tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 25, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
ukraine. senators voted on monday to limit debate on the motion to proceed to the bill. if all time is used a vote on that motion would happen on wednesday. cq writes that majority leader harry reid urged quick passage of the measure this week, threatening weekend sessions as he plans to move measures on unemployment and other issues. lk will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, as the snow falls gently to the earth, we are reminded of the shifting seasons of our lives. as we continue to look to you for guidance. guide our lives and inspire our hearts.
today, strengthen our senators as they deal with unattended needs and unresolved problems. make them eager to lift burdens to bring deliverance to captives and to give hope to the oppressed. may our lawmakers serve humanity in a way that glorifies you. keep them open to a growing faith and a maturing set of convictions. we pray in your great name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance
to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., march 25, 2014. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable cory booker, a senator from the state of new jersey, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: patrick j. leahy, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following my remarks and those of the republican leader, the senate will be in a period of morning business for an hour. the majority will control the first half. the republicans the final half. following that morning business, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 2124.
this is the ukraine act. that will be postcloture time. so i ask consent the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for the weekly caucus meetings and that the time during the recess count postcloture on the motion to proceed to the ukraine bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: so we hope to work on an agreement to begin consideration of the bill very, very soon. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. i have spoken this morning to senator menendez, chairman of the committee. i spoke last night to senator corker and senator mccain. i talked to senator mccain this morning and he was going to talk to senator corker. hopefully we can move forward very quickly on this legislation. i am told that s. 2149 is due for its second reading and is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 2149, a bill to provide for the extension of certain unemployment benefits, and for other purposes.
mr. reid: mr. president, i would object to any further proceedings with respect to this legislation. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, last night, the united states senate took the first steps with ukraine for sending a clear message to russia. i'm pleased the senate voted overwhelmingly in a bipartisan fashion to consider the bipartisan bill that was reported to the senate floor. the measure includes a number of things -- loan guarantees, sanctions and security assistance. it is certainly a step in the right direction. it's not everything, but i certainly applaud the efforts of the members from both sides of the aisle who have labored diligently to get us this far. i hope the bipartisan support will continue so we can finish the bill this week and provide the people of ukraine with the critical support they need while
imposing strong sanctions against those in russia and ukraine who created this crisis. there is no reason why we can't pass the bill today. according to all reports, the situation regarding ukraine is getting worse, not better. russian troops are seizing facilities in the crimea. all hov-2 do is make a phone call. they didn't need to have all the brute force knocking down doors and injuring people in the process. they have done this throughout crimea. the government of russia looks foolish. the world community understands that. they are levying foolish retaliatory sanctions, mocking efforts of the international community to bring about a peaceful, fair resolution to the illegal invasion and the annexation of crimea. yesterday, president obama and other european leaders meeting in the hague formed a strong united front in denouncing russia's unlawful actions again the people of the ukraine. under president obama's
leadership, the united states, canada, france, italy, japan, germany and the united kingdom took further action by suspending russia from the g-8. as of today, it's the g-7. and canceling the planned summit in sochi this summer. now, i mentioned those seven countries, but over in europe yesterday, the president was there with some 42 other nations, all of them looking with an eye toward what russia had done that was totally contrary to international law. excluding russia from the g-8, president obama and our allies have sent the message loud and clear that this bullying behavior and rhetoric will not go unchallenged. i applaud the efforts of our allies to take the stand against russia's aggression and welcome their further commitment to hold president putin and his cronies -- and they really are his cronies. this is a government that is corrupt. they need to be held accountable
for violating international law. this cannot go unnoticed and unretaliated against. as for action here in the united states senate, i look forward to stabilizing ukraine and imposing new sanctions against russia by passing the bill that's before us. we should do that today. one way or the other, we need to get it done as quickly as possible. i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i'd like to start with a few words about the legislation the senate is considering this week on ukraine. it touches on the jurisdiction of many committees and is of high interest to senators on both sides of the aisle. how the united states meets the russian invasion of crimea matters. it's related to the fiewfnlg vitality of nato -- the future vitality of nato, the negotiations with iran over its nuclear program and our own
energy policy regarding the export of natural gas. so we have members on both sides of the aisle working closely and there is a decent amount of common ground here, which is good. nearly everyone agrees the ukranian people deserve our support. most of us also agree that we should back that support up with meaningful legislation, not just to show our support for an independent democratic and free ukraine, but also to show president putin that there will be costs for his actions. so you would think it wouldn't than difficult to get a solution here, but roadblocks keep popping up. first, there was a house-passed bill prior to the recess that would have provided loan guarantees to ukraine. it was blocked by the majority leader. we should have sent it to the president -- passed it and sent it to the president. now the majority leader seems determined to blow up the process, too. yesterday, he actually came to the floor to effectively blame
republicans, believe it or not, for the invasion of crimea. i mean, who writes this stuff? it's not just completely unhelpful, it also injects hyperpartisanship into the prostate when we should all actually be working together. and at this point, it's not at all certain the majority leader might not even make things worse by shutting down the amendment process. i hope that's not where we end up. this issue is way too important for that. look, this bill in the senate cannot pass the house or become law in its current form. it has to be amended. not only have many members not yet had a chance to offer amendments in committee, but so many developments have unfolded in this crisis in the weeks since the bill was drafted that the legislation has to be modified. at least to take those realities into account, and in order for it to become law, the
controversial i.m.f. provision must be removed. this simply cannot be a take it or leave it situation. that's just nonsensical. the people who were sent here to represent us deserve better. we should give them that. that means allowing a sensible amendment process, and it means dropping the kind of wild partisan accusations we have seen, attacks that will only make it that much harder to get an effective bipartisan solution. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business for one hour, with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, with the majority controlling the first half. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. i listened carefully to the
comments of the minority leader, senator mcconnell, and he is asking for bipartisanship and quick action on the ukranian matter before the senate today. i agree with him completely. in fact, it was about ten days ago when senator john mccain on the other side of the aisle joined with me and six of our colleagues and we took a late-night flight on a thursday evening, flew all night long to go to kiev, ukraine. we spent the whole day on friday meeting with government leaders. had one night in a hotel room. and the next day, saturday, a whole day of meeting with their leaders as well. late that night, caught a plane back to washington, arriving at 5:00 in the morning. it was a whirlwind trip but an important one because it came just hours before the russians staged this phony referendum in crimea, a referendum that had been condemned by the united
nations security council whr they voted against the condemnation which was to be expected, china abstained. so the question before us is what can and should the senate do and when should it do it? we have a measure before us that passed out of the senate foreign relations committee. i think the vote was 14-3. i may be mistaken by a vote or two there, but it was a strong bipartisan majority. senator menendez brought it to the floor. now, when it came to the floor before our trip to ukraine, senator reid offered to bring it to the floor and pass it, do this on a bipartisan basis quickly, just what the senate minority leader is now asking for, but there was an objection. the objection came from the senate minority leader as side of the aisle -- leader's side of the aisle. a republican senator objected to moving this bipartisan measure forward quickly. so senator reid set up the vote
that happened yesterday when 78 members voted in the affirmative to move to this measure. that's a good thing. and i hope we can bring it up this week, and if the other side or any senator has a proposal for an amendment, i hope that they won't keep it to themselves and conceal it but bring this forward. let's talk about it. let's see if we can amend this measure, change this measure in a constructive fashion without introducing a lot of amendments which might bog us down in long-term debate. the ukrainians are waiting to hear from the united states. what they want to hear is very simple -- are we on their side, will we stand with them as they resist russian aggression and the possibility of russia moving from crimea into ukraine proper. that is a legitimate concern in ukraine. we met with the governor of donetsk in the eastern reaches of ukraine where there are more russian speaking people and perhaps more russian loyalty than in other parts of the
country. and he is concerned about provocateurs coming in from russiaing is stirring up the local people and demonstrations, several people have been killed in the process. they want to see things stabilize and quieted. and in order to do that, i think the united states and freedom-loving nations around the world need to stand with ukraine. that's the purpose of our resolution. to sanction russia for its aggression in crimea, to warn them off any further aggression into eastern and southern ukraine, to provide some basic assistance to ukraine, and to set up a process where this new government in ukraine can borrow -- underline, borrow -- money under conditions from the international monetary fund to rebuild their economy. it's an economy that's on the ropes. the previous leader, yanukovych was loyal to moscow. people came to the streets and said they felt that the
government was insensitive to their own feeling that there should be also an attachment to the west, that ukraine could, in fact, at least look to the west in terms of its economic future. yanukovych resisted, demonstrations in the street, hundreds of thousands of people in kiev, ukraine, and 103 of those demonstrators gunned down, shot and killed in the streets by snipers filing from government buildings. there is a high state of emotion in ukraine today as yanukovych finally fled the country and the parliament took control. the new prime minister is a man who at the age of 39 has an awesome responsibility. he carries the burden of his nation on his shoulders. and he came to the united states asking for our help. president obama met with him. he met with members of the senate. and that conversation, i thought, was positive moving us forward. now it's up to the senate this week to move on this measure.
let's not bog down in bipartisan debates, let's not get off on tang tang ents. one of the issues that i think will be brought up in the force of this week is the question of energy and and it's an important question. because putin has to be viewed for what he is today. he is the leader of russia and he is trying to save and sustain a failing soviet franchise. he said that the most disappointing event of the 20th century was the elimination of the soviet union. those are putin's words and he has this dream of restoring empire, reaching out to countries that used to be republics of the soviet union and members of the warsaw pact nations and trying to bring them back into the russian fold. we saw it eight years ago when he invaded georgia, took territory there. i've been there. i've seen it. behind the barbed wire in south
owe serba, the -- owes isia, they are trying to protect the area of jea gea they seized. the same is true in crimea. that is putin's idea. if he can't winds the hearts and minds of neighboring nations, he'll take them over with russian soldiers, energy extortion. there was a debate in the senate foreign relations committee about whether or not we can come to the assistance of those surrounding nations that are being preyed upon by the russians and by putin. and do it with assistance through energy. we have now found in the last several years an abundance of natural gas in the united states. somewhat surprising. our country five years ago dependent on more than energy sources now has a surplus of natural gas. so the question is raised, well, can we transport this gas to these countries, liberating them from dependence on russia
for energy sources? it's a very important question. it's a timely question. but it's one we should view in the context of where we are today. the good news in america is that companies are moving back to the united states to reestablish manufacturing in our country. good-paying jobs. why? we have skilled workers, some of the most productive in the world and secondly, we now have this surplus of natural gas, an important feedstock for manufacturing jobs. with those two elements and transportation costs, we find more companies coming back to the united states and we need them. in illinois, in new jersey, and desperately around the united states. so the question that is raised, an important question, would we jeopardize our economic growth, our creation of manufacturing jobs if we started exporting the natural gas which we've discovered? it's a worthy debate, an important debate. it's one that really is
important when we consider the future of building manufacturing jobs in america. secondly, we take a look at this natural gas debate and we have to put it in historic context. those who say export, just sell it, it's another commodity, need to put this in historical context. if five years ago, if five years ago the united states had gone through a famine, would we be exporting agricultural goods today without concern? i don't think so. we'd think twice about it. because we can remember that not that long ago we were vurnlt. thank goodness we weren't and haven't been but think about the energy famine that we suffered some five years ago. we were dependent on opec, on foreign suppliers. we were worried about where our nation was going from an energy perspective. the discovery of new sources of natural gas, new methods of extraction, new sources of oil, for example, have given us hope
that we are going to be an energy surplus nation. but it is a new found treasure and with one we ought to be careful and measure carefully. some say we have plenty, it should be an international commodity. others say take care. make certain that we make the decision that is best for america, number one. well, should we debate that and decide that in a matter of minutes or hours on the floor of the senate this week or take the time to look at it carefully? i think the latter. when i go and speak to the new prime minister of ukraine, and i mention the possibility, what if we exported lick which liquefied natural gas -- liquefied natural gas to ukraine, he says we don't have place a place to receive it today. it's a substantial investment to receive l.n.g. into our country and use it effectively. we're not in a position to make that investment today. we're going to look to other
energy sources in the near term. so the notion that natural gas exports will have benefit to ukraine or nay nation in the -- any nation in the near term may be wishful thinking. shouldn't we look at that part of the equation honestly about what they can absorb, and whether they want it? i think these are all legitimate and critically important energy policy debates which we should engage in. but let's not make any mistake about it. we need to pass a resolution condemning what russia has done in crimea and threatens to do in ukraine. they have gathered at the borders in belarus and in russia, on the eastern reaches of ukraine, military forces far beyond what was flefers to guarantee an orderly referendum in crimea a little over nine days ago. they are poised to move forward and i pray that they won't. we've got to make it clear in the west whether it's president obama's visit with the g-7
nations, whether it's the european union or the senate and the house that we stand with ukraine, we want to stand by their sovereign and territorial integrity. mr. president, many people didn't notice, they should have but in 1994 ukraine was the third strongest nuclear power in the world. after the breakup of the soviet union, ukraine had more nuclear weapons than any country on earth save the united states and russia. in 1994 they came forward and said we are prepared to eliminate, destroy our nuclear arsenal if we have the assurance of major nations that this won't jeopardize our future. it won't jeopardize our territorial integrity. they produced what was known as the bud apest memorandum and this budapest memorandum was signed by the united states, the united kingdom, ukraine, and russia. guaranteeing that at least in
principle they would respect, all those nations would respect the territorial integrity of ukraine. well, within the last two weeks russia has not only reneged on that promise, it has in fact invaded ukraine and taken over territory there. it is important for us when it comes to ukraine to not only stand by the ukranian people as they move toward a more democratic form of government, it is important for us to reinforce the premise that if a country will give up its nuclear weapons, will not pursue the development of nuclear weapons and becoming part of the nuclear club, that we will basically say that will not create a dangerous situation for your future. that's what the biewd a -- budapest agreement was about, violated by russia one of the signatories. if we want to make the argument in iran, north korea, other countries they should foreswear their nuclear weapons, shouldn't we be standing by the premise that if they do it, at
least civilized nations will stand behind them if they are threatened and their sovereignty is threatened and that's what's happening today. in ukraine, in crimea. not just a question of the survival of the ukranian government but also a question as to whether or not civilized countries around the world trying to lessen the threat of nuclear weapons will stand with one voice and condemn the russians for what they have done. it is very clear that putin has ambitions far beyond the republic of georgia and far beyond ukraine. he engaged in this charm offensive at the sochi olympics, talked about the modern russia and what it meant in the 21st century and the very same troops protecting the athletes from terrorism in sochi as soon as the final ceremony ended were shifted and transferred into crimea to invade that nation. the charm offensive was clearly over. nbc may have covered the sochi olympics, it didn't cover the invasion of crimea in real time.
but it happened. and we know it happened. having been to ukraine with senator mccain and six other colleagues, our bipartisan delegation found that there is a deep attachment in ukraine to the united states. it is an attachment that is sometimes linked to specific families. i happen to represent the city of chicago, where there is a prominent section known as ukranian village. when i returned from ukraine and went back to this section of chicago near the church where the ukrainians worship on sunday, we had over 500 people who gathered to hear what i'd seen and heard and talk about where we should go when it came to the future of ukraine. but it's worthy of note that just weren't ukranian americans in that room in chicago when i returned a week ago. in the front row were polish people and we have more poles in chicago than almost any other
city outside of the nation of poland. lithlithuanians, latvians, georgians, even venezuelans and they had all come to listen carefully, many with memories not that long ago they were under soviet domination. these same people were standing together, they were standing in league with their ukranian american neighbors with the understanding that throughout its modern history, russia and the soviet union have taken over countries nearby when they could and many times we didn't speak out. i've heard the argument made that perhaps the united states if it showed more military force in other places in the world we might have discouraged vladimir putin. that argument doesn't make sense. look at history. we were in the midst of the vietnam war, we had committed half a million troops, the greatest military in the world was engaged in eeft asia when
breshnev, the head of the soviet union invaded czechoslovakia. we were engaged in two wars in iraq and afghanistan actively showing the power of our military in those countries under president george w. bush when vladimir putin invaded the republic of georgia. so i think it's an empty argument that says if we start a war someplace, the rest of the world will be fearful. it didn't work in those two instances. i don't think it's a recipe for the future. what the president is trying to do is establish political and economic sanctions on russia that will cost their economy, put pressure on them to stop this aggressive conduct. that to me is sensible. let's take up this measure. if members have amendments, bring them to the floor. let's pass it today. not later this week. let's show that we stand with the ukrainians and oppose russian aggression, support
sanctions when needed and are prepared to loan to the ukrainians the money they need to sustain their economy and build it in the future. ukraine is the second largest country in europe. it is moving toward the west. let us welcome them. as long as they are going to make certain their future is consistent with our democratic values, i think it's important that we not only continue this dialogue but show that we can truly be their allies and friends. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i come to the floor today to discuss the fourth anniversary of obamacare. four years ago this past sunday, the president signed his health care legislation into law. the measure was jammed through congress on a party-line vote against the strong objections of republicans and of the american people. democrats and the president assured everyone that this opposition was temporary. when people find out what's in the law, they will like it. democrats and the president promised. four years later, however, that isn't the case. the majority of the american people still disapprove of the law. and why do they still disapprove? well, because the president's health care law has failed in
every possible way. you have got canceled health care plans. you have seen people who have lost their doctors and lost their hospitals. you have seen soaring premiums, higher out-of-pocket costs, lower pay, disastrous web sites that have left thousands in limbo, confusion in the health insurance market and widespread damage to the economy. the president's law has failed so badly that some of the president's strongest supporters are rejecting it, young people who support the president's was so successful in obtaining the presidency during the election are turning their backs on the president's law. unions who pushed for the law's passage and the president's re-election are now protesting that the law will destroy their health plans and damage workers' livelihoods. democrats running for re-election are running from the health care law as fast as they can for fear that association with obamacare will doom their chances at re-election. people are finding out what the law really means for them, and they don't like it.
mr. president, when the president was trying to pass his health care law, he made a few promises. i think a lot of people remember when the president said if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. he said if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. well, the reality of the law has proved to be quite different. six million americans so far have lost their health care plans as a direct result of obamacare and far too many of them found that their only alternative was a plan that offered less coverage for more money. millions of other americans have lost their doctors and hospitals. obamacare placed a number of new taxes and regulations on insurance companies that left them facing huge cost increases. in an effort to manage their costs without raising health care premiums even further, many companies have narrowed their network of doctors and hospitals, especially in exchange plans. as a result, many americans have lost doctors that they have been
seeing literally for years. cancer patients in the middle of treatment have found that their doctors are not covered by their new health care plans. patients are also discovering that their hospital options are now far more limited as many plans exclude top hospitals. there was a recent article in the associated press that reported, and i quote, some of america's best cancer hospitals are off-limits to many of the people now signing up for coverage under the nation's new health care program, end quote. practically speaking, the a.p. reports, and i quote again -- "those patients may not be able to get the most advanced treatment, including clinical trials of new medications." end quote. and in a particularly cruel twist, many of the patients who have lost access to doctors and hospitals didn't know that they would lose access when they signed up for their plans as provider information on the health care exchange web sites
is often, to quiet a "business week" article, missing, wrong or difficult to navigate. in addition to promising that patients would be able to keep their health care plans and their doctors, the president promised that his health care law would reduce health care costs. but, in fact, health care costs have only risen since the affordable care act passed. families and individuals affectively dumped into the exchanges have found their own health care options cost far more than their previous health plans and offer far less. families shopping for so-called silver plans now can face deductibles of up to $12,700, a staggering amount of money that very few families are able to afford. for many families that number represents a full quarter of their income before taxes. last week newseam merged that already high premiums on the exchanges are set to increase
increase substantially next year. this was the headline in "the hill" newspaper. the fiscal times reported that americans should expect premium prices to soar. in fact, in that hill story the reporting said that health industry officials say obamacare-related premiums will double. double. in some parts of the country. "the wall street journal" reports that one recent analysis finds that 80% of firms offering employee coverage have raised deductibles or other cost sharing provisions or are considering doing so to avoid a new tax that is set to hit more lavish plans in 2018 and to counter health cost increases. thus, the journal says -- and i quote -- "employee out-of-pocket costs could rise" -- end quote. perhaps a more accurate name for the law would have been the unaffordable care act.
mr. president, the havoc that obamacare has wreaked on our health care system would be ample reason to dislike the law. but obamacare's damage isn't limited to our health care system. it's also damaging our economy. the nonpartisan congressional budget office reports that obamacare will result in in 2.5 million full-time workers over ten years and reduce wages by more than a trillion dollars. 2.5 million fewer workers and wages reduced by more than a trillion dollars. those are real-world economic impacts, mr. president. household income has already dropped by almost $3,700 over the course of the obama presidency and american families are already struggling. unemployment is high, economic growth is sluggish. the last thing that we need is fewer workers and lower wages. on top of that, obamacare is
discouraging employers from hiring and reducing employees' hours thanks to the slew of new taxes, mandates and regulations that obamacare levies on businesses large and small. chief among these is the requirement that businesses with 50 or more employees provide health insurance to all their full-time employees which the law defines as those working 30 hours or more. they don't do that, they pay fines. faced with this mandate, state and local governments, nonprofits, and businesses with small profit margins have been forced to cut employees' hours to avoid health care bills or fines they can't afford to pay. other businesses have been forced to keep their businesses under 50 workers instead of creating new jobs, hiring new people. larger businesses are also deciding not to hire or even letting workers go as a result of the costly taxes and regulations the health care law imposes. obamacare's tax on life saving
medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps has affected 30,000 jobs in the medical device industry. according to a recent study. mr. president, i don't care what party you're from. you cannot think that this law is working. our health care system may have needed reform, but this was not the way to do it. instead of improving our health care system, obamacare is making it far worse. it's time to repeal this law and pursue real solutions to our health care challenges. instead of the failing government health care exchanges, we could create affordable health care plans by allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines. allow for interstate competition when it comes to the purchase of insurance and sale of insurance. that would increase competition among health plans which in turn would drive prices down, not
up, as is happening now. we could allow businesses to pool together to negotiate lower rates with health insurance companies. we could improve high-risk pools to help people with preexisting conditions and to expand health savings accounts to allow families to put away money tax free to pay for future health care-related expenses. and we could end the rampant lawsuit abuse driving up the cost of care for all americans. we do need real reform of our health care system. the kind of reform, mr. president, that will actually drive down costs and expand access to care while allowing americans, not the government, to make decisions about the health care plans that they choose. and the doctors that they visit. obamacare is doing the opposite. mr. president, obamacare isn't working. we need to repeal it now and to
cornyn. mr. president, sometimes it takes a sudden telescope dispel a president's knee ofty about a foreign adversary. in 1979 if soviet invasion of afghanistan had that effect on president carter and one can only hope that russia's annexation of the crimea will have a similar impact on president obama.
mr. cornyn: only recently the president was describing his russian reset -- those were his words -- as a success. in other words, he was skill calling the reset a success after moscow had done the following things and i think it's worth recalling the litany of things that vladimir putin and russia have done notwithstanding president obama's hopeful intention to reset that relationship. so here's what moscow has done. they've brutalized domestic human rights activists, they've tortured and murdered anticorruption whistle-blowerrer is jay man it i ask. they unreeshed -- maintenance i ask. they threatened to target u.s. missile defense sites with offensive weapons. they vetoed numerous united nations resolutions regarding
syria where be a sar al-assad has now killed roughly 150,000 civilians. they vetoed those resolutions. they've also ignored u.s. demands to stop aiding bashar al-assad, period, it's well known and documented that russia regularly sends weapons to assad to use on his own people. russia's also denounced u.s. sanctions against iran as undisguised blackmail. this is a country seeking a nuclear weapon that would destabilize the entire region and perhaps worst in the middle east. russia has expelled usaid from their country and pulled out of the none lug are a -- nun lugar cooperative threat program designed to reduce the threat of
nuclear weapons. russia has banned american citizens from adopting russian children and offered asylum to n.s.a. leaker edward snowden. that's quite a list. as you can see while president obama has said he wants to reset that relationship with russia, vladimir putin has basically thumbed his nose at the united states and the international order. and yet none of that has caused president obama -- kept him from calling this relationship with putin and russia a success. now, if we consider the three biggest u.s. diplomatic victories often attributed to this reset that the president likes to talk about, greater russian cooperation in afghanistan, the new start arms treaty, and the russian support
for u.s. sanctions in iran, only one, only the first one of those, looks like a genuine, durable achievement from the advantage point of march, 2014. the new start treaty was a dangerous giveaway that in addition to jeopardizing missile defense plans reduced the number of american nuclear launchers and warheads while allowing russia to increase the size of its own arsenal. as for the iran sanctions endorsed by the u.n. security council members in june of 2010, these were less significant than the unilateral u.s. sanctions that congress forced upon president obama, despite his actions in december, 2011. for that matter, the administration is now unilaterally -- has now unilaterally decided to loosen u.s. sanctions and thereby
relinquish some of the best leverage we have on tehran, to keep them from crossing that red line and acquiring a nuclear weapon. what did we get for that? we got minor concessions and more hollow promises. like other u.s. adversaries, the iranians are watching the ukraine to see how president obama responds. in the modern era, cross-border military invasions of sovereign states have been a blessedly rare occurrence, yet vladimir putin has now launched two of them in less than six years. the secretary-general of nato has called russia's armed seizure of crimea -- quote -- "the gravest threat to european security and stability since the end of the cold war." close quote. europe remembers. the primary location for two world wars during the last century.
they remember, and they remember what happened in 1938, which unfortunately bears an eerie resemblance to some of the initial steps being taken by vladimir putin and russia today, and they remember what happened after that, casting the world into a terrible war in which millions of people lost their lives in world war ii. well, president obama's initial response was to sanction 11 russians and yiewrks but leaving putin -- ukrainians but leaving putin's oligarchs untouched, and they grew mocking rebukes from the kremlin. last thursday, they decided to ramp up the sanctions by issuing new sanctions that did go a little further, targeting four oligarchs and 16 government officials, including putin's chief of staff, along with a prominent putin-linked financial
institution. in addition, president obama declared that he had now signed a new executive order. remember the president said he has a phone and a pen. well, he has been using that. not necessarily working with congress, but he has been using that. he has issued a new executive order that gives us the authority to impose sanctions, not just on individuals but on key sectors of the russian economy. the problem with that is that sanctions imposed on russia's economy is going to hurt europe and invariably end up having -- inflicting damage, even on the u.s. economy. but i do hope that the president uses this assorted -- this authority to send putin a message and finds a way to thread the needle to exact the costs he said he would exact on putin for this lawless act. in my view, the sanctions should also together rosoboron export.
this is a state-owned dealer that has been supplying the assad in syria with weapons and it's become the grand central station of corruption. the pentagon, the u.s. pentagon has inexplicably been buying mi-17 helicopters from rosoboron export to supply the afghan military, despite numerous alternatives. now, i'm happy to report that the senior senator from indiana, senator coats, has introduced an amendment that would terminate these contracts and prohibit all business dealings with companies that cooperate with rosoboron export, and i'm a proud cosponsor of that amendment, and i hope the majority leader, as senator mcconnell, the republican leader, implored this morning will allow an open amendment process so that reasonable amendments designed to improve this bill will be allowed to be voted on. as america responds to vladimir
putin's invasion of ukraine, sanctions will remain a critically important tool, but sanctions alone are not enough. they should be accompanied by at least three other u.s. policy moves. first, the united states needs to assess the military needs of ukraine and other eastern european countries and then swiftly dispatch or facilitate the purchase of whatever resources may be required. offering rations, military ration kits rather than serious military assistance is a joke, it's a bad joke, and it's an insult to our friends in kiev and freedom-loving people within the orbit of russia. second, we should enhance and expand our european missile defense system with upgrades such as the new x-band radar and
more capable interceptors. we should also increase our overall missile defense budget. this is something that putin hates but which is a legitimate expenditure of self-defense moneys to help keep the world safer, particularly from the threat of an iranian missile. third, we should dramatically accelerate the approval process for u.s. companies seeking to export liquefied natural gas. congress can take the lead here by amending the 1938 natural gas act, an antiquated depression-era law that's become an obstacle to economic growth and u.s. foreign policy interests. even in the short term, most of our l.n.g. exports would go to asia, it's true, rather than europe, but it would overall increase the supply, and it's expediting and expanding those exports would increase that global supply, help push down prices and signal to vladimir putin that washington is
determined to squeeze his gas revenues and break his energy stranglehold on eastern europe. that's why members of both political parties have called for boosting and accelerating l.n.g. exports as quickly as possible. those can begin to flow from the united states as early as 2015, thus increasing supply, alleviating dependency on other sources and send a very important message to mr. putin. all of the actions i have described would send a powerful message to moscow and help maximize our diplomatic leverage in the current crisis. the march 20 sanctions were a good start. the legislation that was crafted by my friend here from tennessee, the ranking republican on the foreign relations committee along with senator menendez, the chairman, are a good start, but there is more that can be done and should be done, and i hope the majority leader will allow a reasonable and rational process to allow
other members in the body to participate by adding their constructive ideas to this legislation that will pass by the end of the week, but which i think there are a multitude of good ideas that could be added to it that make it even stronger and send an even more effective message to vladimir putin and hopefully discourage him from acting further in his naked aggression in ukraine. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: mr. president, i want to ask about my time, but before the senator from texas leaves, i want to thank him for his comments and his involvement in this issue and appreciate him coming to the floor. i think this is an important thing for us to be debating, and i firmly support the open amendment process that's been alluded to. mr. president, if i could, i'd like to inquire as to how much time is remaining at this point on this topic?
the presiding officer: there are four minutes remaining on the republican side. mr. corker: i was afraid that might be the case. mr. president, i wonder if i could ask unanimous consent to speak for eight minutes or so. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. corker: okay. mr. president, i thank you and i rise to speak on the pending business before the senate floor, which is the aid package and sanctions package and the i.m.f. package relative to ukraine. i want to thank senator menendez for the way he conducted our hearings in markup relative to this bill. i think most people in this body understand that this is a bill that came out of the senate foreign relations committee on a 14-3 vote. we had one member that was absent, was dealing with some business down in florida. it's my understanding had that member been there, this actually would have come out of committee on a 15-3 vote. so i do want to first emphasize this has been through a committee process. i would also like to say, though, on the other hand, events on the ground have changed since this came out of
committee. things have evolved since it came out of committee. i do hope there is an open amendment process to make adjustments to the bill to take into account some of the things that have occurred on the ground since that time. so look, i know all of us want to strongly support ukraine. i know all of us strongly condemn what russia and putin have done recently in crimea, and i think all of us understand that what we want to do is to stop, to stop that aggression from moving on into the southern and eastern portions of ukraine. so we're trying to respond in a way that sends a signal to russia, sends a signal to those who have been involved in these illicit activities that they should at least stop on the crimean border. hopefully over time they will receive from crimea, but what we are trying to do is prevent further aggression in this area. i think everyone understands that it's been our policy for 70 years, as the united states, to
promote a democratic whole and free europe, and so this very much what's happening with russia and crimea and hopefully not in ukraine, although there is no doubt that they have fomented many of the problems that have occurred there, what we are attempting to do is to ensure that europe remains free, democratic and whole, and i know that everybody here remembers the fact that ukraine was a place of numbers of nuclear weapons from russia. when the soviet union broke apart in 1991, there was a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons and warheads in ukraine. we signed an agreement called the bucharest memorandum with united kingdom, with russia and ukraine relative to ukraine's sovereignty if they were willing to give up these nuclear weapons. so it is very much in our national interest that we prevent russia, prevent russia from dealing -- from breaking up and dealing nefariously with the
sovereignty of ukraine. so what we have done is crafted a bill that does three things. number one, it provides economic aid. i think everyone in this body understands the tremendous economic problems that ukraine can experiencing. i think we all understand the first thing that has to happen in ukraine is it's got to be stabilized economically. therefore, the administration has pledged $1 billion in aid. this bill backs that up in a way that allows that to occur. obviously, congress has to approve spending, which is associated with loan guarantees. these loan guarantees, by the way, would not take effect until after ukraine has signed an i.m.f. agreement that makes sure that they are going to go through the structural processes that are necessary to make sure they do the things that actually calls them to be a more successful country. the bill also dealings with
sanctions. i think everyone knows that there have been numbers of people that have been involved nefariously in dealing internally in ukraine with their sovereignty issues, but there also have been numbers of corrupt officials in russia that have affected what is happening in ukraine, and this bill sanctions both. a very strong message. i would say that economic aid is important, with but i also thint us sanctioning the bad behavior and russia understanding that there is going to be additional sanctions put in place, and with that, i do want to thank the administration for the sanctions that have been put in place. i thought it was a big step that they put in place sectoral sanctions or said they had the ability through executive order to do that. what i hope will happen and what we pressed for out of our office is that they will go ahead and implement some of those sectoral sanctions to send a shockwave through the russian economy that
in the event they do anything to come into ukraine while they are amassing troops on the border, if they do anything in that regard, this is just the beginning, and i think all of us understand that russia is in a place where their economy is weak, and we know the ruble has depreciated greatly in value. we understand that our best asset against them right now is sanctions that would hurt them economically, and certainly affect those people that sit around putin and affect him in big ways. and the third piece of this is i.m.f. reform. i want to say that i joined a number of people who believe that the i.m.f. reforms that have been laid out are important. they are important to the world. i talked to my friends on this side of the aisle that i think may have more of an isolationist bent, and i say that one of the things that is most important for us as a nation is to have an entity like the i.m.f. that is
not perfect, that makes mistakes, but it is the entity that everybody in the world is looking to right now to help usher ukraine from where they are to a place that is prosperous, that has the ability to improve the standard of living of ukrainians, which is very important from the standpoint of their stability. so we're all focused on the i.m.f. we have people on my side of the aisle that have, again, become more isolationist, less adventurous, i understand, but what the i.m.f. does is allow us to share the risk of stabilizing countries like ukraine with other countries around the world. and i think all of us understand that the threats to global stability are greater today than they've been in the past so there was an agreed to set of reforms that took place back in 2010. i strongly support, i strongly support those reforms.
and, as a matter of fact, would say that ukraine is the poster child for why we need to have an i.m.f. that is functioning in a much higher level. so we account for a transfer from something all of a sudden the n.a.b., it's a line of credit that we have, it's out there, it's a liability that our nation has and we transfer $63 billion of that $100 billion over to something that is in a basket of currency. so really not taking on any additional liabilities but there is a pay-for aspect of this through the budgeting process that is fully accounted for in this bill. so, again, i join dr. henry kissinger, dr. condoleezza rice, former secretary jim baker in saying and knowing that we should doops adopt these i.m.f. reforms. these are the three bill elements of this bill. we have some democracy assistance, we have some authorized sums to help us build stronger relationships with our
allies. but i strongly support this piece of legislation. i think this piece of legislation is a full package. it's a package that deals with the three aspects that need to be dealt with at this time. and, again, the i.m.f. to me, ukraine is, again, the poster child of why we want to have a fully functioning i.m.f. so look, i know there are going to be amendments offered, there have been some already. i hope that we will have a full and open process here with amendments that are relevant to what we're dealing with here on the floor. i think the bill can be improved and it's my hope as we move through this week wile we'll have the opportunity for those amendments to be heard and voted on but at the same time, by the time the weekends, and -- the week ends and we head back to our respective states we will have in a unified way sent a message to russia, sent a message to the people of ukraine
as to where this body stands relative to their support economically, relative to sanctions that we believe strongly should be put in place against russia, and how we believe the i.m.f. should be functioning as a stabilizing force in the world. so with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 214 which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to s. 2124, a bill to support sovereignty and democracy in ukraine and for other purposes. mr. corker: mr. president, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. rubio: mr. president, we are on the motion to proceed? the presiding officer: we are in a quorum call. mr. rubio: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. rubio: my understanding that we're on the motion to proceed, is that correct? the presiding officer: we are. mr. rubio: i wanted to speak about the issue of ukraine. i get phone calls, i mails, been on the minds of people across the country. the most common question is what can we do and related to that, why does this matter. i'll get to that in my conclusion. on this motion now before the senate why we're asked to vote on a package of sanctions and also assistance to ukraine i wanted to first outline what it is we can do move forward in addition to this bill that's before us but also in why this bill before us is so important. th i think there's a couple of things we need to focus on in terms of our reaction to what's happened with regards to crimea, with ukraine and in particular because of the russian actions that have been taken. i think the first and most
important thing we need to do is we have to help the ukranian people and the interim government in ukraine to protect its sovereignty but also protect its transition to full democracy. they have elections scheduled in may of this year. these elections will be critical that they go off smoothly, that they are free and fair because that's an important step in their transition to democracy. but we should anticipate that russia through putin is going to do everything they can to disrupt these leaksz, to delegitimize these elections. we see reference in the media there is an agitators sponsored by the kremlin that could potentially try to disrupt these elections. one of the first things we can do working with our allies in europe is help them with the lodge stal support they need to carry out elections that are free and are fair and give them the biggest step they're going
to take so far toward a transition to democracy in ukraine. the second thing w -- the second thing we need to do to help ukraine make a transition to democracy is to help them stabilize their economy. now, you can imagine this disruptive change in government combined with an invasion of their territories has been disruptive this their economy. and that's why the bill before us is so critical. because in addition to some of the direct assistance, it will help them access loans that will allow them to stablize their economic situation. and, again, what we can anticipate is that russia is going to do everything it can to disrupt their economy. again, the russian argument here is -- and it's a ridiculous argument -- but the argument that they're making to the world is ukraine is a failed state. the russian-speak population is being threatened and so we have to get involved, we must intervene to try to stabilize that situation.
that's the argument they've made in crimea and increasingly that's the argument they seem to be making with regards to eastern ukraine. and so the bill before us is critical because it will be a major step on the part of this government to do its part in conjunction with our allies in europe to help ukraine stabilize their economy. now, as i've shared before, i have some real concerns about some language that's in this bill. it has to do with these changes to the i.m.f. that i don't think belong in this legislation. i don't think it belongs in this legislation for two reasons. one is i don't think that we should be taking up an issue of that importance in this manner. we should have a full debate on that. and that should be dealt with separately. but i also think it was a mistake by this administration to include the i.m.f. language in this bill because we need as much as anything else is not just to pass this thing out of the senate but to pass it with the most amount of support possible. i wanted to see it be 100-0 or 95-5 so we could send a very strong message to russia and to
the world that the united states of america and her people are firmly on the side of ukraine's sovereignty and ukraine's desire for independence from russia and ability to stabilize its country in moving forward. that, quite frankly, is endangered as a result of the administration's decision to push this divisive language into this bill. there was no reason for them to do that. and, in fact, that sentiment isn't a republican sentiment. it's being echoed in the house, where a number of democrats today are quoted in newspaper articles as saying that this was a mistake, that they should never have done this. if they were to take this language out, you would pass a bill in the house and senate this week, we could have passed one before we left two weeks a ago. instead it continues to have to go through a prolonged debate and divisiveness. and there are people that have had to vote it against it here on the floor because they feel so strongly about the i.m.f. language. we could have had their support.
we could have sent a stronger message than the one that's being sent now. i have those concerns. i -- by the way, there was a statement made on the floor yesterday that i think deserves to be addressed. the majority leader stood here and said that basically that the reason -- that republicans are responsible for the loss of crimea. in an effort to help a family that's engaged in american politics. i think that statement is absurd and ridiculous. i think it's the kind of hyperbole that an issue such as this have no place. at some point there has to bishe issues so big and important to the national security of this country that they are above politics and above that sort of statement. that being said, while i share the same concerns that many of my colleagues do about the i.m.f. language and initially expressed my position that i was not willing to vote for this bill with it, after much thought and consideration over the last couple weeks, researching the issue, i made the conclusion that in the cost-benefit analysis, helping ukraine stabilize itself, helping ukraine stabilize its economy, given the importance of this
issue, it's so important that i am prepared to vote for this despite the fact that it has something in it that i do not like. that's how important i think this issue truly is. and oftentimes, by the way, in foreign policy that's what we're called to do, we're called to make pragmatic decisions that are in the best interest of america and our allies around the world, even if it's less than ideal or perhaps not the complete solution that we want. that's why i'm prepared, that's why i voted to proceed on this bill and that's why i'm prepared to support it despite the inclusion of the i.m.f. language that i'm strongly against because i think this issue is that important. third thing we can do to help ukraine protect its sovereignty and make its full transition to democracy is to help them with their defense capabilities. now, understand that in -- that when the soviet union fell in the early 1990's, ukraine was left with the world's third-largest stockpile of tactical nuclear weapons and
strategic nuclear weapons on the planet. but they signed this agreement with the united states, the united kingdom and the russia that basically said, if you give up your nuclear weapons, we, these three countries that signed to this, will provide for your defense and assure you of your defense. so ukraine did that. they gave up these weapons. well, now -- this was signed in 1994 -- 20 years later, one of the three countries that signed that agreement hasn't just not provided for their defense, they actually invaded them. and i want to make a point on this for a second. think about if you're one of these other countries around the world right now that feels threatened by your neighbors and the united states and the rest of the world are going to you and saying, listen, don't develop nuclear weapons, don't develop nuclear weapons, south korea, don't develop nuclear weapons, japan, don't develop nuclear weapons, saudi arabia, we will protect you. we will watch out for you. what kind of lesson do you think this instance sends to them? i think the message this is
sending to many nations around the world is perhaps we can no longer count on the security promises made by the free world. perhaps we need to start looking out for ourselves. and that's why the ukrainian situation is so much more important than simply what's happening in europe. this has implications around the world. there are a number of countries around the world now that are considering increasing their defense capabilities, including a nuclear capacity, because they feel threatened by neighbors that have a nuclear capacity themselves. and so far they've held back on that because they have relied on the united states and our partners to assure them that they don't they'd these weapons, that we have their back. but now when something like this happens, these countries see it as further evidence that potentially those soforts assurances are -- sorts of assurances are no longer enough in the 21st century and it raises the real risk that over the next two decades, you could see an explosion in the number of countries around the world that possess a nuclear weapons capability because they now feel that they must protect
themselves and can no longer rely on other countries to do it for them. so how can we help ukraine with its military and defense capabilities? by providing them assistance. and, by the way, the ukrainian military capability degraded not just because of their overconfidence in these assurances that were made to them. there was also corruption in that government. in fact, the previous president who was ousted by a popular revolt, that president actually undermined the defense capabilities of that country and took a lot of that money and used it for internal control, to be able to control his own population. population instead of being able to protect his country. so what can we do to help? the first thing that i've called for us to do is to provide ukraine with more military equipment and more training. we should work with our nato allies and the european union to help equip and train the ukrainian military forces so that they can protect this country now and moving forward. we can also share intelligence information with them to help them better position their
assets and understand and have a better awareness of what's going on around them. we can also help them with logistical support. threes the sorts of things that i hope -- these are the sorts of things that i hope this administration will take ten towards in the next couple of days. so that's the first thing question do. we can help ukraine protect its sovereignty and make the full transition to democracy. the second thing we need to do is we need to continue to raise the price on putin for the invasion of crimea and we need to change the calculation, the cost-benefit calculation that he's going to go through as he decides whether to move into eastern ukraine now and potentially even parts of moldova. so already some steps have been taken in that regard and i applaud the administration for having additional sanctions announced last week. i think we're going to have to continue to do more in conjunction with our alliesmen . i think we need to add more names of individuals, of financial institutions and of businesses, primarily those who have links to this invasion but also russia's involvement in
supporting the syrian regime as it carries out the mass slaughter of its own people. i think we need to suspend our civil and nuclear cooperation agreement that was entered into as part of the 1-2-3 agreement four years ago as a strong message to them. i think we need to reassess the role that nato plays in europe. nato was largely built around the soviet risk in eastern and western europe and then after the fall of the soviet union and the end of the cold war, nato's kind of lost its way a little bit in terms of its role in europe because there was no threat. in fact, you saw some of these countries saying, you know, it's likelier that nato's role will be now about operations in the middle east or in africa and being involved in threats there as opposed to actually having to defend our own territory. the facts on the ground in europe have changed dramatically in the last two months. you now, in fact, do have a powerful military force in the region that has shown a willingness to invade a neighb
neighbor. they did this, by the way, in 2008 in georgia. they're doing it again now in a way that's even more egregious and outrageous. and i think it's time for nato to re evaluate its capabilities given the new threat that's here to stay, and also it's time for nato to reposition its assets on face this threat and risk. and i think and i hope that those conversations are happening now. i think nato in many respects, it is time to written re- invigorate this alliance because it has a compleer and present danger in europe in -- complete and present danger in europe in the form of the government of vladimir putin which threatens its neighbors and the stability of europe and now i think nato has found a reason to reinvigorate itself. the last point i would make in terms of changing the callous is not just the military capabilities, it's its natural resources. much of europe depends on russia for its oil and for its natural gas. and this creates a tremendous amount of leverage on their
neighbors. one of the reasons why you have seen some countries in europe reluctant to move forward on even higher sanctions is because they are afraid of losing access to natural gas and oil from russia that their economy depends on. we need to c -- we need to change that. that can't happen overnight. first, by increasing our exports to those countries and particularly ukraine. i know senator barrasso will have an amendment that i hope will be considered that will allow us to export more natural gas to ukraine. but the other thing that needs to happen is that other countries in europe need to develop their own domestic capabilities in natural gas so they can become less reliant on russia for these resources and become more reliant on themselves and free countries in the region to be able to do that. that's a critical component of a long-term strategy in all of this. let me just close by answering the question i again with: why does this matter? and i think this matters for a lot of different reasons. i have highlighted one in terms
of decisions that are being made around the world and governments that are to decide whether they are going to pursue that i remember own domestic weapons capability or not. but there is another that perhaps we need to think about. after world war ii, in fact after the last century when the world went through two devastating world wars, there was a commitment made that no longer would nations be allowed to aggressively invade other countries and take over territory and exercise legitimate claims. in fact, international norms were established at the end of world war ii. we had some conflicts during the cold war with russia, with the soviet union, and with the spread of communism but by and large, especially since the end of the cold war, that's been the established norm. it is not acceptable in the late 20th century and in the early 21st century for a country to simply make up an excuse and invade a neighbor and take their land and their territory. that perhaps is the way of the world -- that perhaps was the way of the world 200 years ago,
300 years ago, 100 years ago and there was loss of life as a result of countries doing that. but the world grew tired of that and decided they would not accept those types of things. if you recall in the early 1990's, saddam hussein did that. he invoided kuwait and the -- he invaded kuwait and the entire world gathered around to expel him from there. now in the 21st century you have the most egregious violation of that norm. you basically have russia that has decided that we don't like the way things are going in ukraine and so we're going to invade. we're going to take over a terrortory. and think about how they did it. they deny that they're doing it. they send russian troops into crimea, but they had them wear uniforms that had no markings on them. the press would ask these soldiers, where are you from? they wouldn't answer. they claim these were local
defense forces that rallied around the russian ar flag. they made up this excuse that somehow the russian-speaking population in the region was being oppressed and attacked and was in danger and so they needed to intervene. even to this day they still will not admit the military role their playing on the role in crimea. so in addition to violating this international norm, which is an outrageous behavior, they have lied about it and think they can get away with t the point that i'm making is, even in the 21st century a country is allowed to invade a neighbor, lie about it and lie about the reasons for it and they can get away with it without significant costs. we have created a dangerous precedent with which we are going to have to live, because all over the world there are powerful nations who now claim that land that they do not control belongs to them. i took a trip in february to asia. i visited japan and the
philippines and south korea, and you know what the number-one fear in that region is? that china has similar claims to russia. they claim that all sorts of pieces of territory and of the oceans belongs to them. they chamber it belonged to them 1,000 years ago and should be belong to them now. now, they've taken a different tact. but the point is, if we now live in a world where a country can make territorial claims and then simply act on them without any repercussions from the international community, then i think the 21st century is starting to look mured and more lik-- tolook more and more likee early 20th century, a time when we were subjected to two devastating world wars. we cannot allow this to go unpunished. the only way this can be punished is if the free countries of the world impose sanctions and costs for having taken this action on vladimir putins and his crohn neesms the free world will never be able to
rally to impose those costs unless the united states of america leads that effort. we can't do it alone. but it cannot be done without it. and that's why it's so important that measures like the one the senate now is considering happen with the highest amount of bipartisan support we canner muster. we may not agree with every aspect of it. i certainly do not. but when you weigh the equities here, if you were to put this on a scale, the need to do something about ukraine so far outweighs the things about this legislation before us that we don't like, because of the implications it has not just on our nation but on the world and the role we have. you know, if some other country around the world fails to pass sanctions, fails to take steps or disco so i does so in a way s divided, it might have some impact. but when the united states of america fails to act in a decisive way, it has a dramatic
impact. one of the arguments that our adversaries around the world use is they tell our allies, the why ar-- they tell our allies, why e you still in the united states camp? their government is always bickering and deeply divided. they can't come together in washington to do anything. you do you think if you're invaded or ever get in trouble, the united states could muster the political support for them to come to your assistance? don't count on america, count on us or yourself. and i've already explained why there's danger in that. but that is the argument these countries use against us. if we fail to take decisive and unified action in this body in the senate to send a strong message that while we may not agree on every component of this -- and i've already told you it was a mistake for the administration to push for that i.m.f. sanction language, the i.m.f. reform language, but i fear that if we do not send a
strong and decisive message, i think this will be spun against us. i think this will be used as evidence to our allies and others around the world why america is no longer reliable, either economically or militarily. and the consequences of that could extend far beyond europe into other regions of the world like asia. this is not a game. this is not some domestic political dispute. this issue has ramifications that will directly impact the kind of world that our children will inherit. in fact, it will dramatically impact the kind of world you and i have will to live in or the over 30 and 40 years. we cannot afford to be wrong and so i hope that i can urge as many of my colleagues as possible to support this legislation with all of its flaws so that we can send a clear message that on these issues we are united as a people and a nation and that we remain committed to u.s. global
leadership. mr. president, thank you, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader. mr. durbin: i have six unanimous consent requests for committees to meet today during the session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask that they be agreed to understand a interprosecuted in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i understand you have an announcement from the chair? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate had a having received h.r. 3771, the text of which is identical to s. 1821, the senate will proceed to consideration of the measure which the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 3771, an act to accelerate the income tax benefits for charitable cash contributions for the relief of victims of the typhoon in the philippines. the presiding officer: under the previous order, h.r. 3771 is read a third time and passed. s. 1821 is indefinitely postponed, and the motions to reconsidereconsiderrer considere
and laid on the table. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i enjoyed very much the remarks of the senator from florida. he's very much concerned about this, very much plugged into the situation with what's happening in the ukraine, and i just would like to make a couple comments about that from a little slightly different perspective. that is, that -- and my current position is the ranking member on the senate armed services committee. 0en that on that you take one pf this proposal, that is the money coming out of the military to take care of a problem that the military should not have to take care of at a time when things are really serious. now, the i.m.f. has always the relief it needs to meet its borrowing needs. the i.m.f. does not need
additional u.s. funds to help ukraine. it does not make sense to double the size of the i.m.f. by are ratifying a 2010 agreement paying for -- with money that can be used for d.o.d. to address the shortfalls, which i am going to talk about. by the way, there is another option out there, because the house has a bill. chairman royce of the house foreign affairs committee is mark up a bill today as we're speaking here that i believe addresses our response to ucane in a more responsible way. the house bill is likely to provide $68 billion in ukraine aid. it does not expand the i.m.f. and removes it from the bans on l.n.g. this does not take money from the d.o.d. i think that's good. the senator from florida commented that we wouldn't be in the position we're in right now with the europeans fraid to come to the aid of ukraine if it
weren't for the fact that they are reliant upon russia for their ability to produce l.n.g. we in this country have had a real boom in getting into tight formations, the l.n.g. -- rate now we need to be exportin expoe of it to get the price up. no better way than to start exporting this to countries like ukraine. if we're doing this, in the western european countries would not be reliant upon russia for that ability. i think we have an opportunity there to do something with the -- with this bill. hopefully we believe able to satisfy the needs of ukraine and at the same time not provide further damage to our military. i recognize that out of the of5 billion price tag fo, it rightly
cuts $150 million from the state department. that's right. it should. that's where it should come from. but also then takes an equal amount, $150 million from -- away from the department of defense to double the size of i.m.f. in order to give authority that isn't actually required for the i.m.f. to adequately loan to ukraine. the unnecessary proposed $157 million in defense rescissions to pay for this aid has already been used by o.m.b., office of mapght and budget, and by the d.o.d., department of defense, to build current -- the current defense budget. these funds have already been spent and you can't get anymore out of the military right now. if the defense is forged to pay for this aid, then the services will likely have to reduce their readiness accounts. readiness accounts -- that means lives because we talk about
risk. if you're not ready to the degree that you're not ready, you incur more risk. risk is translated into lives. our national security funding can't be treated like an a.t.m. $157 million can be used to support critical defense readiness needs like an army brigade combat team for six months, 1,000 marine embase security personnel for a year and a half, about two months of the o.n.m., second carrier air wing, almost two f-16 squadrons for a year. what's happened to the military, if only people out there would understand -- and they don't. i mep, there are a lot of republicans and democrats out there both not talking about this, that is what this administration, the obama administration has done to our military. i remember so well, five years
ago going down to -- going over to afghanistan. so i could respond to the president's budget which was at that time going to be talking about the -- what he was going to be doing to the military. i knew he would begin five years ago to start disarming america. what did he do? he did away with our fifth generator fighter, the f-22, did away with the c-17. did away with our future combat system, did away with the ground-based interceptor in poland. now we're looking for something to protect the eastern part of the united states as a result of that. that was all the first year, the first step in disarming america. since that time the president in his budget has taken out of the military some $487 billion. and if he goes through with the sequestration, it would be another half billion dollars. people don't realize where this all started. they'll say, wait a minute,