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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  December 7, 2016 7:40am-10:01am EST

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sympathy with the honorable member and she speaks on behalf of of thousands of parents who have to go through that anguish. as the prime minister said there are mechanisms in place for financial support from central government to be available at local authorities are free and many of them to waive funeral fees for child burials. and ministerial colleagues about the honorable lady request for meeting. >> vital for conditions to get to work, incredibly frustrating for my constituents, cross-country operate 63 services a day between birmingham and bristol and only three on the way, my right honorable friend ensure ministers extending train operators franchise do not allow cross-country to go treating it like a leopard to be avoided at all cost and license to deliver
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service to every city deserves. >> my honorable friend, as always, speaking on behalf of his constituents. we know it is a place you want to be able to visit frequently and easily. the government is investing record amounts to improving our railways in regard to a particular case to transport ministers working with cross-country to see how the gloucester service can be improved. >> order.
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[inaudible conversations] >> c-span2 we leave the british house of commons as members move on to other business. you have been watching prime minister's question time aired live on wednesdays at 7:00 a.m. eastern when parliament is in session. quick reminder you can see this weekend session sunday night at 9:00 eastern and pacific on c-span. for more information go to c-span.org and click on series to view every program we have aired from the british house of commons since october 1989. we would like your comments about prime ministers questions via twitter in the hashtag pmq. all day saturday american history tv on c-span3 featuring programs about the 75th anniversary of the japanese attacks on pearl harbor beginning at 8 am eastern national archives christopher
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carter reads from u.s. navy deadlines describing eventss on ships that were under attack in pearl harbor followed by the pearl harbor casualty barrier of john lindley at arlington national cemetery, one of the 429 casualties on the uss oklahoma, his remains were recently identified 75 years after the attack. tour pearl harbor attack sites and memorials on the island of oahu with national park service site historian daniel martinez. at 9:30 president franklin roosevelt's december 8, 1941, speech to congress asking for a declaration of war followed by the pearl harbor 75th anniversary ceremony at pearl harbor cohosted by the national park service and the u.s. navy and we are taking your calls and sweets live. the author of pacific crucible, war at sea in the pacific 1941-1942 discussing the pacific war from the attack on pearl harbor through the us victory over the japanese at the battle
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of midway. at noon eastern we are live with paul travers, otter of eyewitness to infamy, oral history of pearl harbor december 7, 1941. giving a behind the scenes account of the japanese attack, 200 interviews with pearl harbor veterans. at 1:00 the pearl harbor 75th anniversary ceremony from the national world war ii memorial in washington dc with keynote remarks by arizona senator john mccain. saturday on american history tv on c-span3. yesterday the senate foreign relations committee held a hearing on iran and their connections with terrorist groups in the middle east. former defense and intelligence officials testified about that country's network of paramilitary groups. yesterday iran's president speaking at the university of tehran said the government would not let donald trump destroyed a treaty on nuclear weapons that was reached with western powers. this hearing is two hours and begins with legislative business and a resolution honoring
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retiring member barbara boxer. [inaudible conversations] >> the foreign relations committee will come to order. we don't have a quorum yet but we will go ahead and make the front end out of the way so we can move quickly through it but i want to thank everybody for being here. on the agenda for today we have ten pieces of legislation, one treaty, one nomination is multiple foreign service officer lists. first we will consider six foreign service officer lists of over 400 personnel referred to the committee. these appointments and promotions, thank all these officers for their service and consider the nomination of miss
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lockedear, former us ambassador to malaysia and thank my colleagues for helping the committee take the steps forward on current nominations today and consider resolution of ratification that supports the ascension of montenegro to the north atlantic treaty organization and thank our chairman, ron johnson, for having a great hearing on that when we had so many challenging things occurring at the time and allowing us to move ahead. thank you very much. onto negra has supplemented tough reforms to address corruption and other rule of law standards. more work by the montenegrin government will be necessary and we should encourage in establishing standards, this committee review the protocol i believe the ascension of montenegro to full nato membership is in the interest of the united states.
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and we consider divided korean american families, would like to thank senator kirk, congressman wrangell and chairman voice for being choice for korean american families, i support this resolution. next on the agenda, expressing concern over disappearance of david and aiden. i would like to thank senator lee for his leadership in this matter and pleased to support this resolution. i express my sympathy to the native family and the ongoing uncertainty about their son david. confident the united states government will continue to investigate. any information that may come to light regarding david's disappointment -- disappearance or any americans is missing abroad. we consider honoring the life of the king of thailand and thank senator hatch to sing this timely bipartisan solution. on the agenda today 535
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expressing consent of the senate regarding trafficking in the united states, mexico and china and a prescription, opioid and hair one overdose claiming thousands of lives each year, i think senators markey and rubio for their leadership on this issue. expressing profound concern about the ongoing political and economic, social and humanitarian crisis in venezuela urging the release of political prisoners and calling for respect of constitutional and democratic processes. i think senator rubio, menendez, kaine, and boxer for bringing this situation before the committee, the situation is tragic and people are suffering, and find a peaceful, electoral way out of this crisis and consider providing the approval
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and agreement for cooperation between the government of the united states and the government of norway concerning peaceful uses of nuclear energy. this will cause the nuclear cooperation agreement with norway to come into effect in advance of the completion of the 90 day congressional review period which occurs after we have adjourned on december 16th. absent this affirmative approval the administration will complete trilateral servicing agreement with norway, not subject to congressional review or oversight. this committee has reviewed the agreement, held briefings and a hearing and found the agreement not to be objectionable though we wish the administration as senator markey will echo and the transfer of storage and reprocessing of spent fuel. we will also consider hr 3949, us caribbean strategic engagement of 2016.
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i want to thank representatives -- i want to thank cardin for joining us to seek partnership in the united states. hr 44, education for all act of 2016 is on the agenda. this restores our committee and its role in providing authorities and direction for usaid without such guidance from the committee, hope for over a decade. this bill authorizes programs to help countries provide basic education, lack of which is significant barrier to economic growth which we will also consider hr 2849, the growth enhancement act of 2015, has been an important part of our engagement with africa. this bill asks the president to direct more resources toward helping businesses trade with the united states.
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the millennium challenge corporation mcc amendment represents the bill the committee approved at our june 23rd markup. i want to commend senators cardin, isaacson, tunes and brass over his constructive input on how to improve mcc oversight. this includes the recommendations -- need to take a breath here. we will consider hr 1150, international religious freedom act. i think senator cardin for working with us to bring it before the committee, this bill as amended reinforces the 1998 law to strengthen the role of ambassador at large for international religious freedom and enhances congressional oversight of the state
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department. this legislation enjoys broad interfaith support and seeking to have this bill passed in the senate by unanimous consent so amended legislation may be taken up and approved by the house this week. lastly, this is not only agenda, we have a resolution i would like to present to senator boxer. this is going to be her last business meeting and we appreciate all you have done in the united states senate. serving the senate since 1993 senator boxer has been the longest-serving women in the history of this committee on foreign relations with 18 years of service. i want to thank her for patriotism and commitment to this institution in the country. when i asked the senate and was elected 10 years ago senator
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boxer was well known in tennessee but i want to say it has been a privilege for me not to know you as a well-known senator but to know you well. it has been a blessing, we wish you well. [applause] [applause] >> mister chairman. if i might say a word and perhaps yield to senator boxer and say a few more things about the day's agenda and our committee, one of the great pleasures of my life serving in the united states senate, the friends that i made.
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i knew senator boxer when she was congresswoman boxer and i knew her incredible talent that we became buddies in the united states senate. people of california have been blessed to have an incredible advocate on their behalf on so many issues but the nation has in blessed in the global community has been blessed, so many things we can talk about on environmental issues but on this committee what you have done, women and girls around the world is incredible. in afghanistan you have made a huge difference in the lives of so many young children and how much we appreciate what you have done. we are very proud, congratulations for an incredible career. >> i want to say this is an honor to have this resolution that we don't agree on anything.
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no one said i signed in protest. that was good. each of you as i look at you we worked so well together. sometimes, once in a while, not that often but i can truly say every member of this committee i worked with on issues we all care about, jim on the ethics committee being dedicated to our work and dozens matter when you are in their what party you are in and a lot of my love for this committee comes from the same point. these two gentlemen, the chairman and the ranking member working hand in glove constantly in an age when it is not expected and we are so thrilled to see dirksen senate office building 7 versus politics stops at the water's edge is right. this committee has to be
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nonpartisan because nothing less is at stake than the security of every man, woman and child we fight for every day. i will close with this. it is hard to talk fast but i will close with this. i have seen john kerry, richard lugar, i could go through the list, joe biden, i could go through the list, wonderful people, friends all. and when i got the ability to move forward on the first ever subcommittee that dealt with women's issues all over the globe it was a wonderful moment because everyone said you are right, we need to do this which i have spoken as if only a woman would carry these issues but it is reminder to everyone that we see the world through a slightly different lens. that is the beauty of diversity
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and will pick up a lot of particular issues and the rest of you will as well on other subjects but it has been a joy. i am going to close with this. i am. i am loathe to say this but it is perfect. i was disappointed we didn't pass a piece of legislation i wanted you to pass today. that is a joke. it is true. we didn't. but i know we are going to get it done after i leave. if i didn't say that it wouldn't be barbara boxer. i can't let you get away with everything today. find memories made me a better person, god bless each and every one of you in the days and years ahead in keeping our country strong and safe, thank you. [applause]
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>> if i might, later this week the senate foreign relations committee will celebrate its 200th anniversary when the first standing committees were approved by the united states senate on december 10th and this committee has had a very proud history. i know i speak for all members on the democratic side and i think i also speak for the republican side to congratulate our chairman, bob corker on an incredible leadership of this committee, this has been a very difficult time. your leadership has shown strength that we wanted in our chairman, fairness to it include all members of the committee and in the work of this committee you have been able to get the type of unity that we needed to preserve the appropriate role for the senate foreign relations committee and you made it an honor to serve on the senate foreign relations committee so i
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want to congratulate you. [applause] >> we have a long agenda and i very much appreciate what is included on this agenda. it might be easier, i was going to go through all the items on the list and they are important items, i want to comment on what we have done. perhaps the best way, i will comment as we get to this legislation. >> first order of business on today's agenda will be 6 foreign service, do you have any comment to support all of them? anyone else like to speak to the list? there is no further discussion on these lists. i will entertain motion to approve these lists and is there a second? moved and seconded, question on the motion approved, and on lock, all those in favor say aye. opposed?
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with that the eyes have it. the promotions are agreed to. next i would like to ask the committee to proceed to voice vote on consideration on miss, blackbeard to be ambassador to malaysia. >> strongly support the nomination. .. i wanted to acknowledge the distinguished ambassador who is present in our committee room. thank him for his availability. to our committee.
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it was clear this small country has made significant contributions to the alliance efforts around the world and make the necessary internal reforms to address governance, rule of all and corruption. this progress appears all the more remarkable for the fact montenegrin is the subject of a wave of anti-nato and anti-western propaganda emanating from russia. i congratulate the men and which the country has responded and i am very happy that we're making it clear that russia does not have a veto over the decisions of nato allies and i strongly urge my colleagues to support the session. >> any other member wish to speak? am going to go back and forth if that's okay. >> not to repeat, want to thank the chairman and ranking member of so -- for support of this resolution. my cunego has made great strides trying to drive out corruption. went to great hearing and i want to urge my colleagues to support the resolution.
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>> i would echo what's been said but i would also ask that we encourage leadership to bring this to the floor before we go into recess in this session of congress. i think the best message we could send to rush as they are looking at their future plans in europe is the message that we want montenegro to join nato and to be part of the european bloc that protects all of europe. >> anyone else? thank you both for your leadership on this issue. it is now for the discussion on this i would entertain a motion to approve this by voice vote. is there a second? i thank you so much. the question is on a motion to approve the treaty. all those in favor? opposed? the ayes have it. next we will consider 537, senator cardin come any comments? >> i want to thank you for your
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help in getting this resolution before us today. bits of resolution i worked with with senator rubio, mendez, boxer and other members of this committee and its heart wrenching narrative emerges from venezuela in which economic unraveling the lack of food and medicine, the deterioration of the rule of law and rising corruption have great an unstable situation where citizens face hardship and clyde were speaking as a body on this issue. recognizing venezuela is in crisis and needs international understanding. >> any other's? >> i just want to echo that. thank senator menendez for his work on this issue in general. i want to point out what's happened in venezuela is nothing short of a coup d'état. the order has been ignored and council. the supreme court has been overtaken. it is not a democracy longer. not even as a side of a democracy. the impact on the region is extraordinary.
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i encourage my colleagues to read the report. it's one of the richest countries in the world and yet people selling their hair for pennies to try to be able to feed their families. it is a catastrophic situation that is coming to bear rapidly. it's having an impact on south florida and on the region. i encourage everyone who hasn't kept up to date with it, because with other issues going on, to look into the tragic humanitarian and political tragedy occurring in venezuela. >> couldn't agree more. anyone else? if there's no further discussion on this resolution i would entertain a motion to approve all three amendments are blocked by voice vote. >> so moved. >> is very second? the question of the motion to approve all three amendments are blocked by voice vote. all those in favor? opposed? with that the ayes have it and the limits are agreed to. any further amendments?
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hearing none careers are in motion to approve the resolution as amended? is there a second? thank you. the questions on a motion to approve estimates by 37. all those in favor? opposed? with that the ayes have it. the resolution is agreed to. next we will consider as reds 537. any comments you'd like to make? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i strongly support this resolution and want to thank senator markey and rubio for bringing this forward calling upon the united states counter-narcotics cooperation with mexico and china. mr. chairman, i'm sure all members of this committee have had meetings around our state can be with different groups about the drug problems in every community in america. we've seen the opioid abuses lead to hair when, later tracks and sentinel. it has caused untold deaths.
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fit in all is a drug -- fit in all is a drug with those using the cards are not aware of it strength and cause them to go into crisis. i thank our colleagues are bring this to our attention, and we must do more within the jurisdiction of our committee to control the implications. >> anyone else? >> mr. chairman, if i may. senator rubio and i have introduced this resolution this is a public health crisis in the united states, and we join with senator shaheen on this resolution, calling for its passage. fentanyl, just to give you a little bit of idea how bad this is right now, we will have 2000 people die in massachusetts from opioid overdose of this year. of them, 1500 will have fentanyl
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in the blood system. 75%. now, massachusetts is 2% of america's population. so if you multiply that by 50 and this epidemic was hitting the whole country at the rate educatinitis hitting massachusee rate is hitting new hampshire, the rate it is hitting florida and several other states, but not the country, that would be 100,000 deaths, of which 75,000 would come from fentanyl. what we are trying to do with this resolution is to get ahead of this storm, this classified hurricane already onshore in certain states but it is ready to hit. and what it does is a call for comment to work much more closely with the chinese government which is the source principally of this chemical, this artificial substance which has been created and is coming into our country. and with the mexican government
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where it is kind of fabricated, turned into a product and then comes into the cities and states of our country. so this is something that in my opinion is going to wind up dwarfing any other issue that we worked on. that's why doing this in the context of even delivering on that deal is appropriate because far, far many more people are going to be terrorized by this than will ever be terrorized by what is happening in aleppo today. this is why i'm proud to be able to work with senator rubio on a bipartisan fashion. >> thank you both. any other comments? >> fentanyl, an additional threat is actually animal tranquilizer. tickets with the user tranquilized denofa. this stuff is coming in the mail but it is being shipped and fedex, ups. i'm just saying, and others and
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it is being sent in from these countries and it is by far, i encourage everyone to talk to your hospitals and first responder and aggregately they are seeing dozens of these and the agents the reversibility work anymore because of how strong it's got the it's also manufactured, we saw the loss of prints who died can be die because he took fentanyl and pills labeled as percocet. that's what we're getting with now. it's a very serious problem. >> the lacing that is occurring with fentanyl and the fact that he can come and a fedex package the size is equal to truckloads of other types of materials is wreaking havoc on our society to i appreciate both of you bringing attention to this. any other comments on this? if there's no further discussion on this resolution i would entertain a motion to approve both markey a minute en bloc by a voice vote. is there a second?
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the question is on the motion to approve both amendments en bloc by voice vote. all those in favor? opposed? with that the ayes have it. the minutes are agreed to. on any further amendments? hearing none is reduction to approve the resolution as amended? is there a second? thank you. so moved on the motion to approve as reds 535 as amended. all in favor will say aye. opposed? the eyes of the. the resolution as amended as amended. our next order of business that i would ask that we consider en bloc by voice vote on the remaining resolutions before the committee. that's s. con. res. 57, s. con. res. 30, 40. any comments? >> i support all those resolutions.
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i support the resolution. >> are the any members would like to speak to any of these resolutions? if there's no further discussion, and entertain a motion to the movies en bloc by voice vote. all in favor? opposed? the eyes have a. the resolutions are agreed to. next to consider the norway 123 a greater senator cardin, any comments? >> mr. chairman, thank you for bringing forward this cosponsor of the resolution under your leadership and the bill will ensure congressional oversight of our nuclear operation with the norway. so i support the resolution. >> anyone else wish to speak to this? i started to call on you before you raised your hand. senator markey. >> thank you very much. i do commend norway as one of our closest allies and recognize the need to conduct nuclear research at norway's research reactor.
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but i am very concerned that we are offering affirmative support to one to three agreements that do not meet the gold standard. i believe as we get deeper into the 21st century that should be our standard regardless of how close an ally in the countries are with whom we are reaching these agreements. disagree with is going to provide no away with advanced consensus to transfer you is obligated spent fuel to the united kingdom and france for reprocessing. that sends the wrong signal to other countries considering are suing this technology, and i'm particularly concerned about east asia, and i am concerned that the negotiators of this agreement did not push to remove the advance consent clause. it's the larger principle that is at stake despite the small amounts of material that are involved in this agreement.
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we should not water down our global opposition to reprocessing. it should be our gold standard. if we don't stand for that can we are going to come back in another 15 or 20 years as other countries in the middle east and in east asia ask for the same kind of treatment, and we will then have that catastrophic event that was created because we did not give the political leadership. so i believe there's a profound danger that we are unleashing as we create this exemption, and i just wanted to state my opposition to this pathway on principle. >> so for what it's worth, we met on several occasions regarding nine gold standard agreements and i couldn't agree more. i think we find ourselves in a place where, even though this is an imperfect agreement, it's better than what's going to be in place if we just allow an administrative aggregate to take
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place and the time to laugh. i share your concerns. i wish all of these agreements were in the gold standard fashion you have expressed. we talk about this on many occasions but this is putting us in a better place that when the time lapse and in into an administrative agreement putting the united states and norway. are there any other comments or questions to ask if there's no further discussion i would entertain a motion to approve the legislation by voice vote. is there a second? thank you. so moved and seconded to the question of the motion to approve. all in favor? opposed? i will record year as a know if that's okay. without the ayes have it and the substitute agreement is agree to. are there any further amendments? hearing none, am i in the right place? are their amendments bikes. >> you can move on. >> okay.
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the question, just delete what i just said. the question is on the motion to approve h.r. 4939 as amended at all in favor? opposed? are we in the right place here? the house -- okay. the question is on the motion to approve s. eight. all in favor? opposed? with that the ayes have it. the legislation is agree to. next we move to h.r. 4939 the u.s. caribbean strategic engagement act until 2016. senator cardin, any comments? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate this issue being brought up for today's business meeting. i congratulate my colleague in the house congressman engel for his work on this, and it's
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legislation i think that shows our commitment to our partnership in the caribbean and i support it. >> anyone else like to speak to the legislation? if there's no further discussion our would entertain a motion to consider the substitute amendment by voice vote. is there a second? the question is a motion to approve the substitute amendment. all those in favor? opposed? the ayes have it into a name is agree to. arthur any further amendments? hearing none, is their motion to approve as amended? so moved and seconded to the questions of a motion to approve. all in favor? opposed? without the ayes have it and the legislation as amended is agree to. we will consider h.r. 4481, the education are all actively seeking. senator cardin? >> again i thank you for bringing this forward. i strongly support it and urge
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my colleagues to support the legislation. >> anyone else? if there's no further discussion, i will entertain a motion by voice vote. second? thank you. the question is on a motion to approve the substitute enemy. all in favor? opposed? the ayes have it. the name is agree to. are there further amendments? hearing none is there a motion to approve legislation as amended? thank you. so moved and seconded. the question to approve h.r. 4481. all in favor? opposed? the ayes have it. the legislation is agree to. we will consider h.r. 2845, the enhancement act of 2013. senator cardin? >> again i appreciate that this is before us today. i want to thank senators for introducing the millennium compacts for regional economic integration act with the last
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year. the bill pass our committee earlier in the authority is included in h.r. 2045. i would urge our colleagues to support this legislation. >> any other discussion lacks senator coons? >> briefly if i might. thank senator cardin first leadership getting it to the finish line and thank you, mr. chairman for what is a close with a regular of such a wide range of bills or today's market. >> thank you. thank you so much. if there's no further discussion i would entertain a motion by voice vote. is there a second? thank you. so moved and seconded. all in favor? opposed? the ayes have it the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. are there further amendments? hearing none of is there a motion to approve as amended? is there a second? the questions on the motion to approve h.r. 2845 as amended.
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all in favor? opposed? with that the ayes have a. the legislation as amended is agree to. lastly, we will consider h.r. 1150, the frank r. wolf international religious freedom act. senator cardin. >> first, let me say when you're voting on a bill that includes frank r. wolf's name, i can't see anyone voting against it. he's been a real champion throughout his lifetime and career on human rights issues. i do want to thank senator rubio for his work on this legislation. there were some concerns expressed and were able to work through those concerned and i thank them for that, the department concerned about reporting on nonstate activist engaged in persecution as may undermine u.s. government diplomatic efforts to hold governments accountable for abuses committed within their territory. i think this legislation strikes the right balance but it's an issue i think our committee will continue to monitor to make sure
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that governments are held accountable for actions within their country. i want to acknowledge our presence best and work is done on religious freedom and i would urge icollege to support the legislation. >> would anyone else like to speak to this? >> i want to thank rubio and senator cardin for including the language on these as. >> i would entertain a motion and consider the substitute amendment by voice vote. is there a second? the question is on a motion to approve a rubio substitute enemy. all in favor? opposed? the ayes have it. is there a second? thank you. the question is on the motion to approve h.r. 1150 as amended. all in favor? opposed? with that the ayes have it and the legislation is agree to. that completes the committee's business.
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>> mr. chair speak with yes, sir? >> if i may just come one of the business item that i tried to collect as we are at the front in saying kind things about the chair and about senator boxer. another committee member has a milestone that is a pretty important one on election day, senator cardin achieve 50 consecutive years in elected office begin with this election as a youngster. he doesn't like be mentioning it, but that is a pretty impressive record. i think those of us who do understand that challenging it is, so congratulations. [applause] >> thank you. >> in maryland you can run for office when you're in your teens. [laughter] >> i am thankful he will be serving with us on a continual basis, and i think that make you definitely a part of the establishment. [laughter]
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>> mr. chairman, i want to pick up on senator boxer brief comment as she was giving her remarks earlier about the bill that didn't get passed, and that's the women, peace, and secure to act, something senator boxer -- >> i see you are taking upper mantle very quickly. >> now four years. but i just, this is legislation that the house passed without, just recently without debate, and i think it's important because there is real evidence that women have a critical role to play in all stages of conflict resolution. we know when women are supported but they can get back to the families, to their communities and make you should have a place at the table were trying to resolve conflicts i think is very important. i know there were some procedural concerned about the legislation but i just want to put everybody on the committee on notice that this is not going away just because senator boxer is not going to be here. i think this is legislation that is important for us to pass.
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it sends an important message to women in countries around the world that they need to be at the table as work, deciding their fate. >> i look forward to calling senator boxer when she's doing whatever she's going to be doing after the first of the year to share with the we've addressed this issue. i received a call from president carter and a talk to christine last year and the were some issues would like to work out, but we will begin that they can. i know the president has had a place since 2011, an executive order of sorts, to do with this. we would like to see what impact of that has been. we understand it's going to be something that hopefully will resolve together and thank you both for making comments. >> make sure you call me but will he be calling me as your secretary of state? this is what i am hoping for. i shouldn't have said that. let's see -- >> that will never happen now. [laughter]
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>> let me say, stronger would oppose the nomination. [laughter] >> thank you. thank you so much. that completes the committee's business. i ask unanimous consent staff be authorized to make technical and conforming changes. without objection, so ordered. with that and without objection the committee will stand adjourned. thank you all and i wish you all a warm a meaningful holiday. i hope most of you will stay for the ring but hopefully we will finish up this week. thank you. thank you. now the foreign relations committee hearing come to order
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> that hearing of the foreign relations committee will come to order. i went to thank our witnesses for being here today and sitting through all of that, and both are just outlined tangible policy options in your written testimony to help us address the threat of iranian proxies, apart from efforts with an iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. roxy's remain a correct threat to the united states and our allies today, as your testimony. it is -- are you good now? can you hear me?
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thank you, sir. can you do that? thank you. i would like to thank our witnesses were testifying today. other give outlined tangible policy options in your written testament help us address the threat of iranian proxies. apart from efforts to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, iranian proxies with a a direct threat to the united states under allies today. currently lebanese hezbollah has always 100,000 missiles and rockets threatening israel. militias and thereby continue to post a threat not only to our long-term interest in iraq also threat to american forces currently deployed there. just this past october iranian backed houthi militia fired cruise missiles at u.s. navy ships. saudi arabia -- is that working for you quick saudi arabia continues to feel the effect of a ran proxies and partners as
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the houthis attack across the border to saudi cities and launched extended range ballistic missile but only be deployed with outside help. a recent report by the organization called conflict armament research clearly outlines the destabilizing role played by iran, highlighting three separate see interdiction of a reigning surprise weapons down for yemen and somalia. at the same time companies hezbollah continues to play a decisive role in syria while iran has demonstrated an amazing capability to deploy shia militias from around the world to the fight. there is no doubt the next administration will face a range of threats from the more traditional threats in the strait of hormuz the newfound spheres of a reigning it was like yemen. onone reason i post a nuclear dl with iran was i feared it would end up being our de facto middle east policy -- i oppose. and accounting iran's regional
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efforts would take a second fiddle, if you will. the current administration has not pushed back any meaningful way against the islamic republic of destabilizing actions in the region. i hope both of you can help us consider new ways to end this threat of the rings weapons, terrorism and dangerous ideology. i want to thank you for being here, for sitting to our business meeting, sharing and electric with that i would like to turn to our distinguished member and my friend, ranking member cardin. >> mr. chairman, thank you for calling this meeting on defeating iran's threat network options for counting iranian proxies. as you know, mr. chairman, i did not support the jcpoa. as it was negotiated. one of my greatest concern was the universe of issues that the jcpoa did not address, iran's sponsorship of terrorism from its continued ballistic missile testing, its work with russia to hold, to shield bashar al-assad and to its deplorable
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human rights record. these are issues i have long believed it to be given equal weight and consideration. iran's state sponsorship of terrorism and its cultivation of violent proxies across the middle east is an important for our security and that of our allies and partners as the iran nuclear program. indeed, american citizens, uniform and civilian, have been victims of a reigning terror. iran sponsored trained and equipped prostitutes are threat to u.s. forces and american citizens today. this is a problem that directly threatens u.s. security. in my consultations with leaders in the region, it's crystal clear that the iranian terrorism is on equal ground with a nuclear threat in government prioritization of threats to their security. in iraq were we are partnering with the iraqi government to defeat isil, iran is directing militias that have engaged sectarian violence and cleansing
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putting at risk the stability of iraq. in syria, iran is sending militia to defend a dictator guilty of crimes against humanity. and its violent suppression of millions of innocent syrians. in yemen, iran and lebanese hezbollah are working with the houthis rebels to threaten saudi arabia and jeopardize broader gulf security. in lebanon, hezbollah's transient held hostage the process of forming a government for over two years, and iran continues to transfer sophisticated weapons that threaten israel's security. i will stop listing examples but it's clear, if you don't have to work hard to identify the fingerprints of iranian terror across the region. for iran's leaders and the irgc investment in this type of unconventional warfare is just enough to keep the region off-balance. more than enough to ensure a constant state of instability and unpredictability.
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iran's network as a share challenge and we are reviewing our options, please must look at the shared solutions. the united states cannot go it alone. and eliminate iran's proxies. there is no unilateral solution. our approach must taken together requirement of international cooperation and coordination. that means intelligence sharing and security cooperation with our partners. outside the region that means ensuring sanctions on iran for its use of terrorism have meaningful impact to accomplish the coordinated multilateral approach to counter iran's proxies in distant iran threat network our partners must trust us, go to work with us. domestic baseline confidence in the fundamental commitment to their security. they cannot question the american leaders they the american leaders gave me when they get frustrated and walk away from bilateral security assurances on multilateral agreements. this brings me back to the jcpoa. as i stated i did not support the jcpoa as a negotiable it now that we are two years in
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agreement implementation, we cannot just walk away without risking the credibility of u.s. commitments. the u.s. leadership role in enforcing sanctions and the secret of our partners. either walking away now amplifies the prospects of war in iran while leaving the united states isolated. iran could rush for nuclear finish line, they would be no more intrusive inspections by the iaea, and if the united states lapses in his jcpoa obligations, the rest of the world is not going to follow us with more sanctions. i hope to work with my clothes on both sides of the aisle next year on comprehensive iranian legislation that sets the foundation for the next chapter of the iran policy. the signal we must send with this legislation if we are committed to the jcpoa and congress will conduct oversight on its enforcement while maintaining credible deterrent step back legislation. i was pleased to see the unanimous consort the united states center for the passage of
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the iran sanctions act extension that was an important step that we took. on the nonnuclear issues congress must continue sanctions on iranian entities and individual. consider new sanctions or increases its operational or financial support for terrorist organizations that threaten u.s. interests or allies. i've introduced legislation that i think would help move that along with many of our collector i look forward to working with the chairman on how we can increase our responsibilities in congress on oversight of iran's compliance with the iran nuclear agreement but also to do with their other activities. i think this discussion will help us in network. >> thank you very much for those comments. since you brought up the extension, i think we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to senator menendez for his
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leadership on that issue. i'm glad they are extended, and thank you for that very much. our first witness is mr. matthew mcinnis, resident fellow of the american enterprise institute. mr. mcinnis by those who serve as senior analyst for the is department of defense. thank you for being here. our second witness is ms. melissa dalton, senior fellow ms. melissa dalton, senior fellow and chief of staff of the international security program at the center for strategic and international studies. previously she served at the department of defense. thank you both for i think you all understand we appreciate it if you'd summarize in about five minutes. without objection your written testimony will be entered into the record. if you would begin in the order of introduction i would appreciate it. thank you. >> thank you, chairman of worker, ranking member cardin, the distinguished committee members. thank you for inviting me to testify on iran's support for terrorism and proxies. i will focus my comments on other support fits into iran's
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strategic buyers and i use policy can best counter. while this testament also gets my own research and analysis it draws is will a discussion conducted as part of working group at the center for strategic and initial studies with ms. dalton which into endless potential opportunities to deter iran. i want to stress at the end of 2016 we are at an inflection point in iran's strategy in the middle east. the nuclear deal has given the islamic republic new resources and has freed tehran to focus on building its conventional military capacity to compete with its regional rivals more directly. iran is sensing finally some form of victory in the worst in syria and in iraq in the aftermath of these complex the iranian leadership will be left with an enormous degree of influence stretching from beirut to basra and beyond. led by islamic revolution guards corps or the irgc, tehran will now have at its disposal a transnational proxy army of a shia militia units with at least
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a couple hundred thousand personnel, many with hybrid warfare capability develop in syria and iraq. this will pose significant challenges to us under friends in the region. our traditional approaches to combating iran's proxies to financial section, weapons shipment interdictions and counterterrorism operations are well intended and still needed. these actions to mitigate or rollback the capability but they will not likely defeat or eliminate the threat posed by these types of iranian backed groups. especially well established ones like lebanese hezbollah. how should we better than our approach? there are two keys. versus understand how proxies it into iran's overall political and military strategy to iran and establishes its proxies to ask you unconventional warfare and spread its ideological and political influence. these groups become essential part of iran's frontline deterrent strategy once established. this deterrence exists to lawyers.
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first, retaliatory. the ability to instill fear of significant casualties, destruction of critical infrastructure or economic destruction to dissuade the more powerful enemies such as israel or the u.s. this draws somewhat others have described threat in response to threat doctrines. proxies give plausible deniability will iran manage escalation and retaliation. since iran cannot strike the u.s. homeland conventionally it tries to threaten to terrorism to balance the deterrence equation. the second letter is to pass a deterrence which is more late in which involves states such as it's going to build proxies in iraq, syria and lebanon that are within iran's sphere of influence. is a group such as the popular mobilization forces in iraq and the national defense forces in theory we've seen in recent years. these are built to solidify iran's influence in the states and dissuade individuals are
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such as art or others or perhaps even russia's from potentially trying to pull the stick out of iran's influence over the sphere of industry these are something that could potentially threaten the u.s. military future u.s. military presence in the country. the second he's been able to distinguish iran's to proxies from the script that only partners are in the process of becoming partners such as humans houthis. destruction should be a sense of the mother of our policy. the main distinguishes whether and/or decision adheres to the iran's publisher ideology or guardianship of the jurisprudence that recognizes iran's supreme leader as its ultimate authority. authority. groups that did not acknowledge that authority such as the followers of iraqi shia cleric, the houthis in human or even soothing those a group such as hamas still under significant support from iran and cooperate with their policy. iran cannot determine his or her positions to defend the front
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lines of its retaliatory deterrence against adversaries or even to consistently execute iran's leadership directives. looking to use policy recommendations, as long as iran continues to oppose the united states and seize washington as a threat to its existence, it will seek deterrence through its proxies of unconventional weapons or whatever means they can support. the united states can take steps to mitigate and disrupt the effect of its proxy. for principles in such an approach include, first, exposing the psychological foundations of the proxies to an extent that greater efforts by the u.s. to name and shame iranian backed groupscould, companies can erode the psychological foundation of iran's strength. second, contain and push back operations. third, divide and undermine local support to proxies. iran's heavy-handed approach frequently stokes national
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resentment that we can take advantage of. fourth, stem proxy information help shape the government environment where we can pick this is particularly important places like yemen where the proxies are not yet quite there and fully supported and fully adhere to iranian ideology. we can prevent the houthis from becoming fully part of iran's operations. this and finally we should support bolthole government approaches such as supported and accounting iran threat of 216. those legislations recognizes that need. the bottom line, the u.s. cannot alter the fundamental logic for iran's creatio creation of proxo counter a deterrent the conventional advantage of the u.s. and its allies without fundamental changes in iran's threat perceptions, unreal ideology will changes in fallujah. we can mitigate the growth of iran's proxies and to mind the real and effective psychological power that they have. and with that i conclude by
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stating. thank you. >> chairman corker, ranking member cardin, and distinguish number of the committee come it is an honor to testify today with my colleague on options accounting iranian proxies. this testimony costly forthcoming report on deterring iran. i will focus my remarks on three topics to become iran's strategic approach, building a just deterrent strategy, and recommendations to the new congress and next administration. iran is a revisionist power that seeks to fulfill a number of goals to change the status quo. these objectives include ensuring survival of the islamic republic, deterring adversaries, enhancing its regional power and influence, and securing a place of political and economic importance within the international community. iran is aware of its military inferiority verses its adversaries. it leverages a range of unconventional and conventional capabilities and concepts of
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operation including roxy forces to achieve its objectives. this approach encompasses other activities including missile development, gauging and provocative maritime operations, exploding cyber vulnerabilities and employing -- any escalation to get the united states and its partners fall short of large-scale warfare. through this approach iran can pursue its goals while avoiding kinetic consequences come and go plausible deniability by using proxies, subvert regional rivals and deter them from taking actions that could trigger a potential backlash from the proxy groups, and infiltrate and influence state institutions incrementally in countries with weak governments. moreover, the wars in syria and iraq have provided fertile ground for the growth of iranian proxies and supported groups. this approach disadvantages iran. through its destabilizing regional activities, iran's
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image as an international pariah remains in many ways this income and their its economic development. iran is headed by principal agent problem versus its proxies which do not always act in accordance with iranian interest. the u.s. approach to iran has deterred significantly forward in iranian activities and capability develop it, yet the united states has largely been unable to deterred iran's incremental extension of regional power and threshold testing across a range of military and terror military activities. in the last five years iran's threat network has grown. regional partners doubt u.s. sincerity and pressing back against iran's destabilizing activities. the next congress and administration have an opportunity to chart a path with lowered vis-à-vis iran to protect u.s. interests, strengthens deterrence and sets the conditions were changing iran's behavior. the united states may choose to elevate its counterterrorism objectives and its approach to
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iran, given the unique challenges iran's threat network presents. this strategy will have its limits. that's an ideological change in the iranian government, the united states will not be able to change iran's reasoning for supporting proxy groups. it may proud of him to reassess its commitment to the jcpoa, especially if the united states imposes new terrorism related sanctions that minute prior nuclear ones. if the u.s. action is not calibrated, iran is likely to respond with kinetic attacks, information operations and cyberattacks. working in close ordination with allies and partners, the united states can take a number of steps to limit the reach of iranian proxy activities and stem for the growth in the region. these measures include ratchet up direct and indirect operations disrupt, irgc activities, and interdict support for proxies calibrated for yes and iranian red lines. conduct cyber disruption of iranian proxy activities.
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avoid swathing iranian capabilities and intentions. expose iranian backed groups front companies and financial activities outside its borders to discourage iranian coercive interference. exploit nationalist sentiment in the region that bristles at iranian interference their amplified information operations, sustained financial pressure on the irgc and proxies, and minimize the space the irgc can exploit in the region by building the capabilities of regional partners security forces and supporting governance and resiliency initiatives in countries vulnerable to iranian penetration. even a u.s. strategy that seeks to ever buy pressure on iran cannot be merely punitive or it will prove and have its limits and changing iran's behavior. the united states should link possible incentives to changes that iran makes such that their sacred eyes as one move. congress and the new u.s. administration have an
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opportunity to chart a path with ford on iran policy. i hope today's hearing can inform that process. thank you and i look forward for your questions. >> thank you. i'm going to ask one question and can keep my remaining time for interjections to the senator menendez. when the agreement was being negotiated, i know some of those were and oman, which is i guess the switzerland of this deal where many of the meetings took place. one of the things that they would say is that the revolution is over. the revolution is over. iran is a different place. obviously, the descriptions you just laid out counter that and the raising of proxies is to further the revolution but i wonder if the to do distinguished witnesses could just very briefly, yes or no, do you believe the revolution is over or not? >> certainly for the current leadership it is not. what i usually argued is that
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for this particular leadership, that the revolution is the political infrastructure that allows them to retain power, and they can change the ideology if they want to but they haven't figured out what that change would look like in order for them to maintain power. i think everyone that follows the region in this town and in academia and around the world ask that question to our they going to have that china in the 1970s moment? the deng xiaoping moment? would have the gorbachev moment whether change the ideology? the iranians were a lot about that. a debate that internally. i think they are scared it's going to happen. some of the them are scared this could happen and you all go through and early 1970s gang of four purchase come everyone dies kind of moment when that happens. and for right now the revolution still matters.
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it's what keeps them in power. >> ms. dalton? >> heartily agree with his characterization. i would only add that there has historically been tensions in iranian policy, couple of ideology which still is quite strong today but also a dose of pragmatism in terms of economic development and a desire to have credible standing in the international community. you see iran overtime trying to balance those two elements of their policy. there is a push and pull that occurs in the leadership come in trying to strike that balance. so i think the sweet spot that the united states and its international partners have defined is a way to constrain the behavior in the manifestation of iran's ideology and harness the potential of the pragmatism. >> thank you. senator menendez?
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to our witnesses. mr. chairman, for a couple of decades now iran has sought to extend its brand of government through terror and intimidation throughout the region. i know that champion of the jcpoa insisted with a hold on iran's nuclear program that we would be able to expand our resources to combat these more conventional threats from iran. and i was looking forward to doing that. but, however, in the past two years since the agreement, we've seen iran test us in a variety of ways. even the production of heavy water in violation of the agreement is an of itself the ability to produce that much heavy water is a precedent for a set of circumstances which gives them access to other developers
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of their program. yes, once we bought it, now they transferred. but the reality is that it's a violation of the agreement. but beyond that, into more conventional way, there engaged in ballistic missile technology in violation of what was u.s. -- u.n. council resolution. their engagement on terrorism has not stopped. there engaged in iraq and syria and yemen are tremendously challenging in terms of our national interest as well as partners in the region. it just seems to me that, i hope that in the next congress colleagues who have been reticent to deal with the nonnuclear issues of iran will be willing to be engaged in that calm in a way that i think can be incredibly important to our national security.
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i think that extension of the iran sanctions act shows despite all the much alito in the iran might walk away from the agreement if the sanctions were extended, that's not quite as i see you going to president trump cannot walk away. it's interesting that within all of the blustering that the reality is that sanctions have, in fact, not had to move away. which then brings me to what is it that we do as it relates to all of these actions. and so i would like to get a sense of you, mr. mcguinness, you mentioned the counter iran threats -- mr. mcinnis -- that's senator corker and i introduced in this congress, with elements of that most particularly do you see as helpful towards this goal? and what can we do with our international partners to effectively enforce u.n. sanctions on conventional
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weapons and ballistic missiles? i would like to hear from both of you on that. >> thank you, senator many disparate in particular, i always supported taking it very -- senator menendez. taken a companies have looked from what iran is a, support for terrorism, and, of course, the nuclear program if so, human rights, the entire field. i think in particular in the 2016 updates to the bill including something i personally advocated for, including a comprehensive strategy for the u.s. government to pursue that, you know, the defense, state, treasury, dni, producing and will coordinate strategy. when i was in the government it was very difficult, frankly, to have where we really didn't have that, a sense of all the different elements of u.s.
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national power. even if you couldn't necessarily have a fully coordinated effort, at least all the sides were talking to each other, recognizing what we were doing on terrorism and on counter finance and what we are doing on our military posture in the region, is working well with our diplomatic efforts. we would not necessary talking well to each other, and so i think this was, that a particular i thought would be a huge help. i think when it comes to recognizing the bounds of what we did on the nuclear program, one thing, if i can be a little provocative, what it took to affect the nuclear program our efforts on sanctions and oppression that we also brought to bear on the diplomatic front and frankel on the military front, to bring iran to the table, and let's be honest, there's also incentives and fall. we conceded on iranian enrichment.
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all of that when you look at that, to bring iran to negotiate, that was when something that was fundamentally a program does not existential to iran. it was very important to a red, extremely important to them, but they didn't have a nuclear weapon yet. and so, therefore, the nuclear weapon was not part of their deterrent strategy yet. therefore, it is something that could theoretically be traded away at the table. it was something that could be negotiated. the reason why i focus, try to convince them a testament but imports of existential issues, whereas something like proxies have become existential to iran. lebanese hezbollah is absolutely existential to iran, to deter israel, for example. ballistic missiles are something they already have and,
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therefore, in order for us to pressure iran to restrain themselves on the conventional missile program or on something like lebanese hezbollah is going to require an effort with us and our allies, frankly, a much greater effort than it ever took for us to get into the table, to get to the jcpoa, as much as we may not like that agreement. again, not to be such a pessimist about it, but it is something to remind, it is an enormous challenge for us. that doesn't mean we don't need to do it. it's just that it's so important to remember that when you are faced with something like the missiles, like the proxies, it is essential for us to understand how important it is to iran, and that if we are going to do we have to bring a whole lot of force to bear or bring incentives to bear, which is another question. >> i will just say, because time
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is expired, appreciate your naming and shaming, but have to be honest with you. i don't get the sense that the iranians are going to stop, if such an existential desire that they need, that naming and sharing is going to stop the flow. when we talk about incentives can i read in ms. goggins testimony that you suggest the possible of including iran in international organizations. i'm just not sure a country that violates just that every international norm should be invited entered into international opposition because that doesn't necessarily change attitudes. if you look at russia, they'll violate international norms, invaded, in serious supporting a dictatorship that chemical bombs at some people that i'm not sure that invitation to such entities into international order stations is the greatest inducement in the world. i do think pursuing the course of money to proxies and other
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entities is important. >> senator rubio? >> thank you. i think we are all happy at least earlier this year to see american citizens have been unjustly held by iran to be returned in a respect of those circumstances in which it happened which were less than ideal. one of them was not robert levinson, and america's been missing now for a very long time. since that time we've seen a favorite iran's arrested -- whose son was arrested october 2015. they're both convicted and sent to 10 years in prison. so my question is come and i like it for both of you on this, is iran using unjust arrest and detention of american citizens as a tool of statecraft to ensure they receive additional benefits from the united states in the future? if so, would that incentivize by perhaps circumstances running to release earlier in the year?
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>> i think that iranians seized the detention, persistent detention of u.s. citizens and its own citizens at times as a source of leverage to achieve a broad set of objectives. at the same time there is, as i mentioned earlier, a dose of pragmatism in the regime, such that there is the possibility to broker negotiations, to secure the release of our citizens. but ensuring that those negotiations have been systematically and are synchronized in such a way that we are not reporting the bad behavior but are justly seeking the release of our citizens in accordance with international law and rules of the road.
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>> i mean, i would certainly agree that iran has a very, very long history of taking our citizens as well as citizens from a number of other countries as leverage points. it is frankly been part of statecraft since the early 1980s, and certainly we have seen that increase since the nuclear deal, in my opinion. that dual nationals a particular have been the target, and that's actually something i've written about and anticipated, that iran, after the nuclear deal, is particularly worried that the opening up come because they are afraid of president obama's, from the perspective, implicit strategy with a deal is including iran into international community is going to start a slow change inside the regime and the supreme leader is very concerned that that may actually happen. and so, therefore, is clamping down even harder on human rights
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as well as using, you know, threatening international iranian dual national businessmen, holding more americans that visit as hostages as leverage chips. they're trying to tric ensure ts much leverage as possible and discourage them it's something they want to ensure that the deal does not create positive change inside of their society. >> let me ask about one more thing. we all saw the boeing sale of aircraft to iran. ..
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i don't know where they intend to enforce that. what court are they going to take that too? i guess given your background on iran, when they received this from bali, it is your view we should expect to see the likely that these aircraft will be used the exact same light aircraft have been used in the past by ram air and others to assist the irgc and other entities. >> i would expect there will be some that will be used in that manner and some use for commercial purposes. iran has a very long use of dual
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use of all capabilities and technology it acquires. i would be surprised if they don't. that would be my answer. >> i think that this is very illustrative of the need going forward in the new congress administration really chart and holistic roach to iran. such that we can sequence the moves we would like to make in shoring up our deterrent ball at the same time incentivizing behavior changes such that they are synchronized. and construct in a framework that way, you can evaluate the risk that you are highlighting if we are to consider certain incentives. can certain commercial transactions lead to arrhythmias that knows products in ways that are contrary to u.s. interests and perhaps in the greater context of our strategy that does not make sense.
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i would encourage the next administration and congress to evaluate programming we are to have underway. in the grander strategy to strengthen our deterrence, secure our interests and protect our allies and partners. >> thank you for your testimony. one of the areas that concern to me in regards to the oversight by congress that the nuclear agreement was expressed in legislation that i referred to earlier cosponsored by many of my colleagues and that is for congress to understand where the sanction relief resources are being used by the iranians. if they are used to enhance their economic fairness to its
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citizens, all of us would say we should well support that type of effort. but if it's used to enhance their support for terrorism or to use it to advanced ballistic missile program, then obviously that's a different story. so can you share with us how you believe the sanction relief resources have been used by the iranians and whether you seen any uptick or not in other activities? >> i think still most analysts would agree the majority of the sanctions relief and it brought her since especially the incoming oil sales and foreign direct investment that's gone man a broad sense, probably the majority is still going into
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more non-terrorism, non-related activities. but what we are seeing, for example it is the irgc is trying to ensure close to 10% of the investment dedicated to their activities, something they're trying to get insured as a regular percentage in some of these direct transfers. >> what investments would these be? >> incoming deals that iran is striking with foreign companies to do investment for many types of industry, auto, air, energy sector that basically the irgc is looking for its cut. >> did that come from the iranians or the investor? >> telecom firm 10% of that would go into a irgc finding somewhere the budgetary and system.
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the irgc has also as a great budget capacity to funnel money within the system and that is still being argued. there's a lot of back-and-forth happening right now in the iranian budget about who is going to get what coming out of it. >> have they gotten their cut? >> i don't know if they finalize the budget fights. we know that some of the transfers of money coming into since the deal is implemented have actually doubled the military's budget for a one-year term because of the transfers that have come in from the one-time deals. whether that will continue into subsequent years has been determined. basically the irgc is getting a one-year bomb this year. that is quite significant.
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whether that's going to continue into the out years is uncertain. we are seeing a very significant influx. a lot of the courses going in to sustain that you would consider oco funding going into sustaining operations in syria and iraq, how that will flow into building, for example can the inability of air force to capitalize their navy or build new proxies in the reagan peninsula or africa or south asia. >> i think we all would acknowledge prior to the nuclear agreement, iran's economy was in pretty bad shape. sanctions were really having a bigger impact. we can certainly also acknowledge and whether they could've done that with or without resources we don't know but they are actively engaged in the proxy campaigns. how can we learn the lesson for
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how we impose sanctions for the new activities and figure out a way that we can make our sanctions regime of ballistic missiles and sponsoring terrorism and human rights violations more effect is to be consequential to change behavior in iran. do you want to try that one? >> has come? >> has come a thank you on the senator appeared we can certainly extract lessons learned from how iran is leveraging as the funding from the sanctions relief and a fire to sanctions. perhaps building an offer and are learning from the snapback effects that were used in the nuclear negotiations in resulting sanctions to better understand first how money flows and operate in the iranians have said and then basically create trigger mechanisms, indicators that we can look for such that
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they sanctions relief for sanctions were put in place for future missile development seizure proxy at dvds that action can be taken to revoke any sort of relief if iran goes on a certain pathway. building that into the system (-left-paren as we design and holistic approach would be wise. >> thank you. >> i want to follow-up on the money. we had a hearing but they also want to talk about the irgc in the money trail. i'm very concerned about the way a question early as the revolution did you buy definition in the irgc, it's in their name. they depends on it and a continued export of a revolution in my opinion. the point that the irgc, just
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like pla years ago used up a significant portion, irgc has 20% to 30% of iran's economy, which means they have an ongoing source of revenue to the word and support terrorism around the world. we know from the treasury department's own report of weapons of mass destruction, support for terrorism, has a militia -- hezbollah has actually killed more than 500 u.s. soldiers. the houthi rebel of list goes on and on. we know the irgc is an important one. the question is how can we in the post syllabi are use our economic sanction ability in our financial ability to get at the flow of money to these terrorists? the money flow, mr. mcinnis, i don't disagree but they still money to come.
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we are releasing sanctions. this money flow is not just a one-time deal. 33 billion in cash, though get a bump this year they will continue to get increased availability of cash or expendable money into their nefarious that dvds. so my question to both of you is how would you advise the next administration with the irgc in the money flows in releasing the sanction an opening up of business over there? what's our role? how can we hinder their ability to further support terrorism around the world? >> well, what you get to and you're absolutely right that this one time bob, you know, is a one-time event that doesn't necessarily continue on. thinking about the last question, what we are looking for is how you create an iran
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that is going to go through a degree of economic expansion over the next few years according to most estimates. how you create a recession in the economy? how do you separate that out? >> i'm sorry to interrupt. even before the renaissance, just releasing their asked that with countries that the flow of cash immediately independent of whether their economy grows. is that correct? one of the things and you're right to bring up the pla, part of the middle east for a number of years worked on china security issues than familiar with the whole pla business model concerns in the process of getting the pla, iran goes to the same process because they were running into the same problems trying to did. but i think that the iranians, there is a recognition that over time it is going to become a
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problem if it's going to actually have this type of dynamic economy that integrates with the rest of the world. the irgc will have to take a lesser role. but i think the key for that is whether the problem with the nuclear deal that many of us talk about, the one of the biggest problems is it is for a loaded two iran's favor that they at those the benefits of front. we get the benefit they don't build upon throughout the entire period. part of the reason, you cannot change the equation of different coding doesn't happen at all, where the business climate is not completely favorable at the beginning and that is where you change this dynamic that happened in the last 12 months or so where we go out there and we are encouraging the international community to invest in iran and relax the issues of using dollars for
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business transactions for foreign companies. we do all these things to make it easier to invest in iran so it's not so problematic if a u.s. company with a foreign subsidiary does business with guys and the company has irgc guys in the back under corporate board. we've relaxed a lot of those rules recently. all of those rules with the incoming administration come from this body. some of that stuff can be reversed. you can change the front loading. you can make it more conditional that business climate and money flow in place the burden back on iranian business but the irgc business related that they become a burden, that that is something you can change that equation of no-caps-on not and make those recessionary.
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i think that is something that can be looked at and focused on. >> thank you very much. in addition, harnessing the coalition that was used to broker on an approach going forward is going to be of paramount importance. there are limits to what the united states can do directly vis-à-vis the irgc but leveraging the broader coalition of p5+1, perhaps some asian allies and partners with the broader and more holistic approach to addressing this problem sat. i think that another dimension of this could be thinking of creative ways to offset the irgc over the long term and post
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something a little bit provocative on the table that was in iraq testimony and would be welcome further discussion on it. something my colleagues and i have been discussing this over the long term at the end of that. 2020, the same should unconventional arms sales to iran will be vast. there is a future scenario in which -- >> that is five years, right? >> check on a funny. is there a future scenario in which iran is able to divert funds to his conventional arms capability and away from the irgc. that has pointed out, irgc is front and center to the ideological coalition are to the regime. and terms of iran's pragmatic
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interests in the region its power projection, desire to have a political and strategic role in the region often can come from a conventional capability. so you know, it's an issue in which the united states perhaps doesn't want to be forward leaning on her critics are possible for the united states to tacitly allowed for overtime the development of iran's conventional capability to offset any investments in the irgc which have historically run off against and threatened the united states and allies in the part her. >> thank you both for being here this afternoon. you both talked about iran's operations in syria. i don't think i heard your talk about how they viewed the
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islamic state. i wonder if each of you could characterize how you believe iran is the islamic state. >> overall iran views the islamic state as certainly a very sick if it can die or and theoretically at least existential threat. i think they certainly do not view it right now as an imminent threat given its current state of military weakness. but they certainly feel it as an extension of efforts from saudi arabia and frankly from us. they blame both us and saudi arabia for creating a service and they see a service -- isis
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and have a growing fear inside afghanistan and they are trying to build up their own security forces and new proxy forces and capabilities inside ask him if and to deal with isis there, which is a side theater. similar to president bashar al-assad, they have used a isis as a good excuse to fight the radical opposition and then lumping all of this as terrorists and they didn't go up much during the civil war of the last few years. but they certainly a book at isis and 20 -- 2014 a very clear threat and they're the ones that frankly was not for the iranian
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intervention on the ground in june 2014 and is likely they is likely that could've have made into the outskirts of bag that and the iranian government knows that. >> excuse me for interrupting. do you agree with that? can i ask you both give and that what should view our relationship with iran with respect to a set? >> i think that i read definitely a few isis a significant threat to its interest in the region and manifestation of sunni extremist and it is highly destabilizing. ira julia enjoys a degree of instability in the region. it is through that level of instability and chaos that is able to use asymmetric influence and capabilities most effectively, but it is not in the blog turn iranian interests you have the level of
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instability and disorder that isis has been selling. the endgame for iran is a pliable that is going to push back against like-minded groups. but it's hedging that is of course the development of shia militias in both countries. and so, while very short-term convergence for the united state and countering isis over the long-term iran and the united states will be at loggerheads and the long-term trajectory for both countries. >> so we shouldn't be their efforts in iraq, for example, to fight a space -- isis as beneficial as well? >> there may be a short-term convergence of interests, but i
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don't think it should be part of the long-term strategic planning for either iraq or syria. >> i think ms. dalton it was you had mentioned we should have amplified information against iran. i wonder if you could elaborate with that. >> there's a number of ways to take this. this is the posture that seeks to unveil iran's inflated capabilities and influence and really expose it for what it is. iranians are quite influential and powerful in some ways, but they also use their own i/o to project their power and influence and all of their missile capability to relay project their influence. there is a counter i/o
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strategies they could take to unmask what every man intentions and capabilities truly are. acknowledge where there's significant pushback against them, but at the same time diminish any sort of inflation occurring. i think also there is more of a love approach that the united states could take to harness some of the sentiment that are both that the government level and popular level that are very concerned about the increasing reach of iran in the region and to mobilize some of the support population from the government in support of a strategy that presses back against iran. it is kind of a connective
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tissue for a deterrence approached the united states might take going forward. >> can i ask a follow-up question? >> i would ask you to jump in on this as well. do you envision an operation are you thinking more of a social media campaign? clearly getting information out to the people who would want to influence is challenging. >> i think there are certainly overt covert elements to this. there is a question of how credible some of the overt mechanisms can be. it's coming directly from the united states, so i think third parties in the region that share similar mindset are probably the best over. and of course there's the covert activism as well which we could
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holster. >> i agree with almost all of what ms. dalton is saying. the iranians are voracious consumers of all sorts of media in an extremely creative ways to get around pretty much anything the government rose that then. there are certainly ways we can get through to the iranians. at the same time, the iranians are becoming increasingly clever at getting around that. it's a fascinating environment to work with. i do think the iranians are very keen to hear from us. the iranian people are, so it's still fertile is my opinion. >> thank you very much. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. great. a lot of great questions been asked that i won't repeat. i'll get into too am interested in. he said a minute ago you think
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we really need to think of and holistic approach to tehran, the areas we challenger as we work together, how do you push and not push too far? i'm really grappling with the holistic approach to the region whether it's in this community armed services on the hearing on iran in separate hearings on sunni extremism. trying to put these together a little bit. when i am in the region and i talked to a lebanese were serious in southern turkey or others, they often talk about her own feeling that they're being crushed on a proxy war. the title is iranian proxies between iran and saudi arabia and they feel that war is playing out all over the place. they view as someone as a work to nation and maybe with somewhat of sunni shia and somewhat as arab incursions and economic competition and someone is monarchy and revolutionary
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guard, but they get personified in a proxy war, neither of which are going anywhere. both of which will be very very long time. >> used the phrase a second ago is there a way we could use sunni nationalist sentiment against iran. i would worry that i continue to escalate the proxy were. we didn't start the proxy were. there's a proxy were in the region it's going to be very unstable as long as there's a proxy war between the saudis and iran, what are the prospects if any to try to rest not make it warm insensate ,-com,-com ma at least to ratchet down the part the war is a way of promoting more stability in the region. >> i think that's the million dollar question. i think that starting with the
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basics, you know, a new administration through congress has political leverage an opportunity to do that, to engage allies and partners not just in the region, but europe and asia in terms of what really matters and what it is we want to a com wish. what are the outcomes we want to achieve and how best we can get there and then working through, you know, perhaps some scenario-based planning, scenario-based exercises public can now leverage our comparative advantage is to achieve those outcomes. the united states historically has been a great convener, a great mobilizer for those kinds of conversation, even if it's not at the end of the day, primarily u.s. resources committed. i do think there's an
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opportunity to have a fresh conversation despite all the multilayered challenges that you have laid out in an opportunity for the u.s. to exert some leadership. the stakes are against us in terms of the escalation amongst folks in the region. the saudi iran regional balance. i think it is trying to bring them to the table to look at primarily iraq, syria and yemen and how we can get to a sustainable and enduring out code for those conflicts. >> relieved this is the u.s. senate is about to gavel and continuing work on the national institutes of health and vice president biden's cancer
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moonshine bill. a vote to advance the defense programs bill. at about 3:00 am a vice president who is the president of the senate will be in the chair has numbers offered tributes to the former senator who headed up the judiciary and foreign relations committee during his 36 years in the committee. live now to the u.s. senate.
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the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. today's opening prayer will be offered by elder todd d. christofferson, a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles of the church or jesus christ of latter-day saints in salt lake city. the guest chaplain: let us pray. our father, who art in heaven, we bow before thee this day, te 75th anniversary of the attack on pearl harbor, and remember with soberness and humility the sacrifice of so many who have offered their lives to preserve our liberty. we pray that thou wilt bless their descendants and sustain
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the vital institutions of our government, that this precious liberty may be preserved throuh the generations to come. we ask thy blessing upon the united states senate and each f its individual members this day and in the days and months ahead. grant them the wisdom and judgment they seek in the disposition of all matters that come before them. honor their desire to contribue to the well-being of the people of this nation and, indeed, those of all nations who may be influenced for good by their decisions. we thank thee for thy abundant mercy and constant blessings upon us. in the name of jesus christ, amen. the president pro tempore: please
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join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of americ, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, the continuing resolution was filed in the house yesterday as we wait for the thousands take the next -- for the house to take the next step, i would
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encourage the members to continue to review the legislative text, which has been available for sometime. the water resources development legislation tha has been filed n the house as well. this is bipartisan legislation that will strengthen our nation's infrastructure and commerce while investing in the safety and reliability of our drinking water. and as colleagues know, it includes -- let me repeat, it includes aid for families in flint. so as we wait for final passage in the house, i'd encourage senators to keep doing our part to ensure that we can bring wrda and its assistance for flint over the finish line as soon as possible. on another matter, i'm pleased that the 21st century cures bill will pass this afternoon with significant support from both sides of the aisle. this medical innovation bill will help foster solutions when it comes to heartbreaking illnesses like alzheimer's, opioid addiction, mental health
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disorders and cancer, heartbreaking illnesses that affect our family and friends and constituents. this is one of the most meaningful bills we'll pass this year, and it would not have been possible without the hard work of colleagues like chairman alexander, senators cornyn, hatch, and cassidy, along with ranking member murray. let's also recognize vice president biden for his work on the cancer moonshot initiative which has been fittingly been renamed for beau biden in this legislation. i will have more to say about the vice president when he joins us again this afternoon. for now, i look forward to passing the 21st century cures act today. on another matter, we'll have another important vote this afternoon. it is a vote to move forward on the national defense authorization conference report. we all know the world the next administration will inherit is a difficult and dangerous one. there are many threats. there are numerous national
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security challenges, and there's much to be done to better-prepare our military and the next administration to deal with them. that's what this bipartisan national defense legislation aims to do. it will help strengthen our military posture. it will send clear messages to both our allies and our adversaries, and it will provide more of the tools our service members need to be successful. it makes clear that we must also pass the continuing resolution that includes funding for the war against isil and for our forces in afghanistan. we've already seen the consequences of failing to take the necessary steps to confront our national security challenges. it's another reason why we need to move forward and pass this defense legislation, so we can take forward-looking steps now to help take on these challenges and support our men and women in uniform. it's, of course, fitting that we're talking about the bravery of our service members on
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december 7. today marks the 75's anniversary of the attack on perle harbor, a date that -- on pearl harbor, a date that f.d.r. predicted would live in infamy. it is a time when we remember all those who sacrificed on our behalf, and a time when we recognize the men and women in uniform currently serving to keep our country safer. one of my greatest experiences through the years has been the opportunity i've had to meet with distinguished kentucky veterans as they visit washington through the honor flight program. i know many of our colleagues do the same thing when veterans ves from their state come to down. today i ask my colleagues to join me in remembering all those who served and sacrificed so much and in thank our men and women in uniform who are stationed around the world this holiday season.
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mr. president, god gave us two ears so we would listen more than talk. it's a simple phrase that many of us have likely heard before, but to senator kelley ayotte, itdz -- it's the best piece of advice she said she ever received and it is a proverb pr- she's lived by since he came to the senate. as new hampshire's first female attorney general, kelly listened to the concerns of those around her. she heard the concerns about the direction -- that our country was going, about the numerous security threats facing our nation, and about out-of-control spending. now, she could have just sat on the sidelines as these problems
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escalated. it certainly would have been the easier choice. but she chose to jump in the game and work to solve them instead. from day one, senator ayotte rolled up her sleeves and got to work. as the most prominent new hampshire newspaper put it, she's never been a backbencher. she's been a dine a mow from the start -- she's been a dynamo from the start. the first time i heard about kelley was from our former colleague jud judd gregg, who td me about this rising stayer -- rising star in new hampshire. it didn't take long for everyone to reach a similar conclusion. kelly is tough, a problem solver and a fighter. senator ayotte doesn't view the challenges of this job as obstacles either. she prefers to call them opportunities. it's how you react to those bends in the road, she says,
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that will make the biggest difference in your life. during her six years, she's clearly made a difference in the lives of a lot of others as well. senator ayotte has helped make a difference as a champion for jobs and as a champion for the economy. as someone who's helped start a small business, she knows firsthand how regulations can stifle growth. she fought to cut through the red tape and the burdensome rules. she cosponsored a law to help small businesses expand and refinance, and she worked to strengthen manufacturing and support job training. senator aquote has helped make a -- senator ayotte has helped make a difference combating opioid abuse. as a former prosecutor who's been among the loudest voices drawing attention to this horrible epidemic, she knows how devastating it has been in her state and across the country. she worked with first responders and families to figure out how to address this heartbreaking
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challenge. she's sponsored and help pass comprehensive legislation that will help us tackle it, and now in no small part because of her efforts we'll pass critical funding this very week that will help our communities begin to heal. like new hampshire, my home state of kentucky has been among the hardest hit by this epidemic. and i.t. been a privilege working with -- and it's been a privilege working with my friend to help do something about it. senator aquote has helped make a difference as an expert on national security issues, too. this military spouse didn't need someone to tell her what it means to serve, nor what it means for veterans and their families. she mastered the issue almost overnight. she fought for language in the v.a. reform language to expand choice when it comes to veterans' health care. she helped prevent dangerous guantanamo terrorists from being moved to u.s. soil. and she's long spoken out about the threat posed by iran.
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she just vote extend some critical sanctions against the regime last week. and senator ayotte has helped lead efforts to counter its ballistic missile program for years. it's clear she's been a leader on national security issues right from the start. i was proud to have senator ayotte join me an and other colleagues hon a congressional delegation i led to the middle east not long after she took office. it was evident then what a difference she would make on these important matters. she regularly joined in efforts with two other leading voices in our conference on defense, too -- senators mccain and graham. together, they're the three amigos -- or as our former colleague joe lieberman might point out, we should really call them the three amigos 2.0. either way, here's what's clear: it is an equal partnership, one of strength and trust, one that has strengthened our defense
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policy and one that i am sure senators graham and mccain would say has enriched their lives. i'm sure many other colleagues feel exactly the same way. senator ayotte set out to make an impact. she clearly made one on her state and her country, for her constituents and her colleagues. but i know senator ayotte would tell you the more cherished moments of her life aren't those spent in classified briefings. they're the ones spent with her faming, with her husband joe and their two children, jake and kate. they've always been her biggest fans. they are a constant source of comfort and support. sometimes they'd like to jump in on the action themselves. in fact, kate recently made a cameo alongside her mother in an ad featuring the two shooting hoops and practicing lay-ups. from what i hear, kate may even
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have her sights on a future in politics. she once advised her mom not to run for president. senator ayotte was taken aback, said she wasn't planning on it but huang deared why -- but wondered why she'd asked in the first place. well, kate replied, because i want to be the first woman president. i guess it's true what they say: the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. it's not surprising when you consider the bast example kelly ayotte has set, not just for kate but for so many others as well. if anyone can do it all, it's kelly ayotte. from sports practices and lego competition to 5k's to trips to new hampshire, the time with her kids is what truly brings kelly joy. this job can really make you aappreciate the little things even more. it's why you'll never hear her
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complain about waiting in the pickup line in school. it's why she enjoys spending her weekend grocery shopping at market baskett, probably picking up the ingredients for grape-nut pudding ... whatever that is. apparently, it is one of kelly's favorite. i'll just take her word for that. i want to acknowledge what a privilege it has been getting to know senator ayotte and working with her over the past few years. her impact has been immeasurable, her friendship indisputable. i know she has made her family proud as well. i want to conclude with a mantra that kelly and joe rely upon when facing a challenge. brush the dirt off, get back in the game. it's a good reminder for each of us. and i feel confident saying that senator ayotte will be back in the game, looking out for her state, making our country stronger and safer, no matter where her next journey leads.
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now, finally, mr. president, as each session of congress comes to a close, both leaders traditionally pay tribute to the retiring members of their own parties. this year's a bit different, of course, with the retirement of the democratic leader, so in addition to what i will be saying about him tomorrow, i figured i might shake things up just a bit more just this one time. i figured i'd tell you about two colleagues from across the aisle who have made their own mark on this chamber for many years.
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the first colleague i'd like to talk about is from maryland. some call her senator mikulski. some call her senator barb. but everyone knows this -- she is tough. it explains how she got here in the first place. you see, barbara mikulski had a lot of dreams growing up. she wanted to be a scientist. she wanted to be a nun. she even wanted to be an astronaut. and if not for a c in chemistry, a vow of obedience and the thought of wearing a flight suit, or so we've heard, she probably could have done all those things. but senator barb chose a different path, or rather all of them at once. you see, you don't have to work in a lab to champion science research. you can serve as the lead democratic appropriator on the
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commerce, justice, science subcommittee. you don't have to put on a habit to look out for others. you can serve as dean of the senate women and cultivate mentorship among your colleagues. and you certainly don't have to blast into space to blaze a trail, something this longest serving female member of congress knows very well. it wasn't an easy road getting here. it wasn't an easy road when she got here. no democratic woman had ever been elected to the senate in her own right before barbara mikulski, but as she said on the stump, i might be short, but i won't be overlooked. and boy, she hasn't been. i doubt she ever will be. maybe it has something to do with the mantra she follows -- do or do not. there is no try. no surprise this "star wars" fan is taking advise from master yoda. she has learned a lot from others, too, like her great
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grandmother who emigrated from poland with hope and little else. hope that her family might one day experience this country's many freedoms and opportunities. i know she would be proud of her great granddaughter today, proud of this crime novelist, this crabcake gourmet, this senior senator from maryland. so here is what we have come to know about senator mikulski. her word is her bond. she is a passionate advocate for the cause that she supports, and good luck stopping her once she puts her mind to something. you could say the same thing about another barbara i know, too. senator boxer. like her colleague from maryland, is hardly the tallest member around here. but she is not in the habit of getting overlooked either. the boxer box helps with that, of course. it's what she stands on at press conferences to give her just a little more height. and yes, if that sounds
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familiar, that's because it is that box once served as an inspiration as an episode for hbo's "veep." good thing our colleague has a sense of humor, too. she understands how far that can go around here. she often relied on it through her years in the senate. in fact, including when she announced her retirement via rhyme. more than 20 years in a lob -- job i love, she wrote, thanks to california and the lord above. you get the picture. it goes on. here's the key line. as long as there are issues and challenges and strife, i will never retire because that's the meaning of my life. it sure sounds like the senator boxer i know. it's not always easy to find common ground around here. it takes hard work. it takes negotiation. it often takes those intangibles, too, like comic relief. so enter senator inhofe. i'm really going to miss the jim
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and barbara show when it comes to an end next year, especially after such a storied run over e.p.w. one day she's the boss. the next day it's him. they're the best of pals, they're the fiercest of rivals. they work together on everything and agree on almost nothing. it sounds like a premise for some buddy comedy from the 1980's, but here's what it really is -- a political master stroke. the unlikeliest of partnerships led this year to the first significant environmental reform law in decades. it also led this year to senate passage of a waterways infrastructure bill that will support important projects across the country. and some may refer to boxer-often as the oddest of senate odd couples, here's what i would call them -- pretty smart. i remember senator inhofe always telling me how much he enjoyed working with senator boxer and how there were things they could actually agree on, so i made a note of it and kept out -- kept
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an eye out for an opportunity of my own. it finally happened. in this very congress. senator boxer, senator inhofe and i worked together to pass the longest term highway transportation and infrastructure bill in nearly two decades. this isn't something critics thought could be done. we each harbored our own doubts. and yet, a bill that repeatedly threatened to come apart actually never did. as senator boxer put it, it was the impossible dream, and it succeeded because we were working in good faith, because we hung together and because we focused on the areas where we did agree and not just the ones where we didn't. but that's what happens around here when the senate is working the way it should. we see colleagues from opposite sides working through political differences and coming together on solutions for the american people. perhaps that's one reason why nearly a quarter of a century
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later, senator boxer says she is leaving the senate with a full heart. i know she is leaving with the respect of many of her colleagues, too, including some she might not have expected when she first came here. so let me finish with some advice barbara mikulski gave the young barbara boxer as she contemplated her first senate run. if you run, senator mikulski said, it will be the toughest thing you will ever do, but, she added, it will also be the best thing you will ever do. i think this is something we can all relate to, regardless of which party we belong to, regardless of which state we come from. at the end of the day, we all came here to accomplish things for the people we represent. even if we have different ideas on how to do them. so thankfully there should be no disagreement over this next task. i ask all senators to join me, to join me in recognizing our colleagues for their service and to join me in wishing them good
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luck as they begin the next chapters of their lives. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democrat leader. mr. reid: i apologize to senator boxer and to senator mikulski. they're going to give their final speeches, but this is my opportunity to give a few words about president obama. of course, i'm going to be here for both those speeches. mr. president, it's hard to imagine today, but it wasn't that long ago that barack obama was a little-known illinois legislator with a very unusual name. i still remember the first time i heard that name. i was in the house gym. where ex-members congregated. and one of the people i shared the room with was abner mikva, long-time illinois congressman, appellate court judge, president
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clinton's chief legal officer, and he -- i have known that republican senator peter fitzgerald decided not to run for re-election after one term. judge mick have a turned to me -- mikva turned to me and said he knew the perfect person to fill that open seat. who could that be, i said? he said barack obama. i said what? he said barack obama. i said who? i said what kind of a name is that? he said he's one of the most talented people i have ever met in all my years. that said a lot to me, even though at that time i smiled and left the room. it didn't take long, though, before i understood what abner mikva said to me. barack obama won that election
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to the senate. he came from nowhere, a man with an unusual name. once he was here, it was obvious he was the real deal. his ability to communicate was and is stunning. i can remember one of the first floor speeches he gave here in the senate. it was on george bush's policy regarding the middle east war. it was eloquent, thoughtful, powerful. i was so impressed that following his speech, there had been a quorum call. his seat was way back there. i walked up to him and i said -- he was sitting, i was standing, looking over him. i said senator, that was really terrific. that was really good. i'll never forget his response. he looked at me without hesitation, without any brag
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doash -- bragadocio, no conceit, humility. he looked up at me and said i have a gift. this wasn't a boast. this was a fact. i've never met anyone with the ability to communicate as well as barack obama. whether it's in his writing, speaking to huge crowds of tens of thousands of people or small crowds or someone on a one-on-one basis, he is without equal when it comes to communicating. his reputation was well known even before he came to the senate. he had written a book, a bestseller, "dreams for my father" a decade before arriving here in the senate. like his 2006 book, also a bestseller, called "the audacity of hope," this book was full of lyrical, insightful writing.
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in "dreams from my father," he outlined the remarkable story of his life we've all come to know. born in kenya in faraway africa was his father. his mother was from kansas. he was raised by his grandparents in hawaii. his mother and grandparents set positive examples for him. they pushed him to do better, always do better, to be the man he was born to be. that upbringing would serve him well. barack obama went to some of the most elite schools in the world. undergrad at columbia. of course he was an honor student. harvard law school. he graduated with distinction. he made history as the first african-american to be elected president of the harvard law review, just to be a member of the harvard law review, having gone to law school myself, it is significant, but he was the number-one guy in that very, very prestigious law school.
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even then, his reputation for bringing people together and his gift for communication was renowned. he continued to excel after law school. he became a professor of constitutional law at one of america's great law schools. he became a community organizer, as he has talked about a lot. he became an illinois state senator before giving one of the most dramatic convention speeches in american history. in 2004 at the democratic convention in boston. throughout it all, his ability to communicate and connect with people fueled his ascendancy. those skills made barack obama a terrific senator, and they have greatly benefited our country over the past eight years. in just a few weeks, barack obama will finish his term as the 44th president of our great country. he will be leaving office -- i
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don't know if i'm leaving with him or he's leaving with me. i guess i leave a few days before he does, but we're leaving together. i cannot think of a better person with whom to leave public service than barack obama. for eight years i was his point man. it's been an hoon -- honor and effort of pleasure. what this man accomplished despite unprecedented obstruction from republicans is remarkable. history will remember president barack obama's many accomplishments, and i hope that the presiding officer -- this won't get her in trouble. but it was because of her and two other republican senators that his first congressional session was remarkably historic. we wanted to do more but this good

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