sentence. so folks, proud of the fact the we have integration units, family saturating -- >> we will leave this conversation and prison sentencing laws to return to live coverage of the u.s. senate, lawmakers continuing debate on a bill authorizing funding to combat apps and debbie lloyd prescription drug abuse, live now to the senate.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. the senate is in a quorum call. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president, today the senate continues to work on legislation that addresses the heroin epidemic that's affecting our communities all over the country. every state represented by a senator in this chamber is affected by it. i'm pleased to see that yesterday we had a strong vote on an important step forward to be able to consider some more amendments with the hope we would consider it today or tomorrow and then have a vote on this legislation before the end of the week and send it over to the house of representatives. whether similar legislation, a companion bill that's already been drafted that's also bipartisan. i want to thank sheldon whitehouse who is on the floor right now, my co-author and also
senators amy klobuchar, kelly ayotte and the 42 other bipartisan cosponsors of our legislation. this is bipartisan but it's also comprehensive evidence based, and it's not just supported by a lot of senators, it's also supported by a lot of groups, and that's very important. senator whitehouse and i have worked over the past few years with groups around the country and in our own states to come up with the right answers. in other words, evidence-based solutions to prevention and education to try to get people not to make a mistake and not to get into the funnel of addiction but also once those people are addicted to help them more with better treatment, better recovery, to ensure that we are treating addiction like a disease, which it is, and that we are helping law enforcement and helping to keep prescription drugs off the bathroom shelves and helping to monitor people's prescription drug use because a lot of this comes from the overprescribing of prescription drugs for pain medication. so i am pleased to see that we're making progress, and i wanted to talk today about one
specific issue that's included in the legislation that we have yet to talk about, at least at length here on the floor. over the last two years, we have had five forums here in washington, d.c. we have brought people in to talk about issues related to addiction. some have been with regard to the science of addiction, some about use, some about prevention, some about better treatment options, but we had one that was particularly interesting, i thought. it was about a very special issue, and that's how to treat substance abuse impacting our veterans and service members and how to prevent our veterans and service members from becoming subject to this addiction. in the legislation that we're considering here on the floor, we focus on this issue, and this really came out of the expert testimony we had and the work that's been done around the country on this issue. cara allows veterans who are discharged for a substance abuse disorder to use drug courts as they recover. too often, our men and women come home from serving our country with untreated trauma
and ptsd and often that manifests itself in an addiction. we know from the research that's been done that more than 20% of veterans with ptsd also suffer from an addiction or dependence on drugs like heroin or a dependence on alcohol. so posttraumatic stress syndrome is related very much to this addiction issue. a few weeks ago, i was in columbus, ohio, and i met with our veterans court there. we had a roundtable discussion with some of the veterans who have been through it, and it way inspiring experience because here veterans. of whom have been serving in oun serving in our military in combat roles, they have been in and out of the court system and they founded these veterans courts where they help these veterans divert them from prison and into treatment and into a support network with other veterans. for veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder, going to jail can be a major hurdle in their recovery, yet for many who turn to drugs and
alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate because of that, that's exactly where they end up. ryan is a combat veteran. he served in iraq. he had a distinguished career. he got home. he found himself in a situation where he had trouble readjusting to life back at home outside of the military. he got in some trouble, he ended up in jail, it didn't work for him. his quote was this. he told me -- he said -- "rob, you send me to jail and all you're doing is sending me back to the jungle. all those coping skills i've learned, they go out the window i'm the type of person you put me in there and all hell breaks loose." that's ryan. fortunately for ryan, he was able to participate in a veterans treatment court and get on the path to recovery. i'm really proud of him today. he's a student at a major university in ohio, about to graduate. he's got his life back together. he's got his family back together. and again, it was an inspirational story because he has taken it upon himself to
focus on his addiction and to get the help that he needed through this veterans court. there are 17 veterans treatment courts in the state of ohio. the program that ryan went through is a two-year program that offers mental health and substance abuse treatment to veterans as an alternative to incarceration. these veterans also have to make regular court appearances, so it's not as though they are not connected to the criminal justice system. they are. and they know that if they test positive for drugs, they will end up back in that system. they are subject to random drug testing. as ryan and the other veterans i talked to told me that day in columbus, ohio, they said, senator, this combination of accountability and support, accountability and support was the right combination for us to be able to get back on the right track. it made a difference for them to be able to get their lives back together, get their families back together and to once again be contributing to their country. cara will expand veterans treatment courts and will also ensure that veterans who are discharged for substance abuse
issues are also eligible to go through these programs. this is a critical change and will help allow more veterans to get the help they need and again to get at the root cause of their addiction. cara, this is the legislation that we're considering right now, has the support of a lot of groups, 130 national stakeholders in the public health, law enforcement, criminal justice and drug policy fields, doctors, nurses, people in the trenches working on prevention and treatment. it's designed to fight prescription drug, opioid abuse and heroin abuse holistically, from expanding prevention to supporting recovery. in addition to the specific provisions that i discussed that help our veterans care, it also expands prevention efforts to prevent prescription opioid abuse and the use of heroin. it increases drug disposal sites to keep medications out of the hands of young people. it helps with drug monitoring to know when people are prescribed drugs even if they cross state lines by having an intrastate drug monitoring system. it also authorizes law
enforcement task forces in some of our toughest areas around the country to combat heroin and methamphetamines. and it expands the availability of the overdose reversal drug naloxone, really a miracle drug so that our law enforcement agencies and other first responders or firefighters have the training for using this drug but also access to it. in the criminal justice system, cara will help to promptly identify and treat individuals suffering from substance abuse disorders and expand these diversion efforts and these education efforts to give these people a second chance. cara also authorizes resources to expand treatment, including med occasion assisted treatment based on the evidence that supports what has worked around the country, so we're trying to hold up some of the best treatment programs in the country where there has been success on a very tough issue, which is taking people through this process of getting back on their feet and recovering. cara supports those recovery programs that are strictly focused on youth and building communities of recovery, including at our colleges and universities. it also creates a national task
force on recovery to improve ways to address the collateral consequences that are posed by addiction. so this is a comprehensive bill that will help to reverse this tie, and again this is something that is affecting us all. the numbers are overwhelming today in the united states of america there will be about 20 people who will die from overdoses. in ohio, this happens every week. about 25 people are now dying from overdoses. but that's just part of the problem. many are not dying from the overdose. naloxone is working in many instances. others aren't overdosing but yet their lives are ruined and the communities are bearing the brunt of it. many crimes are being committed. i was with a prosecutor in ohio last weekend who told me that 80% of the crime in his county is related now to this issue of heroin and prescription drug abuse. so we need to pass this bill and get it signed into law so it can help to reverse this tide, so it can help our state and local
governments and nonprofits who are doing a great job out there trying to address this issue and to help individuals who are suffering from this addiction, which is a disease, to be able to get the treatment that they need and the recovery efforts that are needed to be able to truly make a difference. this is an epidemic. it's now reached those kinds of levels, those kinds of crisis levels, and i'm hopeful that we'll have again a series of amendments that can be included and voted on in the next 24 hours, then we can move forward with this legislation, get a strong vote, send it over to the house with a strong message that it's time for us to do what we can to be able to address this issue and make a difference in the lives of our constituents. i yield back my time, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: mr. president, i ask i be permitted to complete these remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, the
constitution is the primary way that the american people set rules for government. america's founders made sure that those rules were written down so that as the supreme court said more than two centuries ago, they may neither -- they may be neither mistaken nor forgotten. the u.s. constitution is one of the shortest and currently the oldest national charter in the world, but while public officials including every member of this body swear an oath to support and defend the constitution, it appears that some are paying very little attention to it. one of the most popular slogans in the debate over filling the vacancy left by the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia is do your job. never have so few words been so misleading for so many. those who use this slogan insists that the senate's job is to conduct the confirmation process, including hearings and confirmation votes in a certain way whenever the president makes a nomination. the senate, in other words, should be at the president's
beck and call, configuring the confirmation process around a particular timeline that he prefers. there is some irony here, mr. president. a few years ago, president obama wanted to install certain members of the national labor relations board. the senate was unlikely to confirm his nominee, so the president bypassed the senate altogether and made so-called recess appointments. the supreme court eventually and unanimously ruled that those appointments were unconstitutional. now that he intends to send a nominee to the senate, he feels he can dictate how the senate evaluates that nominee. the president would no doubt be the first to say that the senate cannot tell him who to nominate, but apparently feels he can insist on whatever senate confirmation process that will suit his purpose. colleagues on the other side of the aisle insist that the constitution requires timely
hearings and prompt floor votes for every nominee. i don't know what constitution they are using because the real one says nothing of the kind. the real constitution gives the power to the ment to nominate and the senate the separate power of advice and consent leaving to each the judgment of how to exercise their respective power. actually, mr. president, i should say that my democratic colleagues are currently insisting that the constitution requires timely hearings and votes because they were singing a very different tune only a few years ago. the minority leader, the minority whip and the judiciary committee ranking member denied dozens of times to deny any vote for ment bush's nominee, dozens of times. were they voting to defy the constitution then? or are they referring to a made up constitution now.
when they served in this body, former secretary hillary clinton voted 29 and 24 times to deny the very confirmation votes that they now say the constitution itself requires. the shape shifting constitution they used apparently means whatever then suits their political objectives. a coincidence i'm sure but a very convenient coincidence. the president himself when he was a senator tried to deny confirmation votes to multiple nominees, including supreme court justice samuel alito. while president obama recently said he now regrets voting to filibuster justice alito, he did not explain why it took him 3,670 days to reach that conclusion. cynics might suggest his desire
to appoint another supreme court may have contributed in some way to this epiphany. so when democrats in this body and they're equally confused liberal allies call on the senate to do its job, they really mean that the senate should do what they want. i, too, want the senate to do its job but i don't find our job description in anyone's political agenda. the senate's job is to determine the best way to exercise its advice and consent power in each particular situation and the senate has done so in different ways at different times under different circumstances. when he was judiciary committee chairman in the 107th and 110th congress for example, the distinguished senator from vermont, senator leahy, denied a hearing to nearly 60 judicial nominees. yet those are the hearings that he now says the constitution requires. i don't think you can have it both ways.
on may 19, 2005, the minority leader said that nowhere in the constitution does it say the senate must vote on presidential nominees. that was back in may 19, 2005. he called that notion rewriting the constitution and reinventing history. today he says the opposite, that the constitution actually does require a vote. was he wrong in 2005 or is he in his own words rewriting the constitution and reinventing history today? no, mr. president, the constitution does not dictate how the senate must exercise its power of advice and consent. the constitution leaves that up to us in each situation. the senate has never allowed a term limited president to fill a supreme court vacancy that --
this late in this term. this vacancy is only the third in the last century to occur after presidential election voting has started. in 1956, in 1968 the senate did not confirm a nominee until after the next inauguration. as a member of the judiciary committee for 39 years and a chairman for eight of those years, i'm now in my 40th year, i have watched the judicial confirmation process disintegrate, conservatives and liberals have very different views about the kind of judges america needs. several supreme court nominees in the last few decades have been subject to intense confrontational campaigns. in addition, the current presidential election cycle is already more hostile and divisive than in the past. these are among the circumstances we face today and must consider when deciding how
to exercise our power of advice and consent. it would be irresponsible to follow a -- it would be irresponsible to follow a process suitable for a different situation or worse a process designed only to produce desirable -- a desirable political outcome. combining a high stakes confirmation fight with a no holds barred presidential campaign will produce a storm that will do more harm than good. the better course would be to defer the appointment process till the next president takes off and let the people make this determination. we're not without guidance in making this decision. in june 1992 then judiciary committee chairman joseph biden, our vice president, argued that if -- now our vice ment, argued that -- -- argued that if a
supreme court vacancy occurred in that presidential year, the appointment process should be deferred until the election season was over. by combining an increasingly divisive appointment process and a presidential election that is already under way he said, quote, partisan bickering and political posturing, unquote, would overwhelm the serious debate necessary to make such an important decision. he could have been talking about 2016 instead of 1992. this vacancy also presents to the american people -- presents them with a rare opportunity to address the direction of the judiciary. the percentage of americans concerned about that direction has risen steadily for years and while voters do not appoint judges, they do elect the president who nominates and the senate that gives advice and consent. elections after all have
consequences. the 2012 election had consequences for the precedent's power -- president's power to nominate. with this supreme court vacancy on the table, the 2016 election can similarly have consequences for the american people's voice on this important issue. deferring the appointment process also minimizes partisanship and maximizes fairness. no one knows the party of the next president, the makeup of the next senate or the identity of the nominee the senate will eventually consider. choosing the appropriate process for the current circumstances rather than for partisan advantage can prevent a nominee from being perceived as a political pawn. the constitution leaves nominations to the president and leaves advice and consent to the
senate. that division of responsibility is written down for all to see and hopefully for nonto forget -- none to forget. deferring the process for filling the scalia vacancy until the next president takes office and leaving it up to the american people is the best approach for the senate, the judiciary, and the country. before i close, i have to say a word about the disgraceful attacks on my friend and colleague, the chairman of the judiciary committee. i have served with him on the finance committee for nearly 25 years, and on the judiciary committee for 35 years. i've served 40 years on the judiciary committee, but 35 of them have been served with senator grassley. if anyone knows his own mind, it is senator chuck grassley. he has served on the judiciary committee longer than all but
four senators in the committee's history. no one is more dedicated to the judiciary committee and to the senate than chuck grassley is. each of us is entitled to our own opinions or positions on issues that come before this body, even controversial ones. each of us can feel as strongly as we want about those issues, but i want to categoryically reject the notion that a difference of opinion means that someone like senator grassley is compromising the integrity or independence of the judiciary committee. that comes very close to impugning his character and that sort of attack is beneath the dignity of this body because everybody in this body knows that chuck grassley is a man of great character, great honesty, great service, hard work, and
care for this wonderful country. it's irritating to me to see the personal attacks that have been made. i don't think we should be personally attacking each other. we can find fault with each other. we can criticize each other on the issues. we can differ with each other. we can be politically different from each other as we are. but to personally attack somebody of the prestige -- with the prestige of the chairman of the judiciary committee is beneath the dignity of this body and it's beneath the dignity of the attackers. it really, really bothers me. you know, we've had wide differences of opinion on the
judiciary committee. let's face it, it's a tough committee. it's a very partisan committee. the democrats on that side of the committee are extremely partisan, and the republicans on our side of the committee are extremely partisan, too. that's not necessarily bad as long as people are honest and people respect the opinions of others. we could have down right bitter battles and bitter exchanges, but we don't have to malign each other in doing that. that's a tough committee. these are tough issues the judiciary committee hands. i know, i was chairman of this committee. i have to say it's a wonderful committee, and it's probably really good that it's a diverse committee where you have a lot of liberal democrats on one side, you have a lot of
conservative republicans on the other. we can bat up against each other and sometimes we come up with really good legislation. and most of the time everybody on that committee is concerned about having the best judges we possibly can get. and even though there have been some pains between various members of the committee from time to time, this naturally occurs when you have people who feel very deeply about these subjects. it's still no excuse for maligns the chairman of this -- maligning the chairman of this committee, the current chairman of this committee, charles grassley. i don't think you're winning the debate when you challenge somebody as a person of the highest integrity that this body has to offer. senator grassley is one of those persons. there are others here, too. i hope i'm one.
the fact of the matter is chuck grassley is one of the best people we have in the senate. he's one of the most noble people in the senate. he's one of the most honest people in the senate. he's one of the people who is more at ease around the common people in this country and in the state of iowa than many of us in the senate. and he's a person of dignity and capacity. he's also a person who doesn't forget. and i'd prefer to have people treat him with dignity so that he can forget. all i can say is that there's not a better person on the committee than chuck grassley. and i call on my colleagues on the other side to be gentlemen, to treat him with the respect that he certainly deserves. the fact that they disagree with
his position on the supreme court right now, that's irrelevant in some ways when it comes to characterizing him as somebody less than who he is. that committee is a committee of deep feelings on both sides, and thank god it is. because that's what makes it a great committee. that's what makes it so people really want to be on it. and we have really, really good debates in that committee. and we have really, really good people on both sides. not the least of whom is chuck grassley. and i want him treated with dignity and respect. i want people to know that he doesn't take positions. he doesn't -- he doesn't take positions he doesn't believe in. there are some in this body that
do but he doesn't. i expect people in this body to show the proper decorum, to show friendship, even when we have deep differences. show respect for somebody who certainly deserves it. i hope we don't have any more of this idle chatter that can destroy any kind of rapport we have in the united states senate. and that goes for both sides. but right now, senator grassley is being maligned unfairly. and i don't like it. neither would anybody else who has any brains or any thought about what's decent and honorable. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the
senate is in a quorum call. mr. gardner: i ask the quorum call shall vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: i rise today to share my support for the comprehensive addiction and recovery act of 2015. this legislation of course we have been debating for well over a week now, aims to address the growing drug addiction crisis all over our country not only by promoting prevention and education but also treatment and recovery for those who have fallen to this growing epidemic. the centers for disease control and prevention found that from 2002-2013, the number of heroin-related overdose deaths nearly quadrupled with approximately 82,000 deaths. the c.d.c. found that 44 people die every day due to prescription drug overdoses. they estimate that the use of alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco cost the united states roughly $700 billion every year because of increased criminal activity, loss of employment and health care costs associated
with drug use. colorado unfortunately is no exception to the increase in drug overdose deaths. the centers for disease control and prevention reports that drug overdose deaths in colorado has risen in every single county except for one over the last 12 years. the colorado health institute found that colorado's 2014 rate of 16.3 drug deaths per 100,000 people exceeded the u.s. average of 14.7 deaths per 100,000 residents. the same study by the colorado health institute found that drug overdose deaths climbed 68% in colorado between 2002-2014. 68% increase in drug overdose deaths in 12 years. at the national institute on alcohol abuse and alcoholism found that nearly 23 million adults in the united states have struggled with drug use. however, the national institutes of health found that only 10% of u.s. adults who need treatment
are receiving it, so only 2.3 million people out of the 23 million they have identified with some kind of a drug use problem, only 10%, 2.3 million out of the 23 million are receiving some kind of treatment. and so what are we going to do to move forward from here because we're on an unsustainable path when it comes to addiction and to its treatment. so it's imperative that states are empowered with the resources needed to address the unique needs of each individual state, and the comprehensive addiction and recovery act does just that. the bill leaves behind the sort of idea that a one-size-fits-all program out of washington, d.c. can fix everything. it encourages states to develop their own strategies because what works in colorado may not work in new jersey. what works in new york may not work in texas or california. it encourages these strategies to prevent, treat and reduce the growing epidemic -- the growing addiction epidemic by first, number one, creating an
interagency task force to develop best practices for prescribing pain medication and pain management. the c.d.c. found in a national survey on drug use and health conducted from 2007-2013 that individuals addicted to opioid pain killers are four times more likely to be addicted to heroin. the centers for disease control and prevention found that in 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opiate pain relievers. that's nearly one bottle of pills for every single american. it's certainly every single american adult. absolutely imperative that the best practices are established to ensure health professionals are being trained properly to identify patients who require prescription pain relievers for chronic pain management and those who do not to create this system to better identify it. the consequences of these addictions, we have seen it in our communities, are devastating to communities and families. it's vital that states establish best practices to minimize the
devastating effects that our communities have seen, our families have seen. secondly, this bill expands disposal sites for unwanted prescription medications. community pharmaceutical drug takebacks as they are called, takeback programs allow individuals to dispose of unwanted or expired medications in a safe and responsible way. many households in our country, they don't safely and securely store unused pharmaceuticals medication, leaving open the door for abuse by teenagers and young adults who might find this prescription drugs, the unused or -- excuse me, the unused or expired pharmaceuticals, they might find them in the house still. according to the c.d.c., the abuse of prescription drugs has become the second leading cause of death among individuals between the ages of 25-64. furthermore, the abuse is strongly linked to heroin addiction. according to the drug enforcement administration, four of five new heroin users started
with prescription medications. unfortunately, the vast majority of medication takeback programs in colorado are in the denver metro area, but we're not just simply dealing with a metro problem. getting unused drugs decreases the potential for addiction. the expangsz of these programs is a step in the right direction. to help reduce the accessibility of dangerous prescription medication, especially in rural colorado. third, this legislation also aims to identify and to treat incars rated individuals that suffer from addiction by implementing medication assisted treatment programs for use by criminal justice agencies. our statistics show that imprisonment has a small impact on future drug abuse when addiction goes untreated. the national association of drug corps professionals found roughly 95% of those who committed drug-related crimes returned to drug abuse after release from prison. we know that addiction is
treatable and it's important that these individuals have access to addiction and recovery services so that they don't continue in the cycle in and out of our nation's prisons. i'd like to share a success story from an adult recovery program in the denver area about a young woman who went to a treatment facility and turned her life around, not using her real time. but sarah was admitted to our program, the program in denver in september of 2015. outside of the first week, she has been clean and sober. sarah found a job and received positive performance reports and she received a raise at the work that she was -- the employment where she sought after the treatment. she worked to find additional volunteer work to do in her spare time as a way to give back to the community that was now taking care of her through these treatment programs. she's reconnected with her family and each holiday, every holiday since she started this program, sarah reports that it's
the first time she can remember being sober for that holiday. she reports that she's loving her life and that there's no turning back for her. and so this bill will create more of these stories, the success stories to help people get back on their feet, to reconnect with their families, to engage in community service, to receive raises at work because they do a good job when they can make sure their addiction is broken. fourth, the comprehensive addiction recovery act takes a step in the right direction by strength ning drug monitoring programs aimed to identify and treat drugs seeking individuals. state electronic databases that collect date to on substances dispensed throughout the state have been incredibly effective at tracking the movement and prescription opiates throughout the country. utilizing these programs allows states to identify drug diversion, prescription drug fraud, doctor shopping and forgeries. prescription drug monitoring programs also identify drug seeking individuals more easily
to get them into treatment facilities so they can receive the care they need, just like sarah had received in denver. tracking and minimizing drug diversion is absolutely vital and this legislation takes a step in the right direction to address this critical need. so as we talk about this legislation, i think it's important that the stories that have been told on the senate floor about what's happened to friend, family members, about drug overdose, opiate abuse, heroin addiction, the fact that we have this doctor shopping, the fact we have forgeries of prescriptions or perhaps just unused drugs sitting around someone's house. without a takeback program, improper ways to dispose of it mean teenagers and young adults are getting their hands on t. but we recognize in these stories it's not just -- it's not just the met troa area -- metro area. it's not just our urban areas facing these challenges. it was recently reported in "the denver post" under a headline "drug overdose deaths hit record levels in rural southern colorado."
the comments in here from the san luis valley behavior health group. the san luis valley is the western slope of colorado in the san luis valley. we're getting more referrals for heroin along with prescription drug abuse said the chief operating officer of the behavioral health group. we have a need for services for sure in our area. among colorado county, the most striking increase in drug deaths occurred in the southeast part of the state. an agricultural community bordering the pe siding officer's state of oklahoma. talking about the death rate that quintupled in 12 years. this is a small rural community bordering both kansas and oklahoma in the corner of our state that has seen a rural community, that has seen its death rates quintuple in 12 years and the amount of hardship that has placed on families, on friends. it is unimaginable and unacceptable. with this legislation we can
help work through these challenges to overcome these challenges and to indeed start putting an end to the tragedies that we've talked about now for this past week. because this is an epidemic in our country, drug overdose, heroin, opiate abuse. it doesn't discriminate between race, gender or assocate crow economic status. it's hit some unsuspecting parts of our country. i'm proud to join my colleagues in this bipartisan legislation and i've heard overwhelming support for my constituency in colorado. everyone from local law enforcement families, victims of professional recovery and special lists and mental health providers have joined together to show their support. i would like to commend my colleagues for their extensive efforts to advocate on behalf of those who do not have a voice. i'm proud to join my colleagues and i urge the senate to support this legislation.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado guard mr. president, i rise today to honor the life of corporal nate kerrigan and the work of master patrol deputy colby martin and captain mark hancock. on the morning of february 24 while serving an eviction notice, the residents of the home that they were serving the eviction notice to opened fire on the officers. master patrol deputy martin and captain hancock suffered injuries from the exchange and corporal care began traj -- carrigan tragically lost his life. combined these three men have served the citizens of park county for over 35 years. corporal carrigan was a pillar of the community and led to the success of many cases during his time -- successful conclusion of many indications during his time with the sheriff's office.
park county was always a home for him. growing up among green hills in colorado's blue skies, he'd now taken on the role of serving it. as a teenager, he was a wrestler and the catcher for the platt canyon high school baseball team. 20 years later he was coaching the same baseball team that he had played on and was the assistant coach for the high school football team. it was the future of his community that he cared so deeply about and the reason he stood on that thin blue line to protect it. residents of this small town recognize the value and importance of a close-knit community. it provides a source of comfort and strength during difficult times such as this. in this quiet mountain town, colleagues, store owners and schoolmates are often old friends and nains as -- neighbors as well. they come together to lift one another up as they honor a member that has fallen in its service. it's a place where those surrounding you naturally feel
like family. the officers who were dispatched with corporal carrigan were not only coworkers but friends and even coaches of the very same sports teams. this reminds us of the difficult and dangerous situations that first responders are placed into each and every day. my deep et sympathy is with -- deepest sympathy are with the sheriff's office who not only lost a team member but a comrade as well. and to corporal carrigan's loved ones mourning the loss of a member so dear to their hearts. we honor our law enforcement who in the spirit of selfless sacrifice honor their communities through their service. the their work never finishes. their bravery never waivers and our gratitude will never cease. mr. president, this is the second time in a week that i've come down and mourned the loss of a brave law enforcement
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the sphror mississippi. mr. wicker: madam president, i believe we're in a quorum call -- we're not. okay. i'd like to speak for some five to ten minutes about an important matter. and so i appreciate being recognized. what is the pending business? madam president? the presiding officer: the senate is postcloture on the substitute amendment to the cara bill. mr. wicker: all right. we'll -- we will let the time run on that issue, and at this point i'd like to talk about alzheimer's. and an opportunity that we have to cure this most serious disease. we can find a cure for alzheimer's.
we can do it through american ingenuity. no obstacle has never been too tbrait for american ingenuity -- too great for american ingenuity. we have defied seemingly impossible odds in the past . we've eradicated polio from the entire north american continent and for most of the globe. we have mapped the human genome. we've been to the moon. we're going to to send somebody to mars. we can -- we can concur alzheimer's. alzheimer's was first discovered more than a century ago. and you think about it, madam president -- we only began human flight about 100 years ago. and think of what we've done in human flight. it just boggles the imagination. we need to cure alzheimer's here
at the beginning of the second century of this disease. we've made progress in understanding the disease, and yet we still do not know how to stop it. we don't know how to slow it and we certainly don't know how to prevent it from happening. alzheimer's continues to cause profound human suffering. it affects 5 million americans who have the disease. but not only them, it takes a toll on family and friends forced to watch their loved ones slip away, and i can tell you from personal experience, i know what i'm talking about. last month "time" magazine featured alzheimer's on the cover. "a radical new drug could change old age: the longevity issue." and there's an article in here
entitled "alzheimer's from a new angle." i think we need a new angle to address alzheimer's in using innovative drug trials like the magazine indicates but also in a new angle concerning the use of prize competitions. i propose that congress should look at alzheimer's from the angle of using the expaz foundation and using a number of organizations that have thought long and hard about this. i introduc introduced the eurekt fall. eureka stands for ensuring useful research expenditures is key for alzheimer's. eureka. we have found t and we can find
a cure for hiewrms. -- for alzheimer's. this bill can be the beginning of finding a cure. finding a cure is our ultimate goal, but it will take steps to get there. my bill would create prize competitions to reward breakthroughs in alzheimer's research. i want to assure my colleagues who are very interested in n.i.h. funding, eureka would not be a substitute for any dollars that are going to current research funding for alzheimer's. that would continue, and it ought to continue, and we ought to do whatever we can to expand that. but eureka would be in addition to what we're doing at the national institutes of health. prizes would be awarded for a number of advancements. perhaps drug treatments to early detection methods. the best part is there'd be nothing for us to lose because
with a prize competition, you pay only for success. without success, the american taxpayer pays nothing when it comes to the eureka bill. and i'm grateful for the bipartisan support that my bill has already received in the senate. 35 of our colleagues have sponsored the bill, and i believe by the end of the day i'll be able to announce 36, madam president. i hope even more will lend their support. alzheimer's is certainly not a partisan issue. it's a national issue, and one of the great challenges of our time, not only from a human standpoint but from a budget standpoint. alzheimer's is a major spending issue. it's responsible for $226 billion a year -- $226 billion a year -- and the estimates are that by the year 2050 those costs will be $1 trillion per
year. now, we have a $19 trillion debt right now. think of the additional debt that will be piled up unless we tackle this issue and get to a cure. and think of the savings. think of the other areas that we would be able to address if we didn't spend so much of our medicaid budget on alzheimer's patients, so much of our medicare budget on alzheimer's patients. now, experts say $2 billion in research funding is needed to prevent and treat alzheimer's by the year 2025. this remains the goal of the alzheimer's plan, and it remains my goal. but that's a much higher number than we can afford at the n.i.h. level right now. however, by fostering public-private partnerships, as
thure reca bill would -- as the eureka bill would do, we can build on partnerships in new and exciting ways. these partnerships would unleash the power of american innovation and the power of american competition to encourage people from different backgrounds and sectors to work together in pursuit of a life-changing discovery. this could work. prize competitions have worked in the past when charles lindbergh achieved nonstop flight between new york and paris. he huang a $25,000 prize and helped inspire the aviation industry we know today. another example of success in this concept is the "x" prize and the competitions currently sponsored by the "x" prize foundation. the "x" prize foundation has been promoting technological
breakthroughs for more than two decades. it offered $10 million for the first reusable manned spacecraft. this prize competition generated $100 million in investments by competitors. a $10 million prize generated $1 co$-- $100 million in investmen. a skimmer that accelerates the cleanup of oil spills was awarded a $100 million xprize. so this can work and it will work. we need america's best and brightest minds working on alzheimer's a way. and we need a way to reward success. deaths from alzheimer's are on the rise. it's costs exceed those for cancer and heart disease. think about that, madam president. the cost for alzheimer's per year exceeds the cost for heart
disease and cancer put together. so we need to -- we need to put our emphasis where the need is. i want to thank all of the organizations who have come together and endorsed this concept. i want to thank my friends at the xprize foundation. they stood with me last fowl and endorsed this -- last fall and endorsed this concept. this legislation was designed with the help of the xprize foundation, in consultation with the xprize foundation, and they know what they're talking b so thank you to the foundation for doing that. i also want to thank the following organizations who have endorsed this concept and specifically endorsed the eureka bill. a group called us against alzheimer's, the alzheimer's association, the alzheimer's foundation of america, the bright focus foundation, and the
mind center at the university of mississippi medical center in my capital city of jackson. also a group called leaders lea- leaders engaged on alzheimer's disease. they all agree by unleashing this concept after prize competition, we can cure alzheimer's disease. this bill is generating support and die looking for finally put ping and end to this -- putting an end to this devastate being disease. let's pass this bipartisan legislation. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. madam president, i note the absence of a quorum.
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. markey: madam president, i ask for a vitiation of the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. markey: thank you, madam president. madam president, as we consider the cara bill on the floor at this time, as we consider the bill to deal with this opioid epidemic in our country, i thought that it might be useful if i just bring a few statistics out here so that we can consider the nature of the epidemic which we are dealing with. in 2014, 29,267 people died from
prescription opioid and heroin overdoses in our country. 10,574 of those people died from heroin. that's a 28% increase from 2013. can i say that again? it was a 28% increase nr -- in heroin deaths in our country in one year. that's the trend line that we're talking about with this epidemic. deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl increased 79% from 2013 to 2014. and i say that again. a synthetic opioid -- fentanyl -- had an increase in 79% from deaths from 2013 to 2014. here's another statistic: today's young white adults age
25-34 are experiencing the highest death rates since the vietnam war. can i say that again? white adults between the ages of 25 and 34 are experiencing the highest death rates since the vietnam war. in 2014 an estimated 1.9 million people had an opioid use disorder related to prescription pain relievers and an estimated 586,000 had an opioid use disorder related to heroin use. this is the profile of the epidemic that we have in our country right now. in the five-year period between 2008 and 2013, overdose deaths from prescription pain killers and heroin combined increased 37%. in 2010, enough opioid pain
killers were sold to medicaid every american adult with a typical dose of hydro codone every four hours for one month. in 2012 health care providers wrote 259 million prescription for opioid pain killers, enough for every american adult to have a bottle of opioid pain killers in 2012 in our country. can i say that again? enough of this opioid pain killers were prescribed so that every adult would have a bottle on their shelf in 2012. pick a number how many ten milligram opioid pain killers were approved by the drug enforcement agency in the year 2014. just pick a number in your
brain. how many pills were authorized to be manufactured in our country in 2014? just pick a number in your brain. ten milligram pills of opioids. here's the answer: you were wrong. the number is 14 billion, ten-milligram pills equivalent were authorized to be manufactured in our country by the federal government, by the drug enforcement agency in the year 2014. again, all of this is part of the recipe, stir well, ignore it for about 15 years and let our country finally recognize that there's an epidemic in their house, on their street, with their relative, with their friend that should never have happened because we know what the cause of this issue is.
this unparalleled rise in overdose deaths in the united states parallels a fourfold increase from 1999 to 2010 in the sale of opioid pain killers. we know that there has been a tripling in the number of overdose deaths from 1999 to 2012 in our country, but we also know this, that america is only 5% of the world's population and we now consume 80% of all of the opioid pain killers on the planet. again, this is not some big puzzle in terms of what has caused this problem. this is all very simple, easy to understand stuff that ordinary families have been grappling with, especially over the last ten years, beginning with their
understanding that oxycontin and percocet and all these other drugs that are allegedly, quote unquote abuse deterrents when in fact when they're swallowed pursuant to a prescription, if done on an extended basis can cause the addiction that's even worse than whatever the problem is that's underlying that in the individual that they're taking these pain killers for. roughly 480,000 emergency room visits in 2011 were attributable to the misuse and abuse of opioid pain killers in our country. 488,000 emergency room visits, that one issue. the prescription pain killer epidemic is killing more women than ever before, and it is estimated that about 18 women die every day from a prescription pain killer
overdose. the numbers are staggering. we should create a requirement that if the d.e.a. is going to license physicians to prescribe opioids and every physician in america must go to the d.e.a. to get a license, that if they're going to be allowed to prescribe the physician proves that they have been educated to do so. right now according to the f.d.a., which two years ago authorized a voluntary education program for physicians, pick a number in your mind what percent of all physicians in america have taken advantage of a voluntary education program for opioids. you're wrong. whatever number you just picked, it's only 12% of all physicians have actually taken the voluntary education program. the f.d.a. continues to authorize new opioids on the market without even having an
expert advisory panel to be able to deal with the issue. even as the d.e.a. continues to authorize 14 billion ten-milligram pills per year. so this issue is one that we have to deal with. we should have physician education. we should have tighter standards for what the f.d.a. does in allowing the new drugs to go out on the market. and we have to ensure that they're safe and we have to ensure that there's a proper understanding of their abuse potential. and -- and we have to have a day of reckoning with the costs of all of this. we have to make sure that the funding level is there for families who are already suffering. we have to provide the help for them. we just have to. this is an epidemic that largely was created at the federal level, largely created by physicians pharmaceutical companies, and it's time for us to finally begin to provide the help these families so desperately need. but here's what we know --
here's what i know most. it won't even be those who right now have the problem, although those families will get the help that they need. it's all the families who will never need the help because we did put the right recipe on the books. we did put the right prevention measures on the books. we did put the prevefntive measures on -- preventative measures on the books so their families never even knew this day arriving in their history. so i just hope that as we go through this whole process that we can keep those thoughts in mind. that's what we can do from the federal government. we should strive to do this. we should try our best to just stand up and provide the help that these families need at the local level. and, madam president, i yield back the balance of my time.
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, madam president. i ask unanimous consent to end the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. vitter: madam president, i rise today with enormous pride but also real sadness to honor one of my longest serving and most talented staff members, zack bay, as he departs the senate later this week to start an exciting new career. zack has worked his way up our ranks in my office, starting on the house side, and in the
process has filled almost every role in sight, starting with chief bottle washer and going up from there. he actually started in 2001, shortly after i was elected to the u.s. house as an intern back in louisiana, in hammond, louisiana. he did a great job there. in 2002, he was an intern up here in d.c. he showed even enormous, greater progress and promise. and then he came on full-time as a legislative correspondent at the end of 2002. in 2004 i ran for the united states senate, big undertaking, enormous challenge, statewide campaign. and zak moved on to the campaign side and was in charge of the grass roots effort which was enormously important and helped lead to our success. so he truly helped guide us to
victory that year. after that as we started work in the united states senate, he became an integral member of the senate staff. in his first three years he served as a our project's director and in 2008 became less tif direct -- legislative director. in 2013 he served as a republican staff director for the epw committee while i was ranking republican. and in 2015 after we took the majority and i became chair of the small business committee, zak became full staff director there as well as acting chief of staff for a period. and so as i said, he's absolutely worked his way up the ranks meriting it each and every step of the way doing a better and better job as he progressed. you can tell that in his body of work which is very impressive and of course which i benefited
from. at the e.p.w. committee as a republican staff director, zak helped navigate the legislative waters and shepherded through the senate some major infrastructure legislation. he was able to lead at the staff level the negotiations of the water resources reform and development act of 2014 starting from drafting bipartisan legislation with senator barbara boxer and her staff, the chair of the committee, to negotiating with the house of representatives in conference to ultimately getting the bill signed into law, a major legislative accomplishment. and then shortly after that, he turned around and helped do the same thing with the highway bill reauthorization. under his leadership we also conducted some really important oversight of the administration, particularly the e.p.a., the department of transportation, and other agencies under the jurisdiction of the e.p.w.
committee. when we moved to the majority and chairmanship of the small business committee, zak served as staff director just as if not more effectively. he helped lead the way as we passed 22 bipartisan bills out of the committee in just one year, eight of which have become law. to put that in some perspective, our predecessor on the committee only passed ten bills out of the committee over five years. so it really was making the committee work in an effective bipartisan way as it should. and then in general in the office, zak was behind a lot of our major efforts and achievements, always effective at whatever he put his mind to. a lot of that success is directly attributed to his never ending energy, his drive to see things through from start to finish, and maybe even more
importantly his personality, his attitude, his sense of humor, his being able to do tough things and always get along with those he was occasionally battling with because he always did it with a smile, a trendily attitude, -- friendly attitude, probably a joke or two mixed in. it's at that personal level that i am most saddened to say goodbye to zak, at least working with him day to day professionally, although we'll obviously keep in close touch. i've been honored to be a mentor to so many younger folks who have worked in the senate office, and i've been honored to mentor zak through the years. and it really has been a personal privilege and honor. through those years i've literally seen him grow up from a young student, a boy really to
a consummate professional, a wonderful husband, a great father. and i like to think i had a little bit to do with that as well because zak met his wonderful wife, wendy, when they both worked for me in the senate office. in fact, their marriage is one of four that's come out of our senate office which as i look back on my service in the senate is probably the statistic and the fact i'll be most proud of, the young people i helped mentor, that i serve with and those marriages that directly came out of the office. and in that sense through that mentoring and through those years, i gained not just a great staff leader but a true and dedicated friend. and for that i'll always be grateful. and it's at that personal level that i'll think back about
fights and struggles and work and challenges and a lot of jokes and a lot of fun we had along the way. in that spirit i want to leave zak with three parting gifts. one has to do with a day that i carried about with me from committee hearing to floor activity to actually giving a speech on the floor with it next to me a funny photograph that will not be described in more detail, perfectly pg rated but inside joke funny. zak after that day got a hold of that framed photograph. i think it's been completely destroyed but there was a file of the originals involved. and so i'll hand that to him as a parting gift as part of the inside joke.
on another occasion commemorating his enormous devotion to syracuse sports -- he went to syracuse as an undergraduate -- a prized basketball of his was hijacked. this was a basketball signed by coach jim bahon after their national championship season in 2003. it was hijacked, it moved locations. it sent ransom notes from all around the country for quite a protracted period before zak got it back. i was going to have the basketball with me to help tell the story today only to find out earlier today it's been hijacked again. so my second parting gift to zak is to get in contact with the abductors and return the prizeed basketball for yet a second time. and the third and probably most important parting gift is to give zak true credit, the credit he deserves. one fight i took on in the last
several years is to have members and staff health care handled appropriately as was intended under obamacare. the so-called exemption of obamacare ending that. i want to give him full and public credit that crusade and that idea was really his and his alone. i just wanted to give him one last heart attack thinking for a split-second that his promising lobbying career had just ended before it even began. i know that zak's senate peers and our constituents in louisiana will miss his tireless service but no one will miss that and his camaraderie and his good humor and his friendship more than my wife, wendy, and our four children. we've all become very close with
him and his wife, wendy, and their to sons maddux and fleming. and we also know his parents very well and are friends with them back home in louisiana. so we wish them all the best. i know zak's greatest achievements are ahead of him, not behind. i can tell him to count me in as a cheerleader and fan as he takes on those new challenges. with that, madam chairman, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 358, s. 2426. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 358, s. 2426, a bill to direct the secretary of state to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for taiwan and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there an objection proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask the chair to lay before the senate a message to accompany s. 1580. the presiding officer: the chair lays before the senate the
following message. the clerk: resolved that the bill from the senate s. 1580 entitled an act to allow additional appointing authorities and so forth do pass with an amendment. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate concur and the house amendment to s. 1580 and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask the chair to lay before the senate a message to accompany s. 1172. the presiding officer: the chair lays before the senate the following message. the clerk: resolve that the bill from the senate s. 1172 entitle tdz an act to improve the process of presidential transition do pass with an amendment. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate concur and the house amendment to s. 1172 and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i can unanimous consent the committee on the judiciary be discharged from further consideration of h.r.1755 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 1755, an act to amend title 36 united states code and so forth. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent the commerce committee be discharged from further consideration of s. res. 385 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 385, recognizing the historic achievement of astronaut cot joseph kelly and so forth. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding
to the measure? without objection the committee is discharged. the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to consideration of h. con res. 113 which is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h. con. res. 113 concurrent resolution authorizing the use of ee emancipation hall in the capitals advice -- capital visitors center and so forth. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding to the measure? withou -- without objection. mr. mcconnell: disict that the current resolution be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate consideration of s. res. 339 submitted he willier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
the clerk: senate resolution 393 supporting the goals and ideals of multiple sclerosis awareness week. the presiding officer: is there objection to froaght measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i disport the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so now madam president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. witness day, march 9. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, that following leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for one hour equally divided with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each and with the majority controlling the first half and the democrats controlling the final half. further, following morning business, the senate resume consideration of s.524. further, that notwithstanding the provisions of rule 22, all
postcloture time on amendment number 3378 expire at 12:00 noon. finally, that the time following morning business until 12:00 noon be equally divided between the two manges for their designees. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: if ness no further business to come before the senate, i ask that is it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
and he made such a difference in my life. he was a fine man and a great spanish teacher the first-ever had heard anything about a pinata. what is that? when you have a figure of let's say it is a course. then you are blindfolded and they have a stick in their hand and they can't see and they try to find the pinata so the presence would, out of it. and then starts to dump the presence on everybody'sam head.
and the republicans need to s stop and listen to the disgusting rhetoric there spewing treating somebody they don't even know like a pinata? now we're acting like a big test people to destroy the reputation. this is vile behavior. clinton and to continue down that path of destruction. id to get their senses back. mr. cornyn: mr. president, as the entire country knows, it was about a month ago that we lost
about a month ago that we lost >> those entire country knows that we lost justice scalia in dealing with the loss of this man with the help of the constitution cannot be overstated. hinder stood the words of the constitution were important in famously said the american people realize that what the supreme court did on occasion was to substitute their value judgments in with those judgments with those elected representatives they may feel those values were superior and preferable to a life member of the united
states supreme court. h evade important reminder. justice scalia would express himself very colorfully and clearly was no fan to make it up as you go along which unfortunately can happen when the supreme court chooses those values rather than the constitution justice scalia was a key figure when it came to make sure the court policed themal of executive power and legislative power but ince other words, to believe in the separation of powers and checks and balances it isn't an exaggeration to inspire the next generation of
lawyers and legal scholars of the constitution as it was originally written because with justice scalia the republic is stronger. with those comments made to allow the american people to help choose the justice on the supreme court by selecting the next president will make that appointment. stas in the authority to make the nomination but it is just as clear the constitution gives the senate the authority to determine to be proposed by obama. all in to support the decision made senate republicans to withhold consent of the
president's nominee to allow the american people's voice to be heard that is not to say there will be a democratic president. we don't know at this early stage. but we do know is improper to allow the lame-duckng out president to forever change the balance of the supreme court as he is headed out the door and there is a lot of president for what we decided to do. never has a supreme court nominee bin to a vacancy. c and then to go back even further to find those thate were nominated and confirmednd under divided government.
so what senate democrats are insisting is reduce something we haven't done for 130 years. of course, the position taken is not a new idea either and in fact, as a democratic leader in 2005 said this when president george to be bush was president if they set forth in the u.s. constitution nowhere does it have a duty to get presidential appointees. senator reid was entirely correct that is what the constitution says that the president can nominate anybody he wants but the constitution does the say the senate is obligated to
give a vote. looking at those remarks this morning he was critical of the words kenyatta to suggest somehow and it is a threat.court, i would be surprised if any person who conspire to beyond united states supreme court as a courage to endure a legal scholar would allow themselves to be used by this administration to make a nomination to the supreme court knowing they will not be confirmed in to be
elected president next year there is no guarantee that person will be renominated. so with the nominations process it is only to say that confirmation process is pretty tough but i will not be preached to by the democratic leader who are responsible to filibuster judges to create a new verb on the english language to block the appointments to t the united states supreme court with the democraticeals w leader to break those rules for the sole purpose for the d.c. circuit court of appeals so the president wouldn't have to worry about
judges overreaching his authority of the constitution to issue executive orders were to circumvent the role of congress.o opera this is the play book written by the democratic leader across the aisle. do they expect us to operate under a different set of rules? m here is what senator reid's successor said in 200718 months before president george w. bush left office. senator schumer said 18 months we should resist confirmation there never was a presumption with the deference that some people show they are nominated we haven't seen much of that lately but this is what
senator schumer goes on to say. 18 except in extraordinary circumstances 18 months before the president left office if there was a vacancy created they would presume to confirm the nominee. the and vice president i didn't back in 1982 and he was chairman of the senate judiciary committee said they should seriously consider not scheduling confirmation hearings on the nomination until after the campaign season is over. committ
this is what vice president joe biden said in 1982. as a distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee on the floor i want to tell him how much i appreciate his steadfastness to support the decision we madeo collectively to allow the voters and who will filly this important debate vacancy. the fin then with the vice president and the ranking member but i have heard the question came up how can you do this? how can you not allow president obama to fill the vacancy?
i heard it was pointed out to the president and vice president to the democratic leader that they were the ones to filibuster the nominees. they are the ones that have created this environment that used to be a routine confirmation hearing and it would be foolish of us to say this is the of policies when there is a republican president to act surprised when we say of the rules apply to you then it should be when republicans are in majority somehow with a lame-duck time at the white
house halls three these individuals the democratic leaders and senator reid the heir apparent senator schumer are quick to criticize those of the judiciary committee adaptive is hypocritical at the height of hypocrisy but this is more than just about hypocrisy but an important principle to allow those voters to make that decision to make sure their voices are heard. i don't know why that shouldld be objectionable is clear to
be the senate republicans stand firm behind the idea that people should have a say in the critical issue for when they vote in november because there is a lot at stake. tip depending on who fills the vacancy next year it could tip the ideological direction for a generation justice scalia served 30 years and fundamentally reshape american society in the process. simil and given obama his previous nominees the question for the american people is that they want someone with this they were similar ideology to dramatically change theeo balance of the supreme court because obama could nominate someone that was confirmed
and for generations change the ideological balance of the united states supreme court and you have to wonder if their real goal we saw on nominees to the district of columbia some call the second to court of the nation because they wanted to tip the balance because most important legal decisions made. to the united states supreme court. and i have no doubt in my mind the president and his allies want somebody that will rubber-stamp the president's actions. this court to justice scalia has rebuked the president on
numerous occasions with in recess appointments with the t injunction granted by the court upheld by the fifth circuit court on the executive action the court often led by scalia against attempts by the president to grab power by the executive branch away from congress and from the american people. so at this critical juncture the people should have a voice whose lax the next justice. i and my colleagues are committed to make sure they have that voice. i yield the floor.
is al equipped and principles consistently. >> now zero a hearing and the state department's diplomatic efforts including cybersecurity and peacekeeping mission in saying concern over the allocation of $500 million to the green climate fund. [inaudible conversations] >> then hearing is called to order thank you to secretary johnson coming before the committee i know you did earlier this new one did so i appreciate that.
also thank you for your service i cannot imagine this is the thank filled position with a lot of responsibility you're trying to do everything you can to keep this nation save so we do appreciate your efforts. working with the difficult agency is never easy to consolidate 22 different agencies, cultures but so we appreciate your efforts. so i thank you for coming your end with senator carter the first thing with my business background it is helpful to have a mission statement for the committee and it is pretty simple to enhance the economic and national security of america
they go hand in hand with a whole when security side not that these are the orders but border security we hold 14 hearings to central america. in the border is not secure. as the greatest transfer of wealth this committee working in a bipartisan fashion to clear that up with the until it is not a panacea with the electrical grid i am appreciative ted koppel wrote a book that
this committee has to do more work on end to counter others in the fifth priority was to commit myself to do everything we can to assist as well as to succeed the mission to keep the nation safe. with that budget hearing to consider defense of the nation and a the homeland. i want to have this hearing on those threats what we can do to keep the nation safe because the national economic security go hand in hand. thanks for coming here and your service.
>> it is great to see you. thought it for their service. they give for joining is today to discuss the fiscal year 2017 and with those discretionary funds it is a 1% decrease from last year and while i am pleased the mission and is funded with the impact of the department in the ability. and then to bring down the
nation's deficit in it is critical for the well-being of our nation and economy ready to make sure the department has the funds to keep the american people safe as they are constantly evolving as a nation and i am concerned over several whole land security grants by as much as 85% to help communities better prepare. in boston the holman security grants were critical to trade the community to respond as they did thought to the boston marathon bombings. i know raising bees is not always popular it is worth
paying for that is why a support reasonable roughly there is so whole in the budget through tsa and that is deeply concerning a whole peking come together to a solution to this challenge. there are items required in this budget. in the new funding will help those laws as they work hard to pass and i think my colleagues working with us over the last three years. in for cybersecurity tools
the proposed budget continues the recent investments of border security to please to see increases of the force multipliers. with vehicles or votes were a fixed-wing aircraft. and i was pleased to see that budget request with the community partnership last month we wrecked of legislation and thank them for their support. . .
>> say more than 700 thousand dollars by cutting down the costly leases. let me close by recognizing that your leadership along with out of the deputy as well as efforts of senior staff, some of whom are here today and over 200,000 rank-and-file employees along with the members of our committee staff moving diligently comeau we look forward to hearing more about how we can work together to ensure the department has the tools and resources it needs. thankneeds. thank you for joining us, and we look forward to your testimony. >> if you would please rise and raise your right hand.
to use where the testimony you t before this committee will be the truth come all truth, nothing but the truth, so help you got? >> yes, please be seated. >> the 4th secretary of the homeland security. prior to joining dhs he served as general counsel for the department of defense we was part of the senior management team. secretary johnson's career has included extensive service to national security secretary johnson. >> every time i hear that i keep thinking i have got to rewrite that bio. i ran organization of 10,000 lawyers versus an organization of 10,000 people. you have my written statement. this year's budget submission has reflected
hard and difficult choices to fit within the budget caps. because we had to make our choices there are things i wish we could have funded a higher levels that we do not. let me say that ii appreciate very much the true partnership that i think we have had with the members of this committee. andand what i believe to be a very effective bipartisan working relationship with members of the committee just since i have been secretary together we have accomplished a lot. going back to you before i was confirmed and i began courtesy calls with members of the committee. i took to heart the message i received from you about the importance of management reform, reforming the way in
which our department does business. overall, my goal as secretary is to leave the department of homeland security in a better place than i found it. what that means is improving the efficiency and effectiveness by which we deliver homeland security to the american public. the centerpiece for that, as you know, has been our unity of effort and initiative. under which we have established joint task forces for border security of the southwest and southeast borders, established a joint requirement council to improve our acquisition practices and efficiency. beefed-up our office of immigration statistics. as many of you know,, developing better border metrics for evaluating a measuring border security
and total attempts to cross the border under initiative and we started called border stat. i appreciate the advice and input i have received. we have initiated something called the data framework initiative to better integrate data that we collect within the department so that the data itself is not still piped and is effectively utilized against all our databases. this committee can help us. through the authorization of the number of activities so that they are cemented in the law and institutionalized and go beyond my job as secretary and the time i have a secretary. i appreciate the effort and have reviewed the legislative language of the committee to institutionalized our joint task forces, joint requirement council, joint
duty to elevate the office of policy within dhs to the under secretary level and elevate the importance of that office of policy which i think is indispensable to our unity of effort and initiative. thank you, senators, for passing out of this committee legislation to specifically authorize our office for community partnerships which spearheads our cge efforts. we also believe it is important to consolidate our the indio and health affairs functions more effectively and efficiently around for some bernie office. impending legislation right now. i also support the restructuring of in ptd, the national protection and programs directorate into a more streamlineda more
streamlined and effective and operational citizen of cyber security and infrastructure protection. i know that we have been working effectively with your staffs on authorizing a number of these things. i fully support this effort and hope that we can continue to work down this path in the future. thank you very much. >> mr. secretary, i want to go right to community partnerships. in a briefing with fbi officials come, i was struck by one of the comments that when officials go in the communities, muslim communities talking about potentially use that may be radicalized often times the members of the community think that we have perfect information and no exactly might -- who might be prone to radicalization. the thing could be further
from the truth. >> given the nature of the problem in the nature of the current threat which in the homeland includes terrorist inspired attacks. law enforcement, the us government is not always in a position to know about someone who is self radicalizing. it is the case that almost every instance i can think of of self radicalized actors, somebody close to that person was in a position to know. so since i have been secretary i have put a top priority on our cge efforts. so goal number one, build bridges with communities, including muslim communities. i have personally traveled almost every major metropolitan area in the
country that has a significant muslim population, and when i go i want to be sure state and local law enforcement is with me. building bridges to say help us help you and if you see something say something. beyond that, the mandates i have given our office for community partnerships is to engage the tech sector so that the tech sector helps communities amplify the counter message and engage philanthropies, how can flap please help and support community activities? i am pleased that in this year's budget we have money for our cge efforts and in this year's budget submission we is outresult -- we have also requested money, but those are basically my three goals, and i believe they are as important as any other mission right now given the nature of the threat we face. >> i appreciate your efforts.
where of the most important things we can do is engage in a positive way. i have to bring up unaccompanied children. we are still possibly beyond crisis proportions. they were incredibly impressed with what your department did addressing the crisis in 2014. but we have gotten more efficient atapprehending and processing and dispersing. the senator held a great hearing on the deprivation of some of these children that have been processed and dispersed command we lost track. i want to talk about the numbers. through january of this year the event 16,438 unaccompanied children from central america comparing to 11,034 and fy 2014. so if we just did the math,
and 2014 we had 51,705 unaccompanied children, the crisis year. if we maintain his pace pace we will have 77,000 in 2016. we have not gotten the february 14 numbers. how many unaccompanied children were apprehended and processed and probably dispersed in february? >> well, i want to compare numbers with you. i am looking at my latest in terms of uic numbers. the -- you are correct that in the fall of 2015 we saw an increase. fy 14 always saw this bike that everyone knows about. fy 15, after the things we put in place, we had a pretty good year. it was down significantly. in terms of total apprehensions on the southwest border it was the
2nd lowest number since 1972. in the fall, in october, november, december we saw an increase in usc's. a number was 6,775 in the month of december. in january the number one down by more than half. after -- >> this is just in terms of total by fiscal year through 2015. so we have this bike in 2014. and when down to 28,000. my point being if you annualized the numbers we would be at 77,000 for fiscal year 2016. >> i was just getting to that. january we saw significant drop-off to 3,111, february 2163113 in terms of
uic's. the march number so far, only seven or eight days in the march, pretty much at the same pace as february the slightly higher. has everyone knows, in early january we began a series of public concerted effort in interior enforcement of focused on families, but we have also focused on just about every other population that is entered the country recently. those apprehended at the border our top priority. we focused more recently on those who came in to the country as children or adults, and those people are in removal proceedings. the total number of those sent back to central america
this fiscal year is just over 28,000. the total number sent back by cbp or ice to mexico is around 128,000. those are pretty significant numbers. and so we are sending a very public message that if you come here illegally and if you do not have a valid claim for asylum and have been ordered deported by an immigration court call we will send you back. >> the point being, in in february 2014 i did not have the numbers to compare. 3400 unaccompanied children coming in from central america. in february 2016 news about 310016 is about 3100. >> the february 2014 number was 4,800. >> i'm happy to share this.
>> we are pretty darn close. we would be looking at 77,000 this year versus 51,000 in the crisis year. we can massage the numbers a little bit. >> i do not think that is accurate. >> what do you have year to date? not by month, year to date. >> year to date you a see this fiscal year 23,553. >> so four months up to 28,000 already. >> twenty-three. >> through five months. still at a pretty high pace. >> the numbers are high.
i'm not sure there at the same february 14 pace. >> 2014 was a crisis. i think we are running ahead of the the numbers on getting. >> we will compare notes. i have run out of time. >> 24,000 through the 1st five months that would equate to an annual number the next seven months with you about 55th -- 57,000. >> with a difference may be is you are looking at central america numbers. i'm looking at the total numbers. >> let's just stick with central america. want to applaud the administration for deciding to have support for full --
for small suppliers but invest not just in border patrol officers but in fixed wing aircraft, unmanned aircraft, helicopters,, helicopters, boats, motion detectors to all of the above. the administration budget calls for a very small reduction by maybe 300 out of maybe 21 or 22,000. political to the significant investment to technology that will enable border patrol to be more effective. i applaud that. my colleagues let me say more than a few times, they are not coming from mexico. we know now more mexicans are going back into mexico than coming. and for the most part of the
flow represents people. most are coming from honduras, guatemala. we spent over the last decade, quarter of a trillion dollars to strengthen our border with mexico. we spent less than 1 percent of that quarter of a trillion dollars to address the root causes. to make it to our country. the chairman and i have been down there, and they lack hope, economic opportunity, rampant violence. it violence. it is actually a situation that we are complicit with. we send money and drugs down to those countries. they want to leave, and they want to come here. rather than just -- we need to address the underlying
root causes. they come up with their own plan. the alliance repository. the rule of law, economic development. literally turnover american tax dollars. they have to raise their own money. we provide funding against their own efforts through a nonprofit organization. we need to to be able to walk and chew gum. we will do that. i applaud that. chairman has already touched with you on the unaccompanied minors. the numbers were concerning. january and february are much better. the message has been received by the folks that
would otherwise want to try to, p are. the last minute or two that i have their impact on the department of homeland security talk why we need to increase of these. the cbp, the impact on the average american we don't support the increases that the administration is requested. >> let me begin by saying that the budget request as i saidi said before does reflect hard choices to stay within the's. part of our request is a request for authorization of the fee increase with respect air passengers and the airlines the increase.
the proposed increase would restore revenue fees from the airlines. i believe the amount is 470 million. >> about a dollar a ticket. >> that is what the airline. the passenger fee proposed increase is $5.60 and $6.60. the underlying rationale is that it goes to pay for aviation security. and border entry at airports and that those who use the system as opposed to taxpayers generally should help more and paying for those things and services, aviation security. my recollection is that these two proposals would generate about 900 million in revenue for the
department. if they are not increased and while the real problem finding where to pay for aviation security. aviation security right now given the world environment in my judgment is critical for the congress to support. i was pleased by this year's budget and next year's budget request. we have -- we have held the line on tso's. we are not reducing them. the administrator and ii are making a number of investments in aviation security. right now i believe aviation security is critical given the world situation. >> thank you so much. >> thank you. >> senator. >> thank you chairman and secretary, good to have you before the committee. committee.
if i could will try to get some rapid responses. first is the epidemic. we will lose 25 people in ohio kemal hundred in america.america. we understand this is primarily coming from mexico over the border. testimony in the house judiciary committee texas director of public safety recently saying it creates reliable means to infiltrate the country allowing them to smuggle in traffic drugs. can you give us a sense of what we could be doing better to interdict these drugs and keep them coming in and specifically tell us if you could what percent of heroin coming in is apprehended and stop at the border 4 percent is coming in the communities?
>> a couple of things. most of the heroin that is brought in is over land, not by sea. the coast guard is focused on this, but most of it is smuggled by land. i do know that the percentage of heroin smuggled, interdict and by cbp that was smuggled, those numbers, the volume has been going up between last year and the year before. that is because of sustained enhanced efforts. this is an effort that our joint task forces have undertaken, and effort the cbp has undertaken, and it undertaken, and it effort that homeland security investigations is undertaken as well. i do noti do not have an estimate of what percentages interdicted versus what percentage gets through. if we have that number i will see if we can provided for you.
>> nine out of ten is the number that i here. >> the volume of seizures has been going up. >> i would love to follow up with you on that and figure out how to do a better job. this focuses more on prevention, covered, treatment. one of the issues we are concerned about, how to stem the flow and increase the price. unaccompanied children, we held a hearing on this issue. this is where on a company children come in. it looks like numbers will be high. the fact is we have thousands of kids and attention. with hhs, you don't detain
them come hhs does. they provide the children to adults cosponsors. they go to the sponsors before they can come to an immigration hearing. what we have found is that some are placed not was sponsors for family members our surrogates but actual traffickers. in cases of ohio we had kids guatemala who ended up being exploited taking paychecks away from them. traffickers got the kids from the department of health and human services. are you aware of this and are you working with hhs to come up with a way to implement legislation that is currently in place which would prohibit children being placed with traffickers? >> i am aware of these very unfortunate situations, including the one in ohio. and a secretary burwell is focused on the placement of
the children. it is her legal obligation, and together we have been working on ensuring adequate placement consistent with law. >> you do have a role here, as you know. and our report we indicated that hhs can work better a trying to address the issue. the issue of social media and terrorism. we saw with regard to the bernadino attacks that the female shooter was on social media talking about her jihad he agenda and went so far as to have an anti- american remark and yet she went through several screenings. can you tell us what you are doing to be sure social media is something that is looked at as people are screened for all of our non- and increases? >> as the fbi director has commented, the social media
was not public prior to her entry into the united states. notwithstanding that comeau we have over the last two years enhanced our use of social media in connection with immigration benefits. a number of pilot programs going on now. social media task force recently give report. i directed the department to department to go even further in our use of social media. we use it now for something like 30 different investigative intelligence purposes across the department, but we are enhancing the use of social media in connection with immigration benefits, refugee betting and k-1 review. >> thank you, mr. chairman, ranking member. you and your team should be commended on that. i want to talk a little bit.
there is a recommendation to reduce it 24 to 18 hours. thank you for taking public input. i hope you continue to do so. it is important. i think from a security and economic standpoint i know you will look at both and it is important. asimportant. as we try to continue to grow our trade with canada i think it is just very important we take aa look at raymond from that perspective. that is all i will say on that. as long as tsa was brought up and fees were brought up, i want to talk about whole body scanners because the administrator was in front of our subcommittee on appropriations last week and we have a number in montana.
there is a percentage ofa percentage of folks who do not have the full body scanners available. is that because of lack of money? >> i am not sure whether it is lack of money or some other technology is better. i do know that we are doubling down on our use of technology at airports for aviation security and reaction to the ig test results last summer i gave the administrator attend point plan to reevaluate technology and i know he is doing that. >> i agree with you and can tell you that a lot of these are big airports. it is critically important that they have the same -- we put forth the same effort of security.
if you could look after that come i would appreciate it. community partnerships, proposing a $560 million cut to fema preparedness grants which includes operation stone garden funding. it is pretty steep. can you tell me why you are doing it this year. >> i support the pres.'s budget. the pres.'s budget request's budget request reflects our choices to live within all caps. having said that come i can see firsthand the importance and effectiveness of our fema grant money that is delivered to state and local law enforcement, communities for such things as active shooter training, overtime for police and fire.
if we cut an additional 300 it looks like putting something in a risk. >> i believe the allocation the ec reflex said judgment about where the risk involved abilities are. as you know, , senator, we have a pretty active southern border right now. is and i also know that's we're not doing as good a job and to hire up to the levels that congress has authorized in appropriated in the east commissioner has aggressively taken steps to recruit to get people through the process in terms of allocation at the northern border it is
something we need to look carefully at but it reflects the judgment of where the vulnerabilities are. >> my time is out but when we talk about drugs coming across the border they come across the southern border and if we have a northern border problem there are things we can do there are places that we live hour pretty rural he probably will get anyone from chicago to move men but it is certain -- starting to build with the university system because they can help out a lot. don't forget about it the northern border i live 70 miles from there it is the am important if we take our eye off of that they will go to the weakest link
to have. >> senator? >> they accuse secretary johnson. my first in question relates to what senator tester just asked relating to the state grant programs like feed the -- fema in the state of wisconsin with a budget of tooted $67 million less than fiscal year 2016, the funding has been critical in my home state recently the funds have provided equipment and training to our fusions center in milwaukee that like to add
we're a terrorist attack was thwarted a couple of months back. before you answer i will split an additional question. i would like to hear the justification for the proposed cuts and are there other efforts we should be aware of to supplement the look of these programs? switching to the cuts of up. >> host: team prepared this program with a 63% cut to the consortium while so want to ask the impact of the state of wisconsin the transportation technology center uses funding will for crude oil by rail program over the past five years
wisconsin has seen a huge escalation of oil trains coming from the balkans and for those first responders to have the opportunity to receive training in the for instance of a train derailment in we have had several but fortunately no explosions but he can explain why the president's request was $60 million less than fiscal year 2016 and to what extent the one to prioritize for proactive programs to prepare a local responders to respond to disasters? >> we place top priority on
programs that proactively get prepared this prevention and which is why various different levels we are funding stay in local law enforcement, first responders, emergency responders and, a paramedic equipment. having said that this budget does reflect hard choices the budget deal that was made by congress and of president 2016 and 2017 provided greater levels in 2016 and 2017 so regrettably
the proposal you received has been cut with various grants congress will ultimately do you believe is necessary and appropriate for finding that that is where we believe we needed to make some reductions but they do believe these grants are important. >> i will stop you there with one additional question. we will certainly be following up on that. last november i wrote a letter to the commissioner commissioner, along with eight congressmen from my state about the issue at the international airport in green bay. this airport is a port of entry has hosted the green bay port office for over 20
years but in july 2011 the airport was informed the current port of this did not meet its needs and the general aviation facility would be necessary to remain at the airport. they subsequently worked together to construct a general aviation facility and spend over $3 million to meet those specifications unfortunately july of last year they reversed course to inform the airport would no longer occupied the facility. let me emphasize this is after the airport paid more than $3 million of construction. this was after the airport worked lidice bp with the design and after they signed off on the facility. this is unacceptable.
this country. those of us on the northern border believe we are entitled to a level of protection and border security we don't hallways' see any measure those open positions police said this is what we need but we have huge vacancies recognizing that challenges like north dakota i want to react -- reiterate the importance to have more attention to the northern border. one of the things i frequently hear from those on the southern border there isn't a plan is the 1990's
plan in and there is a sense of coordination. what is your response? >> years ago we had a joint task force for the southern border. we had a director to be responsible for day jus assets and resources in the southwest and southeast part of that responsibility is every year to submit a plan for border security, not just people but illegal narcotics. we do have plans how to secure the border. >> why are the other law-enforcement agencies is not a strategic plan? >> i'm not sure. other law-enforcement agencies are aware to support them.
>> dell say this by criticism but there seems to be a gap from what people of the border or those charged with the responsibility to protect people to understand the people that work for your agency actually understand what that plan is not stuck on the shelf and washington d.c. and talk about movement of narcotics moving to marijuana we agree that is basically carried across but suddenly you were talking about technologies to you add a title detection
and strategy into you deploy the best equipment? if you can open in the open session then we can talk about tunnel detection. >> we will give us secure briefing we do have that capability and we have a focused effort. >> in this budget is there enough allocated to that kind of technology? >> within the confines but we could always use more of budget restraints. >> we have an opportunity to see this and whether we deploy a number of resources to reflect our concern what
is moving through the tunnels. and with first responders with terrorism activity and that is a decrease of that type of funding. to impress upon hero there isn't enough federal agents or personnel to protect this country they're asking a minimal amount of investment. the last place we should cut in my opinion is first responders. and whether it is responding to terrorism.
with the trade exploding the very simple thing the fire chief told the command and control that was critical and it is deployed every day then let's not lose sight of our partnerships. >> into looking at your leadership. i was happy this committee has passed to bipartisan bill to make it a priority to pass authorization ungrateful for the leadership and help the community come together around these issues. we're proud to see that funding with part of the
president's budget and we are grateful. if you look closely unfortunately we see $10 million of grant funds at local level and $39 million to prepare responded to complex coordinated terrorist attacks. and so to prepare for the law enforcement response which is intended to create partnerships for community groups before law enforcement gets involved. this seems the funding isn't targeted to the idea of cd in the first place. had even vision the money being spent? how can you be sure to
bolster the efforts we already start to see? i think that will be fruitful in general as opposed to block enforcement response with educators and others. >> that languages for 16? >> yes. but 39 million is for preparing this that is important with those efforts and if you explained earlier est. huge priority as they go through these communities in minneapolis we need resources and help at the
local level i have of recollection with some flexibility in how we allocate that but i could be wrong. in budgets need to reflect the priorities what i found from being a local leader and help to detect that radicalization and the first place blame curious if your folks can get back to me or if it is coming from the muslim community and those neo-nazi groups and those
hate groups to perpetrate violence and terroristic activities. but just real quick with us kinship of the love of the state of new jersey the desolate to bring to your attention. >> evenly spend so much of your time here i need you to comment on what i guess so much anger and frustration from people that live in the metropolitan area which is the line at newark airport which are just outrageous. of that holiday season that we had such long lines there were delays as much as an hour 200 passengers missed a flight so to create those
deficiencies people, screaming at me on social media's so frustrated about this particular airport in been worse. with the plus up of funding for the tsa budget what flexibility do you have i still see it as bad. we now have spring and summer travel season to alleviate this outrageous problem. >> part of the increase of wait time in with that real emphasis that we put on airport is a lot of the
things you could say is joined tsa pre-check for the shorter line that is one way to get through faster with respect to the budget it is the case is 16 and 17 we have reversed a steady decrease for this reason. this budget submission reflex holding steady with an emphasis:technology. so we're not solely on the risk-based strategy's leading to a personnel. to deal with wait times in contributing without ed doubt. >> to tell people to show up
one hour is the was we should say two hours can you give back with the plan? >> some of that depends if you are terminal a or terminal c. >> senator? >> before your testimony today and for your recent visit to michigan with the arab american muslim community. they have expressed a number of issues and concerns as the word to the issues from the meeting in a full server still talking about it. thank you for that.
but i would like to discuss the blue water bridge in michigan for a with that trade and congress. in terms of freight measure by the value of the shipment detroit ranked number two and number three in the country respectively with over $200 million worth of trade in and i know you know, that firsthand as well in the lead is happening at the border crossings into the blue
water bridge? him in response to a letter and how they responded the blue water bridge remains a top priority. but the delay of the modernization is up burden for the county's generally in over under properties as they were moving forward of vacant land that doesn't do much warda and revenue from the construction and operation to help offset that not to mention for
their nation. this is critical for us with an economic issue with the top despot -- destination and 9 million u.s. jobs so has the strategic issue for the united states which was identified as well from the blue water bridge specifically as a priority beyond the border action plan agreement i am disappointed it has not been received so far you have heard those concerns before there is the need so can you explain why did not include funding for the blue water bridge? >> cry have then to the blue water bridge did seem that back up on the bridge trying to get into the united states.
in hand the case is there. in the expansion of the customs capability has the highest priority after the project's are currently under way. to that case is there is the highest priority any type of timeline? >> not sitting here but i assure customers can give you that. >> i appreciate that to have that potential of the public-private partnership in with these financing projects can speed that up
to concur that is another way to exonerated the timeline. >> great minds can think of creative ways to come together to solve these problems there appreciated is a high priority to the highest so that is encouraging to hear it is on paper and must be dry appreciate that it. >> s also believe in the case after having seen it myself. >> chairman and thanks for your leadership mr. secretary and for your service to have an important job this committee passed a bill called the northern
border security review act between border and the united states and to me that makes sense is that something you think would be sensible. >> yes. >> rates the akio and i appreciate chairman getting that out to you also wanted to follow-up also that heroin introduction in what is that trend and we have seen a significant increase the production of heroin. it is helpful to us and how much is coming through the price is so cheap right now anything we can do will help
the first responders what they're doing early scene in increase that could be as much as 50 times more powerful. been the increase of our drug dash. >> i have the numbers here for heroin and the seizures having increased 15 over 14 but i could get you that. >> we have seen that combination and it is so much more powerful.
binder senior justin back from a trip to turkey in the issue and with that for infighter flow to get your perspective on where we stand with regard with regard to isis and in addition to that recently before the senate armed services committee and i asked about the refugee issue and he is concerned that criminality it is the daily part of the refugee flow.
and how much is this for a homeland security i was in turkey last week with the minister of interior with information sharing with the turkish government and i signed with that government to enhance information sharing in the we agreed to further discussions in areas that i would agree space is in private.
from prior experience that members of isil has left the area posing as refugees that is a fact. i agree with the comments as with that refugee problem is something that poses a risk in terms of what isil is trying to do. in terms of resettlement in the united states we have a very thorough multilayered process for somebody to be resettled it takes 18 to 24 months to complete for each refugee and we recently had a further enhancement to the security of that process. over the last several months that will most likely add with personnel the we do
into fully support to ensure that we rh a country of immigrants and i have been supportive of the including immigration reform end border security. but i respectfully disagree on the risk factor i hear what our intelligence officials have been saying with the risky and the strategy from isil to try to purposely with the flow of refugees. thank you for your work in those the server underneath you. because they do very important work for the
nation. >> thanks for being with us today. clinched the appreciate the work you in your employees have done to take a moment to discuss an issue that has arisen in iowa affecting many levee districts across the missouri river with the national flood insurance program. and accreditation and certification of the river levee is desirable because that affects the affordability of the flood insurance rates. i and the stand up process is to review and except certification provided by a party seeking accreditation
with 180 your protection it is creating havoc for a number of communities. how is a rural community with almost no tax base in my particular area of southwest iowa we have a handful of families in their to pay for addend imam from a professional engineer this is not good news for a number of these families live and how they could reasonably accomplish accreditation when it is so costly for these families.
, then why is it that there is different certifications standards with fema than the army corps of engineers reviewing the effectiveness of the levee? and i will stop right there to see if you have any thoughts. from what we've understand from the exchanges said emails is a communication process that isn't happening or working. with this lead the certification. >> my overall view of our flood insurance program it
should be solvent but affordable. i can comment specifically on the cost of certification and the affordability particularly with regard to the rural communities you spoke of in iowa but i am happy to look into that. >> that is important not just in rural iowa but all across the united states and what i have heard from my constituents the cost of the flood insurance in monthly premiums for starting to
edge up to the of monthly whole mortgage cost. you have to remember we had very economically challenged areas in then to double that with the insurance cost some of them are simply walking away from their homes in this is a sad situation in to find alternatives for the families. the next question. with that classified information in last year i understand it isn't quite the same thing so what are your feelings alien water
redoing to address these types of situations that should be a model for other federal agencies i am familiar with that article. my recollection in the article was not accurate at all. >> i needed to clarify that. enter all your employees as well. thank you. >> i got your sheet and talk about the unaccompanied children from south america.
budgeting for some 5,000 unaccompanied children from all sources. if you look at 2014 with the crisis you can put the chart back up there. that was in total unaccompanied children. lists just gives you an idea. year-to-date lamp dealing with your numbers right now. >> i have 68,000. >> right. year to date we were 23200553. 2014 was 21,403. if you include all unaccompanied children that
implies to% over 68,000 is 75,000 including mexican children as well. mexico is four times the population of central america but yet the unaccompanied children are 25 percent of the problem. with that links end adjudication process with an unaccompanied children from central america us get here they are apprehended they are processed and dispersed. the point i am trying to do their our alarm bells because in the first four
months just unaccompanied children from central america 49% over the first four months when there was a crisis. 49%. that would imply a 77,000 so if i assume it is 1,000 in february i can come up with the number to implies 66,000 unaccompanied children compared to 51,000. with the first for five months of data the alarm bells ought to be bringing the crisis is not been averted. it is getting worse even
over 2014 it will be worse than 2014 and it isn't a crisis in this is what concerns me because of the great efforts of c bp we have gotten very good and he made a processing in dispersing in the king and situation columbus so again are you ready paula deen the fact is enormous problem. >> from my standpoint we're not addressing their root cause with the public policy what can we do to stem the flow?
but how do we address these incentives for people who come here? >> yes. i hope you don't mind. >> first of all, nobody with hhs 0rdhs feels as if the crisis is averted that is a lot of kids that creates a real problem and overwhelms my resources but i do think comparative with 2014 is imperfect that that it doesn't exist that those
numbers in january and february 2014 were considerably higher than the numbers of 2016. much of this is seasonal so we have to resume march will be higher than february and april will be higher than march. so we have to assume we will not see those numbers fellow for the rest of the fiscal year. now i agree with you that you can put it with those who are not seeking to avoid a captured in there is only so much you can do with immigration enforcement.
it is important that people in central america see that they are repatriated which is why we are visible about our efforts in recent months and i do agree that the interline factors have to be addressed i am glad to see that they appropriated 750 million for central america and the president of guatemala is a dynamic leader and a half some optimism for that country. that we have to do more and we are seeking to do more to help those in central america with their border security through vetting programs with 26 months in
office i have learned at as long as you have powerful push back factors which dropped there is only so much border security you can accomplish whether more personnel to deal with people that are motivated to travel thousands of miles to come here. >> that is the al whole purpose the fact of that adjudication in process. as we have that flow from brazil to send people back immediately the flows stopped we were in and guatemalans and honduras we
also met with the president when he just came here a couple weeks ago. we saw the repatriation the emigrants return to the airport and during that orientation to be paraphrased in translated to meet guatemalans were told it doesn't matter how pour or rich or smart it is still your motherland remember those 136 guatemalans erupted into applause. it was very modern with those agencies ready to help them one miner was separated from a group of adults in with their child protection use services.
the president of honduras said please fix the ambiguity they are encouraging our citizens to leave our country. i don't know how many people around the world want to come here but there are literally hundreds of millions but we cannot accept them all. for those incentives we create in our own laws. there are factors all over the world into deal with what we can deal with here those countries are beautiful but as a make 50 times you don't have to deliver it. and senator carter said the same thing. from our 14 years of border security and many of those
and secure borders causes so many other programs but my only point is look at this jury knowledge reality with the policies we have enacted but this is not working we have to look at what we can do ourselves from our standpoint and what we can do to stem the flow so that is not the solution bottom line. i agree with what secretary
chertoff ~ because he told me the same thing about the situation of 2006 and i shared his view that illegal migration reacts to information in the marketplace what is going on in what you can expect to happen after you pay the coyote $6,000 migrating all the way up here. that is why to the up consternation and unhappiness of men -- many i have been public about enforcement efforts. just the first few months with regard to central america after they go through the process having their claim heard and the appeals run and so forth we have sent back 28,000 people to central america.
we have sent back 28,000 people. on average 14 a week so they are sent back routinely. >> out of how many that have come? you are talking adults. what is the total of the 20,000 is what percent? >> the number total of who have come in in this fiscal year exceeds that number because a lot of them go through the of litigation and it takes months and months in doj has a limited amount of judges to hear the claims but then we send people back. >> i understand the political heat but deal know that total amount or the estimate? since when? >> for the savior for the
same period he said 20,000 that we know of. >> so far this fiscal year there have been 152,000 apprehensions on the southern border. >> so that is still one of the reasons why we're looking at developing. in presumably to be with deportation with that time-consuming process. to send hundreds of thousands of people back and we made the big deal about that.
is a different situation. >> just finished her sentence please briefly. as you know, that pushed back is not the same it is different. mexico is a much different country from 15 years ago with the numbers of migrants were far greater. i'd think it is notable although the economy is improving it is the fraction of what used to be with border security over the last 15 years. are we concerned about another spike?
no popping champagne corks but just yesterday to the secretary of hhs to anticipate what could be the worst. set the trend line is a little different but we can't assume we will see seasonal migration again. imparted that could be attributable into still have problems with the rule of law. but the folks the secretary has been downed but we may
>> let me interrupt you. one of your top cyber people came out of the private sector, georgia tech, making a lot -- very well compensated. and she gave it up to come work at the department of security. >> am familiar with the phenomenon. >> the reason why was she felt an obligation to get back to our country. it is all well and good that they work for other companies or businesses, but in this case there is something to be said to appealing to people's sense of patriotism. that is a calling card, if you will, that we can use, and i'm sure that we do. the me qualify saying, i think there is a 30 percent increase in the president's proposed budget for next year for the department
cyber security programs and some of these monies will be used to help expand so that they are all using facetime one and two but three across the board. and bring in the new personnel that we talked about, cyber ops. how does the budget support implementation of cyber security information sharing legislation enacted last year? we worked on it together and get great support. how does the budget support. >> short answer is further investments in maintaining technology and building upon what we have. further investments in the einstein system, in cdm, legislation, specifically authorizing dhs to go and
other federal departments and agencies, to detect, monitor, and block intrusions is a good thing that congress gives the authority to do. finding considerable uncertainty. while still in office, to have e3 a in-place to block intrusions across our entire federal civilian system before the end of this year for the legal mandates in the bill. but as i said, einstein is also a platform for building additional capabilities so that we are not just going after known intrusions but also suspected intrusions. intrusions. the pilots out there now to do that and we need to build on it for the future. the funding for additional technology implements the
legislation that was passed last year. >> a quick question, we hear a lot in the media about apple and the disagreements that they have with the fbi. and we have mass killing in san bernardino, as we know. fourteen people were killed. radicalized, and there is a cell phone, and apple cell phone that is in question that was not owned by the killers, perpetrators of violence but is owned by the county where the husband actually worked. we have aa role to play here, some of our colleagues in the house and senate working on legislation. spell out their own views.
people don't like to think in one mindset on this issue. as we consider legislation on this matter, do you have some advice? >> my advice is that, ensure that you have the views of all stakeholders from the tech sector from the intelligence community and from the law enforcement committee. one person that comes to mind, the manhattan da. a friend of mine has been very vocal about the encryption issue from the local law enforcement level and reminds us that any crime that involves communication, not just federal crime is harder to detect because of the
encryption issue. i do believe that they're needs to be a readjustment and the pendulum. with response to the demands of the marketplace, the tech sector has no long way to encryption, but it has, in fact created a situation where crime and potential terrorist plotting is harder to detect. i and others do agree that they're needs to be a recalibration. i, of course,i, of course, support the government position in the case involving apple in california. my people can solve the problem, but we have to ensure all the stakeholders are represented. >> we will continue to welcome your counsel. the chairman and i and
others have worked a lot on trying to put legislative language authorizing some of the initiatives they are comprised of, the unity of effort. why do you want to leave some of your reforms in place and will these reforms help in some way to get off the high risk list and do the work more effectively? >> well, 1st of all, through our able undersecretary. >> what is his name? >> worst deal, former client of mine from a private practice days and is very able cfo and her deputy secretary. i believe very strongly that a lot of the things we are doing to remove the stovepipes and dhs and have a more strategic approach to budget making, acquisition,
and so forth should be institutionalized, not just something that should exist while i am ini am in office. go make the department a better, more effective place if we move in the direction a more centralized, more strategic approaches to our homeland security mission. they have been stovepipes far too often and need to move toward a model more like the department of defense where you have joint duty, joint task forces and the like. there are provisions in current law that create some limitations on our ability to do that. the current homeland security act. so authorization of the unity of effort initiatives is something i very much support which includes
reforming and restructuring. i have seen the legislative language that i know your committee is working through now on a numbera number of these things and i support that and the good work here. >> it is fair to say we support what you're trying to do as well. >> thank you, senator carper. kind of step through them. i do appreciate you working with me on a border metrics bill and the fact that you recognize we need to understand the situation. i hope you will continue to work with us. like to get that passed and support the efforts. let's talk about critical infrastructure. i talked about ted koppel's book, lights out.
the commission in 2008 pastor department with a number of quick fixes. we witnessed the unsolved attack on a substation in metcalf. he read about the cyber attack on the power grid system in ukraine, take a look at the potential of the solar storms with geomagnetic disturbances. let's look at north korea. ballistic missile technology, nuclear capabilities. i am concerned about iran. these threats are real. can you talk about across-the-board critical infrastructure and particularly the electrical grid which is the number one. we are in a world of hurt and have these large power
transforms the doctor richard darwin, secretary of movies said, real national treasure. in ricoh family referred to as one of the true geniuses he has ever met. what is the department done in terms of the charge you have given based on the 2008 e&p commission and expanded beyond just cyber attack. >> better than we were, but there is more to do. >> since the earthquake in japan in 2012 there were a lot of lessons learned for the us government and the private sector, critical infrastructure utilities here.
since that which was a seminal event, we have done more partnering with the private sector, critical infrastructure to work with them sharing best practices, information about the potential for cyber attack on power grids. we do exercises now with them, so we are in a better place than we were. it was a dhs team along with an interagency team recently that was a cyber attack that led to a power failure. we are not in a position to attributed to any particular source. that was a cyber attack. it would appear to have been fairly sophisticated, yes. that should and must be a wake-up call for those who have not been awakened by this problem in this risk. we are working with critical infrastructure all the time.
i have spoken to ceos and utilities about the problem. there is clearly more to do. >> what is the lead group within your department looking at? >> we have an assistant secretary for infrastructure protection who is part of this effort, but also our cyber security efforts as well. >> ii want to work closely with you and do what we can legislatively in working with your department. i have more questions, but i will turn it over. >> thank you very much. welcome back. a couple of issues with the quick. you know, we are terribly short of staffing at our ports of entry on our southern border. we passed legislation which would expedite veterans
being hired. we have done a number of things but are still at the know gallus mariposa port of entry, 20 percent understaffed, well over 100. pcbs vacant lanes and traffic stacked up behind it simply because we don't have the personnel. it is my understanding it takes about 18 months command we passed legislation which would expedite veterans, former military. the fact is, we are still not making up for the shortfall. i am of the view that we need some kind of incentive pay or hazardous duty pay at ports of entries that experience high traffic flows. i am very interested in your view on that. >> we are not where we need
to be. no argument from me there. cbp needs to and is making aggressive efforts to hire, to bring people on faster, get them to the polygram. ii support the hiring of veterans and make it easier. i understand you are interested in legislation to deal with pay in these areas and i'm happy to look at that with you. >> it is tough along our southern border, but also we would argue in arizona gets particularly warm. i can understand how tough a duty it is. so i think that just as we in the military provide incentive pay for hardship positions, i hope that you would look at that and i
will be introducing legislation on it because it is just not sufficient, as you know. well over 100 agents, custom agents short. it is either there is something wrong with the level of staffing required or something wrong with the level of personnel. i know that you know that there is an epidemic of manufactured heroin and the deaths of manufacturing heroin overdose that have been described including the governor of new hampshire as an epidemic. the heroine is being transported across the border in arizona and seizures have increased 223 percent. the drug cartels obviously transport and distribute the drug to the united states.
it is particularly interesting now the passing of nancy reagan. the drug is something that we ought to do more of. but do you agree that this is, the heroin drug over so to have overdose deaths are skyrocketing. those are just facts. and aren't most of these, the manufactured heroin coming across through the ports of entry smuggled across the border areas? several reasons, and what do you propose we need to combat what some governors have described as an epidemic. >> i agree that's what the facts and statistics show.
we have seen greater levels of seizures a customs and border protection and the hsi. they have created a task force deal with the heroin epidemic specifically. part of the joint task force missions that i created two years ago, part of our gps missions mauled by the way after structure we have in arizona is the illegal narcotics problem, not just migrants. we are seeing an increase. it is alarming. this needs to be a national government effort within dhs. we have ice, hsi, and customs and border protection focused on the problem and are seeing seizures of higher levels without a doubt.
>> it also seems that the problem is increasing according to governors rather than decreasing command i agree. supply and demand, but it seems to me that despite our increase in interdiction that the problem is growing worse. would you agree? >> yes, sir mix any ideas? >> we need more resources. at the federal government level, not just dhs but doj, da, and a coordinated, sustained effort to deal with the problem. frankly i have not seen anything quite like this when i traveled to new hampshire in the year the governor of new hampshire said it is an epidemic. it has been throughout the midwest as well and maybe
also sometimes we ought to talk about demand. i know that is disappointing finally, on the children showing up at the border, is one of the answers allowing increasing our embassy and consulates capability in those three countries, el salvador, nicaragua, guatemala so that they can go there rather than showing up on our border? >> yes, sir. i agree with that. >> i thank you for the good work you do. we have some spirited discussions from time to time, but i appreciate the work that you are doing. maybe finally, as nancy reagan inaugurated, maybe we ought to be talking more about trying to address the demand side of the problem rather than blaming it all
on the mexican cartels who i am glad to blame it on. >> we mentioned earlier, the root cause of our unsecured border from an important component, trying to work out a piece of legislation to address that, but in terms of interdicting drugs at the border through ports of entry. we held a hearing. incredibly interesting hearing. really, the red teams, the failure rates because it is difficult to detect these things, went to the university of pennsylvania
with a have a pretty groundbreaking k-9 training unit. unbelievable capabilities. we are not increase the number of k-9 units within dhs. i want your evaluation. in the layered approach to airport security, for bomb sniffing, for potentially come all those issues, do you think it is good we explored the efficacy and maybe expansion of k-9 units throughout your different missions whether drug interdiction, trying to potentially sniff out bombs at airports, that type of thing. >> there is actually no better technology than a dog knows protecting certain types of explosives and prohibited items. and just in the last two years i have seen us expand
the use of canines. last.of departure airports and domestic airports in airports and in and around airplanes. i do believe in k-9 units. it is effective in a number of our missions. >> we have not increased the numbers. is that something you would want to look at? about 2500 units in total. 900 within tsa. it has been flat. so effective that we should be looking? >> it is worth looking at. canines are effective. one of the things i was fascinated to learn i was in turkey last week is that they are not as opposed to these canines as one might expect them to be. they are embracing this,
too. it is worth looking at. >> the final thing i will talk about, personnel. happy to work with you in terms of what we need to do. take a two-year sabbatical and whatever imagine the program we can with individuals like yourself, your entire team, the quality of the federal workforce. they take their mission seriously. but i also understand the restraints. we will have to put our heads together and figure out what we need to do so that your department is staffed with the best and brightest. ..
which will better enable you to get that terrific job later on in the financial sector in the air and traffic cybersecurity firm in silicon valley. >> ge has a very imaginative market. trying to make a really attractive to not go into these these apps that actually go in and figure out how do you make the economy run properly with information technology or maybe something similar to that but again i want to work with in terms of what senator mccain was talking about consulates
refugee and asylum seekers can do it within central america rather than making the dangerous journey. i want to work with you in terms of reducing our insatiable demand for drugs. the passing of nancy reagan is an important reminder. that actually works. we have been very effective at reducing command for tobacco. will try the same thing with drugs but again i want to thank your entire team in thank you mr. secretary for coming here and for all of your efforts. this is not an easy job it's an enormous challenge any working hard to try to keep this nation safe and secure so thank you for your efforts. with that, the hearing record will remain open for 13 days until march 23 at 5:00 p.m.. this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you.
[inaudible conversations] military commanders and uscentcom africa command and special operations testified at a senate hearing about the global campaign against terrorism. most of the questioning focused on the fight against isis in iraq and syria. senator john mccain chairs the armed services committee.