tv 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Hawaii v. Trump CSPAN December 7, 2017 4:02pm-5:14pm EST
consent to vacate the quorum call, mr. president. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president, i met this fall with dreamers in my home state of oregon, in meetings in eugene and portland. these young people described powerful accounts of how the trump administration has needlessly and cruelly injected fear into their lives and the lives of their families. right now these dreamers, these young people who've done nothing wrong, with terrific grades and wonderful conduct, and helping their families, they're faced with a very real threat -- that they may be ripped away from the only lives and the only country they've ever known. these young people might be little more than numbers on a page to those who spend their days waging political fights in the nation's capital, but this is not some kind of academic topic for the thousands of young people across the land who would be affected by these vicious
policies. this is a real, live issue with real, live consequences and real, live dangers for many, many of our friends and neighbors. it's real for those like cynthia aguilar, who i met this fall at university of oregon eugene. she spoke eloquently about how her mother sacrificed for her living paycheck to paycheck so cynthia could have a better life. it is real for those like eastern oregon university student dacy vidoya, who spoke just as movingly when we met in portland as well as at a town hall i held in her community. not only does dacy talk about the huge contribution dreamers are making to hometowns, she demonstrates her contributions each day at eastern oregon
university as the school's student body president. cynthia and dacy and so many others are what i call the real dream team. and i am proud to be their teammate in this fundamental fight for fairness. it is not a small fight. in oregon alone, there are an estimated 11,000 dreamers, enough to fill most every seat in the memorial coliseum. and every one of those young people has parents and brothers and sisters and friends in their communities. they have well-laid plans to work hard in school, make something of their lives, and start families of their own in the united states. the strength of their stories fuels our fight, and that is why i join colleagues today in insisting that the dream act come to the floor of this senate. this has been a long battle. i'm proud to have been with the dreamers every step of the way from dream act legislation to
the president -- president obama's actions on daca. i'm also pleased to have worked with my colleagues to introduce legislation like the protect dreamer confidentiality act. this bill would ensure that the information that dreamers provide to the government isn't somehow used against them for immigration enforcement. congress has to come together and work in a bipartisan way on a fair path forward for dealers. this effort -- for dreamers. this effort by the white house to split families goes against the values we cherish as americans and further divides our country. these children have known nothing, mr. president, but the united states as home. they have done nothing wrong and everything right. they deserve an opportunity to stay here. our government made a promise to dreamers when we encouraged them to share their stories publicly,
submit to background checks, and pay taxes. it would be wrong to go back on that promise now. so i'm pleased to be on this floor to say that we are just going to battle every step along the way until there is justice done for the dreamers. mr. president, i want to thank senator moran, who graciously gave me some time, and i want to briefly talk about one other subject. i'm the ranking democrat on the senate finance committee. i'm pleased to serve with my colleague from louisiana, who also serves on the committee, and will be a conferee on the tax bill. i just want to bring up a matter that the president introduced yesterday. the president has long said that there's going to be a fantastic tax bill -- his words, not mine -- and obviously the american people don't see it that way.
overwhelmingly -- overwhelmingly we see in surveys -- i saw it in town hall meetings over the weekend in a community hillary clinton won, in a community where donald trump was extremely popular. this bill was incredibly unpopular. now, the president admitted yesterday -- i'm going to quote here -- there was a tiny, little sliver -- a tiny, little sliver of americans who, as he said, just through circumstances maybe don't get the full benefit of the tax bill. well, i'm not sure what tax plan he's talking about, but it sure can't be the one that hikes taxes on middle-class folks that republicans are working out in the conference right now. so i want to get to the numbers just briefly from the independent nonpartisan referees at the joint committee on
taxation. these are the folks that we pay. and i'm telling you, the numbers they've given us really aren't in line with what the president is talking about when he says only a tiny, little sliver of americans are going to be hurt and come out behind. 13 million low- and middle-income americans are facing an immediate tax hike of $100 or more because of the bill. apparently in the president's view, 13 million americans is a little, tiny sliver. that's just the immediate badge the bill guess worse and worse and worse with each passing year. 2027 is when the numbers put your jaw on the floor. under this plan that the president says is so fantastic, 150 middle-class taxpayers either get a couple of crumbs or
they're hit with an outright tax hike. i'm going to say that once more. 150 million americans get nothing but crumbs or an outright tax hike. that's what the president calls a tiny, little sliver? it's pretty close to 90% of the middle class, and that's just the raw math of who's facing a tax hike. as i've said, this bill drives a dagger into the heart of the affordable care act. 13 million americans are going to lose their health care, tens of millions will get hit with a hidden tax hike in the form of higher insurance premiums, and then, of course, we all understand that the coverage requirement in the affordable care act that senate republicans seek to remove is what makes it possible for us to get
loophole-free, airtight protection for those who faced discrimination when they had a preexisting condition. so this is pretty troubling constitution, and it -- so this is pretty troubling stuff, and it sure doesn't strike me, mr. president, that when this administration says only a tiny, little sliver of people are going to get hurt, that the reality shows something very different. the fact is, after all the giveaways to the multinational corporations and the well-connected and the high fliers, this bill is going to cost more than $1 trillion. it is a real head-scratcher how you can spend so much money, help so few people, and convince yourself what you're doing is so terrific.
peddling the idea that there's just a tiny amount of people out there that don't benefit from this tax plan in my view is preposterous, and to tens of millions of americans, this bill is going to hurt. they deserve far better. mr. president, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: and the clerk should call the roll. quorum call:
objection. mr. moran: mr. president, thank you very much. i am a he grad to see you in the -- i'm grad to see you in the -- i'm glad to see you in the chair because i come to tuck about a topic -- to talk about a topic to and i share, the veterans of our nation and states. i first want to thank senator john mccain, the senator from arizona. many of my colleagues have spent much longer time in the united states senate than i have. and they had the opportunity to work side by side with senator mccain more often than i have. but i'm honored today to join him in legislation that we introduced earlier this week. it's senate bill 2184, the veterans community care and access act of 2017. i'm honored to have the opportunity to work side by side with senator mccain and other colleagues as we try to determine how best we can care for those who served our nation. and i would use this opportunity
to pay tribute to the senator from arizona for his service to our nation. what i know from his experience in vietnam and his service to the nation, but what i also know of him here in difficult circumstances in which he continues to work for the benefit and well-being of the people of our country. but we both share -- he a veteran, not me a veteran -- the ideals and beliefs that those who served our country deserve only the best from a grateful nation. i've been a member of the veterans' committee since i came to congress w that -- with that goal in mind and continue to serve in the united states senate as a members member of te veterans' committee. i serve as the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the department of veterans affairs. we introduced the veterans community care and access act because we want to call on the v.a. to do what it is they say
they want to do. this bill fulfills priorities. the reason this bill comes to the senate floor at this point in time is that the veterans choice program that was created at a time of crisis at the v.a. in which veterans were not being served and not being well served, congress responded with a program to allow veterans to access care in their communities. and it's before us again because that program expires presumably this month, perhaps early in january. the bill expires when the funding for the choice program expires. , it's used up. and that is a matter of days or weeks away. and so the effort is to in part reauthorize the choice program. but more importantly, to make certain that we revitalize and update and improve, alter, transform the department of
veterans affairs. in my view, it would be a sad circumstance in which we reach the conclusion that we must simply reauthorize choice without using this opportunity to transform the v.a. into something better that can serve the needs of more veterans in a greater -- in a better way to fill the needs of those veterans. and so the legislation that senator mccain and i have introduced does several things in regard to transforming the v.a. it merges and modernizes the community care programs into one program. it provides greater access to care for veterans within the v.a. and within the community. in my view, this is not just about improving access or the quality of care in the community. it's about improving the opportunity of the v.a. to care
for veterans within the v.a. it establishes a framework for the v.a. to build a high-performing health care network. and that network is designed to care for veterans where they can best receive the care, where they can receive the best quality care, where they can geographically attain the care that they need. and in addition to that, it requires the v.a. to coordinate that care within that network across the system so that once a veteran is a patient of the v.a., they're not forgotten. they are followed. they are cared -- they as an individual veteran have a care coordinator within the department of veterans affairs. regarding reform legislation on this v.a. community care, secretary shulkin told me, the secretary of the department of veterans affairs told me we need more specificity, quote-unquote. so we developed this legislation
that balances instructions from congress, guidance from congress with the v.a.'s own proposal. secretary of shulkin -- secretary shulkin also told me that if too much is left to the regulation process, quote, the v.a. will keep things the way they are now. that things won't change. this is a recognition of the bureaucracy that he manages, and it's a recognition of that bureaucracy's refusal to change. refusal to change, unfortunately, is what got us to the 2014 scandal exhibited particularly in phoenix that revealed nationwide system failures and resulted in the death of veterans. it's also is evidence by refusal to change that showed the number of times we had a crisis in which the v.a. has run out of money to pay for the choice program. and again coming to us at the 1
1th hour telling us they need help financially to keep the choice program going. and it's a reason that today we can't tell you how much money is needed or when the current resources will expire. i just don't want us to miss the opportunity to do something more than simply reauthorize the choice program. i want to use this opportunity to create a system that not only works for veterans but modernizes and transforms the v.a. into a 21st century health care system that will serve our veterans today and veterans for generations to come. this legislation reforms the v.a. health care system by connecting independent demand and capacity assessments to objective access and quality standards which are used then to provide the veterans access to care in their community.
the point here is that the v.a. remains the gatekeeper, but the point is also that the criteria, the broad outline by which community care should be and must be provided is determined by congress, not by rules and regulations from within the bureaucracy of the department. this legislation creates the tools that the v.a. must use to reform health care and safeguards our veterans from inconsistent experiences that leads to poor health outcomes. this effort was a collaboration, including a collaboration, a strong collaboration with the department of veterans affairs but also the general accounting office, congressional research service, the department of defense, rands, various health care industry experts across the country as well as veterans service organizations. we worked closely with the entities that have investigated the v.a.
in my subcommittee that i chair in appropriations, we are often having the i.g. or the g.a.o. in front of us explaining one more time a flaw that occurred at the v.a. and what needs to be done to correct that flaw. and so we sought out their input into how do we not fix the consequences of a flaw, but how do we avoid a flaw? we want to fill in the gaps and develop solutions in advance of problems, and that requires real transformation within the v.a. we need to get the v.a.'s house in order so that they can do what they want to do, what they're required to do, and what the americans demand of them: care for our veterans. there is too much dysfunction still happening at the v.a. for congress not to take a stronger and more measured approach to reforming the v.a. health care system.
it is unacceptable, in my view, for us to rely on, quote, criteria the secretary will develop because that translates into a v.a. bureaucracy determining veteran eligibility in that regulatory process. this legislation in large part is derived, in my view, from my experience as a member of the united states senate in which not a day goes by, but what our office doesn't hear from veterans across kansas and really across the country, and they bring to us the problems they have experienced. what all of us in the united states senate would call casework. somebody brings us a problem and we work to solve it. and the goal, and in fact my belief is the outcome of this legislation reduces the amount of casework, which isn't about reducing our workload. it's about making certain that
veterans don't have to come to their congressman or woman, don't have to come to a united states senator to get the services they are entitled to by law and by moral obligation. we don't learn from history. we need transformation. we need something more than just saying let's keep the current process in place for awhile longer. you know, following world war ii, general omar bradley was assigned the task of overhauling the v.a. for the millions of americans who were returning home from world war ii. he said some important things back at that point in time. bradley rightfully kept the needs of veterans at the forefront. he said we're dealing with -- quote -- we're dealing with veterans, not procedures. with their problems, not ours. the goal and the outcome of good legislation will be to reduce
and hopefully over time eliminate most of the problems that our veterans experience in dealing with the v.a., in accessing the health care that they have been promised. the v.a. has done an admirable job in many, many instances, but way too many veterans fall through the cracks. our office receives, i would estimate 30 new cases every week, and most of them deal with the issue of health care, and many of those deal with the issue of community care. we can reform this system. we can make it better for the veteran. we can make it better for the provider, for those hospitals and clinics across kansas and around the country who are willing to serve the v.a. if there's a process in place by which they get paid and they get paid at a rate at which they can afford to care for those
veterans. i would say in most insanses -- instances so they just don't lose more money in caring for those veterans. just like at the conclusion of world war ii when general bradley overhauled the v.a., today's v.a. is in need of another major reform. and just as general bradley did, we must keep the veterans' unique wants and needs in mind as we reshape and reform the delivery of health care. veterans require and deserve the best our nation has to offer. if the v.a. is serious about restoring the trust with veterans, then the v.a. needs to be committed to creating a modern, functional health care system that increases access both within the v.a. and within the community for timely and quality care. we ought not miss this opportunity. we ought not shy away from
mr. casey: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. i rise this afternoon to spend a couple of minutes to talk about the dream act and the so-called daca issue. there's so many acronyms here in washington, sometimes we rely too much on them, but in this case americans know what we're talking about, the deferred action for childhood arrivals. that policy was put in place in the prior administration and then in this administration in september, the president made an announcement to end the program -- to end the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. the president imposed an
arbitrary -- i would argue arbitrary deadline of march 5 of next year, which is looming now, and something in the order of 20,000 daca recipients already have lost their protection from detention and deportment and i think it is important that the senate act and pass the bipartisan dream act. what are we talking about here? we're talking about young people who arrived in this country, in many cases at very, very young ages. some of them were babies, some were young children at the time. and when you hear their stories, you come away impressed that they have succeeded, they've become part of the fabric of american life. as one daca recipient said to me
in a meeting back a couple of months ago sitting in a conference room around a long conference table, talking to me and with other daca recipients, this young woman said to me because of the looming deadline and the potential that she could lose the status she has now and be deported, she said to me, the only country i've ever known doesn't want me, or at least she was reflecting the policy that the administration had enunciated seems to have sent a message to her that she is not wanted. this makes no sense at all on a number of fronts, and i will get to each of them in a moment, but i start with the word promise. these young people were made a promise by our government. it was made by the president of
the united states of america when he said, come forward and we will protect you because you've taken that affirmative step forward. that promise cannot be violated, in my judgment, by any president, and certainly by the inaction on the part of congress. and if this government is willing to break with that promise, to what -- what most believe is something in the order of 800,000 young people who have lived in the united states since their childhood, allowing them to better contribute to their families and to their communities. if our government breaks that promise, why would any government around the world, let alone our own people, believe
any other promise that we would make? would we have that moment that would could be confident that we have a moment of a foreign government who happens to be an ally would be able to take our word for something, take the word of a federal official or a member of congress when we make an assertion? we all remember that story in the context of the cuban missile crisis when the president went to see an ally in france, an al vie for -- an ally for generations, and that ally in discussions with president dugal said, that the president wants us to prove that there are missiles in cube. and the president of france said
there's no reason to show the surveillance pictures. if the president of the united states said there are missiles in cuba, i believe him. you don't need to prove it to me. part of that was that over generations leaders of our country had built up a kind of credibility, believability that was very important to international rips. -- rips -- relationships. this happened with the french people. but if our government breaks a promise to 800,000 young people, law abiding young people, many of whom our country has invested in by way of education. they've been educated in our school districts -- educated for grade school and high school and educated in our institutions of
higher learning in some cases. we're going to break a promise to them? why would anyone trust us if we're going to break a promise. this is not only the responsibility of this administration, but it's the responsibility of both parties in both houses because if that promise is violated by inaction or action, then we damage our credibility here at home, -- not only here at home but especially around the world. we also know there are economic consequences to this action or inaction. just by one estimate, when i consider just pennsylvania, here are some of the numbers on pennsylvania. in pennsylvania, the deferred action for childhood arrivals program has allowed nearly 5,000
young people to come forward to pass a background check, to live and to work legally in this country. that was the promise. you come forward and you allow a background check to proceed and you pass it and you work legally in this country. what kind of impact would play out in pennsylvania if those 5,900 young people were lost because daca was ended? the cost for our state, by 1 estimate, is $357 million. the national number is extraordinarily high. for the 800,000 young people who have lived in the united states since their childhood, if daca ends, the national economy loses
$460 -- more than 46$0 billion, that's billion with a "b," as opposed to the pennsylvania number which is in the millions. the nation would lose $460 billion over a decade -- so roughly $460 billion every year for ten years. why would we do that? why would anyone want that to happen, to have that kind of economic hit to the national economy? now, i think it's wrong just based on the violation of a promise, a sacred obligation of any government, especially to people living within the boundaries of the united states of america. that's offensive enough for me to speak out against action or inaction that would be against the interest of these young people. even if you did not prioritize
the violation of a sacred promise, you could also arrive at the conclusion that ending daca is a mistake for purely economic reasons. if you were concerned about the national economy. these young people known as dreamers, as i said, have lived in this country since they were very young. they are law-abiding residents. they paid taxes, gone to school, secured jobs to support themselves and their families, and for many of these dreamers america is, indeed, the only home they have ever known. a couple of examples from -- in this case from pennsylvania. audrey lopez, a dreamer from lancaster, pennsylvania, was brought to the united states from peru when she was just 11 years old. she spent most of her childhood in pennsylvania and her parents instilled in her the values of hard work and an education.
like so man dreamers, audrey lopez only learned that she was undocumented when she started applying to college and learned that she did not have a social security number. despite not having access to financial aid, audrey worked hard and graduated from millersville university in 2012. after graduation she took a job in public service working in church world services, assisting refugees with resettlement. in this past fall audrey accepted a nearly full scholarship to american university, here in washington, where she'll obtain a masters in international development. she's chosen that course of study, in part, due to fear of deportation, hoping to arm herself with the tools to make the country a better place. we should be supporting --
supporting young, hardworking people like audrey who want to work in the service of others and our nation. instead, there are people here in washington threatening their future -- not only her future but our nation's future -- by making us less safe and damaging the economy. why do i say less safe? if that's the way we treat law-abiding individuals in our country, people who have lived here their whole lives, -- they may not have been born here, they may not have a number, but for all intents and purposes, they are americans. they live in american communities, american schools. they've achieved things that we hope every american would achieve. they've worked hard, and in some cases didn't realize they were any different from any other child until much later in life
when they were told they may not have had a number or a special status that others around them might have had. but, in any case, in addition to being the wrong thing to do to violate a promise, in addition to hurting our economy to end daca, ending daca is not good for our security. again, why would -- why would anyone believe that we could enter into a hard and fast security agreement or protect our own people if we're not willing to protect people in our own country that have followed the law? this would be an insult and outrage if it were hundreds of people, but we're talking about 800,000 who will be subject to losing their status and ultimately deportation because the united states congress doesn't have the guts, doesn't
have the integrity to protect them. so this is a test, a test of the united states congress, both houses. it is a test for the administration as well. i hope they can pass this test, the test of whether you keep your promises or not or whether you lie to people. that's what this is about. this is about basic integrity, and there is no in between here. you either keep your promise or you don't. we'll see what the administration does. we'll see what the congress does. and we'll see whether or not people really care about the economy. a lot of talk here about growing the economy. how can you say you want to grow the economy when you reject because of some ideology or some special interests, reject and compromise and damage the future of 800,000 people who live here? that is -- that is inexcusable
and unforgivable. i hope we see some moral courage over the next couple of weeks when it comes to these young people. so it's ending daca is bad for our economy. it tears away the integrity of our government and is bad for our security. if this program is ended, we are less safe as a country, without a doubt. so it's -- this is why congress must move immediately to pass the bipartisan dream act. and it's a bill that i was proud to vote for and move forward in 2007 and 2010. the bill would allow dreamers to become permanent residents if they meet the very stringent qualifications outlined in the bill. this means giving those 5,900 pennsylvanians who have been granted daca status some security and a future they can
count on. it's -- this is why we can say that america is a great country when we keep our promises, when we protect our own folks in our communities, especially these individuals who worked -- who worked very hard. so this is a basic test. i hope that our government will meet it. i hope the administration will work with us to make sure that we can finally pass into law a measure that will remove this uncertainty, remove the fear that people live with. and let me conclude, mr. president, with one observation. i said i was in a meeting a couple of weeks ago with that young woman who said the only country i've ever known doesn't seem to want me. another young woman in the same meeting said that her whole goal in life was pretty simple. she wanted to be a nurse. she said, i want to heal people. she had done well in school.
she followed all the rules. and now she may be in trouble subject to deportation down the road if somehow this daca policy isn't upheld, if our promise is violated, a sacred promise to 800,000 people. as this young woman was telling a room full of people about this -- about this goal she had, this aspiration to be a nurse, when she said all i want do is heal people, she became very upset. another young woman who had achieved in school and done well was a volunteer firefighter in pennsylvania. she worries about it as well. story after story, example after example of young people who have worked very hard their whole lives, have achieved in school. their friends are all around. their families are part of these communities. and our government is going to violate a promise to them? why would anyone believe our
government after that on any promise, if you violate a promise that fundamental? why would anyone trust the united states congress if these young people aren't protected? so i hope that congress will meet this test, support the dream act, get it done. and if we get that done, then we can say that we're a government the people should trust. if you don't get this done, it's a lot more difficult to make the case that our word is good here at home and that it's good internationally. mr. president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: