tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 18, 2015 6:30pm-8:01pm EDT
the presiding officer: are there any senators who wish to vote or change their vote? if not the yeas are 92, the nays are zero. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment the amendment is agreed to as modified. mr. whitehouse: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that i be allowed to speak for up to 20 minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you mr. president. april 18 2012, was not the first time i spoke on the senate
floor on the dangers of carbon pollution, but it was the first in the weekly series that brings me here today with my increasingly dogged-eared sign. opponents of responsible climate action do it best in the dark, so i knew if anything was going to change around here, we would need to shine some light -- on the facts on the science and on the sophisticated scheme of denial being conducted by the polluters. i decided to come to the floor every week the senate is in session to put at least my little light to work, and today i do so for the 100th time, and i thank very much my colleagues who have taken time from their extremely busy schedules to be here, particularly my colleague from the house jim langevin and david cicillini who have traveled all the way across the
building. i am -- i'm not a lone voice on this subject. many colleagues have been speaking out particularly our ranking member, on the environment and public works committee, senator boxer. senator markey has been speaking out on climate longer than i have been in the senate. senator schumer nelson, blumenthal schatz, king and baldwin have each joined me to speak of the effects of carbon pollution on their home states and economies. senator manchin and i from different perspectives spoke here about our shared belief that climate change is real and must be addressed. more than 30 fellow democrats held the floor overnight to bring attention to climate change under the leadership of senator schatz. our democratic leader, senator reid has pressed the senate to face up to this challenge and thousands of people in rhode island and across the country have shown their support.
sometimes people ask me how do you keep coming up with new ideas? it's easy. there are at least 100 reasons to act on climate. hundreds of americans have sent me their reasons. through my web site and on facebook and on twitter using the 100 reasons hashtag and i'll highlight some of their reasons in this speech. what's my number-one reason? easy. rhode island. the consequences of carbon pollution for my ocean state are undenial. the tide gauge at naval station newport is up nearly ten inches since the 1930's. the water in narragansett bay is three to four degrees fahrenheit warmer in the winter than just 50 years ago. laurie from west kingston, rhode island said that's her top reason too. she wrote we stand to lose the best part of rhode island, the 400 miles of coastline which
will severely impact us environmentally and economically. even kentucky's department of fish and wildlife has warned -- get this -- that sea level rise and increased storms along our eastern seaboard could get so bad that it would trigger -- quote -- unprecedented population migration from our east coasts to kentucky. now, that's serious. mr. president, winston churchill talked about sharp agate points upon which the ponderous balance of destiny turns. what if we now stand at a hinge of history? will we awaken to the duty and responsibility of our time or
will we sleepwalk through it? that's the test we face. i've laid out in these speeches the mounting effects of carbon pollution all around us and the evidence abounds. this march for the first time in human history the monthly average carbon dioxide in our atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million. the range had been 170-300 parts per million for hundreds of thousands of years. 2014 was the hottest year ever measured. 14 of the warmest 15 years ever measured have been in this century. our oceans warm as they absorb more than 90% of the heat captured by greenhouse gases. you measure their warming with a thermometer. as seawater warms it expands and sea levels rise. global average sea level rose about an inch just from 2005-
2013. you measure that with a yardstick. ocean water absorbs roughly a quarter of all our carbon emissions, making the water more acidic and upsetting the very chemistry of ocean life. you measure this, too, with a p.h. test like a third grade class would use for its fish tank. it is virtually universal in peer-reviewed science that carbon pollution is causing these climate and oceanic changes. every major scientific society in our country has said so. our brightest scientists at noaa and nasa are unequivocal but time and again we hear i'm not a scientist from politicians refusing to acknowledge the evidence. we're not elected to be scientists. we are elected to listen to them. and if you don't believe
scientists how about generals? our defense and intelligence leaders have repeatedly warned of the threats posed by climate change to national security and international stability. how about faith leaders? religious leaders of every faith appeal to our moral duty to on serve god's creation and to protect those most vulnerable to catastrophe. how about our titans of industry leaders like apple and google coke and pepsi walmart and target, nestle and mars. all are green in their operations and their supply chains, and they're calling on policymakers to act. and how about constituents? i've talked with community and business groups across the united states. local officials many of them republicans, don't have the luxury of ignoring the changes that we see. state scientific agencies and state universities are doing
much of the leading research on climate change. if you're a senator who isn't sure climate change is real, man made and urgent, ask your home state university. even in kentucky. even in oklahoma. flooding puts mayors in kayaks on south florida streets. new hampshire and utahan ski resorts struggle with winter. alaska is falling into the sea. and yet no republicans from these states yet support serious climate legislation. this resistance to plain evidence is vexing to many americans. elizabeth from riverside, rhode island says her grandchildren are her top reason for action. i fail to understand, she wrote me the republican opposition to what is clearly factual scientific information about climate change. are they not educated?
can they not read? do they not have children and grandchildren to be concerned about the future they leave or is it money that clouds their vision?" end quote. the truth mr. president, is that republican cooperation in this area which existed for some time has been shut down by the fossil fuel industry. the polluters have producted a carefully built apparatus of lies propped up by endless dark money. dr. riley dunlap of oklahoma state university calls it the -- quote -- organized climate denial machine -- end quote. he found that nearly 90% of climate denial books published between 1992 and 2010 had ties to conservative fossil fuel-funded think tanks like the heartland institute. in other words it's a scam. dr. robert bruell of drexel
university has documented the intricate propaganda web of climate denial of over 100 organizations, from conservative think tanks to plain old phony front groups. the purpose of this denial beast, to quote him, is a deliberate and organized effort to misdirect public discussion and distort the public's understanding of climate -- end quote. john from tucson, arizona says this is his top reason to act. these merchants of doubt the professional climate denier campaigners, have lied to us, he said and attacked the people who can help us most, the scientists. sound familiar? it should, because the fossil fuel industry is using a playbook perfected by the tobacco industry. big tobacco used that playbook for decades to bury the health risks of smoking but ultimately
the truth came to light. it ended in a racketeering judgment against that industry. the supreme court has handed the polluters a very heavy he will cudgel with its misguided united decision, allowing big corporations to spend or, more important, threaten to spend unlimited amounts of undisclosed money in our elections.more than anyone, polluters use that leverage to demand obedience to their climate denial script. jan from portland oregon said this kind of corruption is her top reason to act on climate. it would be beneath our dignity she said, to ruin our planet just for money. jan, i hope you're right. now, there has been progress. the? the has held vote -- the senate has held votes showing that a majority believes climate change
is real and not a hoax and is driven by human activity. republican colleagues, like the chairman of the energy committee, and the senior senator from georgia and the senior senator from south carolina have made comments here recognizing the need to do something. the senior senator from maine has a bill on non-co2 emissions. against the relentless pressure of the fossil fuel industry and its front groups, that take real courage. the president's climate action plan sending the polluters' long free ride. the administration has ruled out strong fuel energy and efficiency standards. it would limit carbon emissions from power plants. the u.s. heads an ambitious international climate initiative as well, even engaging china now the world's largest producers of carbon pollution. most heartening is the american people. 83% of americans including six
in ten republicans want action to reduce carbon emissions. and with young republican voters more than half would describe a climate-denying pollution as -- quote -- "ignorant" -- quote -- ""out of touch" or -- quote -- "crazy. with all this i think the prospects for comprehensive climate change legislation are actually pretty good. but as albert einstein once said "politics is more difficult than physics. that seems to literally be the case here as citizens united citizens united's political gridlock epees us for now heeding laws of nature. when the polluters' grip slips i'll be ready with legislation that many republicans can support, a fee on carbon emissions. pricing carbon corrects the market failure that lets
polluters push the cost of their pollution onto everybody else. a carbon fee is a market-based tool aligned with conservative free market values. many republicans -- at least those beyond the swing of the citizens united fossil fuel cuttingcuvment dgile -- have wanted debate on t i will be announcing my proposal during an event at the american enterprise institute on june 10. mr. president, climate change tests us. first it is an environmental test a grave one. we will be graded had that test against the implacable laws of sipes and nature. pope francis has described a conversation he had with a humble gardener who said to him "god always forgives." men, women we forgive
sometimes. "but father, creation never forgives." no do-overs no mullly gains not when you mess with god's laws of nature. do we let the influence of a few wealthy industries compromise other people's livelihoods even other people's lives all around the planet and off into the future? it is morally wrong in greed and folly to foist that price on all those owes. that's why pope francis is bringing his moral light to bear on climate change. to quote him, "there is a clear definitive and ineluctable imperative to act. so our human morality is being tested." last, this is a test of american
democracy. all democracies face the problem of how well they address not just the immediate threat but the looming ones. america's democracy faces an added responsibility of example of being the city on a hill. in a world of competing ideologies why would we want to tarnish ours? this is the top reason for ralph from westerly, rhode island. "someday," he wrote "world leaders will look back on this time that something should have been done to save the planet. we had the chance but let it slip through our fingers." we've all done something wrong in our lives. some things that you do that are
wrong don't cause much harm. but there is not an oddsmaker in las vegas who would vote against climate change causing a lot of harm. and some things you do wrong you get away with. but there's no way people in the world won't know why this happened when that harm hits home. there is no way the flag we fly so proudly won't be smudged and blotted by our misdeeds and oversights today. think how history regards nevada i will chamberlain when he misjudged the hinge of history in his time. at least chamberlain's goal was noble. peace -- peace after the bloody massacres of world war i. peace in his time.
our ex- excuse is what on climate change? keeping big polluting special interests happy? anybody who is paying attention knows those special interests are lying. anybody paying attention knows they are influence peddling on a monumental scale. while they've done their best to hide that their denier tentacles are all part of the same denial beast people all over who are paying attention have figured it out. one day there will be a reckoning. there always is. if we wake up, if we get this right, if we turn that ponderous
balance of destiny in our time, then it can be their reckoning and not all of ours. it can be their shame not the shame of our democracy not the shame of our beloved country not the shame of america. as we close in this weekend on memorial day, we will remember those who fought and bled and died for this great republic. the real prospect of failing and putting america to shame makes it seriously time for us to wake up. mr. president, i yield the floor and i once again thank my colleagues for their courtesy in
attending this 100th speech. [applause] mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the minority leader. mr. reid: on behalf of the entire democratic caucus, i want to extend my accolades my admiration for senator whitehouse's persistence and integrity. this is an issue that speaks well of him and our entire country, and i'm very proud of what he's done and will continue to do. a senator: mr. president? mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i will be very brief. i've had the privilege of serving longer in this body than any other member of the senate currently. i can count on my one hand -- or
probably a few fingers some of the great speeches i've heard by both republicans and democrats in this body. one great speech i'll never forget was that of the senator from rhode island. he speaks to something that every single vermonter would agree with, and this veteran of the senate thanks him from his heart. mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mr. schumer: well, my deer friend colleague deserves a real moment of recognition today. we're all passionate about issues here in the senate, but very few of us take to the floor each week to stoke the fire on a single issue and to inspire others. -- others to action. that's what senator whitehouse hag done in defining one of the issues of our time, one of the defining issues of our time: climate change. today is the 100th speech he's made on the floor of the u.s.
senate pleading us to take meaningful action on climate change. it's the 150 100th time he has brought that high connick poster to the floor. it is getting a little frayed, a little dented. it is the 100th time many of us have paused and said, "it is time to wake up. requestings "100 is a significant number today for many reasons. the first rough calculations on the impact of human carbon emissions on the climate began over 100 years ago in the late-19th century. for decades, we have been certain of the science connecting human activity to changes in the global climate and yet these incremental changes in the climate did not spur us to act. as the good senator from rhode island has said, the years of incremental change are over. in my home state of new york, super-storm sandy was a wake-up
call. those who for years have been telling us that a change in climate and rising seas are figments of the imagination had to eat their words after sandy the third most significant storm to hit new york in those years. those who continue to deny the real and very tangible evidence of climate change are like ostriches with their heads buried in the sand. senator whitehouse is right. and whether he tells us it's time to wake up ten times more or another 100 until we do something, he will continue to be right. i thank him for his leadership, his persistence his eloquence and his devotion to the cause. i hope for his sake and all our sakes,sakes this body takes his words to heart. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i stand here as the ranking member on the environment committee -- environment and public works and the day that senator
whitehouse got elected i knew i wanted him on that committee. and i think he has shown through the weeks the months, the years that all he's going to do is a very simple thing just come down here and tell the truth to the american people about this issue. bring the facts about this issue to the united states senate. and, you know, what i think is fascinating and the thing i always look at is the other side. their latest -- the deniers here their latest argument is, wirewe're not scientists. well that's obvious. and we're not either. and that's the reason you listen to the scientists. there's no scientist that is going to say something because he feels it's going to benefit him or her. they're fog tell going to tell the
truth. and 98%-99% of the scientists believe what is happening is hurting this planet and will hurt it irreversely forever. and anybody who doesn't listen to this, who turns away from this will be judged by history and their maker. but, you know what? that's not good enough. because it's my grandkids and their grand kids and kids that are going to have to deal with this. i'll close with this: this whole notion of i'm not a scientist is ridiculous and it is ludicrous. if one of our republican friends went to the doctor and god forbid the doctor said you have a serious cancer and tumor and you really need to have it taken care of, you're not going to look at the doctor and say well, i don't know. umi'm not doctor. you might get a second opinion. that's good. and in the case of climate
we've got 97% 98% 99% of scientists agreeing on this problem. but you wouldn't say to your doctor gee, i don't know. maybe i'll just let this cancer go because i'm net doctor. what do i no? you have to reply on the people who know. and i have never seen anything like this since the tobacco company scandal. when politicians turned away and tobacco businesses stood up and raised their right hand and said that nicotine was not a problem. and we know how that story ended. too late for a lot of people who died of cancer, too late for a lot of people that got hooked on cigarettes. and we want to make sure sheldon and sheldon whitehouse and those of house agree with him that we're not going to wait too long it's not going to be too late that we can actually save
our families from the devastation of the ravages of climate change. so i say to senator whitehouse it takes a lot of fortitude to stand up here in an embassyty chamber time after time after time and i think what you've done is make a record which is really important because you've really touched on and you continue to touch on all the new information. that's critical, and everyone should read it. because it really does spell it out in very direct terms. but it also shows the fight that you have. the belief that you have that we can win this battle. and i have to share that -- happen to share that view and it's because you point out a vast majority of the american people including a vast majority of republicans out there, think that if you're a denier you're losing it, i mean that's my vernacular with -- they just don't believe it. they can't believe it. they think there's something wrong with you if you're a denier. that's what we have in our back
pocket and right here in the senate we have this treasure of a person, of a senator who will continue to fight continue to work and i can assure him as long as i'm here and even when i'm not i will be echoing many of the things that he is saying. thank you very much and i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that it be in order during today's session of the senate to call up the following amendments -- number 1299 portman-stabenow, number 1252 brown. number 1312, inhofe as modified. number 1327, warren. number 1226, mccain. mr. hatch: let me do that again. i ask unanimous consent that it be in order during fade's session of the senate to call up
the following amendments -- number 1299, portman-stabenow. number 1251, senator brown. number 1312, inhofe as modified. number 1327, warren. number 1226, mccain. and number 1227, shaheen. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. wyden: reserving the right to object, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, i have no intention to reserve the right to object at this point. i just want to say this to me seems like a very balanced package. three amendments on each side raising important issues. chairman hatch has indicated and i support him on this that we are ready to go. again, first thing in the morning, i think that's what it's going to take to ensure that all sides feel that they have a chance to have their major concerns aired, to have their amendments actually voted
on. i withdraw my reservation. i commend chairman hatch for working with us cooperatively so that we can have this balanced package go forward. with that, i withdraw my reservation. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. hatch: on behalf of senators inhofe and mccain, i call up amendments 1312 as modified and 1226 and ask that they be reported by number. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report en bloc by number. the clerk: the senator from utah mr. hatch proposes en bloc amendments numbered 1312 as modified and 1226. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you very much mr. president. i want to ask -- i want to say first of all, thank you to our distinguished leader of the finance committee for including the portman-stabenow amendment.
i first before calling it up want to add senator donnelly as a cosponsor and thank senators burr graham, collins baldwin brown, casey manchin schumer shaheen and warren for being cosponsors as well. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the pending amendment be set aside and i would call up amendment number 1299. the presiding officer: without objection, the the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: senator stabenow proposes amendment number 1299 to amendment 1221. in section 102-b -- ms. stabenow: mr. president, i would ask that we assume the amendment has been read. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from ohio. mr. brown: mr. president i call up amendment 1251. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from ohio mr. brown proposes an amendment numbered 1251.
at the end of section 107add the followingfollowing -- mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: i will explain the amendment. there are 12 countries in the trans-pacific partnership. if at some point the president of the united states would like to add another country or two this amendment simply says that congress must approve there must be a vote of the united states house of representatives and a vote of the united states senate in order to admit a new country. therethere is some concern that the people's republic of china now the second-large of the economy in the world would come in through the back door without congressional approval. we want to make sure that this president that's in the white house today or the -- nor the next president nor the president after that can admit china or any other country with any other large economy or small economy into the t.p.p. without congressional approval. we will discuss and debate this
amendment more tomorrow. i thaipg senators wyden and hatch for moving this process forward an bringing up lots of amendments to debate. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: on behalf of senator shaheen, i would call up her amendment, which is amendment 1227. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from oregon mr. wyden for
mrs. shaheen proposes amendment number 1227 to amendment number 1221. at the end of section 109 add the following -- mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: i would ask that further reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: on behalf of senator warren, i would call up amendment 1327. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator oregon, mr. wyden, for ms. warren, proposes amendment numbered 1327. mr. wyden: mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the reading be dispensed with there as well. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. hatch: mr. 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 for up to 20 minutes each. ten minutes each, excuse me. 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:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: i ask that we dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lankford: inned there are three bills at the desk due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the bills for the second-degree timed.
the clerk: a bill to provide a short-term steption of federal-aid highway and 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, an 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. lankford: in order base place the bills on the calendar, i would object to further proceedings en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. the bills will be placed on the calendar. mr. lankford: ask unanimous consent that the snead pro he had to the consideration of h. con. res. 43, which is at the defnlg. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h. con. res. 43, a concurrent resolution authorizing the use of the capitol grounds and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate proceed mr. lankford: i ask unanimous consent that the chrono current be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be laid upon the
table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lankford: ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, may 19. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following leader remarks national will be in a period fed morning business for one hour with senators permitted to speak up to fen minutes each with the democrats i will controlling the first half and the majority controlling the final half. further, noting morning business, the senate resume consideration of h.r. 1314 finally, that the senate recess from 12:30 p.m. until 12:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly conference meetings. 2:15, excuse moo esms from 12:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly conference meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lankford: if there is to further business to come before the senate, i ask that it
standard adjourned under the previous order following the remarks of senator portman for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: mr. president i thank you for allowing me to speak briefly about an amendment that i'm going to offer to the trade promotion authority legislation. and i also want to say that i was not here earlier because i was un-avoidably detained. i was actually on a flight arrive at nart airport. because of thunderstorms they diverted us to richmond, virginia where i spent about an hour this evening. if i had been here, mr. president, i would have voted "yes" on both the trade adjustment assistance legislation and also the religious freedom legislation which came before this chamber earlier this evening. and again i appreciate the opportunity to speak now about an amendment that i'm offering
to the underlying legislation the trade promotion authority. this amendment is regarding currency manipulation, something we've talked about a lot over the last week and now is the opportunity for us to speak with our votes. and speak on behalf of the people we represent who believe that yes we should be trading with other countries, in fact, i strongly believe we should be expanding our exports and i support trade opening agreements that could be negotiated under a trade promotion authority but i also believe we need to level the playing field so that while we are expanding trade and increasing our exports therefore creating more jobs in my home state of ohio and around the country, at the same time we're able to tell those workers and farmers that other countries are going to be required to play by the rules. and there are lots of issues that get addressed here in this chamber regarding leveling that playing field, one is to ensure
countries don't dump their products here in the united states and we have language in the customs bill that deals with that to ensure companies can seek a remedy and seek help for that. we also talk about subsidiesized products that come to the united states and we have legislation to address that as well. but there are other issues that need to be addressed to ensure that again countries are playing by the rules and one is currency manipulation. we are in the process now of giving our government the ability to negotiate an agreement which could lower tariffs and nontariff barriers to our products and that's a good thing whether it is the agreement in asia, the so-called t.p.p. agreement or the agreement in europe, the so-called ttip agreement or others. but the reality is that we are also in a situation where regard less of what agreements we negotiate, many of the benefits of those reductions in tariffs or nontariff barriers could
immediately be countered by another country saying you know what? i'm going to intervene aggressively in international currency markets to lower the price, to lower the cost of my currency so that my exports specifically to the united states will be less expensive and also affects other countries in the meantime. so that relative to the dollar, their currency is lower therefore their exports are less expensive to us and our exports to them are more expensive. so when i walk the shop floors in ohio and i talk to workers and i talk to management about how this affects us in ohio, i hear very directly which is rob, we're all for trade we believe we can compete but we need to be able to compete on a playing field where everybody is agreeing that there will be certain rules of the road. and there are rules of the road. and a the amendment that we're offering despite what some people have been saying about it and what i have seen written even today, which is
inaccurate the rules of the road are actually set out by the international monetary fund and the world trade organization by reference to the i.m.f. by example every single country we're negotiating with right now with regard to the trans-pacific partnership, so-called t.p.p., 0 are signatories to this international monetary fund and to the w.t.o. and therefore are obliged to live with these rules. all our amendment says -- it's very simple -- these rules apply just as they are currently provided for by the international monetary fund and that countries need to when they're negotiating with us in a trade agreement be kitchen with those obligations that they've undertaken and there is an enforceability measure. if they don't do it, there will be some consequence. right now there is no accountability and you see currency manipulation which in turn hurts our workers our farmers, who just want the
chance to be able to compete and compete fairly. i would also say there has been some misinformation about this amendment out there regarding whether it would affect monetary policy. you will see mr. president under this amendment we have clarified that not that it was ever a question, we've clarified it to the extent we've said this does not apply to monetary policy. it doesn't apply to macroeconomic policy, decisions countries make. it takes the very specific undertakings that the i.m.f. has established for all these countries, which says you cannot intervene in purchasing other currency and doing so in a way to expand your exports unfairly. so i think this is a very important debate we're having with regard to trade promotion authority. we need to get back in the business of expanding trade for our workers and our farmers.
mr. president, your farmers in montana i'm sure are looking forward to the chance to get into some of these markets have they have been essentially closed out because other countries completed trade agreements lowering tariffs and we have not. these will be good for your farmers, the farmers in ohio, one of every three acres they plant is now planted for export. for the soybean farmers 60% is exported good for the workers of ohio, 25% of our manufacturing jobs are export jobs but we're losing ground because of the last seven years we haven't been able to knock down these barriers because we haven't had this trade promotion authority which is necessary in order to create the opportunity for us to export more. but, again while we're doing that and using the leverage of our market here in the united states senate -- the united states the world's largest economy, we must be sure we're dealing with dumping with subsidization, and yes currency manipulation and other aspects of trade that simply
aren't fair. recently i received a letter sound by thousands of ohio auto workers and they called currency manipulation the most critical barrier in the 21st century. they get it. these work at the transmission plant in sharonville, ohio but i see it all over ohio. more than 1,500 workers will manufacture ford's truck in avon lake this was moved from mexico to the united states. this is what they told me. we want to be able to compete. we want to keep our jobs here in avon lake, ohio. they said -- and i quote -- " currency manipulation hurts american competitiveness at home. this assembly plant's mission is to provide our customers with the highest quality safest most reliable products and services while fostering continuous growth and prosperity to our community. they say trade policies must not
undermine this progress in the auto industry and manufacturing. this was jointly signed by the plant manager and other members of management at this company. why? because they get it. which is that if they are working hard, making concessions, becoming more efficient, to be more competitive, they're willing to do it. they know they have to. they get it. we're an international marketplace now there is global competition but they want to be darn sure they aren't having an unfair advantage weighed against them because another government as they sacheted on their currency. given what we are hearing from these american workers i have introduced this bipartisan amendment with senator stabenow cracking down on currency manipulation. i have been on the floor a number of times to talk about this. i want to be sure we have the opportunity to be able to move forward with this amendment. we also have a number of other cosponsors including senators burr brown graham, casey
schumer, shaheen heitkamp, klobuchar collins manchin warren donnelly. we are pleased that our work here is backed up yes by the auto companies including g.m., chrysler ford but also u.s. steel, a.k. steel and others. by the way this very idea of enforceable disciplines in trade has been backed up again and again, endorsed by 60 senators on the floor through votes or letters they have signed and 230 members of the house. and, again what it does is, it gives teeth to the existing i.m.f. and w.t.o. rules against currency manipulation. some have said this is kind of a stretch, why are we dealing with currency manipulation in this legislation? let me remind them the t.p.a. bill being considered today the one without this amendment in it, one that was offered by
chairman hatch my friend orrin hatch supported by treasury secretary jack lew so the administration includes a negotiating objective to address concerns so it is in the underlying t.p.a. the problem is it's not enforceable. so we say we agree that currency manipulation is a bad thing because it distorts trade distorts free markets. i'm a conservative, i believe we shouldn't be encouraging distortions. but the difference is between the negotiating objective and the bill and the one i'm proposing is that ours is actually enforceable. gives us the opportunity to actually make a difference in this debate to be able to ensure that countries abide by the rules they have promised to follow as members of the international monetary fund. someone said this is a poison pill for trade. i don't quite get that. again, trade promotion authority already includes currency manipulation. the question is whether it
should be enforceable. if we believe as we say we do that this is wrong why wouldn't we want to have some ability to enforce it? by the way as i said earlier this legislation specifically excludes domestic monetary policy. it's now in the text of the amendment itself which is different than it was in committee. so look, i very much appreciate you allowing me to speak on this tonight, mr. president. i appreciate the opportunity for me to offer this amendment that i have drafted with senator stabenow and others. i look forward to talking more about this issue later this week. i do believe that it is important that we move forward on providing the opportunity for the workers i represent the farmers i represent the service providers in ohio to expand their exports. it creates not just more jobs but good-paying jobs, on average those jobs pay more, 15% to 18% more, better benefits. that's pore.
america needs to get back in the business of expanding exports. for seven years we haven't had that and other countries through hundreds of trade agreements have left us out and lowered the barriers between their countries. that hurts us. we don't want to lose that market share. but as we do that, let's be darned sure that we're giving our workers and our farmers a fair shake that they have the opportunity if they play by the rules and they work hard, they become more efficient they make the concessions that they know this is going to be something where they have the opportunity to excel to compete, and ultimately to help create jobs and opportunity here in hundreds. -- this country just as we are encouraging other countries to take on our free enterprise system and our values we hold so dear, we should also encourage them to take on these rules of fairness including prohibiting the manipulation of currency that is explicitly directed at
increasing our costs and decreasing their costs as they send exports to us. with that mr. chairman i yield back the floor. i appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight. i also want to if i could again reiterate i supported the brown amendment, number 1242 tonight, i was not able to be here for the vote because i was unavoidably detained and was diverted from national airport and i also want to say i support the lankford amendment number 1237 again regarding religious freedoms and making that a part of trade negotiating objectives as well. i thank the president for the time tonight and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m.
>> senators are expected to work on the highway trust fund. >> tomorrow on washington journal, david jolly looks at transportation funding and safety in light of the recent amtrak derailment. and jarred madler discusses expired "patriotic betrayal: the inside story of the cia's secret campaign to enroll american students in the crusade against communism" pat -- patriot act. and jim tank talks about the ongoing drought in western states that are affecting the
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