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tv   Public Affairs Events  CSPAN  May 8, 2019 6:31pm-7:04pm EDT

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individuals across the country don't even know who they are and don't even know what the ex-im bank does but it gets caught up in a lot of politics here. these extremely well-qualified people passed and they're now on their way to be able to serve our nation in that area. but i had to vote against them not because of them and who they are and their qualifications -- they are clearly qualified -- but because of my own frustration that this body has not been willing to take on the most basic element in the ex-im bank of basic reform. the charter of the ex-im bank requires the bank, and this is the quote, to seek to reach international agreement to reduce government subsidized export financing. that's in their charter. the problem is that's not being fulfilled and there's been a push for awhile it to try to reform the ex-im bank. that push to reform them has failed so far. my encouragement to the new quorum that is the leadership now of ex-im bank is to be able
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to push to fulfill their requirement to reduce government-subsidized export financing, not expand it, and to take the actions necessary to be able do that not only with our ex-im structure but to be able at that to work with other countries. the common phrase is we have an ex-im bank because other countries have an ex-im bank. other countries have a communist structure like china. we're not trying to model that. neither should we try to take on every single subsidy other governments do. let's try to find a way for them to fulfill their charter. in the meantime i have proposed a set of reforms that can be done to the ex-im bank to be able to make this better. some of them are fairly obvious. one of them is reducing taxpayer exposure by prohibiting the bank from issuing direct loans. i have also pushed very hard to be able to have this basic statement, a sense of the senate that the bank is a lender
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of last resort, not the first place to go to. that again should be a no-brainer for them. here's the clearest and easiest one. ex-im bank often brags about how many small businesses use the ex-im bank services. but then you ask the next question that no one asks. how does ex-im bank define a small business? with chagrin, they will say their definition of a small business is any business with 1,500 employees or less. that's not a small business. 1,500 employees or less is a small business according to ex-im bank. there are very few companies in america with 1,500 employees. the most basic thing that we could do is have ex-im bank use the same definition that the small business administration uses for what a small business is and then put the same requirement on ex-im to also use small businesses and to engage with that. we should also prohibit the bank
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from providing financing services to foreign and state-owned entities. why are we financing another government and what they're doing? or why are we actually providing competition for our own companies as ex-im does? they will do loans and subsidies to countries and companies that compete against american companies. all these are basic reforms. my push is not to abolish ex-im. it's for ex-im to have fulfilled its charter and to be able to do its basic responsibility and to have the most simple reforms that i think are needed. this is not just talk for us. we have this legislation. we've pushed for this before and we'll p continue to be able to push for basic reforms in ex-im in the days ahead. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor.
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a senator: mr. president, i come to the floor today again to talk about the drug epidemic that continues to be such a big issue in my home state of ohio and around our country. i'm here now for my 56th floor speech, i'm told, on this topic, sometimes talking about the opioid crisis which has gripped my state like it has so many others in this chamber, but also to talk about other issues that relate to the drug epidemic. it's not just about the prescription drugs, the
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heroin, the fentanyl and the carfentanil that have negatively impacted so many men, women and families, children, devastated so many communities. there are also other issues and one i want to talk about today is what is happening with regard to crystal meth. methamphetamines are back with a vengeance and we need to have a more effective response to it. congress has actually done quite a bit in the last several years to push back against this drug epidemic. new policies have been put in place now at the federal level for the past few years that are promoting better prevention, treatment, recovery, helping our law enforcement be able to respond with narcan, that miracle drug that reverses the effects of overdoses, helping to ensure that we have a prevention message out there that's more effective. among other things, congress has now spent more than $3 billion nebraska additional funding --$3 billion in
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additional dollars and it's been needed. the exree hence -- the comprehensive addiction recovery act has provided that. the good news is that these efforts are actually starting to pay of 0. drug overdose deaths are still way too high and in ohio we start at a high water mark. but after eight years -- eight years of more people dying every single year, finally last year we are seeing in ohio and around the country a reduction of overdose deaths. that's great news. we peaked in 2017 at 72,000 americans losing their life. the number-one cause of death in my home state of ohio and the number-one cause of death for all americans under the age of 50. progress has been particularly encouraging in places like ohio. we saw a 21.4% drop in overdose deaths in the first half of last
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year, 2018. the last numbers that we have, the most recent data that we have. this was the biggest drop in the nation actually between july of 2018 and june of -- july of 2017 and june of 2018. so for that one-year period according to the centers for disease control statistics ohio had the biggest drop in the country. that's parliament because ohio's numbers -- that's partly because ohio's numbers were so high. national lit we're seeing a promising if more modest downturn in overdose deaths between september of 2017 and march 2018, the most recent data we have overdose deaths fell from about 72,000 to about 71,000 deaths. overall the overdose rate dropped in 21 states and nearly a full percentage point nationally. so at least we're seeing some progress finally, after eight years of increases every year and more and more heartbreak. this is progress. i think we would have been doing even better, frankly, if we
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hadn't seen the big influx of fentanyl over the last three or four years. again, congress has passed some important legislation, but we are pushing up against more and more fentanyl coming into our communities. this is this incredibly powerful synthetic opioid, 50 times more powerful than heroin. inexpensive, coming, by the way, primarily from china and primarily through the united states mail system. our pushback on that more recently that's starting to be effective is called the stop act. we passed it here in this body last year. what the stop act says is the post office has to start screening these packages particularly from countries like china where we know this fentanyl is coming in. they haven't done exactly what we've asked them to do yet but they are doing a better job of stopping this poison coming in from china where the vast majority comes from. but today even as we see some progress on opioids and as we see somewhat less fentanyl coming in and, therefore,
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higher prices of fentanyl on the street, which is important, as we see this progress, we're also seeing something that's very discouraging, and that is what i've been hearing now for over a year from law enforcement, from treatment providers, from social service providers, from community leaders back home, and that is a resurgence of methamphetamines. pure, powerful crystal meth coming primarily from mexico. i think regularly with treatment providers and drug abuse task forces all over our state, recently i talked with community leaders in knox county in columbus, at the southeast health services center in adams, lawrence, hamilton county, the heroin coalition, and to law enforcement and leadership in the community in butler county, every single meeting ended up the same way, which is people saying we're finally making progress on opioids. thanks for the help there because all these communities,
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all of them are taking advantage of the legislation we passed here. but the new scourge is crystal meth. help us with that. and often, by the way, they're saying this crystal meth is being laced with something else, sometimes fentanyl. this same deadly fentanyl we talked about earlier is sometimes being laced with crystal meth, making for a devastating cocktail. october of 2018 report from ohio university said that psycho stimulants, including methamphetamines, they're called psychostimulants, were found in nine unintentional deaths in 2010. that number rose to 509 in 2017. that's over a 5,000 percent increase. so something's happening out there. again, finally getting control of the opioid issue, even the fentanyl synthetic opioids which is the latest surge and now we're seeing methamphetamine deaths rising dramatically. according to the centers for disease control and prevention, deaths involving cocaine and psycho stimulants, again
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including meth, have also increased nationwide in recent years. among the more than 70,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017, more than 23,000, nearly a third involved psycho stimulants like meth, cocaine, or both. from 2016 to 20717 death rates involving cocaine and psycho stimulants like meth each increased by approximately 33%. increases increased across all demographic groups, all census regions and in several states. in 2018, a report from the ohio department of mental health and addiction services highlights the intertwined nature of the rising meth usage and the ongoing opioid crisis. they said some meth users initially turned to this drug, to methamphetamines to manage the heavy crashes that followed prolonged use of heroin and other opioids. and then they became just as addicted to meth as they were addicted to opioids. so that's one reason i think you see this increase in meth, in
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methamphetamines in ohio is because users are turning to meth to handle the crashes that follow prolonged use of heroin. meth is now stronger, cheaper than ever before. and again, it's coming almost exclusively to ohio from mexico. the days of home chemist and the one pot meth labs are over. you probably heard about it, where these meth labs were being set up and they created a huge environmental problem as well as the issue of producing meth which was devastating communities. those meth labs are pretty much gone now. in ohio, there is not a county that tells me they have a meth lab left. that might sound like good news but it's actually bad news. the meth labs are gone because the meth coming in from mexico is more powerful and it's cheaper. so why make meth in the basement when you can have crystal meth delivered to your doorstep from
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mexico? it's being mass produced by mexican drug cartelses who are smuggling it into the united states. according to dennis lowe, the commander of major crimes unit in athens, ohio, the people are getting better quality product and it's cheaper to buy from a cartel. end quote. so more powerful, more deadly and cheaper. bit, -- by the way, one columbus ohio officer told me crystal meth on the streets is cheaper than marijuana now. as i've heard from folks all over ohio, we're seeing meth laced with other drugs, including fentanyl, heroin and cocaine. many of these cartels supplies these drugs into methamphetamines but don't tell customers that so users may be consuming dangerous opioids without knowing it. any street drug can be deadly. much of the methamphetamine, of course, as i said, enters in mexico through the ports of
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entry. so it comes in bulk through the ports of entry. it's often hidden in cars, hidden in trucks, smugglers make it through this screening process and then they sell it through their distribution networks. we need to do more at the ports of entry to have better screening. the amount of meth's at ports is now at 56,000 pounds. in the last year alone we have seen a 38% increase in methamphetamine trafficking. according to the u.s. attorney's office, the lab rose from 2,000 in 2015 to over 12,000 in 2018, just in a three-year period, a 500% increase. what's happening with crystal meth is one more reason we need to secure our southern bored.
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the experts at the border say they need more technology, more surveillance, more cameras, more screening to stop the illegal flow of drugs. i think we are beginning now to make progress because we're deploying more sophisticated technology at the ports of entry, and that's smart. but the traffickers are smart and they are also learning way to avoid the ports of entry and go around them to continue this evil and prosperous trade. the story originating in gallion, ohio, a 5-year-old was trick or treating last year and was exposed to meth and began to suffer from exposure to meth. law enforcement checked the halloween candy, thinking that was the problem. it was not. they found the meth. it was in his own family home. his father eventually was charged with possession of the
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drugs and tampering with evidence many but here's a 5-year-old kid suffering from a meth exposure. two weeks ago i was in knox county, ohio, central ohio where i participated in a roundtable discussion with local elected leaders and mental health recovery folks. they are focused on the crystal meth problem. why? because it's overwhelming them. opioids used to be their number one issue, now it's crystal meth. i was told methamphetamine was involved in 85% of the drug problems and many times there is a polysubstance abuse. last august, the knox county sheriff's office adder three -- arrested three individuals. what law enforcement tells me about methamphetamine is that it's causing a new spate of crimes, somewhat closer to the
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cocaine crimes committed in the 1990's. heroin is a drug that does not create the same stimulant effect. it's not a psychosim lant so the -- stimulant, so the crimes are primarily to pay for the crimes. when the meth crimes are often crimes of violence because it is a stimulant like cocaine. so these law enforcement tell me they are very concerned. their jails are being crowded now with meth users who are there for serious crimes. their big issue that they are look being at is how do you get people through successful recovery? here's the other bad news. we don't know much about how to help people with recovery are methamphetamine. with opioids there are medicated assisted treatment and in general recovery practices that work for opioids can work for
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meth, taking people through a therapy process, but there is not the drugs to be able to help you through it as there is with opioids. so it's an even tougher problem in some respects. we talked about the federal funding that had been awarded to knox county when i was there and they are really happy about it. they are getting money through the 21st century cures funding that went to the state of ohio and went down to them. they are getting money from the cara legislation and the legislation i authorized when i was in the house of representatives many years ago and it was used for prevention effectively in some of these counties. the one thing they said about the funding is that they want to be sure that there's more flexibility, particularly in the 21st century secures funding, so it can be used not just for opioids, but for the meth issue, which is their big problem now. my hope is that we'll begin to see some flexibility in the
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funding streams to be able to help places like knox county. we need to build a sustainable infrastructure for prevention, treatment and longer-term recovery from all drugs. these communities, having that flexibility, gives them the ability to respond to whatever the latest problem is facing their community. the u.s. attorney's office based in cleveland, ohio, which is led by justin herdman, has been involved in this to combat the spread of meth. his office indicted people who had a trafficking supply network, a supply chain from mexico to ohio. d.e.a. agents seized more than 144 pounds of meth from a warehouse outside of cleveland. it's believed to be the largest seizure of methamphetamine in ohio history. it demonstrates how serious this threat is and how these criminal organizations pose such a threat to our state and our country. back in 2005, congress passed a bill on meth.
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it was called combat methamphetamine act. and it regulated certain over-the-counter drugs because of their use in methamphetamine. this helped to combat the ability for domestic producers. it dropped the price and reduced its availability. however, the mexican cartels have now, again, sum planted these -- supplanted these domestic labs. and now we have cheap, high-quality crystal meth supplies from mexico. as the public learns more about the dangers of opioids and works to wean themselves off of those drugs, methamphetamine, if left unchecked, will be the new drug of choice. we can't let that happen. as we begin to make progress again on the opioid epidemic, which was the worst drug crisis in the history of our country, and remains so, we can't take
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our eye off the ball. what we're doing is actually helping on fight against opioids. we need to keep it up. we actually are making progress, finally. we've got to keep the pressure on. but my question is, what do we do about the next wave coming? what do we do about the methamphetamine that's coming into my state and your state. we need to keep up the awareness of drugs generally. it's not about one drug, just opioids or meth or cocaine, it's about treating addiction like a disease, which it is, providing better treatment so that weem can get back on their feet. providing longer-term recovery. so raising that awareness generally is important, not just to opioids, but to addiction, which is really the issue. second, we have to do more at the southwest border to stop the flow of crystal meth from coming in. there's enough to man here in america for this drug, it will
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find its way in. we can stop some of it. we're beginning to do that. at a minimum we can raise the price on the street, which is one of the problems as i said is incredibly inexpensive. it's less expensive than marijuana in some cities of america. third, we need to do more to support federal prevention programs that can address this issue. prevention, education, awareness. this is ultimately the most effective way to stop this epidemic from growing. one tool to do that is called the drug-free communities act, continue has established more than 2,000 coalitions around the country. let's continue to support those coalitions. very little federal money has gone in compared to the private sector money, the state and local money, the foundation money, but it leverages some of that other money. second, let's start a new prevention program. focused on the meth challenge. one place we can find that funding is in the comprehensive
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addiction and recovery act. we authorized and appropriated $10 million for a national prevention program, allowed h.h.s. to set that up. they haven't done it yet. i think it's important to do it. i would take that $10 million and multiply it by using it as leverage to go out to private sector to encourage foundations, companies, pharma companies and others to help in this effort. i believe that there is an interest in that. i know there is. let's do a massive prevention program because that may be the end -- in the end the most effective way to keep people from getting into the funnel of addiction in the first place. fourth, we need to continue to expand and support the high-intensity drug trafficking areas. they really work. in ohio, when you have federal resources with state and local resources and coordinated on the drug issue, they make a lot of sense. they stop a lot of the meth distribution in ohio.
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i talked about what happened in northeast ohio with the largest meth seizure program, that was through the hyda program. fifth, we need a more effective treatment for meth. n.i.h. is working on answers, but we need new medical ition indications -- medications so we can help those suffering from addiction get into recovery. this is a major challenge. i spoke to scott gottlieb who is a former f.d.a. commissioner about this issue, and i talk to others. we need to do everything we can heror support efforts to try to come up with medication that can assist with regard to the treatment for the psychostimulant drugs. finally, we've got to be sure that communities have more flexibility to use the federal funding they are getting through cures, through the state opioid response groonts to address issues -- grants to address issues like meth. i'm exploring whether legislation is necessary for
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that. i believe a lot can be provided through the state grants. i will ensure that the federal government is a better partner for those working on the front lines of this drug epidemic. opioids, yes, we need to keep up the fight. we're finally making progress after eight years of increases in opioid deaths, finally last year for the first time in eight years we're seeing a reduction of those deaths, the worst drug epidemic in the history of our country. it is a time to focus on what is working and do more of it. also we have these new challenges, particularly chrisal meth and we -- crystal meth and we need to do a better job of addressing that. working together, i believe we can make a difference. i believe we can turn the tide on addiction in this country. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. portman: i ask unanimous
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consent that all -- the presiding officer: the senate is in a quorum call. the presiding officer: i ask that it be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent that all postcloture on the park nomination expire at 1:45 p.m., thursday, may 9. if confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table and the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed legislative session and be in period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to consideration of s. res. 196, submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 196, recognizing the american peanut shellers association for a century of effective leadership in the peanut industry and the beneficial work of the peanut industry in the united states and the state of georgia. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the
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measure? without objection. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to consideration of s. res. 197, submitted earlier today -- earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate rechtion 197, -- resolution 1 the 97, recognizing the contributions of the teachers of the united states and the economic well-being of the united states. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mr. portman: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 a.m., thursday, may 9, further, that following the
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prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, morning business be closed, and the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the park nomination under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. portman: if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate is adjourned until 9:30 a.m. tomorrow.
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>> the complete guide to congress is now available. it has liked the details of the house and senate for the current session of congress. contact and bio information about every senate and representative. plus representative committee, state governors in the cabinet. the 2019th congressional directory is a handy spiral-bound guide, order your copy from the cspan online store for 1895. >> here is a look of her future programs, this weekend of booktv saturday night at nine eastern, joseph, author of people, power and profits looks at the contributions to inequality and growth slowdown and by big companies dominating large sectors of the economy. >> the problem was not that the
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u.s. was snookered by south africa or by some other developing company, the problem was what the united states wanted, and the american agenda was a corporate agenda. whose botching the interest at the expense of american workers. >> as sunday at 7:00 p.m. eastern, melinda gates discussed around the world, her latest book is the moment of lift,. >> she looked me in the eyes and said, the truth is, i have no hope. no hope for feeding the sun when i'm done breast-feeding nor educating them. all she knew was i was a western woman with a care under pair of khaki pants and a teacher, she said would you take them home with you. that is their only hope. >> at nine eastern on "after words", utah republican senator
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offers his thoughts on the overreach of government in colonial times in today in his latest book, elastic relation. he is interviewed by niclas quinn rosengren,. >> when you have a segment of the branch of government consisting people who will remain in power for decades, never standing for election, never standing accountable to anyone who is himself or herself, accountable people in the election. that is the problem, deep state. police enjoy poteet this weekend on c-span2. mexico's foreign affair sired after the secretary was in washington, d.c., he spoke at the annual conference at the state department about the new trade deals with the u.s. and mexico for policy. >> good

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