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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  October 27, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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>> well, the principal impact of my departure is that i get a lot more sleep. [laughter] i get up a lot later. my service at the white house included 850 morning briefings with president, so -- >> but who's counting. >> yeah. so that's the principal impact. with respect to, with respect to israel, you know, the principles that undergird the u.s./israeli relationship come from the president, and the president's absolute kind of bottom line axiomatic commitment to israel's security is not in any question. and i don't think the united states has erred on that at all. you know, my own approach to that we talked about a little earlier. my own approach was to have intensive engagement. my own approach was to haven engagement not just at the political level, but at the professional level, if you will, intelligence and defense counterparts in israel.
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my approach was not to let things fester, but to engage, to -- if there seemed to be misunderstandings at the political level, to engage those and address them as quickly as possible. there, obviously, was a significant disagreement over the iran accord. but i think the way dennis and i have described it here, i do think we now need to look at what we have in common, the goals that we share and to do these very specific things between israel and the united states to insure implementation, deterrence, accountability and to take into account a number of the changed circumstances. dennis is absolutely correct, have more shared interest. this situation in syria right now with respect, you know, the russian reentry into the middle east for the first time in the 1970s is complicating, and
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it's dangerous. it's dangerous from a very practical perspective, and that is you have a combat air operation ongoing every day in a very small space which is rife with the possibility a mistake, miscalculation, an accident. now, i know we're having conversations with the russians about this, but this also impacts israel with respect to the freedom of its operations, with respect to threats it has from syria as well. so we share a tremendous amount here to work on. so i think that the core fundamentals remain in place, and those are, those emanate from, those emanate from the president. i also, i had a lot of experience with this before i came into this administration as well. and, you know, brought that as an asset, i think, and tried to build that while i was national security adviser. >> dennis, anything further on this? >> look, i just, i wasn't trying
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to single anybody out, although obviously there was an interpretation that i was. what i was doing was high lightening, a, the contrasts between -- highlighting the contrasts between tom and his successor's approach with israelis, including on the dialogue. and, b, i wanted to highlight the mindset that exists on the part of some is a mindset that is a very traditional one. it's not unique. it's not unique to this administration. it's been in every administration from truman until today. and one of the things i tried to highlight in the book is that perspective that sees that if you don't partner with israel somehow you're better off, is one that i try to show analytically and repeatedly actually doesn't serve your interests. it doesn't serve your interests with the arabs, it doesn't benefit you there. it makes the israelis more
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suspicious. and, actually, the very behaviors that frequently we don't want to see -- one of the things that is repetitive throughout history is an unease when the israelis act unilaterally. but you make israeli unilateral actions more likely if they have doubts about you and about the nature of your readiness to work with them and what's driving you in the region. so what tom embodied was, in my mind as i said earlier, an exemplar of how the most senior officials ought to be working with their israeli counterparts. and the great irony i show is that, ironically, that also pays off in terms of affecting those israeli behaviors you would prefer not to see. >> very good. and just lastly, tom, this book is titled "doomed to succeed." when you look at american politics, when you look at changes in american attitudes, when you look at the changes in the middle east, is the
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u.s./israel relationship, in your view, doomed to succeed? >> well, i think the if you look at kind of the fundamentals, yes. we have a deep shared interest and shared strategic goals. you know, but there are political circumstances which drive the relationship, you know, in different directions on occasion, and there are personalities which come into play as well. that's been the case all through the history, all through the history of the relationship. i do think that it was of late a mistake to in any way drive the debate over iran to a partisan place. that was a mistake. because one thing that has been consistent over the decades that dennis describes is a bipartisan commitment to the u.s./israeli relationship. and we saw some damage to that, frankly, through the way that the debate unfolded on the iran,
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on the iran agreement. i think that was unfortunate and should be corrected going forward, and i think that we have an opportunity on november 9th to do some of that correcting. >> i do, i agree with that, and that's one of -- there's a number of suggestions i make about where we go from here, and one of those suggestions is to reinforce what has, in fact, been the key underpinning of this relationship. aside from shared values and shared interests and shared threats, israel has been an american issue, not a republican or democratic issue. historically, we've seen, you know, the pendulum swings. george h.w. bush got 11% of the democratic vote, and at the time democrats were -- got 11% of republican -- got 11% of the jewish vote in that election, easy for me to say -- and at the time we saw, there was an effort on the part of democrats to try to exploit that. and now we see an effort on the part of republicans to try to exploit it. when you do that, it's clear you have a political interest
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related to a party in mind, but you don't have the u.s./israeli interest in mind. and that's, in a sense, if you want this relationship to stay on a solid footing, it has to be on a nonpartisan basis. >> you know, and it's interesting. you know, president obama personally, he has, he's a fiercely analytical person. as you know. and the arguments that he makes on these issues and the argument -- the discussions on the peace process and ore things that he had -- other things that he had with prime minister netanyahu and others are kind of from two points, right? one is a commitment to the u.s./israeli relationship, but additionally, coming from a deep consideration of the analytics and the facts. >> okay. very good. excellent point on which to end our conversation and open it up to your questions.
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we'll start over here with my colleague, david, then move to peter. the mics are right above you, so just stand up and -- >> have at it. >> -- and ask. have at it. >> fascinating conversation. tom, just to pick up on the last point about how much do you separate the overlay of the relationship of the principles from the kind of common strategic objectives. and kind of a recent iran example versus going forward. it's quoted in israeli media, i think in "the wall street journal" -- i don't think it's come from him, but others -- saying that israel was not informed about the omani talks really was a turning point in the relationship with israel and iran. if you think that was a mistake. and going forward, is that same mistrust of netanyahu and obama,
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even though they show a common strategic objective, despite what dennis said about a con adultive group, do you say the more i share with israelis, the more -- who knows the if it will be used to unravel the iran deal. we could all make the opposite argument, no, the more they feel a part of it, the more they will be embedded and committed to it. but you could see that argument going forward that says in the last year of obama, i want to keep israel on -- iran implementation. i'm not talking about hezbollah and all the regional stuff, but on iran nuclear implementation, i want to keep them at a certain distance because i'm not sure where the prime minister is at. regardless of where the professionals are. so i just want to ask you to look back and to look forward on these two examples. and do you have some second thoughts on what happened in the past on that omani point? >> let's start with the future and then go to the past.
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with respect to moving forward here, it is, it's in the interests of the united states, in my judgment, to have the kind of consultive group that dennis described, to have an accurate, fact-based, solid analytical assessment as to implementation. it is a, it should with the platform -- it should be the platform on which we continue to talk about this. that's my strong view. and i think it should be done, david, at the professional services level as well as the political level. in both countries the professional intelligence and military services are quite professional and give their leaders their best analytical, their best analytical advice. and i think the way to have, you know, kind of a common view with respect to whether or not iran is complying or not complying or if they're not complying, you know, how bad the noncompliance is, is to have these kinds of
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joint consultive, professional-level exchanges. i believe that very strongly, as you can tell. because at the end of the day, the political leaders do have to look to their analytical teams to give them the information on which they might base very serious decisions with respect to how they might, with respect to actions they might or might not take. with respect to the iranian negotiations now looking back, the line that was drawn was that we needed, the united states needed, to insure that there was a conversation that was going to be held. and once there was, we would certainly brief and engage with the israeli government on the substance. with respect to the, with respect to the first point on was it real, we had to -- there's a long history to this as you all know, right? with respect to negotiations or so-called or talks between the
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united states and iran. and it was absolutely incumbent on us to insure that the people we were talking to were authorized, that this is a real conversation, that they were authorized not just by the -- >> watch this anytime online at we will take you live over to the capitol to hear from democratic leader harry reid. >> for many months we've been coming to this podium calling for a bipartisan budget agreement for a number of reasons. one, to stop the devastateing sequester cuts from hurting our middle class, our military, our national institutes of health and on and on. this agreement does that. we've also asked that there be equal spending increases for defense and nondefense. the agreement does that. the this agreement is not
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perfect, and we all know that, but it does address both investment and domestic priorities that benefit the middle class and also takes care of defense spending. it insures that every dollar of investment in defense is matched by a dollar of investment in a strong economy and a strong middle class. this will allow us to find ways -- fund life-saving research at nih. we watched something at our caucus today of what's going on at nih. a doctor was so impressed, doctor-scientist, that he teared up just explaining what they were doing for this little girl. it also protects social security disability benefits from deep cuts and protects many seniors from a 53%, 53% increase in medicare premiums. it takes the threat off a catastrophic default and extends
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that until march 2017 which is good. this agreement is a victory over the loudest, most extreme voices in the republican party. passing it into law will be a victory for common sense and for middle class and also for how this body works. this is how we should be doing things. democrats and republicans working together to come up with something that's good for the country. this is a victory for the country. there are no political winners or losers in this, it's just good for the country. our work is not done though. i hope, i hope that the republicans with the new leadership that they have in the house or they will have in a day or two continue to work with democrats to pass legislation generally. and i would hope this week we can move on and do murray-ryan
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number two x that's basically what this is, an outline to fund our government at a respectful rate for the next two years. senator durbin? >> we'll break away here and a reminder that you can watch it online at c-span. watch it live online at the senate is gaveling in, final on cybersecurity. live coverage here -- jeremy custer, a fellow in my office, be granted privileges of the floor for the remainder of this session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reed: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i want to comment briefly on the cybersecurity information sharing act the senate is considering. let me first commend the sponsors, senator burr and senator feinstein for their extraordinary work. this bill will help ensure greater sharing of cybersecurity information while rapidly and broadly across industry and government. as we have seen with large-scale attacks against the federal government and companies like sony, interests an -- there is an urgent need to start
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addressing these breaches. while such legislation is not going to eliminate our cybersecurity challenges, it should materially help to defeat and deter cyber attacks and assist law enforcement in tracking down and prosecuting cyber criminals. information sharing will also assist the intelligence agencies and law enforcement to detect and trace attacks originating from foreign actors which is a crucial step in holding other countries accountable. many of our citizens and corporations are understandably concerned about the impact of information sharing on privacy, but we also must recognize that rampant cyber crime is a monumental threat to the privacy of the american people, and that sharing information about these criminal acts cannot only protect privacy but also protect our public safety and national security. with respect to the specific privacy protections and legislation before us, the managers of this bill have come a long way towards improving the balance between security and privacy protection, especially the changes made to the base bill by the manager's substitute. the major area of concern was whether the government should be
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authorized to use information shared under this bill to investigate and prosecute a host of crimes unrelated to cybersecurity. now the bill is more narrowly tailored and focused on using information gathered under this bill to go after crimes that are specifically related to cybersecurity. the manager's substitute also adds a requirement that the information sharing procedures required to be issued under this bill include a duty to notify individuals when the federal government shares their personally identifiable information, p.i.i., erroneously. the manager's substitute also includes an improved reporting requirement that would show the number of notices sent because the government improperly shared an individual's p.i.i. and the number of cyber threat indicators shared automatically and in addition the number of times these indicators were used to prosecute crimes. so the manager's substitute has come a long way towards being more protective of individual privacy, and i'd like once again to recognize senators feinstein and burr's hard work here and their willingness to listen to
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their colleague. while i might personally have set the balance slightly different in some places, which is why i supported some of the amendments before us, i think they have done a significant job in improving this bill and providing privacy protections. i do want to draw my colleagues' attention to one important additional fact, which is in some cases been overlooked. the cyber information sharing system established by this bill will require federal dollars influence and many agencies involved, the department of homeland security being the primary portal for shared threat indicators are funded on the nondefense discretionary side of the ledger, and this is an example of why i and many of my colleagues have been urging for sequester relief for both defense and nondefense spending, because we cannot defend our homeland without funding nondefense agencies like the department of homeland security. and a host of other key federal agencies. indeed, i am encouraged that we are close to voting on a budget
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solution that will provide two years of sequester relief on a proportionately equal basis of the defense and nondefense spending, and that protects the full faith and credit of the united states by taking the threat of default off the table until march of 2017. for this reason, mr. president, i'm looking forward to final passage of this legislation and once again commend the principal authors senator burr and senator feinstein for their extraordinary effort, and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: thanks, mr. president. mr. president, i want to go back in time a little more than 12, 13, 14 years, if you will. go back to 9/11. and one of the lessons learned by the committee on which you and i serve, now homeland security, governmental affairs committee, was learned from former governor caine of new
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jersey, former congressman lee hamilton from indiana, former chair of the house foreign affairs committee. they were the cochairs of the 9/11 commission. and one of the things that they brought to us after a lot of work by a number of good men and women who served on that commission, they brought to our committee, to the congress root causes for how that disaster occurred. how could those four aircraft take down the twin towers and crash into the -- crash into the pentagon, crash into a field in shanksville, pennsylvania, instead of this building right here? how could that have happened? there are a number of reasons why it happened, but one of the reasons why it happened is that we had stovepiped our intelligence services. what the folks over at the
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f.b.i. knew wasn't necessarily shared with the department of homeland security. what the folks at the national security agency was not shared with either of the other two agencies. what the defense information agency knew or what other agencies knew didn't get shared. it was stovepiped because we did a lousy job of sharing the real story, the full truth on what was being plotted, what was going to come down and literally take the thousands of lives in one day and change in many ways our country in profound ways it still exists today. stovepiping, i've heard that word a hundred times in hearings before our committee and talking with folks on the 9/11 commission. the legislation that we passed on the heels of that disaster were designed to make sure that we didn't end up stovepiping again with intelligence
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information that might lead us to avert that kind of disaster. and so far it seems to be working. it's much needed and i think it's been helpful. today i want to talk about a different kind of stovepiping that i'm afraid we may end up with not to avert or block an aviation takeover of aircraft and disasters involving the aviation sector, but a disaster that really in cyberspace, in the face of cyber threats to our country. we are working here today, we will be voting later today on an amendment or two and on final passage of cybersecurity information sharing. again, just to remind everybody, the reason why we're considering this is there needs to be a better sharing of information when businesses come under
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attack, cyber attack from those within our country, outside of our country, sovereign nations, we need to do a better job of sharing that information. business to business. business to government. for the government to share that information within the government to agencies that need to know so that we can respond to those attacks. and shortly after the 9/11 commission recommendation's were enacted, one of the things we did is we stood up a new department called the department of homeland security. it's a civilian agency, as we know it's not the department of defense. it's not the department of justice. it's not the f.b.i. it's not the national security agency. it's a civilian organization. and when the department of homeland security was created, one of the ideas behind it is it would be not just a civilian operation, but it would be a civilian operation which could receive from businesses and from other governmental entities, could receive information
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relating to cyber attacks, so that that information could come through a portal -- think of it as almost like a window -- through which those threat indicators would be reported. and those threat indicators would come through that portal at the department of homeland security. the department of homeland security would do a -- almost in real time a privacy scrub to strip off from the information the threat indicators submitted from other businesses or from other government entities through a privacy scrub to take out social security numbers or other identifiable information, information that shouldn't go to other federal agencies, or other businesses, strip it out. not in a week, not in a day, not in an hour, not in many cases a minute, just like that, immediately, a real-time privacy scrub. and we've tried, as the president knows, the presiding officer knows, we've tried for
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years to be able to enact legislation that incentivizes businesses, if you will, who have been attacked, cyber attacked or been the victims of cyber attacks to share that information with one another, with other businesses, with the federal government. and a bunch of them have been reluctant to do it. some of them have been reluctant to do it because they don't want to get sued. if they disclose that they had a breach and maybe their competitors didn't, how would that be used against them? how could they be named in lawsuits if attacks of this nature were heard. so in order to be able to share information, we had to insent them. the way we decided to incent them is say share the information. you don't have to worry if you share it with the department of homeland security through the portal, share it with the civilian agency. if you share it with the department of homeland security, you have liability protection. or as it turns out, if you share that information, if you already shared it previously, it's been
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shared previously with the federal government, you can share it again and still enjoy liability protection. you can share it with companies that are victims of cyber attacks and share it with their regulator and still enjoy liability protection. but what we want to do is to make sure that companies, businesses that are hacked don't just sit on the information, that they do something with it. you know the saying on amtrak, if you see something, say something. if something happens to a business, a cyber attack intrusion, we want to share it owe that other businesses and other federal agencies can be prepared for it, look out for it and stop it. where does this take me? this takes me to an amendment that we're going to be voting on later this afternoon. offered by one of our colleagues, senator cotton. and it would, i fear, risk revisiting stovepiping, not the kind of stovepiping that led to the disaster of 9/11, but to
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stovepiping that would lead to cyber threats, threat indicators shared with the federal government, not with the department of homeland security which receives these threats and immediately dispercents them to other -- disburses them to other agencies that have a need to know. but what the cotton amendment would do is say that businesses which are the similar of a cyber attack could share with the f.b.i., could share with secret service. wouldn't have to share it with the department of homeland security. the reason why homeland security and our legislation that senator burr and senator feinstein and i and others have worked on, the reason why we have it going to d.h.s. is because more than any federal agency, they're set up to do privacy scrubs. that's one of the things they do. and frankly, they do it really well. and their job is to then spread that information, share that information back to the private
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sector, in some cases. in other cases, just with relevant federal agencies, n.s.a., f.b.i., whoever, the departments of justice needs to know that, treasury, whoever else needs to know that information. my fear on the part of the authors of the legislation, i join them in this, our fear is that if the information isn't shared with the department of homeland security, which will then broadly share and in real time share that information with those who need to know it, if it ends up the f.b.i. or frankly any other agency who doesn't have that ability to do a great privacy scrub maybe, who doesn't have the -- maybe the mission to immediately share that information in real time to other relevant players, then we we -- the news or the word about that cyber attack could literally stay at that agency, the f.b.i., or the secret service, for that matter. we don't want that to happen. we don't want to see that intelligence, that information stovepiped at one agency. we want to make sure it comes to the one agency that does the privacy scrub.
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we want to make sure that that agency that does the privacy scrub shares that information in real time. with other relevant federal agencies and to the private sector. i probably shouldn't speak, pretend to speak for senator feinstein and senator burr, they will be here to speak for themselves, but i know they share my concerns about this legislation. and i would ask on behalf of him and frankly for others of us who believe that this is a dangerous -- this is a dangerous amendment. and i don't say that that lightly. we have been working really hard, we've worked really hard across the aisle, literally for months now to get to this point. if i could use a football analogy, we're not just in the red zone passing this legislation. we're at the ten-yard line. it's first down and goal to go. let's not muff the play. let's get the ball in the end zone, let's pass this
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legislation, let's vote down the cotton amendment and thets go to -- let's go to conference and provide the kind of protection against cyber attacks that this country desperately needs and deserves. with that, mr. president, i thank you for the time today and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. a senator: thank you, mr. president. today i rise on behalf of west virginian families and communities and all hardworking americans who will bear the burden of these onerous carbon mandates. mrs. capito: the bipartisan resolution of disapproval that i have introduced with my colleagues, senator heidi heitkamp and 47 other cosponsors, will block greenhouse gas regulations targeting existing power sources. i also very longly support leader mcconnell's companion resolution to block the regulations targeting new power plants. as i was thinking about this teach spoad and as i rise to give this speech, i realize i've
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said many of these same words so many times before. expressed the same frustrations and spouted off similar statistics. so what's the difference this time? well, the difference is we've already seen the devastating effects and the callous nature of regulatory overreach. and so we know what the new reality would be. the new reality would be what we're facing with these new carbon regulations. the reality of the families, the faces and the hardships that we have already endured. the thousands of layoffs in my state of west virginia that have already been issued. the jobs that have been lost and will never come back. just this morning, just this morning, nearly 200 west virginia coal miners in randolph county were informed that their jobs will be gone by christmas. think about how those families will spend their christmas holiday. and then consider how those realities would be magnified and
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felt throughout many households across the country if these carbon mandates move forward. the higher electricity bills that will result. the squeeze already is squeezing the struggling middle-class families who live on fixed incomes and those who live on fixed incomes , the squeeze they will feel. our most vulnerable will bear the burden. consider the far-reaching effects these regulations will have on schools that are now seeing their budgets shrink, home values that are now on the decline, and fewer dollars that are available for public safety and law enforcement. the reality, it's the reality that the policies emanating from this government, from our government, are causing this destruction. this is not a natural disaster. this is not a fiscal crisis. this is not an uncontrollable event. but a carefully crafted, precise
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and very meditated assault on certain areas of the country. policies that help some states and really hurt others. policies that target states like west virginia, north dakota. we produce some of the most affordable and reliable energy. policies that are ripping the american dream away from families in my state and communities. our families want and deserve healthy and clean air, water and they want to live in a great environment. but policies from washington that pit one state against another and prioritize certain communities and certain jobs over others are bringing the livelihoods of many to a halt. members of congress, on behalf of americans across the country, we now have the opportunity to express those concerns with these carbon mandates. we have an opportunity to weigh in about whether these burden some regulations should go into effect. i believe that a majority of my colleagues understand the need
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for affordable and reliable energy and that's why i'm confident that congress will pass these resolution and place this critical issue of america's economic future squarely on president obama's desk. with the international climate negotiations in paris scheduled for december, the world is watching whether the united states will foolishly move forward with regulations that will do virtually nothing to protect our environment and will tie one hand behind our back economically. even if the president vetoes these resolutions, as we recognize the likelihood that he will, passing them will send a clear message to the world that the american people do not stand behind the president's efforts to address climate change with economically catastrophic regulations. i'm pleased to be joined by several colleagues on the floor who understand the need for affordable and reliable energy. and i would like it to recognize senator heitkamp.
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i ask consent to engage in a colloquy with my colleagues for up to 30 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. heitkamp: thank you, mr. president. and thank you to my great colleague from the great state of west virginia, a state that's been powering america for a lot of years. in fact, from the very beginning. and my great thanks to all of the great workers and coal miners in her state who have added to the economic opportunity, not just to the people of west virginia but the people of an entire region. that's one thing that we forget, that in america, this great thing, great miracle happens every day. we turn on a light switch and the lights come on. and if that doesn't happen or if it's too expensive to turn on that light switch, we will not be the country that we are. with this regulation, i think what we've done is we've ceded the all-important role of electrical security and energy security to an environmental
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agency that really does not have the experience or expertise to understand what it takes to get an electron in the wire. and so i am proud to stand today with my colleague, senator capito, and introduce a bill to roll back the e.p.a. rule on carbon emissions, that rule which threatens the supply of abundant, affordable, and reliable electricity in north dakota. i pledge to register my displeasure through multiple channels and this legislation i think today is the most public way of expressing not just my frustration but the frustration and concern of my state regulators and my state utilities. this rule, although having dramatic consequences across the country, this rule unfairly targets north dakota utilities. during the original draft rule, north dakota's allocation was 11%. not something we were happy with, given the extent of the jurisdictional reach, but something that people started
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really rolling up their sleeves saying, if we have to reduce by 11%, how are we going to do it and how are we going to meet this challenge. that's the north dakota way, to not only fight for our rights but also look at what the alternatives are. unfortunately, when the draft rule went from 11% to a 45% reduction in the final rule, that was the straw that broke the camel's back. i'm trying to do everything that i can to push back against e.p.a.'s burdensome power plant rules, to find workable solutions so north dakotans can continue to have low-cost, reliable electricity. and this c.r.a. is just one of the many different avenues i'm taking to make sure that north dakota is treated fairly. i want to -- i want to talk about what's unique about north dakota. in fact, a lot of the generation that happens in north dakota is generation that is, in fact, generated by rural electric
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co-ops. these co-ops own and operate about 90% of the state's coal-based generation facilities and provide electricity to rural areas that in the past, other utilities would not serve. not just rural areas in north dakota but rural areas all through the region. the people at the end of the line, as we call them, the very people this rule will most impact, that e.p.a. and this administration have failed to consider when they've made this final rule. north dakota's utilities are heavily invested in coal-based generation for a good and historic reason, and i think this is really an important point to make because a lot of people may think, well, what's the difference, you know? you can fuel switch. but at the time that our electric co-ops built these generation facilities, they used coal because it was against the federal law to use natural gas. the fuel use act made it illegal to use natural gas for power
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generation, virtually forcing these power companies to make the investment that they made in this fuel source of coal. now after making billions of dollars of investments to meet the mandates under the fuel use act and to meet the numerous emissions standards that have been put forth by e.p.a., the administration once again is straining these assets, causing them in many cases to be stranded. if the administration were willing to pay fair market value to strand these assets, then maybe we could have a discussion but i don't see that deal on the table. these utilities built, modified and retrofitted, all at great cost and according to federal law at the time, and now they are threatening the very existence of this generation. these assets are not just critical to north dakota. our coal-based generation provides dependable, affordable, reliable base load electricity to millions of people in the
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great plains with roughly 55% of the electric power generated in north dakota is shipped outside our border. when this final rule came out, i simple said -- i simply said it was a slap in the base if to -- base to our utilities and our regulators. this final rule was so vastly different than the rule that was proposed, it was almost laughable that e.p.a. said it wasn't in any way informed by any real input or any real comment. how can you take a utility and a state from 11% to 45% and not reissue that rule? how can that be the movement in the final rule? i think this final rule is -- is a rule that jeopardizes close to 17,000 good-paying jobs in my state. it provides power for rural communities that otherwise would struggle for affordable, reliable base load power. we have some of the lowest power
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costs in the country because we have some of the best utilities in the country who are always looking out for that consumer at the end of the line. north dakota has never stepped down from a tough challenge and when the challenge is fair and the goal is attainable and the time line is achievable. but that's not this rule. the goal is not fair, the challenge is not fair, the goal is not attainable and the time line is unachievable in my state. unachievable. that is not anything that the clean air act ever anticipated. that we would set a goal with no feasible or possible way of meeting that goal given current technology. but yet that's the position we're in. and so at the end of the day, what matters most is making sure that our utilities can do their job, making sure when a north dakotan or a south dakotan or someone from wyoming or colorado, where we deliver
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power, and certainly those in minnesota reach over to turn on that light switch, regardless of the time of the day, that that light comes on. that's called base load power. and people who think that -- that this is easy, people who think that this is just -- you know, just switch fuels or switch technology have never sat in a boardroom, as i have, and listened to the challenges of putting that electron on that wire. and so i stand with my colleague from west virginia and my colleagues -- my coleagues, joe manchin here, on our side of the aisle, saying enough is enough. this is a problem we need to address. maybe that's the difference in us in how we look at this. this is an issue that we can tackle and achieve result over time. but this rule is wrong, it's wrongheaded, it will, in fact, cause huge disruption to the economy of my state and the economy of the middle of this country and we have got to do everything that we can to prevent this rule from becoming
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a reality. thank you for letting me join you, the great senator from west virginia. we have two great senators from west virginia here. and i yield the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, there's a war on coal in america a war on coal in america. and the leader is the president of the united states. a number of us who were in the senate back in 2009 and 2010 and the administration couldn't pass through the senate their cap-and-trade proposal, they had 60 votes in the senate, the president and his party had 60 votes in the senate. but they couldn't pass the cap and trade proposal through body. so they decided they were going to do it anyway. decided they were going to do it anyway. and so we have a depression in
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central appalachia, as the two senators from west virginia can attest. created not because anything we did here in congress but because of the president's zeal to have an impact worldwide on the issue of climate. i suspect, mr. president, that even if we follow this path all the way to the end, this effort by the united states would have about as much impact as dropping a pebble in the ocean, and yet we're paying a real price for it here at home. eastern kentucky looks like the dust bowl during the 1930's. no jobs, no opportunity, no future. not as a result of anything we passed through the people's
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elected representatives. but by this sort of arrogant, single-handed messianic goal to deal with worldwide climate. our options to stop it are quite limited. but we do have the possibility of a congressional review act, but the weakness of that obviously is even though we can pass it through here with a simple majority, he's likely to veto it. but we're here today to stand up for our people, the ratepayers of america. and not only the ratepayers, 90% of the electricity in kentucky comes from coal, but the communities that have been devastated by this. i've never seen anything like it. i heard my parents talk about what the depression was like.
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it sounds and looks a lot like the stories they told me. about america in the 1930's. so this is a venture that will have no impact on the issue for which it is being pursued but is having a devastating and current adverse impact on the people that we represent. now, we have representatives from both parties here on the floor today working toward overturning the administration's deeply regressive energy regulations. these regulations are going to ship more jobs overseas. i told my constituents the other day coal has a future. the question is does coal have a future in this country? the indians and the chinese are not going to give up their future by not using this cheap,
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abundant source of power. the germans, one of the most -- one of the greenest countries in europe, are now importing coal. so coal has a future. the question is does it have a future here? after this administration. my affirmative action can't even put food on the table. ones who can find a job somewhere leave it. the population continues to decline. as i said earlier, it's not going to have much of an impact on the environment of our planet. this isn't going to do anything meaningful to affect global carbon levels. it just seems that some want to be able to pat themselves on the back for doing something even if they accomplish hardly anything
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at all except hurt a whole lot of americans. higher energy bills, lost jobs may be trivial to some folks out on the political left. not their jobs. they don't care. but it's a different story to the the middle-class kentuckians that i represent. so here you have on the floor senators from both parties who are saying it's time to take off the ideological blinders. instead, think about those who have already suffered enough the past few years. so we have worked together to file bipartisan measures that would overturn the administration's two-pronged regulations. i'm joined with senator heitkamp, senator capito, on a measure that would address one of those prongs, the one that pertains to existing energy sources. senator manchin is here on the
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floor to join me as i introduce a measure that would address the other prong, the one that pertains to new sources. these bipartisan measures together represent a comprehensive solution. as i said, i'm pleased to be joined on the floor by the senators from west virginia, montana, the chairman of our energy committee, our environment committee, senator inhofe is here. some have already spoken and some will speak after me, but i'm proud and pleased to be here on the floor with all of you standing up for our aggrieved constituents who have been mightily abused by this administration. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: first of all, i want to thank my colleagues, senator mcconnell, senator
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capito, my colleague from the state of west virginia, senator daines, senator inhofe and my good friend, senator heitkamp. this is a bipartisan approach. not often do you see a bipartisan effort, a colloquy on the floor of the senate anymore, and it should be because we all have the same interests. basically, how do we provide affordable, dependable and reliable energy, which this country was built on. we have defended this country by having resources so that we could basically defend ourselves and that resources came from what the good lord gave us and coal has been in abundance in the united states of america. we have fought every war, we have defended, we have energized, we have built a middle class. unlike any time in the history of this world. so now it comes to the point where there's a group basically that wants an ideological pathway to say we can do it differently. if someone came to me and says that we have this new great energy and i'm sorry, west virginia, i'm sorry, north dakota, i'm sorry, oklahoma, i'm sorry, montana, we have this new
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energy and maybe it's commercial hydrogen which will be water vapor, that's wonderful. we'll figure a way, we embrace that, we'll figure a way to make it, we'll do something, we'll diversify. that's not the case, mr. president. the case is simply this -- this country has depended and will depend and even by this own administration's admission that this country will depend on fossil fuel for at least the next three decades. it's in their e.i.a. report. they're going to have to have it. base load -- and i think the senator from north dakota said this -- base load is simply this -- something that will give you power 24/7, day or night, rain or shine. there's only two things in the world that can do it -- coal and nuclear. gas is coming on and gas will be a base load when the distribution lines and the pipelines are there to provide it. right now it's not, but it's coming on strong. so just look no further than japan. japan was mostly moving towards nuclear.
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fukushima happens. when that happened, japan had to change. what did they do? they changed to coal. but they decided the new plants that he would build would be ultrasupercritical. that means 40% efficiency, burn at the highest levels to reduce the emissions. they're moving in technology ways. now, what does this -- the plan that we're talking about? we have our colleagues talking about existing source, which means they can't continue with what we have today and new source, which means any new plant has to be built to certain standards. carbon capture sequestration has not been be proven commercially in not one plant in america. yet these rules are based on using carbon capture sequestration. all we have said, some of us have said this -- why don't you at least demonstrate, demonstrate that you can have that type of commercial operation, and it can withstand one year under commercial load and show us those are the new limits you want us to meet? that to me is reasonable. and let me tell you this, mr. president. if you were in the business of
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producing power and you desired not to do that even though we had technology, then you would have to close your plant. i understand that. that's not the case. that's not the case. they can't show us technology and show us that it has a commercial feasible pathway to be able to perform and provide the energy we need, there's no way you can do it. so i have said this -- if it's unobtainable, it's unreasonable. that's all. if it's unobtainable, it's unreasonable. don't expect me to do something that's never been done. if the federal government says fine, we are going to have -- we have $8 billion laying down at the department of energy, $8 billion, but it hasn't been tapped, does that not tell you something? the private sector has not stepped up to take those types of loans and to use those types of loans to find the new technology for the future because they don't believe the administration wants you to find any new technology that might be able to adhere to the standards they've set. so we sat back and we've done nothing. and then on top of that, they
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expect these plants 30 years from now, if they're expecting to get commercial power, electricity, fill the grid with power coming from coal for the next 30 years, most of our plants average 50 years of age. they can't produce the power they're going to produce that you're needing for this country to have for 30 more years. an 80-year-old plant just won't do it, just won't do it. so that means they come off the line, comes off the grid. when that comes off the grid, what we call dependable, reliable and affordable energy goes away, goes away. i have said this. someone needs to ask respectfully our president, this administration, the e.p.a., the d.o.e. if for the next 90 days not another ton of coal was delivered to a coal plant in america, not another ton of coal, because -- and i have said this to the administration. they have been very, very eloquently and basically telling the american people we don't like coal, we don't want coal, we don't need coal.
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if those were the facts, then make sure you tell the american people if they didn't have coal for 90 days, what would the united states of america look like? just tell me what would it look like? ask anything what it would look like. 130 million people's lives would be in jeopardy tomorrow. 130 million people. this system could collapse. the east coast goes dark. now, you tell me how you're going to fill that in. and if you're not willing to be honest with the american people and tell them that, don't make them believe that there's something that's not there, that you can run this off of wind and solar. we have a lot of wind in west virginia and we're proud of that. let me give you an example. the hottest days this past summer, you know that real hot spell we had, 90 to 100 degrees. we have 17 acres of a wind farm on the top of a beautiful mountain in west virginia, 560 megawatts. we have a coal fire plant, the cleanest supercritical coal
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power plant. guess how many megawatts of power the wind produced on the hottest times of summer when we needed the power. two megawatts, two. the wind didn't blow, so hot and stagnant. didn't blow. that pour little coal-fired plant was giving everything it got, running at 100% to try to produce the power the nation needed. i'm just saying the facts are that, whether you like it or not. the facts are saying any new coal power plant has to be built like this, you can be assured they're not going to build any. they won't invest and try to hit a moving hargt. so now what happens? for the 35% or 40% of the power you're telling the united states of america, the people in this great country that we've got, don't worry, we're going to take care of you, they're not going to have it. well, we're not going to stand by and say, you know, we're not going to fight for that. we're not only fighting for a way of life for west virginia, we're fighting for a way of life for this country. this country depends on the energy we have been able to produce. they have always depended on our little state.
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north dakota now, one of the best energy-producing states we have in the country, montana, wyoming, oklahoma, we have been the heavy lifters. we'll continue to work for this great country. we just need a little help. and that's all we're asking for. so i would say ask the question what would the country look like? what would it look like tomorrow? and the standards they are setting are basically unreasonable, totally unreasonable because they are unobtainable. so the impact is going to be devastating, basically. the system is going to be to the point to where you can't depend on it and it's not reliable and we don't have the power of the future yet. maybe your children or grandchildren might see that, i hope so, but until that time comes, when you're going to transition from one to the other, make sure that it's a smooth transition. make sure that it's one that's a dependable transition. make sure it's one that keeps this country the superpower of the world. if you don't, i'll guarantee you, we will be the last generation, the last generation that stands before you as a superpower saying that we are energy independent, we're not fighting wars around the world
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basically for the energy this country needs. we have the ability to basically take care of ourselves. we can be totally independent of energy if we have an energy policy that works. this is not realistic. that's why i totally oppose this new power plan that comes out. it's a shame we have to rely on the courts to protect something we should be doing in the halls of this senate. it's a shame the courts have to come in and protect us. it really is. with that being said, i yield the floor, and i thank my colleagues for being here on this important issue. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, first of all, i'm going to appreciate the fact that our colleagues from west virginia, north dakota, kentucky and all of us are getting together on this on a bipartisan way. i think it's worth repeating to make sure everyone understands where we are on this thing what a c.r.a. is. a c.r.a. is a congressional review act. it is one that is -- that allows
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an elected person who is answerable to the public to weigh in on these decisions that are made by the president, who is not -- who can't run again for office, by the unelected bureaucrats that are destroying this country. the idea as pointed out by the senator from kentucky, i do share the committee called the environment and public works committee. on this committee, we deal with these regulations. you know, we have jurisdiction over the -- over the e.p.a. it's interesting i'd say that because we try to get the e.p.a. to come in and testify as witnesses as to how the president plans to move to the percentage of power that's going to be generated by the year 2030 by renewables, and they testify because they don't have a plan, they don't know how they will do it. the c.r.a. is significant because -- and a lot of people, in this case it would be the liberals in this body who like the idea of being overregulated, who like the idea of having the
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regulators run our lives, and they're the ones who would love to go home when people are complaining about the costs of all these things, they can say well, wait a minute, don't blame us, that was a bureaucrat that did that, that wasn't me. well, this forces accountability, and these guys don't like it. i can assure you right knew now that we're going to give everyone an opportunity to weigh in. they would much prefer to go home and say, i know we're over-recreated and i know it's destroying our states, whatever their states happen to be. but it wasn't me, don't look at me. well now we're going to say, who is responsible? because what's going to happen is we're going to have a vote and the vote is going to take place and then i think senator -- that our leader is correct when he says that the president will probably veto this. if the president vetoes it, then it comes back for a veto override. thep people will know who is -- then people will know who is for it and who is against it. i think c.r.a. has another great
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value. it forces accountability to people who are answerable to the public on the issue that we're using today, the interesting and the consistent pattern that we have is that what this president does is he gets the things they tried to do through over--- through legislation and those things that have failed through legislation, he tries then to do regulation. another issue that is not the issue we're talking about today is the wilderness issue, the waters of the united states. historically, it's been the states who had regulation over the waters, except for navigable waters. well, of course, liberals want everything in washington. so five years ago a bill was introduced and the bill would have essentially taken the word "navigable" out so that the federal government would have control over all the waters in my state of oklahoma and throughout america. well, that sounded -- they entered -- two of them introduced a bill. one was a senator feingold from
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wisconsin. the house member was congressman oberstar from one of the northern states -- i don't remember which one it was. but they introduced the bill to take the word "navigable" out. well, this not only -- not only did we overwhelmingly defeat the legislation, but the public defeated the two of them in the next election. now, the president is trying too do what he was not able to do through legislation through regulation. same thing is true -- the senator from west virginia is right when he talked about what the -- what they are trying to do. and it is really interesting when you look at this bill. this is -- we're talking about the emissions of co2. well, the first bill that was introduced was 2002. it was the mccain-lieberman bill. weigh defeated that. the next one was the
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mccain-lieberman bill in 2005. the third was the warner-lieberman bill, then we had the waxman-markey bill that we never even got the vote on because nobody was going to vote on it. what they failed to be able to do legislatively, they're not trying to do through regulation. that's why a c.r.a. is significant because it does force accountability. now, let me make one other statement. this thing about parris that's going to take -- paris that's going to take place in december, this is the big party that the united nations puts on every year. this is the 21s 21st year that they've done this. i can remember when they did it in 2009. that was going to be copenhagen. and we sent -- we didn't send, but they sent several people went over there. at that time obama was in the senate, hillary was in the senate, pelosi went.
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they went over wil there to tele same countries that we'll be meeting in two months from the 192 countries, went over to tell them that we were going to pass cap-and-trade legislation that year. that was 2509. i went over at -- that was 2009. i went over after they had given their testimony there. went all the way over to copenhagen, spent three hours and came back on the next flight. it was probably the most enjoyable three hours i ever had because i was able to talk to the 192 dunce an countries and m they had been lied to. in december of this year they're going to go over -- and by the way, let me mention one thing that hasn't been said. there are people listening right now who actually believe this stuff, the world is going to come to an end. it is all because of co2-mandated gases. this is something we've been listening to for a long period
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of time. i remember right before going over to copenhagen in 2009, at that time the director of the environmental protection agency was lisa jackson, an appointee by president obama. and skid her this question on the -- and i asked her this question on the record live on tv. i said, you know, if we had passed any of the legislation or the regulations that this -- that we're talking about passing, would this have an effect oflog the co2 -- of lowering the co2 worldwide? she said -- keep in mind this was an obama appointee. he was president at the time and he went over to copenhagen. she said, no, it wasn't reduce emissions worldwide because it just pertained to the united states. this isn't where the problem s the problem is in india, it's in china, it's in mexico. and so the problem that we would have there is that, yes, we might lower our co2 emissions in the united states.
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however, those other countries won't. and it could have the affect of increasing, not decreasing, co2 emissions because as we chase our manufacturing base overseas to places where they don't have any restrictions, it would have the affect of increasing it. so i'm just saying that i appreciate the fact that we're all together on this and making the necessary efforts to make people accountable. i think that it might surprise a lot of people as to who changes their mind on this once they know that they have to cast a vote and be accountable. so i applaud certainly my friends from west virginia and the other states that are involved in this thing, and i think this is the right thing to do. let's keep in mind, i remember with utility ma mact. that was the first to put coal under. and at that time we did a c.r.a.
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and we actually cal came withinr votes of getting the thing passed and that was the time when republicans were not in the majority. i look for some good things to happen here. i think we're doing the good thing, the responsible thing. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. eximrs. capito: mr. president, montana has some of the largest recoverable tonnage of coal in the nation. i ask consent for that. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. daines: thank you, mr. president. i've got to thank senator capi capito, senator heitkamp -- we've had democrats and republicans in this colloquy talking about what's going on with coal-fired plants and the
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clean power plan of this administration. here's what's hasmg it is killing good-paying jobs for union workers, for pipe fitters, boilermakers and tribal members in my state with these so-called clean power plan regulations. at the same time, it's stifling investment that could lead to innovation to make coal cleaner here in the u.s. as i travel across montana, i've heard montanans describe the e.p.a., as a rancher one time told me, it stands for "eliminate production agriculture." a union member recented told me it stants for "the employment prevention agency." and president obama and his employment prevention agency continues to wage war on the american energy, american families, and american jobs. this so-called clean power plan is an all-out frontal assault on
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affordable energy and good-paying union as well as tribal jobs. and this will leave president obama directly responsible for skyrocketing energy bills, a loss of tax revenues for our schools and our teachers and our roads, and unemployment of thousands of hardworking americans. the president ignores the fact that more than half of montana's electricity comes from coal, as do thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of tax revenue every year. 40% of our nation's energy comes from coal. when a young person plugs in their iphone or their smar smartphone, most likely it's being charged by coal. in my hometown of boozman boseme have a tesla charging station at one of our hotels. ilan musk created an electric vehicle. when they plug those vehicles
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into those chargers, those tesla vehicles are likely powered by coal. the facts are that coal production in the u.s. is much safer and less carbon-intensive than coal from other nations. this is a global challenge we must think about and address. the powder river basin in southeast montana has coal that is among the cleanest in the world. it has lower sulfur content and cleaner than indonesian coal. shutting down u.s. coal will have a negligible impact on global emissions. it will, however, ultimately make more likely that less technology -- technologically advanced coal production techniques will be used around the wompled here is the way to think about it. the u.s. consumes about 10% of the world's coal. said another way, 90% of the coal consumption in the world occurs outside the u.s. and the global demand for coal-fired energy will not
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disappear, even if the u.s. were to shut down every last coal mine and every last coal-fired plant. and, again, individuals are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts. here are the facts: coal use around the world has grown about four times faster than renewables. 1,200 coal plants are planned across 59 countries, about three-quarters in china and india. china consumes 4 billion tons of coal per year versus the u.s. at 1 billion tons. and china is building a new coal-fired plant every ten days, and that's projected to last for the next ten years. japan -- i used to have an office in tokyo. my degree was in chemical engineering. er i was part of a software company in offices around the world. i remember the big earthquake that struck japan, the 9.0 quake. the fukushima nuclear reactors
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-- how is japan dealing with that? they're building 43 coal-fired power plants. and india may build two and a half times as much compass tas the u.s. is about to use. so this is shortsighted, misguided to move forward on an agenda that is going to devastate significant parts of the economy, going to raise energy prices and destroy union jobs and tribal jobs, and we're seeing that already in montana. earlier this month, in the month of october, a customer of the crow tribe, the shirco coal plant, announced it has to shut down two plontsz. -- two plants. the crow tribe relies on utilities for most of its nonfederal revenue and for good-paying jobs a mine.
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the unemployment rate on the reservation is in the high 40%. without these coal-mining jobs that unemployment rate will go to 80% to 85%. ironically, some of the first impacted by the obama administration's new regulations are those who can least afford t you've heard that from senators on both sides of the aisle here today. and under the final rule, the coal strip power plant in montana will likely be shuttered putting thousands of jobs at risk. we must take action and stop these senseless rules. i joined attorney general tim fox in hellen in a to announce that montana along with 23 states has filed a lawsuit against the federal government because of obama's recent decision. there are currently 26 states, the majority of the states in this united states through three different lawsuits have requested an initial stay on the rule. as leader mcconnell mentioned, in 2010 a democrat-controlled
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congress could not pass these regulations. the people's house stopped them. but now president obama and the e.p.a. are moving forward without the people's consent. i am thankful to partner with a bipartisan group of my colleagues, leader mcconnell, senator capito, senator inhofe, senator manchin, senator heitkamp in speaking out and working to stop this harmful rule. i am proud to stand here to join them as a cosponsor of two bipartisan resolutions of disapproval under the congressional review act that would stop the e.p.a. from imposing these anti-coal regulations. coal keeps the lights on. it charges our iphones and will continue to power the world for decades to come. rather than dismissing this reality, the united states should be on the cutting edge of technological advances in energy development. we should be leading the way and promoting the use of clean, affordable american energy. america can and it should power the world. we can only do it if the obama
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administration steps back from these out-of-touch regulations and allows american innovation to thrive once again. to sum it up, we need more innovation, not more regulatio regulations. thank you. i yield back my time. mrs. capito: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mrs. capito: i would like to thank my colleagues for joining me in the colloquy particularly the the senator from from north dakota who is cosponsoring the legislative review act with me. certainly my colleague, senator manchin from west virginia, we work very well together, bipartisan on these issues. leader mcconnell, chairman inhofe and senator daines from montana. i think we've presented a clear picture of the impact of these rules. so i would ask unanimous consent that any time spent in a quorum call before the 4:00 p.m. vote series be charged equally against both sides. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection.
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mrs. capito: i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i want to talk about the crisis, the financial crisis that's going on in puerto rico. we've all heard about the current situation that puerto rico finds itself, and they are suffering. they're having trouble paying their bills, and their economy is in shambles. and some people had the attitude, well, that's not our problem. but they're forgetting the fact that puerto rico is part of the united states. it's a territory. it is not a foreign country. puerto ricans are american
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citizens. if a problem exists in puerto rico, it exists in the united states. it isn't something that we can just ignore. and it impacts the entire country. if the economy continues to suffer in puerto rico, the people there will just move to another part of the country. i want to repeat that. if things are bad in puerto rico economically, they -- puerto ricans -- can move to another part of the country. this is not immigration. this is a move to the mainland, and many puerto ricans are leaving puerto rico because of its troubles.
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now, happily, many of the people that live on the island are moving to florida. they're adding to the diversity and immense fabric of florida that reflects the entire country. but our gain in florida is puerto rico's loss. there are more than a million people in florida alone that may have preferred to stay at home on the island with their friends and their family, people who otherwise would be opening small businesses or new doctors' offices in san juan are opening them in orlando. this only hurts puerto rico's
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economic future. we need to give puerto rico the tools it needs to get its economy back on track. puerto rico cannot do that alone. congress needs to pitch in. and so i've joined a number of our colleagues -- blumenthal, schumer, menendez -- in being a sponsor of the puerto rico chapter 9 uniformity act. it fixes a glitch in the federal bankruptcy law that stops puerto rico's municipalities and public corporations from restructuring their debt through federal bankruptcy court, something that is law in all the states. that's why we have a bankruptcy law. but there is a glitch that you cannot do that in puerto rico.
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well, that's just simply unfair. the people of puerto rico should get equal protection under the law. both the finance committee and the energy and natural resources committee have held hearings in the past few weeks about the economic crisis in puerto rico. two of puerto rico's elected officials -- governor garcia padilla and congressman perry n nuesi -- testified at these hearings and both said the puerto rico government needs access to chapter 9 debt restructuring. it's this senator's strong desire that we see them treated equally under the law and that this legislation to fix this
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glitch comes to the floor soon. we also need to help puerto rico's health care system. the medicaid program in puerto rico, it serves nearly 1.7 million residents, and it's in terrible shape. in 2010, congress passed the affordable care act which provided puerto rico with a $5.4 billion onetime payment to cover health care costs. that money is set to expire in 2019, but it can even run out sooner. and under medicare part-d, puerto rican residents are being treated like second-class citizens. they don't get the same
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financial support that state residents get for prescription drug coverage. and this all has an effect on their economy, stifling their ability to emerge from the crisis, not to speak of that they're not getting the health care that other american citizens have. i remind you, puerto ricans are american citizens. and so this kind of treatment under medicare flies in the face of the most basic american value: equality. that's why several of us have joined senator schumer on a bill to improve the way puerto rico is treated under medicare and
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medicaid. last week, thankfully, the white house has released a set of legislative proposals to help puerto rico. included in that list were some of the bills that i have mentioned here that i support. and i urge our colleagues to give this problem the attention it demands. we should move the proposals that we can move in this legislative body, and we should do it with haste. there are more than 3.5 million people in puerto rico. they are u.s. citizens who unlike most u.s. citizens, have no one to represent them in this chamber, and only have a nonvoting delegate in the house of representatives. they have no voice here.
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but even with no voice, there are some of us in this chamber to make sure that their voice is heard. we cannot turn our backs on fellow americans. by the way, when it comes time to defending this country in our national security, look at the percentage of puerto ricans that sign up for the military. they are fellow americans. and i ask my colleagues to look deep in their hearts and find a way to come together to help the island of puerto rico, a territory, our fellow american citizens, to get through this troubled time. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: i ask consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: mr. president, since i see that no one is waiting to speak, i might offer a couple of comments about the proposed budget agreement. we are still evaluating this, looking at the details. but first things first, this seems to me to be something that we should agree to. it certainly gets us past this artificial debt crisis that
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would cause the united states to go into economic cataclysmic fits. if we do not raise the debt ceiling, america cannot pay its obligations that it's already incurred. and it would be the first time that the united states government went in to default. and that time has already run out, but through extraordinary measures, the secretary of the treasury has been able to keep the cash flow going. but he's running out of all of his tricks of the trade next week, november 3. so that's the first thing that it would do most immediately. the second thing it would do is it would get us over this
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budgetary impasse of a budget that lays out the blueprint for all the fleshing out of that bleept, which are -- blueprint e the appropriations bills. and so in the case of the budget, what had been brought forth was a budgetary gimmick of saying that we were going to raise the amount of money that we needed for defense, but it wasn't going to meet this arbitrary budget cap that had been set three years ago by the cuts across the board called the sequester, but oh, by the way, we were going to increase that defense spending a little more by creating an additional account over and above what we spend overseas called the
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overseas contingency fund, o.c.o., and therefore, money was going to be supplied, the increases that we need in defense, with in fact not increasing the budgetary caps on spending. that was budgetary fakery. that was budgetary sleight of hand. that was not budgetary truth. this agreement stops that for the next two years. two years from now we'll have to face the same thing and get rid of this artificial cut across the board which that's no way of dealing with trying to cut the budget. you ought to be cutting the budget with a scalpel, not with a meat cleaver where you come across the board on every
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program. indeed, what this agreement does is it raises the caps on defense in this first year $25 billion. it allows an o.c.o. increase of $16 billion, and that is far considerably less than what had been proposed earlier many. indeed as you get into fiscal year 2017, it raises the budgetary caps on defense by $15 billion. also a $16 billion o.c.o., or overseas contingency fund for the war effort over in central asia. this is a good program. but the other thing that this
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agreement corrects, in the republican budget, they had only raised money for defense spending, and all the other needs of government that need to be appropriated -- non-defense discretionary spending -- were kept artificially low. whether you're talking about grants from n.i.h. -- that was all being limited. if you're talking about moneys for nasa, as we get in the program of going to mars, all of that had been cut. if you're talking about agricultural programs, all of that had been cut. no matter what program -- education, the environment, you go on down the list -- all of that had been cut.
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this budget agreement that we will vote on hopefully in the next two or three days does, in fact, raise those budgetary caps for non-defense spending as well as for defense spending. so where the caps were raised in this first year of fiscal year 2016 by $25 for defense spending, so, too, $25 billion for non-defense discretionary spending. and, likewise, in the next fiscal year 2017 where the caps had been raised for defense spending $15, likewise non-defense discretionary, and awful those other needs of -- an
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all of those other needs of government, the same amount, $15 billion. mr. president, i'll have more to say about this later. but while ire i had the opportu, i wanted to commend to the senate that i think that this is certainly in the interest of our country to move forward and approve this new budgetary agreement. and, by the way, i might add, as i close, an agreement that has been hammered out between the republican and democratic leadership in both houses, along with the white house. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. cotton: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: i ask for consent to speak for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. cotton: mr. president, i
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speak in support of the cotton amendment to the cybersecurity information sharing act. my amendment would provide liability protection to any business or private organization that shares cyber threat indicators in the f.b.i. or the secret service. in its current forming, the act would require entities to submit these indicators to a portal created and run by the department of homeland security. but there are also two exceptions that would allow entities to receive liability protection outside the d.h.s. portal. first, if a submission was related to a previously shared cyber threat indicator, and, second, if the submitting entity is sharing information with its federal regulatory authority. but not every private entity has a federal regulatory authority, thank goodness. so where a cable company can share with the f.c.c. or an energy company can go to the department of energy or ferc or other businesses are forced to
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go to the d.h.s. portal. a good example are retailers like jcpenney, wal-mart, or home depot. when the trade victims wer compe pleading for this notice, we should take notice. anything else would be unfair, inequitable and unwise. we ought to give these companies an alternative to the d.h.s. port a one simple reason is that nobody knows what the portal will look like, how it will function or how much it will cost companies to interact with. the federal government, after all, doesn't have the best track record of designing and deploying i.t. systems. was not exactly a resounding success. one could easily imagine a company trying to share a cyber threat indicator and getting an error message from the portal. in this case, regulated businesses can just go to their regulator. private and small businesses
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will be out of luck, though. this is the primary reason why my amendment has such strong private-sector support. organizations such as the national retailers federation, the chamber of commerce, the national cable and telecommunications association, ans many others support this commonsense amendment. the second main reason that any entities should be able to share directly with the f.b.i. on the one hand secret service, is that the bill is about promoting collaboration as the national security council says that we should in this tweet: "more than any other national security topic, effective cybersecurity requires the u.s. government and private sector to work together." and i agree. as the director recently told the senate intelligence committee, the f.b.i. has redoubled its efforts to reach out to private businesses in this area. this has paid dividends and there is no entity in the private that the private sector truforts more than the f.b.i. that's why sony called the
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f.b.i. when it was hacked by the north currency last year. i also have to imagine that's the main reason why the white house endorsed my amendment over the weekend when they sent out this very helpful tweet 0: "if you are a victim of a major entire incident, a call to the f.b.i., secret service, or d is a call to all." susan rice and i stand together in agreement that if you are a victim after cyber incident, you should be able to call the f.b.i., the secret service or d.h.s. i thank the national security advisor and the white house for their support. i would like to disspell a few myths about this amendment. the first myth is that cybersecurity -- the cybersecurity energy sharing act -- informing sharing act creates a portal. the cotton amendment would create a second channel. this is falls.
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the bill authorizes multiple liability protective sharing channels with the federal government, not just one. and through a broad exception to the portal that permits certain regulated businesses to engage in liability-protected sharing of entire threat information directly with any federal regulators without requiring that it pass first through d.h.s. the cotton amendment provides the same flexibility for businesses that already have established threat-sharing relationships with the f.b.i. or the secret service to maintain their existing channels for sharing and not incur significant costs or delays to establish new ones through the d.h.s. my amendment is consistent with this multichannel-sharing approach. the second myth is that my amendment would allow the sharing of cyber threat indicators with the f.b.i. or secret and that sharing wouldn't happen under the bill if its current form. this is also false. under the current version of the bill, if anti-ty are shares information through the d.h.s. portal, the f.b.i. and secret
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slfs receive t my amendment doesn't change that or the privacy protections in the bill. with or without my amendment, the f.b.i. and secret service will get cyber threat indicators. the third myth is the scrub that d.h.s. would have to conduct for personably identifiable amendment isn't as rigorous as under my amendment. this is not true. the cybersecurity information sharing act requires all federal entities receiving threat indicators to protect privacy by removing personal information that may still be contained in them before sharing with other entities. my amendment disn does not eliminate or weaken any of the bill's privacy requirements as the f.b.i. and secret service were required to protect privacy in the same way all other federal entities severing threat indicators are. finally, i simply want to note that the house-passed version contains a nearly identical provision and that bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
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to sum up, the cotton amendment has overwhelming support of the private sector including companies that have been victims of cybercrimes. it would lead to greater information-sharing between the private sector and federal government. it preserves privacy protections in the bill and was included in the house bill, both republicans and democrats voted "yes." i therefore ask my colleagues on both side of the aisle to support this amendment. i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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