working today on a long-term funding bill for the faa. a vote to move forward has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m. and work on another mesh to advance the energy and water programs bill. the first of 12 appropriations bills that the hous house and se are supposed to consider annually. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, we praise you for the privilege of prayer.
we confess that we often neglect this opportunity to find power in your presence. guide our lawmakers with your wisdom, liberating them from doubts and uncertainties as they remember that their times are in your hands. may they seek directions from you as they strive to honor your name. lord, undergird them with your enabling might and help them to remember that without you, their striving would be losing. give them a steady faith, a firm hope and a fervent charity so
that they will stay within the circle of your will. we pray in your mighty name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c, april 18, 2016 . to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable james lankford, a senator from the state of oklahoma, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g.hatch, president
pro tempore. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader of the senate. mr. mcconnell: americans continue to see the difference a republican-led senate can make on behalf of our country. we passed legislation to combat the prescription of opioid and heroin epidemic to provide a long-term highway funding solution, and to advance many other important issues. today i'm hopeful we'll be able to add to that record of achievement with an f.a.a. reauthorization and airport security bill which aims to keep americans safe in our airports and in the sky. recent terror attacks across the world emphasize the importance of assuring that our airports are secure, and i'm pleased the bill includes a number of provisions that will help to do so. from increasing security in prescreening areas to securing international flights arriving in the u.s. to ramping up measures aimed at deterring cybersecurity attacks, this
legislation contains the most comprehensive aviation security reform in years. it also includes a number of passenger-friendly provisions like refunds for lost or delayed bags and efforts to improve travel for those with disabilities. the bill accomplishes all of this without raising fees or taxes on passengers and without imposing heavy-handed regulations that threaten consumer choice. the f.a.a. reauthorization bill is the product of hard work and deliberations from members of both sides of the aisle. it wouldn't have been possible without the leadership of senator thune, our commerce committee chair, and senator ayotte, the aviation subcommittee chair. they worked to consider amendments from both republicans and democrats that members thought would make this a good bill and an even better one. i also want to thank the ranking member counterpart, senator nelson and senator cantwell for their efforts to advance this legislation. so let's continue that bipartisan progress today and
move the f.a.a. reauthorization and airport security bill across the finish line. it's a win for passengers. it's a win for national security. it's another example of common sense legislating under a leadership that's getting the senate back to work. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate minority leader. mr. reid: i really have to smile when i hear the republican leader -- he says it almost every day day -- the senate is back to work speech. some republicans show only half the time for work and want a raise. they go through the motions but they feel they do their job. they fail to fund opioid legislation. they fail to do anything about the water in flint, michigan. they fail to fix the renewable
tax credit. they fail to address the zika virus and on and on. republicans used to talk all the time about meeting deadlines and budget resolutions but this year they aren't doing one. even district court nominations supported by republicans seem too hard for this group to get accomplished. and it appears the senate will fail even to have a hearing on the president's supreme court nomination. it seems republicans still need to learn how to do their job. mr. president, senate republicans are making history, but for all the wrong reasons. republicans' obstructionist of president obama's supreme court nominee merrick garland is the first in history. as each day passes, republicans set some new mark for gridlock. for example, in the postworld
war ii era, the average time between a supreme court nomination and nominee was 31 days. today already we're five days past the average. the longest nominee has been forced to wait for a hearing was 82 days. that was president eisenhower's nominee potter stewart who was confirmed at a later time. republicans vow every day there will be no hearing so they're well on the way to eclipsing the 82-day mark. senator mcconnell is -- quote -- "a proud guardian of gridlock." that's what he said. americans take no pleasure in this record-setting obstruction. instead, americans want republicans in the senate to do their job and to give merrick garland a hearing. mr. president, it's been almost three years since the senate passed comprehensive immigration
reform. it was done on a bipartisan basis. senate democrats worked with a handful of republicans to craft a good, fair, comprehensive reform bill that passed with bipartisan support. then we watched speaker boehner capitulate to tea party radicals and refused to allow a vote on the floor. had he allowed a vote on the floor it it would have passed overwhelming. to his credit, president obama saw republicans on immigration reform and decided to act. he told us at the state of the union address that he was tired of waiting around for republicans to do things, he has to do things himself and that's what he has done. using his executive authority under existing law, he worked to fix the system and prioritize enforcement resources on those who pose a threat to our national security and public safety. on november 20, 2014, president obama ordered a series of executive actions and increased border security and ensured greater accountability
throughout our immigration system. one aspect of president obama's executive actions was the deferred action for parents of americans and unlawful permanent residents program. the program provided temporary deportation relief for parents of u.s. citizens and lawful permanent residence to meet three requirements. one, be nonpartisan country for at least p knife -- one, be in the country for at least five years. today -- president obama deferred action for the program to protect dreamers brought to the united states at a very young age. today over 700,000 dreamers have been protected. 12,000 in nevada alone. not only were these executive actions the right thing to do, they are also smart investments. nevada would benefit from about $3.5 million a year increase in
state and local tax revenue. nevadans would see an increase for more than $1 billion over ten years. together these programs will help grow america by $230 billion over the next ten years. now this progress is being threatened. shortly after president obama's announcement, politically motivated lawsuit was filed by the texas attorney general and joined by republican governors and attorneys. not all of them. a lot of them. the attorney wanted a preliminary injunction temporarily blocking the programs. this came from a single judge. the united states supreme court agreed to consider the case and today will hear oral arguments. they were good. they were good. i thought it was an extremely sound, deliberate argument. i think that justices asked questions that went to the heart of what the issues are, standing and other things.
a decision to overturn the president's action would put many families at risk of deportation and prevent the department of homeland security from doing its job focusing on criminals and other threats to national security. in nevada alone, president obama's executive action will affect 50,000 nevadans who should not be separated from their families. the united states supreme court must do the right thing and recognize president obama's authority. that's why i joined 30 other senate democrats and 186 house democrats in filing an amicus brief with the supreme court to make clear congress granted the department of homeland security broad discretion in enforcing our country's immigration laws. what the president did was lawful and it was necessary. he helped target limited enforcement resources. it's also what every other president since eisenhower has done, including ronald reagan and george h.w. bush. instead of litigating the president's executive action, republicans should work to fix
our immigration system here in congress. by working with democrats to pass immigration reform, they would render the president's executive actions unnecessary. so i hope the supreme court ultimately decides in the administration's favor. i think they will. even though the court is short a member. i hope that these executive orders are implemented to get hardworking families out of the shadows. our nation would be far better off with a permanent solution. our nation would be far better off with a bipartisan comprehensive overhaul of our nation's immigration laws. mr. president, my friend, the assistant majority leader, has been at the forefront of these immigration issues. the dream act is something he stepped forward on more than two decades ago. i admire the work he's done on this. i think he has really kept this issue alive when a lot of
republicans would have wanted it to go away. he's been helpful to people in nevada, people who don't know his name, will never ever see him. but we have 12,000 dreamers whose life has been changed forever, and we want the same to happen to their parents. mr. president, would you announce the business of the day. the presiding officer: under the previous order the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of h.r. 636, which the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 55, h.r. 636, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to permanently extend increased expensing limitations and for other purposes. mr. durbin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the minority whip. mr. durbin: mr. president, let me first thank the minority leader, senator reid, for his kind words about the dream act which i is introduced 15 years ago. 15 years ago.
this was a piece of legislation that came about because a mother who called my office in chicago, and here was her family story: she brought her two kids to america from brazil. they had actually started off in korea, but they came through brazil and they came to chicago, mother, father, two kids. the father had the ambition of starting a church. there are a lot of korean churches around chicago and around the country, and his dream was a korean-american church. his dream never came true. he continued to pray and read the bible, but didn't work much. it was up to mom to go to work. she went to work in a dry cleaning establishment in chicago. and if you've been around that great city, -- and i'm honored to represent it -- and go in the dry cleaners, most of the time korean families are running it. and they are working around the clock, the hardest-working people imaginable. so mom went to work in a dry
cleaners, and the kids struggled because there wasn't much money coming in. one of their girls, theresa, heard about a program in chicago called the merit music program. it's a program that is available for low-income families of kids in public schools. and the money who left the money said give them instructions in instruments and help them buy the instruments. teresa heard about this when she was a little girl and decided to sign up for it and practice the piano. guess what? she turned out to be a prodigy. she was amazing. and for her, a music program was like an opening to another part of the world that she had never seen. she participated in the recitals. sometimes they told me they had to give her a key to the merrick music offices because she wanted to stay and practice late at night. it was tough for her getting through high school. she tells the story when she was interviewed in the local press
that sometimes she didn't have a lunch to take to school or any money to buy food. and she would wait till the other kids left, and she'd go through the waste basket and look for food that they left behind. that's how tough it was. but because of her skill at playing the piano, she was given an opportunity. she was accepted at the julliard school of music in new york and at the manhattan conservatory music to pursue the piano. she was that good. and when they started filling out the application, she and her mom, they reached that point where it said what's your nationality, what's your citizenship. her mom said, teresa, i don't know. you came here on a visitors visa way back when you were 2 years old, but i never filed any papers for you. she said, mom, what are we going to do? mom said we're going to call durbin's office. they called the senate office. we looked into it and the law in the united states was very clear for 17-year-old teresa lee. she had to leave the united states for ten years and apply
to come back in. leave for ten years. she came here at the age of 2. she didn't do anything wrong. she did everything right. she finished high school against the odds. she developed a talent against the odds. she was accepted at one of the best music schools in america, and our law very clearly said leave, we don't want you. if you want to try and come back in ten years, it's your business. i don't think that's right. that's why 15 years ago i introduced the dream act, and it said if you're one of those kids brought here under the age of 16, finished high school, no serious criminal issues, we're going to give you a chance. go to college. join the military, and we will give you a path to ultimately getting to the back of the line but becoming a citizen of the united states, the dream act. when i introduced this bill to solve teresa lee's problem, i used to give speeches about it all around economy.
a funny thing would happen. when i finished the speech and go back to my car, sometimes at nighthere would be somebody waiting by my car. as i get closer, it turned out to be a very young girl usually, maybe with her friend, and they'd wait to make sure no one was around. and the little girl would say -- young girl would say to me, senator, i'm one of those dreamers. i'm undocumented. my mom and dade are scared to -- dad are scared to be deported and then i'll get deported. i hope you can pass this. well, time passed. we called the bill on the floor. called it in the house. we've never been able to make it the law of the land. sadly, the reality is that there are probably two and a half million -- two and a half million young people living in america who would qualify under the dream act to be given a chance to become legal. two and a half million. and what happened to teresa lee, got to finish that story, she ended up going to manhattan
conservatory music. two families stepped forward, families that had befriended the merrick music program in chicago. i know one of them well. and said this girl is too good. we can't waste her talent. we will pay for her education. and they did, out of pocket. she didn't qualify for any federal assistance because she's undocumented. so teresa finished school, played in carnegie hall, now is about to complete her ph.d. in music. she's living in brooklyn, new york. she's a mom with a little girl and she married an american musician so she's legal, finally. that's her story. thank goodness that this determined young girl stuck with it. and we have to stick with it, too. the people who want to turn away these two and a half million dreamers ought to take a moment and meet them, just meet them. understand what it is to be a young person in america going
through all the challenges of adolescents and all the challenges that might be brought to you in your community, by your family and knowing in the back of your mind at any moment someone can knock on the door and tell you you have to leave this country, you're not here legally. they do it and they fight every single day for a chance and a dream that some day they'll become part of the only country they've ever known. these are kids who just like the united states senate a few minutes ago got up every day in the classroom and pledged allegiance to that flag, the only flag they've ever known. they don't view themselves as mexican or korean. they view themselves as americans. and the question is, how do we view them. do we view them as an asset to america? or do we view them as a problem? a problem that should be drown away and deported? you're listening to the presidential campaign. we all are president i'm not going to go into detail about some of the terrible things that
have been said, but i just wish some of the haters, some of the people who want to turn on these young people would meet them. come and meet them. hear their stories. i think even the hardest, coldest heart would be moved by that. mr. president, across the street you can see through the windows barely is the u.s. supreme court building. it was about 12 years ago we decided to do something here in the senate that i thought was a great idea. every two years when there's a new class of senators, we have a dinner with the justices of the supreme court. we do it at their place, and it's right across the street. and we line up in the entryway there, beautiful marble entryway, set up tables and each of us sits at a table with one of the justices. and i can remember one of the early times i went over there. i shared the table with another u.s. senator robert c. byrd of west virginia, a legendary member of the u.s. senate, former president pro tempore of
the senate, served here for decades, carried the constitution around in his breast pocket. he could recite poetry nonstop. he was a real believer in the senate. wrote the history of the senate, one that will probably never be matched. i shared the table at the supreme court for one of these dinners and i said, isn't this a beautiful building? and he sai it sure s. i said, how often do you get over here, senator byrd? he said, this is my first time. i said, you've been in the senate for 40 years-plus, and this is your first time? why? well, he said, it's a separate branch of government, you know. and we must respect them, and they'd never asked me to come over. well, i see it a little differently. i go across that street because, yes, it's a separate branch of government, but it's one that we should understand and respect as i hope they understand and respect congress on this side of the street. so this morning i did. went over for an argument before
the supreme court. there was a huge mob out in front of the supreme court because the case that was being considered is one that affects millions of lives in america, texas v. the united states. and the question is what we are going to do with people like teresa lee that i just described earlier. you see, what happened six years ago as i joined with the republican senator richard lugar of indiana and wrote a letter to president obama saying if the congress is not going to change the law to make it possible for these young people to stay in this country, would you issue an executive order that allows them at least on a temporary basis to stay in the united states? within a year or two the president agreed to do it. he created what's known as the doca program and it basically says that young people like teresa lee that i described earlier can step forward, identify themselves to our
government, submit themselves for a criminal investigation, pay a filing fee of over $500 i believe it is, and if they do, they will be given a right to stay in the united states on a temporary renewable basis for two years or three years. that is what doca is all about so that young people can pursue their lives at least with the understanding that for a few years they don't have to worry about that knock on their door. oh, if they get a job, they have to pay their taxes, and if they go to college, they're not going to get a penny from this government. we don't help them pay for their college education. the president did it, and i applauded him for doing it. so far 700,000 young people like teresa lee have signed up for production under doca. we estimate the total university of young people eligible is about two and a half million.
so the president attempted to extend the program, and he said we need to address the problem with our parents. many of these parents have children who are u.s. citizens and legally in the united states but they are undocumented and subject to deportation. so the president said in what's known as dopa, doca and dopa, basically said the parents of these kids can come forward, submit themselves to a criminal background check, fingerprints and all, pay a filing fee of $500 plus, and then then they will be -- then they will be allowed on a temporary basis to work in this country. if they're going to work in this country, they have to pay their taxes. that's what the president suggested. as soon as he made the two proposals to extend doca and create this other program for the parents, a lawsuit was filed. it was led by the state of texas
and 25 other states i believe joined. and that was the case before the supreme court today. before i get into the details of that case, and i want to say a word about it on the floor this afternoon, let me say one other thing. what senator byrd told me about not going across the street was not only respect for that institution of the supreme court but as a senator, he was basically saying we need to respect their right to be above politics. we want to make certain that that branch of government is above politics, that they apply the law and interpret the constitution in a nonpolitical way. sometimes i read their decisions and think they've gone political on us but the goal is to make sure that they are preserved from becoming political. this morning when i went before the supreme court, i didn't face nine justices, only eight. antonin scalia who wa passed awa
few weeks ago created a vacancy that's not been filled. why has the united states senate failed to fill this vacancy on the supreme court? because within hours of the untimely death of justice scalia, the republican leader, senator mcconnell said a few moments ago, announced publicly we will not fill this vacancy on the supreme court. that's important to remember. it is the first time in the history of the united states of america, the first time in the history of the united states senate that the senate is refusing a hearing and a vote for a presidential nominee to fill a vacancy on the supreme court. it has never, never happened before, never. oh, the republicans argue, well, if the shoe were on the other foot, i'm sure you democrats would do exactly the same thing. i call their attention to the year 1988, republican president
ronald reagan with a vacancy on the supreme court, submits the name of anthony kennedy to the united states senate. republican president filling a vacancy on the supreme court submits the name of his nominee and the senate then controlled by the democrats gave anthony kennedy a hearing, a strong vote and sent him over to the supreme court. so when the shoe was on the other foot, we didn't play politics. the senate didn't play politics. but now we are. so i faced eight justices over there as that argument was made this morning, and thought to myself, if they end up in a 4-4 tie, and that can happen, it will be across and confusion across america. different districts, courts, different districts having different interpretations of the same law. how did we get in this mess? because the republican majority in the senate has decided we're not going to appoint anyone to
fill this vacancy. their argument? let the american people speak to filling this vacancy. in the election the presidential election, let them decide whether it will be a democrat or republican president filling this vacancy. you know, there might be some value to that argument if president obama in the last election, when he was running for reelection in 2012, had been running for a term of three years. you could argue then that this fourth year he wasn't entitled to be president, but you know what? turns out he was running for a four-year term. and it turns out he won by five million votes. and it turns out that when it comes to being commander in chief and president of the united states, he has all the powers vested in him by the constitution, even in the fourth year. isn't that amazing? four years as president. that's what the american people decided only to be overruled by the republican majority in the senate.
sorry, mr. president, they say. you only get three years. maybe three years and two months but you sure don't have any right to try to fill a vacancy on the supreme court, even though the constitution explicitly says in article, section 2, the president shall appoint a nominee to fill the vacancy in the supreme court. their argument is you may think you're president when it comes to the supreme court, but the senate republican majority thinks otherwise. i sat down with merrick garland -- he is the proposed nominee to fill this vacancy, chief justice of the court here, which is a high position in the judiciary, born in illinois, so i come to his nomination with some prejudice, but he is an extraordinary person. people have said, well, why didn't the president choose a woman, why didn't he choose an african-american, why didn't he choose an hispanic, why didn't he choose somebody from india, why did he choose in man? i think he chose him for an obvious reason: he is clearly
qualified. even republican senators have said nice things about him publicly. now many of them have said they refuse to even meet with him, will not even sit in the same room with him. some have agreed to, but many have said, no -- senator mcconnell said, i won't meet with him because he's not going to get a hearing, and he's not going to get a vote. well, it's time for us to fill that vacancy. it is time for us to accept our constitutional responsibility, show respect for the document we all swore to uphold and defend when we took the oath of office. it is time to fill the vacancy and put nine justices on that court, to avoid confusion and coy as which might otherwise emerge. another case this morning, this is a case by texas filed by 26 republican governors. this lawsuit i believe has no legal merit. it is driven by political hostility toward president obama and his immigration policy.
i was proud to join him in an a. h. a-- in a an me cuss brief in support of the administration's position on immigration. the president is on very solid ground in this case. i'm hoping and confident that the supreme court will rule in his favor. as an initial matter before this court -- before the case proceeds, the states that filed this lawsuit have to show that they'll be harmed by the president's immigration policy, otherwise they really don't have any standing to sue. turns out exactly the opposite is true. the president's policy allowing people to work here on a temporary basis under his executive orders will create a huge benefit to the american economy. over the next ten years in the state of texas alone -- and they brought the lawsuit, at least started it -- the president's immigration action would increase that state's gross domestic product by more than $38 billion and increase the earnings of all texas residents
by $17.5 billion. they argue that the president's immigration policy would cost the state of texas money. it turns out exactly the opposite is true. and even if the states have standing to sue, the supreme court repeatedly has held the federal government has broad authority to decide questions of immigration. justice anthony kennedy, appointed earlier, wrote the opinion for the court striking down arizona' arizona's controvl immigration law. listen to what he said. "a principal feature of the removal system" -- removal of people not eligible to be in the use -- is the broad discretion exercised by immigration officials. enforcement of immigration law embraces immediate human cernes. unauthorized workers trying to support their families, for example, likely pose less danger than alien smugglers or aliens who commit a serious crime." this administration' administras
immigration policy is smart and realistic. the president has said we should prior ties. we have limited resources. we can't dough port all those who are here undocumented. if we're going to only deport some, let's pick those who are a danger to the united states. so the president has focused on those who have been convicted of serious crimes or pose a threat to our security. and shouldn't he? as commander in chief, shouldn't that be his highest priority to, to mike sure anyone who is a danger to the united states is gone? he knows that he can't deport all, even if he wherebied to. so he focuses on those who may be danger to the united states. prosecutorial discretion. the department of homeland security only has enough funding to deport a small fraction of undocumented, so the president wants to focus the limited resources on those who could do us harm. that's just common sense. at the same time, the president said that we should not waste our resources on deporting young
imgraying students who grew up in this country, like the girl i mentioned earlier, or tear apart families by deporting the parents of u.s. citizens. the president's policy focus on deporting felons, not families, criminals, not children. in november of 2014, president obama established this program, did a pa, deferred action for parents of americans and lawful permanent residents. under dapa, undocumented immigrant hoves lived in the use for more than five years and have american children would be required to come forward, register with the government, pay a fee, go to through a criminal background check and a national security background check and then pay their taxes. the government determines -- if the government determines these parents have not committed any serious crimes and don't pose any threat, this executive order says on a temporary, renewable basis, they will not be targeted for deportation.
president obama also expanded the daca program for children that i mentioned earlier at the same time. why did he do it? because for years -- listen to this -- for years republicans in congress have refused to consider legislation to fix our broken immigration system. june 27, 2013, the floor of the united states senate: i had joined a group of seven other senators, four democrats, four republicans. we had worked for months to construct a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration bill. we had to give a lot. there were things in that bill i didn't like at all and things that some of the republican senators didn't like. but it is the nature of legislation and compromise that that happens. so we brought the bill to the floor for a vote, after a lengthy markup in the senate judiciary committee and dozens of amendments had been offered. the senate passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation june 27, 2013, 68-22 -- more
than thre 3-1. that bill would have strengthened border security, protected american workers and established a fair path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented i am grants. what happened to the bill after it passed the senate? it went across the rotunda to the house of representatives under republican control. the majority in the house of representatives refused to call the bill, renewed to even bring it to the floor for a debate and refused to offer any substitute. they did nothing -- nothing -- despite our broken immigration system. in the face of this, the president was left with no choice. for the good of the american people, he used the authority given to him as president to try to make some reforms to our immigration system. the center for american progress has studied what the president
proposed and they say over the next ten years if these two programs, daca and di and dapa e passed, the gross domestic product in my home state of illinois would crows by $15 billion and earnings of illinois residents by almost $8 billion. could your state use that, more economic activity, more people paying taxes to the federal government and to your state? virtually every state could use that. it's unfortunate that these bills have been blocked by the senate and now they're troughing to block them in the supreme court -- they're trying to block them in the supreme court. i'm going to close here -- i see senator cornyn is on the floor here -- by tell ago story on the floor about another dreamer. i've done this quite a few times. my staff has done a lot of work on it. i thank them all for it. these stories really say a lot more than i ever could in a speech. they tell you what was at stake before the supreme court of the united states this morning.
this attractive young woman is vashdi lamadrid. her family to the united states from mexico. she was 5-year-old. they came here with nothing. they moved into a home with four other families, so a lot of the kids slept in the same room. despite their poverty, v ashdi felt safe and excelled in school. math was her best subject. she had nearly perfect scores on standardized tests. english was tough, but then she discovered a series of books called "goose bumps." if i've got kids or grandkids, i belt you've heard of that one. by middle school she was placed in the program. she was a student in the engineering pathway at boy
science high school where she received a young entrepreneur's award. made the principal's list every summer and played tennis. she worked with groups such as girls for change, ha who is spil of the valley. she also helped younger kids by tiew terring them. she went on to attend arizona state university. because sheas a undocumented, she didn't qualify for a pen chiefer government assistance. and she had to pay out-of-state tuition despite the fact she lived her entire life in the united states in arizona. then something extraordinary happened. counting on the generosity of the american people -- listen -- v ashzi decided to crowdfund her college education. she shared her life story on line and asked people to help her pay her tuition.
it worked. she's currently in her second year in college. the first semester she made the dean's list with a 3.79 gpa. thanks to daca, the presidential executive order that helped teresa earlier, she's able to support herself. but she's also made time to volunteer for a club. she volunteers with the arizona immigration refugee service as an english teacher. she's decided she wants to become a science teacher. can we use more science teachers? america? you bet. here's what she said in a letter that she wrote. "daca signifies to me a chance to show that i belong here, that inside i am american. it helps an opportunity sthoa that my parents sacrifice was worth it. i love this country. i want to one day become a citizen and continue to give back to my community. i don't need that journey to
become a citizen to be easily given to me, but i would hope that the journey is fair." vsshdi and other dreamers have so much they can give to america. i don't understand the republican party when it comes to the issue of immigration. we are a nation of immigrants. my mother was an immigrant. i am a first-generation american and proud of it. it is my honor to serve and represent a great state like illinois. i know what her early life was like as she struggled to make sure there was food on the table first for her mom and sister and brother and then ultimately for her own family. that is a story -- that's my family's story, but is a story that's reaped over and overed and over again. there is something in the d.n.a. of immigrants who are willing to risk everything to go a country where they don't even speak the language bases they know they'll have an opportunity here partisan a they bring something with them. that's why they light up the score board in silicon valley
with all of these new inventions and corporations with thousands of employees that make us an economic success in many fields. and that's why we should think twice about those who condemn immigrants in this nation of immigrants. i'm confident the supreme court will uphold the president's immigration actions ans then i hope after they've done this that the republicans in congress will finally decide to return to the table and work on a bipartisan basis for comprehensive immigration reform. mr. president, i yield the floor. mr. cornyn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i'm always impressed with the distinguished democratic whip and his eloquence.
but he's telling the american people that we have to choose between being a nation of immigrants or nation of laws, and the fact is, we don't have to make that choice. we can be both. but we can't do it when you have a president who simply believes he can do an end-run around the united states constitution. and in fact according to pew, about 3.5 million people could claim the benefits of the president's unlawful executive action, receiving work permits, drivers' licences, social security numbers. and while we are a compassionate country and we are a nation of immigrants, that is not the kind of decision that the constitution gives to a single political actor, even if he is the president of the united states. so there is a right way and a wrong way, and i realize the
distinguished democratic whip believes that just because they can't get what they want when they want it that the president can then resort to this end-run, but that's not the view, thankfully, of the courts. the u.s. federal district court in brownsville, texas, issued an injunction against the president's executive action. the fifth circuit court of appeals affirmed that injunction, and now the supreme court of the united states has heard arguments in the case this afternoon. this is really more than just about immigration. this is whether under the doctrine of separation of powers, under the constitution that we've lived under for these many years gives the president unilateral authority without the approval of congress, the elected representatives of the
people and in flagrant disregard for the laws that are already on the books. the heart of the case that the court heard today is about stopping a president who said, i have a pen and i have a phone. and even though the american people have given republicans a majority in both houses, and obviously forced the president to deal with a republican conference, to come up with consensus legislation, the president said forget that. i'm not about trying to achieve bipartisan consensus on anything. if i don't get what i want, i'm going to jam it through the system and hope that the courts don't stop me. so it is not just about immigration. it is about, it is about the constitution itself.
there is a, i guess it was perhaps 22 different times by my count, the president of the united states acknowledged he didn't even have this authority. i remember at a speech he gave to la raza, an interview he gave on univision, the president denied he had the authority which now miraculously our democratic friends think is clear-cut under the law. how can that be? it cannot be. well, i remember specifically being at a meeting where the president invited the leadership of both the house and senate over to the white house after the 2014 election. and you'll recall leading up to that point there had been a lot of rumors that the president was going to issue his executive action, but he had not done so. and i remember specifically sitting there in the white house with some of my colleagues from
the house and senate where then speaker boehner asked the president, "please, mr. president, don't do this. don't poison the well. don't make it impossible by such a polarizing action to keep us from trying to build consensus on the building blocks of immigration reform where we could actually agree." i remember majority leader mccarthy making the same comment. i joined in and reiterated the same point. and the president, defiant, told us he was going to go ahead and do it. you know, there's a lot of conversations that people are having today across the united states. i had some of those earlier today on some visits i was making with people who were just wondering how do you explain the political environment in america today. what i tell them is this seems unprecedented in my experience.
people are so angry. people are so scared. people are frightened and worried about the next generation. and for the first time in my memory, parents are doubting whether their children will enjoy the same sort of freedom and prosperity that we enjoy today. that's a tragedy. my parents were part of the greatest generation. my dad was a b-17 pilot in the army air corps, even before the air force came into being. on his 26th bombing mission over nazi germany while flying in the air force over molsworth, england he was shot down and captured as a prisoner of war for four months during the tail end of the wash. even though he was injured in his parachute jump, not seriously it turned out although he had some disability
associated with that later in life he survived an appendectomy when he had appendicitis in a p.o.w. camp. it's amazing. i always thought my dad had nine lives even though he passed away at a young age of 67, he survived countless occasions when surely he would have lost his life, including those occasions. a jump out of a burning b-17 over germany and an appendectomy in a p.o.w. camp at the hands of a fellow prisoner of war. but the reason why my parents and all of our parents sacrifice so much and risk so much and work so hard is because they believed in the promise of america, the promise that only exists when the law is respected, when people in high office are bound and obligated and held accountable by the same
laws that govern the most humble among us. that is what america is all about, and one where people if they work hard and they play by the rules, they can achieve, well, they can achieve their dreams. i think that's the reason why america seems so polarized today, where people have sort of jumped outside the usual paradigm of political calculation, where you're a liberal or you're a conservative or you're somewhere in the middle. people have sort of jumped that track, and we're seeing something entirely different on the left and on the right. and i think it's the reason why it is in part because of a president who believes he is not bound by the constitution and laws of the united states. and people are frightened, and they realize that because of the last seven years with a
president who after he was stopped legislatively, the president was stobd -- stopped by an electorate p giving him a republican house and the senate, this president would not be stopped. and this executive order is exhibit 1 because he said i don't care what the voters think. i don't care what the american people think. i don't care what the constitution says. i don't care what congress says should be the law of the land. i'm going to do it the way i want to do it. and frankly, that is scary stuff when you talk about the commander in chief, the leader of the free world and the sort of power that goes along with
that. so rather than heed the warning, or i would really call it the plea of leaders in the house and senate after the 2014 election, the president decided to go around congress and try to essentially change the law, giving work permits to people who are illegally present in the country, giving them drivers license, even giving them social security numbers for an estimated 3.5 million people. how can the president do this when congress is deadlocked? well, he did it, and that's the question that the supreme court is going to have to decide. the president at the time called it a middle ground approach. he's a master of rhetoric, but the problem is the facts belie his words. and the fact of the matter, this was a constitutional scorched earth tactic.
and more than anything else, eroded public confidence in congress working with the white house's ability to get anything constructive done in the immigration area. the presiding officer, of course, is from the great state of oklahoma and went to school in texas. and you'll understand what i understand, is that we have a large hispanic population in texas, about 38%. but we are a very diverse state. many people are surprised when i tell them the third-most commonly spoken language in texas today is vietnamese. can you believe that. we also have a large indian american population. but we are a very diverse state. and the main reason for that is because we still represent that land of opportunity that america
used to be, where people can come, work hard, even of modest means, maybe with little on their back and nothing in their pocket. but they can actually work hard and achieve something and live the american dream. so i resent, i really do resent the distinguished senator from illinois trying to tell us that the president was only trying to do something that was good for texas. he doesn't have a clue. in fact, if we were to follow the policies, the policy choices of the leadership in texas, the country would be a heck of a lot better off when it comes to taking advantage of our energy resources, when it comes to taxes, reasonable regulation, and a willingness to try to accommodate those who invest capital and create jobs. you know, to me, that's the single-biggest difference between where i live in texas
and what i see here across our country and what's coming out of washington, d.c. it seems to be an attitude here in washington, how many more obstacles, how many larger impediments can we place in the way of those who invest the capital and those who are creating the jobs and still expect the american dream to be alive? hand believe me, we've tested it. the obama administration has tested it and what it's produced is disaster. it's produced a health care system that rather than making health care more affordable, it's made it more expensive. caused people who liked their coverage to have to give up their coverage only to buy something that had a deductible that has in essence made them self-insured. it's created stagnant wages.
it's created stagnant economic growth. there's not a lot of problems we have in this country that couldn't be mitigated, made better if we just saw our economy growing again instead of the sort of anemic and flat-line growth that we've seen since 2008. my predecessor in the senate, senator phil gramm has a ph.d. in economics at texas a&m university, and he's made the point historically, what you see after a recession like we saw following the fiscal crisis in 2008 is a v-shape recovery. in other words, you hit the bottom and you bounce up, and you grow quickly because basically you've worked the problems out of the system. but what we've seen since 2008 is a u-shaped recovery, if you could even call it that. pretty close to flat, where the economy is growing at less than 2% -- not fast enough to keep
people fully employed. and we still have, although the unemployment rate has dropped down, you still have the smallest percentage of people participating in the workforce than we've had in the last 30 years. so many people have simply given up, retired early or made other arrangements. so, this is a serious, serious matter. the court is going to, heard the arguments today. we know there are eight members of the supreme court currently. i heard the distinguished democratic whip complain about the fact that we've decided to allow the voters to choose the president in november who will make that choice to fill the scalia vacancy. well, the fact of the matter, it's just simply too important to allow president obama, given his penchant for lawlessness and usurpation of his constitutional
authority, it's too important to give him the chance to stack the supreme court in favor of a court that would likely rubber stamp his actions for the next -- and future presidents for the next 25 years. and the hypocrisy is rich listening to our democratic colleagues. these are the folks who invented the judicial filibuster. they invented the judicial filibuster. they did that when president george w. bush was president. it used to be people like clarence thomas, as controversial as his nomination was, i believe he was confirmed with 52 votes. not 60 votes, but 52, because nobody dreamed back then that the senate rules would allow the minority party to insist on 60 votes to confirm a president's appointee. and we know that after the
election where the democratic majority lost that majority, that in a lame-duck session, they jammed a number of appointees to the d.c. circuit court of appeals, and in an effort to pack that court to match the ideological picture that they wanted. again, the second-most important court in the nation, they believe would be more inclined now to rubber stamp the overreaching by the obama administration. and then we're all familiar with the biden speech in 1992, when as chairman of the senate judiciary committee, he suggested that it would be perhaps inappropriate to confirm a presidential nominee in the waning days of that president's terms. we saw the harry reid speech in 2005 where he said that it is the president's prerogative to appoint but the senate's not
obligated to grant consent to that nomination. actually, i agree with senator reid back then but not today when he's taken an exactly opposite approach. and then there's senator schumer, the heir apparent to the democratic leadership in the senate who said in 2007, 18 months before george w. bush left office, he said, i think there ought to be a presumption against confirmation. so to listen to my democratic colleagues complain about the decision we've made to let the voters vote for the president who's going to fill that vacancy and to watch them, well, it looks like crocodile tears to me and it smells like hypocrisy. well, the supreme court of the united states as we said heard argument das in this case
brought by the state of texas and other states who are -- who otherwise would be compelled to grant work permit, issue driver's licenses and social security numbers to people who are illegally present in the united states who did not comply with our laws. i am confident the court will find that the states have suffered real harm from the standpoint of the constitutional notion of standing, in other words, you have to have standing before you can sue but basically that means you have to show some real or potential harm if the court doesn't act. so i'm confident the court will find standing, but either the court will do one of two things. either the court will affirm by being split 4-4 or the court could right all eight justices in favor of the fifth circuit decision to let the injunction stand, or if the court deems that this issue needs to be held
over until the court has all nine members after the first of the year, that's a decision the court can make. but this is a very, very important issue, and i'm glad the court is taking it up because we need to know. we need to know whether we remain a nation of laws as well as a nation of immigrants. the whole idea that our democratic colleagues have foisted on us that somehow we have to choose between those two is a false choice. it's a false choice. we are both. we aren't one or the other. america's always been made better by people who have risked coming to the united states because they weren't satisfied with what they had with where they live. but today we begin rewarding people who do this in disregard of the law is the day we begin
no longer to be a nation of la laws, and that is a legacy and a treasure that we should not squander. madam president, i yield the floor. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. a senator: thank you, madam president. i rise today to discuss an issue of importance for nebraskaians and americans all across this country. mrs. fischer: and that is the need for comprehensive tax reform. it's no secret that the current tax code is overly complex and it's outdated. any american can tell you how frustrating it is to file that tax return. our tax code is riddled with deductions, exemptions, credit, exclusion, preferences, and loopholes that make it nearly impossible for anyone without a
degree in tax law to understand. at the same time we should recognize that some progress has been made. thanks to the work of chairman hatch and members of the senate finance committee, many important updates to the tax code were made permanent at the end of last year. in particular, increasing the deduction limit and making permanent section 179 of the tax code was an important step. this section allows small businesses to deduct from their taxes certain depreciable business assets. my constituents told me annual uncertainty about whether section 179 would be renewed made it very difficult for them to plan, to invest, and to grow their businesses. so making this provision
permanent, it reduced the ambiguity that had plagued nebraska's small business owners and operators. although we've made some progress in reforming the tax code, there is more work to do for the american people. i believe tax reform should focus on several principles, including competitiveness, simplicity, and economic growth. at nearly 40%, the united states has the highest combined corporate tax rate in the developed world. this is stiflingob growth. it's hurting families. and it's compelling businesses to move overseas. any comprehensive plans should seek to lower this rate to a competitive level, one that will not only encourage current businesses to stay but also
incentivize new businesses to set up shop. another goal of comprehensive tax reform should be to simplify the tax code. families and businesses spend billions of hours every year in completing their taxes. a disproportionate share of this burden is shouldered by many small businesses. many of these are family businesses, and they just don't have the resources to easily comply. creating a tax system that is simple and efficient will reduce administrative and compliance costs. a simple tax system will also increase trarns parent si, allowing americans to -- transparency, allowing americans to fill out their taxes accurately while preventing fraud and loss revenue. and perhaps most importantly,
any plan to reform the tax code, well, it must spur economic growth. inaction on reforming the tax code is delaying needed growth in g.d.p., in jobs, and investment. when i was first elected to the senate, i thought my colleagues and i would immediately take up two issues to restart our economy, to grow jobs, and to help all american families. tax reform and reducing the overburdened of government regulations. after all, it's pretty obvious that these two issues we can reform that would have a positive impact on our economy. we see regulations become ever more burdensome and they continue to depress our economy,
stifle innovation, and it hurts our families. and major tax reform has not happened. we continue to chip away but i believe now is the time that we step up, we be bolder, we make the necessary reforms to our tax system to give americans confidence in our future. we need to help put more money back in the pockets of hard-working americans and allow them to spend money on the good tion and -- on the goods and services that they choose, that they need. it's my hope that my colleagues will join me in continuing this discussion and that this dialogue then will eventually result in action, in comprehensive tax reform that truly benefits nebraskaians and
mr. wyden: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: i ask unanimous consent to vacate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: over the last few decades, china has used market-distorting subsidies and industrial policies to repeatedly drop up -- prop up their own industries and rip off american jobs: steel, tires, solar panels.
the story plays out again and again and again. too often china's economy is not run by the markets. it's run by government committee. so even though its own state council has called out the problem of severe excess capacities, china clings to the same, old tired and destructive policies. and today i want to address what's happening now with china's huge overcapacity of aluminum. the amount of aluminum chinese smelters are churning out has gone up by more than 1,200 nuclear a decade and a half -- in a decade and a half. in 2000, they produced 2.5 million metric tons. in 2015, china produced 32 million metric tons. when you create a glut of
aluminum production the way china has, you send the markets into turmoil, and you do enormous harm to american workers. i spoke last week at a public hearing held by the u.s. trade representative in the international trade commission about how the overproduction of steel in china is an urgent, an immediate threat to steel jobs here in our country. while china's steel mills are churning out more steel than ever, america's steel towns are suffering or worse. thousands o jobs nationwide have been lost just in the last year, even though one-third of all steel produced today has no buyer, china just keeps adding and adding and adding to that glut by producing more steel. the same story is played out in
the case of primary aluminum. there's a huge overcapacity in china that once again is driven by market-distorting government policies, and it has unleashed a chain of events that can end an in economic devastation across this country. already global aluminum produce have plummeted, undercutting our american companies. between the start of 2011 and this upcoming june, the lights will have gone out -- out -- at nearly two-thirds of the aluminum smelters in the united states. more than 6,500 jobs, good american jobs, will have been lost. and you can bet that sooner or later the damage will ripple downstream through the entire aluminum industry which employs nearly three-quarters of a million americans either
directly or indirectly. in my judgment, madam president, the united states is badly in need of a safeguard against this economic tidal wave. that's why i have chosen to stand with my friend, leo girard, president of the united steel workers. the steel workers today filed a petition for relief under section 201 of the trade act of 1974. without an immediate economic board, the united states is in danger of losing thousands of good family-wage jobs across our country. it's my view that the administration should act in this case as soon as possible to defend our workers and our businesses from economic ruin. the united states and our trading partners must ramp up the pressure on china to stop
overproduction, and our trade enforcers have to take on the trade cheats using every single trade tool in the toolbox, including the enforce act, the leveling the playing field act and the other measures my colleagues and i on the finance committee fought to get signed into law over the last year. madam president, i firmly believe workers in oregon and across this country can compete with anybody in the world, but the united states cannot afford to sit idly by and watch china's destructive policies cause our aluminum industry to be wiped out. as the steel workers have pointed out repeatedly, enough is enough. leo girard and those steel workers are standing up and fighting back. and, madam president, i am
thune madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: madam president, in a few moment tion we're going to be voting on ending debate on h.r. 636 that will allow us to proceed to a vote for the bipartisan federal aviation administration reauthorization act of 2016. i want to urge my colleagues to support that motion to end debate. the legislation that we're considering is not just any
f.a.a. reauthorization. this bill is the most pro-passenger and pro-security f.a.a. reauthorization in recent history. travelers are frustrated, and this bill contains common sense reforms to make travel safe and secure and more passenger friendly. for over two weeks on the senate floor now and before that on the commerce committee where i serve as chairman, we've been working hard to thoughtfully develop this bill to allow and to allow i should say for robust debate. for instance, there are drone safety provisions in the bill, including a pilot program to deploy technology to intercept drones near airports. these are obviously intended, these provisions, to prevent accidents like the one that happened outside the he throw airport -- heathrow airport this weekend where a drone hit an approaching plane. we developed this provision and others in the bill through an open process that allowed every
member of the committee to contribute and help write the bill. last year we held six hearings on topics that helped inform our bill, and at the committee markup last month alone, we accepted 57 amendments, 34 of which were sponsored by democrats, 23 by republicans. on the senate floor when it was reported out and taken up here, we've added 19 amendments, 10 from democrats and 9 from republican senators. the resulting bill is one we can be proud of, and both sides of the aisle have commended us for our inclusive process. when there have been differences we've been able to find ways to address or set those aside for later so that the progress on the legislation could move forward. even at this late hour, we have worked constructively to assemble a possible manager's package of more than two dozen additional amendments that we would like to adopt by voice vote prior to final passage.
yet even if that is not possible, i commit to those senators whose amendments we stand prepared to accept that i will work to address your concerns as we engage with our colleagues in the house of representatives. madam president, now it's time to conclude our work on the bipartisan f.a.a. bill that i introduced along ways back along with my friend and ranking member senator bill nelson and our aviation subcommittee leaders, senators kelly ayotte and maria cantwell. the bill includes reforms benefiting the traveling public, and we shouldn't let them down. let's vote yes on the motion to end debate and start moving these historic reforms forward. madam president, as i mentioned we have -- i have a list here of 26 amendments that we would like to clear, amendments offered by both sides. it's a package that we could
adopt. we've got a couple of objections to doing that. if the members who are -- have put forward those objections would be willing to release those objections, we'd be able to get another 26 amendments adopted, many of which have been offered by colleagues, as i said, on both sides and many of which contain measures that i think will make the bill even stronger, and make it a product that we can all be proud of as it moves over to the house of representatives where i hope it will receive consideration and action and ultimately end up on the president's desk. the f.a.a. bill is something we have to do on a fairly routine basis around here. this authorization will extend for about 18 months, about there are a number of important considerations -- but there are a number of important considerations, things that need to be addressed that this bill not only acknowledges but does address. and as i mentioned having to do with drone safety, which is an increasingly important issue in our economy, and one where we
need to make sure we've got the right rules of the air, if you will, in place so that we preserve and ensure that safety is the number one factor as we continue to see the increased, i think, research development, deployment of drone technologies in ways that have tremendous commercial application. as i said it also includes a lot of passenger protections, very consumer friendly in terms of passengers who travel a a -- on a regular basis with the airlines. those are things as well that we need to address in this legislation, and we enhanced the bill by amendment when it came to the floor with a couple of safety provisions that we think are critically important, particularly in light of what's happened of late with the attack in brussels and a number of other attacks that we've seen where we've had aviation insiders involved, if you will, particularly the metro jet airliner that crashed not that long ago and killed 224 people.
so there are a number of safety provisions that help address some of those concerns. as i said, we expand, too, the t.s.a. precheck program to limit the number of people that are in areas outside secure areas, outside the perimeter, so to speak, where they're more vulnerable to these types of attacks and those are things that are included in this legislation. from an aviation security standpoint, the most comprehensive security measures that we will have adopted in nearly a decade, and as i said before, from a passenger friendly standpoint, according to a columnist at "the washington post," one of the most passenger-friendly f.a.a. reauthorization bills that we've seen literally in a generation. so these are reasons why this bill needs to move forward. i would hope that my colleagues in the senate when the vote comes here in a few minutes will cast a vote in support of ending debate and allow us to move forward to a vote on final
passage which will enable this legislation to move forward to the house of representatives, and i hope ultimately to the president where he can sign it into law and put many of these pieces of legislation or these provisions, i should say, of legislation in place. it would be good for our country. madam president, i yield the floor. madam president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i ask that the calling of the quorum be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i have one unanimous consent request for a committee to meet during today's session of the senate. it's been approved by the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that this request be agreed to and that the requests be printed in
the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: today i want to pay tribute to sarah root, a young woman from iowa who just graduated from college with perfect grades. she was devoted to her family and friends, and had a bright future, but she was taken from this world too soon. this is a picture of sarah. i want to expriest my sympathies to sarah's parents -- express my sympathies to sarah's parents and acknowledge michele root, sarah's mother who is watching us today. she will be testifying tomorrow before the house committee on the judiciary at a hearing that's titled -- quote -- "the real victims of a reckless and lawless immigration policy, families and survivors speaking out on the real cost of this administration's policies. " the hearing will focus on how
the obama administration's failed immigration policies allow thousands of criminal aliens to roam free. michele root will share her personal story about the loss of her daughter and how someone in the country illegally was able to walk free and abscond from authorities after fatally hitting her daughter's vehicle on graduation night. sarah was 21 years old and had just graduated from belleview university with an interest in pursuing a career in criminal justice. in the word the of her family -- quote -- "she was full of life and ready to take on the world." according to a close friend of hers, sarah was smart, outgoing and dedicated to her friends and
family. she embodied the words tattooed live, laugh, love. the day sarah graduated she was struck by a drunk driver, a driver in this country illegal illegally. the alleged drunk driver was edwin mahaya who had a blood alcohol content of more than three times the legal limit. the driver was charged with felony motor vehicle homicide and operating a vehicle while intoxicated on february 3. bail was set at d 50,000, but he was only required to put up 10%. so, as you can see, for more than a mere $5,000, the drunk driver walked out of jail and into the shadows. this case has shed light on the
breakdown between the federal government and state and locals. it has also been a terrible example of why the president's policies just don't work. and how they are havin having ae effect on american families like the root family. under president obama's priority enforcement program, a person in the country illegally will only be detained or removed in a few limited circumstances. the administration hides behind the so-called priorities to ensure that a vast majority of people in the country are not real estate moved. some say that nearly 90,000 undocumented immigrant criminals were released in 2015 because of this policy. the administration's policy
results in tragedies like sarah's. a smart, young lady who had a bright future was struck down by a drunk driver, who entered the country illegally and was turned over to a brother who was also in the country illegally while awaiting his immigration court date. after the accident, local law enforcement apparently asked the federal government specifically -- specifically the u.s. custom and immigration enforcement -- to take custody of the driver. but the federal government declined. i.c.e. refused to place a detainer on him. and i.c.e. spokesman stated that the agency did not lodge a detainer on the man because his arrest for felony motor vehicle
homicide -- quote -- "did not meet i.c.e.'s enforcement priorities." the driver made bond and absconded, never showing up for his hearing and required drug tests. it is difficult for a family like the roots to have closure when the man is nowhere to be found. it's unknown if he's still in the united states or if he fled to his home country of honduras. sarah root is one of many victims who have been harmed or killed because of lax immigration enforcement and the notion that drunk driving isn't always a public safety threat. even though this tragic accident happened in the heartland of america, this is in fact a border security problem.
the driver of the vehicle that killed sarah entered our country illegally. every day people are illegally entering the country, being removed, entering again, and committing more crimes. illegal reentries are happening because there seems to be no consequences. and, of course, this is a repeat of something we learned almost a year ago. this is what happened to kate steinle's death on july 1 last year. that's why we need to move on legislation called kate's law. that bill would deter people from illegally reentering by enhancing penalties and establishing new mandatory minimum sentences for certain individuals with previous felony consequences -- convictions.
the obama administration cannot continue to turn a blind eye to drunk drivers, sanctuary communities, and people who ignore our laws, overstay their visas, or cross the border time and again. i'm still waiting for answers from the obama administration on this specific case but also many other cases. there are many unanswered questions. how many more people have to die? how many more women and young people are going to be taken from their family and friends? things have got to change. the president must rethink his policies and must find a way to ensure that criminal immigrants are taken off the street. the obama administration should try enforcing the laws instead of the priorities that are the present policies that i've
talked about before, and this must all be done for the sake of the protection of the american people. so i want to wish michelle root the best of luck while she is in washington this week and send my thoughts to her father, who are trying to find justice back home. i yield. mrs. ernst: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mrs. ernst: mr. president, i rise today to echo the sentiment shared by our senior senator from iowa, chuck grassley. tomorrow morning one of my constituents, michelle root, will be testifying before the house judiciary committee about the loss of her beautiful young
daughter, sarah root. as a mother to three daughters myself, i cannot begin to fathom the pain and anguish ms. root is experiencing. earlier this year 21-year-old sarah root was killed by a drunk driver. that driver, eswin mejia, was allegedly drag racing with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit when he crashed into the back of sarah's vehicle. eswin mejia is also an illegal immigrant. after causing the death of an american citizen and being charged with motor vehicle homicide, one would think he would clearly meet u.s. immigration and customs enforcement's so-called enforcement priorities, but, no
... no. citing the administration's november 2014 memo on immigration enforcement priorities, i.c.e. declined to lodge a detainer and take custody of mejia. during a recent homeland security and governmental affairs committee hearing, i.c.e. director saraha saldana actually suggested that i.c.e. neglected to issue a detainer because at the time they were contacted, sarah root was seriously injured, not dead. how twisted and convoluted has our immigration system become that an illegal immigrant, who while driving drunk and drag racing hits and either sea seriy injured or kills an american citizen is not considered a priority for deportation?
in fact, only after a floor speech, multiple letters, and hearing questions from senators from nebraska and iowa, as well as media attention and concerns raised by the root family did i.c.e. fine lily acknowledge that -- finally acknowledge that they should have taken mejia into custody t should not take all of these actions for i.c.e. to determine that an illegal immigrant who kills an american citizen should be removed from our country. tragically, after i.c.e. declined to file a detainer against mejia, he posted a $5 $5,000 bond, was released, and has since disappeared. this despite the fact that he had a history of skipping court dates related to prior driving offenses. a few weeks ago, i spoke with
sarah's dad, who told me that before they could even lay their daughter to rest, mejia was released. this is truly an injustice and we must do everything we can to ensure that we get answers in this case and prevent a similar tragedy from being replicated elsewhere. while america has been and always will be a nation of immigrants, we are also a nation of laws. it is a privilege to live in this country, and anyone who comes here illegally and harms our citizens should, without question, constitute a priority for removal. for i.c.e. to decide otherwise is baffling. in recognition of their clear mistake, they have since listed mejia on their "most wanted
list" and acknowledged they should have taken him into custody. the photograph of sarah behind me was taken as she celebrated her graduation from bellevue university with a 4.00 g.p.a. and a bachelor's degree in criminal investigations and prepared to begin a bright future. the next day she was killed. while nothing can bring sarah back, her family and friends deserve clear answers as to why mejia was allowed to flee. this tragedy further underscores the administration's failed immigration enforcement priorities and should serve to spur renewed discussion about their so-called priorities. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president?
the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: thank you, mr. president. there's a lot of people in this country who work very, very hard, ar. we're known as a country of people who work hard. montanans are no exception. we have some of the hardest-working folks i know that live in that great state. whether phs it is a farmer planting a spring crop or a fisher preparing for the under-coming tourist season, my constituents know what a long day's work looks like. many of citizens units work two -- many of my citizens work two jobs. these folks don't wake up and say, you know, i think i'll take this year off and just sit it out. that's why it's no surprise that when i went home for the march recess, montanans were overwhelmingly disgusted with the majority's decision to refuse to do their job. constituents after constituent
asked me, what the heck we were doing up here. local editorial boards even chimed? , my state's largest newspaper torte majority to sled, "those are potentially sabotaging the system making it work worse." the standard accused senators of shirking their constitutional responsibilities and denounced their tactics as a pretty shoddy way to do business. if it wasn't enough, the bozeman daily chronicle described the crusade as nothing but another example of the kind of playground level obstruction that has soured some americans on congress and contributed to the divisive meltdown for the race for g.o.p. nomination for president. now here we are. it has been 33 days since judge garland was nominated for the supreme court.
33 days and counting. yet there are no hearings in sight, no chance for the american people to have their voices heard through their elected representatives, no chance to ask tough questions of the nominee. this week we will hear the majority leader talk about regular order with respect to appropriations bills. but if regular order is good enough for appropriations bills, it is good enough for a supreme court nomination. the bottom line is this: the american people are as frustrated as i am. they are fed up with the obstructionism, and they want congress to do its job. so let's have a hearing in the senate judiciary committee and then let's have a vote in the senate. as "the montana standard" says, "anything less than that is a
f.a.a. bill. we've had a lot of debate about this. it passed with very little objection in the commerce committee. we have a package of 26 amendments, all of which have been cleared. we hope that that can go as a separate amendment, almost like a managers' package. and they are all noncontroversial. so i'm quite encouraged that we're making a number of reforms in the f.a.a. that i have spoken at length, that the chairman of the committee, john thune, has spoken at length about. it's a good bill. its previous passage on a motion for cloture was something like 94-4. so you see where we're going. then we'll get into conference
with the house, although it's my understanding they haven't passed their bill. they passed it out of committee, but they've got some controversial things. hopefully they'll get it out and we'll be able to come to terms and get this reauthorization of the f.a.a. which we had to extend a short-term reauthorization because the clock is ticking. so i just wanted to share that with the senate. now, i want to, since we've got some time and no senator is seeking recognition, i want to tell you about a creature that we have in florida. now, we have lots of interesting creatures. there are things that come in that are alien species, like the burmese python that they
estimate, the superintendent of everglades national park has estimated it might be as many as 150,000. they got one 15-foot female, and she had 54 eggs in it. so you see how prolific they are. and you can't find them. the only way you can really find them is if there is a cold snap, because they'll come out of the water, out of the river of grass where they are so exquisitely camouflaged. in a cold snap, they'll come out of the water up on to the tree islands. and of course you've seen some of those monsters. 18-footers. well, they had another critter that we have, because in florida we do have alligators. lo and behold, you may have seen this alligator.
this gentleman was 800 pounds, 15 feet long. he had been in a lake that was created in a cattle pasture, and he had been eating cows. so he had plenty of food. well, this gentleman, of course, it's a critter that is native to florida. it's the crocodile that's imported. you can tell the difference between an alligator and a crocodile because the alligator has a rounded snout. the crocodile has a pointed one. all of this is to tell you that we have another critter that is the most lovable critter, and we have had them on the endangered list. and this is the animal called the manatee. some people call it a sea cow.
and it is these adorable creatures that breathe air but live in the water. they have little flippers and a big body. and of course they have these lovable faces. and they have been endangered primarily because of boat propellers cutting them up, and so we've had a serious effort at reducing the speeds of boats in manatee areas to a slow idle to protect them. they also get bothered by cold water when there's a cold snap, and they will migrate to warmer water. pollution is another cause of the manatee has been endangered.
there has been a come-back back around 20 years ago there were only 1,200 of them in the world. that population has grown upwards to 6,000. and here's the point. the u.s. fish and wildlife wants to take them off the endangered list and put them on a lesser category. and those of us who want to protect this critter do not want them to come off of the endangered list. if i'd have thought enough in advance, i would have brought a picture of a manatee. these are the most lovable critters. you can get in the water, you can swim with them. you can feed them. and when you feed them a pellet, a food pellet, they nibble like
a horse nibbles sugar out of your hand. all of this under water. they're the most adorable critters. they love to be rubbed on their tummies. they love fresh water in a brackish system where you can take a fresh-water hose and they'll come up and just drink the water and then they'll roll over so you can spray them underneath their flippers. thank goodness they've rebounded, but there's a lot more to rebound. and so, mr. president, i wanted to share that. our crusade, our efforts to try to keep the manatee on the endangered list to protect them. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, amendment numbers 3680 and 3679 as amended
are agreed to. the clerk will report the motion though invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion we the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the stranding rules of the senate do hereby move to bring to a close debate on calendar number 155, h.r. 636, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to permanently extend increased expensing limitations and for other purposes. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on h.r. 636 as amended, an act to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to permanently extend increased spending limitations and for other purposes shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule.
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono: mr. president, today the supreme court heard oral arguments in u.s. vs. texas. this case is a challenge to president obama's executive actions to prioritize u.s. immigration and enforcement. in 2012 the president used his legal authority to establish the deferred action for childhood arrives or daca program. daca has given nearly 700,000 undocumented young people the opportunity to come out of the shadows to pursue their dreams through education and jobs. in 2014, again, acting within existing legal authority, the president announced an expansion of the successful daca program. he also created a new deferred
action for parents of americans and lawful permanent residents, or dapa program. dapa allows the undocumented prarpbts -- parents of u.s. born and legal permanent resident children to stay in this country with their families. together they expanded daca and dapa were expected to enable nearly five million people to come out of the shadows without fear of deportation. unfortunately, texas and 25 other states challenged the president's authority to issue these executive orders, resulting in the supreme court hearing today. hundreds of dreamers, muslim students and activists from california, new york, new jersey and elsewhere rallied on the supreme court steps this morning. i spoke with them and heard their stories and their hopes that the supreme court would make the right decision in
support of the president and millions of daca and dapa families. many carried signs and stickers that read -- quote -- "keep families together." unquote. keeping families together is at the crux of the president's executive orders. families like that of gabrielle androtti who fled violence in brazil before settling in hawaii. while her parents were granted visas through a lottery system, gabrielle fell through the cracks. until president obama announced the daca program, she lived in fear of being separated from her entire family. she said -- quote -- "daca pulled me out of limbo and gave me a life again. it allowed me to go back to school to pursue a bachelor's degree in political science, to volunteer with several local organizations." end quote. today gabriellean advocate for
dreamers like herself. president obama's dapa and expanded daca programs would help thousands of families like gabrielle's who want to stay together and become contributing members of our communities without the daily fear of deportation. to tear undocumented parents away from their children and put these u.s.-born children in foster care is unconscionable. to deport people who were brought here when they were very young, to essentially tear them away from the united states, the only home and country they've known, is also unconscionable. these young people would be facing insurmountable odds, and i can certainly relate to some of the challenges that they face. when i was almost eight years old, my mother, brothers and i legally emigrated to the united states. when we first arrived in hawaii, we certainly struggled. i had to navigate the public school system without speaking a word of english. my mother worked low-paying jobs
with no job security, and we struggled to make ends meet. but betook strength in being together as a family -- we took strength in being together as a family. however, in addition to facing the kind of challenges my own family faced when we first arrived in this country, dapa and daca families live in fear of being ripped apart. these families have been living in limbo for over a year while the legal challenges work their way through the system and through the courts. in addition, u.s. vs. texas is also pushing dreamers who are eligible for the original daca program, which is not being challenged, further into the shadows. shen hi messia who is a dreamer told my office that daca-eligible people in hawaii stopped applying for daca. why? they're afraid that if the court
rules against president obama's executive actions, their application information will be used to deport them. this is a real fear in our communities. u.s. vs. texas not only affects the lives of the more than 7,000 daca and dapa eligible hawaii residents, it affects our economy. over ten years daca, dapa and expanded daca projected to provide a 276 million cumulative increase to hawaii's gross state product. the center for american progress also projects that over ten years dapa, daca and dapa expansion will provide $136 million increase in the combined earnings of hawaii's residents. however, in order to see these economic benefits, the justices of the supreme court must rule on the side of dreamers and the dapa families.
my hope is that the supreme court rules that the president is well within his legal authority in expanding daca and dapa and allows these executive actions to be implemented. i note, however, that executive actions as important as they are are not enough. the president himself has called on congress to fix our broken immigration system so that 11 million undocumented people in our country can come out of the shadows and live and work openly. it has been almost three years since the u.s. senate passed bipartisan immigration comprehensive immigration reform. i call upon congress to do our jobs and enact fair, humane, sensible immigration reform recognizing that we are indeed a country of immigrants. that fact is at the very root of
quorum call: mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that not withstanding rule 22 at noon on tuesday, april 19, the senate vote on passage of h.r. 636 as amended. further, that following the disposition of h.r. 636 as amended, the senate resume
consideration of s. 2012, the energy modernization act, as under the previous order. following disposition of s. 2012 as amended, if amended, but not prior to wednesday, april 20, the cloture motion with respect to the motion to proceed to h.r. 2028 be withdrawn and the senate proceed to consideration of h.r. 2028, the energy and water appropriations bill. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the appointment at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today it adjourn until 10:00 a.m., tuesday, april 19. following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour 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 for one hour with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. further following morning business, the senate then resume consideration of h.r. 636. finally that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the >> the senate today voted to limit debate and amendments. they are trying to carve the way to final passage so that senators can complete work on spending levels. live coverage when the senate goes back here on c-span2.
>> and coming up in about 20 minutes or so on c-span2, live coverage of donald trump from the campaign rally in buffalo, new york. until it does, we will bring you is much as we can have today's white house briefing. >> good afternoon, everybody. [laughter] >> so, any feedback on how arguments went this morning on the landmark immigration case. ask questions suggesting
concerts a small changes. >> well, i think those of you that covered the two supreme court cases consider the constitutionality of the presidents healthcare reform law and will remember how and why to try to draw conclusions. in fact, there were a number of legal pundits that emerged with some egg on their face after offering up some rather dire predictions about the administration's argument after watching the questioning only to see a favorable ruling in the end. at this point i will withhold any prognostication on the part of the administration and reiterate our continued competence in the power the legal argument
that the solicitor general presented to the court today. >> speak as to why the president signed off on 200 additional troops? and sending apache helicopters for the 1st time. a short-term increase. >> well, i canwell, i can tell you, secretary carter is traveling to the region today meeting with officials to discuss these enhancements to the campaign. inside iraq by the united states military. it is closely correlated with the iraqi government. obviously a rack is a sovereign nation. making decisions like retaking muzzle will be a decision made by the iraqi
government. support our partners as they implement aa political strategy but also as they carry out a military strategy to drive out of those areas that they have encroached. the president instructed his national security team to look for opportunities to reinforce those elements of our campaign that are showing progress, and the announcement the secretary carter made earlier today is consistent with that instruction from the president, and enhancements are consistent with recommendations the president received from his military advisers. >> could you confirm? >> you may have seen the 1st lady join the present
for part of his trip in the uk, but for more details i refer you to the 1st lady's office. >> on the oil producer talks , any concern that saudi arabia can embark on another epic? >> well, obviously the united states and our economists like -- pay close attention to fluctuations in the global oil market. we are aware of the kind of political efforts that are underway, some of the political efforts by oil producers to coordinate their activity and maximize the economic standing. we are aware of all that going on.
there certainly conscious of the fact that it has an impact. butbut i would not comment on any decision made by any individual countries with regard to their oil production activity to tell you that the administration has been focused on energy security. that is part of the strategy by the united states is producing significant quantities of oil and natural gas are domestically andin a way that does bring some important stability to our broader economy. it is also focused on a strategy that increases energy efficiency. also focus away that has
been good for the us in the short run and only expanded potential economic benefit in the decades ahead. >> they started opening the bath. the us is now producing only at 2009 levels. >> well, made by other countries. this is a nice respite. i have had answer questions from your colleagues and other organizations, ask whether or not the united states was concerned about the impact.
so i would not speculate. the tenor of this conversation certainly seems preferable. >> support on both sides. a lot of money. >> well, i will have information about what was planned. i would not second-guess any independent funding decisions. i can tell you that they continue to make a forceful case, that he should abide
by the commitments he made. i can tell you president obama had a conversation with president putin today on this exact issue. the smoke this morning, and we will have more robust readout. continues to make a forceful case. by doing so they can begin to relieve some of the isolation may have sustained >> mostly on crimea. >> and spend a lot of time focused on the situation in ukraine. while more details.
>> rated the issue of the blessing. >> i asked the specific question, and that did not come up in the call. destabilizing, and it is a source of some concern. but there not particularly unusual, and there is an already well-established channel for expressing our concerns about those kind of incidents from the us military attaché in moscow to the russian military counterpart. >> other incidents over the weekend with a russian aircraft intercepting a us reconnaissance plane.
>> an interview that the united states would be within his justification to have fired, the worship in the baltic. they represent the white house view? >> i did see those remarks. those kind of actions are provocative. it is certainly why we encourage the russians to not engage in his activities, abiding by generally accepted international norms,
particularly when operating in international waters or airspace. it is important. again, we have ample opportunity to express our concern about these kinds of provocative action to the russians. >> thanks. >> april. >> this phone conversation, how intense was the provocation? what components? >> ii don't know that i'm going to get into that much detail. i don't think i use the word intense. i think that distorts the meaning of what i am trying to convey. but i'm telling you is that there are important issues for the two leaders to
discuss. obviously but we are talking about the situation in syria it is rather serious. they're continues to be concerned about all the parties and obviously we have, for years now, encouraged president putin and the russian government to use the influence they have with the regime to compel them to act constructively. more recently that means the context of the cessation of hostilities. and that, abiding by that arrangement around the cessation of hostilities will be critical to our ability to move forward and bring about the kind of political transition inside of syria. president putin has publicly expressed his view for this
kind of political transition as critical to both russian and us interest in the country and in the broader region, and this is an opportunity where our interests overlap an opportunity for the president to once again make the case that he should use his influence to live up. unfortunately we unfortunately we have seen the cessation of hostilities continue to be fragile and increasingly threatened due to continued violations by the regime. this is the subject of what i think you can accurately describe as the conversation. >> resulted from this meeting. were they are an impasse? >> i would not describe it as an impasse.
it is not uncommon to have these kinds of conversations. >> leslie, going back to the nomination, i capitol hill the president did reach out to leaders of the congressional black caucus. the fact that a black person a black female was not nominated. actually reached out.out. could you talk about some of those calls? >> well, i'm not aware of any conversation like that that occurred recently. the president did address this at some length when he traveled to the university of chicago we can half ago. the president talked about his unparalleled record of
pointing people to the federal bench to ensure that that institution flex the diversity of the country. wewe have been through the statistics before about what the presence record looks like. appointed a hundred and 17 minority judges. nine african-american circuit court judges, as many as any other president. twenty-six african-american female judges ought 37 hispanic judges, all of those are totals that exceed any other president in american history. in this case the president made a decision that is consistent with the way that he made the decision in the past. when the president appointed justice soto mayor he picked the best person for the job, someone of unquestioned integrity, someone with
unquestioned legal credential, and somebody with a commitment to interpreting the law and not advancing a political agenda. the same criteria to choose elena kagan denominator in the same criteria to choose garland. that is why we will continue to urge the senate to fulfill the constitutional duty. we believe he should be treated accordingly. >> this administration, when it came to the potential nominees. and they submitted the request for african-american now, been torture last week, of the mind that if you had picked african-american woman, just like she did in 1993.
laid out and look at the landscape, that part of the equation, have gotten the same thing that you see from a clinton nominee. >> any previous presidential appointment that came to mind. fulfilling his constitutional responsibility command, and the president was convinced that the american people would be best served on the president choosing the very best person for the job which is exactly what he has done. the president joe somebody who is the chief judge on the 2nd highest court in the land. the chief judge has more experience on the bench than any other nominee in history that is why we have seen republicans described in the past as being a consensus nominee, in the last week we heard republican senator corker described him as an impressive guy.
you heard republican senator pat toomey from pennsylvania describe them as very, very smart and knowledgeable. last week senator flake described him as obviously a man of accomplishment. so many republicans have reached the same kind of conclusion of president obama had about the ability of chief judge garland to serve on the supreme court with honor and distinction in a lifetime appointment. that is the assessment the people make when they set aside politics. it is only one politics enter a republican step forward and say they are not going to consider anybody that has been appointed by president obama. they are not doing that because they are concerned with who pres. obama appointed.president obama appointed. they are in a different political party. that introversion a partisan politics in the supreme court process is not good for our country amazing
consistent with most americans understanding of the constitution and is inconsistent with most americans understanding which is why i think you have seen some traction around this argument the republicans are not doing their job. they have failed, dropped failed, dropped the ball when it comes to fulfilling our responsibility to consider the appointment that the president has thoughtfully put forward. there are -- one thing i can tell you is there are some meetings at the chief judge will participate in this week, meetings or five different senators. on tuesday he will meet with senator debbie stevan now of michigan. on wednesday senators lindsey graham and melton, separately. and on thursday chief judge garland, although will be interesting if the data together, i guess. on thursday he will meet with sen. menendez and senator menendez and cane. at the end of this week he
will have met with,with, i believe, that brings the total to 40 united states senators, including ten republicans. so he continues to fulfill his responsibility, to engage of members of congress. these kinds of private meetings have long been a precursor to a more public hearing, and this is the case that we will continue to make, that when you hear of republicans saying they don't want to hearing 12 frankly, it is becausethey are concerned that the chief judge will do well to hearing and i want the american people to be left with the impression this individual deserves a lifetime appointment because it will then make it harder than it already is for them to block his nomination. it will continue to make the case that republicans in the senate should do their job, and hopefully that will. >> you said last week.
just wondering. >> well, i don't know whether he has read the 28 pages. obviously there is a process underway at the office of the director of national intelligence to consider those 28 pages and determine how much if any of those documents can be classified and released. there is a well-established process, and, and i would refer you to the director's office for an update on how soon a decision about a potential release to be made. >> a response to families who feel about approving legislation. [inaudible] >> our concern about this law are not related to its impact in our relationship. in fact, our concern is
about an important principle of international law. the whole notion of sovereign immunity is a stake. it is one that has more significant consequences to the us than any other country. the concern that we have is simply this, it could put the united states and our taxpayers and our service members and diplomats at significant risk of countries were to adopt a similar law. let me give you one example. obviously the united states is involved in a wide variety of humanitarian relief effort in countries around the world at any given time. if somebody decided that they wanted -- that they were unhappy with the way those efforts are being carried out you can imagine someone in some faraway country with file lawsuit against the us.
again, this could potentially put the united states taxpayers at risk and put individual us service members are often of all the humanitarian efforts at risk as well. thatthat is why this principle of sovereign immunity is critically important. it allows countries to resolve their differences through diplomacy and not through the court in one country or the other. we continue to believe that the concerns that we have a saudi arabia to be addressed through diplomacy. of course they are important counterterrorism partner to the united states, a variety of areas where we work closely together, everything from trying to resolve the situation in syria to degrading and ultimately destroying i sil to fighting al qaeda in yemen or to counter iran and their activities in the region.
work together in a way that advances our shared interest. .. the the the >> it is important to discuss. i outlined a few of them as it relates to iran and isil and a situation in yemen. the president convened saudi arabia and others at camp david last play. at that summit, the president was focused on helping the gcc countries improve their
coopation so they can work more effectively together in cooperation to advance their security interest. and the united states can play a role in facilitating that using our expertise but offering our technology and equipment as well. we obviously have a long agenda to get there. if this issue comes up, we are focused on helping the situations i described. and the consequences of rolling back this core principle of law is how the president would explain our opsiz is counter park. >> a question on the zika virus. if congress doesn't approve the funds requested what is next?
have you started the process to identify what other areas you could draw from if you don't receive the funds? >> i think you would have to talk to dr. freedman at the cdc and nih for the detailed answer to that question. what both have done as a matter of being responsible public health officials is they have been forced to prioritize and that means pulling resources away from core priorities to focus on this threat. there is no reason congress hasn't acted. this isn't an urgent situation right now but it has been a situation that has called for congressional action.
republicans in congress haven't done anything on this. and in order to get ahead of this potentially serious situation is that is a significant problem. we have seen our public health experts do the responsible thing and focus on what resources can be used to address the threat from zika virus but they are insufficient. we need congress to fulfill its responsibility to put the people first and act on the zika virus funding we asked for almost two months ago. >> i want to go back to saudi arabia -- would the president
veto the bill allowing members of 911 who were shown to be involved in the 9/11 attacks? given the concerns that express about this core principle of law it is difficult to see how the president would sign the current bill. the president devoted significant time in office to fighting for those 9/11 families and fighting for those who risked their lives particularly at ground zero. the priority the president placed on these issues are well-documented and the president believes the most effective way to advance our interest, as it relates to countering violent extremism and
terrorist organizations around the world is for us to use our american military where necessary to protect the american people and try to work with other countries around the world to advance our shared interest. since 9/11 we have seen a genuine focus on the saudi arabians to countering those that propagate extremist ideology. we recognize and the saudi arabians recognize how dangerous that is and we work together now to counter those who seek to advance these ideology. and we do that by finding ways of cooperation. >> the saudi arabian officials are threatening to selling billions in assets if the legislation passes. did the president address this?
>> i don't know if these issues will come up in their meetings, in part because i am confidant the saudi arabians recognize just as much as we do, our shared interest in preserving the stability of the global financial system. >> what is the response to that threat? >> i think that i feel confidant in telling you that the saudi arabians recognize the shared interest the united states and saudi arabians have in protecting the stability of the international financial system. >> is the administration dismissing this? >> i think i have been clear in answering the questions. >> in another topic, the report in terms of the explosion of a terrorist threat or -- >> i don't have any firsthand information about this. we are aware of the reports and law enforcement officials in israel are taking a close look
at this as they should and i am confidant they will take a close look at this and that u.s. officials will stay in touch with them on this matter. >> and about immigration, the supreme court outside today had many undocumented immigrants want to know from the administration what they should do if the supreme court comes back supporting the fighting of this bill? >> at this point we will wait and see what the supreme court decides. that is what the legal process dictates and obviously the u.s. government, and the obama administration, has been deply
engaged in that process. we have made strong arguments before the courts about the wisdom of this approach. we have made strong arguments about the case of how president obama pursued use of the system is consistent with the way president reagan and president george h. bush used their executive authority. both of those presidents used executive authority to offer relief to undocumented immigrants and offer them the opportunity to get a job in the united states. and that was relief that was granted through that 40% of the undocumented population in the united states at the time. president obama has used the same authority to do exactly the same kind of thing. that is why we continue to be confidant in the persuasiveness of the arguments that we have made before the courts.
but at this point, it is unclear exactly what impact this will have on the policy process and in our ability to implement this policy scission the president and his team have made here. so once we have greater clarity from the supreme court we will be able to offer clearer guidance to those who are eager to get that relief. chip? [inaudible conversation] >> at this point this is something the director of national intelligence is handling consistent with the well established process for declassifying sensitive national security material. >> will the president make the decision himself eventually? >> not necessarily. this is something our
intelligence department does routinely. >> this is a major document. this isn't just another classified document that they are trying to decide to declassify or not. >> no, i would acknowledge it is significant because it relates to obviously the biggest terror attack that has been carried out on american soil. it is something the intelligence community takes seriously but they take all of these matters seriously. >> the president himself may not repeat the position. >> i am saying there is a well established process that the intelligence community has for consider these kind of questions. right now that is the process we are in the middle of. >> and does the president think maybe you have addressed this before, i am not here all of the time now, but does the president
think decisions of this level of importance should be postponed until there are nine members on the supreme court? >> the president believes is the supreme court's job to determine how this should be handled. president reagan was outspoke in making the case these kinds of cases should be handled with the full compliment of justice. >> that is the argument president reagan made in urging the united states senate to act on his nominee to the supreme court. that was action he was urging
them to take in the final year. it was an election here. it was president reagan's final year in office. that is the situation we have now. when president reagan was in office and he made the case, democrats had the majority and went along with it recognizing they have a duty to conform justice roberts to the court. >> has the president been briefed by don hurly on the supreme court case? >> he hasn't been briefed today but probably before the end of the day i expect he will be. >> do you know if anyone has any opinion on the issue standing and if that would be a good way to resolve it? >> i didn't listen to the whole argument today so i don't know how this issue came up in the argument today.
>> it is hard to tell based solely on the questioning. there are a lot of assumptions made about the jew views of the justices of the affordable care act based on how they questioned the solicitor general at the time. that proved to be an unreliable predictor of the eventual outcome. i am no attorney, but my understanding is based on the public reporting on this that, yes, this is an argument thrown out on standing and that would allow the administration to move forward with implementing this executive action and we would welcome the ability to do that. mark? >> on iraq, 200 soldiers doesn't
seem like a lot but -- 2,000 -- but the level is over 4,000 now. secretary carter acknowledged they are close to combat. is this a classic case of breach? >> this is a classic case of the president asking his team to develop ways to intensify those elements of our strategy that have shown some progress. we know that iraqi forces fighting isil on the ground in iraq have benefited tremendously from the advice and assistance they have received from u.s. service members that have accompanied them. what we have thought to do is develop a strategy that would allow us to offer more advice and to offer greater assistance
that doesn't put members on the frontlines automatically. i am not down playing the significant risk our u.s. service members are taking in iraq. we have seen a couple members killed in iraq. what they are doing is dangerous. that applies to the fighter pilots in iraq and syria for well over a year. this is different than the ground combat missions that more than a hundred thousand u.s. service members had when president bush sent them in. the mission is different. >> doesn't it further americanize a fight the president said is most effectively fought by local forces on the ground?
>> that is right. the decisions announced today were announced after secretary carter had an opportunity to consult with iraqi government officials. iraq government officials are going to continue to call the shots here. they benefit tremendously from the supports they have received from the united states and our coalition partners. that support comes in a variety of forms. what was announced today were ideas for intensifying that support in a rather tangible way. it doesn't change the basic elements of the strategy which is this has to be a fight that is led by local forces, with the support and assistance of the united states and our coalition partners. that is what we have done thus far and that hasn't changed based on the enhancements announced to them.
it has been snared by comments made from one particular senator. >> will they offer a pledge to senator roberts on that? >> i think we have been clear about our commitment to closing the prison of guantanamo bay and seeking the cooperation with the united states senate even if they are unwilling to help in that aspect. the least they can do is remove the unwarranted obstructions they used that prevented the closing of the prison. it is hard to imagine senator roberts takes this seriously. you may recall the last time anybody talked about senator roberts.
>> was the call initiated by the u.s. or russia? >> i don't know who initiated the call. >> do you have a length of time for how long the call lasted? >> no, but we will look into it. >> can you be specific about the white house threats to sell off -- did you say you don't think saudi arabia will follow through or the president will veto this bill so it doesn't come ahead. is the white house concerned about this? >> i tried to be as clear as i could be. i outlined the significant concerns that the united states has and the administration has
with the idea of rolling back this key principle of international law. this question of sovereign immunity is something that protects the ability of the united states to work closely with countries all around the world. walking back, that principle would put our services members and diplomats at risk. the selling of u.s. treasury, obviously a country with a modern economy like saudi arabia would not benefit from a
destabilized financial market the united states. what i am pointing out is the saudi arabian government recognizes that both our countries and economies benefit from the smooth functioning of the global financial system. it is not in their interest to destabilize it. [inaudible question] >> i don't have any new international travel to announce at this point but if the president decides to go to
israel i am sure all you have will have the opportunity to travel with him. as i mentioned, a number of times over the years. the best way to evaluate the relationship between the two countries is not based on the mr pleasantry exchanged but on the commitment of the leaders of two countries working together to advance the interest of their respective countries. president obama and the benjamin netanyahu have been available to work together to demonstrate the connection and cooperation between israel and the united states and benjamin netanyahu even said the relationship is unprecedented. rich?
>> returning to studio on the 9/11 sheet, in a conversation today on cnn ben roads said one of the elements of the people in the saudi government were doing their own thing over the years. if that is the case, shouldn't there be some holding of responsibility by someone in the saudi government? >> rich, let me start out saying mr. rhodes worked closely with lee hamilton in his career who was the author of the report. ben worked closely are congressman hamilton to write that report. hoe has his own knowledge of this. the report concluded they were not able to find evidence of the
[inaudible question] >> the administration has worked to support the 9/11 families and we work hard to offer support to the rescue workers who risked their lives to rescue and rebuild at ground zero. that is the president's record in supporting 9/11 and those who lost loved ones on 9/11. the legacy of that event is president obama sought to make protecting the american people his number one priority. he has worked with our allies around the globe to advance our interest and the truth is countries like saudi arabia is a good example.
we certainly don't agree with everything saudi arabia does and there are numerous differences between the two. but the fact remains the united states and saudi arabia are able to coordinate to counter terrorism, combat extremist, and degrade and destroy isil and advance the security interest of our countries. that is why the president hosted saudi arabia and others at camp david last spring and why he is going to saudi arabia to meet with leaders of the gcc countries to talk about deepening the connection and making sure the united states can facilitate improved cooperation. >> is there any congressional outreach? >> i am not aware of any conver s conversations.
>> one more question. is it safe to say that given the concerns the saudi arabians might have what it might do to the world and their own economy what assets are lost? >> i will state the principle one more time. the united states certainly believes that the saudi arabia understands our shared interest in protecting the stability and security of the international financial system. saudi arabia is a huge country and wouldn't benefit from warri warring economy problems. >> republicans are looking for more defense spending.
democrats are looking for zika funding. is there a deal to be had for increased spending on defense and non-defense? >> our experts put together a spending proposal and put it together two months ago and congress hasn't acted on that and instead our public health officials are forced to pull money from other critical projects to prepare for zika virus. when if congress had expected the way you would executive the
money would be provided. our state and local partners who will be at the front lines of this would be better prepared to, for example, eradicate mosquitos. >> we will have you live in buffalo new york with a donald trump rally getting underway. buffalo sabers' head coach rex ryan doing the introduction here. >> you know, what guys, obvious obviously, i am just a football coach.
what i am going to do is tell you a football story and this football story includes donald trump, okay? donald trump is the owner of the new jersey generals in whatever that league was. the generals have running back and a blocking back and full back named maurice and the other was hershal walker who is a great back. in typical coach fashion, the ball is on the one line, let's
there is so much i admire about mr. trump but one thing i really admire is he will say what is on his mind. and so many times you will see people, a lot of people want to say the same thing. but there is a big difference. they don't have the courage to say it. they all think it. but they don't have the courage to say it. the other thing we all know is this man is one of the greatest business men that we can ever remember. there is no question about that. so you know what? one other thing.
he is a great, great football coach. here, rex. [applause] >> great football coach and a great guy. i want to thank rex and michele. amazing. he won the championships in new york twice and always had brutal teams. they were just good teams. great defense. i have been watching and i tell you he is terrific. we are hear to discuss lots of things. something a lot of people didn't know. i bid one billion dollars for the buffalo bills. i bid a billion. and i sent out a certified letter from a bank and the bank said donald trump will give on
we have 5,000 people outside trying to get in but we want to start now. right? we want to start right now. make room for some of the people outside. i bid one billion and terry and kim came in and bid more. i was a little bit hurt. i thought i would have it and we would all be together but you have great owners. i will say that. and i tell you why. you talk about a business deal. he was in the office and sold his stuff at the exact perfect
time and he invested in the nfl. that is a great deal. go home to mommy, bye. kick him out. isn't it crazy? you know, we do all have a first amendment right and they really violate our first amendment right. but what are you going to do? right. thank you. so just to finish up, they made a great business deal and all deals should be so good. he sold two seconds before the oil went down, invested in the
nfl and as owners and with this great coach you are going to have an unbelievable team this year and i am going to be rooting for the buffalo bills. believe me. believe me. besides that we will bring buffalo back, new york back, and the united states of america back. we love new york values. don't you agree? i always tell my people give me some current information on the
economy of buffalo. don't get scared. it is politicians representing all of us. these are people that represent us at the highest level including president of the united states and look at what has happened here. that includes buffalo. buffalo has been hammered by our trade policies. few cities in america have taken a harder hit. we know that. i am here all of the time and have great friends including rex
and michele. according to the united states bureau of labor statistics, buffalo has lost nearly half of its manufacturing jobs since 1990. three main reasons. nafta, asian currency manipulation, product dumping and world trade organization. nearly 40%, and i will stop so i don't depress people, but nearly 40% occurred since 2001. new york state has lost 3-4 manufacturing jobs since the '60s. here is what is happening.
we have nafta which is a clinton deal. bill clinton was married to crooked hillary clinton. you know that, right? you know that. and that is a total disaster. nafta has been a disaster. now we have a new one. transpacific partnership. it will make nafta look like peanuts. we will cut it out. we will stop it. it will be detrimental as well to the people up here and the people of the united states. and lying ted cruz, by the way, lying ted, one of the great liars of all time, lying ted -- how are you doing, mr. trump? doing great.
winning and winning and up two million votes or more than that. here is the man who turned down sandy money and other money. we had lots coming in and he voted against it. no new yorker can vote for ted cruz and no new yorker can vote for kasich after he voted in favor of nafta which has been a disaster for the state and country. with all of that being said, tomorrow get out and vote!
we have a vote -- we have got to vote. you know, cruz is way, way down in the polls. and kasich is not even showing up. i think he is 1-32 and the governor of the state and if i spent another two days i think i would have beaten him in that state. we were close. and cruz is just a catastrophic event. he didn't even get 50% of his own state. he doesn't represent what we need. he doesn't represent us on trade and the other things that we need to make america great and to make buffalo great again. okay? he doesn't. now, i have been having -- i
have never done anything like this. i have been a politician for nine months. can you believe this? it has been interesting but you know what, it takes guts to run for office like this. you know, i never did it before. we have had debates. every online poll has said i won every debate which is nice. and we have been number one virtually since the time i announced because people know we will get great crowds like this. this is crazy. they said we will take the arena up in buffalo that you said don't do that. it is massive. look at this place. take a look at this place. unbelievable. but people know, and i have been saying it for years, that we are being ripped off world wide by
v every single country we do business with. you can look at them all and call them out. every single country we do business with we end up with the short end of the stick. it is going to end here! it is going to end. we are bringing our jobs back here. i tell you what i want to do as long as you are shouting. i love to hear it. nothing nicer than usa. i think i want to talk for a second. i wrote this out and it was close to my heart. i was down there watching the police and fire man at the world trade center after it came down
and i saw the greatest people. i wrote out a little something and i would like to talk about the new york values we know so well. the values that make us love this state, despite its problems, we love this state and we know it will come back. if i am president, it is going to come back so fast you will not even believe it. you watch. new york has been a symbol of strength for the world. where do we see the values? with our new york police and firefighters. they don't get enough credit.
you go to the parks in buffalo and syracuse and rodchester and albany. we had 20,000 in albany. you see it in restaurant workers in delis and factory workers in upstate new york. the ones that are left. but we will build it up. don't worry. you see it in the whole fabric of the community. and what are new york values? honesty and straight talk. people say you tell it too straight, mr. trump. i think that is what we like. don't you think?
[applause] >> we work hard and are proud. you see it in our family values and families. you see it in the energy to get things done. and you hear about the energy of new york state. we are buildings. we make things. we have courage and do great, great jobs for our community. we have great community service and that is where you see it. they were on display in the aftermath of 9/11. this is the worst hit the country has ever taken. worst than pearl harbor because at least it was military but this was civilians.
these are great people. everybody in this room knew somebody that died or was injured during that terrible day. this was attack on civilians and the worst attack in the history of our country. when you think of what we have done and how we have reacted? that is new york values, folks. that is new york values. you are right. we are going to build that wall. believe me. we are growing to build the wall and mexico is going to pay for it and you know it, i know it, and they know it. in our darkest moments we showed the world the best of america. the firefighters and first responders and police officers and the port authority workers, all of them who ran up those stairs knowing that the end
could be very near. they knew it. they felt that building. that is new york values, folks. a chaplain of the new york city fire department who died providing comfort and prayer to the wound on 9/11, a good friend of people in this room, he really displayed new york values and knew what was coming very, very soon. the people in the towers who helped rescue each other and those who perished knowing if they left earlier they could have gotten out but didn't want to do it and stayed and helped other peoples.
those are new york values. the restaurants and shops that stayed open to help the first responders those are really the people when you think of new york values. the bravery. you never hear about somebody who left and was running in the opposite direction. these people were going through terror and you know what happened. everyone who helped clear the rubble, and i was there, i watched and helped a little bit, but i want to tell you those people were amazing. clearing the rubble, trying to find additional lives, you didn't know what was going to come down and they handled it. every act of kindness and courage are our new york values.
so when a guy like lying ted cruz talks about values these are the values we want to talk about. the system is rigged. it is not meant for a guy like me who is not taking money from the federal interest. i am self funding my campaign. it is a rigged system. but i never have seen anything like it. in the case of colorado, they were supposed to vote and they said no changes were made. but i announced in june. people thought i was going to do great in colorado and in august they changed the system and took the vote away from the people of colorado.
i could have done well because i am good at dealing with the bosses. but you had it and say forget it. you can take them out the hotels; the delegates. you can do whatever you want to debut you know what? i said no way. we will get there and i believe we will do it easier than people think. we will do it on the first ballot and get to that big 1237. [applause] >> they say it will be trump versus clinton with the greatest voter turnout in the history.
that is good for us. it is great thing. historically our country has done very, very poorly in voter turnout. a lot of people don't vote. the republicans have increased when mitt romney lost the election that should have been won. that election was waiting to be won and they lost it. same group. same people. they are happy as long as they keep their job and get their consulting money. same group and everything. we are going to change it. because we will win and we will beat crooked hillary so badly their heads will spin. [applause] let me just tell you.
we are going along and had a great poll from fox and everything. but you have to understand, folks, we haven't even started with crooked hillary yet. we have not started the game. only two month to go. i said something and she went like that and bernie sanders got the credit. i am no fan of bernie. his ideas are very bad. but every week you see bernie sanders won, bernie sanders won, he wins every time. and you hear about the crooked
[applause] we want to repeal and replace obamacare. [applause] we want to protect our great 2nd amendment. [applause] we want to and common core, end it, ended, and ended and bring education locally to buffalo and all of the local communities. it will be so much better. and we want to have strong, strong borders where people can come in but they have to come in legally, legally. they come in legally. [applause] [chanting]