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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  July 31, 2019 5:29pm-6:30pm EDT

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the presiding officer: is there any senator in the senator who wishes to vote or change that vote? the ayes are 56, the nays are 44 and the nomination is confirmed -- the nays are 34 and the nomination is confirmed. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider are considered made and laid upon the table and the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action.
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mrs. hyde-smith: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mrs. hyde-smith: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to legislative session and be permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection.
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mrs. hyde-smith: in my maiden speech floor i spoke of mississippians suffering from flooding in the south mississippi delta. today i rise to speak on behalf of the thousands of mississippians who are still suffering from catastrophic flooding which started in january and continues to disrupt the lives of residents in the mississippi delta in my state overall. flood waters must recede before damages can be fully assessed, but we already know that more than 600 households have suffered severe damage. nearly 400 families have been displaced since february and agricultural losses will likely exceed $800 million. much of the necessary infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and drainage culverts are beyond repair. in june latamala taylor, 13 weeks pregnant, and darrin
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wilson died, when their car lost control and sampg into the the -- and sank foo -- into the flood waters. something must be done. my colleagues might ask how can an area more than 11 times the size of washington, d.c. remain under water for nearly seven months? how could flood water swamp more than half a million acres of homes, businesses, highways, forests spanning six mississippi counties for so long. the answer is quite simple. similar to new orleans, a complex system of levees and floodgates constructed by the u.s. army corps of engineers protected the roughly 1,446 square mile yazoo back water area in mississippi. this levee system protects the areas when the mississippi river is high and the floodgates are closed. however, these same protections
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become the problem when the river is high, floodgates are closed and excess rainfall occurs. the interior creeks and rivers have no way to drain and the result is a bath tub-like effect. unlike new orleans and numerous federal flood control projects up and down the mississippi river, there is no mechanism to remove the trapped water from the yazoo back water area. aside from evaporation, pumping is the only viable option for removing vast amounts of water that has no place to go. this year the mississippi river remained above flood stage longer than any time in recorded history. the floodgates to prevent the mississippi river from backing up into the yazoo back water area were closed in january. above average rainfall occurred in the months thereafter, and here we are today with a disaster on our hands.
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for nearly seven months more than a half a million acres of land, 860-square mile area has been under water. little attention outside of mississippi paid to the lives lost, the destroyed homes, or the displaced families. roughly 225,000 acres of agricultural crops have been destroyed or will go unplanted this year. hundreds of thousands of acres of timberland ruined. white tailed deer, black bear, turkey and other wildlife are starving to death and spreading the disease as you can see from these pictures. wetlands have become lakes. stagnant, contaminated water continues to threaten human and environmental health. the list goes on. paul hartfield, an endangered species buyologist with the u.s.
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fish and wildlife services saeed this is biblical -- said this is bibl proportion. nothing like this has been seen. while he is correct, the mississippi delta is a complete disaster, the worst back water floods since 1973, devastating flooding in the area has become almost an annual occurrence. this year marks the tenth time the yazoo back water area has flooded since 2008, each time causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. the area residents cannot sustain this, and they certainly do not deserve this. according to u.s. census data, roughly 35% of the residents of the six-county area live in poverty. the median household income is $31,187 per year below the national average. this perpetual flooding plagues
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agriculture production which damaged the primary economic mainstay in this region and increased unemployment. i fear what the 2020 census will reveal. in a 1982 environmental impact statement, the u.s. army corps of engineers stated flooding in the yazoo area is historic and will continue as long as pumps are not constructed to complete the flood control system for this area. the flooding will continue to damage crops, homes, roads, and other improvements in this area project. in a 2007 supplemental environmental impact statement, the corps stated the no-action alternative would not eliminate any of the flood damages that area has historically experienced. existing yazoo back water flood duration and frequency would continue to adversely affect residential and nonresidential
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structures. flooding would also have adverse impacts on the standard of living for residents interrupting daily practices and travel to work, school, and church. mr. president, the corps of engineers was accurate in its predictions. mississippians are living these predictions out in real life, and they have for years. it is time for the people of mississippi to receive the level of flood protection promised to them by the federal government in 1941. it is time for the corps of engineers to complete the last remaining unconstructed feature of a 77-year flood control effort, the yazoo back water pumps. mr. president, the people of mississippi are beyond ready to see this crisis resolved. they are, frankly, extremely frustrated with the federal government. more than 17,000 people have signed a petition to remove an
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environmental protection agency 2008 regulatory veto preventing constructions of the pumps. mississippi governor phil bryant, the mississippi department of wildlife, fisheries and parks, the mississippi department of agriculture and commerce, and many other state leaders and organizations have been overwhelmingly in support and advocacy for the pumps. i am grateful for this administration's responsiveness to mississippi perpetual flood problems and needs and i will continue to work with the administration, relevant agencies in the federal government and departments to see this through. as i continue working to provide greater predictability and regulatory certainty for mississippians and the american public, i am committed in my capacity as a united states senator to proposing commonsense reforms to the laws governing the regulation of our nation's
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waters and permitting process. for this reason, i along with the senior senator from mississippi have introduced the flood reduction wildlife, habit at and water quality improvement act of 2019. this legislation seeks to make commonsense reforms to section 404 of the clean water act. our bill mirrors the directives outlined in executive order 13807 issued by president donald trump on august 24, 2017, and would establish greater discipline and accountability in the environmental review and permitting process for infrastructure projects. more specific, it would prohibit e.p.a. from vetoing a corps of engineers flood control project specifically authorized by congress. this is a basic constitutional principle of separation of
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powers. further, upon enactment, it would immediately nullify any prior veto determinations made by e.p.a. if said actions had resulted in severe flooding and damage to life and property. in closing, the arguments i have heard in opposition to this project are not valid. pumps will save lives. property, local infrastructure, wildlife, and the environment. as we are here going about our daily lives, enjoying the comfort of the home we will return to today after work, these mississippians are just trying to get through the next 30 minutes to keep their sanity and emotions intact. the real-life experiences mississippians have endured over time tell the true story. mr. president, it is time for the federal government to make good on its promises. it is time to construct the
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pumps. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from mississippi. mr. wicker: mr. president, i want to congratulate the junior senator from mississippi, senator hyde-smith and thank her for her leadership. she took the lead on this legislation, and i'm delighted and honored to join her in this regard. if americans could take a moment , a few hours to come to the south delta of mississippi and see for themselves what senator hyde-smith is talking about, they would understand the gravity of the situation. she mentioned seven months. if you're there today, mr. president, you see dead wildlife floating on the flood waters. you see coffins that had been
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buried that are floating on the surface of the flood water. in this area. no prospect of an income this year for these small farmers. no prospect of a crop this year on some of the most fertile land that the united states has been blessed with. and the tragedy of this is that it is entirely preventable, and the prevention involves a promise that was made, as the senator from mississippi said, back in 1941, when this country and this congress collectively adopted the mississippi river and tributaries system. and that system included up and down the river a series of -- of leaf easy and flood control
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structures, but it also included a series of pumps. and we're the only state that still after this entire time doesn't have our pump that's been promised to us. there have been environmental challenges along the way, unsubstantiated, i might add. as a matter of fact, the environment is harmed. wildlife is harmed when a flood of this magnitude comes into the area. as is graphically mentioned -- as graphically demonstrated by some of the photographs the senator has offered. she mentions the bathtub effect. let me make sure my colleagues understand this, mr. president. the yazoo river when the mississippi floods backs up into the delta. as a result, we put down a floodgate, and that is designed to keep the flooded yazoo river
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from backing up into this fertile farm land, and we have given a promise -- or at least we thought we had a promise to people living above -- with property above 87 feet above sea level, that when the floodwater behind the floodgate reaches 87, we would start pumping and pump that water back into the mississippi river where it has a minimal effect. this gives certainty. we know there is going to be a flood. people with property 87 feet above sea level and below know that they're going -- there is going to be flooding. but the promise of the pump is if you have land above 87 feet, you can build a house there. you can put your business there. you could plant your crop there and be certain that we get the same protection from flooding that everybody else up and down
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the mississippi river tributary system gets. that's the promise that everybody else gets but has been foreclosed to us. and so i congratulate the senator for thinking of this solution, and that is a piece of legislation that would correct this problem. clearly, it would also help if we -- if we simply got the corps and the e.p.a. to agree that the decision ten years ago or so was made incorrectly and let us have what -- what the rest of the system has, and that is a flood control promise that gives us certainty that we can conduct our business -- have a home, conduct our lives as it was promised. that's all we're asking for.
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and for seven months this year and for weeks and months in previous years, we have been denied that. so i want to congratulate -- associate myself with the remarks of the junior senator from mississippi, to thank her for her leadership in thinking of this particular solution which would give us a remedy, but also to say that there are other ways that this could be solved. we deserve this certainty that everyone else up and down the mississippi system now has, and we deserve for that promise made to us back in the 1940's to be fulfilled even at this late date. so i would -- i would yield the floor and thank my colleague for her leadership.
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mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to executive session for the consideration of calendar 370 and 393 and that the nominations be confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in
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order, that any statements related to the nominations be printed inned record, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar 376 through 380 and all nominations on the secretary's desk in the air force, army, marine corps, and navy, that the nominations be confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motions be in order, that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of calendar 408, 4 on 09, 410, and 412 and all nominations on the secretary's desk in the foreign service, that the nominations be confirmed, the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate, that no further motion be in
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order, that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, the senate then resume legislative session. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 300 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 300 supporting the goals and ideals of national public health week. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further debate on the measure. the presiding officer: if there's no further debate, the question is on adoption of the resolution. all in favor say aye. opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the resolution is agreed to. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the preamble be agreed to that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to
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the consideration of s. res. 301 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 301 honoring the 50th anniversary of the return of the indiana rangers. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: 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. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the consideration of s. con. res. 24 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s s. con. res. 24, concurrent resolution recognizing the 50th anniversary of the food and nutrition service of the department of agriculture. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i know of no further debate on the measure. the presiding officer: if there's no further debate, the question is on adoption of the
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resolution. all in favor say aye. opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the resolution is adopted. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent 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. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 127, h.r. 1079. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 127, h.r. 1079, an act to require the director of the office of management and budget to issue guidance on electronic consent forms and for other purposes. 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 and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration
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of h.r. 776. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 776, an act to amend the public health service act to reauthorize the emergency medical services for children program. 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 is no further debate, the question is on passage of the bill. all in favor say aye. opposed no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill is passed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of s. res. 302, which was submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 302, resolution designating september, 2019, as national
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child awareness month, and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask 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. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 9:30 thursday, august 1. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning business be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day, morning business be closed, and the senate proceed to consideration of h.r. 3877 under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so if there is 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 senate is adjourned until
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>> there was no public
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substitution and the woman would never leave the house to do anything or with that she needs a man.
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so driving is an act of civil disobedience. to show that we are able and capable to be in charge of our own destiny. mr. paul: mr. presi. the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: thank you hear it? mr. paul: thank you hear it? >> can you hear it? can you hear the somber notes the feet and shuffling in the solemn tones? can you hear it? a funeral march its movement a once proud movement with hundreds of thousands of people gathered on the national mal ml,

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