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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  June 25, 2015 10:00am-8:01pm EDT

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or politic or popular but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right. mr. president, to push forward under the words of dr. king is so important. let's do everything we can to have people vote. let's stand together on increasing not diminishing one's ability to vote. why? because it's the right thing to do. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed were. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president the road to yesterday's win for the middle class on t.p.a. was never going to be an easy one. it was hardly a quick one.
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we always knew that was going to be the case, but i thought we owed it to the working men and women of our country to push ahead anyway. so we did. through every bump and every twist along the way republicans and democrats held together in achieving something that can present more opportunities for working families we proved new ideas in the republican congress in passing legislation that can facilitate the lowering of barriers and the lifting up of our workers in the 21st century we proved this is a new congress that's back to work on behalf of the american people. passing trade wasn't the first bipartisan legislation of this new congress and it won't be the last but it's significant. it opens the door for the middle class as trade negotiators move forward under this president and, importantly, under the next president as well. i thank everyone who worked with
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us to get here on both sides of the aisle. it's thanks to the continued cooperation and no end of determination that we were able to achieve another important accomplishment for our country. now, mr. president on an entirely different matter, yesterday i had the pleasure of meeting with some of our nation's heroes. he's men and women are taking part in warrior games 2015, an annual d.o.d.-organized sporting event for both veterans and wounded, ill and injured service members from every corner of the country. this year's games featured approximately 250 athletes from across the army, navy, coast guard, air force and marine corps. all these wounded warriors gave it their all in heated competition. their bravery and their perseverance through adversity serves as a source of inspiration to the rest of us. their determination serves as a
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continuing reminder that heroism endures long after events on the battlefield. it was a great honor to meet some of these courageous athletes and their families yesterday afternoon. they were right here in the capitol. i shared the thanks of a grateful nation with many men and women who wear our nation's uniform or who recently have. i shared my personal gratitude as well because their heroism and their sacrifice represents an enduring source of freedom for every other american. i hope they never forget it. i hope they are reminded when looking out to cheering crowds on the field because america won't forget what the men and women who stood in our defense have of given all of us for our freedom. so let us hope that our nation will always find brave warriors like them. mr. president, on one final matter saturday, june 27, is
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ptsd awareness day. sadly, post traumatic stress descrord is an -- stress disorder is an aflex -- affliction that touches too many veterans. creating awareness and fighting the myths that surround it are important. there are effective treatments for ptsd and all of us can do a few simple things in honor of ptsd awareness day. first we can learn more about ptsd by getting the facts on the condition and its treatment. we can also reach out to someone who might have ptsd or be at risk particularly among the veterans community. finally, we can pass along what we learned to others to continue to raise awareness. so i hope americans will take action this ptsd awareness day to shed some light on an often misunderstood condition and
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hopefully to reach out to someone in need. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. mccain: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent further proceedings under the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president
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before i have -- i have a unanimous consent request and i would like to say that for the information of my colleagues that as happens on occasion, legislation of the national defense authorization act we're in violation of the ways and means committee jurisdiction in the house which then led to an automatic -- quote -- "blue slip" which means that the basically, for all intents and purposes the entire bill comes to a standstill. in order to repair that, it requires unanimous consent here in the senate. in order to strike the provision and send back to the house without the provision which they found objectionable their parliamentarian did and which required the so-called blue slip. so i was able and appreciate very much the agreement of the
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democratic leader who agreed to this unanimous consent request so that we can move forward with a conference on the bill and hopefully if now things go right, we could get it to the president's desk in july. so i want to thank the democratic leader who agreed to this unanimous consent request in order that we might move forward. so, i want to express my appreciation to him for allowing this. so mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate receives the papers on h.r. 1735, the secretary of the senate reengrosses the senate amendment to the bill h.r. 1735 with the following: strike section 636. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: is quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. mr. reid: the senate is in a quorum call? the presiding officer: it is. mr. reid: i would ask unanimous consent that the that be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: today in this great country of ours, the affordable care act obamacare has survived the latest partisan attempt to deny health care to working families, millions of working families. won today -- america won today.
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the supreme court ruled against republicans who were seeking to strip 6.5 million americans from the subsidies that enabled them to buy health insurance. america worntion won i repeat. very pure, very simple. more than 10 million americans are covered by the exchanges operating across the country many of them insured for the first time. 85% of these men and women receive tax credits that help them afford that coverage. but on top of that, 12 million more americans now have coverage through the medicaid and children's health insurance programs. the commonwealth fund recently found that more than 8-10 adults that's four-fifths of people who have these programs, are satisfied with them. the affordable care act is not perfect. no law ever is. but this law is working for millions and millions of americans we're approaching 20 million americans. once again the afordable care act prevailed. so mr. president i say
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respectfully to my senate colleagues -- and i mean that -- stop banging your heads against the wall on this legislation. it passed. it's the law of this nation. stop it. move on. the republicans should be really -- they should pause for a minute and look back. mr. president, i don't know the number anymore, i don't know -- i lost count of it -- is it 75? it's certainly approaching a hundred, that actually votes have taken place to repeal the law. never even came close to passing, of course, but they've done it time and time again. stop it. think of the time that's wasted doing that. as einstein said the pure definition of insanity is someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over again and gets the same results. i would hope republicans would
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rethink what they've been up to. their reckless, cynical attempts to increase taxes on millions of middle-income families -- that's what it amounted to. i was interested when we were looking at the paper today at what republicans have suggested to do if the supreme court ruled against this law. ha-ha. every one of them, without exception would be a tremendous blow to the budgeting process in america. this bill makes america money. it's cut the deficit significantly and that's why i say it makes the country money. it allows for for a more healthy nation. republicans weren't content to jeopardize the health of americans in need of coverage
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assistance in order to exact political revenge against president obama. they were happy trying to do that. so mr. president i also think it's important to note that republicans who worked on this legislation in the process going through the committees here they admitted that the legislation drafters never discussed withholding subsidies in the manner suggested by the plaintiffs. republicans said that who worked on that the legislation. so mr. president i think the public has basically had it with republicans trying to take away a law that protects them from insurance company discrimination when they get sick or hurt. enough is enough. i had a welcome to washington. i have them every thursday. i had a group of people there from nevada who have family members who suffer from cystic fibrosis. they were able to tell me that
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for the first time in the lives of their children, they were -- could not be denied insurance. they're adults now. they can't be denied insurance coverage because of this law. had this been repealed, people with cystic phi -- cystic fibrosis and many other people would not be able to get health insurance. so, mr. president, let's move on to other topics. stop this. stop wasting the time of the american people by trying to repeal the law. i appreciate the work done in the supreme court. 6-3 decision. it was a good decision, a strong decision that upheld the law. enough's enough. let's move on. mr. president, there's no one on the floor. i would suggest -- i would be happy to withhold. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business with senators
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permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each with the first hour equally divided. the democrats controlling the first half, it the majority controlling -- the majority controlling the final half. mr. reid: i would note the absence of a quorum now. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we do. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president that we're even discussing another of obamacare's self-inflicted brushes with the brink yet again is the latest indictment of a law that's been a rolling disaster for the american people. a rolling disaster for the american people. today's ruling won't change obamacare's multitude of broken promises including the one that resulted in millions -- literally millions of americans losing the coverage they had and wanted to keep. today's ruling won't change obamacare's spectacular flops. spectacular flops. from humiliating web site
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debacles to the total collapse of exchanges in states run by the law's loudest cheerleaders. today's ruling won't change the skyrocketing costs in premiums deductibles and co-pays that have hit the middle class so hard over the last few years. the politicians who forced obamacare on the american people now have a choice. they can crow about obamacare's latest wobble towards the edge or work with us to address the ongoing negative impact of a 2,000-page law that continues to make life literally miserable -- miserable -- for so many of the same people it purported to help. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: i'd like to be recognized for five minutes to speak in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. graham: thank you.
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i have two very brief comments. one involves our national security, the world at large and the other involves our nation as a whole. first, as to the supreme court ruling. i'm surprised. i'm disappointed. but the ruling is now in and senator mcconnell said it well this doesn't mean that obamacare is fixed. it means that it's going to continue until somebody finds a better way or we're going to be left with obamacare for the rest of our lives and your children's lives and those that follow. 2016 race domestically will be centered on health care as the most dominant domestic issue in the country. if you're run for -- if you're running for the house or you're running for the senate or you're running for senate, here is what this supreme court ruling means. if the public wants to continue obamacare which i think would
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be a huge mistake, vote democrat if you want to repeal and replace obamacare with something better for you and your family bipartisan vote republican. hillary clinton the most likely democratic nominee will make obamacare her own. whoever the republican party may nominate the one thing i can assure you is that they will repeal and replace obamacare with something better. so to the people of the united states you finally have a chance to have your say. this election in 2016 for the house and the senate and the white house will give you a chance to stop obamacare and replace it with something better for you and your children. take advantage of this
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opportunity. because if we fail to have the people in place in 2016 to change course obamacare becomes cemented in terms of the american health care system and our economic future. and i think it would be a mistake for the ages. as i speak secretary kerry is on his way to geneva to try to conclude nuclear negotiations with the iranian regime. to secretary kerry i urge you to suspend negotiations until we clear up two matters. number one the supreme leader, ayatollahal khamenei, said on state-run television in iran yesterday and the day before all economic, financial and
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banking sanctions implemented either by the united nations security council the united states congress or the administration must be lifted immediately when the deal is signed. secretary kerry would you please tell the ayatollah that is unacceptable and repudiate that statement before you negotiate any further. the iranian parliament several days ago passed draft legislation prohibiting the international community from having access to iranian military facilities to determine the state of the iranian nuclear program. secretary kerry please suspend negotiations until the iranian government repudiates this concept. the p-5 plus 1 should be first
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in this area. there will never be signed with iran that will not allow inspections any time, anywhere, particularly military sites. how can you negotiate any further until they repudiate the actions they have taken? please tell me -- and i'll send you a letter -- what to tell my constituents who are very worried about this. i'm being overwhelmed by questions. does the iranian parliament position represent the position of the government? my answer would be yes nothing happens in iran unless the ayatollah wants it to happen. so secretary kerry and the p-5 plus 1 please tell the iranians that the action of the parliament the statement they have made that we will not be allowed to inspect military facilities as part of a deal is a non-starter and walk away until they repudiate that. please send a message to the ayatollah through the negotiators that we will not
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lift sanctions until there is full compliance, until the iaea has a chance to tell us about the possible military dimensions of their nuclear program. how can you lift sanctions and go forward and give them money until you know exactly what they've been up to in the past? so secretary kerry now is a time for you and president obama to send a clear message to the iranians repudiate these two statements or we will not negotiate any further. this is the most important decision any president of the united states will make and we're about to go into negotiations in the final statements with two thought processes on the table coming from the highest level of the iranian government. you will not be allowed to inspect military facilities and we will demand immediate sanction relief before there's verification. those two statements coming from the iranian leadership must be
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repudiated and repudiated now. walk away, secretary kerry until they repudiate these statements. no more negotiations until we understand is this a red line for the american citizens. because this is their red line -- and i'll ask you in public -- secretary kerry are these positions red lines for the iranian government? have they now adopted a red line that you will never be allowed to inspect military facilities as part of an inspection regime to determine the past military military -- the past development of nuclear weapons in iran. secondly, is this now a red line by the eye ayatollah that we will never agree to a deal that doesn't allow for immediate sanctions relief? i need to know the answer to that question. are these red lines and if they are red lines walk away? and if they are not red lines have these statements repudiated because this is the most
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important decision the world will ever make. god help us all if we enter into a deal with this regime that's not sound with every i dotted and t crossed because the iranians have been lying about their nuclear ambitions for well over the decade and at the end of the day you can't trust the iranians. i would urge as strongly as possible that the p-5 plus 1 suspend negotiations until the iranians set the record straight and repudiate these statements about denying us access to military facilities and requiring sanctions relief as part of any deal. with that i would yield and notice the absence of a quorum. a senator: would the senator withhold his request? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i want to talk a little bit today about jobs and
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the economy and people's health care and they're all related. we're in the midst of one of the sloaflt growth periods -- one of the slowest growth periods for the economy in the recent period of the history of the united states. they have revised the figures again. they now show a .2% of -- growth. they should be showing 2% growth for the year. why is that a problem? if the economy increases by just 1% it results in $300 billion to $400 billion more tax revenue without raising taxes. that's where we need to be. now when it's less than that 2%, it means we're losing that much in additional money. we can't make decisions on about
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$11 billion a year here, and we're overspending that by $468 billion. that's almost 50% overspending. no family can afford to do that. no city can afford to do that. no state can afford to do that. but obviously the federal government can because we just borrowed more. and so far there's a lot of confidence in this country that we can continue to borrow. of course one of the areas where job growth and the economy growth is impeded is with the health care. president obama is disconnected from the harsh reality that this health care law has created for people almost two weeks ago speaking about his health care law, the president said -- and i quote -- "part of what's bizarre about this whole thing is we haven't had a lot of conversation about the horrors of obamacare because none of them have come to pass." none of them have come to pass? how insulated is our president?
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i just want to emphasize what he said. none of those horror stories have come to pass. apparently that message didn't make it very far because i hear a drastically different story from folks across wyoming and other parts of the country. people like a rancher from gillette who complained to me that her and her husband's health insurance went up from $11,000 per year to $20,000 per year. and then had a deductible thrown in that was $6,500. she said how's that affordable? people like a retired nurse from kasper who said if you add the premium increases and deductible increases that she and her husband are up $36,000 per year. she wrote that health care is unaffordable, a huge burden and worry. how can people afford to pay more for health care than they make in a year? she said obamacare doesn't provide them for their medical
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needs and added it goes against everything they believe in for america. people like the man from cheyenne who says the president's health care law is forcing him to choose between paying for his health care or paying for his mortgage. people like the small business owner in new castle who said that before the affordable health care law, she could afford to pay for her employees' health care. after the law went into force h she couldn't. her employees couldn't afford it either so they might leave for a bigger company -- which probably is impossible -- and the small business owner might have to sell out to a bigger company, which in many of the towns in wyoming also isn't going to be possible. she loves her community and wants to stay active as part of it. she's discouraged by the situation this health care law has created and is asking for help. and we've been asking for help for several years now. and the president recognized that there needs to be some help. otherwise there will be some
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real calamities. why haven't they happened? some of them have, and i've described some of them here to you. but some of them haven't happened here yet and that's because the president has given a waiver on some of the things that he knows are atrocious and will cause a huge problem with the economy of the united states. did he have the authority to do the waiver? not really. but he did them, and that's to put off the tragedies until later. that's not what we ought to be doing. we ought to be making health care more affordable. and there are lots of plans around here for making it more affordable. most of those were just discarded. the bill that went through here went through -- and there was a 60-vote majority on that side of the aisle. 60 votes is enough to pass anything through here. i kind of hope neither party ever has a 60-vote majority again because you don't have to listen to the other side. you don't have to listen to the unintended consequences that might come from somebody
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knowledgeable because of their background. there's a whole bunch of different background that serve here and another 435 background that serve on the house side. why do we have so many people in congress? so we have those diverse background, so we can find those unintended consequences and adjust for them. the people that i've mentioned are real people, real families. they didn't write the story. they and many, many more like them contacted me. they're telling me and they're telling all of us in washington to do something about this unworkable health care bill for millions of americans that is far from affordable, breaks promises and makes lives harder. i'm listening to them. so should the torch carriers of this federally mandated dream that was broken before it began. today's supreme court ruling on king vs. burwell is surprising, but it reminds all of us who warned against this health care law that we will have our work
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cut out for us to move our country away from the failed policies. this law was written and implemented in its entirety by one party as i mentioned and has been informed from the start by ideology rather than reality. there were a number of us that were working on health care before the president even became a senator and continued to work on it. we've had a lot of discarded ideas that could have increased competition, brought prices down. this law was written and implemented in its entirety by one party and it's been informed from the start by ideology rather than reality. yet, it's fallen to us to make things better and help people get through these difficulties caused by this law. the federal government cannot possibly know what's best for each individual. and as we've seen, a a one-size-fits-all dictate doesn't work. the wyoming family stories i
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just relayed and the millions like them from every state are a testament to that. that's just a very small sample out of the hundreds of people that write to me or talk to me as i travel across wyoming. our focus is to offer each of them new choices for quality affordable health care. our focus is not protecting this failed law this busted political legacy. we want to protect families as we get rid of obamacare and transition away from this fiasco. that's what it is, as illustrated by the testimonials i talked about earlier and hundreds more that i have. it's time for republicans and democrats to truly deliver on the president's broken promise of a health care system that expands access and promotes quality, that has patient-centered care while actually bringing the cost down. that is possible, just not under that bill. this is an opportunity for both parties to work together and to put into place real solutions
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that rely on these principles. i think they just announced that one of the federal insurance co-ops is going out of business. all of them are severely in the red. those would be government-sponsored entities who said too much was being charged for health care by many of the insurance companies and they went for far lower premiums. that was the hope that it would bring down the price but it didn't. that's not the way to encourage the kind of competition that we need if we're going to bring down health care costs. one of the things that's been focused on around here for a long time has been small business health plans or small businesses. and small businesses are the ones that are really having the problem. i ran into one man who said, you know, i have a very successful business and i just got this tremendous location that's only 50 miles away that i could put
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in another one. but that would put me over 50 employees, and that puts me in a different category on health care costs. the people that are working for me like the health care costs i'm providing but i would have to go to a whole different level or pay huge fines and i can't afford to do that. so i'm not going to do that other location. i'm not going to put 50 more people to work. for too long the debate over health care has placed politics before the best interest of patients. no matter the court's ruling, it's time for democrats and republicans to deliver what the president promised but ultimately mailed to deliver. we need a health system that expands access and promotes quality patient-centered care while actually bring bringing the costs down. we must allow states the freedom and flexibility to ensure hardworking americans can get the care that they need. it's time for both parties to work together on real solutions that rely on these principles. we should move forward on a
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bipartisan basis to provide more choices and a better health care system for hardworking americans. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i come to the floor to congratulate my colleague, the senior senator from wyoming whom i've worked with for many yeeshes who has been a -- for many years and who has been a true leader in true health care reform with proposals he's made that actually would help people get affordable care. the obama health care law regardless of the ruling of the supreme court continues to be an expensive failure. there have been so many broken promises by this president about health care in america which to me, is the reason that this health care law the support of it across the country remains at an all-time low. people were promised if they like their coverage, they could keep their coverage. millions have lost coverage. the president has promised if you like your doctor, you can
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keep your doctor. millions have lost their doctors. the president said premiums would go down by $2,500 per family. instead premiums have gone up, and there is no end in sight. when i take a look at this and say why is this support still so low, it's because most people believe that for them personally, it's a bad deal. they're paying more in premiums, higher co-pays higher deductibles, all of which makes it a bad deal for them personally. so mr. president, i would say that obamacare cannot be fixed but health care in america must be fixed. they say what are you going to do about it as a republican? there are incredible republican plans out there each of which is much better than the president's health care law. we still have 30 million americans without insurance concerned about the fact that
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they still need care. so we are going to continue to work to repeal and replace this health care law with a law that will allow people to get what senator enzi has been talking about. we need people, we need patients to get the care they need from a doctor they choose at lower costs. that's what republicans are committed to and that's what republicans, in spite of today's ruling by the supreme court will continue to work for. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: subsidy that we dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. murphy: thank you, madam president. hopefully we can move on after a presidential election two supreme court cases 60-plus
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votes to repeal the affordable care act in the house of representatives endless debates here in the united states senate senate. maybe now is the moment where republicans will choose to close the books on trying to strip away from millions of americans the benefits that they have received from the affordable care act. this is an important day for over 10 million americans who have health care right now because of the affordable care act. i'd argue it is an important day as well for the separation of powers the recognition that it is the legislative body that sets policy for this country. and i just wanted to come down to the floor for a few minutes to express my hope and my desire that proponents of the
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affordable care act like myself and senator stabenow and senator baldwin, who have come come down to the floor over and over again over the course of the last three years don't have to do it anymore. i'd love to come down to the floor and talk about the need to fix our transportation surgeon general the need for mental -- our transportation systems the need for mental health reform. i have a come down to talk about the affordable care act simply because it has been perpetual eye under attack, despite the fact that its successes are now unparalleled. justice roberts in the decision today -- i won't quote from it at length -- said, "congress passed the affordable care act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them." that's essentially the orp the operative phrase in today's decision. we passed the affordable care act to improve health insurance marketplaces not to destroy them. and that's what it's done.
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it's improved marketplaces all across the country. why? because people have voted with their feet. 10-11 million people who have signed up for either expanded medicare medicaid coverage or these exchanges have showed us that the law worked as intended because they didn't stay out they didn't deem it to be unaffordable. they stepped in and bought coverage. and we should now be in the business of perfecting this law. none of us, frankly think that this law is perfect. many of us are open to conversations about how to make it better how to perfect it. but hopefully now that the supreme court has completely shut the door to a judicial repeal of the act and after debate after debate, it's clear
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that there are not the votes nor the support obviously in the executive branch to repeal the act, we can move on to something else. madam president, this is an old chart of mine. i brought this down the floor several months ago when a colleague of ours suggested that we shouldn't be -- the administration shouldn't be celebrating the successes of the affordable care act as if people receiving health insurance for the first time in their life wasn't something to celebrate, as if 17 million children with preexisting conditions who will never have their health care taken away from them wasn't something to celebrate, as if 9.4 million senior citizens who are saving $15 billion on drugs isn't something to celebrate. i get excited when i talk about the affordable care act because
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i know it is a really sober and important topic but because when i talk to my constituents back home, they're excited they're bubbling over with enthusiasm those of them who never had the chance to get health coverage before the affordable care act those that worried every single night sick, that their child wouldn't be able to live a normal life because their existence would be obsessed with whether or not they would be able to cover their complicated illness with insurance. there are millions of people who are celebrating this decision. and it is a sober day because hopefully we'll be able to have a conversation about how we can move on to another topic. but it is a day to celebrate. for the 6.4 million americans first and foremost, who would have had their insurance taken away by an adverse decision, but for all americans who would have
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been caught up in an insurance death spiral had the decision gone the other way. so, madam president i hope that we can limit our discussions about the affordable care act to ways in which we can make it work better. i hope that we can now spend more time talking about other things that matter to this country. i hope that the house of representatives decides to give up this obsession with repealing the affordable care act something that is simply not going to happen. and for its opponents out in the field, the supreme court has shut the doors to a judicial repeal of the affordable care act today. i think of a lot of stories when i think about what the affordable care act has meant to the people of connecticut. we have cut our uninsurance rates in half in connecticut. we have one of the best-running exchanges in the country.
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but one of the simplest stories is the only one i'll convey is, as i wrap up this morning, i was at the community pool that my family has gone to in cheshire, connecticut. and i was in the pool with my then, i think 2-year-old just shortly after the passage. and a young man about my age come up to me and he said, listen i'm sorry you know, mr. mover if murphy to disturb you -- i know you're here with your son -- but i have a he got a little boy, too. and he's got a congenital heart problem. and i just every single day since he's been born, have been worried that he wouldn't get to live out his dreams because his life decisions would be dick -- dictateed by whether or not he could get insurance and that that would be determinative of
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his path in life, not his dreams his desires for himself. and he said, i get it that this is going to help a lot people in very practical and economic ways but i just want to thank you because now i sleep better at night knowing that my son is going to be able to get covered that my son is going to be able to lead a relatively normal life and that he can be whatever he wants to be. that's the benefit of that the afordable care act brings people. it's not just economical, it's not about whether everybody has health insurance or not it's psychological, it's peace of mind. the supreme court has protected 6.4 million people from losing their health insurance today but they've also protected tens of millions of patients and parents and sons and daughters and grandparents from losing
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that peace of mind that comes with the protections from an afordable care act that is working. i yield the floor mr. president, and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president earlier today the supreme court issued its long-awaited ruling in king versus burwell and as we all know -- now know, the court has once again decideed to rule against common sense and the plain meaning of statutory language to uphold the poorly drafted affordable care act which, by the way justice roberts says has a lot of am big youthty and poor draftsmanship. even worse with today's ruling the court failed to hold the obama administration accountable for its reckless execution of its own law. the plain text of the affordable care act authorizes subsidies only through state exchanges not the federal exchange. this decision will allow the administration to continue ignoring the law in order to implement its own preferred policies.
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as justice scalia said in his dissent we should start calling this law scotus care. only justice scalia would couple up with something like that which i find extremely humorous. he said perhaps the patient protection will attain the enduring status of the taft-hartley act perhaps not. but this court's two decisions on the act will surely be remembered through the years. the somersaults of statutory interpretation will be cite cited by litigants endlessly to the confusion of honest jurisprudence and the discouraging truth that the supreme court of the united states favors to is laws over others and is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites" -- unquote. i couldn't have said it any better myself, madam president. needless to say madam president, i'm disappointed with this decision
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as i know many throughout the country are. but at the same time i am undeterred. as i said on the floor last week obamacare has been nothing but a long series of broken promises that includes skyrocketing costs, reduced access to care, and more government mandates hanging over our health care system. today's ruling changes none of that madam president. just because the court decided to in my opinion misinterpret the statute doesn't mean that the law suddenly works and that all is now right with the world. for the good of our health care system and hardworking taxpayers throughout our country we still need to chart a new course on health care policy. unfortunately, with the current occupant of the white house those kinds of reforms are not currently possible. but make no mistake madam president -- republicans in congress have a plan to help the american people by repealing obamacare and replacing it with reforms that will put patients, not washington bureaucrats in charge of their own health care
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decisions. i'm coauthor of the patient care act, a legislative proposal that would replace obamacare with real reforms and would actually reduce health costs without all the burdensome mandates that are part and parcel of the so-called affordable care act which is anything but affordable. moving forward i along with the coauthors of this proposal, senators burr and -- senator burr and chairman upton over in the house will continue to seek input from experts and stakeholders and use every opportunity to give states more freedom and flexibility. once again any workable reform must lower costs and put patients first. that is the only way we will end the negative consequences of obamacare and help the american people move past this misguided attempt at health care reform. the american people deserve better, madam president, and republicans in congress are united in our commitment to make sure we do better on health care
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reform in the future. i have suspected this is the way the court would decide because it's a big enough bill that really clever judges can find some way of tying in and justifying the decision that they made today. and there are very few justices as clever as the distinguished chief justice of the united states. a man who i have tremendous respect for and who -- who i see used -- his talents to uphold obamacare something i thought they might do. on the other hand, the law is unambiguous in my opinion and to find ambiguity there where none exists troubles me greatly. however, he did it with aplomb with a great deal of legal skill and he wasn't alone. i've had colleagues badmouth the
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chief justice because of his vote in the original case which was the deciding vote and literally made the decision a 7- 2 decision. but i've never really found fault with that. i felt like he was more interested in not having a 5-4 decision across the board and seized the opportunity to go 7-2 and basically by doing so did something that the left probably would have undertaken, he rejected something that probably the left would have undertaken and that is the scheme that then all -- all -- i would say all of the subsidies under medicaid
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would have been defunct for the states that didn't go along with what they were saying. all i can say is that the chief justice is a remarkable judge he's a tremendous human being. i have tremendous confidence in him and i believe in him. i differ with him on this opinion. on the other hand, it is a very clever opinion and i have to say only a very clever judge could have written it as well as those others who in the 6-3 majority. i am very concerned because it doesn't solve any problems and we're going to continue to have this tremendous spiral of huge costs and problems eat us alive
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until our friends on the other side get what they really want and that is a single pair system -- single payer system, social youized medicine where they'll throw their hands in the air and say this isn't working ultimately especially when all these costs come in 2017 and 2018 this isn't working and we're just going to have to go to a one size fits all government-sponsored health care in this country where the government will determine everything. that's what they're headed for somehow we've got to stop that or we're going to find ourselves in a socialist position where we won't be able to stop things in the future. i had hoped that maybe the court would propel us on a better course here, on the other hand, i do understand what they've written and i'd even predicted some of it because clever judges can find am biggities where -- ambiguities
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where none exists, in other parts of the text, clever judges can find ambiguities where others aren't able to find. all i can say is we can live with this, we're going to have to repeal obamacare and replace it with something much better, i think the care act that i've been talking about would be so much better and so much less lostly and so much better for the people who need health care in this country than what we have today. with that madam president i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: today i rise to discuss the reach act which i've introduced with my colleague, the senator from iowa senator grassley, to establish a new category for critical access hospitals in financial distress.
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rural hospitals are an essential yet vulnerable part of our health care system. rural residents face a unique set of challenges in relation to their urban counterparts. according to the american hospital association, rural residents are typically older poorer and more likely to have chronic diseases than those in cities. the unique challenges of caring for patients in underserved areas are not the only hurdles that face rural hospitals today but they have a hard time simply keeping their doors open. since january of 2010, approximately 55 rural hospitals nationwide have closed because they could not generate the kind of support or the volume necessary to continue operation. in colorado nearly 60% of care for patients in underserved areas is provided by hospitals dependent on rural payment systems, mechanisms and many of these hospitals are in danger of closing their doors. i'd like to share a story about the impact of a hospital in
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yuma colorado as shared by the c.e.o. of the hospital. i will tell you that the c.e.o. of the hospital's name is john gardner. john gardner has to be the name of my father. they're two different people. my father stem cells farm equipment, this one runs a hospital. my dad's gotten complaints about the emergency room bill and this john gardner about a tractor overhaul bill but a they're two different people. the c.e.o. does live next to me in this small town of around 3,000 people. this is what he said. the c.e.o. of the hospital. because we are located in a rural farming community we see many farming accidents and motor vehicle accidents. gravel roads are not the driver's friend. in partnership with the city ambulance service, we have invested a lot of time and training and equipment to be prepared to respond to these accidents. we have two young adults in our community who are involved in serious automobile accidents on gravel roads. both had severe head trauma,
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which without immediate stabilization would have had terminal outcomes. because of our hospital, we were able to treat and transport both to level one trauma centers for complete treatment and following extensive rehabilitation are now back with their families. stories like this and the invaluable life-saving services provided by rural hospitals are why we need a new system, a new system that recognizes the financial challenges and obstacles that rural hospitals face today. without an adjustment, there may be more facilities closing. a 2014 report by the national rural health association identified 283 additional hospitals at risk of closing. now, we saw 55 nationwide hospitals already close. an additional 283 rural hospitals around the country are at risk of closing. ensuring that rural communities have access to life-saving care they need is why i'm introducing
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and joining senator grassley with the rural emergency acute care hospital act or the reach act. the reach act aims to allow rural hospitals which are in financial distress to become a new category of hospital called a rural emergency hospital. here's the problem. under the current law and why we need to pass the reach act under current law critical access hospitals are classified as hospitals maintaining no more than 25 acute care beds. these hospitals rely on rural payment mechanisms for medicare reimbursements for outpatient, in-patient laboratory services and post acute swing bed services. as the medical service industry has evolved patients find that more and more -- more and more attractive to have services requiring rural hospital admission performed in large city hospitals because in-patient services are delivered there on a more routine basis. more people are leaving rural
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hospitals to go to the city hospitals because they perform these in-patient services more regularly. the problem, of course, is that leaves rural hospitals without enough in-patient volume to cover their costs. oftentimes resulting in hospital closures. so when a critical access hospital -- again these are hospitals defined under the law of 25 acute care beds. when critical access hospitals have to shut its doors for in-patient services, it has to stop providing in-patient services it also means that the emergency care closes with it. so now you have a hospital no longer providing in-patient services and no longer offering emergency care. but as highlighted by my hometown policy, my hometown story, the story that i just shared with the c.e.o. -- from the c.e.o. of the hospital, timely access to emergency services is truly the difference between life and death. those two young men who would have faced a terminal outcome
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were saved because of the availability of a rural hospital emergency room. and so when dealing with life-threatening injuries, it's critical for patients to receive the kind of health care that they need, that life-saving care to prevent the terminal outcome within the golden hour. that's something that doctors and hospitals use a term for medical professionals meaning that hour after injury where it's absolutely critical that they receive treatment that can make the difference between survival. if they don't receive their care during this critical golden hour their care could -- their conditions could rapidly deteriorate. recent statistics from the national conference of state legislatures found that 60% of trauma deaths in the united states occur in rural areas but only represent 15% of the overall population. and so if we're talking about why we need access to rural emergency hospitals this statistic is very clear. 60% of rural trauma deaths, 60%
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of rural trauma deaths in this country occur amongst a population that only represents 15% of the overall population. that's a pretty dramatic number. it's critical that we provide rural hospitals that are under financial distress the necessary tools to prevent closures to those living in isolated areas to make sure they have the same access to emergency services. and the solution is the reach act. a solution that senator grassley and i are working together to allow rural hospitals in financial distress to switch from being a critical access hospital to this new category of hospital called a rural emergency hospital. this new category would offer reimbursement rates that are consistent with the care, needs and capabilities of rural hospitals, but more importantly allowing them to remain open. keeping that emergency room, that critical emergency room service open. now, the emergency hospital must provide emergency medical care and observation 24 hours a day seven days a week by on-site staff.
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so we're still providing quality care but we're allowing them to overcome the fact that they have seen their in-patient services decline, enabling them to keep their emergency services open 24 hours a day seven days a week, to make sure that trauma patients can see the doctor provided the necessary medical care that they need during that all-important golden hour. the bill would also establish protocols for the timely transfer of patients in need of higher level of care and patient admittance. madam president, you and i both come from rural states where we -- we know there are hospitals in our states that are facing financial challenges. there have been stories in the newspapers in colorado about the struggles that some communities are having maintaining their services keeping their doors open. but there are stories in each and every one of these communities, like the story that john gardner told about those two young people in my hometown who otherwise would have had a terminal outcome but for the availability of emergency care
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in rural colorado. so to avoid missing out on the services necessary to keep people alive to make sure that rural patients have access to care during that critical golden hour the reach act provides our hospitals with an opportunity to keep health services and hospitals available across rural america, available open with emergency care, giving troubled hospitals an avenue to keep their doors open and to keep providing the life-saving care that we all so desperately want, in each of our communities rural or urban. so madam president i thank you for the time on the floor today and i urge my colleagues to support the reach act. we are always reaching out for more cosponsors in a bipartisan fashion to make sure that we can do the best job possible providing health care, to rural america, to urban and to make sure we keep these hospitals open. madam president, i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: madam president i rise today to discuss my hometown of baltimore and the city's recovery after the civil unrest related to the freddie gray case, but first let me say a few words about the heartbreaking events in south carolina. words are inadequate to express the heartache of yet another mass shooting. gun violence regularly takes far too many victims in baltimore and other cities across the country, but to have a place of worship violated in such a hateful way is inexplainable. my prayers are with the mother emmanuel a.m.e. church, its congregants and the people of charleston, south carolina, at this difficult time. i appreciate the department of justice's swiftness in opening a hate crimes investigation of this tragedy. despite the alarming frequency of such shootings we as a nation cannot become complacent or immune to the pain and anguish caused by these incidents. every time a senseless shooting takes place there should be
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more and more of us who shout to the heavens in protest as loud as we can. as parents, we have the responsibility to teach our children to focus on the things that unite all people and to view differences as strengths rather than seeds for hatred and resentment. as lawmakers we need to move from a place of political inertia to stop guns from getting into the hands of people who use them for the wrong reasons. we mourn too many good people, men, women and children, to stand idly by. i am pleased that state leaders have come together for the removal of the confederate flag from the grounds of the south carolina state house. i urge the state legislature to move quickly to permanently remove this symbol of intolerance from government facilities. now, mr. president as i travel around baltimore and particularly in the neighborhoods that are trying to recover, i hear a recurring them from constituents. they don't feel that their government truly represents them and their interests. they don't feel that government is fully invested in recovering efforts in their community.
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they don't feel fully enfranchised. so what steps have the local and federal government taken so far? we have seen our state's attorney in baltimore indict several people, police officers on numerous criminal charges as a result of the death of freddie gray. mr. gray suffered a severe spinal cord injury while in police custody which ultimately led to his death. the judge in this case has scheduled a trial to begin in october. at the federal level even before the freddie gray case, i had called for the justice department to intervene regarding allegations of brutality and misconduct by the baltimore city police department. in october 2014, the maryland congressional delegation sent a letter to the justice department in support of greater federal involvement with our local police force. d.o.j. agreed to this request and opened a collaborative review process with their cops office in baltimore city. shortly after the freddie gray case came to late in april 2015 i sent a letter along with
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the maryland congressional delegation asking the justice department to open up a patterns and practice investigation into civil rights violations in baltimore city police department. d.o.j. agreed to this request and opened the investigation which is still ongoing at the same time that the state trial of the police officers is occurring. for those of us who live in baltimore, the events over these last couple weeks have been heart breaking. the city we love have gone through very difficult times. i wish to thank my colleagues who have contacted senator mikulski and me for offering their help, for offering their understanding and for their willingness to work together so we can deal with the issues that have been raised in baltimore and other cities and other places around our country. it is our responsibility to move forward, and the people of baltimore understand that. we understand the national spotlight will be leaving and we are going to deal with the issues that are left behind. i want to thank the administration for their high-level involvement as baltimore gets back on its feet. our congressional delegation, mayor stephanie wellings blake
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has had the opportunity to meet with the white house and senior administration officials and cabinet secretaries to support our local priorities including jobs, economic growth, education, housing and law enforcement. i want to thank president obama for making baltimore a top priority. team maryland is committed to working with the white house and cabinet agencies to ensure that the tools and resources available from the federal government from improving housing and increasing quality jobs to supporting our schools and small businesses to providing citizens with the second chances and expanding programs to rebuild the trust between neighborhoods and law enforcement are brought to bear in baltimore as a national model for the restoration of hope and opportunities in our cities. as congressman cummings has said, this is a transformational moment for baltimore. it's finally time that we look at comprehensive steps to restore hope and trust in our neighborhoods. we need to ensure that all our citizens' rights are preserved while giving police the tools they need to re-engage with
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families and individuals that they are to protect. so last week, i introduced the baltimore act s. 1610, with senator mikulski as my cosponsor. the legislation stands for building and lifting trust in order to multiple opportunities and racial equality. the components of baltimore act are powerful anecdotes to the many of the long-term ills facing our cities and others. we must simultaneously promote economic development and opportunities for our cities, but this bill gives individuals and law enforcement a second chance to do the right thing and contribute in a positive way for their families, their neighborhoods and the larger community. the baltimore act contains legislation from this senator and other senators as well as new legislative ideas. the baltimore act consists of four titles. the first title deals with law enforcement. the baltimore act contains the text of my legislation s. 1056, which is the end racial profiling act. i've talked on the floor before
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about end racial profiling. it should have no place in law enforcement in our community. it's counterproductive. it turns communities against law enforcement, it's costly and it can be deadly. now, if you have specific information about a person who has committed a crime you use that that's not profiling but when you target a community solely because of race, that has to end. the first title of the baltimore act also contains several reforms championed by senator mikulski as part of the commerce justice science appropriation bill approved by the committee for f.y. 16. the legislation would require local law enforcement officials receiving burn jag and cops hiring program funds to submit officer training information to d.o.j. including how their officers are trained in the use of force encountering racial and ethnic violence, de-escalating conflicts and constructive engagement with the public. it rivers local and state police departments to promptly submit their force data to the f.b.i.
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the legislation requires the department of justice to issue a report on its plan to assist state and local law enforcement agencies to improve training in the use of force identify racial and ethnic bias and conflict resolutions through the course of an officer's career. the final piece of the title one act establishes a pilot program to assist local law enforcement in purchasing and leasing body-worn cameras and requiring privacy studies. i want to thank senators schatz and paul for introducing this. the second title involves civil rights restoration. it includes the text of my legislation s. 772 the democracy restoration act. my legislation would restore voting privileges for those who have completed their prison terms. i know i have support on both sides of the aisle. we've had a vote on this and near a majority have agreed on it and those who opposed it said it was on the wrong bill. well, let's move it forward. once individuals have completed their sentencing, they should be welcomed back to our community so that they can be law-abiding
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productive citizens. that they know that they have become part of our community. they know we believe they have a future. they should be able to serve on our injuries. this is not a person -- there's not a person in the senate who didn't have a second chance at some time in their life. we should look at second-chance opportunities and part of our legislation provides additional funding for second-chance type programs that would employ those who've had criminal convictions. we also have a sense of congress to end "check the box" so that in federal contracts, all persons have an opportunity to participate. the third title deals with sentencing reform. i've spoken to some of my colleagues about some of the sentencing guidelines we have in this country. we need to take a look at our criminal justice system and the sentencing guidelines to recognize if a person is of a certain race, a certain religion or an ethnic background, that person is much more likely to end up in prison today even though the instance of violating the laws are not different in that community than other communities in this country. we have to deal with it.
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the country has to deal with it. the -- the fourth title of the bill the last title deals with the reentry programs that i've already talked about. we need to finance those. it may take time for baltimore to fully recover from the damage its done to its business and national image by the tragic events following the recent death of freddie gray but this great city will come back. i'm optimistic when it comes to baltimore's future. from their earliest days, baltimore's industrial and financial business sectors have proven themselves resilient and innovative and these same qualities will be vital in the days ahead. i am confident that together we can find ways to help baltimore recover and grow all sectors of its diverse economy sparring community improvement along the way. we also need to have a serious discussion about sentencing reform finding the way to restore the lost trust between law enforcement and the communities. the baltimore act will allow us to move precisely in that way
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collecting critical crime data like officer related shootings and provide real strategies and resources to strength police-community relations. these will help protect the rights of every american on every side of our justice system madam president with that i i would yield the floor. -- madam president, with that, i would yield the floor. mr. cornyn: cornyn: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority whipment mr. cornyn: madam president, i have nine unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. these requests have been approved by both the majority and minority leader. i'd ask ask consent the quorum call be dispensed consent that these requests be agreed to and be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president when i have constituents from texas come to washington d.c., i typically will describe this as being a little bit like
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disneyland. it's a lot of fun to visit a lot of excitement a lot of things happening here but it's not real. it's not real. what i mean by that is what's real are the lives that are lived by the average american families all across this country whether it's nebraska or texas or elsewhere and the struggles they have trying to raise their children, trying to get a good education trying to keep a job keep a job that has good wages and one that hopefully grows over time. but here in washington, the focus is typically on winners and losers. winners and losers. you look at almost any newspaper each week here in washington, they'll talk about the winners and the losers. and usually who they're talking about are political figures like the president of the united states. so i just happened to catch one
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headline that talked about the president being the biggest winner of the week here in washington, d.c. why? well one is because of the trade promotion authority legislation that we passed that we worked with the president on. that happened to be a subject that i agreed with the president on the importance of opening up new markets to the things that we grow, the livestock we raise and the manufactured goods we make. and hopefully we'll be able to enter into a good deal on the trans-pacific partnership opening up 40% of the world's economy in asia to new markets for the things that we make, grow and the livestock we raise. so that happened to be a subject that i agreed with the president on. and he had more problems with his own party. we got 13 senate democrats to join us in passing this legislation but we got it done. and i think in that instance, maybe the president, you could call him a winner if you want.
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you could say that the american people were the winner and i think that would be accurate, too. but on the loser's side of the ledge, we had a disappointing decision by the united states supreme court today where they ignored the clear language that congress wrote when the affordable care act was passed back in march of 2010. and the -- even worse while the press may consider that this represents a -- quote -- "win" for the president there's no question in my mind that the vast majority of the american people are the losers as a result of this decision. because the fact is obamacare has been a disaster for millions of hardworking families. and it was really sold under false pretenses. the president said, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. well, that ended up not being true. if you like your policy, you can keep your policy. well, that ended up not being true for roughly 5 million
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people who lost their insurance coverage that they liked because the law said they couldn't keep it anymore. and then there was the fact the president said if prices of health coverage for an average family will come down $2,500. $2,500. none of those proved to be true. so despite the supreme court's disappointing decision i will not stand down in my opposition to this bad law because i know we can do better. and i look forward to working with our colleagues to eventually protect the american people from the harmful effects of obamacare and get the american people what they thought they were going to get out of health care reform in the first place -- coverage they wanted at a price they could afford. neither one of which is delivered under obamacare. but as i indicated initially congress and particularly the senate has had an unusually
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productive period of time here of late. it may be hard for some people to believe but the most common word i heard used to describe congress last year and in recent years has been dysfunctional. but we have actually been functioning pretty well considering. we've been able to accomplish quite a bit. today the senate is marked by something that we refer to as regular order and what does that mean? well, it just means that we operate according to the rules. where not only the majority but also the minority gets to participate in the process both at the committees and here on the floor of the senate. and if anybody's got a good idea, they can offer that idea and they can actually get a vote on it up or down. i was happy to read in the "wall street journal" yesterday that two former republican majority leaders wrote that they were encouraged to see -- and i quote -- "the senate addressing
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big problems after years of inaction." i couldn't agree more. bringing the amendment process back is one obvious way that we have done so under the new majority after years of inaction. now, that may sound like inside baseball or just talking about procedure, but the -- but by allowing members of both parties, the minority and the majority, to offer their ideas on legislation we've restored the ability of all members of the senate as elected representatives of the people, to cast their -- our votes on numerous issues that affect all of our constituents and the country. but restore restoring such a simple -- but restoring such a simple process, one that had been relatively absent during the years the minority leader held the reins represents a real sign of progress. at the beginning of this year, it was reported that just three weeks into the new senate, we had voted on more amendments
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than the minority leader had allowed during the last year in its entirety. let me say that again because it is pretty shocking. in the first three weeks of this year we had voted on more amendments than the minority leader when he was majority leader allowed in the entire previous year. well it would mean nothing if it didn't reflect the core philosophy of the new leadership of this chamber. in other words our successes on amendment votes didn't stop after our first month of the new congress. i'm now proud to say that voting is now the norm instead of the exception to the rule. and what did our constituents send us here to do if not to vote? during the last six months, the senate has voted on 136 amendments to legislation compared to just 15 last year. we're working for the american people and more importantly
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the congress is now working in their behalf and actually beginning to solve real problems that have lingered for years. but we've done more than just allow amendments and votes on amendments. during the last few months, we've passed more than 40 bipartisan bills. now, if anybody's been here for very long one of the things they learn perhaps to their chagrin, is you can't do anything around here on a purely partisan basis. you just don't have the numbers to do it. with some notable exceptions. but we passed more than 40 bipartisan bills and we've seen 18 of those already passed -- already signed into law by the president. this includes some important legislation that i'm very proud of called the justice for victims of trafficking act a bill that actually passed this chamber 99-0. 99-0.
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and it's focused on making sure we help the victims of modern-day slavery recover and rebuild their lives and make sure that these women typically teenage girls make sure they're treated like victims and not criminals. we've also passed other important legislation like the iran nuclear agreement review act. this law will give congress the time and space to closely scrutinize any deal that the president negotiates with iran concerning its pursuit of nuclear weapons. in so doing we will make sure that the american people through their elected representatives, can voice their opinions on what could be a bad deal that could jeopardize our national security and that of our allies, like the nation of israel. and then there's the national defense authorization act. passed just last week, which will provide our men and women in uniform the authorities and
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the resources they need to protect and defend our nation against rising threats around the world. and, as i mentioned at the beginning, just yesterday we passed trade promotion authority which will soon be heading to the president's desk, which provides texas farmers and ranchers and small businesses the opportunity to find new markets around the world through pending and future trade agreements. we also see significant progress in many other bills that the senate may consider, bills that our committee chairs have been tirelessly moving forward. this includes more than 110 bills that have been reported out of committees and legislation like the pat he -- the patent act a bill i've been very involved in, that helps start-ups and small businesses that are too often wasting their time and money fighting costly, frivolous litigation. so madam president it's good to see the senate is back working for the american people
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and it's my hope that we can on a bipartisan basis it continue to build on our strong record so far this congress and to continue to work productively where we can to serve those who elected us. the senate is starting to build some momentum and with several appropriation bills looming, we need to keep getting things done and providing real solutions to the problems that face us. although my friends across the aisle suggested that they will launch a filibuster summer, i would like to stress that that would undercut the good progress and the productivity that we've den straight so far and it would also prus straight the american people and only harm those who were sent here to represent not the least of which are our troops and veterans. so let's do away with this irresponsible idea of a filibuster summer and let's work together to try to do the nation's business. madam president, i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: madam president i would request at this time for floor permission for the following interns from my office to -- have floor privileges for the balance of the day. jenna draydolpple holly o'brien, jasper mcnaughton anthony lekanov and tavish low began. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: thank you. a couple things before i speak about what brought me to the floor here today. i've just been listening to our leader from texas talking about
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so many of the advances that we have seen in the senate this session. i think it is important to acknowledge and note that we are making progress. often we get labeled in the media for being that do-nothing congress that entity that is just engaged in loggerheads and dead little rock. but -- deadlock. but i think the truth is, the facts on the ground is that we are seeing substantive legislation pass just as the senator from texas has noted. i was pleased to be able to lead off the senate with the first bill on the senate floor in this congress the keystone x.l. pipeline. it was good to be back at work in a body that was entertaining amendments, amendments from both sides offered by colleagues without any direction
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or dictation from the majority side an opportunity for the give and take that comes with not only good debate but not knowing whether or not your amendment is going to pass or fail. this is how the legislative process works. the occupant of the chair is a former member of a state body, as i was. we know that that's how you build legislation is the good construct back-and-forth. we saw that the keystone x.l. debate we moved it through both bodies, the president chose to 0 veto it, i think it was a mistake i'd like to see it revolved -- resolved eventually but it reflects the way a chamber can work, the way a constructive majority can work about so i applaud the leadership of the majority in getting us to this point and through some very difficult issues. we're going to have some good things coming up and i look
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forward to further engaging debate on that. madam president, i want to mention just very quickly here what is on the front page of my newspapers in the state of alaska this week and has been for a couple weeks now. our fire season has started very early, and with an intensity that has really attracted concern and attention not only within the state but outside. currently we've got about 545 fires that have begun within the state, both the interior where we traditional see them but also in south central, fires that have -- have taken homes and properties in the first part of the fire season there was a great deal of attention in the community of willow, an area that hosts the homes of many of our famous and infamous dog
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mushers, mushers that mush along the iditarod trail and other parts, articles about the dislocation of not only the mushers who have lost their homes but trying to find places for up to 600 sled dogs, for temporary relocation. there has been a great deal of concern about what the fire status is in alaska. as i mentioned 545 fires have burned 427,881 acres as of yesterday evening. that's a significant total. it's a very is significant total but it's pretty small in comparison some to where we were in 2004 when we saw almost five million acres burn, it was 4.7 million acres burned in 2004. in 2005 we had 2.2 million acres we are hopeful that weather is
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going to change, we're going to get on top of this but when i was home in fairbanks in the interior on saturday, saturday alone saw 6,500 lightning strikes at a time and a place where it's very dry in the interior right now, has been for some time. so fire danger is very real. and my point this morning is not to give you the weather report but to acknowledge publicly the efforts of the men and women who have been engaged so bravely and so heroically in fighting these wildland fires in fighting fires all over the state in extreme conditions, in difficult conditions where wind can come in at the last minute change directions and not only threaten the property but the safety of our firefighters. right now we've got about 3,300 fire personnel in the
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state of alaska, about 2200 of them fighting fires on the ground over a thousand of these are men and women from alaska many of them are hotshots and our firefighters from the villages that have a great deal of expertise but we also rely on many who come from the lower 48 to assist us during this time of our wildfires. we thank them and we pray for their safety and for those who have been left homeless, whose property has been damaged whose lives have been ideal been upended by these very, very difficult fires know that our hearts go out to you and whatever efforts we are able to provide for assistance, we stand ready to do so. but a very heartfelt thank you to those who are fighting these fires. madam president, i came to the floor today to speak about an
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issue that has raised a level of concern and controversy in my state of alaska like no other regulation we've seen in a long time. and this is -- regards to the e.p.a. and the army corps of engineers and their release of a final version of a rule that significantly increases the ability of these agencies to regulate more of our land and our water. and i'm speaking specifically to the rule that expands the definition of waters of the united states under the clean water act. coming from the state of nebraska an agricultural state, you, too, have heard the concerns of our constituents, from farmers about the expansion of this definition, and what it may mean to our economies. and the e.p.a. claims this
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rule -- and we lovingly refer to it as wotus -- is a clarification to provide certainty and predictability as to where clean air permits are required. but the view of so many alaskans and really around the country is that this rule is far beyond a simple clarification because it substantially increases e.p.a.'s regulatory reach. it will subject countless new projects to permitting requirements that will be difficult to satisfy increasing both costs and certainly increasing project delays. the application that the wotus rule which have in alaska is expansive it's negative, it is something that i have described as a show stopper in the past. and none of the changes in the final rule alter that description. if anything, they just serve to
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reinforce it. the rule really was a show stopper when it was drafted it remains at least as bad and damaging today. now, according to the u.s. fish and wildlife service there is more than 174 million acres in alaska that are wetlands. so that's 174 million acres in the state that are considered wetlands. so compare this the entire state of texas is 172 million acres. so everyone in the lower 48 thinks texas is a pretty good state, my friend john cornyn was here earlier. texas has 174 million acres. in alaska we have -- excuse me texas has 172 million acres, we have 174 million acres of wetlands in alaska. so you take that whole state of texas and turn it into wetlands that's what we're looking at here in alaska. look at this map here, just for
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a little bit of context. under the old rule, 43.3% of alaska's service is considered wetlands compared to 42.5% in the lower 48. so this map we have here is pulled from u.s. wish and wildlife service's wetland finder web site. it may be difficult to see but these areas all in the brighter green are all your wetlands. this area of southeastern alaska where i was born and raised is entirely wetlands, the entire southeastern part of the state is wetlands. in the fairbanks and the interior area of the south central wall around prince william sound all southwest but i think it's important to note that this web site that fish and wildlife has is lacking data for significant part of alaska and the map is effectively incomplete.
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the last study that was conducted by the service on the status of wetlands in the state was done back in 1994 which really puts it out of date, it doesn't take into account the recent supreme court decisions in rapanos and swan see. we have another one it's instructive to look at as well. this map is called from a study by the university of michigan and the jet propulsion laboratory at the california institute of technology. so in this map they used l-band radar satellite imagery it probably produces a more complete and accurate view of the wetlands in the state. so again you have all of -- all of these areas that are considered wetlands but in effect more parts of the state again, are considered wetlands or viewed as wetlands than not.
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so what you have between these two maps, between what fish and wildlife has done and what the university of michigan has done and california institute of technology you've got some discrepancies but it illustrates the problem. and the problem is that nobody really knows what will be considered wetlands by the e.p.a. and by the court. and if the new rules take effect that problem is only compounded because it declares that any water or wetland within 4,000 feet of a -- quote -- "categorically jurisdictional water" will now be subject to this significant nexus analysis and that analysis will include the entire water at issue even if only a tiny part of that lies within the 4,000-foot boundary. so if you're like most americans, you probably -- and
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understandably -- have no idea how to define a categorically jurisdictional water. you probably don't have any interest in learning how to define it but what you may soon find is that it's going to impact you. because it will include all waters used or susceptible to use in interstate commerce, all interstate waters, the territorial seas, all tributaries to those bodies of waters and all adjacent to all those other enumerated waters. a lot of water. and you probably -- and again understandably -- aren't familiar with this significant nexus analysis, either. really what does that mean? here's a way to help put it into context. if you have a 500-acre plot of land and within that 500 acres
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you have ten square feet that are within 4,000 feet of any jurisdictional water your entire parcel, the whole 500-acre plot will now be evaluated as a whole even though the area that we're talking about here where there's a wetlands is like ten square feet out of 500 acres the whole thing is considered as a whole. the significant nexus analysis must include all similarly situated waters so, again, you'll have a situation where the e.p.a. and the corps are going to interpret broadly. what does this all mean in application? because it's interesting looking at maps and kind of this discussion about categorically jurisdictional waters and significant nexus but let's take a specific example. take the community of fairbanks
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where i spent a lot of my time growing up. fairbanks is in a valley, it's surrounded by pretty large watershed. have you the tannana river the sheena river you have this area in fairbanks where all of the wetlands in the basin have been declared similarly situated. so what that means is that a landowner will be forced to prove that none of the wetlands in the basin as a whole have a significant physical, chemical or biological connection to either the taninaw or chinook rivers. madam president, that's practically an impossible hurdle here. there are thousands of acres of wetlands in that basin that are now all effectively subject to jurisdiction under this new
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rule. every single person who wants to do any sort of development in alaska's second largest city is now going to be required to get some form of a permit. so this includes the guy who wants to build a cabin or the small dredge operator who is out in the gold stream valley or the developer out in north pole who wants to put in a new subdivision. all of them go out and get your permit. the bureaucratic mess that is the 404 permitting process has already held back crucial development within the state and this new rule is only going to make things worse. now, i'd like to go further to the fairbanks example and to tell you the story of richard shock. he's got a company called flow line. he has been engaged in an
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ongoing battle with the corps since may 21 of 2008. and that was the day that richard submitted a permit application to the corps and it was a reapplication for a permit that had been granted back in 2003 and you think okay, well, this is just a reapplication. this is a permit that's been in place now for five years. should have been an easy matter. instead, richard is still fighting the corps. this many years after still fighting the core -- corps for a new permit. since 2008, the corps has connected the piece of property at issue to the tanana river, to the chena river and something known as channel b., which is a man made waterway used for flood control purposes. so the agency's first attempt to establish jurisdiction over his private land which consists of 455 acres outside of fairbanks
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was through the tanana river. they looked at it and after administrative review, it was held there's no connection between the subject land and the tanana. so you would have thought that we're done with it. but no, rather than just allow mr. shock to develop his private land the corps then switched theories on him and said nope, we think that the land is connected to the chena river instead. but then they went further than that. they settled on a third theory, and that was that the wetlands had a direct connection to channel b. channel b is over two miles away from mr. shock's property via a small 20 to 50-foot-wide wetland arm since channel b drains into the chena river. so when you're talking about a significant nexus how -- how remote could you possibly be?
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so there's a couple problems with this analysis. first, the strip of land that they label as wetlands wasn't wetlands at all. people drive four wheelers on it. you can walk on it in tennis shoes. basically, this is -- this is the land that they're describing as wetlands. guys -- guy's taking a core sample here. muddy underneath, but effectively this is what is being considered the wetlands. second channel b contributes less than 1% of the total flow to the chena river. and you would think that that should not sufficientifies for a finding of -- suffice for a finding of significant nexus but the corps thinks it does. so to date, this permitting battle has cost mr. shock over $200,000 and that doesn't count the 1,000 man-hours that he and his staff have put into the project. all he's trying to do is move
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his business from its current location, which is limited in size to this new piece of land, his private property, and open a new powder coating plant. the move would allow him to expand his operations, employ more people, contribute to the growth of alaska. you know, since 2008, we can't make it happen. the presiding officer: the senator's time is expired. ms. murkowski: madam president permission to continue for an additional four minutes please. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: thank you madam president. i also want to speak to how the wotus rule impacts the development of hydropower in the state of alaska. we're looking to find energy solutions, green energy solutions. hydropower is huge for us. alaska has nearly 300 prime locations for hydrodevelopment, nearly 200 in southeast alaska alone, but many of them require the construction of power houses or transmission lines that may
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rest on wetlands or cross wetlands as defined by the new rule and that's now a big problem. so a good example of this is crater lake near the community of cordova. this is a fishing community down in prince william sound. crater lake is at an elevation of 1,600 feet. it's straight up from the ocean. cordova has been looking at this small hydroopportunity to -- to advance their energy solutions. it's clean it's renewable it's carbon free, it's no fish issues so this is perfect for them. prior to wotus, it was anticipated that it would be about a 12 to 18-month process to permit this small hydroproject. with the federal nexus wotus brings this project is now likely to end up in the ferc process. and what was expected to be
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about $150,000 to $200,000 in permitting costs is now looking to be closer to a million dollars and take potentially three to five years. think about it, madam president. for a small community like cordova that's trying to find small energy solutions for this fishing community these additional costs are likely going to kill this small project. and what happens? the community continues providing their power by diesel, when you've got a clean opportunity but that opportunity is going to be suffocated by this rule. most of coastal alaska, with its rugged mountains filled with rivulets and waters, will be subject to these case-by-case determinations. simply performing the science and providing justification to the e.p.a. for these adjacent water determinations will add costs to projects and likely delay any development as the determinations are litigated. if any projects do make it to the finish line, their higher
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costs under this rule will mean that their electricity is ultimately less affordable for alaskans. and the costs that we face when developing in alaska are already steep enough. they will be magnified and worsened by the final wotus rule. and i'm grateful to our colleagues on the e.p.w. committee who recently reported out bipartisan legislation. i have cosponsored it that require the agencies to develop a better rule. there is two bills. the infrastructure rehabilitation act will allow the secretary of the army to waive the notice and comment period required by the clean water act when a natural disaster has damaged critical infrastructure and a local government needs to rebuild. we also have the mitigation facilitation act which will allow the secretary to provide loans to local governments in order to ease the burden created by 404 permits and the overreaching scope of the new wotus rule. if the federal government is going to require hugely burdensome and expensive
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mitigation projects, effectively an unfunded mandate the government should assist municipalities by providing loans and guarantees to small local entities. so i have introduced these two bills and looking forward to having them move forward in addition to what the e.p.w. committee has done. alaska as i mentioned, will be very heavily impacted just because of the nature of our wetlands. an analysis done by e.p.a. and the corps suggested the high end, the mitigation costs in alaska could be $55,000 per acre. $55,000 an acre. with 43% of our land requiring mitigation for any sort of development, these costs are going to halt development projects. and then you combine these with the costs of even getting a permit which averages about $270,000 economic development is seemingly impossible in many parts of the state. but it goes further than that, because e.p.a. can also issue
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civil penalties for violations of a permit or for failing to have a permit when it thinks that you should have one and these penalties can be assessed at a rate of up to $37,500 per day and doubled if the person being fined has been issued an administrative compliance order and e.p.a. decides that there has been a violation of that order. so the threat of these penalties is another cost that people have to take into account when they're developing property. there are -- there are so many places in alaska that just -- you know, you talk about this 4,000-foot away from some kind of water. we're close to water everywhere. close to water everywhere. we have got too many rivers, too many lakes, too many wetlands. we love them all but we've -- we're also the only state that has permafrost, and we have no idea at this point in time whether or not and under what circumstances these areas might be regulated. so again, you have incredible uncertainty working against
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development. bottom line is that the new wotus rule will have results that in many cases will just be absurd in alaska and add significant, significant costs. for us, this rule is the equivalent of the roadless rule that killed off logging in the tongue -- tongas national forest ending hundreds of jobs. mr. president, i know this is an issue many of us in this body care about many of us in this country care about. it speaks to what we see when we have agencies that go beyond their jurisdictional authority that go beyond the scope of the laws that were passed with good intentions. i want us to get back to that place of sane laws that allow us to have that clean air clean water, but when we see interpretations like we have with wotus it's time to stop them. with that, madam president i thank my colleague for the indulgence of some additional
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time and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. booker: madam president i rise today as negotiations between the p-5 plus 1 and iran enter their final dates. the president deserves our thanks for his commitment to eliminating the nuclear threat we face from iran, and we owe the negotiating team our gratitude for their tireless, ongoing work to achieve a meaningful deal. for decades iran has posed a serious, real and ongoing threat to the united states national security interests. iran's pursuit of its hegemonic ambitions in the middle east has manifested in its training and arming of president bashar al-assad's syrian forces and
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terrorist organizations such as hezbollah. more recently, iran's increased interventions and conflicts in yemen and iraq pose dangerous and unpredictable regional consequences. iran's ayatollah khomeini continues his horrific and unacceptable calls for the destruction of the state of israel and has not yet come clean about dimensions of iran's nuclear program. the stakes of these nuclear negotiations clearly could not be higher, nothing less than the peace and security of the middle east hangs in the balance. the iran nuclear agreement review act has hard-fought legislation, this hard-fought legislation by senators bob corker ben cardin and new jersey's own senator menendez, of which i am a cosponsor sets up a clear and constructive
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process for congress to weigh in on any final deal that touches upon the statutory sanctions congress has enacted. with just days remaining before final deadline, congress must continue to voice its concerns and exercise its authority. this role is to me the bedrock of the democracy of our democracy, that congress plays its role. as my senior senator senator menendez has stated, if the interim period is just a short-term pause that preserves for iran the ability to quickly restart its nuclear program, we will have failed the american people. we will have failed, in my opinion, the world. and we will have failed the allies and friends to whom we have vowed to protect from iranian aggressions. any final agreement must build in the ability to hold iran to
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its commitments and prevent the absolute nightmare of a nuclear iran from being realized. my intent today is to ensure that the administration, which has worked tirelessly to prevent iran from gaining access to a nuclear weapon, has the best possible chance of success once a final agreement reaches congress. the framework agreement released on tape 22, 2015, leaves gaps, some of which i would like to respond -- like to spend a few moments highlighting today. first, a robust and comprehensive inspections and verification regime must be the foundation of any deal that is reached. with iran's known enrichment facilities in natanz and fordot as well as a heavy water reactor, the country's leaders will most certainly look elsewhere to conduct any secret
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nuclear work. iran, of course, denies any desire to build a bomb. but distrust of iran is based on deep historical precedent. iran secretly built and operated natanz and fordot and they still haven't come clean about their past military nuclear activities at partchin. therefore, ensuring a robust inspection regime is critical for my support of a final deal. the joint comprehensive plan of action jcpoa fact sheet released on april 2 stated that iran will be required to grant access to the iaea to investigate suspicious sites or allegations of covert facilities anywhere in the country. it was hoped that rapid inspections would underwrite the verifiability of the agreement so if iran was suspected of
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violating the agreement the iaea would have access to those suspected sites. according to the latest reports the iaea would have the ability to investigate undeclared sites. however, iran would still be able to dispute those requests in an international forum made up of five permanent members of the u.s. security council -- the u.s. britain france, russia, and china -- plus germany the e.u. and iran. as we look forward to examining the contours of an inspection regime we must be wary of any proposal that allows iran to jam up the iaea and the dispute resolution process while removing any evidence of violations that are occurring. our negotiators should expect questions from this chamber -- are there clear loopholes for cheating and does the
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administration have high confidence that iran is not making bomb material at its declared nuclear facilities and that inspectors are able to detect clandestine facilities? our standard will be an arrangement that prevents iran from dodging or hiding from the inspections regime. our intelligence, together with enhanced inspections must be able to ensure that the u.s. will catch iran if it takes the risk of pursuing a secret pathway to nuclear weapons to pursuing secret nuclear activities. let's not forget that iran has a dismal record of compliance with its international obligations. iran has a 30-year record of cheating on the nonproliferation treaty. 30 years of cheating t. iran has
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a -- 30 years of cheating. iran his a 30-year record of cheating but already the ayatollah has stayed that iran will not allow inspections at military sites today. khamenei is always backtracking on major commitments agreed to by negotiators on all sides. this is a serious issue and in my opinion a clear ploy by iran to frustrate the negotiations and move the goal post on these negotiations. but even more so understanding the history this reinforces how much we just don't know about the military dimensions of iran's past activities. we have no baseline for monitoring iran moving forward without understanding what has been sought in the past. this is not new. the iaea raised these concerns. the april 2 jcpoa says that --
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and i quote -- "iran will implement an agreed set of measures to address the iaea's concerns regarding the past military dimensions of its programs." and as secretary kerry stated in april past military dimensions -- and i quote -- "will be part of the final agreement. if there's going to be a deal it will be done." i applaud the secretary's commitment to ensuring that iranians past behavior will play a clear role in the ongoing negotiations. and we know that in this chamber, my colleagues will examine this closely. we will also examine time lines. in the best-case scenario for 10 to 15 years iran limits its research and development limits its domestic enrichment capacity , does not build new enrichment facilities or heavy
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water reactors, limits its stockpile of enriched uranium and accepts enhanced transparency measures. after 15 years when it has allowed under the terms of the agreement to build its stockpile, it can only do so for peaceful purposes. but i believe we have to be clear-eyed about the other scenario which is that after 10 to 15 years -- a blip in time for a regime that has been under sanctions for decades -- iran ramps up its research and development on advanced centrifuges, installs these centrifuges and decides to break out. would the deal -- would this deal enhance the intelligence picture of iran's nuclear capability? it's an important question. and, if so, would it adequately inform our military options should iran attempt that
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breakout? are there assumptions being made that in the short term, iran may undergo internal political changes that will make them more favorable to the west? are we assuming that in making this deal? relying on such assumptions would be a dangerous gamble. there are no assurances about what the future state of their regime will be. finally, congress must be clear that this deal must not only be credible to congress but it must also satisfy iran's neighbors that have much to gain from an iran that follows established international norms. and far too much to lose if we allow a deal that leaves iran's neighbors vulnerable to reckless rhetoric and aggression. if other countries believe that we have wavered in our resolve to get the strongest possible
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deal it will be very difficult to discourage other countries from developing or pursuing a weapon. this could lead to proliferation and such proliferation would be catastrophic it would be a catastrophic blow to an already unstable and unpredictable region. this is not an abstract concern. iran's neighbors are watching these negotiations carefully. while i sincerely hope that in the 50 -- that in 50 years future senators will discuss how the u.s. did what no other nation was able to do -- build a comprehensive sanctions regime that brought iran to the negotiations table that neutralized the threat of nuclear proliferation in the middle east and succeeded in putting an end to dangerous calls for the destruction of israel -- success is not
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certain, success is not an inevitability. i will not judge this deal before i see a final agreement and i encourage my colleagues to read that final text, as i'm sure they will, before making judgments about the deal. we need to see what is in it. under the joint plan of action, we have seen unprecedented inspections into iran's nuclear infrastructure take hold. iran's enriched stockpile has indeed shrunk. there are limitations on their enrichment processes. and enrichment has been confined to indeed, one facility. this is progress. it is my hope that the negotiators are building upon this progress and working towards a comprehensive final deal. there is much at stake. the bar is set high. as it should be.
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it is high and that for a deal, questions that i have raised are among the many that will be asked that must be asked as we approximate examine a final deal in the coming weeks. thank you madam president. mr. booker: mr. president if i may, one more moment. today, as i understand or tomorrow is the last day for this group of pages to be here with us. i've been in this senate now a little bit longer than you about 20 months now and we see these groups of pages come. and it's just an extraordinary thing to see young people come from all over america. some that may go on to government gut most will go on to do other things -- government but most will go on to do other things, to come to this chamber and continue on a tradition that has been going on for decades
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and decades and decades. they come and they go but i want everyone to know that they really do enrich our experience here as senators and they help the staff do really invaluable work for the operations of the senate. they may be viewed as the lowest on the totem pole in this institution, but their value and the legacy they are continuing is a noble one. and so today, on the penultimate day of this group of pages i just want to offer them my gratitude for their service to our country. thank you. and noticing a absence of a quorum you can call a quorum call. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. cruz: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: i ask unanimous consent to set aside the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cruz: mr. president today's decision in king v. burwell is judicial activism, plain and simple. for the second time in just a few years a handful of unelected judges has rewritten the text of obamacare in order to impose that failed law upon millions of americans. the first time the court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory penalty into a tax.
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today these robed houdinis have trans-morgrafied a federal exchange into an exchange -- quote -- "established by the state." this is lawless. as justice scalia rightfully put it, without objection, so words no -- words no longer have meaning if an ex-chapping that's not established by a state is established by the state. justice scalia continued, "we should start calling this law scotus-care. i agree. if this were a bankruptcy case or any other case of ordinary statutory interpretation, ther results would have been 9-0 with the court unanimously reversing the obama administration's illegal actions. but, instead politics
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intervened. for nakedly political reasons the supreme court willfully ignored the words that congress wrote and instead read into the law their preferred policy outcome. these judges have joined with president obama in harming millions of americans. unelected judges have once again become legislators and bad ones at that. they are lawless and they hide their prevarication in legalese. our government was designed to be one of laws, not of men. and this transparent distortion is disgraceful. these justices are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes. they have joined a team, and it is a team that is hurting
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americans across this country. obamacare is the biggest 0 job killer in america. millions of americans have lost their jobs, have been forced into part-time work, have lost their health insurance have lost their doctors. millions of americans have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket and it is the direct result of president obama of democrats in the united states of congress, and of lawless judges at the united states supreme court who have joined the team of the obama administration. if those justices want to become legislators, i invite them to resign and run for office. that's the appropriate place to write laws on this floor not from that courtroom. mr. president i began my career as a law clerk at the united states supreme court clerking
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for chief justice william rehnquist, one of the greatest chief justices ever to serve our nation. i have spent the majority of my adult life litigating before the united states supreme court both on behalf of the state of texas and on behalf of private parties. what this court has become is heartbreaking. if chief justice rehnquist could see this court today, he would be filled with sorrow at what has become of the supreme court of the united states. the obligation of fidelity to the constitution and fidelity to law matters. we are not living in a platonic og gar canoligarchy with philosopher kings
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governing us who believe they can to write the laws, interpret the laws, enforce the laws. that's not the american system of governance. at the same time, mr. president crocodile tears are flowing here in our nation's capital over the supreme court's decision to illegally rewrite obamacare which has been a disaster since its inception. but one day a full outrage from the washington cartel won't fool the millions of courageous conservatives all across our country. they know that far too many career politicians -- democrats and republicans in this nation's capital -- are quietly celebrating the court's decision. if they believe this issue is now settled so they don't have to address it, they are sorry mistaken. -- they are sorely mistaken.
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i have made repeal of this disastrous law a top priority since the very first day i entered in body and i have made its repeal central to my tenure in office. republicans all across the country, including my friend, mr. president, in the presiding chair, campaigned on repealing this law and were elected in an historic tidalwave year, historic majorities in both chambers of this body, and in statehouses all across the country. it's now up to us to keep our promises. i believe 2016 will be a national referendum on repealing obamacare. this law is profoundly unpopular. it's un-0 unpopular with republicans with independents, with
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democrats, it's unpopular with young people, hispanics with everybody it is hurting and there are millions being hurt by this law. the court adopted and put its stamp of approval on the i.r.s.' blatantly unlawful reading of the statute to make subsidies and taxes a pplicable to individuals -- applicable to individuals on federal exchanges when congress explicitly provided the opposite. jonathan gruber famously said, obamacare was built on exploiting the stew piedty of the american people -- stupidity of the american people. unfortunately, the supreme court is now complicit in that deception. the supreme court has joined president obama whose statement "if you like your health insurance plan, ub keep you can keep
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your health insurance plan" was rightfully noted as the lie of the year as millions lost their doctors. now that's rogue justices are complicit in that lie in setting aside their oath of office to lie to the american people. after today's ruling, obamacare will now being responsible for impose og illegal taxes on more than 11 million individuals and for burdening hundreds of thousands of businesses with illegal penalties on their workers, killing jobs, and further slowing economic growth. if you're a young person right now, you come out of school, you got student loans up to your eyeballs you're struggling, you don't know if you're going to get a job the dismal obama economy means your future is bleak. you have no hope or optimism about actually beginning a career getting skills, moving towards the american dream.
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well today the united states supreme court has joined arm in arm with president obama and the i.r.s. in illegally imposing taxes on you. you, that young person starting your career, struggling to make your student loan payments, working as a part-time employee making coffee doesn't pay those payments and yet you're stuck with the individual mandate which is a tax -- so the supreme court told us. so the obama justice department argued right after president obama told the american people it wasn't a tax the obama justice department said, yes, it is a tax. the supreme court agreed, and you, the young person shall the single mom trying to feed your kids are paying an illegal tax because of the lies emanating from washington, d.c. you, the teenager immigrant like my father was 58 years ago washing dishes, making 5 50 cents
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an hour, he couldn't speak english, but he was filled with hopes and dreams. he was filled with an aspiration for the american dream. ours is the greatest nation in the history of the world because people can start with nothing and as chief anything. that is the promise of america. and obamacare is strangling that promise. you, the teenage immigrant washing dishes or paying illegal taxes right now today, because of president obama's deception because of the i.r.s.'s lawlessness and because of the supreme court's judicial activism violating their oaths of office. mr. president, i remain fully committed to repealing every single word of obamacare. and mark my words following the election in 2016, the referendum that we will have in 2017, this
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chamber will return and we will repeal every word of obamacare. we'll bring back economic growth. we'll bring back opportunity. and then we'll pass commonsense health care reform that makes health insurance personal and portable and affordable, that keeps government from getting between us and our doctors. we will recognize that this horrible experiment has failed. and when millions of americans lose their jobs, are forced into part-time work, lose their health care, lose their doctors when millions of americans see their premiums skyrocket it's incumbent on members of this body it's incumbent on the federal government to fix the wreckage they caused, to fix the wreckage that the supreme court has now embraced lawlessly. we will repeal obamacare, and i
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will fight with every breath in my body to make sure that happens in 2017. mr. president, i yield the floor. and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: ms. stabenow: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: i ask for suspension of the quorum call, please. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. stabenow: thank you very much mr. president. mr. president, first i'd like to say that clearly it is to
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americans how we view health care that's for sure. after hearing my colleague speak about the disaster of providing tens of millions of people health insurance affordable health insurance where i live in michigan, it's great that families no longer have to go to bed at night put the kids to bed and then say a little prayer dear god don't let the kids get sick. and for millions of americans the supreme court decision has reaffirmed the fact that they will have that peace of mind. and so when chief justice roberts writing for the majority today said congress passed the affordable care act to improve health insurance markets not to destroy them, i think he was absolutely right. and i want to commend him and the majority, substantial majority for understanding that
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in the competitive private marketplace that we set up through insurance exchanges we meant for all americans to have the opportunity for the tax cuts that allow them to be able to purchase insurance. most people purchasing insurance for under $100, which contrary to destroying america, i think is making an incredible difference in people's lives and creating the opportunity going forward for competitive marketplace for small business. certainly now i would hope from here that we would go forward and stop all the repeal discussions and get down to the business of improving health care. because i think there is still things that we need to do. we need to look at how things are working and make sure that things are going as well as possible particularly for small
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businesses, who i feel like we've got some work to do. but it would be nice if we could get beyond the unfortunate commentary that has been on for too long that somehow providing affordable health insurance for americans is going to be the end of our country. i certainly think on something like health care, where nobody controls whether or not they get sick or their moms and dads get sick or the kids get sick or their friends get sick, we're in a situation where our job is to figure out the best way to support people, taking responsibility to purchase insurance and make sure it's affordable and it's quality highest quality lowest cost; and that's something we in the greatest country in the world with all the innovators, all the smart people we have, the wonderful doctors wonderful hospitals, facilities we have,
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certainly we can do that. and that is in fact what is happening through health reform. right now 16.4 million americans who were without insurance before the be affordable care act now have the confidence and security of knowing that they have health care coverage. 6.4 million americans, because of the supreme court decision, are going to be able to keep their tax credits. they're not going to see their taxes go up. they're going to be able to keep the tax credits that are going to allow them to make sure that that insurance is affordable. and that includes over 228,000 people in my home state of michigan. that's a lot of people. and what is also so incredibly important is that of those people who already had insurance, the majority of americans, they're having better opportunities to keep it, not be blocked, not be dropped not have caps.
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129 million americans with preexisting conditions, whether it's diabetes, juvenile diabetes cancer, colleagues here who have been in situations that announcing various kinds of cancers, diseases and so on, 129 million americans including 17 million children no longer have a risk of being denied coverage because of the insurance company being able to stop them if they have a preexisting condition. you know, mr. president, i was with a wonderful group of women -- if i can divert from the serious moment to say last night we raised money for breast cancer survivors in a wonderful game between the press and the members of congress, the women members of congress. and despite both teams, i think doing a great job, i was very impressed with both sides but the great news is that the
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congresswomen won. we called it beat the press and it was great. what was most important last night, mr. president was seeing all the breast cancer survivors that were there women who had been able to get that checkup been able to get that treatment knowing that going forward wherever they work if they move from one job to another if they're changing insurance they're still going to be able to get the coverage they need. they're going to be able to get that mammogram with no co-pay as preventive health care. they're going to be able to get the care that they need. and if they need treatment they're not going to arbitrarily have an insurance company come in and say we don't really care what your doctor says about how many sessions you need or radiation treatments, you get ten and that's it. or you get five and that's it. or whatever the number is. so 129 million americans with preexisting conditions today can
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breathe a sigh of relief because they're going to be able to continue to have the health insurance they need. 105 million americans no longer have a lifetime cap on coverage, including mental health and substance abuse coverage, which is so very significant. 76 million americans with private coverage are eligible for expanded preventive services like mammograms like prostate screenings. and we all wish our wonderful friend and colleague senator king, all the best as he gets his treatment this next week. we know he'll come back strong, as well as all of our colleagues who have been in similar situations. this is a big deal. this really is about saving lives. that's what this is all about. it's not a political game. it's not just going back and forth as republicans and democrats. this is health. this is medical care.
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it's being able to determine if you get that horrible diagnosis you're sitting in a doctor's office and you're told you have cancer or a heart condition or any number of other things, that you're going to be able to get medical care. and we also know that consumers have saved $9 billion since 2011 because the law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80 cents on every $1 you give them on medical care. that was not always the case. you even get a rebate if they don't. so i would hope at this moment in time that we would stop the efforts to repeal health reform. i know that it's in the budget that passed. the republican budget, house and senate, sets up a process to be able to go back and one more time try to repeal health insurance for tens of millions of americans. i hope we won't do that. i hope the other side won't do that. we certainly won't do that. i hope that instead we'll get
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about the business of making sure it works as well as possible and that we are strengthening the quality measures the opportunity for competition and continue to bring rates down. we know if in fact health reform is repealed, it will increase deficits by hundreds of billions of dollars cause 19 million americans to lose their health insurance just next year, according to the budget office. 19 million people, 24 million people in the next few years. and under the congressional budget office repeal would result in $353 billion increase in the budget. so mr. president, i want to congratulate the supreme court for common sense today understanding what we meant what legislative intent was all about, and urge that we now decide that we're going to work together on health care moving
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forward. mr. president, one more topic i'd like to speak about today. and that is the fact another very important issue, instead of health infrastructure, how we make sure we can go to the doctor, we have a looming deadline in 36 days where the highway trust fund is going to be at zero. empty. 36 days as of today if we don't act together, there will be a shutdown in the highway trust fund which will have a ripple effect through the entire economy in how businesses and workers and families in every single one of our states coast to coast. the harm will be felt equally republicans, democrats independents, people who don't participate in the political process, people who do. everybody will suffer if we can't come together and address the highway trust fund.
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if this happens congress fails in its responsibility. and with all due respect, i have to say it falls right on the majority because we have been saying and will continue to say that we want to work together in a bipartisan basis to be able to get this done. you know, there was a time when this was not a partisan issue when republicans were leaders on building our infrastructure. and in fact, president eisenhower said in 1952 a network of modern roads is as necessary to our national defense as it is to our national economy and our personal safety. and what's interesting is that tomorrow is the day when it's 59 years -- tomorrow, 59 years ago that congress approved the federal highway act connecting
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all of our country for commerce, for farmers for families. and the vote interestingly 59 years ago was almost unanimous. only one senator voted "no." everybody else voted "yes." 99 voted "yes." then it passed in the house on a voice vote. think about all the discussion we're having today. the federal highway act passed on a voice vote in the house and only one person in the senate voted "no." it was signed by president eisenhower three days later. it was the biggest public works project in our nation's history and it could not have happened if not for a triumph of bipartisanship. a republican president working with a democratic congress got this done. and when we look at who benefited from taking that dirt road and paving it and being
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able to go across our country it certainly was colleagues in the west, colleagues in the south. it wasn't just the cities. in fact, they probably had roads already. it was everybody else as we moved across the country. so this should not be regional. it should not be partisan. it doesn't make any sense for us not to come together and get this done. and behind the team work at the time after they worked together to pass this, construction began on a system of 40,000 miles of highways. 40,000 miles of highways, enough to circle the globe one and a half times. that's what was done when people work together to build the strong infrastructure of the 20th century. and it didn't take long before the economic impact was felt by the late 1950's or interstate highways were responsible for 31% of the annual growth in the
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economy. over 30% of the growth in the economy a came because of that one act. developing the infrastructure to move goods and services and people across our country. the people of this country were getting to their destinations fastly, safer than ever before. every rural community was flourishing, just as our urban communities had been. thanks to president eisenhower's leadership and a democratic-controlled congress, our roads in the mid-20th century were the envy of the world. other nations noticed. those nations who aspired to be like us, be like america in the global economy. they now are making huge investments in their infrastructure from china 9% of their g.d.p., four times more than we are. to brazil.
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i've said before that when i was in china a couple of years ago they rolled out 20 new international airports. 20 international airports. they didn't count everything else they were doing. in brazil, they rolled out for us when i was there with the secretary of agriculture their new rail system and road system that was going to get agricultural products to the ports and move people around their country so they could be moving forward as a global economic power. today our european competitors spend twice as much as we do and now it's time for america to step forward because unfortunately we are now playing catch-up. the world economic forum's global competitiveness report for 2014 and 2015 ranks america 16th in the world in the quality of our roads.
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america. one spot behind luxembourg and one spot ahead of coash -- of croatia. as i've said before, yay we're beating croatia. it's an embarrassment and it's not what our people need or our businesses need or what our farmers need or what our workers need. you know, in 2002, that same report had us at five, the fifth-best transportation system now we're at 16th. and the american society of civil engineers have given america a "d." and how many of us would be satisfied if our children came home from school with a "d"? i know i wouldn't be. it will also said that 32% of america's major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. we know what has happened when bridges have fallen.
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we know what happens. i've seen in michigan, i've heard the stories of people driving underoverpasses and cement falls -- under overpasses and cement falls down on their car. lives have been taken. and driving on bad roads costs motorists $109 billion in road repairs a year. and i talked to one colleague who told me that he had to replace all four tires on his car when he went through one pothole not long ago and that in the last year he had bought seven move tires on his car which is way more than he would have been paying if we had created a way to fund our roads on a long-term basis that made sense. it is not right for congress to neglect our responsibility to maintain and in fact,
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strengthen our infrastructure. and, in fact, we as individuals driving on roads and driving across bridges and moving across our country business people, are paying for the fact that we have not come together with a long-term plan. we can't expect our workers and companies to compete in the 21st century global marketplace if we are forced to use 20th century roads and bridges. and so i would say in conclusion mr. president, we have -- we have 36 days left to act. now, when we want to, we can act pretty quickly. i commend colleagues from the e.p.w. committee who have come forward with a six-year bill. we have in front of us a policy passed by the committee. i want to congratulate senator
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inhofe, senator boxer for coming forward with a proposal that will increase the funding over time and i believe and hope we will do it in an even more robust way. and they've put forth policies that will long term create the economic stability for our businesses and the jobs for our workers and our families that they need. the drive act as we call it, is an important step forward. i want to commend the chairman of the finance committee for holding hearings on how we finance that because that's our responsibility. and, mr. president, i would say again, we have enough time to get this done because president ice inhour, over 50 -- president eisenhower over 50 years ago -- tomorrow -- with a democratic congress got it done. 36 days is enough time for us to
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meet the expectations of the american people on this issue. thank you mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. coons: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that senator hatch follow my remarks today. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. coons: mr. president i rise today to honor someone i've had the privilege of calling a friend for many years and who is retiring after serving the state of delaware for the past six years, alan levin. alan and i both had our first tours of duty working for the same republican senator. i was an intern for senator bill roth in the early 1980's and alan was his counsel in the mid-1980's. alan a wide and well-respected leader in delaware's republican leader has since 2009 served as director of the delaware economic development office where he's worked every day to attract businesses to delaware and help them create good jobs
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in our communities. alan took over at a time when communities throughout delaware were hem ranling jobs and feeling the very worst effects of the great recession. delaware's unemployment rate sits at 4.5%. during his tenure, alan exemplified what it means to be a public servant t didn't matter if someone came to him who was startthinking of starting a small business or a company bringing 400 jobs to delaware. no matter what, if it was going to help delaware, alan was able to meet with anyone and show them that there's no better place than delaware to run a business. of course, alan's service to our state began well before 2009. lopping a leader in the delaware state chamber of commerce, for more than two decades he ran a
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farmcy ultimately expanding it to 76 stores in our region. that success is an important part of who alan is, tbiews really know him is to know that his job at the delaware economic development office was not one he needed, it was one he chose. alan could have continued and built his success in the built world -- anyone can tell you that -- but he made a decision at that key point in his life to strive for something more, to make his home state a better place. he recognized his considerable skills and talents and knowledge and decided to use it to help families and businesses across our state succeed. that's a profound thing and in a world where there's far too many people who shun public life and purr service for good reason, alan stepped up to the plate when delaware needed him most. now for the fatly for all of us, alan isn't going far. we'll still get to see him in southern delaware where he will be taking up working with sodel concepts and their successful restaurants. it's hope that he'll get a chance to trade in his business
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suits for flip-flops and a beach chaimplet i wanted to thank alan and his wife ellen and his wonderful sons for letting us have alan in public service for so many years where he's made such a difference. it's my hope he will gate to enjoy his family, his grandchildren and the entire delaware community, which is so grateful to alan for his public service. thank you. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator utah. mr. hatch: mr. president, i ask that these remarks immediately follow those of senator stabenow. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president i've been interested in how the democrats are constantly pushing to get moneys for the highway system. all of us are. every one of us in this body wants to do everything we can for the highway system. however, they're talking in such big terms that the only way you could possibly reach those kind
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of moneys would be with further tax increases. now, my experience here as -- when our friends on the other side call for trasm tax increases s. increases -- it's so they could spend. if we raised the amount of money they're asking in tax increases you can see i can just tell you all the projects that are going to be done that many of which are not -- are not the crucial projects in this country. all i can say is that we're going to try and find the moneys but we don't want to raise taxes. and we certainly don't want to raise the gas tax at this time. we'll find enough moneys to do hopefully a multiyear approach towards the highway plan and i'm dedicated to try and find that way. the other committee the environment and public works i believe is the committee that passed a bill calling for a six-year highway program, and i hope -- it would meet my highest
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goals if we could do that, but i don't think we're going to be able to do that under current -- under the current monetary and economic systems that we have today. but, nevertheless, i'm going to do my best to try and help here to get the highway bill through and do it the right way. now, i ask unanimous consent that my other -- my remarks i'm going to give now be placed in an appropriate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president i rise today to discuss the progress of the senate under the new republican leadership. in the first six months of this congress, we have passed bipartisan commonsense legislation that has developed meaningful results to the american people. as we work to return the senate to regular order -- and that has not been an easy thing -- we are rebuilding this institution's
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reputation as the world's greatest deliberative body, something it has not been over the last number of years. to that end, we have renewed our commitment to the open-amendment process and the committee system that gives all members from the most seasoned chairman to the newest freshman, a hand in drafting legislation. the progress we have made is remarkable especially considering the difficult situation we inherited. at the end of the 113th congress partisan grandstanding and festering dysfunction had tarnished this body's reputation. the senate was beset by gridlock and weak leadership more focused on political messaging than constructive legislation. at the end of the 2014 congress -- at the end of 2014, congress had an historically low approval rating of only 9% and in many respects we deserved it the way
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the congress was being run. americans had every reason to disapprove of what was going on here. these persistent low ratings reflects the american people's feeling em what was going on with their government and the president's failed policies. under our new leadership we are working to regain the trust of the american people. already the senate has taken up and passed nearly 40 pieces of bipartisan legislation. in our extensive efforts to restore confidence in the legislative branch are beginning to bear fruit. consider our legislative accomplishments thus far. at the beginning of this congress republicans and democrats came together to pass the hoeven-manchin bill for the keystone pipeline. we also maced the amy and vicky act to create an effective
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restitution process for victims of child pornography. others deserve credit on that bill. in a bipartisan manner, republican leaders cooperated with democrats to real estate peel and replace medical sustainable growth rate. instead of resorting to patch after patch year after year, it's what we've been through around here for so long, it's really -- that's really a tremendous achievement. we came together to work out a balanced package that both protects seniors and includes important cost controls. it demonstrated the scope of what congress can do when members work together and it represented an important step forward in reforming our nation 's entitlement programs. with regard to that, we paired it with the chip bill which was the hatch-kennedy bill, for young children left out of the health care system. and that passed, too. we have been on this -- built on this positive momentum when
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we passed the cornyn-klobuchar human trafficking bill. very important bill. congress established a special fund provideing victims of human trafficking the resources they need to repair their shattered lives. this bill suffered a number of hiccups along the way yet ultimately we were able to come together to overcome our differences. we again bridged the partisan divide when we passed the iran nuclear agreement review act. a monumental piece of legislation. this legislation ensures congress' right to oversee any agreement the president reaches with iranian leaders and reasserts the senate's valuable role in approving international treaties. and despite our divergent opinions on the obama administration's negotiation efforts, we were able to devise a compromise that earned the support of nearly every senator. these are not small
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achievements. it's amazing we've been able to do so many in the first six months. just last week we worked together yet again in a bipartisan fashion to pass the national defense authorization act, reauthorizing important defense programs critical to our national security, a complex and very difficult bill to handle. and no less than our wonderful senator from arizona senator mccain handled that matter on the floor along with the help of a lot of others. in passing this legislation our new majority did not run roughshod over the minority. rather we collaborated with our colleagues in the minority to draft legislation agreeable to both sides and our bipartisan work hasn't been limited to this chamber. we have also worked closely with the white house to pass trade legislation critical to our country's economic future. in fact, just a short while ago the president called me and thanked me, his top chief of staff called me and thanked me,
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something that, frankly i was very grateful for. in fact, yesterday's passage of trade promotion authority might be the strongest evidence to date that the senate is back to work on behalf of the american people. this bipartisan legislation is one of the president's highest trade priorities because it supports u.s. job growth, boosts american exports and enhances our ability to negotiate trade agreements and makes our goods and services more competitive globally. t.p.a. will give the united states viable pathways to enter into critical trade agreements with our international partners to level the playing field for american exporters, creating and sustaining more better-paying jobs -- american jobs. beyond the content of our legislation, the senate's return to regular order and the open amendment process is remarkable. at times it has been difficult
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to make progress in restoring the senate as an institution and the consideration of complex legislation can be a slow and arduous process. nonetheless, this party -- this body has been deliberative deliberative -- let me say it this way. nonetheless, this body has been deliberate and thoughtful in our consideration of legislation. often these bills have been considered for several weeks and occupied many ours of valuable floor time. these bills have required dozens of amendments to be considered before they were ultimately before before the senate for a vote on final passage. and though this process is difficult enough and laborious it is the way things should be done. i've had friends on the other side of the floor come to me and say it's wonderful we're able to have amendments again we're able to do the work of the senate again. we feel good about it. and they feel good about doing the bipartisan work that we've
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done. mr. president, you in the chair did an awful lot of good bringing the hoeven amendment through. -- the hoeven bill through. and we can name so many others, great people on the other side who have cooperated and i think with regard to that, senator wyden has worked very hard and very close with me on a number of bills. but especially the trade promotion authority bill which was the key bill to enable this administration to enter into good agreements with foreign countries that are important to us. without that bill we wouldn't have these agreements. and we may still not have them unless they're done right. but let's at least say that we've given the administration the opportunity of doing it right. in spite of our successes so far, this congress, there are still many who oppose our
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efforts restore the senate to its proper function. the minority leader might be the most among the distracters. i'd like to respond to some of his criticisms. the democratic leader has willfully ignored the significant achievements of the current congress, even arguing that the republican-led senate has done nothing to help the american people. the minority leader's accusation is patently false. he lobs these criticisms to distract the american people from his failed leadership in the last congress. i happen to like the minority leader. he's my friend. i care for him. but there's no excuse for that kind of language on the floor of the senate. and i have to say he's cooperated and helped through some of these bills. and he ought to be taking doctor for it rather than lobbing jabs over across the aisle. mr. president, contrary to minority leader's claims, the
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republican leadership has been remarkably successful at doing exactly what leader mcconnell promised we would do, pass legislation that improves the economy, makes it easier for americans to get jobs and helps restore americans' confidence in their country and government. importantly, the majority leader has kept his promise of restoring the proper role of the senate by enhancing the lib -- deliberation on legislation through an open and robust committee and floor amendments process. to appreciate fully the success of the new congress, we need only to review the failures of the past. as we all remember too well under the tight fisted control of the democratic leader, the senate and all -- in all of 2014 was only allowed to take a total of 17 roll call votes on amendments. 17 amendments in an entire year. some of the democratic senators who were defeated had never brought up an amendment on the floor of the senate.
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didn't have that privilege. didn't have that remarkable experience. the democratic leader shut down the amendment process by abusing procedural mechanisms and dismantled the rights of the minority in this chamber. this dysfunction lies in stark contrast to the way leader mcconnell is leading the senate today. under the new majority leader we have made progress that is tangible, even measurable. just look at the facts. in the first six months of 2013 -- 2015, the senate has taken over 130 roll call votes. almost ten times -- 1030 roll call votes on amendments, almost ten times the number of the last year under the other party's control. in other words, the senate has taken more than seven times -- let's be more accurate -- roll call votes in the first six months of this year than the current minority leader allowed in all of last year.
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it is worth noting that a majority of the roll call votes taken this year have been on amendments introduced by democrats. a majority of the roll call votes taken this year have been on amendments by our friends on the other side. they haven't been blocked. this is powerful evidence of the republican-led senate is committed to working in a manner respectful of the minority's voice. additionally we have considered and agreed to 183 amendments this year. that means we've agreed to nearly four times as many amendments in the first six months of this year than we did in the first six months of the last congress. i am pleased that the senate has largely returned to operating under regular order with increased deliberation and an open and robust floor consideration process. the bottom line is that this
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increased transparency and deliberation has benefited the work of senators on both sides of the aisle. that said, i think we can wall agree that the senate has a lot more work to do. i am hopeful that we can capitalize on our success by continuing to tackle difficult issues such as sustaining the highway trust fund, working toward comprehensive tax reform and improving our nation's cybersecurity. these are important bills and we have to work on them. as we work together to find solutions to these problems, i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to practice the principle of mutual restraint. senator mike mansfield the longtime senate democratic majority leader, and a wonderful man who i knew, counseled that the remedy to partisan gridlock in the senate -- quote -- "lies not in the seeking of shortcuts not in the cracking of nonexisting whips, not in wheeling and
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dealing, but in an honest facing of the situation and a resolution of it by the senate itself by accommodation by respect for one another and by mutual restraint" -- unquote. now, parties must certain sacrifices in order to function. the majority leadership must generally refrain from being divisive and partisan messaging bills before the senate for consideration and should seek to gather bipartisan support through a consensus. mutual restraint also requires in most cases the majority leadership to allow legislation to be thoroughly vetted by the committee of jurisdiction and allow for an open amendment process which provides an opportunity for all senators to contribute to the chamber's work. i remember how the obamacare bill was formulated. it was formulated not in the committee of jurisdiction with
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all those people there with all that experience. it was done in -- with the white house in a small room of just a few senators who decided this monumental bill that passed with only democrat support that we're now all subject to and has been anything but a success. now, i have to say all senators should be able to contribute to the chamber's work. and this duty is not incumbent upon the majority alone. the minority also has to practice restraint. including resisting impulses to filibuster routine unanimous consent requests and insisting on poison pill amendments. the minority in the senate has powerful rights that can be used to grind the work of the senate to a halt but the minority should not abuse those rights. at times it can be appropriate
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for the minority to utilize all of the procedural mechanisms at their disposal to legitimately and judiciously disagree with a policy being considered by the senate. however, when the minority deliberately frustrates the work of the senate for a partisan gain, it is an offense to the institution and i say that with regard to both sides. my friend the majority leader has been committed to conducting the senate's consideration of legislation in a deliberate manner with prudence and restraint. he has renewed and enhanced deliberation and consideration of serious policy proposals. we've not made a point of pushing republican messaging bills but rather we have worked hard to find broad, bipartisan consensus. and although it has not been easy by any means i feel confident that the american people are beginning to regain confidence in the legislative branch under the republican leadership that is being led
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today. we still have a long way to go before we can restore the full confidence and trust of the american people, at least that's my viewpoint. though we are -- we are really once again moving the country in the right direction. this senate is a dramatic improvement from the way business has been conducted over the past several years. we are not focused on scoring cheap political points but on deliberate -- deliberating serious policy and legislation aimed at meaningful reform. the senate under republican leadership has passed bipartisan legislation that will improve the lives of all americans. we are doing the right kind of work, and we are doing it the right way. we are not focused on political gimmicks and pageantry rather we are interested in real substantive policy aimed at strengthening the nation, our economy and our national
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security. we've made significant progress and we continue to work together to restore our reputation as the world's greatest deliberative body. on the finance committee alone as of yesterday we had passed 36 bipartisan bills out of that committee. which wasn't really allowed to function during the last number of years. it was so bad that senator cornyn left it, said we're not getting anything done. and frankly we weren't. a lot of that was because of the way the senate was being led at that particular time. we no longer have the majority leader come in and call up a bill and then immediately tie up the federal tree so nobody could have amendments and thus leaving the minority with the sole
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operative way of having to not stand there and take it but to filibuster at that particular point. filibusters under those circumstances are pretty doggone accurate and right. and there are times when that has to be done, but not every time. and there are times when occasionally leadership has to pull in bills to the leadership office but not very often. in a -- that isn't going to go on this side. that's why we have these committees. i'm pleased to say i think the finance committee is restoring itself. that's the greatest deliberative committee on capitol hill, or certainly in the senate. in that regard, it's been a privilege to work with paul ryan over in the house. in all of our meetings, there has never been any real push to be partisan. it's to get the job done, do it the best way we possibly can to
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involve our brethren and sisters on the other side and to make sure that our side does what really ought to be done in their respective bodies. we're going to have tie-ups in the future, i know, but it was getting so it was in every way. and i suspect there were sincere motives in doing that, in trying to protect the then-majority side before this year. and i understand that, that it went way too far and it was not the way to run the senate. we all know that senator mcconnell is a strong, tough intelligent complete senator and certainly a majority leader, and that can irritate some people who don't look at the real facts and don't look at what he really stands for and
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what he is really trying to do. i have found him to be fair, i have found him to be fair and deliberate. somebody to work with, as long as you're working in good faith. i would like to see both of our leaders work in good faith so that we can do things for our country first and quit worrying so much about who is going to run the senate the next couple of years or who's going to win or who's going to get the big headlines. let's worry about running the country in the proper way. to do that, it takes both sides not just one side, and it takes a deliberative process that elevates the senate back again to the greatest deliberative body in the world. we can do it. i caution both leaders to do everything in our power to see that we do work together as much as we can. and when we fight let's have real good fights but let's do it
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over substantive things, not just deliberateed procedural matters. we have to have some of those too. but the fact of the matter is we've done quite a bit in this first six months. the leader has done a great job in getting us there. and we've had a lot of help from our friends on the other side. and i believe that -- i believe that i want to keep that system going so that we can do even better. with that, i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the assistant minority leader. mr. durbin: mr. president this morning, the supreme court of the united states handed down this decision, king versus burwell. i think it will probably be a decision that is remembered for a long time, certainly by members of congress. we were watching carefully closely, wondering what the supreme court was going to say about the affordable care act otherwise known as obamacare. we passed it five years ago and it was about the issue of health insurance. how many americans who were uninsured would be insured under
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the affordable care act and how much would health insurance cost. controversial, as the senator from utah just noted, it was passed on a partisan roll call. there was an effort to write a bipartisan bill and it failed. there was no sentiment shared by both sides of the aisle to create the affordable care act or anything like it. how important is this decision, king versus burwell a decision which basically sustained the affordable care act and said that the tax credits which are part of the act given to families in lower income situations were legal and constitutional? i think it's one of the most important decisions because i think health insurance is one of the most important things in our lives. if you've ever been in a doings as a father with a sick child seriously ill child without health insurance you'll never forget it. i know. i have been there. as a law student my wife and i got married we had a little
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baby. she had some challenges, and we had no health insurance. and i just wondered every time we took her to the hospital, every time we saw a doctor, if she was getting the best that she could get because we didn't have health insurance. it meant waiting in big waiting rooms with a lot of other people without health insurance and hoping that whoever walked through that door, that doctor would be just what my daughter needed. i'll never forget it. when it comes to a time and people are degetteing about health insurance how important it is, it sure is important to me and it was even when i didn't have it as i realized how insecure and uncertain i was. mr. president, about five years ago, i was down in southern illinois in marion, illinois, a great little town. i stayed there in deep southern illinois at a local motel. in the morning i'd get up and go in and they had a little breakfast buffet there. there was this sweet lady named
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judy, and she was always there senator, what can i do for you and all this. she couldn't have been nicer. and i got to know judy over the times that we stayed there and we talked about her life. judy was 60 years old. she was working part time in this motel. kind of in the world of hospitality. take care of guests when they went to the breakfast buffet in the morning. we talked about her life. she had grown up in southern illinois. she had worked all the way through her life, job after job after job. and i knew she was a hardworking lady a good person, and she said to me one day senator i've heard about this debate in washington about the affordable care act and i'm scared. i said why? she said i don't think i can afford it. and she says they won't let me pick my own doctor. and i said well, judy, i don't want to get personal, but i need to ask you a few questions. do you have health insurance?
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no no, senator, i have never had health insurance in my life. i have never had a job that offered health insurance. she was 60 years old. and i said now i'm going to get real personal. can you give me an idea how much money you make? if you want to, can you tell me? she said sure, and she told me. i said judy, when it's all over, you're going to be covered by medicaid. you won't be paying for this. for the first time in your life, you're going to have health insurance. you're going to be able to go to the hospital and not be a charity case. she said is it won't cost me? i said no, your income is so low that you qualify for this tax credit and this treatment under medicaid. you don't have to pay out of pocket. the next time i went back there after the law passed and we knew that she had medicaid coverage, judy didn't look the same. she was obviously sick. i said what's wrong? she said well, i just got diagnosed with diabetes. and i said well, at least you've
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got medicaid. she said oh, i sure do, and i've got a doctor, i like him and he's helping me and i've got a hospital that i can go to if i need to. there she was for the first time in her life at the age of 60 with diabetes and with health insurance, and from my point of view that is what this decision and this debate is all about. what we set out to do with the passage of the affordable care act was to make sure that health insurance was there for that young couple getting started with a baby who otherwise wouldn't have had health insurance or that 60-year-old woman who was working a job that didn't provide health insurance benefits who was facing diabetes. well it's helped a lot of people. when we started the debate on the affordable care act there were 50 million americans out of over 320 million, 50 million who had no health insurance because
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because -- health insurance. because of this law the affordable care act, 16 million now have health insurance. i think that's a good thing. most americans would celebrate it that we've reduced the rolls of uninsured by a third. it means that they have the peace of mind of having coverage. roy romanovski in chicago i sat next to roy at a community health clinic in a neighborhood, and i go to those clinics all the time because i just think they're one of the best places on earth to meet some great medical professionals that are doing a wonderful service for a lot of people who live in the neighborhood and otherwise wouldn't have anyplace to go. roy romanovski, a big barrel-chested polish guy from chicago, is a musician, plays a guitar. never had a solid 40-hour week job in his life and never had health insurance. he's got it now. the affordable care act gave roy health insurance coverage for the first time. health insurance coverage that he can afford.
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that is what the decision in this court case is about today whether or not people like roy and judy would have health insurance. and it did something else. it moves us along the path we want to be in. not only did more and more people have health insurance but here's good news for everybody, the rate of growth in health care costs is going down. oh it's not a dramatic plunge, we didn't expect it to be, but even as it starts to level off a little bit it has a dramatic impact. it means even if you don't have your health insurance plan even through the affordable care act if you have a three-year employer the health insurance premiums that your employer faces are less than they would have been. so it's starting to flatten out this growth in the cost of health care. and what about medicare? medicare is important for over 40 million americans. here is the great news on medicare. two things. number one because the overall
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cost to health care is coming down just a little in five years, the projected solvency of it medicare has been -- they have added 13 years to it, 13 more years of solvency for a program critically important to seniors and disabled people. so medicare has benefited from it as well. and there is a second part. if you are under medicare and you have prescription part-d, covers your prescriptions under medicare we close the doughnut hole. the doughnut hole used to be that point in the cost of your prescription drugs when medicare no longer paid for it and you had to pay for it out of pocket. that was a crazy idea in the law, and it cost seniors thousands of dollars and then, of course, after they paid out of pocket, medicare came in to cover the additional expenses, we got rid of that craziness. we eliminate it, that doughnut hole. so for seniors wanting to take
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the medicines the doctor has prescribed so they could feel good be strong, be independent stay on their own this affordable care act helped them pay. in illinois, it was about $1,000 per medicare recipient a year in prescription drug costs taken care of by the affordable care act. and let me tell you a couple other things that this law did and does. have any children in your family who are going to college? are you worried about when they graduate from college whether they have a job and health insurance? i was. my wife and i were worried about our daughter. i remember calling her jennifer you just got out of school, you have health insurance. dad, i don't need it, i'm healthy as can be. that isn't what a father wants to hear. the affordable care act says that your son or daughter can stay under your family plan until they reach the age of 26. i think that's a good thing. and as a parent who had a
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college grad looking for a job i had the peace of mind of knowing she was under the family health insurance plan. so the people who want to repeal the affordable care act do they really want to repeal that provision? and the other one that is important, how many of us can say with certainty that in our homes and our households there isn't someone with a preexisting condition, someone who perhaps a child that's had diabetes, a spouse that had good luck in beating breast cancer or prostate cancer. someone with a history of mental illness. in the old days before the affordable care act what i have just described to you were grounds for denying health insurance coverage or charging through the roof. well, that was changed by the affordable care act. preexisting conditions no longer disqualify you from health
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insurance in america. the president said this morning after the supreme court decision we will have to explain to our grandkids there was a time when you couldn't get health insurance if you were sick. well thank goodness that time has passed and the affordable care act protects people. so overall this act in the last five years has made real progress for america. for 16 million americans it has given many of them health insurance for the first time in their lives, health insurance that they can afford and a tax credit to help them pay for it that was protected today by this supreme court decision. in all of the time since the affordable care act has been the law, we have heard from the other party they want to repeal it. but in that same period of time we have never ever, ever heard what they would replace it with. they don't have a better idea. here's what i think we should do, i hope we will do. i hope we will put behind us this whole effort of let's file another lawsuit let's vote
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another time to abolish the affordable care act. i hope instead that there will be a constructive dialogue between democrats and republicans to make the affordable care act better. i voted for it, proud of it, it's one of the most important votes i ever cast in congress, but it's not perfect. i tell my town meetings back in illinois the only perfect law was brought down the side of a mountain by senator moses on clay tablets. and ever since then we've done our best to write laws but know that we have to be ready to improve them and to react to changing circumstances. we should do the same with the affordable care act. i think there are things we can do to make it strong he and on a bipartisan basis we should. until this moment in time when the supreme court decision, it has been politically impossible to have that conversation. the restaurant association comes to see me and they're worried. they say wait a minute we got a lot of part-time employees and a lot of them, you know, don't
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want health insurance their spouses have health insurance we're looking at the law, we want some clarity here about what our obligation will be under the affordable care act and they deserve that clarity and i will tell you as i stand here today i'm willing to sit down with any republican senator and work out changes in provisions in the law to make sure that we treat these employees fairly. that we give them coverage and do it in a fashion that's fair to their employer as well as to them as individual employees. these are things we can and should do. for the longest time, for the longest time, there were people who opposed social security. going way back in time, 70 or 80 years when it was created. they said it will never last, it will never stay. and then eventually the republic sent -- sentiment changed and people realized that social security was critically important for america. the same thing was true for medicare. there were those who said socialized medicine, we've got to get rid of it and now 60 years later, 50 years later
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they understand it is part of america for millions of americans, it's critically important. medicaid same thing. well i hope today will be that turning point on the affordable care act. where we decide on a bipartisan basis this is part of our future providing insurance for uninsured americans, doing it in a fair way particularly for those in lower income situations. this was an historic decision, at the supreme court 6-3, decisive majority opinion said the affordable care act is legal, constitutional and should move forward. i hope that manuel makes it across the street over to the halls of congress. mr. president, i ask consent after my remarks a separate statement be placed in the record relative the supreme court's decision today and the fair housing case as well. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that valerie williams, a fellow in
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senator patty murray's office, be granted floor privileges for the remainder of congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate consideration of h.r. 893, which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 893 an act to require the secretary of the treasury to coin the commemoration of the centennial of boys town, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, 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: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of
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calendar number 78, s. 230. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 78, s. 230 a bill to provide for the conveyance of certain property to the iew con health corporation -- to the yukon health corporation located in alaska. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the murkowski amendment be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate consideration of s. res. 215 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 215, designating the month of june 2015, as national posttraumatic stress disorder awareness month and june 27 2015 as national posttraumatic stress disorder awareness day. the presiding officer: without
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objection. the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i understand there is a bill at the desk and i ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 1698, a bill to exclude payments from state eugenics compensation program from consideration for determining eligibility for or the amount of federal public benefits. mr. mcconnell: i now ask for a second reading and in order to place the bill on the calendar under the provisions of rule 15, i object to my own request. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the bill will be read for the second time on the next legislative day. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that for the up coming adjournment of the senate, the junior senator from arkansas be authorized to sign duly enrolled
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bills or joint resolutions. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding the upcoming adjournment of the senate, the president of the senate, the president pro tempore and the majority and minority leaders be authorized to make appointments to commissions, committees, boards, conferences or interparliament conferences authorized by law by concurrent action of the two houses or by order of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until the following dates and times to convene for pro forma session only with no business being conducted. further, that following each pro forma session the senate adjourn until the next pro forma session unless the house adopts the provisions of s. con. res. 19 -- friday, june 26, at 10:00 a.m. tuesday, june 30 at 2:00 p.m. friday july 3 at 10:00 a.m.
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further, the senate adjourn on july 3 until 2:30 tuesday july 7. following the prayer and pledge, the morning business 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 the senate proceed to consideration of s. 1177 as under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate stands adjourned until friday, june 26, at 10:00 a.m. unless the house adopts s. concurrent resolution 19, in which case the senate will stand adjourned pursuant to the terms of s. concurrent resolution 19 until tuesday july 7, 2015, at the
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that be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: today in this great country of ours, the affordable care act obamacare has survived the latest partisan attempt to deny health care to working families, millions of working families. won today -- america won today. the eme the supreme court ruled against republicans who were seeing to strip the 6.5 million americans of the subsidies. america one, i repeat. very pure, very simple. more than 10 million americans covered in these exchanges operating across the country
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many of them insured for the first time. 85% of these men and women have seen tax credits help with that coverage. but on top of that 12 million more americans now have coverage through the medicaid and the children's health insurance program's. the commonwealth fund recently found more than eight in 10 adults four-fifths of people who have these programs are satisfied with them. affordable care act is not perfect. this law is working for millions and millions of americans. approximately 20 million americans. once again for affordable care act prevailed. so mr. president, i say respectfully to my senate colleagues, and i mean that stop banging their heads against the wall on this legislation passed. it is of the laws of this nation. stop it. move on.
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they should pause for a minute and look back. mr. president i don't know the number anymore. i don't know i lost count of it. is at 75? certainly approaching 100 about to vote have taken place to repeal the law. never even came close to passing of course but have done it time and time again. stop it. think of the time wasted doing that. as einstein said, the pure definition of insanity is someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over again and gets the same results. i would hope republicans would rethink whether you been up to. reckless attempts to increase tax and millions of americans. that's what and how do. i was interested in looking at the paper today at what
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republicans have suggested to do the supreme court ruled against this law. every one of them without exception would be a tremendous blow to the budgeting process in america. this bill makes america money. it's cut the deficit significant and that's what i say it makes the country money. it allows for more healthy nation. republicans were not content to jeopardize the health of americans. they were happy trying to do that. so mr. president, i also think it's important to note that
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republicans are worked on this legislation in the process going through the committees they admit the legislation drafters never discussed withholding subsidies. so, mr. president i think the public has basically had it with republicans trying to take away a law that protects them from insurance company discrimination when they get sick or hurt. enough is enough. i had an early thursday. i had a group of people there from nevada who have family members who suffered from cystic fibrosis. they were able to tell me that for the first time in the life of their children they could not be denied insurance. they are adults now. they can be denied insurance coverage as of this law. it has been -- if it had been repealed, people with cystic
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fibrosis and many other diseases would not be able to get health insurance. so mr. president, let's move on this topic. stop this stop wasting time the time of the american people by trying to repeal the law. i appreciate the work done in the supreme court a good decision, a strong decision that upheld the law. enough is enough. let's move on. >> mr. president we're even discussing another of obama cares self-inflicted brushes with the brink yet again is the latest indictment of a law that's been a rolling disaster for the american people, a rolling disaster for the american people. today's ruling will it change obama cares multitude of broken promises cleveland resulted in millions, literally millions of americans losing their coverage they had and wanted to keep. today's ruling will not change obama cares spectacular flops
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spectacular flops from humiliating website debacles to the total collapse of exchanges in states run by the laws loudest cheerleaders. to visually will that change the skyrocketing cost in premiums, deductibles, and co-pays benefit the middle class so hard over the last few years your the politicians who force obama to the american people now have a choice. they can crow about obama cares latest wobble towards the edge, or work with us to address the ongoing negative impact on me to do -- 2000 page law that makes miserable for so many of the same people it purported to help.
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>> the senator from south carolina. >> i would like to be recognized for five minutes to speak in morning business. >> without objection. >> thank you. i have two very brief comments. one involves our national security world at large come and the other involves our nation as a whole. first as to the supreme court ruling. i'm surprised, i'm disappointed, but the ruling is now in and senator mcconnell said it well. this doesn't mean that obamacare is fixed. it means that is going to continue until somebody finds a better way or will be left with obamacare for the rest of our lives and your children's lives and those that follow. 2016 race, domestically, will be centered on health care as the most dominant domestic issue in the country. if you're running for the house you are running for senate or
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running for president here is what this supreme court ruling means. if the public wants to continue obamacare, which i think would be a huge mistake vote democrat. if you want to repeal and replace the obamacare with something better for you and your family, bipartisan, vote republican. hillary clinton, the most likely democratic nominee, with the obamacare her own. deliver the republican party may nominate, the one thing i can assure you is that they will repeal and replace obamacare with something better. so to the people of the united states, you finally have a chance to have your say. this election in 2016 for the house and the senate and the white house will give you a
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chance to stop obamacare and replace it with something better for you and your children. take advantage of this opportunity. because if we fail to have the people in place in 2016 change course obamacare becomes cemented entrance of the american health care system and our economic future. i think it would be a mistake to the agency. will >> mr. president, i want to talk today about the jobs and the economy, and people's health care. they -- we are in the midst of one of the slowest growth periods for the economy in the recent history of the united states. they just revised the figures again that's three times the
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figures have been revised for the last quarter, and now show a point to up 1% growth. they should be showing about 2% growth for the year. why is that a problem? if the economy increases by just 1%, it results in 300-$400 billion more tax revenue without raising taxes. that's where we need to be. now, when it is less than that 2% that means that we are losing that much in additional money. we can't make decisions on the $1,100,000,000,000 a year and we are overspending that by 468 billion. that's almost 50% over spending. no family can afford to do that. no city can afford to do that. no state can afford to do that but the federal government can because we just borrow more. and so far there's a lot of confidence in this country that we can continue to borrow.
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of course, one of the areas where job growth and the economy growth is impeded this with the health care. president obama is disconnected from the harsh reality that this helped a lot has created for people. almost two weeks ago speaking about his health care law, the president said and i quote, part of what's bizarre about this whole thing is we haven't had a lot of conversation about the horrors of obamacare because none of them have come to pass. none of them have come to pass? how insulated is our president? i just want to emphasize what he said. none of those horror stories have come to pass. apparently that message didn't make it very far because i hear a drastically -- tragically different star from folks from wyoming across the country. people like a rancher completed me that her and her husband health insurance went up from $11,000 per year to $20000 per
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year and then have a deductible thrown in that was $6500. how is that affordable? people like a retired nurse from casper who told me give you at the premium increases and the decibel increases, that she and her husband are up $36,000 per year. she wrote that health care is unaffordable. is a huge burden envoy. how can people afford to pay more for health care than they make in a year? she said the obamacare doesn't provide them with coverage for their medical needs and added it goes against everything i believe in for america. people like the man from cheyenne this is the presence health care law is forcing him to choose between paying for his health care or paying for his mortgage. people like the small business owner in newcastle have said before the affordable care act she could afford to pay for her employees health care. after the law went and, of
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course, she couldn't. her employees couldn't afford it either so they might leave for a bigger company which probably isn't possible in the small business owner might have to sell out to a bigger company, which in many other towns in wyoming also isn't going to be possible. she loves her community and wants to stay active as part of the. she's discouraged by the situation is law has created and is asking for help, and has been asking for help for several years. the president has recognized that there needs to be some help, otherwise there will be some real calamities. why haven't they have been? some of them have and i described some of them to you but some of them haven't happened yet and that's because the president has given a waiver in some of the things that he knows are atrocious and will cause a huge problem with economy of the united states. now, they have the authority to do the waiver? not really.
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but he did then advanced to put of the tragedies until later. that's not what we ought to be doing. we ought to be making health care more affordable and on lots of plans around here for making it more affordable. of those were just discard discarded. the build that went through here come with a through and there was a 60-vote majority on that side of the aisle. 60 votes is enough to pass anything through here. i kind of hope neither party ever has a 60-vote majority again, because you don't have to listen to the other side. you don't have to listen to the unintended consequences that may come from somebody knowledgeable because of the background. is this whole bunch of different backgrounds here and another 435 background serve on the house side. why we have so many people in congress? so we have those first backgrounds, so we can find the unintended consequences. and adjust for them. the people that have been mentioned on real people -- the
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people i've mentioned are real people, real families. they didn't write the story. me and many many more like them contacted me. they are telling and telling all of us in washington to do something about this on workable health care bill for millions of americans. that is far from affordable, breaks promises and makes life harder. i am listening to them, so should the torch carriers of this federally mandated dream that was a broken before it can. today's supreme court ruling on king v. burwell isn't surprising that it reminds all of us who warned against this health care law that we will have our work cut out for us to move our country away from the failed policies. this law was written and implemented in its entirety by one party come as an agenda and has been informed from the start by ideology rather than reality. there are a number of us who were working on health care before the president even became a senator and continued to work
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on it. we've had a lot of discarded ideas, increase competition, prices down. this law was written and implemented by one party and it's been informed from the start by ideology rather than reality. yet it's on us to make things better and help people get to these difficulties caused by this law. the federal government cannot possibly know what's best for each individual. and as we've seen a one size fits all dictate doesn't work. the wyoming folks who stories i just relayed and the millions more like them from every state are a testament to that. that's just a very small sample out of the hundreds of people the right to meet or talk to me as i travel across women. our focus is to offer each of them new choices for quality affordable health care. our focus is not protecting this failed law, this bus a political legacy.
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we want to protect families as we get rid of obamacare and transition away from this fiasco. that's what it is as illustrated by the testimony that i talked about earlier and hundreds more that i. it's time for republicans and democrats to truly deliver on the president's broken promise of the health care system that expands access and promotes quality, that is patient-centered care while actually bringing the costs down. that is possible, just not under that bill. this is an opportunity for both parties to work together and to put into place real solutions that rely on these principles. i think they just announced that one of the federal insurance co-ops is going out of business. all of them are severely in the red. those would be government sponsored entities who said too much was being charged for
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health care by me in the insurance companies, and they went for far lower premiums. that was the it would bring down the price but it didn't hurt that's not the way to encourage the kind of competition we need if we're going to bring down health care costs. one of the things that's been focus on better for a long time isn't small business health plans for small businesses. small businesses are the ones having the problem. i ran into one man who said i'm a very successful business and i just got this tremendous location that is only 50 miles away and i could put in another one. but that would put me over 50 employees that puts me in a different category on health care costs. the people are working for me like the health care costs on providing but i'm going to go to hold to that level or page cached or pay huge fines and i can't afford to do that. i'm not going to do that other location. i'm not going to put 50 more
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people to work. for too long the debate over health care has placed politics but for the best interest of patients. it's time for democrats and republicans to deliver what the president promised, but ultimately failed to deliver. we need a health system that expands access and promotes quality patient-centered care. i will actually bring the cost and. we must allow states the freedom of let's go to ensure hard-working americans can get the care that they need. it's time for both parties to work together on real solutions that rely on these principles. we should move forward on a bipartisan basis to provide more choices and get their health care system for hard-working americans. i yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> the senator from wyoming. >> thank you, mr. president. i come to the floor to congratulate my colleague to work with for many years who has been a true leader in true health care reform.
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with proposals is may the actually would help people get affordable care. the obama health care law regardless of the ruling of the supreme court continues to be an expensive failure. there have been so many broken promises by this president about health care in america which to me is the reason that this health care law the support of across the country made at an all time low. people were promise if you like the coverage they could keep your coverage. millions have lost coverage. the president has promised if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. millions have lost their doctors. the presence of premiums would go down by $2500 per family. instead premiums have gone up and there is no end in sight. when i take a look at this and say what is the support still low on its because most people believe that for them personally it's a bad deal.
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they are paying more in premiums, higher co-pays, higher deductibles have all of which makes it a bad deal for them personally. so try to i with obamacare cannot be fixed. but health care in america must be fixed. they say what a going to do about as republican? that our republican plans out there each of which is much better than the president's health care law. we still have 30 million americans without insurance concerned about the fact that they still need care. so we are going to continue to work to repeal and replace this health care law with a law that will allow people to get what senator enzi has been talking about, we need people, patients to get the care they need from a doctor they choose at the lower costs. that's what republicans are
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committed to address the republicans, despite of today's ruling by the supreme court will continue to work for. for. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. >> thank you, madam president. hopefully we can move on. after a presidential election, two supreme court cases 60 plus the votes to repeal the affordable care act in the house of representatives endless debates here in the united states senate. maybe now is the moment where republicans will choose to close the books on trying to strip away from millions of americans the benefit that it received from the affordable care act. this is an important day.
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for over 10 million americans who have health care right now because of the affordable care act, i would argue it's important day as well for the separation of powers, the recognition that it is a legislative body that sets policy for this country. and i just want to come down to the floor for a few minutes to express my hope and my desire that proposed of the affordable care act, like myself and senator stabenow and senator baldwin, who have come down to the fork over and over again over the course of the last three years don't have to do it anymore. i would love to come down to talk about the need to fix our transportation system company for mental health reform, i would like to talk about tax reform. i've come down to the fore over and over again to defend the affordable care act simply because it has been perpetually under attack despite the fact
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that its successes are now unparalleled. justice roberts and a decision today, i won't quote from it at length, said congress passed the affordable care act to improve health insurance market, not to destroy the that's essentially the operative phrase in today's decision here we passed the affordable care act to improve mark a place, not destroy the. and does what it's done. it's been proved marketplace is all across the country. why? because people have voted with their feet 10 11 million people have signed up for either expanded medicare medicaid coverage or these exchanges has showed us that the law worked as intended because they didn't stay out. they didn't gain it to be unaffordable. they stepped in and bought
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coverage. and we should now be in the business of perfecting this law. none of us frankly think that this law is perfect. many of us are open to conversation about how to make it better, how to perfect it. but hopefully now the supreme court has completely shut the door to a judicial repeal of the act. and after debate after debate it's clear that the are not devoted to the support obviously in the executive branch to repeal the act. we can move onto something else. madam president, this is an old chart of mine. i brought this down to the for several months ago when a colleague of ours suggested that we should be the administration shouldn't be celebrating the successes of the affordable care
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act. as of people receiving health insurance for the first time in their life wasn't something to celebrate. as if 17 million children preexisting conditions who will never have the health care taken away from them wasn't something to celebrate. as if 9.4 million senior citizens who are saving $15 billion on drugs isn't something to celebrate. i get excited when i talk about the affordable care act because i know it's a really sober and important topic. but because when i talk to my constituents back home, they are excited. they are bubbling over with enthusiasm, those who never have a chance to get health coverage before the affordable care act. those that were it every single night sake of their of the child would be able to live a normal life because their existence would be obsessed with whether or not they're able to cover their
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complicated illness with insurance. there are millions of people who are celebrating this decision today. and it's a sober day because hopefully we will build have a conversation about how we can move on to another topic but it is a day to celebrate for the 6.4 million americans first and foremost would've had their insurance taken away via an adverse decision. but for all americans who would been caught up in an insurance death spiral have the decision gone the other way. so, madam president, i hope that we can limit our discussions about the affordable care act in ways in which we can make it work better. i hope that we can now spend more time talking about other things that matter to this country than i hope the house of representatives decide to give up his obsession with repealing the affordable care act, something that is simply not going to happen.
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and for its proposed out in a field, the supreme court has shut the doors to a judicial repeal of the affordable care act today. i think of lost with what i think about what the affordable care act has been to the people of connecticut. we have cut our uninsurance rate in half in connecticut. we have one of the best running exchange is in the country. but one of the simplest stories is the only one i will convey is, i wrap up this morning i was at the community pool that my family has gone to and i was in the pool with my then two year old just shortly after the passage, and a young man about my age came up to me and said listen, i'm sorry, you know mr. murphy comes to distribute. i know you here with her son but
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i've got a little boy to come and he's got a congenital heart problem. and i've just come every single day since whose board he was word that he wouldn't get to live out his dreams because his life decisions were to be dictated by whether or not he could get insurance to cover all of the complicated health care needs he's going to have come and that that would be determinative of his path in life, not his dreams his desires or himself or any any said i didn't do this go to help a lot of people invert practical and economic ways, but i just want to thank you because now i sleep better at night knowing that my son is going to be able to get covered to my son is going to give delete a relatively normal life, and that he can be whatever he wants to be.
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that's the benefit the affordable care act brings people. it's not just practical, it's not just economic, it's not just a whether someone is health insurance or not. its psychological. it's peace of mind. the supreme court is protected 6.4 million people from losing their health insurance today, but they have also protected tens of millions of patients and parents and sons and daughters and grandparents from losing that peace of mind that comes with the protections from an affordable care act that is working. i yield the floor mr. president, and note the absence of a quorum. >> today's decision in king v. burwell is judicial activism, plain and simple. for the second time in just a few years a handful of unelected
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judges has rewritten the text of obamacare. in order to impose that failed law upon millions of americans. the first time the court ignored federal law and magically transformed a statutory penalty into a tax. today these rogue houdini's have transformed a federal exchange into an exchange quote established by the state. this is lawless as justice scalia rightfully put it words no longer have meaning. if an exchange that is not established by a state, is established by the state. justice scalia continued we should start calling this law scotus care. i agree.
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if this were a bankruptcy case or any other case of ordinary statutory interpretation, the results would've been nine to zero, the court unanimously reversing the obama administration illegal action. but instead politics intervened. for nakedly political reasons the supreme court willfully ignored the words that congress wrote. instead read into the law their preferred policy of them. qu├ębec these judges have joined with president obama in harming millions of americans. unelected judges that once again become legislators and bad ones at that. they are lawless, and they hide their prevarication in legalese. our government was designed to be one of laws not of men, and
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this transparent distortion is disgraceful. the justices are not behaving as umpires calling balls and strikes. they have joined a team come and it is a team that's hurting americans across this country. obamacare is the biggest job killer in america, millions of americans have lost their jobs come have been forced into part-time work have lost their health insurance from of lost that doctors. millions of americans have seen their health insurance premiums skyrocket. and it is a direct result of president obama democrats and a united states congress and of lawless judges at the united states supreme court who have joined the team of the obama administration. if the justices want to become legislative, invite them to resign and run for office.
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that's the appropriate place to write laws on this for not from that courtroom. mr. president i began my career as a law clerk at the united states supreme court. looking for chief justice william rehnquist come one of the greatest chief justice's ever to serve our nation. i have spent the majority of my a double life litigating before the united states supreme court, both on behalf of the state of texas and on behalf of private parties. what this court has become is heartbreaking. if chief justice rehnquist could see this court today he would be filled with sorrow at what has become of the supreme court of the united states.
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the obligation to the constitution and the building of the law matters. we are not living in a platonic oligarchy with philosopher king governing us who believe they get to write the laws of entropy the laws come to enforce the laws. that's not the american system of governance your the same time, mr. president, crocodile tears are flowing here in our nation's capital over the supreme court's decision to illegally rewrite obamacare which has been a disaster since its inception. but one day a full outrage from the washington car down will not fool and millions of coverage is conservatives all across our country. they know that far too many
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career politicians, democrats and republicans, in this nation's capital are quietly celebrating the court decision. if they believe this issue is now settled so that had to address it they are sorely mistaken. i have made repeal of this disastrous law a top priority since the very first day i entered this body. and i've made its repeal central to my office. republicans all across the country, including my friend, mr. president, into presiding chair, campaigned on repealing this law and were elected in historic tidal wave year historic majorities in both chambers of this body. and in state houses all across the country. it's not up to us to keep our
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promises. ideally 2016 will be a national referendum on repealing obamacare. this law is profoundly unpopular. it's unpopular with republicans. it's unpopular with independence. it's unpopular with democrats. it's unpopular with young people. it's unpopular with hispanic. it's unpopular with everybody it has hurt. and there are millions being hurt by this law. the court adopted and put its stamp of approval on the irs is lately unlawful reading of the statute. to make subsidies and taxes applicable to individuals on federal exchange is when congress explicitly provided the opposite. jonathan gruber famously said obamacare was built on
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exploiting stupidity of the american people. unfortunately the supreme court is now complicit in that the section. the supreme court has joined president obama's statement on if you like your health insurance plan you can keep your health insurance plan was widely noted as the light of the year as millions of americans lost their doctors. now those rogue justices are complicit in that lie and setting aside their oath of office to lie to the american people. after today's ruling, obamacare will now be responsible for imposing illegal taxes by more than 11 million individuals. and for burdening hundreds of thousands of businesses with illegal panties on their workers killing jobs and further slowing economic growth it you're a
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young person right now you come out of school, you've got student loans up to your eyeballs to your struggling, you don't know if you're going to get a job. the dismal obama economy means your future is bleak. you have no hope or optimism about actually begin a career, getting skills moving towards the american dream. well today the united states supreme court has joined arm in arm with president obama and the irs into legally imposing taxes on you. you, the young person starting your career, struggling to make your student loan payment, working as a part-time employee making coffee doesn't pay those payment and yet you are stuck with the individual mandate which is a tax. so the supreme court told us. so the obama justice department argued right after president obama told the african people it wasn't a tax. the obama just barber said the obama just barber said yes, it is a tactic the supreme court agreed and you the young person
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from a single mom trying to feed your kids are paying an illegal tax. because of the lies emanating from washington, d.c. you, the teenage immigrant, like my father was 80 years ago washing dishes making 50 cents an hour. hethey couldn't speak english but he was filled with hopes and dreams. he was filled with an aspiration for the american dream. ours is the greatest nation in history the world because people can start with nothing and achieve anything. that is the promise of america. and obamacare is strangling that promise. you the teenage immigrant washing dishes are paying illegal taxes right now today. because of president obama's deception, because of the irs lawlessness and because of the supreme court's judicial activism violating their oath of office.
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mr. president i remain fully committed to repealing every single word of obamacare. and mark my words, following the election in 2016 the referendum that we will have in 2017 this chamber will return, and we will repeal every word of obamacare. we will bring back economic growth, bring back opportunity and then we will pass, this health care reform. that makes health insurance personal and portable and affordable, they keep government from getting between us and our doctors. we will recognize that this horrible experiment has failed. and when millions of americans lose their jobs that are forced into part-time work lose their doctors to lose her health care
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when millions see their premiums skyrocket, it's incumbent upon members of his body, it's incumbent on the federal government to fix the wreckage they cause, to fix the wreckage of that the supreme court has not embraced wallis. nation of laws. we will repeal of obamacare and i will fight with every breath in my body to make sure that happens in 2017. mr. president, i yield the floor and i would suggest the absence of a quorum. >> it on c-span2 we've been showing you some of the reaction on the senate floor today to this morning's ruling from the supreme court come one of two from the supreme court but this one on the affordable care act into 6-3 decision find in favor of the obama administration on the subsidies do just that we will show you the the president obama made day to day or so but here's how the "usa today" scotus track looks at today's
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decision, what was at stake in how the court ruled that the question that was before the court, does the affordable care act also known as obamacare about health insurance exchanges to be subsidized only state health exchange is and not those been operated by the federal government? the outcome today, the court wrote in a 6-3 decision that if congress clinton was for federal tax credits to photo consumers purchasing health insurance under the law not only state operated exchanges come and they go through this 6-3 the. the chief justice in the majority. antonin scalia reading the dissent for the three devoted against. anthony kennedy in the majority clarence thomas dissented. ruth bader ginsburg and mature. stephen breyer as well. samuel alito dissented. sonia sotomayor and elena kagan grinding out a 6-3 decision by the supreme court in the waning days of their session. with a couple more decisions left to go from the supreme
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court before the wrap up business which is expected to be on monday. more decisions possible to more. we will have coverage as well on the c-span network. in about an hour and half after the decision came down from the court president obama spoke to the gathering in the rose garden at the white house. >> [background sounds] >> [background sounds]
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>> good morning everybody. have a seat. five years ago after nearly a century of talk decades of trying i your bipartisan debate, we finally declared that in america health care is not a privilege for a few but a right for all. over those five years we've worked to implement the affordable care act. there have been successes and setbacks. the setbacks i remember clearly. but as the dust has settled there can be no doubt that this law is working. it has changed and in some cases saved american lives. it's set in this country on a stronger smarter course and today after more than 50 votes in congress to repeal or
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weakening this lock america president election based in part on preserving for repealing this law, after multiple challenges to this law before the supreme court the affordable court -- the affordable care act is here to stay. this morning the court upheld a critical part of this law the part is made easier for americans to afford health insurance regardless of where you live. if the person challenge to this law has succeeded, millions of americans would affect thousands of dollars worth of tax credits taken from them. for many come in charge would've become unaffordable again. many would have become uninsured again. ultimately everyone's premiums could have gone up. america would have gone backwards. and that's not what we do. that's not what america does. we move forward. so today is a victory for hard-working americans all across this country whose lives
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will continue to become more secure any change economy because of this law. if you're a parent you can keep your kids on to play until they turn 26, something that is covered millions of young people so far. that's because of this law. if you're a senior or an american with a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions, something that is saved 9 million americans an average of $1600 so far. if you're a woman you can't be charged more than anybody else even if you've had cancer, or your husband had heart disease, or just because you're a woman. your insurer has to offer free preventive services like mammograms. they can't place annual or lifetime caps on your care because of this law. because of this law him and because of today's decision millions of americans who are here from every single day will
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continue to receive the tax credits that i've given about eight in 10 people who buy insurance on the new marketplace is the choice of a health care plan that costs less than $100 a month. and when it comes to pre-existing conditions someday, our grandkids will ask is if there was really a time when america discriminate against people who got sick. because that is something this law has ended for good. that affects everybody with health insurance not just folks who got insurance through the affordable care act. all of america has protections it didn't have before. as the law's provisions have gradually taken effect more than 16 million uninsured americans have gained coverage so far. nearly one in three americans who was uninjured a few years ago is insured today. the uninsured rate in america is the lowest since we began to
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keep records. and that is something we can all be proud of. meanwhile, the law has helped hold the price of health care to its slowest growth in 50 years. if your family gets insurance through your job so you're not using the affordable care act you're still paying about $1800 less per year on average than you would be if we hadn't done anything. by one leading measure, but business owners pay out in wages and salaries is now finally growing faster than what they spend on health insurance. that hasn't happened in 17 years, and that's good for workers and it's good for the economy. the point is this is not an abstract thing anymore. this is not a set of political talking points. this is reality. we can see how it is working. this law is working exactly as it's supposed to.
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in many ways this law is working better than we expected it to. for all the misinformation campaigns all the doomsday predictions all the talk of death panels and job destruction for all the repeal attempts, this law is now helping tens of millions of americans. and they told me that it is changed their lives for the better. i've had moms come up and say my son was able to see a doctor and get diagnosed, and catch the tumor early and he is alive today because of this law. this law is working. and it's going to keep doing just that. five years in, this is no longer about a law. this is about the affordable
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care act as legislation, or obamacare as a political football. this is health care in america your and unlike social security or medicare a lot of americans still don't know what obamacare is beyond all the political noise in washington. across the country to remain people who are directly benefiting from the law but don't even know it. and that's okay. there's no card that says obamacare when you enroll. but that's by design for this has never been a government takeover of health care despite cries to the contrary. this reform remains what it's always been a set of trend 11 and tougher protections that have made health care in america more affordable, more attainable, and more about you the consumer the american
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people. it's working. and we this case behind us let's be clear that we support to do to make health care in america even better. we'll keep working to provide consumers with all the tools you need to make informed choices about your care. we'll keep working to increase the use of preventive care that avoids bigger problems down the road. we'll keep working to boost us to improving quality of care in hospitals, and bring down costs even lower, make the system work even better. already we've seen reductions, for example, in the number of readmissions and hospitals. that saves our society money, it saves families money, makes people healthier. we are making progress. we are going to keep working to get more people covered. i'm going to work as hard as i can to convince more governors
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and state legislatures to take advantage of the law, put politics aside and expand medicaid and cover their citizens. we've still got states out there that, for political reasons are not covering millions of people that they could be covering, despite the fact that the federal government is picking up the tab. so we've got more work to do. but what we're not going to do is unravel what has now been woven into the fabric of america. and my greatest hope is that rather than keep we fighting battles that have been settled again and again and again, i can work with republicans and democrats to move forward. let's join together, make health care in america even better. three generations ago we chose to end an era when seniors were left to languish in poverty.
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we passed social security, and slowly it was woven into the fabric of america and made a difference in the lives of millions of people. two generations ago we chose to end an age when americans in their golden years didn't have the guarantee of health care. medicare was passed and it helped millions of people. this generation of americans choose to finish the job. to turn the page on a past when our citizens could be denied coverage just for being sick. to close the books on a history where tens of millions of americans have no hope of finding decent affordable health care had to hang their chances on state. we chose to write a new chapter where in a new economy americans are free to change their jobs or
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start a business, chase a new idea, raise a family free from fear. secure in the knowledge that portable affordable health care is there for us and always will be. and that if we get sick, we're not going to lose our home. that if we get sick that we're going to be able to still look after our families. and that's when american soars when we look out for one another. when we take care of each other. when we root for one another's success. when we strive to do better and to be better than the generation that came before us and try to build something better for generations to come. that's why we do what we do. that's the whole point of public service.
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so this was a good day for america. let's get back to work. [applause] >> president obama at the white house this morning following the supreme court's 6-3 decision upholding that 8.7 the people who receive federal subsidies can continue to do so, including the ones that received those subsidies through the federal exchange some 37 states use the federal exchange, not a state senate exchanges. lots of reaction on our facebook page. is one from stephen who says bravo, never should have been never should've been taken up by the court in the first place. also from gloria this is fantastic news and a major victory for millions of americans who need to subsidies.
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and for all the people, the supreme court ruled pashtun but this is pretty does present spent billions -- more reaction from capitol hill. we are early from house speaker john boehner house speaker john boehner. at some of what he had to say about the ruling. >> this today's scotus ruling can you guys have faced a choice would go ahead and registration to try to repeal the aca. one, do you still intend to do that? and are you confident that the score of any such plan will not increase the uninsured or -- >> there's been no decision about how to deal with i want to use reconciliation for. the problem with obamacare still is fundamentally the same.
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the law is broken. it raising costs for american families, is raising costs for small businesses, and it's just fundamentally broken here and we're going to continue our efforts to do everything we can to put the american people back in charge of their own health care and not the federal government. >> and speeches on the senate side as well. coverage today on c-span2 get to writing about so senator hatch of utah. patch praises robert remarkable judge saying john roberts a remarkable and tremendous jurist about a quote clever opinion upholding a key provision of obamacare. all i can say is the chief justice is remarkable judge. it is a commission be and i tremendous comfort in incredibly thin. i differ with you on this opinion. that's from orrin hatch. nancy pelosi was key in getting health care passed in 2010. she spoke to reporters just after 10:30 a.m.
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>> today for the second time the supreme court has upheld the affordable care act. so jubilant about this but it's a victory for common sense and for all american families. it is past time the republicans abandon their assault on the newfound health security affordable care act it is providing. millions and millions of americans across the country from the majority opinion and i quote, congress passed the affordable care act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. written by the chief. the court decision ensures that all eligible americans regardless of their own steps have access to premium tax credits to afford a life-saving cures. no pre-existing conditions will preventprevent him from having care, and the lifetime limit, no annual limit, all of this impact once again in this decision.
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middle-class those who continue to enjoy the benefits of quality accessible health care and dependable affordable health coverage. it's so appropriate as we go into the week leading up to the fourth of july that this decision as well as the affordable care act upholds the balance of our founders for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. a healthier life the liberty to pursue their happiness. you can change jobs start a business, be self-employed you can reach your aspirations. >> nancy pelosi was speaker in 2010 when the health care law passed. in congress it was challenged in 2012 and today the ruling from the court in 2015 6-3 decision
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upholding the federal subsidies for the health insurance exchanges run by the federal government. at c-span.org we've linked to the penny today. you can read that online at c-span.org, look at the actual opinion. the dissent rate today by justice antonin scalia. a decision was handed down shortly after 10:00 and the new start to trickle through the plaza out in front of the supreme court when finally the 6-3 decision was announced. here's what that looks like. oh my god it's 6-3. [cheers and applause]
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[chanting] aca is here to stay. aca is here to stay. aca is here to stay. aca is here to stay. >> that's how it looked this morning when the decision was handed down 6-3 upholding the federal subsidies. the case itself was argued on march 4 of this year. is up next, it is about an hour and a half. >> this morning case 14-114 king v. burwell. mr. carvin. >> mr. chief justice, and may please the court. this is a straightforward case of statutory construction where the plain language of the statute dictates of the result. >> mr. carvin, will you please backup, because before we get to
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the question of statutory construction, as you know each plaintiff, or at least one plaintiff, has to have a concrete stake in these questions. they can't put them as ideological questions. and we have four plaintiffs. as the two of them there is a declaration stating i am not eligible for health insurance from the government, but the question of whether they are veterans eligible for coverage as a better and. >> yes. one of those is mr. hurst who would have to we refer you to joint appendix at age 42 what this is the government's recitationrecitation of facts within the declared that mr. hurst what hasn't been $750 of his own money because of the irs rule. mr. hurst was a veteran for 10 months in 1970. he is not eligible for any veterans service because if you serve such a short am health
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services. they deserve speakers as a government if they agree speed i should point out that government has never dispute this and also -- >> at the court has the obligation to look into it on its own. >> that's true but, of course, there has been fact-finding by the records in an additional system. >> underthings ever brought up in the lower court that these two people were veterans. >> if i could make one for the point of this justice ginsburg or even if you are technically eligible for which he is not there's an irs rule six cfr 1.36b 2c ii which says with the usual clarity of of the irs code may conclude your only dissent from receiving subsidies if you actually enrolled in a veterans health services and its undisputed that mr. hurst did not. >> and then there were the two
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women, one of them i think is going to turn 65 in june which would make her medicaid eligible. >> she will turn 65 in late june. she subject to the individual mandate well in advance of that. by virtue of the irs ruled she would have to spend $1800 per year for health insurance by virtue of the irs -- >> per year? >> excusing? >> but she said she will turn 65 in june. >> late june yes. >> so that takes care of 2015. >> no. right now she is obliged under the end of the mandate of insurance. you have to insurance or nine months of the year so as of april 1 she will be subject to the penalty which will be alleviated only by -- >> out as the government if they agree with you on that. and then i think for the fourth plaintiff there's a question whether she would qualify for a hardship exemption on the individual mandate even if she received the tax credit, in
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which case a tax credits would be irrelevant. >> that's true. i refer you to the joint appendix at 41. that was the government argument for the. we didn't want to get into a factual dispute because with such clear standing with respect to -- >> but you would have to establish a standing, proved a standing. if this gets beyond the opening door. >> fair enough, your honor, but it's black letter law that only one plaintiff need standing, and for reasons i've already articulated, both mr. hurst and -- >> i don't want to be genuine this anymore but i will ask the government what their position is on standing. >> thank you. returning to the merits, the only provision in the act which either authorizes or limited subsidies says in plain english that the subsidies are only available through an exchange of established by each state under section 1311. >> you going to have to elaborate on that. i would appreciate in your
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elaboration i read that comment is statute is like the tax code more than it's like the constitution. they are define terms and the words you choose used concern a defined term. ..
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>> >> which is an exchange established under 1311 that is that definition it tells a secretary that such exchange mainly is 1311 state exchange said there is nothing else in the statute. >> correct. >> that is what they're talking about. what is the problem? >> it tells the secretary to establish such an exchange and it is whether this state or the secretary establishes
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that. >> it is 15 times may be the terminology in the definition and exchange established by a state. >> under 1311 that is the phrase. and it created some ambiguity as if they were establishing the 1311 or 1321 exchange because 36 we does not say all of them get exchanges but it is established by the state not hhs proposal eliminates any potential ambiguity. >> can i offer a simple daily example that is equivalent to the sections that justice beyer was talking about. i have three clerks
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elisabeth and amanda and will. ic write a memo. elisabeth edit his memo once she is done then i say amanda if he is too busy to write the memo i want you to write it. my question is, if will is too busy in demand has to do it should elizabeth edit it? [laughter] >> if you create money and amanda rights the memo and the money will go if will bite said that under plain english under common sense, no. >> you run a different shot and i do. [laughter] because in my chambers if elizabeth did not edit them
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and though she would not be performing her function. so there is a substitute so why set up a substitute that i have given instructions. elizabeth you edit but of course, if amanda rights the memo the instructions carry over elizabeth knows where she is supposed to do. >> you are agnostic but the key point is under section 1311 congress was not agnostic whether states or hhs established the exchange >> if i have the same clerks [laughter] and a meander wrote the memo and i received it and i said this is a great memo who wrote it was a written by will because amanda stepped into his shoes?
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>> that was my first answer. [laughter] >> this second answer is between will and amanda senate that is a very important point because what you say the answer to the question does depend on context with the understanding of the law in death they were agnostic. i agree that. because the four or five words in my example is obvious a man dash should edit the memo but it is the context of the provision that suggest if it carries over to the substitutes? >> to have these words as a whole because our argument becomes stronger for five reasons to justice brier --
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justice breyer let the provision on territorial exchanges. that territories can establish such exchanges and shall be treated as a state. >> is not a question of compensation but denotation. what does that mean? the federal government, the secretary is establishing a thing through the state's. what is that thing? the things that disestablishing for the state is defined as an exchange established by the state. i initially not literal list they would have to read it that way. but if you are not you could read it that way.
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you want to of -- to the context it seems it is weaker. nobody can buy anything, you know, the arguments, no customers, employers don't have to pay penalties as long as the use people from virginia, you know, those arguments. how does that context support you? the representative with a little list or non littlest interpretation hhs does not suggest the state has established. >> if there is the ambiguity in that regard will get a parallel provision it's precisely the same way it is the basic principle of statutory construction to interpret the same phrase that congress to how to
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create that equivalent if and when it wanted to. >> take a breath. [laughter] i am concerned with how you envision this provision working. if you say the hhs exchange cannot be for the state to be established by the truth than the choice this state has is to establish your own exchange or let the federal government establish a for you. if we read it the way they use day then we will read it is on the relationship because the states will be
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coerced into establishing their own changes you say no. but what justice beyer was talking about the citizens don't receive subsidies we will have a death spiral that this system was created to avoid. states are obligated and insurers are obligated to make sure in their states whether they are part of this program or not, they have guaranteed coverage children are covered and tell their 26 in case the cost on community ratings so then the cost will rise on every insurance offered in the country of those 34 states night of your states
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will have to tie in the eligibility requirements in advance of the act so they take the money to break the compact. they would have to lose all of their medicaid money. tell me how that is not over civet a non constitutional way. and if this is -- it is from last term we said it is a primary statutory that we read them in a way where we don't impinge on the basic federal state relationship. >> this course has never suggested with the medicaid
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as a funding condition somehow was police power. >> we said that last year. >> no, no, no. with police power here the federal government is to read the same if you won billions of pre-federal dollars it is state sovereignty they're routine funding condition this court has looked at countless times. >> let me pinpoint the dynamics of federalism. it does seem to me there is something very powerful that if your argument is accepted the states are told create your own exchange or we will send your insurance market into a death spiral to pave mandated tax is eddie will not get any credit on the subsidy and the cost of insurance is sky-high but this is not conversion? then perhaps you would
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prevail? there is a serious competition problem if we adopt your argument. >> the government never made that argument. >> sometimes we think of things the government doesn't. [laughter] >> i hope you do in this case but is quite seriously if this was unconstitutional then the medicaid statute that this court approved would be unconstitutional. >> what is the consequence of an constitutionality? you have the ambiguous provision interpreted one way or another fed you interpret the of the re but do we have any case that says when there is a clearer provision if unconstitutional we can rewrites it? >> that was my point think
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of the consequences of medicaid 22 states said go. then they have a bizarre anomaly that people making less than the poverty line. >> i fully understand that but the council of both sides should confront the proposition your article raises serious constitutional question i am not sure the government would agree. but it is how we interpret this. there is nothing we can do. i understand that. >> nothing will echo the point put on the strait of constitutionality it is unconstitutional then all of the provisions of the west coast that say if you do something for no child left behind.
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>> north carolina vs. dole that if you don't build a highway there you have to go 35 miles an hour over the state. >> but then you are interfering with the basic state prerogative to establish their limits but here it is perfectly related >> he referred to the meet -- medicaid example. here is the money and that conditions take-it-or-leave-it. but this says flexible you can have your program if you want it and if you don't there is a fallback of the federal program. it is the pattern of the
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clean air act but if you down there is the federal plan. we have never seen anything like this where from 1321 their disastrous consequences. >> that is why this is much less risky and why it is doing -- distinguishes said -- it is that medicaid, is all in take-it-or-leave-it then medicaid is completely thwarted then they still get the value of the benefits of the exchange. >> three points. we know because the territorial exchanges
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defeats those subsidies. >> that is not what you said previously when you were here last time with the never-ending saga. [laughter] you said without the subsidies driving demand in the exchange's the insurance companies have no reason to offer their product through exchanges then you said the insurance exchanges cannot as operate as intended by congress absent the subsidies directed is entirely true because congress intended all 50 states to take the deal. >> obviously they thought some states wouldn't. >> they thought it was possible because they set up a mechanism for that to happen but then you still get the exchange. >> but nobody will visit the
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program if there are no subsidies because not enough people will buy the program to stay the exchange. >> that is a monstrous of the untruth and not anywhere in the history clearly contradicts that many have said there are benefits to a the exchanges like one-stop shopping amazon like the president said. but these two things operate quite independently and in contrast there is not a suggestion without subsidies there is a death spiral. >> fell whole purpose is states had experimented with this in those that didn't have four other provisions of the act did not survive you said yourself.
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>> note that was about the individual mandate. the government said the individual mandate is a necessary for the death spiral noel's was is adjusted subsidies were available. >> my problem is the reverse you're talking about congress to borrow the phrase common a mousetrap because do you really believe states fully understood that their citizens would not get subsidies from the federal government? what senator said that? >> they said subsidies were available which is not they did that deal with that in the legislative history because the statute was quite clear so to talk to
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read in the context, justice sotomayor, the only one is found in 36b it is the only place where subsidies can be purchased if it is a provision of how you compute that individual amount. >> is into in the family of the legislation and does justice kagan just said you had the idea of how this works that is we told them last time. >> that is if as expected because they thought this deal would work like medicaid were all 50 states say yes so you have both.
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>> but that was my response it is completely unsupported there is no reflection of that in the legislative history. >> we have heard talk of this other case. did you win that other case? [laughter] what makes then shipped you have a different story today? >> i am glad your honor said that. debt to respond we already talked about context as a key part in it says in the strongest possible terms if we give up additional subsidies the there is no incentive for the states and you wonder why that subsidies than it is
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accomplished by both goals why both? and again there is language in the statute that said exchanges under the act those naturally encompass hhs exchanges and the state established exchanges but yet they come here to tell you a rational speaking person intending to a conveys subsidies on the exchanges use the phrase established by the state and cannot provide any rational reason why somebody would convey the former to use the ladder for relation. >> take an extra ted minutes we will give you more of a chance to talk. >> then i will ask the question. [laughter] let's go back to the
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question to put aside constitutional issues the procession as we interpret statutes that congress does not mean to impose heavy burdens are draconian choices of illicit says so clearly and here, this goes back there is nothing clear about this. it took a year and a half for anybody to notice this language? as justice ginsburg said not in the place you would expect it where it says here is the choice you have or where they define a qualified individual or who is entitled but rather in a technical formula directed to the department of the treasury with the way to
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interpret statutes when is it in the state relations like this. >> i must respectfully disagree. in the first place where else would you expect a credit rather than rand the tax code? is the only place where limitation is placed you have to tell taxpayers what they are entitled to and you had states so that argument what you should have done is but half of that into 1321 and 36b that would have confused everybody.
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then you say we were established. >> if i were a state officials trying to decide whether my state should establish an exchange and i wanted to know whether individuals who were enrolled in the plan would get a credit where would i look? >> exactly. they don't work without subsidies. now you go find out where the subsidies are. that is 36b. >> i think the place i would look to find out about my choice is is a provision the last place i want to look that talks about coverage
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for purposes of this subsection? but whenever. >> i have described those difficulties because then you create a bizarre tax code provision so i believe that is the complete answer but the practical point is i never thought the states would make ted decision overnight every state was fully informed of the consequences and then they make intelligent decisions well in advance of the deadline so that bizarre notion that they were unable to be a statute.
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>> i really want to hear where you have to say a your five or 10 minutes only if you want i would be interested in your responses to the government's brief if you read those words words, established by the state without reference to the technical definition is not just about the taxes or the employers in virginia don't have to make policy were give policies it means they can never tight enough medicaid regulations ever in 34 states of course, in others they cayenne, there is no qualified person to buy anything on the exchange established by the secretary with two or three other anomalies that support their argument you have to read
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this according to the definition. i tried to summarize and i just 25 for 10 minutes to answer. >> the first part is. >> we will clock that. [laughter] the first point there is no anomalies stemming from the interpretation of 36 be talked about nobody on hhs exchanges so if we prevail with our interpretation by the logic of that opinion so we all agree there is no connection with a qualified individual and 36b. number two with the anomaly their interpretation of the statute requires 34 states today to use of medicaid coverage. why? because the provisions of
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the brief to the state to use of medicaid funds must wear today between the state established exchange in the state agency for medicaid so that makes perfect shane -- perfect sense if it means what it says but they think it encompasses the hhs exchange and to suffer the penalty and it is unconstitutional but as to the medicaid and maintenance anomaly they agree it is to freeze payments but that makes sense you won it coordinated and that is exactly what this provision
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means with our interpretation but the government says that ended january 1, 2014 it is nowhere in the statute which makes no sense. before 2014 the states were powerless to have an exchange with subsidies for they could not do with. there was a freeze. after 2014 if they don't want to have medicate frozen all they have to do was establish an exchange switches a less harsh restriction then to have another incentive which is the purpose and unseeded 1311. maybe somebody would if the employee lived in another state would be subject to the employer mandate congress likes the employer mandate.
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because they would not turn down this field. i know my five minutes are up but that is my response. >> you have been talking a long time for car just to mars sentences. >> if there are anomalies in the other sections you don't give them to 36b that is does not further the purpose of the act because the word pollutants did not work with one section if there is an the other litigation. that was a long sentence. >> getting a question of anomalies are replete under
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your interpretation does not talk about one of the most glaring ones which is disqualified individuals that you set up a system that the federal exchange that there will be no customers or no product because section 1311 says the exchange will make health plans available to qualified individuaindividua ls then it says that means an individual who resides in the state that established the exchange proposal under your theory they do not qualify as exchanges established by this stage that means they have no customers. >> but they will not tell you. >> did not share your theory >> let me be clear. if we prevail in this case they will not empty of the hhs exchange because they understand there are numerous expenses with a
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qualified individuals provision number one you have to be a qualified individual with respect to an exchange that the statutory definition is 1311 and so they all they talk about the state exchange not hhs of 1312 that immediately follows the 41321 but that means you were guaranteed access we know that from the illegal alien provision that says they're not qualified individuals. >> click at that prisoner provision so i under your theory this stature to says prisoners should enroll with
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federal exchanges? >> makes perfect sense think about somebody imprisoned in february they get out in april he has to by his insurance under the individual mandate. said nobody incarcerated can buy insurance and they cannot buy during the enrollment period it makes perfect sense to say those who are incarcerated that you can make them available but we don't want to for the illegal aliens that they're not qualified or eligible even if that is a the most pristine logic remember it is the basic principle that you have a plausible to avoid. >> but to make that make
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sense with the whole text not the four words the particular and general to make everything harmonious with everything else. i think you said at the beginning that of course, context matters it might make all the difference with respect to those five words and we are suggesting it is clear you should treat those five words. >> i have given renewed the contextual points before but becky word justice kagan is 1311. that the statute must work harmoniously. if you provide subsidies to the hhs exchanges you have gutted section 1311 forestay exchanges what happens is
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precisely what did happen two-thirds of the state save no. we will not take this to run the exchange with no incentive so to say in available only on states i have 1311 to say why in there is no country history at all. they have a reading of 36b that they cannot explain of rule that completely undermines the purpose of 1311 in the supporting legislative history so what used to do determine what the koreans we clearly prevail. >> thank you counselor. >> you'll have an extra 10 minutes as well.
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>> made it please the court standing has been raised so i will tell you where we stand then i will summarize the two key points. with respect withstanding the controversy turns on whether of the four petitioners is liable for the tax penalty 2014. this case was litigated in the district court's 2013 based on projections that they would earn a certain income that they file a declaration with two out of four said they would qualify for the exception but the other to the projections were such that would not qualify and they would have standing with those who projected about their income now 2014 has come and gone the petitioners know whether
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any of the four have in fact liable for the tax penalty and that will depend their actual in, matching their projection. i'm afraid fact-finding about this is not correct but they did file a motion for summary judgment but the case was decided on the government's motion and to dismiss without fact-finding i am assuming because he has not said anything about the absence of a tax penalty of east one of the four is liable but that is the key standing question. if it is the case to qualify for virginia health care. so that is rarely are in standing. it will depend on a factual matter if one of the floor
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is liable for the tax penalty 2014 that is not in the government's possession and i should make one more point there were no projections nothing in the record of any and come. >> you are not raising the standing question with us for the first time? >> mr. chief justice based on the projections it is our understanding at least one of the four is liable for a tax penalty her try to identify what is the relevant question if they are liable for attacks penalty because citizen of michigan because if nine is
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liable for a tax penalty that isn't the case or controversy is the relevant question i do think there is a relevant question that hauled in the motion to dismiss you may think of this based on the projection there was a case of controversy and then they're not liable for a tax penalty then it no longer exist. >> should we have a trial? >> i did not raise standing the court did i am just doing my a best to know our
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position. >> i just stated he has not suggested based on that item infering of one of the petitioners. >> why wouldn't we expect that? >> there is no reason not to >> that at least one of the four is liable or will be in 2015? >> what i say about that i as one step further. i am willing to accept the indication that is why we have not raise standing that
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what had the floor is liable for a tax penalty. but now i will turn to the merits to summarize the key points for crow it is the only way to make sense of that act contextual the and our reading is compelled the reading force is hhs to have exchanges that are doomed to fail and with the state flexibility if it precipitates the insurance market debt spiral specifically state it was designed to avoid a to revoke the promise of affordable care for millions of americans of course, it
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is a statute that they wrote. to be ill considered and ill-conceived? >> it is in the statute that they wrote with the variation of that hypothetical so with that hypothetical that requires the state the ratings that it was constructed by the state. what i would say to that is those provisions is that airplanes can only land at airports constructed by the state to be constructed by the state and the exact same
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thing was true. >> every statute must make sense and then the statute that operates as a harmonious whole. if it doesn't have that projection -- projections but to promote but what you say it only applies for alternative meetings if it could only mean one thing it would continue to read that one thing even with consequences for the rest of the statue.
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it is through principal. the only reasonable interpretation to produce disastrous consequences it nonetheless means what it says is that true? >> there are a couple of limitations and then the court has to do its best. >> to have a single case that the provision is not ambiguous and with what is in the court said and then ambiguously to cover with a
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context with the regulatory regime cannot mean that. with that text and read what never was asked about his argument if we adopt the interpretation of this act is unconstitutional coercive? and certainly it would be an awful question i am not prepared to say it is unconstitutional that it would be my duty to defend the statute but it'd say not
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all question. >> doesn't that mean difficult? because it does seem to be if the argument is correct it is rational choice to invoke the standard. >> but to the extent if the court believes this is a serious constitutional question to rise to the level it is another powerful reason to read that text our way. i do think with respect it is not just the situation where there is onerous conditions. it is also of problem of
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notice that means reading them the statue to then the idea as with adequate notice to the states. >> we get lots end lots of of the guests briefs -- amicus briefs that goes back to the state exchange. if they were all caught off guard and they were upset you would expect them to file the amicus briefs? but only six of them is submitted from a number of states making that argument 23 jurisdictions submitted and those of established state exchanges only six did
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not. house you account for that? >> they all told you they did not understand the statute that way and with the other eight states i think there is an important point to there understanding this is the irs ruled that we are talking about that the irs put out a proposal saying this is what we intend to do and several of the state's in that proceeding to say they address a number of issues and say nothing about the issue before the court now. if they a understood the statute with said nine subsidies that would be front and center and that tells you a good deal about how everybody understood
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this statute. >> but to be on this segment a state is signing a for federal program we don't realize they have gotten themselves into. but it is not too late for a state to establish if we were to adopt petitioners' interpretation so going for her there would be no harm. >> i will address that directly with the broader point. directly i don't think it is possible to say there is no harm the tax credits would be cut off immediately with adverse effects immediately for millions of people in many states. >> i said going forward. >> would it not be possible if we would adopt that interpretation for the of
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mandate until after this tax year that we have done in other cases were we adopted an interpretation of the constitutional statute that would have disruptive consequences such as the northern pipeline? >> that is an example it is up to the court to decide if it has the authority to do that. but this is different to me because it is about money coming of the federal treasury which is a difference a burial but that is rather court is going getting things out proper distribution -- distribution but this is an important point to make that the idea the number of states in six months when the decision comes out and the new year can set up exchanges to get them up and prove from - - up and running is completely unrealistic. to give you an example of
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the current timeline justice ginsburg, to have the exchange approved and insurance policies ready for the 2016 your the approvals have to occur by may 2015 so that gives you a sense of the timeline. >> you really think congress will just sit there while these disastrous consequences in sioux? how often do we come out with the decision? congress to adjust and the statute takes care of the problem. that happens all the time why will that have been here. [laughter] >> the red clay. >> i don't care what congress you are talking about if those consequences are as disaster is as you say so many million without insurance that i think congress would act stomach but the relevant question
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getting back to my point is that congress enacted this statute in 2010 to? to their release set up a system that the states are subject to the onerous situation that the petitioner claims? there are three indications of that that cannot be the statutory scheme that congress tried to set up. with the existence of the federal exchanges, it would make no sense for congress to provide for federal exchanges is aff mr. carvin suggested was to be a result as every state to establish the exchange. >> then again, to talk about a mechanism for the states to show they have concerns about the wisdom of fact in
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the form that it was passed. >> justice kennedy if he goes federalism values are from our interpretation because if that is what the state really thought gore would have preferred not to have the state government participate for reasons that your honor identified for what congress put in place that they can decide not to participate without any adverse consequences. that is why our reading is pro federalism that it seems it is a powerful reason to reject it. if i go to the second statutory point for what we're talking about section 1321 says it was designed to afford state flexibility.
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it would be orwellian sense of the word to use that in a manner the petitioners say because it is the of polar opposite of flexibility. the third point is if indeed the plan was as mr. carvin said that they would establish an exchange for themselves and that was a terror all of the anomalies and absurdities and possibilities that his reading provides for, if that was the plantation the consequence would be a neon lights you would want to make absolutely sure that every state got a message but instead you have a sub clauses in it is a provision to establish individual taxpayers senate that is not the most elegantly drafted statute that was pushed
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through on expedited procedures to not have that consideration are from a conference committee. what would be so surprising if among the other imperfections in is the imperfection what the states have to do was not obvious enough? >> i will answer that question to talk about the legislative process the language here 36b was that the product of a last-minute deal or scrambling at the end the structure of 1311 and 1321 is a product of the senate finance committee markup that went on for weeks and weeks with a
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public hearing covered by c-span you can watch it on the archives and you will see coming out of that the understanding with this set up would result subsidies be available in every state. >> were they supposed to have the government runs the whole thing because they thought would lead to a single payer system which some people wanted. the explanation for this provision is it prevents the federalization entirely. >> mr. carvin has loaded that to suggest senator ben nelson require that but there is no evidence none whatsoever that anybody thought that way that the solution to the problem is what congress did to have
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options of state-by-state fallbacks that they have no contemporaneous evidence that i would suggest that it is not true those that were negotiated at the end it if you look pages 833 through 924 you can see all the amendments not a single one has anything to do with the statutory language of the florida court. >> with your interpretation if congress did not want the phrase established by the
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state that is taken to baby and why did they use that language? why not other formulations? established under the act or established within the state's then established by hhs for a when they had a provision that does that for the district of columbia and the territories are deemed to be states? >> it does not say established by the state with a period but it says under section 1311 and our position is that is clearly the better reading that by cross referencing in 1311 what it is saying -- and
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established there whenever mechanism by cross referencing they made 1311 and 1321? >> that seems to go with the wrong direction. >> i think it does if you just write it with me. >> before you get on to that it doesn't explain why by the state is in their established under 1311. >> wherever this provision appears in the act it does work what we talk about the specific exchange in the specific state if you look at the medicaid it works the same way why didn't they say in the state? i guess they could have but
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clearly it is how they're using it with respect to the provision a qualified individual that reside in the state that established the exchange that is what is going on so it does that work which is why it is in there. but under section 13 of levin it says each state shall establish an exchange for the state is not as it mr. carvin said in urging that they shall establish read over in congress uses the language shall it mean something more inclusive than. because congress backdrop of
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the tenth amendment could not impose that requirement because the section in 1321 because that provides the means by which the requirement is satisfied. . .
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win a state hasn't elected to me that the requirement hhs steps in and with hhs does is set up to require exchange. such exchange which is referring prior to the required exchange where the only change required any act is an exchange under section 1311 b1. it has to be that what hhs is doing under the plaintext of the statute is fulfilling requirement of section 1311 b1 and for that reason we say that qualifies as an exchange of subs by the state is reinforced as justice breyer suggested by the definition. what says an exchange is exchange is done under section 1311. 1311 again which is each state shall establish an exchange and
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it has to be that way because petitioners have conceded august 22 of their brief in an exchange of hhs sets up is supposed to be the same exchange and petitioners say function just like an exchange exchange that the states that support itself. >> you are putting weight on the word such such exchange, such. it seems to be the most unrealistic interpretation of such to mean the federal government shall establish a state exchange. rather, it seems to me such means in exchange for the state rather than an exchange of the state. how can the federal government established the state exchange? that is gobbledygook. such most mean something different. >> it isn't gobbledygook. i think about annika back to something that justice alito asked. if the language of 36 b. were exactly the same as it is now and the statute set in 1321 that
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an exchange set up by hhs shall qualify as an exchange established by the state for purpose of 1311 you wouldn't change the limit of 36 be one iota and it wouldn't be any doubt in anyone's mind that subsidies were available on the federal exchange it. what we're saying is that effectively reading 1311 and 13 toilet together, that is what the statute does. certainly that is a reasonable reading of the statute because the only reading that allows you to be faithful to the text of 1311 (b) (1), the word shall come into the tenth amendment. >> but the word of such means not just in the exchange that the state was supposed to set up but it means the state exchange. it means an exchange that qualifies as an exchange established by the state because it satisfies the requirement of 1311 (b) (1).
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>> you have to see it means the state exchange. your case hinges on the fact that a federal exchange is a state exchange for purpose is -- >> it hinges on it qualifying as a state exchange for being equivalent to the state exchange for the purpose of the operation of the statute. that is a reason the reading of the particular connection provisions. once you conclude it's a reasonable reading, then you have to read it that way that we say it is to be read because it is no way to make sense of the statute as a whole. it is a way to bring into army with the acts qualified individual and corporate health plan provision which duty to abatement is an absurdity under the reading under the law. law. >> would you agree that there are provisions of the act with the exact same phrase, established by the state, has to be written established by the state and not by hhs? there are some provisions like that. >> i think you're wrong about each one.
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>> i'd be interested in your attitude. 42 usc section 1396 w.-three which says that each state shall status procedures to ensure that an exchange established by the state utilizes a secure electronic interface. they say if that is red if exchange established by the state air is redeeming and hhs exchange, that means that the state in which that exchange is established is responsible for making sure that the federal exchange is a secure electronic interface. >> they are just wrong about.com completely wrong. the statute says the state -- a statutory obligation is addressed to the state medicaid and chip entities. what it says is they shall establish procedures. hhs has issued regulations setting forth what a statutory provision requires states in the circumstances. every state where there's a better fist of exchange has met the requirements to fulfill them
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and it works perfectly fine. there's no anomaly there at all. >> met the requirements of the regulations you say but do the regulations track the statute? >> yes they do. >> do they give a state authority to say whether or not these conditions have been met? >> the requirements are imposed on the state medicaid and chip into the relationship if that's what the statute does. the regulations that government that statutory code and satisfied interstate. as you're on reading it to me said, it does say and i think that this report, the statute says each state shall pick it doesn't say states have set of exchanges for themselves shall. it says each state shall. it presupposes that is going to something that qualifies an exchange established by the state in every state. there's no anomaly and if you're on once as they but any other the ones you can, but there are no anomalies frankly. >> i understand your question -- your answer to be there are
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federal regulations telling the state would have to do and they've all done it. the fact remains the state has some obligation under the regulations to make sure that there's a proper interface with the federal exchange student on the stateside of the interface, yes. but that's the chip and medicaid agencies, state government agencies and it's their side of the interface that the statute covers. i don't think there are anomalies over reading but if they are they pale in comparison to the anomalies on the other side. i really do want to focus on this point about the qualified health plan and the qualified individual because the statute is quite clear in section 1311 that an exchange not an exchange established by the state, but in exchange can only sell a qualified health plan. it is for britain and france held a health plan that is not a qualified health plan. that's not an exchange established by the state it's in exchange. the statute says to certify health plan as qualified the exchange has to decide that it is in the interest of qualified
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individuals. qualified individuals are persons who reside in the state that established the exchange. so if you read the statute the language, the way mr. carvin we did instead of the way we read it you come to the conclusion and the state and federal facilities exchange exchange there are no qualified individuals. therefore the exchange cannot certify a corporate health plan as being in the interest of qualified individuals because there aren't any, so the art in a corporate health plans back in the lawfully sold on exchange. >> what is the provision that only a qualified individual can't enrolled in a plan under an exchange of? >> i will address that but i just want to be clear of the provision of talking about with respect to the prohibition on selling a public health plan to anybody, on anything other than qualified health plan on an exchange is 1311 b. to b. which
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is at page eight of the appendix to agree. it's unambiguous to an exchange and exchange may not make available any health plan that is not qualified health plan. >> was the british you referring to when you said that an exchange may and will only a qualified individual? what the statute says throughout is that qualified individuals are eligible to purchase on exchanges. and it's the necessary meaning of that phrase that if you're not a qualified individual then you are not eligible to purchase health care on an exchange because otherwise the word qualified would not have any. the meaning of the word qualified is distinct between people who are eligible and people who are ineligible. as a policy matter it would make sense. into the people are not qualified individuals. people who don't live in the state, people in prison at their unlawfully documented aliens. >> part of section 1312. a person qualified to purchase
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on an exchange must quote, reside in the state that established the exchange. >> right. and are no such people in 34 states under mr. carvin's theory your you just run into a textual brick wall. >> i understand your argument is that it's a logical inference from a number of provisions that on a qualified individual to purchase the policy, but i gather there's a provision you can point to this is that directly. >> that's what qualified means. it means that if in a qualified you are unqualified. that's what it means. you were just reading the word qualified out of the statute if you read about what. >> qualified is used in the lessons of the term it's not a technical term of? >> doing to its decline from its defined as the person resides industry. it does that because the statue was quite clear that you weren't going to go to allowed to shop for insurance policies across state lines or with respect to
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prisoners it does make any sense to say the that prisoners should be able to get insurance. mr. carvin says yes, it does because they get out of prison. there's a provision that says when you face a change by circumstance, such as getting out of prison come you can sign up for insurance at that point. he makes a point about unlawfully present persons being both unqualifiedd, but that's not surplus. that's there for very important reason which is so much can be in lawful status and therefore be eligible for health care but it was lawful status at the point they can no longer be covered. just none of that works within. none of that works for them. but really to get to the fundamental point here that both at the level of text, you have clear everye statute can't work if you read it mr. carper's way. you have at the level of text -- >> isn't that a synonym for ambiguity? >> i think so, except the right, justice kennedy that you have ambiguity there precisely
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because you have you know this is a statute that could operate one way or the other. the question is how it's going to operate. when you read their way you -- >> if it's ambiguous than we think about chevron. but he seems to be a drastic step for us to say that the department of internal revenue and its director can make this call one way or the other winter are, what, billions of dollars of subsidies involve? hundreds of millions of? >> yes, billions of dollars of subsidies involve. but to point about that -- >> it seems to me our cases say that if the internal revenue service is going to allow deductions using these, that it has to be very, very clear. it seems to me avalon that the director of internal revenue didn't identify this problem if it's ambiguous and advise congress it was. >> so a few points about that
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with respect to chevron deference. first we do think chevron deference only supports the government and i will explain why. before you get to that you can resolve and should resolve this statute and the statute's meaning in our favor even without resort to chevron deference. that's what the canon everything a statute as hell a statute as ultimate work harmoniously directs you to be. it's very important principles of federalism we've been describing a direct you to do the if you think is a constitutional problem with the statute it's what the doctrine of constitutional avoidance of direction to do. with respect to chevron, section 36b of the statute expressly delegates to the irs the specific authority to make any decisions necessary to implement section 36b. so you don't have any ambiguity. parker said the irs should do this. it is a big question, but as the court said in city of arlington and two terms ago, chevron applies to the question of a
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small. that your honor raised this point about the need for clarity in a tax deduction and irs in the statutory reading of tax deductions, there is a learned treatise that describes that as a false notion. it is serving not consistent with this court's unanimous decision in may of two terms ago that chevron applies to the tax code like anything else. >> if you are right about chevron that would indicate that it's as good a position to change that interpretation of? >> i think a subsequent administration would need a very strong case under step two of the chevron analysis that was a reasonable judgment into other disruptive consequences. i think you can resolve and should resolve this case because the statute really has to be read when taken as a whole to adopt the governments position. >> if there are any tax attorneys in the courtroom today i think probably the road on what you just said. when we get future tax cases
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the united states train is going to argue that we should not read them, you know there should be no presumption that a tax credit is provided by the statute. >> you should read it according to its terms. when you read this provision according to the terms and you read it in context and to read against the background principles of federalism, you have to from the government's interpretation. thank you. >> thank you, general. four minutes mr. carvin. >> thank you, thank you. very quickly unstinting. mr. hurst would be subject to penalty as released by the score for 2014. as i discussed oft and mrs. lee the of course would face the same principle for 2015. if the government suggesting the case has become a because of the changed circumstances under cardinal chemical 508 u.s. eight come it's never to raise it ours to supplement the record. in terms of the anomaly competence of all the states losing 34 states losing their medicaid funds the solicitor general greatly distorted the statute.
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it's printed at 64 a. of their exhibitor it says as they shall astonish procedures so the notion that hhs established them is contrary to the. it says the state will identify people to enroll on their exchanges. they can't know anybody on their exchanges if there are no such exchanges in the state. therefore, by the plain language if you adopt the notion that exchange established by the state means as valid by hhs all of them need to lose their medicaid funding. >> could i follow up on something that general ended with and justice kennedy referred to, which is the need to read subsidies limited. but so -- in a limited way. but so is the need to ensure that exemptions from tax liability are read in a limited way. and under your reading, we are getting more exemptions to employers not to provide
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insurance, more exemptions to states and others or to individuals how does that work? i mean you've got two competing -- >> no, no. you do get more exemptions for employers under our reading, and the same principle applies. is it unambiguous? it's undisputed that one is unambiguous. the dispute is whether or not if they went under ambiguity competitive because they can and requires an ambiguous statute not to afford the tax credit. in terms of implemented i think it's helpful in terms of justice to get concerned about federalism. under their feet of the statute the federal government gets to get around impose on states, there's an amicus from indian describing this, a requirement that states and should own individuals. it requires the employer mandate to states. under their theory that states are helpless to stop this federal intervention into the most basic personnel practices
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were as under our very they're able to say, no. so actually the more intrusive view of the statute is theirs. entrance of the funding condition head-on, your honor i think my short answer is as follows. there's no way to do this statute has more coercive or harmful than the version of medicaid that was approved by this court in nfib and, indeed, the nfib descended opinion pointed to this provision something that was an acceptable noncoercive alternative. even if there's a constitutional doubt on an novel constitutional question as justice scalia pointed out, there is no alternative reading of the statute that avoids that because either way you're intervened on state sovereignty. entrance of the anomaly competence of qualified individuals as predicted, solicitor general did not come apparent to you yes if we prevailed here under this theory they will have to empty out the hhs exchanges. nor did he even respond to my argument that with respect to an
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exchange under the definitional section only applies to static changes. i think we can do this as a complete contentious litigation position and not a serious statutory interpretation. entrance other of the qualified health plan that he discussed with you justice alito, the complete entity that is that is in 1311. 1311 oh is talking about state established exchanges. it has no application to hhs exchanges therefore it can't possibly create an anomaly with respect to those hhs exchanges. >> thank you, counsel. the case is submitted. >> president obama said the health care law is woven into the fabric of america. his remarks today in the white house rose garden followed the supreme court upholding his signature health care legislation for the second time. he supreme court rejected a challenge on whether tax credits are available to individuals and federally run health care exchange at the the court in 6-3
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decision with chief justice roberts begin writing for the court said yes, the president's remarks are about 10 minutes. >> [background sounds] >> good morning, everybody. have a seat. five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying your bipartisan debate we finally declared that in america, health care is not a privilege for a few but a right for all. over those five years, as we've worked to implement the affordable care act there have been successes and setbacks.
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the setbacks i remember clearly. but as the dust has settled that can be no doubt that this law is working. it has changed, and in some cases the saved, american lives. it said this country on a smarter, stronger course. and a day after more than 50 votes in congress to review or weaken this law after presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law after multiple challenges to this law before the supreme court the affordable care act is here to stay. this morning the court upheld a critical part of this law the part that's made easier for americans to afford health insurance regardless of where you live. if the partisan challenge to this law had succeeded millions
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of americans would affect thousands of dollars worth of tax credits taken from them. for many, insurance would have become unaffordable again. many would have become uninsured again. ultimately everyone's premiums could have gone up. america would have gone backwards. and that's not what we do. that's not what america does. we move forward. so today is a victory for hard-working americans all across this country whose lives will continue to become more secure in a changing economy because of this law. if you're a parent, you can keep your kids on a plant until they turn 26 something that is covered millions of young people so far. that's because of this law. if you're a senior or an american with a disability, this law gives you discounts on your prescriptions, something that is saved 9 million americans an average of $1600 so far.
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if you're a woman, you can't be charged more than anybody else even if you've had cancer, or your husband had heart disease or just because you're a woman. your ensure has to offer free preventive care this is like mammograms. it can't place annual or lifetime caps on your care because of this law. because of this law and because of today's decision, millions of americans who i hear from every single day will continue to receive a tax credits that if given about eight in 10 people who buy insurance on the new marketplace is the choice of the health care plan that costs less than $100 a month. and when it comes to preexisting conditions someday our grandkids will ask us if there really was a time when america discriminate against people who get sick. because that is something this law has ended for good. that affects everybody with health insurance not just folks
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who got insurance to the affordable care act. all of america has protections it didn't have before. as the law's provisions have gradually taken effect, more than 16 million uninsured americans have gained coverage so far. nearly one in three americans who was uninsured a few years ago is insured today. the uninsured rate in america is the lowest since we began to keep records. and that is something we can all be proud of. meanwhile, the law has helped hold the price of health care to its slowest growth in 50 years. if your family gets insurance through your job, so you're not using the affordable care act you still think about $18 less per year on average than you would be if we hadn't done anything. by one leading measure, what business owners pay out in wages
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and salaries is now finally growing faster than what they spent on health insurance. that hasn't happened in 17 years and that's good for workers and it's good for the economy. the point is this is not an abstract thing anymore. this is not a set of political talking points. this is reality. we can see how it is working. this law is working exactly as it's supposed to. in many ways, this law is working better than we expected it to you. for all the misinformation campaigns all the doomsday predictions, all the talk of death panels and job destruction for all the repeal of the thames this law is now helping tens of millions of americans. and they've told me that it is changed their lives for the better.
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i've had months, then say -- ifad moms come up and say my son was able to see a doctor and get diagnosed and catch a tumor early. and he's alive today because of this law. this law is working. and it's going to keep doing just that. five years in business a long about the law. this is not about the affordable care act as legislation, or obamacare as a political football. this is health care in america. and unlike social security or medicare a lot of americans still don't know what obamacare is beyond all the political noise in washington. across the country there remain people who are directly benefiting from the law i don't even know it. and that's okay. there's no card that says
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obamacare when you enroll. but that's by design, for this has never been a government takeover of health care despite cries to the contrary. this reform remains what it's always been a set of fairer roles and tougher protections that make health care in america more affordable, more attainable and more about you, the consumer, the american people. it's working. and with this case behind us let's be clear. we've still got work to do to make health care in america even better. we'll keep working to provide consumers with all the tools you need to make informed choices about your care. we'll keep working to increase the use of preventive care that avoids bigger problems down the road. we'll keep working to boost us to improving quality of care in
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hospitals, and bring down costs even lower, make the system work even better. already we've seen reductions for example, in the number of resignations at hospital. that saves our society money and it saves families money, makes people healthier. we are making progress. we're going to keep working to get more people covered. i'm going to work as hard as i can to convince more governors and state legislators to take advantage of the law, put politics aside and expand medicaid and cover their citizens. we've still got states out there that, for political reasons are not covering billions of people that they could be covering despite the fact that the federal government is picking up the tab. so we've got more work to do. but what would not going to do
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this unravel what has now been woven into the fabric of america. and my greatest hope is that rather than keep fighting battles that have been settled again and again and again i can work with republicans and democrats to move forward. it's join together make health care in america even better. three generations ago we chose to end an era when seniors were left to languish in poverty. we passed social security, and slowly it was woven into the fabric of america and made a difference in the lives of millions of people. two generations ago we chose to in an age when the americans and their golden years didn't have the guarantee of health care. medicare was passed, and it helped millions of people. this generation of americans
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chose to finish the job to turn the page on a pass when our citizens could be denied coverage just for being sick. to close the books on the history retains the ninth midst of americans had no hope of finding decent, affordable health care had to hang their chances on state. we chose to write a new chapter where in a new economy, americans are free to change their jobs or start a business chased a new idea raise a family, free from fear secure in the knowledge that portable affordable health care is there for us and always will be. and that if we get sick we're not going to lose our home. that if we get sick that were going to be able to still look after our families. that's when america soars when
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we look out for one another. when we take care of each other. when we root for one another's success. when we strive to do better and to be better than the generation that came before us and tried to build something better for generations to come. that's why we do what we do. that's the whole point of public service. so this was a good day for america. let's get back to work. [applause] ..
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[inaudible conversations] quakes hi. i am executive director of family usa which is the national organization for healthcare consumers. with with me is glen jackson from texas who is one of the millions of people receiving the subsidies that were upheld today by the supreme court. make no mistake about this; today's decision has monumental significance.
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it means the affordable care act is not just the law of the land but will remain the law of the land and means that the millions of people live in receiving subsidies that make all the difference in terms of whether health insurance is affordable, people will continue to receive subsidies and have healthcare. this is a big sign -- a big sigh of relief for millions of people across the country who previously were uninsured previously could not afford health insurance but today can afford health insurance because they're receiving subsidies. today the court by a six to three margin upheld the provisions of the subsidies. at this juncture hopefully now that the affordable care act is clearly a stable a
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stable part of america's health care system hopefully we can move on hopefully we can have bipartisan effort to try to make further improvement with respect to america's health care system, making sure everyone has high-quality healthcare at an affordable price. most importantly the affordable care act has produced enormous progress. more than one out of three people previously uninsured have now received health coverage and that progress will continue. we will not go backwards. more and more people will get the health coverage they need for their families. i i want to introduce gwen jackson from sugar land texas one of the millions of people who is receiving subsidies quakes thank you, ron.
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>> go-ahead quakes i am excited today. self-employed, self-employed, and my husband had a severe tumor that required surgery and we were uninsured. through the marketplace my husband was able to get an extensive surgery and subsequently additional surgeries and must continue to have surgeries. this was an aggressive disease we are thankful that the courts upheld and realized that with affordable care act i don't know it is for everyone. it will have affected over 6 million people had they
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not agreed to this. we don't have to worry anymore, and i think everyone who supported this act. gwen jackson. >> kwame jackson from sugar land, texas. >> gwe in jackson collects -- >> the national organization for healthcare consumers. i i want to say one additional thing. we have seen extraordinary progress as a result of the affordable care act over the past two years. 16 million people previously uninsured have gotten health coverage as a result of the affordable care act. most of the most of the people have done so as a result of subsidies which
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involve thousands of dollars in terms of relief and premium cost. today the supreme court held that those subsidies will continue people will continue to get health insurance, and we will continue to make progress in years ahead so hopefully at some time in the not-too-distant future everyone in america will have health insurance. >> my final thing is to say aca is here to stay, and i think god for that. >> thank you. >> my name is neil former acting atty. gen. for the
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general for the united states. the supreme court by a six to three decision overwhelmingly upheld with the president has been saying all along these health insurance exchanges provide subsidies to individuals who cannot otherwise afford them. sitting in the courtroom as the decision came down red by the supreme justice and for the first ten minutes you can see where the chief justice started off by saying the affordable care act based on three legs of the stool. a lot of discrimination. you had to get rid of that with guaranteed issue requirements allowing everyone access to the market. the second part was congress said you must have an
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individual mandate something to ensure people buy insurance, and the third piece was the subsidy to make sure people could afford the insurance. the supreme court, chief justice said that is precisely what the affordable care act does and how it is written. a a resounding victory for the government and current solicitor general who gave the oral argument of a lifetime and explained why the president's interpretation was a great one. today we have a republican dominated supreme court upholding the democratically elected. a a resounding victory for the president and congress and the american people. >> the supreme court decision today is a reaction
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on the senate floor. we we begin with statements from the majority and minority leaders. >> today this great countrydable of ours obama care has car survived the leaders attempt - millions of american families one today.rebl the supreme court one today. very simple. more than 10 million americans are covered many for the first time. 85 percent of these men and tha women receive credits bute
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12 million more now have coveragend. than the commonwealth foundation more than eight out of ten adults are satisfied. satisfied. the affordable care act is mi not perfectio but this is appro working for millions andmerins millions of americans.fordab once again c the affordable care act prevailed. i say respectfully stop banging heads against theit's wallhe. it it is the law of the nation.uld move on. we should be -- should pausemr. for a minute and look back.nymore, i don't knowi the number. is it 75 but votes have
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taken place to repeal the law time and time again. the timing wasted. as i understand someonethei that gets us some results. i would hope republicansncrease think we know if they have enough to. i was interested. the department of justice justice, the supreme court ruled in the slot.
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every one without upset --rocess without exception would be a tremendous blow. budget process budget cou process in america, this bill makes america money. it is good that it makes the country money.. republicans were not content to jeopardize the health of americans got. mr. president, i think it is important to note the republicans who worked on ait this legislation in thtee process going through the committee may have meant thes said legislation never discussed withholding. tnk
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