tv U.S. Senate CSPAN May 7, 2013 12:00pm-5:01pm EDT
a senator: ,madam president, how are you today? i would ask to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the medine nomination. a senator: ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the yeas are 52, the nays, 45, and the nomination is confirmed. mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid on the table, the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action,
and the senate will resume their legislative session. the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, i just wanted to talk for a moment. you know, i've heard a lot from my constituents that they are very tired of the dysfunction here in washington, d.c. they're tired of political gridlock that impacts their businesses, their children's schools, their paychecks. and after spending last week with families and businesses that are impacted by sequestration in my home state of washington, i know this is especially true right now. madam president, when i became chair of the senate budget committee, i said, i hoped that democrats and republicans would be able to work together to end the cycle of governing from crisis to crisis and the attempts to negotiate budget policy through brinksmanship, which we have seen far too much of in recent years. i believe this goal is just as important today and is, in fact, more attainable. but we need republicans to meet us at the table and proceed to
conference under regular order. we are at a unique moment in our debate about the country's fiscal and economic challenges. following the two years that the bipartisan budget control act took the place of a congressional budget, the senate returned to regular order this year and we passed a budget resolution. the house has also passed their budget and the president weighed in with a proposal for his path moving forward. we now have an opportunity to move through regular order to try to get a bipartisan budget agreement, and we should seize it. madam president, democrats and republicans have different perspectives on a wide variety of issues, but just a few months ago, it seemed that democrats and republicans did agree on at least one thing. the budget debate should proceed through regular order. democrats chose to move forward with a budget resolution through committee and said that an open process through regular order was the best way to reach
bipartisan agreement, and republicans agreed. they said that once the senate and house passed budgets -- quote -- "the work of conferencing must begin." they said that a conference was, and i quote -- "the best vehicle for the budget debate because we're doing it in plain sight." and they said we needed the open public debate that regular order requires. in fact, senator mcconnell said senate democrats should, and i quote -- "return to regular order and transparency in the legislative process." the obama administration has also said regular order is the way to proceed, but, madam president, senate republicans have now blocked our efforts to move to conference not once but twice. some republicans said they want to negotiate a framework behind closed doors before going to conference, but that's what a budget is. it's a framework that lays out our values and our priorities and helps us plan for the country's future. i think that framework is exactly what we ought to be
debating in a former and public conference, and there's no reason to wait. now, i know this isn't going to be easy. there are vast differences between the senate and the house budgets and the visions that we each present, but i believe we will be most effective at resolving these differences if we have time for open debate and discussion and opportunities to identify common ground. waiting until the last minute is not a good option. the uncertainty that is caused in the leadup to every manufactured crisis over the past two years has hurt our businesses, it has hurt our economy, and it is threatening our fragile economic recovery. it keeps us from planning and investing in our future, and it makes americans question whether or not their government is capable of solving any problems that confront us. now, i know and we all know there are extreme elements in our political system that think compromise is a dirty word. i know some republicans think they don't have the political
space to make a bipartisan deal until the very last minute of a crisis, but i believe that many of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle here want to return to regular order and move us away from the constant crisis, and i'm hoping that the voices of reason win, because american families and our businesses expect us to do better than running down the clock. so i urge my republican colleagues to join us now in proceeding to a conference through regular order as they have said we should. that is the best way to reach a deal that is the best and most responsible path for our country to move forward on. so, madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar number 33, h. con. res. 25, that the amendment which is at the desk, the text of s. con. res. 8, the budget resolution passed by the senate, be inserted in lieu thereof, that h. con. res. 25 as amended be agreed to, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, that the senate insist on its
amendment, request a conference with the house on the disagreeing votes of the two houses and the chair be authorized to appoint conferees on the part of the senate, all with no intervening action or debate. a senator: madam president, would the senator yield for a question? is a question in order? mrs. murray: there is a u.c. before the senate. if no one objects, i would be happy to answer a question. ms. landrieu: reserving the right to object, which i'm not going to do, but i just want to clarify the senator's motion. you're simply asking us to move the budget, which you passed after a heroic effort on the part of many to pass a budget, so that we could move to regular order, your amendment, your consent is only asking us to move with all due speed to a conference to resolve the differences between the house budget and the senate budget, is that your understanding? mrs. murray: the senator from louisiana is correct. the u.c. that i am requesting simply takes us to conference so
the house and the senate members can agree, republicans and democrats alike, to work towards a bipartisan solution. ms. landrieu: one more question. aren't there republicans represented on that committee? in fact, would the republicans have the majority representation from the house? mr. mcconnell: parliamentary inquiry, are we making a speech here or are we considering objecting to a consent request? the presiding officer: is there objection to the request? mr. mcconnell: reserving the right to object, i would ask consent that the senator modify her request so that it not be in order for the senate to consider a conference report that includes tax increases or reconciliation instructions to increase taxes or raise the debt ceiling. the presiding officer: is there objection? mrs. murray: madam president, reserving the right to object, and i will in a moment, we considered over 100 amendments on the floor. all of those kinds of amendments were brought up, debated and considered as part of the resolution, as we do on any debate, so there is no need to go back and redo all of our amendments again, so i would object and ask simply again our u.c. to move forward to
conference so we can discuss all of these issues in regular order. the presiding officer: objection is noted. is there objection to the original request? mr. mcconnell: i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. ms. landrieu: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. ms. landrieu: can i be heard for three minutes on this subject? the presiding officer: without objection. ms. landrieu: thank you. madam president, this is very disturbing that the minority leader has objected taking the budget to conference because it's the only way to get a compromise on the budget is to take it to conference, as the chair of the budget committee has asked us to do, to work out the differences between the republican version of the budget and the democratic version of the budget. right now, president obama has some ideas about what his budget would look like. the democrats and republicans passed a budget here. the republicans have passed a budget on the house side.
the only way to work that out is following the leadership of the chairman of the budget committee who is a senior member now of this body who understands regular order, understands the art of compromise, understands that there is a democratic-controlled senate, a republican-controlled house and a democratic president, all who have legitimate but varying views about how the budget should be worked out. may i say a very important subject, madam president, for the people of the united states, because we're running deficits as far as the eye can see and while we have made some progress in cutting substantially and we have raised some revenues, it's important to get our budget better in balance so that we can grow this economy, keep this recovery going, stop throwing cold water on the recovery that is under way and help americans get jobs and create business. i am flabbergasted to hear that
the minority leader has just said no to that plan, said no, we're not going to conference, we object, unless you do x, y and z. it's always a -- you know, an objection, a but. you know, democrats could come to this floor and say the same thing, madam president. i don't want to go to conference unless we decide we cannot under any circumstance even talk about medicaid or social security or cutting education or health care. we won't go to conference unless we put that on the table. you'll never get to conference if both sides dig in before the discussions can even begin. that's where we are. and i can understand the majority leader's frustration, and i most certainly appreciate the leadership of the budget committee chair, and i am just so sorry to see that the chairman of the budget committee cannot even get the budget to conference to begin the debate on compromise because of this, you know, nonregular order
status that the republican minority, led by the senator from texas, of course, but reiterated by the senator from kentucky. mrs. murray: mr. president? madam president? i thank the senator from louisiana. i must say i am really frustrated and shocked at the reaction of our republican counterparts who have repeatedly, repeatedly said to the senate you need to pass a budget. and we did so under regular order, and everyone will remember the night we spent here until 5:00 a.m. going through hundreds of amendments, the ones that the majority leader just objected to that he wanted guarantees on before we went to conference, we voted on all those amendments. that's what this process is all about. how can i as budget chairman now do what the country is asking us to do, which is to compromise, move forward and solve our problems rather than managing by crisis? if we can't go to conference, how are we going to get a budget
agreement moving forward? everyone in this country knows this debate. it's gone on for several years. it went through the super committee. it went through an election where people's voices were heard. and now after just berating us for not having a budget, the senate republicans are saying well, that didn't matter, we don't care if you have a budget. we're just going to sit here. madam president, that kind of chaos is exactly what this country does not need when it comes to our fragile economy today and people are trying to get back on their feet. i am ready to go to work. i am ready to sit down with republican leadership from the budget committee and the house and their conferees to put our ideas on the table and to make some tough choices, but i can't do it until the senate republicans quit objecting to us going to conference to get that done. so the third time we've asked, third time we have been turned down. we're going to keep trying to get this done, madam president. i am committed to solving one of the biggest problems facing our
country. give us certainty. get us back on track, but i can't do it when the republicans are objecting to allow us to go to conference. so i'm very disappointed, madam president, and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until >> as you heard the senate's in recess now to allow members to attend their weekly party meetings. before gaveling out they confirmed david medine has chair of privacy and liberties oversight board and vote on that was 52-45. when lawmakers return at 2:15 they will start work on a water projects bill to authorize the army corps of engineers to work on a number of water sup projects. the bill is expected to take up the rest of the week. we'll have live coverage of the senate when they return on c-span2. that will be 2:15 eastern. news from the defense
department. associated press writing officials say number of sex obama assaults reported by members of the military prove 3192 to 3174 last year. the department estimates that 26,000 servicemembers were assaulted based on anonymous surveys. this comes day after the arrest on sexual battery of the air force officer charge in sexual battery and defense unit. and that will be live on our website, c-span.org. a short time ago, south korean president arrived at the white house for meetings with president obama. the two are expected to discuss u.s.-south korea relations as well as north korea's nuclear threats. the so you korean leader was elected just last year. she is the first woman to be elected as that country's president. there will be a joint news conference today that will take place a one 30 eastern. we'll bring that to you live
here on c-span2. >> the heralds leading the way. again weapons of war in previous centuries but now, symbols of sovereign authority. black rod, in charge of security and so much of administration of the house of lords. we'll see more of him in a short while. baroness desuza. lord chancellor kenneth clark bearing the purse with the speech. the dulg of norfolk and lord great chamberlain and of chumley. the king and duke of edinborough. >> the members and lords of the house of commons, my government's legislative program will focus on economic growth, justice and constitutional reform. >> queen elizabeth delivers
her government's priorities for the upcoming year during the state opening of the british parliament a live simulcast from the bbc wednesday morning at 5:30 eastern an c-span2 and c-span.org. remarks now from former secretary of state madeleine albright. she spoke last week at an event hosted by the truman national security project. she talks about the situation in syria and president obama's foreign policy agenda. >> my pleasure to welcome former secretary of state madeleine albright. she is excited to take our questions from our members and unlike what it might say in your program, her remarks are on the record. so please tweet away all of your little vip and staff and member cards. i will say your twitter handle. we're all about the social media right now. so tweet. as you all know secretary albright has been a beacon of american leadership and values around the world.
both as secretary of state and as ambassador to the united nations. beyond that though she serves for many of us as a role model. she is sort of a north star for strong, principled national security policy. she reminds us that america is the indispensable nation, not the only nation that makes a difference but the one required to bring most of the other nations together. and she is a strong woman who worked in foreign policy. the first secretary of state to be a many would, something many of us can forget now, there are so many in her shadows after she blazed a trail. she is not afraid to dive into political sites. on election day doing gotv, knocking on doors, canvasing. coincidentally, compared with a member of the truman staff. she is ready to get into the dirt as well as be the stateswoman and, that is what we all need to do to get the policies in this country that we need. at truman i've had the honor of her guidance has she serves on the advisory board
and advisory boards and chairwoman of ndi and other groups we think incredibly highly i of. as a testament to the endurance of her leadership madeleine albright once served in scott's position. she used to be the president of the center for national policy. having her today helps us bridge generations and it brings our groups together and please join me in welcoming secretary albright. [applause] >> good morning. thank you very much, dr. kleinfeld. rachel. it is very nice to be with all of you here this morning and i am truly an enthusiastic backer of the truman national security project and i'm very pleased to participate in this conference. also as the former president
of the center for national policy i am very happy to greet scott baits and peter and how really feel that it's rare in life that two projects or ideas that i have always believed in are actually able to connect and work together. so i'm very totally thrilled to be here. thank you very much. because i believe that this partnership between the truman project and cmp is a marriage made in think tank heaven which is where all true washingtonians hope to end up some day. the new partnership is exciting because it is going to enable all of us to focus, even more on the truman project's mission, to support an active, progressive and successful american foreign policy for years to come. that cause is indeed vital, not only for the united states but for the world and so i'm delighted to see so
many current and future leaders here. president obama has as we know recently embarked on a second term. secretary of state kerry has already traveled several times to the middle east and to the capitals in europe and asia and defense secretary hagel has been on the road nearly as often. give the existence of telephones and other modern convenes this much flying around may seem odd but it does reflect the complexity of the current moment and the urgency we all feel about finding solutions. the good news is that the president and his team begin from a much more favorable position than they did four years ago. i said then that every new american president inherits headaches but that in mr. obama's case he was being asked to deal with the entire emergency room. in the form of an international economic crisis, two hot wars,
al qaeda, and the steepest decline in america's international standing since the vietnam. since then i believe that we have made steady progress. at the president's direction, we have brought our combat troops home from iraq, where they never should have been in the first place. we have struck blow after blow against al qaeda, weakening and scattering its support structure and eliminating usama bin laden. with help from our nato allies we ended 40 years of dictatorship in libya. the administration has used diplomacy to tighten multilateral sanctions against iran, whose leaders are increasingly divided and under obvious stress. our message is clear, that iran will not be allowed to build or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons. mr. obama has also finalized trade agreements with south korea, panama and colombia. proposed one with the european union and the
creation of the trans-pacific partnership and presided over a surge in u.s. exports that increased the number of private sector jobs. and today's news is definitely good on the jobs market. obviously there is much more that has to be done but the truth is that with little fanfare, president obama has become the global's most widely respected major national leader. style is i canly many commented on the president's cool demeanor and his ability to project calm. this matters because panic is not helpful. when one is walking along a high wire, hundreds of feet above the ground. like a tightrope walker, mr. obama is trying to make forward progress without tipping too far in one direction or another. this reflects less a personal choice than it does common sense. in our era there is no perfect formula for shaping
world events. there are dangers on every side and so the watchword of the moment is balance. in syria, for example, the administration wants to build pressure on president assad to step down without paving the way when that happens, for heavily armed extremists to fill the vacuum. in north korea, our leaders have pushed back firmly against the harsh rhetoric of kim john upg -- sim
-- kim jong-un and assuring help of friends at the same time, leaving the door open to some kind of negotiations. in afghanistan, the president has honored our commitment to assist the national government but he is also said that we will neither pursue unachievable goals nor demands that our fighting men and women carry the burden forever. in the middle east secretary kerry is engaged in a brave effort to revive the peace process but with the understanding that we can
not want peace more than the israelis and palestinians. it is their land, their lives, and their future that will be at stake in any settlement. and finally in the economic arena the administration has sought to improve coordination with our allies and partners while going the extra mile in pursuit of a bipartisan budget agreement here at home. overall, mr. obama has adopted an approach
to global affairs that conveys confidence but not arrogance. his strategy has been to lecture less without leading less, to use words in a civil tone, that makes it easier for us others to stand with us. this has logic because with most countries most of the time persuasion works better than bullying. of course the administration does have its share of critics. many of these are easy to dismiss because they demand simple solutions to complex problems or because they are
so obviously biased. during the recent campaign president was accused of apologizing for america which he never did, of betraying israel, which is an outright lie and beliefing in climate change which really can't be helped. [laughter] [applause] other criticisms however are more thoughtful and reflect issues with which the administration itself continues to wrestle. these include the question of negotiating with the taliban. responding appropriately to syria's possible use of chemical weapons and developing a sustainable and transparent policy regarding drone technology. one good thing about this administration is that from top down it consist of critical thinkers who are open to new facts and ideas. this is in contrast to some leaders we've had in recent
past and it holds the promise of an even more effective foreign policy over the next 3 1/2 years. as we consider that prospect, it's important to understand the context within which our leaders must operate. for there are many currents at work in the world today that make it difficult to formulate a fully consistent foreign policy. the first and most obvious is globalization. in little more than a generation billions of previously isolated people have gained access to a vast reservoir of knowledge and to the means for broadcasting their opinions to a worldwide audience. this has extraordinary consequences for government, and for people who, for whatever reason, are unhappy and desire a change. neither elected leaders, nor autocrat i can ones are immune from pressure that is now eminating from social networks and the streets. we can see the results in the partisan divide that
plagues our own country, in the division in europe, in the overthrow of arab dictators, and in russia's pro-democracy movement and in the public unrest that is arising even in authoritarian societies such as china and vietnam. it is no accident that many countries new political leaders are popping up almost overnight and are able to capture votes. less because of their ideas than because of their skill in exploiting frustration. in some countries experiments are underway in quote, unquote, crowd sourcing, in crowd sourcing democracy in an effort to separate what is most valuable in popular opinion from what is either frivolous or dangerous. meanwhile dictators and kings are uneasy, prompting some to offer concessions to potential rivals and others to crack down.
looking to the future we must bear in mind that national leaders are increasingly vulnerable to changes in public sentiment but even as power within countries becomes more dispersed, the same is true of power among countries. in the past 15 years, several large developing economies have grown at a record pace, reshaping both the political and financial map of the world. so instead of the old system in which a few powerful governments set the agenda, many now have leverage and are using it. so in asia, china's testing how far it can go in claiming offshore territory, also coveted by its neighbors. india has moved to protect its interests in afghanistan. turkey has become deeply involved in arab politics. brazil is demanding a perfectly seat on the security council, and even tiny qatar is playing a significant role in north africa and the persian gulf.
although most countries still express a desire to work together their interests are diverse and their governments often lack the political security required to compromise. the consequence is a widening gap between the pace of events which is accelerating and the willingness of world leaders to take coordinated action which, if city breaking down. these changes may be unavoidable but they also contain risks because a third reality we face is the evolution of security threats. a direct, military confrontation between major powers is less likely today than at many times in the past. and that's good but the sobering fact is, that other nightmares loom. recent events in libya, mali, algeria and boston remind us that although al qaeda's original leadership has been dispersed, the grievances that gave life to that
movement continue to attract followers. we have to respond in ways that will protect us in the near-term without sowing the seeds of future violence. we can not defeat terrorists by creating more of them. accordingly we must win the battle of ideas wherever it is fought, in the classrooms, in houses of worship, and perhaps most of all, on the internet. cyber warfare too is a growing danger. at the level of harrassment and intelligence-gathering the battle of hackers has already begun. many of the west's leading financial and academic and media institutions have been dealt a warning blow. for americans, security will always require vigilance on land, sea and in the air. but, we have to strive as well to build a wall around our electronic infrastructure. it is little wonder that
while other job sectors stagnate, the market for aspiring cyber defenders has never been better. the fourth trend with which we must cope is related to the first three pillars, and those are the pillars of the post-war international system which i believe are weaking. the imf, and the world bank still operate and are needed but as alternative sources of credit and capital take their place, few countries look to them for sole guidance. in new york the united nations, which gained momentum when the cold war ended, has in fact been sidetracked and as for u.n. peacekeeping, it has given the assignments no one else wants, such as stablizing the congo without the money or equipment to get the job done. back when i was ambassador to the united nations i was besieged by members of congress who worried that our sovereignty would be trampled on by world government. today, we should worry less
about the ambition of multilateral institutions than about their impotence because they're a vital task thats only they can do and that aren't being done very well. . . >> in one case we might turn to nato, in another to an ad hoc coalition, in a third to the u.n. and in a fourth we might have to act alone. at the same time, we have to strive to create more effective networks for addressing shared problems such as proliferation,
terror, the global economy and development. these imperatives lead, in my mind, to three essential points. the first is that our national security officials must have as many options and tools as possible. despite budget constraints, our military must remain second to none. we also have a profound interest in sustaining nato, in helping the u.n. system to adapt and in developing close and cooperative bilateral relationships across the globe. but cooperation, too, requires investment in diplomacy, in technical assistance and helping friendly countries do a better job of defending against common threats. according to surveys, the average american thinks that we give about a quarter of our tax dollars to foreigners. terrible. the truth is that our entire international affairs budget
including everything from the protection of our ambassadors to emergency food for refugees is equal to about 1%. i don't know about you, but i am fed up with politicians who demand a strong america and then vote to deprive our diplomats of the tools they need to protect and advance our interests. and that's why our country should have a comprehensive national security budget that will enable us not only to wage war, but also to preserve peace and to lead both on the battlefield and at the bargaining table. our second imperative is education. the technological revolution has opened a huge divide between the skilled and unskilled, a gap that is affecting every measure of personal accomplishment and national strength. the ability to develop and implement new ideas is essential whether we are talking about
further scientific breakthroughs, economic competitiveness, preventing outbreaks of epidemic disease or outwitting criminals and terrorists. because knowledge respects no borders, nationalism in this context may seem out of place. but make no mistake, our country's technological supremacy is being challenged, and we can't afford to fall behind. finally, we have to preserve and persevere in our support for democracy. there are some who look at the electoral gains made by islamist parties in the arab world and conclude that democracy is more likely to cause trouble than relieve it. after all, the new government in egypt has yet to find its political footing while the country's economy has slowed, and its tourist industry has crashed. in libya gadhafi is gone, but the new regime is weak and too weak to maintain order in the
face of powerful militias. among palestinians the electoral appeal of hamas has undermined middle east peace efforts while in iraq elections have done little to narrow ethnic and religious divisions. these and problems elsewhere cause me to worry that skepticism about democracy will grow. already we hear influential voices talking about freedom with an asterisk, implying that while some people can be trusted to chart their own futures, others cannot. this kind of cynicism is typically summarized by commentators as just being realistic. but i have another name for it: hypocrisy. we should remember that the alternatives to democratic support is embracing governments that lack the blessing of their own people, and that leads not to stability, but to its counterfeit. leaving us shackled to dictators at odds with arab democrats,
distrusted by arab populations and unsure of ourselves. our backing for democracy isn't based on our affinity for the people who win elections, but on the integrity of the electoral process and on whether democratic institutions are able to function after the voting is held. democracy provides no easy answers to the problem of governing in the digital age, but it does broaden the scope of public debate and give everyone a voice so that new ideas can be heard, and minority views taken into account. though some may fear such an opening, i believe americans should welcome it. for if we fail to value free expression, we forget our own history and forfeit our own right to lead. we live in an era of constant change, and this means that we have of to constantly adapt -- that we have to constantly
adapt. but we should also remember what does not change. 68 years ago following the death of franklin roosevelt, harry truman became president. he was thought by most to be a petty politician, not very smart and likely to fail. he had been vice president for less than two months and done little to prepare for his new job. and yet he is remembered now as one of our most effective presidents, so effective that a prestigious national security project bears his name. the reason is that harry truman both understood and reflected what is best about america. he was optimistic about the prospects for human progress but conscious of the perils posed by weakness and fear. he was proud of america's strength but aware of the need for allies and friends. he thought of the united states as exceptional but not because it was exempt from the rules that apply to others.
to him, america was the champion of liberty, law and justice for all. we admire president truman because he dared to build greatly, and because what he built was made to last. to honor his legacy, we -- and that includes all of us -- must strive to do the same. so to that end, i pledge my own best efforts and respectfully summon yours. so thank you very, very much, and now i'd be very happy to answer your questions. and since i'm no longer in the government, i'll be able to do that. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you. >> okay. so we're ready for questions as long as you identify yourselves and, um, raise your hand.
drew. >> [inaudible] public opinion polls came out saying that the american people have no interest or very little interest in -- [inaudible] any kind of kinetic action in syria. to what degree does that sort of knowledge about where americans sort of stand embolden the assad regime and sort of impede or restrict the president in the options he has? >> well, let me say i think that, obviously, the whole discussion about syria is an incredibly complicated one, as i pointed out. and in terms of the evolution of the ideas about how to deal with syria. and let me just make a comment and a little self-advertising here. i wrote a book called "prague winter" which is about what happened to the country where i was born, czechoslovakia, when the munich agreement was made.
and in relooking at that part of history, i realized something that i hadn't, um, in many years, is how tired the british and french were from world war i. they had lost a whole generation of young men, their economy was a mess, their budget, their defense infrastructure dysfunctional. and even though i have always considered nell chamberlain one of the more odious characters in history, i can understand what was going on, that he really wanted to make sure that there would be peace. and so he said why should we care about people in faraway places with unpronounce bl names. i think there is no question that we are tired from iraq and afghanistan. our budget is a mess, and there are questions about the strength of our defense infrastructure and where it is needed to be. and, yes, because in contrast to what happened before world war ii we do know everything that's going on inside every country,
we need to care about people in faraway places with unpronounceable names. and so the question is what are the right things to do. i think that is the discussion. and i think that there is an awareness in this country that something has to be done, and it is my sense that, um, as president obama and secretary hagel have been saying, there is an evolution of thinking about what to do. not necessarily in terms of kinetic, but a variety of different ways that we and the allies can actually help. frankly, i don't think president assad cares what the american public thinks. i think he lives in his own world of denial supported by the russians, and i think that we need to do what is right for our own people, our own stability and what we believe is the right thing to do. >> thank you. i would like to take your
question, but are there any women who would like to raise their hands next? and mic. >> hi. my name is jessica lee, and i'm a truman fellow. i was very intrigued by what you said about having a national security budget. i work on the hill, and i've seen the discussions ongoing about protecting the defense budget over, say, the state d., usaid budget. i was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what it would take for us to have as a country a comprehensive budget that would entail all aspects? >> we have talked about this for a long time, and by the way, i'm always happy to be here on the hill, especially in the russell building, because i worked for ed muskie, and he was the first chairman of the budget committee which was a very, at that stage, seemed like a very innovative experiment and questions about how it would work with the appropriations committees, and i
learned about function 050 and 150 and pod fathers and various things where people were in charge of various parts of it. i do think that in many ways it makes sense, one, because national security is indivisible in so many ways in terms of what has to be done on the front that the state department has with the aid agencies and also defense, but also because there's increasingly kind of carryovers from one to the other. there are real questions about what are the various, some of the civilian-sounding things of the defense -- that the defense department is doing, and what happens when diplomats and usaid people are in danger zones. so there's kind of a crossover of things. i think the hard part about it has a lot to do with congress, because they are committees whose responsibilities are
oversight for a mar part of the budget, and -- for a particular part of the budget, and they don't want to give up some of their prerogatives. logically, it makes sense to do it. whether one can actually do it in terms of the process, i think, is the question. but if you think about it, it does make sense. the other part, it kind of stuns me. at the moment i don't know what the real numbers are, but the defense budget is somewhere around $500 billion. the state department budget is more like $50 billion. and that doesn't make any sense. and so i think by looking at it from the perspective of a national security budget -- the other part would be to have it multiyear, which is also a little bit of a problem because members of congress want to have some kind of control over, um, where the money goes. and then the other part that we, when i was there in office was the problem that we had was trying to get voting on contingency funds. because sometimes you don't know where the next thing is going to
happen, and this was really true in terms of peacekeeping operations or a variety of ways where we had to deploy force and trying to get that. so it would be a huge discussion, but i think in the long run would be helpful. >> mark, now you can go. >> [inaudible] i'd like to follow -- [inaudible] hi, my name's mark levine. i want to follow up on the question on syria, because the things that you mentioned -- promoting democracy, not being shackled by dictatorship, not having the arab street hate us, the idea we need to get rid of assad but also prevent extremist elements to take over syria, they seem to me to be going in the wrong direction right now. you presided over a very successful war in kosovo, an air war. there's certainly no extremists there, it's a free country. libya, i think, was also a relative success. do you think in hindsight if we had done some sort of no-fly zone two years ago, al-qaeda
would have been less likely to infiltrate the free democratic people that were just trying to get their freedom, and given the mess there is now, let me ask you to be specific, what do you think we should dosome. >> if my grandmother had wheel, she'd be a bicycle. you know, if, if, if. [laughter] you know, i think that the question -- i can understand what happened all along here. in terms of -- and let me just bring up one concept that is one of my favorite issues to talk about, and it's the issue of responsibility to protect. what happened in the years that i was at the u.n., we really focused a lot on new activities for peacekeeping operations and then, also, since we actually knew what was going on inside countries, what could be done by the international community to undo things or mitigate things. and there was an evolution of that with the canadians talking about human security and ultimately coming forward with
this concept that if a leader was not able to protect his or her own people, then the international community could help in that regard in some kind of support system. but if the leader was actually killing his own people, then there really was a responsibility for the international community to do something. what i found interesting was on the libya u.n. security council resolution the responsibility to protect was actually talked about. and we were in the middle -- this is a, a task force that i'm co-chairing with rich williamson who was the foreign policy adviser for governor romney under the auspices of the u.s. institute of peace and the holocaust museum. and as the libya issue came up, we were asking ourselves did that help the r2p thing, or did it complicate it? and in some ways it complicated it because even though it was specifically listed in the resolution, they went a little further. i wouldn't say that, i mean, i
don't agree with that, but that is what was the criticism, that it had gone further in order to destroy gadhafi's compound and the command and control system. so that, in fact, has some effect, i think, on how people felt about syria in addition to the fact that syria is very different from libya. and that discussions about no-fly zones and a variety of safe areas and that kind of thing didn't apply as much to syria as it had in bosnia or kosovo. and even there we had a terrible time with establishing the safe, um, the safe havens as we know from some of the horrors that happened. and also because the syrian military is very strong. so i don't spend a lot of time in hypotheticals or looking back. i do look at something else, though, which is the unintended consequences of foreign policy decisions. and some of the decisions that go way back in terms of how much
the russians have been supplying to the syrians over the years, that somehow escaped people's notice as we were in iraq. and various other aspects, i think, have had an effect on how people look at syria and the fact about invading another muslim country. so the unintended consequences of previous decisions, i think, weigh on this. >> do you have any advice for going forward now? >> sorry, mark. we've got to move on to someone else. i was going to say this side of the room. in the back there. sorry -- yes. can't see you back there. >> thanks. i'm rachel brandenburg. >> i know you. you were my ta. [laughter] >> i was expecting you to mention something about your syria role play -- >> we solved it two weekends ago. [laughter] >> you discard the latest efforts at the peace process. is there anything that you see
among the environment or the leadership or sort of the arena in which he's operating now that would make this different and, perhaps, open opportunities for more progress than we've seen in the last administration? >> well, let me say that i think you've heard me say this, if i were to ask any of you whether you'd like to go to camp david, you'd probably say yes. i can tell you after two weeks in the rain with the israelis and palestinians, i don't care whether i ever go back. [laughter] and we came very close. and one of the issues that was a problem then as i go back and look over things is that in many ways, um, whoever is leader of the palestinians -- and when we were at camp dawfd, it was arafat -- has the right to make decisions about the size of the palestinian state. but we were also asking him to make decisions about the disposition of the holy places over which he did not have sole control. the saudis and others have a say
in that. and so when we started calling some of the arabs -- and this all happened because ehud barak really gave, put on a very interesting and generous proposal on the table. the bottom line is the arabs had no idea what we were talking about. so where i think there has been, um, a change is what secretary kerry just was talking about or announced, was the meeting with the arab league leaders who have reput the arab initiative on the table with some additional wiggle room on swaps from the '67 lines. not as, as i understand it, not as a final offer, but as a way of, um, a basis for some negotiations and that that has, in fact, i think, end larged. -- enlarged. now, the problem is that from what i read in the papers, prime minister netanyahu think it is a
the world's greatest thing. but people change their minds, and i do think that there is more out there at the moment, um, that needs to be explored. i salute secretary kerry for really exploring and pushing, as i said, he's been to the region three times. he is very interested in doing more to explore the economic possibilities in the region because one of the things that we do know and one of my discussions always about democracy is, you know, many of you are students or were students, and you know that, in fact, in classes all you ever do is have this endless discussion as to what goes first, political development or economic development. they go together, because people want to vote and eat. and so the bottom line is that there needs to be economic development among the palestinians, and there needs to be a way that hamas is not
attractive to them as providing constituency services and jobs, that that has to come out of the palestinian authority or some other way of getting economic development. so i am, um, i do think there are things to explore there, and as i said, i salute sec carriker ri -- secretary kerry for looking into all the options and talking to the parties. but as i also said in my remarks, we can't make decisions. the parties themselves have to make the decisions. we can put ideas on the table and look for ways to be supportive, but we cannot make the decisions for the parties themselves. >> thank you. boy, there's a whole sea here. maybe up front. >> thank you, good morning, melissa harrison. you briefly mentioned climate change, and i was wondering if you could just give a few thoughts about what role addressing climate change will
play in the president's second term and what level of responsibility secretary kerry has this those discussions. >> well, i believe that it is one of the truly important issues that has to be taken up for any number of reasons. one, i was just listening to -- i hate to tell you guys this, but i actually listen to right-wing radio as i drive -- [laughter] which is a good idea to stay away from me. [laughter] but there was a ridiculous discussion today about, you know, it's cold, so we don't have -- i think a mistake was to call it global warming. it isn't global warming, it's climate change, but it's a left-wing problem. and i think that all one has to do is look at various things in extremes that are going on. i'm from colorado, it doesn't usually snow there in the last week of april, beginning of may. so i think there is positive proof that something is going
on. the other, i think, is the effect that climate change has on a firm of aspects -- on a number of aspects that have to do with stability. and i have just minnesota involved in -- been involved in many discussions of problems to do with water. if people think we've been arguing over fossil fuels, wait until we start arguing about water. i just drove by the world bank this morning, and they have huge signs up about poverty which is what dr. kim has been really focusing on. that has to do, a lot of it has to do with climate change. and so if people don't think, think it's only about polar bears or something, that's not what it's about. what it is about is human security in all its various aspects. so i do think that the president is going to spend time. what is interesting, i think that what many people don't know about secretary kerry, he has been very interested in climate change all along as chairman of
the foreign relations committee and has been, um, pushing and arguing for it for a long time. so i do think that there will be more. the problem always is, is one of the reasons that i argued about partnership and multi-- by the way, americans don't like the world multilateralism. it has too many syllables, and it ends in many an ism. [laughter] all it means is partnership. and i wrote a book which is a memo to the president-elect at a time that i didn't know who it was going to be. i ultimately did inscribe it to president obama with saying, with the audacity to hope that this book might be useful. [laughter] but among the things that i talked about was the need to deal with that whole set of issues of economy, climate change, a variety of environmental issues, pandemic disease which require cooperation. and so whatever the president
puts forward really does require that setting of other countries to work with us. but my sense is it is a very important priority. >> please keep the questions short because we're getting are tight on time. yes, please. >> hi, lacy healey. i want today ask you about iran. the negotiations are ongoing, but they're stagnant at this point. secretary kerry has always taken an interest in this topic, and recently there's been a lot of discussion about the role that sanctions play and might play in, um, as leverage in negotiation cans. but at this stagnant point, what do you think needs to be done to restart things? do you think that sanctions need to be more on the table? >> um, well, first of all, we're in a very interesting time as far as iran goes. they are in a little bit of a state of political disarray
trying to sort out before elections in terms of all of a sudden ahmadinejad seems saner than some of the others. and there really are issues about what he said what's going to happen, and so it's kind of a, i think, one of the reasons that things have kind of slowed down has to do with their domestic situation. rachel, my former ta, does know the course i teach is called the national security tool box. and the truth is there are not a lot of tools in there. there is diplomacy, pi lateral and multilateral, there are the economic tools, the carrots of aid and trade and the sticks of sanctions and embargoes, and then the threat of the use of force, the use of force, intelligence and law enforcement. that's it. and so i think that from what i can tell, the sanctions have been useful in terms of isolating iran more, and i think
also in terms of creating some economic issues for them that may, in fact, have an effect on what happens in these elections not to overstate that. but we have talked about all options being on the table with iran, and the president has talked -- that means all options, the diplomatic aspects whether in the p5+1 or different ways that we're talking to them. so i think we have to try to figure out how to kind of sin copate the cool -- tools, but there are not a lot of them. they do require international cooperation. there's been more of it on iran than one could have imagined in many ways. but it continues, obviously, to be a very difficult situation where all options have to be kept on the table. >> thank you. yes.
>> hi, bob -- [inaudible] columbia law school. going back to syria, do you think there would need to be a security council resolution to set up a safe haven or a no-fly zone in syria, or do you think if nato agreed as there was an invitation from the arab league you would not need security council authorization on the kosovo precedent? >> well, it's interesting, because i can tell you what happened on kosovo which is that it was -- we knew what was going on, that we had to do something antibiotic. about it. and i actually went to moscow to try to find out what the russian intentions were if we brought it up in the security council. they've made very clear to me that they would veto it. and i have to say i went back to my room and knowing full well that people listen to you in hotel rooms in russia, i called each one of the foreign ministers separately and said this is what i heard. they are going to veto this. i figured that if i was not
reporting it correctly, they would correct me the next day. they didn't. and so bottom line is we decided that we had to go multilaterally, took it out of the security council and went to nato. it was a multilateral operation. the u.n. didn't like it, and there have been a lot of questions in terms of, you know, it might have been moral, but was it legal. and, frankly, i think we did the right thing. and a lot of people are alive in kosovo today as a result of it. and so, and it's an independent country. so i think that, this is my personal view, i only speak for myself many this, is that -- and these are big ifs in materials of if there is a decision to do -- in terms of if there is a decision to do whatever, it should be done in a way, i believe, multilaterally. what is interesting about the libya responsibility to protect, the our wrap league was the gatekeeper on that -- the arab
league was the gatekeeper on that. and in many ways having that kind of multilateral approach to it in some way that an international coalition would support it, i think, is important. and so, but i don't get, you know, i'll probably be ran out of the united nations association. basically, i don't think you need to have just solely a security council resolution, especially if it's very evident that it's going to be vetoed. and then you've just driven into a cul-de-sac. so -- >> thanks. is that eric in the back? sorry. i'm a little bit legally blind, so if i'm not using your name, that's why. >> good morning, ma'am. my name is eric from the department of defense. i have a question about leadership and management of the state department. secretary clinton elected to use a quadrennial review to drive management and leadership within the department and justify a larger state department budget, foreign aid budget. secretary kerry seems to be lukewarm on the subject. and i'd ask you to reflect on
the wisdom of conducting such a review to justify a larger budget for the state department and usaid. and would you recommend that secretary kerry take such a review more seriously? thank you. >> um, what i find -- first of all, you guys have a big budget. you don't have to worry about the qddr. [laughter] let me just say this, what is interesting, and i want to talk a little bit about the evolution of what happened is i think when you're sitting at the state department, you really do look with some envy at what happens at the defense department and the qdr, the quadrennial defense review, and a variety of the kinds of documents that the defense department puts out. the part, if you're secretary of state, you do -- and i, again, speak for myself -- is in terms of not having a lot of control over various parts of the
diplomatic or the civilian budget and how does usaid fit into it. i remember despite the fact that brian atwood as administrator was one of my best friends, he only wanted a dotted line between him and me on budget issues. and you try to figure out how the usaid budget fits in. i, at a certain stage, actually had the idea that we should coordinate a lot of what we were doing, and i picked four countries that needed to have kind of coordinated aid in order to use the various parts of the american, um, departmental system to coordinate aid to those countries. and then, um, anne marie slaughter and secretary clinton came out with the qddr which i think is a really interesting document in terms of bringing this tough together. i do, i don't know where you get that secretary kerry is lukewarm on it. i haven't heard that. i do think that it is not, it
doesn't have to be done every year, quadrennial. and i do think it provides an interesting infrastructure. but i would not make the assumption based on what i know, um, you know, he's just getting started. and so i think one has to wait to see what the approach is. >> very last question. um, hamid? >> madam secretary -- [inaudible] and a fellow, and i wanted to ask you, ma'am, about with 2014 approaching and u.s. troops withdrawing from afghanistan as well as what you alluded to earlier, the rise of islamic parties in much of the arab world, one thing that is greatly concerning is the rights of women and whether or not they will be back pedaled. as a strong advocate of that and of the arena, what remarks would you share? >> well, i do think one of my --
i never actually went to afghanistan when i was in office, but i did go to peshawar and met with women refugees and people coming out of afghanistan. and in terms of their heartbreaking stories about what was going on and what they needed in order to have a normal life in afghanistan. and, frankly, during the clinton period we didn't recognize the taliban for that reason. and so i think the question is, um, how to make sure that as we move forward that the rights of women are protected. and i would hope that that would be part of what the discussion is about. because there have been advances made in that area, and i don't think that we can solve the problem in afghanistan on, by giving up on the rights of women. and it has to be, again, that would be my views. but i think afghanistan is one
of the most difficult issues in terms of its longevity, its difficulty of getting our arms around it and a little bit of this idea that, you know, trying to sort out who the players are where, as i mentioned, you know, decisions about how much time to spend with the taliban, what to do and how to make sure that that country, in fact, has some kind of a regular structure. and so i'm, i'm trying to avoid saying that if the previous administration had actually paid more attention to this instead of going into iraq, we might not be in this position, but i won't say that. [laughter] [applause] >> thank you very much. [applause]
>> madam secretary, you have lifted up the voices of a generation of youth and women to the halls of power around the world. you have ended genocide in eastern europe and faced down dictators, and now you are -- and there must be a yiddish word for this -- the matchmaker between cnp and truman. [laughter] we're going to make a pledge to you. with your continued fight for democracy around the world, we stand with you. we seal that pledge today with this plaque which is a replica of the inaugural medal given out during harry truman's inauguration. so we'd like to present that to you and thank you for -- [applause] >> thank you all very much. [applause]
>> the u.s. is in recess right now to allow members to attend their weekly party meetings. before they gaveled out, though, they confirmed david medine to be care that of the private liberties and oversight board. lawmakers will return at 2:15 eastern, they'll authorize the army corps of engineers to work on flood supply projects. work on the bill is expected to take up the rest of the week. live coverage of the senate when they return here on c-span2. again, that'll be at 2:15 eastern. and live pictures from the east room of the white house for president obama who is hosting south korean president park
geun-hye today. their joint news conference expected to get under way in just a moment, and we'll have live coverage here on c-span2 when it does start. the south korean leader will be addressing a joint meeting of congress tomorrow starting at 10:30 eastern, and you'll be able to see it live on our companion network, c-span. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
>> ladies and gentlemen, this is your two minute warning. >> again, we're live in the east room of the white house today as president obama's hosting the south korean president, park geun-hye. she's in town with meetings for the president, and tomorrow she will address a joint meeting of congress. you'll be able to see live coverage at 10:30 eastern on our companion network, c-span. their joint news conference set to begin in just a moment, we just got the two minute warning, so it should start any minute now.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and the president of the republic of korea. >> good afternoon, everybody. please have a seat. let me begin by saying it is a great pleasure to welcome president park and our friends from the republic of korea. madam president, we are greatly honored that you've chosen the united states as your first foreign visit. in this, of course, reflects the deep friendship between our peoples and the great alliance between our nations which is marking another milestone. i'm told that in korea a 60th
birthday is a special celebration of life and longevity. well, this year we're marking the 60th anniversary of the defense treaty between our nations. yesterday president park visited arlington cemetery and our memorial to our korean war veterans. tonight she's hosting a dinner to pay tribute to the generation of americans who have served in the defense of south korea, and tomorrow she'll address a joint session of congress, an honor that is reserved for our closest of friends. and in this sense this visit also reflects south korea's extraordinary progress over these six decades. from the ashes of war to one of the world's largest economies, from a recipient of foreign aid to a i do nor that now helps -- to a donor that now helps other nations. and, of course, people around the world are being swept up by korean culture, the korean wave. and as i mentioned to president
park, my daughters have taught me a pretty good "gangnam style". [laughter] president park, in your first months in office, south korea's faced threats and provocations that would test any nation, yet you've displayed calm and steady resolve that has defined your life. like people around the world, those of us in the united states have also been unspired by your example as the -- inspired by your example as the first female president of south korea. your focus and discipline and straightforwardness, and i very much thank you for the progress that we've already made together. today we agreed to continue the implementation of our historic trade agreement which is already yielding benefits for both our countries. on our side we're selling more exports to korea, more manufactured good, more services, more agricultural products. even as we have a hong way to go, our automobile exports are up nearly 50% in our big three,
ford, chrysler and gm, are selling more cars in korea. and be as the president and i agreed to make sure we continue to fully implement this agreement, we believe that it's going to make both of our economies more competitive, it'll boost exports by some $10 billion and support tens of thousands of american jobs and, obviously, it'll be creating jobs in korea as they are able to continue to do extraordinary work in expanding their economy and moving it further and further up the value chain. finish we agreed to continue the clean energy partnerships that help us toen hasn't our energy -- to enhance our energy security and address climate change. given the importance of a peaceful nuclear energy industry to south korea, we recently agreed to extend the existing civilian nuclear agreement between our two countries, but we also emphasized in our discussions to wont to work diligently towards a new agreement. as i told the president, i believe we can find a way to support be south korea's energy
and commercial needs even as we uphold our mutual commitments to prevent nuclear proliferation. we agreed to continuing modernizing our security alliance guided by our joint vision. we're investing in the shared capabilities and technologies and missile defenses that allow our forces to operate and succeed together. we are on track for south korea to assume operational control for the alliance in 2015, and we're determined to be fully prepared for any challenge or threat to our security. and, obviously, that includes the threat from north korea. if pyongyang thought its recent threats would drive a wedge between south korea and the united states or somehow garner the north international respect, today is further evidence that north korea has failed again. president pak and south koreans have stood firm with confidence and resolve. the united states and the republican of korea are as united as ever, and faced with
new international sanctions, north korea is more isolated than ever. in short, days when north korea could create a crisis and illicit concessions, those days are over. our two nations are prepared to engage with north korea diplomatically and over time build trust. but as always, and as president pak has made clear, the burden is on pyongyang to take meaningful steps to abide by its commitments and be obligations, particularly the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. and we discussed that pyongyang should take notice of events in countries like burma which, as it reforms, is seeing more trade and investment and diplomatic ties with the world including the united states and south korea. for our part, we'll continue to coordinate closely with south korea and with japan, and i want to make clear the united states is fully prepared and capable of defending ourselves and our allies with the full range of capabilities available including the deterrence provided by our
conventional and nuclear forces. as i said in seoul last year, the commitment of the united states to the security of the republic of korea will never waver. more broadly, we agreed to continue expanding our cooperation globally. in afghanistan where our troops serve together and where south korea's a major donor of development assistance, we're on track to complete the transition to afghan-led operations by the end of next year. we discussed syria where both our nations are working to strengthen the opposition and plan for a syria without bashar assad. and i'm pleased that our two nations and our peace course have agreed to expand our efforts to promote development around the world. finally, we're expanding the already strong ties between our young people. as an engineer by training, the president knows the importance of education. madam president, you've said, and i'm quoting you, we live in an age where a single individual can raise the value of our nation. i could not agree more, so i'm pleased that we're renewing
exchange programs that bring our students together. and as we pursue common sense immigration reform here in the united states, we want to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs and foreign graduate students from countries like korea to stay and contribute to our country just as so many korean-americans already do. so, again, thank you, president pak, for making the united states your first foreign trip in your inaugural address, you celebrated the can-do spirit of the korean people. that is a pitter that we hair, and after our -- spirit that we share, and after our meeting today, i'm confident that if our two nations continue to stand together, there's nothing we cannot do together. so, madam president, welcome to the unite. to the united states. >> translator: let me start by thanking president obama for his invitation and hospitality. during my meeting with the
president today, i was able to have a heart-to-heart talk with him on a wide range of common interests. i've found that the two of us have a broad, common view about the vision and roles that should guide the korea/u.s. alliance as it moves forward, and i was delighted to see this. first of all, the president and i shared the view that the korea/u.s. alliance has been faithfully carrying out its role on the korean peninsula and in northeast asia and that the alliance should continue to serve as a linchpin for peace and stability on the korean peninsula and in asia. in this regard, i believe it is significant that the joint declaration on the 60th anniversary of our alliance we adopted spells out the direction that our comprehensive strategic alliance should take. next, the president and i reaffirmed that we will by no means tolerate north korea's threats and provocations which
have recently been escalating further and that such actions would only deepen north korea's isolation. the president and i noted that it is important that we continue to strengthen our deterrence against north korea's nuclear and conventional weapons threat and shared the view that in this respect the transition of wartime operational control should also proceed in a way that strengthens our combined capabilities and preparations be made toward that way as well. we also share view that realizing president obama's vision of a world without nuclear weapons should start in the korean peninsula, and we stated that we would continue to strongly urge north korea in close concert with the other members of the six-party talks and the international community to faithfully abide by its international obligations under the september 19th joint statements and the relevant security council resolutions.
korea and the u.s. will work jointly to induce north korea to make the right choice through multifaceted efforts including the implementation of the korean peninsula process that i had spelled out. i take this opportunity to once again send a clear message: north korea will not be able to survive if it only clings to developing its nuclear weapons at the expense of its people's happiness. concurrently pursuing nuclear arsenals and economic development can by no means succeed. this is the shared view of the other members of the six-party talks and the international community. however, should north korea choose the path to becoming a responsible member of the community of nations, we are willing to provide assistance together with the international community. we also have meaningful discussions on the economy and ways to engage in substantive cooperation. the president and i welcome the fact that the korea/u.s. free trade agreement which went into
effect one year ago is contributing to our shared prosperity. we also said we will make efforts to enable our people to better feel the benefits of our free trade agreement for them. i high lighteninged the importance of -- highlighted the importance of securing visas for citizens and asked for executive branch support to the extent possible to see to it that the relevant legislation is passed in the u.s. congress. moreover, we arrived at the view that the korea/u.s. civil nuclear energy cooperation agreement should be revised into an advanced and mutually beneficial successor agreement. we said we would do our best to conclude our negotiations as soon as possible. the president and i also had in-depth discussions on ways to enhance our global partnership. first, we noted together that northeast asia needs to move beyond conflict and divisions and open a new era of peace and
cooperation. and that there would be synergy between president obama's policy of rebalancing to asia and my initiative for peace and cooperation in northeast asia as we pursue peace and development in the region. we shared the view about playing the role of co-architects to flush out this vision. furthermore, we decided that the korea/st alliance should deal -- korea/u.s. alliance should deal not just with challenges relating to the korean peninsula and northeast asia, but the international community. i am delighted i was able to build personal trust with president obama through our summit meeting today and to have later framework for cooperation. thank you. >> we've got a couple of questions from each side, so we'll start with steven collieson of afp. >> thank you, mr. president. does the united states have a core national security interest in stopping the slaughter in
syria or merely a strong moral desire to see the violence end? and at what point does the cost of not intervening in a more direct way than you have done so far outweigh the cost of doing so? and, if i may ask, president park, president obama's critics have warned that failing to act on perceived violations of u.s. red lines in syria could embolden u.s. enemies elsewhere, including north korea. are you convinced that kim jong un has taken the u.s. and south korean warnings seriously, and do you see the withdrawal of two missiles from a test site as a sign that he's willing to deescalate the situation? >> well, um, steven, i think that we have both a moral obligation and a national security interest in, a, ending
the slaughter in syria, but b, also insuring that we've got a stable syria that is representative of all ther yang people. the syrian people. and is not creating chaos more its neighbors. and that's why for the last two years we have been active in trying to insure that bashar assad exits the stage and that we can begin a political transition process. that's the reason why we have invested so much in humanitarian aid, that's the reason we are so invested in helping the opposition and why we've mobilized the international community to isolate syria. that's why we are now providing nonlethal assistance to the opposition, and that this is why
we're going to -- that's why we're going to continue to do the work that we need to do. and in terms of the costs and the benefits, i think there'd be severe costs in doing nothing. that's why we're not doing nothing. that's why we are actively investing in the process. if what you're asking is are there continuing reevaluations about what we do, what actions we take in conjunction with other bear national partners to on the -- international partners to optimize the day when or to hasten the day when we can see a better situation in syria, we've been doing a -- doing that all a i long, and we'll continue to do that. i think that understandably there's a desire for easy answers. that's not the situation there. and my job is to constantly
measure our very real and legitimate humanitarian and national security interests in syria, but measuring those against my bottom line which is what's in best interests of american security and making sure that i'm making decisions not based on a hope and a prayer, but on hard-headed analysis in terms of what will actually make us safer and stabilize the region. i would note, not to answer the question that you lobbed over to president park, that you suggested even in your question a perceived crossing of a red line. the operative word there, i guess, steven, is "perceived." and what i've said is that we have evidence that there has been the use of chemical weapons
inside of syria, but i don't make decisions based on perceived, and i can't organize international coalitions around perceived. we've tried that in the past, by the way, and it didn't work out well. so we want to make sure that, you know, we have the best an access possible. we want to make sure that we are acting deliberately. but i would just oint out that -- point out that there have been self-instances during the course of my presidency where i said i was going to do something, and it ended up getting done. and there were times when there were folks on the sidelines wondering why hasn't it happened yet and what's going on and why didn't it go on tomorrow. but in the end whether it's bin laden or gadhafi, if we say we're taking a position, i would think at this point the international community has a pretty good sense that we typically follow through on our
commitments. >> translator: with regard to actions toward syria, what kind of message would that communicate to north korea, that was the question. and recently north korea seems to be deescalating its threatened provocations. what seems to be behind that, you asked these two questions. in fact, north korea is isolated at the moment. so it's hard to find be anyone that could really accurately fathom the situation if north korea. its actions are also very unpredictable. hence, whether the syrian situation would have an impact is hard to say. for sure. why is north korea appearing to deescalate its threats and provocations? there is no knowing for sure,
but what is clear and what i believe for sure is that the international community with regard to north korea's bad behavior, its provocations must speak with one voice a firm message and consistently send a firm message that they will not stand and that north korea's actions in breach of international norms will be met with so and so sanctions and measures by the international community. at the same time, if it goes along the right way, there will be so and so rewards. so if we consistently send that message to north korea, i feel that north korea will be left with no choice but to change. and instead of just hoping to sea north korea change, the international community must also consistently send that message with one voice to tell them and communicate to them that they have no choice but to change and to shape an environment where they are left with no choice but to make the
strategic decision to change. and i think that's the effective and important way. >> translator: my question goes to president park. you just mentioned that north korea, in order to induce north korea to abandon its nuclear weapons, what is most important is the concerted action of the international community. with regard to this, during your meeting with president obama today, i would like to ask what was said and the views that you shared. and with regard to this, what russia and china, the role that they're playing in terms of inducing north korea to abandon it nuclear weapons. how do you feel about that? my next question is to president obama regarding the young leader of north korea, kim kim jong un. i would appreciate your views about the leader of north korea. and if you were to send a
message to him today, what kind of message would you send to him? [speaking in native tongue] finish. >> translator: with regard to the north korea issue, korea and the united states as well as the international community, the ultimate objective that all of us should be adopting is for north korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and to induce it to becoming a responsible member of the international community. this serves the interests of peace on the korean peninsula and the world and also north korea's own development as well. that is my view. and so in order to encourage north korea to walk that path and change its perceptions, we have to work in concert. and in this regard china's role, china's influence can be extensive. so if, so china taking part in
these endeavors is important, and we share views on that. with regard to china and russia's stance, i believe that china and russia -- not to mention international community, of course -- share the need for a denuclearized korean peninsula and are cooperating closely to induce north korea to take the right path. in the case of china, with regard to north korea's missile fire and nuclear testing, china has taken an active part in adopting u.n. security council resolutions and is faithfully implementing those resolutions. and with regard to russia, russia is also firmly committed to the denuclearization of the korean peninsula. and with regard to the option of u.n. security council resolutions on north korea, it has been very active in
supporting them. and they've also cement -- sent a very -- and they've also worked very hard to include a stern message to north korea in the joint statement of the g8 foreign ministries meeting. such constructive efforts on the part of china and russia are vital to sending a unified message to north korea that their nuclear weapons will not stand and encouraging and urging north korea to make the right decision. >> obviously, i don't know kim jong un personally. i haven't had a conversation with him, can't really give you an opinion about his personal characteristics. what we do know is the actions that he's taken. that have been provocative and seem to pursue a dead end. and i want to emphasize, president park and myself very much share the view that we are
going to maintain a strong deterrent capability, that we're not going to reward provocative behavior, but we remain open to the process -- the prospect of north korea taking a peaceful path of denuclearization, abiding by international commitments, rejoining the international community and seeing a gradual progression in which both security and prosperity for the people of north korea can be achieved. you know, if what north korea has been doing has not resulted in a strong, prosperous nation, then now's a good time for kim jong un to evaluate history and take a different path. and i think that should he choose to take a different path
not only president park and myself would welcome it, but the international community as a whole would welcome it. and i think that china and russia and japan and other key players that have been participants in six-party talks have made that clear. but there's going to have to be changes in behavior. you know, we have an expression in english, you know, don't worry about what i say, watch what i do. and so far at least we haven't seen actions on the part of the north koreans that would indicate they're prepared to move in a different direction. christy parsons. >> thank you, mr. president. the pentagon said today that there may be as many as 70 sexual assaults a day in the military, up by 35% during your term in office. and also that many sexual assaults may not be reported, in fact. given what we know about an air
force officer in charge of preventing sexual assault recently being charged with sexual assault and also the recent cases of a couple of air force generals who have set aside convictions of instances of sexual assault, can you speak to the culture in the u.s. military that may be at play here and talk about your response to that and what you can do going forward to improve things? and if i may, president park, i would ask you, yesterday you said that if north korea does not change its behavior, we will make them pay. i wondered if you could elaborate on that comment a little bit. thank you. >> well, let's start with the principle that sexual assault is an outrage, the it is a crime -- it is a crime. that's true for society at large, and if it's happening inside our military, then whoever carries it out is betraying the uniform that they're wearing. and they may consider themselves patriots, but when you engage in
this kind of behavior, that's not patriotic. it's a crime. and we have to do everything we can to root this out. now, this is not a new phenomenon. one of the things that we've been trying to do is create a structure in which we're starting to get accurate reporting, and up and down the chain we are seeing a process, a system of accountability and transparency so that we can root this out completely. and this is a discussion that i had with secretary panetta. he had begun the process of moving this forward. but i have directly spoken to secretary hagel already today and indicating to him that we're going to have to, you know, not just step up our game, we have to exponentially step up our game to go at this thing hard.
and for those who are in uniform who have experienced sexual assault, i want them to hear directly from their commander in chief that i've got their backs, i will support them, and we're not going to tolerate this stuff. and there will be accountability. if people have engaged in this behavior, they should be prosecuted. and anybody in the military who has knowledge of this stuff should understand this is not who we are, this is not what the u.s. military is about, and it dishonors the vast majority of men and women in uniform who carry out their responsibilities and obligations with honor and dignity and incredible courage every single day. so bottom line is i have no tolerance for this. i have communicated this to the secretary of defense. we're going to communicate this again to folks up and down the
chain in areas of authority, and i expect consequences. so i don't want just more speeches or, you know, awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. we find out somebody's engaging in this stuff, they've got to be held accountable; prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. period. it's not acceptable. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: regarding north korea's provocations and bad behavior, we will make them pay,
with regard to that, for instance, what i meant was that if they engage in military provocations and harm the lives of our people and the safety of our people, then naturally as a president who gives the top priority to insuring the safety of our people, it is something that we can't just pass over. so if north korea engages in provocations, i will fully trust the judgment of our military. so if our military makes a judgment which they feel is the right thing, then they should act accordingly. and this is the instruction that i have made. and north korea has to pay a price when it comes not only with regard to provocations, but also with regard to the recent industrial complex issue where based on agreements between the
two sides, companies had believed in the agreement that was made and actually went to invest in the trillion complex. but they -- industrial complex. but they suddenly completely dismiss and disregard this agreement overnight. and deny various medical supplies and food supplies to -- >> we'll leave this news conference at this point to bring you live coverage of the senate. the news conference continues live online at c-span.org. senators just returning from their weekly party lunches for work on a water projects bill. and now live to the senatear floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. cowan: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
ms. stabenow: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: i ask the quorum quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: i would ask what the order is at this time. the presiding officer: s. 601 is pending. mrs. boxer: i ask unanimous consent we go into a period of morning business for 30 minutes and that then we return to s. 601. with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. ms. stabenow: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. ms. stabenow: thank you, madam president. i'd like to speak for a few minutes today about the importance of getting a budget done this year all the way through the entire process. senator reid, our majority leader, last evening spoke again about the fact that we've had 15 days now of trying to
just come together to create a conference committee to work out differences between the house and the senate on a budget, and for some reason, after talking i think at least three years that i can remember from colleagues on the other side of the aisle saying that we needed regular order, we needed regular order, we need to get a budget done, they now are objecting to getting a budget done. which is extraordinary. the fact is that we can't get a budget done if the house and senate don't appoint conferees and sit down and negotiate differences. huge differences, i might add, between the house and the senate. it is true that we will not accept in the united states senate eliminating medicare as an insurance plan for seniors and the disabled in this country which the house does in their plan turning it into a voucher, doubling the cost, putting seniors back into the private sector to try and find insurance. we certainly won't accept that.
it's true that there are other areas of that budget that we absolutely would not accept. but we know that the first step in coming to something we can accept is to sit down and talk. i'm very proud of what we were able to do in march, madam president, as you know we had 110 amendments, we all remember we we're her until wee hours of the morning and we got a budget done. in regular order. and weave hearing from colleagues across the aisle that we need to have regular order. i support that. in fact, i was proud of the fact that last year we did a farm bill in regular order and plowed through 73 amendments and worked together and passed a bipartisan bill. we are hopeful we're going to be bringing a bill to the floor very soon as well to do it again. and i'm a huge supporter of giving people an opportunity to
state their differences, to be able to work out amendments and to be able to get a bill done. we did that 50 hours of debate on the budget, 110 amendments that we took up, and we got it done. now all of a sudden, colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't want regular order anymore. they've decided, i guess, somehow that actively blocking us from actually getting a budget for the nation is more advantageous to them for some reason or something that appeals to them more than actually getting the budget done. and so i would urge colleagues on the other side of the aisle to take another look at this, to look at their own words over the last number of years. our colleague from texas who objected to the majority leader's motion to actually do the next step and get a budget
done said back in january on national television, we have a crisis. well, what was the crisis he was talking about? -- quote -- "there's no doubt the senate hasn't done its job, the senate should pass a budget." well, we did. we passed a budget. it may not be something that my colleague from texas supported, that's the democratic process, the majority of people agreed in this body and we passed a budget. he may be more inclined to support the house budget, which eliminates medicare as an insurance plan, or does a number of other things that i think go right to the heart of middle-class families and so on, but that's his right, that's all of our rights to have a position as to which budget we support. but we also know in the democratic process, under our constitution, which we all talk
about the constitution, and democratic process, that the way we actually get to final budget is to get folks in a room to talk, to negotiate, and to see if there's some way to work things out. we're now being blocked from being able to get in the room to talk to each other. the american people want to us talk, want us to negotiate, want to us work things out. and that's what we ought to be doing. so i would strongly urge that we move to conference, i don't know why in the world anyone would be objecting to putting together a group of people, democrats and republicans in the senate, democrats and republicans in the house, to sit down and work out the priorities for our country. will we have a different perspective on medicare? about whether we should have medicare, yes. we will. will we have a different
perspective on where the brunt of the cutbacks should be and whether or not middle-class families have been hit enough, which i believe they have, yes, we will have a disagreement. how to balance the budget. but we all know that we need to get the job done. we've done our part in passing a senate budget. the house passed a house budget. very different views of the world, different views of what should happen in terms of innovation and education and investing in the future of our country, very different views. but those views deserve to be aired sitting around a conference table to try to work out some way to come together to pass a budget. so i would urge colleagues to stop obstructing, stop stalling, allow us to move forward in a balanced way and
mrs. murray: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from washington. mrs. murray: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that i speak as if in morning business, followed by the senator from new hampshire, senator ayotte. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. murray: thank you. madam president, i come to the floor today because i believe the great strength of our military is in the character and dedication of our men and women who wear the uniform. it is the courage of these americans to volunteer to serve that is the pentagon's greatest asset. i know it's said a lot, but take a minute to really think about that. our service members volunteer to face danger, to put their lives
on the line to protect our and all of its people. when we think of those dangers, we think of i.e.d.'s, we think of battles with insurgents, many of whom are so cowardly and evil that they refuse to even wear a uniform themselves and they seek to kill innocent civilians. but there are, unfortunately, other dangers as well, dangers that cannot be accepted, and none of our courageous service members should ever have to face and that, what i'm speaking about, is sexual assault. and that continues to plague the ranks of our military services. it is absolutely unconscionable that a fellow service member, the person that you rely on to have your back and be there for you, would commit such a terrible crime. it is simply appalling that they could commit such a personal violation of their brother or sister in uniform. even worse is the prevalence of
these crimes. just today we are hearing the alarming statistic that the number of cases has increased by more than a third since 2010. more than a third. and for the estimated 26,000 cases of military sexual assault in 2012, less than 3,000 of them reported. out of 26,000, only 3,000 reported. what's even more startling is that of those who bravely come forward to report the abuse, an astounding 62% of them were retaliated against in one way or another. 62%. and according to the department of veterans affairs, about 1-5 female veterans treated by the v.a. has suffered from military sexual trauma. one in five. that is certainly not the act of a comrade, it is not in keeping with the ethics of any service and it can no longer be tolerated.
we still have not done enough to put an end to these shameful acts. well, madam president, today i am taking action to change that. today, senator ayotte and i join together to introduce the combating military sexual assault act of 2013. this is bipartisan legislation that we have worked on to make several vital improvements to protect our service members, to assist the victims, and to punish the criminals. our bill, the combating military sexual assault act, will create a new category of legal advocates called special victims counsels, who would be responsible for advocating on behalf of the interests of the victim. these s.v.c.'s, special victim counsels, would advice the victim on the range of legal issues that they might face. for example, when a young private first class is intimidated into not reporting a sexual assault by threatening her with unrelated legal charg
charges, like underage drinking, this new advocate, the s.v.c., would be there to protect her and tell her the truth. this bill would also enhance the responsibilities and authority of the department of defense sexual assault prevention and response office known as the sapro, to provide better oversight of efforts to combat military sexual assault across our armed forces. sapro would also be required to regularly track and report on a range of m.s.a. statistics, including assault rates, number of cases brought to trial, and compliance within each of these individual services. now, some of this data collection and reporting is already being done so this requirement is not going to be burdensome but it would give that office statutory authority to track and report to us on the extent of the problem. the combating military sexual assault act would also require sexual assault cases to be
referred to the next superior competent authority for court-martial when there's a conflict of interest in the immediate chain of command. this is very important, madam president. this will help ensure that sexual assault allegations get a fair, impartial, and thorough investigation. and the president of military officers association of america agrees. they have said, "preventing sexual assault is a duty of everyone in the chain of comma command." this legislation will increase support for sexual assault victims and strengthen policies and procedures for such cases in our nation's armed forces. end of quote. madam president, this legislation would also prohibit sexual contact between military instructors and service members during basic training or its equivalent or within 30 days after the training. as we have seen with disturbing frequency at places like
lackland air force base or the air force academy, new service members are too often taken advantage of and abused of. madam president, in these settings, new service members have every aspect of their life controlled by their instructor. while this is appropriate for military training, in this type of setting, it is entirely inappropriate for senior service members to seek a sexual relationship with a junior subordinate. it's our view that it's impossible for a service nobody freely give consent in that setting. this bill will also ensure that sexual assault response coordinators are available to members of the national guard and reserve at all times. i was told a very disturbing story recently by a female service member from the national guard in my home state of washington. after being sexually assaulted during her monthly drill on a military base, she took all the necessary steps, including calling the sexual assault response coordinator. but when she called, she was
told that because the assault happened during monthly drill, not on active duty, the sexual assault response coordinator could not help her. that those services were only reserved for those on active duty. madam president, that is absolutely unacceptable. when one of our men and women in uniform is the victim of a sexual assault and they have the courage to come forward and ask for help, the answer never, ever should be, "sorry, there are regulations. nothing i can do for you." now, madam president, this bill is one step to address the crisis we have in our armed forces and it needs to be done now. and yesterday's news that the air force's chief of sexual assault prevention was arrested for sexual assault is another reminder that we've got to change the culture around this issue. but i want to be very clear. the military has taken some steps on its own. for instance, i am looking forward to seeing secretary hagel's proposal on how to reform article 60 of the uniform code of military justice, and as
i think most of our colleagues know, under article 60, the convening authority of a court-martial is empowered to dismiss the judgment of a court-martial and overturn their verdict. many of us, myself included, have had serious concerns about how that authority has been used in sexual assault cases. so, madam president, we are here today to introduce this bill and i want to thank the senator from new hampshire for her advocacy on this issue and for her help in putting this legislation together. and i also want to thank representative tim ryan for his leadership in championing our bill -- companion bill in the other chamber. you know, madam president, when i asked navy secretary ray maybus about the sexual assault epidemic, i was glad to hear he said concern wasn't a strong enough word to describe how he felt about the problem. he said he's angry about it. i know a lot of us here share this feeling. we want it to stop. so i am really hopeful that both chambers can work quickly to do right by our nation's heroes.
you know, when our best and brightest put on a uniform and join the united states armed forces, they do so with the understanding they'll sacrifice much in the name of defending our country and its people. but that supreme court nice should not have to come in the form of unwanted sexual contact from within the ranks. so, madam president, i'm very pleased to introduce this bill and i want to thank senator ayotte again for her hard work and advocacy on this, and it's a pleasure to work with you. and i yield the floor to her at this time. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: madam president, thank you very much. and i would ask upfront for unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. ayotte: thank you, madam president. and let me just say upfront, i very much want to thank my colleague from washington, senator murray, for her leadership on this issue and for the opportunity to work together to address this very, very important issue of making sure that we eliminate sexual assau
assaults that occur within our military and that the victims of these crimes get the respect, the support and the justice that they deserve. and i'm -- i'm very honored to work with you on this and i thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to work with you on this important legislation to address a very serious problem in our military. and i approach this issue not as just someone who comes from a military family and has such great, deep respect for the military, as you know senator murray does, with the important position she has on the veterans' committee, but also someone who serves on the armed services committee and someone who worked in my prior career extensively with victims of sexual assault. during my time as a prosecutor in new hampshire and then later as a state's attorney general, i saw the devastating impact of these types of crime. and i also saw the real need to
address what is too often a silent crime and the victims often suffer in silence for fear of coming forward and not being supported when they are to come forward and report a sexual assault. and so that's very important and that's why i also supported efforts earlier this year that i know senator murray was a very strong leader on in reauthorizing the violence against women act. so i want to thank you for your leadership on that as well. currently, military sexual assault occurs at alarming levels throughout all branches of our military. and according to the department of defen estseates, 19,000 service members sexually assaulted in 2011, a rate of over 52 per day. and despite these shocking figures, fewer than 2,800 assault against service members were reported to the department of dse over this same
period. the department of defense sexual assault prevention and response office's annual report, which was actually just released tod today, at the same time that we are filing our legislation, concludes that the number of people who made an anonymous sexual assault claim but never reported the attack increased from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012, nearly a 37% increase. yet the number of reported sexual assaults against service members only increased -- in other words, those that they did report and come forward -- only by 8%. and so this is a dramatic difference of people that were victims but then feel that they can have the support to come forward and report the crimes that have been committed against -- against them. and astonishingly, as senator murray mentioned, just yesterday it was reported that the police arrested a lieutenant colonel in
charge of the air force's sexual assault prevention and response branch and charged him with sexual battery, bringing this issue very much to the forefront given the fact that this individual was charged with important responsibility over the sexual assault prevention program. it's important to understand why sexual assault is so destructive, especially when it occurs within our military. of course, when it occurs anywhere, but also in our military, sexual assault is a serious and unacceptable crime that can inflict lasting emotional and physical impact on the victims of these crimes that can last for years and throughout their lifetimes. but in the military, sexual assault can also damage unit morale, readiness, the preparedness of our troops and also military sexual assault can negatively impact the well-earned reputation of those
who serve honorably, which is obviously the overwhelming members of our military who serve our country with great courage and with great character.e so we must aggressively tackle this problem to compassionately help victims but also to protect the good order and discipline that ultimately is undermining and supports the readiness of our military units. we do our military and our service members little good if we ignore this problem. conversely, it's very important that we pass common sense legislation that will help solve the problem, but we should make no mistake, the vast majority again of our men and women in uniform serve with tremendous dignity and honor, and the united states continues to be the very best military in the world because of the character, quality and courage of our men and women in uniform. but when a service member fails to live up to our values and
commits a sexual assault, we must ensure victims have the support they need and that the perpetrators are held accountable and are brought to justice. that is why senator murray and i have introduced this legislation today, and our legislation titled the combating military sexual assault act would expand and improve military sexual assault prevention and response resources available to the victims of these crimes, building on the lessons we have learned from a pilot program that is already in place in the air force, our bill would provide trained special victims counsels to victims in all service branches to help them throughout the process, and these counsels can help comfort and advise victims after the crime has occurred. the special victims council can also provide victims the confidence that they need to come forward, report the crime
and seek justice. the chief of staff of the air force general welch testified this morning before the armed services committee that the evidence is clear that providing special victims council to those who suffer from this crime has been -- quote -- "immensely helpful in the air force," and so every victim of crime within our armed services deserve to have the support of the special victims council. our bill would also ensure that sexual assault response coordinators are available to members of the national guard and reserve at all times, and regardless of whether the service members operating under title 10 or title 32 authority, this is very important that we get this in the law now so that our guards men and women, they get the support that they deserve because we could not have fought the battles and the wars that we have fought without their courage and their bravery and the sacrifices that they have made. our bill would also make certain
that sexual assault cases are referred to the general court-martial level when sexual assault charges are filed or to the next superior competent authority when there is a conflict of interest in the immediate chain of command. and right now the way the system is set up, there isn't a set mechanism where there is a conflict of interest. this commonsense approach would recognize the uniquely devastating damage sexual assault crimes inflict on individuals and ensure that victims can have confidence in the military or justice system. in conclusion, allowing this problem to persist is simply unacceptable, both for the victims and for the morale and readiness of our forces that do so much to ensure the freedom of this country. we must continue to make clear that sexual assault in the military simply will not be tolerated, and we must match these words with actions, and our legislation does just that.
i look forward to working with the department of defense, continuing to work with senator murray and thank her again for her leadership on this, and my senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to strengthen existing laws and policies so that all military sexual assault victims can come forward without fear of retribution and with confidence that they will receive the support, care and justice that they deserve from our country. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: madam president, what is the order? the presiding officer: s. 601 is now pending. mrs. boxer: thank you very much, madam president, and before i put forward an amendment, i want to thank my colleagues for working on this military sexual assault. senator gillibrand and i and others are working on a way to
handle these assaults, which takes it out of the chain of command and makes sure that the prosecutors get the chance to decide whether a case goes forward or not and that no one in the chain of command can overturn a court -- a military court that makes a decision, and i look forward to working with all my colleagues, female colleagues, male colleagues. this is an absolute disgrace for the greatest nation on earth, and we have to change the culture there that somehow is permissive toward violence against women, and might i add men as well. when you look at the numbers, there is a lot of sexual violence against men in the military in terms of numbers, more cases against men than women in terms of percentages, more against women. but it's a terrible situation. and, madam president, i will go from that remark to a bill that senator vitter and i are very
proud of, and i withdraw -- i withdraw the committee-reported substitute amendment and i call up the boxer-vitter substitute amendment number 799 and ask for its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the amendment. the presidingthe clerk: the senm california, mrs. boxer, for herself and mr. vitter, proposes amendment numbered 799. mrs. boxer: madam president, i ask that further reading of the amendment be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: and i'm going to make an opening statement here and then turn it over to my colleague, senator vitter, for his opening statement. i want to just say that this is a good day for the senate to get on a bill that is a bipartisan bill where we have had unanimous support in the environment and public works committee, a bill that will create or save half a million jobs for our nation, and it's been a long time in coming.
the last wrda bill, the water resources development act, that was in 2007, and this took a lot of work to get here. the reason is we had to deal with changing the culture of the senate away from earmarks in a bill like this where projects were named, figure out a way we could move forward with these projects without earmarks. it was -- it was difficult. senator vitter and i and our staffs have worked hard to get to this point. i particularly want to say to both staffs we couldn't have done it without your amazing focus. we're so appreciative. our bill did make it through e.p.w. without a single no vote, and since then we have been working with almost every senator to hear their ideas, to get their reactions, to see if there were ways we could change the bill, and the committee -- this substitute that senator
vitter and i have put forward really incorporates the views of a whole array of senators. they know who they are. there is many of them. and we're very happy we were able to work with them, and of course we will continue to work with them if there are ways we can even improve this bill more. so it's -- it's long past time. it was 2007 that the last wrda bill became law, so we have an infrastructure that is critical and part of it is the water infrastructure, and that's what we deal with. so what does this bill do? we focus on flood control, we focus on ports, environmental restoration projects where the corps has completed a comprehensive study, and then we also incorporate authorizations for projects that need modifications, that the modifications don't add to the overall costs of the project, and in the future, we developed a system that allows local
sponsors to make their case directly to the corps because we are fearful that as new needs come up, there is no path forward, so we really do all that in this bill. i'm proud of a lot of provisions in this bill. one of them is what we call the water infrastructure finance and innovation act. it's a way to assist localities in need of loans for flood control or waste water or drinking water infrastructure to receive these loans up front. and let me explain it. we -- we really expanded a program called tifia in the transportation bill dealing with transportation infrastructure, and we said we're a local government or -- where a local government or a region came forward with, say, a sales tax or a bond for a series of transportation projects and they wanted to move quickly and build them in a shorter time frame, as long as they had that steady stream of funding, we could --
the federal government with virtually no risk could advance these funds and let them build these projects quicker, creating jobs and improving the infrastructure quicker. well, we did this with water. it's a smaller -- a small project, and it is not a replacement for our existing funding through the corps and e.p.a. it's a supplement. it's a supplement that would help existing programs leverage more investment in our infrastructure. so wifia will allow localities an opportunity to move forward with water infrastructure projects in the same way that tifia works. now, this bill is critical. i mean, let's just say what it is. and i know there are people who are going to offer amendments on subjects ranging -- let's just say broad-ranging subjects. it is their right to do it. senator vitter and i know that, and it is what it is. it's the senate and people are
going to come forward. but we really hope we won't get bogged down on these nongermane amendments because so much is at stake. and i think this would be a good time for me to say some of the supporters of our bill. the american association of port authorities. the american concrete pressure pipe association. the american council of engineering companies. the american farm bureau. the american foundry society. the american public works association. american road and transportation builders. this goes on. i would ask unanimous consent to place in the record several more organizations, madam president. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: and i will say -- we're looking at the chamber of commerce supporting this bill, the united brotherhood of carpenters and joiners, the waterways council, the plumbing manufacturers. wherever you look, whether it's business, it's labor, it's governmental entities, even the national, as i said, farm
bureau, the laborers international, it's a really important bill. even the commercial real estate development association. why? because they know. if you're going to sell a house in an area that gets flooded, you need to address the flooding problems. so we do address flooding problems. we do address port deepening. and believe me, without these port deepenings, in a lot of our ports, not all of our ports need to do it, but congress could come to a halt and i would say almost a screeching halt, it may be a better terminology, but you have to dredge those ports to a certain depth so those vessels can move in and out. let me talk about just one area in my home state. senator vitter and i, we often say we see the world a little differently or a lot differently when it comes to a lot of issues, but when it comes to infrastructure, we have a lot in common. he had to face this horrific
catastrophic situation after katrina, during katrina, and i look at that issue and i say oh, my lord, if we had something like that happen in sacramento, what -- what would happen? we have so many more people than they have in his state, we have more commerce there, we have more -- we have the seat of the state government there in that basin, so we have to strengthen the levees there. we're talking about $7 billion in property. so we are really talking about a need to prevent terrible flooding. so that just talks about it in one area of my state. and i really want to thank congresswoman doris matsui for all the work that she has done over in the house on this and many others that have helped her over there. i just signal -- i just mention
her name because she has been so involved in representing sacramento. but our bill provides life-saving flood protection for more than 200,000 residents of fargo, north dakota, and morehead, minnesota, who have been fighting rising waters in recent weeks just like they do most years after the spring thaw. the bill will restore the reliability of a levee system that protects topeka, kansas. these levees protect thousands of homes and businesses, and this project will return over over $13 in benefits for every dollar invested. mr. president, you're a fiscal conservative. we are talking about a bill that invests a dollar and gets $13 back. so flood control and flood protection is critical. all we have to do is look at sandy and look what happened and look at the cost -- sandy, one event, $60 billion. so if we were to invest a portion of that in trying to
mitigate these problems before they start, that's what the wrda bill is all about and why it is so important and essential and i hope doesn't get bogged down in extraneous amendments. i talked about the ports. whether it's a project in texas to widen and deepen the sabine waterway, that will have $115 million in annual benefits. it transports 100,000 tons of goods every year. it is the top port for movement of commercial military goods. whether you're in a red state, whether you're in a blue state, whether you're in a purple state or, frankly, any other state, you're protected in this bill. you're covered in this bill. look at florida, the port of jacksonville. safety concerns there for ships entering and exiting this port because of dangerous cross currents. this bill will make it possible to protect that port.
critical ecosystem restoration, the florida everglades. if you've never been to the everglades, you should go to the everglades. it is a miraculous place, a god-given treasure. you have to restore it. it needs our attention. so we definitely have four new everglades restoration projects. we move forward in this bill. the chesapeake bay enables the states could work along the north atlantic coast to restore habitat from virginia to maine and allow the corps to implement projects to better prepare for extreme weather in the northern rocky mountain states of montana and idaho. in addition -- this is important, i talked a little bit about superstorm sandy. we have a new extreme weather title that i'm very proud of. this will enable the corps to help communities better prepare for and reduce the risks of extreme weather-related
disasters. how does it do it? for the first time the boxer-vitter bill allows the corps to conduct immediate assessment of affected watersheds following extreme weather event. for example, if this was operational right after katrina, the corps would have gone right in thr-fplt they wouldn't have had to wait for authorization, they wouldn't have had to wait for an emergency supplemental. and they would have identified and constructed small flood control in ecosystem projects immediately such as building levees, floodwalls and restoring wetlands. they wouldn't have to go through the full study process and receive authorization. after an extreme event, mr. president, senator vitter and i and our whole committee believe it's an extraordinary circumstance. and if you can move right in there and mitigate the damage right away, you should do that with these smaller type projects. in this extreme weather title, we also require the corps and
the national academy of sciences to jointly evaluate options for reducing risks, including flooding and droughts related to future extreme weather events. because as far as we can tell, there's really no specific study that looks at the future. now, the cost of this bill comes in well below the last wrda bill, and we move toward better use of the harbor maintenance trust fund. now let me be clear, senator vitter and i both believe it is a crucial issue to use the harbor maintenance trust fund for harbor maintenance. it just seems to me to be fair, and it seems to him to be fair. but what has happened over the years, because we have these budgetary problems, is the harbor maintenance trust fund is used for other uses. we wanted to totally take that fund away and saved for harbors.
it wasn't going to happen. too much controversy around it. what we were able to do, though, is to make sure that the appropriators knew our concerns -- senator mikulski and senator shelby -- worked with us on a letter, and it really commits to helping us move toward the new authorization levels in this bill which ratchet up spending on the ports. we also make sure that some of our ports that are donor ports -- let's say the one in l.a. long beach that don't have deepening issues on the channel that need to use those funds for other uses, get a chance when those moneys come in to have an opportunity to get back. some of my people are paying in pennies on the dollar. it isn't fair. so we do try to address the issue of the larger ports, the
smaller ports, great lakes. we make reforms of the inner way waterway system, critical for transporting goods throughout the country. expediting product delivery is something we do. and i want to take a moment here. i want to be unequivocal on this project delivery piece. i stand here with credentials going back forever. in my case, it's a long time. and i can say very proudly that every single environmental law stays in place in this bill. as a matter of fact, we have a savings club which specifically says all these laws stay in place. now, senator vitter and i have a little disagreement over environmental laws. we have to work together. he stepped up and said, look, some of these agencies are holding up projects for years, and we're not getting our projects done. i thought that he had a point. so together we worked on a compromise. it isn't everything he wanted.
it isn't everything i wanted. but we are moving forward while saving all the environmental laws by making sure that when the corps has a project and they complete their work, they issue something called a rod, the record of decision. we make sure that all the agencies now are involved in setting the timetable for that r.o.d.. and then the agencies have an additional six months after the date that they approved of to get their comments n. and if they don't, yes, they will get a penalty. and frankly, i think that is important. we do cap those penalties, but the fact of the matter is we're here to do the people's business. and as long as we protect everyone's rights, which we do, and we bend over backwards to make sure all the agencies are involved and making sure the time frames around "the record" are fair and they're involved, we say, yes, you have to step up
to the plant. i have examples in my state where the agencies have taken such a long time whether, frankly, it's an environmental project or construction project, flood control, where agencies aren't talking to each other. senator vitter and i felt it was important to send a message. now, look, the administration doesn't love this, and we understand it. but that's why we have separation of powers here. we say it is only right to work together. so our bill isn't pefbgt. we know that -- our bill isn't perfect. we know that. but we support 500,000 jobs, protect people from flooding, enable commerce to move through our ports, encourage innovative financing and leveraging of funds and begin the hard work of preparing for and responding to extreme weather. and i would defy anyone to tell us another bill that does those
things: protects jobs, protects people from flooding, and preparing for and responding to extreme weather. so i just want to thank a couple of people by name here, and i will do more people later. i really do want to, of course, first and foremost, senator vitter, who has really been a pleasure to work with. we have had our moments where we haven't agreed. our staffs had their moments when they didn't agree. we never got up in anger. we never walked away from the table. we stayed at the table. and to me, that's so important. and we did it on this bill. i wish we could do it on other things, but that's another day. but we're certainly doing it on this bill. so, first and foremost, i want to thank him. next, i want to thank senators phu cull i ask and shelby for writing a letter to us. it isn't all we want but it is a show of good faith, and i think
it's precedent setting that we have this letter saying they're going to tkoefrg in -- to do everything in their power. i want to help senator landrieu. she worked behind the scenes since katrina. her efforts matched with senator vitter's are very important for louisiana. i've been to louisiana many times. i have warm relationships there. i certainly helped when it came to the restore act. and i certainly intend to remember everything the people there went through and to follow through on my commitments to them. so in this bill, we're fair to louisiana, we're fair to california, we're fair to the great lakes, we're fair to the small-port states, we're fair to the medium-port states. we have done everything. we are fair to the states that have ports, that now have
competition from international ports. and i do believe that if we can get through some of the sticky amendments that don't have anything to do with this, we can get through with that, we'll have a very good, strong, bipartisan bill. and i honestly also believe chairman shuster in the house will move forward as well. he's a terrific person to work with, and i enjoy working with him as well. i think if we produce this work product and we can get it done this week -- which i hope we can -- it will make a big difference. before i turn it over to senator vitter, let me say for the interest of all members we are working on an agreement that will allow us to go to a couple of amendments a side. one of them will be the white house amendment. a couple will be senator coburn's. we're looking at other amendments. i hope we can have some votes this afternoon. we don't know at this point. that certainly is a hope of senator vitter and i. we would very much like to
proceed. and with that, i would yield the floor. mr. vitter: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i join my colleague in rising in strong support of this strong bipartisan reform-oriented water resources development act bill. and in doing so, i really want to thank and salute senator boxer for her leadership. more than anything else, she got us to the floor today with a strong, solid bill. as senator boxer mentioned, very early on in our discussions about the work of the e.p.w. committee this congress, we set a good, solid reform oriented wrda bill as our top immediate goal in terms of something the committee could produce and actually pass into law. in fact, those discussions even started between she and me in particular before the start of this congress.
and of course they continued and they ramped up in a meaningful and substantive way. and through that give-and-take and through that real commitment to work in a bipartisan fashion on infrastructure, on jobs, on things we can agree on, this bill came out of that. again, as she mentioned, we don't agree on everything. we don't agree on everything in the committee. and that committee is often very contentious and divided along ideological lines. but this is a subject where we can agree and work productively together because this bill is about infrastructure and jobs, and certainly we can come together around that. and that's what it's fundamentally about. water infrastructure, commerce, and jobs. that's why the alliance for american manufacturing said almost 24,000 jobs will be created for every $1 billion
invested in levees, inland waterways and dams. and this bill does several billion dollars of that. that produces jobs because it's building the necessary infrastructure we need for waterborne commerce. and ultimately that core, that theme, that common goal is what brought us effectively together. the proof of that is, i think, seen in the committee consideration of this bill. as you may know, the e.p.w. committee is a divided committee. on many key issues before us, we are very divide between republicans and democrats. and yet, because of this focus in the bill on maritime commerce, jobs, infrastructure, we won an 18-0 committee vote to report the bill out favorably and bring it to the floor.
let me talk for a few minutes about exactly what is in the bill. and i want to go through the highlights. i think they can best be summarized by focusing on ten specific points. what's in the bill, what the bill does, sometimes just importantly, what's not in the bill and what the bill doesn't do. first of all, the bill does not increase deficit and debt in any way. no negative impact on deficit and debt. and related to that, secondly, no earmarks in the bill. it's the current rules of both conferences not to support and sponsor earmarks. no earmarks in the bill. what is the bill affirmatively do? number three, it authorizes 19 significant projects for flood protection, navigation and ecosystem restoration. and yet at the same time even on
the authorization side, we create a mechanism -- and i thank senator barrasso for contributing this important element to the bill. we create a brac-like commission to deauthorize some old projects which are not being acted upon, which are not getting built. and so because of that new brac-like deauthorization commission, even on the authorization side, we should have a net-neutral impact on authorizations. so the way we have structured it, we shouldn't even be increasing overall net authorizations. number four, we've made substantial progress and reforms to harbor -- the harbor maintenance trust fund and spending on dredging and other arbor maintenance projects. as senator boxer mentioned, i.t.
been an ethor must frustration to many of us that this so-called trust fund is really raided every year, so that even in a good year half of the supposedly dedicated revenue from industry into those trust funds is used for other purposes. again, this is revenue from the maritime industry, supposed to be protected, supposed to be dedicated for dredging and other delineated purposes, but even in a good year half is used for other things with deficit spending. we've negotiated with all members of the senate, including the leaders of the appropriations committee, and i think we have made substantial progress, a big move in the right direction, so that we ramp up arbor maintenance trust fund spending for dredging and other delineated purposes. in a few years between now and
roughly 2019, 2020, we have a steady rampup. we spend more of that trust fund on the agreed-upon delineated purposes every year, building toward full spendout of the trust fund. again, this is the product of a lot of discussion and goodwill negotiation with other members of the senate, including leaders of the appropriations committee. and that's a major element -- positive element of this bill. number five, we also made important reforms and changes to the inland waterway trust fund. there again, there's been real frustration that those inland waterway trust fund projects have been languishing, have not properly gotten the resources they need to be completed and get off the books. we make real reforms on the inland waterway trust fund side
that'll have important, positive impacts to get those important projects built. six, we provide nonfederal sponsors of many of these projects, more project management control in both the feasibility study and the construction phases of projects. this has been an idea and a standalone bill of senator bill nelson of florida and myself. and we incorporated that reform, that pilot project, into this wrda bill so that on a sort of experimental basis in several significant cases we're going to ask the nonfederal sponsors to take over project management control, and we think that's going to allow these projects to get built quicker and more efficiently for less money. seven, we require more accountability of the corps of
engineers on project schedules. we increase public disclosure of internal core decisions, and we actually penalize the corps for the first time ever when they miss significant deadlines. again, senator boxer mentioned this. we had discussions right out of the box and came to the agreement that we're not going to lower the bar about environmental review. we're not going to substantively change any environmental or other requirements. what we are going to do is just make sure, whatever agencies are involved, they do their work this a timely, expeditious way, and that has to start with the corps of engineers in terms of these projects. and we do that with much-heightened corps accountability. number eight, in a similar vein, we accelerate the nepa and project delivery process to ensure that projects are not endlessly held up by government
bureaucracy and by tangles in red tape. again, it's exactly the same approach and agreement that i mentioned with regard to point number seven. we're not changing standards, lessening standard, lessening requirements. we are appropriately streamlining the process and saying, everybody works on deadlines, and the federal agencies involved have to work on and respect those deadlines as well. and if they miss them over and over and oh, they're going to be -- over and over and over, there are going to be meggive consequences. and that's an important reform element to this bill. number nine, as senator boxer mentioned, we provide an innovative financing mechanism for water resource projects as well as water and waste water infrastructure projects. it's called wifia because it's modeled on the tifia program on
the transportation side. it is basically the same idea. tifia has long been a model to build public-private partnerships and help finance important transportation infrastructure projects. on the last highway bill last year that i helped work on, that senator boxer led on, we expanded the tifia program. here we're using the same positive model for a wifia program. and, number ten, finally, we provide more credit opportunities for nonfederal sponsors either in lieu for financial reimbursement or cross-crediting among projects, so they can more reasonably meet their wet lands mitigation and other needs. wet lands mitigation requirements have grown much more onerous and expensive over time in a lot of places of the country, including louisiana. this is sumly intende simply ine
people, private industries, government, more options, not to lower the standard for that mitigation, but more options to meet the standard, to meet the goals in a more efficient and less costly way. and so we do that through these credit opportunities. those are the important key ten highlights of the bill. and, again, i think it is a genuine bipartisan reform-oriented effort that is, at its core, about water infrastructure, wate waterborne commerce, jobs, and flood and hurricane protection. again, as imansed at the beginning, the -- as i mentioned at the beginning, the clearest proof of that is committee consideration and committee vetting. there are not many things that ever get an 18-0 vote in the senate e.p.w. committee.
this did. strong conservatives, strong liberals -- 18-0. i'm very proud of that and think that gives us a very productive path forward. speaking of the path forward, let me just underscore and emphasize what senator boxer has laid out. we want to have votes. we want to process amendments. there is no goal here to frustrate that in any way, by either me or senator boxer or anyone else. but to really get that ball rolling, in my opinion, the best way to get there is to start, to start taking up amendments, to start having votes to build that momentum. so what we would like to do and what we're going to propose in the very near future is, first, if possible, if our substitute amendment can be adopted by unanimous consent to be the underlying bill -- it is
noncontroversial, it incorporates the ideas and suggestions of dozens of senators; there is nothing controversial in it. in fact, the only thip thing its is remove some potential controversy in the bill. so we're going to ask the full senate to allow us by u.c. to adopt that as the underlying bill. and then immediately we're also going to asking to have debate and votes on three or four beginning amendments. and those, in fact, i believe, are going to be nongermane amendments. i think that underscores and illustrates our goodwill about processing amendments, getting it going, taking amendments, having votes, and getting through this process. now, i would suggest that senato-- i wouldsuggest, as sen, that we try to focus on the important subject matter of the bill and not endlessly or needlessly go far afield.
but i do think that proposing these amendment votes straight out is an important gesture of goodwill to set the right precedent and tone for a full, open debate on the floor, and so that's what we're going to do. and so as soon as that u.c. request is drafted and rather, i will come to the -- and ready, i will come to the full senate with that. and if we can gain consent for that i think it will set us on a very productive path, both to consider the bill and to process amendments and have votes. clearly, those amendments wouldn't be the end of it, by far, and we're already keying up some amendments to come right after that, to get those up, to debate those maybe tonight, to vote on those as soon as we can, perhaps in the morning, and go from there. so that's my goal and expectation in terms of the near future with senato, which senatr shares, and we'll return to the full senate hopefully quickly with that request. thank you, mr. chairman, and
with that, i yield to the distinguished senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. chairman? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: let me first thank the senator from louisiana for his hard work, along with chairman boxer, to get us to this point, which i think is a very auspicious point with a very bipartisan bill on the floor and with the senate on the cusp of an agreement that will allow us to imloament the managers' -- to implement the managers' amendment and calm the first tranche of senate amendments. and let me thank him and the chairman for agreeing that an amendment of mine will be one of that first tranche of amendments. i am not going to call it up now because the agreement is not finalized, but i will discuss it and we can save time later on once the bill is pending. but my amendment would establish
a national endowment for the oceans, coasts, and great lakes. our oceans and our coasts face really unprecedented challenges, and our coastal states, including our great lake states, badly need this endowment. water temperatures are increasing, sea level is rising, ocean water is growing more acidic. right now we as a country and we as states and local communities are ill-prepared to engage in the research and restoration and in the conservation work that is necessary to protect our coastal communities and our coastal economies. the noted ocean explorer bob ballard, who famously discovered the wreckage of the titanic at the bottom of the atlantic, has said, "a major problem -- a major problem is the disconnect between the importance of our
oceans and the meager funds we as a nation invest, not only to understand their complexity but to become responsible stewards of the bounty they represent." just how large is that bounty that our nation reaps from our oceans? well, in 2010 marine activities like fishing, energy development, and tourism contributed $258 billion to our u.s. gross domestic product and supported 2.8 million jobs. along our coasts, shoreline counties, which include many of our biggest cities, generated 41% of our g.d.p. which is $6 trillion. coastal communities are the engines of our economy and changes in the oceans put that economy at risk.
we must find ways of using these vital resources without abusing them. just last month the democratic steering and outreach committee heard from signivities and industry leaders from across the country who are deeply worried about threats to our oceans. on the pacific coast, ocean acidification is killing off the oyster harvest, a major cash crop for that region. they're being killed off by sea water too acidic for the oysters to form their shells. live coral in some caribbean reefs is down to less than 10%, which is bad news for florida, which usually sees over 15 million recreational dives every year. think of what those 15 million dives mean for florida's economy? economy. not just for the dive boats and
the trainers that take people out for scuba diving, but for hotels and restaurants and retailers. evan matthews, the port director for the port of quonset in my home state of rhode island, spoke on behalf of america's port administrators to tell us that rising sea levels make port infrastructure more vulnerable to damage from waves and storms. virtually all of our economy is touched by what goes through our network of coastal ports, and damage to any of them, since they work as a network, could disrupt the delivery of vital goods not only to coastal states but to inland states as well. so it affects all of us but for the coastal states, this is really big. we have work to do. preparing for changes in our oceans and preventing storm damage like we saw in superstorm sandy. we need to reinforce natural coastal barriers like dunes and
astares that help bear the brunt of storm surges as well as acting as nurseries for our bounty of fish. we need to relocate critical infrastructure like water treatment plants and bridges which are increasingly at risk of being washed away. we need to understand how ocean acidification and warming waters will affect the food chain and our fishing economies. and we need to know where the high-risk areas are so coastline investors can understand the gee dwraskal -- geographical risk. these are coastal concerns but they have concerns for all 50 of our states. if you eat see seafood, this concerns you. if you'd purchased anything produced outside the united states and imported through our network of coastal ports, this concerns you. and according to 2011ed today
deat from the national oceanic and atmospheric administration, 75% of u.s. imports arrived on our shores through our ports. so they probably should concern you. the national endowment for the oceans, coasts and great lakes can help coastal states and communities protect more habitat and infrastructure, conduct more research, and clean more waters and beaches. the need is great, and we must respond. now, this amendment would just authorize the national endowment for the coasts, and great lakes. we'll have to figure out how to fund it later. when we've figured out how to fund it, it would make grants to great lakes states, to planning bodies, to academic institutions and to nonprofit organizations to learn more about and do a better job of protecting our coasts and
oceans. it would allow researchers to hire technicians, mechanics, computer scientists and students. it would put people to work, strengthening or relocating endangered public infrastructure. it would help scientists, businesses and local communities work together to protect our working oceans. and i would protect jobs by restoring commercial fisheries and promoting sustainable and profitable fishing. how great is the need for these projects? well, we know because a few years ago noaa received $167 million for coastal restoration projects through the american recovery and reinvestment act. when they asked for proposals, more than 800 proposals for shovel-ready construction and engineering projects came in.
projects totaling $3 billion seeking that $167 million in funding. projects from alaska to florida to the carolinas to maine. but noaa could only fund 50 of the 800. the national endowment for the oceans will help us move forward with more of these key projects to help protect our oceans and drive our economy. mr. president, we will continue to take advantage of the ocean's bounty, as we should. we will trade, we will fish, and we will sail. we'll it's district pose of waste, we'll extract fuel and harkinest the -- harness the wind. we will work our working oceans. navies and cruise ships, sail boats and supertankers will plow their surface. we cannot, we will not undo this part of our relationship with the sea.
but what we can change is what we do in return. we can for the first time give a little back. we can become stewards off our oceans, not just takers, but caretakers. and we must do this sooner rather than later. as changes to our oceans pose a mounting and nationwide threat. let me quote dr. jeremy mathis of the university of alaska who said this recently: "this is going to be a shared threat. it's not unique to any one place or any one part of the country. and so we're going to have to tackle it as a nation, all of us working together. whether you live along the coast of washington or of rhode island, or whether you live in the heartland in iowa, this is going to be something that touches everybody's lives." so today i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this
amendment to authorize a national endowment for the oceans, coasts, and great lakes. it will not obligate any funding. we'll figure out later an appropriate way to fund it. but at least help our nation take this important step. protecting our oceans and coasts, protecting the jobs they support through fishing, research, and tourism, protecting the stability of our national economy which depends on ports and maritime activity, and, of course, protecting the property and the lives of the millions of americans who live and work near the sea. colleagues, you can help us become as dr. ballard said, responsible stewards of the bounty the oceans provide. and for those who are not sure,
let me add one further consideration. for my colleagues, a senate consideration. this endowment together with funding, indeed, permanent and directed funding, was part of a negotiated package with billions of dollars in benefits to america's gulf states. for reasons that are not worth discussing here, and that are no one side's fault, that agreement was broken, and this part of that deal fell out. if you believe that people should keep their word around here, if you believe that
agreements forged in the senate should stick, then i would ask my colleagues just on that grounds to support this partial repair of that broken agreement. i look forward for that and other reasons to having bipartisan support for this amendment, and i hope we can make a strong showing in this body to carry it forward as part of this important water resources development legislation. mr. president, on that i will take this opportunity to yield the floor and if no one seeks recognition, i will note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
quorum. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. blunt: madam president, i want to talk about an to this bill that could be offered later. i'm not offering it at this time. i'm being joined in this amendment by my good friend florida, mr. nelson, and this would be a discussion about what we can do to be sure that the things we build have a better chance of lasting, construction that meets real stress. in both of our states, in missouri and florida, we have some significant experience with weather conditions that are -- that are damaging to people and property. on may the 22nd two years ago, 2011, in joplin, missouri, right on the arkansas -- near the arkansas and the oklahoma border, we had an e-5 tornado hit that community. it killed 161 people. it destroyed 7,000 homes, 500
businesses and damaged others. this was a -- a huge impact on people and the homes they had, the businesses they had. as -- as they've rebuilt, the city's tried to focus on rebuilding in a way that would protect lives and save money if something like that happens again. by creating structures that can withstand the most severe storms. there and in other places in our state, we've had many stories over the years, there are people who got -- literally got in the freezer in the garage or in the utility room, or people who got in the -- got in the bath dispub pullebathtub andpulled the mattf them to try to ride out the storm, and they'd just as soon not do that. they'd rather have a more resilient -- i think the term that's used that we're going to be talking about is resilient
construction, construction that has the potential to substantially reduce property damage and loss of life resulting from natural disasters. homes and businesses that can withstand disasters, that can protect people during storms. and as more disaster resilient building is done, there's less to clean up, there's less property damage, the insurance rates are impacted in not as big a way because not so much has to be rebuilt because not so much was destroyed. these techniques, these resilient building techniques can be as simple as just using longer nails or strapping down the roof so it's got that one additional level of security to the roof before -- before the shingles go on. there are many simple and easy steps that builders can take to ensure that a home or a business
can -- has the best chance to withstand these disasters. and this amendment that we would hope would be offered at the appropriate time later would simply add resilient construction to the list of criteria that the national academy of sciences and the government accounting office are directed to study. this adds that one thing to it. i think from just a commonsense perspective, it's obvious why, knowing what building techniques work and what building techniques don't work, make a difference. the ones that minimize damage, that prevent the loss of life, that reduce the government disaster aid that has to be expended in these disasters that are too big for families and communities and states to handle on their own. and while we're unable to predict when and why a storm might occur next, we do know that there will be other problems that need to be dealt with. and so studying the impact of
construction techniques in storm situations is something that i believe we should do. i think this would be an added benefit to this bill. and at the appropriate time, look forward to calling the actual amendment up or asking someone else to call the -- to see that this amendment is called up so that my colleagues have a chance to vote on it. and i know my cosponsor, senator nelson's, here on the floor and i believe prepared to talk. mr. nelson: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: madam president, indeed, i want to talk about this amendment and why it's a good thing. but i first want to compliment the chairman of the environment committee, who isn't seated at her desk in the chamber but she's seated as the presiding officer. and i want the chairman of that committee to know that she must
be merlin the magician, because in rapid fashion she brings the bill out of her committee and to the floor, along with her ranking, the senator from louisiana, senator vitter, and -- and this water bill is so important to the future of our country. and it's so important to infrastructure in this country. and so i just commend the chairman and the ranking member for the rapidity with which they have worn out the leadership in order to get the leadership's attention to bring it to the floor. now, what senator blunt and i are sponsoring is common sense, and anybody who's been through a hurricane or a tornado or any other kind of natural disaster knows what new building codes
have done. well, there's a -- there's a fancy new term now called resilient construction, and the resilient construction is making it more resilient in the withstanding of a natural disaster. i'll never forget flying in a national guard helicopter after the monster hurricane in 1992, hurricane andrew, that hit a relatively unpopulated part of miami dade county, the southern end and it ended up being a $20 billion insurance loss storm. had it turned one degree to the north and drawn a line on northern dade county's southern broward county -- in other words, north miami and south for
the layerefort lauderdale -- thd have been back in 1992 dollars, a $50 billion insurance loss. that would have taken down every insurance company that was doing business in the path of the storm. we had that warning and we saw the results of the lack of attention to resilient construction, in other words the building codes. because, as i flew over that area of homestead, florida, in the national guard helicopter, everything was wiped out in -- in homeowner areas. just completely wiped out. they were gone. they were a bunch of sticks. as a matter of fact, the trees were sticks. there were no leaves and limbs left over. you know, in downtown homestead, there were two things that were left standing. one was the bank, and the other one was an old florida cracker house built back in the old da
days. back in the old days, when they built to withstand hurricanes. i'll never forget going through and meeting the head of habitat for humanity and he would tell us the stories about he had a son, habitat for humanity, a bumper sticker on his briefcase, and when he walked through the airport, people would come up, "oh, you're with habitat. i want you to know that all of your homes survived." and they would ask him, how did your homes survive? and he would answer, and he'd say, inexperience. and they'd say, inexperience, what do you mean? he'd say, well, since our homes are built by volunteers, instead of driving two nails, they'd drive ten nails -- nails. resilient construction. extra straps on the rafters. building to the codes that will
withstand the wind. now, you were talking about some of your constituents in missouri on this tornado. well, my wife grace and i are in our condominium in orlando, and all of a sudden do you know that your new smartphones beep when there is a national weather warning, and you pick it up. i mean, it's -- i haven't turned it on. it will beep anyway. and it says severe weather warning, a tornado is in route, take cover. and i look at our condo and it's all these glass windows and i'm thinking what inner room can i go in, and since we have a two story, what i decided to do was go into the elevator and put it down on the bottom floor as a place of taking cover of which
in missouri you've got plenty of basements that are specifically built for the purpose of taking cover. this is what we want the construction industry to do, and so what the senator from missouri and i are doing is saying to the national academy of sciences that we want you all to come up with additional studies on how our people are save lives and save property with resilient construction, and that's simply what this amendment does. mr. president, i -- i would just conclude by saying that my goodness, i mean, do we need another reminder of katrina? remember, the katrina problem was not the wind. the katrina problem was the wind on the backside coming across lake pontchartrain that caused
the water to rise that the levees weren't there, breached the levees, and that became a multiple hundreds of billions of dollars storm that we sure should have learned our lessons there, and so sometimes the resilient construction is not only about people's homes but it's about dikes and levees as well. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i just want to thank my colleagues from missouri and florida for this very worthwhile amendment. i will certainly be supporting it, and we -- the plan is to have this in the second set of amendments for votes absolutely as soon as we can proceed to those, and so that's the plan which i fully expect to be executed, and i thank them for their work and for their contribution. in the same vein, we're
expecting senator inhofe to join us on the floor to also present without formally calling up but to present his germane amendment, and that way we'll have that discussion ahead of time, and that also will be all teed up for the second set of amendments which we hope to have on this bill. i hope what this underscores is that i think we have a pretty good plan to move forward, to move forward quickly, to start having votes. you know, sometimes around here we want to settle every possible discussion about every possible amendment vote out there. in my opinion, it's more productive to start because you can't finish unless you start. i think we want to start having important votes, including nongermane votes, and get to absolutely every amendment we can, and i think we're on that path. hopefully we'll be doing that today, and then formally
the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. pryor: skilled that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. pryor: i ask that there be a period for debate only until 5:30 p.m. the presiding officer: is there objection is this without objection. mr. inhofe: i thank my good friend arkansas. the presiding officer: the? er from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: first of all, the senator from arc, a and i have a very significant amendment, one that we'll want to talk about. it is an attempt we actually had during the -- it is an amendment we actually during the discussions on the budget bill, at about 4:00 in the morning. at that time we were able to get it passed, without a dissenting vote, i might add much it is one we should be able to get through. and i would like to yield this to him but before doing that i want to mention that we have a set aside amendment that i am very concerned with. i certainly think that the senator in the chair as well as the senator from arkansas would
both be very appreciative of this and supportive of this, since they have a lot of small communities in their state, like i do in my state of oklahoma. what it does, it uses the threshold of 25,000 people -- any community that's 25,000 people or less would have -- would be able to take advantage of this set-aside money that would come within the wrda bill. here is the problem that we have. a lot of the you small communities we have -- in my state of oklahoma, the state of west virginia, in arkansas -- are in the same situation. they're not large enough to have an engineer or someone who is going to be able to put grants together. and so we take 10% of the total amount and put it in there as a set-aside for the small communities. it's one that we have used. we've used the 25,000 benchmark before in the transparenc transn bill, in the wrda bill, in the
farm bill. and it will provide a pot of money -- doesn't cost us; its not scored -- but from the overall money to the reserve for the small communities such as my communities in the state of oklahoma. so that's an amendment that i understand we are not to call up amendments right now. that's fine with me. but that's one that we will be offering. and in just a moment i'll go ahead and yield to the senator from arkansas. in the meantime, i would recall in the memories of those in this body that when we had our all-night session about a month ago and the amendments were there for the -- on the budget bill, one of the amendments that we passed was an amendment that would allow the sbcc to have farms exempt from the sbcc -- that's the spill prevention containment control act -- so that the farms in my state of
oklahoma and throughout america would not be treated as refiners. the spill prevention is a very expensive process. it's one that -- you have those charts here? it is one that is -- would require double containers for farms if they -- and this is a good example. this happens to be a container on one of my farms in my state of oklahoma, where you have a total amount of gallons of fuel that -- from -- it would either be gas or oil or other fuels. if they are less than 10,000 gallons, they will be exempt. but if they're less than 42,000 gallons, they wouldn't -- they would allow them to not do it through a professional engineer, but they could do it just within their own resources. in other words, set their own standards. this is my state of oklahoma. this is -- happens to be the
well-discussed pipeline that goes through cushing, oklahoma. this is one of the central points where gasoline -- where oil comes in and then goes out, comes from the north and goes back down to texas. but this -- these are containers, and they should be subject to the jurisdiction that is prescribed for refiners for the containment of the oil and gas. that's what that's about. this is not what that's about. because this is just a typical farm. now, i've talked to farmers, and after that amendment passed -- and the occupant of the chair will remember this because you are a very strong supporter of this particular amendment -- that we had phones ringing offer the hooks from the american farm bureau, from all the others saying that this is something that is reasonable. now, here's the problem: that would have expired on may 30. and all we did with that amendment was extend that
exemption to the end of the fiscal year. well, if -- that passed without one dissenting vote. and if that -- and if it's that popular, then why not go ahead and just have the same type of an exemption put permanently in our statutes? and that's what our plan is to do with the pryor-inhofe amendment. it's supported by the american farm bureaucracy the national cattle means beef association, national counsel of farmer co-ops, the national wheat growers association, the national cotton council, the american soybean association, the national corn negotiation, the u.s. rice association. so almost everyone having to do with a.g. ag is very supportive of this. it doesn't totally exempt all farmers because what it does is establish three categories. one with farms where you add up the aggregate, and it is less than 10,000 gallons; they would
be exempt. however, if you're in the next level up -- that would be between 10,000 and 42,000 gallons -- they would be required to maintain a self-certified spill plan. now, anything greater than 42,000, they'd have to require -- have the full requirement. that means they'd have to hire an engineer, they have to go through all this expense, and i see that the prime sponsor of this amendment is on the floor now, so i would yield to the senator from arkansas. mr. pryor: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. pryor:man, i want to thank my colleague and friend from oklahoma. you were doing just a good job explaining the amendment, i didn't want to interrupt him. but i thank you so much, senator, for yielding. later this week all farms in the united states have to comply with the e.p.a. spill prevention control countermeasures rule known as spcc.
that takes effect on may the 10th. farms are not like other regulated entities, though. in the spcc round the -- let me back up on that. farms are unlike other spcc entities that the agencies dealt with since 1973. farms do not have, by and large, environmental manager personnel ready to follow through on these regs and make thew that they're in compliance -- and make sure that they're in compliance wall the e.p.a. stuff. whereas all the other businesses with larger financial resourcings tend to have more resources abc newsources and moe devoted to making sure the regs are complied w ag has a very good track record on fuel spills. ranches, livestock operations, farmer cooperatives and othe
agribusinesses pose a very low risk for spills. many of these tanks are seasonal and they stay empty for large parts of the year. but what they allow farmers to do is manage the high fuel cost that toff endure n our state it is mostly diesel, probably mostly diesel in most parts of the country. in fact, if you look at the data, spills on farms are almost nonexistent. this is a commonsense commonsense amendment of i want to thank senators inhofe, fisher, landrieu for joining me in this and taking this burden off of farmers and ranchers in implementing the spcc rule. let me tell you what it will do, mr. president. it will provide real striction threshold for tank regulation at the farm level and allow more farms to self-certify, saving time and money otherwise spent in hiring professional engineers to develop and sign spcc plans.
the e.p.a.'s unusual 1,320 gallon regulatory threshold under the spcc rule is not a normal tank size for agriculture. that may be normal in other contexts, but not in agriculture. a 1,000-gallon size is much more common and raising the threshold to 10,000 gallons in aggregate is a much more reasonable level for farmers and ranchers all over the country. so my amendment would allow most arkansas farms, most farms in oklahoma, in fact most farms throughout the country, to use the aggregate storage capacity between 10,000 and 42,000 gallons to self-certify rather than going through the expense and the time of hiring a professional engineer. i look forward to working with the bill managers on this amendment, and i also have another amendment -- i no he
that these amendments are not -- they would be objected to right now if we brought up the amendments. this is amendment 801. but at the appropriate time, i would like to ask that it be made pending. who have-woulwhoever whoevermr.r yield? i think someone might have an objection to this amendment if they thought that there were some bad actors out there who in the past have violated, have done something, in which case they would still have to be -- have to comply as if they had over 42,000 in storage. and i -- this was called to my attention, and i think in the drafting of this amendment you took care of that problem. and i -- i do believe and we discussed this -- i remember the last time it was at 4:00 in the morning when they had the amendment up as a budget amendment that at that time we made it very clear. the spcc was designed for refiners much it was designed
for the big operations like that big operation that we have in cushing, oklahoma. doesn't affect them. they still should be and are -- but the thousands, literally thousands, of farms that are out there who are just trying to barry get by, they're the ones i know that yo you have in the ste of arc oklahoma as wel arkansas. i want to make sure that part of the amendment was included in this discussion because that will offset some of the otherwise opposition that might be there to this amendment. mr. pryor: i thank the senator from oklahoma for pointing that out. the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. pryor: i'm not aware of any real opposition to this amendment. there may be a little bit of opposition but i'm not aware of it. but i know that we have at least one senator, maybe more, who are temporarily at least objecting to all amendments until his or a group of them that can be agreed to are made
pending. so i don't think any objections right now oob -- objection would be specific to this amendment. i also have another technical amendment that i want to call up at the appropriate time. it's not the right time now. but at the appropriate time i do have another technical amendment. so i want to thank my colleague from oklahoma for his leadership and thank him for his effort in this along with senators fischer and landrieu. this has been a team effort, bipartisan. we want to help american farmers. again, the risk of spill on farms and ranches is just minuscule, it's almost nonexistent and if you look at the track records, it's a very, very good track record, this is an amendment, something we've been working on for a long time and, mr. president, with with that, i'll yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. vitter: thank you, mr. president. let me again thank my colleagues from arkansas and oklahoma. i support their measure and i thank them for coming down and
laying out the argument explaining their measure even before it's formally presented because that will help expedite the process. and we're absolutely working on that formal consideration and vote as soon as possible, just as we are on the amendment we talked about a few minutes ago, the blunt-nelson amendment. so i thank them for their work. i thank them for coming to the floor to expedite debate, and we're absolutely working on proceeding to get to formal consideration of their amendment and vote. and with that, mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. cruz: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cruz: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cruz: mr. president, i rise today in praise of majority leader harry reid. yesterday our esteemed majority leader said the following -- quote -- "my friend from texas is like the schoolyard bully. he pushes everyone arnol arounds losing, and instead of playing
the game according to the rules, he not only takes the ball home with him, but he changes the rules." today, leader reid continued his demonstration of civility, referring to me as the -- quote -- "very junior senator from texas." as i noted yesterday, the senate is not a schoolyard. setting aside the irony of calling someone a bully and then shouting them down when they attempt to respond, today i wish simply to commend my friend from nevada for his candor. yesterday, i expressed my concern that sending the budget to conference could be used to pass tax increases or a debt ceiling increase through reconciliation, a back-door path that would circumvent the long-standing protections of the minority in the senate, and i observed that i would readily consent to the leader's request if he would simply agree that n