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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  December 21, 2017 5:59pm-10:04pm EST

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would be subject to immediate automatic cuts if we fail to take action tonight to avert that outcome. mr. president, it has been deeply disturbing to me to see seniors frightened about the possibility that a $25 billion cut in medicare that's 4% reduction would be automatically triggered. by waiving this point of order, we will prevent such cuts from taking place, reassuring our nation's seniors and their loved ones. although the law that could cause this reduction has been waived some 16 times and indeed never implemented since it was enacted, i felt that it was essential that our leaders
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publicly commit that medicare reductions would not be triggered, given the amount of fear, anxiety, and misinformation that is out there. i wrote to the senate majority leader urging that we immediately remove the threat of an automatic cut in medicare's funding. in response, i am pleased to say both the majority leader and the speaker of the house released a joint statement that pledged this will not happen. and that is the issue before us tonight. medicare provides essential health care benefits to our nation's seniors. we must remove immediately the threat that an automatic reduction in the program's funding could occur which would
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affect health care providers and diminish access that beneficiaries, including our seniors and disabled individuals have to the services that they need. earlier this month, the aarp sent a letter to the house and senate leadership alluding and supporting my inquiry and warning congress of the potential consequences. the letter says, quote, the sudden cut to medicare provider funding in 2018 would have an immediate and lasting impact including fewer health care providers participating in medicare and reduced access to care for medicare beneficiaries. health care providers may choose to stop accepting medicare patients at a time when the medicare population is growing
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by 10,000 new beneficiaries each day. furthermore, medicare advantage plans and part d prescription drug plans may charge higher premiums or cost-sharing in future years to make up for these cuts now. mr. president, these potential cuts could have an enormous impact on our hospitals, our nursing homes, our home health agencies, and other essential health care providers who play a critical role in providing health care services and also as important economic drivers in our communities. it is critical for congress to act quickly, to act tonight before we go home so that
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seniors do not have the anxiety of wondering whether the tax bill would somehow negatively affect their health care. we connect tonight to remove -- we can act tonight to remove that ant and assure -- ant and a-- anxiety and assure them that it will not. thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i would ask unanimous consent that the exchange of letters that i had with majority leader mcconnell and also the letter from aarp be inserted in the record at this point. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. collins: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i yield the floor.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. the senate will be in order. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the chair lay before the senate the message from the house. the presiding officer: the chair lays before the senate a message from the house. the clerk: the house agree to the senate to the bill, h.r. 1370, entitled an act to amend the homeland security act of 2002 to require the secretary of homeland security to issue department of homeland-wide guidance and develop security programs as part of the department of homeland security blue campaign and for other
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purposes with an amendment. mr. mcconnell: i move to concur on the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 1370. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that senator paul be recognized for up to two minutes to make a budgets point of order, that senator collins or her designee be recognized for up to two minutes to make a motion to waive the point of order, that senator lai he -- leahy be recognized for five minutes and that the senate then vote on a motion to waive and following the disposition of the motion to waive the senate vote on the motion to concur with a 60 affirmative vote threshold all without any intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. paul: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: the question is due deficits matter? we have had a lot of debate over
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deficits. people complaining that tax cuts add to deficits. tonight we will have a vote on whether or not we should honor paygo budget caps. we've had these in place for six years. congress has disobeyed their own rules 30 times as of tonight. these budget caps would keep spending in order and yet we're going to have them waived tonight. my budget point of order would actually say we should not waive these budget caps, we should honor them because deficits do matter. we borrow $1 million a minute. the deficit this year will be over $700 billion. the overall debt is $20 trillion. we have a spending problem. we have rules to keep spending in check and we disobey our own rules. so with that, mr. president, i would like to make a point of order on the paygo scorecard, the statutory paygo scorecard that says we should spend within
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certain limits. this budget point of order to pursuant to section 306 of the congressional budget act of 1974. ms. collins: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from maine. ms. collins: mr. president, we sim plip cannot allow -- we simply cannot allow these harmful, indiscriminate budget cuts. it is disturbing to see our seniors worried about the possibility of a $25 million cut in the medicare program. that's a 4% reduction that would affect health care providers and health care services. there is no need for this indiscriminate cut to occur. it is critical that congress act
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tonight, act immediately so that seniors and our disabled citizens do not have the anxiety of wondering whether the tax bill will somehow negatively affect their health care. by voting to waive the point of order, we can remove that anxiety and prevent the indiscriminate cuts in medicare and other essential programs from occurring. so, mr. president, pursuant to section 904 of the congressional budget act of 1974 and the waiver provisions of applicable budget resolutions, i move to waive all applicable sections of the act and applicable budget resolutions for the purposes of the house message to accompany
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h.r. 1370 and i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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quorum call:
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mr. leahy: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i ask consent that the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: mr. president, i yield back the time on this side. the presiding officer: the question now occurs on the motion to waive. the yeas and nays were previously ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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company.(feoibj04b.ecl)
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote, the yeas are 91, the nays are 8. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to, and the point of order falls. the question is on the motion to concur. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be.
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the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the
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chamber wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the yeas are 66. the nays are 32. the motion to concur is agreed to. the senator for vermont. mr. leahy: mr. president, i'll speak very briefly. while i voted for this to keep the government going, this is not the way to govern. the presiding officer: the senator will suspend. the senate will be in order. the senator for vermont. mr. leahy: the manager of the bill, i was willing to vote for it but it is not the way to govern. we should not be doing stopgap matters. we'll be back here soon. we'll have a relatively short time, a couple weeks, to finally
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do our work, the work we should have done the last six months. we have to address sequestration on both sides of the ledger, on defense and nondefense, and raise that. we have to speak to one of the greatest issues in our country today. that of the dreamers. and we have got to address that, have votes up or down. i intend to vote to protect dreamers. we have to vote on the children's health insurance program. there are so many others, and at my conclusion, i will put my full speech in the record. but i just want senators to know on both sides of the aisle, and i have talked to both republicans and democrats. senator cochran and i and others
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have tried to keep the appropriation process going. we will do that. we will do that when we come back, or there will be no continuing resolution. i ask consent my full statement be made part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will be in order. the senator for texas. mr. cruz: mr. president, as jet fumes swirl around the halls of congress and members head to the airports to head home for the holidays, i rise to remind my colleagues that there are still hundreds of thousands of people in texas and florida and in puerto rico who are still hurting from hurricanes harvey, irma, and maria, and who will be spending christmas not in their homes but in a hotel or with family and friends or in temporary housing. all across these regions, there
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are houses, businesses, schools, churches, community establishments that still need to be rebuilt, and they are waiting, counting on our help. it is wrong. indeed, it's maddening to those in the affected regions that the senate is not taking up legislation today to give them what they need to continue to rebuild and recover. in my home state, there's no doubting that texas' gulf coast communities suffered tremendous losses in hurricane harvey, but the hurricane also brought out the best in texas. we saw texans standing together and lifting each other up, first through rescue and response, and now as we come together and rebuild our communities. the nation witnessed our iconic moments, from the thousands of
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texans who went out on boats to save their neighbors, to houstonians lining up of all ages to volunteer at disaster recovery centers embodying that can-do texas spirit. texas has worked diligently since august on cleanup and recovery efforts from hurricane harvey, but i'm sorry to say that the united states senate is now leaving town without delivering on its commitment to help texas, to help florida, and help puerto rico recover. congress has passed two disaster relief bills already in the wake of these hurricanes, and in addition, congress has passed a bipartisan disaster relief tax bill that i was proud to offer. but there is still much more that needs to be done. our colleagues in the house just hours ago passed a bill to further provide for emergency
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rebuilding efforts. this bill represents progress, but much more work needs to be done to make sure that it does enough, especially for texas, which was promised by both this congress and by the administration that texas would be given everything we need to rebuild. early estimates from the supplemental bill that passed the house are that texas would be eligible for only a small percentage of the $81 billion in that legislation. that is unacceptable, and the senate needs to fix it. texas experienced the worst flood event in united states history. hurricane harvey was unlike any other storm we have seen before in texas. the number of people impacted,
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the scope. it brought 250 miles of devastation to our texas gulf coast as winds obliterated whole communities and rain flooded out parts of texas that had never flooded before. due to the level of damage, the storm caused homes and businesses and infrastructure. hurricane harvey was the costliest disaster this year and may well prove the costliest natural disaster in united states history. according to the governor of texas, the damage to our state from the hurricane is well over $120 billion and could prove to be closer to $180 billion. any bill to provide disaster funding brought to this floor should recognize the unprecedented level of damage wreaked upon the state and should provide the support necessary for texas to rebuild.
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i spoke this afternoon with texas governor greg abbott, and he expressed serious concerns that the supplemental bill coming out of the house does not direct nearly enough resources to the state of texas, given the magnitude of the damage, the magnitude of the suffering, disaster relief needs to focus where that suffering occurred, where the disaster occurred. so i am hopeful that when this body returns in two weeks, that we will work together in a bipartisan way to ensure that the promises made to the state of texas are fulfilled and that the resources are there to help our state rebuild. the emergency response is over, but recovery and rebuilding efforts go on. as we keep working to keep our
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promises, i remain determined to keep fighting to ensure that texas has the federal resources to which the state is entitled under federal law. the spirit of texas is strong. some weeks ago, i tweeted out a picture that i think captured some of that spirit. it was a picture of a man in his living room. the sheet rock was torn down from all the walls. nothing but studs in the walls. no carpet, the flooring was taken up, no furniture. he had a lawn chair. he had an igloo ice chest as a coffee table, and a tv screen. and he was wearing a houston astros jersey and cheering as the astros won the world series. the tweet simply said this is why it matters. that's the spirit of texas.
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we need to remember that spirit, and we need to make sure the disaster relief responds to the real damage and real suffering that hurricane harvey visited upon the state of texas. i look forward to working with my colleagues hopefully from both sides of the aisle to deliver on that commitment that texans are under. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator for delaware. mr. coons: mr. president, as we all too well know, the senate of the united states has an annual job to do -- adopt a budget and then to appropriate it, to lay out the framework for what we will spend, and then to make deliberate decisions in the appropriations committee and move forward by the end of the fiscal year. this may not be well or widely known, but the federal fiscal year begins october 1. it's by october 1 that we're
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supposed to figure out what we're going to spend and how we're going to spend it and why we're going to spend it. and as we all head home to celebrate the holidays on december 21, i just wanted to take a moment and go over the list of things that are unaddressed and unresolved at the end of this calendar year. the way this is supposed to work here and the way it is actually working here are strikingly different. in my seven years now in the senate, on both the budget committee and the appropriations committee, i have seen people of goodwill of both parties try mightily and so far consistently fail to get us back to regular order and to end this process of moving crisis to crisis, continuing resolution to continuing resolution. and while i didn't hope that tonight the federal government federal government would -- the federal government of the united states would shut down, it is depressing, concerning, even alarming to me that we head home
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having not resolved so many issues. we have heard from other members here about the pressing needs of their home states. we have got concerns all over our country. the children's health insurance program known as chip, a literal lifeline to nine million low-income children. authorization and funding ran out months ago. some states are already notifying parents their children's health insurance coverage will lapse. there are community health centers that 26 million patients rely on. the pressing need to fund the response to the opioid crisis. the need to fund veterans' care, infrastructure, shore up pension plans, invest in education, and of course respond to natural disasters. from americans in puerto rico and the virgin islands to americans in texas and florida and louisiana, to those in california and the west, whether it's hurricanes or forest fires, parts of our nation are literally flooding and burning, and yet we head home having not
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addressed their challenges. and, of course, i feel concerned we have failed to act to protect the dreamers here in our country. young men and women brought here who have never known any other country. young men and women that reflect the best in our country. i have met many in our home state of delaware. they are high school and college students. they are members of our military, parts of our neighborhoods and communities. but given the trump administration's decision, the president's decision to end an administrative policy allowing these young people to come out of the shadows and live without fear of being deported, we wait for bipartisan legislative action to give them the security they deserve and the ability to participate wholly in the american dream. i believe we can pass a bipartisan dream act that both protects dreamers and makes our borders more secure, but all of these, mr. president, seem to be more partisan and more difficult fights than they need to be.
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we should be able to work together to resolve our differences and not have to go home with yet another continuing resolution, keeping the government afloat while we head to celebrate. our constituents didn't send us here to fight endless partisan battles, to avoid the strictures of the budget act or the appropriations process, and when things get tough to just kick the can down the road. mr. president, before i yield the floor, i want to speak about one other pressing concern i have. that's about the importance of maintaining the independence of the investigation currently under way under the leadership of special counsel robert mueller. i have heard concerning, even alarming, allegations and attacks on the special counsel. my colleagues in the other chamber and by folks in the press. and i just wanted to take a moment and say our nation relies on a few key institutions and principles that protect this
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experiment in democracy, and none are more important than the rule of law and the institutions that make up our system of justice. partisanship, gridlock and distrust have become more prevalent in our country, more corrosive in our politics, these institutions that support our democratic institution are more important than ever. i have traveled to other countries that have on paper legal constitutions and systems that legally mirror our own but where they are ineffective and their systems are nondemocratic because their courts are not independent and their national leaders are not held accountable. across our country, for generations, from classrooms to courtrooms, in congress and communities, we have affirmed, americans of all backgrounds the importance of the principle that no one is above the rule of law. our country has been able to grow and change and improve because we're a nation of laws, laws that can be debated and
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changed but must be followed and respected. the department of justice isn't respected because of its role on a piece of paper, no matter how treasured and important or because of its title engraved above the door of the building or its motto. it's respected and trusted and relied upon because it has strived to uphold our highest ideals and to enforce the law. it is easier to restore, it is easier to save an institution like the rule of law than it is to restore it once torn down. this is why i have helped author bipartisan legislation that would seek to further affirm the rule of law and the independence of the department of justice, specifically by protecting special counsel investigations from unwarranted political interference. we have spirited debates over taxation, immigration, our federal budget, but this issue is too important for me to yield the floor before this end of the year without urging my colleagues to seriously consider
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the important task we face to maintain the independence of the department of justice and uphold the rule of law. i hope folks in this chamber will consider the importance of protecting this investigation and this special counsel and frankly continuing to respect the integrity and the intelligence of the department of justice and our system of courts and law into the future. it is part of the bedrock on which our democracy rests, a bedrock on which we cannot afford to have shaken. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mrs. fischer: thank you, mr. president. i rise this evening to call up and pass a resolution recognizing this year's ncaa champions in women's volleyball, the huskers from the university of nebraska lincoln. this is the program's fifth national championship and second
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title in three years. during the ncaa tournament, nebraska played remarkably well winning 18 sets and finishing on a 19-match winning streak. they were so fun to watch. the entire team contributed to the outstanding victory, and i want to acknowledge their extraordinary effort. anika albright, makayla, hunter, haley denseburger, brianna, alley, cinsy maloney, kelly hunter, chesney, sammy, lauren stifrons, jazz sweet, vanessa zabo and sydney towson all had their hard work pay off and they worked together to win a championship. the nebraska coaches worked hard, helped train our athletes,
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and strategized this championship run. head coach john cook won his fourth national championship as a husker head coach. he was joined by assistant coach tyler hil hildebrand, assistant coach cale la, volunteer assistant coach ryan, director of operation lindsey peterson, video coordinator kelly oh connor and graduate managers joe klein, john henry and brie macry. as a team they guided that outstanding group of women to another national championship. these coaches have created a foundation and a winning tradition. winning the national championship in front of a record-setting crowd of husker fans are best fans in college football. nebraskans couldn't be more proud of this volleyball team and the coaching staff.
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the huskers won this national championship the nebraska way: with hard work, sportsmanship and determination. they deserve to be saluted by the senate. i urge my colleagues to pass this resolution and recognize their outstanding accomplishment. mrs. fischer: i congratulate them on their victory and know that they will continue to be great role models to girls and athletes everywhere. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator for nebraska. mr. sasse: thank you, mr. president. thank you to my senior senator for leading us in this resolution. nebraska volleyball continues to dominate. if there is any debate about the best volleyball state in the union, there should be no more. nebraska has proved yet again that we have the best team, the best coaching staff, and indisputably the best fans in the country. two years ago this team won the
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national championship at home in omaha setting records with the crowds that attended the games there. and last week in kansas city, we set another all-time record with the most watched championship volleyball game ever at 18,516 fans, including my 6-year-old who stayed awake at nearly 11:00 p.m. as we were finishing and he was deciding to watch it upside down hanging over the seats from the upper decks at the arena in kansas city. so i proudly join the senior senator and husker nation in congratulating these young women and saying go big red on behalf of all 1.9 million nebraskans. just two stats of note. first, in the earlier round of the final four, nebraska beat penn state. those are the two winningest teams in the history of volleyball. nebraska has the most wins at 1,308. penn state has the greatest winning percentage. we've now won five championships in 22 years as well as three
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runner-up second-place finishes in the last 30 years. coach cook as senator fischer mentioned has won four championships at nebraska over the last 17 years. the all-time record for the history of valley ball is five national championships and we expect that coach cook will set that new record. i join my senior senator in urging the senate to pass this resolution for the university of nebraska women's volleyball team. i yield the floor. mrs. fischer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska fish particular i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 365 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 365 congratulating the university of nebraska lincoln volleyball team for winning the 2017 national collegiate athletic association division one volleyball championship. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding with the measure?
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without objection. mrs. fischer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, 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. mrs. fischer: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mr. portman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: first, i congratulate the nebraska women's volleyball team and to say i was proud to be on the floor to be one of those who did not object to this wonderful resolution offered by my colleagues from nebraska. mr. president, i'm standing here tonight to talk about a couple things. first is the tax legislation that was passed this week in congress. this is going to help everybody i represent because it's going to help our entire country. it's going to lift up our country in ways we're already beginning to see.
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there have been a lot of people to thank and today i was at the signing ceremony where speaker ryan and president pro tempore orrin hatch signed and it's on its way to the president for his signature. i want to start by thanking them, speaker ryan, chairman hatch and chairman brady of the ways and means committee with whom i worked closely. he is a gentleman, always someone looking for ways to solve problems and to get to yes. i commend him for that. i also want to thank some of the colleagues on the finance committee who i worked closely with. this core four group including senator john thune, senator pat toomey, senator tim scott and maybe most importantly is the staff. we had an enormous undertaken here and it was ambitious to try to meet the goals that were set out early on of real middle-class tax cuts and energizing the economy by helping small businesses and changing the whole international
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system so we could level the playing field. there was a lot to do and it took a lot of expertise, time and effort. mark prader, jay koslo, brendan dunford who led that effort. we all owe you our thanks. then of course a slew of other staff, including zachary of my staff who just spent hours and hours and put his heart and soul into this. thank you, all of you, for helping us to get to this point. you know, for years, mr. president, democrats and republicans alike have called for middle-class tax cuts. we talk about it in campaigns. i'm proud to say that this week we delivered on it. and i know some of my democratic colleagues have been critical of the legislation and some have said, well, these are not really middle-class tax cuts because they expire. yes, they expire after eight years. we wish they didn't but that's the rules, the budget rules here but that's the same thing that happened with the 2001 tax cuts, the 2 pow 3 tax cut -- 2003 tax cuts and congress worked to extend those using the same
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budget rules for about 95% of those taxpayers. i'm strongly hoping that we will do the same thing. and i believe we will. but this is real tax relief. and for families in ohio, median income, the average will be just over $2,000 every year. that helps a family budget. that's a little money you can put aside for retirement. maybe that's money to use for a vacation you didn't have. if you're living paycheck to paycheck which is true with a lot of people i represent, that's a big help. it's a big help. that's from doubling the child credit. that's from doubling the standard deduction, essentially creating $14,000 of a zero income bracket. by the way, doing those sorts of things in this bill means about three million americans or more are going to be leaving the tax rolls all together. these are people who have tax liability now and under the new bill starting in a couple of weeks, they will not have an income tax liability. they'll be out from under the i.r.s. and they'll be able as they move
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many of them from welfare to work or from a federal program into gainful employment, not to worry about the tax man. that's really important, too. so i am proud of the legislation because i think it's going to really help the people i represent in an immediate way. and people will see it in their paychecks. the proof is in the paychecks because they'll see it probably starting in february the with holding will change. the i.r.s. has to go through a process on that. i wrote a letter to them yesterday encouraging them to move on that quickly because people want to see that in their paychecks. so the tax relief starts in a couple of weeks, january 1. it will be in the paychecks when the wouldholding changes, -- withholding change, hopefully sometime late january, february. people will see less money being held from their paycheck because of the tax cuts that enable them to have a healthier family budget. but i've got to tell you, mr. president, i believe that this is going to go well beyond that for the people i represent. as important as those middle-class tax cuts are, equally as important is what
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we're doing to stimulate more investment in this economy. and that's through the changes for small businesses who will now be able to put more money into the business rather than paying more taxes. many of these businesses, so-called pass-through companies which is most of the businesses in america, they pay taxes as individuals. they don't pay the business tax rate. they pay the individual tax rate. and many of them do take a dividend. they take money out of the company every year for one purpose and that's to pay their taxes. to the extent they're not taking the money out as much to pay those taxes because of the changes we made here for small businesses. they're going to be able to invest more in their people, more in their equipment, more in their plants, and i'm hearing this from small business people around the state of ohio. last weekend i was with a number of them. and they're excited about this because they want to be able to invest more in their business. they want to be able to invest more in their people. they want to be able to give people who work for them the opportunity to have a higher
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wage. right now wages are flat, really have been for the past couple decades when you take inflation into account. this has the incredible opportunity for us not just to provide middle-class tax cuts which are important, not just to help businesses invest, but actually to help get wages up so that people will see that if they work hard and play by the rules, they are going to see higher wages, the ability to get ahead, and have more hope for themselves and for their kids and their grandkids. everyone regardless of economic status, region, or party is going to see the benefits of this tax reform bill. by the way, some workers are already seeing the benefit as we talk today because there are a bunch of companies that announced today that because of the tax reform and tax cut legislation, they are already taking steps to increase the pay of their employees, increase benefits, or invest more money
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in building plant equipment or adding more jobs through investment or both. these companies include some big companies you've heard of like comcast. it includes other companies like wells fargo and boeing and at&t. they've made these announcements today. one company that announced today is in my hometown. it's the fifth third bank, kind of an unusual name, fifth third but that makes them distinctive, right? they said today we're going to start paying our people a higher entry-level pay. instead of 13 something an hour it will be 15 bucks an hour and provide bonuses to employees not affected by that. and they're going to do it right now and they're doing it because of the tax relief legislation. so to those who say, gosh, what about me? i would just say look at your paycheck and if you work for one of these businesses that's already made an announcement, of course you're feeling good about it but even if you work for another company that maybe is a little quieter about what they're doing, maybe they're not
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going to make a big announcement, trust me it's going to be in their interest now in a competitive market out there to invest in those companies, to invest in their people, to invest in training, to invest in better equipment, better technology, and those are the sorts of things that over time, mr. president, are going to make the biggest difference i think in this tax bill. if you look at what's happening in our economy today, the reason wages are flat -- and by the way, expenses are not flat. expenses are up and wainls are flat. -- wages are flat. that's called the middle-class squeeze. what's the biggest expense for most people? health care. the way to deal with that is to get the economy moving and specifically to increase the productivity. that's what economists say, low productivity. when you have low productivity, you have low economic growth. that's not the america i grew up in and that's not the america i want my kids to grow up in. my making these investments in better technology, in better equipment, in better training, what happens?
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you get more productivity. you get higher efficiency. you get the opportunity to increase your business and, therefore, hire more people and that's something i think over time will play out and will create the opportunity to lift up everybody. john f. kennedy, who was a democrat, but had a lot of things to say that sound more like what republicans are talking about today. one was he said that a rising tide lifts all ships. a rising tide. a rising tide. in the 1960's, he did cut capital gains, by the way, that and that increased economic rift activity. ronald reagan put in tax reform along with a bipartisan group in the united states congress that ended up with strong economic growth in the 1980's and 1990's. but that was 31 years ago. that's the last time we made these kinds of substantive,
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comprehensive changes in the tax code. it's past time to do it again. the final thing i will say about the tax reform proposal is that when you talk to businesses that are competing globally, which is more and more companies, including a lot of smaller companies now, the global economy is upon us. people said gosh, i wonder when the economy is going to affect me globally. well, it does. it affects all of us, because in your town, wherever it is, in your business wherever you work, you're probably competing directly or indirectly on a global basis. i'll give you an example. there is a little company in my hometown called standard textile. it's a great company. they make linens. it's a company that competes every day globally. and, in fact, a lot of the companies they compete with, as you can imagine, are companies that make these linens somewhere else, say, in asia where traditionally people have been able to find lower costs. guess what they are looking at now with this tax reform bill?
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the ability to invest more here in america. american workers, american-made linens. and they tell me, as do other companies, that this is going to give them a better competitive situation because no longer are you going to have a tax code that has the highest business rate in the entire industrialized world and an international system that says if you keep your money overseas rather than bringing it back, when you earn money, you can save on your taxes. that's what's resulted in $2.5 trillion to $3 trillion being locked out of america and being kept overseas. this tax reform proposal unlocks that, allows us to bring that money back. people call it repatriation. i guess that's accurate. repatriation. i wish it had never been unpatriot rated in the first place. if you're a patriot, you should want that money to be spent here in america. that's what's going to happen with this tax reform proposal. so it is about the tax cuts for working families, hardworking families who deserve it, who are
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now stuck in a situation where it's tough to get ahead. this will help immediately. it is about helping small businesses and other companies here in america to be able to invest more, being able to write off equipment when they buy it right away as an example, having a lower rate. but it's also about leveling that playing field and saying that america once again is going to reposition itself as the leader in the world, once again be that beacon of opportunity that other countries look to to say we would like to be like that, a free market economy where people who work hard and play by the rules can get ahead. you can't say that now with our current tax code because workers literally are competing on an unlevel playing field with one hand tied behind their back because of our tax code, because of our tax code. three times as many american companies were purchased by foreign companies last year as the other way around. 4,700 u.s. companies became foreign companies over the last decade or so because of our tax
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code. that's based on an ernst and young study that came out recently that said if this tax reform proposal that we have now passed had been in place, those 4,700 companies would still be american companies. all of us are patriots here in this body. all of us should want to bring back those jobs to america, repatriate those profits to america, give american workers the ability to compete on a level playing field. i know there were some differences in this legislation. we have heard a lot of it on this side of the aisle. but on this issue, it's been bipartisan in the past, and i hope it will be bipartisan going forward, to hold these reforms in place so that we can show that we have confidence and faith in american workers. we have confidence that if we give them the right tools -- in this case, the right tax code to work with, they can compete and they can win. i think we're going to see that. i think, again, with the hopeful signs we have seen even today of companies providing better pay
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or benefits or making additional commitments on investments, even well beyond that, we're going to see, maybe quietly and maybe spread out all over the country in ways that won't be as obvious decisions that are going to be made, business budgets that are going to change as a result of this tax reform bill. i'm hearing it from small businesses. i'm hearing it from the bigger companies that compete directly globally. and i'm certainly hearing it from families who are happy to see a little tax break to be able to help them as we go into the holidays. mr. president, that's all good news, and i think passing that legislation is really going to help the people i represent, but i also want to talk about something tonight that was not accomplished. and it was not accomplished in this vote we just had, which was a continuing resolution that keeps the government funding fo a little while longer into january. some of us have pushed hard to include various things in this legislation. i understand that some of these items are controversial, and it was hard to get it done because you needed 60 votes tonight.
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you needed a bipartisan consensus, really, on how to move forward not to shut down the government. and i am not a fan of government shoulddowns. they won't work. they are inefficient. they cost taxpayers more at the end of the day. they cause a lot of pain in the process. but i will tell you we had the opportunity to pass certain things tonight that were not controversial, and i don't understand why we didn't do it. some issues -- again, i understand on the spending front were more controversial. i understand some issues were more controversial in terms of how you deal with the immigration issue. the daca issue is one i support that is resolving. i think we should codify it and resolve that. people wanted to add different things there. let me tell you about one where i don't think there was any disagreement. and if we could have passed it doesn't, it would have provided a lot of certainty and predictability to families in ohio and around the country. it's one that passed my committee, the finance committee by a strong vote, not a
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bipartisan vote but a unanimous vote. and that's the chirp's health insurance program, the chip program. we passed it with a unanimous vote out of committee. people say well, but we need to find pay-fors for it. it is about $8 billion to do what we did, which is a five-year extension of the program. providing, again, certainty and predictability to families tonight who are wondering what's going to happen? what's going to happen with this program? are my kids going to have the kind of quality health care that they can access through the children's health program, the chip program. but i'll tell you, there are some pay-fors out there that are again bipartisan. a big one that could cover nearly half of that cost is one where you simply ensure that the medicaid program has more integrity so that if a third-party payer is paying, then the medicaid program doesn't pay. it's always been a bipartisan initiative. it's a pay-for that, again, we have looked at through this program. it would have been one that we
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could have used. so i don't get this notion that we couldn't pass it because we couldn't find the pay-fors. the pay-fors were there. i don't get it that this was controversial because it's not. i believe on both sides of the aisle, we wanted to resolve the children's health insurance program. again, with all the other issues, i understand. it's tough when you have got to get the 60 votes and have to get this passed in order to keep the government operating, which is not a situation we should be in but we're in. but i must tell you, i am very disappointed that we were not able to deal with this one issue tonight that has not been controversial, that came out of the committee with a unanimous vote. not bipartisan, but unanimous. chip now helps 219,000 ohio children get the health coverage they need. and nine million children nationwide. ohio has the tenth largest program. chip has been a leading cause in driving the uninsured rate down for ohio kids. in the case of my home state, we have seen our chip funding be
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questioned because the program was authorized until the end of september. now it's no longer authorized, so we're not sure exactly how much money we have left. we think we have enough to get into february in ohio. some states i tell you are worried about even getting into january, so tonight there was a short-term extension that, as i understand it, will take the program into february, but again, this doesn't provide that long-term certainty that families are looking for. and i must tell you i'm disappointed from what i hear about the reasons because i asked and asked on both sides of the aisle, and one reason i got, again, from leadership on both sides of the aisle is that, gosh, we can't do it unless we do other things with it. you know, it is called chip, children's health insurance program. but it shouldn't be a political chip. it should be taken out of
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politics. it should be something that we deal with separately. so i will just tell you that using it as leverage for other programs is not the way i'm going to look at it. it's not the way we should look at it. we should have passed it tonight. we should have passed it to help protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society. funding should be a top priority. regardless of your partisan position, regardless of the political climate, it should be out of the political fray. and i urge my colleagues when we come back after the first of the year, let's make that a priority. let's bring it to the floor. let's have a vote. let's keep it bipartisan. maybe it could even be unanimous. and let's give those families in ohio, the 219,000 kids who depend on it and the millions of family around this country the peace of mind to know that, yeah, we're extending this program. let's do that five-year extension, that five-year authorization. we have already passed in committee. let's take it out of this
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political process and put it where it belongs, which is an issue that every single member of this body should want to address for the kids they represent. again, mr. chairman, i appreciate the opportunity to speak tonight on the tax reform and tax cut legislation that i do think will provide the opportunity for everybody i represent to have a better future and a brighter future, and i appreciate the opportunity to talk on the children's health insurance program. mr. president, i now ask unanimous consent that the junior senator from louisiana be authorized to sign duly enrolled bills during today's session of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president, i yield back my time and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: as if in executive session, i ask unanimous consent that the list at the desk of nominations received during the 115th congress first session remain in status quo, notwithstanding the provisions of rule 31. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session for the en bloc consideration of the following nominations. executive calendar 525, 526, 528, and 530. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the nominations en bloc. the clerk: nominations, department of state, kenneth j.
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braithwaite of pennsylvania to be ambassador to norway. m. lee mcclenny of washington to be ambassador to norway. brock d. bierman to be assistant administrator. department of state, christopher ashley ford of maryland to be assistant secretary. the presiding officer: i ask consent the senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, and that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the question occurs on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor, say aye.
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all those opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of the following nomination, executive calendar 311. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: department of defense, robert w. stuart of district of columbia to be inspector general of the national security agency. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nomination with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, that any statements related to the nomination be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question occurs on the
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nomination. all those in favor, say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations -- executive calendar 456, 457. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: securities and exchange commission, hester maria peirce of ohio to be a member. robert j. jackson, jr., of new york to be a member. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nominations be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without
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objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor, say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations -- executive calendar 545, 546, and 576. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: department of energy, linda capuano of texas to be administrator of the energy information administration. timothy r. petty of indiana to be an assistant secretary. department of energy, john g. vonglis of new york to be chief
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financial officer. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nominations en bloc, with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nominations be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all in favor, say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations -- executive calendar 578, 503, and 577. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: department of housing
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and urban development, irving dennis of ohio to be chief financial officer. susan israel tufts of new york to be an assistant secretary. leonard wolfson of connecticut to be an assistant secretary. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nominations be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all in favor, say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to
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the consideration of the following nomination, executive calendar number 299. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report. the clerk: department of health and human services, robert charrow of maryland to be general counsel. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nomination with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nomination appear -- be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nomination. all in favor, say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations -- p.n. 1286, p.n. 1287, and p.n.
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1288. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: the morris k. udall and stuart l. udall foundation, tadm. johnson of minnesota to be a member of the board of trustees. list johnson bailey of oklahoma to be a member of the board of trustees. lisa johnson bailey of oklahoma to be a member of the board of trustees. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the nominations be confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nominations be principled in the record, all en bloc. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all in favor, say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc.
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mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations -- p.n. 1035, 1036, 1037, 1038, and 1172. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: tennessee valley authority, kenneth e. allen of kentucky to be member of the board. aideng. frazier of georgia to be a member of the board. dennis smith of tennessee to be a member of the board. james r. thompson of alabama to be a member of the board. delta regional authority, to be federal cochairperson. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate vote on the nominations en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nominations be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without
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objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all in favor, say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations -- executive calendar 502, 554, 556, 559, and p.n. 1196. the presiding officer: without objection, the clerk will report. the clerk: department of labor, katherine burnett mcgwire of virginia to be assistant secretary. kate o'scannlain of maryland to be assistant secretary.
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johnny cleet of kentucky to be assistant department of rehabilitation services. department of education, douglas webster of virginia to be chief financial officer. mr. mcconnell: i ask the senate to vote en bloc, that if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nominations be principled in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all in favor say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of the following nominations, p.n.1109.
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the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: department of veterans' affairs, john r.ritkowski of montana to be chief financial officer. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate vote on the nomination with no intervening action or debate, if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, no further motions be in order, and any statements related to the nomination be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. 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 10 minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the energy and natural resources committee be discharged from further consideration of the following bills -- s.1438 and h.r. 1927. and that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of those bills and the following bills en bloc, calendar 49, calendar 54, calendar 55, calendar 62, calendar 74, calendar 88, calendar 148, calendar 1770, h.r. 1242, h.r. 2611. without objection. mr. mcconnell: i further ask unanimous consent that where applicable the committee
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reported amendments be agreed to and the bills that are amended if amended be read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further debate on the bills. the presiding officer: if there's no further debate, the question is on the passage of the bills en bloc. all in favor say aye. all opposed, say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bills are passed en bloc. 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: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 219, s. 1447. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar 219,
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s. 1447, a bill to reauthorize the diesel emissions reduction program and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the bill be read a third time and passed and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 241, s. 1208. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar 241, s. 1208, a bill to direct the secretary of homeland security to provide for an option under the secure mail initiative, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported amendments be agreed to, the bill as amended be considered
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read a third time and passed and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar 261, h.r. 195. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar 261, h.r. 195, an act to amend title 44, united states code and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the grassley amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 270, s. 2070. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number number 270, s. 2070, a bill to
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amend the violent crime, control, and law enforcement act of 1994, and so forth. mr. mcconnell: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the grassley amendment be a the -- at the desk be considered and agreed to and the bill, as amended, be read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further debate on the measure. the presiding officer: the question is on passage of the bill. all those in favor say aye. all opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. and the bill, as amended, is passed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid it on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of 281, s. res. 139.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 291, senate resolution -- 139. condemning iran. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask that the resolution as amended be agreed to, the committee-reported amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the pre"apple dailyiable be -- the preamble be agreed to and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee on energy and natural resources be discharged from further consideration of s. 2030 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the pre the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 2030, a bill to deem the compliance date for amended energy conservation standards and so forth and for
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other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. 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 the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. 2273 introduced earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 2273, a bill to extend the period during which vessels that are shorter than 79 feet in length and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to railroad can be be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without
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objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the help committee be discharged from further consideration of s. res. 336 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 336 recognizing the seriousness of polly cystic ovary syndrome and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the amendment to the resolution which is at the desk be agreed to, the resolution as amended be agreed to, the amendment to the preamble which is at the desk be agreed to, the preamble as amended be agreed to and the motions to reconsider -- to be considered be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 364 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
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the clerk: senate resolution 364 congratulating the university of central missouri's women's soccer team and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to and the motion to be considered be considered made and laid on the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee on the judiciary be discharged from further consideration of s. res. 327 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 327 designating the week of november 5 through the 12, 2017, as national carbon monoxide poisoning awareness week. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon
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the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee on energy and natural resources be discharged from further consideration and the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r.518. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 518, an act to amend the energy policy and conservation act and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further debate on the bill. the presiding officer: the question is on passage of the bill. all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. and the bill is passed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous
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consent the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate consideration of h.r. 2142 which was received from the house and is at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 2142, an act to improve the ability of the u.s. customs and border protection to interdict fentanyl, other synthetic opioids and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask the bill be considered read three times and passed and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 2228 and that the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
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the clerk: h.r. 2228, an act to provide support for law enforcement agency efforts and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered paid and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 2331 which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 2331, an act to require a new or updated federal website and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be
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considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 4661 which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 4661, an act to authorize the united states fire administration and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i understand there's a bill at the desk and i ask for its first reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for the first time. the clerk: s. 2274, a bill to provide for the compensation of federal employees affected by
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lapses in appropriations. mr. mcconnell: i now ask for a second reading and in order to place the bill on the calendar under rule 14, i reject my own request. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will be read for the second time on the next legislative day. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the appointment at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn to then reconvene for pro forma sessions only with no business being conducted on the following dates and times, and that following each pro forma session, the senate adjourn until the next pro forma session. saturday, december 23, 11:00 a.m.
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wednesday, december 27, 10:00 a.m. friday, december 29, 11:30 a.m. tuesday, january 2, 4:00 p.m. for the information of all senators, when the senate adjourns on tuesday, january 2, 2018, it will next convene at 12:00 noon on january 3, pursuant to the constitution. further, 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. further, following leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each until 5:00 p.m. finally, following morning business, the senate proceed to executive session to consider the rood nomination under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i also ask unanimous consent that the order with respect to
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s. 1547 be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until >> senate has gambled out and in their legislative work for 2017. after passing the republican bill earlier this week the house and senate voted to approve a short-term government the bill to fund the federal government through january 19. that now goes to the president to sign. >> sunday night on "after words", astronaut scott kelly recalls his voyage into space in his book endurance. he's interviewed by former nasa administered her backdoors was the third servicing mission --
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>> having been a part of that mission and having become unofficial talk about what you believe the legacy of couple or does it have a legacy? >> i think it's incredible. you would know better than i that it's that there. >> twenty-seven years, getting the 30. >> yeah, doing that kind of science on a daily basis and letting not only the scientists experienced the data that they get from it which is most of the stuff you do not see but also the public engagement that is provided and let people get a sense for where we are in the universe which is pretty insignificant if you consider those images. i think it's been a great success and a great first mission for me. >> "after words", sunday night at 9:00 p.m. eastern on tv on
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c-span2. >> minnesota senator al franken is resigning his seat effective january 2nd. today he gave his last speech on the senate floor talking about policy issues important to him, including social security, healthcare and climate change. last month allegations of sexual misconduct prompted several of his senate colleagues to call for senator franken's resignation. this is 40 minutes. >> this is my final speech on the floor ofit the united states senate. i have come down here many times as we all have, we come here to cast their votes on bills and amendments and we come here to discuss and debate the issues that are important to our states into our country. we introduce and explain legislation and we talk about our states and what we learned on our latest visit to community health center, farm or a small business.

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