Skip to main content

tv   US Senate  CSPAN  March 10, 2016 12:00pm-2:01pm EST

12:00 pm
12:01 pm
12:02 pm
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the vote is 94 yeas, one nay. and the bill, as amended, has passed. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: the senate is not in order. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. please take your conversations off the floor. mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak
12:03 pm
therein for up to ten minutes eachment. the presiding officer: without objection sms. mr. mcconnell: i i ask unanimous consent that on monday, march 14, at 4:00 p.m., senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination,calendar number 476, that there be 90 minutes for debate only on the nomination equally divided in the usual form, that upon the use or yielding back of time, the senate vote on the nomination without intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate then resume legislative session. without any intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. grassley: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: as many iowans know, i made a practice of holding town meetings in each of
12:04 pm
my 99 counties of my state every year. it's become known in the media as the full grassley. that's not something i named it. that's something somebody else named it. it's kind of a flattering name, but in some ways it doesn't make sense. because of these -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. grassley: because town halls aren't about senator grassley. they're about hearing from iowans that many a proud to serve -- that i'm proud to serve. they're about hearing about real problems that my constituents have and, of course, then from our end trying to find practical solutions to those problems. and that's what i work on every day, and i suppose all of my colleagues would say that's what they work on every day. on many occasions at my town hall meetings in recent years, iowans have asked me why the senate never gets anything done.
12:05 pm
both parties probably shoulder some of the blame for this attitude out there at the grass roots. but the reality is that the most obvious, the most glaring, the most unmistakable reason for the senate's recent paralysis is the way that democratic leader reid ran it before he was toppled as majority leader. when the democratic leader was in control of the senate, he was one who decided not to empower his committee chairs to craft and advance bipartisan legislation. he decided not to give all members, republican and democrat alike, a real opportunity to participate in the process. he decided not to empower the senate to address real problems that real people face every day.
12:06 pm
instead, he chose dysfunction and gridlock over practicality and problem-solving, and by november 2014, the american people had finally had enough. and after the american people spoke, the democratic leader no longer controlled the senate. now, since the senate has been under republican leadership, things have started to work again, and you've seen it -- the latest example of this bill passing almost unanimously. so this is an example of senators partnering across the aisle. legislation is moving, and the result is real progress on real issues facing our country. i'm proud that the judiciary
12:07 pm
committee has played its part. as chairman, my goal has been to open up the process and to seek as much consensus as possible, and the results reflect that. we've reported 21 bills out of committee, all with bipartisan support. i'd like to walk through some of these results because there's a lot of credit to go around on both sides of the aisle. last february, the committee passed the justice for victims of trafficking act. we passed it unanimously 19-0. the bill enhances penalties for human trafficking and equips law enforcement with new tools to target predators who traffic innocent young people. the bill passed the senate 99-0 and was passed into law. yes, there were some bumps along
12:08 pm
the way when the democratic leader realized that genuine bipartisanship had broken out and that we might actually accomplish something. a controversy had to be manufactured about the hyde amendment on that particular trafficking bill, but vauntsly the democratic -- but eventually the democratic leader took "yes" for an answer. the bill got done, and this victory was a credit to the leadership of one democrat and one republican, senator cornyn and senator klobuchar. their bill provided real solutions for real victims of trafficking. a few months later in october, the committee passed the sentencing reform and corrections act. sentencingreform is a difficult and -- sentencing reform is a difficult and complex issue. many senators have strongly held views, and despite that, the bill emerged from our committee
12:09 pm
with a strong 15-5 bipartisanship vote. my bill would recalibrate prison sentences for certain drug offenders, target violent criminals, and grant judges greater discretion at sentencing for low-level, nonviolent drug crimes. i'm grateful for the senators who have partnered with me on this legislation, especially senators durbin, cornyn, whitehouse, and lee. i'm hopeful that if we keep working together, landmark sentencing reform can be another major accomplishment of this senate. time is growing short, but i can't think of a more productive use of the senate's time than to make our criminal laws more just. this is another example of a
12:10 pm
real problem that we can solve together. also in july of last year, the committee passed my juvenile justice and delinquency prevention reauthorization act. again, without opposition. the bill will ensure that at-risk youth are fairly and effectively served by juvenile justice grant programs. these important programs provide the chance for kids to get back on the right track so that they won't enter the criminal justice system as adults. every one ever these young people are worth helping to reach their greatest potential. senator whitehouse, democrat from rhode island, and i are working hard to move this bill through the full senate. i thank him for working with me on it. and there are many other
12:11 pm
bipartisan accomplishments of this senate that the judiciary committee can't take credit for. i won't try to go through all of them, of course, but one example that comes to mind was the outstanding work of senator burr, a republican, senator feinstein, a democrat, on the cybersecurity bill. that legislation passed the senate on a solid 74-21 vote. and a conference version of it was later signed into law by the president. with reports of breaches of our personal data on an almost daily basis, it's self-evident that this bill helped to address a real problem that has affected millions of americans. so that brings me to the senate's passage of the bill that was just voted on, the comprehensive addiction and recovery act.
12:12 pm
cara, for short. it passed today with overwhelming bipartisan vote. this legislation reflects the senate at its finest, working in a bipartisan way, to address an awful epidemic that's gripping our country. so i want to thank the authors of cara for their leadership in crafting the legislation and working with me to move it through the judiciary committee and out of that committee unanimously. in particular, i thank senators portman, ayotte, whitehouse, and klobuchar. you see two democrats and two republicans. real lives will be saved because of the leadership of this bipartisan group. that's something that we can say every day -- that's not something that we can say every day around this senate. i know the efforts of these
12:13 pm
senators and others to address this epidemic stretch back a few years. it's a shame that the democratic leader decided not to address this crisis at the early stage when he was deciding the agenda of the united states senate. but he decided not to act, even in the face of mounting evidence that the country was facing a grave and gathering epidemic of heroin and opioid painkillers. overdose deaths from prescription opioid painkillers rose over 30% from 2007 to 2014. heroin overdose deaths more than quadrupled during that time. heroin seizures at the southwest border more than quadrupled as well. and all the while, the democratic leader never brought a bill to the floor to address the crisis. so given the dysfunction that
12:14 pm
had overtaken the senate not long ago, we should take a moment to appreciate the bipartisan process through which the senate just passed this cara bill. this republican chairman of the judiciary committee moved a democratic bill through the committee. it passed without opposition. then the republican leader promptly scheduled the bill for the floor's consideration. i don't recall that ever happening under the former democratic leadership. the senate had roll call votes on four amendments. although the republican leader offered more such votes on democratic amendments. all four of those amendments were offered by democratic senators, and the bill passed overwhelmingly, as amended. this process would have been
12:15 pm
unthinkable under the democratic leader. it simply would not have happened. you know the statistics. 18 roll call votes on amendments all during the year 2014. during 2015, we had 198 roll call votes on amendments. and only four more republican amendments than democrat amendments. yes, once again then the democratic leader tried to manufacture a controversy when this bill first come to the floor about a week ago monday. this time over some alleged funding for this heroin opioid epidemic. but when $400 million in newly appropriated money for it hasn't even been spent yet, well, that argument by the democratic
12:16 pm
leader was a tough one to sell. and over the last few days the democratic leader played some games when negotiations on the managers' package of amendments. the republican side, the majority side, worked hard to clear amendments offered by many democrats, including senators durbin, gillibrand, heinrich, kaine, mccaskill, blumenthal, heitkamp and cardin. but the democratic leader objected to completely uncontroversial, commonsense amendments offered by two republicans that would be in the package. senator johnson and senator kirk. why? simply because these republican senators are up for reelection this year, and under those circumstances we couldn't reach an agreement. so all these democrat amendments
12:17 pm
didn't go because the democratic leader had objection to two republican relatively noncontroversial amendments, one of them absolutely noncontroversial. how noncontroversial amendments were these? so let me give you one example. senator johnson wanted to add the indian health service as a member of the task force, the bill creates to develop best prescribing practices for opioids. i suspect many americans, including even people living in the state of nevada, would think senator johnson's idea is a good one. addiction is a problem for so many in our country, and the native american community is unfortunately no exception. but this is the kind of dysfunction, the kind of gridlock that the democratic leader was known for, a good
12:18 pm
idea becoming a bad idea if it's simply offered by a member of the republican party. and especially that being the case if you're a republican up for reelection. now as cara's name reflects, the bill addresses this epidemic comprehensively, supporting prevention, education, treatment, recovery and law enforcement. cara begins with prevention and education. the bill authorizes awareness and education campaigns so that the public understands the dangers of becoming addicted. it also creates a national task force to develop best prescribing practices, as i mentioned. the bill encourages the use of prescription drug monitoring programs like in my state of
12:19 pm
iowa, which helps detect and deter what's called doctor shopping behaviors by addicts. the bill authorizes an expansion of the federal program that allows patients to safely dispose of old or unused medications so that these drugs don't fall into the hands of young people. in fact, along with a few other committee members, i helped start the original take-back program in 2010 through the secure and responsible drug disposal act. cara also focuses on treatment and recovery. the bill authorizes programs to provide first responders with trading to use nalaxone, a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and directly save lives.
12:20 pm
critically, the bill provides that a set portion of nalaxone funding go to rural areas like much of iowa that is being affected most acutely. this is critical when someone overdoses and isn't near a hospital. the bill also authorizes an expansion of drug-free communities act grants to those areas that are most dramatically affected by the opioid epidemic. and it also authorizes funds for programs that encourage the use of medication-assisted treating, provide community-based support for those in recovery, and address the unique needs of pregnant and postpartum women who are addicted to opioids. unfortunately, the bill also bolsters -- or finally the bill
12:21 pm
also bolsters law enforcement efforts as well. the bill reauthorizes federal funding for state task forces that specifically address heroin trafficking. so in all these ways cara will help real people address the very real epidemic. the eastern part of my state has been hit the hardest. the human costs of what's happening across so many of these communities is incal incalculable. every life that is lost or changed forever by this crisis is precious, especially for many young people who fall victims to addiction early in their lives. there is so much human potential at stake. i can't wait until my next town hall meeting. i'm going to be proud to explain how the senate did something today that will help so many people in iowa and around the
12:22 pm
nation. republicans and democrats working together, let's keep it going. i yield the floor. and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
12:23 pm
12:24 pm
12:25 pm
12:26 pm
12:27 pm
12:28 pm
12:29 pm
12:30 pm
quorum call:
12:31 pm
12:32 pm
12:33 pm
12:34 pm
12:35 pm
12:36 pm
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. a senator: i would ask to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: thank you, madam president. madam president, i would ask to speak in morning business for as
12:37 pm
much time as i may consume. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: thank you, madam president. madam president, i rise today to remember a great new mexican, a great american, dr. miguel encinas who passed away on saturday, february 20, at the age of 92. new mexico has a long and proud tradition of military service. dr. encinas is often called new mexico's most decorated veteran. he fought in three wars, was the recipient of three distinguished flying crosses, 14 air medals and two purple hearts. his military career is one of courage and sacrifice, and he later played an important role in the creation of the world war ii memorial here in washington, d.c. if the measure of a life is living the utmost to one's talents and living up to one's talents and giving the utmost of
12:38 pm
oneself, miguel encinas is an inspiration to all of us, and that's why i think he will long be remembered with such admiration and gratitude. his service began at the young age of 16 when he joined the new mexico national guard in 1939. within four years, he had become a second lieutenant and a pilot in the army air corps. over the next three decades, he fought with distinction in three wars -- world war ii, the korean war and vietnam. as his friend and mine, ralph adianos, who is chairman of the hispano roundtable in new mexico, ralph said of miguel, miguel flew 245 combat missions as a fighter pilot. few american aviators in history have flown combat missions in three wars. miguel was one of them. he was shot down over italy in 1944 and served over 15 months in a nazi prison camp.
12:39 pm
he volunteered to go to korea and was shot down again but not captured. he answered the call of his country many times with great courage and sacrifice. dr. encinas retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1971, but if that was the conclusion of his storied military career, that wasn't the case. it was just the beginning of new accomplishments and new achievements. he returned to new mexico and earned a doctorate in hispanic literature at the university of new mexico. in an article about his life, "the albuquerque journal" said and i quote --" as a scholar, educator, new mexico historian and decorated combat flier in three wars, miguel encinas both studied and shaped history in a life that spanned nine decades." he was an -- there was an article about miguel in the " santa fe new mexican," and they
12:40 pm
put it this way --" an ace in the air, a scholar on the ground. he earlier obtained a degree in political science at georgetown university and a master's degree at the institute of political studies in paris. in 1995, he was requested by president clinton to serve on the world war ii memorial advisory board. by the time the memorial was built in 2004, dr. encinas was the only living member of the board to see it completed. it was a happy day for him. in an interview with "the albuquerque journal," dr. encinas son, juan pablo encinas, summed up what many who knew dr. encinas understood -- it's kind of amazing how much he accomplished, his son said. he really didn't stop. those accomplishments included teaching hispanic literature at two universities and developing bilingual education in new mexico schools. dr. encinas also found the time
12:41 pm
to write several books on new mexico history and to fund a theater group and a light opera company there in albuquerque. his son juan pablo also remarked to "the journal" that dr. encinas was very just and felt very strongly about people getting their fair shake. dr. encinas was honored for his work in civil rights and social justice by the new mexico lulach branch in 2007 and the hispano roundtable of new mexico in 2011. as important as the medals and honors are, they aren't the most important thing we will remember about dr. encinas. it is the example he set in always doing his best, in always giving back, both in wartime and at home. his daughter isabelle shared with me that although her father had incredibly high standards and was very tough, he had an
12:42 pm
incredible amount of compassion and always fought for the underdog. whether risking his own life to save that of his fellow airmen or fighting for quality education and opportunity for everyone, miguel encinas committed himself to the needs of others. on november 11, 1995, at the world war ii memorial site dedication, dr. encinas was introduced by the joint chiefs of staff chairman. he received a standing ovation from president clinton and everyone present. they knew they were seeing a true patriot, a true hero and a great american. on that day, president clinton thanked dr. encinas and said for your truly remarkable service to this nation. to all who knew this extraordinary man and who mourn him now, we know that his life was indeed a remarkable story of courage, of dedication and of generosity of spirit.
12:43 pm
madam president, my state has lost one of its heroes over the course of a long and distinguished life. dr. miguel encinas always found ways to serve. and new mexico and our nation are better for it. my wife jill and i extend our sincere condolences to the encinas family on the passing of dr. encinas. we honor his courage, we honor his service, and we mourn the loss for the family. thank you very much, and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
12:44 pm
12:45 pm
12:46 pm
12:47 pm
12:48 pm
12:49 pm
12:50 pm
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. a senator: madam president, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: thank you. madam president, i rise to speak about the discharge vote that will take place momentarily. i just want to say i know that many people here in our country and certainly in this body have significant frustrations with the country of pakistan. mr. corker: i'm one of those. i have been to afghanistan multiple times. i've visited pakistan multiple times. and our relationship is one that is very complex. it's one that i think certainly pakistan has been duplicitous in many ways with us relative to their relationship with the taliban, with al qaeda, and certainly most importantly as it relates to this particular
12:51 pm
topic, thenetwork. our country has worked with them to clear out the travel areas. most of us have seen the work that's taken place there. they've worked with us very closely in that regard. there still are issues undoubtedly that exist relative to their relationship with the network in particular but also the taliban. at the same time there are negotiations that are under way that are very important to create a lasting peace in afghanistan and they -- even though they play both sides of the fents and i understand that -- fence and i understand that and even though we have concerns about their relationship with the network, they do play a role in how the negotiations are taking place. so i have issues with them. i think every one in the country
12:52 pm
of pakistan by this point knows that i have issues with them, at least those paying attention to this issue. what this discharge petition is about is it's voting to discharge something to the senate floor so there can be a vote on ending the allowance of a sale of some fighter jets to india. these would be u.s. made fighter jets. this is not inspite of what some of the rhetoric may be around this, this has nothing to do with the potential subsidy that could take place by u.s. tax players. this is about one thing. it's about whether we as a country would prefer for pakistan to buy american made fighter jets or whether we would prefer them to buy russian jets or french jets.
12:53 pm
that's what this is about. there are issues that people have raised about potential subsidies for this. i know senator cardin is on the floor right now, my slf. both have a called on that, a hold to assure there are behavior changes that take place in pakistan before any u.s. dollars go towards this sale. but this vote is not about that. this vote is a vote about whether we believe that countries around the world are better off buying u.s. made materials or whether we think they should buy them from russia or france. that is what this is about in its entirety. we are seeking some behavioral changes with pakistan relative to how they're dealing with the taliban, with how they're dealing with the haqqani network. it's something that i know general campbell who has been in charge of afghanistan from a military standpoint has pushed for. we are working closely with our military and others to try to effect the behavior changes that are necessary for us to have an
12:54 pm
appropriate response in afghanistan, but this is a foreign policy issue. and again everybody in this -- everyone in this body thankfully is very concerned about our foreign policy. foreign policy i might say sometimes has to have a degree of nuance to it. we're working with people with relationships that matter. it matters deeply to the people that we have on the ground, our men and women in uniform in afghanistan and other places. and our efforts around foreign policy are to do everything we can to ensure that we're not utilizing men and women in uniform to solve a problem because that happens when diplomacy fails. so this is a very nuance topic, and i can just say the senate deciding en bloc to block a sale to pakistan of u.s. made fighter
12:55 pm
jets is going to be a huge public embarrassment to the country of pakistan. and there are better ways in my opinion of solving this problem. all of us want to see the behavior change. and i'm privileged to be in a position to have some effect on the financing, as is senator cardin, and we can deal with this issue in a more nuanced way. i know that some people say, well, this is a great thing for back home. boy, our people back home will love this. surely, surely in this body when it comes to dealing with a country with nuclear arms and dealing with afghanistan where we've been for 14 years, that how we deal with foreign policy will rise above just the immediate response and maybe misunderstandings even that people back home can have about this type of issue.
12:56 pm
look, we need to -- this relationship with pakistan needs to move beyond the transactional way that it's carried out. i understand that. i understand that people are frustrated, but at the end of the day our goals here as the united states, as representatives of the united states is to see through good things happening for our country. that's what foreign policy is about. it's about pursuing our national interests. it is my strong belief that the united states senate today voting to in essence begin the process of denying pakistan the ability to purchase u.s. fighter jets is not a way to engender things that are good for our own u.s. national interests. a better way is for us to continue to put pressure on them as we are doing at present
12:57 pm
placing holds on financing until they do some things to change their behavior and work with us more fully relative to the haqqani network in particular but al qaeda and also the taliban. so i would urge my fellow citizens, fellow senators here to please think about the long-term interest of our country. think about where a country is radicalized and has so many problems as the country of pakistan has, the public embarrassment that will take place by our body doing this, and let's work together in other ways that actually can generate behavior change by dealing with it in more subtle ways than this blunt object that we're dealing with today. i want to close with this. i know senator cardin wants to speak and i know he has a meeting to go to.
12:58 pm
what we're voting on if we discharge this is we're voting on whether we would rather pakistan purchase u.s.-made fighter jets that carry with that at least 30 years worth of maintenance, meaning that every single year the united states would be involved with these fighter jets, we could withdraw that at any time. if we thought that their behavior continued to be such that we didn't want to support it, it can stop. it maintains our leverage with pakistan over the longer haul. that's what us selling them these pieces of equipment do. it maintains our leverage over them. today publicly embarrassing them and sending them to russia or to france to buy fighter jets ends
12:59 pm
that leverage them. it humiliates them in spite of the fact that we don't like the things that they do, necessary sense it damages our ability to continue the negotiations that are taking place relative to trying to bring a more lasting peace in afghanistan. i thank you for the time, madam president. i yield the floor to my good friend and ranking member on the foreign relations committee, senator cardin. mr. cardin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: thank you, madam president. first i want to thank senator corker. the two of us have worked on the senate foreign relations committee really without any partisanship. these are foreign policy issues that require the united states senate to work together and i want to thank senator corker for his leadership on the senate foreign relations committee on this issue and many other issues. so let me first try to explain what we believe will happen in the next 45 minutes. under the arms export control
1:00 pm
act, the sale of military armament to pakistan requires the administration to give formal notification to the united states congress. prior to that former notification, there is an informer process where the administration will inform the senate foreign relations committee and the house foreign affairs committee that they intend to make a sale. they did that in regards to the f-16's for pakistan, and that's the issue that we are talking about. madam president, for several months, we have been in negotiations with the administration as well as with stakeholders as regards the sale of the f-16 to pakistan, because quite frankly we did have concerns. we had concerns to how it would impact the region, including india. we had concerns about pakistan
1:01 pm
being a nuclear weapon state. we had concerns about pakistan's efforts for counterinsurgency. we had a concern about pakistan's participation in the peace process with afghanistan. all of those are issues that we were able to get some discussions on and we think some progress in regards to the f-16 sale. the administration formally notified congress of the f-16 sale on february 25. at that time the bipartisan leadership of the senate foreign relations committee and the house foreign affairs committee had agreed that the administration should go forward with the sale. what we think will happen under the arms export control act -- and any member can offer a resolution of disapproval -- that senator paul will be authoring an effort to bring up resolution of disapproval. that we think will take place in about 45 minutes.
1:02 pm
it is likely that it will require a motion to proceed, to bring the resolution forward, and it is possible that the leader -- the republican leader, the majority leader may offer a motion to table in regards to that motion. so i would just urge my colleagues to understand the next vote will be whether we will take up or not the resolution of disapproval. senator corker and i both urge our colleagues that this resolution not be approved, not be taken up, that we allow the sale to go forward but we maintain our leverage, as senator corker has explained, because there are many more issues that are involved before this sale becomes completed. the reason why the f-16's are being recommended is, quite frankly, pakistan needs the f-16's for their fight against counterinsurgency. i think all my colleagues are aware of the mountainous terrain territory that is in pakistan on the afghanistan border and which
1:03 pm
pakistan needs an air force capacity to deal with that counterinsurgency. it's in our military's judgment that these f-16's are important in regards to that fight against counterinsurgency, that it's in our interests, u.s. interests, it's in the regional interests, including the civility of its neighbors, india, and -- the stability of its neighbors, india, and it's in the interests of dealing with the fight against extremists. now, as i said earlier, the relationship with pakistan is complicated. we have several areas of major concern in that relationship, and we fully understand reasons why members would be concerned. we are a strategic partner with pakistan in rooting out terrorism. let me just remind my colleagues, the people of pakistan have had 40,000 deaths as a result of extremist activities within their borders.
1:04 pm
that's an incredible sacrifice that's been made in their campaign against terrorists, against extremists. they have the ocanian network which we know has taken out american interest in that region, they had the fight against isis and they had the fight against l.e.t., which is a terrorist organization within pakistan that has committed terrorist attacks in india. we want them to focus on all of these extremists at times we don't get the full cooperation of pakistan for these to be the priorities that they go after. and obviously, we want to continue our partnership with pakistan, but we want them to deal with the threat of the ocani network, we want them to focus on the threats of isis, we want them to concentrate on the destabilizing impact that l.e.t. has on the relationship between pakistan and india and the cause
1:05 pm
of problems in india. we want to see more progress. on the second front, on the nuclear face, pakistan is the fastest growing nuclear stockpile in the world. our relationship with pakistan's critically important for the certainty, safety and security of the command and control network of their nuclear arsenal. are they doing everything that we want them to do in that regard? no. have we made significant progress in the safety of their nuclear stockpile? yes. do we want to continue our relationship so that we can continue to make progress? absolutely. the third area that we need pakistan's cooperation is in bringing together all the stakeholders for a peaceful discussion of the peace talks in afghanistan. the extreme elements that are located in pakistan need to be part of those discussions. pakistan can play a critical
1:06 pm
role in helping that come about. has pakistan been helpful? quite frankly, they have. they have been working with us to get all the stakeholders together in the talks. could they do more? yes, we think they could do more. so what chairman corker said is absolutely accurate. we would encourage our colleagues to vote against the resolution of disapproval or to support our efforts to keep that off the floor first and foremost because the f-16's are needed by pakistan and u.s. interests to fight the extremists, but just as importantly, it maintains the ability of the united states to deal with pakistan to bring about further progress in all the areas i've talked about. the worst case scenario here is that we break our relationships with pakistan and that other countries stepped in as the
1:07 pm
chairman said and our ability to get changes in pakistan's practices as it relates to support or fighting terrorist organizations that are nuclear nonproliferation and participation in the afghanistan peace talks could be marginalized. so we would urge our colleagues, in order to maintain the type of bipartisan, bilateral pressure on the problematic elements of the security sector while supporting reformers in the military and civilian governments, it's important that we take this sale to the next level. the last point, madam president, and chairman corker pointed this out. we are not signing off on the foreign military financing part. the administration has brought forward a proposal for some reprogramming of funds to help pay for the f-16 sale to pakistan. in other words, we would use some of the moneys that we have already programmed for
1:08 pm
afghanistan to be used to pay for the sale of the f-16's. that requires a signoff from the leadership of the two authorizing committees. senator corker and i had not signed off on that nor do we intend to sign off on that until we have further expansions on -- explanations on a lot of the issues that senator corker and i have already raised. we have ample ways of dealing with our bilateral relationship with pakistan, allowing the sale formally to go forward by how the sale will be financed. for all those reasons, i would urge my colleagues to oppose senator paul's resolution and allow us to continue the diplomatic path in regards to that region. with that, madam president, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut.
1:09 pm
mr. murphy: thank you, madam president. i want to thank senator cardin and senator corker for how diligently they have worked over the course of the last several months as both have stated on the floor to make this sale much more palatable and to address many of the concerns that both the chairman and the ranking member had about the nature of the sale and this long history of conflict with the pakistanis when it comes to our mutual concern of confronting terrorism. but the reason that i come to the floor today is because this body historically has had a history of deep engagement on questions of major arms sales, especially in regions as dangerous and as complicated as the middle east, and as it stands today, virtually the only two members that are deeply and
1:10 pm
meaningfully engaged in the question of attaching conditions to these very important arms sales are the ranking member and the chairman of the foreign relations committee. now, i trust their ability to hold the administration's feet to the fire, to hold whether it be the pakistanis or the saudis or the amaradis' feet to the fire as they request major weapons assistance from the united states, but this body at large has to get back in the game of providing meaningful oversight on a radical and significant increase in the amount of arm sales that the united states is providing to the rest of the world. from 2011-2015, our arms exports have increased by 27%. when you compare these two periods, it's striking to note that during that period of time our arm sales to the middle east have increased by 61%.
1:11 pm
this senate has at its best moments raised important questions about these sales. i bring you back to the 1980's in which the united states senate raised important questions and concerns about the sale of awac's to saudi arabia. on this side of the aisle, it was senator biden and senator kerry opposing those sales. those motions of disapproval were ultimately unsuccessful, but through that process of deep congressional introspection, new conditions were placed on the sale of that technology to the saudis that ended up in a much better and safer deal for american national security interests and for the security of our partners in the region. now, with respect to the specific sale of f-16's to pakistan, my colleagues have already pointed out -- and i think senator paul will do a better job than i of pointing out -- the ways in which our
1:12 pm
aims of fighting terrorism have been contradictory with the actions of the pakistanis, whether it be their unwillingness to confront the hakani network, whether it be their oftentimes open coordination with elements of the taliban that the united states is fighting inside afghanistan. the pakistanis have been an unreliable partner over the course of the last ten years in the fight against extremism. but what i worry more is that these f-16's will provide cover, will provide substitute for truly meaningful action inside pakistan to take on the roots of extremism. it is frankly too late in many respects to beat these extremist groups if they are so big, so powerful, so deadly that you have to bomb them from the air. there are today 20,000 madrases,
1:13 pm
religious schools, many if not most funded by the saudis in the gulf states and the iranians that are preaching off an intolerant version of islam, that when perverted forms the basis of the extremist groups that the united states is fighting in the middle east and throughout the world. the pakistanis have done little to nothing to try to reduce the influence of those madrases, of those religious schools and of the foreign funding that often breeds this intolerant version of religious teaching. and we let them off the hook in a sense by selling them the weapons systems that will in effect constantly force the pakistanis to chase their own tail. so i think it's important to understand that the pakistanis
1:14 pm
are not making the real meaningful contributions to rooting out extremism and just handing weapons systems on the back end doesn't do the job. and i would point this body to the path forward. this is an incredibly important conversation that we're having with respect to the f-16's, but we have other pending military sales that will directly involve the united states in regional civil wars and conflicts unbeknownst often to the american people. one of them is a major military sales agreement with the saudis that would essentially resupply them for their bombing campaign in yemen, a campaign that has killed hundreds and thousands of civilians, that has stopped emergency relief from reaching those who have been the victims of this humanitarian disaster and that has frankly created space for the expansion of isis
1:15 pm
and al qaeda, groups that want to do damage and attack the united states inside the newly ungovernable territory of yemen. and yet we are going to be confronted with yet another military sale to saudi arabia that would double down the united states commitment on one side of a civil war that if you look at the reality doesn't seem to be advancing our national security interest, doesn't seem to be helping us win the fight against isis and al qaeda. so i hope that after the break we'll have the opportunity to discuss that military sale as well. because it's time for congress to get back into the game. when it comes to our constitutional responsibility to oversee the foreign policy led by the executive branch. it's time for congress to start having a meaningful impact when it comes to these massive arms sales that often undermine u.s.
1:16 pm
national security and come without the necessary conditions to change the reality of the decisions made in places like pakistan. i'm going to support senator paul's resolution today, though i hope in the future we will approach these resolutions of disapproval with a slightly greater degree of subtlety in this respect. this is an outright disapproval if. if we vote in favor of it, this sale does not go forward. there's another way. congress could pass a motion of disapproval with conditions. we could disapprove of a sale to pakistan pending, for instance, their commitment to join the fight against the haqqani network, contingent upon, for
1:17 pm
instance, their movement to implement a law to shut down the worst and most intolerant of the madrases. and i would suggest that should be our path forward when it comes to the sale to the saudis. simple conditions could be applied to that resolution making sure that the munitions we're selling the saudis aren't used to target civilians inside yemen, committing the saudis to open up pathways of humanitarian relief and assistance, a promise that none of the funding from the united states to the partners in the coalition to fight the huthis will be used to directly aid extremist groups. that is probably the better path forward for this body to take. this is a very blunt instrument, a resolution of disapproval. i think it's important for some of us to be on record supporting it, to show that congress is
1:18 pm
getting back in the game when it comes to overseeing this fairly substantial increase in arms sales to our named partners in the middle east, but i think there's a better way forward. and i hope that senator paul and others as we start to go about doing due diligence on future sales will take a look at maybe a more meaningful contribution that this body can take rather than expressing our outright unconditional disapproval, how can we make sure that if these arms sales go forward, that they go forward with conditions attached that are in the best interests of the united states and our partner nations. again, i thank senators corker and cardin for their important work in the foreign relations committee of which i'm a member and i thank senator paul for having the courage to bring this resolution to the floor. a senator: madam president?
1:19 pm
the presiding officer: the senator from virginia. a senator: madam president, let me first thank my colleague from the great state of connecticut for his comments. i, too, will be joining him and others in supporting the resolution that will be brought forward i believe in some moment by senator paul. mr. warner: i, too, agree that this is a rather blunt instrument and a more strategic use of bringing some leverage to this kind of action would be a more appropriate path and hope on future times when we have a chance to review foreign arms sales, that we would take that more nuanced approach. madam president, i want to speak to this issue while i agree with much of what the senator from connecticut has said, from a
1:20 pm
slightly different perspective, and that is the message that at least inadvertently we will be sending with approval of the sale of these jets -- and let me again commend senator corker and senator cardin for appropriately looking at the issue of public financing of these sales. but if we move forward with these sales without making -- putting some markers down, i think we potentially not only do damage to holding pakistan's feet to the fire in terms of the threat of terrorists in afghanistan and elsewhere in the region, but also potentially could do damage to one of the most important relationships our country has and that is the strategic relationship between the united states and india.
1:21 pm
this relationship has been one of enormous growing importance. india has been a valuable and strategic partner of the united states and is a tremendous ally in promoting global peace and security. that's not always been the case. relations it our two nations have been steadily improving over the past decade ranging from approvals of the civilian nuclear agreement to frequent coordination between our militaries and at this point over a hundred billion dollars in bilateral trade. prime minister modi in india has made a personal commitment to improving the ties between the united states and india. the prime minister will come back to the united states at the end of this month nowhere is the potential for our strategic relationship greater than in our bilateral defense relationship which again has seen great
1:22 pm
progress over the past decade. last year our two nations signed the framework that will advance military-to-military exchanges. we're also proceeding with joint development of defense technology which seeks to increase defense sales and create a cooperative technology and industrial relationship that can promote both the capabilities in the united states and in india. so i viewed with some concern last month when the administration announced the sale of these eight f-16's to pakistan. and again i want to commend the leadership of the foreign relations committee for making very clear that even if this sale should go forward, the financing of this sale is still subject to further american review. what brings me to support
1:23 pm
senator paul's resolution is the fact as recently as january of this year, pakistani-based terrorists claimed responsibility for an attack against an indian military base at puta kahn. it resulted in the killing of indian military forces and a great tragedy. so far pakistan has refused to share intelligence or to turn over those suspects to the indian government. with those kinds of actions, i cannot go ahead and continue this policy where we continue to in effect give pakistan a pass, whether it is actions in the region vis-a-vis afghanistan or within their own country but also in terms of their
1:24 pm
unwillingness to meet india even halfway in terms of trying to bring a greater stability to one of the regions that could potentially be a tinderbox in terms of the border regions between india and pakistan. so i will be supporting senator paul's resolution. i hope that the government in pakistan hears the concern of this senator and other senators. i hope they will act aggressively in terms of bringing the justice those terrorists who invaded indian space and attacked the indian air force base showing that kind of responsible behavior might lead at least this senator taking a different view in terms of future military sales. with that i will yield the floor and recognize i believe my colleague who will bring this resolution to the floor.
1:25 pm
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. a senator: pursuant to the arms export control act of 1976, i move to discharge the foreign relations committee from further consideration of s. j. resolution 31 relating to the disapproval of the proposed foreign military sale to the government of pakistan. the presiding officer: the motion is debatable for up to one hour. mr. paul: madam president, i rise in opposition to the american taxpayers being forced to pay for fighter jets for pakistan. over $300 million from the american taxpayer will be designated to go to pakistan to pay for eight new f-16's for pakistan. we've got a lot of problems here in our country, my friends.
1:26 pm
we've got a lot of things going on in our country that need to be taken care of, and we don't have enough money to be sending it to pakistan. i can't in good conscience look away as america crumbles at home and politicians tax us to send the money to corrupt and duplicitous regimes abroad. when i travel across kentucky and i see the look of despair in the eyes of out of work coal miners, when i see the anguish in the faces of those who live in constant poverty, i wonder why the establishment of both parties continues to send our money overseas to countries that take our money, take our arms and laugh in our face. we've given $15 billion to
1:27 pm
pakistan, $15 billion over the last decade. and yet their previous president admits that pakistan armed, aided, and abetted the taliban. you remember the taliban in afghanistan that harbored and hosted bin laden for a decade? pakistan helped them. pakistan was one of only two countries that recognized the taliban. why in the world would we be taxing the american people to send this money to pakistan? you remember when bin laden escaped? we chased him and he escaped. where did he go? to pakistan. he lived for a decade in pakistan. where? about a mile away from their military academy. somehow they missed him there in a 15-foot high walled compound,
1:28 pm
bin laden stayed in pakistan while we funnel billions upon billions of dollars to them. pakistan to this day is said to look away, to not look at the haqqani network. in fact, it is accused that many members of their government are complicit with the haqqani network. who is the haqqani network? it's a network of terrorists that kill americans. we have american soldiers dying at the hands of pakistani terrorists that the government looks the other way. general john f. campbell testified to congress that the haqqani network remains the most capable threat to u.s. forces in afghanistan, and yet you are asked to send f-16's and good money after bad to a government in pakistan that looks the other way. pakistan is at best a frenemy,
1:29 pm
part friend and a lot enemy. if pakistan truly wants to be our ally, if pakistan truly wants to help in the war on radical islam, it should not require a bribe. it should not require the american taxpayer to subsidize arms sales. they already have 70 f-16's. they've got an air force of f-16's. what would happen -- what would happen if we didn't send them eight more that we're being asked to pay for? maybe they'd listen. maybe they would help us. maybe they would be an honest broker in the fight against terrorism. we are $19 trillion in debt. we borrow a million dollars a minute. we don't have any money to send to pakistan to bribe them to buy planes from us. we don't have the money.
1:30 pm
we have problems at home. our infrastructure crumbles at home. we have longstanding poverty at home. we've got problems in america. and we don't have money to borrow the money from china to send it to pakistan. in my state, in kentucky, we have a dozen counties with unemployment nearly double the national rate. in mcgauffin county, kentucky, 12.5% of people are out of work. those who today will vote to send money to pakistan need to come with me to kentucky and they need to come to mcgauffin county and they need to look people in the face who are out of work in america and explain to them why we should send money to pakistan. we've got people hurting here at home. in harlan, the president's war on coal has led to
1:31 pm
long-standing, double-digit unemployment. in harlan, kentucky, people are out of work. people live in poverty, and they don't understand why congress is sending money to pakistan. in lesley county, high unemployment prompts their citizens to ask, why -- why is the government spending billions of dollars for advanced fighter jets for foreigners? they don't understand it. they can't understand, when they live from day to day, why the government is sending money to pakistan. as i travel kentucky, i ask my constituents, should america send money and arms to a country that persecutes christians? i've yet to meet a single voter who wants their tax dollars going to countries that
1:32 pm
persecute christians. in pakistan, it is the law -- it is in their constitution that if you criticize the state religion, you can be put to death. asia bibi has been on death row for nearly five years. asia bibi is a christian. her crime: she went to the well to draw water, and the villagers gang to stone her -- began to stone her. they beat her with sticks until she was bleeding. they continued to stone her, as they chanted "death! death to the christian!" the police finally arrived, and she thought she'd been saved, only to be arrested by the pakistani police, and there she sits on death row for five years. is it an ally, is it a civilized
1:33 pm
nation that puts christians to death for criticizing the state religion? i defy any member of this body, go home, talk to the first voter, go outside the beltway, leave congress and drive outside the beltway and stop at the first gas station, stop at the first grocery store and ask anybody, republican, democrat, independent, you ask anybody, should we be sending money to a country that persecutes christians? asia bibi sits on death row for criticizing the state religion, and your money goes to support her government. what will happen to pakistan if they don't get eight more f-16's. they'll only have 70 f-16's. most of the politicians here simply don't care. they don't care whether pakistan
1:34 pm
persecutes christians. they only know one way. the one way is to open our wallet and bleed us dry and open hope -- and hope that someday pakistan will change its behavior. well, guess what? if you're not strong enough to vote for this resolution, if you think that some kind of cajoling and flattery and nice talk with empty words is going to change the behavior of pakistan, you've got another thing coming. it's been going on for decades. when i forced a vote in the foreign relations committee the to say that countries that put christians to death for criticizing the state religion -- there's about 34 of these countries, a couple dozen of them who receive money from us, american tax dollars going to countries that persecute christians -- when i introduced the amendment to say, guess what? let's not do it anymore. any country that has a law that
1:35 pm
compels a christian and puts a christian to death, that country would no longer receive our money. you know what the vote was? 18-2 from washington politicians that keep sending good money after bad, because they say, oh, the moderates there are going to change their minds someday. well, after they bleed us dry, we've given them $15 billion, and i have seen no evidence of a change of behavior. i see i.n.s insolence, arrogancd people who laugh as they cash our check. is pakistan our ally in the war on terror? well, not only did they help the taliban that hosted bin laden for a decade, when they fin finy got bin laden, we got him with evidence that was given to us by a doctor in afghanistan. where is he now? pakistan has locked him away in a dark, dank prison from which
1:36 pm
he will probably never arrive out of, from which he will probably never be released. shakil afridi has essentially been given a life sentence by pakistan for the crime of helping the united states and helping all civilized nations get to bin laden. he sat under the noses of the pakistani government for a decade. we finally got him when shakil afridi helped us. people aren't going to continue to help america if we don't help them, if we don't protect our human intelligence, if we don't protect those who are willing to help america. he sits and rots in a prison. what message do we send to pakistan if we send them eight more f-16's and we tell you, the american taxpayer, you're paying for it? what message does that send to
1:37 pm
pakistan? the message is pakistan is, we'll just keep thumbing our nose to america. and we've laugh all the way to the bank as we do nothing to release the christians on death row or to release the doctor who helped us. should we give planes i to a country that imprisons these here roarks heroes who helped -- heroes, heroes who helped and put their life on the line? today we will vote on whether the american people should foot the bill. i have yet to meet a voter in my state of kentucky or across america that thinks it's a good idea to send more money to pakistan. we have a $19 trillion debt. we borrower $1 million a minute. we have no money. it's not even a surplus. they say, oh, we're going to influence pakistan. or they may rise up. the revolution won't stop the
1:38 pm
money. the heck it won't. if my resolution becomes law, the eight jets will not go to pakistan and be subsidized and not one opinion penny of americd not one penny of american tax dollars will go to pakistan. we have to borrow money from china to send it to pakistan p. such a policy is insane and supported by no one outside of washington. you go anywhere in america and ask them, should we give money, should the taxpayer be forced to give money to pakistan, a country that persecutes christians, nobody is for it. and yet the vast and out-of-touch establishment in washington continues to do it. is it any wonder people are unhappy with washington? is it any wonder that americans are sick and tired of the status quo? sick and tired of people not
1:39 pm
listening to them. we have no money in the treasury. we are all out of money. this influences nothing other than to tell the pakistanis they can continue doing what they want. i urge my colleagues to vote against subsidized sales of fighter jets to pakistan, and i reserve the remainder of my time. would the chair tell me how much time i have remaining? the presiding officer: the senator has used 14 minutes. mr. paul: so i have 16 remaining? the presiding officer: yes. mr. paul: thank you.
1:40 pm
1:41 pm
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent this all time be yielded back. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i move to table the motion to discharge. the presiding officer: question on the motion to discharge. mr. mcconnell: and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second 123? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
1:42 pm
1:43 pm
1:44 pm
1:45 pm
1:46 pm
1:47 pm
1:48 pm
1:49 pm
1:50 pm
1:51 pm
1:52 pm
1:53 pm
1:54 pm
1:55 pm
1:56 pm
1:57 pm
1:58 pm
1:59 pm
2:00 pm


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on