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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 4, 2015 10:00am-6:01pm EST

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given almost no time, no time to present their concerns and exercise their free speech and due process rights. and employees would be pushed into making the long-term decision about whether or not to join a union without all the facts. mr. president, government should not be in the business of tilting the playing field in favor of unions at the expense of workers and businesses. the nlrb's ambush elections rule is unfair and it's undemocratic. i hope congress will pass the joint resolution of disapproval that we're considering today and i hope that the president will sign it. the rights of american workers and businesses should not be sacrificed to the demands of unions. mr. president, i yield the floor. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina.
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mr. tillis: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tillis: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i come here today to stand in support of senate resolution 8. my friend and colleague from tennessee, i thank him for bringing this to the floor. and disapproving a rule that the national labor relations board has set forth that basically creates what are called ambush elections. and that's for forming a labor union. the concern that i have with this legislation is that it's just another what i consider to be example of the hyperpartisan environment that we find the national labor relations board over the past several years. it's advancing a pro-union agenda. it's a policy that's not necessary, particularly in light of the fact that some 70 union elections with the current -- 70% of union elections with the current policy are successful.
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i guess that the national labor relations board is not satisfied with winning 70% of the time. they want to run up the score and allow unionization 100% of the time. and many people when they think about labor unions and they think about organizing, they think about big businesses, but i'm here to talk about the negative effect that this has on the small business, a 50-person operation or 150-person operation, a business that doesn't have the resources that a big business would have and the information to be able to react to such a short time frame. today the elections for labor unions the median time is about 38 days. the effect of this rule would bring that down to about seven days. it would make it virtually impossible for a small business to respond and i think make it very likely that a number of small businesses, many of the employees themselves may not want to be unionized would just be swept up in a very compressed time frame. we have got several examples in
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north carolina, but rather than get into a lot of details let me just tell you why i don't think that the ambush elections rule is needed. the petitions to unionize are already handled expeditiously. as i said, the average vote is about the median time for the vote is about 38 days. the success rate is 70%. 70% of the elections that are held allow the employees to unionize. the one example i did want to give you though, to go back to the point and i'm most concerned about the small businesses, is a business down in north carolina, guy m. tucker incorporated, a trucking company. if this rule were to go into effect it would have serious consequences on this businesses operation. it's one of dozens or hundreds that could potentially be affected over time. i think if we just used a little common sense and look at the reality that the regulations are working today i hope that my members will join with me and senator alexander and a number of other people and the
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businesses and employees in those businesses who don't think this regulation is necessary to disallow this regulation. mr. president, i -- senator thune suggested -- i want to make sure that i do this. i guess -- thank you. i ask unanimous consent that the time for the quorum call be equally divided. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tillis: thank you. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: good morning. what is the pending business before the senate? the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. ms. mikulski: i ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: mr. president what is the pending order for the morning? the presiding officer: the senate is on s.j. res. 8 with divided time. ms. mikulski: thank you very much mr. president. well, this morning i rise along with the women of the senate to talk about the issue of human trafficking. we are four days before international women's day and
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all of the women of the senate have taken up the issue of human trafficking. we want to talk -- many of us want to talk about it today we're all working on it, many have been leaders on this issue, and you will see us coming to the aisle -- coming to the floor joined by republican and democratic women. now, mr. president as the senior woman and senior democratic woman i have convened over the years a dinner among the women of the senate. and at that din canner, the whole purpose was a zone of civility to create a zone of civility to create camaraderie and also too see where we could work across the aisle to focus on a particular issue. we the women of the senate don't have a caucus. there is no lockstep. but what we do and we have
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different views on budgets and bottom lines and other issues, what's the best way to approach the deficit what are all the deficits that we're face, believe only the fiscal deficit but the deficit in research and development and other issues. at one of our dinners we said what is it that we want to work on together in this particular congress? what is the issue that brings us all together across party lines, that would have an impact on what we do at home, what we have an impact that is in our local communities and also would have an impact particularly on women and children girls and boys, around the world. that's when we said we wanted to work on the despicable, vile issue of human trafficking. human trafficking. that means a whole organized
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network and networks to buy and sell human beings as if they were a commodity to buy and sell girls to buy and sell little boys for the whole purpose of sexual exploitation. this is an enormous issue. many of our colleagues here have been working on authorizing legislation while a great many of it is pending in the judiciary committee. we joined together and asked the judiciary committee to hold a hearing on the major trafficking bills, and we thank chairman grassley and ranking member leahy for holding the hearing and also for joining with us in loving legislation. and this is not just a women's issue, this is a human rights issue. so we have a klobuchar-cornyn bill a collins-leahy effort. we're all working on this together. but it is we, the women of the
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senate who continue to be a force to make sure we will focus on it within our own government and around the world. so we will be looking at what are the most significant efforts that we could take. the numbers are startling and even discouraging. 21 million people are trafficked globally every year. 21 million people. it's the third largest global crime, right up there with the selling of weapons of mass destruction, and right up there with selling drugs and drug cartels. and in, in fact, in many not instances it's the same organized crime network. if you're willing to sell a person and treat them like a commodity, you're willing to sell drugs you're willing to sell guns, you're willing to sell nuclear fissionable
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material. you're willing to do just about everything. this isn't about recruiting women in asia and central europe. this is our own country 800,000 people are trafficked each year. when i met with my f.b.i. agents in maryland and the u.s. attorney's office to talk about this issue they told me that the i-95 corridor is a corridor for violence and trafficking that we are a hot spot for trafficking activities because we have a seaport we have a major interstate highway and big sporting events. can you imagine? sporting events like the big games like the playoffs that we so enjoy in baltimore are also parts of trafficking. but, you know, our local law enforcement and our f.b.i. is on the job.
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we have programs like operation cross-country. last year the f.b.i. helped recover close to 170 children that had been forced into prostitution with simultaneous raids and they put 281 pimps into jail. well we're going to make a first step. there are many bills that are pending where people -- where the women of the senate have really thought about this, worked on this, taken leadership on this, and we'll talk about their various legislative initiatives. as the chair of the appropriations committee i wanted to look not only at what my colleagues were doing such great in authorizing but what we could do now for the money and what i did last year in the 2015 omnibus with the full concurrence then of vice chair shelby a really strong advocate on this issue and
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then with hal rogers across the aisle, guess what -- we put $42 million in the justice department to make sure we were fighting trafficking a $28 million increase in programs that provided grants that were lifesaving and life rescuing services to victims where they could enforce the law where they could make sure they had emergency shelters, counseling and a true rescue mission. we also made sure that the f.b.i. had additional resources to find those criminals and bring them to justice. and to focus on things like a program called innocence lost that focuses on the trafficking of children. and we funded human trafficking, it's called human trafficking prosecution by adding more money for civil rights attorneys to identify the large trafficking rings to do it. i don't want to sound like an accountant.
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i want to sound like one of the women of the senate who thinks about these women who are being recruited around the world to those children that are being nabbed and grabbed and the exploitation of lost children, sometimes runaway youths and we want to say to them that our federal dollars -- and we're going to look at how we authorizers and we appropriators really work together. we want to pass some of this new fresh thinking on how to attack -- to deal with this problem. we're going to look at the appropriation committee across all subcommittees to see what we can do. the women of the senate are going to be a voice and a vote on this, and we know that we have the good men of the senate who also work with us and support us. so working shoulder to shoulder, we can do something to make the -- it safe for our communities and have a big impact around the world and we
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will do it because we took the time to listen to each other and figure out ways that we could work together. so let's get -- let's get it done and let's get it done now. and, mr. chairman, i would like to now yield time to someone who has been a real leader on this issue and a member of the judiciary committee who has brought some new fresh thinking and fresh approaches but has also been wise and prudent and i might add also a former attorney general in the state of minnesota. so she is a great lawyer and she's make sure she's got new ideas there. senator klobuchar. ms. klobuchar: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: thank you. i'd like to first acknowledge senator mikulski and her leadership. anyone who wondered how hard she was going to keep working after she announced she wasn't going to run, i think i just saw the
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answer right right here. she's advocating for some incrediblely important bills and i'm also glad to see that senator shaheen and hirono are here and are going to speak shortly. given that i've been able to talk at length at the judiciary committee, i'm going to be brief and just say this. i have an important bill with senator cornyn and it's a bill a version of which has already passed by the house. the stop exploitation through trafficking acted. also senator cornyn has a bill with me and a number of other people called the justice for victims of trafficking act. my bill passed through the judiciary committee last week after the hearing that senator mikulski referred to 20-0 on a vote. and senator cornyn's bill that i am also cosponsoring also passed on a near unanimous vote. senator leahy and senator collins, as was mentioned by barbara mikulski, have an important bill, the runaway and homehomeless youth from in
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trafficking act. and along with the fine work of senator feinstein and many others on the coming days on the senate floor. this is bipartisan. i don't think any sex trafficker wants to hear that we're doing some tougher stuff to go after them but we are. and it's very important that this be bipartisan. i give you one example of a case just charge last week out of minnesota. a 12-year-old girl, not even old enough to get a driver's license, not old enough to go to her first prom. she gets a text. she goes to a parking lot. she thinks there's a party. she gets raped and takes pictures of her put it on craig's list. and the next day two other men buy her off of craig's list and rape her. that happened in minnesota. that is happening all over the country where 83% of the victims are not from other countries. 83% of the victims are from our own ctd.
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country. this is the third biggest international criminal enterprise in the world. only after illegal drugs illegal guns comes selling young girls, young boys for sex. this is going out in the oil patch of north dakota. it's going on in the city streets in baltimore. it's going on in small towns in minnesota. that's what we're seeing happening across our country. so what this bill does that we passed 20-0 out of the -- and i appreciate all the support of my democratic and republican colleagues, out of the judiciary committee the stop exploitation through trafficking act. it takes this model that's been really successful in minnesota. we jos got a 40- -- just got a 40-year sentence against someone running a ring. that basically says a 12-year-old? are you going to prosecute them. no that 12-year-old is a victim. and when you start thinking like that, then you give them services they turn their lives around and then they testify against the guys that are running these rings. that's how you make the cases.
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if you prosecute them my guess is they're going to go right back to that pimp who brought them into this world in the first place. and that's why this has been adopted already in 15 states, 12 states are looking at it. what our bill does is simply take some existing grant program and creates incentives so other states will adopt this as well. we also have in there the ability for victims to access programs that help people get jobs. and finally the national sex trafficking strategy. we do not have one in this country. that's in this bill as well. so you can see why it got widespread support. i'm excited about these bills because finally week, working on something together. i'd like to get them done as soon as possible. there's a lot of bills that have passed in the house. we're going to have to coordinate all these efforts as senator mikulski said. but this is a moment in time where we can finally say not just to the rest of the world but to girls in our own country that we're going to stand up for them and that we're going to stand up against these peoplely people running the rings.
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why has this gotten worse in the last few years? we love the internet but people are advertising on the internet, they're getting away with it and we have to make sure that we are sophisticated, more sophisticated than the perpetrators that are committing these crimes. and with that, i see that the great senator from new hampshire, senator shaheen is here. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. mrs. shaheen: mr. president? ms. mikulski: will the gentlelady yield for one minute? thank you. mr. president, i just wanted to say, this is not a democratic woman's issue. we are in this on a bipartisan basis. i wanted to note that the democratic women are here because the republican women are chairing committees and subcommittees. i though the other gentlelady from new hampshire, senator ayotte, will be on the floor shortly. the distinguished senator from maine, the senior republican woman, is at a very important navy appropriations committee.
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so when you see us, just don't think that it's just us here. it's all of us together. but their responsibility has them at another duty station right this minute. so i just want to explain where we all are and now yield the floor back to the -- senator shaheen from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: thank you mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: i would just like to echo what my colleagues, senator mikulski and senator klobuchar, have said about this being a bipartisan issue. this is something that affects everybody in this country republicans, democrats independents. it's a critical issue for the senate. it's a critical issue for the house. it's a critical issue for state legislatures across the country. and i am so pleased to be able to join my colleagues and thank senator mikulski for her leadership for such a long time on this issue and so many others. and commend senator cleeb cher klobuchar for everything she's currently doing to address this issue and
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so pleased to join senator hirono as well this morning and look forward to seeing my colleague from new hampshire coming to the floor shortly. this sunday, march 8 nations across the globe will observe international women's day. it's an annual occasion to celebrate the achievements of women across the globe. but it also recognizes the obstacles that still stand in the way of equal rights and opportunities for women. over the last century women have fought for equal rights and opportunities and we've made enormous advances in much of the world. humanity has lerngd that learned that women's rights are human rights and those rights include being respected as full and equal partners in all aspects of the economy and society. we've learned that when women succeed, families succeed communities succeed and nations succeed. however, as my colleagues have pointed out so eloquently across the globe countless
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millions of women continue to face not only the denial of basic human and civil rights but outright violence and bondage. we'd like to think of slavery as a thing of the past, particularly here in america but the tragic reality is that this scourge continues to thrive in the 21st century. we are here this morning to shine a spotlight on the modern slave trade and to encourage all of our colleagues here in the senate to work with us to end it. an estimated 27 million people are trapped in the multibillion-dollar marketplace that traffics in slaves. victims include forced migrant laborers bonded laborers and sex slaves, including women forced into marriages as de facto slaves. and tragically as we've heard children account for the majority of modern slaves, many of them trafficked and sexually
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exploited. and let's be clear. as senator klobuchar and mikulski pointed out modern-day slavery is not just confine the to impoverished and backward countries. i was recently briefed on a human trafficking case investigated in my home state of new hampshire. this case involved forced prostitution. fortunately, three arrests have already been made. the investigation is still ongoing so i can't talk about the specifics of the case. but fortunately several of the victims have been rescued. but i want to just state the obvious and point out what senator klobuchar also pointed out. if modern slavery can exist in communities in new hampshire in in many, in maryland -- in minimumminnesota, in maryland, it can exist anywhere in the world. i'm proud that the senator foreign relations committee led by chairman corker and ranking
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member menendez, is spearheading new legislation which i've cosponsored to fight the modern slave trade on a global scale. our bill is titled the ending modern slavery initiative act of 2015 and it was unanimously reported out of committee is last week. it would authorize the creation of a nonprofit foundation to be known as the end modern slavery initiative foundation. this new foundation would fund projects to rescue victims of modern slavery and to prevent individuals from being victimized by slavery. in addition, it would pursue the strict enforcement of laws to punish individual and corporate perpetrators of modern slavery. and i want to again commend the work of the senate judiciary committee under the leadership of chairman grassley and ranking member leahy, as well as the work that senator cornyn and senator klobuchar are doing. the committee -- the judiciary committee has advanced three bipartisan bills to crack down
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on criminals involved in human trafficking and to assist victims with the rehabilitation. now, as we're talking about the prevalence of human trafficking i think this picture of america that shows the areas of human trafficking shows that while it's stronger in particular regions of the country -- up the i-95 corridor -- it is all over the country. the presiding officer's home state of arkansas, a small state like new hampshire is one of those states where we see a big red hot spot for human trafficking. we see it all across the country country. and it's why we need to do everything we can nationally to respond to this scourge. mr. president, as we look forward this week to celebrating international women's day on
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sunday let us also remember the millions of women who have been left behind who are being exploited by traffickers and trapped in modern slavery who are desperate to have their humanity recognized and rescued. i urge all of our colleagues here in the senate to join us in supporting legislation that will combat and hopefully ultimately end modern slavery the scourge of human trafficking. thank you very much, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from is minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president we also are joined today by senator hirono who for many years served with me on the judiciary committee. she's now over on the intelligence committee but has been very active on this issue as a member of the judiciary committee. and we thank her for being here today. i yield the floor mr. president.
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ms. hirono: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono: thank you senator klobuchar. i want to start of course by knowing thatting thanking senator mikulski for her leadership on this issue as well as on so many other important issues. mr. president, i rise today with many of my fellow women senators from both parties? drawing awareness -- both parties in drawing awareness to the terrible crime of human trafficking. and not just drawing awareness but to call upon all of us to take action to stop this crime. according to the international labor organization, there are an estimated 21 million victims of trafficking globally, something that senator mikulski has already mentioned. that is 21 million people, mr. president. that is more than the total population of 48 states, including, of course, hawaii who are trafficked every single
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year. only texas and california have more than 21 million people. and the most recent estimates available show that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the united states in 2005. that is why i am working to enhance our ability to protect human trafficking victims seeking refuge in our country. right now many families are torn apart at the border because current law requires adult men to be transferred to a border location hundreds of miles away from where they were intercepted. meanwhile, their families who are often with them are sent back across the border at the place that they were intercepted with no money and no idea of where their husbands or fathers were taken. the situation leaves women and
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children vulnerable to trafficking, sexual violence and other dangers. i have also sought to place independent child welfare professionals at border patrol stations to provide basic humanitarian assistance to unaccompanied children held in our border stations. this would ensure an appropriate screening of children to identify victims of persecution or trafficking. it also would ensure that children are not held for longer than necessary at u.s. custom and border protection facilities. at the peak of our attention to the unaccompanied minors crisis last year, nearly 50,000 children arrived at our nation's southern border. much of our attention in this body was paid to dealing with these children once they reached our borders. these children from noncontiguous border countries not only deserve protection but
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are required by u.s. law to certain protections. but what about the children who might not have reached our -- the relative safety of our border stations? who knows how many fell victim to traffickers? how many were diverted to other places with even less protection than they might have received in the united states? throughout the past year, we have heard stories about children and young women who never made it to the texas border. we know that criminals have taken advantage of the crisis in central america by enticing families and children who are looking for a way to escape extreme violence. when i visited the rio grande valley last year, i heard heart breaking stories from advocates who all tobacco often saw children and young women fall victim to trafficking. advocates even saw instances where vulnerable girls were preyed upon by criminal
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traffickers even after they were released from u.s. government custody. we must continue working together to protect these young people seeking a better life away from the violence of their countries. domestic trafficking is also an issue. last year, i met with the hawaii juvenile justice state advisory council and learned of their important work with police, prosecutors and other personnel to better identify minors who have been trafficked into prostitution rings. these minors are victims. they are not criminals. like hawaii, other states are turning their attention to stopping domestic trafficking. there are a number of senate bipartisan bills on domestic trafficking as mentioned. for example i joined senator klobuchar on her bill, the stop exploitation through trafficking act. i also joined senator leahy in
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his runaway and homeless youth trafficking prevention act to better assist these vulnerable youth in receiving the services they need to return to some sense of normalcy in their lives. we are working in both the international and domestic arenas to better address combat and eliminate human trafficking. this is an issue that crosses country borders. it is certainly an issue that crosses partisan lines. we can find common ground to get something meaningful done in congress. i see that i am joined by my colleague from north dakota. i also saw my colleague from new hampshire. so i'd like to yield my time to the senator from new hampshire.
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ms. ayotte: well, thank you. i would like to thank the senator from hawaii. this is such an incredibly important issue and it's an honor to see my colleague as well from north dakota. this is a great example of an incredibly important issue that's a bipartisan issue and unfortunately human trafficking sex trafficking, this is something that impacts everyone, and this is something that the women of the senate have been very focused on, but it crosses all party lines and we want to work together to end this modern day slavery which unfortunately the funding for this is really supporting criminal syndicates and so many other crimes. it's also supporting terrorism and so working together we hope to make meaningful progress to
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end this slavery that is happening for too many young people in this country who are vulnerable but let's make no mistake, this happens in every single community in this country. i had the opportunity to testify before the senate judiciary committee, along with senators mikulski collins and gillibrand last week regarding the importance of legislation to fight sex trafficking and ensure most of all that we understand that the victims of these horrific horrific crimes need our support. we need to ensure that we can get them back on their feet, help them get the support that they need and make sure that they can lead productive lives and hold the traffickers accountable, and those who are participating in trafficking need to understand that we are going to work together to ensure that you are held fully
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accountable and that the victims don't get blamed for these crimes. the committee and the judiciary committee heard from experts who are dedicated to changing lives and helping victims. their work is incredibly important. in my state the new hampshire coalition against domestic and sexual violence, which i had the privilege of working with as attorney general has done some tremendous work in supporting victims and also bringing attention to trafficking in new hampshire and across this country. what we know is that sex trafficking is something that is devastating, and this is something we need to work on. local, state and federal agencies working together to prevent trafficking to provide support for those who are vulnerable in the community and are often targeted, whether they are runaways or people who are homeless but also there are people that -- that come from communities where they are not homeless that are targeted.
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children and women also boys who are targeted for trafficking. last week, i was encouraged to see that the senate judiciary committee passed two bipartisan pieces of legislation that i was honored to be a cosponsor of. senator cornyn's justice for victims of trafficking act and senator klobuchar's stop exploitation through trafficking act. i'm pleased to be a cosponsor. i can't wait for these bills to come to the floor and i hope our leadership makes this a priority because this is such a strong bipartisan issue. also last week, the senate foreign relations committee passed senator corker's end modern slavery initiative act which aims to eliminate modern slavery throughout the world. because modern slavery is totally unacceptable in this day and age that people are trafficked the way that they are. but again to mention modern slavery is being used to support
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terrorism, it is being used to endanger the world as well, and so we have to work to end it. i also recently reintroduced the bipartisan runaway and homeless youth and trafficking prevention act, which helps prevent sex trafficking, and this has been a very useful program in the state of new hampshire. so mr. president i see my colleague here from north dakota. i know she shares with me having been an attorney general of her state that we understand these are horrible crimes that happen in every single community from my home state of new hampshire to her home state of north dakota and we're going to work together to make sure that we can end human trafficking we can hold those accountable who are traffickers and most of all we can support the victims of these horrible crimes. so with that, i would like to turn the floor over to the senator from north dakota. the presiding officer: the
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senator from north dakota. ms. heitkamp: before i begin i would like to ask unanimous consent that privileges of the floor be granted to the following member of my staff jessica clark for the duration of today. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. heitkamp: thank you mr. president. i want to thank my colleague from new hampshire. as we begin to have this broader discussion and as we begin to explore the kind of paths that other projects like this, whether it's domestic violence, whether it's sexual assault and changing outcomes, we know the first obstacle is awareness. the first thing that we need to do is to take these horrible issues these dark blotches in our society out of the shadows and into the light and develop a plan and a strategy that will not only deal appropriately with the law enforcement components of prosecuting and finding appropriate i think penalties
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for people who engage in modern day slavery. i think it's important that we look to prevention. so i want to first take this opportunity to thank the senior senator from maryland, senator barbara mikulski, for not only bringing together several of the senate women today who are coming to the floor to calling for action to stop the scourge of human trafficking but also for her long-term commitment to women and children and society's most vulnerable. i think we all know that she has stood tall, which for a woman of her stature is always a little tough. she has stood tall for those who have no voice in society and for those who are engaged in some of the most horrible victimization that we can imagine which today is the victimization of sexual human outrage. and so as the senator from new hampshire has talked about, as a
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former attorney general of north dakota i think i know how difficult it is to shine a light on a problem that most people don't recognize or are really are unfortunately unwilling to admit is a problem. when we began in the 1990's talking about a different strategy to combat violence against women and domestic violence, that's an issue that had lurked in the shadows. in fact, for many states, that was an issue that was considered a public health issue not a criminal justice issue. i along with a number of my women colleagues who were elected attorney general along with this body and most notably now vice president joe biden began to have an ongoing discussion about the violence against women act and what we needed to do to not only protect victims but change the dynamic. i think that as we began to take that problem out of the shadows as we began to address the concerns of so many women who
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for years literally years had been victimized in their home, in a place that should be the safest place for human beings, we were able to build awareness and change outcomes. there is still a lot of work to do in domestic violence, but we believe that great strides were made simply because we were willing to point the finger and shine the light and say this is not acceptable in our society. i see a lot of similarities in this fight that we're waging today against human trafficking and with the right strategy, the right partners, the right policies and persistence we're going to turn the tide on human trafficking. while there continues to be so much time and attention focused on intervention and recovery, and i that think that's rightfully so and criminal prosecution i'd like to just take my time today to talk about preventing human trafficking in the first place.
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the senator from the state of new hampshire as she discussed the bills that are addressing this the homeless youth bill is absolutely critical to being a point of intervention to be prevent children from being on the streets being extremely vulnerable to victimization being extremely vulnerable to traffickers by helping those children off the street, by beginning to address the issues in their home that led them to flee in the first place. i think that's a very important first step to preventing human trafficking and human sex trafficking among minors. i also think it's important that we learn from the experiences of other places. last year, i traveled to mexico city with senator klobuchar who as you know has been a fierce advocate and a wonderful partner on this issue beginning not only with her work in the united states senate but her work as
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the hennepin county district attorney county attorney. i also traveled there with cindy mccain. i think we would be remiss if we did not raise her voice and her name in this body today. she has been a global leader and a tireless leader working not only in her state of arizona but all across the globe. she has stood up to people who say this is not a problem she has stood up to people who would just as soon sweep this under the rug and forget that it's happening. she has been a leader and a champion of not only the people in her state and the women and children of this country but the women and children of the world. and i'm proud of our association and i'm proud of our friendship and the work that we've been able to do together. when we went to mexico, we heard from countless government officials and n.g.o.'s about the difficulties that they face
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stopping this unspeakable crime. and what i was particularly struck by were the stories of women and children coerced into this life, not forcefully, not forcefully not, you know, grab them off the street against their will, but forced and coerced through promises of a better life, the promises of someone to love and care for them. these promises, unfortunately for many of these young girls were short lived. because these girls and women are quickly pushed into a world of physical abuse drug use forced sex with hundreds if finance thousands of men and what was once a promise of a better life is a nightmare relived countless times a day. as these victims are sold time and time again. their value now strictly as a commodity to be constantly traded over and over again. imagine the horror of their life. imagine the horror of their existence.
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so how do we prevent this from happening? we must make sure to work with survivors. we must ask survivors to go to communities, go to vulnerable populations and tell their stories. the women and children who are most vulnerable and most susceptible need to hear firsthand the tactics used and most importantly the reality of following these false promises. shortly after returning from mexico city, i met with madra more els albino from mexico. she is an amazing survivor of human trafficking. she was sexually exploited for two years and she successfully escaped and then was transported from mexico to new york city. she is now an activist and she talks about her experience and helps to teach and prevent this crime among the youth. she has become a role model for the younger girls at the shelter where she was carped for in mexico. she -- cared for in mexico.
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she attends workshops as a speaker to talk about her experience and talk about the horror of human trafficking. she is currently studying to become a lawyer so she can continue to help girls who are now trapped in human trafficking. the strength and courage of this young woman is awe inspiring and she is changing outcomes. we need more of her in the world. we need more of her courage in the world. the courage to tell her story and then the courage to reach out and live -- relive that horror through telling that story every day ther who reauthorize -- the horror that was her exist epps. we must bring the hope to the hopeless love to those who do not feel loved. we can do it through increased educational opportunities increased job opportunities providing the necessary social social service infrastructure and working to build a safer community overall for women and
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children around the world. most importantly what we should bring to this is not judgment not judgment. instead, bring a helping hand, bring an opportunity for a new life. whether we're talking about the streets of mexico city, baltimore, or indian country in north dakota, we can and we must do better. we can start taking action immediately here in the united states senate. we can directly impact efforts to prevent human trafficking here in the united states by providing the resources necessary to work with some of our most vulnerable and most susceptible, our runaway and homeless youth. i urge the majority leader to bring forward s. 262, the runaway and homeless i.o.u.'s youth and human trafficking prevention act, a bill championed by my great friend,if senator leahy. we all recognize that homeless youth are some of if not the most vulnerable and be susceptible to trafficking. this is certainly true in north
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dakota. it's certainly true in mexico city. and i'm certain it's true i in every community where runaway and homeless youth exist. this bill would provide much-needed resources to this population and would complement other anti-trafficking legislation being addressed here that addresses prevention, intervention and recovery, services to victims. i also call on the majority leader to act by urging him to also bring s. 166, the stop exploitation through trafficking act, and s. 178, the justice for victims of trafficking act to a floor for a vote. i've worked tirelessly to push both of those bills since last congress. the judiciary committee reported two bills out of the committee last week with unanimous support and it's time to bring those bills to the floor. i believe all three bills should be part of a comprehensive approach to preventing trafficking and supporting victims.
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we must and can do everything that we can in our power to stamp out human sex trafficking in our back yard and across the country and across the world. with that i yield to my great friend from 29 great state of new york. mrs. gillibrand: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mrs. gillibrand: i rise to also speak about human trafficking and i associate myself with the comments of senator heitkamp. human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery that is alive active, and must be stopped. many of the stories we hear from traffic survivors sound more like plots in a horror movie than real life in the united states of america. but these stories are not fiction. over and over, we hear stories about young americans forced
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into captivity about young americans forced into sexual exploitation about young americans who have no freedom to say no to a violent pimp, but are still tagged with prostitution charges before they even turn 18. human trafficking is a crime that rips families apart breaks down the trust in our communities, and shatters young american lives. mr. president, it is long overdue that congress pay close attention to this issue and i commend my fellow female senators for bringing this issue so boldly to the floor of the senate. today i want to talk about what senator heitkamp talked about the bold a -- vulnerabilities that lead to these girls and boys becoming trafficked and how visually they remain even after they've managed to escape from their pimps and their captivity. in small towns and big cities,
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thousands of young americans are trafficked each year. every single institution that these boys and girls ever relied on simply failed them, failed to protect them. their families failed to protect them. their schools failed to protect them. the foster system they were given to failed to protect them. and our laws are failing to protect them. last month alone in rochester new york, the u.s. attorney there announced the arrest of seven people on trafficking charges. their victims were as young as 14 years old. the u.s. attorney said -- quote -- "the victims in many cases were singled out because they were identified as being vulnerable." we have the responsibility in congress to end these crimes against the most vulnerable among us. we should pass senator leahy's runaway and homeless youth and trafficking prevention act which would provide real help to
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runaway youth who are especially vulnerable to this exploitation. we should pass senator klobuchar's stop exploiting through trafficking act which would discourage the prosecution of minors who have engaged in commercial sex acts. we should has senator cornyn's justice for victims of trafficking act which would promote programs for survivors of trafficking and ensure that the johns buying victims are prosecuted in federal court. and we need a law that would vacate the criminal convictions of trafficked victims because these girls and boys are not criminal. they are not prostitutes. they are victims. they are victims who deserve a chance to lead a fulfilling lives. i'll be interviewing an amendment to senator klobuchar's bill that would vacate the criminal combinations of victims who are forced to break the law while they were trafficked. no victim of human trafficking should have to come go through life even after gaining their
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freedom from their trafficker with prostitution charges on their record. we have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable americans and this amendment would help us do just that. i know if congress does its job and does everything it can to help victims of human trafficking, thousands of young men and women in this country will have a chance to live a fulfilling life. thank you. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. murphy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: i'd ask that we dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. murphy: and that i be granted unanimous consent to speak for up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. murphy: thank you mr. president. today is a make or break day for millions of americans who are better off because the affordable care act. the supreme court is hearing as we speak oral arguments on a case known as king v. burwell
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that will decide whether americans have access to health insurance subsidies through their state exchanges or whether opponents of the law the very same people who continue to push for over 40 votes in the house of representatives to repeal or undermine the affordable care act, the same people who shut down this government last year because of their obsession with repealing the law will win out with a paper-thin legal argument. it would not only be a devastating blow to millions of americans who are currently receiving subsidies for their insurance but it would destroy the individual health insurance market in those states and would represent an incredible power grab by the supreme court that would undercut the impartiality of that court. at the heart of this case is the affordable care act both the text and congressional intent. the question is, did congress intend to allow all americans to
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benefit from affordable quality coverage across this country whether you're in a state exchange or a federal exchange. now, to answer that question you don't have to turn through leaf through many pages of the forged. you can stop at the very first title which is on the very first page. the first section reads this way, title 1 quality affordable health care for all americans. all americans. not some americans who live in a state that set up an insurance exchange like access health connecticut. all americans. before i go into a little bit of detail on this case, i want to tell you about this little boy. his name is devon i was fortunate to meet with him just this last week. he's an 8-year-old, this picture is maybe from a year or two ago during one of his first trips to washington, he lives with his parents and younger
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city in -- sister in weston, connecticut. he is one of 20,000 people in this country with hemophilia. to support his active life which includes baseball, karate, snowboarding he has to take an injection every other day. they cost about $4,000 per dose. about $50,000 per month. and despite the challenges that his disease presents, devon was all smiles when we talked about what he liked to do about school and about how much you need to walk when you come to the capitol to lobby as devon has the last couple years. the benefits of the affordable care act are pretty clear for devon and his family. his parents will never have to worry about annual or lifetime limits on his health care, he won't have to worry nor his parents will have to worry about being denied insurance over the course of his life just because of his condition. it isn't hyperbole to say an
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adverse decision by the court would be life threatening for americans like devon who rely on these new insurance protections. obviously devon and and his family aren't the only ones to benefit from this law. just last week, h.h.s. released final report on enrollment and said 8.8 million people have signed up for coverage in states. an additional 2. million signed up through state-based marketplaces like kentucky. a total of 11.6 million people who have private health care insurance because of the affordable care act and the subsidies which are being spread across the country. by the way put another 10 million people who are on head caidmedicaid and you see why the uninsurance rates in this country is spiraling downward. the tax credits in the law provided for people making less than 400% of poverty and they're critical to the success of this law because they make coverage affordable. according to an h.h.s. report from earlier this month nearly
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8 in 10 consumers are being covered for a hundred dollars or less after these tax credits. in my home state we had a goal to enroll 70,000 people, new individuals through private insurance and medicaid. and guess what? we hit over 200,000. but the news and the good news doesn't stop there. according to a new report since the a.c.a. was forced, 9.4 million people with medicare have saved $15 billion on prescription drugs an average of about $1,600 per beneficiary. for preventive care, there are 39 million people with medicare and medicaid advantage that took advantage of at least one preventive service with no cost sharing in 2014. that's why the times is "usa today," "washington post," "wall street journal," "politico" saying the simple message that more americans understand now than ever the affordable care act is working. yet despite the fact it's working, opponents of the law
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are going to continue to try to tear it down. so let's be clear about what a negative decision from the supreme court would mean. it would mean that anywhere from 8 million to 10 million americans would lose their health care coverage and another 5 million children could lose their coverage as well. subsidies are important because the law envisioned three interlocking sets of provisions: insurance protections to fix the abuses within our old system, the individual coverage provision to ensure that we have a viable risk pool inside insurance and finally, tax credits to help people purchase insurance. subsidies are the glue that holds all of that together. that's why a victory for the plaintiffs would be devastating for everyone not just those who receive subsidies at the individual markets in these states would fall into a death spiral if this law was overturned. if subsidies disappear then people can't buy coverage. if they can't buy coverage, then the law says that the individual
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mandate in those states has to disappear. if the individual mandate disappears then healthy people don't buy coverage and the insurance protections like the ban on discrimination against people with preexisting conditions simply cannot work. the insurance reforms either vanish or rates spike to catastrophic levels for people who decide to get coverage. don't take my word for it. the hospital association says that -- quote -- "many more people will get sick, go bankrupt or die." "or die if the court finds for the challengers." the health insurance industry says taking care of the tax credits would -- quote -- "create a severely dysfunctional insurance market in nearly three dozen states." but you tell, frankly don't even need to talk about the detrimental effects in these states because this is really about congressional intent.
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and the intent here is clear. now, sometimes when you try to figure out intent, you have trouble because the people that wrote the law aren't here any longer or they've passed away. well, you know, there are hundreds of people who voted for this law who are still in congress today. all you have to do is ask them. there's not a single person who voted for this law who will tell you that they wrote the law in a way that would result in the denial of subsidies to people who are getting health care through the state exchanges. the plaintiffs say that this was a carrot-and-stick approach that the intention was to deny subsidies to people in states that didn't set up their own exchange as a way acto force them to set up -- a way to force them to set up their own exchange. there's not a single many of congress who voted for the law that says that's how it was designed. but you frankly don't even need to get to intent, you don't even need to survey all the people who voted for it. you just have to look at the law itself. the plaintiffs focus on one line that says that subsidies shall
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go to state exchanges. but they ignore another line in the law that says that if states don't establish their own exchange then the federal exchange becomes the state exchange. that's just as plainly written as the one line that is the foundation of the case. but the entire structure of the law relies on states that don't set up their own exchanges getting federal subsidies. why would you even set up a federal exchange if there weren't going to be subsidies associated with it? there would be no customers in the exchange if the intent of the law was to not -- was to deny subsidies to people who bought in the federal exchanges. you wouldn't even have a federal exchange. second, you would have established the insurance protections in a fundamentally different way. you would have said that insurance protections apply to states that set us state exchanges and they don't apply to states that don't establish
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state exchanges because again as i said before without those subsidies the insurance protections simply don't work from an actuarial basis. but that's not how the affordable care act is written. it says the insurance protections apply nationally regardless of whether it's a state or federal exchange. why? because subsidies were going to flow to a state no matter what kind of exchange they established. and, lastly when congress has historically engaged in this kind of carrot-and-stick endeavor with states, we make it totally transparent. we lay out in the statute here's what we expect you to do and if you don't do it, here are the consequences. we don't hide the consequences to be derived at through a supreme court case like is the stated belief of the petitioners in this case. lastly the plaintiffs say well don't worry about it. if the supreme court overturns this, we'll just fix it. congress can just come back and fix that line.
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well congress isn't fixing anything these days. we can't even keep the department of homeland security open and operating. republicans have had six years to provide an alternative to the affordable care act. we haven't seen anything more than a memo or a press release. if the subsidies disappear, they are not coming back. congress is not fixing this problem. ten million americans will lose their coverage. and so i want to finish, mr. president, by just talking about one more story and that's the story of a woman that lives in westport, connecticut. she works as a massage therapist but since she's self-employed she was uninsured and she couldn't provide insurance for herself. last year when the affordable care act was implemented she found out that she qualified for coverage in connecticut and that coverage finally gave her the opportunity to see a doctor. she wrote the president and said said "the cancer that was detected at a very early stage
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which was 98% survivable, has saved my lost. the cost of the screening to find this cancer was only possible because of the affordable care act. i thank you mr. president for assuring the passage of this critical legislation. you have profoundly improved the quality of my life. " mr. president, -- quality of my life. ." mr. president and my colleagues, the affordable care act is working. the language of the bill is clear. which leaves us with one conclusion. if the supreme court overturns this portion of the law it will be a plain and simple political power play. it will usher in a new era in which the supreme court becomes just another legislative body. they will be calling the authors of this bill liars and replacing the authors' stated intent with their own political judgment. for the sake of devon and anne and millions of others who would benefit prosecute from it is affordable care act and for -- from the
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affordable care act and for the sake of american democracy i hold they uphold the law. mr. nelson: mr. president i ask consent to speak for up to five minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: mr. president, i first want to say to the senator from connecticut, this senator agrees with him. it should never have come down to this. the whole purpose of that section of the affordable care act is, in fact, to provide insurance to as many people as we can especially the 40 million people that for years and years have been going without insurance. and it's doing a pretty good job job. and now in the second year of expanding the state exchanges or the exchange in the federal exchange as the senator has described lo and behold, of the 8 million to 9 million
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nationwide, over 1 million of those 8 million to 9 million are in my state of florida. so i thank the senator to his courage, his insight and his clarity of his statement. mr. president, i want to talk about s. 615. it is legislation filed last friday. this senator was one of 11 senators that filed it originally five democrat -- five republicans and six democrats filed by the chairman and the ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee. and this is legislation giving congress a say with regard to a potential agreement that would
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be enacted in the negotiations between the united states which includes the p-5 plus iran, over preventing iran from having a nuclear weapon. mr. president, this senator was assured by the republican sponsors of this bill that the bill would not come up until after the negotiations had concluded on march the 24th. obviously this senator would not have sponsored legislation that would try to predetermine or nix the negotiations before they had a chance to succeed.
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but, in fact, yesterday or the day before the majority leader has filed a rule 14 to bring the process directly to the floor and it is my understanding that he is intending to do that next week. that's still some almost two weeks before the negotiations are to conclude. mr. president, i want the negotiations to be successful. it is very important to the national security of the united states that iran not have a nuclear weapon and that is obvious to the national security of israel as well. and yet we are about to try to take up legislation that would
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start talking about lifting of sanctions before an agreement has even been reached? well this senator's not going to have any part of that. therefore, this senator if this legislation is brought up before the negotiations conclude on march the 24th this senator will not support the efforts to proceed to the consideration of the legislation here in front of senate. now, it's one thing to enter into these matters of considerable national security and try to disrupt them. it's another thing of looking at the consequences that if these
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negotiations don't succeed and we can stop iran having a nuclear weapon that one alternative, a very serious alternative is war. but it's another thing mr. president to make representations to a senator then that are not fulfilled. and this senator doesn't like it one bit. i want to conclude mr. president, by saying that there's been a lot of commentary about the prime minister's speech yesterday. this senator feels like that where the prime minister was arguing against negotiations
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that are ongoing before the negotiations are concluded, i don't think that's in the interest of the united states. i don't like that one bit. is this senator also feels that when a foreign leader comes in front of the congress, the representative of the american people for what to this senator is obvious -- political advantage in an election that is to take place in just two weeks -- i don't think that that's right either. this senator is one of the strongest supporters of israel, ansand this senator has had the privilege not only of the perspective of the armed
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services but also my past service for six years on the intelligence committee. i have visited with all of the intelligence apparatus of israel and it has been a seamless effort in trying to protect the interests of the united states and israel with our intelligence apparatus. when partisan politics is injected into this i.t. it's not good and it's not dpood for the relationship. -- and it's not food for the relationship. mr. president, i yield the floor and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. johnson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. johnson: i i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. johnson: i have nine requests for committees to meet during today session of the senate. i ask that these requests be agreed to and printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. johnson: i yield back all our time. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk had read the title of the joint resolution for a third time. the clerk: calendar number 21, s.j. res. 8 a joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, united states code, of the rules submitted by the national labor relations board relating to representation case procedures.
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the presiding officer: all time for debate having been expired, the question occurs on passage of s.j. res. 8. mr. johnson: mr. president i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote: mr. rounds, mr. rubio,. mr. rounds:,. mr. rubio:, sanders,. mr. sanders:, 123450 vote:
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the presiding officer: is there anyone wishing to vote or change their vote? if not the yeas are 53, the nays are 46. the bill is passed. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: can we have order in the senate. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president i ask consent the senate proceed to the consideration of the veto message on s. 1 the cloture motion be withdrawn and at 2:30 p.m. today, the senate vote on the question of overriding the president's veto of s. 1 the keystone bill with the time equally divided in the usual form. the presiding officer: is there objection?
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mr. inhofe: reserving the right to object. that's me over here. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: nay way you inhofe: any way you could change that to 2:20 from 2:30. there are four people who can make planes, otherwise. the presiding officer: will the majority leader so modify his request? mr. mcconnell: the request is that the vote occur when? the presiding officer: 2:20 instead of 2:30. without objection. mr. mcconnell: okay, so for the information of all senators, the vote on the veto override will occur at 2:20 and senators should be in the chamber and prepared to vote from their seats. this will be the last roll call vote of the week. the presiding officer: under the previous order the clerk will report the veto message. the clerk: veto message to accompany s. 1 an act to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. the presiding officer: under the previous orders, the time order the
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time until 2:20 will be equally divided under the previous order. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that my intern, jack manwilson be allowed priz of the floor for the balance of the day. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. merkley: thank you. the presiding officer: who yields time? if no one yields time, the time will be divided equally. mrs. boxer: mr. president could i ask what's the parliamentary order at this time? the presiding officer: the senate sf onthesenate is on the veto
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message to accompany s. 1. mrs. boxer: if we could get order in the senate, i would really very much like to open debated on this. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from california. mrs. boxer: thank you so much, mr. president. i really appreciate it. i know that senator cantwell will be doing the comanaging of this -- of this bill and i want to thank her very much for her strong leadership. this is a very important vote that's going to occur at 2:20 this afternoon and i rise today to oppose the attempt to override president obama's veto message of s. 1. the very first bill the senate majority brought here to the floor. and as i look at this bill it says to me that the only people that get helped are the big canadian special oil interests. and i would ask that there be order if possible.
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the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mrs. boxer: mr. president the keystone pipeline is presented as something that's going to really help this economy is going to help oil prices, and i think the only thing it helps frankly are the special interests in canada, the special big oil interests who by the way, are going to carry the dirtiest filthiest tar sands oil into our great nation. and if you look at the history of the tar sands you find that misery follows the tar sands. we still have terrible problems in michigan and in arkansas because there was a spill of this dirty filthy oil and they can't clean it up because it's
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so so difficult to clean. this is a picture of the tar sands spill. 2013 in mayflower arkansas. that has not been cleaned up because this is the tar sands oil. we had a special in michigan and we know since 2011 they have not been able to clean up that spill. so why would we build a pipeline to bring dirty filthy oil into our great nation, into our great communities when we know the dangers? and i would ask that there be order in the senate, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mrs. boxer: i know senators have an opportunity to talk to one another and i appreciate that, but it is hard to make your thoughts come out right when
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there's so much talking in the senate. so i thank the president very much. so here's the deal. why on earth would the republicans make the first bill a bill to help canadian special oil interests? bring in tar sands oil which has caused terrible problems for our communities the hardest oil to clean up why would they do it? and why would they go against public opinion now? a recent abc news/"washington post" poll showed that 61% of americans support the president's position on in the pipeline which is don't stop the process keep it going. let's see what this does to our people to our communities. you know, i spend a lot of time on environmental issues and i am saying to you that as you look at the environmental laws of our great nation we find that
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they've brought such a better quality of life to people. and we can turn that around if we decide at this point with all the challenges we face to our community the challenges of lung disease the challenges of heart disease the challenges of stroke. that's what happens from the pollution you get from this tar sands oil. i said before, misery follows the tar sands. i met with the canadian people who live near the tar sands excavation site. they have terrible rates of cancer. so bottom line, because of climate change and we know, we see it all around us. just the other day we learned the remote alaskan village has to be relocated due to climate. we know the impact of this dirty tar sands oil on that. we know what happens when the tar sands pipeline spills. we know all of these things.
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and i think the president is right. let the process continue. he was very right to veto this bill and i hope we will have enough votes to sustain his veto. i would yield the floor to my friend, senator cantwell. ms. cantwell: thank you mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: thank you mr. president. i rise to urge my colleagues not to override the president's veto of this special interest piece of legislation and i want to thank my colleague from california for her leadership on this issue and for her constant involvement in making sure that national environmental and safety standards are adhered to. she's been a great advocate throughout this process and very much appreciate her voice in this debate as we close hopefully debate about the keystone pipeline legislation. this bill to approve the keystone pipeline undermines a
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well-established process for determining what is in the national interest and go we overrode the president's veto, we would be subverting safety and environmental standards that are important to the american people. i'm glad i'm glad the president vetoed this legislation and i urge my colleagues not to override the decision and i think the president's veto message said it best. "through this bill, the united states congress attempts to circumvent a proven process for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest, ans because of this act of copping it conflicts with executive branch procedures and cuts short considerations of issues that could bear on our national interests, including security and safety and the environment and, therefore it haserned my veto." so the president sums it up pretty much i think why circumvent the process? you know, the people who have
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been advocates for the pipeline have been circumyou venting the process all the -- circumventing the process all the way thriewvment they circumventing the process by not going through the utility commission in their state -- public utility commission and instead wrote legislation around that. that legislation has been challenged in court. and the rest of it has been enormous process here in washington d.c., while the company was negotiating with the state department was also supporting efforts to circumvent that process at the state department and just get a rubber stamp on their permit saying "project approved." well i think this project like every other project in the united states of america should follow the rules. while we spent the better part of january considering this legislation, there are other things that transpired. we heard a lot about the routing and that it was a settled matter. well in january -- or since january i.t. worth noting that -- it's worth noting that nebraska landowners have taken a
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new step to defend their rights as private property owners and on january 9 2015, the nebraska supreme court upheld a special carve-out of trans-canada to cite the keystone x.l. pipeline even though four judges said that carve jut was unconstitutional. several land others owners whose -- several landowners filed a new suit and hopefully stopped the seizure of their land. last month just this past february two nebraska district courts have issued temporary injunctions in joining trans-canada's effort in acquiring right-of-way by keystone x.l. pipeline by eminent domain. the pipelines throughout nebraska is still in doubt because the new lawsuit challenges the goafns' ability to approve t it is also worth noting that south dakota will hold a new hearing on the proposed route of the pipeline through their state in may. at this time we sumly don't know
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whether cannel dakota will make the same decision it did when it first approved the route through years ago. the situation in nebraska and south dakota make it clear that even if this bill were to become law, the keystone pipeline will not get built anytime soon. so i no he that my colleagues would like to rush the process and they'll talk all about the various processes where the project got delayed but who said building a pipeline through the united states by a forth foreign interest should get expedited approval from the very beginning in that's what they have done. they have circumvent what had has been a process in the state which should have been through the utilities commission, and they tried to circumvent a process here in the united states senate. so i hope that we will veto -- we will not override the president's veto but give the president of the united states the ability to still consider these national interests of the environment and security. we had a pretty robust debate on
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the senate floor and much of the issues that would have been important my colleagues voted to say we shouldn't consider those environmental issues. so i get on the other side of the aisle there are people who want to give a pass-go speed dhi permit to this process and i urge my colleagues not to override the president but to allow him to do the homework that is needed on security-on-, on environment and on making sure that due process is followed here. so i ask my colleagues to not override the president's veto. with that, mr. president i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: tame i came here to speak on another topic. let me just inject on the keystone x.l. pipeline. ive says we want job-creating
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legislation. we want to facilitate the creation of new jobs in america but when it comes to voting, our friends across the aisle seem to be stuck on voting against job-creating legislation because this -- our state department has estimated that as many as 42,000 jobs would be created by the construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline. and the thing that mystifies me the most about this debate is at last count we had roughly 2.5 million miles of pipelines crisscrossing america. i've come to the floor before and i've suggested that people might want to just do a search on their laptop or on their tablet for oil and gas pipelines, and you can see a american troopmapof those pipelines and it looks like a spaghetti bowl because they are everywhere. this is the most frt and safest
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way to transport natural gas and crude as well. so i just remain mystified by the fact that the president and many in his party seem determined to try to kill what is clearly job-creating, energy-providing legislation that would be from a friendly source which turning to the middle east, i want to talk on a different topic. yesterday, as we all know, president -- prime minister benjamin netanyahu deliver what had can only be characterized as a powerful and important message about the common threats to israel and the united states national security. again, only in washington would a speech like this be controversial because i think most people would be concerned enough about the subject matter of what he talked about that
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they would want to hear the incites and information -- insights and informing information that he delivered in that speech, really a call to arms for the united states and our allies and israel against this threat of radical islam, particular will i in the form of iranian -- particularly in the form of iranian terrorism. his words reminded me why as i know many on both sides of the aisle agree we have no closer middle eastern ally than israel. unfortunately, his speech also re-enforced the belief i have held for many years that we have no bigger adversaries in the middle east than iran. the cold, hard truth is that today, more than ever, iran is a terror-sponsoring theocracy that is actively pursuing a nuclear weapons capability and trying to establish an iranian axis of
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power from tehran to damascus to beirut to gaza. iran's claim to enrich uranium for -- has made a claim to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes but its leaders have routinely lied and attempted to deceive inspectors in the past as a matter of standard practice. prime minister netanyahu also reminded all of us whose memories might have dimmed that over the last 30 years iran has engaged in a war-by-proxy against the united states and our allies. i'm -- i was reminded by a member of my staff of an article that came out in 2011 in the national journal. the heading of it is "record number of u.s. troops killed by iranian weapons." and it tells the tragic story that in june of 2011 was the deadliest month in two years for u.s. troops, with 14 killed.
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and these were by primarily iranian-backed militias using very deadly weapons called explosively formed penetrators that could literally cut through the steel in our humvees and other armored vehicles like a hot knife through butter. so given this track record that we were reminded of by the prime minister yesterday and just the reminder that i've tried to provide here, do we really believe that iran would use its nuclear weapons in a way that would not make the world more unstable and less safe? do we really believe that iran, were they go to get a nuclear weapon, wouldn't glyph it to the same proxies that have been killing americans and our allies in the middle east, hezbollah hamas, or the dictator in syria
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bashar al-assad, who has now killed roughly 200,000 of his own civilians in a civil war and almost 13 million people displaced, not only internally in syria but in may neighboring countries and the like. so as the p5-plus-1 negotiations negotiations involving the united states continue, there are considerations about iran's true intentions and about whether the deal that the obama administration is eagerly finalizing whether it will cement iran's status as a nuclear threshold nation. based on some of the details that we know so far many of which are being held very close to the vest by the administration and not being made known to congress, much less the american people, the president's deal would abandon longstanding u.s. policy of prevent ago nuclear-armed iran, perioded. we've always said -- and i
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remember when the former secretary of defense senator hagel at the time, became the secretary of the department of defense, when asked about our policy toward iran, he stumbled a little bit in his answer but ultimately said that containment was not our policy. our policy was to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. but it appears now that the deal that's being negotiated on the president's behalf by secretary kerry would abandon that long-standing u.s. policy of preventing iran from getting a nuclear weapon. instead, it would opt for a feeble 10-year containment plan. such an outcome would be both dangerous and unacceptable. so while i was glad to hear leader mcconnell announce yesterday that the senate will soon consider bipartisan legislation that will give congress the authority to approve any agreement that's reached by the administration, that was quickly replaced by
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confusion when i read that some of my democratic colleagues who've shown great courage in urging that congress have a role in approving any negotiated agreement between tehran and the white house now they are suggesting they might filibuster their own bill, that the vote we're going to have at 5:30 on monday. yesterday, for example one of our colleagues who had been a key spop sponsor sponsor of this bipartisan legislation said he was outraged -- outraged -- that the senate would vote on the very bill that he -- that bears his name. he indicated his outrage with the senate not for voting on the substance of the bill but basically because of the timing. he thought the timing was wrong. in other words he opposes voting on his own bill because of the senate procedures and the process. i don't know how you explain that back home. i couldn't sell that to my constituents in texas saying aim
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sponsor of this legislation i think it is important, it is the right thing to do, but oh, no, i'm going to vote against it because i disagree with the majority leader's timing or the procedure by which the majority leader is bringing this to a vote and debate in the united states senate. good luck with explaining that to your constituents. i suspect it was not so much concern with the process. the israeli government and millions of innocent civilians who stare down an iranian regime been under a. nighlation every day they could care less about the process. what they want to do is stop iran from getting the bomb. so i sincerely hope that everyone here who has supported israel and embraced a policy of blocking iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon will calm down and work together and consider
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this important piece of legislation. because, as we heard yesterday again from prime minister netanyahu, it has profound implications for both our national security as well as the security of our best ally in the middle east. before the obama administration initiated these misguided negotiations congress had created incredible economic pressure on the regime in tehran through sanctions backed by the threat of military action. it also has helped, frankly that america is now producing more oil and the price of oil is now down around $50 a barrel, more or less, and that's put incredible pressure -- financial pressure on tehran itself because they have basically had to finance their terrorist ambitionsambitions around the world through these various proxies by use of high oil prices.
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but we had imposed tremendous sanctions on tehran, which of course the administration is now in the process of rolling back. i believe that an approach of tough sanctions is one we must return to as quickly as possible. the president and some of his friends have suggested it's either this deal or war. that's a false choice. that is not true. it's either this deal or tougher sanctions, sanctions designed along with a credible threat of military action if tehran continues on its path to get a nuclear weapon that i believe will ultimately have the best chance of success and deter them from getting it. the concept of good-faith negotiation, though, it strikes me as just a little implausible when you're dealing with a rogue regime and a state spror of -- sponsor of terrorism. we cannot trust the iranian
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leadership with nuclear weapons. yet, sadly the president seems to be traveling down a path to secure what he views is a legacy foreign policy accomplishment when he should be implementing an iran policy that will best safeguard america and our allies for years to come. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. markey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you mr. president. mr. president, protecting the president's approval of the
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keystone pipeline act is about the review of this project. the president deserves to have all the input from the different agencies delivered to him so he can make his decision. so today in the vote that we will be having shortly, we are saying that the president should be able to exercise his prerogative to review the pipeline and to decide whether or not it is in the national interest to have this pipeline constructed through the united states of america. but we are also protecting his prerogative to decide in the end because this is a pipeline that should be rejected on its merits. the pipeline fails the test on job creation. after it's built, it will only have 35 to 40 permanent jobs
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that the united states will have on its soil. meanwhile, we should be having a debate about the wind production tax credit because if we extended that, we would keep 30,000 people working permanently here in the united states as this wind revolution continues to explode. last year there were 5,000 megawatts of solar energy installed in the united states. that's like five huge power plants. this year 7,500 megawatts, at least, of solar are going to be installed in the united states. and next year 10,000 megawatts at least in solar. but that tax break is expiring at the end of 2016. you would think that there would be an urgency here on the floor
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of the senate to debate the wind tax break the solar tax break which will create upwards of 250,000 jobs in the united states. we already have 175,000 people working in the solar industry. but there's no urgency to take up wind and solar. but a pipeline from canada taking the dirtiest oil in the world -- tar sands -- tar, think about that. tar. the tar has to be actually melted down so it can be put into a pipeline. it's tar. the dirtiest oil in the world. and then a pipeline like a straw through the united states of america built right down to port arthur texas. and what's so unique about port arthur texas? i'll tell you right now. it's a tax-free export zone.
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and so there's the plan for the canadians. build a pipeline like a straw through the united states right down to a tax-free export zone and then get that oil out of the united states of america. and why is that? i'll tell you right now that the price for oil in the united states is now $12 less than it is if you can get it out on to the global market. per barrel, $12 less. so you don't have to go to the harvard business school and get -- to get a degree to put that little business plan on a three-by-five business card. get it out of the united states and you'll make $12 a barrel more. now, the advocates for the pipeline say that's not going to happen. and so that's why i made the announcement on the senate floor, the oil will not be exported. if we're going to take all the environmental risks then we should receive the benefits of the oil being here in the united
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states. now why is that important? it's important for this reason. we are the united states is the largest importer of oil in the world. china does not import as much oil as we do. we are the leader. you might see these ads on television where the american petroleum institute and other oil companies advertise that with regard to what a great job we're doing in producing more oil in the united states. and we are producing more oil in the united states. let's take note of that. but the truth is we're still five million barrels a day short. so this pipeline will be moving maybe 800,000 barrels of oil frp canada right through the united states which could reduce our dependence upon imported oil. but it's going through a tax-free comport -- export zone
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so we know what's going to happen. why that important? we export young men and women in uniform every day over to the middle east to protect the oil. so why would we be exporting oil out of the united states while we're exporting young men and women in uniform out of america who protect oil coming back in from countries in the middle east? that makes no sense. that's what this pipeline is all about. it's all about getting some benefit for the united states. climate change, big loser. dirtiest oil in the world. the canadians actually escape paying the tax in the event that there is an oil spill. they don't have to pay into that
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fund either that american oil companies do. and then not withstanding their ads on television that say that they're going to keep the oil in the united states, they bitterly object to any provision being voted here that keeps it in the united states while they run ads on television saying north american energy independence, that's their greatest goal. you can't have it both ways. life's not like that. either your ads are saying what your goal is, north american energy independence, or you're going to export. you can't have it both ways, do one thing on television and another thing in real life and say to the senate please don't put restrictions on our ability to export this oil. so that's the challenge for us here. and, by the way one other thing. if we keep the oil here in the united states, that's going to keep a pressure to keep the price of gasoline lower because
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the more oil we have here in the united states, the lower the price of gasoline. every time there is a one penny reduction in the price of gasoline it's $1 billion that goes into the pocket of consumers in america. a penny equals a billion. so when the price of oil gasoline drops 10 cents that's $10 billion. when it drops $1, that's $100 billion. and it's down by $1. it's down by more than $1 over where it was last year. that's a lot of money that goes as a stimulus into the pockets of americans who can spend it on other things but this oil is going out of the country so the pressure it would keep to help our manufacturers to help our drivers is not going to exist. and so it fails on each one of
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these items. one, it gets exported. two, they don't pay their full taxes, or any at all, to the oil spill liability fund. we don't keep it here that keeps the prices lower for american drivers. i mean, i understand the canadians want to make the most money by getting out of the open market. but that hurts you that hurts us that hurts our drivers. so that at -- that's the challenge. it fails each one of these tests, fails on climate change. fails on the export test because it goes overseas. fails on the tax issue. it fails on the process issue of trying to short circuit the president proves prerogative to be able to consider this in a comprehensive sense. so the president has correctly vetoed this bill. the president s&l standing up for the american -- the
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president is standing up for the american taxpayer, for the american consumer, for the environment of the united states. he's asking the right questions he's doing the right things. and i urge my colleagues here on the senate floor within the next hour to vote to sustain the veto of president obama on this policy which does not advance the best interests of the united states of america. mr. president, i yield back the balance of my time. and i question the presence of a quorum in the chamber. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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floor of the mr. markey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: could i ask for the vitiation of the quorum call? the presiding officer: without objection. mr. markey: i ask unanimous consent that all time within the quorum call be divided equally between the two parties. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. markey: mr. president i once again doubt the presence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: mr. president i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: thank you mr. president. i rise today to talk about human sex trafficking an issue that plagues the world and our nation. today i join my colleagues, senator cornyn, wyden klobuchar and king in supporting legislation to help fight this evil and to stop it from spreading. sex trafficking is real. it is affecting millions of people around the world. we should not tolerate it and we cannot turn a blind eye. this this modern day form of slavery has continued to grow in the shadows all around us and it is time to take action.
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mr. president, the scale of this problem is difficult to calculate yet many estimates including those from the united nations and various human rights organizations show that millions of human beings are being trafficked every year. meanwhile, the criminals who force these victims into slavery profit to the tune of $32 billion annually. 300,000 children right here in the united states are at risk of becoming victims of this vile practice. and teenagers are the primary targets. these kids are being sold into a life of physical and emotional abuse. often they are runaways who flee violent households looking for a way out. womenly andwomen and girls represented
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a disproportionate amount of those trafficked around the world but this does affect all of us. the pain and suffering that victims experience is hard to describe in words. simply put, it is evil. we must do more to stop this plague and our work begins by setting a clear example. this sunday we will commemorate international women's day. as we celebrate the progress women have made here in the united states and around the world we must also use this moment to remind ourselves of the work that still needs to be done. as i mentioned senator cornyn and i along with several of our colleagues introduced a new bill to address this issue. this legislation would set up a deficit-neutral fund to support people abused by sex trafficking.
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through enhanced reporting and mechanisms that would reduce demand this bill can serve as the next step in providing care for victims of trafficking and child pornography. furthermore, senator cornyn's bill protects victims in court by treating the traffickers as violent criminals. by labeling traffickers in this way, convicts can now be detained while they await their judicial proceedings. funding for the bill comes from increased fines placed on those convicted of trafficking. while nothing can erase the pain inflicted on these victims we must do what we can to make a difference. i encourage all of my colleagues to join in this effort and stand against this vile practice. a number of my colleagues have other bills as well and we should take the time to consider solutions that are offered by
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all of them. our government has a responsibility to stand up and to act for those whose voices grow weak in the shadows of this imperfect world. this is our moment to do something. mr. president, these victims do not have time to wait and we must act now. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. fischer: mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that all time spent in quorum quorum calls before the 2:20 vote this afternoon be equally divided. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: thank you mr. president. i 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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perfect durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: i ask consent to speak in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, today is the anniversary the 150th anniversary of the second inaugural address of president abraham lincoln. later on this evening there will be an observance in the rotunda sponsored by the illinois state society and the abraham lincoln bicentennial foundation to observe this anniversary. my colleague senator kirk, is scheduled to be there. former transportation secretary ray lahood steven lange and some of the most distinguished lincoln scholars in america. dr. edna green medford chief justice frank williams of rhode island and the most prolific lincoln writer i know harold holzer of new york.
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there have been 15,000 books written about abraham lincoln. i think mr. holzer has written about half of them. he is not only prolific but he is profound. his observations about this great man's life. and he will be joined by edith holzer, his wife, who has stood by him through his lincoln travails. historians disagree on whether the second inaugural address of abraham lincoln was his greatest speech or only his second greatest. i'm in the latter camp. i accord the highest honor to the gettysburg address for its brevity as well as its inspiration, but both speeches are immore tall. i'm not a lincoln scholar but my life as an attorney and elected congressman and senator from illinois have taken me to some of the same streets and same buildings that were part of abraham lincoln's life. although he tried mightily to be elected to the united states senate in 1858, abraham lincoln
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fell short. it was in that campaign of 1858 that he debated steven douglas. at the end of the debates and when the vote was cast, steven douglas was the victor in that senatorial contest in illinois. of course the same two men faced off again two years later for the presidency. but that senate seat, the douglas seat that was contested in the 1858 election is the same seat that i'm honored to hold today in the state of illinois. you could feel abraham lincoln's presence in this building, particularly even near the senate chamber. there is a magnificent room just off the senate chamber known as the president's room. it's one of the most historic rooms in the capitol. it was in this room in april of 1862 that abraham lincoln signed a bill outlawing slavery in the district of columbia. it was in this room in 1965 that dr. martin luther king and other civil rights leaders watched president lyndon baines johnson sign the voting rights act prohibiting discrimination at the polls 100 years after lincoln's death. it was in the same room on
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january 20 2009, that a newly inaugurated president barack obama signed his first official documents as president of the united states. and it was in this room that abraham lincoln worked long into the night before his second inauguration signing and vetoing bills passed in the final hours of one congress before the next congress was sworn in. imagine that, congress leaving important business to the last minute. president lincoln was working in the president's room on march 3 1865 when he received an urgent message from general iew list sees grant. general robert e. lee was seeking a peace conference to negotiate an end to the war. grant asked his president commander in chief what should i reply? after conferring with secretary of war staunton and secretary of secretary of state southward lincoln sent word back with general grant not to meet with lee unless it was going to be for the capitulation of general lee's army. the following day with lincoln's
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address, march 4 1865, lincoln explained more fully why he refused lee's request for a negotiated settlement. he said and i quote with firmness in the right as god gives us to see the right let us strive on to finish the work we are in. to finish the work. less than five weeks later general lee surrendered unconditionallally at appomattox. the cannons were silent. after four years of horrific death and destruction the worst war, the most costly war in the history of the united states was over. but the work was not. president lincoln told us in his second inaugural address the urgent challenge was not only to win the war but to win the peace by achieving true reconciliation. another president could certainly have been vindictive toward the south. that had been the practice of the day. it's what many people wanted in the north. but lincoln understood that if america remained divided after the hostilities ceased, then the terrible sacrifices of war would
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have been in vain. so he counseled in that immore tall inaugural address -- quote -- malice toward none, charity for all. let us bind up the wounds, he urged, not inflict new injuries. that was how the union would be reunited and persevere. six weeks later six weeks after this speech, abraham lincoln was cut down by an assassin's bullet. he was in fact, the last casualty of america's war within its own boundaries. that address that second inaugural address remains the second shortest in the nation's history. only 703 words. lincoln spoke so briefly that many people were still arriving after he finished. at gettysburg, some listeners were mystified with the president's brevity. few understood the genius of the speech at that moment. frederick douglass was an exception. he said to mr. lincoln afterwards that was a sacred effort. in the century and a half since his death, we have made unequal
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progress in achieving the kind of america abraham lincoln believed we could be. a full century passed before african-americans in the south were guaranteed the most basic right of citizenship the right to vote. if president lincoln were here today, i think he would be happy to see our union has survived. i think he would be pleased and astonished to see that america had elected and re-elected another lanky lawyer from illinois and an african-american to be our president. i also think he would challenge us when our government of the people by the people, for the people is under threat from a cabal of secret special interest money that can buy elections i think lincoln would tell us we have unfinished work to do. when we negligent to bind up the wounds of war of even one soldier returning from war negligent to care for widows and orphans, lincoln would remind us we have unfinished work to do. and when the right to vote is under systematic attack in so many states for obvious
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political reasons, there is still work to do. when americans who work long and hard can't earn enough to provide for their families, i think lincoln would tell us to put our shoulder to the plow and finish the work of creating genuine opportunity for all americans. you can see in the second inaugural in the gettysburg address the one reason that abraham lincoln remains our greatest president. he shows us that america is capable of constant progress toward our professed creed. we can love our country and be determined to make it better. mr. president, i ask that the remarks i am about to make be placed in a separate part in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president even by chicago standards this has been some winter. from boston to birmingham, alabama, and beyond, tens of millions of americans have been clobbered this winter by record smawls. in fact, we are heading for the exits here in washington this afternoon with the threat of another winter storm. that may be why so many of us are so happy that this week is
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finally here and we can literally count the days until spring training of baseball begins. in cities throughout the sunbelt, mighty casey is smiling again at america. more than punxsutawney phil and sighting the first robin the opening of spring training for many of us marks the unofficial arrival of spring. few people on earth are happy about the start of a new baseball system than bill bartolomy, a man who has done so much for the cities of chicago and atlanta for the sport of baseball and for our nation. bill bartolomy has achieved more in his one life than many talented people in five. he is phenomenally successful as an entrepreneur, and he has built some of the most successful insurance brokerage firms in the world. bill has owned a restaurant, a candy company and a chain of toy stores. he helped a business partner by the name of ted turner transform cnn from an upstart news organization to one of the most
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powerful news organizations in the world. bill bartolomy is more than a successful businessman. he is a principled civic leader and a true philanthropist. on top of it, he is chairman emeritus of the atlanta braves. he is the man who half a century ago with support from leaders including the father of the reverend dr. martin luther king jr. brought major league baseball to america's deep south. what a life. in 1962, bill bartolomy and a group of investors bought the milwaukee braves. the braves' roster back then included a lot of great legendary ball prayers. among them was a young catcher with a rocket for an arm whose mother had to sign his first contract because he hadn't reached the age of 21. his name was joe torre. but the braves' greatest player then and ever was a man named henry aaron hammering hank. in 1966, bill and his partners moved the braves from milwaukee to atlanta. here's something that will do your hard good. go to youtube and watch the
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video of that magic night april 8, 1974, when hank aaron broke babe ruth's record to become baseball's all-time home run champ a record he would hold for 33 years. for anyone under the age of 50, it may be impossible now to fully appreciate what that moment meant. it was six years almost to the day after dr. king's assassination. for more than a year, as hank aaron had closed in on babe ruth's fabled record of 714 home runs he had been cheered by many but also subjected to ugly racist threats and taunts. there were people who just seethed that the idea that babe ruth's immore tall record would be broken by a black baseball player. years later hank aaron would acknowledge that the anger and the jeers wore on him and they worried bill bartolomy too. so watch that clip on youtube. april 8, 1874. it was the braves' home opener against the los angeles dodgers. more than 53,000 fans were standing for that great moment,
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a record crowd. it's the fourth inning. henry hank aaron is up at bat. the count is 1-0 and then it happens. aaron swings and smashes the ball over the center field fence. the fans roar, fireworks fill the sky. as aaron rounds the bases the dodger infielders reach out to shake his hand. he crosses home plate and he is surrounded by teammates then his beaming wife and parents and standing right next to him bill bartolomy. it had been a dozen years since bill and his partners had bought the braves and eight years since they moved them to atlanta. part of the reason for moving the braves to atlanta was because atlanta was working hard in the 1960's to become the leading city of the new south a city that would move beyond the old legacy of jim crow to a new era. leaders including dr. king believed that major league baseball could help to create that new atlanta and bill bartolomy and his partners wanted to be part of that dream. eight years after the team's move to atlanta there he stood with baseball's new home run king a man who started his
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career in the old negro leagues who had just broken the most revered record in major league baseball and who would become a symbol of immense pride for atlanta and all of america. that was one of the many great moments for the braves under bill bartolomy. since he moved the team to atlanta in 1966, bill has witnessed the braves win 16 division championships including a record-setting 14 in a row five national league pennants and in 1995, the braves went all the way winning the world series. bill no longer owns the braves, but he is still closely connected to the team and serves as chairman emeritus since 2003. he is an active member of the mlb owners' group. bill bartolomy grew up in illinois, in a family where his father and grandfather had made good money in the insurance brokage business. he was the -- brokerage business. he was the second of two boys. he grew up in winnetka, illinois just outside chicago in a big house. the family were friends with both the wrigley family who
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owned the cubs and the comiskey family who owned the white sox. as far back as he can remember, bill loved baseball and so did his mom. they used to go to cubs' games together. in grade school, his eighth grade instructor thought bill loved baseball too much. he sent home a report card that read bill is cooperative in play. while his ability is not great he makes up to a large degree by his enthusiasm and interest. my greatest concern the report went on to say with him is that he seems to borrow much of his ideas of conduct from professional baseball. that teacher didn't have to worry. the lessons of baseball have served bill bartolomy very well. they have shaped his entire amazing life. one of bill's favorite sayings is -- quote -- start strong, finish strong, and play all nine innings. translation -- give it everything you've got no half measures. that attitude has enabled bill to build or even help build a number of powerful insurance brokage firms along with other -- brokerage firms along
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with other businesses. in 2003, he became vice chairman of willis holdings, one of the largest insurance businesses in the world. he increased their presence in chicago to the point where they became the regional headquarters of what was formerly known as sears tower now known as the willis tower. today that office anchors chicago's place as a first-rate place to operate a global company. bill is more than a businessman more than a man of baseball. he is a civic leader as well. in the early 1980's, then-chicago mayor the late jane byrne asked bill to serve on the park commission, overseeing chicago's 400 parks. bill never said no to public service. so even though he had five teenaged kids and a number of businesses he said he would serve for one year. he ended up serving for 23. all told, three of chicago's mayors recognized bill's talents as a bridge builder in chicago. he made sure the commission focused not just on wealthy parts of the city but all of the city. bill created a charitable foundation and he's helped to
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make it work and helped millions of others. he is a generous man. he's generous in the praise of others. i want to say -- give a short story here that i read when i was reading a book one day and stumbled on this little episode in bill's life that really tells a story. it's a story about another baseball legend, a man by the name of satchel paige who may have been the best baseball prison ever. -- pitcher ever. he was an american treasure. he was a star in the negro leagues during the jim crow era. he later became the first african-american pitcher in the american league and the first negro league player elected to the baseball hall of fame. he played for an astonishing 250 teams in his 40-year career. he used to pitch yearround often on back-to-back days. he hurled exhibition games on his day off. spent the winter months playing in cuba. in 1968, satchel paige was 62 years old and despite all the
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time he played in baseball, he hadn't played long enough to qualify for a pension. he fell six months short. and so satchel paige sent a letter to every major league baseball team asking them if they would consider hiring him as a coach and if they would for six months, he would qualify for a pension. well you can guess who replied. it was bill bartolomy. bill bartolomy in a real true act of kindness said baseball would have been guilty and negligent should it not ensure this legendary figure a place in our pension plan. bill made sure that satchel paige got his pension. he hired him to be the braves' pitcher, coach trainer for just long enough to meet the pension needs. in case there was any doubt about what he was doing he assigned satchel paige the number 65, the age at which his retirement salary would kick in. but there was another reason the braves hired satchel paige. that summer in 1968, riots were waging and cities burning across america in the wake of
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dr. king's assassination. bill believed that having a bridge builder like satchel paige might help diffuse tensions in atlanta and he was right. he did that partly by spending time with fans and serving as a goodwill ambassador. even though his title was trainer what satchel wanted to do was pitch. the club didn't care fear the idea they were afraid his eyesight wasn't good enough and a line drive might knock him off the mopped. satchel insisted and he got his way. in 1969, satchel paige pitched a couple of innings in an exhibition game for the highest level minor league team, the triple a richmond team. picture this, satchel paige and who steps up to the plate hank aaron. the best hitter. strike one, strike two finally aaron gets a piece of the ball and pops out to third.
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sap still had it. in his hall of fame induction speech ted williams with urged the inclusion of negro players. satchel paige was the first inducted. ain't no man can avoid being average but no man got to be common. bill bartholomy has led an uncommon life as a business leader as a pioneer in baseball a civic leader, but a man who sensed in his lifetime an opportunity to build bridges in america and make us a better nation through the game of baseball and through the integration of that sport. he served the cities of chicago and atlanta in extraordinary ways but he has served america as well. he proved his old physical education instructor wrong the
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rules in baseball are pretty good rules after all. as we start a new baseball season i wish the very best to the very best, bill bartholomy. mr. president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i ask the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to address the motion to override the president's veto of senate bill 1 which would force approval of the construction of the keystone pipeline to transport tar sand heavy oil from canada to the gulf coast. we'll be having that vote in just a few minutes from now a little while from now. my key consideration today is
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what would contribute to global warming? what would the impact of this bill be on global warming? and the reason that that is the core question i'm raising is that already we are seeing extensive damage to our world resources -- rural resources around the world from our warming planet. we are seeing this in oregon, and we are seeing therefore an impact on our future economic prospects. to put it very simply, the burning of fossil fuels is damaging our forests and our farming and our fishing. by many estimates to contain global warming to two degrees celsius, which is almost four degrees fahrenheit, we must transition aggressively and rapidly from burning conventional fossil fuels for
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energy toward the use of nonfossil renewable energy. now, this shift is well within our power. it's well within our technology, but do we have the political will to make this happen? and that test is once before us in the vote we're taking today. building the keystone pipeline opens the faucet to rapid exploitation of massive new unconventional reserves called tar sands and it takes us in exactly the opposite direction from where we need to go. indeed the pipeline lox us into utah -- locks us into utilizing the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet for a generation and accelerates human civilization down the road towards catastrophic climate change. thus building this pipeline is
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a mistake. and there is a lot to be concerned about. now, global warming isn't some imaginary scenario 50 years from now about some computer model predicts something bad will happen. no. it's about facts on the ground right now. the warmest ten years on record for global average surface temperature have occurred in the last 12 years. 2014 the calendar year that we just passed, was the single warmest year on record. and while some senators may come to this floor and say well, it's just an anomaly here or an anomaly there it's not. the facts are in. when you have ten of the 12 warmest -- or ten of the -- the
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ten warmest years on record within the last 12 years you know something dramatically is happening to the globe. the average forest fire season is getting longer. since the 198 1990's, the season has grown by 60 days to 80 days. 60 to 80 days longer than it was before. let me put it that way. that means that with each year that is passing the fire season is growing by an average of about two days. and the number of acres consumed annually by wildfires has doubled to more than seven million acres. well, this is an enormous impact and those fires themselves put additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and so we start to see a feedback mechanism that is accelerating us down this road to catastrophic change. and the snow pack is decreasing in our oregon mountains the cascade mountains which means smaller and warmer streams
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which are certainly not good for trout, but it also means less water for irrigation. we have right now virtually no snow in the cascades. at this point we should have a substantial snow pack. and so the possibility of yet another major drought faces us this coming summer. we had a worst-ever drought in the klamath basin a large structural basin in southern oregon in 2001. we had another devastating drought in 2010. near worst-ever drought. another devastating drought in 2013. and here we are this year with virtually no snow pack to provide irrigation water during the -- during the summer. so that is a very big deal. and it isn't just farming and forestry. it's also fishing. the carbon dioxide that we're
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pumping in the air is absorbed through wave action and it becomes car bonnic -- carbonic acid. you can envision mankind pouring vast vats of carbonic acid into the ocean. that's effectively what we are doing. if you think putting all that acid into the ocean would be a bad idea, wouldn't have good effects, you're right. the ocean has become 30% more acidic than it was before the industrial revolution, before we started burning coal and other fossil fuels as a major source of energy. and you can start to see the impact. at the whiskey cheek shellfish hatchery on the oregon coast, we have a big problem and the big problem is that the baby oysters are having trouble pulling enough carbon out of the water in order to create their shells because the water is too acidic. well, that's a little bit like a canary in a coal mine. if the oysters are having trouble, what other shellfish
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are being affected by the increasing level of acidity? as humans on our planet, we have the moral responsibility to exercise wise stewardship of our resources, responsibility that that -- responsibility for this generation but of profound responsibility for the generations to come. now, our youth tend to have a better understanding of this than do the lawmakers who come to the floor of the senate. our youth widely rank global warming as a major concern a major issue they want to see us take on. they will face the challenges that we will leave behind, but here is the problem. if we wait to tackle global warming until we -- we have pages on the floor. our 16-year-old pages are in
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when they are in their 40's and 50's then it will be almost impossible to address this issue because of the feedback loops that are occurring. i was just watching yesterday a time-elapsed series of ice in the arctic. and i can tell you that essentially as viewed from north america, there was a swirling mass of ice this is over several decades and that swirling mass becomes less with every pass year to where pathways are starting to be ice-free in the summer. that is a massive change happening with a single human lifetime which is but a blink in time when you think about the age and course of this planet. so big changes are occurring and when those changes occur we do have additional problems arise. all of that open water in the arctic absorbs more sunlight. so it makes the water blue.
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and it becomes warmer whereas the ice reflects the sunlight and keeps the water cooler. and so therefore we have a magnification of the effect of global warming at the poles. this is not a good thing. so whether we are looking at the impact on our farming or the impact on our forests which are burning or the impact on our oceans and our fisheries which are becoming too acidic, we have a responsibility to address those issues. and that means that we are going to have to not burn all the fossil fuel that we've been clever enough to find in the crust of the earth. it's estimated that we would have to leave 4/5 of the fossil fuels that we have already identified that are in the ground we have to leave it in the ground rather than burn it if we're not going to exceed tow
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degrees send himself -- centigrade in global warming. that is a huge challenge. that means we cannot proceed to build infrastructure designed to accelerate the extraction of these fossil fuels. and the pipeline is exactly that kind of infrastructure. now, have no doubt i love the idea of jobs and construction. that's why i'm a huge supporter of the build america act. build america act would create hundreds of thousands of construction jobs over a course of a number of years in america. that's the type of investment in jobs and construction and infrastructure we should make. but we shouldn't be investing in infrastructure that is going to do profound damage to our planet. that does not honor the moral responsibility we have to the stewardship of this beautiful blue green orb that we live on known as planet earth.
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let's honor our responsibility and let's not override the veto that the president has put on this bill. thank you mr. president. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i ask for up to 30 minutes to engage in a colloquy. the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. hoeven: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: i ask for up to 30 minutes to engage in a colloquy on the keystone pipeline approval legislation which was vetoed. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: thank you mr. president. i'm here today to discuss the keystone pipeline approval legislation, and the president's recent veto as well as our effort today to override that veto. i'll be joined in this colloquy by my distinguished colleague from south dakota, also our colleague on the other side of the aisle from west virginia will be joining us shortly as well as the chairman of the energy committee our colleague from alaska. i'd like to make just a couple points up front and then turn to my colleague from south dakota. what i've got here and i've shown this before on the senate
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floor, is the route that the keystone x.l. pipeline would take from the tar sands in alberta and come down through montana where it would pick up domestic crude. often people think of it as moving canadian crude but it picks up domestic crude in the bakken region, light, sweet bakken oil from montana and takes that oil to refineries throughout the country. so that's the project that we're talking about. this chart shows the project itself and it shows what's going to happen if we don't approve it. you have to understand this has been going on for now over six years, the president's delayed this project more than six years but if we don't build the pipeline bringing the oil to the united states and moving our domestic crude to united states states canada will build pipelines to the west coast and that oil will go to china by
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tanker ships and be refined in china. so, you know, again we go through all these different discussions but the reality is the oil will be produced, the question is do we want to have that oil here in our country or would you rather see it go to china and, of course, if it goes to china then not only does that affect our ability to produce oil in our country because we don't have that infrastructure to move it around safely and cost effectively but we also then -- you know, we continue to import oil from the middle east. so -- and it's not like -- i'll run through a couple more of these charts and then kind of bring us up to date with where we are. it's not like we don't have pipelines. so when the president takes more than six years to make a decision having such a hard time with this pipeline it's not like we don't have a few pipelines in the country. we have millions of miles of pipelines. and, of course, this is going to be the latest, greatest, state of the art with all the
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safety features, something like 50 different safety features that are required as part of the approval process for the pipeline which as i say has been going on for more than six years. the other part i -- point i want to make before we kind of go into the latest status is this is the finding of not one not two not three not four, not five reports by the administration but, in fact, the obama administration's state department has done five environmental impact statements three draft statements two final statements that's their five statements three draft two final environmental impact statements. here's what the obama's report no significant environmental impact, according to the u.s. state department, environmental impact statements as a result of the keystone x.l. pipeline. so here we are today after more than six years in the quote
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approval process by the administration. we passed this legislation with 62 votes here in the senate, passed through the house about 270 votes there in the house so big bipartisan votes for this legislation. last tuesday last tuesday we sent it to the president we sent it to him in the morning and he vetoed it the same day and had it back to us that afternoon. so i mean that is pretty efficient. we send it to him in the morning last tuesday bang, he's got it back here in the afternoon. and his rationale for vetoing the project was he said it cuts short his review process. that's right out of the veto message. it cuts short his veto process. so something he could figure out in one day having gotten the bill, he's been studying over six years over six years and he vetoed it because we've cut his review process short after more than six years. and subsequent to that the president was asked by the
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press, well, mr. president then if congress is somehow cutting your process short when are you going to make a decision? his response to the press, i believe it was last week or earlier this week, well, he's going to make a decision either in a couple weeks or maybe in a couple months, but certainly by the end of his term. my question is this -- how can there be any process there? what's the process there? what process is he talking about? if he delays it more than six years, a situation where trans-canada the company has met every single requirement of the law and the regulation, they've met all the requirements for more than six years, the six states on the route -- i'll show them to you -- have all approved the project. so all six states on the route have approved the project. it wasn't tough they had six years to do it and the american people overwhelmingly support this project in poll after poll 65% 70%.
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but my question is, what process is he talking about? there's no process there. if you go on foresix years where a company spent millions of dollars taking six years to try to build an $8 billion project that will help us create energy security in our country working about with our closest friend and ally, canada, what process is he talking about? when asked when are you going to make a decision as to your process, he says i don't know, maybe a few weeks a few months by the end of my terminiway. that's eight years. isn't this a country of laws? how would you or anyone else, any company large or small anybody file that if they comply with the law do everything they're supposed to do and do it over and over again and somebody who is elected to office says, well, you know, i just don't feel like it. when do we cease to become a country of laws? when do we cease to have a situation where we can rely on the laws and the regulations of this state whether we're an
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individual a family, a community, a company or anything else? and so when we look at a project like this, that's a question we have to ask ourselves because if it could happen in this situation, can't it happen in any situation? and when do we as a congress step up and say you know we pass the laws. we pass the laws and those laws have to be respected and enforced. isn't that our job? isn't that our obligation? isn't that why the people of this country sent us here? i believe it is. and it's one thing to say well, you know, it's that trans-canada company, they do business in canada, do business here what if it was you? what it was your company? what it was six plus years of your life? what it was millions of your dollars? then how would you feel about it? remember america is the place where people throughout history have come to do business. this is where they come to do business because they could
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count on our laws and count on our regulations and they could count on the fact in they made the investment, they would be able to do business on a certain and dependable basis. what happened to that? when we lose that, what happens to our economy? with that i'd like to turn to my good friend from south dakota, this line will run right through his state creating jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue for his state and hide like to turn and ask him for his thoughts on this. mr. thune: i appreciate the senator from south dakota for his leadership, he's been a fierce advocate for the jobs, the economic activity, the positive benefits to our national security from the building of this pipeline for many months here in the united states senate. the most recent development the frustration in having the president veto a bill that has 60 cosponsors, north of 60 cosponsors in the united states senate. this is a broad bipartisan bill and the senator from north dakota has worked hard to make it that way lots of members on both sides of the aisle here
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support this pipeline, and what's striking to me about it is shot mistakes -- some of the misstatements and transport in his veto message said "the washington post" fact checker as recently as a couple of days ago point out when the president said this is going to bypass the united states, this -- we're not going to get any benefit from this, not only do they gave him one two three he got four pinocchios from "the washington post." what that means is, folks that is a really, really big whopper. to suggest that there's not going to be any benefit to the united states from this. in fact, they went 0 on to point out in that story there are estimates that 70% of the oil refined would be used in this country and furthermore as the senator from north dakota pointed out this is a significant investment, obviously, by people who want to do business in the united states because of our rule of law, our rules and certainty that comes with that, and that the production, the oil sands up there in north dakota is 30%
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owned by americans. so a lot of american ownership in this they're our friend and ally canada, instead of getting the same type of oil quality of oil from a country that we don't have a favorable relationship with in venezuela we can get it from canada. and it can come through this country and the suggestion that it's not going to benefit anybody here in this country is just completely, completely wrong. and i know that the senator from north dakota has pointed this out before, that up to 100,000 barrels of oil a day would be put in here from his state of north dakota and montana a lot of the light sweet crude that's so valued and that it would take pressure off the railroads. interestingly enough, he pontessedpointedout, it was found by the administration no significant environmental impact. think about this. you're putting oil on a railcar or on a track and the studies show that that creates 28% to
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42% more emugses than shipping in a pipeline. it's going to go some way. i.t. going to go on a truck railcar or pipeline. if it goes on a railcar or truck, 28% to 42% more emissions than doing in a pipeline. so from an environmental standpoint it makes all the sense in the world too. and i will say as somebody who represents a border state to north dakota, we've had our own issues these last couple years with rail service in trying to get our agricultural commodities to the marketplace. therethere is an awful lot of pressure to move oil on the rail. if you can move some of that on the pipeline, it takes a the love pressure off of the rails and freeze that infrastructure up that capacity up to move agricultural commodities that are so important to both of our states. and so, you know, there's there is just a lot of misinformation that's been put out on this subject. i hope at least we can have discussions based upon a common set of facts and most of the facts that we're talking about
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are things that have been put out by the administration themselves. and my state of south dakota, as the senator from north dakota mentioned, would be crossed by this. the estimate by the state department was it would create $is 00 million in earning in south dakota. it would create 3,000 to 4,000 construction jobs and generate about $20 million in property tax revenue. so there's an awful lot of interest in my state in what happens with the economic activity the jobs, the property tax revenue understand that and what that could do to support local law enforcement and schools and so sorts of things not to mention et going us away from the dependence on foreign sources of energy. but let's be factual in this discussion. this doesn't bypass the united states. this has tremendous economic and pespositive economic impacts on our country and we should not forget that and we ought to be able to, as we debate this here and have an opportunity now to vote on a veto override, at least have a set of facts that is consistent
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with reality. and i think that's something that i know that the senator from alaska who's been very involved in this, been a great leader on this, and my colleague from west virginia as well, have been working really hard to move this project along. it is unfortunate we are where we are. we're going to be a couple of votes short today perhaps but i i thank the senator north dakota for his leadership. i know you have pointed out the number of pipelines that already exist in this country and i no he that you've also pointed out the positive impact of, you know when we get this down, it gets refined in other parts of this country that a lot of this energy is going to be used right here in the united states. and so i appreciate the fact that you've made all those facts abundantly clear in your discussions here on the floor and it's unfortunate that we haven't been able to persuade the president but i still have
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hopes. mr. hoeven: i'd like to thank the good senator from south dakota and turn to our clique cross the aisle -- to our colleague from across the aisle the senator in west virginia, who's been a chafn onon this energy project. is being whosomebody who as a governor worked on it. he understands we can make this country much stronger if we produce energy here at home. i'd like to turn to my colleague from west virginia and thank him for his leadership. mr. manchin: thank you senator. i came here november 156789 came a senator on november 15, 2010. i have been here a little over four years. and i was first brought to understand the keystone project which is under way n. and trying to get built. i was asked the question, what do you think? i looked at it very quickly and i looked at how much oil we buy from other countries around the world. the same type of an oil we buy
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about 750,000 barrels a day from venezuela, and i'm thinking, i'd rather buy from my friends than my enemies the pooh emthat take the proceeds and the profits from us buying their product and using it against us. so i was very clear on that and i think most we have virginians feel the way i dovment let's look at the facts of what we're dealing with. 40% of this line is already built. 40% of this line is already built. this is the part we're talking about that has not been built that we're producing and loo would like to build it. the capacity from the bakken. 12% of the bakken oil. we're moving our oil producing our oil buying from our best, friendliest neighbor and our ally canada and it makes us more secure as a naismtion i've heard all the arguments gunshot argument against it. we can't do this, oh my, because this oil is going to come straight down and go out.
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they make you believe it is going to come right down here, loaded on a tanker and taken to another country. so we get no benefit at all is what they're telling me. we had a press kfns maybe two or three weeks ago. we had the prime minister of canada. we had the premier of calgary. we had everybody there that have agreed that's not going it -- to happen. they will be subjected to the same rules and religions regulations. no crude will be exported unless we change it in law. that prevents that from happening. that's a misnomer. next of all they said they don't pay the 8% into the spill fund, the trust fund, in case there is a spill. they have agreed to do that. they said, wait a minute. this is not going to be built with american steel. yes it will be. they agreed to that. everybody we've asked for they've agreed. we can't even get our side of the aisle to agree that basically put it in a piece of legislation that makes sure it's going to happen. i trust the canadians they'll do
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exactly what they said. i'd like to codify it by putting it in a bill. i'm working on that. the fact of what we're doing with the politics of what we're dealing with is is this: if we can't get four more democrats on my side to vote with me to repeal the veto, to beat that veto that the president has, this is coming back. none of us in this room, none of us in this body does not understand the reality of politics is i.t. coming back in the -- it's coming back in the form of fisherman bill, a road bill, something that we're all going to vote for. and we're going to have to spend a lost time and energy on this same subject. i've said, let's do it now. let's do it now and move on to something that we need to move on to, which will be of something of great interest. i have a hard time reasoning with some of this. the people say the amount of product that we use in this country and it is not going to make us more secure.
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we buy so you know, 7 million barrels of oil a day. 7 million barrels we buy a day from countries such as venezuela, even russia we buy oil from. if you want to make this country more secure, don't be dependent on. i don't think venezuela uses the resources to benefit america. i can't find that. icorks i am a note convinced that saudi arabia uses any of their money to benefit our country. or any of these other foreign countries that we buy from. so this is a perfect commonsense solution and also i think that our good friend from south dakota talked about the trains, about the amount of trains. well, i can tell urption in a state that just had a tragedy -- thank god we didn't lose any persons and we didn't have anyone injured by the grace of god, but i can tell you the amount of transportation on the
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rail has increased 3300% since 2009 3,300% more oil is being transported in america by rail. so if we can erase some of that and be environmentally safer, we should do it. this is going to come back, if it doesn't do it now. we have a chance to put it to bed. it makes a lot of common sense and the jobs -- i'll say one more thing about jobs. they've talked about jobs. when i was governor, we built an awful lot of infrastructure, roads, bridges. i never remember creating one permanent job after i built a bridge. had a lot of good jobs and paid a lot of good money while constructing it. and all of the contractors were happy. all of my trades people were happy they had jobs. but we never expected to create a permanent job. they're construction jobs. that's what it is. and why anyone can believe that
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oh now we're not creating jobs-- jobs-- this is construction. when it is done, it is done. i don't know why we can't come to grips with that. we'll do it all day long. we'll talk about an infrastructure job and be tickled to death that we're creating jobs. but we talk about jobs to create this line, and it is not something we can embrace? i'm saying to my colleagues that we all support something that makes so much sense to the american people and to the working people of america. and also for the security of our nation. so i applaud you. i support. i have cosponsored this. i'll continue to speak out as long as we have to. i hope we get this veto repealed and move on. with that, i thank you. mr. hoeven: mr. president i thank the -- our colleague from west virginia for his tremendous leadership. i know that that will continue. he is right on. if we don't win the battle today, we will win the war because we'll find another bill to attach this legislation to.
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but the thing is we ought to just pass iten its merits -- pass it on its merits. let me turn now to the head of the injuring committee somebody who truly is committed to an all-of-the-above energy approach. and demonstrates that leadership on an all-of-the-approach every day. that's why she speaks on this issue with -- in a way that really everyone should listen to whether you think it should be phos l fuels renewables, traditional energy. that is senator who has supported all of these. i think she has great credibility on this issue. i would turn to my colleague from alaska. ms. murkowski: i thank my friend and colleague from north dakota for your leadership. you have been dogged, not only as we have advanced this measure through the floor and through the process but truly over the years. it just seems inconceivable that
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six-plus years 2,350 days since the company seeking to build the keystone x.l. first submitted its cross border application. it's almost inconceivable. and i thank my colleague from west virginia who just spoke who articulateed some of the myths and misconceptions that have been out there. the senator from north dakota enunciated them as well. but when you think about where we are today and a recognition that this veto override that is in front of us, this is bipartisan energy legislation. the first bill that we've sent to the president this year, bipartisan strong support around the country from an environmental perspective from
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an energy security per speck perspective and from a national security perspective. the keystone x.l. pipeline is what we should endorse. it is wrong and it is shortsighted that this president has chosen to veto this bipartisan energy initiative. now, we've heard on the floor here all the reasons why this proposal is good and sound and rational and it focuses on this energy infrastructure. but i think it's important to remind colleagues that when we had this bill on the floor in january, we had something that we haven't had in a long period of time, and that was an open amendment process. we moved forward 41 different amendments to the floor. and some of those amendments actually passed. they became part of this keystone x.l. pipeline. and so in addition to vetoing the infrastructure, the
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president has vetoed a time-sensitive provision that will provide regulatory relief to our water heater manufacturers. he vetoed multiple provisions to increase the efficiency of our commercial building. he has vetoed a provision that would improve the energy retrofitting assistance available for our schools which my colleague from maine had endorsed and pushed. that is now not part of what we're taking up. and he also vetoed what i think many of us viewed as a very responsible path forward on the oil spill liability trust fund and our statement asserting that climate change is real. we hade some progress on this bill and all that is now off the table. so we're talking about the piece of pie -- the infrastructure that goes across the border. but keep in mind, folks we also included some things that this body felt was important to advance and that has all been vetoed by this president.
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it was wrong to veto this legislation. the senator from south dakota mentioned the four pinocchio test. i think it's also important to highlight some of the irony that we see with this vea tow of this legislation -- veto in this legislation coming from this administration. the president is making a mockery of the executive order meant to expedite decisions. he -- again 2,050 since this application has been submitted for permit. there is other irony here and i want to take a brief moment to point this out. last month the white house released the national security strategy for this country and in the strategy -- i quote -- "the challenges faced by ukrainian and european dependence on russian energy supplies puts the spotlight on the need for an expanded view of
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energy security that recognizes the collective needs of the united states, our allies and trading partners as well as the importance of competitive energy markets. therefore, we must promote diversification of energy sources, fuels and routes as well as encouraging indigenous sources." the president's veto of the keystone x.l. pipeline contradicts his own national energy security policy. it contradicts his own energy policy that he outlines in the council of economic advisors with their economic report when they say the extent to which a country's economy is exposed to energy supply risks specifically international energy supply disruptions that lead to product unavailability price drops or both. the president is contradicting himself at every turn whether it's his climate action plan
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that he has introduced. this veto contradicts his own climate policy. we've got an opportunity mr. president, to boost our economy, to help our allies, to increase our energy security, to be an environmental leader as well and to lead on energy. and this president's veto denies us that, and it is a failure of leadership. i would recommend that all of us on both sides of the aisle come together to override this veto. a senator: mr. president? mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: president obama advocated reducing reliance on middle eastern oil. the president advocated reaffirming the commitment of the united states to its close allies. the president led us to believe he worked to create american jobs not veto them. of course signing the bipartisan expiept jobs bill -- keystone jobs bill would have advanced those priorities but president
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obama chose deep-pocketed special interests over the middle class with his partisan veto of the keystone jobs bill. it is the kind of thing that puts union workers on edge. i suspect it makes some of our democratic colleagues uncomfortable too. but here's the good news, our democratic friends don't have to make the same choice the president did. there is a bipartisan jobs coalition right here in the senate that would love to have their support. we're pro-keystone jobs, pro-keystone infrastructure. we're pro-middle class. if you're interested in jobs and infrastructure and saving your party from an extreme mistake then join us. vote with us to override a partisan veto and help the president pursue priorities he's advocated in the past. there is no reason to allow powerful special interests to block the billions this infrastructure project would pour into our economy or the thousands of american jobs keystone would support.
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your vote for common sense can release this special interest stranglehold. it can return a little more sanity to washington, and there's a lot we can accomplish by working together with serious jobs ideas and commonsense reform as our guiding principles. so i hope you'll join the new majority in that effort, because no matter what happens today this new congress is not going to stop working for good ideas and we're not going to protect the president from them either. a senator: mr. president? mr. president? i would like to thank the majority leader and our colleagues on both sides of the aisle for supporting this bipartisan legislation. mr. hoeven: prime minister the jirl was -- the prime minister of israel was here yesterday speaking to congress. we have an opportunity to declare energy independence. we do not need to rely on from the middle eefort. i -- middle east. i ask my colleagues to join with us and vote yes.
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the presiding officer: the question is, shall the bill pass? the objections of the president of the united states to the contrary not withstanding. the yeas and nays are required. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the
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chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not on this vote, the yeas are 62, the nays are 37. two-thirds of the senators voting, a quorum being present not having voted in the affirmative, the bill on reconsideration fails to pass over the veto of the president of the united states. a senator: move to reconsider. mr. mcconnell: lay it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. officer sphe without objection. -- the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president is the majority leader finished? mr. president, nearly four months ago -- not four weeks ago but four months ago president obama announced his intention to nominate loretta limpleg to be our country's next attorney
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general. i had of attending that white house ceremony. i took this photograph at the ver money but as i took it, i was mostly moved by what ms. lynch explained. she says she was excited about the challenge of becoming our nation's chief law enforcement officer. and she noted with obvious admiration that the department of justice is the only cabinet department named for an ideal. just think of that. department of justice is named for the ideal of justice. and we know from loretta lynch's law and public service career, she aspires to make that ideal a reality, and she will once she becomes attorney general of the united states. as u.s. attorney for the eastern district of new york, she brought countless terrorists and
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cyber criminals to justice. she obtained convictions against corrupt public officials from both political parties. she fought tirelessly against violent crime and financial fraud. her record shows that as attorney general, she will effectively, fairly and independently enforce the law. as many people have sairksd -- have said, she is a prosecutor's prosecutor. her record of accomplishment goes beyond just that. it goes to who she is as a person. it is bolstered by the faith and values instilled in her by her family. the judiciary committee was honored to have her proud father the reverend lorenzo lynch who was with us on both days of the historic hearings in january, but also last thursday as the committee considered his
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daughter's historic nomination. when loretta lynch was a young child, reverend lynch bravely opened his church to the students and others who organized lunch counter sit-ins in north carolina. he taught his only daughter the ideals of wonderful things, but unless you can share them with others and make this world a better place they're just words. every one of us who's ever been in public service ought to listen to that. and the fact that she's dedicated the majority of her career to public service reaffirms that she's lived those ideals of justice in the service of others. now last week the committee reported on her nomination favorably with a bipartisan vote. i wish the vote had been unanimous, and i suspect if the
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president who nominated her had been a republican, she would have been confirmed by now. in the sixth year of this administration there is practically no one who can be confirmed unanimously because those republicans who are opposing ms. lynch are not doing so based on her record. they're opposing her because they disagree with a decision that president obama made and that she played no part in. that's not treating her fairly. one need only look at her supporters to know how nonpartisan her nomination really is. louie freeh former director of the f.b.i. said i cannot think of a more qualified nominee to be
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america's chief law enforcement officer. i know judge freeh very, very well. he's a man of total integrity. he wouldn't say this unless he strongly believed it. the current new york police commissioner who was appointed by a democrat and a former new york police commissioner appointed by a republican, both strongly support her nomination. even prominent fox news hosts have praised loretta lynch's work as a prosecutor. bill owe o'riley has called her a hearing for prosecution of a child rapist. megan kelly of fox has described ms. lynch as a straight shooter especially on crackdown of gang crime and terrorism. ms. lynch also has broad support for law enforcement fellow prosecutors, civil rights groups and numerous other departments
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and individuals. in fact, i ask consent to submit a list of letters in support of her nomination following my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president nobody else is seeking the floor. i ask for beyond the ten minutes allotted up to three extra minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: in january ms. lynch testified before the senate judiciary committee for nearly eight hours. she's now responded to nearly 900 questions for the record. i've been here 40 years. i have a hard time remembering somebody that's answered so many questions. and witnesses were invited by republicans to speak on this, but not a single one of them opposed her nomination. all the outside witnesses i asked if anybody here opposes
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her nomination, would you please raise your hand. nobody did. and despite this, some voted "no." some republican senators voted "no" on her nomination in committee. some of these senators oppose her because she would not renounce the president's executive action to keep immigrant families together. of course they're attacking her for this and they blame this on her, but they fail to acknowledge that if the republican leadership in the house had just allowed a vote on the immigration reform that passed the senate, then the president would not have been compelled to act. very hardworking republicans and democrats came together in this body to pass by a two-to-one margin an immigration bill. most people felt it would pass
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the house of representatives had it been allowed to come to a vote. the speaker determined not to let it come to a vote. you can't then say we're not going to vote anything, but oh, by the way we're not going to let the president do what presidents have always done. they have on select legislation take executive action. we all agree that we have problems with our immigration system. we all agree that we need legislation to fix it. a president is not going to do that. congress has to do it. we have to stand up and vote for or against changes. but to blame the attorney general nominee for this is simply unfair. to blame her because the house of representatives won't vote on immigration is not fair. ms. lynch played no part in the
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president's decision to set the prosecutorial priorities of the administration. and as a federal prosecutor, which she is a federal prosecutor in new york, no one has claimed that ms. lynch has failed to enforce the law. there is no legitimate reason to delay her vote any longer. in fact, there are a whole lot of people in prison today who wish she hadn't enforced the law. if they are guilty of crime she enforced it, whether republicans, democrats no matter who they were, or quite a few terrorists; she enforced the law. she put them in prison. so we should examine loretta lynch's nomination based on her record her accomplishments her extraordinary character. i call on the republican leader to schedule an immediate vote on loretta lynch's confirmation. vote "yes" or vote "no" but this
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confirmation has been pending for 116 days. 116 days. we've had several breaks. some of our constituents call them vacations during that time. let's take a day or so and vote on her. let's not deprive the american people of even one more day of having loretta lynch as their attorney general. let's vote to confirm this superb woman this superb nominee for attorney general this nominee who believes in a justice is an ideal that all of us, no matter what our political party, that we should ascribe to. as i told her father, how moved i was to watch his pride as she was before our committee for confirmation. i said the pride was well earned
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because of the example he set her as a child to face up to all obstacles and overcome them. let's not have the united states senate set an obstacle that she cannot overcome. let's set a vote. let's put her in there as attorney general for the good of the country. not of any political party. but for the good of the country. this is not the attorney general of the president. this is not the attorney general of the members of this body. this is the attorney general of the united states the attorney general for 300 million americans. let's give 300 million americans an attorney general they deserve. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president i rise today to discuss a tremendously important case that was argued this morning in the supreme court. the case is king versus burwell and involves the administration of obamacare. i was privileged to attend the argument. mr. president, the king case is important for a number of reasons. it's important because it involves a fundamental component of obamacare and it's important because of its significant implications for the rule of law. from the early days of the republic a core component of our constitutional character has been the idea that the
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government is a government of laws and not of men. that means that our leaders are constrained by the words of the laws and our statutes, and in our constitution. government officials must follow the law. even when their personal preferences would lead them in a different direction. the current administration, however, is engaged in a sustained assault on the rule of law. i've spoken many times on the senate floor by the president's disturbing disregard for the separation of powers and other limits on his authority. his offenses run the gamut from releasing guantanamo detainees without first notifying congress to claiming that congressional inaction somehow close clothes him with legislative-like authority to suspend immigration laws to arrogating to himself the power to determine when congress is in session. mr. president, president obama's actions in the king case are of a piece with the other executive overreaches.
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first some background. obamacare requires every person in america to buy health insurance. this is the so-called individual mandate that the supreme court controversially upheld three years ago. most americans receive health insurance through their employer which pays a large part of the premium. but not all do. many must purchase insurance on their own and to ensure that such individuals are able to comply with the individual mandate, obamacare directs states to create health care exchanges, government-operated web sites where consumers can go to compare and choose insurance plans. obamacare also provides subsidies for individuals who purchase insurance through these state-run exchanges. remember that most people receive health insurance through their employer, and that their employer pays part of the premium. individuals who purchase insurance on their own through
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exchanges, however don't receive this employer subsidy so they must contribute more towards the premium themselves. obamacare provides subsidies to these individuals to help offset the cost of insurance. with that background, mr. president, let me turn now to the legal issue in king. as i've described obamacare directs states to establish health care exchanges. to be precise the law says -- quote -- "each state shall not later than january 1 2014, establish an exchange" -- unquote. that meets certain conditions set forth in the law. but there's a wrinkle. the constitution does not permit the federal government to order states to do things. this is called the anti-commandeering principle and is well established in supreme court case law. what the federal court can do, however, is incentive i've --
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incentivize states to do to act and that's what it was intended to do. here's how it works. another provision of obamacare conditions the subsidies on an individual's enrollment in a state-run exchange. according to this provision a subscribers eligible for a subsidy for each month she is covered by a plan that she -- quote -- "enrolled in through an exchange established by the state" -- unquote. the text of this provision could not be more clear. if an individual enrolls in a plan through an exchange established by the state she gets a subsidy. if she enrolls in any other plan no subsidy. the incentive for states to act also cannot be more clear if a state fails to establish an exchange its citizens lose out on millions of dollars. obamacare's proponents quite
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reasonably thought this would lead states to set up exchanges and would thus accomplish the same result. creation of state-run exchanges, that congress could not achieve through a direct command. in fact, i actually heard arguments by administration people that if they put enough pressure on the states, will do that. congress also recognized, however, that some states might not take the deal. thus it provided a backstop. and yet another provision of obamacare. congress instructed that if a state does not set up an exchange by the january 2014 deadline the department of health and human services shall -- quote -- "establish and operate such exchange within the state" -- unquote. crucially, however congress did not similarly provide that subsidies would be available to subscribedders enrolling through a federally established exchange. and the reason is obvious. if subsidies were available
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under both state and federal exchanges, states would not have any incentive to create their own exchanges because the subsidies would come either way. fewer states would create exchanges meaning the federal government would have to step in and create more exchanges on its own. or of its own. the restriction of subsidies to state-established exchanges was thus a key element of obamacare's entire cooperative federalism scheme. without this restriction the end result would have been a federally run health care market and result -- a result unacceptable to several key obamacare supporters whose votes were essential to passage of the bill. now, we come to president obama's act of overreach. notwithstanding the unmistakably clear text of the statute which limits subsidies to plans purchased through state-established exchanges and notwithstanding that this
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limitation was absolutely fundamental to accomplishing congress' purpose of incentivizing states to establish exchanges, the president decided that he would also offer subsidies for plans purchased through federally established exchanges. mr. president, president obama's open defiance of clear statutory text and utter disregard for the balance congress struck is an affront to the separation of powers and to the rule of law. the president and his enablers argue that subsidies for federally enrolled plans are necessary to accomplish obamacare's overall purpose of reducing costs and improving health care access. without subsidies to individuals in the 34 states without state-run exchanges the president argues residents of those states will be hit with higher costs and unaffordable health care. the law must be rewritten, he says to avoid the consequences
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the law itself imposes. laying aside the fact that the constitution gives congress not the president the power to amend laws the president's argument is completely circumstance could you us it. the -- circuitous. the reason 34 states could not afford to establish exchanges is because the president said he was going to pay subsidies regardless of whether a state establishes an exchange. why would a state go to the trouble and expense of creating an exchange if the end result is the same? the president also grasps an exceedingly thin textural cawz because the -- because the backstop provision establishes if a state does not establish an exchange h.h.s. shall step up and establish such exchange itself. the president says that that means federal exchanges are state exchanges. right is left and up is down. but let's return to the real
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provision in dispute in king, the one that defines eligibility for subsidies. this provision says again that an individual is eligible for each month that she is covered by a plan that she -- quote -- "enrolled in through an exchange established by the state." i underline that. an exchange established by the federal government is, by definition not an exchange established by the state. regardless of whether the federal exchange is a backstop or not. and it gets even worse for the president because the provision additionally specifies that the state exchange must have been established -- quote -- "under section 1311 of the statute." that section sets forth the requirements for creating state-run exchanges. nowhere does it mention federal exchanges. rather, the conditions for creation of federal exchanges appear in a different section
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section 1321. under no plausible reading of the text does a state exchange established under section 1311 mean a federal exchange established under section 1321. mr. president, advocates of the president's position would have us believe that statutes are infinitely malleable up can mean down, right can mean left, established by a state can mean not established by a state. what matters to them is advancing some vague notion of statutory purpose that coheres with the president's left-wing agenda regardless of what the statute actually says. those of us on the other side, however, insist that text matters words matter what the statute says is what matters. because at the end of the day the words in our statutes and in our constitution are what bind
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our leaders and what prevent them from doing whatever they want. mr. president, the administration's actions in king have undermined the rule of law and contravened important constitutional checks on the president's authority as has increasingly become the case under president obama, it is now up to the supreme court to rein in the president's overreach and to reaffirm the fundamental obligation of all government officials to follow the law. i surely hope the court will do so. mr. president, i ask that my next remarks be placed at an appropriate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president i also want to address today's vote to override president obama's veto of the bipartisan hoeven-manchin bill to authorize the keystone x.l. pipeline. our economy and north america's energy security would greatly benefit from building this pipeline. it would increase our g.d.p. by
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approximately $3.4 billion annually. and the state department, which has provided clear-headed analysis of the benefits of this project has found that keystone would support roughly 42,000 jobs during the construction phase alone. it would provide refineries with up to 830,000 barrels a day of north american oil. moreover the keystone x.l. pipeline would be an environmentally sound way to transport this oil. the state department's extensive environmental impact statement concluded that building the pipeline would actually be better for the environment than not building it. now, we have to be clear here. this oil is going to go to market no matter what building -- no matter what. building keystone will take oil off of the tracks and off the roads, transporting it in a way that is safer more efficient more environmentally sound and better for creating good-paying
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american jobs. in his veto message, president obama suggested that an issue such as this is somehow too important to be left to the legislative process and that we should trust in the integrity of the regulatory process. mr. president, this is exactly the sort of debate that we should be having in the senate. this is the body that is supposed to debate the important issues of the day. and when a project as important as this is is stalled without meaningful justification for so long our involvement is even more important. in our consideration of this bill we legislated according to the best traditions of this body body including robust debate an open amendment process and regular order. after years of mismanagement our consideration of this bill showed how the senate is back at work on behalf of the american people under our new leadership.
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while i certainly hope that we will find another means of approving the keystone x.l. pipeline i am naturally disappointed that we came just a few votes short of overriding the president's veto and enacting this bill into law. furthered more, i can certainly understand why many americans will view this occasion as yet another example of how washington is broken. in many respects, i share this same frustration. nevertheless, we cannot allow ourselves to slouch toward pes simplepes -- pessimism and disillusionment about every institution. indeed, i think my fellow colleagues on both sides of the aisle merit praise for their responsible handling of this bill. instead, we should shine a light on where the exactly the problem is and offer real solutions to make washington work on behalf of the american people. at the end of the day the keystone pipeline and so many
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other bureaucratic failures demonstrate that our regulatory bureaucracy is broken. after all this project is now in its sictd year sixth year of limbo waiting for a single permit to be issued. this debate has gone on longer than the entire term of of a united states senator. it should not take years and years of flaf navigating the federal bureaucracy only to have the government decide not to make a decision. this new congress is focused on helping to create jobs and getting our economy back on the right track which is why regulatory reform must be a key part of our agenda over the next two years. we must strive not only to approve this particularly important project but also to prevent similar abuses from occurring in the future. perhaps the two most troublesome features of the modern administrative state are first the size of the regulatory burden on the economy. and, second, the lack of
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accountability. the lack of accountability. in the regulatory bureaucracy. both problems have been illustrated by the keystone x.l. project but they manifest themselves across the board throughout the regulatory process. the growing federal regulatory burden has been a concern for decades but the problem is now worse than ever. both the number of regulations and their combined costs have exploded in recent years. the american people are now bound by more than 1 million individual restrictions in the federal register with a total cost of around $1.86 trillion -- that's with "a t" -- trillion each year. to put that in perspective that's about 11% of our total g.d.p. and amounts to about $15,000 per household and it totals over $300 billion more
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than annual individual and corporate taxes combined. in short our regulatory burden is enormous. even as we resist president obama's mad dash to add new rules, our nation simply cannot afford to ignore the crushing burden of existing regulations. they weigh down our efforts to boost economic growth and make it impossible to get our country back on track. every president from jimmy carter to barack obama has embraced the notion that outdated unsuccessful or otherwise ineffective regulations should be repealed. nevertheless the cumulative regulatory burden has continued to expand year after year. to address this growing problem i will be partnering with congressman jason smith to sponsor the senate version of the scrub act searching for and cutting regulations that are
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unnecessarily burdensome. this legislation creates a bipartisan commission to examine the entire administrative corpus in search of regulations that are obsolete, outdated, infect infective, overlapping duplicative or unjustified. its goal is to achieve a 15% cost reduction in our nation's total regulatory burden. the commission can either recommend -- or can recommend either immediate repeal or incremental reform through a flexible procedure that puts the agencies and stakeholders in the driver's seat. the scrub act transforms a long-standing bipartisan commitment to retrospective regulatory review from mere rhetoric into meaningful reality. it would result in lower prices, higher wages and more job tients for hardworking -- job opportunities for hardworking americans. all the while such commonsense regulatory review poses no risk
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to our health, our safety or our environment. it's the kind of legislation that can earn support from both sides of the aisle and for which there is a realistic path to having it enacted into the law. mr. president, a second critical flaw in the current administrative state is the fundamental lack of accountability in how the federal government makes and enforces regulations. far too often the agencies and interest groups manipulate the rules and stack the deck against innovators entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens. thankfully, there are a number of potential avenues for meaningful reform. the one area that has thus far escaped much legislative attention is the role that the federal judiciary plays in the regulatory process. given the broad authorities congress has ceded to administrative agencies the courts often stand as the only true independent check on
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increasingly out-of-coag regulators. but recent abuses biews by the political -- abuses by the political branch has created serious challenges to appropriate review of the regulatory process. by writing vague laws, congress has created extraordinary flexible grants of authority that are both unwise and constitutionally troublesome. judicial deference to agency interpretations of the law has magnified this power in an extreme -- to an extreme degree. although originally intended as a means of curtailing judicial activism chevron deference and its associated doctrines have resulted in a gross misallocation of law-making authority. such doctrines have consigned courts to a rubber-stamp status rather than effective checks on administrative overreach. the threat of toothless judicial oversight of increasingly problematic regulatory action
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was only heightened when president obama and his allies packed the d.c. circuit court of appeals with compliant judges even less inclined to engage in meaningful administrative review. and congress's creation of broadly available private rights of action to challenge administrative decisions and regulatory activities has opened another avenue for abuse of the courts. while these provisions provide important opportunities for regulated parties to defend their liberties too often they have allowed groups with no concrete stake in the process to use the courts as a means to drive their own ideological agendas. worse yet inconsistent efforts by the judiciary to define the constitutional limits on standing have inadvertently created a perverse environment where businesses with real skin in the game are often shut out of court. while special interest groups
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with no meaningful injury in fact are allowed to litigate. restoring the constitutionally proper judicial role is vital to returning accountability to the regulatory process. in reviewing agency actions courts should hear only real cases and controversies. where litigants have concrete interests at stake that's what should happen. but when they do rule, they should state firmly what the law is and not simply ratify what the regulatory agencies argue that the law should be. legislation to ensure meaningful reform on these fronts anded to thereby bring the administrative state more in line with the constitution will be one of my top priorities in this congress. mr. president, it is disappointing that we could not override the president's president's veto of this important legislation. the failure to authorize keystone demonstrates just how
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broken our regulatory process really is. i hope we can use this occasion of bipartisan consensus to move forward in ways to fix our out-of-control bureaucracy and get washington back to work for the american people. with that, mr. president i yield the floor. well, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: mr. president i come to the floor this afternoon to join my colleagues in taking a step back from the partisan
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bills on the floor this week to talk about the ways that we should be able to work together to grow the economy and help our working families. mr. president, democrats have an economic theory that we're pretty confident about. we believe that real, long-term economic growth is built from the middle out not the top down. we believe government does have a role to play in investing in our working families and making sure they have the opportunity to work hard and succeed offering hand up to those who want to climb the economic ladder and provide a hand up to themselves and their families. we believe our government and our economy should be working for all families, not just the wealthiest few. thankfully we've had the opportunity to put some policies into place over the past few years that have pulled our economy back from the brink and started moving it in the right direction. we're not there yet but across the country businesses have added almost 12 million new jobs over 59 straight months of
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job growth including almost a million manufacturing jobs. the unemployment rate is now under 6%. health care costs are growing at their lowest rate in almost 50 years, while millions more families now have access to affordable coverage. the federal budget deficit has been reduced by over two-thirds since president obama took office. and although many republicans seem to keep threatening to bring this back, we have been able to move away from the constant tea party-driven crisis and uncertainty that were really destroying jobs and holding back our economy. mr. president, we are headed in a good direction and i'm proud of the policies that we fought for that helped us get to here. but we do have a whole lot more to do. the economy has changed over the past few decades and our tax code has not kept up. working families have seen their incomes stagnate while the cost of living, health care and education has continued to go up. and more and more families have two workers in the workforce which is a good thing for so
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many women but brings additional expenses like child care and transportation and the increased marginal tax rate paid by the second worker in the family. mr. president, that's why i'm very proud to introduce two middle-class tax cut bills today that will put money into the pockets of working families and update our tax code for the 21st century economy. my 21st century worker tax cut would create a new 10% credit on the, on up to $10,000 of the income of the second earner in a family. in other words qualifying working families can reduce their income taxes by up to $1,000 which can go a long way to offset some of the additional costs that these families bear as they go back to work. that tax cut rewards families for more work and it would especially help women who want to rejoin the workforce today. mr. president, the second bill i'm introducing today is the helping working families afford
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child care act. this bill will update and reform the outdated child independent care tax credit to help more working families. it would increase the tax credit to keep up with the rising costs of quality child care and would make sure that the credit actually keeps up wpt times by indexing it to inflation. so mr. president i'm very proud to introduce these two bills today but i'm even more proud that my bills are just two of the bills democrats are introducing today that will help working families by putting more money in their pockets and helping them access more opportunity. my colleagues are going to be talking about the bills they wrote but our package of bills also includes besides what i just talked about an earned income and child tax credit expansion and an opportunity to help working families afford child care so they can get back on the job and help them pay for college so they can work hard, invest in themselves and in their careers.
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mr. president, we know that republicans like to talk about cutting taxes. these bills are giving everyone a chance to do that. not with more tax cuts for the wealthiest americans and biggest corporations. republicans have given that trickle-down theory a try and it failed. but our approach is tax cuts for the middle class for the workers that need it the most, to help them afford the costs they're faced with: child care, putting food on the table getting back on the job and the opportunity to work hard and succeed. we want to grow the economy from the middle out not the top down. and we think that these middle-class tax cut bills are a very strong step in the right direction and we hope republicans will join us to get these done. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: i request the proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that claire klinglepeel an intern on my staff be given privileges of the floor for the duration of the day. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president it's quiet this afternoon. we've just been notified we're not going to be having any further votes this week because washington, d.c. is in the grips of anticipating a winter storm. it's march 4 and i think most
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people here in washington had hoped that winter had already come and gone, but that's not the case. in my home state of new york -- of new york. in my home state of alaska, this is the time of year that we welcome winter. we embrace winter. in fact, i'm going to be going up to the state on friday to attend the kick-off of our biggest sporting event which is the iditarod sled dog race, 1,100 miles where about 70 teams of dogs and intrepid mushers make the trek, typically between the anchorage area and 1,100 miles up to nome. this winter has been a little bit different. it's warmer back home than most of us alaskans would like and we've actually had to reroute
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the iditarod, the second time in the race's history. it's going to be starting out of my hometown in fairbanks. and rerouting the race so that it's still a thousand-mile race but it does speak to the fact that we're seeing -- we're seeing some changes up there at least for this winter in terms of our temperatures and our climate. so you have a lot of folks around here, again anticipating what we're going to see tomorrow, that are wondering what is going on with climate, what are we seeing, is this temporary in nature or are we going to start seeing more arctic conditions here on the eastern seaboard. well mr. president, i want to talk about the arctic today. i want to talk about the value
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of an amazing part of the globe, and the opportunities that we have in the arctic. the opportunities that we have as an arctic nation. we've got a map here. this is the bathometric map of the arctic ocean a view most americans perhaps are not intimately familiar with. you look at it and say where on planet earth is this? well just to locate everybody a little bit here you've got russia greenland canada over here and the united states, this is the state of alaska here with all of the interior arctic areas there. but an amazing mass located at the top of the globe.
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and an area where quite honestly most americans kind of put it out of sight out of mind, and the only time they really think about the arctic is when their temperatures where they are make it feel like the arctic. so there's probably going to be a lot of folks here in washington, d.c. tomorrow that are thinking yeah, maybe we do live in an arctic nation because i'm feeling it here. well it doesn't make any difference whap we've got -- we've got a storm coming another us or whether it's the heat of the summer in washington, d.c. or the fall up in new england or the warm winter temperatures in a place like arizona. wherever you reside in this country, you are part of an arctic nation. mr. president, i'm willing to bet that when you were elected
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to the state of colorado -- to represent the state of colorado you didn't think at that time that you were also elected to be a senator for the arctic. but in fact, you are because we are an arctic nation. so in colorado, i suppose you're probably now thinking, well tell me why the arctic is relevant to colorado. other than the fact that we also share some good winters and have an appreciation for the snow and colder climates. but in your state of colorado 20% -- excuse me. 30%. 30.5% of the total exports that go out of colorado are exported to arctic nations.
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now, think about that. 30% of what comes out -- goes out of colorado is exported to an arctic nation. one of the eight arctic nations nations, canada, finland greenland, iceland norway, sweden russia. these are your trading partners right here, mr. president. our colleague from wyoming was just on the floor. let's see what wyoming exports. they're about in the same category as colorado. 28.3% of the total exports from wyoming are exported to the arctic nations. so when you think about the dollars that are coming to colorado or wyoming or maryland maryland as a result of your exports from your state it
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causes you to maybe perhaps look at the arctic a little bit differently. we have an opportunity mr. president, to build upon adynamic relationship and evolving part of the globe. as we prepare as a nation to assume the chair of the arctic council. this event will take place on april 25, just a couple months from now but the arctic council is the intergovernmental forum for the eight nations that have territory inside the arctic circle. and, again, this is pretty much this map here. canada russia, denmark through greenland finland iceland, sweden, norway and by virtue of the state of alaska, the united states. the arctic council also includes
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six nonvoting permanent participant groups that represent the indigenous peoples of the arctic. there's also 32 observer entities and the interesting thing with these observer participants, 12 of the 32 are nonarctic nations. so areas that are not countries that you would think of that would have a keen interest in what is going on with arctic policy. france germany the united kingdom, china japan. what is really impressive to me is that we're seeing the growth in the number of non-arctic nations that are seeking observer status. back in the 2013 arctic council ministerial meeting in sweden, six nations were admitted as observers, many others have indicated their interest as well. it's also interesting to note
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that with the admission of china, all five permanent members of the united nations security council are now members or observers of the arctic council. also represented are eight of the world's ten largest economies based on g.d.p. which is an indicator of the level of importance that the world ascribes to the arctic. so what is happening with the arctic is, again a keen interest from all over the globe in what is happening. why is that? what is going on that is capturing the interest, the imagination the opportunity for nations all over the globe? and so much of it is because this area an area that for most has always been kind of locked up in a world of ice and
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permanently frozen in time, and so to even imagine the possibilities of what could unfold in the arctic was so foreign that only the most adventurous of the explorers ever pushed out. well it's changing up north. whether it's the northern sea route coming across on the russian side, whether it's the northwest passage whether it is -- it's nations that are looking to explore for resources, whether it is those involved in maritime traffic and engaging in a level of commerce that are looking for that shorter route that will cut days, weeks off of a journey and therefore costs off of the expense of shipping, whether it's the tourist cruise ships,
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mr. president, are coming across the top, up in point barrow here at the top of the world, you got cruise ships that are moving through those waters. the ultimatey ultimate eco tourists, those who are seeking something different. the arctic is notable within the international community from an economic perspective as shipping lanes open up, we have additional areas that become accessible for resource development. and, again tourism is on the rise. and it's also notable from a political perspective. as the region that's -- it's not -- it's not bogged down by the inertia of long-standing disputes. you think about -- you think about so many parts of the -- of the world where you have battles
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whether they be religious or border or political battles that have gone on for decades if not centuries. this is an area, this is a part of the world that doesn't have that -- that overlay if you will. it doesn't have the entrenched views that make international cooperation in other areas difficult. instead it's an area that seeks to promote collaboration and remain a zone of peace. think about the conversations that i'm able to have with secretary kerry as i did just a few weeks back, talking about the arctic and being able to tell the secretary of state speak to him about how we can work more collaboratively how we can keep an area a zone of peace as he deals with these hot spots all over the globe.
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to know that there is a cool place not only from a -- from a physical perspective but perhaps from an emotional and a political perspective where perhaps you can be working together to advance goals and initiatives rather than constantly being at -- at issue with one another. it's also a region that's writing its history as we speak. this has been around for a long time but what is happening at the top of the globe is -- it's -- it's like a -- it's like a clean sheet. it is an opportunity for us to write history. it's even more important for the united states to take a lead in guiding international policy decisions within this area. and this is where i'm calling on colleagues in the senate to join
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me to step up, to help us not only build out policy initiatives but really take that leadership role as we should be doing as an arctic nation. so i have joined together with the senator from maine senator king to form a new caucus. and i know we've got plenty of caucuses around here. but i am asking colleagues to consider joining this arctic -- senate arctic caucus. this has a mission to convene conversations among members on issues relating to defense science energy, environment commerce trade maritime affairs, well-being of the -- of the indigenous peoples of the arctic to raise awareness about the importance of the arctic and to advance a coordinated effort
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towards investment in infrastructure that will benefit all americans including those who live in the arctic. and i should let colleagues know that when i'm offering this opportunity to join a caucus, it's not just to say yeah, i'm paying attention to arctic issues in name only. we really want to try to educate educate. because, again, i think the awareness of what is happening in the arctic has captivated the imagination and the attention of people around the world of nations around the world. it should captivate the imagination and the attention of every member in this body. so each one of you will be receiving an invitation to join this caucus along with a breakdown of your state's exports to the arctic region, really demonstrating why the arctic matters to all 50 of the
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states. so as i've outlined to you mr. president about the benefits that colorado receives and the benefits that wyoming receives all members will be getting that. it was -- it was 10 years ago i started an arctic awareness campaign. it was a long time ago. and it was an effort to get -- to get folks not only within the legislative body but within the administration to pay attention to what was going on within the region. and it started out pretty simply. i can remember i was on the foreign relations committee and we had the nomination hearing for condoleezza rice to be secretary of state and i asked her a question about so what are we doing in the arctic to ensure that the arctic remains a zone of peace or something to that effect. and i think i caught her flat-footed. the next time i saw her before the foreign relations committee she was up to speed and engaged.
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but i can state with -- with some certainty here that in 2005 the state department was just not prepared to have a discussion with these issues. now, i'm not going to claim full credit here but move forward a little bit with the clock, it was good to see the -- the movement within the administration when hillary clinton was secretary of state she was the first secretary of state to participate in an arctic council ministerial meeting. and i think that was probably prompted by some visits that she had taken to view the arctic, including the u.s. arctic in barrow when she was a member of this body. but as secretary of state she traveled to new greenland in 2011. i accompanied her.
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and then in 2013, secretary kerry went to the ministerial meeting in karuna, sweden. and now in 2015, secretary kerry will again participate in this year's meeting in canada where the arctic council chairmanship will be handed over to the united states. i -- i started off my comments by talking about what's going on with the weather and people feeling like we're under an arctic siege here right now in in -- in washington, but i think it is safe to say that arctic awareness is at an all-time high high. but, unfortunately the investment has not matched the interest. and one barometer of your interest when you're talking about the arctic is how do you move in the arctic if it's ice up there? you have to be able to plow through some ice. and this is where an icebreaker
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comes into play. but icebreakers are expensive. the coast guard estimates it's going to be about a billion dollars. takes about 10 years to build. mr. president, if i were to ask anybody in this body how many icebreakers the united states have, i think you would say well, of course we've got an icebreaker up there. we have one medium-strength ice breaker, the healy who does a good job for us but our only polar class vessel, the polar star, is on assignment to antarctica for the next five years. we won't see her in the arctic for five full years. the life expectancy the useful life of the polar star is only six to eight years. it takes 10 years to build a new one. we are sitting here as a nation woefully behind when it comes to arctic infrastructure if you define it by icebreaking capacity.
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russia is cleaning our clock in terms of the number of icebreakers that they have. they've got 27. our own coast guard's high latitude study says it's going to require six major icebreakers, three heavy and three medium-sized icebreakers to full if i will itsful its icebreaking requirement. even china has one. they're building six more. india, mr. president, do you think of india as an arctic nation? they're considering building an icebreaker. why? because they see the arctic opportunity. they want to be part of a -- of an area on the globe that is -- is piquing the interest for a host of different reasons. so as -- as others in the arctic region whether it's russia or whether it's canada as they continue some pretty aggressive national plans combined with
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state investments to develop their arctic resources and advance commerce in the north the united states needs to be a participant but we need to be more than just a participant. we need to be a leader. we lead everywhere else. we led -- you know, we lead to the moon. we know more about mapping of mars than we know about mapping in the arctic. we need to step it up. and it's exciting to think that we can step it up. are i am hoping that we'll be able to focus our attention on these issues. and it's not just -- it's not just the resources and infrastructure that will make the arctic a national priority. it's not just preparing for a two-year chairmanship. writhes about what the vision is the long-term vision for the united states role in an
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emerging part of the globe that is as dynamic as any place out there. as any place out there. but we've got to be ready. we lack -- we lack certain basic infrastructure needs. i mentioned the need for icebreaker. i'm going to be introducing legislation hopefully very soon to -- to develop a solid foundation and put some building blocks in place for that investment including a focus on obtaining more accurate data for charting the arctic. we simply are so far behind in our hydrographic charting. but also other things. we need -- we need to do better with our ice forecasting with our weather observing stations, with our weather buoys with our weather monitoring out in our oceans with just having a level of communications and understanding what we have. so as we look to the area, we have to at least be able to
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assess the accuracy of arctic weather and water forecasting. we have to be able to understand whether or not we've got gas in arctic weather and sea ice observing networks the status of our sea ice analysis and forecast services. so we're going to be having a hearing tomorrow morning in the energy committee. we may be the only committee that is open for business. we may be the only senators that are here in -- in the building. but we're going to be having the first-ever hearing on the arctic arctic. and i think it's fair to say that it's not only the first hearing in the energy committee but the first-ever hearing on the arctic as a whole instead of just bits and pieces of it. so i'm -- i'm encouraging all my colleagues who may be locked out because you couldn't jump on a
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flight quick enough or you can't get on the roads soon enough but we will be having i think a very informative hearing tomorrow within the energy committee to focus on what, again i'm calling arctic opportunities. i don't know if the timing of the hearing was just prescient on my part and we knew that this was going to happen. if so, i should also do part-time work as a weather forecaster. but i do think that it is certainly timely. in fact, it is long past time that we focus again on an area that hosts amazing promise and opportunity for leadership as a nation. and i would encourage all my colleagues join us with in the new senate arctic caucus. embrace your inner arctic self. it really is a good place to be. with that, i see that my colleague from wyoming is here.
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he's been very patient and assist ias imentioned to the senator from colorado our presiding officer right now he's -- colorado enjoys good benefit from the state of alaska and you find folks in wyoming 28% of your total exports from the state of wyoming do go to the arctic nations. so there's your connect and look forward to working with both of you, colleagues, as members of the energy committee on these issues of great importance to our nation. with that, i thank my colleagues and i yield the floor. mr. barrasso: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: mr. president first let me congratulate my colleague from alaska, our colleague from alaska, who is the chairman of the energy committee and that is a committee in capable hands under her direction whether the arctic -- all energy. she's committed to affordable energy available energy, reliable energy, secure energy, american energy.
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so we are in good stead with the new chairman who has taken over in january and as members of that committee, it's a great opportunity for us to work with her to help with affordable energy for all of america. and we have opportunities for export and good to see her continued leadership on this and other topics. thank you mr. chairman. i ap -- i appreciate her hard work. mr. president, earlier today the united states supreme court heard arguments in an important case a consequential case. it is called king v. burwell. this case was brought on behalf of millions of americans who have real estate been harmed by the president's -- who've been harmed by the president's unlawful expansion of his unworkable and unaffordable health care law. sometime before the end of june, the court will decide if the law passed by congress means what it says or if it means what the president wishes it said. now, it looks at one very
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specific and very important part of the president's health care law. the law says that washington could help subsidize the premiums of people buying health insurance coverage through exchanges established by the states established by the states. president obama decided that wasn't enough. he wanted to use taxpayer dollars on behalf of people buying insurance in the federal exchange as well. that's it. that's the legal question here. the law written by democrats in congress written behind closed doors, only authorized subsidies for one group but the president paid them out for another group the case is not about the constitution. it's about the rule of law. i was at the court this morning listening to the arguments, and i expected the judge -- that the justices will strike down the way the president expanded the law.
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time after time, this administration has claimed power that it did not have and taken actions that it cannot defend. the way the administration expanded the health care law is one of the most blatant of these power grabs because when democrats passed the law they got exactly what they wanted: they rejected republican idea after republican idea that could have made this law better. they forced it through congress with absolutely no republican support. still wasn't good enough for the obama administration. so it expanded the law some more. obamacare is a minefield and the administration refused to give people the information they need to help them navigate it. the obama administration knew that this court case was coming well before the enrollment period to buy insurance for this year even started. so did the president tell the american people that the subsidies might be legal or might be illegal?
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did he warn people? what did the president actually say? did he warn anyone that signing up for the exchanges that they might not be seeing the real price of any insurance a this they picked -- any insurance that they picked? no the president refused to do so. he knew he might lose the case. he knew it. he knew the risk. he was making people -- he knew the risk he was making people take but the president didn't say a word. people that were just trying to make the best choices for their families the white house did not tell people the truth about their options. several republican senators wrote to the secretary secretary of health and human services an the secretary of the treasury -- and the secretary of the treasury asking them to warn people. we said people need this information. there are thousands of dollars at stake for families, and the obama administration should at least tell them what might happen.
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the secretary refused -- the secretaries refused to level with the american people. just the other day the secretary of health and human services admitted that she had no plan b. her letter is clear and it is cons shall. -- consequential. she admits that if the +skort rules against the obama administration the president does not have the authority -- does not have the authority she wrote -- to use administrative actions to undo the supreme court decision. the decision administration purposely waited to admit that until after the open enrollment period ended. it didn't want to take the chance that warning people might hurt its enrollment numbers. today at the supreme court several justices were skeptical of the administration's legal defense. i expect the supreme court to say that the president must enforce the law congress has passed rather than the law the president wishes congress has
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passed. if it does, it will help rein in this out-of-control white house. it'll tell the obama administration that it must obey the law and that the president cannot keep making up the rules as he goes along. the health care law is clear. the president was wrong to expand his health insurance exchanges beyond what the law allows. the president was wrong to use the i.r.s. to make up rules and penalties. the obama administration was irresponsible for not warning people. republicans will have a plan to protect the people harmed by the president's action and to create a path away from obamacare. first of all our plan will help the mulls millions of people who have been hurt by the white house's decision to illegally implement its health care law. it would be unfair for families to lose their coverage in the middle of the year just because they believed the false promises made by obamacare become -- by barack
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obama. so republicans will help people keep their coverage for a transitional period. we'll give states the ability to create more competitive health insurance markets offering better options at home where people live, not decisioned made in washington. we want-to-a how states to come up with health care systems that work for them not the bureaucrats in the nation's capital. we would give every state the ability to create a better market better opportunities suited to the needs of that state's citizens. it's time for president obama to stop but the putting people through all the pain that this law has created. the president's health care law continues to be unpopular unworkable and unaffordable. he needs to finally negotiate with republicans to give people the reform they wanted all along, which is people asked for the care they need from a doctor
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they choose at lower costs. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. blumenthal: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. blume brume thank you mr. president. i'm -- mr. blumenthal: thank you mr. president. i'm pleased and honored to follow my friend from the state of wyoming. i rise to talk about exactly the same issue and to differ with him respectfully that the current law is unworkable, unpopular understand and un-ffordable. history demonstrates that it is certainly working. in the state of connecticut we know well that it is working as it was intended because we have a state-run exchange and we've cut the number of uninsured by one half while improving health quality and lowering medicaid spending and making remarkable
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achievements across a whole range of metrics. that same story is true of our nation as a whole whether there are state-run exchanges or federal supervised exchanges. and today's point whether it is in the supreme court or here, should be extraordinarily encouraging about the congress' approval of the affordable care act and the fact that it is working across the country. it's succeeding in delivering exactly what was intended, what the congress promised, what it's advocates sought: access for all americans to affordable health insurance. the a.c.a. is working today to protect americans from abuses, and i saw them literally day in and day out as attorney general.
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people who lost health insurance when 42 they got sick, people who people were denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. people who were charged more because of their gender, people who were denied the basic care they deserved, giving them access not only to health care but also to work and to family stability. i saw every day as attorney general how imperiled and critical health care is in this country and how much we need to do more and do better. the uninsured rate in this country is the lowest it's been in seven years and we've lowered it a remarkable 25 punish in--25% in just a year. 8 million people have gained
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insurance through the exchanges who didn't have it before. and i know that states with federally-run exchanges have made improvements just like connecticut has done, which is fully in accordance with the absolutely crystal clear intent of this congress and this law to provide affordable health insurance for all americans regardless of where they live, what state what zip code, whatever their occupation and background. let's be clear as with any big law, there are kinks that need to be ironed out, there are glyphs that need to be resolve. beneficiary glitches that need to be resolved. but the affordable act is working now working better every month every year. the legal issue before the court has been debated today in depth
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and i believe with great persuasiveness like the presiding officer, i had the honor to serve as a law clerk to the supreme court and to watch many arktz. to say that today's was historic i think is true. but in my view almost every argument before the supreme court is historic in its consequences some more than others but every one is consequential because cases don't reach the united states supreme court unless they are difficult and consequential. and issues of statutory interpretation that are said to be simple often are more complicated than they may seem. but i know without a doubt having read this statute that the text and structure of the affordable care act clearly demonstrate -- in fact, they
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unmistakably demand that federal tax credits be available to every eligible taxpayer in every state in this country. i've done arguments in the united states supreme court and i had the honor to be attorney general of the state of connecticut, as well as a united states attorney. and having looked at this statute as a whole having read the words that need to be interpreted by the supreme court court, i've reached this conclusion: contrary to the arguments of partisan opponents both the act itself and the plainly overwhelming evidence from its consideration and passage demonstrate its nationwide scope. i wasn't here at the time it was passed but from the legislative history and most important
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from the structure and language of the act itself there seems to be irrefutably and incontrovertibly an understanding that tax credits would be available regardless of which governmental agency set up an exchange. the act simply would not have worked any other way and the courts have an obligation to read statutes in a way that makes the most sense in terms of the overriding intent and purpose of the congress. the financial support simply for universal coverage would not be there without this interpretation a commonsense interpretation that makes sense of congressional intent and purpose and the law as a whole.
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the law has given so many families across the country access to care for the first time. there's been an effort to repeal this act legislatively. there's been an effort to overturn it in the courts. both have failed because it is working and because it is constitutional. a ruling for the plaintiffs in this case that's now before the court would not only be contrary to law it would be catastrophic to millions of families who owe their health insurance to the structure that the a.c.a. has established. it would be, in fact, a human tragedy as well as a legal trag -- travesty. there is simply no alternative that has been offered by
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opponents to this law. it's difficult therefore to see how this misguided lawsuit is anything other than one more cynical attempt to repeal or overturn this law or to torpedo it by any means necessary regardless of the collateral damage to millions of innocent people. who would suffer loss of health care insurance and health care. and the tragedy would be not only for them, but for our entire nation, because the costs would ripple throughout our society. costs in lost work, costs in families suffering from the consequences of bankruptcy, which is caused most frequently by health care-related financial issues. costs in the ability of our
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workforce to function at the height of efficiency that we all need. and costs ultimately in diseases that have to be treated in ailments that have to be addressed in preventable health care consequences for our children prevention is one of the most cost-effective goals of the affordable care act. so i will work with my colleagues to support this act and to determine what other efforts can make progress toward the only goal that we all should share: an america that is free from disease or injury that will bankrupt them and their families an america that is healthier and better able to afford health care and quality and timely health treatment.
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the lack of standing on the part of these plaintiffs seems clear but put aside all the technical issues the legal debate; the affordable care act has allowed america to make huge, exciting strides in the direction of better health care. and so we should be proud of an act passed by this body, even many of us perhaps who were not here at the time can look forward to how much further we can go, and america has that fundamental obligation. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and i 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 rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president may i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated? the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you, mr. president. i'm back for the 91st consecutive week that the senate has been in session to urge my colleagues to wake up and pay attention to the threat of climate change. i am delighted and proud to be joined today by my colleague and
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friend senator baldwin from wisconsin to consider the effects of carbon pollution in her state. rg according to scientists at the university of wisconsin-madison, weather stations around the state show that average temperatures in wisconsin increased by about 1.1 degrees farenheit between 1950 and 2006. during the same period wisconsin got wetter. annual average precipation increased by almost three inches. these changes are likely to continue and intensify as carbon pollution continues to pile up in the atmosphere. researchers at university of wisconsin-madison estimate that by midcentury the state could warm by four to nine degrees farenheit. by the end of the century the climate in wisconsin may look more like that of present-day
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missouri or oklahoma, raising the possibility of dramatic shifts in the wisconsin economy and way of life. this winter has been pretty cold in the eastern u.s. and in wisconsin. so was last year. cold arctic air dipping down over north america drops the mercury. as we continue into a time of what has been called global weirding scientists say that climate change may make these cold blasts more common as it alters patterns in the atmosphere. in a nutshell, on top of the long-term warming trend lies weather disorder. but the long-term warming trend is apparent. new research from u.w. madison professor jonathan martin shows that last year the so-called cold pool of frigid air that
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accumulates in the northern hemisphere each winter was the smallest since records began in the winter of 1948 to 1949. this year it's on track to be even smaller. sadly, some of our colleagues just can't face up to the role that human activities like our carbon pollution from burning fossil fuel play in the changes that we are seeing around us. one colleague indeed the senior senator from wisconsin is among this group. in january he voted against amendments to the keystone pipeline bill stating that climate change is real and that humans contribute to it. well in 2013 the "milwaukee sentinel journal," his state's largest paper noted this type of denial was at odds with both
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wisconsin opinion and wisconsin scientific evidence. the senior senator from wisconsin wrote the paper's editorial board -- quote -- "is just flat-out wrong." they went on to say and i'll quote again "we elect politicians to make tough decisions and find solutions not to shut their eyes and cover their ears as johnson repeatedly has done on this issue." it continued "stubbornly denying the facts on climate change may be akin to denying the facts on evolution or whether the earth is flat." professor john cutback of the university of wisconsin an elected member of the national academy of sciences was among a group of climate scientists who in 2011 wrote to us in congress, imploring us to take action on
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climate change. here's what the letter said: "congress needs to understand that scientists have concluded based on a systematic review of all of the evidence that climate change caused by human activities raises serious risks to our national and economic security and our health both here and around the world. it's time for congress to move on to the policy debate" they said. well i welcome that debate. indeed, energy committee chairman murkowski recently said on the floor of the senate that she hopes we can -- and i'll quote her here -- "get beyond the discussion as to whether or not climate change is real and talk about what do we do." so where is that dpbt? where are the other republicans? let's finally talk about the costs of action and the costs of inaction. the wisconsin initiative on climate change impacts was formed in 2007 by the wisconsin
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department of natural resources and the university of wisconsin nelson institute for environmental studies. the scientists and public officials in this program are doing important work to help the state of wisconsin understand and prepare for climate change. they're studying how it will affect wildlife, water resources, public health and important wisconsin industries like forestry, agriculture and shipping and tourism on the great lakes. climate change threatens iconic aspects of the wisconsin environment and economy. the wisconsin initiative on climate change impacts agriculture working group reports that higher summer temperatures and increasing drought will create significant stress on livestock even touching, dare i say it, wisconsin's famed cheese industry. vitiating cabrerra, assistant professor in the university of wisconsin-madison dairy science department -- they have one --
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says heat stress interferes with fertility and milk production. dairy cows could give as much as 10% less milk. the u.s. department of agriculture predicts that by 2030, climate change will cost the u.s. dairy sector between $79 million and $109 million a year in lost production. when opponents say reducing carbon pollution will cost too much they conveniently leave out the costs of doing nothing like these costs. well mr. president the dairy state is not waiting for congress to take action. the university of wisconsin is leading a usda-funded effort to identify dairy practices that minimize the emission of greenhouse gases and make dairies more resilient to the effects of a changing climate. some wisconsin dairy farmers are burning excess methane in enormous manure digesters. that's a frightening concept --
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to generate their own renewable electricity. wisconsin sportsmen know that wisconsin has more than 10,000 miles of trout streams, some of the best trout fishing in the country, and cold-water fish like the brook trout are there but therl highly sensitive to temperature increases in streams. under the worst cases analyzed by the researchers at the university of wisconsin-madison and the wisconsin department of natural resources i'll quote "brook trout are projected to be completely lost from wisconsin's streams." even the best-case scenarios see losses of as much as 44% of the brook's current range by midcentury and other cold water species like the brown trout are not much better off. trout unlimited sportsmen and conservationists working to protect trout streams in the driftless areas in southwest
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wisconsin and parts of minnesota, illinois and iowa did a 2009 study showing fishing in the driftless area adds over a billion -- with a b -- billion dollars per year to the surrounding economies. we've heard of loggers having trouble getting to the timber because the ground is thawed and too soggy to hold up equipment. for wisconsin loggers the hard, frozen winter ground is what led to the moved equipment. that period of frozen ground has decreased by two to three weeks since 1948 shortening the working window for loggers before their gear boggs down. and then there is the badger. the upper midwest and great lakes landscape conservation cooperative even lists the great wisconsin badger as one of the species at risk from climate change. mr. president, senator baldwin
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knows that done right action on climate change saves americans money, spurs american innovation and creates new american industry and jobs. focus on energy, wisconsin's statewide energy efficiency program, has been helping wisconsin families and businesses save money and reduce energy use since 2001. the wisconsin public service commission expects that this program will inject over $900 million into the state's economy, and net over 6,000 new wisconsin jobs over the next decade. i am very grateful to my friend, senator baldwin for her strong leadership on behalf of the people of wisconsin to stave off the worst effects of clp climate change -- climate change in her home state and i yield to her now. mr. baldwin: thank you senator whitehouse for your commitment in addressing the threats of climate change.
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ms. baldwin: and for highlighting some of those threats in my home state of wisconsin. mr. president, let there be no doubt that global climate change is real. it is a fact. the question is not whether it's happening but rather how we are going to address it. are we going to do all that we can to leave the next generation a safer and healthier world? as my friend from rhode island just noted, climate change will be costly to our economy and to our very way of life, and the longer we wait to act the more costly these impacts will be. throughout our history the state of wisconsin has been a proud home to environmental leaders who have worked to pass on a stronger environment to
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future generations. aldo leopold john muir and senator gaylord nelson, the founder of earth day and the namesake for the nelson institute at the university of wisconsin that my colleague from rhode island just mentioned in his remarks. and as a representative of our great state, it is one of my top priorities to follow in this legacy and to preserve our natural resources and quality of life for future generations. it's not hard to see why wisconsinites have always deeply valued environmental protection. looking out at the clear -- crystal clear waters of lake superior from its south shores or standing atop ridd mountain, gazing at the forests and farm lands of central wisconsin to casting your fishing rod in the
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world-class trout streams of the driftless region in southwestern wisconsin, there is no question that we are blessed by the natural beauty of our state. but, mr. president, even now the impact of climate change can be seen on each of these landscapes and in the economies that they support. we see it in our agriculture. growing seasons are shifting and extreme weather harms our crops. and we have increasing concerns about drought and our groundwater. in fact, nasa recently warned that within a few decades within our lifetimes the united states may enter a megadrought that could last 30 years. 30 years. in my home state the resulting decreased soil moisture will put additional stress on farmers on
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private wells and on our municipal drinking water systems. these prolonged droughts combined with the increased intensity of storm events and changing temperature patterns will force farmers to make changes to how and what they grow. this is extremely troubling as agriculture is an $88 billion industry in my home state of wisconsin. we also see the negative effects of climate change on our great lakes. in lake michigan, for example the level of -- the levels of the lake are largely driven by precipitation. changes in precipitation patterns due to climate change may cause more dramatic fluctuations or prolonged changes in lake levels. in addition, the data from the national oceanic and atmospheric administration show that summertime surface water
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temperatures have increased eight degrees fahrenheit since 1980. warmer surface water temperatures disrupt the food chain which threatens our fish population and as these adverse effects are expected to worsen in the coming decades, they will inevitably lead to more wildlife disease and warmer waters that will drive out native fish. changing water levels also create new challenges for property owners and communities that are along the great lakes. infrastructure may need to be redesigned. insurance demands may change. and the new health risks -- there are new health risks that may emerge or be exacerbated by additional stress imposed on our sewer systems. each of these will hurt our
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local economies. mr. president, tourism is also a major part of wisconsin's economy, and the north woods is a favorite destination to fish, camp hunt and snowmobile. but projections show that by mid century, the climate of areas like bay field and violas county in the north woods will be more similar to what we have known in the southeastern part of the state of wisconsin in counties like back -- wacashaw county. meanwhile, wacashaw's climate could be more similar to what we expect hundreds of miles south in the state of illinois. the impacts on tourism recreation and the landscape we hold dear may be dramatic, and the threats may be daunting, but we cannot continue to let the
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challenges overwhelm us and cause inaction on our part. wisconsin's state motto is forward. the people of wisconsin have never been afraid of the challenges we faced or what the future holds. we have a strong progressive tradition of confronting our challenges and working together to shape our future for the next generation. in fact, analysis by the world resources institute in 2013 found that wisconsin is well positioned to meet national goals for carbon pollution reduction, and by extending existing clean energy policies, wisconsin could reduce its emissions substantially in coming years. in addition, many of wisconsin's most successful companies are leaders in energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean
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technology. they are vital sources of innovation and will provide opportunities for the workers of today and tomorrow. mr. president, i believe smart investments by government, by companies and institutions and by citizens will help us confront the challenge of climate change while positioning wisconsin for 21st century economic and ecological resiliency. this opportunity is great and we must meet the challenge head on. going forward the wisconsin way. i'd like to once again thank senator whitehouse for his laser focus on the issue that is so critical to all of our home states as well as, frankly the entire global community. i thank you and i yield the
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floor. and i would suggest -- i yield the floor back to senator whitehouse. mr. whitehouse: let me just thank senator baldwin for sharing this time with me this evening and for all the wonderful work that she does on behalf of her home state. so with that, we yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that further consent under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent it be in order to proceed to s. 625. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to s. 625.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number calendar 27, a bill to provide for congressional review and oversight of agreements relating to iran's nuclear program and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. 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 the debate on the motion to proceed to s. 625 a bill to provide for congressional review and oversight of agreements relating to iran's nuclear program signed by 17 senators as follows --. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the reading of the names be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22 the cloture on the motion to proceed to s. 625 occur one hour after the senate convenes on tuesday march 10. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the mandatory quorum call be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: yesterday the prime minister of israel shared with the congress and the american people his perspective regarding israel's national security interest and the threat the radical regime in tehran poses to stability in the greater middle east. the prime minister explained later in the day in a meeting here in the senate why any agreement that leaves iran with a threshold nuclear weapons capability is harmful not only to the strategic interests of israel but to the united states and to our allies. unfortunately, president obama appears to be pursuing an agreement that is designed to leave the iranians with a threshold nuclear capability under which they can retain thousands of centrifuges continue to master the nuclear fuel cycle advance ballistic missile research and testing and keep secret any possible military dimensions of nuclear
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development that has already occurred. iran has a record of covertly pursuing aspects of nuclear weapons -- of a nuclear weapons program. the administration has pursued the p-5 plus 1 negotiation not as a part of an overall strategy to end iran's nuclear program and defeat its efforts to come nature the region, but as a stand-alone matter of litigation where a settlement must be reached. this negotiation shouldn't be about getting the best deal the iranians will agree to. it should be about the strategic objective of ending iran's nuclear weapons program. many in congress have been wary of what kind of concessions the obama administration might agreed to with the iranians, and what were the responsible steps to be taken if iran refused to give up the pursuit of nuclear weapons capability. yesterday i began the process to
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move to legislation that would meet the demands of both sides of the aisle to give congress the ability to review and vote on any deal the president agrees to with iran. from a legislative perspective given that this bipartisan bill was introduced last week and the foreign relations committee has ample time to mark up this bill and send a substitute to the floor, i was surprised that some senators made statements objecting to their own legislation. it was surprising to see some members of the other side of the aisle threatening to filibuster their own bill, a bill that they rushed to introduce before the president's negotiations were complete. this isn't complicated mr. president. a bill was introduced and as i discussed with the chairman of the foreign relations committee, it can be marked up and the committee-passed bill would be the substitute the senate then considers. from a policy perspective it makes clear to the administration not to strike a
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deal that leaves iran as a threshold nuclear state. and it makes obvious sense to consider the nuclear review act before the deadline for a political agreement. because the iranians need to know need to know, that congress -- congressional sanctions will not be lifted if a bad deal is reached and some will oppose lifting sanctions if they refuse to disclose the potential military dimensions of their nuclear program. but look, time is running out. iran's from said today he believes they are very close to a deal. there is nothing partisan about the senate acting to serve its constitutional role in oversight and in pursuing policies that uphold the national security interest. it was the obama administration that decided to negotiate an agreement with iran that would not be submitted to the senate as a treaty. the white house went out of its way to bypass the elected
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representatives of the people in this negotiation with iran. it is the obama administration that is negotiating a deal with the iranians that will leave them with a nuclear infrastructure and it is the corker-graham-menendez-kaine bill that ensures congress will review any deal the president strikes with iran. so let's be clear the actions we've taken would allow the sponsors of this sensible bipartisan legislation to begin the debate next week, and it will allow for the foreign recommendations relations committee to follow the regular order and debate and vote on the bill and if the committee reports a bill, the committee bill will become the text that the full senate debates. that mr. president is called the regular order. it is my sincere hope that the sponsors of this bill who will are have the opportunity to review and defend their bill in
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committee will not filibuster and prevent the full senate from also acting on their important legislation. the senators who introduced the bill -- who introduced it -- should certainly vote to debate the measure. mr. president, i -- i have one more item. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that on monday, march 9 at 5:00 p.m. the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nominations calendar number 15, number 22, number 49, and number 50. that there be 30 minutes for debate, equally divided in the usual form, that upon the yews or yielding back of time the senate vote without intervening
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action or debate on the nominations in the order listed following disposition of the nominations the motions to reconsider be made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to any of the nominations, that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record that following the disposition of the tom sessioner nomination, the president be notified of the senate's actions and the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 98 which was submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 98 supporting the goals and ideals of multiple sclerosis awareness week. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be made and laid on the table and la