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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 26, 2015 3:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, there are 46 yeas and 54 nays. the amendment is not adopted. mr. president wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from -- there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the scott amendment 692. mr. wyden: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that --. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent that the pending business be set aside in order to call up my amendment 1026. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. enzi: we agreed not to do that until a later time. otherwise we would have interruptions throughout the day with people removing amendments and putting in other amendments.
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oh okay. be nice to have that cleared ahead of time. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from oregon mr. wyden for mrs. murray proposes an amendment numbered 1026. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. president wyden: more than five years after being signed into law the affordable care act is improving the health and well-being of millions of americans. many of the affordable care act's greatest successes are getting lost in the noise of political attack ads. the affordable care act has expanded health care coverage to millions of americans. these people no longer have to go to bed at night worried about the possibility of bankruptcy if
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they get sick. americans who had coverage already are benefiting from new protections. women now pay the same premiums as men. preexisting conditions can no longer be used as an excuse to deny coverage. and health plans no longer put lifetime caps on benefits. this amendment would require insurers to disclose all of the benefits afforded to consumers through the affordable care act. i urge my colleagues strongly to support this amendment. the presiding officer: who yields time in opposition? mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: we don't have any problem with this and would be happy to take it by voice vote. the presiding officer: if there is no further debate, the question is on the amendment 1026. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it.
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the amendment is agreed to. now, there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the scott amendment number 692. the senator from south carolina. mr. scott: i rise to call up the scott amendment, amendment numbered 692 regarding transparency in health insurance costs. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection the clerk shall report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from south carolina, mr. th scott, proposed amendment numbered 692. mr. scott: i ask that further reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. scott: thank you mr. president. my amendment is a very simple amendment. it simply seeks to make sure that insurance companies increase the transparency on the actual cost of the health insurance tax on monthly premiums. the bottom line is this -- when a single mom goes to the grocery store, when she gets her receipt ath the bottom of the receipt it reflects the taxes
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she's paying. when a father of three buys clothes at the ends of his receipt it reflects the taxes that are being paid. by the year 2018 this invisible tax, not seen by the average insurance purchaser will have raised about $14.3 billion in costs because of this health insurance tax. my amendment makes it easier to understand and appreciate the actual cost of the health insurance tax. thank you. a senator: mr. president? mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: the affordable care act was a critical step forward in our effort to build a health care system that puts patient first and allows every family to get affordable quality health care. but the work didn't end when the law passed. far from it. families across the country are expecting us to keep working to build on that progress and continue to make health care more affordable and accessible and higher quality. that's what we are focused on on this side and the amendment that
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just passed did that but we should not be join in moving our health care system backward. so it is bad enough that the underlying budget repeals the health care law and cuts patients and families off without proposing an alternative but this amendment makes it worse. it means patients and families get skewed, incomplete information about their health care costs. i urge a no vote on this amendment. mr. scott: 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. snoop vote: vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not the yeas are 56, the nays are 44. the amendment is agreed to.
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mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quoarp quorumquorum call:
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mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i'd ask that the quorum call be ended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: i would also ask unanimous consent that the vote on the coons amendment being moved to occur after kirk number
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545. the presiding officer: is there 0,? -- is there objection? without objection. there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the blunt amendment number 928. mr. blunt: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. blunt: mr. president i rise in support of this amendment, amendment number 928. it would create a deficit-neutral reserve fopped -- reserve fund to prohibit a fee or tax on carbon emissions. this vote is important to send a clear message to the administration that americans simply can't afford to pay higher utility bills because of bad energy policies. i thank senator thune for cosponsoring this amendment and urge my colleagues to support it. the presiding officer: does the senator wish to call up his amendment? mr. blunt: and i would call for a vote on this amendment. oh i thought i had called it up already. i would call up the amendment
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and go ahead. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection the clerk shall report the amendment. the clerk: mr. blunt proposes an amendment numbered 928. mr. blunt: i move we dispense with reading the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ermt have. mr. sanders: i would yield 20 secondsseconds to the senator from california. mrs. boxer: colleagues, when you put a price on carbon, it works. if you look at my state, we are creating jobs in clean energy, we're balancing our budget better than we ever have before. we have strong support from the people of california. so i don't know why on earth we would say "no" to something that leads to prosperity, jobs, and a clean and healthy environment. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: i would yield 20 seconds to the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president particularly when the premise of
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this was that climate change isn't real and climate change isn't urgent puts that side of the aisle at odds with nasa and the department of defense and every major american scientific society and corporate leaders in their home states and probably every single state university in their home states. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator -- all time has expired. mr. sanders: i thought we had -- 20 plus 20 is 40 seconds. the presiding officer: they went over. mr. sanders: pardon me in. the presiding officer: they went over. all time is expired. the question is on amendment 928. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: does anyone wish to change their vote? if not the yeas are 58. the nays are 42.
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the amendment is agreed to. there will now be two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the durbin amendment 817. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: mr. democratic leader. mr. durbin:, we have a tax code in america which creates incentives, rewards to companies all across the united states. mr. president, i ask for order in the chamber please. the presiding officer: the chamber will come to order please. the senate will come to order. please take your conversations off the floor. one more time. the senate will come to order please, and please take your conversations off the floor. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. what i am proposing i call the patriot employers tax credit. it's a tax credit for those american companies that hire americans and keep their jobs in the united states, for companies
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that pay at least half their employees $15 an hour. and we pick that number because at that wage you don't qualify for the basic safety net programs. companies that provide good health insurance for their employees, good pension programs for their employees and companies that give a preference to veterans and to those in the reserve and national guard who are serving overseas. i think those companies deserve our encouragement a reward of a tax credit for patriotic employers. i hope my colleagues will join me in standing up for the companies that stand up for america. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. johnson: on vote # -- 98 i voted no and intended to vote aye. i ask to be recorded as voting aye. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: here we go again. i'm going to be asking the
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senate to vote "no" on this amendment. again, senator durbin has good tax reform ideas. they probably have merit but they should be dealt with in the context of comprehensive tax reform rather than a stand-alone proposal that tells finance how to do something. so far we've resisted every one of these. i assume that we'll resist the rest of them the rest of the day. but we can't tell the finance committee how to do comprehensive tax reform if we will expect to simplify the whole system. so i'd ask for a no vote. mr. durbin: mr. president? mr. enzi: i'd ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. mr. durbin: mr. president, is there any time remaining? the presiding officer: there is no time remaining. the question occurs on the durbin amendment. the yeas and nays are in order and the clerk should call the roll. vote:
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a vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator wish to change his vote? if not the yeas are 46, the nays are 54. the amendment is not agreed to. there are now two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the vitter amendment number 15. mr. vitter: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: mr. president, this amendment, 515 the vitter amendment, is very straightforward but important. it says that the u.s. department of education should not be able to the bribe or coerce states
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into any particular set of standards or curriculum or testing, whether it's common core or anything else. that decision should be up to states. that decision should be up to local education communities not the federal government. and the federal government, through our department of education, should not bribe or coerce states in any direction and that's what the amendment is all about. i reserve the balance of my time. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president, i think we all believe that in our country, all students should have access to a quality public education, regardless of where they live or how they learn or how much money they make and education is one of the smartest investments we can make. now, chairman alexander and i are working together on a bipartisan process to fix the broken no child left behind law and i believe that we are going to make progress in the coming weeks. and i appreciate his working with me. but, mr. president the fact is this amendment isn't needed.
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the common core was not mandated by the federal government. race to the top did not mandate adoption of common core. gsca waivers has not mandated the common core. federal law already prohibits the federal government from requiring states to adopt certain standards or curriculum. and, by the way, this is a -- quote -- "spending neutral reserve fund" that i think we should all be aware of for the first time is in this republican budget. so mr. president for all those reasons, i urge a "no" vote on this amendment. mr. vitter: ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered and the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator wish too change their vote? if not the yeas are 54, the nays are 46, and the amendment is agreed to. mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i ask consent that the kirk amendment number 545 and the inhofe amendment number 649 with modified with the changes at the desk. i further ask that a vote on the whitehouse amendment number 867 occur after the vote on the murkowski amendment 838.
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the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the bennet amendment number 947. the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: mr. president i'd ask to set aside the pending amendment and call up amendment number 947. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from colorado mr. bennet, proposes an amendment numbered 947. mr. bennet: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that we dispense with the reading of the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: thank you mr. president. this is a simple amendment. it increases the amount of money that small businesses can expense in any given year. that gives them the opportunity to purchase new equipment and grow the economy and it's especially important to places like the state of colorado where small businesses make up 97% proliferate employers in our
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state. -- of the employers in our state. this increases the expensing 979 amounts to $1 million. right now it's at $25,000. if we ever manage to pass another extenders bill, it will increase to $500,000. as we all know, many small businesses are passthrough entities so they pay the individual tax rate even though they may use business tax credits and deductions. so in tax reform, they may lose some of the their credits but not see a corresponding drop in their tax rates. as we begin the process of reforming our tax code we need to ensure that these types of small businesses can continue to grow invest and innovate. this amendment takes an important step in achieving this goal. thank you mr. president. i am told that there's an agreement -- there may be an agreement to have a voice vote on this amendment. that would certainly be fine with me. i yield the floor. mr. enzi: i don't think there's any objection on our side and we would ask for a voice vote. we'd ask for a voice vote. yield back our time.
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the presiding officer: all time is yielded back. hearing no further debate, the question is on the bennet amendment number 947. all those in favor say aye. those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it, the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the murkowski amendment number 838. ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president i'm here to call up amendment number 838. the presiding officer: the amendment is already pending. ms. murkowski: mr. president senator sullivan and i have come together to move forward on this amendment. it provides a spending neutral reserve fund for the sale, the transfer or exchange of federal lands to state and local governments. i want to make sure that folks understand. this is not selling any land by
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itself. only subsequent legislation can do that. it would require us to come back and just as we do now with exchanges, conveyances sales move legislation through. what we have done, we've made sure that all lands that included within national parks national preserves and national monuments are excluded, so there can be no effort to -- to purchase or exchange there. our amendment will allow us to craft balanced bipartisan legislation to empower states improve conservation systems and promote economic growth. and that's exactly what we did last year when we moved through the ndaa with support from 80 senators for that package. the presiding officer: time as expired. ms. murkowski: it worked. i would urge a "yes" vote. the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. a senator: mr. president americans have already had a deep connection to the outdoors. mr. mean rich: heinrich: they forest
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and hunt in the hilo national forests. our public lands are part of our american heritage. we cherish passing that tradition on to our children and our grandchildren. yet this amendment would make it easier to turn our public lands over to state land commissioners and eventually to sell them outright. make no mistake this amendment will mean more locked gates more "no tressing" tresspassing" signs in places families have used for generations. colleagues, this land is your land. i would urge you to vote "no" on this amendment. the presiding officer: the question occurs on the murkowski amendment. the senator from vermont.
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mr. sanders: ask for the yeas and nays on this. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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mr. sanders: mr. president parliamentary inquiry? the presiding officer: the senator will state his inquiry. mr. sanders: has the
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ten-minute limit expired? the presiding officer: the chair is advised that it has.
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vote:
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mrs. boxer: please, parliamentary inquiry. the presiding officer: there shall be no further inquiries during a roll call vote. the senator is advised that we're in a roll call vote. mrs. boxer: well, you allowed another parliamentary inquiry. why wouldn't you allow my parliamentary inquiry? all i want to snow is how many minutes -- all i want to know is how many minutes we've gone over the vote. i hear 11 minutes. the presiding officer: the parliamentary inquiry is the surch -- the sufferance of the chair. mrs. boxer: the sufferance of the chair? the senate is definitely
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suffering. in any event we're 11 minutes over. let's bang the gavel. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber who wish to change their vote? if not the ayes are 51. the nays are 49. the amendment is agreed to. there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the whitehouse amendment number 867. mr. whitehouse: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president this amendment would establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund that would make it more difficult for corporations and billionaires to secretly influence our elections through secret contributions and also to prevent such entities from evading campaign finance law including by making false statements to federal authorities and agencies. i can tell my colleagues if you are not sick of the secret money flooding into our elections your constituents are.
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so listen to your constituents. give this a vote and let's get started on fixing this grave american disgrace. ens pens mr. president? the presiding officer: -- mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i urge my colleagues to vote "no." respectfully i have some skepticism about this issue and remind my colleagues this was decided by the supreme court years ago. the senior citizens united -- the citizens united case reversed what for-profit and not for profit corporations can say. the b.c.a. bans election related expenditures and communications by american corporations and proposals like this amendment are not designed to ensure transparency in civility elections. they are as justice thompson
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said in citizens united curtail campaign related activity and prevent the peaceful exercise of first amendment rights. mr. whitehouse: time remaining on our side, mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator has 13 seconds. mr. whitehouse: the supreme court left the disclosure of these sources of these secret contributions to congress so the supreme court actually has given us this job. i urge that we take it up. the presiding officer: no time remaining. no time remaining. the question is on the whitehouse amendment. mrs. boxer: 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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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 47, the nays are 52. the amendment is not agreed to. politburo inhofe: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask that amendment number 649 be brought up as modified. the presiding officer: is there objection? the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from oklahoma mr. inhofe, proposes an amendment numbered 649 as modified.
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mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent the senate dispense with the reading. the presiding officer: without objection. there are two minutes prior to a vote on the inhofe amendment 649 as modified. the presiding officer: mr. president. everyone in here knows what the united nations armed trade treaty does. it doesn't infringe upon our second amendment rights, we all know that. and also it limits our ability to help our allies like israel in building their weapons system. president obama has signed the treaty but has not submitted it for ratification. for one reason, he knows that the votes are not there. two years ago at 5:00 a.m. in the morning i got 53 senators from both parties voted for my amendment very similar to this. my amendment would prevent funds from going to the treaty, secretariat or any other organization that's working to implement this treaty. i ask for your support and retain the balance of my time. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president the senate is not in order mr. president.
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the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. menendez: mr. president the united states is not a party to the arms trade treaty. it hasn't even been submitted to the senate for consideration and regardless of your position on the treaty itself prohibiting funding for any international organization anywhere while other countries are implementing a treaty is simply absurd. and by the way the treaty for which we are not a party to ultimately makes the rest of the world live up to the u.s.'s own arms exports standards, which is good to prevent proliferation for destabilizing arms that could be used against american soldiers and to help level the playing field for u.s. defense manufacturers. so the amendment actually harms u.s. national security by placing u.s. soldiers at greater risk from armed soldier transfers to our enemies illegitimately and illegally without proper oversight by other countries. i urge my colleagues to vote
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against the amendment. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: how much time do i have? the presiding officer: 15 seconds. mr. inhofe: mr. president it's very simple. if you are for extreme gun control and against the second amendment rights, you ought to vote no on this. the presiding officer: the question occurs on the inhofe amendment. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber who wish to change their votes? if not the ayes are 59 and the nays are 41, and the amendment is agreed to. there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the kirk amendment 545 as modified. the presiding officer: who yields time?
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the senator from illinois. mr. kirk: mr. president the coming amendment is the kirk-brown amendment which is the key iran vote of this session of congress. if you are upset about the intel-sharing arrangement with the state of israel, if you feel that we should rebalance our policy with regard to the united states potentially voting against israel in the u.n., this is the time to rebalance our policy with regard to our allies and the state of israel. i would urge the body to support this brown-kirk bipartisan amendment which has been worked out with the other side. i just talked to the senior senator mrs. boxer from california, who assured me that she supports this amendment. also, the senior senator from new jersey, mr. menendez who i built such a long bipartisan partnership on the iran issue. i would urge adoption of this amendment and yield back the time.
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mrs. boxer: mr. president i would just take 20 seconds and yield the rest. i hope we can all vote for this because it doesn't do anything to cause disarray in the negotiations. what it says is if there is a deal and there's a breakout and it's certificated there is a breakout by iran, we'd have a very quick way to restore sanctions and i yield. mr. brown: i thank the senator from illinois and the senator from new jersey and california. we're united in our goal of preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, we all know that here. i commend the president on trying to resolve the nuclear dispute diplomatically, i urge my colleagues to support the kirk-brown-boxer-menendez amendment. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. all in favor say aye. all opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. mr. kirk: i would ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second?
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mr. kirk: i would like to get the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? the vote was not called. the yeas and nays have been asked for. there appears to be. there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not the ayes are 100 the
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nays are zero. the amendment is agreed to. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: i ask that my amendment be modified with the changes that are at the desk. the presiding officer: does the senator wish to call up his amendment? mr. coons: mr. president wish to call up amendment number 966. the presiding officer: as modify. the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from delaware senator coons proposes amendment numbered 966 as modified. mr. coons: we need to make sure we pay for our war against isis. we are just now coming to the end of two long wars in iraq and afghanistan that have cost trillions of dollars and we didn't pay for them. it's unacceptable. our country has a long history of paying for our wars, and we need to return to that tradition. as a democracy, we should go to a war as a nation and not put the burden on just our troops
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and their families. i'm pleased to have the cosponsorship of senator sanders, and i urge my colleagues to support our amendment to raise the revenue necessary to pay for our war. mr. corker: mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: thank you. i certainly apreasht the sentiment of my good friend, and we've talk add good deal about this. and i believe we ought to pay for everything we do around here. there are all kinded kinds of ways of paying for things, including reducing spending on things we shouldn't be spending money on. so i would like to work with him in the future. i agree 100% that the amount of money that goes out the door should be equal amount of money that comes in the door. but i oppose this amendment just because of the way it's crafted. i wish it had said that he needed to be paid for. i would agree with that. but the way it's crafted leads me to want to oppose that and i hope on our side we will do so. mr. coons: mr. president, how much time is remaining?
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the presiding officer: 30 seconds. mr. coons: i will simply say i appreciate the sentiment expressed by the senator from ten tefnlt i agree that all -- from tennessee. i agree that all wars should be paid for. i yield the yield to senator sanders. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. 20 seconds. die disee i wouldseconds.mr. enzi: i would ucialg my colleagues to vote "no." the amendment is simple but it claims that it will offset the cost of the war against isis with the president's budget. we didn't pass the president's budget. this $8.8 billion is divided between the department of tweeness to execute the operation inherent resolve and the state department -- spherks. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. enzi: i ask for a "no" vote. mr. sanders: mr. president, what this amendment says is that if senators rote for another war, this time they'll have to raise taxes to pay for it. no more wars on the credit card.
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vote "yes." the presiding officer: question is on the amendment. all in favor say aye. mr. sanders: 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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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to change their votes? if not the yeas are 46, the nays are 54. the amendment is not agreed to. the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: for the information of all my colleagues, it only took us six hours and 15 minutes to do 17 votes. the next tranche has 26 votes in it and i -- i need to let you know that you don't have to wait all ten minutes to turn in your vote. if you get your vote in in five minutes, we can be done in five minutes. that way a five-minute vote only ought to take us ten minutes just like a ten-minute vote takes us 20 minutes and a 15-minute vote takes us 30 minutes.
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we're going to have to cut down the time or i'm sure people are going to give up before they get to some of their amendments. i do need to announce that there is dinner in the mansfield room. it's courtesy of senator mcconnell, and it's for both parties. and i also need -- you also need to know that senator reid has agreed to provide dinner tomorrow night in the mansfield room so unless we can speed this up, what we're looking for is a volunteer for breakfast and for lunch tomorrow. and looking at the list of amendments i'm pretty serious about all of that. so we need to speed it up, and to do that, i'd ask unanimous consent that the senate vote on the following amendments in the order listed with no second-degree amendments in order prior to the votes with an exception of a side-by-side to the nelson amendment number 944 and the mccain amendment number 360 and that the listed amendments be voted on second. okay the first one is isakson number 839. then stabenow 1072.
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portman 689. casey 632. thune 607. bennet 1014. mcconnell 836. merkley 842. gardner 443. murray 951. graham 763. blumenthal 825. flake 665. sanders 475. hatch 1029. schatz 1063. kirk 1038. nelson 944. mccain 360. wyden 968. lee 750 as modified. reid 919. cotton 659.
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menendez 993. cotton 664. brown 994. and i ask unanimous consent that all the amendments on this list not currently pending be made pending en bloc at this time. mr. sanders: mr. president. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. so ordered. the clerk will report the nonpending amendments by number. the clerk: stabenow 1072. bennet 1014. mcconnell 836. graham 763. sanders 475. hatch 1029. schatz 1063. kirk 1038.
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wyden 968. reid 919. cotton 659. cotton 664. brown 994. mr. enzi: i ask further consent that there be two minutes equally divided between the managers or their designees prior to each vote and that all votes after the first in this series be ten minutes in length. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. enzi: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that the pending amendment be set aside and the following amendments which are at the desk be called up en bloc -- hatch 827 hatch 1025 hatch 533 hatch 984 and
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hatch 585. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. sanders: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: i ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment and call up amendments number 1044 on behalf of senators cardin and mccain and amendments number 1047 and 724 on behalf of senator mccain, amendment number 713 on behalf of senators murphy and cassidy. amendment number 1005 on behalf of senators murphy and graham. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. sanders: i would ask unanimous consent that the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report those amendments by number at this time. the clerk: the senator from wyoming, mr. enzi, for mr. hatch, proposes amendments en bloc numbered 827 1025, 533
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984, 535. the senator from vermont mr. sanders, for other members proposes amendments numbered 1044 1047, 2724, 713 and 1005. the presiding officer: there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the isakson amendment number 839. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: mr. president amendment 839 recognizes -- the congress recognizes that on november 4 of 1979, 52 brave americans were taken hostage in iran anditarian. they were beaten, they were held in captivity they were tortured.
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finally the algerian accords were negotiated and they were released in january of 1981. but in the algerian accords they were prohibited from ever being compensated by litigation against the nation of iran. now with the sanction money flowing into the united states treasury and into the state department the money is there to compensate these brave individuals of which there are 44 still remaining alive. this amendment acknowledges that congress has the responsibility of the supreme court dedicated to make sure these people get compensated for the bravery they exhibited for the united states of america in captivity and i would move that this be adopted and i would recognize the senator from new jersey. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president i strongly support senator isakson's efforts here which passed in the senate foreign relations committee last year, working with the state department and moved unanimously to approve his bill. this is to give 52 americans who were held hostage in iran and denied the opportunity to seek redress for their terrible ordeal that opportunity and the
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only way we're going to give them that opportunity for the 444 days that their families were held hostage in iran is to have this type of action. i look forward to working with him, not just today but beyond to get it passed so we can get these american families their justice. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: mr. president i want to thank my colleague from georgia for his leadership on this issue. he and i have cosponsored a bill that achieves this goal but this amendment is vitally important to advance public awareness and make our colleagues more aware of the importance of this very significant issue and i want to thank him for his leadership and courage. thank you. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. all in favor say aye. all those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it.
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the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the stabenow amendment number 1072. the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you mr. president. i rise to ask the -- support for the stabenow-cantwell amendment. this addresses the cuts in the budget to medicare. medicare is a universal health care program as we know, and it's really a great american success story. everybody believes that. it protects americans from having their life savings wiped out by a single illness. it guarantees important medical care and quality of life for literally tens of millions of people across our country. i was very disappointed that yesterday our republican colleagues voted against providing a point of order that would allow us to object to efforts to privatize medicare or cut benefits or raise
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out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs or preventative services, but as a result of that, we now have in front of us a budget that calls for $435 billion in cuts to medicare. we all know there's ways to work together to create savings through efficiencies and quality measures and other things, but we should not be telling a generation of seniors and those coming beyond them to work hard their whole lives and paid into the programs that they will not have the health care they need and deserve. so i would ask colleagues to join with us in rejecting the $435 billion in medicare that are in this budget resolution. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: mr. president mr. president, i would urge my colleagues to vote no. in the committee senator stabenow offered several different versions of this
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amendment. none of them passed muster with the parliamentarian. i credit the senator's instincts to approach the question of medicare seriously and i'm sure she knows we all take medicare seriously. why does the budget resolution have the numbers that it has? because republicans and the president agreed that we have to act on policies which extend the life of the medicare trust fund. the budget does this by adopting the president's goal of extending the life of medicare's hospital insurance h.i. trust fund by at least five years. while republicans and the president share the goal of the financially stronger medicare program, the republican budget empowers the senate finance committee, the committee of jurisdiction to determine how best to extend the life of the trust fund and solve the program's grave financial challenges. many people have concerns about what the blinks has proposed as new medicare policies. i do, too and expect that the finance committee working on a bipartisan basis and in cooperation with the house can craft solid and successful
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legislation to save medicare from insolvency. i ask for a no vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. is there a sufficient second. there appears to be a sufficient second. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: have you a members voted? are there members wishing to change their votes? if not the yeas are 46, the nays are 54 and the amendment is
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not agreed to. there are two minutes of debate prior to a vote on the portman amendment, number 689. the senator from ohio. mr. portman: thank you. that amendment is a commonsense reform that allows the joint committee on taxation to provide an accurate score to those of us in the senate. we get a static store only and everybody knows it's not wise to just have a static score because it doesn't take into account the taxes changes on the economy. this is informational. we'll still get the static score but also get a macroeconomic store he score. the joint committee on taxation does the analysis. they already have the analysis, they're not allowed to show it with you. by think everybody would support
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this. in the underlying bill there is already a macroeconomic analysis on the spending side biis new. spending and taxes will be analyzed. the last time we talked about this we got a majority vote, some democrats all the republicans, i hope we'll get a bipartisan vote again today. i think it only makes sense for us to have the best information possible to do the best tax reform possible to be sure it does focus on economic growth and jobs and rising wages and i yield back. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: dynamic scoring is nothing more than an accounting gimmick that makes tax cuts appear to at least partly pay for themselves. it is an attempt to make it seem like the failed policies of trickle-down economics work, but we know better. according to the c.b.o., the bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003 are responsible for more than 13% of the increase in our
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national debt from 2001 to 2011. tax cuts did not grow the economy. they just grew our debt. the fuzzy math of dynamic scoring may get you a different answer but the reality is tax cuts were large and the wealthiest americans do not pay for themselves, they just make the rich johnsoner. once again republicans -- richer. republicans are looking to accounting gimmicks to cover up their intentions. it would rig the scoring process in favor of legislation that benefits those who are already doing very very well. i would urge a no vote on this amendment. mr. portman: is any time left on our side? the presiding officer: the senator -- there is no time remaining. the question is on the amendment. all in favor say aye. all opposed no. mr. sanders: i would ask -- a
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roll call vote. the presiding officer: is is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not the yeas are 59 shall the nays are 41. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes of debate prior to the vote. -- on amendment number 632. the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: mr. president could we have order? the presiding officer: the senate is not in order. mr. casey: mr. president i'm honored to be woshing on this amendment with senator shaheen and senator murray. this amendment will create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to support efforts to prevent
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employment discrimination against pregnant workers. in the united states today we've had for so many years a standard set forth in the americans with disabilities act reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities. the same should apply to pregnant workers. we had a supreme court case decision just yesterday peggy young was victorious but the result there is no predictable standard for pregnant workers in the workplace. we need a standard so that employees know what their rights are and so that employers can follow the law. and i would yield to my colleague, senator shaheen. mrs. shaheen: thank you mr. president. this is about ensuring that women are not discriminated against because they want to have children. this is making sure that women don't have to choose between their jobs and their families. it's about ensuring that all women can be reassured that if they are pregnant -- the presiding officer: the
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senator's times has expired. mrs. shaheen: -- their employer has to provide reasonable accommodations. i hope my colleagues will vote for this. mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator wyoming. de-disee i want to declare that -- mr. enzi: i want to declare that republicans are committed to fair and equal treatment of women as well. the congress passed the pairptsal and medical leave act of 1993. congress may need to enact this specific legislation through committee in order to address this issue. this amendment does confirm the ability of the committee of jurisdiction to draft legislation. we'd be happy to accept this on a voice vote. a senator: roll call vote, mr. president. mr. enzi: a roll call vote has been requested. yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. mr. enzi: i would urge the republicans to vote "aye."
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not the yeas are 100 the nays are zero. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes of debate prior to the vote on thune amendment 607. mr. thune: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: i rise in support of my amendment amendment 607 to create a deficit-neutral reserve fund to repeal the federal estate tax better known as the death tax. my amendment will put the senate on order in support of eliminating this destructive and ill-conceived tax on american families in their time of grief. it's often been said but it's worth repeating -- a death in the family should not be a taxable event. i agree wholeheartedly with the piece in the newspaper this week buy harry alfred, president of the black national chamber of commerce who writes, that the death tax and i quote
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disproportionately hampers women and minority-owned businesses across the country and creates an unfair situation for minority businesses which have primarily started to accumulate wealth within the last 60 years." end quote. it also hits farmers particularly hard. according to usda's statistics on cropland values, a percentage of farms in my state of north dakota and states such as illinois indiana colorado, minnesota and missouri remain subject to this unfair double tax even at the higher estate tax exemption limit. incremental relief from this unfair tax is not enough. the time has come for full repeal and i urge support of my amendment. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: mr. president this amendment is not about family farms or small business. this amendment benefits exclusively the wealthiest .3% of the families in this country. the very, very wealthiest people 99.7% of the families in
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america will not benefit by one nickel. and by the way for those concerned about the deficit this will cost us $250 billion over a ten-year period. ironically, the republican budget raises taxes for lower income families who are on the earned income tax credit program and the children's tax credit program. so what we are doing now is giving tax breaks to billionaires in the same bill that we're raising taxes for low-income working families and adding significantly to the deficit. i think this should be a no vote. the presiding officer: the question's on the amendment. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote?
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if not the yeas are 54, the nays are 46. the amendment is agreed to. there are now two minutes of debate on the bennet amendment 1014. plbmr. bennet: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you mr. president. this amendment is very straightforward. the purpose reads -- "to respond to the economic and national security threats posed by human induced climate change as highlighted by the secretary of defense, the director of national intelligence, the administrator of pass nasa and the administrator of the national oceanic and atmospheric administration. administration." thethe amendment establishes a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote national security and public health by addressing climate change through the increased use of clean energy, the deployment of energy efficiency and the reduction of carbon pollution. that's it. that's all it is, simply a statement of all the facts and a suggestion of three common strategies to address the issue.
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climate change is a serious threat to the world to our country and to colorado. ask anyone whose farm or ranch depends on water from the colorado river or one of its tributaries or has been through fire and floods. i urge a "yes" vote on this amendment. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, just wednesday of this week, the new annual gallup poll came out. it said very clearly that among the six environmental concerns in the gallup poll included, its survey global warming polled at the very bottom, right after the loss of tropical rain forests i might add. gallup also found that a majority believe that seriousness of global warming is overstated. the obama administration and others on this side like to claim 97% of the world's scientists believe in manmade global warming. monday's "wall street journal" op-ed debunked the 97% and that
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the survey represents the views of only 79 respondents out of 3,149. and lastly, the agencies that are talking about the claim that 2014 was the warmest year on record like nasa, nasa now has reduced that to 38%. sr. the senator'sthe presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. inhofe: they have retreated from that position. the people have caught on to this hiss stare yus and i ask you -- hysteria, and i ask you to oppose the amendment. the presiding officer: the question is on the amendment. a senator: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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