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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 26, 2014 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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the presiding officer: are
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there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the ayes are 56, the nays are 43. cloture is invoked. the clerk will report the motion to ip voke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the nomination of m. edward g. smith of pennsylvania to be united states district judge for the eastern district of pennsylvania, soone signed by 17
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senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the sna that debate on the nomination of edward g. o g. smf pennsylvania shall be brought to the a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 75, the nays are 23. the motion is agreed to. cloture having been invoked, the clerk will report the nominations. the clerk: nominations: the judiciary committee. christopher reid cooper of the district of columbia to be united states district judge. m. douglas harpool of missouri to be united states district judge. jirld austin mchugh to be united states district judge. edward g. smith of pennsylvania to be united states district judge. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 2:30 p.m. will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees.
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mr. cornyn: madam president? the presiding officer: the republican whip. mr. cornyn: madam president, i want to say a few words about the business pending before the united states senate; that is, providing aid and assistance to the citizens of ukraine who have found themselves invaded by the russian federation. but before i get to the ukraine, i want to say a quick word about a story that appeared today in the "new york times." this was a remarkable story, remarkable in its transparency but also in its cynicism in terms of what some of our friends across the aisle have in mind between now and november. to put it in a word, they've given up. they've given up legislating and are going to spend the next several months holding a series of show votes, which are in
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essence those designed to highlight poll-tested messages. "the new york times" writes this: "the proposals have little chance of passing," little chance of passion. but democrats concede that making new laws is not really the point. rather, they're trying to force republicans to vote against th them. close quote. i would think the american people would expect and certainly they would deserve better than that from the united states senate. scheduling a series of show votes not for the purpose of actually improving the lives of the american people or solving the problems that confront our country at this time of low economic growth and high joblessness but, rather, for show votes, for purely partisan political reasons.
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at a time when millions of people have lost their health insurance, when millions have been forced to pay higher premiums or deductibles, when 3.8 million people have been unemployed for more than six months, when the labor force participation rate, the number of people actually looking for work, has fallen to 30-year lows, and when nearly 46.8 million people are receiving food stamps, it's more than a little disappointing that the leaders of the democratic party in the senate are into scoring cheap political points. as i said, the american people certainly deserve better and, again, i am a little bit surprised that some of the leadership on the democratic side of the aisle would be so transparent and so obvious as to state their intentions to "the new york times." but that's what it appears.
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so really what we need is a senate and a congress that is more focused on creating an economic condition where the american people can find jobs rather than politicians, which are focused solely on saving their jobs. particularly leading up to the next election. of course, this is the kind of stuff that makes people extraordinarily cynical about washington, d.c.,. with an election coming up, i guess some people have lost all sense of proportion. now, madam president, as we continue to discuss the proper response by the united states of america to vladimir putin's invasion of ukraine, it's important that we stay focused on two overarching realities. number one, the government of russia is much more vulnerable to western pressure than it might appear from the outside.
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and, number two, we have far more leverage today against moscow than we did ten years ago or even five years ago because of the renaissance in american energy, the oil and gas boom that we are experiencing in america thanks to the discovery of a man named george mitchell from houston, texas, who pioneered horizontal drilling, which together with fracking has allowed access to natural gas and oil reserves undreamed of just five or ten years ago. but let's start with the first reality. as ruchir of morgan stanley wrote monday in the wiewrnlg, "russia has become a classic weak investment, high-inflation economy." an economy plagued by massive
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levels of corruption. according to mr. sharmim, "wealthy russians have been moving money ousts o out of thet one of the fastest rates in the decade and now foreign investors are pulling out, too." so it's worth noting that russia's economy is currently suffering through period of stagnation he is despite the fact that oil prices remain high. its government source of income is -- a majority of that is oil and gas revenue, which has led our friend, the senior senator from arizona, to say that russia these days is a gas station masquerading as a sovereign state. and they depend on the ability to send -- to sell that oil and gas to ukraine and europe and, indeed, they use this a a political tool to work their
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will in europe and obviously in ukraine. you know, sometimes we talk about crony capitalism here in america, in which private individuals and private companies collude with government in order to gain special benefits. that's what crony capitalism really is. well, the russian economy represents crony capitalism on stair isteroids. if we could squeeze the ole gashings and the kremlin advisors who have gotten fabulously rich thanks to their collaboration with vladimir putin and the russian government, many of putin's closest allies will begin to rethink their support. that's an area of vulnerability that we ought to be focused on like a laser. as i said yesterday, i'm encouraged by the sanctions that the obama administration announced on thursday. it is a good start. but i would urge the administration to continue imposing serious penalties on
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high-level kremlin officials and the superrich olli oligarchs who comprise putin's inner circle. in other words, sanctions are not enough. we need to do more to dissuade and discourage putin and his allies from engaging in the current course of conduct. as well as further adventures in other parts of europe and former areas of the former soviet union. it's time for more robust sanctions that target the financial energy sectors of the russian economy. the costs for moscow tion aggression -- for moscow's aggression must be real. that's not just me saying that. that's what president obama said, too. but with that in mind, i would urge the administration to sanction the russian arms exporter known as rosoboron, which has been tied up in all sorts of corruption disa scandad which is also the primary arms supplier for assad in syria, who
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has murdered about 150,000 of his own people in the ongoing syrian civil war. i've cosponsored an amendment introduced by the senator from indiana, an amendment that would end all u.s. government contracts with rosoboron export and push the companies with wi whom it does military-related business. and i would hope that senator reid would reconsider and allow that amendment to receive a vote, something he refused to do yesterday but i'm hoping after a good night's sleep and reconsideration maybe he would be open to that. i also call on the majority leader, senator reid, to allow us to offer another amendment introduced by the junior senator from wyoming, which would greatly expand american exports of liquefied natural gas by granting automatic approval to all applications for new l.n.g.
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terminals that would ship gas to the ukraine and other members of our neigh a lines. now, you may wonder why is that necessary? just to recapitulate, putin uses energy as a weapon and if he's not getting what he wants out of ukraine or europe, he squeezes off the supply of energy, which is essential to the economy and to life itself in those vulnerable parts of the world. and so we have been blessed as a result of the innovations of the people like george mitchell with this new renaissance in energy here in america through shale gas, sometimes called unconventional plays. but the point is we are now are able to produce much more energy than we can consume here domestically and in north america alone we are fast approaching energy independence, so we can afford to be an
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exporter of some of this energy to vulnerable countries like ukraine and europe so we can get putin's boot off their neck twhe comes to the -- when it comes to the impact he has on their energy supply. so before the shale gas revolution which has just been in the last decade or so, there was very little that the united states could do to deter eastern european dependence on russia's l.n.g., but the global energy landscape is much, much different than it was just a half decade ago. back in october the house energy and commerce committee held a hearing at which several eastern european diplomats discussed the geopolitical significance of america's natural gas boon. the lithuanian ambassador said bluntly, we need your gas. we want to buy your gas. well, lithuania is one of the
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countries that is in greatest jeopardy now against the deprivations of somebody like vladimir putin. the czech republic deputy chief of mission said u.s. l.n.g. exports would increase its country leverage with moscow. this same czech diplomat has also urged the united states government to treat l.n.g. exports to nato countries the same way, the same way it treats l.n.g. exports to countries with whom america has a free trade agreement. this is how he put it. he said such a policy shift -- quote -- "puts us in a different league. we're in league b and we want to be in league a." passing the barrasso amendment, of which i'm a proud cosponsor, would put all nato countries in league a and it would send an unmistakeable message to
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vladimir putin and his allies against the people of ukraine and potential aggression against other countries that this weapon he uses known as energy is no longer available to him to use to intimidate people and to gain their territorial, in their territorial ambitions. it would also demonstrate that members of both political parties here in congress are committed to breaking vladimir putin's energy stranglehold over the nations of eastern europe. this is going to be very important because if putin keeps coming, as he may very well, and as europe considers working with the united states to impose higher and higher costs, europe is going to look in a mirror and say, what do sanctions against russia mean to our economy? and they're going to be compromised, i'm afraid, if they realize that their engagement
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with us and increasingly high sanctions against russia if it has a negative impact on their economy because it essentially will jeopardize their energy imports. in addition to sanctions and gas exports, the third prong of america's ukraine strategy should include serious military assistance to kiev. everyone has said we're not talking about american boots on the ground but we are talking about providing military assistance to people trying to defend themselves. if our alliance and agreement with ukraine means anything, it means we're going to help them defend themselves against russian depredations. believe me, not only ukraine is looking, other nations like nato that have a treaty relation with the united states and a self-defense agreement in section 5 of the nato treaty
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where aggression against any single nato country is treated as an attack against them all, they're watching america's response in ukraine. now in some cases america might not have to send that military aid directly. we might only have to facilitate the purchase of certain equipment from other sources. but either way, we should be doing everything possible to make sure that our friends and our allies have the resources they need to deter russian aggression further. it's not just our enemies that are looking at america in retreat, pulling back in the world, creating a vacuum that is being filled by people like vladimir putin, it's our friends and our allies that are wondering is america a dependable friend and ally. and if we're not, they're going to be making other arrangements all around the world. so, madam president, i have just a few final words about what's at stake here.
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when ukraine voluntarily gave up its nuclear arsenal in the mid-1990's, it did so after receiving a u.s. security guarantee. when other eastern european nations decided to join nato, they too were seeking a guarantee from america that we would come to their defense and other nato allies would also come to their defense. if russians annexation of crimea is allowed to stand, many of our allies, our partners and our friends will no longer trust american promises, and many would-be aggressors like china, for example, would be emboldened to pursue their territorial claims with much, much more belligerence and the world will become correspondingly a much more dangerous place. in other words, the outcome in
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ukraine is critically important both to u.s. credibility and the future of the international order. our policies should reflect that. so, madam president, i am disappointed that the majority leader has seen fit to cut off any opportunity for senators on both sides of the aisle to offer constructive additions for a vote. we're not even asking for assurance that they would pass. we're just asking for a vote, that amendments on military assistance to the ukraine, expediting the permitting of l.n.g. export facilities to help alleviate the stranglehold that putin has on europe and ukraine, we're just asking for a vote on though. the majority leader said no, he's not going to allow that, and we do need to get this bill out of here tomorrow -- and we will -- to send a unified message that this sort of aggression will not be met with silence by the u.s. government.
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but even the advocates of this underlying bill has said it's not enough. this is just a start. but i would like to hear a schedule from the majority leader of when he purports to bring some of these important other issues to the floor, particularly if putin does what many expect him to do, and that is to continue rolling on into western ukraine and perhaps other countries. what will be america's response? what will be the bipartisan response of the united states senate? what we've done so far is a start, but it's nowhere near good enough to exact the kind of costs that president obama said he wants to exact on putin and russia for this act of international aggression and invasion in the country of ukraine. madam president, with that, i would yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: yes, we are. mr. graham: i'd like to ask unanimous consent to set aside the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. graham: just to inform the chair, i think senator mccain is on his way. we're going to have a colloquy about the ukraine, so i will ask permission to do that when senator mccain comes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. graham: so anyway, as senator mccain makes his way to the floor, we're trying to
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figure out as a nation, our allies and europe throughout the world, what to do about the ukraine; really what to do about putin. my view is that this is a symptom of a greater problem. the crimea has been part of russia for a very long time, but in 1954, i believe it was, through an agreement, crimea became part of a sovereign nation called the ukraine. in 1994 the ukrainians, after the collapse of the former soviet union, was the third-largest nuclear power in the world, agreed to turn their nuclear weapons back over to the russian federation as part of the budapest agreement, and in return for receiving the weapons, the russian government promised to honor the territorial integrity of the ukraine. and we were part of that deal. i guess no one really flushed
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out what honoring the territorial integrity of the ukraine would mean, but clearly in 1994, when the ukrainian people gave up the nuclear weapons they possessed to the russians and we were part of the deal where we were going to guarantee their territorial integrity for the swap, no one envisioned that russia would move into the crimea because they didn't like the political dynamic in kiev. if the people of the ukraine want to move west, that was not a reason to basically abrogate the 1994 agreement. and what's going on around russia is the following: as the former soviet union collapsed, people who had been in the sphere of influence of russia, the former soviet union, have all embarked on a different path for the most part. there are a couple of people
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aligned with russia; not many. and my bowl is quite simple. -- my goal is quite is simple. allow the people of the ukraine, russia, the former soviet union, to make their decision about how they would construct their country apart from threats or force or intimidation by russia. and it's no surprise to me that all those who could choose to move away from russia because of the experience they have had in the past have done so. the ukrainian people will always have a unique relationship with russia, but they want to be ukrainian. they have a lot of ethnic russians in ukraine. we have everybody in america. america is an idea, not an ethnic group or a particular religion. ukraine is multiethnic. ethnic russians with a bunch of other folks; ukrainians for lack of a better word. and the bottom line is that they have been debating among
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themselves about how to move forward and what direction to move. yanukovych won an election. he moved the ukrainian people away from europe and toward russia. the president preceding him wrote a revolution into power, the orange revolution. some would argue it did not produce the results the ukrainian people were hoping for. it took us a long time as a nation; we're still trying to figure out who we are and where we're going. so democracies are messy, but the one thing that we should all be aligning ourselves around the concept that choosing one's destiny as an individual within the confines of the law and choosing one's destiny as a nation in international law should preclude having that choice taken away by your neighbor through military force
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and intimidation. so entering into the crimea was a breach of international law, was a breach of the 1994 agreement, and really putin has proven to be an anti-democratic force in the world and russia. when you're dealing with somebody, you need to look at their value system and their agenda and their interest. the value system of mr. putin is that of a k.g.b. colonel. that's what he did most of his adult life, he worked for the k.g.b., so his value system comes from that organization. it's about the ends, not the means. democracy is about the process. so i'm not surprised that he snuffed out democracy as any reasonable person would know it in russia, that he has made the douma almost irrelevant if not a joke. there is no independent judiciary.
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if you oppose putin, you are liable to go to jail. i understand where he is coming from because of his value system. i just don't agree with it. but what we can't do is let him affect those who are living around him who want to go a different path, because the day you begin to do that, it never works out well. in world war ii, every time somebody gave hitler a little of this and a little of that, eventually it never worked out well. so what to do? the european community, along with the united states, has a historic chance to reset what i think is a deterioration of world security and order. having sanctions combined with aid, sanctioning the russians in a fashion that they will feel, hitting their energy sectors, they are an oil and gas company masquerading as a country, increasing the capability of a gutted ukranian army to defend themselves from further incursions would be a combination of hitting the russians and helping the
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ukranians militarily and economically without any boots on the ground by the united states. i hope that's what president obama will do, that's what we're trying to do here. to some extent at least on the sanctions side in the united states senate. so i see senator mccain has arrived. he has been the most consistent voice for the last decade about the role of america, our destiny as a country, what we should align ourselves with, understanding the arab spring, and has been a thorn in the side of putin and russia for quite a while, so i would like to, if i could, ask a question of senator mccain. senator mccain, given what we know about putin's past and what he's done in the crimea, what do you expect in the future and what could we reasonably do as a nation to change the outcome? mr. mccain: i thank my colleague. madam president, i ask unanimous consent to engage in a colloquy with the senator from new hampshire and the senator from south carolina. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. mccain: i think my colleagues and the american people should know exactly what's happened and what's happening now and what may happen unless we show a steadfast and robust response to the act of aggression which has just taken place as colonel putin has moved and aggressively using the force of arms invaded a country and absorbed a part of that country into russia. a blatant act of aggression sparked by the age-old practice of demonstrations and desire for intervention to protect russian-speaking people has just been enacted by vladimir putin. vladimir putin's forces, i would say to my friend from south carolina, as he knows, vladimir putin's forces are on the border
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of eastern ukraine right now, and they are poised to invade. they even have forces in belarus and vladimir putin is figuring out the cost-benefit ratio to moving into eastern ukraine. the cost-benefit ratio of moldova, which is not a member of nato, of inciting the russians that are there. there's 1,400 russian troops stationed there. he is figuring out the cost-benefit ratio of inciting violence in the russian-speaking population of the baltic countries, especially estonia. vladimir putin is on the move. a fundamental and naive attitude towards vladimir putin by this president and this administration i hope is shattered for all time. vladimir putin is a k.g.b.
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colonel who said that the greatest mistake of the 20th century was the breakup of the soviet union. he is intent on restoring the russian empire. that's what vladimir putin is all about. what's been our response? fascinating. the president of the united states in his press conference yesterday basically said so what i announced and what the european counsel announced was we were consulting and putting in place the framework, the architecture for additional sanctions, additional cost, should russia take the next step. i.e., how does vladimir putin read that statement by the president of the united states? he reads it by saying we got away with it. we got crimea back, which both the senator from south carolina and i predicted that he would not give up and he would invade
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if necessary to do so. so that's where we are today. and does anybody believe that when the president of the united states says the architecture for additional sanctions, additional costs, should russia take the next step, how does vladimir putin interpret that statement? madam president, i want to digress for a minute. there has been a lot of conversation about what the reaction was to georgia and the invasion of georgia and what the bush administration did or did not do. well, i'll let people judge what the bush administration did or did not do, but i'd like to submit for the record an article, an opinion piece written by senator lindsey graham and senator joe lieberman, dated august 26, 2008, after the invasion by vladimir putin into georgia. and at that time, this is 2008, senator lieberman and senator
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graham wrote, and i quote, there is disturbing evidence russia is already laying the groundwork to apply the same arguments used to justify its intervention in georgia to other parts of its near abroad, most ominously in crimea. that's what senator graham and senator lieberman said six years ago. this strategically important peninsula is part of ukraine but with a large ethnic russian population and the headquarters of russia's black sea fleet at sevastopol. then senator lieberman and senator graham went on to argue for much more robust response than the bush administration gave. the georgian military, and i quote -- "the georgian military should be given the antiaircraft and antiarmor systems necessary to deter any renewed russian aggression. our response to the invasion of georgia must include regional actions to reassure russia's rattled neighbors and strengthen
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transatlantic solidarity. this means reinvigorating nato as a military alliance." it goes on and on. senator lieberman and senator graham six years ago predicted this. i wonder what lesson this president took from that event and their predictions. the fact is -- the fact is -- and i -- it's with great sadness i tell my colleagues, we will hear a lot of rhetoric, there is going to be a lot of meetings, there will be a lot of gatherings and conversations and threats about what needs to be done, but for a broad variety of reasons, which i do not have the time to go through here, i predict to you now that the sanctions that are in place, which are a handful of people, will be the extent of our reaction to the invasion of crimea, and the pending violation, further violation of ukranian territory from the
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east. madam president, after hitler invaded austria in 1938, he gave a speech in vienna after -- from the balcony of a hotel in vienna. we should look back at that speech, and i will give more quotes from it, but it is a carbon copy of what vladimir putin said about crimea. that they had to go in and protect the german-speaking people, and they had to do it with force of arms, but guess what? they were going to have a referendum. they used to call it plebiscites then, and they had a referendum of plebiscites in austria. guess what? 96% of the people voted that they wanted to be part of nazi germany. this is an old play book that vladimir putin is operating from. and so there is fortunately going to be tomorrow a vote on some assistance to -- to our
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beleaguered friends in ukraine. i believe that military assistance is a vital part of it, and i would ask my friend from south carolina isn't it true that the first thing that people need once they have been invaded, once part of their country has been taken over, is the ability to defend themselves, and isn't it a fact that the -- that the ukranian military, because of previous administrations, has been emasculated, and they only have about 6,000 troops that they can rely on, and we just saw in the crimea their total inability to resist what the russians did to their fleet and to their bases. mr. graham: senator mccain, you are absolutely right. the state of -- mr. mccain: could i ask unanimous consent that the article entitled "russians' aggression is a challenge to world order," by lindsey graham and joe lieberman, dated august 26, 2008, be included in the record.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. graham: one would wonder why senator mccain isn't on that because he was on everything else joe and i did. he was running for president, just got the nomination. so very much the three of us were worried then that the bush administration wasn't doing enough and you needed to help the georgian people as a signal, not only to those in georgia but other people in the neighborhood. now, let's talk about the ukranian military. it has been devastated. it has been gutted because yanukovych, the pro-russian president who won his election by less than a million votes, if you take the crimea out of the ukraine electorally, then no pro-russian candidate inside the ukraine has much of a chance to win. so now you have destroyed the balance of power inside of ukraine politically. so as kiev, those left in ukraine, the ukranian people, move west, they are going to have the ability to line
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themselves -- to align themselves with europe. putin is, in my view, very much likely to take some eastern cities who may ask for his help because the referendum by the ukraine to move west they oppose but they can't stop because of the electoral change. so watch out for a move by ukraine to integrate into the european union in april or may when they have an election, and people in the east create a fake fight and russia uses that as a reason to go further into the east. but to senator mccain's point, president obama has conceded the crimea. there is just no other way you can say it. our european allies and our president have basically said if you do any more, we're going to get tougher with you. and senator mccain, you have nailed this. what does that say to putin? i got the crimea. me and seven people may be sanctioned, but i have been given the crimea by europe and
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the united states, and the sanctions we're talking about get tougher only if he moves further into his sovereign neighbor. 6,000 troops are combat ready in the ukraine. why? because the pro-russian president and their defense minister who got fired yesterday gutted the ukranian military, setting up a scenario like this, making it impossible for the ukranians to effectively defend themselves. now, here's the question for us. do we let the russians get away with that? they have been planning this for a while. clearly, the pro-russian forces inside of the ukraine took on the task of neutering the ukranian military, and they have done a heck of a good job. now, should the united states and our nato partners at the request of the ukranian people supply them with defensive weapons to rebuild the military
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gutted by pro-russian elements, to me the answer is yes, because if you want to make putin think twice about what he does next, he's got to pay a price greater than he has for the crimea. if he gets away with this and he doesn't pay any price, he's going to be on steroids. but if he thinks about moving and he sees on the other side of the crimea a ukranian people willing to fight with some capacity, that will change the equation because it's one thing to cheer in moscow for getting something for almost nothing in terms of effort. it will be another thing to talk about russian soldiers getting killed to continue to be on the aggressive path. so if the nato alliance along with the united states doesn't help rebuild the ukranian military so they can defend themselves without our troops being involved, we have made a historic mistake because everybody in the world is watching how this movie ends. the iranians are watching.
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after syria, now russia, does anybody in their right mind believe that the iranians take us seriously as a nation when it comes to stopping their nuclear program? so senator mccain, you have been a voice for realism, understanding putin for who he is for years. you have been telling the senate and the country and the world at large watch this guy.sñ there has been a series of foreign policy failures that added up to make it confident to putin that he can move forward without consequence. so i hope we can convince our colleagues in the senate and the house to honor a reasonable request by the ukranian people to help them rebuild the military destroyed by pro-russian forces. mr. mccain: madam president, i'd like to make a couple of additional points to my friend from south carolina and i notice the senator from new hampshire is here. in 1994, an agreement, a
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treaty was reached which divested ukraine of the world's third largest nuclear inventory. in return for ukraine turning over that inventory of nuclear weapons there was a pledge made by russia, the united states, the british, that they would respect the territorial integrity of ukraine, including crimea. that was -- that was a part of the treaty. obviously, vladimir putin violated that. the second point is, look, i have no illusions or worry about the long-term future of russia. russia is now a gas station masquerading as a country. and once we get the l.n.g. and other energy to the european countries interest will dramatically reduce and eventually eliminate vladimir putin's influence because there's nothing but corruption and oligarchs in russia today.
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one of the reasons vladimir putin didn't want -- wanted the crimea and didn't want ukraine to be independent is because he was afraid this disease may spread to russia. the russian people are also sick and tired of the kleptocracy and the corruption. we need and should have had in this legislation a commitment to help export our excess energy to the iewrns so that they then would be able to reduce -- europeans so that they would reduce their dependence, not just ukraine but all of europe on their dependence on russian energy. i have no doubt about the future of russia. it will collapse like a house of cards. but in the short term, what mr. putin will do in committing further aggression because this has raised his popularity dramatically at home. one of the most respected people that senator graham and senator
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ayotte and i had to deal with over the years was bob gates. mr. gates served this country in a variety of posts, the latest, of course, being as outstanding secretary of defense. this morning in "the wall street journal" he wrote a piece called putin's challenge to the west. i'm not going to read the whole thing. madam president, i ask unanimous consent that it be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: but this is really important for all of our colleagues and the american people to know. and they don't have to take senator graham's and my word for it. already we're accused of being partisan, politics stops at the water's edge, all of that baloney when they can't rebut the message, they shoot the messengers. this is secretary of defense gates. quote -- "so far, however, the western response has been anemic. mr. putin has little influence by seizure of personal assets of his cronies or the oligarchs or
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restrictions on their travel. unilateral u.s. sanctions save on russian banks will be effective absent european cooperation. the gap between western rhetoric and western actions in response to out and out aggression is a yawning chasm. the message seems to be if mr. putin doesn't move troops is into eastern ukraine, the west will exact no further costs. de facto, it will except for a handful of russian officials business will go on as usual. no one wants a new cold war, much less a military confrontation. we qant russia to be a partner but that is now self-evidently not possible under mr. putin's leadership. he has thrown down a gantlet that is not limited to crimea or even ukraine. his actions challenge the entire post-cold war order including above all the right of independent states to align themselves and do business with
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whomever they choose. tacit acceptance of set -- of settling old scores by force is a formula for ongoing crises and potential armed conflict whether in europe, asia or elsewhere. a china behaving in the east and south china sea and iran with nuclear aspirations and interventionist policies in the middle east and a volatile and unpredictable north korea are all watches events in europe. they have witnessed the fecklessness of the west in syria. similar divisions in responding to russia's most recent aggression will, i fear, have dangerous consequences down the road." so we're not just even talking about ukraine. we're not even talking about that part of europe. we are talking about the lesson that bad people, whether they be kim young il or whether the
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they be the iranians who continue to supply weapons to hezbollah fighters to the fight in syria which the resist is lose -- resistance is losing. in case you missed it there is an article this morning about how jihadists will establish a base in syria with which to export terrorism throughout the middle east and the world including the united states of america. the president of the united states has got to understand vladimir putin for what he is and what his ambitions are and what he will do. my friend from south carolina and i are not sure what he will do now. but i think it's obvious with his troops massed on the border of eastern ukraine, he is contemplating further action. whether he does so or not, i'm not sure. but i think his calculation has got to do with the cost-benefit
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ratio of further aggression against a sovereign nation. i see my -- could i just make one more comment because my colleague was in ukraine recently. these are wonderful people. all they want is what we have. they don't want to be part of russia. they're tired of their corrupt dictatorrian owe coffee itch that they had. they're wailing willing to stand for weeks in this huge square in ukraine, 110 were assassinated by snipers. can't we at least give give them weapons with which to defend themselves and speaker up for them rather than say the -- speak up for them rather than say additional costs should russia take the ?eks step? i yield to my colleague from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: i want to thank my colleague from arizona and south carolina. i was in ukraine on sunday and i was in maidan along with senator
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donnelly who represents indiana in the senate as well as representative stephen lynch of massachusetts who is a congressman who represents massachusetts. we had an opportunity actually to see and meet ukrainians and, in fact, when we went down to maidan there were 30,000 people there protesting and downing what they -- do you know what they were protesting? they were protesting the russian invasion and illegal annexation of crimea. they were standing for their country, and they were standing up against russian aggression. and, in fact, one of the experiences we had is that as we walked along, so many people came up to us and said thank you, america, thank you for standing with us and, in fact, i met a mother and daughter who had come from crimea and they
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were waving a flag, a ukranian flag and they gave me this. and they put it around me, and what they wanted me to know is that they were from crimea and they did not accept the russian aggression and invasion of their country. and what they asked us to stand for is to stand up for the freedom of the ukranian people to decide their future and to not let russia interfere with their ability to decide what they want for their country. and they were wonderful people. they're very patriotic and in maidan there were over 100 ukrainians who were killed, many of them were murdered by snipers who were up on the rooftops who were just killed in cold blood by the yanukovych
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government, the pro-russia backed government because they were simply doing what we in the united states of america call coming out and stating their viewpoint saying we want a government that's not corrupt, we want a government that will allow us to have a say in our future and for that they were murdered in cold blood. and so we are at an important moment i think for our country right now. what happened in crimea and what is happening in ukraine matters very much to the united states the united states because if we do not stop russian aggression toward ukraine, then i think this very much threatens the nato alliance, it puts us in a position where our words don't have meaning because we were a signatory to the 1994 budapest
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memorandum along with the united kingdom. russia violated that memorandum by invading crimea. they have made further efforts to amass their troops on the border of eastern ukraine and, in fact, what they're also doing is sending armed russian agents into eastern ukraine to try -- they are armed, they have money and they're trying to actually create artificial demon straigdz in -- demonstrations in eastern ukraine so they can use the same excuse to go over and take more territory of ukraine in violation of international law and in violation of all standards among civilized countries. i believe that it is time for us to set forth -- i appreciate what the president has done with the sanctions, but we need to do more. if we don't do more now, then russia, i fear, that vladimir putin in particular, that he will move into the remainder of
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ukraine. and that we will undermine our agreement on the budapest memorandum but most importantly we have a lot at stake here. first, as my colleagues have said, if we do not stand with nato to send a strong message to vladimir putin by not just sanctioning individuals, we should sanction segments of the russian economy so that he understands there are serious cons scwens for invading another country, we should provide military assistance to the ukraine military so they can defend themselves. we should revisit our decision and reinstate the memorandums of understanding that we have with poland and the czech republic for missile defense systems. we as a country should be looking to help europe reduce their dependency on russian natural gas and oil and there are steps we can take that will be good goode for our economy but good for the safety and security of the world. we should be doing that now so
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vladimir putin who is a schoolyard bully understands we're very serious. why does it matter? not just nato but we had ukraine give up their nuclear weapons in exchange for the agreement of the united kingdom and the united states that we would respect their sovereignty and they thelt filth they had assurances of security from us. how are we going to deal with nuclear proliferation around the world and get other countries to give up nuclear weapons if we're not serious and don't say now, vladimir putin, we're serious, tough sanctions, much tougher than have been in in place, we're going to support the ukranian military and not stand for any more aggression against the ukranian people. because otherwise why give up your nuclear weapons if you're a country if the united states of america doesn't mean anything they say on an agreement that they have signed up to. in addition to that what will the chinese do. they've been very aggressive toward the territory of not only the japanese, the philippines,
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the vietnamese, and they are watching whether we care or not whether russia invades another country. whether we care or not if vladimir putin is pushing the ukranian people around. so that's why this matters. not just was because we stand in solidarity with the people of ukraine, we do and we should. so that they can decide their future, not vladimir putin. they, the people of their country should decide their future. but also because it matters for us around the world not just china, not just nuclear proliferation but what do the ayatollahs in iran think how serious we are about their ending the nuclear weapons program. this is an important moment for america and time for our president to really step forward. the initial steps he took forward were a step in the right direction but it is time not to continue saying that there will be further costs. the costs must be rendered now. the united states senate will be taking an important step in
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providing loan guarantees to ukraine and a scheme for sanctions. but ultimately i call on the president of the united states to say to vladimir putin now, to recognize who we are dealing with, the former k.g.b. colonel to say to him we are going to impose sanctions on entire segments of your economy. we are going to hurt your ability to do business in the world because you have invaded another country. we are going to bolster nato and we are going to reinstate missile defense systems in the czech republic and poland. that we will not accept this aggression. it is time for the president to say these things very clearly and to impose the consequences on russia now, because after they invade eastern ukraine, it will be too late. vladimir putin needs to understand now that we are very serious about this, that we will stand by our word under the
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budapest memorandum, that we will stand with the ukrainian people and that we will make sure that we will not accept aggression from vladimir putin and that this schoolyard bully understands through strength that the united states of america will not be bullied around nor will our friends and allies. mr. graham: would the senator yield for a question? ms. ayotte: yes. mr. graham: the military asession plan -- m.a.s. -- where a country gets ready to enter into nato. here's the basic. georgia would like that. i think ukraine now would like that. here's the basic tension, don't you agree, that the plurality before crimea was invaded wanted to move into the european union in ukraine? now i think clearly a majority, if you take the crimea out, not to associate with the european union and putin is saying, hell no. so the ukrainian people in the coming months are going to make
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a move toward the european union and alliances with nato, most likely, and the russians are going to try to stop them. and i fear the way necessity wilthey will tryto stop them iso influence the vote but try to grab some eastern cities where you'll have vocal minority russian populations saying, come here and help your fellow russian; we're being absorbed by a bunch of thugs in kiev. and senator mccain made a good point while we were talking. the theory of the case for russia is that we have a legitimate right to go into this area to protect ethnic native russian -- you know, ethnic russians -- has no limit in that region. if we adopt the theory of the case, ignore international law, let him break the 1994 agreement with no punishment for taking the crimea, then i hope you understand what comes next. the theory of this case can apply to many countries in the
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region, not just crimea and the ukraine. so we need to reject this theory of the case. we need to make him pay a price tore what he has done, not what i might do, because if he doesn't pay a price for what he has done, i can assure you what he will do, he will do more. and the last thought is that senator mccain and i and senator ayotte have been talking about the al qaeda buildup in syria. the director of national intelligence has testified before the country as a whole, before the congress, that the al qaeda elements in syria representing a direct threat to our european allies and our own homeland, and there was a press report yesterday -- what is your congress and your commander in chief doing about it? we have been told as members of the united states senate that the 26,000-plus al qaeda fighters, many of them european, some american, are amassing in syria. al qaeda leaders from the tribal regions in afghanistan and
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pakistan are moving into syria to organize this cabal. and one of the goals that they would like to achieve is to take this force that's in the fight in syria, disburse it back to europe and the united states. mr. president, what are you doing about this threat? members of the senate, you've been told, 11, 12 years after 9/11 that al qaeda is thinking about hitting us again, they exist in a certain part of the world, they're amassing capability, their leaders are moving in to help organize this group, what is our response? what are we doing? so it's just not the ukraine. the whole world is melting down and i would end with this thought. ronald reagan had a great slogan and it wasn't a slogan, it was a world view -- peace through strength. here's what i would say to the times in which we live and i'll talk more about this later. i want to come with my colleagues and talk about the al qaeda threat in syria and elsewhere. peace is an illusion when it
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comes to radical islam. it can never be achieved but here's what can be aheave -- ac- security through strength. we need to have as a nation security policies, national security policies that will deter aggression from nation states and radical islamic organizations who do not fear death. we have no such policy. we need to have security through strength and we're cutting our military, we're gutting our ability to defend ourselves through reducing intelligence capabilities at a time when the threats are on the rise. this is the most dangerous time in american history i think since the end of the cold war, in many ways, since the end of world war ii, because the enemies of this nation are getting stronger and we're getting weaker. and somebody needs to change that calculation before it's too late. so as to senator mccain and senator ayotte, both of you've been to the ukraine in the last couple of weeks. you've done the hard work of
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traveling away from your constituents and your families to find out firsthand what's on the ground. i hope that people in the body will listen to your experiences. there are a lot of democrats who seem tof to have the same experience. so, senator mccain. mr. mccain: i thank my colleague. and i appreciate his long-standing support for freedom and democracy throughout the world but also a very prescient piece that he and senator lieberman wrote six years ago predicting that the likelihood of the events that we have just observed taking place. there's an article in "the washington post" -- "three ways nato can bolster ukraine security" by ian berzynski. i ask unanimous consent it be included in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: it goes on to say, "the u.s. and alliance actions constitute a red like that
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depicts kiev on the outside and on its own. this must be deeply disillusioning for ukrainians who in recent months have so courageously expressed their desire for freedom and a place in europe and whose forces participated in a nato collective defense exercise as recently as november. this red line can only reassure vladimir putin and his military planners, whose use of unmarked military personnel and the plausible deniability they provided in crimea, reflected at least initial concern about the potential responses from the west." you know, one of the more remarkable returns to the days of the soviet union was when vladimir putin had the press conference and was asked if those were russian military in crimea and said, "well, they can buy old uniforms from most any store in the region." he not only denied that russian
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troops were there but he added to the flat-out lie with a -- a statement so ridiculous that he must have known that we knew that he was absolutely lying in his teeth. let me just say to my colleagues what we need to do. we must recognize the reality that president putin is not and will never be our partner. he will always insist on being our adversary and working to revise the entire post-cold war vision of a europe whole, free and at peace and the security architecture that supports it. our policy must begin with the reality of what vladimir putin is, what his ambitions are and what he's willing to do. we've got to support ukraine's emergence as a successful democracy with a thriving economy, fighting corruption and strengthened national unity. we ensure -- we must ensure that the march election in ukraine
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occurs on time, freely and fairly. we must -- we must -- meet ukraine's requests for immediate military assistance as part of a larger long-term initiative to help ukrainian armed forces rebuild and reform into an effective force that can deter aggression and defend their nation. support countries such as moldova and george in deepening democratic, economic, and military reforms that can hasten their integration into the euro-atlantic community. expand sanctions under the magnitski act, increase targeted sanctions against pew active's sources of power especially for corruption. push for an arms embargo against russia. prevent defense technology transfer. use the upcoming nato summit to enlarge the appliance, move georgia into an action plan, expand nato action with ukraine. conduct significant contingency planning within nato to deter
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aggression and defender alliance members especially along the eastern flank. strategically shift nato military assets eastward to support determination. we -- military assets eastward to support deterrence. we must take these actions, none of them, by the way, entail the commitment of american troops. but i also want to make one additional comment -- and i hope that the senator from new hampshire would comment as well. whenever i see a news story, whenever i see, no matter what network its own, the overwhelming majority of people -- network its on, the overwhelming majority of people don't have to have anything to do with sear ya the overwhelming majority of americans don't want to have anything to do with ukraine, we just want to -- we don't want to assist the people of ukraine, we don't want to assist the people of syria who are struggling and fighting, 140,000 of whom have been slaughtered already in the most atrocious fashion. i say to my colleagues and to the american people, we cannot ignore the lessons of history.
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we cannot revert to the 1930's, when the isolationist impetus in this country kept us out of being prepared for a conflict. if it had not been for franklin delano roosevelt and the actions that he took in the late 1930's, we would have had even a worse time after pearl harbor. it is up to the president of the united states to inform the american people of what our vital national security interests are. and that does not mean involvement in another. but we cannot leave the world because the world won't leave us. so the president of the united states, rather than announcing that if the russians go any further, there will be punishment for it, the president of the united states needs to go before the american people and say, here's what we're facing. we're facing what senator -- what my friend from south carolina, senator graham, just
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talked about -- the rise of al qaeda across the middle east, the failure in syria, which is thousand becoming a breeding ground -- now becoming a breeding ground for islamic extremism, the chinese assertiveness in the south china sea, the iranian talks which are -- quote -- "failing," and of course this latest and most outrageous aggression committed by vladimir putin. the world is a dangerous place. it cries out for american leadership. and as lindsey graham said, there was a guy, in the words of margaret thatcher, who won the cold war without firing a shot. and it is called peace through strength. and it is through being steadfast. and right now, when the chinese announce that they are cutting their defense spending by -- they're increasing their defense spending by 12.2%, we are announcing that we are cutting our defense dramatically. and that is a long series of cuts in defense which can put
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this nation's national security interests further in danger. i thank my colleague from new hampshire for going to kiev. it's an uplifting and wonderful experience to see how much they want to be like us, how much they appreciate what little we do, how much it matters to them to be able to be part of a europe free, an economic system that is -- that does not -- is not beset with the corruption and kleptocracy that devastated their economy. and they need our help. hope tomorrow we will be passing legislation which will be the first step in providing that assistant to this -- that assistance to this nation. and i say to my colleagues, the people of ukraine will be watching us. they are watching what we do. and the sooner we guarantee a billion dollars of loan guarantees to them, the sooner we impose these sanctions which
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were embodied in this bill in a bipartisan fashion, the more better it will be for the people of ukraine to know that we stand with them. ms. ayotte: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: i want to thank the senior senator from arizona for his leadership. and just to really frame what ronald reagan said -- and i think it's so important at this moment -- he said, of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the u.s. was too strong. and so this is really about when we talk about peace through strength, we're talking about ensuring that we don't have to get involved in another confli conflict. i -- before i went to ukraine, i was in afghanistan, and one of the commanders that i was speaking with in afghanistan tossesaid to me, you know, senar
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ayotte, i worry about america's span of attention. i'm worried -- i've fought here, i've done multiple tours here, we've sacrificed here, and i'm really worried, i understand how people at home view where things are in afghanistan, but for us just to throw our hands up right now, what that will do is that i'm just worried that we're forgetting the lessons of what happened, what happened on september 11, and that when we thought that we didn't have to be engaged, when we thought that the fight could stay over here and that this country and afghanistan, which was a haven for al qaeda, that they would just leave us alone, unfortunately this fight with al qaeda, they won't leave us alone. and now we're face ago situation in syria where our secretary of homeland security, where our director of national intelligence has said that the threat of al qaeda and syria is
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a threat to our homeland. as we look at events unfolding around the world, what's happening in ukraine does matter to the united states of america. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. ms. ayotte: may i ask unanimous consent for one more minute. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. ayotte: thank you, madam president. i just say that in order to ensure that we don't have to deal with wars here a an and the hopefully don't have to send our men and women in uniform to war, we have to maintain a strong position here in ukraine using the strongest economic sanctions we can, having a prepared military, supporting our allies to ensure that we don't fall back into forgetting the lessons that we have seen. when america disengages, it becomes dangerous for america. that's what this is about. i'm pleased that we're going to pass bipartisan legislation to support ukraine. i ask the president to issue
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even stronger sanctions against russia and vladimir putin and to ensure that we stand with the people of ukraine because when we stand with them, we stand for ourselves as well and what we believe in. thank you, madam president. a senator: madam president madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you, madam president. yesterday healt w about 1.2 million visits to the site. the call centers, which are busy enrolling people at a pace that is exceeding now 50,000 to 100,000 people a day, saw 390,000 phone calls. a new poll just came out suggesting that a full 60% of americans want the affordable care act to stay in place, and
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if they want changes, they only want minor changes. only 11% of people in this poll said they want to repeal and replace the law, and only 18% said they wanted to repeal it completely. it's not rocket science to figure out why you have hundreds of thousands of people lining up, as we approach the deadline for enrollment of, seeking to gt care. it's not rocket science when you see over 100,000 people yesterday going to get health care. as we stand on the brink of the enrollment deadline, there are still millions of americans who remain on the outside of the best health care system in the world. there are still millions of families who are waking up today, as they have week after week, year after year, wondering how they're going to pay the medical bills that are piling up
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for a sick father, worrying about what would happen if their child was diagnosed with a disease, having no way to pay for it. that's a reality still today for millions of families. and many of them, frankly, have stayed away from the web site because of the misinformation that has been spread by opponents of the health care law. and so now, as we are coming to the enrollment deadline, we're seeing a surge of interest, many from families that are desperate to finally get access to health care insurance that will allow them to avoid the fate of millions of other americans who have fallen into bankruptcy, who have lost their home, who have lost their car, who have lost their savings simply because of a mistimed illness. and so, mr. president, i was glad today to see the president make a very simple announcement.
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what he said is that people who are in line trying to apply for health care insurance, when the deadline hits on monday, are going to get a shot to complete their application. and for very complex cases -- for instance, women who are in a situation with extreme domestic violence who don't want it apply jointly and have to apply themselves, that they're going to be able to have a little extra time as well. to most of the people i represent, that's just common sense. if you are desperately into need of health care, if you have gone months and years and maybe even decades without access to health care, you have this chance, a chance which expires at least for thisee o this year on monda. if you're in line trying to fill out an application, then you should be able to get through that application, even if the midnight clock hits. so i heard my friend from wyoming come down to the floor
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earlier today and criticize this announcement from the president. i thought it was worth whilwhilo come down and make it clear that if you're criticizing a simple decision to allow people a little bit of extra time, you're essentially rooting for people to stay outside of the ranks of those that are insured. you're essentially guaranteeing that people who could get insurance, because they have the ability now over the course of the next few days to sign up, aren't going to be able to get it. and of course, i think people understand this concept because there's plenty of precedent. when folks rush home from work late on election day to go vote, they ofn often see pretty long s outside of the polling place. but we don't shut down the polls at 8:00 when there's a line outside. we allow people who are in line
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to vote because they've worked hard to get down there, to get in line. they deserve a chance to express their choice in an election. that's essentially what the president has announced today; that individuals who are in line on march 31 are going to get a chance to sign up. because why on earth would we deny people the ability to get insurance? i get it, that there are people who oppose this law, who want it repealed, many people of good faith who want it replaced with something else. but the reality of here and now is that there are millions of people who are going onto the web site every day -- there are hundreds of thousands of people who are calling -- and they deserve a chance to get health care insurance, to be able to treat their loved ones for the diseases that they have today or may incur. and, mr. president, i would just note that there's precedent for this; that when president bush
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was managing through the enrollment process for medicare part-d, he did in fact the same thing. he extended the enrollment deadline for people that were in process and for complex cases, people who were trying to sign up for medicare part-d at the enrollment deadline got extra time, and there were plenty of republicans who supported that effort. so i wanted to come town the floor today and just -- so i wanted to come down to the floor today and just make it clear that for a lot of folks in my state, it just makes sense that if people are so desperate for health care that they are in process of filling out these applications, that they should get the chance to finish the job. and, mr. president, i'm continuing to get these letters and these e-mails from people who have gone through the process and whose lives have been transformed. and i simply want to make sure that on monday, if people are in
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the process of signing up, that they don't get foreclosed from the possibility of experiencing a reality like one of my constituents sean hannon from westin, connecticut. i'll read a letter he sent our office. speaking for him and his wife, "as working freelancer, we are not covered by company health plans. we had to buy plans out of pocket. it has been the largest burden for our family. last month our premium was $1,200 month. it came to $14,000 annually. the plan also came with a huge deductible that needed to be met completely before any payout. this year they increased our premium to $17,000 annually. on february 1, thanks to the affordable care act, we are able to switch to connecticut care. we had great assistance from a woman at the enrollment center. she stuck with us until we got
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it right. first and foremost, we lowered our monthly freedom from $1,400 to $300. let me spell that out so you know it wasn't a typo. $309. that's a savings of he 80%. so now i'm sure you're thinking we must have made a huge sacrifice in quality of care services. just the opposite. we're able to keep all of our doctors. they all accept the snuns. -- they all accept the insurance. we now have co-pays for doctor visits of $30 and procedures such as c.a.t. scans and m.r m.r.i.'s are $75. the remainder of the visit is covered completely even before the deductible is met. and we have the peace of mind of not being dropped or penalized for preexisting conditions." they finish by writing this: "despite the messed-up rollout
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and the growing pains of massive program, obamacare has been a godsender us and we are overwhelmed and he can static about the -- h ecstatic about te program. this treasure is ours to lose if we do not speak up now." mr. president, 1.2 million people went to the web site yesterday. 400,000 people called in to seek help. i imagine those numbers will continue to escalate as we move through the weekend. they deserve to be able to get to a reality that sean hanni nivmen--hannin and his family ae experiencing now. they deserve to finally get insured for the diseases and illnesses that have plagued
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that's families for a year. i applaud the president for allowing these families the ability to complete their applications and i hope that many of them get to see the same final reality that the hannins in westin, connecticut, have. i yield back my time. mr. barrasso: mr. president, i come to the floor having heard my colleague's concerns and story of a family that was helped by the president's health care law.
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and we want people in this country to be helped. my concern is there are a lot of people that are actually being hurt by the president's health care law, and we shouldn't have to hurt people -- specifically people that have had insurance -- to try to help people that haven't had insurance. that is the big concern that the senator referred to. i have great concerns about the impact of people in wyoming and all around the cor country as we getting letters. we're told that all of these stories -- nine of us were up here reading letters -- that all of these stories are lies. they are not lies. we see them in states all across the country. the white house can't even tell us if they know how many have insurance. sure they may have had a lot of people visit the web site. what the president asked for is he said we're going to get 30 million people who didn't have
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insurance to have insurance. maybe -- it looks like there may be fewer than 2 million people that go through that. the young people that are supposed to pay four this program, young people paying more so that older, sicker people will pay less, those people aren't sign up. only one in ten of those eligible at that age are signing up. that's what we're seeing across the country. that's why the worry is there's going to be a big bailout of this program because the money being spent by the taxpayers is not getting the job done. and they're not doing it in a way to actually help the people that need help without hurting so many other people, 5 million people that got letters of cancellation. so i hear from my friend and colleague from connecticut that it's not just one person that may have gotten insurance in connecticut that may have been helped in that situation; the impact on jobs and communities has been dramatic.
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look at the state of connecticut, there is a story in "the new york times" just last month about the impact of this law that my colleague and friend has voted for that has now been changed over two dozen times where they're interviewing a superintendent of schools in mariden, connecticut. we've just heard a story of somebody helped by the law. now let's look at the superintendent of schools in mariden, connecticut. he's also an soefrpblt he said in an interview. the new health care law was having unintended consequences. let's see what happened to school systems across the country. maybe they have children in school. i don't know. in connecticut, it says, as in many states, significant numbers of part-time school employees work more than 30 hours a week and do not receive health


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