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tv   U.S. Senate Takes Up Deputy Transportation Nominee  CSPAN  May 15, 2017 2:59pm-6:18pm EDT

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and raping these victims. a former regime photo documentarian working under the name caesar has shared war than 10,000 photos of victims with the international community. according to numerous ngos, the regime has abducted and detained between 65,000-117,000 people between 2011-2015. moreover, the regime is also authorized the extrajudicial killings of thousands of detainees using mass hangings at the military prison. it's a 45 minute drive outside of damascus and is one of syria's largest and most secure prison complexes. -- >> you can see all this program online. search the u.s. senate gaveling in to start the week. he will begin with nominations,
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the nomination today of jeffrey rosen to be deputy treasury secretary, a procedural vote set for 5:30 p.m. eastern. live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. 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. immortal, invisible, god only wise, we praise your name. lord, you are our strength and our hope for years to come.
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today, may our lawmakers make your joy their strength. awaken in them a desire to be guided by you so that their lives and labors will honorably represent your purposes. give them wisdom to trust you to finish the work you have started in our lives, our nation, and world. may they exercise self discipline in all things, resolving to stay on the path of integrity. remove from their lives anything
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that would hinder them from fulfilling your purposes. we pray in your merciful 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., may 15, 2017. to the senate:
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under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable todd young, a senator from the state of indiana, who will perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch, president pro tempore. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: this week marks national police week, an annual celebration in honor of the men and women who serve in local, state, and federal law enforcement all across our country. we're all safer because of their efforts and this week is an important reminder of their continuing service and sacrifice each an every day. traveling across the country thousands of law enforcement officers gather in our capitol each year to mark this occasion. they come here to recommit themselves to the peace and safety of our communities and to show respect for their fallen brothers and sisters in uniform who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
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we're honored to have them here in washington and to join them in recognizing these officers. i'd like to pay a special tribute to the brave men and women who protect and serve my home state of kentucky. these officers put themselves in harm's way to protect our communities every day. today we also remember those officers from the bluegrass state who tragically fell in the line of duty. first, i want to pay tribute to officer nick rodman of the louisville police department. he unfortunately passed away after a car crash in louisville was responding to calls of shots fired. he was 30 years old and served in the department for three years. the rodman family maintains a strong tradition in law enforcement and he prodly continued that legacy. the many individuals officer rodman touched over the course of his life will remember his
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compassion, patience and dedication to family. i'd also like to pay tribute to officer charles howly. the day-his death, he responded to a call of smoke in a day care center. while ensuring all the children and employees evacuated, he was exposed to a reprivilege rant. -- re -- he dedicated 20 years of service to his department and community. officers rodman and howley displayed courage and they will not soon be forgotten. i would like to thank the men and women of the united states capitol police. they protect the nation's legislature, the -- legislators, the people who work here and the millions of people who travel here to see our government in
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action. we're grateful for their dill against and service. i ask my colleagues to join me in expressing the senate family's gratitude to law enforcement officers all across the country as we welcome so many of them to the capitol this week. i would like to reiterate and thank them for their work. i'm glad we're able it take this opportunity today to thank them for their service. on an entirely different matter, later today the senate will vote to advance another well-qualified nominee, jeffrey rosen, to be deputy secretary of the department of transportation. mr. rosen has extensive experience serving in both the office of management and budget and at the department of transportation. when he last came before the senate to be the chief legal officer of the department of transportation, he was confirmed by a voice vote. it's disappointing that we had to file cloture on this bipartisan choice this time
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around. mr. rosen's work in both the private and public sectors has given him a unique insight that infrastructure projects face. i look forward to the senate advancing his nomination later this afternoon. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business to closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the rosen nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of transportation, jeffrey a. rosen of virginia to be deputy secretary. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 5:30 p.m. will be equally divided in the usual form. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader.
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mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to legislative session. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. mr. mcconnell: i move to proceed to executive session to consider calendar no. 65 for terry ramstad to be -- the presiding officer: the ayes appear to have, the ayes do have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the motion -- the nomination. the clerk: department of state, terry ramstad of iowa to. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk. the presiding officer: which the clerk will report. the clerk: we the undersignedded
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senators do here by move to bring to a close the debate on terry ramstad to the people republic of china signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the reading the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum call with respect to the cloture motion be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the senate resume consideration of the rosen nomination. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. grassley: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa.
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mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: are we in a quorum? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. schumer: thank you, mr. president. first, let me thank my friend and colleague from iowa for letting me go forward. the two charles e.'s in the senate work together whenever we can. first, i want to thank our capitol police, the new york police, police around the country for the outstanding work that they do. much like our troops overseas, our law enforcement officers risk their lives for our safety as we welcome many police officers to the capitol this week, i'd like to express on
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behalf of the senate our gratitude for their service, their sacrifice, their countless daily acts of courage and particularly i want to say in new york city where we are so proud that crime is the lowest of the 25 largest cities in the country, we thank our new york city police department for a job well done. i'd also like to thank the many police departments and sheriffs offices and so many other law enforcement in the state of new york. i've gotten to know them and respect them and just admire them as human beings and the job that they do. now, getting back to a less happy subject, the events of last week, mr. president, tested some of the fundamental precepts of our democratic system, including the rule of law and the independence of our law enforcement agencies that were designed to be a check on any abuse of power. the president of the united states fired the f.b.i. director
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who was conducting an active investigation of the president's campaign and its ties to russia. the attorney general, who had recused himself from that investigation, played a role in that dismissal and continues to be involved in the selection of a new f.b.i. director. the white house gave pretext to reasons for the firing which were contradicted by the president himself a few days later when he admitted that he had planned to fire director comey for weeks and that he was thinking about russia when he did it. the president then suggested there were tapes of conversations between himself and director comey, threatening to release them if mr. comey spoke to the press. these are not actions of an administration that respects the rule of law or treasures fidelity of the truth. these are not the actions of an administration that's eager for and even open to an independent
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investigation into a very serious matter, the interference of our elections by a foreign adversary. mr. president, the founding fathers in their infinite wisdom , the longer i am around the more impressed i am with them and i was impressed to begin with. they designed three co-equal branches of government with the appropriate powers to check and balance the others. the founding fathers explicitly worried about foreign powers trying to influence our elections in government. they actually wrote into the constitution protections against that very threat. their concerns expressed over 240 years ago gave new prominence and new meaning today more than perhaps any time in the past. we in congress, both parties, need to exercise the powers afforded to us by the constitution to check and to balance. we need to see that we get all the facts. we need to see that the russian investigation is allowed to proceed as independently and as
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impartially as possible. and we need to hold this administration accountable for any abuse of their powers. so, first of all, if there are tapes, as the president has suggested, he should turn them over immediately to congress and the investigators. to destroy them would be a violation of law. and if there are no tapes, he should apologize to james comey and to the american people for misleading them. and second, the fact that the president has said he may have taped mr. comey makes the need for a special prosecutor all the more important. if it's true, if there are tapes, a special prosecutor would have the ability to obtain these tapes undeterred and then can examine them to see what wrongdoing, if any, has occurred. the reasons for a special prosecutor are compelling. a special prosecutor is not subject to day-to-day supervision by the attorney general or anyone else at the
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justice department. he or she would have greater latitude in who they can subpoena, which questions to ask, and how to conduct the investigation. he or she would have per view to investigate not -- purview to investigate not only the subject but also anyone who attempts to interfere with the investigation. and there is built-in congressional oversight. congress is notified whenever a special prosecutor is appointed, removed or finished with the investigation. and he or she can only be removed for cause, not to quash an investigation. with the events of the past week and given that we have different stories coming out of this administration from different people, the need to have someone that's independent and far away from any of the actors to get to the bottom of this is so important. firing the f.b.i. director is extremely rare, deeply
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troubling. we need the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. so third, we in the congress need to hear testimony from director comey as well as be briefed by attorney general sessions and deputy attorney general rosenstein. i understand that director comey declined an invitation to testify tomorrow, but i have no reason to believe he won't be willing to come before the senate in the future. i hope that he will, sooner rather than later, and that those appearances are in a public setting. last week, on thursday, deputy deputy -- sorry. later this week, on thursday, deputy attorney general rosenstein will brief the full senate on the events of the last week. again, i thank the majority leader for joining me in that request, and again, i hope we can make as much of that information public as possible. the american people deserve to know the truth just as much, if not more, than the senate does.
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my caucus still believes that attorney general sessions must be made available to the senate in a similar capacity, given his reported role in firing director comey and helping to select his replacement. considering his recusal from the russia investigation, his close involvement in these events warrants the senate's questioning as well. to repeat -- we need the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. the russian meddling is so serious, it is no place for partisan fighting. and, frankly, we need our republican colleagues to help to get to the bottom of what happened in the 2016 elections and hold this or any administration accountable when they don't tell the truth. if only one party is doing the talking, the issue will seem too partisan to the american people. a subject as important as this one, the tampering of our elections by a foreign power, a
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matter the founders fretted about at the dawning of the republic, shouldn't be colored by partisan politics. it's time to put country before party. we need our republican friends to help us call upon the white house to get an independent investigation on russia. we need them to speak out when the white house misleads the public. no less, no less than the integrity of our system of government and the rule of law is at stake. now, mr. president, a word on health care. as the senate republican caucus debates what to do on health care, they should take a hard look at the consequences of the house republican bill on individual americans. last week, senate democrats met with four americans who shared their stories and explained how they would be hurt by trumpcare. because of the furor over director comey's firing, their voices may have been drowned out, so i wanted to repeat a few
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of their stories. we heard from cindy johnson from bloomington, indiana, whose daughter was born with downs syndrome, a preexisting condition. mrs. johnson was approaching the lifetime coverage limit on her plan when health care reform was passed, which eliminated the limit. that policy change as well as medicaid helped ms. johnson and her family climb out from under a mountain of medical debt and get the care they needed for their daughter. every parent so much wants to help a child who's sick. that might be taken away from the cindy johnsons of the world if the house bill passed. under trumpcare, states are no longer required to prohibit lifetime limits, and medicaid is cut by $880 billion. let's think of the mrs. johnsons and their daughters and sons. we also heard from michael
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dunkley from alexandria, virginia. mr. dunkley is a 64-year-old full-time caregiver for his wife who has advanced m.s. in 2013, shortly after being laid off, mr. dunkley was diagnosed with an aggressive stage four non-hodgkin's lymphoma, but his insurance coverage through cobra was set to expire at the end of the year. mr. dunkley was able to sign up for insurance on virginia's marketplace that provided coverage despite his preexisting condition. under trumpcare, mr. dunkley could be charged five times or more by the insurance companies because he's older. he could also be priced out of insurance because of his preexisting condition. president trump and the republicans promised better and cheaper health care for everyone, but these americans and many, many more like them, perhaps millions, pretty certainly millions would be
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devastated by trumpcare. it's another colossal promise to folks like mr. dunkley, mrs. johnson and her daughter. so my republican friends in the senate, i hope you'll listen to these stories and the stories of constituents -- of your constituents saying so many of the same things. to take away health care from the johnsons and the dunkleys, to give a tax break to the very wealthiest of americans, hundreds of thousands of dollars for people who make tens of millions of dollars. no american would be for that. that's what's in the bill in the house, and that's where the republican senate bill, despite all the talk back and forth, is aiming to go. my republican friends here in the senate, please, listen to these stories, drop repeal, drop trumpcare, work with we democrats on ways to improve our health care system. bring costs down. we can move forward together, or
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republicans can move backward on their own. last, mr. president, i want to make a note about the world wide cyber attack. so far, according to the "new york times," the attack has afflicted at least 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries. it's a sobering reminder that cyber attacks are one of this century's greatest challenges. they continue to get larger in scale, broader in scope, and more malicious in intent. it's time we stopped talking about the threat of cyber attacks and actually started doing something about it. a few years ago, the senate tried to pass a bill to protect our critical infrastructure from cyber attacks, but some of our friends on the other side of the aisle blocked it to defend a business community that didn't want to share information necessary to fight these challenges. i hope this global cyber attack serves as a wake-up call and renews bipartisan interests in protecting the united states,
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the country we love, protecting our hospitals, our universities, our businesses, our intellectual property, our credit files, election systems and critical infrastructures from cyber attacks. thank you, and i yield the floor to my friend from iowa. mr. grassley: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: let me assure the senator from new york that i'm willing to listen to his stories about how people might be affected by the health care -- health insurance debate that's going on in the congress right now. if you will listen to some of the stories i have to tell that maybe eventually by the middle of june, people in 94 of the 99 counties of iowa may not even be able to buy health insurance because of the shortcomings of obamacare. so he talked about the tough
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consequences of the house bill on health care. i'm coming to the united states senate floor today to talk about the tough consequences of obamacare on health care delivery in america. so i rise today to speak some more about the affordable care act. the law is collapsing before our eyes. after seven years of obamacare, it continues to overreach, overpromise and overstay its welcome for the american people. i want to tell you the history about a bridge that relates very much to what's happening to obamacare today, so before i dive into the details of some of
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the happenings of obamacare and denying people in my state of iowa with the inability to get any insurance, i want to share a story about a bridge in the state of washington. this bridge is right here. this is the collapse of that bridge. the bridge is called tacoma narrows bridge. it was built in 1940, was the world's third largest suspension bridge. it was considered a state of the art masterpiece of 20th century engineering, but the bridge was set to fail from the very beginning. on july 1, 1940, the $6 million bridge opened to traffic. just five months later on november 7, 1940, the bridge
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collapsed. what caused the massive steel and concrete structure to twist, turn, and drop nearly 200 feet into puget sound? importantly, there was a key foreshadowing clue. the bridge was nicknamed gal:ing girdy for its dancing, swaying bridge deck. on most days it resembled a roller coaster rolling in the winds but on the morning of november 7, birdie's dance -- girdy's dance became twisty in 100 mile an hour winds. dramatic footage shown here shows tons of concrete and steel cables snapping like fishing lines before its collapse. girdy essentially
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self-distributed due to design flaws that created sheer havoc in those high winds. like obamacare, the tacoma narrow bridge wasn't built to last. like galloping girdy, obamacare is on a self-destruction course with destiny. galloping girdy collapsed by a flawed design that was unable to withstands high winds and everyday that goes by without a bipartisan solution to fix the flaws, obamacare is moving the american people closer to a calamity. sooner rather than later obamacare will become its own bridge to nowhere with no insurance plans on the exchanges. and millions of americans will be left twisting high and dry.
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the warning signs can no longer be ignored. first, insurers meaning health insurers are bailing. the individual market is near collapse. just last week another insurance company aetna announced it will quit the remaining two states it planned to -- that had plans under obamacare. that means 2018 aetna will sell zero plans on the exchange individual market. just a year ago, in 2016, aetna participated in the individual markets in 778 counties across the country. in 2017 that number fell to 242.
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in 2018 that number will be ze zero. we ought to repeat that story because everybody's talking about what the house care bill might do to people's health insurance and their health care. this is a fact that people can't by health insurance or if they buy it, it's so high they can't afford it. that's the story we ought to be telling at least with equal weight given by people that are talking about if we -- that we don't really have to do anything. my home state has been hit particularly hard by insurers pulling out of its individual market. in 2016 united health care group announced it would leave iowa the following year. last month aetna and wellmark
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announced they would be pulling out of the individual market in iowa. this leaves 94 of our 99 counties in iowa with one choice for health insurance on the individual market. a constituent wrote to me following the news of their departure. quote, my son recently turned 26 years old and is ineligible to remain on my insurance. therefore, he signed up for his own policy through wellmark. my son farms with my husband. while my husband has coverage through me, my son may soon be facing the fact he will not be able to buy health insurance. my son, a true beginning farmer, will be forced to leave our farming operation and seek employment solely for the purpose of health care coverage.
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end of quote. if congress doesn't act, the individual market may come crashing down just like this tacoma bridge. we simply can't ignore another warning sign. healthier, younger people are choosing the off-ramp, the toll to join obamacare is turning out to be unaffordable for them. obamacare then is unsustainable. remarkably, instead of joining us to fix this broken bridge, the other side wants to leave americans twisting in the wind. in my home state, 70,000 iowans are enrolled in the individual exchanges, and the last carrier left medica, is on the fence about its plans for 2018. that's why i told senator
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schumer to listen to our stories of people in 94 of iowa's 99 counties may not even be able to buy insurance on the exchange. the day has come. it's time to cross the bridge. it's time to repeal and replace obamacare before it finishes this collapse. i yield. i yield the floor.
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mr. boozman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. boozman: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to pay tribute to law enforcement officers from arkansas and all across the country who are called to serve and to protect. i'm grateful for their dedication and commitment because it takes a very special person to put their life on the line every day to protect our communities. arkansans are proud of the law enforcement history in our state. in my hometown. fort smith, arkansas,, the u.s. marshal service has a deep-rooted history that helped shape our i in addition's westwd expansion. today many people in the area find their family roots traced back to a u.s. marshal. as home to the u.s. future marshal's museum, the communities in this state has
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rallied around this proud heritage. their proddition of courageous public service is carried on today by the men and women who keep communities across the country safe 24 hours a day. this week members from law enforcement agencies from around the nation will join together in washington to honor their fallen brothers and sisters who died in the line of duty. may 15 marks peace officers memorial day, and this week is recognized as national police week. we take this opportunity to honor the men and women who died in the line of duty bid aing their names to the -- by adding their names to the national law enforcement officers memorial. this year nearly 400 names will be added to the memorial, including thighs arkansans, robert baker, a patrolman who died while serving the people of woodruff county on settlement
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15, 2016. corporal bill cooper of the sebastian sheriff's office who gave his life in the line of duty. and corrections officer lisa molvin who died in service to the community on december 18, 2016. these arkansans represent the selfless sacrifice that our law enforcement personnel embody. it is a true testament to the life that they chose to serve their community. i'm sad to say, mr. president, that the name of another arkansas law enforcement officer will be carved into the memori memorial, deputy kevin mainhart was killed in the line of duty last week. avenues veteran officer with more than 20 years serving and protecting arkansas communities. i offer my condolences and gratitude to his family and friends and the law enforcement
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community as they cope with this unspeakable tragedy. our law enforcement officers are true heroes. we recognize them not only during this week but all year long. the devotion of the 900,000 law enforcement officers who serve us each and every day makes our communities safer. i was proud to recognize the service and sacrifice of these first responders and show my support for their commitment to our safety during a tour of arkansas last year that we called "every second counts." first responders invest so much of their lives into public service. taking the opportunity to commend them for their tireless efforts and willingness to serve in a crisis at a moment's notice. the role of law enforcement is changing. these men and women perform a variety of roles from real
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estate sponding to -- from responding to emergencies to maintaining public safety and promoting safety services and programs. in arkansas, we are blessed to have the criminal justice institute, a part of the university of arkansas system that is a resource to police departments and sheriffs' officers providing them with updated training and information as they adapt to provide more services to the community. as a member of the senate law enforcement caucus, i am deeply committed to supporting the criminal justice institute in advocating for policies and resources law enforcement agencies need to successfully carry out their missions. as well as honoring those lives that are tragically cut short while in the line of duty. that's why i am proud to cosponsor the honoring hometown heroes act to allow governors to
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order the american flag to fly at half-staff in recognition of the sacrifice of first responders who make the ultimate sacrifice. the house of representatives passed similar legislation earlier this month, and i'm hopeful it will also have the support of this chamber. i thank the law enforcement officers in arkansas and across the country who dedicate their lives to protecting our children and communities and seek to bring criminals to justice. these heroes come to our rescue when we need help, and i am committed to continue to advocate for these officers. mr. president, i yield back.
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quorum call:
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mr. cornyn: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority whip.
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mr. cornyn: i ask consent that the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: the senate is not in a quorum. mr. cornyn: thank you. this is national police week, a time when we honor those who have fallen in the line of duty. tragically every year dozens of police officers lose their lives defending our communities. i am so happy that javier vega junior was honored. i met his wife, children, and parents and several of his friends he served alongside in the u.s. border patrol. they know all too well the high cost paid by our law enforcement
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officers who put themselves at risk every day. javier, who is known by his close family and friends as harvey did grew up in a small town in south texas. he was a man known for putting others before himself. someone who would always serve rather than be served. that desire turned first into a military career. he enlisted in the marine corps right of high school and later he put himself through college. then he decided that he hadn't done all he wanted to do in public service so he joined the border patrol. just like everything else he pursued in life, he dedicated himself tirelessly serving others and serving his country. sadly, that service was cut short when he and his family, while out on a fishing trip on and sunday afternoon, were ambushed by two men who tried to
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rob them. the clash turned violent. javier immediately thought of defending others before protecting himself. tragically he was killed by the two men, illegal immigrant criminals, who had been reportedly deported but managed repeatedly to find their way back into the country even after committing serious crimes. what a testament to the great need we have to strentsdz our -- strengthen our border security to keep us all safe. there is no denying that javier vega jr. was taken from his family far too soon. while we consider the fallen this week, like javier, and their lives of service, i hope we can all take time to better support and serve those who promised to defend us to the point of risking their very
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lives. as we learned from the story of javier, one obvious way to do it is by making sure that our law enforcement is fully -- in full force for those -- even though they are not in the country legally. we have a chance to do more for our law enforcement officers and we should always look for ways to do right by them. now isn't the time to look at the other way or to pretend that real problems facing our nation and our law enforcement community will simply go away. so during this year's national police week, i look forward to playing my part to put forward policies that better support their mission to defend and protect communities all across the country. madam president, let me thank the family much javier vega jr., particularly his wife, children, and parents who are here with us today for letting me share his
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story and honor his service. madam president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mr. manchin: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. be manchin: i ask to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. manchin: i rise to recognize national police week and the service and sacrifice of our nation's law enforcement officers. as a past governor of the state of west virginia, i worked with west virginia state police very, very often and saw firsthand their dedication to the rule of law and commitment to keeping west virginia safe. last year, the state of west virginia lost one of our own, west virginia state police first
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sergeant joseph fortaro. joseph was from clarksburg and joined the police in 1998 and served in kingwood. in 2008, he was assigned staff officer at the academy and was then promoted to deputy director of training. joseph was a veteran of the west virginia army national guard and served in the west virginia state police for 17 years. although the loss of joseph will never heal, i know i join all west virginians in the entire law enforcement community in praying for joseph's family and friends. national police week acknowledges the service and sacrifice of our country's law enforcement officers and the safety and protection they provide our communities. madam president, i know you do, too. i go to a lot of schools and talk to these children. i want them to understand, any time you see a person in a uniform, whether it be a policeman, fireman, e.m.t., these are people willing to get in harm's way for your safety and sacrifice themselves for you. when you have a police officer willing to take a bullet for you, that's a pretty special
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person. they don't do it for the pay. i think we all know that. they are dedicated and committed to the well-being and safety of every american. we're very lucky to have them in our respective states of iowa and west virginia. so this week, we must remember joseph and the other 139 law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2016 and continue to support their families as they continue to mourn their loss. they can never bring the person back that basically sacrificed for all of us, but we can make sure we never forget their families, and i hope we all do that. so, madam president, this is a special day, special week for these people that we recognize. 139 people gave their lives for us. the least we can do is make sure not only that we remember them but go beyond that in order to support the members of the family, their children who need a father or a mother they might not have now, who need nurturing, who need also the financial support for their education to continue on to grow to be a good, healthy, productive adult.
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i hope we never forget. with that, madam president, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from ohio port madam president, i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection port port madam president, i'm rising today -- mr. portman: madam president, i'm rising today in support of jeffrey rosen to be secretary of transportation. later this evening we'll have a vote on that nomination. it will be the first of a couple of votes. and i would just ask my colleagues on the democrat side
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and the republican side to look carefully at his qualifications and be in a position to support this public servant to be the new deputy at transportation. recall that this body overwhelmingly supported miss chou. she needs help. jeff has come through the proper process. we've had hearings. he's been voted on a committee. it's time to get him there to help secretary chao and clish the goals so many of us share. he's a graduate of northwestern university and harvard law school and here in d.c. he's one of the most respected lawyers. he's got 30 years of experience hand link very complicated high stakes cases. he's litigated in more than 20 states. he's been in just about every setting imaginable. jury trials, bench trials, appellate arguments. on every topic, contracts, antitrusts, security, business
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issues, enforcement actions, class action, you name it he's been involved. so he has a lot of experience. maybe particularly relevant to this job but in 2003 he was unanimously confirmed by this body, unanimously, to serve as the chief legal officer at the department of transportation. there he supervised more than 400 lawyers at the department of transportation, and as the top lawyer there, he wasn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and get involved in lots of issues, including policy issues. i think the kind of experience that he gained there will make him very well qualified to serve now as deputy secretary of that same agency. he did such a good job that in 2006, i reached out to him and asked if he would join my team at the office of management and budget. i wanted somebody who was a good lawyer but also someone who could manage well and give me good advice. jeffrey rosen was that person. i recruited him to serve as senior policy
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advisor at o.m.b.ment in this role, he was always available ant about the use of taxpayer clarks a guy that understands that hard-earned dollars need to be stewarded properly. he was someone who focused on management of the agencies and departments, understood the need for us to ensure that taxpayers are getting the best bang for their buck, and finally, maybe most importantly, he gave me good advice. he was insight but also honest. and i think that kind of candid advice is exactly what every department secretary or leader would want and that's what he will provide elaine chao, should he become deputy counsel. he is well-record in the legal community in town and somebody who understands how the department of transportation works and what is needed to ensure that can be successful. one thing that jeff and i i have in common is we married way over our heads. kathleen is from my home state of ohio owe.
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he has that ohio common sense that makes jeff a better public servant. they have three amazing kids. for all of jeff's personal accomplishments, i think he would be the first to say his greatest pride is in his family and rightly so. in my view, jeff has the judgment. he's got the experience, got the skills, got the right aptitude to be a terrific deputy secretary of transportation. he is needed now and i would urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the cloture motion today on his nomination and in favor of his nomination to ensure we can get him in place to help move the department of transportation forward. thank you, mr. president. i yield back my time. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. tester: thank you, mr. president. i will start out by -- could i
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ask the quorum call be eviscerated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. tester: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that floor privileges be granted to le is. s bernis through the end of the year. the presiding officer: without objection. mr.t. mr. president, i rise today to honor and recognize the folks who are first responders when crisis strikes. the folks who patrol our streets, keep our families safe, and are willing to enter harm's way on a daily basis. i rise today to honor our police officers. in montana and every corner of the country, police officers answer the call of duty to protect and defend our communities. it is critical that the folks in this body are doing everything that we can to keep them safe on the job and to honor their service. to recognize national police week, i have partnered with senators boozman, gardner, moran, blumenthal and carper to
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introduce a bipartisan "horning hometown heroes act." our bill will provide the governor of each state with the ability to fly the american flag at half-staff to honor a police officer or any first responder who dies in the line of duty. this bill will treat our fallen responders with the respect that they deserve. in the past, republicans and democrats have worked together to strengthen resources for local police officers, and we have ensured that our first responders have access to critical health care services. but this bill is a bit different. this bill makes sure that our police officers and their families receive the recognition that they deserve for their selfless service to their community. and when tragedy strikes, i think it is important that the entire state takes a moment to honor that police officer who was lost while serving others. this bipartisan bill has the support of police officers and first responders from across
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the country. the fraternal order of police, federal law enforcement officers association, international association of fire chiefs, and international association of firefighters, just to name a few. the honorary hometown heroes act will give our fallen first responders the honor that they so much deserve. but the police officers -- before the police officer is already lost and it is too late. today is peace officer memorial day. these folks and their families did not have the honor to see their entire state mourn alongside of them because flags were never flown at half staff. to ensure these folks get the recognition they deserve, today i want to enshrine in the "congressional record" the name of 128 -- the names of 128 law
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enforcement officials who have died in the line of duty. they paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting their neighbors and keeping our communities safe. in going forward, it is critical that our police officers receive the honor that they so much deserve. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. thune: i would ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, i rise to voice my strong support for the nomination of jeff rosen to be the next deputy secretary of transportation. mr. rosen has a long and distinguished career in
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transportation policy and public service. he's currently a partner at the law firm of kirkland ellis where he worked on regulatory and other matters for 30 years. he obtained his bachelor's degree in economics in the northwestern university and law degree at harvard law school. his career has been punctuated by significance. he served as general counsel of the department of transportation from 2003 to 2006 after winning senate confirmation by a voice vote. he also served as the general counsel and senior policy advisor at the white house office of management and budget from 2006 to 2009. mr. rosen's prior experience in government is a testament to his ability to lead, manage, and effectively operate within the federal government. if confirmed as deputy secretary of transportation, mr. rosen will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the department.
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he'll also receive d.o. it's ten modal administrations and approximately 55,000 employees and expers stewardship for -- exercise stewardship for the department's budget. mr. rosen's fundamental responsibility will be ensuring that dot's crucial mission, the safe and official movement of goods and people across our nation and the world, is achieved while fostering innovation and maintaining the reliability of our infrastructure. as i mentioned, mr. rosen brings valuable experience to this position. as d.o. it's general counsel during the george w.b. administration, mr. rosen had responsibility for dot's regulatory program. legal issues relating to international transportation activities, legislative proposals, and enacted as counsel to secretary norm mineta. as general counsel and senior policy advisor at o.m.b., mr. rosen served
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as the bush administration's top lawyer for regulations, fiscal issues and executive orders. of note, during the past two years, mr. rosen has served as chair of the american bar association's section on administrative law and regulatory practice where he's been praised for revitalizing the section with more debate and programs while seeking consensus on recommended changes to the administrative procedures act. his thoughtful leadership will be valuable as the department of transportation looks toward a progrowth agenda in the transportation sector. on march 29, 2017, i held a hearing at the senate commerce committee to consider his nomination. i was impressed, as were my colleagues on the committee, with mr. rosen's credentials, experience and depth of knowledge on transportation policy. on april 5, 2017, the commerce committee acted by roll call vote to favorably report his nomination to the floor. while it's my hope that
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the senate will confirm this exceptionally well qualified nominee today, it is my understanding that some of my democrat colleagues will oppose him. it is my understanding that their decision is in large part because mr. rosen friesed to publicly -- refused to publicly oppose president trump's proposed budget at his confirmation hearing last month. i think this is an unfair base for opposing such a well-qualified nominee. i believe mr. rosen's extensive and distinguished career in transportation policy will be an asset in addressing the infrastructure challenges our nation faces. i look forward to confirming mri urge my colleagues to support his nomination. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: we, the undersigned
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senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on jeffrey a. rosen to be deputy secretary of transportation, 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 jeffrey a. rosen of virginia to be secretary transportation of -- secretary of transportation shall be closed. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: is there any senator in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote the yeas are 52. the nays are 42. the motion is agreed to. mr. mcconnell? madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted -- the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: -- with senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the appointment at the desk appear separate 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, may 16. further, that following the
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prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day and morning business be closed. further, following leader remarks, the senate proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the rosen nomination with the time until 12:30 p.m. equally divided in the usual form. further, that the senate recess from 12:30 to 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference meetings. finally, that all time during recess adjournment, morning business and leader remarks count postcloture on the rosen nomination. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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confirmation vote is expected later this week and also on the nomination of rachel brand to the associate attorney general. flags are fine and have staff after president trump sent a long present proclamation in remembrance of police officers who have been attacked or killed on the job. he asked the justice department to develop a prevention strategy and ways to better prosecute these cases. >> 418 officers died in the line of duty. of those 66 were victims of malicious attacks. these attacks increased by nearly 40% from the year 2015. this must end and that's why in my first action having to do with the subject the department
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of justice, i am asking asking to develop a strategy against crimes of our federal and local law enforcement. they've had it with what is going on. were going to get it taken care of. were going to get it taken care of quickly. i want to thank you all for being here today. it's a great honor to have you here. thank you. some of you have suffered greatly and were going to take care of it. were going to take care of it. [applause]
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i will present this pan in honor of a great man. right? okay. thank you. [applause] >> on the washington post reported this afternoon the president trump revealed highly classified information to a russia in meetings with foreign minister and the ambassador. one day after and firing james comey. the story says the president disclosures jeopardize a critical source of intelligence on the islamic state. this had been provided by a us partner through an intelligence sharing agreement considered so sensitive the details have been withheld from allies and restricted within the us government. read more on the washington post .com. >> tonight on the communicators
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a look at small-town and rural broadband with shirley bloomfield, ceo of tca the rural broadband association. ms. bloomfield talks about her organization desire for expansion to become a greater priority within the trump administration. she's interviewed by communications senior david tout . >> what is the biggest priority right now, in congress or the fcc? >> how to make sure that broadband is considered part of the infra structure package that is considered. i look at it and think, you know , it's about broadband. if the ability to do the teleworking, to bring congressman in public safety, education, tom edison, all the initiatives that keep our country robust. it can be derived from broadband how do we make sure that policymakers see infrastructure beside a road and bridge mac watched the committee getters
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tonight at 8:00 p.m. on c-span two. >> the news today out of the state department is that the syrian government has contracted a crematory and inside a military prism outside damascus to clandestinely dispose of thousands of prisoners it continues to execute inside the facility. here's the state department briefing with stuart jones. he's the acting assistant state for the middle east. >> good morning,


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