Skip to main content

tv   U.S. Senate Takes Up Defense Authorization Bill  CSPAN  September 11, 2017 2:59pm-8:01pm EDT

2:59 pm
look at the closing and they will go to the government credibility office and go to some other independent arbitrary to see if the pentagon can get them done that way. still a tough sell and talk about closing basis which is what lawmakers don't want and even if you can get it to the senate it doesn't appear to be the same appetite in the house. that will be a key fight. another key fight we will be watching, the president has talked about the transgender band in the military. were expecting a few amendments en masse and possibly some pretty heated bites on that. the defense department is going to a review to see just what exactly they need to do over the next few months, would be banned, what parameters of those who are currently serving and for quite a few democrats have said in the senate they want to see this gone. the obama administration made a promise to transgender troops that they would be able to serve and the current administration should hold their promise. two big ones watch for a week just briefly,.
3:00 pm
>> we leave a last minute or so of that interview to take you like to the u.s. senate about to gamble in print lawmakers expected to work on 2018 defense programs and policies. starting of the session with a moment of silence for the 16th anniversary of the 911 attacks. will take you life out to the floor of the senate. here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, our shelter and shield, today we remember 9/11.
3:01 pm
as we recall the tragedy and and heroism of that day, we better understand that freedom isn't free. we remember how the pain united us so that we knew that we were not hyphenated americans, but one people. infuse us in these contentious times with a similar spirit of oneness inspiring us to work for the well-being of all people. lord, we are grateful for the protection you have provided us for the 16 years since this calamitous day.
3:02 pm
may we continue to trust you to be our refuge for the future of this land we love. continue to use our lawmakers as instruments of your peace, as they strive to make justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. we pray in your strong name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
3:03 pm
the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the senate will observe a moment of silence in remembrance of the lives lost in the attack of september 11, 2001. [moment of silence] the presiding officer: mr. presi
quote
3:04 pm
dent. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: today we open the senate with a moment of silence. we remember all those lost 16 years ago on september 11, 2001, a day that changed our nation in profound ways. it wrenched our heart with grief. it opened our eyes to cruel wrath from afar. but it could neither extinguish the basic dignity that defines us as a people or the humanity that defines us as a nation.
3:05 pm
it could not stop first responders from rushing towards danger to save others, could not stop americans from donating to those in need or volunteering their time to help. it could not stop the people of our country from being who they are: kind, caring, compassionate. it's the same spirit we see again in response to hurricane harvey. it's the same spirit that's giving hope to those in the past of hurricane irma. although the full extent of irma's impact will not be known for some time it's clear this intense storm is causing widespread damage and it's clear that the recovery will require a massive undertaking. our thoughts are with those in the area affected by irma. we're again prepared to play our role in the recovery, passed a
3:06 pm
critical down payment on relief last week. if more assistance is required of irma, we're ready to do what's needed. what's most important, i think, is the knowledge that the american people and our first responders will again be there to reach out to do whatever is needed to help. that's especially true on a day like today. we'll never forget the thousands of innocent lives taken from us 16 years ago. we'll never forget the heroism our first responders and the compassion of our neighbors. nor will we forget the thousands of men and women who stood guard to protect us every day since. our service members voluntarily put their lives on the line to protect us, and in return we must keep our commitments to them. today we begin debate on the national defense authorization act, the bill that allows congress to authorize the resources, capabilities and pay
3:07 pm
and benefits that our men and women in uniform need to perform their missions. for more than five decades congress has acted every year to fulfill this responsibility by passing the defense authorization bill. we'll have our opportunity to do so again this week. this legislation which was reported out of committee unanimously will signal support for our service members with more of the capabilities they need to be successful against an array of threats all across the globe. after years of failed defense policy under the previous administration, this year's ndaa will make significant and necessary strides toward keeping americans safer. it will do so by authorizing the beginning steps to rebuild our military, to invest in modernization and to restore readiness. by reforming the pentagon and reducing waste, by restoring missile defense and responding to cyber threats and by reviving
3:08 pm
troop morale with the pay increase they deserve and continued reform of the benefits that they and their families rely on. i think it's fair to say that no senator understands the importance of this legislation quite like senator mccain, the chairman of the armed services committee. his commitment to our nation's heroes is unfailing, which is why amides his own battle, chairman mccain has returned to the senate to manage in bill and see it through to passage. we're all proud to have him with us now. so as we begin considering this bipartisan defense authorization, members from both sides will have opportunities to work with senator mccain and to offer amendments. ultimately we'll keep working to find consensus so that we can pass this critical defense legislation without further delay.
quote
3:09 pm
mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: 16 years ago today my city, our country changed forever. on september 11, 2001, our country was attacked, the world trade towers fell, and gone in flames, smoke rising -- the pentagon was in flames and spoke rising from an empty field in pennsylvania reminded us that conspirators planned greater construction. it was a day of fear and
3:10 pm
helplessness, phones ringing endlessly when they worked, husbands calling wives, wives calling their husbands, folks in search of brothers and sisters and neighbors and colleagues. i'll never forget the next day, mr. president. president bush provided planes so that p senator clinton and i could fly back to new york. the smell of death was in the air. lined up outside before you entered the ground where the twin towers were were hundreds of people holding signs, little signs with picture. have you seen my father jim? have you seen my daughter mary? that stays with me forever. more than 3,000 souls were taken with us. a guy i played basketball with in high school, a businessman who helped me on my way up, a firefighter who i did blood drives with. it was one of the bloodiest days
3:11 pm
on american soil since the civil war. on september 12 of 2001, i called on americans to wear the flag, a sign of solidarity. i've worn this flag every day since in remembrance of those who were lost and those brave souls who tried to rush to the towers to find those who still might be alive. god willing, i will wear it every day of my life for the rest of my life. september 11 was one of those before and after moments. nothing was the same since. we were awakened to a new manner of evil that had previously been beyond our imagination. but on this day, as we solemnly remember those who were taken from us, let us also remember what that day revealed about us. on a normal day we value heroism
3:12 pm
because its uncommon wrote nancy gibbs of "time" magazine three days after the attack. on september 11, we valued heroism because it was everywhere. firefighters and police unions, police and union workers searched undaunted through dust and smoke, through fire and ash for citizens who might still be alive trapped in the rubble. average americans pulled the wounded to safety, folks from coast to coast lined up for blood drives and pooled their money for donations. i'll never forget the picture of a man who owned a shoe store two blocks north of the towers who was just giving out shoes to everybody because they didn't have theirs as they had rushed to get out of the towers. just a small act of charity and selflessness repeated over and over again, because those kind of acts are deep in the american
3:13 pm
soul. mr. president, this morning i came from the 9/11 memorial in new york city. where once there were mighty towers, now there are two deep scars in the earth. but all around the memorial, new york city is alive and thriving. in the days after they wrote it off, they said no one will live south of canal or chambers street. companies will flee and new york's greatest days are over. but we new yorkers are a tough breed. we rebuilt. we came back stronger. on this day we should always remember that beside our distinctive spirit of independence, resilience and uncommon heroism are also essential parts of the american character. and i do have to say how proud i am of my city.
3:14 pm
downtown is bustling. 50,000 people live there who didn't live there before. businesses are relocated. it's a new in area. bin laden is gone. the evil men with him are gone. we thrive. god bless america. on irma, as hurricane irma continues to buffett florida, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of florida and the rest of the southeast that is in the storm's path. i and the democratic caucus stand ready to work with the majority leader and his caucus, members of the administration and officials in florida to provide them with the resources and aid they need. just as we were able to speedily pass an aid package after harvey, i expect we'll come together to support and rescue recovery efforts in the wake of hurricane irma and in some of the other disasters, particularly the fires out west.
3:15 pm
on ndaa, finally, mr. president, this week we'll begin consideration of the national defense authorization act as we do each year. as usual, there are hundreds of amendments that have already been filed, a whole lot of tough issues to consider. we democrats want to work in a constructive and productive manner to process as many of these amendments as possible and work through even the most difficult of issues. i know that chairman mccain, ranking member reed have an excellent working relationship as well as a great deal of respect for one another. i hope they can build a strong manager's package that will be acceptable to both sides. i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
3:16 pm
quorum call:
3:17 pm
3:18 pm
the presiding officer: without objection. the assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: i ask the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 2810, which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 175, h.r. 2810, an act to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the department of defense, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: the assistant democratic leader.
3:19 pm
mr. durbin: mr. president, i ask consent to speak in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: thank you, mr. president. so when we finish this period of morning business, which is open to speeches and statements on many different topics, we will then go to the defense authorization bill. our process in the senate is to authorize spending and then appropriate the money for the actual spending. occasionally, those two things are in sync, but many times they are not. i'm afraid what we phrase today is uncertainty. senator mccain, who is the chairman of the defense authorization committee, will bring his proposal to the floor, but it's at a spending level which is not allowed by current law. the budget control act will not allow senator mccain or the senate to spend at the level that he wants to spend. i can make good argument that the statutory level that we're required to hold to is inadequate to our national defense, but if we're honest about taking care of the problem, we not only have to
3:20 pm
pass this authorization bill, we have got to change the budget control act so that we can put more money into our national defense. that debate will get started this week. it is near and dear to senator mccain's heart. he works hard on it each year with senator jack reed, a democrat of rhode island, and there will be many amendments, i'm sure, considered during the course of this week on defense authorization. what i come to the floor to speak to under morning business is not that issue. it is the issue of daca, dreamers, and it was just six days ago that the announcement by the attorney general, jeff sessions, was made that he was going to rescind the daca program. a quick history. 16 years ago, i introduced a bill called the dream act. the dream act was written to take care of young people brought to the united states as infants and toddlers and young boys and girls by their parents who grew up in this country, didn't get into trouble with the law, went and finished school,
3:21 pm
and always thought that they were going to be americans, that they would use their education and their skills to build a life in this country. however, because their parents either came here undocumented or didn't file the appropriate papers, these young people are literally without a country, a country they have grown up in does not accept them under the law. so 16 years ago, i introduced the dream act. it said let's take care of this problem. these young people through no fault of their own should be given a chance to stay in this country and be part of its future. i have passed it in the senate. i have seen it passed in the house. we have never quite been able to bring it together in any one year and pass both chambers, and so it is not the law of the land. 16 years ago, i introduced it. it is still not the law of the land. in the meantime, senator obama, my colleague in the senate, cosponsored the dream act and then got a promotion, and as
3:22 pm
president of the united states, i asked him can you do something to protect these young people from being deported? and he said he would, so he created by executive order something known as daca, a daca program where young people come forward, turn themselves in, register with the united states, pay a filing fee to cover all the costs of the process, and go through a criminal background check, and if they are approved and cleared, then for two years, they can stay in the united states without fear of being deported, and they're allowed to work. then two years later, it's renewable. well, over the years since president obama did that, 780,000 young people signed up, went through the background check and were approved under daca. last week, president trump announced through his attorney general that he was going to rescind the daca program. so the 780,000 young people had
3:23 pm
their future in doubt. they don't know which way they're going to turn. this creates serious problems, as you might imagine. the young people who are affected by it were affected emotionally, i would be, too, because they don't know what's going to happen next. they don't know if they are going to be allowed to stay in this country, deported from this country, whether they can work legally or not work. they're waiting for congress to give the answer, and the president says he's waiting for congress to give the answer. last friday, i went back to chicago, which i'm honored to represent the senate, and i visited loyola university's school of medicine. it's known as the stritch school of medicine. let me say at the outset how proud i am to represent the city and especially to represent loyola university. here's what they did in their medical school. when president obama created daca. they said we will open up competition for our medical school to include those who are
3:24 pm
protected by daca. we won't give them special slots, we won't give them a quota. they can compete with everybody else who wants to go to our medical school. and do you know what happened? at the end of the day, 32 of those daca applicants scored so highly that they were accepted at loyola medical school and are now in two or three different years of classes. it's amazing. for many of them, all over the united states, they grew up without legal citizenship status, always dreaming of being doctors, and it was just impossible. they knew that no medical school would accept them. and here loyola said we will accept you. and they got their chance, 32 of them. now there is more to the story. these young people do not qualify for any government assistance from the federal government. because they're undocumented, they don't qualify for pell grants, they don't qualify for federal government loans.
3:25 pm
medical school's expensive. how are they going to do it? they worked their way through college by paying out of their own pocket, working jobs. how are they going to do medical school? while our state, the state of illinois under governor pat quinn, renewed under the next governor, created a loan program for them where they could borrow money from the state. but there was a catch. for every year they borrowed money to go to medical school at loyola, they had to pledge that they would give one year of service of their lives as doctors in underserved communities in our state. they did it. 32 of them signed up for it. and i'm really proud to say the program has been a terrific success in our state. they are just extraordinary. along with the other students at the medical school, they are special people, and they come from all over the world, and they're all in this similar predicament, but until last week, they were protected by daca. now, what happens when you take away the daca executive order,
3:26 pm
which president trump said he will do over the next six months? there's a special challenge here. after you have finished four years of medical school, these students apply for residencies where they pursue their specialties, whatever they might be. a residency is a work experience for many -- for all these medical students. they will be working as residents through some university at a hospital, working long, long hours, pursuing their dream of being doctors as well as specialists. here's the problem. with daca gone, they no longer have the legal right to work in the united states. so what does it mean? they can't apply for residencies. this is the end of it, the end of their medical education. it stops right there. whatever their ambition might be, whether it's surgery or psychiatry, whatever it might be, they can't go forward without daca, so it really puts
3:27 pm
a burden on us, doesn't it, in congress to decide what we're going to do. are we going to pass a law which finally once and for all defines the status, the legal status of these young people, not just for these medical students but for hundreds of thousands of others who are working. they're engineers. they're teachers. they're working in so many different areas, and they want to continue being part of this country. i am encouraged that we have a bipartisan response. my colleague, senator lindsey graham, republican of south carolina, is my lead cosponsor on the dream act, this year's version of the dream act. we currently have three other republican senators who have joined awes cosponsors from across the united states -- senator murkowski of alaska, senator flake of arizona, and senator gardner of colorado. we hope that others will join them. if we get the critical 60 votes in the senate, 60 sponsors or 60 who will pledge to vote for it,
3:28 pm
we can pass the dream act once and for all and take care of the concerns of the medical students i mentioned and so many others across this country. i have come to the floor over the last few years and told the stories of the dreamers. these stories i think really have created good impressions in people's minds about who these young people are and what they can do for the future of the united states. i'd like to do that again today. this is amender sanei. amender was 6 years old when his family moved to the united states from india. he grew up in queens in new york city. he was a typical american kid. played sports, went to the park every day. amender's dream was to serve his country as a soldier in the united states army. in his words, he simply wanted to give back. amender was a born leader, and
3:29 pm
in high school, he was active in student government, ultimately elected class president. he first learned that he didn't have legal immigration status when he was in high school and he couldn't get a driver's license, and they explained to him you don't have the necessary legal documentation to be in this country. brought here as a kid, now growing up. he's now a student at hunter college at the city university of new york, working toward his bachelor's degree in history. thanks to daca, he is fulfilling his dream. last year, he was able to enlist in the army through the military vital to national interest program. this photo is from his enlistment ceremony. the mavni program allows people with skills that are vital to our national interests to enlist in the armed forces. more than 800 daca recipients, the people i had described
3:30 pm
earlier with these skills, have joined america's military. they really want to be part of our country. now, some trump administration officials claim that daca recipients are taking away jobs from americans, but amender and hundreds just like him have skills that our military couldn't find in the general population that they were recruiting. harmender, like many other dreamers, is waiting to ship out for training. he is working full time while waiting for a chance to volunteer to serve america in the military. he said, and i quote him, all i want to do is serve. i want to do my part to give back to my country because it allowed me to serve. harmender and so many other dreamers have an opportunity to serve. without the dream act, so many with skills that are important
3:31 pm
to our national interest, will have to leave the army. they want nothing more than to serve our country. they are prepared to die for our country. what more can we arc? -- can we ask? instead, there are those who say they should leave and be deported. one of the president's former staff advisors on a "60 minutes" show said that last night, they should just leave. i don't think america would be a stronger country if harmender left. he should be part of america and we can do something about it. a friend of mine recently went to the university of notre dame to visit with the administration there. it's my understanding they have some 68 daca recipients at notre dame university. there is hardly a university that doesn't have daca-eligible
3:32 pm
young people going to school there. remember, they don't qualify for any federal assistance at all because they are in an undocumented status. they are borrowing money and working at jobs to make sure they have a future. now it is up to us. we have to decide what we are going to do. senator graham, my cosponsor of the dream act, said that the moment of reckoning is coming. that moment is not only coming, it arrived last tuesday. we need republican leaders to join us and make the dream act the law of the land otherwise what will happen to these young people? as for this united states senator, i made this a major part of my public career. i feel a special kinship to these young peopling. -- people. yesterday was mexican recognition day in chicago, and more people that you can imagine
3:33 pm
came out with their families. they are now a part of illinois and the united states. as i was marching down the street, there was a young lady and a couple of friends next to me wearing princess crowns. it turned out two was born in the united states and one was born in mexico and was going to school. she thanked me for the daca program and hoped that i could make it a reality again. we need to step up with this broken immigration system and make certain that at the end of the day we have done everything in our power to make sure these young people like harmender to do everything possible to be a part of america's future. i listened to my colleague and friend senator schumer speak in very touching terms about this anniversary, which we observe today, the 16th anniversary of
3:34 pm
9/11. i can recount of where i was and what i remember as i have before on the floor, but i won't. i will just say it changed america in so many different ways. as ip went through airport -- as i went through airport security at o'hare, as i do every single week, i thought 16 weeks ago it would have been unthinkable to put every passenger through this security process, but that is the reality in a life in a world that is dangerous, life in a world where we want to protect innocent people from the 9/11's of the future which is being plotted and planned by our enemies around the world. i think of those who lost their lives on 9/11, i think of those who risked their lives and i think of those whose lives will never be the same because of that day. it is a reminder to all of us to thank god for this country and honor our history well, and to honor the people in law
3:35 pm
enforcement and others who stepped up to make sure that no future generation has a similar experience. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
3:36 pm
3:37 pm
3:38 pm
3:39 pm
3:40 pm
3:41 pm
3:42 pm
mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. cornyn: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be
3:43 pm
dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cornyn: mr. president, as we saw yesterday, mother nature once again has crippled part of our nation. hurricane irma made landfall on sunday, hitting the lower florida keys and then moving up the state's western coastline. like hurricane harvey in my home state of texas, the devastation in places like marco island and orange county means tough days and long nights ahead for the residents there. my prayers, like those of so many others, goes out to those who have been impacted by this devastating storm, including those who have evacuated safely but who will soon travel back to florida and find that everything they had is gone as a result of the storm. as irma continues to affect florida and the southeastern united states, we stand ready to support the people in those
3:44 pm
states just like so many did for us in texas with hurricane harvey. mr. president, on another separate note, as we all have seen and recall, today is the solemn anniversary of a day that has had an even more profound impact on our country than the recent storms. september 11 will always be remembered as the day that never quite goes away, a day that remains a reminder of what can be taken from us in the blink of an eye. i've always said that it's etched in my memory like only one other event in my lifetime and that was in 1963 with the assassination of john f. kennedy. i remember where i was and what i was doing at the time i first heard about it. and, of course, i remember exactly where i was and what i was doing when i learned of the terrible events of 9/11.
3:45 pm
i was on the telephone talking to a colleague of mine when my wife said you need to see what's happening on television. and i turned to the tv just in time to see the second plane hit the towers there in manhattan. yes, it was 17 years ago that ig lambic terrorists went into our country and attended flight schools in defiance of all propriety. 16 years ago today they hijacked four commercial planes full of innocent passengers, and at 8:46 a.m. on tuesday morning, flew the first one directly into one f the tallest -- one of the tallest buildings in the united states in our largest city. 17 minutes later the time, the event my wife directed my attention to on the tv set, the second plane hit. and shortly thereafter flight 77
3:46 pm
slammed into the western wall of the pentagon and flight 93 crashed in pennsylvania. thanks to the heroic actions of passengers on flight 93, that plane could have very wellheaded here to -- well headed here to washington crashing into the capitol taking who knows how many lives with you. 3,000 people were killed that day and afterwards almost 300 million u.s. citizens saw the world anew through fresh eyes. the terrorists must have thought they could bring our nation down, topple it, as they did the twin towers, but they badly miscalculated. they were wrong. america shocked was america strengthened, america sometimes called a slumbering giant which once awakened is a fearsome thing to behold and that's
3:47 pm
exactly what happened after 9/11. after we all took many deep breaths and thanked god for what was left, we stood up and we fought back united. we primarily did that through our military, the core of our national defense. those who took the fight to al qaeda in places like afghanist afghanistan, but also all the rest who surrounded and supported our armed forces and intelligence personnel every step of the way. 16 years later we continue to confront new terrorist threats and adjust to new geo political realities. i recall the statement of the former director of national intelligence who said after 50 years in the intelligence community, he had never seen a more diverse array of threats confronting america than he did at that time, and nothing has changed in that respect. which is why today america must maintain a sense of vigilance, a
3:48 pm
sense of purpose, and a sense of moral clarity regarding evil in all of its novel forms. but we must also ask if we are still standing behind our armed forces the way we committed to do following the terrible events of 9/11. we must make sure that our military service members have everything they need because to do otherwise is to shirk our duty and to forget how our national security is ultimately achieved. one way we uphold that responsibility is through the national defense authorization act. if passed this would mark the 55th year that it is signed into law. so later today we'll take -- vote to take up this legislation, and i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting that vote. the defense authorization bill
3:49 pm
ensures that crucial department of defense programs are continued and establishes how our military funds will be spent. the version of the bill that's been reported out of committee helps reverse the readiness crisis created by the previous administration. in the words of my friend, our colleague from texas, mack thornberry, chairman of the armed services committee, he said we have too many planes that can fly, too few ships that can sail, and too few soldiers who can deploy. and that sums up the situation exactly. the defense authorization bill ex emidentifies our commitment to re-- exemplifies our commitment to reverse the downward trim. i don't know where america tries to cash the peace dividend at every turn when we have no peace. but that's what's happened. and of all -- and although the hole that the previous administration placed us in is
3:50 pm
deep, this bill authorizes the funds necessary to begin restoring readiness, rebuilding capacity, and modernizing military infrastructure. i was just recently at shepherd air force base in wichita falls, texas, a base that trains half of all of the air force pilots in the country. and they told me one of the biggest problems they have is recruiting and retaining pilots for the united states air force. and while people will accept lower wages for military service because they believe in serving the country, if because of cuts and funding for the air force and for the military they simply can't fly like they need to in order to be ready for the next fight, many of them get discouraged and are tempted to go to work in the private sector where they can earn more money. so we need to make sure that our troops, all of our armed forces have the readiness capability
3:51 pm
and we need to fund that appropriately. this bill will authorize appropriations for personnel and equipment, including aircraft made in my home state, the us a provide -- us a p.r.i. made in amarillo -- ausprey made in amarillo, texas. the senate version will also authorize critical funding to increase maritime capacity as well. back in the 1980's, the navy had about 600 ships. today we have 277, less than half. it's crucial that we procure ships, aircraft and munitions, continue to develop our new military technology on existing platforms, and in the evolving cyber domain and reduce our shortfall and end strength, that we do all of those things. these steps will provide our service members with the training and equipment necessary to defeat isis, al qaeda, and
3:52 pm
terrorist and state actors that threaten the united states and our way of life. and perhaps even more significantly in terms of the threat to the united states and world peace. sending a message to vladimir putin and the russian federation that america is no longer in retreat but america can be relied upon as a strong partner and america's leadership role in world affairs will be reestablished will send a very important message of deterrence to the bullies, the tyrants, and the authoritarians around the world. to china, another major threat to national -- international -- national, international security and peace who is being so aggressive in not only developing arms that allow it to project power to different parts of the pacific and beyond but to threaten maritime transcend, --
3:53 pm
transit, like through the strait of malaka where so much international trade and security travel occur. the house passed their version of the defense authorization and now it's our job to get it done. by passing a strong defense bill and authorizing the sort of resources that our military needs in order for america to maintain its leadership role in the world and provide a credible threat to deter aggression on the part of our adversaries, we will leave our nation and the world a safer place and better off. it's one small way today that we can honor the memory of those we lost 16 years ago. mr. president, i yield the floor. i'd note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
3:54 pm
quorum call:
3:55 pm
3:56 pm
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
quorum call:
4:01 pm
4:02 pm
4:03 pm
4:04 pm
4:05 pm
4:06 pm
4:07 pm
4:08 pm
4:09 pm
4:10 pm
4:11 pm
4:12 pm
4:13 pm
4:14 pm
4:15 pm
quorum call:
4:16 pm
4:17 pm
4:18 pm
4:19 pm
4:20 pm
4:21 pm
4:22 pm
4:23 pm
4:24 pm
4:25 pm
4:26 pm
4:27 pm
4:28 pm
4:29 pm
4:30 pm
quorum call:
4:31 pm
4:32 pm
4:33 pm
4:34 pm
4:35 pm
4:36 pm
4:37 pm
4:38 pm
4:39 pm
4:40 pm
4:41 pm
4:42 pm
4:43 pm
4:44 pm
quorum call:
4:45 pm
mrs. fischer: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska.
4:46 pm
mrs. fischer: are we in a quorum call. the presiding officer: we are. mrs. fischer: i ask that it be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. fischer: thank you. 16 years after the terrorist attack, our minds are filled with the haunting images of the burning towers, the burning structure of the pentagon and smoking field in pennsylvania. that dark day drastically changed the course of our nation and we will always railroad where we were when we first heard the news that our country was under attack. but 9/11 did not change who we are or the values we hold so dear. amidst the heartbreak and devastation, our citizens showed a bounding courage, kindness, and love of country.
4:47 pm
in new york city, arlington, and the scared field in shanksfield, american flags were placed atop the rubble as a symbol of hope and determination in the face of evil. we will always remember the innocent lives lost in the attack and will be forever grateful for the brave first responders who ran toward danger to help those in need. we should also remember the significant work of the men and women of the united states strategic command in nebraska during this national emergency. madam president, today i want to recognize and honor what happened at strat com. on that the fateful day the military personnel there and at other bases woke up to strategize a response from a
4:48 pm
major attack against the united states. days before they began global guardian, a training exercise performed by the united states strategic command, the air force space command and norad. the main purpose was to test the military command and control procedures in the event of nuclear warfare. leaders at stratcom learned that a plane struck the world trade center. when a second plane hit shortly thereafter, they understood this was not an accident. america was under attack. the global guardians fictional exercise was quickly canceled and the men and women of strat com responded to the day's events happening in the real world. after the f.a.a. had every
4:49 pm
airplane grounded, strat com looked at every plane. they worked to identify which planes had been hijacked, knowing that finding these dangerous needles in the haystack of america's commercial airline industry could be the difference between safety and catastrophe. as the day unfolded, stratcom received a 30-minute notice at a secure location the president would be using was going to be at the air force base and nebraska was ready to protect the president. escorted by two f-15 fighters, air force one landed at 1:50 p.m. the admiral in charge picked up president bush in his car and drove to stratcom's underground command post.
4:50 pm
the staff briefed the president and allowed him to speak with the national security council and other senior officials. for two hours nebraska served as the center of america's national defense before president bush returned to washington. we did it well. nebraska's honored to host united states strategic command center and we are proud of the excellent work they did during the attacks of 9/11 to protect our country. madam president, year after year this day is a reminder of tragedy and tears, but we should also recall the strength and resolve of the citizens of the greatest country on earth. though the threats to our way of life have and will continue to evolve, our enduring commitment to defending freedom will never waver. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor.
4:51 pm
i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
4:52 pm
4:53 pm
4:54 pm
4:55 pm
4:56 pm
4:57 pm
4:58 pm
4:59 pm
5:00 pm
quorum call:
5:01 pm
5:02 pm
5:03 pm
5:04 pm
5:05 pm
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. a senator: mr. president, i ask that the quorum call be vitiat vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: i ask unanimous consent that ken hockakoe, a fellow in my office be granted floor privileges for the remainder of the year. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. ernst: thank you, mr. president. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
5:06 pm
5:07 pm
the presiding officer: th the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be suspended. i address the senate on the issue of the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2018. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator is recognized. mr. mccain: mr. president, today our nation commemorates the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took the lives of thousands of innocent americans. we all joined in the solemn remembrance of the victims and our hearts go out to their
5:08 pm
families. september 11 is a fitting date for the senate to begin consideration of the defense authorization bill. the anniversary of those horrific terrorist attacks should serve as a reminder of the reason why brave young americans are currently deployed around the world fighting on behalf of freedom. i urge my colleagues to keep in mind the meaning of this day throughout the consideration of this important legislation, which will provide our men and women in uniform the resources, equipment, and supply and support that they need to keep our nation safe. i'd like to extend my appreciation to the majority leader for his willingness to move expeditiously to the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2018. and for his leadership. i'd also like to thank armed services committee ranking member, the senator from rhode island, for his hard work on the ndaa. i remain appreciative of the
5:09 pm
thoughtfulness and bipartisan spirit with which he prochs -- approaches national security issues. the fact is the ndaa is a piece of legislation in which this body and members on both sides of the aisle can and should take enormous pride. not only does this legislation provide our men and women in uniform with the resources they need and deserve, it's a product of an open and bipartisan process that represent -- of the u.s. senate. the senate armed services committee passed the ndaa unanimously by a vote of 27-0. i repeat the defense authorization bill was passed by unanimous vote of 27-0. that means all 14 republicans, members, and the 13 democratic members of the committee voted in favor of this legislation. during the markup the committee considered and adopted 277
5:10 pm
amendments that were offered by both republicans and democrats. now we hope to consider legislation on the floor under an open amendment process that will allow all senators to have their voices heard. this process, which is exactly how legislation is supposed to make its way through the senate, has become disappointingly rare. for too long partisanship and politics have triumphed over principle and policy. this legislation is an opportunity for us to reverse that trend and restore regular order in the united states senate. the need for this legislation is self-apparent. anyone paying attention to today's world, global terrorist networks, increasing power competition with russia and china, malign iranian influence across the middle east, a north
5:11 pm
korean dictator racing to acquire missiles that can hit the united states with nuclear weapons, the threats to our national security have not been more complex or dawning than at any time in the past seven decades. we must also remember that we are a nation at war with brave young men and women deployed in afghanistan, iraq, and around the world. the ndaa is a legislation is that deliver to our armed forces the resources, equipment, and training they need to meet the increasingly complex challenges of today's world and it will begin the process of rebuilding our military after years of devastating defense cuts. now, let me point out what happens as a result of these mindless defense cuts which every military leader has described as devastating to our ability to defend this nation. let me just remind you the hard truth. the state of our military is
5:12 pm
eroding. we saw disturbing evidence of this reality over the summer as 42 service members tragically perished in accidents during routine -- i emphasize routine training operations. on june 17, seven sailors were killed when the u.s.s. fitzgerald collided with a container ship off the coast of japan. july 10 a marine kc-130 crashed if mississippi killing all troops on board. august 21, ten sailors perished when the u.s.s. mccain collided with a tanker near singapore. on august 25 an army blackhawk helicopter went missing during a training mission off the coast of yemen and one soldier died. just last week in nevada, two air force 8-10 aircraft crashed into each other. thank god the pilots were safely ejected but the planes were lost at a cost of over $100 million.
5:13 pm
for the two pacific naval fleet collision, it's estimated to cost a half billion dollars. the lives lost in each of these incidents were priceless. over the past three years, a total of 185 men and women in uniform have been killed in noncombat accidents. during the same time 44 service members were killed in combat. the bottom line is we're killing more of our own people in training than our enemies are in combat. and that did not happen by accident. it is a problem caused by this mindless sequestration and a lack, frankly, of appreciation of members of this body and the other than of what the needs of the men and women who are serving in. it's about time we started listening to our military
5:14 pm
leadership who are saying, if we don't change what we're doing in the next five years, our enemies will catch up. our adversaries will catch up with us. this legislation authorizes a defense budget that together with the administration's request of $8 billion for other defense activities supports a total defense budget of $640 billion and funding for the department of defense and the national security programs of the department of energy. the legislation also authorizes $60 billion for overseas contingency operations. in total the ndaa supports a national defense top line of $700 billion. this funding is critical to begin addressing the readiness shortfall and modernization crisis caused by the self-inflicted wounds of the budget control act known as sequestration and repeated continuing resolutions. we need to look no further than recent headlines as i mentioned
5:15 pm
of fatal accidents during routine training operations or evidence of the deteriorated state of our military. these ship collisions and aviation accidents are taking the lives of our sfs members -- service members at an alarming rate. in fact, in the last three years, we've killed four times as many of our own soldiers in peacetime training operations than our enemies have in combat. while there is plenty of responsibility to go around, we cannot ignore congress' role. years of budget cuts have forced our military to try to do too much with too little. meanwhile, our adversaries are investing heavily in their own militaries to invest future warfare capabilities intended to erode our military advantage. simply put, we cannot wait any longer to recapitalize our forces and restore our capabilities. another important aspect of the
5:16 pm
ndaa is it builds o the reforms this congress has passed in recent years. by continuing important efforts to reorganize the department of defense, spur innovation in defense technology, improve defense acquisition and business operations, the ndaa seeks to strengthen accountability and streamline the process of getting our war fighters what they need to succeed. at the same time, it prioritizes accountability from the department and demands the best use of every taxpayer dollar. the ndaa will also improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform and those who support them the legislation authorizes a 2.1% pay raise for our troops, it improves military family readiness and supports the civilians and contractors who work together with our armed forces to achieve the mission. finally, the ndaa provides
5:17 pm
necessarassistance for the causf freedom defeating the scourge of terrorism. these are the reasons why this legislation is more vital than ever. congress' most important constitutional responsibility is providing for the common defen defense. consideration of the national defense authorization act each year is one of the ways that we live up to that duty. now, mr. president, i guess we are going to have cloture on this bill. we don't need it. we shouldn't have to have it. we should not -- we should move immediately to this legislation. those who want to impose blockades to moving forward, to allowing other members to have their amendments proposed and voted on are doing the men and women who are serving in our nation a great disservice.
5:18 pm
the world is in more turmoil than it's been in 70 years. we cannot waste precious time and effort because one senator has one amendment that is -- that he or she is then willing to block the whole process. let's not do that this year. we can get around it. but what it does, it deprives other members of their ability to debate and have votes on their issues. so i hope my colleagues, once we vote for cloture, will agree to move forward with the bill. we can finish it in the next couple of days, and we can give the american people and the men and women who defend it -- who defend this nation a product that we can be proud of. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
5:19 pm
5:20 pm
5:21 pm
5:22 pm
5:23 pm
5:24 pm
5:25 pm
5:26 pm
5:27 pm
5:28 pm
5:29 pm
a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arkansas. mr. cotton: i ask unanimous consent to end the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. 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
5:30 pm
motion to proceed to calendar number 175, h.r. 2810, an act to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2018 military activities of the department of defense and so forth and for other purposes signed by 1 senators. -- by 17 senators. the presiding officer: the mandatory quorum call waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the motion to proceed to h.r. 2810, an act authorizing aopenings pros for fiscal year 2018 for military activities of the department of defense, construction,ances and for defense activities of the department of energy to proscribe military strength for such fiscal-year-old and for other purposes shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
5:31 pm
vote:
5:32 pm
5:33 pm
5:34 pm
5:35 pm
5:36 pm
5:37 pm
5:38 pm
5:39 pm
5:40 pm
5:41 pm
5:42 pm
5:43 pm
5:44 pm
vote:
5:45 pm
5:46 pm
5:47 pm
5:48 pm
5:49 pm
5:50 pm
5:51 pm
5:52 pm
5:53 pm
5:54 pm
5:55 pm
5:56 pm
5:57 pm
5:58 pm
5:59 pm
vote:
6:00 pm
6:01 pm
6:02 pm
6:03 pm
6:04 pm
6:05 pm
6:06 pm
6:07 pm
the presiding officer: have all senators voted? does any senator wish to change his vote? on this vote the yeas are 89, the nays are three. the motion is agreed to.
6:08 pm
the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota is recognized. mr. hoeven: mr. president, i rise today. i rise today to honor the new miss america, that is article mung, a former intern in my office until last year. last night made history and she became the first north dakota -- first person from north dakota to win. my wife and i cheered for her throughout the competition.
6:09 pm
we like north dakotans. across our state we were excited when she was crowned miss america. the amazing thing is that she tried four times to win the miss north dakota pageant. she won the miss north dakota pageant on her forth try and then wins the miss america pageant. this is an amazing story of somebody who decided to accomplish a coal and -- a goal and did so. it is amazing and inspirational, really to anyone who sets out to achieve something really worthwhile. it shows what determination can do. cara is truly impressive and we are so proud to have her representing north dakota and now, of course, the entire nation as miss america. following graduation from brown university with a degree in entrepreneurship and
6:10 pm
organizations, she served as an intern in my d.c. offense. she did a tremendous job. she was with us for half of last year. so she started about mid-year and finished up at the end of the year and, again, did -- just did tremendous work for us and we were so appreciative to have her with us. she is only 23, she has a long history of public and community service. for the past ten years she organized the annual make make h fashion show which has raised more than $27,500 to make dreams come true for kids who face life-altering conditions. it is so fitting that after making others kids' dreams come true, that her dream came true last night. she is so deserving of the
6:11 pm
title. i know that public service will be part of her life's work. she'sing if on -- she's going on to law school at notre dame after taking a year as miss america and touring around the country and doing what i know will be a fabulous job as miss america. she will go on to law school after that to notre dame where she has already been accepted. i know she has a desire to work in public service. i have no doubt that whatever she decides to do, she will be successful. more importantly, she will do a great job for others. she will do a great job for many other people. she has such a good heart and she is such a great young person. she is exactly the kind of person that we need out there helping to face the challenges we face as a nation and setting
6:12 pm
a great example and doing things for so many others that makes such a difference in their lives. she is well deserving of the title. she represents our state so well and we have no doubt that she will continue to make us proud as miss america. congratulations again to miss america 2018, car amun -- kara mund. she is fantastic. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
6:13 pm
6:14 pm
6:15 pm
6:16 pm
6:17 pm
6:18 pm
6:19 pm
6:20 pm
6:21 pm
6:22 pm
6:23 pm
quorum call:
6:24 pm
6:25 pm
6:26 pm
6:27 pm
6:28 pm
6:29 pm
6:30 pm
quorum call:
6:31 pm
6:32 pm
6:33 pm
6:34 pm
6:35 pm
6:36 pm
6:37 pm
6:38 pm
6:39 pm
6:40 pm
6:41 pm
6:42 pm
6:43 pm
6:44 pm
6:45 pm
quorum call:
6:46 pm
6:47 pm
6:48 pm
6:49 pm
6:50 pm
6:51 pm
6:52 pm
6:53 pm
6:54 pm
6:55 pm
6:56 pm
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
quorum call:
7:01 pm
7:02 pm
7:03 pm
7:04 pm
7:05 pm
7:06 pm
7:07 pm
7:08 pm
7:09 pm
7:10 pm
7:11 pm
7:12 pm
7:13 pm
7:14 pm
7:15 pm
quorum call:
7:16 pm
7:17 pm
7:18 pm
7:19 pm
7:20 pm
7:21 pm
7:22 pm
7:23 pm
7:24 pm
7:25 pm
7:26 pm
7:27 pm
7:28 pm
7:29 pm
7:30 pm
quorum call:
7:31 pm
7:32 pm
7:33 pm
7:34 pm
7:35 pm
7:36 pm
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senate majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22, senator paul be given up to four hours of postcloture debate on the pending motion to proceed. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: notwithstanding the provision of rule 22, i ask consent that at 2:15 on tuesday, september 12, the senate proceed to executive session for consideration of calendar number 110, the nomination of kevin h.hassett to be chairman of the council of chick advisors. there be 20 minutes of debate on the nomination equally divided in the usual form. the senate vote on confirmation with no intervening action or debate following the use or yielding back of time. if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action
7:37 pm
and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for it up ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the junior senator from montana be authorized to sign duly enrolled bills or joint resolutions on monday, september 11, 2017. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 3732. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 3732, an act to amend section 1113 of the social security act and so forth. the presiding officer: is there an objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i no of no further debate on the bill. the presiding officer: is there further debate 0? if not, question 0 is on passage of the bill.
7:38 pm
all those in favor, say aye. those opposed, say no. the ayes do have it. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the motion to reconsider be made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 212, s.j. res. 49. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 212, s.j. res. 49, condemning the violence and domestic terrorist attack that took place between august is 1 and 12 in charlottesville, virginia, and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i further ask consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the committee on banking, house being, and urban affairs be charged from further
7:39 pm
consideration of s.416 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 416, a bill to amend the small business investment incentive act of 1980 and so forth. the presiding officer: there to proceeding to the measure? without objection. committee is discharged. proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 11, s. 327. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 11, s. 327, a bill to direct the securities and exchange commission to provide a safe harbor related to certain research reports and for other purposes. the presiding officer: objection to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported amendments be considered, the warren-heller
7:40 pm
amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the committee-reported amendments as amend be agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 12, s. 444. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 12, s. 444, a bill to amend the investment company act of 1940 and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 13, s. 462. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 13, s. 462, a bill to require the securities and exchange commission to refund or credit certain excess payments made to
7:41 pm
the commission. the presiding officer: there objection to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed, and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 14, s. 484. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 14, s. 448, a bill to amend the investment company act of 1940 to terminate an exemption for companies located in puerto rico. and so forth. the presiding officer: there to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported amendments be considered and agreed to, the bill as anded be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 15, s. 488. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 15,
7:42 pm
s. 488, a bill to increase the threshold for disclosures required by the securities and exchange commission and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the bill be considered read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendacalendar 31. the clerk: s. 101, a bill to direct the federal communications commission to commence proceedings related to the resiliency of critical communications networks during times of emergency and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported substitute amendment be considered and agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time and passed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of
7:43 pm
calendar number 188, s. 1311. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 188, s. 1311, a bill to provide assistance in abolishing human trafficking in the united states. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported amendment be considered, the cornyn amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the committee-reported amendment as amend be agreed to, the bill asaged be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 189, s. 1312. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 18, s. 1312, a bill to prioritize the fight against human trafficking in the united states. the presiding officer: there objection to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported substitute amendment be considered, the grassley amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the
7:44 pm
committee-reported substitute amendment as amend be agreed to, the bill as anded be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, september 12. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. further, following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 2810, postcloture. further, that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for the weekly conference meetings. finally, that all time during morning business, leader remarks, recess, and adjourningment count postcloture on the motion to proceed to h.r. 2810. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the
7:45 pm
previous order. the presiding officer: the senate standards adjourned until objection. the senator is recognized. mr. mccain: mr. president, today our nation commemorates the 16th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took the lives of thousands of innocent americans. we all joined in the solemn remembrance of the victims and our hearts go out to their families. september 11 is a fitting date for the senate to begin consideration of the defense authorization bill. the anniversary of those horrific terrorist attacks should serve as a reminder of the reason why brave young
7:46 pm
americans are currently deployed around the world fighting on behalf of >> this is a reminder why those brave people are deployed around the world fighting for freedom. i ask my colleagues to keep in mind the reason for this consideration and gives the support needed to keep your nation safe. i would to thank armed service committee ranking member, senator from rhode island. the fact is this is a piece of
7:47 pm
legislation in which this body and members on both side of the aisle can and should take enormous pride. it provide our men and women in uniform with the resources they need and deserve it is a product of an open and bipartisan process. the authorization passed by a umanmous vote of 27-0. that means that all 14 republican members and the 13 democratic members of the committee voted in favor of this legislation. during the markup, the committee considered an adoptive 277 amendments that were offered by both republicans and democrats. now we hope to consider
7:48 pm
legislation on the floor under an open amendment process that will allow all senators to have their voices heard. this process which is exactly how legislation is supposed to make its way through there senate has become disappointingly rare. for too long, partisanship and politics triumphed over principle and policy. shis legislation is an opportunity to reverse that trend and restore regular order in the united states senate. global terrorist networks increasing great power competition with russia and china, aligning influence and a north korean dictator racing to acquire missiles that can hit the united states with no other weapons, threat to our national
7:49 pm
security have not been more complex than at any time in the past seven decades. we must remember we are a nation of war and brave young men and women deployed in afghanistan, iraq, and around the world. the ndaa is a legislation that will deliver to our armed forces resources, equipment and training they need to meet the increasingly complex challenges of today's world. it will begin the process of rebuilding the military after years of devastating defense cuts. let me point out what happens as a result of these mindless defense cuts which every military leader described as devastating to our ability to defend this nation. let me just mind you the hard truth. the state of our military is eroding. we saw this reality as 42
7:50 pm
service members tragically died during routine training operations. on june 17th, 7 sailors were killed when a u.s. fitzgerald collided with a container ship. on july10th, a crash in mississippi killed all 16 troops on board. on august 21st, ten sailors perished in the uss mccain collided with a tanger near singapore. on august 25th, the army block helicopter went missing during a training mission and one solder died. last week in nevada, two air force a-10 aircraft crashed into each other. thank god the pilots were safely leojected but the planes were lost at a cost of over $100 million. the two collision ship repairs
7:51 pm
are estimated to cost more than half a billion. the lives lost in each instance is priceless. over the past three years a total of 44 nervous members were killed in combat. the bottom line is we are killing more of our own people in training than our enemies are and this is caused by the mindless sequestration and a lack of members of this body and the others of what the needs of the men and women who are serving in. about time we start listening to our military leadership who are saying if we don't change what
7:52 pm
we are doing our enemies will catch up. this legislation authioauthoriz defense budget and the nationalal security partner of energy. the legislation also authorizes $60 billion for overseas operations. the total ndaa sports a national defense line of $700 billion. this funding is critical to the shortfall caused by the self-inflicted wounds of the budget control actb known as sequestration and repeated continuing resolutions. the recent headlines of the fatal accidents of routine training operations are evidence of the declining state of our
7:53 pm
military. the ship collisions and military accidents are taking lives of o service members at an alarming rate. we have killed four times as many soldiers than enemies have. we cannot ignore congress' role with years of budget cuts forcing the military to try to do too much with too little. our advisories are investigating in their own military and future warfare capabilities intended to erode our military advantage. simply put we cannot wait any longer to resore our capabilities. another important aspect of the ndaa is it builds on reforms congress has passed by continuing important effort do is reorganize the department of
7:54 pm
defense, spur innovation and defense technology, and seek to strengthen accountability and streamline the process of getting war fighters what they need to succeed. at the same time, the prioritizes accountability from the department and demands the best use of every taxpayer dollar. it will also improve the quality of life for the men and women in uniform. it improves military family rea reare readiness and work together to achieve the mission.
7:55 pm
these are the reasons why this legislation is more vital than ever. congress' most important constitutional responsibility is providing for the common defense consideration for the national defense authorization act each year is one of the ways that we live up to that duty. i guess we are going to have cloture on this bill. don't need it. we should move immediately to this legislation. those who want to oppose those to move forward and have other amendments proposed and voted on are doing the men and women serving in the nation a great disservice. the world is in more turmoil than it has been in 70 years. we cannot waste pressure time
7:56 pm
and effort because one senator has one amendment that he or she is then willing to block the whole process. let's not do that this year. we can get around it wut what it does is deprives other members of their ability to debate and have votes on their issues. i hope my colleagues once we vote the cloture and agree to move forward with a bill we can finish within a couple days and give the american people and the men and women who defend this nation a product we can be proud of. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. >> president trump and first lady melania joined white house staff in a moment of silence marking the 16th year of the
7:57 pm
attack on america.
7:58 pm
[silence] [bagpipes playing]
7:59 pm
[silence] [silence] [silence]
8:00 pm
>> during thursday's washington journal we are laufrping our 5 0 50 -- launching our 50 capitols tour. join us to learn more about the plan to visit every u.s. state capitol celebrating 25 years of the c-span bus program. >> and this week on the the "communicators" we want to introduce you to mark jamison who is currently a visiting scholar at the american enterprise institute and director of public utility researcher at the university of florida. he was on the presidential

29 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on