tv U.S. Senate U.S. Senate CSPAN September 11, 2019 5:30pm-7:05pm EDT
the presiding officer: do any senators wish to vote or change his or her vote? if not, the ayes are 75, the nays are 18. the nomination is confirmed. the clerk will report the next nomination. the clerk: nomination, the judiciary, steven c. seeger of illinois to be united states district judge for the northern district of illinois. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. is there a second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
mcelroy of rhode island to be united states district judge for the district of rhode island. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it, and the nomination is confirmed. the clerk will report the next nomination. the clerk: the judiciary, stephanie a. gallagher of maryland to be united states district judge for the district of maryland. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all in favor say aye. opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it, and the nomination is confirmed. a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. barrasso: thank you, mr. president. mr. president, first, today we mark the 18th anniversary of the september 11 attacks. we remember the nearly 3,000
people who lost their lives. we pray for all of the 9/11 victims and their families. and we honor our 9/11 heroes. they are the brightest lights that day in the dark sky. our brave firefighters, police, service men and women, so many americans gave their lives to save lives that day, and we pay tribute to them today. congress has passed new laws to care for 9/11 first responders. we recently made the 9/11 victims compensation fund permanent. this ensures that all those who responded to the terror attacks and their families have peace of mind and first-rate health care. now, mr. president, i do want to turn to the topic of the overall health care debate that we're having in this country.
for the past several weeks i've been home in wyoming as you have been home in noord, and i -- in north dakota, and i listened to the people that i'm so privileged to represent, many of whom i've been privileged to treat as their doctor. of course we discussed their health care. and as a doctor, i want to make care better and more affordable. folks in wyoming actually know me first as a doctor. so many of them call me dr. barrasso or john as opposed to senator barrasso. people back home think of their doctors as members of the family, as friends, neighbors, live down the street, go to the same church, kids go to the same schools. the local hospital in caspar is right in the center of town. and people don't want that to change. they want same people giving them care, but they want it at lower cost. and this holds true for the rest of the country. so people are rightly concerned. americans worry that they won't be able to pay for their health
care. republicans are listening to these concerns, and we are focused on lowering the out-of-pocket costs for people's health care. that's why we ended the unfair obama -- the obamacare tax penalty and recently banned these costly drug price gag rules, so people can know actually what things cost and what the best deal was for them. now we're focused on ending something called surprise medical billing. it happens, mr. president. huge medical bills that you don't expect, and you can't easily pay. we're also moving more measures to lower drug costs and drug prices that people actually have to pay. here's the problem. democrats are rejecting all of our efforts. they're proposing costly health care, to me, schemes. "the washington post" reports that five of the seven democrat senators -- members of this
body -- five of the seven democrat members who are running for president have backed a one-size-fits-all approach. the government, it's a government-run plan they call medicare for all. and "the washington post" reports that a majority of house democrats also back it, and have actually cosponsored it. they want it to become the law. the democrats' proposal would take away on-the-job health insurance from 180 million working americans. let me repeat that. what the democrats are proposing with their so-called medicare for all, one-size-fits-all proposal for health care in this country would take away the health care that people get on the job that they've earned on the job, and there are 180 million people that get their insurance that way in america. the cost of their proposal is $32 trillion. that's trillion with a "t." it's an astronomical amount of money. of course they'd have to pay for
that, as senator sanders has said, by raising taxes on the middle class. these democrats clearly aren't focused on helping lower costs of care. they're too busy, in my opinion, with plans to destroy health insurance, destroy union workers' hard-fought insurance benefits, destroy the current medicare program for 60 million seniors and destroy the health coverage that people have earned at work. and for what? all so government can have complete control over america's health care system. we can't afford for that to happen, mr. president. democrats have admitted that their obamacare health care law has failed. polling shows the majority of americans don't want a one-size-fits-all health care plan for them. now, remember congressional democrats in the house and the senate when it came to the vote on obamacare promised that the obama health care law would control costs. they actually named it, i think
a complete misname, the affordable care act. it's the unaffordable health care act. premiums and costs have soared all over the obama health care law was signed. for many americans, health insurance premiums have doubled since the signing of the obama health care law. monthly premiums are often more than mortgage payments. this cannot stand, mr. president. simply can't continue. we cannot trust democrats to roll the dice again with the health care of the american people. now republicans are focused on real reforms, reforms that actually lower costs, reforms that protect patients with preexisting conditions. in july the the committee approved a measure to end surprise medical billing. it also includes language to bring down the cost of drugs. as a doctor, i know patients shouldn't stress over forms. when you're sick, you should focus on getting well.
get care from an out-of-network provider can result in a big bill. it is called a surprise medical bill. it can easily blow an entire family budget. patients shouldn't be pawns, really should not be pawns in this high-stakes financial chess game. so we're working with president trump to end this unfair practice of surprise medical billings. it's the right thing to do for patients and for their families. republicans are also making progress on lowering drug costs. we passed a bill i cosponsored to end the drug price gag rule and as a result patients can always find the lowest-priced drug. we're continuing to work with the president on this and other issues. still, to make more progress, we need democrat support and cooperation. the choice is clear -- work together to lower costs without lowering standards or follow the democrat senators running for president and house democrats
who are pushing for a one-size-fits-all government-run health care for america. with the loss of choice, the loss of control, all of the concerns that come with a one-size-fits-all government approach. doesn't seem like they're for lowering costs. seems like they're for raising your taxes and taking away your control and your choice. they're not for improving care. they're for increasing and growing the role of government. and remember, democrats want to take away health insurance from 180 million americans, working americans, people who go to work every day and have earned their health insurance at work. at the same time, democrats running for president are promising free health care. i was' a stonied, mr. president, when i saw this in the democratic debate -- promising free health care for illegal immigrants. they want to take insurance away from hardworking americans and give insurance free to illegal immigrants.
what kind of proposal is that? who is being represented by these democrat senators and other democrats running for president with this proposal? who do you think is going to pay for all of this? why should we pay more to wait longer for worse care? it's not something americans want or will tolerate. instead, let's give patients the care they need from a doctor they choose at lower costs. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. hassan: thank you, mr. president. and i want to start my remarks tonight by thanking my colleague from wyoming for his remarks concerning the anniversary of the horror that was september 11, 2001, and join him and all of my colleagues here in
recognizing that in the midst of that horror the american people came together and we demonstrated the strength, kindness, bravery, and resilience that we have throughout our history. i, too, want to remember the victims, their loved ones, as well as all the brave first responders and thank all the men and women of our military who continue to fight against terrorism and to keep us safe and to remember the lives lost on the battlefield as well. mr. president, i also wanted to take a minute tonight to talk about the importance of continued funding to address our nation's opioid crisis. as the senate appropriations committee prepares its markup of the labor, health, and human services, education, and related agencies fiscal year 2020 budget, i rise today to discuss the urgent need for additional
funding to combat the fentanyl, heroin, and opioid crisis. mr. president, the substance misuse crisis continues to ravage communities in my home state of new hampshire and all across our country. people in new hampshire are doing vital work to address this crisis and get those who are struggling the support that they need to get and stay healthy. just last month, i visited moms in recovery in lebanon, an addiction services program through dartmouth-hitchcock has providing comprehensive care to get pregnant women the services they need to address substance misuse. in lebanon, new hampshire, moms in recovery offers everything from medication-assisted treatment to group therapy, counseling, outpatient therapy, parenting classes and more. providers said that what started as a program for five women is now serving 60.
it has transformed from a program that just served pregnant women to one that is now serving women after they give birth working to help them stabilize their lives and reengage in our workforce and in our communities. mr. president, people in nigh state are implementing innovative approaches to help their end friends and neighbors and congress needs to give them the support they need to help save lives. mr. president, i have been proud to work with senator shaheen and my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to strengthen support for treatment, recovery, prevention, and law enforcement efforts. this includes working to secure more than $6 billion in the 2018 budget agreement for government-wide efforts to combat this crisis and ensuring that, as the appropriations process progressed, hardest-hit stated, including the grange i think state, were prioritized. last year we also passed the
support for patients and the communities act which the president signed into law, that included among many critical priorities establishing comprehensive opioid recovery centers, expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, and supporting law enforcement in its efforts to curb the shipment of fentanyl through the postal service. but nobody in this body based should think that our work is anywhere near complete. as the appropriations committee considers funding bills for the next fiscal year, i urge my colleagues on the committee to ensure that state opioid response grants, which have been a vital tool in increasing access to treatment, recovery, and prevention, are full lid funded. while these grants should be increased, they must at the very least be fully funded at the fiscal year 2019 levels. it is also imperative to continue prioritize hardest-hit states and to give communities
additional flexibility to use this funding to address other substances that are being used in conjunction with or instead of opioids. while the vast majority of overdose deaths in new hampshire still involve opioids, specifically fentanyl, we are seeing substances like crystal methamphetamine emerge as a growing issue. additional flexibility in funding can help communities respond to this challenge in realtime. mr. president, this crisis didn't begin overnight, and it won't be solved overnight. and what we need at the federal level is a long-term solution and additional certainty so that states and communities know that they will have stable and consistent federal funding as they implement strategies and treatment programs that will help save lives. one important next step would be to pass senator shaheen's turn the tide act, legislation i've
cosponsored that would invest $63 billion in flexible funding over ten years, supporting treatment and prevention efforts and addressing workforce challenges in the treatment field. this is the kind of long-term, comprehensive approach that we should be taking, and i'll continue to join with senator shaheen to push for this bill. mr. president, the fentanyl, heroin, around opioid crisis remains the most pressing public health and public safety challenge facing new hampshire and many other communities across our country. and the biggest mistake that anyone could make is thinking that our efforts to address this crisis are close to being done. i'm going to continue to push to ensure that those on the front lines of this crisis have the support that they need. and i urge my colleagues to join me so that we can make our families, communities, and country healthier and safer, so
that we can help save lives. thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. mrs. blackburn: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. president. i so enjoy listening to my colleagues as they talk about the issues that are important this them and to the states that they represent. it is indeed one of those privileges that we in this body enjoy, and many times we take it for granted. but today, as a day of remembrance, is a day that we look back and say we ought not to take it for granted. because there are many in this world who would threaten our freedoms and our liberties. and earlier this week i was talking with some of the members
of our team, and we were trading stories about where we were on the morning of september 11 and how it affected the way we viewed their place in the world. and their memories, what their recollection was. and those of us who vividly remember that day still recall an unsettling cascade of emotions. there was shock, confusion, and finally dread as we realized that we were not as initially thought seeing a senseless accident but, indeed, what was happening -- we were under attack. and as the morning wore on, dread really gave way to fear and panic and finally absolute terror that our loved ones that were in new york and washington and pennsylvania and who were in
the air maybe flying home were among those that were experiencing firsthand what was happening. it was a perfect storm of conflicting media reports and jammed sales service that made it almost impossible to reach out to people and to ask that question, are you okay? and to hear their voice. through the smoke and the blood came a moment of awful clarity. life would never be the same because we would never again experience life without feeling as if we were a target. the events of september 11 introduced a new generation of americans to the reality that our country is not and will never be immune to the threat of terror.
those who were teetering on the edge of adulthood may not have immediately made the connection between global politics and the disaster that was playing out on tv in realtime, but by the time terrorists struck that second tower, i think a lot of people really had begun to understand what was happening. later, they learned that half a world away a group of men who referred to themselves as al qaeda had made it their life's mission to murder americans. they were doing it to prove a point. and, yes, it did leave a mark on this nation and on our citizens. younger americans' memories of that day real lay are fuzzier, but almost without exception my
staff remembers what they now describe as a sense of national unity, rising up in the days following the attacks. they remember that every house on the street flew an american flag and that every adult they knew stood in a line to give blood. they saw small town first responders load up those fire trucks and emergency vehicles and head to new york. at the time, they didn't really understand geopolitics, but they did understand fear and suffering because they saw that fear in the eyes of their teachers and in the adults that surrounded them, but they also saw the shift that the attacks and the aftermath caused in our country. for a time, partisanship and
bitterness was washed away. what you saw was unity and waving flags. now, almost 20 years later, memories are growing fuzzy. sometimes they are nonexistent. calls for unity have been replaced by heated debate. too often, the loudest voices that look back at 9/11 as an event in the collective memory, and they don't look at it as an occurrence that changed lives and lifestyles forever. they consider in passing the remnants of the attacks and debates over foreign policy and defense spending, but ignore why we remain so focused on national security. this is why every year, without exception, we remind ourselves
that the kind of hatred it takes to bring an entire country to its knees gives no quarter. we acknowledge the actions of 19 terrorists whose twisted beliefs led to the violent murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people, because even though the panic of that awful morning has faded, you know what? our enemies' desire to make an example of us has not. but america with all her imperfections still thrives in utter defiance of hatred, divisiveness and destruction. today we remember those who died, and we keep their memory as a beacon against the void that allowed violence and terror.
we remember the heroes who defied fear and reason and ran toward the flames, putting love of country and countrymen above all else. and we remember and remind ourselves that by simply standing back up, america made herself the world's best example of what it looks like when love, hope, and valor triumph over the forces of darkness. i yield the floor.
immediately notified of the senate's action for the nominations confirmed during today's session of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that at 12:15 p.m. on thursday, september 12, the senate vote on the bowman and nordquist nominations and that 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. further, that following disposition of the nordquist nomination, the senate resume consideration of the feddo nomination. finally that at 1:45 p.m. the senate vote on the feddo nomination and that 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. ms. murkowski: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to legislative session and be if a neared of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 99, s. 178.
the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 99, s. 178. a bill to condemn gross human rights violations of ethnic turkish muslim and so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. ms. murkowski: i ask unanimous consent that the committee-reported substitute amendment be agreed to, the bill ads, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed and that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: i ask unanimous consent that the energy and natural resources committee be discharged from further consideration and the senate now proceed to senate resolution 267. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate resolution 267, recognizing the september 11 national memorial trail as an important trail and greenaway. all individuals should enjoy in honor of the heroes of september 11. the presiding officer: without objection, the committee is discharged. and will proceed to the measure.
ms.ms. murkowski: i ask unanimos consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes by the business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. thursday, september 12. 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, morning business be closed, and the senate proceed to executive session and resume consideration of the bowman knolls nomination under the previous order. the presiding officer: without objection. ms. murkowski: if there is no further business cocom before the senate, i ask it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until