tv U.S. Senate CSPAN July 30, 2015 12:00pm-2:01pm EDT
re more than 60,000 bridges that are obsolete or deficient. and if we don't pass this bill today and the house doesn't take it up and pass it or something else similar to it or get to conference we're back to -- i think it's the 34th short extension, and that is doomsday. doomsday. i'm sad the house went out for five and a half-week break. it's the first time in ten years they went out for an august break before august. and i find it kind of ironic that they went out even a day earlier so that they're not there if we do, in fact, pass our legislation and send it over. why are they doing this? i was encouraged that speaker boehner has asked his committee to act. if we can do it over here, they can do it over there. so i'll close with this -- i am
very pleased that we've reached this point. it has taken a lot of work, a lot of compromise. we had to give some ground, but we found common ground, and we all believe this bill is so important for our nation, i urge everyone regardless of how you voted before to understand this is not what we want to see in america. we can't can we can't have more of these bridge collapses and we can't have more of these streets falling apart 50% are in disrepair. this is the day. i thank senator inhofe, i thank senator durbin, i thank senator mcconnell, i thank senator nelson and later after -- when we finish with this i'll thank many others. the staffs have been unbelievable. we were working into the wee hours of the morning for the
last week, so i thank you also, madam president, for your role in this and your help in this. i'm proud i serve on the committee with you. we have worked well together, and i hope we have a good vote, a solid vote for this bill. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: all postcloture time is expired. the clerk will read the title of the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 19, h.r. 22, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to exempt place with health coverage from tricare and so forth. the presiding officer: the question occurs on passage of h.r. 22 as amended. mr. inhofe: i ask the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not the ayes are 65, the nays are 34, and the bill as amended is passed. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: madam president, the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to calendar number 169 s. 1881. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to the consideration of calendar number 169 s. 1881 a bill to
prohibit federal funding of planned parenthood federation of america. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the moved. motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to s. 1881 to prohibit federal funding of planned parenthood federation of america, signed by 17 senators as follows --. mr. mcconnell: i ask the names be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: madam president i know the senator from california senator boxer and i both want to say some thank yous for people who worked very hard. people don't realize how many people are involved. quite frankly a little bit of
guilt always comes to me because this is my sixth highway reauthorization bill and it always end up that i don't work as long as all the staff works. they're there many nights to midnight and all night long. so this is a good bill, it was tough doing it from this point forward we have the opportunity to send it over to the house i've already had a communication with some of the house members who do want a multiyear bill and the staffs are working together as we speak to pull this thing together so we can pass one and get out of this long string of short-term extensions. these don't serve any useful purpose. but i do want to mention the names. get them in the record of those people who really, really put in the long hours. in my office, alex hair agab, he's been with me -- hair harri gavin an, he's been with me over a dozen years.
he is the leader in our side, put together a great team. chant boajin was the transportation expert in our end, he did a great job. we've had others just about the same as good as he is in the past but they all sweat. this guy doesn't do it. he would do it with a smile on his face. we have shya kauffman. shya came with incredible experience. and she couldn't -- couldn't have done it without her. equally important to thank david napolitano and andrea doreman. they worked for senator boxer and our experts and have been in the office working on this alongside with our staff. you know, it's kind of interesting because senator boxer and i you can't get any further apart philosophically. she is a very proud liberal i'm a very proud conservative and we're going to be fighting like cats and dogs over a lot of
these overregulation, putting americans out of business, but today on this bill we think alike and we are working together. and i just also proud of her staff working with my staff. bonn president'sa. there is bonita she is probably the number-one hard worker sitting on that side which we really appreciate. some days i don't appreciate, but i do all during this. so many others made a contribution to the success today, it's important to thank my staff, susan bodine for her work on the environmental provisions jenny wright and andrea kneely. i thank my communications team, donell hardy and daisy tender, christina bond, they were working, we have to get the message out to what we were doing and how significant it is. people are witnessing this today, are witnessing the most
popular bill of this entire year. you go back to any of the 50 states and they're all going to say the one thing we want is a transportation system. and, again it's not just they want it's what the constitution says we're supposed to be doing. article 1 section 8 of the constitution. defend america and roads and bridges. and that's what we have accomplished today. and there's some others outside of our committee i want to thank, chairman hatch chairman thune john thune chairman shelby and their staffs chris campbell, mark braider, david sweder, kevin hines and jim dece and leader mcconnell who put it as a priority. without that priority we couldn't have done it. and sharon solder symptom -- soderstron and jonathan burkes were all involved.
ten years ago today we had the last time we passed a significant multiyear bill and i remember standing right here at this podium, right when this moment came and it was time to thank all these people who worked so hard. all of a sudden the sirens went off and the buzzers and they said evacuate bomb, bomb, all this. everyone left. but i hadn't made my speech yet. so i stood there and made it longer than i probably should have and there's nothing more eerie than standing here in the chambers when nobody else is here and everybody else is gone. and i thought after a while i better get out of here. as i walked out the front door and down the long steps they'd shut off the elevators and all that, it was dark, i saw a bulk of a man walking away very slowly and i wept down, it was ted kennedy. and i said ted we've got to get out of here. this place might blow up. he said, well, these old legs don't work like they used to. i said here, put your arm around my shoulders someone took our picture and it was on
the front of a mag said who said republicans were not compassion senate? i always think of that when we have bun of these bills and senator boxer with whom we work so closely during this time and actually enjoyed it. and any time you get a coalition between your philosophy and my philosophy it's got to be right. it was and it's over. i'll yield the floor to senator boxer. mrs. boxer: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: my friend and i have longs worked together on infrastructure and we did it this time under very difficult conditions. and i would say to him his leadership on e.p.w. going to a markup proving to the rest of the senate that, in fact, our committee could work together, he got -- we got a 20-0 vote. and as a result of that and as my friend has often said, our
committee is really responsible for about 70% to 75% of the funding. so we were the key committee. and we proved that we could work together. it was a little tougher on the other committees, and that's when it took leader mcconnell 's leadership, senator durbin's leadership, and we came together and i just want to say i'm going to read off first names because of the time and then i'll put everybody's full name in the record. i must say those top staffers from senator inhofe's team, mcconnell's team, boxer team patina, neil and alex really friendships forged, work done. and it was a flesh he pleasure to work with them. i'll never forget this as long as i live. this has been a highlight of my career and i've been here a very long time. i want to thank andrew, david
jason, mary, and kate in addition to patina an my time. i want to thank ryan, chant shya on -- along with alex on the inhofe team. i want to thank alissa fisher on the durbin team and i want to thank shannon and jen and homer on the banking team. i want to thank kim so much. kim lipski. what a job she did for bill nelson. and her team, devon matt, and dave. that was the thune team. so know as we said team. this was about teamwork. this wasn't about me, me, me or i, i i. it was all of us. in friendship, in sincerity. we never surprised each other. when we couldn't do this, something happened, we would tell each other and we never left the room until we figured it out. i'll have more to write about
this and say about it because truly these moments don't happen often around here. and in my career, this will stand out as really spectacular spectacular. and the people that were so dedicated and my friendship with my friend is just extraordinary and has stood the test of time. and my new collegiality with mitch mcconnell which has not existed up until now, this is -- this is a miraculous thing here that has happened. and so one of the things i've learned in life is it goes so fast and sometimes you don't mark the special moments. this moment will be forever marked with me and with my friends. and we now are going to look forward to working with our friends in the house. we're going to infuse our spirit over there. we're going to make sure they know that we can work together
and be friends. and it's already started as alex has stated today. so we're ready for the next phase, the next step, and what's the most important thing? we're going to make sure we have an infrastructure that works for this nation, that you and i jim, we don't have to stand here and show tragic photos of bridge collapses and hear about terrible stories of construction workers who can't make it and have to have food stamps and businesses that literally are crying in my office, businessmen because they said they have no certainty and they can't function and they may have to shut down. this is not what we want. we did the right thing for the country. it wasn't about us. we were the ones that made it happen. it's about america. and i couldn't be more proud. with that, i would yield the floor and i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. scott: thank you mr. president. before i start my prepared remarks, i did want to note that the senate is in a quorum call. the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. scott: i would ask that we suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. scott: thank you mr. president. before i start my prepared remarks, i did want to note that today would have been the birthday of pastor reverend clementa pinckney, the pastor of emanuel nine, the mother of
emanuel church in charleston, south carolina. a friend of mine and since today being his birthday i thought today would be a good opportunity to share with the public that we miss him. we thank god for the family and the amazing role that they played around this country. and certainly as we tackle issues going forward one thing we should keep in mind and bear in mind is that civility and the grace and compassion that we saw from reverend pinckney and the way that he tackled issues with such an important ingredient to keeping our communities together, and i hope as we discuss other challenging issues we will have an opportunity to remember that civility, that notion that we are better together. the desire to build a bridge should be seen and displayed in the public forum as we discuss issues that sometimes pull at the very fabric of who we are as a nation. i rise today to offer a
solution. and i will tell you mr. president, solutions are hard to find at times. but today i think i have found a solution that will help law enforcement officers and our citizens go home safe. that solution, mr. president are body-worn cameras to be worn by our law enforcement officers throughout this country. just yesterday in cincinnati we were unfortunately given yet another example of how important body cameras are when they are worn by law enforcement officers we, those of us who viewed the video, watched in disbelief as the officer shot the driver in the head. difficult difficult video to watch. cincinnati officials said that in their investigation of the death of samuel dubose after
being shot by the university of cincinnati police officer that body-camera footage was invaluable. i want to say that one more time. that the police chief said without any question that the thing that allowed them to find conclusion to actually arrest the officer was the presence of a video that was undeniable. unfortunately, we have seen too many of these incidents around the country. and i tell you that i struggle with this issue sometimes mr. president, because i have so many good friends who are officers who serve the public every single day with honor and with dignity and amazing distinction. i'm talking about guys and young
ladies who put on the uniform with pride. and i see that pride as i walk through the neighborhoods as i talk to folks. so many of our officers serve this nation, serve their communities so well, keeping all of us safe. but sometimes and too often we've seen recently the videos that suggest that we have to take a deeper look. our citizens deserve us deserve for us to take a deeper look. and i think that without any question a body-worn camera will protect the public, but it will also protect the officer. and that is why i'm here today. you know, mr. president i'll say it a couple of times that if
they say a picture is worth a thousand words then a video is worth a thousand pictures. let me say that one more time. if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures. and i believe strongly that an important piece of the puzzle to help rebuild trust with our law enforcement officers and the communities that they serve are body-worn cameras. i say it's only one piece of that very important puzzle, because i don't know that there is a single solution. i've looked for a panacea but i don't know that there is a panacea. as a matter of fact, i think that there is not a panacea.
but there are many critical steps we must take to tackle an array of issues confronting distressed communities and challenging circumstances whether it's poverty criminal justice reform, and as we've seen on the video instances of police brutality. with body cameras we've seen some amazing studies. at least one study has confirmed that there is a 90% drop in complaints against officers. that is an astounding number. a 90% drop in complaints against officers. and the same study shows that there is a 60% drop in the use of force by officers. this should be good news for everyone on every side of the issue, if there are sides of the
issue. i would suggest that there are not sides to this issue. there is not a republican side, not a democrat side. there is not a black side, not a white side. there is only a right side and a wrong side. and if we can find ourselves in a position where officers go home at night to a loving family arms wide open and citizens within the community go home at night to loving families and warm embraces, that perhaps the body-worn camera by officers will make this happen more every day someplace in our country. with those sorts of numbers how can we not figure out the best way to get these devices into the hands of our police officers? and this doesn't even touch on the fact that when we end up
with the video a video very unfortunate issue -- april 4 this year, my hometown north charleston, south carolina, a video of walter scott being shot in the back -- it helps bring clarity to an incredibly painful situation. and that is why after months of meeting with dozens of police organizations, civil rights groups privacy groups and others yesterday i introduced the safer officers, safer citizens act of 2015. my goal is simple. it is to simply provide local and state law enforcement agencies with the resources to equip their officers with
body-worn cameras. my legislation creates a dedicated grant program fully paid for. now, mr. president i know that there are those in the senate, like myself, who like those words: fully paid for sir. to help local law enforcement agencies purchase body cameras. i'm opposed very opposed to any notion that we should federalize in any way shape or form local law enforcement. i believe local law enforcement should be in charge of local law enforcement and state law enforcement should be in charge of state law enforcement. but if we can provide some tools, some resources to make sure that the situation i described earlier from a positive standpoint of an officer going home to their house, members of the community going home to their house after having an interaction if there's a solution and/or an opportunity to see that happen
more often, we should go there. and migrant program would provide $100 million over the next five fiscal years $100 million each year, 2016 through 2021 and only requires a simple 25% match. and it certainly suggests that we'll give preferences to departments who are applying for grants. they will need to have their own policies in place regarding data retention privacy requirements and other areas because i believe that local and state departments, as i've said, can be -- can best determine their own procedures around the body cameras. as states and localities around the country implement body-worn camera programs, i believe this is the best way that we can
help. not take over, but provide that seed capital the resources to start a brand-new conversation all over the country about how many lives have been saved. how many folks get to go home. i'll tell you this too quick other points, mr. president. i had the privilege of speaking at what i call my brother, who is the son of my mentor, john monise who helped change my life when i was a kid on the wrong course for a wrong time. i had the privilege of speaking at brian monise at his graduation at the police academy two years ago july 18 a couple of years ago. amazing young man who wants to serve his community. his brother phillip is also a
sheriffs deputy. when i think about the reality of the words i'm speaking today i don't think about it in legislative terms. i think about it in terms of real people in real places, like my brothers and others who want to serve the country. but i also think about it in real terms and real people who suffered through those violent interactions. i am thankful that cosponsors like the senator lindsey graham from south carolina, cory booker from new jersey, have joined me in making sure that we start the conversation that i hope to continue with senator grassley on this important topic. i would ask that we all remember the words of mrs. judy scott the mother of walter scott who
lost her son in north charleston. i had the chance to speak to her on a number of occasions since the incident. you know, she's taught me a lot. she's taught me the power of forgiveness. very quickly afterwards she had no anno animus towards the officer. she forgave the officer. but her request of me was a very simple request. it was simply that no more mothers would have to unnecessarily bury their sons like she d did. that's a pretty simple request mr. president. i think my body camera legislation will help us achieve that goal. i believe that this legislation will protect citizens, law
enforcement officers, it'll bridge the gap that seems to be growing in some communities around the country, it will provide resources without taking over local law enforcement. i believe that this is critically important. the sooner we get there the better off our nation will be. i thank you mr. president. i note the absence of a quorum. mr. tillis: mr. president? the presiding officer: will the senator withhold his suggestion of the absence of a quorum. mr. scott: i certainly will. the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. tillis: mr. president as we speak right now there are american trade negotiators negotiating the final terms of the trans-pacific partnership or t.p.p. i rise today to speak about an element of those negotiations that i find troubling and i
believe if it goes on its current path, it will produce a gross injustice that will be harmful to american job creators and could potentially threaten the passage or ratification of the t.p.p. i understand the current proposal in the trans-pacific partnership called for discriminatory treatment of tobacco, particularly singling out an entire industry. it is an industry that is vitally foreign my home state of north carolina. tobacco continues to be vitally important among north carolinian agricultural exports and the only path to sustaining this dry is to preserve -- this industry is to preserve the place for the american leaf in the world. the industry supports over 22,000 jobs in north carolina, my home state. i realize today to defend farmers -- i rise today, should i say to defend farmers manufacturers, exporters from discriminatory treatment in our trade agreements.
today it happens to be tobacco but i will do this for any crop for as long as i am in the u.s. senate. i'm well-aware that many states aren't touched by tobacco farming or tobacco product manufacturing. but this is not just about tobacco. this is about american values and fairness. i believe free trade is good and balanced free trade benefits all parties. for those who think free trade is bad for america, i don't agree. when america and americans compete on a level playing field field, we win the vast majority of the time. it's what we do. but the united states over the years has tried to do nor these agreements than just -- to do more to these agreements than just haggle over tariff reductions. the united states has negotiated what's called the investor state dispute settlement, or isds. language in autumn in of international investment agreements. the isda provisions are fairly
-- the isds provisions are fairly simple. it gives anyone who believes their trade agreement rights have been violated by another government trading partner the ability to bring a claim against that government before an international arbitration panel. all kinds of owe finances can be addressed -- all kinds of offenses can be addressed through the isds process protecting american businesses by requiring minimum standards of treatment under international law, protecting american-owned businesses from having their property taken away without payment or adequate compensation protecting american-owned businesses from discriminatory unfair, and arbitrary treatment. that's a fundamental protection. if these sound like american ideals it's because they are. american ingenuity combined with these values and ideals has produced the world's greatest economy. the american economy. regions of the world that do not share the same views of due
process, equality under the law and protection of private property rights would do well to follow our model. it'll make them a better trading partner and it'll help their economies thrive. yet even the u.s. negotiators parntsly want tonegotiatorsapparently want to be selective in applying these ideals. that's really the root of the problem i have with the discussions going on right new now in hawaii. the our negotiators have concluded that while some investors are entitled to equal treatment under the law others aren't. it's odd to me that this would be the posture of any narks but it--of any narks but it nation, but it is particularly troubling to me that it is the posture of the negotiators. it is ironic that the value of equal treatment is being peddled
as equal treatment and due process for everyone but some members of the minority. so let's say my fellow senators that you're not from a state that's harmed by the current negotiations. you may feel comfortable that this could never happen to you. to a sector in your state's economy. but i believe you should be worried. the current proposal in the t.p.p. creates an entirely new precedent, a precedent that will no doubt become the norm for future trade agreements. where the negotiators get to pick and choose winners and losers. and american businesses and american industries will suffer as a result. once we allow an entire sector -- once we allow an entire sector to be treated unfairly in trade agreements, the question is: who's next? i hold a sincere belief that unfair treatment for one agricultural commodity
significantly heightens the risk that more unfair treatment for another commodity lurks right around the corner. i have not spoken with a single organization -- agriculture or otherwise -- that believes this sets a good precedent. quite the contrary. i encourage my colleagues to speak to their state's agriculture community and ask them what they think about setting this kind of standard. now, let's suppose my fellow -- to my fellow senators -- and incident lirntion iincidentally i should say to those in the gallery, we are working for you. i know this is like showing up at the zoo and no one showing up at your favorite exhibit. they'll be back here at about 1:45. to get back to the script, if you believe that this unfair treatment is okay because it's about tobacco and it's a fair outcome, i think you ought to think again because i remind you -- and our fellow senators
need to understand this -- that congress has spoken on this issue. we exist to make sure that we take care of the voice that may not be heard the minority who may be cast aside because of some agenda or because of it just being an easy negotiating tactic. but in this particular case, congress has spoken loudly of the,--loudly and i remind my members that u.s. agricultural exports must be substantially equivalent to those afforded foreign exports in u.s. markets. if you have a trading partner agree with the behavior of decisions made in the united states, they will be subject to due process. but this trade agreement would actually allow our trading partners to not allow us to be held to that same standard in their country of jurisdiction and not going to nblg international arbitration. dispute settlements must be
across the board not selectively. also better to give the president trade promotion authority, a how trade agreements like the t.p.p. to move through congress quick orderly, and through a responsible process. that's the process we're going through right now. i did not vote to give our negotiators the freedom to indiscriminately to choose when fairness should be applied and when it shouldn't be applied. the congress has already spoken. i hope you will at least share the expectation that our negotiations carry out our will. i applaud the efforts of the u.s. negotiators. i know it is difficult work, and i congratulate them for getting closer to completing the trans-pacific partnership agreement. i hope, however that they will consider the risk of losing support for the senate to ratify the agreement. in closing, i would offer this to anyone who believes my sticking up for tobacco for an
equal treatment in american values is shortsighted. i want you to know that i would do this for any commodity any category and any industry. i hope our trade negotiators will work hard to ensure that american values are upheld in the final agreement that they bring before congress. and that goes for language in the entire agreement even that which appears in the annexes and the footnotes. i for one -- and i think many of my colleagues -- are concerned with the current status of the trade negotiations on this particular area. there are a umin of good number of good nings in it. this needs to be worked out. i will work against any trade agreement that works against our core values. thank you mr. president. i note 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 connecticut. mr. murphy: i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: in a couple minutes we'll be voting on a bill that includes a transfer of $3.4 billion within accounts of the veterans administration to make possible literally enable the v.a. to continue providing health care for millions of veterans across the united states. we're in this situation because
of quite frankly gross inept todd in planning that can only be characterized as malpractice in management. i want to thank the chairman of the veterans' affairs committee, senator isakson for his leadership in addressing this shortfall and also in his cooperation in meeting the crisis in accountability and management that the v.a. continues to face. this crisis must stop and congress cannot be expected to bail out the v.a. because of mismanagement and management malpractice. in the longer term, there is a need for fundamental reform. there are some good ideas in this bill. i've supported many of them. i want to thank senator tester for his leadership as well in framing a proposal that
addresses these issues. but make no mistake this bill is only one small step toward the reform that i have been advocating and will continue to champion and hope to continue to work on specifics to advance as the ranking member of the veterans' affairs committee and again i want to thank my colleagues and our chairman. the presiding officer: the senator has a previous order at this time. mr. blumenthal: and i yield. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i thank the ranking member for his comments. this is the first step for reform in the v.a. we're beginning to move in the right direction. i urge a yes vote and i order the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate will proceed to consideration of h.r. 3236 which the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 3236, an act to provide an extension of federal-aid highway highway safety motor carrier safety, transit and other programs, and