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tv   U.S. Senate Meets for Legislative Business  CSPAN  March 14, 2017 2:00pm-7:14pm EDT

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expect that any commander who is aware of someone reporting any allegation of anything but particularly something as serious as sexual assault and the chain of command to do anything, that commander would be held accountable. i don't have any statistics for you on that. i can tell you that of all those individuals that have come forward with allegations of sexual assault, what happened to individuals that ... >> the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. today, today's opening prayer will be offered by dr. andrew chaney, senior pastor at first and calvary presbyterian church in prifer prifer. -- in springfield, missouri. the guest chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, bless these senators you have chosen to preserve the heritage of america. bless their families to provide homes of loving support and stability so our senators will
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govern with hearts filled with compassion in service to others. we pray for strength of character in our senate. fortify weak places that might give way to moral compromise. we pray for faithfulness. if they become discouraged, may their first instinct be to seek your light shining in the darkness. we pray for spiritual empowerment. if they feel overwhelmed, lead them to green pastures. if they feel irritated by noise and busyness, lead them beside the still waters. when they feel exhausted, restore their souls. we pray for strength in leadership. give them courage to be humble, to forgive, to stand up for what is right. give them the courage to confront injustice. give them the courage to stand
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for american ideals, courage to resist temptation, and the courage to trust in you with their heart, mind, and soul. we pray this in the power of your holy name, amen. the president pro tempore: pease join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the
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majority leader. mr. mcconnell: already the senate has passed seven resolutions to undo harmful regulations that hold our country back. using the tools provided under the congressional review act, we've taken action to stop obama-era rules that have threatened jobs, our economy, and even the success of our students. today we'll have another opportunity to block a regulation, one that undermines congressional intent and states rights. the proposal before us now would end the obama administration's unemployment drug testing rule and return power to the states so that they can best address this issue at the local level. congress granted the labor department authority to design a rule regarding states' ability to drug test citizens applying for unemployment insurance. however, as we saw a tooll too
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often the obama administration went beyond its legal authority in creating legislation that limits the role of state governments. that's why we heard from governors including those from mississippi, utah and texas who called for congress to overturn this regulation. as they said in a recent letter, the department of labor should go back to the drawing board and put forth a new rule that allows increased flexibility for states to implement unemployment insurance drug testing that best fits the needs of each state. with a new smarter rule, these governors believe their states will be better able to implement drug testing for those seeking unemployment insurance and help individuals suffering from substance abuse to access necessary care and treatment so that they may reenter the workforce as healthy and productive members of our society. i want to thank senator cruz for his leadership in sponsoring the senate companion to the bill we'll vote on today as well as
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senator cornyn and senator hatch, the finance committee chairman, for working to advance this resolution. we should pass it now so that we can restore this power back to the states where it belongs. now on another matter, in election after election, the american people have made their choices clear they want an end to obamacare. in my home state of kentucky, obamacare premiums are up by as much as 47% and almost half of the counties only have one option for an insurer on the exchange. the pain that individuals and families are feeling across the country is palpable. they've watched their bills skyrocket and their options disappear. obamacare has made a mess all across our country. again and again kentuckians have called for relief from this partisan law. republicans have heard their call, and we've adopted a three-pronged approach to stabilize the health care market
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and help it grow into the future. the first prong is the legislation currently being considered by committees over in the house. yesterday the congressional budget office underlined some important things we've been saying about the house bill. it will ultimately drive down premiums by 10%, in their estimation. it will provide further relief to the middle class by cutting taxes, a tax cut of $883 billion. it will also reduce the deficit by $337 billion, according to c.b.o. and that's only considering one part of our three-pronged approach. it doesn't take into account the other actions congress, the governors, or the executive branch can take to further provide relief, lower costs and improve access. obviously that means the c.b.o. statistics on average are
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premature and may not represent the final number of americans covered under the plan. last night we confirmed seema verma to head the centers for medicare and medicaid services, known as c.m.s. in that role, administrator verma has broad, very broad authority to regulate how obamacare interacts with the medicaid program. obamacare spent years raiding medicare funds and putting medicaid on an unsustainable path. and now she has the ability to work with states on much-needed reforms. secretary of health and human services, dr. tom price, just met with senate republicans to discuss what he's doing to lessen the burdens of obamacare on the american people. obamacare gave significant regulatory flexibility to the health and human services secretary as well as the c.m.s. administrator. secretary price and administrator verma now have the ability to make serious,
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serious policy shifts to benefit the american people. with the three-pronged strategy, we can begin to put the troubles of obamacare behind us. we can work together to make the health care marketplace more accessible and affordable. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.j. res. 42, which the clerk will report. the clerk: house joint resolution 42, disapproving the rules submitted by the department of labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation applicants. mr. mcconnell: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the democrat assistant leader. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, last week congressional republicans finally unveiled their proposal to replace the affordable care act. the affordable care act is a law passed by congress a little over six years ago with the expressed goal of expanding the number of americans with the protection of health insurance. it's been successful. we have the lowest percentage uninsured americans in history. what it means is that through offering medicaid to those in low-income categories, offering help to pay premiums for those in middle-income categories, and offering choices in the insurance exchange, we've really changed health insurance in america in six years. and now americans realize that when they take a look at their actual health insurance policy, it's worth something. it may be hard to remember, but
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we should, that only six years ago if you happened to have a child with a preexisting condition and you weren't lucky enough to have your insurance through your employer and you went out on the open market, you were in for a rough ride. many health insurance companies would not insure a family with a child that had a history of diabetes or surviving cancer. we changed that. we said no health insurance company in america can discriminate against a person or family because of a preexisting medical condition. is there a one of us that lives in a family that doesn't have a relative, a close relative with a preexisting condition? that was an important reform that was part of the affordable care act. obamacare. we also came to realize that they were selling health insurance to people with some fine print that made a difference.
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lifetime limits on coverage. well, i've got $1 million coverage. that sounds great until the next diagnosis or the next accident. and now a million dollars doesn't seem like such a large amount of money. and god forbid you end up with a chronic illness. one of my constituents came by to visit me two weeks ago. she was a guest of one of the members of congress and the president's speech in the joint session. she was diagnosed a few years ago with an unusual disease and one that is life-threatening at any given moment. she told me that in the past three years, she has spent more than $700,000 on medication. $700,000. and that will be a burden she faces the rest of her life. if her health insurance had a limit on how much it paid, there would reach a point where she couldn't buy the medicine she needs to save her life.
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we did away with that, and we said you can't discriminate against people by putting these limits. we also said when it comes to charging premiums, you can't discriminate against a person applying for health insurance solely because they happen to be a woman. now, there has been a lot of controversy over that in the house in their debate in the last week or so, but what we've said basically is that when it comes to insurance risk, put everyone in together. make this a bigger pool of people seeking health insurance so insurance can be profitable and affordable at the same time. we also said when it comes to the premiums charged on health insurance -- and i call attention to all of us over the age of 50 -- we said you cannot discriminate in premiums that you charge in health insurance, there can't be a disparity of more than 3-1 for the most expensive health insurance policy to the least expensive.
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we also said in addition to that, if you have a child, son or daughter, graduating college, looking for a job with no health care benefits, keep them on your family plan until they reach the age of 26. i have been through that. most families have. your recent college graduate no longer with student health insurance. and i said jennifer, do you have health insurance? dad, i feel just great. no father wants to hear that answer. so we changed the law. when it came to medicare under the affordable care act, we said we are going to eliminate the gap in coverage for prescription drugs for seniors. they used to call it the doughnut hole. it made no sense. it's something only congress could dream up. we closed it and said we're going to give seamless coverage to medicare prescription drugs. that was part of the affordable care act. we have put in incentives for
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people providing medical care to find ways to give us good quality care and reduce the cost. what was the net result? the slowest growth in premiums, hospitalization premiums for employer-based health care that we've seen in modern times, and when they put this new model for health care against the medicare program -- that's a program for seniors and disabled -- guess what? it bought ten years of solvency for medicare. that means that a program that's critically important for 60 million americans had ten more years of solvency. now, did this program have problems? of course it did. when you take on the health care system of america, you're not going to get it completely right the first time. and i believe and many others did that as important and valuable as that vote was, we had to be prepared to return to this program and make sure that we address problems as they
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would arise. for example, there's nothing in the affordable care act of substance when it comes to controlling the price of pharmaceuticals, prescription drugs. well, i can tell you what's happened. bluecross blueshield in chicago came to see me and the c.e.o. said blue cross blue shield is now paying more for prescription drugs than we're paying for in-patient hospital care. the cost of drugs is going through the roof. the net result of that, of course, the cost of health care goes up, too. the affordable care act should have addressed that and did not. we also had to find a way to make sure there was health insurance available all around the united states. some companies jumped in, some jumped out. many of us believe that we should have a single-payer plan available in every part of america so that you could choose for your family a medicare-type plan if you wish. otherwise, you would go to a private health insurance
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company, if you wish. your choice. so the republicans opposed the affordable care act. in the house, they voted against it 57, 58 times. i lose count. and then came the day when they had the majority, in the senate, in the house and in the white house. the answer to their prayers. now, once and for all, they can get rid of the affordable care act. they have got the votes. but then there was a problem. people across america started asking if you repeal it, what will happen next? will i still be able to get health insurance? will i be protected if i have a preexisting condition? will there be limits on what the policy covers? well, they hadn't quite thought that far ahead to look for the substitute, to look for the replacement, and so they went to work in a matter of five or six weeks and created what is now being considered by the house of representatives, the republican
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replacement plan. the congressional budget office is a nonpartisan office that takes a look at our bills and legislation and puts a score on them. how much is it going to cost? what is it going to do? we waited for congressional budget office scores over and over again when we wrote the affordable care act. they would come in and say nope, you have to go back to the drawing board, you have to change this and change that. well, just this week, they came out with the score on the republican replacement plan, the one to replace the affordable care act. they took a look at it and here's what they told us. to start off with, the republican replacement plan throws people off of health insurance coverage. how many? remember when president trump said that the g.o.p. health bill would have, quote, insurance for everybody, quote, unquote? under trumpcare, the new republican plan, trumpcare, 14 million people would lose
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their health coverage next year. by 2026, 24 million people will have lost their health care coverage. is this what we were looking for in the replacement plan for the affordable care act? to say to 24 million americans you'll no longer have health insurance coverage? think about the outcome of that. think about someone with a chronically ill child or who faces a chronic illness themselves with no health insurance. think about a working person who has no health insurance where they work, at least had coverage through medicaid and perhaps through the insurance exchange with a subsidy, now they're losing it. think about those same people without health insurance who still get sick and still go to the hospital and are unable to pay. incidentally, their bills that they can't pay, we pay.
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those bills are passed on to everyone else. so the first plank of the republican trumpcare, according to the congressional budget office, is to eliminate health insurance for 24 million americans. in addition, the republican trumpcare plan significantly raises premium costs on seniors. according to the official congressional budget office estimate, the bill will, quote, substantially raise premiums for older people. how does that happen? well, in addition to cutting back on the financial assistance for seniors to buy health insurance, trumpcare would allow insurance companies to charge older people significantly more than the affordable care act. remember the limit, the 3-1 limit on premiums that we built into the affordable care act? trumpcare says they'll make that
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5-1, so it means if you are over the age of 50 buying health insurance, your premiums can go up dramatically according to the congressional budget office. and the other thing, too. as we take more and more people out of coverage of health insurance, it really in a way dampens the incentive for affordable health care, and so the costs are not contained as they are today and the solvency of medicare, which we said was ten years more, remember that, they reduce it by four years. so what the republican trumpcare plan has done is to threaten the solvency of medicare. is that what we were looking for on the repeal of the affordable care act? i don't think so. trumpcare also raises costs for lower and middle-class families by repealing the cost-sharing
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subsidies and lowering the borrowed health plans. the congressional budget office says that lower and middle-class families shopping in the individual market should expect to see, and i quote from the report, substantially increasing out-of-pocket costs. the bill also -- and this was to be expected, expected in many bills, defunds planned parenthood. according to the congressional budget office, defunding of planned parenthood would, quote, affect services that help women avert pregnancies, most likely residing in areas without other health care clinics or medical practitioners who serve low-income populations, end of quote. congressional budget office projects 15% of those people -- again, these are lower income women in medically underserved areas of america would lose access to care.
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trumpcare also at the same time it does this eliminates health insurance for 24 million, raises the premium costs, defunds planned parenthood. for good measure, trumpcare provides tax cuts to the wealthiest people in america. is this what we were looking for? is that part of the bargain? those making over a million dollars a year in income will get a $50,000 tax cut from the trumpcare bill. the wealthiest .1% get a tax cut of nearly $200,000. and finally, while cutting taxes for the very rich, trumpcare also slashes $880 billion in medicaid spending over the next ten years. now, medicaid is a vital health care program. most people think about medicaid. oh, that's health insurance for the poor. it is, but who are the poor?
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overwhelmingly, in numbers, they are children and their moms who are in low-income groups. that's the biggest number. but the biggest expense for medicaid isn't kids and their moms. it's grandma and grandpa. it's our families and parents who are in an assisted care home, who have social security, medicare and medicaid to get by. these cuts by the republicans in trumpcare of medicaid will be felt by feals across the -- by families across the board. and in addition, it means that those who represent states like mine and the presiding officer with rural populations have small hospitals that depend on patients paying something when they come through the door. many of them are paying through medicaid. and if medicaid is reduced, the payments to the hospitals are reduced. that's why the illinois hospital association warns us against trumpcare.
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the illinois hospital association says it will threaten the hospitals of my state. they will not be receiving the medicaid reimbursement. they believe that up to 90,000 jobs at these hospitals will be lost in illinois. and i'll tell you as a down stater, those are some of the best-paying jobs in the community. many of my small towns, trying to keep businesses or attract businesses, brag up their hospital, as they should. and now trumpcare threatens the future of these hospitals. medicaid is a vital health care program for 65 million americans , seniors, persons with disabilities, children and low-income families nationwide, three million of them in my state. trumpcare would devastate the program. by 2026, according to the congressional budget office, 14 million fewer people would have medicaid. the affordable care act took a lot of good steps toward improving health care for
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seniors. before the affordable care act, the number of uninsured adults aged 50-64 rose substantially. 3.7 million in 2000, 8.9 million in 2010. insurance companies were just rejecting more than one in five applications from individuals between the ages of 50-64. thanks to the affordable care act, the rate of uninsured adults age 50-64 dropped 47.4% from 11.6 to 6.1%. the largest reduction in the uninsured rate occurred in the states that chose to expand medicaid. the affordable care act also prohibited insurers from denying coverage, as i said earlier, for people with preexisting conditions. it limited how much insurers could charge older enrollees, closed the doughnut hole, made important preventative services available for free, such as
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colonoscopies and annual checkups. let's look at what the trumpcare program, the republican program, does to seniors. it allows insurers to charge older people significantly more than younger people. reduces tax credits and would devastate the medicaid program which helps pay for two out of every three seniors in nursing home care. there's another thing i want to make a note of. many years ago in the senate, back in that corner desk sat a senator from minnesota named paul wellstone, democrat. over here on the aisle set pete domenici of new mexico, republican. for years they argued that we should include in every health insurance plan in america coverage for mental health, and the insurance companies fought them. because many mental health conditions are chronic and long
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term and may in some cases be expensive, they didn't want it. but wellstone and domenici had family members who struggled with mental illness, and they said, we need to include this in every health insurance plan. thank goodness they finally prevailed. every health insurance plan now in this country has to treat physical health issues and mental health issues the same, thanks to wellstone, thanks to domenici. and, in addition, theyed ad something which many -- and, in addition, they added something which many of us overlook. it said mental health and substance abuse treatment. what does that mean? it means if some member of their family is addicted, your health insurance plan can help pay for the help they need to get rid of their addiction. for many people it was the only place to turn, and it worked and thank goodness it did. we're at this moment in american
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history because of opioid and heroin and fentanyl, we have dramatic increases in addiction. now, what's going to happen under the trumpcare approach when it comes to mental illness and substance abuse treatment? are we going to require, quote, mandate every health insurance plan to include mental health treatment, as well as substance abuse? over and over again we hear from our republican friends we want competition, we want choice, we want to eliminate mandates. you can take that approach, but you're going to lose coverage for 24 million americans. and if you take that approach, you're going to be offering health insurance plans that aren't there when your family needs it. we had a round table discussion in rockford, illinois, last friday. when i go into these communities, i bring in the people who are the administrators of the hospitals, the doctors, the nurses, the clinics, the substance abuse treatment centers. to a person, they oppose
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trumpcare -- every single one of them said that it's the wrong thing to do at this moment in time. it will leave people more vulnerable. it will leave families with health insurance that is worthless when they need it. those are the bad, old days we finally escaped six years ago. and now the republicans want us to return to them, this competition/choice thing. access to health care. i have access to rolls royce dealerships, too, but i'm not going to be buying a rolls race because i want a-- a rolls royce because i can't afford it. what we've tried to do with the affordable care act is to make sure we not only give people access but protection from health insurance. from the beginning, the republicans have said, let's repeal the affordable care act. now they find that replacing it is a lot harder than they ever expected. i've said from the beginning as well, if the republicans are
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willing to take repeal off the table, i'm going to pull up a chair. if they want a bipartisan approach, an honest approach to making the affordable care act better, let's sit down an talk. sign me up. if the goal is to give more people good health insurance that they can afford to protect their families, if the goal was to find ways to give us better health care, quality results at a lower cost, i want to be part of that conversation. but if the goal is to deny health insurance coverage to 24 million americans, count me out. that, to me, is a step backwards in time. what comes next? if the republicans do this to the affordable care act, what is next? medicare? well, we happen to know the secretary of health and human services believes in privatizing medicare. i don't. i think that's a step in the wrong direction and will reduce the protection of medicare. but if they'll do this to the affordable care act, can
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medicare be far behind? or social security? it's important that we maintain our values when it comes to critical programs that america and its families count on. i hope that the house of representatives defeats trumpcare, puts it out of its misery, and then unvites all of us to come -- and then invites all of us to come tongue a bipartisan basis -- to come together on a bipartisan basis to talk about what we really need. there is no major medical group in america today that supports trumpcare -- none, not one. all we have is some conservative think tanks who believe this is a wonderful model. but the people on the ground, the administrators of the hospitals, the doctors, the clinicians, the nurses, the people in the health care clinics all tell us trumpcare is a disaster. it is a step in the wrong direction. it's going to decrease coverage and increase cost.
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that is not something that america needs for its future. mr. president, i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. grassley: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspend. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. grassley: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to enter into a colloquy with the junior senator from utah and nebraska. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i have come to the floor several times over the last eight years to discuss the constitutional principle of legislative powers between the legislative and judicial branches. president obama promised to act he would act independently of congress where he had to. his quote -- where they won't act, i will. i've come to the floor to discuss the many examples of executive overreach that we've witnessed from unilateral pursuit of climate change regulations to unconstitutionally recessed appointments. as i said before, the structure of our constitution is a critical safeguard of our liberty. as justice scalia said, quote,
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every banana republic in the world has a bill of rights. every president, for life, has a bill of rights. the real key to the distinctiveness of america is the structure of our government. end of quote. now i've served in the senate for 36 years, so i have a deep appreciation of the different roles of the coordinate branches and for the fact that the people govern themselves through their elected representatives. and my accountability to them is the defining characteristic of my role as one of their representatives in the united states senate. that's not true of judges in our federal system who are not elected, and it's certainly not true of the executive agencies
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that admonish the laws that we write here in the congress. judge gorsuch is the president's nominee to serve as the next justice of the supreme court, and it seems to me that he really understands the important differences in these roles, reflecting on the legacy of justice scalia, he remarked that, quote, the great project of justice ska lee hraoa -- justice scalia's career was to remind us of the differences between judges and legislators. end of kwoeft. i am -- end of quote of. i am going to turn to senator lee and ask him a question. how do you understand judge gorsuch to ewe differences between judges -- to view differences between judges,
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legislators and our constitution? mr. lee: thank you. your question cuts to the heart of the reason and why we have an independent judiciary and exactly why is it that our system of government that operates under the united states constitution depends so critically on individuals just like judge gorsuch. it depends on people like judge gorsuch sitting on the federal bench. there are, i believe, two fundamental differences between the judiciary, on the one hand and the two political branches on the other hand, that is the two branches people serve after being elected to office, meaning the legislative branch where we work and the executive branch headed by the president. the legislative and executive powers sweep far more broadly than the judicial powers. article one is what is granted
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to congress and article 2 vests executive power to the president. by comparison the judiciary power is far more si circumscrid and limited. the judiciary can decide a defined set of disputes, those that qualify as cases and controversies. to be clear, in the context of deciding a particular case, the judiciary has the power to invalidate and act, put in place by the elected branches of government. the power to say what the law is as chief justice onmarshall explained in and landmark case. but that power is limited. it's limited, among other things, by article 3 of the constitution and by jurisdictional requirements like standing and mootness and ripeness as explained in greater
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detail by supreme court precedent. the judiciary's authority to say what the law is points to the second major difference between the courts on the one hand and the political branches on the other. while the function of the judiciary is an exercise in reasoned judgment, the functions of the executive and legislative branches are exercises of power. there are many ways in which the constitution and the political theory underlying it limit the exercise of that power. the constitution protects minority rights and conditions the exercise of legislative or executive for power on winning elections and that in turn means winning the trust of the american people, of the voters throughout the country. these twin ideas, the consent of the governed and protection of minority rights within an essentially majority ruled
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system are pillars of our constitutional order. but make no mistake, coersion underlying the laws that we make in this body and their enforcement by the executive branch. by contrast, the judicial function is ultimately an exercise in reasoned judgment. as alexander hamilton explained in federalist 78, quote, neither forced nor will but merely judgment are exercised by the judiciary. this is the essential difference between the judiciary and other branches. the judiciary exercises judgment while the others exercise will. framers understood this well. as hamilton continued in in federalist 78. courts must declare the sense of the law, if they are to exercise will, the consequences would be their pleasure to that of the legislative body.
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the observation, if it proved anything, would prove there ought to be no judges distinct from that body. close quote. to put it another way, a judge who chooses to exercise will instead of judgment is no longer acting as a judge. that person is, instead, functioning, essentially, as a super legislator. it should be clear to all fair-minded people that judge gorsuch has established himself as someone who understands these deextinctive opinions. when you see his opinions, his understanding is to apply the law to the set of facts in the case before him. as we'll see next week during his confirmation hearings, -- he determines the outcome of each and every case. in some case that's manes judge gorsuch reaches results that
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senator gorsuch or president gorsuch or king gorsuch probably wouldn't choose were he deciding cases in any of those capaciti capacities. but judge gorsuch understands, of course, that he is a judge and not a king and not a president, not a senator, not a congress man and he understands that his job is to adjudicate cases based on the law according to the facts before him. as he said on the night he was nominated, a judge who likes every outcome he reachessings is very like -- reaches is very likely a bad judge. when you examine his record, you see that one of the defining characteristics of judge gorsuch is his independence, his judicial independence, his independence that is distinctively the hallmark of a good judge.
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he decides cases based on the law, not based on the parties before him and not based on his own political or ideological preferences. in the coming weeks, some of our colleagues may try to argue that judge gorsuch hasn't done enough to prove his independence since being nominated to the supreme court. if this criticism is raised against him, it will be a weak one. it will be one that doesn't apply here. the fact is judge gorsuch has spent his entire career as a judge and lawyer before that proving his independence. to this -- to his would-be critics, i'd simply say, read and analyze his opinions. they speak for him. theyspeak for themselves. they speak for the rule of law. study his approach to judging. listen to what he says about judicial independence and just as importantly, look at his actions. his actions prove his
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independence. i've done these things. i've examined judge gorsuch's record, and on that basis i'm confident he will not hesitate to apply the law appropriately in every case. there's absolutely no reason i can find anywhere in his record to prove otherwise. i think i only scratched the surface here today. i look forward to hearing judge gorsuch's testimony before the judiciary committee next week. mr. grassley: i thank you, senator lee, for your very thoughtful explanation. i know as both a senator and lawyer, you take the study of constitutional law very seriously -p and your -- seriously, and your point of view ought to be seen as authority on the separation of powers particularly, and i think the way you see judge gorsuch is similar to what i do. but you know the law a lot better than i do. it's clear that the questions about separation of power can arise in a very complex and
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legal, technical cases in the court, but i think the principle is a fundamental one. judge gorsuch has made this point himself, and i'd like to quote a little of what he said. recent supreme court cases, starting the quote, permit executive bureaucracies to swallow huge amounts of core judicial and legislative power and concentrate federal power in a way that seems more than a limb difficult to square -- a little difficult to square with the constitution of the framers' design. end of kwoeft. but to -- end of quote. but to quote on the role of the prosecutor and congress, he said, quote, if the separation of powers means anything, it must mean that the prosecutor isn't allowed to define the crimes that he gets to enforce. end of quote. soy want to ask my other
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colleague here for this colloquy, the senator from nebraska, a question that i'm sure he can answer and thought about a lot. these are not just legal technicalities that we're tal talking about, but the very fabric of our constitution. i hope you would agree. mr. sasse: thank you, chairman grassley for that question. and for joining us. as two of the only nonlawyers on the committee, it is important we do reclaim the separation of powers as a basic american inheritance and so i thank you for the chance to discuss it with you here today. starting the morning after president trump's victory last november, there's been a renaissance of separation of powers talk among many folks around this body. and that's a good thing. after eight years of legislative atrophy, many on the other side of the aisle are now remembering the old schoolhouse rock
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distinction among the three branchtion and this is good news for democratic health. if democrats are serious, and frankly if all of us are serious, because we in the body have taken an oath not to a political party but to limits where power is intentionally separated and divided, if we take this oath seriously, we would like to reclaim some of the congress's responsibility and ability and authority to check and balance the other two branches, and the debate around judge gorsuch's nomination and the hearings that we'll have beginning in your committee next monday are a great place to start. so i'd like to offer a little bit of what i think is an important historical backdrop for this debate. any discussion of the separation of powers must be rooted in a solid understanding of what we mean by the phrase and what our founders meant by the phrase, the consent of the governed. historically speaking, this is
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still a bold idea that must be constantly defined and reclaimed and renewed and passed on to the next generation. for over the course of human history, you can put every form of government into one of two categories. you're either ruled by people that you didn't choose or by people that you did choose. one of these groups has taken many forms through the centuries. kings, elites, political parties and technocrats. indeed, most governments throughout human history fit this mold, where the people were ruled by a form of government that they had no say in and that they didn't choose. but there's another group, and these are people who rule themselves through the leaders that they have chosen and continually get to choose. when the leaders fail to serve the will of the people, those leaders can be removed. and this describes our form of government, and it's an historical anomaly. we should recognize that, and our kids should understand what a special blessing it is to live under this form of government.
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the point is elegantly simple. either people are ruled or the people are ultimately and fundamentally the rulers. why does this matter? this isn't a question to take flippantly but rather each generation of americans should reexamine and reclaim and reteach it. so why is it so important that the people are actually the rulers in their government? it comes down to a profound truth about human dignity. human beings cannot thrive when they are stripped of basic liberties. human flourishing requires the freedom to make basic choices about how you will live your life in community. who are your friends? who will you marry? where will you work? what do you believe? who do you worship? how do you worship? these are the things the founders meant when they said that we are all born with a right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness. notice that the founders were not referring to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as a bunch of vague platitudes or
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as aspirational please san tries for a -- pleasantries for a bumper sticker. they are rights we have from god via nature and can't be taken away from us by some other man or woman. here's what's great about this idea. we're all born equals in the eyes of god and history and have certain rights and as a group of equals, it requires people to get permission for a time -- permission to serve for a time. this is what founders call the self-evident truth, something so obvious it didn't need to be proven. a truth so true that denying it would be denying something essential and true about human nature itself. and once we understand this, our expectation tion of our government begin to change. we expect responsiveness and transparency. respect equality before the law -- we expect equality
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before the law. government's primary purpose is not to solve every human problem like a king or techno crat. rather government's job is to provide liberty so we can live our lives in our communities, our families, our businesses and our places of worship. government's job is to secure the rights of a free and sovereign people. what does this have to do with judge gorsuch? what does it have to do with a confirmation for the supreme court next week? what does it have to do with separation of powers? as americans, we secure our rights by separating the functions of government into what our founders call the three different departments. there is a congress to write the laws. this is article 1 of the constitution. there is a president or a presiding officer as he was first called, to execute the laws. and there is a court to decide the controversies under the law. this system of checks and balances keeps too much power from falling into any one set of hands and it keeps the american people in charge. we sometimes talk
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euphemistically about judicial activism and that's a big problem but we don't unpack it enough. a judge who takes it as his or her job to do anything other than settle cases is not just being an activist, they're becoming an untouchable, unfirable ruler. they're becoming a lawmaker that is not accountable to the people because judges have lifetime tenure. a judge who uses his position to write the law fundamentally undermines the foundation of government which is that the will of the people should rule. and this is why i'm so strongly supporting judge neil gorsuch to be the next justice of the supreme court. he fully understands his place in the government as a servant of the people, not as some unchosen ruler with lifetime tenure. when you listen to judge gorsuch, when you read his speeches, when you read his opinions, it's clear that he is not interested in making laws. he knows that that's not his calling. he's interested in interpreting
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laws. he's interested in upholding and defending the constitution. he is not interested, when he has his robe on, in specific policy outcomes. he's interested in justice. he's not interested in the laws that he as a private citizen might want. he's focused on the laws that are actually written in the books. he is a judge's judge, and that's exactly what the constitution calls for. in closing, i'd like to read three quotes from judge gorsuch into the record to demonstrate how he be conceives of his job. first, quote, tonight i would like to suggest that perhaps the greatest project of justice scalia's entire career -- again, this is judge gorsuch paying tribute to justice scalia. i would like to suggest that perhaps the greatest project of justice scalia's entire career was to, quote, remind us of the differences between judges and legislators. to remind us that legislators may appeal to their own moral convictions. they may appeal to claims about
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social utility, to reshape the law as they think it should be in the future. but that judges should do none of these things in a democratic society. that judges should strive, even if humanly and imperfectly, should strive to apply the law as it is, focusing backward, not forward, and looking to the text, to the structure, and to the history to decide what a reasonable reader at the time of the events in question would have understood that law to be. not to decide cases based on the judge's own moral convictions or the policy consequences that they believe might best serve society. close quote. again, he's saying a judge is not a super legislator. if a judge wants to be a legislator, that's a completely fine thing to do. take off your robe, resign your position and run for office so that people can decide whether to hire you or fire you. but if you're a judge and you have lifetime tenure, you don't get to make your policy preferences, the will of the people somehow.
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second quote, quote, when the political branches disagree with a judicial interpretation of an existing law, the constitution prescribes the appropriate remedial process. it is called legislation. admittedly, the legislative process can be an arduous one but that's no bug in the constitutional design. it is the very point of the design. close quote. and third and finally, quote, to the founders, the legislative and judicial powers were distinct by nature and their separation was among the most important liberty protecting devices of the constitutional design. an independent right of the people, essential to the preservation of all other rights enumerated in the constitution and its amendments. close quote. if my colleagues in this body are serious, if the 100 of us are serious, if we want to defend our role as legislators, if we're serious about doing our job as lawmakers, if we're
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concerned about overreaching executives, if we're concerned about the lack of accountability in the administrative bureaucracies of the government, if we honestly want to make congress great again, we should start by confirming judge neil gorsuch. mr. chairman. mr. grassley: thank you, senator, for your very thoughtful explanation. you and senator lee have laid out very clearly the constitution's separation of powers, the proper role for judges, and the proper role for members of congress. and when one can't interfere with the other. and i think you've laid out very clearly, as i agree, that judge gorsuch fits in very well with what judges are supposed to do, what the supreme court is supposed to do, and obviously not legislate. because members of the judiciary doing that have a lifetime
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appointment. they can't be voted out of office. and that's why when people don't like what the congress does every two or six years, as far as the house and senate are concerned, they get a chance to express that opposition and send somebody else to do the job, where you can't do that with whoever is on the supreme court. so i want to thank my colleagues for participating with me in this conversation that we've had about the separation of powers and about the thoughts of judge gorsuch on that issue of judges judging and not legislating. his record demonstrates a firm grasp on the separation of powers that animates our constitution. he's an independent judge who properly understands the judicial role. and at a time when we hear
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renewed calls for an independent judiciary, i don't think we could have a better nominee to fit the bill. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to talk about the so-called health care bill that is coming out of the house of representatives, that's been supported by the president. we just got yesterday, mr. president, the report from
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the congressional budget office that analyzes this legislation and its impacts on americans. and what we find in great detail and with great clarity is that this trumpcare legislation is a huge tax windfall to the wealthiest americans at the expense of affordable health care for tens of millions of our fellow citizens. and it is time that the senate began to pay attention to what was happening in this legislation. someone might look at this and now call it not trumpcare, but trumpcare doesn't care, because what we -- but trump doesn't care, because what we find out is in the very first year, in 2018, 14 million americans will lose their health coverage. 14 million in the very first year that this is implemented. those are moms and dads and
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kids, people of all ages, just fellow americans. and two years after that, beginning in 2020, you're going to see 21 million of our fellow citizens who lose their access to health coverage. and let me be clear when we say they lose their access to affordable care. we're talking about compared to what they have right now under the affordable care act, under obamacare. so in the year 2020, 21 million americans who have access to affordable care through the affordable care act are going to lose it. and within ten years that will rise to 24 million of our fellow citizens. not only are those millions of americans going to lose their health care, in the early years of this new plan people are going to see their premiums spike in the individual market. we've heard understandable complaints about the increase in premiums in the affordable care
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act exchanges. and there are commonsense things that we can do to fix it. many of us have put forward proposals to do that. but this will actually dramatically spike up to 20% premiums in those markets in the early years. who gets especially hard hit? well, older americans, americans between 45 years old and 65 years old before they are old enough to receive medicare, but when they are old enough to be potentially experiencing many health care issues. in fact, if you look at the congressional budget office -- and i know people sometimes gloss over the fine print, but table four indicates that if you're a 64-year-old with an income of $26,000 a year, your premium is going to increase from $1,700 a year to a whopping
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$14,600 per year. that's in the congressional budget office report, but you know what? aarp, they believe it and they are on full alert, letting americans throughout the country know how damaging this will be to older americans who will all of a sudden see their premiums and their co-pays, their deductibles are going to go through the roof, and it's going to become absolutely unaffordable for those older americans to get health insurance. on top of that, despite what we all know is an opioid crisis in the country, an epidemic of substance abuse and addiction, despite that, this trumpcare bill actually eliminates the medicaid funding specifically to deal with opioid addiction.
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so i know many members of this senate and the house have been going back home, going to all parts of their states, urban areas, suburban and rural areas to talk about the scourge of opioid addiction, and many have been talking about the fact that the senate was able to work to increase funding to address those addiction issues, but this house bill, this trumpcare bill actually eliminates the medicaid program for opioid abuse and addiction. and the list of horribles goes on and on. they claim that you're going to be able to get coverage, no problem if you have got preexisting conditions or whatever, but the reality is let's say you have got a job. let's say you lose your job. let's say you lose your income because you have lost your job.
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you only have 63 days to turn around and get insurance, which may not be affordable, and if you're not able to find your insurance and an affordable insurance plan in those 63 days, when you finally do, they're going to charge you a 30% penalty. so you lost your job, you've got no income, so you can't afford insurance, and yet when you finally are in a position to do it, they're going to charge you a penalty of 30%. and the more you dig into this trumpcare legislation, the more things like that you find out. it's really important that the american people know what's in it as we debate this important issue. women's health. the trumpcare bill directly goes after women's access to affordable health care, including their defunding of planned parenthood, and i think
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all of us know that in many, many parts of our country, planned parenthood clinics are the only viable source of health care for women who are looking for cancer screening, breast cancer screening, cervical cancer screening and other preventative health care measures. so as we read this report, mr. president, from the congressional budget office that just came out yesterday, we're getting a better idea about why the house of representatives was so eager to rush this through the committees. rushed it through the ways and means committee. rushed it through the energy and commerce committee in the house, because apparently it's a lot easier to vote for a piece of legislation when you don't know the consequences. apparently, it's easier to say yes to this bill when you don't know that it will deny health care coverage to 24 million americans, spike premiums over
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the next couple of years, eliminate other important coverage for our fellow americans. but people don't have that excuse anymore. they tried to rush it through. they got it through those two committees. willful ignorance, allowed them to have those votes, and it passed those committees, but now we have from the congressional budget office a comprehensive and thorough analysis of the impact on our fellow americans, and it hurts. it hurts a lot. now i recall -- and i think the american public recalls that during the campaign on "60 minutes," candidate trump said, and i quote, i'm going to take care of everybody. i don't care if it costs me votes or not. everybody's going to be taken care of much better than they're taken care of now. well, you tell that to the
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14 million americans who are going to lose their health insurance in 2018. you tell that to the 64-year-old who is now paying $14,000 in premiums a year up from $1,700 today. you tell that to people who are suffering from opioid abuse in all parts of our country when the medicare program no longer has to provide coverage for substance abuse. that is not taking care of everybody. that is leaving tens of millions of americans behind. that was during the campaign, here's what we heard from president trump in january, this year. quote, he's going to provide insurance for everybody. that just isn't so. unless what you're saying is we're going to offer you a totally unaffordable insurance
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plan, and by the way, if you happen to have enough money, you can pay for it. it's kind of like saying to somebody, you know what, that rolls royce or that lamborghini, that's available for purchase, but you know what? most of us just don't have the money to afford that kind of purchase. so in that theoretical sense, you may argue that health insurance is available, but the congressional budget office didn't look at theory. they looked at fact. they looked at the impact on real americans and concluded 14 million would lose their access in 2018 and rising to 24 million over the next decade. so despite the fact that on march 9, president trump tweeted, quote, it will end in a beautiful picture, that is not a beautiful picture for tens of millions of americans who will be left behind by this series of broken promises, broken promises
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and betrayal from president trump as he campaigned around the country, promised coverage for everybody, affordable coverage. we'd all love it. now we have the hard facts. so, mr. president, it was quite a spectacle to see the secretary of the department of health and human services, tom price, trying to run away from the facts in the congressional budget office report. he got up and said, you know, he doesn't really believe the congressional budget office report. well, mr. president, the reality is that tom price, when he was congressman price, when he was the ranking democrat on the house budget committee, along with senator enzi, helped pick the current director of the congressional budget office, keith hall. i know that because i was the senior democrat on the house
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budget committee and i was part of the interview process. you know, they let us come along, but the reality is that at the end of the day, he was picked by secretary tom price, and higher's what tom price said about the director of the congressional budget office. he said, and i'm quoting keith hall, that's the director, will bring an impressive level of economic expertise and experience to the congressional budget office. throughout his career, he has served in both the public and private sector under presidents of both parties and in roles that make him well suited to lead the congressional budget office. and he goes on to praise the director of the congressional budget office. mr. president, i know you and our colleagues have experienced understanding how important it is to have a nonpartisan referee in the congressional budget office.
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otherwise, it's anything goes. senators get to make up their own facts. i know we have a white house and a president that has invented the term alternative facts and alternative reality and alternative universe, but here in the congress, we have prided ourselves on knowing that there is some referee on the field when it comes to the congressional budget office. we don't agree with every single conclusion they have got, but we don't work to discredit them, and it really is a discredit to the secretary of h.h.s. that having praised and picked the current director of c.b.o., he would now attack that institution simply because he doesn't like the results of their analysis, and i wouldn't like the results either because they show how devastating trumpcare is for the american people. it shows what a total betrayal
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of the president's promises trumpcare is to the american people. and it's not just the congressional budget office analysis that has reached that conclusion. he's going to have to also go after the aarp because they're on full alert and they are calling all their members to say this is a really bad bill for tens of millions of americans, especially older americans, people in the range of 45 years old to 64 years old before they get on medicare. the american hospital association and hospitals in all parts of our country and especially rural hospitals, areas that candidate trump campaigned heavily on are letting their members know the devastating consequences of this trumpcare bill. the american medical association, people who are providing health care to our fellow citizens. they're letting people know how damaging this will be, so we
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have a wide array of americans who are in the position, and it's their job to provide health care to the american public that says, whoa, this is harmful to your health. this is a danger to the health care of the american people. and it's not simply the numbers. it's also the people and faces behind those numbers, mr. president. from maryland, i got a note from jenny in salisbury, in the western start of our state. she says, quote, i have a rare progressive lung disease. with good care, i may live 30 more years. without it, i may live five or ten, sick and disabled. i remember high-risk pools and preexisting conditions exclusions. i need the a.c.a. i may die without it, and i'm afraid for my life. here's gail from annapolis.
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i am very concerned with the repeal of the affordable care act. it helps the disability community. our adult daughter who has severe cognitive disability will be relying on medicaid for health services after my husband retires this summer at age 70 with a second time recurrence of lymphoma. i don't know what you can do, but this is a concern as aging parents find their special needs adult child may not have coverage as she loses her family's ability to support her health care. and the letters go on and on from all parts of maryland and all parts of the country. mr. president, what adds insult to injury is that all these americans are going to be harmed. the 24 million who will lose their health coverage, those who will experience spikes in their premiums and co-pays, the older americans 45-64 who are going to
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see gigantic increases in their costs so they're not going to be able to afford health care any more, those in rural areas and urban areas in all parts of our country who are suffering from opioid abuse but medicaid's no longer going to cover it. all of that harm is being done to tens of millions of our fellow citizens in order to give this huge tax break, this huge tax break to the wealthiest americans and special interests, including insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry. the congressional budget office report is pretty clear. $590 billion in tax cuts. do you know what the top .1% income earners will get in terms of tax cuts? an average tax cut of $200,000. millionaires, an average tax cut of $50,000. there's even a provision in here that says to insurance companies we're going to subsidize the
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bonuses you pay for c.e.o.'s. you're now going to be able to deduct the multimillion-dollar bonuses that you pay to your c.e.o.'s. we're going to do that so that fewer people can have health coverage. insurance companies -- we get rid of the fee on insurance companies that help provide access to millions of americans. so it is simply grotesque, mr. president, that we see this legislation getting as far as it did. we know why they tried to move it so quickly without the congressional budget office report. because this report is devastating. it should be the final nail in the coffin of trumpcare. and we should all, frankly, be a little embarrassed by a proposal that provides $590 billion in tax cuts to the wealthiest
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americans and some of the most powerful special interests at the expense of health care so -- for so many of our fellow citizens. so we've got to say mo to this plan -- say no to this plan. we've got to say no to trumpcare and let's get about doing our business. there's some issues we can deal with with the affordable care act, but you don't destroy it while giving these tax breaks to the wealthiest americans in order to do our job. thank you, mr. president. ms. stabenow: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, mr. president. first, before the distinguished senator from maryland leaves the floor, i want to thank him for his powerful advocacy on behalf of his citizens, and i would only say "amen," as you were speaking because there is so much at stake for the moms and dads and kids and grandpas and grandmas in michigan and maryland and that's why we're on the floor speaking out so
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strongly and fighting so hard to defeat a very bad proposal. so thank you. let me first start, mr. president, by just indicating that what's being debated right now in the house, the trumpcare proposal, is not what president trump promised. it's just not what he promised. he said it would be great. he said that people would get as good a health care or better health care, and that it would cost less. and we know that that is just simply not true. according to a fox news report on the increase of people who would no longer have health care -- be able to ge medical care ur the new -- be able t to get medical care under the new health care plan, 14 million
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would be uninsured next year. people would have to return to the emergency room rather than a family doctor. rather than being able to take care of the cold or something minor for their children, chances are it would become something very serious before they would be able to be in a position to take them to a doctor or more likely an emergency room. and we know that in the next 10 years we're talking about 24 million americans -- 24 million americans -- moms, dads, grandpas, kids -- who would no longer be able to see a doctor and no longer have health insurance. trumpcare also would cost seven million people who work right now, have an employer who is providing them health insurance so they can get to the doctor and care for their family, seven million people would lose the insurance they have through their employer right now. that's not making things better.
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seven million people in that situation. this is really a triple whammy for middle-class families across our country and certainly for people in michigan. higher costs, less coverage, and more taxes, and it's something that i believe we need to join with aarp and our doctors and hospitals and nurses and people who advocate to treat cancer and alzheimer's and breast cancer and juvenile diabetes and all of the other people who care and advocate on behalf of loved ones or themselves who need to be able to see a doctor and get health care coverage. we need to say no to trumpcare that is being proposed in the house. one of the things that is really outrageous in this proposal is a senior tax that allows insurance companies to hike rates on older americans, and right in the budget report -- this is in the
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budget report that we have received now -- they're saying that in 2026 -- ten years -- a single woman or man 64 years of age making $26,500, making $26,500 a year, who currently pays $1,700 for their health insurance would suddenly get a bill for $14,600. so under this plan, that 64-year-old is going to go from $1,700 out of pocket to see a doctor to get their treatments, to get the chair they need -- to get the care that they need to $14,600. then if you compare that to the fact if somebody who is 46 mak
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makesmillions of dollars a year, they're going to get a $200,000 tax cut. unbelievable. unbelievable. most people in michigan who work hard every single day get up and go to work, most of the people i represent don't make $200,000 a year. and we're talking about a $200,000 tax cut for multimillionaires that's in this proposal. that's why the aarp, nonpartisan organization representing millions of people across the country, are actively working to defeat this. we also know that this creates what i call a voucher under medicaid, meaning instead of paying for whatever nursing home care is needed -- if your mom or dad has alzheimer's, parkinson's disease, they're just simply in
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a nursing home for a variety of reasons, right now they get whatever care that they need. there's not a cap on the amount of care. there's not are a limit -- there's not a limit on the amount of care. under this proposal, there would be "x" amount of dollars put aside for your mom or dad or grandpa or grandma. and if the care they needed, because of their alzheimer's disease, was more than that, you would pay for it or your elderly parent in some way would have to figure out how to pay for it. this is outrageous. medicaid, both for families and for seniors in nursing homes, has been a critical part of making sure people can get the medical care that they need. and i frankly celebrate today the fact that under the medicaid expansion, under the affordable
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care act, 97% of the children in michigan can see a doctor. imagine that -- 97% of the children. almost all of our children can go to a family doctor. their moms and dads know that they're going to be able to take them to the doctor when they get sick. i don't want to roll that back. and that's what the trumpcare proposal does. we also know -- and this is reported on fox news as well -- that the new plan woulded a a 15% to 20 -- would add a 15% to 20% premium increase for an individual starting next year. a 15% to 20% premium increase to an individual starting next year. and, again, at the same time big tax cuts for multimillionaires. and i have to say, as somebody who worked very, very hard on the women's health care provisions and authored the
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maternity care provisions, i find it outrageous that the trumpcare proposal would mean, as a woman, maternity care is not covered as part of basic health care for women. you know, prior to the affordable care act being passed, there were only 12% of the plans in michigan -- 12 plant out of 100 -- 12 plans out of 100 -- that offered maternity care. you'd have to get a rider. and let's say that maybe you gambled, you weren't planning on getting pregnant and weren't sure what was going to happen so you didn't pay extra and then you were pregnant. then guess what? you had a preexisting condition and you couldn't get insurance. we don't want to go back to the time when being a woman is in fact a preexisting condition. and speaking of preexisting conditions, this plan puts it
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back in the hand of the insurance companies, creates penalties for people. and the truth of the matter is, under the affordable care act, we made sure that actually when you purchase insurance, it is a real plan. it's not a junk plan. and you can't get dropped when you get sick. and if you have a preexisting condition, they can't block you. if you're a woman, you don't have to pay more. if you have a mental illness, rather than a physical illness, you don't have to pay more. if you need cancer treatments, the insurance company can't tell your doctor how many treatments you're going to get or how much they will pay for of your treatments. and everybody has benefited from that, mr. president -- whoever has insurance in this -- everybody who has insurance in this country also benefited from that. and one of the most beneficial provisions relates to
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preexisting conditions and that in fact is not tinged, as it should be, for -- is not continued, as it should be, for american families. while we're talking about people paying more, getting less coverage, middle-class families paying more in taxes, guess what? wealthy people do not. so if you're a multimillionaire, you're going to get big tax cuts in this provision and you, the middle-class family, the working family, is going to pay for it. you're going to pay for it in higher premiums, you're going to pay pour it in less health care for your -- .pay for it in less health care for your family. that is absolutely unacceptable. in addition to that there is a tax break for insurance company c.e.o.'s so that they -- they can in fact get a raise up to $1 million. so in this proposal, the very wealthy people, insurance companies, drug companies,
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c.e.o.'s are taken care of. vast amounts of money put back in their pocket while money is taken out of yours. absolutely unacceptable. and that's why we, as democrats, are fighting so hard to make sure this does not happen, is not passed, and that in fact we will work together to strengthen our health care system. we know there are areas where premiums are too high, co-pays are too high, and we need to work together in a bipartisan basis to fix a this. but unraveling our entire system, ripping apart, creating chaos, more cost, less ability to go to the doctor, less medical care for people is absolutely unacceptable. the bottom line is: trumpcare means more money out of your pocket and less health care for you and your family, and that is just wrong in the
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greatest country in the world. mr. president -- mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the minority leader leader. mr. schumer: i want to first thank my colleague from michigan for her utstanding presentation. it was succinct. it was to the point. it showed all the problems with trumpcare, and i hope we'll see a lot more not only of her speaking about it -- i know we will -- but of those great charts that she put together. now, i, too, rise this afternoon again on the republican plan to repeal and replace the affordable care act. there's been some confusion about what to call it, mr. president. speaker ryan, one of the principal authors of the bill, doesn't want it called ryancare. president trump doesn't want it called trumpcare. now, president trump slapped his name on buildings, ties, stakes,
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hotels -- establishes, hotels and golf clubs, but not on this bill. why doesn't any republican want to put their name on it? the, i think, is because every single day, as we learn more and more about the bill, more and more americans are turning against it. doctors don't like it, patients don't like it, hospitals don't like it, women don't like it, millennials don't like it, seniors don't like it. more and more republicans don't like it, and democrats are totally united against it. so i just want to ask one question: trumpcare has been public for one week now. is there any group left in the country who actually likes it? i'm not sure there is. so republicans have resorted to their usual talking points. they like to talk about access to health care. that's what dr. price said over and over again. didn't talk about people getting health care, just having access
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to health care. they say they want universal access to health care. well, every american has universal access to a lamborghini. you can walk into the lamborghini showroom and say, i'd like to purchase one, and the proprietor says, that'll be a couple of hundred thousand dollars and you can't buy it. access is not enough. access is not enough. every single american would like a huge mansion worth $10 million. you have access. you can go to a real estate agent and say, show me the list to the $10 million mansions in my community. that's access. can't afford it. so we know when dr. price and others talk about access, they're trying to actually verbally trick the american people, because people can't afford health care. they won't have the health care,
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but they can inquire about it. that's all access is. you know what, mr. president? americans are smarter than that. they know having good health insurance is what leads to affordable care. access to care won't save your life, won't make you well if you can't afford it. so what's the real effect to this trumpcare bill? well, last night the congressional budget office made clear that 24 million fewer americans will have health insurance if trumpcare becomes the law of the land. it's one of the biggest broken promises that this president has made, and he's broken a lot of them. in an interview with "the washington post," here's what the president said, quote, we're going to have insurance for everybody. here it is. that's his quote. president trump, we're going to have insurance for everybody. much less expensive and better,
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he said. we're going to have insurance for everybody. well, the c.b.o. report confirms that trumpcare does not even remotely come close to that pledge. the president was off by only 24 million americans. that's more than the population of my entire state. seniors will also get crushed with higher premiums. americans of all ages will have to pay more out-of-pocket costs with deductibles and copays. let me give you one example from the c.b.o. report. a 64-year-old american not eligible for medicare makes maybe $26,500. that person, that man or woman would have to pay a premium of $14,600. that's more than that senior's -- that's more than half that senior's entire income.
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how will that inbe possible? -- that even be possible? if there was ever a war on seniors, this bill trumpcare is it. and, mr. president, the c.b.o. report also shows that trumpcare spends more on tax breaks for the very wealthy and for insurance companies than it does on tax credits to help middle class americans afford health insurance. in the final tally, trumpcare would erase more than $1 trillion from programs that help poor and middle-class families in order to fund an almost $900 billion tax break aimed largely at the wealthy and corporations. that would constitute one of the greatest transfers of wealth from the middle class and the poor to the very rich in the last few decades. as my friend leader pelosi said this morning, it's reverse robin
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hood. taking from the poor and middle class and giving to the rich. i'd say this bill, trumpcare, is robin hood on steroids. now, mr. president, rather than go back to the drawing board to solve these problems, what are our republican friends doing? attacking c.b.o., the messenger. there's just one problem. this messenger they're attacking is their own messenger. who appointed dr. hall, the head of c.b.o.? who is the person most responsible? none other than secretary price. he hand picked him, now the head of h.h.s. dr. hall has great conservative republican credentials, not only picked by dr. tom price but he worked at the he mercada instite which we all know is funded in part by the koch brothers. here is a man chosen by one of the most conservative republicans in the house who is
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now h.h.s. secretary teaching at an institute, funded by the koch brothers, the leading funders of the hard right, and they're attacking him because they don't like his honest answers. republicans are attacking the referee because they're losing the game, plain and simple. everyone from the second grade on knows taught by their parents you don't attack the referee. it's unsportsman like. in this case it's a lot worse. it has life and death consequences unlike a softball game for a second grader. so, mr. president shes when you look at the -- so, mr. president, when you look at the c.b.o. score, it's hard to even call this a health care bill. a health care bill actually attempts to provide health insurance to more americans. this bill results in 24 million fewer americans with health insurance. a health care bill would help people afford health insurance. this bill would likely increase
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costs on middle class and working families while making it cheaper for the top 1% and much cheaper for the top .1%, people who make over $500,000 a year. they get the biggest benefit because they get a huge tax break. a health care bill would seek to protect older and sicker americans who need health insurance the most. this bill jacks up the price on older americans the most. a health care bill would make it easier for americans to shop for health insurance, but the c.b.o. says under this bill, plans would be harder to compare making shopping for a plan on the basis of price more difficult. that's their quote. so by no measure can we call trumpcare an actual health care bill. the only thing this bill makes healthier is the bank accounts of the wealthiest americans, people who make above $250,000 would get an average tax break
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of $200,000. people who make a million dollars would get an average tax break of $57,000. that's what this bill is all about. our republican friends have been dying to cut taxes on the rich. that's what their tax reform bill will be about. that's what this is about. at a time when donald trump was campaigning to help the middle class, the working people, he gets into office and boom. first big, big, big proposal? reduce taxes on the wealthiest people. it's not going to play. in peoria, brooklyn or charlotte. so, we democrats are going to stand strong, stay united and fight tooth and nail against trumpcare until our republican friends drop their repeal efforts for good.
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mr. president, i yield the floor and notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. schatz: thank you, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schatz: thank you, mr. president. so, what shall we call it? what do we call this new bill that the republicans are rushing through to take away health care
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for millions of americans? is it trumpcare? is it ryan care? it's important to remember that both paul ryan and president trump are branding experts. the president put his name on a line of steaks. he put his name on a line of magazines and hotels. he, woulded pretty hard as a polly wonk, a serious thinker, that has branded everything he worked on from the ryan budget to, quote, a better way. but neither leader of the republican party wants to own this thing, and that's because trump is one of the -- trumpcare is one of the worst pieces of legislation i have ever seen. the process has been a mess, despite the fact that the republicans have had seven years to work on a plan. at first they were thinking about doing this without getting a score from the congressional
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budget office, the c.b.o., but then they realized that their loyal soldiers didn't want to vote on something without knowing how much it would cost or how many people would lose health care. now they are saying that the score doesn't matter or it's wrong except for the areas in which they like the score. they spent the last 48 hours trashing the c.b.o. when there's plenty of evidence that for the last eight years, they referred to the c.b.o. as an expert source when it fit their needs. look, the legislative process requires hearings, it's requires expert testimony, and that's not a mere formality. that's how you get a decent product. for all of the different ways that the a.c.a. was passed, they did have hearings and discussions. it took over a year. president obama himself even went to the republican retreat and personally engaged inle
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policy. moving this fast is the kind of thing you do with naming a post office or some other noncontroversial measure or it's the kind of thing you do with something that you don't want people to look at closely, because every moment that passes, this coalition, phrase, if it ever existed in the first place, now you have criticism from, literally, left, right, and center, and that's in part because no one saw this coming. no one expected a bill that would look like this because during the campaign this administration promised not to cut medicaid. they promised that everyone -- every single american would have health insurance, but here we are. and if trumpcare becomes law, 14 million people will lose their health care next year. let me repeat that. in just one year, 14 million americans will no longer have the health insurance they were promised.
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i want to talk about what that means. this week "the washington post" featured the stories of people in a single county whose lives have changed for the better because of medicaid. in mcdowell county, west virginia, medicaid has helped thousands of people get access to physical therapy and immunizations, allowed them to see a counselor for opioid addiction. they were able to get the health care they needed. this doesn't just benefit the individual, it benefits the whole community so that they can work and contribute to the economy. they allow us to save money by allowing us to focus on prevention instead of treatment. this is what is at stake and the services that will go away. because trumpcare will cut medicaid by $880 billion. trumpcare is going to cut
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medicaid by $880 billion. here's another thing. trumpcare is also going to impose an age tax that will allow insurance companies to charge older people more money for health insurance -- a lot more. i want to be clear. we're not just talking about senior citizens here. we are talking about people who are pre-medicare, anyone under the age of 65, but not exactly young. a 64-year-old will be charged five times the amount a 21-year-old will be charged. starting -- the older you get, the mother o- more money you will -- the more money you will get charged. that's why the aarp has come out against this bill. every year you get older, they will charge you more. this is an age tax. this is a penalty for getting older. there's an important point about process. this is actually not a health care bill. that is not a political statement. that is not a rhetorical
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flourish. this is what is going on. if this were a health care bill, there would be new legislation. in order to pass new legislation in under the rules of the united states senate, you need 60 votes, and the reason that we are working this through reconciliation is because they have nowhere near 60 votes. so what can you do win the reconciliation -- within the reconciliation process? they are basically stuck with dealing with taxes and subsidies. that's all they can do. this is a tax vehicle. so then the question becomes -- who's getting money and who's getting charged more money? and on that count, this tax bill is one of the biggest wealth transfers in american history. it is a transfer from working-class americans to rich americans. that's what this bill does. it takes money from the people who need help the most and gives it to the very wealthy. so here we are in 2017, just a
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few months out from an election where income and equality were one -- was one of the driving issues on both sides of the aisle. what the republicans from the house seem to take is that their mandate is to have taxes for insurance executives an investor class. in order to cut medicaid by $8 $88billion. it's like they were asleep all of last year or maybe they were never very serious about income and equality. we do not need another election to know that this is not what the american people expect from congress. they expect bipartisan compromise and results that will make their health care better. my own view is that we consider work together on health care, but it requires three things. first, good faith, second, bipartisanship, and, third,
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legislative hearings. frankly beings we have seen none of these things because the process has been a mess. we need to have a conversation in the light of day and let the american people weigh in. what is the rush? there's no doubt that there's plenty of room for improvement in the existing health care law, but trumpcare makes it much, much worse. it will cause chaos tkph-t american economy -- in the american economy and 24 million americans' lives. that's a threat to the progress we have made over the last seven years. it is a threat to .6% of the american economy and a threat to the 24 million americans who stand to lose their health care. these threats are the reasons that the senate needs to come together and say -- slow down. let's work together. let's work on forming a bipartisan foundation. let's have hearings, and most importantly, let's not impose this catastrophe in a hurry on
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the american people. i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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cobbling cobbling plld? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the time until 5:45 p.m. today, including quorum calls, be equally divided in the usual form with 15 minutes of the
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democratic time being reserved for the use of senator wyden or his designee. further, that at 5:45 p.m., the remaining time on h.j. res. 42 be considered expired, the resolution be read a third time and the senate vote on the resolution with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i have six requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. these have been approved by both the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. cornyn: today the senate finance committee has considered the nomination of mr. robert leithauser to be the country's next trade representative. this position serves as a vital role in our country's economic future by negotiating trade agreements on behalf of the american people and making sure they're enforced according to their terms. president trump has made clear
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that his administration will be devoted to getting the very best trade deals for the american people as possible. for texas, my state, the nation's top exporting state, trade is incredibly important. many of our jobs and industries rely on trade agreements like nafta so that our goods and services can find new markets and more customers. as a matter of fact, five million american jobs depend on binational trade with mexico alone which gives you a sense of how important trade is to our economy at large. i'm happy to support mr. leithauser for this important post. he served here in the senate as a staffer on the senate finance committee for former senator, former chairman of the finance committee, bob dole. and as the deputy u.s. trade representative during the reagan administration as well. in his nearly three decades in the private sector,
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mr. leithauser represented a number of u.s. commercial interests through trade enforcement cases while also focusing up on opening up foreign markets to american ranchers, farmers and small businesses. so i look forward to him working to improve existing trade deals and cut better ones to the benefit of the american people. separately, mr. president, last week, the house of representatives unveiled a plan to repeal and replace obamacare with one that provides more options for the american people at a price they can afford. this was in direct response to what has been an obamacare disaster, one that led to skyrocketing health care costs, insurers leaving markets left and right and a big government solution to a complicated problem that fails to actually deliver on its promise. we've all heard it a hundred times if we've heard it one.
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president obama said if you like your policy, you can keep it. if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor and a family of four would see a decrease in their premium costs by $2,500. well, obviously, that did not prove to be the case. there's really no denying that obamacare isn't working and the status quo is unacceptable. under obamacare, tens of millions are uninsured. about 30, almost 30 million people now in america, which to me is one of the most supreme ironies of obamacare. it was sold to us on the premise that everyone would have insurance, but yet 30 million people are uninsured. 20 million of those 30 million are either people who have paid a penalty so -- because they haven't bought the government-approved health care and thus are not complying with the individual mandate or they are people who claimed a
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hardship exemption, saying they simply can't afford to buy the policy that the government mandates they purchase and so the government has supplied them an exemption. so 30 million uninsured under obamacare and 20 million of that 30 million who have either paid the man -- paid the penalty or been otherwise excused from complying with the mandate. so we know that under obamacare, tens of millions are uninsured, premiums have skyrocketed and mandates have crushed job creators. i remember several conversations with employers, whether restaurant owners, one gentleman at an architectural firm asking when does the employer mandate kick in? in other words, when do you get penalized for not complying with the obamacare requirements, and they said well, i'm going to hire less people because i don't want to come within the ambit of that employer mandate. and then i remember one
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restaurant in east texas where a single mom basically was laid off from her full-time job and forced to work two part-time jobs to make up for that lost pay because her employer couldn't comply with the employer mandate under obamacare. so what he decided to do is lay off his full-time workers and hire people on a part-time basis. obamacare was -- is riddled with stories like that that demonstrate its flaws. and you consider a 24-year-old individual in texas could spend up to 30% of their gross income just paying for their health care premiums and their out-of- pocket costs. hardly affordable health care. we really should have called it the unaffordable care act. and so we have begun the first step to repeal and replace it.
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yesterday, the congressional budget office offered us a glimpse into the impact the legislation would have, but i hasten to add this is just a first step out of multiple steps, and there is additional work to be done. first of all, by the secretary of health and human services who has enormous discretion in terms of how to administer health care policy at the national level and the authority to delegate a lot of that responsibility along with the money that goes with it back to the states where historically it has been done to offer people lower -- cost health insurance that suits their needs, not a government mandate, and offers them more choices. but there is also -- there is a number of things -- additional things in the congressional budget office report yesterday that are important to consider. first of all, the c.b.o. estimates that the american health care act would lower premiums by 10% over time.
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we know that obamacare has raised premiums for many families across the country that have skyrocketed to an unaffordable level, so this is a start in the right direction. but i hasten again to add, it is just a start. the congressional budget office also confirmed that the american health care act is a fiscally conservative bill that puts forward responsible solutions to our nation's health care woes. c.b.o. estimates that we could reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion by passing the american health care act. it also reforms medicaid. many of our most vulnerable population get their health care through medicaid, but this bill provides a way of sending that money and that authority back to the states and lets them manage the growth of the medicaid program according to a consumer
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price index, so people who are on medicaid now, including those in the expansion states, can stay on medicaid, but ultimately the responsibility is going to be sent back to the states along with the money to pay for it and grow -- not cut it but to grow at a consumer price index that makes sense. that change alone saves taxpayers another $880 billion. $880 billion. this is the most significant entitlement reform in certainly a generation. and because the bill repeals obamacare's job-killing taxes like the individual and employer mandate, the medical device tax, which has moved jobs offshore to places like costa rica because of its impact on innovation, we also repeal the payroll tax, the tax on investments, the tax on
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prescription drugs. the fact is middle-class americans and our job creators will find massive tax relief as a result of this legislation to the tune of $800 billion. so put simply, the american health care act dismantles, repeals and stops obamacare in its tracks. i should point out that the c.b.o. doesn't take into account other steps that congress and the administration will take in order to make our nation's health care system a vibrant marketplace where more options exist and better quality health care. i might say that a lot of the news yesterday on the c.b.o. report had to do with the reduction in the number of people who would actually buy health insurance under this new legislation, but the reason for the change is in large part, as the congressional budget office said, that when you don't punish people through a penalty for not buying government-approved
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health insurance like obamacare did, that people may well decide in their own economic self-interest not to purchase that government policy, particularly when their choices are so limited. so i believe that this is a first step in unraffling this convoluted puzzle called obamacare and getting our nation's health care back on track. the american people demanded better than obamacare. families are forced to pay for insurance they can't afford that provides subpar care, and they're tired of being forced to pay a penalty because they don't want to opt into a government program that fails to deliver on its most basic promises. let me just say this, mr. president, in closing. i know our -- some of our friends across the aisle have a dim view of this proposal, and they say the c.b.o. score demonstrates that not enough people will be covered by this
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alternative to obamacare, but my question to them is what are you going to do about the current meltdown in obamacare that's forcing people into insurance that they don't want and denying them any real choice and where the premiums are skyrocketing and where the deductibles are so high, you're effectively denied the benefit of any health insurance coverage, what are they going to do about that? and so i would simply say that if they don't like the alternative that we've offered, i would invite them to join us in trying to solve the problem. one of the lessons of obamacare is that partisan health care legislation isn't very durable and doesn't survive. i would hope at some point the fever will break and democrats and republicans alike will find a way to work in the best interests of our constituents, the people we serve, the
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american people. but we can't afford another one-size-fits-all approach to health care. the american health care act will provide the first important steps of relief from this unworkable, unsustainable system that was created based on false promises made to the american people. at the end of the day, our goal is to deliver more access, more options and better quality care for families across the country. i look forward to getting it done soon. in the house, the budget committee will take up the health care bill that passed the ways and means committee and the energy and commerce committee and then it will move to the floor of the house where i presume it will be open to some amendments, and then it will come over here to the senate where under the senate rules it will also be open to amendments. so if people have a better idea, i hope they will join us in trying to come up with the very best solution possible. but to simply hang back and sort
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of enjoy the difficulty of trying to reform this broken obamacare system for partisan reasons to me seems to be beneath the dignity of what we are sent here to do by our constituents. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, before i get into my time to wake up speech, let me say that i appreciate the concern of the senator from texas that the affordable care act leaves too many americans uninsured. i'm not sure that the solution to that problem is to throw another 24 million people off of their insurance. i appreciate his concern that premiums for many are too high. i'm not sure that the solution to that is to dramatically increase premiums on the elderly. i appreciate his concern that
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medicaid can be managed by the states, and i think i use his words correctly, along with the money to pay for it. but when the bill has $800 billion in medicaid savings but won't cure or prevent a single illness, you're not reducing those $800 billion in savings. you're just moving it to the states. you're just putting that burden on the states. and ask arizona how that worked when they tried to do medicaid as they dealt with the mortgage meltdown. the american people do perhaps demand better than obamacare, but the solution to offer them something that is far, far worse does not seem very sensible. i believe we are willing to work together, indeed at the help committee, our chairman has already said that as soon as we start talking about rare, we can get to work. but the motion that there is an invitation out to us to work in
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bipartisan fashion when the majority party is jamming this bill through without negotiation, using reconciliation as an extraordinary process to try to put it through under arcane budget rules that were never designed for this, that's not exactly much of a signal. so as soon as we get to regular order and 60 votes, i think we'll be able to work and serve our sits very -- our constituents very well. i'm here for the 160 time for my wake-up speech. this one focuses on the security consequences of our failure to deal with carbon emissions and climate change. my remarks at the munich security conference this year pointed out that climate change presents several orders of security risk to society. the first order of security risk is just physical damage, damage that science and our senses are already perceiving and measuring in our atmosphere, our oceans
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and our environment. this security risk, risk to the earth's present natural state, will hurt farming communities, coastal communities, fishing communities and of course anyone vulnerable to wildfires, droughts, and extreme weather. of course, the poorer you are in this world, the more vulnerable you are to this peril. the second order of security risk from climate change is the consequences in human society from that physical, biological, and chemical damage in our environment. as farms and fisheries fail, people are impoverished and dislocated. scarce resources lead to conflicts and confrontations. storms and fires can make suffering acute. and people who are hungry or dislocated or torn from their roots can become desperate, radicalized, and violent. that is why the united states department of defense has for
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years called climate change a catalyst of conflict. drought in syria, for instance, has been described as a root cause of the conflict there, a conflict that has killed more than 400,000 people according to some estimates and displaced more than 11 million. researchers from nasa and the university of arizona have determined that that drought was very likely the worst in a millennium. massive crop failures and livestock losses moved farmers into stressed cities where popular protests met with brutal violence from the assad regime and the tied of refugee from that chaos swamped europe. nigeria, sudan, and central america are other areas where violence and flight are driven by scarce resources. so the second order of national security risk is the societal
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damage that cascades from the natural damage caused by climate change. the third order of security risk is perhaps the most dangerous for our country, and that is reputational damage to the keystone institutions of our present world order. market capitalism and democratic government. people around the world who have been harmed by the first order -- environmental effects of climate change -- or people around the world who get swept up in the second order -- societal effects of climate change -- will want answers, as will many who are witness to the global suffering and harm caused by climate change. when that reckoning comes, as it will, the discredit to institutions like capitalism and democracy, which failed to act even when loudly and clearly warned, could be profound.
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this failure of action by these institutions is compounded by the moral failure. fossil fuel companies are knowingly causing this harm, and they are aggressively fighting solutions to this problem. their weapons are as disreputable as their conduct. professionally administered misinformation -- climate denial, after all, is the original fake news -- and massive, massive floods of political money. as a result, the united states congress has shown itself utterly unable to resist the threats and blandishments of this industry, despite the fact that we know very clearly of the industry's enormous conflict of interest. this all stands to be a lasting blight on both democracy and
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capitalism, a blot that will worsen as the consequences of our climate failure worsen. if you believe, as daniel webster did, in the power of america's example -- that we are indeed a city on a hill -- then you should worry about this terrible example of greed, ignorance, and corruption triumphant. it's not like we haven't been warned. the national intelligence council has estimated that worldwide demand for food, water, and energy will grow by approximately 35%, 40%, and 50% respectively in coming decades. this increased resource demand is on a collision course with those first-order harms disrupting fisheries and agriculture around the globe. the u.s. institute for peace has warned, poor responses to
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climactic shifts create shortages of resources such as land and water. shortages are followed by negative secondary impacts such as more sickness, hunger, and joblessness. poor responses to these, in turn, open the door to conflict. for those who discount this as a bunch of peacenicks brad l, let meed a that our national intelligence council put climate change alongside events like nuclear war and a severe pandemic among the eight events when the greatest potential for global disruption. noting for climate change that, and i quote them here, dramatic and unforeseen changes are occurring at a faster rate than expected. the department of defense 2014 quadrennial defense review described climate change as a global threat multiplier. that report warned, the pressures caused by climate change will influence resource competition while placing
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additional burden on economies, societies, and governance institutions around the world. as head of u.s. pacific command, admiral samuel locklear warned that in 2013 that climate change was the biggest long-term security threat in his area of operation, noting the need to organize the military forks and you quote him -- the military for, and i quote him here, when the effects of climate change start to impact these massive populations, end quote. again, i'll quote him. if it goes bad, he said, you could have hundreds of thousands or millions of people displaced and then security will start to crumble pretty quickly, end quote. operation free, a coalition of national security and veterans organizations, has continually pointed out the national security threat posed by climate change, as has been the american security project comprised of retired military flag officers.
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the government accountability office, g.a.o., has warned that climate change is affecting defense infrastructure around the world, from see level rise at naval station norfolk to heavy rain and flooding in california to thawing permafrost affecting stations in alaska, to faraway effects even in the indian ocean. the coast guard of course must meet entirely new demands as the ice caps mettle in the arctic -- ice caps melt in the arctic. in 2005, when defense secretary mattis led marine corps combat development command, he called on navy researchers to find ways to make the military more energy-efficient, to unleash, to use his word, u.s. military forces from the tether of fuel.
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ask senator tammy duckworth about the casualties sustained among her comrades in arms defending fuel supply arms, if you want to see a passionate conversation. the military funds research into alternative energy and studies how climate change affects military capability because in the real world, where real lives are at risk, they can't afford to believe the false facts pedaled by the fossil fuel industry. the people we entrust to keep us safe, who have to deal with real threats in the real world, recognize the danger climate change represents. the national intelligence council said in january that issues like climate change invoke high stakes and will require sustained collaboration. instead of that, we get a congress and an administration
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that has deliberately let the fossil fuel industry occupy and sabotage the orderly operation of the government of united states to deal with this problem. so i am going to start to push back. when these tools of the fossil fuel industry, to whom we in the senate gave advice and consent, go too egregious about their dirty business of climate denial, expect that i may come to the floor and object to consent requests. last week administrator pruitt said carbon dioxide doesn't cause climate change. that is nonsense. that is somewhere between ignorant and fraudulent. he gets that one lie for free,
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but no more -- not next time. with the stakes this high, it can't be free to have these fossil fuel tools spouting their fossil fuel nonsense from senate-confirmed positions of governmental authority. and starting now, it won't be. i yield the floor. mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: mr. president, later today the senate will vote on h.j. res. 42, a resolution of disapproval under the congressional review act relating to a department of labor regulation on the drug testing of unemployment insurance applicants. i rise today to speak in support of that resolution and to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of its passage. let's put this resolution and the regulation it would repeal
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in proper context. in 2012 congress passed and president obama signed the middle-class tax relief and job creation act. among many other things, that law included a number of carefully negotiated provisions relating to the unemployment insurance program, including a number of reforms to address program efficiency and integrity issues. one of those provisions overturned a d.o.l. ban on drug screening for u.i. applicants. specifically, the law allowed states to test u.i. applicants who either lost their job due to drug use or were seeking employment in an occupation that generally required drug tests as a condition of employment. it did not require states to begin drug testing. it only gave them that option. in addition, the law required d.o.l. to issue regulations to define those occupations that
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regularry conduct drug -- regularly conduct drug tests. the states would not be allowed to implement any drug-testing policies pursuant to the law until the regulations were finalized. d.o.l. issued its proposed regulations in 2014, and at that time members of the congress and stakeholders at the state level argued that the proposal fell far short of congress' intenti intention. the final rule was issued in august of last year, about four and a half years after the provision was signed into law. and, as before, the final regulation defined the role of an occupation so narrowly that it basically makes it impossible for states to implement any meaningful drug-testing policy. so here we're debating a c.r.a. resolution that would wipe this regulation off the books and give d.o.l. an opportunity to
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put forward something new that better reflects congress' intent. let's talk about why this drug-testing provision is important. the u.i. program requires beneficiaries to be able and available to work and be actively seeking work. this is a condition of eligibility for u.i. benefits. this is what it boils down to. if a worker loses their job -- or his or her job due to drug use, he or she cannot affirmatively establish that they are fully able to work. likewise, if an unemployed individual is unable to accept a new job because they cannot pass a required drug test, they are not available for work. congress intended to give states the power to withhold benefits in these cases because, by definition, individuals in these situations are not eligible for
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unemployment insurance benefits. keep in mind, according to recent surveys, more than half of all u.s. employers require prospective employees to take a drug test. it isn't some mean spirited notion that there's a connection between the use of illegal drugs and the ability to obtain and maintain employment. furthermore, 20 states already limit benefits for applicants who refuse to take or fail a drug test required by an employer who -- or whorve it is -- or whoever it is who has previous employment issues relating to drugs. the next logical step really is to allow states to conduct the tests themselves in order to maintain program integrity and improve the solvency of their u.i. trust fund. once again that's what congress
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intended with the passage of the 2012 statute. unfortunately the obama administration took it upon themselves to undo congressional intent. we've heard from a number of governors on this issue, including the governor of utah who will support this c.r.a. resolution, who want to \see you in\see new and better regulations. a number of organizations including the national association of state work force agencies have chimed in as well, expressing their strong support for state flexibility and governing their u.i. programs. ultimately, that's what this is about, state flexibility. do we want states to have the freedom to run their own program as they see fit or do we believe that bureaucrats in washington have all the answers. it's probably pretty clear, mr. president, where i come down on this particular issue.
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the law we drafted and passed in 2012, the one that passed with bipartisan support struck a careful balance on these issues. it was the right balance and the right approach. hopefully a majority of our colleagues will share that view and vote today to restore that balance. once again i urge all senators to vote in favor of h.j. res. 42. and with that, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: will the senator withhold? mr. hatch: i'll withhold. mr. wyden: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, the senate has been digging in to the legal quagmire of drug testing the unemployed, and i'd
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like to begin by saying that no matter where a senator comes down on the issue of drug testing, my view is this measure before us is simply bizarre. if like me you believe that drug testing can in instances be ineffective and mean spirited, you ought to oppose this measure because it simply vilifies unemployed workers who are actually less likely to use drugs than the general population. for those senators who support drug testing, this measure blows up what has been a bipartisan compromise and a labor department rule allowing the testing to go forward and as a
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result of this measure passing, it would actually block testing from going forward. the fact is the courts have ruled that suspicionless drug testing violates the fourth amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. that's why there is now actually a rule that is narrow so, mr. president, we've got the courts expressing skepticism about this, and there's actually a rule that is narrow is -- narro that in effect states doing this drug testing have what amounts guardrails to avoid running afoul of the constitution. if you pass this measure, you throw out the guardrails opening
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up in my view the possibility of yet more litigation on fourth amendment grounds. now, as i touch on in my opening comments, there isn't evidence that unemployed insurance recipients use drugs any more frequently than the general population. in fact, studies actually indicate that they are less likely to use illegal drugs than the general population. so this idea that somehow there is a presumption of irresponsible conduct and guilt is just baseless. now, to be eligible for unemployment insurance, workers have to have substantial recent work experience. they've got to be ung employed -- to be unemployed through no fault of their own. workers can collect and only collect unemployment benefits if they're actively searching for
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work and available to work. for states that have implemented drug testing policies, there's evidence that the costs dwarf the potential savings. the costs of operating drug testing programs are charged to state health and human services accounts and i think we all understand those have been squeezed mightily by the effort to treat opioid addiction. in my view, instead of wasting money by drug testing americans who are looking for jobs, the state -- and the states ought to be putting those very same dollars towards substance abuse treatment given the fact that opioid addiction has hit our country like a wrecking ball. moreover, i would say -- and we've said fighting opioid addiction ought to be a
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bipartisan cause -- if republicans wanted to do everything possible to fight addiction, they shouldn't be going forward with trumpcare, a bill that would be a disaste disasterrous setback when it comes to -- disastrous setback when it comes to fighting opioid addiction. the fact is colleagues on the other side of the aisle, mr. president, here in the senate. colleagues not from my side, cool heegz from the other -- colleagues from the other side have expressed their concern about what trumpcare means for the fight against opioid addiction. the hard numbers are actually out now on trumpcare, and they show that the majority is going into overdrive to pass a bill that strips millions of americans of their access to treatment for substance abuse. today medicaid is strengthening our mental health network and substance abuse disorder
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treatment is expanding access and is at the front of some promising new work to fight opioid addiction. so trumpcare hits the cause of opioid -- treating opioid addiction in a devastating way. it slashes the health care safety net, and in my view it would enflame the epidemic of drug abuse deaths across the country. now, at the same time there's this partisan effort to slash funding for addiction treatment. republicans have dredged up an old head scratcher of an argument that drug testing americans and denying them earned benefits somehow just magically helps to overcome addiction. this is an important point, just like social security.
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unemployment insurance is an earned benefit. it is an earned benefit, mr. president, that ought to be there for workers who fall on the hard times. so what the majority is pushing for in this debate looks to me like light years away from what was discussed last year when there was discussion before the election about helping americans in every part of the nation who are struggling with opioid addiction. and you have to ask the question, what earned benefits are my colleagues on the other side of the aisle going to crusade against next? is the drug testing crusade going to turn next to social security and medicare recipients as an excuse to deny seniors benefits that they have earned, earned benefits?
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that they worked hard for through a lifetime of work. and i'm going to wrap up, mr. president, by way of saying that if this measure passes, i think that states are just going to be thrown into bedlam. the current law, a bipartisan compromise says states can drug test recipients of unemployed benefits first if unemployment insurance recipients lose their jobs for a drug-related reason and, second, if the unemployment insurance recipient is applying for a type of occupation that requires drug testing as defined by the rules of the department of labor. so let's say, for example, two unemployment benefit recipients are specifically applying for jobs as school bus drivers or
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air traffic controllers. the rule that is on the books now says that the states can drug test those individuals because they are applying for work in occupations that require drug testing. now, as far as i can tell, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to eliminate the rule that define those occupations. so states would be blocked from performing any occupation-based drug testing for unemployment recipients. and the states would just be walking into a legal minefield if they wanted to go ahead with testing programs anyway. so make no mistake about it, when this passes, if it does, drug testing policies go on hold, on hold until the congress
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passes a new law rather than our continuing a carefully put together bipartisan compromise of just a couple of years ago. so i've been trying to see this from my colleagues' perspective. i have listened to the arguments from the other side. and i just find this a baffling, bizarre kind of analysis. all this measure does is create a huge amount of new uncertainty. that doesn't strike me as a good way to reduce bureaucracy and make government more efficient. if the majority decides to take another crack at this issue down the road, i can only guess at what kind of new ideas they might have then that would again miss the point of making sure we
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had a narrow defined and bipartisan approach to deal with this issue. my view is this i is an ill-conceived campaign against working people built on a completely false premise. the premise is if you're looking for work, you're guilty of drug use until proven innocent. my view is we ought to keep trying, as i've said, on major issues involving health and taxes and infrastructure and trade. when you're dealing with important questions, work to find the common ground. it's not about taking each other's bad ideas. it's about taking each othe oths good ideas what was done a few
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years ago was a good and narrowly tailored bipartisan idea. what the senate may choose to do is basically throw that in the trash can. create bed lamb. make it im-- bedlam. make it impossible for states to move because they are in a sort of legal limbo, and i don't see how that meets the test of sound policy. the legislation, this measure before us today, sets back the cause of strengthening the unemployment insurance system. it sets back the cause of advocating for americans struggling with addiction. i urge my colleagues to vote against this measure when we vote here in a little bit. i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that not withstanding rule 22 following leader remarks on wednesday, march 15, the senate proceed to executive session for the consideration of executive calendar 23, daniel coats, to be director of national intelligence, and that the time until 10:00 a.m. be equally divided in the usual form and at 10:00 a.m. the senate vote on a motion to invoke cloture. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. under the previous order, the clerk will read the title of the joint resolution for the third
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time. the clerk: h.j. res. 42, joint resolution disapproving the rules submitted by the department of labor relating to drug testing of unemployment compensation apcan't. the presiding officer: the question occurs on passage of the joint resolution. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 51, the nays are 48. the joint resolution is passed. a senator: mr. president?
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the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from texas. mr. cruz: i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cruz: mr. president, i commend the senate for passing h.j. res. -- a senator: will the senator yield to a unanimous consent request? mr. cruz: i am happy to yield to my friend from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that at the conclusion of the remarks. senator from texas -- of the remarks of the senator from texas and the senatorful, if i be recognized for such time as i shall consume. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the senator from texas. mr. cruz: mr. president, i rise to commend the senate for passing s.j. res. 23, the legislation that i've introduced that has now passed both houses of congress, that reins in yet another example of the obama administration's executive
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overreach, that gives power and flexibility to the states, and enables states to deal with the problem of drug use, the epidemic of drug use, and to craft solutions that help people escape addiction and dependence on drugs. this resolution was introduced in the house by chairman kevin brady, a fellow texan. it passed the house with bipartisan support. the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from texas. mr. cruz: an with the passage's passage of the resolution, we will be sending it to president trump for his signature. this resolution restores congressional intent behind the bipartisan middle-class tax relief and job creation act of 2012. that job creation act of 2012 permitted but did not require states to assess state unemployment compensation or insurance program applicants for drug usage under two
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circumstances: where workers had been discharged from their last job because of unlawful drug use or where workers were looking for jobs in occupations where applicants and employees are subject to drug testing much the wording of the 2012 job creation act clearly demonstrated that congress intended to provide states the ability to determine how to best implement these plans and a number of states, including my home state of texas, did precisely that, establishing testing and programs to help people who had drug dependency and addiction escape from that addiction. however, years after the law's passage, the obama department of labor substantially narrowed the law beyond congressional intent to circumstances where testing is legally required, not where it is merely permitted. that narrow definition undermined congressional intent, it undermined the flexibility of the states, and now together we have reversed that
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interpretation. i commend my colleagues and i thank chairman brady for his leadership in the house, introducing the resolution. and i commend all of us for restoring the authority of the states. i yield the floor. mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i want to talk about trumpcare. i want to talk about, in my state of florida there are nearly two million people that are covered through the affordable care act through, and the state of florida leads the way with the highest a.c.a. marketplace enrollment numbers. in my state, there's another nine million people who get their health coverage from their
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employees. this group also benefits from the health care law's protections shall the a.c.a.'s protections, like prohibitions against lifetime limits on insurance and discriminating against people with preexisting conditions. in our state almost eight million people have preexisting conditions. and that includes something as common as asthma. before the a.c.a., people undergoing lifesaving cancer treatments were being told by their insurance companies that they would no longer cover those treatments. now under the current law, the
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a.c.a., insurance companies can no longer discriminate against preexisting conditions, and your children are going to be able to stay on your family policy until they're age 26. by the way, that is another four million people in the united states. four million young people up to age 26 now get health insurance that didn't get it before the a.c.a. well, what has come out of the house of representatives, what i will refer to as trumpcare, called the american health care act, it's got some very troubling provisions. the house plan would mean that 14 million people would lose coverage next year. that number, according to the c.b.o., would rise to 24 million people that have health care
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coverage now would lose it. 24 million people. trumpcare would also mean an end to medicaid as we know it. because it comes in and caps medicaid. it shifts the cost of medicaid from the federal government to the state government government. and if you happen to be a state that has not expanded medicaid, as is allowed under the a.c.a., expanding it up to 138% of poverty, if you're one of the 16 states like my state that hadn't expanded it, you're going to get a double whammiy. you're going 0 to get your medicaid amount from the federal government called the block grant capped, and it's going to be capped at your level instead of the higher level because you hadn't expanded your medicaid.
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and it's going -- the trumpcare out of the house of representatives is going to get rid of the financial assistance that has helped so many get health coverage. and the bottom line is, if you look at it -- and this is what the c.b.o. says -- folks are going to pay more, and they're going to get less. they're going to get less coverage. what else does the trumpcare do? in fact, it cuts the taxes for the wealthy, and it shifts the financial burden of the health care more to the poor. it would allow insurance companies to charge seniors up to five times more than younger americans. now, the existing law, the a.c.a., in fact has age done in
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three groups. you can only charge an older person on their premiums according to their age three times more than you can charge a younger person. under trumpcare out of the house of representatives, they'll be able to charge seniors five times more than young people in their health insurance premiums. it would scrap medicaid expansion and fundamentally change the medicaid program. according to c.b.o., the republican house trumpcare bill will cut medicaid by $880 billion over ten years. you know, they're saying that it
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will reduce the deficit by some $330 billion over ten years. that's a good thing. but oh, by the way, it cuts medicaid by $880 billion over ten years. and it's my understanding that the capping of this medicaid, it's just going to plain -- if you got to pay for it someplace. in the federal government is -- if the federal government is not paying for it as it is under the a.c.a., it's going to shift the cost to the states or else the state is not going to provide the federal-state medicaid, and what does that mean? that means poor people go without health care. i don't think we want to do that. obviously the a.c.a. isn't perfect. instead of it being repealed, it ought to be fixed.
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but there doesn't seem to be an appetite over in the house of representatives. they want to repeal it, create something new called trumpcare, all of which i have just described. what was the problem before is that poor people could not afford health insurance or they couldn't get it because of a preexisting condition. if you did have coverage and you got sick, your insurance company just could drop you. and people who didn't have coverage were avoiding going to the doctor until their condition got so bad that they were in an emergency. they'd end up at the most expensive place -- the emergency room -- at the most expensive time. that was, they hadn't done the
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preventive care, and, therefore, the emergency occurred. the a.c.a. isn't perfect, but it was needed to fix a system that was broken. we need to focus on fixing things that need to be fixed while preserving so many of the parts that are working and that have produced now 24 million people in this country that get health care that otherwise will have it taken away from them. that's not right. that's not the right thing to do. you don't want to treat your fellow human beings that way. so, to recapitulate, what does not house of representatives trumpcare do? it cuts medicaid. it has higher cost and less coverage.
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it cuts taxes for the wealthy. and it increases cost to seniors. i think we want to do exactly the opposite of what it does. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: mr. president, let meed a one additional -- mr. president, let me add one additional thing to the statement made by the senator from florida. that is, what does the house version do? i'd like to first of all make very clear that what we're going to see and ultimately vote on is not going to be what the house has right now. they have a starting place. but it does some things that i
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think are significant. one, it repeals the mandate -- repeals the obama taxes. it repeals -- changes the regulations back to the state, and most of the folks would prefer that they be in washington. h.s.a.'s are part of this plan. preexisting conditions are, and it converts medicaid. so i think that we need to keep our powder dry. we need to look and see -- i think that most of the people in my state of oklahoma consider obamacare to be a disaster, and it needs to be changed and it's going to be changed. mr. president, i think tomorrow that president trump is going to at least plan to sign an executive order rolling back the obama clean power plan. i have a lot to say about that, but i think it's important at an appropriate time to discuss the history of this issue.
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it's been going on a long time. at the start of the 1114th congress, the senate -- at the start of the 114th congress, the senate voted 98-1 in support of the inhofe-whitehouse amendment stating that climate change is real and not a. who. well, that's something that we can actually agree on. the climate has been changing since the beginning of time. there's archeological evidence, scriptual evidence, historic evidence that climate is changing. it will continue to change. the hoax is some on the far left believe man controls changes in the climate and we've endured eight years of an administration that buys into the alarmist mentality that the world is coming to an end, and it's due to manmade gases. that's what the hoax is. even those individuals, occasionally you'll find some scientists who agree with this but they'll say that this is -- it may be some contribution but is minimal.
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it's not even measurable. the obama administration has used climate change as justification for taking unauthorized actions, such as the so-called clean power plan. every administrative entity under obama was forced to embrace his climate change agenda as a top priority and used as a convenient sounding board. we've seen agencies, such as the department of defense, divert resources away from the core responsibilities and instead are spent on finding ways to justify statements from the president that climate change is the greatest threat -- a greater threat than terrorism. so other agencies have spared no taxpayer expense in supporting the outcome driven science in an attempt to bolster their claims. in fact, the congressional research service has reported that the obama administration spent $120 billion on climate change issues.
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it's a total waste of money. i don't think anyone can tell me what that $120 billion was spent for. it wasn't authorized. it wasn't appropriated. but it was spent. and this comes from the congressional research service. so this was a total waste of money, money needed to defend america. despite the administration's efforts as research and data around the climate change continued to improve, the results do not support their claims but instead call them into question. this is especially true for all of the hottest month or hottest season or hottest year in history. this is something that is often claimed by those who are reading the script and trying to make those claims. 2014 was previously the warmest year on record until a reporter prosed noaa and that nasa on the claim and the agencies were forced to admit that they were only 38% sure that that claim
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was accurate. december 2015 study from the american gee graph -- geo physical union concluded that after analyzing over a 1200 -- over 1200 ground-base weather stations, this is what they said. the warmest ever claims by government scientists are inflated due to compromised u.s. temperature stations impacted by encroachment of artificial surfaces like concrete, asphalt and heat sources like air conditioninconditioning exhaust. because of noaa's methods, they failed to account for these factors. additionally, surface thermometers continue to be at odds with satellite data which shows essentially no warming for the past 18 years continuing the hiatus that the economist the magazine originally wrote about
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in 2013. in fact, just a few weeks ago a whistle-blower alleged that a june 2015 noaa report manipulated data in an attempt to discredit this 18-year pause. now, the 18-year pause has been -- people understand. this is what they call the hiatus. this is a time where temperature has not changed. but they've done this to influence the public debate surrounding the clean power plan and the paris climate conferen conference. conveniently the computer with the data suffered a complete failure and none of the data was saved. it's not just the inflated temperature claims that can be called into question. a growing body of scientific study suggest variation in solar radiation and natural climate variability have a leading role in climate change. that's a novel idea that the sun has something to do with warming. a number of the independent studies assessing the impact of clouds have even suggested that water vapor feedback is entirely
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canceled out by cloud processes. global data shows no increase in the number of -- or the intensity of hurricanes, tornado, droughts or floods in spite of what they say on the senate floor. even the ipcc's 2013 report concluded that the current data sets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century. no robust trends, annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes, and major hurricanes count has been identified in the past hundred years in the north atlantic basin. but we still hear it over and over again. when it comes to droughts, the ipcc report indicated that previous conclusions regarding global increases trend in
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drought since the 1970's were probably overstated. the increase -- increasing observations from the scientis scientists, craig itso suggests a much reduced and practically harmless climate response to the increased amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide. further, there are benefits from the increase in carbon that have led to a greening of the planet and contributed to increased agricultural productivity. now, this shows that the progression that's taken place, the green parts are the part where they have an increased amount of co2 activity, and it's the trend in thage gross product -- the annual gross productivity in a decade percentage. this is from 1982 to 2011. you can see the great benefits. in fact, so many people still remind us over and over again that co2 is not a pollute tnt.
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it is -- pollutant. it is actually a fertilizer. it helps things grow. this was kept out of obama's press releases and the media has been more than willing to go along. none of this is surprising as i've given a lot of speeches on climate change and my message tends to be one that the alarmists, the far left, do not want to hear and do not want to believe but they have been proven wrong time and time again. despite millions of dollars of the tom styers of the world, americans do care about climate change and -- but it's not high on their list and right now which i will say in just a moment, some of the polling activity that's taken place surprise a lot of people. this is tom steyer. we keep hearing about the koch brothers and other people who are putting money into the campaign. but tom steyer is the one who has said -- that was his statement that prior to the 2014
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races, that he was going to put a hundred million dollars in there to elect people to do away with -- to promote such things as the -- as obama's plan. the environment and public works committee last congress, and this is when i chaired that committee, we held ten hearings assessing the president's climate agenda where we heard from a diverse group of expert witnesses that testified to the enormous costs, especially for low income minority communities. the economic consequences and the legal voter abilities and environmental impacts. you know shes we had the -- you know, we had the president of the black chamber of congress, harry alford come to a hearing. he is the one who talked about how dispoe portion nat the harm is done -- proportionate the harm is done to the poorer people. he talked about the blacks and hispanics. i will elaborate on that in just
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a moment. taking committee action is a step that both houses of congress ejected obama's in the radical left's -- then last year the united states supreme court put a stay on the so-called clean power plan because they, too, have the significant legal questions surrounding the validity of this. needless to say, it's -- there's a well documented substantive rejection to obama's climate actions across the institution designed to keep executive -- keep the executive branch in check. i have not attended one of the united nation's climate conferences since 2009 when i was a one-man tooth club in copenhagen. you know, the united nations, they are the ones who started the whole thing in the very beginning in talking about global warming, talking about all the problems that were out there. we have a pretty documented case. in fact, there was a book that
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was written -- i won't mention the name of the book -- that comes to the conclusion that the united nations were right in the middle of this whole discussion as far back as 1972. and so what the united nations does is every year they have a big party. this is a big party of the year. it's in december. and they've had 21 in 21 consecutive years. and what they do is invite everybody to come in who says that we will voluntarily reduce targets for co2 emissions. of course, most of them that come in are coming in to get some of the billions of dollars that they say they're going to -- they're going to be distributing. this is really interesting because these parties -- i can remember one time i was talking to someone from west africa. in fact, the chair knows this individual, too. i saw him at one of these meetings. and i said, now, you don't go along with all of this? he said no. but this is the biggest party of the year. you know, and so they have niece
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every year. that's what i think is important for people to understand. anyway, i hadn't gone to any of these since the big event in copenhagen. the message i carried to the international bureaucrats then is exactly what happened. congress did not then and does not now support the radical climate change actions, and the united states' role in any associated international agreement will be limited accordingly. the outlook for environmental activists and climate change alarmists is grim with a significant losses in the white house, the congress and the supreme court and a persistently skeptical public, their political leverage and relevance has dwindled. for the past eight years the obama administration, the american economy has suffered under the effects of the climate agenda. that era is over and president trump is already delivering on his campaign promises. just a few weeks ago, i was at
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the white house when president trump signed an executive order instructing the e.p.a. to roll back the waters of the united states rule. this is the rule that would have allowed the e.p.a. to regulate waters in the united states. i think most people know that this has always been regulated by the states. but you get oh owe the true liberals -- but you get -- the true liberals they want it regulated not by the states but in washington. the oklahoma farm bureau chairman, he was talking about all of the problems that farmers have throughout america, farmers and ranchers, the biggest problems they have are overregulation by the e.p.a. and you know what he singled out to the -- as to be the most onerous of all these regulations? it was the regulation on water. and of course i was in there when the president did away with that, that particular rule. now, as i previously mentioned,
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president trump has also committed to rolling back the clean power plan and its $300 billion price tag. this rule would lead to dramatic increases in energy prices and reduce the reliability of the grid. these two rules are examples of major expansions of federal power and a departure from the core functions and responsibilities provided by congress to the e.p.a. the steps taken by the trump administration will return the rules of those agencies to the statutory intent. we've seen great successes in our air and water quality based on the e.p.a. operating within its statutory limits. i can remember the 1990 amendments to the clean air act. right now at the same time that our pollution has dramatically dropped down, and this is at a time when vehicle miles have actually doubled, so we're doing some things that are successful and i look forward to continue that success.
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now, that's the end of my required remarks. so i want to visit just a little bit about what is going on and what we've been doing over the last quite a few years now. i think it's important -- people ask me, you know, what are the motives of those individuals that are promoting all of these regulations that are on greenhouse gases and there has to be a motive for that. and i suggest -- and this would surprise a lot of people. you go back originally, and i can remember when the kyoto first came out. it's the first regulation. they tried to get all the countries join in. in fact, that was at a time when clinton was president of the united states, and they were trying to -- they were anxious to get this thing to join in the kyoto treaty. and then -- but the ones who originally were involved in it, and i go back and people have
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forgotten about this, the former e.u., that's the european union, minister of the environment, margot walstrom is her name. they said -- she said and this is her quote. kyoto is about the economy and leveling the playing field for business worldwide. then the french weighed in, president jacques chirac. he said that kyoto represents, quote, the first component of an authentic global governance teme it hasn't change -- it hasn't changed that much. kristinia talked about the great successes they had there and she said the real goal was to change the economic development model, in other words, redistribute the wealth among the nations. keep in mind that was the original motivation. then the united nations weighed
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in. and this goes back to 1972. in 1972, the united nations held a conference on human environment in stockholm sweden. in 1987, the u.n. published the report, the beginning of sustainable development. now, sustainable development is a word they changed, a phrase, because it's easier to sell to the public. they -- at that time, that was 1987, then you go forward to 199 it, the earth summit in rio in brazil and they announced their intention to pursue economic development through the kyoto protocol. reuters stated that the branding of this year's summit -- this was in 2012 -- the climate is, by design, said the ambassador
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who headed up brazil's delegation to the united nations climate talks in durbin and will be the negotiator in brazil. that is behind us now. this article came out in 2012. sustainable development is easier to sell -- this is what the guy said -- is easier to sell globally than climate change even though sustainable development is a way of tackling global warming and other environmental issues. he said the end goal is not about the environment but about redistribution of wealth. now, again, if anyone doubts that he was accurate in that statement, the secretary general at that time of the united nations was evon key moon. he proposes how the challenges can and must be addressed. he said more than $2.1 trillion a year -- he's talking about
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what they are going to do at the annual meetings -- $2.1 trillion a year of transfer in the name of green infrastructure and other green economy measures. so there again, after all of these years, it's still about the same thing. so now we go into the more science and the different weather events. i noticed when people come to the floor and they talk about, oh, the bad weather and the hurricanes and tornadoes and fires as a result of these events, i would like to. remind people that george mason university reported that 63% of the weather casters believe that any are global warming that occurs is a result of natural variation and not human activities. here's another one too. the democrats will like this because dr. martin herzburg was
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a lifelong democrat, a retired navy meteorologist and declared his dissent of warming fears in 2008. this is a quote from this -- he said, as a scientist and life-long liberal democrat, i find that constant retkpwurpblgation of the khrab trap about human-caused global warming to be a disservice to science. he said that the global warming alarmists don't bother with data. all they have are half-baked computer models out of touch with reality and proven to be false. that is coming from a very liberal democrat. when you start to look at some of the things they say is linked to co2. noaa scientists said -- and this
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is a quote -- no specific consensus or connection between global warming and tornadoic activity exists. the highest -- the -- on hurricanes, he said, according to noaa, hurricanes have been on decline in the united states since the beginning of records in the 19th century. the worst decade for a majority of hurricanes was in the 1940s. geographic research letter since 2006, global tropic cyclone energy has decreased dramatically to the lowest levels since the 1970, it has reached a historic low. on doubts, the same thing. severe droughts in 1934 covered 80% of the country, and the one they talked about in 2011 was pa%. sea level, there is no is a ties
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kal significant excel ration of sea-level rise over the past 100 years. these are the people who know, in this case the journal of geographical research. that is something that is a fact in terms of the weather events. the other thing i wanted to mention here is going back to my notes on the anartica. this is kind of interesting because in september, according to nasa and the data on the national snow and ice data center website, antarcti antarce hit a are record high in recorded history as it increased to 19.4 million square kilometers. that was happening in terms of the -- the data center information.
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the -- tph-p january of -- in january of 20, "time" magazine talked about the himalaya melting. i can remember people on the floor of this senate talking about because of the global warming, the himalaya will be melting and so the article in "time" magazine said the himalaya melting, how a climate panel got it wrong. glaciergate is a black eye for the i.c.c. sometimes some humorous things do happen. they were trying to build their case in 2013. this was a research expedition to gauge the effect of climate on the antarctic. it was on december 24. it was a russian ship carrying russian scientists crew members and journalists became trapped
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in deep ice up to 10 feet thick. they were going there to show things were warming in the antarctic. and it was the whole crowd that were wanting this to happen and they were stuck in ice for six days and then an australian ice breaker was sent to rescue the ship. efforts were suspended due to bad weather. january 2, a chinese helicopter airlifted passengers to the australian ice breaker. the chinese ice vessel was stuck in the ice also. 22 russian crew members were on board the russian ship and an unreported number of crew members remained on the china ship. finally, the u.s. coast guard came along and they were able to pull them out. the ship was called the polar
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star. i remember when that happened. it was kind of funny because they went there for the express purpose to explain to the world the problems that they have in the antarctic. okay. let's talk about bears. you don't get people talking about this without dancing out the polar bears and talking about what's happening to polar bears. it's kind of interesting because when we look at the bear populations they say in the davis straits they flourished despite the antarctic sea ice since the 1970s. in fact, they were in 2007, they escalated to 2,158 bears and when they started they only had 1,400 in 1993. another way of looking it at, when al gore was born, there were 5,000 polar bears in 2005
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that number grew to 22,000 and today there are 30,000. so don't worry about the polar bears. it's a serious problem because they are overpopulated. but it is such good theater to dance out the polar bears and say the polar bears will disappear. climate-gate. when it happened, i was sure this issue was over. i can remember the -- the -- when we had lisa jackson who was before the committee that i chaired. i had a feeling -- this was actually in 2009. in 2009, we had sent over all of these people to tell the 192 people at the u.n. meeting in copen hagen that the world was coming to an end and they needed to all join in and sign an agreement about what they were going to do about co2. lisa jackson happened the day before i left for cop copenhagen
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to be before the committee of. on tape before live tv, i asked the question. i said, well, madam administrator, i'm going to leave time and if when i leave town there will be an endangerment authority. before you can state global warming, you have it to have an endangerment finding. it has to be based on science. what science will you use? she said, the ipcc, that is the international panel on climate change. as luck would have it, it happened in a matter of days after that -- after she said everything is put on the science of ipcc, the worst scandal -- some people say the greatest scientific scandal in history took place. it took place at university of the east anglia climate research unit located in the u.k. and
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revealed that the science is fraud. they have tapes and e-mails of individuals that say we're going to have -- we're going to have to rig this to come up with facts that shows that warming is takes place. these are scientists in the ipcc. it was such a scandal that one of the u.n. scientists resigned and he said the result is not scientific. here's a good one, khrao*euf cook of the -- clive cook of the financial times said the small mindedness of these men of science, their willingness to go to any being hrebgtsdz to have a pre -- length to have a preconceived message is overpowering. another reporter said it is the worst scientific scandal of our generation. i thought this would -- since everything was based on that particular science that would have it -- that would do it in and it didn't happen. now, go you look at all the
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damage being done in the last eight years by the concentration of all these issues, the defense is one that took the biggest hit. the -- a the hro of people say -- a the hro of people -- a lot of people say who don't appreciate what has happened to the defense during the time that obama has been president and, in fact, you have been watching very carefully what our new president is going to do to try to undo the damage or what i call the disarming of america, the -- it was the damage that was done to our military. they will say, well, wait a minute. the obama budget for the military is the same as the budget was before that, so it isn't any great reduction. the difference is they changed the function of the military, how many people were aware that in 2000 despite all the problems they wasted money on the green
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fleet. remember the green fleet? they were paying $59 a gallon for biofuel to try to convince people that we can use the military to experiment for other more pleasing sources that they have. $12 million for operation an maintenance to exercise painting ships an printing hats and transforming the field as the foreign military show. $3.7 billion in solar panels and wind power. why should the military pay that. we have a department of energy, as i read it, that's what they are supposed to be doing. then we have -- then we have tom styer. the reason i bring this is up because we keep hearing about
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the koch brothers. yes, the koch brothers their job is to try find energy to run this machine called america. and they've done a very good job of it. but they get criticized all the time. so i think it's important for people to realize that there are a lot of liberal billionaires who have made pledges. in this case, this individual, tom steyer, i'm sure he's a fine guy. he's -- he actually made a commitment of $10 million personally to -- to try to promote the message of his -- that obama had. here's something that we just found out, i just discovered, that even though the -- this man is trying to kill fossil fuels, he made his money in fossil fuels. since 2003, steyer's hedge fund
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that faralon capital management has played a visittal role in restructuring the growth in thermal growth production in jakarta and sidney. all of this took place under mrr and senior partner of faralon. the coal mines that mr. steyer has funded through faralon produce, -- produce an amount of co2 each year which is about equivalent to 28% of the amount of co2 produced in the entire united states each year by burning coal for electricity generation. so anyway, it's worthwhile that he now is putting huge investments to defeat the very people that are trying to -- that were the source of his wealth. well, the other question that i get quite often is people say what about the -- why is it more people aren't talking about
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this, and i made an accumulation of the various threats. james hansen. he said that if you are opposed -- see, there are two groups of people out there. you have those that are the -- those who are the ones that are forward and the whole program that president obama had, and they are the ones that are questioning the -- talking about the various science, and then we have threats coming from people like james hansen, said this is a high crimes against humanity. robert kennedy jr. said it's treason and we need to start treating people as traitors. in "bar on," the magazine, it calls for capital punishment for global warming deniers. so it's not fun to do that. there is a lot of threats out
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there. you know, if you don't have logic on your side, you don't have science on your side, then the threats are what people use. all right. we talk about the cap-and-trade legislation. they tried for a long period of time to get legislation through, and then when that didn't work, we might remember the first bills that were introduced were the mccain-lieberman bills in 2003, 2005 and 2007. the first of those bills was a cap-and-trade bill. it was defeated in the united states senate, in this chamber, by 43-55. then two years later, they tried it again. it was defeated by 38-60. so each year, the margin went up. so this president came along, president obama came along, decided well, you can't pass this stuff by legislation, so let's do it through regulation. so we had the cap-and-trade legislation. i've already talked about going
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to -- going to copenhagen. that's after obama, pelosi, barbara boxer and john kerry had gone there to this big united nations party, it was 2009, and they went with the idea of -- of convincing everyone that we were going to pass legislation over here, and of course we didn't do it. so 2010 came and japan under no uncertain terms refused to extend kyoto protocol. they dropped out and they said if we don't have india and china, we're not going to be a part of it. canada finally withdrew. by the way, canada was one of the first countries to join in on the kyoto protocol, but they dropped out then again be in 2011 and then in 2012. of course, that brings us to the paris party that they had there. it's one that they considered. they tried to make it look like that was a success when in fact it was a miserable and dismal
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failure. our president said that we will reduce our co2 emissions by 27% by 2025. obviously, we couldn't do it. we even had a committee hearing to say how are you going to do that. we had the e.p.a. in and they admitted that it couldn't be done. then china, they made a commitment. they were talking about the commitment that china made at the paris conference. china, who is -- where's china there? you have got that one. china has actually produced mor. this gives you an idea of where china is going with theirs. they are building every ten days a new coal-fired power generation plant. of course, they are not about to try to restrict their co2, so they said oh, yeah, we'll do it. you let us increase our co2 emissions until 2025, then we agree that we'll do away with it. so that was the extent of the
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regulations that have not worked. and so the polling, the truth is coming out. the polling is now different than it was at first. i can remember when global warming was one of the first -- either first place or second place in the polls as to the dangers that faced america. look at the polling today. the fox news poll last week said that 97% of americans don't care about global warming. when they stack it up against terrorism, immigration, health care and the economy. and the abc news/"washington post" poll just found fewer americans think climate change is a serious problem. on march 12, 2015, the gallup poll said that climate change came in dead last with america's concern for national problems, and then when the gallup poll shortly after that about their annual environmental survey that
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global warming came in dead last in terms of just environmental issues. number 15 out of 50 concerns. so i am saying this -- the people of america have caught on. it's something that people are aware of now, and i just -- when you look and you stop and think about the cost of the clean power plan -- and that's what this whole thing is about because i think the president is going to tomorrow come up with a plan to do away with the clean power plan. the compliance costs of that would be between $29 billion and $39 billion a year, up to the $292 billion over 12 years. double-digit electricity price increases in 40 states, and it would be an absolute disaster. it is not going to happen. but what's worse than that, not just the cost, is how it is hitting the most regressive people.
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harry al ford, who is the president of the chamber of commerce, the black chamber of commerce, found that the proposed clean power plan would increase black poverty by 23%, hispanic poverty by 26%, reduce black jobs by 200,000 and hispanic jobs by 300,000. cumulative job loss of seven million for blacks and nearly 12 million for hispanics by the year 2035. so i would have to say also the national energy assistance directors association found that high energy costs forces seniors to forgo meals, medical care and prescriptions in order to comply with this. so all i can say is it's -- i'm very proud of the president. he is keeping his commitment. he's not going to allow our most vulnerable citizens to be taxed, and i thank him for the help that he's going to be. with that, i will yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: mr. inhofe: i ask the quorum call in progress be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. wednesday, march 15. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders to be reserved for their use later in the day, the morning business be closed. finally, following leader remarks, the senate proceed to executive session as under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: if there is no further business to -- if there
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is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning.
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how many americans are listening to the debates which are made? when the house becomes comfortable with the changes brought by television coverage, the news media will be allowed to bring their own cameras by >> there is no censorship. every word is available for broadcast coverage and journalist can use and edit as the say feet. the solution for the lack of confidence in government, mr. speaker issue is more open government at all levels. i hope that the leadership of the united states senate will see this as a friendly challenge to begin -- >> under the rules the gentleman's time has expired. >> the marriage of this medium and our open debate has the only,mer speaker, to revitalize democracy.
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>> in 1986 the cable industry lauren ode c-span2. our coverage is archived and receivable for free at >> this morning on capitol hill, senate democrats announced new legislation to provide paid family and medical leave. we'll hear from my minority leader chuck schumacher and other democratic senators. [inaudible conversations] >> okay thank you. everybody for coming. we'll start right on time, and


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