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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  December 17, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST

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dependent. if they wanted to open a business, to start a church, to publish a book, then they needed to ask the king for permission. all that was not mandatory was forbidden unless the king gave you an exception, unless the king gave you a carveout, unless the king gave you a waiver. in america the opposite was to be true. you were born free regardless of where you're from or who your parents are, regardless of your bank balance or the color of your skin. in america, if you want to preach a sermon or write a piece of investigative journalism, if you want to say your elected leaders are losers, if you want to invest in a new app or launch a nonprofit, in america you don't need the king's permission for you are free. about 100 years ago this idea, our system of separation of powers, came under attack. there are three or four reasons why the urban of industrialization and then progressivism called our constitutional system of limited
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government into question, and we will tackle some of those topics after the holidays. but for now it is sufficient to say that the presidency began to grow larger in the first two decades of the 20th century and the congress began to lose some of its powers. it happened because presidents of both parties were willing to overreach and because the congress was willing to under-reach, to retreat from that field of competitive ideas, to retreat from our constitutional commitments. for every t.r. -- teddy roosevelt, a republican -- there is an f.d.r., a democrat. this should not be a partisan issue, for both sides have been guilty of extensive executive branch overreach. meanwhile, the professional legislators realize that permanent incumbency is easier if you cede control rather than lead, if you decide not to take the hard votes but just quietly ask the executive branch to make the decisions unilaterally. today many in my party argue that no president has ever even
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contemplated doing what president obama regularly does. that's actually not true. whatever one might think about president obama's gobbling up of powers, his theories are not at all new. his theories date back to the progressive aiprogress era's die constitution. teddy roosevelt the republican and woodrow wilson the democrat. after the holidays we're going to spend a little time exploring both of these men and their attempts to marginalize and intentionally ignore the congress to "greatly broaden the use of the executive power." i hope that this look at the rise of the executive branch and its legislating over the next number of months will contribute to our efforts, all of us here together who want to recover and safeguard that constitutional vision. but, mr. president, in historical terms, the congress
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and the age of obama is very -- the congress in the age of become is very weak. this isn't about the majority leader and it isn't about the most recent previously majority leader. others interested in the history of this special place might argue that there's some other moment with greater relative weakness than this current moment. we should have that debate. for we should be discussing how and why this institution became so weak. we should stop pretending the constant exaggeration that happens around here as people fake it, pretending that some tiny procedural vote that didn't pass somehow still changed the world. we should stop pretending omnicompetence against huge expanses of unknowable executive branch governmental action. voters -- better, citizens don't
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believe us. the lobbyists don't believe it either. they're willing to fake it with you, but they don't really believe you. which is why so many lobbying firms today are expanding most of their efforts in the regulatory space for that's where the action is. it would be far more useful in this body, no the to mention far more believable to the people we work for shall for us to learn to talk openly about how and why this body became so weak. congress is mocked and we should tackle the how's and why's, for the people are not wrong. we should stop this trend and the first trend towards that -- first step toward that would be to better understand and more openly admit the nature of the problem. i planned this series on the growth of the executive branch for early in 2016 because it would be healthy for the senate and for our broader public to be wrestling with the duties and constitutional authorities in
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advance of november's presidential elections, before we know which party will win. we knead to have this conversation now, precisely because we don't know which party will win. let me be realistic for a minute. i hope it's not pessimistic, but i will be realistic. i actually don't think there is much will in this body to do things like recovering the power of the purse. and even if there were the will to get beyond r's and d's, shirts and consistence, kabuki theater, the actual act of trying to recover power, the power of the purse and legislative powers that the constitution vests in this body would be very difficult at a time when the public is so cynical and so disengaged because of how dysfunctional this institution is. i think that the democrats are likely only to recover a sense of their article i powers if they're looking at a president trump for a president x or a
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president y or who ever the scariest candidate might to be the democrats. i think that the republicans are most likely prone to forget most of their concerns about executive overreach if a republican does defeat secretary clinton in november. i'll just end with two brief stories. in the first, f.d.r. was frustrated with the supreme court, so he had a solution: he would just pack the court. who could stop him? he had control of the congress, after all. well, swung did stop him. senate democrats who cared about the constitution and their oath stepped up, and in one of the other great instances of this place just saying "no" regardless of party, l.b.j., arguably the most powerful leader until the last ten years in the history of the senate, the most powerful leader this place had ever known in his age, became v.p. and said he was ostensibly remain majority leader of the senate at the same time. again, it was democrats in this body who said "no" based on
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their constitutional responsibilities, not their partisanship. these were men and women who cared more about their country and more about their constitution and more about their oaths than their party. i think that all of us in both parties should look to those examples and again be talking in the future about how we emulate them and recover the responsibilities of this body. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i think it is important that we pause for a moment tend of the 2015, look back upon the last few months and look upon the veterans and the veterans administration, look at the problems we have solved and the things we want done to better improve those services. when the year dawned, we had a scandal in arizona at the phoenix hospital. we had bonuses being paid to employees who had not performed, we'd medical services not available to the veterans who
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deserved them. we had a bipartisan effort to see to it that we addressed those problems. so for just a second i want everyone to pause and realize what we've done bipartisanly and collectively for those who have served our country and our veterans today. by end of january we had passed the clay hunt suicide prevention bill to deal with the growing problem of suicide of our veterans. and it's already working with more psychiatric help available to our vents, quicker responses to those who seek mental health, better diagnosis of ptsd and a reduction in the rate of suicide. that was affirmative action, passed 99-0, republicans and democrats, in the senate of the united states. we took the veterans choice bill which had passed just in august of last year and made it work better for the veterans. in the first nine months of this year, the veterans administration fulfilled 7.5 million individual appointments for veterans and benefits than they had the preceding year, all because we made the private sector a part of the v.a. and
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allowed veterans to go to the doctor of their choice under certain qualified situations. we made access easier, better, and because of that, we made health care better. then we addressed the denver crisis. we got this little note from the v.a. in january that they had a $1.3 billion cost overrun 0en a $1.7 billion hospital. a328% increase in cost it with no promise it would go down. ranking member blumenthal and myself and the colorado delegation flew to denver, brought in the contractors in the v.a. we took the v.a. out of the construction business. they had proven they didn't deserve the ability to manage that much money or to build things. their job was to deliver health care. we put the construction and put it in the hands of the corps of engineers, where construction and engineering is responsibilitresponsible.we tola $1.387 billion overrun, but if you're going going to pay for
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it, you are not going to borrow it from china. by unanimous consent, this senate and the house of representatives approved the completion of that hospital, the funding of the shortfall, the management takeover to the corps of engineers, and today it's on progress to be there for the veterans of the midwest and the west in denver, colorado. then we dealt with many other programs like homelessness and caregiver benefits to our veterans car caregivers to see t we had the best care available. then we changed the paradigm. the v.a. had so many acting appointees they couldn't function as well as they could. we approved dr. cu sulken. we took laverne counsel and approved her. we took michael la schutt. we put highly qualified people who knew what they were doing in positions where we had vacancies. we're already seeing a benefit in health delivery services and
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planning for i.t. coordination and interoperability between the department of veterans and department of defense in terms of medical records. but we also did another thing. we said we're no longer going to tolerate scandals in the v.a. or looking the other way and we're not going to pay rewards and bonus to people not doing the job. as you heard earlier today, we're going to pass legislation that going to hold the v.a. employees accountable, have a record if they're not performing, and in the future prevent any veterans administration employee who is not doing their job from getting a bonus for a job that's not well-done. that's the way it works in the private sector. it ought to be the way it works in the government. then we took another problem. we took the problem of the scandal in the v.a. relocation benefits which cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue to the v.a., and we told the secretary mcdonnell that
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you had need in there and clean this up. the secretary did and to his credit the former brigadier general, retired, who was the head of that department, resigned from the v.a. rather than face the music. we took affirmative action to see to it that we had no more scandals. we want to reward good performance. that's the way it needs to be. it's very important to also understand that we have goals for the future. we're going to continue to meet as a committee with the v.a. leadership on a quarterly basis. senator blumenthal and i go and meet with the leadership to see what they're doing and share with them the frustration we have in the house and senate about things that aren't going right, but share with them the joy we have about the things they're doing to improve. next we're we have a consolidation of v.a. and non-v.a. benefits to make sure they get care from physicians. we're going to imriewferg the transitioning of veterans --
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that's the biggest problem we have. active duty members who leave service and go to veteran service fall in a black hole. there is no interoppose a rability of health care records. floss transition and handoff. we're going do improve the experience of women veterans including protecting women of sexual trauma. we're going to combat veterans homelessness and make the goal of the president to get it to zero. we've already reduced it by a third. we're going to ensure access to mental health so no veteran doesn't have immediate access to counseling. on that point i want to commend the veterans administration for the hotline,s suicide prevention hotline which they established as helped to save lives in this country this year. we're going to continue to see to it that we have more and more access for our veterans. we're going to see we're going to make the veterans administration work for the veterans and work for the american people. we're going to have accountability of the employees. we're going to reward good behavior and not accept bad behavior. in the end we're going to take the veterans of america who
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serve their country, his or her country, make sure they get every benefit that's propped to them. and we're going to do it working together as republicans and democrats and as members of the senate to $so. so as we close this year, mr. president, i just want to pause and thank the members of the senate for their unanimous bipartisan support for the significant changes wref made to address the problems of the veterans administration and to remember this season of the year and christmas the great gift we've had of our veterans who have served us, many whom have sacrificed, many who have died and see that america remains a peaceful and free country on th earth. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. mr. inhofe: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i ask that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators prksed to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection u. mr. inhofe: i ask that at the conclusion of my remarks we have joint remarks from myself and the senator new mexico, senator
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udall. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: mr. president, i will not go into the detail i was planning to go in as to what we are faced with, what we're going to be voting on tomorrow, but i think it's very important because i have heard a lot of erroneous things coming out of various talk radio shows and elsewhere as to how we got into the mess we're in where we're going to be looking at a major spending bill instead of the normal way of doing things. historically in both bodies, the house and the senate, the order has been you do an appropriation bill, then you do -- an authorization bill, and that's followed by an appropriation bill. now, that works out fine, it works out fine in the house. in the senate, it's not quite that easy because we have -- we have some rules in the senate that allow the minority, whether that be republican or democrat, to -- to object to -- on a procedural basis so it actually takes 60 votes, not 51 votes to
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pass appropriations. this has created a real problem. i can remember on june 18, we passed the defense authorization act and we were given a time and this is during wartime and all that and the regular course of business would be to go ahead and appropriate it. however, we have been trying to appropriate that since june 18 and the minority has september us from doing this, and i can say the same thing about other appropriation bills such as military construction, veterans' affairs, energy and water and other. so you might say why would they be doing this? in the case of the appropriations bill for defense, it's very simple, and that is the president and a lot of the democrats want to make sure that as we're coming out with additional spending to avoid sequestration that an equal amount be used for domestic purposes instead of military where we have really a crisis right now.
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let me say something about the house. this morning on a show -- on a talk show, i heard everyone criticizing the house and the new speaker of the house when in reality they did their job over there. that's a bum rap for those guys. i mean, they passed their appropriation bills, they passed them on the floor, they passed appropriations bills on the floor, and so they did what was supposed to be done. however, you can't pass legislation with just the house. and the senate also. so i think we need to look at that. i don't like the idea of finding a situation where we're faced with a take it or leave it deal at the end of the year. that doesn't really allow us to offer amendments. it's done behind of -- kind of behind closed doors. it's done by a limited people. i would just say this -- there is a way out of this thing. i mean, it's -- if we had -- and i'm going to suggest that this should be the last time that we should have to do this. if we had a system where we
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could reform it and have it so you could make an exception to some of the motions to proceed for appropriation bills, then we would be able to go ahead and get this done. now, that's the simple solution. that's what i would recommend. however, there's a lot more detail in that and it happens that there is a committee that's taking place right now in the senate. james lankford, my junior senator from oklahoma, cory gardner, lamar alexander and i think two other senators are looking to propose rule changes, and i think it's -- it's overdue. and i want to mention one other thing, too, mr. president. i said back in -- i think it was 2006 that i would never vote for another omnibus bill like we are prepared to vote for, and i said that was the last one. i want to serve notice that if enough people did this, we wouldn't find ourselves in this position. however, we are still in this position.
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and the reason i'm standing here today is to get on the record why i am going to support this. we have one thing that was -- back when i had the highway bill, we were trying to put additional things on the highway bill. one was to lift the ban on exports of oil and gas. and we were not successful in doing it, so at that time i made the announcement we have a couple other chances, the last one being the omnibus spending bill, and got a commitment that that would be on that bill. so i said at that time if that's the case, if we end uplifting the ban on that bill, then i will -- i will change from my original 2006 commitment and i will vote and support this. and i think when you stop and think about what we are doing, does it make good policy that we in the united states can say to russia, we can say to iran, people who don't look after and are not in our best interests, it's all right for you to do
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that, but we in the united states cannot export oil. now, we have all the former soviet union countries around there. i went to lithuania, participated in an opening of a terminal there so that they could get out from under this restriction, and it was a joyous occasion. in my state of oklahoma, we have lost 20,000 jobs because since we have had the -- the -- the new effort to -- and success in getting oil and gas out, we havd by the fact that we can't -- we can't export it. this has been a real hardship, and i'd say that the most important thing in this bill in terms of my state is we would be able to correct that and we are going to be able to do that. so i think that with the changes that are being made, i'm looking forward to supporting it, and i certainly would think that we should all look and see what's
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in the best interests of the united states and should be aware of the fact that what they're saying out there in terms of the cost of this bill, it's exactly the same cost as if we had done it the way we are supposed to do it. if you add up the total number of appropriations that we passed out of all 12 appropriations, add them up, that's the same amount as this bill that we'll be voting on tomorrow. so that criticism is not a genuine criticism. with that, i'm going to move to the other subject that i think is very, very significant, and that is that we have a unanimous consent request that we want to make, and then i want to join with my friend from new mexico and -- all right. i ask unanimous consent that the senate now proceed to consideration of calendar number 143, h.r. 2576. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
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the clerk: calendar number 143, h.r. 2576, an act to modernize the toxic substances control act, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the inhofe substitute amendment which is at the desk be agreed to and that the bill be amended and be read a third time. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will read the pilot of the -- title of the bill for the third time. the clerk: an act to modernize the toxic substances control act, and for other purposes. mr. inhofe: i know of no further debate on this measure. the presiding officer: if there is no further debate, the question is on the bill as amended. all in favor say aye. all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill as amended is passed. politburo inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that the motions to reconsider be
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considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. be inhofe: mr. president, this is -- we have a very -- had a very dear friend in frank lautenberg. he was a democrat, i was a republican. i shared the committee that he served on. we had a very close relationship. the bill began -- this bill that we just now passed, with a meeting simply to gather stakeholders and it happened in my office with frank lautenberg. senators vitter and senator udall that we will hear from in just a moment and their staff have put together the first reform of tosca in 40 years which will create more regulatory certainty for american businesses and uniform protections for american families. we have a real opportunity to enact reform to a major environmental statute, the major one since the 1990's. it's the result of over three years of work and negotiation, and i want to thank those
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responsible for the spending countless hours to produce this product. dmitri parakikos began working with me while i was ranking member, stayed with ranking member vitter and then worked with this bill and back with me as majority leader -- as leader of the committee. he has sheparded the drafting and the negotiation of this bill the entire time. he's the guy in charge. i want to thank jonathan black and senator udall's -- in senator udall's office as well, as andrew wallace to took up -- took up the tosca reform leadership following senator lautenberg, and thanks to zack baye in senator vitter's office, mihal friedov in senator markey's office, adam zipkin in senator booker's office, adrian
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debonay in senator merkley's office and emily enderly with senator whitehouse. things to all -- thanks to all the staff. people don't realize how much work the staff does. when we passed the transportation reauthorization bill, it was hundreds and hundreds of hours. this one, because of a technicality, has been held up for about a month and a half. and that has been worked out, and so i'm just real pleased that we're able to do it. and again, i -- i think this is a tribute to frank lautenberg and his wife bonnie. frank lautenberg's -- i will say to my friend from new mexico, i think now that frank lautenberg 's legacy has been fulfilled. mr. udall: chairman inhofe, i couldn't agree with you more. i -- i know that you knew of senator -- that you knew senator lautenberg very well. you worked with him on the
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committee and off the committee on a variety of issues. he was really committed to his grandchildren. as you know, many times we would see him in committee when he would talk, and he would talk specifically about the bills before us, and he would say, you know, is this going to help my children and their children? and one of the things he talked about on this bill was this would save more lives and help his grandchildren's generation more than any bill he ever worked on. and so he was very proud of this bill and we were very sorry to lose him. but the thing that i want to say about chairman inhofe as a dedicated and determined legislator is you saw the opportunity that we had worked on this, senator vitter and i had worked on this. we came to you at the beginning of the congress and said we have a good bipartisan piece of legislation we had worked on for a while, but you took the bull by the horns, you ended up
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helping us improve it. you managed i think when we started into the committee, when you marked it up earlier in the year in the environment and public works committee, we had maybe one or two democrats that we're supporting. we expanded that and it passed out with a 15-5 vote. so a very, very significant vote in terms of pulling people together. and i really give you a lot of credit for the way you ran the committee, how gracious you were when senator lautenberg's widow, bonnie lautenberg, came down and spoke, how i wasn't on the committee any longer but how you treated me and had me speak before the committee on the work we had done. it's just been a real pleasure. all those staff members that you mentioned, from dmitri to jonathan black to drew wallace to all the other staff members
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of -- a large number of senators on committee. senator carper, senator whitehouse, senator merkley, senator markey, senator booker. many, many senators on that committee focused in with you and with -- with senator vitter to make sure that we got this done. so i'm -- i'm very proud of what we have done today. i think it will be looked back on as a major environmental accomplishment in terms of bipartisan and pulling people together and the thing that we did that i'm very proud of is we had all stakeholders at the table and we listened to them and we proceeded through, and it's a real tribute to your ability as a legislator. i mean, we don't have to be convinced on this bill. just earlier in the year you produced a transportation bill which was a major accomplishment for five years. and so now once again, chairman inhofe, this has showed how you're able to pull people
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together and get this done. so i -- i once again just want to thank you. i know there are additional comments that we'll make later on, but i know that the lautenberg family has followed this closely. bonnie lautenberg has followed this. they're going to be very proud. as you know, we're naming the legislation after frank lautenberg. it's going to be called the frank lautenberg chemical safety act of 2015. and so all of us who served with frank lautenberg are -- are going to be very happy and proud that this significant major piece of legislation will carry his name. mr. inhofe: well, in response, let me just say that i -- you're far too generous for me, but i can assure you right now that bonnie lautenberg is watching this, and i have to say that we would not have been able to do this if he had not provided the
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leadership with the democrats. you kept bringing more people in, making modest changes. i was really quite shocked at some that came in. so you and bonnie were the leaders on that side, and it's a good thing. this bill is so significant to every manufacturer, anyone who does any kind of business, we will now finally get a handle on and be able to analyze what chemicals are in the best interest of america, best safety interest of our people. so thank you so much for your participation in bringing the group together. thank you.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. mr. sullivan: mr. president, i can't help but make a quick comment before i talk about some of the issues i want to raise this evening on the floor here, but just waiting to speak, having the opportunity to watch two outstanding members of this body, senator inhofe, who i happen to sit on the e.p.w. committee with, and all the gray work he's done this year, tsca, the highway bill. and then watching senator isakson, johnny isakson as well, chairman of the veterans' committee. i have the honor of sitting on that committee. he just went over all the great work that he's been leading on in terms of the veterans' affairs committee. so a real honor to sit here and watch chairman inhofe, chairman isakson, two outstanding, amazing members of this body and having the privilege as a new
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senator to be on both of their committees and watch their work. real pleasure. thank you, sir. mr. president, i know there's a lot going on today. the spending bill, the budget, all very critical to our country. certainly a lot of focus on that. a lot of people are spending a lot of time, myself included, digging into that agreement. but the news yesterday on iran also deserves our attention. reuters reported that iran, according to the u.n. security council panel of experts, violated u.n. security council resolution 1929 when it tested a ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead in october. so they just said a violation of a u.n. security council resolution. and they're looking at, and it's probably likely what you see here the iranians also launched
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another ballistic missile in november, and that's also another likely violation of a u.n. security council resolution. i made some remarks on the floor a few days ago about iran, mr. president, and about the nuclear deal. and i reminded my colleagues that one of the selling points by the president, by secretary kerry about this deal was that they were making the case it was likely to improve iran's behavior, bring them into the community of nations, get them to behave more like a normal country, not the world's largest sponsor of terrorism, which it currently is. but since the signing of the deal, the nuclear deal, which we debated here on this floor, iran's behavior has only gotten worse. examples are very numerous. leaders of the country continue to hold rallies chanting "death to america, death to israel."
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iran continues to fund hezbollah, one of its terrorist proxies, around the world. hundreds of millions of dollars. it violated u.n. security council resolutions that prevents the quds force commander general suleimani from traveling. he traveled to russia to meet with mr. putin to talk about arms trade and likely a violation of another security council resolution, the chairman of the joint chief of staffs recently said that up to 2,000 iranian troops are in syria helping to keep the assad regime in power working with the russians on that. and, mr. president, something that we can never forget, probably the worst outrage that we've seen all since the signing of the nuclear agreement a couple months ago is that in a direct affront to the united states and our citizens, iran is still holding five americans against their will.
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took in another american hostage since the signing of this agreement. one of them is a marine, one of them is a pastor. one of them is a "washington post" reporter. all fellow american citizens. mr. president, as we prepare for the holidays, when families come together, when friends come together, the president and secretary kerry should be working day and night on the phone every instrument of american power to try and release these americans. but that certainly doesn't seem to be happening. so all of this is taking place since the signing of the agreement. all of this is proof enough, i believe, that the iran nuclear deal certainly didn't change iran's behavior for the better. to the contrary, it's becoming increasingly clear that the obama administration's deal with iran has only emboldened iran to
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take more provocative actions against the united states, our citizens, and our allies. mr. president, iran's leaders are testing us. it is clear that they are testing us right now. how we respond to these tests is critical. as noted, iran's missile launches on october 11 clearly violated u.n. security council resolution 1929. and the one on november 21 likely did as well. but what does this mean? we haven't discussed, what does this mean for the current iran nuclear deal that was recently signed? what are the implications on moving forward with that deal? what are the implications of this activity on moving forward with that deal? mr. president, i believe a strong argument can be made that
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these actions by iran mean that they are already violating the spirit and the intent of the nuclear agreement that this body just voted on a few months ago. already. former secretary of state and former u.s. senator hillary clinton actually predicted this just last week when she stated -- quote -- "they are going to violate it. they're going to violate the nuclear agreement. and when they do, we need to respond quickly and very harshly." that's the former secretary of state, former member of this body. well, i think secretary clinton is right on this. and president obama himself indicated that there is definitely a tie between the
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iranian nuclear deal from his administration and iran's use of ballistic missile activities. as a matter of fact, the president in a press conference clearly stated that these activities, the prohibitions on these activities were part of the nuclear agreement. when in july of this year, after the signing of the agreement, president obama stated what i said to our negotiators was let's press for a longer extension of the arms embargo and the ballistic missile prohibitions. we got that. we got five years in which under this new agreement, the nuclear agreement, arms coming in and out of iran are prohibited and we got eight years for the respective ballistic missiles. this is the president talking about his nuclear agreement. to look at another tie between
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ballistic missiles and the nuclear agreement, you need to look at u.n. -- the u.n. security council that implemented the iran nuclear deal. that's u.n. security council 2231. that's replacing some of the other u.n. security councils, and it's the legal framework for the nuclear deal that this body debated and approved. here's what u.n. security council resolution 2231 states. "iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons until the date eight years after the jcpoa adoption day. so again, plain english of the connection, the u.n. security l council resolution that's the international framework for the
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nuclear deal says no ballistic missile activity by iran. and yet, mr. president, now we know in no uncertain terms because our u.n. ambassador, ambassador power, just stated it that this launch in october was just what that u.n. security council resolution said iran couldn't do. she said that that launch was inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon. so that's a lot of u.n. security council resolutions. that's a lot of activity. where does that leave us? where does that leave us with regard to the iran nuclear deal? well it's obviously clear that iran just violated the u.n. security council resolution 1929. that's already been stated by the panel of experts, by ambassador power, and the language of u.n. security council resolution 2231, the
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implementing u.n. resolution of the entire iran deal. so, mr. president, this is what i mean when i say that iran is already violating the spirit and the intent of the iranian nuclear deal, the deal that this body debated just a couple months ago is already being violated by the iranians. so what should we do? well, some of us have already taken action. 35 members of this body yesterday sent a letter to the president written by my colleague from new hampshire, senator ayotte, and it said basically, mr. president, given these ballistic missile activitn that iran is violating u.n. sciewrlt council -- u.n. security council resolutions that relate to the nuclear
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agreement, you should not be lifting sanctions. the obama administration is talking about lifting sanctions as part of the nuclear agreement as early as next month. tens of billions of dollars for the world's largest terrorist regime are going to be lifted to allow them to continue their provocative activities against the united states, our allies and our citizens. what we are saying, one-third of the members of this body, is that we shouldn't be doing that. the president should heed the advice from senator ayotte's letter. additionally, mr. president, i think there is a strong argument, and people need to look at this issue, that can be made about iran's recent behavior is that we cannot lift these sanctions pursuant to the terms of the nuclear deal. the nuclear agreement that was debated in this body states that
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before sanctions are lifted on implementation day, iran must be in accord with the u.n. security council resolution 2231, which among other things calls upon iran not to undertake activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. so you see how they're related? the nuclear agreement that this body agreed to, the implementation plan of the nuclear agreement, paragraph 343 says that iran has to be in accord with this provision in order for sanctions to be lifted. well, iran is not in accord with this provision. the u.n. has said that. ambassador power said that. the bottom line, mr. president,
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if iran is already violating this u.n. security council resolution, then under paragraph 34-3 of the implementation plan of the nuclear deal by the obama administration, sanctions shouldn't be lifted. here's how the president put it when he was selling the deal -- quote -- "if iran violates this deal, the sanctions we impose that have helped cripple the iranian economy, the sanctions that helped make this deal possible would snap back into place promptly." i agree that's what we should be doing, but here's the key point. the president doesn't need to wait for the sanctions to snap back. he can and he should take action now, before it's too late, before billions of dollars flood into iran. the world's largest state
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sponsor of terrorism. again, mr. president, that's why over one-third of the members of this body wrote the president yesterday. and i urge my colleagues, particularly my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, who i know are concerned about these issues, because i've had discussions with a number of them, they should be writing the president as well. they should be telling the president the same thing. mr. president, iran is violating the agreement. don't lift the sanctions. he can and he should act now. the president should not lift sanctions against iran. he needs to go back and rewalter reed his own nuclear agreement. and he needs to heed the advice of his former secretary of state to -- quote -- act quickly and harshly against iran -- unquote -- when it violates the agreement by not allowing them
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access to tens of billions of dollars. the president needs to do that now. mr. president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: as in executive session i ask unanimous consent that homeland security and governmental affairs committee be discharged and the senate proceed to the following nominations en bloc: p.n. 645 and p.n. 424. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the nominations. the clerk: nominations,
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department of homeland security. robert a.salerno of the district of columbia to be associate judge of the superior court of the district of columbia. darlene michelle soltice of the district of columbia to be an associate judge of the superior court. the presiding officer: without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the nominations en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote en bloc without intervening action or debate on the nominations in the order listed, that following dtion position of the nominations the motions be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order to any of the nominations, that any statements related to nominations be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. if there is no further debate, the question occurs on the
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nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate proceed to the consideration of h. con. res. 102 which is at the desk. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 102 providing for a joint session of the congress to receive a message from the president. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the concurrent resolution be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.j. res. 76 which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: house joint resolution 76, appointing the day for the convening of the second session of the 114th congress. the presiding officer: without
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objection. the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the measure be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, and that any statements relating to the bill appear at this point in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 13, s. 227. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 13, s. 227, a bill to strengthen the federal education research system and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that alexander substitute amendment at the desk be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i now ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 263, s. res. 148. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 263, senate resolution 148 condemning the government of
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iran state sponsored persecution and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the kirk amendment to the resolution be agreed to, the resolution as amended be agreed to, the kirk amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the preamble as amended be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 296, h.r. 515. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 296, h.r. 515, an act to protect children from exploitation and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the committee reported substitute be agreed to, the corker amendment at the desk be agreed to and the bill as amended be read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate --
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i ask unanimous consent the committee on finance be discharged from further consideration of s. 2261, and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 2261, a bill to amend title 18 of the social security act, and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 4246, which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 4246, an act to exempt for an additional four-year period from the application of the means test presumption of abuse under chapter 7 and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motions to reconsider be considered made
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and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate consideration of calendar number 174, s. 284. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 174, s. 284, a bill to impose sanctions with respect to foreign persons responsible for gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the committee-reported amendment be withdrawn, the cardin substitute which is at the desk be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m. friday, december 18. following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, following leader
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remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. >> lawmakers make wait for the 1.15 trillion federal spending and 620 billion expiring tax provision bill to come over from the house. both bodies have until the 22nd which is when temporary funding expires. in addition to budget talks, arizona republican john mccain came to the floor to talk about foreign policy and the fight against isis. his comments run about 25 minutes. ficerrethe presiding officer: or
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>> senator from arizona. >> i ask unanimous consent to take as much time as i may consume. >> without objection. >> 70 years ago a group of american leaders forged the rules based international order out of the ashes of world war ii. those that were there we called it quote present at the creation. we may well look back at 2015 and realize we were present at the unravelling. we were present at the unravelling. at the beginning of this year, president obama was still committed to degrading and destroying isil and warned quote if unchecked isil could pose a threat beyond the middle east including in the united states. and that is what happened in 2015 in paris and san
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bernardino. and it will not be the last. i promise my colleagues with the present policy and lack of strategy there will be other attacks on the united states of america and i regret deeply, deeply regret having to say that. but i owe my constituents the truth. we are one year into the campaign against sylvia burweis. stalemate is not success. we ask the witnesses before the senate armed service committee is isis contained and it is not. isis is not contained contrary to the statements bizarrely made by the president of the united states literally hours before the attack on san bernardino. this year our senate armed
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service committee held several hearings specifically focused on the threat of isil including three with secretary of defense ash carter. we heard about nine lines of effort, the rrr's but never heard a plausible theory of success or a strategy to achieve success. what do i mean by that? there is no time that mosul, the second largest city in iraq, will be taken. there is no strategy to take the base of the caliphate. the place where the attacks are being planned and orchestrated. the place where we are news reports they are developing chemical weapons. this is the first time a terrorist organization had a caliphate from which to operate out of it. what has happened? they are expanding globally. they lost territory.
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hopefully ramadi will fall to the forces one of these days even though there has been only a few hundred. but the fact is that isil has standed its control in syria, dominates sunni areas, maintains control of major cities and efforts to retake these territo territory have stalled to some degree. meanwhile, isil is expanding globely. general cam cambell told the associated press that isil is seeking to establish a regional base in eastern afghanistan as it attracts more fighters and fighters. i ask consent for the article to be included in the record.
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supporting the islamic state group in afghanistan are attempting to establish a recent base there in afghanistan general john campbell said. in libya "the wall street journal" reports that isil expanded in libya and established a new base close to europe where it can generate oil revenue and plot terror attacks. madam president, i ask unanimous consent "the wall street journal" islamic state tightens grip on libya. foreign powers are stepping up pressure in syria and iraq, the militant group expanded in libya, established a new base close to europe where it can generate oil revenue and plot terror attacks. libya is an oil-rich country. a very oil-rich country.
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you let isil get control of libya, my friends, and they will have unlimited sources of revenue. it says according to "the wall street journal," as the president said going from 200 eager fighters to approximately 5,000 strong contenders according to estimates by libyan officials and residents and activist in the area. by the way, during these debates i will comment a little bit on it. those who are against any intervention site libya for not going in. we brought about the downfall of the syrian leader and walked away. if we walked away from japan after world war ii or korea
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where we have 38,000 troops still it would have collapsed. i am telling you, we walked away. this president and this administration didn't do the things necessary after the fall to build a democracy and the people of libya wanted it and i can tell you that for sure because i was there. one of the great tragedies of the 21st century is our failure to act in a way to help the libyan people transition from the years of a brutal leader -- who was responsible for the deaths of americans in a bar in berlin and responsible for the shootdown of an airliner. we should have left him in power? sure, we should have. so isil is operating in lebanon, yemen, and egypt and other radical islamic groups like al-shabaab have pledged
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allegiance to isil. they are radicalized and can recruit and are growing. there has been progress. i saw on a trip to iraq a recent take back of sin jar there. our counter terrorism operations are taking a lot of isil fighters off the battlefield in iraq and syria. this represents tactical progress and a testament to our civilian and military leaders and thousands of u.s. troops helping to take the fight to isil every day. and i would like to point out that significant challenges remain. as a direct result of president obama's decision to withdraw all u.s. forces from iraq, the iraqi government is weak and beholden to iran.
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i tell my colleagues have no doubt what the dominant influence in iran and iraq today. it is the iranians. there was no more vivid example of this than when the ash carter's assistance officer was turned down including using an apache helicopter. i met with the prime minister in iraq. he is a good man. he knows he needs the help but because of the dominating influence in iran he turned it down. general mcfarland. one of the greatest generals i have met is leading the fight against isil and he reacted by saying very interesting comment. he said this is a very complex
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environment. it is kind of hard to inflict support on somebody. it is kind of hard to inflict support on somebody. what general mcfarland is saying is because of the iranian dominant influence, because of that the iraqi's are reluctant to accept the help they need take back the second largest city in iraq mosul. it is under isil control. he knows full well apache helicopters and special operation forces could help him but who is telling him not to do? the iranians. -- to -- when i was there, we met with the prime minister of iraq and he said to us if you americans come and lose one pilot or one plane you will
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leave. that was the prime minister of iraq's opinion and one of the reasons along with the iranian influence is because there is no trust in the united states or confidence in the united states or the region. the training of iraqi forces is slow. isil took mosul in june of 2014 and at the end of 2015 isil still controls the second largest city in iraq. after the sacrifices the members made and the victory they won now we see all of that gone thanks to the president of the united states withdrawing all of our troops in the mistaken
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belief that if you pull out of wars that wars end. they don't end. they don't end. it is hard. it is hard to talk to the gold star mothers. meanwhile, the financial times report isil is making 1.35 million a day in oil sales. reuters reports isil has made more than 500 million dollars trading oil with significant amounts sold to -- guess who? guess who isil is selling oil to? the government of bashar al-assad. it is hard to make some of this stuff up and it gets complicated. we are now making nice and i will talk more about it later to bashar al-assad and their stewards and their russians and the iranians.
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meanwhile, bashar al-assad is buying oil, most of it, at least 1.5 million a day from isil. even as -- if a pentagon photo-op failed to assure the american people. this administration is using indirect ways to create aspirational ends on a non-existing timeline. the administration admits we are at war. but america has never waged anything. we called a war and limited our role in the hope another force will emerge to win it for us. the administration says we cannot quote americanize the israeli-palestine conflict. and i also, by the way, want to point out the president has this unique and really dishonest
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approach to those of us who have said we have to have more involvement and predicted what would happen. we have unfortunately been wrong by saying the pop box as he called us in a speech from the philippines. the pop offs wants to send hundreds of thousands of troops. that is a total falsehood. what we have been asking for for years is another 5,000 or so americans on the ground in iraq. and a multi national force led by the sunni-arab countries with european participation. i would hope people like the french would join in. about 10,000 of 100,000 person force to go to rocka and take them out. as long as rocka exist they will be able to export the evil throughout the world including
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to the united states of america. there is no plan to remake that city. there is no strategy. and that is indeed shameful. the war against isil was americanized when isil inpired terrorist murdered 14 americans on our own soil in san bernardino. this attack should be a wake up call. we need a strategy as i mentioned. in syria, there is no plausible strategy to achieve this goal on anywhere near an acceptable timeline. we believe it could be a year before they retake mosul. there is no time limit on when they could approach regaining there is no ground force willing to retake this area. the syrian kurds could take over but won't and the syrian sunni
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arabs want to but can't partly due to our failure to support them. the indifference allowed bashar al-assad to slaughter a quarter of a million people. have no doubt who is responsible for these millions of refuges. his name is bashar al-assad. the godfather of isil. he has barrel bombed thousands of people. bashar al-assad is the one who used poison gas and crossed the red line we might recall. it is bashar al-assad that continues this brutality and this butchery of his own. and i will get to what secretary kerry had to say in a minute. to continue the administration continues its policy of inaction and indifference. it allowed putin to intervene and protect his murderous regime. the last time the russians have
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influence in the region is when he was thrown out in 1973. now they are back. they are major players in the middle east. this is a headline from the associated press. russian airstrikes restored military balance of power. the airstrikes of the russians have taken out significant capabilities of the moderate resi resistance. not isil. but the moderates we trained, equipped and refused to protect. weeks of airstrikes in syria, i quote from the associated press, restoring military balance of power. weeks of russian airstrikes in syria appear to restore enough momentum to the government side to convince bashar al-assad and the world community even if he doesn't win the war he cannot quickly be removed by force. that realization combined with the growing since that the
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world's number one priority is the destruction of the islamic state group led many to acknowledge assad will have to be tolerated for some time further. assad will be tolerated to continue to barrel bomb and slaughtering of innocent people. however unpalletable his conduct in the war is this obscures the truth but cripples the conscious. my friends, it cripples the conscious. he slaughtered women and children, it killed a quarter of a million people, and it is what gave rise to isis in the first place and what fuels them still. secretary kerry seems to not acknowledge that fact. secretary kerry said, and i am not making this up, i am telling
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my colleagues i am not making this up, quote russia has been a significant contributor to the progress. the world made syria. was russia making progress when it bombed u.s. forces fighting the assad regime? or when it took a break from bo bombing the moderates and killed untold number of civilians? is that the russians significant contributions? secretary kerry then said quote the united states and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change. the focus now is quote not on our differences about what cannot be done but immediately about assad. ie dear mr. assad, here is a
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blank check and a card, do whatever you want to. do whatever you want to. continue your barrel bombing, continue your torture, continue the war crimes you have committed. you have only killed 250,000 of your own people. drive some more into exile and murder more. at the beginning of this year the administration still believed assad must go but now as one official says and i quote the meaning of assad has to go has evolved. i repeat an administration official said the meaning of assad has to go has evolved. this speak is all too common in the administration and why our allies and partners around the world are loosing confidence in american leadership. and a similar event happened the day before yesterday, my friends, that will be the best indicator of what i am saying.
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34 muslim nations formed an alliance to fight terrorism, isil, and the united states of america didn't even know about it. they didn't even tell the united states of america they were forming their own organization with their own strategy, their own tactics to fight against isis. my friends, that is an incredible statement about the total loss of american influence, prestige in the region. i have had more than one leader in the middle east tell me, and i quote, sometimes we think that it is better to be america's enemy than its friend. unquote. so why is the meaning of assad has to go evolved? because this administration was overpowered, outplayed, and outmatched. this administration consoled themselves with the mantra of quote there is no military
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solution rather than facing the reality there is a clear military dimension to a political solution in syria. that is what russia and iran have demonstrated. they have changed the military faction on the ground and created the terms for a political settlement much more favorable to their interest. i believe the conflict willi-- drive on, isil grows stronger and the refuges keep coming. america's troubles in 2015 were not contained in iraq and syria despite the conditions on the ground president obama elected to withdraw roughly half of the united states forces from afghanistan by the end of next year. did you know the president of the united states, even when he announces a build up, announces a withdrawl so he sends the message to any enemy is we are
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going to build up now but don't worry we will pull out. we will withdraw. what happens? here we are pentagon says violence is on the rise in afghanistan. violence in afghanistan is on the rise and according to a new report it says the taliban was embolded by the reduced military role and can be expected to build momentum from their 2015 attack strategy. it is inevitable i say my colleagues. there will be greater violence in afghanistan, an increase in taliban activity, and i am sorry to say isis was already establishing a foothold there and they will increase their
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presence. and the iranians will provide weap weapons to the taliban. so at the beginning of the year, i will save the rest of my comments about what is going on with the iran nuclear deal, about what the iranians have already violated. at the beginning of the year the united states, what continues occupation of ukraine, our much respected leader in europe, general breed love has said he expects increased military activity by vladimer putin in eastern ukraine. he still has the ambition of establishing a land bridge all the way across eastern ukraine to crimea so he doesn't have to continue to supply by air and sea. we seem to have forgotten over 8,000 people have died since the russian invasion including over
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200 people killed on malaysian airline plane that crashed and not to mention the murder of borris, one of the great leaders of the opposition in the shadow of the kremlin. and the destabilization continues even in countries as far away as sweden. the defense authorization bill calls for the defensive weapons to ukraine. one of the more shameful chapters, although there are many, one is really shame ful i the failure to provide weapons to ukraine. there are russian tanks in the ukraine. we refuse to gave the javelin the most affective anti-tank
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weapon we have to ukrainians. it is beyond shameful. i am not talk about china which is 400 acres earlier and reclaimed mer than 3,000 acres in south china sea. and our one forray within the 12 mile limit the secretary of defense failed to acknowledge before the senate armed services committee. so my colleagues, we depart on this holiday season, hopefully sooner rather than later, with a world in turmoil. with a world that because of a failure of american leadership now poses direct threats as we just found in san bernardino to the united states of america. we saw too many dark days in 2015. it didn't have to be this way. it is still within our power to chose better courses.
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we must never be disheartened or resigned to a world where suffering and evil are always on the ascend. it is in our character as americans to face adversity with hope and optimism. we must see plainly and fully the threats to our values in order to defeat them. and as churchill said, we recover our moral health and marshall vigor and rise again to take our stand for freedom. i have no doubt america can succeed and will succeed. madam president, i yield the floor. >> house speaker paul ryan held his final briefing of 2015 discussing the efforts to empower individual members and the committees in the house and how he would like to continue this in 2016. he empha sized having spending
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bills go through their regular process next year rather than lumped together at the end of the fiscal year. this is about 15 minutes. >> let's try this end of the year press conference again. in the first days as speaker i outlined four things i think we need to to get the house back on track. i want to provide you an update. we need to get the house working as the founders inteddnded it t it work. more amendments, more conference committees, more new members on conference committees. in 2016 we will make it our goal to pass all 12 appropriation bills through regular order. this hasn't been done since 1994 but it is how congress ought to operate so we can better protect
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the tax dollars and be the true representative body we are. second we need to find common ground without compromising our principles. we have gotten transportation, defense, education, customs, just in about six weeks. i feel good about where we are on the spending and tax bills that are being considered today and tomorrow as well. the spending bill had big wings with the country whether it is lifting the oil export ban, increasing military spending or renewing health care for the 911 first responders. with this tax bill, families and businesses are going to have the long-term certainty they need instead of scrambling year after year to find out what is next. third, we need to be an effective opposition party. the spending bill reins in the irs, stops the epa overreach, blocks several obamacare provisions and prevents tax bail
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out of the risk corridor program. when we return in january, the house will put an obamacare repeal bill on the floor and pass it and put it on the president's desk. this bill will also defund planned parenthood. we are going to keep working to give families relief from this law while we work to dismantle it and replace it all together. this brings me to the fourth point. we need to be a proposition party. 2016 we are going to be a proposition party. as i told members this week i didn't become speaker to sit in a room and make big decisions on big bills. i became speaker to show the american people we believe them and what we will do to solve their problems. that is why our top goal in 2016 is going to be to put together a bold pro-growth agenda for the country. we will offer the people of this nation a real choice and a plan
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to restore a confidant america at home and abroad. this work will begin at our retreat next month. i feel good about where we are right now. i feel good about what we have been able to accomplish in just a few short weeks. i feel very good about are going in the next few years. >> why are you waiting -- why is the defunding planned parenthood at the end of the year? >> it is in the reconciliation bill. we could get it through the senate but knew we could not in any other way. i think we will do it the first week after the new year. >> there is angst about the visas for foreign workers. senator session says it will cause higher unemployment and lower wages for american.
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the buck stops with you. what do you say to other members of the conference? >> i think these things happen at the end with these bills. this policy went through the committee process. this was passed by the full appropriation committee in july with approval. so if you have questions about the substance of the proposal i will refer you to the judicial committee. this passed in that committee in july. the house of appropriation committee in july with the house judiciary committee working with them. i want the committee running the legislation. >> you think this is okay overall? >> i do. i think we are doing fine. >> you said bipartisan bills and
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you say there is conformation at the end and back and fort. are you convinced, pretty solid, this -- >> i feel pretty good about where we have. like i said you always find out when the vote comes. you know i don't like this process, right? you know we inherited a process, a cake that was pretty much more than half baked. i don't like the way these bills come together. i think we should do them separately through regular order. that is why i started the press conference saying we are doing it differently next year. i don't think this is the way we should be governing. but we are where we are and we have a bipartisan compromise. democrats won some things, too. we have made the best of a situation we have. there are very good wins in here
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for the economy, jobs, taxpayers. important developments in here will help us build a competent america. but as congress works in the new year, i want to get back to what is regular order so we have a system that operates like the founders intended. i feel very good we are getting off on that good start next year. >> you have made sure your 2016 agenda does not depend on the president signing what you put forth. do you need the president next year? can you talk -- >> do i need the president next year? you really want me to answer that. no, just kidding. look, we disagree profoundly with the president on so many issues. and we will oppose his agenda where we disagree and that is on a lot of things. but we feel because we think the country is headed in the wrong direction and the president's
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policies have been in place for seven years and it isn't working: look at policy, the economy, foreign policy, military, regulations. this isn't what a confidant america looks like. we owe the country a better agenda. a better way forward. we owe the country a fresh approach, a new plan and that is what we will do. we don't agree with the president. this is why we are going to roll out our own pro-growth agenda which stands in shark contrast to the agenda that has been pushed through here in the last seven days. >> on the agenda next year, you talked about the aca replacement and impact reform and you said you don't think they will be signed. a, do you think you will have actual legislation on these two issues? and b any smaller issues where there might be common ground
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>> i think budget process reform, like any example, there is a chance where we might have bipartisan agreement. we have to walk and chew gum next year. we have to look for common ground to advance the common good where we think we can find good things to do together. we have done that this year with transportation, education being another one. what we are passing this week. we have to continue to find common ground. we have to offer the country a clear choice. we have to put alternatives out there. are we going to have a law repealing obamacare signed in law by a president named obama? i doubt that. that is why we want to put our own alternatives. our members are going to participate from the bottom up in assembling this agenda to what i want to see happening ing 2016 is everyone who came to
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congress has an equal say so on how we will assemble the agenda and take the case to the american people because they deserve that. >> mr. speaker, when you talk about putting out this bold agenda are you going to actually bring these bills to the floor and have the house vote on them? >> sort of like what jonathan said. that is going to be decided by the members. i don't want to presume to have it all figured out because as a team we have not decided when and under what context we will roll out the agenda. >> you said you didn't want this job and talked about how much you didn't like this process. what has it been like to be speaker? is the house going to be around that much next year? not in section. what are you going to be doing in 2016 when you are not here?
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>> my routines are pretty well known. let me start with the first thing. this job is an absolute honor. you know, i always watched this job from the outside never wanted to go into the elected leadership and always wanting to be a policy maker and a chair to work on the issues i care about. first of all, i am thankful for the people of wisconsin to give me this chance and grateful of my colleagues for asking me and letting me become speaker. it is a great honor, a tremendous amount of responsibility, and i will exercise this responsibility to the best of my ability. i think i found by opening up the process, having more member involvement, by having the place work the way it was intended we
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have taken a lot of pressure out of the system. i think members feel they can come do their jobs better and constituents are happy with that. >> back on next year's agenda and i will follow-up on this. you talked about the incumbent president but what about an agenda in front of your nominees? >> we may not have a nominee until june or july and i think that is too late to show them who we are. we know who we have, we know what we believe in, we know what your principles are so we ought to take those principles and apply them to the big wrenching problems of the day to offer the american people real solutions to their problem and give them a clear choice. the way i see this coming down
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is it ought to be up to the people of america to decide what america looks like after 2016. we have a role to play in that. punting and kicking the can down until the summer i don't think is a good use of time. that is why we are going to be getting the assembling of your agenda. >> have you lost a bunch of weight? >> does it look like it? >> it does to me. >> i stay the same. i have weighed the same within two or three pounds for the last 20 years. so no, i haven't lost any weight. a senate foreign relation
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hearing on the iran nuclear deal and then a talk about the refuge crisis and then a panel on russian military operations in syria. >> on the next washington journal weekly standard editor bill crystal on this week's republican debate and what it means for the 2016 field. and then the executive director of the paris club with details of the paris climb change agreement. ...
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there is a question, i i suppose whether it ever will cease to be under scrutiny. >> wanting to terminate an unwanted pregnancy but unable to, unmarried dallas carnival worker agreed to be the plaintiff in the 1970 case. requesting to remain anonymous the lawsuit listed her as jane doe and the defendant, charged with enforcing the ban was dallas county district attorney, henry wade. she had the baby and put it up for adoption her case made it to the supreme court. >> the woman went to several
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physicians seeking an abortion but refuse care because of the texas law. she filed suit on behalf of herself and all of those women who have in the past, at that present time or in the future would seek termination of a pregnancy. >> will discuss the court's decision in roe v wade, wade, its impact then and now, with our guest and author of the inside story. melissa murray, professor at berkeley law school, prior to her appointment to the supreme court. that is live, monday night at nine eastern, on c-span, c-span three, and c-span radio. order order your copy of the landmark cases companion book. it's available for $8.95 at


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