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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  April 19, 2016 2:15pm-8:01pm EDT

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both give you sort of added safety. connected vehicles have, basically, v to v, vehicle to vehicle are, vehicle to cur, v to x, anything else they're going to be able to talk about. what we know is studies so far suggest even two applications of v to v could prevent 600,000 crashes and save a thousand lives. so it has huge opportunity overall potentially, 80% of crashes -- >> this hearing lasts about another ten minutes. you can see that portion and all of it anytime on c-span.org. we will leave the hearing at c this point and return to the u.s. senate as they work on an energy modernization bill which would update the nation's electric grid and improve energy standards for buildings. senators will also debate a number of amendments with votes on those and final passage later today.
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ms. murkowski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i call up the following amendments en bloc and ask that they be reported by number and be considered en bloc along with amendment number 2963, offered by senator murkowski. cantwell amendment number 3276, klobuchar amendment number 3302
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as modified, flake amendment number 3055, flake amendment number 3050, hatch amendment number 3237, murkowski amendment number 3308, heller amendment number 3286 as modified, vitter amendment number 3075, portman amendment number 3168, shaheen amendment number 3292 as modified, heinrich amendment number 3155, manchin amendment number 3270, cantwell amendment number 3313 as modified, cantwell amendment number 3214, vitter amendment number 3266, sullivan amendment number 3310, heinrich amendment number 3317, vitter amendment number 3265 as modified, kaine amendment number
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3012, alexander amendment number 3290, gillibrand amendment 3004, warner amendment number 3233 as modified, thune amendment number 3239, udall amendment number 3231, coons amendment number 3203, portman amendment number 3309 as modified, flake amendment number 3229, and inhofe amendment number 3251. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendments by number. the clerk: the senator from alaska ms. murkowski proposes en bloc amendments number 3276, 3302 as modified, 3055, 3050, 3237, 3308, 3286 as modified,
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3075, 3168, 3292 as modified, 3155, 3270, 3313 as modified, 3214, 3266, 3310, 3317, 3265 as modified, 3012, 3290, 3004, 3233 as modified, 3239, 3221, 3203, 3309 as modified, 3229, and 3251. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i know of no further debate on
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these amendments. the presiding officer: if there is no further debate on these amendments, then the question is on the amendments en bloc. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendments are agreed to en bloc. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i ask consent that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president, we are back on the floor with the energy policy modernization act, an act that many of us have spent considerable amount of time not only here on the floor discussing, but prior to its arrival here on the floor of the senate working through a process that quite honestly i'm very pleased to be able to report on.
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as you have just heard with the voice votes that, the voice vote that we just took en bloc, we have accepted and adopted 29 additional amendments to this broad bipartisan and some would suggest long-stalled energy bill. but we've been working on this now on the floor for more than two months, actually it first came to the floor on january 27 of this year. but you've seen some patience. you've seen a little bit of persistence, and i think truly good-faith negotiation. last week we were able to clear the last of the objections to this bill and to define a path forward. again, we just reached unanimous consent on these 29 additional votes. there will be eight roll call votes this afternoon, and then votes on cloture and final
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passage. and hopefully today we will see the last day of debate on our energy bill. but since we've been away from it for so long, i wanted to start my comments this afternoon by reminding colleagues of the process that we have followed and of the many good provisions that we have incorporated within the bill that make it worthy of the senate's support. it began with a pretty simple and straightforward recognition that it was time, it was actually well past time to update and reform our nation's energy policies. the last time that the congress passed an energy bill, a major energy bill was in december of 2007. december of 2007. so it's been almost a decades' worth of changes in technologies, changes in markets taking place out in the, across
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the country. our energy space has changed, but what hasn't changed are the policies, the policies that we see are increasingly outdated and detached from the opportunities that we need to advance good energy policy in this country. so, what did we do? we set out to write a bill. our energy policy modernization act is the result of more than a year of hard work by those of us who serve on the energy and natural resources committee. it's the result of multiple listening sessions, multiple legislative hearings, bipartisan negotiations and then a multiday markup that we held last july. and at the end of that markup, we were able to approve a bill by a strong bipartisan margin, 18-4. and the reason that that bill passed out of committee with such strong bipartisan support
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was, was not just because of our commitment to a good process -- and that was very clear. it was a good process throughout. but we matched that good process with a commitment, an equal commitment to good policy. we worked together across the aisle to include good ideas from members on both sides of the aisle, from members on the committee and members off of the committee. some of the things that we agreed to include, to kind of speak to the input that we received. senator barrasso has led an effort that will streamline l.n.g. exports. he was joined by 17 other members. that's incorporated in our bill. we agreed to include a major, major efficiency bill that the occupant of the chair here, the senator from ohio, joined with the senator from new hampshire,
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has spearheaded for years. that bill was supported by 13 other members and is incorporated as part of this overall energy policy modernization act. we agreed to improve our mineral security. this is something that i have been leading along with senators heller and crapo and risch. we worked to better promote the use of hydropower, renewable emission-free resource that is favored by just about everybody in this chamber. we agreed to streamline permitting for natural gas pipelines. this was an effort that was led by the senator from west virginia, senator capito. we agreed to a new oil and gas permitting program. this was one of the several ideas that the senator from north dakota, senator hoeven helped advance. we have worked to improve our nation's spwraourt -- cybersecurity based on legislation advanced by the senator from new mexico, senator
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heinrich, as well as senator risch from idaho. we made innovation a key priority to promote the developing of promising technologies. we agreed to reauthorize some of the energy-related provisions that were contained in the american competes act which was led by senator alexander from tennessee. we also agreed to reauthorize the coal r&d program at the department of energy. thefs, again, based -- this was again based on another bipartisan proposal that's led by both senators from west virginia as well as the senator from ohio who is occupying the chair now. what we came away with was a substantive, timely and a bipartisan measure that has a very real chance of being the first major energy bill signed into law in well over eight years. so this is, this is important, mr. president, from a host of
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different reasons. moving forward with this act will help america produce more energy. and at the same time it will help americans save more money and save energy with all of the energy efficiency provisions. it will help ensure that energy can be transported from where it's produced to where it is needed. it will strengthen our status as the best innovator in the world. and it will bring us just one step closer to becoming a global energy super power. and it will do all this without raising taxes, without imposing new mandates, and without adding to the federal deficit. very important on many, many fronts. and that was, that was our starting point here on the senate floor back in january.
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and when we came to the floor with the energy bill, those of us on the energy committee thought it was a pretty strong bill then. but we made it better. we kept building on it. since the debate began, we have voted on a total of 38 amendments. we've accepted 32 of them. we've added even more good ideas from even more members to an already very bipartisan package. right now as it sits, the energy policy modernization act includes priorities from 62 members of the senate. in other words, more than three-fifths of the members of this body have contributed something to this overall bill, and that number will rise throughout the day as we process additional amendments. one amendment that i am particularly pleased with is the resources title that i've worked on and written with senator cantwell. we have agreed to a package of
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30 lands and water bills which will address a wide range of issues in western states. and that package also includes the bipartisan sportsmen's provisions that we have been working to pass now in this body for at least three congresses. this is a measure that will ensure that our public lands are open unless closed for a legitimate reason to require agencies to enhance opportunities for our sportsmen on public lands and more. and i want to recognize -- and i want to recognize my colleague would has helped us in this endeavor and making sure that this sportsmen's package was included as this bill moved forward. it is true, mr. president, that we were a little bit delayed in reaching the point where we are at today as we are processing these final amendments. but i want to thank the senate
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and the majority leader for sticking with us on this. at one point in time it was suggested that we were going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat in order to get this bill back on the floor with a consent process that would allow us to finish up. well, the rabbit has come out of the hat. some might suggest it was a little bit battered but nonetheless nobody gave up on this bill. and i want to acknowledge senator cantwell and her staff for working with us every step of the way. we knew that we had a path forward. we worked tirelessly to find it because we know that this is a bill worth passing. over the next couple of hours, members will have an opportunity to deliver their final comments on our energy bill, and after that, we will move to these eight stacked roll call votes
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followed by votes on cloture and then hopefully on final passage. i am pleased to be able to say that we will have wrapped up our work on this bill and send it over to the house of representatives. again hopefully by the time we go home tonight. but i thank the senate for working with us to get to this point. and i would encourage members on both sides of the aisle to recognize the good work and the good ideas that are included within this bill. and then when the time comes, i encourage every member to vote yes on a broad bipartisan good energy bill. with that, mr. president, i would recognize that my colleague, senator cantwell, ranking member on the energy committee and a fabulous partner throughout this effort. i just would like to thank her for all that she has done to get us to this point as well. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from washington. a senator: mr. president, i rise to thank chairman murkowski for her leadership on this bill. we have bndz working on this -- been working on this for almost a year now. today we're at a point where we think we will see the final product of this legislation in the next 24 hours move out of the senate and over to the house of representatives. ms. cantwell: so it is a good day and we're very thankful that all the hard work that she and her team and our side on the minority have put together will be successful in actually getting to the president's desk. i want to acknowledge that our colleagues in the senate, we have addressed something like 40 different priority pieces of legislation. we've added i think the chairman just said 60 different amendments during the floor process. we have had important compromises on clean energy technology, energy efficiency, infrastructure and truly bipartisan support.
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so we need to pass this bill. that's why we've been so persistent. it's been since 2007 that we passed an energy bill. and that was led by senators bingman and pete domenici and laid down a lot of fundamental things in the clean energy investments but the landscape has changed greatly since 2007. and since then because of those efforts, the u.s. has more wind power and it's more than tripled than what we had. solar installations are up nearly 15 times. the number of led lights has grown more than 90%. so from 2007 to 2014, our national energy use also fell 2.4% while our g.d.p. grew 8%. so this represents a very significant point in energy productivity. that is, we have continued to produce cleaner sources of energy, helped diversify our own
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energy port follow quo, and yet our -- portfolio and yet our economy and g.d.p. still grew. so it's important because these policies in this bill are continuing to move forward on energy efficiency, clean energy, renewables and new technology. so i want to thank everybody who's been cooperative in this process. clearly we could have had a my way or the highway that was taken on the shaheen-portman legislation. i know my colleague is just leaving the floor here, but he and senator shaheen played a large role in past discussions. but the chairwoman didn't take that approach. she said let's all work together. let's in the spirit of compromise pass legislation that our colleagues want to see, and of course we took a quaddrenial review of what our nation needed to do at a crossroads to make investments at 21st century
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energy and modernizing our port knoll crow. energy is the life blood of our economy. if we put good energy policy in place, businesses and consumers get more affordable, cleaner and more renewable energy, and this bill takes important steps on research and development of clean energy technologies and those that are already in the marketplace and some that are new, like getting a new foothold in marine, hydrokinetic and geo thermal and i want to thank our colleague senator wyden for his leadership on n. the bill also takes important steps in advanced grid technology to help us with new integration of our renewable resources. it authorizes $2 billion to make sure that we are continuing the development of a microgrid. i know the chairman of the committee, this is something very important to alaska, as they have a huge territory and lots to cover, making sure that microgrid development gets the technical support and assistance is critical. and the bill includes an incentive to excel rit the r&d of energy storage a technology
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that many witnesses before our committee have labeled as -- quote -- "the game changer." and i believe that it is the game changer. as a hydrostate that gets over 70% or nearly 70% of our electricity from cheap hydro, and we have a lot of renewable energy making sure that we can store some of that energy is a game changer for the electricity grid. and just as importantly, this bill makes a major investment in cyber security. we're talking about the technologies that are key to making sure that we protect our grid, make it more resilient, basically make it more robust so that we continue to build off on it and face less risk in the future. we have many opportunities in this energy bill to continue to promote the advanced fuels and energy information that are going to allow us to continue to diversify. we also want to make sure that
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we are understanding how the united states maintains its competitiveness in a clean energy economy. the global smart grid economy, for example, is expected to grow by $400 billion in the next five years. well, it's pretty basic. any time you can save on the supply that you already have, it's a wise investment. so-so many people want to invest in making their electricity, the use of their current energy supply smarter. i like the smart building provisions of this bill. that is, smart buildings that will end up using sensors to better direct and maintain the energy flow in buildings. why is this so important? well, it's important because about 40% of our energy use comes from buildings today. and the department of energy believes that we could reduce the cost of energy in our buildings by something like 20% to 30%.
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i don't think that there's a person here in the senate today that hasn't walked into a room and felt like the thermostat just wasn't right. whatever it said the room seemed to just be the opposite. that's why we want buildings to have smarter technology, more sophisticated, so that we can save energy and help our businesses be more competitive. energy efficiency in the chinese market is expected to be more than $1.5 trillion by 2035. so the united states continuing its leadership on this will help us grow jobs and grow industries here in the united states. past energy efficiency and building standards also have lowered costs, a 20% cost in energy use in u.s. buildings would save $80 billion each year on energy bills. that's something to give any u.s. manufacturer a competitive advantage. so investing in smart buildings just makes sense.
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and so i'm so pleased that while we're investing in this, we're also helping our manufacturers. we just had a hearing from the manufacturing industry in the energy committee who told us that they were literally bringing jobs from overseas home to the united states of america because we continued to invest in the right advanced manufacturing technology for them to continue to be competitive. i speak now of just what's happening with aerospace manufacturing and composite lightweight materials that the research we did allowed us to continue to be proficient in that area and have more jobs brought back to the united states. so this bill invests in smart manufacturing. it would enhance fuel efficiencies, and i want to thank senators stabenow, peters and alexander for their work on that provision. heavy duty trucks move 70% of our freight, and they use about 20% of the fuel consumed in the
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united states. so this sector could continue to use the advances in these technologies to continue their competitiveness. this legislation also focuses on the work force training issues, and we know that we need more jobs as the energy profile continues to change. the good news is these are high paying jobs. in my state the average salary for a utility worker is 57% higher than the average salary of all other industries in the state. so our bill establishes a competitive work force grant, a job training program through community colleges, and helps with registered apprentice programs so that we can get the work force of tomorrow that the secretary of energy says that we need. his report says we need is.5 million new work -- 1.5 million new workers in the energy markets so let's go about making sure that we get that. lastly, i want to mention the land and water conservation fund, a program that was
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actually authored by senator "scoop" jackson from washington and represents one of the longest pieces of legislation for environmental conservation. the land and water conservation fund is fully functional and effective, but we did have a lapse last fall. this bill would make sure that that never happens again by making it permanent. i want to thank the chairman for her leadership because she helped us craft a compromise on making the land and water conservation fund permanent, to get the right focus on how the program works and to continue to make sure that we are making vermonts in outdoor recreation -- investments in outdoor recreation. this land and water conservation fund helps support over 200,000 jobs in the state of washington and nearly a $20 billion economy. so when we talk about these various amendments we're going to be talking about today, i want to make sure the members understand that a lot of good
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work in the committee went into the land and water conservation fund. we'll also be voting on a lot of public lands amendments later. i want to bring up one, the auquma basin bill which is a bipartisan legislation. it's basically a consortium of holistic approach to dealing with water management. i hope it becomes a model for the rest of the country. and i also want to thank senator -- secretary moniz and his staff for all the work that was done in the committee and secretary jewel on both the lands package and other energy provisions. i know that the chairwoman probably discussed the issue of natural gas exports and secretary moniz provided us language for how the agency is working that we put into the bill. so i want to again thank my two colleagues that are here on the floor, senator shaheen and
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senator portman, but certainly senator shaheen has been dogged in her enthusiastic support for not just energy efficiency policy, working with senator portman, but when she left the committee, i don't think she really left the committee. she just pretended that she was somehow still connected to our efforts. i want to thank her for that and senator portman. but i think that we have taken the good work of these individuals and probably had almost 30 different energy efficiency proposals in this base legislation bill that we have incorporated and now are able to move forward on. i also want to thank my colleague, senator heinrich who has several provisions in this bill and several that will be voted on shortly in the lands package. these individuals along with those that i just mentioned,
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members of the committee, have provided such great leadership for us in putting this final bill before the members of the senate. i hope our colleagues will give it enthusiastic support. it represents a lot of discussion, not the perfect bill that the chairwoman would have written or not the exact bill i would have written, but a compromise on the modernization of energy that this country desperately need ses, the stepse need to take to keep moving forward on a safer, more secure, cleaner energy force and a work force to go with delivering it. with that, madam chair, i will yield the floor. mr. mr. portman: madam president, i want to start by commending you and senator cantwell for getting this bill to the floor. they said "third time is a charm." i think this may be the fourth or fifth tievment but i -- but i
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will say that i marvel at your persistence. you have made legislation that will make our economy more efficient and improve our energy policies at a time when we're desperate to be able to address some of the new changes we see in our economy and our energy situation in particular. so thank you for your persistence. i also want to comndz you and thank you for including as title i of the legislation, the energy efficiency legislation, the portman-shaheen energy efficiency legislation that was just talked about. senator shaheen sheer on the floor with me. i hope she'll talk about it in a second. this is something we've worked on for over five years now. it is an opportunity for us as a body to actually move forward with sensible legislation that makes our federal government more efficient, our factories more efficient, as senator cantwell has talked about. it improves our ability to create jobs and to be able to be
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more energy-independent. it is the kind of win-win legislation that we do too often -- or too seldom around here, and it is an opportunity for us today to send a strong message to the house that we'd like to move broad energy efficiency legislation and hopefully get it to the president's deck for signature and move it ahead. there are two parts of the energy savings and industrial competitiveness act -- that's our legislation -- that's already been passed by this chamber. those two parts have been signed by the president. they are at work now. i will say already they are helping to allow individuals to use less energy and have more savings, let companies be more efficient to create more jobs and reduceemissions. now it is time to pass the main part of the legislation, which is these bipartisan reforms we're taking up today. the priority i've had in the senate is on jobs and wages and that's exactly what this legislation does.
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it's really a jobs bill. according to a recent study of our legislation, the portman-shaheen bill, by 2030 it will help create nearly 200,000 new jobs and help the economy by saving consumers about $1 $1.billion -- $16.billion annual wilannually in reduced energy costs. this is about energy but it is also about our economy and jobs. when we started this legislation it was the shaheen-portman legislation. and it has remained a totally bipartisan, even nonpartisan effort. our workers in ohio and in the states reptd istates -- and in s represented in this chamber are competing with countries around the world. japan is very n.r.c.-efficient. it makes it harder for us to be able to add jobs here, to be able to compete because their costs are lower, their profits are up. part of this legislation is strongly supported by the
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manufacturers because they know that by making our plants more energy-efficient, we're going to give our workers in ohio and around the country and our companies a competitive advantage. so that's one thing that's very important is that this will help us to be ail to compete in a -- able to compete in a global economy. it also creates more jobs to have more supply of energy. so it is not just that we're being more efficient, but i will say that we're also in this legislation encourage more production, including energy infrastructure that the chamber talked about -- that the chairman talked about earlier. we should be producing more and using less. that combination really works for our economy. over the last seven years on the produce more side, we've been in the midst of an energy production renaissance. this is because of new advances in technology. it has dramatically changed the productivity, output of american energy companies, solar and wind, hydro-, i'm certainly
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talking about natural gas with fracking, i'm also talking about oil and coal. we have become the world's superpower in energy, the world's superpower in energy. this is good for our country. this is good for all of us as consumers with lower energy costs now. it's good for the competitiveness of our economy. but it's also a change. and so the underlying legislation here, the broad legislation i think is very important because our economy, our energy situation is very different than it was last time we reformed energy laws. that's why we need this broader legislation in my view, and it does have some needed changes, including bringing our permitting process up to speed, our regulations up to the times andagain dealing with some of the other issues wrarg to our energy sector that has been talked about this afternoon. just as it makes sense to produce more, it makes sense to use less, to eliminate some of the waste in our energy system to make it more efficient. production and efficiency are totally complementary.
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our job's bill will actually create more economic growth and create more opportunities for ohioans. the portman-shaheen bill will also strengthen our national security. it makes us more energy independent. that's critical. we're already doing this through some means but if we can get this legislation passed, we'll be doing it through better energy efficiency as well. the bill helps clean our environment. but some estimates, passing portman-shaheen will have an impact on our carbon emissions the equivalent to taking 20 million cars off the road over the next 15 years. so it does have an impact in terms of dealing with the emissions issue. i'm a really strong supporter of finding solutions that actually help the environment and help the economy, help create jobs. this is that sweet spot here, this lesmtion it is a classic -- this legislation. it is a classic example. our bill also provides a model
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for how we can do without a lot of mandates and regulations. the there are lots of incentives on the -- for the private sector but we try to make the federal government in this legislation a better partner rather than a better task master. and again i think that's the sweet spot. one thing it does is it makes the federal government practice what it preaches. so it says to the federal government, you're the largest energy user in the world. you're far from efficient. can't we do a better job in the federal government, have the federal government lead by example? it does this at the state and local level by updating codes, providing grantings for hospitals and faith-based organizations with energy efficiency improvements. it would get rid of the some of the duplicative green building programs at the department of energy, making sure they're working better. it establishes a federal smart building program to conduct research on smart building technology that was talked about by senator cantwell a moment ago, 40% of our energy use is in our buildings. it would codify in statute that
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federal agencies must reduce their energy intensity 2.5% over the next decade. it codifies some of what is in place but to ensure that goes forward. this bill doesn't impose new burdens on americans. it helps small- and medium-sized manufacturers access smart technology by establishing rebates for upgradingrading transformers. one of the skills gaps we have right now in our country that needs to be closed for us to take advantage of these new energy-efficiency technologies. rather than the federal government telling companies what to do, under in bill the federal government helps them to become more efficient. and it's not just american companies. portman-shaheen would help everyone, particularly help low-income americans be able to retrofit their homes, which will save them money on their energy bills. with the middle-class squeeze that's out there -- wages are
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declining on average over the last several years, expenses are up, including energy expenses, including in my home state of ohio where we have more and more pressure on our electricity costs. this will help in terms of dealing with that middle-class squeeze. for people just trying to get by, a low-energy bill can be a real relief. a few dollars extra at the end of each month can be used for a needed expenditure for savings or maybe from investment. -- in a kid's college education or retirement. finally, our bill does reauthorize the weatherization program. also very important towards this efficiency of buildings. the legislation, portman-shaheen is now supported by 260 associations, businesses, advocacy groups from the national association of manufacturers to the sierra club, from the alliance to save energy to the united states chamber of commerce. these are some strange
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bedfellows, i will tell you. you normally don't see these groups coming together to support legislation on the floor of the senate. but it shows this is a consensus win for taxpayers, for workers, for the environment. i was really pleased to work with senator shaheen, ranking member cantwell and leader mcconnell to offer a bipartisan bill to this broader bill that has been proposed to clarify a department of energy efficiency standard related to external power supply drivers. the existing standards are overly broad and again this is another amendment we're going to be offering today and another case we ought to be able to bring all parties to the table and negotiate a fix to an urgent problem. i'm hopeful that will be adopted and provide an effective bipartisan solution. again, i want to thank senator shaheen for her persistence and patience herself with regard to our energy efficiency bill and for being a great partner from the start. this is not the precise bill that she would have written or i would have written. but it is one that finds that common ground, that consensus to
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move our country forward with regard to energy efficiency. i also want to mention an mement -- an amendment i offered with senator cantwell and chairman murkowski that will help the national park service. this is the se centennial legislation. as some of you know, 2016 is a big year for the parks. this week is national park week. what better time, madam chair, for us to be adopting this amendment. the national park service turns 100 years old on august 25. we want to make sure the park service is well-positioned for this next century. in ohio, 2.6 million people visit our 13 national park sites every year. so you might not think of ohio as being a big national park state. it is. we're blessed to have these sites which preserve and protect the national beauty of our state. we're very grateful to the national park as much as for their custodianship and
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stewardship of the cuyahoga park. and also 4,000 sites on the national historic sites. to help them have more funds to be able to address some of the challenges that they face and to start particularly to address the backlog of projects that need to be completed. first it would officially authorize the national centennial park challenge fund which has leveraged $25 million towards an additional $45 million in private-sector money. matching funds to finance signature projects and programs of the national park system. i think this is part of our answer to the national park shortfall and to the backlog particularly of the maintenance backlog at the parks, to tbet more private-sector interest. the and it is out there. this is a vehicle for that to happen. the second would be a nonprofit second century endowment fund at the national park foundation to reduce the $10 billion backlog
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in national park service projects. this would present another opportunity to leverage the willingness of the private sector to help address this backlog that the national park service face. it is a win-win for the taxpayer and for all those who enjoy our national parks, all of our treasures. it creates a new national park service education program to help further the educational mission of our parks. the parks are being well-attended right now. attendance is up. people are excited about the parks. this is a great time to pass this centennial legislation. there is comparable legislation on the house side. i'm sure we can get this to the president's deck for signature and ensure that our parks for the next 100 years continue to grow and continue to provide this incredible experience for all of our constituents. this legislation is another, again, example of where we've come together on a bipartisan basis to do this and i want to thank again senator cantwell for her work on this and senator murkowski for putting it in this
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legislation. finally, i'm really pleased that we were able to include the land and conservation fund permanency in this legislation and also the sportsman bill in this legislation to expand and ensure access to federal funds for hunting and fishing. bottom line, madam president, i encourage everybody to vote for this bill. republican and democrat alike, this is a good bill. it is a bill that will drive infrastructure investments in my state of ohio and around the country. it'll protect the grid from cyber and physical attacks. it will allow more exports of liquefied natural gas, good for our economy. it will make our federal government more efficient. it wilit'll make our economy or efficient, create jobs, cleaning up the environment and modernize our government. that constitutes a victory for all of us. i congratulate senator cantwell and senator murkowski for getting this to the floor and i look forward to its passage later today. thank you, madam president. i yield back my time and hope my colleague from new hampshire
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will have her turn to speak. henge hurricane katrina-- mrs. shaheen: i am thrilled to join senator portman in dreaferg the energy efficiency provisions of the energy policy modernization act. and before i get to those, i really want to congratulate chair murkowski and ranking member cantwell for everything that they have done to move this energy bill forward.. at a time when i think most of us thought that this energy bill was gone for this congress again for the third time, they have been able to rally to bring people together to get consensus to move a bill that not only deals with the energy efficiency provisions that senator portman and i have championed but also improves a broad array of energy policies for this country, and it would permanently reauthorize the land and water conservation
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fund. so i want to congratulate them on giving us yet a third opportunity, hopefully, to vote on this bill and to finally be able to pass it. and as senator portman said, the third time's the charm hopefully. for five years he and i have worked to advance the energy savings and industrial competitiveness act, or what was known initially as shaheen-portman which has now become portman-shaheen in this congress. most -- many of the provisions in that original legislation are in this energy policy pho phodernization act. and while of we have been able to get some of the provisions in the original legislation through, the fact is most of the significant provisions are in this current bill. so i want to thank senator portman for being such a great partner on energy efficiency and for helping to advance this
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legislation in a way that gives us another chance to hopefully vote successfully on the bill. you know, i've been a huge fan of energy efficiency since my years as governor of new hampshire because i believe that energy efficiency is the cheapest, fastest way to reduce our energy use. energy savings techniques and technologies reduce carbon pollution. they lead to substantial energy savings that allow for businesses to expand for us to create jobs, for our economy to grow. and in a congress that is too often divided along partisan lines on so many issues, energy efficiency is one priority that can bring us together on a bipartisan, bicameral basis, because energy efficiency is beneficial to everyone regardless of what part of the country that we live in, regardless of what our energy source is. we can all benefit from energy
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efficiency. and those are the provisions that are in this legislation. and i will try not to repeat too much what has already been said by senator portman and senators murkowski and cantwell about the bill, but i did want to go through a couple of energy efficiency provisions that are in the legislation, because it reduces the barriers to efficiency in a number of ways. first of all, in buildings. it would strengthen outdated, voluntary national model building codes to make new homes and commercial buildings which account for more than 40% of u.s. energy consumption. so these provisions are especially important in this legislation because much of the savings in efficiency comes from these building, national model building code provisions. and again as senator portman has
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said these are not done through mandates. they are done through incentives, through our encouraging states to adopt these model building codes. the energy efficiency provisions also deal with industrial efficiency. they assist the industrial manufacturing sector which consumes more energy than any other sector of the u.s. economy. it helps that sector implement efficient production technologies, and it would encourage the private sector to develop innovative energy-efficient technologies for industrial applications, to invest in a workforce that is trained to deploy energy-efficiency practices to manufacturers. and finally, the other major section of the efficiency provisions from portman-shaheen deals with the federal government because we encourage the federal government, which is the nation's largest energy consumer, to adopt more efficient building standards, to adopt smart me terg technology,
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to look at our data centers and see how we can reduce cost and energy use. and through doing this, not only can we save energy, but we can save taxpayers millions of dollars. so just the energy efficiency provisions from portman-shaheen in the legislation would create nearly 200,000 jobs by 2030. so a significant job creator in the bill. it would reduce carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking over 20 million cars off the road. and it would save consumers over $16 billion a year. so there are significant benefits to this energy efficiency. and, again, as senator portman has said, these are provisions that have brought together a very diverse group of stakeholders. everyone from the american chemistry council to the national wildlife federation, as
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senator portman said, the nrdc, the national association of manufacturers, the u.s. chamber of commerce. this is a broad group of trade associations, labor organizations, environmental groups who have come together because energy efficiency is something we can all agree on. and, madam president, i have, for the record, a number of letters that have been sent by many of these organizations that i would like to ask unanimous consent to submit into the record. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mrs. shaheen: thank you. finally, in closing, in a little while this afternoon we will have a series of votes on amendments to the energy policy pho -- modernization act and we'll have a final vote for passage of the bill. i believe and it's certainly my hope that the broad package will pass. i think it's been far too long since congress passed a comprehensive energy bill, and it's time for us to work
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together to pass this important piece of legislation to improve our nation's energy policies to help grow our economy. i believe there is support in the other chamber, in the house, to take up this energy package, hopefully to pass it this year, because it will improve our economy. it will improve our national security. it will improve our environment. this is legislation that we should all get behind. and again, i want to thank my colleague, senator portman, and applaud senators cantwell and murkowski for all of the work they have done to bring this leg to the floor. -- to bring this legislation to the floor. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: who yields time? a senator: madam president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. heinrich: madam president, i rise today to speak about this bipartisan energy package that we're going to be voting on here today. last year my colleagues and i on the senate energy and natural resources committee worked together to pass an energy package that received incredibly strong and bipartisan support at a time when that is hard to come by. and i think it's important to start out my comments today by simply thanking the chair and the ranking member of the energy committee, senators murkowski and cantwell. as senator portman mentioned, they showed incredible leadership and also incredible patience. and that patience and that persistence on behalf of all of us is now paying off. my home state of new mexico occupies a very central and interesting place in nearly every facet of our nation's energy industry, including uranium enrichment, oil and gas production, refining, wind and
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solar energy, as well as the research and development of new energy technologies, technologies of the future that come out of our national laboratories and our research universities. and that's why i've been working so hard in the senate to position new mexico and really position our nation to take maximum advantage of new clean energy sources and innovative technologies in transmission while intelligently utilizing our reserves of traditional fuels as well. this package will be the first comprehensive energy bill to pass the senate since 2007. and i would like to think it shows we can look for areas where both parties can work together even if we don't completely agree and probably most importantly when we don't completely agree and still move our national priorities and our energy policy forward. this package also includes
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permanent reauthorization of the land and water conservation fund. and lwcf is one of america's most successful conservation programs. it has preserved our outdoor heritage, protected clean air and precious supplies of drinking water and supported jobs across this entire nation. permanent reauthorization of lwcf is a major victory for conservation, and i will continue to fight to fully fund lwcf so that we can make strong and smart investments in our public lands. but i want to particularly focus my remarks today on the bipartisan sportsmen's act which is a key part of this bill. the sportsmen's act has been a long time in the making, and i'm very proud to lead this bipartisan effort with energy and natural resources committee chair lisa murkowski of alaska. after previous attempts stalled on the sportsmen's bills in recent years, the energy and
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natural resources committee worked hard to find areas of agreement, and we didn't allow controversial amendments from either side of the aisle to derail these efforts. hunting and fishing are an integral part of our american heritage. without our public lands, that tradition would be lost to many westerners. our public lands belong to all of the american people. and like many new mexicans, some of my favorite memories with my family are from camping, fishing, hiking and hunting in new mexico's national forests and on our bureau of land management lands. i will always remember taking my son carter on his first back country elk hunting trip in the national forest. the bull elk we brought home fed our family for a year. but that experience of backpacking in the high country, sleeping on the ground, hearing
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the elk bugle around us will feed his imagination for his entire life. i look forward to having that same sort of experience with his younger brother, micah. these traditions, hunting, hiking, camping and fishing, are among the pillars of western country and a thriving outdoor industry in recreation economy. this bipartisan package, the sportsmen's bills includes a broad array of measures to enhance opportunities for hunters, anglers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts of all stripes. it improves access to those public lands and it reauthorizes critical conservation programs. these programs include the north american wetlands conservation act, or naca, which provides grants to organizations, states, local governments and private landowners for the acquisition, restoration and enhancement of critical wetlands for migratory birds, a program that every duck hunter and birder in the united states can agree on.
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the national fish habitat conservation program which encourages partnerships among public agencies, tribes, sportsmen, private landowners and other stakeholders to promote fish conservation. and it reauthorizes the federal land transaction facilitation act to direct revenue from the sale of public land to the acquisition of high-priority conservation lands from willing sellers to expand fish and wildlife habitat and public recreational opportunities. further, this bipartisan package will help boost the outdoor recreation economy at large. nationally, according to the outdoor industry association, more than 140 million americans -- 140 million americans -- make their living or make outdoor recreation a priority in their daily lives. when they do that, they end up spending $646 billion on outdoor
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recreation, resulting in quality jobs for another 6.1 million americans. in new mexico, a small state with just two million people, outdoor recreation generates more than $6 billion a year. it provides 68,000 jobs and $1.7 billion in wages and salaries. a survey done recently by new mexico game and fish found that sportsmen alone spend more than $613 million a year in the state annually. that is an incredible contribution to our local economy. this boost to our economy is felt by small business owners. it's felt by outfitter guides, hotels, restaurants and the entire local community, especially in rural areas where we need it most. yet, for far too many hunters and anglers, it gets harder and
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harder each year to find a quiet fishing hole to fish for trotter or a secluded meadow to chase elk. as sportsmen face more and more locked gates, more no trespassing signs, it's more important than ever that we keep our public lands open and welcoming to hunters and anglers. i've heard from sportsmen who found roads on b.l.m. lands closed without notice to public access. i myself have experienced the frustration are running into a locked gate on roads that used to be open and even maintained by public agencies. as opportunities for hunting and fishing shrink, we could lose the next generation of hunters and anglers who will fund tens of billions of dollars in conservation and restoration through things like purchasing duck stamps, by paying the taxes on ammunition and tackle and motor boat fuel, all of which
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are dedicated directly to the conservation of fish and wildlife. this bipartisan sportsmen's package will go a long way towards solving many of these problems. many ever the problems that hunters and anglers face in accessing and using our nation's incredible public lands. i am particularly pleased that the package includes my legislation the hunt act which requires public land agencies, like the forest service and b.l.m., to identify high priority landlocked public lands under their management that currently lack legal public access. landlock public lands are technically open to the public but are sometimes literally impossible to reach unless you own a helicopter because there are no public trails, no public roads leading to them. under the hunt act, federal agencies like the b.l.m. and the forest service are required to work with states and tribes and
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willing private land owners to provide public access to those landlocked areas that have a significant potential for hunting, fishing, and other recreational uses. a study by the center for western priorities estimated that at least half a million acres of public lands in new mexico are currently landlocked with difficult legal public access. the hunt act is the first dedicated effort to reopen these lands to their owners. public lands like the hilo wilderness, the national preserve and the rio grande dell norte national mon mngts are some of the -- monument are some of the most special places to hunt and fish on the planet. these are places that make new mexico -- are the places that make new mexico so enchanting and make our country so special. i am incredibly excited to see that this natural resources
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amendment also includes the establishment of two new wilderness areas within the rio grande del norte national monument. new mexicans have a deep connection to the outdoors and benefit from the recreation, wildlife, water and tourism opportunities that wilderness areas provide. and for many years now, an incredibly broad coalition of northern new mexicans has worked to conserve the real san antonio and yute mountain areas. what's even more special about the mountain is today it's managed by the bureau of land management, this is actually a place that the land and water conservation fund helped put in the public trust. i have no doubt that future generations will be grateful for the many years of work and support that not only makes these two new wilderness areas
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possible but makes access to special places like this possible. these two roadless areas provide important security habitat for elk, bah black bears, golden eagles and even american prong horn. i want to say a special thanks to the local community, people who have worked for decades to put this proposal together as well as senator tom udall, my colleague from new mexico, and former senator jeff bingaman for their incredible leadership as well. designating these two new wilderness areas completes a national example of community-driven, landscape-scale conservation that will preserve the culture, the natural resources, and the economy of this incredibly stunning piece of new mexico. i am proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle today to make sure that we are making the best use of our energy and natural resources and
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i am hopeful that thanks to our vote today, our kids and our grandkids will be catching trout and chasing mule deer on our nation's incredible public lands for many years to come. and i want to urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation. this was many years in the making. it was difficult and it required an enormous amount of compromise to get here, but it is an accomplishment worthy of that effort. and i would urge my colleagues to vote aye. a senator: mr. president? a senator: the senator from kentucky. a senator: i call up my amendment 3787. the presiding officer: the clerk will quote the amendment by number. the clerk: senator from kentucky proposes amendment number 3787. a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be waived. the presiding officer: without
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objection. a senator: i rise today to introduce the largest, most sweeping antipoverty legislation since l.b.j. began the war on poverty. mr. paul: this legislation if passed would return $100 billion to areas of poverty and unemployment in our country, areas that have been devastated by chronic unemployment and poverty. community, like eastern kentucky that have been devastated by the president's war on coal would be rescued. communities where the water is unsafe to drink like flint, michigan, would be restored. communities like ferguson, the south side of chicago, the west end of louisville will be given a chance to find the american dream if this legislation is passed. my legislation is not a gift or a grant. my legislation simply allows
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$100 billion to remain in the hands of those who earned it. my legislation will provide incentive for businesses and capital to return to areas overwhelmed by chronic poverty and unemployment. we are just past the 50-year mark on the war on poverty. sadly 50 years later we're still fighting that war and every one of our states still has areas of high unemployment and poverty. i think it's a time that we try something different, an approach that harnesses the ingenuity and the hard work of individuals, families, and businesses in our most afflicted communities, an approach that invites new investment to these communities, an approach that is free of government bailouts and bureaucrats picking winners and losers, an approach that provides hope and opportunity.
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economic freedom zones will be the largest antipoverty program since the war on poverty. economic freedom zones are areas of reduced taxes and reduced regulations that increase incentives for business to come into these poor communities. this is about much more than a government stimulus or a handout. this legislation will empower communities by leveraging the human capital, natural resources and business investment opportunities that already exist. reducing taxes in economically distressed areas is a still laws -- is a stimulus that will work because the money is returned to businesses and individuals who have already proven that they can succeed. this isn't government picking who to give the money to. this is returning the money to those who have earned it and trying to get those businesses to expand.
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cities and counties will be designated as economic freedom zones if local unemployment is 50% above the national average, or if poverty is 30% above the national average. localities that are bankrupt, such as detroit or flint or in danger of bankruptcy are eligible also. in order to attract new investment and economic activity that will help shore up local finances without the need for a bailout. by slashing the federal tax rate to 5% for a 10-year period, we can finally incentivize more businesses to locate in our struggling communities and provide more jobs and opportunities. my plan leaves the hard earned dollars of those of the community right there in the community president instead of sending your money to washington and begging to get some back, we leave it in your community to
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stimulate job production and economic growth in your community. it doesn't come it washington where politicians often pick the winners and losers. it stays with the community where the consumers decide who succeeds. economic freedom zones will work where big government has failed because the money will remain in the hands of people that local consumers have voted most able to run a business. whereas big government programs often send money to people who are unable to run a business, who have no proven track record. think of solindra. we gave $500 million to people who didn't have a good business plan. economic freedom zones return the money to businesses and individuals that have already proven they can run a successful business. the president's big government stimulus plan was funded by debt.
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it didn't work because government always fails to identify profitable uses for capital, whereas returning capital to those who originally earned it will provide a stimulus that is exponentially bigger. in the eastern part of kentucky, this legislation would provide over a half a billion dollars each year in much needed capital. in west louisville, this legislation would provide an annual infusion of over $200 million. more importantly, this legislation will provide hope and opportunity where very little optimism currently exists. for detroit it would mean an extra $368 million stays in detroit in the hands of the families who earned it and will be spent locally. in businesses that have demonstrated success, we'll be able to hire new employees. businesses that move to the area
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and hire new employees will be able to take advantage of these low tax rates and will be welcomed and encouraged to come to the community by the attraction of these low tax rates. flint, a city that you see in the news every day struggling even to keep clean water will see an immediate cash infusion of $124 million if my bill were to pass. as business returns to flint, as the local economy begins to grow, so, too, will the ability of local government to finance their own infrastructure. this legislation will help the city's economy recover and its families have more of their own money to spend on their own needs. we skip the middleman. don't send the money to washington. if you want to help poor communities in our country, leave the money there. skip the middleman. don't send it to washington. for baltimore economic freedom zones would mean an extra $452
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million a year left in baltimore. for chicago, $1.5 billion left in chicago. these economic effects will be real and will be felt immediately. economic freedom zones will provide other reforms also that set the stage for medium and long-term growth. we will lift some of the most antigrowth regulatory burden. we will allow federal permitting for construction projects. we will allow this permitting process to be streamlined so we can rebuild our cities. regulations that artificially drive up labor costs so public projects cost 20%, 30% more than private projects, we will eliminate these rules to allow your tax dollars to go further. we will also encourage foreign investment to bring jobs back to these chronic areas of poverty
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and unemployment. outside investment into local education and social services will be encouraged. and to set the stage for continuous growth and opportunity for the next generation, educational reforms will allow parents to move their children out of failing schools into the school of their choice. the war on poverty has been going on for over 50 years, and it often seems like poverty is winning. they say that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. big government programs have not cured poverty. in fact, some would argue that they have made it worse. isn't it time we tried something different? today the senate will have a chance to try something different. today the senate will have an opportunity to begin the rebuilding of america. i urge my colleagues to vote for
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economic freedom zones, and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. mr. franken: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to voice my support for the passage of the energy policy modernization act. i am pleased that the senate is considering and on the verge of passing legislation to update our nation's energy policy. and i want to thank chairwoman murkowski and ranking member cantwell and their staffs for their hard work in getting the bill to the floor of the senate. mr. president, the energy policy modernization act is a good bill, but it's not a perfect bill. it's a compromise piece of
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legislation, and it does contain provisions i do not support, such as expediting the export of liquid natural gas which i'm concerned could raise domestic energy prices and harm steel workers in northern minnesota. but there are also a number of important provisions that i do support. congress has not passed a comprehensive energy bill since 2007, and a lot has changed in the energy sector since then. i believe comprehensive energy legislation needs to promote innovation, employ clean energy technology, reduce greenhouse gases and create good-paying jobs. the energy efficiency title of this bill will help reduce
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electricity use, save consumers money and increase our competitiveness through commonsense measures like updating building codes. common sense. the bill permanently reauthorizes the land and water conservation fund to ensure that we preserve our natural resources for generations to come. it also invests billions of dollars in science and innovation through the reauthorization of arpa-e and the d.o.e. office of science. these are the types of investments that we will need to transform our energy system, an energy system that has been powered by dirty fossil fuels but increasingly is powered by clean renewable technology. this bill also includes a provision that i authored with ranking member cantwell to invest $50 million per year in
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energy storage research and development. energy storage will pay a crucial role in helping unlock substantial new renewable energy resources. as you know, the sun shines during the day, and the wind blows more at night. balancing these intermittent resources can be a challenge for energy providers. this is where i see storage playing a critical role in ensuring that our electricity generation meets our demand. and while storage technology has been around for a long time, we need the next generation of technologies for cost-effective implementation at the grid scale. this investment will spur innovation at universities and in the private sector to help us get to where we need to be.
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investing in energy storage will also position the united states to lead in exporting these technologies to power-hungry countries around the world. take india, for example. india has goals of deploying 100 gigawatts of new solar power by 2022, a truly impressive target. and as india and other countries build economies based on renewable generation, they will need storage technologies to turn intermittent solar energy into baseload power. i want america to develop and manufacturer these storage technologies, creating jobs and lowering emissions at the same time. energy storage also has the benefit of making our grid more resilient. according to the department of
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energy's 2015 quadrennial energy review, the weather was responsible for half of the reported grid outages between 2011 and 2014, when customers went without power. and, mr. president, with the climate changing, it is essential that we minimize the impact of weather-related grid outages on american households and businesses. additional storage capacity will do just that. improving resilience to all types of grid disruption and allowing us to keep the lights on. i also worked on a provision in this bill to reauthorize the d.o.e. office of indian energy. this office provides education and training, technical assistance and grants to american indian tribes in alaska native villages that are looking to develop energy projects. since 2002, this office has
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provided more than $50 million for almost 200 renewable north - energy and energy efficiency projects in indian country. we want to build on this pheplt pheplt -- momentum. i'm pleased we extended the authorization of this office for another ten years. mr. president, this friday more than 100 nations will come together in new york to sign the paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change. and while commitments to reducing emissions are important, they must be followed by real action to reduce our carbon footprint. the energy bill that we are debating today takes important steps forward in doing just that. but we, of course, cannot stop here. climate change is an existential
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threat to our planet and the future generations. we as a country must continue to expand clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases. i hope that we can continue to build on the bipartisan work that we did here with this bill to do just that. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: mr. president, thank you for the recognition today. i first want to thank very much and congratulate chairman lisa murkowski and ranking member maria cantwell for all their hard work on this energy bill, for their leadership. i think they've done a very good job in terms of getting this bill to the floor, and we find ourselves now in the position of being able to offer amendments which i'm down here to do, and i
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think all of us are very happy to be able to be moving something along and amending it. my amendment is a very simple study amendment. it directs the secretary of treasury to study and submit a report to congress on potential clean energy. this amendment is pro-clean energy. it changes no rules. it does not activate any actual bonds. being a study, it does not score or impact the budget. mr. president, citizens across this country want to see a cleaner energy future. they are doing their part to conserve energy, to purchase cleaner energy and to invest in clean energy mutual funds. they are doing this on a voluntary basis. it's having a big impact and pushing clean energy technologies forward in a rather dramatic way. but we also understand that our energy challenges are broad and
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require large-scale investment by many investors. we can harness and keep it voluntary without any costs to taxpayers through clean energy victory bonds. the federal government is our nation's largest energy consumer, with more than 350,000 buildings and 600,000 road vehicles. think about your own electricity bill that you pay each month and the gas that you buy at the gas pump. the u.s. government has to pay such bills as well to the tune of over $20 billion each year. most of that, about two-thirds of that, is for petroleum. the federal government wants to cut its bills too. we invest in clean energy through energy efficiency upgrades and through power purchase agreements and for cleaner energy and for stable, predictable energy prices.
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the government has a choice about these options, just as private citizens do. private citizens can choose the types of energy they purchase for their homes and for their businesses, and many offer wind power or solar power or other clean energy sources. or they install energy-efficient windows and appliances. many tell me they want to help our government make these choices as well. clean energy victory bonds could help us move in that direction. by purchasing a treasury bond specifically to -- devoted to clean energy, americans could help the government supplement its energy purchases with energy efficiency upgrades, with clean energy decisions. these investments could provide additional support to existing federal financing programs already available to states for energy efficiency upgrades and clean energy. and the really exciting thing
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about this option is this, smart investments can help pay for themselves and bring in return on investment to people who purchase these bonds. that's why we think it's so important to study this option. a simple financial instrument that is a win for people saving money and a win for reducing the government's energy bill, all on a voluntary basis. mr. president, during the first and second world wars, our country faced threats we had never before faced. we rose to the challenge. we gave it everything we had. everyone contributed. for many, that included investing in victory bonds. they helped pay for the costs of the war, $185 billion. that would be over $2 trillion today. folks lined up to buy those bonds. that is the spirit of the american people, to pull
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together. it was true then and it is still true today. we face a very different challenge today. our energy challenges are seen on multiple fronts from the impacts to our environment to our global and international struggles based on our dependence on foreign oil. citizens want to unite and want to contribute. they want investments in homegrown american clean energy. many cannot afford to buy solar panels for their own home or to invest $1,000 minimums to buy a clean energy mutual fund. but many can afford $25. $25 for a clean energy victory bond. this amendment asks the secretary of treasury to help inform congress on the feasibility and structure of developing such a tool. it has broad support, including from the american sustainable
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business council, green america, the american wind energy association, series and the union of concerned scientists and many, many other groups. so it's got broad, broad support out there. and with that, i would yield the floor, mr. president. i withdraw my request there for one moment. and i -- mr. president, i would ask to call up my amendment 3312 and ask that it be reported by number. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment by number. the clerk: the senator from new mexico, mr. udall, proposes an amendment numbered 3312 to amendment number 2953. mr. udall: thank you, mr. president. i would yield the floor now. i know senator bennet and senator isakson are here, and they both of them, i think, are great leaders when it comes to clean energy and working on this legislation. i yield the floor.
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mr. isakson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: mr. president, what is the pending business before the senate? the presiding officer: udall amendment number 3312. mr. isakson: i'd ask unanimous consent to set forward the yew -- yew tkald automatic. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: the senator from georgia proposes amendment 3202 to amendment 2903. stkabgs -- mr. isakson: i particularly want to acknowledge the patience of lisa murkowski and maria cantwell in allowing this bill to come forward and this amendment to come forward. they have exemplified the type of patience necessary to do legislative work and do it well. very simply, what this bill does is it allows the federal housing administration in the underwriting of a mortgage loan for a family applying for that loan to consider in the value of
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the appraisal the enhanced over-minimum standards that are put in for installation and the enhanced over-minimum standards savings that come to the consumer from those energy standards being put in. so the borrower gets credit as if income for the savings that come from putting in the installation and the hire standards. the value of the property is enhanced in order for the borrower to pay for the enhancements and they are permanent. so it is a win-win-win proposition. it worked in the 1980's when the savings and loan industry made most of the mortgage loans. in georgia we had a program called good sense housing where if you put in enhanced energy savings you got credit toward qualification on your loan. we are the better thermal panes and less consumption. this is a good permissive amendment that allows consumers to get what they want and the american people to enjoy more energy efficient housing. i urge all my colleagues to support senator bennet and i and i yield to senator bennet.
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the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. i'd like to thank the senator from georgia for his tireless work on this bill. i think we've been at it now for three years and here we are on the floor close to passing it. t there's not a senator that possesses the knowledge than senator isakson about how it works. it's been a privilege to work with him. i also want to thank the chairwoman and the ranking member on the committee for their fine work on this bill. it's time to pass it. we need to enact this common sense bill. the save act it's called supported by groups all across the political spectrum, from the chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturers to the sierra club, natural resources defense council. our amendment as senator isakson said would allow for a homes energy efficiency to be considered one -- when a borrower applies for a loan. when you apply for a mortgage, you can request an energy audit and if you have a loan backed by
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the federal housing administration, the energy efficiency of your new home and your future energy bills will be taken into account by your mortgage lender. why is that important? well today even though homeowners spend more money on energy than they do in taxes or buying home insurance, energy costs are not taken into account. when they're taken into account as a scons defense of this bill -- consequence of this bill, the savings derived from that energy efficiency could then be applied to paying your mortgage. i want to be clear and senator isakson said this amendment is not a mandate. is simply sets up a voluntary program. it will create thousands of jobs in manufacturing construction by 2040. it would save consumers at least $1.2 billion in energy costs. it would save enough energy to power more than a hundred thousand homes every year. i've heard from builders all across colorado who support this amendment. people like gene myers, c.e.o. and founder of thrive home builders in denver. he's built more than a thousand
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energy efficient homes but he understands that we won't fully attain the benefits of efficiency in the market until we properly value it. for these reasons the large and diverse coalition supports this amendment. i urge my colleagues to support this common sense amendment to improve energy efficiency, save money, and create american jobs. mr. president, i yield to the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i thank senator bennet for his support and i urge member of the conference to vote favorly for the save act. mr. president, i would like to -- i have six unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they've been approved by the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the coast guard fellow john aerial and senator cochran's office be granted floor privileges through the remaining of the 114th
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congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. isakson: i yield back, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you. i ask unanimous consent that miriam whitman, a fellow in my office be given floor privileges for the remainder of this session of congress. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from montana. a senator: i ask the new york be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: mr. president, today we took steps to secure our montana heritage and made in montana jobs. we stood up for the montana way of life. mr. daines: today we passed a bill that for the first time would permanently reauthorize the land and water conservation fund, an important piece of legislation ensuring that montana qlans -- montanans have access to public lands. as a fifth generation montanan and avid sportsman myself, i recognize how valuable our public lands are and the importance of ensuring our access for generations to company. in fact, during the summer recesses when many senators are traveling around the world, there's no better place i'd like to be than the back country of montana like i was last summer with my wife, my son, and our dog ruby in the bear tooth wilderness. because in montana and throughout the country, the land and water conservation fund plays a critical role in
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achieving the goal of increased access and by helpin helping and preserve and protect montana's opportunities to enjoy hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation. it keeps families like family ranches in the family and working. it keeps forest and productive use through the forest legacy program. like in the has kill basin where my good friend chuck roady of stoltz land and lumber works, today is a victory for them. like eric grove of great divide in helena, montana who has built his mountain bike business around the south hills trail system outside of helena facilitated by lwcf. there are many small businesses like eric's in montana that depend on our thriving outdoor economy, but this bill also streamlines the permitting for the export of liquefied natural gas allowing more american energy to power the world. montana is the fifth largest producer of hydropower in the nation, and we have 23
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hydroelectric dams. the bill strongs our nation's -- strengthens on our nation's hydropower development by defining hydroas a renewable fuel. only in washington, d.c. would hydronot be -- hydro not be defined as a renewable source of energy. i'm glad to see we got this cleared up with this bill today. it's great news for montana and is well swroafer due. this energy bill establishes a pilot project to streamline drilling permits if less than 25% of the minerals within the spacing unit are federal minerals. this is a particular importance to montana given the patchwork of land and mineral ownership in the balance canl. it approves strategic mineral production which supports thousands of good paying montana jobs and is essential to our national security and international competitiveness. the absence of just one critical material or metal could disrupt entire technologies, entire
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industries and create a ripple effect throughout our entire country. for example, the still water mines in montana is one of the only sources of palladium and platinum in the world and currently the u.s. has one of the longest and most arduous permitting processes for critical minerals in the world. and this bill helps address those concerns. metal and non-metal mining also has directly created more than 16,000 good paying montana jobs. in fact, mining overall helps support more than 22,000 jobs in total in montana. in montana energy supports thousands of good paying jobs for union workers, for tribal members, and access to our state's one of a kind public lands is critical to our state's tourism economy and our way of life. we in montana say we work or we -- but we also like to play. striking the right balance here towards responsible natural resource development as well as protecting our public lands. today's passage of the energy
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bill will help unleash montana's and our country's energy potential and uphold our country's commitment to conservation. i urge adoption of the bill and commend chairman murkowski for her leadership. thank you, mr. president. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. a senator: i would like to ask the quorum call be set aside. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: i'd like to call up 3210 and ask that it be reported by number. the presiding officer: the clerk will report by number. the clerk: the senator from oklahoma, mr. lankford proposes amendment number 3210 to amendment numbered 2953. a senator: there are a lot of good things in this bill that we're discussing. a lot of good amendments that have been brought to the floor. there's been an awful lot of conversation about a program called the land and water
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conservation fund. it's straightforward. it's been around for a long time. it takes money from revenue from offshore oil drilling and uses that money to purchase up land usually next to a national park or other areas that becoming federal land. mr. lankford: the problem is over the decades, we continue to accumulate more money in the land and water conservation fund and we continue to accumulate more land into the federal roll but we're not taking care of what we have. the issue with this particular version of the land and water conservation fund it's not a short-term extension like it's always been in the past. it's a permanent program that's put into place. permanent meaning there are no changes. so permanently we put in a structure that continues to purchase federal lands without maintaining those lands. we all know it. we all see it. year after year everyone said you should add more to maintenance but year after year we buy more land using the conservation fund and never use other budget funds for
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maintenance because quite frankly there are a lot of other vital federal issues that need to be paid for. so the simple solution to this is take the money from the land and water conservation fund and make sure the one simple thing is done. when we purchase land, we also maintain that land with that funding. we also take care of the backlog. this amendment's very straightforward that we use 50% to purchase land, 50% to maintain land until at least we get down to a $1 billion backlog. and then we can consider. $1 billion backlog is the goal. and in some ways this has become controversial, which i can't believe it would be controversial to say let's try to work our nation down to only $1 billion backlog in our maintenance for all of our federal facilities. now we have record attendance at our national parks, and they are beautiful national treasures. but if we can't maintain them,
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then we reinforce what is already true that the federal government is the largest landowner, largest land controller and the worst landowner in the country. federal lands are maintained the least of any of the large holder of land. let's fix it. this doesn't take away the land and water conservation fund. just make sure that we take care of what we have. and it also answers one simple question. when we purchase land and bring it in, we make sure that we set aside money at that moment also make sure we can fix it. quite frankly, it's fairly straightforward. mr. president, today my daughter turned 16 years old. she will at some point get a used car. i'm sure it will be a doozy, we're thinking somewhere around a 1978 volvo, nice and tough, in indestructible. at some point she'll end up with a used car. as a requirement she has to be somewhere in the purchase of it. when we buy that car we're not going to use everything in our savings account nor allow her to use everything in her savings
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account to buy it. she has to have enough money to be able to put gas in it and to be able to maintain it when it breaks down because it's a car, it will break down. this change in the land and water conservation fund is no more simple than that. whenever we put new land in the inventory, we make sure that we have money set aside to make sure we can actually take care of it. why have a car if you can't put gas in it. why continue to add land year after year after year if we're not going to maintain it? that's not good stewardship of our resources. that's bad stewardship of our resources. this amendment says before we make this program permanent, let's fix the structure of this program to make sure that we're also watching out for the program long term as well. one other quick note. some of the land that has been purchased has been purchased for very high amounts like $1 million an acre type of amounts. this says before you get land more than $50,000 an acre run
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that back through congress to make sure someone has had a second look at that. it is a straightforward thing to make sure the federal taxpayer is not paying more than they should per acre for land that will be put in the federal inventory. i would urge the adoption of this amendment. this doesn't kill the program. this enhances the program. it allows us to take better care of our federal land and to engage with that. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. ms. cantwell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: mr. president, before we go to votes that have been scheduled on this bill, i wanted to just take a few more minutes and mention, i mentioned some of our colleagues from the energy committee and some of their contributions. but i just want to mention a couple of other provisions that are in this underlying bill and to thank our colleagues for their hard work. senator wyden, particularly, for his focus on renewable energy technologies like marine and hydro kinetic and geothermal. these are important provisions because they're going to help us
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gain a foot hold in very important areas of this development. and so i thank him for his contribution. i mentioned earlier about energy storage. in committee our colleagues dealt a lot with this, but senators franken and heinrich, hirono and king all made significant contributions in what are really modernization of the grid, grid storage, as my colleague from alaska knows, on how to plan for microgrid activity. and senator hirono because she has a very unique state that she represents of hawaii, and having the integration of those activities into the grid, all very important. so i thank them for their contributions on making our electricity grid more distributed and integrating in some of the renewable energies and making sure our grid has the flexibility to do that. senator king has worked hard to make sure the distributed generation gets a fair shake in
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the marketplace and to make sure that consumers are treated fairly. this is a subject that our committee is going to continue to work on. i'm sure we're going to hear about it. those individual homeowners who are making investments in solar energy, want to make sure that they are not unfairly treated bid their own -- by their own utilities on how that solar development plays out. that is, they don't want to be overcharged for the development of solar. they want to put solar on their homes. they're willing to be part of the solution. they don't want to be the funder of the whole solution. so i think skinning -- so i think senator king is rightly concerned about how this generation gets a fair shake. i want to thank senator franken. he was a key proponent of the science and investment in the areas of energy storage and generation, and he's been a very strong voice on why storage is so important. as i mentioned, being hydro state and having a variety of renewable energies, having storage capabilities is very important for us in the pacific
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northwest. but senator franken also a very strong voice for how energy programs are going to work in the tribal areas of our country. and so i thank him for that. i also want to thank senator manchin for work with senator heinrich and senator murkowski on the bipartisan sportsmen's package that's included in this bill, something that the senate has, well let's just say had a lot of discussion about the sportsmen's bill over many, many congresses. so the pass that we're actually passing a comprehensive sportsmen's package is i think a great testament of our work to the committee and the senate in a bipartisan fashion. i want to thank senator warren for transparency in commodity markets particularly when it comes to global natural gas markets and making sure we're well informed about what's happening in the marketplace. these are all important things because we want to have enough
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transparency that the consumers and the government know what's happening and that we never run into a kind of situation we did before with the manipulation of markets because of very tight markets and people taking advantage of that. so i appreciate all of the committee members on our side of the aisle and their contributions and certainly appreciate working with the chair on the committee on these issues and the many members. i also want to just thank senator stabenow and senator peters. i know that we tried for many weeks to work on what was a solution to the flint issue. the chair was, senator murkowski was very efficient in trying to marshal the discussions on her side of the aisle about how to get a resolution to this issue. i thank her for that. and i know our colleagues, senator stabenow and peters, will continue to work on finding solutions to this.
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so i thank them for that. i thank them for their leadership on manufacturing and technology as well. again, i know we're going to start votes here, but i just -- i can't emphasize enough how much material is in the underlying bill, the amendments that we cleared earlier on voice vote, and the amendments we're going to vote on. this is a lot of work, and i want to again thank the staff for just continuing to process a lot of ideas about energy policy, about land conservation policy, about workforce and energy issues for the future because all of these are vital policies for us modernizing our energy infrastructure and making sure we continue to protect consumers and businesses and making sure that we're going to be competitive in the future. so, again, i thank the chair for her leadership on this issue and look forward to processing the rest of these amendments.
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the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president, as my colleague on the committee has pointed out, many individuals have contributed very positive contributions towards where we are today with this energy bill. i wanted to note very quickly some of the groups that have weighed in throughout the process as we have sought input in different sectors across the energy space and really across the broader economy for some of the ideas in efficiency and supply, in infrastructure, in accountability. and when you look at the list of those organizations from around the country in different areas, it's about -- i've got a seven-page list, single-space,
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very small type in terms of those that have weighed in in support of the measure that we have in front of us today. from my state, it's everyone from the department of natural resources to the alaska power association, the bristol bay native corporation, cardoba electric co-op. support from the chamber of commerce, national electric manufacturers association, alliance of automobile manufacturers. i'm just picking randomly here. we have support from labor groups, from north america's building trades union, united auto workers, united brotherhood of kparp terse who weighed -- carpenters who weighed in for support. the alliance to save energy to seattle city light it that has focused on the work that we have done with energy. and then when you think about those that are focused on keeping the lights on, keeping
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fuel affordable, those who produce the materials that make all this possible, groups like the national hydropower association, the american petroleum institute, national mining association, american exploration and mining, business council for sustainable energy, american public power association, edison electric. there's just, again, a long, long list of those that have weighed in in support, and all over the board. the small business and entrepreneurialship council, the american society of interior designers, the nebraska public power district. it is comprehensive, and i think it is notable. and i think in fairness, not all in these groups agree with all aspects of the bill that we have in front of us. and i'm -- those that support our work to streamline l.n.g.
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exports might not necessarily be supportive of what we're trying to do to clean up the u.s. code. but i think it's fair to say that to craft a bill that 100% of everybody likes it is not only unusual, it's just not going to happen. but what you have in front of you today, what the senate has and what we will now commence voting on is a bipartisan product, a product that has gone through extraordinary process in the past year, collaboratively built and really an effort to modernize our energy policies in a way that is smart, it's commonsense and it's not the government telling us what we shall do. it's doing it for the right reasons. and with that, mr. president, we have come to the end of our two
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hours of debate, and so we will commence with our series of roll call votes that have previously been agreed to. and at this time i would call up amendment, my amendment number 3234. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from alaska, ms. murkowski, for herself and ms. cantwell proposes amendment number 3234 as modified. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i would now ask unanimous consent that there be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to each vote in this series. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: thank you, mr. president. the amendment that i have called up is an amendment that senator cantwell and i have been working on it. it is what we are dubbing our natural resources title. there are 30 different
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provisions, 15 from the republican side, 15 from the democrat side. nearly all of them have been reported from the committee. they got strong bipartisan support. it's really a balanced collection of lands and waters bills. we have included the sportsmen's bill which we've heard talk of here on the floor as it was reported from the committee with some additional provisions that came out of the environment and public works committee. it includes our open and less closed provisions to make sure that our public lands and national forests are accessible for hunting and fishing and recreational shooting. we've got several land transactions involving the land management agencies including some conveyances to correct federal survey errors and to adjust boundaries. we have provisions to get more renewable hydropower online and keep insisting projects keep operating in at least five different states. we also protect some treasured landscapes and rivers. we reroute a national scenic
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trail -- rhea sun suh authorize the national park service to study three sites to study their significance. a broad package, a package that is balanced and a package that just tirches to add to the -- that just continues to add to the energy bill. ms. cantwell: mr. president, if i could add to my colleague's comments, this underlying bill supports the yakima basin bill which is an integrated approach to addressing water management needs for families, farmers, fish, and wildlife. it will provide water for farmers in times of brought a and is not only important to the future of our state but is a model for how water management should be done in the 12*9 21st century. this also includes water provisions for other senators, as the chairwoman said, murkowski, herself, several of
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our other colleagues, merkley, gillibrand and kaine. so support this legislation. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the votes following the first vote in this series be ten minutes in length. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. murkowski: then, if there's no further debate, i would ask for the yeas and nays on amendment 323467834. the presiding officer: all time yielded back? ms. murkowski: yes, all time on this side. the presiding officer: without objection. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. question is on the amendment. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 97 and the nays are zero. ed under the previous order
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requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is agreed to. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 3202 offered by the senator from georgia, mr. isakson. mr. isakson: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: madam president, i just like all members of the senate to consider this amendment favorably. it is an amendment this alouse for consideration in the qualification and under-wright of a loan for the purchase of a single-family dwelling for those enhanced standards for energy efficiency to go in over the minimum standard. it is an underwriting -- it is permissive and f.h.a. only and i would appreciate ever member's vote. and i yield back. mr. shelby: madam president, this amendment offered by my friend from georgia sounds good, but let's examine it a little --
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for a little while. this amendment is opposed by the scholars at the heritage foundation, the cato institute, the american action forum, the american enterprise institute, and the competitive enterprise institute. the mortgage underwriting process, as we all know here, is about evaluating a borrower's ability to afford a mortgage, and history tells us that if we play around with it, it does not end well when we forget this. this amendment would weaken f.h.a.'s underwriting standards, leading to greater safety and perhaps soundness concerns for the f.h.a. portfolio, which received a $1.7 billion bailout in 2013. it would require that appraisals be inflated to account for the value of energy-efficiency upgrades as determined by h.u.d. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired.
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mr. shelby: i ask unanimous consent for one minute. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. shelby: it would also project energy savings and inflated borrower's income for debt-to-value income valuation. i think it would be dangerous for f.h. aloans. i think we don't need tf.h.a. already has an f.h.a. energy-efficient program. according to h.u.d., the program helps families save money on their utility bills by enabling them to finance energy-efficient improvements with their f.h.a.-insured mortgage. mr. isakson: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator juror has 30 seconds. mr. isakson: i don't know who wrote when the senator is reading. the truth is this is a permissive regulation that allows for more energy efficiency and the funding of that in terms of housing. the homebuilders have endorsed it. most energy efficiency organizations have endorsed t it
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is good practice, procedure. it is not ruining underwriting in any stretch whatsoever. it is good for america and good for energy efficiency and good for the housing industry. and i would appreciate the vote of each and every member of the senate. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote: the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not on this vote the yeas are 66. the nays are 31.
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under the previous order requiring of 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is agreed to. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 3175 to be offered by the senator from north carolina mr. burr. order in the chamber, please. could i have order in the chamber, please. mr. burr: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: madam president, i rise to speak on my amendment very briefly. many of my colleagues may have seen these wild horses on a vacation to the outer banks or maybe you've viewed the movie "knights of rodanthia." these horse vs been here for over 200 years. we're injecting some new genetics in so the herd is
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sustainable for another 200 years. let me tell my colleagues they've never been managed by fish and wildlife. fish and wildlife doesn't want to manage them. they're managed by a private nonprofit that goes to great lengths and expense to make sure that this herd survive. with that i would yield the floor. i would reserve -- a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: is all time yielded back? the presiding officer: there is a minute left in opposition. 12 seconds remaining to the senator from north carolina. a senator: madam president? ms. murkowski: if there's no further discussion on this amendment, i would call up the burr amendment number 3175 and ask consent that it be modified with the changes at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from alaska, miss murkowski for mr. burr proposes an amendment numbered 3175 as modified to
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amendment number 2953 murng murk -- ms. murkowski: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. murkowski: madam president, the original burr amendment did have a lot of discussion and -- ms. ayotte: the senators were able to come together this afternoon to resolve their differences over this issue and craft a reasonable compromise that is acceptable to both sides. so i want to thank senator burr, senator tillis and senator boxer for their willingness to find a solution that we can support. so i urge all my cleagues to support the burr amendment as modified. a senator: madam president, i ask consent that the 60 vote affirmative threshold with respect to the burr amendment be vitiated. the presiding officer: is there an objection? without objection. the question occurs on the amendment. all in favor say aye. those opposed?
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?. laughter. the presiding officer: the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is modify -- as modified is agreed to. the presiding officer: now there will be two minutes equally divided prior to the vote on the lankford amendment. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. a senator: madam president, it's a very straightforward land and water conservation amendment. we have common agreement on the fund. mr. lankford: what it does, what it funds, how it's funded.
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where we have some dispute is are we taking care of the land that we have. we continue to add more acres into federal inventory and we're not taking care of them. the original plan of land and water conservation fund is some day out of general budget we'll do maintenance on this but let's keep adding land. we all know for decades that's not worked. the presiding officer: could we have order in the chamber, please. mr. lankford: for decades we've added more land and for decades we're not maintaining it. the easiest way to identify this amendment is this amendment is about not only purchasing land but taking care of the land that we actually purchased. it splits half and half for the purchase of land. half of the maifnts nantz. my daughter's -- maintenance. my daughter's birthday is today. she's 16 -- the presiding officer: order in the chamber. mr. lankford: my daughter will get a car, an old used car at some point. but the requirement for her is to not only help pay for the car but to actually have enough in her bank account that she can help maintain it and buy gasoline with it. she has to have a job and have income. we've set aside the land and
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water conservation fund to continually get more land but not be able to maintain it. we wouldn't do that with our children. we wouldn't do that with our homes but we've done it year after year with this. let's do something simple. let's maintain what we actually purchased and make sure it comes into strict oversight of the federal government. our federal treasures that are our national parks -- the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. lankford: with that i yield back. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from opposition. a senator: speaking in opposition it would gut the water and land conservation fund. this is a program that the senator's new language would produce obstacles to the federal government acquiring land that would cost more than $50,000 per acre, and it would simply add more red tape by having to pass another law just for the land acquisition to be purchased. ms. ayotte: so i urge my colleagues to oppose the lankford amendment and keep land and water conservation for the purposes that it was designed.
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a senator: i ask for the yea, and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote, the yeas are 34, the nays are 63. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided -- please come to order. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 3311 to be offered by the senator from arkansas, mr. boozman. mr. boozman: madam president, i call up my amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: mr. boozman proposes an amendment numbered 3311 to amendment number 2953. at the end of is up title d of title 2 added following --
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section 23: the presiding officer: order in the chamber, please. mr. boozman: madam president, this amendment provides a simple report from the department of energy on a specific kind of transmission project. the amendment will not cause delays or add additional red tape. it provides transparency and ensures that the department follows the law. this amendment just ensures the department provides information in a timely manner. i yield back my time. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. a senator: madam president, this amendment is a job killer. it blocks a major new 700-mile multistate electrical transmission project. mr. heinrich: the plains and eastern clean line will deliver four gigawatts of economical renewable energy to the
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southeast. this is $2 billion of nontaxpayer dollars that will lead to over $6 billion in private investment, in new wind generation that will produce enough power to power a million homes. during the three years of construction, clean line will create 6,000 construction jobs. our nation's grid is the energy of our economy, and it needs modernization. i would urge my colleagues to vote no on this job killing amendment. the presiding officer: is there further debate? is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 42, the nays are 55. under the previous order requiring 60 vote for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is not agreed to. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 3311 offered by the senator from -- excuse me, prior to the vote on amendment number 3312 offered by the senator from new mexico, mr. udall. mr. udall: thank you, mr. president. this amendment is -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. mr. udall: thank you, mr. president. this amendment is a very simple study amendment, does nothing more than ask for a study. it's pro-clean energy, it changes no rules -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. udall: thank you, mr. president. it changes no rules.
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it doesn't mandate anything. it has no cost, no score. it simply directs the secretary of the treasury to submit a report to congress on the issuance of clean energy victory bonds. it's supported by a number of groups, just to mention a few: the american sustainable business council, evangelical environmental network the league of conservation voters, union of concerned scientists and a number of others. i would urge my colleagues to support it and yield back. the presiding officer: who yields time? ms. murkowski: i yield all time back. the presiding officer: without objection, all time -- the senator from alaska? is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators waiting to vote or change their vote? on this vote the jayce are 50, the -- the yeas are 50, the nays are 7. the amendment is not agreed to.
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there will be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to vote on amendment 3787 offered by the senator from kentucky, mr. paul. mr. paul: mr. president, can we have order? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senate will be in order. the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: jack kemp and others who have looked and examined the issue of poverty have often found that we haven't done a great job alleviating poverty. we've tried government programs in my state. we've tried them in rural appalachia for 40 years, and yet we still have persistent poverty. many of us believe that we would have a better chance with poverty if we would lower taxes in these areas, lessen regulation and instead of sending the money to washington, leave it where the poverty is. my bill alone would leave $500 million in eastern kentucky, $200 million in louisville. we've had much discussion of flint, michigan and the water
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problem there. my bill would leave $124 million in flint, michigan next week. my bill would leave over $1 billion in detroit. if there are those in this body who can come together and say that we have a unified presence and a unified ability and desire to combat poverty, this is the bill to do it. it's called economic freedom zones, and i hope we'll get bipartisan support in favor of leaving money in these impoverished communities to help them get started again. thank you. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. ms. cantwell: mr. president, i urge my colleagues -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. ms. cantwell: i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment and this vision. mr. paul's amendment, senator paul's amendment takes advantage of economically distressed communities in our country by saying that we will take the hedge funds, big banks, rich investors and see their capital
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gains tax completely eliminated. the amendment would allow some of the areas in the country with the biggest environmental challenges, the most vulnerable communities, to ignore environmental laws like the clean air act, the clean water act, ignore the requirements of national heritage areas, would lift davis-bacon, and it would star school districts in these areas by not allowing public education dollars but allowing them to go to private schools instead. so in short, this amendment would turn these vulnerable communities into an experiment that i don't think we need to have. mr. president, i raise a point of order that the measure violates section 311-a of the budget act of 1974. mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: pursuant to the krerpbl budget act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of applicable budget resolutions i
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move to waive all applicable sections of that act and applicable budget resolutions for the purpose of my amendment 3787 and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the question is on the motion. the motion to waive. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote the yeas are a 65 three-fifths not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. the point of order is sustained
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and the amendment falls. there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote on amendment number 2954 offered by the senator from louisiana, mr. cassidy. mr. cassidy: thank you, sir. the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. cassidy: thank you. this amendment pertains to the sale from the strategic petroleum reserve and it merely gives the government the authority to time that sale. you know, we can buy oil high or buy oil low, but we should sell it higher. all this amendment does, it's a common sense bipartisan amendment. it says -- it is to say whatever the oil is sold from the strategic petroleum reserve, it should be when the best price is fetched, if you will, for the taxpayer of the country. it's common sense. is protects taxpayers. it should pass. thank you. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. a senator: thank you, mr.
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president. mr. markey: senator cassidy and i have filed this amendment in order to correct a problem in the bill. without this amendment, there would would not be the kind of discipline which is necessary in order to make sure that the strategic petroleum oil is sold strategically. so that the federal government gets the best price for it, so that we sell high or as high as we can in order to limit the number of barrels of oil which ultimately will be sold so that we can keep as many as possible in the strategic petroleum reserve. so in order to meet the budget objectives, this amendment satisfies it but also ensures that we keep the maximum number of barrels of oil remaining in the strategic trillium reserve -- petroleum reserve. this is goes to make tens of millions of extra dollars for the federal taxpayers because it will be done in a very smart
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way. we will be selling as high as possible because we bought this oil for the most part in a very high priced marketplace. so senator cassidy and i urge and i vote on the amendment. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i appreciate the work of both senators to come together with a very common sense amendment, but i would ask consent that the 60-vote affirmative threshold for the cassidy-markey amendment be vitiated. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. is there further debate on the amendment? if not all in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order -- a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: amendment number 2953 as amended
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is agreed to. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. a senator: mr. president, on roll call vote number 53, i voted aye. it was my intention to vote no. i ask unanimous consent that i be permitted to change my vote since it will not affect the outcome. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. ayotte: thank you. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the order with respect to the vote on the motion to invoke cloture on s. 2012 upon reconsideration be vitiated. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. ms. murkowski: i further ask unanimous consent that following leader remarks on wednesday, april 20, the time until 10 a.m. be equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. further, at 10 a.m. the senate vote on passage of s. 2012 as amended. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. a senator: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president, this brings us to the end of the agreed to votes on the amendments that required roll call as well as the 29 various amendments that were accepted by voice en bloc. we have made i think extraordinary progress on a good, strong bipartisan energy modernization bill. i thank colleagues for the process that we have all engaged in today, as we have worked to wrap up the final measures to allow us to move to final passage tomorrow morning. i thank colleagues. i would ask unanimous consent that the senate now be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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senator from washington. a senator: if i could add, i thank my colleagues for a productive afternoon. we certainly improved the senate energy bill with a variety of amendments, the lands package specifically. but other amendments as well. the energy savings by our colleagues, isaacson and bennet. ms. cantwell: very glad we're where we are today and hopefully we'll have it wrapped up early tomorrow. so i thank all our colleagues for their cooperation. again, i thank the staff for getting us to this point today. mrs. boxer: madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. lankford: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. lankford: mr. president, i would ask that the quorum call be set ad side. -- set aside. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lankford: mr. president, in february of this year justice scalia passed awatchet it was an enormous loss to the nation. in the hours and days following that, the republicans in the senate had the opportunity to talk about their constitutional responsibility, the responsibility of advice and consent. supreme court justices don't show up to the supreme court because the president just nominates them. the constitution in article 2, section 2, lays outer a 50/50 proposition. the president has the first 50%. the senate then has the second 50%, the power of advice and consent. the first half of that is when -- is this the right time to do a nominee? and many nominees historically,
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both ambassadors, justices, cabinet officers, the senate h's had a long delay to say, no, this is not the right time. so the first question is, is this the first fipple? the second question is, is this the right person? that's the process of advice and consent and has been for 200 years. so what's happened since february? well, since february republicans have been very consistent, myself included, to say this is not the time to have a supreme court justice go through the nomination process. in the hours after justice scalia passed away, we made it very clear so that any nominee that went through the process, regardless of who they were, would know in advance, you will not move it to a hearing because it is not the right time. of our two-part time, is this the right time, is this the right person? the first part is not complete. it is not the right time. so this nominee will not move at this time throughout the entire year and everyone knew that in advance. the republicans have talked about the first test on this, priority of is this the right
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time? democrats have focused on is this the right person? they focus on judge garland being the nominee and they want to be able to raise up and talk about his profile, and i get the politics of that. but it's just the politics of it. and you expect that banter back and forth in the politics, though this is a settled issue among republicans. he will not move through the nomination process. but we hit a new low today on this floor, mr. president, and i had to come and address it. because today this moved from a conversation about is this the right time and is this the right person to drawing in the memory of 168 lives that were lost in oklahoma city 21 years ago today. april the 19th, 1995, the worst act of terrorism at that time on american soil, carried out by another american, killing 168 people at the murrah federal building in oklahoma city. a rydyer truck bulled up to the
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front, blue it up, killing 168. tim think mcveigh, who had carried that out, got into his ford and drove north to leave out of the state. 90 minutes later -- 19 minutes later, trooper charlie hanger just doing his job saw a vehicle on i-35 without a license plate on it, pulled him over, found out that he also had a weapon on him and put him in jail to be able to hold him. charlie hanger, doing his job, that trooper actually arrested the person who had killed 168 people just 90 minutes before, not knowing it. local law enforcement, individuals quickly went through the debris trying to find individuals to save and evidence to be able to identify who this is, and within a few hours they found the ryder truck.
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they called the rentalcompany, identified, did a composite sketch and found out within hours who this might be, a guy named mcvaivment they found out he was already in jail. he had been picked up by trooper charlie hanger and before he was released, because he was in the process of being released, they were able to hold him and be able to unwind a horrific crime. it's incredible local law enforcement, it's an incredible task that happened. within 40 hours of that event occurring, a gentleman named merrick garland had come from d.c. where he worked in the department of justice to oklahoma to help on the federal side of the prosecution along with thousands of other people from around the country. our state and our city was overwhelmed with the compassion of people around the country as we saw what happened and merrick garland was one of those.
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we are grateful as a community for what he did in the prosecution of tim mcveigh and what he did against terry particular oles. we are grateful for his work there. but today on this floor of this senate, the implication was laid out twofold. one is, since judge garland served the country and did that he deserves something else. i have never met judge garland. i'll meet him next week and quite frankly look him in the face and say, thank you for your service to oklahoma, and to make it clear again, the same position we've been in before he started the process, there will be no nomination this year. he doesn't deserve a lifetime onto the bench because of his faithful service to our country and community, as is being alluded to. the politics of it really, really deeply struck me as an oklahoman that for some reason today, of all days, the tragedy
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that happened of 168 people and their death 21 years ago suddenly became paraded out here as a political prop. one of the senators even standing with a picture of a dead child behind him, like she is a prop. this child is not a prop for politics. she has a name. she was identified as a toddler. she was one year and one day old. she was killed in the murrah building the day after her one-year birthday. she's not some random toddler. her name is bailey. and she is not to be used as a prop for politics in the supreme court nomination process. it is actually fair game to talk about the record of judge
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garland and what he has done. we are grateful as oklahomaians for his service to our state and to our nation to put away those awful terrorists. but to use a child that was killed in the murrah building bombing as a prop so far exceeds the line that i had to come and speak about it and say, i'm absolutely offended, and i should be. 21 years ago today we remember. it is the statement that comes up to oklahomans over and over again. we remember. we remember the victims. we remember the survivors. we remember the first responders. we remember the thousands of people who came from across the country to help us. we remember, and we will continue to remember, but don't do politics with the life and
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death of children and adults in oklahoma city. let's keep this where it should be. we can have the debate about process. do not draw this in. with that, mr. president, i yield back.
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mr. johnson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. johnson: mr. president, i rise today to urge my colleagues to confirm michael missile, the nominee for the department of veterans affairs inspector general. for far too long our nation's veterans have been without a permanent watchdog in place to ensure that the v.a. affords
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them the care that they deserve. i have seen the damage that acting leadership in the v.a. office inspector general has done in my own state of wisconsin. numerous veterans of the facility suffered for years through dangerous prescription practices, retaliation and a culture of fear. the v.a. office of inspector general under acting leadership conducted a multiyear investigation of the facility but then swept the allegations under the rug. the secret report that was hidden from veterans, the public, and congress. months after the report was finalized and closed, jason simcsvski died of a lethal cocktail of over a dozen different drugs at the facility. another wisconsin veteran, thomas bayer, died after being
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treated at the toma v.a. facility. mr. bayer's daughter told me had she known about the inspector general's report, she never would have taken her father to the facility, and he might be alive today. in other words, had the v.a. office of inspector general been transparent and published the findings of its investigation, these tragic outcomes could very well have been avoided. under acting leadership, the v.a. office of inspector general has tried to stonewall my investigation in the tragedies at the toma v.a. medical facility. it's actions have shown that under acting leadership, the v.a. office of inspector general has become too close to the v.a. the agency it is charged with overseeing. the acting leadership lacked the fundamental tenets of transparency and accountability that all inspectors general should have and that can literally mean the difference between life and death.
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i was forced to resort to a subpoena to obtain the information about the tomah v.a. office of inspector general investigation and there are still some documents they have refisserefis -- refused to prod. for over a year i have urged president obama to appoint a permanent inspector general. i was pleased that president obama finally heeded my calls and quite honestly the calls of many of my colleagues when he nominated michael missile for the position late last year. the senate knee on homeland security and governmental affairs moved his nomination quickly after carefully considering his qualifications and we reported him out to the full senate immediately. i am hopeful that under mr. missal's leadership, the v.a. office of inspector general will restore veterans' trust in the inspector general's office, protect v.a. whistle-blowers and forge a new relationship with congress. but above all else, i hope
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mr. missal will use his position to help ensure the finest among us, receive the high quality care they deserve. i am confident that mr. missal is up to the task, and i thank him for agreeing to everybody is in this important role. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to executive session to consider the following nomination: calendar number 448 only with no other executive business in order. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. will the clerk report the nomination. the clerk: nomination, department of veterans affairs, michael joseph missal of maryland to be inspector gener general. a senator: mr. president, i know of no further debate on the nomination. the presiding officer: if there's no further debate, the question is on the nomination. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it.
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the nomination is confirmed. a senator: mr. president, i ask consent that 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. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator-- a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent that the committee on senate rules and administration be discharged from further consideration of senate 2755 and
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the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 2755, a bill to provide capital flown flags to the immediate family of firefighters and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection the committee is discharged. the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. johnson: i further ask that the bill be read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent that the banking, housing and urban affairs committee be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 2722 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 272 2-rbgs an act to require the secretary of the treasury to mint coins in recognition of the fight against breast cancer. the presiding officer: without objection the committee is
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discharged. the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. johnson: i further ask that the bill be read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of senate res. 431 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 431 recognizing the immeasurable benefits of the national 4-h program and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection joh. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. a senator: a roll call vote 53 i voted aye. it was my intense to vote know. i ask unanimous consent that i
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be permitted to change my vote since it will not affect the outcome. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: thank you, mr. president. mr. johnson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wisconsin. mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn till 9:30 a.m. wednesday, april 20. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the 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 resume consideration of senate 2012. the presiding officer: without objection. john if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned till
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>>
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>> solyndra 91 delegates are at stake in the york democratic primary. president, y we're going to remember the victims and families whose lives were forever changed by the were forever changed by the >> today we will remember a the victims and families whose lives are forever changed by a the bombing in oklahoma city 21 years ago. facs homegrown terrorism the
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worst act of homegrown terrorists and our nation has endured the destruction and loss of life was overwhelming.ir a firefighter. carrying a bloodied body of the toddler from the wreckage. of the joy we have had of children at that age we can only imagine the sadness to symbolize 160 innocent lives the impact of the loss of the local homeless city community was enormous. -- emergency services and victims support were quickly
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overwhelming as the days went by and it became clear of the resources were simply insufficient to respond for such a massive attack. so congress passed the victims of terrorism act of 1995. among important matters to create an emergency reserve d of those resources and act of terrorism to pray there would never be another that we had in my legislation. additl because of the state victim's assistance programs are quickly overwhelmed and
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this was critical for additional resources got to the field quickly.d we tal with the investigation of the prosecution of the oklahoma city bombers. was not we talked about the prosecution the chief justice that was nominated to the supreme court last month led to serve the of highest court in illinois and those that had the privilege of being a prosecutor ned will face what he did and immediately upon hearing the devastation of the news with the deputy attorney general to say you need to send me there. helpe
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the next day then mayor became a the highest ranking official on the ground in oklahoma city who helped to oversee every aspect of the criminal investigation in response and years later he still considers his work the most important. city, the commitment during that difficult period with the citizens of oklahoma city in leading a lasting impression and on the people that he served. the and with the reflections and
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of the nomination of the supreme court last month oklahoma museum executive director said we're so proud. to keep the survivors for a team of former prosecutors. and then written to highlight with the terrorism case and then from 20 yearsmmitn ago and the worst crime committed on american soil we cannot find a better judge.et for a more honorable man i
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ask consent as part of the record. >> without objection. >> so to deny the public hearing by senate republicans no nominee has ever been treated that way as a treat chief judge garland. since hearings began in 1916 his never divided supreme court nominee hearing. my friends are republicans you have no good reason for americans by a two / one margin to have a public hearing with the judiciary committee based on more than four decades for the hearings to take place next week. at instead said republicans continue to ignore the
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american people. it does not matter constitutionally with the nomination is made an election year. of the senate republicans theirt even schoolchildren know that presidents are elected in four year terms and have to carry out there constitutional duties through january 20th of their last year. senators cannot just sit out a for the election in november but remember that what the senate has done to
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put aside this body has done that time and again to carry out the constitutional duty for the supreme court for cry hope they will carry out that duty with public service who has served the country so well on april 19th, 1985 a rented truck filled with fertilizer and diesel fuel exploded big - - exploded in front of the federal building in oklahoma city. the impact was devastating. the third was destroyed. 168 men women and children lost their lives several hundred seriously wounded. it seemed at that time that was the deadliest terrorist attack ever to take place on american soil.were lost and cald
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the oklahoma city bombing shocked america in the days after april 19 those who committed the evil embarked swiftly to justice they said one man his name was garland the principal associate deputy attorney general to volunteer to lead the investigation he had to do a. and then along period time. to gather evidence against timothy mcveigh and terry nichols.he every step along the way is meticulous.
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there is so much at stake. to take most seriously to be in touch with the survivors and their families. would keep them in the loop to carry with them and all times the names of the victims so he would never forget the historic importance of this insight -- assignment he would put aside his work the mosthe important thing i have ever done in my life. to help perpetrators come to justice to earn the respect and gratitude of the lowe's that is the definition of public service. the record is clear that erica garland has done his job diligently and conscientiously. t and leader of the federal
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bench to earn a reputation as a workhorse leaving nod task unfinished. several dozen recently went to the united states senateef and here's what they said. unreeling tinged work ethic. he treated everyone with the same care and attention to detail. his job and with a devotion to the work this is a man who has received extraordinary grace because he did his job which comes as no surprise that when when barack obama announced garland was his choice for the nominee to fill a vacancy with the supreme court a pulled on his experience unfortunately
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they see a historic blockade the senate has never, never in history denied a hearing or a vote to a presidential nominee. it has never ever happened before. about two months ago the deaths of justice scalia led to the almost immediate announcement that there would be no consideration or no hearing or no vote by president barack obama senator mcconnell and further to say he would not even meet with them and. since he was nominated to the supreme court says the
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justice has passed. what has the republican majority leader decided to ignore that president of history? what is he turned his back on our constitution? that says explicitly article to section to the president of the united states shall y appoint a nominee of the supreme court our founding fathers understood the you can play politics with vacancies so the president met his constitutional obligation it is to meet its constitutional responsibilities to consent on the nominee. it is not automatic there is no guarantee it would be approved by the senate but it is our responsibility to ask the questions that have
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a right to view this nominee to to answer important questions if he is prepared to serve on the supreme court to bring integrity to that appointment. and then this moment.n the only argument to let the american people decide whether a democratic or republican president but what they ignore is the president being reelected not to a three-year term but a four year term. not he is the president of the united states this year and has the power of the office this year. vot
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by a plurality of 5 million votes the american people made that decision. 5 million votes cast over mitt romney the decision of the american people was this president shall govern not three years and two months but for years. if the shoe did is easy for you to say that republicans should treat the democratic president if the shoe was on the afoot? we have a chance to take a look back to see what happens if the roles were reversed and a republican president ronald reagan 1988 with the vacancy of the supreme court said is nominee to the senate which was controlled by democrats
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degree have an announcement ter? that we will not consider any nominee? an if they want to even meet with this nominee? court to give the opportunity of a hearing where he answers questions under oath which confer to on the supreme court in republican president for the last year he was in office to fill the vacancy with the cooperation of the democratic majoritytr in the senate the tables have turned it is a democratic president and a a republican controlled senate they are ignoring maya history and the president to plan on ignoring the nominee. street
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it is the unprecedented obstruction and to include a very small audience to listen to the oral arguments before the supreme court of the critical decision affecting the lives ofme millions of people looking up to the shares of the supreme court there are only eight. on if this court on this case cannot resolve with the o majority it invites confusion and chaos it is confusion and chaos to haveca their constitutional duty. the s
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a hearing so under oath. people can draw their own conclusions and then a vote on the floor so to reject a presidential nominee to the supreme court so the whole senate could speak to the nominee. and garland deserves nothing less.
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>> good afternoon. good to see all. i don't have any statement so we can go straight to questions. i want to start with the legislation you described yesterday with the strongest
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concerns with the context of the whole notion to be at stake but it is tailored to the sarin -- to the situations on american soil. but according to this legislation is immunity from government? >> is a scenario where congress would open a loophole to allow individual americans to have sustained harm or being given an opportunity for our it is possible that other countries have not been
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tailored so specifically. that does open the united states to risk to put our country or were taxpayers and diplomats in legal jeopardy in that way it is unwise particularly when there is an alternative mechanism for us to resolve these types of issues the essence of diplomacy. a special time talking yesterday but the relationship with saudi arabia a relationship characterized by counterterrorism cooperation that he insists the national security the government thinks it makes the saudi people safer as well. and to cooperate.
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but there are not differences but substantial differences into of those meeting is prepared for this week that is the point that is the essence of our concern and our proposal how they to be resolved moving forward. it to have similar concerns. and with countries around the world. >> but for those due to pass legislation could they do
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that anyway? how does that open the floodgates. because of what they said with that example is in the context. to follow our example with the economic decisions that we make. with great benefits for our people. is setting up legal structures. and this is the point to take a step like this to enhance the rest to the united states but the concern is much broader than that.
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and sometimes what is related to economic business with the function being of the state. with the national security operations. other then the group of 9/11 widows. and then asking to meet with the president. so the families of the victims to feel that diplomatic track you describe the now will be their request to meet with them. >> and let me just say so
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did those profound pains for those who lost loved ones and 9/11 have endured. and that is why this administration has been so committed it comes to compensation or fighting or health care benefits for those who risk their lives to rescue people who were victims of the 9/11 attacks or a engaged in the yearlong effort. day obama administration was a leader in those efforts to advocate for those who lost so much john and 11 in those who were responsible for the rebuilding process.
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and with the neck and 11 commission of the report indicates it was made public years ago that there is no evidence the saudi government knowingly supported 9/11. that is a fact. but presumably up vesicant policy concerns. and from what they have endured and this president has work to enhance national security part of that is
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through ramped up cooperation with the saudi government in terms of looking for ways to work with other countries to find common ground the president can work effectively and in pursuit of that goal. >> israeli government said sometimes year outrageously frustrated does the president agree with those comments? >> i think the way i would describing the situation we stand shoulder to shoulder with a national security interest united states provides tremendous
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assistance to ensure their security that level of assistance and cooperation has not wavered at all. despite those policy differences that those have work to ensure the relationship is not yet in partisan politics with the political ideology that importance of our alliance transcends that it is not just subscribe to that theory to put that into practice and even the prime minister and netanyahu has acknowledged that security
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cooperation between united states and israel under the obama leadership is unprecedented. what is the prospect of the crisis? what are the other options? and with that diplomacy basket as it ought work? >> obviously our approach is a multi faceted strategy with a not insignificant e use of military force but we have to acknowledge all along that if our efforts were focused solely on military action that we will it not be pursuing our interest anytime soon. what continues to be true is the terrible situation we
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see right now as a result is a result of the side it with a political transition that we like to see inside of syria we will continue to push both sides to engage constructively to bring about the political transition to have a protracted conversation in yesterday to use that influence to compel them that lives up in that context to constructively participate in the political talks. home to acknowledge that the
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talks have been postponed there are still technical discussions as we speak so there is still a path forward a year and it is understandable neck to put it mildly on the part of the opposition to see repeated violations of the possibilities by the regime with the tendency of the part of the regime to deprive some syrians up part of the goal is to create a death of organizations with communities inside of syria
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and we have seen the regime to block the shipments or in some cases all the needed supplies to get through. so that position of the opposition and groups is understandable. to steadfastly live up to that possibility and we will continue to make that case is to continue to make the case with the influence of the regime in the context to
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get back to the negotiating table. >> a think that opposition was the characterization of there's still a passport for diplomacy. what are the other options? >> right now this is the option b are pursuing this is why we continue to make the case there are ongoing technical discussions and not papering over the fact so with a commitment to this process by is understandable to see a commitment on the part of the regime with hostilities to pave the way for successful negotiations.
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>> our role is and we have seen recent days that situation to defray more rapidly and to make progress with the political talks we will engage all parties to encourage both sides to come together with the conversations to work with the international community
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in a secretary carter the recently stepped up the pressure inside iraq. i would not rule out additional steps to ramp up the pressure. found the national security team to increase the pressure on ijssel. in just midinette cia last week with different elements of our proposal on an ongoing basis. >> a couple of questions from yesterday it seems like they conceded the point of view there isn't enough money for the white house
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for sheer. -- here but it seems to break down especially with a low priority for the 4 million to be covered since it is already a low priority why do they need a special legal status? why are you pushing for that? >> is one that political opponents should be warranted arguing these individuals that are the parents of american citizens or legal permanent residents to the united states. that is why they are a low priority they have been here before.
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several years already but the case of the above the administration has made to bring them out of the shadows to submit them to a background check so we can expedite for deportation. hope that is also good for the economy and for deficits. when we talk about bringing much needed accountability right now you have individuals that our low priority candidates for deportation and they haven't been subject to a background check or they are not paying taxes right now. . .
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it's good for having a system that's in line with our values both in terms of following the law but also acknowledging that our heritage in this country of immigrants. all this policy is structured in this. it's why the critics have a tough case to make and why people like senator ruby have described the current system in place that doesn't require undocumented immigrants to pay taxes. that's why he described the current system is the closest thing we have to amnesty. that scared we have made and
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that's why as a policy matter we believe it's quite potent. i understand that a different kind of argument is being made before the court date is one that's rooted in the present legal authority to order the section . we feel we can have that argument on quite strong grounds as well. c is what the president wants to do though an unfair burden on states like texas and apparently the other 25 who are complaining in that in the case of texas what they are saying is that they'll have four and a thousand people that they are going to have to give driver's licenses to and that that's going to cost them more money. isn't that something that the federal government should he considering? >> i will take two things about that. the first thing is the chief law enforcement officials in the state of texas don't agree with the attorney general of texas. they have and take the same position that the obama administration those babies are law enforcement officials and largest counties in the state.
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dallas county, austin texas which is in travis county, dallas county all agree that this actually, that the policies the president has put forward would make the community safer. they are strongly supportive of the system that would bring undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and submit them to a background check. these law enforcement officials who are responsible for the safety of their communities understand that this would make their committee safer. the other thing i happen to know about texas. texas is a state that relies on income taxes and on sales taxes, let me take it back, not income taxes but sales taxes and business taxes for the revenue base. their revenue base would be enhanced if you had undocumented immigrants as a part of the system and paying taxes. it certainly would be good for the federal government that there would be a cascading benefits for states as well.
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and that's the argument that we have made, particularly when it comes to these questions about public safety, leaving public safety professionals, law enforcement officials in the state of texas do not agree with the texas attorney general. they do agree with the secretary of homeland security and president obama who believe these undocumented immigrants should be subjected to a background check. >> on this trip a president announced yesterday that he would visit not only the head of state of britain and the queen which seems like that's justifiable but that the president and mrs. obama have lunch with prince william and his wife. what's the justification for that? is that something the american taxpayer should be paying for? is this a celebrity get-together? >> the president is traveling to london and will spend a couple of days in the united kingdom doing some important work meeting with one of our closest
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allies, country with whom we have a special relationship to advance our national security interests. the president's extensive conversations with prime minister cameron, they will be focused on a range of issues related to the global economy, related to climate change and certainly related to counterterrorism and homeland security that are critical to our national interests. president obama has found prime minister cameron to be an effective interlocutor and an effective partner in accomplishing goals better than prioritize buyer countries. so this is an important trip. what's also important was the president also spent time meeting with other leaders in the united kingdom. the president is looking forward to the opportunity that he'll have two have lunch with the queen but also have a nice dinner with the duke and duchess of cambridge. it certainly is an important part of public diplomacy but i think it will be one of the more
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pleasant aspects of the trip to the president is certainly looking forward to. c can i follow-up on that? >> i will come back to you. >> it thanks josh yesterday you talked about the 20 pages and the fact of the president is basically said that it's in the hands of dni clapper right now but after the briefing yesterday charlie rose interview the president and the obstinate he had read the 28 pages. he said i have a sense of what's in there. i think it's safe to assume that means he hasn't read them. and i said why hasn't he read them great am sure you would tell me that's in the hands of clapper. there's a sense coming out from chatter around washington and on line there's a sense that the white house is downplaying these 48 -- 20 pages. also the president said to charlie rose a try not to personally get engaged in each and every decision that's been made on classification.
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as we discussed yesterday this is a pretty important the classification decision. as the white house downplaying it and is he going to read it eventually? will this be his decision in the end or will he simply follow clappers advise? >> i think what the president was referring to in his conversation with charlie rose is the fact that he's been briefed about the contents of those 20 pages in the president noted as i did yesterday there is a well-established process for the intelligence community to do a review to determine which if any of those pages can be released to the public without damaging our national security. there's a well-established process for considering what i would have knowledge are important questions. i don't think there has been an attempt by anybody at the white house to downplay this effort. in fact i think there's a concerted attempt by everybody the white house to make sure that this follows the standard process. i think that's what the american people would expect when we are talking about something as
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significant as information related to the terror attacks of 9/11. so i think the president is reared rating the position that i try to articulate yesterday which is that there is a well-established process for considering these questions and it's a process that we are following. at this point it is too early to say whether or not the president would weigh in on that process. there is such a well-established process for considering these questions. our intelligence community understands what's necessary to protect the american public. they also understand that there are is a legitimate public interest in more of this information being made public if it can be. and that's the question that they are working through right now as it relates to these materials. i will just reiterate that there is already extensive public material that has been made public by the 9/11 commission that is a separate body but an outside lure of an entity that took a close look at what
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happened in the run-up to 9/11, laid out a whole series of reforms that should be implemented to ensure that something like that never happens again. and that report was quite clear about the evidence that they found and didn't find about what led to the terror attacks of 9/11 and what they concluded i think merits repeating which is that they found no evidence that the saudi government as an institution or senior saudi government officials knowingly supported the 9/11 plotters. that's an important fact in there certainly is public interest in understanding of that fact. the report has been available for years now. c just one more follow-up from entered their view. the president at one point to the single most important question i'm asked these days from other world leaders is what's going on with your election's? have you been present when the president has explained what's going on with our elections to
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other leaders? what is the president into that question when he's talking to foreign leaders? >> the kind of questions the president gets in those settings is the same type of answers he's given publicly one aspect question. i think the president makes this point in the interview as well. the president doesn't just get this question from people overseas. this is the kind of question is on the minds of their kids across the country right now as well and i don't think there are any easy answers to it. the reason that the president raised the in the context of this interview is he was asked given all of the built-in advantages we have the country, we have got an economy that's the envy of the world, we have got a military that is stronger than any other military in the history of the planet, we have a society and a culture that other
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countries and other cultures and other populations find remarkably attractive. that gives us a lot of influence around the world. all of those are good things and the question is where is the source of the potential downfall the argument that the president has made him the number of occasions publicly and privately both at home and overseas is that our greatest risk, or the significant risk here given that dynamic lies within the dysfunction of our politics. we need to continue to demonstrate an ability to manage all those advantages and preserve that edge. >> does that apply to both parties? >> president acknowledged that was the case. the best example is there's a tendency particularly when the united states has so many built-in advantages over other countries which is to turn inward and he suggested we should try to keep people out or build walls or we should not seek to engage countries around
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the world. that's exactly the wrong response. if we want to continue to cultivate all the advantage to be we need to look for opportunities to more deeply engaged around the world. that will enhance our national security and make our economy even more vibrant and filled with opportunity that already is. there is no doubt that there's a strain of that argument that's being advanced by politicians in both the democratic and republican party. the president has advocated a different approach and at least in the context of our elections the president will have numerous opportunities i expect to make an argument to the boaters about the path that he is chosen to pursue which is two more deeply engage the world and continue to build the kind of multilateral relationships that are critical to the continued strength of our economy and that are surely critical to our ongoing efforts to advance their interest around the world, to protect our
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national security and protect our homeland. gregory. >> thank you. lisa monaco gave a speech last month in which she promised more transparency on civilian casualties for u.s. airstrikes. can you give us an update on where that is? >> this is something that the administration is still working on and it has been a few weeks and she has given her speech but i don't have an update for you in terms of the timeframe when something like that might be released that we will suit me keep you posted. >> pentagon officials are telling us that there are changes in the rules of engagement against the islamic state that gives the authorization for airstrikes to commanders closer to the field and there's now a sliding scale on how many civilian casualties are except little, up to 10 depending on the value of the target, the imminent threat posed by that target etc.. to the president authorized these changes to the rules of engagement and how do you square
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those with his attempts to sort of balance the prosecution of the war against the islamic state with upholding a american values he talks about? >> well i don't have a detailed assessment of the rules of engagement to share with you right now. the department of defense kenmore effectively talk about that. what i can tell you is there has been a principle that our country has long subscribe to that the president believes is a priority, which is that a blunt assessment of both moral questions and strategic questions lead to the conclusion that the department of defense of the united states of america goes to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties. again, i think the moral questions that are inherent fair are obvious and important.
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but what's also true is that the united states military undertaking operations in the middle east that result in the death of innocent civilians only makes it harder to accomplish our goals. and that's why you've seen our national security officials be justifiably proud of the great links we have gone to to avoid those civilian casualties, certainly to greater lengths than our adversaries in this conflict. and it's why the administration continues to look for ways to be more transparent about those efforts. there is a regular process gregory that i know you've taken note of where the department of defense makes regular public
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declarations about the results of specific operations. and those results include an accounting of potential impacts on noncombatants. and this kind of accountability and transparency is something that the resident believes is consistent with our values and is important. it's something the department of defense continues to do in something that the president is seeking to expand upon. it's an important part as i was mentioning to chip up why the united states and our values continue to give us important credibility around the world. and when we undertake operations were -- or engage in tactics that undermine our values that undermines our national security. that's exactly why the president example outlawed the use of torture during his first week in office, because of the impact
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that has on both moral questions but also on the broader national security considerations about living up to the high values that we have established for ourselves. suzanne. >> i want to go back to the president's comments yesterday in criticizing benjamin netanyahu and the prime minister there. the present course israel's own is not one that is likely to secure its existence as a jewish state. he goes on to say he expresses overwhelming frustration. he talks about the unshakable bond between the u.s. and israel but can you talk about whether or not the person shares the vice president said the men's the feelings of the overwhelming frustration on the israeli part of the government that he has not promoted this peace accord? >> i think what is true is that this administration particularly secretary kerry and vice president biden and recent obama have expended significant time
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and energy and resources to facilitating conversations between the israelis and the palestinians to find a two-state solution. that is a policy that american presidents in both parties have pursued and none have pursued it more aggressively than this administration. you will recall a couple of years ago as my colleague jen psaki can attest when she was worked for the state department that secretary kerry was frequent visitor to that region in trying to bring all sides particularly the israelis and and the palestinians to the negotiating table in a constructive fashion that could yield it constructive for salt. unfortunately that progress did not materialize and that is the source of significant frustration. there certainly is frustration with both sides that we have encountered but we have also
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been clear that, and this is what vice president biden i think is ultimately talking about here, the united states has long supported the idea of a two-state solution because it has the potential to resolve one of the most combustible flashpoints in an already volatile region of the world. but it also happens to be a clear strategic interest of our closest ally in the middle east, israel. so resolving this question is not just a wished for legacy item of the administration. it is a position that we take an advocate for because of our sincere concern for the national security of our closest ally in the middle east, israel. that is what we are focused on and the inability to make that progress is frustrating and
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that's what vice president eitan was giving voice to yesterday. see that in light of that frustration the president resigned that a two-state solution for peace between israelis and the palestinians will not happen under this administration. >> the extent of the differences between the two sides are significant enough that it's not something that's going to get resolved in the next nine months. >> on the 9/11 legislation both democratic candidates who are fighting for the presidency of the nomination hillary clinton and bernie sanders support the legislation that allows those victims of 9/11 to sue foreign governments including saudi arabia if they were in fact involved in those attacks. the president and the most recent bill of that's it dangerous precedent. is the president concerned at all that if they were in office
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would go ahead and support that legislation that you say is so dangerous to the administration and its relationship with other foreign countries? >> i will let the individual candidates explain the positions that they have on these issues. we have had an opportunity to discuss their positions on this legislation extensively. as i noted i was gratified to see speaker ryan indicate a shared concern about the potential unintended consequences of this bill, so we are going to continue to make our case to members of congress and help people understand that what some might view as a way to offer support and well-deserved assistance to those families who lost so much on 9/11 bears significant serious unintended consequences that would endanger
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principles that the united states significantly benefits from. >> why would there be daylight between the president and his former secretary of state regarding something is so critical to united states relationship with other word leaders on this issue like. >> i think i've gone to great lengths to try to help you understand what our position is that i would encourage you to check with secretary clinton seen for an explanation of why she's taken the position that she has. >> is there any concern from the present that if you had a dog that at present following him that something as important and potentially damaging to u.s. relations as you say with other leaders would move forward? >> again i think that's a hypothetical. this is something that's still being debated in congress and the presidential election is still something that's a subject of intense debate on the campaign trail as well. what we are focused on is continuing to make the case to the public and to congress what our concerns for this
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legislation are. jordan. >> things josh. in addition to speaker ryan's concerns about the bill senator graham has locked legislation in the senate by placing a hold on it. is the white house encouraged that there is maybe seems to be some momentum behind blocking this bill in congress and what is the white house doing to try to cultivate more support to try to stop the bill from passing? >> i'm not aware of any presidential level conversations about this legislation that have come up with members of congress but i know there have been senior members and administration including white house officials who have been in touch with senior officials on capitol hill about our concerns. we certainly are adjusted in a dialogue on this issue. look, in the current political climate bipartisan support is rare. but i think in this instance it's an indication of just how significant these questions are
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and we are obviously gratified that there are other republicans who have taken a close look at this legislation and recognized the serious unintended consequences that could result from its passage. jc. >> thank you josh. as the president first lady lunch with her majesty queen elizabeth ii and his royal highness the duke of edinburgh on friday at windsor castle, it is the day after the queens 90th birthday. now the longest reigning monarch in british history. what special birthday wish that the president be giving the queen from the american people as he has a special tribute to this very historic day? >> the present will have an opportunity to speak to all of you during his visit to london. he'll do it in his conference with prime minister cameron at
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the conclusion of their meeting in the president will be given an opportunity to offer his public work they wish is in the context of that news conference. i don't want to speak for him to extensively but the president has had an opportunity to spend time with queen elizabeth on a four idea vacations and each time the president has come away with a deeper personal affection for her. she is an important symbol of the country with whom the united states has special relationship but she also is a human being whose charisma and sense of nobility and honor is something that i think people around the world are attracted to rate and that is something that she conveys not just on the broad public stage but it's also something that is evident in the president's personal interactions with her and that's
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an important part of why the president has enjoyed every opportunity he has had to spend time with her in private and certainly what he's looking forward to his friday afternoon lunch. >> certainly there's a lot to learn from someone who's been around for so long and has been through so much. >> she certainly is seen as much human history from a rather unique perspective as anyone else. >> another question about the president's remarks about j street last night eric critical premise or netanyahu. what good does it do anybody for the vice president to make israel are allied into a bill in? >> it would vigorously disagree with what that description of what vice president biden said. i think vice president biden himself having completed a trip to israel but then allows for six weeks here is somebody who understands the relationship between our two countries. it was on a trip that vice president biden took israel in
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the first term that president netanyahu indicated the security corporation between the united states and israel under president obama's leadership was unprecedented. i think what is also true is when you have a strong relationship with your allies you can also comfortably disagreed in public and there are areas of disagreement as a matter of policy between our two countries. we certainly have gone to great lengths to try to resolve those differences. prime minister netanyahu has not hesitated to make his own differences with the obama administration public on in some ways the largest stage imaginable which is by dressing a joint session of congress. so i think that's an indication of the fact that our two nations in the leaders of our nations can disagree on important policy issues in a way that doesn't undermine other fundamentals of our own lion's and the importance of our security cooperation. >> what about the timing though because the vice president's criticism -- criticism came just a couple hours after a bus
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bombing in israel were two dozen people or injured. how has that hurt -- officials came out and had some not so nice things to say about you guys. >> by you guys i assume you mean all americans. i think the point here is that vice president biden is somebody who has dedicated his career to strengthening the alliance between our two countries and he certainly has succeeded in doing that. he did that and has visited that country just a month or so ago, and our policy differences do not in any way overshadow our ongoing commitment an unbreakable alliance and a security relationship that is unwavering. >> the last question, and friday the paris climate agreement is going to be signed. what should american citizens expect to be different on
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saturday after this thing has been signed? is there going to be a tangible benefit to everyday americans that they will see or is this just one more step toward making us look good in front of the rest of the world? >> i think this is another example of american leadership. there will be a substantial number of countries including some with large economies joining the united states in making a serious international commitment to fighting climate change into fighting carbon pollution. this has long-term benefits for future generations of americans. it also has shorter term benefits for significant economic policy decisions that have been made in this country. this is going to open up a global market for the kind of her noble energy technology that u.s. companies are at the cutting-edge of. ..
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mac we know companies are going to invest in that technology. it has the potential to create jobs in it to industry. something the president is enthusiastic about. it also has a more medium term influence. >> want to go back to the president's decision to approval to deploy special operation forces. for the first time the u.s. special forces, they will not be
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behind the fences in a camp somewhere. yesterday in his interview the president said the u.s. special operations were backing up the iraqi forces. it's unrealistic to believe that when the shooting starts the special operation forces are going to retreat and watch it happen. the american people need to know if they will be engaged in combat.

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