tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN March 17, 2015 2:30pm-4:31pm EDT
quorum call: a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: mr. president in 1893 cat lynn lee bates made her way up the slopes of pike's peak and wrote one of the greatest hymns poet sizing amber waves of grain.
giving to the country the crown jewel of american splendor, rocky mountain national park. for over a century visionaries helped to settle the high plains of colorado, described by ian frazier as a heroic place an expansive splendid isolation with unparalleled sense of space and generations of pioneers. this is colorado. from west to east and north to south, the beauty, heritage and vitality of colorado calls and beckons our nation and the world to those looking and longing for a place to call home, to live and work, to visit and vacation. our love for colorado drives us to be better stewards of the land to reach for solutions to great challenges and to find optimism in every vale and valley. for generations, we have challenged our sons and daughters to always look up, look up to that great rocky mountain horizon as every young state and our ever hopeful
attitude lives peak to peak. the honor of living in the west, a land of opportunity and new beginnings. it is this constant drive for a we are future to our great state and nation that leads me to the floor of the senate to speak for my first time where my duties as colorado's newest senator begin. walking in the footsteps of colorado's first senators, and alongside my colleague senator michael bennet. it is an incredible and heavy obligation to fulfill to well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office, defending our constitution with faith and allegiance to the rights we cherish, but an obligation and a duty every person in colorado expects us to not just fulfill but to excel at. from beecher island to the book cliffs, from fischer's peak to the pawnee. somewhere in between is my hometown of yuma, home to hearty pioneers that have seen the high plains through great success and record harvests, depression and dust bowls drought and tragedy. yet through it all the good times and the challenges, it's
still called home by generations who would live nowhere else. it is here in this little eastern plains town, weather-worn and always thirsty that jamie and i are raising our children allison thatcher and katelynn in a home that once belonged to their great great grandparents in a home that once belonged to their grandparents. no matter where in colorado you live or across this great nation, we all hope for the same thing for our children -- to live in a loving community that values every citizen that they learn the value of hard work and perseverance, where hard work is met with merit and reward. that they find a nation of liberty and freedom that they help make a little more free and a little more perfect. to carry on the tradition of our founding fathers always endeavoring to be better tomorrow than they are today. our nation has always understood that this endeavor isn't something that is just passed on hoping someone else does the work for us. it's something we ourselves have
to fight for today. we are responsible for the starting point we hand to the next generation, and we have a moral obligation to make it the best point possible, always advancing. to accomplish this, i have laid out a four corners plan representing all areas of colorado and those issues that matter most to the people of this country. growing our economy and getting this nation back to work in the kinds of jobs with the kind of salary that allows people to achieve their dreams, to develop north american energy security while enhancing the protection and appreciation of our environment, and making sure that we give our children the tools they need to succeed in a world both growing in its complexities and its interconnectedness. in rural america we must work to not only keep the generations of families who grew up on the farm and ranch but find new ways to bring new families back to the farms ranches and small towns that dot our great state. we must revitalize main streets that are slowly losing their place as the heart and soul of
community, boarded up and forgotten. to do this, i will introduce legislation that will help provide ways to infuse new investments and life into our rural communities called the rural philanthropy act. it will help struggling businesses find new private sector partners in their effort to serve their community whether it's a small town newspaper or a clothing store it will help grow jobs and create more opportunities for start-ups and innovation. we must look to reimagine burdensome rules and regulations that tie the hands of people who want to start a business by revitalizing main streets and breathing new life into a tired city block. doing good things shouldn't be so difficult and we need a government that recognizes this. colorado's economy will also benefit from value-added trade opportunities with the passage of new trade agreements, opening new markets and eliminating barriers to growing markets. i will work to ensure that small businesses have the resources they need to participate in trade, making sure the benefit of new markets doesn't just stop at the biggest corporations.
through my first in space initiative, we will focus on policies that promote and grow colorado's leading aerospace economies, launching new jobs in space, engineering and aeronautics. and to help -- and a healthy economy means that everyone benefits not just those who have already found success. that is why i will work to expand the earned income tax credit by eliminating the waste fraud and abuse all too common within the eitc, we can save billions of dollars and then use that money to expand the credit, making a program that has already lifted millions of people out of poverty to do even more good for people throughout colorado and in our urban centers. measuring a successful economy shouldn't simply be a matter of looking to see whether the haves have more but what policies we have put in place that actually help lift the poor out of poverty themselves. we are living in a veneered economy. while the numbers on wall street look good and profits are looking up, scratch the surface and too many people continue to suffer. endlessly searching for jobs they desperately need, earning the kinds of salaries they need
to help achieve their family's goals. while parts of colorado may be succeeding others are struggling. true success means that every part of our state's economy flourishes. thanks to our state's energy economy, parts of the state that seem to have been left behind are now thriving. a national policy geared toward north american energy independence will not only boost jobs and provide abundant and affordable energy upon which our economy relies, but it will boost our national security by providing our allies abroad with an energy partner they need that presents an alternative to nations like russia and iran. i look forward to continuing my push for an expedited process to export l.n.g., allowing mesa and laplata county energy producers the opportunity to play a leading role in national security while creating jobs at home. commonsense colorado energy solutions also means focusing on renewable energy as well, harnessing the winds and well of the sun in the san luis and the power of water in the west, we
can lessen pollution and help clean up the air. working across the ail with senator chris koons of delaware, i will focus on energy-saving performance contracts an often overlooked private sector tool that has the potential to create thousands of jobs and save the taxpayer billions of dollars all while helping reduce pollution. reducing pollution and protecting our environment is a cornerstone of colorado. i look forward to working with congressman scott tipton on legislation to help preserve and restore our great forest lands and to protect colorado landscapes. whether it's healthy forest legislation, reducing the maintenance backlog in our national parks or finding collaborative solutions to challenging land conflicts we owe it to future generations of coloradans to pass on an environment that is cleaner when they receive it than the one we passed to them. rephrase that. an environment that is cleaner when they receive it than the one we received. and future generations of coloradans also deserve the opportunity to receive an
education befitting of a great nation. whether that's fighting to restore local control to states school districts and parents or working to make the dream of a college drug degree a reality our future depends on our ability to provide skills and training for the next generation of entrepreneurs. i will do work on my legislation called the making college affordable act. this bill will help families meet expenses for college. i look forward to promoting stem education opportunities and transforming our immigration system from one that sends the best and the brightest students back home to compete against us to one that allows them the opportunity to stay here in the united states to create jobs and innovations that we will continue to benefit from. no doubt over the next six years, many issues will arise that fall outside of these four corner issues, and i look forward to meeting every single one of these challenges by finding new opportunities that will help make colorado a better place. i look forward to working with congressman mike kaufman to finish the v.a. hospital in
aurora a hospital earned through sacrifice but tarnished by delay but when it is completed, it will give veterans a far better place for the care they deserve. and that always must be our focus, making colorado and the united states a better place. even the -- giving people of this country the confidence that we can work together to achieve common goals to strive for brighter horizons, to deliver to the american people a government that they can be proud of. and i will work with senator bennet and anyone who is committed to these common goals. to many people -- too many people believe that government can no longer address the great challenges of our time. an $18 trillion debt, mounting entitlement crisis, a health care crisis that continues into the new century and seemingly overwhelming foreign policy challenges. some leaders would have us believe that they can't do anything about it, that a managed decline is better than a rapid decline but the american people know better. they don't have to and indeed they will not accept second best.
a government that we can be proud of is one that solves the greatest challenges of our time, balances our budget, puts in place solutions that rise above the rhetoric. a government we can be proud of again means an america that is always advancing and never in retreat. our search for solutions our search for a government we can be proud of comes from the common bond, regardless of color, gender or creed and yes, even party that we as americans all hold. the shared story of our lives the unrelenting american spirit, and this is the american story. we owe our nation to the sacrifices made by millions of men and women for for each other to countless generations in the past and the present who have worn a uniform in defense of our nation a nation made exceptional by the pioneering people a nation of innovation and opportunity a nation that imagines and inspires, a nation that rises above to be better tomorrow than we are today. i grew up working at a family
implement dealership, a family business that was started by my great grandfather 100 years ago. sweeping the floors and cleaning the bathrooms i learned what it takes to make a business work. i learned about the employees who made the business function and how we succeed as a business when our employees succeed. the hardworking men and women who hope that their aspirations will be fulfilled. i learned from my grandma a real-life rosie the riveter who welded ships in world war ii alongside her husband my grandpa. they gave up, moving their family and all they had in life, to be part of the effort to win the war and to provide their four children with the opportunity to succeed and to build their own futures for their own families. in a free world. a few weeks ago when going through some old boxes random collection of endless material, pictures i discovered a stack of letters that was written by my great grandfather to his parents, to my grandmother
during world war ii. the letters some of which were written in near-perfect cursive. the others typed on an old hammer strike typewriter that he undoubtedly used until the last of his days at the implement dealership he talked about the loneliness for home. new friends he had made during the war questions about his young son and the new countries he was visiting, france and beyond. and i'd like to share parts of one of those letters today because it shares part of our american story. it was written on august 15 1945. "dear folks. aha, that day, 14 august, is indeed a history-making day. and last night at 12:00 when at last all the rumors were confirmed that the world was at peace, i said a silent prayer and know that it won't be long until we are all together again. if you pull those reins hard enough maybe i will be home for christmas, mother. certainly have a good chance of making it now. although anything can still happen and there are thousands
of miles to cover but one can't help but be optimistic." it must have been an incredible feeling to know that the war that you had been fighting, the war that had consumed the world and taken our nation's young men and women thousands of miles away from home was over, to have received word that the rumors were confirmed, that the world was at peace. and after years of battle and weariness silent prayer, the optimism of one soldier and that soldier's nation persevered. there are countless families across this nation, this country who share a similar story. one of their aunts or uncles, parents or siblings, people who have shared the honor and obligation of wearing a uniform for the united states of america and all the responsibility that comes along with it. they are people that we will most likely never meet, nor will we ever be able to fully thank them but they still fought for all of us. through the words of one simple
letter we recognize the power of peace over conflict, of love for family and country. a silent prayer, no doubt of thanks for answering so many other silent prayers silent prayers asking for a day of peace and homecoming. what it must have been like the darkness had finally come to an end and just like that you'll be home as if nothing ever happened. somewhere in that silent prayer was the thanksgiving of a soldier for his victorious nation. a soldier looking to go home a civilian to live out his dreams far away from harm and in the arms of his family. and while we may disagree on the details of policy and the tactics of direction let us make no mistake in our charge to ensure that we have a nation that is worthy of the sacrifice that so many have made, to refuse to pass on to future generations a nation in retreat
the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: i ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president on january 3 the nation lost a courageous public servant actually an icon of the 20th century massachusetts senator edward william brook iii. he was 95 years old. i've had the privilege of serving with more than 350
senators since vermonters first elected me to represent them in in this chamber and there's a very special list of those who i served with, and it is a privilege to count among that special list senator brook. wewe're both elected representatives of northeast states even though we came from different political parties. 0 senator brook and i forged a relationship that losted long after he -- that lasted lopping after he left congress. as a former states attorney, i admired and respected senator brook's legacy as a fearless prosecutor. as attorney general for the commonwealth of massachusetts senator brook exposed and fought against political corruption. he is no stranger to breaking barriers sms he ultimately became the first african-american elected in massachusetts, served in the united states senate. he held that post for 12 years.
senator brook was a problem-solver. he wanted to spend his time in the senate making a difference, not just in making pronouncements. he invested his considerable abilities in bridging racial and economic and political divides to solve the challenges facing the nation. he was a key in sometimes a crucial voice along the difficult path toward enactment of the civil rights act of 1968. he spearheaded equal opportunity legislative initiatives from housing to education to employment. i think there is no bridge that senator brook was unwilling to cross to make lives better. senator brook is one of the few senators to receive the nation's highest civilian honor the presidential med ole of freedom. he is also a recipient of the congressional gold medal. his service in world war ii is
recognized with a bronze star. this lifelong public servant dedicated his life to defending the bedrock principles of this country. his legacy of fighting for justice and equality is as important today as ever before. it is a legacy that will always deserve to be remembered and honored. marcel and i feel privilege privileged to have known him and i understand is my condolences to his wife and his children and grandchildren. and, mr. president on another issue "the new york times" wrote and editorial this morning. it was aptly entitled "the loretta lynch confirmation mess." as the editorial writers note, the senate majority leader readily acknowledge the delay of the vote on loretta lynch's
nomination is not simply about trafficking legislation but a redirection of republicans' furry on what they consider mr. obama's lawless actions. if republicans are serious about law enforcement serious about implementing the legislation that i hope we're going to pass and combat and prevent human trafficking, they'll stop their partisan attacks and allow a vet on loretta lynch's nomination. after all, she has a very, very good record of prosecuting people involved in trafficking. you can't say you're in favor of stopping trafficking and then block an attorney general who has a record of enforcing the trafficking laws. now, it's been 19 days since the
bipartisan majority of the senate judiciary committee favorably reported her nomination. she has been waiting longer for a floor vote than the five most recent attorneys general combined. combined. she has been waiting for a vote for 19 days. if you took attorneys general reno holder, and ashcroft, all together it's been 18 days. for her, loretta lynch it's 19 days. certainly much, much longer than it took for the three men nominated in the last republican administration or for the incumbent attorney general nominated by this administration.
and she's now waited, as i said, more than five attorneys general if we don't vote her this week, her nomination will have waited on the senate floor longer than the most recent seven attorneys general combined. i hope it doesn't come to that. that shows a real disdain for the department of justice in its efforts to enforce our laws to stop trafficking and go after terrorists and so forth. but it's also beneath the united states senate. certainly when i was chairman did we not do that, where the president pushes a nominee when he was in his last two years. i was the chairman.
i moved mukasey through in a fraction of the amount of time that we've taken on this, even though he was not somebody i supported and i voted against him. and even thoh he was unwilling to state how he felt about the president bush's position on torture he certainly did not seem to have a position he could take on the politicization of his predecessor work with u.s. attorneys, something that setback law enforcement for years. in fact, most of the issues that president bush had been involved in either through executive orders or others, otherwise he had no position but would study it. he was still moved through a
tiny fraction. he was, he was moved through in a tiny fraction of time she has taken so far. so i'd ask consent that the my statement and "the new york times" editorial be placed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: and mr. president i yield the floor and suggest the -- i see my friend from idaho on the floor and i would yield the floor. mr. barrasso: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: next tuesday we will reach a deal with iran on the illicit nuclear program. that is the day the obama administration said it would have a framework for a final agreement with iran. so far it seems like the administration is willing to make a deal at any cost.
america cannot afford that, and congress should not allow it. an overwhelming majority of americans believe that we should not accept a bad deal with the iranians. in one poll earlier this month 84% of americans said that it's a bad idea to accept the kinds of concessions that this administration seems to be making. the obama administration started negotiating with iran more than five years ago. it has mishandled these talks from the very beginning by conceding iran's right to enriched uranium. this deal was supposed to be about stopping iran's nuclear program. negotiators started off by insisting iran should have no more than 1,500 centrifuges to produce nuclear materials. that number has steadily grown during negotiations. according to daily nations and
"the washington post," february 24 the number is now four times the level where we started. the article is entitled "a compelling argument on iran." it says "the deal taking shape would likely allow iran about 6,000 centrifuges." gone from 1,500 to 4,000 to 6,000. the writer says one administration official told him that even 9,000 centrifuges would be okay. now remember, iran is not supposed to have a uranium enrichment program. the united nations security council has demanded that the program be suspended. so why is the obama administration negotiating on this point at all? when did this change from being an attempt to stop iran's nuclear program and now become an attempt to delay tor -- delay or to manage iran's nuclear
program? if this deal makes too many concessions to the iranians it would be one more example of the failed policies of the obama presidency. look at what happened with the russian reset. it is the reset button that secretary of state clinton launched in march of 2009, six years ago this month. look at her comments in which she said that syrian president assad was -- quote -- "a reformer." president obama talked about a red line with syria a red line syria could not cross by using chemical weapons against his own people. assad crossed the line more than two years ago. remember when the president called isis a j.v. team. it's all part of a pattern of the obama administration underestimating our enemies and being outman niewferred by them. -- and being out maneuvered by
them. this administration has a terrible record about being wrong against iran. when congress addressed sanctions against iran, the white house opposed those sanctions. congress had to force authority on the president. those were the sanctions that brought iran to the negotiating table. now the administration says that it opposes congressional participation once again. well, i don't believe the white house gets to be the sole decider on this important issue. the administration claims that it understands it would be better to have no deal at all than to have a bad deal, and i agree. that's why we need oversight. oversight by congress to make sure that this is not a bad deal. the negotiators don't get to decide for themselves if it's a good deal or a bad deal. the american people get a say and congress, as the elected
representatives of the people, is the right place for the people to have their voices heard. so what is the obama administration have to say about all of this? well the president's chief of staff sent a letter over the weekend, saturday night a saturday night surprise. he said that congress will get to be involved only after the administration signs a deal. congress gets to be involved only after people get to find out what's in it, after president obama signs a deal. kind of like nancy pelosi when she said of the health care law first you have to pass it before you get to find out what's in it. so why is it that the chief of staff and the president is acting this way? why is the obama administration telling members of congress, both republicans and democrats to sit down and to be quiet? let's be clear about what's at stake here. if the obama administration allows iran to continue with its
illicit nuclear program the withhold will be less safe, less stable and less secure. any agreement must be accountable, must be enforceable and must be verifiable. if that's not the case, then it's a bad deal. we need to make sure that this deal is about protecting americans, not protecting the president's diplomatic legacy. if the obama administration is so confident that it can negotiate a good deal, well, why not let congress participate? we've got bipartisan legislation that senator corker has written with republicans and democratic cosponsors. that legislation bipartisan legislation, would make sure that be congressional sanctions that are currently in place that they stay in place that they stay in place long enough for congress to hold hearings and to take whatever action is needed. that bill being proposed, and we're taking it up in the
foreign relations committee next week that bill will guarantee that the president keeps an eye on iran's compliance with any agreement. if the iranians try to break the deal we would know about it, so that congress would reimpose sanctions, reinstate sanctions. the american people need to be involved in this process. getting on board and getting the approval of congress, to me that only will strengthen the agreement that the administration negotiates. it will validate it. it will give more legitimacy to it more credibility. congress should and must be involved. it will make clear to both our allies and our enemies that america stands united in our commitment to ending iran's nuclear program. it also makes it far more likely that this agreement will outlast the obama administration. when president obama and vice president biden were senators, they favored this kind of involvement by congress. they both actually cosponsored
legislation requiring congress to approve any long-term security commitment that president bush was to make with iraq. well a long agreement with iran over its nuclear program to me, is even more important. in one policy after another president obama has disregarded the views of the american people. this is a huge concern. he's ignored congress. he acted on his own even when he had no authority to act. he's done it on the domestic side. he's done it on the foreign relations side. and it looks to me like the administration is planning once again to ignore congress and the american people in his pursuit of an inadequate deal with iran. it's time for congress to step in and to stand up for the american people. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to be able to introduce as part of the record "the washington post" story february
senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. toomey: thank you mr. president. i rise this afternoon to speak on s. 178, the justice for victims of trafficking act and the toomey-manchin amendment number 291 to that bill. first of all i want to thank senator cornyn for bringing this bill to the senate floor. it's a bipartisan bill. it's an extremely important bill. and i.t. been awfully frustrate -- and it's been awfully frustrating that we can't even get on to this bill. especially hard to understand is the fact that this is a bipartisan bill, had 10 democratic cosponsors, another three democrats who voted for it in the senate judiciary committee. this shouldn't even be controversial. and i.t. particularly disturb -- and it's particularly disturbing because when you think about what we're trying to address with senator cornyn's bill, it's
awfully important. i mean what could be more despicable than what we're trying to go after here: trafficking in human beings. this is a form of modern-day slavery is what it is and some of the most despicable people in the world take the most vulnerable people in our society and they turn them into essentially slaves in the sex industry. i mean, it's as appalling as thargs and it happens and it happens in every state. and what this bill does is it provides more tools for law enforcement to better be able to crack down on this appalling practice and it provides harsher penalties -- as well it should -- and it provides more resources for the folks who do really really important pork helping the victims to -- work helping the victims to heal. and that is a very long, very difficult, very painful process. it's unimaginable what some of these folks go through; children forced into slavery brutalized,
beaten raped. it's a de-humanizing atrocious situation. we have a bill here that's bipartisan, that would actually do something constructive about it and our democratic colleagues will not allow us to even begin the debate. much less actually move on and process amendments. now, i understand, mr. president, there is a provision in the bill that they don't like. i get that. but we have offered repeatedly that they would be allowed to offer any amendment they like. they can offer an amendment to strike the language to which they object, and that's the way the senate is supposed to work. you put a bill on the floor. if somebody doesn't like something that's p in it, you true i to change t it's -- you try to change it. it's brit basic. it's pretty fundamental. but we haven't been able to persuade a enough of our democratic colleagues to allow us to proceed to this bill yet. i hope we will soon. one of the reasons goes beyond the substance of this bill.
that is the amendment that senator manchin an i will introduce as soon as we're able to do that. this is an amendment -- it will allow us to amend the underlying trafficking bill with a bill,. a senator: manchin and i have -- mr. toomey: it is amendment number 291 based on a bill that we have, the protecting students from sexual and violent predators act. the goal is just to protect kids from pedophiles in schools. that's what it comes down to. overwhelming bipartisan support for our legislation the bill that i introduced with senator manchin. it passed the house unanimously and i rose last week to ask unanimous consent to bring this amendment up and make it pending so that we could debate and we could vote on it, and one of our friends from the other side of the aisle objected to that as well. so no progress on this yet but i am -- i'm convinced that this
isn't going to stand. i just -- i'm just convinced that enough democratic senators are going to come to their senses and they're going to join us in voting to get on this bill and we're going og to be able at some point to proceed with this and to proceed with the various amendments that i and others intend to offer. so i want to speak a little bit about my amendment because i think we're going to get to it and as i mentioned it's about protecting kids at school from violent and sexual predators. we all know the overwhelming majority of school employees -- teachers and non-teachers alike -- are very good and decent people and it would never occur to them to abuse the children in their care. they're motivated impi their desire to help the kids succeed. and i'm completely convinced that the overwhelming majority of teachers and school
employees, they don't want a pedophile anywhere near their school. they don't want them in the classroom next to them, they don't want them coaching the kid, they don't want them in any way involved, because most teachers have the good sense and the decency that that's the way they are. but the reality is, schools are in fact, where the kids are. pedestrian tilespedophiles know this, too. and so we've got a problem mr. president. the problem is that some of these predators are finding ways into the schools. data is very clear. last year alone 459 school employees, some teachers, not non-teachers -- 459 adult school employees were arrested across america for sexual misconduct with the kids that they're supposed to be looking after. 459 that we knew enough about what they were doing and the prosecutors felt they had a strong enough case that they could actually go ahead and make the arrest. how many more are under
investigation? how many more there are suspicions but no evidence with which to pursue a case? probably a lot more. but we know for sure that there's 459 appalling cases. and so far this year we're on track to have similar numbers. we're, what, 70-some days into the school year. over 90 school employees have already been arrested this year across the country. so this is absolutely a real problem. some of these predators are finding ways to slip through the cracks of the system that's meant to keep them out and i want to do something about it. and senator manchin wants to do something about t and so here's our suggestion. we've go to a bill that does two simple things. it says to the states, if you're going to continue to collect the billions of dollars in federal funding that goes to primary and secondary education then you got to do a proper background check. you got to make sure that you're not hiring pedophiles. so you got to check both the federal and state databases to
make sure you're doing a thorough brac ground chefnlgt and the second -- background chefnlgt and the second requirement is you can't engage -- you can't permit anybody to engage in this appalling practice that is known as passing the trash. it's -- it's shocking that this could even exist. but it does. and i will tell you a story that actually inspired this legislation, which is a case in point in passing the trash. so the story begins with a teacher teaching in delaware county pennsylvania, and this teacher was a pedophile. he was molesting boys that were supposed to be in his care. now, the school district figured out what was going on. there was never enough evidence to actually prosecute but they knew something was very much wrong, and they decided the school district decided it would be better if this teacher became someone else's problem. so as appalling as it what they did is wrote a letter of recommendation to recommend this teacher for another job
provided that he would leave. well he left, went across the state border into west virginia, applied for and in part on the strength of the letter of recommendation he had he gets hired. at a school in west virginia. he works as a teacher he resumes what these people do, abusing children, eventually becomes principal and while principal of the school he rapes and murders a 12-year-old boy named gyre me jeremy bell. so the practice of knowingly sending a letter of recommendation alopping with -- along with a monitor like this, that's what known as passing the trash. it happens knauf enough that it has its own name. just friday i was out in pittsburgh visiting a wonderful group of people, the pittsburgh action against rape, a great group of professionals who do wonderful work, mostly helping
victims cope with the aftermath of their assaults. one of the people i met there and heard from was the president of the board of directors named beth docke revment ty. dockerty. she was in the band in her school when the band instructor began to rape her. when she came forward and told the authorities what was happening, the school promised the teacher that they wouldn't conduct any investigation if he would just quietly resign. and then the school wrote a glowing letter of recommendation toker this guy which -- for this guy which he took with him, went to florida and helped to find a teaching job there. fortunately, the prosecutors in the case in pennsylvania, they felt confident that they had a strong enough case and in time they were able to get him extradited from florida and they prosecuted him and they locked him up and he is in jail today
where he belongs and i hope for the rest of his life. but the point of this is, as appalling as it is, as shocking as it is to our conscience to hear that anyone would do this i am here to say it happens. it happens and we need to do something about it, for the +saeubgsakeof jeremy bell, for the sick of beth dockerty and who knows how many other children. so our legislation is meant to require that the states have a provision in their law that makes it illegal to knowingly recommend for hire someone who is attacking kids this sway. this too mr. president strikes me as a bill that should not be controversial. passed the house unanimously but there are people who are trying to kill this bill. so we have some of ow friends on other side of the aisle and outside organizations from the left have argued against this.
and i want to quote from a letter that was sent to all of us explaining why a number of these groups are opposing my legislation. here's a quote. this is what they say in their letter. "individuals who have been convicted their crimes and completed sentences should not be necessarily subjected to additional punishments because of these convictions." well, wait a minute, there is a thing about the logic of that position. by that logic an admitted, convicted child molester who serves a ten-year prison sentence for his crime should be able to walk out of the jail, walk down the street, apply for and get a job teaching elementary school kids. how ridiculous is that? it's completely ridiculous. our kids shouldn't be part of involuntary members of a social