tv [untitled] February 10, 2016 6:01pm-7:03pm EST
that's, i think, evident from the research. but again, that connection between early learning and the earning potential of that individual is abundant. unfortunately for many families, the need is still substantially great. just last fall, pennsylvania alone had a waiting list of 7,000 families who qualified for child-care vouchers but did not receive them. in other words, one state, 7,000 families who were eligible for these vouchers and did not receive them. the story unfortunately is playing out across the country. according to data from the department of health and human services, less than one in ten eligible children nationwide under the age of four received child-care assistance. in pennsylvania it's about 15%. so just think about that. one in ten nation wide eligible for this kind of help are not
receiving it. according to child care aware, one of the many groups that help with the legislation i just mentioned, the child care act, they tell us that particularly in urban and rural communities there is a severe shortage of high-quality or licensed child-care facilities. in pennsylvania, where we have a significant state investment in l child care, only 3.5% of child-care slots for children birth to age four years old are in the highest-quality programs. for many families who can even find care, the cost is very burdensome. for most families child care is often the second-most costly expense behind only housing. just imagine that, the second-highest expense in the life of the family for far too many families is child care,
second only to housing. in 2014, in more than half of the united states a year of child-care costs more than a year of college tuition at a public college. that is another stunning comparison. we hear it all the time from real people, not just numbers or studies. we hear it from real people. last week when we were discussing the bill, the child care act, we heard from a washington, d.c. metropolitan police officer who also happens to be a parent. her name is zenobia. she told me how much there is to struggle tor hardworking, even middle-class families who want the best for their children, how difficult that struggle is to find quality, affordable child care for early care and learning. this police officer also told me and told those in the room how
all too often she sees in her work as a police officer teenagers or young people that did not have the benefit of high-quality care and early learning. here's another example from pennsylvania. dionna, a parent, tells us and i'm closing in part here, she said each month with two children in day care, our payment exceeded our mortgage payment. so not the second highest cost, but the highest cost in her household. dionna goes on to say some months we pay for day care with our home equity line of credit. it took us two years, two years to pay off the debt we acquired. parents with young children are really struggling. it's a no-win situation. unquote. that's what dionna, a parent from pennsylvania tells us. christina, another pennsylvania pennsylvanian, a parent told us of the cost of day care -- quote
-- "day care is bringing us straight to foreclosure because we cannot afford our mortgage, groceries, diapers and gas for our one car." unquote. so this is the real world and this is the real life of families struggling, but especially struggling even with, even in a recovery with the cost of child care. so let me talk for a moment just about the component parts of the act. the child care act is legislation that will ensure that families with infants and toddlers who are living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level which we know is approximately $40,000 for a family of three, it will help those families who need child care that they have access to that high-quality care. the actual further the purposes of the child care and development block grant by raising quality standards and by providing resources necessary to
make those higher quality standards a reality and available to families across the nation. over a ten-year period we estimate that the legislation could help over one million additional children under the age of four gain access to high-quality child care. part of achieving higher quality care is ensuring that children -- i should say child-care providers are receiving an appropriate level of support and the child care workers are compensated fairly for their expertise. unfortunately across the nation the average child care worker often makes below poverty wages. according to the 2013 national survey of early care and education, the median wage for center-based child-care staff was $9.30 an hour, about $19,000 a year. just imagine that, the people that we believe are the best
qualified and the most dedicated to taking care of our children, who will give them that early care and the learning that goes with it, the people that we say we invest our most treasured asset, our children, those in too many places in the country, those same workers are making just $19,000 a year. this means that child-care workers on average make less than parking lot attendants, less than manicurists, less than massage therapists. so if you really care about our children, i think we would pay them more than some of the occupations i just mentioned. caring for and nurturing infants and toddlers requires specialized knowledge and competencies that are not easily developed and should not be taken for granted. i believe, and i think most members of congress either in the senate or in the house
believe that our children deserve quality. they deserve quality care and learning, but they especially deserve the quality that comes with someone who is paid an adequate wage and has a level of expertise and competency to provide that child with the kind of early care and learning that she has a right to expect. child-care funding is critically important not only to families in pennsylvania and across the nation, but of course it's critical if we're going to meet that demand that our workforce must meet. the children who learn more now will earn more later. we also know that this legislation is an opportunity to make finally at long last an historic commitment to these same families. we know the return on investment, if that's all someone wants to focus on, is return on investment -- i know
some people like numbers sometimes better than testimonials from parents. but if your only concern is return on investment, this is a good deal. return on investment, in terms of high-quality early care and learning as high as 17 bucks for one buck, that's a pretty good deal anywhere in the country. we want to emphasize the return on investment, but i also believe at the same time we have to focus on the life of that child and that child's prospects for future employment to contribute to our economy. but we've got to make this issue a priority. if we really care about economic growth and g.d.p. growth and competing in a world economy and having a skilled workforce, all those high aspirations, all those goals we talk about a lot, it starts with early care and learning. a child cannot earn what she
should be able to earn if she doesn't have the opportunity for early care and learning, high quality early care and learning. we can spend up to $40,000 on incarceration or special education or we can spend a small fraction of that now, now on early care and learning and give children both a healthy and a smart start in life. so i'd urge my colleagues when it comes before them to support the child care act that's been introduced today. mr. president, let me conclude with just some brief comments about another related issue for our kids. lead poisoning. what has happened in flint, michigan, is both horrific and inexcusable. no one should accept any excuse for what happened there. i want to commend senator
stabenow and senator peters for shining a light on what occurred in their home state. but unfortunately, this is an issue that involves not just the state of michigan, not just the city of flint. this is a nationwide problem, especially on the eastern seaboard. unfortunately, many communities around the country have numbers that are even worse, higher than the flint numbers. just by one example, pennsylvania, one of the largest states in the union, here are the numbers there. 18 cities in pennsylvania reporting higher levels of lead exposure among children than flint. let me say that again. higher levels than flint. in flint, 3.2% of children exceeded the danger threshold for lead exposure. tested levels of five or more micrograms per deciliter of blood. that five or more micrograms is the danger level. flint was at 3.2.
where were some cities in pennsylvania? as i said, having higher numbers. so instead of being at 5 or 3.2 here's what we see in pennsylvania. allentown, 23. aaltoona, 20.5. my hometown of scranton, 20%. philadelphia and pittsburgh, our largest cities, the two largest cities, the most urban parts of our state were at 10 and 8 respectively. lower than the other pennsylvania cities but still higher than flint. in pennsylvania, the primary source for childhood lead poisoning is not water but rather deteriorating infrastructure and exposure to the remnants of lead-based paint and paint dust and chips. so that's a problem in our state, but there are other states especially on the eastern seaboard that have a similar problem. so we must ensure that children who have been exposed to high
levels of lead receive all of -- and i mean that literally, all of the follow-up services they need to reach their full potential, whether that's remedial or medical or educational, we need to be there for those children. so i supported funding for the centers for disease controls healthy homes and lead poisoning prevention program which supports state and public health departments working in identifying cases of childhood lead exposure but that is just but one step. we have a lot more to do on this issue. so, mr. president, i'll conclude this way. we should take action on child care to make sure it's he affordable and it's of a high quality, so especially poor children can learn more now and earn more later. and it's very difficult to learn and to grow and succeed if you have the disadvantage not only of not having the kind of child
care and early learning but the additional burden of high levels of lead. these are challenges that we face as a country and these are challenges that both houses and both parties must confront. mr. president, i would yield the floor. mr. sessions: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from alabama. mr. sessions: mr. president, we'll be bringing up tomorrow the customs bill that i intend to support moving to, and i believe it has a number of good provisions and hope to be able to support its final passage. the senate passed the first bill to provide the commerce department with real enforcement mechanisms under this customs bill by a vote of 63-35 and now
it's gone to conference and come back. so disappointing things occurred in conference, but on that i think the bill as it remains after the changes is still worthy of passage. in 2013, 60 senators signed a letter to the united states trade representative calling for the inclusion of enforcement currency provisions before the passage of the trans-pacific partnership, the giant asian trade agreement that is so significant and, in my opinion, should not become law. among other problems, it did not include currency provisions that would provide mechanisms to prevent trading partners from manipulating their currency to gain trade advantage. finally, in may of this year the
senate passed by a 78-20 vote this customs enforcement bill, which for the first time included new tools that are necessary to defend american manufacturers from foreign currency manipulation. this bill was put -- the language to confront currency cheating that the treasury department acknowledges is occurring but they have refused to take action to confront it, and it would have required that where this kind of currency manipulation occurs, that action be taken to fix it. that language, unfortunately, was removed from the conference report. and i think it's time for us -- and i think a bipartisan majority of this senate believes it's time for us to pass enforceable currency protection
measures and make sure the president has them on his desk. in june of 2015, "the new york times" poll showed that 63% of americans believe that trade restrictions are necessary, and only 16% of americans believe that the trans-pacific partnership would actually increase american jobs. and i'm absolutely convinced the american people are correct on that based on the study of previous trade agreements and the analysis of studies by tufts and other groups. tufts university. a may 2015 poll conducted by ipso, a leading polling and communications firm, found that 73% of the u.s. public believes that congress should oppose -- quote -- "any international trade agreement that does not specifically prohibit currency
manipulation." close quote. that's a strong polling number. ipso has conduct another poll last month and found that 79% of respondents said that it was important for the trade deal to include enforceable currency protections. the that's a 6% increase -- that's a 6% increase in may -- since may. in august the chinese government devalued its currency 4%, creating a regional currency war really in that area involving australia, malaysia and south korea. they all caused their currencies to fall. all of those fell against the united states dollar, making their imports to the united states less expensive, our exports to their countries more expensive. and it happens just that way. former federal reserve chairman paul volcker, one of the great heroes of the economic rebound of the 1980's, has said that
years of trade negotiations could be wiped out in minutes by currency manipulation. and i don't think there's any doubt about that. so these depreciations throughout asia further disadvantaged american workers because they force our workers to compete against international competitors who receive discounts, in effect, on their exported goods in the form of arartificially depressed currencies. these devaluations have a real impact. i spoke at length with steelworkers in my state and they have all told me that steel manufacturing is being hammered by this kind of currency manipulation and dumping and other unfair and improper trade policies also. but they specifically mentioned currency. foreign market manipulations have virtually eliminated profit margins that were already slim in the steel industry. i had a railroad conversation --
i had a recent conversation a few hours ago with a major paper company who said the currency manipulations have hurt their exports and, in fact, they're still making the exports, but it's eliminated their profit. it's a very problematic matter for them. you've got have a profit. but they're trying to maintain their production and keep the plants operating even though their profit margin has been hurt substantially by currency manipulation. in june, ebay reported that international currency fluctuations eliminated 8% of its sales. instead of a 6% sales growth, the company reported a 2% decline. our foreign competitors are exporting their unemployment to the united states, and that's the way it's done. you reduce your currency, you
export your products to the united states and then it comes in at a lower price, and they came their people working, and that undermines the ability of american manufacturers to keep their employees working. sometimes plants are totally closed. a december 1 "wall street journal" article highlighted the fact that the chinese, one, had increased against most other currencies but fallen 3% against the dollar. they said they were going to feeing tpegit to the dlarks bute let it decline against the dollar, thereby main takin maing their trade surplus with the united states. our trade deficit increased in january and increased substantially in the fourth quarter of last year. our exports are down, our imports are up, and our trade deficit is up. and a big part of that is improper manipulation of
currency by our so-called trading partners. it's time that we said "no" this, and we have the leverage and the capability of doing so. they need us more than we need them. governor romney, when he ran for president eight years ago, it was in a debate and he explained it very succinctly. if you don't stand up to, he said in this case, china, they'll run over you. if you stand up to china, it will create a trade war. imu we're ibut we're in a tradee said. we're just not fighting. and finally he said, anyway, they have a lot more to lose than we do in such an event. we just have no obligation -- as a matter of fact, we must stop be a patsy for those who take advantage of us. they need our markets. they desperately need to be able
to sell huge amounts of product in our market. if they won't comply with the rules of trade, we have a right to say "no" and to limit access to our market. you say that would hurt america, american consumers. perhaps some. but in the long run, we cannot allow american manufacturing to be decimated by sustained manipulation by trading partners. we have to have a manufacturing base in this country. the american people know that. and they're worried about that. even the wal-mart executives said, well, if nobody is working in america, who is going to buy cheap products from abroad? they even started a promise to - they eve even start add programo try to buy more. a report said "our yument is that the chinese yuan remains below its appropriate
valuation." in other words, it is depressed. they devalued the yuan to gain market advantage over the united states and other countries. on the face of all of this the white house has refused to adopt any enforceable measures. the treasury department acknowledges that we've got a problem, but they've refused to take any action to confront it. this is the kind of weakness that we cannot accept. the time has come in america where we cannot afford to lose a single american job to unfair trading partners. we've got to end this. we've got to defend our people who are hurting. while the t.p.p., this trans-pacific partnership agreement that's now been signed by the president off last week in us a strai australia -- 7,00s
around the world. he never even talked about it. why did they want to sign it somewhere around the world? the reason is the american people don't want it. he didn't want anybody really to know he'd signinged it signed i. and they hope they can slip it through. but i don't think it's going to happen. i think too many things are being raised and discussed that shows we've got to be careful about these trade agreements, and in particular this is one that should not pass. wlg, thwell, the t.p.p. claims t includes a side measure addressing currency manipulation, but any study of it reveals that it does not have any enforcement mechanisms. "the wall street journal" on november 5 wrote this, quote, "mexico, canada, and other countries signaled they were open to the final currency deal
when they realized it would not include binding currency rules that would lead to trade sanctions through the t.p.p." get that? they were objecting to this currency rule. because they like to manipulate their currency and they don't want to be subject to sanctions, if they manipulate it. when they found out the truth, and the truth is that the currency manipulation language attached to t.p.p. means nothing, then they said, it's okay. so they were willing to object to the t.p.p. until they found out that this proposed fix meant nothing. in fact, on november 6, the japanese finance minister, mr. tar o aso said, "there will not be any change in japan's currency policy." in other words, japan, by signing on to the t.p.p., after studying the agreement, realized that they're not going to have to change their policy, and
there's no teeth in it. so the mechanism that we were expecting to occur would be that this currency language would be placed on the customs bill that we would vote on tomorrow, and it was passed in the senate, and it went on the customs bill. but when it went to the conference committee, president obama said "no." we're not having this currency in it, and the conference committee eventually capitulated and the bill that has come out doesn't have currency in it either. so we have no real mechanism now to ensure that american workers, american manufacturing is able to maintain a level playing field with our trading partners. so the statement by japan's finance minister caused ford motor company to immediately object and oppose the t.p.p., the trans-pacific partnership trade agreement. they did it the day it was
released. in their press release, ford said they could not support such a deal in which currency rules -- quote -- "fell outside of the t.p.p. and failed to include dispute settlement mechanisms to ensure global rules prohibiting currency manipulation are enforced." they could not support it. ford -- all these companies are placed under terrific pressure to sign onto these deals. a lot of them that have signed on to it and said they will support it don't like it, but they were put in a room basically and were asked, what do you need to do? and if you'll -- we'll agree to some things if you'll agree to support the deal. and they felt it was going to pass anyway, many of them drgs and -- th many of them did and y
get a few little trinin trinketw little gifts, and they've agreed to either be silent or support the deal. but many of these companies like ford are very uneasy about it. so where are we today? i was very pleased that one of the strong supporters of trade in the congress, the new speaker of the house, paul ryan, announced a couple of days ago that there was not support in the house to pass the t.p.p. now and that, in fact, he has concerns about it. he's been an advocate of these trade agreements, and it's -- i have been worried about that. i was very pleased to say now that the temporary situation, he's indicated that he has doubts about the agreement. it is not going to have the
votes in the house. he's not bringing it up immediately. our leadership has indicated that they don't intend to bring it up immediately either. i think that's a good decision, and i believe we as a nation need to be studying how this works and studying whether or not these agreements are actually helping us or are they accelerating our decline in american manufacturing. so, neither bush nor the obama white house has taken strong actions to deal with currency manipulations. this administration and its own treasury department continue to reassure us they're doing everything they can to protect american manufacturing from unfair currency manipulation. however, they've repeatedly rejected congress's efforts to give the white house the tools to help enforce our laws.
and one of the best ways to do this is to give the white house the ability to implement counter veiling duties. but they've opposed that and steadfastly seen that it's not made law. in the spring last year, we had a month-long debate about the importance of these measures. i think a lot of our members really learned a good bit in the course of that. the senate passed a t.p.p. negotiating objective calling for enforceable measures in the president's trade agreement. so what did the president do? he threatened to veto the customs bill if it included the kind of currency language that i have just been describing. in fact, the white house even issued a statement of administration policy, a s.o.p. on this question, stating -- quote -- "the administration opposes the way the customs bill
uses are the countervailing duty process to address currency undervaluation." closed quote. so with that objection, the conferees took out the language, so the bill that we'll vote on tomorrow does not have the language in it that passed in the united states senate. in may of this year, i wrote the president and asked him a few simple questions. i believe these are simple questions that the american people are entitled to have answered by the leader of our country who is proposing and pushing this trade promotion partnership. i asked him, one, to state whether or not the t.p.p. would increase our decrease our trade deficit. shouldn't we know that? our trade deficit is surging. some try to contend that trade deficits don't matter.
they do matter. they do matter if your factory is closed. trade deficits reduce g.d.p. about now one half percent of growth in g.d.p. has been reduced as a result of the trade deficit. it does impact america. so i further ask the president, number two, whether the t.p.p. would increase or decrease the number of manufacturing jobs in the united states. and thirdly, i asked him how the t.p.p. would affect the average hourly wages for the american middle class. shouldn't he tell us that? shouldn't we be told whether or not wages are going to go up or down? shouldn't we be told whether or not the trade deficit would increase or not? shouldn't we be told whether or not manufacturing jobs are going
to increase or decrease? what have they said? the only thing they've said, this is so clever, and i think the media deserves criticism for not talking about it more. all they've ever said was it increases, it would increase jobs in the exporting industries. they don't say how many jobs are being lost when american factories are closed. the president also at one point claimed, or one of his administration members said it would create 600,000 jobs. "the washington post" gave that four pinocchios. let's go back to 2011. trading agreement with south korea, i voted for it. south korea are good people, allies of ours, and we do
business with them. i went on and signed on to that agreement. the president, when he signed it, he stated to the american people it would increase our exports by $10 billion a year. well, we've had a chance to look at that. how has that promise come out? have we increased our exports? well, we did increase our exports. it was $8.8 billion last year. i think we'll be a little over $1 billion this year. not ten. one. what about korean exports to the united states? how did that come out? they increased annually $12 billion a year. what about our trade deficit from 2010 through 2015? the trade deficit with south korea increased 260%.
so are these trade agreements effective? are they helping america? are they fulfilling promises being made for them? i don't think so. colleagues, the president has repeatedly rejected bipartisan efforts to put protections in for american workers. he clearly did not follow congress's negotiating objectives. he has ignored an issue which the senate overwhelmingly approved and he failed to negotiate enforceable currency protections for american workers and ensure that it was not in the t.p.p. and not in this separate customs legislation. american manufacturers cannot wait longer. it's time to give them the tools they need, a fair ability to compete a level playing field. in the customs bill that's before us is a step in the right direction. it ensures the commerce department and customs and
border protection share information more efficiently. it gives the customs and border patrol new tools to identify and stop illegal trading practices. it provides earlier notification of trade surges which helps ensure stable prices of goods here at home. but it's important to note the customs bill is not a perfect solution. there's still work to be done. as i noted, paul volcker pointed out all of these protections, these trade agreement protections and other agreements can be eliminated overnight through currency manipulation. we can pass this customs legislation and send it to the president, but we must realize that the protections created in this legislation, the new tools that are provided to the customs service can be made irrelevant by our competitors who manipulate exchange rates to benefit their exports.
and we have that problem now in china, japan, south korea and other countries. i'm not going to be satisfied until the president signs legislation granting the commerce department real powers to protect american workers and american manufacturing from these devastating market manipulations. our government does not offer such subsidies to american manufacturers. there are other subsidies too that foreign countries offer that we don't offer. and these subsidies and currency manipulations, they're forbidden by international trading standards. but they go on anyway, and nothing is done about it. so we must not allow other countries to take advantage of us any longer. i'll just note some of the quotes that we heard about this subject, but in fact no action of significance has been taken.
treasury secretary jack lew september 3 on cnbc in an interview said -- quote -- "china has to understand, and i make this point to them quite clearly, that there's an economic and political reality to things like exchange rates." close quote. he's talking about currency exchange rates. there's a political realities there. in other words, mr. lew who should be doing more, doing something effective besides just talking acknowledges that currency rates have real impact on americans. he goes on to say -- quote -- "they need to understand that they signal their intentions by the actions they take and the way they announce them, and they have to be very clear that they're continuing to move in a positive direction and we're going to hold them accountable." close quote. well, we haven't been well, we haven't been
them accountable. mr. lew continues -- quote -- "i think that we have been very clear for a long time with china how they manage their exchange rate is a matter of great concern to us and that they need to be willing to let market forces drive the value up, not just down." close quote. well, that is true, but they're not doing it and they're going to continue to do it until some action is taken to stop them. a speech by secretary lew, even if he's off in davos somewhere negotiating with the great and mighty, he better be spending some more time here in america finding out what's happening to real people. so he said in his interview, i think it's something we will discuss at the g-20.
i think something -- let me repeat that. i think it is something we will discuss at the g-20, is any temptation to slip into what might look like a competitive devaluation is both unfair and it ultimately leads to a worse global economy. now i think there's some truth to that. what he's saying is that our response to the valuation is unfortunate if we're put in a position where we devalue, where korea devalues, where vietnam devalues, where other countries in the world devalue. that's a currency war and that's not helpful. what needs to happen is we need to push back against countries that improperly devaluing and stop that and try to create a currency system worldwide that serves our nation in an effective way. and it's just part of the whole economic future of america.
every business journal is talking about this. they don't, they frequently have different views about what ought to be done, if anything. but everybody talks about the impact. this is t. rowe price, they do their fall 2015 economic outlook report -- quote -- "to be sure, the u.s. economy remains the world's largest and most innovative, but this summer's dramatic plunge in china's stock market and the unexpected devaluation of its currency quickly reverberated around the globe triggering market volatility, dimming growth prospects for certain industries and the countries and exacerbating pressure on emerging markets." close quote. i don't think anybody will dispute that. that's just common business knowledge. t. rowe price, their outlook report says -- quote -- "the
devaluation -- we're talking about the chinese devaluation -- along with the government's unsuccessful intervention and its plunging stock market also undermined confidence in china's h leadership, most important in its ability to manage the transition of its economy from one led by investments and exports to one more driven by services and domestic consumption. well, this is where we are. we need to get this ship on the right path and we need not to adopt the t.p.p. we need to use the leverage we have as the greatest market in the world that all these countries want access to. we have the leverage. they got more to fear from a trade war than we do. and put an end to it, because we owe it to this country. and the day that we can just give away more and more jobs and
assume that this has no negative impact on the american economy is over. wages are down in this country. the percentage of americans actually working and the working ages today is the lowest we've had in nearly 40 years. we've had a tremendous drop in the percentage of males from 24 to 55, high working years that are actually working in jobs today. it's a troublesome trend. we need to reverse that. we need to put people to work and off welfare. we need to put them in good job training programs and help them take jobs that exist here in the country. we can't afford to bring in hundreds of thousands and millions of people from abroad to take jobs. it ought to be -- our people should be trained and be taken. that's so basic as to be without dispute, it seems to me. so, mr. president, i think the
customs bill that we'll see coming up is worthy of our support, but i do believe in the long run if we don't confront the trading issues that are facing america, we'll regret that and we'll continue to see adverse economic consequences for the citizens we represent. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
quorum call: mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: as in executive session i ask unanimous consent that the injunction of secrecy be removed from the following treaties transmitted to the senate on february 10, 2016 by
the president of the united states: u. u.n. convention on the use of electronic communications and international contracts treaty document number 114-5. march cash treaty to facilitate access to persons of public works for persons blind or visually impaired 114-6. u.n. convention on the assignment of receivables and international trade treaty document 1 # 14-7. beijing treaty on audio visual performances treaty document number 114-8. u.n. convention on independent guarantees and stand by letters for credit treaty document number 114-9. extradition treaty with the dominican republic treaty document 114-10. i further ask that the treaties be considered as having been read the first time, that they be referred with accompanying papers to the committee on
foreign relations in order to be printed and that the president's messages be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, i now ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 9:30 thursday, february 11. following the prayer and pledge the morning hour deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for use later in the day. further, that following leader remarks the senate then resume consideration of the conference report to accompany h.r. 644, with the time until 10:30 a.m. equally divided between the two leaders or their designees. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask that it stander adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands >> the senate approved a bill dein