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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  March 2, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

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for their work on the 2009 mount vernon case, lieutenant geraghty and the major crimes unit were presented with the new hampshire congressional law enforcement award for unit citations. and i had the privilege of being there when lieutenant geraghty received that award when he was there with his family, and really the incredible work that he did on that case made such a difference in bringing to justice defendants who committed horrific, horrific crimes and keeping our nation -- keeping new hampshire safe. lieutenant geraghty will also be remembered for his entire, entire outstanding career of service to both new hampshire and the nation. lieutenant geraghty also served very honorably in the united states army for five years, holding posts at fort benning in georgia, fort polk in louisiana and at fort richardson in arkansas.
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he also served overseas in participating in exercises in germany. he achieved the rank of sergeant e-5 during his career with the u.s. army and received an honorable discharge. but his service did not end there because after serving in the armed services, he then returned home and embarked on his career in law enforcement. first serving as a police officer in the hudson police department, after which he was accepted as a trooper in the new hampshire state police. during his time with the new hampshire state police, lieutenant geraghty spent 8 1/2 years with the narcotics investigations unit and he did a phenomenal job there. investigating a variety of cases from street-level buys to multistate trafficking organizations. while serving in the narcotics investigations unit, the lieutenant was assigned to the high-intensity drug trafficking area for 2 1/2 years so he understood and worked so hard on
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the issues that we're trying to address on the senate floor right now to address heroin and open yoit addiction and so many other i will lease substances he fought to keep off our streets. his natural talent for leadership and keen ability to work with others was critical in the role that he played in haidta and he received several awards for his dedication and commitment to excellence. he was promoted to the rank of sergeant in may of 2006 and from there he was assigned to the major crime unit as a detectiv detective-sergeant in february of 2008. in 2010, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant within his unit, assuming the commanding officer's position, a post in which he served until he became ill last year. and he served with such distinction. i know that i have many friends at the attorney's general office that work with the major crime unit and i've spoken with the chief of the criminal bureau unit. i've spoken with other
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prosecutors and they speak of jim geraghty's service with such glowing reviews, with such -- just the incredible compassion, the incredible hard work that he put in. he represented the very, very best of our law enforcement officers. but i wanted to talk about his career today because it was important for me to mention his professional accolades, which are many, because he was such a how manhumble man. and he never liked to talk about the -- all of the accomplishments he had. what he liked to focus on, something i want to make sure that we remember about jim geraghty. he lived by the motto "family first," which was incredibly apparent to anyone who knew him. he was married to his wife valerie for 30 years and together they had four wonderful children. they are an amazing, amazing
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family. a son jimmy, daughters colleen, katie and erin. so i want to offer my thoughts and prayers to valerie, to jimmy, to colleen, to katie and erin. you're an incredible family and your husband and father, we will never forget what an incredible person he was and the people that he impacted and the service that he gave to our state. it has been said that although geraghty had an exceptional law enforcement career, he considered his family his greatest adventure. in 2015 -- in a 2015 letter, his fellow law enforcement officers described him as a gallant public servant who has spent most of his life serving others. others described him, he was truly a consummate team player who demonstrated the true meaning of quiet professional. he was humble, dedicated and
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resilient with any duties and/or responsibilities he was faced with. and his remarkable and unblemished career within law enforcement is a true testament and shining example of what we all wish we aspire to. this is how the officers that served with him, the troopers that served with him described lieutenant jim geraghty. "he will be deeply missed." "i am honored to recognize the lieutenant and honor his tremendous contributions as the commander of the state major crimes unit." to just say that what an amazing family man he was, what a great human being, someone who lived his life with great integrity, was someone we could all he can late and we would all live our -- emulate and we would all live to be. again, i want to offer my prayers to his family.
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they are an incredible family as well. and, please, i hope they know that we will continue to stand with them in the most difficult days ahead. so today i say both about officer ashley guindon and lieutenant jim geraghty, both incredible law enforcement officers who gave so much to new hampshire, to our country and they really represent the very best of what it means to be an american. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? mr. nelson: mr. president, i rise to welcome a national hero back to planet earth. commander scott kelly. after spending 340 days in space on his most recent visit to the international space station, commander kelly has smashed the previous u.s. record in space
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flight and for most of the total time spent in space as well. but commander kelly's accomplishment, while notable in its own right, is serving a greater purpose. nasa is preparing to undertake one of the greatest technological challenges in human history, a voyage to the planet mars. depending on the alignment of the planets, mars is anywhere from 35 million miles to an astounding 250 million miles from earth. it's all according to the alignment of the planets. now, if you want to put that into perspective, mr. president, the distance from you and me reflecting the 238,000 miles
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from earth to the moon, which is as far as we have gone and is a long way, that's the farthest we've ever been. but if that distance from the earth to moon were represented on the distance from you to me, then the distance to mars from right where this senator is standing would be way out to the edge of the district of columbia and maryland. commander kelly's mission is a milestone on this journey to mars. the international space station, our football sized laboratory orbiting in space, as large as a football field from one goal post to the other, it's our test bed for exploration. and, indeed, he spent those 340
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days at the international space station. now, as we venture out traveling those vast differences -- distances between earth and mars, it's going to mean that humans are going to spend more time in space than ever before. so commander kelly's yearlong stay aboard the station is an important validation of our ability to live and work in space for the long, long periods of time that someone would be in zero g. but there's another very interesting aspect to his mission because scott kelly has an identical twin. his brother mark, retired navy captain mark kelly, also an astronaut, remained on earth while his brother was in space.
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and now he is a baseline to compare the changes in the body and the psychological effects to his brother scott. this comparison is going to provide important insights into the effects of space flight on the human body and perhaps even effects on the human genome itself. and the more we learn about how the human body changes in space, the better off we are so that we can prepare for the longer and longer voyages in space. but we also gain insights into that fundamental working of the human body that we may never have learned confined to earth's gravity. and who knows where these discoveries are going to lead? perhaps to new cures and therapies for afflictions that
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folks suffer here on the face of the earth. the space station where commander kelly stayed for almost a year is such a powerful tool for science and for discovery and for exploration, and that is why at the end of last year we extended the authorization of the space station all the way through the year -- at least to 2024. and it's also why i'm so excited about the crewed flights from u.s. soil to the space station resuming next year. next year americans on american rockets go to and from low earth orbit. and once we have the dragon on the space-x or the starliner, on the atlas 5, those crew capsules are going to make regular trips to and ex -- to and from the spe
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station. but we also should be able to expand the space station crew then because of that regular visitation from six to seven doing their research projects onboard the station. and that means a lot more discoveries. some people may not appreciate how difficult it is to spend a year in space but i can tell you it's an amazing experience but it's tough on your body. the body experiences muscle atrophy in zero g and also bone loss. and this is why astronauts have to be in peak physical condition and also try to continue that as they are out in space for long durations. and spending a year away from
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loved ones, of course, is no easy task. this demonstrates the strength and the courage that scott kelly has shown. and so i want the senate to recognize commander scott kelly for this accomplishment. it's going to take him some days to readapt to the earth's gravitational pull. i want to commend him for the contributions to space exploration and to thank him for the sacrifices that he made and the sacrifices of his family, that they have made over the last year. welcome home, commander. and thank you for your offering to be a part of this great adventure we call space exploration. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas.
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mr. boozman: thank you, mr. president. i would like to ask unanimous consent that the fellow in my office, jennifer devito, be granted floor privileges for the duration of consideration of s. 524. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. boozman: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing problem in the country. it's a problem that the centers for disease control and prevention classifies as an epidemic. the availability of prescription painkillers is a leading factor in the increase of opioid abuse. since 1999, opioid abuse, overdose deaths have quadrupled nationwide. unfortunately, my home state of arkansas is not immune to the problem. c.d.c. data shows that it's one of 12 states with more painkiller prescriptions than people. i repeat, one of 12 states with more painkiller prescriptions than people.
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benton, arkansas, police chief kirk lane has seen the impact in his community. he said during a recent visit to my office -- and i quote -- "a lot of people become addicted very innocently and can't find a way back." placing prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet for safe keeping is no longer the best option because 70% of americans misusing painkillers are getting them from friends and family. arkansas has implemented measures to combat this problem by decreasing the availability of prescription drugs and properly disposing of expired and unneeded medication through the arkansas takeback program. this is an important step that has resulted in the removal of 72 tons of unneeded medication from homes in the state. congress has taken action to fight this epidemic. as a member of the senate veterans' affairs committee, i pushed the department of
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veterans affairs to reform its culture of prescription. nationwide, pharmacies have a system in place to prevent overfilling prescriptions. it's time for the v.a. to adopt a similar system. i pressured the d.e.a., the drug enforcement administration, to reform its policy to allow clinics and pharmacies to serve as dropoff sites for the collection of unused or unwanted prescription drugs. last year we passed legislation to improve the prevention of treatment of opioid abuse by pregnant women and care for the newborns affected by this abuse. this bill was signed into law. congress approved more than $400 million in funding to address the opioid epidemic this fiscal year. that's an increase of more than $100 million from the previous year. calls for additional furchedzs -
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calls for additional furchedzs fo--calls for additional funds e premature. we must continuing our commitment to the fighting of this epidemic and providing our communities with the tools they need to promote treatment and recovery. that's why we need to pass the comprehensive addiction and recovery act. this bill can help give communities the ability to combat the growing opioid epidemic in arkansas and across the country. by expanding prevention, supporting law enforcement, combating overdoses and expanding access to treatment. i've heard from many arkansans who support this bill. it has the support of many arkansans in addition to a wide range of organizations that represent law enforcement officials, drug treatment providers, and health care professionals. this speaks to the comprehensive approach we are talking about
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that we need to take to fight this epidemic. it also authorizes the attorney general to award grants to veterans treatment courts. these courts are critical in helping our veterans break the cycle of addiction and turning their lives around. prescription drug abuse is a widespread problem that impacts all ages and populations of americans. i'm committed to providing arkansas communities the resources that they need to fight this epidemic. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: mr. president, i appreciate the comments of my colleague from arkansas about the challenges of the heroin and opioid epidemic. i think it's really a pandemic that we are facing in too many states across this country. seniorly is it is a huge issue
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in new hampshire, my home state, where we have the highest percentage of deaths from overdoses of any state in the country. and in a few minutes we're going to be voting on the comprehensive addiction and recovery act, which is an excellent piece of legislation sponsored by my colleague shell done whitehouse in new hampshire and amy klobuchar from minnesota as well as my colleague from new hampshire, senator ayotte, and senator portman. we're also going to be vote oinn a number of amendments, including the amendment which i have proposed, which is emergency supplemental funding, to make sure that the changes we're making as a result of the cara legislation actually get the resources that need to be provided in order to make those changes work. in 2014, more than 47,000
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americans died from lethal drug overdoses. each day 120 americans die of drug overdoses. in new hampshire, we're losing more than a person a day from drug overdoses. last year three times as many people as we lost in automobile accidents. and these are numbers that we've been using a lot on the floor of the senate in the last couple of days. but i think they're numbers that we need to continue repeating and repeating, because that we are losing 47,000 americans from drug overdoses is just not acceptable. and everywhere i go in new hampshire, i'm told one thing consistently by drug treatment professionals and by law enforcement: and that is that they need more resources and they need them now. health workers are being overwhelmed.
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nationwide nearly nine out of ten people with substance abuse disorders don't receive treatment. they're being turned away. they're being denied treatment because of a chronic lack of resources thsources. the amendment that senator whitehouse and i have proposed addresses this problem. it provides $3- $300 million in emergency funding for the substance abuse treatment and prevention block grant program. this is funding that will save lives in our states of new hampshire and rhode island, in the state of arkansas, in the presiding officer's home state of south carolina. this is funding that will save lives in each of our states. not only are treatment health workers being overwhelmed, but law enforcement officials are being overwhelmed. we need an infusion of funding to mobilize additional efforts to stop opioid traffickers and drug dealers. and this amendment -- this emergency supplemental amendment
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-- would allocate $230 million to the byrne ja j.a.g. program o directly combat the opioid crisis. these are e are efforts that wip drugs off the streets. it appropriates $600 million in emergency funding that will be immediately available to states and to those who are working on the froints lines to address --t lines to address this crisis. i think that's why the infrastructurfraternalorder of n society of addiction medicine, the american academy of pain management, the american college of physicians, the national association of state alcohol and drug abuse directors, and so many other groups support this amendment. and, again, the critical point here is that this amendment funds key provisions of the cara bill. the comprehensive addiction and
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recovery act is a good bill. it's excellent work that so many people have been involved in. the sponsors did great work in writing the legislation. i support it. i am a cosponsor. but it's an authorization bill, and that does not provide funding. so if we support making the changes in the law that are included in the cara bill, we should also provide -- we should also support providing emergency funding to those same programs. to all my colleagues in this body, we know that doing the same thing is not working. every year, more and more people are dying from drug use. congress needs to rise to this challenge, just like it has in so many previous public health emergencies. because, make no mistake about it, this is a public health
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emergency. and we've had a history of providing supplemental funding to address those public health emergencies. in 2009, congress appropriated $2 billion in emergency funding to fight swine flu. that's a bill that passed the senate 91-5. many of us who voted for that are still in this body. and just last year, congress approved $5.4 billion to combat the ebola outbreak. that's an outbreak in that kild just one person in the united states. compare that to the 47,000 people that we lost in 2014 to drug overdoses. surely -- surely congress can come together now to fight this raging epidemic that's right here at home. we can't avert our eyes from the 47,000 americans who were killed by lethal overdoses.
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we can't accept that nine out of ten americans with substance use disorders don't get treatment. we can't ignore the fact that law enforcement officers in communities across this country are overwhelmed by aggressive drug traffickers and a rising tide of opioid-related crimes. the $600 million in emergency funding that's in the amendment that i'm proposing will help stem the tide. it will make a powerful difference in communities all across america. cara is important legislation. i intend to vote for that. i hope this body will pass it. but i urge my colleagues also to support the amendment that makes sure that we have the urgent emergency funding to ramp up this tigh fight in the months immediate lid ahead. passing cara without any fund something like offering a life preserver to people who are drowning and not putting air in
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that life preserver. this is a nationwide crisis. it is way past time we mobilize a nationwide response that is equal to the challenge. thank you, mr. president. yiestled. i yield the floor. mr. perdue: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. perdue: i know we have a vote coming up. i would like permission to complete my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. perdue: mr. president, i rise today to discuss why i believe the senate should not hold hearings or schedule a vote on any supreme court nominee offered by president obama until the american people choose our next president this november. the american people are reacting to our global security and debt crises when they go to the polls. in this upcoming election, we'll not only determine the election
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of our country, but it also serves as a referendum on the presidency, congress and the supreme court balance. the last seven years has shown that this president has sought to ex-speed the constitutional bounds of the executive office by assuming powers delegated to this body. in january of 2013, the president attempted to recess-appoint nominees to the nlrb in direct violation of the senate's will. the supreme court later intervened and struck down those appointments. as well, my colleagues across the aisle have repeat you hadly shown a willingness to aid this snreation making unprecedented power grabs including employing the nuclear option for judicial nominees. the american people were outraged at these events, as was i. so while i acknowledge the president's position on insisting the senate consider a nominee, it is vital that the people get their say in this lifetime appointment. it's the role of the senate to
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rise above current political theater. it is about upholding the principle and not about the individual. the senate should simply not consider a nominee at this time, and let the people have their say. mr. president, i should also point out that my position and the position of many of my colleagues is not a novel idea. for instance, it was then-senator obama who filibustered justice alito's nomination in 2006. it was then of this senator biden who in 1929 premiumively said that president george h.w. bush should avoid a supreme court nomination after that year's election. then-senator biden also made the same point we are today when he came to the floor of the senate and made this quote. and i quote -- "it is my stliew if a supreme court justice resigns tomorrow or within the next several weeks or see signings at the end of the summer, president bush should
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consider following the practice of a majority of his predecessors and not -- and is not -- name a nominee until after the november election is completed." the balance of the supreme court is in serious jeep -- mr. president. we must ensure that balance remains a a check against efforts by government to bypass the will of the people. as a member of the senate judiciary committee, i stand with chairman grassley and other members saying that we will not consider a nominee to the supreme court before the next president is sworn into office. we are already in the midst of a political campaign season. so any nominee will be seen through the lens of partisan politics. it is disingenuous for the minority party to say otherwise, and this is to the point that then-senator biden was speaking in 1992. as we said in our letter last week, we intending to exercise the constitutional power granted to the united states senate under article 2, section 2.
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while the president shall nominate judges to the supreme court, the power to granting or withhold consent of such nominees rests solely with this body. at a time when the stakes are so high, the american people deserve the opportunity to engage in a full and robust debate over the type of jurist they wish to decide some of the most critical issues of our time for the next generation. not since 1932 has the senate confirmed a supreme court nominee in a presidential election year to a vacancy arising in that year. not since 1932. it's necessary to go even further back to 1888 to find an election year nominee who was both nominated and confirmed under divided government as we have now. today the american people are presented with an exceedingly rare opportunity to decide the direction the court will take over the next generation. the people should have this opportunity. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment 3362 offered by the senator from iowa, mr. grassley. mrs. feinstein: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: i ask for unanimous consent to speak for two minutes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mrs. feinstein: thanks very much, mr. president. i'd like to just say a few words in support of amendment number 3362, which the judiciary
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committee chairman grassley and i, with senators cantwell and ayotte, have cosponsored. this bill has passed the senate by unanimous consent three times. it ensures that international drug traffickers can be prosecuted when they have reasonable cause to believe that their illegal drugs will be trafficked into our country. it also better enables the prosecution, manufacturers and distributors of listed precursor chemicals who know or intend that these chemicals will be used to manufacture illicit drugs destined for the united states. finally, it makes a technical fix to the counterfeit drug penalty enhancement act of 2012, at the request of the justice department. i'd like to thank senators grassley, eye up-or-down vote, cantwell for -- ayotte and --
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for sponsoring this amendment. i thank the chair and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, all the time is yielded back. the question occurs on the amendment. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to change their vote or vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 94, the nays are zero. one senator responded present.
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under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is agreed to. mr. grassley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. i ask unanimous consent that the votes following this first vote in the series being 10 minutes in length. the presiding officer: is there an objection? without objection. under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote if relation to amendment 3395, offered by the senator from oregon, mr. wyden. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: the senate's not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. wyden: mr. president, this amendment keeps the toomey amendment on enforcement completely intact and makes two critical improvements. it adds prevention and treatment.
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colleagues, this is what the republican witness in the finance committee said was needed. it's what the democratic witness in the finance committee said is needed. we need more prevention, better treatment and tougher enforcement to work in tandem. the toomey amendment is about enforcement but we also need prevention and treatment. if somebody is addicted to opioids, they need a real path out of addiction. this amendment ensures people who need help are connected to meaningful treatment choices to better manage their pain and limit excessive prescriptions. my amendment also aims to end the tide of overprescribing in the first place. it does that by doubling the penalties for manufacturers that provide kickbacks to prescribers in order to boost their profits. i offer this with my colleague, senator schumer and senator murray. i very much hope that we can get
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this amendment passed, that we can have a bipartisan effort here in the senate that ensures there's tougher enforcement but also better treatment and better prevention. to do that, we have to vote for this amendment. and i yield back. mr. enzi: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: mr. president, the pending amendment number 3395 -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. enzi: the pending amendment offered by senators wyden and schumer would establish a new demonstration program within medicare part-d to coordinate the treatment of opioid addiction. the proposal also would increase antikickback penalties on drug makers. and according to the congressional budget office, the amendment would increase direct spending over both the 2016-2020 period and the 2016-2026 period. if the amendment were adopted then the judiciary committee would exceed its spending allocation over both of these time periods. as a consequence of the new spending proposed, the amendment is in violation of 302-f of the
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congressional budget act. as i said before, we all agree with the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic is real and has to be addressed but i believe we ought to address the problem living within the confines of the budget that we previously agreed to. just like december. the underlying bipartisan bill provides a good framework for tackling this problem. it provides a comprehensive, specific and evidence-based approach to help americans combat this epidemic. in light of that, mr. president, the pending measure, amendment number 3395, offered by the senator from oregon would cause the underlying legislation to exceed the authorizing committee's section 302-a allocation of the new budget authority or outlays. therefore, i raise a point of order against the measure pursuant to section 302-f of the congressional budget act of 1974. mr. b wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, pursuant to section -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. wyden: mr. president,
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pursuantecti t 904 of the congressional budget act of 1974, i move to waive the applicable sections of that act for purposes of the pending amendment and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. the question is on the motion to waive. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: is there any member wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote the yeas are 46. the nays are 50. three faiths of the senator duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained and the amendment falls. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the -- under the previous order, there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 3367 offered by the senator from
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pennsylvania, mr. toomey. the senator from pennsylvania. a senator: mr. president, this is a bipartisan common sense policy. i want to thank my coauthors senators brown, portman and kaine. lock in is a tool by which beneficiaries who are abusing prescription opioids are locked in to a single prescriber and a single pharmacy for access to these powerful narcotics. mr. toomey: it would make it difficult or impossible for these excessive prescriptions to continue when a patient is so locked in. it's a tool that's already used by medicaid and private insurers and what our amendment would do is extend this important tool to medicare. it's a policy that has been requested by the administration. it's in the president's budget. it has broad bipartisan support. it will help stop fraud, help coordinate care for seniors and save taxpayer money. as senator wyden observed, his amendment had preceded it would not actually extended this tool to medicare. the only way we can do this on
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this bill is to pass this amendment. i would encourage everyone's support. i think we have an agreement for a voice vote on this. before we go to that i'd like to yield to senator brown for his comments. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. a senator: various doctors may not realize they're describing opioid painkillers. we've done the lock-in with medicaid in many states. it's worked. mr. brown: this is a common sense solution to help the relatively small number of people but a growing number of seniors that a medicare lock-in can assist. so i urge support for the toomey-brown amendment. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. a senator: mr. president, in light of the agreement for a voice vote, i ask unanimous consent that the 60-vote affirmative threshold with respect to toomey amendment be vitiated. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the question occurs on the amendment. all those in favor say aye.
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all those opposed? the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order, there will be a two minutes of debate prior to a a vote on amendment number 3345 offered by the senator from hamm, mrs. that even. the senator from new hampshire. a senator: mr. president, if we could have order in the chamber, please. we are voting on very good legislation with the comprehensive addiction and recovery act. this is a way to expand programs that work to address what is a real pandemic in this country of heroin and opioid abuse. mrs. shaheen: but the reality is unless we provide the resources to make these programs work, it's like giving a drowning person a life preserver that has no air in it. it doesn't make a difference.
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we are losing 47,000 people a year, 120 people a day from overdoses. our law enforcement needs additional funding. the substance abuse treatment folks need additional support. what my emergency supplemental amendment would do is to support the programs that are in the cara legislation. it's about equally divided between support for law enforcement and support for treatment. it helps with prescription drug monitoring, weed indication, with recovery. it is the kind of support we need to provide if we're really going to make a difference in this epidemic that we're all facing. so i would urge my colleagues not just to support the underlying legislation. that's good. we should support it. but unless we provide the funding, we will not have done what we need to to accomplish
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real change to keep people from dying. so i would urge all of my colleagues to support this amendment. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. a senator: mr. president, the pending amendment offered by the senator from new hampshire appropriates $600 million on top of the $571 million provided in the bill as reported by the judiciary committee over the 2016-2020 period. unlike the underlying bill which requires appropriators to provide the authorized funding within the discretionary spending caps the shaheen amendment would designate new spending as emergency, not subject to budget enforcement. mr. enzi: i'm also concerned that this amendment lacks specificity in how the funs are allocated. for example, the bill provides $300 million to the substance abuse and mental health services administration for substance abuse treatment to address the heroin and opioid crisis and it's associated health effects. while we all agree the heroin
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and opioid abuse epidemic must be addressed, i believe the underlying bipartisan bill provides a better framework to tackle this problem. it provides a comprehensive specific and evidence-based approach to help americans combat this epidemic. in the meantime the senate appropriations committee shepherds resources to the opioid problem in the consolidated appropriations bill signed into law late last year. nearly $600 million was included to start down the road to helping states and communities to address this problem. the appropriators working with the nor risers inside the framework of the bill -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. enzi: in that case, mr. president, i would ask the pending amendment number 3345 offered by the senator from new hampshire would cause the aggregate level of budget authority and outlays for fiscal year 2016 as i established in the most recently agreed to concurrent resolution on the budget s. con. res. 11 to be exceeded. therefore i raise the pound of -- point of order under 311-a2-a
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of the congressional budget act of 1974. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: do i have any time to speak under the two previous minutes? tr-fr there's no time remain forking debate. mrs. shaheen: pursuant to section 904 of the congressional budget act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of applicable budget resolutions i move to waive all applicable sections of that act and applicable budget resolutions for purposes of the pending amendment. and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there sufficient second? there appears to be. the question is on the motion to waive. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 48. the nays are 47. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained, and the amendment falls. the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i call up the donnelly amendment number 3374 as modified. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from iowa mr. grassley for there donnelly dashes. mr. grassley: i ask that the reegdz -- reading be dispensed
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with. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that i and senator shaheen and senator king be recognized for a 15-minute colloquy. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you. we rise, we are here today to express our disappointment with what just took place. i am one of the authors of the underlying bill. i think it is a very good piece of legislation, but it would make a really significant difference if it had some funding. and the simple fact that we have to face is that this bill has no funding right now. i know that colleagues on the other side have come to the floor to say that there's funding. $80 million, $400 million. but in point of fact, i must disagree with them. let me list the points that show, i believe, why there is no funding to this bill at this point. the first is that the funding they point to was passed out of the appropriations subcommittee
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seven months before this bill even had its markup. it would have been an astonishing feat of prediction to be able back then to fund this bill now. if that weren't clear enough, there was a change in the bill between then and now. then if you wished to fund this bill, you would have put the bulk of the money through the c.j.s. appropriation subcommittee, because the bulk of this bil was written in the c.j.s. appropriations subcommittee. we only changed it this january in response to republican objections that nobody wanted to create new programs. so we rerouted the new programs through existing programs. that's when it became a labor-h.h.s. dominated bill. so there's no way that back in june when this money came through that appropriations committee they knew that it was going to this. moreover, if you go to the agency that is responsible for distributing this money, they are bidding the money out right
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now. they have a use right now for every dollar of it. if we don't pass this bill, they will put the money out and it will be spent. if we do pass this bill, they will put the money out and be spent. if we don't get the bill out soon enough they'll have to pass it out and get it spent under existing law. you can't say with a straight face that this is a funded bill. the only way this bill is funded is by robbing the accounts that samsa is now putting out to bid to fund in order to fund this bill. you can say that the money will be better spent under this legislation. i think that's true. i support this bill. i'm going to be for the bill all the way through even if it's not funded. but you can't say that there is funding. this is a very solvable problem. we've done it before. senator shaheen pointed out on the floor whep it -- when it was the swine flu on an emergency basis we appropriated $2 billion.
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ebola, $5 billion. if you say now something has changed, we quant do that, we have to pay for it, senator manchin has a pay-for. a penny per milligram of opioid. it raises over $1 billion. you can do half a penny that the pharmaceutical industry that is so culpable in this predicament, in this tragedy that we have could contribute. but, no, rather than allow this good program, this bipartisan program to be expedited out there to help the people who are dying, $47,000 in 2014, the last year, what we've done is protect the pharmaceutical industry from having to pay any share of the solution. i yield to my colleagues. mrs. shaheen: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: i appreciate the comments from my colleague from rhode island, who is the author of the comprehensive addiction and recovery act, that is the
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underlying bill that we were trying to amend. and i would just point out that despite what the honorable chairman of the budget committee said, the fact is that the emergency supplemental funding amendment that we introduced is very specific about where the funding goes. it goes to programs that are addressed in cara, expanded and improved. the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grants that go to the states to be distributed. funding to law enforcement through the byrne j.a.g. and cops grants that are very specific in how they can be used to fight heroin and opioid abuse and like my colleague, i'm disappointed, not surprised but disappointed. i very much appreciate those people who voted for this
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amendment, who were willing, particularly some of my colleagues from the other side of the aisle, who were willing to step forward and say if we are going to address this problem, we've got to provide the resources that communities, that states need to fight this addiction. and the question that i have for those people who didn't vote to support this amendment is how many more people have to die before we're willing to provide the resources that are needed to fight this epidemic? 47,000 people in 2014. in new hampshire, we're losing more than a person a day. in twist -- in 2015 we lost over 400 people to overdose deaths from opioid and heroin, three times as many people as we lost in traffic accidents. so how many communities will continue to be ravaged because
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we're not willing to commit the resources to tackle this pandemic? and what do we tell the families of those people who have overdosed? what do we tell the parents of young people like courtney griffin whose father came and testified at a hearing senator ayotte and i had last fall in new hampshire? and he talked about the difficulties of getting courtney treatment before she overdosed and died. you know, i met a man up at a treatment center in lebanon, new hampshire, a man in recovery who had been in and out of prison. and i thought he put it really well. he said it costs about $35,000 a year to keep somebody in prison. wouldn't it make more sense to put dollars into treatment, because it's a whole lot less expensive to provide the funding to treat people who are using
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opioids and heroin, who are substance abusers, than to put them in jail. so, mr. president, to all of my colleagues, i am disappointed but i am not defeated. and the fact is this is coming back. it will come back in the appropriations process and it will come back at every opportunity, because i am not going to quit on those families in new hampshire who need help. i am not going to quit on the treatment professionals who are trying to provide treatment for the people who are in need. i'm not going to quit on the law enforcement, the police officers and the sheriffs and all of the people in law enforcement in new hampshire who are trying to put pushers behind bars and trying to get people off the streets
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and into treatment. and i hope at some point the rest of the members of this body are willing to take up this cause and provide the resources that people need, because i'll tell you it certainly is worth it to address the 47,000 people who we lost. we were willing to put $5.4 billion into fighting ebola, and we lost one person in america. we were willing to put $2 billion into fighting swine flu, and we lost about 12,000 people in the swine flu epidemic. we have not been willing to put funding in to address the thousands, tens of thousands of people that we're losing each year in this country. and so we are going to keep at it. we're going to keep fighting until we get the resources that families and communities need to
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fight this scourge. so, mr. president, i yield to my colleague from maine who has been like my colleague from rhode island, a real leader in trying to address this issue. mr. king: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. mr. king: mr. president, i rise in disappointment, surprise, and some confusion that we have this bill. we spend a week. i went to the judiciary committee. the bill came out of the committee unanimously. there is tremendous interest in this subject. when i've talked about it at home, i've said to my people in maine, this is something we're going to be able to do because every member of this body is being affected by this tragedy that's engulfing our country. this is something we're going to be able to do together. and indeed we have done a lot together. we've got a good bill. we passed some good amendments. one of the president's amendments was in the bill that we passed this afternoon. this is important work, but it has to be funded.
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the old saying in maine, and i suspect everywhere else, is put your money where your mouth is. i was on a teleconference with some folks in maine just two hours ago talking about this, and one of the chiefs of police said it's time to move from talking about being interested in this to investing in it. we cannot solve this problem without money. it would be nice if we could. there is a drastic and dramatic shortage of treatment facilities in this country, and the only way we're going to be able to do it is to pay for it. now we had a point of order on the budget. i have to tell you i'm confused because i stood here less than three months ago when we passed the budget bill, and $680 billion of tax expenditures, where was the point of order then? it wasn't funded, a dime of it wasn't funded. maybe there was a point of order
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but it was rejected. it was overridden so fast, none of us noticed it. it was the speed of light. so we swallow -- my mother used to say we strain at gnats and swallow camels. we swallowed $680 billion of entirely unfunded tax extenders, and we can't solve it and bring it into our hearts to save lives for 1/1,000ths of that amount, $500 million. 1/1,000ths of that we passed in a matter of minutes back in december. i'm confused by this. i don't understand it. and, by the way, 47,000 people, that sounds like a lot, but here's what really sounds like a lot. since this debate started at 2:00 this afternoon, ten people have died. ten people have died in the last two hours.
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47,000 people is five people every hour, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. we're not talking about abstractions here. we're talking about people's lives. we're talking about what i consider one of the most serious problems i have ever seen in my state. and we talk about ebola, we talk about isis, we talk about all of these challenges that we have, and yet this is something that's killing five people an hour. and we're not willing to put the funds in to do it. it's a false promise. i believe this bill is going to do a lot of good, but it's not going to meet the promise that we're making to the american people by all this drama this week about drug abuse and that we're going to do something about it. but we're not going to do enough about it because in order to deal with this problem and this is true everywhere, it's going to take money to provide treatment for people that need
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it. the l tragedy -- and i talked about this this morning. the tragedy is when someone is ready to change their life and ready to try to defeat this awful disease, and they can't find anyplace to give them treatment. i was at a detox center in portland just last week. they're turning away 100 people a month, from a detox center. not even a treatment center, but a detox center, because they don't have the beds. so i'm delighted that we're working on this bill. i'm delighted that we're passing it. i think there is a lot of good in it and it is in fact a bipartisan bill, but to venture up to the edge of this problem and then step away because we're not willing to pay for what in my mind is one of the most serious emergencies we've faced since i have been in public life is

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