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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 18, 2018 5:48pm-10:16pm EST

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that is i think it's going to create a toxic environment in washington, d.c. that it's not only going to provide all the uncertainty that i talked about on the prior slide, but it's even going to alienate people who are coming to the table trying to negotiate a bipartisan agreement. so now we're at a point to where we're trying to figure out if we can fund government either through a vote sometime tomorrow or a shutdown tomorrow night. what i find interesting, and i've only been here for about three years -- i've been in politics for about a dozen years. i find it interesting how things change overnight, how things that were untenable and awful a couple of months or couple of years ago are justified today based on the disagreement that we have on the daca deal that i'm convinced that we will get done before the march 5 deadline. and i hope a lot sooner than that because there's a lot of young men and women, good people, kids that came to this nation through no fault of their own, through a decision made by an adult, who deserve a path to citizenship, who deserve the
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respect of this nation and who should welcome them because there are a lot of good kids. and i'm going to keep on working on a solution. but now i've got people that want to distract us, not only distract us from trying to negotiate a reasonable outcome from daca, but add to distraction and create the toxic environment that shutting down the government will cause. if you go back, what's amazing to me is the very people who are now saying we should shut down the government made these kind of statements in the past. this is from former speaker pelosi, minority leader in the house. not too long ago it was an unthinkable tactic to use in a political debate. there's a long list of people. senator nelson, you don't hold the country hostage. but that's exactly what they're proposing today. senator king, the constant hostage-taking situation to get something that the process -- that in the process you can't get through the normal process. it's a hard quote to read. but the point is now they want
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to take hosges. now they want to to do exactly what they thought not long ago was inappropriate, unkind, unfair, uncompassionate. then we have senator heitkamp, it's really bullying behavior when the small minority does this. well, i think it will be a minority that will oppose funding the government. so now people who didn't like the bullying behavior are trying to rash nalaxone it that -- rationalize that it's okay. we've been getting close on a funding discussion and daca. i can't speak to y'all directly, but if i were speaking to the pages, i would ask them whether or not they saw the peanuts cartoon because there's a common thing that we talk about that lucy and the football. you've seen the scene where you're running down, think you're about to kick that football and just about the time
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you're going to do it, there's a group of people here that want to pull the football away. that's what they're doing again. honestly, you know, it gets tiring to see us come so close, to have so many reasonable-minded people. now, guess what? there are unreasonable people. it's a bipartisan situation we have here. we have, i have friends, they are friends of mine, but on certain issues they become unreasonable. they're not part of the solution. but all of a sudden they create these coalitions and they are the lucy taking away the football from those of us who just want to score, want to actually make progress, want to fund the government, want to actually provide a solution for the daca population. but now we've got another lucy in the football scenario on both the spending bill and also the daca bill. now i also have to talk about the chip program. the clip -- chip program is something i wanted to reauthorize since september of last year. september of last year was the
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month before the program technically expired. however there was sufficient money in reserves for states to run the program. those states are starting to run out of money including states like mine in north carolina. now we have an opportunity to reauthorize it for years, to provide certainty to this child population for years. and we're going to hold it hostage because we have an honest disagreement over things that i think we can work out with the daca program. we see what people have said in the past. in fact, one of these senators has had a countdown on how many days we failed to authorize daca. it may very well be when take the vote tonight that very same senator is going to actually vote against multiyear authorization for the chip program. that doesn't make sense. it's i are rational. it doesn't solve anything. it creates a bigger problem when it comes to the funding discussion and when it ultimately comes to a reasonable outcome for the daca population. and then finally, we can talk about the words of the
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democratic leader. and again, it's amazing to me how things have changed. so, did you believe what you were saying then? or what position you're taking now, is that who you really are? people need to come to the floor and let me know. is this what you really meant or is your new position what you really meant? you can't have it both ways? in politics people try to, but you need to say something and stick with it. they need to defend which is their really position. if it really are the positions of the past, let's pass the spending bill, let's work hard on getting daca done and stop this theater that's not helping anybody. all this is doing is making people work who rely on governmental funding, worry who rely on government funding, and making the daca population even more worried. every night they go to bed thinking they're one day closer to having illegal status here. the speeches you see on the floor about the dreamers, the people doing it well -- most of them are, going to school,
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working, serving in the military, i believe every single one of them. and there are tens of thousands, hundreds ofhousands of more examples. that's why i'm so motivated to come up with a solution and that's why i'm so frustrated we're playing these games when we're so close. so, now let's talk about daca. there is a so-called gang that's putting together a bill. let me back up and talk about a meeting that i attended in the white house last tuesday. the meeting i had the prior thursday where republicans met with the president and said mr. president, the way for us to get to a solution is to call democrats and republicans into a room, members of of the house and senate, have us air our differences and then agree to a time line for negotiating the deal that we can bring to the american people and solve this problem. we asked the president, and he responded by calling a meeting on that tuesday. some people may have seen it. it was about 15 minutes of press
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coverage. senator grassley, the chair of the judiciary committee who just came in here, was a part of that meeting. and we all felt great about it. we aired our differences. we agreed to four different pillars that we would use as a basis for negotiation. come up with something that the daca population needs. something close. something compassionate. something very similar or something between a bill that me and senator lankford and senator hatch proposed. bridge the differences. we were making progress. but we knew we had to deal with things like the diversity lottery and border security and what some of our colleagues call family unification, which has been abused. and it needs to be fixed. others call it chain migration. at the end of that meeting, we agreed that what we needed to do waos have -- was have the leade, the whips of the house and senate, the democrats and republicans, agree to a timeline and a schedule, and then get
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together and work out our differences. i for one think most of those meetings should have been open to the public because then i think the public would raoeldz raoeldz -- realize we're not that far apart. unfortunately we're a week and a half later and the parties have not even reached an agreement on a schedule to begin the negotiation. now we have another group of people that say we've got something that's pretty close and we may file a bill, or you need to get on to the bill. let me tell you the problem i have with that bill. or the concept of a bill. number one, hast b in introduced? no. none of us c really talk about the specific provisions because we don't have something that we can score, that we can look at, that we can understand the benefits and the risk and the issues associated with it and whether or not we can get the votes. the question is does the bill have the support of the president. i think you saw what was vetted on thursday which was not specific provisions. that meeting last week didn't go too well on several different
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levels. but we don't have an agreement. the other question is if you don't have an agreement with the president, you have to understand the process of the congress. if the president were to veto the bill, we're struggling to get 60 votes. but now we'd have to get 67. does anybody here honestly believe we'll get 67 votes to withstand a veto override. we've got it to get back to this one. get the president behind it because that's not going to happen. and even if that could happen, then we have to go to the house, and you can't think about a simple majority of the house members. you've got to think about a supermajority of house members that would override a presidential veto. right now based on the number of members who are in the house, there's a couple of open seats, that's 288 votes. that isn't going to happen. that's not a very good score card. it's not a recipe for success. i'm one of the ones who want check boxes next to a bill that the president supports, that the senate will get 60 votes and the
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house will get more than half so that we can solve the problem for the daca population. so i hope, and theupbgdz happen quickly here and hopefully this is another example where they will, i hope that my republican colleagues recognize that voting against the funding bill is a bad idea. how do you work out of a shutdown? almost certainly it will not end well. so i hope my republican colleagues will vote for the spending bill, and i hope a majority or a good number of my democratic colleagues will so that we get the spending issue off the table. and then i hope that same group of people will come together and recognize that the gaps are not that hard to bridge for the daca solution, that the border security measures are reasonable, that the changes and the elimination of the diversity lottery and a more reasonable way to allow merit-based immigration makes sense. we can deal with underrepresented countries to make absolutely certain that the
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good, hardworking people from those countries who want to come and live and work in america can do it. this is not a difficult thing to do. it's almost as if people are going in the back room trying t fireow to make this more difficult than iteally needs to be. bu i'm telling and imploring the members of senate, whether you're a republican or democrat, vote for funding the government. vote for our soldiers. vote for our veterans. vote for our children who require these programs, who are desperately in need of certainty. and then quickly get on daca. and vote for the dreamers who need our support. vote for border security so that we can know who's coming across this border and we can make the nation safer. these are commonsense, rational and reasonable expectations. and if we lower the temperature here, if we treat people with respect, and if we actually not let the polar opposites impact what those of us in the center want to do, then we can avoid this crisis and we can do great
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things for millions of people. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from iowa.
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mr. grassley: thank you. before i speak, because senator perdue wants to speak right after me, i ask unanimous consent that senator perdue, assuming he shows up before i'm done, that he be the next one in line to follow me. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. grassley: i come to the floor today to offer remarks about an issue of utmost importance to this body and to the american people -- the continued ongoing negotiations over the future of the deferred action for childhood arrivals, or daca. i should explain to people the justification for these young people. the children were brought here by their parents. their parents crossed the border without papers, violating the
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law, but the children cannot be held guilty for the sins of their parents. so that's why we feel it's very legitimate to do this humanitarian thing of legalizing daca children. not in and of itself, but as you have heard from my colleague from north carolouill hear from other people the necessity of making sure that we have border security, that we have -- do away with chain migration and that we also do away with diversity visas. this is the scope of negotiations that ought to be going on to get a compromise for the humanitarian reason of giving these daca young people certainty. those four things were narrowed at the white house a week ago tuesday.
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not the famous thursday meeting that you have heard so much about last weekend, but the meeting of 23 republican and democrat members of both the house and senate. so when you get a bicameral, bipartisan group of people together with the president and you want to do that because you want to make sure when you reach an agreement the president will sign it, it seems to me that that's significant moving forward. but things tend to take different routes around here, and i am here because of some routes that i think are very puzzling at this point. pretty much along the lines of what the senator from north carolina just stated. just last week, speakingo my colleagues, iold this body that we still wen't any closer to a legitimate and fair deal that promotes or protects the
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interests of the american people in the lawful immigration system, and at the same time what's very important is providing a fair and equitable solution on daca, but we also want to take care of the interests of the american people, particularly the safety of the american people when it comes to criminal aliens. now, since i made that speech a week ago, we have made some progress in the meeting that went on at the house of representatives -- or i mean at the white house that i just told you about. in spite of many events over these past two weeks, the pronouncement i just made that we don't have a legitimate and fair deal on one hand to protect the american people, on the other hand to deliver the humanitarian ends that we need
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for the daca kids, that pronouncement still holds true. unfortunately, immigration is becoming the groundhog day of the united states senate. democrats and even some republicans keep repeating the same mistakes that we have been making for the past 30 years. they don't seem to be learning from them. i should probably tell my colleagues what i've learned in those 30 years, that 30 years ago when i voted for an immigration bill, the last great big reform of immigration, we had three million undocumented people here in good faith. we thought we secured the border this way because throughout the history of the country from the beginning, it would have never been illegal to hire an illegal
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alien, and for the first time we made it illegal for our employers to hire somebody that's undocumented. an takg the magnet to come to this country if you couldn't be legally hired we thought would secure the border. we legalized three million people. we didn't take into consideration a whole industry of false documents where if i go to an employer and show him a false document and they believe it's a true document, then they are not guilty of hiring me even though i'm technically a nondocumented worker because i'm using a fraudulent document. so then what happens when you reward illegality? you get more of it, and so
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instead of three million people that we legalized, we now have 11 million american issue is what i have been -- 11 million person issue, is what i have been told. so we don't want to repeat those mistakes, and that's why besides legalizing daca kids, border security is so important and doing away with chain migration because one of the bombers in new york was over here on chain migration, the terrorists. he was just about ready to -- he didn't kill anybody, but he injured a lot of people. and then we have another person who was over here on a diversity visa that killed eight people and injured 12 driving down the streets of new york. so we have a major problem we
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have to take care of. and the president is very interested in taking care of this problem as he enunciated in that tuesday meeting that was bicameral and bipartisan. and narrowing the issues so it's easier for us to reach an agreement here. instead of dealing with 100 things, get four taken care of. daca, border security, diversity visas, do away, do away with chain migration. so we don't want groundhog day to happen again in the united states senate because it's been happening quite frequently in the last 30 years when we thought we could solve this problem once and for all by making the magnet for peopleo
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come here for jobs, taking that away we will secure the border. well, you can understand 30 years later why the president wants a wall and more border security. now, in the recent days, several of my colleagues formed what can best be described as a poor man's version of the gang of eight. a gang of eight is affiliated with the very bad bill that passed in 2013 called comprehensive immigration that went nowheres in the house of representatives because it was unrealistic. these six senators have decided that they and they alone will come up with a solution to the daca crisis, and now they are demanding that their solution and no other solution receive a vote or they will shut the
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government down. midnight tomorrow night. that's right. these senators, along with many democrats, are threatening to shut the government down unless this plan gets a vote. surely if these senators are willing to prevent basic services from being provided to law-abiding, tax-paying arin citizens and legal immigrants, their plan must be something that could garner wide bipartisan support, pass the house and be signed into law by the president. as far short of those four things that were agreed to we can go tuesday, bipartisan, bicameral meeting at the house of representatives -- i mean at the white house. so what's actually in this grand plan?that these senators have
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come up with? well, as of today, neither i nor my staff have actually seen text of the bill they're promoting. why are they threatening to shut down -- a shutdown of the federal government over a bill that almost no one has been given a chance to read? and why are they threatening to shut down government when there is still plenty of time? deadline, march 5, to come to a meaningful solution that can earn bipartisan support? well, here's what we do know about their proposal from one-page summaries. the bill would provide a massive amnesty to millions of people who are in this country
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unlawfully, before border security, making the same mistake we did in 1986. their proposal doesn't just provide status to the young men and women enrolled in the daca program, which everyone in this chamber agrees should be done. it dramatically expands the scope, granting legal status to potentially millions of others, including those who knowingly violate the law. it's unthinkable to me that we should reward that unlawful conduct, and it's ridiculous that democrats and some republicans are turning the tables and making this a last-minute demand when there was such a successful meeting at the white house a week ago
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tuesday, bipartisan, bicameral with the president leading the discussion and everybody agreeing that we would narrow the 100 issues down to four -- daca, border security, diversity visa and ending chain migration. now, surely then in exchange for this massive amnesty, their proposal would provide significant border security, enforcement, and chain migration reforms. if you were hoping for that answer to be yes, don't hold your breath. their proposal has a paltry amount of funding for existing border security, and that would be infrastructure improvement. that's right. no new infrastructure.
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their proposal also doesn't add new legal authorities to make it easier for law enforcement to appear hend, to detain, and to deport just anybody. no. dangerous criminal ail -- aliens. i think they're somewhat embarrassed that they don't have proposals in there that dangerous criminal aliens ought to be deported easier than they are today. so i have to ask is there a reason why these senators don't want to make it easier to remove these dangerous criminals? do they want to protect sex offenders? do they want to protect child molesters? do they want drunk drivers, gang members like ms-13, human traffickers and drug smugglers
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roaming throughout this great united states of america? i can't imagine the answer to any of these questions is yes. if i'm right, then they need to tell the american people why they refuse to give our government the new authorities needed to remove these individuals who have endangered our communities. they either support removing dangerous criminals or they don't. you know, there's no going in between. their plan also fails to truly end chain migration. in fact, in that one-page document i've seen, these senators acknowledge their chain migration fix would only affect 26,266 visas per year. that's right. just a little above 26,000.
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so in exchange for a potential amnesty for eight million people, they've agreed to eliminate 26,000 visas a year. i'm no mathematician, but that doesn't seem to be a very balanced agreement to me. they seem to be making the same mistakes i made in 1986. finally, their proposal doesn't even end diversity visa program. now remember, this was one of four agreements in a bicameral, bipartisan meeting with the president of the united states that everybody left the white house with an agreement that we were going to bring within those four. this diversity visa program, we all know is subject to fraud and abuse. and colleagues on both sides of the aisle have long called it, called for its elimination.
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and i mean elimination, not reallocation. the proposal that they're floating around doesn't do that. to sum it up, this proposal is heavy on amnesty, learning nothing from the 1986 mistake that i've learned a lot from. too bad that there's only a handful of us around the united states senate from that time, because there would be a lot more missionaries saying what happened in 1986 shouldn't be repeated. and also, more importantly, it's nonexistent on security measures. that approach has been tried time and time again, and that approach has failed. the american people simply don't want to provide a massive
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amnesty first and secure the border later. for those members who think that we can do amnesty first and security second, i think i made it quite clear, i think that's the wrong approach. and i know because i've been there, been here a long time and i've been there at the time the mistakes have been made, and we know that they failed the goals that we sought. and i remember why it failed. maybe, just maybe if we actually provide safety first and then consider more comprehensive reforms later, we can break this repetitive cycle and end this constant immigration groundhog day. and maybe i ought to add to
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those four points that were agreed to at the white house, the president was promoting another step or two called comprehensive immigration reform. but get this done first. secure the border first. so if we actually provide security first, doing so would instill trust with the american people that we're dedicated to fixing this immigration issue, not simply delaying the same debate. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. perdue: thank you, mr. president. you know, as an outsideer to this process, one of the first realizations was that as i got here, things don't always move
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in a linear fashion from point a to point b. many times the people who are trying to move an issue from point a to point b aren't interested in getting to point b. i'd like to talk tonight about one of those issues, mr. president. i think that we have a situation here where both sides in this body -- and i dare say in the house -- pretty much want the same thing. but i'm afraid that politics have gotten involved to where we are focusing more on the differences of what we might hope for than on what we agree upon. that's a shame because not only do we put a great confusion on these issues that i'll talk about tonight, but we lose the confidence of the american people that we can even govern up here. last year this president wanted to focus on getting the economy going. he wanted to focus on energy. he wanted to focus on
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regulations. he wanted to focus on tax. check the boxes, we did that. and i believe we're seeing some of the why are many manifestations of that in the economy now where 123 businesses just announced at the end of the year, year-end bonuses related to this tax bill that we passed last year. so it's an example of where we can get together and make things happen. but i was in the chair last night presiding, mr. president, over an hour and listening to a conversation about a topic that i believe is very critical to where we are today. i heard several descriptions of a daca bill, but a bill that no one's seen yet. it hasn't been presented. this is nearly one day before we have to fund the government, before midnight tomorrow night. in my opinion, i think most people in america believe that's irresponsible that members of this body are threatening to shut down the federal government
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over this daca issue. members of the other side of the aisle used to agree with that position. in 2013, the current minority leader said -- and i quote -- " and other people have talked about this today,, quote,, we should say we're shutting down the government until you pass immigration reform, it would be governmental chaos. well, that's what we'reing tonight. and i just don't think there's any need for it because honestly if you want to solve the daca situation, there's a deal to be done. but serious negotiations aren't be made right now because one side wants to create this issue and threaten to shut down the government thinking they can get both, a financing deal that they favor along with this daca proposition. that's unfortunate. our men and women in uniform, mr. president, deserve better than that. you're an ex-officer, you know what i'm saying. it is absolutely ridiculous that we're in the fourth month of this fiscal year, in the middle
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of january -- our fiscal year started october 1, mr. president. it is absolutely ridiculous we're sitting here today having not funded the government permanently for the balance of this year. no other entity that i know of anywhere in any business or any facet of operation can do that except the united states federal government. these two issues that we're talking about have nothing to do with the other and should not be tied together. that is the daca solution and funding the federal government. given our global security crisid crisis today. i think the world's more dangerous than any time in my lifetime, mr. president. i can't think of anything worse than to tie up the funding for our men and women in uniform with an issue like this that we all want tolve anyway. i'm shocked that democrats would advoca we shock down the government over a bill no one has seen yet and an issue that has nothing to do with getting the government funded. creating a false deadline for a daca solution, i believe, and
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using it to hold military certainty hostage is no way to govern. i think most people back home agree with that. that's what's wrong with this institution today. we need to, both sides need to is to it but right now we need tpo get to a vote and fund this government. i'd like to make a few comments about the current immigration system. it seems to be the topic of the day recently. well, i want to tell you that some of us have been working on this for years. some people in this body have been working on it for at least the last decade. three times in the last 11 years, mr. president, this body has tried to solve this problem unsuccessfully. i believe one of the problems to each of those solutions or attempts at solutions were they tried to be comprehensive. people are misusing that word when they talk about what we are trying to do on this side. these three attempts over the last 11 years attempted to solve not just the legal or illegal
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situation, mr. president and the temporary work visa situation, but they also tried to solve the legal situation. they tried to solve all of this. today what we're trying to do on our side is to solve just the legal immigration system before we even talk about daca. the legal situation is this, 1.1 million green cards are given out every year to date. that is up from 300,000 in 1965 when this bill that was the law we operate under today was first passed. 300,000 up to 1.1 million today. what we believe, that if we get this done, then the next step would be to move to the temporary work visas where we give out 2.2 million temporary work visas every year. and those need desperate work, mr. president. both sides agree to that. some categories problg need to be increased, others need to be streamlined. there might need fob a new category created. but that needs specialty work. then of course we have to deal with the people who are here
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illegally. remember, 40% of the people here illegally, mr. president, or thereabouts came into this country under a temporary work visa or a student visa or a, some other form of temporary visa. and overstayed their visa. we're one of the few countries in the world that can't track overstays. but that's not what we're trying to do here. we're trying to bring focus to an issue that will stop this continuing evolution of immigration problems. i believe that there's a better way and there is a proposition to do just that. there was a meeting in the white house last week, mr. president, on tuesday. and the president started out that conversation. it was bipartisan, bicameral. you just heard my colleague from iowa, senator grassley, talk budget. as pa -- talk about this. as part of the meeting i was moved by how the president
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introduced the topic. he said with regard to the daca situation we need to develop a compassionate approach that demonstrates love in dealing with these young people who are here illegally but through no fault of their own. the president at that meeting defined the scope and brought a sense of urgency to this topic. he undid what we believed was an illegal act by the past president in giving work status to these individuals and said now, this president, president trump has said this is the responsibility of congress to put a law in place to deal with this. i agree with that. but let's be very clear about what's going on right now, mr. president. we are not debating what to do with the daca individuals. mostly aged 15 to 36. my colleagues spoke last night act as though they are the only ones commitsed to solvi the daca problem. that is not true. people on both sides of the aisle in this body and in the house believe we need to solve this problem. these individuals did not break the law. their parents did.
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we all agree there's a solution to be had. again, the question is whether or not we're going to solve daca without dealing with the things that created it in the first place. the president was very clear last week, and he has been consistent on this issue as has those of us that have been working on this over the last year, this new focused approach on legal immigration. the president made very clear that the scope should include any solution on daca has got to include border security, including a wall, an end of chain migration, and an end to this perverse diversity visa lottery. if we don't actually solve what created this we're going to be right back here in a few years, and that's the problem i have with the bill that's being discussed here, the so-called graham-durbin exercise. i just, i just don't know why we would do that and knowingly put ourselves in the same position in just a few years. haven't we learned our lesson from what we did in 1986 and
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1991? we know kicking the can down the road on this is not going to give us any solution. but we have an opportunity because we have commonality here in this body about what we need to do going forward with not only the daca situation, but this legal immigration system. ere's a great deal of commonality of thought. i've done deals in the business world and when you get this level of commonality, a deal should get done. there's a lot of cemetery if we -- symmetry if we can just talk to each other and put political issues aside. if we give daca recipients a pass without further security to a wall, we are incentivize a new wave of illegal immigration. the president has said this publicly. it's not necessarily a 2,000-mile wall, but it is a system of constraints where we are protect our border.
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it is -- there have been two acts of terror in recent months. the plans i heard last night don't address that seriously. a $1.8 billion allocation is not a serious attempt at that. when the dreamers act, the estimate back then in 2013, the cost of doing that was $26 billion. today who knows what that estimate would be. it has to be greater than that. the second criteria is if we're going to solve the daca problem and the issue and going forward, we have to deal with how to protect the primary worker. we m protect the immediate family of the person who is sponsored. i believe there is a great deal of confusion about that. this is the so-called chain migration. there is nothing derogatory
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about that term. this was the term used by the gang of eight. the ranking member, the democratic leader, and the whip of the democrats right now all used these terms. there was nothing derogatory and nothing prejudicial about that term. it was a mere description of what happens in the current law. the current law says that the person sponsored for citizenship comes in as a legal permanent resident and over time they can become a citizen if they apply. as a citizen, they can then sponsor their spouse, immediate minor children or their family, their adult married children, their adult unmarried children, their parent and their siblings. the only thing we're talking about, mr. president, is limiting that to the primary worker and their immediate family. and that would break the so-called chain ascribed by our members across the -- as
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described by those across the aisle. 70% believe it should be limited to the individual worker, their spouse, and immediate family. the only difference between that -- ethos is that family and the siblings. whose family are we protecting, the family of the worker, or their parents' family or parents, parents siblings family? which family? i believe the american people have spoken loud and clear about which family. there's a significant portion that believe it should be just the worker, but that's not our position. we believe we should protect the family-that immediate worker. there are some who are trying to get to a merit-based system that canada has proven works, helps their society, builds their economy and opens the doors with a welcoming hand to those who
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want to come. canada is no bastion in their immigration policy. we're happy to wait till phase two, which the president talked about last week and people have discredited his words and confused them knowingly. what the president is talking about right now is focus on the legal immigration system, solve daca, solve the border crisis, eliminate the chain migration issue and the diversity visa lottery. the last is so easy. we know it needs to be eliminated. the question comes up in their bill they want to reallocate the 50,000 people coming out today. we know it has been related to one act of terrorism and it needs to be eliminated. how to do it is the question. let's talk about that. there's no reason why that can't be negotiated, mr. president. but the graham-durbin bill
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ensures that we will be right back here in a few short years. when we want is to give the solution on the daca side and protect america from repeating this mistake again and again and again. let me be very clear. if we do what's on table today in the graham-durbin bill, it would allowed the parents of daca recipients legal. it would put other children at risk as they come across the border illegally. thank god most of us have never had to deal with that. imagine putting your children at risk and coming across the border illegally. but according to this precedent, they will be given legal status and be able to sponsor their parents. here we go reigniting another way. we have not done anything to being right back here a few
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short years from now. i believe times for action. my colleagues, last night, talked about, welshing nobody else has offered up any sliewghtses. with, that's not true. there are three republican senate bills that relate to this issue, active bills, that have been filed. the language is out there. you can read them. there is one bill in the house. the chairman of the committee brought a bill. it is not true that we don't have things to talk about on the republican side of this issue. what is missing is a good-faith effort to negotiate the deals and make it happen. to make an end run on the process is not going to work. i don't believe it and i don't believe the american people want it. what they wt is to solve daca and ensure we're not doing this again in a few short years. this means we need an investment in border security and put a
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focus on the immediate family and the sponsored citizen and incoming family and end the outdated diversity visa lottery. the solutions are here, mr. president. i might not be 100% happy, they might not be 100% happy. but i promise you in my experience that this is closer to a negotiated deal right now because both sides want to see an end to the situation where there's a question about the daca recipients, but we want to make sure we're not back here in five years or even sooner dealing with the same problem again. that's the lesson we should have learned from 1986 and 1991. mr. president, it's an honor to be in this body, but it's time for action. it's time to get to point b. we know we have b trying for other a decade with many members in this body well intended. i, for one, is ready to negotiate. the president is ready to negotiate. let's make this happen. it is time for action.
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the american people demand it. but let's please don't tie this to the funding of the government. our men and women in uniform deserve better, mr. president. with that, i yield the floor and note the absence of auorum. e presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator for south dakota. mr. thune: mr. president, is the senate in a quorum call? the presiding officer: it is. mr. thune: i ask that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. thune: mr. president, democrats here in the senate have really raised obstion to an art form in this congress, presidential nominees they've obstructed and obstructed some more, even when they plan toll ultimately support -- plan to
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ultimately support the nominee. we have had many nominees come to the floor that have been objected to and we have gone through the long post-cloture process only to get to the end of it and have those nominees be voted out, in many cases, unanimously. i have seen that happen. the committee i chair, the commerce, science, and transportation committee, we have nominees that are noncontroversial held up by the democrats, many of whom are important in our government. the f.r.a., the federal railroad administrator is being held up by the democrats even though he is supremely qualified for the job and would have a huge bipartisan vote here in the senate were it to occur. we have seen this consistent pattern of obstruction when it comes to nominees and giving the president an opportunity to fill out his administration with positions that are key to not only him getting his agenda done
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but the american people seeing his government function in a way that represents their interest. tax reform. well, democrats absolutely refused to work with republicans on a bill, fought hard against passage, despite the democrat that democrats had previously called for reform and supported many of the very proposals that were included in the law. of course now democrats are threatening to shut down the government and block funding for the children's health insurance program, a program that they claim to support because they are not happy that they are not getting an immigration bill that they want this week. that's right, mr. president. democrats are threatening to shut down the government and block funding for health insurance for niern million low- -- nine million low-income children because they are not getting the bill they want when they want it. well, mr. president, members on on the other side of the aisle are -- on both sides of the
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aisle are looking to have legal status for those children brought to this country through no fault of their own. there is broad support for that. in fact, there's a group that has been meeting every day on that very issue in an amendment to try and put together a solution that would help address that issue in a way that not only resolves the status of these young people who came to this country illegally but also addresses the broader issue of border security and chain migration and visa lotteries and all those sort of things. there are a series of issues related to immigration being worked on now on both sides of the aisle in hopes that they can come to a solution about that. but there's no agreement just yet. and while we hope to get to a deal as soon as possible, the deadline for reaching an agreement is not imminent, not to mention that passing a bill on the status of dreamers is
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completely unrelated to the need to fund the government. if the democrats continue with their plan to block government funding, the government will shut down tomorrow night. that means that all kinds of government services will be affected in areas ranging from veterans to public health to worker and product safety to national parks and monuments. funding for our military will also be threatened which represents a particular danger as we try to rebuild our military after years of neglect under the obama administration. and, of course, as i mentioned, the children's health insurance program will not get funded and nine million low-income children will be well on the way to losing their health care coverage. mr. president, the children's health insurance program extension that we want it pass as part of this bill is something that has long been supported by democrats. in fact, the policy in this bill is virtuallyo the
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bipartisan extension legislation that was introduced by senators hatch and wyden and passed by the senate finance committee earlier -- i should say last year except that we included an additional year of funding. i served as a member of the senate finance committee. when we passed it, it was a five-year authorization. the one that we will have in front of us this evening includes a six-year reauthorization of the children's health insurance program. that would mark the longest extension of the children's health insurance program since the program was created back in 1997. it would provide six years of guaranteed funding so that care for children and pregnant women can continue without disruption. it's extremely difficult, mr. president, to understand how the same democrats who have strongly advocated for this program are now opposing legislation to extend it and seeking to shut down the
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government. in fact, mr. president, democrats are now actively bragging that they have the votes to shut down the government. well, mr. president, nobody things that the short-term funding bill before us is ideal. we would much rather have a long-term agreement and eventually we will, but this bill will fund the government. it will protect the military. and it will provide a very significant extension of an essential health care program for low-income children. the democrats' intention of opposing this bill because they are upset because they can't get exactly what they want, when they want it is irresponsible, given the good-faith efforts that are being made by both sides to come to an agreement when it comes to the issue of immigration. and when it comes to the issue of broader funding debate we're having here in the senate.
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mr. president, this attempt by the democrats is just totally short is this sighted. it is a partisan political maneuver that will harm our troops and some of the most vulnerable among us. we still have time before the government shuts down, and i hope that the more moderate elements of the democrat party here in the senate will rethink their leader's opposition to funding the government and to extending health insurance for low-income children and for pregnant women. that's what we're talking about. that's simply what ts does. there is still time to come together pass this bill a understand to me on to the other -- and to move on to the other important priorities that are facing our nation, mr. president. and i hope that cooler heads will prevail, that people here in this chamber will come to their senses and that we can pass a funding bill this evening that would avoid a government shutdown tomorrow, would fund
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for six years the children's health insurance program, and set up the conditions that would allow the discussions to continue about how we resolve some of the outstanding and unrelated issues that are still -- that still need to come to a resolution. so, mr. president, that is my hope. i hope our colleagues will on both sides come to the realization that this idea that's being put forward by the democrats and for, which as i said, they're take being credit now of shutting down the government is really a bad idea and not in the best interest of the american people nor those children, those 9 million children who would benefit from a long-term extension of the children's health insurance program. mr. president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. leahy: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: madam president, i ask consent that the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: you know, madam president, to paraphrase a republican president i enjoyed knowing, here we go again. in 1995 the republicans shut down our government. they wanted to recklessly cut education and environmental programs. they even wanted to raise medicaid premiums on millions of senior citizen and they were willing to shut down the government to do it. of course more recently in 2013, republicans once again sought to strip the health care of
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millions of americans. they want to shut down the government in the failed effort to repeal the affordable care act. actually, as an effort, they continued this summer, instead of negotiating a bipartisan deal, they would rather we be in the silly situation that we find ourselves in today. actually, go back in history to 2015, republicans continued their attack on health care by bringing us to the brink of yet another government shut down in an attempt to defund planned parenthood even though planned parenthood offers health care to millions of americans. millions of americans, tens of
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thousands of vermonters in my state trust and depend on planned parenthood for their basic health care needs, including annual health exams, cervical and breast cancer screenings, h.i.v. screenings. it's terrible that they might provide that care to amerins and they tried to shut down the government because of it. also in 2015 the republicans began their attack on dreamers. they attempted to shut down the entire department of homeland security, the part that protects our skies, our borders and everything else. they were risking our national security because they wanted to block, the dreamers bill -- block dawrks the dreamers -- daca, the dreamers bill. now, if these were talking points or political ploys, that would be one thing. let's take one thing, the 2013
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republican shut down dealt a devastating blow to economic growth. an estimated $1.5 billion from the state of a size of vermont, and that is a lot of money, $1.5 billion for each of the days of the shut down and there were 16 of those days. that's economic growth we lost we'll never get back. hundreds of thousands of federal workers are furloughed through no fault of their own. a combined total of 6.6 billion days. lifesaving research on cancer, on diabetes, on heart conditions ground to a heart. the doors and fences at our iconic national parks and monuments that americans have always relied on to go and see,
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they were shuttered. now in 2018 the president -- president trump -- wants to shut down the government over a cynical and mis-begotten big, beautiful wall. and he wants that big, beautiful wall, whatever it might be, to be paid for by u.s. taxpayers, not mexico. he's using the dreamers as negotiable commodities, as though they're some kind of money instead of people. to meet his unreasonable demands, to allow us to spend $18 billion on last century's decknology after he promised us -- technology after he promised us, taxpayers, it wouldn't cost us a cent because mexico would pay for t if he really believes that, open a bank account. let mexico send the money. when they send the money, we'll build t way. i mean, be serious.
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he said they'll build it. now he wants the american taxpayers who are strapped on so many things to build last century's technology. let mexico send us the money. when they do, we'll build it. if he's telling the truth, they'll send it. if he's not telling the truth, of course they won't. but he's also just continuing in the republican tradition of being the shutdown party. now, we had some very responsible republicans and democrats in the house and the senate. i've not heard a single one ever them saying we need a good government shutdown. i take it back. one republican has. donald trump -- the real donald trump, not pretend, but a real donald trump, said our country needs a good shutdown. that's the only person i've heard, republican or democrat, say they want a shut it down.
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i wonder if that's what he's now asked his own party to angle for, a manufactured crisis. i can say this as the vice chairman of the appropriations committee, i know that democrats have been ready and willing to negotiate a spending agreement since way last june. instead of working toward that goal, congressionalepublican leadership spent t last year overturning consumer protectio protections, they stripped health care for millions of americans, they removed protections against activities in the workshop that endanger women, they passed a massive tax cut for big corporations and wealthy americans, they paid for -- being paid for by middle-class americans and future generations because it adds trillions to the deficit. but during that time, they continued to kick the can down the road. they failed to do their jobs to
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pass sensible spending bills, to keep our government open. they've cast aside congress' fundamental responsibilities in pursuit of a hyper partisan agenda. now, we've -- as a result, we haven't reached a bipartisan budget deal that would allow us to strengthen our military. that's something both republicans and democrats want. we haven't reached a bipartisan budget deal that would allow us to invest in our communities, something i believe both republicans and democrats want. we all agreed to that the consequences of conservation would be devastating. every republican and democrat i talk with say they had had do. but we have to invest equally in our military and our communities, because our naonal security is intrinsically linked to the investment we make in our communities, everything but education and health care. we're the greatest country in the world exactly because we
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make a commitment to invest in education, infrastructure. we back off on that commitment, we're no longer great. we provide the necessary resources to combat the opioid epidemic. and we strive to ensure no child goss school hungry. but if we go have defense and nondefense parity in spending, we want achieve these goals. we've not passed a comprehensive disaster relief package that takes into consideration the unique needs of puerto rico and the u.s. virgin islands. these are americans, american citizens. they've been living without power, without access to clean drinking water, in communities devastated by natural disasters for months without adequate help from their own company, the united states -- their own country, the united states government, and people are dying. the dreamers, who are american citizens in every way but on paper, have been thrown into crisis, a crisis of president
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trump's own making, a crisis that threatens to tear them from the only lives they've ever known. remember, the president is solely responsible -- not members here but the president -- for creating this untenable situation faced by the dreamers. the president all b himself acting as a party of one rescinded the daca policy. now, we have a path forward put together by republicans and democrats to meet the requirements the president laid out himself. but he instead, he continues to favor governing by chaos and continues to move the goalpost, he continues pushing the agreement further out of reach, he continues to say our country needs a good shutdown so much for the art of the deal. i would never hire somebody to make a deal like that.
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the latest effort to kick the can down the road, which republicans passed out of the house this evening, does not address any of these issues. it's an attempt to address the needs of the children's health insurance program. it's public relations, but it's inadequate. and, based on the president's own twitter feed, which i get dizzy trying to follow, goes in and out of favor with the president hourly. why does the bill only extend chip for six years when extending this program for ten years would actually save the taxpayers -- save the taxpayers -- $6 billion? why are community health centers, which millions of americans and chip recipients depend upon for their primary care not extended? why don't we protect americans -- americans -- and their companies? and most importantly, why was
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this program allowed to expire and used as a negotiating pawn in the first place? the republican leadership, led by the president, has brought us to the brink of a government shutdown. now, i've been here a long time. i've looked at a lot of good legislation and bad legislation. and i want to say, the most charitable thing possible about the house bill because i know the respect we show back and forth. madam president, the house bill is a joke. and is it does not have my support. it leaves too much undone but attempts to address is woefully inadequate. if the majority now wants bipartis support, y not d as we always used to - work with democrats? instead of appealing for our support only after they've written a mishmash, laughable bill crafted behind closed doors.
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now, i've been here over 40 years. i understand reality. the republicans control the house. the republicans control the senate. the republicans control the presidency. if republicans want the government to stay open, it'll stay open. if republicans want the government to shut down, they'll shut it down. i wish they'd stop i canning can the can down the road -- i wish they'd stop kicking the can down the road and start garting in good faith, as senators in both parties have been willing to, pass decent appropriations bills, pass the bills before us, keep our government open, and show respect to those who live here in this country who consider themselves americans. madam president, i ask consent to add other things, if needed, toed record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. leahy: madam president, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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mr. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: madam president, the house has sent us a bill that would be an easy yes vote for every senator in this chamber -- an easy yes vote. this bill continues government funding, prevents a needless shut down, and extends a key health insurance program for vulnerable children for six
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years. its content is bipartisan. there are no provisions that any of my democratic friends oppose. it's a simple step that will let us continue bipartisan talks without throwing the government into disarray for no reason -- no reason. americans are surprised this is even a debate. i don't blame tm. i share their surprise. that some democratic senators see the prospect of a government shut down for more than 300 million americans, to see a possible lapse in health coverage for nine million vulnerable american kids, and are tempted to hold all of that hostage -- all of that hostage -- until we resolve a nonimminent problem related to
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illegal immigration. the surprise is compounded for anyone who listens to the public statements of my democratic colleagues and take them at their word. less than a week ago, the senior senator from colorado was asked whether it was prudent to shut the government down over the issue of illegal immigration. he insisted it was not. last month my friend, the senior senator from west virginia, had this to say, that i'm not going to make 300 million people suffer because i can't get the process working the way it should. the junior senator from virginia put it even more clearly. this is what he had to say. he said i will exercise every bit of leverage i can, but if
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there is a vote that will lead to a shut down, that is where i draw the line. he said. and not more than two days ago the senior senator from missouri said she wasn't interested in drawing a line in the sand because, quote, that's how negotiations get blown up. well, i hope their votes this evening reflect those recent statements. now, some of my colleagues say they are reluctant to support this measure, not because of illegal immigration, but simply because they are tired of continuing resolutions. they point out that this is a sub optimal way to fund our government, especially our war fighters. that is precisely why republicans worked hard all last month and all this month -- all last month and all this month -- to try and negotiate am
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spending -- long-term spending cap agreement that would bring stability back to government funding. but, madam president, the democratic leadership made it clear they would not be serious about these spending talks until this unrelated immigration issue was solved. so now, unfortunately, a continuing resolution is the only option our armed forces have this evening. let's not pretend for a moment, not a moment, that our men and women in uniform and their families benefit from a government shut down. this is how we got here. my democratic colleagues demand on illegal immigration at the behest of their far-left base have crowded out all other important business -- crowded it all out -- over the issue of
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illegal immigration. and now they are threatening to crowd out the needs of veterans, military families, opioid treatment centers, and every other american who relies on the federal government. all over illegal immigration. there's no imminent deadline facing the daca program. congress h at least until march to arrive at a bipartisan solution that is acceptable to republicans, democrats, and the person who needs to sign the bill, the president of the united states. do veterans, opioid treatment centers, and the families of fallen soldiers need to suffer until a compromise is reached? democratic senators fixation on illegal immigration has already blocked us from making progress
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on long-term spending talks. now that same fixation, that same fixation, has them threatening to filibuster funding for the government over illegal immigration. now, years ago, my friend the democratic leader, described how it would be to shut down the government over immigration. he said it would result, quote, in governmental chaos. that's my friend the democratic leader a while back. but earlier today on the floor he insisted that we put every other american priority on hold -- put it on hold -- until we resolve immigration. only then, he said,an w work onefense spending or domestic spending or chip or disaster
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relief. all of that on hold over the issue o illegal immigration with no imminent deadline and only needs to be addressed by march. well, that's apparently how our democratic colleagues rank their priorities. it's not how i would rank mine. i don't think it's how many of our colleagues on either side would rank theirs either, but we'll have a chance to find out in the coming days. it's certainly not how the american people expect us to act. i think the american people clearly would not expect us to act this way. the bill before us is an opportunity to correct course. it is a chance for my colleagues to remember that we represent millions and millions of
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american citizens. the american people want the federal government open for veterans, military families, and the vulnerable. they want food and drug inspections to continue without disption. they want deathenefits to continue to families of rvice memrs killed in action. they want families and low-income children to continue receive income through schip. they want a sensible solution on immigration. but they cannot for the life of them understand why -- why -- some senators would hold the entire country hostage until we arrive at a solution to a problem that doesn't fully materialize until march.
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military families, veterans, and children benefiting from the s chip program don't need to be shoved aside, don't need to be shoved aside while we continue good-faith negotiations. so we ought to pass this resolution, and we ought to get back to work. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: i will have more to say after this vote on the motion to proceed which democrats will support, because we want to move forward. we want to get something done. we don't want to keep kicking the can down the road. but i just had to answer the leader briefly. the leader is looking to deflect blame, but it just won't work. we all know what the problem is. it's complete disaray on the
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republican side. the bottom line is very simple -- our leader, our republican leader, has said that he will not negotiate until he knows where president trump stands. that's why negotiations haven't gotten anywhere. let me quote him. here's what the leader said just yesterday. i'm looking for something that president trump is going to support. and he has not yet indicated what measure he's willing to sign. he said, mitch mcconnell did, that he still has to, quote, figure out what the president is for. how can you negotiate when the president, who has to sign the legislation, is like a sphinx on is issue, or says one thing one day and one thing the next? so here's what we can do to solve the problem. we could solve it right now.
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the four leaders could sit down -- there's been a lot of discussion -- and come to an agreement and do what the president said at one point. send it to his desk and he'll sign t we could get that done before the deadline of tomorrow night expires. or we could give the president a few days to come to the table, now that he knows this planning won't work. and we could get this done in a few short days and not kick the can down the road. this is the fourth c.r. that we have done and accomplished nothing. there is no promise and no likelihood that another kicking of the can down the road will get something done. we have to sit down together and solve this. with the president or without. until that happens, no amount of c.r.'s will get this done. i would suggest we all vote for
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the motion to proceed, but instead move a very short-term c.r. and we will either negotiate it ourselves or the present will join us and we can get the job done. eld the oor. mr. mcconnell: madam president, i'd -- not to prolong the debate, but the presidency under our system of government is not irrelevant. he is the person to science the law. most of us on the republican side in the house and senate were interested in what his views are and those have not been made fully apparent yet. when we have before us -- what we have before us deals with a real emergency. tomorrow night at midnight. what our friends on the other side are pushing is not an emergency. doesn't have anything to do with what's before us, completely irrelevant. -- to the issue of.
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mr. reed:ing a -- to the issue of avoid ago government shutdown and taking care of 300 million americans most of whom depend on the government in one way oar another. mr. mcconnell: i understand the senate has received a message from the house to accompany h.r. 195. the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. mcconnell: move the chair lay before the senate the message and ask for the yeas and nays on my motion. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the yeas are 97, the nays are 2. and the motion is agreed to. the chair lays before the senate the following message. the clerk: resolved that the house agree to the senate with the bill h.r. 195 entitled an act to amend title 44 united states code and so forth and for other purposes with an amendment. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i move to concur on the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 195. i ask unanimous consent there
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now up to ten minutes of debate equally divided on the motion to con tur and -- concur and following the use or yielding back of time the senate vote on the motion to concur with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. schumer: reserving the right to object. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: mr. president, i would like to read a letter from dana w. white, spokesperson for the pentagon. quote, we have been working on a continuing resolution for three years now. our current c.r. expires 19 january. this is wasteful and destructive. we need a fully funded fiscal year 2018 budget or face ramifications on our military. the leader wantso move that very c.r. that the pentagon objects to, even without a 60-vote margin. i strenuously object. mr. mcconnell: mr. president.
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the presiding officer: objection is heard. the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i send a cloture motion to the desk on the motion to concur. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the cloture motion. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 195, signed by 17 senators as follows. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading of the names be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i move to concur in the house amendment to h.r. 195. mr. schumer: reserving the right to object. no, sorry. i'm not objecting. mr. president. mr. mcconnell: mr. president, i -- the presiding officer: the majority leader has the floor. mr. schumer: go ahead. mr. mcconnell: i move to concur in the house amendment to 195 with a further amendment. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, moves to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 195 with an amendment numbered
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1903. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on the motion to concur with amendments. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposes an amendment numbered 1904 to amendment numbered 1903. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i move to refer the house message on h.r. 195 to the committee on appropriations to report back forthwith with instruction. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, moves to report the house message on h.r. 195 to the committee on appropriations to report back forthwith with instructions
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being amendment numbered 1905. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on my motion. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there is. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i have an amendment to the instructions. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposes an amendment numbered 1906 to the instructions of the motion to refer h.r. 1905 to the committee on appropriations. mr. mcconnell: i ask the reading be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask for the yeas and nays on my amendment. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there is. the yeas and nays are ordered. mr. mcconnell: i have a second-degree amendment at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, proposes an amendment numbered 1907 to amendment numbered 1906.
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the presiding officer: the democrat leader. mr. schumer: mr. president, to delay a vote on cloture when we all know the outcome makes no sense. the government's funding expires tomorrow night at midnight. let us vote tonight on cloture so we can move forward, so perhaps we can bring the president to the table. if not, so we can undergo serious negotiations to get things done. you have just heard from the pentagon. the pentagon thinks this c.r. is wrong for our military. the statement, again, from dana white, chief pentagon spokesperson. i want to repeat it so my colleagues can all hear it. we have been working under a continuing resolution for three years now. our current c.r. expires tomorrow, january 19. this is wasteful and
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destructive. we need a fully funded fiscal year 2018 budget or face ramifications for our military. because of the urgent needs we face, the military and so many of the others, opioids, veterans, pensions, we should not delay any further. we should move cloture tonight, see the outcome. i think we all know it will be defeated, and start serious negotiations tomorrow morning. that is what we should do. so i ask unanimous consent that the mandatory quorum call be waived and that notwithstanding rule 22, the cloture motion filed on the motion to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 195 ripen at 10:00 p.m. thursday, january 18, 10:00 p.m. tonight. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. mcconnell: i object.
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the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democrat leader. mr. schumer: does the leader have any more motions? no. okay. mr. president, let me address -- the leader addressed what was happening before the vote on the motion to proceed extensively. i'd like to address that now. the house of representatives has sent the senate a continuing resolution constructed by the republican speaker and passed without the consultation of house democrats or -- could we have order, please? the presiding officer: order in the chamber, please. mr. schumer: a continuing resolution constructed by the republican speaker and passed without the consultation of the house democrats or senate democrats whatsoever. the republican leader is now saying to us take it or leave it. here's why members from both
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sides of the aisle want to leave it. we have been skating by on continuing resolution after continuing resolution for almost six months. first we passed a three-month c.r. then we passed a two-week c.r. then a one-month c.r. now we're offering another month-long delay of the inevitable. we can't keep kicking the can down the road and shuffling our feet after it. in another month, we'll be right back here at this moment with the same web of problems at our feet and no better position to solve them. the government of the most powerful nation in the world should simply not be run this way. these successive short-term funding bills hurt our military, as i have mentioned. just ask secretary mattis if this is what he would prefer we
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do. another continuing resolution or an honest to goodness budget that allows our defense department to plan ahead and meet their obligations. we all know he would prefer the latter. that's why some of my republican colleagues have already said they join with democrats to reject this bill. they know, like i know, this is no way to do our business. it's not a partisan issue. we should be united in trying to come to a solution, not just kick the can down the road, and the truth is we don't have to do it this way. the majority leader in his speech earlier, my friend, tried to reduce this to a binary choice. take my bill or else shut down the government. that's not the case, it's simply not. these aren't the only options available to him or to any of us. democrats and republicans have been negotiating for months
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about several issues. a bipartisan deal is within reach on lifting the caps for both defense and domestic spending, on health care issues, on disaster relief, on immigration issues. a bipartisan deal could have been reached, i have been part of those negotiations, on all these issues, and now is the time to reach it, not a month from now. one reason we haven't gotten one already, frankly, is because the president has been impervious to compromise for several months. and another is he can't maintain a consistent position. we all know that. he accepts bipartisan overtures on one day only to reject them on the next. he makes and then rescinds and then remakes demands. he encourages compromise one day only to thwart it the next by
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saying he will only accept a deal that gives him 100% of what he wants. that's not what a great deal maker does. and, folks, here in congress in his own party, the people in congress in his own party don't even know what he wants. i feel for them. i feel for our leader. he's in an awful difficult position. i know that. we all know that. leader mcconnell yesterday said he is still trying to figure out what the president is for. only a few moments ago, the leader said the president's views have not been made fully apparent yet. letting this ambivalence and chaos continue for another month is just not the answer. it's not a good way to get a deal. it's not the right way to run our country, our dear, beloved country. tonight or tomorrow, the president will see -- i had hoped it would be tonight. can't waste any time. but the president would see that
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this approach was rejected on a bipartisan basis. hopefully, he'll see the light, come to the table, negotiate seriously for the first time in this lengthy process. ultimately, the answer here might be to pursue an idea floated by a few of my republican colleagues. pass a clean extension of government funding for four or five days to give us a hard, final deadline to finalize a deal. passing a short-term continuing resolution ensures that both sides remain at the table and can quickly reach a deal that funds our military, our domestic priorities like the fight against opioids, protects dreamers, funds health care and aid for those harmed by recent disasters. everyone in this chamber wants some of those things if not all.
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frankly, i think we can still solve this by the deadline tomorrow. as my friend from south carolina said, we could solve all this in 30 minutes if only folks were willing. it may not quite be 30 minutes, but knowing the negotiations as i do, we could do it rather quickly. certainly, it wouldn't take us 30 days. hopefully, after the c.r. goes down, folks will be willing, and with a little more time on our hands, maybe the majority leadep you, mitch -- can pin down just what president trump wants in order to get a deal. nobody, nobody wants to shut down the government, mr. president. democrats don't want to shut down the government. republicans don't want to shut down the government. i believe that sincerely. the only person who has ever rooted for a shutdown, frankly, is our president who said our country could use a good shutdown. a good shutdown only president
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trump could come up with that phrasing. nobody else thinks it's a good shutdown. of course, no shutdown can be good for the american people. i fervently pray and urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, let us strive to avoid one. i urge my colleagues to reject this measure for the reasons i mentioned. it wasn't fair. we weren't consulted. it was take it or leave it. that's not how it should work. that's how almost none of us want this to work. and if we can't figure this out by tomorrow night, i urge the majority leader in particular and the majority to support a clean extension of funding for a few days so that we can finally come to a resolution and get
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down to the so many other things we need to do in this chamber. i yield the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: this isn't terribly complicated. we have been in discussions for a couple of months on all of the issues that are urgent. the funding of the government, the children's health insurance program, and other matters that we all know need to be dealt with. my good friend, the democratic leader, is saying we have had too many continuing resolutions but suggests we pass yet another one. and the bill that's before us that we just voted to proceed to i believe enjoys the support, every element of it enjoys the support of almost everybody on both sides of the aisle.
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so it's appropriate to ask the question why are we where we are? only one reason. the continued interjection of an issue about which there is no urgency into a discussion about how to deal with a potpourri of issues that do need to be urgently met. and that's the issue of illegal immigration. so what our friends on the other side are saying here is, they're prepared to shut dowthe government over the issue of illegal immigration. now, on that issue, there's a bipartisan interest in solving the daca problem, but the president has given us until march. the last time i looked this was january. my colleagues, where is the urgency here?
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there isn't any. so the reason these talks have gone on so long is because they've consisted continuously on throwing the illegal immigration issue into the pool of these other issues and are now saying to the american people, we're going to shut the government down if we can't have our way on this issue right now. even though it only becomes a problem in march. so i hope the american people understand why we are where we are. no amount of trying to obfuscate this to confuse it with all of these other issues makes any sense at all. there's pretty broad bipartisan agreement we need to address every single one of these issues. but the reason we're here right now is our friends on the the
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other side say, solve this illegal immigration problem right now or we're going to shut the government down. that is a fact. that's not spin. that's a fact. that's the only reason we are where we are tonight. so i hope the american people will not be confused about this. we want to fund the government. we want to solve the schip problem and a variety of other issues that almost all of us agree on. we wanted to do it before tomorrow night. but my assumption at some point between now and tomorrow night 41 members of the opposition party are going to prevent us from passing a measure, the details of which they all support, because they can't get their way on this illegal
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immigration issue, which really only becomes urgent in march. i yield the floor. mr. schumer: madam president? the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumerjust a brief rejoinedder. first, there have been very good attempts, bipartisan attempts, to solve this problem. three democrats, three republicans met the problem right in the middle. it was the other side, your side, leader, that didn't want to go along with that agreement. it's a fair and decent agreement where each side gave. and it's an important agreement. and it's a vital agreement. and no one -- no one, no one -- has figured out a way to pass a bill independently in february. any vote, any bill that might get a majority of the republicans in the house on this issue will not get democrats.
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and any bill that gets a majority of democrats will not get a majority of the republican side in the house and will not be put on the floor. so this is the way to go on this issue. but there are many other issues out here, too. make no mistake about it. opioids-- our national death rate has declined -- our national -- how long we live has declined because of opioids. we haven't funded it. every one of us in our states knows we need that. this resolution does nothing on opioids. veterans -- in my state, in your states, veterans are waiting online for treatment after they risked their lives for us. this resolution doesn't fund it. and you say, well, maybe we'll do it after a month. well, we sure haven't done it for six months. what about pensions? the millions of americans,
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working people, who have paid in month after month, who lost salary, they declined salary increases so they know they could live a life of decency -- hardly wealth -- when they retire. that's being extinguished. we have an urgent obligation to deal with a those people. we feel it and i know many people on the other side feel it. so many other issues -- health care issues. i see my friend from maine. we had a discussion last night. i talked subsequently to my friend from washington state and my friend from florida. we could come to an arrangement on that rather quickly and deal with that issue. and disaster relie -- for -- anr relief for texas, puerto rico, and florida and for the west. we need to deal with that issue
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as well. so there are lots of issues to deal with. and on all of these important issues, all of them, this resolution kicks the can down the road and gives us no reason to believe that it'll be any different than the first c.r., the second c.r., the third c.r., and the fourth c.r. what we're proposing is not original with us. it was proposed by three or four members on that side of the aisle -- a very short-term increase would force the froze table hopefully, because that's been the barrier in the words of the majority leader, to solving the daca problem and other issues, and it would get us to act. these are not such easy issues. without a deadline, we may never get them done, and the fears of the pentagon -- so well-stated
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tonight by the d.o.d. spokesperson -- will get worse and worse and worse. so i would, in an act of bipartisanship -- not accusing one side or the other; i didn't accuse one side or the other of shutting down the government. i'm not trying to play for political points, even false ones. i am trying to get us to come together on a bipartisan nature to get something done. i hope all of us on both sides of the aisle rise to the occasion. i yield the floor. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: the democratic leader has mentioned a variety of issues, all of which were being discussed over the last two months, in the hopes that we could reach an agreement to address them all. so now i gather he's saying he opposes the bill because it doesn't have everything we've
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been talking about in it even though the things that are in the bill he does like. so the complaint now is it doesn't have the other issues in it. the reason is doesn't is because we haven't been able to reach a global agreement on how much we're going to spend. these talks have been going on endless i.ly. many of you have been not been involved in it. we're exhausted. everything what the democratic leader has mentioned. why do they never let us reach an agreement? illegal immigration. that's what they've shoehorned into all of this, shoehorned that issue right into it, and said we won't solve any of this other stuff until we deal with this. now, i gather the democratic leader is questioning the good faith of some of us about whether we want to deal with the daca issue. i do.
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i see senator cotton back here and senator tillis. i think we'd all like to deal with the daca issue. but there are some serious problems with legal immigration. and this is a big enough issue to warrant being discussed all by itself without being sho shoehorned into a bill full of legal emergencies, because there is no real emergency in the immigration area. we have until march to deal with it. so make no mistake about it, we are where we are for one reason and one reason onlying within a day of a government shut -- and one reason only, within a day of a government shut down -- and that the insistence of our friends on the other side that weeal with this nonemergency right now because they were unwilling to close out all of
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these other issues we've been discussing, ad nauseam, literally for months. the presiding officer: the assistant majority leader. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i appreciate the majority leader clarifying for us what this is all about and actually i have to thank the democratic leader for clarifying that this is really about the issue of illegal immigration. that's the reason why there has been no agreement on spending caps, because our friends across the aisle don't want to agree on spending caps because they want to use everything else as leverage in order to get an outcome on this dispute over illegal immigration. and, as the majority leader pointed out, this isn't so much about what's in the bill as what they said should be in the bill, because i presume our colleagues are for the six-year reauthorization of the
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children's health insurance program. it was voted almost unanimously out on a bipartisan basis in the senate finance committee. the matter of veterans that the democratic leader mentioned? well, veterans are going to be hurt by what they have done or will do tomorrow, i presume, in defeating this one-month continuing resolution. i find it rather disingenuous to say that we're against this short-term continuing resolution because we want another short-term continuing resolution, guaranteeing that there will yet again be another short-term resolution. once the spending caps are agreed to, it's going to take a couple of weeks for the bill to be put together so we can actually vote on it. so our colleagues across the aisle say they want another three or four-day continuing resolution. that guarantees yet another continuing resolution. and all of this is really
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camouflage to hide their true intention, as the majority leader pointed o trying to -- as the majority leader pointed out. trying to force a decision where there is not yet citizen success and a willingness of the president to support it on the issue of deferred action for childhood arrivals. that deadline for people who can no longer resign up is march 5. in the meantime, nobody is in any jeopardy, none of the 690,000 young people who were brought here as children are in any kind of jeopardy. and we are having discussions on a daily basis. we hne today tha senator durbin, steny hoyer, the democratic whip, the majority leader in the house kevin
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mccarthy and i again met with the white house and the department of homeland security to try to make some progress. and i think there was a beginning of some real progress toward a resolution. but i find it disingenuous to try to claim that we are killing this one-month c.r., continuing resolution, because we don't want to hurt the military. this damages the military because it creates further chaos and uncertainty when it comes to long-term spending deal because our military has been underfunded for way too long. why? because our democratic colleagues won't agree to fund our national defense until we agree to raise spending on nondefense matters. so it strikes me as very odd that you would say you're voting against this continuing resolution because you're against continuing resolutions, only to guarantee we'll have at least two more and then to claim it's about something else when
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really it's about the matter of i wilillegal aimmigration. the presiding officer: the assistant democratic leader. mr. durbin: let me say at the utset what we are trying to achieve is to fund the military and the critical agencies of our government immediately and to do it wh a budget, to do it with appropriations bills. i have to use that term and remind you, yes, we used to have appropriations bills in the united states senate. not anymore. we deal with continuing resolutions. we mr. chairman. lurch from week to week, day to day, month to month. we aren't doing the men and women of the military any favors with this kind of approach. so make no mistake about it, the democrats are soundly behind our national security and we want to fund them properly rather than the wait they've been funded to this date. but let me address another issue that's been raised, and my name has been mentioned. -- by my friend from texas. there's been said on the floor tonight there's no urgency. where's the urgency when it comes to daca?
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where's the urgency when it comes to dreamers? if you want to know the urgency, look into the gallery behind me. look at the people who have gathered here late this night who are following every word that we are debating. why are they here if there is no urgency? there is an urgency. there is an urgency in their lives because of the uncertainty of tomorrow. whether tomorrow will mean deportation for themselves and their families, whether they will be able to work, complete school, have a life in america. yes, there is a real urgency. and let me tell you what we have done about that urgency. a group of us, three democrats and three republican senators sat down four months ago to answer president trump's challenge to replace daca. was there a meeting of a committee in this senate on the same subject? there was one public hearing, but no bill, no markup, nothing. the activity really came from, evolved from the six of us
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working together. three democrats and three republicans. we reached an agreement. it wasn't easy. ask the senators involved in your side of the aisle or on our side of the aisle. we presented it to the senate. we have defended it over the last several weeks. and i want to thank the additional four republican senators who have joined us in this effort to finally enact a bipartisan solution to this. so to say we have done nothing, we have so much time, let me tell you there is a sense of urgency here. just this week when the secretary of d.h.s. testified before the judiciary committee, she conceded the fact that the president does not have authority to extend this deadline of march, that we are going back and forth in court as to whether there will be any protection f these young people whatsoever, and she acknowledged that her department has said it will take them six months to write the regulations once we pass the law that will affect their lives and the lives of hundreds of thousands. you know how i feel about this issue.
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some of you have presided over the senate, have seen the presentations we have made. over the years, i have brought 107 photographs to the floor so that people could see the urgency and need for this issue now. it is sad. it is unfortunate that those who stand on the floor tonight continue to just characterize these as illegal immigrants, illegal immigrants. children, toddlers, infants brought to the united states who have lived their whole life here and are simply asking for a chance to be part of our future are being swept away as illegal immigrants. they are more than that. they are the sons and daughters of america who want to be part of our future. they are people who inspire me every day. they are folks that guarantee to us that the american dream will be alive for another generation because they are willing to work for it, to study for it, and to fight for it. this is worth our attention.
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we have produced this bipartisan measure. a lot of hard work went into it. we simply ask that the senate take up a measure that we produced or produce a better one, and the leadership has refused. that's part of the reason we find ourselves at this moment. i want to assure you it is an urgent matter. their lives matter, too. mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 11:00 a.m. friday, january 19. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, and morning business be closed. finally, following leader remarks, the senate resume consideration of the motion to concur in the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 195. the presiding officer: is there objection?
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the senator from maine. mr. king: i object. i don't understand why we're adjourning when we're in this urgent situation. we can vote tonight on cloture and have an entire day tomorrow to work on this matter. we are -- this is sir responsible. i just don't understand it. so i object to the motion. the presiding officer: objection is heard. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. order in the chamber. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: is there
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objection? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i renew my consent propounded earlier. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. mcconnl: if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. senate voting perceived resolution to keep the government running february 16. two senators voted against that measure in following the vote
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efforts to move forward with the cloture vote failed with the minority objecting to amendments to house legislation. the senate is expected to return tomorrow 11:00 a.m. to continue work on the continuing resolution for the current funding expiring tomorrow at night. the house is already approved the continuing resolution in that vote 230-197. we will take a look back at the debate on the senate floor we will start with senator bernie sanders of vermont. >> senator from vermont. >> fifty. mr. president, ie asked the quorum call be initiated. >> senate is not in a form call. >> okay, that does not have to be issued. mr. president, we are in a pivotal moment if the congress does not get its act together by tomorrow there will be a

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