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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 17, 2018 9:59am-1:08pm EST

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the average nebraska home owners. second, in today's mobile economy, young people graduating from our colleges, skilled workers, and even long-time residents can move to lower tax states. we have the jobs and the great communities. let's also work towards an income tax system that's just as welcoming. [applaus [applause] >> we'll leave this nebraska state of the state address to go live this morning as the u.s. senate is about to gavel in to resume debate on what's called fisa reauthorization. the bill continues the nsa's foreign surveillance program for another six years with some changes. the house passed the measure last thursday and the senate could vote tomorrow to send the bill to the president. and now, to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2.
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the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain dr. barry black will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. almighty god, whose kingdom is above all earthly kingdoms, we praise your holy name. forgive us for having left undone the things we ought to have done and for doing the things we ought not to have done. deliver us from those forces that obstruct the making of a nation and world of justice, peace, and righteousness. give our lawmakers
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the wisdom, courage, and strength needed for our times, providing them with u.s.s. nantz out of the wealth of your celestial riches. equip them to serve you and country with the full measure of grace, strength, and wisdom. we pray in your strong name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., january 17, 2018. to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable tom cotton, a senator from the state of arkansas, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: orrin g. hatch, president pro tempore. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i know the wave of economic optimism is breaking across america after last month's historic tax reform legislation. already for weeks, we've seen special bonuses, pay increases, and other tax reform benefits delivered to workers across the
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nation. these immediate benefits are just the first fruits. tax reform is also planting the seeds of long-term wage growth and job creation by making america more attract -- a more attractive place for entrepreneurship and for investment. we learned last week that the automaker fiat-chrysler is renewing production lines in america where prohibit tif business taxes once stood in the way. now 2,500 new jobs are coming to detroit thanks to tax reform. just yesterday i was pleased to announce that humana which employs more than 12,000 kentuckians sf accelerating pay incentives and increasing its hourly wage because ever tax reform. the good news keeps coming. toyota and mazda are doubling down on existing investments in the u.s. announcing plans to create 4,000 new jobs in huntsville, alabama. the world is noticing that america is open for business and
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in large part it's because we've shaken off an outdated burdensome tax code. reforming the tax coald was not easy -- code was not easy. it was made even more challenging when none, none of our democratic colleagues in the house or the senate, not one, stood with taxpayers and job creators to vote for this once-in-a-generation tax relief. but thanks to republican majorities in congress and a republican white house, the benefits for working americans are just beginning. on another matter, the senate will soon vote to reauthorize important provisions of the fisa amendments act. this includes section 702, one of the most important tools used by our national security community to combat terrorism and to keep americans safe. it gives our law enforcement and intelligence community the ability to collect communications from foreign terrorists on foreign soil who
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wish harm on america and our allies. this capability is absolutely vital to the success of defense and intelligence operations. to be absolutely clear, section 702 does not -- does not allow the targeting of american citizens. nor does it permit the targeting of anyone of any nationality who is known to be located here in the u.s. five years ago congress reauthorized the title with overwhelming bipartisan support. today it's time to do so one more time. it's no secret that the world remains dangerous. terrorist groups remain as intent today as they did on september 11, 2001, on harming americans and those working with us overseas. as the tragedies of that day become a more distant memory, we cannot grow lax and deny our defense and intelligence communities the tools and resources they require to
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prevent future attacks. i look forward to renewing the bipartisan consensus on this issue and voting to reauthorize this important provision very soon. now, on another matter, as we all know, congress has until friday to reach an agreement that ensures continued funding for the federal government. by now it is clear that we are not yet ready to move ahead with a major agreement on long-term funding for our armed forces, nor on our immigration policy. serious bipartisan talks are under way on these issues and other key priorities. compromise solutions are not out of reach. but for now, congress needs to keep the government running. there's no cause whatsoever for manufacturing crisis and hoping up funding for the vital services of the federal government. s what' more, the near-term
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solution that congress must pass this week will not only provide -- will not only provide uninterrupted government funding, it will also contain a six-year reauthorization of the state children's health insurance program. this is a federal program that covers nearly nine million children in low incofamilies -- low-income families. it ensures hardship will not stand between struggling american families and medical coverage for their children. s chip enjoys wide bipartisan support with dedicated champions on both sides of the aisle. the funding bill that we'll take up in the senate will reauthorize the program for six years, even longer than the bipartisan compromise that the senate finance committee reached just last year. so, mr. president, senators face a lot of hard decisions but this is not one of them. a bill that prevents a government shutdown, funds s-chip for up to six years should be a simple choice for every senator in this chamber
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and until very recently, our democratic colleagues agreed. no brainer was the exact phrase my colleague, the senior senator from california, recently used on the senate floor when discussing s-chip renewal. the newest member of this body, the junior senator from alabama campaigned on this very issue. as senator elect, he insisted his future colleagues should, quote, stop playing political football with the health care of our children. he called it, quote, absolutely unacceptable for partisan fighting to delay renewing funding for chip. i hope my friends, the democratic leaders, are listening to their own members. because recently some have intimated that democrats will filibuster any funding bill whatsoever over the issue of illegal immigration. i find it difficult to believe that my democratic colleagues would want to shut down the government for american citizens and vote down a six-year
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reauthorization of health insurance for american children all over illegal immigration. bipartisan negotiations over the daca issue and other issues in immigration policy are certainly important and they are ongoing. our responsibility is to continue those discussions, not to jeopardize them by jening up a manufactured crisis over an artificial deadline. we have until march at least to complete our ongoing negotiations on immigration. we have until friday to fund the government. i would urge my democratic friends to honor their stated commitments and join in a bipartisan effort to keep the government funded and reauthorize s-chip for struggling families across our country. now, finally, on an entirely different matter, mr. president, i'd like to say a few words about brett barnell, a key
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member of my team who is departing the senate today. he has served with distinction in my office for nearly 13 years. he began as an aide on foreign affairs, defense, and veterans issues. since then he has risen through the ranks and now serving as my personal office deputy chief of staff. he is a tireless worker, a loyal public servant. he's been my point person on more important issues than i can name, including my support for democracy in burma and research on prominent kentucky leaders throughout history. i know he is especially proud of our work to help dr. hunter bring her daughter back to america. i'll miss more than his fine work. i'll miss him challenging my title as the biggest history buff in the office. and all his colleagues will miss its genuine warmth, his quick witness and good humor and his readiness to mentor young
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staffers. of course, nobody is perfect. reb is a diehard michigan state fan. fortunately, he never let it get in the way of serving the people of the commonwealth of kentucky. i'm sorry to see reb go. i thank him for his service. and i wish him and his wife sandy every success in their future endeavors. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i understand there's a bill at the desk due a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the bill for a second time. the clerk: s. 2311, a bill to amend title 18, united states code, to protect pain capable unborn children and for other purposes. mr. mcconnell: in order to place the bill on the calendar under provisions of rule 14, i would reject to further proceeding. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. schumer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
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democratic leader. mr. schumer: first, before i get into the substance of my remarks, let me just answer the majority leader here. what leads to problems in this place? what leads to a government shutdown? one side deciding everything and then saying to the other side you must go along. the proposals sent over, here's what it doesn't do. doesn't give help needed for our veterans who wait in line for service. doesn't fight opioid addiction, the scourge of america. doesn't help our pensioners. and i'd say to my friends on the other side of the aisle and our defense hawks over in the other body, doesn't give defense what it needs either. it's a loser in terms of the things that this country needs. we could easily sit down and come to an agreement that would get the support of the majority
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of both sides, and it is the intransigents, frankly, of so many who say don't talk, don't negotiate, just do it our way or no way that has led to gridlock, that has led to the fact that the first year has been largely unsuccessful, and leads to the partisanship that america decries. democrats have shown time and time again we want to work in a bipartisan way. most recently illustrated by the proposal put together by my friend from illinois, my friend from south carolina, my friend from arizona who's here on the floor. we eagerly await his remarks and i'll try to be brief. but leader mcconnell on this instance as on many, many others says our way or no way. that's wrong. we will do everything we can to avoid a shutdown. we will do everything we can but the needs of opioid addiction
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and helping the veterans and social socia security and rural infrastructure and defense and, of course, the dreamers we main hanging out with this proposal. and if, god forbid, there's a shut down, it will fall on the majority leader's shoulders and the president's shoulders. we all know what the president has said. he wants a shutdown. so you can twist words and twist facts any way you want, but the truth is this is a purely partisan effort, a purely partisan effort, and that's what leads to the trouble in this place. so let me say a few more things here. despite the leader being totally partisan on this issue, we have seen some sprouts of bipartisanship. in the house, republican congressman will herd and
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democratic congressman aguilar have a proposal on immigration, on dream that garnered 20 democrats and 20 republicans. the goodlatte proposal, the mccall proposal has not a single democrat, not a single one. you, mr. president, have made a proposal that in the words of lindsey graham will not get a single democratic vote. it can't pass. but at the same time, the senators from illinois and new jersey and colorado and arizona and south carolina and colorado are painstakingly putting together a proposal where both sides give quite a bit. so there are sprouts of bipartisanship. more than sprouts that could save us from eyeball to eyeball and from a shutdown. my hope is that the president will understand it because the
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bill that was put together here in the senate was aimed, painstakingly pierced -- pieced together to meet what the president said he needed. protect the dreamers, president trump's full budget request for border security, far more than i would want to do, including funding to build barriers along the southern border, deals with family reunification. they call it chain migration for the dreamers. i know that some have said let's do it for the whole immigration bill. well, then let's talk about the 11 million, not just the dreamers. you want to do comprehensive? let's do comprehensive. but first let's get daca done. and, of course, they even got rid of the diversity program, which as the president noted i was the author of and which has brought millions of people to this country who are working
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hard and are good citizens now. so it's almost everything the president requested in his televised tuesday meeting which got such good reviews from one end of the country to the other. so this bill is certainly not how democrats would have written the bill if we were in charge. and it's not how republicans would have written the bill if they were the only party in america. if they were, they might go for the senator from arkansas' proposal. but it's on the hard right. 70% of america's for dream and daca. 80% i think now. most americans are for a comprehensive immigration bill that does all these things. so if we want to get something done, we ought to compromise in a bipartisan way. and for those on this side and in the other body who say we need defense, the way we're going to get it is through
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bipartisan compromise, bipartisan compromise. this side does not object to increasing defense alongside of other needs which are just as important in our judgment. a parent whose son or daughter has died of opioid addiction because they couldn't get treatment doesn't think that opioid addiction should play second fiddle to any proposal. so the majority leader, he's dismissed the urgency of solving the fate of dreamers. he calls it a manufactured crisis. it was manufactured by the republican party. president trump rescinded the daca program. no democrat. it was the majority leader's decision to kick the can down the road for months while bipartisan majorities would have likely supported something close to the dream act. it was president trump who turned his back on a bipartisan solution last week and used vulgarities to demean the
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ancestral homelands of so many americans. and almost no american doubts that the president used those terms. nobody doubts it. hardly anybody. so as i said yesterday, a very fair bipartisan deal remains on the table. senator durbin and graham will release the text of their legislation today. my republican colleagues i hope will consider it. and i recommend we get on the bill, and then we can solve the problems that some on one side see needs for defense, seen on both sides. some of the problems this side sees, some of the problems that side sees, and not do the kind of bill that leaves out and kicks the can down the road for many, many more problems. i challenge president trump. step up to the plate and take yes for an answer. democrats have met you halfway, mr. president. you meet us halfway.
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the time for political posturing is running short. bipartisan groups of senators and congressmen are fervently working towards a deal. president trump ought to get on board or congress will move forward without it. -- without him. now, on one other issue, mr. president. this is really in my craw. "the new york times" reported that one of the fastest growing chinese car companies is plotting their way to sell cars in america. according to the "times," buy pursuing a partnership with fiat chrysler, the chinese-owned state -- the chinese state-owned company g.a.c. automobiles hopes to enter the u.s. market through the back door. it would be the first chinese carmaker to sell in the u.s. if they were to do so, they would face a 2.5% tariff here in the u.s. meanwhile, if the u.s. automakers sold cars in china, they would face a 25% tariff, ten times higher, and would have to compete with state-owned
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businesses and unfair regulations. so while china prevents u.s. automakers from gaining a foothold in their country with prohibitive tariffs, what the "times" called, quote, the highest trade barriers by far of any major car market, they are plotting ways to eat into our market. it's manifestly unfair and a typical, unfortunately typical example of china's rea rapacious trading policies. president trump in his campaign won a lot of votes by promising over and over again that he would crack down on china's mercantilism, but once in office, unfortunately, like so many other of his promises and commitments to working americans, he has not done it, and he has delayed trade enforcement against china time and time again. even the studies he's commissioned have been delayed. we need to get serious about these flagrant trade abuses before it's too late. middle-class jobs and bedrock american industries are at stake. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is preserved, morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to concur in the house amendment on s. 139, which the clerk will report. the clerk: house message to accompany s. 139, an act to implement the use of rapid d.n.a. instruments to inform decisions about pretrial release with attention and their conditions to solve and prevent violent crimes and other crimes to exonerate the innocent, to be prevent d.n.a. analysis backlogs, and for other purposes. mr. flake: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. flake: mr. president, near the beginning of the document that made us free, our declaration of independence, thomas jefferson wrote "we hold these truths to be self-evident." so from the very beginning, our freedom has been predicated on truth. the founders were visionary in this regard, understanding well that good faith and shared facts
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between the governed and the government would be the very basis of this ongoing idea of america. as a distinguished former member of this body, daniel patrick moynihan of new york famously said, everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. during this past year, i'm alarmed to say that senator moynihan's proposition has likely been tested more severely than at any time in our history. for it is that reason that i rise today to talk about the truth and the truth's relationship to democracy, for without truth and a principled fidelity to truth and the shared facts, mr. president, our democracy will not last. 2017 was a year which saw the truth, objective empirical evidence made truth, more embatterred and abused than at any time in the history of our country, at the hands of the most powerful figure in our government. it was a year which saw the
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white house enshrine alternative facts into the american lexicon as justification for what used to be simply called old-fashioned falsehoods. it was a year in which an unrelenting daily assault on the constitutionally protected free speech was launched by the same white house, an assault that is as unprecedented as it is unwarranted. the enemy of the people was how the president of the united states called the free press in 2017. mr. president, it is a testament to the condition of our democracy that our own president uses words infamously spoken by joseph stalin to describe his enemies. it bears noting that so fraught with malice was a phrase enemy of the people that even nick eat a khrushchev forbade its use, telling the soviet communist party that the phrase had been introduced by stalin for the purpose of, quote, annihilating such individuals, close quote,
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who disagreed with the supreme leader. which alone should be the source of great shame for us in this body, especially for those of us in the president's party, for they are shameful, repulsive statements. and of course the president has it precisely backward. despotism is the enemy of the people. the free press is the despot's enemy, which makes the free press the guardian of democracy. when a figure in power reflexively calls any press that doesn't suit him fake news, it is that person who should be the figure of suspicion, not the press. i dare say that anyone who has had the privilege and awesome responsibility to serve in this chamber knows that these reflexive slurs of fake news are dubious at best. those of us who travel overseas, especially to war zones and other troubled areas all around the globe, encounter members of u.s.-based media who risk their lives and sometimes lose their lives reporting on the truth.
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to dismiss their work as fake news is an affront to their commitment and their sacrifice. according to the international federation of journalists, 80 journalists were killed in 2017. a new report from the committee to protect journalists documents that the number of journalists imprisoned around the world has reached 262, which is a new record. this total includes 21 reporters who are being held on false news charges. mr. president, so powerful is the presidency that the damage done by the sustained attack on the truth will not be confined to this president's time in office. here in america, we do not pay obeisance to the powerful. in fact, we question the powerful most ardently. to do so is our birthright and a requirement of our citizenship. and so we know well that no matter how powerful, no president will ever have
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dominion over objective reality. no politician will ever get us -- tell us what the truth is and what it is not. and anyone who presumes to try to attack or manipulate the press for his own purposes should be made to realize his mistake and to be held to account. that is our job here. that is just as madison, hamilton, and jay would have it. of course, a major difference between politicians and the free press is that the free press usually be corrects itself when it's made a mistake. politicians don't. no longer can we compound attacks -- the attacks on truth with our silent acquiescence. no longer can we turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to those assaults on our institutions. and, mr. president, an american president who cannot take criticism who must constantly deflect and distort and distract, who must find someone else to blame is charting a very
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dangerous path, and a congress that fails to act as a check on the president adds to that danger. now we are told via twitter that today the president intends to announce his choice for the, quote, most corrupt and dishonest media awards. it beggars belief that an american president would engage in such a spectacle, but here we are. so 2018 must be the year in which the truth takes a stand against power that would weaken it. in this effort, the choice is quite simple, and in this effort, the truth needs as many allies as possible. together, my colleagues, we are powerful. together, we have it within us to turn back these attacks, to right these wrongs, repair this damage, restore reference for our institution -- reverence for our institutions and prevent further moral vandalism. together, united in this purpose to do our jobs under the
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constitution, without regard to party or party loyalty, let us resolve to be allies of the truth and not partners in its destruction. it is not my purpose here to inventory all the unofficial untruths of the past year, but a brief survey is in order. some untruths are trivial, such as a bizarre contention regarding the crowd size at last year's inaugural. but some untruths are not at all trivial, such as the seminal untruth of the president's political career, the oft-repeated conspiracy about the birthplace of president obama. also not trivial are the equally pernicious fantasies about rigged elections and massive voter fraud which are as destructive as they are inaccurate. to the effort to undermine confidence in the federal courts, federal law enforcement, the intelligence community, and the free press, to perhaps the most vexing untruth of all, the
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supposed hoax at the heart of special counsel robert mueller's russia investigation. mueller. to be very clear, to call the russian matter a hoax as president trump has done so many times is a falsehood. we know the attacks orchestrated by the russians during the election were real. they caused a grave threat to american sovereignty and to our national security. it is in the interest of every american to get to the bottom of this matter wherever the investigation leads. ignoring or denying the truth about hostile russia, russian intentions toward the united states leaves us vulnerable to future attacks. we were told by our intelligence agencies that these attacks are ongoing. yet, it has recently been reported that there has not been a single cabinet level meeting regarding russian interference and how to defend america against these attacks. not one. what might seem like a casual and routine untruth, so casual
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and routine that it has now become the white noise of washington, is in fact a serious lapse in the defense of our country. mr. president, let us be clear, the impulses underlying the dissemination of such you think truths are not -- such untruths are not benign. they condition the public to no longer trust them. the destructive effect of this kind of behavior on our democracy cannot be overstated. mr. president, every word that a president utters projects american values around the world. the values of free expression and reverence for the free press have been our global hallmark, for it is our ability to freely air the truth that keeps our government honest and keeps the people free. between the mighty and the modest, truth is a great leveler. and so, respect for freedom of the press has always been one of
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our most important exports. but a recent report published in our free press should raise an alarm. reading from the story, quote, in february, syrian president bashar al-assad brushed off an amnesty report that some 13,000 people have been killed in one of his military prisons by saying you can forge anything these days. we're living in a fake news area. inin the philippines president duerte complained of being demonized by fake news. last month the report continues with the president, quote, laughing by his side, he called reporters spies. in july venezuelan president maduro complained to the russian propaganda outlet that the world media has spread lots of false versions, lots of lies about his country, adding this is what we call fake news today, isn't it? there are more.
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a state official in myanmar recently said there is no such thing as rohingya. it is fake news. he was referring to the persecuted ethnic group. leaders in singapore, a country known for restricting free speech, promised fake news legislation in the next year. and on and on and on. this feedback loop is disgraceful, mr. president. not only has the past year seen an american president borrow despotic language to refer to the free press but it seems he has now in turn inspired dictators and author taeurpbs with his own language. that is reprehensible. we are not in a fake news era as bashar al-assad says. we are, rather, in an era in which the authoritarian impulse is reasserting itself to challenge free people and free societies everywhere. in our own country, from the trivial to the truly dangerous, it is the range and regularity of the untruths we see that
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should be the cause for profound alarm and spur to action. add to that the by now predictable habit of calling true things false and false things true, and we have a a recipe for disaster. george or well warned, the further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it. how any of us who have spent time in public life have endured news coverage we felt was jaded or unfair, but in our positions to employ even idle threats to use laws or regulations to stifle criticism is corrosive to our democratic institutions. simply put, it is the press' obligation to uncover the truth about power. it is the people's right to criticize their government. and it is our job to take it. what is the goal of laying siege
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to the truth? president john f. kennedy in a stirring speech on the 21st anniversary of the voice of america was eloquent in answer to that question. we are not afraid to entrust the american people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies and competitive values. for a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation afraid of its people. mr. president, the question of why the truth is now under such assault may be for historians for determine. but for those who cherish american constitutional democracy, what matters is the effect on america and her people and her standing in an increasingly unstable world made all the more unstable by these very fabrications. what matters is the daily disassembling of our democratic institutions. we are a mature democracy. it is past time to stop excusing or ignoring or worse, endorsing
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these attacks on the truth. for if we compromise the truth for the sake of our politics, we are lost. i sincerely thank my colleagues for their indulgence today. i'll close by borrowing the words of an early adherent to my faith that i find has special resonance at this moment. his name was john jox. as a young missionary in england he questioned what is truth. it was expressed in poetry and a hymn i grew up with titled owe say what is true. it ends as follows: then say what is truth, 'tis the last and the first for the limits it time it steps or though the heavens depart and the earth's fountains burst, truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst eternal, unchanged
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evermore. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from minnesota. ms. klobuchar: mr. president, i rise today to thank my colleague, snowflake, for his words -- to thank my colleague, senator flake for his words and to join him in standing up for the first amendment. over the last recess when i was at home, i read senator flake's book, and one of the many things i took away from that book, which i thought was quite an amazing book, was the fact that when he was growing up his family had a three by five card on their refrigerator. and they looked at it every day, and it said assume the best and look for the good. and the way he has articulately talked about our constitution today, he is assuming the best, as we all should do, about the citizens of this country and that they will look at this document and care about this document and understand why the first amendment is so important
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to our freedoms. for me, this started at home. my dad was a reporter his entire life. he went from a hard scrabble mining town in ely, minnesota, to go to a two-year community college, and then got a journalism degree at the university of minnesota and got his first job at the bismarck paper in north dakota, served during the korean war and finally ended up at the star tribune in minneapolis. he went from that mining town and saw the world and he got to interview everyone from ronald reagan to the chicago bears coach mike did ditka, to ginger rogers. through it all, he saw his mission as a mission of serving for the truth whether it was standing outside of political conventions to dear gas -- tear gas or whether it was calling the election in 1960 when he was with the a.p. for john f. kennedy. but the world has changed since
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my dad was a journalist. but the role of journalism hasn't changed in any way. we need this protection of the first amendment now more than ever. as senator flake has pointed out, it was thomas jefferson and our founding fathers who saw the importance of journalism and the importance of the first amendment. thomas jefferson once wrote that our first objective should be to leave open all avenues to truth, and the most effective way of doing that is through the freedom of the press. while the most extreme forms of antipress behavior have happened abroad, as pointed out by senator flake, with journalists being murdered, being put in fear of their very lives, their family lives, there has been a growing aggression toward journalists in our own country. during the campaign, then-candidate trump mocked ad
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disabled reporter. during his presidency he referred to journalists as dishonest, as disgusting, as scum. during president trump's first month in office this administration coined the phrase alternative facts, attempting to undermine the fact-checking efforts of reporters. that same week another senior white house official said that the press should, quote, keep its mouth shut. the president has taken to twitter countless times to attack news organizations and discredit specific journalists. he's threatened to challenge the licenses of specific news networks, and these networks that ran negative stories. there are even reports that the administration is using antitrust enforcement authority as leverage to secure positive media coverage. and just last week the president suggested weakening the very laws that protect journalists. he threatened to open up our libel laws so that he could sue the media for writing negative
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or unfavorable stories. this is unacceptable. this is unacceptable because we are a beacon for the freedoms across the world. but it's also unacceptable here at home. so what can we do about it? we can make sure that this administration's views, first of all, are not carried through to the actions of the department of justice. we must ensure that the department continues to follow the guidelines that have been in place for a number of years to protect journalists, even if those journalists criticize the government. even if they uncover facts that are uncomfortable for the government. attorney general eric holder committed during his time in office not to put reporters in jail for doing their job. he also strengthened the justice department protections for journalists and their sources. the loophole was closed that allowed the government to get
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around bans on search warrants for reporting material. they tightened guidelines for using, that are used to issue subpoenas that would require journalists to disclose their confidential sources. they understood the role these guidelines play in our democracy, and attorney general holder said they strike an appropriate balance between law enforcement's need to protect the american people and the news media's role in ensuring the free flow of information. over the last year, during judiciary hearings, i've asked attorney general sessions twice if he'd commit to protecting skwrurpblgts -- journalists from being jailed for doing their jobs. it was a simple question. he wouldn't, both times would not commit, and he said he had to review the rules. well, it has been nearly a year, and there has been enough time to review the rules. i still have not received an answer to my question. and i think we'd all agree that
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after almost a year as a leader of the justice department, it's past time he made this commitment. and let me be clear, the president doesn't have the legal authority to undercut our libel laws. no matter what he says, our courts still uphold the safeguards and must uphold the safeguards we place on the press freedom. in "new york times" v. sullivan, it is crystal clear in its protection of journalists who cover public officials. the standard for libel is well established. it is not subject to the whims of the politics on any given day. while supreme court justice kneel gorsuch and i -- neil gorsuch and i do not agree on much, i question him on that landmark decision and he agreed that the precedent is clear on first amendment protection for journalists. the american people deserve the truth, and we rely on journalists to keep digging for
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it. that's something to celebrate, not to undermine. standing up for the freedoms, even one as fundamental as the freedom of the press, isn't always easy but it is vitally important. the future of our democracy depends on the ability of journalists to do our jobs. we must uphold this freedom every single day. so with all of this in mind, mr. president, i thank senator flake for his very important remarks, and i urge this chamber to do everything we can to live up to jefferson's words and protect this essential avenue to truth. thank you. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: mr. president, i want to thank my colleagues, senator flake from arizona, senator klobuchar from minnesota, for bringing this timely issue to the floor. we are facing an attack on an american institution, an attack on our freedom of press.
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sadly, the president is making some award of some kind to what he considers to be corrupt media. i'm afraid once again that his actions will cast a shadow over our constitutional commitment to the basic freedoms we enjoy in america. we all know why freedom of the press was included in the bill of rights. because the founding fathers, those who crafted those critical words that have led us for more than two centuries, believed that there should be accountability, accountability when it came to the government, its actions, and to public officials. that accountability sometimes is painful, as senator flake has acknowledged. many of us as members of the senate, house, and other political roles really hated to receive certain phone calls, questions from members of the press. but it is part of our responsibility as public servants, as public officials to
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be accountable to the public. that is what freedom of the press is about. i think that's the part that troubles and worries and pains the president the most, that he will be held accountable for the things that he has said and the things that he has done. this notion of fake news, unfortunately, is a phrase which is being used, as senator flake noted, by disputes and authoritarians around the world to try to silence its critics and to silence the press in their countries. we cannot allow this regiment of fake news and alternative facts and words like those to diminish our commitment to the basic constitutional protection of freedom of the press. it is essential to the future of our democracy. on january 11, that would be last thursday, i was invited to a meeting at the white house to discuss the issue of immigration. sadly, at that meeting, there were things said by the president and those who were with him on the issue, which i
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believe constituted an attack on another basic element of american history, a history of immigration. mr. president, we are a nation of immigrants. that diversity that has come to these shores from all across the world is a diversity which makes us strong. we consider our land of origin, whatever it may be, but we love the land we live in. and that was what immigration has meant to us and previous generations for so many years. words spoken by the president at that meeting were stunning, in some respects disgusting. to think that the president would make the comments that he did for the sake of our congressional record, for the senate, and for those who are watching, i will not repeat the president's words. they have been reported in the press. but i want to go to the heart of his criticism. he was raising a basic question as to whether the united states should continue to be open to
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immigration from all around the world. i believe we should. americans believe we should. we know that men and women, even of humble circumstances, who come to the united states determined to make a life, to make a future, and to help their families have made a profound difference in our country in terms of its past and its future. and they come from every corner of the world. senator lindsey graham was at that same meeting on january 11. he spoke up when the president uttered these infamous words which have been reported. and he noted that when it came to his family, they came from one of the countries which the president described and they came with little or nothing to offer, but they wanted to be part of america. they came here and made a business, made a life, made a future and brought to the senaten extraordinary member representing the state of south carolina. many of us can tell the same
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story. my mother was an immigrant to this country. she was brought here in 1911 at the age of 2 from lithuania. lithuania was not exactly a prosperous nation in those times. it was under the thumb of the russian czar and it's one of the reasons my family left. one thing my grandmother carried with her on that trip i still have today. it was a roman catholic prayer book written in the lithuanian language which had been banned by the russian government. she secreted this away in her luggage and brought it to the united states because she knew and we know that there is freedom of religion in this country. and no government was going to stop her from saying her prayers in her own language. that's my story. that's my family's story. that's america's story. what the president said in the white house last week did not recognize that fundamental truth that people just like my mother and my grandmother and just like lindsey graham's parents came to
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this country not because they were engineers, ph.d.'s, wealthy people. they came here with the desire to build a life and to build a nation, and they have done it. when we hear all this talk about merit immigration, let's have merit selection of the people who are coming to these shores, of course there's certain experts we bring in with certain visas to fill needs in business and research. but by and large, we bring to this country people who are desperate to be part of our future, and we also bring people who want to be part of their family. we hear this phrase, linked migration, that somehow or another if we bring one immigrant in, they're going to bring in a hundred. and some of them may not be desirable. what we find overwhelmingly is just the opposite is true. it's family unification. it's building the strength of a family. isn't that fundamental to who we are as americans?
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i know in my family and in many others, relatives who came in from other places really strengthened our family unit, gave us a chance to help one another and a chance to succeed. now we face a critical moment, a critical moment on the issue of immigration. i listened to the republican senate leader come to the floor today, senator mcconnell. and when he speaks of daca and the dreamers, he uses the words illegal immigration. technically, i suppose, it is illegal. they are undocumented that we're talking about. but we have drawn a distinction over the years as to what happened to these young people and why they should be seen differently. they were brought here to the united states as infants and toddlers and children, at best teenagers who had no voice on whether they were coming to this country. did they break the law by overstaying a visa or crossing the border? technically, of course they did. but should they be held culpable
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today? should we deport these young people or give them a chance to be part of our future? this is not some idle philosophical discussion. this is a discussion made real by this administration, the trump administration. it was september 5 of last year when this president announced that he was going to repeal daca, the program started by president obama to protect these young people living in the united states, 780,000 of them have enrolled, and president trump said as of march 5, 2018, that program is ended. and then he turned and challenged the united states congress, pass a law. if you don't like what i've done with this executive order, pass a law. so here we are over four months later, and the question has to be asked of the republican leaders in the house and senate, what have you done to answer that president's challenge? and the answer, quite honestly, is precious little if anything.
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the republican leader comes to the floor today and says, there's no hurry. we can get to this later. it won't expire til march 5. what he ignores is the obvious. 15,000 protected young people lost that protection during this period since september 5, 122 a day are losing that protection. fortunately, last week, a california court stepped in and said stop taking away the protection of daca from these young people. so we have a temporary stay being challenged by the trump administration, which protects these young people for now. but that protection could end in a court decision tomorrow. that's the reality of life for young people. yesterday in the senate judiciary committee, we asked the secretary of the department of homeland security, do you believe the president can extend his march 5 deadline for the end of daca? she said no. the president has said he doesn't have that authority. well, i'll trust her statement
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and her judgment on that, but further should put to rest this argument that's made by senator mcconnell that we have all the time in the world to deal with this issue. and let me tell you as of march 5, the deadline imposed by the president, as of march 5 horrible things will happen to innocent people. a thousand young people a day protected by daca will lose their protection. i had one of them at the hearing yesterday. she is a young woman who has used her extraordinary skills to apply to medical school at lyola school accepted protected daca for the first time, there are 28 of them in their ranks. she wants to be a doctor. she's helped people in underserved areas throughout her young career. but we know, everyone knows that becoming a doctor means serving a residency, working those long hours to learn what it means to
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face clients that are patients in a clinical setting. to become a resident, you need to be employed, to take that job. if this young woman who has devoted so many years of her life to her dream of being a doctor loses protection of daca, she cannot apply for a residency. she's finished. there will be no further progress in her medical education. that will happen starting on march 5 to a thousand young people a day. so i would say to senator mcconnell, the republican leader, there is a sense of urgency. we can't put this off. and the good news is that six united states senators, three of us on the democratic side, three on the republican side, have been doing what no other committee has done, no other senators have done. we've put together a bipartisan compromise that moves us forward on this daca issue. it's something that took four months and they weren't an easy four months. they were difficult. we had to debate some of the
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hardest issues and come to an agreement. i ended up giving ground on some things which i wish i didn't have to. and i'm sure those on the republican side feel the same way. but that's why we were sent here, weren't we? democrats and republicans to find a solution to the problems that face us? and this is a very real problem. so now the republican leader comes to the floor and says, we don't have time to discuss this. we've got to get out of here at the end of the week. well, i disagree with him. we have enough time to do it. take a look at this empty senate floor and tell me we don't have enough time to take care of the daca issue. tell me we don't have an opportunity to come to this floor and to bring the senators here and do what we were elected to do, to debate this issue, to vote on this issue, to solve a problem in america. this empty chamber is testimony to the fact that the senate has done precious little for the last year and plans to do just about the same during the course
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of this year. i'm proud to be a member of the senate, but i will tell you i was prouder in the day when we actually debated measures on the floor. we ended up passing legislation to deal with america's challenges and problems instead of what we face today, an exchange of speeches in an empty chamber. so we have work to do. this morning i went over to the department of defense and met with secretary mattis. i respect him. he's our secretary of defense, was a four star general in the marine corps. the man has served his country with distinction. he talked about what's going to happen to the budget of the department of defense if congress doesn't act. we told him we want to get this job done. but we also said to secretary mattis there are other elements of this government. there are other issues before us that need to also be brought forward. you heard senator schumer from new york, the democratic senate leader come to the floor and
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turn to senator mcconnell and say, why is it always a take it or leave it when it comes to these measures? why aren't we sitting down on a bipartisan basis to come up with a good way to move forward? mr. president, it's been 119 days into this fiscal year and we still don't have a budget for the united states of america. that's not just embarrassing, it's scandalous. to think that we have over a trillion dollars that needs to be debated and spent and we haven't been able to do it, and we're one-third through this fiscal year. the net result of that, of course, is to waste precious taxpayers' dollars and the energy of our elected officials who want to be applying that energy to solving problems rather than the problems that congress creates. we can do this. and we can do it on a bipartisan basis. senator lindsey graham and i along with four of our colleagues have a measure we're going to present to the united states senate. the purpose of that measure is
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to make it clear we are ready to debate. we are ready to move forward. we are ready to solve this problem that faces hundreds of thousands of young people across the united states of america. some can call it illegal immigration, as senator mcconnell has. others have called it amnesty. whatever they wish to call it, 80% of americans believe we can solve this problem. as you walk around the capitol here and the capitol buildings, you will see young people who may step forward to introduce themselves. many of them have never been to washington before. i met one yesterday who had driven for 35 hours to come here. why was she standing in the corridors of the dirksen building here on capitol hill? she's a dreamer. she's protected by daca. her whole life is hanging in the balance as to whether this congress will actually do something to solve a problem. she and others have come forward to challenge us. we should accept that challenge
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and we should meet it this week. we should say to president obama -- pardon me -- to president trump, we should say to president trump, we have met the challenge which you put forth just six days ago, eight days ago, when on tuesday of last week you said to us, send me a bill and i will sign it. i'll take the political heat. and don't tak -- don't take a lot of time to do it. we met that challenge with that bipartisan measure that we have proposed. now we challenge others on this same issue, come forward with your proposal, come forward with your idea. and if you don't, at least give us a chance to present this bipartisan measure which they have worked on long and hard to solve this critical issue. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, as we move closer to the expiration date of the federal government funding at the end of the week, there is no shortage of rancor in the air. pundits have been arguing about a wide range of issues all of which in one way or another have been tied to the fast-approaching deadline. don't get me wrong. there are legitimate issues at play this week. these debates to the extent they are focused on solutions are
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meaningful. i'm optimistic we can find solutions. i would like to talk about some of the most positive solutions with regard to the aspects of the current debate. as you know, last night leaders in the house unveiled a legislative package that would keep the government funded and some health care priorities, including a number i have been working on for some time. ip hope that the -- i hope that the house will pass this in short order and the senate will follow suit. let me talk about some of the specifics. first, the house bill would extend funding for the children's health insurance program for six years which is the longest extension since the creation of the program. and, as i'm sure you know, mr. president, i am the original author of the chip program. 20 years ago senator ted kennedy joined with me to draft the
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original chip legislation and to move it through congress on a bipartisan basis. i have maintained my commitment to the program for the past two decades, even during time when others sought to change it dramatically from its original purpose. during this congress as chairman of the finance committee, i have been working with colleagues on a long-term reauthorization of chip, despite some contrary claims that i or the republican leadership have somehow neglected or forgot about the chip program and had no intention of reauthorizing it. it's no secret that i've taken some flak from some corners here in the senate from colleagues looking to get political mileage out of the issue i have worked so hard to keep bipartisan. i'll remind my colleagues that this past september, the ranking member, senatorwide ern, and i -- senator widen and i offered
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a bipartisan bill. a number of colleagues, including some who voted in favor of that bill, seem to have forgot then legislation had been drafted and reported. we endured a number of speeches of colleagues accusing republicans of abandoning children in need. my gosh. even -- this is -- this is even though our friends on the other side were entirely aware that the bill was moving forward. the bill is identical to the one that senator wyden and i introduced last fall, except the funding continues for one year. as i noted it extends chip for six years. we have never gotten such a long extension since the creation of the program over 20 years ago. i hope my colleagues in the senate, particularly those who have been so outspoken and
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riotous in their condemnation of the republicans regarding chip would support this legislation. it would be odd to see them vote it down after all the acrimony we have endured. in addition to a historic chip reauthorization, the house legislation addressed other priorities of mine, taxes imposed by the so-called affordable care act. under the bill the medical killing device tax will be delayed for two years. this is a full hearty tax that has been criticized and condemned by members of both parties which comes back into effect at the start of this year. eliminating this tax has been an important cause to me since the day obamacare was signed into law. utah is home to some of the most innovative medical device companies and the u.s. has led the world in developing lifesaving medical technology.
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an advantage that was draft by this tax. i would like to see the medical device tax repealed entirely. until we can get it done, it is important that we keep shielding american consumers, patients, and families and job creators from the impacts of this tax. the house bill would prevent the medical device from hitting any device innovators and their customers until -- it would prevent the medical device tax from hitting any device innovators and customers until 2020. the house package has the delayed impact of the so-called cadillac tax, which was also another shot aimed at the middle class. both parties expressed concern.
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the house bill would put off the impact of the cadillac tax through 2021, and i'm hopeful this delay receives bipartisan support in the house and senate. finally, the bill would pull back the health insurance tax which is another reckless tax provision for 2019. this tax targets small businesses and middle-class consumers. there's not even a set rate for this tax, mr. president. there is a revenue target and the rate moves around from year to year in order to raise a specified amount. the results are increased costs passed along to insurance beneficiaries in the form of higher premiums and increased burdens on small businesses. the house bill will give additional relief from this tax starting in january of this year so that insurers can lower premiums before the 2019 filing period.
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so, as you can see, mr. president, in addition to keeping the government open, the legislative package unveiled last night in the house would address some key bipartisan care priorities. i urge my colleagues on both side of the aisle to support this approach. given some of their past issues, i think many democrats would have a hard time explaining to their constituents why they oppose these measures. while there are a number of health care priorities that need to be adreaded, -- addressed, i'm glad to see the house moving forward with regard to chip and relief to some of the most burdensome a.c.a. taxes. i have been working with my colleagues in both parties and both chambers. once again i hope all of my colleagues will join me in
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supporting this legislation once we receive it from the house. having said that, let me make my second set of remarks. mr. president, i rise today to speak on immigration reform. for nearly 20 years we've been talking about the dreamer population. we've been talking about border security for just as long. it's time we did something and there's a lot of desire among my colleagues to find a path forward to make a deal. but as i said as yesterday's judiciary committee hearing, to do that we need to be realistic. to my democratic friends, i say it's time to stop pushing for a clean dream act as a matter of simple political reality it's not going to happen. to my republican friends, i say we're not going to get the sun, moon, and the stars.
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we should push for the best deal we can get but we shouldn't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. so let's be realistic, and i say that to both sides, as one who has made a lot of deals in my time. here's where i am on the issue. first, we need a deal that has broad support. i hope we can get that support from both sides. certainly with the republican majority in congress any deal that moves forward must have broad republican support. and be supported by the president. second, we should be wary of false deadlines. there's been a lot of discussions that we need to have a bill done by this date or that date even though those dates have nothing to do with relevant program deadlines. we should not create a false cliff and then plunge over it in a rush to get something done right this second. a deal on daca is a deal worth doing. and it's worth doing right.
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moreover, a deal on daca should not just be about daca. third, we need a deal that's going to help our economy. our goal here should be to and strengthen our country. we do that by supporting community and families and by ensuring that law enforcement has the tools it needs to keep our country safe. but we also strengthen our country by helping businesses to thrive and create good, high-paying jobs for our workers. fourth, we need a legislative solution for daca. we can't keep kicking the can down the road and relying on dubious legal authority to keep individuals in our country. it's not fair to them and it's not fair to others who are seeking to enter our country legally. fifth, we need meaningful improvements to border security and interior enforcement. not a fig leaf, not window dressing, but real reform.
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there has been a lot of talk about a wall. for those who refuse entertain any deal, let's not amount to something that would amount to less than one-tenth of 1% of a deal. six, we need to close loopholes and reduce fraud and abuse. one area that has been particularly susceptible to these programs is the diversity visa lottery. i have long been skeptical of the program. in fact, i introduced legislation in 2011 to sunset the program unless changes were made to cut back on fraud and abuse. another area that constitutes an enormous potential loophole is the ability of individuals to come to our country illegally but then use family relationships to absolve themselves of the consequences of their illegal actions.
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i think it's a problem, mr. president, to allow people to come into our country in open violation of our laws to turn around and avail themselves of our constitutional laws to backdoor themselves into lawful status. we need a better system than that. i think high-scale immigration needs to be part of the discussion. there's been a lot of talk about merit-based immigration. well, high-skilled immigration is merit-based immigration. it's immigration targeted at the best, the brightest, and the most highly educated. next week i plan to reintroduce my immigon act, or i-squared. this bipartisan legislation newly updated for this congress will better align high school visas with market demand so that
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employers are able to hire the talent they need. they will help end our stupid practice of educating people here in the united states and then sending them back home to compete against us. and it will stop some of the troubling abuses we've seen with the h-1b program. we should welcome the best and the brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin. my i-scared act will help us do that -- my i-squared act will help douse that. our laws are a morass of conflicting obligations that reflect past congresses' pet projects and idiosyncrasies rather than any real overarching principle. i want a system that makes sense. i want a system that is merit-based. i want a system that doesn't penalize people who are brought to our country illegally through no fault of their own but that also discourages future unlawful
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entries. surely we can have a system that does both. surely we can find a path forward that is fair and just to the dreamer population but what reduces the incentive for future illegal immigration. surely we can design a system focused around economic growth rather than arbitrary allocations of visa numbers. and surely we can create an immigration policy that focuses on what individuals will contribute to our country rather than where they came from or who they in a moment in short -- or who they know. in short, mr. president, as i said earlier, we should welcome the best and the brightest in the world, regardless of their country of origin. that should be our mantras we move forward. with that, mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: mr. hatch: mr. president? the presiding officer: the president pro tempore. mr. hatch: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate recess from 12:30 -- the presiding officer: the? senate is in a quorum call. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: i ask unanimous consent that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 today. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. hatch: mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from alaska. mr.sullivan: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr.sullivan: madam president, i was just in the presiding officer chair, and i saw my friend, the democratic whip, talking about some of the issues we're looking at, in particular military spending, the appropriations we need to fund our military. he mentioned it was a priority, probably the most important thing we do here in the congress, and that they are focused on it. we should all be focused on it on the other side of the aisle. i just thought i would reply a little bit because i think the facts of what has been going on
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the floor of the senate the last couple of years would make one skeptical of that claim that that's been a focus of theirs. so let me give a few examples. and i know the presiding officer is very familiar with all of these. the last administration, 2010 to 2016, military spending was cut by almost 25%, led by the previous president, despite the fact that there shno one -- there is no one who doubts that national security needs to increase. we have cut military spending, even though there is a lot of things going around the world, but we're cutting defense spending by 25%. it makes no sense, but that's what's been going on. when i first got to the senate, one of the first things that
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happened is the previous administration decided to cut the army by an additional 50,000 troops, active duty army troops. the presiding officer remembers the spinning of 2015, a big announcement, we're going to cut 50,000 troops. that made no sense. none. so a number of us were very concerned about the direction the country was going, congress was going, the administration was going with regard to our military. now, the good news is there has been a bipartisan recognition that the cuts were way too dramatic and the increases of threats to our nation have risen to significantly that we have to do something about rebuilding our military, rebuilding readiness, rebuilding serious funding. so in this year's national defense authorization, led by my good friend from arizona, senator mccain, we actually
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authorized increased funding by up to $700 billion. that was very bipartisan. as a matter of fact the ndaa, out of the armed services committee, which i have the honor to serve, same with the presiding officer, it was a unanimous vote to move that and then it was unanimous on the floor of the senate. very bipartisan to authorize increased defense spending. okay, but we haven't appropriated the dollars. so there's a difference there in terms of authorization and appropriation. and this has been a bipartisan failure of this body for years. so how has it been working? well, we have seen how it has been working. we have giant omnibus spending bills, usually at the end of the year, and if we can't do it, we'll have a c.r., a continuing
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resolution, to keep funding the bill as is and have a giant bill with all the spending for the year. now, these c.r.'s are really, really hurting our military. they hurt all kinds of federal agencies because there's no predict antiquities acty, but the one -- predictability, but the one area that really gets hurt by the omnibus bills are the men and women in the u.s. military. as the presiding officer knows, general after general, civilian leader in the military, whether it's a democrat or republican, they come to the congress and come to our committee and see the c.r.'s are killing us. they are killing our readiness. and we all go, oh, yeah, we know it's important and then this body does nothing -- nothing. so it's not from a lack of effort. i'm going to tell a story that i
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think the other side doesn't want to remember, but i think it's really important to remember, particularly given what the minority whip had said earlier today. a number of us when we got elected in 2014, it was a big wave election, 12 republican senators came to this body, new senators, took control of the senate, and the one thing we said is, hey, we need to fix this appropriations process, which is clearly broken. we need to do it the way it was intended, not with the smashup derby giant bills at the end of the year. but we need to have a focused, disciplined approach to funding the government. how is it supposed to work? well, everybody knows how it is supposed to work. you have the funding bills, 12 of them, in the appropriations committee, a very important and powerful committee. that committee debates those for
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different sections of the federal government, they get voted on out of committee and then they come to the floor and we vote on those appropriations bills -- the 12 appropriations bills. so in 2015, a lot of us, particularly the new senators, the presiding officer is one of them, we said we need to fix this, let's do it the right way. and then we did. the appropriations committee, a lot of people don't remember, worked really hard under the chairman, the great senator from mississippi, and they produced 12 appropriations bills in the spring of 20 is a. -- 2015. real hard work. guess what, madam president. most of those bills were bipartisan. most of those bills came out of committee with strong bipartisan numbers. okay, so far so good. we're trying to focus on this and trying to be disciplined.
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but the next step is what? you bring the appropriations bill one at a time to the floor and you debate and vote on them and get them to the president to sign them. it's not a smashup derby with 5,000 amendments. we started to bring the bills down to the senate floor. guess what happened. the next step, guess what happened. the minority leader, that was harry reid back then in 2015, he decides to filibuster every one of those appropriation bills. every one of them. whoa. why? we said, certainly he's not going to filibuster things like the appropriations bill that came out of committee, unanimously by the way, that funds our military. we've got troops in combat, we
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have threats all over the world so that came out of committee. let's at least vote on that one. let's at least vote on the appropriations bill that came out of committee unanimously to fund our troops. so what happened? the other side, led by the previous minority leader harry reid, no, no, he filibustered funding our troops. let me repeat that. he filibustered funding our troops on a bill that was already out of committee unanimously when our troops were at war. so when i hear from my colleagues on the other side, no, we really care about funding the troops, i get a little skeptical. a number of us are quite upset about that. we went to our leader and said, hey, let's keep which aring -- bringing this up.
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i guarantee the people back home in any district in the country, whether you're a senator who is a republican or democrat, if their constituents knew that they were filibustering funding the troops for no reason, they would get a little upset. so we brought that bill to the floor over the course of a couple of months five different times -- five different times -- to dry to get the singular appropriations bill to fund our military that was passed out of the appropriations committee unanimously a vote on the senate floor. guess what. the other side filibustered it five times. now, madam president, you and i were down here on the floor with a bunch of our colleagues making the argument that this is outrageous and then we canned the other side, -- and then we asked the other side, come on
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down and tell the american people why you are filibustering the troops. why? come on. a lot of what goes on here -- a lot of people like to do the process thing where they don't think people are watching, people in the gallery, people on c-span, and they never did. they never came down and said here's why we're filibustering funding for the troops five times in a row. never did. they didn't want their constituents to see it because they knew their constituents, whether they were democrats or republicans, were going to be like, you're doing what? you're filibustering the appropriations bill for the men and women who are fighting to defend our nation. that's what you're doing. that's what they did. never explained it. never explained it. so, again, when i hear the minority whip saying, oh, we really care about funding the troops, i get a little
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skeptical. i'm still waiting for the answer, why did you do that? so what we need to do, madam president, as you know, is that we have a system right now that is broken. the budget system -- the way we fund the government right now, i think it's a bipartisan failure. the normal way we appropriate and authorize is not working and it leads to what we're doing right now, these giant omnibuses, these continuing resolutions, and i think that for some, because it has happened so long, these year-end smashup derbies where essentially the leadership in the house and senate side, democrat and republican and the white house go off somewhere and make a deal and come back with a
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huge deal and it's not how the country is supposed to work and it's not doing our country justice. the good news is that there are a number of senators, particularly a number of new ones, democrats and republicans, led by my friend from georgia, senator david perdue, are looking at a bipartisan way to fix this problem. right now the way we fund the government, the way we have these end of the year smashup derby massive,000 page -- massive 1,000 page omnibus and then do another c.r. and another c.r., which impacts our military negatively, and other elements of the government, we need to do better, madam president. and i'm going to work with my colleagues who are focused on this. it's not going to be easy. a lot of people like the smashup
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derby approach, but it's not worthy of the american people we're supposed to represent. i yield the floor. madam president, i have 12 requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: madam president, president trump and the republicans have been in charge of the white house, the house of representatives, and the united states senate for nearly a year now and under their control these three institutions have formed a bermuda triangle, if you will, for any kind of meaningful legislation that will help average americans. they devoted most of the last year to a destructive attempt to eliminate health insurance coverage for 30 million americans before pivoting to a
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partisan tax bill that benefits the powerful and costs trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars that could be spent many ways including enhancing our military equipment and military personnel. but that $1.5 trillion was dedicated to tax cuts to the wealthiest americans, by and large, not to the men and women of the military. and this tax legislation will also leave 13 million americans without health insurance. so contrary to the president's declaration through the campaign that he's got a great plan that will cover all americans, 13 million americans have lost their coverage. and now congress is two days away from a government shut down because, again, the majority and the president appear uninterested in governing, which means compromise, it means working on policy together with both republicans, democrats, to deal with the real priorities
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like jobs, education, infrastructure, and national security that are essential to the american people. the press has been focusing on the trump caused immigration crises has caused republican dilemmas at the moment. finding a solution for the dreamers is very important. a poll cited by "the washington post" this morning said that 82% of voters, including almost 70% of republican voters, believe that there should be pa path to citizenship. this immigration crisis, it is not the only unfinished business before congress. republican leadership's failure to make the effort early on to deal with some of the issues that are now facing us directly and affecting millions of americans. just think about some of the
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issues. since september, nine million children who are covered by the chip program have essentially been going month to month on their health care coverage because the president and this congress hasn't passed a 10-year extension that actually saves taxpayers money. and community health care centers are such a vital part of our health care system, more than 25 million americans use these centers, and once again their fund something in limbo. -- funding is in limbo because the program has not been reauthorized. then there's the bipartisan alexander-murray bill to provide greater stability to private health insurance markets. again, from a president who claimed that he had a great plan to ensure all -- insure all americans much better than the affordable care act, there's been no movement on this important aspect of improving private health care insurance for americans. we're about issues like the
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flood insurance program? we saw devastating floods hit florida and texas. we know they're coming again. in fact, last year was the largest year in terms of government expenditures for storm damage that we've seen, including some of the wildfires that raged in the west. we know the floods will come again, and yet a program we have -- flood insurance -- is woefully underfunded. but that's not been dealt w and then at the heart of what so many are talking about are the lingering sequestration caps that jeopardize defense and nondefense alike. indeed, the way these caps are structured, our national security is jeopardized if we don't raise both defense and nondefense spending. because under the category of nondefense is the state department and other critical agencies. and without funding, they won't be able to protect the country,
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along with our defense department personnel. and we have sought over many, many months a balanced solution to provide the resources necessary to cover the gamut of government programs for the benefit of all americans. as i mentioned before in terms of flood insurance, we have american citizens in puerto rico -- they're all american citizens -- who along with the people of texas and florida and california, because of their wildfires and recent floods, they desperately need additional help. and we should respond. and just as an aside, one other proposal the president made in the campaign was for a really big infrastructure program, $1 trillion. he was going do that in the first 100 days. well, a year later we're still waiting. but in that time, we have seen $1.5 trillion being dedicated to tax cuts before anything else,
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and there's very little room left, given our physical icle situation -- fiscal situation, for the robust kind of efforts that he promised within his first 100 days. and once again, the issue that has captured the imagination of so many, it's the issue of the dreamers. i mentioned before the president decided that he would remove protections for these individuals, 800,000 of them, a few months ago -- last september, creating a crisis that need not have been created. and we know that the american people want these young people to get a chance to stay here. they are working. they are serving in the military. they are going to school. they are contributing to this community. and the president of his own volition decided he was going to create a crisis. and that crisis is now weighing heavily on us because if we
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can't resolve this issue, there's a danger that these young men and women could be immediately or very promptly removed from the country. and we've been talking about this for months, but that's there's no progress. we thought -- and again i was very impressed with senator graham's testimony before the judiciary committee, we thought on tuesday we had a solution because on tuesday the president was talking about love and comprehensive reform over immigration laws and working together. in fact, he was flanked on both sides of senator durbin on where you side, representative hoyer on the other side. well, that was tuesday. come thursday, it seemed to be a different president. a different president in tone, a different president in terms tof willingness to cooperate. a different president in terms of bipartisanship. we just hope that before too
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long president tuesday returns because we don't want a shu shutdown. we want in fact a comprehensive solution to our problems. now, when it comes to the particular issue of the dreamers, as i've suggested, both senator graham and senator durbin have done a remarkable job working together in that good-old-fashioned bipartisan way of finding a good middle ground in which we can provide some sense of security for the dreamers, we can provide what the president wants -- border security; we can think about a first step toward comprehensive immigration reform. that's the way we like to think this as soon as senate this house and this government would operate. they've done their part, but they were met, as i said, thursday with just unpredictable rejection and a tone that is not presidential but far from that. now, we've got to get that job
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done, and i hope we can do that. and we have all heard the compelling stories of these dreamers. they've come in to -- they've come in to visit us. they've talked about what they're doing. they've talked about how they want to continue to contribute to the country. and, again, i think we have to do that for them but also because they provide a significant economic contribution to this country. the center for american progress has indicated, if they lose their right to work lawfully, it could reduce our g.d.p. by over $433 billion over the next decade. and that's going to be a blow. it would be $60 million over this decade to my home state of rhode island. so not only is it the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do in terms of our economic well-being as a nation. now, it's still possible to
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break through this deadlock. it's not over till its over. it's a famous quote. we still have time, but not much time, to provide for appropriate relief for the dreamers, to provide a funding for our national security -- that's defense and nondefense functions; to raise the caps so that we can deal with this; do it hopefully not just for a short period of time but for at least two years. but another sort of "kick the can down the road" i think is going to be unscenarioable. another -- unacceptable. another couple of more days, even with an inducement here and there, a nod at some of these policies that have not been act waited yet, but i think that would be the wrong approach. i think we have to sit down an get it donald trum -- and get i. this agenda has been the president's agenda, not a
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democratic minority agenda. that's what happens when you control both the president, the house and the senate. you set the agenda. some sort of argue that we should have been talking about infrastructure in january, last january. some should have argued that we should have been talking about budget caps last january and have a situation where we would be passing budgets on time. some of the complaints of my colleagues -- and i hear them -- is that it's not just the fact that the funding isn't sufficient; it's the uncertainty of funding that affects our readiness in "the federalist," -- in the military, that affects our ability to deal efficiently with problems that face americans. so this agenda has been an agenda that, as i mentioned, we're preoccupied. just fixated on taking up our obamacare, and that failed.
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and they were it shifted, not to infrastructure, not to our budget problems, not to other factors, but to tax cuts. and $1 .5 trillion of deficit was incurred. again, if you look at some of these military programs, for example the whole reinvaguevation -- reinvigoration of our nuclear postures it's been estimated over a decade or more to cost in the vicinity of $1 trillion. i think people can ask very sincerely, former defense advocates, if we're going to borrow $1.5 trillion, why don't we use it on military equipment the? that we know we have to improve? why are we giving it and proportionately for the richest americans? that i think are questions that were resolved by the president and the leadership here in the senate and the house.
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we're here because i think most americans want to get things done. they do, as i suggested by my polling numbers from "the washington post," they want to see the dreamers have a path to freedom. they want to see people in texas and florida and puerto rico and the virgin islands get the help they need because of a natural disaster. they want health care for children, the chip program. they want these children to be able tok to community health centers because that's where a vast majority of them go. they want to go ahead and ensure that these things are accomplished. so now is the chance to govern, and the levers of government are clearly in the hands of the republican president, republican senate, and republican house. and those levers should be moving for the american people. with that, madam president, i would thank you and i suggest
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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 utah. mr. lee: i ask unanimous consent to suspend the quorum call and complete my remarks notwithstanding the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. lee: madam president, our founding fathers knew and understood well what it was like to live in a dangerous world. when -- dangerous world. when america was founded, we were threatened by foreign adversaries. the military might of the united states was feeble compared to the great powers of that day. and yet the founders insisted on
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a constitution that would protect the civil liberties of the american people. they knew that it was possible to defend the homeland and americans' rights at the same time. it still is. the war of independence was fought in part because king george iii abused general warrants that let his officers snoop through the papers and property of law-abiding subjects. the abuse of general warrants and abuse of things like writs of assistance prompted the american people into action. that was part of what ushered in the american revolution. the fourth amendment to the coons using to was -- to the constitution was put in place specifically to replace these very kinds of liberties and to protect the american people against this very type of snooping. the fourth amendment does this
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by prohibiting unreasonable searches and seizures of americans' persons and property. the very wording of the fourth amendment itself recognizes that this is part of what our security means. it's not just that we're protecting privacy, we're protecting privacy by protecting our security, to make sure that we are secured in our papers, housing and effects. the fourth amendment requires search warrants to be limited in scope and to be based on evidence-adducing probable cause that a crime has been committed. those warrants also have to be particularized so that they are not open-ended so that they can't be applied to any and every circumstance. criticses of the -- critics of the fourth amendment complain about it from time to time as an
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annoyance. some people refer to it as a security threat in and of itself. this is wrong. our nation's history should itself be enough to be convinced that the fourth amendment is no annoyance. it is a safeguard in a vast, powerful and frequently overreaching government. think about how much more powerful the government has become in the age of super computers and the internet. the kinds of abuses by the founding generation will be repeated on a greater scale if we're not vigilant in checking the power of government. last night this body, the united states senate, voted to close debate on a bill to reauthorize section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act. this program may sound dry, it may sound inconsequential or
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uncontroversial to many people's lives, but supporters and critics who are familiar with it often agree that it's anything but. fisa's section 702 authorizes the intelligence community to spy on suspected foreign terrorists. not many people are troubled by that aspiration. the intelligence gathering that this authorizes is a valuable taskern it's one that -- task, and it's one that protects the homeland from bona fide threats from outside the united states. however, section 72 allows connection of citizens who communicate with foreign suspects. once the intelligence community has collected this incidental information about americans, domestic law enforcement can
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access the information for their own investigations without first obtaining a search warrant as contemplated under our constitutional structure. in other words, fisa's 702 opens a backdoor to government spying on american citizens. this incidental spying is a different matter all together and it does implicate the fourth amendment, certainly the spirit of the fourth amendment if not also the letter thereof. it is profoundly worrying that the government maintains vast amounts of information about americans no matter how it is collected. it is likewise worrying that the government cannot or will not say, specify, list exactly how many americans have been subjected to government snooping under this provision. surveillance programs like this one may be implemented with the best of intentions, and i'm
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willing to assume for purposes of this discussion, that they are, with the best of in -- they are with the best of intention here. but they themselves provide the material that overzealous bureaucrats can use to snoop on anyone the government doesn't like. when we speak of the united states, when we speak of government agencies we are not speaking about a force that can only act for benevolent reasons. our governments, by necessity, are run by fallible, mortal individuals, no matter how patriotic might be the goals underlying this law or the agencies that implement it. at the end of the day a human being is in control of each and every action taken under this law. so maybe you might say the subjects of this type of
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government surveillance are, in fact, overwhelmingly threats to the government. but can you guarantee that is the case? and if that is the case today, can you guarantee that it will always be the case. can you guarantee that next year or a few years from now that will also be the case? what if the next time the subject is a critic of the government or perhaps the subject is a petty political enemy of someone charged with implementing this statute? history cannot reassure us that this or any other surveillance power will always be used for good. it's not difficult for, -- for that matter to fathom scenarios where this could come out. imagine a political candidate who will is disliked by an
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authority to do a backdoor search of a section 702 database. imagine that someone with political authority and decides to look for dirt on that will political candidate and finds dirt on that political candidate and decides to leak that information unlawfully accessed by this individual acting pursuant to this program. now, this might be against all sorts of departmental protocols, it might be against the policy of the same agency charged with administering this statute, but the fact that we can't rule it out, the fact that it's not clear this couldn't happen ought to be concerning to every single one of us. the only check on this frightening power is the fisa court which rules in near total obscurity about what the government is allowed to collect. i say the fisa court is the only check because congress certainly isn't acting like a credible check on this authority.
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not long ago the house anded us a bill that would reauthorize fisa section 72. i'm sorry -- 702. i'm sorry to report that many of my colleagues are forcing this bill through as is in the same condition as we received it from the house of representatives without a single change from the bill that the house sent us, without any amendments to protect americans against warrantless backdoor searches by the government about u.s. citizens on u.s. soil. i believe that americans' fourth amendment rights are worth much more due diligence than that. instead of simply rubber stamping fisa 702 through the bill that the house sent us, this body could have strengthened it by voting against cloture which would have opened up the bill for amendments. to be clear, a vote against cloture would not -- would not
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have been a vote against fisa section 702. it would not have ended the program or jeopardize our nation's ability to spy on foreign terrorists. in fact, as far as i know not one of the members of this body that voted against cloture would even support such an outcome. not one of us, as far as i'm aware, would like to see fisa end. what we would like to see is for amendments to at least to be considered, to be debated, to be discussed by the people's elected representatives in this body, to make sure that we have achieved the proper balance between the power the government desires and the security and prycey of the -- privacy of the american people. a vote against cloture would have allowed this body to improve fisa section 702 through a legitimate amendment process, one that we, unfortunately, are being denied this week.
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you see, one of the reasons why it's important as we consider this to allow for amendments is that this law comes up for reauthorization only so often and i think the american people legitimately would expect that when it comes up we would have an open, honest debate and discussion and that we do more than simply rubber stamp what the other chamber has already passed, that we ask some difficult but important questions about the rights of the american people's rights to this program. had we voted down cloture, had we voted to not end debate, this would have given us an opportunity to protect american safety and their constitutional rights, not one or the other. it wouldn't have put us in this awful hobson's choice scenario where you've got to choose to protect one or the other.
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so what, you might ask, might some of these possible changes to section 702 of the foreign intelligence surveillance act have looked like? they would look a lot like the provisions contained in the proposed u.s.a. liberty act which senator leahy and i introduced last year. it would tighten the standard that the government must meet in order to collect and access information on you pursuant to section 702. this safeguard and any of the other provisions contained in the u.s.a. liberty act would be worthy additions to fisa 702. these chairntion would not restore -- these changes would not restore it overnight. it would take many more battles with the entrenched interest of government to achieve that, but they would be steps in the right direction. if history is our guide, any
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unlimited, unaccountable power we hand to the government ultimately will be used against the people. in fisa section 702 the government has a vast rant of power, a digital aged general warrant to hold untold cara biets of information -- carabytes of information of american citizens. i hope we can vindicate what the founders so clearly knew, that our safety does not have to come at the expense of our rights, that our security and our privacy are not at odds with one another but that our privacy and our security are one in the same. our security is part of our privacy and visa versa.
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we can protect both. we can walk and chew gum at the same time. we can honor the constitution and protect the radio rights of the individual while simultaneously protecting the security of the greatest civilization the world has ever known. we can do better and we must. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate will stand in recess until republican leaders have proposed
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another temporary spending plan through mid february on the glaciations continue on board wall funds and immigration reform. live coverage when the senate returns at 2:15 p.m. eastern on c-span2. former senate majority leader abdul received the congressional gold medal from house and senate leaders in recognition of the former presidential candidates service, a soldier, and statesman. c-span2 have live coverage. you can see begin at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. looking into revising congressional earmarks and federal spending in the federal spending bill. tomorrow members will hear from state and federal experts who will share their opinions. watch the second part of this hearing live at 10:30 eastern on c-span3. this weekend the c-span cities tour takes you to newport rhode island with help of our communications cable partners will explore the rich literary
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life and history. saturday at noon on booktv will visit redwood library the nation's oldest working library. >> the metaclasses been the centerpiece. it's our dna. it literally has become our central nervous system. when it prospers the whole rest of the economy prospers. and when it doesn't, what it tends to do is create a barbell affect where the two uncertainties are. if you people get really, really rich, and the poor get really, really poor. and the balance between these two, the key fulcrum position is the middle class. >> sunday at two p.m. on american history tv here about newport history as the largest slave trading port in north america. >> in 1639 over the course of the next 100 years, newport would grow to be not only the
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most active ports in british north america but it also became the most active slave port. between 1705-1805 newport and their agents along with other merchants in rhode island were responsible for nearly 1000 slaving voyages from rhode island to the west african coast and back. they transported about 100,000 africans back to the new world during that 100 year timeframe. >> watch beginning saturday at noon eastern on booktv on c-span2, and send it to be on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates as we explore america. >> the federal government faces a possible shutdown friday night. republic and leaks have proposed a short-term package of funds to keep the government working into the middle of next month. house members will debate tomorrow. the senate may also take bill tomorrow. while the congressional debate
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over funding the federal government. life kept the us house on c-span, the senate on c-span2. you can also watch online at or listen with the free c-span radio app. house speaker paul ryan is calling on democrats to back the bill preventing a weekend government shutdown. wisconsin republican declined ts if enough republican votes to approve the bill. speaker ryan tells reporters he will not bring separate immigration legislation to the house floor and less president trump supports it. here's a look at that briefing. >> good morning, everyone. because of the tax cuts and jobs act we continue to more good
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news across the country. americans are optimistic, confident that they're going to see better, higher-paying jobs. families across the country are seeing their energy bills come down, as utility companies are cutting rates and in february an estimated 90% of americans will see their take-home pay decrease. as i travel around eastern washington and i hear about families, those living paycheck to paycheck, this is making a big difference. it's making a a big deal and minnesota's second district where congressman jason lewis is from. he just to earn a home depot and was talking to some of the employees at home depot about the impact of the tax reform on them and they were excited about increase paychecks. they're excited about being able to pay and save for their mortgages, college tuition is really make an impact for them in their pocketbooks. so despite the out of touch rhetoric that we are hearing from the defenders of the status quo this isn't armageddon.
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it is in crumbs and it isn't pathetic. it's real relief for hard-working men and women that this country has been seeking. the tax cuts and the jobs act was really an opportunity for the democrats to join us in delivering bigger paychecks to the american people. and as they struggle to explain why they didn't support this overall, long overdue overall of broken tax code, our focus continues to be on a better future for all americans and families. this week we will also consider the born alive abortion survivors protection act. this is about kids, babies that are born alive and historically received bipartisan support. i'm excited up welcome families that a trout from eastern washington for the 45th annual march for life. we are also continuing discussions on government funding. reauthorization of ship and assuring our men and women serving on the front lines that
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this very moment has the resources that they need as the terror threats continue. these are really our most basic and fundamental responsibilities that we had serving in the house. and i call upon the democrats to stop the obstruction, stop the games and join us in getting it done. with that i will turn over to congressman lewis. >> thank you, kathy. looking for i am congressman jason lewis, minnesota two and it is wonderful to be a to talk about the single most important thing happening right now in america. but enough about the minnesota vikings and a playoff game on sunday. let's talk about tax reform. we have history on our side. you look at the 20s and the 60s and the '80s. every time we get this rising tide when labor and capital come together and increase productivity in the private sector. yesterday i was at the home depot and i was talking to the manager and he was talking about
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how wonderful it would be for home depot. you know the people that were really excited? the associates of home depot. because they engage in profit sharing. they are stockholders, 401(k)s are going up. in the tax bill we even the balance between equity financing and debt financing, they will get more share of ownership in this opportunity society. that's what we've done with this tax bill and thus what the at home depot were excited. that's why ddn, another company in minnesota two, they publish something called the progressive farmer. try to get them to change it to conservative farmer but that's a long call. nevertheless, the progressive farmer publisher just gave $1000 bonus to 700 employees right there in minnesota two. we've seen $1 billion in bonuses to 1 million people. all of which we were told before we pass the tax cuts and jobs act that couldn't happen. we went back to the jimmy carter malaise days. we reached the pinnacle of growth. we are not growing going at 1.r
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1.6%. we are going at 3.3% and going to 4%. that's what this is about. getting beating which is backup to to where they should be. $1000 bonus is not a con. in minnesota two the average human get a a tax with cut of $3800. what is that, 3.5 crumbs? i don't think so. that's a vacation, retirement, retirement, a college education. the minority leader said was plain offensive. this is working. later this week we will continue the job. will not shut the government down. we'll keep it open and reauthorize chip and repeal and medical device tax that is hurting minnesota big-time. then we will send over the senate and they will have to decide, the senate democrat whether they want to shut the government down. i don't think they will. they shouldn't. i like to think this team behind me for remaining firm on this. to come in as a freshman on the budget committee and help get this resolution out and help as the greatest tax reform in three
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decades, that's a good first term and i'm proud to be here and proud to do it. thank you. >> thank you, thank you, jason,d luck with the vikings. that was an unbelievable game. every day we come turn on the news and what do we find? more employees are getting bonuses. said more than 2 million. there's one part as you see these more than $1 billion put out. there's there's something more than that's happening. at times that we find just as baltimore gas and electric lowering their rates, passing on the tax benefits to all their customers. then what did we find last week? not only were bonuses going out but raises so people were getting more. the minimum wage was being raised in so many companies. but maternity leave now is longer for thousands of americans. that's much different than a crumb or armageddon. that is at beginning of
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america's come back. i know we are challenges before us this week. fund the military. it is at a deadline. the children's health insurance program, chip, to times when voted to move that office floor but both items the democrats have not only said no, they with their members to hold them back. we have states that are being challenged for their children's health. this is not a time to play politics. i know a lot of things have been said in the process. i am committed to solving our problem when it comes to daca, order security, and chain migration. throughout this week and i talked to all the players. i talked to cornyn, durbin. i even talk to schumer and that doctor steny hoyer. our staff have continued to meet. today the principles will get
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together. we want to be able to solve this problem. but the deadline this week is about the military and about the children. i hope when we go to the floor to have the vote to continue to have government-funded, that it don't look across and see what i saw the times before. watch the leadership on the democratic side, the same person who believes these were comes to the american public actually holding her members back. even those who want to vote for it but would not release them to vote for it into republicans had passed it. i would like to see us work together to solve america's problem. >> i, too, want to wish jason good luck. if the successful i'll have to find some new jokes about the vikings. in respect. look, after hearing the good news in recent weeks, there's one thing that is undeniable and
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that is taxi from his boozing america's economic confidence. company after company has been announcing we are having increased bonuses, increase wages or renewed investment all because of tax reform. i was at my sense basketball game on sunday and they uaw worker from the chrysler plant said this would give me $4000 in my paycheck. i thought this was only for the rich. i guess that's me now. this is working. it's just the beginning. at the heart of this law is really an lower tax burden for american families who are going to start seeing this relief very bracing. last week the treasury department announced it is adjusted it about the irs takes of peoples paychecks to account for this new law. it's estimated 90% of wage earners in america will experience an increase in your take-home pay starting as soon as february. let me say that one more time. 90% of america's workers will see increased take-home pay as a
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result of the tax law starting in february. this is incredible. the typical family of four earning the meeting income of $73,000 will see a will see a tax cut of $2059. that's more money to pay down the mortgage, save for a rainy day fund or taking kids on vacation. this is real relief for real americans especially more than half of whom claim and safe and show their living paycheck to paycheck. another benefit. it's a low energy cost. where i come from its pretty cold right now. your energy costs are very high. what we are seeing as all these utility companies are now saying they are passing through the tax savings onto the ratepayers. if you're low income, living paycheck to paycheck, if you have a hard time just heating your house, this is real relief that's real tangible. we are seeing evidence that the tax bill is working in so many ways. lower energy bills, bigger
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paychecks, more jobs, more bonuses, maternity leave. this is exactly why we did this so we can approve peoples lives. it's one more point and kevin mentioned this. according to the pentagon just last year, we lost more american military members who died in training accidents accident thn combat last year. and we have combat across the globe. these deaths may have been preventable, and all points back to the deterioration of our readiness and are military resources. funding for modernizing the army has been cut in half in just the past eight years. navy sailors are putting in 100 hour work weeks in less than half of the aircraft are capable of flying. the number of fatal accidents or those result in the loss of aircraft for the marines have doubled in the last decade. we have reverse this trend. we have to stop putting these lights lives at risk and we have to fix our national security. and that's why it's baffling to
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me that democrats would be willing to block funding for our military over unrelated issues. i used to think the democrats thought the schip was bipartisan. that shows health insurance is a bipartisan bill. this was written by republicans and democrats. we have passed this extension twice this year. we will be bringing it to the fore again this week, because real deadlines are occurring this friday and the real deadlines that occur this friday are our men and women in uniform, and showed self-insurance insurance in many states that will run out of money. so that is what it is unconscionable to me they would block funding for our military or cut off funding for these dates it really will lose the funding for chip by playing these political games and tying them to unrelated issues. questions? >> could you just give us a general timeline how you see immigration debate playing out? obviously it will be done this week before the deadline but you see -- >> i think that's a deadline where all operating on, march 5
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i think. look, these are talks that are occurring in earnest. we want to fix daca. we want it fixed daca in a balance race we don't have the same problem down the road. that's just pure common sense. that means i daca solution that involves security measures that make sure we don't have another daca problem down the road. that's purely common sense pick the majority of americans see it that way. it's perfectly reasonable we address this any more comprehensive way. what kevin described to you is a fact that our leaders are meeting to discuss these things. good faith negotiations are underway, and to push that aside and try to jeopardize funding for things like schip and our military, to me makes no sense. you'd never have asked the question at these things. you not have one? i always look for you. all right, all right. >> mr. speaker, yesterday steve
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bannon agreed both republicans and democrats alike on house intelligence committee after the white house invoke executive privilege that he should not answer questions during the transition during his time at the white house. is it appropriate in your view for the white house to invoke executive order -- >> unethically with exactly what happened yesterday. i've been busy with other tasks that there has always been a tension on executive privilege between blood separate and executive branch. this goes back to administration of obama exercise executive privilege. bush did, clinton did. that is a typical tension you will have. i don't know -- >> should ban -- >> i don't know the specifics on it. i really don't. casey. >> do you have enough republican votes to keep the government opened this week? can you look at a dream in the eye and promise in that you put a stand-alone bill to help them regardless of -- >> look, we've been very clear we want to see i daca solution. but a daca so just got to be about a solution.
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it to be solution that also not just treat the symptom which daca is but the root cause of the problem in the first place. look, i feel that it makes no sense for democrats to try and bring us to shut down, , to try and cut off chip funding for the states are running out of money like minnesota and washington and kentucky and other states. so i think cool let's hope we will prevail on this thing. [inaudible] >> do you agree with scott walker that last nights results in the special election in wisconsin were a wake-up call to republicans? and is a evidence that a potenl wave election happen in -- >> i know the district attorney will pick a sobering western wisconsin but typically we have held the seat and we lost the seat last night so i think we should pay attention to. >> last question. >> last month leadership said you just needed need a few mors to negotiate a cap deal and i daca deal. are you confident that all you need this time --
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>> look, i think the caps still is very close anything the democrats are holding out because of these daca negotiations. the fact we are in earnest in negotiating in good faith with our leaders on daca speaks to the fact we want to see a solution, that we want to get this thing fixed. it's got to be a balance bill. we will not bring i daca bill that the president doesn't support. what point would it be if we don't have a signed into law by the president? this has to be balanced. this isn't a one-way street. it's got to be balance. it's got to be bipartisan and president has to support is for this to occur. the president is being completely rational and that you want to fix daca what you want to address the root cause problems so a dive a daca problem the future. i also think the caps deal is in our interest. i think it should be done and can be done but for people to hold up funding for our military over these and related issues and for deadlines that don't even exist this friday, that makes no sense to me.
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the federal government has many responsibilities, but it's first and foremost primary responsibility is to provide for the common defense. and when you see a situation where more men and women in our military are dying in train accidents than they are in combat, it's the serious situation. and to block funding for our military with a friday delight over unrelated issues just makes no sense to me. it's wrong. >> do you get the solid field with the present stance on these dreamer negotiations though? >> i live picture from the white house briefing room. today's briefing with spokesman sarah sanders set to begin shortly we will have live coverage when he gets underway on c-span2. right now though house democratic caucus chair congressman joseph crowley warned that


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