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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 25, 2018 9:59am-12:00pm EST

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>> thank you. please join in thinking the ambassador for being with us today. [applause] >> thank you very much. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> will is created as a public service as america's public cable-television companies. >> the u.s. senate is about to get into start their day. lawmakers focusing on the nomination of an assistant army secretary. a vote to confirm is set for 1:45 p.m. eastern this afternoon.
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a simple majority will be needed for that. and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order.
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the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. eternal lord god, the giver of every good and perfect gift, thank you for this fresh opportunity to do your will on earth. guide our lawmakers. give them consciences void of offense toward you and humanity and honesty of conduct. may they bring you their daily challenges, casting their cares on you. lord, help them to draw more fully from your inexhaustible resources, claiming your promise
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to provide for all their needs. use them to bring peace, justice, and prosperity to our nation. and lord, bless the members of the i will lust -- of the fall 2017 page class as they prepare it to leave us. we pray in your loving name. .amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: this week the senate has moved past a partisan paralysis and checked off several important items for the american people. on monday we passed the bipartisan measure that funds the government through february 8, but that bill didn't only end the shutdown. it also extended the state children's health insurance program for six years, that's
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long-term security for millions of vulnerable children and peace of mind for their families. and the bill delayed three onerous taxes that obamacare would otherwise have imposed on the american people. yesterday i filed cloture on commonsense legislation to protect unborn children who can feel pain. there are only seven countries left -- just seven -- that still permit elective abortion after 20 weeks, including us, unfortunately, china, and north korea. on issues of human dignity, this is not the company we ought to keep. i look forward to voting to advance this bill next week. we also made important headway in another vital area, the personnel business. we confirmed three of president trump's highly qualified nominees for important posts. we have a new chairman of the federal reserve, mr. powell. we have a new secretary of
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health and human services, mr. azar. and we have a new ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, our former colleague, sam brownback. here in the senate mr. brownback championed legislation to combat human trafficking and worked to facilitate international cooperation on issues facing vulnerable children. as the voices of religious minorities are being suppressed around the world, i'm glad they'll have ambassador brownback to speak up for them. of course a great deal of work lies ahead of us. in the near future we need to make bipartisan progress on areas such as immigration, border security, disaster relief, health care and securing adequate funding for our armed forces. it is my strong preference that senators reach bipartisan agreement on these issues in advance, in advance of the february 8 deadline. fortunately with the government shutdown behind us, serious discussions has resumed on all
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these matters. a bipartisan, bicameral group, including senators cornyn and durbin, is hard at work on immigration. we'll also hear from the white house on monday, and i look forward to the framework they will present. i'm optimistic these ongoing negotiations will lead to results. but nonetheless, i came to the floor on sunday night and again on monday to restate a possibility i previously discussed with members with diverse views on immigration policy. i restated that if the february 8 deadline for the current funding bill passes and a long-term agreement still eludes us, as long as the government remains open the senate will proceed to a variety of priorities on the subject of immigration. including border security, the daca issue, around other -- and
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other aspects of immigration policy. the bill i choose to introduce for debate will have an amendment process that will ensure a level playing field at the outset. the amendment process will be fair to all sides, allowing members to offer their own legislation for consideration and votes. while i obviously cannot guarantee any outcomes, let alone supermajority support, i can ensure the process is fair to all sides. i'm glad that my restating this simple position helped my democratic colleagues persuade their leader to abandon his filibuster and permit the government to reopen. but the american people are waiting for us to act as soon as possible. so i hope that hard work and honest discussions will yield agreements before february 8. now, mr. president, on another matter, on tuesday president trump will deliver his first state of the union address. he'll have good news to deliver on a variety of fronts.
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i'm particularly looking forward to his remarks on our economy. consumer confidence is up. unemployment is down. markets are breaking records from small businesses to our largest job creators. pay raises, bonuses and plans for new investments are all in season. of course the engine of american prosperity is the american people. but smart policy can help by getting the government out of the way. last december republicans in the house and the senate joined the president to deliver once-in-a generation tax reform. every day more evidence piles up that tax reform is already working for the american people. the headlines are full, full of major employers announcing pay raises and bonuses for workers as well as new investments. for example, brown forman, a global spirits company headquartered in my hometown of louisville that employs more
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than 1,000 kentuckians, announced yesterday that tax reform will help the company to start a new charitable foundation for community investment and commit $120 million to fund employee pensions. soon, thafrpgz -- thanks to tax reform a main street small business owner will be able to realize her dream to expand into the vacant shop next door. of course that will mean hiring more help. soon thanks to tax reform a father and son manufacturing plant will be able to afford the new equipment they have been eyeing and give their workers new skills in the process. stories like these may not make waves here in washington, but believe me, they'll be front-page news in communities all across our country. from coast to coast americans' lives will improve as main street businesses operate for the first time under a 21st century tax code. this is not just a tax law for the big guys.
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now even the smallest businesses will be able to take a significant deduction on their business income, giving them more money to buy new equipment, hire new employees or provide health coverage for their team. so much focus has been on bonuses, pay raises and 401(k) matches and for good reason. but we should not forget all the jobs that will be created when businesses decide to invest more because they can immediately deduct their capital expenditures. i'm already hearing from small business owners this law was designed to help. before tax reform, one franchise restaurant owner in kentucky wrote me to say that, quote, the current high tax rate, the current high tax rate that i pay as a pass-through entity reduces the amount of earnings i can reinvest into my business, employees and community. she went on to say, quote, i'm very encouraged that tax reform
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is underway in congress, and i hope that it can be accomplished in a timely manner. well, mr. president, republican majorities in congress and the president did just that. in nicholsville, kentucky, another constituent of mine operates a rent business for event equipment. he recently explained, quote, the relief that will be provided by the new tax bill gives companies like mine the capital to purchase new inventory as well as hire additional employees. so summing it up, american enterprise is thriving. tax reform helped make it happen. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the following nomination
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which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, department of defense, r.d. james of missouri to be assistant secretary of the army. mr. mcconnell: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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mr. schumer: mr. president. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: i ask unanimous consent the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. schumer: okay. mr. president, there are now only 13 days remaining until the continuing resolution expires on february 8. in that short amount of time, we must seek a budget deal, an
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agreement on health care legislation, and a bipartisan bill to protect the dreamers and provide for border security. all these items are important. all of them are urgent, and we are working hard to get them all done. on the issue of immigration, the bipartisan group of moderate senators should continue trying to find a consensus. i think that's an excellent idea. the white house, unfortunately, has proven to be wildly unpredictable. within a course of hours, they say different things. every time the president moves forward on one thing, his staff pulls him back and undoes what he says. we should find a narrow deal on daca and border security. as we found time and again, when we open up the negotiations to discussions of broad immigration reform, there is no end to what each party says could be on the table. republicans want vast
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curtailment of legal immigration. democrats want to discuss a pathway to citizenship for 11 million. that's a recipe for delay when we can't afford one. some on the other side are insisting expanding this beyond the daca and border security issues. that will just delay. that will just make sure that things don't work. my republican colleagues, particularly the leader and his more moderate members, should feel the pressure to get this done or else this administration will start separating families, taking kids out of school, service members out of our military, workers out of our companies. they will rip them from the american fabric in which they are embedded. what a tragedy that would be. so the clock is ticking on dreamers and we don't have time
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for extraneous issues that some on the right or the left, might want to add that have to do with daca or border security. the clock is also ticking for petitioners, victims of opioid treatment seeking treatment. we have other issues, rural infrastructure, child care, things that democrats want to get done in this deal. we have to get a budget deal and a daca deal that can get 60 votes. 13 days before dreamers get a lot closer to deportation, 13 days to help our economy, our communities, the middle class who has been waiting for over a year for this congress to do something for them instead of just helping business interests. now, mr. president, i want to focus on one more thing that really should disturb every american, certainly disturbs me,
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recent events concerning the bureau of investigation. for decades the f.b.i. has been our nation's premier law enforcement agency and admired from one end of the country to another. tv shows, movies all talked about how good the f.b.i. was. we know because we trust them with protecting our country against many-faced threats, terrorism, drug trafficking, white collar crime. in 2016, the f.b.i., not politically, to keep us vigilant in our security, the f.b.i. has tasked with another great importance, investigating russia's interference in our elections. as that investigation progressed, it found that members of the trump campaign had concerning associationings with the russians in the leadup to the election. that was law enforcement. that wasn't some political direction. now that investigation led by
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special counsel mueller has resulted in two guilty pleas and two more indictments of trump campaign officials, there seems to be a fervor on the other side to discredit it. what the special counsel's investigation has already revealed should give serious pause to democrats, republicans, all americans. a foreign power, probably the one that is most -- most -- in our face, russia interfering in our elections. i don't care if it is democrat or republican or national or local elections. when a foreign power interferes in our elections that naws at the well spring of our democracy. all of us -- all of us should be giving the f.b.i. space and encouragement to finish their investigation without delay or interference. instead, ever since special
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counsel mueller was appointed, too many republicans and too many in the right-wing media have been desperate -- desperate -- to distract the nation from his investigation. first they waged an aggressive and coordinated, i'd say shameful, attack on the special counsel. i was in the gym and spoke to one of my senior republican colleagues who said he knew mueller and what a fine man he was. he was a model public servant. he was known as somebody who was a registered republican through my years in washington. he wasn't regarded as a partisan figure, as somebody who would have vendettas, political or otherwise. no. it got so out of hand, i couldn't believe this, that a republican congressman suggested special counsel mueller's investigation was a coup on the
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floor of the house. he ought to go back and read his history books. rule of law is not a coup. i would say to that republican congress member that no person, not even a member of congress, is above the law. this has now spiraled into a delusional attack on the f.b.i. itself. the republican majority on the house intelligence committee has, according to representative schiff, manufactured a secret memo of partisan talking points, full of innuendo, glaring omissions intended to spread corruption in the department of the f.b.i. very, very serious allegations if they had any truth or backing. adding to the impropriety, some of the republicans are trying to
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release this slanderous memo to the public. since this investigation has started, our nation has had to endure conspiracy after conspiracy from the right wing, republican congressmen, senators, and, of course, the right-wing press which acts in total ka hoots -- cahoots. conspiracies about unmasking requests, phone taps at trump tower, uranium one, who paid for the so-called steel dossier. today it is this memo. on and on and on, conspiracy theories with virtually no fact. paranoia, delusion. why? are they afraid of the truth of the mueller investigation? it seems so. meanwhile, republican members of this body, i am ashamed to say,
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picked up on casual texts sent between f.b.i. agents to say that there is a secret society at the department department of, without a shred of evidence. i saw the senator propagating in this morning on -- propagating this on television this morning. it looked delusional. it looked paranoid. what began as an attempt to discredit the investigator has now devolved into delusional, self-serving paranoia. the republican party which used to hold itself up as a law and order party, seems intent on destroying the credibility of the law and order agency and the hardworking men and women who serve there all to assist the president who cares and knows very little about the boundaries
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of the rule of law. imagine, the f.b.i., which for decades the republican party upheld. i remember lots of political debates here, and now they are discrediting them for a temporary political purpose with very -- virtually no basis and fact. guess who has joined the republican campaign to attack the f.b.i. the republican campaign to join the f.b.i. has been joined by the same forces that we saw in the past, wikileaks, julia asawn. now they are joining them, wittingly or unwittingly. can you imagine the outrage on the right if president obama's
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message was leaked by wikileaks. within hours of fox news calling for the release of the memo, they began to push the narrative, release the memo, russian bots, hash tag, release the memo, just a few hours after some of our republican friends start this push. use of the hash tag spiked was used 100 times more than any other hashtag by kremlin-linked accounts. we are witnessing an effort by the republican -- by the russian government to intervene and influence our democratic process in real time. every single american should be concerned about this, particularly when their elected officials are willing to work, wittingly or unwittingly,
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alongside russia to manipulate our opinion. some of our republican colleagues, sadly, unfortunately, wittingly or unwittingly, are acting as allies of russia's disinformation campaigns. can you imagine? can you imagine? it's hard to make this stuff up. it seems like you'd make this stuff up, but it's real. hard-right republicans and the russians trying to discredit our premier law enforcement agency. mr. president, this country erected institutions like the f.b.i. and the department of justice to defend the vital interest of the nation without deference to political parties, much like the federal judiciary, they act as an essential check on political power, whoever's power it is, defense against creeping thor terrorism. what the f.b.i. is investigating is shielding our democracy from
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the disinformation campaigns of foreign adversaries. russia wants nothing more than to undermine our democracy by eroding people's faith in its institutions. without democratic institutions, there can be no democracy. make no mistake about it. today russia may be doing the same thing that a lot of our republican colleagues are. tomorrow they may attack republican colleagues. they have no interest other than hurting america, the russians do. so, the republican attackings on the creditability of the f.b.i. and the department of justice are playing right into putin's hants. they -- hands. they constitute an attack on democracy itself. there has to be a line, mr. president. there has to be a line. there has to be a line where the interest of your political party stops because to go any further would be to diminish our country. i say that to my colleagues here
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and in the house who have participated in this besmirching unfairly, paranoia cally of the f.b.i. this crosses the line of what anyone of any party should do. it has to stop. i yield the floor.
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mr. barrasso: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator for wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, we have finally ended this government shutdown that was produced and directed by the democrats in the united states senate. now the reason that the democrats decided to take this extreme step and shut down the government was because of the narrow issue of illegal immigration. shut down services for citizens of the united states to provide services for people who are not citizens of the united states. and the democrats have admitted it was all about this issue of illegal immigration. now, there may have been another reason as well that the democrats wanted to shut down the government, and that was so that they could change the subject being debated by people, talked about by friends, noticed by americans, and making the
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headlines. and that subject, of course, was the confidence and optimism in the american economy by workers, by people who are paying taxes, by people who realize how the republican tax relief legislation is going to help improve their lives personally. i think that scares a lot of democrats, the success of the republican tax relief bill, scares them because every one of them voted against it. they didn't think it was a good idea to let people keep more of their hard-earned money. democrats think it is a better idea possibly for the government to keep that money and use it and spend it in ways that many people certainly in wyoming feel is not a good use of that money. families know how to get more value out of their dollars than the government ever will. but democrats voted against it. the tax cuts that would actually create jobs all across the country. and we've seen that job creation
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occurring. they voted against the tax relief that's going to allow money to be brought back to america so investments are made in america. and it was so interesting to listen to nancy pelosi, the former speaker of the house, now the minority leader in the house, refer to what we were doing here in the senate and in the house as armageddon. she said it was the end of the world. that's what she said. well, the american people, hardworking people, they don't believe that at all. they believe it's good for them personally. it turns out that people who work at more than 200 companies in this country have already gotten a raise or some kind of a cash benefit or additional contribution to their retirement because of the tax law. that's what all those companies have said is why they've done it. over two million people have obtained this benefit of the tax relief law, and more are going to benefit in the years ahead. millions of americans are going to start seeing more take-home
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pay in their paychecks just next month. that's because of this tax relief law that the democrats, every one of them opposed. we're seeing it not just for the american families. we're seeing it with investments coming in from abroad. mr. president, this law has totally changed how we tax the money that companies earn who sell things to people overseas. and this chart goes through it. you know, it used to be that u.s. companies made money somewhere else and paid taxes there. and if they wanted to bring it back home, they had to pay taxes again, a double taxation. there are -- very few countries do that, but the united states was one of them. double taxation. so businesses had to make a decision. they had to make a choice. they could bring that money back home, pay taxes a second time or keep the money overseas, invest it there and not having to pay that second tax.
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a lot of companies looking at the tax laws that the united states had on the books previously decided it was just too much of a penalty to bring that money back home and invest it in the american economy. and there was something like $2.8 trillion that american businesses had been holding in other countries. so we actually had a tax code that worked to the advantage of foreign countries, not to the advantage of the united states. it was locking money out, keeping it overseas, keeping it from helping american workers here at home. that's a very backward way to look at how the tax code should work. we changed the law when republicans voted to change the tax law, give taxpayers relief. now the money gets taxed once, not twice. we changed the system here in america the way most countries around the world do it. that means businesses no longer have this warped incentive to
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keep their money out of the united states. it makes it much easier for that money to come back from overseas to the united states. it's for america. it's what an america first economy looks like. it gets rid of this crazy tax code that we had given other countries advantage. not anymore. the second thing that this tax relief law has done is actually cut taxes. when american businesses had to pay this second tax, the rates were very high, one of the highest in the world, mr. president. so it was adding insult to injury. other countries have actually been cutting taxes for years, but not the united states. not on our own companies here in the united states. here at home we had one of the most, one of the highest and most punitive taxes in the world. there wasn't a major country in the world where businesses paid as high a tax as we did here in the united states.
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washington was taxing companies about 35% if they tried to bring home some of the profits from overseas. but because of the tax law that we passed and that president trump has signed, this rate has now dropped to 21%, from 35% to 21%. now our tax rates are actually below the average of other countries around the world. that puts american businesses at a significantly stronger position to compete around the world. it puts us at a competitive advantage. we got rid of the double taxation system, republicans did, when we passed this law, and we cut tax rates significantly as well. when you put these two things together -- cutting the rates, making it easier to bring money back to the united states through eliminating this double taxation -- it is a big help to american workers, to the men and women who work here in america as well as the businesses that
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employ those people. businesses much more likely now to invest in america, put their money back home in american workers, in the american economy. we're seeing it already. the tech company apple recently announced that it's increasing investments in u.s. operations. the total contribution to the american economy over the next five years will be $350 billion, they said. they're planning to bring home as much as $250 billion in money that right now is parked overseas. they're talking about employing 20,000 more workers, hiring 20,000 more people. letting that money sit overseas because of this system that locked the money out. but now with the new tax law it's going to be much easier to bring that money home, invest it in america. it's not just apple. we're seeing it with fiat chrysler, with boeing, with at&t and others. it's a all because of the tax
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law that republicans voted for and every one of the democrats voted against. so it's no surprise that democrats might have wanted to shut down the government to knock off of the front page of the paper the headlines of the success of the tax law and instead see reports about the democrats shutting down the government. it's interesting, there's been so much economic activity after this has changed that other countries are beginning to become nervous. other countries used to know that they had the upper hand over the united states when it came to investments in the economy. and they figured the united states would never get its act together enough to change the tax laws to make us the competitive, thriving economy that we know we can be. because these countries knew that the united statesax law was working in their favor. not anymore. countries like china, the united kingdom and japan are considering changing their own taxes in response to what we have done. we are leading the way. they're trying to play catch-up
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with their economy. in australia, as a matter of fact, they expect the loss of significant amounts of economic activity and growth to the united states because of the new tax law. other countries are running scared, mr. president, because president trump and republicans in congress are doing exactly what we promised the american people that we would do. we are keeping our promises. we're putting american workers first. tax relief is working. it's helping hardworking american families. it's creating economic growth. it's giving america the competitive edge that we deserve because of the work that we do. and we haven't had it in a long, long period of time. democrats said it would never happen during the debate on the tax law. first, they did everything they could to make sure we wouldn't get it passed, slowed it down, voted against it, talked against it. well, they were wrong, and now they know they were wrong. they've seen the money come
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back, seen the growth in the number of economies, seen the growth in the number of jobs created growth in wages, see people keeping more of their hard-earned dollars, seeing people happy, seeing the level of confidence and optimism that wasn't out there prior to this in the previous administration. so the democrats seem to be trying to change the topic by putting up a smoke screen, shutting down the government to avoid and try to deflect from the success that the republicans have allowed the american people to recognize in themselves because the tax laws have changed and the american people will benefit from it for years though -- to come. it's time for the democrats to give up the games, come to the table, join republicans in doing what we know we need to do, which is put the american workers first. it's time for the democrats to join the republicans and work on behalf of all the american people who have sent all of us here in the first place, and
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we're seeing it now with the tax law and the tax relief and the tax cuts that are benefiting people all across this country. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i would ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: mr. president, i come to the floor today to reflect on the troubling foreign policy of president donald trump's one year into his administration. a recent poll out from gallup showed a dramatic reduction in global public opinion towards the united states. confidence in the united states by the global community has plummeted to 30% under president trump. low public opinion of our great
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country, among other nations, is not a good thing. it's not something to celebrate. in fact, it makes the world less safe for america and americans. it limits our economic opportunities. and it undermines our ability to promote our values, portraying president reagan's vision of a city on a hill. in just one year, the trump administration has betrayed american values, abandoned our allies, and appeased our enemies. american alliances, for example, with the united nations and the north atlantic treaty organization keep our country safe and prosperous while also building a more secure world. president trump has repeatedly questioned the worthiness of both organizations and attacked leading members of each body, almost always key american allies. these concerns were made much worse when early in the administration, secretary tillerson said that america's interests would no longer be dictated by our values. it was almost unfathomable to
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hear the nation's top diplomats speak in such a narrow, myopic way. and the games the administration has played with the state department and the united states agency for international development have been clear attempts to depart from the values that define who we are. support for democracy, human rights, transparency, and good governance. president trump has praised strong leaders in russia, china, egypt, and the philippines, even as they improven, torture, or kill their own citizens. his support for world leaders who lack almost all values isn't bad enough. president trump's attacks on some of america's closest friends have undermined the credibility of america's word and america's commitment to its values. launching verbal broadside attacks against the united kingdom, australia, and south korea, the latter during the
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ongoing nuclear standoff with north korea, are deeply regrettable and completely counterproductive. and speaking of verbal mistakes, you can't conduct high-stakes diplomacy through the use of twitter. we should never normalize such conduct by a president of the united states. the secretary of state rex tillerson conceded last week that he essentially learned about the president's foreign policy statements or even his positions because the staff at foggy bottom prints off the president's tweets for him. that's going to give everyone a moment for pause. besides the nuclear crisis with north korea, nowhere have the president's statements been more damaging than the tenuous relationship between washington and moscow. frankly, the president's words and actions send a clear signal to mr. putin that he can continue to attack democratic institutions and values with impunity. each time mr. putin had denied to mr. trump that the kremlin
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was involved in attempting to influence the 2016 elections, a bald-faced lie, the american president races to say that he believes him. never before in history has such a clear threat to our national security been so clearly ignored by a president of the united states. mr. president, last week, i released a report through the senate foreign relations committee documenting mr. putin's pattern of 20 years of attacks against democratic institutions in europe. in order to guess understand what he did here in the united states in 2016, a matter still under colleagues, as well as to protect ourselves in 2018, 2020, and beyond, we need to understand the big picture and respond accordingly. we'll never be fully protected or have a robust enough response with the president's repeated public appeasement of mr. putin. mr. president, let me just insert that we have seen this week how that is playing out again in a matter that's being
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debated in congress. i would like to make note that the russian government today continues to interfere in our political debate here in the united states. there are reports that russia's internet controls are working to support congressman nunes' efforts to release a staff report on the investigation of the russian interference in our 2016 elections. we know that russian bots are vigorously promoting these attacks, seeking to paralyze our government and undermine our democracy. this sort of behavior carries the graveest -- the gravest possible risk to our democratic system and our very way of life. i'm not surprised to find that russian services are attacking us. a recent report that we released made that clear and it was part of their strategies. but i do hope that all of us, democrats and republicans, will stand up for our democratic institutions and speak out against russia's interference in our political system.
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the president refers to his foreign policy strategy as america first. america first is a risky and chaotic proposition and will certainly lead to america alone. the muslim ban hastily handed down not one week into his administration was the early defining moment of president trump's tenure. the clearest sign yet that he would actively work to denigrate our values and isolate us from the rest of the world. president trump's rhetoric has made the multifaceted conflict with china more likely at a time when we need to work with the chinese on a stronger diplomatic ties between our nations to improve regional stability in east asia. and the president's decision to withdraw the united states from the paris agreement, an accord that every nation on earth is a member of, that the president's senior advisors recommended against, is a gross abdication
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of america's leadership and a narrow-minded rejection of basic science and fact. i and other members of this body are engaged in an attempt to prevent the president from withdrawing from another major international agreement without reason. the joint comprehensive plan of action, otherwise known as the iran nuclear deal. the president has jeopardized the agreement by not certifying iran's compliance without producing any evidence that iran is in violation of the agreement. he has now made a number of aggressive demands of congress and of our european allies once again demonstrating that he is no negotiator. america first supposedly, but as communities in maryland across the country struggle with the nationwide epidemic of opioids, heroin and fentanyl overdoses, president trump's budget proposes a 27% reduction in america's global counternarcotics efforts, directly weakening our ability to work with international partners to stem the illegal flow of drugs entering our
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country. the president sought a slash of $1 billion from america's global efforts to fight hiv-aids in africa, asia, and elsewhere. thanks to bipartisan american leadership, we have made enormous strides against this disease. we should not turn our back from that progress. this kind of fear and insecurity are damaging our reputation abroad and crowing our core eye -- corro ding our core identity. even the white house chief of staff's attempt to clean up the president's wall decision ended embarrassingly for him. president trump's campaign to undermine american values resulted in slashing refugee resettlement into the united states while asking other countries to do more. his policies condone our
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countries rejection of refugees on the borders. u.s. leadership on this issue is key to our counterterrorism strategy. president ronald reagan admitted 140,000 refugees in one year of his presidency, by contrast, at a time of extraordinary international needs. far greater than when president reagan was in office, president trump capped refugee resettlement to 45,000. since announcing that policy, refugees have fallen to a level unseen in history. there -- this is the lowest number since the program was established in 1980. the president's stealth attack on refugee resettlement is a war on america's compassion an leadership. much attention has been drawn to
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uncertainty that president trump has done to the lives of dreamers with the possibility of deporting young people. but equally is -- to hundreds thousands more from haiti and el salvador, many more from00 dor yas -- these people have lived in our country, sometimes for decades, contributed to our economy, many have american citizen children, and sending them back to their home nations at this time, countries which are already destabilized to a degree will exacerbate the local and regional problems. i am proud of the legislation i have written supported by numerous colleagues to create a legal path way to t.p.s. rerecipients -- recipients.
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the united states military is the finest in the world, but increasingly president trump wants our men and women in uniform to do what should be the responsibility of our diplomatic and development corps, our forces for peace. it's not just a slow and steady transfer of priorities or responsibilities from foggy bottom to the pentagon, president trump has failed to fill national security jobs and gutting our development of our diplomatic security. and accuses the senate of not doing its obligation for -- the administration does not have nominees for 72 of those jobs, just under 50% one year after being in office. the administration has had a cut of over 30% to the state department attempting disavow
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national critical tools. secretary tillerson has tried to talk about an unexplained -- the department remains in many a view a solution in search of a problem. the president has little interest in how diplomacy advances our interest, promotes our values and make us safer and more prosperous. to make matters worse the president's family continues to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes their business interests, making our foreign policy more difficult. in his dealings with china alone, the writing is on the wall, candidate trump said on day 1 of his presidency that he would declare china a currency manipulator, american businesses are still waiting. the sacrifice the american worker in order to pay piece the chinese banker who paid him rent at trump tower, or perhaps it was so he could secure the long sought after trademarks with china. the american people should not
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lose sight of the fact that the president has refused to diverse himself from the trump organization ignoring ethical norms and precedent. the president of the united states is engaged in foreign policy. today the president has a financial stake in real estate projects in india, indonesia, fill fiends and elsewhere. the developments that require approval and intervention from governments, financing from banks, and cooperation from local partners, and he continues to earn royalties from properties around the world from panama to the united arab emrates. this begs the question of whether he is working in his own best interest or the nation's best interest, exactly why this clause exists in the constitution. president trump could easily rectify this by cutting his financial ties and leave no doubt that his first and foremost priority is serving the
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nation's interests. in closing, let me say that american foreign policy led by our values, support for our allies and desire to make the world a better place keeps us safe at home and advances our country's prosperity and security. president trump has not put the strategies in place to deal with the complicated national security crisis facing our current. instead he has made international security challenges more difficult to solve, including the crisis with iran, the nuclear weapons with north korea, and the kremlin activities so in -- with discourse in our country. president trump has been unwilling to engage in the tough national security decisions required to keep this country safe and maintain our global leadership. congress's role in shaping and advancing u.s. foreign policy has never been more important and i will continue to advance legislation to conduct oversight, speak out about these important issues in the name of
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the american people and the values and norms that define us and our place in this complicated world. i am proud that there are many members on both sides of the aisle that share these concerns and we will work together in america's national security interests. with that, mr. president, i would suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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