment requires all federal agencies to follow competitive bidding procedures for any Katrina-related contracts exceeding $500,000. This is a common sense amendment. Eight months after Katrina, there’s no longer any emergency that justifies a no-bid contract that might have been entered into the days after Katrina.

The American people deserve the benefits of competition on government contracts. Competition is good for American business and it’s good for the government. It helps to ensure high quality and low costs. That’s what the American people have a right to expect, and that’s what our amendment seeks to deliver.

Before we spend another dollar in the Gulf Coast, let’s make sure that we have some transparency and accountability systems in place to ensure that federal money is helping those people most in need, instead of lining the pockets of a contractor.

In our rush to get money to the Gulf Coast eight months ago, we didn’t do that, and the American taxpayers ? and more importantly, the victims of Katrina ? paid a heavy price. Let’s not repeat that mistake again.

I urge my colleagues to support Senator Coburn and me in this effort.


You can only imagine how many different ways people type the name Barack Obama. Here is a sampling for his first name: Barac, Barach, Baracks, Barak, Baraka, Barrack, Barrak, Berack, Borack, Borak, Brack, Brach, Brock even, Rocco. There are just as many for his last name: Abama, Bama, Bamma, Obma, Obamas, Obamma, Obana, Obamo, Obbama, Oboma, Obomba, Obombma, Obomha, Oblama, Omaba, Oblamma and (ready for this?) Ohama. And of course there's Barack Obama's middle name, Hussein. Here are some of the ways it comes out: Hissein, Hussain, Husein, Hussin, Hussane and Hussien.