Skip to main content

tv   Senate Session Part 2  CSPAN  February 23, 2015 4:30pm-5:31pm EST

4:30 pm
within the federal government as well as to respond in a more centralized manner to concerns over national security. i think it is essential right now given the way that the government is structured that that agency sort of needs of exist because there was just a massive, massive reorganization within the government after 9/11 and right now that remains an important agentty. >> and and goofling back in here in the senate momentarily, expected to resume debate on the homeland security bill including provisions to block president obama's executive actions on immigration. september 30, 2015, and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: in just a few minutes, democrats will have another opportunity to end the weeks-long filibuster of homeland security. it will be the first opportunity our friends on the other side have to show where they stand after a federal judge preliminarily enjoined the
4:31 pm
administration from moving ahead with actions president obama himself referred to as -- quote -- ignoring the law. ignoring the law --quote unquote -- president obama said that just over a year ago. the point is it's time to allow this homeland security funding measure to come to the floor. democrats say they want the ability to amend d.h.s. funding legislation but then they keep voting to block their own ability to offer amendments. it just doesn't make any sense madam president. so in a few moments we'll give our democratic friends another opportunity to reconsider. they can vote to allow the senate to debate the homeland security funding bill. they can vote to allow the senate to consider amendments from both sides and that's what they actually should do. that's what constituents have a right to expect. let's take this funding bill up and get to work.
4:32 pm
the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. reid: in just a few days, five to be exact the department of homeland security will be out of money. this unique entity was established right after 9/11. president bush believed that there were too many agencies trying to take care of the security of this nation, and he got congress to work with him and bring in these 22 different entities to the department of homeland security. that's what has protected our homeland security since 9/11, and it's done a good job. i'm very disappointed, madam president, at the political ploy used by my congressional republican leadership to force a shutdown of homeland security will only
4:33 pm
hurt our nation. but it does make very clear where republicans stand on fixing a broken immigration system. 20 months ago some valiant senators democrats and republicans, worked together for almost a year. democrats were led by senator schumer, durbin, bennet and menendez. republicans were led by mccain graham, rubio and flake, and they worked night and day. they came up with a bill they presented to us, democrats and republicans, and we worked hard. we had lots of amendments. it was a wonderful debate. it was one of the great days of this body, and we passed it. bipartisan. it was such a good day for the united states senate and our country.
4:34 pm
but now after 20 months, suddenly people aren't interested. even flake graham, mccain have stated that we should fund homeland security, fund it. we have all kinds of republican senators who have said the same thing the last few days. senator johnson said it should be fully funded. he said that today. i don't understand what my republican friends are trying to do here. they want to hold up d.h.s. funding in order to deport dreamers and their parents. that doesn't make any sense. their plan is destined to fail. i've said that many times right here. republicans aren't listening to me and i understand why but my republican colleagues aren't listening to a lot of people.
4:35 pm
they aren't listening to the president of the united states who has warned them that blocking homeland security funding will hurt our ability to respond to these new threats. secretary of homeland security. tom ridge and i came to washing at the same time in 1982 to the house of representatives. here is a man who was valiant in vietnam, highly decorated soldier. he's had a stunning career in government. he has been governor of the state of pennsylvania. he has been secretary of homeland security. he along with another republican secretary of homeland security, share to have, -- chirtoff, who has a great record of his own being a prosecutor, federal judge, along with a democrat, janet napolitano, former governor of the state of arizona and secretary of homeland
4:36 pm
security. so two republicans former secretaries of homeland security and a democrat have said republicans should do this. in fact, here's what -- here's what they said in a letter that senator mcconnell and i got a month ago and i quote -- "funding for d.h.s. is used to protect our ports and our borders to secure our air travel and cargo to protect the federal government, our nation's information technology and infrastructure from cybersecurity threats to fund essential law enforcement activities and to ensure the safety of the president and national leaders. funding for the entire agency should not be put in jeopardy by the debate about immigration." that's what these former secretaries of homeland security. they didn't mince words. they said that's true. in fact, tom ridge said yesterday on national tv, i quote -- "what the republican plan does irritates the hell out of me. i think it's bad policy. the men and women of homeland security deserve better." so madam president, jey johnson, who has certainly been
4:37 pm
as -- about as down the middle as anyone could be on this issue, said to not fund homeland security is unacceptable from public safety and a national security view. the majority leader and secretary -- i'm sorry. the majority leader and speaker boehner aren't listening. they are obviously not listening to me. they're not listening to the president. they're not listening to former homeland secretaries. they're not even listening to their newspaper. it's been referred to their newspaper, the "wall street journal." here's what "the wall street journal" said -- "the republicans' game of russian roulette with our homeland security is destined for a spectacular crackup." that is a direct quote. but, madam president the republicans obviously aren't listening to the "wall street journal." the fraternal order of police has lambasted the republican
4:38 pm
scheme. republicans aren't listening to the police. the united states conference of mayors said please don't do that. if you do not fund the department of homeland security and you try to -- even if you go with a continuing resolution, it is going to affect our ability to protect our cities. the governors have said the same thing. republicans aren't listening to anyone. they're bound and determined to see this doomed plan to the end. all this because republicans want to overturn d.h.s. directly to prioritize the deportation of national security threats convicted felons and individuals apprehended at the border. it doesn't make sense. now, right now the administration sought a stay of the proceedings in texas but madam president, the trial judge there in texas never ever declared anything unconstitutional. you read every word he wrote there isn't the word unconstitutional in anything. nothing. he said the administrative
4:39 pm
procedure act was not followed. the president has the right to determine who is to be deported, and the families of these dreamers are way down the list. so the president is well within his established constitutional authority and legal process to hear this out. so why would we divert resources from real threats just so republicans can deport dreamers, long-term permanent residents mothers and fathers of u.s. citizens and children who pose no security risk? republicans say they are attacking the president's actions, but they are really attacking families. so i suggest my republican colleagues if they won't listen to me, the president the secretary of homeland security, "the wall street journal," the fraternal order of police, the united states conference of mayors maybe they should at least heed what our enemies are saying. we could all picture in our own mind what happened just a few weeks ago.
4:40 pm
they put a jordanian pilot in a cage and burned him and they showed the world that for 22 minutes. we have seen the beheadings. they haven't stopped. 21 egyptian christians were beheaded just a few days ago. and yesterday secretary johnson on national tv said we must remain vigilant against threats because now they have told us they're going to go to malls around america including the mall of america. we must listen. we must listen. in this environment my republican friends why would you want to shut off funding for homeland security? listen to reason. let's fully fund homeland security and do it now. republican senators are saying the same thing. i don't understand what's going on here. republicans reportedly have a backup plan, funding homeland security by passing short-term continuing resolutions.
4:41 pm
this is not an answer, mr. president -- madam president. it's not an answer. a continuing resolution will prevent the department of homeland security from working with communities states, their first responders and addressing new threats and emergency situations. our nation is depending on the department of homeland security and fully funding it is what is needed to keep us safe. more than 230,000 homeland security employees are depending on a paycheck for their families. there is a simple way of doing this. fully funding the department of homeland security, not some rube goldberg procedure that they are making something very simple very complicated. it doesn't need to be complicated. we simply need to give the department of homeland security the resource it needs to do a job as said by republican senators this past week. why are we doing this? is it to please the house republicans who capital agree on anything? madam president, it is important that we fully fund this agency and do it now.
4:42 pm
would the chair now announce the business of the day? i am told the motion to proceed is now pending. is that true? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: madam president i rise to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. casey: thank you madam president. madam president, as i have since every -- every year since 2007, i rise today to commemorate black history month. this year, we're privileged to recognize dean joanne a.epps, the dean of the temple
4:43 pm
university school of law. dean epps is a woman who has made significant contributions to the commonwealth of pennsylvania and the nation by promoting opportunity and diversity throughout our legal institutions. joanne's life and career have been a testament to hard work and following your dreams. her achievements are substantial and she has worked to inspire others to fulfill their dreams while advancing the cause of social justice to ensure that everyone everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential. today, i'm proud to honor joanne epps as a leader in law and in education and highlight some of the ways in which she has demonstrated the power of dreams by opening doors of opportunities for women and minorities throughout her career. joanne epps' story serves as an example of where our dreams can
4:44 pm
take us. she is a native of cheltenham, pennsylvania -- for those who don't know the geography of our state, the southeastern corner of our state, montgomery county. she attended trinity college in connecticut. as an undergraduate joanne planned to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a legal secretary. however, she distinguished herself throughout her undergraduate career, and her mother and professors encouraged her to dream big. she applied to and was accepted by yale law school where she was one of 40 women and just ten african-americans in her class of 150. joanne entered law school having never known an adult attorney, often experiencing discomfort that her background differed so significantly from that -- those of many of her classmates.
4:45 pm
despite these challenges, joanne epps remained focused on the opportunities ahead of her. following graduation in 1976, joanne devoted herself to public service, becoming a deputy city attorney for the city of los angeles, california. and ultimately returning to pennsylvania as an assistant united states attorney for the eastern district of pennsylvania. after that work as a prosecutor, in 1985 she joined the faculty of the beasley school of law at temple university, utilizing the experience she had gained as a prosecutor to instruct students on criminal procedure evidence and trial advocacy. exhibiting strong leadership qualities and a gift for teaching jo ann was named associate dean of academic affairs and in 2008 was named dean of temple law school. as dean, jo ann has worked
4:46 pm
tirelessly not only to advance the quality of legal education but to instill in students the values she believed defined the legal profession. they are service integrity and passion. jo ann has expanded opportunities for students at temple to apply those values to a legal career by implementing programs that focus on hands-on legal experience both through high-quality clinical programs and through an innovative first-year course curriculum. this work led to the creation of the steven and sandra sheller center for social justice at the law school. the sheller center encourages early community involvement and commitment to social justice in
4:47 pm
temple law students by facilitating collaboration with community groups, the university community and the philadelphia and pennsylvania legal communities to improve access to justice for underserved communities. it's a truly inspiring project. and even as jo ann innovates at the school-wide level she has also not lost her dedication to the individual connections fostered through teaching. she continues to share her experience and insight with first year law students by teaching a course in litigation basics each fall. jo ann has employed her talent for teaching not only to the benefit of temple university and the pennsylvania legal community, but to further social justice objectives on an international scale. jo ann has been an advocacy instructor for attorneys at the
4:48 pm
united nations international criminal tribunal for rue juan did a -- for rwanda. in 2007 and 2008 she worked with a small group of lawyers to provide training for sudanese lawyers representing victims of the crisis in darfur on evidence advocacy and substantive international criminal law with a focus on practice before the international criminal court. jo ann's service and impact on temple law school is made all the more impressive in light of the myriad of other roles she has taken on to advance the cause of social justice through legal institutions. in 2001, jo ann was appointed by the mayor of philadelphia to chair the mayors task force on police discipline, and in 2011 was appointed by the united
4:49 pm
states district court for the eastern district of pennsylvania to monitor the city of philadelphia's compliance with a settlement concerning stop and frisk procedures. she has a long history of service on various commissions designed to increase access to justice, including the philadelphia bar association's committee to promote justice the board of directors of the defender association of philadelphia the advisory board of the public interest law center and the pennsylvania commission for juvenile initiatives and too many others to name today. in recognition of this work, in 2003 temple law school presented her with the gideon award given to acknowledge dedication to the cause of justice. jo ann epps has had a great career and has had great success as a lawyer and as a teacher as an advocate, as a prosecutor.
4:50 pm
despite the challenges of being an african-american woman entering a field that is predominantly white and male, she has consistently worked to open the doors of opportunities to women and minorities who face similar challenges. at temple jo ann has served as a member of the women's studies program steering committee and she remains an affiliated member of the women's studies department at the law school. she's also previously served as an advisor to the women's law caucus and the black law students association. outside of temple law, jo ann serves as vice chair of the pennsylvania gender task force and as a member of the third circuit task force on equal treatment in the courts, also serving on the third circuit's task force on commission on race and ethnicity. jo ann testified in behalf of
4:51 pm
the national association of women lawyers at the confirmation hearing of supreme court justice sonia society -- sonia sotomayor. she-- joann said the following about her legal career, and i'm quoting, i've spent much of my career not seeing ahead of me someone who was like me and i had to make my way without that. i want to be a resource for young people entering the profession that i never had." joanne's dedication to both legal education and the legal profession has helped empower countless young attorney's to
4:52 pm
exceed expectations and to fulfill their dreams. joanne epps is here today in the gallery of the senate and as the rules tell us we're not allowed to acknowledge those in the gallery. i'm saying that for my friends but she's joined by family and friends and i'm going to go through a list here and if i miss someone someone will tell me later. starting with her husband. l. harrison jay. her uncle harold ashton. her cousins eric ashton, joan and tommy fry. donnie debbie and adrian and christopher jackson and marcia and glenn yarborough. i'll hear if i miss someone a little later. but we're honored that she's here with us. we're honored that her family is here on this special day. today we honor joanne epps, the dean of temple law school for her significant work to advance
4:53 pm
access to justice and for inspiring and empowering new generations of attorneys to emulate her commitment to service, integrity and passion. madam president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
4:54 pm
4:55 pm
4:56 pm
the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: madam president i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you madam president. madam president, as i come to the floor today the senate is continuing to try to debate a bill to fund the department of homeland security. we've made no progress on this bill for weeks as democrats continue to filibuster our efforts to actually even get on the bill, to have a meaningful discussion on the subject. the bill's already passed the
4:57 pm
house of representatives. and the way the senate is supposed to work is that if democrats don't like something about the bill, then they should offer amendments and change it. that's how the process has worked in the past. it's how the process is supposed to work today. you know, the process as it worked about a month ago when we debated the keystone x.l. pipeline. we had more than 40 different amendments debated on the floor voted on on the floor. that's more than double the number of amendments than the senate democrats allowed all last year in debate on the floor of the united states senate. well, we could be debating those and voting on those amendments right now. so my question is, why aren't we doing it? it's because senate democrats are filibustering to keep us from even considering this bill. madam president, this is a very important piece of legislation. funding for the department of homeland security is scheduled to expire on friday. everyone in this chamber both sides of the aisle should agree
4:58 pm
that funding the department of homeland security is something we need to do, so why are democrats being obstructive in the way that they are? why are the democrats so eager to cut off funding for the department of homeland security? well the answer is this is a disagreement not about funding homeland security. it's about our nation's immigration policy and the president's executive amnesty an action which i believe is illegal. congress is the appropriate place to make laws about america's immigration policy. it's not something the president gets to decide on his own. and it shouldn't be controversial either. at least eight senate democrats have said that they disagree with the president's executive actions or that they have doubts about them. senator donnelly said back in november that, he said -- quote -- "the president shouldn't make such significant policy changes
4:59 pm
on his own." on the same day senator heitkamp said that the president's actions -- quote -- "could poison any hope of compromise or bipartisanship in the senate before it has even started." even the president himself has on 22 separate occasions said that he lacked the authority to rewrite immigration law. 22 times. now he said way back in march of 2011 he said there are enough laws on the books by congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system, he said that for me to simply through executive order ignore those congressional mandates would not conform with my appropriate role as president. did he it anyway. he knew it wasn't appropriate but that didn't stop him. well now a federal judge has made it crystal clear the president does not have the authority to act on his own as he did.
5:00 pm
the president cannot make a new law just because he doesn't like the laws passed by congress. this was a u.s. district court ruling in a lawsuit that 26 states brought against president obama. here's how "usa today" described it in a front page headline last wednesday. they said -- quote -- "obama immigration plan blocked." "roll call" said s "immigration ruling casts shad or on obama's legacy." what the court did was to stop the secretary of homeland security from implementing any and all aspects or phrases of -- or phases of the president's plan. the federal court said it is congress and congress alone who has power under the constitution to legislate in the field of immigration. let me repeat that. it is congress and congress
5:01 pm
alone who has power under the constitution to legislate in the field of immigration. the judge added that the president's plan clearly represents a substantive change in immigration policy. this isn't just a minor change and it's not the same thing that other presidents have done before. the judge completely rejected the obama administration's claim that it was simply exercising prosecutorial discretion. now, i know that the president didn't understand the last election. now i'm starting to think the democrats in this body don't understand why they lost. it's strange that democrats want to continue trying to protect a president who doesn't have the strong support of the american people. it was a losing strategy in november and it will be a losing strategy now. democrats in this body are continuing to prevent the senate
5:02 pm
from doing anything again in an effort they're doing it to protect president obama. now that a federal judge has agreed that the president exceeded his own authority it's time for democrats to stop defending the president and the white house. senate democrats have already voiced their concerns about what the president did and how he did it. it's time for those same democrats to convince the rest of their members that enough is enough. it's time for them to stop pretending that this is about immigration when it's now clear that this is about the president's overreach. it is time for democrats to end their filibuster and to fund the department of homeland security. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: today the senate will vote for the fourth time on
5:03 pm
a -- a procedural vote to take up the house homeland security funding bill. we're going to be voting on the cloture to motion to proceed because it is a parliamentary way of dealing with the funding for the homeland security department which runs out on friday. mr. president, you are the ranking member on the homeland subcommittee. you did a fantastic job working with senator landrieu creating a funding framework that had bipartisan and bicameral support. i really congratulate you and the way the committee worked. now, we should be voting on the final passage for a clean homeland security bill. now, the bill, you know, when we say "clean" this is
5:04 pm
washington-speak. people don't know what clean bill is. i mean is there a dirty bill? is there a dusty bill? is there a muddy bill? no. what we're talking about is meaning no riders on the bill and in this case, no poison pill -- no poison pill riders. there was no disagreement finally because of the excellent bipartisan work on the funding of the bill. but the senate is locked in a game of parliamentary ping pong on moving this legislation forward where the losers are the american people. look at what's going on in our country right now. we are absolutely relying on homeland security from some of the biggest challenges not facing in the abstract but facing us right now. there is the terrorists and there's cold weather and there's other issues. right now in my chesapeake bay
5:05 pm
there's a coast guard cutter called chock. it's out there breaking the maryland icy conditions frigid and wyden -- windy and is it they'ring to? this enables commerce to get up and down the bay so people are working and getting important supplies. they even work because the bay is in both maryland and virginia they went out to the famous tangier island to free residents that were iced in to take food and fuel. the coast guard is on the job. they're working in the cold, they're working in the wind, they're breaking up ice in not only maryland but all over to these frozen ports and what do we say? good job guys, there they are on tv and we love you but we might not pay you. what is this? they're out there saving lives
5:06 pm
and we're playing parliamentary ping pong. then there's this whole issue of this despicable barbaric group called isil that essentially says we're out to get you and not only are we out to get but but then they threatened the fact that there could be attacks on the malls the shopping malls, here in the united states. we need then additional security from homeland security, and we also need to be able to work with our local and state partners. what is congress' response? well we're going to talk about increasing that defense budget in 2016 but we're not going to fund the appropriations from 2015 on appropriations. what is wrong with that picture? i'm for a strong national defense, and having a muscular way of dealing with the threat
5:07 pm
of isil and any other terrorist group. but they're talking about our malls. they're also going on their web and i hate to even say this in public they say attack anybody that's in uniform. that's my firefighter that's my police officer that's my e.m.t. person. i mean, really. we're worried about lone wolves. well i worry too. we need to be able to protect them and one way to do it is we need to -- we need to fund the homeland security department so that people who are on the job protecting us can get paid. now, there are members on the other side of the aisle that continually ask the president what's he doing to defend america. let's put boots on the ground, let's put more missiles in the air, let's put more flight airplanes.
5:08 pm
well, you know right here in america we have boots on the ground. they're called border patrol agents customs officers, t.s.a. personnel intelligence analysts. we've got to fund our own homeland security boots not to ground. and i want to make sure we do it now, that we don't have some dig crisis at midnight on friday. now, where we are is this -- we've agreed on the funding on both sides of the aisle in both sides of the dome. the house has added five riders on immigration. immigration is an important topic. i don't minimize it and up don't dismiss it. it should be debated. but not on this bill. the other is that the courts have now made a decision the texas court on the obama
5:09 pm
action on executive order and immigration. it's now going to go through the courts. the texas judge made a decision that's america it will go to the fifth circuit for an appeal and maybe even higher. and while it's working its way through, we're debating it. well let the courts decide whether the president exceeded his executive authority. whatever the courts decide, i think we will be able to accept it. we can't hold up the bill waiting for the courts to decide. and we shouldn't hold up the homeland security bill waiting for the courts to decide. so with the court decision pending, i say to my friends on both sides of the aisle -- on the other side of the aisle who i know are patriotic i know who want to protect the homeland put immigration aside on the executive order and all
5:10 pm
these others, let the court decide on the executive authority, but wean 2010 now and -- between now and say wednesday, let's pass this homeland security bill. we can pass it, send it to the house and we can get on with protecting america rather than what we think about president obama. you know, i respect what other people think about president obama. i don't always respect what some people say in their attack on him, is he american, is he patriotic. i think that's despicable to attack our president. if you but if you think this is a constitutional question on executive authority it's now in the courts. that's -- that can be a valid consideration. but right now we've got a homeland security funding problem. i want to fund the coast guard. i want to fund border patrol. i want to fund customs. i want to fund the t.s.a. at the
5:11 pm
airports. i want to protect us on threats related to cybersecurity. this is the 22 subagencies made up of homeland security. so i would hope for the 162,000 people that work for that agency they don't get i.o.u.'s. given what they're doing in this cold weather and on this incredible intensity and escalation of chatter and threats to the united states, we've got to help them be them. we've got to give them respect we've got to pay their salaries, and we've got to give them the right technology to be able to do their jobs to protect us. mr. president, i say here to you and to all of my colleagues on the floor let's stop playing parliamentary ping pong with the homeland security bill. the politics now are over. the issue is going to be resolved in the courts.
5:12 pm
what cannot be resolved is the fact that on september -- excuse me, on february 27, the money to fund the salaries for every single man and woman who works at homeland security will run out. the time is running out the money is running out. we can't run out on homeland security. we've got to help them make us a safe country protect our country and to do our job. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president i want to thank senator mikulski. she's been joined by senator shaheen, both of whom have been leading this very important bill to pass this funding for homeland security. and i thought the points ms. mikulski made were so well taken about the fact there's been a new development since we left this chamber and that is that the courts are taking on some of the immigration
5:13 pm
provisions that our colleagues have been trying to attach to this bill and i would hope they could look at this in a fresh way now and see that we should just simply allow this bill to go forward while the courts are considering this matter. to me, that's the answer and i don't think you should see it, our colleagues on the other side should see it as a concession, it is simply a fact, something that has changed. so i come to the floor today to talk about the importance of the mikulski eye season bill. the -- mikulski-shaheen bill. the critical worse of this funding has been driven home in the last few days in my state the state of minnesota. the terrorist group al-shabaab released a video encouraging attacks on shopping malls. the shopping mall in edmond tonight, in london, and i don't think we could ever think they would be limited in their threats when it comes to should be malls in america. this is the same terrorist group
5:14 pm
that kelly carried out a major attack on a shopping mall in kenya killing more than 60 people. it is also called for attacks as i said in other countries. in this video an al-shabaab spokesman dragged bragged about attacks and chaos attacks canal cause. he said if a handful of fighters could bring kenya to a complete stop for a week they talked about -- this his wormed -- american or jewish owned shopping centers across the world. that is what we saw this weekend. that is what the people in my state woke up to. to that video and those words. i spoke yesterday with homeland security secretary jeh johnson with our u.s. attorney from minnesota, the yeas and nays are ordered lugar. we are working with the f.b.i. and they have boosted security at the mall of america. already has had good security, we have fine law enforcement in minnesota on the federal state and local level. the f.b.i. has advised people clearly to go about with their
5:15 pm
lives in minnesota. the homeland security secretary has clearly said people shouldn't be discouraged from going to the mall in any way. so the people in my state mr. president, are standing tall when it comes to this threat and our law enforcement is standing tall. he when it comes to this threat. but here in congress our method to these -- message to these terrorists cannot be that we're going to shut down the department of homeland security. that cannot be the message coming from the senate of the united states of america. rather than acting to protect my state from the threat there are people that are actively contemplatinga shutdown of the department of homeland security. the department that we created after 9/11 to protect our homeland, to protect our country from these kinds of terrorist threats. the this would mean, if it was to go forward and we weren't to funded it this week, this would mean over 1,700 department of homeland security employees would be forced to work
5:16 pm
including border and customs are personnel, 156 immigration and customs enforcement personnel 74 federal message management agency personnel. we need to act to fund homeland security. think of the people in my state who are just to spend a normal day, go to the mall waking up to see that video. i have to tell them that there are people messing around with this bill over extraneous provisions that are now being battled out in court and not on a bill that funds our homeland security. we also know that terrorist organizations like al-shabaab and isis are trying to recruit people in my state to tank arms and do do harm to americans. the first guy american that was killed fighting for americans from minnesota was douglas macarthur mccain.
5:17 pm
we have half the somalis in the state of minnesota. they were able to work with our law enforcement over the last few years. 20 people were indicted for helping al-shabaab or trying to go over to fight on the terrorist side. we've already had nine convictions in minnesota. those convictions would not have happened without this community this muslim community basically said we don't want our kids to go over and be suicide bombers. we don't want our kids to go fight next to isis. that community has worked with law enforcement in minnesota and they will continue to work with law enforcement. we've already had four people from the twin cities area that have been charged with crimes with the purpose of going to aid isis. but it is not just the national security that the people of my state seem at stake here. i5,500 miles the longest border
5:18 pm
in the world with canada. over 400,000 people and $2 billion in goods and services cross our borders every day. that is economically significant for my state. canada is my state's top international trading partner with over $19 billion in total business across the border. over 1 million canadians visit minnesota every year. by the way many of them going to that mall of america. contributing $ed 265 million to the local economy. but that relationship relies on a seamless u.s.-canadian border with u.s. customs and border protection effectively screening all cross-border traffic. we have made strides in years to make our northern border more secure while encourage the cross-border tourism and commerce that is the lifeblood of my state. withholding critical funding from the department of homeland
5:19 pm
security could threaten that progress leading to a less secure border and hindering economic opportunity. without that critical funding we risk security. even a cursory look at world headlines shows that threats to the united states and our allies face from the terrorist attacks in paris and sydney to the cyber attacks in north north korea. we need to be stepping up our security not stepping down our security. so last night i spoke to a group of workers about 500 minutians who were honored in the city of bloomington, minnesota for the work they do in the hospitality industry. the these were pizza delivery people people that man our hotels and clean the rooms when we have guests. them work in the mall of america. i told them that i was coming back here and that this united states senate would stand tall in the face of threats like videos from al-shabaab, people that won't even show their faces in a video to threaten our country. we have to shot our faces. twoaf stand tall.
5:20 pm
we now have a very good reason -- my colleagues on the other side of the aisle i implore you, you have a good reason. this is in the courts nowvment it is being battled in the courts. these extraneous measures should not be on this bill. i want to go back and tell those workers in bloomington minnesota, that we have done that. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. mrs. shaheen: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: thank you. i applaud senator klobuchar for her comments and pointing out the real threat that we heard this weekend from al-shabaab against the mall of america. i heard a news report this morning about that. one of the things they talked about is the very good relations that the state of minnesota and senator klobuchar have built with the somali community. but her remarks just as those news reports underscore the
5:21 pm
fact that we have got to address fund for the department of homeland security. we're just days away from a shutdown a shutdown of the department whose mission is to protect the citizens of this country while we were under athreat of the a terrorist attack. what kind of message does it send to isis, to drug cartels if congress can't keep the department of homeland security open? because of the real and dangerous threats we face, we need to have our counterterrorism our intelligence and our law enforcement officials functioning at their highest level. i met this morning with a group of law enforcement officials and firefighters from the seacoast of new hampshire and they were talking about how important the funding from the department of homeland security is to them as they do their jobs. and they said two things that i think are really important. first, they said they have been able to be proactive about planning to address threats because of the department of
5:22 pm
homeland security. and second is that they can share those resources. new hampshire like indiana is a state with a lot of very small communities, and we need to be able to share those resources if we're going to be prepared for the threats. so mr. president it's time for us to put politics aside. we can debate immigration. we can debate the president's executive orders. i'm happy to do that. but we should do it in another place. we should not be doing it on the bill to fund the department of homeland security. i hope my colleagues will come together and support a clean funding bill so we can make sure the resources are there to fight the threats that we face. mr. nelson: will the senator yield for a question? mrs. shaheen: i will. mr. nelson: mr. president would the senator believe that if the department of homeland security is shut down that essential personnel will be
5:23 pm
required to work but essential personnel, the following will not be paid: for the first time, people engaged in the war -- namely, the united states coast guard -- that are in fact involved in the middle east in the war along with the services from the department of defense for the first time in the history of this country, they will be essential to continue work but will not be paid? and would the senator believe that, in addition, customs and border patrol that are essential essential, as well as t.s.a., which is essential will continue to work but without pay? and that is what will happen this friday, if we do not fund the department of homeland
5:24 pm
security. mrs. shaheen: my colleague makes a very important point. i visited the coast guard station in portsmouth, new hampshire, on friday and heard about their drug interdiction efforts and they are their search and rescue efforts. they like so many other homeland security employees will not be paid. we should not let that happen. that is not conducive to making sure that we protect this country. so thank you mr. president. thanks to my colleague from florida. i yield the floor. mr. hoeven: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: mr. president i'm pleased to follow my esteemed colleagues from the state of florida and also the state of new hampshire in discussing the legislation before this body. i worked with the senator from new hampshire on the department of homeland security appropriations subcommittee, and we are working to fund homeland security. and that's what this bill does. the bill that we're trying to
5:25 pm
proceed to fully funds homeland security. my question is how do you finish a bill if you can't start? all we're asking for today is to proceed to a bill that fully funds the department of homeland security. so i've been listening to my colleagues talk about the need to fund homeland security, and that's exactly what this bill does fully funds the bill. now, i understand that they want to make changes to the bill, but, again i ask the question, hour dohow do you make changes to the bill if you're not willing to proceed to the bill, debate the bill and offer yore amendments? that's where we find ourselves. that's why it's so important that we proceed to this d.h.s. funding bill. this is a bill that's passed the house. at the end of the day mog both houses of congress have 0 pass the bill. can't just pass in the senators
5:26 pm
can't just pass in the house. the house has passed this bivment we need to take it up. we need to have the debate, we need to offer amendments, have votes on thois those amendments to pass the bill. pass a bill that fully funds d.h.s. again, i want to emphasize this bill fully funds the department of homeland security. we're ready to legislate. we're ready to go back and forth on amendments, one democrat amendment for every republican amendment. but when that was offered last week on this floor by the majority leader, it was rejected by the other side of the aisle. this leads me to believe that when my democrat colleagues are really asking for is that the only d.h.s. funding legislation the senate consider is legislation endorsed by the president. moreover they don't seem to be interested in amendments, in allowing the senators and those americans whom we represent to have a voice in this process.
5:27 pm
mr. president, my colleagues know that that's not how the senate works. when our founders sought to build a government of checks and balances with a strong legislative branch and mechanisms to prevent the executive, the president from imposing his or her will on the rest of government, i doubt it is what they had in mind, that we simply rubber stamp what the president wants. today's cloture motion -- today's cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the d.h.s. appropriationsppropriations bill offers all senators a choice. we have a choice today. senators can choose to legislate a solution to this d.h.s. funding impasse to prevent a d.h.s. shutdown or they can choose to defend the president's executive action. that's exactly what's going on. as senators, we must be willing to engage with one another to pass a bill.
5:28 pm
we must be willing to engage to debate to vote on amendments. often there are many sides to an issue. in fact, sometimes it feels like there's 100 different perspectives and of course there are. but the ability to merge our diverse viewpoints into legislation, that's the strength of the senate. and that's the only way short of one party possessing 60 votes, the senate request function. many of our friends on the other side are asking this body to rubber stamp the president's approach but the senate was not intended to be a rubber stamp. we must be willing to take that first step towards funding d.h.s. together understand that first step is -- and that first step is proceeding to a bill in order to consider amendments and develop consensus we simply must be willing to move to the legislation and consider it on the floor here today. let me remind my colleagues why this funding is so vital. the department is responsible
5:29 pm
for so many essential security programs. we think it's important that we take a few minutes to talk about the funding that's in this bill. full funding for the department of homeland security. this bill provides $10.7 billion for customs and border protection c.b.p., including tactical infrastructure, technology and air an marine assets. it provides $5.9 billion for immigration and customs enforcement. i.c.e. and maintains a record 34,000 adult detention beds, 3,828 family detention beds. the bill strongly supports the vital missions of the secret service and provides for our cybersecurity efforts. the bill provides more than $10 billion for the coast guard for its many i missions, including search and rescue. since homeland security is a national effort, the bill continues critical funding for grant programs to state and
5:30 pm
local firefighters, emergency managers and law enforcement. the bill also provides for research and development t.s.a.'s aviation security screening operations, the federal law enforcement training center and e-verify, which supports businesses across the u.s. in hiring legal workers. as indicated previously, what this bill does not fund is -- the presiding officer: all time on debate for this motion has expired. mr. hoeven: i ask for one minute to complete my remarks. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. hoeven: as indicated previously what this bill does not fund is the president's executive action and rightly so. mr. president, since we haven't had regular order in the chamber in years it seems that there may be some reluctance to allow the senate to work as it's designed to do. to proceed to legislation so that we as a legislative body can engage in a healthy debate. it is time the senate proceed to d.h.s. -- this d.h.s. appropriations bill without


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on