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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  March 14, 2013 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i -- i would like to speak today on the toomey amendment, toomey amendment number 115. i rise to argue against the toomey amendment. this is an amendment about energy, and as we all know, energy is a strategic resource for us. every member of our armed forces understands this and they understand it well.
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energy is essential to our national security mission. everybody knows you don't go out there and move in an aggressive way without good, solid energy supplies behind you. and having access to reliable energy supplies to protect our men and women in uniform is just absolutely essential, no matter where they may be in the world. it is critical to our nation that we have these good energy supplies. and each branch of the armed forces recognizes the importance of biofuels as a critical part of our energy needs. our military faces numerous logistical challenges with its dependence on fossil fuels. increasing diversification through investment and alternative fuels will help the military carry out its mission safely. and without the need to rely exclusively on foreign sources of you'll from countries who do not share our interests
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overseas. the amendment offered by senator toomey, the gentleman from pennsylvania, trades some short-term benefits at the cost of our long-term needs. reducing the department of defense's ability to procure biofuels by $60 million is a step in the wrong direction. biofuels are an american industry, growing energy right here in our own backyard, energy at home, made in america. in my own state, the los alamos national lab is growing the next generation of algae feed stocks for future biofuels. so we're doing some great research in this area of biofuels. we also have a bio refinery facilities operated by saffire energy near columbus, new mexico. this facility is up and running and can produce 1.5 million gallons per year of fuel.
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that's fuel derived from these advanced generation algae. this story is not unique to new mexico. texas, california, missouri and iowa lead the united states with the number of biorefineries per state. this amendment limits opportunities for bioenergy companies across the united states. biofuels are a significant source of energy for the department of defense. we should provide as many opportunities as possible to grow this industry. we should maximize the long-term economic and national security benefits of u.s. biofuels. and it's for those reasons i urge a "no" vote on the toomey amendment. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i, too, rise in objection to toomey 115. i ask the -- the presiding officer: madam senator, the senate's in a quorum. ms. mikulski: i ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: and i speak on the toomey amendment. i want to reiterate what my colleague from illinois said about this amendment. senator durbin chairs the subcommittee on defense. he is the -- just recently took
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this over, because -- as -- with the passing of senator dan inouye, senator dick durbin has now assumed the chair. and it's a committee that we're now looking at the funding, and what we do see -- and i, too, have met with the department of defense, whether it was secretary hagel -- under secretary -- i mean, deputy secretary ash carter. i've talked things over with general dempsey. and, you know, when they talk about what are the big-buck expenditures in defense, is it guns, is it bullets, is it body armor, is it tanks, planes? the exploding costs are in the area of military personnel. and we've got to pay our people, so we agree with that. then there is the issue of providing health care, and, wow,
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after a ten-year war where we've asked too much from too far for too long, people are coming back with the permanent wounds of w war, all are coming back with the permanent impact of war. health care problems are showing up among them. but to my surprise -- i wasn't surprised about that. i was surprised that the large largest -- one of the largest expenditures at d.o.d. was energy. now, i already knew that d.o.d. is the federal government's largest energy consumer and that the congressional research service notes that since early 1990, the cost of buying fuel hassehas increased faster than y other d.o.d. budget category. isn't that a surprise, that it's
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increasing faster than health care? i actually thought health care would be the fastest because of what our troops and their families have endured. but it is the fastest growing category. some numbers. i know a lot of our colleagues are numbers people. that between fiscal years 2005 and 2011, the department's petroleum use actually went do down. so their use of petroleum went down by 4% so you would think their costs went down. but guess what? their spending on petroleum rose 381% on that same period. what a -- amazing, amazing number. when your reduce goes down but your cost goes up 381%, it's time to take a new look and find -- begin to find new ways to deal with this challenge.
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and our department of defense went right to work to it. defense d.o.d. tells us that for every 25% increase if the price of a gallon of oil, the federal government and d.o.d. incur over a billion dollars in additional fuel costs. so every time a gallon of oil goes up 25 cents, the federal government ends up spending a billion more at only d.o.d. wow, that's a billion dollars that could go a long way in either making sure we had modern weapons or our troops continue to have the -- returning troops -- and they are returning -- to have the health care they need. we need to modernize the military. we need to, as senator mccain has challenged, make sure we don't hollow out the military. we need to make sure that we
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address the new emerging threats not only in geographic areas but in cyberspace. i'm on the select committee on intelligence. those cyber threats are -- are eye popping when you study the issue. now, we need to do something about our costs of fuel. the navy plans to spend close to $200 million on advanced biofuels -- excuse me, the navy already spent $200 million on advanced biofuels between fiscal year 2009 and 2012. the $60 million we're talking is a small fraction of the navy's annual costs for petroleum and approximately $4.5 billion in fiscal year 2011. secretary of the navy maebus has
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talked about how energy security is a growing national security issue not only for our country but also for specifically for the d.o.d. and so what is the answer to that? we have to be able to look at advanced -- funding for the advanced drop in the biofuel program. and as senator durbin said, the senate has already voted twice in support of the department of d.o.d.'s biofuel programs. the department continues to spend money in fiscal 2012 for biofuels. the fiscal 2013 will maintain funding to pursue the program in future years. i think -- i would hope that we would understand what are the real costs facing the department of defense? and just because you don't like a program, let's look at these
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programs in terms of the solution -- the challenges they are facing -- that are facing our military. we think the challenges facing our military are terrorism -- and it is -- al qaeda -- and it is. gosh, when one things about those marines up there as we speak in the mountains of afghanistan, it just gives you chills. now, when they're up there fighting for us, they need to have resources. they need to have the weapons. they need to have the army to protect themselves. but they also need to have the fuel to be able to get around. and the people, as senator durbin said, are often incredibly at risk because they're over roads loaded with these mines. we've got a long way in learning how to detect i.e.d.'s, but the hurt locker continues to exist. we've got to do something to protect our military, protect those in the military who
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support the frontline troops and that means they need to have the fuel that d.o.d. will continue to run on. we need to look for alternative service sources. the policy's a good one. i think senator toomey's intention -- amendment is well-intentioned to fund operation and maintenance, but operation and maintenance is really also having the right fuel, which means we have to develop alternatives to what we have now. so, mr. president, i just wanted to commend on this. as i take over the chair of the full committee, i've learned a lot more about the funding of the department of defense and the challenges that they face. and as the more we scrutinize it, some of the really big-buck expenditures that support the troops are not visible in the public eye but they're visible as we look at our expenditures. so we need to support our military and we need to do it
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not only the way we're supporting them today but to help the new technologies for the kind of support in the future. mr. president, i yield the flo floor. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, before i do, i want to withdraw my call of the quorum. the presiding officer: we have a quorum. ms. mikulski: i ask the call of the quorum be vacated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. mikulski: mr. president, that also takes me to the fact that there are these growing issues in the area of health care that we need to be able to take a look at. and we have to be able to be sure that there are a variety of challenges facing our d.o.d. that we need to look at and address, but let's do it through
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the regular order, through our appropriate authorizing committee, through our appropriate appropriations committee. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i have sent an amendment in the nature of second degree to the at the
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desk. i ask that it be reported. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from illinois, mr. durbin, proposes an amendment numbered 123 to amendment numbered 115. at the end, add the following -- d -- mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask consent to dispense with the reading of the second-degree amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: this is a second-degree amendment to the toomey amendment number 115, and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. in the midst of this -- the presiding officer: quorum call. mr. blumenthal: i'm sorry, mr. president. i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: mr. president, i rise today in the midst of a
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profoundly important conversation on the floor of this body about the future of our financial situation in the federal government, and i want to thank the senator from maryland for her extraordinarily impressive work, and i thank her on behalf of myself, connecticut and the nation for her very diligent and dedicateed labors to bring us to this conclusion which all of us hope that we will in the next few hours, but i want to deal with a separate issue of equal moment that will be enabled on the floor of the senate if we are able to overcome our differences on this fiscal issue. it is the issue of immigration reform, comprehensive and accountable immigration reform which this nation desperately needs.
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i am working to achieve it as i know my colleagues are, and the president of the united states has advanced that agenda very compellingly in his proposals that include a path to earn citizenship for the 11 million or more undocumented people in this country, stronger enforcement at the borders against illegal immigration into this country and stronger enforcement within our borders against illegal employment of undocumented people here, and of course a streamlined and fairer immigration process so that we can provide a process that comports not only with our due process obligations but also with the fundamental concept of fairness. not for the first time, i come to the floor to deal with one area of immigration reform that ought to be expedited as part of that agenda. i'm here to talk about connecticut dreamers and their
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invaluable contributions to their communities, and dreamers across the united states that make those same kind of contributions to your communities, my colleagues on the floor. over the last couple of months, a tremendous momentum has developed in favor of comprehensive and accountable immigration reform. i'm thrilled by these developments. they are tremendously heartening, and i commend my colleagues for their profoundly significant work, and most important, i look forward to seizing this unique and historic moment, this opportunity to reform our broken immigration system. the dream act would give young immigrants who have been brought to this country as children a chance to earn their citizenship through education or military service. the idea about immigration reform is to achieve earned citizenship. these young people or dreamers, as they are often called, are
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undocumented immigrants that were brought to this country at a young age, as infants or young children, through no fault or choice of their own. america is the only home they have ever known. english is the only language many of them know. their friends are here, their life are in -- is in this country, and they make invaluable contributions to this great nation. i thank one of my colleagues and friends, senator durbin, for his championing this cause over many years, and in fact he introduced the dream act 11 years ago and has tirelessly and relentlessly fought for its passage, come close to success, and my hope is that immigration reform will include this vitally important measure. the immigrants who would benefit from the dream act identifies --
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identify as american, but our immigration system affords them no direct path to achieving legal immigration status, let alone citizenship. the dream act would give them a chance to earn legal status if they meet several requirements.s having come to america as children, having good moral character, having graduated from high school and completed -- or completed two years of college and military, or military service. a dreamer who meets these requirements can apply for legal permanent residency and pursue a path to citizenship. dreamers would live in our communities but fear for deportation have been given some relief by the president of the united states, in effect, a temporary reprieve. but they still lack the security and permanency, and they should
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be given it, even after the president's program, because just as they were given that reprieve administratively, they can also lose it in the same way at the end of two years, which is the limit currently of the reprieve from deportation that they have been granted. two million immigrants nationwide would benefit from the dream act. there are about 11,000 to 12,000 to 20,000 dreamers living in connecticut, and one of them is vanessa baltista. i'm going to place her photograph on this stand and say to the people of connecticut, we should be proud of vanessa. i am proud of vanessa. she was born in ecuador, came to america at the age of ten, raised by her grandmother and
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reunited with her parents here in america. and soon after joining her parents in connecticut, vanessa learned english and she began school. she had a dream to go to college and become a nurse. and as a teenager, she worked cleaning houses. she baby sat. she saved money, as much as she could for college because it was part of her dream, part of the dream of becoming a united states citizen and giving back to the greatest nation in the history of the world. she was accepted to southern connecticut state university, having to pay the entire tuition. during her first year at southern, she worked full time and went to school full time. she did both full time: have a job and seek an education.
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she doesn't remember having any rest during that year, not surprisingly. and she went to school in the morning, then worked and baby sat every night until midnight. even with this challenge, she achieved a 3.9 g.p.a. that year. and she dreams of graduating from college and one day working as a registered nurse. she wants to give back, which she will do. and she'll give back to the country she calls home. but she understands that these dreams will be out of reach unless this body, this congress, this nation approves the dream act and the rights that she is seeking. i say in conclusion, i urge my colleagues to work hard on the issues at hand which are fiscal in nature. they're key to our future in
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this country. but equally important, to this great nation of immigrants, is providing a path to earn citizenship for young men and women like vanessa, their parents, and the 11 million people in this country who now live in the shadows. let us enable them to come out of the shadows, pay fines, and pay back backtaxes, show they have no criminal record and otherwise meet this strong criteria that we should establish as part of that pathway to earn citizenship and truly achieve for vanessa and the dreamers what is certainly the american dream: work hard, play by the rules, and you will be recognized for what you achieve, what you earn, what you give back and contribute to the greatest nation in the history
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of the world. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor, and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. hirono: mr. president, i rise today in strong opposition to amendment 115, the toomey amendment. this amendment would reduce funding for the advanced drop in biofuel production. i strongly oppose this amendment for several reasons. first, this amendment undermines our long-term national security. the 2010 quadrennial defense review outlines several areas where reforms are imperative to
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improving our national security. implementing reforms to strengthen our energy security was one of these areas. right now our military is almost totally dependent on fossil fuels. these resources are finite, priced on a global marketplace and produced by nations with whom we don't always see eye to eye. there are also new powers rising and new challenges evolving. so to preserve a 21st century force, we need to invest in 21st century priorities. this means that we must diversify how we power our military. the project that this amendment seeks to cut is fairly modest in the scheme of the military budget, but their overall benefits to our forces will be well worth it. our nation has always invested in technologies that produce long-term benefits and address changing circumstances. for more advanced tanks and
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aircraft to faster communications and lighter armor. we have to innovate now in order for our military to have the capabilities to protect our nation. we need to make the same kind of investments now in our military's long-term energy needs. already the research and deployment of alternative energy is benefiting our long-term capabilities, improving troop safety and making security operations more affordable. in fact, just last summer, at the rim of the pacific exercise, rim pac, the u.s. navy demonstrated its great green fleet with surface combatants and aircraft using advanced biofuels for the first time. this exercise, the largest international exercise in the world, proved that our military platforms can use this fuel. prior to this exercise, navy secretary ray mabus said of the
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biodemonstration -- quote -- "the navy always led the nation in transforming the way we use energy not because it's popular, but because it makes us better war fighters." end quote. clearly continuing to support this type of investment will pay additional dividends that will help ensure the u.s. remains the world's preeminent military and technological power in the 21st century. however, there is another reason to oppose this amendment and support the military's ongoing efforts to improve its energy security. that reason is that it makes good long-run budgetary sense. fossil fuels are a finite resource that is priced on a global market. increasing, as i mentioned, this fuel is produced by nations with whom we don't see eye to eye. as global competition for fuel resources intensifies, it is vital that we reduce the amount necessary to power our military.
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not only does our reliance on fossil fuels constrain our assets and resources from an operational perspective, it also puts significant strains on already stretched budgets. for example, between fiscal year 2005 and fiscal year 2011, the department of defense spending on petroleum rose from $4.5 billion to $17.3 billion. that is a 381% increase. and while that number is shocking, another shocking fact is that during this time the department of defense was actually using 4% less petroleum. in other words, we're paying nearly four times more money for less fuel. in addition, global price spikes make budgeting for our current energy costs extremely challenging. according to the navy, every time oil prices rise by $1, their fuel budget inflates by
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$30 million. in fiscal year 2012, the u.s. pacific command which is based in hawaii faced a $200 million shortfall in operation and maintenance funds. this is directly related to spiking fuel costs. these unforeseen circumstances reduce our military's capabilities and readiness. it is also unsustainable in today's budget environment. so while the senator from pennsylvania argues that biofuels are too expensive now, new technologies are always more expensive at first. that's exactly why we need to invest in scaling up instead of scaling back. the first fighter jets off the assembly line are always more expensive than the 100th fighter off that line. the fact is that it's the height of irresponsibility for us to rely on fuel sources with such unstable costs. that's why the military is already working to reduce its
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fossil fuel usage and to develop and deploy alternatives wherever possible. at the u.s. pacific command investments in renewable energy, energy-efficient buildings and fuel cell or hybrid vehicles are making installations more cost effective. in fact, jcom expects to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by 80%. that would reduce the total d.o.d. electricity demand in hawaii by 34% and save the d.o.d. $42 million per year in electricity costs. this $42 million could be put to better uses. these are savings that can be replicated on a service-wide scale and will save far more money that could be used to support o & m than the toomey amendment will. the military recognizes this. this is skwr general james
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mathis stated" i remain committed to unleash the burden of fuel from our operational and tactical commanders to the greatest extent possible." end quote. these investments are about improving our national security by changing the way we power our military. advanced biofuels is an investment in that goal and one we should continue. as u.s. marine corps general john allen has said -- quote -- "operational energy equates exactly to operational capability. let's all work this hard together." end quote. so i urge my colleagues to vote against the toomey amendment. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. a senator: mr. president, i too rise as my colleague from hawaii just rose to speak in support of the department of defense and in opposition to the amendment offered by the senator from pennsylvania.
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mr. udall: as been outlined, this amendment would strike funding for a very important and effective navy program which now works with private industry along with the department of energy and the department of agriculture to produce alternative fuels. and as we work together to overcome the harm that's been done by sequestration, it's essential that we provide the military with the flexibility to overcome current and future threats. and that includes allowing the d.o.d. to invest in energy sources and fuel technologies that reduce our dependence on foreign oil. and unfortunately, the toomey amendment does the opposite. in so doing, it would do real harm to our military. it would cost more money than it would save, mr. president, and it would damage the military's strong and necessary efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil. mr. president, carrying out the work of our nation, the department of defense consumes about 330,000 barrels of oil
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every single day. that works out to be 120 million barrels per year. what does that cost us, mr. president? last year the military spent over $16 billion on fuel. and because of rising global oil prices, that was about $2.5 billion more than they forecast. that is a lot of money, mr. president. those rising costs in dollars and in operational capability, they're staggering. i think that's *t only word -- i think that's *t only word that applies. for every 25% increase in the price per gallon of oil the military's increases by $1 billion. in order to make up for that shortfall, the d.o.d. has to pull money from operations and maintenance, which means that rising fuel costs result in less training, deferred maintenance, and reduced operational capability. that's a terrible tree kwrad if there -- triad if there ever was one. that means our troops are less prepared as they go into harm's
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way, less ready to fight when it matters most. the toomey amendment would undercut efforts to end that cycle. it would delay the development of technologies that would clearly bring lower costs, less domestic production and fewer american jobs. that's why the d.o.d. is investing in these domestic alternatives to foreign oil. it should tell us something, mr. president, in an era of reduced department of defense budgets that our senior leaders remain fully committed to this effort. even when we've got to tighten their belts, they think this is an investment that makes sense. what are we doing? investing in research and development that will develop new fuels that can be made from biological feedstocks. these are fuels that can be dwroan and refined here at home. i want to be clear, these aren't programs forced on the d.o.d. through earmarks or environmentalists or other groups that some like to
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demonize. these are d.o.d. initiatives undertaken to protect the military from rising fuel costs and increasingly volatile international marketplace. so even under the threat of sequestration, investments in new energy technologies and alternative fuels remain a priority. and i'd say to my friends who say we can't afford to spend money on alternative fuels, our uniformed senior leaders tell us we can't afford not to. think about it another way. we sent $300 billion overseas every year for oil. if we could keep about .02%, we could end for this program. for what we pay for military bands we could establish an industry. for about 1/6 of the cost of the
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miads missile system, we could diversify our energy portfolio and drive down costs. we'd be taking billions out of the hands of terrorists and reducing the risk at the same time to our military personnel. now, mr. president, the proponents for cutting off these investments in alternative fuels would argue that the defense department should not be involved in the development of new energy sources. i couldn't disagree more. let me tell you why. these biofuels couldn't be used as leverage against us. the refineries couldn't be taken over by al qaeda extremists or blockaded by gun boats. energy security is national security and this is exactly the right type of investment our military should be making. just think historically,
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military r & d has sustained the enormous technological advantage we maintain over our adversaries. our willingness to invest in the future has helped keep us safe. it's also been said that the d.o.d. shouldn't be spending money on energy development. and if that were the case, we wouldn't have a nuclear powered navy. without military investment in emerging technologies we wouldn't have jet engines, microchips, microwave ovens or g.p.s. navigation. ensuring are our national security ought to be our priority. our reliance on foreign oil is a threat to our security and our economy and i suggest even our very way of life. we need a whole of america solution to this national problem, and the department of defense absolutely has a critical role to play in that effort.
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if you believe that the d.o.d. has a vested interest in having reliable sources of energy, you should agree that new fuels meet their needs. as i mentioned, we're all concerned about the effect of sequestration on our troops, but we can't solve our problems with the same kind of shortsighted thinking that got us here in the first place. killing the navy's boistles program -- biofuels program, make no mistake, that's what this this amendment would do, will cost more money than it saves. it will set back an destroy poised to provide our country with enormous and important benefits. and it will make sure, it will ensure we keep pouring money into foreign coffers. i want to urge my colleagues to continue to support smart investments in our future like the navy's biofuels initiative.
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therefore i urge my colleagues to oppose the toomey amendment. mr. president, thank you for your attention. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kansas. mr. moran: i'm here to speak to an amendment that i previously filed, amendment number 41. the purpose of this amendment is to help provide the white house with the opportunity to reopen its doors to the american people. certainly received a lot of attention which demonstrates to me and i'm sure to my colleagues how important a visit to the white house is to so many americans. in my view, we can be much
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smarter and we must be much smarter with our spending decisions and make cuts in ways that do not intentionally or unnecessarily inflict hardship oring a aggravation upon the cis of our country. canceling white house tours is one of those unnecessary and unfair ways for the department of homeland security to meet its budget-cutting obligations, particularly if the necessity -- if the necessary savings can be found elsewhere in their budget. the self-guided white house tours were canceled either by the secret service or the whowt whitehouse, i've not been able to get a clear answer to actually who made that decision, but regardless, they were canceled in order to save a minimum of $2.14 million according to the secret service. this amendment proposes to transfer $2.5 million from t.s.a. to the u.s. secret service to pay for the security
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staff necessary for the white house tours to continue for the remainder of fy 2013. why go after t.s.a.? in my view, t.s.a. can absorb these costs. last just last week, t.s.a. signed a contract that would allow it to spend up to $50 million on uniforms related to the expenses of -- over the course of the next two years. so last week t.s.a. spends $50 million for new uniforms, and now we have no money for tours at the white house. prior to signing that $50 million uniform contract, the t.s.a. uniform allowance for security officers had already doubled last november as part of a new t.s.a. collective bargaining agreement to an estimated $9.57 million annually. this works out to $443 per
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t.s.a. employee per year. by comparison, officers in the united states are armed services receive either no uniform allowance or a one-time $400 billion -- $400 allowance over the lifetime of their service. there's no reason taxpayers should spend more on t.s.a. uniforms every year than a plarn corps lieutenant pays in a lifetime and the same taxpayers funding the t.s.a. officers' uniforms are being denied now the opportunity to tour the white house, the people's house. this amendment has been scored by c.b.o., which found it would result in no net change in budget authority and would result in an estimated decrease in fy 2013 of outlays of $1 million. so it's an amendment that saves money. these white house tour closings are actually falling on the burden of members of congress because it's our responsibility
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to organize the tours, get the permission, and we're the ones who are now telling our constituents that tours that were previously approved we have to call and give them the bad news. in fact, today i had a couple of kansans and their three young boys on the capitol steps for a photograph and a conversation, and the constituent was the family from kansas was indicating how sad it was to tell their boys they no longer even though they were here in washington, d.c. they couldn't see the white house. and, in fact, they said, you know, we played by the rules. we signed up, we went through the security. for months we've been coming to washington, d.c., but we now arrive and the white house is something that's not available to us and to our boys. it's often that we're the ones now providing that news to families in kansas and across the country. my office has received lots of emails from concerned
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constituents, and including some whose tours aren't even scheduled to next may or june, sometime in the summer, asking whether or not we believe that the white house will be reopened to them by that time. between march 9 and march 21, just in that short period of time we've already canceled 16 previously approved white house tours. multiply that, assuming we're normal or average, that you multiply that by 100 senate offices, and 435 house members, that's a lot of americans who had hoped or thought they were going to see the white house on their visit to our nation's capital. i read today that the white house has indicated they're going to try to find ways, the president said he's going to find ways to get young people, children into the white house and i certainly express my desire to see that happen but i was thinking if we make that the case, then what happens to the kansan who is is the 91-year-old
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world war ii veteran back here to see the world war ii memorial and while here wants to see the white house? again, the white house should be available to all americans. in fact, people from around the globe, to see the home of our president. shaking up our entire touring scheduling process at a time in which the tourists are soon coming or coming now with spring break and cherry blossoms is something in my view that we can avoid, and this amendment would take money that we believe is less wisely spent and reopen the white house to the american people. so i appreciate the opportunity to explain my amendment, and would hope that we can find a way in working with the white house and working with the secret service to make sure that noble building at 1600 pennsylvania avenue is something
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that is available for americans to see, to view, and to be inspired. if one of those kids, one of those folks who walk through that white house someday may be the president of the united states and we do not want to do anything that hinders the opportunity for that inspiration to occur and for americans to continue to be proud in their executive officer, the president, and to be proud of the system of government we have. let's not lose the inspiration, let's not deny the american taxpayer, the american family the opportunity to see the white house at 1600 pennsylvania. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that major steve warren, a u.s. army officer who currently serves as defense legislative fellow in my office be granted floor privileges during the consideration of h.r. 933. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: mr. president, i chair the energy and natural
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resources committee, and in that capacity i want to take just a couple of minutes to speak against the toomey amendment. that's amendment 115, that would slash in effect the biofuels program at the department of deference. of course, we are going to hear that this will save money that with the sequester and a very tough set of financial circumstances, the president of the senate knows all too well, the argument will be we cannot afford to have this biofuels program in the department of defense. my argument, mr. president, would be we cannot afford not to have this program. and i'm going to take just a couple of minutes and try to describe why that is the case. right now the department of defense is the single largest user of energy in our country,
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with annual fuel expenditures in excess of $16 billion. so you have this massive need for energy at the pentagon, really a thirst for energy at the pentagon, and fluctuations in global energy prices have in effect enormous effects on defense spending. every $10 increase in a barrel of oil costs the american military annually an extra $1.3 billion. now, for some time there has been a recognition among military experts and some are in the president's home state, massachusetts, where they have spent a lot of time looking at these issues, and there's been a recognition that the military, particularly the pentagon, is exactly the place where we ought to be looking for fresh, innovative approaches in order to cut energy use and find
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alternative sources. now, for the life of me i cannot figure out how somehow this effort by the pentagon -- let me repeat, by our country's, you know, military -- has somehow been con flated into some kind of green plot, some kind of plot by those who are obsessed with green energy and are simply interested in promoting programs to satisfy their ideological spung interest. -- you know, interest. the reason this is being pursued at the pentagon is not because this is somehow some sort of green plot, some sort of subversive green plot. this is being pursued at the pentagon because they have made the judgment that these kinds of alternative fuels and supporting them is a pivotal national security matter. this isn't about some kind of ideological green agenda.
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this is about national security and their judgment is that we need exactly this kind of -- of effort. and d.o.d. contracts are particularly crucial because they help promote research and development, you know, efforts. what we have seen repeatedly is a lot of the most exciting alternative fuels, the biofuels have enormous, you know, potential and the challenge is to keep driving down the cost and do it in a cost-effective kind of way. that is exactly what goes on now at the department of defense as it relates to biofuels and it is exactly what would be undermined if the toomey amendment, the amendment 115, was passed and signed into -- into law. last point i'd make, mr. president, is bloomberg, which has a new energy finance unit, a special unit that looks at these issues, their analysts
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predict that some aviation biofuels are going to be cost competitive, cost competitive with standard jet fuel, in just a few years. that will happen, mr. president, if we undermine current development rates in this area of biofuels at the department of defense. that's why, mr. president, and colleagues, i feel so strongly about opposing the toomey amendment on biofuels at the pentagon. i hope my colleagues will agree. mr. president, with that, i would yield the balance of my time. and i would note also, mr. president, the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. a senator: thank you, mr. president. i ask that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. shaheen: i came to the floor this evening to address senator toomey's amendment that would remove provisions around biofuels. it's amendment number 115. i think it's important to point out that this is really more
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than a budget issue. the presiding officer knows that because he and i worked together to address this when we passed the defense authorization bill. this is really a national security issue. i had the opportunity as chair of the water and power subcommittee and energy to go down to norfolk to have a hearing aboard the u.s.s. kearsarnlg to talk about exactly what the navy and their -- and they are reflective of the military is doing to address energy use and saw some really amazing progress in terms of their reduction in energy use, their energy efficiency, saw some of the things that they're doing using solar blankets and small compact batteries out in the field. that's really changing their mission or allowing them to do their mission much better.
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what they pointed out is that our access to energy is really complicateed by political unrest, by threats to our supply lines around the globe, and we spend billions to protect these fragile supply lines. oil prices are set on a global market. they are often driven by speculation and rumor. and our military is too often exposed to price shocks. the military consumes about 300,000 barrels of oil a day, which is about $30 million a day. the federal government is the largest consumer of energy in the united states. 93% of that is consumed by the military, and for every dollar rise in a barrel of oil, the navy incurs a cost of $30 million. last year, at current -- at current prices. last year, the navy incurred a $1.1 billion budget shortfall because the cost of a barrel of
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oil increased by $38. now, the commander of the pacific fleet was forced to cut $200 million from its flying and steaming costs because of those cost increases, and in fiscal years -- fiscal year 2011 and 2012, the entire department of defense came up $5.6 billion short for military operations and maintenance because it had to spend more on fuel than it had anticipated. now, as i saw down in nor feek on the kearsarnlg, each of our services are making real progress on energy efficiency and on moving to alternative fuels. this is not the time to hinder those efforts. the gallon cost of test quantities of biofuels under navy contracts has declined more than 90% over the past two years, and it's going to continue to decline.
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the fact is that the navy and the department of defense have been on the leading edge of innovation and technological achievement over the last 200 years. this is another example of that innovation and technological advancement. last year, the chief of naval operations, admiral jonathan greenert, sent a letter to my office advocating his strong support for the navy's effort on biofuels and urging the congress to provide him with the flexibility to continue this effort. he said in that letter, and i quote -- "i support the secretary of navy's efforts to accelerate the establishment of a domestic alternative fuels industry through d.p.a. title 3. this effort will enhance our energy security by diversifying the supply of fuels. restricting this biofuel effort, as he said, will -- quote -- "impede america's energy security." i applaud my colleague, senator
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toomey, for the effort that he has made to look at what we're spending in government, to try and reduce those costs. he and i are working very closely to try and reduce the costs of sugar subsidies in this country, but this is a place where for short-term gain they would really risk the long-term benefit, and so i would urge my colleagues to oppose the toomey amendment and to make sure that our military continues to be on the leading edge of energy security for the world. thank you, mr. 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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mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority whip, the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i ask to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i'd like to remember a friend of mine who passed away last night. andy athens was a brilliant business leader, the dean of the greek american community, founder and former president of
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the -- cofounder of the national coordinated effort of hellenes. we're grateful when his father left greece in 1904, he came to chicago. he provided steel to the world and good jobs and dignity to generations of chicago families. but his contributions went far beyond chicago. he attended the school of st. cons constantine in chicagoe he learned the importance of greek fullure and the greek orthodox church. when world war ii came, andy served as a captain in europe and africa and was awarded a bronze star. but he brought more than a bronze star home from that experience. he stayed on in belgium after the ward ended to run a liberated ford motor company plant that was rebuilding american made cars and trucks for sale to european governments. landing that job was the second best thing that happened to him in belgium. by far his greatest stroke of
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luck was he met his wife louise. before he retired from the steel business he used to have to carry two briefcases to keep his activities straight. in one was the things he needed for business. the other held the briewpts and details of all the works of philanthropy by the council of hellenes. in the intraition of cyprus in 74 he founded the congress to press for peace and justice in cyprus. he served as president or chairman or both over the years and every greek american organization wanted andy to be part of it. in 1995, leaders of organizations representing the seven million hellenes living outside of greece met to create an organization uniting all greeks around the world. the wrult was the world council of hellenes.
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who did they choose as the new president? the dean, andy athens. if they there were hellenes on other planets, he would have been elected as their president as well. he was. he was a leader for human dignity and service to others. he and the organizations he helped to establish brought hope, opportunity and justice and the priceless gift of health to millions around the world. last year i went to eastern europe but i met with leaders in several nations that not so long ago were part of the soviet union. so often happens when i visit other lands i found myself following in andy's footsteps. i traveled to the nation of georgia, where hellenic care supports a number of health care centers. i visited the ukraine, home to hellenic care's visiting nurses program. i went to armenia where thousands of people each month receive dare at a clinic
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received by hellenic care. this was a man whose good works are known throughout the world. as our friend senator mikulski said andy athens was a one-man foreign aid program. other than faith and program family, no --. the presiding officer: the senator will suspend. we need order in this chamber. the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: other than faith and family no cause was dearer to the yeas and nays are ordered than the cause of freedom and justice for cyprus. he did more than any other american to end the division and occupation of cyprus and to keep the cause of justice for cyprus on our nation's gend agenda. for his efforts he received countless honorsing through including the grand cross of the republic of cyprus and the hellenic republic's highest honor, the gold cross of the order of the phoenix. he was 90 years old when he passed away. we offer our condolences to andy's wife, and his legions of
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friends. he was a hero not only of this nation but greece, cyprus and so many other nations. i'm proud to say is my friend and i will miss him. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from mrs. mick: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: to my colleague and friend from illinois, through you, i'd like to express my condolences to the athens family. andy athens was a good friend to me. we had such a warm, cordial, affectionate relationship. but he made that easy because of the kind of man he was. a real entrepreneur in that immigrant sense starting with very little and really built a business. but along the way, he not only built a business, but a fume and a community. and i enjoyed working with him on so many issues. yes, we did work with cyprus. the fact that cyprus has yet to
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be unified, that it's still occupied in northern cyprus. but was the senator from illinois aware of his work in creating health services in russia and in the orthodox community there for people wh who -- he was like a one-man n.g.o. and what he did. was the senator aware of that? mr. durbin: the senator from maryland referred to him once as a one-man foreign aid program. ms. mikulskims. mikulski: i'm gt that in neon here tonight, yes. mr. durbin: what an extraordinary man. and what a life legacy he leaves, not only in illinois but in washington. i was told he passed away peacefully in the night. last time i saw him was in the capitol building about a year ago and you could tell he was struggling a little bit. but it was a day when he was honored and everyone cheered him on and i was just happy to be there. such an extraordinarily good m
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man. and you and i value our own heritage and the fact that so many people from different parts of the world come here, proud to be american but also proud of their roots and try to do something for the country they came from or their family came from. andy was one of those people. ms. mikulski: absolutely. senator, i'm so pleased, if i might comment, that you brought this to the attention of the full senate. i will submit my own statement for the record. we would welcome to know how we could get in touch with the athens family. but let me say it to you. mr. durbin: i thank the senator from maryland. and i might also add that her former colleague, senator paul sarbanes, was a dear, close friend to andy athens and whenever we would have a meeting of the hellenic group here in the capitol, you always new that paul sarbanes and andy athens were going to be right there in front with the manatos family and others. a wonderful group both in chicago and here. mr. president, i yield the flo floor.
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: at the end of a long, hard few days, people probably aren't expecting me to say some positive things about republicans but i think it's appropriate to do so. first of all, the speaker sent us this bill at a time when we had an opportunity to look at it and work on it. he should be commended, as i do commend him, for doing that. rather than trying to jam us on something right before the c.r. expires. we've val yentdlwe've valiantlye this a better bill and that has been done because of the outstanding work of senator
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mikulski and senator shelby. the product that we have is a good product. it funds the government for six months. that's all. but it's good. because not only does it fund the government for six months but it allows us to get back to regular order here, which we've all been talking about doing. not only is this legislation important, but what we're going to do to follow up, to do regular appropriation bills, to fund government for the year 2014 -- fiscal year 2014. so, mr. president, we've made progress on this bill. we voted on some important matters. but i have to say, i'm disappointed in a number of my democrats and a number of democrats because we have to compromise and work together to get this done. as an example, we have five different amendments that have been offered on egypt. this is a c.r. for six months.
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we have a functioning foreign relations committee. that's where this should take place. i've spoken to chairman menend menendez. there are people on his committee who are offering various versions of what should happen to egypt. we all have concerns about egy egypt. our funding in egypt, maintaining stability in the region, supporting israel. we have, as i've indicated, five senators who have filed five separate, distinct amendments. and literally staffs with senators have worked all day coming up with an amendment that democrats and republicans could agree on. it hasn't been done. doesn't mean it can't be done but it hasn't been done. i would again remind senators
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that this is a continuing resolution. the long-term solution to the situation in the middle east is not a short-term c.r. whatever we do on this bill would expire in six months anyway. the issue should be brought up in committees and worked on there and brought to us and that's what my republican friends have said they wanted, that's what my democratic friends said they wanted. they want to get back to where we do that kind of work. i thank very much senator menendez, rubio, leahy, mccai mccain. remember, two and two, two democrats, two republicans, i appreciate the work they've done, but we haven't been able to merge these different approaches to get something done. we behind the scenes around here, just because you don't see a lot of talking going on here doesn't mean there isn't a lot of work going on. there have been numerous
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discussions about how to get to the amendments and to the shape that they could be voted on. mr. president, we can't even -- we can't even get senators to agree that we should have votes on amendments until "i want mine, if he gets his, i want mine." so we've had difficulty on both sides to agree on a path forward. now, the speaker has been pretty clear. he said, unless we get a bill that doesn't have a lot of junk in it -- and i'm paraphrasing what he said but to get point -- he said he's going to strike everything and sent us back a straight c.r. he's said that publicly, not privately. so we need to move forward cautiously but quickly. we have next week, mr. president, something that we have had speeches on both sides of this aisle -- of this senate on we need to do a budget.
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as we speak, the budget committee is in session working to get a budget so that we can work on it next week. now, the budget is defined how we do it. there's a statute that says there's no filibusters on this, there are certain ways you can slow it down a little but but there's 50 hours. that's how much time we get plus the vote atho vote-a-thon after. so yesterday i filed a motion on the pending substitute and the underlying bill. what i would request -- and i've spoken to the managers of this bill -- that they and their staffs make themselves available to senators and senators' staff to try to come up with a finite list of amendments. not amendment -- not a hundred but a finite, small list of amendments that we think would improve this bill and not
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further develop the ire of the speaker, who's kind of in charge of a lot of what we do around here. even though we're on the other side of the capitol than he is. so i would hope that the managers, they've already agreed to be available, their staffs will be available to work on a finite list of amendments. staff needs to be reasonable, senators need to be reasonable. it's doable -- it's doable. we can do this. and if there's a finite list of amendments, we would complete this work on this matter monday. if -- if we don't, then there's not much choice we have except to vote on cloture on monday. one way or the other, we're going to move forward with this bill on monday. i hope the senate will be able to come to a resolution of this important appropriations matter on monday. we need to do that. i hope the senate can turn immediately after that to the budget resolution. and i can't say enough how much i appreciate the efforts of
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senators mikulski and shelby. they've had a very difficult time trying to manage people that at times are unmanageable. so, mr. president, they're -- that's it for tonight. we're going to -- again, we'll go out tonight, have people work to try to come up with a list of amendments that will allow us to move forward on this bill. ms. mikulski: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. ms. mikulski: mr. president, i know we're going to go out. i want to thank the majority leader for his kind words. i want to assure the leader and the republican leader that the staffs of the appropriations committee will be working once again through another weekend to striewt news these amendments. we now have 99 amendments pending. 9-9 -- another weekend to scrutinize these amendments. we now have 99 amendments
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pending. 9-9. in order to properly advise the senate and to ensure that they've good -- viewed good scrutiny from a budgetary standpoint, policy, to be able to consult with one another, it requires us working through the weekend. we're ready to do it. we'll work -- we worked last weekend. senator shelby and i were in frequent contact. i was -- we were in frequent contact with our house counterparts, congressman rogers and congresswoman nita, who graciously made themselves available just to get their view on their lay of the land. so we'll do it again. but what we would like -- you know, every senator has a right to offer amendments. every senator has a right to have his or her day. but i would hope they wouldn't do it all on this amendment or all on this bill. this is the continuing funding resolution. we've worked with such diligence and such a sense of cooperation and bipartisanship.
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our goal is to get the federal government funded through the fiscal year october 1 to avoid a government shutdown. this is not a barbara mikulski threat. we have a due date on march 27 when it expires. the congress leaves for its easter passover break next friday, the 22nd. so i would really say to my colleagues, now that we have the amendments, we will do our due diligence. the senators will know our analysis and their own respective staffs' analysis. so on monday once again, on the floor, will be shelby-mikulski, mikulski-shelby, we will be ready to move amendments. we need our colleagues ready to move on their own amendments and to cooperate with us in offering them, debating them and putting them in the sequence that has the greatest leverage to get the job done. i really can't say enough about the help that i've gotten from
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senator shelby, my vice chairman, the distinguished gentleman from alabama, his staff, and the cooperation we've received from the minority. this is not the usual, you know, slamdown party politics. this is a big bill. it is the funding for the government of the united states. there is a lot of pent-up desire to participate in policy making. but this is, let's keep it to not what we would like it to do, let's keep it to what we must do. what we would like to do can come on the budget next week and can come as we bring individual bills up where we can really dive deep into the issues, the policies and the funding. so let's do what we can but i would hope on monday, senators come ready to really wrap it up because we would -- we would have liked to have sent our bill to the house at 12:00 noon today. well, it didn't work out that
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way. so we're ready to do business, we're ready to get the job done. we would love to get this job done monday night, if we could. mr. president, i again want to thank everyone. i also want to thank our staffs on both side of the aisles who have been working so assiduously for the last several weeks to get this bill ready to present to the senate, to the floor, and what they'll continue to do to help us do our job. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. shelby: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. shelby: i want to take a few minutes this evening to thank the majority leader, senator reid, and also the republican leader, senator mcconnell, for helping us come together and being where we are thus far. i also want to thank senator mikulski, the chairperson of the full committee on appropriations. we have been working and we have made some progress. we would like to have finished
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this bill tonight. there are a lot of amendments, i think 90 something that senator mikulski said. i hope people will try and work this weekend and try to get this. we need to pass this bill. this is one of the cleanest appropriations bills i've seen since i have been up here. we have said no to the democrats, senator mikulski has, and i have said no to the republicans on some things. we want -- we have got a continuing resolution, i call it a hybrid, with five appropriations bills. we can do this and this would extend -- this would take care of the government -- you know the words, not go from crisis to crisis -- until the end of this fiscal year, september 30, where we can get on the budget and other things. america's watching us, and we're trying to respond here in a bipartisan way, and i -- i hope that we can make a lot of progress this weekend. our staffs are going to be here
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working. we're going to be working. and come monday, we need to move this bill. mr. reid: mr. president, before the senator leaves the floor. and i apologize for not mentioning senator mcconnell. senator mcconnell, when this bill came from the house, stood up for the prerogatives of the senate. he said they have done in subcommittees, we're going to do our own. so i failed to mention my friend, senator mcconnell. i'm glad you did. because we're here today making as much progress as we had because of senator mcconnell standing up for the senate. mr. shelby: because of both of them. thank you. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that we now proceed to a period of morning business, senators allowed to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent national notwithstandine adoptioning the inhofe amendment
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it be modified with the changes at the desk at the proper location of the substitute amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding adjournment or recess of the senate, the budget committee be authorized to report legislative matters on friday, march 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: there are two bills at the desk for the first reading. i would ask that the chair direct those to be read en bloc. the presiding officer: the clerk will report by title for the first time. the clerk: s. 582 a bill to approve the keystone xl pipeline. s. 58 , a bill to implement equal protection under the 14th article to the constitution, the right to rife in each born and preborn human person. mr. reid: i object to both bills at this time.
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the presiding officer: the bills will be read for the second time during the next legislative day. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the appointment at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 2:00 p.m. on monday, march 18, that following the prayer and pledge, the journal be approved, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders reserved for use later in the day and following any leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of h.r. 933, mr. president, further that second-degree amendment deadline for filing those would be 4:30 p.m. on monday. finally, notwithstanding rule 22 the cloture vote on the mikulski-shelby intamentd substitute amendment be at 5:30 p.m. on monday. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: managers will work on
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a finite number to the c.r., expect a cloture or votes in relation to the amendments. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 2:00 p.m. that
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further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: yesterday i udgetcconnell: yesterday i >> yesterday, i asked senate democrats to put forward a und,ghtful budget that could bec rallied around. one that controls spending, gete our economy healthy again andrmo advances a serious reform necessary to make government programs more efficient, effect they been responsive to theonsie needs of the 21st century ned tm americans. seasked them to please shut theu tax takes because we understand the negative effect our taxes would have on our fragile o economy and the millions of americans still looking for alr work. it's also because we know washington democrats gotd rememe $600 billion in taxes they
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demanded earlier this year.han and $1 trillion they got in taxes from obamacare timegot in taxes from obamacare we tried that. in fact, at a time when americans believe about half of every dollar they send to washington is wasted, the democratic budget would increase democratic budget would increase they nearly 62%. it. and it will let medicare and
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social security drift ever closer to bankruptcy. and then there's the democrats' $1.5 trillion tax hike. that's trillion with a "t." let me just repeat that. any senator who votes for that budget is voting for a $1.5 trillion tax hike, the largest tax hike in american history. so the senate democrat budget is more than just disappointing. it's extreme. extreme. it's really one of the most extreme, most left-wing budgets of the modern era. it says something, i think, about today's washington democrat. there was a time when the democratic party cared about fiscal responsibility, when democrats understood the need to be concerned about the impact their policies would have on hardworking taxpayers, a time when they would have rejected this budget as a joke. a joke. but those voices of reason have
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been mostly chased out of today's d.c. democrats. the few who remain have been sidelined and silenced throughout the budget process. even the chairman of the finance committee has been pushed aside so his fellow democrats can quickly ram through their massive tax hike. so it will be no surprise to hear that my conference opposes this left-wing manifesto masquerading as a responsible budget. and when americans get a chance to digest their budget and the one house republicans put forward earlier this week, they'll see some very clear differences between a budget that balances and one that enshrines waste and cronyism. between a budget that helps bring the economy back to health and one that kills jobs. between a budget that measures compassion and how many people it helps and one that counts compassion and how many hard-earned tax dollars are sent to washington for politicians to
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waste, between a budget that strengthens medicare and one that would put medicare even further out of reach for future generations. in short, it will see a bold reformist republican budget centered on their needs and an extreme democratic budget centered on the needs of washington bureaucrats and politicians. i hope senate democrats think again before they choose to pass such an extreme budget forward, because i think they'll find americans agree with republicans on the most important point. on the most important point. they also discussed the house republican budget, which cleared the committee on a partyline vote last night. their comments are about 15
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minutes. >> senator reid, thank you for my need to let you know in the middle of our budget marketing will get marketing will get back to that in just a few minutes. i wanted to come in and tell all defendant budget reflects the progrowth pro-middle-class agenda at the american people went to the polls and supported last november. our budget is built on three principles. number one, when he took protect our fragile economic recovery, create jobs and invest in long-term growth. number two, we need to tackle her deficits and debt fairly and responsibly in number three keep the promises we've made as a nation to her seniors, families and community. the senate budget takes us the rest of the way to the 4 trillion call we all know about and beyond. it builds on the 2.4 showing dollars in deficit reduction that authority done. we add an additional 1.5 trillion in new deficit
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reduction for a total of 4.25 billion in reduction since the same symbols are poor. this is a jobs and economic growth budget. we believe that the unemployment rate to remain stubbornly high in a middle-class producing wages stagnate for too long, we cannot afford any threats to fragile recovery. that's why our budget uses equal amounts of responsible as spending cuts for the wealthiest americans to fully repays the custard sequestration to threaten hundreds of thousands of jobs easier and cuts that will endanger our economic growth for years to come. the senate budget is a balanced and responsible approach. the house of representatives is also working on their budget resolution as you know and there were serious differences between division and the values and priorities within our two approaches. but the american people are going to have an opportunity to
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examine budget side-by-side. they will decide which approach is best for our economy, thus for a job in this for the middle class. so let us know whether they want us to go back down the path of trickle-down policies that decimated our middle class and your economy into a tailspin or if they would prefer approach we've seen before tackle her death is a responsibly, reinvest in our middle class, fully strong foundation and restore the american opportunity. senator reid i will go back to that. we will be on the floor next week and get this out of this in a responsible way. >> during my athletic days i played baseball. i never batted cleanup. thank you for that. [laughter] >> would have to say this for
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congressman paul ryan. unfortunately being wrong doesn't earn you any points when it comes to helping senior citizens across. the budget for 2014 this is bad for seniors as his budget last year and the year before that and the year before that. there's a reason you are. all rights budget is march madness when it comes to seniors. thankfully the american people have made it clear they reject the approach and the house republicans brazen attempt to balance the budget on the backs of seniors is unacceptable. this year's budget is in a path to prosperity for america's seniors. it's a path to poverty. the nine budget includes ill conceived unclear shift more medicare costs to seniors. once again, ryan medicare voucher schemes are short on detail spirit we don't know how much missing or so pay out of pocket, but here's so we do
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know. if it was his budget, ryan proposes to replace guarantee of health coverage at the voucher program beneficiaries can use to purchase private health insurance or join some version of medical care. i'm a state of illinois, 1.8 million seniors will be forced out of medicare and into a voucher program under the paul ryan approach. this program offers seniors back home in a state to pay more for the care they work their entire lives to care us. here's what else we know. private health insurance companies will enroll the healthiest beneficiaries, leaving medicare to care for the sickest at-risk seniors. this will cripple medicare and make seniors pay that much more. under the ryan plan, 3.5 million seniors and 133,000 in illinois would pay more for prescription drugs next year. to be 7 million seniors and 1.4 million in illinois would be
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faced and i'll pay for preventive health services under par rights budget. that's the real impact of policies. last year cbo laid out possible outcomes are shifting to this opinion support. here's what they said. to reduce access and diminished the quality of care. cbo said beneficiaries may face higher costs. the budget offered by senator murray strengthens and preserves medicare for future generations. according to cbo, medicare will spend $500 billion lesser 2020 when compared to the 2010 estimate. this means the affordable care to saving money and yesterday for the 34th or 35th time, congress reaffirmed for the amendment was suffered to abolish it. there's space to reformat, ways to make it more efficient without harming beneficiaries. paul ryan does a company chooses to ignore it.
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instead, it would make seniors and for themselves against insurance companies and spend higher percentage of income on prescription drugs and they wouldn't receive the care they need because they couldn't afford it. that may be pomerance vision for america, but it's march madness. it is not my vision in his not the america our seniors want. >> thank you. they have talked about the value choices between divine budget and the budget we are supporting. there's another issue. divine budget doesn't have to. it does not reduce the deficit and 10 years. we don't post it because i'm medicare and got programs that help the middle class and turned around to give huge tax breaks to millionaires, that's a value choice. congressman ryan is also claiming a different kind of balance. he says by 2023, his plan will bring outlays and revenues into total balance and reduce annual deficits to zero. what hasn't been focused on his
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that's just not sure. what is budget truly achieve balance? only if you believe in magic. the trick is congressman ryan's fiscal plan relies on a lot of budgetary sleight of hand in order to create the illusion of a balanced budget. the document is filled with deceptive gimmicks, far-fetched assumptions and tony arithmetic. there is a report called paul ryan's hocus-pocus budget. the house gop magic tricks that create the optical illusion of a balanced budget. a month of magic tricks ryan performs, presto come he proposes more than 4.5 million -- trillion in tax cuts for wealthiest americans get claims this one into the
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deficit. rather cut the top rate from 396025. independent experts say the only way to achieve tax cuts on the scale and a deficit neutral way were to be eliminate deductions. the average tax increase for middle-class families would be $1300. this wine really plan to follow through with a major tax hike on middle-class families? hardly. the alternative is to read $4.5 trillion to the deficit and eliminate any chance of balancing the budget in 10 years. second, he is unrealistically rosy assumption. for instance come despite the massive tax cut rate that ryan is promising to the nation's top earners, he claims revenue levels would average about 19% of gdp during the ten-year budget window. they found assuming ryan doesn't
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plan to raise middle-class taxes for his rate cut total revenue would be 15.5%. his discrepancy creates a $7 trillion revenue hole. the tax cap would leave the budget 1.2 trillion short of balance in the 10th year. third, ryan claims a 716 billion in medicare savings from the affordable care despite promising to repeal the law. of course congressman ryan campaign was that romney throughout the fall criticizing the president and congressional democrats are making cuts to medicare. they falsely claimed reforms would cut medicare in her seniors, yet now ryan is once again using the same saving to help his baseline. he publicly technologies he is cherry-picking a 700 billion savings in his budget because it makes it easier for him to make the math work.
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you can't say i'm going to eliminate obamacare but i'm still going to gain $716 billion. to take one more example, the 810 billion medicaid savings are not savings at all. they are just cost transferred to the estate tax by block granting programs that bring efficiency to the program, simply shifts the burden. this is just the beginning of the first enacted the details are all outlined in this report. the bottom line is divine budget is anything but balanced can assert enough in the sense we democrats need, but not even by his own sense of balance. to make the numbers line up, the congressman has had to resort creative accounting and several policy for laughs. on closer inspection, he screams about achieving a balanced budget in 10 years quickly go up in smoke.
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now batting fourth for the las vegas -- [inaudible] the las vegas baseball team. >> named area 51. it doesn't exist. i'm sorry patty is not here to hear me say publicly how proud i am of her. she has some big shoes to fill. kent conrad we know was an economic guru. he was very, very good. patty murray has stepped into this budget and done wonderfully. and very commit very happy with her budget and it reflects how we used to do things around here during the clinton era. we are going back to that.
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patty murray's budget gives a guideline to do that, where we have the ability to reduce the deficit. prior to doing that as we all know we have to make a few investments. you can't continue cutting your way to prosperity. we've done well with what were able to do to have a government doing better economically. we have a long ways to go and points us in the right direction.
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>> the public isn't paying as much attention as i am and you are and those of us who are part of the political community. but i call the political community is probably about 10 million people and the people that watch c-span, "meet the press," fox news. i watch msnbc, to a lesser extent cnn. but they really care about politics a lot. with 120, 130 voters. his work goes on in politics in washington is back convoys. the background noise comes pretty much when the mainstream media with people forming an opinion of romney and so on.
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as the fox news doesn't reach most of those people. fox gets great ratings, has a loyal audience, but look at the bill o'reilly show. it gets to come the 3 million a night. we have a big country and in the conservative media only reaches a tiny chunk of it. >> now, senator marco rubio followed by senator ben pollack the conservative political action, as in each spoke for about 20 minutes. [cheers and applause]
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[cheers and applause] >> thank you very much. a major sale of the hospitality, but this is an exaggeration. one should suffice. thank you so much. maybe some of you are here. three years ago i came here on my chances of winning were as much as a conclave, but i won thanks to all of you and hope you given me in your support. for me to you why i ran three years ago. iran because i believe the country's extraordinary special and i believe it's in trouble and headed in the wrong direction. three years later, i believe more today than i did three years ago. and we have to do something about it and that's what we are here to talk about today.
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now what a sense of a lot of people have been talking to a secret that somehow america has changed, our people are changed, that we reached the point in time and had too many people in america that went to metro government and the changes that happen are to reverse will never be the same again. i want you to understand that stature. our people have not changed. the vast majority of the american people are hard-working taxpayers who take responsibility for their families, go to work everyday, pay their mortgage, volunteer in the community. visit the vast majority still are. that's changed is the world around us. it's changed in dramatic ways. take a much the world has changed in the last 10 years. the global economy is real. everything you buy, everything you sell, everything he touches impacted by things happening halfway around the world. the information age is real and has made our life easier. it's a


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