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tv   U.S. Senate Takes Up Saudi Arms Sale Resolution  CSPAN  June 13, 2017 2:15pm-6:22pm EDT

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resolution that is before us. mr. mccain: it's obviously been tried before. i think there's no doubt that if
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it were to pass, this could pose a very dangerous threat to our relationship with saudi arabia at a time when the iranians are now -- have achieved a peninsula all the way across from baghdad to -- from tehran all the way to baghdad and there's no doubt that the iranians have continued their ie agreesive -- their aggressive behavior. and if we voted down this arms sale to saudi arabia, it would have a devastating effect on our standing in the middle east and long-term impact on our ability to counter what is clearly iranian aggressive behavior. so i urge my colleagues -- i strongly urge my colleagues to vote against this amendment. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina.
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mr. graham: i'd like to join with senator mccain very quickly. 71, 27, september 21 last year we voted to approve tank sales to saudi arabia because they need more weapons and equipment to counter the iranian aggression in yemen and other places. most of the people who voted for tank sales are now going to vote for precision-guided missiles. this $500 million calved out of this passage gives saudi arabia qualitative edge on the battlefield against iranian proxies, which could -- who could care less about civilian casualties. the most upside down thinking i have ever seen. many of you over there actually approved this because it was worked on before president trump became president. so it's really disheartening to see support for president obama's tank sales but not going to support president trump's sales that actually reduced
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civilian casualties. iran with killing this deal, taking these weapons off the table. i would urge everybody in here if you're serious about stand up to iran, stand with saudi arabia, as imperfect as they are. thank you. mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: the question is, should we sell arms to saudi arabia, a country that many suspect was involved in 9/11, a country that many suspect gave weapons to isis, the people we're fighting in the middle east, a country that imprisons the victims of rape, because it's partnersly, or presumably the fault of the woman -- because it's apparently or presumably the fault of the woman who is raped in saudi arabia. one woman was given a sentence of 70 lashes and six months in jail. they increased her penalty to 200 lashes and finally only when we protested was it reversed.
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they sentenced a poet to 1,000 lashes. sometimes you don't survive 1,000 lashes. they gave them 100 at a time. he's going to be in prison for ten years. this is not the kind of person that we should be extend $sending your -- that we should be sending your weapons to. these weapons were funded and supported by the american taxpayer and we should not be willy-nilly giving them to people who imprison their people for protesting. currently a young man who is 17 years old, his name i is ali al nimer is on death row. but i it is not just enough to imprison him, they will behead him and crucify him. this barbaric nation should not be getting our weapons. we should not sell them weapons. currently, there is a blockade of yemen. 17 million people risk
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starvation. we should not be supporting this effort. there is probably no greater purveyor of hatred for christianity and judaism than saudi arabia. we should not be giving them weapons. they have madrases across the world teaching hatred of us, preaching hatred of the rest, hatred of christianity, hatred of judaism, and these people want to give them weapons. i don't get it. it makes no sense. some will argue it's a jobs program. well, isn't that swell. we're going to give money to people who behead you and crucify you to create jobs. that should never be the way we make a decision about arms sales in our country. a famous republican and general, general dwight eisenhower, said that he worried that someday we would make decisions not based on our defense but based on the military industrial complex. i am embarrassed that people are
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out here talking about making some money and making a buck while 17 million people live on a starvation diet and are threatened with famine. i am embarrassed that people would bring up trying to feather the nests of corporations in order to sell these weapons. this should be made pure and simple on our national defense. saudi arabia is not a reliable ally. saudi arabia should not get these weapons. for every supposed good thing they do, they do five things that are bad for america. they are the biggest purveyor of hatred of christianity and judaism. i request a no vote, and i reserve the remainder of my time. mr. corker: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: i respect my friend from kentucky and we work together on the foreign relations committee. i could not disagree more on this issue. i will give a brief outline. that is the fact that the houthis are an iran-backed
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entity that overthrough a western-backed government in yemen. last year on the floor with a vote of 71 votes, this body voted to support the selling of tanks to saudi arabia. unfortunately, in this particular case, foreign policy generally, partisanship generally stops at the shores, but i'm afraid that what's happening -- i know that senator paul has been very consistent on this, but i'm afraid this vote is somewhat about some members wanting to -- to get a piece of president trump's hide on the issue that is far more important than something like that. i'm fearful that that's what's happening today on the floor. a lot of people don't realize that saudi arabia already has the bombs, the bombs. what we would be selling to them is a precision-guided weaponry
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that allow -- systems that allow these bombs to be smart bombs and not dumb bombs. most people have been concerned about saudi arabia when they have been involved in pushing back the houthis, which by the way are firing weapons into their country from the southern border. it would be no different than if mexico was doing that to ours. i know that's not going to happen, but obviously, we would be firing back. and so what's happening here is they have bought the bomb from italy. what they want to buy from us is these precision systems that allow them to not kill civilians. it's to protect civilians. so think about this. here in the united states senate, we want to protect civilians in saudi arabia, and in our wisdom, we're looking at blocking the sale of the very mechanisms that would allow that to happen. in some cases, i'm afraid, just to make a point against the trump administration. actually, their policies here have been very sound.
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the meeting they had in saudi arabia was very beneficial. saudi arabia has flaws, but they have been an ally. in this case, this would show us as stepping away from an ally in a way that's cutting our nose off to spite our face by not allowing them to have the precision mechanisms that keep them from killing civilians. we've taken senators down in the skiff. there is absolutely no evidence that saudi arabia tried to kill civilians, none. as a matter of fact, there is evidence to the contrary. so please, let's be rational. i know there are some disagreements over some foreign policy issues. this should not be one of them. i urge defeat of this proposal. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: saudi arabia bombed a funeral procession. there was no mistake here. there was no cloud cover. there was no growth or copse of
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trees and they accidentally bombed a funeral procession. they bombed and killed 125 civilians at a funeral. they wounded 500. this was no mistake, there was no error. this was them pointedly dropping the bombs on civilians. they put protesters in jail. they have got a 17-year-old -- he is now 20, been in jail for three years. he will be beheaded and then crucified. we should not be giving these people weapons. they supported isis. they're on the wrong side of the war. they are the greatest purveyor of hatred for christianity and judaism. they do not deserve the weapons. they're going to give your weapons that belong to the american people, they're going to give them to people who behead and crucify protesters. you can't take a bible into saudi arabia. you can't visit their major cities. we can't make them be like us, but we don't have to encourage their behavior by giving them weapons that may well fall into the hands of people who are our
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enemies. i urge a no vote. i think we should not be selling arms to saudi arabia. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north carolina. mr. burr: i have nine requests for committees to meet during today's session of the united states senate. they have the approval of the majority and the minority. the presiding officer: duly noted. all time is expired. the question is on the motion to discharge. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the
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chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 47, the nays are 53. the motion to disarm is not agreed to. -- to discharge is not agreed to. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the mcconnell second-degree amendment, number 233, be withdrawn, the pending cloture motion with respect to amendment 232 be withdrawn, that the amendment be modified with the technical changes at the desk, and that at 2:00 p.m. wednesday, june 14, the senate vote on adoption of the mcconnell-for-crapo amendment number 232 as modified with no intervening action for debate and no second-degree amendments in order to amendment 232 prior to the vote. finally, that following leader remarks on wednesday june 14,
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the time until 2:00 p.m. be equally divided in the usual form. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. schumer: reserving -- i will not object, but reserving -- first i want to thank the majority leader, as well as senators corker, cardin, crapo and blown. this is an example of where we can work together on issues that we agree on. i think it will do a lot of good in both directions, in the iran direction and particular loin the russia direction. the lack of trust of mr. putin on both sides of the aisle here is paramount. now this says that these sanctions will stay in place unless congress disapproves them anded as some new sanctions. both good things. i hope the house will pass the bill without change and send it to the president's desk. with that, i withdraw any objection and again thank the
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majority leader for the cooperation we've had. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i just want toed a, my colleague ever -- i just want to add, my colleague, the democratic leader, i think this is a good example of the senate at its best. we all know this has been a period of rather partisan sparring back and forth on a variety of different things. but both sides were able to put that aside and deal with two important issues in a very significant way. and i think it's good for the senate and good for the country. i want to thank the democratic leader for his comments. mr. president, i ask consent the senate resume consideration of s. 722. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: calendar number 10, s. 722, a bill to impose sanctions with respect to iran in relation to iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights, and for other purposes.
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mr. flake: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: mr. president, rumor has it that on friday the president will announce a change in u.s. policy toward cuba. there are lots of different rumors about what that might entail. you thought i'd talk -- i thought i'd talk for just a
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couple of minutes about the consequences of such action. what has been accomplished in cuba and what our goals are and what i think our goals should be. we've had a long, long policy of isolation with regard to cuba. for more than 50 years we tried to isolate the island and hoped that the government would change somehow. it didn't. for more than 50 years we have prohibited americans from freely traveling to cuba. we've had periods of, the restrictions have gone down a bit and been upped again, but by and large americans have been prohibited unless they followed to certain classes to travel to cuba. and then when they're in cuba, their travel around the island, the activities they undertake
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are specifically prescribed by the united states government. now i always thought that certainly there is a place for economic sanctions. sometimes they can help nudge countries or push countries toward a desired outcome, but a travel ban -- you only impose a travel ban under extreme circumstances, when national security reasons dictate. and there hasn't for a long, long time been national security reasons for a travel ban. i've always thought that as an american citizen, that if somebody is going to limit my travel, it ought to be a communist, somebody in another country that wouldn't let me in. not my own government to tell me where i can and can't travel. i think most americans feel that way, and i think we ought to first consider who these sanctions are on, the sanctions
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we've had for so many years have not really been on cubans. they have been on americans. gratefully, the previous administration removed some of these restrictions, or at least lessened the impact of them. around 2008-2009, the last administration said that cuban americans should be able to travel freely at least. prior to that we had instances where cuban americans had to decide if their parents, for example, were still in cuba and they were aging, maybe their mother was infirmed, they had to decide if my mother passes away, do i attend her funeral. or if my father passes away within three years -- it used to be that cuban americans were limited to travel to the island just once every three years. they had to decide do i attend my mother's funeral or my father's funeral. what a terrible thing for our government to tell american
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citizens that you have to choose whether to attend your father's funeral or your mother's funeral. what kind of a country is that? why would we do that? and yet we did for a number of years. gratefully the last administration lifted restrictions on cuban american travel, and at the same time lifted considerably restrictions on remittances, allowing money to flow more freely to relatives and others on the island. that republican sided with the time -- that coincided with the time that the cuban government realized that they couldn't employ every cuban, not even at $20 a month. and so they said go ahead, find another line of work in the private sector. run a bed and breakfast. have a private restaurant. have an auto repair facility or a beauty shop. and hundreds and thousands of cubans have done so over the past five years, largely with seed capital provided by travel
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from americans, particularly cuban american travel. and remittances. so you had a situation where virtually no cuban was employed in the private sector five years ago -- very few -- to today as many as 25%, or as much as 25% of the cuban resource is now in the private sector. they have obviously more economic freedom. the average waiter in a cuban restaurant, in a private restaurant, brings in $40 to $50 a day. or the average cuban working for the cuban government brings in $20 to $30 a month. so significantly more economic freedom for those in the private sector in cuba, but also significantly more personal freedom as well. that's a good thing. that stands with the policy and the goal that we've always had to increase freedom for the cuban people. now we hear that the administration may want to turn back some of that progress and
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say that americans shouldn't be able to travel as freely or as frequently to cuba. some of the rumors say that they'll limit travel to once a year. we don't know if that will be for cuban americans or all americans. and just, by the way, it seems rather strange to have a policy that is ethnically based where we say you're a cuban american travel, you can travel. you're another type of american, you can't. that just seems pretty un-american. but -- but we can't get back into a situation, mr. president, where a cuban american living in the united states will have to choose whether they can attend their mother or their father's funeral. so i hope that we don't get back into that time. another thing we ought to consider is that when americans travel more freely as they have been able to do under what's called a general license for individual travelers -- one of the changes was made in just
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past couple of years -- individual american travelers tend to go to cuba and stay in a bed and breakfast run by a private cuban citizen, travel in a private taxi cab, frequent a private restaurant, use a private taxi cab. my own family has done that. if we go back to the time when american travelers have to travel under a specific license or as a group, then those travelers will be pushed toward the cuban hotels which are owned by the cuban government or military. therefore, you have aided the cuban government more than the cuban people. under no system will you be able to cut money off completely from the cuban government or the private sector. there's leakage everywhere. that's how economies work. but why in the world would we have a policies where we directly benefit the cuban government by pushing american
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travelers to the hotels that they own rather than to private homes owned by private cuban citizens? so it seems to me that these policies, if they are going to come forward as it seems that they might be, just go against the policy and the goals that we have. another thing we need to consider is that in the old times when we had more restrictive policies of travel on americans, those had to be enforced somehow. and that falls upon the office of foreign assets control and treasury. know ofac -- you may have heard it recently. it's the office that we charge to look at, enforce our sanctions on iran. we're putting new sanctions on iran. they'll be charged with enforcing those as well. sanctions on russia, and new sanctions on russia, they'll be charged with enforcing those. sanctions on north korea, that
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again falls to ofac. and yet we're going to be telling ofac that now you're going to have to again spend a considerable amount of your time and resources and manpower tracking down people going to cuba to see if they stick to their designated approved itinerary, whatever that might be, whatever we think they ought to be doing there, rather than what they want to be doing there. that just seems foolish to me and a waste of money and time and resources and wrongheaded priorities with regard to other priorities that we have on sanctions. we had situations in previous years that were simply -- they would be laughable if they weren't true. but i think the administration ought to consider that when we have a restrictive policy on travel, you're going to have situations that just are flat
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embarrassing to us. if that sounds crazy, it doesn't sound crazy to joan slote of san diego who traveled to cuba in the year 2000 at age 72 with a canadian company that organized cycling tours. she was nishly fined $7,600 upon returning to the united states because she hadn't preapproved her itinerary and hadn't followed the guidelines. she went with a canadian company that did that. subsequent fees brought the penalty to nearly $10,000. i think it was settled for something less, but why in the world are we sanctioning and fining a 72-year-old woman who went on a biking tour in cuba? consider the case of sevin allen of the state of washington. he spent part of his childhood in cuba where his parents were missionaries. they built an assembly of god church in a town in southeastern cuba.
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his parents died in 1987 in a house fire. ten years later allen traveled to cuba to scatter of ashes of his parents at a church that they had built. they also brought with them a family bible to give to the church's pastor. sevin returned to the united states via the bahamas where he told the united states agents he had just been in cuba. he told them the reasons for his travel. his initial fine was $7,500. do we really want to be fining people who are scattering the ashes of their parents? these aren't isolated incidents. this went on a lot. a woman from indiana was fined for distributing bibles in cuba because her itinerary didn't include a trip to the beach. she went to the beach, i'm told, to participate or to watch a baptism that was happening at that time.
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why in the world would we try to limit that kind of travel? yet, that's what we would be doing if we go back to restrictive travel. maybe these rumors are overblown. maybe we won't be imposing new restrictions on travel. but if we are, i hope the administration will consider these things. another thing, there is one rumor out there that we know that if we diminish american travel, therefore diminishing the amount of money that goes to these cuban entrepreneurs who are running bed and breakfasts and private restaurants, then we can make up for it somehow by having some of our government agencies teach entrepreneurship classes. now anybody who has been in cuba understands that cubans who have survived on $20 a month for
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decades are more entrepreneurial than we will ever be, that they don't need lessons in entrepreneurship. they need customers. and by denying americans the freedom to travel to cuba will be denying them customers, and they will be worse off. their political freedom will be diminished, their economic freedom will be diminished. their personal freedom will be diminished. that's not what we want. obviously we want the cuban government to change. it has been disappointing, the rate of change, but why would we take it out on the cuban people? don't they have it tough enough with a communist government, a communist government that wants to control and keep that control as long as they can. why don't we kin to help the cuban people as they have been helped over the past couple of years? we also want to consider the
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cooperation we have with the cuban government with regard to things like drug interdiction, environmental cooperation, immigration accords. over the past couple of years we've had a lot of cubans actually rafting to south florida because of the wet foot, dry foot policy. we've had tens of thousands of cubans crossing the mexican border just to make it to arizona or to texas or to california or new mexico to claim, or to be paroled into our system and ultimately perhaps get citizenship. because of agreements that we have had in the diplomatic cooperation that we've had over the past couple of years, and specifically over the past couple of months, we've been able to reach agreement where we don't have that kind of migration and those issues. there are tangible benefits to diplomatic cooperation that we've had. i'm told that we're not going to touch that. we're not going to roll back. we do have diplomatic relations.
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that is a good thing. we don't want to go back to the time where instead of an embassy we had a special intra section in cuba. and the cubans had one here. but i hope, mr. president, that the president of the united states and his cabinet will consider these things as they make decisions on what to do on cuba. there are changes to policy that we can make, but i would argue that they would be more in terms of further liberalizing trade. there is a bill that has been filed here in the senate with 55 cosponsors, a bipartisan bill to completely lift the travel ban and get rid of it completely 55 cosponsors. if such a measure is brought to the floor, i'm confident that there would be between 65 and 70 votes, maybe more, for such a bill. and instead, we seem to be going the other direction.
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or the administration is talking about going the other direction. i hope they will reconsider, mr. president. and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you. i first ask unanimous consent that privileges of the floor be granted to the following members of my staff. chris burrdock, victoria king. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you very much, mr. president. russia remains a hostile recalcitrant power deploying its military, its cyber espionage activities, its economic tactics to harm the united states of america, to drive a wedge between us and our allies. president obama began time pose tough sanctions for russia's cyber attacks, its cyber intrusion, its illegal annexation of crimea, it's
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continuing aggression in ukraine and syria. congress joined in that effort by enacting two measures to tighten and broaden those sanctions. lifting or relaxing those sanctions now would only reward russia's attempts to undermine our democracy. the administration continues to exercise a policy of strategic ambiguity when it comes to russia, and the president, putting it mildly, has sent mixed signals. just last month gary cone, the president's senior economic advisor, seemed to suggest that the u.s. could relax sanctions on russia. and his press reports confirmed two weeks ago in its early days the trump administration considered removing all measures against russia, according to former administration officials. think of that. we all hear the discussion, maybe collusion, maybe not, but certainly the russians' friendship with the administration, whether the trump family or the trump
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businesses or the trump white house, has had some kinds of relationships almost everybody here thinks with the oil men, with the oligarchs, with the kremlin, maybe alone putin himself. and to think that soon after taking office, before the public and the rev -- rest of us began to start learning more about trump's ties to russia, the administration considered removal of any kind of measures punishing russia. this amendment -- this amendment, written by senators crapo and corker and cardin and me and our offices and our staffs, this amendment sends an unambiguous message that the united states will not accept russia's continued aggression, will adopt tough measures to both punish its past actions and deter future aggression against our country and our allies. over the last week the chairs and ranking members of key senate committees conducted intense negotiations over a package of tough and meaningful
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reforms and expansions to our current russia sanctions regime. we've had good, positive, productive, bipartisan conversations. last night we reached agreement on this broad package of new measures that substantially expands sanctions on russia in response to its malicious cyber attacks, efforts to undermine democracy, and continuing aggression in syria and eastern ukraine. this package ensures congress and the people we represent have -- that we have more of a say in this critical national security debate. the amendment would do a number of things. it would codify and strengthen six existing obama administration sanctions on russia and the ukraine. it would provide for strict congressional review of any effort by the president to relax and suspend and terminate or waive russian sanctions patterned after the iran review act. it would require mandatory imposition of sanctions of
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malicious cyber activity against the u.s. when corrupt russian actors around the world, when foreign sanctions evaders violating the russian-related sanctions control, those involving human rights abuses and territories forcibly controlled by russia and on special russian crude oil projects around the world. it would authorize broad new sanctions on key sectors of russia's economy -- mining, metal, shipping, railways as well as new investments in energy pipelines. it would crack down on anyone investing in corrupt privatization efforts in russia, something we've seen a lot of over 20 years. it would broaden the treasury department's authority to impose geographic targeting orders, allowing investigators to obtain a.m.t. and wire transfer records so treasury can better target illicit activity of russian oligarchs in the united states. it would require treasury to provide congress with a study on the tangled web of senior government officials from russia
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and their family members and any current u.s. economic exposures to russian oligarchs and their investments. that includes real estate. it would require the administration to assess and report to congress when extending secondary sanctions to additional russian oligarchs and state-owned and related enterprises. since 2014 congress has worked together, republicans and democrats, to craft increasingly tougher sanctions to hold russia accountable for a long, long line of misdeeds. it's a long line indeed, from russia's violations of international law, of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ukraine, to its role in the brutal repression of the war in syria, to the cyber attacks that we are learning more and more and more about on americans. the ukrainian community in my state -- vibrant, successful, progressive -- the ukrainian community in ohio and around the world knows firsthand the dangers of unchecked russian
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aggression. we should strengthen, not weaken russian sanctions. i urge my colleagues here and in the house to support this amendment, and i will urge the president to sign it into law. we must continue to vigorously enforce and strengthen sanctions against russia to send a message to its leaders and the world that the united states of america will not tolerate -- will not tolerate efforts to undermine democracy around the world. mr. president, i ask the following remarks to be in a different part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. if senator cardin would bear with me for four minutes. our democracy is founded on checks and balances, not just among the branches of government. our founders enshrined freedom of the press in the bill of rights for a reason. you can't have a functioning democracy without freedom of the press. that's why last week the newseam marked its annual day without news to remind americans what
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our country would be, what it would be like, what it would look like, how it would act without a free press. journalists entire job is to ask tough questions, challenge powerful interests. while in church, we comfort the afflicted, jurntle -- journalists afflict the comfortable. reporters put their safety, too often their lives on the line whether covering floods or hurricanes at home or traversing the globe to bring us the stories of our troops. we depend on reporters in ohio and around the world to both bring us the stories that impact our lives, our day-to-day lives and tell the stories that just simply might not otherwise be told. supporting a vibrant, independent, proactive press corps has rarely been more important in our country. yet too often we see reporters restricted, vilified, attacked, even physically threatened all for doing the job for which they were hired. today brought news in this body that some people in this building, some members of the
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senate are trying to bar reporters from asking senators questions. this is outrageous. if senators can't handle tough questions from reporters about their plans to take health care away from millions of americans, maybe they should change the bill, not restrict the reporters. or remember that oval office meeting with russian officials? we've seen the pictures with the president of the united states with the russian foreign minister, with the russian ambassador. we've seen those pictures, but what we need to remember about those pictures, those photos, those photos that ran on front pages around this country and all over the world, those photos weren't taken by american journalists. the president of the united states threw them out of the office. those photos were taken by the russian state media. the russian state media was allowed to be in the room with the president of the united states in the oval office, hallowed ground in our democracy, while the american press was thrown out. the russian state media, the old soviet news media, "tass,"
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the remnants of the soviet propaganda machine. the american press was barred. when you hide from the press, you hide from the american people. on november 16 a group representing more than a dozen journalism organizations sent a letter to the president elect and wrote this isn't about access for the press itself. it's about access for americans in guesser communities around the country. having a strong independent white house and congressional press corps isn't just important for those reporters' stories. think about the signal it sends to mayors and city council members and state legislators. if members of congress -- the president by throwing press out of the oval office and bring in the old soviet news agency "tass," or the senate throwing reports out of the senate, if they don't have to be accountable, why should someone as a mayor, why should a city council person, why should a governor think they should be accountable? it's not just washington reporters who are vital to democracy.
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it's reporters in ohio telling us the stories, bringing us the faces of the opioid epidemic that devastates families and communities. it's ohio's editorial pages highlighting how important the great lakes restoration initiative is to our drinking water and our state's economy. it's enabled senator portman and me and bipartisan senators all over the great lakes, from new york, pennsylvania, ohio, indiana, illinois, michigan, wisconsin, minnesota, senators from both parties fighting back and stopping the cuts that have destroyed so much of the progress in cleaning up the great lakes. it's journalists in every corner of my state highlighting the devastation the proposed budget would have on our schools and our housing and our rural communities. it's emphasizing again, mr. president, 200,000 ohioans right now -- right now -- are getting opioid treatment. 200,000 ohioans are getting opioid treatment because they have insurance from the affordable care act. it's reminding politicians in ohio of both parties that that's the case, that we need --
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those people need insurance. that's what a free press does. parenthetically, mr. president, i would add my wife is a journalist. she's a pulitzer prize winner, a columnist. she is soon to be a novelist. she clearly has outspoken views about this, as i do. she's a member of the press. i'm a member of this body. we both believe in a free press. we both believe in a free democracy. we answer -- we answer to journalists in this body because they are the eyes and ears of the people we serve. if you can't stand -- if none of us are strong enough and articulate enough and gutsy enough to stand before reporters and ask tough questions about your positions, maybe you ought to rethink your positions. we need diligent, contradiction reporters to -- courageous reporters to dig up their stories, independent editors to put them on front pages. we need media organizations willing to hold the powerful accountable. the american people have a right to know what's going on in their own government from the white house down to the city council
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office. the behavior today of the rules committee -- the rules committee decision to ban reporters from, television reporters specifically, from this body is just reprehensible. thomas jefferson said our liberty depends on freedom of the press. that cannot be limited without being lost. that's as true today as it was more than 200 years ago, at the time of our country's founding. to all the reporters out there, thank you. mr. corker: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. corker: mr. president, i'm glad to be down here with ranking member senator ben cardin from maryland. i want to thank him and his staff for working until 10:20 last night to complete negotiations on a russia amendment. i want to thank senator crapo and his staff and senator brown
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and his staff for the work that they did on the sanctions component where over the last five months they've worked with our counterparts over the world to make sure that what we did in this piece of legislation was something that was workable. but truly i think a great effort by four different offices. i'm glad that cloture has been filed on that amendment. i understand we're going to vote on it tomorrow at 2:00. i'm going to be very brief because i know senator cardin, we're down here together, i know he wants to make some comments about this. but let me just give a brief summary if i could. the amendment enhances congress' role in determining sanctions policy on russia. it provides for the president to use a national security waiver or sanctions termination after giving congress 30 days to review the proposed action. i think everyone here knows i'm a strong proponent on congressional review. we began that under president obama. to me, it gets us in a place where we're playing an appropriate role in foreign
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policy. it codifies existing sanctions on russia for their activities in ukraine and cyberspace. the amendment strengthens and expands conduct based sanctions by requiring the imposition of sanctions on actors. undermining cybersecurity, supplying arms to syria, human rights abusers and those involved in corrupt privatization of government-owned assets. it mandates sanctions on russia and deep water arctic and shale projects worldwide. and yet allows for waivers to be used based on national security interests of the united states. this amendment prioritizes the united states foreign assistance to allies in their fight against russian aggression. and this is something i know senator cardin worked hard on. i appreciate his efforts. it authorizes $250 million to establish the countering russia influence fund to implement programs in the e.u. and nato member countries. senator portman played a role in
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this too and i appreciate his efforts. as well as candidate nations to combat russian interfeerches with priority, addresses public corruption, respond to humanitarian crises, counter disinformation and support democratic institutions. and it requires the state department and other federal agencies to collaborate and develop a plan to reduce ukraine's dependence on russian energy imports, which we know russia has used to extort ukraine with. so i think it's a very good piece of legislation. i appreciate the contributions of many members here. as you know, senator mccain, senator graham, senator rubio, so many people here have been involved in wanting to produce legislation that pushes back in this way. we tried to utilize the best of many bills that have been put forth. and again, i cannot thank the ranking member enough and his staff for the way that they have worked with us to get us to this
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point. mr. cardin: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: mr. president, i just want to follow up briefly with chairman corker. the two of us became friends in 2007 when we were both elected to the united states senate in the same year. part of the s same class. i think the two of us really became close friends a little over to years ago when we were confronted with how congress should deal with a nuclear agreement being negotiated by president obama with iran and our european friends along with russia and china. and the to of us worked around the clock to try to develop an appropriate review process so that congress could play a constructive role. we recognize we're the legislative branch. we have oversight functions, but there's an appropriate role for us in regards to executive
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actions. and we came out with something that no one expected to be done, and that is near unanimous support in this body for a review statute in regards to the iran negotiations. well, mr. president, chairman corker has taken that same template and has now used that to apply to russia and the removal of sanctions in russia. it was started with a bill that was put together by senator graham and myself. it has been modified through the negotiations that we've had as senator corker has commented about with senator brown and senator crapo. but it does in effect provide that there will be notice to congress before the administration can give any sanction relief to russia so that there could be transparency and a discussion and a debate. and then there is a process that
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congress, if we feel strongly and can get the necessary support, can disapprove of that sanction relief. so i think that's the proper way for us to deal with one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world between the united states and russia. and it's appropriate that it's going to be an amendment to the iran sanction bill because the review process came out of the iran agreement. now, the review process would be triggered if there is action taken by the president to give relief, but the legislation also includes additional sanctions, as the chairman pointed out, with russia. it does that in a way that codifies the president's executive orders so that they're now congressional support --
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there's now congressional support for executive orders. it expands the sanctions in the area of typier. the chairman pointed -- cyber. the chairman pointed out for financial institutions, facilitating actions, russian arms and related material to syria. the privatization of government-owned assets. i want to thank the chairman for the way he was able to recognize that in russia what we don't want to see us contribute to is corruption. and we concentrate on the corruption issue, not the business issue. it's the corruption areas that become the important thing. we tighten up on a lot of the different sanctions and then we set up a process where there needs to be certified progress made. otherwise these are mandatory sanctions that the president must impose. as the chairman pointed out, we -- the negotiations included aspects of legislation that was first introduced by myself and
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senator mccain on sanctions, by senator graham and myself on review of sanction relief, by senator crapo and brown, proposed legislation dealing with sanctions. chairman corker had significant drafting issues that he brought to the table in our negotiations. so it was a free discussion. the end result is -- i've said this before. i just want to underscore this. the banking committee brought, i thought, some very helpful suggestions to make sure that the financial sanctions worked. you know, one thing that we want to make sure there's penalties, you've got to make sure they work right. i really do compliment the work of the banking committee in making sure that we use the right standards and that this will meet international muster. because it's absolutely essential that this template be one in which our european allies can follow our leadership. and if we didn't do that, we could have been isolated which would not have had the same immath as i think these --
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impact as think these sanctions will have working with our european allies. also, the chairman mentioned several of our colleagues on our committee. i need to mention senator shaheen and senator menendez who played a very, very important role in our caucus. senator durbin and senator schumer have also played roles in this. i acknowledge their contributi contribution. there's included in this bill the democracy initiative which deals with providing more unified support with our allies in europe and fighting russia's propaganda and tax on our democratic institutions. senator portman made major contributions to that as the chairman has also acknowledged. then it brought to us mainly through the banking bill we have a strategy to trace terrorism and the financing of terrorism and things like that which i think is very important to be included in the bill. so this amendment, it's not the bill, this amendment we'll have a chance to vote on 2:00 tomorrow i believe is it's going to be. i would encourage my colleagues to adopt this. senator corker and i expect
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we'll be back on the floor tomorrow as we manage the underlining bill at which time i will want to comment on the importance of us passing the iran sanctions bill, which is vitally important because of the iranian activities that are taking place today. for all those reasons, i would encourage my colleagues to please read the amendment that's been filed in a bipartisan effort to deal with this challenge that russia has provided through their activities in attacking our democratic institutions and their continued aggression in ukraine and their human rights violations in syria. i might add that senator menendez provisions on human rights sanctions are included in this bill -- in this amendment. it really does, think, capture the essence of the broad consensus of the united states senate and is worthy of our support. with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor. a senator: i want to thank my
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friend for his comments. mr. corker: again, i want to reiterate the banking staff, senator crapo and his staff, senator brown and his staff did, i think, an outstanding job in focusing on sanctions that would work in the appropriate way, as you just laid out. and it really was bringing out the best, i think, of the two committees to come up with the legislation that we have. so i hope we'll have a very strong vote tomorrow. i think this very much supports the u.s. foreign policy and i look forward to that taking place tomorrow at 2:00. i yield the floor. i guess do not notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i want to thank my colleagues, senator corker and senator cardin on their fine work on the
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destablization activities act i especially want to thank senator cardin for his leadership on that as well as senator brown and senator crapo and the work that senator mcconnell and senator schumer did as well as a lot of members of the foreign relations committee who care a lot about this. as i look at this, i look first at the iranian part of this underlying bill. as you know, we have had many disagreements in the last few years on the iranian nuclear agreement. but it's now critical. this is the time for those who both oppose the agreement and those who supported it to come together to ensure that all of the parties to the agreement are upholding their obligations. when the united states and our allies agreed to the iranian nuclear agreement, we made it clear that we will continue to hold iran accountable for its
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nefarious activity outside of the four corners of the agreement. we must hold iran accountable for missile tests, for financing terrorism, and human rights violations. that is our job. and that is why i was an early cosponsor of the legislation before the senate today. the count eing iran's destabling activities act imposes mandatory sanctions on those involved with iran's ballistic missile program as well as those who fund terrorist organization and commit human rights violations. iran's ballistic missile program is a threat to regional and global security and united nations security council resolution 2231 makes it illegal for iran to develop ballistic missiles that could carry a nuclear weapon. any person or business involved in helping iran obtain illegal weapons should be banned from doing business with the united
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states, have their assets immediately frozen and their travel restricted. minimizing the threat iran poses also means holding it accountable for funding terrorist groups that threaten israel and seek to destabilize the region. we should be doing everything in our power to better track terrorist financing so that we can stop the flow of money that funds suicide bombers and illicit weapons. our mission here is clear. we must protect our own citizens and our allies by enacting strong legislation to ensure that iran does not cheat on its international commitment. iran must know that if it violates the rules, it will be held accountable. democrats and republicans have come together to get this done, and it is my hope that we can pass the legislation this week, including the amendment imposing strong sanctions against russia, which is essential to protecting our democracy from foreign interference.
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17 united states intelligence agencies confirm that russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election. and that is not all. we know that russia is using covert cyber attacks, either naj and harmful proper -- espionage and harmful propaganda to undermine our democracy. they launched cyber attacks against local election systems. a u.s. voting systems software company and the e-mails of more than 100 local election officials. russian-backed criminals hacked into yahoo and stole data from 500 million accounts. they repeatedly harassed american diplomats in moscow. the former director of intelligence james clapper recently testified that russia will continue to interfere in our political system. this is what he said. he said, i believe russia is now emboldened to continue such activities in the future both here and around the world. and to do so evenin even more
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intensely. if there's ever been a clarion call for vigilance and action against the threat to our very foundation of the political system, this episode is it. vigilance, that is what we need right now. that is why i joined a bipartisan group of my colleagues to introduce the countering russian hostilities act, legislation that would impose strong sanctions against russia. these sanctions would address russia's cyber attacks, its human rights violations, and its illegal annexation of land in ukraine and georgia. i'm also the cosponsor of the russia sanctions review act, bipartisan legislation that would require congressional review if sanctions against russia are rolled back. the russian sanctions amendment offered today contains essential portions of both of these pieces of legislation. after those 17 intelligence agencies confirm that russia
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interfered in our election, president obama enacted important sanctions against officials in the russian government and hackers conducting m mama lishes cyber activity -- malicious cyber activity on behalf of the russian government. the amendment before us today would codify those sanctions. the amendment also strengthens sanctions against russia's energy sector, corrupt russia officials, and those who supply weapons to the assad regime. the day that the obama administration was imposing these additional sanctions on russia, i was actually with senators mccain and graham in eastern europe. the goal of our trip was to reinforce support for nato and our allies in the face of increased russian aggression. on the trip we went to the baltics, ukraine and georgia, countries on the front lines of this fight and they know russia's playbook well. in our meetings with presidents and prime ministers of these
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countries, it was increasingly evident that if we don't stop russia now, cyber attacks against governments, political party, newspapers, and companies will only get worse. we heard about websites being shut down and internet access limited when one government, the government of estonia, simply had the audacity to move a bronze statue from a public square to a cemetery. it was of a russian fighter. the russian government didn't like it so they cut down their internet access. or members of the ukrainian parliament who were invited to lithuania. what happens to lithuanians in the parliament? they get hacked into. ukraine itself was targeted by russian hackers more than 6500 times over a two-month period. and most recently russia tried to undermine elections in france. for years our allies have been subjected to russian aggression and invasions, but they are
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undeterred, unwilling to give up on that which they naught so hard for. -- they fought so hard for. independence, freedom, democracy. so this is not just about defending our own democracy as we look at these russian sanctions that are before us today, as we look at the investigation that's ongoing, looking at the interference in our election. it is ab -- it is about defending a democratic way of life in democracies across the world. it is not just about the simple word election or the simple word democracy. it is not just about one candidate or one political party. as senator rubio has noted, the next time it will be the other party. no, this is about our constitution. it's about our own independence from foreign powers. it is about freedom and the rights guaranteed to us in our own constitution. if that is undermined, if foreign governments are allowed to come in and hand-pick who their candidate is based on either propaganda or on cyber
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attacks, then we lose our constitutional rights because we, the people, are no longer determining who our representatives are. other countries are. the world continues to look to america for our steadfast leadership. the united states, a beacon for freedom and democracy, must continue to stand up against russian aggression not just in word, but in deed. that is why it's so important that the senate is coming together today to pass strong sanctions against the russian government. we want the russian people to be able to have a democracy. we want them to be able to have a democracy that doesn't do things like bring down planes in ukraine, that doesn't do things like try to influence other countries' elections. that's why these sanctions are so important. we know that that russian
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government today is actively working to undermine our democracy and hurt american businesses. this is part of the cyber war. and we know that this unprecedented interference has been orchestrated by the kremlin so that americans actually lose faith in our own political system. over time russia has grown more determined in its effort to weaken democracies and expand its sphere of influence. now more than ever americans are looking to the senate for leadership. we must stand strong and united so that russia and other nations know that attacks against our democracy must not go unchecked. the amendment before us on the sanctions is an important step in doing just that.ng just that. mr. president, i yield the floor. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. a senator: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that we vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: i rise to express disappointment with the u.s. mexico sugar agreement announced last week. mr. toomey: the fact is this is a bad deal for the united states. i am completely mystified as to
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why our commerce department would agree to it. it's a bad deal for u.s. consumers, and we're all consumers. it's a bad deal for american workers. it completely fails to address the high price of sugar that we have in america today. in fact, it makes the problem worse. it increases the price that we all have to pay for sugar, reduces choices for consumers, and absolutely threatens jobs in the many food-producing industries that we have across our country. what it does is it continues the protectionist policies that favor a handful of big sugar producers and refiners. these are large agribusiness companies generally, already subsidized by domestic agricultural policies that force american consumers to pay artificially inflated prices for their products. it also limits imports and the fact is the agreement should be doing just the opposite.
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it should be giving us a free market in sugar so that american consumers can shop for the best deal available in the world. and that is exactly what it does not do. unfortunately, the commerce, what they did at the commerce department is they failed to prioritize the concerns of ordinary american consumers. ordinary american workers. now the fact is, mr. president, that the u.s. is a signet importer of sugar. we're a huge country, and we don't produce as much sugar as we consume. so we import the difference. mexico happens to be the number-one source of imported sugar. we get about 35% of our imported sugar from mexico. and the nafta trade agreement provided for free trade in sugar. it took a long time to get there, but it contemplated an arrangement where mexico could sell american consumers -- like my wife when she goes shopping at the store and all of our
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families, without -- duties without tariffs, without taxes, without obstacles. but that didn't work out so well for some of the sugar producers, so they went to court and they accused mexico of dumping sugar. and in order to avoid tariffs, the mexican government agreed to what they call the suspension agreements. it's an agreement that basically sets a minimum price. so that's what we do. that's what our sugar policy is. we have the government dictates essentially, in conjunction with foreign governments. and it's the american government that has all the leverage here. we set prices. we fix prices. we don't have a free market. we establish by central government fiat what the price will be. we also establish import quotas. we decide how much foreign sugar an american will be permitted to buy. reminiscent of moscow on the
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mississippi, mr. president. this is not how you have a free market that allows consumers to have the choices and the benefits from lower competition. i was concerned about where this negotiation was heading, and so senator jeanne shaheen, democrat senator from new hampshire, she and i sent a letter to our commerce secretary ross to urge him to consider the impact on consumers -- which is all of us, i will reiterate -- in negotiating this deal. there was a similar letter from house members. unfortunately, it apparently did not persuade our commerce department. in fact, this new agreement, as i think i mentioned, this new agreement leaves us with a policy that's worse than it was before. this new so-called suspension agreement increases the already inflated price of sugar, 2% higher for raw sugar, 8% higher for refined sugar if imported
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from mexico. how does it help the 320 million americans? how does it help ordinary americans to be forced to pay more for the sugar that we all have to buy? it's a staple in our food. well, the answer is it doesn't help. it hurts. the single mom who's going to the grocery store to buy cereal for her kids, when she has to pay twice, approximately twice the price of the global price for sugar. where does that money go? it goes straight out of her pocket and straight into the pockets of this hand full of wealthy sugar producers in america. so it's absolutely bad policy for american consumers. and make no mistake about it, higher price for mexican sugar means higher price for american consumers, all of us. the coalition for sugar reform estimates that the new agreement -- just the new agreement -- will cost u.s. consumers an additional $1 billion a year. $1 billion a year that goes
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strays to the growers -- goes straight to the growers, producers. u.s. sugar prices already almost double the world prices generally because of the ridiculous agricultural policy we have with respect to sugar. and the american enterprise institutes reports that they believe that the current policy already costs u.s. consumers $3 billion a year. sowft $3 billion -- so you have the $3 billion a year from this flawed policy we used to have and now we just added another $1 billion in cost to our consumers by virtue of this suspension agreement. what the commerce department should be doing in these contexts, is to strive to reduce and eliminate these mandatory price-fixing, eliminate these barriers to trade, and put u.s. consumers as the first priority. but i will point out, it's not only americans as consumers that are harmed by this. it's also americans as workers.
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there are industries that use sugar as a component in their food products. in my state of pennsylvania, in particular, has a lot of these companies. 200 confectioners. we have the most in any state. our sugar-using industries employ nearly 40,000 workers across our commonwealth. we have 600,000 workers across the country in the various food and beverage industries that make products that we all consume that use sugar. well, guess what? higher sugar prices jeopardize those well-paying food manufacturing jobs. about 120,000 such jobs have been lost over the past two decades because what what happes american food producers just can't compete. american food producers are forced to buy artificially expensive sugar. their foreign competitors doesn't have to do that. their foreign competitors can buy sugar on the rogue markets
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at about half the price. guess what? an american candy maker or cereal maker or other food maker is at a huge competitive disadvantage, and we've been losing that in part because we forced them to pay these artificially high prices. our own commerce department, the very same commerce department that negotiated this deal, they did a study. this is their work, not mine, and they estimate that when you artificially prop up the price of sugar, you might save some jobs in the sugar growing industry. but for every job you save there, you lose three jobs in the food processing, the manufacturing industry, the sugar consumption try. what a terrible trade. what a terrible arrangement. so mr. president, i'm very disappointed to learn about this, that the commerce department clearly failed to negotiate an agreement that would put consumers first and
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consumers' pocketbooks first. instead we've got increased prices, above the already artificially high levels. we have restrictions on sugar trade. and apparently we've decided to pursue protectionist policies that advance the interest of a small hand full of wealthy growers at the expense of several hundred million americans consumers. this strikes me as crony capitalism, and it's a huge mistake. mr. president, i hope that this is not a sign of what is to come in trade negotiations. we're told that the administration is going to be reevaluating, renegotiating various agreements, including nafta and others. as they are being reconsidered, i hope we won't go down this protectionist road of favoring a handful of the privileged few at the expense of the many, as we apparently did in this agreement. i yield the floor.
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mr. whitehouse: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business for up to ten minutes. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thanks, mr. president. mr. president, however loud, persistent, and powerful the climate denial operation has been, we have to remember that it has always been built on lies. it is a huge fortress of lies stacked upon lies, lies about the science, lies about the scientists, lies about doubt, lies about costs, lies through phony front groups, lies about where the money comes from and who's pulling the strings. this fortress of lies protects a subsidy to the fossil fuel industry that the international
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monetary fund puts at $700 billion per year. for big, big money, you can do big, big lies. and they do. these have been the biggest lies of our generation. but to paraphrase the great reggae jimmy cliff, the bigger you lie, the harder you fall. and to paraphrase the "game of thrones," the fall is coming. in the last few weeks, there has been news that has shaken this fortress of lies and moves us toward that fall. shareholders are rising up. for as long as there have been
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shareholder resolutions to fossil fuel companies about climate change, there has been resolute opposition from management to every vote. hundreds of shareholder resolutions went down to defeat until now -- now. objection accidental -- occidental petroleum shareholders won the first week against management, and a week later, exxonmobil was defeated by its shareholders. this new reporting that shareholders have demanded will help clear away the lies. the fall is coming. there are even lies within the lies. to fend off this latest shareholder resolution to try to make the company look less irresponsible, exxonmobil's c.e.o. repeated the company's claim that it knows climate change is real and supports a
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carbon fee. but it doesn't, as everyone in this building knows. exxonmobil maintains a massive lobbying apparatus in washington. and that massive apparatus is and always has been resolutely opposed to any such thing as a carbon fee. any serious climate action whatsoever, for that matter. unless maybe exxonmobil doesn't know what its own vast lobbying apparatus is doing. maybe exxonmobil spends that enormous amount of money to exert its influence in washington to stop any climate action and the c.e.o. is unaware of that going on. i doubt that. you be the judge of whether that
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is credible. it's not just shareholders rising up. attorneys general are starting to win. the attorney general of new york has just filed pleadings in state court in new york asserting that exxonmobil's climate reporting has been a sham, to use the word from his filing. that in the oldest of accounting tricks, exxonmobil kept two sets of books assessing carbon pollution risk. after fierce opposition by exxonmobil lawyers using every trick in the book to delay and snarl the new york attorney general, it looks now that exxonmobil may have lied to its investors and its shareholders. if exxonmobil has lied to its shareholders, that's a violation of law, and that fall comes hard
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indeed. secretary of state tillerson evidently knew of and approved the two sets of carbon pollution books when he was c.e.o. of exxonmobil. we'll see where this goes, but of all the people around trump who might be indicted, now we might add the secretary of state. the attorney general of massachusetts is also pursuing exxonmobil against equally fierce tactics by exxonmobil lawyers. to try to get away from the massachusetts attorney general, the lawyers even went so far as to claim -- get this -- that exxonmobil was not doing business in massachusetts. that it didn't have the minimum contacts with the commonwealth of massachusetts necessary for the state even to assert
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jurisdiction. well, the judge virtually laughed that argument out of court, but it shows how desperate exxonmobil must be feeling as it tries to wriggle away from having to answer questions under oath. nothing turns a big lie into a hard fall better than having to put that right hand up and give truthful testimony and face cross-examination under penalty of perjury. will the securities and exchange commission take a look at this sham reporting, too, or has the federal government under trump degenerated into such a fossil fuel banana republic that no federal agency will do its job against that industry?
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or might it even chime in on the side of industry, pruitt style? do you remember the question whether the fossil fuel climate denial operation merits investigation under federal civil racketeering laws? the tobacco industry was sued under federal civil racketeering laws by the united states department of justice, so there is a model. you may remember that the question as to the fossil fuel climate denial operation was referred by attorney general lynch to the f.b.i., or so she testified. one wonders did the f.b.i. ever take an honest look? what was the outcome? was there ever a report? are they still looking at it?
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remember that the department of justice won its civil racketeering case against the tobacco industry. they won it at trial, and they won again on appeal. the woman who won that case for the department of justice, the lead trial attorney for the department, has said publicly that this climate denial operation also merits investigation as fraud. that would seem to be a knowledgeable opinion from the woman who won the last case, an opinion perhaps worth heeding, but did anything happen? will anything happen? forget too big to fail. or too big to jail. is the power of the fossil fuel
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industry now so great that it's too big even to investigate? even by the department of justice. does it now take state attorneys general to do the job because the federal government is so owned now by the fossil fuel industry? think about it. what if the f.b.i. reported to the attorney general that there was a meritorious fraud case arising out of all the lies propping up climate denial? who believes attorney general sessions would allow that case to go forward against his party's biggest backer? well, the bigger the lie, ultimately the harder the fall.
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one way or the other, this fact remains constant and true. there always will come a day of reckoning, and with these shareholder victories and with these attorney general victories, that day of reckoning is closing in. the day when they have to put that right hand up and testify truthfully and under oath, not just send out spin through front groups and operatives but testify truthfully under penalty of perjury. mr. president, it is long overdue for truth to have its day. i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from idaho. mr. crapo: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to speak on the
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crapo-brown-corker-cardin countering russian aggression and cyber attacks act of 2017. this bill was filed as an amendment. it was filed as amendment 232 to the iran sanctions bill late last night. yesterday, the senate banking and senate foreign relations committees concluded their work on a ground breaking piece of legislation -- ground-breaking piece of legislation regarding russia sanctions. i say ground breaking because the legislation not only ratchets up pressure against the russian federation for its illegal invasion and annexation of crimea, continuing escalation of violence in eastern ukraine and its cyber activities against businesses and citizens of the united states, but it also importantly provides congress with a strong oversight process over almost any termination or suspension of these sanctions. senators corker, brown and cardin and their staffs spent many, many hours to ensure that we put together a thoughtful and
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measured product, and i thank them for their work. senator brown and i have worked together for months to try to craft a responsible russia sanctions package, and senator corker has been a tireless champion of this measure, as has senator cardin. i also would be remiss if i did not recognize the work of senators mccain and graham and shaheen and the many others who have worked to develop much of what has ended up in this legislation. all of us appreciate the leadership of majority leader mcconnell and senator schumer who worked with us as we came to our final agreement. the need for this legislation was underlined by the fact that many americans have deep concerns about russia's behavior over the past few years. since coming to power, russian president putin has become preafgly belligerent, nationalistic and autocratic. currently, the united states has imposed sanctions on russia for
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russia's invasion and annexation of crimea and its role in supporting the separatist movements in eastern ukraine. russia's increasing cyber attacks and cyber espionage against the united states, russia's support for the assad regime in syria, and russia's complicity for corruption. although this is not an exhaustive list, it demonstrates the lengths to which russia will go to seize power and influence in the international arena. unfortunately, putin's desire to increase russia's political influence is not driven by a desire to raise the standard of living for russians. instead, it is driven by a craving to enrich and empower himself and his cronies. over the course of the past three months, the senate banking committee has held hearings assessing the impacts of the current sanctions regime against russia. we examined the existing russian sanctions architecture in terms
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of its effectiveness and its economic impact. the russians have largely learned to live within the economic confines of the existing sanctions regime. in putin's calculation, the costs of the sanctions do not outweigh the benefits of occupying crimea and contributing to unrest in the ukraine, to continuing to support the assad regime's assault on civilians in syria and conducting cyber attacks on people and companies and institutions around the globe. many of us on both sides of the aisle feel that the united states needs to be much stronger in its response. americans want to see the united states stand firm in the defense of our long-held values, which include respect for territorial integrity, human rights and liberty. at this point, the only way to change putin's cost-benefit analysis is to increase the
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pressure which we applied directly through sanctions. the crapo-brown-corker-cardin amendment is an effective way to increase the pressure on russia for its irresponsible conduct. our legislation signals to the world the united states' unflagging commitment to the sanctity of territorial integrity, human rights, and good governance. our amendment also demonstrates our resolve in responding to cyber attacks against the united states citizens and entities against our allies. in summary, the crapo-brown-corker-cardin amendment does four things. it escalates and expands the current sanctions regime against russia. it creates new sanctions against russia. it engages congress at a higher level than before by providing a mechanism for congress to vote before lifting any sanctions on
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russia. and it increases the treasury department's ability to track illicit finance, including illicit flows linked to russia. we escalate and expand the current sanctions regime against russia by codifying and modifying six current executive orders. four of these orders relate to russia's invasion of ukraine and two relate to russia's malicious cyber activity. we expand this to reach russian deep water, arctic and shale projects worldwide. we also permit the president to apply these sanctions to russian railway, shipping, and metals, and mining sectors. the amendment creates several new sanctions against russia. there are new sanctions for those who are engaged in significant activities undermining cybersecurity. these sanctions also apply to
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those providing material support for such malicious cyber actors. we also manned -- impose mandatory sanctions on entities engaged in special russian energy projects and on foreign financial institutions facilitating transactions in response to russian -- russia's continued aggression in ukraine. it includes sanctions on russian government officials, their relatives, and close associates responsible for significant corruption in russia or elsewhere. it sanctions people who help others evade sanctions and people responsible for human rights violations in any territory controlled by russia. additionally, it sanctions those who work for or on behalf of the russian defense and intelligence sectors. those who invest or support the construction of russian energy export pipelines and corrupt government officials who enrich themselves after making deals to
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privatize state-owned assets. finally, it sanctions those who help the assad regime acquire chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons technology, ballistic or cruise missile or advanced conventional weapons. the crapo-brown-corker-cardin amendment will have new sanctions on rube. part of the agreement includes congressional review language to ensure that congress uses proper oversight of these powerful sanctions. we require the president to notify congress when imposing certain types of sanctions and we will have the opportunity to review any attempts to lift sanctions with regard to russia. we intend to use this review model on all sanctions regimes moving forward. and i intend to work to apply it to sanctions in iran.
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amendment 232 is more than just the sanctions and congressional review. this legislation also includes important counterterrorism financing provisions adopted by the house and senate during the 114th congress. it requires the creation of a national strategy for combating the financing of terrorism and related forms of illicit finance. the strategy ensures the united states pursues a coordinated an effective fight against illicit finance at all levels of the russian government. our measure requires the strategy to enhance private-public partnerships to prevent and detect illicit finance. the measure requires the treasury department to report on its efforts to identify illicit finance flows linked to russia affecting the united states financial system or the financial system of our allies.
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we must engage all of our allies, particularly our trading partners, to work with us so that we achieve our objectives without collateral damage, which is so often the case. it is important that our trading partners be with us on this issue. -- rather than being the victims of the actions we take. this is a strong bipartisan measure that, in are important respects, represents the next step forward. of course, this will not be the last step if russia does not begin to demonstrate verifiable steps towards reducing its course of aggression on mument. fronts -- multiple fronts. make no mistake, the sanctions currently in place and that introduced last night are russia's -- are putin's fault and not a result of putin's confused notion of russian power
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an pride. even unilateral actions -- even though unilateral actions are not the best option, america must lead on this issue and encourage others to follow. since the most successful sanctions result from a united front of the united states and the european union cooperation. since the unlawful annexation of -- through relentless war, the global spread of cyber intrusions and putin's indefensible support of assad's leadership of syria, particularly in light of the recent chemical attack, fewer are left in europe to defend putin's policy. the times call for clarity and purpose and a correct amount of this pressure. we have that in this amendment. again, thank you to senators corker, brown, and cardin for your hard work and are support and to each of the other senators from both sides of the
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aisle who have worked to help develop and pursue the policies adopted in this legislation. and thank you to leader mcconnell and senator schumer for all of your help an support. i look forward -- and support. i look forward to passing this measure in short order and i encourage all of my colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be ended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cotton: mr. president, dal i speak in favor -- today i speak in favor of this iran sanctions bill. i'm the original cosponsor of the bill so it should come as no surprise that i support it. my only concern is that we didn't pass it sooner.
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as i stand here today, i can't help but feel that this moment highlights the folly of the last eight years of president obama's foreign policy. for eight years president obama did everything he could to curry favor with ayatollahs and tehran. he ignored popular protests known as the green movement and the thousands of iranians who criefd out for something -- cried out for something more than sham elections. he lectured our gulf arab allies on the need to quote, unquote, share the middle east with their sworn enemy and some kind of cold peace. he insisted on putting daylight between us and our friend israel. he dalyed and dithered as the regime helped their client bashar al-assad tear apart his own country in a brutal civil war and most infamously he traded away billions of dollars in sanctions relief for a flim flimsy, one-sided nuclear deal, a deal that didn't prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon so much as ultimately guarantee it
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in just a few years. and what do we have to show for all of this? what do we get for looking the other way for eight years? not a more reasonable iran, not a more open, tolerant democratic iran, not a friendlier iran but an emboldened iran, one that continues to launch ballistic missiles in willful defiance of the united nations security council resolutions. for everything we've done to mull identify the ayatollahs and their sensitivities, they've gone out of their way to inflame ours and what did president obama do? nothing but appease them. but we shouldn't lay these failures solely at the last president's doorstep because he represents a mindset that's too widely shared. it's one that sees iran's obvious aggression in the middle east and yet still considers america the aggressor. it's one that tries to compartmentalizes and haggle with the regime whose leaders
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shout death to israel and death to america and virtually every friday. it's one that refuses to call a spade a spade and say to the ayatollahs enough is enough. but today we're changing course and not a moment too soon. this legislation will finally hold the regime in tehran accountable for its brazen attempts to bully its neighbors and assert supremacy throughout the middle east. it will put heavy sanctions on anyone involved in helping iran develop ballistic missiles, circumvent our arms embargo or spread terrorism throughout the world. i know there are those who consider this kind of move provocative but i would say it is the iranian regime's aggression that has been provocative. all of these sanction activiti activities, the things that the regime and tehran should not be doing in the first place. i don't think it's provocative to hold our enemies to the same standards as our friends. i don't think it's unreasonable
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to do what we can to protect our friends and ourselves from iranian-supported terrorism and from a regime that's responsible for killing hundreds of american troops in the middle east. instead i think it's long overdue and today i'm glad to see the senate finally prepared to rectify these grave mistakes. mr. president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quor quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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mr. kennedy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from louisiana. mr. kennedy: thank you, mr. president. i rise today, mr. president, to discuss -- i move that we come out of the quorum call, mr. president the presiding officer: without objection. can i can he thank you, mr. president. mr. kennedy: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to discuss bipartisan legislation that will reauthorize the national flood insurance progr program. and i want to talk a little bit about flood insurance first before i talk about our
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much-needed legislation. as many people know -- but, unfortunately, some folks don't know or maybe they forget -- but if you have homeowners insurance on your home and you flood, you're not covered. homeowners insurance does not cover flood. in order to be covered for flood, you have to have a separate policy. and about the only place you can go to get flood insurance is from the federal program -- the national flood insurance program. now, that's a bit of an overstatement. it is possible to buy flood insurance from a private insurer, and certainly we want to encourage private insurers to participate more in the flood insurance market. but today, for the most part, if you want to carry flood insurance, you have to get it
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through the federal program, and that's called the national flood insurance program. it is administered by fema. it is hard to overstate the importance of flood insurance to the american people. it's even harder to overstate the importance of flood insurance to the people of louisiana. the gross domestic product in my state is about $220 billion to $230 billion a year. if youd a up all the goods and -- if you add up all the goods and service services that we as louisianans produce every year, it is out to -- it comes out to between $220 billion and $230 billion. without flood insurance, you can cut that figure in half. we would have to, in effect, turn out the lights. there are 450,000 flood insurance policies in my state.
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many of those people have to have flood insurance. it's a condition of their mortgage. so the flood insurance program -- and, more specifically, the national flood insurance program -- is extraordinarily important to america, but it's even more extraordinarily important to the people of louisiana. today we are introducing a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the national flood insurance program. the current program expires in september. if we don't reauthorize it, most americans who have flood insurance at the present time will no longer be able to access it. it is critical that the united states congress act and act immediately. the bill that we are introducing
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-- and i will explain in a moment who i mean by "we" -- is bipartisan legislation. now, there are a lot of issues that divide congress today. and reasonable people are entitled to disagree over some of these very difficult issues. but there are also issues that we can come together on, and i would respectfully suggest, mr. president, that flood insurance is one of them. we have put together a bipartisan coalition -- senator bob menendez from new jersey, who happens to be a democrat; senator cory booker, who happens to be a democrat; senator thad cochran, chairman of our aopenings pros committee -- appropriations committee in the senate from mississippi, he's republican; senator marco rubio from florida, who is a republican; senator bill nelson from florida, who is a democrat;
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senator van hollen from maryland, who happens to be a democrat; and more senators are coming on board. today we are introducing a bill. it's called the safe national flood insurance program reauthorization act. and "safe," of course, is an acronym. it refers to sustainable, affordable, fair, and efficient -- safe. the safe national flood insurance program reauthorization act. let me tell you briefly what it does, mr. president. let me start with cost. it doesn't do a bit of good to offer someone insurance if they can't afford it. and too many times that has been the case with flood insurance. right now under the current
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program, the national flood insurance program is allowed to raise a homeowner's flood insurance premium by 18%. not 10%, not 12%, but by a staggering 18%, and to do that every year. if you're insuring a second home -- let's suppose you have a vacation home -- or if you are a businesswoman or a businessman insuring a commercial establishment, the national program can raise their premiums every year by 25%. nobody -- nobody can pay those kind of increases. our bill would cap the amount that the flood insurance program can raise someone's premium at 10% annually. i wish we could tap it at zero percent annually. but 10% is certainly a lot better for our people than 18%
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and 25%, respectively. and if fema properly implements some other provisions of our act, which i'll talk about in a moment, there won't be any increases. number two, our bill -- the safe national flood insurance reauthorization act would extend the national flood insurance program by six years. i wish we could extend it longer. i wish we could do ten years or 15 years or 20 years, but it's necessary, of course, as you know, mr. president, to get unified bipartisan support on this legislation, and we think six years -- a six-year authorization is probably the best we can do to pass this bill. number three, our bill will save about $750 million a year. let me say that again. our bill will save about $750
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million each and every year to be used in the flood insurance program. and here's how our legislation would do it: number one, as we know, the flood insurance program has a deficit. we've had a large number of natural disasters -- floods -- over the past several years in our country, unfortunately. we had hurricane sandy. we had hurricane katrina. in my state in louisiana last year we had two horrible floods, both in the northern part of my state and in the southern part of my state. in a commof instances -- in a couple of instances, we had 23 inches of rain in two days. if you get 23 inches of rain in two days, you're going to flood. those floods were very expensi expensive. that -- those catastrophes and
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many others caused the national flood insurance program to operate at a deficit. the program owes $25 billion in debt. but we owe it to ourselves. we don't owe it to a bank. we don't owe it to a foreign country. we don't owe it to any private entity. we owe it to ourselves. and we have been paying interest to ourselves out of the premiums, the cash flow, if you will, in the flood insurance program every year. that -- 10%, 10 cents out of every dollar that comes into the program, is devoted to paying the interest. our bill would suspend those interest payments for six years. that will free up about $400 million a year. number two, we're also saving
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money by asking those who work with us in implementing the national flood insurance program to sharpen their pencils. fema is in charge of the national flood insurance program, but fema doesn't run the program, doesn't run the insurance company that administers the policies. fema has -- hires private insurers in the private sector to actually run the program. we call that the write-your-own program. now, for the most part, those private insurers which administer the program do a good job. but they don't have any risk. they have zero risk, none, nada. the risk is on the national flood insurance program, the federal government, and, therefore, the american taxpayer. we just hire the private insurers to administer the program, to collect the premiums, to sell the policies, to adjust the claims.
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so they have no risk. but yet we're paying them 31 cents out of every dollar that the program would take in. and our bill respectfully suggests that that's too much money. and while we appreciate the cooperation we get and the good work we get from the private insurers who help us administer this program, we're going to ask them to -- actually, we're going to tell them to reduce their compensation from -- to -- from 31 cents out of every dollar. that's going to save about $3 50 million a year. so we just saved about $750 million a year for the national flood insurance program. what are we going to do with the money? first, mitigation. with flooding -- and it is inevitable that we're going to
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have floods. i don't know why bad things happen to good people, but they do. you can pay a little bit up front or you can pay a whole lot later. and this is what i mean by that. if we spend the money on mitigation to protect against the flooding that we know will inevitably happen, we will save money for the american taxpayer in the long run. and we will use a portion of that $750 million in savings to mitigate against flood risks. by mitigation, i mean offering low- or no-interest loans to homeowners to elevate their homes so they won't flood. building levees, building floodwalls. our bill does not say specifically what mitigation measures should be taken and it does not say which mitigation projects will be built. but it does say mitigation is the answer, not the complete
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answer but part of the answer. we haven't done enough of it. and now we're going to have the resources to do it. the second -- the second way we're going to use that money, mr. president, is to try to do a better job with map. we set rates in the national flood insurance program based on the likelihood of someone to flood. we do -- we determine that likelihood by using maps, which are drawn by experts using computer models. we're not using the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art technology to draw those maps. if our bill passes, we will, including but not limited to a new technology called lidar. i confess i don't understand the
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technology, but it's called lidar, light detection and range technology, and it can be used to draw more accurate flood maps to more accurately assess somebody's propensity to flood. why is that important? you might be in a high-risk flood zone right now and paying a large amount of premium. with state-of-the-art technology, you may be put into a lower-risk flood zone and pay less. i'm not guaranteeing that result. but it's certainly possible. and in any event, we need to as accurately as possible assess the risk, and the only way to do that is through proper mapping. our bill, also, mr. president, includes a provision that allows congress to provide better and greater oversight of fema in administering the program. and let me tell you specifically what it will do. the very able administrator at
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fema who handles the flood insurance program testified before the banking committee a few months ago, and he testified that if one of these private insurance companies that administers the flood insurance program for us has a lawyer or a consultant that's not doing his job, then fema doesn't have the authority to fire him. this bill will give fema the authority to fire that consultant, and here's why it's important. most of the lawyers and the engineers and the other consultants that the private insurance companies hire to administer the program help them administer the program on behalf of the national flood insurance program, do a pretty good job. but some of them do not. and there have been recorded instances both in new jersey and louisiana where certain people people -- engineers and lawyers -- have seen their mission to be, to do anything
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they possibly can to keep a homeowner who's paid his or her hard-earned money to buy flood insurance from getting the money that they deserve if they flood. and that is just wrong. now if you're trying to defraud the national flood insurance program, we need to fight you like a tiger. but if you have paid your premiums, and unfortunately you have flooded, you're entitled to get your money. you're not -- you should not be required to fight some engineer or some lawyer who's throwing up obstacle after obstacle after obstacle. and our bill says if there are consultants that do that, and the private insurance companies don't want to fire them, then buy god, fema will. and we're going to hold fema accountable. a couple more points, mr. president, that i will mention. this bill will also extend the
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coverage limits. right now the most flood insurance that one can buy if you're a homeowner is $250,000. while that's a lot of money, that doesn't cover some homes given the rate of inflation in america today. and our bill would expand coverage limits to $500,000 for homes and $1.5 million for a commercial establishment. mr. president, i've talked to some of my colleagues in the senate and in the house, and some of them, i'm happy for them, represent states that haven't had any major floods. and i hope they never do. but if we have learned anything in the last few years in terms of flooding, we've learned that just when men and women think they can control everything in this world and we can control
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our destiny, we can't control god and mother nature. flooding can happen at any time. let me say it again: you can live in a mountainous state, you can live on top of a mountain. but if you get 23 inches of rain in two days, you're going to flood. and that's why you need flood insurance. that's why this bill is not just important to coastal states like louisiana and mississippi and florida and new jersey and maryland. it's important to all americans. this is a bipartisan bill. have i mentioned that, mr. president? i think i did. this is a bipartisan bill. it's supported by many democrats. it's supported by many republicans. it's a bill that's not only important for our economy, but it's important for the peace of mind of the american people. and i hope we won't let politics get in the way of doing, of doing what we know to be right.
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once again, the bill is called the "safe" which stands for sustainable, affordable, fair, and efficient national flood insurance reauthorization program. and i hope, mr. president, that this body will come together as one and support this much-needed legislation. with that, mr. president, i thank you, and i suggest respectfully the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. a senator: i ask unanimous consent that the order for the quorum call be rescinded. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: and i'm permitted to speak as if in morning business for up to ten minutes. mr. boozman: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i rise today to pay respect to a law enforcement officer in my home state of arkansas who lost his life in the line of duty yesterday,
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monday, june 12, 2017. lieutenant patrick weatherford of the newport police department joined other officers in responding to a call of a vehicle break-in when he was shot. sadly lieutenant whetherford passed away later that evening. the lieutenant served on the newport police force for 15 years and recently graduated from the f.b.i. academy he was also a graduate of a.s.u. newport and the university of arkansas at little rock. lieutenant whetherford was recognized as the 2016 jackson county officer of the year by arkansas attorney general leslie rutledge. his colleagues had great respect and admiration for him, and he was known as an officer who performed his duties with professionalism and skill.
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this is the second arkansas law enforcement officer we've lost in 2017 any occasion when someone is sworn to protect and serve their community does not return home to the loved ones waiting for them is incredibly sad and heartbreaking. arkansans value the men and women who volunteer to help ensure and enhance public safety knowing the risk involved. we are devastated by the loss of another law enforcement officer in our state and we thank all of those who sacrifice so much to protect us. i want to encourage my colleagues to pass the honoring hometown heroes act to allow governors to order the american flag to fly at after staff in recognition of the sacrifice of first responders like lieutenant whetherford who make the ultimate sacrifice.
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my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends as well as the community he served which will no doubt miss him dearly. i pray that they will all find comfort during such a difficult time as this. i also stand with all arkansans in expressing our gratitude for lieutenant whetherford's service and commitment to honoring the sacrifice that he and others have made to protect us. with that 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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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: are we in a quorum call? officer we are. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum calling dispense with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the deck for the committee substitute amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the committee-reported substitute amendment to calendar number 110, s. 722, a bill to impose sanctions with respect to iran in relation to iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, and violations of human rights, and for other purposes, signed by 1 senators -- mr. mcconnell: i ask that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without
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objection. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the deck for the underlying bill, is $722. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on calendar number 110, s. 7222, a bill to impose sanctions with respect to iran in relation to iran's ballistic missile program, support for acts of international terrorism, n. and violations of human rights and for other punks signed by 17 senators as follows -- mr. mcconnell: ask unanimous consent that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that mandatory quorum calls with respect to the cloture motions be waived. 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 the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 2, s. 831. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 29,
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s. 831, a bill to designate the facility of the united states postal service located at 120 west pike street and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill being considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:45 p.m. a.m. wednesday, june 14. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date,-and-and the time for the two leaders be reserves for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. finally, following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of s. 722, as under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if ness to further business before the senate, i ask that is it stand adjourned as under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
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president travis to sell munitions at the apartment administration were not. tomorrow's senators will return to debate sanctions against companies or people helping iran to develop ballistic missiles. off the floor, senate committees are working on 18 federal spending. live coverage when the senate comes back in on c-span two this weekend on the tv features a panel panel discussion on race on america at saturday at 5:00 p.m. eastern moderated by april ryan the washington bureau chief for urban radio networks and author of the the presidency in black and white speck these two ladies right here and i remember them as young ladies
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watch, march for us and talk for us when we didn't have voices. they let us know that we count and matter in a time when many of us are not at the table. if you don't have a secre. >> mary frances berry, $5 and a pork chop sandwich, avis jones weaver, author of how exceptional black women lead, wesley lowery, they can't kill us all and jerked julianne author of are we better off. on a sunday at 1:15 p.m. pulitzer prize winning david mccullough starts with former news anchor charles gibson about his collection of speeches on american principles. >> i began to think about the great presidents down the years who have been avid readers of history, many of them wrote
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history, including john kennedy. even those who didn't have the benefit of a college education, like harry truman, read history all their lives. they realized that is essential to the role of a leader, whether it's the presidency or leadership of any kind. it's a cause and effect. history matters. >> go to tv .org for the complete weekend schedule. >> c-span, where history unfold daily. in 1979 c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies. it is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider.

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