Skip to main content

tv   US Senate  CSPAN  December 16, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm EST

7:00 pm
we all knew that there was fraud. with this bill, we'll be able to secure key incentives for economic growth. for example, the bill makes permanent section 179, small business expensing, which allows smalsmall businesses, the drivef american job creation, to grow and invest with more immediate tax benefits. this has been a top priority for many members of congress, not to mention virtually everyone in the business community. the path act will also improve and make permanent the research and development tax credit, a vital tax provision for industries and businesses that thrive in areas of research, areas where the u.s. continues to lead the world. and this has been something i've fought for every year, year after year after year. and we've always gotten it but it's never really worked as well as it should because there was no permanence to it. now we're going to have a permanent. that's a great, great step
7:01 pm
forward. our bill also gives more companies greater incentives to invest in assets that will help their businesses grow and expand. his, too, has been a longtime >> this has been a long-time e priority for the business committee and many members of congress. we were not able to make it permanent but we did improve and extend the important tax incentive. it will have key components to make america more competitive on the active stage. it expands the afe from subpar income and it provides a five year extension for the control for corporations through provisions. both of these tax provisions give american companies with american stockholders and employing american workers a greater about to compete internationally. this is important if like me you want to see u.s. companies
7:02 pm
remain u.s. companies. in addition to the top priorities for businesses in the united states it would provide significant tax relief for families. the deduction for state and local sales tax, makes permanent low income military housing credit, and the employer wage credit for active duty military employees. it provides a long-term expansion and eligibility for work opportunity tax credits. all of these provisions benefit american families in various regions under a number of different circumstances. our legislation will insure that millions of americans who benefit from these tax provisions will be able to rely on and plan around them well into the future. not a bad result if you ask me. i am not done yet, mr. president. in addition to the many benefits we provide to families and
7:03 pm
businesses, the act would give significant tax relief to charities. it would, for example, make sure charitable distributions from ira's remain tax-free on a permanent bases. and provisions that would incenticize s-corporations to make donations. i have covered quite a bit of ground. i have not gotten to the obamacare provisions yet. as we negotiate this legislation, the most difficult part is dealing with the rumor mill when i suppose was not unaccepted. most of the really outrageous rumors we heard during this process that were provisions of the so-called affordable care act. people were claiming senate republicans agreed to bail out the obamacare risk corridor
7:04 pm
program in order to get a deal. we heard there was an agreement to provide tax relief to the failing obamacare exchanges. none of these rumors were true. this exercise was never going to be used to solidify obamacare and republicans never, for a second, considered allowing that to happen. however, because many democrats have begun to recognize some of the more problematic elements of the president's health care law we can agree to suspend one of the more harmful taxes imposed under obamacare. there is a two year moratorium on the medical device taxes. one of the more unpopular taxes included in the bill has been fought against by republicans and democrats alike. this demonstrates the bipartisan opposition to the tax but it
7:05 pm
will help patients and consumers throughout the country who have seen their health care cost go up because of the medical device tax. i have been a particular advocate to get rid of that faulty tax. and we will get rid of it. we will see what happens in those next two years. whether all -- this legislation provides 650 billion in tax relief so the next ten years for families, job creators and others. that is real money. it will help millions of people and provide real growth for our economy. that, mr. president, is a real value of greater permanence in our tax code and the biggest reason we need to pass this legislation. don't get me wrong, i don't believe this is a perfect bill
7:06 pm
be any means. if everything in the united states was based on hatch's views this legislation would like different. but that is not where we live. here in the real world any undertaking is going to require compromise. i know i say that a lot about that and learning the art of the doable every time we considering a high profile piece of legislation this year. but that doesn't make by arguments any less true. this is a good video. anyone can make excuses to vote no if they break it down but taken overall we should welcome the positive impact this bill will have on our economy and future legislative efforts here in the congress.
7:07 pm
i urge my colleagues to support the path act and provide real tax relief at this political time. before i close, mr. president, i have to note a lot of work has gone into this legislation. every provision of this bill has a number of champions who worked for years to preserve these previsions in the hopes of making them permanent and i want to acknowledge some of those efforts today particularly those on on the senate finance committee. the reduction of state and local sales taxes, which this bill makes permanent, has had a number of champions on both sides of the aisle. senator lindsey, heller, and corner made this legislation a priori priority. another significant bill is the research and tax credit. this has been a top priority of
7:08 pm
mine for many year. s section 179, small business extension would be made permanent under this bill and there are leaders from many years. the bill makes permanent the 15 year deprecation for restaurants and retail. burr, heller, isaacson, portman, robinson, have worked hard to keep in this place. and senator lindsey is a big supporter of making the fac permanent. on the charitable sides, senator roberts is a strong supporter for the s-corporations and the
7:09 pm
reduction for food inventory most of which will be permanent with this bill. senator thune has worked to make sure charitable distributions from ira's remain tax-free another permanent position in this act. senator heller has championed the real property contributions made for conversation purposes yet another item that this bill make permanent. the reduction of classroom teacher expenses is made permanent in this bill and senator burr has been a strong supporter in that provision and deserves a lot of credit. passing this bill makes the housing credit for military
7:10 pm
families permanent. senator portman, all of these people are active members on the republican side that i am mentioning, pushed to extend the work opportunity tax created. and it will include there long-term unemployed. this is an unprecedented extension for this credit. thank you, senator. we appreciate your work on this. >> as we have seen you work so hard on many of these issues. we are grateful for you. i am grateful to have all of these people on my committee helping out. mr. president, i am focusing mainly on temporary provisions. if i start talking about the extensions on the bill we would be here all day.
7:11 pm
i do, however, also want to give credit where it is due on the obamacare provisions. for years now, our position to the misguided medical device tax, the most charitable description of that tax you will ever hear from me, has been gaining momentum. throughout that time, senator toomey, burr and coach worked hard to push the repeal. our bill would take a significant step forward in this effort by imposing a two-year moratorium on this job-killing tax. i haven't mentioned the other side but klobuchar has stood with me and so many on the other side of the aisle as well for getting rid of that tax. let me just say it is a pleasure for me to work with senator
7:12 pm
wyden, the ranking member, he has worked with us on many of these issues and so have others on the democrat side of the aisle. but the leadership on many of these issues has come from these people i mentioned. and i think i just want to make sure the people would understand this who are listening. as you can see the path act reflects the efforts and many committees, not just the finance, but members on both sides as well. i thank my democrats for helping. i am particularly grateful for the work my colleagues on the finance committee put in to advance the interest of their voters. each of our members has put a huge stamp on this legislation. with a little luck and a handful
7:13 pm
more of votes, the work will be enshrined. there are of course others who have also worked hard on parts of this bill. every senator has high priority items included in this bill. that is a big reason why it is important we get this done for the american people. i am happy to bring together both democrats and republicans on this important set of tax changes that really is long, long overdue. i am very pleased to work with my democrat colleagues as well. many of them deserve credit as well. we have to have the effort here. mr. president, before i yield my time i wish to play tribute to a
7:14 pm
beloved utah who was taken years before his time. nathan greg. nate was a celebrated member of this tight knit community but a well-respected former staffer of the united states senate. tragically at the young age of 37 nate was struck boy a random infection and passed away unexpectedly on a visit to china. although he is no longer with us, the great love he shared with others remains in our hearts. nate graduated from north ridge high school before studying political science and moved to washington, d.c. from 2003-2009 he served as a legislative assistance for robert bennett. nate was senator bennett's key staffer on the transatlantic
7:15 pm
policy network. a group of united states and europe elected officials and policy leaders in europe and the united states. as a military legislative assistance he worked closely with the combat stations in utah. in this capacity he also advance senator bennett's priorities on state foreign operations and related programs. the senator's agenda included increased funding for microfinance programs, streng strengthening the groups.
7:16 pm
he traveled to support senator bennett's work as well. nate never thought himself above anyone else and was always helpful and find to everyone regardless of status and position. he may have been a special mentor to senator bennett younger staff. he looked out for the younger staffers and helped out. nate entered the private sector following this position and accepted a position for global government relations and public policy. although nate never worked for me, directly, he was a gifted public servant whose contributions are felt across the entire utah delegation and across me perfectly. speaking to nate's character, senator bennett who is going through his own battle with
7:17 pm
cancer now sent me this: quote he was a valued and loved member of my staff who was on great track to success with his family and his career. this is a terrible tragedy. our thoughts are with this family. that was a fine statement from senator bennett. i might add senator bennett has had good results from his therapy on his cancer and it looks as though he is hopefully cancer-free at this point. a lot of us have been playing for him and we will continue. while nate was working for senator bennett he met and fell in love with his sweetheart. i know he was delighted when he could be a match maker for
7:18 pm
staffers as we all. nate is survived by their four sons: rowen, lincoln, james, and griffin who was just born a few months ago. nate was an active member of the latter day saints. just six weeks before he passed away he was released as the bishop to a local church in arlington, virginia where harry reid a reputation of fostering love and support. in just a few days, friends and neighbors, have raised nearly $100,000 in a crowd funding effort to support this family. mr. president, i would like to close with the words of the english poet: from his hymn
7:19 pm
called ride with me. this song is well beloved across the community. it offers comfort and faith amid the sadness of loss. quote i am to bless. ills have no wait and cures no bitterness. where does death sting? our triumph still abide with me. we believe nate now abides in a holy place. his family is in our thoughts just as they are in our prayers. may god comfort them. may he comfort all of us as we mourn the loss of an exceptional friend, father and husband.
7:20 pm
mr. president, i address the absence of the court. >> senate republicans are saying they could take up the tax package senator hatch was talking about and the end of the year spending bill as early as friday. the hill reports to vote on the measures on friday. the republican leadership needs to get consent from every senator to speed up the votes and avoid keeping lawmakers here into next week. we are getting reaction from the lawmakers as they read the bill. senator diane feinstein tweeting good news on the funding bill. includes cybersecurity act a vital first step to fight cyber attacks. scott wong from the hill said scott richard is a no on the bill because of the syrian refuge being scrapped. and then it was tweeted it will tighten the requirements under
7:21 pm
the visa waiver program. we will see senator mccain and dick durbin talk about one part of the finance bill that would lift the bill on rockets tax. >> i rise to call attention sadly to the triumph in this year's appropriation bill. in particularly, a policy provision that was air dropped into the bill in direct to the authorization act that has u.s. taxpayers subsidise russian aggression. two years ago, vladimer putin furious the ukrainian people spoke out and invaded them and took over. first days since stallin and
7:22 pm
hitler came over to destroy a city. 8,000 people died in the con fp flict including the people in mh-17 who were murdered by people who putin supplied weapons with. it forced recognition for anyone not convinced we are con fronting a challenge that many assumed were resigned to the history books. a strong russian government that is hostile to our interest and values and seeks to challenge the international order that both parties try to maintain.
7:23 pm
as part of that effort, congress passed the fiscal year 2015 national authorization act which was picked from the air force rocket engines. a russian company controlled by some of putin's top cronies. we did so not only because the nation shouldn't rely on russia to access space but because it is immoral to help sub-saharsid them. last year, the bill exempted five of the engines that united launch purchased before the innovation of ukraine. this allows the space launch
7:24 pm
company that for years enjoyed a monopoly on launching military satellites to use those russian rocket engines if the secretary of defense determined it was necessitated by national security. since the passage of the act in the senate, 89-11, russia has continued as we know to destabalize ukraine and menace our allies in europe with aggressive behavior. putin sent weapons to iran, violated the 1987 nuclear range force treaty, and now russia has intervened militarily in syria on behalf of the regime of assad. clearly russian behavior has only gotten worse. that is why a few weeks ago congress acted again passing the 2016 national defense
7:25 pm
authorization act authorizing 300 million in security assistance and intelligence support for ukraine to resist russian aggression. at the same time the bill recognized that a small number of russian engines could be needed to maintain competition in the national security space launch program and facilitate a smooth transition with rockets to u.s. made engines therefore the legislation allowed ula to use a total of nine russian engines. the 2016 fiscal year defense authorization bill including the provision limiting the use of rocket innovation was debated for month. the committee on armed service had a vigorous debate, an amendment was offed to maintain the restriction on the air force use of russian rocket engines
7:26 pm
and in a positive vote the amendment was considered and we considered hundreds of amendments to this bill on the senate floor for a period of two weeks. for two weeks we literally considered hundreds of amendments. we did so transparently with an open process which is a credit to both sides. there was not one amendment called up to change the provision of that authorization bill concerning the rd-180 rocket engines. the legislation passed with 71 votes. and this defense legislation was actually considered a second time on the floor and it passed 91-3. i want to emphasize again. one thing i am proud of is the senate armed services debate the national defense authorization bill.
7:27 pm
we have every year for some 43 years and passed it and had the president sign it. and we open it to all amendments. but there was no amendment on rocket engines proposed on the floor of the senate. why wasn't there? if there were members of the senate who didn't like the provisions in the bill we had an open process to amend it but they didn't. they didn't because they knew they could not pass an amendment that would remove that provision in the defense authorization act so now in the dead of night, we just found out hours before we are supposed to vote, they put in a restriction which dramatically changes that provision that was done in an open and transparent process to their everylasting shame. in the dark of the night. not a vote. no one consulting on the armed
7:28 pm
services committee. this bill, including this provision limiting the use of the fiscal year '16 bill, including the provision limiting the use of russian rocket engine was debated for months. the committee had a vigorous debate. the senate had this debate. we had opportunities to have this debate and through months of this no senator came to the senate floor to make the case we needed more russian rocket engines, no senator suggested amendment to left this restriction. to the contrary they voted overwhelmingly and repeatedly to maintain this restriction. this is a policy issue.
7:29 pm
not a money issue. nowhere in the realm of the appropriation committee. it was resolved as it should have been on the defense policy bill. and here we stand with a 2,000 page appropriation bill crafted in secret. in secret crafted. members outside of the appropriation committee were not brought into the formation of this legislation. no debate. most of us are seeing for the first time this bill this morning and very good in it is a policy provision that would effectively allow unlimited purchase and use of guess what? russian rocket engines. what is going on here? what is going on? that is what ula wants: russian missiles. that is twhie asked the defense department to wave the previous restrictions on the bases of
7:30 pm
national security and use a russianian engine for the first competitive national security space launch. the defers department declined. -- defense -- what did the ula do when they didn't get their way? manufactured a crisis. there is no similar restriction on nasa or commercial space launches so ula rushed to assign the rd-180, the rocket engines it had in its inventory, to the non-national security launches despite the fact there is no restriction on the use of russian engines for launches. this artificial crisis has been seized on by the capitol hill leading sponsors senator from alabama and senior senator from illinois, senator durbin, to overturn the restriction. and that is exactly what they have done and again secretly and
7:31 pm
non-transparently. as i said, neither senator shelby, durbin, or any other senator raised objections to the provisions of the bill that we are authored in the alternative during the authorization process on the senate floor. that is a refutation of the rights of every sing senator in this body that is not a member of the appropations committee. in fact, as i said, this issue was debated on and voted on in the committee of armed services, my colleagues on the appropriation committee crafted this in secret with no debate to overturn the will of the senate as expressed in two nationalal defense authorization acts and the results will enable a
7:32 pm
monopolistic corporation to send potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to vladimer putin and his corrupt cronies and deep n america's reliance on these thugs for our military access to space. this is outrageous and shame pu shamepu -- shameful. how can we tell european countries and governments they mead need to hold off on maintaining sanctions when we are getting our own policy in this way? we are gutting our own policy. how can we tell our french allies we are selling putin assault ships and turn around trying to buy rocket engines from putin's cronies?
7:33 pm
this is the height of hypocrisy. since march of 2014 my colleagues and i in the senate have tried to everything we can to give your friend in the ukraine the tools they need to defend themselves from russian aggression. rather than furthering that cause, senator durbin have rewarded putin with hundreds of millions. a rocket factory in alabama may benefit from this. bowing, head quartered in illinois, may benefit from this decision. but have no doubt the real winners today are vladimer putin and his gang of thugs running the russian military industrial complex. i wish senator shelby and senator durbin would explain to the american taxpayers exactly who we are doing business.
7:34 pm
they don't. but my colleagues need to know so let me explain. one news organization investigated how much the air force pays for the rocket engines, how much the russians receive, and whether members of the elite have secretly profited by inflating the price. in an investigative series called conrad capitalism rioters expl expler -- explored the role of putin's friends and the role of the company that manufacturers the rd-180. they found it had been operating at a loss because funds were being captured by unnamed offshore companies. the organization also reported
7:35 pm
that the rocket engines are sold through another company called rd-emross. a tiny five person outfit that stood to collect about 93 million in cost mark up under a multi year deal to supply the engines. the defense contract agency found in one contract alone they did no negliable work but collected 80 million in pass-through charges. that is a five person outfit. five persons. and the defense contract management agency found that in one contract that collected $80 million in unallowable pass through charges. that is who, thanks to this
7:36 pm
amendment, is going to continue to receive this money. according to the university of baltimore law professor charles kefir who reviewed the documents and i quote: the bottom line is the joint venture between the russians and the americans is taking us to the cleaners unquote. he said reviewed pentagon audits but they didn't come anywhere near to how strongly negative the rd-emross audit was. we got to do better. we have to do better than this. some may say we need to buy rocket engines from putin's cronies and they will sign a letter from the department of defense in response to a list of leading questions from the appropriation committee just a few days ago and they will claim as conformation the department
7:37 pm
believes the united states will not have a domestically manufactured replacement engine for space launches before 2022. and of course that is non-sense. when the department of defense starts making predictions beyond the five-year budget plan what i hear is this isn't a priority or we don't know. either way it is not acceptable. both the authorizers and the appropriators have ramped up the funding. the pentagon needs to do what it has failed to do for eight years; make this a priority. american companies have already said they could have a replacement engine before 2022. our money and attention should be focused on meeting this goal not subsidizing putin's defense industry. the ula needs at least 18 rd-180
7:38 pm
engines to create fill the bridge between now and 2022 in a domestically manufactured engine becomes available. this too is false. today we have two space launch providers. no matter what happens with the russian rd-180 will be able to provide fully redundant capabilities with ula delta four and space-x falcon nine and eventually the falcon heavy space launch vehicles. there will be no capable gathered. the atlas five is not going anywhere soon. the ula has enough atlas fives to get them through 2019 if not later. as i alluded a the pentagon agrees no action is required today to address a risk or
7:39 pm
shared access to space. in declining the request for the waiver, the deputy secretary of defense concluded quote they do not believe any immediate action is required to address the further risk of only have one source of space launch services. the department of defense confirmed that ula has enough engines to compete for each of the nine upcoming competitions and the number they will pursue is quote dependented upon ula business management strategy. i ask senator shelby and senator durbin, what are you priorities? the ukrainians are fighting to keep their country whole and free. this bill will send hundreds of millions to vladimer putin and cronies and russia's military industrial base as russia
7:40 pm
continues to occupy crimea, destabilize ukraine, and their neighbors in the region. what kind of message does that send to ukrainians who have been fighting and dying to protect their country? how can we do this? how can we do this when russia continues to send weapons to iran? how can we do this when putin continues to violate the 1987 intermediate nuclear range treaty. how can we do this when putin is sending weapons to iran supporting the assad regime? i understand senator shelby and durbin would benefit from this provision but when sanctions are necessary the countries that impose them must be willing to pay a cost, too.
7:41 pm
after leaning on france to stop the sale of two ships to russia because of the invasion in the ukraine the united states cannot keep buying hardware from mr. putin's cronies. mr. president, i ask to put the editoral from "the new york times" be included in the record. >> without objection. >> on the record, i make this promise: if this language undermining the national defense authorization act is not removed i assure my colleagues this issue will not go unaddressed in the year 2019 defense authorization act. up to this point, we have
7:42 pm
managed this issue on an annual bases. we maintained if a crisis occurred we would not compromise our national security interest in space. but if this is how our efforts are repaid perhaps we need to look at a complete and indefinite restriction on putin's rockets. i take no pleasure in avoiding that. i believe in avoiding the year over year israeli-palestine conflict is in our nation's best interest. such back and forth only delays the shared desire to end our reliance on russian technology and from the space launch supply chain and injecting instability into the space launch program. that threatens the reliable launch of the most sentence national security satellites and the stability of the fragile base to support them.
7:43 pm
i cannot allow the appropriations committee or any other member of this body to craft a take it or leave it spending bill that will allow a monopoli monopolistic corporation to do business with russian cronies to fund the aggression in crimea and ukraine and support for assad in syria. i would like to address this issue in a larger context. the way that the congress is supposed to work is that authorizing committees authorize, whether it be domestic, or international, or in this case defense programs, the responsibility is to take sure in the face of defense the
7:44 pm
armed service committee is authorizing the funding and policies. the appropriations committee is required in their responsibilities to to zero out if they don't think the funding is necessary. they can add funding. but this is a complete violation. this issue was raised in the subcommittee and addressed in the subcommittee on the armed service committee. and yet, what was decided by the armed services committee
7:45 pm
remained in tact until in the dark of the night, until 10-11, whatever time it was this morning, up pops a direct dismembering and cancelation of a provision in the law where we are talking about hundreds of millions of dollars that have no barring on the authority and responsibility of the appropriation committee. there are two problems here. one it was done in the dark night. no one knew. if you let this go and maybe you
7:46 pm
are next, maybe it is an amendment or program you have supported, if you through debate and discussion and authorizing there committee and votes and amendments on the floor, and then in the middle of the night, in december, when we are going out of session in 72 hours, the provision that negates the entire work over days and weeks and months. i say to my colleagues you could be next. and that is why this in itself funding vladimer putin is crazy enough but if we are going to allow this kind of changes in the middle of the night in programs and proposal then we
7:47 pm
are destroying the structure of how the united states senate and congress is supposed to work. so, madam president, i yield the floor. >> mr. president, the senior senator from arizona came to the floor this morning. the senior used by name on the floor repeatedly.
7:48 pm
it was refreshing and i am relieved. he hasn't attacked anyone in three weeks and i was fear full he was under the weather. but he is in fine form, feeling good and i welcome him back to the floor for another attack on me personally. let's talk about the issue he raised because it is complicated but important when it comes to the defense of the united states. in the early 2000's there were two companies making rockets that launched satellites. two companies were bowing and lockede and they competed with one another. but in the early 2000s and i don't understand why they made an argument to the department of defense that the nation would be better off if they merged the two companies into one company and then provided the rockets to launch satellites to defend the united states and collect information. they argued if they worked
7:49 pm
together it would cost less. and they merged with the approval of the department of defense they continued to build on satellite launches. and what happened was a good thing and a thing that was not so good. what was good was their product was very reliable. they launched satellites are great reliability and that is, of course, what america and its national defense requires. the bad problem is the cost went through the roof. about 65% since creating the united launch alliance costing taxpayers about $3 billion more than they did in the past. they argued they wanted to eliminate competition and provide reliability and they did but the cost went up. then a new player arrived on the
7:50 pm
scene. space-x. associated with elan musk, a well-known name in america. they decided to get in the business and build rockets and launch satellites. naturally the united states of america said be my guest but prove you can do this in a way we can count on you because when we need a satellite launch to collect information we want to make sure it is successful. space-x over the years improved, evolved, and developed the capacity to launch satellites to the point where nasa, for example, national air nautic and space association, used space-x rockets successfully. it reached a point where the department of defense said to space-x you are capable and will be certified to compete for department of defense business. that is to the credit of space-x that they reached that point.
7:51 pm
i thought this was an exciting development because once again we were going to have competition between the united launch alliance. the old bowing-lockede merger and space-x. the owner of space-x said we can do this for a fraction to the cost of the american taxpayers. what i did was invite the ceo's of both subcommittee -- companies at the same time. we asked them questions about operations and the cost and projections of the future. then at the end of the hearing, i said to the ceo's in each company, i want to do something that is a little unusual, i want to offer to each of you the opportunity, if you wish, to
7:52 pm
submit ten questions to the other ceo. so they did. it was a complete record. and a good one. and it really, for the first time showed me, we were moving to a new stage in our rocket science and capacity that could serve the united states by keeping us safe and keeping the cost down. vladimer putin of russia decided to take aggressive action invading georgia and ukraine. and other actions we considered tended to freeze up the relationship with the united states and russia.
7:53 pm
so people started saying why in the world are we giving russia and vladimer putin the opportunity to sell rocket engines to the united states. and why would we want to depend on russia for rocket engines. we were trying to find the right combination to bring competition and reliability without engaging the russians. now everyone in congress knows we have authorizing committees and appropriation committees. senior senator from arizona is the chair of the defense authorizing committee, the armed services committee, and i have
7:54 pm
been chair and am the vice chair of the defense appropriation subcommittee. the senior senator from arizona started including provisions in the authorizing bill saying that we could not -- ula, could not use russian engines to launch satellites and compete for business using those engines in the united states. and so the air force came to see. a letter was sent when this provision was added in the defense authorization bill. a bet letter was sent in may of this year signed by ash carter, the secretary of defense, and james clapper, the director of national intelligence, suggesting the exclusion of russian engines so quickly could cause a problem in terms of the
7:55 pm
availability of missions to launch satellites as we need them. the limitations put in by the defense authorization. the number of engines that could be used would be quickly depleted and the air force and department of offense and intelligence agency said that may leave us vulnerable. so they asked the senator from arizona to reconsider that provision. he did not. if anyone, the language that came out of conference on this provision really made it even more difficult for the united launch alliance to consider using a different type of engine. i might add they don't have an alternative engine to the russian engine. we said develop an american engine and i stand behind that. they told us it will take anywhere from 5-7 years for that to happen. i understand this is a complex assignment. we want them to get it right. it seems like a long time. but it really points to the delima we face.
7:56 pm
if the united launch alliance cannot use or bid or work with the department of defense using a russian engine, they don't have an alternative engine to bid with. but at that point, space-x becomes the sole bidder and monopoly source for engines. we tried to move from a sole force to competition and by injecting the prohibition to russia we are getting back to the soul bidder. what we allowed in this appropriation bill is language that gives one year of flexibility to the department of defense when it comes to bidding for these satellite launches. and of course it means the united launch alliance will use bidding for this. the senator from arizona spent
7:57 pm
most of his time talking about the aggression of russia and vladimer putin and how we need to be strong in response. back in the day, the senator from arizona and i traveled to ukraine and i agreed about the aggression of russia and mr. putin. but we have to be careful we don't make things worse. if we reach a point, we don't allow ula to to mccain that there is nothing in the bill and there is nothing discussed in the original bill as marked up. there is no air drop of
7:58 pm
language. there is a slightly different version of the language but says the same thing. there should be flexibility as ula moves to develop their new engine. the department of defense convinced me it would be short sided of us to make it impossible for ula to even bid on future satellites. god forbid space-x can't launch and we could not keep the country safe. this provision gives one year, one year for the department of defense and the air force, to continue to work with ula to have a launch. if space-x performs as promised and comes in with the molar bid for the launch and deserve to win they will.
7:59 pm
i am impressed with all of these companies. the senator from arizona raised the point bowing has its head quarters in my home state. i am proud of that. i think they are an excellent company and do great work. but my initial premise in starting this conversation in the appropriation subcommittee is we should have competition and bowing should face competition. the russian engine issue is making this more complex and it will take us time to reach what should be our ultimate goal: quality, reliable engines in these rockets to launch satellites and keep america safe. and certainty if one company fails to be able to meet our defense needs there is an alternative supplier. that is the best outcome possible to me. this section, 8025 of the
8:00 pm
defense appropriation act is critical to our national security in launching satellites into the space. we have got to make sure the department and intelligence agencies can put critical satellites in orbit when needed. we have to make sure the cost of the launches is competitive so the taxpayers get the best outcome for the dollars they put into our national defense. we have to generate competition to drag down cost and to bring to an end our reliance on russian manufactured engines. there is no doubt th

26 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on