tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN June 19, 2018 2:15pm-6:43pm EDT
for impeachment did not reach the rule of 80 when he resigned from the bench. he walked away with zero, nothing, no pension even though he had been a judge for over a dozen years, probably. he walked away with zero. some of the city regarding salaries in the aftermath of resignations i would put additional context on that. >> well, that may be but i guess my strong feeling is jurisdiction should be continued and naturally if the pay is continued why should the jurisdiction even in retiremen retirement -- >> we break away to take you back live to the floor of the senate. they continue work on the 2019 spending bill, the so-called minibus spending bill package that includes energy, water, military constructionn and
veterans affairs. live coverage now on c-span2. here shortly. one amendment senator alexander and i will offer to the underlying bill. and another i think senator coons will offer along with, i believe, senator rounds. and as members return from their caucus lunches, i think i will kick it off and lay the groundwork here for the amendment that senator alexander and i will be offering. mr. president, i believe that i have, we have senate amendment number 2928 at the desk. on behalf of senator alexander and myself, i ask that amendment number 2920 be called up and made the pending business. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. carper: thanks, mr. president. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the amount -fpld. the clerk: the senator from delaware, mr. carper proposes amendment 2920 to amendment 2910. on page 14 between lines 18 and 19, insert the following.
section 106. not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this act, the secretary of the army shall submit to the committee on environment and public works of the senate the committee on appropriations of the senate, the committee on transportation and infrastructure of the house of representatives -- mr. carper: mr. president, i'd ask unanimous consent that the reading of the amendment be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. carper: mr. president, the amendment that senator alexander and i are offering is a bipartisan effort, as you can tell. it's the result of discussions between senator alexander's appropriations committee staff and the staff that works for us on the environment and public works committee. the amendment would require the report to congress on the status of core project expenses. the amendment would allow project sponsors to receive a final cost accounting, if you will, of project dollars so they understood how those dollars were spent.
if there is excess unspent funds and whether those funds are being remembered to the state and local government or the federal government. the senate is getting ready to address soon, probably if not this month, then next, the water resources development legislation that senator barrasso, our chairman on the environment and public works committee and i have worked on. it's been reported unanimously out of the environment and public works committee. that bill called america's water infrastructure act of 2018 makes investments in updating and expanding water infrastructure systems throughout this country. along with reauthorizing the ongoing work of the united states army corps of engineers, our legislation addresses a wide variety of priorities. it was reported again unanimously out of our committee about a month or so ago, 21-0. the drafting of this legislation, mr. president, several concerns were raised about the how the corps selects
and prioritizes projects for construction as well as what happens to excess local cost share projects at the end of a project. for example, in delaware the state agency that sponsors the beach nourishment and shoreline protection projects has been asking the corps for a detailed balance sheet for years to understand how funds are being allocated on various projects and how local tax dollars are being spent. unfortunately, that material has never been provided despite repeated requests. delaware is not alone in this. in fact, the senator from kansas, senator moran has brought to my it attention the so-called taner gates in the reservoir in his home state of kansas. a local irrigation was built for the repairs of the gates which was an added additional cost to the share of the operation and maintenance cost of the project. although the irrigation district has been p paying on this bill, they never knew how much it actually cost to repair the
gates. it took my staff and senator barrasso's staff digging around to find out the total cost of the repair was $31 million. this means, according to corps, the remaining cost share was about $5 million. because there is not a detailed accounting, other questions have been raised about whether the corps built it correctly. if the corps had accounted for this program correctly, the cost share would have been about $1 million. that difference may sound like a lot of to us here in the united states senate but $4.5 million to a local rural irrigation district is a lot of money. sadly, as i said before this has not been provided to many cost-share partners is the law and we need to get to the bottom of why and where it is happening. senator alexander and i believe that this report as being requested sets the stage for more transparency and better budgeting at the corps, which is
also a theme in the america's water infrastructure act that we'll be addressing, i hope, next month. so let me just conclude if i could, by once more thanking chairman alexander for working, his staff, and working with my staff and with me. i want to thank -- and also with senator barrasso on the water resources development legislation, and on this amendment. it truly is a bipartisan amendment. it's a good one to start off the discussion of the underlying bill, and we're pleased to be a part of this and look forward to passing the important piece of legislation that's critical to funding an essential piece of our nation's economic infrastructure. with that, i encourage support of our amendment and yield the floor. again i say to senator alexander, i applaud your leadership and look forward to working with you as we go forward. thank you. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, i want to thank the senator from delaware for his customerary leadership.
he's been wise to come up with this idea. in some cases the corps of engineers has completed projects under the budget. the corps had excess nonfederal funds paid by the project sponsor. his amendment which i'm happy to cosponsor requires the corps to provide a list of all those projects that have been completed and have that excess nonfederal funds that have been not been returned to the project sponsor put on that list. it also requires the corps to provide a final accounting for each project, and the status of the corps' plan to return the excess nonfederal funds. it does not increase federal spending. it's not intend -- it is intended to ensure the corps returns excess nonfederal funds to project sponsors in a timely manner. just for the information of senators and staff, but first let me thank the republican and democratic staffs for working with us through the morning in the customary smooth way to get
an appropriations bill on the floor. this is the first vote on the appropriations bills this week. we will vote on the, on the coons-gardner amendment first and then on the carper-alexander amendment second. we have several other amendments waiting for consideration. senator thune and durbin have one that should be filed shortly. senator hatch and udall, the same. we would hope to have more votes later this afternoon and and hopefully in the area of 5:00. that will be up to the majority leader and the democratic leader. we'll let senators know about that. senator pwoez -- boozman and daines and i and democratic colleagues hope their staff will file today any amendments they wish to have included in these three appropriations bills. mr. president, i ask consent to
call up amendment 2914 and ask that it be reported by number. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report the amendment by number. the clerk: the senator from tennessee, mr. alexander, for mr. gardner proposes an amendment numbered 2914 to amendment number 2910. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask consent that there be ten minutes of debate and following the use or yielding back of that time the senate vote in relation to the gardner amendment and carper amendment, and that there be no second-degree amendments in order to the amendments prior to the votes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. carper: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from delaware. mr. carper: earlier when i spoke about the amendment senator coons was the lead democrat on, i mentioned he was offering it with the wrong cosponsor. i would correct myself to say it's not senator rounds who does great legislation, but in this case senator gardner.
and i would also like to ask unanimous consent at this point if i could, mr. president, that privileges of the floor be granted to the following members of my staff. they include and drew wishnia, zachary pillchin, christina bassinger and skyley. mr. alexander: there have been seven requests for committees to meet today during today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. the presiding officer: duly noted. mr. alexander: mr. president, senator coons has already spoken. i yield back all time on this side. mr. carper: i yield back our time. the presiding officer: the question occurs on the amendment number 2914. mr. alexander: i ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, the yeas are the 3, the nays -- the yeas are 393, the nays are 3. the amendment is agreed to. the presiding officer: the question now occurs on the carper amendment number 2920. is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, the yeas are 96, the nays are zero. the amendment is agreed to. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from montana. mr. daines: thank you, mr. president. the legislative branch bill has advanced from the committee on
appropriations provides $7.9 billion for congress and its support agencies, that's $90 million above the fiscal 2018 enacted level. this bill provides just over $1 billion for senate-only items which is an increase of $7 million from last year. $1.4 billion and $3.3 for joint senate and house items which meets the allocation for fiscal year 2019. we've made thoughtful decisions about how to prioritize investments for this fiscal year. resources are allocated responsibly to maintain existing services and to allow for critical investments in numerous needed areas. for example, this bill will strengthen security on the capitol campus and ensure the men and women who protect our
visitors, staff, and members have the support and resours they need -- resources to do their job. $453 million is included for the capitol police which the $ 26.5 million increase from last year. one year ago last thursday we witnessed tragedy strike on a baseball field in alexandria where the lives of our colleagues, family, an friends were put in danger. last week's congressional baseball game was a reminder of the bravery demonstrated by my friend, representative steve sca lisce. the unfor the in a reality remains the capitol complex and its occupants face an evolving threat environment and this bill will help address these needs. this bill also addresses cybersecurity threats by providing security for the
sergeant at arm cybernetwork security initiatives. this bill demands a rigorous review before any telecommunication equipment with company from china, russia, iran, or north korea can be acquired by legislative branch agencies. this bill is transparent. it provides a provision called e-file, which stream lines the process for senate campaign filings requiring senate candidates to follow the same standard of transparency required by all other federal candidates. this provision enhances government transparency, it reduces unnecessary bureaucratic red tape, and would save hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars by having candidates -- senate candidates directly file to the federal election commission instead of the current paper-based project. this bill provides $933 million
for the senate. i want to specifically note that $5 million is designated for the sole purpose of voluntary compensation of senate intense by senate offices -- interns by senate offices. this additional funding will help ensure that the broadest possible of intern candidates have the opportunity to serve. washington, d.c., is a very expensive place. it is good to see this provision in the bill. there's also $1 million provided to supporting ongoing congressional act reform efforts to support legislative branch offices and agencies on harassment and discrimination in the workplace. these are just a few of the many highlights of the bill. i very much want to thank my ranking member, senator murphy, for working with me to craft this bipartisan legislation. i also appreciate the sport of
committee on appropriations in favorably reporting legislative branch appropriations unanimously for full consideration by the senate. i respect vice president shell by and ranking member leahy for ending this path of yet another year of omnibus and more c.r.'s. it was good to see a couple of amendment votes here before i started speaking. that's a healthy sign of stronger bipartisanship in getting the senate back to regular order, executing and blocking and tackling, as we should, for the american people. listen to this, it has been almost a decade since a legislative branch appropriation bill has received consideration on the floor outside of a large year-end spending bill. it is important to return to regular order on appropriation
bills and fund the government in a timely and more transparent manner. i urge my colleagues to support the package of the appropriation bills before the senate and i look forward to working with any senators on any amendments they have in the legislative branch division. thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you very much, mr. president. i'm here on the floor to join senator daines in recommending the appropriations bill to our colleagues. i note his history lesson, ten years since we passed a legislative branch appropriation bill on the floor of the senate. but during none of those ten years was senator daines chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on the legislative branch. so things are changing here and it has been a real pleasure and honor to work with senator daines on this bill which we bring to the floor in a
bipartisan manner. and so let me be brief in not trying to cover the ground that senator daines has already covered. but i agree, i think it is a -- i think this is a good bill, one we can all support. let me add a few pieces to some of the highlights that my colleague laid out for you. first of those is the fact that this bill commits us to finally restoring g.a.o. staffing to its 2011 levels. this is really important because every dollar that we appropriate to g.a.o. gets about $128 taxpayer return because of the efficiencies that they recommend that then get adopted. g.a.o. lost about $343 -- 343 staff from 2003 -- 2002 to 2003
from the sequester so we are putting them back in place where they can do good work for us. second, let me reiterate the important investments that we're making in the capitol police. the threats that we face and our staff face and visitors face, they aren't imaginary. it was a year ago last week when a gunman came after our colleagues in the house and the senate in a baseball practice off campus. so it is important that this bill recognizes that the threats we face are not just on campus but are in other places around the capitol and put some resources to make sure that both the capitol police and the senate sergeant at arms are making sure that members and their staff are protected here on campus but also at events off campus that may come with certain serious risks.
the c.r.s. is put on a path to restore its staff loss. over the sequester, agencies took serious hits. they don't make that up in this bill, but they are set on a path to get back to the footing that we're putting g.a.o. on in this legislation. a long-needed modernization of the copyright office is kicked off in this legislation. again, that is a long-term plan, but we are kicking it off, and it's very, very much overdue. we are also beginning another process here that i think will be really important to the campus. we are beginning the process of exploring options to expand the size of the senate child care center. pretty much every large employer in the country offers some level of child care services to its
employees. the senate barely does that. we have 6,200 employees and 68 open slats and nine infant slots here in the senate. the house, over the last few years, has tripled the size of its child care center and we will look at what the options might be to expand our capacity as well. let me just end by highlighting, again, this small fund in the bill that will allow senators to begin paying interns. it's important to note that this is totally optional, so any senator who wants to use these funds can only for the purpose of paying interns. if they don't, it goes right back to the treasury. each of us have our own unique journey as to how we get here to be a united states senator. my started as a senate intern. i was an intern for my senator, chris dodd, but there's no way that i could have taken advantage of that opportunity
had my family not had the resources to be able to send me down to washington for a summer had i not had the family resources to be able to pay rent for a summer. and the fact of the matter is that experience is foreclosed to far too many american children because many senate offices, not all, but many senate offices do not pay their interns. this would at least give the option for senate offices to do the same. so let me, again, thank senator daines. we worked really well together on this bill to chairman shelby and vice chairman leahy, it is good that we are bringing back regular order, at least for now, on the appropriations process. my view is the default position on these bills should be to allow amendments to come to the floor and to have a vote that we shouldn't have to twist so many arms in order to get votes on amendments that we shouldn't be
afraid of putting our vote down on any particular amendment whether it be an easy one or a tough one. we're beginning to start exercising those muscles on this mini bus. i thank chairman -- senator daines and chairman shelby and vice chairman leahy. i yield back. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: . the senator from virginia. contains contains i -- mr. kaine: yesterday we passed the defense authorizing act. i want to highlight a couple of the items as a member of the armed services committee that i worked on and am proud of but i think also illustrates how we can work in a bipartisan fashion. the three items were heavily bipartisan, and they also give some illustration of the breadth
of the defense authorizing act, this tact that we pass -- this act that we pass every year which is hundreds of billions of dollars and helps the melt and has -- military and has so many different provisions to help defend the nation and protect those who serve it. after i say a word about our chairman, senator mccain, talk about military families, shipbuilding, and talk about smart power. let me first give a shoutout to senator mccain. he was missed during the month of may when we were doing crunchtime in the committee around this bill. it was bittersweet to see that passage yesterday without having him in the chamber to lead the discussion and be here at passage. but i will give great credit to senator inhofe who stepped into the chair's shoes for purposes of the markup and floor action, senator reed, the ranking member on the committee, and senator
mccain's staff who peppered us with advice calling in from arizona during the process. we missed him, but he was definitely there and we were encouraged to do our best work as we thought about him during the process. gut revenue muching test. gut-revenue muching test. test. gut wrenching test. gut wrenching test.
will do these surveys every year. what we find is military spouse unemployment rate is anywhere from three to five times the national average. mr. kaine: mr. president, you can immediately grasp why, moving to a new place in the year, getting adjusted, maybe trying to find a place for school. if you are moving and you have a job that has some kind of a license or credential. could be cost elmo toll gists, real estate agent, attorney, teacher. sometimes the credential doesn't automatically transfer. sometimes it will only transfer if you pay a big fee that you may not have. so as i travel around virginia, a military state, as i talk to
my own son who is in the marines with his wife and military spouse and hear about their challenges, i suddenly realized we needed to do something about unemployment among military spouses. because its fair for these spouses that sacrifice and they have so much to offer. but it is also the can a is that if you do not try to help support military families, then members of the military leave. our brass will always tell us it's the individuals' decision to join but it's usually the families' decision to stay. and unless we can support military spouses, people who might want to make a career out of military service leave prematurely. so we're destined and really need to do this. this year i introduced two bills, the military spouse employment act and the jobs and child care for military families act after hearing from spouses in virginia and elsewhere. i want to the acknowledge senators purdue, murray, boozman, tester, rounds, gillibrand, a very bipartisan group of senators who worked with me on these two benefit i'm proud to say that the overwhelm
being number of provisions of both of these bills are part of the defense authorizing act that passed last night and after we graffed the bills in the senate, companion bills were introduced in the house and it made the house's version as well. so as we conference we ought to be able to take a big step forward for military spouses. the bill to a number of things all responsive to the concerns raised. it makes it easier to get more child care workers on a near basis so people can find child care if they work. they make it easier for federal agencies to hire military spouses. sometimes the best jobs on or around military bases are other federal agencies, preferential or expediteed hiring preferences for military spouses as part of this. we allow military spouses to take advantage of something the career advancement account. this would enable a military spouse take a course but what if you're done with your course or what you really need is dollars to get a license or to transfer your credential.
the account should be able to be used nor that. the bill allows military spouses to for example to transition classes with their service member spouse before you transition out. because the transition from active to veteran status is a family thing and spouses have every much as need to participate as the service members do. and finally, the bill will allow military spouses to take advantage of counseling and career coaching for up to a year after their service member leaves active duty service to help in that transition process. again, bipartisan, supported in both housings by members of both parties and it will be part of the ndaa, god will the conference goes to the president's desk and my goal would be that we start to make the same progress in bringing down military spouse unemployment rate as we were able to do with respect to veterans. second, shipbuilding. virginia is a shipbuilding state. if anybody ever tells you american manufacturing is dead, i say come with me to the
huntington english shipyard in newport news, virginia, and i will show americans manufacturing the nuclear aircraft carriers and submarines. the shipbuilding deal that's under works now is strong. last year we made a commitment to go from a 270-ship navy to 355 ships. this would be a multiple decade-long commitment. this year together with the budget deal we are making that strong budgetary investment in growing our shipbuilding capacity. we owe it to our shipbuilders. we owe it to our military to stay on this path, give them some certainty so that we can have these important assets to protect the nation. two fridays ago i had a symposium at hampton roads, the future of a 355-ship navy, focused on workforce needs. the shipbuilders, some of them are in prekindergarten right
now. we have to have an education system that teaches them about the opportunities that positions them for success in technical fields and encourages and incentivizes them to do it. the shipbuilding and ship repair provisions of the ndaa are the best in any of the years that i've been on the armed services committee in the senate. and that's good news for the defense of the nation and good news for shipbuilding communities like hampton roads or bath, maine, or ports smoth, or pew gent sound. the communities will be benefited. finally, smart power. sometimes the best power is not military power. sometimes the best power is diplomacy. or the u.s. aid for -- u.s. agency for international development. and we have to use the right tool to accomplish the right objective. in each of the last two ndaas, i've offered amendments allowing the department of defense to take their resources and if there is a checkoff by the secretary of defense to transfer
the resources to other federal agencies if they will do a better job at the task at hand. let me give you an example. our military has done a great job in the battle against isis in beating isis on the battlefield. but once you've beaten isis on the battlefield, how do you stop them from coming back? how do you hold on to territory and not allow the reemerge jersey of -- reemergence of terrorist organizations? one way is by developing local economies, strengthening local institutions so that the urge or tendency to terrorist groups to move into a power vacuum is dampened. sometimes the military is good at that. but the military would acknowledge that sometimes the best way to build institutions and stabilize communities is to grow an economy. that's what the u.s. agency for international development does. or to build civilian institutions, the state department does that. and so in this year's ndaa, as in last year's, in a pile of projects so we can assess how it
works, we've given the department of defense the ability to provide support to these other agencies as they are trying to stabilize regions once conflict has been reduced. this is going to have enormous importance in iraq and syria and afghanistan, and the nice thing about this is there was bipartisan support and it was requested by the department of defense. so you know your d.o.d. leaders are on the ball when they're saying, give us more ability to allow the state department and usaid to do the things that they're better at than we are. and so, mr. president, again i'll just conclude and say, these are just three examples and we could give a thousand of provisions that were in the defense authorizing act that are novel and creative and that are completely bipartisan. in a time where so many things seem partisan, it's nice to know that in comes to the defense of the nation, democrats and republicans can work together,
inspired by the hectoring phone calls from senator mccain and his staff to do something positive for the country. i celebrate the passage in the senate last night and look forward to working with my colleagues when the matter comes back to us following a conference with the house. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. cardin: tomorrow is world refugee day. june 20 was declared to be world refugee day so we could have awareness of refugees and displaced people. the numbers are now out as to the number of displaced people in the year 2017, and that number is kind of shocking. it's a record-setting for recent
times. 65.6 million people are displaced from their homes today. over 22 million are refugees. over 40 million are displaced within their own country, and almost three million are asylum seekers. mr. president, these numbers rival the number of tis placed people we -- displaced we saw after world war ii. 55% of the refugees come from three countries, syria, afghanistan, and south sudan. we've seen recent additions to the number of displaced people in burma, the rohingya muslims were forced out of their homes, 750,000 had to flee. in the central african republic, a lot of people being displaced. in venezuela there's 1.5 million
displaced from that conflict. and, of course, we all are familiar with the problems in central america and el salvador, guatemala and honduras where a lot of families have tried to escape violence in order to sai their children. -- to save their children. in syria there are 12 million displaced people. that's over half the population of syria as a result of the conflict and isis campaign over half the people in that country are displaced. when we talk about the impact it has on countries when individuals seek refugees to leave, in lebanon, for example, one million syrians have fled to lebanon. and in jordan 660,000 syrians have pled to jordan. and these countries have been prepared to take if these refugees. the impact, of course, is immediate to the individuals that are displaced, but it's
also an impact on the region and as far away as we have seen distances people will go to seek safety, a major impact on the continent in europe. so, mr. president, i'm going to be introducing a resolution for the united states senate to go on record recognizing world refugee day. it will reaffirm the united states government's commitment to uphold international leadership. our strong support for humanitarian assistance, particularly in helping hoes country's living conditions. i just saw the press accounts of the rohingya population living in tent cities during monsoon season. we need to join the international community to work to help these you'll vulnerable. the resolution speaks to us partnering with our international community. this is an international effort with u.s. leadership reaffirming
our long standing tradition of resettling refugees here in the united states. mr. president, i've worked on this issue since i've been in congress, and it's always been bipartisan. i have said strong partners on the republican and democratic side fighting for america to maintain its leadership to for the asylum seekers. i remember working with senator mccain on humanitarian aid and those people who are preyed on these vulnerable people making the perpetrators accountable for their human rights visions. there's been many examples of us working together. we should welcome the persecuted and vulnerable refugees here in the united states recognizing that america's strength is in our diversity, people who braved coming to this country and built this great country, the united states of america.
so, mr. president, i need to comment that president trump's policies stand in sharp contrast to what america's role must be in regards to promoting the welfare of displaced people as we tomorrow celebrate world refugee day. now, i know that the subject that is getting the most debate right now, and rightly so, and i'm going to talk about it, is the removal of children from their parents at our border, which, to me, is an abomination, and i'm going to talk about that. but that's not the only problematic part of president trump's refugee policies. this administration has reduced dramatically the caps for those permitted to settle in the united states. we believe the number is as high as an 83% reduction in america's
willingness to accept refugees. here we are with global leadership asking countries to keep their borders open for those at risk in order to enter their country and we're closing our borders. that's not what the world leader does in that regard. we've seen policies that discriminate in who can come to this country. there's no question that the trump administration tried to impose a muslim ban on religious tests as to who could come to this country. we heard the president's comments as to who could come to this country as to whether the demographics will affect people being able to come here to america. we've seen this administration propose time and time again cuts in humanitarian aid to vulnerable, displaced people in order to fund a wall on our southern border. then the there's -- then there's the dreamers, the daca
residents. through executive order president trump created a problem that didn't exist for the dreamers who were given status to be able to go to work and school under an executive order by president obama. president trump changed that by executive order. it wasn't congress. congress didn't create the problem, the president did. and then we have those that are legally here under temporary protective status, t.p.s., from haiti, nicaragua and other countries. they been here a long time because the condition in their country has not changed. it is still not safe to go back to their country. they are legally here in the united states and against our own recommendations of these omissions in these countries, the trump administration decided to put an ending day for their legal status near the united
states even though they may have been here for 15 years, that they are going to have to leave america. that's done by executive action by president trump, not by congress. we didn't create this problem. whether it's the dreamers or t.p.s., the president could change that today with the stroke of a pen. and then we have asylum seekers. asylum seekers are the most persecuted, at risk of their own lives if they have to go back to their hoes countries. what did attorney general sessions do? he removed victims of domestic abuse and gang violence from those who can seek asylum here in the united states. they did that by executive action, not congress. we didn't create this problem. the trump administration created the problem and they could change it with the stroke of a pen. so, yes, there's a lot of issues that i believe president trump's policies are not what america is
about, whether it's support for humanitarian aid or whether it's the number of refugees that we accept or whether it deals with the dreamers or those with t.p.s. status or dealing with asylum seekers, all of that violates the principles of america that makes us the strong nation we are. but the most recent is outrageous and is affecting people's lives every day, children's lives every day. and that is the forced separation of parents from their children at our southern border. so let me set this up because this, again, was done by the president, and he can correct it by the stroke of a pen. congress didn't create the problem. the president did this, and the president can change this today. it's my understanding that as many as 70 children every single day are being separated from their parents at our southern border. this can't wait until tomorrow.
each one of these children will be scarred for the rest of their lives because it is cruel and inhumane policy announced by the trump administration. so let us set this up as to how this happened, because there is no law requiring this. the president decided that because you happen to be a parent concerned about your child's life, you live in a country in which you have a choice of your child joining a gang. by the way, by joining a gang, you're going to have to take someone else's life, because that's usually the in -- initiation to joining a gang. if you join not only is your life at risk but your family's life is at risk. what would you do if you were the parent? you leave and you come to our southern border and now you're told you're going to lose your child to separation for doing what? trying to protect that child's
life? that's the united states? no, it isn't. but that's the policy that president trump has established now at our southern border. it's got to end, and it can end today by the president of the united states signing an order telling that we're not going to do that. we all want to have rule of law and enforcement of laws at our border. we understand that, but you don't separate children from their parents. that can change, and we need to change it. why are we doing this? attorney general sessions said we're doing this as a deterrent? we take children away from parents as a deterrent? when parents are acting in order to protect their children. that makes absolutely no sense. then i heard, look, congress could take action. the president said that, we can take action. our domestic policies must support our fundamental ideals of compassion and freedom and unwavering support for human rights. i agree with that. and, yes, it would be nice for
congress to pass laws. i'm all for doing that. but we saw that we weren't even able to pass a bill protecting the dreamers, even though democrats and republicans agreed on it, because president trump wanted to use that for leverage for his wall and for repressive immigration policies. so let us not go down another path where we're going to have a delay after delay after delay and children being separated from parents every day. this is president trump's responsibility to correct today. and, yes, we should work on legislation. i applaud senator feinstein for her legislation that would keep families together with a proper legal process. i congratulate senator tina for helping separating children's act. a lot of us talked about various parts of immigration reform and comprehensive parts of immigration reform.
i'm all for that. i voted for comprehensive immigration reform. but make no mistake about it, children are being taken away from their parents today when their parents have done nothing other than trying to protect their children by u.s. authorities on our southern border. it's happening today. and the way to change it today is for president trump to say that's not what we're going to do here in america. mr. president, i stand ready to work with any of my colleagues for reasonable laws that can protect the vulnerable people. this is, as i said today, world refugee day where we have record numbers of people have been displaced. america has a responsibility to be a leader on these issues and to lead by example, recognizing that diversity is our strength, and we have responsibilities to those who have been persecuted to be able to welcome those under our reasonable vetting
rules so that we can in fact live up to our principles and lead the world. i ask my colleagues on this world refugee day, let us work together. and i ask president trump to do the right thing and reverse these repressive un-american policies that he has put into place. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: mr. president, for the information of senators and staffs, the leadership staffs are talking now about the possibility of a vote at about 4:45 this afternoon on a proposal by senator crapo and senator whitehouse which would be a pilot program for advanced reactor fuel. i'm saying this just for the information of senators. the vote's not set yet, but we're hopeful that it will be. and as soon as we have final clearance, we'll let senators know. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor.
a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. booker: is there a quorum call right now? the presiding officer: there is not. mr. booker: thank you very much. mr. president, i rise today to speak about the humanitarian crisis we're facing in our country. it's a moral crisis, a crisis that didn't come about by some natural disaster. it's been manufactured by the
actions of the trump administration, the actions of our president. since the past april, over 2,700 children, some of them just infants, have been forcibly separated from their parents. that's about 45 children every single day. these children have been ripped from the arms of their parents. in some cases literally. these children have been imprisoned or deported. and at this very moment, many of these children are being warehoused, some of them put behind what amounts to cages, some of them being covered in thin tin foil-like blankets that we see handed out to marathon runners. i know that these children are experiencing great fear, great trauma, wondering where their parents are, wondering what will happen to them, confused, feeling isolated, alone.
they're wondering if they did something wrong. they're wondering what they did to deserve this. but more than this, we know that these children are enduring psychological damage, literally having a physical effect on their brains. pediatricians and researchers know that trauma like this creates toxic stress. these children are enduring things that affect the development of their brains, their life well-being. the research is clear. they found that separating children from parents literally changes the makeup of their brains. this level of cortisol, this level of trauma. one pediatric expert calls the effects of this kind of family separation, and i quote, catastrophic on those children. and at this very moment so many americans, these children and others are wondering what's happened to the america that we
believe in, that we know about, that we hail? what is happening to this nation that is for so long been a symbol of hope, a symbol of opportunity? how could we be seeing an america, how could they be experiencing an america that is so different from who we say we are? well, the answer to the question, unfortunately, is painful, and it's direct. a little over two months ago attorney general jeff sessions, secretary of homeland security christen nielson and president interrupt made the decision to institute what they're calling a zero tolerance policy, when it comes to individuals and families who cross the southern border without documentation or authorization. the policy dictates that any adult who illegally crosses the southern border will be subject to federal prosecution and, therefore, placed in federal
custody. when the trump administration instituted this policy, they knew exactly what they were doing. they were concerned, probably with the fallout with what this might mean, with what people might say, but they clearly knew, consciously knew what would happen. because any accompanying children could not be placed in criminal detention facilities with their parents once they were charged and detained. the families would be separated. the forced separation of children and families was not an unintended consequence of the trump administration policy. it was and is a purposeful decision, done with full consciousness of the impact on families and of children. as news reports and photos of this inhumane policy that's shocking the consciousness of americans, not left or right,
not republican or democrat, it's shocking the consciousness of americans, as images of these actions have spread over the past several days, we have seen the president and members of the administration try to distance themselves from the very policy they created. they've even gone so far -- and it's not shocking at this point, but to hear the president out-and-out lie and try to blame democrats in congress, try to blame a federal law, try to blame anything but to accept responsibility. when clearly, as my colleague lindsey graham, has said, this is something that didn't come about from this body. this didn't come about because of some democrats. chuck schumer didn't do this. nancy pelosi didn't do this. this was a decision made by our president that he could stop right now, as senator graham says, with a phone call. and so let's be clear about something. this is a policy, this is a
decision, this is a president who is assaulting. it's moral vandalism. who is assaulting the values, the common decency of our country, the ideals that we hold dear. it's being carried out by officials, trump administration officials, something that can be reversed with a phone call. and so this moment really is a moral, moment of moral reckoning in the united states of america. it is a low point. it is a heartbreaking point. and i'm one of those people that believes if this country hasn't broken your heart, you probably don't love her enough. this is one of those moments like we've seen in the past where we will be judged how we react in this moral moment.
future generations will look back at this crossroads of conscious in the same way we look back at some of the most shameful chapters, shameful moments in our history. they will look back and see what we did, what we said, how we acted, how we stood up, how we fought, how we demanded during this time. today we look back at the horrors of slavery, the shame of that time and the way that purposely fracturing families was aouzed to terrorize -- used to terrorize and subjugate black americans, how children were torn from the mothers and sold away, how wives and husbands were violently separated. and we know that these acts were not just financial decisions on the part of slave owners. it was deeper than that. it was this idea of subjugating, this idea of dehumanizing, this idea that if you so demonize
people and dehumanize them, it makes it easier to victimize those folks, to assault their dignity, unconscious of the fact that when you assault the dignity of others, you assault the dignity of yourself. today we look back with shame and regret of the practice of the internment of japanese americans, an out-and-out violation of our values and our ideals as a country. our fellow americans over 120,000 men and women and children forcibly removed from their homes and put into detainment and internment camps. today we look back with deep shame and regret at how jewish refugees fleeing from the holocaust were turned away from our shores, many of whom were sent back to germany and killed by the nazis. today we look back with shame at the way native american families were separated, their children taken, sent to boarding schools
where they were stripped of their language, stripped of their culture. these were moral moments in our past. and you know what? we tell ourselves that we were in those moments. if we were in those times, maybe we would have stood up, like so many people of good faith, of every background did stand up in those times. we think to ourselves that if we were there in those moments, we would have done something. we would have acted. but we are at that moment. we are at a defining moment in our history. we are at a moral crossroads. we are at a point where our nation's character is being revealed. when we look at history, we have seen the ways. we have made mistakes. but we've also seen the truth of our nation in those periods. the ideals that we profess since
our founding, the ideals that generations of americans have tried to make more real, more perfect, more established in this nation, we see in the history how generations past, black, white, christian, jewish, folks from all different backgrounds, men and women stood up and did the right thing. they were insistent that this nation should be different. but we're not founded in a country because we all pray alike or because we all look alike or because we all have the same race. no. we have always were different. that we would be a nation of ideals, values, that we would be a nation different than the racial and religious divides that divide men and women but that we would have ideals and we would be a light on to nations. we've seen this nation do it right, live up to those ideals. with hungarian refugees, cuban
refugees, chinese refugees, haitian refugees, all fled and found a safe haven here in the united states of america. look at the waves of irish coming to our shores, escaping famine. look at the waves of folks who have escaped oppression when we were at our best, we were a light on to nations of hope, of integrity, of honesty, of honor. we are a nation of refugees. we're a nation of immigrants. we're a nation of exiles. we're a nation of former -- ancestors of former slaves. and we're not our particularistic parts. we're profound some of those parts. we're -- we made mistakes, but we have answered the question of who we are by showing our values. that's why the united states has become known throughout the planet earth as that beacon of
light and hope. i've traveled around the globe with the privileges of senator and i see the way people look at this country. i see the way that people try to model their behavior after ours. i see the way how we talk about democratic ideals, democratic principles, how we try to talk about human rights, how we talk about human decency, how we're held up as the model. and this is why americans from across the aisle, across religions, across political affiliations, from across the country are speaking out. i've seen conservative, christian evangelicals, conservative catholics, republican colleagues of mine stand up and speak about the truth that this behavior is un-american, speak with conviction telling the one man who has the immediate power to change, the one man who did this
to stop his actions, to restore honor, to correct this wrong. i'm proud to see democrats and republicans, progressives and conservatives speaking out against the moral vandalism that's not just degrading the dignity and humanity of the migrants at our border but assaulting the dignity and humanity of america. the people of this country speaking out in one voice, one people, understanding that we have one destiny, understand that we share common values, and understanding that this is a time where you can't be silent. the opposite of justice is not injustice. it often is inaction. it's silence. it's apathy. it's indifference. so we must call on our president to end this.
and if he refuses, then we have an obligation here in congress. we have the power. we can and must act to stop this inhumane, immoral, an un-american practice. we could vote today on a bill, the keeping families together act which has the support of 47 democratic senators and two independents, 49 members of this body that would prohibit the department of homeland security from separating children from their parents unless there are extraordinary circumstances. the bill is common sense. it is a moderate proposal. it is literally the least that congress can do to prevent this crisis from continuing. yes, we need to secure our borders. yes, we need to uphold our just laws. but separating and imprisoning children and families is not how we do that. we need to protect our borders, but we need also to reflect our values, to protect our values,
to affirm the character of this country. we need to protect and secure the ideals of a nation that we have all stood for. and in the moral -- this moral moment in our nation's history, that means protecting and standing up for the dignity and the humanity of these children. i say again, future generations will look back at this moment, at this crisis of conscience, and they will see what has already happened, and they will see this as a low moment and they will wonder what we did during this time. history does have its eyes on us , but we have a chance right now to show them what we did, to let them see that when our morals have been tested, how we responded. they will look to see what people in this country did when people were having their values
violated and their ideals and the dignity of their children and families assaulted. they'll look to see what we did. they'll look to see if we were silent or if we speak up, if we're indifferent or do we act. do we indulge in apathy or have we become activists? they'll look to see whether we fought for the ideals that made this nation who i believe we are, which is as elijah called for the state of israel to be a light on to nations. that's the america i believe in. that's the america i know. we look back on the lows of when women were being denied the right to vote, and we saw a multiracial, multiethnic coalition. every from frederick douglass to susan b. anthony that came together and women were granted the right to low. we look back at the low of segregation, how a multiracial coalition of americans came together, worked together,
fought together, stood together, sacrificed together, some died together to advance the cause of civil rights. we look back to the japanese internment and we see how people, regardless of their backgrounds in america, regardless of their political parties, came together to redress this wrong. and in 1988 we saw a republican president, ronald reagan who responded by signing the civil liberties act into law and working to right the wrong of japanese internment. future generations will look back on this moment. they will look to see whether we affirmed that in america we don't injure and imprison children. we protect them. they will look back to see that in america we don't abuse rights. we protect them. they will look back at america to see if we are called to be a nation truly that works to defend human rights at home and abroad, not violate them in our
own backyard. this isn't an injustice that needs to take decades, years, or even months to correct. president trump must, can, and should end this immoral policy today. and if he refuses to act, this body will be judged. congress can vote today on the keeping families together act, and we must act. we must do something. we must stand for something. or the dignity and the humanity that will be assaulted will not be those of children on our border. it will be the damage to the dignity and the hugh -- dignity and humanity of us all. for the sake of our nation, i urge my colleagues to act. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: for the information of colleagues, we're hoping within the next few minutes to have clearance from the leadership to be able to move ahead to a vote this afternoon, one vote, on a motion
by -- an amendment by senator crapo and senator whitehouse involving pilot program for advanced reactor fuel. senator crapo would like to be recognized following my -- when i sit down in order to briefly comment on that amendment. following that, i ask consent that senator menendez be recognized hopefully by the time senator menendez is finished, we'll have clearance for the vote. we can proceed to the vote. the presiding officer: without objection. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from idaho. mr. crapo: thank you, mr. president. i first want to thank senator alexander for the great efforts he's undergone in order to bring this legislation forward. the senate is working as it should. we are processing amendments. and hopefully we will make it through all of our appropriation bills this year and go back to regular order so that we avoid the kinds of collisions that we've had all too often in the past few years as we try to
accomplish the business of our government. as we've been told, the next amendment that is planned to be voted on in the next few minutes we hope is the crapo-whitehouse amendment. this amendment is one that focuses on our nuclear energy in the united states. nuclear energy is a carbon free emission source of energy. it's becoming recognized as one of the more important parts of the energy solution in the united states and our amendment does a very simple thing. it creates a pilot project at the idaho national laboratory to begin perfecting and implementing the process of processing spent naval fuel into fuel that can be utilized in our new advanced reactors. currently when naval fuel from our reactors in our navy ships is spent, it still has about 80%
of its value or its energy in it. and the new advanced reactors need about a 20% level. so we can literally get about four times as much fuel out of a spent naval fuel rod for new, advanced reactors as is in the rod itself once it's ready for processing. this is a tremendous source of new energy for the united states and one that should help us as we move forward in developing and all of the -- an all of the above energy policy for the until. i encourage my colleagues when we have the opportunity to vote for this to support it and help us to move forward in this important part of our energy policy. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, today i rise in condemnation of the trump administration's heartless, cruel, and inhumane
policy of separating children from their parents when they seek asylum at our southern border. i do so as a son of refugees who fled their homeland and came to this country because they longed to be free. i do so as a catholic appalled by what's being done in the name of my christian faith. i do so out of concern as the ranking member of the senate foreign relations committee that the cruelty being conducted in the name of the united states government may cause lasting damage to america's reputation in the world. i do so as a parent who knows that there's no love more powerful, no love more universal than love for your child. and it is love that has driven these families to seek asylum in
the united states. seeking asylum is not a crime. it is a cry for mercy, an act of desperation. the trauma being inflicted on these children and the anguish being inflicted on these parents is a direct result of the trump's administration's decision to criminalize asylum seekers and persecute families fleeing for their very lives. president trump is lying to the american people when he says that families -- family separation is the law of the land. he is lying when he says democrats put a law on the books mandating children are terrorized in this way. under previous administrations' policies, families remained together while waiting for their asylum claims to proceed through
our immigration courts. but this president has broken with the basic standards of decency that has guided past administrations, republican and democrat alike. now, the criminalizing of asylum seekers is in fact a newly unveiled policy. attorney general jeff sessions called it a, quote, zero tolerance policy. i say it's a zero humanity policy, a zero compassion policy. this policy of persecuting families fleeing for their lives comes straight from the white nationalist fringe. it's been in the works for over a year, going all the way back to when chief of staff john kelly was secretary of homeland security. back in march of 2017, then-secretary john kelly said that, quote, the name of the game is deterrence.
unquote. he said that if the administration began separating kids from their parents, they could deter migrants from traveling to our southern border. and we have since heard attorney general jeff sessions double down on the theme of deterrence. he said, quote, if people don't want to be separated from their children, they should not bring them with them. if you bring children, you'll be prosecuted. to those who spout this perverse notion of deterrence, i ask this question. how do you deter a mother trying to protect her child from the brutality of fortitude. how do you deter a father trying to protect his child from being raped and tortured? how do you deter a family so fearful for their safety, that they are willing to embark on a perilous journey and travel thousands of miles, thousands of miles to reach the united states
the answer is that you can't. not without addressing the root causes of this forced migration. most of these families come from guatemala, el salvador, honduras, these three countries collectively known as the northern triangle. it's a region plagued by transnational gang violence, weak institutions and poverty. young boys are forced into servitude by gangs. young girls are beaten and raped. any parent who resists is killed. these countries suffer from some of the highest homicide rates in the world. and the violence against women is particularly appalling. in el salvador, a woman is murdered every 19 hours. and in honduras, the country with the highest homicide rate for women in the world, a woman
is killed every 16 hours. to be blunt, these families face a stark choice. it's either stay and die or flee for a chance to live. the facts show this policy of deterrence isn't deterring anyone. that's because it's hard to deter people who are fleeing for their lives. in recent months we've seen the number of people seeking safety an refugee rise. there are 36,682 apprehensions in february. that jumped to 50,924. in may it rose to nearly -- 90,000. our only hope is to work with the governments of the northern triangle by exercising smart
diplomacy, by working together to follow solutions that promote the rule of law, provide public safety, and free communities of terror of transnational gang violence. yet, just a few hours ago, president trump threatened to cut off aid to central america and mexico because, quote, they are not sending their best. they are not sending their best. in other words, he would have the policy of the united states be to make the dire conditions in central america even worse, driving even more families to flee their homes in search of assume lum -- asylum. let's be clear. these individuals are fleeing of their own accord. they are not being sent. they are fleeing. their choice is stark. stay and die or live and have -- or leave and have a shot to
live. we know that usaid initiatives that support economic development and good governance make a difference. we heard from young people who found hope and safety through these programs. now is not the time so reckless abandon these programs. it's a time to invest in them. the administration claims to be for law and order, but it deals in kay -- it deals in chaos. president trump lies with such frequency and such confidence because he knows that the muddier the waters, the harder is it -- it is for the rays of truth to shine through. well, this past weekend some rays of light shined through when former first lady laura bush made her voice heard. as she -- this is her -- as she wrote in "the washington post," our government should not be in the business of warehousing
children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in the desert. this is reminiscent of the internment camp for u.s. citizens of japanese descent now considered one of the most shameful episodes in u.s. history. she couldn't be more right. this isn't a p.r. crisis, it's a humanitarian crisis, and it's a moral crisis for our country. that's why even members of the trump administration are struggling to defend this policy. it's indefensible. it's indefensible. years from now we will look back on this policy and will we be proud? no. we're going to look back and see it for what it is, another dark period in our history in which we, as a country, failed to live
up to the values that make america a beacon of hope and a leader among nations. it's despicable to see president trump inflict trauma on innocent childrent to score political points with his base or to somehow use children as a leverage -- as a leverage -- the presiding officer: order, please. mr. menendez: as a leverage for some negotiating point. that's what's happening here. president trump and his republican enablers and congress have one strategy left in their playbook for 2018. they cannot run on being fiscally responsible. their trillion dollar corporate tax cuts have exploded the federal deficit. they cannot give the american people more affordable health because under their watch health care premiums are soaring and
prescription drug costs are surging. they cannot run on raising wages because under air policies most of the nation's economic gains continue to go to big corporations and to the top 1% instead of working families and the middle class. so the only thing they have left to run on is fear -- fear. in 2018 the republican party has one message, it is a message as the president said earlier today, that these my grants aim to -- my grants -- my grants -- m igrants will infest our country. babies and toddlers, they pose a threat to our public safety and national security. latino families who flee unthinkable violence are nothing more than pests. let me be clear, mr. president.
running to save the life of your child doesn't make you a criminal, it makes you a parent. interring -- tearing innocent children away from their parents is shameful, it is cruel, and it is un-american. now president trump is calling on congress to fix a policy of his own creation. there's no law that instigates the president and his administration to do this. none at all. he chooses to do it. and house republicans are trying to pass a so-called immigration compromise when as far as i can see the only thing it compromises is our time-tested system of legal family based immigration in this country. contrary to speaker ryan's claims, this will do nothing to end the separation of families at the border. it doesn't address the issue of
the president's zero tolerance policy or put an end to the administration's cruel practices. instead, the bill removes protections for asylum seekers and gives the administration license to lock families into detention for indefinite periods of time. president trump and idealogues like jeff session want to use the tears of innocent children as leverage in their quest to end legal immigration as we know it and to force the american people to fire a ludicrous $25 billion border wall. the president, the attorney general, the d.h.s. secretary, the white house chief of staff are practicing a double-speak tactic in the hope of confusing the american public, but there is nothing confusing about separating children from their parents. the america i know doesn't put children into cages.
the america i know doesn't rip newborn babies out of their mother's arms. the america i know doesn't treat families fleeing from criminals like they are criminals. president trump could end this despicable policy today without a law. he can order u.s. customs and border patrol to stop tearing babies from their mother's arms. today he can correct course and restore america's commitment to basic human rights today. they say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the audio released yesterday is worth a million tears. how do you submit the cries of innocent children to the congressional record? i don't know how you do that,
but you can hear it. you can hear it. i know we don't want to hear it. i know we don't want to hear it, but those are the cries of innocent children. i can't replicate it. i can't replicate their pain. poppy. poppy. it's time that this senate have its conscience pricked, that it moves to action than it challenges the president on this horrific policy. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. mr. whitehouse: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: mr. president,
first let me thank the senior senator from new jersey for those remarks. it was a privilege and a pleasure to be here to hear them delivered. we had a hearing in the judiciary committee this morning with a representative of homeland security who was virtually incapable of explaining any of what they were trying to do here, and i think we now have five or six different explaingses -- explanations from the trump administration. one is the bible made me do it, the attorney general, the other is the democrats made me do it, the third is we're actually not doing it, the fourth is we are doing it to build legislative leverage, and the fifth is we are doing it in order to deter people from coming to our shores. well, i doubt any of those are true, but for sure they can't
all be true, and it is a mess, but it is nothing like the mess of the images that the senator from new jersey called to the conscience of the country today. a senator: will the senator yield for a moment for a scheduling announcement? mr. whitehouse: of course. mr. alexander: for the information of senators, there will not be a vote tonight on the crapo-whitehouse amendment. we have at least one senator who is still studying the bill, but we believe that will be cleared up shortly. our goal would be to have votes tomorrow morning about 10:00 a.m. on the crapo-whitehouse amendment as well as an amendment by senator baldwin. and both of those are -- are subject to being approved by the leadership staff. only they can announce the
scheduling of a vote. for the information of senators, there will not be a vote tonight and there will be a vote on at least one to three amendments tomorrow morning, hopefully about 10:00 a.m. senator crapo has spoken about the crapo-whitehouse amendment which is a pilot program for advanced reactor fuel. it is a very good idea. it is not reauthorizing a new program. it is not spending anymore money. it is allocating money for a very creative idea that senator whitehouse and senator crapo have come up with. i fully support it. i think senators both sides of the aisle will see the wisdom of it once everyone has a chance to consider it, and i'm glad that senator whitehouse is here it to talk -- talk more about it. thank you. i yield the floor. mr. whitehouse: first, let me thank chairman alexander for his
support and assistance in getting us to this point. he has also, until i rotated off the health committee and on to the finance committee, been my chairman on the health committee. both as the appropriations subcommittee chair and managing this and for all of his help on the health committee, i thank him. i want to explain this in as simple terms as possible because i think this is a complete slam dunk, win-win amendment. a next generation of nuclear power capability is being developed and a great deal of the design of that next generation nuclear capability is being done here in the united states. now, for a variety of reasons,
those american designs are now moving to approval and construction in other countries, particularly including china. so i don't think it's a good idea for us to be designing new technologies but have them deployed in other country so we're trying to address some of the hiccups that prevent this from going forward in the united states. now, our united states navy uses nuclear fuel all the time. i think it is widely known that our aircraft carriers and submarines operate with nuclear engines. they do so very safely, they do so with the expert support of our united states navy, at the end of the day, they generate spent fuel that gets taken off of the aircraft carrier or the submarine when the engine is
refueled. and the question is, what becomes of that spent fuel? what this bill would do is it would allow the navy to give access to that snt fuel to our national labs. america's national labs are a science gem of global proportions. the scientist whose work in our national labs are brilliant, they are extraordinary, they are at the cutting edge of a great number of issues and developments, and one of them is -- guess what -- next-generation nuclear power. so what access to the navy's fuel would do is allow them under the strict controls that are protecting our national labs to begin to work through testing how some of these next-generation nuclear plants might work. why is it a big deal for us to
look at developing in the united states this next generation of nuclear power? well, one obvious reason is that it's carbon-free power, and we've already blown through 400 parts per million carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. that's way out of the range we've been in the entire history of humankind on this planet, and it will have all sorts of cascading affects on our oceans and atmosphere. so nuclear power avoids all of those ancillary risks of fossil fuel power. but the other problem is that we have been operating with old-school nuclear power for quite a long time in this country, and we've built up a very substantial reserve of nuclear waste, of spent fuel, and at the moment the united states senate and united states congress and indeed the united states government has no plan
for getting rid of that nuclear waste. there have been fights over sticking it in caves in nevada and there have been all sorts of ideas, but we do not have a currently operating plan, a great deal of that nuclear waste is simply stored at the power plant where the power was generated. that's a big liability, i believe, and i think that if we were to act as if we were a corporation and book the liability and the cost of having to safely dispose of all of that nuclear waste as a liability, it would get the company's accountants attention, and they'd invest some effort into figuring out what the solution is to dealing with all those stockpiles of nuclear waste for which we currently have no plan. here's where the two lines
converge, because the next-generation nuclear technologies carry the promise of being able to take our nuclear waste stockpile and repurpose it as fuel, turn toxic, dangerous, multi-10,000-year waste with a huge liability attached to it into an asset, a power-producing asset. so, to me, this is a very small investment in a potential solution to a very big problem, and i think that we can have considerable confidence that the united states navy knows what it's doing in handling these nuclear fuels, and that our national labs know what they are doing in handling nuclear materials, and that the trust of the navy and the trust of the
national labs and the expertise of the national labs giving us the ability to actually create a potential solution to at least a significant part of our nuclear waste problem, that's worth the small investment that i hope my colleagues will be willing to make today. i want to particularly thank senator crapo, who has worked with me very closely on this whole nuclear innovation side. he is a real leader in this area. i am happy to be his democratic colleague working on this. i hope that with that explanation we can come to a measure of agreement that this actually is a good, no losers idea and be able to vote on it tomorrow. and i hope it will have a very strong and successful vote. so with all of that, mr. president, i will yield the floor back to the floor manager from the republican side.
mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: i thank the senator from rhode island for his idea. this is a creative idea on his part. and i'd like to give credit to senator crapo and senator risch from the state of idaho. idaho is our nuclear laboratory, among our 17 national laboratories. the would, that we're talking about would be -- the work that we're talking about would be done in idaho. but the energy and water appropriations bill that was approved almost unanimously in the appropriations committee a few weeks ago approved $10 million for the kind of would, that senator whitehouse -- for the kind of work that senator whitehouse just described, a pilot program to recycle the navy's spent nuclear fuel and use the recovered uranium for advanced reactors. so that's already in the bill.
this amendment by senator whitehouse, crapo and risch would add an additional $5 million to the pilot program. it is being reallocated from fuel cycle research and development but does not increase the over-the-all spending in the bill. now looking ahead to tomorrow, the leaders' offices are still talking, but our expectation is that we'll have at least two votes tomorrow at about 10:00. one would be the crapo crapo-whitehouse-risch amendment that we just described. the second would be the baldwin-portman amendment which has been considered. hopefully we'll have other appropriations amendments during the day, and i would encourage senators and their staffs to file tonight, if at all possible, the amendments they
have to these three appropriations bills because the majority leader has said he would like to finish our work this week. now, while there's an opportunity for amendment, as senators know, most amendments that senators could think of have already been dealt with because the subcommittee -- and i just speak from experience of our own subcommittee on the energy and water subcommittee -- and then the full appropriations committee which includes 31 senators -- have heard, in our case, from 83 different members of the senate on both sides of the aisle. so we've had their suggestions, just as in the case of senator whitehouse's idea about pilot program for advanced reactor fuel. we already heard from him about that and from senator crapo and senator risch. we have included it in the base bill. and what we're doing tomorrow, if we have another vote, is simply adding $5 million to it from another account without
increasing the amount of spending. so there are a great many amendments that senators have offered that are already a part of the energy and water bill. that's why i think it has such strong support both in the subcommittee and the committee and onhe floor. but if there are additional amendments that are -- that relate to the bill and particularly if they're bipartisan amendments, we'd like for them to be filed tonight so they can be considered tomorrow. it's my hope that before we close tonight the leaders will authorize the announcements of votes tomorrow morning on two amendments at about 10:00. seeing no other senator on the floor, i yield the floor. i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. whitehouse: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent -- oh, are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: i ask unanimous consent to speak for up to 15 minutes as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. whitehouse: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, as 2010 dawned in what now seems like another era of political time, the united states congress was poised to tackle the problem of climate change. the house of representatives had just passed a cap-and-trade
bill, an there was bipartisan support for climate action in the senate. then on january 21, a date that ought to live in judicial infamy, five justices on the u.s. supreme court, all republican appointees, delivered citizens united versus federal election commission and unleashed unlimited special interest money into america's political system. the fossil fuel industry was looking for a way to stop climate legislation. it got citizens united. fossil fuel interests asked
those justices for anticipated and immediately seized on the political opportunity citizens united provided them. citizens united instantly changed the game in congress for big political interests like the fossil fuel industry. before that fateful day, congress had held regular bipartisan hearings and even votes on legislation to limit the carbon emissions causing climate change, but citizens united allowed the fossil fuel industry to strike at this bipartisan progress, and it struck hard. the fossil fuel industry set its
political forces instantly to work, targeting pro-climate action candidates, particularly republicans. outside spending in 2010's congressional races increased 75%, 75%, by more than $200 million over the previous midterms levels. and citizens united gave the fossil fuel political forces another power. not just the power to spend, but the power to threaten, as powerful a cajole powerful spending is to wield, it's also
powerful to threaten to wield that cudgel. threats are not only powerful they are less than actual spending. you get to keep the money, and the threats are likely to be secret. the sudden barrage of unlimited money, dark money, and political threat had its desired effect. the political hit men of the fossil fuel industry stopped bipartisan climate action in its tracks. pro-climate republicans had a choice. either stop advocating for climate action or become a casualty. the clear before and after point
is 2010's citizens united decision, and the immediate weaponization of that new power by the fossil fuel industry to protect its polluting status quo. a status quo, by the way, which the international monetary fund estimates provides fossil fuel a subsidy of $700 billion -- billion with a "b" -- $700 billion every year just in the united states. the republican appointees who delivered the citizens united decision claimed that there would be a regime of, quote, effective disclosure that would, as they said, provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters. end quote.
of course this has not happened. instead we've witnessed billionaires and corporate interests spending unlimited secret money in elections. outside groups have already spent $140 million in the 2018 election cycle, nearly half of which is from groups with no or only partial disclosure. the head of the koch brothers dark money group, americans for prosperity, announced that the koch's political network plans to spend $400 million in the 2018 cycle, 60% more than it spent in 2016. just last month a single
anonymous donor contributed $26.4 million to the american action network, a dark money organization with close ties to speaker paul ryan. secrecy is the key to the fossil fuel polluters' toxic control of our democracy. light will drive them back. as a foreign service officer's son living overseas in impoverished tropical countries, i remember that the cockroaches would come out at night. you'd go into the kitchen to get a drink, you'd hit the light switch, the lights would flicker on, and you'd hear and see the cockroaches scuttling for the protection of the shadows, fleeing the light. well, we need a little bit of that light in our democracy.
so with my democratic colleagues, i am reintroducing my legislation to bring about the so-called effective disclosure, which even the supreme court that decided citizens united acknowledged is necessary for the american people to have full faith in our political system. the disclose act of 2018 offers a commonsense solution to restore transparency and accountability in our political system. the disclose act would rein in what has been called a tsunami of slime, by requiring organizations spending money in american elections, including super pacs, unions, tax-exempt 501-c-4 groups, all of them to promptly disclose donors who give $10,000 or more during an election cycle.
big, sneaky donors will try to hide behind shell corporations that disguise who they are, so the bill includes robust transfer provisions to prevent dark money operatives from using complex webs of phony front groups to hide real donor identities. the disclose act also strengthens the ban forbidding election spending by foreign nationals. one of the problems of our present dark money infestation, mr. president, is that foreign actors can hide their political influence activities in the exact same dark money channels used by the big special interests. once you tolerate dark money channels of influence in american elections, you can't police who uses those dark money channels. anonymity is anonymity.
anyone could be hiding in the dark. vladimir putin could be hiding in the dark. we don't know until we turn on the lights. and last, the bill requires people spending money on election advertising to so-called stand by your ad, so that the ad itself identifies who is behind the advertising. can we get this done? the public certainly wants us to. and it wasn't too long ago that republicans supported disclosure. they were right back then. but now republicans who once extolled the principles of openness and accountability in our elections have changed their tune. gone is their distaste for secretive election spending. indeed, a new appetite for secret spending has emerged. this is how the special interest
rot of our democracy occurs. the big special interests not only want to win in congress, they want to change the rules of democracy to make it so they can always win in congress. and they use these changed rules to make sure their party goes along with it. back in 2014, the rules committee actually held a hearing on disclose. i hope we can get another hearing, because since that time the problem of dark money has only gotten worse. president trump promised to drain the swamp and then turned his administration over to the biggest dark money swamp monsters that exist. for example, nearly two dozen dark money organizations fronting for god knows who, but one can guess,ing backed the nomination of scott pruitt to be
the environmental protection administrator. mr. pruitt himself raised millions of dollars in dark money while serving as oklahoma's attorney general, and he has never disclosed what business those interests who funded him now have before the e.p.a. americans correctly feel that the tsunami of anonymous dark money drowns out their voices in washington and washes them to the margins of our political arena. the disclose act of 2018 offers a commonsense solution to restore transparency and accountability into our political system. and with the senate now in session through most of the summer, there's ample time for this body to examine the merits of clearing dark money out of our political system. the problem of dark money spending and threats is too big to ignore.
and this is why we are failing at addressing climate change. the corruption and fear citizens united set loose in our politics in 2010 sickeningly empowered big special interests, and to the lasting shame of our nation it allowed the fossil fuel industry to purchase veto power over our national policy making on climate change. we have allowed the biggest interests with the biggest conflict of interest to acquire veto power over what the congress of the united states does on this vital issue. this has been a double evil. it has been poisonous to the american democracy we cherish. and by preventing action to
address climate change, it is poisonous to our entire planet. by introducing this legislation, we are giving our republican colleagues a chance to show the american people where they stand. with the individual voters, we were all sent here to represent, who massively want there to be climate action, or with the billionaires and corporate interests pursuing a quiet hostile takeover of american democracy using dark money and threats. the cockroaches are everywhere, mr. president. i say let's turn on the lights. i yield the floor.
mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the appointment 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 427, s. 2269. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 427, s. 2269, a bill to reauthorize the global food security act of 2016 for five additional years. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. 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: if there's no further debate, the question is on passage of the bill. all in favor say aye. opposed nay. 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 -- 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 9:30 wednesday, june 20. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour 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 morks be -- morning business be closed. finally, i ask following leader remarks the senate resume consideration of h.r. 5895. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order following the remarks of senator bennet. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. mcconnell: i ask consent the senate resume consideration of h.r. 5895. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the following amendments be called up en bloc, crapo 2943 as modified, baldwin 2985. i further ask consent that at 10:00 a.m. on wednesday, june 20, the senate vote in relation to the crapo and baldwin amendments in the order listed.
finally, that there be no second-degree amendments in order to the amendments prior to the votes. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. the clerk will report the amendments en bloc. the clerk: senator from kentucky proposes amendments 2943 and 2985. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. mr. bennet: thank you, mr. president. this past april, phone general -- attorney general sessions announced new zero tolerance policy. those were his words for the southern border. last month the chief of the staff to the president said that this new zero tolerance policy, quote, could be a tough deterrent. the children will be taken care of, put into foster care, or
whatever is what he said. to justify his zero tolerance policy, attorney general sessions cited romans 13, a bible passage that was used throughout our history to justify human slavery. the administration knew precisely what the effect of this action would be. yet they did it anyway. and the result is over 2,300 children have been separated by the united states government in the name of the american people since may. the result are the images we see of children caged in chain-linked enclosures. we hear is in the young boys and
girls crying for their parents. all done in the name of america. that's an image that has ricocheted all across the world just as the image of bill connors' dogs tearing at birmingham's children ricocheted across the world. and said to the world that we actually weren't upholding the high ideals that our founders set out to create. but that's terrible. what is also terrible is that president trump will take no responsibility for what he has done and instead takes on the cheap political tactic which i think he thinks he can get away with. there's a lot of evidence he will get away with it because of
the repetition on the cable news that somehow democrats are responsible for this. the president said, quote, i hate the children being taken away. the democrats have to change their law. that's their law. that's false. that has no basis in reality. and i will -- i will presume that he is not using the children for -- as a negotiating hostage. i'm not going to come to the floor and make that accusation. there are people that have said that because they're searching for some logic to explain how he could say something that is so false. he tweeted, quote, the democrats are forcing the breakup of families at the border with their horrible and cruel
legislative agenda. that's what he wrote. that is ridiculous. and we know, mr. president, it is false because until they created this zero tolerance policy which they thought would deter other immigrants, the united states of america handled this matter in a way that managed to enforce our laws without doing hideous violence to our bedrock values as a nation. when migrants with children crossed the border unlawfully, the government has broad discretion about whether to charge the violation as a criminal offense or a civil offense. and every american administration, every american administration including the trump administration until six weeks ago dealt with it as a civil matter and avoided the trauma of family separation by charging them for illegal entry
and deporting them. during the first 15 months of when administration until attorney general sessions started this zero tolerance policy, the trump administration, not the obama administration, did this with nearly 100,000 immigrants who were apprehended at the u.s.-mexico border. in terms of the law, nothing's changed in ix is months. the only -- six months. the only thing that has changed is the administration's policy and their decision to file criminal larges for every unlawful crossing, including cases that involve families with young children. i think that is the wrong policy. by the way, the attorney general doesn't make up stories about it's the democrats' fault. he said this is what will happen because of their policy.
but the president won't admit it. and so american citizens, thank goodness, don't want this done in their name. they don't want our history besmirnlg -- besmirched action and the coverup of whose responsibility it is. that's why a bipartisan group -- a bipartisan group of 75 former u.s. attorneys called for an end to the policy of family separation. it's making their exercise of prosecutorial discretion more difficult. more than two dozen of the largest religious groups in america have asked the president to please relent knowing he has the power to do so. reverend franklin graham and nearly a dozen eevangelical leaders, republican governors, colleagues of mine who not only say they detest the policy but that the president can change it any time he wants.
those are the facts. i don't know how to solve for the problem of newscasters that are willing to repeat things that aren't true. that is hard to do. and it is difficult to separate fact from fiction when we have a president who is allergic to the truth. and for my own sake at times like this, i think it's important to listen to voices like first lady laura bush who wrote an op-ed in "the washington post" last week that was so moving, although it amazes me that in 2017, any american citizen would have to write it but thank goodness she did. actually, mr. president, i'd ask to include -- i would ask to include mrs. bush's op-ed piece in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. bennet: thank you. this is what she wrote.
i live in a border state. she lives in texas. i appreciate the need to enforce and protect our international boundaries, but this zero tolerance -- this zero tolerance policy is cruel. it is immoral. and it breaks my heart. she wrote, our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of el paso. i'm going to read that again, mr. president. mrs. bush wrote, our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of el pass -- el paso. no, it shouldn't. these images, she wrote, are eerily reminiscent of the japanese-american internment camps of world war ii.
now considered to have been one of the most shameful epides in u.s. history. we now have another one confronting us right now. that episode was shameful. at the time america was in the midst of a great world war, the second in a generation. the country had just emerged from the largest economic depression in our country's history. there was deep ant about jobs and national security. that ant manifested in what became a terrible injustice perpetrated by the united states government against japanese americans. president roosevelt's order called for the relocation of japanese americans into prison-like camps. and many governors throughout the west opposed the camps at the time, not because they were unjust but because they -- it was out of bigotry of japanese
americans. they didn't want them in their state. even if they were locked up in a prison. kansas governor pane radner declared that they are not wanted and not welcome. wyoming governor nel smith found that, quote, japanese who came to his state would be, quote, hanging from every pine tree. an exception to that was colorado governor ralph parr, a republican. speaking to a crowd of farmers, carr said if you harm them, you must first harm me. i was brought up, he said, in small towns where i knew the shame and dishonor of race hatred. i grew to despise it, carr said, pointing to the crowd because it threatened the happinessness of you -- happiness of you and you and you. carr spoke out about that injustice. he gave voice to vulnerable
people when it was politically unpopular. in fact, he lost his political career as a result of what he said. and his courage may not have won him much notice or applause at the time, but he is in the honor roll of history. and we hold him up as an example of our responsibility to stand for justice and to stand against cruelty. his example should inspire us, but it also should make us wonder what would have happened had he not been there. like governor carr, all of us have to choose whether we're going to stand against a policy of locking up children. we shouldn't do it.
we didn't do it. the bush administration didn't do it. the obama administration didn't do it. the trump administration didn't do it. until this so-called zero tolerance policy was put in place. and now the united states government has essentially jailed a bunch of children who can't see their parents. this isn't helping the national security of the united states. our immigration system is broken, mr. president. sitting in that chair before the president was the senator from florida. he and i worked together in the gang of eight to write an immigration bill that passed the senate with almost 70 votes in 2013. they spent $40 billion on border security, that bill. $40 billion. it had internal security. it created a visa system so we
could see who was here lawfully and who had overstayed their visa and kicked out the people that were causing trouble i sometimes think that he doesn't actually want a wall. he just wants the issue of a wall. and you know what else we could be doing. we could be working with countries in our hemisphere to try to resolve the issues that they face -- violence, corruption, absence of rule of law, very limited economic opportunities for people -- so that people could stay there instead of trying to come to the united states just so their kids could survive. that would be a useful thing for us to engage in. a couple years ago when we had the kids come into the border, i asked myself, i am the parent of three daughters. what would it take for me to
send one of my daughters when they are 13 years old with a drug smuggler 1,500 miles to the u.s. border? what -- what fear would i have had to do that? and i went down there. i think the president should go down there. i went to mexico and el salvador and honduras. i met in the back yard of our embassy with a bunch of young people who had either tried to get in this country or -- and failed or tried to get in the country and succeeded. it was very clear that they were absolutely terrorized by the gang violence down there by the insistence on the part of gangs, that these kids join gangs, and by the complete abject lack of economic opportunity. there is none. that could affect the national
security of the united states, and we should have an interest in trying to make it better. i will put my record on immigration and border security up against any single person in this chamber because i helped pass a bill -- write a bill and pass a bill that spent $40 billion on border security for the united states. and it -- and our dysfunction in the house of representatives caused us not to pass the bill there, and now we have reached a level of even more dysfunction because the president is making up what's actually causing the problem at the border and enjoys the political theater of going over to the house of representatives and having a conversation with people about how we're going to solve a problem that he created and that his administration created and that republicans and democrats in this chamber alike know he
created. and so let me close just by saying, mr. president, that we live in a democratic republic. i have said that on the floor. and that a democracy will not last very long if the government is separated from the people. we are a self-governing enterprise. in order to do that well, in order to put america's children in the position they deserve to be put in, in order to honor the heritage that our parents and grandparents passed on to us, in order to assure america's leadership role in the world, we have to seek the truth as citizens. it's a fundamental responsibility that each of us has. we don't have to agree with each other about much, but we have
got to find a way to ascertain the truth and then govern toward that. and figure out ways of moving the country forward. and with episodes like this, i get more and more worried that we're reaching a point where it's going to be hard for us to pull back from the brink. when we're living at a time when our president tells us that our allies threaten our national security, we need to ascertain the truth of that statement. when we're told that trade wars are easy to win and we end up paying more for steel than the people we're fighting the trade war with, we need to figure out what the truth actually is. when somebody runs for office saying that they're going to have a beautiful health care plan that's going to cover everybody in america at a really low price, we ought to check in and see whether that's happening. when somebody tells you even
though it's repeated over and over and over again on one cable tv station in america that he's going to pay off the debt in seven years and then comes to washington and gives us the largest deficit we have seen outside of wartime or recession, we owe it to our children to as ascertain -- to ascertain the truth of the matter. we owe it to our children to do that. and we owe it to the world to treat the children on our southern border with some dignity, the dignity that any human being would deserve. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the senate stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m. stands adjourned until 9:30 a.m.
that wraps up today's senate session. a final vote on the measure is expected by the end of the week. we will have more live senate coverage right here on c-span2. tonight we show you the hearing featuring. [inaudible] he testifies before the house committee on the ongoing investigation on the fbi and justice department into hillary clinton's e-mails and the 2016 election. watch the full hearing at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. also tonight, a senate subcommittee and looks at cambridge analytic is relationship with facebook. this is a follow-up to a recent hearing with mark zuckerberg with a focus on the collection and use of social media data, the privacy concerns raised in the week of
the scandal and potential steps to protect consumers and watch that at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. tomorrow, commerce secretary testifies on tariff actions. he appears before the senate finance committee. live coverage at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span three, online at c-span.org and on the free c-span radio app. >> the c-span bus is in alaska this week for the 38th stop of our 50 capitals tour. we are in juneau with the help of our cable partner. >> we are thrilled that c-span has chosen to visit alaska for the first time in 22 years as part of its 50 capitals and cities to her. a big shout out to c-span. [applause] for decades gci has offered c-span2 our customers because we believe in the network mission to unfiltered and
education on policy, politics, history and current events. gci and the cable company around the nation make c-span possible. there is no government mandate or public funding. there's no advertising. c-span is truly a public service wholly funded by other cable companies. c-span kindly calls it cables gift to america. now, thanks to our long-standing partnership with c-span buses nationwide 50 capitals tour, we get to showcase our state, the largest in the nation, by the way, to the rest of the country via c-span. well, they are here, finally. thank goodness. >> we are ecstatic. it's a huge deal for us. it gives us a chance to showcase our city nationwide
and just to have the idea that some he wants to come in and sample what we have to offer here and hopefully take it back and were open for business we like the idea that you're here. >> be sure to join us july 21 and 22nd when we will feature our visit to alaska. watch alaska weekend on c-span, c-span.org or listen on the c-span radio app. >> mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer talked about immigrant families being separated after crossing the border. first we hear from senator mcconnell on how his party plans to address the situation followed by senator schumer.