U.S. Senate Sen. Schumer Sen. Leahy on Government Shutdown CSPAN January 14, 2019 8:45pm-9:16pm EST
blocked by senate democrats from proceeding to consider important foreign affairs legislation and i wonder if it still look ourselves in the mirror and call ourselves the world's greatest delivered body. historically we've been able to reach a consensus on very tough issues. far more controversial than this because we all believe that american interest should come first in our constituents should come first and we are here to serve their just not play political games and score political points. it is time for our democratic friends to come back to the table so we can finally end this unnecessary and harmful shutdown and hopefully in the process the 800,000 federal workers that miss the first paycheck last friday can get paid during this next pay. and we can reopen the federal government so we can serve the interest of the american people as we should have done 24 days ago.
mr. president, i yield the floor and i note the absence of a quorum.as >> madam president. as the government shutdown enters its fourth unfortunate week its effects are widespread and worsening. as of friday, 800,000 public servants are without pay it tomorrow roughly 41000 active-duty )-right-parenthesis members will get their paychecks by the end of the week t in our federal courts will startun running out of operating funds. farmers, small businesses remain unable to access loans and assistance. some working families are unable to access home loanse and food safety inspections are curtailed and airport terminals are closing and c widespread shortas at tsa. trump shutdown is affecting the opioid crisis and the a da is in charge of approving a critical daily medication use by doctors and treatment of opioid addiction.
as long as the da shutdown that is not happening. it's all the more shameful because the trump shutdown is a completely manufactured crisis manufactured by donald trump. the only reason the government shutdown right now is that president trump reversed positions the day before the government funding ran out. bewildering senate democrats and republicans who were assured he would sign a stopgap bill to fund the government. leader mcconnell is trying to blame the current speaker of the house and is way out to lunch on that one. we are here because the present reversed himself and the last speaker of the house failed to use his responsibility to put the senate passed bill on the floor. this house has voted to reopen the government and it is thel senate that has attended because leader mcconnell won't bring the bill to the floor. h president trump is stubbornly refusing to negotiate his position from the get-go.
democratic leaders and staff have been over to the house over and over again to urge the president to open the government while we we negotiate over border security. different ways to do it but everyone wants it so i shut down the government while we negotiate that? but every time we have asked that of theg. president he's ben transition and compromising and refuses to back down from his position that the price to reopen the government's $5.7 billion of taxpayer money for a while he promised mexico would pay for. i want to remind my republican colleagues and the american people, democrats only want to reopen the government. we've offered a proposal that would separate the government shutdown from our disagreements over border securityur and the house has passed six bills to reopen the government and each
of which was drafted and approved by senate republicans. let me emphasize the point in the democratic proposal to reopen the government is to pass the republicans government funding bill and democrats are not demanding any other policy changes and no democratic agenda items, no nothing. the bills are noncontroversial and leader mcconnell has voted for each of them and according tocc a poll that just came out e american people support our plan by an overwhelming majority, 62%-30%. a healthy majority of republicans are for the plan, 39% are for the idea while only 52% are opposed. even republicans have moving to the position open the government and then debate border security. president trump started this shutdown and he is the person continuing it.g
it is irresponsible of him to do it. make no mistake. democrats are happy to negotiate about the best way to secure our border but we need to open the government first. the fact that president trump refuses to consider our proposal means that he's holding the government and the american people hostage as a political tactic. to president trump innocent, hard-working americansru are no more than bargaining chips. - he will bluster, mislead and stormed out of meetings until he gets what he wants. that is not how our system of government works. we don't and we can't govern by temper tantrum but no president has done it. if we do not reach the government by extortion now what is to prevent the same thing from happening over and over again under this president. what would he do if the debt
ceiling needs to be renewed? before the holiday we had a solution and we believe the president would support a truen. compromise to end the shutdown and at the last minute he reversed himself and said, no. and now he is continuing the shutdown. it is clear the president does not want to in the shutdown at least, not yet. he is flatly refused our proposal to reopen the government while we negotiate on border security. he's contradicted his own deputies and the vice president, chief of staff and said they made offers to democrats and just this morning he refused to consider one of his closest allies, senator graham's proposal to open the government temporarily while we negotiate border security. how many more reasonable offers can the president reject? how much more suffering was the president cause before leader mcconnell realizes it is time to move ahead without him.
it seems clear to nearly everybody but leader mcconnell that congress needs to move forward without the president and at every juncture the president has been the obstacle to progress and we need to have intervention. it's time for congress to fill r constitutional duty to govern even without the president. it is time for leader mcconnell to realize his power to break the impasse, passing the house legislation to reopen the government and legislation in his party they already support. legislation the leader mcconnell has voted for and bragged about. the president is unwilling to move the ball forward so congress must. i urge my friend, leader mcconnell, to allow a vote on the house passed legislation to reopen the government. it seems to be the only way out right now. now, on another matter russian sanctions. before the end of last yearr the
trump administration moved to relaxations on three companies owned and controlled by section olrussian oligarch -- as a reminder an overwhelming majority of the last congress supported additional sanctions on russia as a response to president clinton's line activities. particularly, in ukraine. another companies he that were controlled were placed under us actions because -- was a sub acting as an agent of putin's interest abroad. he leveraged wealthier control having accrued to the control of the company's and in my view, the trump administration plan to provide sanctions relief to these companies is deeply flawed and wrong. first, it failed to sufficiently limit his control and influence of these companies. even though the plan brings his ownership interest down from 70,
45% the terms allow for other russian shareholders with family and business ties to him to maintain shareholder interest. his ex-wife and father-in-law will still own the combined 7% in the company and a section russian bank is acquiring more shares. even with the 45% he probably could control many american companies are controlled with far less but with these additional people owning chairs there is no doubt he continues to controlio the company. second, we must not be forgotten that he is wrapped up in special counsel mueller investigation and has deep ties to former trump campaign chairman paul manafort. there should not be sanctions relief for president putin's trusted agent before the conclusion of special counsel mueller's investigation. days ago itt was revealed that
former campaign chairman paul manafort provided trump campaign pulling data to a close associate for dash. we do not know the special counsel knows in the timing and at the time when these things were coming forward to undo the sanctions are suspect, very suspect. lastly, removing sections on his comedies will benefit the president plans government and economy. since the exploited metals such as aluminum is a key for a new generator for country that needs revenues at a time when russia has failed to curtail its hostile actions against our nation and our allies this is not the moment to give up the source of leverage over the russian government. tomorrow the senate will take up a motion to disapprove the treasury departments proposal ndd i strongly believe the senate should vote to disapprove and in a short time of the
sending a letter to every one of my senate colleagues, democrat, republican, independent to urge them to block this misguided effort by the trump administration and to keep those very needed sanctions in place. i yield the floor. >> senator from vermont. >> madam president, it is interesting that we've entered the 24 day of the trump shutdown and that means for 24 days hundreds of thousands of federal workers have lived with the uncertainty of when they will get their next paycheck. tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of private contractors know they will never be. and for 24 days nine federal departments and dozens of agencies have been closed for business and withheld vital services to millions of americans.
i want to point out millions of americans who are not receiving services they paid taxes to have these services. it is now become the longest government shutdown in the history and taxpayers have lost billions of dollars and the country has lost billions of dollars and the united states should be considered the most powerful country in the world but the rest of the world sees our government being held hostage to the whims of an undisciplined president who is proud of the shutdown and shows no concern for the chaos he is causing to all americans, republicans and democrats alike.
as ask people at home with thisa means to them no matter whether republican or democrat and the president seems to not care that the fda has stopped inspecting seafood, fruits and vegetables and americans are at risk of eating tainted food and feeding their families with tainted food. he seems not to care that the environment of protection agencies stop inspections of chemical factories. water treatment plants. industrial sites. it makes our country vulnerable to dangerous pollutantsan in the air we breathe and the water we drink, ask any parent how they might feel about the child going to school and the water that is tainted with chemicals solely because we close down agencies
that is supposed to inspect those chemicals. he seems nots to care that over 800,000 dedicated workers will not have a paycheck this month. the results across the nation and hundreds of thousands of families are wondering how to pay their bills and put food on the table. it does not make any difference. whether republican or democrat or independent. they are hard-working americans. just a few days ago the presidents own chief economic advisor went on national television and said furloughed workers were better off with the shutdown and they don't have to use vacation days. [inaudible] does he actually know what he said? can you even believe such arrogance, out of touch
dismissal of hard-working americans? the economic advisor will get paid and he does not have to worry but this cavalier way of treating hard-working, honest americans is indefensible. i hear from vermont citizens every day about how this affects their lives. republican, democrat alike are better off. let me give you an example. the other day i heard from a single mother who works at the department of homeland securityr in vermont. she's been working without pay since december 22 when the trump shutdown began and is taking a toll. i remember she worked for homeland security and she writes i loved my job and i do have a
trouble and doesn't have the financial resources. and we remember the story of the tsa and i see them often as i fly back and forth. the local paper recently reported he was forced to start a go fund me page during the shutdown. his wife is also a tsa agent and both went without pay during the shutdown and they have two children to support. he points out almost everyone seems to understand the present.
to the zero balance in your bank account really hurts. some of us live paycheck to paycheck. today would be paid a no money is coming in. she has a mortgage to pay and bills are piling up. he's scared and works for the department of homeland security. he says he wants to keep his job and he certainly doesn't feel valued at all the. he's been holding the pay from the people that protect the
borders. last week to ensure workers get back. as soon as the shutdown is over i'm glad to hear in fact since he's the one that caused this mess. they will eventually get their check there's nothing to help them now. this doesn't help the people calling my office, tsa, dhs employees, state department employees. it's not a case of don't worry about it one day you will get a check. the bill is due now. the shutdown could last months.
the president says it's about border security that you could have fooled me. the examples i just talked about i could get so many more. they are dedicated federal employees who are working to keep this country safe. they are proud of the work they do to keep america safe and they are proud of the service they perform but they are caught in the crosshairs of the shutdown. the shutdown isn't about border security, it's about a cynical campaign rally jab the president hde giving his word mexico would pay for the wall even as
they said that would never happen. they are not in the business of throwing taxpayers dollars around to build monuments to a presidency go of any party. $5.7 billion wall she wants to build. everyone knows it is a waste of taxpayer money and that it won't address immigration challenges in this country. the president has manufactured to generate support for his ridiculous wall. he likes to talk about invasion of illegal immigrants, but that is not a reality. comprehension at the southwest border brought 75%.
more people are here because they've overstayed their visa because they snuck across the border. every member of the senate both parties, we support border security that we need to invest in smart border security and not spend billions of taxpayer dollars on a 40-foot wall that people can go over or through or under. the president is now saying democrats over for open borders and in 2018, democrats supported
$21.1 billion from border security, immigration enforcement that had a similar amount in 2017. the funding supports investments in the southern border to stop the flow of dangerous drugs like opioids or fentanyl. it pays for 19,000 border patrol agents nationwide including roughly 16,500. it pays for 23,500 officers at the ports of entry including 6,850 at the southwest border ports of entry. in fact, the democratic support
a number of the agents and officers we have our recognized even though the illegal border crossings are at the lowest level we see since 1971. last year democrats and republicans came together foret $1.7 billion in border security investmentsov, over a billion dollarthe billiondollars betweef entry, tactical communications, fixed hours, video surveillance systems, ground detection systems, money for carrying the cross border threats and republicans and democrats working together. it also includes $580 million for security at the point of
entry and increased funds for intelligence capabilities at the center and now inspections to detect illicit contraband from opioid equipment and another 615 million to help address the root causes of migration and central america. these are investments republicans andes democrats came together we all agree on that. how do we protect the borders? its more complex, but it's more effective than building a 40-foot pole. i wouldn't begin to do what this does. so, the b shutdown isn't about border security. let's be honest it's about the president's own ego and that's it.er
one that the republican leader keeps bringing up at a time people are desperate and out of work here in america we bring up this bill that has nothing to do with funding the government with border security rather than voting on the appropriations that would put america back to work and offer basic hundred billion dollars this year alone for the distance contractors probably 38 billion over the next ten years. it will put them to work but couldn't we take time first to put americans back to work?
this is a violation of the first amendment to give up federal authority. the right to boycott this fundamental just pick up any of the surround the civil rights movement and plunder if they would have been successful. it's not up to the government to decidee which boycotts are supported or opposed. this should be our focus.
we can talk about creating jobs in israel another time, but let's create jobs in america. let's reopen our government. i call on my friends to stand up to the president, put presideno this madness otherwise the shutdown isn't just the presidents fault its republicans here in the senate, too. i heard senator mcconnell bring up hr 21. what democrats and republicans joined together. we could pass it with a veto proof majority. they shouldn't be intimidated by any president of any party.
we should start acting like a coequal sense of government. frankly, we have people being paid for their work if we started acting as we should and hundreds of thousands of others. let's stand up for americans and border security. let's help them get paid for what'r they are doing. these are people i see in the grocery store and coming out of church on sunday, these are people i see when i'm walking down the street to pick up a
newspaper. these are good hard-working people and i have no idea whether republicans or democrats all i know is they want to do their work for this country. they support the country and want to help the country to be secure and if they can't understand why a temper tantrum at the white house would allow their paychecks to be stopped. i will yield the floor and ask them to be equally divided. >> day 23, for 23 days we have had a partial shutdown of the federal government. it's now the longest shot down in our history. that's not a proud record