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tv   U.S. Senate 12112017  CSPAN  December 11, 2017 3:59pm-7:07pm EST

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the 15-year-old, then they shouldn't be able to remove the record from the nonpublic, sometimes nonpublic repository because the effect is they make history and in fact the news editable as a result. >> you're seeing that from foreign actors. >> how many dish mean, just be -- make this edgier opt how many retweets that the real donald trump account receives when he tweets.russia? how many of the retweets are actually bots versus human beings? the retweets or likes? answer: we don't know and maybe twitter doesn't even know, and couldn't even find out as a result of those policy. >> because of the deletion. >> you can watch the last few minute offered the discussion on cyber security online our
4:00 pm right now to the senate floor as they gavel in. on the agenda judicial nomination. live coverage now on c-span 2. 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. loving god, sovereign of our nation, keep our frailty before us that we might set our hearts on you. today, let your peace go with our lawmakers, guiding them in their work and protecting them
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from life's storms. lord, remind them that those who trust you will not lack any good thing. though our senators face many challenges, rescue them from each difficulty. may they remember that they live this day only once. and should, therefore, strive to bless all the people they can in every way they can. give them the wisdom to be receptive to your guidance, always trusting you to direct their steps. we pray in your great name. amen.
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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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mr. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: as we continue to learn more details about the attempted terror attacks this morning in manhattan, i'd like to commend the law enforcement and intelligence community who quickly reacted to the attack. their courage in the face of danger protected the lives of those around them. on another matter entirely, this week the senate will
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consider three more outstanding individuals nominated by president trump to serve on our nation's federal circuit courts. for eight years we had a president who selected judicial nominees based on a so-called empathy standard. it was an ideological litmus test designed to find nominees who would favor certain groups or individuals over others. while that may sound like a good standard to the party in the case for whom the judge has empathy, it doesn't sound so great if you're the other person. on the other hand, president trump nominated talented is individuals who will ensure the federal judiciary main daines its particular -- maintains its role in our system. the judicial nominees are each well credentials and have the temperament and integrity to serve our nation. they are dedicated to the rule of law and giving every litigant a fair shake.
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that's how the american people expect judges to decide cases, and the senate is working to confirm president trump's nominees, who will do just that. first the senate will consider the nomination of leonard steven grasz to serve on the eighth circuit court of appeals. then it will consider the nomination of texas supreme court justice don wille tt and final the nomination of james ho. each of these nominees will make strong additions to the federal bench and i look forward to considering them in the coming days. i'd like to once again commend chairman grassley for his leadership of the senate judiciary committee. his excellent work has allowed us to bring these nominees to the floor. later today the senate will advance the nomination of mr. grasz, a talented individual with experience in both private practice and public
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service. after graduating from law school at the university of nebraska, mr. grasz began a distinguished career in law, working as the chief deputy attorney general of nebraska for nearly 12 years, he excelled representing the state of nebraska in numerous appellate cases, including before the u.s. supreme court. nebraska governor pete ricketts along with five other top state officials wrote a letter to the judiciary committee supporting mr. grasz's nomination. here's what they had to say: steve has become a leading expert on state and federal constitutional law. his demeanor and temperament have earned the respect of nebraskans across the political spectrum in our state. mr. grasz has won the support of prominent nebraskans from both sides of the aisle. our former colleague, senator ben nelson, came to know mr. grasz when senator nelson was the governor of nebraska.
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senator nelson wrote, steve won my respect by putting his considerable skills to work as an effective legal advocate for our state. we sometimes found ourselves continuing on policy we continued nevertheless. i learned steve is the consummate professional who is capable of putting whatever personal views he may have aside when appropriate in his capacity as a public servant. he was an asset to our state and nebraskans benefited from having such a capable and thoughtful professional in public service. furthermore, the obama administration's u.s. attorney for nebraska worked with mr. grasz in the state and she wrote in support of his nomination, steve has always enjoyed a reputation for honesty, impeccable dedication to the rule of law. he is well suited to the bench and all his acts with respect to all who interact with him. in addition, a letter from the
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current and previous presidents of the omaha bar association stated that the omaha legal community supports mr. grasz's nomination without hesitation. the letter goes on to say that he possesses the legal expertise , professionalism, character and ethics demanded of a judge on the eighth circuit court of appeals. the local legal community, both government officials and private attorneys overwhelmingly attest not just to mr. grasz's impressive qualifications but his commitment to fairness and rule of law. through his decades of legal practice mr. grasz has shown that he's the right choice to serve on the eighth circuit. i'm proud to join with our colleagues from nebraska in supporting the grasz nomination. i look forward to advancing his nomination later today and to confirming all three of these circuit court nominees this week.
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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 to consider the following nomination, which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, leonard steven grasz of nebraska to be united states circuit judge for the eighth circuit.
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mr. hatch: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: before i turn to the main portion of my remarks, i would be remiss if i failed to recognize two staffers who were instrumental in helping us pass the tax cuts and jobs act earlier this month. james williams, my senior policy advisor. and nick clayson, a talented young staffer both worked long hours to help make tax reform a reality. i wanted to take a brief moment to recognize them for the late nights they spent helping me to hash out the details of their bill. they are some of the hardest working members of my staff, and i hope they know how much i appreciate them.
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now, madam president, i wish to turn to a subject of great importance to our national security. this morning's terrorist attack reminds all of us that danger is never far away from our nation's shores. while details about the bombing in new york are still emerging, we know one thing for certain. this is a attack no doubt on the american people, but on the principles that we stand for. it was an attack on our freedom and our very way of life. the violence we witnessed this morning stands as a stark reminder that america has many enemies overseas, animosity towards the united states grows stronger as the world grows evermore chaotic. and so today, madam president, i wish to speak on america's role in these turbulent times. as the trump administration works to return our country back to its rightful role as the
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leader, as the leader of a broken world, you will find my foreign policy recommendations today to be not only intrinsically american, but also inherently good. my solution to the chaos that now grips the world is the simple principle articulated by president reagan over 30 years ago in his evil empire speech. addressing the national association of evangelicals, he said these words,, quote, america is good, and if america ever ceases to be good, america will cease to be great. unquote. madam president, to be sure, we find ourselves in a world very different from that which president reagan faced. today the structured diplomatic environment we once operated in has come into question with the fall of local governments in much of the middle east.
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global alliances while strong in commitments and connectivity among member nations are weak in direction and long-term purpose. political narratives of states once stable and predictable must today compete with the conversations being had on the streets and in the classrooms by those with access to mobile iphones and social media. -- with mobile phones and social media. since reagan's time the world has not only grown more complicated but also more dangerous. the threat of state on state military showdowns seems imminent particularly with north korea and iran. where we have achieved military successes, we remain reluctant to declare a victory, as is the case with isis and to deal with the most intractable issues, such as the conflict in syria, afghans and aircraft -- iraq.
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we work with partner nations who are at cross with our own nations. in many cases president obama sort to ignore it altogether. indeed if his foreign policy can be narrowed down to two words, it would be these -- stay out. the obama administration spent the better part of eight years making disengagement the cornerstone of american foreign policy captured by the euphemism offshore balancing. in other words, deferring to local actors to manage regional problems. the obama doctrine offered easy answers to complex problems, but easy answers are rarely the right answers, and a gradual u.s. withdrawal from an increasingly chaotic world under president obama only made matters worse. and so thanks to the hands-off approach of his predecessor,
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president trump inherited a truly unprecedented state of world disorder. despite these great challenges, our ability to achieve good in the world has not diminished, but if we are to achieve good in the world, if we are to restore peace and stability in these troubled times, then we must rediscover our purpose in global affairs. we must make an honest assessment of where we have gone wrong in the past and how we can improve in the future. in our engagement with the world, we seem to have drifted far from how we used to do things. the foreign policy of president obama, for example, chose to transact in one of two words -- threats and interests. how big is the threat to national security that isis or a nuclear iran possesses? what is the u.s. interest in
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syria? how do we preserve american security and interests in the south pacific? under this myopic approach, anything that didn't fit neatly into either a threat or interest was of little importance. the foreign policy of the obama years put the united states in a short-term responsive mode, with little capacity to ask about the future. rediscovering our purpose in the world requires us to look beyond more considerations -- mere considerations of threats and interests. it requires us to reconnect with our core values by making them central to our foreign policy. foremost among those values is promoting freedom. freedom is what we stand for as a nation. as president reagan said, quote, america is freedom, free speech,
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freedom of region, freedom of enterprise, and freedom is special and rare, it's fragile. it needs protection. unquote. president bush carried this tradition squarely, identifying the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks as enemies of freedom, and as they keenly observed what divided the united states from its adversary was not faith, not skin color, not gender or race but hatred, hatred of america and the freedoms it stands for. and president bush did not mince words in describing exactly who our enemy was. following the 9/11 attacks, he described those who committed the attacks as belonging to, quote, a fringe form of islamic extremism that has been rejected by muslim scholars and the mass majority of muslim clerics.
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a fringe movement that preached the fringe teachings of this law. unquote. in his use of the phrase islamic extremism, president bush is not afraid to call the enemy by its name, and neither were our muslim allies who joined us in the fight against terrorism. but in the name of political correctness, president obama refused to use the words islamic extremism, insisting instead on the vague expression violent extremism. this small but consequential change caused deep conceptual and bureaucratic damage to our strategy and our institutions. not only did the obama administration distract us from gaining understanding of who the adversary is and the totals needed to fight and understand him, but it also deemed irrelevant once-successful government programs on the grounds that they did not
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adequately address this beltway term of violent extremism. meanwhile, jihadist groups outpaced and outmaneuvered obama to have evidentiary by -- sophistry by embedding themselves with local populations in syria and iraq, disguising themselves as moderate and protective of local populations. madam president, in place of the feckless foreign policy of the obama years, i offer instead a global policy defined by one word -- purpose. with purpose, we can look to the future and address the kind of legacy we hope to leave behind. with purpose, we can define what it is we seek to achieve in the world where we can make a difference and how we can effect lasting change on a global scale. rediscovering our purpose in global affairs doesn't mean giving up our focus on threats and interests.
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quite the opposite. it means ensuing -- or ensuring that the way in which we address threats and interests helps us achieve our ultimate goal. that of ensuring freedom in the world. today's world offers many opportunities to act with renewed purpose in the defense of freedom. in syria, for example, a collapsing isis caliphate and a bloody civil war leave a traumatized population in their wake. while a political solution for all of syria seems remote, we can work towards meaningful goals in the near term to help resettle internally displaced persons. although much of the country remains at war, we should focus on helping the most vulnerable populations within these pockets of promise. these neighborhoods in northwest syria and along the jordanian and israeli borders.
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within these pockets of promise, we can change people's lives and ultimately the region by working with our local partners to build hospitals and schools with modern curricula. in iran, too, we can make a difference. the president's recent decision to decertify the iran deal was itself a step in the right direction. the iran deal single-handedly gave international legitimacy to an enemy regime openly committed to the destruction of the united states and its allies. this deal was indeed a bad one. it's -- its only achievement, if it can be called such, was deferring the question of when, not whether iran will be able to achieve a nuclear weapon, and it only hardened the hostile voices against the united states, allowing them to build a case that those who oppose the deal are enemies of the ironnian --
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iranian people. this assertion is plainly false. as the president noted in his address to the united nations, the good people of iran want change, and they are the regime's longest suffering victims. the president now has the opportunity to act, to act with renewed purpose in the region, dealing a final blow to the ayatollah's antics. moving forward as we leverage military strength to disrupt the regime's hostile activities around the world, we can also actively use diplomatic channels to support the wishes of the iranian people. to promote their freedoms and to help them realize the opportunities their government denies them. meanwhile, in north korea, as we prepare for any scenario that might await us, we must acknowledge our ultimate strategic advantage, our allies.
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the greatest threat to kim jong-un is that the -- is that he is completely isolateed from his neighbors and his people. as we seek diplomatic approaches to de-escalating the tensions, we must ensure that it is the right kind of diplomacy with the right message, a message about the future of the region and the future of a new north korea in that region. if mr. kim does not realize the need to change his ways, then certainly he will get that message when he sees the might of his neighbors working with the united states towards shared objectives. that is the power of alliances with strong and loyal partnerships. but even as we resolve to do good in these situations, we must remain as vigilant and aggressive as ever in meeting
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the threats that no doubt will continue to test us. the key will be to stand true to ourselves and our allies. that's what we did when the president visited capitol hill last week, and that's what i sought to do in my meetings with prime minister teresa may and mi-5 director andrew parker. there i highlighted the need to pass legislation to enable our two nations to work closely together in the fight against terror and criminal activity. we talked about my international communications privacy act which would create a clear legal framework for law enforcement officials to access data relevant to criminal investigations stored in other countries. we also spoke about legislation to implement the u.s.-u.k.
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data-sharing agreement which would give law enforcement in our two countries reciprocal rights to access data stored in the other country under certain prescribed circumstances. i told the prime minister and director general that i believe these two -- these two principles were pieces of legislation -- these two principles or pieces of legislation were closely linked and i am actively looking for vehicles to move them forward. this is precisely what president reagan meant when he welcomed prime minister margaret thatcher to washington upon assuming the presidency. our two countries are, quote, kindred nations of like-minded people and must face their tests together, where indeed the responsibility for freedom is ours to share."
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unquote. madam president, it is when america reaches its purpose to do good in the world by defending freedom that our greatness will be known. as we bring ourselves out from the margins of international affairs and peace together the broken shards of that world order, we have worked for decades to shape. let us help the administration and the country rediscover the purposes we were destined to pursue. only then and only together will we be able to make america and the world great again. madam president, i yield the floor.
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mr. sasse: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. sasse: madam president, i rise today in support of the nomination of steve gras for the u.s. court of appeals for the eighth circuit. one of the most important things that the senate has done this year and that we will do for the remainder of the year and in fact well into 2018 is to consider nominees to the federal courts. when i talk to nebraska as cans, i constantly hear from women and men who tell me that the number one issue they care about when they vote for president is the judiciary. nebraska as cans want judges -- nebraskans want judges who understand that judges are not lawmakers. nebraskans understand they want judges who understand a lifetime appointment isn't designed to do politics. nebraskaians want judges who understand that the courts are to uphold the law impartially. my colleagues on the judiciary committee agree with those people from town halls and coffee shops and rotary clubs. in the judiciary committee, we have worked to advance a record
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number of judges who know exactly that. we are looking for thoughtful men and women of integrity, and that's why it is a pleasure today, it is an honor today to come to the floor in support of steve grasz. steve is a nebraskan through and through. he is a fifth generation who grew up on a nebraska farm, walking beans, raising pigs and ship and branding cattle. when he was a young man, life in the nebraska panhandle taught him hard work. he then moved east to lincoln where the university of nebraska taught him the law. steve graduated at the top of his class and then put his law degree to work serving his fellow nebraskans. he served as the chief deputy attorney general for our state for nearly a dozen years. steve's job was to represent the people of nebraska in court. that means he was bound by the law and by his professional duty to defend our laws, including our state's ban on the gruesome procedure known as partial-birth
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abortion. in his role in the nebraska a.g.'s office, he litigated multiple cases in front of the u.s. supreme court, the nebraska supreme court, and the u.s. eighth circuit. to which he has now been nominated by president trump. every time he represented us in court, steve did so with integrity and decency. steve bleeds husker red but is now ready to put on the judge's black robe. he knows that judges in america don't wear red or blue partisan juriesies. he knows that this has no role in how a judge applies the law. he knows that in his courtroom two things matter, and only two things, the facts and the law. anybody hon wants -- who wants to ensure that steve will approach his job as a judge without partisan or ideological bias, should listen to the words of hundreds of nebraskans who
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have spoke out on steve's behalf. ben nelson of neck -- nebraska offered this testament. quote, i first got to know steve when he served as nebraska's governor. with me as a democrat and him as a republican we sometimes found ourselves disagreeing on policy, nevertheless i quickly learned that steve was the kind of consummate professional who is capable of putting whatever personal views he has aside when appropriate in his capacity as a public servant. if steve is confirmed, senator nelson continued, i fully expect him to follow the law and facts because i know his loyalty is first to the rule of law rather than to any personal views. he possesses first-rate legal skills and respectful, even keel
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temperament. as a nebraskan, i hope our state has the opportunity to benefit yet again from steve's public service in this new role. then there is deborah gill who was president obama's choicer u.s. attorney in nebraska who served from 2009 to 2016. she wrote to our committee glowingly of steve. steve has always enjoyed a reputation for dedication to the rule of law. he possesses an even temperament well suited to the bench. without a doubt, he would be a tremendous asset to the bench as he demonstrates excellence in all that he does. close quote. madam president, i ask unanimous consent to put both of these letters into the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. sasse: thank you. steve's reputation for honesty, integrity, and decency have
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earned his bipartisan support across nebraska. i'm a bit sad that this nomination took a bit more of a partisan turn before the committee, but hopefully we will have the chance to return to a bipartisan tone. i hope that we will listen to all nebraskans and support steve's nomination tonight. thank you, madam president. i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. schumer: madam president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: madam president, first, this morning, as everyone knows, there was an attempted
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terrorist attack in new york city near the port authority bus terminal, very close to times square. i was about 15 blocks away when that happened. thankfully, praise god, the attack was afailure and the only -- failure and the only serious injuries were by the would-be perpetrator. i'm thankful to the service of the new york police department, port authority police department, fire department of new york, and bomb squad who responded quickly to the scene. today was a stark reminder of why the seeing is, say something campaign is so crucial to keeping our city safe and why we must always, always, always be vigilant against the threat of terrorism. now, on judicial nominations. this evening the senate will vote on whether or not we should consider the nomination of
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leonard grasz to be a judge on the eighth circuit court of appeals. the nomination is significant because grasz is just the third nominee since 1989 to be unanimously deemed not qualified by the american american bar as. to underscore that fact, the a.b.a. has reviewed over 1,700 judicial nominees since 1989. before this administration, only two were ever unanimously deemed, quote, not qualified. those two nominated by president bush were not confirmed. the nominee we're voting on this evening is the third. now, a panel of nonpartisan legal experts unanimously concluded that this man is not fit to be a judge. what else do my colleagues need to know? they should all vote no this evening, but instead of withdrawing the nomination and finding someone better, is what president bush did in a similar situation, some of my republican
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colleagues have started attacking the a.b.a. the junior senator from texas said, quote, the a.b.a.'s record on judicial nominees has been highly questionable. it has demonstrated over past decades repeatedly partisan interests and ideological interests, unquote. i don't remember him complaining when his party was touting then judge gorsuch's rating from the a.b.a. i heard over and over he has a favorable rating from the a.b.a. leader mcconnell, once likened a well-qualified rating from the a.b.a. to, quote, getting straight a pluses on your report card. now they are singing a different tune as, not one, but two of president trump's nominees have
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received unanimously not qualified ratings. unfortunately this is indicative of what has become part of the republican playbook, the playbook that donald trump specializes in and unfortunately my colleagues are joining right in. if you don't like the message, shoot the misenger. if you -- messenger. if you don't like what the c.b.o. is saying about medicare, shoot the c.b.o. if you don't like what the joint committee is reporting on your tax bill, attack the joint commission on taxation. if you don't like what the a.b.a. is saying about judicial candidates, call it partisan even if you praised its judgment only a few months ago. this is the republican party of president trump who instead of mounting a credible defense of his record, using facts and arguments, will resort to shooting the messenger whether
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it's special counselor mueller, the c.i.a. or the entire f.b.i. imagine that. i know those agents. they are so dedicated to the country. they are not political. but, you know, when they investigate president trump because he might be doing something wrong, he just attacks them recklessly. so the same thing has happened with our republican colleagues. like president trump, when republican lawmakers don't agree with what independent arbiters are saying, they try to discredit them. these attacks may suit the short-term political interests, but it will have a devastating effect on our country. a tax bill that raises taxes on millions may pass because republicans refuse to believe the analyses that says it does. our federal judiciary might be filled with unqualified candidates because republicans refuse to trust the advice of
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independent legal experts. more importantly, these attacks, in important ways, diminish our democracy. we are a country, madam president, founded on facts. people have different views once they view those facts. but we're founded on facts. that's what the founding fathers did at the constitutional convention. they debated, but they started from the same fact base. that's what the town hall meetings throughout america have done for two centuries and more. they're beautiful. they debate. they discuss. but people accept a row of given facts. that's what we're supposed to do here in the house and senate and for many years we did. but now led by president trump, unfortunately, facts don't seem to matter. anything he doesn't like he calls fake news, even though it's real. he contradicts himself, says one thing one day and one thing the next and it doesn't even matter. and that's him and he was
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elected, but why are our republican colleagues so willfully going along? why are they not saying truth matters? why do they attack a place like the a.b.a. which has been nonpartisan and had a grand tradition for decades and when the a.b.a. approved judge gorsuch, they embraced it. this is not a good thing for democracy. american democracy depends on our ability to work together around a common baseline of facts. to find solutions that work in the real world. we can't do that if republicans are going to discredit or ignore the judgments of agencies like the c.b.o., the j.c.t. and the a.b.a. we'll wind up with an even less productive debate here in congress, something no one will like and the american people can ill afford. -- il-afford. madam president, a word on the
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president's tax plan, the republican tax plan. for months republicans have promised that their $1.5 trillion tax plan would reduce the deficit through economic growth. never mind the multiple analyses that concluded the exact opposite. just today three new natural sis of -- analysis of the senate republican tax bill came to the conclusion that the bill would not reduce the deficit but rather explode it, including a report by the trump administration's own treasury department. the tax policy center estimated the tax plan would result in only $179 billion of growth leaving a $1.4 trillion trail of red ink on the deficit and increasing our debt to g.d.p. ratio by over 5%. another analysis of the senate republican plan using the pen-warton model found even with the assumptions favorable to economic growth, the senate tax
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bill increases debt by over $1.5 trillion over the next decade. and amazingly, the trump administration's treasury department released a one-page reportest maiting the bill -- report estimating the bill -- growth that were included in the president's budget and widely discredited by economists of all stripes. the president's budget request assumed the passage of entitlement reform and an infrastructure bill, both of which have not been proposed or written let alone enacted. so even with this audacious use of fake math, the treasury department's analysis has yet to assume that yet to be proposed bills are passed. mr. president, madam president, no amount of fake math can change the fact that the republican tax bill will be a boom to the wealthiest of americans and the largest
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corporations while increasing taxes for millions of middle-class families and leaving 13 million people without health care. as all three reports prove today, it will add over $1 trillion to the debt and defic deficit, starving our ability to invest in infrastructure, education, scientific research, and endangering social security, medicare, and medicaid. republicans still have time to turn back from this ugly, awful bill, widely disliked by the american people, and work with democrats on a real bipartisan tax reform that actually lowers taxes for middle-class families and stimulates chick growth -- stimulates economic growth without adding a penny to the deficit. madam president, i note the absence of a quorum and yield the floor. 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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quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: i ask consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: madam president, we are just about to enter the holiday season. the traffic is already picking up. we could call it the great holiday migration. it's going to be under way with millions of people that will be traveling to see their loved ones, their family, their friends, and they will be visiting by airplane. but a bunch of them are going to get a big surprise when they head to the airline ticket counter or try to check in online and face a blizzard of
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what the airlines call ancillary fees. for years many of us on the commerce committee have been pushing the department of transportation to adopt rules that would require a standardized disclosure statement for common airline fees. things like bag fees, change and cancellation fees, priority boarding, and seating fees. so if you compare this to when you go to apply for a credit card, there's a box on the back of the application that shows you the annual fee of the credit card, the interest rate, and any other fees.
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consumers have this so they can compare adequate data to adequate data. we like to call it comparing apples to apples. and, therefore, the consumer can know what it is that they're looking for and choose the credit card that they want. so it's a commonsense solution in the airline business that you would want to do for consumers to make sense of all those different fees on an airline ticket. well, there was some progress on this earlier in the year when the department of transportation proposed a rule to require airlines to disclose bag fees to consumers when they purchased the ticket. last week, however, the white house directed the department of
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transportation, the administration did this, for all of those holiday travelers on airlines, they put a big lump of coal in their christmas stocking when they abruptly canceled that proposed rule of the department of transportation that you were going to know what those fees were up front at the purchase of the ticket. and then along with another rule that would have required airlines to tell the public how much money that the airline is charging from all the other ancillary fees. those proposed rules were withdrawn. well, that's just not in the
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interest of the traveling public. that's not in the interest of consumers. and it should not be any skin off the airline's back to just show what the fees are up front so the consumer understands that. indeed, a new revenue source for the airlines is to have these additional charges. that's not what this senator is arguing with, as long as those fees are properly and clearly disclosed. so let me give you another example. last year on the f.a.a. bill that we passed into law, it required the department of transportation to implement two basic rules to protect airline
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customers. two very simple rules. the first was that if you've checked a bag, and, therefore, you've returned to the airline a certain amount of money to check that bag, and what happens if your bag doesn't arrive? or if it's delayed beyond a certain number of hours? shouldn't the airline at least refund that fee that you paid for that bag to be delivered in a timely fashion? well, it's a pretty simple concept. if you pay $50 for a checked bag, you expect it to arrive with you. and if it doesn't, you should get an automatic refund. that's common sense.
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but the department of transportation hasn't done anything on that, and it's in the law. it's in the law that we passed last year. i'll give you another example. the second requirement that we put in last year's f.a.a. bill is that airlines, when they see children 13 or under, they put them adjacent to a parent or an older sibling traveling with them. and so the department of transportation earlier in the year designed a rule to ensure that parents would not have to fork over money for a preferred seat just to be able to sit next to their child. the department of transportation was supposed to have finalized
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both of these rules by july of this year, but to date they've done nothing. and consumers traveling during the holidays are going to have the experience, if your bag doesn't show, since the rule hadn't been put in place by the department of transportation even though it is the law that was passed last year. what's going to happen? passengers with delayed bags will be losing out on the money that they paid to check their bag, even if it doesn't get to them in a timely fashion. and what's going to happen to the parents with the underage child? they're going to be boarding planes wondering if they will be
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able to beg someone to give up their seat just to sit next to their child, even though that may be a preferred seat. in other words, a seat that cost more money. and just about everyone else will be left playing airline fee roulette, not knowing what the new fee is that they are going to have to pay just to get the basic service. it's so commonsense, why do we have to fight about this? we're not arguing that the airline doesn't have the right to charge the fee. we just want it disclosed to the person that is purchasing that ticket. and it doesn't have to be the way that it is now.
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because consumers should have a right to know ahead of time what they're paying. and then they can compare options. when an airline charges a fee for a service, if they fail to deliver that service, passengers ought to get their money back. this is called basic fairness. but that's not what we're seeing out there. so, mr. president, i want to urge the leadership of the department of transportation, secretary cho and her staff to implement those two regulations that emanate from the law that we passed and to do it quickly.
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and i want to urge the department of transportation to treat airline passengers like they ought to be treated, which is valued customers during this holiday season as in every season. mr. president, i would yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from idaho. mr. crapo: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. crapo: i have one request for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. it has the approval of both the majority and the minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly
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noted. mr. crapo: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that jessica solidar, truman whitney, and erin price, interns in the office of senator crapo, be granted floor privileges for the date of tuesday, december 12, 2017. the presiding officer: without objection.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22, do hereby bring to a close debate on on the nomination of leonard steven grasz of nebraska to be united states circuit judge for the eighth circuit signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by nawrk, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of leonard steven grasz of be nebraska to be united states circuit judge for
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the eighth circuit shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? does any senator wish to change their vote? on this motion, the yeas are 48, the nays are 47. the motion is agreed to.
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mr. hoeven: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: 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. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: i ask unanimous consent that s. res. 351 be star printed with the changes that are at the desk. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 356, submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 356, expressing the sense of the senate that members of congress should substitute teach at least one day per year in a public school to gain firsthand knowledge on how to address the prevailing challenges facing
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educators and how to remove obstacles to learning for students. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. the senate will proceed. mr. hoeven: i know of no further debate on the measure. the presiding officer: is there further debate? hearing none, all those in favor, say aye. those opposed. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the resolution is agreed to. mr. hoeven: i would ask unanimous consent that the preamble be agreed to and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, december 12. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and
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morning business be closed. finally, following leader remarks, the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the grasz nomination. further, that the senate recess until -- from 12:30 until 2:15 p.m. to allow for the weekly conference meetings. finally, that all time during recess, adjournment, morning business, and leader remarks count postcloture on the grasz nomination. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hoeven: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand the senate, i ask that it stand >> the senate has gambled out in this week's agenda has several nominations for the eighth and fifth circuit court of appeals.
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negotiations begin with the house over tax reform. the first meeting is set for wednesday at 2:00 p.m. eastern. that will be live on c-span three. live coverage of the senate on c-span2 when the chamber gavels back in. >> c-span's "washington journal" is live with news and policy issues that impact you. on tuesday eric paulsen will join us to talk about republican tax reform efforts. rhode island democratic congressman will talk about the latest in the investigation into whether russia interfered with the election. watch live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on tuesday morning. join the discussion. >> nt,


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