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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  January 11, 2016 3:00pm-8:01pm EST

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i'm going to fight hard against the gun lobby if they try. i hope congress will instead move forward, finish the job on background checks and do all we can to reduce the high toll of gun violence in our communities. madam president, over the weekend, i was visiting with friends and former colleague mark pryor of arkansas. i went down to stuttgart, arkansas. anyone who is a duck hunter in the midwest or in america knows that name of that town, stuttgart, arkansas. it is probably the capital of duck hunting in the midwestern united states. a local radio station's call letters are kwak to give you an idea of their commitment to this duck season, 60 days a year when stuttgart comes to life with hunters from all over the united states and all over the world. i went there saturday afternoon to the largest sporting goods
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store, mac's, and hundreds of men and some women in camo clothes getting ready to go out for the duck hunt. for them, it's not only a rite of passage, it's a way of life. they love it. you see the camouflage on everything in sight. and of course when you go into mac's, there are plenty of firearms for sale and other equipment that's needed so that you can hunt effectively and safely. you go in there and if you want to be a duck hunter in arkansas, you first have to go buy a license, which i did. then you go through the ritual, making sure you have all the right equipment, get ready to go out to hunt for ducks. there's not a single thing proposed by president obama that will in any way slow down or stop those men and women who want to legally use their firearms for that sport, nothing. what the president is trying to do is to stop those convicted
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felons and people who are so mentally unstable that they shouldn't be able to buy a firearm from having that opportunity. it turns out an overwhelming majority of firearm owners agree with the president. you'd never know it, would you, as you hear every single republican president for -- presidential candidate condemn president obama's actions. what a chasm there is in the culture between the people who are firearm owners and enjoy that opportunity and responsibility and those who are in the political scene and ignore the fact that to preserve that right, we should pass commonsense changes in the law to make them even more effective and make certain that people who would misuse firearms do not have that opportunity. i hope to work with my colleagues in the senate and both political parties to achieve that goal of protecting the rights of those who use
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firearms legally, safely, responsibly within the confines of the law and to stop the trafficking of guns that are taking over 30,000 lives each and every year. madam president, i yield the floor. and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: will the senator whroald his suggestion? -- withhold his suggestion? mr. durbin: i withhold. mr. brown: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: we're not in a quorum, correct? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. brown: thank you, madam president. after months of delay, last fall, we were finally able to see the text of the transpassing partnership, text that corporate lobbyists had access to long before the american people and members of congress and their staffs did. after examining the provisions in this deal, it's clear that far too many of them, of these provisions sell out american workers and american jobs. in the months leading up to the release of this deal, i warned that too often our trade agreements as far back as nafta
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and the permanent normal trade relations with china, not per se a trade agreement but had the same effect in many ways, the central american free trade agreement, the south american free trade agreement. these trade agreements amounted to worker handouts. i wanted to make sure the deals created a truly level playing field for american workers and american businesses. unfortunately, that's not what happened, particularly when it comes to standing up for the american auto industry. we hear often about the supposed opportunities that trade agreements will create, opportunities for more jobs, opportunities for business, opportunities for more exports, for economic growth. when i look at the trans-pacific partnership, i don't see these actual -- let's call them offensive opportunities. i mean, opportunities for american products to brick into new markets, not just playing defense but playing offense so that we can export into these
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new markets. cheerleaders for this agreement, whether it's the wawrnl editorial page, which most republicans in the senate or whether it's republican leadership in the house, whether it's corporate c.e.o.'s or whether it's the white house, cheerleaders for this agreement say that new markets will be opened up for american cars, but we've heard those empty promises before. under t.p.p., many of these new markets won't be opened on day one, as in the case of malaysia and vietnam. they won't be open day two or year one or year two, it will be more than a decade until american automakers have full access to these closed markets. the t.p.p. will do nothing, nothing to level the playing field with our top competitor japan or to change japan's distinction as the most closed auto market in the world. we know it's been that in the past. we know it's that today. there's nothing in here that would change or open up japan's
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auto market, the auto market to sell into japan. carmakers in ohio, carmakers across the country will compete with huge numbers of japanese imports, but we won't have undey and we won't have under t.p.p. the same opportunity to export to japan. that's because for decades japan has used barriers other than tariffs to keep their markets closed. tariffs are one way, they charge huge tariffs causing the price of the product that you import say into japan to be too high for the japanese to offered, but that's not what japan does. their tariffs are already at zero, so an agreement on tariffs will do nothing to create a level playing field. japan keeps our products out in much more creative ways than tariffs. we've seen in the wake of the korean free trade agreement even after our trading partners promised to remove these barriers to allow american cars into their market, they often don't. opening up japan's market didn't work in the 1980's, it didn't
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work in the 1990's, it doesn't seem that it will be any different under the trans-pacific partnership. so if there aren't new offensive, offensive in the sense of selling into those countries, opportunities that i expect our negotiators at least to make sure these trade agreements protected american carmakers and workers from a flood of cheap foreign competition. i would hope they make sure the benefits of the agreement would only go towards its members who have been part of the negotiating process and made concessions, but it's not. it's not just the t.p.p. countries. it's not how i read the text, particularly when it comes to something called the rule of origins for autos, the rule of origin for autos. these rules of origin provisions determine how much of a car is made in the t.p.p. region and t.p.p. rules are weaker than that. that means how much of the car is actually made in the t.p.p. countries, how much of the car must be made in the t.p.p. countries to count as a t.p.p.
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product. 62% of a vehicle must be made in the nafta region in order for it to qualify for the benefits of the nafta agreement. but only 45%, much less than nafta, in some cases even less than that if a car has to be made in the t.p.p. region to call phi for the agreements benefits. think about that. under t.p.p., less than half a car has to be made in t.p.p. countries, which include canada, mexico and the united states to receive the benefits of t.p.p. so what does that mean? that means that more than half of the components of the car, more than half the car can be made in china. so china can back door its -- much of its supply chain into the trans-pacific partnership than these cars mostly made in china who get the benefits of the trans-pacific partnership even though they are in the trans-pacific partnership. and as more countries join t.p.p., that 45% rule will become an even weaker standard
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and fewer and fewer of our cars will come from the u.s. auto supply chain. i never thought i would be able to say this, madam president, but this agreement makes nafta, an agreement i fought hard to defeat 20 years ago, this agreement makes nafta look good. t.p.p.'s auto rules were written for japanese automakers to the benefit of china, and at the expense of american auto jobs. t.p.p. will jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of americans, including up to 600,000 ohioans whose jobs depend on the u.s. auto supply chain. these aren't just statistics. we're talking about real workers in real plants in real companies in real communities in ohio and across the country, with bills to pay and with families to feed. they fahd hard to bring the american auto industry back to life. their hard work made the auto rescue a success. 2015 was a record year for
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automakers. we can't pull the rug out from under them now with a trade deal that sells out american auto jobs. think of what we've done. in 2010, i believe only about maybe fewer than this 10 million vehicles were made in the united states. today that number is close to 17 million. chrysler posted 7% gains in sales last year. g.m. and ford were not far behind with 5%. i'm proud to say the best-selling american vehicle for 34 years running, the ford f-150 runs on engines produced in lima, ohio. five years ago, america's president, president obama, did the right thing when he personally committed, personally committed to saving the american auto industry. if you ask people in ohio, in toledo, in avon lake, in cleveland, in wardstown, they know how important the auto rescue was. since the auto rescue -- and we were losing hundreds of
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thousands of jobs a month at the beginning of president obama's term. since the auto rescue of next year, we have seen job growt in this country for 70 months in a row, 70 consecutive months of job growth, starting with the auto rescue. now i hope the president will do the right thing again and go back to the drawing barred and the aspects of this trade deal that we know, we know will cost america's -- american auto jobs. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: this past saturday, january 9, was law enforcement appreciation day, a day set aside to honor the men and women who work in law enforcement, keeping our communities safe and enforcing the rule of law which underpins any free and just society. recently, we've heard a great deal about controversies and scrutiny surrounding law
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enforcement in many parts of our country. it's easy to be distracted by these stories, but it is important to remember that many are inaccurate and even the true ones a the -- are the exception, not the rule. the rule of officers like little rock police officer sean booker. on estate, officer bocker spent his law enforcement security day and night off working as a security guard at a local restaurant. during his shift, three armed men entered the restaurant and pointed a gun at an employee in an attempted robbery. the officer's law enforcement instincts kicked in. he called dispatch. he confronted the suspects who consequently shot him in the shoulder. he bravely managed to return fire and injure one of the robbers. the other two suspects fled but have since been apprehended after a standoff with little rock police earlier today. the rule is also county sheriffs like johnson county reserve deputy sonny smith who died in the line of duty last year after he was shot while responding to a burglary.
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deputy smith confronted danger head on to protect his fellow arkansans and gave the full measure of devotion to duty that only those called to serve on the front lines can fully understand. the rule is also the large group of deputy smith's law enforcement colleagues who stood to the right of the stage, a place typically reserved for parents, and saluted during his son's high school graduation ceremony just hours after his death so he would feel the support and love of the law enforcement community to which his dad belonged. as a soldier in iraq and afghanistan, my soldiers and i knew what it meant to face our enemy head on. but at the end of our tours, we went home. many of us worked in much less dangerous jobs at military bases around the country until our next tour or we left the service. for law enforcement officers, there is no end to the tour. they take risks every single day, often for the lengths of their careers. officer bocher and deputy smith's actions are heroic by
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any definition, but to them and to countless other law enforcement officers across the country, that's simply part of the job description. each day they go to work, our law enforcement personnel around the country put themselves in harm's way to keep us and our community safe. so to all of our law enforcement officers, the men and women who serve with the selfless dedication, sean bocher, sonny smith, thank you for your service and for your sacrifice. god bless you and your families and keep you safe. i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. boozman: thank you, madam president. i'm here today with my colleague, senator cotton, to honor dale bumpers, a long-time advocate of arkansas who passed away on january 1 at the age of 90 after a long life of dedicated public service. he was a soldier and a statesman
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who came from the small town of charleston, arkansas. he did things not because of political pressure, but because he believed they were the right things to do. he had a good foundation to understand the needs of arkansans. he was a businessman, taking over operations at his father's former hardware, furniture and appliance store, a rancher and an attorney in charleston, serving as his memoirs indicate the best lawyer in a one-lawyer town. following the supreme court decision in the case brown v.ed board of education, that outlawed segregation in schools, he advised compliance with the ruling, making it the first school district in the stodge fully integrate. he ran against incumbent governor winthrop rockefeller to become the 38th governor of the state of arkansas. four years later he defeated long-term senator william
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fulbright before wing a seat in the senate, a position he held for 24 years. he served as chairman of the committee on small business from 1987 to 1994 and has a long list of accomplishments. while he ended his snafs senate service more than a decade ago before i started serving in this chamber, my colleagues who served a longside him regularly recall their memories of senator bumpers' legendary orature. he had a true gift for public speaking. he would tell stories in way that only a person from a small town in arkansas could. he was passionate about his convictions and spoke from the heart about the matters that he believed in. his colleagues described him as one of the most respected members of this body. he was a champion of the environment, a supporter of the national institutes of health, and funding the fight against h.i.v. and aids and a constant
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proponent for arkansans. you could tell by all of the things that bear his name -- the white river national wildlife refuge, the dale bumpers national research center, and his impact on arkansas agriculture was recognized by the university of arkansas board of trustees who renamed the college of agriculture, the dale bumpers college of agriculture, food, and life sciences. these are just a few things -- a few of the many things in arkansas that reflect his dead and commitment to our state. senator bumpers leaves behind a legacy of public service and aplishtds that has made arkansas a better place to live. i yield the floor. mr. cotton: madam president? the presiding officer: th the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: i am pleased to
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gin my colleagues in recognizing senator dale bumpers' service tid as well as many other senators who are reminiscing about senatorrer bumpers who passed away. arkansas lost one of its most distinguished certificate jaunts when senator bumpers died at the age of 90. as both a governor and senator, senator bumpers' tireless dedication to our state began before i was born and spanned many decades. as someone who grew up with dale bumpers already in the senate and who was unable to ever vote for him, i asked my move about her memories of the senator. like so many, she was quick to remember the or a atory skills for which he was so famous, not knoll arkansas but also in washington and the united states senate. which has its share of famous orators. she also had fond memories of him on a personal level as well.
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at a chicken fry in the early 1970's as a young governor, senator bumpers, then governor bumpers, always made it to our chickening fry. if it weren't for a few obvious clues -- a state trooper and local photographers taking pictures of him, you wouldn't have known that he was the top exec for of our staivment he made everyone feel that they had his full attention, the full attention of our gone. it is an honor to stand here today in the same institution in which he did so much great work for the state of arkansas. senator bumpers was an arkansas institution himself, and his legacy has outlived his tenure in office. we are grateful for his service and his commitment to arkansas, and my thoughts and prayers are with the bumpers family and all arkansans whom he so faithfully served. i yield the floor.
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i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. hoeven: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: i scw that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: thank you. madam president, western north dakota is getting a lot of ateption these days because of its vibrant energy comism the people also need to know about the spec spectacular landscape d
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natural beauty that thrives sued by side with energy development in my home state. so i want to speak today for a few minutes about a remarkable asset in my home state of north dakota that was highlighted this past week in the "new york times." the "times" ranked theodore roosevelt national park in north dakota as fifth in destinations to visit in 2015. only mexico city, bor dough, france; the mediterranean island of malta and the city of corral bay, saint john in the u.s. virgin islands ranked ahead of u.s. roosevelt national park. kim neff vil of the "new york times" wrote few presidents did as much for conservation as teddy roosevelt. rolling grasslands dotted with
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visen collapse into the spectacular red, white and gold badlands. the more than 70,000 square acre park consists of three parts. the south unit, the largest; the north unit and the site of roosevelt's alcorn ranch. the little missouri river me an ders through -- meanders through all three sections of the park. roosevelt captured a picture of life in his 1885 book called "hunting trips of a ranch man." "my home ranch house stands on the river brink. from the low, long veranda shaded by leaky cottonwoods, one looks across sand bars and shallows to a strip of meadow land down which rises a line of sheer cliffs and grassy plateaus. this ver veranda is a pleasant e
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when the cool breeze blows in the faces of the tired men who lull back in their rocking chairs. what true american does not enjoy a rocking chair? book in hand, though they do not often read the books but rock gently to and fro gazing out until their sharp outlines grow indies tirchg -- indistinct and purple." for that reason the park gets half a million visitors a year but more should come to see it and i believe more will as a result of the "new york times" list. speaking of new york, the "times" was the right venue to highlight teddy roosevelt national park because teddy roosevelt was a native son of new york. born in the heart of manhattan at the dawn of the age of
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concrete canyons and bustling growth. more than 135 years ago he fled the hectic pace of new york for the solitude of north dakota's badlands on a hunting trip. during that trip to what was called the dakota territory, he was so taken he bought a ranch before he left for home. within a year tragedies struck in a cruel way. both roosevelt's wife and his mother died in the same house on the same day. he was crushed. being of man of action he sought to redirect his grief by throwing himself into a new adventure, cattle ranching in north dakota. he went west and built a ranch on a plot of land that is now the theodore roosevelt national park. roosevelt long acknowledged his debt to north dakota. he said -- quote -- "i've always said i would have not have been president had it not been for my experience in north dakota.
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it was here that the romance of my life began." madam president, that romance is still alive and well in western north dakota. i invite travelers from around the world to visit us to see what the "new york times" described as -- quote -- "a century of protecting america's magnificence." madam president, while i have the floor, if i may, i would like to shift gears. i know that the presiding officer is a sports fan and that in her state they have many wonderful sports teams -- football, basketball, and certainly the university of iowa had an outstanding team this year. i want to commend them on their great team. as a matter of fact, the team i'm going to talk about next, we're going to play that team, i think it's their first or second game of the year next year. so i'm looking forward to it,
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and i know the presiding officer is looking forward to it very much as well when the north dakota state university bison play the university of iowa. i don't know if the presiding officer is a -- i'm sure she's a fan of the university of iowa and iowa state and northern iowa, all great, great sports programs. i don't know which one is her favorite and may not want to say, but we played iowa state a few years ago. we played northern iowa every year. and we have a great rivalry with northern iowa. northern iowa has a wonderful program, football and basketball. we enjoy playing them every year. this year it looks like they have a very good basketball team and are to be commended on beating north carolina, the tar heels. we'll certainly want to mention that to our colleagues. i'm sure you already have. so we play -- north dakota state
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plays iowa every year and are looking very much to playing the university of iowa. i would like to take just a minute and introduce a resolution today. i'm going to talk about it now but i'm introducing a resolution today on behalf of the north dakota state university bison football team which won its historic fifth national championship. so, madam president, i rise to speak about a resolution that i will introduce today on behalf of north dakota state university bison who won an historic fifth consecutive -- fifth consecutive ncaa division 1 f.c.s. national football championship on saturday led by coach chris kleiman and a solid defensive effort, the bison clinched the title 37-10 over a very talented team from jacksonville state. they were truly game opponents and played a fine game and we
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congratulate them on a tremendous season as welling. with the saturday's win, the bison became the first football team in the modern era of college football to win five consecutive championships. five titles in a row. championships aren't won in a single game but as a result of years of hard work. the bison overcame injury and adversity to make it back to the title game and we're tremendously proud of our team and our players and the program and all their accomplishments. it was a thrill for my wife and i to join my -- bison nation down in frist co. theame was in frisco, texas, a wonderful venue for the game. having a dedicated fan base helped make their stadium feel a lot like one of our home games at the fargo dome. and i would certainly invite the presiding officer to join us sometime at the fargo dome. it is an amazing experience. the game started with a flyover of a b-52 bomber from the from
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the minot north dakota air force base. thousands of fans, thunder, the bison mascot and corso, an actual bison and unofficial mascot of the team, made the 1,000-mile trek down to texas. i bison have a loyal -- had a loyal crew cheering them on and it helped make this drive for five season very memorable. five championships in a row is unprecedented and i want to congratulate the entire bison community, n.d.s.u.'s leaders, coaches, staff and these tremendous student athletes as well as bison nation, a wonderful, loyal following wherever the bison team goes. in recognition, i am introducing the following resolution today in their honor: whereas the
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north dakota state university bison won the 2015 national collegiate athletic soaks referred to to as ncaa division 1 championship subit division title game on january 9 with 2016 by a score of 37-10, whereas ndsu won 13 football championships, whereas ndsu won five consecutive ncaa football championships since 2011, an extraordinary and record-setting achievement in modern collegiate football history, whereas the ndsu bison displayed tremendous resillans and skill over the past five seasons with 71 wins to only 5 losses, including a streak of 33 consecutive winning games, whereas thousands of bison fans attended the championship game reflecting the tremendous spirit and dedication of bison nation that has helped
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propel the success of the team. and whereas the 2015 ncaa division 1 football championship subdivision title was a victory not only for the ndsu football team but for the entire state of north dakota that the senate congratulates the bison football team as the 2015 champion of the national collegiate athletic association division 1 football championship subdivision. two, commends the north dakota state university players, coaches and staff for their hard work and dedication on an historic season and for fostering a continuing tradition of athletic and academic excellence. and three, recognizes the students, alumni and loyal fans that supported the bison in their quest to capture a fifth consecutive division 1 national championship trophy of north dakota state university. with that, madam president, i
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yield the floor. i also note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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mr. cornyn: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: madam president, i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, i understand that later today the house of representatives will pass under the freedom of information law, something referred to by its acronym foia. i just want to say a word about that effort. i applaud the effort of the house. i have long believed that it's really important for us to make sure that the people who actually pay the bills and who
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we serve know what government is doing on their behalf, thus the name of the legislation signed by president johnson many years ago, the freedom of information act, because too often here in washington, d.c., the people in charge of the information seem to view it as proprietary, it's theirs. and in a political culture where information is power, they don't want to share that information with the people that they're actually -- that own it and who -- who are the ones that hold the elected officials accountable. so open government is really one of the first prerequisites to a free society, and it's because an open and accessible government is absolutely necessary for americans to hold their elected officials accountable. our founding fathers, of course, recognized that a truly democratic system depends on an informed citizenry, but, madam president, americans can't do that without the information
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and the transparency that these laws provide. former -- former justice william brandeis famously said that sun light is the best disinfectant. and i would say as a person who is a conservative, i believe rather than passing a bunch of new laws, one of the best things we can do to actually change behavior here in washington is to shine that light on the actions of elected officials and on government, because when people know that the public is informed and watching, it changes the way people behave, and usually for the better. so congress has passed numerous pieces of legislation that promote this accountability and transparency in government since president johnson signed the freedom of information act into law, so that good leadership and good governance can flourish. during my time in the senate and
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previously when i was attorney general of texas, i've made government transparency a priority, and i pressed for more openness in the federal government through commonsense legislation. and i found in the process that i've found a partner in those efforts in the senate, somebody who is really my ideological opposite, and that's senator pat leahy of vermont. but senator leahy and i both have embraced the fact that most of the time elected officials and government officials, they want to trumpet their successes, and they want to hide their failures, but the american people deserve to know the good, bad and the ugly and to apply the correctives that are within their power, either in changing those officials or holding those officials accountable. so the legislation that is going to pass the house later today is similar to what we have already passed here in the senate, in the senate judiciary committee, by voice vote in february.
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it requires federal agencies to operate under a presumption of openness when considering the release of government information under the freedom of information act, something that texas law, for example, presumes that information, public information held by government is presumptively open, and if there is some reason why it should not be disclosed, let's say classified materials or whatever, then it's incumbent on the agency to raise those and then to have those decided in the process of administering those laws. but the idea is to also reduce the overuse of exemptions to withhold information from the public, and i hope this chamber will soon join our colleagues in the house to consider this important legislation. there may be some things we need to do to fine tune it, and i certainly understand that on
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national security, for example, things involving proprietary information, trademark protection, property preakness , that there may be some areas that we have to make some slight changes, but essentially this presumption of openness is important to the functioning of our democratic form of government, and i look forward to us passing the law passed by the chamber, the house chamber earlier -- or later today. so, madam president, the main reason i wanted to come to the floor is to talk about the president's most recent executive action, this time implementing gun control measures that won't actually solve any of the problems they purport to fix, and that purposely go around congress and ignore the will of the american people. this is one of the most aggravating things about washington, d.c., and about how business is done here. i.t. that people make symbolic
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acts claiming that we have to -- quote -- "doing is" but don't actually focus on a solution that actually helps make the problem better. none of the president's proposals actually would reduce any of the horrific incidents of gun violence that we've seen, and that is a shame because there are bipartisan proposals that had been made that actually would help, but it's only when the president works with the congress, as the constitution requires, before a bill can become a law. and in his eagerness go it alone, of course, the president has forsaken the constitutional process and bypassed the electorate in trying to make new policy, and he presumably is doing this as a hallmark of his tenure and will somehow be a legacy of his time as president. but to the fact of the matter -- the but the fact of the matter is that the executive actions
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signed by this president will not survive his own presidency. unless it's actually made into law, and then of course it would require another act of congress to overcome it. that's something this president doesn't seem to recognize. when he gets frustrated with the pace at which congress takes up legislation -- for example, in the immigration field -- he decides to unilaterally issue an executive action which does what? well, he offers executive actions as a solution to a problem but in fact what it does is it buys a lawsuit and it gets caught up in litigation which is going to take years to resolve and ultimately doesn't provide any relief to the very people that the president claims to want to help. so in the president's impatience and in his eagerness to go it alone, he is actually forsaking the constitutional process that builds consensus and actually
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creates durable policies that will survive this president's own administration. and this isn't just an isolat id event, as i mentioned a moment ago. according to one media report, the obama administration aims to push almost 4,000 new regulations during his last year as president. but with his announcement last week, president obama made clear he has little interest in working with congress. that is actually his job to work with congress, to work with us to try to find consensus and to build durable solutions to the problems that confront our nation. and it also, you think i think, demonstrates his lack of regard for fundamental constitutional rights as spelled out in the constitution itself. and of course i'm talking about the second amendment to the united states constitution. but i found his rhetoric particularly perplexing. first, he blamed the congress
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for inaction. he said, congress still needs to act. well, actually if what he was doing was going to solve the problem, why would congress still need to act? so to me it's an admission that he knows that this is mere symbolism and it doesn't actually solve the problem that he says exists. so he said, congress still needs to act on gun control measures. and he claimed that this legislative body, congress is simply not being responsive to the will of the american people. he even said that he feels compelled to act without consulting congress because america doesn't -- and i quote -- "have a congress that's in line with the majority of americans." close quote. in other words, the president said, the people of this country are demanding more symbolic gun control laws, not less. but that's not what the polling shows. the best indicator of what actually people are thinking
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other than what the presiding officer hears from your constituents in iowa and i hear from my states in texas. those are the best ways to know what people are thinking. in a poll done by "the wall street journal" and nbc news this fall, more than half the respondented says that the president's party's position on gun control was -- quote -- "yods th-- quote --"outside the" only 39% said it was within the mainstream. many media reports are skated that the president's measures would not have stopped any of the mass violence incidents that have tragically struck american communities over the last few years. so my question to the president is this: if you're actually serious -- if you're actually serious about trying to solve problems rather than just issue symbolic proclamations, he needs to roll
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up his sleeves and he needs to work with us to move legislation forward that focuses on the commonsense thread found in many one -- many of these mass incidents understand thaincidenh the mental health issue. senator grassley has made this quite clear, that this is the one issue where we could actually find consensus and actually help provide assistance to families and communities, to help people from become ago danger to themselves as well as the communities in which they live. we know that from the facts of the case that many times the mental health of the shooter has played a roll in many of these tragedies. and it must be addressed. many americans of course agree. i think, for example, of adam lanza, who was the shooter at sandy hook in connecticut.
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he was so mentally ill that he was a recluse in his own home and the only thing his mother found she could engage him in is going out to the shooting range. yet he basically stole his mother's own weapons, killed her, and then tragically went to the sandy hook elementary school and killed a number of innocent children. if he and she had been able to get some additional help, had gotten hin him to the doctor, ho gotten him on the medication for this increasing mental illness, perhaps things would have worked out dumpily. that's speculation but perhaps treating the mental illness would reduce the likelihood that people will succumb to an impulse to do harm to themselves and their communities. according to a poll released
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just last week, more than 70% of americans said they believed that better access to mental health treatment and screenings would reduce thighs incidents of violence. and i'm part of that 70%. i firmly believe that time and time again we are confronted with mental illness crises that go untreated and turn into tragic headlines. we can't responsibly stand by any longer and watch this pattern repeat itself, which is why last year i introduced a piece of legislation which was my effort to try to begin this conversation and this discussion here in the senate. there are other ideas. the chamber of the health, education, labor, and pensions committee, senator alexander, and the ranking member, senator murray, i know are work on some mental health legislation. congressman tim murthy in the house has worked, and in the
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senate dr. bill cassidy is working on that legislation. my legislation will hopefully contribute to the conversation and help us build that consensus that is so important. but the legislation i've introduced would improve treatment and preventive screenings and crisis response for individuals with mental illness. it would also strengthen the existing background check system, something the president says he wants to do, although the fact of the matter is, many states, like the state of virginia in the case of the virginia tech shooter just a short time ago, don't even upload existing mental health adjudications into the background check system, which would have precluded the purchase of a firearm with somebody with that sort of record. so the national instant criminal background check system isn't even a comprehensive system when it comes to identifying people who under current law should not be able to purchase a firearm.
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so this legislation that i've offered is a step forward that will help those with mental illness get the support they need while also equipping our nation's law enforcement officers to help keep our communities safe. it has been endorsed bay diverse group of organizations including the national alliance on mental illness, the national association of police organizations, and the national association of social workers. i think the thing that's perhaps -- perhaps offended some of our democratic colleagues is that we've actually been able to build a census where none other has existed 0en this topic by getting organizations like the ones i mentioned along with the national rifle association in endorsing the legislation that i've introduced. but the fact of the matter is, this legislation was aided by solutions borrowed from what's happening in texas and particularly bexar county, san
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antonio, where i once served as a district judge. i firmly believe that the best way we could legislate here is to learn what works at the local and state loafl and then to scale them -- state and local level and then to scale them up at the national level, rather than to do what the president seems to prefer, which is a national experiment in a one-size-fits-all approach in a country that is simply too diverse on issues that are so complex that you can't really solve them with the wave of a madgic wanmagic wand. let's look at what works locally in our states and then bring those experiences here and scale them up for the rest of the country. bexar county, san anton san ants mental health program is thought of as the standard for those in the criminal justice system. the sheriff of bexar county told
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me that a substantial portion of the jail population in san antonio are people suffering mental illness and many times they go untreated and, thus, they try to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol, just making their condition that much worse. but the underlying cause of their problems is never being treated, which is the underlying mental illness. i heard the same story in houston and in austin and other places i've asked our law enforcement professionals. we simply are seeing more and more people with mental illnesses showing up in emergency rooms or living homeless on the street or ending up in our jails without being adequately -- their problems adequately being addressed. so my legislation does try to take a shot at that, a crack at that. it may not be perfect. i know other people will have other ideas, but at least it's a
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constructive suggestion and begin hopefully a conversation that we need to have that the president says he wants to have but so far he's neglected to engage with. my point is the congress does have a role to play because we represent the american people and we represent the states where we're elected to serve. and it's our responsibility to try to bring about the successful reforms that we've seen work at the local and state level, on a national level this time. and so i'm hopeful that the senate judiciary committee will hold a hearing soon. i understand we may well by the end of this month, and it's not a minute too soon. but we also need a president who's willing to get to work and do his job and not just to make speeches or issue executive orders and sort of say, well, okay, i've done my part, and the rest is up to everybody else. we need a president who is willing to work with us and alongside of us to tackle these
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important issues and ultimately help protect the individuals who are suffering from mental illness to give families more choices when dealing with the mentally ill loved one and also help avoid these incidents of mass violence. what we don't need is purporting to govern by executive edict, which is what the president seems to like and prefer. so i hope the president understands that members on both sides of the aisle and both chambers are ready, willing, and able in good faith to work to reform our mental health system, and in doing so help prevent some of the tragedies from occurring in our communities. what we don't need to do is to restrict the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens which will in no way make our communities safer, but it will infringe upon those
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constitutional rights in the bill of rights of the united states constitution, something, again, which will not actually solve the problem but will infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding people. many of the bills proposed including mine go much further than what the president announced last week in dealing with mental illness. so there is a lot of work that needs to be done, and we need a president who will work with us. but if he's willing to abandon this sort of go it alone attitude and commence to working with the representatives of the american people, i think we have the opportunity to accomplish a lot for our country. madam president, i yield the floor and i'd suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: i'd ask the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without
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objection. mr. cornyn: madam president, i neglected to ask unanimous consent on one other item. i have one unanimous consent request for a committee to meet during today's session of the senate. this has been approved by the majority and minority leaders. i'd consent that this request be agreed to and that it be printed in the record. the presiding officer: is there objection? with no objection. mr. cornyn: and now i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. peters: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. peters: eight months ago, as i delivered my maiden speech in the senate, i discussed how honored i am to succeed senator
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carl levin, a mentor to me and a man who defined what it meant to be a united states senator from michigan, a feeling that has only deepened during the past year that i have served in this body. during his 36 years of service, senator levin personally met tens of thousands of michiganders. he remains beloved by many, including those who might never have had the opportunity to shake his hand or sit down next to him. this is due in no small part to his tireless commitment having accessibility and responding to questions and comments from his constituents. whether those issues arose in person, over the phone, in a letter or during the latter half of senator levin's ten-year. michiganders reaching out to senator levin's office knew they could be heard and they could expect a thoughtful, honest response about their senator's positions. these responses, hundreds of thousands a year and millions over the course of senator
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levin's career, were made possible by his correspondence manager, rick carter. rick worked for senator levin for almost two decades, and i have had the privilege to have him on my team since early last year. while i have known him for only a year, this has been more than enough time to learn that rick is a model public servant and a role model for generations of congressional staffers. rick is humble, thoughtful and fiercely committed to working behind the scenes to help other staff succeed and to grow. he has been instrumental in establishing my senate office, and i will be eternally grateful for his honorary michigander's efforts. rick grew up here in d.c. perhaps the future career was foreshadowed by growing up in the michigan park neighborhood. he was a standout student at dematha catholic high school and earned a scholarship at george washington university where he
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studied sociology. during his time at g.w., he interned for congressman john conyers, a legend of the civil rights movement, current dean of the house of representatives, and a man i'm honored to call my friend and a michigan colleague. graduating g.w. in 1995, rick began what would be a 19-year career with senator levin. he worked his way up from the front office and mastered a number of different positions from deciding and managing the correspondence team best allowed him to balance engaging on matters of policy, serving the people of michigan and mentoring junior staffers. while rick has many skills and qualities you might expect from a seasoned staffer, including being an excellent writer, editor and consummate professional, it is his extraordinary commitment to developing young minds that i would like to focus on for a moment. rick has helped dozens and
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perhaps hundreds of young graduates, former interns and junior staffers find jobs in public service. along with refining writing skills and polishing resumes, rick has taught a generation of staffers things they did not learn in college -- how to be a professional, how to show up on time and how to simultaneously function independently as well as part of a team. his former interns are legislative directors, chiefs of staff and chief counsels. the list of favors he is owed is extensive, but he never asks for anything in return. he might ask you to run with him, though. as the charity marathon coach, he has helped to raise money to fight aids and as a year-round positive influence and not just the new year's resolution season, he is always looking for current and past colleagues to run with him. i won't even begin to speculate what the cumulative pounds that have been lost due to his
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inspiration. rick has been a surrogate big brother and a father figure for so many staffers. it is especially meaningful that rick has started his own family with his wife nakia, their son mason and new baby ryan are lucky to have such a loving, dedicated dad. i wish their entire family the best as rick starts his own small business to pursue real estate development right here in the d.c. area. it is said that the only constant in life is change, and while carter has been a constank carter has been a constant in the mick delegation for more than two decades and i will miss having him in my office, i deeply appreciate his two decades of service and respect his desire to take on new challenges. rick carter will always be a part of both team levin and team peters. madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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ms. klobuchar: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. klobuchar: madam president, i rise today to call on the senate and all of my colleagues to allow us to move forward on the nomination of sam
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heinz of minnesota to be the u.s. ambassador to norway, the u.s. ambassador to -- for sweden has also been held up, and i think, madam president, coming from the state of iowa, which i believe is over 10% scandinavian, over 300,000 people, i think you understand the importance of the fact that our country actually has ambassadors to these incredibly important allies, incredibly important nations. it has now been 836 days since there was last confirmed ambassador to norway, one of our most important european allies. part of the situation was caused by a different nominee who had some issues with the committee and with other senators. that person has now been replaced and, in fact, it has been 166 days since a new nominee went through the foreign
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relations committee. mr. heinz was approved by a voice vote without any controversy, as was the ambassador to sweden. i want to thank senators corker and cardin, senator mcconnell and reid for their help in trying to get this through. unfortunately, these nominations are now being held up by senator cruz. it is not based, on my discussions with him, on the quksequalifications of these nominees. it is related to, i suppose, other issues. i note for those scandinavians out there, senator cruz has allowed votes on ambassadors to other countries. we have ambassadors in france. wehave ambassadors in england. we have an ambassador in nearly every yearn natio european natit these two countries. perhaps people don't understand the importance of these nations because they just think people swear sweaters all the time. i don't know what they think of
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norway and sweden. but in fact senator cruz should understand that they are two of our best allies. norway is one of our country's strongest and more independent allies. i plan to take to the floor repeated bily in the next month to talk about the importance of these allies. and to ask senator cruz what he does not understand, that these are important allies. norway was a founding member of the nato alliance and its military has participated in operations with the united states in the balkans and in afghanistan. norwegians work alongside americans in standing up to russia's provocations in ukraine, in countering isis and the spread of violent extremism and in strengthening regional cooperation in the arctic. and norway has been especially strong with the issue of the ukraine and with the issue with russia, and i know that is something that you, madam president, with your background
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in the military, understand how important that is and certainly my colleagues across the aisle understand how important it is to have allies that will stand up to russia. in addition, norway is an important economic partner. in a letter sent this july by the american chamber of commerce in norway, norway represented the fifth-fastest growing source of foreign direct investment in the united states between 2009 and 2013, and is the 12th-largest source of foreign direct investment in the united states overall fl so we basically right now -- the united states of america for over 700 days has said to one of our top investors in our country, one of ash best allies for security, sorry, you don't rate getting an ambassador. therthere are also over 300 amen companies in a presence in norway including 3 spf. -- including 3m of minnesota,
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mcdone ailed's and so many others. in october norway reiterated its commitment to lockheed more continue with the purchase of an additional 22f-35's al. and madam president, as you know, these plans, these lockheed martin planes are from a facility in fort worth, texas. i have called this to senator cruz's attention but in fact this is an enormous purchase, the biggest purchase made in the history of the country of norway. these companies however are hindered wallet a strong ambassador to help facilitate and strengthen economic ties between our two countries. norway is also playing an important role in addressing the syrian refugee crisis. norway has a proud history of providing support to those fleeing conflict. it expects to take in as many as 25,000 refugees this year and has already prevented -- has already provided millions and
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millions of dollars to greece to help that country respond to the influx of reechtion seeking a way to end europe. norway is basically on the front line of the refugee crisis. and all of us on both sizes of the aisle have talked about the importance of a strong europe during this very difficult time. yet right now we have no ambassadors in two of the countries that are on the front line in being involved in these refugee crises, and that is sweden and norway. norway deserves a u.s. ambassador who understands a country and is deeply committed to the relationship. i believe that mr. heinz is the right person for the job. no one has seriously questioned his qualifications for the job. now, as the senator from the state that is home to more people -- and that would be more than 800,000 people -- of norwegian heritage -- and that would be anywhere except norway itself -- i think it is only
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fitting that the nominee for the united states ambassador hail from minnesota. of course, there is much more to sam heinz than his minnesota heritage. in addition to being an accomplished lawyer, he has demonstrated his devotion to and leadership in the cause of advancing human rights. he founded organized and served as a first board chair of the advocates for human rights which responds to human rights abuses throughout the world. also cofounded the center for victims of torture which provides services, research, and advocacy for victims of for friew--from around the world. this record of accomplishment is particularly appropriate for someone nominated to be our ambassador to norway. norway has long been an international leader on human rights issues. mr. heinz's extensive work within 0 human rights wangdz nine governmental organizations that support human rights will be extremely helpful in sustaining and building on the
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strong u.s.-nor wean partnership in this area. last year as we know, congress was able to find common ground on so many issues. we passed a budget bill that was historically passed, a transportation bill, historic amount of funding, an increase in funding. we got the bill done on sex trafficking that senator cornyn and i worked on so hard. i can go through a list of the work that we did together across the aisle. and when it comes to foreign relations, our country has always believed that a united front is most important on the world stage. we have a nighted front when it comes to the countries of norway and sweden. we understand that they are our true allies. we have a united front on these two ambassador nominees. they were noncontroversial, went through the foreign reels committee, senator corker and cardin have worked together to make sure thee get to the floor. right now senator cruz is hoed
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being up these nominees for reasons that are completely outside of the qualifications of the nominees. well, i can tell you that this is not the way we should be conducting world business. i'm focusing today on norway. i'll focus on sweden in the future here as i continue to give these speeches. but i don't think you can take these countries light lay. just because it is cold there and dark a lot in the winter. these are incredibly important allies and trading partners. they deserve to be treated like other european nations. they deserve to have an ambassador from the united states of america. it is time to end this delay and do the work that the senate is supposed to do. let's move ahead and work to confirm these qualified nominees to represent us abroad. a country in europe just brought 22 fighter planes from lockheed
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martin. mr. president, if they had bought 22 fighter planes from a company in your state, i think that would matter to you in the state of arkansas. i believe that you would have looked at the fact that maybe if it is a noncontroversial nominee that invests to a country -- it country that invests in the united states of america that is an ambassador that we need to get confirmed, we would get this done. and i just my colleagues to work with senator cruz and the hope is that given that we have seen no other opposition to these two nominees of any significance that we're able to get this done. he has said to me personally this is not about the qualifications of the nominees, simply other issues that i hope he can resolve within the republican caucus, with us so that we can move forward and that they are not held up any longer. norway and sweden deserve ambassadors. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order the senate will proceed to executive session to consider the
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following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary. luis felipe restrepo of pennsylvania to be united states judge for the third circuit. the presiding officer: under the previous order there will be 30 minutes for debate equally divided in the usual form. the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: i rise to speak on the upcoming nomination vote of luis felipe restrepo. i want to thank chairman grassley and ranking member layry for -- leahy for moving judge restrepo's nomination through their committee. i want to thank senator mcconnell for this vote we're going to have in short order. i want to thank my colleague senator casey.
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we've been working very closely for five years now since i joined the senate, working to fill the vacancies that have been on the bench across the commonwealth of pennsylvania we represent. with judge restrepo's confirmation tonight which i am hopeful and confident will occur, senator casey and i will have been able to play a role in filling 16 vacancies on the federal bench, 14 district court vacancies that have occurred since the time that i arrived at the senate in two third circuit appellate court vacancies. there are only two states in the union, mr. president, that have had more vacancies filled in the last five years, and those two states are california and new york, states that have -- they are very, very large states, of course, and have large numbers of vacancies occurring. so i just want to thank senator casey for the very constructive working relationship that we've developed to make sure that the people of pennsylvania are able
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to access justice in a sensible and efficient fashion. because we have worked together closely, not only have we filled these vacancies, but, mr. president, we've had vacate courthouses for years. federal courthouses meant to house federal judges that have been vacant for years and we've addressed that. in reading, pennsylvania, there's now a federal judge serving in that courthouse. in williamsport, pennsylvania, the surrounding area in which people had to drive great distances to get to a federal court. easton, pennsylvania, likewise, people in north hamilton county who had to drive all the way to philadelphia to have a case dealt with, now they can do that in easton. and we're working, i think we're close. i hope we're close to filling an empty courthouse in eerie, pennsylvania. erie is kind of by itself out there in the northwestern corner
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of our great state. there ought to be a federal judge in the erie courthouse. we are well along the process of making sure there will be and i'm hopeful that process will come to a conclusion relatively soon. back to judge restrepo, the fact is judge restrepo is very well qualified to serve on the third circuit. he has been serving on the federal district. he's been a judge in the eastern district of pennsylvania there since june of 2013. i was pleased together with senator casey to have recommended judge restrepo to the white house for that post. and of course to have supported his confirmation to the district court. in 2013, judge restrepo was confirmed unanimously on the senate floor. i would love to see that occur again this evening with respect to his confirmation to the circuit court. prior to his appointment as a district court judge, judge restrepo served for seven years as a federal magistrate judge for the eastern district of pennsylvania. and for 13 years prior to that,
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judge restrepo was a partner in the law firm of krasner and restrepo handling criminal defense cases. before that he worked at the public defenders office at the federal and state levels. in many ways judge restrepo's life story is a classic american dream story. he was born in mendolin, colombia, became a u.s. citizen in 1993 and he's devoted a great deal of his time and energy and be considerable intellect to serving his community. he served on the board of the make a wish foundation for philadelphia and sesqui hahn -- susquehanna valley. he gave time to to a charter scl in pennsylvania. mr. president, i am very confident that judge restrepo has the judicial experience, the legal acumen, the intellect, the
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integrity and the dedication of public service to do the job that we expect him to do on the third circuit court of appeals. the senate judiciary committee apparently shares my confidence, having passed his nomination out of committee with a voice vote. i am pleased to speak on behalf of this highly qualified nominee, and i would all of my colleagues to support his confirmation. mr. president, i want to briefly address one other item this evening before i yield the floor. that is i want to speak about the appalling shooting that occurred in philadelphia just last thursday evening where a shooter attempted to assassinate a police officer in the name of isis on the streets of philadelphia. the shooter wasn't counting on the amazing bravery of philadelphia police officer
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jesse hartnett. it was late at about 11:30 at night on thursday, and reportedly a man waved down officer jesse hartnett as he was driving in his police cruiser. the officer stopped the cruiser. the man walked over as he was about to ask directions and instead out of the blue he started firing shots at point-blank range into the driver's side window at officer hartnett. he kept walking right up to the car. as he walked, he kept shooting. at one point he actually had his arm with the gun inside the window of the car, and he was still shooting. in total the shooter fired 13 shots. everybody who has seen -- there's been video captured the incident, cameras that happened to be in that area. absolutely amazing that officer
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hartnett managed to survive. amazing. but he didn't just survive, mr. president. he jumped out of his patrol car. he had been hit three times very, very seriously injured in his arm, bleeding profusely, and he gets out of the car and he chases down the shooter. he shot and wounded the shooter, the would-be killer, and because of his heroic action lit l rale under fire -- literally under fire, the shooter was apprehended. this is an amazing example of true grit and the people of pennsylvania couldn't be more proud of officer hartnett. our prayers are certainly with officer hartnett now and his family. he's got a very difficult recovery ahead of him. he's already had one surgery. my understanding is he has undergone a second surgery today or is in the process of undergoing that surgery. the doctors are trying to save his arm, which was so badly injured.
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mr. president, i do want to be clear about this. what happened that thursday night, that's an act of terrorism. it's an act of terrorism inspired by violent islamic extremism. the shooter reportedly declared that he had pledged his allegiance to the islamic state. he said that he was targeting police officers because he believes that the police are defending and enforcing laws that are contrary to the koran and the shooter himself said that he acted in the name of islam and the islamic state. now we don't know for sure yet whether or not the shooter has direct personal ties to isis abroad, but the f.b.i. has reported that the shooter traveled to saudi arabia in 2011 and to egypt for several months in 2012.
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regardless of what he was doing over there and what his purpose was, we should make no mistake. this is an act of terrorism just as the shootings at fort hood and san bernardino were. so, let me be abundantly clear. i think everyone knows obviously that this cop killer, this would-be cop killer obviously doesn't represent all muslims. no one would suggest that. but he does represent a terrible strain of violent islamic extremism, a strain that in other parts of the world has amassed billions of dollars, has followers all around the planet and is in fact at war with america. mr. president, isis and the violent islamic extremists that are followers of isis, they pose a very serious threat to america. we've seen this repeatedly now, including in my home state of
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pennsylvania in the city of philadelphia. we're very fortunate. we have incredibly courageous law enforcement officers such as officer jesse hartnett protecting us, but we shouldn't in any way diminish the magnitude and the gravity of this threat. i want to commend officer jesse hartnett for his bravery and to officer hartnett and his family, please know the people of pennsylvania are behind you, we're thinking of you and are praying for a full and speedy recovery. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: mr. president, i would ask consent to speak on the nomination. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. i want to rise to offer some remarks about the vote we're
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going to cast on judge restrepo, and senator toomey spoke earlier. i see him on the floor. i want to thank him for his work on this nomination. we're finally at the point we're voting, and we're grateful for that opportunity. as senator toomey has noted, and i know others are aware of judge restrepo's qualifications. i'll just highlight a few, some of it by way of reiteration. i would start, though, with the story itself. this is a great american story. an individual came to this country from colombia, and through hard work and through the benefit of great education, has risen to the point of being a member of the united states district court for the eastern district of pennsylvania. and upon positive confirmation vote, will be a member of the court of appeals of the third
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circuit, the second-highest federal court in the land, just below the supreme court. judge restrepo is a graduate of tulane university, 1986; a graduate of the university of -- i'm sorry the tulane university law school 1986. graduated from the university of pennsylvania in getting his degree in economics and international relations in 1981. and as i said, has served as a member of the u.s. district court in philadelphia, which pretty much covers the eastern half of our state. we have a middle district and a western district. a judge in one of the three districts. he started there in june of 2013. so his nomination to the appeals court was a rapid rise in the
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federal judiciary. before being on the district court, he served as a member of the united states -- as a united states magistrate judge from june of 2006 until his appointment to the u.s. district court. all of the other information i think is already in the record, but i want to reiterate what i said before and i know what senator toomey has said, that this nominee is someone who is qualified by way of experience and intellect, also by education but maybe the most important thing is by way of integrity, someone who has the character to serve on the appellate court after serving with distinction on the u.s. district court. and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor.
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mr. nelson: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: mr. president, i ask that i may be recognized as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: mr. president, i also ask consent that i be able to display on the senate floor these two vials of liquid nicotine to tell what just passed. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: thank you, mr. president. last year, we passed in the senate the childproofing of caps
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on liquid nicotine. that legislation just passed today in the house and will go to the president for signature. mr. president, why this is important, we found that these bottles of liquid nicotine for these e or electronic cigarettes have not been childproofed, and therefore a child, if they get one of these bottles and it does not have the cap that they can't get off, we now know the experience from several poison centers across the country in the last couple of years that if a drop of that liquid nicotine
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gets onto the child's skin or, as infants typically do, put things in their mouth and they ingest that liquid nicotine, indeed it's fatal. and we have had a couple of fatalities in this country. and therefore it was common sense for us to require and thankfully the liquid nicotine industry went along with not objecting to making these childproof, but that will now be in law and the terrible experience that we've had. now, let me point out something. this is aside from the question as to whether or not you ought to be inhaling this stuff in an e-cigarette, and i think people are finding out that that's becoming quite dangerous as well, but aside from that issue, this was the issue of protecting
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children. look at this. oh, it's got pictures of fruit all over the label and it's called juicy juice. something that is going to attract an fantastic's or child's attention. same thing over year. got pictures of happy things. i've seen others that have labels of juicy fruit. i've seen others that have labels, multicolored labels that are very attractive. common sense tells us if you're putting a product out that can kill children, just like some of the soaps that are put out for washing detergent in these little plastic bags that disintegrate when they get into water, in your diswasher or in
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your washing machine, one of those very attractive, it smells so good. there are grape scents. a child smells that, feels so good, it's so soft. where is it going to end up in an infant? they're going to put it in their mouth. we've had some deaths there, but that's another battle for another day. at least we have won one little battle. and so i'm happy to report to the senate that what we passed in the senate bipartisan last year now passed the house today and will go to the president to be signed into law. thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i yield the floor the presiding officer: the clerk
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will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. i just came from a -- sort of an informer hearing, not an official senate hearing but a hearing downstairs called by congressman levin, who is the senior democrat on the ways and means committee. a number of other members were there, including my colleague from ohio, representative captor and a number of people that the presiding sphoir served with in the house, sarbanes, rangel and
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pascrell and doggett and schiff. we discussed the tp -- trans-pacific partnership. i spoke earlier about it. senator mcconnell said he will not bring it up this year. senator lott, the republican leader from a decade or so ago, said you can't pass a trade agreement in an even-numbered year. what he meant, even though he was a strong supporter of these trade agreements, i believe, he and most in his party supported nafta and cafta. he wasn't here for cafta but some of those trade agreements. but he said that because he knows the politicians want to vote for these trade agreements i think in large part because of corporate lobbying. but the public doesn't want us to vote for these trade agreements. my first year in congress was -- i spent much of the year working in opposition to the north american free trade agreement. i've seen a number of these. nafta, pntr with chain, cafta, trade agreement with korea. big promises about jobs, big
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claims about jobs, exaggerated commitments about jobs, and every time we lose jobs when these trade agreements, our trade deficit is up to a couple billion dollars a day now. you know, we know president bush the first said that -- these numbers aren't precise, of course, but said that a billion dollar trade deficit or surplus translated into 15,000 or 16,000 jobs. i think that's a little exaggerated. if we buy a billion dollars of products from another country rather than making them yourself here, rather than american companies making them, we know that costs us jobs, and when you think it's $2 billion, almost $2 billion every single day, well over a billion, the numbers are not precise, but well over a billion dollars, let's just say, in trade deficit, we buy from other countries more than we export, sell to other countries.
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we know it's costing us jobs. and one of the other things that came out of this discussion, and a number of ways and means committee members with a small business and former trade negotiator or t union representative there was how we have seen increasingly companies in little rock or in dayton or in toledo shut down production here and move it overseas and then sell those products back into the united states. the auto industry hasn't done much of that. when the auto industry sets up in asia, they typically are and assembly and make, they typically sell them in that part of the world. unfortunately, g.m. just announced they are going to be making an s.u.v. plant in china and selling those products back into the united states. that's a terrible trend. the reason i stopped on the floor before the vote in a couple of minutes is to say thic partnership has set us up in a way that's going to make that worse.
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under nafta, canada, the united states and mexico -- and i strongly oppose nafta, but under that trade agreement, products and automobiles, almost two-thirds of all the components in an automobile had to be made in one of these three countries in order to get the tariff benefits from nafta for those companies and those products. now significant, 12 countries in the trans-pacific partnership, and fewer than half the components have to be made in one of these 12 countries. what's that mean? it means that more than half of an auto -- of an automobile can come from parts made in china but sold in the united states tariff free under the trans-pacific partnership. how can we possibly think that makes sense as a policy? that's fundamentally why the -- why the trans-pacific partnership doesn't make sense for our country, it doesn't make sense for small businesses in mansfield, ohio, or in
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springfield, ohio, and it doesn't make sense for the up to 600,000 workers in my state, some 600,000 workers are in the auto supply chain, and we know a lot of them will lose jobs under the trans-pacific partnership. i yield the rest of my time to senator leahy. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator is recognized. mr. leahy: mr. president, i thank the distinguished senator from ohio. i -- we're going to vote in the long overdue confirmation of judge luis felipe restrepo to the u.s. court of appeals for the third circuit in pennsylvania. finally. he was nominated way over a year ago, nearly 14 months ago. strong bipartisan support, home state senators, and this is just a case where unfortunately the republican leadership has subjected judge restrepo to totally unnecessary delay, but as part of their wholesale
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obstruction of judicial nominees. during all of 2015, senate republicans allowed votes only 11 judicial nominations. i mention that because democrats took the majority in the last two years of president bush's term. we confirmed 40 judges during that year, 40. i was chairman. i remember that very well. i wanted to not -- i didn't want to repeat the things like we saw during the clinton administration. republicans came in and the then-chairman of the -- republican chairman of the senate judiciary committee killed over 70 nominees of the clinton administration by not allowing them to have a vote. so i said let's move faster, and so i moved 40 through. republicans, did they do the same? no. they allowed 11.
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judge restrepo exemplifies the kind of consensus nominee that should have been easily confirmed at the end of the administration. i cannot believe that this man who will be the first hispanic judge from pennsylvania and the third circuit was humiliated by having to wait 14 months. this highly qualified hispanic judge was told go to the back of the line, wait 14 months. it's wrong. it's absolutely wrong. let's start facing up to the fact that we have enormous, enormous problems, judicial emergencies in states where both republicans and democrats have supported the nominees. let them come forward, let them be voted on. let's stop making the federal courts a political pawn.
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as bad enough -- it's bad enough with all the political shenanigans going on in an election year. don't do it with the federal court. we have the best, most honest, least partisan federal court system of anywhere in the world, but don't make it, don't say you're a highly qualified hispanic nominee, but you just wait there for 14 months being humiliated and then we'll finally allow you to be voted on. and i don't care whether hispanic or nonspank. we have so many -- non-hispanic. we have so many men, women and others highly qualified to be put in limbo. i know the time to vote is upon us, mr. president, and i ask my whole statement be made a part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. leahy mr. leahy: have the yeas and nays been ordered? the presiding officer: they have not. mr. leahy: i ask for the yeas
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and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. mr. leahy: i yield the floor. the presiding officer: without objection, all time is yielded back. the yeas and nays have been ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? does any senator wish to change their vote? on this nomination, the yeas are 82, the nays are 6. the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate resume legislative session. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: happy new year, mr. president. nothing says "happy new year" like a time-to-wake-up speech. so i will kick off 2016 with my
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year opener time-to-wake-up speech recapping some of last year's climate change milestones. they say that you only get one chance to make a first impression, and the first impression senate republicans chose to make in 2015 was to use their first three weeks of floor time -- three full weeks of precious floor time -- to help a foreign oil company's tar sands pipeline. even though that meant the government condemning american farms, even though the president was sure to veto it, that was the opener. by the end of the year, things had changed. the republican leader was bur burying the votes against the clean power plan deep in the
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news of the terrible paris massacres. and collapsing votes together to minimize floor time on this issue. the republican majority opened 2015 with a big oil bang but crept out of the year with a whimper. things, indeed, changed in 2015. of course the scientific evidence continued to show that fossil fuel pollution was damaging our environment and our oceans and our economy, and 2015 was record-setting hot. this chart from november shows that 2015 is on track to being the hottest year globally since
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we began keeping records in 1880. you can see that the 2015 running monthly global temperature average is above the six next-warmest years on record in every month for which data is available. the director of nasa's goddard institute for space studies estimates the probability of 2015 beings the hottest on the one han-- onrecord at better th. he is a labeled 2015 a scorcher, but that won't be official until later this month. it's no fluke. the world's immediate i don't remember logical organization reports the recent five-year period, 2011-2015, as the
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warmest five-year period on record. 2015 was the first year where monthly global average carbon dioxide concentrations exceeded 400 -- 400 parts per million, and it did so for more than three months. bear in mind, that for as long as human beings havin beings han this planet ernl, we have existed safely in a range of 170 to 300 parts per million. we're outside of that range by almost the entire range. and we know this from ice cores which contain tiny bubbles of ancient at most spheres. i saw these ice cores last october at ohio state university, world renowned atmospheric scientist, husband
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and wife team dr. ellen moseley torch son and dr. lonnie torch son worked for years to retrieve cores from around the world and to test the ancient air captured inside. the lesson of these cores is that humans have fundamentally altered the chemistry of the earth's air and that our greenhouse gas emissions are rapidly altering our climate. scientists now say that we have so altered our earth as to consider ourselves in a new geologic epoc, the atheropocine. in 2015, the oceans kept shouting at us to wake up. throughout 2015, evidence continued to document our oceans warming and rising and acidifying. 2015 brought the first
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nationwide study assessing the vulnerability of america's billion-dollar shellfish industry to ocean acidification. documenting the risk to 15 coastal states like louisiana, texas, maine, and rhode island. the proceedings of the national academy of sciences in october reported on climate change's threats to fish inat thintegraln diets predicting a cop lapse in the world's largest ecosystem, our oceans. the great, corrupt denial machine -- th the fossil fuel iy supports never talks about oceans. the machine doesn't care about evidence. it's just an obstacle to their fossil fuel p.r. campaign. they just want to create phony doubt. but since there's not much room
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for doubt in measurements of warming, rising, and acidifying seas, they won't go there. nevertheless, 2015 was another bad year for oceans. 2015 was also the year when journalists, academics, and investigators took a hard look at that big phony climate denial apparatus. 2015 brought reports that exxon knew climate change was real but funded the climate denial apparatus anyway. reports of how fossil fuel money influenced the front groups' language, reports about hidden money, and networks of influence and fossil fuel money controlling politics. report after report showed fossil fuel money pouring into dozens of front groups, creating
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phony doubt and controversy, then propagated through media outlets also in the tank to the fossil fuel industry, like fox news and "the wall street journal" editorial page. if you doubt that climate change is real, you've been had. it's really that simple. it's a racquet. and 2015 was the year when many voices began asking for a racqueteer investigation into a fraud of historic proportions. 20 is a wa2015 was a year of grg public recognition of the need to act. a 2015 stanford poll found that 83% of americans, including 6 in 10 republicans, want action to reduce carbon emissions.
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for the first time, a majority of self-identified republicans now believe there is solid evidence of global warming, and if you take out the loopy tea party cohort among sensible republicans, the number goes even higher. among young republican voters, republican voters under age 35, most said they would describe a climate die as i go -- die nier as ignorant, out of touch or crazy. in 2015, e.p.a. launched the clean power plant, our nation's most ambitious effort yet. it's the first ever plan to reduce carbon pollution from the largest source of u.s. carbon emissions power plants. the clean power plant is projected to cut power emissions and save americans money on their annual energy bills. in 2015, the obama
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administration at last rejected the ask keystone x.l. pipeline, a great victory for the environmental movement after the 400,000-person climate march in new york city. in 2015, pope francis, the world leader of the catholic church, added his holy voice to the call. humanity, pope francis said, is called to combat this warming, or at least the human causes which produce or aggravate it. specifically, the pope said technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels needs to be progressively replaced without delay. pope francis' encyclical said something to us in congress. i'll quote, "to take up these responsibilities and the costs they entail, politicians will
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inevitably clash with the mind-set of short-term gain and results which dominates present-day economics and politics. but if they are courageous, they will attest to their god-given dignity and leave behind a testimony of selfless responsibility." and 2015 showed some signs of political courage, dignity and responsibility. republican congressman bob ingless took a heck of a beating at the hands of the fossil fuel industry, but he did not give up the fight. our colleague, lindsey graham, ran for the republican nomination on a sensible climate change platform. he and other senate colleagues have started a little senate republican study group.
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12 house republicans led by congreman chris gibson of new york broke with their party's orthodoxy and sponsored a resolution committing to address climate change by promoting ingenuity, innovation and exceptionalism. it's not much yet, but it is a start. it is a turn. perhaps the biggest milestone of 2015 was the paris agreement reached in december. with 190 countries agreeing to a global deal to address climate change. one key element was that more than 150 major u.s. companies signed on to the american business act on climate pledge, calling for strong outcomes in the paris climate negotiation. these companies' operations together span all 50 states.
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they employ nearly 11 million people. they represent more than $4.2 trillion in annual revenue and they have a combined market capitalization of over $7 trillion. these are blue-chip american icons like at&t of texas. coke-cola at ups of georgia, procter & gamble of ohio, and wal-mart of arkansas. how long can republicans ignore them? you know the phrase about lipstick on a pig? 2015 brought so much change that even the big fossil fuel pigs felt they had to try on a little lipstick. typical of them, it was bogus.
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just enough happy talk about climate change and carbon fees to get the c.e.o.'s through a cocktail party without being shunned, while here in congress their whole brutal political apparatus, up to and including the chamber of commerce, which these days should probably be called the u.s. chamber of carbon, kept relentlessly hammering against any prospect of meaningful climate legislation. but real or not, it's noteworthy that the big oil tycoons at least felt the need for some lipstick. speaking of piggy, 2015 was also the year the international monetary fund calculated the effective public subsidy of the fossil fuel industry at $700 billion per year. just in the united states alone.
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remember when the costs of carbon pollution are not factored into the price, those costs become a public subsidy, a market failure. and this subsidy climbs into the trillions of dollars worldwide. if that's not piggy, nothing is. my biggest prayer for 2016 is the american business coalition from paris helping republican colleagues acknowledge publicly what many have concluded privately, that it's time for congress to address climate change. if republicans can get some relief from the brutal political pressure of the fossil fuel industry, there are conservative, friendly solutions
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at hand. every republican who has thought this problem through to a solution comes to the same place every one. former treasury secretary and secretary of state george schultz, president reagan's economic advisor art laffer; president george w. bush's secretary hank paulson; and his counsel of economic advisors greg mankew, former congressman bob engless and many others alling advocated last year that a carbon fee is the efficient way to correct a failure that let the carbon industry pollute for free. four former republican administrators -- bill ruckelshaus, christied to whitman, lee thompson and bill riley wrote a market based approach like a carbon tax would
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be the best path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. end quote. even a columnist at the "wall street journal" whose editorial page is notoriously fossil fuel- friendly, wrote -- and i quote -- "there's no dispute among economists on the most effective way to reduce emissions. a carbon tax. well, we have one. in 2015, the conservative american enterprise institute posted the announcement of my legislation with senator schatz, creating a revenue-neutral carbon fee with none, zero of the revenues kept by the federal government. but instead being used to
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provide massive corporate tax reductions and personal tax rebates. we have gone to exactly where republicans are pointing. so please, colleagues, take "yes" for an answer. join us and let's get to work. mr. president, 2015 was a year that the tide turned in congress from that opening keystone pipeline political fanfare to the buried, quiet end-of-year votes on the president's clean power plan. with three republicans even voting to support president obama on those votes. it was a turning year and a new year now begins, and we still
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need to wake up. we still need to get to work. we still have a duty before us, and it is a duty that we should not shirk. i pray that 2016 will be the year, and i promise to do everything in my power to make it the year. i yield the floor. and 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 that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the presiding officer of the senate be authorized to appoint a committee on the part of the senate to join with the like committee on the party of the house of representatives to escort the president of the united states into the house chamber for the joint session to be held at 9:00 p.m. on tuesday, january 12, 2006.
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2016, obviously. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 34 343. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 343 relative to the death of dale bumpers, former united states senator for the state of arkansas. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table without -- with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, january 12. 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, that following leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak
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therein for up to ten minutes each until 12:30, with the first hour equally divided and with the majority controlling the first half and the democrats controlling the final half. further, the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference meetings. finally, at 2:15, the senate resume consideration on the motion to proceed to s. 2232, with the time until 2:30 equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the provisions of s. res. 343 as a further mark of respect to the late dale bumpers, former united states senator from arkansas. the presiding officer: under the previous order and pursuant to senate resolution 343, the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. on tuesday, january 12, and does so as a further mark of respect to the late dale bumpers, former senator from
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>> >> a former gang leader from dallas who helps young people escape gangs. the live coverage final "state of the union" begins 8:00 p.m. eastern with your calls and is followed by the republican response from south carolina governor -- governor. >> members of congress, i have the great pleasure and the great honor of presenting to you the
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president of the united states. [applause] >> i and the senate historian this "state of the union" is mandated by the constitution in the words that from time to time the president should give a message to congress on the "state of the union" on the recommendations to be followed. to george washington began the practice to give the "state of the union" message to congress since they met but washington went in person to deliver the speech that had a series of recommendations in those days before there were standing committees they would cut that into paragraphs and create ad hoc committees for those issues
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of the president suggested that the vice president who became president follow that practice so they created from time to time was in a dual message for years it was known as an annual message it didn't become known as state of the union's up until 1940 and there was a hollywood movie called "state of the union". sa was called "state of the union" message. washington and adams went in person and thomas jefferson did not enjoy public speaking he only gave two public speeches his first inaugural address and his second. other than that becoming a writer instead of a speaker going to congress personally twisted things he wanted to pc data was like the british
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king of the monarch going to parliament and it was not appropriate so jefferson sensed that message that would then re-read by the clerk of the senate in the house because what most members could read in the congressional record or the newspapers end that became the tradition because it is not that assisted -- specific which says from time to time. in 1913 we had a new president of a ph.d. in history and political science. and feeling that they needed to be more like the british
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prime minister and had to be the chief legislator so wilson decided that the first one that was april of 1913 and it shocked them they did not know what to do. they finally decided they would do in the house chambers but there was a lot of grumbling they did not want him to but he said he would in the party said okay. so woodrow wilson began as a modern tradition for the "state of the union" message. and until he was is in paris with the first world war to
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telegraph the "state of the union" message in 1919 the only president of the united states he didn't give it in person since then was herbert hoover although not a great public speaker just sends the message up. almost every other president has felt this is too good an opportunity to mess to not go in person and that job much of the stated the union >> president of the united states. [applause] >> this is the point where everybody is listening to you.
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has said diplomats it is the major moment coming together >> we begin a massive attack from crippling and killing diseases. >> i should propose a clean water program to give waste treatment plants but to make the waters clean again. >> with that legislative agenda chooses to follow the of president is suggestions at least to have an outline.
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>> sometimes the president never got a chance to get there. james garfield died in congress would not begin until december. misstated the union messages and when the constitution was changed there have been some is used that president grover cleveland dealing with us tariff with it chief sense of revenue one of the things that divided parties with great passion unfortunately his party was not united on this issue because of that division because of the "state of the union" message but in most
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cases it is a laundry list and not particularly contribution all -- a controversial. when anything is done in congress said galley is open and as long as there is a gallery in the senate since 1795 and the house 1589, the public can come in. but there are not that many seats. there is great demand usually each member gets us single ticket for a spouse or are member of staff for a favorite constituent and the press gallery is packed the diplomatic gallery has a first lady with guest. there isn't a lot of space for the public.
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over time the public has gotten to see this through the media because newspapers covered it in the 19th century would have read the entire speech in the newspapers. in the 20th century beginning 1923 calvin coolidge stated the union was broadcast on the radio. and then franklin roosevelt moved from the "state of the union" from the middle of the day to the evening to get a much larger audience on the radio. in the 1940's it was back to the middle of the day but television cable long and harry truman deliver the message by television. 1955 johnson said move the tv show back to the evening so more people can see the "state of the union" message now the major networks so
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it's a considerable audience that way and since the late '90s has been streaming on the internet now the two parties have become cheerleading squads but there are moments when the president's says it is more of a bipartisan reaction for what the responses are. >> all of world those that knows successful system louisville to walk all wall to keep people in and and freedom out. [applause] . .
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>> i say let's leave that to history. we are not finished yet. [applause] >> one this can -- one thing you cannot do where heckling is considered a support, in the u.s. congress you are to be
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respectful of the president when he speaks. one member of the house did interrupt the president a few years back and that is considered to be unbecoming conduct. >> the reforms i am proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally. >> the writers of the constitution believed in transparency and required certain things to be open. not everything. they don't actually require congress to meet in open session. just from time to time to publish a journal of their proceedings. and the same thing is don't have the president to give an annual message but to deliver a message from time to time on the state of the union. i think they would be pleased to see the president coming every year, i think they would be
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astonished to realize the congressional record is published every day after the proceedings and the state of the union message and the words of every member of the house and senate on that familiar is there. that is something they intended. this was a republic, a democratic republic and representative of the people and the people had a right to know what was going on. so in that sense, even though they were not all that specific, they certainly set some goals that i think the government has met. >> i can report to you that the state of this old but youthful union is good. >> now the chief of naval operation, admiral john richardson unveils his guidance for the fleet focusing on mari skare -- maritime.
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>> welcome to the national press club. i am an editor for bloomberg's breaking news desk in washington and i am president of the national press club. i want i want to welcome you today. our speaker is admiral john richardson, the chief of naval operations for the united states navy. but first, i want to introduce your table including member of the press club as well as guest of the speaker. editor of defense news and host of defense news every sunday at 11 on abc 7. max letter, publishers of stars and stripes.
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michael phelps formal naval officer and publisher of the washington examiner. tony cap, defense reporter for bloomberg news. the honorable john dalton, a member of the u.s. naval academy class of 1964 and former secretary of the united states navy. the honorable john warner, a world war ii sailor, korean war marine, former secretary of the navy and formal senator from the commonwealth of virginia and is the second-longest serving senator in the history of the commonwealth of virginia. angela keen, white house correspondent for bloomberg and a former president of the national club. skipping over the speaker, a
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mechanic of the uss constitution museum board of overseers and a national press club member to helped arrange today's event. thank you so much, kevin. vice admiral peter daily u.s. navy retired and ceo of the u.s. naval institution. lolita bald door, counterterrorism and pentagon reporter. rachel oswald former reporter for congressional quarterly. jim bloom, leader of the american league post. [applause] >> i want to welcome your c-span audience as well and follow us
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at npclive on twitter. well, to put it simply and directly, the u.s. navy faces an awful lot of challenges. there is the south china sea where the chinese have been building island bases. there is a growing russian naval presence in the mediterranean sea. there are isis and al-qaeda terrorist who are being bombed with the assistance of u.s. navy a aircraft carriers. and closer to home humanitarian issues, drug issues, cybersecurity, recruiting and retention of the forces, and budgetary challenges. at the center of this is admiral john richardson who has been
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serving as the 31 st chief of naval operations. he is a 1982 graduate of the naval academy and a career naval submarine officer serving on boats and commanding the u.s. honolulu. he served as submarine group 8 as commander of the submarine allied naval forces south, as commander of naval submarine forces, and as director of naval reactors. admiral richardson will discuss the u.s. navy's role in the maritime environment. he will lay out how the united states and partners can maintain maritime security. please give a warm national press club welcome to admiral
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john richardson. [applause] >> thank you for that kind introduction, mr. hughes. i would like to pay my respect to the table. senator warner, we have been schooled by you and appreciate everything you taught me. senator dalton, thank you so much. and john thank you for the kind introduction and your tenure at the press club that is ending on friday after a year of service. i think we all owe mr. hughes a round of applause. it is a really honor and privilege to be in these halls for the first time. i took over as the chief of naval operations in september as
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has been mentioned. so, you know, we are passed a hundred days so the honeymoon is over. but i remember vividly the moment that the secretary of defense carter called me and said hi, john, i want to tell you the president is going to nominate you to be the chief of naval operations. and i will tell you my mind flashed back in an instant to my very first assignment. reporting aboard to my first submarine the uss archy in 1983. there is me reporting aboard my first boat and who could have thought at that time it would have led to this. who could have looked forward 33 years and thought i would ever be getting this call to be
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nominated to be the chief of operations. my commanding officer on the submarine, who is fantastic, he certainly was surprised. he has been calling up for every promotion since lieutenant commander. i found out this is captain pete graph, who i am in close touch with, was a shape made of secretary dalton on the blue back. so you know it is just a commentary on what a small world we live in. but, you know, as i thought back, and it shaped my thinking going forward as the chief of naval operations, and when i entered the service, a mere 33 years ago, we lived in a different world at that time. it was different in so many ways. our enemy, the enemy at the time, we were focused on was the
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soviet union. it was a bipolar world in so many respects. we loved et at the time and listened to michael jackson who was starting to become the pop star he was and he listened to him on the cassette tapes in the walkmans. when you were underway that was a cadillac to have. if you had a walk man you were styling because you could listen to your tapes and not disturb everybody else particularly on a submarine. the commercial internet didn't exist at that time. in fact, the inventor of facebook, mike zuckerberg had not been born. he was a twinkle in his mother's eye as they say having been born in 1984. the world has changed in so many ways. one way i like to talk about how
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things changed, maybe from a te technilogical standpoint, and it is timely with getting into the super bowl and that is how we enjoyed the super bowl. we talk about how many christmass anniversaries, birthdays you are away and that is true but everybody knows how many super bowls they were away for. my first super bowl in 1983 the entire game would go on you had no awareness of it at all, and at some point later on after the game finished, you would get a one-line message in the next news broadcast and it would give you the score. that score was washington red skins, 27. miami dolphins, 17. so truly was a different era.
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so that is kind of my first super bowl in 1983. flash forward to the late 80s and early 90s. the soviet union collapsed, the wall was down, and i was on a submarine and we could not get the live feed for the game but we had sega genesis and madden nfl and we would get the two teams and put it in auto mode and just watch the two teams on a big screen as much as we could. and i will tell you it was like it was real, right? there was no hint there was any pretend and people were cheering for their teams. it had nothing to do with the real game but it was pretty real for us. you would get the whole smack talk, scuffles and everything else. it was great. we watched the cowboys and bills
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duke it out in total cyber space and later on down we would get the score. it was, by the time i had a command, and to this day, if you are in the right place where you can put an antenna above the water, you can watch the super bowl play out in real-time. it is just like you there in your living room. so you know, just sort of one way of how things changed over time. the world we group in has changes dramatically and not just with technology. i like sports analogy and we have the game tonight so it is timely. but not only have the teams changed on the field, but i would say just like in the nfl, you know the character of the entire game has changed. that is the thing that captures my attention as i begin my
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tenure as the chief of naval operations. in particular, the pace of things has become so accelerated from even the time in the early '80s that if we do not respond to the changes, if we don't recognize and adapt to the changing character of the game, we are a navy that is at risk of falling behind, shooting below our potential or worse, falling behind our competitors. i would like to set the stage if i could knowing that, you know, i am fully mindful of the crowd i am addressing. national security professionals speak plainly and often about the teams and competition. we will know them. i will say a few words about them; russia, china, north korea, iran, isis. but there is more to the story. the character of the game has changed. i am focused on three forces that for the navy are, you know,
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sort of defining our way forward. three forces that are causing our world to be more used, you know? more trafficked, more stressed, more important, and most interestingly more competed than ever. i will lay out, you know, these three forces. one is the maritime system itself which is becoming increasingly important and contested. the second is this global information system. it is more used and contested. and the third force is the introduction of technology. the pace at which it is being introduced and adopted. and so you know, back in 1982 when i grad u -- graduated, the
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oceans look the same. they are still in the same place and the same geographic points that define the sea locations. there were the same resources that were available on the sea bed. and there was plenty of shipping that transiented on the sea lines through those choke points. today the physical part of that is about the same. nothing has dramatically changed except that you know the use of this system has changed in spectacular ways. increasingly used. in 1992, sort of the middle point, the cold war had just ended as i said. the soviet union dissolved. since 1992, maritime traffic has increased by a factor of four leading up to today.
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okay? this far outpaces the change in global gdp which is just, you know, shy of doubling. it has increased by about 80%. it gives you a sense of how much this maritime system is being used and how accessible it is. it is becoming more accessible for a number of reasons. we are seeing new trade routes open as the arctic climate change affects the arctic. the extent of the sea ice in the arctic was 30% less over the average of most of my career. over 33 years. it was the fourth lowest it has ever been since we started keeping those records. today the maritime route north of europe, northern sea route north of russia, is open to water about two weeks a year.
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by 2025, climate specialist predict it will be open three times as much -- six weeks a year. you know that is going to be exploited. this is going to be something to which we must pay attention. that cuts the transant from northern europe to asia in half. it will be of great interest to commercial partners throughout the year. it is not just accessibility due to climate change. technology is also making previously unreachable parts of the ocean floor now accessible. so for undersea resources like minerals, oil, and gas these deep water oil production, oil and gas production, is expected to grow by 50% in the next 15 years as technology makes it more and more easy to access those resources.
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you know, as those resources present an alternative to land based resources, and the technology matures, the idea of offshore exploration becomes more and more feasible. it is not just a natural resource. as we go into the that part of the world and explore the ocean floor, there is a result in infrastructure on the seabed that arises. you can think of the piping and structures that are going to be necessary to get at the oil and gas mineral resources and then there is a growing network of undersea cables that connect us from continent to continent. part of the ocean internet. this is the information system. it is a nice way to transition or segue into the talking about the next system which is this
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global information system. there is infrastructure to the system. when you log on to your computer it is all there at your finger tips. but the truth of the matter is there is an infrastructure to this. there are choke points, and loads in the global information system that must be acknowledged because they can be exploited. on those undersea cable rides, 99% of the transoceanic traffic and that is something we have to pay close attention to. this information system is comprised not of the technology and hardware so much as the data and information that rides on the servers, undersea cables, satellites, and the wireless networks that increasingly
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develop and connect the globe. it is persuasive and changing fast. according to ibm, the data is created every day and this exponential curve is such that 90% of the data in the world today was created in the last two years. you get a sense of the acceleration and you can almost feel yourself being thrown back in your seat when you hear data like that.
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now in 2014, let's say a giga byte of data is 5 cents, and you can get a hard drive that is six tara bytes. cell phones carry more computering power that landed on the moon in 1969. and the links between the two have multiplied. the first server came on the wall in 1993. that is a rich time when the wall came down. much of its origins are from that time. in the 1st quarter of last year, 2.7 million servers were shipped worldwide. satellites now envelop the globe with more than 1300 in site monitoring weather, communication, censors, space
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exploration and covering the globe. if you look at a picture of the satellites as they orbit the earth again there it is not homogenius. there is structure and form. just like the cables and physical systems of the seas and ocean that structure provides opportunities and vulnerabilities. the third force that is important to kr is technology i itself. the rate at which is being introduced and the rate it is being adopted more importantly. this is going far beyond morris law in technology. things are changing stunningly fast. but as you know, i am also talking about rapid advances in material science, in robotics, in genetic science, and in artificial intelligence.
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it is coming at us faster and faster. they are being adopted by society just as fast. so when the original telephone was introduced, alexander graham bell's telephone it took 46 years before 25% of americans had a telephone. for the smart phone? that was seven years. and for facebook within three years 25% of america was on facebook. not only are these tools coming at us faster and faster but it seems the useability and the rate at which they are being adopted is also accelerating as well. so you get more people in the game using those tools faster and faster. so those are the three forces that have captured by attention. the physical maritime system is no surprise to anyone who is in the navy, right? a navy guy talking about the
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seas and oceans shouldn't be a surprise. this information system certainly not exclusive to the navy but changes everything we do. i am preaching to the converted here in the national press club but it does change things for us as well. and then this increasing rate of technilogical creation and adoption and they are important to being effective as a navy and i think change the character of the competition. all right? but as i mentioned, the teams have changed as well. back in 1982-83, we were at the height of the cold war, the chips were down, it was that bi-polar world. how easy is that to appreciate? today it is much more multi
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polar as you know. i think of our challenges and competitors really in terms of three groups. in one group, you have russia and china. in another group you have competitors/threats just like iran and north carolina. and then there is this persuasive threat of international terrorism. for the first time in what i would say is roughly 25 years the united stat is back it an era of great competition. when the soviet union resolved, cold war ended, we entered a period where we were not challenged at sea. okay? not in a very meaningful way. that era is over. today both russia and china have advanced their military capabilities to be able to act
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as global powers again. their goals are backed by a growing arsenal of high end war fighting capability many of which are exploiting those three forces that i mentioned and are focused specifically on our v vulverabilities. this is a competition and every team is learning and adapting. they are designed to exploit the advantages and the opportunities of the maritime system, the information system, and for incorporating new technology. they continue to develop and field information enabled weapons both kinetic and non-kinetic that result in increasing range and increasing precision and increasing effect and increasing destructive
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capacity. both russia and china is not all at the high end. as we have seen, they are engaged in competition, and cohersian behind high end israeli-palestine conflict and exploiting weaknesses in the norms of space, cyber and the electromagnetic spectrum and part of our job is to think hard about how to address that competiti competition. the russian navy is operating at a pace we have not seen in two decades. the people's liberation army is extending their reach around the world. this is great power competition. but importantly russia and china are not the only team seeking to gain advantages in this emerging environment. others are including technology
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including military technology and technology that was once purview of great powers. the proliferation is going up and the cost are going down coupled with the continuing dedication to further its nuclear weapons program north korea's provocative action continue to destabilize north korea and beyond. and the deal with iran is intended to curb nuclear program their other capabilities continue to pose threats to which the navy must be prepared to respond. and there is the international terrorist groups finally that have proven to be adaptive and resillient and pose a long-term threat to security and stability around the world. the competition sped up. it is moving faster.
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i will tell you the thing i am trying to communicate to my team is that we must respond. we must speed up. the margins of victory in this environment are raiser thin but they are decisive. we have to turn to our task and fight for advantages with a sense of urgency because this is a game of inches. all of these actors i described seek to exploit all three forces i mentioned; speed, precision, and reach that the maritime and information systems now enable bolstered by new technology to counter any u.s. advantages, to threaten the rules and norms that have been the bases of prosperity for everybody who would want to engage for the last 70 years. and these forces are not
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independent variables. they interact and create to combine a maritime environment that is increasingly used, increasingly stressed, increasingly important to us as a nation and increasingly contested. and as mr. hughes mentioned there is a fourth force and that is for the foreseeable future our resource environment is going to be challenging. we will not by able to buy our wait out of this challenge. if you are a student of history you know the reality is we never have been able to. we have been working with finite resources always. so what is the role of the navy in this changing world? our mission remains by and large the same. to keep the homeland safe and protect american interest around the world and protect our prosperity and the trait in which our prosperity is founded and so much, 90%, of goods
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travel over the sea. to guarantee our strategic influence around the world through our presence, high end competition, and if necessary through israeli-palestine conflict. but we are going to have to answer these strategies. i have laid out four vector responses in response to the growing importance of the maritime domain we are going to challenge ourselves and focus back on high end operations in blue water and we will focus on addressing those challenges just below the threshold of conflict. that gray war as it has been
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referred to. in response to the growing of the information system we will double down on becoming an informationalized force and mainstreaming warfare into the our navy. in response to the growing rate and adoption of technology, we will adopt faster and they are looking for ways to come sooner and later. we will develop and feel more technology quickly. and in response to the fact resources are going to be what they are, finite, we are challenging the capability to develop a system that is unforeseen so the system delivers something that is more than just the sum of the parts.
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when things happen at this speed, you have to fully exploit the advantages, fully capture the fleeting opportunities. to do this, we have to understand what the commanders intent is. so we spend a fair amount of time putting this design for maritime and maintaining maritime superiority together. this inclusive approach in the end we will build the familiarity and more importantly the trust and confidence that is based on a clear understanding of the guidance amongst peers and up and down the chain of
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commands. we understand through detailed engagement, detailed conversations, how much risk can be tolerated. and in fact, the discussions the most fruitful part has been bringing together navy leadership and putting this together as a team. it is not all about understanding the design, too, right? one of the things that the fundamental to us having trust and confidence in one another is we are a profession that is bound together by core values; honor, courage and commitment. there is a fair amount of discussion in this design to enhance our professional identity. i list four core attributes and if we abide by them; integrity, accountability, initiative, and toughness then our behaviors
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should align with our values and we are a force of integrity across the board. with those four attributtes guiding our behaviors we lay out a plan. we will strengthen our naval power at and from the sea. key is at the sea. we have to sharpen our skills for operation and conflict at sea. if i go back to the sports analogy if we don't do that we are not in the league. we need to urgently respond to cohersion that is short of c conflict and get back into the fight in blue water and find ways to fully exploit the information system. we will. we will do this learning as we
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go through a program of war games, exercises and experiments. everything coming through the people is the most important thing we must focus on. hiring, training and retaining a creative professional team of sailors, navy civilians and their families is going to be key to our success. if you think technology is the brain child of smart and clever people. it is built in exquplan designed and run by people and we turn the tools over the fleet and they are operated to their ful fullest potential by people. we are working to make navy
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careers more attractive to attract the most talented people we can find. i have to pause here and tell you it is a stunning privilege to be able to go out and see our navy. i just, one of the first things i did was take a trip around the world, when you visit the navy in the seventh and fifth fleet in asia and the sixth fleet in the meditarian and everywhere i stopped the talent -- mediterranean -- the focus and excitement of the navy team blows we away. admiral carter inducts a thousands of those people every year. they can write their check and go anywhere they want and after more than a decade of israeli-palestine conflict conf
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oath and takes the constitution to their heart. we need to make our navy as adaptable and attractive to the team as possible. third, we will expand and strengthen our network of partners. we never fought alone and i don't see that being the problem either. i realize it is a node in many networks. we are going to enhance our participation as a member of the joint force, as a member of the government, the interagency process, if you think about expanding that out to industry and academics and overseas to our allies and partners. all of those people play a role in our success. we need to focus on being better partners to all of those different teams.
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and finally underpinning all of these efforts we will tune our process to learn faster. we will focus on that. this learning process and this is a system focused on learning faster. the system and the technology and the simulators are becoming high enough fidelity we can bring teams and expand it out so we can stimulate more. i am a science fiction geek and for those who share that vulnerability if you read enders game this is where i am going. even if you saw the movie you cannot tell the difference
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between reality and stimulation. we are getting there in many ways. i think there is a lot of gains there. we are going to be mind full we need to learn. are we impacting the environment we set out to? complex environment and we will not get it all right but we cannot sit and study it forever. we have to act and influence that environment. but we will be mindful it may not turn out the way we thought and we will assess and adjust as we go. in the end my hope is that we will have a naval force that develops leaders and teams that adapt faster than any advisary
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and achieve what the system will allow. achieve and maintain high performance standards to make them ready for decisive operations and combat. it is a strong commitment requiring a lot of hard work on the part of many people but the navy is on the right track. i am looking forward to the p v privilege of leading it for the next four years and thank you for coming and i look forward to your questions. thank you very much. [applause] >> questions about the south china sea. do you believe we should do more trips over there? and if not when? what steps are you taking to make sure those patrols stay
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peaceful if so? >> this is an important part of what we do as the navy. these types of operations, freedom of navation, and these norms are what we abide by. if there are challenges to those rules and norms we will do these freedom of navigation operations to make sure we respond to those challenges and behave accordingly.
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and this is the bases of prosperity for those nations around the south china see and in that part of the world. we want to make sure what is understood as normal in that part of the world includes abiding by for the national rules and norms. >> has china's introduction of the missile been a setback for
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the aircraft carriers and has it rendered them obsolete? >> no. [applause] >> it is tempting to leave it at that and that is the answers. but a sophisticated analysis and understanding of that -- and i am a hundred percent confidant because i have seen it will give everybody confidence the league is as relative and important as it has been. we will have to adapt to threats like this. but it is not a matter of whether we employ surface forces
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and carriers but how we will employ surface forces and carriers. so that is just a little bit more than just my simple one-word answer. but there is a great future there. >> how about north korea? are you planning any additional steps to monitor the situation there? any thought of sending in an aircraft carrier into that region? >> there is also the question on the operational response and i will not talk about specific operations or responses but as i said in my remarks that type of provocative action continues to
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de-st de-stabilize and we will work to monitor and respond appropriately to that persistent, unpredictable situation. >> what is the effective challenge for the air campaign against isis? >> it is really how do you connect the information? the kinetic part is not the challenging part. it is how do you get the situational awareness to know where the meaningful targets are to do this as precisely possible having the greatest affect on eliminating and destroying the enemy and leaving the rest as in tact as possible. so it is always a matter of the information that leads us to those types of decisions. thank you.
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>> russia is a growing presence in the mediterranean and through naval flights how can you help be prepared in this area? and another person asked is there going to be additional deployments to the black sea and other areas and on what time table? >> another great one. as the russians said they are operating at a tempo that hasn't been seen since the mid-90s. during that trip that i took, you know the last stop was in italy, and there was a regional sea power symposium there of the eastern mediterranean and black sea areas, the heads of navy, and they were focused on the russian maritime challenge. the russians just put out a
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maritime strategy which is forward leaning. we must respond, i think, to that threat. to not do so would be negligent. the details remain to be unseen and you will see those unfold. and there is this persistent activity under sea which is a signal that hasn't gone away as much as people would think. it is steady businefor the russ and the undersea domain. >> there has been tension between the navy and dod over ship purchasing and the other questioner notes that secretary carter has directed cut to the literal ship combat program. does secretary carter's order to buy fewer ships in favor of jets hold water?
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>> first of all, the specifics of that are still to be determined, right? so that budget has not been locked down. so it is premature to comment on the exact shape of that going forward. and so what it gives rise to is there has been a lot of questions about is it presence or posture you are focused on? particularly for naval forces, i think a more sophisticated appreciation would say i am responsible for delivering the nation, and i think the nation rightly holds me accountable that achieves a balance of all of the above. so these are not either or decisions. these are sort of both and decisions. and they will strive to balance within our available resources
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to deliver the navy that the nation expects to execute our mission, to protect america, protect our influence around the world, our sealands and prosperity. that part is to try not to get drawn down into the either or decisions. there is real traps associated with this to try to achieve the best balance. thanks. >> high demands like seals, and cyber warriors are of interest and what about women? this is in regard to comments by general kelly who question whether the navy will be able to recruit enough women for some combat jobs. >> well, i think with respect to bringing the talent into the
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united states navy the goal in particularly lately has always been we want the very best talent we can get our hands on. for those of you, i met a number of people in industry today and noun -- and you know how competitive this is. and to exclude women or a part of the population would defly us access to that talent and not to be the greatest navy we can be. that is my overall approach and thoughts in that regard. i am very optimistic given the
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signs i have seen that we will continue to attract and retain the men and women in the nation. we have been making great progress in that regard. after we are done, talk to admiral carter about the journey he has been on to bring women into the naval academy. it is a good news story. then it is a matter, do the behaviors that are attracted to the team by virtue of values. they want to be part of something bigger than themselves. once in, we have to insure we have the integrity so our behaviors align to our values. if there is a mismatch that will
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be detected instantly. and i don't want to work where there is a say-do mismatch or a climate of cynism. i talked about those in the design because it is critical to keeping the talent on board. >> how will you implement faster learning? this questioner says i don't quite understand what problem you are trying to solve. can you lay out specific examples of times when the navy hasn't learned fast enough and why you think the navy isn't learning fast enough now. it has been a few months and we are just getting started.
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in terms of agile, let's talk about that. with respect to how we will get after learning i mentioned that in my remarks. there is a tremendous amount of science that has been done rece recently about how the brain works, how do people learn, and not everybody learns the same. and we have the technology now to tuning into the channels of each individual. i look forward to exploring that science. this system goes back further. we are piloting a program that is looking to explore how we bring shipyard workers in and make them affective workers in
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the shipyard. you have these people and as some of you you know we have been hiring to increase the capacity at the shipyard. you bring in people at a great rate and commitment by the nation and you run into a training program that hasn't adapted for decades. you look at how to make them an effective worker on whatever their job is. we have a pilot program using some people who are very attuned to high velocity learning to go down and check out the processes to make sure we are getting people into the productive workforce as fast as possible. that is just sort of one example. i will tell you another mundane
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example. but it hints at the potential. when i arrived in my job here, first of all, i got to confess it took three days to get to the back of my desk. that will take a while to get respect for the office they had. but what i would get every morning was a, you know, my daily read, daily intelligence and operation brief and a number of products delivered in a binder that was two to two a half inches thick and many pages. i said how about if we throw all of this on a tablet. just give me an ipad or tablet computer in the morning and i will page through that. and the initial response was you are the new guy, let me explain how this works to you.
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so we went through that phase. i have a tablet currently. and you know, it has all of that sort of functionality and capability a tablet has. now if i want to explore more deeply a particular development during the day, or look at a particular chip class or person, it is all right there and just sort of, you know how it works. touch, touch, touch, and there i am reading someone's bio or reading the specifications for that particular ship. it is all there. you know, the classification we have come through those issues and so we have it all down. and i wasn't the only one getting that binder, right? most of my direct reports were getting that binder as well. there was this library of 25 binders that would go around on a big cart every morning and be collected at the end of the day and go back into the machine,
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right? by virtue of that small effort, and this is just a tiny effort, the moirst important thing was respecting the person who had to put that binder together. you can only imagine the agony of putting together. the printing, punching the holes and the jams. the whole deal. you plug it in, download it, and it is done. vast amounts of time returns to that workforce. we save thousands in paper and toner and consumables going that. tin tiny examples but it is nice to dive in the 2000s and bring this
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capability on board. mike stevens is doing the same thing at boot camp. we did a pilot program there where you know instead of this library of books, we put it all on a tablet. ...


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