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tv   U.S. Senate Meets for Legislative Business  CSPAN  June 7, 2017 3:29pm-5:30pm EDT

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find common ground to remove hemp from the schedule 1 controlled substance list, give the go-ahead to farmers across the country who are ready to grow industrial hemp, and once again make it a true american crop. so i hope colleagues will join in the effort to celebrate this time national hemp history week. i hope they'll use it to learn more about a very versatile crop, a safe crop, and one with really extraordinary potential to boost jobs in the economy and our agricultural sector and our domestic employment base. this is commonsense legislation. again we have the good fortune to be led by the majority leader, the distinguished senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell. appeal be introducing this commonsense legislation here
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very shortly. and with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. and i would 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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a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be suspended and i be recognized to address the issue of russian sanctions. the presiding officer: without
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objection, the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: mr. president, i rise in the destabilizing activities act of 2017. for too long the myopic focus on the iran deal blinded the united states to iran's persistent campaign to destabilize the middle east and undermine america's national security interests. iran has been given a free pass to detain u.s. sailors in clear violation of international law, conduct ballistic missile tests in violation of the united nations resolutions, supporter i.r.s. groups across the region, and prop up the assad regime in syria. it's long past time for the united states and international community to hold iran accountable, not just for its commitments under the nuclear deal but for its destabilizing behavior across the middle east. this legislation begins to do just that by imposing new sanctions on iran's ballistic
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missile program, applying terrorism sanctions to the iranian revolutionary guard corps, imposing sanctions on iranians engaged in human rights abuses, and tightening enforcement on arms embargoes on the iranian regime. i want to thank the chairman and ranking member of the foreign relations committee, senator corker and senator cardin for bringing this bill to the floor. they recognize that the united states must not stand idly by when hostile regimes undermine and attack our interests and that of our allies. they recognize that regimes that aid and abet crimes against humanity must be held accountable. they recognize the weakness in the face of aggression as provocative. these are the reasons we must passion this legislation. but these are also the very same reasons this legislation must be amended to strengthen and expand sanctions against vladimir putin's russia. in just the last three years,
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under lat mile an hour putin, -- vladimir putin russia has invaded ukraine, threatened allies and intervened militarily in syria leaving a trail of death, destruction, and broken promises in his wake. and of course last year russia attacked the foundations of american democracy, the cyber and information campaign to interfere in america's 2016 election. it has been eight months, eight months now since the u.s. intelligence community publicly concluded that the government -- that the russian government had attempted to interfere in our last presidential election. on october 7, 2016, the department of homeland security and the office of the director of national intelligence stated, and i quote, the u.s. intelligence community is confident that the russian government directed the recent
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compromises of e-mail from u.s. persons and institutions, including from u.s. political organizations. the statement concluded that, quote, only russia's senior most officials could have authorized these activities. on january 6, 2017, the united states intelligence committee went even further, including and i quote, russian president vladimir putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the united states presidential election. russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the united states democratic process, denigrate secretary clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. the intelligence community, quote, did not make an assessment of the impact that russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election, but they did warn that moscow
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will apply lessons learned from its putin-ordered campaign aimed at the u.s. presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against u.s. allies and their election processes. since january months of congressional hearings, testimony, and investigative work have reinforced these conclusions, that russia deliberately interfered in our recent election with cyber attacks and a disinformation campaign designed to weaken america and undermine faith in our democracy and our values. vladimir putin's brazen attack on our democracy is a flagrant demonstration of his disdain and disrespect for our nation. this should not just outrage every american but it should compel us to action.
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but in the last eight months, what price has russia paid for attacking american democracy? hardly any at all. modest sanctions against a few russian individuals and entities, some russian diplomats and spies sent home to russia, two spy compounds that closed, at least for now, and all of this reversible and at the discretion of the president. what has russia's reaction been to america's tepid response and reaction to its aggressive behavior? more of the same. more aggression, more meddling. russia attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government of montenegro and murder its prime minister. russia attempted to interfere in france's election. we've already seen attempts to influence german public opinion ahead of the elections in september. and there is every expectation russia will do the same thing in
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the czech republic, italy, and elsewhere in future elections. and sooner or later, my friends, there will be another american election that captures russian attention and interest. the victim may be a republican or a democrat. to putin it won't matter because his targets are not republicans or democrats but americans, and all that we stand for as a people. he seeks to so dissent among us and divide us from one another, to erode our resolve, to resist this dark and dangerous view of the world and to undermine our confidence in ourselves and our belief in our own values. and so we must take our own side in this fight, not as republicans, not as democrats, but as americans. it's time to respond to russia's attack on american democracy with strength and resolve, with
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common purpose, and with action. together with senator graham and a number of other senators, i'm prepared to offer an amendment to this legislation that will begin to do just that. it incorporates some of the best ideas from different pieces of legislation already introduced in the senate, ideas which have broad bipartisan support. the amendment that we're talking about would impose mandatory sanctions on transactions with the russian defense or intelligence sectors, including the f.s.b. and the g.r.u., the russian military intelligence agency that was primarily responsible for russia's attack on our election. the amendment would impose mandatory visa bans, an asset freezes on any individual that undermines the security of public or private infrastructure and dramatic democratic
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institutions. and it would impose mandatory sanctions on those who assist or support such activities. the amendment would codify existing sanctions on russia by placing into law five executive orders signed by president obama and in response to both russian interference in the 2016 elections and its illegal actions in ukraine. and it would take new steps to tighten those sanctions. for example, russia's ability to issue new sovereign debt essentially allows russia to borrow money from global capital markets, to offset pressure from existing u.s. and european sanctions. so this amendment would impose mandatory sanctions on u.s. and third-party investment and sales of russian sovereign debt as well as in the privatization of russian state-owned assets.
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the amendment would target the russian energy sector which is controlled by vladimir putin's cronies with sanctions on investment and russian petroleum and natural gas development as well as russian energy pipelines. we also need to put additional pressure on the ability of putin and his cronies to move markets and money they have looted from the russian state. so this amendment would demand owe he -- would mandate that the secretary of treasury establish a high-level task force within the department's financial crimes and enforcement network that would focus on tracing, mapping, and prosecuting illicit financial flows linked to russia if such flows interact with the united states' financial system. the task force would also work with liaison officers in key united states embassies, especially in europe to work with local authorities to
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uncover and prosecute the networks responsible for the illicit russian financial flows. finally, recognizing that russia seeks to undermine not just american democracy but western democracy altogether, this amendment would provide support to the state department and usaid to help build the resilience of democratic institutions in europe against russian aggression exerted through corruption, propaganda, and other forms of political interference. we need now a strong russian sanctions amendment. we need it now. and we need it on this piece of legislation. we need this amendment because we have no time to waste. the united states of america needs to send a strong message
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to vladimir putin and any other aggressor that we will not tolerate attacks on our democracy. there is no greater threat, there is no greater threat to our freedoms than attacks on our ability to choose our own leaders free from foreign interference. so we must act accordingly and we must act now. mr. president, 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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the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. ill ask that the -- i ask that the quorum call be lifted. are. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. this body has a dual obligation, to ensure that there are
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sanctions against iran for its destabilizing activity around the region, indeed the world, but also sanctions against russia for its interference with our election, one of the core democratic institutions of our nation, as well as other acts that are hostile to the world order and to world peace. i support senate 722, the countering iran destabilizing activity act, but i strongly believe that it should have russian sanctions included as well as the senate proceeds to this urgently needed measure. iran's own parliament has suffered an isis claimed terror attack in tehran. i condemn that act of terror,
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one of many that the world has suffered. we are at war with isis as we are with terrorist extremism around the world. it intentionally targeted civilians. it used terror. isis has been a world terror organization. the fact that iran's leaders themselves direct and glorify terrorism against israel and the united states does not diminish the horror of what has occurred. people of all faith, from an increasingly diverse number of nations, have become victims of this terror spread by isis and iran. what occurred today is sadly more evidence that iran's unconditional support for assad has directly countered the interest of the iranian people and our ongoing efforts to
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defeat isis. we must hold iran accountable. we must hold it accountable for its many malign activities through increasing and enforcing strong, targeted sanctions. i want to thank my colleagues, including senator mccain, who just spoke so forcefully on the floor, senator menendez, senator corker, and cardin, as well as other colleagues who have worked on this cause. i want to say as well, we must hold iran accountable for the threats its act of terrorism pose to our security and the threat its missile program poses to our allies, including israel, we must hold iran accountable for the gross violation of human rights and war crimes that it, together with russia, are
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perpetrating in syria. in the last few months iran has tested and fired ballistic missile, tested a new russian-made system and harassed united states ships and continues to enable and arm the hamas terrorist organization, the disspottic assad regime and the supply of weapons to hezzbollah. it has enabled hezzbollah to amass 150,000 rockets and missiles all aimed at civilians in israel. last month the state department released a report on iran's human rights violations, continuing to show a troubling trend of abuse, noting that iran has more than 800 political prisoners and has executed at least 469 people just last year.
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we know that sanctions must be targeted and continually strengthened to deter iran. this legislation will impose sanctions on iran for its support of terrorism, human rights violations, and ballistic missile development. that includes sanctioning those who contribute to iran missile program and it also goes beyond members of the quds force who are already sanctioned. in no way -- no way does this sanctions program contradict or undermine the nuclear agreement with iran. that agreement provided us and our allies the time and space to now push iran to end its malign
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activities without the imminent threat of a nuclear weapon. congress must do everything it can to authorize new measures against iran and ensure that this new administration effectively enforces them. but we must also seize this opportunity to hold russia accountable as well for its egregious, aggressive behavior, and ongoing violations of international law. russia's cooperation with iran, including providing iran with an s.-300 air missile defense system that it recently tested strengthens iran as it fuels and finances a network of terrorism. under putin's direction, russia has enabled and tried to cover up crimes in syria, it has invaded ukraine, it has illegally annexed crimea, it has
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attacked and interfered with our democracy. enough is enough. that is why i urge this body to adopt russian sanctions as part of senate s. 722. sadly and dangerously our president has proven time and again unwilling to hold vladimir putin accountable. congress must ensure that he does so. it must ensure that russia receives a clear, unequivocal signal that this measure -- senator cardin's counter acting russian hostility act and the russian sanctions review act and that they are adopted by this body. those measures are critical to sending a message that we will hold russia accountable for its
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interference in our elections, its annexation of crimea as well as its violation of the i. n.f. treaty. i can expect nothing short of including these russian bills to move forward to a final vote. i will support s. 722, but i believe that there is a track and a path for this body to do both and we must do it. the imposition of mandatory sanctions codifying former president obama's executive orders regarding ukraine and malicious cyberactivity as well as targeting individuals and entities of the oil and gas industry must be part of the final passage. we cannot afford to wait any longer to take action. i am disappointed that the president has seemed
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disinterested, or at least unwilling to join in these sanctions against russia. and, unfortunately, the testimony that former director jim comey will deliver tomorrow provides evidence as to possible motive and intent in his discussions with comey that reflect on his apparent willingness to tolerate this aggressive conduct by russia without holding it accountable. this testimony from director comey is an explosive corroboration of the facts that have been reported, that the president asked for a loyalty pledge, threatened jim comey's job and tried to influence the f.b.i.'s ongoing criminal investigations on multiple occasions. his conduct shows unequivocally the disdain the president has
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for the rule of law and clearly demonstrates that he believes that he and his friends and family are above the law. i'm saddened and i'm chilled that this harrowing account will be given to the senate intelligence committee rather than in fact in a fictional -- director comey's willingness for come before the committee, his candor and truthfulness and for his resistance to those demands, for a pledge of loyalty and an end to the flynn investigation, even when it meant his firing. his testimony should serve as evidence both in the investigation led by robert mueller but also as evidence that mr. mueller must have
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unimpeded space, resources, and independence to conduct his investigation. i will take action as a member of the judiciary committee to seek oversight simply to ensure that those resources are safeguarded. with this documented proof, clearly the white house has sought to derail our law enforcement officials in their enforcing the law. we must ensure an end to such conduct, and we must send russia a signal that in fact it will be held accountable, that the investigation into its meddling in our election will be pursued vigorously and aggressively and that anyone in this country who
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colluded with or aided and abetted that meddling will be held accountable and that there will be no obstruction of justice. this goal should unite us across the aisle on a bipartisan basis. thank you, 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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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, mace i ask unanimous consent that the -- mr. president, may i ask unanimous consent that the pending quorum be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you, mr. president. donald trump has decided to withdraw the united states from the paris agreement on climate change. this is a decision that may prove to be one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our nation's history. there is no denying the mounting threat of climate change. we observe rising seas, warming global temperatures, and melting
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glaciers and ice sheets. yet the president cast aside an historic global agreement forged through american leadership. americans now ask what to do next. for individual citizens, my answer is simple: take action. join an environmental group. support science and scientists. organize in your community. many americans have been publicly pledging to meet the goals of the paris agreement through movements like the "i am still in pledge." every action, big and small, counts. american corporations must also act, and, unfortunately, they have been awol in the politics of climate change. this has been so frustrating because so many of them have great climate principles. they just abandon them when they
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come to washington. and that is why for my 169th "time to wake up" speech, i have a message for corporate america. first, know that you are hugely influential in congress. you command extraordinary attention in our political system. this gives you unique power against the breitbart fake news spigot, the shameless fossil fuel industry, and the koch brothers' climate denial operation, which were all behind the president's fateful decision. president trump's braindead withdrawal from the paris accord may prove to be for the best, if it creates heightened political interest in climate action from america's business leaders. at the moment, corporate
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political interests in climate action, setting the fossil fuel industry aside entirely, still averages out below zero. as a senator, i see corporate america's lobbying efforts in congress firsthand. here are some highlights. silicon valley lobbies through an organization called tech net. technet represents goliath, like microsoft, apple, google and facebook, all of which have great climate policies. and technet also represents clean energy companies like sunrun, bloom energy, and solar city. technet came again this year to lobby congress on its six priorities. here is a page from the actual
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lobbying materials that technet brought to our meeting. the group's federal policies are tax reform, high-skilled immigration reform, education and workforce development, entrepreneurship and job creation, smart infrastructure, and digital trade. climate change did not make it onto technet's priorities list. even clean energy failed to make it onto the list of the organization, including bloom energy, solar city, and sunrun. this is not a matter of these giants being cowed by the trump administration. technet came last year when obama was president, and climate change was not on their agenda then either. indeed, that week that technet came last year, i also had a visit from the timber and lumber industry. despite what climate change is
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doing to america's forests, climate change was not on the lumber and timber industry agenda. and that very same week the property casualty insurance industry came to meet me. these insurance companies write the big checks when climate change sends mother nature haywire. climate change was not mentioned by this industry either. that was quite a week. big business lobbying on climate change is actually worse than zero because the big business trade associations and lobbying groups are often run by the fossil fuel industry. so green energy manufacturers represented in washington, d.c., by the national association of manufacturers will find their own association lined up against them on climate change.
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the u.s. chamber of commerce is one of climate action's most implacable enemies. despite the good climate policies of so many companies on its board. these lobby groups are the most persistent voices of america's business community here in congress. they're the ones who are most active, and they are constant enemies on clean action and climate action, despite the companies that they represent. because, in truth, they answer to the fossil fuel industry, not the business community, when it comes to climate change. here's how this can play out: coca-cola and pepsico are the two biggest bench companies in america. -- beverage companies in america. both have excellent climate
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policies. pepsi even supports series, a fledgling lobbying group for climate action. but their trade association, the american beverage association, takes no lobbying interest in climate change. it knows thousand lobby -- it knows how to lobby. you can see the lobbying expenditures run up in 2009 and 2010 when they were concerned about congress taxing sweetened drinks or corn syrup. it just take no interest in climate issues. worse, coke and pepsi run money through the american beverage association to the u.s. chamber of commerce. ed a their lobbying all -- add their lobbying all up, coke and pepsi do virtually nothing themselves. a few ounces of credit to pepsi for participating in series.
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their american beverage association trade group doesn't lift a finger to help. and the u.s. chamber of commerce is a brute-force adversary. the result? the net lobbying presence of coke and pepsi in congress on climate change is exactly opposed to the two companies' stated policies on climate change. they say one thing. their lobbying effort does the opposite. on the other side of the fossil fuel divide, the heavy political hand of the fossil fuel industry is felt constantly around here, and that heavy hand is mercilessly opposed to any climate action and enforces its
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will with a parade of political weaponry akin to those old soviet mayday parades of tanks and rockets and artillery. cross them and they come after you hard. ask former congressman bob inkless. he urged his fellow republicans to heed the climate science and was hammered for it. also, no one should buy the phony assertions by big oil c.e.o.'s that they recognize climate change is real and support putting a price on carbon. they say that. exxonmobil's c.e.o. stayed to his shareholders just last week. but in the senate, i'm the senate author of a carbon price bill. i know who's lobbying where on carbon prices, and i can tell
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you, their statement is just not true. every single element of that soviet mayday parade of fossil fuel political weaponry is dead set against any such thing. so what do we from that? well, either big oil's c.e.o.'s don't know what their own lobbying apparatus is doing or they're just not telling the truth. you guess which. the strategy of the fossil fuel industry has been to control the republican party. you can jam things up by jamming up one party, and you can make it look like it's a partisan issue when it's just old-fashioned self-interested lobbying. in order to accomplish that
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purpose, the worst of the political threats and blandishments of the fossil fuel industry are directed against republicans. and as long as legitimate corporate leaders in america sit idly by while fossil fuel terrorizes and corrupts the republican party, there will not be much progress. but oh, some will say there aren't republicans who will respond. this is too partisan an issue. it will be a wasted effort. not so, mr. president. i came to the senate in 2007, and for years there was bipartisan action on climate change. 2007, 2008, 2009. it only stopped when the fossil fuel industry secured from five republican-appointed justices on the supreme court the
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disgraceful citizens united decision of 2010. 2007, lots of bipartisan activity. 2008, lots of bipartisan activity. 2009, lots of bipartisan activity. 2010, citizens united dead stop. that citizens united decision is what started the fossil fuel soviet may day parade of unprecedented political artillery. no special interests had that kind of political artillery before citizens united opened it up. and much of the post-citizens united effort has been using dark money to hide the fossil fuel industry's hand. so since citizens united, there has been no bipartisan climate action, but that doesn't mean
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there aren't still republicans willing to work with us. i know this firsthand. there are republicans willing to work with us. they just need to know that somebody will give them safe passage through the political kill zone that citizens united has let the fossil fuel industry create. well, with the trump administration now all the way over in the fossil fuel brightbart, koch brothers, climate deniers corner, it now rests on the shoulders of the legitimate business community to come off the sidelines. they can't count on this administration. they now have to come off the sidelines themselves and do so in strength commensurate with the seriousness of the problem. if as a country we pitch
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ourselves and the world into the present worst case climate change scenarios, billions of people will suffer, and suffering people want answers and justice. it will become hard to defend to them our american system of democratic government against charges of corruption and our system of market capitalism against charges of indifference. government has been corrupted by fossil fuel interests, and too many companies are indifferent. you can't make a case without the facts to back it up. and american companies more than anyone else benefit from a world order where liberal democracies prevail.
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so the stakes for the american business community are very real. the political mischief of the fossil fuel industry and its front groups will leave a lasting stain on the democracy that we all treasure. it is time in the wake of the president's decision on paris, isolating america with syria as our companion in isolation, it is time that the decent and honorable business community played a meaningful role in setting this right. to them, i say trump has betrayed you, so now is the time to align your industry's political engagement with your
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industry's position on climate. that's not asking much. we are only asking that american corporations align their political engagement on climate change with their actual position on climate change. if you take climate change seriously, great. take it seriously when you come to congress. the united states of america, the united states of america, where one day after d-day, a day when americans stormed ashore to free the continent of europe, fought their way through to knock down nazi tyranny, and then rebuilt europe under the marshall plan and came home, that country, that country ought not to be a pariah nation, with
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syria. we needn't be a banana republic for fossil fuel. we can lead the world into a brighter, cleaner, safer energy future. but it will take an effort, so corporate america, let's make the effort. 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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mrs. be feinstein: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. feinstein: are we in a quorum call? i ask the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. feinstein: i ask unanimous consent on roll call vote 140. i voted aye, and it was my intention to vote no. therefore, i ask unanimous consent that i be permitted to
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change my vote since it will not affect the outcome. i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. feinstein: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. bennet: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. it's nice to see the presiding officer in the chair, and i know because he's a student of
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history, that it will come as no surprise to my colleague from colorado that this week marks the 70th anniversary of the marshall plan. in 1947, europe was in ruins after years of war, factories from manchester to munich had been bombed out. railroads lay disfigured from artillery. farms stood to face by the tracks of 1,000 tanks. across the continent europe's once humming economies stood silent. over 60 million people died, including 6 million jews killed in the holocaust. here in the united states, we mourn for the loss of over 400,000 of our soldiers. we had spent in today's dollars nearly $4 trillion to secure that victory in woold.
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-- world war ii. to secure the peace our leaders understood more was required of us. george marshall told the nation that without a return to normal economic health in the world, there could be no assured peace. in other words, if famine and poverty remained unchecked across europe, unanswered, fascism and communism would soon follow, threatening united states' interests and global stability at the same time. so after years of sacrifice, sacrifice that this generation of americans, thank goodness, have never had to endure, the easy course would have been to withdraw behind the atlantic and the pacific, to turn our back on the world and embrace isolation. but instead, we proposed the
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marshall plan, a bold investment to revive europe's economies, to modernize industry and expand trade not only for allies, not only for allies like france and britain, but also for our enemies -- germany and italy. it was extraordinary that political leaders here once made those decisions. i struggle to think of a time in human history when the victor helped to revive the vanquished with no strings attached. no colonial objective. as the marshall plan made its way through congress, leaders in washington made the case to the american people. even standing firm against some who wanted to require european countries to buy only american products with the aid that we gave them. still, in the years to come
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american farmers and manufacturers would fill millions of crates of wheat and wood, of sugar and steel to rebuild europe from the ravages of war. president truman understood that in time strong european economies would become strong trading partners, strong military allies and a bulwark of freedom against soviet expansion. history proved him right, to say the least. after the marshall plan, western europe surged back to life as eastern europe stagnated behind the iron curtain. in the west production rose and hunger fell. foes became friends. bonds across the atlantic solidified. investments through the marshall plan helped lay the foundation for nato, the common market, the european union. few actions in our foreign
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policy have been as consequential for america's long-term interests, for our national interests. and all at a cost of $150 billion in today's dollars. 25 times less than the total cost of world war ii and about 25 times less than what we paid in the wars in iraq and afghanistan. as president truman invested in europe's recovery, he also helped fashion a new world order from the rubble of war. american leadership forged global institutions to enshrine our interests and values around the world for generations, giving rise to the world bank, the international monetary fund, the united nations, and the entire international system that we have today.
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70 years ago, president truman had the vision to think longer term. he had the wisdom to see that what was good for others was often good for us as well. and he had the courage to ask our citizens to lead, to sacrifice, and to believe that even after the second war in a generation, it was still within their power to shape a lasting peace. those actions, those qualities are why truman's presidency marks one of the finest periods in american foreign policy. in the history of our foreign policy. and the comparison with what we're seeing today just couldn't be starker. mr. president, under the banner of putting america first,
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president trump has undermined our interests at nearly every turn. at a time when china proposes to spend over $1 trillion to expand its global influence with new railroads from hungary to kenya, new bridges and tunnels linking southeast asia together, new electrical plants to power pakistan, president trump proposes to slash our foreign assistance advancing u.s. interests around the world. at a time when nato faces challenges to its east and south, president trump publicly rebukes the alliance and refuses to reinforce its bedrock principle of collective security. as the recent terrorist attack unfolded in london, president trump took to twitter to promote his political agenda and sow
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fear in the wake of that attack. in the face of challenges like extremism and instability that demand four-year strategies like the ones president truman had in mind, president trump is conducting his foreign policy 140 characters at a time. and now as the world unites to confront the perils of climate change, our president withdrew from the landmark paris agreement that we helped forge, in a shameful abdication of america's global leadership. in doing so, the president ignored the voices of millions of americans and thousands of businesses urging him against the arguments that he made to stay in the agreement for climate reasons and for economic reasons, and for national security reasons as well.
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by withdrawing from it, the president has turned his back on millions of people across the globe as well, mostly poor who are already on the edge of crisis, who may face droughts, displacement and famine from a warming planet. america has a strong interest in avoiding that future. anybody who has seen what's happened since the arab spring understands what resulted from a doubling of the price of wheat in egypt. a wise leader could see that. a president truman would see that. like the marshall plan, the paris agreement recognized that in the modern world, there is no over there anymore. today over there is here. and here is over there.
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and our president just fundamentally doesn't understand it. he claimed that withdrawing from the paris agreement would, quote, put america first. in fact, this move threatens to put america last. last in innovation, last in clean energy, last in science, last in our moral responsibility to hand the next generation a safe and stable planet. that is why states and cities all across the country are making their own commitments to honor the paris agreement. now it's just us, nicarauga, and syria on the other side. and that's why towns and cities and states all across the country are scrambling to fill the void of leadership left by the administration, to show the rest of the world that we're serious too. in my home state of colorado,
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we know that we can protect our economy and our climate, that we can grow our economy and protect our climate. we see those as linked together. you can't do one without the other. we developed the first state limits on methane pollution. we passed the first voter-led renewable energy standard in the entire nation. we established our own limits on carbon pollution. and in the process, we've created 13,000 renewable energy jobs with wind jobs alone expected to triple by 2020. on average, mr. president, those jobs pay an average salary of $50,000. we're manufacturing again in our state with the supply chain that comes along with it. and what's come with those commonsense regulations? one of the strongest economies in america, the lowest unemployment rate in america. when we see this all across the
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country. new energy jobs growing 12 times faster than the overall economy. the president doesn't see any of that. in a matter of months from foreign assistance to global alliances to terrorism and climate change, the administration has im imperilled america strat tour with an i ignorant agenda. in a recent op-ed senior officials from the administration painted the world as no more than a, quote, arena where nations compete for advantage. they are trying to explain the president's behavior while he was in europe. that attitude marks a huge departure from generations of american phone policy. this is not -- american foreign policy. this is about an approach to the
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world that we've had almost since the nation's founding, and the space that the president is creating out there in the world by abandoning those treasured american values gives space to those who seek every single day to undermine the liberal world order that has allowed our country and allies across the globe to succeed. and the president should understand what generations of united -- leaders in the united states have put america first. they've always put america first. not in slogans or in stump speeches, but in the alliances and institutions that we built and the values that we champion. the alliances that we forged that have p given our world 70
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years of peace and prosperity. that is a legacy upon which i must build, one that has made america first and kept america first today and, if we act wisely, i think for decades to come. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. moran: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: mr. president, thank you very much. 100 years ago today, lions clubs were created in chicago, illinois. this week the senate will consider passage of senate resolution 174 commemorating this occasion. 100 years later lions clubs
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international has more than 36,000 clubs across the globe. in my state of kansas we have more than 270 lions clubs. i have been a member of lions clubs since i graduated from college and went to work and got involved with the community and have seen firsthand howleyons clubs -- how lions clubs make a difference in the community they are in as well as their reach around the globe in addressing problems in their community and humanitarian needs around the world. lions are committed to caring for those less fortunate, from young to old, and they do so in a way that shows care and compassion. it's all about the right motivation. they care about people and they make a difference. it is this selfless service and commitment to a greater good that is needed in our country
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today. in the face of serious challenges, i believe that those who volunteer their time and their resources in community civic clubs and not for profits, in schools, fundraisers, churches, and charities are the ones who have the greatest impact on other people's lives. this kind of involvement at the local level has the potential to make meaningful and tangible differences in the lives of people around us, perhaps more so than even the best intentioned federal programs that come from the nation's capitol. i'm of the view that we change the world one soul, one person at a time and it happens in lions clubs in their efforts in their communities every day. for over 100 years lions clubs provided relief to those struck by tragedy and fought to eradicate disease. they have contributed hundreds
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of millions of dollars to humanitarian work internationally and have served 100 million people around the globe. as we reflect on all of the good that has come from the service by the lions clubs neighbors may this be strengthen and renewed. today we begin to seek out better ways to improve our world. i offer my congratulations to bob corlu who is the international president and i welcome lions members from around the globe as they gather in chicago later this month for their international convention. 100 years ago in chicago to this month 100 years in which they celebrate their birth. the lions club motto is, we serve. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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mr. president, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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