U.S. Senate Passes GOP Budget Resolution in 51-49 Vote
Last Senate Session - October 23, 2017

The Senate will resume debate on the $36.5B disaster aid bill (H.R. 2266). The bill also includes funding for wildlife recovery efforts and debt relief for national flood insurance program.

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  • 02:59:41 PM

    >>

    WE'RE LEAVE THING DISCUSSION NOW TO TAKE YOU LIVE TO THE SENATE FLOOR…

    WE'RE LEAVE THING DISCUSSION NOW TO TAKE YOU LIVE TO THE SENATE FLOOR WHERE THE SENATE TODAY WILL DEBATE A 36.35 BILL DECIDE HURRICANE RELIEF PACKAGE. THE BILL GIVES PUERTO RICO AN INFUSION OF TAX AND REJECTS REQUESTS FROM FLORIDA AND TEXAS DELEGATIONS TO ARE ADDITIONAL MONEY TO REBUILD AFTER HURRICANES HARVEY AND IRMA AND REPLENISHES EMERGENCY DISASTER CONSTANTS AND PROVIDE 16 BILL DECIDE TO PERMIT THE FINANCIALLY -- TO PROP UP THE FINANCIALLY TROUBLED FEDERAL GLAD INSURANCE CLAIMS. LIVE SENATE COVERAGE HERE ON C-SPAN2.

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  • 03:00:39 PM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE CHAPLAIN, DR. BARRY BLACK, WILL LEAD…

    THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. THE CHAPLAIN, DR. BARRY BLACK, WILL LEAD THE SENATE IN PRAYER.

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  • 03:00:48 PM

    THE CHAPLAIN

    LET US PRAY. GOD OF OUR FATHERS AND MOTHERS, YOUR GLORY, MAJESTY, AND…

    LET US PRAY. GOD OF OUR FATHERS AND MOTHERS, YOUR GLORY, MAJESTY, AND POWER SUSTAIN US. LORD, WE PONDER THE GRACIOUSNESS OF YOUR PROVIDENCE THAT LIFTS OUR HEARTS AND GIVES US HOPE. KEEP OUR LAWMAKERS TRUE TO YOU, OBEYING YOU FAITHFULLY AND TRUSTING YOUR WISDOM. LORD, PROVIDE THEM WITH WISDOM TO CULTIVATE SUCH REVERENCE FOR YOU THAT THEY WILL STAND FOR RIGHT THOUGH THE HEAVENS FALL. WHEN DARKNESS OVERTAKES THEM, BE FOR THEM A SHINING LIGHT. MAY THEY FACE THEIR HAD FOES TRIUMPHANTLY, KNOWING THAT WITH YOU NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE. MAY THEY LABOR WITH SUCH INTEGRITY THAT GENERATIONS TO COME WILL CELEBRATE THEIR FAITHFULNESS. WE PRAY IN YOUR MIGHTY NAME, AMEN.

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  • 03:02:22 PM

    TEMPORE PLEASE

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO OUR FLAG. I PLEDGE…

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO OUR FLAG. 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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  • 03:03:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. MORNING…

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. MORNING BUSINESS IS CLOSED. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL RESUME CONSIDERATION OF THE HOUSE MESSAGE TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2266, WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

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  • 03:03:40 PM

    THE CLERK

    HOUSE MESSAGE TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2266, AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 28 OF THE…

    HOUSE MESSAGE TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2266, AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 28 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE AND SO FORTH AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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  • 03:03:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER THE TIME UNTIL 5:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED…

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER THE TIME UNTIL 5:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR KEGS. -- OR THEIR DESIGNEES. THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

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  • 03:04:12 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME JUST SPEAK FOR A FEW MINUTES ON THE EMERGENCY…

    MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME JUST SPEAK FOR A FEW MINUTES ON THE EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR DISASTERS. YOU KNOW, NO ONE IN THIS CHAMBER IS IMMUNE FROM DISASTER. SIX YEARS AGO I REMEMBER IN VERMONT WHEN MARCEL AND I WATCHED AS COMMUNITIES AROUND VERMONT FELT THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF TROPICAL STORM IRENE. THAT STORM WASHED AWAY ENTIRE COMMUNITIES. IN OUR STATE IT TORE DOWN HOMES, LOCAL LANDMARKS. I WATCHED THE DEVASTATION FROM A HELICOPTER WITH THE GOVERNOR AND THE HEAD OF OUR NATIONAL GUARD THE DAY AFTER THE STORM HIT. I SAW BRIDGES WASHED OFF. THE ONLY WAY WE COULD GET INTO THE TOWNS WAS BY HELICOPTER BECAUSE ALL THE ROADS WERE GONE LEADING INTO IT. I SAW HOMES THAT HAD BEEN ON THE NORTH SIDE OF A RIVER WERE NOW ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE RIVER UPSIDE DOWN AND DESTROYED. BUT, YOU KNOW, THE ONE THING, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT ENCOURAGED ME AS I TRAVELED AROUND THE STATE OF VERMONT, I WAS HEARING FROM MY FELLOW SENATORS, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, SAYING THAT THEY WOULD HELP US REBUILD. I HEARD THE SAME THING FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. THEY STOOD BY VERMONT'S SIDE THEN TO HELP US REBUILD. AGAIN, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE. BECAUSE THAT'S WHO WE ARE AS AMERICANS. WE LIFT EACH OTHER. WE LIFT EACH OTHER UP IN TIMES OF DISASTER. WE'RE ONE COUNTRY. BUT TODAY IN CALIFORNIA AND ACROSS THE WEST, FAMILIES ARE RETURNING TO THE CHARRED RUINS OF THEIR HOMES, THOSE WHO WERE ABLE TOEST GO OUT ALIVE. IN FLORIDA AND TEXAS, COMMUNITIES ARE TRYING TO PUT THEIR LIVES BACK TOGETHER AFTER HURRICANE HARVEY AND IRMA. AGAIN, THOSE WHO WERE ABLE TO GET OUT ALIVE. AND IN PUERTO RICO, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS ARE STILL WITHOUT PORTABLE WATER OR ELECTRICITY, CELL SERVICE, OR ADEQUATE MEDICAL SUPPLIES FOLLOWING HURRICANE MARIA. THE VIRGIN ISLANDS FACING DEVASTATION THAT I CAN NEVER REMEMBER. MILLIONS OF AMERICANS -- MILLIONS OF AMERICANS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, THE AMERICANS IN PUERTO RICO, THE AMERICANS IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, WE THEY NEED US TO HELP LIFT THEM UP. THIS IS NOT A REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT ISSUE. THIS IS AN AMERICAN ISSUE. THIS IS WHO WE ARE AS A COUNTRY. WE HOLD TOGETHER. I'VE BEEN HERE -- BEEN PRIVILEGED TO SERVE HERE SINCE THE TIME OF PRESIDENT FORD. IN TIMES OF DISASTER, I'VE SEEN EVERY SINGLE PRESIDENT, REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT, WORK TO HELP AMERICANS AND DO IT CONCERNED ABOUT AMERICANS, NOT ABOUT THEMSELVES. THAT'S WHY IT IS SO DISAPPOINTING THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP SEEMS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT CLAIMING CREDIT FOR A JOB WELL DONE THAN THE ACTUAL SITUATION ON THE GROUND DESERVES, PARTICULARLY IN PUERTO RICO. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS GIVEN HIMSELF A 10 OUT OF 10, AS THOUGH THIS WAS A GAME SHOW FOR THE ADMINISTRATION'S RESPONSE TO THE DEVASTATING HURRICANE. BUT LET'S LOOK AT SOME NUMBERS ARE THAT REALLY MATTER, PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST EVERYTHING. IT'S BEEN 45 DAYS SINCE HURRICANE IRMA MADE LANDFALL IN PUERTO RICO. IT'S BEEN 34 DAYS SINCE HURRICANE MARIA TORE THROUGH THE ISLAND. THESE STORMS WREAKED HAVOC ON THOSE WHO LIVE THERE. THEY DESTROYED HOUSES. THEY KILLED AT LEAST 49 PEOPLE. YET 45 DAYS LATER, NEARLY 80% OF THE ISLAND IS STILL WITHOUT POWER, 30% OF THE POPULATION IS WITHOUT CLEAN DRINKING WATER, AND SOME ARE HAVING TO RESORT TO DRINKING CONTAMINATED WATER. ROADS ARE IMPASSABLE, BRIDGES ARE DOWN, WHAT FEW HOSPITALS ARE OPERATING IS OPERATING ON GENERATORS. AND THE ADMINISTRATION FRANKLY WAS SLOW TO RESPOND TO THE DISASTER, AND TO CLAIM THEY GET 10 OUT OF 10 FOR THEIR REPONS IS TO IGNORE THE FACTS, ESPECIALLY THE FACTS THAT THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN HIT KNOW SO WELL. THIS IS NOT A REALITY TV SHOW, AS I SAID BEFORE. THIS IS NOT WHERE THE PARTICIPANT WITH THE HIGHEST SCORE ADVANCES TO THE NEXT ROUND. THIS IS NOT FICTION. THESE ARE PEOPLE'S LIVES, REAL PEOPLE. THEY ARE THEIR PEOPLE'S HOMES. THIS IS THE HARD PART OF GOVERNING. THIS IS WHERE WE ROLL UP OUR SLEEVES, WE DIG IN FOR THE LONG HAUL, WE STOP PATTING OURSELVES ON THE BACK. INSTEAD, WE USE THAT HAND TO GIVE A HAND TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE HURTING. NOW TODAY WE'RE GOING TO VOTE TO ADVANCE A AS DOESSTER -- A DISASTER PACKAGE. IT INCLUDES $18.7 BILLION FOR THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY FOR FEMA. FOR DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS. $16 BILLION FOR THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM, DEBT FORGIVEN. $1.2 BILLION SENATOR NUTRITION ASSISTANCE. $576.5 MILLION TO ADDRESS THESE DEVASTATING WILDFIRES IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE UNITED STATES. NOW, AS VICE-CHAIRMAN OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, I SUPPORT THIS BILL. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE TO DO THE SAME. IN WE DO NOT ACT, DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS AND THE FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM WILL RUN OUT OF RESOURCES IN A MATTER OF DAYS. IN A MATTER OF DAYS. BUT THIS MONEY, IF WE PASS IT, WILL ALLOW FEMA, THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, OTHER AGENCIES TO CONTINUE THEIR WORK IN ALL OF DEVASTATED COMMUNITIES, TO START CATCHING UP TO THE WORK THAT HE HAD INTOS TO BE DONE -- THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE AND HELP FAMILIES BEGIN TO REBUILD THEIR AND THEIR LIVES. THOSE WHO DID NOT DIE IN THE DISASTER. BUT THIS IS JUST THE NEXT STEP. THIS IS A MAULTY STEP PROCESS. THIS IS THE NEXT STEP OF THE ROAD TO RECOVERY. LAST WEEK I MET WITH THE GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO RICO AND -- THE GOVERNOR OF PUERTO RICO AND HIS STAFF, GOVERNOR ROSSELLO HIMSELF. I HAVE BEEN MANY TIMES TO PUERTO RICO IN HAPPIER TIMES. BUT HERE HE DETAILED THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES FACING PUERTO RICO. HE IS TELLING US WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR FELLOW AMERICANS. THE ELECTRIC GRID WAS ALMOST COMPLETELY DESTROYED. ITS INFRASTRUCTURE ITSELF WAS DEMOLISHED, HOUSES WERE FLATTENED. AT THE SAME TIME PUERTO RICO FACES A FISCAL SITUATION THAT WILL MAKE IT NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR IT TO PROVIDE THE FEDERAL MATCH REQUIRED FOR MORE DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. IT FACES A MEDICAID FUNDING CRISIS. IT MAY LEAVE NEARLY ONE MILLION PEOPLE WITHOUT HEALTH CARE IN JUST A MAST MONTHS, A-- IN A MATTER OF AMONGSTS, ASSUMING WE RESTORE THE HEALTH CARE. YOU KNOW, THIS TELLS US OUR RESPONSE CAN'T BE BUSINESS AS USUAL. WE NEED TO TAILOR DISASTER ASSISTANCE. TO MEET PUERTO RICO'S UNIQUE CHALLENGES. WE MAY NEED TO ADDRESS UNIQUE SITUATION FOR ITS NEEDED. WE NEED TO THINK LONG TERMINATE. IF WE SIMPLY REPLACE AND REAL ESTATE PAIR WHAT WAS DESTROYED, THAT WOULD BE SHORTSIGHTED. WE HAVE TO HELP OUR FELLOW AMERICANS IN PUERTO RICO RECOVER AND TO REMAILED, TO BE MORE RESILIENT, BETTER PREPARED. WE SHOULD INVEST IN IN THE 3.4 MILLION CITIZENS IN PUERTO RICO, INVEST IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE SO THE NEXT DISASTER IS NOT A HUMANITARIAN ISSUE AND CRISIS. YOU KNOW, SOME LIKE TO SAY THE SITUATION IS UNIQUE IN PUERTO RICO. IT'S NOT. WE HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT HISTORIC-SIZED STORMS ARE NOW ANNUAL OCCURRENCES. WE HAVE TO RESPOND ACCORDINGLY. EVEN WITH HELP FROM OUR OWN CITIZENS AND FROM THE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT, WE'RE JUST NOW FULLY REBUILDING IN VERMONT. AND WE WEREN'T HIT AS BADLY AS THESE OTHER PLACES WERE. BECAUSE ACROSS THE COUNTRY FROM WILDFIRES IN CALIFORNIA, FLOOD DAMAGE IN FLORIDA, TEXAS, AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS AS WELL AS, AS I SAID, ABOUT PUERTO RICO, WE CAN INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY, WE CAN INVEST IN CONSERVATION, INFRASTRUCTURE. THAT WILL MITIGATE FURTHER DAMAGE. BUT, YOU KNOW, IT WILL MAKE THESE COMMUNITIES MORE RESILIENT, BECAUSE WE CAN'T SPEAK ABOUT ONCE IN A 100-YEAR STORM. SOMETIMES IT IS ONCE-IN-TWO MONTHS OR ONCE IN THREE WEEKS STORAGE AS WE SAW THIS -- ONCE IN THREE WEEKS STORMS AS WE SAW THIS YEAR. IT IS NOT MEASURED BY DAYS OR WEEKS OR MONTHS BUT IN YEARS. A COMMITMENT THAT DOES NOT WAIVER. A COMMITMENT THAT DOES NOT DEPEND ON WHETHER YOU LIVE IN TEXAS OR FLORIDA OR PUERTO RICO OR THE VIRGIN ISLANDS. SO TODAY I URGE ALL SENATORS TO SUPPORT THIS EMERGENCY SUPPLEMENTAL BILL TO PROVIDE MUCH-NEEDED ASSISTANCE TO DISASTERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BUT IT IS STILL JUST THE NEXT STEP ON THE PATH TO RECOVERY. THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION IS COMMITTED TO PUTTING FORWARD A THIRD, MORE COMPREHENSIVE DISASTER PACKAGE IN THE COMING WEEKS. AS VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, I INTEND TO HOLD THE ADMINISTRATION TO THAT COMMITMENT. IN CONCLUSION, MR. PRESIDENT, EVEN YEARS SINCE IRENE, THIS VERMONTER STILL TAKES COMFORT IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND DEMOCRATIC SENATORS WHO CALLED ME DURING THAT STORM AND PLEDGED SUPPORT. NOT ONLY PLEDGED IT BUT CAME THROUGH WITH THE SUPPORT.

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  • 03:16:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 03:16:13 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    LAST WEEK, THE SENATE TOOK AN IMPORTANT STEP FOR THE FISCAL AND ECONOMIC…

    LAST WEEK, THE SENATE TOOK AN IMPORTANT STEP FOR THE FISCAL AND ECONOMIC FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY WITH PASSAGE OF THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2018. THE COMPREHENSIVE RESPONSIBLE BUDGET WE PASSED MARKS OUR CLEAR VISION FOR THE FUTURE. IT WILL PUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON A PATH TO BALANCE AND SETS OUT A NEW COURSE AFTER THE LONG YEARS OF THE OBAMA ECONOMY. WHEN PAYCHECK STAGNATED, STEADY WORK BECAME HARDER TO FIND, AND RETIREMENT FOR MANY SLIPPED FURTHER AWAY. BECAUSE THE BUDGET WE PASS ISN'T JUST ABOUT GETTING OUR FISCAL HOUSE IN ORDER, ALTHOUGH IT'S CERTAINLY ABOUT THAT. IT'S ALSO ABOUT GETTING OUR ECONOMY GOING AGAIN AND GROWING AGAIN. PERHAPS THE MOST IMPORTANT WAY IT DOES SO IS BY AUTHORIZING LEGISLATIVE TOOLS TO ADVANCE TAX REFORM, AND PASSING TAX REFORM IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO TODAY TO GET OUR ECONOMY REACHING FOR ITS TRUE POTENTIAL. TAX REFORM IS ALL ABOUT HELPING THE MIDDLE-CLASS SUCCEED. IT'S ABOUT MAKING IT EASIER TO CREATE JOBS IN AMERICA AND KEEP THEM RIGHT HERE. IF YOU HAD TO SUMMARIZE THE EFFORT IN ONE PHRASE, IT'S THIS. TAX REFORM IS ABOUT TAKING MORE MONEY OUT OF WASHINGTON'S POCKET AND PUTTING MORE IN YOURS. MORE FOR WORKERS, MORE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES, MORE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS. AFTER ALL, AS THE PRESIDENT WROTE OVER THE WEEKEND, WE'RE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT'S MONEY. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT YOUR MONEY, YOUR HARD WORK. NOW, IF YOU LOOK BACK A FEW MONTHS, MANY DOUBTED OUR ABILITY TO GET A BUDGET DONE OR TO ADVANCE TAX REFORM. THEY DIDN'T SEE THE PATH FORWARD. THOSE SKEPTICS UNDERESTIMATED OUR RESOLVE. THE SENATE HAS DELIVERED ON THE BUDGET, AND WE WILL SOON HAVE THE TOOLS TO DELIVER ON TAX REFORM. WE NOW LOOK FORWARD TO OUR HOUSE COLLEAGUES' CONTINUED CONSIDERATION AND PASSAGE OF THE BUDGET. ONCE THEY DO SO, WE CAN MOVE FORWARD WITH TAX REFORM FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES. NOW, FOR AMERICANS WHO HAVE SUFFERED THROUGH YEARS OF UNCERTAINTY, EVERYTHING FROM RECESSION TO OUTSOURCING TO UNEMPLOYMENT, WE ARE READY TO DELIVER FOR YOU. FOR THOSE WHO WATCH OPPORTUNITY RECEDE WHILE THE PERSONAL WEALTH OF COASTAL ELITES GREW BEYOND COMPREHENSIVE, HELP IS ON THE WAY. WE WANT TO PUT MORE MONEY IN YOUR POCKET. WE WANT TO MAKE RETIREMENT A REALITY FOR YOU. WE WANT TO GET THIS ECONOMY MOVING THE WAY IT SHOULD AND TAX REFORM IS THE KEY TO HELPING US GET THERE. SO I'D LIKE TO ONCE AGAIN THANK CHAIRMAN ENZI AND THE MEMBERS OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE FOR THEIR IMPORTANT WORK TO GET THIS BUDGET RESOLUTION PASSED. I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO THANK THE CLOAKROOM STAFF, THE PARLIAMENTARIANS, THE CLERKS, THE PAGES, AND THE OFFICERS OF THE UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE WHO WORKED LATE INTO THE EVENING TO MAKE SURE, AS THEY ALWAYS DO, THAT THE SENATE RUNS SMOOTHLY. THANKS ALSO TO CHAIRMAN HATCH AND THE MEMBERS OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE. WE NOW LOOK FORWARD TO THEIR CONTINUED GOOD WORK ON DEVELOPMENT OF THE KIND OF TAX RELIEF THAT WILL GET OUR ECONOMY TRULY MOVING AGAIN. NOW, ON ANOTHER MATTER, THE SENATE REMAINS COMMITTED TO DOING ITS PART TO SUPPORT THE ONGOING HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS, AND TO THAT END TODAY, WE'LL TAKE A VOTE TO ADVANCE THE ADMINISTRATION'S MOST RECENT SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING REQUEST. THESE RESOURCES WILL ENSURE THAT FEMA AND THE REST OF THE ADMINISTRATION HAVE THE ABILITY TO CONTINUE THEIR CRUCIAL SUPPORT TO HELP THOSE IMPACTED BY DEVASTATEING STORMS. LIKE MANY COLLEAGUES, I HAVE BEEN ENGAGED ON THIS ISSUE FROM THE VERY START THROUGH SEVERAL MEETINGS WITH LEADERS FROM PUERTO RICO AND THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS. I'VE GOTTEN THE OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FIRSTHAND HOW THE SENATE CAN HELP SUPPORT THEIR RELIEF EFFORTS. I MET WITH PUERTO RICO'S GOVERNOR LAST WEEK TO GET ANOTHER UPDATE ON THE FUNDING REQUEST AND TO HEAR ABOUT THE CONTINUING RECOVERY. IN ADDITION, I HAVE CONTINUED WORKING WITH THE ADMINISTRATION AS IT RESPONDS TO THESE STORMS. FOR INSTANCE, AFTER THE DEVASTATION OF HURRICANE HARVEY, I MET WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF HOASMEDZ'S ACTING SECRETARY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WOULD BE -- OF HOMELAND SECURITY'S ACTING SECRETARY TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT WOULD BE NEEDED. I ALSO MET WITH TRUMP'S IMMINENTLY QUALIFIED NOMINEE TO LEAD THAT DEPARTMENT. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OVERWHELMINGLY PASSED THE SUPPLEMENTAL FUNDING REQUEST WITH STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. NOW IT'S OUR TURN TO ACT, AND AS WE ALL KNOW, THE ADMINISTRATION WILL CONTINUE TO ACTIVELY REVIEW HURRICANE RELIEF AND RECOVERY NEEDS. AS IT DOES, WE CAN EXPECT THE TRANSMISSION OF ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTAL REQUESTS FOR OUR CONSIDERATION IN THE NEAR FUTURE. THE VICTIMS OF THESE HURRICANES CONTINUE TO COUNT ON OUR SUPPORT, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO THE SENATE CONTINUING TO DO ITS PART TO HELP.

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  • 03:21:22 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    MR. PRESIDENT.

  • 03:21:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 03:21:27 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    I JUST WANTED TO ADDRESS VERY BRIEFLY ONE OTHER ISSUE THAT SURFACED LAST…

    I JUST WANTED TO ADDRESS VERY BRIEFLY ONE OTHER ISSUE THAT SURFACED LAST WEEK. PRESS REPORTS INDICATE THERE ARE MULTIPLE NOMINEES OF PRESIDENT TRUMP AWAITING SENATE CONFIRMATION, BUT EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVEN'T BEEN CONFIRMED, THERE HASN'T BEEN A VOTE IN COMMITTEE, I UNDERSTAND, THEY CERTAINLY HAVE NOT BEEN CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE, THEY ARE ENGAGED IN THE VERY DUTIES OF THE POSITIONS FOR WHICH THEY HAVE BEEN NOMINATED. THAT INCLUDES NOMINEES SHOWING UP TO WORK EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT YET CONFIRMED. IT MEANS THEY ATTEND WHITE HOUSE MEETINGS, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT YET CONFIRMED. THEY SHOW UP FOR PHOTO-OPS, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT CONFIRMED. AND THIS INCLUDES OFFICIALS WITH AT LEAST THREE DIFFERENT AGENCIES. THIS IS NOTHING BUT AN END-RUN AROUND OUR CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM. THEY DIRECTLY FLOUT THE SENATE'S CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE TO CHECK AND BALANCE THE ENORMOUS POWER WIELDED BY THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. IT'S OUR OBLIGATION TO ADVISE AND ULTIMATELY CONSENT, VOTE UP OR DOWN, TO THE APPOINTMENT OF HIGH-LEVEL AGENCY OFFICIALS. THEIR DECISIONS IMPACT MILLIONS OF AMERICANS. I HOPE THAT ALL OF US, BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, WILL SPEAK UP AND DEFEND THE PREROGATIVES OF THE SENATE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION CONTINUES TO INSIST IS ABOVE THE LAW. THAT'S WHEN WE HAVE -- I HAVE BEEN HERE HALF A DOZEN TIMES WHEN DEMOCRATS AND THE MAJORITY, HALF A DOZEN TIMES WHEN REPUBLICANS WERE IN THE MAJORITY. WE HAVE ALWAYS INSISTED THAT THESE KIND OF NOMINEES AWAIT A VOTE FIRST. THAT WAY BACK IN MY TIME DURING THE FORD ADMINISTRATION, CARTER ADMINISTRATION, THE REAGAN ADMINISTRATION, THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, THE FIRST BUSH ADMINISTRATION, CLINTON ADMINISTRATION, THE NEXT BUSH ADMINISTRATION, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, WE ACTUALLY FOLLOWED THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION, SOMETHING THAT BOTH REPUBLICAN LEADERS AND DEMOCRAT LEADERS INSISTED ON, AND I AGREED. EVEN THOUGH I MIGHT HAVE HATED TO WAIT SOMETIMES, WE INSISTED ON IT. SO I RAISE THAT POINT. I RAISE A REAL QUESTION, I AM TOLD, IT MAY BE A VIOLATION OF THE LAW. IT CERTAINLY RAISES A QUESTION IF THEY MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES IN A POSITION THAT REQUIRES CONFIRMATION, AND THEY HAVEN'T BEEN CONFIRMED. WE MAY BE FACING LAWSUITS, TAXPAYERS PAYING TO DEFEND LAWSUITS. ALL WE HAVE TO DO IS WAIT A FEW DAYS. THE REPUBLICANS ARE IN CHARGE OF THE SENATE. THEY CAN BRING UP THESE NOMINEES, BRING THEM UP AND VOTE ON THEM, BUT DON'T PUT -- DON'T JUST PRETEND THE SENATE'S NOT HERE. LET'S JUST NOT PRETEND THE ADVISE AND CONSENT PART OF THE CONSTITUTION DOESN'T EXIST. LET'S ACTUALLY OBEY THE LAW IN THE CONSTITUTION. IT CAN BE REFRESHING TO DO THINGS THE WAY THE LAW REQUIRES AND THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES. IN THE LONG RUN, THE COUNTRY IS BETTER OFF. I SEE NOBODY IS SEEKING ATTENTION. I WOULD SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 03:25:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

  • 03:30:13 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 03:58:37 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

  • 03:58:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER.

  • 03:58:40 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE QUORUM BE DISPENSED WITH.

  • 03:58:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:58:44 PM

    MR. SCHUMER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. FIRST, ON THE ISSUE OF HEALTH CARE, SINCE I LAST…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. FIRST, ON THE ISSUE OF HEALTH CARE, SINCE I LAST ADDRESSED THIS CHAMBER, THE BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT REACHED BY SENATORS ALEXANDER AND MURRAY HAS AMASSED ENOUGH COSPONSORS TO GUARANTEE ITS PASSAGE. IT NOW HAS 12 REPUBLICAN COSPONSORS AND 12 DEMOCRATIC COSPONSORS. THAT'S AS BIPARTISAN AS IT GETS. I BELIEVE ALL 48 MEMBERS OF MY CAUCUS WILL SUPPORT THE AGREEMENT, MEANING IT HAS THE NECESSARY 60 VOTES. EVEN LEADER McCONNELL HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE WILL PUT THE ALEXANDER-MURRAY BILL ON THE FLOOR AS SOON AS PRESIDENT TRUMP SUPPORTS IT. SO LET ME MAKE A DIRECT APPEAL TO THE PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, COME OUT AND SUPPORT THE ALEXANDER-MURRAY BILL. YOU'VE CALLED IT, QUOTE, A VERY GOOD SOLUTION ALREADY. ANNOUNCE YOU'LL SPOAT IT, AND -- YOU'LL SUPPORT IT AND IT WILL PASS THROUGH THE SENATE SOON AFTER. THE PRESIDENT'S ONLY STATED CONCERN WAS THAT THE ALEXANDER-MURRAY BILL, QUOTE, BAILS OUT INSURANCE COMPANIES. BUT I CAN ASSURE THE PRESIDENT THAT SENATORS ALEXANDER AND MURRAY TOOK GREAT PAINS TO MAKE SURE THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WOULD NOT GET ONE EXTRA PENNY FROM THIS DEAL. I'VE READ THE LANGUAGE. I'VE WORKED WITH THEM. IT'S GOOD. IT'S STRONG. THEY'VE INCLUDED PROVISIONS TO PREVENT INSURANCE COMPANIES FROM DOUBLE DIPPING ON THE COST INSURANCE PROGRAM AND MAKE SURE THE MONEY GOES WHERE IT IS INTENDED -- TO KEEP PREMIUMS & OTHER OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS DOWN FOR LOW-INCOME AMERICANS. IF THE PRESIDENT WANTS EVEN GREATER ASSURANCES, WE CAN WORK TOMOVE BACK THE START OF ENROLLMENT ONE MONTH. HE MAY BE ABLE TO DO THAT ADMINISTRATIVELY BUT IF NOT, THAT'S SOMETHING BOTH SENATOR ALEXANDER AND SENATOR MURRAY WANTED TO DO THAT WOULD E SURE THAT THERE WOULD BE -- THAT WOULD EVERYONE SURE THAT THERE WOULD BE NEW APPLICATIONS AND THE RATES WOULD BE LOOKED AT AS IF COST-SHARING WAS HAPPENING BUT THE WHITE HOUSE BLOCKED IT. IF THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE PRESIDENT WANT TO MAKE IT EVEN STRONGER -- AND I THINK IT IS STRONG ENOUGH ALREADY -- THEN WE CAN DO THAT. AND FROM WHAT I UNDERSTAND, THE PRESIDENT MIGHT BE BE ABLE TO DO THAT ADMINISTRATIVELY. SO THIS IDEA THAT THE PRESIDENT ISN'T SUPPORTING THIS BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WANT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES TO MAKE MONEY ON THIS, WHICH -- WELL, IT'S WRONG. THERE'S SOME OTHER REASON HE DOESN'T WANT IT DONE. MAYBE HE DOESN'T WANT A BIPARTISAN BILL. MAYBE IT'S BUS BECAUSE HE WASN'T INVOLVED. MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE ON ISSUE AFTER ISSUE THE HARD RIGHT, FREEDOM CAUCUS PEOPLE SAY DON'T DO IT AND AID HE IS AFRAID BECAUSE HE IS NOT SHOWING MUCH LEADERSHIP THEY STAND UP TO HIM. THE ONLY THAN THE PRESIDENT SHOULDN'T SUPPORT THIS BILL IS THAT HE WANTS TO CONTINUE INTENTIONALLY HURTING AMERICANS. HE'S TALKED ABOUT THAT. HE ALMOST SEEMS GLEEFUL. OBAMACARE WILL FAIL EVEN THOUGH HE IS TRYING TO MAKE IT FAIL. NOW, HE SHOULD KNOW THE PRESIDENT THAT PREMIUMS HAVE SHOT UP 30% IN PENNSYLVANIA BECAUSE OF THE PRESIDENT'S DECISION TO END COST-SHARING. PREMIUMS FOR SILVER PLANS WILL RISE 20% TO 25% IF COST-SHARING IS NOT RESTORED. SO IT'S TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT TO STOP THE SABOTAGE. HE CREATED THE PROBLEM BY FOR THE FIRST TIME NOT RENEWING COST-SHARING PAYMENTS. NOW WE HAVE A SOLUTION WHICH WILL RENEW THEM BUT DEMOCRATS HAVE HAD TO GIVE -- COPPER PLANS HAVE NEVER BEEN OUR FAVORITE. HE SHOULD GO ALONG WITH THE GOOD COMPROMISE. THE PRESIDENT HAS TOLD ME REPEAT WILLED HE WANTS TO WOULD N.R.C. A BIPARTISAN WAY. TOLD ME HE WANTS TO WORK IN A BIPARTISAN WAY ON HEALTH CARE. WELL, ON THIS ONE I AM FROM MISSOURI. SHOW US. SHOW ME. IT'S TIME, MR. PRESIDENT, TO TURN THE PAGE ON HEALTH CARE AND PASS ALEXANDER-MURRAY. WE HAVE OTHER PRESSING HEALTH CARE ISSUES TO GRAPPLE WITH. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, AGAIN, DUE TO LACK OF LEADERSHIP FROM THAT WHITE HOUSE, THE AUTHORIZATION FOR THE CHILDREN'S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM HAS EXPIRED. THAT MUST BE REAUTHORIZED, TOO, AND SOON. KIDS ACROSS AMERICA ARE DEPENDING ON IT. SO, PRESIDENT TRUMP, PLEASE STOP THE GAMES. STOP THE ZIGGING AND ZAGGING. YOU'RE FOR IT ONE DAY, AGAINST IT THE NEXT. STOP COMING UP WITH FAKE EXCUSES EXCUSES-TO-. DECLEAN AIR YOUR SUPPORT FOR THIS BILL SO WE CAN MOVE FORWARD IN A BIPARTISAN WAY TO IMPROVE OUR NATION'S HEALTH CARE. NOW ON TAXES, LAST WEEK THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY JAMMED THROUGH ONE OF THE WORST BUDGETS IN HISTORY. THAT'S NOT HYPERBOLE. THIS IS ONE OF THE WORST BUDGETS IN HISTORY. IT INCREASES THE DEFICIT BY $1.5 TRILLION, SLASHES MEDICARE AND MEDICAID BY $1.5 TRILLION. AND SETS UP THE SAME PARTISAN PROCESS THE REPUBLICANS USED FOR HEALTH CARE. AND NOW IT GOES TO THE HOUSE FOR THEIR APPROVAL WHERE MANY CONSERVATIVE HOUSE REPUBLICANS WILL HAVE TO RATIONALIZE VOTING FOR BILL THAT DRAMATICALLY INCREASES DEFICITS. FOR MANY IN THE CONSERVATIVE WING OF THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS, THE DEBT AND DEFICIT HAVE BEEN THEIR NUMBER-ONE FOCUS IN CONGRESSMENT, THEIR RAISON D'ETRE. MANY CAMPAIGNED ON THE SINGULAR PROMISE MADE WITH ALMOST RELIGIOUS FERVOR TO LOWER OUR NATION'S DEBT AND DEFICIT. THEY RATION AOLIZE FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY, THEY HOLD THEMSELVES UP AS THE GUARDIAN OF PREVENTING THE DEBT FROM BEING PASSES ON TO OUR GRANDCHILDREN. THEY EVANGELIES CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS REQUIRING A BALANCED BUDGET. THEY WERE WILLING TO RISK DEFAULT OF OUR NATION'S CREDIT FOR A SPURIOUS TALKING POINT. SO THE BUDGET RESOLUTION WILL BE A TRUE TEST THAT THE FREEDOM CAUCUS ON THE HARD RIGHT IN THE HOUSE HAVE ESPOUSED ABOUT THE EVILS OF DEFICITS FOR THE BETTER PART OF A DECADE BECAUSE THE SAME MEMBERS MUST VOTE NOW TO APPROVE A BUDGET THAT INCREASES THE DEFICIT BY $1.5 TRILLION. THE HOUSE BILL DIDN'T DO THAT. THE SENATE BILL CLEARLY DOES. YET SO FAR WE HAVEN'T HEARD A PEEP FROM THE FREEDOM CAUCUS. THE MOST SCOLDING DEFICIT HAWKS HAVE MORPHED INTO DEFICIT DOVES ESCHEWING PRINCIPLE FOR POLITICAL EXPEDIENCY. ANY ECONOMIST WOULD TELL YOU WITH RESPECT TO THE DEFICIT, A DOLLAR LESS IN REVENUE DUE TO A TAX CUT IS THE SAME AS A DOLLAR LESS IN SPENDING. AND YET THE FREEDOM CAUCUS AND DEFICIT HAWKS ONLY HARP ON THE DEFICIT WHEN IT IS ABOUT SPENDING CUTS. GET RID OF MEDICARE, GET RID OF MEDICAID, SLASH THEM. PROGRAMS EVERY BIT AS POPULAR AND AS IMPORTANT AS ANY. HERE'S WHAT REPRESENTATIVE WALKER, A CONSERVATIVE MEMBER OF THE HOUSE, LAMENTED -- QUOTE, THE DEFICIT IS A GREAT UP TO THE WHEN YOU HAVE AN ADMINISTRATION THAT IS DEMOCRAT-LED. IT IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT NOW THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE BOTH HOUSES IN THE ADMINISTRATION. REALLY? SO YOU'RE ONLY A DEFICIT HAWK WHEN IT IS POLITICALLY EXPEDIENT EXPEDIENT, REPRESENTATIVE WALKER? WELL, THE FREEDOM CAUCUS STILL HAS A CHANCE TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF THEIR BUDGET WITH A VOTE THIS WEEK. WHEN THE FREEDOM CAUCUS CAME OUT AGAINST THE REPUBLICAN HEALTH CARE BILL, THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY WAS FORCED TO MAKE CONCESSIONS TO THEM. IF THEY WERE REAL DEFICIT HAWKS, HONEST DEFICIT HAWKS, CONSISTENT DEFICIT HAWKS, NONPOLITICAL DEFICIT HAWKS, THEY'D DOTED SAME THING HERE. SO LET'S SEE HOW REPRESENTATIVE WALKER AND HIS FELLOW MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE FREEDOM CAUCUS VOTE ON A G.O.P. BUDGET TO INCREASE THE DEFICIT BY $1.5 TRILLION -- THAT IS TRILLION --. AND H. ANOTHER POINT ON THE G.O.P. TAX PLAN, MR. PRESIDENT. THE REPUBLICANS ARE SO WEDDED TO THEIR DESIRE TO GIVE A MASSIVE TAX BREAK TO BIG CORPORATIONS AND THE SUPERRICH, WHICH WILL BLOW UP THE DEFICIT EVEN IN THEIR FAKE MATH MODELS, THAT THEY'RE SEARCHING FOR NEW WAYS TO SOCK IT TO THE MIDDLE CLASSES TO MAKE UP THE DIFFERENCE. FIRST, REPUBLICANS DEBATED ELIMINATING THE MORTGAGE DEDUCTION. THEN THEY INCLUDED THE PROVISION TO ELIMINATE STATE AND LOCAL DEDUCTIBILITY. AND RECENTLY THERE HAVE BEEN REPORTS THAT SOME REPUBLICANS WANT TO CAP AMERICA'S PRETAX CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR 401(K)'S. NOW PRESIDENT TRUMP TWEETED THIS MORNING THAT WE'RE NOT GOING DOWN THAT ROAD. BUT THE FACT THAT REPUBLICANS WERE EVEN CONSIDERING RAIDING AMERICA'S RETIREMENT SAVINGS TO PAY FOR A GIANT TAX CUT FOR CORPORATIONS, STATES, SHOWS JUST HOW BACKWARD THEIR PLAN S THE TAX POLICY CENTER ESTIMATED THAT WHILE THE WEALTHIEST 1% OF AMERICA WOULD REAP 80% OF THEIST BENEFITS UNDER THE G.O.P., IT WOULD ALSO RAISE TAXES ON NEARLY A THIRD OF MIDDLE-CLASS WORKERS. THAT'S STATISTIC REVEALS THE ROTTEN CORE AT THE CENTER OF THIS TAX PLAN. THE REPUBLICANS ARE SO EAGER TO GIVE TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH, THEY'RE WILLING TO EXPLORE DIFFERENT WAYS, MANY DIFFERENT WAY, OF RAISING TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS TO PAY FOR IT. EACH TIME THEY BRING UP DIFFERENT METHODS -- MORTGAGE INTEREST DEDUCTION, CAPPING PRETAXED 40K'S -- AND THEN BACK OFF WHEN THEY SEE THE RESPONSE TO EACH PROPOSAL SHOWS YOU THE DILEMMA THEY ARE IN. THE FACT IS THERE IS NO WAY THEY CAN AVOID RAISE BEING TAXES ON A GOOD NUMBER OF MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES IF THEY'RE GOING TO CLING TO SUCH MASSIVE TAX TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH AND POWERFUL AND STILL MAKE THE NUMBERS WORK. EVEN WITH FAKE MATH. MAO BIN STEAD OF CAPPING MIDDLE-CLASS DEDUCTIONS OR PILFERING RETIREMENT SAVINGS, REPUBLICANS DROP THEIR PROPOSAL TO REPEAL THE ESTATE TAX? REPEALING THE ESTATE TAX COSTS THE GOVERNMENT HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS. WHY ARE REPUBLICANS LOOKING AT MIDDLE-CLASS DEDUCTIONS INSTEAD OF MERELY SCRAPPING THE ESTATE TAX REPEAL WHICH GOES ONLY TO ESTATES OF OVER $5 MILLION? ONLY TO ESTATES OVER $5 BILLION. THE NUMBER WHO BENEFIT IS TINY, IN THE THOUSANDS. THEY GET HUGE, HUGE BENEFITS, THEIR ESTATES DO. GET RID OF THAT INSTEAD OF HURTING THE MIDDLE CLASS. THE LOGIC IS DONE FOUNDING. AND OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES WILL NOT EVEN TALK ABOUT IT -- NOT EVEN TALK ABOUT IT. SO THIS PLAN IS SO ROTTEN AT ITS CORE THAT IT HAS OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES TURNING THEMSELVES INTO PRETZELS, JUMPING THROUGH HANGARS AND THEY CAN'T REAL LYCEA SAY WHAT THEY BELIEVE. TRICKLE DOWN WORKS. THE ONLY RATIONALE FOR THIS ENTIRE PLAN IS THAT IF YOU GIVE TAX BREAKS TO THE WEALTHY AND BIG CORPORATIONS, THAT THERE WILL BE A LOT OF JOB GROWTH. IT DIDN'T HAPPEN WHEN GEORGE BUSH'S TAX CUTS OCCURRED. IT DIDN'T HAPPEN WHEN KANSAS DRAMATICALLY CUT ITS AVERAGES THE KOCH BROTHERS CENTER -- KANSAS DID JUST WHAT THE KOCH BROTHERS WANTED. IT WAS A DISASTER. GROWTH WAS MUCH LESS THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE EVEN THOUGH THE TAXES WERE SLASHED. CONTRARY TO WHAT OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES BELIEVE HERE, ALTHOUGH THEY DON'T STATE IT. I'LL RESPECT THE REPUBLICAN MEMBER WHO COMES UP AND SAYS, TRICKLE DOWN WORKS. THAT'S WHYER WE DOING IT. -- THAT'S WHY WE'RE DOING IT. TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTH ECONOMY IS WHAT SHOULD FUEL THE ECONOMY. HISTORY HAS MIS-PROVED IT. IT IS A FAKE. IT IS A FIG LEAF. SO THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO ADMIT WHAT THEY WANT TO $-- GIVE HUGE TAX CUTS TO THE WEST YET OF THEIR CONTRIBUTORS, THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SORT OF SET UP THE SINEW OF THIS REPUBLICAN PARTY WITH THEIR THINK TANKS AND OP-EDS AND SO MANY OTHER THINGS, THE KOCH BROTHER NETWORK. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW THAT THE MONEY TO PAY FOUR THAT UNITE TAX CUT FOR THE RICH IS COMING FROM SOMEWHERE AND IT IS LIKELY TO BE COMING FROM THEIR POCKETBOOKS. FINALLY, ONE FINAL TOPIC, MR. PRESIDENT -- STEEL AND ALUMINUM. RECENTLY N. AND SHOCKINGLY, COMMERCE SECRETARY ROSS HAS SAID THAT HE IS WAITING FOR THE REPUBLICAN TAX PLAN BEFORE COMPLETING CRITICAL INVESTIGATIONS INTO HOW STEEL AND ALUMINUM IMPORTS ARE IMPACTING THE CAPACITY OF STEEL AND ALUMINUM U.S. PRODUCERS TO SUPPLY OUR DEFENSE NEEDS. I AM NOT SURE WHY THE REPUBLICAN TAX PLAN HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS NATIONAL SECURITY INVESTIGATION, WHICH COULD FINAL LAY LEAD TO SOME RELIEF FROM THE PREDATORY TRADE PRACTICES FROM CHINA AND OTHER COUNTRIES. THE TWO ARE ENTIRELY UNRELATED. SECRETARY ROSS' COMMENTS SMELL LIKE AN EXCUSE FORCE FURTHER DELAYS AND A BAD ONE AT THAT. I'D LIKE TO SEE HIM EXPLAIN HIS DECISION TO THE THOUSANDS OF STEELWORKERS WHOSE JOBS ARE ON THE LINE BECAUSE THEIR COMPANIES AREN'T COMPETING ON A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD BECAUSE CHINA REPEATEDLY SUBSIDIZES, DOESN'T PLAY BY THE RULES ANTS CHEW AND IT IS ANOTHER CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION PROMISING ONE THING BUT BUT DOING ANOTHER. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS PROMISED MANY TIMES TO CRACK DOWN ON CHINA AND STILL TEN MONTHS INTO HIS ADMINISTRATION HIS COMMERCE SECRETARY IS ONCE AGAIN NEEDLESSLY DELAYING A PRELIMINARY STEP IN THAT EFFORT. EVERY TIME I SEE SECRETARY ROSS I'VE KNOWN HIM FOR 30 YEARS -- HE'S NEW YORKER LIKE I AM -- I SAY TO HIM, WHEN ARE WE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ON CHINA? OH, WE'RE GOING TO DO SOMETHING THANK YOU. AND EACH TIME THERE IS A DIFFERENT EXCUSE. THIS SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST TWO MONTHS OF THE ADMINISTRATION. IT HASN'T. SO BECAUSE OF THE REPUBLICAN INACTION, BECAUSE OF THE PRESIDENT'S UNFULFILLED AND RAPIDLY BECOME BROKEN PROMISE ON BEING TOUGH WITH CHINA, SENATE DEMOCRATS WILL BE SENDING A LETTER TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AND COMMERCE SECRETARY WILBUR ROSS DEMANDING THAT THE ADMINISTRATION KEEP ITS PROMISE TO CRACK DOWN ON CHINA'S UNFAIR AND PREDATORY TRADE PRACTICES. WE'RE ASKING THAT THEY CONTINUE THESE INVESTIGATIONS ANDPEDITIOUSLY COMPLETE THEM. THESE TRADE INVESTIGATIONS HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH TAX REFORM AND THERE'S NO NEED TO DELAY THEM. NOW, ONE MORE THING ON CHINA. TODAY I READ TESLA, OUR GREAT CAR MANUFACTURING COMPANY, WILL BE RELOCATING TO CHINA. WHEN YOU WANT TO SELL CARS AND MANY OTHER ADVANCED PRODUCTS IN CHINA, YOU HAVE TO DO ONE OF TWO THINGS -- SET UP A GIANT OWNERSHIP COMPANY WITH LETS THEM STEAL OUR INTELLECTUAL OR FACE FEW TARIFFS. THAT'S BASED ON THE FACT THAT THE W.T.O. WAS POORLY NEGOTIATED AND CHINA WAS REGARDED AS A DEVELOP BEING COUNTRY. -- AS A DEVELOPING COUNTRY. THAT WAS THE FAULT OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND PRESIDENT OBAMA. NEAR THE DID ENOUGH TO STOP CHINA. BASED ON HIS CAMPAIGN RHETORIC, YOU WOULD THINK THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD BE TOUGHER AS CHINA STEALS OUR FAMILY JEWELS. IT'S NO LONGER CLOTHING AND FURNITURE, IT'S OUR BEST INDUSTRIES. THEY STEAL OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. A LOT OF TIMES THEY DO IT BY CYBER THEFT, AND IT'S HURTING THE GOOD-PAYING JOBS THAT MIGHT BE AVAILABLE TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN. BASED ON CAMPAIGN RHETORIC, YOU'D THINK THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD BE TOUGHER ON CHINA, BUT SO FAR IT'S BEEN A LOT OF TALK AND NOT VERY MUCH ACTION AND THE DELAY IN THESE INVESTIGATIONS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 04:15:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:…

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

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  • 04:16:07 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 05:06:43 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 05:06:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 05:06:46 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I MOVE TO PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION --

  • 05:06:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    NO THE NATIONAL? A QUORUM CALL.

  • 05:06:49 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT FURTHER READING OF THE QUORUM BE DISPENSED…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT FURTHER READING OF THE QUORUM BE DISPENSED WITH.

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  • 05:06:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:06:55 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I MOVE TO PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER CALENDAR NUMBER 117,…

    I MOVE TO PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER CALENDAR NUMBER 117, SCOTT PALK.

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  • 05:07:02 PM

    OFFICER QUESTION

    QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY AYE? THOSE OPPOSED, SAY…

    QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY AYE? THOSE OPPOSED, SAY NO? THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE MOTION IS AGREED TO. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE NOMINATION.

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  • 05:07:18 PM

    THE CLERK

    SCOTT L. PALK OF OKLAHOMA TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE…

    SCOTT L. PALK OF OKLAHOMA TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA.

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  • 05:07:26 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    AS I UNDERSTAND A CLOTURE MOTION TO THE DESK.

  • 05:07:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 05:07:32 PM

    THE CLERK

    CLOTURE MOTION: WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE…

    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 NOMINATION OF SCOTT L. PALK OF OKLAHOMA TO BE UNITED STATES ADDICT JUDGE FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA SIGNED BY 17 SENATORS AS FOLLOWS --

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  • 05:07:49 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:07:50 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I HAVE MO TO PROCEED TO LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

  • 05:07:53 PM

    OFFICER QUESTION

    QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY AYE. THOSE OPPOSED, SAY…

    QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY AYE. THOSE OPPOSED, SAY NO. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE MOTION IS AGREED TO.

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  • 05:08:05 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I MOVE TO PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER CALENDAR NUMBER 179,…

    I MOVE TO PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER CALENDAR NUMBER 179, TREVOR McFADDEN.

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  • 05:08:12 PM

    OFFICER QUESTION

    QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY AYE. ALL THOSE OPPOSED,…

    QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR, SAY AYE. ALL THOSE OPPOSED, SAY NO. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE MOTION IS AGREED TO. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE N.O.M. NOMINATION.

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  • 05:08:26 PM

    THE CLERK

    NOMINATION, THE JUDICIARY TREVOR McFADDEN OF VERB TO BE UNITED STATES…

    NOMINATION, THE JUDICIARY TREVOR McFADDEN OF VERB TO BE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA.

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  • 05:08:34 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I SEND A CLOTURE MOTION TO THE DESK.

  • 05:08:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 05:08:41 PM

    THE CLERK

  • 05:08:42 PM

    MOTION WE,

    MOTION: WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF…

    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 NOMINATION OF TREVOR N. McFADDEN OF VIRGINIA TO BE QUEUES DISTRICT JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SIGNED BY 1 SENATORS AS FOLLOW --

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  • 05:08:53 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I ASK CONSENT THATTED READING OF THE NAMES WAIVED.

  • 05:08:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:08:59 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    ASK CONSENT THAT THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALLS FOR THE CLOTURE MOTIONS BE…

    ASK CONSENT THAT THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALLS FOR THE CLOTURE MOTIONS BE WAIVED.

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  • 05:09:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:09:05 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE RESUME LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

  • 05:09:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 05:09:10 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALLS WITH RESPECT TO…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALLS WITH RESPECT TO THE CLOTURE MOTION ON THE HOUSE MESSAGE TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2266 BE WAIVED.

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  • 05:09:18 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA.

  • 05:09:32 PM

    MR. NELSON

    MADAM PRESIDENT, TO ACCOMMODATE THE SCHEDULE OF THE MAJORITY LEADER, I'M…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, TO ACCOMMODATE THE SCHEDULE OF THE MAJORITY LEADER, I'M GOING TO THE ASK A UNANIMOUS CONSENT, WHICH I UNDERSTAND HE WILL OBJECT TO, AND I WILL EXPLAIN IT AFTERWARD. BUT IT INVOLVES WHAT YOU SEE HERE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE HURRICANE, ALL OF THIS CITRUS FRUIT ON THE GROUND, AND, THEREFORE, I WILL ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT IT BE IN ORDER TO CALL UP MY AMENDMENT 1575, WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY $3 BILLION FOR ALL OF AGRICULTURE FOR FLORIDA AND TEXAS, OF WHICH SENATOR CORNYN AND SENATOR RUBIO AND I HAVE ALL BEEN WORKING ON. THAT AMENDMENT 1575 TO THE MOTION TO CONCUR WITH AN AMENDMENT TO THE HOUSE MESSAGE ON H.R. 2266, AND THAT THE AMENDMENT BE AGREED TO WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE, AND I WILL EXPLAIN IT IN ORDER TO ACCOMMODATE THE MAJORITY LEADER AFTER HE HAS HAD TO RETURN TO HIS MEETING.

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  • 05:10:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 05:10:56 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    MADAM PRESIDENT, RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, I WOULD SAY TO MY GOOD…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, I WOULD SAY TO MY GOOD FRIEND FROM FLORIDA, I HOPE KNOWS THE SENATE REMAINS COMMITTED TO DOING ITS PART TO SUPPORT THE ONGOING HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS. WE ALL SEE THIS HAS A MULTISTAGE PROCESS IN PROVIDING NEEDED RELIEF. THERE WILL BE ADDITIONAL ROUNDS, AND WE ARE ALL FULLY COMMITTED TO MEETING THE NEEDS THAT HAVE ARISEN AS A RESULT OF THESE DEVASTATING HURRICANES. SO FOR THE MOMENT, I OBJECT.

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  • 05:11:31 PM

    OFFICER OBJECTION

    OBJECTION IS HEARD.

  • 05:11:33 PM

    MR. NELSON

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AND IN MY EXPLANATION I WILL GO INTO IT IN DETAIL, IT IS…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AND IN MY EXPLANATION I WILL GO INTO IT IN DETAIL, IT IS MY HOPE THAT THE WHITE HOUSE PROMISE THAT THIS WILL BE TAKEN UP IN NOVEMBER, WHICH IS THE NEXT TRANCHE OF THE HURRICANE MONEY, THE DISASTER ASSISTANCE, IT HAS BEEN WELL PAST A MONTH SINCE HURRICANE MARIA HIT PUERTO RICO AND TWO MONTHS SINCE IT HIT FLORIDA, AND FLORIDIANS ALL ACROSS OUR STATE ARE WORKING HARD AS EVER TO RECOVER. ONE GROUP OF INDIVIDUALS THAT WAS HIT ESPECIALLY HARD BY THIS STORM IS FLORIDA'S CITRUS GROWERS. AND I WILL REFER AGAIN TO THIS PHOTOGRAPH. YOU CAN SEE THE SIT GUS GROVE. YOU CAN SEE -- YOU CAN SEE THE CITRUS GROVE. YOU CAN SEE THE BRANCHES ON THE TREES, SOME OF WHICH THE TREES HAVE BLOWN OVER. BUT IN THE MEANTIME YOU CAN SEE ALL OF THE FRUIT THAT'S ON THE GROUND. TOWARD SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, AT LEAST 75% OF THE CROPS ON THE GROUND. UP IN MORE CENTRAL FLORIDA, IT WAS UPWARDS OF 50% AND 60%. AND OF ALL TIMES, THIS WAS GOING TO BE A BUMPER CROP. AND LORD KNOWS, WITH THE GREENING DISEASE -- IT'S NICK NAME IS GREENING, BUT IT IS A BACTERIA THAT WILL KILL THE TREE IN FIVE YEARS -- THAT'S BEEN DECLINING THE CITRUS PRODUCTION OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST TEN YEARS. WE'VE SUFFERED ENOUGH THROUGH ALL OF THAT. AND HERE COMES THIS HURRICANE, WHEN IT LOOKS LIKE THERE'S GOING TO BE A GOOD CROP, TURN AROUND THE LESSENED PRODUCTION THAT HAS OCCURRED OVER EACH OF THE LAST TEN YEARS, AND THEN THIS IS WHAT'S HAPPENED. NOW, IF THAT WERE NOT ENOUGH, ALL THE FRUIT ON THE GROUND, TAKE A LOOK AT THIS. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENED TO CITRUS GROVES. THE WHOLE TREES ARE BLOWN OVER. AND SO WHETHER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A GROVE THAT IS TOTALLY DEMOLISHED OR WHETHER YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A GROVE THAT HAS LOST ALMOST ALL OF ITS CROP, THAT'S WHY THE FLORIDA CITRUS GROWERS ARE IN SUCH -- SUCH A VERY DIFFICULT ECONOMIC SITUATION, BECAUSE SOME OF FLORIDA'S FARMERS HAVE LOST NEARLY EVERYTHING WHEN IRMA TORE THROUGH THE STATE. IN FACT, THE STATEWIDE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY HAS LOST MORE THAN $2.5 BILLION. AND INCLUDED IN THAT IS $760 MILLION THAT FLORIDA'S CITRUS INDUSTRY ALONE, JUST BY ITSELF, $760 MILLION. THAT WAS LOST AS YOU SEE IN THESE PHOTOGRAPHS. EARLIER THIS MONTH, THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RELEASED ITS FIRST CROP ESTIMATES FOR THE 2017-2018 CITRUS SEASON. AND THEY ESTIMATED THAT FLORIDA CITRUS GROWERS WOULD HARVEST 54 MILLION BOXES OF ORANGES THIS YEAR, BUT THAT NUMBER DOESN'T YET FULLY ACCOUNT FOR ALL THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY IRMA. ACCORDING TO THE FOLKS ON THE GROUND, THEY BELIEVE THE ACTUAL ESTIMATE IS GOING TO BE ONLY 31 MILLION BOXES THIS SEASON. NOW, COMPARE 31 MILLION BOXES A DECADE AGO FLORIDA HARVESTED OVER 203 MILLION BOXES, AND TEN YEARS BEFORE THAT, FLORIDA GROWERS HAR CELESTE -- HARVESTED 244 MILLION BOXES, AND NOW THEY ARE ESTIMATING, AFTER THE STORM, ONLY 31 MILLION BOXES. SO THE FLORIDA CITRUS GROWERS ARE REALLY TAKING A HIT AND THEY HAVE TO HAVE DISASTER ASSISTANCE. THE CITRUS INDUSTRY IS A VITAL PART OF FLORIDA'S ECONOMY, AND THAT'S WHY SENATOR RUBIO, WHO IS HERE WITH US -- WE'VE BEEN PUSHING SO HARD TO GET OUR CITRUS GROWERS SOME HELP. JUST A COUPLE OF DAYS AFTER THE STORM, SENATOR RUBIO AND I MET WITH A GROUP OF GROWERS IN A CITRUS GROVE IN POLLING COUNTY -- POLK COUNTY IN FLORIDA WHERE THE LOSS WAS 60 OR 50%, NOT LIKE IT IS HERE WHERE IT IS 75% TO 90%. BUT THE WHITE HOUSE HAS BEEN SAYING, NO, WE CAN'T DO IT IN THIS DISASTER ASSISTANCE BILL. AS WE HAVE BEEN WORKING ON A BIPARTISAN AMENDMENT THAT WOULD PROVIDE THE GROWERS WITH THE HELP THEY NEED, THE SAME AMENDMENT THAT THE MAJORITY LEADER HAD TO OBJECT TO, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS REPORTEDLY BEEN MAKING CALLS, URGING OTHERS IN THE CHAMBER, TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THE OVERALL PACKAGE AS IS AND TO KNICKS -- NIX THE MONEY THAT WE NEED TO HELP FLORIDA'S FARMERS. FLORIDA'S CITRUS INDUSTRY MAY HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE INDUSTRIES HARDEST HIT BY THE STORM, BUT IT CERTAINLY WASN'T THE ONLY INDUSTRY THAT WAS AFFECTED IN FLORIDA. FLORIDA'S FRUIT AND VEGETABLE FARMS LOST MORE THAN $180 MILLION WHEN THEIR FIELDS WERE FLOODED AND THEIR BUSHES RIPPED STRAIGHT OUT OF THE GROUND. ROAD CROPS LIKE PEANUTS, COTTON, SWEET CORN, POTATOES AND SUGAR CANE EXPERIENCED $450 MILLION IN LOSSES FROM THE HURRICANE-FORCED WINDS. SENATOR RUBIO WENT TO HASTINGS TO SEE THE POTATO FARMS AND SAW HOW THEY HAD BEEN RIPPED TO SHREDS. FLORIDA'S NURSERIES LOST NEARLY $425 MILLION WHEN THEIR GREENHOUSES WERE DAMAGED BY THE WINDS. FLORIDA'S TIMBER INDUSTRY LOST $261 MILLION. FLORIDA'S CATTLEMEN WHOSE FENCES FARMS AND EQUIPMENT WERE SEVERELY D.N.C. AND LOST $270 MILLION IN LOSSES. DAIRY FARMERS, THEY HAD TO DUMP MORE THAN $2 MILLION WORTH OF MILK BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T STORE IT PROPERLY AFTER THEY LOST POWER. FARMERS ARE THE LIFEBLOOD OF THIS COUNTRY AND AN IMPORTANT PART OF FLORIDA'S ECONOMY AND RIGHT NOW THEY DESPERATELY NEED OUR HELP. IN URGING THE SENATE MOVE FORWARD WITH THIS DISASTER PACKAGE, AS IT IS, NOT AMENDED, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS TOLD SOME OF OUR COLLEAGUES THAT HE WOULD SUPPORT ADDING THIS ADDITIONAL AGRICULTURE MONEY IN A LATER SUPPLEMENTAL NEXT MONTH. TO MY COLLEAGUES WHO HAVE FARMERS AND RANCHERS IN THEIR OWN STATES, YOU KNOW AS WELL AS WE DO THAT THESE FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER. THEY NEED OUR HELP AND NEED IT NOW, AND I ASK YOU TO CONSIDER HOW YOU WOULD REACT IF THOSE FARMERS AND RANCHERS SUFFERED $2.5 BILLION IN LOSSES FROM A SINGLE NATURAL DISASTER AS OUR AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY IN FLORIDA HAS. AND SO TO ACCOMMODATE THE MAJORITY LEADER, I ALREADY MADE THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST, WHICH THE MAJORITY LEADER OBJECTED TO. I WANT TO FURTHER STATE THAT TO FULFILL THE WHITE HOUSE PROMISE OF INCLUDING THE DISASTER AID FARMERS DESPERATELY NEED, I HAVE BEEN PLACED A HOLD ON THE PRESIDENT'S NOMINEE FOR DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR, BUDGET DIRECTOR. GETTING THE ADDITIONAL MONEY NEXT MONTH ADDED COULD BE THE DIFFERENCE AS TO WHETHER FLORIDA'S FARMERS CAN REPLANT THEIR CROPS NEXT YEAR OR NOT. MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 05:21:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM FLORIDA.

  • 05:21:32 PM

    MR. RUBIO

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I WANT TO THANK THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM…

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I WANT TO THANK THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM FLORIDA ON THIS ISSUE AND I WANT TO ELABORATE ON IT A LITTLE FURTHER. ANY TIME WE ASK THE TAXPAYERS OF THIS COUNTRY TO STEP IN AND HELP A PRIVATE INDUSTRY, IT'S IMPORTANT AND INCUMBENT ON US TO JUSTIFY WHY. THE AMENDMENT HE JUST MADE THAT WE'VE BEEN WORKING TO GET INCLUDED THAT IS BEFORE THE SENATE OBVIOUSLY DEALS WITH AGRICULTURE AT LANGER AND HE DESCRIBED -- AT-LARGE AND HE DESCRIBED SOME OF THE DIFFERENT INDUSTRIES THAT HAVE BEEN HURT IN AGRICULTURE, SOME OF THE CROPS IMPACTED BY THE STORM. THE REASON I WANT TO FOCUS ON CITRUS IS NOT BECAUSE WE ARE NOT FOCUSED ON OTHER INDUSTRIES, BUT SIT VUS A UNIQUE AND -- CITRUS IS A UNIQUE PLACE. FIRST, I WOULD SAY ONE OF THE SIGNATURE ISSUES OF THIS CAMPAIGN AND OF POLITICS TODAY IS THE DESIRE TO MAKE MORE AND PRODUCE MORE IN THE UNITED STATES. THE IDEA THAT SOMEHOW IN THE -- BECAUSE OF THESE CHANGES IN OUR GLOBAL ECONOMY, THAT WE HAVE LOST SIGNIFICANT INDUSTRIES AN JOBS TO OTHER COUNTRIES. WE TALK ABOUT THAT PRIMARILY IN MANUFACTURING, BUT WE ALSO TALK ABOUT IT IN TECHNOLOGY AND THINGS OF THIS NATURE. I DON'T THINK WE SHOULD LEAVE AGRICULTURE OUT OF THAT CONVERSATION. AND IF WE WANT THERE TO BE AGRICULTURE IN THE UBS, -- IN THE UNITED STATES, THEN WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE UNIQUE CHALLENGES THAT THEY FACE AND WE CERTAINLY WANT TO HAVE AGRICULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T IDENTIFY FLORIDA AS AN AGRICULTURE STATE. IT IS KNOWN BETTER FOR ITS TOURISM OR LARGE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE MOVE TO MOVE TO WARM WEATHER OR HAVE NO INCOME TAX. FLORIDA IS A BIG STATE FOR AGRICULTURE. FOR ANYONE WHO SPENDS A SIGNIFICANT TIME IN FLORIDA, YOU KNOW IT'S NOT JUST SOMETHING WE PUT ON OUR LICENSE PLATES AND IT'S NOT SOMETHING WE CALL OURSELVES IN TERMS OF OUR HERITAGE. IT IS REAL NOW. TENS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS ACROSS THE SUPPLY CHAIN AND COMMUNITIES ACROSS -- AND IN THE CASE OF CITRUS WHERE THE GROWERS ARE ACTUALLY FAMILIES THAT HAVE HAD THE OPERATIONS TWO OR THREE GENERATIONS AND TRYING TO STAY AFLOAT. YOU ASK WHAT IT DID -- WHAT DID THIS INDUSTRY DO TO BE IN THIS CIRCLES. YES, THEY HAD A STORM. CITRUS IN FLORIDA WAS FACING AN EXTRAORDINARY CHALLENGE THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN. THERE WASN'T A BETTER ORANGE BEING GROWN SOMEWHERE ELSE OR A BETTER GRAPEFRUIT THAT IS DOING SOMEWHERE ELSE BETTER. IT WAS A DISEASE THAT KILLED THE TREE. YOU HAVE A SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF GROWERS WHO ARE ON THE BORDERLINE OF BEING OUT OF BUSINESS. I'M NOT DIMINISHING OTHER PEOPLE'S LOSSES. ON THE CONTRARY. LET'S SAY UNLIKE A MANUFACTURING PLANT THAT IS DESTROYED, YOU PUT IN A NEW MACHINE, IN SIX MONTHS YOU'RE UP IN RUNNING. THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT HAPPENS IN CITRUS. THE TIME FROM -- FROM THE TIME YOU PLANT THE NEW TREE TO THE TIME YOU GET FRUIT IS SIX TO NINE YEARS. THAT ALREADY HAD THEM ON THE BRINK OF CATASTROPHE AND DHE HAD BEEN WORKING HARD TO FIND SCIENTIFIC SOLUTIONS AND MADE ADVANCES THANKS TO THE WORK OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA. YOU SAW THE PRODUCTION FIGURES AND HOW LOW THEY HAD GOTTEN. THE FIRST THING THE STORM KNOCKS IF THE FRUIT OFF THE TREE. WHEN YOU FLEW OVER THE GROVES AND THERE ON THE GROUND ALL YOU SAW WERE FRUIT ALL OVER THE PLACE. THOSE FAMILIAR WITH AGRICULTURE KNOW THAT ONCE THAT STUFF GETS IN THE FLOODWATER, YOU CAN'T DO MUCH WITH IT AND THE FRUIT CONTINUED TO FALL FOR DAYS TO COME. THEY LOST ON TOP OF EVERYTHING ELSE THEY WERE FACING, THEY LOST THIS YEAR'S CROP. A LOT OF THESE FIELDS WERE FLOODED AND SO THEY WERE SITTING IN A FEET OF WATER. THEY CONTINUED TO KILL TREES. THEY WILL CONTINUE TO LOSE TREES IN THE WEEKS TO COME. PUT YOURSELF IN THE POSITION AFTER GROWER WHO HAS TO SAY I'VE ALREADY LOST EVERYTHING FOR THIS YEAR, I'VE LOST A BUNCH OF TREES THAT I WILL NOT HAVE THE YEAR AFTER THAT, I WAS ALREADY FACING CITRUS GREENING, SO I ALREADY HAD TO DEAL WITH THAT, DO I WANT TO REPLANT OR IS IT TIME FOR ME TO GO INTO ANOTHER CROP OR DECLARE BANKRUPTCY. THIS IS THE REAL LIVE CHALLENGE OF AMERICAN AGRICULTURE FAMILIES IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA. SO I HOPE VERY MUCH IN NOVEMBER WE WILL PASS A NEW THING AND THERE WILL BE MONEY TO HELP THEM. THAT WOULD BE FANTASTIC. WE KNOW HOW THIS PLACE WORKS AND I JUST DON'T KNOW WHY WE WOULDN'T DO IT NOW. DO WE TRULY WANT TO KEEP AMERICAN BUSINESSES IN AMERICA? THIS IS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF AN OPPORTUNITY DO IT. IT'S NOT AN INDUSTRY THAT BENEFITS FROM ANYTHING FROM THE GOVERNMENT. THEY ARE LITERALLY ON THE VERGE OF GOING AWAY UNLESS WE HELP THEM SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. AND YOU HAVE THE ENTIRE FLORIDA DELEGATION IN THE HOUSE IN FAVOR OF IT AND THEY COULDN'T GET IT IN THE HOUSE BILL. YOU HAVE BOTH SENATORS HERE FOR IT, CAN'T BE PART OF IT HERE BECAUSE IF IT CHANGES AND WE GO BACK, WE WILL LOSE TIME. NO ONE WILL TELL YOU WHY THEY ARE AGAINST IT BEING IN THERE, BUT IT'S NOT IN THERE. YOU SOMETIMES BEGIN TO WONDER AND I GUESS YOU UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE LOOK AT THIS PROCESS AND JUST SHAKE THEIR HEAD. SO, UNFORTUNATELY, IT LOOKS LIKE THAT'S BEEN FORECLOSED AND OBVIOUSLY THIS THING WILL MOVE FORWARD AND SENATOR NELSON MADE THAT MOTION AND IT WAS OBJECTED TO AND SO IT WON'T BE MADE PART OF THE PACKAGE. I HOPE WE THINK ABOUT THE MEN AND WOMEN AND THE FAMILIES WHO OWN THESE GROVES. ,000 DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS SO -- HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THIS TO THEM? WHAT HAPPENS IF THIS INDUSTRY GOES AWAY? IT WON'T JUST HURT FLORIDA. I THINK IT HURTS THE COUNTRY. IT SETS THE PRECEDENT FOR OTHER CROPS THAT MIGHT BE THREATENED IN THE FUTURE. I HOPE THIS WILL BE REVERSED AND I'M CERTAINLY HOPEFUL THAT WE WILL DEAL WITH IT IN NOVEMBER. IF WE DON'T, I HOPE THAT EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT IT MEANS. THIS IS NOT HYPERBOLE, THIS INDUSTRY IS IN A LOT OF TROUBLE. I'M NOT SAYING THAT THE MONEY ALONE WILL SAVE THEM, BUT WITHOUT IT, SOONER RATHER THAN LATER, I FEAR WE WILL LOSE NOT JUST FLORIDA CITRUS, BUT LOSE SOMETHING THAT IS A KEY PART OF THIS HERITAGE AND A KEY CROP FOR THE COUNTRY AND WE WILL DEPEND MORE THAN EVER ON FOREIGN INDUSTRY TO FEED US. WITH THAT, MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 05:30:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

  • 05:30:31 PM

    THE CLERK

    CLOTURE.

  • 05:30:32 PM

    MOTION WE,

    CLOTURE MOTION: WE, THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE…

    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 CONCUR IN THE HOUSE AMENDMENT TO THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 2266, SIGNED BY 1 SENATORS. -- BY 17 SENATORS.

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  • 05:30:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. IS IT THE SENSE OF THE SENATE…

    THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. IS IT THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT DEBATE ON THE MOTION TO CONCUR IN THE HOUSE AMENDMENT TO THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO H.R. 2266, AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE T-28 OF THE UNITED STATES CODE TO AUTHORIZE THE APPOINTMENT ADDITIONAL BANKRUPTCY JUDGES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, SHALL BE BROUGHT TOO CLOSE? THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE MANDATORY UNDER THE RULE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE VOLT VOTE: VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 05:31:00 PM

    Senate Vote 246 - On the Cloture Motion H.R. 2266

    Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017

    Cloture Motion Agreed to (79 - 16)
    Yea

    Vote Details: Yea - 79
    Republican - 33
    Democratic - 44
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Nay - 16
    Republican - 16

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 5
    Republican - 3
    Democratic - 2

  • 06:07:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 06:07:59 PM

    A SENATOR

    MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 06:08:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM UTAH.

  • 06:08:02 PM

    MR. LEE

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS WE SPEAK, OUR FELLOW CITIZENS IN PUERTO RICO, TEXAS,…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS WE SPEAK, OUR FELLOW CITIZENS IN PUERTO RICO, TEXAS, AND FLORIDA ARE RECOVERING FROM A SERIES OF DEVASTATING HURRICANES. OVER 100 PEOPLE HAVE LOST THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF THESE TERRIBLE STORMS. MANY MORE ARE STRUGGLING TO GET BY DAY TO DAY. THE CRISIS IS PERHAPS MOST ACUTE IN PUERTO RICO WHERE 35% OF THE POPULATION STILL DOES NOT HAVE ACCESS TO SAFE DRINKING WATER. FOUR OUT OF FIVE PUERTO RICANS DO NOT HAVE POWER. THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA, PUERTO RICO, AND TEXAS HAVE RESPONDED WITH GREAT TENACITY AND ADMIRABLE CREATIVITY TO THIS DISASTER. I WISH THE SAME COULD BE SAID OF THE POLITICIANS HERE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ONCE AGAIN, THIS BODY IS POISED TO FAIL THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. INSTEAD OF HELPING THE VICTIMS OF THESE DISASTERS THROUGH RESPONSIBLE AID PAIRED WITH LASTING REFORM, CONGRESS HAS RUSHED TO ITS FAVORITE SO-CALLED SOLUTION. BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW SPENDING WITH LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY OR MEANINGFUL OVERSIGHT. IF THIS $36.5 BILLION AID PACKAGE PASSES, IT WILL MEAN MORE MONEY AND MORE POWER FOR GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS THAT IN SOME CASES LEFT US VULNERABLE TO THESE DISASTERS IN THE FIRST PLACE. IF IT PASSES, THE POLITICIANS AND LOBBYISTS WILL PAT THEMSELVES ON THE BACK FOR DOING A GOOD DEED AND THEN MOVE ON TO THE NEXT MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR SPENDING OPPORTUNITY. MEANWHILE, THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA, PUERTO RICO, AND TEXAS WILL BE LEFT TO PICK UP THE PIECES AND TO DEAL WITH THE DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES OF THIS APPROACH. PUERTO RICO IN PARTICULAR HAS TO CONTEND WITH THE EFFECTS OF A DEVASTATEING STORM AND OF DECADES OF MALFEASANCE THAT HAVE LEFT PUERTO RICO IN $74 BILLION OF DEBT. THIS CRISIS CALLS FOR EMERGENCY AID, YES, BUT MORE THAN THAT, IT CALLS FOR TRUE, LASTING REFORM, A TYPE OF REFORM THAT'S NOTICEABLY ABSENT FROM THIS MEASURE. THAT'S WHY I'M VOTING NO ON THIS SHORTSIGHTED BILL BECAUSE IT'S EASY TO CARICATURE A VOTE AGAINST EMERGENCY AID AS CALLOUSED OR CRUEL, BUT IT'S HARD TO DO THE REAL WORK THAT IS NECESSARILY REQUIRED BY REAL, LASTING, MEANINGFUL REFORM. AND IT'S HARDER STILL TO DEFEND THESE PACKAGES WHEN THEIR CONTENTS ARE EXPOSED FULLY TO THE LIGHT OF DAY. IF YOU WERE EVALUATING AN EMERGENCY AID PACKAGE, YOU MIGHT REASONABLY EXPECT IT TO DIRECT ALL OF ITS SPENDING TO PROGRAMS THAT ACTUALLY HELP THE PEOPLE OF FLORIDA, OF PUERTO RICO, OF TEXAS, BUT THIS PROPOSAL DOES NOT DIRECT ALL OF ITS MONEY TO BROAD-BASED RECOVERY EFFORTS, NOT EVEN CLOSE. JUST UNDER HALF OF THE $36.5 BILLION IN NEW SPENDING WOULD BAIL OUT THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM OR NFIP. IN THE HOUSTON AREA, JUST 17% OF HOMEOWNERS WERE ENROLLED IN NFIP. IN PUERTO RICO, THE NUMBERS WERE EVEN MORE SPARSE. JUST 5,600 PUERTO RICANS ARE ENROLLED IN NFIP, LESS THAN 1% OF HOMEOWNERS. THAT MEANS 99% OF PUERTO RICANS WON'T GET ANYTHING AT ALL FROM THE $16 BILLION TO NFIP. BUT THEN AGAIN, IT'S NOT CLEAR THAT NFIP RECIPIENTS GET MUCH FROM NFIP TO BEGIN WITH. THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM REPRESENTS THE TRIUMPH OF GOOD INTENTIONS OVER SOUND PUBLIC POLICY. ITS GENEROUS SUBSIDIES WERE SUPPOSED TO REDUCE THE NEED FOR FEDERAL AID AFTER MASSIVE STORMS. INSTEAD, NFIP ENCOURAGES THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS TO LIVE IN SOME OF THE MOST DANGEROUS REAL ESTATE IN THE COUNTRY. NFIP SELLS FLOOD INSURANCE AT RATES WELL BELOW THAT OF ANY REASONABLE PRIVATE INSURER. AS A RESULT, ITS POLICIES DO NOT ACCURATELY REFLECT THE RISK OF LIVING IN MANIFESTLY FLOOD-THREATENED, FLOOD-ENDANGERED AREAS. THESE GOVERNMENT POLICIES ENCOURAGE AMERICANS TO LIVE IN PRECISELY THOSE AREAS WHERE THEIR LIVELIHOODS AND IN FACT EVEN THEIR LIVES CAN BE SWEPT AWAY IN AN INSTANT. ECONOMISTS REFER TO THIS PERVERSE INCENTIVE AS MORAL HAZARD, AND IN MORE SENSES THAN ONE, THAT'S JUST WHAT THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM IS, A HAZARD TO AMERICA. IT IS DISTINCTLY IMMORAL FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO SUBSIDIZE HOUSING IN THE NATION'S FLOOD PLAINS, DEEP WITHIN THOSE FLOOD PLAINS OR ON THE EDGES OF ITS COAST. INSTEAD OF BUILDING YOUR HOUSE ON A ROCK, THE GOVERNMENT WANTS YOU TO BUILD IT ON THE SAND. AND NFIP PAYS OUT CLAIM FOR -- CLAIMS FOR PROPERTIES THAT HAVE BEEN SWEPT AWAY NOT ONCE, NOT TWICE, BUT MANY, MANY TIMES BEFORE. HOMES THAT HAVE BEEN FLOODED MULTIPLE TIMES MAKE UP JUST 1% OF NFIP POLICYHOLDERS, BUT THEY ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN ONE-THIRD OF ITS CLAIMS. THIS HAS COST TAXPAYERS MORE THAN $12.1 BILLION IN PAYOUTS, ACCORDING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE. WHEN HURRICANE HARVEY SWEPT THROUGH HOUSTON LAST MONTH, IT SUBMERGED A HOUSE THAT HAD BEEN FLOODED 22 TIMES SINCE 1979. THE HOUSE IS VALUED AT ABOUT $600,000. THE GOVERNMENT HAS SPENT $1.8 MILLION TO REHABILITATE IT. NO PRIVATE INSURANCE COMPANY WOULD EVER OFFER INSURANCE ON THE TERMS THAT NFIP OFFERS. SUCH A COMPANY WOULD ENDANGER ITS POLICYHOLDERS AND IT WOULD RUN OUT OF MONEY. AND THAT IS PRECISELY WHAT HAS HAPPENED UNDER NFIP. THE PROGRAM IS $235 BILLION IN -- IS $25 BILLION IN DEBT AND ROUTINELY BLOWS THROUGH ITS STATUTORY DEBT LIMITS. THE EMERGENCY AID PACKAGE CONGRESS IS CONSIDERING TODAY WOULD CANCEL $16 BILLION OF NFIP'S DEBT, NO QUESTIONS ASKED. CONGRESS ISN'T MAKING NFIP BRING ITS ACTUARIAL PRACTICES IN LINE WITH REALITY OR INTO CONFORMITY WITH FREE MARKET FORCES. NO, IT ISN'T EVEN APPROPRIATING NEW FUNDS FOR ANOTHER FAILED PROGRAM. THAT AT LEAST WOULD BE BUSINESS AS USUAL IN WASHINGTON. INSTEAD, CONGRESS EFFECTIVELY IS GIVING A DEBT AMNESTY TO THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM. IT IS BE A SOLVING NFIP IN A SENSE AND MAKING AMERICAN TAXPAYERS DO THE PENANCE. SO THAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT'S IN THE BILL. LET'S CONSIDER A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT'S NOT IN THE BILL. IF WE WANT TO BE RESPONSIBLE LEADERS IN A MOMENT OF CRISIS LIKE THIS ONE, WE NEED TO PROVIDE LONG-TERM REFORMS IN ADDITION TO ANY SHORT-TERM ASSISTANCE. WE NEED TO PROVIDE A FULL MEAL TO THOSE AFFECTED ABOUT I THESE STORMS AND NOT JUST A TEMPORARY PASSING SUGAR RUSH. BUT THIS BILL DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY REFORMS THAT WOULD HELP PUERTO RICO OBTAIN LONG-TERM STABILITY OR CLIMB OUT UNDERNEATH ITS $74 BILLION DEBT. IT DOESN'T EVEN ATTEMPT TO REFORM THE DYSFUNCTIONAL ELECTRIC UTILITY PROGRAM, WHICH THROUGH A COMBINATION OF NEGLECT AND PROFITEERING HAS LEFT MILLIONS OF PUERTO RICANS IN DARKNESS. THEY CAN'T POWER HOSPITALS, FOOD BANKS OR SEWAGE SYSTEMS AND IT DOESN'T REPEAL THE JONES ACT, THE PROTECTIONISM REGULATION THAT KEPT FOREIGN FLAG RELIEF SHIPS OUT OF PUERTO RICO HARBORS FOR PRECIOUS DAYS AFTER HURRICANE MARIA AND FOR A LONG TIME HAVE FORCED PUERTO RICAN CONSUMERS TO PAY SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER PRICES ON JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING THEY BUY. SIMPLE REFORM MEASURES, SUCH AS REFORMING PREPA, THE ELECTRIC UTILITY COMPANY I MENTIONED A MOMENT AGO OR REPEALING THE JONES ACT WOULD PROVIDE VERY MEANINGFUL, LASTING BENEFITS TO PUERTO RICANS LONG AFTER THE PUBLIC'S ATTENTION HAS DRIFTED AND THE RELIEF MONEY HAS DRIED UP. BUT CONGRESS TRUE TO FORM WOULD RATHER DOUBLE DOWN ON BROKEN LAWS AND BROKEN PROGRAMS RATHER THAN FIX THEM AND CONGRESS WOULD RATHER TAKE ON MORE DEBT RATHER THAN SPEND ACCORDING TO WHAT WE HAVE AND PRIORITIZE IN ORDER TO GET THERE. NONE OF THE MONEY IS OFFSET BY SPENDING REDUCTIONS TO OTHER PROGRAMS. NONE OF IT. NOT A SINGLE DOLLAR. AND THAT'S THE SAD IRONY OF THIS BILL. IF THE TREND OF DEFICIT-FUELED SPENDING CONTINUES, ONE DAY SOON WE'LL WAKE UP TO THE CRIES OF OUR FELLOW AMERICANS, AND WE'LL HAVE NOTHING TO GIVE THEM IN SUPPORT. BUT AGAIN, THIS BILL DOESN'T TAKE CARE OF THOSE PROGRAMS. AND IT'S NOT AS IF THERE AREN'T SOLUTIONS OUT THERE. ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES, SENATOR PAUL, HAS EFFECTIVELY BEEN BLOCKED FROM INTRODUCING AN AMENDMENT THAT WOULD CALL FOR OFFSETS TO THIS SPENDING. ANOTHER ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES, SENATOR FLAKE, HAS TRIED TO INTRODUCE AN AMENDMENT OF WHICH I'M A COSPONSOR THAT WOULD BRING ABOUT SOME OF THESE OTHER REFORMS THAT I'VE DESCRIBED, REFORMS TO THE STATE-OWNED UTILITY COMPANY, TO THE JONES ACT, AND REFORMS TO THE WAY THAT WE SPEND MONEY THROUGH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN PUERTO RICO. I HOPE MY COLLEAGUES WILL WORK WITH ME TO FIND A MORE RESPONSIBLE, SUSTAINABLE, MEANINGFUL WAY TO HELP OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN AREAS AFFECTED BY THE RECENT HURRICANES. CONGRESS HAS THE AUTHORITY TO LEAD, ESPECIALLY OVER PUERTO RICO WHERE WE HAVE PLENARY POWER THAT EXCEEDS THE AUTHORITY WE HAVE IN OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY WITHIN STATES. BUT IN THIS HOUR OF CRISIS, ESPECIALLY WITH REGARD TO PUERTO RICO, WE'RE THE ONLY ONES WHO UNDISPUTABLY HAVE THIS POWER. WE ARE THE ONES WHO MUST ACT IF WE'RE GOING TO ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL REFORM. IF WE CAN ONLY OFFER MONEY AND A PAT ON THE HEAD, IT WILL BE OUR FAULT WHEN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CONTINUE TO SUFFER AS A RESULT OF FAILED PROGRAMS THAT HAVEN'T WORKED AND CALL OUT TO US THROUGH THEIR FAILURES FOR REFORM. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 06:18:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 06:19:19 PM

    >>

    TEST. .. .. .. .. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 06:19:20 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 06:46:13 PM

    A SENATOR

    MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 06:46:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA.

  • 06:46:19 PM

    MR. DAINES

    I ASK THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED.

  • 06:46:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:46:23 PM

    MR. DAINES

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE BE IN A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE BE IN A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES EACH.

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  • 06:46:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:46:30 PM

    MR. DAINES

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE IMMEDIATE…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 231, S. 1766.

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  • 06:46:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 06:46:39 PM

    THE CLERK

    CALENDAR NUMBER 231, S. 1766, A BILL TO REAUTHORIZE THE SAFER ACT OF 2013,…

    CALENDAR NUMBER 231, S. 1766, A BILL TO REAUTHORIZE THE SAFER ACT OF 2013, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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  • 06:46:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:46:57 PM

    MR. DAINES

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT BE AGREED TO, THE BILL AS AMENDED BE CONSIDERED READ A THIRD TIME AND PASSED AND THE MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE.

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  • 06:47:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:47:12 PM

    MR. DAINES

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY IT ADJOURN UNTIL 10:00 A.M. TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24. FURTHER, THAT FOLLOWING THE PRAYER AND PLEDGE, THE MORNING HOUR DEEMED EXPIRED, THE JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS BE APPROVED TO DATE, THE TIME FOR THE TWO LEADERS BE RESERVED FOR THEIR USE LATER IN THE DAY, AND MORNING BUSINESS BE CLOSED. FURTHER, FOLLOWING LEADER REMARKS, THE SENATE RESUME CONSIDERATION OF THE HOUSE MESSAGE TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2266. FURTHER, THAT THE SENATE RECESS FROM 12:30 P.M. UNTIL 2:15 P.M. TO ALLOW FOR THE WEEKLY CONFERENCE MEETINGS. FINALLY, THAT ALL TIME DURING MORNING BUSINESS, RECESS, JUST REMEMBER -- RECESS, ADJOURNMENT AND LEADER REMARKS COUNT POSTCLOTURE.

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  • 06:48:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:48:02 PM

    MR. DAINES

    IF THERE IS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK IT STAND…

    IF THERE IS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK IT STAND ADJOURNED UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER.

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  • 06:48:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE STANDS ADJOURNED UNTIL 10:00 A.M. TOMORROW MORNING.

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115th Congress - Senate
Total Hours: 883 (After 259 days)
  • Debate593 Hours
  • Quorum Calls191 Hours
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