tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 14, 2015 10:00am-8:01pm EDT
the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to call off the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. the morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to the consideration of h.r. 1295 and h.r. 644 en bloc, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 57, h.r. 1295, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, and so forth. calendar number 56, h.r. 644 an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 and so forth. the presiding officer: under the previous order the hatch amendments, amendment number 1223 to h.r. 1295 and amendment
number 1224 to h.r. 644 are considered and agreed to. under the previous order the time until 12:00 noon will be equally divided in the usual form. mr. brown: thank you mr. president. today at this moment, we begin the debate on one of the most important bills to come in front of the senate this year to guarantee that americans can find a more level playing field as we -- as we compete in the world economy to show that american -- that americans should not be patsies for other countries' cheating, for altering records and information that they submit to trade authorities that it's an opportunity to close an 85-year-old loophole that has allowed us to import products produced by slave labor and child labor and that we fix our currency system so countries and
their companies especially in east asia, in south asia -- east asia mostly -- cannot continue to -- to cheat and sell into our country with a bonus and penalize us when we try to sell into theirs. this body delivered one strong message this week, unprecedented. i can't think of the last time the senate spoke with such an emphatic voice on a trade issue. the simple message -- we cannot have trade promotion without trade enforcement. we shouldn't be passing new agreements while doing nothing which the senate tried to do on tuesday but was -- the senate stood up and said no. we shouldn't be passing new agreements while doing nothing to enforce existing laws and support american companies dealing with unfair competition. we need to stand up, particularly for our small businesses who are always -- who are always hurt to a much greater degree than large businesses because when a large
company -- when a large company in cleveland or toledo or lima shuts down production and moves to china getting a tax break from our government, amazingly enough that this body won't close that tax -- that tax loophole but a company in cleveland, toledo or lima shuts down in this country moves overseas to chian or beijing or wuhan, china and sells products back to our country when that happens, that company's bottom line may be a bit better, but the supply chain for those large companies, the companies in our communities in lima, toledo and mansfield and worcester that sell into those companies, they have lost their biggest customers in far too many cases and those businesses go out of business those workers get laid off, those plants close and we know what happens. that's why we need to stand up, especially for those small businesses who play by the rules and who are drowning under a set
of imports from countries that, one, manipulate their currency, and second, practice illegal dumping. dumping is when companies subsidize through subsidy of water or capital or land or labor costs when those countries subsidize -- or other inputs energy. those companies subsidize those and sell under the real cost of production into the united states, that kind of illegal dumping. it's one thing to talk about statistics mr. president but i want to stop and think about the cost of imports to our companies, our communities and our families. in the state of pennsylvania, as the presiding officer knows especially between pittsburgh and philly or western p.a., the area i am more familiar with because i represent the adjoining state we see time after time companies in small towns, when a company stuts down in a place like jackson ohio, or chilicothe, ohio, so often because of the size of the town, both the house and a wife, ee
each lose their jobs, they both work at that company their entire family income's wiped out. they are likely to lose their home to foreclosure. we know all of those problems that happen because we don't enforce our trade rules. that's why i want us to stop and think about the real costs to families, to communities and to companies. in ohio, we've seen how dumping by korean companies has hurt our steel industry. just three years ago first president bush, then president obama, neither has stepped up on trade the way that they each promised in their campaigns and neither has stepped up the way that they should to preserve our -- our workers and businesses' livelihoods. we both promised on korea thousands of new -- tens of thousands of new jobs, billions in increased exports for our companies, yet the reality of the korean trade agreement was absolutely the opposite of that. decline, major job loss, major
loss in the import-export ratio with our relationship with korea, in spite of -- excuse me, because of that south korean trade agreement that they pushed on the united states congress and people here too willingly passed it. natural gas production has increased demand. let me explain korea for a moment. natural gas production has increased demand for the world class tubular steel made at plants like u.s. steel in lorain made in youngs county. that's the steel piping, particularly durable strong steel which is subjected to great pressure and great heat as they drill for natural gas in so-called fracking or they drill for oil. 8,000 workers in 22 states make this oil country tubular goods. each one of those jobs supports another seven positions in the supply chain. we know when we talk about manufacturing that it's never just the manufacturing jobs, as
important as those are. it's the jobs in the entire supply chain that go into the assembly of the airplane or go into the assembly of the automobile or go into the steel production of oil country tubular goods. these producers increasingly lose business to foreign competitors that simply are not playing by the rules. octg, oil country tubular goods imports have doubled since 2008. by some measures, imports account for somewhat more than 50% of the pipes being used by companies drilling for oil and gas in the united states. korea has one of the world's largest steel industries, but get this. not -- not one of these pipes that korea now dumps in the united states illegally subsidized, not one of these pipes is ever used in korea for drilling because korea has no domestic oil or gas production. so, in other words korea has -- has created this industry only for export and has been successful because they're not
playing fair. so their producers are exporting large volumes to the u.s. the most open and attractive market in the world at below market prices. that's clear evidence that our workers, our manufacturers are being cheated and it should be -- mr. president it should be to members of this body unacceptable. it hurts our workers it hurts our communities it hurts our country. it's time to stop it. i toured lorain's u.s. steel plant in 2013 and saw the number six finishing line, part of a $100 million expansion project. mr. president, people say we can't compete because -- people that -- sort of the naysayers about our country and about our workers and about our businesses that say we can't compete because we're not up to date, our workers aren't productive, all the kind of whining that the naysayers that support these trade policies say insulting to our workers insulting to our communities, insulting to our small businesses. they -- you know, they say we're not modern enough. well you can look at the investment. i've seen $100 million
investment in lorain, for instance what that means. first time in the steel production of this world arselo metal workers about five years ago they passed this threshold one person hour created one ton of steel. the most productive steelworkers in the world the most productive steel companies in the world. the expansion project with lorain's u.s. steel plant was made possible in part because we're able to crack down on chinese steel pipe imports that flooded the market with illegal and cheap products. so they made this investment because we won that trade case, but, mr. president then along came korea to again try to inflict the same damage on our producers and our workers. it's clear that once again we need to ensure that other nations don't unfairly dump steel on the u.s. market. last year, i visited the same plant, joined workers managers and union leaders. we sent one message -- it's time for america to stand up to these lawbreakers. they are mr. president pure and simple, strip it all away,
they are lawbreakers. in january -- these countries that play the game this way. in january u.s. steel -- here's the bad news, because of korea dumping in part. u.s. steel announced 614 temporary layoffs at that plant in lorain. on lake erie. those layoffs began in march. i have spoken on the floor before about one of the u.s. steelworkers i met ryan, who has been out of work for weeks. four kids at home, doesn't know when or if he'll be back at work. will he -- will his home be foreclosed on down the road if he can't go back to work? he's played by the rules. he's been living a responsible life taking care of his kids, paying his mortgage, engaged in the union and the community, is a good, strong, productive worker. hundreds more like ryan in lorain and around ohio. in march republic steel in lorain announced 200 temporary layoffs. i say temporary because the company is hopeful that our government will enforce trade rules and that the dumping of steel will abate a bit.
t.m.k. is one of the largest producers of oil country tubular goods in the world with a facility in brookeville ohio, north of youngstown. since 2008, the company has invested $2 billion, $2 billion in u.s. operations. they are keeping up on technology and modernizing their plant with very productive workers, but how do you compete when korea or china or other nations are cheating? other companies make similar investments to stay on the cutting edge. these companies operate under tighter and tighter margins and lay off workers. last year t.m.k. announced plans to reduce operating hours at three of its facilities. they completely idled another one. i visited buyer steel in cincinnati. i talked to mr. buyer just yesterday when he was -- when i met with some steel company executives. many of them small businesses like his where i first announced the level-the-playing field act at his company in cincinnati.
american companies t.m.k., republic steel, so many others know that they're not in a fair fight. these manufacturers across ohio, all over our country suffer enough from unfair trade practices, distorting the market. it is their workers who suffer even more. think about what even a temporary layoff could do to your family. you're facing mounting bills facing mounting uncertainty you may have to start to turn to credit cards and payday lenders to get by. the downward spiral begins. i don't think many people in this body that dress like this that have great titles and good-paying jobs and far too often, an adoring staff who end up -- we don't think much about this but think about the laid-off worker who has for seven years -- for seven years she has lived she and her husband have lived in a neighborhood say in lorain
where i used to live. they pay their mortgage, they're involved in their kids' activities soccer, and school. they're living lives the way we hoped they would. then she loses her job her good-paying $18-an-hour job. she's got a mortgage she meets every month. she's got bills she pays every month. then she loses her job. she faces un-senioritys uncertainty of what happens next. at some point her kids, her 12-year-old kids understand their mom lost their job. then they face the question. this is when we don't think about much in this body, people who dress like us and have good incomes and have good benefits and have a staff that helps us and all kinds of things. then she has to sit down with her kids and say you know, honey, we may lose other home because we can't keep up with --
not because they are they speculated. my state for 14 years in a row 14 years in a row had more foreclosures than the year before. that's not because ohioans are irresponsible. it's because ohioans have lost so many of these manufacturing jobs. they were paying their bill, meeting their obligations raising their kids, then all of a sudden they couldn't. so they have to face their their-year-old daughter and say honey, we're going to have to move. we can't afford to keep this house anymore. i don't know what school you're going to be in. i'm sorry. i don't think people around this place think very much about the human face of these kinds of decisions. that's mr. president why this is so important. we can do something about this. when jobs are lost due to cheap flooded, illegal imports and at the same time we aren't increasing our exports we need to do all we can to stop this practice understand a protect our workers.
okay the other side will say we are increasing our exports. but the imports are much, much higher in almost every one of these cases. that's why we need to pass this custom bill that incorporates the level-the-playing field act to crack down on foreign companies that are cheating. we welcome competition. we have succeeded competing among ourselves and around the world. but it's got to be -- it's got to be fair. it's got to be a level playing field. that's why level-the-playing field act title 5 of this legislation of the customs bill, is so very, very important. i ask unanimous consent to equally divide the time during the quorum call equally between the parties. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: mr. president i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: thank you mr. president. mr. president, today i rise to express my long-standing concerns about the patriot act and in particular section 215 which is set to expire on june 1. a major use of this section the bulk collection of americans' phone records has just been ruled illegal by the united states court of appeals for the second circuit. if we didn't already have enough concern about reauthorizing section 215 this decision should raise alarm bells. and yet the majority leader is asking us to act quickly to reauthorize this law unchanged for another five years. mr. president, without significant reforms to the law i cannot support an extension of any length of time, and i urge my colleagues to listen to the
court and listen to the numerous oversight groups from within the administration and the millions of citizens who are saying that congress needs to rethink whether this program is violating our rights in the name of keeping us safe. you know, ben franklin was very fond of saying those who give up liberty in the name of security deserve neither. that's where we are today. congress passed the patriot act over a decade ago after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. our nation was devastated. our security was at stake but this legislation was hasty, it was far-reaching and it undermined the constitutional right to privacy of law-abiding citizens. it still does. i have made my opposition clear over the years since 2001.
the major advocates of this law primarily former president bush and his key national security officials, used a potent combination of fear and patriotism to drive this bill through. i was one of only 66 members to vote against the patriot act in the house of representatives. i also voted against the reauthorization of the patriot act in 2006 and the fisa amendments act of 2008. in 2011, i once again opposed the extension of three controversial provisions of the patriot act roving wiretaps, government access to any tangible items such as library and business records and the surveillance of targets who are not connected to any identified terrorist group. back in 2001, i said on the house floor that i was unable to support this bill because it does not strike the right
balance between protecting our liberties and providing for the security of our citizens. i went on to say the saving grace here is that the sunset provision forces us to come back and to look at these issues again when heads are cooler and when we are not in the heat of battle. and that is exactly what we should do. to govern in a post 9/11 world we have to strick the right balance. to fight terrorism without trampling our constitution, and we can do both. the bill of rights was established immediately following a war. our founders knew the the tension between freedom and security. our nation was founded on the right of individual liberty in stark contrast to the long tradition of total sovereign authority of most other governments. i strongly believe we should not
force through a reauthorization of the patriot act without a hard look at the long-term ramifications of the law. we must look at how the law is being used for things like the collection of all americans' phone records and we must consider whether that use is necessary to keep us safe. and whether it is in line with the constitutional rights we are sworn to uphold. mr. president, i urge our colleagues not to be swayed by the false argument that this provision must be reauthorized urgently. that we will be vulnerable a tack if we let it expire -- another false argument. here is the reality: this provision is being used to sweep up the phone calls of all americans across this country. yet there is zero conclusive evidence that it has kept us safe from attack. what we do have, however is
ample evidence that the patriot act, section 215, has been used to violate the privacy of everyday americans. i believe it has violated the constitution. i certainly agree with the federal court of appeals which last week ruled that bulk phone records collection goes far beyond what congress intended when the law was passed. we have a decade of hindsight. let's be honest in this debate and let's be thorough. the entire law bears careful scrutiny. senators lee and leahy have introduced the u.s.a. freedom act to reform the law while reauthorizing expiring provisions. i commend their efforts but i think we can go even further. the house also overwhelmingly passed its version of the freedom act just yesterday. it deserves senate consideration. congress has a duty for robust oversight to ensure real
constitutional privacy rights are upheld. i've pushed for this from when i was in the house. i advocated then for the creation of the privacy in civil liberties oversight board. in june 2013, after details about nasa's bulk collection program were made public, i led a bipartisan call for the pclob to conduct an independent review. it included nasa's stein program on america's civil america's individual rights and civil liberties. the spine program is an unconstitutional intrusion on their privacy rights and two it has almost no impact on safety. the board's oversight role is crucial. its independent evaluation demonstrates why.
it has an important job and requires more support so it can do its job. that's why yesterday senator wyden and i reintroduced the strengthening privacy oversight and transparency -- spot -- act. our bill would strengthen the board. this is key to real oversight and should be included as part of any reauthorization of the patriot act. the spot act extends the board's authority to play a watchdog role over surveillance conducted for purposes beyond counterterrorism. it also allows the privacy and civil liberties oversight board to issue subpoenas without having to wait for the justice department to issue them, and it makes the board members full-time positions. the finally it makes the board an authorized recipient for whistle-blower complaints for employees in the intelligence
community so they can take concerns to an independent organization one that understands the intelligence community. i know we must protect the nation from future attacks but there must also be balance. we cannot give up our constitutional protections in the name of security. to do so does not protect our constitution nor does it increase our security. we need to have a serious debate about these issues and allow senators to offer amendments. this is important to the american people, to our security and to our liberties. congress cannot just leave town and leave this work undone. i voted against the patriot act and the fisa act amendments because they unduly infringed on the guaranteed rights of our citizens. i believe that time has shown -- i believe that time has shown that to be true and the time has come to correct it.
we all value the work of our intelligence community. their efforts are vital to our nation's security. but i believe these amendments are crucial. we can protect our citizens and their constitutional rights. we acted in haste before. it was a mistake then, and it would be a mistake now to approve a straight reauthorization of that law. we need to take the time this time to get it right. thank you mr. president. i see senator wyden is on the floor, so i yield the floor. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: today the senate is formally kicking off the trade debate here in the united states
senate. and what i i intend to do starting today, but in the days ahead is come back to what i think needs to be the central statement of this discussion, and that is the nafta playbook, the playbook for trade in the 1990's, is gone and it is a new day in trade policy. so i have summarized mr. president, why the trade promotion act is not the trade policy of the 1990's, is not the north american free trade agreement and what we're going to do today is essentially start with the question of how vigorous trade enforcement ought
to be at the forefront of america's trade policy in 2015 and beyond and how our new approach on enforcement is different than the policy of the 1990's. the reality is, you can pack trade agreements full of lofty goals and principles. you can amass all of the enforcement ideas you might want. but it doesn't do any good, mr. president, if you don't have real enforcement tools and you make sure that they aren't locked in a shed. and, in my view, that has been happening for way way too long. the status quo on trade enforcement simply no longer does the job. and as i've listened for many months to senators on both sides of the aisle, i believe there's
widespread recognition that our approach to trade -- particularly trade enforcement -- has to change because without that change, we aren't going to have the best possible path to creating more good-paying jobs for our people in a modern and globally competitive economy. and the bottom line, mr. president, is those trade policies in the 1990's did very little -- really nothing to ensure strong enforcement of our trade laws, to protect the american worker from the misdeeds of trade cheats. this bill is designed to take on the universe of aggressive tactics that our competitors have used, and it upgrades trade
enforcement law to meet today's challenges. what we have seen in recent years is that there are some overseas who play cat-and-mouse games with our customs agents, using shell companies fraudulent records and sophisticated schemes. then they bully -- bully -- american businesses into relocating factories and jobs or surrendering valuable intellectual property. too often our companies are spied on and trade enforcers may, in effect, steal -- be victimized by those to steal secrets and dodge accountability accountability. our competitors often perpetrate outright fraud and object paper trails. now, our challenge mr. president -- and i know my
colleague has seen this as a member of the finance committee -- is to get out in front of these schemes that i have just described. the enforcement legislation before the senate is about guaranteeing that the united states has a queen on the chess board no matter what competitive tactic it faces. that starts with a proposal i first offered years ago called the enforce act. now, the north american free trade agreement did nothing to stop foreign companies who cheat and evade duties by shipping their products on untraceable routes. that's the way it used to be. mr. president, that's why this legislation is not the north american free trade agreement. the enforce act is going to give our customs agents more tools aimed at cracking down on the behavior i have just outlined. another major upgrade --
something else that didn't exist during those nafta days -- is what i call an unfair trade alert. the new alert system would set off the warning bells long before the damage is done when american jobs and exports come under threat. one of the big fears you here today is that our enforcers are incapable of stopping the trade cheats before it's too late. by the time somebody in washington catches on to the newest unfair threat that undercuts an american business, the plant has been shuttered the factory lights are out the workers' lives have been turned upside down. in a lost cases if you're talking about the small towns that dot the landscape of oregon and else we elsewhere that abandoned facility might have been the beating heart of an entire
community. the slow pace of action in washington d.c., should never be the reason americans lose their jobs. the unfair trade alert -- that wasn't part of the 1990's, mr. president. that wasn't part of nafta. it's going to be part of our current policy today helping our companies helping our workers get there before it's too late. next the congress is going to lay down clear priorities for our trade enforcers priorities that are centered on jobs and economic growth, and there's going to be more accountability and follow-through baked into our enforcement system. in years past, the trade debate in the congress used to come down a simple transaction of trade promotion authority for trade adjustment assistance. what i said in developing this package of bills -- and what more than a dozen protrade democrats said on tuesday and
wednesday of this week -- was that the united states senate needed to aim higher. the status quo wasn't good enough. and, in particular, it wasn't good enough in terms of enforcing the laws that are on the books. my guess is in, pennsylvania and everywhere else, particular will he those of us who are protrade and want to tap the global markets, how about enforcing the laws that are on the books? what i've started this morning and i will be back again and again between now and the end of this debate, mr. president is to talk about why this is a very different approach than the approach taken of the 1990's. tough, robust, effective enforcement of our trade laws is right at the core of a new and
modern american trade policy. it is a major part, mr. president, of what i call trade done right. it's how you guarantee that trade gives everybody in america a chance to get ahead. those are propositions in my view that deserve strong bipartisan support here in the senate and i urge my colleagues strongly to support this trade enforcement law package. i also ask unanimous consent that the democratic side have 20 minutes of the debate time remaining prior to noon, mr. president. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: thank you mr. president. i yield the floor.
majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president i want to spend just a few moments this morning talking a about a young man who could be described in many ways. and one who has earned many accolades, decorated marine corps veteran award winning journalist houston native and seventh generation texan. but most importantly this young man austin tice is better known as a friend, brother and son to loving and caring parents. almost three years ago austin decided to pause his law school studies to spend the summer in syria as a free lance journalist. he was frustrated by the lack of reporting on syria's civil war a war that's claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people by some estimates and those are just within the borders of syria and has displaced millions more
living in refugee camps both in syria and surrounding countries. this huge greige crisis it's -- refugee crisises affects surrounding companies and has the potential to destabilize the entire region. as a strong believer in the freedom of the press austin wanted to let his countrymen know what was going on in that part of the world. and as a former i'll scout and marine corps captain austin's can-do attitude led him to decide he should go to syria himself and report on the civil war. and that's exactly what he did. well as with most things that he tried austin proved to be very successful. while reporting from syria his work was published in "the washington post" the mclatchy news and other
outoutlets. just days before planning to leave syria he was kidnapped and no one has heard from him since. we still don't know for sure who his captors are and sadly we know very little. but one thing we do know is that his parents mark and deborah tice and his entire family have worked tirelessly to locate him and bring him home safely. this week marks the 1,000th day of austin's captivity. and i really can't begin to imagine what the toll has taken, this ordeal has taken on austin's family. but i have to also say i so greatly admire the courage and conviction of his parents who said earlier this week in a statement -- quote -- "we have desperately missed austin. for more than one million 440,000 minutes.
each new minute fuels our resolve to find him and bring him safely home. while we often mark the number of days someone is missing i think it's important to remember that the family and friends of -- the family and friends of someone who is kidnapped even the minutes that pass are almost unbearable. austin's family is not just counting the days he's been gone and all the milestones that he's inevitably missed, they're counting the minutes too. austin tice has a family that's waiting for him missing him and laboring to find any piece of information that will lead to information about his whereabouts. while longing for his the freedom. so mr. president i join the tice family in doing -- encouraging the federal government to do everything we can to possibly secure austin's safe return home. and i also want to say once again to his family, we haven't
given up, we will continue to stand by you and we will never give up until we find your son and bring him safely home. this week we pass another milestone, this time of 1,000 days austin has been separated from his family. but i join the tice family in their hope that someday soon we'll be able to add another milestone to this story one that marks the day of his safe return to so many who love and miss him. so today our thoughts and prayers are with the tice family and i stand ready to do and i dare say all of us stand ready to do whatever we can to encourage and facilitate the return of this texan veteran brother, and son. mr. president, i yield the floor and i'd suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president today the senate will vote on two pieces of important trade legislation. both of these bills have been in the works for some time. they were among the four trade bills we reported out of the senate finance committee last month. as a principal coauthor of both bills, i'm very glad we found a way to get them to this point. the first bill we'll be voting on is the trade preferences
extension act of 2015. it will reauthorize two of our trade programs. the t.s.b., agoa and tariff preferences for haiti. i would like to take a few minutes to talk about each of these programs individually starting with the g.s.p. the g.s.p. promotes trade with developing nations by providing for nonreciprocal duty-free tariff treatment of certain products originating in those countries. the program helps beneficiary countries advance their economic development and encourages them to move forward -- to move toward more open economies and eliminate frayed barriers for -- trade barriers for u.s. exports. but the g.s.p. does more than provide assistance in the developing world. it also assists hundreds of businesses here in the united
states. across our country manufacturers and importers benefit by receiving inputs and raw materials at a lower cost. approximately three-quarters of u.s. imports under g.s.p. are raw materials parts and components or machinery and equipment used by u.s. companies to manufacture goods here at home. unfortunately because of -- because the program exierd -- expired in 2013 many u.s. dealers had to deal with high imports for two years. without the program in place american companies paid over $600 million in tariffs. businesses in every state have been affected by the expiration of g.s.p. and have a vested interest in the renewal of the program. there are businesses in utah and around the country left with difficult decisions about downsizing hiring freezes and
employee layoffs in the absence of g.s.p. today, with the passage of this bill, we will take a long overdue step towards solving these problems. also included in the preferences bill are provisions for the long-term renewal of the agoa program which encourages african countries to further develop their economies by lowering u.s. tariffs on their exports. since agoa was enacted in the year 2000, trade with beneficiary countries has more than tripled. with the u.s. direct investment growing more than six-fold in that time. the program has helped to create more than two million jobs in sub-saharan africa. i worked with my colleagues on the finance committee to craft reauthorization language that will improve on agoa past success to remove obstacles to trade in sub-saharan africa and
allow that region and our job creators here at home to benefit from expanded market access. i share many of my colleagues' belief that benefits under agoa should go to countries making good-faith progress toward meeting the program's eligibility criteria. for example i'm very concerned that offices in the republic of south africa recently indicated they will attempt to renegotiate commitments made under the general agreement on trade in services to require foreign-owned company to relinquish 51% ownership and control to south africans. south africa also developed a draft policy that proposed changes to intellectual property rights laws which contained significant shortcomings including inadequate protections for patents trademarks and copy rights. these are three areas i take a tremendous interest in, among so many other things around here.
i hope very much as they redraft this policy, it will include recognition of how important protection of intellectual property is to supporting economic growth. but it's not just south africa. for example i understand other beneficiaries under the program continue to impose barriers and limitations to cross-border data flows or otherwise limit digital trade. because of these concerns, we thought it was important to create a mechanism under the agoa program which would allow for benefits to be scaled back if a country is found to not be making good-faith progress on these and other issues. that new tool is included in the bill and we expect the administration to use this bill aggressively particularly in the case of south africa. the legislation also includes new consultation and notification requirements. keeping congress informed of beneficiaries' progress. and there are new mechanisms for
stakeholders to petition the administration to raise awareness about the potential eligibility violations. the bill will require these petitions to be taken into account when determinations are made regarding a beneficiary status and in regular reporting. i know the agoa program has a lot of support here in congress among members of both parties. i think we were able to craft a bill that not only provides the long-term extension of the program that the administration was seeking but also responds to some very serious bilateral trade challenges we are facing today. with these changes, we have created a more flexible program that we believe will spur greater development economic integration an opportunity in the region while better serving the needs of our job creators here at home. i believe it deserves strong support. finally, the preferences bill would also extend preferential access to the u.s. market for
haiti. haiti is one of the poorest economies in the western hemisphere. the haiti preference program supports well-paying stable jobs in a country saddled with poverty and unemployment. i hope this extension will encourage continued economic development and support democracy in haiti. now, this is a strong preference bill mr. president. i expect a strong vote in favor of passing it later today. next the senate will vote on the trade facilitation and trade enforcement act of 2015 which includes important provisions to reauthorize and modernes customs and border protection and significantly improve intellectual property rights in the u.s. and around the world. the customs bill will facilitate the efficient movement of merchandise destined for the united states by form
form formalizing the stawment for u.s. expertees. it will help ensure the private sector and c.v.p. work together. with this bill, we will also ensure that the automated commercial environment and the international data system are completed so that trade documentation can finally be submitted electronically and importers will no longer be required to submit the same information to numerous government agencies. in addition, the bill will mo dernize the drawback process by moving to an electronic claims process that will significantly free up resources in the private and the public sector. and it will increase the de minimis level from $200 to $800 to reduce needless burdens on small businesses importing into
the united states. dirvelly the -- additional aboutly the bill -- additionally the bill strengthens our trade remedy laws. when crafting this customs legislation, i was particularly interested in beefing up our enforcement of intellectual property rights. the bill includes the strongest possible provisions with regard to intellectual property rights and intellectual property rights enforcement. our bill will establish in law the national intellectual property rights coordination center to coordinate federal efforts to prevent intellectual property violations. it will also significantly expand c.v.p.'s tools and authorities to protect intellectual property rights at the border by requiring c.v.p. to share information about suspected infringing merchandise with rights holders. our bill will also provide c.v.p. with complicit
authority -- explicit authority to seize devices that violate the digital authority act an act i put in force years ago and require c.v.p. to share information with rights holders who are injured by these unlawful devices. the bill contains provisions to establish a process for c.v.p. to enforce copyrights while registration with the copy right office is pending and to significantly improve c.v.p.'s reporting requirements to hold the agency more accountable for its enforcement efforts with regard to intellectual property. the bill will strengthen c.v.p.'s targeted goods that violate intellectual property rights improve c.v.p.'s cooperation with the private sector and with foreign customs authorities on enforcement and require an educational campaign at the border. i'm particularly fond of that last part. at my insistence, the bill includes provisions that will
require all versions of the customs declaration form that everyone fills out when they enter the u.s. to contain a warning that importation of goods that infringe on intellectual property rights may violate criminal and/or civil law and may pay -- and may pose serious risk to health and safety. i'm not sure that most americans appreciate the danger that counterfeit products can pose as they often are not built to the same standard of the protected product. so i hope making people more aware of these dangers will help us make sure we are doing all we can to keep americans safe. in addition to enhancing protection at our borders our cuss tomorrows bill will -- customs bill will provide ustr with additional tools to include protection of intellectual property rights by our trading partners overseas in order to stop infringing goods at the
source. for example the bill will establish a chief innovation and intellectual property negotiator with the rank of ambassador to ensure intellectual property rights protection is at the forefront of our trade negotiation and enforcement efforts. and to enhance ustr's accountability to congress on these issues. on top of that the bill will give ustr for enforcement for trade secrets and ensure countries that consistently fail to protect intellectual meet specified benchmarks for improvement. i'm a big fan of this bill, mr. president, it includes a number of my top trade enforcement priorities and i'm very glad we'll get a chance to vote on it today. of course, it's not perfect. some of the amendments that were added in committee leave me with some reservations. most notably the bill now contains provisions that purport
to deal with constitutions manipulation that are in my view very problematic. one provision sets up an avenue for a counterveiling duty investigation or review to determine whether some measure of currency manipulation is effectively a subsidy either -- quote -- "directly or indirectly" -- unquote to a country'ser exports. if the government finds manipulation is once again either -- quote -- "directly or indirectly" -- unquote an export subsidy, sanctions can follow. this provision is problematic for a number of ropes. first of all, it is likely not compliant with our existing international trade commitments. it would effectively require the imposition of trade sanctions that under the language of the legislation could be based on presumptions without support and will almost certainly invite retaliatory reactions from our trading partners who will argue and have already argued that actions taken by the fed -- in
the federal reserve board constitute currency manipulation. while the authors of the currency manipulation provision in the customs bill may believe that there is a clear delineation between monetary policies used for primarily for domestic economic stabilization and policies used to gain a trade advantage there is not. when japan engages in quantitative easing to boost its economy and inflation expectations sometimes at the very urging of u.s. officials is that manipulation? when the federal reserve engages in quantitative easing with part of the expected benefit being downward exchange rate pressure and boosted exports is that manipulation? or just domestic stabilization? is germany's persistent trade surplus somehow partially caused by ongoing easing activities at the european central bank?
and with respect to detection despite the intent of the authors of this provision accuracy is evidently not a concern. i'm sure that everyone or at least those who support this provision have looked at the recent exchange rate assessments for 2013 from the international monetary fund external sector report. for japan one i.m.f. method suggested 15% yen overvaluation while another method suggested 15% underevaluation. yet under the currency manipulation provision in this bill i.m.f. models and methods are what we're supposed to use to set trade standards -- to set trade sanctions. for south korea the two i.m.f. methodologists suggested undervaluation between around 7% and 20%. some when we want to set a
punitive counterveiling duty what are our authorities supposed to do? this they assume that south korea benefited by 7% or 20% or some random number in between? who knows? this provision unfortunately simply won't work since it assumes the existence of accurate knowledge and abilities to determine some fundamental equilibrium change rates that the i.m.f. and the profession simply do not have. under the questionable provision of the bill which allows for investigation of currency underevaluation -- undervaluation and potential ensuing trade actions, i believe that the authors of the provision were overly heroic and mistaken in their belief about the precision about currency valuation methodology. as described in i.m.f. documents.
the problem is that even the i.m.f. does not use those models and methodologist to make -- methodologies to make currency values which are inherently some of the most difficult things for economic methods to identify. it would not be difficult for our trading partners to use precisely the same models and methodologies to make counterveiling cases against federal reserve monetary policy resulting in retaliatory trade sanctions and perhaps defensive currency interventions. this is a clear road to trade wars and currency wars replete with competitive devaluations. such a road is paved by the offending provision in the customs bill which basically gives our trading partners a template for their own accusations about currency manipulation and ensuing trade sanctions. this is problematic
mr. president, and while senators in this chamber would like to simply decree that our monetary policies are just domestic economic stabilization, while foreign monetary policies that may look similar are manipulation, such self-evaluations will not be acceptable in international trade and agreements. i understand the desire of many of my colleagues to address currency manipulation and i want to work with them on this issue but i am convinced that the currency manipulation provision in the customs bill simply will not work and when tried it will simply give ammunition to our trading partners to consider engagement in trade wars, currency wars, competitive devaluations and beggar thy neighbor monetary policies. this is what we should be shooting for with our nation's trading policy. in addition to the currency language there was another provision added during the markup that would require
employers to report occupational classification data to state agencies when filing their quarterly wage reports. this is an entirely new burden that would be placed on employers throughout the country added to all the other reporting burdens they already face, and would require brand-new systems of reporting and collecting information. and in the end it's not readily apparent just how valuable this new collected information will be. according to c.b.o., this new requirement would cost employers throughout the country more than $2 million -- $200 million between 2016 and 2020. that may not seem like much compared to the numbers that get thrown around here in the senate but when we're talking about small businesses who struggle from month to month to cover their payrolls, it's a burden that at least too me doesn't appear to be necessary. once again i'm concerned about this provision and the impact it might have. however, despite the reservations i have about the
flawed currency manipulation concepts and language, and the unfunded mandate on employers i believe it's important that we vote to move the customs bill forward. overall, this is a very good bill. a lot of work has gone into it and i know that it reflects the priorities of a number of our colleagues and members here in the senate, including myself. that being the case, i plan to vote in in favor of passing this legislation later on today and i urge my colleagues to do the same. once again mr. president i'm very glad to see that we're making progress in moving these bills through the senate. i wish to thank all of my colleagues particularly those on the finance committee who worked so hard on these bills to get them to this point p. these are important votes we're going to take today mr. president. i expect that both of these bills will receive broad bipartisan support and i hope they will, and with that, mr. president, i suggest the
the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: mr. president before i address the matter at hand i wanted to say that our hearts go out to the families of the men and women who lost their lives as a result of the amtrak derailment last tuesday. there are many still fighting injuries and our thoughts and
prayers are with them and their loved ones. it was a commuter train. i've ridden it personally hundreds of times. my colleagues the same. a train full of people on the way home to their families, to their loved ones, to the things they liked to do. so our thoughts go out to all of them. it will be our job as lawmakers to analyze why this happened, how we could have prevented it and how we can best move forward to prevent and ensure such a tragedy is not repeated. some of this is already underway but the more pressing task in this moment of tragedy is for us to show solidarity with the victims and their families and recognize their contributions however large and small to our national story. new york lost a few native sons and daughters a.b. giulianiy father of two. we lost rachel jab jacobs, an
industry leader heading home to her husband and 2-year-old son at an educational software company. jail gains architect for the associated press heading homes to plains borough new jersey, see to see his wife, 16-year-old son 11-year-old daughter and we lost dr. derrick griffith the dean of student affairs in brooklyn, just a stone's throw away from where i live. he spent his entire adult life working to improve education. and we lost a young man named justin zimzer. he lived the in the rockaways and was studying at the naval academy. he was a tremendous young man and i know that because i nominated him to the naval academy. he was a valedictorian and earnest big brother and mentor to two children with autism as well as being captain of the varsity football team.
his family mourns his loss and so does america. he would have done so much for our country. today, let us remember them. tomorrow let us work together so that their loss is not in vain. now, mr. president i rise to urge my colleagues to support the customs bill before this body particularly because of the strong language it contains on the crackdown on currency manipulation. i've spoken many times on this subject in the finance committee and here on the floor because i'm passionate about finally passing enforceable mechanisms for dealing with this malicious trade tactic. why? because i'm deeply concerned by the plight of the middle class in today's economy. where globalization and free trade agreements have accelerated a downward pressure on middle-class wages and forced
entire industries to relocate to low-wage countries and i believe currency manipulation is one of the most significant emerging trade challenges this country faces because it directly impacts wages and directly impacts jobs. as this congress is soon to reengage on a fast-track for a massive free trade agreement now is the time to think deeply and comprehensionively about our -- comprehensionively about trade policy and how it impacts the economy. to me and many of my colleagues it does not make sense to move forward with a blank check for free trade without passing strong worker protections on a parallel track. the global economy is a rough sea. we should not pass a trade package that forces the american worker to navigate those waters with a leaky boat and deflated life jacket. so to me and to many of my colleagues this customs bill and the currency manipulation issue was unquestionably germane
to the larger debate on trade. if the goal of t.p.p. is to lure countries away from china it makes perfect sense that as part of the overall effort with t.p.p. we also go after chinese currency manipulation as well. but, mr. president, beyond the question of relevance to this debate, which i believe is dispatched easily, this bill is substantively good trade policy. it contains many smart balanced effective measures to create a level playing field with our international trading partners. first and foremost, currency manipulation is attacked finally head on. companies have asked me about this. heads, c.e.o.'s of major companies have said to me we can't compete if we have one hand tied behind our back, which currency manipulation does. mr. president, may i just ask my colleague a question, my colleague, the ranking member.
how much time do you wish? mr. wyden: i thank my colleague. i can be very brief. mr. schumer: how much time is left? the presiding officer: eight minutes. mr. schumer: would you notify me when i have taken three more minutes, mr. chair? the presiding officer: yes. mr. schumer: thank you. big companies have been hurt. small companies have been hurt. we have lost millions of jobs because of currency manipulation which makes the exports from china and other countries about 33% cheaper and imports of america to china 33% more expensive. and i would say this, mr. president. china seems to feel that they can get away with any kind of trade misdeed whether it's stealing intellectual property by cyber security or any other members, whether it's keeping out the best of american products which they do until they can learn how to make them themselves in their protected
market and then fight us everywhere else. this currency bill will be finally the first real shot across the bow to china that you can't keep getting away from it. their unfair trade practices hurt us in low-wage industries that were very important: shoes clothing toys, furniture. those industries have already suffered. but if we do nothing my colleagues, it will be the cream of american industry, where our innovation and hard work is lost to china through unfair means currency and other. whether it's tech or pharmaceutical talk to the c.e.o.'s of these companies. they will tell you china doesn't play fair. talk to them and tell tell you what we have done up to now the chinese shrug their shoulders at. if -- we must do something if
not in the t.p.a. bill, alongside it that shows china once and for all they just can't get away with it. mr. president, i fear if we don't, we will be saying the same thing about the industries i mentioned in ten years that we say today. the customs measure the currency measure is bipartisan. the currency passed our committee with an overwhelming bipartisan support 18-8, supported by our ranking member, which i most appreciate. it passed the united states in 2011 with 63 votes. it passed the united states house of representatives with 348 votes. and just a year and a half ago in 2013, 60 senators sent a letter to the president imploring the inclusion of enforceable currency provisions. in conclusion, mr. president, we have to think about the big picture when it comes to trade policy. if we move the ledger on one side, opening up our markets in foreign markets we better make sure we adequately move the ledger on the other side to
protect our workers curb unfair deceptive practices and give our small businesses the ability to compete in a global economy. mr. president, the fate of middle-class wages middle-class jobs and the very economy of this country hang in the balance. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support the bill. thank you mr. president and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president before he leaves the floor i'd just like to also note that senator schumer has provided leadership on another very important enforcement issue. he introduced the committee to something a number of years ago known as honey laundering. and what this involved, mr. president, was in effect we had set up a sting operation and in particular with respect to senator schumer's constituents and his interest in tough enforcement of the trade laws, in effect the chinese as my colleagues will recall, were in effect found guilty of unfair
trading practices. so in effect, they would just ship honey through other countries, other countries such as indonesia. so i want my colleague to know that i'm going to continue to work with him on a variety of issues. mr. schumer: i thank my colleague, and if i might mr. president, thank him for the great job he has done under very difficult circumstances. i think everyone on both sides of the aisle appreciate ron's intelligence his bipartisanship his steadfastness. mr. wyden: i thank my colleague. i'm just going to wrap up as we move for this first vote here in a few minutes to come back to what this debate is all about. we are starting, of course, with the issue of trade enforcement. but the big challenge is to show this country that we are putting in place a modern trade policy, a trade policy that sets aside once and for all the nafta play book of the 1990's.
this overall package in my view will usher in a new and modern american trade policy, and it must start mr. president, with a tough robust effective trade enforcement package. many of the details are outlined here earlier this morning. it is time also mr. president -- and this will be part of our early work -- to upgrade and renew our trade preference program. the businesses and workers who rely on these programs are waiting for this congress to act. the first of these proposals enhances and extends the african growth and opportunity act referred to as agoa. this has been the core of a close economic partnership between our country and a host of african nations for more than a decade. the proposal before the senate will update that partnership in
a way that is positive for all involved. back in the 1990's, once again returning to this theme mr. president, the nafta era the united states had no meaningful trade policies to help african nations facing profound economic hardship climb back from the brink. this renewal of the agoa law takes the program to the next level. agoa will be simpler for businesses to use. there will be less red tape to worry about. african countries will be encouraged to zero in on strategies that can make the program more effective. it will be easier for the united states to crack down on the bad actors and verify that countries stay strictly in line with the criteria for eligibility. most importantly the proposal gives all concerned -- workers and businesses and countries and
investors -- a decade of certainty. mr. president, i'm a real fan of this program. i believe it works for our country, for sub-saharan africa, and it ought to be a cornerstone of our economic policy in the region. the second part of this package of programs renews the program known as the general system of preferences. this is an economic win-win because it's a shot in the arm for developing countries and it is a major boost for american manufacturers, including hundreds of them in my home state. one of those businesses in oregon is stackhouse athletic in salem, which will not only be able to create new jobs, they'll be able to offer health benefits to their workers. the extension of g.s.p. will save american businesses an estimated $2 million a day by reducing tariffs. the g.s.p. program expired nearly two years ago and as a
result businesses in my home state of oregon paid an extra $4.9 million in tariffs. renewing g.s.p. would correct that issue. it will support as many as 80,000 jobs: manufacturers ports, farmers and retail stores. that program would be extended by this legislation through 2017. and finally the senate has an opportunity with this legislation to reaffirm our economic commitment to haiti one of our closest and most disadvantaged neighbors in the world. in my view, senator nelson of florida has done very important work in this area. he has been our leader on this issue, and there is bipartisan understanding that now is the right time to extend to haiti trade preferences to line them up with agoa. these haiti preferences also did not exist in the nafta era. together they support as many as 30,000 jobs in that country and they help to drive investment
and lift haiti's economy in the long term. mr. president, i'm confident that the senate will come together to extend this package of preference programs because they make economic sense for america and they strengthen our ties with the developing countries around the world. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation with our first vote and i will close again mr. president, by saying that today we begin to turn the corner on a fresh modern trade policy for the times a policy very very different than the trade policy of the 1990's, the nafta era. so let us begin this effort let's begin this effort for a new 21st century trade policy by passing the legislation that we will be considering shortly both parts. and with that, mr. president i
senator from idaho. mr. crapo: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. crapo: thank you mr. president. i have eight unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and the minority leaders, and i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that the requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order the clerk will now read the bills as amended for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 57 h.r. 1295, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to improve the process for making developing and and so forth. calendar number 56, h.r. 644 an act to amend the internal rend code to spaned the charitable deduction for food inventory. the presiding officer: the question occurs on h.r. 1295 as amended. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. are there any senators who wish to vote or who wish to change their vote? on this vote the yeas are 97. the nays are 1. the 60-vote threshold having been achieved, the bill is passed. the senate will be in order. under the previous order the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table. the question now occurs on h.r. 644 as amended. is there a sufficient second? there is. the clerk will call the roll.
considered made and laid upon the table. under the previous order the motion to proceed to the motion to reconsider the vote on which cloture was not invoked on the motion to proceed to h.r. 1314 is agreed to. under the previous order the time until 2:00 p.m. will be equally divided in the usual form. the senator from utah. mr. hatch: madam president soon theislation that will help shape tf america's trade policy. and, in addition, our rule in role in the global economy. i was disappointed that many of my democratic colleagues voted to block debate on thisant debate earlier in year and i'm hoping for a much different result this afternoon. this vote will set the stage for an important debate, quite likely the most significant debate that we'll have in this chamber all year. this debate will the determine whether our nation is willing
and able to accept the challenges of the world economy or whether we continue in retreat and yield to the siren song of isolationism and protectionism. it will determine whether we as a nation are able and willing to take the lead in settings rules for the world economy or whether we will sit on the sidelines and let other countries create the rules that will govern the trade of all -- of these countries for the foreseeable future. it should be pretty clear where i stand in this debate. i support free trade and open markets for u.s. exporters and job creators. i support new opportunities for american farmers ranchers, manufacturers, service providers, and the workers that they all employ. and i support expanding american influence in the most vibrant and strategic regions in the world. the best way for congress to help our country achieve these goals is to renew trade promotion authority authority as soon
as possible. that's what we'll be debating madam president if this vote goes the way i hope it will. t.p.a. is the most effective tool in the congress' trade arsenal. t.p.a. ensures that congress sets the objectives for our trade negotiators and that those negotiators will be able to reach the best deals possible. without t.p.a. or trade promotion authority, we have no way holding the administration accountable in trade negotiations and no way of making sure our country can get a good deal. getting t.p.a. renewed is president obama's top legislative priority, and he's right on this issue. and we should support our president on this issue. and as chairman of the senate committee with jurisdiction over trade, it's a very high priority for me as well. the t.p.a. bill that will be brought before the senate represents a bipartisan, bicameral effort to advance our nation's trade interests. the legislation we'll be
debating will also include provisions to reauthorize a justment assistance, or t.a.a., which i know is a high priority for many of my colleagues. it has taken a long time, a lot of works and no small amount of compromise to get us to this point. madam president people from both parties have put in enormous efforts just to give us a chance to have this debate here on the senate floor. i want to thank my colleagues for their work thus far in this effort but also remind them that we're not there yet. i'm well-aware that not all of my colleagues share my views on trade, and i expect that they'll make those views abundantly clear in the coming days, as they should. but to do that we need to begin that debate. i'm looking forward to it, mr. president. the american people deserve a spirited debate on these issues. but of course they deserve an opportunity to see this chamber function like the great deliberative body it once was and under the current leadership is becoming again p
put sumly mr. president the obstruction has gone on long enough. it is time to get down to the serious business of legislating and i hope we can begin that process -- or continue that process today by voting in favor of the motion to proceed. i encourage all of my colleagues to do that. so we get on this bill, we debate it, we have a full-fledged debate and let the chips fall where they may. and if we will, i think we'll all feel a lot better about what goes on around this place. so with that, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: thank you mr. president. let me respectfully disagree with my friend from utah. let me urge all members to vote against what i believe to be a disastrous trade agreement a trade agreement based on other trade agreements which, in fact, have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and have led
to a race to the bottom. mr. president, let me just briefly give you four reasons -- and there are many more, but meet just focus on four objective reasons why we should defeat this fast-track legislation and why we need to develop a whole new approach to trade that benefits american workers rather than just the c.e.o.'s of large multinational corporations. reason number one: this unfettered trade agreement with vietnam malaysia and ten other countries follows in the footsteps of disastrous trade agreements like nafta cafta permanent normal trade relations with china and the south korean free trade agreements. any objective look at these trade agreements will tell us that they have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and have led us to a race to the bottom
where american workers are forced to compete against workers in low-wage countries who are making pennies an hour. mr. president, over and over again, supporters of these types of trade agreements have told us about how many jobs they would create how beneficial they would be for the middle class and working class of this country. but over and over again virtually everything they told us turned out to be wrong and they are wrong again in terms of the t.p.p. in 1993, president bill clinton promised that nafta would create one million american jobs in five years. instead, nafta has led to the loss of almost 700,000 jobs. in 1999, we were promised that permanent normal trade relations
with china would open up the chinese economy to american made goods and services. instead, as everybody who goes shopping knows when you buy product after product made in china, that trade agreement has cost us some 2.7 million american jobs. and i remember hearing all of the accolades about free trade with china they all turned out to be wrong. in 2011, the u.s. chamber of commerce told us that the south korean free trade agreement would create some 280,000 jobs. well wrong again. instead, that agreement has led to the loss of some 75,000 jobs. and the reason for all of this is pretty simple. why would an american corporation invest in this country, pay american workers workers $15, $18, $20 an hour, provide health care, deal with environmental regulations trade
unions when they can go abroad, pay people pennies an hour, not have to worry about the environment. that is of course what has happened. these trade agreements have failed. t.p.p. is based on the same principles. it will be another failure. we should reject it for that reason. second point mr. president. in politics, it is always interesting and important to know whose side different groups are on. you can learn a lot by who is supporting an agreement and by who is opposing an agreement. well let's talk about who is supporting the t.p.p. turns out that virtually every major multinational corporation including many of whom who have shut down plants in the united states and move abroad, all of these multinationals, they think the t.p.p. is a great idea. and i'm sure i can understand why it will be a great program for them, it will only
accelerate their ability to shut down plants in america and move to low-wage countries abroad. here is another group who is actively pushing for us to vote for the t.p.p. and that is the pharmaceutical industry. as i think every american knows the drug companies in this country charge our people here the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs but they love this legislation. they just love it because they think as a result of this legislation they will be able to charge people all over the world, including in very poor countries higher prices for their products. wall street, surprise of all surprise, wall street loves this agreement, loves this agreement. as we all remember, not so many years ago the greed and recklessness and illegal behavior of wall street caused the most significant economic recession since the great
depression but wall street loves this legislation because it will make it easier for them to sell esoteric complicateed financial products all over the world. so those are some of the groups who think that this legislation is wonderful that we should vote for it. who are the groups and the organizations that oppose this legislation? well it turns out that every trade union in this country unions representing over 20 million american workers unions who are fighting every single day to get workers higher wages, better pay better health care, they are in strong opposition to this legislation and this is what the trade union movement toss to say about -- has to say about t.p.p., and i quote -- "fast track trade deals mean fewer jobs, lower wages and
a declining middle class. fast-track has been used since the nixon administration to advance deals like nafta that are sold to the american people as job-creation measures but these deals written largely by and for the world's largest related to trade, it is to enshrine rules that make it easier for firms to invest offshore and increase corporate influence over the global economy." end of quote. that is what the trade union movement in this country believes about this agreement. but it is not only the trade union movement that is opposed to t.p.p. virtually every major environmental and scientific group in this country groups such as the league of conservation voters, the sierra club the natural resources defense council the union of concerned scientists, friends of the earth greenpeace and 350.org, they oppose this legislation. this is what the environmental
organizations have written about this bill, and i quote -- "as leading u.s. environmental and science organizations we write to express our strong opposition to fast-track trade promotion authority and to urge you to oppose any legislation that would limit the ability of congress to ensure that trade pac's deliver benefits to workers public health and the environment." end of quote. so you've got organizations trade union organizations representing some 20 million american workers. they say we should not go forward with this agreement. you have organizations representing millions of people in the environmental community who say we should not go forward with this legislation. and then we have religious groups like the presbyterian church u.s.a., the united methodist church and sisters of mercy also opposing this legislation.
and here is what they have written about it, and i quote -- "as people of faith we call on all nations and governments to uphold the dignity of all people yet modern trade agreements have harmed people, especially the most vulnerable in the united states and globally. trade like the rest of the economy must be a means of lifting people out of poverty and ensure a country's ability to protect the health, safety and well-being of their citizens and the planet. in recognition of your sacred task of stewardship over people and policies, we ask you to oppose fast-track trade promotional authority for any trade -- or any trade agreement currently being negotiated." so on one hand, you have all of the big money organizations, you have every major multinational corporation in america, you have wall street, you have the pharmaceutical industry. they say vote for this legislation. on the other side, you have unions representing millions of americans, you have
environmental organizations representing millions more americans, and you have religious organizations that say wait a second, this fast-track trade agreement may not be a good idea, vote no. vote no. so on one hand, you have groups whose motivation is greed and profit and on the other hand you have organizations trying to protect working people, trying to protect the environment trying to uphold basic religious values about human dignity saying no. well, which side should we be on? i say we stand with those who are concerned about workers' rights the environment and moral values. mr. president, let me give you another reason why we should oppose this trade agreement and this is a provision which has gotten far too little attention and that is the investor state
dispute settlement. that sounds like a highly technical term. what in god's name does that mean? let me try to explain what it does mean. what it does mean in english is that it will allow large multinational corporations to sue national, state and local governments, not just in the united states but all over the world if those governments pass legislation that hurts their expected future profits. this to me is exactly about what this whole agreement stands for. it's not for raising wages or creating jobs. it is to protect corporate profits. and unbelievably what this legislation is prepared to do is to undermine basic democracy in terms of what local communities
around the world states in the united states, national governments, whether it's the united states or any other government does if it undermines future profits of large multinational corporations. that's really extraordinary. i thought that our job as members of the united states senate i thought the job of people in australia who represent their government, people democratically elected all over the world i had the idea that maybe their function was to represent as best they could the needs of the people who voted for them. i guess that's a radical and crazy idea because what this bill says that if legislation is passed by people who are democratically elected those decisions, that legislation can be brought to an independent tribunal and those countries
could have to pay huge fines if the legislation which might protect health care or might protect the environment undermines future profits of multinational corporations. what an attack not only on health and the environment, it is an attack on the fundamental tenets of democracy. our job is not to worry about future corporate profits. our job is to worry about the needs of the american people, and that is what elected governments all over the world are supposed to do. let me give you some examples, because we have not talked about this. let me give you some examples of what is already going on around the world based on similar language to what will be in the t.p.p. if we vote for it. similar language. mr. president, -- and this is
maybe the most outrageous example that i can give you but there are many others. philip morris, one of the large tobacco companies in the world is suing both australia and uruguay over labeling requirements for cigarettes. uruguay is this little country and what they have done is been very aggressive in trying to protect their children and their people from the very harmful impacts of smoking. now, you know what? i happen to think that that is a good thing. i think in america all over the world we should do everything we can to make sure our kids are not hooked on nicotine, do not have to suffer heart disease cancer emphysema and all of the other diseases related to smoking. i think our government should be very vigorous. we have done some things in our country, i think we should do more. uruguay, a little tiny country
whose president turned out to be an oncologist, a guy who is worried about cancer, was very active in trying to do everything he could to keep the kids of uruguay from getting hooked on cigarettes. and what happened to uruguay? they were taken to this independent try biewnl, composing, as i understand it, of three corporate lawyers because philip morris said hey uruguay, you're impacting our future profits. we want to get kids hooked onto nicotine. we want to sell our products to kids and to the people of uruguay and by fighting us, passing legislation and doing things that will make it harder for kids to smoke, you are ruining our profits and this court is now -- this case is now resting in an independent tribunal. how insane is that? that a country trying to protect its kids from getting cancer is being sued by philip morris because it might cost them
profits. so this is not only just a health issue in this case of cancer prevention, this is an issue of basic democracy. do the people of uruguay do the people of australia do the people of any country have a right to be very vigorous in protecting the health of their kids and their citizens without worrying about being sued by a cigarette manufacturer who is trying to poison these kids with deadly products? so this is not only a health issues, it is a basic democratic issue, and if philip morris wins this case, it will be sending a message to every government in the world you can't be aggressive in trying to protect your kids from cigarettes. that's one example. let me give you another example equally outrageous. mr. president, on this investor
state provision a french waste management firm is suing for $110 million under the france-egypt bilateral investment treaty over changes to egypt's labor laws, including an increase in the minimum wage. now, let me be honest with you mr. president. i know nothing about egypt's minimum wage but i do think that egypt and every other country on earth has a right to raise its minimum wage if they think it makes sense without worrying about being sued by some company who will have to pay higher wages. how crazy is that? so again not being terribly knowledgeable about domestic policies in egypt the idea that they are being sued for the crime of raising their minimum wage is to me beyond
comprehension. and again, this is just an example of what is happening now and what will only happen in an accelerated manner if we pass this agreement. let me give you one last example. a swedish energy company called vanenfal launched a $5 billion lawsuit over germany's decision to phase out nuclear power. this edition was implemented in response to the fukushima disaster. germany made a decision to phase out nuclear energy. some people think it is a good idea. some people think it is a bad idea. but the last i heard that should be a decision of the german government and the people who elected that government. the elected officials of germany are not dummies. i presume they do what their
people want them to do or they pay the political consequence. but that is a decision of the elected officials of germany. and they said, let's phase out nuclear power. and yet now they are being sued by a swedish energy company vatenfal for some $5 billion because they made that decision. now, that's just what's going on right now. think about what that means into the future. it means that any government around the world or in this trade agreement it means that any state in the united states -- if my state of verntle which -- if my state of vermont, which is sensitive to the environment decides to go forward on some piece of legislation, some country can sue because we wanted to do business there and your environmental regulations are impacting your ability to make profit and undermine what the state of vermont or the state of georgia or any other state
chooses to do. that to me, is just beyond comprehension that anybody would vote for that legislation. we could disagree with what they do in egypt, you can disagree with what they do in uruguay you can disagree with what we do here. but to say that an independent tribunal could provideless about of dollars in damage to a corporation because of a democratically made decision in the united states or any other country around the world is, to me just incomprehensible. the last point that i would want to make, mr. president deals with a health issue. clearly, one of the health crises that we face not only in america but around the world is the high cost of prescription drugs. and our country if my memory is
correct, some 25% of americans who receive prescriptions from doctors are unable to afford to fill those prescriptions. you go to the doctor that diagnoses you writes out a script and the person says, thank you very much, doesn't have the money to fill that script. it's bad in this country but it is obviously much worse in very, very poor countries around the world. and what this agreement will do, if it were passed, senior is, among other thirntion allow pharmaceutical -- among other things allow pharmaceutical companies to fight back against their brand-name products being converted into generics at much lower prices. so poor countries all over the world would have to struggle to come up with very, very high prices for medicine for people who don't have a whole lot of money. and, in fact, that is why doctors without borders have said -- doctors without borders
as you may know, is an heroic group of drrs doctors who whenever there is a problem around the world, these guys are there putting their lives on the line -- i think some of them have died -- to provide medical treatment in the most difficult circumstances to the most -- to the poorest people around the world. they are really an heroic group of people. and doctors without borders has said -- and i quote -- "the t.p.p. agreement is on track to become the most harmful trade pact ever for access to medicines in developing countries." end of quote. so mr. president to my mind, the vote that we're going to have in a short time is really a no-brainer. are we dumb enough to continue down the road of failed trade policies? i would hope not. do we think it is a good idea to
be siding with corporate america, who have already used previous trade agreements to outsource millions of our jobs and to think this agreement is just wonderful? are we going to stand with wall street whose greed is without -- just has no limits? are we going to stand with the pharmaceutical industry that wants to sell drugs to people all over the world at a higher price? or do we stand with unions, environmental groups, religious groups? do we get vouched in involved in a trade agreement which allows corporations to undermine the democratic rights of countries who stand up for their environment, stand up for the health and well-being of their kids? do we make it harder for poor people around the world to get the medicines they need? this really is, mr. president a no-brainer and i would hope that the members of the united states senate send a resounding
"no" to the corporate world that you can't have it all that we are going to pass trade agreements which protect working families which protect the middle class which protects struggling people all over the world. we're going to vote "no" on fast-track and "no" on the t.p.p. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
has finally worked. indeed the spirit of four bills that passed the finance committee last week on this issue of trade the spirit of that overwhelming bipartisan vote in the finance committee has now been carried out on the floor of the senate and, in fact is being carried out and will be so as we invoke the motion for cloture to go to the bill in the next vote that will occur in 30 minutes. certainly, the preferences with regard to trade -- trade preferences with regard to african countries plus the trade preferences with regard to the
poorest nation in the western hemisphere haiti those were not controversial at all. we passed that. certainly the intent was that the safeguards that we put in with regard to considering trade legislation put them on a customs bill that bill was intended to go along with the trade legislation and now that has passed. remember all of this was bollixed up two or three days ago and we weren't going anywhere. but cooler minds are prevailed and brought everybody together. now we go to the main event
which is --. the presiding officer: the time for the minority has expired. mr. nelson: mr. president may i ask consent that i have two additional minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: and i am very gracious to my colleague from alabama for allowing me to do that. mr. president, the main event is the combined two bills of trade adjustment assistance, which is if there is a disruption in a local economy or in a particular trade as a result of new trade arrangements international trade arrangements that there is extra training for those workers to be trained into another job so they have a
livelihood. that's common sense. that is combined with the other main event which is a procedure to fast-track ultimately the two trade bills that are being negotiated by the united states, one in the pacific area, the other one with europe. and fast-track means that when those trade bills come to the congress for approval or disapproval it's done with an up-or-down vote. in other words it can't be pecked to death with hundreds and hundreds of amendments. that's why it's called fast-track. and we are getting to the point that we are now going to pass this as we get on into the
consideration of this legislation and amendments that will be coming to it. but at the end of the day this senator is quite confident that we'll be able to pass the fast-track and it will have this senator's support. now, why? simply because this senator believes that these trade agreements are in the interest of the united states, and i would conclude by saying that if you take, for example, the potential pacific agreement our military commanders have told us that, in fact, it is one of the best things that we could do to get this trade agreement so china can't get in the economic door before the united states. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama.
mr. sessions: mr. president, i want to ask that i be notified after 12 minutes. the presiding officer: the chair will so notify you. mr. sessions: mr. president i think as we consider these trade agreements that it's appropriate that we recognize the importance of free trade how it helps the world and helps the economy and it's something i certainly support and have supported on a number of occasions in the past including the last big trade bill, the korean trade bill. i generally support actually do support the idea of comparative advantage the gist of which is a nation can produce a product and sell it cheaper in another country people over time will benefit from allowing that product to enter the country and be able to buy it at a cheaper price that's comparative advantage i think it's sound in principle and
generally sound in practice. but the american workers are not doing well now. wages have not increased since 2000, 15 years. we're down $3,000 of median family income since 2009. still down $3,000. we have the lowest percentage of americans in the working years actually working today since 1970's. so this is not a healthy environment for working americans. the market has done pretty well well revenues and profits are holding pretty well, but the average american working person is not doing so well. so what is happening? is there a problem with currency manipulation state-owned
enterprises, subsidized foreign industries people who dump products here below market costs or right at market cost being be subsidized and supported by foreign countries? do those alter the situation? do they make it impossible for an american business to compete and if they go out of business, will our government bail them out in any way? will our government -- we had one bailout at the financial collapse but businesses are closing every day. they're not being bailed out today. we've seen substantial reductions in manufacturing around the country. "the wall street journal" just this week had an article the case of the vanishing worker. that was in monday's "wall street journal." and it talked about the city of detater, illinois. -- decatur illinois. their unemployment rate got as high as 15% and it had dropped
to almost half that. it dropped down almost half of that. and so that looked pretty good. but when you looked at the numbers, they weren't so good. what did we find even though the unemployment rate was falling almost half, about how many people were actually working. well the answer was 8% fewer. so how can an unemployment rate fall and the number of people actually working fall at the same time? and the answer is, as the article said, that people are are -- they're moving away they're dropping out of the work force entirely, taking early retirements. that is what is happening too often in america. so i think it's important for us to ask how is trade -- how
are these trade agreements going? how are they impacting american people? let's ask some questions about it. now, i asked the president questions on that. i sent him a letter, and i asked him a series of questions. will it improve wages? will it improve job prospects? will it improve or make worse our trade deficits? well he hasn't answered those questions. so i ask my colleagues, is anybody demanded of this commerce department, the treasury department, the administration to produce us data to show that if we enter into another agreement involving 40% of the world's economy involving some of our most capable and rigorous and tough mercantilist competitors what will it do to the american workers' prospects? is that a fair question to ask? we haven't seen any discussion of it so far as i can tell.
and let me tell you what the reason is. well first i'm going to say this -- unfair trade competition, i believe is real. you talk to people out there every day and they tell you about it. dan chico former c.e.o. of new course steel has a plant in alabama, one of the plants all over the country he said the trade agreements in effect are unilateral american trade disarmament and they enable foreign mercantileism. in other words what he's saying that we have acquiesced into the mercantilist nationalism emphasis of our trading partners, and why is that? well i figured it out. taken me a while to understand exactly what the theory is behind these trade agreements and i believe i'm in error when
i discuss this. the ross kaminski writing in "the american spectator" a fine magazine he wrote a really fine piece arguing for this t.p.a. and the trade agreement. and he was just overwhelmingly saying it must be passed virtually regardless of what's in it. and i got to tell you, it is -- his position is consistent with the position of the editorial page of "the wall street journal" and many other economists. and we have to understand what it is. and this position, i'm losing confidence in. i'm not sure is a good position. as a matter of fact, i don't think it is. maybe i'm wrong but i don't think it is. this is what he says. on trade -- quote -- "it bears repeating and repeating and repeating that the benefit to
american consumers of free trade is so large that it must trump any parochial interests of a particular industry or labor union or politician. because they lower prices -- because they lower the prices of imports and even understanding that there will be a few losers losers, free trade agreements are almost always worth supporting regardless of what is offered to the american exporters by the foreign trade partner. let me repeat that. he said they almost always are worthy to be entered into regardless of what is offered to the american exporters by the foreign trade partner. i remember mr. chairman, as a skilled businessman when i first came to the senate and alan greenspan director of the federal reserve was before me. i was kind of nervous about it,
the maestro of the economy. i asked him a simple question, mr. greenspan, what if a country wants to trade with us, wants to sell market products to us but will buy zero products from us? they just want to sell to us but will buy nothing in return. should we enter into a trade agreement with them? what do you think he answered? i used ask people in town on occasion and they would say he said no. but he said yes. i'm telling you this is a movement the mentality of the current trade agreement supporters at least in the intellectual corporate world and the newspaper world and many within universities, certainly not all. so -- is this a valid position? are we subjecting our american
people unfairly to competition that could cost jobs and so forth. well i'm losing confidence in those views. that's all i'm saying, colleagues. and i think it's time for us to analyze what it means. i would say that the steel industry of the united states is not a little bitty matter. right now u.s. steel closed a big plant i think in illinois or ohio, they just laid off a thousand or so workers in alabama. saab steel in alabama says they're facing ferocious dumping and it's threatening their market share and their ability to make the most modern plant in the world competitive. and they don't think it's fair. well, how long do you have to
sustain this to have dealt substantial damage to the american steel industry? don't you need a steel industry? where will the american steel workers get jobs? you say they can get service jobs. maybe so. maybe they can work at the plumbing company. maybe they can work at a hospital. maybe they can work in a nursing home. maybe there's other work that can be found. but at some point do we not need a manufacturing capability that provides a lot more than a service job,ing manufacturing capabilities that provide demand for products, demand supplies, demand workers that supply those plants and have ripple effects much larger than a person just repairing faucets. so i think we have to ask that question in a very serious way. now i said earlier i voted for
this korean trade package. i believe it. i didn't have a lot of trouble voting for it at the time. i thought it was going to be fine. and maybe it's okay. maybe the track -- the pact is going to be sometime in the future, positive for the united states. the koreans like the japanese, are good trading people. they're allies around the world on security agreements. so i'm not putting the koreans down. the koreans are tough trade negotiators. they have a march -- a mercantileist philosophy. what happened? before that agreement was passed, president obama promised that the u.s.-korea free trade agreement would increase u.s. goods exports to korea by $10 billion to $11 billion.
however, since the deal was ratified in 2012, i believe it was, our exports rose only .8 billion, less than $1 billion. not ten. does that make any difference? just bring in from abroad and our trading partners don't allow exports of our own. and what about korean imports to the united states? they rose more than $12 billion almost duck -- almost doubling our trade gap. the presiding officer: the senator has moved 15 minutes. mr. sessions: thank you mr. president. i believe i have 15 to 20. the presiding officer: there is still time until 2:00. we were notifying you at 12. session tion i see my -- mr. sessions: i see my colleague from louisiana. if he desires to speak i'll wrap up.
i'll wrap up, mr. president. so what about the census department's report on the u.s. trade deficit with south korea? they found that it's almost doubled since the passage of agreement. in 2011 the united states had a 13.2 billion dollar trade deficit with south korea. not a healthy relationship there. but in 2014 it was $25 billion. furthermore, the deficit is currently 66% higher so far this year than it was at the same point last year. so this -- march was the largest trade deficit we've had in a very long time, and the first quarter we had a huge deficit. i believe the march trade deficit was the largest worldwide that we've had in over six years almost the highest
ever. so mr. president we're going to be moving forward. i'm going to support moving forward to discuss this trade bill. there'll be some amendments that i'd seek to offer. if that's the will of the congress those will pass. if not they won't pass. but fundamentally i do believe it's time for the american people to expect of their political leaders to give them some real analysis about what the results of these trade agreements are going to be. will it help raise wages? will it create increasing job prospects? would it increase or reduce our trade deficit? trade deficits represent a drain and a negative pull on the american economy. some say that they don't make much difference, but they do. it does impact adversely g.d.p. so with regard to those questions, i think we need some answer. i'll be asking those as we go
the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: i would ask consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. the senate is not in a quorum call. mr. sessions: mr. president just to share a few more thoughts with my colleagues, in 2014 net experts -- net exports subtracted 1.5% from fourth quarter g.d.p. that's a lot. the g.d.p. in the fourth quarter was subtracted by 1.15%. that's more than $500 billion. that's enough to fund the highway reauthorization program for a long time. the problem is that in the short run, americans tend to be losing jobs as a result of trade
agreements whereas long-term unemployment -- long-term unemployed people have a difficult time finding work. so i would say i believe in trade, but it's not a religion with me. i believe it's a religion when somebody says you should enter into a trade agreement with anybody, opening your markets totally without demanding anything in return for that. and i have to tell you as i just read from others -- and it's clearly the policy of the "wall street journal" -- that that's good policy, that you should enter into a trade agreement whether or not your partner will allow you to sell anything at all to them. i say good negotiations in a contract, which a trade negotiation is, if we open our markets, our competitors ought
to open their sufficiently. and too often we have the problems that arise from nontariff barriers that are impacting the ability of american businesses to sell products in their country. so even if they reduce their tariff the ability to sell products are blocked by other nontariff matters all of which i think we can discuss in weeks to come. and let's be sure we understand where this trade agreement is taking us, what the philosophy and approach behind it is. and let's be sure it serves the interest of the american people first. i thank the chair would yield the floor. and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will call the roll. mr. sessions: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. sessions: i would ask consent that we start the vote now, five minutes earlier than we planned. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. under the previous order the motion to reconsider the vote on which cloture was not invoked on the motion to proceed h.r. 1314 is agreed to. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to h.r. 1314, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, and so forth, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the motion to proceed to h.r. 1314 shall be brought to a close
ms. ayotte: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 606, don't tax our fallen heroes, which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 606, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to exclude certain compensation received by public safety officers and their depends from -- and their dependents from gross income. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. ms. ayotte: well, thank you mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and pass -- a third time and passed, that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table and that any statements relating to the bill appear at this point in the record. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. ayotte: thank you mr. president.
mr. president, we are here today -- and i'm very honored to be here with my colleague from new hampshire, senator shaheen. she and i have worked together on this important bill that has just passed the senate and had previously passed the house of representatives. this week is national police week and we were honored to receive this week so many officers from new hampshire, law enforcement officers representing more than 20 agencies in new hampshire including the brentwood police chief and many members of his department. they are here joining thousands of officers and their families of law enforcement to remember and honor those law enforcement officers who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to keep the rest of us safe. last night during a candlelight
vigil, there was honored 273 fallen officers from across the nation whose names have been added this week to the national memorial including an officer from new hampshire officer steven arkel from new hampshire who served in the brentwood police department, who lost his life in the line of duty a year ago yesterday. our thoughts and prayers continue to be with officer arkel's family and with the brentwood police department. but, unfortunately more than a year after his death his family is still waiting for survivor benefits and that is what we are here to discuss today and to address in the bill that was just passed by the united states senate. the bill, h.r. 606 that senator shaheen and i worked on
together. it's called don't tax our fallen public safety heroes. and recent i will, senator shaheen and i had the opportunity to sit down and have a round table with many of our law enforcement officers and fire chiefs and firefighters from our state and we heard many of the challenges that the families of those who are law enforcement officers and firefighters, who have lost their line in the duty, the challenges that their family members face to get survivor benefits that they should receive. and one of those challenges is the fact that while the benefits that our firefighter families and the law enforcement who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us are tax-free, unfortunately, they have had to apply for a private letter ruling from the i.r.s. to have
that clarified. and what our bill would do is ensure that they no lorpg longer have to go through this bureaucratic step and go through this red tape when it comes to dealing with the i.r.s. to ensure that the benefits that their survivors receive for the sacrifice that they have made are not taxed under the internal revenue code. because these benefits are intended to help those families and make sure that when they go through this incredibly tragic loss that they are able to continue with their lives. i want to thank congressman eric paulson from minnesota for working with us to get this bill passed through the house of representatives. i also want to thank senators toomey and cardin for their work in the senate finance committee to pass this legislation and senate finance chairman hatch and ranking member wyden for their work to help get this
important legislation passed. i most of all want to thank my colleague, senator shaheen because this issue is so important, not only to law enforcement officers and firefighters in new hampshire our public safety officers who every single day go out on our behalf on every hour, every holiday, every weekend to make sure that we are safe. and when unfortunately we lose one of them in the line of duty, like we experienced in new hampshire too recently, a year ago, we want to make sure that those families are taken care of. and that's what this bill does today, to make sure that they don't have to wait to receive benefits that they should receive, that they don't have to go through a rigmarole with the i.r.s. to make sure that these benefits aren't taxed. and i also want to mention that, unfortunately, every state
experiences the loss of our public safety officers for what they do hon our behalf. the and in new hampshire not only have we, unfortunately lost patrolman steven arkel a year ago but in 2012 we also lost greenland chief of police mike maloney, who was about to retire. both of those families have been down here for this police week, and our prayers continue to be with their families. and for the families of every single law enforcement and fire chief and firefighter all those who make sure that we are safe every single day and i'm so glad in this legislation has passed during national police week. we're going to continue to work together to make sure that our public safety officers should they -- unfortunately one of them lose their life in the line
of duty, that they don't have to go through any kind of bureaucratic rigmarole to get the benefits that they have obviously made the ultimate sacrifice and that their families deserve. and so i want to thank senator shaheen for her work on this issue, and i would turn it over to senator shaheen. thank you. mrs. shaheen: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: madam president i am really pleased to be here to join my colleague senator ayotte in applauding the passage in both the house and the senate, today in the senate, of h.r. 606, the don't tax our fallen heroes safety act. this is legislation that we have worked on for over a year. it was first introduced in the latchet congresslast congress and now it's finally on its way to the president's desk to become law. and it couldn't be happening at a more important time. this is national police week.
but, maybe more importantly for new hampshire this week we celebrate the memory of officer steven arkel of brentwood. he was killed in the line of duty just a year ago this week. last night officer arkel's name was added to the roll of honor of police officers killed in the line of duty at the national law enforcement memorial here in washington d.c. officer arkel was not only a terrific police officer, he was a very good and decent man. and as i read in one newspaper he was the kind of police officer who would rather write a warping than a ticket -- a warning than a ticket and he aimed to end fights with words instead of handcuffs. it's been a full year since we lost officer arkel. we don't toargt and will never forget his example of courageous public service. day in and day out our public safety officers, our police, our firefighters and their families make enormous sacrifices.
now, family members fully understand the dangers of their spouses' jobs. they live with that constant worry. but when the worst happens in the line of duty to a loved one, the last thing a surviving family should have to worry about is navigating the federal tax code. and for too long, families of police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty have had to wrangle with the i.r.s. to exempt death benefits from taxation. they've had to hire lawyers and wait years for a ruling from the i.r.s. and in the meantime, their urgently needed benefits are held up. this is just unacceptable. and today it ends. thankfully the house and senate have passed a bill to exempt these death benefits from taxation and end any ambiguity that may have existed. so this is legislation that should not just help the arkell
family but should help families across this country and i applaud the work of my colleague, senator ayotte on this of all of our colleagues who have helped in the senate to make this happen, and of those in the house who also understood the need to support our fallen public safety heroes. when the president signs this bill into law this problem will finally be cleared up once and for all. so again i thank my colleague, senator ayotte, for all of her work on this issue. i'm delighted that it is finally done and look forward to making sure that it gets implemented in a way that continues to support the surviving families. thank you very much, madam president. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: before i speak on the trade legislation the distinguished chairman of the committee is here as well, i would just like to note that the finance committee under the leadership of chairman hatch has
already passed a version of this important legislation. now we have taken up the house companion legislation. i want to congratulate both before my colleagues, senator shaheen has talked to me about this a number of times i snow senator ayotte is very -- know senator ayotte is very interested in this as well. i congratulate both of them and with that, madam president if i other could make my remarks about trade chairman hatch has graciously allowed me to make a few comments at this time. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. machine wyden: madam president with the votes that have been cast today in the united states senate the senate has begun to develop a powerful and bipartisan message that the trade policy of the 1990's will
be unacceptable in 2015. the customs and enforcement package passed this morning goes a long way to breaking new ground. we will be talking about the final two elements of the overall trade package trade promotion authority and trade adjustment assistance, but until we are done with this debate madam president i will be referring to the chart here next to me because what will be -- we'll be outlining is all of the specific areas that demonstrate, demonstrate madam president, that this legislation is going to finally put the 1990's and nafta in the rear view mirror and fix many of
its flaws. for example, in the nafta era american priorities like rights for working families and environmental protection were an afterthought and they were stuck in unenforceable side agreements. with this legislation they will be bedrock elements of future trade agreements. back in those nafta days, the united states pretty much just asked our trading partners to enforce their own labor and environmental laws and then we sort of hoped for the best. the trade promotion act says that if a trading partner's laws fall short, they are going to be required to pass new laws to fix the problem. and for the first time, for the
first time madam president these labor and environmental protections will be fully enforceable, enforceable because they are backed by the threat of trade sanctions. so the nafta era of policies, madam president, and colleagues, had no teeth. in effect, this legislation raises the global bar on labor rights and environmental protection. so we're going to hear a lot madam president, about how somehow this is just more of the same and it's going to promote a race to the bottom. what we intend to spell out in the days ahead is how this creates new momentum to push our standards up, push our standards up rather than promote a race to the bottom.
and for the first time, madam president, i'd like to note with the support of our colleagues the outstanding work done by our colleague from maryland ben cardin, now human rights will be a negotiating objective for our future trade agreements. back in the nafta era, the united states fought for intellectual property protection for drugmakers but nobody was trying to do much of anything to look for people stuck in hardship around the world who needed access to affordable medicine. that also will change with this legislation. the old nafta playbook was written in a time when cell phones were about as big as bricks and internet commerce was still a dream. today, it's right at the heart
of our economy. so our new approach to trade is going to help cement american leadership in the digital economy. even now in 2015 you have repressive governments in china and russia and elsewhere building digital walls that block the free flow of information and commerce on line. if that trend continues, it would chop the internet up into small country-sized pieces. in my view, the internet is the shipping lane of the 21st century and products sent around the the world in bits and bites are just as important as products packed into shipping containers and sent across the oceans. i strongly believe this is the best chance to fix what nafta got wrong and introduce a new day in american trade policy. the only way for our country to defend an open internet,
promote access to affordable medicine protect our values on labor standards and environmental protection and human rights is to fight for them as part of our trade negotiations. certainly nobody else is going to pick up the american banner and fight for those kind of progressive american values in the way that we can. in fact, it's my view if our country fails to lead the way it will be china that steps in to write rules rules that very likely could hurt american workers and our exporters. so we've got to engage madam president, we've got to engage with modern, progressive trade policies. and with a higher bar for trade agreements. and i recognize that there are skeptic with doubts about trade deals and the process of moving them through congress. i think that we can still take
steps to try to reach out to those who have been critical about past trade policy and find common ground, and lock those new policies into the future way in which we make trade law. i've indicated for many, many months madam president that i think those who are skeptical about our trade policies have a valid point when they talk about the excessive secrecy that has so often accompanied much of the trade discussion. my view has been if you believe strongly in the benefits of trade and particularly those high-skill high-wage export jobs and you want more of them, why in the world would you want to have all this secrecy that just makes americans so aware of
the fact that something isn't coming to light and they're wondering whether there's a reason something's been hidden. now, it's been too common that oregonians and other americans have no -- no way of knowing what's on the table in trade talks or how they would be affected. that was a problem with nafta and it has been a problem that has continued over the years. now, there's no question about the need for protecting some of the details in our trade negotiations. i often say at a town hall meeting, madam president nobody is talking about giving out the secret sauce in some particular product. but today americans have a reasonable expectation to be able to fire up their computer, open up their browser and learn about the public policies that affect them and their families. so the days -- it's time to
close the book on those days when americans were kept in the dark on trade. and the reality is, under the old playbook, that nafta playbook, the president could be handed an agreement for signature and put pen to paper right away. so nothing illustrates better, madam president, than the changes that chairman hatch and i and chairman ryan have worked on to put in place a fresh set of policies to ensure that the american people are no longer in the dark with respect to trade. under this legislation the president by law will have to make the full text of trade deals public for 60 days before a president can sign them. when you factor in the congress
congress agreements would be public for as many as 100 days before they're voted on, and often more. so what that means madam president, is if you live in west virginia or utah or oregon or alaska, you'll be able to come to one of our community meetings and have in your hands the trade agreement starting with the trans-pacific partnership, for more than three months before your senator or your member of the house has cast a vote on them, for more than three months the american people will have the actual text starting with the trans-pacific partnership agreement, and i think that is a long overdue change, and i will tell you madam president that is a very dramatic change
that is part of the reason why i note that the -- that this t.p.a. is certainly not one that resembles the nafta era on transparency. finally on the transparency front, long before the deals are finalized our trade officials would be required to give detailed and public updates on what's at stake in the negotiations. every member of congress will have access to the full text from beginning to end and the doors will be open for members to attend negotiating sessions and briefings. now, perhaps the most important new tool in this legislation is a new procedure for hitting the brakes on bad trade deals before they reach the senate or house
floor. if a trade deal doesn't meet the high bar that congress sets under this progressive, modern approach it will be a whole lot easier to shut it down. it's my view that protecting that ability makes the process more democratic. and all of those upgrades will close the door on the 1990's and nafta once and for all. now, the second matter at hand now is the support system for american workers known as trade adjustment assistance. and paired with that program is the health coverage tax credit. when times are tough for workers in industries affected by trade, the health coverage credit guarantees those persons and their families would still be able to see their doctors. and trade adjustment assistance is there for financial support. it is a lifeline for more than
100,000 americans today including 3,000 in oregon, and it helps to guarantee that those workers and their families have a spring board to a new set of opportunities where they can have for themselves and their families a new opportunity for good-paying jobs and a chance to get ahead. the trade adjustment assistance has spent the last few years working at reduced capacity. that would change with this legislation. trade adjustment assistance would be back at full strength in the year 2021 with a level of funding the administration says will cover everybody who qualifies. once again the program would be, bring service workers into the mix because it's not just manufacturing employees who face competition from abroad. trade adjustment assistance takes into account competition that comes from anywhere, including china and india
instead of just a select list of countries. mr. president -- madam president, i want to be clear that the senate is not voting today to give the green light to the trans-pacific partnership or any other trade agreement. as i see it, this is legislation that raises the bar for trade deals and challenges our negotiators to meet it. it will go further than ever before in stripping the secrecy out of trade policy and provide new accountability by protecting our ability to slam the brakes on trade deals that don't work for our hardworking middle class. when you put these vast improvements together with the next level enforcement system, it's my view that you have a long overdue progressive modern approach that sets aside the nafta play book. this is a plan that will help get trade done right.
trade done right so that it works better for all americans whether they are a service professional a business owner or a worker who punches the time clock at the end of the day. and i'll close madam president with just a short statement about why this is especially timely right now. all the evidence suggests that in 2025, there are going to be a billion middle-class workers in the developing world. these are going to be workers madam president, with money money to spend. and they are going to buy computers and helicopters bicycles. their companies will buy planes. the list goes on and on. it's my hope, and i think the hope of every member of the united states senate, that we have a trade policy that ensures
that our workers can have want opportunity to export what we make here and what we grow here, and the products of the united states to this billion-person middle-class market. let's take this opportunity a bipartisan opportunity, to have a fresh new trade policy that increases the prospect of having american workers the best and most competitive workers on the planet be able to sell the goods and services that they make and deliver to that enormous market that wants to buy american, wants to buy oregon and it just seems to me to be obvious we should take the opportunity to tap the potential of that market. with that, madam president i yield the floor.
ms. murkowski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: while my colleague from oregon is still on the floor i want to thank him for his leadership through these discussions these past several days on the floor but long prior to that he has been a leader trying to thread the needle and it's been a little bit harder, but i appreciate the fact that we are here today and hopefully moving forward to that agreement that will allow us as a nation to do the best that we can be and to engage in a level of trade that is, that is fair, free and really of great benefit to us as a nation. so i thank him for that. mr. president -- madam president, i too want to speak about the trade promotion authority and some of the issues
associated with it. but before i do, i want to acknowledge the comments that were made by my colleagues from new hampshire when they spoke about national police week and honoring those brave men and women who serve us day in and day out those who go where many of us choose rather not to their families that worry about them and those who have fallen in the line of their service. i was at the candlelight ceremony last evening and it is probably -- it's the third time now that i have been gathered with survivors gathered with families of those who have gathered to pay tribute to the men and women who are in our law enforcement around the country.
last night i was there to read the names of two alaskans who had, who have fallen in this past year in the line of service. and i gave -- read out the names of sergeant p. scott johnson and trooper gabriel lenox rich at the national law enforcement officers memorial last evening. their names are now inscribed upon that wall. i have a full statement not only acknowledging the lives of these brave men and what they have provided for all of us, but recognizing so many who have served us so honorably and who have given their all in their line of service, who have been recognized at the memorial. so i would ask madam president that my full statement be
included as part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: madam president, i wanted to speak just briefly to the issue of trade in my state of alaska. we're here to debate the trade promotion authority. we've had an opportunity now to proceed to this measure. i was pleased to be able to vote to advance it earlier this week, again today and will continue to support free trade. in my state being separated from the contiguous 48 states, our trade is based primarily with those to the east, in asia. most of our trade doesn't go to the lower 48 states. and so when we think about our
trading partners, for us it is international trade. and international trade in our state supports about one in five jobs over 90,000 alaskan jobs. of those who are exporters about 70% of them are small- and medium-sized companies. so these are men and women and families that are engaged in a very sophisticated level of trade overseas. but again, they are many of them relatively small. we're very vigorous in our trade with japan with south korea with china. but we also have good relationships, of course, with our friends in europe and elsewhere around the globe. but in 2013, the countries that are negotiating the trans-pacific partnership the t.p.p. and the ttip agreements,
they comprised about 54% of alaska's goods exports. so it's a significant part of what we look to for our exports. so as we look to the t.p.p. and the benefits that will accrue, i think our state is looking to clearly strengthen these relationships as well as open new markets for alaska's exports. about 34,000 alaska jobs are supported by trade with t.p.p. countries. 36% of alaska's goods exports are bound for t.p.p. countries. and more than 50 t.p.p. countries have investments within the state of alaska. one of our longest and oldest and more established trading partners -- japan -- is obviously not a current u.s. f.t.a. partner but the t.p.p.
negotiations will provide an avenue for removing some of the trade barriers that we see with japan and allowing us opportunity within the state of alaska. specifically relates it to our fish our fisheries frozen fiduciary. current tariff rates to export frozen fish and prepared crabs to japan are about 10%. so a free trade agreement will lower these tariffs and increase access to japan's seafood market. this is something that we care about a great deal, and again it's been a very, very long-standing partnership and relationship. today, madam president though, i want to move from some of the issues relating to my state and what we, what opportunities hold for us with the prospect of trade promotion authority moving forward. i want to draw attention to a
related issue and this is an issue that is outdated when it comes to exports. and very specifically, a ban on exports. and what i'm referring to is the current ban the prohibition on crude oil exports. this absolutely runs counter to the principle of free trade as well as the notion that we should stand ready to help our allies to help our friends for the sake of global security. we talk a lot about national security. we talk a lot about what more we can do to provide for national security and the geopolitics how we can be of help to our friends and allies. well madam president, one area that we can demonstrate our
willing in the to help is if -- our willingness to help is if we were to lift this decades' old ban, this prohibition on our crude oil and allow for exports. i want to give my colleagues just five quick facts here that you may or may not know about our nation's history of oil exports. because while we have this ban in place and it has been in place since the mid-1970's, there is a history here that i think is important. the first fact goes back to world war ii. the united states exported tens of millions of barrels of crude oil to our allies in world war ii. and we're talking about canada, the united kingdom india australia. we were engaged in a very robust level of export to our friends during world war ii. second fact: when egypt seized control of the suez canal
president eisenhower moved pretty quickly there and he ordered american oil to relieve what was called europe's oil famine. and that was, that was pretty immediate, that was pretty direct. and it was targeted to help our allies and friends at that time. third fact: when row deshah cut -- rhodeshia cut off the supply of oil to zambia in 1965 american began to provide assistance. we delivered products to the zambian airlift. we were there in 1965 when zambia needed that assistance. then in the 1970's, facing the threat from multiple regimes israel secured an agreement from the united states to supply it with oil in the event of a national emergency. so this agreement was made back
in 1970. this was under the administration of president ford. and that agreement was that the united states would stand with our friend and ally to provide oil in the event that their sources were threatened, that israel was threatened. and that agreement stood through president ford's administration, president carter, president bill clinton, president george bush, and with this president in the obama administration. so it is an agreement that has endured, that we will stand by our friend israel in providing it with a source of oil in the event of a national emergency. and this was something where we just got the administration to sign off on this just literally a month or so ago to re-up that agreement. and then the fifth fact here is former ambassador carlos pasquel
and others testified before our committee, the energy committee that the sanctions against iran which brought iran to the table worked. they worked because of rising u.s. oil production, and he went further to say that we were hamstrung by-our inability to export. we've heard this consistently in the energy committee. we heard this discussed on the floor of the senate the past couple weeks when we were talking about the iran deal and the negotiations there but madam president, we're in a position today where our friends, our trading partners, our allies are again asking for our assistance. we have the resource. some would say we are awash in oil right now. the production that we have seen has been nothing short of phenomenal but we're tied, we're limited in our ability to
move it beyond our shores, and our allies are looking at us and they are in the grips of tension. look at our friends and allies in poland. poland is 96% dependent on russia for their oil. don't you think that poland would rather receive their oil from their friend, the united states? poland has been there with us when it comes to national missile defense with just about every engagement that we have had, poland has been there for us. wouldn't it be nice for us to be there with our friend poland. just a couple weeks ago we had a prime minister from japan here mr. abe. iran is still supplying oil to japan, despite those sanctions
japan needs a source of oil. don't you think that japan would much rather receive oil from the united states, more crude from the united states? so i think we recognize the world -- the world is changed out there. there are new alliances, there is new threats, there is new hopes, there is new fears but it remains my hope that while the world may change, our role as a global leader has not eroded and one way one clear sure way that we can ensure that it hasn't eroded is to help our friends use our resources as a -- as a national strategic asset to help our friends and allies. the whole idea, the whole idea that oil exports are still prohibited sometimes to me is
just mind-boggling. i have been working on this now for over a year. we have been encouraging different reports so people understand this issue perhaps their arms around it, because to change a policy that has been in place for decades it takes understanding and education. and so i'm willing to give that time. but i also appreciate that the policy that is in place right now just doesn't make sense. the commerce department retains a list of commodities that are defined in short supply and they call this the short supply controls, and historically these controls were not blanket prohibitions. they were on things like aluminum iron, steel scrap nickel silinium and the polio vaccine. madam president, it's interesting, you look at that
short supply controls list right now, there are three items on that list. the first obviously you guessed it, is crude oil. the second is western cedar western red cedar and the third is horses for export by sea intended for slaughter. there is a small caveat because there's a prohibition of -- of exports of petroleum products that would come from the naval petroleum reserve but it's very small. so really it's what we're talking about the three items that are on this short supply control list, in other words prohibited are oil cedar and horses. go figure. now, we do have embargoes on north korea, for example and we control the export of other things such as sensitive technology but crude oil's presence on the short supply
controls i think is particularly conspicuous since we export our petroleum products, our refined products at record levels. and i think it's important for people to make that distinction because sometimes i think there's a little bit of confusion. we export our refined product at record levels. what we don't export is the crude. so when people say well, i'm afraid that if we lift the oil export ban and we allow for crude export, that the price of oil, the price at the pump is going to go up, and i'm worried about that. i think we would all be worried about that. we don't want to see the price of gallon at the pump go up. but the fact remains that what you put in your vehicle, what you pump at the filling station that's a refined product that we already export that, so you don't see that price spike you
don't see that increase. what we don't refine is the crude product. we have engaged in study after study after study. there has been about eight different very reputable studies out there and each and every one of them has come to the same conclusion that allowing for the lifting of the export ban will not increase the price of gas to the consumer, and i think it's important to reaffirm that. but i would urge my colleagues who are ready to vote for trade promotion authority to consider joining my effort. my colleague senator heitkamp from north dakota is working with me on the other side to again lift this ban to extend the principle of free trade to crude oil exports. we export natural gas we export diesel jet fuel, gasoline, natural gasoline, propane coal,
so many other petroleum products. and i -- i should end by reminding people that the ban that we have in place does allow for certain limited amounts of export. today we export to canada about 4,000 barrels a day. i think that's about average right now. and with alaska, there is an exception that was allowed for export of alaska crude back in the mid 1990's, and i just asked for confirmation on what we have been exporting. last year in september of 2014, we exported about 800,000 barrels to south korea and i'm told that just this month, in may, there was 975,000 barrels that went to south korea.
so we in alaska are trying to do our little bit to help. we need to get our oil pipeline pild up so that we can do -- filled up so that we can do more to export more to those who are our friends and partners and allies. but this is something that again, the time is now. the subject is ripe as we're talking about allowing for greater opportunities for export but when we look to those policies that hold us back hold us back from good jobs from producing our resources to our benefit and our economy's benefit and to the benefit of our friends and allies it's time that we lift the ban on crude oil. doing so will create jobs, strengthen our security, lower our trade deficit and again as study after study has shown not raise our gasoline prices. madam president, i thank you for the time on the floor this
morning -- or this afternoon and look forward to working with my colleagues on these issues. with that, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: i thank you for allowing me to talk about the trade agenda this afternoon and i appreciate the words of my colleague from alaska regarding liquefied natural gas exports and oil exports. this is a discussion about how we ensure that we are accessing the 95% of consumers who live outside of our borders. and for the workers and farmers i represent in ohio, that's really important. this is how we're going to be able to get this economy back on track, in part is to provide more markets more customers and already in my state of ohio, we depend heavily on exports. one out of every three acres that's planted in ohio -- we're one of the top farm states in the country. we're proud of that. one out of every three acres that's planted is exported.
our soybean crop, typically our biggest crop in ohio, 60% gets exported. so for farmers, in order to keep their prices up, these foreign markets are absolutely critical. but it's also really important for our manufacturing sector in ohio. about 25% of our manufacturing jobs our export jobs, and frankly what's happened over the last seven years while america has not been in the business of opening up these markets they're beginning to lose their market share. so it's good for us to expand exports. we've got to do that, because that creates not only more jobs in my state and in our country but it also creates better jobs. these are higher paying jobs with better benefits. those 95% of consumers outside of the united states border, they deserve to get some products stamped made in america because it's great products, great agricultural products, great manufacturing products, great services. we should be aggressively expanding our exports but while we do that, colleagues, we've got to be sure it's fair, too.
we've got to be sure that these other countries are not sending us imports that are traded at below their costs. that's called dumping. that they aren't illegally subsidizing their exports which happens. that's when you put duties in place. make sure that they're not doing things to make the playing field unlevel, so there are workers who are doing all the right things playing by the rules becoming more competitive making concessions to be competitive, that they're not left holding the bag that they don't get the short end of the stick, but instead they get the ability to compete on a level playing field. if they can do that, they'll be just fine. we will be able to expand exports, therefore create these better-paying jobs we talked about. and that's what this debate should be all about. it's about a balance. it's about expanding export, at the same time making sure that the rules of the road work for all of us, including our workers and our farmers our service
providers in my state of ohio and all around our great country. i'm delighted to see that we're moving forward with this debate because it's an honest debate we have to have, and for those that just say well, we can expand exports but we can't do anything about this unfair trade i think that's not the right balance. for those who say we shouldn't be doing these exports because somehow that doesn't help our workers because there is so much unfair trade out there that doesn't work either. there's a balance in between here. one of the issues that i've spent a lot of time working on over the years and looking at is this trade distortion called currency manipulation. some people think we shouldn't touch it or it's something only the department of the treasury can deal with because it's currency it's not technically products and goods but i would say that there is not a member
in this body who doesn't believe that when another country manipulates its currency to expand its exports that that affects trade. it's just obvious. i mean, if you're trying in a deliberate way to lower the cost of your exports by lowering the value of your currency, vis-a-vis another country like us that's going to help you in trade. i had the fasteners in here this week. these are the people that make nuts and bolts and screws. they're big in ohio. we're happy to have a good fastener industry in ohio. but they will tell you their margins are pretty tight. chairman volcker was chairman of the federal reserve. he has made an interesting statement. he said that in one week through currency manipulation, you can do away with all of the benefits of years of trade negotiations. and sadly i think that's true. so we should, while we're
promoting exports also make it clear that we do not believe we should distort trade. and for my republican colleagues those of us who believe in markets we should be against distortions and this is a market distortion, and we should speak up about it and not be shy about it. and not suggest that somehow because it's something that traditionally has been handled by the treasury department and by the international monetary fund and as a currency issue that it doesn't affect trade. it does affect trade. now, if they were making great progress on it at the international monetary fund, i might feel differently about it, but why not include it as a trade negotiating objective? i think it makes all the sense in the world. we're going to have an amendment to do just that that will be on the floor next week as we take up the trade promotion authority. i would ucialg may lesion to take a look at it, objectively. it is very targeted. it does not deal with the country being able to adjust its monetary policy. in fact, it explicitly says this does not relate to monetary
policy macroeconomic policy. it has to do with deliberate intervention in currency markets to have this benefit in exports we talked about to again distort the free market, in order for other countries to be able to sell their products to us at a lower value than they should be, and in turn for our exports to them to be at a higher value which makes it harder for us to keep jobs here in america. so people say this is all about the auto industry? yeah the auto works care about it and that he should. so do the auto companies. but so do the fastener companies, so do the steel companies, so do any groups in ohio that are concerned about ensuring they get a level playing field for their exports because currency manipulation doesn't help anybody. now, people say well, why are you doing this now because these countries like japan are not currently manipulating their currency. i agree since probably the end
of 2011-2012 japan stopped manipulation of their currency. but they've done it over 300 times in the past. so all we're saying is, isn't it right as we're negotiating an agreement that we put in place some discipline here to say, you know we don't want you to do this in the future because it is not fair, for you and your for us. trade ought to be about balance about having enforcement measures in place to level the playing field balance in the sense that we sell something to you, we get some money for doing that we then use that known buy something from the other place. so autograph balance in terms of -- so you have a balance in terms of trade. you don't have these huge surpluses that you see in places like china, for instance, where they have manipulated their currency. so i hope this issue will be one that we can address in an objective manner. take the politics out of it. and let's decide what's best for the workers and farmers we
represent and for the overall health of our economy because if we're going to get back into the business of trade -- which i think we should; i think we should be expanding trade by doing good agreements that knock down the barriers to us so that it is fair. if we do that let's be sure that we can build a consensus for that among the american people who get it. they understand that we need to have exports but they also understand that we need to have more fairness. there are other issues as well that we're going to address in this united states senate in the trade promotion authority vote next week. i hope some of them will be issues that we actually voted on today in the customs bill. some of you have followed this closely, but in the customs bill there were number of enforce p measures -- enforcement measures. how do you show if you're injured as an american company
that you're injured? if they subsidize something illegally, how do you show has an american company that you've been injured by it in order to get the relief that you and the workers you represent deserve? right now it is very difficult sometimes to show injury to the point that some companies tell me rob, by the time we were able to go through this process and show that we were injured it was too late. we had lost too much market share. we weren't a i believe to able to get back on our feet. there is a very simple provision. it is the brown-portman amendment. i would urge colleagues to help us get that into the t.p.a. bill as well. we know that the customs bill may or may not make it through the process. i sure hope we have that provision in there. i ask my own leadership to include it in the substitute that was filed parptly today. i don't -- apparently today.
i don't know if it is in there. it was one that we seemed to have a bipartisan consensussen consensus on this committee. i thank senator hatch and wyden because they included it in the committee mark on the customs bill. we didn't have a vote as an amendment because they included it in the mark because they thought it was good policy. and yet somehow in the substitute i understand it may not be in there. i hope it is, but if it is not we intend to off an amendment to have it included. and i hope my colleagues will support that because again if you're talking about trade, in a state like ohio, we've he got a lot of manufacturing -- you've got to be able to sure to look workers in the eye and say, this is going to be fair for you. get in this business of trade because we want to access those 95% of consumers oud outside of our borders, but we're going to help you. if somebody unfairly competes with you by dumping their product or illegally subsidizing their product you know what? we're going to be there for you. we're going to be able to level that playing field by adding adding
tariffs to their products, because it's illegal what they're doing. i've been active 0en this issue back home, not just on the material injury standard, which is what this is about, when you get injured in trade but also on this issue of being sure that we are opening up more markets for all of our ohio products. ohio manufacturers right now in rebar paper they're all involved in trade cases like this. all of them. they all want to know that this is going to be fair. wheatland tube is one of the nation's largest producers of steel pipe and products. they've got four facilities in ohio one in warren, niles cambridge, brook field. they make products ranging from steel products for the energy industry -- you know, pipe for hydraulic fracking and so son construction industry. they have been particularly
impacted including in several cases we won last year on pipe and tube from china. we've had some nice victories for them. in fact, given the concerns that they have, i understand the plant in warren, ohio, which has 178 workers probably would not be in existence today if we had not won these trade enforcement measures. so here is a plant 174 people in warren ohio who would not have a job today if not for us standing up for them and saying, you know, we're going to especially help you when there is an unfair import coming into this country. the workers there understand this issue. they get it because they know it has a direct impact on their jobs. let me read you an e-mail i received from mike mack, a maintenance foreman at wheatland tube in warren, ohio. "as an individual employed in manufacturing, i understand better than most that trade is a key component for economic growth. however, it's important for u.s.
manufacturers, steel and pipe and tube producers included, to have the tools to challenge unfair trade. i support the adoption of enforcement provisions that will close loopholes in the trade laws to ensure that companies can access these laws to challenge trade-distorting practices. i also support language in the t.p.a. that prevents currency manipulation and the dumping of foreign producted in the united states. it is essential that provisions to close loopholes in trade laws are included in a final trade bill. after all, there is a huge difference between fair trade and free trade. " he says his company relies on these laws and has utilizeed them them. "he says, i know my job and us that of other manufacturing workers' jobs are at risk." end quote. i think that e-mail says it well. he didn't say he is against trade. he didn't say he is against
exports. he said trade is a key component foreeconomic growth. he supports it. he just want know that there's going to be a balance. if there's a balance mike will stand up and support trade. but if there's not he understandably is worried about his job and the jobs of his colleagues at that job at companies all all my state. folks, i really hope that, as we promote trade -- and we should -- that we do so in a more we do that, i think we're tbg to-- we're going to build a broader consensus for doing exactly what we should be doing reengaging in the world. knocking down barriers to trade. as you know, i was the u.s. trade representative for a while. i had that great honor to be able to travel all around the world representing our great country. other countries are looking to us to be able to knock down these barriers to trade because they're unfair, because they no that it helps the economy in
their countries. developing countries know in their hearts that higher tariffs and nontariff barriers makes it harder to grow a middle class to be able to bring people out of poverty and they depend on us for that. but they also depend on us to ensure that the rules of the road are fair. it affects us, it affects it plant in warren, ohio, it also affects them. they suffer from currency manipulation too. they suffer from unfairly traded imports, too. frankly, they are a not always strong enough for big enough countries to stand up to it. america's role in the world is truly exceptional. it is truly essential we're out there. the and it is true in a whole broad range of issues, from keeping the straits of who hormuz and the south china sea open and it is also important on trade. it is importanter to us to stand -- it is important for us to stand up and say we're going to stand up on trade.
let me mention a specific issue part of the trade legislation coming to the floor. this is about something beyond exporting american products. it is about exporting american values and the rule of law. as i said, countries are looking for us in part to let people know what the rules really ought to be. one of those rules of the road ought to be that we believe that human trafficking ought to be stopped, whether it is in our country or on other shores. addressing human trafficking to be a bipartisan issue in this body. irrelevant servei serve as cochair of the caucus to end human trafficking. since we founded the caucus in 2012 we've made real progress passing a number of bills to end trafficking in government contracting, for instance, reauthorizing the trafficking victims protection act and just a few weeks ago we passed a big imilbill called the justice for victims of trafficking act. we passed it 99-0. three bills that i proposed were
part of that package. it's good legislation. as a member of finance committee, i was happy to support a bipartisan amendment to the trade promotion authority that was offered by senator menendez. it puts additional teeth into our trafficking enforcement so that countries who are dealing with us in a trade agreement know that we're serious. if year after year they turning point a blind eye to the horrible reality of human trafficking in their labor markets and countries. so the question before us is, do we keep that in this legislation or not? i think we shouldn't water down trarveggingtrafficking protections that have already been watered down. i think we should take into account the horrendous human trafficking record of some of the world's world's worst offenders. if we do, if we do that, we're going to be able to help stop human trafficking globally. if we don't do that, if we water it down, i fear we're giving some of these countries and an easy
way out. every year the state department issues the trafficking in persons report, t.i.p. the report ranks countries. they have different tiers. tier 1 the country is responsive and reactive to combating human trafficking. tier 3 the country has failed to take steps to prevent human trafficking. so that's the state department. i understand this report, the t.i.p. report, will be released in june and it's already been substantially drafted. i understand that one of the t.p.p. countries may fall in category 3 tier 3. this government continues to detain trafficking victims for periods of time, treating them as criminals for months, even years we're told. this country does not support the n.g. o.'s, the nongovernmental groups. this is from the state department. and the most egregious trends highlighted by the state department that this government is now identifying fewer victims and conducting fewer investigations than in recent years.
so should we be concerned about that? yeah, we should. and i think there's nothing wrong with us including that to provide that incentive to provide that leverage in this t.p.a. bill that we're going to vote on early next week. the trafficking in persons office is independent. they aren't swayed by political considerations. that's my sense of it. it is a good office. so i'll have enormous respect for their t.i.p. analysis and i'll be disappoint fundamental that language is not included -- if that language is not included in the trade agreement. the finance committee with the support of five republicans including me, passed this amendment. and i think senator menendez's attention to this issue is appropriate. i hope we will stand up, as we did with the 99-0 vote, with respect to the broader legislation. thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about these issues today. i think it is inclibl important that we -- incredibly important
that we move forward with expanding trade. and i think trade promotion authority is needed to do that. as we do it, let's be sure that we're able to look those workers, those farmers in the eye back home and say you know what? this is going to work for you too. it's going to work for all of us. this is going to work because we're giving you access to markets you wouldn't otherwise have. that creates more and better-paying jobs. but we're also going to be sure that it is a more level playing field, that you're able to compete effectively and win because the rules won't be rigged against you. the rules are going to be fair for everybody. thank you, madam president. i yield back my time. mr. hatch: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i appreciated the excellent remarks of the distinguished senator from ohio and other senators today. there is no question the senior
senator from ohio is a very strong leader when it comes to international trade having served at the nation's trade representative and having served very well with accolades from everybody i know who knew him in that job. not only was he a grade trade representative but he's a great senator and i have very high regard for him and i understand why he is, like i am, very much -- very much on the train to push this bill through both houses of congress. trains can be derailed as, unfortunately, just happened a few days ago. but this one we're going to try to make sure doesn't get derailed. we have enough democrats who are pro-free trade who understand what this bill will do for them and i think we have enough republicans. let's just hope we can put this through. having said all that, i want to praise the president. i've had many differences with the president over the years
we've always been cordial there's no question that i care for him and i hope he cares for me but the fact of the matter is on this issue our president happens to be right. and thus i was pretty upset the other day when cloture was not invoked and i was glad we were able to work together to overcome that logjam and have the bill on the floor now and hopefully we'll overcome any desire to filibuster this bill in any way shape or form. there have been so many heroic democrats who have worked on this bill and i want to say -- pay homage to them from senator wyden right on through. they all deserve a lot of credit. not enough but nevertheless a good number, and those folks are really going to deserve a lot of credit for standing up for this bill the way they have.
think about it, senator -- the senator from ohio, senator portman, said that 95% to 96% of all of the world's consumers live outside of the united states of america. now, that ought to tell anybody, even an idiot that this bill is important that international trade is important. because we have all kinds 66 small businesses to large businesses that are doing trade overseas but are severely limited because of the lack of a free trade agreement with a wide variety of countries. the advantage of this particular agreement and people are starting to realize it's a very advantageous agreement is that this will provide great trade relations, we hope -- we haven't even seen the free trade agreement yet with the various countries, but this will provide a means whereby 11
countries in the far east and asia if they -- if we conclude this agreement we believe that the trans-pacific partnership will also be concluded, and that will mean we will have great trading rights with 11 countries and they will have great trading rights with us. should this bill pass, there are 28 nations in the ttip negotiations over in europe, plus us, and this will be one of the most important things we could do to keep trade alive and the opportunity to interchange with other countries alive in ways that will benefit not only them but us. the fact of the matter is that we know that trade generally helps us to have better jobs in this country.
and the proven fact is that those jobs are between 13% and 18% higher wages than current wages will be. for those who are in the trading business. so it's good for our workers it's good for our consumers because we will be able to trade at better prices than we've had in the past, it's good for our country because we will thus lead the world in trade although we're far away from that right now because there are 400 trade agreements in this world, we only signed on to 20 of them, where we have 20 trade agreements with various people. and it shows how -- how really lacking we are in doing the free trade agreements that we really ought to do. this will push us forward. it will be 40% to 60% of the
worldwide trade. that should say to anybody that's a good thing to do. it's a good thing to do because it creates jobs, it creates opportunities and it also creates better relationships between our nation and now we're talking almost 40 nations that we will be trading with should this bill pass in its current form. having said that, there are those who don't like this bill. the trade unions in particular. i think some of the train unionists do, some of the men and women who work do because it means their jobs, it means higher pay it means more opportunities, it means their states can get well and strong, it means their august is going to go, their industry is going to go, their manufacturers are going to go. you can go on and on. so it creates more jobs, more opportunities, more -- and higher jobs, higher in the sense of better pay. it's pretty hard for anybody to really cite any reason why you
should vote against this agreement. and this agreement a lot of people have misconstrued it. some of the most brilliant people in the senate have misconstrued it as though this is the final trade agreement with 11 nations. this is not the final trade agreement between -- with our country and 11 nations. this is the procedural agreement that makes it possible for those nations to sign treaties with us knowing that when those -- when this -- when their trans-pacific partnership or the ttip agreements, when they are brought to the senate and the house will have a right to a vote up or down after having a complete look at them, there will be lots of transparency, people have been raising issues
this is not transparent. well this is not the trans-pacific partnership agreement. this is the mechanism through which we can arrive at a trans-pacific partnership agreement. this opens up the world for trade and says to the other countries that we're willing to comply with certain rules and regulations if they will. and in the process we know that you're not going to be able to conclude most of these individual trade agreements with individual nations unless you have trade promotion authority in law. because these countries don't want to enter into a very difficult intensively complex set of negotiations if they -- their only hope is the treaty,
the negotiations of the trade agreement that they sign will be brought back to the two houses of congress that could do whatever it wants to with it and open it up to any kind of amendments, they're not going to sign these trade agreements. we've had some representatives of some of these 11 countries and the trans-pacific partnership negotiations, we've had some of them say unless we pass trade promotion authority they're not going to sign into any agreement and i can hardly blame them because you never know what congress is going to do once these agreements come back. but we do have a right to know what they are we do have a right to look at them thoroughly we do have a right to debate them on the floor we do have a right to vote up or down on these treaties. and that's a right that this -- this particular bill enshrines. that's a right. on the other hand, you've got to have what we call the fast-track approach to it in
order to attract other countries to negotiate and conclude agreements with our country. which is what -- what this agreement is all about. so those are saying this is not transparent, we don't know what's in the t.p.p. and and so forth, of course i don't it's not concluded yet. but this gives us a right to know. this gives us the right to debate it gives us the right to vote. this gives us the right to be part of that system and the administration has made -- the administration has made it very clear they're going to work in a way that every senator in the united states senate and every member of the house of representatives will have a right if they want to and partnership in the process under certain -- certain terms that are really outlined by this particular bill. what we're talking about here today is future trillions of dollars in trade. not just billions, trillions. we're talking about the united states being the leader of the free world.
we're talking about leading other nations to come and work with us for freedom in this world. and think about it, if we get those mainly asian countries in the trans-pacific partnership to agree to this agreement and agree to working with us on trade, that's going to send a message to everybody in that area that you better work with the united states as well. it sends an agreement to every country in the world really that -- if they're willing to work in a fair way with the united states of america and that we're willing to work with them. now, if we don't pass this legislation, can you imagine what wit would do to our relationships with many of these countries that are absolutely critical to our country? and i'd say all 11 of these countries are all 28 of the
european countries primarily are. these are important countries to us. just the massive percentage of trade in the world that is done by these almost 40 countries says to anybody any thinking person you'd be crazy not to enter into agreements that out line how we can do things, to them right protect intellectual property rights and other things that good trading relationships can grow from. this will enable us to at least work with the official trade representative the ambassador from our country michael froman and to conclude these agreements so everybody in our country will benefit from them. it just makes sense. not only that, but can you imagine if we failed to pass
t.p.a. trade protection authority the message it sends to those almost 40 doesn't? including ours. can you imagine what message that would be? not only that, but it would interfere with foreign policy objectives of our country in many many years to come in drastically bad ways. so the people who don't like this approach to give the administration the tools it needs to be able to enter into free trade agreements that they know they're going to have to comply with important and relevant terms it says to the people in all those countries hey, the united states is not a constant partner to deal with. so this is an important debate,
and that's why it's come so far. and i want to personally applaud the heroic democrats who are willing to stand up for this as well as republicans. you can always find something wrong with every piece of legislation that comes through this place. i don't know of many that have been perfect although there have been a few in my eyes. but nothing seems to be perfect, but what we try to do here is do the absolute best we can to get as close to perfection as we can. yes, this is not a perfect bill but by gosh it takes us a long way toward resolving all kinds of disputes and relationships throughout a very, very important area in the world. i should say areas in the world. so this is an important bill and as i understand it, we will probably go to some monday votes on this, now that we are on the bill and hopefully our
colleagues will pay attention to what is in this bill, what it really means that it is not the trans-pacific partnership that it is a means by which congress has a say in the trans-pacific partnership and the ttip, the trans-atlantic partnership, and it gives us some authority over these matters. bus helps us to comply, cooperate with, and to work with the president of the united states and the people that he has designated to do these -- these agreements. it's just the right thing to do. and i have to say that this would be a crown to the obama administration should we pass this through it would be a crown to every senator and house member who votes for it. it's going to be a crown that a lot of people will be able to wear for years to come, at least six years.
and it will be helpful to future administrations as well. so i hope our colleagues will help us to pass this bill, help us to keep amendments that shouldn't be on this bill off help us to keep amendments that really aren't, aren't helpful off, help us to keep the poison pills that usually come up around here off so that this bill can pass through become law, and enable whatever administration it is -- but this administration for the next year and a half approximately -- to be able to do good with some of these agreements that may be very, very important to our well-being as well as their well-being to our relationship as well as their relationships with us, to our region as well as their region, to have the united states of america working with them, to have them working
with us sends a message to a lot of enemies around this world that we're making headway we're doing things the way they ought to be done, and that the united states is a good trading partner and that as tough as sometimes it is to get these types of landmark pieces of legislation through both houses of congress, that this one was worthwhile to put through. i just hoap that we'll con -- i just hope we'll conclude this in a way that will help this administration do a really good job and will help us to move forward as a nation. it will help our economy and help their economies and create greater foreign policy presence in our country and the countries involved. with that, i yield the floor. ms. stabenow: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you madam president. this is a very, very important debate and i was here earlier this week and look forwards to
to -- look forward to more debate next week. i look forward to a vote on the portman-stabenow amendment addressing currency manipulation. but at this point in time i'd like to speak for a moment as if in morning business, and unanimous consent. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. stabenow: thank you. i rise on the floor of the united states senate in memory of a young woman whose life was extraordinary and meaningful and whose passing has left so many of us so profoundly sad. on tuesday night -- on tuesday night rachel jacobing -- rachel jacobs left work and boarded a train to go home to her husband todd and her sons. her life full of passion and purpose was lost that night along with at least seven others when her train -- and we all know now about the train -- was
derailed just outside of philadelphia. rachel touched so many lives all across the country. today all of those lives are broken. the loss is so profound her family has lost a wonderful wife and daughter and mother and sister and all of us have lost someone who had accomplished so much already in her young life and would have done so much more to make the world a better place if only she had been given the time. i want my colleagues in the senate to know rachel. i want them to know the life she lived. she grew up in the detroit area where she was a smart engaged young woman who was active in her community and always looked for ways to make a difference. an exceptionally talented and bright young woman she went on to college at swathmore and then
to columbia for her m.b.a. two months ago she became the c.e.o. of eppernet, an online workforce training start-up. she had a vision to use technology to help people get the right skills to be successful in the fastest-growing sector of our economy like health care. she was also the cofounder and chair of detroit nation which brought together native detroiters from around the country to stay engaged and connected to their hometown in an effort to create jobs and economic growth. rachel did so much for others something i know she learned from her parents gilda and john jacobs. gilda is a dear friend of mine, someone who has devoted her own life to public service. i can't imagine the sadness of
their family today. it is small comfort that rachel's dedication to her family and community is a testament to the wonderful person she was. she was an inspiration to so many, and that inspiration will endure. rachel's life was not the only one lost on tuesday night. a native midshipman from new york aaward winning associated press technology staffer; five other americans with family and friends, and so much going for them and we are finding more would have lost their lives. so many lives cut short in their prime. so many people who were doing so much good in the world. there are many questions as the investigation into this crash gets underway. federal authorities are doing
their work right now and the families of those killed or injured deserve answers. and so i was truly stunned yesterday when the house of representatives voted in committee to slash funding for our infrastructure, including amtrak. i could not believe that happened. there is something deeply wrong when an unthinkable tragedy like this occurs. it should serve as a wakeup call for all of us to work together. and not even 24 hours later republican members of congress act as if nothing had happened. our roads and bridges and railroads carry people, madam president. they carry young mothers like rachel who want to get home to hold their babies. they carry young men like justin
zemser, that 20-year-old midshipman at the naval academy a patriot whose contributions to his country could have been incredible. i know in talking to senator schumer, who nominated him, he was an incredible young man. we have a responsibility to the people of this country the people who sent us here to represent them, to make sure our infrastructure is secure. and yet we see on the horizon the very real possibility our highway trust fund will soon be empty. we see the events of yesterday with a vote in the house appropriations committee to slash funding for trains and roads and bridges. and it is personally very alarming to me. as we engage in these discussions over the next few weeks about how to fund
transportation in this country i hope my colleagues will not forget the people who use our transportation system. people like rachel jacobs. thank you madam president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: madam president thank you. i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. moran: madam president thank you very much. i'd like to call to my colleagues' attention the idea that biomedical research must be a national priority. we're in the process -- as the president of the senate is -- a member of the appropriations committee, we're in the process
of crafting our appropriations bills for fiscal year 2016, and we face the tremendous task in trying to balance effective efficient government operations with the necessity of righting our nation's fiscal course during very difficult challenging times. therefore, what i take from that the circumstance that we're in, is it is extremely important that we prioritize programs initiatives really that are effective in their service to the american people and demonstrate a significant and sufficient return on investment. congress should set spending priorities and focus our resources on initiatives with proven outcomes. no initiative that meets criteria better than this than biomedical research supported by the national institutes of health. n.i.h.-supported research has raised life expectancy, improved the quality of life, lowered overall health care costs and is an economic engine that
strengthens america's global competitiveness. the benefits of n.i.h. are widely acknowledged on a bipartisan basis. during the recent negotiations on that fiscal year 2016 budget, 34 of my senate colleagues, both republicans and democrats cosponsored an amendment that i offered affirming n.i.h. biomedical research as a national priority. i was pleased that this amendment was included in the final budget agreement passed by congress. furthermore, my colleagues, the gentleman from south carolina, senator grahamming -- senator graham and senator durbin agreed to form the national institute caucus. i'm happy to be a member of that caucus which will offer an opportunity for senators to visit about the importance of n.i.h. and to seek bipartisan strategies to provide steady, predictable growth for biomedical research. if the united states is to continue its leadership in providing medical breakthroughs
to develop cures and treat diseases we must be committed to supporting this research. if researchers cannot rely on consistent support from congress, we will jeopardize our current programs, we will reduce our progress, stunt our nation's competitiveness and lose a generation of young researchers to other careers or other countries. new scientific findings help us confront staggering challenges of disease and illness. one such challenge i would like to focus on today in my remarks is alzheimer's. it's a devastating and irreversible brain disease that slowly destroys an individual's cognitive functioning including memory and thought. today more than 5.3 million americans are living with this terrible disease. every minute someone in our country develops alzheimer's. it is the sixth-leading cause of death in the united states and it is the only cause of death among the top ten in the united
states that cannot be prevented cured, or even slowed. within these grim statistics are immeasurable suffering and stress this disease places on individuals, on their families, on their friends. this reality hits home in the stories i hear from kansans. the alzheimer's association's heart of america chapter in kansas tells me about ricky from topeka. ricky has early onset alzheimer's disease. he is 60 years old and due to alzheimer's disease ricky had to retire from a good-paying job because he no longer was able to do the work. he and his family expected him to work until at least another five years or more, and they had plans to, that were interrupted caused them to have to adjust from a two-income family to a single-income family. ricky is frustrated at times and tries to maintain a positive attitude with his family and his
peers. he and all members of his early-stage support group are very scared about their future, and they are desperate for a cure. they are worrying about the burden they might place upon their families. ricky and so many other of his peers are continually looking for ways to slow down the progress the progression of this disease. this includes testing himself daily with the use of an ipad, trying new foods and join research study at the university of kansas medical center. fortunately, ricky is still able to ride his harley-davidson but he knows one day that day is coming that the thing that he enjoys so much won't be able to occur again. i'm also aware of katrina from seanee kansas. she is an alzheimer's association ambassador, and she shared her story. as personal and health advocates, my brother and i used more than seven weeks of personal vacation time -- some unpaid -- during our mother's final year of care. during the year she was
transitioned to ten different care facilities. we worked with more than two dozen health care professionals at these locations and some were not even notified of her basic needs such as her iodine, allergy or insurance information that she was unable to share with them. this would be a significant life change for anyone, but especially someone age 67 who was a physically strong and is a physically strong woman but cognitively impaired due to the early onset of dementia diagnosed at age 59. katrina says they reflect upon her passing, which is now three months ago and the emotional and financial toll of the last 278 months couldn't be -- 27 months couldn't be quantified. long-term savings and time off from work were limited and the time spent at work was interrupted with calls doctors appointments and meetings to communicate with health care providers regard my mother's
ongoing health care needs. my brother and i are 40 and 37, she says. we have children ages 4 to 15. we worked full time during this period of time and did everything we could to advocate for our mother's care. we're fortunate to have devoted spouses, family and friends and employers who worked with us during these difficult times. all of us in the united states senate every american knows someone who has been affected, someone whose family member has been affected by the terrible disease alzheimer's. it's a tremendous personal tragedy, this disease but it's also a very expensive disease and we have a lot to gain both in the care and quality of people's lives the care for people and the quality of their lives that we want to maintain. we also have the opportunity to invest in alzheimer's research that will reduce the costs of alzheimer's to us as taxpayers to health care insurance to those of us who pay insurance premiums. this is a way we also can save
money. because on an average per-person medicare spending for individuals with alzheimer's and other dementias is three times higher than medicare spending across the board for all other seniors. for alzheimer's patients, medicare has per-person expenditures three times the amount of other people, other seniors on medicare. this year the direct cost to america for caring for those with alzheimer's is estimated at $226 billion $226 billion. half of these annual costs more than $100 billion, will be borne by medicare. these numbers mean that nearly one in five medicare dollars is spent on individuals with alzheimer's disease and other dementia. in 2050, which isn't that far away this amount will be one in every three medicare dollars spent on alzheimer's and dementia diseases. unless something is done, in
2050 alzheimer's will cost our country over a trillion dollars in $2,015. so taking into account inflation, it will be a trillion dollars, and cost to medicare will increase more than 400% to nearly $590 billion. we must commit to a national strategy for speeding the development of effective intervention for alzheimer's diseases. as the baby boomer generation ages alzheimer's has unfortunately become a disease to define a generation, but it doesn't have to be an inevitable part of the aging process. america can tackle alzheimer's by prioritization of our biomedical research capabilities. in a recent "new york times" editorial, former speaker newt gingrich praised the considerable benefits of n.i.h. and specifically a research breakthrough relating to
alzheimer's. he noted that a breakthrough that could delay the onset of the disease by just five years to slow the onset by five years would reduce the number of americans with alzheimer's in 2050 by 42% and cut costs by one-third. these encouraging statistics, the idea that we can have open, that there is a better day these encouraging statistics would also represent increased health and quality of life for both patients and their loved ones. current research advances give us that reason for hope. as dr. francis collins the director of the national institutes of health recently stated alzheimer's research is entering a new era in which creative approaches for detecting, measuring and analyzing a wide range of biomedical data sets are leading to new insights about the causes and course of the disease. dr. collins calls on our
nation's medical researchers to work smarter faster, more collaboratively to determine the best path for progress in alzheimer's disease research. as an example n.i.h. is implementing a new initiative called the accelerating medicines partnership working together with pharmaceutical companies to develop the next generation of drug targets for alzheimer's disease as well as rheumatoid arthritis type two diabetes and lupus. n.i.h. is also leading the brain research through advancing innovative neurotechnologies initiatives or brain. the brain initiative is a multi-agency effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain. the objective of the brain initiative is to enable the development and use of innovative technologies to produce a clearer understanding of how individual cells and neurocircuits interact. by better understanding how the brain works technologies developed under this initiative could help reveal the underlying cause of a wide array of brain
disorders. understanding these causes will provide new avenues to treat cure prevent neurological and psychiatric conditions such as alzheimer's disease traumatic brain injury, autism schizophrenia and epilepsy. ground-breaking research is currently taking place and congress must do its part to prioritize the important work supported by the national institutes of health. as a member of the senate appropriation subcommittee that is responsible for the funding of n.i.h., i am committed to working with my colleagues to see that that prioritization of n.i.h. occurs and that with n.i.h. there is support strong support for alzheimer's research. in 2011, congress passed the national alzheimer's plan that specifically lays out a series of scientific milestones that researchers think need to be met in order to make meaningful impact on the trajectory of alzheimer's by 2025. what's the plan to get us where
we need to be by that point in time? and over the last two years congress has provided n.i.h. with approximately $125 million in increased funding to support good science that addresses alzheimer's diseases and dementia. additionally, we have worked to include language in the fiscal year 2015 omnibus that requires n.i.h. to submit a yearly budget request for alzheimer's research based on what is required to fund the necessary science. this particular effort is to make certain that we have a specific accountable research plan to ensure that our resources are effectively targeted to meet milestones of scientific -- that the scientific community has established. alzheimer's disease is a defining challenge for our generation. the health and financial future of our nation are at stake and the united states simply must not continue to ignore such a threat. this is a moral and financial issue. it's one that should be easy for
us to come together on. if you are the person or the senator who cares the most about people in caring and compassionate ways, you should be for medical research. if you are the senator who cares about the fiscal condition of our country and getting our financial house in order you should be for biomedical research. this commitment, the commitment by all of us will significantly lower costs and improve health care outcomes for people living with the disease today and those who may encounter it in the future. together we can. this is what we're all here for. together we can make a difference, and we can do that by making a sustained commitment to alzheimer's research that will benefit our nation and bring hope and healing to americans today and tomorrow. the challenge is ours, and the moment to act upon this disease is today. it's important for our moms, our dads our grandparents, our family members our friends for the fiscal health of our nation.
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: is noter from north dakota. ms. heitcamp: i ask that the quorum call bs dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. heitcamp: madam president i rise today to continue an effort to honor the 1998 north dakotan soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives while sesqui in serving in the vietnam war. together with the bismarck high school history and english classes we are reaching out to families and friends of these fallen service members and sharing a bit about each one on the floor of the united states senate. today i want to start by talking about a large family, the gietzens. who lost one of their own in vietnam but continue to serve our country and our states.
bill and mary raised 17 children on a farm outside glen ullin. it was on their farm that their children learned the importance of hard work, dedication, and bravery. after serving in the army in world war ii, bill married his sweetheart mary, and they had 15 children. gene gietzen served in vietnam in the marine corps' alpha company first battalion seventh marine. gene was born march 19, 1950. on may 21, 1969, he died as a result of wounds received on a company operation. he was 19 years old. gene's twin brother glen, and older brother russell were also stationed in vietnam for a time while gene was there. once when russell and glen's battalion passed through gene's camp they had the opportunity to
spend the night together. that night the young men learned of the birth of their youngest brother, fred. while the brothers said goodbye, gene told them that he would never get to see baby fred. glen and russell told him that they would see him soon and that he needed to stop being so pessimistic. a few weeks later they learned of gene's death. glen escorted his twin brother's body home. russell, the oldest child served three tours of duty in vietnam with the army as an interpreter and participated in several covert missions. russell had two sons who served our state and country in the north dakota national guard. glen also served in the army in vietnam. glen started the injured military wildlife project of north dakota, which gives wounded veterans nationwide opportunities to hunt and fish in north dakota. mark their other brother joined the marine corps and
served all around the world on embassy duty. greg served with u.s. special forces for 37 years. jim joined the army and was stationed in germany for two years. erin -- aaron served 22 years with army special operations as a combat medaglia d'oroic. he now trains a new generation of army medics at the u.s. army special operations command in fort bragg, north carolina. the rest of the children have served as nurses, missionaries or have kept up the tradition of family farming. north dakota is proud to be home of this, the home of this inspiring family. now i want to talk about more north dakotans who like gene gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country during vietnam. gerald jerry decker. jerry was from sentinel butte and was born june 7 1 1948.
he served in the army's 25th infantry division. jerry died on april 10, 1969. he was 20 years old. jerry was one of seven children and the youngest of three boys. jerry and his brother ron were both stationed overseas at the same time, ron running supplies from thailand and gary as a cook in vietnam. jerry chose to enlist so that he could serve his country and return to the family farm and ranch as soon as possible. jerry intended to essentially take over -- eventually take over the farm. his sister rose remembers how much he loved farming and training his dogs to hunt. after his death jerry's brother ron escorted his body home. that night after jerry's funeral, their brother tom had to appear before the draft board. but he was excused from service. rose remembers jerry as the kind
of guy everyone loved even though he had a very dry sense of humor. she says that during jerry's funeral their church was overflowing with people mourning jerry's death. norman emineth. norman was from baldwin and was born june 13 1949. he served in the country's 25th infantry division. norman was 20 years old when he died on may 22, 1970. norman and his four siblings grew up on a form outside of baldwin. he spent his cooled working on a farm picking rocks and milking cows. in his free time norman enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with their neighbors. in 1961, the singer sue thompson recorded a song called "norman." his friends poked fun at him but despite the teasing he loved the song. he bought the record and listened to the song over and over until he hadth it
memorialized all of the lyrics. to this day his sister elaine can still hear the song in her head. elaine cherishes the time subcommittee spent with more norman when he was on leave from vietnam. she said during this time she felt like the kids had become adult friends instead of bickering children. the siblings all wish they had spent time in their adult years with their brother norman. lawrence esser jr. lawrence was the from minot served in the army's ninth infantry division. he was 21 years old when he died on march 12, 1969. lawrence was the oldest -- or was the fourth of eight children and his family and friends called him junior. his sister darlene has fond memories of playing together outside making mud pies. she says that from the time
lawrence was a child he loved to build things and work with his hands. he attended a trade school and worked for his brother-in-law in a construction firm. lawrence's family remembers him as a humble and quiet person. his brother who died when she was 98 years old still had a hard time speaking about lawrence until her own death. joseph joe fischer. joe was from zeeland and was born september 11, 1948. he served in the army on the u.s.s. king as a boiler technician. joe died on may 23, 1969. he was 20 years old. when joe was very young his mother passed away. during middle school he began living with ben and laura jund of zeeland. joe and his foster family grew very close. he and his high school friend and welder recalls joe was kind
of a class clown and participated in baseball, football drama and pep club. ann and joe's foster family believes everyone who knew joe enjoyed being around him. after middle school joe enlisted in the navy. he enjoyed his navy service very much. the day after his fost irfamily learned that joe had died, they received a note in the mail sent to them stating i just thought i would let you know that i'm still alive. wendell keller. kennel was from fargo and was born may 14, 1934. he served in the air force's 433rd tactical fighter squadron. wendell was 34 years old when he went missing in action on march 1, 1969. wendell's parents were raymond and leonea keller and his siblings are virginia post, ray
keller and david keller. in addition to his siblings, wendell is survived by his wife jacqueline, son gregory and his wife -- and his wife patty and stepson andy and son michael and daughter janie and their daughter linda. while at north dakota state university wendell majored in electrical engineering and graduated with an air force rotc commission. wendell was an accomplished pilot. in 19 a 59 he was selected to flail over the first u.s. air force academy graduation ceremony. in 1968, wendell volunteered for an assignment in southeast asia rather than accepting the recommendation to become a thunderbird pilot. on march 1 1969, wendell an air force major at the time, was the flight commander of a strike over laos. it was his 80th mission and he
made multiple passes before his plane was struck by antiaircraft fire and crashed in the rugged terrain. search and rescue efforts were unsuccessful. he was declared missing in action and was promoted to lieutenant colonel. 15 years later the crash site was discovered and after several ground searches every servings and evacuations in 2012 his remains were identified and he was buried in arlington national cemetery. the air force issued lieutenant colonel keller medals to honor his extraordinary service including the distinguished flying cross, the air medal with four oak leaf clusters and the purple heart. stanley otmar. he was from mott and was born october 26 1949. he served in the first cavalry division. stan died april 10, 1969. he was 19 years old.
his family called him stan and he was the third of seven children. his sister, maven ottmar was my college roommate when we were at u.n.d. and remains a good friend of mine today. their father served in world war ii in the army, after high school graduation he fossil enlisted in the army where he joined the parachute training program. stan was a friendly person who had a love and talent for music. his sister sharon has fond memories of stan at home standing in front of the mirror watching himself play his guitar and sing. the family cherishes the recordings that they have of him singing and playing the give guitar. stan died with two weeks left in his tour and was making plans at that time to buy a new car. john renner. john was from mandan and was born june 24 1949.
he served in the marine corps' hotel company second battalion, 26th marines. he was 20 years old when he died july 28, 1969. john was one of three kids. his sister mary lives in mandan and his brother tim lives in arizona. mary remembers john as a happy nice person who was always smiling. he was never unkind to a soul. john was killed just over two months after beginning his tour of duty in vietnam. after john died, his brother tim joined the marine corps. tim was not sent to vietnam but felt he owed it to his brother to join the military. john's fellow soldiers remember him as a brave and good friend. he is deeply missed by all who knew him. virgil greany. virgil is from rugby and was born november 26 1930.
he served as a major in the army. he was 33 years old when he died september 25 1964. virgil served our country for over 12 years prior to his death including service in korea and ethiopia before he volunteered to go to vietnam as an advisor. he had made the military as a career but he had a passion for mathematics. his dream was to become a math teacher after he retired from the army. the day virgil died a vietnam soldier threw four grenades into his vehicle. the third exploded inside the truck killing virgil. he left behind his young wife, stepchildren and a daughter. robert bob sime. bob grew up in velva and tolna and was born december 10 1939. en served in the second cavalry
division in what was called gary owens regiment. bob was 27 years old when he died october 23, 1967. his siblings are john richard, and marilyn. his parents both worked in education. bob grew up in velva. his senior year of vulnerable high school his family moved to tolna where his father was superintendent of schools. bob was talked into joining the basketball team at tolna where he played just for the fun of it his cousin gene remembers he liked 1950's rock 'n' roll music and combed his hair like elvis presley. after high school bob enlisted in the army. in the army bob met lieutenant bob trimble. the two men had confidence in each other and enjoyed spending
free time together. lieutenant trimball remembers bob's sense of humor. he was with bob when bob was killed and says that day will always haunt him. thomas tom spitzer. he grew up south of wilton and was born june 17 1941. he served as a navy pilot. tom was 25 years old when he died on october 26, 1966. tom is survived by his siblings wife and his son tom who was born just a month after his father was killed. in high school, tom and a friend began flying. he then attended north dakota state university where he participated in rotc and received a degree in business ad -- administration. during his navy training, tom was designated a top gun graduate. his brother jeff says that it was the proudest moment of tom's life. the navy intended for tom to
stay in the united states to train other pilots, but tom volunteered to go to vietnam to serve his country. as a navy pilot in vietnam tom flew over 100 missions. one of those missions involved him flying over his wing commander who had been shot down to draw fire away while they waited for help to arrive. the navy awarded tom with distinguished medals in recognition of his heroism. donald "donny" vollmer. donny was from bismarck. he was born august 2, 1950. he served in the army's first aviation brigade. donny died on november 2, 1969. he was 19 years old. donny had three brothers and one sister. he enjoyed hunting and fishing in his free time. donny decided to join the army because his older brother jim was enlisting and he wanted to go too. at the time donny was 17 years old, so his parents had to give
permission and donny had to finish his g.e.d. while at basic training. donny and jim served in the same unit and donny was a helicopter crew chief. a few weeks before donny was killed, he and jim came home on emergency leave because their mother had a heart attack. donny spent his time at home telling his friends how much he loved serving his country. jim's tour was almost over so he was allowed to stay home, but donny returned to vietnam alone. jim believes that if donny had not been killed in the war he would have made the army his career. robert brothen. robert was from mohall. he was born february 14 1947. he served in the army's first infantry division. robert died on february 27 1969. he had just turned 22 years old. his two sisters were beverly and
audrey and his brother's name was bernard. even though he was robert's younger brother bernard joined the army during the war just to help protect robert. at one point during their service, robert and bernard were both hospitalized in washington state, being treated for foot rot, but didn't learn that they were in the same place until the day after they left. robert's father alvin died of cancer the same year robert died. their sister beverly is the last living member of the family. their mother pearl passed away in 2004, but witnessed the death of three of her children and two husbands during her lifetime. this is the story of just a few north dakotans and actually just a few of those brave soldiers who were killed in action in vietnam, and as we continue to participate in the commemoration of the vietnam war, i believe it is critically important that we continue to honor and appreciate
the sacrifice and to help educate the younger generation like the bismarck high students that are helping me with this project on the importance of sacrifice and commitment to our country. thank you madam president. i yield the floor. and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that all postcloture time be considered expired and the motion to proceed to h.r. 1314 be agreed to and that senator hatch be recognized to offer substitute amendment 1221 and a first-degree amendment to strike title 2 of the amendment. i further ask that the following amendments be the only other amendments in order during today's session of the senate -- brown 1242, lankford 1237. i further ask that when the senate resumes consideration of h.r. 1314 on monday, may 15, the time until 5:30 p.m. be equally
divided between the managers or their designees and that at 5:30 the senate proceed to vote in relation to the brown and lankford amendments in that order, with no second-degree amendments in order prior to the votes and a 60-affirmative vote threshold for adoption. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: madam president. reserving the right to object, madam president. i haven't had the opportunity to express my appreciation for the hard, hard work of the chairman and ranking member of the finance committee. the senior senator has gone through a lot the past two weeks trying to help us get to the point we are today. i admire the work they have done and i look forward to the fair amendment process that we're going to have next week. the presiding officer: is there an objection? without objection, so ordered.
under the previous order the motion to proceed is agreed to. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: calendar number 58, h.r. 1314, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, and so forth. mr. hatch: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i call up amendment number 1221. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from utah mr. hatch proposes an amendment numbered 1221. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: i would suggest the absence of a quorum.
mr. hatch: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: madam president i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: madam president i call up amendment 1243. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from utah mr. hatch for mr. flake proposes an amendment numbered 1243 to amendment numbered 1221. mr. hatch: i ask that the reading be dispensed with.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: madam president i call up the lankford amendment numbered 1237. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from utah mr. hatch for mr. lankford proposes an amendment numbered 1237 to amendment numbered 1221. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to bring up amendment brown 1242. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from ohio mr. brown proposes an amendment numbered 1242 to amendment numbered 1221. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading of the amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you madam president. with the indulgence of the finance chair and ranking member, senator wyden i would just like two or three minutes to explain the amendment and the importance of it. one of the most important reasons for the vote on tuesday
is that i believe a significant number of members of this -- of this body and i think the public those who support the -- the fast-track, those who oppose it all believe that enforcement is important and that assisting workers is important so it would be a tragedy to send t.p.a. to the desk of the president of the united states for him to sign, leading to at least two other trade agreements, trans-pacific partnership and the u.s. european union so-called t-tip trade agreement without enforcement and assistance for workers. we make decisions in this body. those who support this trade agreement -- this fast-track and the trade agreement are making decisions, which we know even the most enthusiastic supporters and cheerleaders for free trade will acknowledge there are winners and losers when it comes to trade agreement some people
because of dislocation because of these trade agreements, dislocation in the economy. some people lose their jobs in states -- in places like wheeling, west virginia, and bolero ohio, right across the ohio river. and so it's important that we take care of those workers who lose their jobs because of our actions. that's why the t.a.a., trade adjustment assistance, help for workers to find new -- to get new training and find new jobs when they're laid off in the chemical or steel industry along the ohio river madam president or elsewhere have the opportunity to be retrained. i meet people frequently who were laid off because of nafta or because of cafta and now they're back in school. man, the -- a man the other day i met is becoming a nurse. a woman might become a physical their -- therapist. a man might be trained in information technology or some other kind of work after they have lost their jobs. so that's the importance of
trade adjustment assistance. the president's budget called for a significant higher number of dollars for trade adjustment assistance than the bill coming out of the finance committee. that's why i'm offering my amendment to get those dollars commensurate with the need. because every president in both parties -- president bush the first on nafta, president clinton on nafta and pntr, president bush on fast-track and cafta, president obama on south korea trade agreement and now on t.p.p. -- make big promises about trade numbers and increased jobs, big promises about higher wages. unfortunately, those big promises end up with bad results. we know it from south korea most recently. we see it throughout the last 20 years of trade. that's why this number of dollars authorized and appropriated for the trade adjustment assistance needs to be increased so that it will take care of those people that
lose their jobs because of the trans-pacific partnership and because of ttip, which this congress could very well agree to in the next year or so. madam president, i ask for support of brown amendment number 1242. my understanding is that vote will come on monday night. and i appreciate the support of all of the members of this body. i note the absence of a quorum, madam president. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. hatch: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak
therein up to -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. hatch: i'm sorry. i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: this week we welcomed thousands of law enforcement officers for national police week 2015. it's a time to pay tribute to all the men and women who serve in federal state and local law enforcement all across america. and it's a good time for those of us who benefit from the shield of protection that they provide and actually that's all of us, a time for us to express our gratitude. police officers are here to rededicate themselves to the pursuit of justice and to honor fallen officers.
we're proud to have them all here in washington. i want to especially recognize the many men and women who protect and serve as peace officers in kentucky. today i had the pleasure of meeting with some of kentucky's finefinest. i want to personally thank them for courageously risking their lives in service to people across the commonwealth. sadly, the occasion of national police week is also the time we pay tribute to the brave and honorable peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty over the last year. and so i want to remember and say a few words about kentucky's own deputy sheriff ernest t. franklin of the baron county that i remember riff's office who died on april 2 2014. deputy sheriff franklin was killed on kentucky route 90. he was 58 years old and had served with the sheriff's office
for seven years. he is recalled as a friendly man who always had a kind woman for everyone. he worshiped at hope well baptist church, volunteered at the local community center and soup kitchen and was by all accounts an excellent self-. deputy sheriff franklin put his lave on the line every day to protect his fellow kentuckians and i want to extend my deepest condolences to his family and all those who knew and loved him. as deputy sheriff ernest t. franklin is mourned the kentucky state police have created their own unique way to memorialize their fallen officers. this week they unveiled a new statue called "the trooper" a trooper cast in bronze and 10-feet tall at the kentucky state police academy. the statue is a tribute to members of the kentucky state police who've given their lives in the line of duty.
that's 27 troopers and officers. it is quite an inspirational sight, a lone figure in a uniform striding forward ready to defend the property, dignity and lives of his fellow kentuckians. i know my colleagues in the u.s. senate join me in holding the deepest admiration and respect for the many brave law enforcement officers across kentucky and the nation. theirs is both an honorable profession and slairn dangerous one. -- and certainly a dangerous wufnlt it is also a necessary one because the peace and order of the civil society that we all take for granted would not exist without them. kentucky is grateful for our law enforcement officers' service and we're grateful for the service of deputy sheriff ernest t. franklin. on a related note, i was proud to cosponsor and see the senate passage this year of the national blue alert act. the bill will establish a national blue alert system within the u.s. department of justice to help catch those
criminals who kill, harm, or threaten law enforcement officers. the blue alert system will be similar to what the amber alert system does for abducted children. should law enforcement officers be killed, seriously injured threatened or go missing while in the line of duty, this system would be ute utilized to widely disseminate information to help identify and aapprehend potential suspects. blue alert will help bring to justice those who harm our police officers and hopefully help deter future violence. i was pleased to see the house pass the bill earlier this week. and with this bill, we will help protect those who put their lives on the line to protect us all. now, madam president i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding the passage of h.r. 1295 and h.r. 644, that the title amendments number 1240 and 1241 be agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s.1356 introduced earlier today. the presiding officer: without objection. -- the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 1356 a bill to clarify that certain provisions of the border patrol agent pay reform act of 2014 and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, and that any statements relating to the bill appear at this point in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 179. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 179 resolution designating may 16, 2015 as kids to park day. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: you ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the
motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i understand there are three bills at the desk and i ask for their first reading en bloc. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the titles for the first time. the clerk: s. 1350 a bill to provide a short-term extension of federal-aid highway angz so forth and for other purposes. s. 1357, a bill to extend authority relating to roving surveillance and so forth and for other purposes. h.r. 2048, appear act to reform the authorities of the federal government to require the production of certain business records and so forth and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: i now ask for its second reading appeared object to my request en bloc. the presiding officer: objection having been heard the bills will receive their second reading on the next legislative day. mr. mcconnell: now, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. monday,
may 18. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the it would leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following leader remarks the senate be in a period of morning business until 3:00 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. further, that following morning business, the senate resume consideration of h.r. 1314. the presiding officer: witho without objection. mr. mcconnell: so senators should expect at least two roll call votes at 5:30 p.m. on monday in relation to amendments to the t