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tv   U.S. Senate 11062017  CSPAN  November 6, 2017 2:59pm-6:12pm EST

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income. >> so a private equity partner receiving path through private shares could receive a federal deduction for the state and local income tax paid but a janitor at that same private equity firm would not receive a deduction for the state and local income taxes that he pays. >> i believe that under the legislation generally incorrect in that example is because financial services which is a private equity firm is included from maximum rate of pass-through treatment and their income is treated as ordinary. >> we will break away from the house ways and means committee and the work on the house republican tax reform plan. we continue to watch us live on c-span3 and also online at c-span .org or listen at the free free c-span radio app. flags are flying at half staff those killed in remembrance of those killed in the church in
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cenex. executive nominations are on the agenda for today with consideration of steven andrew angle to the assistant attorney general. first, a vote to debate and a final vote is scheduled for 5:3. life to the floor of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: 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. o god, you are our god.
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keep our lawmakers composed please draw near to all who are affected by the violence in your house of worship in sutherland springs, texas. comfort those who mourn. bring healing to the injured. and shower your mercy upon us all. lord, keep our lawmakers composed even in life's storms. may they acknowledge their need of your power, your wisdom and your might. may they run towards life's challenges and hardships, knowing that they are never alone. satisfy their souls with good things
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and transform the mundane into the meaningful. lord, purify their hearts, creating within them a hunger and thirst for righteousness. reveal to them your plans for their well-being, providing them with a future and a hope. we pray in your loving 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.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the engel nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of justice, steven andrew engel of the district of columbia to be an assistant attorney general.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that the order of november 2, which notwithstanding rule 22, be modified to have all executive session cloture motions ripen following the disposition of the gibson nomination. further, that if cloture is invoked on the engel nomination, the time postcloture be counted as if invoked at 5:30 on monday. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. mcconnell: most -- to most americans, church is a place of worship and love, a place where the faithful go to feel mercy and compassion. which is why what happened in texas yesterday is so difficult for many to comprehend. why would an individual do this? families lost so much. our hearts go out to them in this time of untold grief. our gratitude also goes out to the civilians and first responders who answer the call when others are in need. as we continue to learn the details of yesterday's tragic n events, i, along with all members of the senate, will keep the victims of this tragedy and their families in our prayers. now, on a completely different matter, last monday, i said the senate would confirm four excellent judicial nominees by the end of the week. that's just what we did.
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amy barrett, confirmed. joan larsen, confirmed. allison eid, confirmed. stephanos bibas, confirmed. after eight years of a president who selected judges based upon an ideological litmus test designed to find nominees who favor certain groups or individuals over others, we now have a president who is sending over nominees who will ensure that the judiciary is actually living up to the role we expect in our democracy. treating everyone equally, giving every litigant a fair shake, applying the law as it's actually written, not as a judge wishes it might be. the four circuit court nominees the senate confirmed last week will do just that. democrats have put up a lot of procedural roadblocks to prevent the senate from moving forward all year. we have moved ahead anyway.
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as a result, despite all the obstacles from the other side, we're making significant progress. of course, none of this would be possible without the hard work and notable leadership of judiciary committee chairman juk grassley, and i want to thank him again for everything he's done. we're not finished yesterday. we're going to keep pressing forward on judicial nominees. we're going to keep confirming the other nominees before us as well. this week, the senate will consider some of president trump's other qualified nominees for various positions throughout the federal government. each of these individuals will help lead their agencies to fulfill their particular mission in running the government. first, we will advance the nomination of steven engel to serve as assistant attorney general for the office of legal counsel. mr. engel has previously worked in the o.l.c., having done so under president bush. he has also served as deputy assistant attorney general and
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counsel to the assistant attorney general. he obviously has a lot of experience advising senior policymakers on a wide variety of legal issues facing the executive branch. that's good, because the role he has been nominated to has the responsibility for providing legal advice to the executive branch on all constitutional questions and reviewing pending legislation for constitutionality. i look forward to advancing mr. engel's nomination tomorrow so that he can begin putting his experience to work for our country as soon as possible. then we'll turn to the various other nominees before us so they can begin doing the same. confirming the president's nominees is an important part of the senate's business, and i urge all of our colleagues to work together so we can get this done. now, on one final matter. today our colleagues on the house ways and means committee begin marking up the tax reform
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legislation they unveiled last week. under chairman brady's leadership, the committee is continuing its work to get our economy reaching again for its true potential. this is yet more momentum for our country's once in a generation opportunity to update our tax system, deliver relief to hardworking american families and get our economy to create more opportunities and more prosperity. under chairman hatch's leadership, the senate finance committee has continued to move forward on its own legislation to increase opportunity and to provide more take-home pay for american families. in an open process through regular order, members of the committee will continue to have input and writing of this tax reform legislation. so both chambers are working with the president and his team to overhaul our country's complex and outdated tax system. we're united around a commonsense set of goals.
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make taxes lower, simpler, fairer. take more money out of washington's pockets and put more money in the pockets of america's middle class. level the playing field for american workers and businesses so they can compete against foreign competitors on an equal footing. and not only create more jobs in america but keep them here, too. these are goals shared by so many across our country, regardless of party. it's time to deliver real tax relief for hardworking families, and we're going to keep working together to do just that. i have suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator for new york. mrs. gillibrand: i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. gillibrand: mr. president, i rise to speak about the mass shooting in texas yesterday. the latest mass shooting in what
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seems like a never-ending gun violence in our country. my heartbreaks for the victims and their families and for the community of sutherland springs in texas. we are still gathering all the facts about this specific crime. we are still learning about what happened, how this murderer was able to purchase a gun, whatever his twisted rationale was for walking into a house of worship in a small town and slaughtering more than 20 people, including young children, with an assault weapon. our incredible law enforcement officials are working hard to answer all of that. but the most important fact of all is something we already know very well. this is yet another case where someone on american soil who had absolutely no business getting his hands on a weapon of war was able to get one and use it to commit heinous mass murder.
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of the five worst mass shootings in our history, three of them have occurred in just the past 17 months. think about that. in a small town america, nearly 7% of the town's population was slaughtered just because they went to church that day. the weapon he used was based on a military weapon designed for a war zone, but this was not a war zone. it was a church. people were singing and praying and savoring life. i reject the notion that it is too soon to act. if not now, then when? we should ban assault weapons and bump stocks today. people who don't want to have an honest conversation say we need to wait, well for how long? because we wait, we wait, and we will see evil rear its ugly head over and over again, and we are told to wait again. we have enough information today for congress to do its job and try to keep our constituents
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safe from gun violence. we had enough information before yesterday to act. but what congress does not have is the political will to act. my friends, this must change. thoughts and prayers are not going to stop the next mass shooting. merely talking about something, something for the mentally ill to obtain guns isn't going to stop the next deranged person with hate in their soul from committing yet another mass murder. and the second amendment does not mean that americans should have to risk getting shot because they walk down the wrong street in a city or decided to go to a music festival in las vegas or a nightclub in orlando or an elementary school in newtown, or a movie theater in aurora, or a church on sunday in texas. after each of these horrific acts of violence, what happened here in congress?
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nothing. more than a month after las vegas, we still can't even tackle the most obvious fixes, like banning bump stocks. plain and simple, americans are being slaughtered and congress is refusing to protect them. and i hear my colleagues who rightly say we can't pass laws after every incident of a deranged gunman who wants to kill nbt men, women and children like our other laws won't necessarily stop instances of crime but there is no excuse for not trying. everyone in this chamber knows that a shooting in a church is something that should never happen in this country. mr. president, i think you would agree with that. i think everyone who serves in this chamber would agree with that. so then why aren't we doing anything to stop this violence?
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why aren't we making it harder for a crazed, evil person to get their hands on a weapon of war? it makes me wonder what our colleagues are waiting for. are they waiting for the n.r.a. to come in and give them cover and tell them it's okay to act? are they waiting for the n.r.a. to give them permission to stand up and do something? if the n.r.a. said today assault rifles or bump stocks should be banned, it would be done tomorrow. that is the sad truth of this place. but we know the n.r.a. won't say that because they want to keep selling these weapons of war to anyone who is willing to buy them, no matter how unsafe it makes it for the rest of us. congress has caved in over and over again to the enormous pressure by the n.r.a. and the gun industry which just wants to protect their profits and has ignored the vast majority of americans. gun owners and non-gun owners
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alike who support commonsense measures to keep their fellow americans safe. these mass slaughters continue, and congress has done nothing. absolutely nothing. to me, this is a monumental failure of leadership, and it's no wonder that gun violence and mass shootings happen here at a higher rate than any other developed country in the world. this has to change. it's not enough to solve the individual crime after the fact. we have to take meaningful, real action to prevent the next one. this is what has to happen. and, mr. president, to those who doubt that congress can actually get something done, we already know that depending on the motivation, depending on whom congress is actually listening to, congress is fully capable of moving quickly to enact change.
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instead of acting like its hands are tied and refusing to do anything, which is what is happening right now, far more often than not, congress listens to the special interests instead of the people who actually elect them to keep them safe. listen to the shameful state of our gun laws now and tell me if you think these laws came about because families in our states demanded them or was it because the n.r.a. demanded them? congress has turned a collective back on strengthening and expanding our national background check system. we should be fixing the holes in the system, whatever necessary. not just shrugging our shoulders and saying there's nothing that can be done. who do you think demanded that we don't fix the background check system? was it families in your state or was it the n.r.a.? congress refuses to ban high magazine, high capacity magazines which are literally
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made for war and let killers fire dozen of rounds without having to stop and reload. who do you think demanded that? families or the n.r.a.? congress still refuses to ban assault weapons which are designed for war, designed to kill as many people as possible, as rapidly as possible. but are given different names so they can be sold in a civilian world. who do you think demanded that? our families or the n.r.a.? congress is on the verge of passing legislation to make it easier right now for killers do buy suppressers, known by many of us as silencers, to attach to their weapons and make it harder for the police to do their jobs and catch violent criminals. and who do you think demanded that? certainly not the police. not our families. the n.r.a.
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congress is dragging its feet on banning bump stocks, the inexpensive piece of equipment that the killer in las vegas used to turn its already powerful firearm into an automatic weapon capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute. who do you think demanded that? families or the n.r.a.? just this february, congress overturned a rule that had prevented people who were so incapacitated that they could no longer handle their own finances from getting their hands on a gun. who do you think demanded that? families or the n.r.a.? congress even went so far as to pass a law that blocked the centers for disease control from studying -- from studying the issue of gun deaths the way that they're allowed to study any other cause of death in this country. why? because it's an attempt to hide the overwhelming data showing that keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people would
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decrease gun crime. who do you think demanded that? who do you think demanded that, that congress suppress the facts and the alarming data about gun violence? do you think it was families or the n.r.a.? mr. president, this really has to change. congress needs to start protecting the people that we were elected to represent. their voices matter, and it really, it really does matter who you are listening to. their voices matter, and they must be heard. we must listen and enact change that actually would help to keep our states safer from gun violence. we are the ones that need to act. we can't ignore our responsibility to keep our country safe from this kind of violence. and to all the people who are watching us right now, i would say this.
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after all of these massacres, pay attention to what your elected leaders are saying. pay attention to what they are actually doing. watch how they react. look closely at how they use their time here. listen to what they say or don't say. after these mass shootings, did they tell you that we were going to bow our heads for a moment of silence and leave it there? or did they tell you that we were going to fight with every bit of energy to break, to actually fix these broken gun laws and protect american citizens? democracy only works when regular people stand up and demand action. i urge everyone listening today
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to demand that action to hold elected leaders accountable and to ask them to pass meaningful gun reform now. i yield the floor. mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from texas. mr. cornyn: mr. president, today we join the stunned community of sutherland springs, texas, a small town near stoant, in mourning the -- near san antonio in mourning the loss of too many innocent lives. one innocent life is too many. i listened to the impassioned comments of our colleague from new york, asking us to do
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something. but i actually think it's important that we understand exactly what did happen and that once the fog of this terrible tragic event lifts, after the law enforcement agencies can do the appropriate investigation, then i think it is appropriate for us to say what could we do consistent with the constitution and laws of the united states, what could we do to make something like this less likely. i wish i was optimistic that there was some magic wand we could wave and that we could prevent terrible tragedies like this, but in a free and open society, unfortunately we don't have that magic wand. on the other hand, we have arrived at a consensus, i think, in this country that background checks, for example, are appropriate for people suffering from mental
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illness, people who committed previous felonies, those people are banned from possessing or purchasing firearms. and there is a consensus that they should be. there are some early reports that, again, the fog of this terrible tragedy has not yet lifted, and we need clarity in order to know what did and did not happen and where we might be able to act to make a difference. there's some indication by some news reports that this individual had committed domestic violence and had been convicted of that by a court-martial. that too would likely have been a disqualifying factor in his ability to possess or purchase firearms. so we need to know exactly what the facts are. and i appreciate the passion of our colleague from new york. we're all stunned by what
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happened. but i think being rational people, we ought to want to know exactly what the facts are before we decide what the best course of action might be. it may be that like we saw a few years back when at virginia tech an individual who had previously been adjudicated mentally ill, that determination, that judgment was not entered into the national background check system run by the f.b.i. because it wasn't because of a failure of communication between the state and federal authorities. he was able to purchase a firearm when he was legally disqualified from being able to do so. so those are the sorts of things that i think we could work together on. i know, for example, after the terrible shooting in las vegas,
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i was shocked like so many others were that somebody could essentially bypass the prohibition against making a semiautomatic weapon into an automatic weapon by the use of the so-called bump stock. as somebody who enjoys the outdoors and is a hunter and enjoys recreational shooting, i can tell you that i know of no sportsman, no hunter who uses a bump stock. it seems to me that the sole purpose of this is to bypass the prohibition about turning semiautomatic weapons into automatic weapons, and that's something i hope the senate judiciary committee will continue to look into and to determine whether or not the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms ought to be extended the authority to regulate these so-called bump stocks. back when president obama was president of the united states,
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the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms said they did not believe they had the authority. but several of us have written to them and are asking them to clarify for us just where they think they do have authority and where they feel like they need additional authority so we can work with them hopefully to prevent terrible tragedies like that from occurring in the future. but yesterday we all received the news that a gunman opened fire on parishioners on the first baptist church in sutherland springs, texas, killing at least 26 people during the sunday morning church service. i can't imagine a more vulnerable time. people sitting in the pews with their heads bowed and their eyes closed, and then being exposed to this madman unleashing death in that house of worship. the victims included young
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children and a pregnant woman, among others. all of them aged 18 to 72 -- all of them now gone, all 26. this small community and an entirely nation must now binding its wounds, as we mourn the dead and meet the face of evil somebe add car to mao down hemo-- to mao down people in an act of terrorism. we are vulnerable because we are an open society. but, unfortunately, these shorts of tragedies seem to come back to us time and time again, a -- and we in texas are not immune.
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we remember the knife attack at the university of texas in austin earlier this year. we remember the shooting of police officers in downtown dallas last year. five police officers perished. and at fort hood in 2009. each of these events have been shocking, inexplicable and certainly repre-hencable. but this tragedy may be the worst of all. that this event occurred in a house of worship makes it all the more grotesque and despicable. hymns of praise were silenced and those led to cries for help. the shooting in sutherland springs has been called the deadliest mass shooting in texas history. but perhaps it's better
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understood by the words of one man whose mother and father were both killed yesterday. he was sitting on the curb outside the emergency room at conley memorial medical center in a town nearby, shaken to the core, he called the events of yesterday unimaginable. it is impossible to comprehend what it must have felt like to wake up this morning in sutherland springs, a small, tight-knit community roughly 35 miles southeast of san antonio. so many neighbors lost. the sound of yesterday's gunfire and sirens still ringing in the airporerr. one of the people who lost their life was crystal holcombe who died with her unborn child and several relatives.
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another was annabelle pomeroy, a shy 14-year-old girl whose uncle described her as an angel in the flesh. we know, thankfully, that two good samaritans turned on and pursued the shooter and may have prevented this nightmare from lasting even longer. and we are grateful for the heroism and the quick decisive action of these two men. we know that about 20 injured remain in hospitals, including a 5-year-old, rylan ward, who was shot multiple times. yesterday i spoke with texas governor greg abbott and wilson county share joe tackitt jr. and offered my condolences and
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complete support. sheriff tackett said the bloody scene was horrific but that the response by -- to the tragedy was instantaneous. first responders from the surrounding area as well as state and federal officials inundated sutherland springs with logistical resources and personnel. offering their love and compassion as well, a proud display of what i often see, which is an attitude that being a texan doesn't describe just where you're from, it describes who your family is. so today, mr. president, i join the sheriff as well as governor abbott, my friend representative henry cuellar, in whose congressional district this tragedy occurred, my colleague in the senate, senator cruz, and so many other texans in asking god for healing and for understanding.
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we know the investigation into exactly what happened and why is ongoing, and it's important that we allow this investigation to be completed so we can know exactly what happened and exactly what we might be able to do to prevent tragedies like this from occurring in the future. i hope that texans who call sutherland springs and first baptist church home will soon have some answers. i send my thoughts and prayers to thought who lost parents and children and friends and relatives in this outrageous and inhuman act. i hope each of us will pledge to be a light in the darkness and to the families whose lives are forever changed by this atroci atrocity, let us provide a strong shoulder of support.
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mr. president, i yield the floor. and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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ms. collins: mr. president? the presiding officer: the the senator from maine. ms. collins: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that had proceedings under the call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: thank you, madam president. madam president, i rise today with my colleague from nevada, senator cortez masto, to introduce the building our
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largest dementia infrastructure for alzheimer's, or the bold act. i'm pleased that senators capito and senator had kaine are also joining us as original cosponsors. madam president, our legislation would create a public health infrastructure aimed at combating alzheimer's disease and preserving brain health. alzheimer's disease is one of the greatest and most underrecognized public health threats of our time. former surgeon general david satcher has said that it is the most underrecognized public health threat of the 21st century. five and a half million americans are living with the disease, and that number will
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soar as our population continues to grow older and lives longer. in addition to the human suffering it causes, alzheimer's had is our nation's most costly disease. the united states spends more than $259 billion per year, including $175 billion in medicare and medicaid costs. the financial impact of this dreadful disease will had only continue to grow. in fact, it is estimated that by the year 2050, alzheimer's will cost our country $1 trillion and afflict 16 million americans. while alzheimer's is the only one of our nation's most deadly
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diseases without an effective treatment or cure, tantalizing new research suggests that there are steps we can take to promote prevention and improved treatment. the first step we should take is to recognize alzheimer's as a public health crisis. it is because of public advancements that we have safe water to drink, vaccines to prevent deadly diseases, interventions to quit smoking, and emergency preparedness tools to save lives. thest to combat alzheimer's disease requires a similar unified national public health effort. that effort is gaining steam. in 1999 when i founded the bipartisan congressional task
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force on alzheimer's, there was virtually no focus in had washington on this devastating disease. in fact, people were afraid to even refer to the disease, just as years ago people did not talk about cancer. seven years ago i coauthored with then-senator evan bayh the bipartisan national alzheimer's project act, which set the primary goal of preventing and effectively treating the disease by the year 2025. that bill created an expert counsel which has calculated that $2 billion in federal funding per year to needed to achieve that goal. on the appropriations committee, i've worked hard with senators blunt and others to turn the words of that recommendation into action.
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the funding bill for this year provides another $2 billion increase for the national institutes of health, and that includes a $414 million increase for alzheimer's research, the largest in history. that brings the total for alzheimer's research to $1.8 billion, well within reach of the $2 billion goal that the experts tell us is necessary for breakthroughs. while this research is moving forward, we must put into practice what we know and enhance the quality of care and support for those living with alzheimer's and their families. in march the aging committee which i chair held a hearing on the art of alzheimer's from
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preventing cognitive dedeadline to assuring quality care for those living with dementia. the hearing shed light on the fact that although we do not yet know how to prevent alzheimer's, we are advancing in our understanding of the disease. its progression does not happen overnight. it is preceded by years and perhaps decades of changes in the brain and a continuum of changes in behavior, including cognitive decline. a growing body of evidence suggests that lifestyle factors like recognize physical activity and attention to heart health may reduce the risk of cognitive decline. there is so much we've yet to know. alzheimer's is a public health issue for those living with the
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disease, for those caring for their loved ones with the disease, and for all of us as taxpayers and for those who know that our brain is our most precious resource. alzheimer's exacts a tremendous personal and economic toll on families and communities. more than 40 million americans know all too well the compassion, commitment, and endurance that it takes to be a caregiver of a loved one facing a chronic disease like alzheimer's. the legislation we are introducing today would apply a new public health approach to alzheimer's disease. it would establish centers of excellence and public health center dedicated to promoting
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effective alzheimer's disease management and caregiving interventions as well as educating the public on the disease, on cognitive decline, and on brain health in general. the centers for disease control and prevention are already doing tremendous work to combat alzheimer's, with the public health road map of the healthy brain officiate. this legislation would create centers of excellence across the country to implement the c.d.c.'s public health road map. the centers would take a number of key steps against alzheimer's. they would work to support early detection and diagnosis, lessen the risk of avoidable hospitalizations, reduce the risk of cognitive decline, enhance support to meet the needs of caregivers, reduce
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health disparities, and support care planning and management for those with the disease. the center's activities would support health and social service professionals as well as families and communities. in addition to establishing the centers for excellence in public health practice, this bill would spread the opportunity for communities across america to create the necessary core capacity to combat alzheimer's and to enhance existing efforts in this regard. the legislation would establish and distribute cooperative agreements to public health departments to support systems change, communications, and programmatic interventions. these agreements would also support the actions in the
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c.d.c.'s healthy brain initiative public health road map. finally, madam president, at the heart of public health is data. this legislation would direct the c.d.c. to collect data on cognitive decline, cognitive impairment, care giving and health disparities within its current systems. the bill would also create cooperative agreements for the analysis and reporting of data to ensure that the results are disseminated to the public and are used to ultimately improve brain health. madam president, for far too long, we have viewed alzheimer's disease as an aging issue that plagues our seniors today and threatens to affect many more tomorrow. in fact, the disease is far more
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than that. it is a public health issue with a course that we can change, and if we do not take actions, both in this new public health approach and by continuing to build on the research, this disease will bankrupt the medicare and the medicaid program. we cannot afford to spend over a trillion dollars in the year 2050 on just this one disease. we cannot afford to lose 16 million americans by that year to this devastating disease. we cannot afford to allow the heartache and devastation of this disease to affect more and more american families.
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there are steps that we can take today to prevent cognitive decline and to improve the lives of those living with alzheimer's and their caregivers. this public health approach is not only empowering, it is key to avoiding the terrible outcomes that i have just mentioned. after decades of expanding much-needed biomedical research in alzheimer's, we are ready for the next step to translate research into policy. the bold bill would create a new enlightened public policy out of promising research by creating the first-ever national public health infrastructure for alzheimer's disease. madam president, i am pleased to
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say that the bipartisan bill that the senator from nevada and i have introduced with our colleagues from virginia and west virginia is endorsed by the alzheimer's association, the alzheimer's impact movement, the national association of chronic disease directors, and the national association of counties. i ask that their letters of support be entered into the record at the conclusion of my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. and i urge my colleagues to support this critical and bipartisan legislation. madam president, i'm now very pleased to yield to the co-author of this important bill, senator catherine cortez
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masto has been an extraordinary member of the senate special committee on aging. she attends every single hearing, which is amazing, given our schedules, and she contributes so much to the debate and questioning in those hearings, and i am delighted to join in this effort with her. thank you, madam president. ms. cortez masto: thank you, madam president. i ask to be recognized. the presiding officer: the senator from nevada. ms. cortez masto: madam president, i rise to thank my colleague from maine whose amazing work as chair of the aging committee continues to inspire me, and i also rise today to share a story that is very personal to me. it's a for about one of the smartest people that i have known, my grandmother catherine
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who i was named after. she was the daughter of an italian immigrant and his italian-american wife. she is exactly the kind of person you think of when you think of an italian grandmother. if you have ever had one, you know they love to feed people. she would invite the whole family, aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone over to her house for dinner on sunday nights. and the other six days of the week, she worked on volunteer projects throughout las vegas with her sorority, beta sigma phi. she never graduated from college, but she was a leader in our community, and she was always reading. if you walked into her house, it was full of books. in fact, the first thing you saw when you walked into her house was on one wall, floor to ceiling, a bookcase with all of the books that she had read. she was brilliant. she was one of my greatest inspirations. her work in our community in las vegas is one of the reasons i decided to pursue a career in public service.
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unfortunately, madam president, in the 1990's, my grandmother was diagnosed with alzheimer's disease. and at first, you could barely notice a difference. there were small things, things that could happen to anyone. lost her keys, mismatched socks, books left in odd places. and then a woman who spent her entire life loving to cook for her family and grandchildren suddenly stopped cooking. and over the next ten years, she got progressively worse. we could see the changes in her every single day. but our lives changed, too. my grandfather became her caregiver. my mother became her caregiver. my aunt became her caregiver. my cousins and i and my sister, we all became caregivers. and that's what happens when someone is diagnosed. it doesn't affect just one
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person. it affects an entire family. there's a common misconception that people suffering from alzheimer's aren't aware of what they're losing, that their memories are gone but not missed. that wasn't the case for my grandmother. i don't think it's the case for anyone struggling with this disease. my grandmother frequently had these moments of clarity when it was clear that the losses were just as painful for her as they were for all of us. one thing that happens to many people with alzheimer's is that they tend to wander, wander away from home or they get lost, and she had one of those moments of clarity after she had wandered away from home one day, and the entire family spent an afternoon looking for her in our neighborhood. my aunt and i found her, and we went to pick her up in a car, and i'll never forget, i sat in
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the back seat while my aunt was driving, and my grandmother who was in the front passenger side of the seat asked my aunt, why am i doing this? why am i in my housecoat and slippers? why am i doing this? and my aunt looked at her, and she said mom, you're sick. you've got something they call alzheimer's, and that means that is impacting your brain and your memories, and you're forgetting. we were so powerless. we couldn't do anything but make her comfortable and bring her home, and for many, many families dealing with alzheimer's, they have gone through those same moments, those moments when they are dealing with their loved ones, either trying to explain to them what's happening or give them the comfort because they know their memories are gone, and they want to make sure that they are giving them the comfort that they need and they deserve. we know, unfortunately, there is
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no cure for alzheimer's. my grandmother passed away, like many people with alzheimer's do, when her illness got so bad that she lost the ability to eat or drink. but the experience of caring for my grandmother opened my eyes to the true impact of this disease. i saw that when one person is diagnosed, a whole family's lives are transformed, too. i think about my grandmother every day. every day i return to some peace of wisdom or guidance that she shared with me. i'm committed now to honoring her memory by fighting to prevent alzheimer's and provide caregivers with the support they need and deserve. when my grandmother was first diagnosed, we did not understand alzheimer's like we do today. we didn't have enough health care programs for it or support for the caregivers. it was seen as an individual disease that struck at random
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with no pure and -- no cure and no hope. although there is still no cure, we know now that there are things we can do to help keep the brain healthy for longer and possibly reduce the risk of alzheimer's. there are things we can do now to promote prevention, and for those of us already living with alzheimer's and their caregivers like my family was for my grandfather, there are things that we can do to dramatically improve their experiences and help lesson some of their trouble. and today there are things we can do to invest, to invest in finding that cure for alzheimer's. it is just a petri dish away, but we have to believe that it is there and we can continue and support that investment. i have visited the brain center for brain health in las vegas
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and melt with its director dr. jeffrey cummings. i have seen the incredible work they have done, including the methods for early detection of alzheimer's that simply didn't exist only a few years ago, but education in the community and spreading of best practices still lags behind. there is no longer any doubt that this is a public health crisis. that's why i am so grateful and proud to be sitting on a committee, working with a chairwoman, my colleague from maine, who has made it her effort here in congress to really bring attention to alzheimer's disease and help to fight for funding and investing in a cure. i am proud to join my colleagues from maine, west virginia, and west virginia in introducing legislation known as the bold infrastructure for alzheimer's
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act. this bill will create centers of excellence dedicated to promoting effective interventions and educating the public on alzheimer's disease, cognitive decline, and brain help. it will provide grants to state and local health departments to build the infrastructure necessary to address this public health crisis. and it will collect the data necessary to keep pushing the frontiers of what we know about this disease. i urge my colleagues to support this vital piece of legislation, this bipartisan piece of legislation that has the potential to have a positive impact on millions of americans across this country. madam president, with that, thank you for listening, and i yield the floor and notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: madam pre sident. the presiding officer: the senator from montana.
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mr. daines: i ask the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. daines: madam president, today the u.s. house of representatives begins marking up h.r. 1, the tax cut and jobs act. and as the u.s. senate continues to debate tax cuts, i'm reminded by a speech that former democratic president john f. kennedy delivered in new york city in 1962. in fact, it was december of 1962. and let me quote president kennedy. in short, it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low, and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now. the experience of a number of european countries and japan
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have borne this out. this country's own experience with tax reduction in 1954 has borne this out. and the reason is that only full employment can balance the budget and tax reduction can pave the way to that employment. the purpose of cutting taxes now is not to incur a budget deficit but to achieve the more prosperous expanding economy which can bring a budget surplus. president kennedy went on to say this, i repeat, our practical choice is not between a tax cut deficit and a budgetary surplus. it is between two kinds of deficits. a chronic deficit of inertia as the unwanted result of inadequate revenues and a restricted economy. or a temporary deficit of
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transition resulting from a tax cut designed to boost the economy, increase tax revenues and achieve -- and i believe this can be done -- a budget surplus. the first type of deficit is a sign of waste and weakness. the second reflects an investment in the future. if somebody just tuned in, they might think i was quoting perhaps president reagan or perhaps some other republican leader. this was president john f. kennedy in 1962. we need to cut taxes once again and to put money back into the pockets of the american people. i can tell you that montanans need more jobs. but importantly, they need better paying jobs. most importantly, they need bigger paychecks. the best way to give montanans a
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pay raise, how about cutting their taxes? we need tax cuts. madam president, separately, i just wanted to express my sincerest and heartfelt sympathies to the people of sutherland springs, texas. what a devastating turn of events there. men and women and children showing up to worship on a sunday at a church. this was an act of pure evil. my wife, cindy, and i are praying for the victims, their families, and community that has been changed forever. madam president, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from west virginia. mrs. capito: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mrs. capito: i request that we vitiate the quorum. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. capito: thank you, mr. president. i would like to talk about something in my region of west virginia that i think is
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becoming very important to this country's energy security and prosperity. west virginia has extensive natural gas liquid resources. nearly a century ago when it was discovered, the rapid growth that followed turned central west virginia into a hub for the petra chemical industry. we never looked back. it remains one of the nation's -- the nation's second largest industry and directly impacts other sectors likening nearing, biomedical engineering, an manufacturing. west virginia is home to 140 different companies. west virginia's share of g.d.p. is the sixth largest in the country and they are one-quarter of our state's major international exports. we have one of the highest
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concentrations of this sector. this is a microcosm of the challenges and opportunities facing this important american industry during a time of fierce international competition. estimates show that more than a hundred thousand workers in west virginia already have the industrial skills to fill jobs in this sector, and there are thousands more who could easily be retrained to fill these jobs in this important industry. with our region's abundance of natural gas from the marcellous and utica shails, west virginia is perfectly positioned for a massive increase of economic growth and new jobs. natural gas liquids provide the building blocks for many of the products used by our consumers every single day. products ranging from the dashboard in your car or the water bottle that many of us use. right now we don't have the right infrastructure in place to
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store and distribute the building blocks that make up these products. and as a result, these valuable resources are being used to generate heat and electricity instead of being made into consumer products. as energy secretary perry put it, that's like cooking your breakfast over a fire of hundred dollar bills. this represents a huge opportunity to act on this administration's america first energy policy, an opportunity to grow an industry here at home with an american workforce and america's natural resources. to elevate these issues in congress, i am proud to serve as the cochair of the bipartisan senate chemistry caucus. we host briefings about the importance of this industry to america's economy and national security. states that may not have robust petrachemical sectors
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nonetheless rely on its products for manufacturing, agriculture and several other key industries. for months, i'd say more than months, years, i've been advancing the development of an appalachia natural gas liquids market to improve our storage and distribution capabilities. new drilling technologies have unlocked access to trillions upon trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and their associated liquids in west virginia, pennsylvania, ohio, and kentucky. some of our most downtrodden economic areas have this valuable asset right there. unpredicted just a decade ago, this asset can create a respect sans in -- renaissance in the region's petra che chemicals but can only happen if they see this once a generation opportunity
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and to do that we need to create a natural gas liquid storage hub in central appalachia. the concept of this new hub is simple. right now because we don't have a way to store these liquids, we're unable to fully maximize this resource. that hurts producers, refiners, and our manufacturers in the state of west virginia and ohio and beyond. a storage hub and the necessary pipeline infrastructure would create a robust ap las appalacha market for natural gas liquids. this would have major benefits and here's why. let's think about the hurricane that just occurred and devastated our friends in texas. the gulf and particularly houston and the storage hub at mount belleview, texas, dominate the domestic market there. hurricane harvey knocked out as much as 60% of that supply, knocked it offline and it took a month to get the hub back up and running. by establishing an appalachia
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storage hub away from hurricane alley, we would add redundancy that protects our economy and our national security. having all the storage capacity in only one region of the country only drives of production costs for american manufacturers. i would also add that this resource is in appalachia. appalachia should have the storage hub to be able to capitalize and create the jobs right in our own neighborhood. as appalachia has become a robust producer of natural gas liquids pipelines that used to flow from the northeast have been reversed. it is then sent back to the interior of the country often appalachia itself as well as the midwest for manufacturing. this back and forth obviously drives up prices for the goods that you buy every day, from furniture to toys to cars.
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to be clear, development of an appalachia hub would not come at the expense of the gulf's market. it's a comparative advantage. the hub can more efficiently serve many of the domestic manufacturers where the gulf can expand its export capacity. besides making the national market more efficient and resilient, an appalachia market will drive significant doafnlt in a region that -- development in a region that desperately needs a boost. a recent study found that appalachia states of west virginia, ohio, pennsylvania, and kentucky could see as much as $35.8 billion in new capital investment creating more than 100,000 jobs by 2025 with this new hub. when secretary perry accepted my invitation and visited west virginia in july, the development of an appalachia natural storage gas -- gas liquids storage hub was a great topic of emphasis.
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he met with several business leaders to discuss pass forward and developing a regionallestale market. the secretary saw the obvious benefits of a project and the hub could play a key role in the administration's related goals of rejuvenating the appalachia economy and achieving an american first energy policy. the secretary and i have discussed how best to bring this public-private partnership to life since his visit in west virginia. and i think all of might colleagues, particularly those representing appalachia should be as excited about this concept as the secretary and i are. several private entities are injured taking that initial development work right now with interest coming from both domestic and foreign investors. and i have been engaging frequently with secretary perry and with commerce secretary ross about making the storage hub a reality. the trump administration understands the importance of
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this project to the economies of west virginia and the region, and i appreciate their efforts to help move our state forward beyond the economic disaster that we've had over the last several years. i will continue my advocacy for this enormous economic development opportunity and encourage my colleagues not just from the states i mentioned but all around the country. i would ask my colleagues to join as partners in this effort. thank you, mr. president. and i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: thank you. this morning, i was in -- drove from cleveland to youngstown. i was in youngstown, ohio, at
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teamsters local 377 talking to workers, maybe 200 of them in the room. mostly workers and retirees, most of them retirees who are in danger of having their pensions cut, pensions they earned over a lifetime of hard work. understand how that happens. when workers are at the bargaining table, whether it's teamsters, whether it's electricians, whether it's steelworkers, whether it's sciu, when workers are at the bargaining table, they're so often to give -- willing to give up wages today in order to have a secure retirement in five years, ten years, 20 years, for 30 years. s that -- that's what these workers chose to do whether they work for roadway over the road, whether they were working with -- for any number of companies, they were willing at the bargaining table to give up higher wages today to have money to set aside that was then
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invested in often in wall street. we'll get to that in a minute. it's bad in you that these workers and these pensions they earn over a lifetime of hard work, it's bad enough that wall street squandered those workers' money. it's worse that the government that's supposed to look out for these workers simply doesn't doing it. one of the retired workers at barker told us, we did our part. now it's time for members of congress to cross party lines and do theirs. if we truly value a hard day's work in this country, we talk a good game in this body about how we respect workers and respect their work, but i'm not sure we always live that. in we really value a hard day's work in this country, we start by keeping our promise to these hardworking ohioans and west virginians and mo montanans all over this country. we keep our promise to those hardworking people in our country, but we can't end there. that's just the beginning of what we need to do to ensure that hard work pays off for an order -- for ordinary americans.
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during his campaign, candidate trump made a lot of promises, big promises to workers in ohio. some of his big rallies he had across our state. made big promises to workers across ohio and our country. he told us he'd put american workers first. well, the white house today looks like a retreat for wall street executives, and many of the people the president's put in charge have a record of doing the opposite of putting american workers first. that's certainly true of peter robb, the nominee to serve as the top lawyer of the general counsel of the national labor relations board. mr. robb has spent his career working to strip workers of their rights, defend corporations accused of mistreating workers, and he's tried to undermine the watchdog agency he's now seeking to join. so he's working at the national labor relations board which is supposed to strike a balance and really advocate only for
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american workers. the president's nominee is someone who built his career in -- and received a very high salary for doing it. he built his career defending workers accused -- defending corporations accused of mistreating workers, working to strip workers of their right, trying to undermine the effort to get a fair shake and build a level playing field for workers. someone who views unions and collective bargaining as a threat to be dealt with, that was mr. robb. that's primarily the story of mr. robb's career. instead of helping to protect essential rights for workers, a person like that has no big as serving as the top lawyer of the labor relations board. it's the latest in a long line of evidence that work isn't valued in this country the way it used to. people in ohio, around the country work harder -- work more days, more hours, longer hours
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harder than ever before. they have less and less to show for it. over the past 40 years g.d.p. has gone up. corporate profits have gone up. executive compensation has gone up all because of the productivity of the american worker. but fundamentally, the workers haven't shared in the wealth they've created. so, again, g.d.p. goes up. profits go up. executive salaries go up. productivity goes up but workers' wages are stagnant or worse. we know that. we also know that people in this body rarely side with workers in that equation. one major reason why the economic growth has not brought higher wage to workers is americans are less likely to have a union card to protect them. when americans reminisce about the good jobs that have disappeared, i'm willing to bet that most of those jobs were union. as manufacturing employment declines, the share of the wor workforce represented by unions has declined with it only more rapidly. i can accept that the workforce is changing but what we can't
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accept is that more and more of our workers are paid less and less, paid less and less in wages, have fewer and fewer benefits and have little economic security. it's no coincidence, mr. president, that over the same time frame that economic growth in this country has been shared among fewer and fewer americans, keep in mind as the 1% gets richer, they take more and more of the profits. they take more and more of the productivity gains and workers are left further and further behind. we know what will happen with this tax bill, this so-called tax reform that's being considered in the house that they're going -- that they are negotiating, mr. president, right down the hall here in the majority leader's office the same way they did health care right down the hall in the majority leader's office with lots of lobbyists but no light shown, no public, no media coverage of all that. we know what happens. we know what happens when tax reform -- with tax reform like that the rich get richer and the
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middle class shrinks. that's the story of those teamsters in youngstown today. 200 workers -- as i walked through the crowd, i spoke with a number of them on the way in and the way out. and i asked them how long they had driven a truck. most of them had driven at least 30, some 40, a few 45 years. they've worked that hard. they gave up wages today so they'd have a pension in the future. yet right now because of wall street malfeasance in large part and because government, people in this body don't have the guts to stand up for these workers, we know what's happened to their pensions. we know what's happened to their pensions. if we don't step in and do the right thing come december this year. and we know the tax reform bill again written down the hall in the majority leader's office, the same thing. the wealthiest 1% get richer. the rich get richer. the people with power get more -- the powerful get more power and what happens? the middle class shrinks. we know that last week i was on the floor with many of my
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colleagues talking about a case before the supreme court. janus -- it's a decades long attempt to chip away at work worker's power in the workplace. mr. robb has been part of that effort. the appointee, the nominee to be the top lawyer at the national labor relations board has been part of the effort to chip away at workers' rights, to continue the demeaning and the diminishing of the role of workers in this country, to depress and suppress wages in this country. he's the person, the president of the united states wants to be to serve as the top lawyer in -- at the national labor relations board? what's wrong with that picture? he dwentsdzed -- defended corporations accused of discrimination, of not paying their workers the paychecks. he represented the corporations that tried to keep these workers from getting the paychecks that they earned. he worked for an energy company that was working to defeat workers' organizing efforts.
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his own law firm's website brags about how they delayed the election for two more years. think about that. my colleagues know this. these workers signed a petition, a signed a card if you will, saying they'd like to have a union election. they signed usually -- a majority signed a card saying they in fact wanted to have a union election. it's the right in this country. it's the right since the 1930's when president trump roosevelt pushed through the national labor relations act that workers got the right to vote on a union, and this -- mr. robb's company was bragging, they were bragging that they were able to delay for two years the election. so even if they couldn't -- maybe they couldn't defeat the workers, but he know what you do then? you delay the election because you have really high-priced lawyers that know how to do this for management for the corporation. you delay the election for a week, for a month, for a
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quarter, for half a year, for a year or two years. you know what happens? many of those workers that signed that petition, that thought they might have a shot at a union, some of them got fired, some just left, some were ready to retire, maybe some of them died. instead -- so by the time the election is held, you've pretty much defeated the organizing effort. that's why people like mr. robb don't belong at the national labor relations board. we need someone in this job who wakes up every day ready to defend american workers, not oppress them, not shut them down, not depress their wages. you don't want somebody who spent his career trying to bring these workers down. what mr. robb doesn't seem to understand is that it's not corporations that drive the economy. it's workers. we grow the economy from the middle class up. i know you're going to hear a number of my colleagues who support this huge tax break in this tax bill. it is all about cutting the corporate tax so that corporations make more money,
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have higher profits, have higher executive salary. it won't have anything to do with wages. no matter how profitable the companies are they are a not willingly giving higher wages to its workers. you're going to here these companies -- you're going to hear the defenders of these companies come to this body and talk about how we've got to -- how corporations are driving the economy, that if you give tax breaks to the richest people in the company, it will trickle down and create jobs and increase wages it hasn't worked that way in the past. in the 1990's, bill clinton grew the economy -- he focused the tax breaks and tax bills on the middle class, on workers and grew the economy out from the middle. 22 million net private-sector job increases. the next years under president bush 22, two major tax cuts -- overwhelmingly to the rich for
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trickle down, zero net increase of job -- private-sector jobs. 22 million during the clinton years because he focused on the middle class. zero job growth during the bush years because it was trickle-down economics. so what's going on in the back room, in the majority leader's back office? it is another tax cut for the rich, trickle down, see what happens. the rich get richer and the middle class shrinks are. so what mr. robb doesn't understand it is not corporations that drive the economy. it is workers. when workers are doing better, they're buying more things. they're creating more demand. companies sell more products. the economy grows. if work isn't valued, if corporations shortchange workers with the help of lawyers like mr. robb, then americans can't earn their way to a better life for their families, no matter how hard they work. workers, as i said, as we all know, workers are a working harder than ever before. working longer hours, more productive, profits are up, executive compensation is up. wages have been flat. what's fair about that?
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what should we do about that? what we should do about that is not to put people at the national labor relations act that want to do more of the same. whenever we face another attack on american workers and their freedom to organize, i think of the words of pope francis. he said, there's no good society without a good union. there's no good union that is not reborn every day in the per referries. it does not transform the discarded stones of the economy into cornerstones. we need laws that reflect the dignity of every discarded stone, every american working too many hours for too little pay. the last thing we need is another nominee who doesn't value work, who doesn't respect the americans who do it, another nominee that always lined up often the side of the richest people in the country and always is working to take rights away from workers, to take wages away from workers, to take benefits away from workers. that's the story of mr. robb's work history in the private sector. is that the kind of person you
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want representing workers, representing the american economy at the national labor relations board? i think not. i urge my colleagues to listen a little bit more, go to the teamster hall in youngstown like i did today. listen to the americans we serve. listen a little less at the cub club to the big corporations trying to squeeze every last penny out of these workers' hands, to squeeze every last penny out of their workers. reject mr. robb's nomination. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: .
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quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to legislative session for a period of morning business, with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 3031, which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk
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will report. the clerk: h.r. 3031, an act to amend title 5, united states code, and so forth, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent 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 that the committee on homeland security and governmental affairs be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 1370, and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 1370, an act to amend the homeland security act of 2002, and so forth, and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the committee is discharged, and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the johnson-mccaskill
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substitute amendment be considered and agreed to, the bill as amended be considered read a third time. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further debate on the bill. the presiding officer: is there further debate? if not, the question is on passage of the bill as amended. all those in favor, say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill as amended is passed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. on tuesday, november 7. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. further, that following leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for debate only until
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11:00 a.m., at which point the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the gibson nomination under the previous order. finally, that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 to allow for weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order, following the remarks of senator durbin. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: mr. president, i ase leader. i was going to ask about my colleague, senator paul. i ask consent to be recognized. the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: first, let me say at the outset, many of us have extended well wishes to our colleague, senator paul, who was injured over the weekend. i wish him a speedy recovery, and hope that he returns soon to be a part of the senate. he is an important part of the
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senate and important here. mr. president, another gun massacre. horrible circumstances. i know you came to the floor earlier today to say a word about your feelings, the feelings of your family. they are shared by all of us. it's heart breaking to think that some person so demented, so unusual would come into a worship setting and kill innocent people. this man, the reported shooter, devin kelley, used an assault rifle to kill 26 people in sutherland springs, texas, wounding 20 others. the victims range in age from 18 months to 77 years. about a dozen of those who were killed were children. it included the daughter of the
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church's pastor. the shooter reportedly drove up to the church wearing a bulletproof vest, tactical gear and began firing in the parking lot before entering the church. at some point, a local resident who lived near the church began firing back, and the shooter then drove off with two residents in pursuit. eventually crashing his car and was found dead of a gunshot wound that may have been self-inflicted. president trump and others have said that this exchange of fire with citizens responding saved lives and shows that the policy of response to the shooting should be to arm more good guys with guns. let us not forget that 46 people were shot before these citizens came on the scene. now, this reported shooter, 26 years old, had served in the u.s. air force from 2010 until 2014, working on logistics readiness. in 2012, he was court-martialed for two counts of assault on his
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then-wife and child. he was sentenced to confinement for 12 months. he received a bad conduct discharge in 2014, remarried in 2014, and had worked as an unarmed security guard at a water park. he reportedly bought four guns, one each, from 2014-2017. three of those weapons, the assault rifle which he used in this crime, and two handguns were found at the scene. local law enforcement said that the shooter was likely motivated by a domestic situation. his wife's grandmother was one of the victims. there are so many things that come to mind, and first and foremost is the grief that we all feel, sorrow for the families that were affected. it is so sad that when people go to church on sunday, they are not safe from this gun violence and gun massacres that are occurring way too frequently across the united states. there are things that we need to do, and only we can do in
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congress to make the laws better and safer. i respect the second amendment. i respect the fact that there are men and women in my family, friends, people i represent across illinois who own guns and use them safely and responsibly. we have sportsmen and hunters in my family. we have people who buy guns for shorting purposes, for self-defense. they store the guns carefully and safely. they take it very seriously that they are dealing with a deadly weapon. they don't want anyone innocent to be hurt. i respect that very much. i think we all should. but i also call on them now. they need to lead us into a more sensible policy when it comes to gun safety. the owners of firearms overwhelmingly when they are asked believe that we should have comprehensive background checks to keep guns out of the hands of those who misuse them. overwhelmingly, a majority of gun owners feel that way, as
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most americans feel. why can't we do that? we certainly know that it's within our power. in my state of illinois, the city of chicago, we have reached 600 gun deaths this weekend for the year. 600. it is the highest number in over a decade. it's heart breaking, and that doesn't include those who were injured by being shot as well. where are these guns coming from? you cannot have a gun store in the city of chicago, that's true, but when it comes to purchasing guns, it makes no difference. the suburbs have plenty of gun dealers, and of course there are gun shows in neighboring states like indiana. we also know that at these gun stores, which are in the suburbs of chicago, they supply 25% of the identified crime guns, and we know many of those are sold in what's known as a straw purchase, sold to someone who could not legally qualify to buy a gun but buys one -- pardon
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me -- buys one for someone who is not legally qualified, the girlfriend or someone buys a gun because she has no criminal record so her boyfriend can use it, misuse it, kill innocent people. can't we toughen that law and make it a law where there is real penalties for straw purchases? that's not going to slow down any legitimate gun owner or anyone who wants to use a gun in a responsible fashion. that's one thing we can do. and the gun show loophole, we know that columbine and other places, it was a gun show loophole that opened the way for the purchase of guns which killed innocent people. let's do something about that. we should. if we're serious, we should. we also know that we have prohibitions in the 1996 lautenberg amendment prohibiting convicted domestic abusers from buying or possessing guns. that applies as well to military personnel. questions need to be asked and answered about this shooter in
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texas and what happened after he was court-martialed for domestic abuse in the air force in 2012. how did he purchase a gun after that in violation of the lautenberg amendment? we need to also ask why in the world anyone needs to own an assault weapon. i understand people will buy rifles, shotguns, and even handguns for sporting and self-defense, but why does anyone need to own a military-style weapon, one that can be converted, as we found in las vegas, to a weapon that discharges 100 rounds in seven seconds? that is totally unnecessary for any legitimate legal purpose. it is available perhaps for military use, perhaps for law enforcement, but not for the ordinary american citizen who would purchase and own a gun for legitimate purposes. next we need to make sure that we understand why this gun violence is growing in america. the number of people who have been killed, injured just grows
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by the year. it's getting worse. we need to also talk about the issue of mental health raised by the president in response to this tragedy in texas. the president said, quote, this isn't a gun situation. i think that mental health is your problem here, end of quote. despite the fact that most violence in the united states has nothing to do with mental illness, many are arguing that mental health is really the issue. what have we done in the united states senate when it comes to mental health and guns this year? we used the c.r.a. to repeal a regulation that directed the social security administration to share mental illness information with the background check compilation of information. there was an advocacy for massive cuts to medicaid which would throw millions of people with mental health needs off coverage. there was an attempt to repeal the affordable care act that would have allowed insurers to
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refuse coverage of essential health benefits, including mental health treatment. and there was a refusal to provide additional federal funding to help provide mental health care. we don't have a very good record here in the senate when it comes to taking mental health seriously and we should. we also want to make sure we introduce a bill to encourage more crime gun tracing in light of last week's crime gun tracing report from the chicago police department. mr. president, we focus on terrorism and what it does to our country, and we should. that's our responsibility. anyone as in 9/11 who would do harm to americans, killing 3,000 in that instance, needs to be taken extremely seriously by all of us in congress and in the white house. foreign sources of terrorism need to be carefully watched. when it comes to our border security, when it comes to
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background checks and the like. but let's be honest, more americans are dying from americans killing americans with guns than by terrorist activity. it is just as much a death as any foreign terrorist threat would be. and we need to consider it just as seriously as we do when it comes to the issues of terrorism and safety for the people of america. why doesn't the united states congress take this up? why don't we even have a debate? i'm on the senate judiciary committee. we've not had a single bill this year that addresses gun safety. not one, despite the gun violence that takes place every day and despite tragedies like this tragedy over the weekend at suggest the land springs, texas -- at sutherland springs, texas. mr. president, i ask my full statement be placed into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i'd like to make note of the fact that on september 5, almost two months ago, attorney general jeff sessions announced the trump administration's repeal of the deferred action for childhood
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arrivals program better known as daca. daca provided temporary legal status to immigrant students if they registered with the government, paid a fee, passed a security and national background check renewable on a two year basis. the yuk people -- the young people protected by daca are known as dreamers. they came to the united states as children. they grew up knowing only this country believing this is their home and their future. many of them in their teenage years were told quietly by a parent that their legal status was not the status of an american citizen. these kids who grew up singing "the star-spangled banner" and pledging allegiance to the american flag have no country. it was seven years ago i sent a letter to president obama joined by senator dick lugar, republican from indiana. on a bipartisan basis we asked president obama to establish a program like the daca program. the president responded.
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daca has been a success. almost 800,000 dreamers have come forward. they've surrendered to their government the information which many of their families kept secret for years. they trusted us. they gave this information to the government and said we want to become part of america's future, and we are willing to sign up, submit ourselves to the background check, pay our taxes, pay the filing fee, do whatever is necessary. they trusted us. these young people who came forward and received daca have gone on to contribute fully to their country. they are teachers, they are nurses, engineers, first responders, service members in our military. now because of president trump's announcement, the deportation clock is ticking on these young people. beginning on march 5, 2018, not that long from now, every work day for the following two years, approximately 1,400 dreamers will lose their work permits and be subject to
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deportation. these young people who trusted our government now with the decision to end daca will find themselves in an extremely vulnerable position. and when they lose their daca protection, if they're teachers they're forced to leave their students. if they're nurses they're forced to leave their patients. if they're first responders they leave their post. and if they're soldiers willing do die for our country they're forced to leave our military service. this isn't a looming humanitarian crisis, it is an economic crisis. the nonpartisan institute on taxation reports daca eligible individuals contributed an estimated $2 billion a year in state and local taxes. the cato institute, a conservative operation, estimates that ending daca and deporting daca recipients will cost $60 billion and result in a $280 billion reduction in economic growth over the next ten years.
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poll after poll shows overwhelming bipartisan support for these dreamers. even fox news, no liberal media outlet, recently found that 79% of americans support a path to citizenship for dreamers, including 63% of those who voted for president trump. 63, almost two out of three trump supporters support a legal status for dreamers. the answer is clear. congress needs to pass the dream act and we need to do it before we leave washington, d.c. for the holidays. it was 16 years ago that i introduced this bipartisan legislation to give this path of citizenship to these young people. in july i introduced the most recent version with my friend lindsey graham, republican senator from south carolina. over the years i've come to the floor over 100 times to tell the individual stories of the dreamers. these stories tell us what's at stake when we consider the fate of daca and the dream act.
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today i want to tell you about how hi yun li. when she was six years old her family came to the united states from korea. she grew up in bloomfield hills, michigan. here is what she says about her childhood in the united states, and i quote, i was fortunate enough to grow up learning that diversity is encouraged and differences are not just tolerated but welcomed. hi yun was a good student and committed to public service. in high school she was a member of the national honors society, received the principal's academic award and an oakland scholar athlete, a member of the track and field team all four years of high school. hi yun is a senior at the university of michigan majoring in english. she volunteers with the red cross and copresident of an organization called the supply which raises money to help students in nairobi, kenya,
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obtain an education. as copresident hi yun expanded the company's efforts. she is a program intern for the asian policy advancing center. as she completes her last year of college her dream is to become a lawyer to defend civil rights. she wrote me a letter and he's what she said. although i'm legally labeled as an alien in this country i call home, i believe i'm an american and i believe this not solely because i live, study, work and contribute in this country, but because i believe in the core values all americans share as a nation: liberty, justice, and prosperity. hi yun and other dreamers have so much to contribute to our country. but without daca or the dream act, they will be deported back to countries where they haven't lived since they were children. will america be stronger if we
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deport people like hi yun? i think the answer is obvious. when we introduced the dream act, senator graham said, and i quote, the moment of reckoning is coming. that moment, mr. president, has arrived. congress has the responsibility to do our job and make the dream act the law of the land before the end of the year, before we go home for the holidays. otherwise we will bear the responsibility for forcing hundreds of thousands of talented young immigrants out of the workforce and putting them at risk of immediate deportation. mr. president, many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle are interested in finding a path to get this done. i salute all of them who in good faith have offered their help. we have to focus now. we have to come together and focus. many of my republican colleagues have said we need to put in border security elements. count me in. let's sit down and have an honest discussion about making our borders safer and stronger. i will gladly join in that
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conversation. and i think there are many things that we can agree on that will lessen the likelihood that there will be those coming across the border in the years to come. i recently met with the head of the border security and we talked about things that might be done. there is something called a z portal. i didn't know about it but it's a virtual x-ray machine, low level x-ray machine that can look at vehicles and determine if they are secreting contraband that shouldn't be allowed in this country. he talked about one particular border crossing and said we have a z portal there but it only can be used on about one out of every five vehicles. he said i'd like to have more of them and i think he should. why wouldn't we make that part of border security? i said what about other things coming in this country other than people and contraband? he said one thing we're concerned about is fentanyl. fentanyl is a chemical that is
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used to enhance the addiction of heroin. and sadly, it is deadly. many heroin addicts die when they lace the heroin with fentanyl and inject it. and so we try at the borders to stop the importation of this fentanyl from china and other countries into the united states. i asked him about it, and he said sadly, we don't have enough new spectrometers. we need them to stop the flow of this deadly drug into our country and to protect the men and women who are doing the actual surveillance. isn't that something we can agree on on a bipartisan basis to make our borders safer, to lessen the likelihood of people dying from the opioid heroin crisis? these are things we can do together. somehow we haven't been able to come up with a list of particulars from the other side of what they'd like to move forward on. but i am ready and willing and determined to get this done.
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we have to do this this year. there is no excuse. there are too many lives at stake. not just the 780,000 daca individuals, but all of the people that they are helping in their lives today. they're depending on us. we're running out of time. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in this constructive and bipartisan effort. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until


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