tv U.S. Senate CSPAN July 8, 2015 10:00am-8:01pm EDT
an's original series first ladies can influence an image. examining the one who filled the position of first lady and their influence on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama "sundays at eight" p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> c-span to brings you the best access to congress live debate and vote from the senate floor hearings and current public policy events, and every weekend its booktv with nonfiction books and authors live coverage of book festivals from around the country and be behind the scenes look at the publishing industry. c-span2, the best access to congress and nonfiction books. >> the senate today continues work on changes to the no child left behind law. their version we get state and local governments more control over education policy and testing. centers will be going through amendments, go to schedule about
noon eastern on at least one enemy. debate on the measure is expected to last the week. the house will pick up its version of the bill this week. the house is finishing work on 2016 spending for the interior department and the epa. forth all you can see live house coverage on c-span. now to the senate. marvelous works, continuing to be their high tower in troubled times. may they not forget to serve all the people, including the oppressed, the marginalized, the lost, the lonely, the last, and the least. inspire them to live lives that show your goodness to our nation and world. we pray in your great name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of
allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president republicans and democrats have long agreed that the no child left behind is broken and needs to be fixed but the senate didn't do anything about it for seven long years missing its
deadlines repeatedly. the new majority in congress thought it was time to change that dynamic. we thought it was time for bipartisan action instead. that's why we're taking up the every child achieves act today. it's bipartisan legislation drafted by a republican former education secretary senator alexander, and a democratic former preschool teacher senator murray. it passed through committee with the support of every single democrat and every single republican. mr. president, just think about it: you from third rail to unanimous bipartisan support. now, that's an impressive achievement. it shows how functioning committee processing and a functioning senate can with hard work from senators like alexander and murray, break through the gridlock. it's another encouraging sign for americans who like what they're seeing from a new
congress that's back to work and back on their side. the american people know that education is an issue that touches almost every single person in our country. they know how critical it is to our children's future, and many are upset with an education system in desperate need of reform. although no child left behind was well-intentioned and laid the groundwork for important reforms to our education system, it's now clear that some of it's requirements have become unachievable. for instance, basically every school is now considered failing under the law. and because the law has become so broken, the administration has found ways to effectively dictate education policy from the executive branch. that's not the right approach for our kids. the white house shouldn't be trying to run your local school board. so the every child achieves act would put an end to that kind of
control from thousands of miles away. it would do so by eliminating onerous federal mandates and reining in the power of the executive branch so that states can't be coerced into adopting measures like common core. instead of more federal control the bipartisan every child achieves act aims to empower teachers parents and students to improve education where they live. it would restore responsibility and accountability to states and local school districts. it would give them increased flexibility to design and implement their own education standards and programs. this bipartisan bill would also allow states to develop their own accountability models to include other measures beyond testing to determine student achievement and school quality and to determine the best ways to turn around underperforming
schools. nothing out of washington could ever solve all of our education challenges overnight but the every child achieves act takes a positive step forward. it recognizes that your local school board shouldn't, in effect be run from hundreds or even thousands of miles away. it recognizes that states and parents are going to know far more about the needs of their schools and their students than some detached bureaucrat in washington. there are ideas both parties should support and in fact there are ideas both parties just did support unanimously in committee. if senators have change they'd like to see in the bill, now is the time for colleagues to work with the bill managers to get their amendments moving. we already have several lined up. this is a good debate for the country, mr. president so let's continue working cooperatively across the aisle to empower states and pairptses parents instead
of federal bureaucrats to enact the education policies policies that actual by work for their students. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the minority leader. mr. reid: one of the legendary senators we recently had here retired from the senate. if he were here, he would be down here on the floor taking issue with what the republican leader just said. tom harkin tried very hard to have a reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education bill. why didn't we get it? because the republicans blocked us from doing it. so it's nice that my friend, the republican leader, comes and talks about all the great things being done in the congress now but the fact is, it could have
been done many years ago had we had a little bit of cooperation from the republicans. mr. president, the new republican majority has ignored upcoming deadlines and neglected to address urgent problems facing our great country. and i'm saying that -- and that's just an understatement. instead they've governed through a series of last-minute manufactured crises causing unnecessary cost to ash country. in just a few minutes we're going to debate the education matter as we should. and, mr. president as important as that is, it is extremely important we don't take our eye off the prize. what is that? because in just a few months the government is going to running out of money. unless we can reach a bipartisan budget agreement our nation will be faced with yet another ridiculous and damaging government shutdown. now, my republican colleagues understand what i just said because they're the ones that created the last government
shutdown. it was a crushing blow to our economy. and, sadly mr. president the only reason we were able to keep -- reopen the government is because democrats voted almost unanimously to reopen the government. sadly, just take one example well over half of the republicans, about two-thirds of the republicans in the house voted to keep the government closed. how about that? so another government shutdown would be unacceptable. but, remember, it's been done before with joy among my republican colleagues. sequestration is another thing they seem to like. so mr. president with that -- with having had that as an historical background, we ought to be able to get together a compromise and reach a bipartisan solution for our nation in a timely way. you would think so.
as happened here before we left for the july 4th recess, there was an effort made to move to the defense appropriations bill, and that was stopped because we believe that we need to fund more than defense. we need to fund the whole government. we stand ready to work with republicans to reach a bipartisan solution. unfortunately, it seems the republican leadership has shown no interest in compromise. the democrats have urged them to come to the table now and they have refused. unless we act now we'll be faced with another republican-imposed crisis at the end of this fiscal year. this should be avoided and that can be avoided. and just don't take my word for t theit. the republicans in the house agree that the time for games should be over. "the new york times" today reported that high-ranking republicans in the house are calling for negotiations to
begin now. quote -- "senior house appropriations members including the panel's chairman, representative harold rogers of kentucky have already told republican leaders that the time to negotiate a way out of the impasse is now not in the shadow of a government shutdown on october 1." close quote. mr. president, there's also in the same article -- in the last paragraph, something that's quite important. "the reality is we still live in a divided government," mr. cole said. he is one of the senior members of the house republican caucus. he said, "it's not as if the democrats can be shut out," and we proved that with a vote on the democratic response to the efforts to move to the defense appropriations. and, anyway, continuing the
quote, "instead, as if the democrats can be shut out i.t. not as if the democrats can be shut out but they can't dictate to us anymore and we can dictate to them. it is time to sit down and see if we can reach a deal." we can reach a deal, mr. president. so i urge the republicans to follow the leadership of chairman rogers and longtime representative cole. let's not wait yet another week. certainly we shouldn't wait any longer. let's move forward. leat not waitlet's not wait until the last minute. let's sit down appeared and talk. the president an his people are happy to engage at any time in this. and i certainly hope we can move feud and not have another repeat of what the republicans did to this country just a short time
ago and close it down. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership is reserved. and also under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of s. 1177 which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 63, s. 1177, a bill to reauthorize the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 to ensure that any every achieves. mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: as the democratic leader leaves, i with a tonight thank him again for hishis cooperation as well as that of senator murray. we've had dozens of senators who've come forward with amendments and dozens of amendments have been agreed to, and we -- senator murray and i will be recommending to the full senate that dopt those amendments -- adopt those amendments soon. i'd luke to take like to make a moment
to re-fleblght on what we'rereflect on what we're doing in the senate today. we spend a lot of time here on defense issues. the senator from indiana is a member of our intelligence committee. and he hears a great deal about isis and about iran and the nuclear deal weigh might have and about -- deal we might have and about what's going on in syria. we wapts to be strong militarily so we can defend ourselves in the world. we also wapts to be strong at home. we want to make sure that we've a strong country. and almost all of us agree that the single most important thing we could do to ensure our future is to make sure that our children and our adults continue to develop their educational skills that they learn what they need to know and be able to do. i know in my home state of tennessee, we're trying to compete in the whole world. we're making cars and guns and trucks and all sorts -- computers, all sorts of manufactured goods that we sell
not only in the united states but we sell around the world. you walk into the nissan plant in tennessee which has 7,000 or 8,000 employees today, it is the largest auto plant in north america, the most efficient very important to our state has helped to raise our family incomes almost anything that has happened there. but 30 or 40 years ago we would have had 20,000 or 25,000 employees. now it has 7,000 or 8,000. every one of these employees has to have considerable skills, they have to learn statistics and algebra and speak english well. they have to do well in schools. and they have to do well in postsecondary education, which is a separate discussion. so we're talking today on the senate floor and the house is talking tomorrow, about what can we do as the united states congress to create an environment in which our children can succeed in schools.
that's not always on the front pages in washington d.c., but i can guarantee you it's on the front pages at home. it's on the front pages in the rural areas of new mexico and indiana and tennessee because parents care about it, students care about it. it's about our future. the federal government has a limited role in elementary and secondary education. the bill that we're debating today is called the elementary and secondary education act. it funds only about 4% of what the nation spends on kindergarten through the 12th grade. the federal government funds another 4% or 5% through different programs, but states and local governments fund about 90% of what goes on in the schools. and not only is most of the funding action local so is most of the real work. most of the real work. we have 100,000 public schools. we have 50 million children in those schools. 3.5 million teachers.
no one is wise enough to know what to do about helping a third grader learn in a native village in alaska, the mountains of tennessee and the center of harlem at the same time. the ones who are closest to the children have the most chance to make a difference. does that mean that we have nothing to do here about it? no, i don't think it does. i think education is a national concern. but that doesn't mean it has to be a federal concern run from washington and the u.s. department of education. the first president bush in 1989 called all the governors together and established national education goals in math science english history and geography. but he didn't pass a law about that. he just created a consensus about that, and then he led the country in that direction. first from america 2000 which
works state by state and community by community toward those goals. that was in the early 1990's. that was when we worked together to create higher standards for states. if you're going to have goals you have to have standards. where do you get those? well governors worked together to create them, voluntary national standards. then tests to see how you were doing on the standards voluntary tests. then more choices for parents. and then more charter schools which are public schools in which teachers have more freedom to serve the needs of children who are presented to them, and parents have the opportunity to choose those. those were the directions that the states were going. the states were going in a direction of better teaching, higher standards and real accountability mainly because the advantage of age -- i've been in the middle of a lot of that. i was governor when a nation at risk came out in 1983, and carol
bell, president reagan's secretary of education said if a foreign country had done what -- to our schools what we've done, we'd consider it an act of war. so governors went to work on that and in the mid-1980's governors worked together for a whole year to try to get better results. and then throughout the 1990's and then on into the last 10 or 15 years. what has been different about the last 10 or 15 years is that the federal government has gotten more involved. in 2001, no child left behind. the major contribution of no child left behind was to say we'd like to know how the children are doing all 50 million of them. so they'll each take a test two in each year, third grade through the eighth grade, for example. then go in high school in reading and math. then they'll take three science activities through their career 17 tests.
the education committee said those tests should take about two hours each. that's not a lot of time. then that should be publicly reported. then you just aggregate those tests by various groups so you can see if we're leaving children behind. are we leaving the african-american kids behind? are we leaving the white mountain kids behind? that's information that we need to know as a society. and our bipartisan legislation which we're debating on the floor keeps those tests because we need to know those measures of ap -- achievement. what our legislation does that is different says we're going to do something about the results of those tests. we're going to assign that responsibility to the states, classroom teachers, school boards, to the parents. that's where that belongs. that's produced a remarkable concensus. "newsweek" magazine said this
week that no child left behind is the education law that everybody wants to fix a remarkable consensus about that. and that's true. we hear it from everyone. but what is even more remarkable is that there's also a consensus about how to fix it. and that emerged during our hearings this year, as senator murray, the senator from washington the senior democrat on our senate committee that deals with education she looked at the last two congresses, and i did and she said, we haven't done so well. we've broken down the partisan differences, so why don't you and i write a bill -- senator murray and i -- and present it to our committee for consideration. so we did that, a bipartisan bill. our committee is not just any old committee. as the majority leader has said, it has on it some of the most liberal democrats and some of the most p conservative republicans. so you would think we'd have a hard time getting together. but, mr. president we did pretty well and we listened to
each other. we adjusted our views. we considered a lot of amendments. we adopted 29. and when it came time to decide had we done well enough to bring it to the floor the vote was unanimous. every single senator voted for that. so in a situation today where we have a chance to succeed the house of representatives apparently will vote tomorrow on no child left behind, on their version of the bill. if things continue to proceed as they are today, we should finish our work next week. senator murray and i have stayed in touch with president obama and secretary duncan. we know that in the end if we get a result, we'll need to have a presidential signature. and we want a result. we're not here to make a political statement. the lives of the children of the future of our country is too important for that. we're not hear to play games. we can do that other places. we're here to get a result and help move our country forward and to do it together. i see senator murray is here, and so i'm going to conclude my remarks and give her a chance to
say whatever she might like to say. but let me conclude with these thoughts. one of the questions that we hear is are the states really prepared to accept this much responsibility? now to a former governor such as i am, that, to me, is a strange question because i look up at washington when i'm at home and i say are you prepared to accept all this? i trust us. i trust the state much more than washington. but it's a legitimate question. and i would answer that, number one, states are better prepared today than they were 15 years ago. and i would ask unanimous consent to include in the record an op-ed from "the washington post" last weekend written by ann holton, the secretary of education of virginia. ms. holton started out in a very prominent republican family in virginia and she ended up in a very prominent democratic family in virginia. but as she points out in her remarks, their work in education
is bipartisan, and she makes the point about how much progress virginia has made in terms of goals, standards accountability testing. it's very impressive. and most states can say the same. what has happened in the last 15 years is governors and school leaders and educators and parents have worked together and created standards tests and now accountability systems. in other words what do you do if things aren't working out the way they should? second, we've seen the limits of the federal government trying to do it. i think president bush and president obama deserve credit for looking at our president -- george w. bush, saying this is an urgent problem. i want to do more from here. that was an understandable impulse and there are limits from what you can do from here and we've seen that from common
core. we've seen that in the backlash to teacher evaluation defined in washington. the truth is too much washington involvement in setting standards in states and evaluating teachers in cities sets back teacher evaluation and higher standards which to me, are the only grail of k-12 education. the path to higher standards real accountability is not through washington d.c. it's through the states. we can create an environment. we can make sure there's not discrimination. we can send some money that will help, that will help low-income children. all those things we can do. but then we need to show some humility and recognize as carol buries the principal of the year in new york said, that moms and pops and teachers and school board members cherish their children in their own communities and that you don't really get that much wiser and
smarter by flying to washington and passing a law. this bill shows that humility. it shows the consensus. it's a good example of how the senate can work together on an important issue. i'm grateful, as said, to the majority leader for putting it on the floor. he had many choices but he saw the importance of it. i'm grateful to the democratic leader for some work he has done behind the scenes to make it easier for us to succeed. i thank senator reid for that. and i'm especially grateful to senator murray for her caring about children and her prestigious leadership on this. we're moving well on amendments. i would encourage any senator with another amendment to come to the floor quickly and let us know about it, because other senators have. and senator murray and i have agreed on a large number of amendments already that we're going to recommend the senate adopt by consent. we'll have a vote probably around noon. we'll vote again this afternoon. we'll vote again tomorrow morning. we want to finish as quickly as possible. hopefully the house will succeed.
we'll put our bills together. we'll present the president with a bill that he can sign. and we'll fix no child left behind which is the bill as "newsweek" magazine said the education law that everybody wants to fix. mr. president, i yield the floor. murmur -- mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: thank you mr. president. i want to thank my colleague the senior senator from tennessee, for working with me on this bipartisan bill. senator alexander and i are both committed to fixing the current law known as no child left behind. i'm glad we're having this very important debate on the senate floor. mr. president, nearly everyone agrees that no child left behind is badly broken, and as i have traveled around my home state of washington over the past decade, i've heard from so many of my constituents from teachers in the classroom to moms in the grocery store to tech company c.e.o.'s, that we have got to fix this law.
our bipartisan bill, the every child achieves act, is a good step in the right direction. it gives our states more flexibility while also including federal guard rails to make sure all students do have access to a high-quality public education and i'm looking forward to improve and strengthen this bill throughout the process here on the senate floor and beyond. i'm going to continue working on helping our struggling schools get the resources they need and i'll be focused on making sure that all of our kids, especially our most vulnerable students, are able to learn and grow and thrive in the classroom. mr. president, this bill could not be more important for students across the country and it is critical for the future of our nation. when all students have the chance to learn we strengthen our future workforce. our country grows stronger and we empower the next generation of americans to lead the world. so i'm looking forward to getting to work and hopefully moving forward on fixing no child left behind and making sure all our students can learn
regardless of where they live or how they learn or how much money their parents earn. and i join with senator alexander in encouraging our colleagues to file their amendments so that we can continue making progress on this very important piece of legislation. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
ms. hirono: mr. president are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. miss hirono: i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. hire hirono: i rise to ask my colleagues to support my amendment. aapi's are the fastest-growing population that the united states but it is important to highlight that we are not all the same. i know this from my personal experience. just a few months ago i attended the white house state dinner for the japanese prime minister. the next day there was a nice photo in the "washington post" that said "senator hirono and her guest." except it wasn't me. it was actually my good friend,
congress woman from california. i have been mistaken for other aapi members. when i was on the the floor of the senate during the budget garrett, c-span identified me as daniel k. inouye. i may be the only api in the senate right now but we are not all the same. we come from different places and have vastly different backgrounds that make us who we are today. and the same is true in education. our current laud and the every child achieve act use a broad asian-american/pacific islander category to cover all aapi. this aapi group includes chinese, japanese, veems asian indian native hawaiian, is a is a samoans and but there is a model minority myth.
the current aapi category hides big achievement gaps between subgroups. for example 72% of asian-indian adults have a bachelor's degree or higher. but only 26% of vietnamese adults do, and only 14% of mung aadults do. this comes from the 2010 census but we don't have data on how aapi children are doing. the hirono-heller amendment is simple. today we already have public report cards on how students in different groups are doing. parents can look up a school district online and see what percentage of its white or hispanic students are scoring well in reading or math. with our amendment districts with big populations of aapu -- aapi students will add a piece
on their report cards to show how aapi subgroups are doing. our amendment uses the same 11 categories as the census. parents are familiar with it because they filled out the exrencensus information just a few years ago. the amendment is a bipartisan compromise. our amendment would only apply in large school districts with over 1,000 aapi students. let me be clear. not districts with 1,000 students total but students with 1,000 aapi students. currently that's only about 400 school districts out of more than 16,000 school districts nationwide. less than 3% of school districts would have to do anything at all. these districts should want to know how their students are doing so that they can help all students succeed. currently the following states would not be affected at all:
delaware maine mississippi montana, new hampshire, north dakota, south dakota, vermont west virginia, and wyoming. i've heard concerns that adding this aapi data would be overly burdensome. the bill we are considering today already adds new reporting on military-connected student achievement. districts can update their data systems to add check boxes for military-connected children and aapi children at the same time. this is not overly burdensome. just as we're adding a new field to cover military-connected students adding new fields that include aapi subgroups will be just upgrading the software that schools use. in fact, the hawaii department of education or the d.o.e. is a national leader in using aapi data. it collects ravment collect aapi data
on their forms. having aapi subgroup data is helpful for hawaii school administrators and poll makers who analyze achievement gaps in college and career readiness. it is a statewide strategy. then hire staff and target extra help to the highest-need students. hawaii d.o.e. also shirrs the data with the university of hawaii system to collaborate on student yowt outcomes like reducing remedial aid. principals who learn that a certain aapi subgroup is doing poorly in their own school can choose to hire more staff for outreach to that community or can partner with community groups on after-school programs, et cetera. teachers can spend more time on parent outreach to help high-need students in their classrooms. that's why the hirono-heller
amendment has the support of the ssociation of elementary school principals the national association of secondary school principals and the national education association. districts in north carolina, california washington, and others are doing similar work. other districts around the country with make the appropriate changes to their systems. there are automatic software updates for student data systems that can add new data fields. it's important to share the data publicly. community groups can highlight best practices among schools that serve their students well and encourage other schools to improve. parents deserve to have this data too. in the coming days, we'll be discussing traditional public schools, public charter schools or private schools not matter where you stand on these issues, parents deserve to know how their schools are serve the needs of their kids. so that they can best help their
children succeed. our amendment is endorsed also by school choice advocates like the national association of public charter schools. just like current law in the broader esea bill we're discussing, there is a he no reporting if a subgroup is too small to maintain student privacy. our amendment was carefully crafted with the support of the national coalition of asian and pacific american, mexico american legal defense and education fund, national council of la raza, the naacp and over 100 other civil rights rights educators, women groups, and the disability community. they worked together very closely on the language and agreed that data disadegree gas emissions for aapi subgroups is a top priority. and aapi groups across the country are making their voices heard by posting photos of why
they are more than just a large asian population. they are a he posting that's pictures on tumbler twist and facebook. i just saw one of these postings where students are holding p placards saying, i'm aapi, but i'm also japanese. so join them at hrbt all at allstudents count. i want to thank senator heller for his help on this bill. i also want to thank senators baldwin, cantwell, casey franken, markey and schatz for sponsoring my stand-alone bill, the all students act. which goes further than this amendment we'll be voting on today. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment because in fact, all students count. i yield back.
mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i ask consent that the time until 12:00 noon be equally divided between the two managers or their designees. further, that at 12:00 noon, it is senate vote on the following amendments with no second-degree amendments in order to any of the amendments prior to the votes -- reed amendment 2085 on school libraries; warner amendment 2086 on fiscal support teams; rounds amendment 2078 on indian country study. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. alexander: for the information of all senator we expect to need a roll call vote on the reed amendment and the warner and rounds amendments will be adopted by voice vote. mr. president, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. barrasso: and i ask unanimous consent that i be able to speak as if in in morning
business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. the deadline for negotiations to strike a deal with iran on its illicit nuclear program has been extended yet again. the deadline was june 30. it was postponed until tuesday and that was put off again for a few more days. now, according to the "wall street journal," the chief negotiator said, we're continuing to negotiate for the next couple of days. he went on to say that does not mean we are extending our deadlines, we are interpreting the deadline in a flexible way. what does that mean? you either have a deadline or you don't have a deadline. by the end of the week, the white house could announce that it has struck a deal or it could say once again it needs more time. if there is a deal congress will need to look very closely and carefully at what it actually says. there's some important things that i will be looking for in any agreement that is struck. first and foremost, any deal is going to have to dismantle
iran's nuclear weapons program. dismantle it. it's going to have to prevent iran from ever developing a path to a nuclear weapon. it's going to have to ensure that iran completely discloses its past work on the nuclear weapons. iran's also going to have to submit to an inspection and verification regime that is both extensive and long term. not just inspections when the iranians want it, when they allow it or where they say it can occur. now, that is the only way that we can really confirm that iran's promises are more than just empty words. america and other countries should not suspend sanctions until all of these conditions are met. so far i have not seen much to indicate that our negotiators understand how important these goals really are. there appear to be a lot of questions that have not been resolved and a lot of foot
dragging by iran to try to get additional concessions. secretary of state john kerry said on sunday, we're aiming to try to finish this in the time frame that we've set out. well that time frame was seven months ago in november of last year. the obama administration said it had reached what it called an interim agreement in november of 2013 and it said that it had a deadline of one year to reach a final agreement. which would have been november of 2014. when november 2014 came along iran got six more months to bully this administration into giving up even more ground. the deadline has been pushed back time and time again and according to news reports today it may be pushed back even further. the obama administration started negotiating with iran more than five years ago. in 2009, president obama promise that we, he said, will not
continue to negotiate indefinitely. with iran specifically. secretary of state hillary clinton said that same year that the window of opportunity for iran would as she should, not remain open indefinitely. well i'd love to know what their definition of the word "indefinitely" is. the missed deadlines are embarrassly i think -- embarrassing i think for the obama administration, make it look like they're extending the talks, make them look desperate and, you know what? the iranians know it. that's a big problem. iran is now demanding that the arms embargo be lifted as part of the negotiations. this recent last-minute demand shows that iran knows how eager desperately eager president obama is for a deal, any deal. this issue was supposed to have been settled already. back in april the white house said that -- quote -- "important restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles," they said, "will be a part of
any final agreement." now iran is seeing the president and secretary kerry are desperate for an agreement to build their legacy so it's bringing up the arms embargo again. according to news reports our negotiators have been willing to make a lot of concessions to get any deal. there was an article recently in "the washington post" about the negotiations. the headline was "in final hours, kerry says iran talks can go either way." the article said that negotiators have -- quote -- "a general feeling that they have come too far to fail." "they've come too far to fail." i want to be clear. walking away from these negotiations without a deal is not a failure. failure would be signing a bad deal. failure would be lifting sanctions before iran has shown that it has begun dismantling its nuclear program. failure would be a deal that doesn't automatically reinstate
sanctions if it turns out iran is not complying with the deal. failure would be a deal that allows any money that iran gets from sanctions relief to end up continuing to support terrorism which iran does. failure would be a world that is a much more dangerous place for all of us. and so far it seems like this administration is willing to make a deal at any cost. we've seen one point after another where the administration has apparently agreed to give the iranians exactly whatever they want. the negotiations went from initially -- initially being about stopping iran's nuclear program to now being an attempt to delay or to manage iran's nuclear program. even before the june 30 deadline passed senator menendez said for me, the trend lines on the iran talks are deeply worrying. he said, our red lines have turned into green lights. he said, our red lines have
turned into green lights. that's from a democratic senator it was that kind of concern that led congress this senate, to pass a law in may saying that congress would be able to renew renew -- review any deal with iran before the obama administration could lift sanctions. now, remember the obama administration fought that law >> law with a bipartisan -- a law with a bipartisan veto-proof majority in this body. the president didn't want congress or the american people to have any say at all. actually, the white house said they were planning to go directly to the security council of the united nations before going to the elected representatives of the people of the united states. well, any deal with iran on its nuclear program would have a huge affect on our nation's security and the american people do get a say. if somehow the administration manages to strike a deal and it
sends over all the necessary materials congress, if it's done today will get 30 days to review it. now, that's time we can use to make sure it really is in our country's best interest. the administration can't get us to the full text of an agreement before this friday the time line jumps up for 60 days to review it. that was what we said in the law that we passed in a bipartisan way this spring. if our negotiators can reach a deal with iran whenever that happens congress will use the time to look very closely at every word. if our negotiators can reach a deal with iran whenever that happens, congress will make sure that we look at every word and know what's in it. the goal, the entire reason that we are having these negotiations is not just to get iran to say "yes" to something. the goal initially was and should remain to stop iran's illicit nuclear program.
if the obama administration allows iran to continue with that program the world will be less safe less stable and less secure. any agreement any agreement our negotiators come up with must be accountable, must be enforceable, must be verifiable. if that's not the case, then it's a bad deal and the obama administration must not strike a bad deal with iran. this nation and the world cannot afford that, and congress cannot allow it. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the time under the quorum call be equally divided. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. barrasso: thank you mr. president. i recommend the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: we are considering the bill that has been known for years as no child left behind. it's a bill that the united states congress was supposed to reauthorize more than seven years ago when schoolkids come to visit me in my office here, i often ask them what would happen if they showed up and said that their homework was seven years late or eight years late. that's how long it's taken us to get to this place. as the presiding officer may know before i came to this senate, i had the honor of being the superintendent of the denver public schools serving school district that now has 95,000
children in it, 67% of whom qualify for free and reduced lunch. i should note that we got some sad news in the last month or two, which is that for the first time in our country's history the first time in the history of the united states, over half of the children attending public schools in our country qualify for free or reduced lunch. that's the effect of two decades of middle-class family income being stagnant and the effect of the worst recession since the great depression. and what people in washington need to understand is that when it comes to education in this country right now our kids don't have a fair fight especially our kids living in poverty. if you're born poor in the united states of america when you show up in kindergarten, you will have heard 30 million fewer
words. 30 million fewer words than your more affluent peers. ask any kindergarten teacher in the country whether that makes a difference and they will tell you it does. what are we doing as a country to fill that gap? not much. not much. so by the time kids get to elementary school, their early years, only one out of five is reading proficiently of the kids that are born poor. 20% are reading at grade level. ask any middle school teacher or high school teacher whether that's going to make a difference when that child gets to middle school or high school. where does it end in the land of opportunity for kids that are born into poverty in this country? if you are born poor in the united states of america your chances of getting a college degree are 0 the equivalent of a college degree are 9 in 100 which means in this global economy of ours that every year becomes less and less forgiving
to people that have less of an education, 91 out of 100 of our kids are going to be con strained to the margin of the economy and margin of the democracy from the very beginning, from the very outset. there are 100 desks in this room. there are 100 chairs in this room. if we weren't the senate, if we were kids born into poverty in this country not even those three rows of desks over there in that corner would represent people graduating from college. everybody else in this room wouldn't have the benefit of a college degree. we would never accept those odds for our own children. people in the senate would never ever accept those odds for our own children. i think that if we face those odds if our kids face the odds of showing up to kindergarten having heard 30 million fewer words, if you knew it was
assured that your child had a 20% chance of reading at grade level when they got to elementary school, i guarantee you, you would leave this place you would leave this senate, and you would go home and you would address the problem. but when it comes to public education, and especially our kids living in poverty in this country, we stop treating them like they're our kids. we're treating them like they're someone else's kids. we're leaving it to luck as to whether or not a kid can fill that 30-million word gap. i'm sure the presiding officer knows this, there are entire cities in this country rural areas in this country where school choice would be meaningless because there's not a good school to choose from. there's not a school in the neighborhood or in the city that anybody in this body would send their kid to. and that's where we are. now over the last decade or so, we've made progress in many
places across the country. the denver public schools is one of those places. it's the fastest growing urban school district in the united states. in 2005, the kids in the denver public schools and the denver public schools was dead last in terms of student growth of any school district of any size in the state of colorado. the last three years the denver public schools has led the state in terms of its student growth, both for kids that are free and reduced lunch and kids that are nonfree and reduced lunch. 30% more kids graduate and went to college this year than in 2005. now, i'm the first to say that we have a long, long way to go in denver to make sure that your zip code -- the zip code you're born into doesn't determine the educational outcome you get. but we're making substantial progress. i'd say if we could say as a country that every single urban school district since 2005 showed a 30% more increase in kids going to col
be feeling a lot better about where we're headed. there's a lot of debate in this body about what tax policy ought to be and whether or not we ought to think about redistributing wealth or not and who should pay what share of taxes. for some people the view is everything ought to be decided out there by the market. and i understand that point of view. but if that is your point of view you better be doing everything you can to make sure every single kid in the country has a shot at an excellent education. because if you don't then you're basically saying if you've got the bad luck to be born into a poor family in this country, you're on your own. you're on your own and you have a 9 in 100 chance of getting a degree that's actually going to allow you to compete in the global economy. nine in one hundred. because the one thing i know about kids born in this country they don't get to pick who their kids are. they don't get to decide whether
they're born into a zip code that's going to fill that 30- million-word gap by the time they get to kindergarten or they're going to get excellent school choices or allow them to go to college. today we're not talking about school education. that is very much a part of that conundrum we have because college is harder to afford even as it's become much more hard for people to succeed. i saw data the other day that said the average cost of tuition, the average cost of college, a family in the bottom quarter of the income ladder, after you account for student aid, would have to commit 80% of their income to afford one year of college. whereas if you're in the top it costs you 15% of your income. is that fair?
didn't used to be this way. in the 1970's, it wasn't this way. in the 1970's, the pell grant covered 76% of what it cost to go to the average college in this country. we're rolling up this carpet on the next generation of americans and i don't think it's fair. i don't think it's right. we should be having a debate about the size and scope of government. i believe that. we should have that debate. but as we're having that debate, we should keep in mind that we have an obligation to fulfill to honor the obligation that our parents and grandparents fulfilled for us which is to make sure that if you were willing to work hard, if you were willing to study hard, that college was going to be something that was attainable and that wasn't going to strangle you in debt. too many families across colorado are facing this challenge, and the saddest thing i hear in my town halls is when somebody comes and says, we can't afford to send our kid to
the best college they got into. what a waste that is. what a waste for that student what a waste for our society. so there's more for us to do on college affordability. but today we're talking about the elementary and secondary school act. and i think we actually make substantial progress in this bill. i want to say how pleased i am with the leadership of chairman alexander and the ranking member patty murray. they've done an exceptional job of managing this bill through our committee. we have a very diverse committee we have the junior senator from vermont on the committee and we have the junior senator from kentucky on the committee and because of chairman alexander's leadership and the work and leadership of the ranking member senator murray the bill actually passed out of the committee unanimously. imagine that. around this place. where we can't even agree on how to publish a report or what time
we should come to work. we have a committee in the united states congress where republicans and democrats unanimously agreed on -- on a bill. and -- and let me tell you it wasn't easy. if it would have been easy, we would have done it on time. we would have done it eight years ago when we were supposed to do it, when our homework was due. but i suppose it's better late than never and i'm very, very pleased with the product. there are more things that i would like to add but i think that -- i know that the teachers and principals and school leaders across colorado need us to fix no child left behind and i hope we can finally get it done this time. this bill is a good starting point. it eliminates nclb's one-size-fits-all approach to education which we know will not work. and it reempowers those who are closest to our kids to make the decisions that need to be made for their benefit. this bill includes many key
elements. importantly, it includes the requirement for annual assessment. and i know testing's not popular. i have three kids in the denver public schools. my three daughters go to the schools. i get an annual report on what the testing looks like and i know -- i believe we're overtesting our kids. but i think that's not because of the federal requirement. i think that's because of the federal -- i see the senator from tennessee is here. do you want me to withhold? thank you mr. chairman. i think there's a lot we can do to streamline those tests but it's not the federal requirement that's causing it. it's the way the federal requirement works with state assessments and district assessments and we've got to do a better job. and i also think we've got to think differently about the testing we're doing for teaching and learning which needs to be continuous and ongoing and inform teachers' instruction and inform teachers' leadership at
the school and the testing for accountability. the testing for accountability should be a lot less. we got testimony from the superintendent of the denver public school, tom folsburg, he thought for accountability purposes probably all we needed four hours a year of reading and amendment. i know the bennet girls would agree with that, they'd do that deal. but until somebody comes up with a better way of measuring where kids are we need the annual assessments. we have to have them because it's the only way you can show growth. you know, when no child left behind started it asked and answered a completely irrelevant question and a question that was so frustrating to the teachers i knew in the denver public schools and to the principals. it asked how did this year's fourth graders do compared to last year's fourth graders. completely irrelevant question. today because of the work done in colorado leading the way states around the country now measure growth of kids.
and what we asked is, how did this year's sixth graders do compared to how they did as fifth graders compared to how they did as fowt -- fourth graders and compared to everybody else in the state that's got a statistically similar test history. why is that important? because it allows you to establish growth or show growth and then you can actually evaluate how well a school is doing. because it used to be a no child left behind returned adequate yearly progress, which asked that wrong question -- how did this year's fourth graders do compared to last year's fourth graders? it used to be that we measured just what's called status. how proficient were the kids? how lucky were those kids? and you might have a school where kids were -- were proficient but were actually losing ground in terms of academic proficiency and we were rewarding those schools, we were calling those schools blue-ribbon schools. whereas there were schools in poor parts of town where teachers were killing
themselves students were killing themselves and they weren't proficient because they started so far behind but they were getting more than a grade level or two grade levels of increased proficiency during the course of the year. do you know what we called those schools, mr. president? under no child left behind, we called those schools failing schools. we called those teachers failing teachers. we called those students failing students. who were getting two years of growth while their more affluent peers might have been losing ground and we were saying they were winners. we've moved past that. this bill now acknowledges that. i wish this bill required growth which it doesn't but i believe states and districts will use growth to measure -- to measure data. the bill also continues to require that states and districts disaggregate data so we can actually understand where kids are. that's really important. before no child left behind
existed, we had absolutely no idea. and now we know. and the hard truth is that kids of color in this country aren't doing nearly as well as anglo kids in this country. and kids living in poverty aren't doing nearly as well as their middle-class or more affluent peers. and we need to do better. i run into people periodically who say to me that -- that you can't fix it unless you fix poverty. you can't fix the education system unless you fix poverty. don't tell kids in my city that are living in poverty that that's true. outside of every one of our schools is says, "school." it doesn't say "orphanage." it says "school." and we need to make sure that every one of those schools is delivering for every kid in our community, no matter where they come from. otherwise, what's left of us? what's left of this land of
opportunity? before no child left behind existed we had an impression, a vague sense of the inequities in our educational system. now we understand how deep they are and how rooted they are and we've got to continue to build on the successes that we've seen in high-quality schools working in poor neighborhoods that have actually delivered for -- for kids all over the country. this new bill -- and i see the senator from texas is here; i will yield to him as soon as he's ready -- this new version of the elementary and secondary school act importantly empowers states to design their accountability systems giving them more flexibility while ensuring that essential information is included. i think that's an important recognition led by chairman alexander, that there was a real overreach in no child left behind. as a former school superintendent, you know, i can
say that when i was superintendent, i used to wonder all the time why washington was so mean to our teachers and to our kids. and what i realized since being here is not that everybody here is mean. they mean well. but this place is the farthest place in the universe. i mean that literally. i don't mean that -- i don't mean that figuratively, i mean it literally. this is the farthest place in the universe from a classroom in the denver public schools or from a classroom anywhere in this country. and i think no child left behind in many, many ways was an overreach and the last thing i believe as a school superintendent is that i want to be told how to do the work in denver. i want to insist that we do the work. i want to insist that children all over this country have a chance no matter what state they're born into, no matter what neighborhood they're born into but i don't want people here telling people how to do that work.
there's a distinction. i've got more to say about this, mr. president but i'm going to to -- i see my friend from texas is here and so i will yield to him. and before i do that just congratulate the chairman of the committee who's here on the floor senator alexander from tennessee, for his extraordinary leadership on this bill. again, i remind my colleagues who are listening to this what a rare rare occurrence this is. this is a bill that passed unanimously out of the health, education, and labor committee. would not have happened without lamar alexander's leadership or senator murray's leadership from washington. mr. president, before i yield the floor, i ask unanimous consent that jessica bowen a fellow in my office, have floor privileges for the remainder of this session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president i thank the senator from colorado for his -- his graciousness. and i wanted to come to the floor and to talk a little bit about this important topic of
early and elementary education. i recall that when president george w. bush was governor of texas, of course education was one of his biggest priorities, both at the state and at the national level when he became president, but he had an interesting observation. he said, the more you talk about education the more people realize you actually care about it. and so i think it's important we talk about it. we think our way through this legislation and figure out what could we do to equip our children who are in an increasingly competitive environment, not only locally in our states and our nation, but globally. and, of course, one of the -- our -- the real joys of our jobs as united states senators is getting to visit with students in our state and that's something i did last week when i was back home. for example i met with a group of middle school students in amarillo way up in the texas panhandle.
at the tail end of a camp teaching students valuable skills in science technology, and mare, it is so-called stem skills. and i was very impressed with what i saw. first of all the instructors had figured out how to make this fun, which is an important element in education because some of this stuff can be pretty dry and boring, if memory serves me correctly. but they were literally building robots and then they presented their final projects to parents and teachers in a friendly competition. and needless to say i wish i'd had that kind of instruction. maybe i wouldn't have veered into the legal profession. i would have done something a little more productive in a field of science. i'm saying that with tongue planted firmly in cheek, of course. but i wish i had had instructors who would have inspired me to learn more about those important topics by using these sort of tools. and i also previously visited
for example united high school in loredo, where i was able to meet with high school students who were taking part in a first-of-its-kind program that teaches curriculum specific to the oil and gas industry in the region. well, why is that? because the shale plays in texas, which are the source -- the reservoirs, really, of this huge volume of oil and natural gas are being produced from, and lo and behold, it's not just producing income for the people who are drilling those wells and completing them. it's creating a lot of jobs. and what these students and the school districts like united high school in laredo have discovered is that this is really an opportunity for these students in high school to begin to learn some of the basics of petroleum engineering and other things that will prepare them for good and well-paying jobs later in life. but this program included intern ships, training and dual credit
coarses at local community college. these students were going to high school, but they're actually getting college credit at the same time at the local community college. and, of course, they were getting the real-world skills that they need to succeed in a burgeoning industry once they graduate and importantly graduates from the program will have as i said, access to high-paying, good jobs right out of high school, which unfortunately the history has been in laredo, texas and south texas, that hasn't always been the case. so this is a very hopeful development, thanks to the innovation in the oil and gas industry and thanks to the foresight and the genius, really, of the local school district there in laredo, texas. but this is a great example of how local communities and the economy can work to shape education and provide a win-win opportunity for students, local industries and the greater community. the united high school was able to create this program because it had the freedom and flexibility to develop its own
curriculum. with tailored input from local leaders, teachers, parents and industry leaders the people who create jobs, looking for people with discrete skills that they would then bring to the table to provide the work force that they need. this ground-breaking program in laredo wasn't thought up here in washington d.c. it's a product of local ingenuity and a community response to the educational needs specific to its students. i think this type of mindset is really important in education because as we have learned over the years the bureaucracy in washington can't tailor programs that will suit the needs of children in a wide variety of school districts across our states and across the country. not in laredo, not in amarillo and not anywhere else in the country. that's why i'm happy this week the senate is considering legislation that will help return a large measure of the
responsibility for our children's education of those closest to them, their parents their teachers, the local school boards and not so much the federal government. now, the federal government does have an interest, and we as americans all have an interest in being able to compete in a global environment and so high standards, those that will cause our students to strive to attain skills that they can use to compete anywhere in the world but in terms of its actual implementation i'm pleased that this legislation will push more of those decisions back out of washington back home to local school districts and parents. this legislation is, of course, called every child achieves act and it provides a road map to ensure our children receive and retain a quality education. by giving the responsibility for actually implementing programs which will help students achieve
these high standards, it will allow each state in the -- and the districts flexibility they need to design and implement their education programs and systems. this is really sort of another application of what louis brandeis called the laboratories of democracy when he was referring to the state government, and i think he was referring to that important principle of our constitution known as federalism. asen consequenced -- as ensconced in the tenth amendment in particular. but there is an irreplaceable role that the federal government plays in some aspects of our life. national security is perhaps a preeminent one. but there is a lot of benefit to getting some experiments at the state level and then we can learn without imposing a one-size-fits-all approach from washington d.c., what works best and then we can then learn and be informed by those practices in a way that improves
the result, and i'm thinking of criminal justice reform as another example in my state where we were an early participant in prison reform, which now has formed some of the basis for bipartisan legislation that we're considering here in the united states senate because of the successful laboratory experiment back in texas and rhode island and other states we are now taking those best practices and those results and figuring out how do we apply these perhaps to the benefit of other parts of the country. but under this legislation states like texas can decide how to use federally mandated test results to access -- to assess performance of students, schools and teachers. this gives the states much-needed relief from the pressure to teach to the test, something i hear over and over and over again back home, that teachers are finding that rather than a program where they teach stem subjects using robots and
inspiring young creative minds to engage and learn the science they need noferred to -- in order to play these sort of games in competition with robots teachers are finding themselves in a position of teaching to the test in sort of a mind-numbing process that nobody would find particularly inspiring. so this takes some pressure from that -- from that teach to the test mentality. it also gives states additional freedom to provide students with a more well-rounded education. put simply, with this legislation, states can decide for themselves what standards they need to adopt and importantly this legislation limits the power of the secretary of education to ensure that the federal government can't dictate direct or control state curriculum or standards. how insulting is it to have the states come on bended knee to the secretary of education and ask will you please let us have a waiver so we can try this
creative or innovative way of delivering an education to our students back home? how insulting is that and how contrary to the original scheme of our government, as created by our founders. so this bill, which was unanimously passed out of committee and i congratulate the chairman senator alexander and the ranking member, senator murray and all members of the health education labor and pensions committee for voting out this bill unanimously. this is a great bipartisan process that's, i think produced a very good product. and it's also just one of more than 150 bills reported out of senate committees so far this year. another sign that the senate is back to work for the american people. so i look forward to continuing the great progress that we have made in the senate by getting real education reform passed soon. mr. president, i yield the floor.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i come to the floor today to urge all of my colleagues to support the reed-cochran amendment to encourage states and school districts to integrate school library programs into their plans for improving student academic achievement. i would first like to thank senator cochran for his long-standing partnership in supporting school libraries. he had been a steadfast champion for ensuring that students had access to these vital resources. 50 years ago when president lyndon johnson urged congress to enact what would become the elementary and secondary education act he specifically called for an investment in school libraries saying that school libraries were simply limping along and implying and in fact insisting that we do better. sadly, this limping along is still true for too many communities in our united
states. this spring, "the washington post" ran an article -- ran articles on the inequitable access to school libraries in public schools in our nation's capital. and reporting that one school library in a wealthy part of town had 28,000 books and a library that spanned two floors, while 12 miles away, in a school in a poorer part of town, the school library had only 300 books along two walls. and if that's not a stock example of one of the things we hope we can fix through this act, i can't think of anything more blunt and to the point. recently the noted author james patterson made a pledge to help school libraries. more than 28,000 applications came in. one librarian reported that school libraries in her state had not received any funding for three quarters of a decade and that their collections and equipment were out of date and in disrepair and i suspect she's not alone in making such a report. we see this neglect despite the
fact that evidence shows that effective school library programs staffed by a certified school librarian have a positive impact on student achievement. while i'd like to see a much more robust school library focus initiative in the reauthorization along the lines of the bill that i introduced with senator cochran i'm very pleased that the underlying bill includes an authorization for competitive grants to help high needs school districts strengthen and enhance effective library programs. however, we need to do more to encourage states and school districts to integrate school library programs into their overall instructional program. effective school library programs are essential supports for educational success. if you understand how to use the library in school, that's not a skill that goes away. in fact, it's a skill throughout your life that you will use time and time and time again not only for your pleasure but for your progress and the progress of your family. knowing how to find and use
information are essential skills for college careers and just life in general. and a good school library staffed by a trained school librarian is where students develop and hone those skills. the reed-cochran amendment will encourage states and school districts to ensure that students have access to effective school library programs and once again i thank my colleague senator cochran i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this bipartisan amendment and i thank the president and i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. rounds: thank you mr. president. i rise today to speak on my amendment to the every child achieves act. this is amendment number 2078. i'd like to thank senator udall for joining me in supporting this important amendment. since my time working in the south dakota state legislature and also as governor of south dakota education in indian country has faced incredible
obstacles, especially in rural and in high poverty areas. this is true not only in my state but across the entire nation. because of these barriers, ten out of 13 bureau of indian education high schools in south dakota have graduation rates below 67%. six of those schools have graduation rates at or below 40%. meanwhile, the national high school graduation rate is 80%. these graduation rates must be changed, and my amendment will help lay a foundation to fix the systemic problems indian country faces. to address these concerns as well as other states' concerns, an analysis needs to be conducted to more closely examine these educational down downfalls, so today mr. president, we are proposing an amendment to the every child
achiefs act to direct the department of interior and education to both study and create strategies to address these challenges. this amendment is being supported by the national indian education association the great plains tribal chairmans association and the national education association and according to the congressional budget office amendment number 2078 will have no impact on federal spending. this amendment would require the departments of interior and education to conduct a study in rural and poverty-stricken areas of indian country, in order to identify federal barriers that restrict tribes from implementing commonsense regional policies instead of a one-size-fits-all policy directed from washington. it requires that they identify recruitment and retention options for teachers and school administrators identify the limitations in the funding source and flexibility for schools that receive these
funds. would study and provide strategies on how to increase high school graduation rates. mr. president, it is critical that we identify the limitations and barriers which tribal schools face and lay out a strategy to fix those problems. i hope my colleagues will join senator udall and me in supporting this straightforward amendment and help our students in indian country. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
senate is in a quorum call. mr. bennet: i ask it be vitiated. one other aspect of this will that is very important for the first time in the country's history finally the elementary and secondary school act will required to report actually per-pupil expenditures. mr. president, we are one of three countries because of the way we fund our public schools in the united states, we are one of three countries in the oecd who spend more money on more affluent kids than we do on kids living in poverty. that's not well understood, but that's a fact. that's the truth. and if you are concerned with closing the achievement gap in the united states which we need to be because if you look at the academic outcomes we see for sids in this country and extrapolate those outcomes against the changing demographics in the united states, we're not going to like what we see in the middle of the 21st century if we don't make
these changes. you'd think that if anything we'd be spending more money on kids living in poverty that are coming from disadvantaged backgrounds than we do on kids coming from advantaged backgrounds but we do the opposite in the united states. and the congress for decades has looked the other way. i believe we need to close this loophole it's called the comparability loophole, we don't do that in this legislation but at least the requirement that we move to reporting based on actual rather than average expenditures is an important step in the right direction. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. cochran: mr. president it's my understanding the senate is still considering remarks with respect to education and legislation that's pending before the senate. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. cochran: mr. president i'm
coming at this issue from a unique perspective. both of my parents were schoolteachers as i was growing up in mississippi my father was county superintendent of education of the largest public school system in mississippi for several years my mother was a mathematics educator teacher they had both earned graduate degrees as well as undergraduate degrees from colleges and universities in our state of mississippi. and my brother and i had the good fortune of growing up in this environment of learning and reading, so i have to confess that i'm biased in support of legislation that helps strengthen the capability of our nation's teachers and school administrators and providing opportunities for not only reading but complex learning at
early ages which would have been surprising to those of that generation who look around and can observe the great strides we're making in education throughout america. well growing up with this perspective and my appreciation of the importance of good teachers in our schools and makes me understand i think maybe more than most the importance that education serves in the lives of students, their teachers and the communities where they grow up. when i was a student and went to the library to check out a book book now there are all kinds of ways to get in touch with the written words today our school
librarians are more often specialists with education and specific training that help the students learn how to access educational material in every manner in which information is available in an increasingly digital society. children who know how to read and are comfortable using information technology are more likely to grow up with the capacity to learn throughout their lifetimes. the amendment i've offered with my good friend and senior senator from -- the senior senator from rhode island, seeks to help equip school librarians to do an even better job. our amendment would allow schools throughout the country to use federal funds in the way they see fit to strengthen their libraries. my hope is that the use of these additional funds will improve
education and literacy among children throughout america. mr. president, it's my understanding that the bill's managers support the amendment. i appreciate very much not only the good assistance and friendship of senator reed but his help specifically with this legislation. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president i ask that the call of the quorum be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: thank you very much mr. president. i come here today to speak about the bill pending before us called every child achieves act. this is the successor to the no child left behind which is the successor to the reauthorization of the elementary secondary education act. 50 years ago in 2015 -- in 1965 as part of lyndon johnson's morning to end poverty in the united states of america and to lift all -- be able to
lift people up, he asked congress to pass the elementary and secondary education act. it was the first act legislative act where the federal government was involved in education. up until that time, education was thought of as the purview of the states and local districts. senator johnson -- excuse me, president johnson agreed to with that as did the congress, but at the same time they knew that there were children living in abysmal situations of poverty and at the time of a national prosperity he wanted to lift those children up. great legislation passed during those 50 years, head start which continues to be a hallmark of really early intervention to help our children. of course programs like medicare were also passed at that time. but it was the elementary-secondary education act and particularly title 1
that was going to bring additional federal resources to local communities. again, focused on helping poor children close the achievement gap and giving them the ability to fully participate in our society. well that bill went on until 2001 when president bush said he wanted to make sure the children were out of poverty. president george bush said i'm a compassionate conservative, i'm concerned about the soft bigotry of low expectations of poor children particularly poor children of color and we've got to do something about it. and bringing the experiments that occurred in the states related to metrics and so on for highly qualified teachers, words like evidence-based, we passed no child left behind. and yes but what happened was
that instead of helping poor children we made many successes, we did face the fact that we did have low expectations. there was a soft bigotry. we agree with the wonderful comments of secretary condoleezza rice who was previously at the republican convention when she said that education is the civil rights issue of this time. so what do we have here now? we have here a bipartisan effort led by senators alexander and murray to come up with nowity one more reform of this historic legislative framework. i support this efforts. i want to salute their efforts and what they were able to do in this bill was again focus on helping poor children achieve supporting states and local governments with not intervention but assistance to be able to help.
we do know that one of the legacies of having metrics was that we so regulated our teachers as to make teaching almost inflexible, and we started to race for the test instead of race for the top. i believe that the efforts of alexander and murray deal with the mistakes from no child left behind and move ahead to close that achievement gap. i support the general framework of this legislation. i'm proud of the additions that i've made to this bill. one of which was to really make sure that there were allowable uses for something called wraparound or integrative services. while we insisted there be highly qualified teachers in the classroom, the teachers cannot deal with poverty. they cannot deal with the fact that 30% of children coming to school every day are homeless,
have no home, let alone in some ways the school is their educational home. they need a social worker, they need a school nurse the mental health challenges that many of our children are really astounding. so we were able to add that improvement. the other is that we were overlooking a national treasury. i -- national treasure. i was a big supporter of something called the javits bill. senator javits of new york many years ago realized we had overlooked treasure in our communities. it was the gifted and talented children children who were of exceptional educational capacity. and you know what, again coming back to the words of george bush there is that soft bigotry of low expecteddations. we really often come with latent bias that we don't believe that poor children are smart. we don't believe it many times
because of latent bias or overt bias that they're capable of achieving. what i moved in this bill was to under title 2 was once again acknowledge that in poor schools with poor children there are gifted and talented kids, many of whom have been identified by an outstanding program in my own state, the johns hop tennis school -- johns hopkins school for gifted and talented children. i look forward to moving this bill forward because i believe we support our teachers, we once again deal with low low-performing schools and at the same time we provide administrative and local flexibility so we minimize national mandates and maximize local achievement. so i want to salute murray and alexander. i know there are some amendments
that will be pending like the burr to title 1 which i will oppose because every county in my state loses money and will lose up to $40 million. but, mr. president i note the hour of noon is arriving and a vote will soon be underway so i ask unanimous consent that my full statement be included in the record. i look forward to supporting the bill providing the burr amendment is not included and i really want to salute senator alexander for his leadership and really encouraging bipartisan participation and thank senator murray for her leadership in including so many of these important reforms in our bill. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection, the full statement will be printed in the record. the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president i thank the senator from maryland for her remarks her contribution to our committee
her bipartisan leadership and effective leadership both in higher education and elementary and secondary education. i enjoyed listening to the remarks of the senator from colorado, the former denver school superintendent, who's added so much to our committee. and i congratulate the senator from mississippi for his -- for his contribution to the amendment on which we're about to vote. we'll have one roll call vote on the reed-cochran amendment and then we'll have two votes following that which will be -- which will be voice votes. mr. president, i have eight unanimous consent requests for committees to meet today during the session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent these requests be agreed to and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: under the previous order the question now occurs on amendment number 2085, offered by the senator from washington mrs. murray for
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or change their vote? if not the yeas are 98 and the nays are zero. the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order the question now occurs on amendment number 2086 offered by the senator from washington, mrs. murray, for mr. warner. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is adopted. under the previous order the question occurs on amendment number 2078 offered by the
>> homeland security secretary jeh johnson will speak on cybersecurity live coverage at 1:00 eastern. >> right now, former cia director michael payton called the opm data breach vague and embarrassing for the u.s. he spoke during this year's "wall street journal" cso network for them. we'll show you his comments while the white for secretary jay johnson at 1:00 p.m. eastern. >> we can all agree it's no more important issues that confront the u.s. and around the world on the issue of security.
particularly cybersecurity but all issues of security too. i can honestly say we could possibly have a better speaker tonight to discuss this topic. the gentleman you are about to hear from who has some very interesting and i tend everything to do with the nation security and corporate security is one of the most distinguished figures in his field. after a long and distinguished career in the united states air force he actually has the genuinely unique to internet being the only person to have served as director of the national security the and the central intelligence agency. ladies and gentlemen please join me in welcoming to the stage general michael hayden. [applause] >> thank you. i should say of course you are
not a principal at the chertoff group as well as numerous other hats you wear. an expert on all things to do with national security and all kinds of issues to do with security. let's get straight into something obviously very topical as i may. in the last week we had some pretty stunning revelations it is fair to say about breaches of security right on behalf of the u.s. government. the office of personnel management, opm has had an extraordinary breach in security where the records of millions and millions of messages government employees contractors, people who apply for government jobs and didn't get them personal file has to complete when they apply for government jobs have been hacked. we believe by the chinese government. can you if he would come in all of your experience in the
intelligence and security world just tell us how serious the breaches. >> first of all i don't have an inside knowledge that i'm actually very good at reporting the journal about this. the current story is the ministry of state security which is roughly the equivalent of the cia and the chinese system. the people's liberation army is roughly the equivalent of nsa. the chinese human intelligence service. that is one fact. the second fact, those records are rated budget and foreign intelligence target. sis director of cia or nsa would have had the opportunity to grab the equivalent in the chinese system, i would've not thought twice. i would not have asked permission. i would've launched the starfleet and brought those home
at the speed of light. so this is not shame on china. this is shame on us for not protect in that kind of information. finally, what can you do with this? so you kind of create this massive database the kind of home depot warehouse of information on americans employed by the u.s. government. some have suggested you use this for blackmail. not so much. this is actually information on you that is known to your government. i don't think that is a high percentage shot for blackmail. so you see this table here and people on this side are all prominent american scientists employed at sandia livermore fill in the blank. you are going to a prominent conference in singapore.
the chinese really want to know more about your research. and now with this database, dave know what school you went to where you live almost what kind of car you drive, how many children, what you have written about who are your foreign contacts, who is your wife. as they do the brash as the chinese target person xyz at this conference. either way, honorable espionage work. they'll do it, including our own. your paper on topic x i have been an admirer for so long. bid now you have your quiver filled with all of this personal information. by the way, your husband his work in the legal profession i
am blown away. >> ua chinese spy. incredibly important people appeared to! no one comes out and says here's a billion dollars. do you want to spy for the chinese? you begin to develop. i love your work. can i read the paper? six months later i am really feeling. this has been so wonderful for me. i'll tell you what let's establish a consultancy relationship. but he began to pay you so you can see where this is going. legitimate foreign intelligence i would've taken it in a heartbeat and we would've used it just along the lines. this is a tremendously big deal and my deepest emotion in his embarrassment. >> how does that happen?
we think of the scale of sophistication, chinese and russians have, but we always hope that america has a deeper level of sophistication. how on earth do something as valuable and important get to this? >> there are 23 layers. first of all the government system political system and popular culture. rot in competitions is the best explanation. look, you may or may not have seen me on tv. i really make an effort to tug the conversation towards the center. i've actually said look, i've been in those meetings. these are hard decisions. i don't want to second-guess people. i am very generous. this is what i've lost all
patience. what are you people thinking with regard to these kinds of records? that is one. that is that the executive branch level. at the political level recalled last week in washington. we began last week in washington with a brainy men the renegade national security agency for actually having phone bills, yours and mine, up at fort meade. that was monday and tuesday. wednesday we had the boston police department shooting someone who is arty committed to be had people. thursday we learned they had lost four -- make a 14 million records. look at the american political culture and that is not the level of congressional action. and then at the level of politics -- at the level of popular culture -- by the way
this is not meant to be a defense. i've heard he told you what i thought about the competency of the government. we americans, 300 or 2 million, have not yet decided what it is we want or what it is we will permit our government to do. and so we make those decisions these kinds of events are more likely. on all levels, executive branch incompetence, political branches, and meaningless activity getting people all excited about things. really not threats to their personal privacy. finally at the level of popular culture we continue to kick the can down the street as to what we want the government to do to defend your data in the cyberdomain. >> what i am getting at is that they can hack the information,
it is there any information the government has that is safe? >> yeah, note areas. in one sense, much to our disadvantage, an essay and cia. a cia were getting a report card as if they were fourth-grader on the backside of the block this has play well with others, we would not get good grades. cia does not share information. that is actually bad for america. on the other hand, bradley manning did not betray any cia information. edward snowden, no cia information. in a really dark evolution of this is that we have actually rewarded non-his behavior. i try to push cia and the
direction of more sharing. the cia is culturally far less generous than any other institution. cia gets to say you see what i mean. >> do you think this is a pure and very sophisticated hack or do you think there's any risk that there's some sort of an insight? >> i have no special knowledge about this. i know what i read. it looks as if this were done by a foreign intelligence service. without any further evidence i would point to the chinese as a matter of instinct. this feels like what the chinese have done to us in the past. again, when the chinese coast after a major american newspaper that is unfair. when the chinese go after american government information came on.
that is what adult nations due to one another. that is what this is. again, back to my point. don't blame the chinese. it is just us. >> you have a distinguished group of cfos. evelyn agrees this is one of the most important issues. security of the information, security networks. again if the federal government, which you would expect to have the highest level of protection and security can be ample treated in this way what hope can you offer? i know you do offer hope. that is what you do now for a living. tell us what the cfos, all up in the room for who this is absolutely job number one. >> so american military doctrine says that this cyberthing is actually a domain a place that location. so people with my background of land sea air space cyber.
it is a man-made -- i get it. god made these. we made this one. we messed this one up. we made this one easy to attack. >> the chinese believe that. >> i do. we've built this for convenience we did not build this for security. there are no rivers or hills up here. it is all flat and therefore all advantage goes to the attacker. that is one reality. the second reality is all about us fall in love with the ease and convenience and scale. we decided to take things we used to keep if not in a safe at least in our desk drawer and put it up here where it is by definition more vulnerable. number three we still have a bunch of scrimmage is down here in physical space about what it is you that your government do to keep you safe.
trust me. i wasn't just director of nsa. i was director of cia. we still have images about what is appropriate behavior on behalf of the government. we have no consensus whatsoever appear in the cyberdomain. what is the impact for you? the impact is the next sound you hear will not be a digital vehicle signaling the arrival of the calgary to save the day. the government ain't coming. you are more responsible for your personal welfare up here than you have been responsible for your personal welfare down here since the closing of the american frontier in 1890. you are not quite on your own do you are more on your own appear then in your lifetime have ever experienced being on your own down here. >> that is a terrifying process
of thought. one of the things we've seen in the last few years is not the chinese and others they sponsored intelligence agencies will go after the u.s. government. we have seen whether it is and famously the sunni hack the north koreans generally attributed to. we know that there are aggressive attacks all the time by state-sponsored organizations going after american corporations. not long ago i interviewed a ceo of a major company household name international name. i asked him about cybersecurity. he says here is an analogy. we are in a building in midtown manhattan which you can secure. you can security simple way against a truck bomber or someone with weapons coming along. good security can protect you against that.
do you think you can protect your building against an attack by an orchestrated navy seal on your building in an attempt to take care? of course not. that is what i'm dealing with. there's a major financial and duchenne. i can protect against basic levels of security threats ,-com,-com ma but if the chinese are the russians or iranians decide to throw everything at me what hope does he have? you are saying no help at all. what do they do? >> not quite no help at all. i'm trying to be quite candid in the way you expect the government to do projection against the chinese equivalent against the navy seals it is not that it is incompetent to defend you against digital seals, it is that you is that you're not giving your permission for them to defend you against digital seals.
i know you are from all around the country. imagine you are writing a level to whoever present to you and say dear mr. representative, i want you to go to the house and tomorrow make the following speech. what we need here is an essay more involved in domestic networks. that's not even a good going in position. [laughter] but wait it is the correct answer. the greatest concentration of cyberpower on the planet is about a 55 hour cab fare away from where we say. it is at the intersection the bottom of washington park way. you and i are not letting him on the field because you and i have genuine and legitimate concerns about our own security. by definition this government will always be linked to need. you are an american. i are off it you didn't grow up
around here. even gchq has four authorities and nsa will ever get. asp and australia has more authorities the nsa. it is just different political cultures. it is the way it is. more of a wait for your defense falls on you. before i get too dark i would've just left it there about 90 days ago. but in the last three or four months, our government has done some things that are not bad. number one, and we are going to get cybersecurity legislation out of the congress. i did not think it was possible, but we are. it's about an eight-inch babysat, but it will value to share information left or right between or among yourselves in north to south to train you and the government and get the liability protection against
regulatory punishment time. on one april, president obama issued an executive order in which he declared a cyberemergency and then said that the u.s. government will use tools beyond the cyberdomain to punish those who come after you and the cyberdomain. you have chinese still the design for your bus. they make it somewhere in china. now the u.s. government we will see if we live up to it. we have mated american policy that we will then attempt to punish the chinese firm with a complete suite of tools that doesn't get listed on the new york stock exchange. it doesn't dominate. it is international trade in dollars. students from the country don't
get to go to the university of their choice. >> my name is sandra schwarz. and senior vice president for external relations here and get to stand in for john henry here who is traveling. just a couple housekeeping announcements. first of all we have to do this as sort of our smokey the bear thing. if there is an emergency, we have blue jackets outside that will direct you to way out. we don't expect there to be an emergency but we have to say that. it will be very easy to spot where to go with their race. second, i want to say at the end of the program today please stay in your seat until the secretary can leave. and this is a little bit unusual. please leave as soon as you can. we have been a have another secretary visiting here today. the secretary general communist
party of vietnam who is stalling and so thus we have pretty high-security event here. a couple high-security events in a row. we do a lot of events at csi snc now, but this is a bit of a juggling act today. with that, it is my pleasure to welcome him my colleagues the very distinguished and honorable john o'keefe. john is former secretary of the navy former director of nasa and the neck to my graduate i feel compelled to say former chancellor of lsu. he is wearing a is wearing a list of colors today. go tigers. sean is here at csis as a senior at eisner with the maxwell school. my favorite people in the front row here. general scowcroft judge webster, good to see you well. thank you for being here. with that, i would like to introduce the honorable sean
o'keefe. [applause] >> thank you, andrew. i appreciate the opportunity to be here to moderate this particular session on such an important occasion. while some of that may be in reference to this morning's event which you will hear a lot more about in a minute the other thing we need to reflect on a bit as we have just emerged from yet another uneventful national holiday this past weekend with absolutely no incentive whatsoever. and yet the reason for that is an accidental. the consequence of the diligence of extraordinary people thousands on our behalf who dedicate themselves to ensuring the freedom to do the kinds of things we did this past weekend celebrating the birth of this nation and and also to the extraordinary opportunities that we have because of what they do.
they got virtually no recognition for those non-events. the gentleman who represents all of them here is a distinguished public servant who has spent a considerable period of his professional life in public service have been started and certainly been involved as a professional attorney, he has risen through a number of different positions as the general counsel of the air force, the assistant u.s. attorney in the southern district of new york. as the general counsel of the defense department prior to becoming the secretary of homeland security. he is the fourth to occupy the capacity. in each of these roles he has distinguished himself as an exemplary servant who is focused on the challenges of the kinds of jobs and issues that ultimately have been brought to ahead in this capacity
protecting all of us as the secretary of the department of homeland security, the honorable jeh johnson. [applause] >> thank you very much. can everybody hear me? yes, okay. thank you very much. it is great to be back here at csis. thank you for allowing me to speak here today. i want to open my remarks by talking about today's events. the topic of the speech's cybersecurity related to cybersecurity, it appears that today we had system malfunctions at united at the new york stock exchange and "the wall street journal." i have spoken to the ceo of united, jeff seismic, myself.
it appears from what we know at this stage that the malfunctions at united and the stock exchange were not the result of any nefarious actor. we know less about "the wall street journal" at this point except that their system is back up again as is the united airline system. cybersecurity is a top priority for me for the president and for this administration. it is my personal mission before i leave off is to significantly enhance the department of homeland security's role in the cybersecurity of our nation. ..
i can build you a perfectly safe city, but it will look like a prison. we can build more walls install more invasive screening interrogate more people, and make everyone suspicious of each other. but not of the cost of who we are as a nation of people who cherish privacy value the freedom to travel and associate, and celebrate our diversity. the same is true for cybersecurity. cybersecurity involves striking a balance. i can build you a perfectly safety and health system but
your contact will be limited to about 10 people. you would be disconnected entirely from the internet and the outside world. this too would be like a prison. the reality is we live in an interconnected networked world. cybersecurity must also be a balance between the basic security of online information and the ability to communicate with and benefit from a networked world. in the meantime the reach of the end it is growing an exponential rate. today, they are more connected devices than human beings on the planet. in just five years the number of devices connected to the internet is estimated to exceed 50 billion. at the same time cyber threats are increasing in their frequency, scale, sophistication and severity.
the range of cyberthreat actors methods of attack, and targeted victims are also expanding. this affects everyone, both in government and in the private sector across the country and across the globe. not a week goes by without a news report of another organization being hacked. these threats come from a range of factors including nation-states with highly sophisticated capabilities profit motivated criminals, and ideologically motivated hackers or extremists. in the case of the breach of the office of personnel management, a large amount of highly personal and sensitive information was taken by a very sophisticated actor. we have determined that federal personnel records were, in fact taken by this actor. dhs, the fbi and the nsa have also determined that opm's system containing information related to background investigations was compromised.
as required by law opm provided notice to approximately 4.2 million people who were impacted by the data breach involving employee personnel records. opm is to working with an interagency team to address the total number of people affected by the breach involving security clearance background investigation information. the opm breach also remains the subject of an ongoing investigation. we have strong evidence about the identity of the actors behind the breach. as the dni said last week there is a leading suspect but we are not prepared to publicly identify those actors at this time. to be frank, our federal cybersecurity is not what it needs to be. but we have taken and are taking accelerated and aggressive action to get there.
in response to the opm breach, on june 12 the white house announced the establishment of a cybersecurity sprint team comprised of omb, the nsa dhs and dod personnel to conduct a 30 day review of the federal government cybersecurity policy procedures and practices. on a week prioritized basis were deploying teams to assess the highest value systems across the federal civilian government. and hunt for and remove adversaries identified in the system. this response to the opm breach is part of a much broader federal cybersecurity effort that has been underway for some time. there is a great deal that has been done and is being done now to secure our networks. we do in fact block a large number of intrusions and exfiltration's comically those
by state actors. but we can't and must do more. and as i said before, congress can help. by law each head of a federal department or agency is primarily responsible for his or her agencies own cybersecurity. the department of homeland security has overall responsibility for protecting federal civilian systems and cyber threats, helping agencies better defend themselves and providing response teams to assist agencies during significant incidents. national security systems such as those used by the military and intelligence and the intelligence community are secured by the department of defense and the dni. there is no one silver bullet for cybersecurity. they key is to install multiple layers of protection to best secure our networks.
the department of homeland security's national cybersecurity and communications integration center or nccic, as we callit, is the u.s. government 24/7 hub for cybersecurity information sharing, incident response and coordination. 13 u.s. departments and agencies and 16 private sector entities have regular dedicated liaisons at nccic one over 100 private sector entities collaborate and share information with the nccic on a routine basis. given the central importance of the nccic to the dhs mission i have elevated within our structure so it's leaders have a reporting relationship directly to me. the nccic shares information on cyber threats and incidents and provides on site assistance to victims of cyber attack. in this fiscal year alone, nccic assured over 6000 bulletins alerts, and warnings come and responded on site to three to
incidents, over double the number for the entire prior year. the nccic is also the place where we managed the einstein system. einstein is the first basic layer of protection. we provide at the network perimeter of each federal civilian department and agency. einstein consists of three programs. einstein i and einstein ii said at the perimeter. einstein i observes and records basic information about all activity entering and exiting and agency network. it is like a recording camera sitting on the perimeter fence back and reviewed to determine when or if a certain individual enters or exits the compound. einstein ii detects no prohibited adversaries that it entered or exited the fans and alerts us.
einstein wanted to detects malicious activity. the nccic shares the information with all departments and agencies your this affords those departments and agencies the opportunity to take appropriate actions to protect themselves. by the end of 2005 einstein i and einstein ii were deployed to protect only three federal agencies. today, both protect all federal civilian traffic routed through a secure gateway to the internet. then there is einstein iii accelerated, also known as e3 a. it resides with the internet service providers, serving the federal government. turn 11 has the capacity to both -- both identify and block known malicious traffic. like the system that protects the department of defense one key value of e3 a is that it is an intrusion detection and prevention system that uses
classified information to protect unclassified information. it was first deployed in 2013. by december 2014, e3a protected 237 housing 414 federal personnel. today, e3a protects over 931,000 federal personnel, or approximately 45% of the federal civilian government. i have directed that dhs make e3a fully available to all federal departments and agencies, and if challenged us to make aspects of the three available to all federal civilian departments and agencies by the end of 2015. e3a has demonstrated its value, since it's in a passionate introduction of the three has blocked over 550,000 requests to access potentially malicious
websites. these events are often associate with adversaries who are already on federal networks attempting to communicate with their home base and steal data from agency network. importantly, einstein iii a is also a platform for future technologies and capabilities to do more. this includes technology that will automatically identify suspicious internet traffic for further inspection. even if we did not already know about particular cybersecurity threats. as an additional line of defense, the department of homeland security helps federal agencies identify and fix problems in near real time using continuous diagnostics and mitigation programs or cdm come as we go. once fully deployed cdm will monitor agency networks internally for vulnerabilities that could be exploited by bad actors that abridged the
perimeter. cdm will allow agencies to identify prioritize and fix the most significant problems first. it will also provide dhs with situational awareness about governmentwide risks for the broader cybersecurity mission. cdm is divided into three phases, the first phase which is being deployed now checks to ensure that all computers and software on agency networks are secure. the second phase will monitor uses of agencies networks and ensure that they do not engage in unauthorized committee. the third phase will assess activity happening inside agencies networks to identify anomalies and alert security personnel. to date we have made the first phase of cdm available to aid agencies covering over 50% of the federal civilian government. i have directed and we expect
that dhs makes the first phase of cdm tools available to 97% of the federal civilian government by the end of this fiscal year. i am also requesting authorization from congress to provide additional funding to speed up the cdm phase 2. as our detection method continue to improve, more than will come to light. in fact, opm was able to detect the recent breach as a direct result of implementing new tools and best practices recommended by dhs. as we are able to see and block more events, we will thereby identify more malicious activity and frustrate and attempt to access sensitive information and systems. nccic also provides on site assistance to federal agencies as well as to private companies operating critical infrastructure. we in effect make house calls
your when incident like an opm breach occurs the nccic helps the victim organization find adversary, drive them out and restored service. the nccic also coordinates responses to significant incidents when other government agencies give them the information they need to respond effectively and to ensure unity of effort. by the authority given to me by congress in the federal information security modernization act of 2014 i cannot as secretary of homeland security issue binding operational directives to federal departments and agencies to a binding operational is a direction to agencies to mitigate risk to their information system. i've issued the first binding operational directive on may 21 of this year. this directive required agencies to promptly fix critical vulnerabilities identified by our nccic on their networks.
we know we must drive change from the top thus working with omb we notified department and agency heads so that they are aware of the status of their own agency efforts to comply with my directive. departments and agencies responded quickly and have already reduced critical vulnerabilities covered by the binding operational directive by more than 60%. next come information sharing is also fundamental to achieving our mission. in order to sufficiently address the rapidly evolving threat to our cyber system we must be able to share cyber information as quickly and in as close to real-time as possible. to accelerate the speed and expand the breadth of our information sharing we are taking three actions. first, we are supporting the development of information sharing and analysis or
decisions as called for in the president executive order 13691 which he sighed on february 13 of this year. next month we will as directed by the president selected the organization that will develop best practices to these. by supporting the development, we want to help companies regardless of size, location or sector share information with their peers and with the department of homeland security. second, i directed an aggressive schedule for deployment of next-generation information sharing techniques by the nccic. dhs itself now has a system to automate our sharing of cyberthreat indicators, and we're working to extend this capability across the federal government and to the private sector so that we can send and receive this information in near real-time. one agency is already receiving cyberthreat information via this
automated system, over a month ahead of our original schedule. we expect multiple agencies and private sector partners will begin sharing and receiving information through this automated system by october of this year. third, we are working closely with other agencies of our government to stand up the cyberthreat, intelligence integration center, or ctiic. this to send will help us better understand the various threats and provide more actionable and timely intelligence to the nccic to share with our private sector partners. finally, there is more congress can do. congress has a role in cybersecurity, to ensure that with adequate resources and budget, and the legal authorities necessary to pursue our mission. last year in addition to passing the federal information security modernization act, congress give us additional authority to hire
cyber talent and codified the role of the nccic as the federal interface with the private sector for cybersecurity. but there is more the congress can do as i said. the recent breaches in cybersecurity demonstrate the urgency of acting now come and we appreciate the good bipartisan work on cybersecurity legislation now under way in congress. we believe there should be three basic things in any cyber legislation. first, congress should expressly authorize the einstein program. this would eliminate any remaining legal obstacles to its deployment across the federal government. the house has passed h.r. 1731 which accomplishes this by ensuring agencies understand they are legally permitted to disclose network traffic to dhs for narrowly tailored purposes. second we must incentivize the
private sector, to sheer cyberthreat indicators with the federal government through the nccic in a manner that provides protection from civil and criminal liability, for private entities that share threat indicators with us, and protects privacy. third, we need a national data breach reporting system in lieu of the existing patchwork of state laws on the subject and enhance criminal penalties for cybercrime. in the meantime as i described above, we are moving forward. as we improve our defenses cyber adversaries will continue to improve their own efforts to break through them. this problem is not unique to the cover. it is shared across the global cybersecurity community. our adversaries are constantly evolving and so must our tools to combat them. we cannot detect and stop every single intrusion. that is not news so often the
most sophisticated actors penetrate the gates because they know they can count on a single user letting his guard down to an act of spear phishing. at my message today is we have increased and will continue to increase the instances in which attempted intrusions are either stopped at the gate or rooted out from inside the system before they cause damage. we are taking action. we are aggressively strengthening our defenses. we are accelerating the deployment of the tools we have in working to bring new ones online. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, sir. appreciate of that. >> thank you, mr. secretary. >> thank you, mr. secretary. appreciate really the
opportunity speed secretary of the navy as a lot cooler job than this. [laughter] >> i didn't have aircraft carriers spent one of the tops in my book, no doubt about it. i owe them a great deal. >> can i take the liberty i just acknowledge admiral scowcroft and -- i saw your portrait. so good to see. thanks for being here. >> outstanding. it's a great pleasure to see. thank you all for being here. it was an extraordinary commentary that you offered on a variety of different elements of the cyber challenge. how would you characterize the nature of evil is for the ability right now to cyber? >> well, part of it is what i said at the end what amazes me when i look into a lot of
intrusions, including some really big ones, by multiple different types of actors, it very often starts with the most basic act of spear phishing, where someone is allowed indicated, penetrates the network, simply because an employee clicked on something he or she shouldn't have. and the most sophisticated actors count on penetrate a system in that way. which means that a lot of our cyber city efforts have to be rooted simply in education of whatever workforce we have. second, there are some really sophisticated actors out there with different motives. i think we all know them. we have right now under way what
i consider a very aggressive effort to raise the number of instances in which we are successful to come and blocking the efforts to infiltrate the system. as i said in my remarks we are not what we need to be come and i've made a personal mission of the giving us to raise the bar and get us to a better place. >> part of the commentary you offered in terms of trying to mitigate instances is to act as a primary federal department agency for the purpose of broader coordination of information, the einstein system is a terrific example. getting great coverage here in the course of the opm incidents of how so many of your team have testified to to have it works and how effective it is. very broad press coverage of
their what you think is educated the public more broadly to understand what the scope of that system is and how useful it can become. but beyond the point of just simply -- not syndicate beyond the point of coordinating this important information that can highlight vulnerability to each federal agency, we look at the full scope of all of the federal interests to have ascribed a role in the cybersecurity challenge, ranging from intelligence committee, but also through the treasury department, through the fbi, wide range of different agencies at all have a stake on this. how do you coordinate backwards -- efforts? >> that's when asked to do. that's one dhs today. you are correct that there are a number of federal departments and agencies with a cybersecurity role. each agency and department has
its own cybersecurity responsibilities back to its own system. but there are a lot of federal agency departments that have a broader cybersecurity mission. and it's on us in government most prominently the intelligence community to dhs and the fbi and dod come to coordinate our efforts to effectively partner and dhs is the civilian interface for cybersecurity. fbi asked the long for the investigative mission. the intelligence community has their mission obviously but the way we see it as a way with setting this up, dhs and the nccic in particular is a primer portal for the civilian private sector and for the federal civilian dot gov world and it's on us and i've encourage our people to do this to
effectively work with and partners the other agencies who have a role in this process and coordinate the efforts. the intake is essentially -- intake is essentially a multi-agency entity psi mentioned in my prepared remarks one of the things we're doing with considerable urgency is getting too near real-time information sharing. so if something comes in the door we can do the proper bedding for privacy and so forth and get it out in automated fashion to the players didn't have the information. >> your final comment on the role of congress, i assume is in part to highlight the fact that we are consistently looking for authorities to the department of homeland security to direct those priorities can be directed to the appropriate channels. is that a fair assumption speak with yes.
we've got some cyber suit legislation at the end of last year, which is good but there's a lot more we can do. i am encouraged that there's a lot of bipartisan support. the house bill and mentioned in my remarks passed by a wide bipartisan margin of 5350 vote in the house, for a difficult subject. i'm encouraged by that and it is a lot of activity right now in congress that i'm hoping that we get cyber legislation and it really is to codify our legal authority and to encourage information sharing by the private sector. and a very significant component of that which the president supports is limiting potential criminal and civil liability for those who share cyber threat indicators with us. so that was a big threshold to cross. we support it.
we think it's good. for my corporate lawyer dave i know boards of directors think and so limiting, limiting liability for sharing cyber threat indicators is meant to be a strong encouragement, inducement to the steady cybersecurity mission for the country. >> before we open up the door for comments and questions can i want to follow up on that last comment you made. because you are far more aware of this than anybody. industries, companies in various markets, in widely diverse markets have been progressively making elective choices of their own to erect their own defenses, subsidy systems -- >> and they should. >> before they go down the path to expend enormous amount it takes to do that, it's often very and uniquely positioned and so forth, what would be your best advice to any ceo, any board of directors prior to
making those investments of how they ought to think about going about structuring that own defenses? >> well, i'll start with an observation. one observation is that in the private sector there are companies and sectors that are very sophisticated when it comes to cybersecurity come into their others in others in the food chain that or not. need a lot of help and a lot of learning. there are ways for some of the more sophisticated players to encourage the less sophisticated to do that. my advice would be invest in the latest and best technology. there are lots of cybersecurity firms out there that are in a position to advise. there's some good ones but also a key to cybersecurity can even get the best technology in place, is information sharing. and that's where dhs can come
in. that's where part of the private sector can come in and play a role. information sharing is key even among the most dedicated actors. you can't act in a vacuum. you want to be other all alone. effectively partnering within the federal government and with the federal government. those are the three as i see them. >> please, let me open it up. >> one of the things i would like to add -- >> he gets the call, sorry spirit you touched on this in the beginning of your remarks about july 4. very often in public reports we see a lot of concern expressed about specific events, emanating from statements made by government but there very often we don't finish reading the entire paragraph for the entire
sentence. and so i gave a statement the week before july 4 and it was consistent with many statements i have made, which is that public needs to continue to be vigilant around holidays, public events. but we encourage people to continue to go to public events celebrate the country, and not be afraid. we are a free society. we as i said cherish the freedom to associate, freedom to travel and we should continue to do that. the homeland security press is definitely there. but i don't want to see people run and hide. i don't want to see people stay in bed all day. i think we need to and should continue about our daily lives
participate, support large public events. one of my best lines is that terrorism cannot prevail if people refuse to be terrorized. i've seen just in my time in this office, 18 months when an attack occurred, americans can whether it's oklahoma city or boston or deny this military or any place else come back even stronger. i think that's part of who we are as americans. we need to continue to do that. >> that's very helpful. >> turn me over to questions spirit yes ma'am. >> thanks for your speech and discussion. jennifer with -- in recent -- u.s. and china agree to export initiatives -- on cybersecurity geishas. what are the initiatives from
the u.s. perspective? is there any concrete ideas for next round cooperation between the two countries and what is your expectation on cybersecurity issue discussion when president visits september visit to thank you so much. >> i went to beijing myself in april. met with a number of chinese government officials, and i have encouraged us to find common ground where we can in terms of information sharing, and in my time in office, we have done that to a limited extent. but it is also a work in progress. i think that we have differing views on a lot of fundamental issues, a lot of fundamental understanding about the nature of cybersecurity. so it continues to be a work in progress, but i think that dialogue can be good.
>> i have to agree with all your statements, specially the one about the urgency for bringing in the latest technology from specially on the networks that are much more secure than antiquated systems. my colleagues have discern that -- which caused to the federal reform actor can you talk to us about dhs' efforts to be need for speed and removing barriers speak with the edge is yes, we are doing that as part of our unity of effort and initiative on my watch which i announced and created last spring. we are reformed our acquisition process and we have an initiative to do that, to remove a lot of the barriers. part of the initiative we have
taken in acquisition is actually consult the private sector. in my professional life i actually have lived most of that professional life in the private sector as the service provider meaning a lawyer, and so we have an acquisition reform initiative underway right now which was recently formed. we have a terrific, new undersecretary for management, confirmed by the senate, who was my former client. he was the executive vice president for administration at johnson & johnson. many ways it resembles dhs. it is a large decentralized conglomerate of health care companies, and russ was vp for administration and oversaw a lot of their aspects of their business. so he is with us now.
he's come out of retirement to take on this job and acquisition reform is part of his mission. >> thank you. a number of senior dhs officials have identified susceptibility of the gps signal to jamming as a cyber problem and have called it a single point of it failure for critical infrastructure. could you tell us about dhs' efforts to limit that vulnerability? >> that's a good question. unguided expert on the particular topic. i do know that we spend a lot of time, we have an assistant secretary for medical infrastructure, and we spent a lot of time interfacing with critical infrastructure, does business as we consider critical infrastructure on single points of failure and the like.
so it is a collaborative discussion and exercise with critical infrastructure on these types of vulnerabilities. >> yes, sir, way in the back. >> yes, mr. secretary center mike warner's office. i should mention dhs has the responsibility for protecting the dot gov especially now it's prevalent in light of the opm breach. but what would you say in terms of the authority that you have? i know you've got some last year but in terms of the department's ability to implement countermeasures issued pashtun issue directives to agencies who may not be up to the minimum standard in terms of cybersecurity. could you use more -- >> yes. legally, each agency and department head has the responsible for their own system legally. i stress that to my colleagues.
we have the responsibility for the overall protection of the federal civilian dot gov world sort of the baseline, and as i see it and as we see it when we need help in protecting federal cybersecurity is legal making express our legal authority to receive information from other departments and governments, occasionally we encounter an agency lawyer, and i used to be one, that says i'm not sure i can share that with you. we encounter that after about and it gets in the way. and so we want the express legal authority to make it plain that when we utilize things like
einstein, einstein 3a, those other agencies are authorized to share information with us to give us access to our network. as i mentioned in my prepared remarks, i issued what's called a binding operation directed in a person to some authority we got late last year which was quite helpful because that's basically a direction to another agency. here's your vulnerability, you must tell me how you are cleaning up your act within a certain number of days. and that plus educating people at the top of the agency's i think was pretty effective. this was a good exercise and we will do a lot more of these. because we saw that agencies were able to clean up something like 60% of the vulnerabilities we identified in a very short period of time. >> way on the far end.
[inaudible] >> the way the government has responded to the two incidents and how do you think about how response and services for future attacks? the? >> good question committee think the only thing i can say is that there are many different factors that go into whether you're at a point at which you can and should identify the actors whom you think have you. -- hacked you. as i said in my statement, that dni said we have a leading suspect but we are simply not prepared at this point to identify who that is. the sony situation was a different type of situation. so there are a lot of different factors that go into the
calculations. it was, in many other respects, a different type of episode different character, different nature. >> yes sir. >> my name is martin from the council of scientific society. could you clarify in your mind or in verbal form what constitutes the difference between somebody and 80 from outside the country something that damages us very significantly, we consider this an act of war, versus somebody coming the same way doing more damage but it's in the cyber realm and thus not being able to define what it is? either for a long time define actors, know what to do about it. are they going to leave this place area undone or are we going to actually start
formulating something concrete around it? >> from my dod lawyer days my view is that when you are talking about overseas acts when you're talking about acts that involve state actors it is less significant whether or not we can try something as quote-unquote act of war. more significant that the response be proportionate not necessarily of the same kind but proportionate. that is a basic law of war tenant and so i don't know that we necessarily need to put a label act of war on something in order to respond proportionately to it. but i do believe that a proper response is our important.
>> we have time for a couple more. t. have time for two more? >> sure. >> i'm with the naval postgraduate school and i the privilege of working with -- when he created the whole i.t. thing at dod. i have two questions. one is much relationship to cyber command at dod and nsa? more importantly does your acquisition reform affect all of government or just you? because we were buying computers, we were buying aircraft carriers. >> our acquisition reform, my acquisition reform is for dhs been so you haven't done for all of government speak with no, i'm just dhs. >> no, no, no. i get that but speeded i am not all of government stood by the whole question of all of government is so much a part of -- >> we can and we have when it
comes to cybersecurity, at dhs recommend various cybersecurity tools for agency. that's part of our mission. and i think we effect sometimes by them for the. put us in the realm of cybersecurity but if you're asking about dod acquisitions, don't get me started last night but that's a different -- >> but think about the size and the time and for people to understand what the costs are going to be as things get better and you have to keep repeating it and you want everybody to keep doing that. not just you. >> there are smart ways to get acquisition in my view. not be on -- that's beyond our reach. i'm a big believer in not necessarily going with the biggest and most expensive tools. sometimes the actor, you know, who's a little smaller leaner a little hungrier, can do a better job for you.
i know that as a service provider. and it hundred and we -- my department is only 12 years old. in many respects we are far too stovepipe. the way the department of defense is come in and goldwater-nichols in 1986 almost 40 years after their creation. i'm trying to get dhs to a place where we in a more collaborative joint fashion function in terms of our acquisition decisions, our budget decisions come in a more centralized way earlier in this cycle or earlier in the process. now in our 13th year and not wait 40 years. so that's what our unity of effort and initiative is all about. >> final question. right here.
>> my name is an excellent start and i have come on formally with the office of inspector general for usaid and special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction so i have experienced both the dot mil at the dot gov system. however, i may be destiny from the sublime to the ridiculous with my question. you had mentioned private sector partners and gateways and how people try to improve upon various gateways. and i'm wondering if dhs has communication with -- [inaudible] david beers ebay has a numerous come in numerous -- spear phishing and i was myself a victim of the a couple of days ago. >> if we are not, then we probably should be. that's the answer to your question. [laughter] >> mr. secretary, on behalf of
>> the u.s. senate is in recess now for party lunches. members returning at 2:15 p.m. eastern time to continue work on changes to the no child left behind law. we will continue live coverage 2:15 p.m. eastern about 15 minutes from now here on c-span2. reese made a request for aid from europe's bail out funded as it delivered details of its proposed economic reforms in time to secure the country's future in the year. the government has asked for a three-year loan program and insisted the rescue will be accompanied by major economic reforms. no amount was mentioned. going to show you some of the greek prime minister's comments today to the european union parliament while we wait for the senate to return shortly.
[speaking in native tongue] >> translator: thank you very much, mr. president. esteemed members, it's a great honor for me to be able to address the democratic forum in your. thank you for the invitation. it's an honor to be able to address the great representatives of the people of your. son the official time for the euro zone and european union as a whole. i find myself here only a few days after the verdict of the greek people. after a decision to give the
floor directly to ask the greek people directly to be part come an active part of the negotiations affecting the future of today's after this record not been given a mandate to redouble our efforts. in order to get social and just and economically sustainable solution to the greek problem. without repeating the mistakes of the past which contain the greek economy, to a period of never ending and impact of austerity which trap our economy into recession, vicious circle. the response by the greek people at the time when they had
pressured with the bank closings, with the campaigns and the media terrorizing them into feeling that no -- [inaudible] negotiations with europe. [applause] i think they showed they stood up and were counted. this was the voice of democracy. and we have to listen to what they said, as i was saying. this was a courageous choice by the greek people. and this is not a decision of breaking off negotiations with europe. it's one of going back instead of return to the principles of european unification. at the start of democracy and of solidarity going back to mutual respect and going back to the
quality. it is a crystal clear message. [applause] this is a crystal clear message that europe our common european and edifice, european union with either the democratic or it will have immense difficulties in surviving under the challenging circumstances. these ongoing negotiations between the greek government and others are aimed to reconfirm the dual forms of respect in europe, both for the grant of the european union and also full respect for the democratic choice of our peoples. my government, i myself personally and our government --
[inaudible] five a half months ago however the bailout programs, the programs have been in force for the past five and half years. and i fully assume the responsibility for what has happened in the course of these five and half months. however, i think we must be sincere recognize that the basic responsibility for the impasse which the greek economy grew five bits of income and impacts which over all your fight is a bit the choices which have been made don't just contain the past five and half months. they also extend the past five pictures with the publication of programs which have not help to get out of the crisis that faces. let me assure the house that quite apart from the crisis we will continue with our reform
undertaken. but let's not forget the fact for the past five years the greek people has made a tremendous effort for adjustment very harsh and difficult process of adjustment. but this has exhausted the resilience and the patients of the greek people. and this is not just something which has been confined to greece. other countries go we respect the efforts they have made the difficult decisions that governments have taken in other countries as well. many european countries fostered a programs have been put into effect. however, nowhere have those programs been so harsh and so long lasting as in the greece. it is no exaggeration to say that my country has over the past five years been transformed into an austerity laboratory. however, this experiment i think all of us have to expect has not been a success. over these five years, we have
seen skyrocketing of -- [inaudible] social marginalization has increased. the public debt which is a 180% of gdp. and today the majority of the greek people quite apart from our own assessment on this is the simple fact recognize that effect are the majority of the greek people feel that they have no other choice other than to demand that they be given a way out of this impasse. they have expressed this in the most democratic way possible and would have to implement that decision and that mandate. we demand an agreement with our neighbors, but one which gives us a sign that we are on a long
lasting basis exiting from the crisis which would initiate to us that there is a light at the end of the table, an agreement which will bring about the credible and necessary reforms. that is clearly necessary, but we have to recognize how over the past five and half years, reforms have been put into place which have been -- what pensioners can take him what employers can put up with what they can stand and ordinary citizens. we need redistribution on unnecessary for the middle class, for the working class and we must have basis on which we can proceed. the proposal we have made to our partners are ones which involve credible reforms with an
acceptable degree of -- which does not bring recession affects with it. we need to ensure we have funding of our country with development and program because we have to put on the table an agenda for growth. because otherwise there is no way we we're going to make it from this crisis. the prime objective must be to combat unemployment and to encourage entrepreneurship including our proposal also contains that demands for immediate undertaking that we was a genuine dialogue and genuine negotiation in order to get an edge to the question of sustainability of public debt. we cannot have any other subject. we must be able to look reality in the face and find solutions to the real problem, however difficult those solutions may be in practice.
our proposal has been submitted. it is been put to the your group as a summit which we had yesterday of the eurozone, and today we are working with the support arrangement at the next two or three days. we have undertaken to bring forward concrete proposals in detail. and i'm confident in the next few days we will be able to meet the obligations of the crucial time in the best interest of greece and also for the eurozone. and can i say this is not just the economic it's also -- and let me be crystal clear in this area. the proposals by the greek government for the funding of its obligations and for the restructuring of its adapt are not designed -- it's that are not designed for the european
taxpayers. [inaudible] which will be given to greece, this is money which was given in order to save the greek and european banks. and in addition, started in august of 2014 we have got to disperse a tranche under the bailout which continues until the 13th of june and repayment of billion -- 7.000000000. it was not our government which wasn't there from others of 2014 until 2014-2015.
the fact is the program has not been implemented. the program was not implemented them, not because at the time there was ideological circumstance. it was because the program then and the program now did not have social acceptance. is not sufficient for it to be right, it's got to be workable. it's got to have the public support and acceptance. ladies and gentlemen members greece has been involved in the negotiations because of seven-point to billion and disbursement. we also had duty and under an obligation to repay to the same institutions which -- the finance. repayments of 17.5 billion
euros, and that was money which was taken from the resources of the greek people. esteemed members despite all that i have said i'm not one of those politicians who claim that those responsible for the woes of greece are the weakest foreigners -- >> you can watch the full remarks at c-span.org we return live now to the u.s. senate where members are continuing work today on changes to the no child left behind law. the senate version would give state and local governments more control over education policy and testing. had in privacy the amazing mercy and grace shown by the families of the victims in the terrible tragedy that took place but equally as well the great way in which the elected officials of the state of south carolina led by yourself and
senator graham caused it to be an example for the way tragedy should be dealt with and i wanted to let you know how much i personally appreciate it but i speak on behalf of all the people of georgia as well. let me talk briefly about two subjects add i'd like to ask the record to reflect the division of the subjects when i get to the second part. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: mr. president i'm one of the two people left in the congress that had something to do with no child left behind. the other one is john boehner the speaker of the house. i'll never forget that night in 2001 in the basement of the capital after we finally came to an agreement on no child left behind. i was talking about how proud we were but knew if we didn't get it fixed by the end of the sixth year it would go from being a positive change in education to a negative. it's now 13 years later. we've gone seven years without a reauthorization and what became a good goal of meeting adequate yearly progress, setting standards for schools remediating schools in trouble
has become a bill that 80% of the school systems have to ask for waivers to even operate on. it's a bill that no longer is doing what it was intended to do for the education of our children and i commend senator alexander and senator murray for the unbelievably good work they've done to bring the bill to the floor today. i've participated in all the hearings as did the president of the senate, the presiding officer. you know what i know what that we brought about common sense and created a bill that's good for children, good for educators and good for america. it gets utt you us out of the national school board business which is chairman alexander's favorite statement. people forget the u.s. department of education is not mentioned in the constitution of the united states. it's mentioned in two places. one is title 1 and the civil rights act of the 1960's when we provided funds for free and reduced lunch for poor students to give them a leg up and second in 1978 when the carter administration we passed what
was known as law 194-192 which created special needs children benefits or the individuals with disabilities act. those are the only two places in statute the federal government has a role. senator murray and senator alexander have seen to it that we recognize that fact. we enhance can education why we're supposed to but turn it back over to the states where it belongs and where it should be. secondly, one of the big buzz words and bad brand labels he taking place in education is common core. it's a lot of things to a lot of people but most importantly it's a federal mandate of standards whom o.j. generalization of standards that the american people don't like. this wit ensure there will be a no common core to the states and ensure local control of curriculum from beginning to end. it does away with the waiver business and puts all local school boards and state boards of education in control of their education. on the question of testing it does away with federally
mandated tests and instead it's the systems you develop yourself. we just want you to have standards that are made good for students to improve and grow their education. we want to make sure every student has the access they can to be tested well and improve. for example we've done some creative things like give assisted things like, out of title 1 to handicapped children in title 1 qualifications to use assistive technology to take exams they could not otherwise take. a student with many disease diseases doesn't have the coordination to take a paper and pencil test. yet they can bright. the technology developed in america can allow them to take that exam given the disabilities they have and it's only appropriate we authorize the use of title 1 funds to do that. most importantly though, we keep the parent in control of their child's life by giving them the permission to opt out of any state test that's mandated where the state allows
an opt-out which means the parents are in control of testing and the federal government is staying to local schools and states boards of education you take our children to the next level we'll assist you but we're not going to govern or ruin you. i want to commend senator alexander and senator murray for bringing a bipartisan approach that works. i thank the american federation of teachers, the national association of educators the national school superintendents association, the national governors conference, every vested organization in education in the united states of america has endorsed this bill because it's time for education to be enhanced and improved from the local level up, the benefits from no child left behind have long since passed. we're doing all the things we should have been doing all along. let's take a good platform and make it even better to ensure every child learns and progresses and every child succeeds. with that said i want to separate my remarks in the record for just a second and
make note of the remarks by the department of defense on the dramatic cuts of our military. 40,000 people over the next two years. i'm a pretty easy going guy but i'm really angry. i'm really mad. i know it's ironic to me and one of the reasons i put a hold today on an appointment but ironic on the day we learned by reading the the newspaper not advised by the department of defense, we learn we'll lose 40,000 soldiers over the next two years. georgia will lose 4,390 soldiers nobody giving the courtesy of calling us. on the day they didn't call us they send up for confirmation a legislative assistant. i've got a hold on that person for one reason. i want to meet with him and see if they get in control of congressional liaison and congressional affairs they make sure we're the first to find out, not the last to find out. our military is critically important to my state as to your
state. it's important we know what the government's plans are and we have a chance to have a say. i know the president doesn't like the use the legislative body very much, he's regulated in doing executive orders but when you talk about our military and the investment in our military every member of the senate every member of the house, ought to be together with all our oarss in the water rowing in the same direction. i it's ironic that last week the president for the first time went to the pentagon to talk about the strategy in the middle east particularly with regard to isil. it took 18 months to go talk about a situation that's grown from being an irritant to a crisis. when we left iraq and left all the equipment we had there and left the iraqis to fend for themselves we created a vacuum and what happened, in came isil and they're now in 16 countries in the levant and the middle east right now. we created a vacuum. we're talking about reducing our
manpower to the point we can no longer confront an enemy on two fronts will have a tough time on one. a vulnerable and weak american defense and military allows and encourages people who might have nefarious goals and dreams to take advantage of america other he weakness. we should be very careful about diminishing our resources and our military to levels that are not in the best interests of the american people or their security. i want to ask the administration to be sure and give us information in advance rather than after the fact, include us in the decision and see congress as a partner with the commander in chief to see we confront our enemies and have the manpower and the troops to do it. i for one have thought for a long time we should be doing more to confront isil in the middle east, i think that's borne out every day. hopefully the president is coming to that realization as well. whatever we do we should not be telling the world we've got problems and are going to cut more. it's time we made an investment in our military and work
together the president and congress alike to do what's right for america its defense and its freedom and liberty which which we just celebrateed the past weekend over the fourth of july. i yield back my time and defer to the senator from ohio. mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you mr. president. i appreciate the words of senator isakson who is always the cochair of the ethics committee and i served with him and the chairman of the most important committees in the senate. about a year and a half ago january, a cold january morning in cleveland where i live, at a martin luther king breakfast i heard a speaker say your life expectancy is expected to -- connected to your zip code. think about. that whether you grow up in
columbus or canton or appalachia whether you grow up in a city or a prosperous suburb or low-income suburb or a small town or rural area, so often your zip code determines whether you have access to quality health care, to good education, to a good job and to the social support necessary to succeed. that's particularly true when it comes to education. the quality of our children's education should not be determined by their zip code. too often that's the case. teachers in schools in far too many cases lack the resources necessary to ensure students can grow and succeed. achievement gaps persist between economically disadvantaged students and their peers. these persist between black students and white students, a lien theo students and native and long native english speakers between students with disability and those without these achievement gaps inevitably predictably
almost always lead to opportunity gaps. we know education is the surest path to success. we say that around here ad nauseam. closing these gaps is vital to ensure that children, all children and grandchildren have the opportunity to succeed. these gaps aren't caused by failings in our students. they're the result -- usually not caused by failings with our teachers they're the result of policies that leave schools with massive resource gaps. the u.s. department of education office of civil rights conducted a comprehensive survey of schools across the nation. some of the results they found were appalling. black, latino, native american native alaskan students as well as first time english learners attend schools with inexperienced teachers. one in five high schools in this country lacks a school counselor. around 20% of high schools don't offer more than one of the typical core courses for high
school math and science like algebra one and two and biology and chemistry. we can't call our country the land of opportunity when we fail we, policymakers, communities, activists while we fail to provide too many of our children with well-equipped schools. the bipartisan opportunity dashboard of core resources amendment will help us close these gaps. it will strengthen transparency requirements in every child achieves act in measures like contact with effective teachers access to advanced coursework availability of career and technical communities and counseling, ensure that states hold schools accountable when neck advertise -- inequities exist. this new data shows disparities, states and school districts need to take action. this amendment requires states to develop plans to ensure
resources reach districts that are most in need. states will have flexibility to design these plans in a way that works for local communities. the amendment doesn't tell states how to address inequities it just requires states to identify those disparities and work with communities to fix them in whatever way works for those communities and that state. let's move beyond simply using test. tests are important benchmarks but are not the only ones. to succeed in life and in school students need access to dedicated literacy programs, to music and the arts, to advanced classes and career counseling. we need to measure access to all these students not only math and reading scores. improving access to core resources won't close the achievement gap overnight but puts us on the right track. our amendment has the support of teachers and civil rights organizations, i want to thank senators reed and kirk and
baldwin for their bipartisan help in support of getting this amendment to this place. i urge my colleagues to pass this amendment to ensure that all children regardless of their zip code have access to core resources needed for quality education. mr. president, unfortunately instead of strengthening our public education systems some of my colleagues want to as we say around here voucherrize the public school system, privatize, spend resources elsewhere. we've seen how so many of our public schools serving vulnerable populations are already in dire need of resources yet vouchers would divert these resources -- more of these resources away from public schools reroute those resources to for-profit schools in some cases that simply are not gill to the public. vouchers don't provide a real choice choice for a majority of students. they cover some but not all of the tuition to private schools meaning students who need the help the most often get little
choice at all. study after study show that private school vouchers don't improve student achievements. my state by some rankings is the -- next to worse next to last in the country in -- in charter schools in large part because in -- in the quality of charter schools and accountability of charter schools in large part because there is a huge network of for-profit private charter schools in our state that simply haven't served the students well at all. that's why i urge my colleagues to vote against any proposal to voucherize our schools. instead, we need to strengthen our public school system which educates the vast majority of our children. that's why schools across the country, especially those with high concentration of poverty need more funding not less. for 50 years the federal government has helped level the playing field for students by directing funds to schools in areas that lack resources. unfortunately, some of my
colleagues are trying to dismantle this system by taking away funding from high poverty schools and sending that money to more affluent schools a bit of reverse robin hood. they call their proposal portability, but no matter what you call it and why you call it, taking fungd away from the schools that need it most and sending it to schools that need it least doing that is wrong. i will urge my colleagues to oppose this effort. in our country all students should have access to a high-quality education regardless of how much money their parents make, regardless of how much education their parents have, regardless of what zip code they live in. we must invest federal resources in schools in the district that need the most and where they can make the most benefit. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president i too, want to compliment the help
committee, senator alexander who chairs that committee for the great work they have done in bringing the every child achieves act legislation to the floor of the united states senate. this is long overdue. anybody who meets with school administrators or teacher groups or parents or school boards realizes that people for a long time have been looking for us to reauthorize the elementary and secondary education act and to make reforms that are important that will return control and power to school districts to parents and teachers, to administrators rather than having it here centralized in washington d.c. and so i'm pleased that we can have this debate. i'm encouraged by the discussion that's already been held and by the willingness of both sides to work together to allow amendments to be considered because this is an important issue. how we educate our children, equipping them, preparing them for the challenges that will be ahead of them. there isn't any more important task that we have. and so to the degree that this
legislation makes it more possible for our kids to learn at the very fastest rate possible, this is something that this senate ought to be focused on and i'm hopeful that we will be able to get through the amendment process and be able to move this bill across the floor of the senate to the house and hopefully eventually to the president's desk. but i think it's also an example, mr. president of what happens when you get people who are willing to open the senate process up and allow legislation to be considered. the senate's now been under republican control for a full six months, and those months have been some of the most productive that the senate's seen in a long time. so far this year, the republican-led senate has passed more than 45 bipartisan bills 22 of which have been signed into law by the president. committees have been hard at work and reported out more than 150 bills for consideration by the full senate. in may the senate passed the first ten-year balanced budget resolution in over a decade, over a decade.
mr. president, one reason the senate's been so productive is because the republican majority has been committed to ensuring that all senators, whatever their party have the opportunity to have their voices heard. under democrat leadership, not only republicans but many rank and file democrats were shut out of the legislative process in the senate. as an example of that, the democrat leadership allowed just 15 amendment roll call votes in all of 2014, an entire year, barrel more than one amendment vote per month here in the united states senate. republicans by contrast had allowed 15 amendment roll call votes by the time we had been in charge here for merely three weeks. in all republicans have allowed more than 136 amendment roll call votes so far in 2015. that's not only more amendment roll call votes than in all of last year, it's more amendment roll call votes than the senate took in 2013 and 2014 combined. and we still have six months to
go in 2015. mr. president, one of the most important bipartisan bills the senate has passed this year is the iran nuclear agreement review act. this legislation which was signed into law in may by the president ensures that the american people through their representatives in congress will have a voice in any final agreement with iran. specifically the law requires the president to submit any agreement with iran to congress for review and prevents him from waiving sanctions on iran until the congressional review period is complete. the bill also requires the president to evaluate iran's compliance every 90 days. i'm particularly glad that this legislation is in place because the negotiation process so far has given cause for deep concern. mr. president, the primary purpose of any deal with iran is to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. but the interim agreement the president unveiled in april cast
serious doubt on the president's determination to achieve that goal. the framework would not shut down a single nuclear facility in iran. it doesn't destroy a single centrifuge in iran. it doesn't stop research and development on iran's centrifuges. and it allows iran to keep a substantial part of its existing stockpile of enriched uranium. it's not surprising, mr. president, that members of both parties are concerned about this agreement. again and again during the process, secretary kerry and the president seem to forget that the goal of negotiations is not a deal for its own sake but a deal that will actually stop iran from developing a nuclear weapon. administration negotiators have repeatedly sacrificed american priorities for the sake of getting an agreement and in the process, they created a very real risk that the deal that finally emerges will be too weak to achieve its goal.
a "washington post" editorial this week declared that any agreement with iran that eye merges from the current talk, and i quote, will be at best an unsatisfying and risky compromise end quote that from the "washington post." the editorial board continues by saying and i quote iran's emergence as a threshold nuclear power with the ability to produce a weapon quickly will not be prevented. it will not -- it will be postponed by ten to 15 years. in exchange, tehran will reap hundreds of billions of dollars in sanction relief that it can use to revive its economy and fund the wars it is waging around the middle east. again, that's a quote from the editorial in "the washington post" from just yesterday. when iran recently failed to comply with a provision of the interim nuclear agreement currently in place the obama administration in the words of the post editorial chose to quietly accept it and even rush to iran's defense again a quote from the "washington post"
editorial. mr. president, this is an example of what the post aptly describes, and i quote again a white house prostate cancer livity to respond to questions about iran's performance by attacking those who raise them. well that's a deeply troubling response on the part of the white house and it raises doubts about the president's commitment to achieving an agreement that will shut down iran's nuclear program. mr. president, the states could not be higher on this agreement. at issue is whether or not a tyrannical oppressive regime that backs terrorists has killed american soldiers and has announced its intention of wiping israel off the map will get access to the most apocalyptic weapons known to man. even as negotiations continue, iran continues to advance its nuclear program. if iran continues its research and development into more advanced centrifuges, the breakout period, the time needed to produce enough nuclear material for a bomb could be
weeks, weeks instead of months or years. and if we fail to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, we will not only be facing a nuclear-armed iran, we will be facing a nuclear arms race in the middle east. that's what's at stake mr. president. and every member of congress obviously would like to see the president successfully conclude a deal that would prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. but the president needs to remember that a deal is only acceptable if it achieves that goal. we've heard the president say he will walk away from a bad deal, yet each time we reach a deadline, that deadline is extended. as negotiations continue, it is essential that administration negotiators push for a strong final deal that includes rigorous inspections of iranian sites in full disclosure of all iranian nuclear weapons research to date.
if the administration can't secure a sufficiently strong deal then it should back -- step back from the negotiating table and reimpose the sanctions that were so successful in driving iran to the table in the first place. no deal is better than a bad deal that would strengthen iran's position in the middle east and pave the way for the development of a nuclear weapon. mr. president, for a deal to be acceptable to the american people it must be verifiable, it must be enforceable and it must be accountable and it also mr. president needs to promote stability and security in the middle east and around the globe. any deal that doesn't reach that threshold is a bad deal. i hope the president will listen to the american people and reject any agreement that falls short of that goal. mr. president, i yield the floor.
achieves act that would allow $2,100 federal scholarships to follow 11 million low-income children to any public or private accredited school of their parent's choice. this is a real answer to inequality in america giving more children more opportunity to attend a better school. the scholarships for kids act will cost $24 billion a year, paid for by directing 41% of the dollars now directly spent on federal k-12 education programs. often these dollars are diverted to wealthier schools. scholarships for kids would benefit only children of families that fit the federal definition of poverty, which is about 1/5 of all school children about 11 million a year. allowing federal dollars to follow students has been a successful strategy in american education for over 70 years. last year, $31 billion in federal pell grants and
$100 billion in loans followed students to public and private colleges. since the g.i. bill began in 1944 these vouchers have helped create a marketplace of 6,000 autonomous higher education institutions the best system of higher education in the world. our elementary and secondary education system is not performing as if it were the best in the world. u.s. 15-year-olds rank 28th in science, 36th in math. i believe one reason for this is that while more than 93% of federal dollars spent for higher education follow students to colleges of their choice, federal dollars do not automatically follow kindergarten through the 12th great students to schools of their choice. instead, the money is sent directly to schools. local government monopolies run most schools and tell most students which schools to attend. there is little choice, and no
k-12 marketplace as there is in higher education. former librarian of congress daniel bourstein wrote that creativity flourishes during first ill verges. in his book "breakout knute gingrich argues computer handbook writer tim o'reilly's suggestion for how the computer could transform government. the best way for government to operate, mr. o'reilly says, is to figure out what kinds of things are enablers of society and make investments in those things. the way that apple figured out if we turn the iphone into a platform developers will bring applications to the table. already 16 states have begun a variety of innovative programs
supporting private school choice private organizations supplement those efforts. allowing $2,100 federal scholarships to follow 11 million children would enable other school choice innovations in the same way developers rush to provide applications for the iphone platform. senator tim scott the presiding officer today has proposed the choice act allowing 11 billion other federal dollars dollars the federal government now spends through the program for children with disabilities, to follow those six million children to the schools their parents believe provide the best services. a student who is both low-income and has a disability could benefit under both of the programs. especially when taken together with senator scott's proposal, scholarships for kids constitutes the most ambitious proposal ever to use existing federal dollars to enable states to expand school choice. under scholarship for kids,
states would still govern pupil assignment deciding, for example, whether parents could choose private schools schools would have to be accredited, civil rights rules would apply it doesn't affect the school lunch program so the congress could assess the effectiveness of this new tool for innovation there is an independent evaluation after five years. in the late 1960's ted sizer harvard university's education dean suggested a $5,000 scholarship in his poor children's bill of rights. that's what he called it. in 1992 when i was the united states education secretary president george h.w. bush proposed a g.i. bill for kids, a program creating school choice opportunities. despite its success in higher education, voucher remains a bad word among most of the k-12
education establishment and the idea hasn't spread rapidly. equal opportunity in america should mean that everyone has the same starting line. there would be no better way to help children move up from the back of the line than by allowing states to use federal dollars to create 11 million new opportunities to choose a better school. i thank the president and i yield the floor. mr. president i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. shaheen: i am here, mr. president, to discuss the every child achieves act. i think it's significant that for the first time in more than a decade congress is considering making changes to our elementary and secondary school system. this conversation is long overdue. as a former teacher i appreciate the challenges that our schools have, and i'm
looking forward very much to the debate ahead. i want to applaud senators alexander and murray, the chair and ranking member of the help committee, for reaching a compromise bill that passed out of their committee with strong, unanimous, bipartisan support. today i really want to focus on some of the provisions that are included in this bill that have to do with stem education. so science technology engineering and math. this is an issue that i've been working on for a number of years, really since i was governor in the late 1990's in new hampshire. we know that the most critical jobs that are needed to compete in the global economy are in the stem fields. but data consistently shows that american students are falling farther and farther behind in these subjects. one of the other challenges is
that we have an enormous gender gap in employment in these fields. 48% of the work force in this country are women and yet only 24% of the jobs in stem fields are held by women. i had the opportunity last night to cohost a screening in the capitol of an important new documentary called "code debugging the gend irgap." this documentary tells a very powerful story about the lack of diversity in the technology industry outlining the resulting cost to our society and it explores strategies that would solve the problem. last night we had more than 150 people in attendance at the screening, which was cohosted by representative susan davis from california. the creators of the movie were there, and u.s. chief technology officer megan smith smith. -- megan smith.
what followed the documentary was i think even more impressive and that was a lengthy and very passionate discussion about how much work we have to do on this front. we need to give the next generation a stronger educational foundation in these topics and most important, we need to get them engaged and excited to be working in stem fields. this effort is going to require student engagement inside and outside of the classroom and it's critical that our schools have the resources to offer stem opportunities during the school day but, of course, as most of us remember from our choose -- childhoods it's sometimes what happens outside of the classroom that is even more important than what happens inside the classroom if we're going to get kids excited about learning. after-school programs allow students opportunities for more individualized instruction for
innovative experiences and opportunities to build their leadership skills. after-school programs can be especially successful in inspiring interest in groups who traditionally are underrepresented in stem fields like young women students of color, and students from low-income backgrounds. so i especially appreciate chair alexander and ranking member murray for working with me to include language from my supporting after-school stem act, which is in the underlying bill and it will allow federal grants to be used to support stem-related after-school activities. this language will expand student access to high-quality programs in stem subjects. it will promote mentor opportunities and promote partnerships with professionals in these fields and again, one of the things we know about helping kids to stay in school, getting them excited is if they have a mentor, if they have someone who is really interested in what's going on in
their lives who is supporting them then they're much more likely to be successful. these programs will give students a firsthand experience to see what careers in the stem subjects can look like. now, the average child achieves act -- the every child achieves act also has a second bill that i introduced when i got to the senate in 2009, the innovation, inspiration school grant program. this language would authorize federal stem education grants to support the participation of low-income students and related competitive extracurricular activities such as robotics competition. i'm particularly excited about this because in new hampshire inventor dean cayman, also the inventor of the insulin pump and the segue founded a program called first robotics competition.
it's now wildly successful, nationwide we have nearly 100,000 high school students who compete. it's sort of an einstein meets michael jordan competition. students have just six weeks to work in a team to design, construct, and program robots and then they enter their robots in regional and export-import competitions. it's great fun to attend these events because kids are so excited about working with these robots and about the stem subject. they get excited about engineering, about science about math, about technology. and you can see that in the students as they're building these robots, they are excited about accomplishing their goals, about being creative when their last-minute problems with the robots they have to work to adjust but most of all whether or not they win. you can see the pride that they feel for themselves, their teammates that comes from
successfully accomplishing their task building that robot being successful in the competition. you can't replicate this kind of experience in a classroom. so i'm very pleased that support for programs like first is now included in the bill that we're considering on the senate floor. these are provisions that i think will make very important strides towards inspiring future generations of scientists and engineers, of mathematicians and experts dealing with technology. so again, i want to thank chair alexander and ranking member murray for their work on these issues for their producing a bill that we're now debating on the floor that has such strong bipartisan support. so thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i want to thank the senator from new hampshire for her remarks and thank her especially for her contribution
to the legislation her persistent support for stem education, she's been been a champion of that and as a former governor she is a great help as we seek to remind ourselves that the path to real accountability and high standards and better teaching really runs through the states and local governments where the creativity is and where people are closest to the children.
mr. daines: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. daines: i rise to speak about my amendment number 2110. as a fifth-generation montanan and a proud product of montana public schools, in fact my wife is an elementary schoolteacher i'm the father of four children and one of my children has a degree in elementary education as well, i truly understand how important a first-rate education is to our kids' future. as i meet with parents ant educators across montana they frequently share concerns about
the one-size-fits-all student performance and teacher qualification metrics that currently dictate federal funding as part of no child left behind. while well-intended many of these metrics have proven difficult for schools and particularly schools in rural areas, to achieve. the federal funding tied to these policies have all too often forced states and the school districts to adopt policies that may not best fit the students and the communities -- the students' and communities' unique needs. as the senate debates the every child achieves act one of my priorities will be fighting to increase local control over academic standards and education policies and working to push back against these burdensome federal regulations that often place our schools in a straitjacket. for example the u.s. department of education has incentivized states to adopt common core
standards by offering exemptions from no child left behind regulations and making extra federal education funds accessible through programs like race to the top to the states that adopt common core. like many montanans, i am deeply concerned that the federal government's obvious efforts to beg states into adopting such programs is an inappropriate interference in educational policy decisions that should be made by the states, by the parents, by the teachers and by local school boards because strengthening our education system is vitally important to our country's future. if we're serious about wanting to make future generations as fortunate as ours, it's critical we prepare our citizens, our children to excel in a globally competitive economy. our children should receive a well-rounded education that focuses on core subjects such as
reading, writing science math, and the arts. a wealth of social data informs us that individuals who do not receive a quality education are disproportionately likely to suffer from poverty and land in prison. the federal government's federal federal government's one-size-fits-none approach simply isn't working. by increasing local control of our schools and lessening the influence of washington bureaucrats, we can provide states with the flexibility needed to meet the unique needs of our students, the unique needs of our states, as well as as our communities. in fact, just last year, "the new york times" did an assessment of the health and wealth of every county in the nation -- every county. you might expect folks living in silicon valley to be doing fairly well or perhaps see the suburbs of new york city thrive
thriving. what shocked me is seeing that six of the nation's top ten wealthiest counties surround washington d.c., and that sends a pretty clear message about where washington's priorities are. during the recession while millions of americans were struggling to make ends meet amidst layoffs and economic instability, washington, d.c., thrived. the federal government poured millions of dollars into new federal buildings and salaries kept growing. the average federal bureau in the department of education in this town, in washington, d.c., makes $107,000 a year. it's time we stopped building bureaucratic d.c. king doms and return those dollars back to the classrooms. that's why i'm asking for support of the academic partnerships lead us to success
or the a-plus amendment to the every child achieves act. this measure will help expand local control of our schools and return federal education dollars where they belong -- closer to the classroom. by shifting control back to the states individual and effective solutions can be created to address the multitude of unique challenges facing schools across the country. through these laboratories of democracy, merps americans can watch and see how students can benefit when reforms are implemented at the local level. my amendment would give states greater flexibility in allocating federal education funding and ensuring academic achievement in their schools. with a-plus, states would be freed from washington's unworkable teacher standards. statesstates would be freed from washington-knows-best performance metrics and the states would be freed from
washington's failed testing requirements. should this amendment be adopted, states would need to adhere to all civil rights laws. they've got to work towards advancing educational opportunities for disadvantaged children as well, of course. the states would be held accountable by parents though, and teachers because a bright light would shine directly on the decisions made by state capitals by local school districts. with freedom from federal mandates comes more responsibility more transparency more accountability on the issues. it would also reduce the administrative and compliance burdens on state and local education agencies and ensure greater transparency in the use of federal education funds. increasing educational opportunity in montana and across the country isn't going to happen through federal mandates or these one-size-fits-nobody regulations. we need to empower our states, our local school boards, our
teachers and our parents to work together to develop solutions that best fit our kids' unique needs. as a father of four, each one of my children -- and any parent knows that -- are very enuke. that's precisely what my a-plus amendment does. washington is the problem. we're ground zero, the problem here in d.c. we have the solutions in montana, the solutions back home and in our states across the country. the a-plus amendment goes a long way towards returning the responsibility for our kids' education closer to home and reducing the influence of the federal government over our classrooms. i want to thank senators grassley cruz, vitter, johnson lee, lankford, blunt rubio crapo, and gardner for cosponsoring my a-plus amendment. and i ask my other senate colleagues to join us in empowering our schoolings to -- our schools to serve a their
students not a bunch of d.c. bureaucrats, and support this important amendment. thank you and i yield back. mr. sanders: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. sanders: mr. president as someone who travels around this country, i am always amazed by the huge disconnect that exists between what we do here in congress and what the american people want us to do. the simple truth is, as poll after poll has shown is that congress is way out of touch as to where the american people are. let me just give you a few examples before i get to the thrust of my remarks. many of my republican colleagues are still talking about cutting social security, a disastrous idea. but according to a recent nbc news/"wall street journal" poll, by a 3-1 margin, the american
people want us to expand social security benefits, not cut them. how out of touch can one be? the same poll told us -- this is a poll about two weeks ago -- is that while there is virtually no republican in the senate who is prepared to support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, what the american people want by a pretty solid majority is not to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour but to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, something that is occurring now in los angeles seattle and other places around the country. tragically this congress is way out of touch with the american people on issue after issue and it is high time that we started to get our act together and to respond to the needs the
pressing needs, of the american people. mr. president, between 1985 and 2013, there was a huge redistribution of wealth in america, and i know my republican colleagues get very, very nervous when people talk about wealth distribution. well guess what? over the last 30 years we have had a huge degree of distribution of wealth in america. unfortunately, that redistribution went in the wrong direction. that redistribution went to the tune of trillions of dollars from the pockets of the middle class and working families of our country into the hands of the top .1%. so if you want to understand economics in the last 30 years the middle class shrinks the
top .1% doubles the percentage of wealth that it owns. today, mr. president the united states has more wealth and income inequality than any other major industrialized country on earth. the top .1% now owns 22% of all the wealth in this country while the bottom 90% owns 22.8%. in other words the top .1% owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90% and the trend is toward more and more wealth and income inequality. that is the economic reality that we're looking at now. but let me talk for a moment about another reality that saddens me very much and that we cannot continue to ignore. we are the wealthiest country in
the history of the world and yet we have the highest rate of childhood poverty of any major industrialized nation on earth with almost 20% of our kids living in poverty. in recent years we have seen a proliferation of millionaires and billoinaires in this country. yet, over 50% of the children in our public schools are so low-income that they are eligible for the free or reduced price school lunch program. mr. president, there's a result of the collapse of the american middle class over the last 40 years, many women in this country are working longer and longer hours in order to cobble together enough income to sustain their families. and yet while over 85% of male
workers are working more than 40 hours a week while over 66% of working women are working more than 40 hours a week, we have a dysfunctional child-care system which denies millions of working families the ability to secure high-quality p and affordable child care. mr. president, i just last week spoke to a woman who lives right here in washington d.c., and she told me that to get her one-year-old child into quality day care here in the nation's capital, she and her husband are spending close to $30,000 a year for one child. you see child care is probably more expensive than other parts
of the country but millions of parents are struggling with child-care bills of $15,000 $20,000, $25,000 a year when their income is $30,000 $40,000 a year. and if you have two young kids, i just don't know how you manage. mr. president, the truth of the matter is that while working families are desperately trying to find quality child care at an affordable cost, we are turning our backs on those families. the result, millions of children in this country are not receiving the quality child care or early education that they need when the psychologists tell us that zero to four are the most important years of a human's life in terms of intellectual and emotional development.
what sense is that that we ignore the needs of millions of working families and their children? what sense is it to tell working moms and dads that they cannot get the quality and affordable child care they need? what sense is it to send many children into kindergarten and first grade already far far behind where they should be intellectually because they had inadequate child care? this is not what a great country is supposed to be about. when we talk about the future of america, we cannot be talking about turning our backs on the children of this country. and that is why we should be doing in this country what nations all over the world have done and that is invest in our
kids and move toward a universal pre-k education system for all of our children. mr. president, i am glad that the elementary and secondary education act is on the floor right now for debate, and i want to thank senator murray and senator alexander for their hard work on this important bill. in vermont and around this country -- and i've had town meetings on this issue in vermont. hundreds of teachers, parents and kids come out. they understand that no child left behind has failed and what we are doing now begins to address that failure and move us in a very different direction. mr. president, when we talk about the needs of young people, something, by the way that we
very rarely do, we should understand that it's not just that we have a dysfunctional child-care and pre-k system which must be significantly improved. it is not just that no child left behind must be reformed. it is not just that a college education is now unaffordable for millions of working-class and low-income families. all of those are terribly important issues that we must address. but i hope very much there is another issue that we will finally start to pay attention to and this country this senate the house of representatives must come to grips with the fact that today in america we have a horrendous, horrendous level of youth
unemployment in this country. this is an issue which gets virtually no discussion at all. this is an issue of crisis proportions that we are not addressing. for the future of this country not to mention the future lives of millions of our young people, we cannot continue to sweep the issue of youth unemployment under the rug. last month the economic policy institute released a new study about the level of youth unemployment in this country. and what they found should concern every member of the congress and in fact every person in our country. the economic policy institute analyzed census data on unemployment among young people
who are jobless, who have no jobs those who are working part time when they want to work full time and those who have given up looking for work altogether. and this is what they found: from april of 2014 to march of 2015 a one-year period, the average real unemployment rate for young white high school graduates between the ages of 17 and 20 was 33.8%. the jobless rate for hispanics in the same age group was 36.1%. and unbelievably, the average real unemployment rate for black high school graduates and those who dropped out of high school was 51.3%. 51.3%.
mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent to insert the e.p.i.'s findings into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sanders: mr. president today in our country over 5.5 million young people have either dropped out of high school or have graduated high school and do not have jobs. it is no great secret to anyone that without work, without education and without hope, people get into trouble. they get into destructive activity or self-destructive activity. and the result of all of that, mr. president, is that tragically here in the united states today, we have more people in jail than any other country on earth. we have more people in jail than in authoritarian communist country -- china -- with a
population of over three times our population. today the united states represents 4% of the world's population yet we have 22% of the world's prisoners. incredibly, over 3% of our country's population is under some form of correctional control. according to the naacp from 1980 to 2012, the number of people incarcerated in america quadrupled -- quadrupled from roughly 500,000 to over two million people. mr. president, a study published in the journal of crime and delinquency found -- and this is really quite unbelievable and quite tragic -- that almost half of black males in the united states are arrested by the age
of 23. and if current trends continue, one in four black males born today can expect to spend time in prison during his lifetime. this is an unspeakable tragedy. it is something we cannot continue to ignore. but this crisis is not just a destruction of human life. it is also very, very costly to the taxpayers of our country. locking people up in jail is a very expensive proposition. in america we now spend nearly $200 billion on public safety, including $70 billion a year on correctional facilities. $70 billion a year on correctional facilities.
mr. president, it is beyond exree hen shun that we as -- comprehension that we as a nation have not focused attention on the fact that millions of young people are unable to find work and begin their adult lives in a productive way. we cannot cannot cannot, cannot continue to turn our backs on this national tragedy. let me be very clear -- and i think i speak for the vast majority of people in this country, and i hope the majority of members in the united states senate -- it makes a lot more sense for us to be investing in jobs and in education than to be spending billions of dollars on jails and incarceration. mr. president, we have got to start creating a situation where our kids can leave school and lead productive lives not have
them arrested and incarcerated. mr. president, i have p introduced legislation along with representative john conyers in the house that would provide $5.5 billion in immediate funding to states and cities throughout this country to employ one million young americans between the ages of 16 and 24 and to provide job training opportunities to young adults. some people may say $5.5 billion is a lot of money. it is. but it is a lot less expensive to provide jobs and education to our young people than to lock them up and to destroy their lives. mr. president, as we debate esea -- and again, i want to thank senators murray and alexander for their important work -- i want this issue to be on the table.
and i intend to offer an amendment that says in this country we're going to put our young people to work. we're going to get them an education rather than locking them up. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: thank you mr. president. mr. president, you know, since our nation's founding, the idea of a strong public education for every child has been part of the fabric of america. in the late 1770's, thomas jefferson introduced a bill in virginia that outlined his plan for public schooling. and at the time he wrote by far the most important bill in our whole code is that for the diffusion of knowledge among the people. jefferson knew that educating children would strengthen our country, and that is still true today. today a good education can provide a ticket to the middle class. and when all students have the chance to learn we strengthen
our future workforce and our economy. but, mr. president nearly everyone today agrees that the current education law the no child left behind, is badly broken. the bipartisan bill we're on the floor with today the every child achieves act, is a strong step in the right direction to finally fixing that law and will help continue our nation's tradition of making sure all students have access to a quality public education. but, mr. president, some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are interested in voucherizing the public school system. instead of investing in our public school system, they want to send federal resources to private schools. that would be a major step backward. vouchers undermine the basic goals of public education by allowing funding that is designated for our most at-risk students to be rerouted to private schools.
so i urge my colleagues to oppose any attempt to use federal education funds for private school vouchers. i strongly oppose vouchers for several reasons. for one vouchers divert much-needed resources away from our public schools and reroute it to private and religious schools. today public schools across our country, and particularly those schools with high concentrations of students in poverty need more funding, not less. we can't afford to send scarce public resources away from public schools to benefit private schools. secondly vouchers would send federal taxpayer dollars to private schools that are in no way accountable to the public. proposals to create vouchers do not require private schools to adopt strong academic standards or provide students with disabilities the same services that they have in public schools. and unlike public schools private schools do not need to serve all of our students.
there is no guarantee that private schools would make sure students have access to state licensed teachers, and they would not administer the same assessments as public schools which would diminish our accountability of federal tax dollars. i can tell you as a former school board member, when people in my community was unhappy with how they were spending our taxpayer dollars, they would find me in the grocery store, at the school board meeting call me at home at night. but if federal tax dollars go to private schools there's nowhere for public citizens to call up, no elected official they can call up and say "i don't like how you're spending the dollars. i want you to look at this." so many of our colleagues today demand evidence and accountability in other federal programs. i hope that they do it in education as well. some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle like to argue that vouchers create options for students and families. well that might be true for students of more affluent families, but vouchers don't provide a real choice for the
overwhelming majority of students. vouchers might cover some but usually not all of the tuition of a private school. in some cases a voucher would make just a small dent in the full cost of a private school. that would enable students from more affluent families the ability to afford private schools because they have the means personally to make up the difference. but students from low-income backgrounds would still be priced out of that choice. so mr. president vouchers only provide the illusion of choice to students from low-income backgrounds and it is those low-income students who ultimately lose out when funds are siphoned away from our public schools that they attend. but perhaps the most important reason i oppose private school vouchers is because they do not improve student achievement. study after study has shown that vouchers do not pay off for students or for taxpayers. in 2012, researchers compared
students enrolled in milwaukee's program compared with students in milwaukee public schools. the researchers found little evidence that the voucher program increased the achievement of participating students. the district of columbia's voucher program has gone through four congressionally mandated studies from the department of education. each of those studies concluded the program did not significantly improve reading or math achievement and that program came at the cost of funding that could have helped improve local public schools. so mr. president there are a number of reasons to oppose any amendment that redirects federal funds to private schools. public schools already have to deal with scarce federal resources. this would exacerbate the problem. private schools would not be accountable for federal taxpayer dollars they get and vouchers do very little to expand choices for low-income families. and finally, as i said, studies
have shown that vouchers do not increase student achievement. an amendment to allow public funds, taxpayer dollars to flow to private schools would be a step in the wrong direction. i strongly urge our colleagues to oppose any moves -- that works to voucherrize any of our federal dollars. mr. president, i believe real improvement in student achievement comes when our teachers and school leaders have the resources they need to help our students succeed. so we've got to work together to strengthen our public school system not dismantle it. i hope we do continue on our bipartisan work together -- we've done well -- to help ensure all students have access to a quality public education. but regardless of where they live or how they learn or how much money they make, that should be our mission. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: thank you mr. president. mr. president, i come to the floor today to speak about an
amendment that i'm offering with senator kirk, senator baldwin and senator brown and it would establish an accountability mechanism for student accesses to the core resources necessary for learning. and i first begin by thanking senators kirk and brown and baldwin and others for helping on this very important matter. more than 60 years after the landmark decision of brown v. board of education one of the greatest challenges still facing this nation is stemming the tide of rising inequality. we have seen the rich -- in fact the very rich get richer while the middle class and low-income families have lost gound. we see disparities in opportunity starting at birth and growing over a lifetime, with more than 1-5 of schoolaged children loferg in -- living in poverty, 20% living in poverty and more than half of our school population eligible for low or
reduced school price lunches because they come from low-income families, we should not tolerate a public school system that fails to provide the resources and opportunities for the children who need them most. when president johnson signed the elementary and secondary education act into law 50 years ago, he described education in his words "the only valid passport from poverty." he noted that, from our very beginnings as a nation, we have felt a fierce commitment to the ideal of education of everyone. it's fixed itself into our democratic creed. and this amendment i believe will help us stay true to that ideal. there are other amendments we will consider that, frankly will do just the opposite, such as those that would divert scarce resources for public schools to private schools through vouchers or so-called portability amendments that senator murray just so eloquently spoke about. rather than transferring resources away from our public education system the passport
to opportunity in our country we should be doing more to ensure they have adequate resources. we have to work to achieve real equity in educational opportunity. survey data from the department of education's office of civil rights shows troubling disparities, such as the fact that black latino, american indian native alaskan students and english learners attend schools with higher concentrations of any experienced teachers nationwide. in fact, nationwide, 1-5 high high schools lacks a school counselor and between 10% and 25% of high schools across the nation do not even offer more than one of the core courses in a typical sequence of high school math and science, such as algebra1 and 2 geometry biology and chemistry. their curriculums are very limited and indeed, perhaps inadequate. the education law center reports that a majority of states have unfair funding systems with flat or regressive funding distribution. and for these reasons i
introduced the core opportunity resources for he can wilt -- equity in excellent act the core act and senators brown and baldwin were my cosponsors, to establish an accountability mechanism for resource equity. this was the first education introduced in this congress -- education bill introduced in this congress and we're very proud. holding a system accountable for resources is paramount. you look at outcomes, testing measurement. what they fail to grasp is you need resources also, you need the inputs. the every child achieves act the legislation we're discussing today includes important transparency on resource equity and i want to thank senator alexander and murray for that. it requires states to report key measures of school quality beyond student achievement on statewide assessments including student access to experienced and effective teachers, access to rigorous and advanced coursework, availability of career and technical educational
opportunities and safe and healthy school learning environments. however reporting alone will not ensure that students get the resources they need and deserve. i commend the reporting but i think it's a necessary but not quite sufficient measure. so i'm pleased to be offering this opportunity dashboard of core resources amendment with senators kirk and baldwin and brown. this is -- this amendment has the report of dozens of national organizations. specifically, our amendment will require states to report on resources, identify disparities in access for districts schools and student subgroups, develop plans with school districts to address disparities and access to critical educational resources. and include the opportunity dashboard of core resources on the state report card so everyone will know where the resources are where they're going and how we are making our commitment to equitable and
excellent education for every american child. this amendment has bipartisan support and more importantly broad support in the communities across the nation and i would miewrnlg -- urge my colleagues to support it when it comes to the floor for a vote. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois i. mr. durbin: mr. president, this week the senate's consideration the elementary and secondary education act. as you've heard from the previous speakers, the issues that are involved in this decision really go to the heart of america and its future. public education is the avenue which children have, most children in america have to opportunity. and if that avenue is blocked or if it's inadequate, that child will suffer the family will suffer, the nation will suffer. there's hardly a bigger, more important assignment that could come our way than to consider
elementary and secondary education. we're fortunate we have two good leaders on this issue two of the best in the senate, senate lamar alexander republican of tennessee, former secretary of education a person who takes this job and assignment very seriously. and i've spoken to him many times about these issues. and my colleague and friend and fellow leader on the democratic side senator patty murray of washington. she and senator alexander have done an extraordinary bipartisan job of bringing this measure to the floor. that's not to say that i agree with every provision nor that any senator does, but to have this reported unanimously from committee by both political parties with the political climate we have in washington is nothing short of amazing. so we find ourselves on the floor debating the specifics of the elementary and secondary education act. i'm glad this bill increases impact aid for districts like north chicago in my home state of illinois which is neighbor
to the great lakes naval training station. the bill also preserves the universally agreed on triumph of no child left behind, to dig aggregate data among subgroups of students. now, i remember back in 2002 when we passed no child left behind, i was relatively new to the senate and i sat back there and directly behind me when a -- was a senator from minnesota named senator paul wellstone. to say paul well it-- wellstone hated no child left behind would be an understatement. and every time i got up to speak, i heard him behind me say, "senator durbin, this is a mistake, don't you vote on it." well i did vote for it but a lot of things happened that we didn't expect to happen. we had testing and i think testing is an important part of metrics and measurement to see whether students are actually progressing, but some parts of the bill went overboard.
disqualifying schools and saying that they weren't up to the job because the test scores didn't hit certain numbers. teachers who would complain to me that they went through all of this education and experience in teaching and now they were just teaching to the test. they lost their thrill of being teachers and that diminished them in their ability to help the children. we also know what happened when it came to some of the other aspects of this bill. some of the states starting dumbing down their state standards so that the schools would pass the test. it wasn't a pretty sight. and so it was time to rewrite this broken bill and this bill that we have before us attempts to do just that. no child left behind made important advances in how we ensure all children being served by public education. as we debate the every child achieves act this week, we must resist the urge to go too far. what happened with no child left behind was a curiosity a
political curiosity. here was a new republican president george w. bush, appealing to a democratic congress to give the federal government more control when it comes to education. -- when it came to education. that was really a new approach and it's one that, frankly surprised many of us. and so as a result, no child left behind went in directions and to degrees that many of us did not expect. now we're getting a pushback from those who say it went too far. the pendulum is about to swing back in the other direction. this bill allows states to develop their own state education plans set their own achievement goals and hold themselves accountable. every child achieves does not require states to identify low performing schools or take meaningful actions to provide additional support when the schools are consistently not serving their students. and without these protections students of color low-income students can be easily left
behind. there are reasonable, commonsense improvements that should be made to this bill to enhance accountability. we can have federally required accountability and intervention without federally proscribed accountability and intervention. and let me say a word about vouchers. the senator from washington just spoke about vouchers. i asked her when no child left behind was written and she told me 2002. i think it was sometime around that period when we passed the d.c. voucher system. we're members of the senate appropriation committee. you probably remember that debate. it was senator dewine of ohio who offered the d.c. voucher program as an amendment on an appropriation bill. i offered three amendments to his proposal. he proposed that federal tax dollars be given to individual parents in d.c. to choose the school they wish, even if it were a private or religious school. not charter schools, per se, but
so-called opportunity d.c. or voucher schools. i offered three amendments in committee to his proposal. here's what they were. first amendment -- every teacher in a d.c. voucher school had to have a college degree. the amendment was defeated. the republican majority said no, we don't want to limit the creativity here of these new teachers in voucher schools. the second amendment i offered said the students who attend the voucher schools will take the same test as the students attending d.c. public schools so we can compare how they're doing. that amendment was also defeated by the majority in the appropriation committee. they didn't want to be held to the same standards of testing and achievement. and the third one was the most shocking. i said that any building used for a d.c. voucher school had to pass the fire safety code of the district of columbia. that too was defeated. years later i sent a staffer out
to take photos of some of the d.c. voucher schools. it was depressing. many of these schools were just schools in name only. they weren't real schools. and we held a hearing before the appropriation committee they couldn't even explain what standards they were teaching to. is that where we want to put our tax dollars? is that where families want to send their children? so i agree with senator murray. before we start talking about d.c. voucher schools let's focus on our first responsibility and that's public education. i also want to talk about an amendment that may be offered by senator burr of north carolina. title 1 is the single largest source of federal funding for elementary and secondary education. it helps states and school districts address poverty and the needs of low-income students. this was the inspiration for the federal government to make a massive investment in commitment to education in the 1960's, and the reason behind it was because we saw the gross despair --
disparities in school districts in state to state and district to district. we believed then as i do now kids in poor families don't have a fighting chance if they don't have a chance at good education and title one was designed to send those dollars to help those school districts educate those children. now, the amendment that is proposed by the senator from north carolina, senator burr, would devastate low-income students in my home state of illinois. it would reduce illinois' title 1 share by an estimated $180 million a year. that's a 28% reduction in federal assistance from my state of illinois to help poor, low-income and minority students. a 28% reduction. chicago public schools alone would lose $68 million. and i just have to say for the record they are struggling even today to meet their budget needs and their pension requirements.
this kind of cut would be devastating. i think about the violence in that great city of chicago and many other cities as well. i think about the responsibility of the chicago public school system which educates almost 400,000 students. a $70 million cut to chicago would mean that these kids in low-income families would struggle and many would not succeed in achieving a good education. is that the best we can do? i think it's a mistake. and i just have to serve notice on my colleagues here. i don't know what procedural tools are available to us, but when it comes to an amendment which takes that kind of money away from critically important school districts in my state i'm going to use every tool in the box to stop this from coming to the floor and passing. there is just too much at stake. and i hope my colleagues will join me in this effort to stop this as well. let me talk about an issue that
is near and dear to all of us and especially to the presiding officer -- background checks. criminal background checks. in the state of illinois today if you want to be a teacher before you can even be a student teacher, you have to go through a criminal background check. and what does that consist of? being fingerprinted paying out of your pocket for the criminal background check having your fingerprints and all your vital personal information turned over to our state police and the f.b.i. we take this very seriously in illinois, and we're not the only state. there are many states who do exactly the same thing. we don't want anyone in the classroom, anyone in an unsupervised situation with small children around who is going to be a danger to those children period. now there are two proposals before us. one is being offered by the senator from pennsylvania, and it is a criminal background check approach, which i cannot support. and the reason i cannot support it it imposes a new federal
criminal background check in addition to what i have just described in illinois, so what we already have, fingerprinting, a criminal background check paid for by the teacher who's applying, a background check that goes to the state registry of crime as well as the f.b.i. that provides the basic information you need to know as to whether or not this potential teacher has anything in their background that is worrisome or would disqualify it is already being done, and the amendment offered by the senator from pennsylvania says now we're going to make sure they go through a second check a federally mandated criminal background check which sends incidentally the school districts in illinois to the same agencies i have just described. in other words a second check at the expense of the school district that goes to the state police the f.b.i. and others. come on. why would we waste our money precious federal money that we
need for education in duplicating background checks. it makes no sense whatsoever. and so i commend the senator from pennsylvania for being concerned about this. there isn't a parent or grandparent alive who doesn't share his concern but let's not impose a federal mandate on states that are already doing a professional job. if states can say we already have a background check in place that conforms with what the standards are in washington, why should they have to do it a second time? senator whitehouse now of rhode island makes that proposal. he has an alternative amendment and what he does is propose that the state background checks meet a certain list of federal requirements compliance requirements. i think that's better. that eliminates the duplication and eliminates the wasted dollars on a second unnecessary duplicative background check. and i might add too the senator from pennsylvania and the senator from rhode island addressed the concern about
mistakes. if there is a name sent in by mistake and a potential teacher is disqualified and it turns out the information's erroneous there is a due process provision in senator toomey's bill and one that i think is more complete in the bill offered by senator whitehouse. it wasn't that many years ago our colleagues remember our colleague, senator ted kennedy ended up on a no-fly list, and he kept saying why am i on a no-fly list? it was a mistake. it was a government mistake that identified him as a danger to the country. so mistakes can be made, and there needs to be a due process requirement in here so that those who are accused of something that they're not guilty of have a chance to have their day and tell the story as best they can. the bottom line is that this bill is one of the most important we will consider. i thank the chairman and ranking member for the time they have put into this and i thank them for their bipartisan efforts. there will be some disagreements on the amendments before us, but
i think we're all in common agreement. if we don't get this right many of the other things we do don't mean much. if we don't provide that ladder of opportunity to kids from lower income impoverished families, they are not likely to enjoy life as they might with a good education and realizing the american dream. this is our step in the right direction. i hope that we can make it even stronger as we consider amendments and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president i thank the senator from illinois for his remarks. i was thinking, as he was talking about senator kennedy who we all loved i think the mistake was he was on a republican no-fly list, and that was the mistake. but he loved telling that -- he loved telling that story and enjoyed it very much. it's nice to be reminded of him today because he was chairman of this committee that is producing the fix for no child left behind.
he would make, in my view, the most outrageous liberal speeches from the back of the senate and then he would come to the front of the senate and he would work out a good bipartisan agreement and get a good piece of legislation. he set a wonderful example for us and it's nice to be reminded of him. mr. president, senator murray and i have conferred and i would like to ask unanimous consent that the time until 4:30 today be equally divided between the two managers or their designees and that it be in order to call up the following amendments -- hirono 2109, tester 2107, alexander amendment 2139, murray amendment 2124, bennet amendment 2115. further, that at 4:30 p.m. today, the senate vote on the above amendments in the order listed with no second-degree amendments in order to any of the amendments prior to the votes and that the alexander amendment 2139 be subject to a 60 affirmative vote threshold
for adoption and there be two minutes equally divided between the votes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. alexander: for the information of all senators, we expect a roll call vote on three of these amendments and that the rest will be adopted by voice vote. the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. mr. heller: mr. president, thank you. i rise in support of the amendment just mentioned by the chairman. the hirono-heller amendment which addresses asian pacific and pacific islander student data. in my home state of nevada, as in many of my colleagues' home states the aapi population is one of the fastest growing. i'd like to give you an example of that, according to the census data. nevada's aapi or arabian pacific pacific -- or asian pacific islander population grew by 160%
between 2000 and 2010. even though this aapi group represents students who come from a variety of different back grounds, chinese filipino, vietnamese korean, current law and the every child achieves act uses a broad i quote asian pacific islander category when reporting on student achievement. so basically if you're registering as a student, you have one category, one bubble. it's called asian pacific islander regardless of whether you're chinese filipino, vietnamese korean. it doesn't matter, a single bubble. and as a result of this single bubble this student population as a whole seems to perform well but the broad aapi category hides big achievement gaps between sub groups. mr. president, the current census data gives us this
evidence and according to the 2010 census, 72% of the asian indian adults have bachelor's degrees or higher, whereas only 26% of vietnamese adults do. steps should be taken to help close these achievement gaps, create an environment where all students can succeed. this is critical to ensuring that our nation's children are preparing to attend college or enter the work force and that's why the hirono-heller amendment is so important. our amendment would simply require school districts with large populations of aapi students to show how these sub groups are performing. this amendment would also apply in large school districts with over a thousand aapi students. this represents less than 3%, less than 3% of the school districts nationwide. in fact, 11 states would not be affected at all by the hirono-heller amendment. it's also important to note that this amendment would only be used for public reporting
purposes. it would not require accountability measures or intervention at any level. the bottom line, the bottom line is that having this kind of sub group data available equips parents and local officials with the necessary information to determine how their students are doing and how to better support students who need the most help. isn't that what these school districts are all about is they try to identify those students and to better support students who need the most help. as a father of four and a grandfather of two i think parents should have access to this kind of data, to know how schools are serving their children in these specific sub groups so that they can make the right choice for their children. and school choice advocates agree. charter school advocates agree. the truth is that school districts across the nation are already collecting and reporting disaggregated aapi student data.
in fact, just this morning mr. president, i sat down with several school superintendents from all across my home state. they told me that access to this type of data would be extremely helpful in their districts. principals and teachers understand the value of subgroup data and how it reveals groups that need assistance that would otherwise be missed by looking at the broader aapi category. that's why this amendment is also supported by the national association of elementary school principals it's why this amendment is supported by the national association of secondary school principals and why it's supported by the national education association. i'm proud that our amendment is also supported by over 1 aapi latino and african-american civil rights groups, educators, women's groups and the disabilities community. mr. president, these groups agree with senator hirono and me that aapi subgroups
disaggregation is a top priority. i want to thank senator hirono for her leadership on this issue and dedication to serving the needs of all of our communities. i'd also like to thank the chairman chairman alexander and ranking member,if senator murray in their efforts to not only put together a bipartisan bill but also to move forward with an open amendment process during its debate. i encourage all my colleagues to vote in support of the hirono-heller amendment to ensure that parents have choice and that school administrators alike are able to target students who need the most help. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: thank you mr. president. over the weekend we all cheered on the women's national soccer team as they beat japan 5-2 in the world cup.
their teamwork and the skills they displayed on the field were years in the making. many of the players on the women's national team developed their skills and the love for soccer while attending their public schools growing up. in fact, before midfielder carly lloyd shattered records in the world cup finals, she was the star of the soccer team in new jersey. unfortunately, mr. president not all young girls are the same opportunities today as young boys do to participate in school sports. in our nation's schools all girls should have equal opportunities to pursue athletics whether they just want to help their high school team, have a winning season, or whether they dream of one day playing in the world cup finals. today i'm offering an amendment to help close the opportunity gap in sports between young men and women. back in 1972, congress passed what is known as title 9. that is the law that bans
discrimination in education on the basis of gender. this law applies to all educational opportunities but it had a huge impact on opening opportunities for young women to play sports. for the first time schools were required to provide equal opportunity to girls and boys to play organized sports and they were required to provide equal benefits and services by coaches and courts and playing fields. title 9 has truly changed our country for the better and the number of women and girls whose lives it touches is growing every single day. i've seen that firsthand in my own family when i went to school the atmosphere was a lot different than it is today. back then, i could participate in just a very few sports and it was simply unheard of for women athletes to receive athletic scholarships. 15 years later, it was amazing to watch my own daughter play soccer learning to be a part
of a team and cheering each other on and learning how to be gracious in victory and in defeat. the difference between my daughter's generation and my own could not be more stark. today, more young women than ever are playing sports, but inequality still exists and girls don't have the same opportunities to play sports as boys. in fact, if you added up all the missed opportunities across the country young women have 1.3 million fewer chances today to play sports in high schools compared to boys. that's according to the national federation of high school associations. the amendment i'm offering today we'll be voting on surely will ensure that schools report information about school sports in elementary, middle and high schools. i want to thank senator milulski who has been a champion for title 9 for working with me on this amendment. under this amendment schools would report on access to girls'
organized sports and the funding for girls' sports. for the first time schools would need to show the public, show all of us, what they spend on travel expenses and equipment and uniforms for both boys and girls sports teams. authorization this information will help us shine a light other than the persistent inequalities in sports between men and women. mr. president, playing sports isn't just good for a single sports season. it has a positive effect on and off the field. according to the national collegiate athletic association, when young women play sports, they're more likely to have higher grades and they are more likely to graduate from high school than nonathletes. and research also shows that girls who have opportunities to play sports have lower risk of obesity later in leech incidence of depression and more positive body image than nonathletes. congress happen help ensure that girls all over our country have
the opportunity to develop valuable skills like teamwork and discipline and self-confidence. those skills lead to success on and off the playing field and i urge our colleagues to vote for this important amendment. let's give young women and girls equal opportunity in sports. so many girls across the country spent this week dreaming of one day being one of those women champions they saw on television last weekend. let's make sure they know congress has their back. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i ask to set aside the pending amendment to call up amendment 2139. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from tennessee misdemeanor proposes an amendment number 2139 to amendment number 2089. mr. alexander: i ask unanimous consent the reading of the amendment be waived. the presiding officer: without objection.
mrs. murray: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. armey: i ask unanimous consent to call up murray amendment 2124 and bennet amendment 2115 as provided for under the previous order and ask that it be reported by number. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the amendments by number. the clerk: the senator from washington mrs. murray proposes amendments for other senators numbered 2109, 2107, 2124, and 2115. a senator: mr. president? mr. menendez: mr. president it's fitting and appropriate though it wasn't coordinated that i follow on to the comments of the distinguished senator from washington state the ranking member of the committee, as she was talking about the importance of the
amendment about young women and athletic opportunities for them on an equal basis. and i rise today as the coauthor with senator collins of a senate resolution to honor and congratulate an extraordinary team on an extraordinary accomplishment. the u.s. women's national soccer team and their triumphant 5-2 victory over japan at the 2015 fifa world cup final was an extraordinary accomplishment and a great victory for them, for the united states, for women's soccer and women's sports. these inspiring athletes have spent the past month captivating audiences around the globe with their determination tenacity, and sheer grit. it started with our national time winning the so-called group of death against australia sweden and nigeria. it went on to beat colombia,
china and germany on the way to the final. all along the way they tied a world cup record by playing 540 consecutive minutes without conceding a single goal. and in the final our national team came out strong, scoring four goals in the first 16 minutes, including three goals from new jersey's own kerry lloyd. and tobin heath would add another and the team would cruise to a 5-2 victory. all in all in the tournament public works our women's national team never lost a game. we are all proud of them and ideal especially proud of new jerseyans christine rampone toba heath and kerry lloyd. we look to this team for inspiration. the women's cup final was the
most watched soccer game in american history. the final game had my stepchildren jana, who is an avid player and a big women's soccer fan and her brother sonny, who was rooting the team on they were both rif ited at -- riveted at what these players were accomplishing. this showed what hard work and determination can do. and for jana and every young girl who aspires to be the best this victory makes her dreams seem within reach. just as the 1999 u.s. world cup team motivated an entire generation to pursue their dreams, i am certain that the performance of this team will do the same to push this generation to dream bigger, work harder, and achieve even more than they ever imagined. i congratulate our champions i look forward to the passage of the resolution and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and observe the absence of
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: mr. president i ask that we vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. toomey: i rise to speak on amendment 2904, based on legislation called protecting students from violent predators act. as you know, mr. president this has bipartisan support this is a commonsense bill that will protect children from child molesters and predators infiltrating our schools. we all know that the overwhelming majority of school employees would never harm a child any way but we also know that pedophiles know where the children are. they're in schools. and so schools can be a magnet for the very people we need to keep out of our schools. so i've been fighting this for some time now over a year and a half since the legislation was first introduced and i'm not
going to stop fighting this. there are a lot of good reasons to make this fight happen, to secure the protections for our school kids from these predators. for me, the reasons begin with the three children that i have, who are 15, 14, and 5 years old. when i put one of my children on a school bus in the morning i have every right to believe that i am sending my child to an environment where they're as safe as they can possibly be. and so does every other parent in pennsylvania and every other parent across the country. and we in congress have an obligation to make sure we're doing all that we can to ensure that they will, in fact be in the safest possible environment. and, mr. president sadly we know that's just not always the case. the motivation, the inspiration for this legislation that senator manchin and i introduced is a horrendous story about a little boy today named jeremy bell. that story begins, sadly enough in pennsylvania. in a delaware county school
where one of the teachers was repeatedly molesting young boys. the administrators at the school figured out what was going on. they reported it to authorities but the authorities were never convinced that they had enough evidence to mount a strong case. they couldn't confidently charge the predator. so the school decided they would dismiss this teacher for sexually abusing his students, but shocking -- appallingly what they did was they gave him a letter of recommendation, to make sure that he could become swung else's problem. now, mr. president given that he was a pedophile and a predator he surely did become someone else's problem. he wept to west virginia, became a teacher based in part on the recommendation he got rose in fact to the level of being the school principal and along the way, of course, he continued to attack and abuse young boys, finally raping and killing young jeremy bell.
well justice eventually caught up with that monster. he's sesqui the rest serving the rest of his life in jail, as he should, but it was too late for jeremy bell. and the sad trunnel is, mr. president, this is not as isolated an incident as it should be. last year there were 459 arrests of school employees for sexual misconduct with the kids they're supposed to be taking care of. so far this year we're on a track to have even more arrests than last year, and mind you these are the cases where the evidence is so clear that the prosecution is confident in making an arrest and pressing charges. how many more cases are out there where we just don't have enough certainty to actually make the arrests and press the chacialtion? there are many, many more. so senator manchin and i decided that we would introduce legislation that would take a
step of helping our kids. ash legislation has two big features that together go a long way to ensuring greater security for our kids. one is a federal standard for criminal background checks. and let me just respond to the comments made by the senator from illinois just a few minutes ago suggesting sow that in my legislation it requires a duplicative background check on -- that's simply, factually incorrect. there's no re-dun dandy. we establish a federal standard and say all of the major criminal databases must be checked. but we don't ask you to check it twice. we don't know how that idea occurred. the checks are a sensible way to make sure that nobody slips through the cracks. we do require that there be a periodic review at the frequency established by the states so that we make sure that we're checking up on school employees
periodically. that's not a redundancy. the second fundamental aspect of our legislation after the criminal background checks is, we would prohibit the practice of knowingly recommending for hire a predator, a violent abuser a pedophile. this is -- unfortunately has its own pam. i.t. calledit's called passion the trash. that's imha allowed jeremy bell's predator to get a job as a teacher. our legislation would forbid that. both of these protections have broad, bipartisan support. the house of representatives, by the way unanimously passed a bill that has both -- virtually identical, just in the last congress and just last fall the house and senate combined by a combined vote of 523-1 adopted
the child care development block grant bill which has the same language. it has the same provisions, to protect children in child care centers from these kind of predators. i fully support that protection for very young kids. i just fail to see why we shouldn't provide the same level of protection for slightly older kids. that's what this is about. so noition the bipartisan support, our legislation has been endorsed by many, many groups: child protection groups, law enforcement groups, prosecutors, the american academy of pediatrics, the pennsylvania school board associations. there is very broad support for this because it makes sense. and let me go a little bit more into detail about these two aspects. first, the criminal background check. let's be clear. every state does some kind of criminal background check on hiring for schools but the problem is many are woefully
inadequate. in some cases they mis-entire databases and so they miss convicts. for instance, some states check only their state database and they don't check the federal database so they don't know about the criminal who was convicted two states over and moved into their state post post-conviction. another fact is that many states don't require background checks for their contractors. so in our legislation if you are an adult who has unsupervised contact with kids, whether you are a bus driver, a sports coach or the janitor in the school, you have to have the background check. some states don't require that. we establish a federal standard so that we're protecting all kids uniformly. so these -- this whole background check component is what i consider the first part of the bill. the second part, which is really a distinct part but still every bit as crucial is this prohibition against passing the
trash, as you alluded to. this is the provision that would perhaps prevented the murder of jeremy bell. and we simply say that if a school wishes to receive federal funds, it has to ban this practice. this is so appalling. you know, the idea that someone would knowingly recommend for hire a predator, a predator who's preying on children, it is so appalling. it is hard to believe it happens, but mr. president it does. and sometimes it does across state lines and there's nothing any state can do about the laws of a different state. and this absolutely calls for a federal solution. for example recently in las vegas, nevada, a kindergarten teacher was arrested for kidnapping a 16-year-old girl and infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease. that same teacher it turns out had molested six children, fourth and fifth graders just several years before, and in los
angeles, california. now, the los angeles school district knew about the allegations. not only did they know about the allegations, but they were so concerned that when they were -- a lawsuit was filed against them they recommended settling. the nevada school district specifically asked if there had been any criminal concerns regarding the teacher, who was a candidate for a job and the los angeles school district not only hid the truth but it provided three references references for the teacher. so i think that makes it abundantly clear. this is a problem that transcends state lines. there is nothing nevada could have done about the -- the dishonesty and deceit of the people in the los angeles school district who allowed this to happen. so let me sum this up, mr. president. the toomey-manchin bill offers a simple proposition. it says if a school district wants to use federal tax dollars, it's got to make sure those dollars are not being used to pay pedophiles' salaries. i just don't think that's an
unreasonable demand. and to do that, it says there's two components. one is, you perform a criminal background check that is rigorous enough to catch people who have criminal backgrounds and a prohibition that begins passing the -- against passing the trash. now, we have run into opposition on this, as you know, mr. president. sk in, there was a letter signed by a number of organizations led by the national education association, the nation's largest teachers union group and the letter argues that it's basically the -- the thrust of the argument is that it's unfair to exclude even a convicted admitted child abuser from being a schoolteacher. here's the quote from the letter. "individuals who've been convicted of crimes and have completed their sentences should not be unnecessarily subjected to additional punishments because of these convictions." end quote. mr. president, under this logic an admitted, convicted child molester can finish the prison
term go across the street to a school and be hurd to be hired to be a first-grade teefn. that's ridiculous. our kids are not part of the some social experiment 10 see how often a convicted child molester can repeat their crimes. i am not going to risk trapping small children in a classroom with a convicted child rapist. it is unbelievable. we have a national sex offender registry for this reason. because as a society we understand these people commit these crimes serially. the and even after serving a prison sentence, very often they go right back it their ways. so i think it is perfectly acceptable. -- i think it is uncumbent upon us to say that when you have been convicted of this type of crime, you are disqualified from being left in unsupervised contact with children. the same letter from the national education association endorsed an alternative that has
been proposed, an alternative amendment from senator whitehouse. he's proposed an tern to -- an alternative to my amendment. i find it troublesome because among other problems, the whitehouse amendment actually would weaken the protections in existing state law. 44 states currently have a category of criminal convictions which preclude a person from ever being hired to teacher in a school to have unsupervised contact with kids. and what senator whitehouse would do in his legislation, he would require every state to give these individuals the legal right to challenge there being blocked from being -- their being blocked from being hired? what possible purpose could there be for mandating that states create these mini- trials some judicial mechanism to challenge the notion that they should be precluded from a
job based on their prior conviction for child abuse? the only purpose would be to get an exemption so that they could be hired. well i'm shocked that senator whitehouse would propose legislation that would weaken the existing protections that we have in 45 days, but that's what it does. and i would point out that in the case of child care development block grant which passed 523-1 and was support supported by every democrat in the house and senate, by the way -- the one vote was for unrelated reasons -- that child care development block grant language that protected kids did not have this mechanism of creating a quasi-judicial entity that so convicted child abusers could nevertheless be hired. so it wasn't a good idea then when we were passing legislation that pertains to day cares.
it's not a good idea now. and i hope that we will oppose this. so mr. president i just want to underscore, there is an urgency to this problem. last year alone there were 459 teachers arrested for sexual abuse or misbehavior with the children they were supposed to be taking care of. we are on path so far six months into this new calendar year to have far more arrests than we had last year. every one of these stories is not a statistic. every one of these stories is a huge personal tragedy a shattered life, a stolen childhood, often a family that is torn apart by grief and misery. how many more of these kinds of arrests are we going to tolerate before we establish a better system for preventing this from happening in the first place? i think there is time for no
more excuses. the house of representatives has already passed this legislation unanimously. all we need to do is pass this amendment on this bill, and it'll get -- and it'll find its way to the president's desk. it will be signed and our kids across america will be more secure. i urge my colleagues to support the toomey-manchin amendment protecting children from sexual and violent predators act. and i yield the floor. *7.i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
unanimous consent to allow me to speak for one minute on the hirono-heller amendment. the presiding officer: the senator has that time. ms. hirono: i ask my colleagues to support the hirono-heller amendment 2109. the current aapi, or the american asian pacific islander category highlights huge achievement gaps between subgroups, i.e. filipino, japanese, et cetera. with better subgroup data, teachers policy-makers and community organizations will know where they can target support to the students who need the help most. our amendment only applies to districts with over 1,000 aapi students. we're not talking about 1,000 students but 1,000 aapi students which intervenes fewer than 3% of school districts nationwide would be affected. that's about 400 out of over 16,000 school districts. in fact, currently delaware, maine, mississippi montana, new
hampshire, north dakota, south dakota vermont, west virginia and wyoming have no districts that would be affected. our amendment is endorsed by over 100 groups including teachers principals, school choice and charter school groups not to mention a coalition of aapi, latino, african-american women and disability rights groups. this is not an onerous requirement on school districts. they already have the capacity to collect this kind of what we call disaggregated data which will enable all of our schools -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. ms. hirono:-to help the schools who need it the most. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. mr. alexander: mr. president we're seeing the national school board makes it more intrusive. this amendment would say that instead of schools reporting the academic results of five major racial groups, you would do it
by country of origin. there are 196 countries of origin. so we apply the same thinking to white, hispanic, black native american we'd have an amazing mandate from washington to states about this amount of data. the senator's argument should be made to a local school board which may do this if it wishes. or to a state school board which may make these ago gre gaitions if it -- aggregations if it wishes. but this should not be a washington mandate to increase from 5 to 11 the number of countries that are mandated -- from 5 to 16 the number of countries mandated under asian american and pacific islander and to set a precedent for country-of-origin reports for 196 countries. i urge a "no" vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the table. mr. alexander: i ask for the
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not the ayes are 47, the nays are 50, the amendment is not agreed to. under the previous order, there will now be two minutes equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 2107 offered by the senator from washington, mrs. murray, for mr. tester. mr. alexander: mr. president the senate is not in order. the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senator from montana deserves to be heard. the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order.
mr. tester: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. tester: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from montana. mr. tester: mr. president, thank you, and i want to thank the senior senator from tennessee. mr. president, i urge my colleagues to support this amendment 2107 to restore four title seven grant programs that were removed from every child achieves act. these initiatives will help native american students that are too be often forgotten in the debate about improving education in america. restoring these initiatives will help students in indian country develop the tools -- the presiding officer: the senator will suspend. mr. tester: i will. mr. tester: look, here's the bottom line because i know people want to visit. the bottom line is this authorizes programs that removed from asia. these programs help native
american kids succeed and they need all the help they can get. these programs have never been funded. this is an authorization bill. if we put it in, these programs continue to be authorized and we can fight about funding later but to take them out of an authorization bill means these programs are dead, and i think it would be a disservice to indian country. i would appreciate a yes vote on amendment 2107. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i urge a no vote. that's right these programs haven't been funded for 20 years for good reason. it's because the money can be -- the money for these programs can come through other programs, such as the work force innovation act. this bipartisan bill consolidates 49 programs that were authorized or funded through no child left behind. this would take us in the direction of more federal programs not fewer. i urge a no vote so that we can reduce the amount of federal programs from washington to the states and let's use the existing dollars that we have to
help indians native americans alaska native education programs. that's the most effective way to do it. i urge a no vote, and i ask unanimous consent that the votes following the first vote in this series -- that means this vote and the next vote -- be ten minutes in length. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the question occurs on amendment number 2107. is there a sufficient second? there is. there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
2139 offered by the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: order. take your conversations out of the well. mr. alexander: if you really want to solve inequality in america by giving children the opportunity to attend a better school, vote yes. this will give any state the possibility to take 89 federal programs consolidate them into scholarships and give one to every low-income child in the state. that's 20% of the children, and then the state would decide which school they attend. it might be public, it might be private. we would be using the same policy that we used with colleges and universities. we follow -- the money follows the child to the school that the state and the parent attend. so this is not a mandate this is an opportunity the schools would have to be accredited. if you really want to create equality in america by giving
every child an opportunity to be at the same starting line, let a state decide to give a $2,100 scholarship to follow a low-income child to a school that the state decides the child should attend, public or private. i urge a yes vote. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: mr. president this amendment would retreat on our fundamental commitment to make sure that every child has access to a quality education and it would do it by consolidating almost every k-12 education program we have and turning that funding into a public or private school voucher. it would cut programs for stamp, for literacy, for programs that are important to members across the aisle and destroy the bipartisan work we've done to fix this badly broken no child left behind law in a way that works for students and teachers. it ignores the research on the
impact of concentrateed poverty on student achievement and allows states to move federal resources from our highest needs schools and districts to more affluent ones and unaccountable private schools. i know my colleague from tennessee understands this is a nonstarter for me and i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment. the presiding officer: the question occurs on amendment number 2139. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not on this vote the yeas are 45. the nays are 52. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment the amendment is not agreed to. under the previous order, there will now be two minutes equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 2124 offered by the senator from washington, mrs. murray. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i yield back all of our time. the presiding officer: without objection, all time is yielded back. the question occurs on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. opposed nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order, there will now be two minutes equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 2115 offered by the senator from washington, mrs. murray, for mr. bennet.
mrs. murray: i yield back all of our time. the presiding officer: without objection. the question occurs on the amendment. all those in favor say aye. opposed nay. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: this has been a very good day. i appreciate the senators coming to the floor. it's been interesting to hear the common -- some senators have different opinions on some issues but there's a consensus that runs through this debate and it runs through the democratic side as well as it runs through the republican side. so i have a consensus about the need to fix no child left behind and we have a consensus about how to do it. i thank the senior democrat on the education committee senator murray for her excellent work, and i thank the majority leader and the democratic leader who have created an environment here where we can get quite a bit done. we've continued during the day to agree to a large number of
amendments. we've pretty well worked through some of the more contentious amendments we've had to deal with. we expect to have more amendments tomorrow morning before lunch although it probably will be later tonight or even in the morning before we have an agreement on how to do that. so we'll continue to work toward that. i ask unanimous consent -- first let me see if the senator from washington has any comments that she would like to make. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: let me just thank the senator from tennessee. his work on this has been really great, working hard on both sides of the aisle to get a bill to the president. and this is part of that process. i will concur with him that we're working through our hopes to get more amendments up tomorrow morning. we should be able to announce that later tonight or tomorrow morning. again, i want to thank the chairman of the committee. mr. alexander: mr. president i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president i thank senator alexander and i have a few remarks to make about the status of sanctuary cities and how that threatens the safety of our country. i'm cosponsoring senator cotton's amendment to this bill that would withhold federal law enforcement funds to sanctuary jurisdictions. the amendment based largely on provisions of the michael davis and danny oliver in horn of state and -- in honor of the state and local law enforcement act which we introduced a few weeks ago ensures that jurisdictions that choose to endanger their communities and the public at large by adopting these reckless policies receive no federal law enforcement funding. fundamental principle of law enforcement that individuals who are tried in one jurisdiction
who also face charges in other jurisdictions are held and turned over to the next jurisdiction before being released because it becomes an extremely dangerous problem if they're released before they are disposed of in another jurisdiction. that is being violated deliberately and openly by a number of cities in the country as an act of defiance and disrespect for those traditions of courtesy and respect for state jurisdictions and county and city jurisdictions. coibt has an -- congress has an obligation to ensure limited taxpayer dollars are not given to cities and counties who refuse to cooperate with federal law enforcement basic efforts to remove criminal aliens from the country. so i'd like to take a few moments to talk about the life of kate stanley. kate was a 32-year-old young
woman who grew up approximately 45 meals east of san francisco in pleasantton california. she graduated from high school and polytech nick state university. she worked as a sales representative for a medical device equipment company and was the type of person every parent aspires for their children to become. she was described as loving, smart and beautiful. her brother said she was the most wonderful caring and loving person. her friends described her as amazing, very compassionate person with an infectious smile and the kind of friend that was always there. last wednesday kate had plans to visit her brother and his wife in pleasanton with hopes of learn whether she would soon have a niece or a nephew. before leaving she spent some time with her father strolling around san francisco and taking pictures at pier 14, one of the busiest and most popular tourist
destinations in the city. while on pier 14 and in broad daylight, kate was shot to death by an illegal alien. kate's mother described the horrific encounter to the "san francisco chronicle" explaining kate just kept saying "dad help me, dad help me." kate's father performed c.p.r. until paramedics arrived and took her to the hospital where she fought for her life but passed away. her death at the hands of francisco sanchez an illegal alien with seven felony convictions who had been deported to mexico at least six separate times most recently in 2009. according to information obtained by my office, this individual's criminal history includes multiple criminal convictions and lengthy federal and state prison sentences dating back to 1991, including