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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  September 24, 2019 2:15pm-6:57pm EDT

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interpretation could you don't need a phd or a law degree to understand that if a foreign country tries to interfere in the united states election process that foreign countries nand enemy and those who would encourage a foreign country or foreign agents -- >> the senate has been in their weekly party meetings are gaveling back into session to vote on confirming the drums nominees. colleagues, something that a lot of these senators are talking about more recently and not too soon the mexico-canada agreement with the united states, a very important trade agreement. president trump and the leaders of mexico and canada signed the usmca on november 30, 2018, which was 43 weeks ago. more than three months have passed since mexico ratified the
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usmca, and canada's ratification is well under way. however, the united states congress must do its part, and time is running short. we have a limited opportunity to ratify the usmca before election politics get in the way of securing this very critical win for literally every broad industry sector in america. i, therefore, urge the administration and house democrats not only to intensify your discussions on the usmca but also to expedite those discussions and to present usmca to the congress. by now, everyone should know very well that mexico and canada are, by far, america's most important trading partners.
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in 2017, america sold more than half a trillion dollars of exports to mexico and canada. those were more exports than we sold to the next 11 largest export markets combined. for iowa, my state, 130,000 jobs were supported by our $6.6 billion of exports to mexico and canada in that same year of 2017. these numbers are not just academic statistics. during the august state work period, i completed my 39th year holding q & a's in every one of iowa's 99 counties and i
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consistently heard from iowans that passing the usmca ought to be a very top priority for the congress. i joined former governor of iowa and former u.s. secretary of agriculture tom vilsack at a dairy processing plant in des moines. this meeting -- one republican, one democrat, all appreciating the great contribution of iowa agriculture to our exports -- demonstrated what i heard at my town meetings: that passion the usmca -- that passing the usmca should be a bipartisan priority. in cedar falls, iowa, u.s. department of agriculture under secretary bill northie held a roundtable discussion with
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various commodity groups about the farm economy and the certainty that passing usmca would bring to the agricultural community and particularly to the family farmers. usmca was also a focal point when i held meetings at manufacturing plants such as altech in osceola, iowa, and ames aerorace in orange city, iowa. i can tell you firsthand that people in the real world out there, people living outside of the washington beltway, want congress to pass the usmca as soon as possible. now, my county meetings help me better represent iowans, and it's clear to me that iowans support the usmca. we can't squander this
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opportunity to update nafta, which has been critical to american farmers and businesses but is now a quarter century old. what we negotiated 25 years ago -- what we negotiated now in usmca20 years ago was not even issued to be negotiated. that's how out of date nafta is. it will enhance the importance of the usmca. usmca will bring greater market access for agriculture and important new commitments in areas such as customs, digital trade, intellectual property, labor, environment, currency, and nontariff trade barriers. these updates and upgrades will translate into higher wages,
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greater productivity, and consequently more jobs for americans. in fact, the independent u.s. international trade commission found that usmca will create nearly 176,000 new american jobs while adding more than $68 billion to america's g.d.p. let's not forget -- usmca was a hard-fought negotiation. for mexico, two presidents worked across opposing administrations to get this job done. canada initially held out of the agreement altogether, only to sign on at the last possible opportunity. now, it's easy for members of congress to talk about how we would have negotiated the
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agreement differently. there's some talk like that going on. and that would be true whether you're republican or whether you're a democrat. however, as the u.s. international trade commission report made very clear, usmca is a major advance from that 25-year-old nafta agreement. this is certainly true for labor and environment, which were mere side agreements to nafta 25 years ago. now they're very, very obvious things being negotiated, things that were not thought of before, and these issues have the strongest obligations in the usmca that have ever been included in any u.s. trade agreement.
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simply put, we can't let the perfect be the enemy of the good and to call the usmca -- quote, unquote -- good would be a serious understatement. the administration did its job and brought us a modernized trade agreement. nevertheless, the administration has listened to the concerns of house democrats and has proposed actions to address those concerns. for my part, i've kept an open mind throughout this process, and i welcome any workable bipartisan solutions. however, given the political calendar that lies ahead, i need those solutions promptly. we simply don't have anymore
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time to spare. iowans and all americans deserve some much-immediated certainty on -- much-needed certainty on access to our half trillion-dollar markets in mexico and canada. and it's congress' job to deliver it. it's the time for the usmca -- the time for the usmca is right now. i yield the floor. mr. enzi: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i rise to call attention to our federal government's unsuccess spinnable fiscal path. earlier in month, the congressional budget office reported that federal revenues are up 3%.
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$102 billion. compared to the same period last year. the problem is, federal spending grew by 7%, or $271 billion over the same period. c.b.o. projects the deficit for this year to reach $960 billion, which means that nearly 22 cents of every dollar that the government spends is borrowed. and all that borrowing doesn't come cheap. in the first 11 months of the year, net interest payments on the public debt totaled $391 billion. that's up $48 billion, or 14% -- over the previous year. to put that in contention, $391 billion is roughly two and a half times what we spend each year on the u.s. air force. it's more than 12 times the size
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of the budget of the entire u.s. department of justice and more than five times the size of the budget for the u.s. department of education. that's $391 billion spent with nothing to snore it. -- to show for it. it's just like running up a credit card debt and owing a whole bunch of interest without getting anything for it. that's what our future generations are going to have to worry about. unless something is does on to change our current trajectoryiagual net interest costs are -- trajectory, annual net interest costs are projected to more than double in the next ten years. c.b.o. projects that over the next decade, we will spend more than $5.8 trillion on net interest costs. and all the while our debt will continue to mount. that doesn't pay down anything. that just pays the interest, and
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that's calculated at a pretty low interest rate. we could be faced with higher interest rates, which could easily double what we're doing right now. we've been fortunate despite congress' spendthrift ways, the u.s. dollar remains the dominant global reserve currency, which allows our government to borrow more cheaply than anybody else. but what if that changes? what if foreign interests decide that our fiscal dysfunction is simply too great and the dollar is no longer a safe bet? the threat of a fiscal crisis is not something anyone would take lightly. last month, c.b.o. warned that is the congressional budget office that do all the calculations. they warned that in federal debt continued to rise at the pace that the congressional budget office projects, it would, under
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current law, that debt path would ultimately pose significant risks to the fiscal and economic outlook. while the congressional budget office notes that those risks are not currently apparent in financial markets, it goes on to warn that the projected path of rising debt, quote, would increase the risk of a fiscal crisis in which the interest rate on federal debt rose abruptly because investors lost confidence in the u.s. government's fiscal position. end quote. as a father and a grandfatherren -- as a father and a grandfather, this is a concern that cheeps me up at night? our grandchildren could face a future of less growth and economic opportunity as a result of our refusal to make difficult fiscal decisions. what if we actually had to make massive cuts?
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we don't make cuts at all. what if we had to do massive cuts? of course, we could raise revenue, but there's always the side effect of raising the revenue that costs jobs and that reduces revenue. there are a lot of tricky balances that have to be done here, but this problem didn't arise overnight. and it won't be fixed overnight either. congress should be working together with the administration now to begin the long process of fiscal course correction. unfortunately, we're not off to a great start. prior to the august state work period, congress passed a bipartisan budget act of 2019 which increased discretionary spending caps for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 by a combined $322 billion. that's the increase. this essentially marks the end of the budget control act period
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of federal budgeting in a form those all too common a tool that was meant to bring fiscal constraint that met its end with a women -- with a witcher when it probably should have been a scream. the last cap featured $77 billion in offsets. what's an offset? that's finding some money to cover the amount of spending. i think you heard right there. the cap deal put us on a path to spend nearly $2 trillion over the next ten years with $77 billion, with a b, in offset, money to cover the debt. and to make matters worse, those offsets won't even begin to kick in until the latter part of the
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next decade. in other words, we're saying well here's a little patch of money out here that we haven't spent in the future yet. and it isn't going to come in for ten years but let's go ahead and spend it right now and we'll call that an offset to reduce the amount of debt that we're creating. everybody wishes they could do that with their own spending, i'm sure. the offsets, the money to cover the debt, the mere $77 billion on $2 trillion won't come in until the latter part of the next decade. in other words, we're spending ten years down the road's money right now and calling it a payment on the money that we're spending. even with this turn of events, everyone seems to agree that discretionary spending is not the main source of our budget
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challenges. congressional budget office projects that america's debt will continue to increase rapidly over the next several decades because of mandatory spending. what's mandatory spending? those are ones that we don't make a decision on at all. those payments go on no matter what and they're pretty important ones because it includes something like, you know, social security and the major health programs. and interest on the debt. that's mandatory. we can't bankrupt on paying the interest. so social security, medicare, medicaid, and interest on the debt are some of the main expenditures that we make and we never make any decisions on them. we do not change them. we don't improve them. for decades nonpartisan experts have warned of budget pressures that we would face as baby boomers aged and began to retire. that's already happening. but that crisis is always
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tomorrow and we only handle today's crises. i can't imagine how tomorrow's people are going to handle that day's crisis that's being created at the present time. the combination of an aging population, longer life spans, and rising per beneficiary health care costs put enormous pressure on our budget. these warnings from the congressional budget office, they're the actuaries and many other people, you name it, have and continue to be ignored. we're now in a world where these pressures are very real and something we will need to face before we go off the cliff in a few short years. we know that social security and medicare, hospital insurance trust funds are now paying out more than they are taking in. we also know that social security's combined trust funds will be exhausted in 2032. it's way down the road. no, it's not.
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and medicare's hospital insurance fund which covers in-patient hospital service, hospice care, nursing facilities and home health service, that's projected to be depleted in 2026. that's not very far. and we continue to do nothing once the respective trust funds are exhausted, these programs will still be able to pay out some money, but they'll only be able to pay out as much benefits as they have coming in. and i mentioned that we have a lot less coming in than we're paying out. for medicare that means only being able to pay 86% of hospital-related medicare spending. for social security revenue is projected to cover only 76% of scheduled benefits. i don't know many seniors who can afford a 24% cut. i want to make sure social security and medicare are able to provide benefits to current
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beneficiaries as well as those who need them in the future. that will require being clear-eyed about the problem and working together in a bipartisan manner to ensure these programs are solvent. normal technique on trying to solve any of these problems is to point the finger at the other side and say it's their fault and they're not doing anything about it. well, we're all going to have to do something about it. 24% cut in social security. the longer we wait to address the imbalance, the more severe the changes will be and the fewer options we'll have. i remember looking at these problems in the year 2000, and at that time there were quite a few options. all were rejected. today there are a lot less options and a bigger cliff. we need to change the way we do
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things in washington. we simply cannot afford to continue ignoring the challenges that our country faces. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. perdue: madam president, i rise today to talk about a topic that's -- that is boring at times but is absolutely critical as you just heard in the last few minutes. my good friend from wyoming, senator enzi, is a certified public accountant. he lived in the real world before he came here like i did. he's the chairman of the budget committee. when he speaks about this, he speaks with a level of experience and current information that we all should listen. i want to highlight some things he's already talked about but
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then talk about the potential that we are sitting -- looking at this week in terms of having our 187th continuing resolution since the 1974 budget act was put into law. now, why is this important? as senator enzi just pointed out, our problem in america is twofold. one we have a global security crisis and a financial crisis. i'm using the word crisis in both because the world has never been more dangerous in my lifetime. today we have $22 trillion of debt. let me put a little history behind that. in the year 2000 we had $6 trillion on about a $12 trillion economy. at the end of president bush's time, then it went to $10 trillion of debt. again on something like a 14 or $15 trillion economy. under president obama, at the end of his, it went to 20. under that administration, this government doubled america areas debt to $20 trillion. now after just a couple of years of president trump, we now are at $22 trillion. the projection is very draconian
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over the next decade. even though by growing the economy in the last couple of years, the president trump administration has actually lowered the debt curve by an estimate that the c.b.o. says of about $3 trillion over the next decade. but that's not good enough. it's only a fraction of our problem. this chart on the right talks about the problem. i call it the lamar alexander chart because when we talked about it two years ago, we started bringing this up and working on the budget process as one of the ways take we -- that we deal with this but this burr judging -- burgeoning debt we have to talk about is made up of one contributing factor and that's mandatory expenses. this chart tries to explain that. it shows that the top line here is total u.s. spending. now today we spend about $4.5 trillion, a little bit more but about $4.5 trillion funding the federal government. that's everything. that's military, medicare, social security, medicaid, the whole bit, everything the federal government spends about
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$4.5 trillion. today, however, we only spend $1.3 trillion. the red line is today. we only spend $1.3 million on discretionary spending. but in terms of the total, in 2000 we spent less than $2 trillion. it's doubled in the last two deck kids. these are constant dollars, constant 2019 dollars. in the next 20 years it's projected to go from $4 trillion to $12 trillion per year, each year. so in one year projected out here, we would almost double the amount of debt that we have. this is untenable under anybody's estimate. it can't happen, it won't happen and here's why. the world can't let it happen. today we have about $200 trillion of total debt. only $60 trillion of that is sovereign debt. that's government debt. we have a third of that. what this says because of mandatory spending primarily, we will go to almost half of the world's debt with 5% of the
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population. that's not going to happen. but what will happen to keep us from doing that or becoming that will be really draconian unless we act today. senator enzi is right. the sooner we act, the more alternatives and options we have. but let me try to explain the situation. we're actually spending less today in discretionary spending at $1.3 trillion as a percentage of our economy than we did in 2011. in 2011 we were spending 89% of our total g.d.p. on discretionary spending. what's in discretionary spending? that's the million taker, that's the v.a., most of the v.a. and all discretionary spending, health and human service, labor, agriculture, the justice department, treasury, all of the above are included in that. and that's $1.3 trillion today which is about 6%. so we go from 9% of g.d.p. to 6% of g.d.p. discretionary spending has actually been brought down. madam president, what's the problem? well, the problem is mandatory. what's in mandatory?
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as senator enzi just said, mandatory is social security, medicare, medicaid, pension benefits on federal employees and the interest on the debt. now in the next two years alone, just in the next two years, mandatory spending goes up $420 billion. i can project that. that's within range of understanding. what i don't understand is how this really explodes up out of control. this is the baby boom maturing and going into the later years of their lives. and between social security and medicare as you just heard, both those major trust funds go to zero in a very short period of time. medicare in 2026. social security in 2032. i'm here to tell you this is the crisis of our time and we've got to deal with it. and yet today we're about to go into our 187th continuing resolution. why? because we don't have an agreement to fund the government. we're at the end of our fiscal year, madam president, as you know. which is september 30. we have two working days left the way the senate works before that happens.
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it could still be fixed but the reality of today is we are not -- we have not appropriated one dime for the federal government yet. now last year going into august break on july 31, we had only funded 12% of the federal government. because we stayed here in august, we funded up to 75% of the government. that was the first time in 22 years, madam president, that we had gotten that far. as a matter of fact, in the last 45 years, this congress has only funded the federal government on time four times in the last 45 years. we've actually shut the government down because of a lack of funding 21 times. that's almost once every two years. it's unbelievable. well this year in july, we had an agreement. we did a caps deal. democrats, republicans, bipartisan deal. everybody said yes, this is what we agreed to, a top line number. the appropriators had already been working all year. we had agreements in committees. all we had to do was come back in september and appropriate
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these bills, go to conference in the ndaa and get the defense department funded along with the other major departments and go ahead down the road and get the government funded. here we are at the end of set. that obviously didn't happen. why? or good friends a i cross the aisle violated what we thought was a good faith agreement back in july that there would be no poison pills when we started appropriating. now we see clearly that wasn't the case. they're holding this up over $5 billion the president wants to move from military spending over to defense -- or to border security spending. it's almost like they want open borders. i just don't understand this. we know president obama built 500 miles of wall. where president obama built wall, president bush built wall and president clinton built wall and president george h.w. bush built a wall, every single case, illegal crossings at the border went down 95%, madam president. but by voting no on this bill,
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on this spending bill and now getting into a situation where we have to go into a continuing resolution, last week we voted on a defense bill. democrats voted it down. they voted against a 3.1% pay increase for our military brett then. what's -- breathen. what's worse than that is going to a continuing resolution by voting next week, they are encouraging the defense department to spend $4 billion. we did an audit last year, the first one in the unction, president trump ordered it. we had a law in 1991 that required it. now we have it. because of that we know at least -- and this is the first pass. this is the tip of an iceberg. we found $4 billion that they don't want to continue spending yet are going to be obliged to continue to spend against those obsolete programs under a continuing resolution. in addition to not giving a pay raise to our people in the military. we should not have been in this place in the first place, madam president. we had a joint select committee last year. we've been working on this for five years. it's time to fix this budget pro
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jess once and for all. we've got to hold the congress accountable. in most states we don't have this problem. in 44 states, number one, you have a balanced budget law. more importantly than that is in states like georgia, if the legislature doesn't fund the government by the end of the legislative session, by law they don't go home. senator lankford and i and others have bills that require the same thing here. some of us have bills that would stop pay if staff and employees and members' compensation until things got done. this is a simple requirement of our job here is to get the government funded. it is very simple, madam president. it is time for congress to do our job. i'm chagrined that we're facing another continuing resolution which we've educated people about, cost hundreds of billions of dollars history of a decade because of the damage it does to the supply chain, where we're trying to get readiness, recapitalization back in our u.s. military, and to talk about rationalization, and it keeps us from doing each of those three
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things right now. we've had anybody in the military here before us in committee tell us over and over and over the damaging effects that a continuing resolution does on the military at the very time when we're trying to stand up to pressures in a unique way -- five threats across five domains. we've never faced that before. yet here we are hamstringing our military once again. madam president, i yield the floor. thank you. and, madam president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. gardner: thank you, madam president. last week the world watched while an tac was made on the oil kingdom of saudi arabia. oil prices around the globe spiked by as much as 19% before starting to fall on the news that there's enough oil in reserves around the world to deal with any short-term reduction from saudi arabia. one of those reserves that they were talking about, of course, one of the reserve nations includes in great nation, the united states. the strategic petroleum reserve is necessary to maintain, especially in light of the attack on saudi arabia. but i've always believed and had the mind-set to believe that we
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need long-term solutions. as the attack in saudi arabia has displayed, there is no foreign substitute for american energy. should this attack on saudi arabia have happened before our nation's energy renaissance, we would have been in a much worse situation. the near monopolistic control other nations once had on the oil and gas market no longer exist. a credit to american ingenuity and innovation. in the last decade we've had a turning point on energy, something that leaders talk to in the united states. we've improved energy conservation and we've diversified greatly our energy sources. in 2015, we got rid of another handcuff to securing energy independence. we lifted the exports ban on oil. that policy changed both boosted america's domestic energy industry and today is helping
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settle markets after the attack in saudi arabia. lifting the ban has released billions of barrels of oil into the marketplace and reducing the influence of opec. what the united states has done to reduce that influence, think of that. according to the u.s. energy administration, u.s. natural gas production increased by 15% and 12% and these totals combined established a new production record. the united states surpassed russia in 20 is he to become the world's largest producer of natural gas and surpassed saudi arabia in 2018 to become the world's largest producer of petroleum. and last year's increase in the united states was one of the largest absolute petroleum and natural gas production increases from a single country in history. the united states continues its trend toward energy independence, and that's a good
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thing. yet december spite these successes, there are those who want to not just stop this trend, they fully intend to reverse our energy independence. some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have endorsed a federal fracking ban. they want to ban the very production that gave us energy independence, that gave us independence from opec and russia. they've endorsed ending fossil fuel exports. they've endorsed ending energy development on federal land. but, tell me ... to any of these policies result in more energy policies? do these policies keep the price at the pump down? do they keep our allies across the globe safer? do they keep our troops safer in let's take gas prices. if my democratic completion are truly concerned about the impact of gas prices on their constituents' pocketbooks, i'm curious if any of them could come up with a calculation of what gas prices would be after
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hydraulic fracturing was banned? stop energy development on federal land. what would the price be. i guarantee you they would be able to -- they wouldn't have very much opportunity or at least very much comfort for their constituents. over 20% of the crude oil produced in this country in 2018 come from federal land. there's little doubt that eliminating 20% of the supply of oil would have a significant impact on gas prices. and yet that is exactly what several have called for. fracking has extended the productive life and resource recovery at the bakken, eagle ford shale, marcellus shale, just to name a few. as a matter of fact, the u.s. geological survey published an updated assessment of the permian basin resources in 2018. it already produced one-third of the nation's oil. the updated assessment estimates
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that over 46 billion barrels of oil and 20 billion barrels of natural gas liquids are trapped in these low-permeability shale formations. the nation's supply of oil and gas reserves essentially doubled in the blink of an eye of that report. colorado's western slope is home to the pionce basin. in 2016, usgs issued a similar assessment of the recoverable resources in the peonce. 674 million barrels of oil and 45 million barrels of natural gas liquids. peonce basin has an abundant supply of natural gas could be exported through a west coast liquefied natural gas terminal like jordan cove. to our allies out of the pacific. we've got enough energy resources to meet our domestic needs and to meet the needs of
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energy overseas. let's relish that fact. rarely do we have chances to provide economic opportunities here at home and energy security to our partners abroad and make sure that our allies have those opportunities as well and that we can use this production here, the innovation and the investments we've made here, to weaken our enemies all in one area, like energy production. let's think about what the world could look like if we hadn't moved in the direction of increased production in recent years. the decline of venezuela's oil production over the last 12 years and resulting political instability in the country would have hurt the united states import ability. opec and russia would have a significantly larger role than they do today in determining global production levels, and we have seen how that has played out for the united states in the past. we could very well be where china is today, overly dependent on imports from saudi arabia and terrified that the slightest hiccup in their production ability could have far-reaching consequences for our economy or
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rather we would find ourselves exactly where we were in 1973. and that's where we'll end up, if i would colleagues get their way and ban -- if my colleagues get their way and ban energy production, hydraulic fracturing or pass the green new deal, as they would like. these policies would make us dependent on foreign sources of energy and subject to manipulation that comes with that dependence. as recently as 2005, we were dependent on foreign resources for our oil consumption. in 1973 we had a supply crisis during the embargo. if that were still true today, this attack on saudi arabia would be a significant cause of concern for the united states and for our united states oil supply. but because of the pursuit of energy independence in the united states and the security that we have achieved through these innovations and developments, we're confident that we can weather short-term supply disruptions in the global
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market. but banning production, banning the development of energy in colorado or implementing policies like the green new deal would kill not only our opportunity to be energy-independent to weather the storm of a global supply crisis but would also kill millions of jobs around the united states that pay far above average wages. the oil and gas industry supports over 10 million jobs in the united states and accounts for almost 8% of the u.s. gross domestic product. jobs have an average salary of over $100,000 a year, so these are good-paying jobs that enable people to provide for their families, contribute to domestic energy security, and our goal of energy independence and allow us the ability to send a responsibly developed restores to our allies overseas who want a dependable trade partners. many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle simply want to do away with this industry, those jobs, those salaries, that freedom, the independence, and the prosperity
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that it brings. instead of talking about putting our traditional energy sources out of business, why don't we talk about hardening our energy infrastructure, protecting these critical assets and continuing to responsibly produce those resources for us, the environment, and the world. doing so is a win for the united states, and our communities and those who wish to partner with us to fuel the world's economy. it is incredibly important that we have energy independence, and i can't think of a more disruptive crisis the world could have faced had this happened in a country where we no longer had the production that we do today. madam president, thank you and i hope that we can work together on energy policies that continue to create jobs and grow the american economy. i yield the floor.
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hfer the ?oar -- the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: thank you.
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members of the senate foreign relations committee had the opportunity to sit down with the secretary of state mike pompeo to talk about a number of concerns around the globe, including our concerns about huawei and z.t.e. and the fact that huawei and d.t.e. pose serious threats to the national security of the united states and its allies. the time there had been a lot of discussion about what was happening in europe and other places around the globe about whether or not huawei would be allowed to participate in networks of our allies and what that could mean for u.s. national security and our ability to continue to engage in national security conversations, intelligence operations, sharing of information, and the like. and so in that conversation, secretary pompeo had said -- and this is the entire group of the senate foreign relations committee, both republican and didn't members -- in that conversation secretary pompeo said what would help is to let congress' voice be heard when it comes to huawei and z.t.e. and
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we should send a strong message to our allies that our concern with huawei and d.t.e. is -- z.t.e. is not a republican or democrat issue, not just a one-term congress concern but an ongoing concern that we have with the security of our systems, our information, the lack of security and the vulnerability that huawei and z.t.e. networks and equipment pose to the united states and that we send a message to our allies in a bipartisan, bicameral fashion that if you go forward and allow huawei or z.t.e. to have access to your critical infrastructure networks, then that's going to pose problems for the united states. that we may have to tell them, look, we're not going to -- this kind of action could have consequences, that perhaps we don't share as much information with them as we otherwise would or it could mean that certain facilities that we were going to build together won't be built. but all because of our concern over huawei and z.t.e. so i want to thank my
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colleagues, senators cane, senator markey, cruz and rubio who joined me in cosponsoring this resolution. i want to thank chairman r.b.i. and -- chairman risch and senator cardin to get this resolution condemning and making a very strong statement against the actions of huawei and z.t.e. back in july. again, huawei and z.t.e. poses a serious threat to the united states, our allies around the globe. this resolution makes clear that many of the long-standing and bipartisan efforts that we have made together to warn about the threats these companies pose to our critical telecommunications infrastructure. further makes clear that the united states should reiterate to countries choosing to incorporate huawei or z.t.e. into their new telecommunications infrastructure that the u.s. will seek to limit the risks posed to our government and military from use of such compromised networks. this is an issue that shouldn't be bound by partisanship but it ought to cut across the members of this chamber who agree on condemning the actions of
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huawei, z.t.e. and standing up for our national security. that's why i ask -- ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 136, senate concurrent resolution 10. i further ask that the committee-reported substitute amendment be agreed to, the concurrent resolution as amended be agreed to, the gardner amendment at the desk to the preamble be considered and agreed to, the committee-reported amendment to the preamble as amended be agreed to the preamble as amended be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. wyden: reserving the right to object, madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: madam president, huawei presents a very real threat to the security of every american both individually and collectively. now, i have long been concerned that the trump administration was going to let huawei off the
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hook in order to get a politically useful trade deal. as the ranking democrat on the senate finance committee which has jurisdiction over trade matters, that concerns me greatly. in addition, i'm concerned that the resolution being offered does not go far enough to protect america's national security and hold the trump administration accountable. tomorrow there will be another bipartisan measure offered that in my view will better address the concerns that i have just mentioned and therefore i must object this afternoon. the presiding officer: the objection is heard. mr. gardner: madam chair? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. gardner: thank you. tomorrow i plan to vote for the
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motion to instruct which is regards to language within the defense authorization act which talks about the importance of protecting our national security and interests against huawei and z.t.e. but when we're objecting to resolutions that are bipartisan because of motions to instruct, that have no binding nature, i'm concerned that perhaps we're not doing enough work to find those bipartisan solutions in this chamber. so i hope as i come back to this floor again to consider senate concurrent resolution 10, to warn our allies that if they use huawei or z.t.e., that there will be repercussions. and i hope we can come together. the resolution itself is bipartisan. i hope we can come together as a senate and recognize that motions to instruct are fine but actual messages, condemnation, and understanding of our allies
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that actions will be taken is important. so thank you very much, madam president. i yield the floor.
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. barrasso: thank you, madam president. madam president, i come to the floor today to discuss the need to bolster our nation's energy security following the recent attacks on saudi arabian oil. and having read the classified briefing in full, i am convince thad iran is absolutely behind the attack -- owe convinced that iran is absolutely behind the attacks. iran wants to drive up oil prices to hopefully in their mind increase the amount of revenue they would get for selling their oil. basically they need the money, and that's because the sanctions that the united states has imposed on iran have worked. they have been punishing. that's why president trump, i believe, made the right call in adding even tougher sanctions.
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the sanctions have been biting and iran's currency has been significantly devalued. now is the time to step up our own american energy production. since my senate arrival in 2007, i worked to advance pro-growth energy policies throughout that entire time. my goal has always been to promote energy energy, to safeguard u.s. workers, and to protect this great nation. today the united states is the world's top energy producer. we are a global leader in oil as well as in natural gas. in fact, the united states is poised to become the world's top energy exporter as well. my home state of wyoming has been a key driver in all of this success. to reach this goal, we are going to need to leverage our energy sources. this includes zero emission nuclear power as well as renewable energy. we need it all. and in the senate, i believe that both parties want americans
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to use more carbon-free energy. so both parties should embrace sensible, scientific solutions. the democrats, once again, are pushing more of their radical proposals. that's what we have to deal with. two weeks ago house democrats passed several anti-energy bills. these measures would lock up key offshore and alaskan oil reserves. the majority of house democrats have cosponsored these scary schemes that would damage our economy. in the house, democrats he anti-energy bills even have become law, and i assure you that the democrats senate -- madam president, let me just say if the house democrats anti-energy bills ever were to become law -- and i assure the republican senate and president trump will never allow that to happen -- they would be a real
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gift to our foreign enemies, to our adversaries like russia, because russia would routinely use natural gas as a geopolitical weapon. still, the 2020 presidential candidate elizabeth warren, a member of our senate, recently unveiled a plan to ban hydraulic fracturing. this revolutionary technique has led to a renaissance for american energy production, and she wants to ban it. last year senator warren's home state of massachusetts imported russian natural gas. where did they import it from? well, people all across the country and the world saw the russian natural gas tanker in boston harbor. let me repeat, let me be very clear. last year senator warren's home state of massachusetts imported russian natural gas through the
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boston harbor. at the same time the senator has denounced united states pipelines and other u.s. energy infrastructure projects. this is her own state pays one of the highest utility rates anywhere in the country. not only do the democrats politicize policies dramatically increase american energy costs, they are also a threat to our national security. no matter, senator warren also wants to ban nuclear power. doesn't like fracking, doesn't like natural gas. now wants to ban nuclear power. has she forgotten that nuclear energy is america's chief carbon-free power source? 20% of the u.s. electricity comes from nuclear power. but these reckless democrat proposals would make the united states more dependent on unstable foreign energy markets.
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working families should never overpay here in the united states on their energy bills due to foolish policies -- and that's what they are, foolish policies -- that make us vulnerable. the american public is not going to stand for it. according to a recent "washington post"-kaiser foundation poll, more than 70% of americans have said they don't want to pay even $10 more on their monthly electric bills to lower carbon emissions. you want to lower carbon emissions, how much are families willing to pay? 70% say not $10 a month. how about $2 a month? a majority said no, too much to pay. so we need to pursue a commonsense energy strategy, one that keeps working families' costs down, one that keeps the economy strong, and one that helps keep our nation safe. republicans are committed to protecting and advancing
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america's energy independence. president trump understands how important this is. so in the wake of the attacks on saudi arabia, not only is the president working to expand sanctions, he's moving to approve major pipeline projects as well. one of the energy issues that i'm addressing now in the senate is reforming the permit process for american energy exploration. earlier this congress i introduced a piece of legislation called the onshore act. it stands for opportunities for the nation and states to harness onshore resources of energy. the onshore act will simplify the process for federal onshore oil and gas permits. whether we're talking about promoting energy exploration or utilities or carbon capturing or nuclear power, we must engineer our way to american energy solutions. republicans recognize our nation's unique ability to fill in the gaps from global supply
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disruptions. and so our focus needs to be on promoting american energy independence. it's time to reject the democrats' extreme schemes once and for all. the democrats are, in terms of what they're proposing, a real threat to our u.s. energy security and they're offering a gift to american enemies. we need to continue our american first energy policy. that's what we're going to continue to do to keep us strong, to keep us safe, and to keep us prosperous as a nation. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor and 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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the presiding officer: without objection. the question occurs on the mcguire nomination. is there a sufficient second? the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? seeing monopoly, the ayes are 88, the nays are 6. the nomination is confirmed. the democratic leader. mr. schumer: madam president, may we have order, madam president? the presiding officer: so sorded. -- so ordered. mr. schumer: thank you, madam president. now, in august a public servant
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inside the intelligence community found the conduct of the president of the united states, alarming enough, to file an official whistle-blower complaint. the i.g. found this complaint both credible and urgent. by law, the director of national intelligence must forward such a complaint to the congressional intelligence subcommittees within seven days of receiving it. congress has been informed by the inspector general of the intelligence community in writing that the trump administration is preventing that complaint from being sent to the relevant committees in congress. those are the facts, madam president. the situation they describe is unacceptable. we know that the executive branch is blocking the legislative blanch, a coequal branch of our government, from performing its constitutional oversight duties. the fact that the whistle-blower
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complaint concerns our national security, our foreign policy, and potential misconduct by the president makes the situation even more serious. so in a short time, i'll ask my colleagues' consent to pass a simple resolution. it essentially says, quote, that the whistle-blower complaint received on august 12, 2019, by the inspector general of the intelligence community shall be transmitted immediately to the select committee on intelligence of the senate and the permanent select committee on intelligence of the house of representatives, unquote. i cannot imagine any legitimate or straight-faced reason to an objection to this unanimous unas consent request. the only reason would be to shield the president's conduct from scrutiny by the public and the representatives they elect to represent them. that is, to protect the president from accountability.
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in a moment, i hope this resolution will pass without a single dissenting senator, and it should. the request, despite its noncontroversial nature, speaks to the issues that go back to the founding days of our republic. checks and balances, the separation of powers, the constitutional duty of the president and executive branch to faithfully execute the laws of the united states. the senate today right now should speak with one unified voice to reaffirm those time-honored principles and defend the grand traditions of our democracy. so, madam president, as if in legislative session, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. resolution 325 introduced by mr. schumer and submitted earlier today.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 325, expressing the sense of the senate that the whistle-blower complaint received on august 12, 2019, by the inspector general of the intelligence community should be transmitted immediately to the select committee on investigation of the senate and the permanent select committee on intelligence of the house of representatives. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? mr. mcconnell: madam president, reserving the right to object -- the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: colleagues, all of us share a concern for protecting whistle-blowers who use appropriate, established channels to raise legitimate concerns. the senate's obstacles is to treat such -- the senate's obligation is to treat such allegations in a spooned deliberate manner, to avoid racing to judgment based on media leaks, to not fuel media
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speculation with breathless accusations. there's much we do not know about the complaint lodged with the intelligence community's inspector general. including whether the complaint involves intelligence activities at all. before the democratic leader elected to go to the media yesterday, the chairman and vice chair of the senate select committee on intelligence had already been working together in a bipartisan manner, from from politicization, to get more information from both the acting director of national intelligence and the intelligence community's inspector general. given the progress, the committee was making, i don't believe this made-for-tv moment was actually necessary. i would have preferred the committee be allowed to do its work in a quiet, methodical manner. it doesn't serve the committee or its goals to litigate its business here on the floor or
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the television cameras. nevertheless, i agree that the d.n.i. should make additional information available to the committee so it can evaluate the complaint consistent with the statute and other procedures that exist to safeguard classified and sensitive information. i also with aens to express my appreciates for president trump's announcement that the white house will release tomorrow the complete, fully declassified, and unredacted transcript of his phone conversation with president zelensky. i hope this will refocus the conversation away from breathless speculation and back toward the facts. so, stipulating that our objective here is simply to conduct the kind of bipartisan oversight of intelligence matters that the committee has successfully conducted in the past, i have no objection to the senator's request. mr. schumer: madam president? the presiding officer: without
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objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. schumer: madam president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: just three brief points. first, this resolution is not aimed at the senate intelligence committee. senator burr and warner dodo an intelligent job at figuring out what is going on. it is thus far aimed at a recalcitrant executive branch, which has blocked the ability for the committees to see the complaint, even though law requires it. and, second, it is welcome that we can join together to do our job of oversight, and i want to thank the majority leader for not blocking this request because i think every one of us in this chamber realizes the importance of oversight and the need to prevent an overreaching executive from going that far. getting the transcript is a good
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step, but it is the complaint we need. that is the graviman of this resolution. this is the complaint, not the transcript, that ware asking for in this resolution. i further ask that the resolution be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. so ordered. mr. mcconnell: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the remaining votes in this series be ten minutes in length. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the senate will resume the cella nomination. question is on the nomination. the yeas and nays are ordered.
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is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: does any senator wish to vote or change his vote. seeing none, the ayes are 56, the nays are 38. the nomination is confirmed. the clerk will report the next nomination. the clerk: nomination, department of interior, daniel habib jorjani to be solicitor. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote: vote:
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the presiding officer: does anyone in the chamber wish to vote or change their vote? seeing none, the ayes are 51, the nays are 43. otonomination is confirmed. the clerk will report the next nomination. the clerk: social security administration, david fabian black of north dakota to be deputy commissioner of social security. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. nor senator i ask for the yeas and nays. a senator: i ask for the yeas. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: is there anyone in the chamber who wishes to vote or change their vote ?l seeing none, itself ayes are 68. nays are 26. the nomination is agreed to. -- is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to legislative session and be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president, on sunday i had the great honor of joining president trump in
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welcoming prime minister modi to the lone star state in an event that was appropriately named how howdy modi. people on the west coast and east coast wondered why texas? they thought maybe he'd go to silicon valley to talk to big tech executives or spend some time here in washington hobnobbing with diplomats and legislative leaders. to be sure those are great places to visit but houston is the energy capital of the world and it's providing literal fuel for our growing relationship with the nation of india. after a nearly four-decade ban on u.s. crude oil exports was lifted, texas sent the first american crude oil to india and today india is increasingly running on american natural gas. now, the reason that's important is what i -- when i visited
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india for the first time in 2004, i witnessed a country that is a study in contrast, some highly populated areas like deli and others and then rural areas on the way to the taj mahal in agra, you can see people literally living off the land and using dried cow manure as fuel for their food and for warmth. so obviously india needs access to affordable energy that america and texas in particular can provide to help improve their standard of living. this trade is also vital to our economy in texas and we'll keep exporting our greatest natural resource to our friends in india and around the world as a result of the energy renaissance we've seen, as a result of the use of unconventional extraction techniques like fracking and
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horizontal drilling. now, those must sound like foreign words to people here in washington, d.c. who think that we ought to be able to live on solar panels and windmills exclusively. but i always say that as important as renewable energy is and it is important, texas is the single -- generates the most electricity for any state in the nation from wind turbines but the wind doesn't always blow and the sun doesn't always shine. you need some sort of base load to try to keep the electricity flowing so people can afforded the comforts of life and particularly in hot texas summers, make sure that the air conditioner continues to work. but as deep as our economic ties are, our cultural ties are just as strong. texas is home to a vibrant indian diaspora with more than 150,000 indian americans living in the houston area alone.
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and perhaps about half a million across our entire state. i was glad that the prime minister had a chance to witness the -- that indian culture is woven into the fabric of our state and meet a number of proud indian americans including the 50,000 who showed up for the howdy modi events there in houston on sunday. from 48 states i'm told. knowing the importance of a strong u.s.-india relationship, 15 years ago i cofounded the u.s.-india caucus in the senate. that was at the request of one of my constituents who founded one of the end all american chambers in the metroplex in dallas, texas, years ago. he's the one who encouraged us to -- my wife and i to travel to india in the first place where i learned a lot about the country, the study in contrast i mentioned but also that this is the world's largest democracy and we shared so many values
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with that country because of our common english heritage. and particularly our respect for the rule of law and use of the english language predominantly. but we also saw the advantage of collaborating with india economically. 1.3 billion people, a great market for the things that we make and grow here in the united states and a great way to raise the standard of living in india as we deepen our ties militarily and from a national security standpoint. the difference between today and what things were like as recently as 2008 in terms of trade, it's just like night and day. in 2016, the united states designated india as a major defense partner with the goal of elevating our partnership with india to the same level as those of our other closest allies. since then we've taken a number of steps to strengthen our defense relationships such as
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establishing ministerial dialogue, increasing arms sales to india, and the first u.s.-india triservice exercise later this year. we've made real progress but there's more we can do to ensure that our efforts are aligned just as our interests are aligned. and particularly as china is on the march, having a strong and vibrant economy and a strong defense partner in india is more important than ever. earlier this year i also introduced an amendment to the national defense authorization act which requires the secretary of defense to submit a report on u.s.-india defense cooperation in the western indian ocean within 180 days of enactment. it will allow us to get a clearer picture of current military activities and will enable the secretary of defense to enter into military cooperation agreements and conduct regular joint military training and operations with india in the western indian
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ocean. this would be a major step to bolster our relationship and strengthen our defense cooperation. and i'm hopeful this provision will ultimately be included in the defense authorization bill that's now going through the conference committee between the house and the senate. and i'm optimistic that we'll be able to get the president's signature and see this crit icle legislation enacted into law. madam president, on one other matter briefly, tropical storm imelda made landfall in southeast texas last week and dropped a massive amount of rain all across the region. it's just two years after hurricane harvey, which is a more familiar name to people up here in being d.c., but the scenes are hearti can bringly familiar. it was the incredible amount of wall street dumped into the houston area and the surrounding
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county. neighborhood streets began to look more like rivers understand that roads. folks were waiting in the water carrying children on their shoulders and personal belongings were washington, d.c., away with raging floodwaters. these storms aren't only destructive, they're incredibly dangerous. five people have died as a result of this storm, and hundreds more remain displaced. imelda was the fifth wettest tropical cyclone in the continental united states, with some areas receiving more than three and a half feet of rain in a very short period of triumphant but as we've learned before, these trying times seem to somehow bring out the best in people. a group of residents of the small community of cheek, texas, waded through chest-high water to rescue nine horses. furniture store owner jim mcinvale, known to all of us
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as mattress mack, opened up his store as a shelter for victims. they were taking furniture tax reduction out to pick up those stranded by high water. there was even a 21-year-old college student who worked all night alone at a beaumont hotel for 32 hours straight. not only did he single-handedly manage the hotel, he and other guests ventured out into the flood to deliver food and water to truckers stranded in their trucks. so i am grateful to the countless people who have helped their neighbors in big and small ways alike and who will no doubt continue supporting their communities in the months ahead. for many texans this is the second time in two years that they have had to recover from extraordinary flooding. folks are just now beginning what will undoubtedly be a major cleanup effort. with waters receding, local
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officials are now taking stock of the damage and moving from response to recovery. these rain events, these huge floods, are often more than any one city or county can manage alone. it is an all-hands-on-deck moment that brings together local, state, and federal officials as well as nongovernmental organizations. governor abbott declared a state of disaster in several counties to ensure state resources are available to local government agencies. and last week i spoke tomorrow of the county judges who have jurisdiction over the -- many of the -- much of this flooded area, the hardest hit area, and i offered my full support. i want to ensure everyone that's been impacted by this storm that they are not alone and that we are committed to working together as state, local, and federal officials to ensure that they have what they need to recover from this devastating tropical storm imelda.
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madam president, i yield the floor. mrs. blackburn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam president. i want to express to the senator from texas our concern and our thoughts for all of those who have been so impacted. and he mentioned the floods and the impact that had happened. i found out about some of the good work of the good samaritans in the area by watching what was taking place on social media. and i'm certain millions of americans saw firsthand some of the generosity and the help that was given there. and, indeed, madam president, the internet and social media platforms have transformed the way we communicate, the way we
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send out information and many times the way we receive it. correspondence that just a few years ago would have taken pen, paper, and postage is now sent and received with a simple click of a mouse. everything happens online, from communicating about disasters to shopping to party planning to campaigning. we share photos and milestones with our friends. we let people know that we're okay in times of disasters or that we need help. and we share all of this not only with our friends. we're also sharing it with companies that have built multibillion-dollar empires based on their ability to convince us to surrender just one more little piece of unique data about us or about our families. beyond social media, we live our everyday transactional lives
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online. also, we bank vietnamia apps. we sign up for credit cards via codes we received in an e-mail and manage our e-mail via cloud. we now plug right into an online forum without ever giving it a second thought. we have contributed to our own, as i call it, virtual you -- that is, our personal online footprint, unique to you -- only unique to only you. we have done this by trusting these platforms to keep our data secure. in a way, this level of connectivity and trust has made life a lot easier and more convenient, but it has also made
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us vulnerable to exploitation and exposure. i've spoken before about consumers' justifiable expectation of a right to privacy online. this year i introduced it the browser act, which i had previously introduced when i was in the house. it is an effort to codify this right to privacy that consumers expect. browser gives big tech basic guidelines to follow when collecting and selling user data. and that user is you. it has become understood that you are the product when you are using these social media apps and experiencing this connectivity. you are the product. you have the right to know that you are that product. and you have the right to decide
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what is shared about your life. but protecting an individual's data is only part of this picture. last week the senate committee on commerce, science, and technology held a hearing to address the roll digital services play in the distribution of violent and extremist content. we welcomed testimony from facebook, twitter, and google detailing what they're doing to remove extremist congress tent on the platforms. but i will tell you, before we talk about policing content, we as members of this body need to make sure we understand how the american people view their use of social media and the internet. whether social media platforms should be regulated under the first amendment is beside the point. americans view these services as open public forums where they can speak their minds on everything from defense funding
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to the emmy awards. these consumers don't want the wild west, nor do they want to be censured based on a content reviewer's subjective opinion. what they want is an objective cop on the beat, just like in the public square -- an objective cop on the beat who is equipped to properly identified incitement, threats, and other types of speech that could put lives at risk. this of course is easier said than done. in the face of facebook, for example, that translates to creating a set of standards that 30,000 in-house engineers and analysts and is a,000 conat any time -- and a 15,000 content reviewers will be able to apply. 45,000 people, and that is just
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one platform. you know, there is a reason why time and again big tech executives look at congress and say, oh, more regulatory control over the way we do business, and it's this -- policing legitimately dangerous content is a big job, and policing awful but lawful -- and i'm quoting there -- content as facebook c.e.o. mark zuckerberg likes to call it, is an even bigger, more taunting task. it takes 45,000 people to do a bare-minimum job for one company. imagine trying to create easy-to-understand brightline standards that 45,000 employees will be able to digest and apply quickly enough to keep up with the flow of content. that has got to be an intimidating task. but i will tell you, if those
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executives think the government can do a better job deciding down to the letter what those standards should be, i think they're mistaken. only the engineers and innovators know their companies well enough to set their own internal policies for acceptable uses of their platform. but that's not to say i won't be taking an interest in their ideas. we need to have a federal standard for privacy and data security. we need to review censureship and prioritization, competition, and antitrust. for example, facebook is in the process of putting together a content oversight board to adjudicate appeals from users whose posts have been deemed in violation and taken down. they pledge to make the identities of the moderators and their decisions public barring any safety risk and to choose a diverse panel. the biggest unanswered question
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here is, will the moderators really reflect the american political spectrum. how will they be chosen? the american people are surely going to demand more than a promise to be fair and impartial. as i said, government cannot make these decisions in total for big tech. but we can help guide them along the way by passing privacy and data security standards. this is where working groups like the judiciary committee's tech task force come into play. last week i was speaking to a group of private-sector tech gurus and i told them that the only way we'll be able to move forward is if the government does the more listening, if they do more talking and they work with us on setting these basics standards. i stand by what i said. it is not and should not be congress' job to decide in
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retrospect what sort of culture companies like facebook and twitter are meant to create. this is imperative that these companies understand the american public views them as a public square -- an online public square, and it is up to them to be certain that there is an objective cop on the beat. i yield the floor. mr. udall: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: thank you, madam madm president, for the recognition. the constitution demands that, quote, no money shall be drawn from the treasury. like any other matter, it is congress' power and responsibility to determine how much taxpayer money is spent on
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the president's request for a border wall. like most presidents, he didn't get every dollar that he wanted. now the president, through a sham national emergency declaration, is taking $3.6 billion of funds we appropriated for military construction projects to pay for his wall. the real question is not whether the president is usurping our article 1 power to appropriate. he is, no doubt about it. the real question is, will we do something about it? today i urge all my colleagues to vote in favor of our resolution terminating the president's national emergency declaration. madam president, to start off the debate, i'd like to enter the following materials in the record -- a declaration from former national security officials outlining why the president's border emergency does not qualify under the national
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emergencies act. number two, a statement from former republican members of congress setting forth why the president's national emergency declaration violates the constitution. a february 25 -- number three, february 25, 2019, op-ed in "the washington post" from senator tillis, why we should oppose the emergency declaration. number four, a september 18, 2019, "washington post" article outlining the dire outcomes warned by the pentagon if the military construction projects don't go forward. and a september 19 "washington post" article documenting the administration's plans to divert billions more from military construction projects in the 2020 p budget. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: thank you. with that i'd like to yield to senator murray. mrs. murray: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: i join my democratic colleagues on the floor today to once again speak
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out against this president and his administration's outrageous abuses of executive power. and while unfortunately there is a myriad of presidential abuses to which i could be referring, today, this evening i'm here to discuss two of his most recent and most egregious actions that not only run afoul of congress' authority and our constitutional system of checks and balances but also compromise our national security. it began with the president making a phony national emergency declaration to bypass congress and steal money to build his border wall under the auspices of a,, quote-unquote, crisis, one of the president's own making in pursuit of advancing the most anti-immigrant agenda this country has seen in generations, all manufactured to secure federal funds to build his often touted vanity wall on our
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southern border, a wall the american people were not supposed to pay for and that we time and time again have indicated we do not want. now you would think that this extreme overreach of executive authority alone would get our colleagues on the other side of the aisle riled up enough to defend the constitution system of checks and balances, but in declaring his national emergency, president trump took his overreach one step further. ransacking critical federal funds, taxpayer dollars that were appropriated by congress to fund important military construction projects and national security priorities across the country. to do what with? to put towards building his wasteful border wall. to be clear, instead of federal funds going towards military infrastructure priorities like building a new maintenance facility at naval base kitzap in
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my home state of washington, those funds are now going to pay for trump's border wall. instead of our military using federal funds already authorized by do think increase access to child care for our service members and their families those funds are going to pay for trump's wall. madam president, while in behavior from our president is predictable, it is no less wrong, underhanded and unacceptable, and i know i'm not the only one who thinks that way. since the president's rash move to reprogram billions of dollars from our military construction budget towards his border wall, i have heard repeatedly from constituents who are upset by this president's brazen acts of recklessness and are wondering how the president of the united states can just step over congress to do whatever he wants with our federal budget especially when it is on the
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backs much our troops and their families. madam president, i refuse to stand by and do nothing while this president hurts my state and so many others. why? because he cares more about his vanity project than our troops, our military community, or the american people. so that's why in the coming days i plan to introduce new legislation that will not only recruit the military construction funds that were shamefully raided for trump's border wall, but put in place new safeguards to make sure that no president today or in the future can so effortlessly bypass the will of congress to loot the federal budget. we need to put a check on this president, plain and simple. and right now we can do so by standing up for congress and our constitutional authority to set the federal budget and pay our nation's bills. so i urge my colleagues to join democrats in voting to rescind president trump's bogus national
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emergency declaration and taking that first step to roll back this president's plunder and hold him accountable. because as a coequal branch of federal government, it's not just our job, it is our sworn duty and one this body and our republican colleagues cannot ignore. thank you, madam president, and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president. mr. leahy: i agree with my distinguished colleagues from washington state and from new mexico for what they have said. you know, sometimes casting asset vote on the senate floor is just a matter of course. it's something we do routinely, often without considering the impact of that vote on the senate as an institution, let alone on our constitutional republic as we know it.
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but this week's vote on president trump's national emergency declaration is different. it's a pivotal moment in this body's history. it's a stress test, the very notion of separation of powers. the constitution speaks of congress as being a coequal branch of government. well, this is going to be viewed as a moment when congress either asserted itself as a coequal branch of government or surrendered as a subordinate to the will of a president who now claims his powers are absolute. this is a president who said out loud that the constitution gives him the right to do whatever i want as president. it makes you wonder if the president has actually ever read
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the constitution of the united states. this president is now attempting to ignore the explicit will of congress by simply declaring a national emergency to fund his, quote, big, beautiful, close quote, wall after time and time and time again he gave us his word that mexico would pay for the wall, and of mexico never would. after three years he failed to convince congress the wall is a good idea, even when his own party controlled both the house of representatives and the united states senate, his tweets and tantrums couldn't convince enough members that his cynical campaign promise was worthy of tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers' dollars. and he couldn't convince
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anybody, republican or democrat, that he was telling the truth when he said mexico would pay for it. so when congress didn't comply, he directed his people to tell him he could fund his pet project nonetheless. how could he declare a national emergency out of thin air when there was none and stealing the money from our troops and their families. he even admitted his national emergency declaration was a matter of political expediency rather than justified by facts. i remember him standing in the rose garden. he said he didn't need to invoke a national emergency. he could build a wall over a longer period of time. he just wanted to do it faster. and once again, the whims and the tweets of the president were used to trample our constitution. now president trump's declaration of a national emergency to build his wall should have -- should offend all
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100 senators, republicans and democrats alike, in this body. first and foremost, he is using it to steal $3.6 billion from critical military construction projects to benefit our men and women in uniform and their families. 127 military construction projects including a child development center, an elementary school, a fire rescue station have now fallen victim to his fixation on a wall. he's telling the families of our military who are living in substandard housing, some of it with mold and other health damaging conditions that, no, you're not going to get the money to fix that up because i'm going to put it on my wall.
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we already ask our military families to sacrifice so much to keep our country safe. now they have to sacrifice again, and for what end? to keep this president's ego safe. furthermore, as i said, i don't know if he's ever read the constitution but i note that his national emergency deck -- declaration is an end run around the power of the purse. article 1, section 9 of the constitution which i doubt the president ever took the time to read states that congress decides how to spend america's hard-earned tax dollars. that is today one of the most critical checks and balances in our constitutional system. in our democracy, presidents must respect and normally do the appropriations decisions of
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congress. for the first time, not this president. so this week i hope that all senators, no matter what their political background is, will think carefully about their vote on the president's national -l emergency declaration. i hope that each of us thinks long and hard about what it would mean for our role as a coequal branch, for the separation of powers, for the constitution which is protecting our country all these kwraoerbgs what -- years, what would it mean if we fail to protect this naked power grab by president trump. in march it -- in march 12 of my republican friends joined democrats in rejecting the president's emergency declaration forcing him to override our vote with a veto. i hope every one of us tonight
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will go home and read the constitution and read what we must do. i hope more republicans will join democrats in voting aye on the joint resolution of disapproval. we must send this president a veto-proof message that congress will rise above party to protect what is most precious in our american democracy. the senate will stand for the constitution above else. the senate will be the conscious of the nation as we should be. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: madam president, i'm pleased to join my colleagues and very much appreciate senator udall's leadership on the resolution that we are speaking to today.
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it's a resolution that would end the president's unconstitutional emergency declaration which is diverting money from critical military construction projects to fund a costly and ineffective border wall. now congress has made it abundantly clear that we did not provide funding for the president's border wall and that we don't approve of raiding military resources to fund hips house and hips -- to fund his campaign promise. it's important to note that congress worked on a bipartisan basis to provide funding to secure the southern border. according to the constitution, it is congress and not the president who holds the power of the purse. just six months ago in a strong bipartisan vote, a majority of this body -- 59 senators -- successfully passed a resolution disapproving of the president's
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emergency declaration. unfortunately president trump chose to veto that legislation, which is why we brought it to the floor again for a vote. it's imperative that this legislative body, this senate defend its authority as derived from the constitution and protect funding that is vital to our troops and to our national security. i think it's difficult to overstate the critical role that military construction projects play in maintaining military readiness and supporting our national defense. and yet, this administration is treating funding set aside for our national security like a slush fund. take military construction, at the portsmouth naval shipyard in new hampshire and maine -- on the border between new hampshire and maine -- any disruptions to
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funding for construction projects could result in costly delays to our military's carefully crafted plans to upgrade ageing infrastructure and delays in projects that support the shipyard's mission threaten to exacerbate the navy's already high demand for submarine maintenance and the projected submarine shortfall in the coming years. in addition, new hampshire's national guard readiness centers are in desperate need of modernization, and they can't afford further delays to readiness center improvements. all those projects that are funded through the military construction program. and while new hampshire's and maine's shipyard and national guard were spared from president trump ace latest -- trump's latest money grab, the same can't be said for 127 other important military construction projects across this country. the 552 middle school children at fort campbell in the majority
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leader's home state of kentucky will have to wait for a new school as president trump diverts production funding to the border. critical projects in virginia that would improve a cyber operations facility and replace hazardous materials and warehouses are another casualty of president trump's political gains. and the child development center in maryland, the missile field in alaska, the weapon maintenance shop in alabama, the list of projects that are affected by the president's unconstitutional mandate just goes on and on, including hundreds of millions of dollars for critical infrastructure to support the defense department's european deterrence initiative. what message does that send to our european allies and our efforts to deter russian aggression? yeah, the impact of the president's actions and congress' own complacency is painfully real to the men and women who serve our nation, the
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same men and women who are being deprived of the resources they need to complete their mission. well, perhaps, not surprising, there are now reports indicating that the trump administration is again planning to take military construction funds appropriated by congress to build a border wall. so according to "the washington post," you can see this pretty clearly, the administration plans to pit its appropriations requests to congress as replenishment money to the department of defense for the money they took this year to fund the border wall. so we see a trump administration official who says, and i quote, the plan is to sell it as replenishment money. then once they got it from congress, they would take it again. so this isn't just a one-time
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deal. we're talking about the administration setting us up to do this again and again and again. and this type of deception from the administration makes funding the government extremely difficult for congress because we can't trust, we don't know if the president is negotiating in good faith. so the members of the legislative branch are endowed by the constitution with the power to fund the government. we must be sure that the resources we provide in spending legislation is being used as it was intended by the congress. this constitutional duty is particularly salient when the president has shown such a flagrant disregard for congressional intent and the constitutional separation of powers. the authority of the congress is very clear. the power of the purse is held by the legislative branch. those powers were enumerated for
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the very reason that we are here today, to shield against an overreaching executive. this isn't about democrat versus republican. this is about whether or not congress votes to uphold its powers and responsibilities, powers and responsibilities that are enshrined in the constitution. we must take action now in defense of both our constitution and our national security. so i would urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to protect our constitutional authority as members of congress, to defend our national security, support the resolution to terminate president trump's emergency declaration. i yield the floor. mr. udall: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: thank you for the recognition, madam president,
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and i very much appreciate being joined on the floor by my colleagues at this critical time in history. senator shaheen just spoke. we had senator murray down here, senator leahy, and this issue will come to a head tomorrow. we are really at a crossroads. this body can continue to allow the president to subvert our constitutional authority to appropriate or we can take back our power of the purse. and exercise it as the founders intended. the issue before us is not partisan. it is constitutional. if we don't put the constitution above party, above politics, we might as well pack up our bags and go home. the voters did not send us here to shirk our responsibilities. shift will not be kind to us if we allow the executive to run roughshod over our constitutional authority. for the second time, we have
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introduced a bipartisan resolution to terminate the president's national emergency declaration along our southern border. i thank senators collins and shaheen for once again joining in this resolution and affirming their commitment to the constitution. our first vote on this resolution in march passed 59-41. we had strong bipartisan support because the president's emergency declaration is clearly an end run around congress. we have the power to bring this resolution back every six months, and i hope we can add to our majority this time, because what were once fears about a so-called emergency in march have become a stark reality in september.
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while i firmly oppose the president's approach on immigration, this vote is not about whether you oppose or support that approach. in support, a republican senator wrote with conviction about the president's emergency declaration. he wrote, and i quote here, it is my responsibility to be a steward of the article 1 branch, to preserve the separation of powers and to curb the kind of executive overreach that congress has allowed to fester for the better part of the past century. i stood by that principle during the obama administration, and i stand by it now, end quote. we all have another opportunity to stand with the constitution. and to object to a president actively diverting billions in defense funding for a political purpose. congress, not the president, was
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given the power of the purse to make sure taxpayer money was spent on projects with broad public support. we have different views in congress, but as a whole, we have responded to the american people, and we have not appropriated all the funds the president has sought for his wall, but instead of allowing congress to decide on spending, which is what the constitution envisions, the president caused the longest shutdown in american history to get his wall. that 35-day shutdown caused a lot of pain and anxiety for many federal workers and contractors and their families in new mexico and across the nation. when the shutdown didn't work, the president issued his emergency declaration. if we allow this president to issue an emergency declaration to get funding for his wall, we are setting a dangerous
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precedent, a precedent that could be used by future presidents on issues my republican colleagues surely wouldn't like. the president is now taking $3.6 billion from 127 military construction projects that we have approved and funded. we all know the rigor with which these projects have been vetted, scrutinized, and approved. according to the pentagon, these projects are necessary for national security and military readiness, necessary to ensure the safety of our men and women in uniform and their children. in other words, they're not projects simply designed to fulfill a campaign cloak an. two projects in new mexico are on the chopping block. both are critical. an $85 million drone pilot
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training center at holloman air force base to replace a facility that is falling apart and a $40 million secure information technology facility at white sands missile range gone. both of those gone. in utah, the air force has sought a new control center at hill air force base to replace, quote, structurally deficient, dilapidated world war ii-era warehouses for mission control. in louisiana, the air national guard sought to replace an aircraft parking ramp in a new orleans facility that exposes the public to, quote, unacceptable risk of being impacted by an explosive accident. in indiana, army service members have worked in violation of safety standards for handling explosives and need additional space for munitions.
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in kentucky, the military seeks to repair substandard, deficient, inadequate, and undersized facilities at a majority school at fort campbell that impairs the overall education program for the children of service members. back in march, we worried that this would happen, but now it's a reality. our men and women in uniform and their children are paying for the wall, and if we do not stand up and stop it today, it will happen again and again. this is unacceptable, and i believe it is unlawful and unconstitutional. we're -- we here in the senate have decided to fund these projects and others in 23 states instead of a border wall, and with good reason. some in congress are calling for us to backfill the 127 projects and reappropriate the funds for
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them. backfilling does not solve the problem. it does not repair the constitutional violation. it only gives license to the president to continue raiding funds we've already appropriated for military construction projects. and unless we stop the emergency, the backfilled money is subject to being raided again. if your house is robbed, it is foolish to buy new valuables without putting a new lock on the door. canceling these 127 projects is not just a one-off. we all know the president fully intends to keep it. madam president, it's already been reported that if the president doesn't get the $5 billion he's requested for
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his wall in 2020, the administration's plan is to take another $3.6 billion from the pentagon's construction budget. at this point, madam president -- and i will come back in just a minute -- i yield to the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to executive session to consider calendar number 415. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the nomination.
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the clerk: nomination, air force, general john e.hyton to be vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate to bring to a close debate on the nomination of general john e. hyton for appointment as the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and for appointment in the united states air force to the grade indicated while assigned to a position of importance and responsibility in accordance with title 10 u.s.c. sections 154 and 601, to be general, signed by 17 senators as follows -- mr. mcconnell: i ask consent
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the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to legislative session and be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that at 10:30 a.m. on wednesday, september 25, the senate joint resolution 54 be discharged from the armed services committee and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. further, i ask that the time until 12:15 be equally divided between the leaders or their designees on the joint resolution and that following the use or yielding back of that time, the joint resolution be read a third time and the senate vote on the resolution. finally, i ask unanimous consent that following disposition of the joint resolution, the senate proceed to the consideration of resolutions to instruct conferees to be submitted pursuant to the order of september 18, 2019, that they be made pending and reported by number with concurrent consideration until 3:45, equally divided between the leaders or their designees, and
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that at 3:45, the senate vote on the resolutions in the order listed with two minutes of debate equally divided prior to the votes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 109, h.r. 1590. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 109, h.r. 1590, an act to require an exercise related to terrorists and foreign fighter travel and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsidered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 113, h.r. 1158. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 113, h.r. 1158, an act to authorize cyber incident response teams at the department of homeland security and for other purposes.
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the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the house and substitute amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate now proceed to s. res. 313. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 313, resolution designating the week of september 22 through september 28, 2019, as gold star families remembrance week. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the committee is discharged. and the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate now proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following senate resolutions which was submitted earlier today. s. res. 326, 327, 328, 329. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measures en bloc? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further business on the resolutions. the presiding officer: is there further debate? if not, the question is on the resolutions en bloc. all in favor say aye. those opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the resolutions are agreed to en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the preambles be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table all en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. wednesday, september 25. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for
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the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, following leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each until 10:30 a.m. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order following the remarks of our democratic colleagues. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: madam president, thank you for the recognition. madam president, we are at a crucial point in our democracy, a big decision to be made. tomorrow we can correct this unconstitutional violation by the president of the united states. taking military money, military readiness money, national
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security money and moving it over for a border wall. canceling these 127 projects, it's not just a one-off. lets all remember that. we all know the president fully intends to keep at it. it's already -- it's already been reported if the president doesn't get the $5 billion he's requested for his wall in 2020, the next budget year, the administration plans to take another $3.# billion -- $3.6 billion from the pentagon's construction budget. this president won't stop raiding funds we have appropriated unless we stop him and terminate his sham emergency declaration. the careful planning for the 127 canceled projects contrast sharply with the administration's haphazard rush to build the president's wall. the president wants 500 miles of
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wall before the 2020 election. to do so the administration may need to skirt the federal procurement process and aggressively take lands away from private land owners through eminent domain. don't worry, says the president to his staff, i'll pardon you if you break any laws. this is no way to run a government. and certainly no way to spend taxpayer dollars. don't get me wrong. i support strong border security. we need well trained officers, mobile assets, surveillance, technology and adequate resources. but a multibillion dollar wall is wasteful, ineffective, and offensive. now i know some in this chamber disagree with that opinion. the place to debate and decide how we spend taxpayer dollars to keep our borders secure is in
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the appropriations committee. it's -- its various subcommittees, and on the floor of the senate here. that's what the constitution says. james madison wrote in federalist 84, and i'm quoting here, an elective despotism was not the government we fought for. we fought for one in which the powers of government should be so divided and balanced that no one could transcend their legal limits without being effectively checked and restrained by others. end quote. it's time for this body to check and restrain the executive branch. the president is invading our constitutional prerogative. he is not a despite. his constitutional powers are limited. it is up to us to support and defend the constitution of the united states as we swore in an
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oath to do and to do the work we were elected to do. i note the absence of a quorum, madam chair. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: mr. wyden: madam president, i would ask unanimous consent vacate the quorum call, madam president. the presiding officer:, would. mr. wyden: madam president, scores and scores of my friends and neighbors at home in oregon have been grieving since they learned the sad news this weekend about the passing of a remarkable woman, marie gutreau, who died at her home over the
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weekend. mary gutreau was an astounding bundle of energy and passion. she had an incandescent smile, a huge heart for people who didn't have any power and clout, and the ability to make just about everybody she met more optimistic about the policies and opportunities for the days ahead. mary came to our office back in the 1990's after working at the u.s. forest service planting trees and fighting fires. i can tell you, no resume or job title could have ever captured
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what mary gutreau was all about or how hard she worked to protect the qualities that make oregon different, the very special place she was proud to call home. mary gautreaux was an all-star oregonian. she loved her home and her coworkers with fierce loyalty. all of mary's friends and neighbors knew up close and personal what an indomitable force she was. and it didn't matter where you lived. from portland to bernes, everywhere in between, democrats, republicans, independents, the left, the right, mayors, county officials
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-- everybody liked being with mary, they liked working with mary, they admired her professionalism, and they were so impressed that she always tried to involve everybody. she always wanted everybody to believe that they were special, that they counted, and that's something we'll always remember. my office saw her as an anchor, as i did personally. for the better part of two decades, she and i traveled to hundreds of town halls and community meetings in every nook and cranny of our state. and mary and i always shared a kind of special joke. at one of these town meetings,
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somebody invariably would ask me something that i didn't know a lot about, and i would always say the same thing. i would say, folks, i want you to know i'm really digging into that issue. but mary gautreaux is one of the leading authorities on the subject, and she'd be rolling her eyes and then i'd say, well, feel free to call mary nights and weekends. she's always available for people. and my sense is, she got a kick out of it the first hundred times i did that. and it's a special kind of bond, you know, we had that was vintage mary gautreaux.
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but the fact is, she really did make herself available -- always, anytime, any day. she was always ready to pick up the phone and travel the state to solve a problem. if i were to talk about all the accomplishments, all of the results she produced for the people of oregon, we'd be here until new year's eve 2020. i do want to talk about a handful that stand out for their exceptional breadth and impact. mary was an early advocate of reopening the lamott river for the benefit of everybody in portland. she knew and had the potential to be a treasure for the community. she was out there swimming every chance she could get, and loved every time she could get out
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into the walumet. as was always her way, when mary recognized a problem that needed fixing, she got to work. so she pushed locally with the city and community activists to get a ladder installed at a popular swim spot. as a result of this kind of effort, and frankly her imagination, i don't know that finding ladders is always in the job description, but she just figured out how more people could have the opportunity to get in and out of the willamette safely and take a swim in one of the country's most impressive urban rivers. the whole metropolitan area of
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my hometown has her to thank for other important achievements. we have exceptional drinking water. mary was instrumental in the creation of portland's bull run water reserve being built. i believe now the only urban water source closed to people entirely for its protection. everybody in oregon, as they learn about this -- because mary never sought any publicity for herself -- really has to thank mary gautreaux for that effort. and she really went to bat for rural oregonians. she recognized, because i lived in southeast, she lived in northeast. we loved portland. but we didn't have the job of
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representing the state of portland. it's to get into every nook and cranny of our state and particularly when so many rural communities are so hard-hit, mary would be there helping small airports, tiny airports get bigger; helping veterans who couldn't get over icy roads to get to health care in the urban areas; she'd help with food pantries to rural hospitals; she did everything to make sure that in those small communities, they would understand that they counted. sometimes people would point out to her, a lot of those communities had more cows than people. and i always thought to myself,
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i probably didn't have the cows with me half the time either. that wasn't mary's measure of public service. mary's measure was to make sure -- to make sure that nobody was left behind. one of her recent accomplishments for rural oregon is also going to be treasured for a long time -- the designation of the frank moore wild steelhead management area. frank moore and mary had a wonderful bond. frank is a world war ii hero. after the war, he came home to the umqua river. he's guided generations of fishing families on the rift for years and years. now he's 96, and mary made a judgment a few years ago that
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she was concerned that frank might not get the designation and recognition he deserved while he was alive. so mary basically just pushed and pushed and pushed in order to make sure that the legislation i just mentioned would pass and actually get done. and what a wonderful party we had for frank moore, because if there was something mary gautreaux loved, it was a good party. you'll hear a little more about that in just a moment. on the national level in southern oregon, mary's work on the designation of the cascade's manual created unique wilderness protections, unique protections
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for ranchers and environmental folks, something that's going to be a model for generations to come. she was the key to the creation of the badlands wilderness, and i remember, madam president, when mary gautreaux pulled it off, people said, because of mary, it was a good day for the badlands, a wonderful accomplishment for folks in central oregon. and in eastern oregon, mary's work on the east moraines was significant. she helped oregonians every railroad where, she -- everywhere, and she always tried to look ahead. mary was one of the first who recognized in our state that recreation would be a powerful economic engine for years to come. billions of dollars coming to the state.
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jobs for everybody from kayakers to guides to craft brewers -- a huge economic, you know, multiplier. so what did we get out of it? we also got a chance to have a new focus on recreation. we've seen created oregon's office of recreation. it's a state office, born out of mary's tireless work, organizing people all over the state to highlight the seven wonders of oregon. madam president, i'm here to say tonight that mary gautreaux for lots of us was the eighth wonder of oregon. now, all of these achievements are part of her enduring legacy
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in our state -- -- state places, people will visit. ranchers, environmentalists, people who before mary showed up might hardly ever talk to each other, let alone work together. she figured out a way to find common ground and achieve what i've just described. i want to talk a little bit about travels with mary. the laughs that we have on the long car rides, bouncing around ideas, occasionally a passionate debate on something that was important to mary. she always recognized, like
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patton, that an army marches on its stomach. she generously stocked her car with apples and oranges and fruits and every manner of snack, healthy -- some perhaps not so healthy -- as we drove around oregon. but let me tell you something. when mary gautreaux saw hungry folks as we made our way through the state of the oregon, what she did essentially along the way is make sure that because she didn't want anybody to go hungry, she made sure that our car got a whole lot lighter because she gave away so much healthy food to hungry folks who were hurting. no task seemed trivial. or thankless. but i'll tell you, when you rode
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around in a car with her -- and, you know, most of the time in government, people are talking about bills and amendments or polls and the like. what mary was always talking about was how it might be possible to help more people at the next stop. and the key was at the end of a trip, she would always say to a person or two, give me your phone number. i want to be able to stay in touch. i want to check in because that's the way we was and sometimes she would ask them to give her a name or two of somebody else who has fallen on
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hard times. another memory i wanted to share is a little bit raw, and the senate may know how it's going to play out in the months ahead. a few months ago, while she lay in her hospital bed, coming to terms with a fresh diagnosis of terminal cancer, she learned that a group of young doctors at the oregon health sciences center had been in training to do a rotation in ontario, ontario, oregon. a city of 11,000 people, a gateway to the awahee canyon lands, spectacular high desert
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landscapes that were near and dear to mary's heart. so mary said we better do something for all these young doctors, so she began asking for their supervisor so she could help these young doctors get out into the landscape. i do want people to know that there's going to be an opportunity to enjoy that landscape, work in that landscape, particularly in traditional industries like agriculture to a great extent because of what mary inspires in malheur county. dedicating her last days to
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talking to anyone and everyone that she thought could come together and help stabilize this small community in eastern oregon. and, madam president, i want people to be able to picture it because nancy and i went to mary's home in northeast portland over these last difficult weeks. mary always managed to cheer us up rather than vice versa. and one of the things that finally made us smile is her whole bed and the hospice folks
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nearby, her whole room was built around the maps of the awahee where she was looking at places various uses would be appropriate, how to protect the beauty of this extraordinary part of oregon. you would talk to her about the beauty, she would always say the first time i saw it, it brought tears to her eyes when she viewed it. and she so wanted to help the ranchers and folks in that area. she was dedicated to preserving this part of the world. and, madam president, it was
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mary gautreaux's dying wish that we could make this possible and, colleagues, many have seen me waiting on the floor of the senate over the last few hours. our chair, senator murkowski, has had a busy schedule today. and i chaired the energy and natural resources committee, we worked very close together. lisa murkowski has a big heart, too. always interested in trying to bring people together. and i told chair murkowski that very shortly i was going to be introducing legislation to recognize mary's extraordinary work. we were going to have a community board, a community
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board to empower the ranchers and the small businesses and the families that have been there for years and wanted to know that there was a future. we wanted to call it the mary gautreaux malheur county community empowerment act or the mary gautreaux malheur county c.e.o. act. so, madam president, and colleagues, here, stay tuned because you are going to hear me talk more about mary's extraordinary efforts in this regard. this weekend, we're going to do what mary gautreaux wanted us to
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do. we talked to her about it. we said, mary, we want to make sure that we tell oregon or in this case the country about your life and your accomplishments and, madam president, how much we loved her. and the way we're going to show her how much we loved her, this weekend, we're going to do what she wanted. we are going to have one heck of a giant party, in her neighborhood, at her home in northeast portland. we're bringing together friends and family.
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she has so many of them. i'm looking down this row, madam president. i guess we broke most of the rules of the senate because we are only supposed to have a couple of people here, and as far as i can tell, the people i'm honored to represent in the united states senate, there are more than four million of them, half of them would have showed up and sat with the folks on that row. so this weekend, we're going to have a chance to tell each other stories. we're going to have a chance to talk about all the people mary helped. i'm working now because mary loved bright colors to make sure that her home and everybody there really sees that what she wanted was a lot of color and a
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lot of passion and a lot of friends and a lot of people talking about what a special place oregon is and all these young people who have done so much, building on her approach for bringing people together, her values of caring, standing up for people who didn't have very much and were outside the power circle of washington. so this is a hard talk to give, but it's sure easy to always remember what a wonderful person mary gautreaux was, how she represented the very best our state has been able to offer.
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i told her privately, i told her right before she died. mary, we love you. we'll always be thinking of you. madam president, with that, i would yield the floor. the presiding officer: will the senator withhold his request? mr. wyden: madam president, i withdraw the request for a quorum. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. also this week members are
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expected to take up the house has seven weeks spending bill. watch live coverage of the senate and we return cspan2 on the sidelines of the united nations general assembly, president trump met with uk prime minister. during the meeting the prime minister answered questions about the uk supreme court ruling the band his decision to suspend parliament unlawful. >> thank you very much everyone. it's great to be with my friend maurice johnson. he's had a position that is having very easy time with. i think it's pretty much what he ex


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