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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  June 14, 2018 11:29am-1:29pm EDT

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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are 83. the nays are 14. the motion is agreed to. mr. inhofe: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i make a point of order that amendment 2366 is not germane. the presiding officer: the point of order is well taken. the amendment falls. mr. inhofe: i make a point of order that amendment 2700 is not germane. the presiding officer: point of order is well taken. the amendment falls. mr. inhofe: i call up amendment number 2276 on behalf of senator boozman. the presiding officer: the
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clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from oklahoma, mr. inhofe, for mr. boozman, proposes an amendment numbered 2276 to amendment number 2282 as modified to h.r. 5515. mr. inhofe: i ask unanimous consent that reading of the amendment be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reed: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. reed: i call up amendment 2885 to 2276. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: the senator from rhode island, mr. reed, proposes an amendment numbered 2885 to amendment number 2276. mr. reed: i ask consent the reading of the amendment be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. inhofe: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from oklahoma. mr. inhofe: i call apamendment 2273 to the underlying bill. the presiding officer: the clerk will report.
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the clerk: the senator from oklahoma mr. inhofe for mr. rounds proposes an amendment numbered 2273 to the language proposed to be stricken by amendment number 2282 as modified. mr. cornyn: mr. president. the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. cornyn: mr. president, i'm glad we're making such great progress in the defense authorization bill, and i know some additional work needs to be done. but i wanted to come to the floor and comment briefly on the meeting that occurred this last week, this historic meeting with north korean officials in singapore. president trump, secretary of state pompeo, national security
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advisor bolton and the rest of the american delegation are to be congratulated for having this meeting. it was an historic first step, and i applaud president trump for taking it. but i reiterate, it was a first step. to me, it reminds me of boxers entering the ring and touching gloves before the fight begins. it's a warmup for something longer and much more difficult. we need to remain clear-eyed about who we're dealing with and not assume that there isn't hard work to be done. as one commentator recently put it, north korean duplicity is normal. we need to remind ourselves of our own history of negotiating with north korea and our counterpart's record of saying one thing and simply doing another. the joint agreement signed by president trump and kim jong un set broad goals whereby the u.s. made unspecified security
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guarantees and kim jong un recommitted to work toward the complete denuclearization of the korean peninsula. this agreement set the stage for future engagements between our secretary of state and his north korean counterpart. by saying it's a first step are like two boxers touching gloves before the fight begins, i don't want to suggest in any way that this was unimportant. i think it's dramatically important because i can't think of any other place in the world where we, a misstep or miscalculation could lead to so much bloodshed and heartache and conflict. and while we know that the military option must always be the last option, diplomacy is always welcome and is facilitated by a strong military and preparedness. but now the follow-up
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negotiations will be led by secretary pompeo, and i have every confidence that he will ably lead those. he said that the u.s. hopes to achieve m disarmament of north korea's nuclear arsenal during the next two and a half years, but added emphatically that we will resume joint military exercises with south korea if the talks stall. i think this represents the right approach. aiming for the best while remaining vigilant and prepared for all possible obstacles and outcomes. president trump has said that sanctions against north korea will remain in effect until we're sure that nuclear weapons are no longer a factor. i applaud this stance of maximum pressure, and we shouldn't take our foot off the gas at this point, because that's what brought us to this historic meeting in the first place. i believe the united states should remain committed to the
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permanent verifiable and irreversible dismantling of north korea's weapons of mass destruction, and i wish secretary pompeo luck as he continues follow-up discussions in south korea to help accomplish the goal that we seek as speaker ryan said last week, president trump has now disrupted the status quo. i like the way he expressed that. president trump, if nothing, is good at disrupting the status quo. but here when it comes to north korea, it is enormously positive. when the status quo includes a brutal dictatorship that commits flagrant human rights violations, has a state-controlled economy starving its own people in order to build nuclear weapons and has shown contempt for international norms and global diplomacy, i say the careful and cautious kind of disruption is exactly the right thing to do. our colleagues across the aisle
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seem to agree, and i'm grateful for that. not everything needs to be a partisan issue here in washington, d.c. in a statement, the junior senator from vermont called the summit earlier this week a positive step in deescalating tensions. i saw former director of national intelligence james clapper made similar positive remarks. we'll have to wait and see how this story unfolds, but the president is to be commended first for ensuring that the summit took place at all, and then providing us with hope for a path forward. mr. president, another item of business today is the farm bill which i hope we will take up promptly here in the senate. fortunately it passed the ag committee yesterday, the senate agriculture committee by a vote of 20-1. thanks to chairman roberts and ranking member stabenow, this bipartisan compromise is a fair
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and equitable bill that does not favor one region of the country over another. i found in my time in the senate, agriculture issues in the farm bill doesn't pit democrats against republicans so much as it pits one region of the country against another, which makes it even more challenging. kind of a rubik's cube to figure out. but the near unanimous vote is a testament to the collaboration and bipartisanship of the leaders of the committee, and they deserve the respect and appreciation of us all, especially those of us who hail from states where agriculture has such a dominant presence, like my state, like the presiding officer's state. the farm bill is always a significant piece of legislation because it helps ensure that americans and many other people who depend upon our food supply enjoy the access to the safest, most affordable and most reliable food supply in the
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world. we have to remember that in many nonwestern countries you can't just walk up to a store and know that what you want will be there on the shelf or that it will be affordable, or that it will be safe to even eat. the farm bill helps ensure we continue to enjoy each of those things, knowing that we can walk into a store, that we'll find what we want, that it will be affordable and that it will be safe to eat. this year's farm bill will be hugely impactful for farmers and ranchers in my state, texas. among its most noteworthy provisions are protecting seed cotton eligibility for the safety net. in the fundamental bill we passed last february, we worked hard to include this language, returning cotton to the safety net, the cotton growers compete on a level playing field after years of depressed prices. so i want to thank chairman roberts and ranking member stabenow for ensuring, as well
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as the rest of the committee for ensuring that this policy continues and that cotton farmers have the long-term predictability they deserve under the farm bill. this year's bill also retains and strengthens the price loss coverage program to help provide texas producers with predictability throughout unstable weather and natural disasters. that comes as great news this year, especially when we're all well aware that much of the texas pan handle as well as much of the rest of my state remains under severe or even exceptional drought conditions. additionally the bill promotes animal health and reauthorizes disease research programs, including a crucial one that will help the u.s. department of agriculture research and contain the stred of cattle -- the spread of cattle fever. this is a parasite carrying insects with the potential to wipe out cattle herds and cause
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devastating financial losses. and the research programs that we're promoting will help farmers and ranchers all across the country. i know the senior senator from minnesota, for example, has been concerned about avian influenza in her state and i'm glad we are able to work together to make sure these important research programs, with all of their implications are authorized in the bill. on top of that, the farm bill will strengthen crop insurance and other crop management tools and enhance incentive programs that help the ag community conserve soil and water. finally the bill encourages the u.s. department of agriculture research partnerships including those in places like texas a&m, texas tech and prairie view a&m to promote more productive and profitable farming and will assist texas farmers and ranchers in selling their products in foreign market. i know we'll take the farm bill
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on the floor as soon as possible and i look forward to supporting its swift package.
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, madam president. i ask at the outset, madam president, that by unanimous consent my defense fellow, united states marine corps officer alexander montiby, be granted floor privileges for the remainder of the debate on the defense authorization act. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. blumenthal: thank you, madam president. madam president, i ask unanimous consent to set aside the pending amendment in order to call up amendment number 2304. the presiding officer: is there an objection? mr. inhofe: madam president, i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard.
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mr. blumenthal: madam president, this amendment very simply directs the postmaster general to issue a forever stamp to honor gold star families who have lost a family member in combat. it is about as simple and straightforward as an amendment to this immensely complex and costly measure could be. we are now in the second decade of these wars in iraq and afghanistan at humongous cost to our nation in treasure, some $5 trillion, and in lives, close to 7,000 americans have perished there. on this flag day, and at the
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beginning of the father's day weekend, i ask that this body approve an amendment that very simply would issue and direct the postmaster to deliver a forever stamp commemorating the sacrifice and loss of our gold star families. all of us in this body have attended funerals. we have seen firsthand the losses suffered by the brave americans -- their families, their loved ones, their friends, their dads, and their moms. and all of us ought to be joining in paying tribute to
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those families by directing the postmaster general to issue a forever stamp that will be valid for whatever time it is used. there is precedent for this kind of stamp. in fact, i was reminded of it by a friend and constituent, joe calico, of greenwich, connecticut, who was inspired by his childhood stamp collection to suggest a forever gold star stamp. the stamp was issued in 1947 for gold star mothers. it expired about a year thereafter. since then, this nation has never issued such a stamp again,
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but there is no better time than now to recognize this service and sacrifice. this amendment is a very simple way to pay tribute to americans who have lost loved ones in wars that we have permitted and authorized to go forward, indeed, this defense bill has more than $700 billion, and a good part of it will be in support of the continued american service and sacrifice in iraq and afghanistan. and so my question to colleagues is, who knows better about whether this stamp ought to be issued, the postmaster general or ourselves? their objection is that somehow there is a bad precedent here in
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congress authorizing a forever stamp. well, we ought to be proud of that precedent because this cause is different, and especially as we pass a measure that will support continued war effort in defense of our nation, protecting our national security. we ought to be especially mindful of the need to remember and to pay tribute to families who have sacrificed loved ones in the service of our country. i know every one of my colleagues joins me in this feeling. i hope that every one of my colleagues will join me in
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making that feeling known to the postmaster general. this amendment is one way of doing it, and to -- all of us who's sons and daughters have served, as two of mine have, during this period of war, we must be haunted by the idea that we could be one of them. we could be one of those gold star families, and no doubt some of my colleagues have been touched directly and immediately. in fact, i would say almost all of us by knowing friends, neighbors, relatives who have suffered these losses. let us remember them in this
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special way as the nation did after world war ii. let us remember the moms and the dads on father's day, on flag day, every day. i want to speak more generally about the national defense authorization act because it is a vital and profoundly significant step towards sustaining our national defense and security in an era of unprecedented threats to our great nation. the dangers have never been greater. the need for this defense, particularly in areas and domains where we are potentially at a disadvantage, like cyber, is critically important. the united states is the strongest and greatest nation in the history of the world.
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militarily we have no peer, but other nations are rapidly advancing in many of the spaces and domains where our advantage was secure -- in undersea warfare and space and cyber and robotic combat, we must invest. and we need to invest not only in the hardware but in the people -- in the men and women who fight, who put their lives on the line, who wear the uniform, equally in the men and women who make the arms and equipment and weapons platforms that they take into combat. they should never have a fair
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fight and the defense industrial base requires skills and training so they can make the submarines and helicopters and joint strike fighters that we do in connecticut and in states around this country. the men and women who make that stuff are equally important to our national defense and their skill training and jobs are vital to our national security. and so i think we need to recognize that education and training is a vital part of our defense even though it may not be included in this bill. i was proud to author a provision that will ensure that survivors of military sexual trauma, assault, and harassment are eligible for, quote, liberal
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consideration, end quote, during discharge upgrade petition. throughout my service in the senate, i've worked to improve discharge upgrade provisions to ensure that service member petitions are treated fairly and expeditiously. this policy change was a crucial next step in reforming that discharge petition upgrade process. another provision i led will require a zero-tolerance policy toward domestic violence in the military. a long overdue provision that will ensure that offenders in the armed services are held accountable and referred to the f.b.i. and in defending our nation against russian cyber attacks, a provision in this year's ndaa will authorize cyber com to
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detect, secure, and defend against russian cyber war fare wanes that target government officials. we should be vastly more against cyber attacks from russia and other adversaries around the world rather than coddling and cozying up to them as this administration seems want to do repeatedly. we should be recognizing they are attacking us literally daily in the cyber domain. this legislation will invest in that defense industrial base that is so vital in connecticut and elsewhere. i'm proud that connecticut plays such a vital role in our defense industry. 5% of our country's defense contract spending is done in connecticut and every dollar of it is critical to our national security involving production of
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submarines and electric boats and f-35 engines at pratt & whitney and helicopters at sycorsky, notably the heavy lift, and the submarines and helicopters are proudly produced in this asker nape of domestic -- arsenal. grotten, connecticut, is where many submarines are made and we have $4.4 billion for two virginia-class submarines. i fought to include an additional $250 million in funding above the president's request for over $3 billion in advanced procurement of advanced submarines to achieve the navy's
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goal of 66 attack submarines for the 355-ship navy. this is not a luxury or convenience. they are the stealthiest, most versatile, stronger weapons platform we have, capable of surveillance and other vital means of war. i've also championed more than $10.4 billion in funding for 75f-35 joint strike fighters across air force, navy, and marine corps services for the only fifth generation fighter in production. i'm so glad the administration is now supporting the f-35 after the president expressed doubts at the beginning of this administration, and the bill also includes $1 billion toward
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f-35 modernization and spares. the 2019 ndaa includes very robust funding for helicopter production, swakorsky helicopters have served our nation for decades, and it will support collaboration involving the university of connecticut and the navy, $25 million above the president's request for workship partnership. as we consider these floor amendments, madam president, i want to emphasize one amendment that i have offered concerning the current immigration crisis, specifically the predicament of unaccompanied minors. in may, attorney general jeff sessions declared that the justice department would prosecute every person who illegally enters the country and
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separate -- separate children from their parents. previously, families apprehended at the border were released as they waited for civil deportation hearings, but this new cruel policy will tear apart countless families. already it has separated thousands of children, literally thousands of children of immigrant families from their moms, and, yes, on this father's day from their dad. these heartless separation policies are made even more inhumane with the announcement that the trump administration plans to house these immigrant children who have been separated by their parents, house them on military bases. the only reason the trump administration is even considering detaining children
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on military installations is because the number that they are tearing away from their moms and dads exceeds the facilities they have available right now. the department of health and human services has already visited four military installations, both in texas and arkansas, to assess whether they can be used to shelter children. just this week, we also heard that the trump administration is looking to construct tent citieg the southern border to house unaccompanied migrant children. this practice ought to make us ashamed and embarrassed as americans. it is appalling. i am ashamed that the united
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states is not only actively destroying families and indefinitely detaining children but using military bases to do it. turning military installations into detention camps is a disservice to our brave military men and women. using our military installations to in effect imprison children separated from their parents mocks their purpose and disrespects our brave men and women in uniform who rightly use them in the defense of our nation. my amendment to the ndaa would explicitly prohibit the department of defense using any funding authorized in this defense spending package to
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revise or rebuild or renovate military bases to house these undocumented, unaccompanied minors. i urge my colleagues to speak out about this disgusting and dangerous policy, not only the separation of children from their moms and dads but also the use of our cherished military bases for that purpose. i am proud also to have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to stand up to the threat posed by two chinese telecommunications companies, huawei and z.t.e. this bipartisan opposition to their continued business is a testament to our ability to work across the aisle in defense of our nation. our military and intelligence leaders have repeatedly warned that z.t.e. and huawei threaten the security of our networks due to their close ties to the
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chinese government. they have also violated our sanctions, broken our law, and provided equipment and services to rogue regimes such as iran and north korea. president trump and commerce secretary wilbur ross may be willing to overlook z.t.e.'s track record, but congress will not do so. our amendment which has been clued in the managers' package will prohibit z.t.e. and huawei technology and equipment from entering the networks of the united states government and its contractors for the safety and security of all of us. it's not just -- an intellectual point. it is a practical security measure. these two companies are instruments of chinese influence, and they are peddling
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that influence throughout the world. we will assure through this provision that these two telecommunications companies beholden to the chinese government are not a part of our communication system in this great nation. madam president, i am proud to support this ndaa, and i yield the floor. a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. peters: madam president, the
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constitution charges congress with the authority and the responsibility to raise and support armies and provide and maintain a navy. it is a responsibility that this body takes very seriously. that is why for over 50 years, the national defense authorization act has been signed into law each and every year. it is the only piece of legislation with this long history of consistently being passed by congress and signed into law by the president. this history is a reflection of the importance of the policies and funding authorization within the bill, and i am particularly proud that this bill includes support the michigan's important contributions and supports those contributions to national defense. for example, the 127th wing at south ridge air national guard base flies the a-10, and in 2015 deployed in the fight against isis. as a result of their outstanding
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performance, the 127th wing won the spatz trophy as the top flying unit in the air national guard, as well as the meritorious unit award following their deployment. the a-10 is without question a great airplane, but it is also getting old, and the a-10 fleet will require wing replacements in order to continue to fly those so-important missions. that is why i worked to include an authorization for an additional $65 million for a-10 wing replacement, bringing the bill's total investment in new a-10 wings to over $144 million. these funds will help pay for new wings for a full squadron's worth of a-10 aircraft which are vital for close air support and combat search and rescue missions. our troops on the ground know that when they hear the iconic roar of an a-10, that help is on
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the way. a-10 pilots and maintainers are proud of their mission, as they should be. this bill works to ensure that these aircraft will keep flying. the legislation also includes an additional $70 million for the next generation combat vehicle prototype. the detroit arsenal in warren will be the home of the army's crossfunctional team for the next generation combat vehicle reporting to the army's futures command. this important work on developing the future of the army's ground vehicle will continue to occur in southeast michigan, taking advantage of many of the ought motive manufacturers and suppliers that are shaping the future of mobility. just as the commercial ought motive industry is developing connected and autonomous vehicles which will change the future of transportation forever, the next generation combat vehicle and other concepts developed by the army's tank ought motive research and
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development and engineering center will change the future of warfare. all self-driving vehicles, whether they are developed for the military or for the auto industry, rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning. artificial intelligence powers autonomous systems but can also reform the business practices of the pentagon. a.i. can help with personnel management and purchasing practices and find insights and efficiencies that are difficult to find unless you can manipulate and analyze the department's massive amounts of data. artificial intelligence will have an enormous impact on our economy, and that is why it is essential that the united states make significant investments at a.i. development and that we lead the world in developing this capability. we know that our competitors are taking a.i. very seriously. china has developed a national strategy to develop its a.i. capabilities, and vladimir putin
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has said whoever leads in a.i. will rule the world. the united states must lead the way on artificial intelligence to best shape the future economy and our country, to strengthen our national security, and to address the moral and ethical questions that arise with any new technology. without question, the united states needs our own coordinated strategy on a.i. that is why i wrote a provision in the bill that designates a senior official for artificial intelligence at the department of defense, cuts red tape, letting that person utilize all of the flexibility that congress has provided to the pentagon. it's also important that we take steps to protect american ingenuity and innovation generally. that's why i also authored a provision in the bill that will allow the department of defense to require that companies and researchers receiving defense contracts do not share new
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technologies and capabilities developed with any foreign entity, and if they do, they will lose the rights to that intellectual property. this will help ensure that investments made by darpa and at the department of defense labs are not shared with our competitors. additionally, this bill also includes reform of the committee on foreign investment in the united states known as cfius. cfius works to ensure that investments in u.s. companies made by foreign investors do not threaten national security by providing other countries with access to the crown jewels of u.s. technology. in closing, madam president, i'd like to point out that this bill is named for chairman john mccain. we all know his presence is missed on the armed services committee, as well as throughout the entire senate. i wish him a speedy recovery, and i am keeping him and his
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family in my prayers. thank you, madam president. i yield the floor. and 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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mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer:, would. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that notwithstanding rule 22, all postcloture time expire at 1:45 p.m. today. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. mcconnell: for the information of senators, this sets up a series of votes this afternoon. we should expect three to four votes during this series.
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i have four requests for committees to meet during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. aa senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from from washington. ms. cantwell: is there a quorum call? the presiding officer: there is not. ms. cantwell: madam president, i come to the floor today to honor washington state's finest, spokane native and washington state university cougar steve gleason. i know my senate colleagues will be here this afternoon to do the same. my colleagues from louisiana and washington have introduced legislation to award steve the congressional gold medal,
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congress' highest honor. i look forward to seeing this legislation passed later today by unanimous consent. many washingtonians remember steve as a standout student athlete whose dedication in the classroom earned him repeated academic honors and whose dominance on the football field helped both in his efforts with dazzling records and showing the unbelievable determination to fans. and everybody back home is pulling for steve. for steve to go from the seahawks instead signing with the new orleans saints -- i mean, that is we wanted him to be at the seahawks and he went to the cents -- he quickly became a fan for his work, his ethic and the joy he brought to the game. in his first game under the super-dome, he blocked a punt. it is a play that fans still
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remembered fondly. but it is not steve's athletic feats at the university or in the super-dome that make him recognition. it is his perseverance, his determination, and his unbreakable spirit in the face of a.l.s. and his advocacy, his dogged advocacy for people who have been impacted by this disease. that is why steve is such an inspiration to the people of spokane, throughout the state of washington, and across the united states. through his public advocacy in collaboration with congress, steve helped pass the steve gleason act which ensures that people with a.l.s. and degenerative diseases can access speech-generating devices whether at home or in a health facility. his leadership with the gleason institute and the foundation together with a.l.s. research has represented us improve the lives of countless individuals
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who've been impacted by this disease. we could not be more proud of him and that is why we're here today to make sure that this legislation gives that appropriate recognition. steve gleason said, quote, our potential is not contained in our physical bodies but, rather, in our mind and in our spirit, end quote. i so appreciate all he has done to help fight this disease and to be such a leader in communicating the needs and the progress that we all can make. i thank the president, and i yield the floor.
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the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be called up en bloc. amendment 2289, 2295, 2230, 22323, 2236, 2240, 2241, 2464, 2486, 2509, 2540, 2550, 2589,
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2588, 2600, 2611, 2611, 2623, 2633, 2634, 2653, 2654, 2686, 269 # #, 2695, 2721, 2723, 2729, 2737, 2742, 2755, 2758, 2768, 2794, 2799, 2800, 2810, 2815, 2818, 2830, 2862, 2863, 2887. i further ask concept that these amendments be considered en bloc, that it be in order for the lee amendment number 2366 to be called up and there be up to an hour of debate on the amendments to run concurrently
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and following the use or yielding back of that time the senate vote on the en bloc amendment and on the lee amendment. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. graham: yes, madam president, reserving the right to object, and i will object. a very smart man on the judiciary committee like i am -- i don't know if i'm smart but we're on the same committee. we're making progress here, very briefly. senator cruz has had an amendment that says if someone is suspected of being part of an enemy force you'll have a hearing to strip their citizenship which avoided problem that senator lee and i have, and he's trying to combine that with his amendment. unfortunately there is no ability to hold them as an enemy combatant during that process, and maybe we can work that out later. so i object. mr. lee: madam president. the presiding officer:
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objection is heard. mr. lee: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from utah. mr. lee: i appreciate the efforts made by my friend and distinguished colleague, the senator from south carolina. i wish to speak concerning the purpose for my making this request. and i do so with great respect for this body, for its customs, its traditions, its rules and for each of its members. at the same time it's imperative that we point out here what's happening. we've got a bill, one of the most consequential pieces of legislation we vote on each year, the national defense authorization act. and we've been effectively shut out of a meaningful amendment process, one that has historically marked this body is one of its distinguishing characteristics, one that has historically helped this body refer to itself as the world's greatest deliberative
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legislative body. we've tested that in recent months and years as members have started objecting with increasing frequency to tpheupbl getting a vote on -- to anyone getting a vote on any amendment they don't like that they object to. the amendment at issue here is based on a bipartisan piece of legislation called the due process guarantee act. i'm the lead sponsor along with my lead cosponsor, the senior senator from california, senator feinstein. the purpose of this amendment is simple. it's to make sure that the u.s. government has no authority and claims no authority to indefinitely detain u.s. citizens apprehended on u.s. soil. now most people listening to this, anyone listening to it might think why on earth would we need legislation stating something so obvious. the fact is that we shouldn't. it is the command of the fourth,
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fifth and sixth amendments not to mention other statutoryry protections that the -- indefinite detention, these kinds of things are anathema to our way of life, our constitutional system of laws. why then do we need this amendment? well, about seven years ago toward the end of 2011 when congress was considering and then ultimately passed the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012, congress included in that legislation a provision, section 1021 of that bill, that purported to give the u.s. government that authority in certain circumstances. in other words, there were circumstances in which based on the accusations against you as an american citizen could potentially be apprehended on u.s. soil and held indefinitely without charge or trial. this violates everything we know about our system of government. it violates everything we know about the laws of any basic,
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decent nation, any nation that recognizes the fundamental essentially eternal dignity of the human soul. this is not something we do here in the united states. i raised objections to it at the time. i tried to fix it at the time. it didn't happen. the following year, late in 2012 when we were addressing the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2013, toward the end of 2012, i introduced an amendment that is substantially identical to the one that i'm trying to seek a vote on today, and it passed by a bipartisan supermajority vote of 67. 67 members voted for this. that is more than a majority, of course. it's more than than the three-fifths needed to close debate. it's equal to the sum that's required when you're proposing a constitutional amendment out of this body or trying to override a presidential veto. that's what we had and yet for reasons that escape me, that
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provision was removed in the conference committee, while the conference committee was trying to reconcile competing house and senate versions of the bill. in the subsequent six years i've tried repeatedly to get a vote on this amendment again, recognizing that it passed overwhelmingly and that it was inexplicably removed from the bill during the conference committee. after promise, promise after promise has been made to help me get an amendment, vote, on that amendment ever since then and it hasn't panned out. so we've got an opportunity to consider it here. yesterday something interesting happened. yesterday there was a motion to table this amendment. in other words, there were some members of this body who didn't want to consider it at all. they made a motion to table it. when you table something in the senate you're setting it aside saying we're not going to address that. you know what happened? 68 people voted against that motion to table.
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68 people voted, in other words, that we should have a vote on this amendment. 68 members. that's more than a majority. that's more than the three-fifths or 60 needed to close debate and that's unfortunate threshold required to oppose a constitutional amendment or override a presidential veto. why then are we not discussing this? why are we not voting on it? so then we have a number of amendments. you may have heard me reciting a series of about three dozen four-digit numbers, each referring to a separate amendment being proposed for a so-called managers' package. if we're going to further amend this bill, we need to consider those with a vote, and we need a vote on my amendment. 68 members of this body agree that we should be considering this. ask any american you know, your
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friends, your neighbors. i don't care what state they live in, what party they identify with, where they go to church or synagogue, whether they are believers in god or not, regardless of their background, their socioeconomic status, what they do for a living, you ask people from almost any background, and i can almost guarantee you they're going to call this a no-brainer. why would we not want to remove a pernicious provision from a piece of federal law that passed a few years ago purporting to authorize the federal government to indefinitely detain u.s. citizens without charge or trial or jury or counsel based merely on the nature of the allegations against them? this is wrong. and the wrongness of that provision which would be corrected by my amendment is compounded still by the refusal of this body, by the refusal of one member of this body. one member out of 100 to allow
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us to get a vote on this. we must vote on this. if we're going to lay claim to any type of status as the world's greatest deliberative legislative body, we've got to start voting on amendments again. we have steadily sadly, tragically relinquished that right by acquiescence and as of today i say no more. it has to stop. let us vote on this. we will continue to push this. the laws of the united states and the principles that govern the behavior of decent people everywhere dictate that we should correct this error in the law. i implore my colleagues, i implore my distinguished colleague, the senior senator from south carolina, let us vote on this amendment. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from montana.
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mr. daines: last year just a few miles down the road in virginia a disabled world war ii veteran richard cohen to burns, an american flag on his doorstep. richard cohen, wounded by the german, german machine gunfire while defending freedom in world war ii woke up to his american flag desecrated on his doorstep. unfortunately this is just one of many astonishing stories of our american flag being ruined. in fact, since 2014, there have been 50 known offensive acts of american flag burning. that's 50 times that our symbol of freedom, that thousands of americans have paid the ultimate sacrifice for, was destroyed. that's why i'm here today. it's flag day. to speak about my constitutional amendment that would prohibit the burning of the american flag. the colors of the flag, red,
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white, and blue that symbolize perseverance. it represents our nation's history and the character of our nation's founding fathers. beginning with those founding fathers the american flag represents the patriotism and dedication of men and women who fought to defend our nation's freedom from when our country was founded more than 200 years ago today. thousands of brave and selfless men and women have given their lives in sacrifice and service to our country and in defense of our flag. and that's why i've introduced this constitutional amendment to provide congress with the authority to prohibit burning of the american flag. our flag should be protected in honor of the countless american service members who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend it. it's no wonder by overwhelming
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majorities our veterans, organizations like the american legion support this. because they have been on the front lines defending our freedom. our veterans are the best example of why america is still the greatest country on earth and why our freedoms and our liberties are worth defending. in the words of that world war ii veteran, richard cohen, and i quote, i served under that flag, and i bled for it. really. and it was a personal affront. the american flag has been a symbol of hope, a symbol of freedom for centuries, and it ought to be respected. on this day, flag day, may god continue to bless our troops, our veterans, and this great united states of america.
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: . senator from montana. mr. daines: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. heller: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from north dakota. mr. heller: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. a senator: -- mr. hoeven: thank you, mr. president. there is a reason we passed the national defense authorization act every year for the past 57 years, and that's because it's vital for the men and women who take responsibility for defending our country. passing the national defense authorization act is one of the most important things that we do in this chamber and i look
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forward to passing the bill that we have before us out of the senate and getting it through conference and signed into law very soon. i want to start by briefly thanking the bill managers for including a number of my amendments, but one that i will mention that they have added to the managers' package is an amendment that requires the air force and the national nuclear security administration to submit a joint progress report every six months on their efforts to develop a new nuclear cruise capability. this will help ensure that their efforts are sinkized and that we stay on schedule iewm. the nuclear cruise missile is an important part of our deterrent and i'm great for awr committee -- for our committee's willingness to work on it and included in the managers' package. this legislation contains
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noteworthy provisions, and i won't mention all, but i do want to talk about some of them. it authorizes a 2.6% pay raise for the members of the armed services, which is the highest pay raise we have been able to include in more than a decade, something they very much deserve. thanks to the good work of the senate armed services committee, the bill takes steps to modernize the personnel system to make sure that we can meet the needs of the professionals who serve across our magnificent armed forces. in addition to personnel matters, the legislation supports our nation's strategic priorities as reflected in the national security strategy, the national defense strategy, and the nuclear posture review. those documents rightly point out that we face emerging challenges from russia and china. and while we hope to avoid confrontation with these nations, there's no question
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that we are in competition with them, and this year's ndaa helps align our forces to make sure that we maintain our competitive advantage. this legislation also authorizes significant numbers of fighter aircraft and additional numbers of submarine and surface ships. and the reason we're able to do that is because we, in the budget agreement this year, provided more funding authority for our military. again, something that we very much needed to do. this legislation also fully authorizes the nuclear modernization program aimed at sustaining and modernizing all three legs of the nuclear triad and extending the service lives
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of our nuclear warheads. this is extremely important for our national security as well as to my home state. in my state, the modern air force base, is home to two of the three legs of the triad. these men and women in the modern air force base are in the front lines and this will help them to continue to fulfill this vital role. in the past few months i visited that base and we had ongoing deployments to the korean peninsula as well as to the middle east in taking an important role in whats going -- what's going on in iraq and syria. i also want to highlight in this legislation the air force plans to replace the engines on the b-52 aircraft. we expect that aircraft, which has been a workhorse for us for
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many years, is a key element of not only our nuclear deterrent but is important for our conventional bomber force for decades to come and new engines will help keep it flying and ensure that it continues to fulfill those vital roles. the legislation also provides for significant investment in emerging technologies that will position our forces to stay as the strongest on earth. another base, grand forks air force base, has the global hawk mission, and this legislation makes sure that we continue that support for the global hawk, which is an unmanned aircraft that provides an incredibly important role in i.s.r., intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, really a global reach and is an important part
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of our global reach. the legislation also authorizes the annual military construction program with an army readiness center in fargo and a helicopter facility at the m nirch ote air force base, this has been made possible through this legislation and things i worked hard on, as well as other support for our national guard. in my state and across the country, this bill includes language that includes higher wages for those on lengthy deployments and promotions for national guard and reserve members that play such an important role in our armed forces. there are too many provisions to go through all of them, obviously. but the point is we need to pass this legislation for our men and women in uniform. we have the finest armed services in the world and they
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deserve our careful and deliberate attention to ensure that they have the benefits they deserve, the tools they need, and the support that we owe them. again, i look forward to completing work on this legislation and then, as a member of the senate appropriations committee, and i'm on the defense appropriations committee as well, i will work hard to make sure that we have the appropriate funding to go with this authorization, the authorization that we provide in this legislation to make absolutely sure that we support our incredible men and women in uniform. we owe them so much. and it is an honor and privilege to work on their behalf. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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