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tv   U.S. Senate U.S. Senate  CSPAN  February 17, 2022 10:30am-2:31pm EST

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about to gavel in on this thursday morning. at one p.m. eastern today, lawmakers will vote to start work on legislation to extend current government funding through march 11 to avoid a shut down tomorrow night. votes on amendments to the bill are possible this afternoon. live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. o god, you are our heavenly parent, and we thank you for every expression of your love. though we hear about war, rumors of war, you continue to deserve our ceaseless praise. we praise you that though wrong, seems often so strong, you continue to rule
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your universe. lord, why can't nations learn to live together in peace? today, use our senators for your glory. keep them mindful of your presence, eeg ar to do your -- eager to do your well and royal to the loyal you have placed in every heart. we pray in your sovereign name. amen. the president pro tempore: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the president pro tempore: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. and morning business is closed. and under the previous order, the senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to h.r. 6617, which the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 267, h.r. 6617, an act making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year-ending september 30, 2022, and for other purposes. ms. rosen: i note the absence of
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a quorum. the president pro tempore: the senator from nevada suggests the absence of a quorum and the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mcconnell: madam president.
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the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i ask consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: for pt first time in 12 years americans say that crime has gotten worse in their area over the past year. many democrats have spent the last year and a half trying to defund police, smear law enforcement and go soft on crime. as a result, innocent citizens have spent a year and a half watching murders, car jackings and other violent crimes skyrocket. on monday, in my hometown of louisville, kentucky, we were stunned by what appears to have been an assassination attempt against a jewish mayoral candidate by a prominent far-left activist who previously called for defunding our police
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department. this far-left black lives matter activist and defund the police cheerleader, walked into a jewish democrat's campaign headquarters and opened fire. obviously every aspect of this is still under investigation, including the suspect's mental condition. but, guess what. he's already been let out of jail. already let out of jail. a left-wing bail fund partnered with b.l.m. louisville to bail him out. less than 48 hours after this activist tried to literally murder a politician, the radical left bailed their comrade out of jail. this is just jaw dropping. the innocent people of louisville deserve better.
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since 2020, a long list of prominent corporations have donated or pledged enormous amounts of money to the radical nationwide b.l.m. parent organization. one wonders if any of their corporate money helped spring this would-be assassin from jail. now i'm confident that if activists claimed to be conservative tried to assassinate a politician, whatever his mental state, the media would open a 24-7 national conversation about rhetoric on the right. somehow, i doubt attempted murder by a b.l.m. activist, will get that same treatment. i doubt we'll have a national conversation about the constant chorus of powerful voices calling our society evil. i raised this double standard
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because it's not limited to media coverage. we've seen this extend into our legal system itself. in may of 2020, when minneapolis was engulfed in lawless riots, one rioter broke into a pawn pawnshop and started a fire that burned it down. this act of arson actually killed somebody. but the federal attorneys who were supposed to represent the victim and the people went out of their way to push for an unusually lenient sentence. they asked for the typical sentencing guideline to be cut in half. why? well, because, they wrote, the defendant was an angry political protestor who simply lost his cool. they wrote, quote, as anyone watching the news worldwide knows, many other people in minnesota were similarly caught
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up, end quote. as if that were an excuse. this is the sentencing memo from the prosecutors. it reads hike it was ghost -- like it was ghost written by the defense. they even tried to quote dr. martin luther king jr. to explain why this guy purnd down a pawn -- burned down a pawnshop. what a backward attitude. we cannot have federal officials acting like left wing political violence is more acceptable than any other violence. if anything, political violence is uniquely unacceptable in a democratic republic. now, i pledge to hold on president biden's -- i placed a hold on president biden's nominee to take over as u.s. attorney in minnesota until he pledged to keep political favoritism out of his prosecutions. fortunately, he quickly said so, in writing. he also knows republicans will be watching.
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the american people need public servants to crack down on crime and defend their safety. crack down on crime and defend their safety. less pandering to woke mobs, more protecting innocent families. now, on an entirely different matter, washington democrats' inflation is slamming consumers with the highest prices in 40 years. one ever the toughest blows has been the soaring cost of a trip to the gas pump. a gallon of regular costs a full dollar more today than it did a year ago. so, after triggering an historic run of inflation and hammering american producers with anti-energy policies designed to restrict supply, our democratic colleagues are suddenly talking about gas prices.
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and there's a bold, creative plan. temporarily suspending the gas tax to the tune of 18 cents. oh, and excluding diesel. a slap in the face to truckers and a further burden on the supply chain. oh, and just to make the political games transparent, they want this to expire right after the midterms. as soon as the next congress is sworn in. democrats want to blow a $20 billion hole in highway funding so they can try to mask the effects of their own liberal policies on working americans. they've spent the entire year waging a holy war on affordable american energy, and now, now they want to use a pile of taxpayers' money to literally hide the consequences. as the senior senator from west virginia has pointed out, people
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want their bridges and their roads, and we have an infrastructure bill we passed this summer. and they want to take all that away? it just doesn't make sense. he added, this half-baked proposal doesn't make any more sense than the president's pointless decision to take oil out of the strategic petroleum reserve last year. president clinton's treasury secretary, larry summers, called this stunt short-sighted, ineffective, goofy, and gimmicky. that's the secretary of the treasury in the bill clinton administration, about this idea. back in 2008, then-candidate obama himself said this -- we're arguing over a gimmick that would save you half a tank of gas over the course of the entire summer so that everyone in washington can pat themselves on the back and say they did something. well, let me tell you, this isn't an idea designed to get you through the summer.
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it's designed to get them through an election. that's barack obama in 2008. and he was right. look, if democrats actually want to help the american people fill their tanks, they wouldn't have been attacking american energy every way possible for the entire year. president biden made killing the keystone excel pipeline his day one priority. democrats voted in lockstep to endorse president biden's ban on new energy exploration on federal lands at every turn, in every way. democrats have made it harder to produce affordable and reliable american energy. take any form of energy, and if the people in san francisco don't find it fashionable, the biden administration has gone after it. three years ago, under republican policies, the united states became a net exporter of oil for the first time in more
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than 70 years. from a sheer mathematical perspective, for the very first time since world war ii we were producing all that we needed and then some. alas, a very different philosophy now controls washington and president biden's first year. our own oil imports from russia, from russia, hit a new all-time high. but as we speak, events in eastern europe are reminding the entire world that energy abundance is not just about families' pocketbooks. there's a colossal strategic cost on our nation and our allies become economically dependent on countries who don't like us very much. some of our european allies have spent many years voluntarily winding down reliable sources, like nuclear and coal, and refusing to tap into their own considerable natural gas
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reserves via fracking. instead they gambled on less- reliable sources, outsourced their perceived dirty work to praises -- places like russia. western european elites decided they wanted their energy production out of sight and out of mind. and putin was all too happy to oblige them. even after russia invaded georgia in 2008 and ukraine in 2014, germany willingly signed up for putin's nord stream 2 pipeline. it would negate ukraine's own pipeline and deny the money and leverage that ukraine needs to keep russia at bay. and germany backed it. meanwhile, berlin put off building liquid natural gas terminals. instead, choosing to rely on russian gas and refusing to
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diversify its import options. i'm hopeful the latest indications that germany is reconsidering this will prove to be accurate. the biden administration has scrambled to connect our at-risk allies with some energy resources from everywhere else. everywhere else. but it should not have taken this latest kremlin miches behavior to remind -- misbehavior to remind the west that self-sufficiency actually matters. it matters. and democrats have still not flinched in their broader war against our own, our own u.s. production. summits in paris, finger-wagging climate rhetoric are one way to approach energy policy. actually, exploring and developing abundant, affordable, and reliable domestic energy is another approach, and that's the approach that will actually
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work. mr. durbin: madam president. the presiding officer: the majority whip. mr. durbin: madam president, most people would be stumped by the question i'm about to ask, around that is when it comes to the commission of crime, what is the largest in number congressional -- or pardon me, criminal investigation in the history of the united states? well, the answer is january 6, 2021. over 725 individuals have been charged with a federal crime as a result of that insurrectionist mob that descended on the capitol. the reason i raise that is that we are going through regular, sometimes daily, sometimes weekly, lectures from the republicans about who's soft on crime and who really is on the
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side of the american people when it comes to defending our homes and our families. i listened to this debate on a regular basis, as chairman of the senate judiciary committee. every single nominee that comes from the biden white house is subject to being challenged as to whether they're going to defund the priss or whether they're soft -- defund the police or whether they're soft on crime. and yet, i have to say that it's hard to explain that these same republicans asking these pointed questions to nominees are nowhere to be found when it comes to discussing january 6, 2021. in fact, many of them were cheerleaders and apologists for the very demonstrators who came into this united states capitol. to think that a national political party like the republican party of the united states of america branded this insurrectionist mob and their attack on the capitol as legitimate political discourse? that was the official statement, the unanimous statement of the republican party.
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now, a few senators, republican senators, have dissented, thank you, but why haven't more? why won't they step up and say a crime is a crime, and if over 700 people descended on this capitol and are being charged with a crime, they should have to pay the price, whatever it happens to be? this wasn't some idle political exercise. at the end of the day, we had six people dead as a result of that insurrectionist mob, including law enforcement officers. and 140 law firm officers a-- law enforcement officers attacked during the course of that day. we all saw the videos. there's plenty of them. imagine, if you will, the so-called innocent, legitimate political discourse travelers to washington just happen to bring bear spray with them so they could spray police in the face with a poisonous compound that could, in fact, harm them, and did. does that sound like a group of political tourists to you? doesn't to me.
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these were violent individuals who were being called to task for having assaulted this capitol, broken down the windows and the doors, came in here, an aping along the desk and chamber, forcing the vice president of the united states, and the senators there that day, and i was one of them, to exit by the backdoor for their lives. and here we have this we're not soft on crime message from republicans who are making excuses. not to mention the former president, donald trump, who said given the opportunity he would pardon these demonstrators. no surprise, in light of what he's done in the past. but being lectured to regularly by the republicans about who respects law enforcement and who's soft on crime, most of them cannot answer the basic question of what they would do when it comes to the january 6 demonstrators, and the answer that they give is totally insufficient. madam president, you know personally, because you were here on the floor yesterday,
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that isn't all of it. i listened to all this talk about prosecutors doing their job, and i can't help but think what we went through yesterday on the floor of the united states senate when the junior senator from arkansas, a republican senator, stood here and vainly tried to defend what he is doing. you know what he's doing? you do personally. he is stopping the appointment of u.s. attorneys, federal prosecutors, in state after state, and he's stopping the appointment of u.s. marshals who keep those courtrooms safe and the judges safe and transport prisoners and seek out fugitives he is personally stopping them from being appointed in the ordinary course of business in the united states senate. and you have to ask yourself why? there must be a problem with their qualifications. no. there's not a single question being asked about the qualifications of these individuals. mr. frierson in the state of nevada is a person that you and
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senator court cortez masto described on the floor yesterday, who would be the u.s. attorney there, clearly is well qualified for that position. the same is true in illinois. our choice, senator duckworth and my choice for the u.s. marshal to serve in the northern district of illinois is an individual with 30 years of law enforcement experience, a chief of police in one of the larger suburbs of the city of chicago. do we need a u.s. marshals office to be reinvigorated and dedicated to its purpose? of course we do. it wasn't that many years ago when the family of one of our highly respected federal judges was literally murdered in their home by a deranged individual who didn't care for the way he was treated by that judge. it's a very real question of personal safety. and yet, one republican senator from arkansas is stopping the appointment of these u.s. attorneys and u.s. marshals to execute the laws of the land. don't tell me you respect law
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enforcement and don't tell me you want to fight crime, and then turn around and tie the hands of the department of justice, keeping u.s. attorneys off the job and u.s. marshals away from their responsibilities. that is the reality. if we're going to get serious about fighting crime and i believe we should, it's all hands on deck. every law enforcement official should be doing their part. they cannot do their part when the junior senator from arkansas stops us from even approving their appointments to these positions. these appointments remain vacant and we pay a price for it. and when we receive lectures from the minority leader or from others on the floor about respect for law and law enforcement, i'd say he ought to start in his own caucus. he ought to call in the junior senator from arkansas and say enough. you're stepping on our message. we're trying to show that we're for law and order and you are stopping the appointment of u.s. attorneys and u.s. marshals who are dedicated to that purpose
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and risk their lives to do so. that is not consistent with good law enforcement or sound law and order as far as i'm concerned. let me conclude by saying the nominees that come before the senate for these judicial positions are a wide variety of individuals with amazing background, incredible backgrounds, and consistently rated unanimously well qualified by the american bar association. it's true that some of them used to sit at the other table in the criminal courtrooms, not at the prosecutor's table. but there's nothing wrong with some balance on the court making sure that we have all points of view considered and certainly above all the law considered. we hear from time to time compelling anecdotes such as the one given by the minority leader related to louisville, kentucky. i'm not familiar with the details. but if we're going to be serious about making america safer, we need to pull together on a bipartisan basis. we need to approve president biden's budget which provides more resources for law
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enforcement but also more resources for violence intervention. you know personally, mr. president, as mayor of a large city in new jersey that we cannot arrest our way out of the crime problem in america. certainly we should pursue law enforcement measures and responses when necessary and apply the law without question. but it takes more than that. and if we're going to reach into the communities around america and try to stop this violence before it occurs, then we have to look at other approaches. i'm happy to report that last week we announced the introduction of the violence against women act, and this is a measure which for four years we've been trying to find common ground. we did it. we finally did it. i want to salute senator feinstein as the lead democratic sponsor. i was happy to join her. and i also want to salute senators lisa murkowski and joni
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ernst from alaska and iowa respectively. they've done extraordinary work putting together a bill. you say to yourself how does this fit in, violence against women, to the question of crime in america? i can tell you, mr. president, you know this personally, and it's worth repeating, that when i went to the juvenile facility in cook county years ago and said who are these teenagers who came to the earth in the usual way and then turned to gangs and guns and killing wantonly? what happened to these kids along the way? well, there are plenty of reasons and issues relating to mental health, but one of the things that was compelling was the observation that over 90% of them had been victims of trauma. trauma comes in many forms, not just physical trauma but to witness trauma on another person, to be a victim yourself, to have a home where there's no support, no encouragement, no values being taught. those kids are the ones that end up many times in these predicaments. what can we do about it? well, we can ultimately arrest
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them after a crime is committed but that really doesn't solve the problem. we've got to do what we can to intervene in their lives at a stage where they can be saved. i don't believe that everyone can be saved, but i do fundamentally believe in redemption and our responsibility to engage in it. and that's why this violence against women act is so important. if we can reach into a home where physical or mental abuse is taking place of a spouse or their children and give that person first a caring heart, someone who will listen and hear them out and then advice on what to do to keep themselves safe, keep their kids safe, and what to do in relation to law enforcement, that is a positive move toward taking violence out of that family and out of america. so i hope that when we talk about this whole issue of safer america which we all aspire to, that we do it in a balanced way. we talk about effective prosecution by members of law enforcement who are playing by the rules.
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but we also realize that it takes more than that. we need an investment in the communities to make a difference. president biden knows that. he included it in this year's budget. he will again in next year's budget. we ought to be standing up and supporting that as well. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: are engagedin a false flag
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operation . every indication we have is they are prepared to go in and you attack ukraine. number one. number two, we're waiting for aresponse from putin . my response to him is come to the embassy, thereare facts in the air . i am not ready yet, i cannot comment . >>.
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[inaudible] >> yes. mysense is it will happen within the next several days . >> are there any diplomatic tools available. >> yes there is. that's why i asked putin to go to the united states united nations and lay out what that path is. i've laid out a path for putin as well . there is a path, there isa way through this . >> are you going to call? >>i have no place to call right now . >>. [inaudible]
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>> ...
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gives the federal maritime commission greater authority to respond to discriminatory ocean carrier practices and provides the
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f.f.c. with tools to more quickly resolve detention and disputes. this legislation will bring greater efficiency and transparency to a process that leaves many shippers frustrated and bring long-term positive changes to the maritime supply chain which i hope will benefit ag exporters, importers and alike. another one of my priorities has been addressing the biden administration's proposed wotus rule. it concerns which water features are regulated at the federal level. now generally the clean water act only calls for navigable waters to be regulated at the federal level. those are things like rivers and streams that connect to larger bodies of water. but like president obama before him, president biden is trying to expand federal jurisdiction to regulate things like ditches, prairie potholes, and streams that only flow when it rains. needless to say, this would subject nearly every corner of
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south dakota to this d.c. land grab. farmers and ranchers could be subjected to the time consuming process of having each and every pothole and ditch examined by federal regulators and could face massive fines should they run afoul of d.c. regulators looking to halt everyday farming and ranching practices. those fines can be $25,000 a day. that's not acceptable, mr. president. any rule that is going to work for farmers and ranchers has to include categorical exclusions for features like ditches, prairie potholes, and stock ponds which is why i recently led the entire republican senate -- senate republican conference, i should say, in writing to the e.p.a. and u.s. army corps of engineers regarding the biden administration's proposed wotus rule. we urge the administration to suspend the rule making until the supreme court rules on the clean water act case it's currently considering which would effectively invalidate the
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biden regulations. implementing the wotus rule now when it could be overturned in the near future would subject farmers and ranchers to an unacceptable level of uncertainty as they plan for the upcoming planting season. it's very likely that the supreme court will force the administration to go back to the drawing board which would hopefully result in a less intrusive and more workable rule that won't subject farmers and ranchers to even more washington red tape. mr. president, a supporter of south dakota and our nation's corn soybean farmers and supporter of clean energy, i've long championed the clean energy potential of biofuels. the e.p.a.'s renewable fuel standard which requires that a minimum volume of renewable fuel be sold in the united states each year is a significant tool for reducing the carbon footprint of our transportation sector. unfortunately, the biden administration has shown a willingness to undermine the blending target set by the
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renewable fuel standard going as far as a proposal to retroactively reduce the 2020 renewable volume obligation which had already been finalized. the biden e.p.a. tried to suggest that these cuts would be made up for with higher 2022 blending targets but with a new precedent. there would be nothing to stop the administration from again caving to oil refiners and retroactively reducing volume obligations in the future. that's why i recently joined a bipartisan group of my colleagues in urging the e.p.a. to prioritize the renewable fuel standard by maintaining the increased blending requirements for 2022, denying all pending small refinery exemptions, eliminating proposed retro active cuts to the 2020 renewable volume obligations, and setting 2021 renewable fuel standard volumes at the statutory levels. unfortunately, the administration remains almost singularly focused on electric vehicles rather than on the
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readily available and proven clean energy contributions of biofuels. ethanol, biodiesel, and now sustainable aviation fuel can drive down emissions and help reduce our demand for oil. an important consideration given soaring gas prices and the fact that this administration is forcing us to rely more on foreign oil production. now, currently some of my colleagues are reporting a report that was issued before yesterday's e.p.a. hearing on the fossil fuel standard. they say that the report undercuts the growing body of research saying that biofuels cut emissions by 26% or more compared to gasoline. if you are concerned of accurate accounting of biofuel emissions, i invite you to sponsor my bill.
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it would help to update the greenhouse gas model by using the department of energy's greek model. let's put this head-to-head and i call on the chairman of the environmental protection agency to mark up my bill. biofuels provide a market for soybean and corn agriculture. it is important that the administration continues to overlook the clean energy potential of biofuels and the associated benefits of our nation's farmers. i sent two letters to president biden with a number of my colleagues seeking a meeting to discuss all the way that's biofuels could complement his agenda. and noting the bipartisan support for ethanol and biodiesel. unfortunately, it quickly became clear that the president and his administration had little interest in the proven clean-energy potential of biofuels up but i will --
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biofuels. but i will do everything i can to promote clean energy resources and do what i can for south dakota producers. no matter the season, south dakota farmers and ranchers will always be one of my top trierts here in washington. -- priorities here in washington. i continue to press the administration to ensure that the meat-packing industry is held accountable for any unfair practices. whatever the challenge, and in the farming life there are always many, our nation's farmers and ranchers keep pushing forward to feed our nation and the world and i will continue to do all that i can to ensure that they have the resources they they -- that they need to carry out that mission. mr. president, i yield the floor and i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
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quorum call:
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including in crimea and belarus and the black sea. in many ways, this brings russian troops right up to
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nato's doorstep. so let me begin today by making clear that america's commitment to nato and to article 5 remains ironclad. as president biden said a couple days ago , we will if we must defend every inch of nato territory. there's no reason of course it should ever come to this. just like there's no reason for russia to again invade ukraine. ukraine does not threaten anyone, let alone its russian neighbors . and yet that is what moscow would have us believe. and that is how mister putin continues to justify his assembly of significant combat power.
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now, the russians say they are withdrawing some of those forces now that exercises are complete . but we don't see that. quite the contrary, we send them add to the more than 150,000 troops they already have a raid along the border evenin the last couple of days . we see some of those troops inch closer to that border. we see them fly and more combat and support aircraft. we see them sharpen their readiness in the black sea. we even see them stocking up their blood supplies. you know, i was a soldier myself not that long ago and i know firsthand you don't do these sort of things for no reason. and you certainly don't do them if you're getting ready
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to pack up and go home. so we and our allies will stay vigilant. we will watch for the so-called flag operations where russia manufactures a dramatic event to justify an attack. a play that we've seen them run in the past. and we will continue to explore ways to enhance our readiness as the united states and others have done with additional deployments to nato's easternflank . and we will closely match russian words to russian deeds. what they say to what they actually do. of course, one thing mister says he wants to do is engage in more dialogue and as we have said all along we would welcome that. we believe there's still time and space for diplomacy to work and we are in lockstep
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withour allied partners towards that end . a peaceful outcome that respects ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity represents the best outcome. for ukraine to be sure but also for russia and the russian people. if mister putin is serious about achieving that sort of outcome he will find in the united states and in its alliance no better or more serious interlocutor. and if he's not, as his deeds thus far tends to indicate, it will be clear to the entire world that he started a war with diplomatic options left on the table. it will be mister putin who will bear the responsibility of a suffering and immense sacrifice that ensues.
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you know, i've been doing this for a long time, this business of national security . i joined the united states army in the middle of the cold war and i have served and fought alongside nato allies for the better part of my adult life . i can honestly say that i have never seen the alliance more relevant and more united , more resolute than i see it today . mister putin says he doesn't want a strong nato on his western flank . he's getting exactly that. all i'll soon depart for poland and then to livio lithuania to spend time with the strong allies wholikewise take these obligations seriously . i'll visit with their troops and mine, see their leaders talk with mine and talk about
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how together we can bolster the defense of the alliance. i'd also like to add my appreciation to both bulgaria who today agreed to host the us army striker company for joint training opportunities. these troops will be departing germany in the coming days and will help ensure our readiness and our interoperability with bulgaria as our nato ally. all that is to say that i leave here incredibly proud of the alliance. satisfied in the knowledge that we will be surefooted in the face of aggression. but dedicated as always to the prospect of peace. harry truman, an american president when nato was founded put it best when he
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noted that the obese was difficult, war was not inevitable. and so it is today. there is nothing inevitable about this looming conflict. it can still be averted. the path of diplomacy may be difficult but it is still worth the track. and nato as i said remains surefooted. thank you and i'll stop there and be happy to take a couple of questions. >> first question will go to phyllis . >> mister secretary, who is responsible for the shelling today in the combat region and how can, what are you
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doing to lower the risk of dangerous and potentially explosive us russian interactions such as a close call betweenaircraft . >> we've seen the reports of the shelling and there's certainly troubling. we're still gathering the details. but we've said for some time the russians might do something like this . in order to justify a military conflict so we will be watching this very closely. and in terms of any potential interaction with our aircraft and someone else's aircraft, we will follow our own procedures very closely which i think are our airmen are very well versed on. we will make sure we're doing everything thatwe can to remain safe here . and as we see unsafe acts will certainly enlarge the
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people that are responsible for that. >> tina klein from germany. >> and mister secretary. i understand you have the evidence that there's more building rather than troop withdrawal in russia. at the same time i've seen some of the german public debate how can we trust this? how can we trust american intelligence? what do you suggest to build more public trust and would you consider one point two make more evidence youhave publicly available ? >> i don't see this as a competition. there is i think we've been very transparent about everything that we've seen thus far. and we shared what we know with our allies and partners
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and we really have a very very expensive job of making sure that our allies knew what we knew as soon as possible. but i think in order to address the issues that you raise, the solution is to continue to be transparent. to continue to talk to american people and people around the world quite frankly and explain what we're seeing. and i think that has been very helpful thusfar. we will continue to do that and we certainly endeavored to do that while we're in this conference this week . >> next question goes to carlos, voice of america . >> ukraine is pulling this a cyber attack, the largest in the country's history.
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can you confirm whether russia was behind this attack and president biden last month said nothing short of an invasion if russia continues to usecyber attacks the us could respond in a similar way with cyber. as the us responded to the latest attack and if not, why not ? >> in terms of confirming whether or not this was russia that was behind this, we again the intelligence community continues to assess what happened here. but i would just point out to you that this is a play taken out of his playbook. we would expect to see before any attack we would expect to see fiber attacks, falls flags. and a number of other things, increasing rhetoric in the information space and we're beginning to see more and more of that. in terms of a response to the
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cyber attack, if someone attacks the united states of america it certainly we will hold element responsible or accountable. and at this point nobody, we haven't seen that. we have not been a fact. so we'll leave it at that. >> last question goes to natalia . >> thank you mister secretary. so some of these troops that we've seen russia pass along ukraine's border come from very far parts of the territory. including the far east. why do you think russia is still comfortable enoughto leave that border with china undefended ? does this represent a closer alliance between the two ?
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>> certainly i can't speak to the strength of that alliance . what i can say and i'm not sure it encourages anything at all but we did note with alarm china's tacit approval of putin's activities here in the region. so i'm not sure that we can make any kind of direct inference from what you raised but there are things we will continue to watch for. i think you raise a very interesting and important question . >> that concludes today's presser, i appreciate it very much .
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>> good afternoon. nato alliance continues strong diplomatic efforts to find a political solution to this crisis. triggered by brushes missteps in and around ukraine. despite moscow's saying we have seen no sign of withdrawal or de-escalation so far. on the contrary, the russian buildup appears to continue. we continue to monitor developments very closely. we call russia to do what it says and withdraw its forces. from the borders of the ukraine. this will be an important first step towards a peaceful political solution. today, we met with our close partners ukraine and georgia. we addressed the continued right of russian aggression
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and the security situation in the black sea region and nato's wrong political and practical support for both countries. nato and allies are helping ukraine boost its ability to defend itself. self-defense is in trying in the un charter. and allies are helping ukraine to uphold that. including equipment for ukrainian armed forces. cyber intelligence expertise and with significant financial support. we also discussed the presence of russian forces in the georgian regions of south pacific. and the goals of the russian duma recommending the recognition of that nongovernment controlled area . we all agree it would be a further violation on
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ukraine's territorial integrity. and of the minsk agreements undermining the efforts to find a political solution in the normandy accords. today allies confirmed nato's border remains open and a decision on nato's membership is for nato's allies to take, nobody else. the right of each nation to choose its own path is fundamental for european transatlantic security and it must be expected. nato allies restated their strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both georgia and ukraine. we cannot accept terms of influence where big powers bully, intimidate or dictate to others.
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there can be no decisions about ukraine without ukraine . and no decisions of georgia without georgia. we agreed that in terms of tension, dialogue is even more important. nato remains open to engaging with russia. allies are ready to sit down with russia. address the wide range of issues and find common ground. in the final session we met with our close partners, finland, sweden and the european union. we share the same values, we face the same challenges and the crisis in and around ukraine affects us all. so we agree that it is even more important now that we continue to work together. and complement each other's efforts to bring this crisis to a peaceful resolution.
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with that i will take your questions. >> jan michaels with wall street journal. are you concerned mister secretary on the comments out of russia about facilities around don bass, firing or possible encourage incursions to be used as a pretext for russia to attack? >> we are concerned that russia is trying to stage a pretext for an armed attack against ukraine. it is still no clarity, no certainty about russian tensions. we don't know what will happen. what we do know is that russia has announced the biggest force you have seen in decades. in and around ukraine. and we also know that there are many russian intelligence officers operating in ukraine .
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there are they are massed in dumb boss with attempts to stage a pretext for full slide operations to provide an experience for invading ukraine. so of course this is a concern. i cannot go into the details of the reports but this is the reason why we are so closely monitoring what's going on and also why nato allies have exposed the russian plans and the russian efforts when it comes to this information because we believe that makes it harder for them to act, harder for them to invade ukraine and we continue to call on russia to withdraw forces and to engage in political dialogue with nato.
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>> next we will go to bbc. >> thank yousecretary-general . >> mis the senator in a quoru . >>
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covid-19, and more than 93% of those deaths are over the age of 60. we're 2% of america's population. so you can multiply that 2,000 to get an idea as to what has happened with people who are, quote-unquote, fully vaccinated, but who are older and who still contract the coronavirus. we have to just make sure that everyone gets this message straight. for many americans, they're going to be told you don't have to wear a mask. for many others there has to be a strong message, you should continue to wear your masks. to protect yourself. and although i have called upon
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the c.d.c. to track and share this data about the deaths over the age of 60, they just haven't done so. so, if we extrapolate the massachusetts number, then there may very well have been already over 100,000 americans overwhelmingly seniors, who have died, despite the fact that they have received two shots of the vaccine. let's just make sure we deliver that message correctly. keep your masks on. this is a very good mask. there are kf-94's. we have a very good n-95 mask here that is absolutely certified by niosh. but many of these other masks that people are wearing just aren't going to give you the protection which you need. so we need a strong message that goes out to seniors, especially, but to anyone who is immunocompromised, and to
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children who have not been vaccinated. you can take off your mask, when this era begins, let's just understand there are going to be very many vulnerable people out there. so, from my perspective, the centers for disease control and prevention has also reported that the unvaccinated seniors were 90 times more likely to die of covid-19 than those who received the vaccine booster. i will say it again, if you haven't already, get vaccinated, get a booster. an average of 2300 people died from covid nationwide in the past week per day. overwhelmingly people over the age of 60 and each death is a tragedy for their families, for their communities, their grandmothers, grandfathers, our parents, our veterans who fought for democracy. they are irreplaceable members of our lives, and we have already lost too many to covid-19. we have a powerful way to help, and that is to wear a mask.
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again, if you put on these masks, here is a t -- here is a kf-94. this will give you most of the protection which you need. please, do not take it off, because everyone else is indoors now saying, the mask mandate indoors is off. not if you're in this vulnerable category. it should not be. understand, the risk is still there. here is the second point. i'm urging you to continue to protect yourself. wear a high quality mask. the c.d.c. updated in january its masking guidance to recommend the general public and especially seniors and those who are immunocompromised use highly qualified masks like the n-95's, kn-95's. we're seeing welcome decreases in rates of infections right now but these populations are still the most vulnerable to covid. just because you're younger
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people maybe using their mask less, it does not mean that those at higher risk should stop being vigilant. continue to use a high quality mask to protect yourself when you're indoors and around others. getting a high quality mask should be an easy thing to do but with less than robust information, sometimes limited supplies, a lot of counterfeits are abounding. it's been hotter than it should -- harder than it should be for consumers to stay educated and protected and that's why i'm pleased to see the biden administration distribute 400 million nonsurgical n-95 masks from the strategic national stockpile to the public. the masks are available at retail pharmacies and community health centers. so go get one. ask a friend or a family member to bring one to you. make sure you are wearing a protective mask. understand surgical masks give you less protection. a cloth mask gives you much less protection. just understand that, especially if you're in a vulnerable category.
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again, i want to say this over and over again. if you're over 60, you're in that category. so just protect yourself. and that small item can be what it is that protects you and your family members. so just make sure the masks we use are the best, the most accessible, most affordable, and the most reliable that they can be. it's not always convenient but we need to continue to protect ourselves. so i urge those americans over the age of 60 and those who are immunocompromised to continue to mask up. and now i just like to move on quickly to a different topic. as we watch president putin amass tens of thousands of soldiers on the border of ukraine, we must confront the fuel that powers the show of military mieght, specifically fossil fuels. our global addiction to oil and natural gas from russia, from saudi arabia keeps us locked into dangerous cycles of conflict and corruption. but we have a way out.
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we can build a pathway to a more prosperous future, a more peaceful future. we can build cities powered by cheap, clean electricity, build all-electric vehicles for our roads and build homes that are healthier and more energy efficient than ever before by putting 25 million new electric vehicles on our roads, we could stop all oil imports from russia and saudi arabia into the united states of america. that's 25 million all-electric vehicles. that's a direct message to the business model of russia and of saudi arabia. that's the united states congress passing legislation that propels the all-electric vehicle revolution here and such a model for the rest of the country. but rather than invest in that clean, affordable, healthy future, our country and the global economy is being held hostage by the american petroleum institute and their big oil buddies.
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rather than supporting energy policies that secure our independence and our future, big oil pushes policies that secure their profit margins. and at the same time, as we get crocodile tears from republicans over american fossil fuel leases, those same leases are feeding the american petroleum institute and not the united states of america. in 2021 we exported one out of every four barrels of oil we produced and we are exporting them abroad because in 2015 the republicans voted to end the decades-long oil export ban in the united states. it was the republican votes that put company profits over consumer protections and climate policies. so our energy policies, our energy prices rose at home while we were left to deal with the health and climate crisis created in this rush to export and profit. and at the same time we continue
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to import russian and saudi oil. that's what we're doing right now. propping up those regimes and supporting their financial reserves. the journey to energy independence simply does not run on fossil fuels. how does it run? it runs on solar, on wind, on battery storage, on clean zero-energy carbon, on a clean energy future for our country. we can reimagine a future that is free from fossil fuel conflict. we can reimagine a future powered by the light of the sun, not by the oil controlled by the barrel of a gun. we can tell russia we don't need their oil anymore than we need their caviar. that's a message we can send by passing legislation that unleashes this clean energy revolution. we can reimagine a future where american ingenuity, manufacturing, and jobs drive our allies forward into a global clean energy revolution. and this future isn't far off
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beyond the horizon. it's right in front of us, and it's already putting americans to work and keeping lights on across this country. in 2010 we had one million jobs in solar, wind, and energy efficiency. by 2020 that more than doubled to more than two million jobs. and now we have all of those millions of workers out there and we can double it again and double it again. we can create millions of new, clean energy jobs for millions of americans across this country. in 2008 we only had 26,000 megawatts of solar. today we have upwards of 264,000 megawatts of solar and wind capacity combined on our grid. and the electric vehicle revolution is already on its way. automakers are pledging to produce 40 million new electric
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vehicles just in the united states. that's two million barrels of oil that's out of our system forever that we don't need. that's the oil from russia that we import today. that's the oil that we import today from saudi arabia. that's what we have to do in our country. and to put that in context, just ten years ago there were only 73,000 electric vehicles sold all year in the united states. we can do this. so our opportunity is great. we have a chance to use the build back better bill to send a message that we are going to save money, save energy, save industrial communities, save all of us from a world made unstable through fossil fuel creating crisis after crisis on this planet. this is the power of the american-led clean energy revolution. looking at the alternative with troops paid by fossil fuel money
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on the border of ukraine, i know what kind of future i want to fight for, and i think the american people want to fight for. we have to destroy the business model of russia and middle eastern countries that have been sources of problems for american national security for more than a generation. that is the opportunity that we're all presented with right now. that's why build back better, that's why president biden's vision of wind and solar, all-electric vehicles, battery storage technologies, clean energy technologies by the millions being deployed in our country will create millions of new jobs, reduce greenhouse gases, improve our national security. this is the health care, the environmental and national security and moral issue of our time. and if we haven't learned another lesson from ukraine, it should be that time is now for us to act so that ten years from now the next generation of young americans can look back and say we did act.
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we did destroy that business model. mr. president, i thank you so much for giving me this opportunity. and i yield back. the presiding officer: the senior senator from alabama. mr. shelby: thank you, mr. president. you're being very kind today. mr. president, today i rise to pay tribute to a long-time vital member of my staff, shannon heinz. there aren't many in the senate who don't know shannon or know of shannon. her sterling reputation precedes her as it should. shannon heinz has been one of the most valuable members of my staff throughout my career. those who know her are aware of her resounding work ethic. having spent countless late nights right here in the senate and long weekends at the office. not only has she been a trusted asset, mr. president, to me, but
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she has proved to be essential in our work here in the senate to fund the government and our nation's defense during my time in leadership on the appropriations committee. having grown up in north carolina, shannon is a proud graduate of wake forest university. she began her career on capitol hill as a staff assistant to a freshman representative fred heineman of north carolina and then worked as a legislative assistant to representative lamar smith of texas. i first met shannon in 1999 when she applied for a job in the senate with my staff. and she joined my staff after experience in the house as a legislative assistant. shannon has served in many, mr. president, important roles on my senior staff, including my legislative record which is a very important post as the presiding officer knows. as chief of staff which is even
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a more important post. senior policy adviser for the senate banking committee when i was chairman of the banking committee. staff director of the senate rules committee when i was chairman of the rules committee. and staff director of the senate appropriation committee and its defense subcommittee. notably, she has, mr. president, as you would know, she is the first female staff director for the full senate appropriations committee. first female staff director of the senate appropriations committee. something she was humbly unaware of until it was mentioned by a former colleague. when i first took over as chairman of the senate appropriations committee a number of years back, shannon was able to lead the committee in moving the most appropriation bills with the help of everybody in the senate in 22 years in a bipartisan way.
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by the end of the fiscal year, 75% of the government was funded on time and through an open bipartisan way. the presiding officer will remember. he was part of that. shannon's 27 years of service on capitol hill deserve the utmost recognition and praise not just by me but i think a lot of us. she has earned my respect and the respect of countless others. i admire her for her valiant commitment to her work and unending determination to get the job done. although i'm sad to see her go, i remain grateful for her diligence, hard work, and guidance over the years. i wish shannon all the best as she prepares for a new phase in her remarkable career in the private sector. i can say without question, mr. president, that i would not have been able to accomplish what we've been able to do on the appropriations committee without her.
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thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call: mr. scott: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. scott: are we in a quorum call? the presiding officer: we are not. mr. scott: i ask that the quorum call call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. scott: mr. president, since coming to the united states senate just over three years ago, i have regularly spoken about the dangers presented by communist china. last month outside the kennedy caucus room, i was joined by a
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group of pro-democracy activists from hong kong and advocates speaking out against the genocide in the uighur homeland. advocates who have tested positive for covid have been taken away by chinese authorities where they have been properly fed. the f.b.i. urged them to leave their phones at home for fear of being surveiled by the chinese government. we saw the dangers several months ago in the case of tennis star pong zhui. she was ranged the number-one tennis player by the world tennis association. she has won championships and has represented her country at the highest levels of tennis competition. so in november when she shared her story of sexual abuse by a former vice premier, it
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rightfully caught the world's attention. communist china's reaction to these allegations have shocked us all and completely verified all our fears. instead of taking her claims seriously and investigating these allegations, the communist chinese government followed its authoritarian playbook -- silence, deelecting, cover-up. -- deflecting, cover-up. the government immediately silenced and disappeared her. people ask, where is pung? chinese immediate iyad released an e-mail they said from her contradicting her allegations. it only raised more concerns as to her whereabouts and safety. then beijing shared a couple of videos of her at very structured public events and staged several video calls can the olympic
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committee. they didn't ask about her disappearance, her allegations of abuse. in the months since the i.o.c. worked hands in hand to cover up their allegations. they have worked with chinese officials to publish an interview with peng in a magazine. peng announced her retirement from professional tennis and denied she had previously claimed she was assaulted. it was disturbing and the fact that the i.o.c. helped coordinate the interview shows thomas bach is willing to prioritize his relationship with communist china over the tennis player. it is clear that peng shuai was safe and in good health until there is an investigation into the allegations of her assault.
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it is a stark contrast. one aiding in censorship and oppression of athletes while the other does the right thing. now you have a well-known pundit representing the chinese communist party spouting demeaning comments about peng. on "60 minutes australia"," a former translator for denghou pink, said she should be able to defend herself. can you imagine even saying that? the chinese communist party said there is no way p eng could have been assaulted so you better stop talking about this issue. well, i am not going to stop talking about this issue. that's why i've introduced a bipartisan resolution with my colleague from virginia rebuking the i.o.c. for its failure to clearly and forcefully challenge the party's claims against
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peng's safety. the same resolution was unanimously adopted by the house of representatives in december and it's crucial that the senate do the same. my colleague from virginia, senator warner, is joining me in this resolution along with 14 of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. i'm glad that my colleague, the chairman of the committee, has agreed to mark up the the resolution next month. the united states is the leading voice of freedom and democracy around the world. we cannot tolerate this kind of behavior. today my colleagues and i are standing together for human rights. mr. chairman, i yield the floor.
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mr. scott: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. scott: i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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to find political solution to this crisis triggered by russia's military buildup in and around ukraine. despite moscow's claims, we have seen no signs of withdrawal or de-escalation so far. on the contrary, russia's buildup appears to continue. we continue to monitor developments very closely. we call russia to do what it says, and withdraw its forces from the borders of ukraine. this will be an important first
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step towards a peaceful . today, we met with our close partners, ukraine and georgia. we addressed the continued threat of russian aggression. the deteriorating security situation in the black sea region. and nato's strong political and practical support for both countries. nato and allies are helping ukraine boost its ability to defend itself. self-defense is a right enshrined in the u.n. charter. and allies are helping ukraine to uphold that right. including with trainers in military equipment for the ukrainian armed forces. cyber and intelligence expertise, and with significant financial support. we also discussed the presence of russian forces in the georgian regions. and a vote of the russian duma
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recommending the recognition of the non-government controlled areas of don't ask. we all agree that would be a for the blatant violation of ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty. and of the minsk agreements, undermining the efforts to find a political solution in the normandy format. today, allies confirmed that nato's door remains open, and a decision on nato's membership is for nato allies and aspirant countries today, and nobody else. the right of each nation to choose its own path is absolutely fundamental for european and transatlantic security. and it must be respected. nato allies restated their strong support for the
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sovereignty and territorial integrity of both georgie and ukraine. we cannot accept a return to an age of spheres of influence where big powers boley, intimidate, or dictate to others. there can be no decisions about ukraine without ukraine. and no decisions about georgia without georgia. we agreed that in times of tension, dialogue is even more important. nato remains open to engaging with russia in good faith here allies are ready to sit down with russia in nato-russia council, address wide range of issues and find common ground. in the final session of our ministerial, we met with our close partners, finland, sweden and the european union. we share the same values. we face the same challenges, , d
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the crisis in and around ukraine affects us all. so we agree that it is even more important now that we continue to work together and complement each other's efforts to bring this crisis to a peaceful resolution. with that, i'm ready to take your questions. >> we will go to "wall street journal" ." >> thank thank you very muc. dan michels with the "wall street journal." are you concerned, mr. secretary general, about reports today out of russia about hostilities around donbass firing and possible incursions could be used as a pretext for russia to attack? >> so we are concerned that russia is trying to stage as a pretext for an armed attack against ukraine. it is still no clarity, no certainty about russia intentions. we don't know what will happen, but what we do know is that
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russia has amassed the biggest force we've seen in europe for decades, in and around ukraine. and we also know that there are many russian intelligence officers operating in ukraine. their present and donbass and we've seen attempts to stage a pretext, a false flag operation operations, to provide an excuse for invading ukraine. so of course this is of concern. i cannot go into the details of different reports, but this is the reason why we are so closely monitoring what is going on and also why nato, nato allies, have exposed the russian actions, the russian plans and the russian efforts when it comes to this information -- this information. because we that makes it harder
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for them to act, harder for them to invade ukraine and we continue to call on russia to de-escalate, to withdraw forces and to engage in a political dialogue with nato allies. >> okay. we'll go to the bbc. >> thank you, secretary general. you have accused russia of disinformation. i just wonder whether they could make the same charges at the nato alliance. there were predictions, for example, that might be an invasion on the 16th which never happened. russia has i said it's not intending to invade ukraine, accepting that they have more than 100,000 troops. also you are saying we are not clear as to how many troops there are. are the 100,000, more than more than 100,000, 130,000, 150,000 is the of the figure. so i just wonder is are a danger
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that in accusing russia of disinformation, they can just turn to you and say, you have put out disinformation about coups that haven't happened, about false flag operations that have happened? how would you respond to that? >> partly, i just referring to that what we have described facts on the ground. and, of course, we shared intelligence, we're shared information with collected but this is also information which is now available for a villain. it's something you can monitor my commercial satellites. so actually now no one is trying to deny the fact that russia has a large force on the border of ukraine. that's publicly available information. what nobody knows, and we have been clear about that the whole time, is that we know the capacity. we know the forces they have amassed but, of course, we don't
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know with certainty their intentions. but if the combined what we know about their forces, what we know about their threatening rhetoric, they are stated clearly that if we don't meet their demands there would be military technical consequences, and we know the track record of russia. give use force against ukraine before. if you combine that and on top of that also put the fact that they have a lot of intelligence officers on friday inside ukraine, if you combine all of that there is reason to be seriously concerned. that's the reason why we're conveying so clearly that if they use force, it will have a high cost for russia. that's why nato allies brought support for ukraine so they can defend themselves and also why we've increased our presence on nato troops in the east. all of this we do to try to prevent an attack on ukraine. so the fact that we're describing risk doesn't mean that we believe it would happen
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with 100% certainty. we describe that also to prevent it from happening. so the main story, the main message has been the same from nato for months. when nato allies started in the fall and last autumn to describe the buildup, that was questioned. we also described the most likely plans, that they had reached more than 1000 troops, that was questioned. that has now happened. and now we need to prevent the next step from happening, that they're using this force against ukraine and that's exactly why were you doing all the things we're doing in calling russia to de-escalate and also send a clear message about the high cost to have to pay if they use force again. >> okay. we would go to the national news agency of ukraine. >> secretary general, according to the publicly available information coming from ukraine,
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russian troops are not withdrawing from belarus but just maneuvering along the borders of ukraine. so my question is, does nato share the ukraine concern that those troops could be staying in belarus for constant base? and what would be reaction of nato if that happens? thanks. >> what we have seen over many years now is i deterioration of the european security environment. with the illegal annexation of crimea, with the russians support to the separatists in donbass and now with a large number of combat ready troops in and around ukraine. also of course closer and closer integration of russia and russian forces. so that's exactly why we have reacted in the way we have in nato. we have strengthened our presence in the east, with a modest presence, with a defensive presence, with the
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battle groups in the eastern part of the alliance, in the baltic countries and poland. and that is also the reason why we are now in light of what is happening in and around the ukraine and the presence of russian troops in belarus, that we are now considering the next steps, including battle groups in romania and in the southeast of the alliance. nato has to respond when we see aggressive actions by russia, but we continue to strive for dialogue, for de-escalation, and we believe it is important to talk. nato believes in diplomacy. we believe in dialogue and, therefore, we continue to call on russia to engage in good faith in dialogue with nato. >> we will go to imedi. >> thank you so much.
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mr. secretary general,, can you tell us more about the meeting with the defense minister from georgia? were also waiting native giorgio exercises in march. and the second point, mr. zelensky today said ukraine is welcome to nato, yet not all members of the alliance. how would you respond to that? into so much. >> so we had a good meeting with both the defense minister from georgia and ukraine. in that meeting, allies expressed very strong their support to both countries, their territorial integrity and sovereignty. and allies provide support to georgia and ukraine in different ways. we do it in the nato framework. we provide bilateral support, training, capacity building, and the would be an exercise in georgia later on this year. and, of course, nato will be part of that because it's an
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exercise we do together and demonstrates in a way how we are working closely together. the black sea region is of strategic importance for nato. so what happens there matters for us. we are three littoral states, nato allies that are black sea littoral states, and we have two very partners george and ukraine. so to work closely with them is important for us, important for the partners, and that was also clearly confirmed today. [inaudible question] >> our position has not changed. the decisions made at the summit still stands but the focus now is on reform, is to what both ukraine and georgia to modernize their defense and security said institutions, and we continue to focus on that. >> reuters?
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>> phil stewart from reuters. belarus president said today his country could host nuclear weapons if it feels threatened by the west. what would be your response? >> nato is not a threat. nato is a defensive alliance and we have approved for more than 70 years that we are there to protect and defend. and our deterrence is not to provoke a conflict but to prevent a conflict. we are of course concerned about what we see that russia is modernizing its nuclear capable missiles. they have developed them to kaliningrad. we have also seen a scatter missiles in belarus and is get a missiles are dual capable missiles that can also carry nuclear warheads. that's part of the pattern we see. the reason we are concerned and why we been concerned for overlong courage of time, because this is a development of
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pattern that is taking place over several years. one of the most important agreements nato allies has reached and made with russia was the inf treaty, banning all it immediate range weapons globally but also in europe, and russia deployed new missiles violating that the treaty and, of course, that is undermine the security of all of us. so we are taking the necessary decisions and steps to get to protect all allies in a more dangerous and unpredictable security environment, , includig caused by the russian nuclear investment and modernizing capabilities. >> thank you, secretary general. could you tell us what has to happen on the ground so that nato can state those are real signs of de-escalation? second question, rush is
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apparently about to hand over the response to the u.s. proposals. are you also expecting them to send a response to your proposal as well? thank you. >> we are waiting for the response from russia. we received from russia in december a draft, security treaty that russia want to sign with nato. we met in the nato-russia council with his proposal was discussed. we have sent to russia our proposals where we actually list and go through areas like arms control, missiles, transparent military activities, and we believe that these are topics where there is room for common ground to find solutions that will improve the security of all of us, for nato allies and for the people of russia.
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arms control is good for all of us. it will strengthen the security of russia and for nato allies. so the reason why we have conveyed these proposals is that we believe that if we sit down in good faith, as we've done in the past, we can actually reach agreements which are strengthening the security of all countries including of course russia. we are waiting for the response. we have not yet received in response, but i continue to believe that the nato-russia council was established by russia and nato allies is the best platform to engage with nato and russia have issues to discuss. the nato-russia council is an all weather institution. it even more important that we
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meet now when tensions are high and things are difficult and, therefore, we are ready to meet your i invited russia to a series of meetings in the nato-russia council to address their concerns, our concerns, and to try to find a common way forward. then your first question was? [inaudible question] >> we have to see a real withdrawal. of course you have to understand that this is the buildup that has taken place over many months. and over the whole period, it actually started last spring, we've seen the number of troops going a bit up-and-down and we've seen some forces moving in and some moving out. but the trend, the net effect, has been a steady increase. the fact you're putting a battle tank on a train and moved in some direction doesn't prove withdrawal of troops. that is not the same as real de-escalation because these capabilities are moving around
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all the time in and out. that has to be a meaningful withdrawal, a meaningful de-escalation. that is what we're waiting for. so far we have not seen that but, of course, this can change. and that's exactly what we're hoping and working for, that we see that russia actually does what they are saying, that we see a real significant, meaningful reduction of other russian troops in and around ukraine. >> okay, we'll try to take two quick questions online. fox news. >> thank you, mr. secretary general. my question is this, secretary general. from the latest information that you are receiving, all the reports on the russian troop movements, does rush have enough troops, have enough hardware on its borders with ukraine to stage an invasion now? and if so, what could that
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invasion look like? >> they have enough troops and enough capabilities to launch a full-fledged invasion of ukraine with very little or no warning time. that is what makes the situation so dangerous point we know about their capabilities but, of course, we don't know with certainty about their intention intentions. it remains to be seen what they actually do, but you have so many combat ready troops in and around ukraine, it's not a normal exercise. it's not a normal, in a way, activity on your own territory. this is something which is threatening an independent sovereign nation, and they can launch an attack with extremely, with hardly any warning time at all, and that is the danger. that is the reason why we continue to call on them to
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de-escalate. it is never too late to de-escalate. it is never too late to find a political solution, and we are ready to sit down and addresses are concerned and find common ground for a political solution. >> for the last question we will go to financial times and john paul rathmann. >> thanks very much for this. secretary general, i am just wondering what would happen, if we are heading for a situation of war or peace but it sustained pressure, what does that mean for nato and its allies, especially in terms of sanctions and what might trigger? thank you. >> regrettably, i think what we are seeing now is a kind of new normal for european security. because we've seen this trend over many years. where russia contests
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fundamental principles for european security and where they are willing to use force as they have done against ukraine, georgia, but also to threaten with the use of force to intimidate countries in europe . mr. king: i ask that the quorum call be vitiated. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. king: i ask that the senate consider the following nominations en bloc -- 599, calendar 693. that the senate vote on the nominations en bloc without intervening action or debate, a the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate, that any statements related to the nominations be printed in the record, that the president be immediately notified of the senate's action, and the senate resume legislative session. the presiding officer: is
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there objection? mr. hawley: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from missouri. mr. hawley: i object and submit a statement for the record. the presiding officer: the the senator has objected. mr. king: will the senator yield for a question? the presiding officer: the senator from maine. mr. king: i would like to direct a question through the chair to the senator from indiana and ask for the reason for his objection. the presiding officer: does the senator from missouri yield? mr. king: do i get a response from the senator from indiana? mr. president, we have two qualified nominees reported out on a bipartisan basis by the
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armed services committee at a moment of heightened international tension. the senator from missouri -- i said indiana. i said the senator from missouri objected for no reason whatsoever. i ask him for his reasoning and he did not respond. he walked out of the room. i don't understand such an irresponsible action. this is a matter of national security. we have no reason for this objection. i understand that he's objecting to all nominees at the department of defense because he's upset about about accountability in the withdrawal from afghanistan. we have taken action to deal with that question. in the national defense authorization act, which we just passed, there was a commission created expressly to examine the issue of afghanistan, how we got in, why we got in, what we do, how we left -- 0en a bipartisan basis -- on a bipartisan basis.
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i believe that was reported out by the committee unanimously in the national defense authorization act after the committee's markup. so that's accountability. in addition, the armed services and intelligence committees, which i also serve on, had at least ten -- i think it was more like a dozen -- hearings on the withdrawal from afghanistan in the latter part of 2021, before the end of the year. a dozen hearings. i was going to ask the senator from missouri, how many hearings were held when he was a member of the armed services committee and his committee was -- his party was in charge of the committee, how many hearings were held on president trump's agreement to leave afghanistan in doha in february of 2020. that was the decision that led to president biden effectuating the treaty -- not the treaty, but the agreement that the trump administration had made with the
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taliban that led to ■th evacuation of americans and american troops from afghanistan. you know how many hearings, mr. president, were held by the armed services committee on the doha agreement, which was effectively guaranteeing we would leave afghanistan, with some minor conditions? zero. zero. talk about accountability. were there were no -- there were no hearings or discussion, that i can recall, of the doha agreement where the trump administration agreed with the taliban we would leave by may 1, 2021, as long as the taliban didn't attack our troops. and now the senator from missouri is holding up nominees because of some -- he doesn't like the way the evacuation
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occurred or he wants more questions from the secretary of defense. we had hearings over and over, and what's going on here is a compromise of national security because the senator from missouri has questions that i guess haven't been answered, although i believe he was at those hearings, had the opportunity to examine and cross-examine the secretary of defense and other officials of the biden administration. but here we are at a moment of national tension -- and that's putting it mildly -- with nominees for -- in charge of space and readiness. the senator from missouri today blocked consideration and confirmation of an assistant secretary of defense for readiness and for space, two
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areas of critical national concern, for reasons that he wasn't state. he walked out of the room. he walked out of the room. that's not accountability. if you're going to do something that endangers national defense and block nominees that have been reported out by the committee on a bipartisan basis, accountability is standing in this room and telling the american people why he's doing it. accountability means being responsible for your actions, not saying, i object -- and then walking out. and that's what happened just now on this floor. i've never seen anything like it. these are well-qualified nominations, reported out by the committee on a bipartisan basis, and we need them in these jobs. we need them now, today in these
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jobs. and now that's not going to be possible. because one senator, for reasons that he refused to explain or expand upon, objected. mr. president, that's not responsible. that's not responsible. that's endangering national security. and to do so without any explanation is just, i believe, not appropriate for a member of this body. so, mr. president, we'll renew these requests at a later date and hope that the senator will have thought better of this action and allow these nominations to go forward, as requested by a bipartisan majority of the armed services committee. thank you, mr. president.
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>> it certainly comes at an important time for the alliance as russia continues building up their military presence along ukraine's borders. including in crimea and belarus and in the black sea. in many ways, this brings russian troops right up to nato's doorstep. so let me begin today by making clear that america's commitment to nato and to article v remains ironclad. as president biden said a couple days ago, we will, if we must, defend every inch of nato
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territory. there is no reason, of course, that it should ever come to this. just like there's no reason for russia to again invade ukraine. ukraine does not threaten anyone, let alone its russian neighbors. and yet that is what moscow would have us believe, and that is how mr. putin continues to justify his assembly of significant combat power. now, the russians say they are withdrawing some of those forces now that exercises are complete, but we don't see that. quite the contrary, we see them add to the more than 150,000 troops that they already have, even in the last couple of days.
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we see some of those troops inch closer to that border. we see them fly and more combat and support aircraft. we see them sharpen the readiness in the black sea. we even see them stocking up their blood supplies. you know, i was a soldier myself not thatto long ago, and i know firsthand that you don't do these sort of approval of the things mr. leahy: mr. president, others have spoken about this, but it's imperative that we take up and pass h.r. 6617. that's the further additional extending government funding act. of course we call it the c.r.
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i say this because the bill will keep the federal government funded and fully operating through march 11 while we work out and are working out the details of full-year appropriations bills to meet the needs of the american people. and i want to compliment the appropriations committee. staff has been meeting with me and others weekends, evenings for weeks now, months actually to get this done. in a few moments we'll vote to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the continuing resolution. as chairman of the appropriations committee, i strongly urge all members, republicans and democrats alike, to vote aye. a government shutdown would be useless, senseless. can you imagine how that would look to the russians? i'm pleased to report that last week the four corners of the senate and house appropriations committee reached a framework
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agreement that will allow us to negotiate an omnibus appropriations bill. and that framework was the result of weeks of careful negotiations between myself, vice chairman shelby, chair did he law row and -- chair delauro and ranking member granger. i want to thank them. i especially want to thank all their staffs who worked late nights and weekends that it took us to get to want point. i don't know how many nights. i probably turned in about 11:00 and night and i would still get e-mails from them working on this. now, it's like any compromise. i've been here 48 years. i know you have to work these things out. i don't believe any of us walked away from these negotiations with everything we wanted. there's still much more to do.
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but on the good part, this framework sets the stage for us to make significant investments in the american people and communities across our country. it provides the biggest increase in nondefense programs in four years. under this framework, we can direct new resources, we can improve health care in rural communities, we can expand the middle class, we can protect our national security, and we look forward to presenting our final agreement to members to review in the coming weeks. but by passing this continuing resolution, we remove the unnecessary threat of yet another government shutdown and allow the appropriations committee to continue to work right through the upcoming recess. think of the alternative, a
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full-year continuing resolution? that's untenable. it's far too onerous on the american people. our government is not meant to run on auto pilot, and american taxpayer dollars should not be spent on outdated priorities. we have the responsibility to make the hard choices about how to invest in the american people. i can give you an example. a four-year continuing resolution would freeze funding at the national institutes of health. think what that does. think what that does when it brings groundbreaking medical research to a halt at the time of a pandemic. it would once again pass on new investments that begin to acknowledge the climate crisis after four years of setting it
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on the back burner. a continuing resolution would fail to increase investments in the education of our nation's children or to build and renovate affordable housing or expand the middle class. it would also -- and this people overlook -- it would substantially reduce infrastructure spending that was in our bipartisan infrastructure law. we passed this bipartisan infrastructure law with an overwhelming vote, but we also have to fund it. a full-year continuing resolution would lead to delays and, frankly, worse, a loss of service to veterans. drafting full-year appropriations bills would allow us to make smart decisions about how to invest in each of these areas on behalf of the american people. in december, the secretary of
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defense warned that a full-year c.r. would be unprecedented. it would cause irreparable damage for a wide range of bipartisan priorities from defense modernization to public health. secretary austin is absolutely right. a full-year continuing resolution would actually cut defense spending below last year's levels. some programs would be underfunded. others would be overfunded. and the department of defense would lack the transfer authority to correct the imbalance. you have the worst of all possible worlds. to give you an example, a continuing resolution would provide $3.3 billion to train and arm the afghan security forces. if anybody has been watching the press, the afghan security forces aren't there anymore,
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but a continuing resolution puts in $3.3 billion for them. it's another example, the department of defense might have to lay off some of the men and women of the armed forces so they can afford 2.7% pay raise, which they rightly deserve -- it went into effect last month. they will say okay, here's a pay raise, we have to fire all of you to pay for it, because we have a continuing resolution. in other words, a continuing resolution would be paying to train a military force that doesn't even exist anymore while laying off our own troops and civilian workforce in order to pay them. it's -- my talking point says this does not make sense. it's actually baloney to try to do this. you fund the priorities of yesterday in the world of today would be irresponsible and no
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way to govern. our framework provides a path to reaching a bipartisan, bicameral omnibus agreement by march 11. vice chairman shelby, chairwoman delauro, chairman granger and i are committed to completing this work. we and our staffs are willing to work straight through until that day. so i urge members to support the continuing resolution that passed the house with strong bipartisan, republican and democrats alike, support so we can finish our negotiations. and i might say, mr. president, the continuing resolution -- and i was here at a time when something like this was simply passed by voice vote, but it has to pass in its current form. the house is out of session. we don't have time for a long, protracted debate. the government will shut down at midnight tomorrow if we do not
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send a continuing resolution in its current form to the president for his signature. so, i would urge all members to oppose any amendments, whether they come from republicans or democrats, oppose any amendments to the bill. vote yes on final passage. be responsible. we have to be in tonight and tomorrow to finish it, fine. but let's get it done. come on. if you took a poll of the american people, 95% of them would say what's taking so long? let's get it done. and i yield the floor. i suggest --
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mr. leahy: mr. president, if there is nobody else seeking recognition, i ask the scheduled, previously scheduled vote begin now. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to calendar number 267, an act making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2022 and for other purposes, signed by 18 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the motion to proceed to h.r. 6617, an act making further continuing appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2022, and for other purposes, be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 65. the nays are 30. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to.
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trying to defund the police, smear law enforcement and go soft on crime. as a result innocent citizens have spent a year and a half watching murderers , carjackings andother violent crimes literally skyrocket . on monday in my hometown, of louisville kentucky we were stunned by what appears to
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have been an assassination attempt against a jewish mayoral candidate for a prominent far left activist who previously called for defunding our police department . this far left black lives matter activist and defund the police cheerleader walked into a jewish democrats campaign headquarters and opened fire. obviously, every aspect of this is still under investigation including the suspect's mental condition. but guess what? he'salready been let out of jail . already let out of jail. a left-wing bale fund partnered with blm louisville to bail him out. less than 48 hours after this activist tried to literally murder a politician, the radical left bailed their
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comrade out ofjail . this is just jaw-dropping the innocent people of louisville deserve better . since 2020, a long list of prominent corporations have donated or pledged an arm us amounts of money to the radical nationwide blm parent organization. one wonders if any of their corporate money helped spring this would be assessing from jail . now i'm confident if activists claiming to be conservative tried to assassinate a politician, whatever his mental state the media would open a 24 seven conversation about rhetoric on the right. somehow i doubt attempted murder by a blm activist will
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get that same treatment. i doubt we will have a conversation about the constant chorus of powerful voices calling our society evil. i raise this doublestandard because it's not limited to media coverage . we see this extend into our legal system itself. in may 2020 when minneapolis was involved in lawless rights one writer wrote into a pawnshop and started a fire that burned it down. this act of arson actually killed somebody . but the federal attorneys who were supposed to represent the victim and the people went out of their way to push for an unusually lenient sentence. they asked for the simple sentencing guideline to becut in half . why? because they wrote the
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defendant was an angry political protester whosimply lost his cool . they wrote quote, as anyone watching the news worldwide knows many peoplein minnesota were similarly caught up . as if that were an excuse. this is the sentencing memo from the prosecutor's. it reads like it was ghostwritten by the defense. they even tried to quote doctor martin luther king jr. to explain why the sky burned down a pawnshop . what a backward attitude. we cannot have federal officials acting like left-wing political violence is more acceptable than any other violence . if anything political violence is uniquely unacceptable in a democratic republic. now, i've placed a hold on president biden's nominee to take over as nominee in
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minnesota until he pledged to keep favoritism out of his prosecutions. fortunately he quickly said so in writing. he also knows republicans will be watching. the american people need public service to crack down on crime and defend their safety. crackdown on crime anddefend their safety . less pandering to woke mobs, more protecting innocent families. now, on an entirely different matter, washington democrats insulation is slamming consumers with the highest prices in 40 years. one of the toughest blows has been the soaring cost of a trip to the gas pump. a gallon of regular costs a full dollar more today thanit did a year ago . so after triggering a historic run of inflation and
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hammering american producers with anti-energy policies designed to restrict supply, our democratic colleaguesare suddenly talking about gas prices . and there's a bold creative plan, temporarily suspending the gas tax to the tune of $.18. oh, and excluding diesel. a slap in the face to truckers and a further burden on the supply chain. and just to make the political games transparent, they want this to expire right after the midterms. as soon as the next congress is sworn in. democrats want to blow a $20 billion whole and highway funding so they can try to mask the effects of their all liberal policies on working americans. they spent the entire year
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waging a holy war on portable american energy and now they want to use a pile of taxpayer money to literally hide theconsequence . as the senior senator from west virginia pointed out, people want their bridges and their roads and we have an infrastructure bill we passed this summer and they want to take all that away? it just doesn't make sense. he added thisproposal doesn't make more sense than the president's pointless decision to take oil out of the strategic petroleum reserve last year . president clinton's treasury secretary larry summers called this stunt shortsighted, ineffective, goofy and gimmicky. that's the secretary of the treasury andthe bill clinton administration about this idea . back in 2008, then candidate obama himself said this. we're arguing over a gimmick that would save you half a
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tank of gas over the course of the summer so everyone in washington and pat themselves on the back and say they did something. let me tell you this isn't an idea designed to get you through the summer. it's designed to get them through an election . that's barack obama in 2008 and he was right. look, if democrats want to help the american people fill their tanks they wouldn't have been attacking american energyevery way possible . for the entire year. president biden made drilling on the keystone xl pipeline his priority. democrats voted in lockstep to endorse biden's ban on new energy exploration on federal lands at every turn in every way, democrats have made it harder to produce affordable and reliable american energy.
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take any form of energy and if the people in san francisco don't find it fashionable, the biden administration has gone after . three years ago under republican policies the united states became a net exporter of oil for the first time . in more than 70 years. the sheer mathematical perspective. for the first time since world war ii we were producing all that we needed and then some. alas, a very different philosophy now controls washington. in president biden's first year our oil imports from russia a newall-time high . but as we speak, it is in eastern europe are reminding the entire world energy abundance is not just about ...
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s out of the eastern side of their country. but as we sat and visited and talked, they told me about the tenacity of the ukrainian fighters, their commitment to their families, and their commitment to be able to be independent. to be a separate, functioning democracy. to engage with the rest of the world as any independent sovereign nation would choose to be able to do. that was 2017. to oklahomans, this conversation about ukraine and russians surrounding ukraine on three sides is not theory. some oklahomaans know the name of ukrainians currently on those front lines. they've served alongside of each other and they've stayed in contact, calling them friends. if you go into the ukrainian embassy today for the united states, you'll see a picture of some oklahomans up on the wall
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because they remember that group of oklahomans that came to ukraine to help them prepare for a day they hoped would never come and to be able to be ready to push the russians out of the eastern part of their nation. but today, literally right now, ukrainians living on the border, especially in the north, can literally hear the sound of russian artillery practicing just miles away. they have been able to hear that sound for days and days now, as they do live fire exercises just on the other side of the border. they understand that the russians have amassed well in excess of 100,000 troops, that they gathered troops from russia from the far east next to their border with china and have moved them all the way to the west to be able to surround ukraine on three sides, with naval forces and with ground forces.
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they are very aware russians have moved their special operations. they have moved in field hospitals. they are very aware that they're doing live training exercises in preparation. they hope that it's only saber rattling, but they hear the sound of the guns just a few miles away. from the russian perspective, even within the last 24 hours as russian diplomats spoke to the bbc just in the last few hours, and they spoke and said they have no intention of any aggressive moves, that they're a sovereign nation and that they can move their forces anywhere they want to be able to move them, any inch of their land and if they want to put their forces all right there along the border with the ukraine, that's their sovereign right to do that. and then they replied back in what must be one of the great russian statements of all time, that the west is not reporting that the ukrainians have also moved 100,000 troops next to the border with russia.
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they must think the entire world delusional. as a russian diplomat called it myth that the russians intend to do aggression, and said they would only move into ukraine if they were provoked. now mind you, the united states intelligence just released publicly just a few days ago a plot that the russians had that they had already created a film, a movie, if i can say it that way, a news reel, that they had staged a ukrainian attack on russians, and it laid out actors that looked as if they were dead, had set up all of these ukrainian implements from war and different vehicles around and burned-out russian tanks so that they could show the world that the ukrainians actually attacked them first. except our intelligence actually exposed that plan. but the russians are still repeating over and over again they'll only attack if they're provoked as they work to be able to stage a provocation.
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people forget in the world that when the russians are in belarus , they're a half day drive from kiev but they're also a half-day drive from where they're stationed right now from warsaw. this is a tenuous time. this is not a new moment for the russians to act aggressively towards their neighbors. in 2008 russia vaided the country of georgia. in 2014, russia annexed crimea, moved in. 2014, they also moved in to the donbas region. during that time in 2014, russians in july of 2014, from the russian 53rd antiaircraft brigade launched an antiaircraft weapon against mh-17, a passenger aircraft, flying from
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amsterdam to malaysia, not even coming to ukraine. they launched an antiaircraft weapon against that flight flying over ukraine, and the russians murdered 298 people because they flew over an area that they were working to be able to overtake. it's clear the russians in their aggression and putin in his intent to make sure the whole world pays attention to him and shows that he's a powerful man because he can round up the entire world to be able to look at him when his economy is literally in tatters. russia's gross domestic product for the entire country is smaller than the state of texas' gross domestic product. yet, with his nuclear weapons and his disproportionate allocation to his military and his controlling of oil and gas in the region, he continues to be able to saber rattle and force the world to be able to
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look at him. the whole while declaring that he's sovereign and he can move troops anywhere he wants to move, but also by the way, ukraine is not sovereign enough to be able to make a decision about their own defense. demanding that ukraine never become a member of nato. can i remind the world nato is a defensive alliance, a defensive alliance. the nato alliance exists, and it's an incredibly successful alliance, the nato alliance exists to be able to react if they're attacked. nato does not cooperate in attacking anyone. nato is set up to defend each other when attacked. ukraine is not a nato nation, but nato nations surround ukraine, and we're all extremely aware of putin's focus on trying to be able to push out and to re-create the ussr again.
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we should pay attention. we should not pretend this won't affect the world. we've seen oil prices around the world already accelerate based on just putin's actions right now. we've seen what he's trying to be able to do to be able to manipulate oil prices for the benefit of russia, but to the detriment of everyone else. we can see that. the issue is what are we going to do about that? how are we going to actually engage? our nation has given over $400 million in assistance to ukraine every year since 2014, including this year, $400 million in assistance to u.c. -- ukraine. oklahomans have assisted the ukrainian people with counter artillery radars, coastal
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defensive implements, geospatial intelligence, counter unaerial equipment, electronic warfare, demining equipment, small arms. we've tried to be able to help the ukrainians defend themselves we need to also speak with a unified voice that if russia decides they're going to move across that border into ukraine, that there are strong, unrelenting sanctions coming on that nation, and that economy that is smaller than the economy of texas, that we are keenly aware of how they survive based on oil and gas sales, and we are well prepared to be able to fill in the supply from other nations that are buying from russia, that they would be welcome to be able to buy from us or from any other nation ready to be able to sell to them , to be able to supplant
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what russia is choosing to do, to be able to use energy as a leverage point on every country in the region, to say don't respond or we'll cut off your energy. we immediate to make it very clear -- we need to make it very clear that the world stands with the free people of ukraine, and we will bring severe consequences on the economy of russia that will be long lasting. not only primary sanctions, but secondary sanctions. in other words, if individuals choose to be able to do with russia, they can either do business p with russia or do business with the united states of america. you can't do both. you have to pick. with the largest economy in the world, i believe most would rather work with a free market, free nation than to be able to work with an unstable russia. but we should be clear.
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russia has gone back on its word in the minsk agreements, on multiple different treaty agreements. we cannot trust what they say, but they should be able to trust what we will do if they choose to attack the free people of ukraine. let me just say this, i firmly believe that the best thing that we can do is to work to keep a war from ever starting rather than engage and try to stop it once it starts. we should speak clearly as a nation. we should speak clearly from the administration. we should speak clearly from congress with a unified nonpartisan voice that the people of the united states want to do what it takes to keep a war from starting so that europe doesn't see yet another land war. that's going to take focus from
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this body. so what do we need to do? we should make the clear offer that we'll provide energy to the rest of the world, that if russia cuts them off, we will rapidly move to be able to fill the gap. we should make it clear about our primary and secondary sanctions. we should make it clear on diplomatic channels and in public what we will do. we should continue to be able to work with our allies to be able to build a strong coalition and to reaffirm the nato alliance is there. we should continue to be able to make it very clear to russia, if they choose to be able to move into ukraine, it will be not only economically disastrous, but nato is well prepared to be able to defend our alliance. and we should stand with the people of ukraine and continue to equip them as they work to be able to protect themselves. the people of ukraine in the times that i've been there -- and i've been there several times -- the people of ukraine will be glad to be able to drive
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you through kiev and point out the places where they fought for their independence. they are a proud people. they do not want the russians taking over their country, and they have fought for their independence once and they're prepared to fight for it again. they should know we're prepared to stand next to them. let's pray for the people of ukraine. who right now hear the guns practicing on the other side of their border. let's pray for peace, but let's also do the work to build the groundwork for peace as well. with that, i yield the floor.
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mr. president, it's imperative pass h.r. 6617, that the further additional extending government
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funding act. of course, we call it the cr. i say this because the bill gets the federal government funded, operator to march 11 what we work out, or working out details of for your appropriation bills to meet the needs of the american people. and want to complement the appropriations committee staff that has been meeting with me and others weekends, evenings for weeks now, , months actuall, to get this done. in a few moments will vote to invoke cloture, the motion to proceed to the continuing resolution. as chairman of the appropriations committee i strongly urge all members republicans and democrats alike to vote aye. a government shutdown would be useless, senseless.
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then you imagine how that would look to the russians? i'm pleased to report the last week the four corners of the senate and house appropriations subcommittee reached a framework agreement that will allow us to negotiate an omnibus appropriations bill. that framework was a result of weeks of careful negotiations between myself, vice chairman shelby, chair to laura and ranking member granger. i want to thank, i especially want to thank all their staffs who worked late nights and weekends that took us to get to this point. i don't how many nights, i would probably turn in about 11 o'clock at night, and i was still get e-mails from them working on this. now, like any compromise, i've been your 48 years. i know you have a work these
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things out. i don't believe any of us walked away from these negotiations with everything we wanted. they're still much more to do. but on the good part, this framework sets the stage for us to make significant investments to the american people and communities across our country. it provides the biggest increase in nondefense programs in four years. under this framework, we can direct new resources. we can improve health care in rural communities. we can expand the middle class. we can protect our national security, and we look forward to presenting our final agreement to members to review in the coming weeks. but by passing this continuing resolution we remove the unnecessary threat of yet another government shutdown, and
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allow the appropriations committee to continue to work right through the upcoming recess. because think of the alternative, a full-year continuing resolution, that's untenable. our government is not meant to run -- and america taxpayer dollars should not be spent on outdated priorities. we have the responsibility to make the hard choices about how to invest for the american people. i'll give you an example. a four-year continuing resolution would freeze funding at the national institutes of health. think what that does. think what that does when it brings groundbreaking medical research to a halt at the time of a pandemic. it would once again pass on new
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investments that begin to acknowledge the climate crisis after four years of sitting on the back burner. continuing resolution would fail to increase investment in education of our nation's children, or to build and renovate affordable housing, or expand the middle class. it would also, and this people overlook, it would substantially reduce infrastructure spending that was in that bipartisan infrastructure law. we passed this bipartisan infrastructure law with an overwhelming vote, but we also have to fund it. a full-year continuing resolution would lead to delays and, frankly, worse, , a loss of service to veterans. drafting for your appropriation bills allows us to make smart
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decisions about how to invest in each of these areas on behalf of the american people. in december the secretary of defense warned that a four-year cr would be unprecedented. it would cause irreparable damage from wide range of bi-partisanly priorities from defense modernization to public health. secretary austin is absolutely right here before your continuing resolution would actually cut defense spending to last years levels. so pronounce would be underfunded, others would be overfunded. and the department of defense would lack the proper authority to correct the imbalance. you've got the worst of all possible worlds. i'll give you an example. eight continuing resolution would provide $3.3 billion to train and arm a the afghan
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security forces. if anybody has been watching the press, the afghan security forces are not there anymore. the continuing resolution puts 3.3 billion for them. another example the department of defense might have to lay out some of the men and women of the armed forces so they can afford 2.7% pay raise, which they rightly deserve, went into effect less but that's okay, here's a pay raise. sorry, have to fire all of you to pay for it because we have a continuing resolution. so in other words, the continuing resolution would be paid to train and military force that doesn't even exist anymore while laying off our own troops and civilian workforce in order to pay them. it's -- my talking point says this does not make sense. it's actually baloney to try to
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do this. you know, you fund the priorities of yesterday and e wars of today would be irresponsible and that's no way to govern. our four corners framework provides a path to reaching a bipartisan, bicameral omnibus agreement by march 11. vice chairman shelby, chair delauro, ranking member granger and i are committed to completing this would appear we enter staffs are willing to work straight through until that day. so i urge members to support the continuing resolution that passed the house the g bipartisan republican and democrats alike support so we can finish our negotiations. and i might say, mr. president, the continuing resolution, i was here anytime and something like this was simply passed by voice vote. but it has to pass in its
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current form. the house is out of session. we don't have time for debate. the government will shut down at midnight tomorrow if we do not send the continuing resolution in its current form to the president for his signature. so i would urge all members to propose any amendment whether they come from republicans or democrats, pose any amendments to the bill. and vote yes on final passage. be responsible. we have to be in tonight and tomorrow to finish it, fine. but let's get it done. come on. if you took a poll of american people, 95% of them would say, what's taking so long? let's get it done
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a senator: mr. president. the presiding officer: the good afternoon. we continue strong diplomatic efforts to call. mr. barrasso: mr. president, i come to the floor today to talk find cities like minneapolis an portland -- and portland, oregon. governors and mayors genuflected
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to the mob. they started to cut funding. the mayor of new york cut funding for the police department by $1 million. another city cut police funding by over $150 million. another 20er cities followed suit. each of them run by a liberal mayor. what followed was an historic exodus from police departments all across the country. police retirement skyrocketed, resignations increased dramatically among police officers. and recruitment of new officers became almost impossible. thanks to the democrat politician that have run these cities, our cities have fewer police, our police have lower moral and these communities have
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higher crime. in 2020, there was a 20% increase in murder rate nationwide. the fastest in american history. in 2021, the murder rate went up even higher. 16 cities broke their all-time records for homicide, and of course, all 16 were run by liberal democrats. of course, these included the cities that defunded the police police. austin, texas, defunded the police, and the murder rate there doubled. last year, the national murder rate reached the highest in 25 years. so far, 2022 looks like it may be even worse. so what are the democrats doing about it? they have the house. they have the senate. they have the white house. they're doing two things -- they're making it worse, and they're trying to avoid being blamed for what they are causing. how are ty

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