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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  April 9, 2018 2:59pm-7:01pm EDT

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case of emergency to deploy active-duty military and in this case with white house is doing in what president obama did an president busted is they are asking to into an agreement with the governor's about the states affected and deploy national guardsmen of which they would be the commander city. jerry brown is not exactly golfing buddies the president these days and doug to see who is a republican in arizona and greg abbott was the president in texas and these guardsmen come from other parts of the country but once they are in the states along the borders the governors are in charge so this is becoming more of a state kind of thing and it would be and i don't know the exact mechanism for which congress could insert .tself
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>> you can find the rest of this discussion online at c-span .org. check out our washington journal page. we leave this now taking life to the floor of the senate about to start debate on the judicial nomination and there will be swearing in their new a senator today. she takes the seat left open by mississippi's pat cochran who retired. drop a week more work on nominations. the president pro tempore: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray. our father, god, as we bow our heads in your presence, may we also lift our hearts to the guidance of your divine providence.
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remind our lawmakers that they will seek and find you when they have passionately pursued you. may your holy spirit bring them new life and hope, making them equal to their experiences and responsibilities. lead them on the upward way to a higher plain of unity and peace, as they strive to hold aloft your banners of truth, justice, and love. lord, we will continue to rejoice in you, for you are the god of our salvation. we pray in your majestic name.
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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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the vice president: the chair lays before the senate the letters of resignation. from former senator thad cochran of mississippi. and. cindy hyde smith from the mississippi department of agriculture and commerce which without objection are deemed read and spread upon the journal and printed in full in the record. the chair lays before the senate the certificate of appointment to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of thad cochran of mississippi. the certificate, the chair is advised, is in the form suggested by the senate. if there is no objection, the reading of the certificate will be waived and it will be printed in full in the record. if the senator designate will now present herself at the desk, the chair will administer the oath of office.
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viz please raise your right hand and repeat r peat after me. do you solemnly swear you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that will bear true faith and ledge union r yans to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation and you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which you are about to enter so help you god. the senator: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senator. and welcome.
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the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i'd like to begin with a few words of
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tribute to two retired colleagues who passed away since we were last together. on friday, march 23, former senator zell miller departed this life at the age of 86. those of us who served with zell knew him as a kind and honorable man and a committed public servant. he rose from a childhood boat electricity and running water, well into his school years to serve the state of georgia as governor and later as senator. zell miller did so with grit and determination, never afraid to buck partisanship in favor of his pring pells. and -- principles. also this past thursday senator daniel akoka, our former colleague from hawaii passed
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away. he worked to advocate for his state. as a senator once himself put it, he also referred to a workhorse to a show horse. the senate offers our condolences to their families. now, on an entirely different matter, today we just welcomed a new colleague to this chamber, senator cindy hyde smith was sworn in. she became the 51st senator and the first woman to represent mississippi here in the senate. senator hyde smith brings experience as a state legislator and as the mississippi commissioner of ai agriculture d commerce. i know i spoke for senators on both sides of the aisle in welcoming our new cool leelg. we work forward to working together to continue this record of accomplishment for the american people. now, on another matter, this week the senate will turn to one of its most important
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constitutional responsibilities, the personnel business. we have a number of nominees to consider in the next several days. first is president trump's pick to serve as the federal district judge for both eastern and western district in kentucky. through her work in both the public and private sectors, miss boom has distinguished herself as a problem solver, a trusted advisor to clients, and her community. letters in support of her nomination share a theme. she has the skills and experiences to excel as district judge. high standards, ample preparation, and a fierce intellect. unfailingly thoughtful, gracious and diligent. these are just some of the ways ms. boom is described by those she served and worked with in kentucky. the judiciary committee came to the same conclusion advancing her nomination on a voice vote.
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so later today the full senate will vote to advance this talented and noncontroversial nominee and then i hope we will be able to quickly confirm her. in the coming days we'll consider several more judges and important nominees for the department of labor, the e.p.a. and the national labor relations board. these and many other important positions remain vacant nearly a year and a half into the trurc p administration. qualified nominees stand ready but senate democrats are using the procedural playbook to obstruct and delay. in many cases, for example, they're insisting the senate exhaust postcloture time even on unobjectionable district court nominees who have gone on to overwhelming confirmation. for example, walter counts who was confirmed 96-0 or karen gren
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scholer confirmed 95-0. i'll have more on these tactics in the coming days. the senate's workweek will not end -- will not end until all of these amply qualified nominees are confirmed. now, one final matter. there's just one more week til the deadline for americans to file our 2017 tax returns. it's not exactly a national holiday but this year there's a silver lining. this april is the last time americans will file our taxes under the old outdated tax code that's on its way out thanks to historic tax reform. a year from now families will be filing under a simpler and fairer tax code that let's them keep more of what they've earned and send less to the i.r.s.
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they'll benefit from a double standard deduction, major expansions in key provisions like the child tax credit, and, of course, from significantly lower tax rates. all told, the average family of four earning the median income around $70,000 could see a tax cut of over $2,000. but let's remember the american people do not need to wait until next year to start seeing the fruits of a once-in-a-generation tax reform. job creators are already implementing plans to hire, expand, and invest in their american workers. already millions of workers have received word of a tax reform bonus, a permanent raise, or other new benefits such as paid family leave policies or expanded retirement assistance. that includes thousands of employees at south wire, a wire manufacturer that employs hundreds of kentuckians at its location in hallsville. for hardworking men and women at
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south wire, tax reform means bonuses and expanded educational opportunities. so, mr. president, the benefits of our new 21st century tax code are certainly no secret. as americans put the finishing touches on their tax returns under the old outdated tax system for the last time, there's good news to look forward to and there's good news that's actually already here. now, mr. president, i understand there are two bills at the desk due a second reading en bloc. the presiding officer: the leader is correct. the clerk will read the titles of the bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 2629, a bill to improve postal operations, service, and transparency. h.r. 5247, an act to authorize the use of eligible investigational drugs by eligible patients and so forth and for other purposes.
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mr. mcconnell: in order to place the bills on the calendar under the provisions of rule 14, i would object to further proceedings en bloc. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the bills will be placed on the calendar. the presiding officer: the democratic leader. mr. schumer: first let me welcome back my fellow senators after a productive state work period. let me welcome our newest senator, cindy hyde smith, the junior senator from mississippi. she's the first woman to represent the state of mississippi and i welcome her warmly to this chamber.
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now, over the past weeks, as we've been away, we've heard of the passing of two of our senators, zell miller and danny akoka. i would like to say a few words about danny who is a good friend of mean and everything he did. he was a soldier, a teacher, and a statesman. he embodied the spirit of hawaii. he was so sincere in his beliefs and such a kind and gentle man that senators went out of their way to help him and of course he fought so hard for his state. he taught us so much, in his modesty, in his persistence, in his love of his constituents. and so for all he taught us for his service and his friendship, we say mahalo one final time. now, it was tammy duckworth who first informed me of senator
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akaka's passing, and it shows god's rhythms of life, the passing of danny akaka after a -- after long service and a wonderful life, and now we have just learned of the birth of tammy duckworth's child. it's a milestone. tammy duckworth a few hours ago became the first senator to give birth while in office. we're very glad to hear that she and her newborn daughter are happy and healthy. now, like all of my colleagues, i spent the past few weeks crisscrossing my state, meeting with constituents. i'm always struck by their commonsense values. folks want to be able to afford quality health care. that's probably their greatest worry. they know that health care is so vital to them and their families. they know the costs keep going up. they're worried about premiums, especially after the republican congress has done so much to
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sabotage our health care system. talking about tearing down the health care system but never building it up in any way. folks also want a good job with decent benefits and higher wages, but they're not seeing much of that in the wake of the republican tax bill. in fact, they're disappointed, many of them, that they're not receiving more. they're seeing corporations buy back a lot of their stock, which boosts compensation for executives and shareholders, but they don't see that much of a bump in their paychecks. the bottom line is they're saying why are the wealthy getting so much more money in the tax break than we are? i've heard that from one end of my state to the other. another problem. folks want to be able to send their kids to school and know they will be safe. i talked to one mom whose daughter just doesn't want to go to school after what happened in parkland. she is afraid. she is 7 years old. a few weeks ago, i marched with hundreds of thousands of new
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yorkers in the march for our lives. their energy and optimism, dedication, give me hope that the -- that finally the time has come for congress to take meaningful action on gun safety. another example where our republican colleagues who run this senate haven't done enough, not close to enough, the issue of gun safety. on these issues and more, the republican majority has done very little, and what they have done has been on behalf of entrenched special interests. tax cuts for corporations and the super wealt -- wealthy, holding back on common sense gun safety laws like universal background checks because the n.r.a. opposes them. the american people are fed up with large, special, and powerful interests getting their way while average folks get left behind. that's what i heard traveling my state. and in november, the american people will have a chance to
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move this country in a dramatically different direction, away from the corporate special interest-driven politics, away from the swamp. i will talk more about that later, but president trump has made it worse despite claims that he's making it better, and towards the politics that works for the middle class and those struggling to get there. the enthusiasm among so many americans, not just core democrats but others, from going to the polls and making their voices heard because they want a change in direction in this country was heartening and strengthening to me. the democratic senate minority is working to get away from those special interest politics. that's what a democratic majority will do if elected in november. now, this week, the senate will consider several nominations, including the nomination of andrew wheeler to be deputy administrator at the
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environmental protection agency. mr. wheeler, not atypical of this administration, not atypical of the dense swamp that they have made a whole lot worse, is what else? an industry lobbyist who has worked on behalf of big polluters and climate change deniers. he spent careers working to undermine or lobby against environmental protections he may soon oversee. as a lobbyist, he helped raise money for a few republican senators who sit on the committee that recently approved his nomination. swamp? president trump? you're creating it. you're making it a lot worse. wheerl's -- wheeler's nomination fits the pattern in the trump administration of nominating industry lobbyists to lead agencies who are supposed to be a watchdog over those very industries. the nerve it takes for president trump and his allies to preach drain the swamp after all that the president has done to fill
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up the swamp since coming to washington, his cabinet, filled with multimillionaires, hedge fund managers, corporate executives, and former lobbyists with sprawling conflicts of interest. mr. wheeler is only the latest in a long line of swamp nominees i will be opposing his nomination. mr. wheeler's nomination sheds even more light on the current storm around e.p.a. administrator scott pruitt. if there was ever somebody who characterizes the swamp, it is scott pruitt, and all americans should believe that, regardless of your views on the environment or whether wind or solar or natural gas or oil or coal was the right form of energy. what pruitt is doing is just incredible. in a relatively brief tenure at e.p.a., he has amassed an embarrassing list of scandals. he's ordered the construction of an expensive soundproof office at the e.p.a. for reasons
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unknown when none of his predecessors, democrat or republican, saw any need for such a facility. he's typically flown coach when paying for travel out of his own pocket but elected to fly first class when the taxpayers foot the bill. and after moving to washington, administrator pruitt rented an apartment for a cut-rate price from, guess who? an energy lobbyist and former campaign donor who represents multiple clients with businesses before the e.p.a. during pruitt's tenure. the level of hypocrisy in this administration is staggering. president trump says he's going to drain the swamp. pruitt characterizes the swamp in just about all of his actions, and trump sticks by him. you want to drain -- if you want to drain the swamp, mr. president, get rid of mr. pruitt. but unfortunately, president trump has stood by pruitt despite obvious abuses of the taxpayers' money and trust.
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why? well, he likes what he's doing to unwind critical environmental protections on behalf of powerful industries. but the bottom line is simple, mr. president. president trump is so beholden to special interests that supported administrator pruitt and his extreme antigreen, industry-driven agenda that he's willing to turn a blind eye to serious ethical problems. if big oil are happy -- if big oil and big gas are happy with e.p.a. administrator pruitt, so it seems is president trump. in supporting administrator pruitt, president trump is lowering the bar for government ethics and accountability to the floor. what abuse will president trump not tolerate if administrator pruitt is allowed to continue in his position, despite flagrant graft? how can the president with a straight face say he aims to drain the swamp when he allows a
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man like pruitt to stay? how much will president trump let ethical -- let standards for ethical conduct in his administration deteriorate? i'd say to president trump the corruption and incompetence of this administration has reached a fever pitch. mr. president, president trump, if you truly mean to drain the swamp and it doesn't seem that you ought -- that you do, you ought to fire administrator pruitt immediately. accept his resignation. let him leave, which alone will clean up washington in a way that pruitt has not cleaned up our environment. now, on the c.b.o. report, today c.b.o. came out with a report that revised its projections of the deficit, saying they have, quote, increased markedly since
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the republican tax bill added about $1.9 trillion to the deficit. by 2020, the annual deficit will surpass $1 trillion. it's a reminder of just how wrong the predictions were that the republican tax bill would somehow pay for itself. it's also a reminder of how unserious the current republican party is about deficits. when it comes to tax cuts for big corporations and the rich, deficits are no impediment, but now that these tax cuts are in place, i predict that deficits will once again morph into a dire problem, a scourge on the nation, an excuse for republicans to target medicare, medicaid, and security. that's been the playbook since the bush era. explode the deficit with tax cuts for the rich and powerful, then use the deficit they created as a reason to cut social security and medicare. lo and behold, this week the
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republican leag in the house will vote on a balanced budget amendment. -- republican majority in the house will vote on a balanced budget amendment, a way to force cuts to medicare, medicaid, and social security. it's hard to believe they can say it with a straight face, but you will hear republican members say this week washington needs to get its fiscal house in order, only a few months after they added $1.5 trillion to the deficit by tax cuts that mainly benefited the wealthy and the powerful. it is the height, the height of hypocrisy. the american people deserve better than this patronizing kabuki theater. they deserve a congress squarely focused on helping the middle class, not the powerful, not the special interests, not those at the very, very top of the economic ladder. so far, this republican congress has shown it's not up to the job.
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every day more and more americans realize that. i yield the floor. and note 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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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono: i ask unanimous consent to vitiate the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. morning business is closed. under the previous order, the senate will proceed to executive session to resume consideration of the following nomination which the clerk will report. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, claria horn boom, of
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kentucky, to be united states district junk for the eastern and western districts of kentucky. the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms. hirono: i ask unanimous consent to place a lei on the lectern during my remarks. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. hirono: madam president, i rise today in remembrance of senator daniel akaka. senator akaka, who served in the senate for 23 years and sat at this desk passed away on friday morning with his wife of nearly 70 years, millie, and his extended family at his side. since his passing, people across hawaii have shared their memories of and tributes to senator akaka. each of their stories has a common thread. senator akaka's dedication to living with aloha. senator akaka embodied the aloha spirit. from meeting nearly every hawaii
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family who came to his office for a capitol tour to serving as a tireless advocate for veterans, the native hawaiian community, and hawaii families, senator akaka's care, empathy, and compassion were evident to everyone who knew him. when i was elected to the senate, i requested senator akaka's desk to be my desk. i did this because it represented continuity, as senator akaka's successor, and the desk is a symbol to me of his years of service and the aloha he had for this body and the people of hawaii. the last time i saw senator akaka was at last year's american logistics association hawaii conference. this gathering brings together hawaii businesses from across the state to market their products for sale to military commissaries. over 20 years ago, senator akaka worked with small businesses and the military commissary network
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to create this conference because he understood how much receiving a commissary contract would mean to hawaii's businesses, especially hawaii's small businesses. the conference started with one small table with a few products and grew to an entire ballroom full of local products and entrepreneurs. last year, the conference was named for senator akaka. that's who senator akaka was. he brought people together to solve problems and create opportunities. his legislative style wasn't flashy or over the top. he put his head down and got to work, and he would build relationships with colleagues to get things done. senator akaka's work on behalf of our nation's veterans also reflected his persistent reflective style. after serving in world war ii, senator akaka went to college under the g.i. bill and became an educator.
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as chairman of the senate veterans' affairs committee, he was a strong advocate for expanding the g.i. bill for a new generation of veterans. he authored the post-9/11 g.i. bill which was signed into law in 2011. senator akaka also championed the cause of the filipino veterans of world war ii in congress. these veterans fought for the united states but were denied the benefits and citizenship they were promised. senator akaka introduced legislation that would restore these veterans' benefits, and with his leadership, this bill passed the senate. later, he and senator inouye successfully included language in the 2009 stimulus bill that provide one-time payments through the new created filipino equity compensation fund. senator acan can a also introduced bipartisan legislation to allow these veterans to reunite with their children and families in the united states. while this bill did not pass, in
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2016 president obama through executive order established the filipino world war ii parole program to allow the children of that's veterans to reunite with their parents in the united states. some of these veterans have been waiting for decades to reunite with their children. although senator akaka had retired, his insistence on bipartisanship helped to build broad support for president obama's decision to issue this executive order. senator akaka was also instrumental in building support to award the filipino veterans of world war ii the congressional gold medal which passed in 2016 after years of continued effort. senator akaka was also champion for america's native peoples and served as chairman of the senate indian affairs committee. as a first -- as the first native american to serve in the united states senate, senator
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akaka fought to expand funding for native american housing and urban programs. president clinton signed into law senator akaka's apology resolution which acknowledged the federal government's role in the overthrow of the hawaiian kingdom in 1839. the resolution's unanimous passage marked the 100th anniversary of the overthrow and was a watershed moment for native hawaiians. it served as the united states' first official admission of the role it played in the overthrow of the hawaiian kingdom. later senator akaka worked on the hawaiian homelands recovery act. this law required the united states to make the hawaiian homelands whole by ensuring a repayment of lost use of lands originally set aside by congress but which were nevertheless transferred to or otherwise acquired by the federal government. the apology resolution and the
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lands recovery act provided the foundation for senator akaka's namesake legislation, the native hawaiian act. to establish a process to secure federal recognition for native hawaiians to achieve parity with alaska natives and american indians. when i served in the house of representatives, i introduced the house companion to the akaka bill and testified on the importance of passing this legislation in both the u.s. house and the u.s. senate. senator akaka reintroduced the akaka bill for more than ten years, but it did not pass before he retired. a former longtime akaka staff member reflected on the senator's commitment to the native hawaiian community. senator akaka worked tirelessly to address the issues resulting from the overthrow of the kippagedom of hawaii. felt strongly that there needed
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to be a process to bring all parties to the table because without such a process, these issues remained festering sources of emotional pain that would stand in the way of hawaii being able to move forward as a state and for native hawaiians to move forward as an indigenous peoples, end quote. building on his work, in 2016, the department of interior adopted truly rules creating a process that could establish a government-to-government relationship between the united states and native hawaiians. while the native hawaiian community has differences on the issue of federal recognition, everyone can agree that senator akaka pushed for the passage of the akaka bill because he wanted equity and justice for native hawaiian people. senator akaka's advocacy for our people's native peoples could best be summarized in his own words during his farewell address to the senate. i quote, the united states is a
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great country. one of the things that makes us so great is that though we have made mistakes, we change, we correct them, we pass -- we right past wrongs. it is our responsibility as a nation to do right by america's native people. those who exercise sovereignty on lands that later became part of the united states. while we can never change the past, we have the power to change the future. end quote. many people also may not know that senator akaka was just as committed to protect being hawaii's land and water resources as he was to improving the lives of had i i had's -- of hawaii's people. in 1992 he successfully passed his tropical forest recovery act into law which served as the basis for federal conservation efforts that protect hawaii's plants and forests. the senator, as was so much of
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his initiatives, was much ahead of his time. this act provided a vision and blueprint for tomorrow's conservation ethic, one that stressed the integration of ecology, livelihood and culture. in short, an ethic that emphasized sacred relationship between people and place, community and sustainably managed resources. senator akaka also leaves behind a demonstrated commitment to bipartisanship. he was widely known for his faithful attendance at the senate prayer breakfast every week and colleagues who attend that breakfast regularly ask me about how he and milley were doing. during his farewell speech, senator akaka said, and i quote, in congress and in our nation, we are truly all together in the same canoe. we paddle together in unison. we can travel great distances. it is the two sides cast knew
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paddle in opposite directions, we will only go in circles. senator akaka is deeply missed by all the people in hawaii, and i dare say he will be deeply missed by his colleagues in both the u.s. house and the senate. and the maile lei is here to signify his devotion and commitment to the people of hawaii. and i now yield the floor to my colleague, senator brian schatz. mr. schatz: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. mr. schatz: thank you, madam president. i thank senator hirono for his pointed remarks, and i'd like to offer my condolences to the family of senator daniel akaka. he died on friday at the age of 93, leaving behind a legacy of integrity, kindness, and service to hawaii and to the nation.
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in washington, senator akaka was an ambassador of aloha. he showed people kindness, respect, and hospitality rarely seen in this town. he didn't just represent hawaii's interests in the congress, he showed the world what hawaii represents. in the words of president kennedy, all that we are and all that we hope to be. he started that service as a welder i in the united states ay corps of engineers, he fought in world war ii in the pacific arena, traveling to places like saipan. when world war ii ended, he took advantage of the g.i. bill to attend the university of hawaii and to become a teacher, an occupation that he never fully left behind. senator akaka served for 36 years in the congress -- 14 years in the house and 22 year in the united states senate. -- here in the united states senate. he was loved by colleagues in
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both parties because he was kind to everyone. in fact, he never said a bad word about anyone, not even in private. the foundation for his kindness came from his faith, which learned from his mother annie. he was a faithful attendee of the senate prayer breakfast where he would lead members in singing hymns. danny akaka was also very humble. there were times he didn't get credit for the work that he did here because he didn't care about the credit. he cared about the work, about making a difference for people, especially those that he represented. he was deeply convinced that the government could improve people's lives because he had seen that in his own life as a
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beneficiary of the g.i. bill. he would become the senator to modernize that bill, bringing into the 21st century. he also fought hard forevernesses, for their benefits, for their recognition, no matter the color of their skin or their country of origin. once when someone challenged him on the cost of benefits for veterans, he answered by saying, and i quote, the price has already been paid many times over by the service of the brave men and women who wore our nation's uniform. senator akaka never forgot the cost of war on our country and he did everything he could to make sure that his colleagues didn't either. voted against the iraq war and advocated for peace and nuclear nonproliferation throughout his career. danny was unrelenting when it came to the causes that were most important to him. as the only native hawaiian to ever serve in the united states senate, he never stopped working
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to see native hawaiians recognized in a government-to-government relationship with the united states in his years on the indian affairs committee including as the changes he successfully sponsored the apology resolution, which recognized that the overthrow of the queen and the only monarch in the united states was illegal and facilitated by agents of our own federal government. this was the theme of senator akaka's career, to advocate for people who did not have power, for people who were vulnerable. he was a champion for the federal government employees who continue to this day to be a punching bag for some. he sponsored the 2012 whistle-blower protection act, which ensures that federal workers cannot be retaliated against if they report waste, fraud, and abuse. that was just one of the many things that he did to make the federal government a better employer. senator akaka also fought for
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consumers. he helped people who were trying to get out of credit card debt. he made sure investors had an advocate at the securities and exchanges commission, and he protected people who sent remittances around the world so they aren't swindled out of their hard-earned money. morning he would begin his day by meeting visitors from hawaii. those connections to his constituents, to home drove his work and kept him focused on helping hawaii. but much of his work was possible because of the bipartisanship and the relationships that he built with other senators. some of his best friends in the body -- senators inhofe, cochran, and barrasso -- were people with whom he did not agree very often. every member of this body, those who knew senator akaka and those who didn't, can learn from his legacy, a legacy of quiet leadership, of treating others the way you want to be treated and of focusing on the things that matter to the people that we are here to represent.
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i want to end with a few words from chaplain black. this is what he had to say about senator akaka. and i quote, there's something called ethical congruence. it troffers when -- it refers to when your actions back your rhetoric. most of us struggle with that because it is very easy to say something but much more difficult to live it. there is a verse in scripture that says we are living election so our lives should be something that people should be able to read. francis of assisi said, preach the gospel everywhere you go. when necessary, use words. senator akaka preached the gospel everywhere i went and very rarely had to use words. that's the kind of ethical congruence that he had. the united states senate and our country would be better off if there were more leaders like danny. he fought for the vulnerable, promoted peace, and looked for common ground. most of all, he embodied the aloha spirit and showed us all
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what it means to have a pure heart and be a true public servant. our thoughts are with the family of senator akaka today, with milli-, his children, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren and his staff. he will be remembered and greatly missed. i yield the floor. suck suggest. -- 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 georgia. mr. isakson: mr. president, is the senate in a quorum call? the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. mr. isakson: i'd ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. isakson: thank you. on the 23rd day of march stwa*eut, a little over -- 2018, a little over two weeks ago, zell brian miller from the state of georgia, former member of this body, form youer chairman f the democratic party in the state of georgia, who contributed immensely to his state passed away in his home of
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towns county. i'm here to pay tribute to zell and his life and contributions to our country both on a purposeful reason as far as a fellow member but a personal reason for me. he is an individual i met through politics, became one of my best friends through politics, became somebody who had more of an influence on my life than anybody i know in public service. dell died in young harris, georgia, home of young harris college. zell miller was, first of all, a teacher and a writer. he wrote over ten books. he taught. he was educated at the university of georgia, taught at young harris college. even as lieutenant governor he was an instructor and teacher. he was prof sore ial and tough as nails. he was four terms as lieutenant governor of georgia, then ran for governor in 1990. i happened to be his opponent in
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1990. i'll get to that in a minute. he won that election. it was pretty close. pretty soon we'll have grandchildren and i'll tell them that the thing was that close. he won and was collected twice as governor of georgia. as governor of georgia, he embraced education as a major issue. as i said, he was a teacher and was all about teaching. he did something nobody's ever done and some numbers that are very impressive. afraid -- he created the hope scholarship funded by the georgia lottery. a lot of lotteries have been passed and a lot of liquor referendums have been passed by promise people the money would go to education but they never did. in georgia the way it was done, it came out of the debates he and i had in the race for governor. when we passed the constitutional amendment to allow legal gambling in georgia and passed the hope scholarship which is where the money went, we tied all the money made in the lottery down separately for three things: college
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scholarships for eligible georgia students, four-year-old voluntary prekindergarten for georgia prek's at the age of four and technology and innovation wiring and infrastructure into our public schools. this was in 1990, the election. he was elected in 1990 as governor of georgia. served two terms. by the end of the decade, the lottery had passed. since its passage, 1.8 million georgia children have gotten their college education. 1.8 million. 1.6 million georgia four-year olds have gone to prekindergarten voluntarily. georgia's public schools are wired. they're on the internet. we deliver content through distance learning. it's at the leading edge of technology in public education of any state in the country. a lot of politicians can take credit for a lot of things, but i don't know of anybody who can take credit for 1.8 million college degrees, 1.4 million prekindergarten programs, wiring schools for the information
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technology of the 21st century and doing it all based on a personal effort and commitment to see to it the more that we're educated the better the state will be. zell was an author. he was an author. he was a marine. he served -- went in the marine corps from 1953 to 1956. he wrote a number of books about the marine corps, wrote articles about the marine corps. he wrote one book called "true corps values." the values he learned in the marine corps which he used throughout his life in education as a governor, as a father and as a family man. as a father, he was, his wife was shirley miller. shirley is a wonderful lady and i got to be with her a little bit during the services. zell and shirley are georgia forever because shirley was a partner with zell. she just wasn't his wife.
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she worked tirelessly for zell and for the state of georgia and to this day works tirelessly for our state. during zell's difficult years, the last few years, having the difficulties he had health wise she was there to be with zell every single day. zell miller came to the congress of the united states in a very unique way. paul cover dell who had the seat that i hold today died. paul was a republican. he was in his second term as a republican. roy barnes was governor of georgia, a democrat. when paul coverdell died, roy barnes called zell and said i need you to go to washington and cover for me. we need to make sure a democrat is in that place to replace paul. i wasn't involved in the conversation because i was hoping they were going to call me up, which i'll get to in a minute. they did later but they hadn't at that time. they decided, roy said you've
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got to do it for me, governor miller. you've got to make sure georgia stays democratic. georgia said i'm going to accept this to fill paul's seat but i'm going to vote like coverdell. he knew the conservative movement had taken the state and was moving in that direction. zell was a man of conscience and principal who recognized the importance of the united states senate seat but recognized more the wishes of the voters. he told roy barnes, me and everybody in the state, i'm going to take it, but i'm going to vote like paul coverdell. when that four years was up, finishing that term with paul coverdell, zell miller decided not to run again. in fact, he held -- i was in the united states house at that time and he held a press conference to say i will not seek reelection. that was in 2003. i got on the phone, called my wife and said i'm going to go see zell. if he's not going to run, i'm
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going to run for that seat. that will be a good way to end my career, make a contribution to my state. i called zell and said governor, can i come see you this weekend in young harris. he said yeah, come on. i got in my pickup truck which is a good way to drive in north georgia. i drove on a snowflake morning in georgia. i sat down with zell and i said, zell, the reason i'm here is you announced that you are not going to run for reelection, i want to know if you have any issue with me running to replace you. he said, put your shoes on, you can win that seat and let me know what i can do to help you. i will never forget his encouragement. and i will never forthe question him -- forget that when i ran against him for governor and 24
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years later replace him as a senator. zell is a unique individual. he was a democrat the day he was born and he was a democrat the day he died. he wrote a party, national party no more" which made a lot of democrats manned he spoke at the republican national convention to be the only one elected in history to speak the key address at both conventions. not the same year, but the same decade. he said what he thought, said what he thought was right. and if he was ever wrong, he apologized. in his latter years, he appointed many of his former opponents to offices of importance in our state. this is the first time i can publicly say thank you to zell miller, i hope he's listening to what i'm saying. when he beat me in 1990 and i
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ran to replace sam nunn and lost that seat as well, i thought i was through with public service. made my best effort, served in the legislature, but couldn't make it to the higher place. after i had run for sam nunn's seat. zell called me in office, he said i have a problem, i have a republican state school superintendent and democrat state legislature and they are fighting. i said -- he said, if i name you school board chairman, you can balance it out and solve the problem. i said, governor, i appreciate that, but i know what happens on a school board. there are ten other people that vote. you can't change ten people's mind unless you know who they are. he said, tell me who to appoint and i'll fire the others. he said come over to the mansion. for two hours i called people i
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knew i could trust and believe in and helped me with public education. i asked them to serve with me on the state board of education and asked them to help me clean up the mess. i accepted, he made the appointment and over two years we had a remarkable time period. in large measure because i thought my career politically was over. so i didn't think about what i was doing politically as i thought practically for kids. zemin wanted to have education as the apex of his career. he made sure it was in his second term. we joined together and to this day had a great period of time for public education in our state in terms of improvement, cashing in on the hope scholarship and doing all the things we did later on. i could go on and on. i have known a lot of people and i've never known a better one that zell miller. i never knew anyone more true to
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their word, could be counted on, who would say they are sorry when they were sorry, fight like helsinki when they need -- fight like hell when they needed to file like hell and would do the right thing for the state of georgia. on this night in the washington, d.c., having gone to zell miller's funeral and having loved him over the years, let me say one of georgia's greatest citizens, expwhrel will -- zell will be missed greatly by our state and me. i thank god i had the opportunity to know zell bryan miller. god bless you, zell. thank you for what you did on behalf of the people of georgia. god bless you and the united states of america. i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture 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 nomination of claria horn boom of kentucky to be united states district judge for the eastern and western districts of kentucky signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the is senate that debate on the nomination of claria horn boom to be judge shall be
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brought to a close. the yeas and nays of mandatory under the rule. the clerk will now call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: have all senators voted? are there any senators in the
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chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the yeas are 96. the nays are 2. the motion is agreed to. the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that at a time to be determined by the majority leader in consultation with the democratic leader, the senate proceed to executive session for the consideration of the following nomination, executive calendar 376. i ask consent that there be ten hours of debate equally divided in the usual form, that following the use or yielding back of time, the senate vote on the nomination with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, no further motions be in order, and that any statements relating to the nomination be printed in the record. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection.
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mr. alexander: mr. president, i notice 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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the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: are we in a quorum call? i ask that the quorum call be vitiated.
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the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: thank you, mr. president. last wednesday in arizona at the grand canyon, a number of us gathered to honor mo udall and john mccain and their friendship and partnership which made america a lot better. for months john was looking forward to this gathering many he mentioned it to me several times last year. he was very excited, you could kind of see the sparkle in his eyes. he was unable to attend because of the battle he is fighting. looking back, the friendship between mo and john was remarkable, how different they were but how well they got along. in 1982, arizona could not have elected two more different members to the united states house of representatives. mo udall was elected to the 12th term, a third generation
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arizonian, a tall, lincoln effect, one-eyed mormon who tried to cheat his way into serving in world war ii. he was a liberal democrat in a conservative state he championed the environment and native americans and one of the most powerful and respected members of the house who chaired the interior committee, critical to arizona's welfare, and john mccain, and easterner, a newcomer to phoenix. a carpetbagger some said, a stocky, handsome son and grandson of four-star navy admirals who easily made his way into the u.s. naval academy only to grad rate 894 out of 899 in his class due to his extreme rebelliousness. a man described as, quote,
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freshman right-wing nazi when he entered congress. but, as a naval officer who could have been freed from imprisonment as a p.o.w. in vietnam, yet refused to leave his men behind and instead suffered unimaginable torture and pain for over five years. despite his novice as an arizona politician, john mccain knew enough to beg to secure a place on the interior committee. at that point mo's decency and john's courage met. while john was new to arizona politics, and by his own admission, could not tell a copper mine from a cotton field, he had promised being elected president of his minority republican class. mo graciously, without any political gain in sight, took john under his generous, broad
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wing. mo taught john the power of consensus and bipartisanship, and in turn john had the guts to buck his own party many together they forged a remarkable partnership. mo is marked by graciousness, ewe milty and human overror -- humor and john by bomb bassty and courage. they sided together to protect the grand canyon, the wilderness, they improved the lives of our first americans, they sided together to up end the campaign finance system try to make sure politicians are beholden to their constituents, not to special interests. john took these positions in sharp contrast to his party. after mo retired from the house and john entered the senate, john continued to take fearless
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positions. he championed immigration reform, supports curbing methane emissions. many americans will never forget, and i was standing right about here when this happened, will never forget when on july 28, 2017, john mccain stepped into the well of the senate and gave an unexpected thumbs down to his party's desperate attempt to repeal the affordable care act. be in 1982, mo and john appeared to be wordle apart, -- worlds apart, liberal politician and a conservative who would necessarily be at odds, and yet they shared so much. both stood their their principles, but both believed in working across the aisle to get things for the american people. both put country over personal ambition, fame, and fortune, both were men of integrity and
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both were courageous. all of us can learn from their duty to country over selves. their commitment to working for all americans and their dedication to working with the party across the aisle to reach consensus. morris king udall and john mccain, iii, were unlikely political allies and even more unlikely friends, but they were both. and both are true american here wrote -- heroes. heroism is not borne of words, bravado and bragging, but of silent deeds of helping others, and mo and john accomplished much. they are both true heroes. i'm privileged to have known both men. to have grown-up with uncle mo,
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to campaign with him and shared his stories and stolen his jokes, and to have served in the senate and to serve with john mccain. we have worked -- john and i have worked together on many issues. we have traveled internationally. our work together on the senate indian affairs committee has produced real results. after the grand canyon event, i went to visit john at his ranch. he's working hard to recover and wants to return to the senate. his spirits are good. he was returning calls and working on statements while we visited. he was planning ranch projects right in front of us that had to do with -- with cottonwoods that were out in front of us as we were looking out of his place. his wonderful wife cindy, a
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strong and talented woman in her own right, was at his side and working to make sure things were ship shape at the ranch. what a unique and loving partnership. john, we wish you and cindy the very best and look forward to your speedy return. i note 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. mcconnell: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority leader of the senate. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: notwithstanding rule 22, i ask unanimous consent that at 12:10 on tuesday, april 10, the senate vote on the confirmation of the boom
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nomination, and that if confirmed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. further, that the cloture vote in relation to the ring nomination occur at 2:15. i ask unanimous consent the energy committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate proceed to the en bloc consideration of the following nominations -- p.n. 1637, p.n. 1653, p.n. 1680. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the nominations en bloc. the clerk: department of energy, james riley of colorado to be director of the united states geological survey. theodore j.gerrish of maryland to be assistant secretary of energy, international affairs. james edward campus of nevada to be director of the office of minority economic impact.
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mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate vote on the nominationses en bloc with no intervening action or debate, that if confirmed the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table en bloc, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, that no further motions be in order, that any statements related to the nominations be principled in the record. the presiding -- printed in the. the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the nominations en bloc. all those in favor say aye. those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nominations are confirmed en bloc. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate resume legislative session for a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the appointments at the desk appear separately in the record as if made by the chair. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 304, h.r. 3445. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 304,
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h.r. 3445, an act to enhance the transparency and accelerate the impact of programs under the african growth and opportunity act, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding? without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar number 35, s. res. 85. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 355, s. res. 85, calling on the government of iran to fulfill repeated promises of assistance in the case of robert levinson, and so forth. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported amendment be agreed to, the resolution as amended be agreed to, the committee-reported amendment to the preamble be agreed to, the preamble as
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amended be agreed to, and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar 356, s. res. 432. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 356, s. res. 432, congratulating the baltic states of estonia, latvia, and lithuania on the 100th anniversary of their declarations of independence. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee-reported amendment be agreed to, the resolution as amended be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of h.r. 3979. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 3979, an act to amend the fish and wildlife act
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of 1956, and so forth and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to providing to the measure? without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further debate on the bill. the presiding officer: hearing no further debate, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill is passed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. tuesday, april 10. 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. i further ask that following leader remarks, the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the boom nomination under the previous order.
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finally, i ask that the senate recess from 12:30 until 2. 156789 to allow for the weekly conference meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: if there is no further business to come before the senate, ski that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
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>> welcome.for those who have nn
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the campus before, i encourage you to walk around and take in the beauty of the campus some other days, not today. i have a little feedback on the microphone. whenever i speak about cyber security the question i get is how worried should we be in on scott cyber security the answer is that you can never worry too much, however much you worry is the right amount are not enough. on election hacking were getting into that territory i want to apologize this is happening with there's not much going on with hacking of our election at least one of our panelists today knows the dr. quite well.


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