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tv   U.S. Senate U.S Senate  CSPAN  December 20, 2018 11:29am-1:30pm EST

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sufficient to change the balance of power. that has been the story of president obama and donald trump's policy in syria. we did just enough to convince the rebels that they should keep going, but never enough to actually tackle bashar al-assad. all we have done is keep the civil war running and running and running. i have really terrible news for you all. bashar al-assad is going to win this war. he was always going to win this war because the folks on his side had much bigger equities, russia and iran, then the folks on the side of the rebels. that really stinks that bashar al-assad is going to win. >> the senate will gavel in in just a moment. it is a very busy day on capitol hill as congress prepares for the winter recess. the action today is on the house side.
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last night the senate approved a resolution to fund the government through february 8th. the house is deciding whether to pass the continuing resolution or make changes which the senate would need to agree to vote on. right now the house is working on senate approved criminal justice reform bill. now to live coverage of the u.s. senate on c-span2. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. father of mercies, you illumin all history with the shining light of bethlehem. in this season when we think about peace on earth and goodwill to humanity, bless all those who love and serve you by working for unity, justice, and
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civility in our world. continue to use our lawmakers for your glory. make them strong in their convictions as they seek to faithfully serve you and country. lord, draw them close to you and to one another, inspiring them to bear one another's burden and so fulfill the law and the gospel. and, lord, bless and keep your servant, senator orrin hatch and his beloved elaine as they prepare to transition from the senate. we pray in the name of the
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prince of peace. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our 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.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each.
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the president pro tempore: the senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of the calendar number 108, h.r. 512. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: -- mr. sullivan: s. 512. the clerk: calendar 1078, s. 152, a bill to modernize the regulation of nuclear energy. the president pro tempore: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. sullivan: i ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported substitute be withdrawn and the barrasso
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substitute amendment at the desk be agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. sullivan: i know of no further debate on the bill. the president pro tempore: is there any further debate? if not, all in favor say aye. those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill as amended is passed. mr. sullivan: i ask unanimous consent that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. sullivan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on energy and natural resources be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 1733 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 1733, an act to
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direct the secretary of energy to review and update a report on the energy and environmental benefits of the rerefining of used lubricating oil. the president pro tempore: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. sullivan: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. sullivan: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. 3800 introduced earlier today. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 3800, a bill to designate the united states courthouse located at 351 southwest temple in salt lake city action utah, as the -- city, utah, as the orrin g.
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hatch united states courthouse. the president pro tempore: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. sullivan: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and that the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. sullivan: mr. president. the president pro tempore: the senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: mr. president, congratulations on that bill. the president pro tempore: thank you, mr. senator. mr. sullivan: it's very appropriate that you should be the one passing it since it's named after you. you have a lifetime of tremendous service to the united states of america. the president pro tempore: you're a great man.
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i appreciate it. i'm not so sure i'm the one that should have been here. i didn't realize that was going to happen this morning but i'm very honored and honored by the senator from alaska and my other fellow senators in the united states senate. mr. sullivan: i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the president pro tempore: the senator from florida knell mr. president? -- florida? mr. nelson: mr. president, i would add my congratulations. the president pro tempore: thank you so much. mr. nelson: it's my understanding, mr. president, i'll seek the floor later. it's my understanding that senator schumer wants to speak. and then i will seek recogniti recognition. .
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mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democratic whip -- democratic leader. mr. schumer: thank you. good morning, mr. president. last night the senate agreed to pass a short-term continuing resolution to keep the government open through early february. with less than two days to go until the appropriations lapse, if we are to avoid a shut down,
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the house must pass this continuing resolution and president trump must sign it. if president trump vetoed the short-term spending bill he will compound the errors he made throughout the budget process. it is already irrefutable that is a shut down would fall on president trump's back. he's been demanding it for six months and when leader pelosi and i went to the white house, he demanded it in front of all the american people. now, compounding that, vetoing the last train out of the station, a c.r., would be doubling down on a christmas shut down and every single american would know it. most importantly, it would not move the needle an inch towards the president getting his wall. i mention these points, mr. president, because several members of the freedom caucus,
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the hard-right wing in the house and hard-right voices in the media are openly encouraging the president to veto any c.r. that doesn't have his money for the wall. these are the same voices pressuring the house leadership to put the c.r. -- to refuse to put the c.r. on the floor. the voices of the hard right, both 0 in the -- bowth in the house and -- both in the house and in the media give no strategy at all, simply shut the government down, but none of them have detailed any path to get their wall. let me just walk my friends in the house through it. democrats are not budging on the wall. we favor smart, effective border security, not a medieval wall.
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a trump shut down will not convince a single democrat to support bilking the american taxpayer for an ineffective, unnecessary and ex or bentley -- ex exorbitantly expensive wall that mexico would pay for. i heard mr. meadows say, this is a campaign promise. they are only mentioning part of the promise. the campaign said, we will build a wall and mexico will pay for it. secondly, there are not the republican votes for a wall, there are not the votes in the senate for a wall -- not now, not next week, not next month or beyond. if speaker ryan refuses to put the c.r. on the floor or president trump vetoes it, will will be -- there will be a trump
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shut down, but there will be no wall. if president trump or house republicans cause a shut down over christmas on january 3, the new democratic house will send the senate a clean c.r. bill. based on passage of the c.r. last night, it's clear and to their credit that the senate republicans don't want a shut down. so what's the end game here? what is the end game of those who are demanding the president not sign the c.r., that the house not pass the c.r.? it seems, unfortunately, the trump temper tantrum is spreading like down pennsylvania avenue to the allies in the house. trump's allies in the house can pound their fists on the table all they want but it's not going to get a wall. they can, having caught the
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trump temper tantrum fever, jump up and down, yell and scream. it is not going to get a wall. and they, neither mr. meadows or mr. jordan have outlined any conceivable plan on how to adheef what they say -- achieve what they say they want to achieve. i would say to my less frenzied friends in the house, go ask mr, what is your plan? what is your end game? what is your path to getting the wall? i suspect that anyone who asks them will find that they don't have one. they are just angry. they are angry and mad and so they pound their fists on the table. they have caught the trump temper tantrum, but they have no plan -- no conceivable plan. and so their anger will result
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in a trump shut down but not a trump wall. and, frankly, their anger will result in further discrediting the president whom they support. amazingly, representative meadows said yesterday that the american people will support president trump shutting down the government over the wall. i don't know what evidence he has for that or to whom he speaks to because every political public poll that i have seen shows that the american people are not only strongly against the bored wall -- border wall, they are even more strongly against a shut down to get the wall. imagine how strongly they'd feel as he ties those two things together. mr. meadows, when he says the american people are for it, must think that the american people are only conservative republicans. if he'd widen his horizon a bit,
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he would come to the understanding that shutting down the government over president trump's wall is futile, self-defeating, and has minimal support among the american people. even a quarter of president trump's shrinking base does not support shutting down the government over the wall, and the vast majority of other americans, not part of president trump's base, and those are the strong majority of americans, are totally against it. so we need to get something done here to keep the government open over christmas. we need to tell the hundreds of thousands, millions of workers that they will get paid over christmastime. the house needs to come to the same sensible conclusion that the senate came to, that we should not hold millions of innocent americans hostage to demand something that they will
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never get. the senate has produced a clean bill, no partisan demands, no poison-pill riders. we could have demanded lots of things in the bill that we want, just a clean extension of funding. if house republicans and president trump refuse to pass it, then we'll have a trump shut down over christmas. the choice is theirs. on another matter. last night we received some extraordinarily concerning news regarding the president's nominee for attorney general, mr. william barr. according to reports earlier this year, mr. barr sent the justice department an unsolicited -- an unsolicited memo criticizing what he believed to be an avenue of investigation by special counsel robert mueller.
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mr. barr's memo reveals that he is fatally conflicted from being able to oversee the special counsel's investigation and that he should not be nominated for attorney general. mr. barr believes presidents in general, and more frightingly, president trump, who has shown less respect for the rule of law than any president, are above the law, much like justice kavanaugh. he has an imperial view of the presidency, almost like a king, not an elected leader. that much comes across in the memo because it doesn't allow legal processes to work against a president who might be breaking the law. we'll see what mueller finds out if that's true, but we should let him go forward. the fact that mr. barr hodes these deep -- holds these deeply guided views and chose to launch
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an attack on the special counsel, unquestionably disqualifies mr. barr from serving as attorney general again. since mr. barr hasn't been formally nominated yet, the president must immediately reconsider and find another nominee who is free of conflicts and will carry out the duties of law impartially. finally this morning another justice department matter. the justice department seems to be coming more and more of a swamp, at least in its top leaders. this time mr. whitaker. this morning we learned that ethics officials at the justice department told acting attorney general matthew whitaker that he did not need to recuse himself from overseeing the special counsel's investigation. the decision by the justice department defies logic. matthew whitaker has publicly and forcefully advocated for
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defunding and imposing limits on the mueller investigation calling it a mere witch hunt. he has troubling conflicts ever interest, including his relationship with sam clovis who is a grand jury witness in this investigation. there is clear and obvious evidence of bias on the part of matthew whitaker against the special counsel's investigation. to allow him to retain oversight over that investigation without recusal is incredibly misguided. the congress and the american people must be informed of any instance in which mr. whitaker sought or is seeking to interfere with the mueller investigation. if mr. whitaker has sought any limitation on witnesses, funding, subpoenas, or any other limitations, we must be informed of it right now. we believe that matthew whitaker
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shouldn't be in the job in the first place. his appointment is potentially unconstitutional. his oversight of the russia investigation is hopelessly biased. it's clear that president trump is trying every way possible to appoint or nominate people to lead the justice department who could well impede the special counsel's investigation. i yield the floor. and i thank the gentleman from florida for patiently waiting. mr. nelson: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: madam president, syria has been a mess and has been a concern for quite a
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number of years. the united states by putting a small footprint now a little bit over 2,000 special operations troops have considerably been successful when you think of what a chaotic place it was -- it still is but especially integral to the interests of the united states just a few years ago. remember the horrible images of united states citizens being executed by isis. remember all the trauma that we've seen the syrian government perpetrate upon its own people, and then remember the successful efforts of a combination of
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forces that ultimately took on isis, removed them from their headquarters of their caliphate, caused them to disperse if they were not eliminated at a time, a lot of that being led with kurdish fighters that were fighting alongside the united states special operations advisors. all of which has led even though complicated because of the russians being there, the turks having interests, and assad trying to hang onto power. nevertheless, the united states has been successful in not eliminating but lessening the influence of isis. and then came the shocker. the shocker of the president
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announcing unilaterally that all of a sudden he is going to pull the special operations troops as advisors out of syria. this would likely cause immediate instability. it would certainly allow isis to reconstruct themselves, and it would cause chaos with the kurdish troops that fought alongside the americans with the turkish government going after a number of them. this is an ill-advised, probably a non-advised decision by the president, and it should be reversed. and this senator wants to call on all the national defense,
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national security, and national intelligence pro formas that are within the administration to get the president to reverse this unilateral -- this unilateral decision that he made, otherwise the united states interests are going to be ill served. madam president, my concluding remarks are about an early christmas present that i received this past monday at a staff going away party that occurred in florida with all of our florida staff coming together to wish each other well. little did i know that a special guest was going to appear, none
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other than one of the chefs of the catering company that was catering this holiday going away party. let me tell you the story of this 34-year-old chef and what happened 34 years ago. at this time, middle 1980's, 1985, to be exact, this senator was a young congressman and a couple of -- a husband and wife, constituents of mine in east central florida came to me in great distress.
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because their infant boy had been born and he had a defective liver, and the advance of medicine at that particular time was there was no known cure except to do a liver transplant. 34 years ago, organ transplants were still just in their beginning infancy. and 34 years ago, there was no organ registry maintained in order to try to find families who had lost a loved one, that that loved one's organs could be harvested and then be available for those that were on a registry waiting for that.
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none of that existed 34 years ago. only since have we seen this miraculous organization set up whereby people that need an organ transplant can get on the list, and then whenever one becomes available, no matter where it is in the country, that that match, that organ can be flown, immediately packed in ice, to the receiving hospital where the organ transplant is going to occur. none of this existed. it was a catch and catch can in finding an organ to transplant. this was especially true with a liver transplant because a liver
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transplant at the time had to have the identical blood type match, and it had to be the identical size of the recipient's liver. and here is a few months-old child desperately clinging to life that needs a liver transplant to survive. at the time we were in session, and there was a particularly major bill that was up that its passage in the house of representatives was in the balance, just within a handful of votes. it was proposed by president reagan. i had already decided that i was
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going to vote for the bill in favor of the president's possession, but i saw an opportunity maybe to save this child's life. and so i held out and declared my position was undecided. knowing that the votes were coming down to just one or two votes in passage. i actually -- we must have been out for the weekend before this vote was to occur because i received a phone call from president reagan while at my home in florida, and the president greeted me and told me what he was asking me to do.
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and i said to him, mr. president, i have already decided that i am going to vote for the bill, and i know that is welcome news to you, and i wish you would do something for me, and that is the possibility of saving a child's life. and then i told him the story, the need of a liver transplant, of a certain blood type, of a certain size for a minor child. the president said he would do that. and shortly thereafter, the secretary of health and human services, a former colleague from the house, secretary margaret heckler of massachusetts called, and she said i am going at the
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president's request to have a press conference to put out this information that this child is in need of this specific type of transplant. margaret heckler did that. a donor was found because of that press release 1985 in california. they raced that harvested organ by jet to the hospital in pittsburgh. ryan osterblau was flown with his parents to the hospital and the successful transplant occurred 34 years ago. you can imagine the christmas
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present that i received early last monday when there in our going away party for our staff the chef of the catering company is none other 34-year-old ryan osterblau. that was the best christmas present i could have. madam president, i yield the floor. mr. roberts: madam president. madam president, i thank senator nelson for that touching story. that would be a christmas present for not only you but for everybody that has heard the circumstances. i, too, remember having the privilege of being in public service with president reagan.
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he had a human quality second to none. and i want to thank you, bill, for your service. we used to be on armed services together, fight the battles, but more especially for being a friend. he always had a smile on your face. i probably didn't when we -- i probably didn't. when we got on the elevators, you would say pat, what's wrong. i didn't want to go into anything. i thought why am i so glum if bill nelson is always so doggone happy all the time. florida sunshine, i guess. but thank you for the privilege of having public service with you, sir, and i -- best wishes in your future, which i know will be very good and very bright. and thank you for that story, which is a great christmas story. repeat it often, sir. thank you. madam president, i want to join
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my colleagues who over the past few weeks have come to the floor to thank senator orrin hatch, the great senator orrin hatch for his service to this institution. senator sullivan just informed me that the body here, the senate, has by unanimous consent passed legislation or a bill to name a courthouse in utah after orrin hatch. he was sitting as the acting presiding officer with a surprised look on his face and it was a treasure for everybody who saw that. orrin has consistently maintain add demeanor that represented the senate well over his record-setting 42-year career. i think the definition of gentleman and the new addition
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of webster's latest dictionary, it simply lists two words, orrin hatch. whether or not he agreed or disagreed with any policy position or with any individual senator, he always, always treated you with the greatest of respect. perhaps that's part of the reason that senator hatch will go down as one of the most effective legislators in the history of the senate. all you've got to do is go in his office and see all of the awards, the recordings thattively straight his -- that illustrate his fantastic music career as a songwriter, and all the bills. i think it's safe to say that probably no other living senator has had more bills sponsored or enacted into law than orrin hatch. we come here to make a difference and we do that by legislation. and that's an indication of the great, great legacy that this
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man has left this body. not many people have the wherewithal, stature, and -- to have members of both parties to sing your praise. that has happened, of course, on this floor. and that is what orrin stands for and/or run will be sorely miss -- and orrin will be sorely missed, and i mean sorely missed. senator hatch is not most people. simply put, the institution he loves will not be the same without him. since coming from the house to the senate, i have had the privilege of knowing orrin up close and personal. our offices are right next to each other. i bump into his security detail every morning and say good morning. i feel very safe about that. and then when we have votes just about the time he leaves his office and is accompanied by his
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security detail, he always asks me, why don't you ride with me. and so i have joined his security detail, every security detail should have a marine. i tell him that i will be in the back to protect his back if anything would happen. obviously nothing did. but the senator from utah should know that i have his back. i will always have his back. i think the measure of a man with regards to his long hours in the senate, it's hard to measure until you work with him with regards to -- i'm not talking about orrin of course -- but work with him in regards to legislation. and we're talking about the finance committee. and we're talking about tough legislation that we always have. and we would always go to the conference room, those who are privileged to serve on the
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finance committee. and you would walk in and there would be fruit juice and there would be vitamins and there would be goodies to eat, goodies, of course, that were good for you, as determined by the senator. and then he had that very soft voice and he would bring people to order. it was a very respectful situation where we are trying to put together a bill, see if we could move it and work with our colleagues across the aisle. and he had such a soft voice that on occasion i found out it was best to sit in the back of that conference room and look right at him so i could tell precisely what he was saying because he never rose -- i mean -- he never used his voice in a way that was high pitched or whatever. it was very calm, reasoned, and that's that demeanor that everybody -- he acted like a hollywood version of a senator.
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the tax cuts and jobs act probably would not have come to pass without the leadership of orrin hatch. boy, was that an effort. and we went through the trials and tribulations of tough arguments on both sides. but we always kept in the committee with him at the helm a posture of at least trying to work together. had some tough issues. and at the end of it, there were quite a few amendments. we were way into the late of the night. the amendments were not going to pass on a partisan vote. that is very unusual for orrin. he kept his cool. he kept his demeanor. finally at the last -- it had become an impossible situation where we were just going to get into a shouting contest. and he maintained order. and when he maintained order, he really maintained order. usually he didn't have to do
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that. my first boss in public service acting as a chief of staff was senator frank carlson. he was a great man. he helped found the national prayer breakfast here and in many other agencies all throughout the government it spread. worked with billy graham, somebody named dwight david eisenhower, and conrad hilton. those four, started the prayer breakfast. the senator always told me there are no self-made men or women in public service. it is your friends who make you what you are. and if there's ever a person that you could put in that category in the senate, it was orrin hatch. he is a person that would stand
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behind you when you were taking praise and beside you if you were taking some boos but orrin hatch never had to do that because working with him, the chances were that you had a good chance of passing a bipartisan bill. so all of us stand with him out of respect and out of friendship. we have a clause of comity here. it's not seen but it's been observed, at least in my 22 years here in the senate, perhaps a little more than the rowdy house that i was a member of for 16 years and then 12 before that as a chief of staff. so i'm sort of like a piece of furniture here, as some would say with a marble top. but i've seen a lot. and i'm very worried about the
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comity of the senate. if you pull at those threads like we have been doing with issues where we should come together even though they're very tough questions, i worry that we could end -- we could end with a sort of situation like dodge city at the long branch saloon, somebody having a rowdy time there. that should not be the senate. and it should not be a situation where we pull at those threads of comity to the fact that we won't have any left. and then it's just a shouting contest. the exception to the rule was the farm bill which the president is going to sign this afternoon. i had the privilege of leading that effort along with senator stabenow, senator debra stabenow from michigan. had some reporters in the other day. they said how did you get along with debbie stabenow? i said, well, number one, we trust each other.
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number two, we're friends. number three, it isn't our first rodeo, and we just worked until we could get it done. got 87 votes. that is precisely the example that we followed from orrin hatch who did so much legislation with democrats that you think would never work, whether republican o or vice vay is a. that is the man and i've been -- it's been a privilege to be a friend. he has boxing gloves on, bright blue, and there he is just a couple of days ago when they took the video willing to throw a few pinches, trying to eat bacon with his boxing gloves. it's a hilarious tribute to him with a big smile on everybody's face. tough guy but not tough to deal
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with and always had a way of working things out. it is a privilege to know orrin hatch. not many people at my age call me boy, but he always would come out that back door and offer a ride and said, boy, you want to come along? i said, yes, sir. it's been quite a privilege. thank you, madam president. it appears as if we are going to hear something of very important value from the senator from missouri. and so i will not ask for the absence of a quorum. i yield back.
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mr. perdue: mr. president. the presiding officer: . the senator from georgia. mr. perdue: madam president, last month we lost a true georgia original. mack collins was a friend of mine. he was a member of the united states house of representatives for 12 years. he was born in a little town called flavila, georgia, in 1944. at the time flavila had a population of 240 people. mack liked to say he was a graduate of the school of hard knox. together with his wife julie he started a trucking company. he started with a single vehicle that he often had to repair at night. julie answered the phones, did the books and sometimes loaded
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the trucks. they had a simple motto. can't, never could. they never gave up and their hard work paid off. today their company hauls timber across the midwest. eventually he turned to public service, he became butt count county's first county chairman. eventually he was elected to the georgia state senate. back then, madam president, i think you could count on one hand the number of republicans in the entire state. he was elected to the united states house of representatives in 1992 and served for 12 years. he fought to make america more competitive by changing its ar archaic tax code. he served in the house, ways and means committee and the
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prestigious intelligence committee. mack was serving in leadership asker deputy whip during some of our nation's most trying days in the aftermath of 9/11. throughout his years of service, mack collins never forgot his roots. for georgia republicans, he was definitely a pioneer. for all georgians, regardless of their political belief, he was a champion. mack's example of entrepreneurialship and leadership served as a shinning example for us all. mack is survived by his wife julie, four children, a dozen grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. bonnie and i join all georgians and americans for that matter in lifting them up in our prayers during this time and in mack colinks' legacy of service. when mack collins passed away
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georgia and america lost a true statesman, a leader and my friend. thank you, madam president. 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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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cruz: for over a half century, the united states has
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been the global leader in space. in that time, we have watched as nasa has not only sent humans farther than they have ever gone before, but we have also witnessed a new and growing commercial space sector that has pushed the bounds of what we thought possible. as a nation, we can't simply rest on our laurels and take our leadership for granted. that's why i was proud to be joined by senators bill nelson and ed markey in introducing the space frontier act which passed out of the senate commerce committee by voice vote on august 1, thanks to the leadership of chairman john thune who helped make space issues a priority for the committee. the space frontier act builds upon the u.s. commercial space launch competitiveness act that i was proud to work hand in hand with senator nelson as well that was passed by congress and signed into law by president obama in 2015.
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the united states has the potential to grow an incredibly and vibrant and competitive commercial space industry. the f.a.a. reported in 2009 that commercial space transportation and generated industries $2.83 billion in economic activity. while the commercial space industry is continuing to grow, it's been unable to meet its full potential due to outdated regulations and policies that have the potential to stifle innovation, to restrict investment, and to drive the american launch sector in nontraditional space activities to foreign countries abroad. the space frontier act seeks to address these challenges by reducing the regulatory barriers that are facing our nation's commercial space sector so that we can allow companies to continue to grow and establish u.s.-led commercial economy in
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space. the space frontier act also takes the critical step of continuing the operations and utilization of the international space station through the year 2030, ensures that the united states won't cede lower earth orbit to china. it enacts meaningful reforms to modernize our nation's launch and reentry regulations. and it streamlines nongovernmental earth observation regulations. the bill also ensures that both the department of commerce and the department of transportation will take leading roles in promoting and help grow our nation's commercial space sector. i'm proud to work with my friend and colleague, democratic senator bill nelson hand in hand in seeing bipartisan agreement continue in support of americans' leadership in space. and with that, i yield the floor to senator nelson.
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mr. nelson: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i join our colleague from texas in asking the senate to take up and pass the space frontier act of 2019. we are asking to expedite consideration of this bill in order to allow for the house to take it up and pass it tonight. i want to thank senator cruz, senator markey, and the chairman of the commerce committee, senator thune, for working with all of us on this bipartisan issue, and it updates the commercial launch and earth observation regulations. it extends the international space station through 2030. this is no minor task to get
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that national laboratory that is orbiting high above the earth of which six human beings are on board right now, doing research. and for all of the people participating, including the commercial sector, to know that they will have that national laboratory for all the way to the end of the decade of the 2020's is going to be allowing them to plan and to invest and who knows what discoveries they will make in this unique environment of zero gravity. and the act also expands opportunities for partnerships with nasa under the agency's enhanced use authority. reforms in this bill will help
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commercial space companies very likely in the near future to have two launches a day. as a result, jobs will continue to soar as the rockets soar off the launch pads. extending the life of the station well through the next decade as this bill does will also ensure that america remains a leader in space exploration. now, we know our goal is to go to mars with humans, and what this bill does today furthers that goal by giving us a research outpost in zero gravity, the international space station, by continuing to improve and perfect america's
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launch capability. and i remind you that it was only a few years ago that we only had about a third of the world's launches each year. the u.s. only had a third. we now have upwards of two-thirds, and a lot of this occurring right at cape canaveral and the kennedy space center. and so as we set our sights on mars with a weigh station at the moon and build the technologies and the systems in order to be able to carry humans all the way to mars, land and to return them safely, this bill is another step building on the nasa authorization act that we passed a year ago. and so, indeed, it is my
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privilege to be out here and to be a part of the passage of this legislation. mr. cruz: i thank my friend, the senior senator from florida for his leadership and congratulate him on our success in bringing this body together to getting this bill passed. i'm hopeful the house will join us and pass it into law later today. mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 686, s. 3277. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 686, s. 3277, a bill to reduce regulatory burdens and streamline processes relayed to commercial -- related to commercial space activities and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding? without objection. mr. cruz: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported substitute amendment be withdrawn. the cruz substitute amendment at
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the desk be considered and agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed, and that the motions reconsidered be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cruz: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. casey: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. casey: mr. president, i ask consent as well to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: we are in morning business. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to speac about the -- to speak about the tragic passing of a 7-year-old child, jakeline cowl. he died in border and control custody reportedly due to shock and dehydration. it is an understatement to say that we need a thorough and independent investigation to understand exactly what happened in this case and to make sure it never happens again.
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jakelin entered border control custody and was held with her father overnight with about 160migrants nearly half of whom were minors. custom and border protection stated that food and water were made available, but the child's father -- and news articles stated that water was not available -- it's not visible from a distance, but i'll just hold up a story and headline from today's "washington post". the headline reads, lawyers: no water provided to migrant who died. here is what the first paragraph says. dateline from el paso. 7-year-old jakelin and her
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father were not provided water during the eight hours they were held in a remote border patrol facility with 161 other migrants the family's lawyer said wednesday, contradicting statements from u.s. customs and border protection. and the story goes on from there. similarly, and i'm getting back not in the text of the article now, just getting back to my observations of this. who he health screenings were reportedly conducted, news reports indicate that none of the agents on duty had advanced medical training. though the father designed a dah form, i-779, which is entitled
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juvenile medical screening and he apparently also signed other medical paperwork, there are questions as to whether he understood the form itself. i believe it's critical that we evaluate this form and also evaluate the medical screening that children undergo. i'd like to know, and i'm sure many americans would like to know, whether the american academy of pediatrics and our nation's medical professionals believe that the current system is adequate. and i would add that when this form and other procedures or protocols were put in place were those experts, like the american academy of pediatrics, were they consulted? was this process or the form or forms, plural, informed by the expertise that's available?
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that's another set of questions. this has to be about improving the conditions at our border patrol stations to make sure that they are safe, and that includes, of course, ensuring that there's sufficient food, water, and medical attention at every one of these border patrol stations. and if that means that the administration comes forward to the senate or the house in the appropriations process to have more dollars appropriated for this purpose, not just general appropriations, but for this purpose, to make sure that food and water and appropriate medical attention is available and trained medical professionals are available at every border patrol station, we should make sure that we engage in a dialogue about such
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specific appropriations. understanding what happened in this tragedy is not about assigning blame. that's easy. that happens all the time in washington. this shouldn't be one of those instances. this is about fixing the problem so it never happens again. and it's also about making sure that our policy and the procedures that surround this policy and the details of the policy and the resources dedicated to it are not just correct but that these policies are consistent with our values. so, therefore, we need an expeditious, thorough, and independent investigation. we're told that the inspector general is reviewing this. that's good but that report has to be done expeditiously and we have to get to the bottom of what happened to this 7-year-old
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child. in addition to all of that, debates about how to improve the system, how to investigate what happened, how to have recommendations on the record to improve these policies, we also need commissioner kevin macalinen and secretary nielson to testify before congress so they can provide testimony about what happened here and about what both of them and their agents -- their agencies are doing to make sure this never happens again. finally, we must take a moment to think about the broader atmosphere and the policies that relate to our border. those who come to our shores seeking asylum are often fleeing terrible conditions of violence and poverty. in some cases almost indescriebl
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who are -- indescriebl horror that they are escaping. they should have a fair opportunity to subject their claims and should not be subjected to unhealthy or unsanitary conditions. it is entirely possible to have an immigration system that treats all individuals with compassion and dignity while also securing the border and protecting national security. none of that is internally inconsistent. a great nation can do all of that and i'm certain that our nation is capable of all of that. we must come together as a nation to mourn the loss of jakelin and others who die under similar circumstances. we need to put politics aside to fix our broken immigration
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system so that these policies are consistent with our american values. 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:
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quorum call:


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