tv U.S. Senate Takes Up FDA Bill Confirms Ambassadors CSPAN August 3, 2017 11:59am-2:00pm EDT
out-of-pocket expense ps for veterans. and we passed bills last night. we are going to expedite this and bring it down from three years to one year. the v.a. is going to do. we will give them the tools to do that. the v.a. choice funding fix so it will allow the private sector to fill in the gaps. it will help recruit and retain more doctors and nurses, critically important, and it expands the capacity in the v.a., which, quite frankly, is important and then the g.i. bill which breaks down educational barriers and helps veterans to transition into civilian life. we have done some good work for this body and for the veterans. we feed to -- we need to continue on that line as we continue to address health care and important issues like tax reform. it's about work together, it's about finding common ground,
it's about taking everybody's opinion into context and drafting up bills. chairman isakson and i have done that, and we continue to do that. we have tough issues to deal with over the next year and a half but we will make sure we do it and do it right. with help from the committee and senate we will have more successes. i thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. ms. murkowski: mr. president, in just a couple minutes here, we will move to take up the nomination of dan breeatte to be deputy secretary of the department of energy. he has a long distinguished service to our nation. he's a veteran. he served at the department of energy. he has been the staff director for the house energy and commerce committee. he's held high level posts in
the private sector, first as vice senior of vice president ford. he has thorough knowledge of the department he has chosen to return to. he understands the work that has thousands of scientists undertakes and the importance of maximizing research efforts especially in a time of constrained federal budgets. he recognizes the importance of our 17 national labs and the department's responsibility for environmental management, including the cleanup of cold war era legacy sites. as second in command to secretary perry, he will oversee programs critical to our nation's cybersecurity energy innovation and scientific discovery. based on his hearings before the energy and natural resources committee, i'm confident that he's up for the challenge and ready for this role. i would urge all of my colleagues to support the nomination to be the deputy secretary of the department of energy.
the presiding officer: on this vote, -- are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? seeing none, on this vote the ayes are 79, the nays are 17, and the nomination is agreed to. confirmed. under the previous order, the motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action. could we have order in the chamber? order in the chamber. under the previous order, the
senate will resume legislative session in consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 2430. all postcloture time is expired. the motion to proceed is agreed to and the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 174, h.r. 2430, an act to amend the federal food, drug nldz and cosmetic act so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: there will be ten minutes of debate equally divided. a senator: i want to thank senator murray and the committee for two years of work to produce this bipartisan result. the presiding officer: order in the chamber alexander this funds -- lette mr. alexander. senator murray and i have already spoken to the bill. thanked everybody involved. senators have other appointments they would like to keep so i yield back all time. the presiding officer: all time is yielded back. the clerk will read the title of
the bill for the third time. the clerk: calendar number 174, h.r. 2430, an act to amend the federal food, drug, and cosmetic act to revise and extend the user fee programs and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the question is on passage of the bill. is there sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: mr. president, i have six requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: is there objection? duly noted. mrs. fischer: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. a senator: thank you, mr. president. i feel sorry for the presiding officer. this is the second time in a week he has to listen to me talk on the floor. mr. bennet: i want to thank the senator from nebraska for her graciousness in letting me go first. america, the senate has passed the bill. we passed the bill. today the senate passed the race for children act. the race act represents a breakthrough for kids fighting cancer. each year over 15,000 children will be diagnosed with the disease. 2,000 will lose their lives. across america pediatric cancer
is the leading cause of death for our children. previously companies with new treatments for adults studied their potential benefits for kids. company exploring medication for adult diabetes, for example, also researches potential for use in children. this research is vital because it provides critical information for doctors for treating sick children, specifically it helps them ensure that the treatments and dosages they prescribe are safe for young bodies. but there was a gap in the law as it existed before we passed this law. drug companies with new precision medicine for adult cancers did not have to study possible value for pediatric cancers. that meant that our kids continue to receive older treatments, some from the 1960's
that often had harmful side effects and consequences that can last a lifetime. at the same time breakthrough treatments have become available for adults with better results and fewer harmful effects. while these treatments have great promise no kids, we're not doing enough to explore that potential. over the last 20 years the food and drug administration has approved 190 new cancer treatments for adults but just three new treatments for children. mr. bennet: the f.d.a. saw that gap and they asked us to close it. that's precisely what the race for children's act will do. for the first time in the country's history, it would require drug companies to study the potential of promising adult cancer treatments for children closing this gap in the law and opening the door to promising new treatments for children in need. before this bill thousands of kids in america will have access
to cutting edge treatments and precision medicines that could have made the difference in their struggle against cancer. dug my time in the senate i've seen the anguish of too many parents who learned not only that their child has cancer but that they have little or no option for treatment. this bill will give them more options. it will give them more hope. for delaney from grand junction, colorado, this bill could have been life saving. she battled cancer for over five years but passed away a year ago when she was out of treatment options. i'd like to dedicate our work on this bill to her and to all the kids who are bravely battling cancer day in and day out around the world. we also should dedicate it to everybody who called and wrote and shared their family's story over the past months.
this bill would never have passed without their voices. people who are interested in keeping the system the same way and it was the voices of these families and many -- in many instances people who had faced horrible tragedies in their lives who made this possible because they engaged in this process, we passed a bill that will give thousands of kids a better chance to beat cancer and reclaim their lives. america leads the world when it comes to treat being cancer. we pioneered the latest and safest treatments. every american should have access to them, especially our kids whose bright lives have just begun. i'd like to recognize and acknowledge all of the pediatric cancer groups that came together to advance this bill, including pediatric advocates, cancer advocates, the hospitals in
colorado and around the country. i want to acknowledge, as all, the great leadership provided by chairman alexander, ranking member murray and their staff for their work on this and the f.d.a. user fee bill. and finally, i'd like to thank my partner in this work, senator rubio from florida, for his leadership and passionate advocacy on behalf of our kids. this bill is a reminder that when we district of columbia the political -- drop the political fights, we can focus on the fights that really matter, like the fight on cancer, the fight for better health care and the fight for our kids and their future. thank you, and i yield the floor. mrs. fischer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: mr. president, you come up to the floor today to discuss the growing threat from north korea. last month the north korean regime conducted two
intercontinental ballistic missile, or icbm, tests. the fishes came as our nation celebrated its independence day, and the second test, though it was conducted last week. according to a number of reports, the second test demonstrated sufficient range to reach much of the united states. this increasing threat is a concern that i often hear from nebraskans. for years the united states has assessed north korea to have an icbm capability, but it was largely unproven. in his five and a half years in power, kim jong-un has conducted more missile tests than his father did during his 17-year reign. under an aggressive testing program, north korea has turned a theoretical icbm capability into an undeniable reality.
adding to the threat, they have made progress beyond icbm technology. over the past year, north korea has conducted several tests of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, and in february the regime demonstrated a new solid-fueled rogue mobile ballistic missile. altogether, these developments reveal a dedicated, sophisticated development program that is relentlessly pursuing weapons designed for no other purpose than to threaten the united states and our allies. the rapid pace of development also indicates an increasingly capable scientific industrial base within north korea. questions still remain about the regime's ability to minute tourize a -- miniaturize a nuclear warhead and she would it
from the stress of launch and then reentry. but we should expect kim jong-un to overcome these obstacles if the status quo remains unchanged. as admiral harris, the commander of the u.s. pacific command, said in his testimony before the senate armed services committee earlier this year, quote, it is clearly a matter of when, unquote. mr. president, this sense confirms that a drastic change in our approach is required. our current multilateral efforts have not yielded the results needed to keep the world safe. the failure of the united nations security council to issue a statement conemdidding north korea's -- condemning north korea's july 3 icbm test, that was a step backward in the international effort to isolate and to punish the regime for its
illegal behavior. with russia and china preventing any substantive action at the u.n., i believe that we must aggressive implement unilateral sanctions to punish the companies and the countries underwriting pyongyang's belligerence. one thing is certain: the principal economic enablers of the kim regime are china and russia. beijing provides a direct food and energy assistance to north korea and is, by far, the largest market for north korean exports such as minerals. north korean hackers reportedly conduct cybercrime operations from northern china and almost all of north korea's internet access -- well, it's provided
via a fiberoptic cable running between those two nations. north korea has also used chinese banks to conduct transactions associated with its illicit proliferation activities and its criminal operations. russia's economic ties are more limited, but the russians have been known to import north korean labor and provide energy supplies, including jet fuel, to pyongyang. these ties provide china and russia with influence over north korea, and how have they used that influence? instead of helping to restrain the regime, they appear to be rewarding its bad behavior. reports indicate both nations are increasing their bilateral
trade. trade between russia and north korea increased by 85% in comparison to last year. some argue china is unwilling to impose harsh restrictions on trade with pyongyang because it would risk the regime's collapse and send a wave of north korean refugees across their border. well, this argument might explain providing minimal assistance, but it does not justify billions of dollars in cross-border trade. nor does it explain why north korean ballistic missiles are photographed being hauled by chinese-made trucks. china and russia must believe the kim regime serves their strategic interests. for our purposes, these economic
relationships are avenues through which we can impose costs on facilitating north korea's belligerent behavior. congress gave president trump broad authority to take action against the nations supporting the north korean regime's illegal activities, particularly those fostering the regime's hostile cyber activities, weapons programs, abusive human rights, and their criminal networks. it is time for the president to use his authority, to show china and russia that continued support of the north koreans will harm their own interests. the administration has already begun to implement such measures. in june, the united states announced sanctions against a chinese bank, two chinese individuals, and a chinese entity for supporting the north korean regime. it appears, though, that this warning shot, it's fallen on
deaf ears, because there has been no change in their behavior. chinese officials are sticking to their talking points, and they are objecting to any measures so they don't have to bear the costs of their own behavior. take china's reaction to south korea's decision to deploy the thaad system. south korea deployed the thaad battery to improve the defenses against north korean missiles. this is a defensive system that poses no threat to china. yet how did china respond? they shut down south korean-owned department stores. the south korean conglomerate who owns the stores also owns the property where the thaad system was deployed. moreover, the conglomerate's websites were hit by cyber attacks and unofficial restrictions appear to have been imposed on imports of south
korean cosmetics and south korean tourism. it's clear the chinese view north korea through a narrow lens of immediate strategic interest. that is how we must target our actions. by rigorously employing sanctions, we can make clear to china and any other nations doing business with the north korean regime that continued support for the dprk will harm their interests. of course, sanctions are not a panacea, and aggressively applying them does carry risk. indeed, if we could be totally confident that secondary sanctions would solve this problem, i suspect that they would have been implemented long ago. but time is not on our side, and eight years of strategic patience, it has narrowed our
options. if we want different results, we must change our strategy. and we must make these changes now. while firmly applying additional sanctions, the united states must also increase its defenses. of course, our nuclear deterrent remains our country's ultimate protection against nuclear attack. wednesday's successful test of a minuteman icbm by our military provides continued assurance that our deterrent remains reliable and ready. we cannot rely on deterrence alone, and we must ensure that our missile defense efforts stay ahead of north korea's accelerating developments. mr. president, i am a longtime member and now the chairman of the senate armed services committee, the subcommittee on
strategic forces, which oversees our missile defense programs. through this role, i have had the benefit of working closely with the directors of the missile defense agency and the commanders of strategy.com to improve our missile defenses. over the years the committee has authorized additional funding for the construction of a but in missile defense radar known as the long-range discriminating radar or the lrdr, to track potential threats from north korea. the committee has also focused on improving the robustness of our homeland missile defense system known as the ground-based midcourse system. this year in the f.y. 2018 national defense authorization act, our committee authorized over $200 million to meet unfunded requirements for that system.
the g.m.d. system is our only defense against north korea's icbm's. it consists of silo-based interceptors located in alaska and california, supported by a space-based and terrestrial-based sensors and a vast command-and-control network. it provides an effective capability against north korea's icbm's, as was demonstrated in a successful intercept test on may 30 of this year. during that test, a single interceptor successfully destroyed an icbm-class target. it was the longest range test and it was conducted at a greater altitude and closing speed than the system had ever faced before. this successful test was an important milestone that visibly demonstrated the impressive capabilities of our g.m.d. system.
however, shortly after, then-director of the missile defense agency, admiral jim searing, testified before the house subcommittee on strategic forces that our defenses were not, quote, comfortably ahead of the threat, end quote. these comments came before north korea's july icbm test. i strongly believe the rate of north korea's technical progress demands a response. there are options before us. for example, additional ground-based radars and space space-based sensors would improve our ability to track incoming threats, discriminate warheads from debris and decoys, and conduct kill assessments to confirm that the threats have been destroyed. the redesigned kill vehicle
program, which will modernize the portion of the interceptor that impacts and destroys hostile warheads in space, promises to increase the capabilities of our current system. deploying more interceptor whether at the existing facility in fort greely, alaska, or at a new installation would add capacity and enable our defenses to better handle icbm threats. there are also advanced technology programs such as the development of lasers mounted on unmanned systems, which hold significant promise for future missile defense. the missile defense agency is pursuing these options, but the question remains, are our current efforts enough? to help answer this question, the administration is conducting a review of ballistic missile threats and our missile defense posture. the first of its kind since
2010. there is no doubt that the threat environment of today is far more sophisticated and challenging than it was during the last review. our missile defense posture has remained largely unchanged since 2013. on responding to north korean missile developments, then-secretary of defense chuck hagel announced the obama administration's decision to increase the number of deployed interceptor from 30 to 44. the final deployment of these interceptors is expected by the end of this year, which demonstrates another point, that we must bear in mind when we consider our missile defenses. decisions take years to implement. the fact that we are ahead of the threat today, that is not good enough. we should be asking ourselves if
the steps we are taking today are adequate to defeat the threats that we know are coming in the future. i expect the administration's review to confirm the growing threat and articulate a clear response. the review is expected to conclude in the fall, and i plan to hold hearings to examine its proposed way forward. in closing, mr. president, i would note that the phrase no good options is frequently repeated when it comes to confronting the threat that is posed by north korea. this may be true, but the gravity of the situation demands action. kim jong un has repeatedly threatened to attack the united states cities with nuclear weapons. his capacity to carry this threat grows with every passing day. we must change our strategy to
mr.sullivan: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. mr.sullivan: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr.sullivan: mr. president, every week i've been coming down to the floor to talk about the wonderful people in my state. now, a lot of people have visited alaska. if you haven't and you're watching on tv, we really want to welcome you to come. it will be a trip of a lifetime, i guarantee it. but what we like to do when we talk about our alaskan of the week is talk about someone who has made a real impact, someone who doesn't get a lot of attention, someone who has made an impact on his community or her country and just let people
know we're thinking about them, let people know we're proud of them. so i wanted to do that before we head out on recess for a couple of alaskans today. i would like to start, mr. president, by talking about a gentleman who has gotten a little press lately in alaska, but i want the country to hear about it. mr. mark broadis. mark came to my attention through a recent column in the alaska dispatch. mark is originally from pennsylvania. when he was 17 years old, he joined the navy like a lot of alaskans. we have more vets per capita than any state in the country. he was deployed in 1972. when i was in high school, everyone wore long hair and was antigovernment, mark said. that's not the way -- that's not the way i was. i was for god, country, my
brothers were in vietnam, and i wanted to stand with them so i went. when a lot of people were avoiding service, he went. when he got out, he couldn't find a job. so he hitchhiked across the country, into canada, and other places, and he wound up in a magical place we call alaska. mark arrived in 976 -- 1976. he got a job as a taxicab driver. met an fell in love one of his passengers, a beautiful woman named helen. they went on to have seven children. stephon, david, anthony, kelly, david, and jerry. helen was a great mother. like sometimes happens, tragedy strikes. helen was walking down a busy road and hit and unfortunately
killed by a car passing by. faced with unspeakable grief, mark knew he couldn't fall apart. he had seven kids between the ages of 6 and 16 and he had to take care of them. the one who was in third grade at the time couldn't stop crying over the loss of his mom. school called off and mark left work to pick him up. still a taxi driver, tending it to his kids, things began to rack up, eventually he had to live in a homeless shelter. a social worker wanted to put the kids up for adoption, but mark refused. they lost their mother, their home, and they weren't going to lose their dad. the family needed him. they were a team. eventually -- and this is so great. it happens all across alaska and america. in this case with the help of their community, in this case their local catholic church, sts
able to afford rent, a three-bedroom apartment, where they still live today, and buy his own taxi license. in the face of adversey he -- adversity, he raised his kids to be proud, responsible, and to do the right thing. they stuck together. they ran together, sometimes as many as six miles a day, a navy veteran out with his children. they studied together. they never missed the school or bus. they never got in trouble. they were a team. mr. president, this is what is remarkable about this family -- six out of the seven broadis children, who i have been speaking about, have joined the marine corps, taking after their dad by serving their country. six out of seven. how many families in america can
say that? and the seventh couldn't because of a medical issue, and he's nearly finished with a degree in electrical engineering at the university of alaska in anchorage and tutors math to students at university. the youngest one, jenny, a senior in high school has already been sworn in in the marines. she wants to drive tanks. the middle child, jared, is the only one to join the infantry. when they get together, he enjoys telling them he's the tough one, but i'm sure they are all tough. when i tbriew up, dad -- grew up, jared said you make things right. he said when you get married, you become one and when my wife passed away, she brought me to god with her, and then i brought my children to god. i didn't understand it then, but
i do now. it's been one miracle after another. the other thing i learned, i'm a dad above everything else. mark, thank you. thank you to you, your children, and to your family for this amazing example for doing a great job of raising your kids. you're a model for all of us and thank you for being our alaskan of the week. now, mr. president, i ask that my following remarks appear in a separate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr.sullivan: as i mentioned earlier, mr. president, i come down to the floor every week to not only talk about my state, but to talk about the people of my great state, the people who make it a better place for all of us. we call these people the alaskan of the week. it's one of the most fulfilling parts of my job, to come down here and talk about people who make a difference. these are people to don't get a lot of press or attention, but they do the right thing for
their country and their community. right now in alaska we have tourists, people coming from all over and one of the thingss that happening in alaska is that it's -- things that's happening in alaska is that is it salmon season. one of the greatest things of the world, the bounty of our state is happening right now when the fish are running. if anyone has had a chance to catch or eat alaskan salmon, it's a memory of a lifetime. there's nothing better. no better fish in the world. there's great salmon fishing all across alaska, one of the most heavily fished areas, riley in alaska -- really in alaska and the world is on the peninsula, millions of salmon run up and
down the river drawing tens of thousands of fishermen and visitors from all over the country and the world to fish the amazing river. the area can continue to sport a lot of traffic, but when you have that many people on the key and i, it causes congestion. kathy is an engineer with homer electric association. ten years ago she visited alaska as a tourist, she saw the northern lights dancing in the winter and snow-covered mount r mountains and flu she was -- and knew she was home. she said is this a way to pave your own path and support others in your community. and, of course,