Watch 2006 Senate Debate on Brett Kavanaugh DC Circuit Nomination
Senate Session - July 18, 2018
Speakers:
Time
Action
  • 10:00:41 AM

    THE CHAPLAIN

    LET US PRAY. ETERNAL GOD, WHO HAS BEEN THE HOPE AND JOY OF MANY…

    LET US PRAY. ETERNAL GOD, WHO HAS BEEN THE HOPE AND JOY OF MANY GENERATIONS, THANK YOU FOR GIVING US THE POWER TO SEEK YOU. WE PRAISE YOU FOR YOUR PROMISE THAT THOSE WHO KEEP ON SEEKING WILL FIND. INSPIRE OUR LAWMAKERS TO SEEK YOUR WISDOM IN ORDER TO BE GUIDED BY YOUR LOVING PROVIDENCE. GIVE THEM A CLEARER VISION OF YOUR TRUTH, A GREAT FAITH IN YOUR MIGHT, AND A DEEPER ASSURANCE OF YOUR LOVE. TEACH THEM TO LABOR AND NOT TO ASK FOR ANY REWARD EXCEPT THAT OF KNOWING THEY ARE DOING YOUR WILL. WE PRAY IN YOUR LOVING NAME. AMEN.

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  • 10:01:59 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    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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  • 10:09:24 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

    THIS WEEK THE SENATE CONTINUES TO CONFIRM IMPRESSIVE NOMINEES WHOM…

    THIS WEEK THE SENATE CONTINUES TO CONFIRM IMPRESSIVE NOMINEES WHOM PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS ASKED TO SERVE OUR COUNTRY. WE'VE CONFIRMED TWO ASSISTANT SECRETARIES FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, SCOTT STUMP AND JAMES BLEW AND WE CONFIRMED RANDAL QUARLES AND NOW WE WILL CONSIDER NOMINEES FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT AND NINTH CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEALS. FIRST IS ANDREW OLDHAM OF TEXAS, THE PRESIDENT'S CHOICE FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT. MR. OLDHAM HAS IMPOSED THE XIEWNT IN HIS -- COMMUNITY IN HIS YEARS OF PUBLIC SERVICE. MR. OLDHAM HAS DEGREES FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA, CAMBRIDGE, AND HARVARD LAW. HE CLERKED ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT AND ON THE SUPREME COURT. HE CARRIES THE HIGHEST POSSIBLE RATING FROM THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, UNANIMOUSLY WELL QUALIFIED. HE COMES HIGHLY RECOMMENDED BY COLLEAGUES AND PEERS FROM ACROSS THE SPECTRUM. GLEF REASONY SUPPORTED -- CONSTANTLY ENTHUSIASTICALLY AND WITHOUT RESERVATION. SHE AND THE NOMINEE WORKED ON A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT SUBJECTS. SHE SAID THAT MR. OLDHAM EXPRESSED THE QUALITIES OF AN IDEAL JUDGE. LISA BLAT ARGUES BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT. HER LETTER DESCRIBES OLDHAM AS A GREAT LISTENER WITH A BRILLIANT LEGAL MIND AND WONDERFUL SENSE OF HUMOR. HER CONCLUSION, HE WOULD MAKE A SUPERB JUDGE. WHAT ABOUT MR. OLDHAM'S OWN WORDS IF CONFIRMED, HE EXPLAINED TO OUR COLLEAGUES, HE WILL UPHOLD THE RIGHTS OF ALL LITIGANTS EQUALLY AND APPLY THE LAW TO ALL FAIRLY. HE UNDERSTANDS HIS RESPONSIBILITY CLEARLY. I LOOK FORWARD TO CONFIRMING THIS NOMINEE AND I URGE EACH OF OUR COLLEAGUES TO JOIN ME. NOW ON ANOTHER MATTER IT HAS BEEN A YEAR AND A HALF SINCE THESE REPUBLICAN MAJORITIES TOOK THEIR SEATS IN CONGRESS AND A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT WAS SWORN IN. IN 2016, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE MADE IT CLEAR THAT IT WAS TIME TO TRY SOMETHING NEW. THEY WERE TIRED OF SO-CALLED -- OF THE SO-CALLED RECOVERY THAT FOCUSED OVERWHELMINGLY ON BIG, WEALTHY METROPOLITAN AREAS. THEY HAD SEEN ENOUGH OF TAX HIKES AND TOP-DOWN REGULATIONS THAT HELD THEIR COMMUNITIES BACK. THEY TURNED TO REPUBLICANS TO CREATE A PRO-GROWTH AJEN A. JOB CREATORS AND ENTREPRENEURS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO RISE TOGETHER. 18 MONTHS LATER, THE RESULTS COULD NOT BE CLEARER. TODAY MORE PEOPLE SAY IT'S A GOOD TIME TO FIND A JOB THAN AT ALMOST ANY POINT SINCE THE TURN OF THE MILLENNIUM. U.S. MANUFACTURERS ARE MORE CONFIDENT THAN EVER ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THEIR BUSINESSES. THIS IS A STORE FROM YESTERDAY'S FINANCIAL TIMES. U.S. RAIL STALES -- RETAIL SALES RISE FOR THE FIFTH TIME. IT THOSE OUR ECONOMY IS HEALTHY. IT SHOWS THAT FAMILIES FEEL THEY HAVE ENOUGH BREATHING ROOM TO MAKE PURCHASES WHICH THEN OF COURSE BENEFITS THE COMPANIES AND WORKERS WHO PRODUCE WHAT THEY ARE BUYING. AND, OF COURSE, IT'S ESPECIALLY GOOD FOR THE NEARLY 42 MILLION AMERICANS WHOSE JOBS ARE SUPPORTED BY THE RETAIL INDUSTRY. ACCORDING TO INDUSTRY DATA AS MANY AS SIX IN TEN AMERICANS WORK IN RETAIL AT SOME POINT IN THEIR CAREER. SO THIS CONTINUED PROSPERITY IS REALLY SIGNIFICANT. THERE'S LITTLE QUESTION THAT TAX REFORM IS TO THANK FOR A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THIS PROGRESS. FOR ONE THING, OUR MIDDLE-CLASS TAX CUTS ARE DIRECTLY BOASTING FAMILY'S -- BOASTING FAMILY INCOMES. FAMILIES ARE EXPERIENCING LESS WITHHOLDING FROM THEIR PAYCHECKS THANKS TO TAX OVERHAUL. AND THEY LOOK AT THE BUSINESS SIDE WHICH IS LETTING MORE U.S. EMPLOYERS EXPAND AND HIRE. THAT MEANS MORE JOBS FOR AMERICAN WORKERS, WHICH MEANS MORE INCOME FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES WHICH MEAN MORE MONEY IN THE CASH REGISTERS OF AMERICAN SMALL BUSINESSES. AND THE CYCLE GOES ON. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND MOST FAIR OBSERVERS ARE MARVELING AT WHAT THIS IS DELIVERING TO WORKERS AN MIDDLE-CLASS FAMILIES. I'M STARTING TO THINK OUR DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES MAY HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT A SUCCESSFUL ECONOMIC AGENDA LOOKS LIKE. BECAUSE EVEN IN THE FACE OF HEADLINE AFTER HEADLINE AND TESTIMONY AFTER TESTIMONY FROM THE FAMILIES AND JOB CREATORS WE REPRESENT, THEY TRY TO BRUSH OFF THIS IMPRESSIVE GROWTH AS NOTHING SERIOUS, AND THEY ADVOCATE FOR REPEALING OR UNDOING THE REPUBLICAN POLICIES THAT ARE HELPING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. FORTUNATELY, MR. PRESIDENT, REPUBLICANS KNOW FULL WELL HOW TO CUT TAXES, TRIM BACK REGULATIONS AND GET WASHINGTON OUT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE'S WAY. IT'S JUST WHAT WE'VE DONE. IT'S JUST WHAT WE'LL CONTINUE TO DO.

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  • 10:22:35 AM

    MR. SCHUMER

    I ASK -- ARE WE IN A QUORUM? WE ARE NOT. MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU. NOW,…

    I ASK -- ARE WE IN A QUORUM? WE ARE NOT. MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU. NOW, YESTERDAY PRESIDENT TRUMP WENT THROUGH A, QUOTE, WALKBACK. PRESIDENT TRUMP'S WALKBACK PERFORMANCE WAS PATHETIC. IT WAS WEAK, INSINCERE AND THOROUGHLY UNCONVINCING. THE PRESIDENT READ A SCRIPTED CLARIFICATION YESTERDAY LIKE HE WAS IN A HOSTAGE SITUATION. ALL YOU HAD TO DO WAS LOOK AT HIS FACE. HE COULDN'T EVEN FULLY COMMIT TO IT ADDING OFF THE CUFF THAT OTHER PEOPLE COULD ALSO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ELECTION INTERFERENCE IN 2016. THAT'S HARDLY A WALKBACK. AND IT WAS CONCERNING ONLY ONE PARTICULAR COMMENT. THE PRESIDENT DID NOT ADDRESS HIS LAVISH PRAISE FOR VLADIMIR PUTIN IN HELSINKI. IS HE GOING TO WALK THAT BACK? HE BLAMED BOTH COUNTRIES, THE U.S. AND RUSSIA, FOR THE SOUR RELATIONS BETWEEN US. IS HE GOING TO WALK THAT BACK? HE SAID U.S. STUPIDITY AND FOOLISHNESS, NOT RUSSIAN AGGRESSION WAS THE REASON OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH RUSSIA WAS SO BAD. IS HE GOING TO WALK THAT BACK? HE DID NOT ADDRESS HIS BRAZEN ATTACKS ON THE F.B.I. WHILE ON FOREIGN SOIL. IS HE GOING TO WALK THAT BACK? AND NOW LATE LAST NIGHT AND THIS MORNING, THE PRESIDENT IS BACK TO CELEBRATING HIS MEETING WITH PUTIN. HE'S WALKING BACK THE WALKBACK. THAT'S WHAT HE DID THIS MORNING. THIS IS LIKE CHARLOTTESVILLE REDUCTS. WE ALL KNOW WHAT THE PRESIDENT REALLY THOUGHT. WE KNOW WHAT HE THOUGHT AT CHARLOTTESVILLE. THE WALKBACK WAS UNCONVINCING AND HE WENT BACK TO HIS OLD WAYS. WE KNOW WHAT HE THOUGHT AT HELSINKI. THE WALKBACK WAS UNCONVINCING AND NOW WITH HIS TWEETS THIS MORNING HE'S BACK TO HIS OLD WAYS. THE ONLY REASON THERE WAS A WALKBACK IS THAT THE PRESIDENT WAS FORCED BY PRESSURE FROM MANY OF MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS HERE, FROM HIS ALLIES IN THE MEDIA, AND HIS OWN WHITEHOUSE STAFF. THEY ALL PRESSURED HIM TO GIVE THAT TEMPORARY WALKBACK. BUT IT'S CLEAR FROM TODAY'S TWEETS TAKE HE DOESN'T MEAN IT, THAT HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IT, AND, FRANKLY, NEITHER DOES ANYBODY ELSE. IT'S CLEAR THAT HE STILL BELIEVES PRESIDENT PUTIN OVER THE CONSENSUS OF AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, AND THAT PUTS AMERICANS' SECURITILY GRAVELY AT RISK. THE PRESIDENT'S RELUCTANT, HAM HANDED, HALFHEARTED CLARIFICATION YESTERDAY -- CLARIFICATION IS IN QUOTES -- ALMOST ENTIRELY REVERSED THIS MORNING IS WOEFULLY INADEQUATE. HIS BEHAVIOR IN HELSINKI CONTINUES TO DEMAND A RESPONSE FROM CONGRESS, AND THERE ARE MANY THINGS WE CAN DO. BUT LATER THIS MORNING IF ANYTHING IS TRUE TO FORM, THE PRESIDENT WILL HOLD A CABINET MEETING AND HIS ADVISORS WILL SHOWER HIM WITH THANKS AND PRAISE. THIS IS WHAT HE CRAVES AND WILL PROVIDE PERHAPS ANOTHER VERSION OF WHAT HAPPENED IN HELSINKI. SO GIVEN WHAT HAPPENED IN HELSINKI AND GIVEN THAT THE PRESIDENT'S WALKBACK WAS SO WEAK , THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS THAT WE AS A CONGRESS CAN DO. AND WE SHOULD. TALKING THE TALK IS NOT ENOUGH. WALKING THE WALK IS WHAT'S SO IMPORTANT HERE. AND WE NEED TO ACT, NOT SIMPLY GO TSK TSK, BAD PRESIDENT AND THEN GO BACK TO BUSINESS AS USUAL BECAUSE THE AMERICAN POLICY, AMERICAN SECURITY, THE VIEW OF AMERICA IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD HAS TAKEN A SEVERE SETBACK AND IT'S UP TO US IN THE CONGRESS TO TRY AND UNDO THAT. SO I'VE MENTIONED A WHOLE HOST OF ACTIONS THIS BODY CAN TAKE TO COUNTER RUSSIA'S MALIGN ACTIVITY, PUNISH PUTIN FOR INTERFERING IN OUR ELECTION, PREVENT HIM FROM DOING IT AGAIN, AND ENSURING THE PRESIDENT IS DOING WHAT'S NECESSARY TO STAND UP FOR AMERICAN INTERESTS. THE SENATE IS NOT POWERLESS TO TAKE ACTION IN THE WAKE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP'S INDEFENSIBLE PERFORMANCE AT HIS SUMMIT WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN. SO LET ME REITERATE AND SUGGEST SOME THINGS THAT WE SHOULD DO AND I BELIEVE WE SHOULD DO ALL OF THESE. FIRST, OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES NEED TO JOIN US IN DEMANDING IMMEDIATE PUBLIC TESTIMONY FROM THE PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM, THOSE THAT WERE IN HELSINKI AND THOSE WHO WOULD HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT HAPPENED IN HELSINKI. WE NEED TO HAVE AN IMMEDIATE PUBLIC TESTIMONY FROM SECRETARY POMPEO, FROM D.N.I. DIRECTOR COATS, FROM AMBASSADOR HUNTSMAN. ABOVE ALL, WE NEED THE TRANSLATOR WHO WAS PRESENT AT THE ONE-ON-ONE MEETING WITH PRESIDENT PUTIN TO TESTIFY OPENLY BEFORE CONGRESS. THAT'S NOT USUALLY DONE, BUT THERE'S ALMOST ALWAYS OTHER PEOPLE IN THE ROOM. YOU DON'T NEED THE TRANSLATOR. BUT FOR SOME REASON, A REASON THAT AMERICANS AND THE WORLD IS WONDERING ABOUT, PRESIDENT TRUMP WANTED NO ONE ELSE IN THE ROOM. SO TO HAVE THE TRANSLATOR COME TESTIFY AND TELL WHAT HAPPENED THERE IS AN IMPERATIVE. IT'S SO IMPORTANT. IT IS RARE FOR TRANSLATORS TO COME BEFORE CONGRESS, BUT IN THIS CASE IT'S WARRANTED. A, BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WAS IN THE ROOM BY THE PRESIDENT'S DIRECTION AND, B, BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENED THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN SO IMPORTANT GIVEN WHAT HAPPENED IN PUBLIC A FEW SHORT HOURS AFTERWARDS. THE TRANSLATOR WORKS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WORKS FOR THE TAXPAYERS, AND MAY BE THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN ACCURATELY REPORT WHAT PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID TO PRESIDENT PUTIN BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, WHAT CONCESSIONS WERE MADE TO VLADIMIR PUTIN. WE WANT TO KNOW. DID THE PRESIDENT MAKE CONCESSIONS THAT HURT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY? WHAT DID HE AGREE TO? CONGRESS HAS A DUTY TO CONDUCT RESPONSIBLE OVERSIGHT OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, PARTICULARLY AFTER WHAT THE PRESIDENT DID IN HELSINKI. THE PRESIDENT'S SUMMIT CALLS FOR OVERSIGHT AND HAVING THESE PEOPLE, PARTICULARLY THE TRANSLATOR, COME TESTIFY IS IMPORTANT. I UNDERSTAND SECRETARY POMPEO WILL APPEAR BEFORE THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE NEXT WEEK WHICH IS GOOD, BUT WE NEED TO HEAR FROM OTHERS, INCLUDING THE TRANSLATOR. I URGE LEADER McCONNELL AND HIS LEADERSHIP TEAM TO IMMEDIATELY REQUEST A HEARING WITH THE PEOPLE I MENTIONED. SECOND, OUR REPUBLICAN -- THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP SHOULD PLACE ON THE FLOOR SOON, ASAP, BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION LED BY SENATORS BOOKER, GRAHAM, COONS, TILLIS, TO PROTECT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL FROM POLITICAL INTERFERENCE. THIS LEGISLATION PASSED THAT OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. IT HAS FOUR SPONSORS, TWO DEMOCRAT, TWO REPUBLICAN. IF LEADER McCONNELL IS SERIOUS ABOUT THE CHECKS AND BALANCES, IF WHAT HE SAID IN THE LAST DAY OR TWO IS NOT JUST MEANINGLESS WORDS, HE WOULD PUT THIS LEGISLATION ON THE FLOOR, IT WILL PASS. ALONGSIDE DEMANDING TESTIMONY FROM THE NATIONAL -- FROM THE PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM, PASSING LEGISLATION TO PROTECT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING THIS BODY COULD DO TO ENSURE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S RECKLESSNESS DOES NOT PRECIPITATE A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. THIRD, WE SHOULD RATCHET UP SANCTIONS ON PUTIN AND HIS CRONIES, NOT WATER THEM DOWN. THE SANCTIONS THIS BODY PASSED BY AN OVERWHELMING BIPARTISAN MARGIN, 98-2. I SALUTE LEADER McCONNELL. HE HELPED BRING IT TO THE FLOOR EVEN THOUGH THE PRESIDENT DIDN'T LIKE IT, BUT THESE SANCTIONS HAVE NOT YET BEEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED BY THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION. ON OUR SIDE, SENATORS MENENDEZ AND VAN HOLLEN HAVE SOME VERY GOOD IDEAS ABOUT SANCTIONS, AND WE SHOULD ACT ON THEM. FOURTH, OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES CAN AND SHOULD INSIST THAT THE PRESIDENT FINALLY RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE PRESIDENT BROKE DECADES OF PRACTICE WHEN HE DIDN'T RELEASE THOSE RETURNS, SO DAMAGING BECAUSE HIS ECONOMIC INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF THE GOVERNMENT ARE SO LARGE, COMPLICATED, AND VARIED. SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE HE DEALS WITH INTERNATIONAL FINANCE IN THESE SITUATIONS. SO THERE WAS NO GOOD REASON WHY HE DIDN'T RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS THEN. BUT PRESIDENT TRUMP'S INEXPLICABLE BEHAVIOR IN HELSINKI HAS MANY AMERICANS ASKING WHAT DOES PUTIN HAVE OVER HIM THAT HE IS BEHAVING IN A WAY THAT IS BASICALLY INEXPLICABLE BY ANY RATIONAL, LOGICAL LINE OF THINKING? WELL, THAT'S WHY HIS TAX RETURNS WOULD BE SO IMPORTANT. WE SHOULD PASS LEGISLATION THAT REQUIRES THE PRESIDENT TO RELEASE HIS TAX RETURNS. THAT WAS IMPORTANT BEFORE, BUT IT'S MUCH MORE IMPORTANT AFTER HELSINKI NOW. AND FIFTH, REPUBLICANS SHOULD DEMAND WITH US THAT THE PRESIDENT INSIST THE 12 RUSSIANS INDICTED FOR OUR ELECTION INTERFERENCE AND INFORMATION WARFARE ARE HANDED OVER. PUNITIVE MAY NOT DO IT, BUT -- PUTIN MAY NOT DO IT, BUT AT LEAST WE OUGHT TO SHOW HOW SERIOUS WE ARE AS A COUNTRY. THE PRESIDENT OUGHT TO SHOW HOW ALARMED HE IS THAT THIS HAPPENED. THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT IS FOR OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES TO JOIN WITH US. THEY WILL HAVE MORE INFLUENCE THAN WE WILL, ASKING HIM TO DO SO. FINALLY, WE SHOULD HAVE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION ON ELECTION SECURITY. TOGETHER IN A BIPARTISAN WAY, THE HELP OF MY FRIEND FROM TENNESSEE, THE SENIOR MEMBER OF APPROPRIATIONS, IN THE LAST OMNIBUS BILL, WE PASSED $380 MILLION FOR ELECTION SECURITY, AND AS I UNDERSTAND IT, THAT MONEY IS NOW BEING SENT OUT TO THE STATES TO HELP THEM, BUT WE HAVE TO DO MORE. THERE IS BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION. SENATORS KLOBUCHAR AND LANKFORD, SENATORS VAN HOLLEN AND RUBIO HAVE GOOD LEGISLATION THAT WOULD HELP BEEF UP OUR ELECTION SECURITY. WE OUGHT TO MOVE ON. OUR COUNTRY, OUR CYBER NETWORKS, OUR ELECTION SYSTEMS ARE UNDER CONSTANT ATTACK FROM ADVERSARIES LIKE THE RUSSIANS. THERE IS A BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS WE MUST HARDEN OUR INFRASTRUCTURE. THIS LEGISLATION I MENTIONED FROM KLOBUCHAR, LANKFORD, VAN HOLLEN, RUBIO, THERE IS OTHER LEGISLATION BY SENATORS HARRIS AND WYDEN. I URGE THE REPUBLICAN LEADER TO LET US MOVE ON ONE OR MORE OF THESE BILLS. NOW, WE SHOULD DO ALL OF THESE THINGS, NOT JUST ONE OR TWO, ALL OF THEM. I CAN'T THINK OF A LOGICAL REASON NOT TO DO ANY OF THEM OTHER THAN FEAR OF OFFENDING THE PRESIDENT. BUT TIMES LIKE THIS CALL FOR US TO DO MORE. WE HAVE ALREADY HEARD SOME OF OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES SAY LET'S MOVE ON AFTER WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID YESTERDAY, BUT AS I MENTIONED, HIS SO-CALLED WALKBACK WAS NOT A WALKBACK AT ALL, AND IF WE CARE ABOUT OUR NATION'S SECURITY, WE WILL MOVE FORWARD. THE FINAL THING I WOULD SAY TO MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES IS THIS -- THIS IS A MOMENT THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED IN AMERICAN HISTORY. IT WILL BE REMEMBERED -- IT'S NOT GOING AWAY. THIS IS A MOMENT THAT WILL BE REMEMBERED NEXT WEEK, NEXT MONTH, IN NOVEMBER OF 2018, IN NOVEMBER OF 2020, AND WAY BEYOND. THE HELSINKI SUMMIT IS NOW AN UNALTERABLE FACT IN AMERICAN HISTORY, A MOMENT WHEN UNFORTUNATELY AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT HUMILIATED HIS OWN COUNTRY AND HIMSELF BEFORE A FOREIGN DICTATOR. IT WAS A TERRIBLE SIGN OF WEAKNESS BY THIS PRESIDENT, AND IT UNFORTUNATELY WEAKENED THE OFFICE HE HOLDS. BUT IT CAN BE REMEMBERED AS A MOMENT WHEN A BIPARTISAN MAJORITY IN CONGRESS, DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN, DROPPING ALL -- ALL TRAPPINGS OF PARTY LINKED ARMS AND STOOD UP FOR OUR COUNTRY AFTER OUR PRESIDENT REFUSED TO DO SO. LET'S HOPE IT IS. LET'S HOPE IT IS. ONE FINAL POINT, MR. PRESIDENT, AND I KNOW MY COLLEAGUES ARE WAITING, AND I APPRECIATE THEIR INDULGENCE. THIS IS ON THE SUPREME COURT, BRETT KAVANAUGH. I JUST READ IN A VERY RECENT INTERVIEW THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH WAS ASKED WHETHER IF GRANTED THE OPPORTUNITY HE WOULD OVERTURN PRECEDENT IN ANY ONE CASE. JUDGE KAVANAUGH INITIALLY DECLINED TO ANSWER, THEN CAUSED, AND THEN SAID ON SECOND THOUGHT HE WOULD OVERTURN THE PRECEDENT IN MORRISON V. OLSON. THAT'S THE CASE THAT UPHELD THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL LAW. I MAKE TWO BRIEF POINTS ON THE SUBJECT. FIRST, JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S RESPONSE DEMONSTRATES HE IS WILLING TO ANSWER DIRECT QUESTIONS ABOUT PRECEDENT, WHICH PRECEDENTS HE AGREES WITH AND WHICH PRECEDENTS HE WOULD OVERTURN. I HOPE DURING THE HEARINGS WE WON'T SUFFER THE TRIED AND TRUE VERBAL GYMNASTICS OF NOMINEES WHO REFUSE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ON EXISTING PRECEDENT. JUDGE KAVANAUGH HAD NO QUALMS ABOUT THAT IN THAT INTERVIEW. SECOND AND MORE IMMEDIATELY, CONSIDERING EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S EXPANSIVE VIEW OF EXECUTIVE POWER AND ACCOUNTABILITY, THE FACT THAT MORRISON V. OLSON, OF ALL THE CASES IN THE HISTORY OF THE SUPREME COURT, IS THE FIRST CASE HE QO THINK OF OVER-- HE COULD THINK OF OVERTURNING IS DEEPLY, DEEPLY TROUBLING. WE ALREADY KNOW HE BELIEVES A PRESIDENT SHOULDN'T BE INVESTIGATED WHILE IN OFFICE. THAT A PRESIDENT CAN'T BE INDICTED WHILE IN OFFICE, THAT A PRESIDENT DOESN'T HAVE TO FOLLOW LAWS THAT THE PRESIDENT DEEMS, HIS WORDS, UNCONSTITUTIONAL. CLEARLY, JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY INCORPORATES AN ALMOST MONARCHICAL VIEW OF EXECUTIVE POWER AND ACCOUNTABILITY, ANIMATED BY A BELIEF THAT OUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE GETS TO PLAY BY A DIFFERENT SET OF RULES. JUDGE KAVANAUGH, PARTICULARLY AFTER THIS INTERVIEW, NEEDS TO RECUSE HIMSELF FROM ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH THE MUELLER PROBE. GIVEN HIS RECORD AND THE FACT THAT HE WAS NOMINATED BY THE SUBJECT OF THE INVESTIGATION HE COULD VERY WELL END UP RULING ON. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND ONCE AGAIN THANK MY COLLEAGUES. A SENATOR:

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  • 10:39:16 AM

    MR. JONES

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS AN ISSUE THAT IS OF…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS AN ISSUE THAT IS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO MY CONSTITUENTS IN ALABAMA AND MANY OTHER PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THAT ISSUE, MR. PRESIDENT, IS THE HEALTH OF OUR AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY. UNFORTUNATELY, THE HEALTH OF MY STATE'S AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY IS BEING THREATENED NOT BY UNFAIR COMPETITION OR ILLEGAL PRACTICES BUT BY SIGNIFICANT TARIFFS PROPOSED BY THE PRESIDENT. ACCORDING TO THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, MORE THAN HALF A MILLION ALABAMA JOBS ARE SUPPORTED BY GLOBAL TRADE, MEANING MORE THAN ONE IN EVERY FOUR ALABAMA JOBS IS TIED TO TRADE. ONE OF THE KEY REASONS WHY ALABAMA HAS SUCH A ROBUST TRADE POSTURE IS BECAUSE OF OUR AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. I'M OLD ENOUGH TO REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS LIKE BEFORE AUTO COMPANIES CAME INTO ALABAMA IN THE 1990'S, STARTING WITH MERCEDES. AT THAT TIME, MERCEDES CAME, MANY OF ALABAMA'S MANUFACTURING FACILITIES WERE CLOSING DOWN, MOVING TO OTHER COUNTRIES, BUT ONE BY ONE, FROM MERCEDES TO HONDA TO HYUNDAI AND NOW TOYOTA AND MAZDA WHO ARE BREAKING GROUND ON A NEW PLANT VERY SOON, THESE AUTOMAKERS CAME TO ALABAMA AND BREATHED NEW LIFE INTO OUR STATE ECONOMY. TODAY THEY SUPPORT SOME 50,000 -- 57,000 ALABAMA JOBS AND OUR AUTO EXPORTS TOPPED $11 BILLION IN 2017. THAT DOESN'T EVEN INCLUDE THE NEW TOYOTA MAZDA PLANT IN HUNTSVILLE, WHICH IS GOING TO ADD ANOTHER 4,000 JOBS AND $1.6 BILLION IN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. FROM HAVING NO AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY 30 YEARS AGO, ALABAMA HAS BECOME THE THIRD LARGEST EXPORTER OF AUTOMOBILES IN THIS COUNTRY, AND IN JUST THE PAST 15 MONTHS, EVERY MAJOR AUTOMOBILE MANUFACTURER IN ALABAMA ANNOUNCED AN EXPANSION TOTALING 5,400 JOBS AND $3.3 BILLION IN INVESTMENTS. THIS INDUSTRY HAS JUST BEEN A PHENOMENAL SUCCESS IN ALABAMA, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO RELY ON THESE VERY GOOD-PAYING JOBS TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES AND BUILD BETTER LIVES. THAT'S WHY IT'S A PRIORITY FOR ME AND COLLEAGUES LIKE MY FRIEND, SENATOR ALEXANDER FROM TENNESSEE, TO KEEP OUR STATE'S OUGHT MOTIVE INDUSTRIES THRIVING, BUT RECENTLY THIS INDUSTRY HAS COME UNDER ATTACK. IN MAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP THREATENED A 25% TARIFF ON IMPORTED CARS, TRUCKS, AND AUTO PARTS. UNDER THE PRETEXT THAT THESE PRODUCTS SOMEHOW THREATEN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. LET ME BE CLEAR. WHILE THE UNITED STATES FACES ANY NUMBER OF THREATS FROM ADVERSARIES ON ANY NUMBER OF FRONTS, FOREIGN AUTOMOBILES AND AUTO PARTS ARE NOT A THREAT TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT IS A THREAT? A 25% TAX ON THE PRICE OF THESE IMPORTED GOODS. THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSED AUTO TARIFFS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO INFLICT SERIOUS DAMAGE ON A BOOMING INDUSTRY IN MY STATE AND OTHER LEADING AUTO-PRODUCING STATES LIKE TENNESSEE. WE MIGHT CALL THEM TARIFFS, BUT WE ALL KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARE. IT'S A TAX. TARIFFS BY DEFINITION ARE A TAX ON A PARTICULAR CLASS OF IMPORTS OR EXPORTS. ANY TARIFF PLACED ON A PRODUCT COMING INTO THE UNITED STATES IS A TAX THAT INCREASES THE COST OF THOSE GOODS TO AMERICAN CONSUMERS. WHEN OTHER COUNTRIES PLACE ADDITIONAL TARIFFS OR NEW TAXES ON AMERICAN GOODS, IT RAISES THE PURCHASE PRICE OF AMERICAN PRODUCTS OVERSEAS AND HURTS OUR ABILITIES TO SUSTAIN COMPETITIVE MARKETS IN THOSE COUNTRIES. SO IT'S DEEPLY TROUBLING THAT THE RECENT PROPOSAL FROM THE PRESIDENT WILL THREATEN TENS OF THOUSANDS OF JOBS IN ALABAMA AND INCREASE COSTS FOR AMERICAN CONSUMERS. SHORTLY AFTER THIS TARIFF THREAT WAS ISSUED, SENATOR ALEXANDER JOINED ME IN WRITING TO SECRETARY -- COMMERCE SECRETARY WILBUR ROSS, URGING HIM TO RECONSIDER THE AUTO TARIFF TAX PROPOSAL. BETWEEN OUR TWO STATES, THE OUGHT MOTIVE SECTOR CONTRIBUTES MORE THAN 200,000 JOBS TO OUR ECONOMY. A NUMBER OF AUTO WORKERS FROM OUR STATES ARE IN TOWN THIS WEEK TO TELL THEIR STORIES TO THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT FIRSTHAND, AND I COMMEND THEM FOR THEIR EFFORTS IN DOING SO. SENATOR ALEXANDER AND I UNDERSTAND THE DEVASTATING BLOW THESE TARIFFS WOULD REPRESENT FOR AN INDUSTRY THAT IS -- THAT HAS LITERALLY REBUILT OUR RESPECTIVE STATE ECONOMIES FROM GROUND UP. AUTOMAKERS AND THEIR SUPPLIERS CAN BE FOUND IN EVERY CORNER AND IN NEARLY EVERY COUNTY IN EACH OF OUR STATES. WE HAVE FOUND COMMON CALLS IN FIGHTING THESE TARIFFS AND PROTECTING OUR CONSTITUENTS FROM THE DEVASTATING IMPACTS THEY WILL BRING. THERE ARE ALREADY A FEW LEGISLATIVE SOLUTIONS OUT THERE, INCLUDING SENATOR CORKER'S SOLUTION REGARDING TARIFFS. I KNOW SENATOR PORTMAN IS ALSO DOING A LOT OF GOOD WORK IN THIS SPACE. SENATOR ALEXANDER AND I ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO PROPOSE A SOLUTION OF OUR EVEN AS A COMPLIMENTARY MEASURE TO HALT THESE TARIFFS. WE HOPE TO INTRODUCE THAT PROPOSAL AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK AFTER CONSULTING WITH OUR OUGHT MOTIVE MANUFACTURERS AND WORKING WITH OUR COLLEAGUES TO GROW BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR THIS LEGISLATION. I REALIZE THAT FOLKS AFFECTED BY THESE PROPOSED TARIFFS ARE LOOKING FOR A SILVER BULLET TO STOP THEM DEAD IN THEIR TRACKS. RIGHT NOW, THE ONLY SILVER BULLET IN THIS CASE IS FOR THE PRESIDENT TO CHANGE HIS MIND AND RECOGNIZE HOW MANY JOBS ARE AT RISK BECAUSE OF THESE PROPOSED TARIFFS. UNTIL THAT HAPPENS, WE'RE GOING TO FIGHT TO PROTECT WHAT OUR STATES AND OUR WORKERS HAVE EARNED. I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE SENATOR ALEXANDER WHO IS HERE TODAY FOR HIS CONTINUED PARTNERSHIP IN THIS EFFORT, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH MORE OF OUR COLLEAGUES TO STOP THE URGENT THREAT TO AMERICAN JOBS. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT, AND I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 10:45:25 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    THANK YOU. I WANT TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA FOR HIS REMARKS. I'VE…

    THANK YOU. I WANT TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA FOR HIS REMARKS. I'VE COME TO THE FLOOR TO DISCUSS BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION THAT HE AND I, AS HE SAID, PLAN TO INTRODUCE AS SOON AS NEXT WEEK TO ENCOURAGE THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO RECONSIDER THE DANGEROUS STEPS THAT IT'S TAKING TO IMPOSE TARIFFS ON IMPORTED AUTOMOBILES AND AUTOMOTIVE PARTS. I USE THE WORD "DANGEROUS" MR. PRESIDENT, BECAUSE NOTHING HAS DONE MORE DURING THE LAST 40 YEARS TO RAISE FAMILY INCOMES IN TENNESSEE THAN THE ARRIVAL OF THE AUTO INDUSTRY. AND NOTHING COULD DO MORE DAMAGE TO THOSE FAMILY INCOMES THAN THE PROPOSED TARIFFS ON IMPORTED AUTOMOBILES AND AUTOMOTIVE PARTS COMBINED WITH THE TARIFFS ON IMPORTED STEEL AND ALUMINUM THAT THE ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY IMPOSED. MR. PRESIDENT, WE'VE HEARD THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA TALK ABOUT HIS STATE. IN MY VIEW, TENNESSEE IS MORE LIKELY TO BE HURT THAN ANY OTHER STATE BY THESE TARIFFS. LET ME TELL YOU A SHORT STORY TO EXPLAIN WHY WE'D USE SUCH A DRAMATIC STATEMENT. 40 YEARS AGO I WALKED A THOUSAND MILES ACROSS TENNESSEE IN MY CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR. IN RUDDFORD COUNTY OUTSIDE NASHVILLE, I SPENT THE NIGHT WITH THE KNIGHT FAMILY. MRS. KNIGHT TOLD ME HER TWIN BOYS WERE BRIGHT BUT THAT SHE WAS SAD BECAUSE, AS SHE PUT IT, THERE ARE NO JOBS AROUND HERE, AND THEY'RE SMART BOYS AND THEY'LL NEVER GET A JOB HERE, AND I WILL NEVER SEE MY GRANDCHILDREN. 40 YEARS AGO, MR. PRESIDENT, THERE WERE NO AUTO JOBS IN TENNESSEE. WE WERE THE THIRD POOR ESTATE. OUR FAMILY INCOMES WERE THE THIRD LOWEST. OUR LOW-PAYING TEXTILE JOBS WERE FLEEING OUTSIDE OF OUR COUNTRY. UNEMPLOYMENT AND INFLATION WERE HIGH AND PROSPECTS WERE BLEAK. THEN IN 1980, JUST TWO YEARS AFTER THAT WALK WHEN I WAS THE GOVERNOR OF TENNESSEE, NISSAN FROM JAPAN ARRIVED AND CAME TO RUTHERFORD COUNTY. THEN GENERAL MOTORS WITH SATURN CAME TO SPRING HILL. THEN VOLKSWAGEN CAME TO CHATTANOOGA ALL WITH LARGE MANUFACTURING PLANTS. AS THE AMERICAN AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY MOVED TO THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES, MORE THAN 900 AUTO PARTS SUPPLIERS SPREAD ACROSS 88 OF TENNESSEE'S 95 COUNTIES. AND TODAY 136,000 TENNESSEANS ARE ONE-THIRD OF OUR MANUFACTURING WORKFORCE WORK IN THOSE AUTO PLANTS. THOSE AUTO JOBS HAVE BECOME THE MAIN DRIVER OF FAMILY INCOMES WHICH AVERAGES A LITTLE ABOVE THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. OUR ECONOMY IS BOOMING. UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT A RECORD LEVEL -- AND UNEMPLOYMENT IS AT A RECORD LOW. TENNESSEE TODAY PRODUCES 6.7% OF ALL THE CARS AND TRUCKS PRODUCED IN THE UNITED STATES. TENNESSEE EXPORTED MORE THAN $5.5 BILLION WORTH OF AUTOMOBILES AND AUTO PARTS LAST YEAR. TENNESSEE HAS BEEN THE TOP STATE IN AUTO MANUFACTURING STRENGTH FOR FIVE OUT OF THE LAST EIGHT YEARS, ACCORDING TO BUSINESS FACILITIES. SO LET ME GET BACK TO MY LITTLE STORY. LAST YEAR ONE OF THOSE BRIGHT TWINS FROM RUTHERFORD COUNTY FROM THE KNIGHT FAMILY WHERE I SPENT THE NIGHT 40 YEARS AGO, RANDY KNIGHT RETIRED AS THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE NISSAN PLANT WHICH IS THE LARGEST AND MOST EFFICIENT AUTO PLANT IN NORTH AMERICA. HIS BROTHER WORKS THERE, TOO. AND SO DOES ONE OF THOSE GRANDCHILDREN THAT THE GRANDMOTHER THOUGHT SHE WOULD NEVER SEE. YOU CAN SEE WHY TENNESSEANS BECOME VERY WORRIED WHEN ANYTHING THREATENS THE AUTO INDUSTRY THAT HAS TRANSFORMED OUR STATE. AND HERE'S WHY THE PROPOSED TARIFFS DO THAT. TARIFFS, AS THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA SAID, ARE TAXES. TARIFFS ARE TAXES ON US, PURE AND SIMPLE. THEY MAKE WHAT WE BUY AND SELL MORE EXPENSIVE. THE LAWS OF ECONOMICS USUALLY MEAN THAT WHEN YOU MAKE WHAT YOU BUY AND SELL MORE EXPENSIVE, YOU BUY AND SELL LESS OF IT. IF WE SELL FEWER AUTOMOBILES AND AUTOMOTIVE PARTS, THERE WILL BE LOWER REVENUES, LOWER PROFITS, FEWER WAGE INCREASE, AND FEWER JOBS. SINCE ALMOST EVERY ONE OF THE 900 AUTO PARTS SUPPLIERS USE STEEL AND ALUMINUM, LOWER REVENUES AND LOWER PROFITS MEAN FEWER WAGE INCREASES AND FEWER JOBS FOR THE 136,000 TENNESSEANS WHO WORK IN THE MORE THAN 900 AUTO PLANTS IN OUR STATE. MORE EXPENSIVE CARS MEAN FEWER PEOPLE IN THE UNITED STATES BUY THOSE CARS. AND FEWER PEOPLE OVERSEAS BUY THOSE CARS, THE CARS THAT WE MAKE. FEWER PEOPLE BUYING CARS AND TRUCKS MEANS THAT 136,000 TENNESSEANS IN AMERICA'S NUMBER ONE AUTO STATE ARE GOING TO HAVE A LOWER STANDARD OF LIVING THAN THEY OTHERWISE WOULD AND LOWER FAMILY INCOMES. SO WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD OUR GOVERNMENT RAISE OUR TAXES AND DESTROY OUR JOBS IN THIS WAY? WELL, THE GOVERNMENT'S ANSWER IS THAT TARIFFS PROTECT JOBS IN THE STEEL AND ALUMINUM INDUSTRY. WELL, IT IS TRUE THAT SOME STEEL AND ALUMINUM JOBS MIGHT BE SAVED BUT IN 2003 WHEN PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH PROPOSED STEEL TARIFFS, THE EFFECT OF THEM WAS THAT TEN TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE IN THE STEEL-USING INDUSTRY, LIKE AUTO PARTS AS THEY WERE IN THE STEEL-PRODUCING INDUSTRY LOST THEIR JOBS. LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN. TEN TIMES AS MANY PEOPLE IN STEEL USING INDUSTRY LOST THEIR JOBS AS THERE WERE GAINS IN THE STEEL-PRODUCING INDUSTRIES. PRESIDENT BUSH DROPPED THE IDEA AFTER A YEAR BECAUSE THE TARIFFS DESTROYED, AS I DID MORE JOBS, INCLUDING THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY THAN IT SAVED IN THE STEEL INDUSTRY. I KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT THE ALUMINUM INDUSTRY. MY DAD WORKED AT THE ALUMINUM SMELTING PLANT WHICH CLOSED A FEW YEARS AGO BECAUSE ELECTRICITY WAS SO MUCH CHEAPER IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. YOU USE ELECTRICITY, LOTS OF IT TO SMELT ALUMINUM. THAT'S WHY THOSE PLANTS CAME TO EAST TENNESSEE MORE THAN A CENTURY AGO. BUT ELECTRIC PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE GRADUALLY RISEN OVER THAT CENTURY AND THEY'RE STILL CHEAP IN OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. SO TODAY THERE ARE ONLY EIGHT SMELTING PLANTS LEFT IN THE UNITED STATES, SEVEN OF THEM STILL IN OPERATION. ALCOA SEPARATES FOUR AND MAKES 46%, NEARLY HALF OF ALL THE ALUMINUM PRODUCED IN THE UNITED STATES. ALCOA OPPOSES THE ALUMINUM TARIFFS BECAUSE IT ALSO SEPARATES SMELTING PLANTS IN CANADA AND OTHER COUNTRIES THAT EXPORT ALUMINUM TO THE UNITED STATES. SO THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS, MR. PRESIDENT. THE LARGEST U.S. PRODUCER OF ALUMINUM ALCOA DOESN'T WANT THE ALUMINUM TARIFFS. THE THOUSANDS OF AUTO PLANTS AND OTHER PLANTS THAT USE ALUMINUM DON'T WANT THE ALUMINUM TARIFFS SO WHO IS ASKING FOR THESE ALUMINUM TARIFFS? A SECOND REASON JUSTIFYING TARIFFS IS THAT OTHER COUNTRIES MAY HAVE BEEN UNFAIR TO THE UNITED STATES. THERE MAY BE EXAMPLES OF THAT. BUT WHEN DID IT BECOME A GOOD IDEA TO SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEM BY SHOOTING YOURSELVES IN BOTH FEET AT ONCE? IT'S HARD TO SEE HOW RAISING OUR TAXES AND DESTROYING OUR JOBS IS A SMART SOLUTION TO UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES. THEN THERE IS THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TARIFFS HELP AUTO WORKERS OR NOT. RAISING TAXES AND PRICES AND SELLING FEWER CARS WOULDN'T SEEM TO HELP THE AMERICAN AUTO WORKER. WILL IT CAUSE FOREIGN COMPANIES TO BUILD MORE CARS IN THE UNITED STATES? WELL, THAT'S ALREADY HAPPENING. THE FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS HAVE BEEN DOING EXACTLY WHAT WE ASKED THEM TO DO. THEY HAVE MOVED HERE. THEY PRODUCE CARS AND TRUCKS HERE. THEY EXPORT MANY OF THOSE CARS AND TRUCKS AND AUTO PARTS TO OTHER COUNTRIES. TODAY ABOUT HALF THE CARS BEING BUILT IN AMERICA ARE BEING BUILT BY THE SO-CALLED FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS. NISSAN'S PLANT IN RUTHERFORD COUNTY EMPLOYS 8,000 TENNESSEANS AND IS THE LARGEST AND MOST EFFICIENT AUTO PLANT IN NORTH AMERICA. I WAS WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP LAST YEAR WHEN HE SPOKE IN MICHIGAN ABOUT ALL THE AUTO WORKER JOBS LEAVING THE MIDWEST. WELL, 3.6 MILLION OF THOSE JOBS DID LEAVE THE MIDWEST SINCE 1994, BUT THEY DIDN'T GO OVERSEAS. THEY MOVED TO TENNESSEE. AND TO ALABAMA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES WHICH GAINED 3.6 MILLION AUTO JOBS DURING THE SAME PERIOD. THOSE NEW AUTO PLANTS ARE IN TENNESSEE, ALABAMA, GEORGIA, MISSISSIPPI, SOUTH CAROLINA, KENTUCKY, AND TEXAS. ALL STATES WHERE THE PRESIDENT IS WIDELY ADMIRED, STATES THAT HE CARRIED HEAVILY IN HIS ELECTION EFFORT. THOSE PLANTS MOVED PRIMARILY TO THE SOUTHEAST BECAUSE OUR PART OF THE COUNTRY OFFERED RIGHT-TO-WORK LAWS AND AN ENVIRONMENT THAT ALLOWED COMPANIES TO MAKE QUALITY CARS AT A LOWER COST AND SELL THEM COMPETITIVELY HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND AROUND THE WORLD. IN FACT, MY OWN VIEW IS THAT THE MOVEMENT OF THE AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY TO THE SOUTHEAST SAVED THE AMERICAN AUTO INDUSTRY BECAUSE WHERE IT WAS 25, 30, OR 40 YEARS AGO WAS STUCK IN THE MIDWEST IN AN AL GOPLY WITH UNITED AUTO WORKERS AND THREE BIG COMPANIES AND THEY WERE PRODUCING BIG, EXPENSIVE CARS AND THE LITTLE FOREIGN CARS WERE COMING IN AND EATING THEIR LUNCH IN THE MARKETPLACE. SO NOW WE HAVE STRONG AND EFFECTIVE AMERICA AUTO PLANTS IN THE MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES AND IN THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES, AND HALF OF THEM ARE MADE BY SO-CALLED FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS. MR. PRESIDENT, I AGREE WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP ON MANY THINGS. TAX, JUDGES, REGULATION, THE ECONOMY, KEYSTONE PIPELINE, OTHER THINGS. HE'S HELPED CREATE TODAY'S BOOMING ECONOMY AND LOWER UNEMPLOYMENT. I GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR HELPING TO DO THAT. BUT THESE TARIFFS TAKE US IN EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. THESE TARIFFS ARE DANGEROUS. THESE TARIFFS ARE GOING TO COST US JOBS. THESE TARIFFS ARE GOING TO LOWER OUR FAMILY INCOMES. THESE TARIFFS ARE GOING TO DO UNDO MUCH OF THE GOOD THAT THE PRESIDENT AND THIS CONGRESS HAVE DONE DURING THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF TO CREATE THIS BOOMING ECONOMY. I RESPECTFULLY SUGGEST THAT THE PRESIDENT RECONSIDER HIS TRADE POLICY, DROP THE TARIFFS AS A TOOL FOR IMPLEMENTING HIS OBJECTIVES, AND FIND OTHER, MORE EFFECTIVE MEANS TO PERSUADE OTHER COUNTRIES TO DO FOR US WHAT WE DO FOR THEM. I THANK THE PRESIDENT AND I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 10:57:46 AM

    MR. GARDNER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THIS WEEKEND IN COLORADO WE'LL BE CELEBRATING…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. THIS WEEKEND IN COLORADO WE'LL BE CELEBRATING THE OPENING OF OUR NEW ROCKY MOUNTAIN VETERANS ADMINISTRATION HOSPITAL, THE NEW ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL V.A. MEDICAL CENTER IN AURORA. I'M INCREDIBLY PROUD THAT WE'LL BE REACHING THIS MILESTONE THIS WEEKEND AFTER A DECADE OF WORK, A DECADE-PLUS WORK, YEARS OF WORK. AND SOME SIGNIFICANT HURDLES, TRIALS, TRIBULATIONS ALONG THE WAY. I WANT TO COMMEND MY COLLEAGUE, THOUGH, FOR THE WORK THEY DID IN FUNDING THIS PROJECT. THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL V.A. MEDICAL CENTER WILL BE THE CROWN JEWEL OF THE V.A. SYSTEM. IT WASN'T EASY TO GET HERE. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAD TO DO A LOT OF WORK TO MAKE IT HAPPEN, INCLUDING THE VETERANS, THE LEADERSHIP ORGANIZATIONS IN COLORADO, OUR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE, CONGRESSMAN KAUFMAN, SENATOR BENNET, THE ENTIRE CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, SENATOR SALAZAR, SENATOR UDALL, SENATOR ALLARD WHO HAVE ALL DONE INCREDIBLE WORK TO MAKE THIS WEEKEND A POSSIBILITY. HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF TAX DOLLARS WERE USED AT THIS FACILITY. IT DID RUN OVER BUDGET, CERTAINLY RAN OVER TIME. BUT WE'VE LEARNED A LOT FROM THIS AS A RESULT OF THIS FACILITY, THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS WILL NOW BE TAKING OVER MAJOR CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS LIKE THIS. AS A RESULT OF THIS FACILITY, WE'VE MADE CHANGES TO HOW DESIGNS ARE BEING MADE. IT WAS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE AND UNFORTUNATELY A COSTLY ONE AT THAT. BUT IT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT THIS WILL BE A CROWN JEWEL, A CROWN JEWEL IN THE V.A. SYSTEM. THIS IS NOT THE END OF A PROJECT BUT IT'S THE BEGINNING OF A PROMISE TO BE FULFILLED. A PROMISE TO OUR VETERANS, THE CARE THAT THEY WILL RECEIVE, A PLACE WHERE THEY WILL FIND HEALING, WHERE THEY WILL FIND SUPPORT, WHERE THEY WILL FIND A RETURN TO GOOD HEALTH. AND SO TO OUR MEN AND WOMEN IN UNIFORM WHO CURRENTLY SERVE, KNOW THAT YOU HAVE A PLACE IN COLORADO THAT YOU WILL FIND INCREDIBLE CARE. TO THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED OUR COUNTRY, WHO LIVE IN COLORADO AND KNOW THAT WITH GREAT PRIDE, WE OPEN THIS FACILITY THIS WEEKEND. BUT WE HAVE MORE WORK TO DO. WE HAVE WORK TO DO TO MAKE SURE THAT IT'S EASIER TO HIRE DOCTORS AND FULFILL THE POSITIONS AT THE HOSPITAL THAT HAVE REMAINED OPEN FOR MONTHS AROUND THE V.A. SYSTEM. IT TAKES TOO LONG TO ON-BOARD MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. WE SHOULD CUT DOWN THAT TIME, FIGURE OUT HOW TO CUT THROUGH THE RED TAPE AND THE BUREAUCRACY. IF YOU'RE QUALIFIED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN A SWEDISH HOSPITAL IN DENVER OR ANY NUMBER OF OUR GREAT FACILITIES, WHY CAN'T YOU JUST GO TO WORK AT THE V.A. HOSPITAL AS WELL. SO THESE ARE THINGS THAT WE CAN DO TO DO A BETTER JOB. I MET WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP'S NOMINEE TO BE THE NEW V.A. SEND A I TALKED TO HIM ABOUT THE WORK THAT WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO DO TO MAKE SURE THAT VETERANS RECEIVE THE BEST CARE POSSIBLE. THIS CONGRESS HAS PASSED LEGISLATION LIKE THE CHOICE ACT, MADE GREATER REFORMS OVER THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS TO REDUCE WAIT TIMES, WAIT LISTS, TO ELIMINATE THEM, TO MAKE SURE WE CAN PROVIDE THAT PROMISE OF CARE. THIS WEEKEND IN COLORADO WILL BE A GREAT CELEBRATION, AS WE OPEN THIS FACILITY. SO MANY PEOPLE PUT IN TIRELESS YEARS UPON YEARS OF WORK, FROM THE LEADERSHIP OF THE STATE TO THE LEADERSHIP OF CONGRESS, I'M GRATEFUL THAT THIS WEEKEND WE CELEBRATE AS WE OPEN A FACILITY THAT BEGINS TO FULFILL A PROMISE MADE A DECADE AGO FOR VETERANS IN THE REGION. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT.

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  • 11:17:34 AM

    MRS. MURRAY

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I DO COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO JOIN…

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I DO COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO JOIN MY COLLEAGUES IN MAKING IT CLEAR JUST HOW HIGH THE STAKES ARE WHEN IT COMES TO OUR NATION'S HIGHEST COURTS FOR OUR FAMILIES, FOR OUR COMMUNITIES, FOR OUR COUNTRY, AND FOR OUR FUTURE. MR. PRESIDENT, SINCE THE DAY HE TOOK OFFICE, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS MADE ONE MOVE AFTER ANOTHER TO TURN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE ENTIRE EXECUTIVE BRANCH INTO A TOOL FOR THOSE WHO HAVE THE MOST POWER, THE MOST MONEY, AND THE MOST INFLUENCE TO GET EVEN MORE POWER AND MORE MONEY AND MORE INFLUENCE. FROM OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO OUR PUBLIC LANDS AND MORE. IT'S HARD TO FIND ANY TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DECISION WHERE THE BOTTOM LINE DIDN'T COME FIRST. BUT IT'S NOT JUST HIS ADMINISTRATION. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS SYSTEMATICALLY WORKED TO ROLL BACK DECADES OF PROGRESS THROUGH OUR COURTROOMS, FROM THE SUPREME COURT ON DOWN WHICH WILL HAVE LONG LASTING IMPACT STRETCHING FAR BEYOND HIS TIME IN THE WHITE HOUSE. MR. PRESIDENT, I KNOW SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES WERE HERE LAST NIGHT TO TALK ABOUT THE ABSOLUTELY EGREGIOUS CIRCUIT COURT NOMINEES WHO WOULD DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO WHITTLE AWAY AT OUR RIGHTS AND OUR FREEDOMS AS AMERICANS, AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT THAT FOR A BIT AS WELL. BUT I WANT TO TAKE SOME TIME FIRST TO TALK ABOUT A NOMINEE WHO WOULD SIT ABOVE THOSE CIRCUIT COURT NOMINEES IN OUR NATION'S SUPREME COURT AND WHO, IF CONFIRMED, WOULD OVERTURN ROE V. WADE, ELIMINATE PROTECTIONS FOR PATIENTS WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS, REVERSE SETTLED LAW AND PRECEDENT, AND GIVE THESE EXTREME CIRCUIT COURT NOMINEES EVEN MORE ROOM TO DO DAMAGE TO OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR LAWS AND OUR FREEDOMS AND OUR WAY OF LIFE. MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S TELLING THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS REPUBLICAN AND SPECIAL INTEREST ALLIES ARE DESPERATELY TRYING TO MAKE THE CASE THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH ISN'T WELL OUTSIDE THE MAINSTREAM, FAR OUTSIDE THE BOUNDS OF REASONABLE AND DEEPLY OPPOSED TO WHAT PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY WANT WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS BEING PROTECTED. LET -- THEY MAY TRY BUT THEY WON'T SUCCEED BECAUSE THE RECORD IS CLEAR. THE FACTS ARE CLEAR. JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS AN EXTREME PICK WHO WILL BE DEVASTATING FOR OUR COUNTRY IF HE'S CONFIRMED, AND WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO STOP IT. SO I'M STANDING HERE RIGHT NOW ON BEHALF OF THE FAMILIES IN MY HOME STATE OF WASHINGTON AND ACROSS THIS COUNTRY TO BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT WHAT'S AT STAKE IF PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS ENABLERS CONTINUE TO TRY IT TURN OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM INTO ONE THAT WORKS FOR MASSIVE CORPORATIONS AND SPECIAL INTERESTS AND AGAINST REGULAR FAMILIES. MR. PRESIDENT, EARLIER TODAY A NUMBER OF MY COLLEAGUES STOOD IN THIS SPOT TO SOUND THE ALARM ON WHAT'S AT STAKE FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT AND OUR PUBLIC HEALTH. IF THE BALANCE OF THIS COURT SWINGS TOWARD PRESIDENT TRUMP AND EXTREME SPECIAL INTERESTS. I WANT TO EXPAND ON THOSE CONCERNS AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT JUST A FEW OF MANY ISSUES THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH WOULD IMPACT SHOULD HE BE CONFIRMED AND HOW AWFUL THIS WILL BE FOR OUR FAMILIES AND OUR COMMUNITIES AND OUR STUDENTS, FOR OUR WORKERS, FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT, FOR OUR ELECTIONS, FOR OUR COUNTRY, AND MORE. BUT BEFORE I GET INTO SOME ISSUES, AGAIN JUST A FEW OF MANY, I WANT TO START WITH TWO THAT I BELIEVE ARE MOST IMPORTANT AND THAT EVERY WOMAN, EVERY MAN, EVERY FAMILY SHOULD BE THINKING VERY HARD ABOUT: PROTECTIONS FOR PATIENTS WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS AND ROE V. WADE. FIRST, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BROKEN PROMISE AFTER PROMISE HE MADE TO WORKERS AND FAMILIES ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL, BUT HE HAS NEVER ONCE WAVERED IN KEEPING PROMISES HE MADE TO EXTREME IDEOLOGICAL RIGHT-WING SPECIAL INTERESTS. PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID HE WOULD MAKE TAKING AWAY PATIENT PROTECTIONS LIKE THOSE FOR PREEXISTING CONDITIONS AND GUTTING POLICIES THAT HAVE MADE HEALTH CARE MORE AFFORDABLE FOR MILLIONS A TOP PRIORITY. NOW HE FAILED TO JAM A BILL THROUGH CONGRESS HERE TO MAKE THOSE THINGS HAPPEN, SO NOW HE'S DONE EVERYTHING HE CAN TO ATTACK PATIENTS' HEALTH CARE FROM THE OVAL OFFICE, AND HIS BIGGEST ATTACK YET IS JUDGE KAVANAUGH, AN EXTREMELY CONSERVATIVE NOMINEE VETTED BY THOSE SAME RIGHT-WING SPECIAL INTERESTS WHO PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SO DETERMINED TO KEEP HAPPY. A JUDGE WHO THOSE SPECIAL INTERESTS PICKED BECAUSE THEY KNOW HE WILL HELP THEM UNDERMINE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT FROM THE SUPREME COURT BENCH. I BELIEVED PRESIDENT TRUMP WHEN HE SAID HE WAS DETERMINED TO UNDERMINE PATIENTS HEALTH CARE IN ORDER TO SATISFY RIGHT-WING SPECIAL INTERESTS, HEALTH CARE COVERAGE ESPECIALLY FOR PEOPLE WITH PREEXISTING CONDITIONS IS ON THE LINE WITH THIS NOMINATION, AND WE CANNOT AFFORD NOT TO TAKE THIS THREAT SERIOUSLY. MR. PRESIDENT, THAT'S NOT THE ONLY HEALTH CARE ISSUE UNDER THREAT. PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID HE WOULD APPOINT SUPREME COURT JUSTICES VETTED BY THESE GROUPS FOR THEIR WILLINGNESS TO OVERTURN ROE V. WADE. HE SAID WOMEN SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR HAVING AN ABORTION. IN OFFICE HE AND VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE HAVE DONE VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO RESTRICT WOMEN'S ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE AND CHIP AWAY AT WOMEN'S CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS. AND UNLESS WOMEN AND MEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY STAND UP TO STOP HIM, THEY WILL SUCCEED IN PUTTING ANOTHER SUPREME COURT JUSTICE WHO HAS THE IDEOLOGICAL RIGHT-WING STAMP OF APPROVAL WHEN IT IT COMES TO STRIKING DOWN ROE. THERE IS NO SUGAR COATING THIS. WE ARE ON THE PRECIPICE OF FIVE MEN VOTING TO OVERTURN AN HISTORIC RULING THAT HAS MADE WOMEN HEALTHIER, MADE THEM MORE EQUAL, AND MORE FREE IN THE UNITED STATES. AND WE CANNOT LET THAT HAPPEN. MR. PRESIDENT, THOSE ARE TWO ISSUES SO MANY OF US ARE FOCUSED ON, AND THEY'RE SO IMPORTANT, BUT THEY'RE FAR FROM THE ONLY ONES. ANOTHER KEY ISSUE I WANT TO BRIEFLY MENTION TODAY IS THE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS OF OUR LGBTQ FRIENDS AND HE COWORKERS, OUR NEIGHBORS, OUR FELLOW AMERICANS. WE HAVE MADE PROGRESS, BUT THERE ARE MANY QUESTIONS AND CASES IN THIS AREA THAT WILL COME BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT IN THE COMING YEARS, WHETHER IT'S QUESTIONS REGARDING EQUALITY UNDER THE ADOPTION LAWS FOR ALL COUPLES, THE RIGHTS OF A COUPLE TO BUY A WEDDING CAKE, WHETHER TRANSGENDER TROOPS CAN SERVE THEIR COUNTRY, WHETHER SOMEONE CAN CONTINUE BEING FIRED SIMPLY FOR BEING LGBTQ, AND MORE. SO THERE IS A WHOLE LOT AT STAKE. AND ANYONE WHO CARES ABOUT THIS ISSUE OR ANYONE WHO SIMPLY BELIEVES THAT EVERYONE IN THIS COUNTRY SHOULD HAVE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE OR WHO THEY LOVE SHOULD JOIN US IN REJECTING JUDGE KAVANAUGH. MR. PRESIDENT, THAT'S NOT ALL. WE'VE KNOWN FROM DAY ONE THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD BE HOSTILE TOWARDS OUR BED ROM ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS -- BEDROCK ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND HE WAS EAGER TO DO THE BIDDING OF THE COAL AND OIL AND GAS INDUSTRIES, THAT HIS SLOGAN OF PUTTING AMERICA FIRST ACTUALLY MEANT THE U.S. WOULD BE DEAD LAST IN THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE AND THAT TRUMP'S ECONOMIC AGENDA HAS MORE TO DO WITH ROLLING BACK RULES THAT HELP KEEP OUR KIDS SAFE FROM TOXIC POLLUTANTS OR PROTECTING OUR DRINKING WATER OR PREVENTING HEALTH PROBLEMS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS. YOU KNOW, THE ONES THOSE SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS TRY TO CALL JUST, QUOTE, PEFBGY REGULATIONS -- PESKY REGULATIONS AND WHAT THE REST OF US -- MOMS AND GRANDMOTHERS AND ORDINARY PEOPLE CALL COMMONSENSE PROTECTIONS. BUT, MR. PRESIDENT, APPARENTLY IT'S NOT ENOUGH JUST TO ATTACK OUR ENVIRONMENT FROM THIS ADMINISTRATION. IF YOU REALLY WANT TO SHAPE OUR NATION'S ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS FOR GENERATIONS TO COME, YOU PUT SOMEONE ON THE SUPREME COURT FOR LIFE WHO WILL CONSISTENTLY SIDE WITH THE MASSIVE CORPORATION SPECIAL INTERESTS THAT PUT PROFITS AHEAD OF HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF OUR FAMILIES. AND, BOY, DID THOSE C.E.O.'S AND SPECIAL INTERESTS HIT THE JACKPOT WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP'S NOMINEE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO SPEND LONG LOOKING AT JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S RECORD TO SEE THAT SHOULD HE BE SEATED, NEARLY FIVE DECADES OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ARE AT RISK, INCLUDING THE PROTECTIONS ENSHRINED IN THE CLEAN AIR ACT, WHICH HAS SIGNIFICANTLY CUT THE SMOG AND SMOOT AND CHEMICALS THAT CHOKED COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY PRIOR TO 1970 AND PREVENTED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PREMATURE DEATHS AND CASES OF HEART DISEASE IN THE YEARS SINCE. ALSO AT RISK, THE CLEAN AIR ACT, WHICH IF ERASED, WOULD TAKE US BACK TO THE BAD OLD DAYS BEFORE COMMONSENSE PROTECTIONS LIKE WHEN THE CUYAHOGA RIVER WAS SO POLLUTED IT CAUGHT FIRE, WHEN SHELLFISH BEDS WERE CLOSED IN PUGET SOUND, NEARLY DECIMATED BY POLLUTANTS, OR WHEN AN ESTIMATED 20 MILLION GALLONS OF SEWAGE EFFLUENT FLOWED INTO LAKE WASHINGTON EVERY SINGLE DAY. MR. PRESIDENT, I COULD GO ON AND ON ABOUT THE STRIDES OUR COUNTRY HAS MADE TO KEEP OUR FAMILIES SAFE, BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS THAT BECAUSE OF OUR LANDMARK ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS LIKE THE CLEAN AIR ACT AND THE CLEAN WATER ACT, OUR RIVERS ARE CLEANER, OUR AIR IS EASIER TO BREATHE, AND FAMILIES ARE BETTER PROTECTED THAN EVER BEFORE. AND THOUGH WE HAVE A LOT OF WORK YET TO DO, IT WOULD BE A GRAVE MISTAKE TO GO BACKWARDS. AND THAT'S JUST WHAT SO MANY PEOPLE FEAR WOULD HAPPEN WITH JUDGE KAVANAUGH ON THE BENCH, GIVEN HIS PAST RULINGS AND GIVEN THE TEST THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP APPLIED AND HIS COMMITMENT TO ONLY NOMINATE SOMEONE SCREENED AND APPROVED BY THE EXTREME RIGHT, ESPECIALLY HIS STANCE THAT COULD TAKE DECISIONS AWAY FROM OUR NATION'S SCIENTISTS AND NONPARTISAN PROFESSIONALS AND PUT THOSE DECISIONS INTO THE HANDS OF SPECIAL INTERESTS, WHICH, MR. PRESIDENT, TAKES ME TO ANOTHER ISSUE I WANT TO RUN THROUGH BRIEFLY. MAKING SURE OUR ELECTIONS IN THIS COUNTRY ARE FREE AND ACCESSIBLE AND THAT CORPORATIONS DON'T HAVE A LOUDER VOICE IN THE PROCESS THAN ORDINARY VOTERS. THESE ARE ISSUES WHERE OUR COURTS HAVE FAILED TO SERVE US WELL IN RECENT YEARS. BUT BY CONFIRMING JUDGE KAVANAUGH, WE WOULD BE CEMENTING THIS AWFUL PATTERN IN FOR A GENERATION AND MAKING NECESSARY FORUMS SO MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. JUDGE KAVANAUGH WILL CONTINUE HIS HABIT OF RULING TO MAKE IT HARDER AND HARDER FOR CITIZENS TO VOTE AND HAVE A VOICE IN THIS DEMOCRACY. WE KNOW THIS. WE SAW HOW HE RULED IN FAVOR OF STRICTER VOTER I.D. LAWS, ONES WERE THE INTENTION TO MAKE IT HARDER FOR AMERICANS TO VOTE IS CLEAR AND ABSOLUTELY THE WRONG WAY TO GO. WE CANNOT HAVE A SUPREME COURT THAT CONTINUES TO ALLOW VOTER SUPPRESSION. SO I WOULD ASK MY COLLEAGUES IF YOU BELIEVE THAT VOTING IN OUR COUNTRY SHOULD BE OPEN TO ALL AND THAT PEOPLE SHOULDN'T HAVE LESS ACCESS TO THE VOTING BOOTH BECAUSE OF WHERE THEY LIVE OR THE COLOR OF THEIR SKIN, JOIN ME IN REJECTING THIS NOMINEE AND DEMANDING SOMEONE WHO WILL PROTECT OUR ELECTIONS AND OUR DEMOCRACY. AND IF YOU BELIEVE THAT CITIZENS UNITED WAS AN AWFUL DECISION THAT PERVERTED THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND PUT SHAMEFUL AMOUNTS OF POWER INTO THE HANDS OF THE MEGARICH AND THE BIGGEST CORPORATIONS, JOIN ME IN REJECTING THIS NOMINEE AND DEMANDING SOMEONE WHO WILL PUT OUR ORDINARY VOTERS' VOICE FIRST. IF WE CAN'T STEM THE FLOW OF DARK UNACCOUNTABLE MONEY IN POLITICS AND REVERSE THE TIDE OF THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS AND BIGGEST CORPORATIONS BEING ALLOWED TO HAVE THE LOUDEST VOICE IN OUR ELECTIONS, WE'RE GOING TO KEEP RUNNING INTO MASSIVE CHALLENGES AS A NATION. BUT BUT WITHOUT A SUPREME COURT WILLING TO DO THAT, WITHOUT REJECTING JUDGE KAVANAUGH AND DEMANDING SOMEONE ELSE, WE CAN'T DO THAT. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, GIVING THE MOST POWERFUL AMONG US AN ADVANTAGE IN OUR ELECTIONS IS NOT THE ONLY WAY JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS WORKING FOR THOSE AT THE TOP. AND I WANT TO BRIEFLY DISCUSS ANOTHER. LAST MONTH'S JANUS DECISION MADE IT CLEAR THAT WORKERS AND THEIR UNIONS NEED A FAIR VOICE ON THE SUPREME COURT. UNFORTUNATELY, JUDGE KAVANAUGH HAS A LONG RECORD OF WEAKENING WORKER PROTECTIONS, UNDERMINING UNION RIGHTS, AND MAKING IT EASIER FOR CORPORATIONS AND SPECIAL INTERESTS TO TILT THE SCALES OF JUSTICE IN THEIR FAVOR. SO I WOULD URGE MY COLLEAGUES WHO CLAIM TO CARE ABOUT T RIGHTS AND ECONOMIC SECURITY OF WORKING FAMILIES, JOIN ME IN REJECTING THIS NOMINATION AND PUT THE POWER BACK INTO THE HANDS OF WORKING FAMILIES AND THE MIDDLE CLASS. MR. PRESIDENT -- AND THIS POINT IS ESPECIALLY POTENT GIVEN THE DISGRACE WE WITNESSED IN HELSINKI -- EVERY AMERICAN SHOULD BE DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP PUTTING SOMEONE ON THE SUPREME COURT WHO IS PREPARED TO PROTECT HIM FROM LEGAL ATTACK AND DO HIS BIDDING. AND AS WE ALL WATCH, MANY OF US IN HORROR AND DISMAY AS PRESIDENT TRUMP CONTINUES TO DO EVERYTHING IN HIS POWER TO TRY AND DISCREDIT THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION, WE CANNOT FORGET FOR A MOMENT THAT HIS SUPREME COURT NOMINEE SUGGESTED IN A 2009 LAW REVIEW ARTICLE THAT A SITTING PRESIDENT SHOULD NOT BE SUBJECTED TO CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION OR CIVIL OR CRIMINAL LITIGATION. MR. PRESIDENT, DOES ANYONE THINK FOR ONE SECOND THIS ISN'T SOMETHING PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS LOOKING FOR? IS THERE ANYONE WHO HAS SEEN HOW PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS ACTED, LISTENED TO WHAT HE SAID, WHO THINKS THAT HE'S NOT THINKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS IF SOMEBODY RELATED TO THIS INVESTIGATION GOES TO THE SUPREME COURT? MR. PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT TRUMP CONTROLS THE WHITE HOUSE. HIS REPUBLICANS CONTROL BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS. AND THE LAST THING WE NEED -- THE LAST THING ANY AMERICAN WHO TRULY CARES ABOUT OUR COUNTRY SHOULD WANT -- IS TO PLACE THE LAST REMAINING BRANCH, THE FINAL BRANCH INTENDED TO BE INDEPENDENT, TO PUT OUR CONSTITUTION FIRST INTO THE HANDS OF A TRUMP LACKEY. THAT WOULD BE ALL OF. IT -- THAT WOULD BE AWFUL. IT WOULD ELIMINATE EVEN THE PRETENSE OF CHECKS AND BALANCES. IF JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS CONFIRMED WITH HIS RECORD AND GIVEN WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT PRESIDENT TRUMP, THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WOULD HAPPEN. SO IF YOU BELIEVE WE SHOULD BE TAKING THE RUSSIAN ELECTION INTERFERENCE INTO U.S. ELECTIONS SERIOUSLY, JOIN ME IN DEMANDING SOMEONE WHO WOULD BE TRULY INDEPENDENT AND PLACE AN APPROPRIATE CHECK ON EXECUTIVE POWER. IF YOU BELIEVE A PRESIDENT IS NOT ABOVE THE LAW, JOIN ME IN REJECTING THIS NOMINEE AND DEMANDING SOMEONE WHO WILL TAKE OUR CONSTITUTION AND OUR JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE SERIOUSLY. AND IF YOU BELIEVE THAT EXECUTIVE POWER IS NOT UNILATERAL AND THAT REAL CHECKS AND BALANCES ARE REQUIRED, JOIN ME IN REJECTING THIS NOMINEE AND DEMANDING SOMEONE WHO WILL CLEARLY AND UNEQUIVOCALLY MAKE SURE THAT CONTINUES TO BE A REALITY. AND FINALLY, I WANT TO HIGHLIGHT JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S TROUBLING RECORD ON COMMONSENSE GUN SAFETY. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT CERTAINLY HIT CLOSE TO HOME FOR FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE IN RECENT YEARS. CHURCHES, SCHOOLS, CONCERTS -- IT SEEMS LIKE NO PLACE IS IMMUNE TO THE RAMPANT GUN VIOLENCE HAPPENING IN THIS COUNTRY, WHICH IS WHY MILLIONS OF AMERICANS HAVE TAKEN TO THE STREETS IN RECENT MONTHS TO DEMAND ACTION. AND YET, AT THE SAME TIME, JUDGE KAVANAUGH HAS TAKEN A FAR MORE EXPANSIVE INTERPRETATION OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT AND HAS VIGOROUSLY ARGUED THAT ASSAULT WEAPON BANS ARE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. HIS POSITION IS FAR MORE EXTREME THAN EVEN THE LATE JUSTICE SCALIA. IT IS NO WONDER THAT THE N.R.A. IMMEDIATELY APPLAUDED JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S NOMINATION AND HAS PLEDGED NOW TO SPEND UNTOLD AMOUNTS TO SEAL THE DEAL ON HIS CONFIRMATION. THOSE ARE JUST A FEW ISSUES WEIGHING ON SO MANY PEOPLE'S MINDS RIGHT NOW. I COULD GO ON ABOUT WHAT'S AT STAKE AS PRESIDENT TRUMP TURNS HIS WHITE HOUSE AND POTENTIALLY NOW THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM INTO ONE THAT FAVORS THE POWERFUL FEW. AND I'D LIKE TO CLOSE BY SAYING THAT THERE ARE A FEW THINGS I TAKE AS SERIOUSLY AS A SENATOR THAN MY DUTY TO CONSIDER AND VOTE ON A SUPREME COURT NOMINEE. AND IN MY TIME IN THE SENATE, I'VE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSIDER NOMINEES FROM DEMOCRATS AND NOMINEES FROM REPUBLICANS. I HAVE VOTED FOR SOME OF THEM. I HAVE VOTED AGAINST SOME OF THEM. EACH ON THEIR MERITS AND EACH BASED ON HOW I THINK THEY WOULD SERVE. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS TIME IS DIFFERENT. WE KNOW EXACTLY WHERE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S SUPREME COURT NOMINEE WILL FALL ON THE SPECIFIC ISSUES, NO MATTER WHAT VAGUE ANSWERS JUDGE KAVANAUGH CHOOSES TO DELIVER THROUGH THIS PROCESS. WHY DO WE KNOW THIS? BECAUSE PRESIDENT TRUMP TOLD US, OPENLY, PUBLICLY, REPEATEDLY. THE PRESIDENT LAID OUT SPECIFIC TESTS AND PROMISED TO ONLY PICK NOMINEES FROM A PRESCREENED LIST OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD ABSOLUTELY MEET THEM. NOBODY SHOULD BE FOOLED. JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS A RUBBER STAMP. HE WILL STAND WITH SPECIAL INTERESTS OVER FAMILIES, AND HE WILL TAKE OUR COUNTRY IN THE WRONG DIRECTION. SO I URGE MY COLLEAGUES, STAND WITH ME IN REJECTING JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S NOMINATION AND JOIN ME IN CALLING ON PRESIDENT TRUMP TO SEND US SOMEONE WHO WOULD STAND WITH WOMEN, WITH OUR WORKERS, WITH OUR FAMILIES, AND WHO WOULD TRULY COMMIT TO RESPECTING SETTLED LAW AND THE RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS WE ALL HOLD DEAR AND THE LONG-STANDING PROTECTIONS THAT HELP KEEP OUR FAMILIES SAFE AND HEALTHY. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:36:28 AM

    MS. CORTEZ MASTO

  • 11:39:25 AM

    MR. TILLIS

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK LAST WEEK OR THE WEEK…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK LAST WEEK OR THE WEEK BEFORE YOU WERE PRESIDING WHEN I DID A SPEECH THAT I PROMISED I'M GOING TO DO EVERY WEEK THAT WE'RE IN SESSION UNTIL JUSTICE IS SERVED IN TURKEY. IT'S A SPEECH ABOUT THIS MAN. HIS NAME IS PASTOR ANDREW BRUNSON. HE WAS ARRESTED IN TURKEY IN OCTOBER OF 2016. IF YOU WANT TO SUM UP HIS CRIME, IT'S FOR BEING A MISSIONARY. HE WAS -- HE'S BEEN IN TURKEY FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS, HAS SERVED THE COMMUNITY WELL, HAS PROVIDED AID AND COMFORT TO SYRIAN REFUGEES, HAS PROVIDED A PLACE FOR PEOPLE IN THE TURKISH COUNTRY WHO WANT TO COME INTO A CHRISTIAN CHURCH TO DO JUST THAT. HE'S GOT A SMALL CHURCH IN ISHMIR. CAN ONLY SEAT 100 PEOPLE IN IT. I SHOULD SAY HE IS FROM THE BLACK MOUNTAIN AREA OF NORTH CAROLINA, PART OF THE SAME CHURCH THAT REVEREND BILLY GRAHAM WAS A PART OF. HE WENT TO TURKEY TO PURSUE HIS PASSION AND SERVING CHRIST THROUGH MISSIONARY WORK. BUT IN 2016, AFTER THE COUP ATTEMPT, PRESIDENT ERDOGAN IMPLEMENTED EMERGENCY POWERS AND SWEPT UP THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AND PUT THEM IN PRISON. PASTOR BRUNSON WAS IN PRISON FOR ALMOST 19 MONTHS WITHOUT CHARGES, IN A TURKISH PRISON, ABOUT 17 MONTHS IN A CELL THAT WAS DESIGNED FOR EIGHT PRISONERS THAT HAD 21 PEOPLE IN IT. I WAS IN TURKEY ABOUT FOUR MONTHS AGO WHEN I FIRST MET PASTOR BRUNSON PERSONALLY TO VISIT HIM IN PRISON, TO LET HIM KNOW THAT THAT AS LONG AS -- TO LET HIM KNOW AS LONG AS I AM IN THE U.S. SENATE, I AM GOING TO WORK HARD FOR HIS RELEASE. I SAT IN THE A TURKISH COURTROOM I TOLD PASTOR BRUNSON THAT I WOULD BE BACK AND I WILL CONTINUE TO BE BACK UNTIL JUSTICE IS SERVED. NOW, I DON'T WANT TO GET INTO TOO MANY OF THE DETAILS, SO I WILL TELL YOU HE WAS IN A COURTROOM TODAY FOR ANOTHER FIVE HOURS. IF IT WAS -- BADR ANY RESYSTEM -- BEARED ANY RESEMBLES TO THE TIME I WAS IN A COURTROOM, IT GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS -- THE DEFENSE GETS TO SAY NOTHING. THEY DON'T GET TO INTRODUCE WITNESSES TO TESTIFY ON HIS BEHALF. YOU HAVE MANY PEOPLE TESTIFYING AGAINST HIM. THINGS LIKE A DAUGHTER POSTING HER -- A MEAL THAT SHE HAD ON A SOCIAL MEDIA APPLICATION THAT THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES BELIEVE LINKS HER TO TERROR BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE IT IS A MEAL THAT CERTAIN TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS LIKE. IT ALSO HAPPENS TO BE A MEAL THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST LIKE. BUT THAT WAS A CHARGE THAT SUGGESTED HE WAS INVOLVED IN A COUP ATTEMPT OR CONSPIRING WITH TERRORISTS. HAVING A LIGHT ON IN A CHURCH. BY THE WAY IN A ROOM THAT DOESN'T HAVE A WINDOW THAT WAS SUPPOSEDLY OBSERVED BY ONE OF THESE SECRET WITNESSES WHO ARE IN PRISON SAYING, WELL, CLEARLY IF THERE WAS A LIGHT ON IN THIS CHURCH, NOTHING GOOD COULD HAVE HAPPENED BECAUSE IT WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. MAYBE SOMEBODY JUST LEFT A LIGHT SWITCH ON. I'M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW THEY ACTUALLY SAW IT BECAUSE I'VE BEEN IN THAT ROOM AND THERE IS NOT A SINGLE WINDOW. THERE IS NO WAY YOU COULD HAVE SEEN IT FROM THE OUTSIDE. THAT'S THE TYPE OF CHARGES THAT HAVE BEEN USED TO KEEP PASTOR BRUNSON IN PRISON SINCE OCTOBER OF 2016. TODAY HE WAS BACK IN, AS I SAID EARLIER, IN A HEARING, IN A TURKISH COURTROOM, FOR FIVE YEARS. AND AT THE END OF THE FIVE-HOUR HEARING, HE WAS TOLD THAT HE IS GOING TO CONTINUE TO BE IN PRISON UNTIL THEY HAVE ANOTHER HEARING IN OCTOBER. AND THAT HEARING IS SCHEDULED FOR ABOUT FOUR DAYS SHORT OF TWO YEARS THAT HE'S SPENT TIME IN A TURKISH PRISON. HE'S BEEN IN PRISON FOR 649 DAYS. HE IS IN AS GOOD A SPIRITS AS YOU COULD IMAGINE FOR SOMEBODY THAT'S GOING ON THE TRAUMA OF BEING IMPRISONED, I THINK, UNLAWFULLY AND UNFAIRLY. AND HIS WIFE MAUREEN IS IN TURKEY. SHE IS AFRAID TO LEAVE BECAUSE SHE IS AFRAID IF SHE LEAVES, TURKEY WILL NOT ALLOW HER TO COME BACK INTO THE COUNTRY. THEY HAVE BEEN SEPARATED FROM THEIR CHILDREN FOR THREE YEARS BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID TO HAVE THEM COME INTO THE ONE AND NOT BE ABLE TO LEAVE. BUT I AM ASKING THE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO JOIN WITH ME TO APPLY PRESSURE TO TURKEY TO HAVE JUSTICE DONE AND JUSTICE IS RELEASING PASTOR BRUNSON AND LETTING HIM COME BACK HOME. WE HAVE PROVISIONS IN THE NDAA THAT SEND A VERY CLEAR MESSAGE TO TURKEY THAT WE'RE SERIOUS ABOUT THIS. I HAVE MY OWN CONCERNS ABOUT TURKEY BECAUSE THEY SEEM TO BE DRIFTING AWAY AS A NATO ALLY AND A PARTNER AND MORE TOWARDS A POSITION THAT I DON'T QUITE UNDERSTAND. I CERTAINLY DON'T UNDERSTAND IT IN TERMS OF OUR MUTUAL INTERESTS AS NATO ALLIES OR AS ECONOMIC PARTNERS. BUT FOR RIGHT NOW, I WANT TO FOCUS ON A MAN WHO'S BEEN IN PRISON FOR 649 DAYS. I WANT TO FOCUS ON OTHER PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH THE EMBASSY THAT HAVE BEEN IN PRISON FOR ABOUT THAT SAME PERIOD OF TIME. I WANT TO FOCUS ON A NASA SCIENTIST WHO HAPPENED TO BE VISITING HIS FAMILY IN TURKEY. HE IS A TURKISH AMERICAN WHO'S BEEN IN PRISON FOR TWO AND A HALF YEARS. WE NEED TO EDUCATE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON A TURKEY THAT BEARS NO RESEMBLANCE TODAY TO WHAT IT DID JUST FIVE OR SIX YEARS AGO. I WANT TO HAVE A POSITIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP WITH TURKEY. I WANT INCREASED ECONOMIC TIES. I WANT INCREASED MILITARY TIES. BUT WHEN YOU ILLEGALLY IMPRISON AMERICAN CITIZENS, NO MATTER HOW IMPORTANT THAT STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIP IS, AT SOME POINT WE HAVE TO QUESTION WHETHER OR NOT WE CAN GO FURTHER. AND IN THE MEANTIME, IF ANY OF YOU ARE PLANNING ON GOING TO TURKEY, I'D THINK TWICE. MAKE SURE THAT YOU DON'T TAKE A PICTURE WITH SOMEBODY THAT MAYBE TURKISH OFFICIALS THINK IS INVOLVED IN THE COUP BECAUSE THAT COULD SWEEP YOU UP IN IT. MAKE SURE APPARENTLY THAT YOU DON'T EAT A MEAL THAT CERTAIN OTHER SEGMENTS OF TURKISH SOCIETY LIKE BECAUSE THAT MAY MAKE YOU A COUP CON CONSPIRATOR. I HOPE THAT WE SOLVE THIS PROBLEM, BUT I'LL TELL YOU, THERE ARE VERY FEW THINGS THAT WOULD EVER TAKE ME AWAY FROM COMING TO THIS FLOOR AND GOING INTO COMMITTEE MEETINGS AND DOING EVERYTHING I CAN TO PUT PRESSURE ON TURKEY UNTIL PASTOR ANDREW BRUNSON IS BACK IN THIS COUNTRY SAFE AND SOUND WITH HIS FAMILY. AND THEN I'LL CONTINUE TO WORK ON ALL THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO ARE BEING UNFAIRLY AND UNJUSTLY HELD IN TURKISH PRISONS. WE NEED TO HAVE JUSTICE FOR PASTOR BRUNSON. WE NEED TURKEY TO BE THE ALLY THAT WE WANT THEM TO BE. AND WE NEED PRESIDENT ERDOGAN TO SHOW THE LEADERSHIP AND THE COMPASSION TO BRING PASTOR BRUNSON HOME. THANK YOU,

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  • 11:46:41 AM

    MR. TESTER

    IN MONTANA, WE HAVE MORE THAN 27,000 FAMILY FARMS AND RANCHES. FOLKS WHO…

    IN MONTANA, WE HAVE MORE THAN 27,000 FAMILY FARMS AND RANCHES. FOLKS WHO FARM AND RANCH THESE LANDS ARE DESCENDANTS OF HOMESTEADERS AND PIONEERS, INCLUDING MYSELF. THEY ARE ALSO YOUNG PRODUCERS WHO MAY BE PREPARING FOR THEIR FIRST HARVEST. MIGHT I ADD THAT WE DON'T HAVE ENOUGH YOUNG PRODUCERS IN OUR STATE. THE POPULATION OF FARMERS ARE GETTING FAR TOO OLD. BUT THESE FOLKS WORK SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, LONG HOURS TO RAISE THE FOOD THAT FEEDS OUR FAMILIES ACROSS THIS WORLD, AND THEY POWER OUR RURAL ECONOMIES IN THIS COUNTRY. FARMERS AND RANCHERS ARE SMALL-BUSINESS OPERATES AND OWNERS WHO ARE ALWAYS ON TIGHT MARGINS, AND THEY'RE ALWAYS LOOKING TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY CAN MAKE THE BOOKS BALANCE BY BEING ON THE POSITIVE SIDE OF THE LEDGER. WHY? SO THAT THEY CAN KEEP THEIR FARMS AND RANCHES VIABLE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THE NEXT GENERATION TAKE OVER THEIR OPERATION. JUST LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS, A LOCAL BAR OR HARDWARE STORE, YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A PROFIT TO STAY IN BUSINESS. AND WITH THAT, PRODUCERS NEED TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE PREDICTABILITY, PREDICTABILITY IN INPUT COSTS -- TALK ABOUT FERTILIZERS, FUEL AND SEEDS -- AND PREDICT A BGT -- PREDICTABILITY IN MARKETS, THE PLACES WHERE WE SELL OUR GRAINS, WHICH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A CHALLENGE AND WHICH HAS BECOME MORE OF A CHALLENGE OVER THE PAST SIX MONTHS. WHEN FARMERS PLANT A CROP, THEY NEED TO KNOW THAT THERE IS A MARKET FOR THAT CROP, BECAUSE IF THERE'S NOT, IT CAN PUT THEM IN A WORLD OF HURT FINANCIALLY. UNFORTUNATELY IN MONTANA, WE ARE PREPARING TO HARVEST WHEAT CROPS, PULSE CROPS WILL BE SOON TO COME, OILSEEDS WILL BE SOON TO COME. AND THE FACT IS THERE IS NO CERTAINTY IN ANY OF THOSE CROPS RIGHT NOW. WHY? BECAUSE OUR FARMERS AND OUR RANCHERS ARE BEING USED AS A PAWN IN A TRADE WAR THAT I CAN GUARANTEE YOU NOT ONE OF THEM ASKED FOR. THIS TRADE WAR IS ELIMINATING ACCESS TO FOREIGN MARKETS, FOREIGN MARKETS THAT HAVE TAKEN GENERATIONS TO DEVELOP, AND PUTTING FAMILY FARMER, RANCH OPERATIONS IN A FINANCIAL PINCH, SUCH A SEVERE FINANCIAL PINCH THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT SINCE THE 1980'S WHEN WE SAW MASS EXODUS OFF THE LAND DUE TO BAD AG PRICES. THE RETALIATORY PRICES AGAINST FARMERS AND RANCHERS IS HARMING MONTANA'S NUMBER ONE INDUSTRY, AGRICULTURE. MONTANA'S GAME PRODUCERS PRODUCE ABOUT $2 BILLION WORTH OF WHEAT AND BARLEY AND OILSEEDS AND PULSE CROPS EVERY YEAR. SINCE THE MIDDLE OF JUNE THE PRICE OF NUMBER ONE DARK NORTHERN SPRING WHEAT IN SOUTHEASTERN MONTANA FELL MORE THAN 60 CENTS A BUSHEL, THAT'S MORE THAN 10%. THE SAME CAN BE SAID THROUGHOUT THE STATE OF MONTANA. TO PUT THAT IN PERSPECTIVE, THINK WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN YOUR BUSINESS IF YOUR PRICES WERE REDUCED BY 10% RIGHT OFF THE TOP. IT WOULD PUT YOU IN A WORLD OF FINANCIAL HURT, AND THAT IS WHERE MONTANA'S FARMS AND RANCHES ARE TODAY. AND IF PRICES CONTINUE TO PLUMMET, FAMILIES, SOME OF THESE FAMILIES THAT HAVE BEEN ON THE LAND FOR OVER 100 YEARS WILL BE FORCED TO MAKE SOME VERY DIFFICULT DECISIONS IN THE NEXT SIX OR EIGHT MONTHS. THESE TARIFFS ARE ELIMINATING PRODUCERS' ACCESS TO FOREIGN MARKETS, MARKETS THAT ARE IN ASIA AND EUROPE, MARKETS IN CANADA AND MEXICO. IN MONTANA, WE SELL OUR GRAINS AND OUR BEEF TO THESE COUNTRIES AND OTHERS -- CHINA, JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, CANADA, MEXICO, PACIFIC RIM COUNTRIES, EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES. THESE EXPORTS JUST DIDN'T POP UP OVERNIGHT. THEY CAME TO FRUITION AFTER YEARS OF HARD WORK AND GOOD FAITH AND TRUST AND NEGOTIATIONS, NEGOTIATIONS AND TRUST THAT IS BEING THROWN OUT THE WINDOW WITH THESE TARIFF FIGHTS. IN SOME CASES, JAPAN, FOR EXAMPLE, IT HAS TAKEN MULTIPLE GENERATIONS TO ESTABLISH THESE EXPORT MARKETS. IF WE LOSE THEM, IT WILL TAKE MANY GENERATIONS TO GET THEM BACK. COUNTRIES LIKE ARGENTINA AND RUSSIA, THEY'RE CIRCLING THE MARKETS LIKE SHARKS, WANTING TO STRIKE THE MINUTE WE LOSE A GRIP ON THEM TO FILL THOSE VOIDS. TAKE, FOR INSTANCE, MEXICO. MEXICO IS THE LARGEST IMPORTER OF MONTANA BARLEY IN THE WORLD, AND FOR YEARS MEXICO BOUGHT MONTANA'S BARLEY TO BE ABLE TO MAKE BEERS LIKE CORONA AND OTHERS. THESE TARIFFS HAVE PUT THOSE MARKETS AT RISK, TO THE POINT WHERE ONE MEXICAN BARLEY BUYER TOLD ONE OF THE FOLKS FROM THE BARLEY ASSOCIATION IN MONTANA, I DON'T KNOW THAT WE CAN DEPEND ON AMERICA TO SUPPLY OUR BARLEY ANYMORE BECAUSE THESE TARIFFS PUT OUR MARKETS AT RISK. AS A RESULT, MEXICO, IN THE AREA OF WHEAT, WHICH IS A HUGE IMPORTER OF AMERICAN WHEAT, JUST THIS LAST SPRING TURNED TOWARDS ARGENTINA FOR THEIR WHEAT. THE FIRST TIME EVER. THEY SIGNED A CONTRACT FOR ARGENTINIAN WHEAT TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE WHEAT THAT THIS COUNTRY, MONTANA A PART OF, WAS NOT SUPPLYING THEM. SO THE REAL QUESTION IS, HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO HAVE TO GO ON? WE'RE FACED WITH ENOUGH UNCERTAINTIES IN PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE. WEATHER AND DROUGHT AND HAIL AND BUGS AND DISEASE, AND THE LIST GOES ON. UNFORTUNATELY THIS IS A MANMADE PROBLEM. I GET IT, I THINK THE PRESIDENT IS RIGHT WHEN HE TALKS ABOUT HOLDING CHINA ACCOUNTABLE. YOU KNOW, THEY'VE STOLEN A LOT OF OUR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. THEY MANIPULATE THEIR CURRENCY. BUT TO PUT ON TARIFFS WHEN RETALIATION COMES ON AG PRODUCTS IS NOT THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO GO. YOU CAN GET THEIR ATTENTION BY OTHER WAYS. AND I WOULD ALSO SAY THAT THESE TARIFFS AREN'T JUST FELT BY FARMERS AND RANCHERS. THEY'RE FELT BY OTHER BUSINESSES TOO. BUILDERS, FOR EXAMPLE, THEIR COSTS ARE GOING UP. IN 2016, THE VOTERS OF MISSOULA, MONTANA APPROVED $30 MILLION BOND TO BUILD A NEW CITY LIBRARY. IN 2016. STARTED THAT PROJECT, BUT THESE TARIFFS ON STEEL SENT MATERIAL COSTS SOARING, AND NOW JUST THE COST OF REBAR HAS INCREASED BY $100,000 ALONE FOR THIS PROJECT. THE LIBRARY OFFICIALS HAVE TOLD ME THAT AS A DIRECT RESULT OF THESE TARIFFS, THEY'RE PREPARING THAT THE NEED TO GO OUT AND RAISE ANOTHER $500,000 TO FINISH THIS PROJECT. THE PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY THAT PRICE, THE PEOPLE OF OUR STATE PAY THAT PRICE. IN BREWING, ONE OF MONTANA'S FASTEST GROWING INDUSTRIES, MICROBREWERIES, A REAL SUCCESS STORY, ADDS VALUE TO GRAIN IN OUR STATE, THEY'RE BEING HIT HARD BY IT, TARIFFS ON ALUMINUM. AS THEE EMERGING -- AS THESE EMERGING BUSINESSES -- AND THEY ARE EMERGING BUSINESSES, THEY HAVE NO OTHER OPTION BUT TO PASS THAT COST ON TO THEIR PATRONS. WE'RE PAYING ON THE TARIFFS COMING IN AND WE'RE PAYING ON THE TARIFFS BEING PUT ON OUR PRODUCTS GOING OUT. IN AGRIBUSINESS, FOR EXAMPLE, EVERYTHING THAT'S MADE OF STEEL IS GOING UP AND GOING UP SIGNIFICANTLY, FROM CATTLE GUARDS, FOR FENCING, FOR METAL AND STORAGE BUILDINGS AND STEEL BINS, ANYTHING MADE OUT OF STEEL IS GOING UP, AND SIGNIFICANTLY. AND MANUFACTURERS WHO HAVE BEEN ON THE REBOUND SINCE THE 2008 CRISIS NOW HAVE A HARD TIME BIDDING ON CONTRACTS, ON MATERIALS, AND LESS OF THEIR MONEY IS GOING INTO THEIR POCKETS, IF THERE'S ANY LEFT AT ALL BECAUSE OF THESE TARIFFS. EVERY SECTOR OF OUR ECONOMY IS FEELING THE PINCH OF THIS ESCALATING TRADE WAR. NOW LOOK, FAIR TRADE IS REALLY IMPORTANT, AND IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT. GETTING MANUFACTURING BACK TO THIS COUNTRY IS REALLY IMPORTANT. BUT IT DOESN'T APPEAR THAT WE'RE DOING THOSE THINGS. INSTEAD WE'RE PUTTING OUR EXISTING BUSINESSES, WHETHER IT'S IN PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE OR CONSTRUCTION OR MANUFACTURING, AT RISK WITH THIS TRADE WAR. WE NEED OPEN MARKETS. THOSE OPEN MARKETS NEED TO GO BOTH DIRECTIONS. BUT WE SHOULDN'TING DRIVING PEOPLE INTO -- SHOULDN'T BE DRIVING PEOPLE INTO BANKRUPTCY IN THE MEANTIME, AND THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING. SO I ASK WHAT IS THE ENDING? BECAUSE IF THIS CONTINUES, I HAD AN AG BANKER TELL ME THAT FAMILY FARMS AND RANCHERS HAVE ABOUT 18 MONTHS BEFORE THEY HAVE TO START LIQUIDIZING. THAT IS THE REALITY WE'RE FACING. THAT'S NOT VERY LONG. AND THAT IS THE REASON WHY THIS BODY NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND THAT WE NEED TO SEND STRONG MESSAGES TO THE ADMINISTRATION THAT THEY CAN'T USE FARMS AND RANCHES AND SMALL BUSINESSES AS A BARGAINING CHIP. THEIR LIVELIHOODS ARE ON THE LINE. EARLIER THIS MONTH I HOSTED A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION ON TARIFFS. I WAS ABLE TO MEET WITH MONTANANS EYEBALL TO EYEBALL. I HEARD THEIR CONCERNS. THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE. THESE TARIFFS AREN'T TARGETED TOWARDS DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS BUT IN FACT THEY'RE TARGETED AT EVERYONE. AG PRODUCERS, I WOULD TELL YOU AT THIS MOMENT IN TIME ARE PROBABLY CARRYING THE MAJORITY OF THE LOAD, AND IT NEEDS TO STOP BEFORE THE DAMAGE IS IRREVERSIBLE. MY GRANDPARENTS HOMESTEADED THE LAND THAT WE FARM, THEY LIVED THROUGH THE 1930'S. AND MY FOLKS WHO TOOK THE LAND, TOOK THE FARM OVER IN THE EARLY 1940'S LIVED THROUGH A LOT OF HARD TIMES THEMSELVES. MY WIFE AND I TOOK THE FARM OVER IN THE LATE 19 # -- 1970'S AND WE SAW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE 1980'S AND WE'VE SEEN WHAT HAPPENS IN AGRICULTURE WHERE SO MANY OF THE FOLKS CAN'T MAKE IT ON THE FARM ANYMORE AND HAVE TO HAVE JOBS OFF THE FARM IN ORDER TO MAKE THE BOOKS BALANCE. THESE TARIFFS ARE MAKING THINGS HARDER. WE'VE BEEN DOWN DIFFICULT PATHS IN THIS COUNTRY BEFORE. I DON'T BELIEVE WE CAN AFFORD ANOTHER PUNCH IN RURAL AMERICA. I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR AND DEFEND THE FOLKS WHO PUT FOOD ON OUR TABLE. BUT THEIR BOTTOM LINES ARE BEING SEVERELY, SEVERELY IMPACTED BY THIS TRADE WAR. NOW LOOK, THE LEGISLATION WE PASSED LAST WEEK IS A START. AND THE SENATE VERSION OF THE FARM BILL PROVIDES A SAFETY NET, BUT I'M HERE TO TELL YOU THAT IF THINGS CONTINUE TO GO SOUTH FOR OUR MARKETS, WE'RE GOING TO BE FACED WITH A BILL TO DUMP A BUNCH OF MONEY INTO PRODUCTION AGRICULTURE TO KEEP THESE FOLKS AFLOAT. WHY? BECAUSE OF TARIFFS THAT ARE BEING PUT ON AG PRODUCTS, AND IT DOESN'T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. WE ARE AN EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT. I BELIEVE THAT BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS CAN WORK ON THIS ISSUE IN A COMMONSENSE WAY, ESPECIALLY IN THIS BODY. BUT THE ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO UNDERSTAND IF THEY KEEP CONTINUING DOWN THIS ROAD OF WHO CAN PUT THE MOST TARIFFS ON THE PRODUCTS, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A HARD TIME KEEPING OUR BUSINESSES AFLOAT, PARTICULARLY OUR FAMILY FARMS AND RANCHES IN THIS COUNTRY. THAT WILL NOT HELP WITH FOOD SECURITY FOR OUR COUNTRY AND THE LONG-TERM IMPACTS OF THAT, THE LONG-TERM NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE. WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 12:00:25 PM

    MR. CORNYN

    MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S BEEN A LITTLE MORE THAN A WEEK SINCE PRESIDENT TRUMP…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S BEEN A LITTLE MORE THAN A WEEK SINCE PRESIDENT TRUMP ANNOUNCED HIS NOMINATION OF JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH TO FILL THE VACANCY ON THE SUPREME COURT LEFT BY THE IMPENDING RETIREMENT OF JUSTICE ANTHONY KENNEDY. IN THAT SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, WE'VE SEEN SOME OF OUR FRIENDS ACROSS THE AISLE RUN THROUGH AN ALMOST IMPRESSIVE SET OF RHETORICAL CALLS NETTICS IN AN ATTEMPT TO TANK JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S CONFIRMATION BEFORE IT EVEN HAD A CHANCE TO BEGIN. HE WILL OVERTURN THIS CASE OR THIS LAW THEY CLAIM. HE WON'T BE A CHECK ON THE PRESIDENT, THEY'VE TRIED TO SAY. THEY'VE EVEN SUGGESTED THAT HE CHARGED TOO MUCH FOR BASEBALL SEASON TICKETS ON HIS CREDIT CARD. HORROR OF HORRORS. MULTIPLE FACT CHECKERS HAVE DEBUNKED EACH OF THESE CLAIMS SO THEY HAVE MOVED ON. MORE RECENTLY WE'VE HEARD FROM SOME OF OUR DEMOCRAT COLLEAGUES THAT THEY WANT TO VIEW EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF PAPER, EVERY E-MAIL, EVERY MEMO, EVERY DOCUMENT THAT PASSED ACROSS BRETT KAVANAUGH'S DESK AT ANY POINT IN HIS CAREER. NOW, REVIEWING RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS IS A PERFECTLY NORMAL PART OF CONFIRMING A JUDICIAL NOMINEE. BUT USING THAT AS AN EXCUSE TO DELAY, FOOT DRAG, AND OBSTRUCT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. WE KNOW THAT THE EFFORT TO GET EVERY MEMO FROM THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE DURING THE TIME HE SERVED AS STAFF SECRETARY THERE IS REALLY LAUGHABLE AND IS ONLY A FISHING EXPEDITION DESIGNED TO DELAY HIS CONFIRMATION UNTIL AFTER THE SUPREME COURT BEGINS ITS WORK THE FIRST MONDAY IN OCTOBER. FOR EXAMPLE, AS STAFF SECRETARY, HE WOULD HAVE HAD THE RESPONSIBILITY TO BASICALLY MANAGE THE PAPER FLOW ACROSS THE PRESIDENT'S DESK. NOW, THESE AREN'T JUST DOCUMENTS THAT HE HIMSELF HAS GENERATED. IN FACT, I SUSPECT THAT THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF THEM HE WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH CREATING. HE WOULDN'T BE THE AUTHOR. HE WOULDN'T BE MAKING POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS. HE WOULD BASICALLY BE NAVIGATING ALL OF THE DOCUMENTS THAT GO ACROSS THE PRESIDENT'S DESK TO MAKE SURE THEY'VE BEEN REVIEWED BY THE APPROPRIATE PERSON AND THEY'D BEEN CHECKED FOR ACCURACY. SO THE IDEA THAT EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF PAPER THAT WENT ACROSS PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH'S DESK SHOULD SOMEHOW BE RELEVANT AND WE SHOULD DELAY THE CONFIRMATION UNTIL WE'VE ALL HAD A CHANCE TO READ IT IS RIDICULOUS. IS WHAT PRESIDENT BUSH HAD FOR DINNER 14 YEARS AGO RELEVANT TO JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S FITNESS TO SERVE ON THE SUPREME COURT? WELL, OBVIOUSLY NOT. JUST AS THE COMMITTEE QUICKLY PROCESSED JUSTICE KAGAN IN 2010 WHO SPENT MANY YEARS IN THE CLINTON WHITE HOUSE, I'M CONFIDENT WE CAN EXPEDITIOUSLY AND EFFICIENTLY REVIEW JUSTICE KAVANAUGH'S -- JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S BACKGROUND AND REL SHAN'T MATERIALS SO WE -- RELEVANT MATERIALS SO WE CAN MAKE SURE THE VOTE ON HIS CONFIRMATION OCCURS BEFORE THE SUPREME COURT RECONVENES IN OCTOBER. UNDER CHAIRMAN GRASSLEY'S LEADERSHIP, THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WILL WORK TO PRODUCE AS MANY DOCUMENTS AS ARE RELEVANT AND POSSIBLE SO THAT EVERY SENATOR CAN DO THEIR DUE DILIGENCE. THAT'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, TO PROVIDE AS THE CONSTITUTION ITSELF SAYS ADVICE AND CONSENT. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER IS THAT UNLIKE THE KAGAN NOMINATION, WE HAVE 12 YEARS OF SERVICE ON THE BENCH BY JUDGE KAVANAUGH. HE SERVED ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS IN WHAT HAS OFTEN BEEN CALLED THE SECOND MOST IMPORTANT COURT IN THE NATION BECAUSE IT'S LOCATED IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MOST OF THE MAJOR CASES INVOLVING HUGE POLICY DISPUTES CONFRONTING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAVE MADE THEIR WAY THROUGH HIS COURT. AND HE'S WRITTEN OPINIONS, MAJORITY OPINIONS, DISSENTING OPINIONS. ALL OF THOSE HAVE BEEN REVIEWED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. AND THAT, I SUBMIT, WOULD BE THE BEST EVIDENCE OF WHAT KIND OF JUSTICE HE WOULD BE ON THE SUPREME COURT, WHAT KIND OF JUDGE HAS HE BEEN ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT? THAT'S THE BEST EVIDENCE. AND WE SHOULDN'T INDULGE REQUESTS FOR THESE FISHING EXPEDITIONS AND PAPER CHASES THAT WILL LEAD TO NOTHING OTHER THAN DELAY. IT'S IMPORTANT THAT THE VETTING PROCESS BE DELIBERATIVE AND THOROUGH AND IT WILL BE. BUT THE VOLUME OF DOCUMENTS REQUESTED SHOULDN'T BE JUST A PRETEXT TO DRAW THIS OUT FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES. HERE'S AN IMPORTANT FACTOID, MADAM PRESIDENT. NEARLY HALF OF THE DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS HAS ALREADY SAID THEY WILL VOTE NO ON JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S CONFIRMATION TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. ARE THEY GOING TO BE REQUESTING DOCUMENTS? ARE THEY GOING TO BE SAYING, WELL, I WANT TO LOOK AT EVERYTHING THAT CAME ACROSS HIS DESK WHEN THEY'VE ALREADY ANNOUNCED THEIR PUBLIC OPPOSITION? FIVE OF THEM ANNOUNCED THEIR OPPOSITION BEFORE JUDGE KAVANAUGH WAS EVEN NAMED. IN OTHER WORDS, ANYBODY THAT'S NOMINATED BY THIS PRESIDENT THEY WOULD OPPOSE. MUCH AS WE SAW AN ATTEMPT TO FILIBUSTER THE NOMINATION OF NEIL GORSUCH TO THE SUPREME COURT, WHICH RESULTED IN THE CHANGE OF THE PRECEDENT, LOWERING THE NUMBER OF VOTES TO CLOSE OFF DEBATE FROM 60% TO -- OR 60 VOTES TO 51 VOTES. BECAUSE WE REALIZED THAT WITH SOMEONE ACROSS THE AISLE SO DETERMINED TO VOTE AGAINST ANY NOMINEE OF THIS PRESIDENT NO MATTER HOW QUALIFIED, THERE WAS NO WAY WE COULD CONFIRM A WELL QUALIFIED CANDIDATE. SO WE CHANGED THAT. WELL, BOTH JUSTICES SOTOMAYOR AND GORSUCH WERE CONFIRMED JUST 66 DAYS AFTER THEY WERE NOMINATED. IN THE CASE OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH, IF THAT SAME TIMETABLE HELD UP, WE WOULD BE VOTING ON HIS CONFIRMATION ABOUT SEPTEMBER 13, WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE OCTOBER DEADLINE WHEN THE COURT RECONVENES. WE'LL HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO THOROUGHLY VET THIS NOMINEE IN A SIMILAR TIME FRAME WHICH IS CONSISTENT WITH THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS FOR BOTH REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTS. I HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO SIT DOWN WITH JUDGE KAVANAUGH LAST WEEK AND TO RENEW MY ACQUAINTANCE WITH HIM THAT FIRST OCCURRED IN 2000 WHICH AS I'VE RECOUNTED ON THE FLOOR WHEN I WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS, I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF ARGUING A CASE IN FRONT OF THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. AND AS ONE OF THE BEST QUALIFIED APPELLATE LAWYERS IN THE COUNTRY, HAVING CLERKED ON THE SUPREME COURT AS WELL, HE WAS ONE OF THE LAWYERS THAT HELPED ME GET READY FOR THAT ORAL ARGUMENT. SO I HAD A CHANCE TO NOT ONLY GET TO KNOW HIM IN 2000 BUT TO FOLLOW HIS CAREER ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS. AND HE HAS CONSISTENTLY IMPRESSED ME WITH HIS THOUGHTFULNESS, HIS DELIBERATIVENESS, HIS OUTSTANDING LEGAL AND ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS AND OF COURSE HIS EXPERIENCE ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS. HE WAS CANDID AND OPEN, PROFESSIONAL AND IMPRESSIVE. SO I HOPE ALL OF OUR COLLEAGUES WILL MEET WITH JUDGE KAVANAUGH TO SEE FOR THEMSELVES. I'VE BEEN TOLD THAT ALREADY THEY'VE BEEN MAKING -- HE'S BEEN MAKING SOME CALLS AT SOME DEMOCRATIC SENATORS' OFFICES AND THEY REFUSE TO SEE HIM AT ALL. THIS IS SIMPLY AN ACCOMPLISHED JURIST WHO WILL FAIRLY AND FAITHFULLY APPLY THE LAW AS WRITTEN AND ADHERE TO THE TEXT OF THE CONSTITUTION, AS JUDGES ARE OBLIGATED TO DO. AND LEAVE THE POLICYMAKING AND THE POLITICS TO THE CONGRESS AND THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH. SO I LOOK FORWARD TO CONTINUING OUR VETTING PROCESS AND VOTING TO CONFIRM JUDGE KAVANAUGH THIS FALL WELL IN ADVANCE OF THE OCTOBER TERM OF THE SUPREME COURT. MADAM PRESIDENT, ON A SEPARATE NOTE, THIS AFTERNOON WE'LL VOTE TO CONFIRM ANOTHER ACCOMPLISHED LEGAL MIND, ANDY OLDHAM TO THE FEDERAL COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT WHICH INCLUDES TEXAS. ANDY WILL JOIN TWO OTHER JUDGES THAT WE'VE ALREADY CONFIRMED TO THE FIFTH CIRCUIT EARLIER THIS YEAR, DON WILLETT, A FORMER MEMBER OF THE TEXAS SUPREME COURT AND JIM HOE, MY FORMER CHIEF COUNSEL AND SOMEBODY WITH IMPECCABLE LEGAL CREDENTIALS WHO ARE NOW ALREADY ON THE FIFTH CIRCUIT AND I'M DELIGHTED THAT ANDY OLDHAM WILL BE JOINING THEM. AS WE LIKE TO SAY IN TEXAS, ANDY WASN'T BORN THERE BUT HE GOT THERE AS FAST AS HE COULD. HE GREW UP IN RICHMOND, VIRGINIA, WHERE HIS PARENTS INSTILLED IN HIM A SENSE OF HARD WORK. HIS FATHER PUT HIMSELF THROUGH COLLEGE AND HIS MOTHER WAS ONE OF THE FIRST WOMEN TO ATTEND THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. FOLLOWING THEIR EXAMPLE, ANDY ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA AND WAS AWARDED THE PRESTIGIOUS TITLE OF THE JEFFERSON SCHOLAR. WHILE HE WAS AT U.V.A., HE HELPED FOUND AN ADVOCACY GROUP TO PREVENT SEXUAL ASSAULT. HIS GROUP WAS PARTICULARLY FOCUSED ON EDUCATING YOUNG MEN ON THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES WHEN IT COMES TO SEXUAL VIOLENCE. FROM THERE HE ATTENDED THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE AS A TRUMAN SCHOLAR, GRADUATED WITH FIRST CLASS HONORS AND THEN WENT TO LAW SCHOOL AT HARVARD. VERY IMPRESSIVE ACADEMIC CREDENTIALS. DURING LAW SCHOOL, HE HELPED REPRESENT A DEATH ROW INMATE IN THE HABEAS CORPUS PETITION AND WON A TEMPORARY STAY OF EXECUTION IN THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. BASED ON ANDY'S HARD WORK, THEN-GOVERNOR OF VIRGINIA WHO IS NOW -- WHO IS NOW A MEMBER OF THE SENATE COMMUTED THE DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE TO LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE BASED UPON ANDY'S LEGAL REPRESENTATION. AFTER LAW SCHOOL HE WENT TO CLERK FOR JUDGE SINTEL ON THE D.C. COURT OF APPEALS WHICH I SPOKE ABOUT IN CONNECTION WITH BRETT KAVANAUGH WHERE HE SERVED -- AND THEN HE SERVED AS A ATTORNEY TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE'S OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL. THAT'S REALLY THE LAWYERS FOR THE LAWYERS. THE LAWYERS FOR THE LAWYERS AT DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, THE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL, WHO ISSUE AUTHORITATIVE GUIDANCE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THEN, OF COURSE, HE SEIVED AS A LAW -- SERVED AS A LAW CLERK FOR JUSTICE ALITO ON THE SUPREME COURT. FOLLOWING A PERIOD OF PRIVATE PRACTICE, THE STATE OF TEXAS CAME CALLING AND ANDY BECAME A DEPUTY SOLICITOR GENERAL IN THE OFFICE OF THE TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL. THEN GREG ABBOTT, WHO HE LATER FOLLOWED TO THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE WHERE HE NOW SERVES AS GOVERNOR ABBOTT'S GENERAL COUNSEL. ON BEHALF OF THE STATE OF TEXAS, ANDY'S ARGUED TWO CASES BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT AND FILLED -- FILED COUNTLESS BRIEFS IN SUPPORT OF THE STATE. BECAUSE OF HIS BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE, ANDY HAS EARNED BIPARTISAN SUPPORT RECEIVING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE GENERAL COUNSEL TO THE OBAMA FOUNDATION AS WELL AS THE TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE. AND HIS CONFIRMATION HEARING BEFORE THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, ANDY SPOKE ABOUT HIS TRANSITION FROM A ROLE AS AN ADVOCATE TO THAT OF A JURIST. HE EXPLAINED HOW HE VIEWS THE ROLE OF A JUDGE, A JURIST IS FUNDAMENTALLY DIFFERENT AS IT IS. HE WENT ON TO SAY THE OATH OF A JURIST IS SIMPLY TO ADMINISTER JUSTICE IMPARTIALLY AND TO DO EQUAL RIGHT BY RICH AND POOR AND TO DISCHARGE JUSTICE IN A FAIR AND EQUAL MANNER. THIS IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF JUDGE WE SHOULD WANT SERVING ON OUR COURTS, SOMEONE WHO IS IMPARTIAL, NOT SOMEONE WHO WILL PUSH FOR A PARTICULAR IDEOLOGY OR POLITICAL AGENDA ON THE BENCH. AND I BELIEVE ANDY WILL FOLLOW THIS PHILOSOPHY OF IMPARTIALLY AND FAIRLY ADMINISTERING THE LAW. ANDY SPENT ALL OF THREE YEARS OF HIS LIFE IN PUBLIC SERVICE, AND HE'S ADVOCATED ON BEHALF OF TEXANS FOR MANY YEARS. SO I'M CONFIDENT HE'LL CONTINUE TO SERVE THEM AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY WELL, AND I LOOK FORWARD TO VOTING FOR HIS NOMINATION THIS AFTERNOON. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT?

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  • 12:13:39 PM

    MR. HATCH

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS FOR…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS FOR JUDGE BRETT KAVANAUGH. BY ANY HONEST MEASURE, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S NOMINEE JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS EXCEPTIONALLY WELL QUALIFIED TO SERVE ON THE SUPREME COURT. WHEN HE WAS NOMINATED TO THE D.C. CIRCUIT, HE ALREADY HAD STELLAR CREDENTIALS, KEEN INTELLECT AND IMPRESSIVE KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAW. HE WAS CONFIRMED ON THE D.C. CIRCUIT COURT IN 2006 FOLLOWING YEARS OF DEMOCRATIC OBSTRUCTION. HE HAS WORKED CLOSELY ON THAT COURT FOR A DECADE. HIS RECORD NEVER CEASES TO IMPRESS. A NOMINEE WITH -- SHOULD RECEIVE BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. OVER THE YEARS I HAVE SEEN THE DETERIORATION OF THE JUDICIAL PROCESS. WHEN JUSTICE KENNEDY ANNOUNCED HIS RETIREMENT, I KNEW DEMOCRATS WOULD AGAIN PLAY POLITICS WITH THE SUPREME COURT. IT'S WHAT THEY'VE DONE FOR MORE THAN THREE DECADES, AND IT'S A MATTER OF GREAT CONCERN TO ME. FACED WITH AN IMMINENTLY QUALIFIED NOMINEE, DEMOCRATS ARE CASTING ABOUT LOOKING FOR SOMETHING, REALLY ANYTHING TO STOP JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S CONFIRMATION. BECAUSE DEMOCRATS WANT POLITICAL JUDGES, THEY POLITICIZE THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS. THIS IS WHAT THEY DID TO OPPOSE JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH WHEN HE WAS NOMINATED. THEY TOOK A FEW CASES OUT OF THE THOUSANDS HE HAD DECIDED AND DISTORT WHAT HAD HE SAID. THEY ATTACKED HIM AS UNFIT TO SERVE. THEY SAID HE WAS UNQUALIFIED TO BE A JUSTICE. BUT JUSTICE GORSUCH HAD AN UNASSAILABLE RECORD AS A PRINCIPAL JURIST ON THE FEDERAL BENCH. SO WE FOUGHT BACK AGAINST THE MISREPRESENTATIONS, THE CARICATURES AND THE EXAGGERATIONS. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAW THROUGH THE DEMOCRATIC RUSE. THEY SAW THE KIND OF JUSTICE NEIL GORSUCH WOULD BE, A JUSTICE WHO SAYS WHAT THE LAW IS, NOT WHAT HE WANTS IT TO BE. A JUSTICE WHO RESPECTS THE SEPARATION OF POWERS, A JUSTICE WHO WILL STAND UP TO THE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES WHEN THEY OVERREACH, AND I BELIEVE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL SEE THE SAME THING WHEN THEY LOOK AT JUDGE KAVANAUGH. THE DEBATE OVER JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S CONFIRMATION SHOULD BE A DEBATE OVER HIS QUALIFICATIONS. DOES HE UNDERSTAND THE PROPER ROLE OF A JUDGE UNDER OUR CONSTITUTION? DOES HE HAVE THE EXPERIENCE NEEDED? WILL HE RESPECT THE CONSTITUTION AND THE RULE OF LAW? WILL HUNDREDS -- WITH HUNDREDS OF OPINIONS, JUDGE KAVANAUGH HAS BUILT A REPUTATION AS ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED AND INFLUENTIAL JUDGES IN THE ENTIRE COUNTRY. HIS INCISIVE REASONING HAS LED THE SUPREME COURT TO ADOPT HIS POSITION IN AT LEAST 12 CASES. FIDELITY TO THE CONSTITUTION AND TO THE RULE OF LAW ARE HALLMARKS OF HIS OPINIONS. IMPORTANTLY, HIS VAST BODY OF WORK SHOWS A DEEP COMMITMENT TO THE SEPARATION OF POWERS. HIS OPINIONS DEMONSTRATE HIS COMMITMENT TO THE PRINCIPLE THAT JUDGES SHOULD INTERPRET THE LAW, NOT MAKE IT. JUDGE KAVANAUGH SHOULD BE ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS RULINGS AND HIS APPROACH TO THE LAW. AS A JUDGE, HE HAS DEVELOPED A REPUTATION FOR HIS PREPARATION IN COURT. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT HE CAN STAND UP UNDER THE MOST RIGOROUS QUESTIONING. BUT WHAT WE'VE SEEN SO FAR IS A MIXTURE -- OR A MIX OF HYPERBOLE. THE DEMOCRATS HAVE NOT FOCUSED ON WHETHER HE UNDERSTANDS THE ROLE OF A JUDGE. THEY HAVE NOT FOCUSED ON HOW HE WILL INTERPRET THE CONSTITUTION AND THE LAW -- LAWS PASSED BY CONGRESS. WHEN IT COMES TO WHAT WE SHOULD BE ASKING ABOUT A NOMINATION, WHAT WE'VE SEEN SO FAR IS NOT EVEN IN THE BALLPARK. AFTER SCOURING JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE, PROGRESSIVES THOUGHT THEY STRUCK GOLD WITH A SHOCKING REVELATION THAT WOULD SURELY TURN PUBLIC OPINION AGAINST HIM. SO WHAT SALACIOUS SCANDAL DID THEY UNCOVER? WHAT DAMNING EVIDENCE DID THEY FIND THAT WOULD DASH ALL HOPES OF CONFIRMATION? WELL, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS, MADAM PRESIDENT, BUT THEY DISCOVERED THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH ENJOYS AMERICA'S PASTTIME. THAT'S RIGHT. JUDGE KAVANAUGH LOVES BASEBALL. WHO ARE OTHERS! HONESTLY, I COULDN'T BELIEVE IT EITHER. BUT, WAIT, IT GETS WORSE. NOT ONLY DOES JUDGE KAVANAUGH LOVE BASEBALL, HE WAS ONCE A SEASON TICKET HOLDER AT NATIONAL STADIUM. OKAY, BUT HERE'S THE REAL KICKER. JUDGE KAVANAUGH BOUGHT THOSE SEASON TICKETS WITH A CREDIT CARD -- A CREDIT CARD OF ALL THINGS! I KNOW, MR. PRESIDENT, I WAS SPEECHLESS, TOO. I'VE BEEN RACKING MY BRAIN ALL WEEK TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW A CREDIT-CARD-USING BASEBALL FAN COULD SLIP THROUGH THE CRACKS OF THE WHITE HOUSE VETTING PROCESS. NOW, OF COURSE, I'M BEING FACETIOUS TO PROVE A POINT. WE'RE ONLY NINE DAYS INTO THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS AND PROGRESSIVE OPPOSITION IS ALREADY BEYOND PARITY. OF COURSE,, THIS IS NOT NEW. EVERYTHING WE'VE SEEN SO FAR COMES DIRECTLY FROM THE DEMOCRATS' PLAYBOOK. THROUGH EVERY HALF-TRUTH AND EXAGGERATION OF THE NOMINEE. JUST SEE WHAT STICKS. WHEN NOTHING STICKS, DOUBLE DOWN ON PARTISAN ATTACKS, TAKE PAST STATEMENTS OUT OF CONTEXT, MISCHARACTERIZE HIS POSITIONS, AND LOB A HYPERBOLIC HAIL MARIE, IF YOU HAVE TO. DO EVERYTHING YOU CAN TO DEHUMANIZE THE NOMINEE, NO MATTER MISS QUALIFICATIONS OR CHARACTER. IF DEMOCRATS CONTINUE DOWN THIS PATH, WE'RE GOING TO LOSE ALL ABILITY TO DEBATE MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE. WE CANNOT EXPECT THAT ALL DEBATE WILL BE WELL-REASONED, BUT OPPOSITION SHOULD, AT THE VERY LEAST, BE RATIONAL. IT SHOULD NEVER BE HYSTERICAL. THE RHETORIC USED TO OPPOSE JUDGE KAVANAUGH CROSSES THAT LINE. JUST LAST WEEK, WHEN SPEAKING ABOUT JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S IMPRESSIVE RESUME, I SAID YOU COULD NOT KNOCK YALE, HARVARD, OR GEORGETOWN. MAYBE I SPOKE TOO SOON. SHORTLY AFTER THE ANNOUNCEMENT THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH WOULD BE THE NOMINEE, YALE LAW SCHOOL RELEASE ADD STATEMENT WITH -- RELEASED A STATEMENT WITH PRAYS OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH FROM PROFESSORS AND ADMINISTRATORS. ONE PROFESSOR EVEN NOTED THAT, QUOTE, POLITICS HAVE DEEPLY HARMED OUR SUPREME COURT NOMINATION PROCESS, UNQUOTE. BUT SHE LAUDED JUDGE KAVANAUGHS A, QUOTE, TRUE INTELLECTUAL, UNQUOTE, AND, QUOTE, INCOMPARABLE MENTOR, UNQUOTE. AND A, QUOTE, FAIR-MINDED JURIST WHO BELIEVES IN THE RULE OF, UNQUOTE. SHE WENT ON TO SAY, QUOTE, HE IS HUMBLE, COLLEGIAL, AND CARES DEEPLY ABOUT THE FEDERAL COURTS, UNQUIET. -- UNQUOTE. THE RESPONSE FROM SOME YALE LAW SCHOOL STUDENTS, STAFF, AND ASYLUM MY WAS SWIFT, FORCEFUL, UNPROMISING AND COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. QUOTE, PEOPLE WILL DIE IF HE IS CONFIRMED, UNQUOTE, AS SHE IS YALE ALUMNI WERE FAVORRISHLY OPPOSING THE NOMINATION. KAVANAUGH WAS SPOTTED DISTRIBUTING FOOD TO THE POOR. HIS DECISION TO KEEP HIS COMMITMENT TO VOLUNTEER THE WEEK HE WAS NOMINATED TO THE SUPREME COURT SAYS MORE ABOUT JUDGE KAVANAUGH THAN ANY LETTER COULD. THIS OVERWROUGHT REACTION SADLY COMES AS NO SURPRISE. CRYING WOLF IS THE LEFT'S TRADEMARK STRATEGY IN ATTEMPTS TO SABOTAGE REPUBLICAN NOMINEES. BACK IN 1990, A GROUP OPPOSING THEN-NOMINEE DAVID SOUTER WARNED THAT HE WAS A THREAT TO, QUOTE, LIVES, HEALTH, AND LIVELIHOODS OF MILLIONS OF WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES, UNQUOTE. IT WASN'T TRUE THEN. IT ISN'T TRUE NOW. I HOPE THAT THE SENATE CAN RAISE THE LEVEL OF DEBATE AS WE CONSIDER THE NOMINATION. IN DOING SO, WE SHOULD FOCUS ON WHETHER JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS QUALIFIED. I HOPE MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES CAN RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO POLITICIZE THIS NOMINATION, AS THEY HAVE WITH OTHERS IN THE PAST. SOME OF WHAT WE ARE SEEING NOW HAS ME WORRIED. WE'VE ALSO HEARD A LOT FROM DEMOCRATS ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT TRANSPARENCY IS TO THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS. BECAUSE OF JUDGE CALF NOW'S LONG -- KAVANAUGH'S LONG RECORD OF PUBLIC SERVICE TO OUR NATION, THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH HAG ASKED TO PRODUCE A LARGE NUMBER OF DOCUMENTS. DEMOCRATS HAVE BEEN DEMANDING THAT THEY BE GIVEN ACCESS TO THESE DOCUMENTS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES EXPRESSED SHOCK THAT DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL ROD ROSENSTEIN REQUESTED THAT ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS HELP REVIEW THESE DOCUMENTS. THE TRUTH IS THAT THE OFFICE OF LEGAL POLICY AT THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ALWAYS ASSISTED WITH NOMINATIONS, AND THAT OFFICE IS COMPOSED MOSTLY OF CAREER ATTORNEYS. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR ATTORNEYS FROM OTHER OFFICES IN THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT TO HELP WITH THE REVIEW OF NOMINATIONS. THE GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE WHO WORK ON NOMINATIONS ARE EXTRAORDINARILY THOROUGH, GIVEN THE REPORT OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF DOCUMENTS, IT MAKES SENSE THAT TO FACILITATE THIS PROCESS, THE D.O.J. WOULD SEEK EXTRA HELP WHEN -- EXTRA HELP. WHEN WE SPOKE LAST WEEK, JUDGE KAVANAUGH SAID HE WAS PROUD OF HIS OPINIONS AND HE HOPED PEOPLE WOULD ACTUALLY READ THEM RATHER THAN JUST READ ABOUT THEM. I THINK THOSE WHO DO THAT WILL BE JUST AS IMPRESSED BY JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S WORK AS I AM. I HOPE SENATORS WILL TAKE THE TIME TO SIT DOWN WITH HIM. JUDGE KAVANAUGH HAS SPENT MORE THAN 23 YEARS IN PUBLIC SERVICE. A GOOD MAN, A DECENT MAN, AN HONEST MAN. JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS THE TYPE OF PERSON WE SHOULD ALL HOPE IS NOMINATED TO A SEAT ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. AND THAT'S WHY I'M SO PLEASED THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP NOMINATED JUDGE KAVANAUGH. I INTEND TO DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO SUPPORT HIS NOMINATION, AND I HOPE THAT ALL OTHER SENATORS WILL DO THE SAME. WE'VE GOT TO QUIT THIS MUD MUDSLINGING AND MISCHARACTERIZATION OF PEOPLE'S CHARACTER. JUDGE KAVANAUGH IS ONE OF THE FINEST PEOPLE I KNOW. HE'S ALSO ONE OF THE SMARTEST. HE IS CONSERVATIVE, NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT. BUT HE'S HONEST. AND TO ME, THAT'S THE -- THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT KEYS TO THESE JUDGESHIP POSITIONS. I HOPE WE'LL GET RID OF THE UNJUSTICE REPRESENTATIONS AGAINST THE JUDGE. I HOPE THAT WE'LL START TREATING THE SENATE LIKE THE GREAT DELIBERATIVE BODY IT REALLY IS. WITH THAT, YOUR HONOR, I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 12:25:58 PM

    CALL

    QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL:

  • 12:25:59 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 12:54:04 PM

    MR. BARRASSO

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS…

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS IN EUROPE. HE WAS MEETING WITH OTHER NATO LEADERS. ONE OF THE MAJOR ISSUES HE RAISED WAS THE NEED TO BOLSTER ENERGY SECURITY THROUGHOUT NATO. HE SPECIFICALLY TALKED ABOUT A NATURAL GAS PIPELINE THAT THE RUSSIANS ARE BUILDING BETWEEN RUSSIA AND GERMANY. IT'S CALLED THE NORD STREAM TWO PIPELINE. I'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS PIPELINE FOR YEARS. PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT TO BRING UP THIS IMPORTANT SUBJECT. HERE'S HOW "THE BOSTON HERALD" PUT IT IN AN EDITORIAL OVER THE WEEKEND. TRUMP'S TESTY TOUGH TALK TO NATO ON POINT. ABSOLUTELY ON POINT, THE PRESIDENT'S TOUGH TALK. THE PRESIDENT POINTED OUT THAT GERMANY RELIES ON NATURAL GAS FOR A SUBSTANTIAL AMOUNT OF ITS ENERGY NEEDS. MORE THAN HALF OF GERMANY'S NATURAL GAS IMPORTS COME FROM RUSSIA. WITH THIS NEW PIPELINE, RUSSIA WILL ACTUALLY INCREASE ITS -- I'M SORRY -- GERMANY WILL ACTUALLY INCREASE ITS DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIAN GAS. RUSSIA WILL HAVE MORE OF AN INFLUENCE ON GERMANY. GERMANY AND OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MEMBERS OF NATO AND THE REASON THAT THEY ARE MEMBERS OF NATO IS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AGAINST RUSSIAN AGGRESSION. SO WHY WOULD THEY WANT TO BECOME MORE DEPENDENT ON RUSSIA IF YOU'RE GERMANY WHEN YOU'RE JOINING NATO AND BEEN A MEMBER OF NATO FOR YEARS TO PROTECT AGAINST RUSSIAN AGGRESSION. SO IT DOES SEEM THAT GERMANY HAS TURNED AROUND NOW AND GIVEN RUSSIA INFLUENCE OVER ITS ENERGY SECURITY. PRESIDENT TRUMP POINTED OUT HOW STRANGE IT SEEMS. I THINK IT'S -- IT SEEMS STRANGE TO OTHER MEMBERS OF NATO AND IT SEEMS STRANGE TO PEOPLE ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. NO ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS THE FACTS CAN SAY THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP IS WRONG. PRESIDENT TRUMP IS RIGHT. HIS TOUGH TALK TO NATO WAS ON POINT. EVEN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION KNEW T. THE REST OF NATO KNOWS IT. EVEN GERMANY KNOWS IT. WHEN ONE COUNTRY ALLOWS ANOTHER AGGRESSIVE OPPORTUNISTIC COUNTRY LIKE RUSSIA TO HAVE THAT KIND OF INFLUENCE OVER ITS SECURITY, I BELIEVE IT'S ASKING FOR TROUBLE. GERMANY SEEMS TO BE BETTING THAT INCREASING ITS ECONOMIC TIES TO THE KREMLIN WILL HAVE NO EFFECT ON THE POLITICAL MANIPULATIONS THAT RUSSIA WANTS TO PLAY ON EUROPE. I THINK IT'S A SUCKER'S BET. ENERGY IS NATIONAL SECURITY. ENERGY SECURITY IS NATIONAL SECURITY. NIGERIA SECURITY IS CALLED THE MASTER RESOURCE FOR A REASON. IT POWERS OUR COUNTRY. IT POWERS OUR ECONOMIES. IT'S A FORCE MULTIPLIER. THAT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE UNITED STATES AND IT'S IMPORTANT FOR OUR ALLIES AROUND THE WORLD TO VA THAT CORRECT UNDERSTANDING OF ENERGY AND THE IMPACT THAT IT HAS GLOBALLY AS A GEO POLITICAL WEAPON. WE'VE SEEN RUSSIA IN THE PAST USE ITS NATURAL GAS AS A GEO POLITICAL WEAPON. RUSSIA THREATENS OTHER COUNTRIES. IT EXTORTS MONEY FROM THEM. IT BULLIES THEM. RUSSIA CAN THEN TELL THEIR CUSTOMERS DO WHAT WE KAY OR WE TURN OFF -- WE SAY OR WE TURN OFF THE TAP AND SHUT OFF YOUR GAS. THEY'VE DONE IT IN THE PAST. YOU KNOW, IT ALSO MEANS A LOT OF MONEY GOING FROM OUR NATO ALLIES STRAIGHT INTO THE KREMLIN'S POCKETS. THAT'S MONEY THAT THEY COULD BE USING INSTEAD TO FUND AGGRESSION IN EUROPE AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. I MEAN, THAT'S WHAT RUSSIA WANTS TO DO WITH THE MONEY IF THEY GET THAT MONEY FROM GERMANY FROM THE ENERGY. THEY USE THE MONEY AGAINST US AND AGAINST OUR NATO ALLIES. WELL, THIS NEW PIPELINE I BELIEVE WAS ALL THE DESIRE OF THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE AND SPECIFICALLY OF VLADIMIR PUTIN TO PUT OUR NATO ALLIES MUCH MORE UNDER RUSSIA'S CONTROL. WITH THE NEW PIPELINE, RUSSIA IS SEEKING TO MAKE GERMANY AND THE REST OF EUROPE EVEN MORE DEPENDENT, EVEN MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO THIS KIND OF RUSSIAN COERCION . "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" IN AN EDITORIAL -- HAD AN EDITORIAL ON THE SUBJECT LAST WEEK. THEY WROTE THAT THE EMBARRASSMENT FOR BERLIN AND FOR NATO IS THAT GERMANY IS SO HAPPY TO HELP VLADIMIR PUTIN EXECUTE THE PLAN. THAT -- THAT'S THE EMBARRASSMENT FOR BERLIN AND THE EMBARRASSMENT FOR NATO. THEY SAID USUALLY HOSTAGES NEED TO BE TAKEN INSTEAD OF VOLUNTEERING. BUT THAT'S WHAT GERMANY IS DOING RIGHT NOW, VOLUNTEERING TO BE A HOSTAGE OF RUSSIA. THAT'S EXACTLY RIGHT. EUROPE NEEDS NEW ENERGY, NEW ENERGY SECURITY AND A NEW ENERGY SOURCE. THEY NEED DIVERSITY. THAT'S WHAT THE EUROPEAN UNION NEEDS, DIVERSITY IN BOTH THE TYPES OF ENERGY, THAT'S WHAT OUR NATO ALLIES NEED, DIVERSITY IN THE TYPES OF ENERGY THEY USE AND WHERE THEY GET THEIR ENERGY FROM. THAT'S HOW COUNTRIES ENSURE THAT THEIR OWN LONG-TERM ECONOMIC HEALTH AND INDEPENDENT IS -- INDEPENDENCE IS SOUND. RUSSIA HAS A RIGHT TO COMPETE IN THE WORLD MARKET FOR ENERGY. THE TROUBLE STARTS WHEN RUSSIA GETS SO MUCH OF THE MARKET IN SOME OF THESE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES THAT THEY ARE BECOMING A MONOPOLY IN TERMS OF THE WAY THEY ACT. RUSSIA IS THE LARGEST SUPPLIER OF NATURAL GAS TO EUROPE AND ACROSS EUROPE, NEARLY 40% OF THE NATURAL GAS IMPORTS COME FROM RUSSIA. SO RUSSIA HAS INCREDIBLE CONTROL. IN SOME COUNTRIES IT'S VIRTUALLY A HUNDRED PERCENT. COUNTRIES LIKE GERMANY SHOULD BE REDUCING THE AMOUNT OF NATURAL GAS THEY BUY FROM RUSSIA, NOT INCREASING IT. BUT THAT'S WHAT THIS PIPELINE, THIS NORD STREAM PIPELINE BETWEEN RUSSIA AND GERMANY DO. IT INCREASES THE AMOUNT OF NATURAL GAS THAT GERMANY WILL BE BUYING FROM RUSSIA. GERMANY SHOULD ABSOLUTELY REJECT THE NORD STREAM PIPELINE AS PART OF THEIR REDUCTION ON THE DEPENDENCE OF RUSSIA. THAT WOULD HELP STRENGTH THE INFLUENCE AND THE THREAT THAT RUSSIA CONTINUALLYISM POSES TO OUR NATO ALLIES. IT WOULD HELP OUR OTHER ALLIES IN THE REGION BECAUSE RIGHT NOW A LOT OF RUSSIAN GAS TRAVELS THROUGH PIPELINES THAT CROSS UKRAINE AND OTHER COUNTRIES INTO CENTRAL EUROPE. THESE COUNTRIES GET A LOT OF THEIR ENERGY THROUGH THESE PIPELINES AS WELL. RUSSIA HANES VADED PARTS OF EASTERN UKRAINE. RUSSIA HAS TAKEN OVER CRIMEA. IF RUSSIA HAS ANOTHER NEW PIPELINE TO HELP EXPORT ITS NATURAL GAS, IT CAN JUST SHUT OFF THE REVENUE FROM FOUR COUNTRIES LIKE -- POOR COUNTRIES LIKE UKRAINE. IT CAN SHUT OFF THEIR ENERGY COMPLETELY. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS DONE THAT I THINK HAS BEEN HELPFUL AND I HAVE BEEN CALLING FOR DURING THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS PROVIDING LETHAL WEAPONS TO UKRAINE TO DEAL WITH THE INCURSIONS COMING FROM RUSSIA TO EASTERN UKRAINE. VLADIMIR PUTIN ACTUALLY CUT OFF NATURAL GAS SUPPLIES TO UKRAINE IN 2006 AND IN 2009 AND IN 2014. HE INVADED UKRAINE. HE ANNEXED CRIMEA, IN PART, TO CUT OFF ACCESS TO THE NATURAL GAS AND OIL RESOURCES. THIS PATTERN THAT VLADIMIR PUTIN HAS OF USING ENERGY AS A WEAPON, AND THE BEST DEFENSE AGAINST THIS WEAPON IS FOR THESE COUNTRIES IN EUROPE TO HAVE THE KIND OF ENERGY DIVERSITY AND ENERGY SECURITY THAT I'VE RECOMMENDED. SO IN MARCH I WROTE A LETTER TO THE TREASURY AND STATE DEPARTMENTS ENCOURAGING THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO LOOK AT WAYS TO STOP THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE NORD STREAM 2 PIPELINE. THAT'S WHAT WE'LL REALLY NEED TO DO, STOP THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE PIPELINE. IT WAS A BIPARTISAN EFFORT, 39 SENATORS, BOTH PARTIES, SIGNED ON TO THE LETTER TO EXPRESS OUR CONCERNS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP ABOUT WHAT WAS HAPPENING BETWEEN RUSSIA AND GERMANY. SO TODAY I TAKE THE NEXT CONCRETE STEP AND INTRODUCE LEGISLATION TO DO FOUR VERY IMPORTANT THINGS. FIRST, THE LEGISLATION DIRECTS OUR REPRESENTATIVES IN NATO TO WORK TO ACHIEVE ENERGY SECURITY FOR OUR PARTNERS THROUGHOUT EUROPE AND EURASIA. SECOND, IT CALLS FOR A COMPREHENSIVE STRATEGY THAT INVOLVES INCREASING AMERICAN ENERGY EXPORTS TO THESE COUNTRIES THAT ARE BEING HELD HOSTAGE BY RUSSIA. THIRD, IT REQUIRES THE ENERGY STOKE SPEED UP APPROVALS -- TO SPEED UP APPROVALS OF NATURAL GAS EXPORTS TO OUR ALLIES, OTHER COUNTRIES. AND FINALLY, IT AUTHORIZES MANDATORY U.S. SANCTIONS, SANCTIONS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF RUSSIAN ENERGY PIPELINES LIKE NORD STREAM 2. IT IS IN THE NATURAL SECURITY INTEREST OF OUR COUNTRY TO HELP OUR ALLIES REDUCE THEIR DEPENDENCE ON RUSSIAN ENERGY. NOW, WHERE THOSE COUNTRIES DON'T SEE IT FOR THEMSELVES, WE NEED TO SHOW THEM HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR THEIR OWN SECURITY. OUR NATO ALLIANCE IS STRONG A ROBUST ENERGY SECURITY STRATEGY WILL MAKE IT EVEN STRONGER. VLADIMIR PUTIN -- WHEN VLADIMIR PUTIN LOOKS AT NATURAL GAS, HE DOESN'T THINK NATURAL GAS; HE THINKS POLITICS, HE THINKS MONEY, AND HE THINKS POWER. BECAUSE THAT'S HOW HE EQUATES THE ENERGY THAT HE SUPPLIES TO THESE COUNTRIES, THAT THEY HAVE BECOME SO DEPENDENT ON. MONEY, POWER, AND POLITICS. SO GERMANY AND OTHER COUNTRIES IN NATO SHOULD BE DOING ALL THEY ARE TO DIVERSIFY THEIR SOURCES OF ENERGY SO THEY CAN HELP REDUCE THE THREAT THAT RUSSIA POSES. THE UNITED STATES SHOULD DO ALL WE CAN BY EXPORTING OUR ABUNDANT NATURAL GAS TO OUR ALLIES AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. WE HAVE MORE THAN ENOUGH NATURAL GAS TO MEET OUR OWN NEEDS AND TO EXPORT TO OUR FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD. WE CAN BOOST THE SECURITY OF OUR NATO ALLIES AND OUR FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD AND WE SHOULD BE DOING IT. WE CAN DO IT THROUGH A PEACEFUL PROCESS, A PEACEFUL MEANS WITHOUT SPENDING TAX DOLLARS WHILE AT THE SAME TIME GROWING OUR AMERICAN ECONOMY WITH THE PRODUCTION OF AMERICAN ENERGY. YOU KNOW, PRESIDENT TRUMP WHEN HE CAME TO OFFICE SAID IT'S NO LONGER ABOUT ENERGY SECURITY, ENERGY INDEPENDENCE; IT'S ABOUT ENERGY DOMINANCE AND WHAT WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED WERE IN THIS COUNTRY AND THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY THAT WE HAVE AND THE RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE, WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY AND I BELIEVE AN OBLIGATION TO USE THAT ENERGY WISELY, PRODUCTIVELY. VLADIMIR PUTIN THINKS ABOUT ENERGY AS MONEY AND AS POWER AND AS POLITICS, AND I THINK THAT WHAT WE NEED TO DO WITH THE RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE, AS I'M INTRODUCING IN THIS LEGISLATION TODAY, IS A VERY COMMONSENSE APPROACH. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 01:07:07 PM

    MR. BARRASSO

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK PRESIDENT TRUMP…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK PRESIDENT TRUMP NOMINATED JUDGE BRETT CALF NOW TO SERVE ON THE UNITED STATES -- KAVANAUGH TO SERVE ON THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. PEOPLE HAVE BEGUN LOOKING OVER HIS EXTENSIVE RECORD AND HE'S BEEN GETTING RAVE REVIEWS AROUND THE COUNTRY. LET'S LOOK AMOUNT A FEW OF THE HEADLINES THAT WE'VE SEEN ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THIS IS "THE NEW YORK TIMES," JULY 10, A CONSERVATIVE STALWART WINS PRAYS FOR HIS INTELLECT AND CIVILITY. "THE NEW YORK TIMES." IT IS ASTONISHING. "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" SAID THAT TRUMP'S NOMINEE WILL BE AN INTELLECTUAL LEADER ON THE BENCH. THE DETROIT NEWS SAID HIS RECORD SUGGESTS, QUOTE, HE WILL MAINTAIN A COMMITMENT TO INTERPRETING THE LAW AS IT IS WRITTEN, NOT HOW HE MAY WISH IT HAD BEEN CRAFTED. WELL, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT AMERICANS SHOULD BE LOOKING NOR A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, BECAUSE A JUDGE'S JOB IS TO APPLY THE LAW NOT TO REWRITE IT. PEOPLE LOOKING TO JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S RECORD ARE REACHING THE CONCLUSION THAT HE KNOWS THE RIGHT WAY TO APPROACH THIS VERY IMPORTANT JOB. AND IT'S NOT JUST NEWSPAPERS THAT ARE SAYING WONDERFUL THINGS AND SINGING THE PRAYS OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH. LEGAL SCHOLARS ARE LIVING UP TO COMMEND -- LEGAL SCHOLARS ARE LINING UP TO COMMEND HIS WORKOUS A JUDGE. THEY JUST RESPECT HIM THAT MUCH AS A JUDGE THAT THEY FIND HE HAS BEEN DEVOTED TO THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION. IMAGINE THAT. THAT'S WHAT WE SHOULD EXPECT IN ANYBODY WHO SERVES AS A JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT. SO THERE'S A LAW PROFESSOR FROM YALE WHO WROTE AN OP-ED FOR "THE NEW YORK TIMES" LAST WEEK ENTITLED "A LIBERAL'S CASE FOR BRETT KAVANAUGH," A LIBERAL'S CASE. THE PROFESSOR CALLED JUDGE KAVANAUGH, QUOTE, A SUPERB NOMINEE AND SAID IT IS HARD TO NAME ANYONE WITH JUDICIAL CREDENTIALS AS STRONG AS THOSE OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH. ANOTHER LIBERAL LAW PROFESSOR CALLED HIM A, QUOTE, HIGHLY QUALIFIED, MAINSTREAM CONSERVATIVE JUDGE. HE CITED JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S REASONING AS, QUOTE, AN EXAMPLE OF THE JUDGING IDEAL, SETTING ASIDE IDEOLOGY AND PARTY POLITICS AND JUST TRYING TO GET THE LAW RIGHT. THAT'S A FORMER LAW -- LIBERAL LAW PROFESSOR. HE SAID, JUDGE KAVANAUGH GIVES, QUOTE, AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIARY THE JOB IT IS SUPPOSED TO DO -- INTERPRET THE LAW. YOU KNOW, THERE ARE LAWYERS WHO APPEAR BEFORE JUDGES IN COURT AND THERE ARE LAWYERS WHO APPEAR BEFORE JUDGE KAVANAUGH WHO HAVE SAID THE SAME THING. THERE ARE SURVEYS OF THESE LAWYERS -- AND I AM NOT A LAWYER. I HAVEN'T DONE THESE SORTS OF THINGS. BUT I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE SURVEYS OF LAWYERS WHO APPEAR BEFORE JUDGES IN COURT, PEOPLE WHO HAVE WON CASES, PEOPLE WHO HAVE LOST CASES, BUT THEY'VE PUT UP THEIR IDEAS OF WHAT THEY THOUGHT ABOUT THE JUDGE AFTERWARDS AND ACROSS THE BOARD THEY CALL HIM AN EXCELLENT JUDGE. THEY SAY THAT HE, QUOTE, HAD AS A HISTORY OF EXCELLENT LEGAL ARGUMENT AND ANALYSIS. YOU WANT SOMEBODY THAT CAN THINK INTELLECTUALLY, THINK CLEARLY, COME UP WITH A LEGAL ARGUMENT AND ANALYSIS TO MAKE THE ASSESSMENT, TO APPLY THE LAW AS WRITTEN. ONE LAWYER ACTUALLY SAID, QUOTE, IT'S DAUNTING AND HUMBLING TO BE IN FRONT OF THAT BRAINPOWER. AN ANONYMOUS SURVEY OF LAWYERS WHO APPEARED BEFORE JUDGE KAVANAUGH. I DON'T KNOW IF THEY WON OR LOST, BUT PEOPLE GET TO PUT THEIR OPINIONS IN, WINNERS AND LOSERS AFTER CASES, ANONYMOUS CASES -- DAUNTING AND HUMBLING TO BE IN FRONT OF THAT BRAINPOWER. SO IT WASN'T THE PEOPLE JUST TRYING TO KISS UP TO THE JUDGE, WIN FAVOR IN A CASE, THAT APPEAR BEFORE HIM. THESE ARE RESULTS OF PEOPLE AFTER THE CASE. THEY'RE JUST TELLING IT LIKE IT IS. EXCELLENT LEGAL JUSTICE, THEY SAY. SO IF YOU LOOK BEYOND THE COURTROOM, PEOPLE ARE JUST AS WILLING TO TALK ABOUT JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S CHARACTER AS A PERSON -- NOT JUST A JUDGE, BECAUSE THAT'S PART OF IT. YOU LOOK AT SOMEBODY'S LEGAL PHILOSOPHY, YOU LOOK AT THEIR INTELLECT AND YOU LOOK AT THEIR CHARACTER WHEN YOU TRY A SSESS A JUDGE THAT'S BEEN NOMINATED TO FIGURE OUT IF THIS IS THE RIGHT PERSON TO BE A JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT. "THE WASHINGTON POST" EVEN RAN A PIECE PAST A WOMAN THAT KNOWS JUDGE KAVANAUGH FROM THE BASKETBALL TEAM. HE HAS A WILLINGNESS TO HELP WHEN CALLED ON. THERE ARE THREE THINGS THAT I LOOK FOR IN A NOMINEE TO THE SUPREME COURT -- JUDICIAL PHILOSOPHY, STRONG INTELLECT, SOLID CHARACTER. SO WHAT WE'RE HEARING IS OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE FROM PEOPLE WHO KNOW HIM, THAT JUDGE KAVANAUGH HAS ALL OF THESE QUALITIES. HE'S SOMEONE TO TAKES THE LAW AND THE CONSTITUTION AT FACE VALUE. THE CONSTITUTION IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT, NOT A LIVING DOCUMENT. IT WAS BUILT FOR CERTAINTY. HE KNOWS THAT THE JUDGE'S JOB IS TO INTERPRET THE LAW, NOT TO LEGISLATE FROM THE BERM, NOT TO MAKE -- FROM THE BENCH, NOT TO MAKE LAWS, NOT TO MAKE POLICY. THAT'S WHAT HE SAID IN A SPEECH LAST YEAR. GOT AN EXTREMELY STRONG INTELLECT. I JUST CAN'T IMAGINE THERE'S ANYONE OUT THERE THAT CAN DENY THAT. DAUNTING AND HUMBLING TO BE IN FRONT OF THAT BRAINPOWER. THAT'S WHAT ONE OF THE LAWYERS WHO APPEARED BEFORE HIM SAID. AND HE IS A PERSON OF SOLID CHARACTER. THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HEARING FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE KNOWN HIM OVER THE YEARS, FROM BEING EXTREMELY IS ACTIVE IN THE COMMUNITY. "THE NEW YORK TIMES" SUMMARIZED IT. A CONSERVATIVE STALWART WINS PRAYS FOR HIS INTELLECT AND CIVILITY, JULY 10. SO, WHAT IS THERE FOR THE DEMOCRATS WHO COME TO THE FLOOR TO OBJECT TO? WHY ARE SOME DEMOCRATS ALREADY SAYING THEY OPPOSE A JUDGE KNOWN FOR HIS INTELLECT AND CIVILITY? THEY'VE SAID IT -- WE'VE HEARD IT ON TV AND ON THE FLOOR, BEFOREST EVEN NOMINATED -- BEFORE HE WAS EVEN NOMINATED BY PRESIDENT TRUMP. IT IS ASTONISHING TO SEE DEMOCRATS MAKE THAT DECISION. THEN THEY'RE ASKING FOR REAMS AND REAMS OF DOCUMENTS. WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING FOR? IT IS AMAZING, MADAM PRESIDENT, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THE BIG DIFFERENCE IS, I BELIEVE, BETWEEN THE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS IN WASHINGTON. REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTS CHOOSE JUDGES AND JUSTICES TO FOLLOW THE LAW. DEMOCRAT PRESIDENTS SEEM TO PICK JUDGES AND JUSTICES WHO ARE GUARANTEED TO PUSH LIBERAL POLICIES AND LIBERAL AGENDAS. PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS OF HOW THEY SHOULD RULE ON A CASE BEFORE THEY HEAR THE FACTS. THEY KNOW THE WAY THEY'RE GOING TO GO, MAYBE USE THINGS LIKE EMOTION, SYMPATHY, EMPATHY. THE CONSTITUTION IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT. EVEN THOUGH YOU'VE GOT LEGAL EXPERTS FROM AROUND THE POLITICAL WORLD AND AROUND THE SPECTRUM ON ALL SIDES OF THE AISLE WHO PRAYS HIS INTELLECT AND -- WHO PRAISE HIS INTELLECT AND CIVILITY, NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THE LIBERAL ARRANGEMENT VISITS. THEY DON'T WANT TO CONSIDER HIS LEGAL QUALIFICATIONS. AND THEY'VE SAID IT HERE ON THE SENATE FLOOR AND ON TELEVISION, IF YOU LISTEN. THEY'RE ALREADY MAKING OPPOSITION TO HIS NOMINATION A LIBERAL LITMUS TEST FOR DEMOCRATS IN THIS SENATE. SORRY TO SAY THAT MORE THAN A FEW DEMOCRATS SEEM TO BE PLAYING A LONG. WE'VE SEEN DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE WHO HAVE ALREADY SAID THEY DON'T CARE ABOUT JUDGE KAVANAUGH'S INTELLECT, THEY DON'T CARE THAT HE IS JUST TRYING TO GET THE LAW RIGHT. THEY DON'T CARE THAT, AS ONE LAWYER SAID, IT IS HARD TO NAME ANYONE WITH JUDICIAL CREDENTIALS AS STRONG AS THOSE OF JUDGE KAVANAUGH. SO WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEONE WITH THESE QUALIFICATIONS, SENATORS OUGHT TO BE LOOKING AT HIS RECORD. THEY SHOULD LOOKALITY THE 300 DECISIONS HE'S WRITTEN IN 12 YEARS ON THE BENCH. ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT THING TO LOOK AT. THEY SHOULD MEET HIM, TALK WITH HIM. WE'VE JUST BEGUN THIS CONFIRMATION HEARING PROCESS. I HOPE THAT MORE DEMOCRATS WILL HAVE AN OPEN MIND ABOUT THIS NOMINEE. I HOPE THEY'LL CONSIDER THE KIND OF PERSON WE SHOULD HAVE ON THE SUPREME COURT AND THEN MAKE THEIR DECISIONS ABOUT WHETHER JUDGE KAVANAUGH HAS THOSE QUALITIES. FROM WHAT I'VE SEEN, HE ABSOLUTELY DOES, SO I PLAN TO CONTINUE TO LOOK INTO HIS RECORD, LISTENING TO THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW HIM BEST. I PLAN TO SIT DOWN AND TALK WITH HIM. EVERYTHING I'VE SEEN SO FAR, MADAM PRESIDENT, TELLS ME THAT THIS IS SOMEONE WHO IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF JUSTICE WE NEED ON THE SUPREME COURT. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

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  • 01:15:38 PM

    MR. CARDIN

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. TO MY COLLEAGUES, LET ME JUST SAY WE MUST…

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. TO MY COLLEAGUES, LET ME JUST SAY WE MUST SPEAK OUT AND ACT. PRESIDENT TRUMP'S APPEARANCE WITH RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN, A UNITED STATES PRESIDENT EXIT -- CAPITULATING TO A STRONGMAN DICTATOR UNPRECEDENTED IN AMERICAN HISTORY, COMPROMISED AMERICA'S NATIONAL SECURITY AND BRINGS INTO QUESTION AS TO WHETHER AMERICA CAN BE RELIED UPON AS THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. WITH MR. TRUMP STANDING WITH MR. PUTIN WHILE HE DISCREDITED AMERICA'S INVESTIGATION INTO THE RUSSIAN MEDDLING, THIS IS AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT WITH A DICTATOR CHALLENGING THE INVESTIGATION BEING DONE AGAINST RUSSIA. THE PRESIDENT QUESTIONED THE U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCY'S CONCLUSIONS. HE LEFT UNCHALLENGED MR. PUTIN'S LIES AND ILLEGAL MILITARY INVASIONS. IN SHORT, MR. TRUMP DID MR. PUTIN'S BIDDING. IN RUSSIA, THEY'RE SMILING. AT THE WHITE HOUSE, THEY'RE SCRAMBLING. CONGRESS MUST SPEAK OUT AND ACT. CONGRESS MUST REPUDIATE THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS AND MAKE IT CLEAR TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE WORLD RUSSIA, DIRECTED BY MR. PUTIN, ATTACKED OUR FREE ELECTION SYSTEM IN 2016 AND TRIED TO TIP THE SCALES IN FAVOR OF MR. TRUMP. RUSSIA ILLEGALLY INVADED THE SOVEREIGN STATE OF THE UKRAINE AND ILLEGALLY ANNEXED CRIMEA, WHICH THE UNITED STATES MUST MAKE CLEAR WE WILL NEVER RECOGNIZE. RUSSIA, UNDER MR. PUTIN, MURDERS ITS POLITICAL OPPONENTS AND JOURNALISTS. RUSSIA HAS INTERFERED IN THE POLITICS OF SEVERAL EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC STATES. MADAM PRESIDENT, SIX MONTHS AGO I AUTHORED ON BEHALF OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE DEMOCRATS A REPORT ENTITLED "PUTIN'S ASYMMETRICAL ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY AND EUROPE: COMPLICATIONS FOR -- IMPLICATIONS FOR U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY." I SENT A COPY OF THAT REPORT TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HOPED HE WOULD ABSORB IT, USE IT IN HIS MEETING WITH MR. PUTIN. UNFORTUNATELY, HE EITHER DIDN'T READ IT OR DIDN'T HEED TO THE VOICE IN THAT REPORT. THAT REPORT SPELLS OUT IN DETAIL THE ASYMMETRICAL ARSENAL MR. PUTIN USES. YES, HE USES HIS MILITARY, PROPAGANDA, CYBER, SUPPORTS ORGANIZED CRIME, CORRUPTION, WEAPONIZES ENERGY, AND SPORTS FRINGE POLITICAL GROUPS -- SUPPORTS FRINGE POLITICAL GROUPS ALL TO ATTACK OUR DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. THE REPORT SPELLS OUT NUMEROUS RECOMMENDATIONS THAT WE SHOULD TAKE TO PROTECT OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AGAINST WHAT RUSSIA IS TRYING TO DO TO US. THE REPORT SPELLS OUT SEVERAL RECOMMENDATIONS I JUST WANT TO UNDERSCORE TODAY. WE URGE THE PRESIDENT TO ASSERT PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP AND LAUNCH A NATIONAL RESPONSE, AN INTERAGENCY RESPONSE SO WE MAKE IT CLEAR THAT WE WON'T TOLERATE THIS. MR. TRUMP HAS DONE JUST THE OPPOSITE. HE'S DOWN PLAYED ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO WHAT RUSSIA HAS DONE, HAS NOT ALLOWED US TO HAVE A COORDINATED EFFORT AT THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH, AND HAS FOUGHT WHAT CONGRESS HAS TRIED TO DO IN GIVING ADDITIONAL RESOURCES IN ORDER TO PREPARE AGAINST WHAT MR. PUTIN IS DOING. THE REPORT GOES ON TO FURTHER RECOMMEND THAT WE EXPOSE AND FREEZE KREMLIN-LINKED DIRTY MONEY. THE ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT DONE THAT. IT GOES ON TO SAY THAT WE SUBJECT STATE HYBRID THREAT ACTORS TO AN ESCALATING SANCTIONS REGIME. HERE, MADAM PRESIDENT, CONGRESS DID ACT. WE PASSED THE CAATZA STATUTE THAT REQUIRES, THESE ARE MANDATORY SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA BECAUSE OF WHAT THEY DID TO US IN 2016 AND WHAT THEY DID TO US IN THE UKRAINE IN OTHER ACTIVITIES AND THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT FULLY UTILIZED THOSE SANCTIONS AVAILABLE UNDER LEGISLATION THAT WE PASSED. THE REPORT CALLS UPON PUBLICIZING THE KREMLIN'S GLOBAL MALIGN INFLUENCE EFFORTS, BUILT AN INTERNATIONAL COALITION TO COUNTER HYBRID THREATS. MR. TRUMP DID JUST THE OPPOSITE IN HIS MOST RECENT FOREIGN TRIP. HIS PERFORMANCE IN BRUSSELS WITH NATO AND THEN LATER IN LONDON, HE NOT ONLY TOOK THAT OPPORTUNITY TO CRITICIZE TWO OF OUR CLOSEST ALLIES -- MRS. MERKEL IN GERMANY AND MS. MAY IN LONDON, ENGLAND, IN U.K. -- BUT HE ALSO CHALLENGED THE UNITY OF EUROPE WEIGHING IN IN REGARDS TO BREXIT AND THE POLITICS OF BREXIT. THAT'S NOT HOW THE PRESIDENT BRINGS UNITY AMONG OUR ALLIES IN ORDER TO STAND TALL AGAINST THE THREATS OF RUSSIA. THE REPORT GOES ON TO SAY WE NEED TO BUILD GLOBAL CYBERDEFENSES AND NORMS. CONGRESS HAS APPROPRIATED FUNDS. THE ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT FULLY UTILIZED THOSE FUNDS. WE NEED TO HOLD SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES ACCOUNTABLE. WE'VE SEEN INFILTRATION OF RUSSIA INTO OUR SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS. EUROPE HAS ALREADY TAKEN ACTION TO MAKE SURE THAT'S IDENTIFIED AND PROTECTED AGAINST INFILTRATION OF FOREIGN ENTITIES GETTING INVOLVED AND TRYING TO INFLUENCE POLICY IN THEIR COUNTRY. THE UNITED STATES UNDER MR. TRUMP HAS NOT TAKEN SIMILAR ACTION. FIRST AND FOREMOST, WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE RUSSIA FOR WHAT IT IS TODAY. NOT THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE, BUT ITS LEADER -- UNDER ITS LEADERSHIP OF MR. PUTIN, RUSSIA IS AN ADVERSARY. THEY'RE AGAINST OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT AND THEY'RE TRYING TO BRING DOWN OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. I SAW THE PRESIDENT'S TWEET THIS MORNING. I JUST WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE WE WANT TO HAVE RELATIONS WITH ALL COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. I WANT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND RUSSIA TO BE ON A BETTER PLATEAU. BUT IT'S GOT TO BE UNDER OUR TERMS, NOT MR. PUTIN'S TERMS. AND THAT'S WHAT THE PROBLEM WITH THE PRESIDENT DID IN HELSINKI. HE ALLOWED MR. PUTIN TO CONTROL THE DIALOGUE AND ALLOWED MR. PUTIN TO LOOK LIKE EVERYTHING HE'S DOING IS REASONABLE WHEN IT'S NOT. IF YOU GIVE MR. PUTIN SPACE, HE WILL PUSH TO FILL IT. AND THEN HE WILL GO EVEN FARTHER. TEN YEARS AGO MR. PUTIN SAW AN OPPORTUNITY. HE SAW AN OPPORTUNITY TO PUT A WEDGE IN REGARDS TO THE NATO EXPANSION AND THE GROWTH OF A UNIFIED WESTERN FRONT. HE SAW THAT OPPORTUNITY IN THE INDEPENDENT STATE OF GEORGIA, AND HE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THAT. RUSSIAN TROOPS INVADED, AND THEY'RE STILL THERE TODAY. AND GEORGIA IS STILL NOT PART OF NATO. MR. PUTIN'S STRATEGY PAID OFF. THE WESTERN WORLD GAVE HIM THAT OPEN SPACE. HE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF IT. IN 2014, MR. PUTIN, BASED UPON HIS EXPERIENCES IN GEORGIA AND ALSO, BY THE WAY, BASED UPON HIS EXPERIENCE IN MOLDOVA, SAID WE CAN DO THE SAME IN UKRAINE, AND THEY INVADED UKRAINE. THEY TOOK OVER CRIMEA. THEY ILLEGALLY ANNEXED CRIMEA, AND GUESS WHAT? UKRAINE TODAY IS NOWHERE CLOSER TO BEING A NATO ALLY AS A RESULT OF MR. PUTIN'S STRATEGIES. IT WORKED FOR HIM. NOT FOR US. THAT'S NOT IN OUR NATIONAL SECURITY INTEREST. AND THE PRESIDENT GIVES HIM A PASS. THEY TRIED IT IN MONTENEGRO. RUSSIA FINANCED OPERATIONS OF A COUP TO TRY TO PREVENT THE PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS FROM HAVING A GOVERNMENT THAT WOULD RATIFY THE NATO. THE PEOPLE IN MONTENEGRO STOOD UP AND SAID NO. THEY FOUGHT IT AND THEY WON. AND NOW MONTENEGRO IS A NATO ALLY. SO WE CAN -- CAN'T GIVE THIS SPACE TO MR. PUTIN. MR. PUTIN NOT JUST IN THE UNITED STATES BUT IN EUROPE INTERFERED IN ELECTIONS. BUT WHAT HAPPENED IN 2016 IN AMERICA? MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS IS A FACT. THIS IS NOT SUBJECT TO DEBATE. WE KNOW THAT RUSSIA DIRECTED BY MR. PUTIN INTERFERED IN OUR ELECTIONS. THAT'S BEEN CONFIRMED BY OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY. IT'S BEEN CONFIRMED BY OUR OWN INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. SO THIS IS NOT A, SOMETHING THAT YOU DEBATE. WE KNOW THAT AS A FACT. AND UNDERSTAND THE PRESIDENT HAS TRIED TO CONVINCE THE PUBLIC HERE IN AMERICA THAT MAY NOT BE TRUE, BUT THAT'S THE FACTS. WE KNOW THE FACTS. WE'RE PRIVY TO THE FACTS. SO WE KNOW THAT RUSSIA INTERFERED IN OUR ELECTIONS. BUT THE MESSAGE FROM HELSINKI, THE PRESIDENT TRUMP'S MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT PUTIN IS THAT OKAY, LET'S MOVE ON. THAT GIVES SPACE TO MR. PUTIN, HIS CALCULATIONS. 2018, FAIR GAME. DO WHATEVER AOEUPT TO IN THE U.S. -- I WANT TO IN THE U.S. ELECTIONS. AFTER ALL I KNOW THE PRESIDENT WILL BE ON MY SIDE AND WILL NOT HOLD ME, RUSSIA, ACCOUNTABLE FOR INTERFERENCE IN THE U.S. ELECTIONS. THAT'S CERTAINLY NOT IN OUR INTEREST. CONGRESS MUST SPEAK OUT AND ACT. WE'VE GOT TO PROTECT THE, THIS COUNTRY. IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY. WE'RE AN INDEPENDENT BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT. WE NEED TO SPEAK OUT ON BEHALF OF OUR NATION. SO LET ME JUST LAY OUT ISSUES THAT I HOPE THAT WE WILL DO. IN RESPONSE TO THE PRESIDENT'S SUMMIT WITH MR. PUTIN BUT ALSO BECAUSE IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY AS AN INDEPENDENT BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT TO SPEAK OUT FOR AMERICA, FIRST WE NEED TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION. I'M NOT GOING TO PREJUDGE WHAT THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION WILL COME IN WITH. I HAVE CONFIDENCE THAT MR. MUELLER WILL DO HIS WORK. MR. TRUMP HAS BEEN OPENLY CRITICAL OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN ABOUT THIS INVESTIGATION. IT'S OUTRAGEOUS THAT THE HEAD OF THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO COMPROMISE THE CHECKS AND BALANCES IN OUR OWN SYSTEM, BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT CHECK AND BALANCE REMAINS. WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION. CONGRESS NEEDS TO PASS LEGISLATION, AND THERE'S LEGISLATION THAT'S BEEN RECOMMENDED BY OUR JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, THAT WOULD PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE MUELLER CAMPAIGN. WE SHOULD TAKE UP THAT INFORMATION, THAT LEGISLATION AND PASS IT IMMEDIATELY. I SAID, MADAM PRESIDENT, I WON'T PREJUDGE WHAT MR. MUELLER WILL COME IN WITH. WE KNOW THERE'S ALREADY BEEN PEOPLE INDICTED. WE KNOW THAT RUSSIA'S BEEN ENGAGED IN THE ELECTION. WE KNOW SOME AMERICANS WERE INVOLVED. WAS THERE COLLUSION WITH THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN? THAT WILL BE UP TO THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION TO GIVE US THOSE FINDINGS. BUT WE DO KNOW BY HELSINKI THAT MR. TRUMP OPENLY CLUED WITH MR. PUTIN -- COLLUDED WITH MR. PUTIN IN REGARDS TO AN ORCHESTRATED MESSAGE COMING OUT OF HELSINKI. SECONDLY, CONGRESS NEEDS TO EXERCISE ITS OVERSIGHT CAPACITY WITH HEARINGS. IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY. I WAS PLEASED TO SEE THAT SENATOR CORKER ANNOUNCED THAT SECRETARY POMPEO, THE SECRETARY OF STATE, WILL BE BEFORE THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE WEDNESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. THIS MEETING IS LONG OVERDUE. LET ME JUST REMIND MY COLLEAGUES THAT THIS MEETING WAS BEING SET UP TO GET OUR VERY FIRST BRIEFING ON WHAT HAPPENED IN SINGAPORE IN THE PRESIDENT'S MEETING WITH KIM JONG UN IN NORTH KOREA. WE HAVEN'T HAD A SINGLE BRIEFING IN CONGRESS ON THE NORTH KOREAN SUMMIT. AND NOW WE HAVE MR. POMPEO COMING UP HERE FOR NORTH KOREA. I WOULD JUST URGE MR. POMPEO AND SENATOR CORKER, LET US MAKE SURE THAT MR. POMPEO IS PREPARED AND HAS THE TIME NOT ONLY TO ADDRESS NORTH KOREA, BUT ALSO ADDRESS WHAT HAPPENED IN HELSINKI. WE HAVE A RIGHT, AN OBLIGATION TO FIND OUT. AND WHILE WE ARE ABLE TO QUESTION REPRESENTATIVES FROM THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH IN REGARDS TO HELSINKI, LET'S MAKE SURE THAT WE HAVE A CHANCE TO TALK TO AMBASSADOR HUNTSMAN, OUR AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA, TO GET HIS TAKE ON WHAT HAPPENED AND HIS ASSESSMENT. WE NEED TO TALK TO OUR D.N.I. DIRECTOR AS TO HIS ASSESSMENTS. WE NEED TO HAVE OVERSIGHT HEARINGS HERE IN CONGRESS. AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED IN THE ROOM, WHERE IT HAPPENED, WHERE MR. PUTIN AND MR. TRUMP SPENT OVER TWO HOURS. WE HAVE NO INFORMATION ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED IN THAT ROOM. WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT DISCUSSIONS TOOK PLACE OR COMMITMENTS IN REGARDS TO OUR ELECTIONS, IN REGARDS TO UKRAINE, IN REGARDS TO SYRIA, IN REGARDS TO NORTH KOREA, IN REGARDS TO IRAN. WE HAVE A LOT OF, A LOT OF INTEREST IN KNOWING WHAT TOOK PLACE, AND WE SHOULD GET THAT INFORMATION NOW. THAT'S OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. WE NEED TO SPEAK OUT AND ACT TO CARRY OUT OUR RESPONSIBILITY. THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE. THIS IS A CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE OF WHAT WE DO. WE'RE A CHECK AND BALANCE IN THE SYSTEM. THE PUBLIC EXPECTS US TO ACT THAT WAY AND TO GET THAT INFORMATION. WE SHOULD ALSO STRENGTHEN THE SANCTIONS REGIME AGAINST RUSSIA. I SAY THAT MINDFUL THAT THE BILL THAT WE PASSED LAST YEAR, I WORKED WITH ONE OF MY COLLEAGUES IN DRAFTING THAT BILL. IT PROVIDES A WHOLE ARRAY OF OPTIONS TO PRESIDENT TRUMP TO IMPOSE NEW SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA FOR THEIR ACTIVITIES. MANY OF THESE SANCTIONS, BY THE WAY, MADAM PRESIDENT, ARE MANDATORY. THE PRESIDENT HAS NO DISCRETION. I SAY THAT WITH SOMEWHAT DISBELIEF BECAUSE THESE SANCTIONS HAVE NOT BEEN IMPOSED YET EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE MANDATORY SANCTIONS. SO CONGRESS NEEDS TO SPEAK OUT AND ACT. WE NEED TO SPEAK OUT TO MAKE SURE THAT THESE SANCTIONS ARE, INDEED, IMPOSED, AND WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE WE STRENGTHEN THE SANCTION REGIME IF THE PRESIDENT NEEDS MORE OF A REMINDER OR NEEDS ADDITIONAL TOOLS IN ORDER TO ACT AGAINST RUSSIA. ONE THING WE WANT TO MAKE CRYSTAL CLEAR. WE DON'T WANT TO SEE THE WEAKENING OF ANY OF THESE SANCTIONS. I THINK MANY OF US KNOW OF CONVERSATIONS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE PAST ABOUT MR. TRUMP'S THOUGHTS ABOUT EASING UP SOME OF THESE SANCTIONS. WE'VE GOT TO MAKE SURE, IN FACT, THEY ARE NOT. IT WAS INTERESTING DURING THE SUMMIT THERE WAS A CONVERSATION AGAINST MR. PROUDER, THAT'S THE SANCTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN IMPOSED BY CONGRESS. I WAS PROUD TO WORK WITH SENATOR McCAIN ON THAT LEGISLATION. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT IS STRENGTHENED, NOT WEAKENED. THAT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THAT TAKES PLACE. MADAM PRESIDENT, WE ALSO MAKE SURE THAT WE PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTION SYSTEM. WE'VE APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THIS. THERE IS LEGISLATION THAT IS PENDING BY MEMBERS OF THE SENATE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE. WE NOW KNOW THAT WE ARE EVEN MORE VULNERABLE OF SEEING SOME INDICTMENTS OF LATE THAT POINT THIS OUT TO WHAT RUSSIA COULD BE DOING IN THE 2018 ELECTIONS WHICH ARE ONLY MONTHS AWAY. ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF OUR DMOTIONCY IS THAT THERE ARE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE FREE FROM INTERNATIONAL TAMPERING AND THE INFLUENCE THAT RUSSIA MAY TRY TO PLAY IN THIS ELECTION CYCLE. WE NEED TO TAKE CONCRETE STEPS TO ENSURE THAT THAT IS SON. LASTLY, -- IS DONE. LASTLY, I THINK THE SENATE SHOULD GO ON RECORD REPUTING THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS IN HELSINKI. WE NEED TO BRING TO THE FLOOR OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE SUCH A RESOLUTION. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CONSIDER SUCH A RESOLUTION. BY PASSING SUCH A RESOLUTION, WE CAN RESTORE CONFIDENCE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND TO THE WORLD THAT THE UNITED STATES, INDEED, IS THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. WITH THAT, MADAM PRESIDENT, I WILL SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 01:33:17 PM

    CALL

    A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 01:36:10 PM

    MR. CRUZ

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TO SPEAK TO THE INTEGRITY AND CAREER OF MR.…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TO SPEAK TO THE INTEGRITY AND CAREER OF MR. OLDHAM. ANDY REPRESENTS THE BEST OF WHAT TEXAS' LEGAL COMMUNITY HAS TO OFFER TO OUR FEDERAL COURTS. ANDY OLDHAM WAS BORN TO HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEARTS. HIS PARENTS, LIKE THEIR GRANDPARENTS BEFORE THEM, NEW STRUGGLES AND HARD WORK. ANDY'S FATHER WAS RAISED IN A TRAILER WITH FOUR OTHER SIBLINGS. AND HIS FATHER, ANDY'S GRANDFATHER, SPENT YEARS AWAY FROM HIS FAMILY, FIRST FIGHTING IN WORLD WAR II AND THEN KOREA. HIS MOTHER WAS RAISED BY HER DIVORCED MOTHER, ANDY'S MOTHER HELPED MANAGE THE HOUSEHOLD STARTING AT AGE EIGHT. GROWING UP IN THESE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS TAUGHT BOTH OF ANDY'S PARENTS THE VALUE OF HARD WORK. HIS MOTHER DROVE A CEMENT TRUCK AND CLEANED DEEP FRYERS IN RESTAURANTS TO PAY HIS WAY THROUGH COLLEGE AND HIS MOTHER WAS ONE OF THE FIRST WOMEN TO ATTEND THE UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA. TOGETHER BOTH ENROLLED IN THE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF VIRGINIA WHERE HIS FATHER BECAME A DOCTOR AND HIS MOTHER BECAME A DENTIST. ANDY'S PARENTS HAD ENORMOUS STUDENT DEBTS TO PAY, AND SO ANDY LEARNED WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO GROW UP WITH LITTLE AS WELL. BUT HE LIKEWISE LEARNED THE VALUE OF AN EDUCATION FROM HIS PARENTS. ANDY WENT TO UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA ON A FULL ACADEMIC SCHOLARSHIP, GRADUATING WITH A PERFECT 4.0 G.P.A., AND AT THE TOP OF HIS CLASS. HE WENT ON TO BECOME A TRUMAN SCHOLAR AND HE GRADUATED FROM HARVARD MAGNUM CUM LAUDE AND CLERKED FOR ONE OF THE MOST RESPECTED JUDGES AND CLERKED FOR SAMUEL ALITO AND WORKED AS AN ATTORNEY ADVISOR IN THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN THE GEORGE W. BUSH ADMINISTRATION. ANDY THEN WENT INTO PRIVATE PRACTICE AT KEL OG, -- KELLOG, HANSON AND THEN WENT ON TO SERVE AS THE DEPUTY SOLICITOR GENERAL OF TEXAS. I CAN TELL YOU THAT OFFICE IS USUALLY A PRETTY TIGHT SHIP. AFTER THAT, HE JOINED GOVERNOR ABBOTT TO SERVE AS HIS LEGAL COUNSEL. HE'S NOW THE GENERAL COUNSEL FOR THE GOVERNOR AS HE SPENT ALL BUT THREE YEARS OF HIS CAREER IN PUBLIC SERVICE. MR. PRESIDENT, MAY I SAY, IT SHOWS A DEPTH OF CHARACTER, MADAM PRESIDENT, AND A DEVOTION TO HIS COUNTRY THAT ANDY WOULD STAY IN PUBLIC SERVICE FOR SO LONG, SO DUTIFULLY WHILE FORGOING THE GREAT REWARDS THAT COME WITH PRIVATE PRACTICE. HE IS DEVOTED TO THE PRACTICE OF LAW, AND OVER THE YEARS ANDY HAS DISPLAYED A KEEN UNDERSTANDING OF THE CONSTITUTION, HOW IT APPLIES AND GUIDES US TO THIS VERY DAY. I'M CONFIDENT THAT ANDY WILL NOT SUBSTITUTE HIS OWN POLICY PREFERENCES AND HIS OWN OPINIONS FOR THE RULE OF LAW, BUT HE WILL INSTEAD SERVE THE PEOPLE OF TEXAS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY RESPECTING THE LAW AS WRITTEN, AS WRITTEN IN THE CONSTITUTION, AND AS WRITTEN IN FEDERAL LAW PASSED BY THIS CONGRESS AND SIGNED BY THE PRESIDENT. OUR COURTS, OUR COUNTRY, ARE WELL SERVED BY JUDGES WITH THIS DEDICATION, WITH WISDOM AND FORBEARANCE. IN HIS CAREER ANDY HAS ARGUED ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN STATE AND FEDERAL COURTS. HE HAS APPEARED AND ARGUED NUMEROUS TIMES BEFORE THE FIFTH CIRCUIT AND ARGUED TWICE BEFORE THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT. HE HAS EARNED WIDESPREAD PRAISE FROM BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. AND HE WAS RECOMMENDED TO THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE BY ESTEEMED LEGAL VOICES FROM BOTH THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT. ANDY IS RESPECTED ACROSS THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM, AND MY KNOW MY COLLEAGUES IN THE SENATE WILL RETURN THE SAME RESPECT WHEN THEY VOTE TODAY TO CONFIRM ANDY OLDHAM AS A CIRCUIT JUDGE TO THE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS TO THE FIFTH CIRCUIT. ANDY WILL BE THE FIFTD JUDGE WE -- FIFTH JUDGE WE HAVE CONFIRMED TO THE CIRCUIT COURT. ANDY WILL BE THE THIRD TEXAN AND THE FIFTH FIFTH CIRCUIT JUDGE IN THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF, AND THAT, I THINK, IS ONE OF THE GREATEST LEGACY OF PRESIDENT TRUMP AND THIS REPUBLICAN SENATE ARE THE PRINCIPLED CONSTITUTIONALISTS WHO WE ARE CONFIRMING TO THE FEDERAL COURT, JUDGES WHO WILL BE FAITHFUL TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BILL OF RIGHTS, WHO WILL STAND STEADFASTLY TO PROTECT OUR FUNDAMENTAL LIBERTIES, TO PROTECT THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS, TO PROTECT THE TENTH AMENDMENT, THE FUNDAMENTAL LIBERTIES OF THE PEOPLE AGAINST FEDERAL POWER. THIS IS WHY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ELECTED THIS MAJORITY AND IT'S A LEGACY THAT WILL BENEFIT TEXANS AND AMERICANS FOR GENERATIONS TO COME. MADAM SPEAKER, I YIELD THE FLOOR AND I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 01:41:51 PM

    CALL

    QUORUM CALL:

  • 01:47:00 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS WE ALL KNOW IN THIS COUNTRY, IN 2016, THE RUSSIAN…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS WE ALL KNOW IN THIS COUNTRY, IN 2016, THE RUSSIAN GOVERNMENT WAGED A COVERT, MULTIFACETED CRIMINAL CAMPAIGN TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS. NOW WE KNOW IT WAS INTENDED TO HELP THEN-CANDIDATE DONALD TRUMP WIN THE PRESIDENCY. WE DON'T KNOW THE FULL IMPACT FROM RUSSIA'S INTERFERENCE, BUT IT'S BEYOND DEBATE THAT IT HAPPENED. RUSSIA, AS WE NOW FOUND OUT, USED INFLAMMATORY PROPAGANDA, ACTUALLY WAS FAKE NEWS, ATTEMPTING TO SUPPRESS DEMOCRATIC TURNOUT AND BLUE SUPPORT FOR DONALD TRUMP. HE ALSO STOLE COMMUNICATIONS BELONGING TO THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE AND THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN, WHICH WERE THEN STRATEGICALLY RELEASED TO MAXIMIZE THE IMPACT, AND THEY WERE RELEASED AT TIMES WHEN THEY COULD COUNTER NEGATIVE NEWS STORIES ABOUT DONALD TRUMP. AND THEN JUST LAST WEEK, 12 RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE OFFICERS WERE CHARGED WITH HACKING CAMPAIGN OFFICIALS' E-MAILS AND STATE ELECTION BOARDS. IN JUST OVER A YEAR OF WHAT MAY RANK AS THE MOST PRODUCTIVE SPECIAL COUNSEL INVESTIGATION IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY, 32 PEOPLE AND THREE COMPANIES HAVE BEEN CHARGED OR PLED GUILTY AS PART OF THE RUSSIAN INVESTIGATION. WE LIKELY WON'T KNOW THE FULL EXTENT OF RUSSIA'S INTERFERENCE UNTIL THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE. BUT WHAT IS CLEAR -- AND THIS IS WHAT SHOULD CONCERN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE -- WHAT IS CLEAR IS THAT OUR DEMOCRACY, OUR GREAT COUNTRY WAS ATTACKED BY A FOREIGN ADVERSARY. TWO DAYS AGO, ON AN INTERNATIONAL STAGE STANDING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER WITH VLADIMIR PUTIN, OUR PRESIDENT SIDED WITH THAT ATTACKER. INSTEAD OF FORCEFULLY CONDEMNING RUSSIA'S ATTACK ON OUR DEMOCRACY OR CONDEMNING ITS ROLE IN ANNEXING CRIMEA OR POISONING INDIVIDUALS WITH CHEMICAL WEAPONS ON THE SOIL OF ONE OF OUR CLOSEST ALLIES OR RUSSIA'S DOWNING OF A PASSENGER AIRLINE WITH NEARLY 300 INNOCENT CIVILIANS ON BOARD OR UNDERMINING DEMOCRACIES AROUND THE WORLD, OUR PRESIDENT OFFERED ONLY PRAISE FOR THE AUTHORITARIAN PRESIDENT PUTIN. HE THEN REPEATED HIS CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUT THE F.B.I. HE CALLED THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION A WITCH HUNT BY THE F.B.I. HE DENIGRATED OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT INSTITUTIONS WHILE STANDING BEHIND THE FLAG THAT THEY HAVE WORKED SO HARD TO PROTECT ALL REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE. IN MY 44 YEARS AS A SENATOR, I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE IT. I CAN THINK OF NO REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, NO DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT WHO WOULD EVER DO THIS I NEVER THOUGHT IT WOULD BE POSSIBLE IN OUR COUNTRY BEFORE PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK OFFICE. YESTERDAY, THE PRESIDENT ATTEMPTED TO WALK BACK HIS DECISION TO SIDE WITH RUSSIA OVER OUR OWN INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES. HE ATTEMPTED TO DO IT BECAUSE OF THE CRITICISM HE GOT FROM BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. BUT, AS MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES TOLD ME WOULD HAPPEN, HE IMMEDIATELY WALKED BACK HIS WALKBACK. PRESIDENT TRUMP WALKED BACK HIS WALKBACK. HE REITERATED THAT THE INTERFERENCE COULD BE OTHER PEOPLE ALSO. THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE OUT THERE. AND THIS MORNING ON TWITTER WHERE APPARENTLY HE DOES HIS DEEPEST THINKING, HE CLAIMED THAT PEOPLE AT THE HIGHER ENDS OF INTELLIGENCE LOVED HIS PRESS CONFERENCE IN HELSINKI. I DO NOT THINK ANYONE HERE DOUBTS THAT THE PRESIDENT MEANT WHAT HE SAID AND SIMPLY MEANT IN HELSINKI, BUT AFTER A TWO-HOUR PRIVATE MEETING IN HELSINKI, I DON'T THINK PRESIDENT PUTIN HAS ANY DOUBT EITHER. MADAM PRESIDENT, WE HAVE TO KNOW , RUSSIA SHARES NEITHER OUR VALUES NOR OUR INTERESTS. RUSSIA IS NOT OUR FRIEND. OF COURSE WE WANT TO SEE IMPROVED RELATIONS WITH RUSSIA AND SYRIA ON NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION, ON MANY CRITICAL ISSUES. FOR THAT TO HAPPEN, RUSSIA NEEDS TO RESPECT OUR DEMOCRACY AND VALUES. WE MUST NOT SLOUCH DOWN TO THEIRS. THE UNITED STATES IS THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD. THE FREE WORLD IS UNDER THREAT, AS IT HAS OFTEN BEEN. BUT THESE THREATS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO COME FROM WITHIN. JUST MOMENTS AGO WHEN I ASKED IF RUSSIA IS STILL TARGETING THE UNITED STATES, THE PRESIDENT INEXPLICABLY SAID NO, THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH. RUSSIA IS STILL TARGETING THE UNITED STATES, AND THIS IS DESPITE HIS DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, DAN COATS, CONFIRMING JUST LAST WEEK THAT RUSSIA IS INDEED STILL TARGETING OUR DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND INTERFERING IN OUR DEMOCRACY. DIRECTOR COATS COMPARED IT TO THE WARNING SIGNS THAT EMERGED PRIOR TO THE 9/11 ATTACKS. THE PRESIDENT DENIES THAT IT IS HAPPENING. I KNOW DIRECTOR COATS. I SERVED WITH HIM WHEN HE WAS A REPUBLICAN SENATOR IN THIS BODY. I KNOW THAT HE WOULD NOT SAY THIS IF IT WAS NOT SO. NOTWITHSTANDING THE PRESIDENT SAYING RUSSIA -- HIS OWN DIRECTOR FROM NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE SAYS THEY ARE. AND IT SAYS WE CAN'T TRUST THIS PRESIDENT'S JUDGMENT WHEN IT COMES TO RUSSIA, REMEMBER THE PRESIDENT TAKES AN OATH TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR NATION. WHEN IT COMES TO RUSSIA, IT APPEARS HE DOES NOT INTEND TO ABIDE BY HIS OATH TO PROTECT AND DEFEND OUR NATION. AND THIS CONGRESS IS GOING TO BE DERELICT IN ITS DUTY IF IT TAKES NO ACTION. ALL OF US HAVE TO SPEAK WITH A SINGLE VOICE IN THIS MOMENT, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE. WE SHOULD ALL CONDEMN THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIONS WHICH WERE AS DANGEROUS AS THEY WERE SHAMEFUL. THESE CONDEMNATIONS ARE IMPORTANT BUT WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH. REMEMBER CONGRESS IS A CO-EQUAL BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT. REMEMBER THE SENATE IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE CONSCIENCE OF THE NATION. LET'S ACT LIKE IT. THE PRESIDENT OBVIOUSLY CAN'T BE TRUSTED TO KEEP HIS HANDS OFF OF THE RUSSIA INVESTIGATION. BIDEN GRATING IT AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY, BY DISMISSING ITS LEAD INVESTIGATOR LAST YEAR, HE HAS REPEATEDLY FAILED THE TEST. WELL, MADAM PRESIDENT, THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE RECENTLY PASSED LEGISLATION, A STRONG REPUBLICAN VOTE OF REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS ALIKE. WE VOTED TO PROTECT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION. THAT LEGISLATION IS BEFORE THE SENATE. LET'S ENACT IT INTO LAW. LET'S TAKE WHAT REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS TOGETHER SAID IN THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. WE WILL PROTECT THE SPECIAL COUNSEL'S INVESTIGATION. LET'S VOTE ON IT. LET'S VOTE UP OR DOWN. LET'S DO IT. LET'S ENACT IT INTO LAW. IT IS OFTEN SAID THE ONLY THING PRESIDENT PUTIN RESPONDS TO IS STRENGTH. LET'S SHOW HIM THAT HERE IN THE CONGRESS WE STAND UNITED TO HIS OPPOSITION TO HIS ONGOING ATTEMPTS TO ATTACK OUR DEMOCRACY. BELIEVE ME, MADAM PRESIDENT, THEY ARE ONGOING, THEY ARE ONGOING RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT. LET'S PASS STRONGER SANCTIONS TARGETING HIM AND THE OLIGARCHS WHO ENABLE HIM, TO CONTINUE TO HELP HIM BECAUSE THEY BECOME BILLIONAIRES BY DOING IT. LET'S PASS A RESOLUTION MAKING IT CLEAR IF PRESIDENT TRUMP CHOOSES TO STAND WITH PRESIDENT PUTIN, HE STANDS A LOAN. THE EUROPEAN UNION IS NOT AT FAULT, AND PRESIDENT PUTIN IS NOT OUR FRIEND. OUR ALLIES AROUND THE WORLD, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE STOOD WITH US SINCE WORLD WAR II, ARE LOOKING AT US AT THIS MOMENT. THEY ARE QUESTIONING WHETHER THE UNITED STATES WOULD BE A RELIABLE PARTNER IN THE FACE OF CREEPING AUTHORITARIANISM, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD. LET'S SHOW THEM WHERE WE STAND. THIS IS NOT ABOUT POLITICS. IT'S NOT ABOUT REPUBLICANS OR DEMOCRATS. THIS IS ABOUT WHO WE ARE AS A COUNTRY, WHAT WE STAND FOR AS AMERICANS, WHETHER WE STAND FOR DEMOCRACY AND WHETHER WE STAND FOR FREEDOM, INCLUDING THE FREEDOM OF THE PRESS, WHETHER WE STAND FOR THE RULE OF LAW, WHETHER WE STAND FOR TRUTH, WHETHER WE STAND FOR AMERICA. AS A VERMONTER AND AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR, I KNOW WHERE I STAND, AND IT'S TIME WE STAND TOGETHER. AND, MADAM PRESIDENT, I BELIEVE I HAVE COLLEAGUES ON THE FLOOR WHO ARE GOING TO MAKE A UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST, BUT BEFORE THEY DO, I JUST WANT TO -- AGAIN, I FEEL OBLIGED TO SPEAK UP ABOUT THE STEADY EROSION OF THE NORMS AND TRADITIONS THAT PROTECT THE SENATE'S UNIQUE CONSTITUTIONAL ROLE WITH RESPECT TO THE LIFETIME APPOINTMENTS TO OUR FEDERAL COURTS. WE SHOULD ALL BE ALARMED BY THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE'S ABRUPT CHANGE AND COURSE WHEN IT COMES WITH RESPECT TO BLUE SLIPS THAT ALLOW HOME STATE SENATORS TO HAVE A WORD IN WHAT HAPPENS. THIS SHOULD CONCERN US ALL. WITHOUT BLUE SLIPS, NOTHING PREVENTS A CALIFORNIA NOMINEE FROM BEING APPOINTED TO A TEXAS COURT, OR VICE VERSA. I WILL VOTE AGAINST MR. BOUNDS. IF WE ABANDON OUR LONG-STANDING TARA DIGZ -- TRADITIONS AND CHASE PARTISAN EXMEDIANCY, IT PROVIDES ONLY SHORT ADVANTAGE AND INFLINGTS HARM ON THIS BODY. I HAVE PROTECTED BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS IN A DEMOCRATIC AND REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION, THE BLUE SLIPS. WE'RE BETTER OFF WHEN WE FOLLOW THE TRADITION WE ALWAYS HAVE. WE FOOLISHLY HURT OURSELVES AND OUR INDIVIDUAL STATES WHEN WE ALLOW IT TO STEP -- STEP AWAY FROM IT. I ASK CONSENT THAT MY WHOLE STATEMENT BE PLACED IN THE RECORD.

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  • 01:58:51 PM

    MR. LEE

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS IF IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, AS IF IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 297, S. 118, THE COMMITTEE-REPORTED SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT BE AGREED TO, THAT THE BILL AS AMENDED BE CONSIDERED READ A THIRD TIME AND PASSED, AND THAT MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE.

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  • 01:59:16 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. I RISE TODAY TO EXPRESS CONCERN WITH S.…

    I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. I RISE TODAY TO EXPRESS CONCERN WITH S. 116, THE REINFORCING AMERICAN-MADE PRODUCTS ACT, BECAUSE IT WOULD PREEMPT CALIFORNIA'S STRONG MADE IN AMERICA LABELING STANDARD. CALIFORNIA REQUIRES AT LEAST 90% OF A FINAL PRODUCT BE COMPOSED OF AMERICAN-MADE PARTS TO USE THE LABEL, THE STRONGEST STANDARD IN THE NATION. THIS BILL WOULD UNDERDO CALIFORNIA'S TOUGH STANDARD, SETTING INSTEAD A WATERED DOWN NATIONAL STANDARD. COMPANIES COULD THEN CONFUSE CONSUMERS BY FLOODING THE MARKET WITH PRODUCTS SOLD UNDER THE MADE IN AMERICA LABEL THAT WERE BUILT USING MORE FOREIGN-MADE COMPONENTS. THAT'S WHY THE CALIFORNIA ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE CONSUMER FEDERATION OF CALIFORNIA SUPPORT KEEPING CALIFORNIA'S STRONG STANDARDS IN PLACE. THE MADE IN AMERICA LABEL SHOULD PROMOTE U.S. MANUFACTURING AND GIVE CONSUMERS CONFIDENCE THAT THEY ARE SUPPORTING AMERICAN JOBS. CONSUMERS WANT TO KNOW THAT PRODUCTS BEARING THE MADE IN AMERICA LABEL ARE TRULY MADE IN AMERICA BECAUSE THIS WOULD UNDERMINE THAT CONFIDENCE AND PREEMPT CALIFORNIA'S STRONG STANDARDS. I BELIEVE THIS BILL SHOULD NOT MOVE BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT. REGRETFULLY, FOR THOSE REASONS, I OBJECT.

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  • 02:00:51 PM

    MR. LEE

    MR. PRESIDENT, I APPRECIATE THE COMMENTS MADE BY MY DISTINGUISHED…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I APPRECIATE THE COMMENTS MADE BY MY DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUE, THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA. WHEN AMERICANS SEE A MADE IN U.S.A. LEVEL ON A PRODUCT, IT'S A SOURCE OF GREAT PRIDE. IT REPRESENTS THE AMERICAN VIRTUES OF INNOVATION AND INDUSTRINESS. IT IS A SIMPLE OF SUPPORT AND HIGH-QUALITY PRODUCTS. AND IT SPURS CONSUMERS TO BUY THAT VERY PRODUCT. THERE IS A DIFFICULT STANDARD FOR PRODUCTS TO CLAIM THE MADE IN GLAI LABEL -- U.S.A. LABEL. IT REQUIRES THAT ALL OR VIRTUALLY ALL OF THE PRODUCTS MUST BE MADE IN THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER, ONE STATE HOLDS A DIFFERENT STANDARD, ONE THAT IS NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR BUSINESSES TO MEET. UNDER CALIFORNIA'S LAW, IF MORE THAN 5% OF THE COMPONENTS OF A PRODUCT ARE MANUFACTURED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES, EVEN IF THAT MEANS JUST A FEW BOLTS OR A FEW SCREWS, THAT PRODUCT CANNOT BE LABELED MADE IN THE U.S.A. WELL, COMPANIES COULD LEGALLY BOAST THIS CLAIM IN 49 OF THE 50 STAYS BUT THEY ARE OFTEN UNABLE TO DO SO BECAUSE OF THE FLOW OF U.S. COMMERCE MANY THEY SELL TO WHOLE MANUFACTURERS AND DISPERSE IT. SO THEY MUST BE WITH THE MOST RIGID LEGISLATION. IN SHORT, ONE SINGLE STATE IS EFFECTIVELY GOVERNING HOW INTERSTATE COMMERCE IS CONDUCTED WITH REGARD TO MADE IN U.S.A. LABELING THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY. THE REINFORCING AMERICA MADE PRODUCTS ACT WOULD SOLVE THIS PROBLEM. IT WOULD ENSURE THAT THE CURRENT DEFINITION IS THE SUPREME LABELING LAW IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE WITHOUT WEAKENING THE MADE IN THE U.S.A. NATIONAL STANDARD. IN ADDITION TO UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTION, THIS BODY, THIS LEGISLATION WOULD PROVIDE CLARITY AND CONSISTENCY, HELPING AMERICAN COMPANIES TO AVOID UNNECESSARY HARDSHIPS AND FRIVOLOUS LAWSUITS. AND IN THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE, IT'S INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT FOR SMALL AMERICAN COMPANIES TO STAY AFLOAT, LET ALONE COMPETE. THIS WOULD ULTIMATELY ENCOURAGE MANUFACTURING IN AMERICA AND USE AMERICAN TOOLS AND RESOURCES, AND IT WOULD HELP SOOLE MANY OF THE SMALL BUSINESSES AND ORDINARY AMERICAN WORKERS THAT ARE CURRENTLY BEING LEFT BEHIND AND HELPING THEM OUGHT TO BE OUR GOAL. THIS BILL PASSED UNANIMOUSLY OUT OF COMMITTEE AND IT HAS BROAD BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. I'M DISAPPOINTED THAT IT'S BEING BLOCKED BY THE FEW PEOPLE WHO DO NOT SUPPORT IT WHEN IT COULD BENEFIT ALL 50 OF OUR STATES. WE SHOULD EXERCISE THIS AUTHORITY AND WE SHOULD OPEN THE FLOW OF INTERSTATE COMMERCE. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:04:00 PM

    Senate Vote 160 - On the Nomination PN1645

    Nomination Confirmed (50 - 49)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 50
    Republican - 50

    Vote Details: Nay - 49
    Democratic - 47
    Independent - 2

  • 02:47:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ARE THERE ANY SHORES IN THE CHAMBER WISHING TO VOTE OR TO CHANGE THEIR…

    ARE THERE ANY SHORES IN THE CHAMBER WISHING TO VOTE OR TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, THE YEAS ARE 50. THE NAYS ARE 49. THE NOMINATION IS CONFIRMED. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER IS CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE AND THE PRESIDENT WILL BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S ACTION. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION TO INVOKE CLOTURE.

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  • 02:48:00 PM

    Senate Vote 161 - On the Cloture Motion PN1403

    Cloture Motion Agreed to (50 - 49)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 50
    Republican - 50

    Vote Details: Nay - 49
    Democratic - 47
    Independent - 2

  • 02:48:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE…

    BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT, THE MANDATORY QUORUM CALL HAS BEEN WAIVED. THE QUESTION IS, IS IT THE SENSE OF THE SENATE THAT THE DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION OF RYAN WESLEY BOUNDS OF OREGON TO BE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT JUDGE FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT SHALL BE BROUGHT TO A CLOSE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE MANDATORY UNDER THE RULE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 03:21:35 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE JUDICIARY, RYAN WESLEY BOUNDS OF OREGON TO BE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT…

    THE JUDICIARY, RYAN WESLEY BOUNDS OF OREGON TO BE UNITED STATES CIRCUIT JUDGE FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 03:22:22 PM

    MR. DAINES

    AS IF IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COMMITTEE…

    AS IF IN LEGISLATIVE SESSION, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY BE DISCHARGED FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF SENATE RESOLUTION 572, THAT THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO AND THE MOTIONS TO RECONSIDERREN CONSIDERED -- RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE.

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  • 03:22:43 PM

    MR. MERKLEY

    MR. PRESIDENT, RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. THIS MOMENT HARDLY SEEMS THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. THIS MOMENT HARDLY SEEMS THE TIME FOR THE SENATE TO ENGAGE IN DEBATING RHETORICAL PHRASES OF PRAISE FOR THE IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOM ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. WHEN THAT AGENCY BETTER KNOWN AS I.C.E. IS DEEPLY MIRED IN THE SCANDAL OF SEPARATING CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS. IT IS I.C.E. THAT PARTNERED WITH BORDER CONTROL AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES IN THIS DIABOLICAL SITUATION. IT'S I.C.E. THAT HOLDS THE PARENTS IN DETENTION CAMPS. IT'S I.C.E. THAT HAS FAILED TO ARRANGE FOR THE KNOWLEDGE WITHIN THE SYSTEM OF WHICH PARENTS GO WITH WHICH CHILDREN. IT'S I.C.E. THAT OFTEN HAS PREVENTED LAWYERS FROM HAVING ACCESS FOR THE INDIVIDUALS TO HAVE ACCESS TO COUNSEL, TO BE ABLE TO EVEN PHONE THEIR CHILDREN, TO CHARGE THEM FOR USING THE PHONE. THIS SITUATION IN WHICH SOME 2,500-PLUS KIDS HAVE BEEN TORN OUT OF THE ARMS OF THEIR PARENTS, AND THIS PARTICULAR RESOLUTION WOULD ENGAGE IN NICE PHRASES OF PRAISE INSTEAD OF ADDRESSING ITSELF TO SOLVING THE PROBLEM. WE SHOULD RIGHT NOW BE CONSIDERING SENATOR HARRIS' ACT, THE REUNITE ACT WHICH WOULD ACCELERATE THE UNIFICATION OF THE CHILDREN, WOULD MAKE SURE THAT FAMILY SEPARATION NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN, THAT WOULD COORDINATE ACTIONS BETWEEN I.C.E. AND THE BORDER PATROL AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, THAT WOULD SET UP THE FAMILY CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT WORKED ACCORDING TO THE I.G. OF HOMELAND SECURITY TO DELIVER A HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE TIME WHEN INDIVIDUALS HAD A DATE FOR A HEARING, A HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE TIME. THAT IS WHY, I WOULD ASK MY COLLEAGUE TO MODIFY HIS REQUEST SO THAT THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY INSTEAD BE DISCHARGED FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF SENATE BILL 3227, THE REUNITE ACT, AND THE SENATE PROCEED TO ITS IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION, THAT THE BILL BE CONSIDERED READ A THIRD TIME AND PASSED, AND THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE.

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  • 03:25:34 PM

    MR. DAINES

    MR. PRESIDENT, I LIVE IN A STATE, STATE OF MONTANA, THAT HAS A NORTHERN…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I LIVE IN A STATE, STATE OF MONTANA, THAT HAS A NORTHERN BORDER. I.C.E. AGENTS KEEP OUR BORDER SECURE AND I WANT TO THANK THEM FOR THE VERY IMPORTANT WORK THEY ARE DOING. FAR TOO MANY PEOPLE ARE COMING INTO OUR COUNTRY ILLEGALLY AND PUTTING THE SAFETY AND SECURITY OF AMERICAN CITIZENS AT RISK. IN FACT, IN MONTANA, THE EFFECTS OF UNSECURE BORDERS ARE VERY PERSONAL. ALL ACROSS OUR STATE, COMMUNITIES THIS MOMENT ARE TORN APART BY THE METH AND OPIOIDS THAT ARE TRAFFICKED THROUGH THE SOUTHERN BORDER. IN FACT, JUST LAST YEAR, I.C.E. SEIZED NEARLY 50 TONS OF NARCOTICS, NEARLY A MILLION POUNDS OF HEROIN, FENTANYL, AND OTHER DEADLY DRUGS THAT CRIMINALS AND CARTELS ARE SMUGGLING INTO OUR COUNTRY. AT A TIME WHEN AMERICA IS SUFFERING FROM A DRUG EPIDEMIC, HOW MANY MORE LIVES WILL BE LOST IF I.C.E. AGENTS WERE NOT PROTECTING OUR BORDERS? AND HOW MANY MORE INNOCENT AMERICANS WOULD BE HARMED OR MURDERED IF WE DID NOT HAVE I.C.E. AGENTS TO ARREST ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WITH CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS. THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT THOSE WHO CALL FOR THE ABOLISHMENT OF I.C.E. SHOULD BE ASKING. IT IS OUTRAGEOUS. IT IS IRRESPONSIBLE TO CALL FOR ABOLISHING ONE OF OUR COUNTRY'S MOST CRITICAL SECURITY MEASURES. ABOLISHING I.C.E. WOULD GIVE TERRORISTS, GANG MEMBERS, DRUG DEALERS, AND OTHER CRIMINALS A FIELD DAY. I STAND FOR PROTECTING AMERICAN SECURITY. I STAND FOR UPHOLDING THE RULE OF LAW. AND THAT'S WHY I STAND WITH I.C.E. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 03:27:46 PM

    MS. HIRONO

    MR. PRESIDENT, THIS RESOLUTION BEING OFFERED BY MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THIS RESOLUTION BEING OFFERED BY MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE IS A PARTISAN POLITICAL STUNT TO DISTRACT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM THE CRISIS CREATED BY DONALD TRUMP'S ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. ALMOST 3,000 CHILDREN ARE RIPPED FROM THE ARMS OF THEIR PARENTS AND TRAUMATIZED BY THE PRESIDENT'S CRUELTY. YESTERDAY THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HAD A CLOSED DOOR BRIEFING WITH OFFICIALS FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICE, AND DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE TO HEAR FROM THESE OFFICIALS IN PUBLIC AND UNDER OATH. ALL THESE OFFICIALS PROVIDED AT THIS BRIEFING NOT UNDER OATH WAS MORE OBSTRUCTION AND OB FACE INDICATION. THE -- OB FACE OBFUSCATING. THEY EVEN CLAIMED THAT THEY DID NOT MESS UP HERE. SEPARATING ALMOST 3,000 CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS, NOT MEETING JUDICIALLY SET DEADLINES FOR UNIFYING THESE CHILDREN, THE TRAUMA CONTINUES. IS THERE ANYBODY IN AMERICA PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE WHO ACTUALLY BELIEVES THERE WAS NO MESSUP? WE NEED A PUBLIC HEARING TO HEAR FROM THESE OFFICIALS UNDER OATH. DONALD TRUMP IS WEAPONIZING FEAR TO PURSUE HIS ANTIIMMIGRATION AGENERAL DARKS AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE PARTY TO THAT. WE SHOULD BE FOCUSED LIKE LASER BEAMS ON REUNITING THE CHILDREN WITH THEIR PARENTS. A SENATOR: WOULD THE SENATOR YIELD?

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  • 03:29:20 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE SENATOR FOR JOINING IN THIS STATEMENT ABOUT…

    I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE SENATOR FOR JOINING IN THIS STATEMENT ABOUT I.C.E. WHICH IS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY. THERE ARE CERTAIN THINGS THAT EVEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS COMING TOGETHER COULD AGREE ON. LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I THINK THEY ARE. BORDER SECURITY. THE UNITED STATES NEEDS SECURITY AT ITS BORDERS. THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT, WHOEVER THE PRESIDENT MAY BE. THE SECOND THING THAT WE AGREE ON IS THAT NO ONE -- NO ONE THAT IS DANGEROUS SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO COME INTO THIS COUNTRY AND ANYBODY WHO IS UNDOCUMENTED AND DANGEROUS SHOULD BE REMOVED. 68 SENATORS AGREED ON COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM. OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS ARE A MESS, AN ABSOLUTE MESS. THAT'S WHY WE CONTINUE TO DEBATE THE TOPIC. 68 OF US CAME TO THE FLOOR HERE AND VOTED FOR A BIPARTISAN MEASURE FIVE YEARS AGO TO FIX THE WHOLE SYSTEM. IT PASSED THE SENATE, DIED IN THE HOUSE. NOW WHERE ARE WE TODAY? WE'RE HERE TODAY DEBATING ON THE FLOOR THE FUTURE OF I.C.E. THERE ARE PARTS OF THE FUNCTIONABILITY OF THIS AGENCY OF I.C.E. WHICH ALL OF US WOULD AGREE ON. THE FACT THAT I.C.E. HAS IMPORTANT RESPONSIBILITIES, COMBATING SERIOUS CRIMINAL ACTIVITY LIKE SMUGGLING, BULK CASH, DRUGS, WEAPONS, HUMAN TRAFFICKING, ENFORCING IMMIGRATION LAWS AGAINST TERRORISTS, VIOLENT CATCH AND RELEASE AND OTHERS WHO WOULD DO US HARM. THERE'S NO ARGUMENT ABOUT THAT. BUT WHAT HAS BECOME CONTROVERSIAL IS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION'S NEW IMMIGRATION POLICY. YOU SEE, WE DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO DEPORT 11 MILLION UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE, NOR DO WE HAVE THE RESOURCES TO ARREST EVERYONE WHO PRESENTS THEMSELVES AT THE BORDER. WHAT THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS DONE, THOUGH, IS TO SAY THEY ARE GOING TO CRIMINALIZE, CHARGE AS CATCH AND RELEASE EVERYONE WHO SHOWS UP AT THE BORDER. BY DOING THAT, THEY TAKE LIMITED RESOURCES AND FOCUS THEM ON A MASS OF PEOPLE, MOST OF WHOM ARE NO THREAT AT ALL TO THE UNITED STATES. INSTEAD OF FOCUSING THEIR RESOURCES ON THE DRUG SMUGGLERS, THE TRAFFICKERS, THE WOULD-BE TERRORISTS -- THOSE ARE OUR PRIORITIES, ARE THEY NOT, FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR HOMES, OUR FAMILIES, AND OUR COMMUNITIES? AND HERE WE HAVE THIS RESOLUTION THAT WAS BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR TO COMMEND I.C.E. IN ALL ITS FUNCTIONS. WELL, I CAN JUST TELL YOU, I DON'T JOIN IN THAT RESOLUTION. I SPECIFICALLY DON'T JOIN IN IT WHEN IT COMES TO THE PRESIDENT'S ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. IT BECAME THE POLICY OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT TO FORCIBLY REMOVE 3,000 CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS. THAT'S BAD ENOUGH, IS IT NOT, THE NOTION THAT YOU'D TAKE A BABY OUT OF THE ARMS OF ITS MOTHER, A TODDLER, AN INFANT, SEPARATING A YOUNG CHILD? WE DID IF UNDER THE -- WE DID IT UNDER THE PRESIDENT TRUMP ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. NOW, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT ADDED INSULT TO THAT INJURY. AT THAT POINT THERE WAS NO EFFORT MADE TO MAKE CERTAIN THAT WE COULD REUNITE THE PARENT WITH THE CHILDREN. TIME AND AGAIN WE WOULD MEET DOWNSTAIRS FOR A BRIEFING FROM I.C.E. AND OTHER AGENCIES AND THEY'D TELL YOU, WE DON'T KNOW WHERE THE PARENTS ARE. WE REALLY DON'T KNOW WHERE THE KIDS ARE. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO LOOKING. IMAGINE, SEPARATING UP TO 3,000 CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS, THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT DID NOT KEEP A RECORD OF WHAT HAPPENED TO THOSE KIDS. SHIP SOMETHING BY U.P.S. THEY GIVE YOU A TRACKING NUMBER. GO ONLINE. YOU CAN TRACK THAT PACKAGE WHEREVER IT MAY BE. ORDER THAT PIZZA FROM DOMINOES. CALL THEM AFTER 15 MINUTES AND ASK THEM, WHERE IS THE PIZZA. THEY WILL TALE YOU. CHECK YOUR COAT BEFORE YOU GO TO THE TABLE. WHEN THEY COME BACK, THEY GIVE YOU YOUR COAT. PRETTY SIMPLE, IS IT NOT? BUT WHEN IT CAME TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, THIS AGENCY I.C.E. ALONG WITH OTHER AGENCIES IN THIS GOVERNMENT LOST THEM. IN ONE AGENCY IN CHICAGO THEY TOLD ME THAT THE SEARCH FOR THE PARENTS OF THE LITTLE KIDS THEY HAD WAS LIKE A SCAVENGER HUNT. THEY JUST STARTED CALLING RIGHT AND LEFT TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHERE THE PARENT MIGHT BE. YESTERDAY WE HAD A BRIEFING AND FINALLY THESE AGENCIES CAME UP WITH SOME NUMBERS -- 2,550 CHILDREN STILL IN OUR CUSTODY, NOT REUNITED WITH THEIR FAMILIES. 1,800 PARENTS WE HAVEN'T LINKED UP WITH FAMILIES YET, LINK THE -- LINKED UP WITH THEIR CHILDREN AND WE WANT TO PUT A RESOLUTION ON THE FLOOR TO COMMEND THIS ACTIVITY, TO PRAISE THEM FOR THEIR GREAT WORK? NOT ME. THEY DO GOOD WORK IN A LOT OF IMPORTANT AREAS, AND I'LL BE HAPPY TO JOIN THAT CHORUS. BUT FOR US TO STAND HERE AND IGNORE THE OBVIOUS, THAT THIS ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY HAS GIVEN OUR NATION A BLACK EYE, HAS RAISED QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR VALUES AS AMERICANS, HAS CREATED SITUATIONS WHICH WE CANNOT MORALLY DEFEND, SEPARATING CHILDREN FROM THEIR MOTHERS. YOU KNOW WHAT THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRIC MEDICINE TELLS US? THE DOCTORS TELL US, THIS IS AN INSTITUTIONAL FORM OF CHILD ABUSE, TO REMOVE THESE CHILDREN. I'VE SEEN THEM. THESE POOR KIDS, 5- AND YEA OLD IN THESE SETTINGS, A PLACE I VISITED IN CHICAGO WAS DOING THEIR BEST TO HELP THE CHILDREN. BUT TWO LITTLE GIRLS WALKED INTO THE ROOM WHERE I WAS SITTING, HOLD BEING HANDS. CUTE LITTLE KIDS. IT WAS MY OPPORTUNITY TO MEET ABOUT 10 OR 12 OF THE KIDS WHO HAD BEEN SEPARATED FROM THEIR PARENTS UNDER THE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. THESE TWO LITTLE GIRLS WERE HOLDING HANDS. I THOUGHT THEY WERE SISTERS. WE ASKED IN SPANISH, NO, AMIGAS, SHE SAID -- FRIENDS. THEY'D BECOME FRIENDS TO ONE ANOTHER. TURNS OUT ONE WAS FIVE YEARS OLD FROM GUATEMALA, ONE WAS SIX YEARS OLD FROM MEXICO. THEY WERE HANGING ONTO ONE ANOTHER BECAUSE THAT'S ALL THEY HAD WAS ONE ANOTHER. BECAUSE OUR GOVERNMENT SEPARATED THEM FROM THEIR MOTHERS. NOW THIS AGENCY, WHICH IS STRUGGLING TO FIND THESE MOTHERS, CANNOT IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES EVEN LINK UP THE CHILDREN WITH THEIR PARENTS. NO, I'M NOT GOING TO JOIN IN A RESOLUTION OF CONGRATULATIONS FOR THE WORK THAT THEY'VE DONE. MANY OF THE THINGS THEY'VE DONE HAVE BEEN COURAGEOUS AND IMPORTANT IS POUR THE SECURITY OF THIS COUNTRY. BUT WHEN THIS COMES IN THIS ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY, IT IS NOT. DO WANT TO MAKE ONE LAST POINT. THEREON WHAT THE TOP AGENTS AT THE HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS AGENCY WHICH FOCUSES ON SERIOUS TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ACTIVITY HAD TO SAME LAST MONTH A MAJORITY OF THE AGENTS FOCUSING ON TRANSNATIONAL CRIMINAL ACTIVITY WROTE A LETTER TO THE SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY KIRSTJEN NIELSEN ASKING THAT HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATIONS BE REMOVED FROM I.C.E. BECAUSE OF, QUOTE, THE POLITICAL NATURE OF CIVIL IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT, CLOSE QUOTE. THESE ARE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE FOCUSING ON SERIOUS CRIME AND THEY ASKED TO BE REMOVED FROM I.C.E. THEY'RE TIRED OF THE POLITICS. I'M WEARY OF IT AS WELL. WE NEED TO START SOLVING THESE PROBLEMS -- BORDER SECURITY, DANGEROUS PEOPLE KEPT OUT OF THIS COUNTRY AND REMOVED, COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REMOVE AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES, REUNITE THESE CHILDREN WITH THEIR PARENTS. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 03:36:37 PM

    MR. CRUZ

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. THESE ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO RISK THEIR LIVES EVERY DAY TO KEEP THIS COUNTRY SAFE. RISING IN SUPPORT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT USED TO BE A BIPARTISAN ISSUE. IT USED TO BE AN ISSUE THAT BROUGHT US TOGETHER THAT UNIFIED US. SADLY, AS WE HAVE SEEN IN THE PRECEDING MINUTES, THAT IS NO LONGER THE CASE. I RISE TODAY TO URGE MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES TO SAY NO TO THE RECKLESS AND RADICAL VOICES WITHIN THEIR PARTY THAT ARE PULLING THEIR PARTY SO FAR OUT OF THE MAINSTREAM, SO FAR OUT OF TOUCH WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT IT IS BARELY RECOGNIZABLE. FOR A LONG TIME, WHEN DEMOCRATS WERE DEBATING IMMIGRATION ISSUES, THEY USED TO SAY, WELL OF COURSE WE SUPPORT ENFORCING THE LAWS. ALMOST AS AN OBLIGATORY THROW-AWAY. INSTEAD WE ARE HERE TODAY DEBATING ABOLISHING THE IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. THE EXACT ANTITHESIS OF WHERE MOST CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS CLAIM THEY WERE. ALL OF THIS STARTED BECAUSE A FEW WEEKS AGO, A LONGTIME DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT MEMBER OF THE HOUSE FOUND HIMSELF BEAT NONA PRIMARY IN NEW YORK STATE BY AN AVOWED SOCIALIST AND AS A RESULT MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE OF THE AISLE ARE SUDDENLY TERRIFIED OF THEIR LEFT FLANK. BECAUSE HER CAMPAIGN FOCUSED ON ABOLISHING I.C.E., ABOLISHING THE IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, MORE AND MORE DEMOCRATS, INCUMBENT DEMOCRATS, HAVE SAID THEY, TOO, WERE OPEN TO ABOLISHING I.C.E. MR. PRESIDENT, I CALL ON THIS BODY TO PULL BACK FROM THE ABYSS. ON IMMIGRATION THERE ARE AREAS OF GOOD-FAITH DISAGREEMENT THAT THIS BODY HAS DEBATED, WILL CONTINUE TO DEBATE. I'VE LONG CHARACTERIZED MY VIEWS ON IMMIGRATION AS BEING ABLE TO BE SUMMED UP IN FOUR WORDS -- LEGAL, GOOD, ILLEGAL BAD. I THINK THE VAST MAJORITY OF TEXANS, THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS AGREE WITH THAT. THERE ARE A HOST OF IMMIGRATION POLICIES THAT OUGHT TO BE COMMONSENSE, BIPARTISAN POLICIES. MR. PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE SHOWN GREAT LEADERSHIP IN FIGHTING AGAINST SANCTION WARE CITIES -- SANCTUARY CITIES, FIGHTING AGAINST JURISDICTIONS THAT DEFY FEDERAL IMMIGRATION LAW AND THAT RELEASE VIOLENT CATCH AND CRIMINALS WITHOUT BEING WILLING TO TURN THEM OVER TO IMMIGRATION OFFICIALS. THOSE CATCH AND RELEASE UP IN TURN GO OFFER TO COMMIT MORE VIOLENT CRIMES. I AM THE AUTHOR IN THE SENATE OF KATE'S LAW, A COMMONSENSE PROPOSAL THAT SAYS AGGRAVATED FELONS WHO REPEATEDLY ENTER THE COUNTRY ILLEGALLY SHOULD FACE A MANDATORY MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCE. IT WAS NAMED FOR KATE STEINLE, THAT BEAUTIFUL, YOUNG CALIFORNIA WOMAN 28 YEARS OLD MURDERED ON A CALIFORNIA PIER BY AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT WHO HAD BEEN DEPORTED OVER AND OFFERED AND OVER AGAIN, HAD BEEN IN AND OUT OF JAIL OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN, HAD MULTIPLE FELONY CONVICTIONS AND YET BECAUSE SAN FRANCISCO IS A SANCTUARY CITY, THEY RELEASEED THEM YET AGAIN AND HE COMMITTED MURDER. KATE STEINLE WOULD BE ALIVE IF WE COULD COME TOGETHER ON THE ONE HAND KATE'S LAW, IF WE COULD COME TOGETHER ON END ISING SANCTUARY CITIES. BUT YET IT TURNS OUT IN TODAY'S HYPER POLARIZED WORLD, EVEN THAT'S NOT EXTREME ENOUGH FOR THE MODERN DEMOCRATIC PARTY. MULTIPLE LEADERS OF THEIR PARTY ARE ADVOCATING ABOLISHING THE IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCE THE AGENCY. WHAT DOES I.C.E. DO? I HAVE MET WITH A GREAT MANY OF THE AGENTS IN MY HOME STATE OF TEXAS. I HAVE MET WITH A GREAT MANY BORDER PATROL AGENTS, JOINED THEM ON THEIR MIDNIGHT MUSTER, I'VE GONE OUT AND PATROLLED WITH THEM AS THEY'VE RISKED THEIR LIVES KEEPING US SAFE IN THE INTERIOR. CRIMINAL ALIENS ARRESTED BY I.C.E. IN FISCAL YEAR 2017 WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR MORE THAN 76,000 DANGEROUS DRUG OFFENSES. AND YET MANY DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING, ABOLISH THEIR ROLE. THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 48,000 ASSAULT OFFENSES. THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 11,000 WEAPONS OFFENSES. THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 5,000 SEXUAL ASSAULT OFFENSES. THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 2,000 KIDNAPPING OFFENSES, AND THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR OVER 1,800 HOMICIDE OFFENSES. AND YET THE APPROACH OF THE MODERN DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS NOT TO FIND THES COMMONSENSE COMMON GROUND, TOSS SAY, ABOLISH THE AGENCY THAT HAS ARRESTED CRIMINALS RESPONSIBLE FOR PHOTOGRAPHER 1,800 MURDERS. WHEN IT COMES TO DRUGS, THE VOLUME THAT THEY ARE DEALING WITH FIGHTING THE NARCOTICS TRAFFICKERS, I.C.E. IN FISCAL YEAR 2017 SEIZED MORE THAN 980,000 POUNDS OF NARCOTICS. I.C.E. SEIZED APPROXIMATELY 2,3 P 0 POUNDS OF FENTANYL, APPROXIMATELY 6,967 POUNDS OF HEROIN. AND YET TODAY TOO MANY ELECTED DEMOCRATS, AFRAID THAT THEY, TOO, MIGHT FACE A SOCIALIST PRIMARY, THAT THEIR FAR LEFT IS SO ANGRY, HATES PRESIDENT TRUMP SO MUCH, THAT THEIR POSITION IS NOT WE SHOULD ENFORCE THE IMMIGRATION LAWS. THEIR POSITION IS NOT THAT THEY WILL STAND WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT. THEIR POSITION HAS BECOME ABOLISH THE IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT AGENCY, THE AGENCY CHARGED WITH ENFORCING OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS NOT A REASONABLE POSITION IN A PUBLIC POLICY DEBATE UPON WHICH REASONABLE MINDS MIGHT DIFFER. THERE ARE MANY OF THOSE IN THE IMMIGRATION WORLD. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM. THIS IS A RADICAL AND RECKLESS POSITION, AND YET THIS RESOLUTION -- BY THE WAY, THIS RESOLUTION SAYS NOT A WORD ABOUT THE ISSUE OF FAMILY SEPARATION. WE HAVE HEARD SOME OF THE SPEECHES FROM MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES FOCUSED ON FAMILY SEPARATION. I CAN TELL YOU, EVERY MEMBER OF THIS BODY, DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN, AGREES THAT FAMILIES SHOULD NOT BE SEPARATED AND, INDEED, I'VE INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO PROHIBIT FAMILY SEPARATION TO ENSURE THAT CHILDREN STAY WITH THEIR PARENTS. THE BEST PLACE FOR A KID IS WITH HIS OR HER MOM OR DAD. BUT TO DO SO IN A WAY THAT ALSO RESPECTS THE RULE OF LAW, THAT DOESN'T RETURN TO THE FAILED POLICY OF CATCH AND RELEASE. THAT ONLY ENCCURRENCE MORE AND MORE AISLE LEGAL IMMIGRATION. THAT ONLY PUTS MORE LITTLER BOYS AND GIRLS IN THE POSITION OF BEING PHYSICALLY SEXUAL ASSAULTED BY HUMAN TRAFFICKERS. NO ONE WHO CARES ABOUT HUMANITY, NO ONE WHO CARES ABOUT COMPASSION SHOULD WANT TO INCENTIVIZE PUTTING LITTLE CHILDREN IN THE CONTROL OF GLOBAL TRANSNATIONAL DRUG CARTELS AND HUMAN TRAFFICKERS. FOR THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS I'VE BEEN NEGOTIATING WITH DEMOCRATIC MEMBERS OF THIS BODY TRYING TO SEE IF WE CAN REACH COMMON GROUND TO UNITE AND SAY WE WILL NOT SEPARATE FAMILIES BUT AT THE SAME TIME WE WILL RESPECT THE RULE OF LAW AND NOT RETURN TO CATCH AND RELEASE IN A WAY THAT INCENTIVIZES ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION. WE'LL FIND OUT IF ANY DEMOCRATS ARE WILLING TO FIND A COMMON GROUND. ALL 100 WOULD JOIN TOGETHER ON ENDING FAMILY RELEASE AND ENDING THIS TODAY, BUT TOO MANY ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE WANT TO CONDITION ENDING FAMILY RELEASE ON ESSENTIALLY MANDATING THE RELEASE OF EVERY ILLEGAL ALIEN IN CUSTODY. THOSE APPREHENDED WITH CHILDREN MANDATING THEIR RELEASE. THAT'S NOT A REASONABLE POSITION. THAT'S NOT A POSITION THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SUPPORT. AND CRITICALLY, THIS RESOLUTION BEFORE THE SENATE SAYS NOT A WORD ABOUT IT. THIS RESOLUTION DOES NOT ADDRESS THAT QUESTION. INSTEAD THIS RESOLUTION SAYS THOSE I.C.E. AGENTS, THE I.C.E. AGENT WHO RIGHT NOW MAY BE KICKING DOWN THE DOOR AT A METH HOUSE AND FACING VIOLENT DRUG LORDS FIRING WEAPONS AT THEM, RISKING THEIR LIVES TO KEEP US SAFE, THAT WE STAND WITH THOSE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS. EVEN IF WE MAY DISAGREE ON THE PARAMETERS OF LEGAL IMMIGRATION -- I'M ONE WHO BELIEVES WE SHOULD WELCOME AND EMBRACE LEGAL IMMIGRANTS, THOSE WHO FOLLOW THE RULES AND WAIT IN LINE LIKE MY FATHER IN 1957 WHEN HE CAME AS AN IMMIGRANT FROM CUBA SEEKING FREEDOM. BUT THOSE DEBATES WE CAN HAVE. WE OUGHT TO BE COMING TOGETHER IN THE SPIRIT OF BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT TO STAND WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT. AND SO I CALL UPON THE RESPONSIBLE MEMBERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, AND SURELY THERE MUST BE SOME LEFT. SURELY IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, THERE ARE SOME VOICES THAT ARE WILLING TO STAND UP TO THE RECKLESS AND RADICAL LEFT AND SAY NO, WE SHOULD NOT ABOLISH THE AGENCY CHARGED WITH ENFORCING OUR IMMIGRATION LAWS, CHARGED WITH PROTECTING US FROM VICIOUS AND VIOLENT CRIMINALS. THE FACT THAT SENATE DEMOCRATS ARE TODAY OBJECTING TO THIS RESOLUTION SHOWS JUST HOW CAPTIVE THEY ARE TO THE THEORY THAT RAGES AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP. EVERYONE IN THIS CHAMBER HAS AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER HAD SOMETHING THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS SAID OR DONE THAT WE'VE ALL DISAGREED WITH. THAT'S PART OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS. BUT THE RAGE AND FURY ON THE FAR LEFT IS A QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT MATTER. IT IS A RAGE THAT IS DEMANDING FOR DEMOCRATS TO GO AFTER, TO UNDERCUT, TO ATTACK LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENTS TO KEEP US SAFE. THAT'S A MISTAKE. IT'S A DISSERVICE TO THIS INSTITUTION. IT'S A DISSERVICE TO THE LEGACY OF MANY DISTINGUISHED SENATORS, AND IT'S A DISSERVICE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE CONSTITUTION THAT WE ARE SWORN TO PROTECT. I WOULD URGE THIS BODY TO PASS THIS COMMONSENSE RESOLUTION STANDING WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, STANDING FOR ENFORCING OUR BORDERS AND STOPPING VIOLENT CRIMINAL MURDERERS, KIDNAPPERS, RAPISTS THAT I.C.E. ARRESTS EVERY YEAR. ABOLISHING LAW ENFORCEMENT PUTS ALL OF US AT PERIL. AND SO I CALL UPON MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES TO REJECT THAT RADICAL AND RECKLESS POSITION. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR:

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  • 03:49:11 PM

    MR. NELSON

    MR. PRESIDENT, THIS SENATOR CAME TO TALK ABOUT TRADE, AND I'M GOING TO DO…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THIS SENATOR CAME TO TALK ABOUT TRADE, AND I'M GOING TO DO THAT. BUT I THINK WHAT WE HAVE IS AN EXAMPLE OF EXTREMES IN POLITICS THAT IS ON DISPLAY BEFORE US. I THINK ON THE ONE HAND, POLITICAL POINTS ARE TRYING TO BE SCORED ABOUT THE ABOLITION OF CERTAIN LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATIONS. ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE'S THE POLITICAL POINTS THAT A GOVERNMENT, ESPECIALLY OUR GOVERNMENT, SHOULD NOT HAVE A POLICY OF SEPARATING CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS UNLESS THE PARENTS HAVE COMMITTED A CRIME AND NEED TO BE INCARCERATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF THAT CRIME. AND SO HERE WE HAVE THE EXTREMES AGAIN GOING TO EITHER SIDE WHEN IN FACT IF THERE WERE GOODWILL, IF THERE WERE NOT SUCH A HIGHLY POLARIZED, HIGHLY CHARGED PARTISAN ATMOSPHERE IN PART, AS WE SAY IN THE SOUTH, EGGED ON BY VARIOUS MEMBERS OF THE LEADERSHIP IN THE CONGRESSIONAL AS WELL AS THE EXECUTIVE, IF WE DIDN'T HAVE ALL OF THAT, WE COULD GET A LOT MORE DONE. BECAUSE THE GENIUS OF AMERICAN POLITICS IS FOR US TO BE ABLE TO COME TOGETHER TO RESPECT EACH OTHER, TO UNDERSTAND THE OTHER FELLOW'S POINT OF VIEW AND THEN WORK OUT OUR DIFFERENCES. IT'S THE SAME THING ON THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE. THAT'S WHY WE SEE IT'S SO DIFFICULT TO REACH INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS WHEN PEOPLE HAVE GOTTEN HARDENED INTO POSITIONS BECAUSE OF RACE OR RELIGION OR POLITICAL BOUNDARIES. AND SO IF YOU NOTE A TONE IN THIS SENATOR'S VOICE OF SADNESS, THEN YOU ARE CORRECT BECAUSE, AGAIN, WE ARE SEEING THE POLARIZATION OF AMERICAN POLITICS. WHY CAN'T WE HAVE A LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATION THAT ALSO DOESN'T HAVE TO OPERATE UNDER A POLICY OF SEPARATING CHILDREN FROM THEIR PARENTS? THAT'S THE COMMONSENSE POINT OF VIEW. BUT, NO, WE DISSOLVE INTO THESE EXTREMES. NOW I CAME HERE TO TALK ABOUT TRADE, AND HERE'S ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF EXTREMES. IS THE UNITED STATES TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF BY OTHER COUNTRIES? YOU BET, AND ESPECIALLY CHINA. AND WE'VE BEEN LETTING THEM GET AWAY WITH IT FOR YEARS. BUT YOU DON'T ALL OF A SUDDEN TRY TO CORRECT THAT SITUATION BY SUDDENLY SAYING I'M GOING TO IMPOSE A TARIFF, AS THE PRESIDENT HAS, ON IMPORTED STEEL AND ALUMINUM, 25% ON STEEL, 10% ON ALUMINUM. BECAUSE WHAT HAPPENS, THE PEOPLE THAT USE THOSE PRODUCTS IN THE MANUFACTURING, WHATEVER THEIR BUSINESS IS, THAT'S GOING TO COST -- CAUSE THE COST OF THOSE GOODS TO GO UP. THE CONSUMERS ARE GOING TO BE THE ONE THAT'S HURT. AND, OH, BY THE WAY, WHAT THAT'S GOING TO DO, AGAIN, IT'S THE EXTREMES. YOU DO THIS, AND THEN THE PERSON THAT IS OFFENDED IS GOING TO DO THIS AND DO IT MORE. AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THIS TRADE WAR THAT IS SUDDENLY STARTING TO HURT ALL OF US. SO IN REACTION TO STEEL AND ALUMINUM TARIFFS THAT THE UNITED STATES HAS IMPOSED, GOOD FRIENDS OF OURS, MAJOR TRADING PARTNERS OF OURS -- I'M KEEPING CHINA DIFFERENT CATEGORY. I'M TALKING ABOUT THE EUROPEAN UNION. I'M TALKING ABOUT CANADA, ONE OF OUR CLOSEST FRIENDS, AND I'M TALKING ABOUT MEXICO. AND SO IN RETALIATION FOR WHAT WE'RE DOING TO THEM, THEY ARE NOW RETALIATING AND PUTTING TARIFFS ON OTHER GOODS, AND THAT'S EVERYTHING NOT ONLY FROM STEEL AND ALUMINUM, WASHING MACHINES TO LOBSTER, WHISKEY, AND CHEESE. AND WE'RE STARTING TO SEE THE CONSEQUENCES OF THESE MOVES, AND PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO HURT. SO THIS SENATOR HAS HEARD FROM MANY BUSINESSES IN HIS STATE THAT ARE STARTING TO GET HURT. IN FLORIDA, WE'RE SEEING THE HARMFUL EFFECTS OF THESE TARIFFS. MIND YOU, IT'S NOT JUST THE BUDWEISER BREWERY THAT I VISITED SEVERAL MONTHS AGO IN JACKSONVILLE THAT PRODUCES 3.3 BILLION ALUMINUM CANS A YEAR. AND OF COURSE, THE COST OF THOSE CANS ARE GOING TO GO UP, AND OF COURSE IT'S GOING TO BE THE CONSUMER THAT PAYS. BUT IT'S GOING TO BE OTHERS IN THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY, THE MEDICAL DEVICE INDUSTRY, THE MARINE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY, THE AUTO PARTS INDUSTRY. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT AUTO PARTS. THE COST OF THESE AUTO PARTS THAT WE HAVE TO IMPORT OR THAT ARE MADE HERE DOMESTICALLY BECAUSE OF THE INCREASED COST OF THE STEEL OR ALUMINUM, THE COST OF THOSE PARTS ARE GOING UP. NOW MAYBE THE DEALER WHO SERVICES YOUR CAR AND REPLACES PARTS IS ONE THING, BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL ENTREPRENEUR, THE AUTO MECHANIC SHOP THAT HAS TO BUY HIS PARTS, AND NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN HE HAS TO CHARGE MORE. AND THE BIG GUYS THAT DEAL IN MANY MORE AUTOMOBILE REPAIRS, THEY CAN SPREAD THAT OVER A LOT, AND THAT POOR INDIVIDUAL AUTO MECHANIC SHOP, HE'S GETTING HURT, AND IT'S HAPPENING, AND IT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW. AND HE'S LOSING BUSINESS. TAKE, FOR EXAMPLE, THE MARINE MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. HOW ABOUT MANUFACTURING BOATS, THAT'S A BIG INDUSTRY. IN FLORIDA THAT'S $121 BILLION A YEAR IN FLORIDA. THAT'S 650,000 JOBS IN FLORIDA. THAT'S TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOWNSTREAM JOBS IN FLORIDA AND NATIONWIDE. THE INDUSTRY IN OUR STATE ALONE PROVIDES OVER $10 BILLION IN ANNUAL ECONOMIC ACTIVITY, AND ALL OF THOSE BUSINESSES ARE REALLY GETTING HURT BECAUSE THE EUROPEAN UNION, CANADA, AND MEXICO, THREE BIG EXPORT MARKETS FOR THE BOAT MANUFACTURERS, THOSE ARE GETTING ORDERS CUT BECAUSE THE RETALIATORY TARIFF OF 25% FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO SELL ANY MORE BOATS TO EUROPEAN CUSTOMERS IF THEY HAVE TO PAY AN EXTRA $25%. THEY'LL GO ELSEWHERE WHERE THEY CAN GET IT CHEAP. TEN PERCENT EXTRA COSTS IN CANADA, 15% IN MEXICO. WHAT IS THAT GOING TO DO? THOSE JOBS IN THAT BOAT MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY, THEY'RE GOING TO GO AWAY. THEY ARE BRANDS THAT YOU MIGHT RECOGNIZE, NAUTIQUE, BRYANT, BASS CAT, ALL OF THAT WAS JUST FROM ONE COMPANY. CORRECT CRAFT THAT I VISITED IN ORLANDO THIS WEEK, THEY MANUFACTURE BOATS AND ENGINES IN FACTORIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY WITH THEIR HEADQUARTERS IN ORLANDO. SO WHAT THE PRESIDENT'S TARIFFS HAVE DONE HAVE INCREASED THE PRODUCTION COST CONSIDERABLY, THE COST OF ALUMINUM AND STEEL THAT GOES INTO THOSE BOATS. BUT THEN TO ADD THAT INSULT TO THE ALREADY EXISTING INJURY, THEY'RE BEING HIT WITH THESE RETALIATORY TARIFFS FROM OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE THEY SELL THEIR GOODS. NOW IT'S NO SUGAR COATING, WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF A FULL-BLOWN TRADE WAR. IF THIS THING GETS OUT OF CONTROL, IT CAN TAKE US INTO AN ECONOMIC RECESSION LIKE THE SMOOT-HAWLEY TARIFFS DID INTO A RECESSION THAT IS KNOWN AS THE GREAT RECESSION. AND IF WE CONTINUE DOWN THIS PATH WITHOUT AN EXIT STRATEGY, WE'RE GOING TO REGRET IT. SO ALREADY OUR BOAT MANUFACTURERS IN FLORIDA HAVE LOST TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN CANCELED ORDERS. REGOLD MARINE INDUSTRIES HAD $4 MILLION WORTH OF ORDERS FALL THROUGH. THE COMPANY ESTIMATES IT'LL LOSE ABOUT $13 MILLION THIS YEAR BECAUSE OF THESE TARIFFS. THAT WILL WIND UP COSTING PEOPLE THEIR JOBS, AND IT'S NO SMALL THING. AND THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET EXCESSIVELY EXTREME, WHEN YOU GET PARTISAN, WHEN YOU ACT LIKE YOU KNOW IT ALL, WHEN YOU IMPROVISE YOUR WAY THROUGH A COMPLICATED WORLD AND YOU DON'T HAVE A WELL-THOUGHT-OUT PLAN OF HOW TO GET OUT OF THIS MESS. AGAIN, IT'S THE NATURE OF THE POLITICS THAT WE'VE GOT TO REIN IN IN BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS. THERE'S ALSO THE STORY OF MICRO-STAMPING. IT'S THE SOLE SUPPLIER OF HIGH-GRADE SURGICAL EQUIPMENT. THAT EQUIPMENT IS USED IN THE TREATMENT OF BREAST CANCER. THEY'RE CONTEMPLATING SHUTTING DOWN BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT'S TRADE MOVES ARE STOPPING THEM FROM GETTING THE SPECIFIC TYPE OF STEEL THAT THEY NEED TO MANUFACTURE THE EQUIPMENT. OR WHAT ABOUT HALE PRODUCTS. THEY'RE UP IN OWE CALLA. IT'S ALSO BE CRUSHED BY THE TARIFFS. THEY MAKE FIRE-SUPPRESSION EQUIPMENT. AND SINCE THE COST OF THE TARIFFS IS PASSED DOWN TO THE END CONSUMER, THEY SAY THE TARIFFS WILL MAKE IT HARDER FOR MUNICIPAL FIRE DEPARTMENTS WHO ARE ALREADY FACING STIFF, STIFF BUDGET CONSTRAINTS, IT'S GOING TO MAKE IT HARDER FOR THEM TO BUY THE NEW, LIGHTER-WEIGHT, LIFESAVING FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT. THIS WILL HAVE REPERCUSSIONS BEYOND THE IMMEDIATE BUSINESS NEEDS OF THE COMPANY. IT'S WORTH NOTING THAT WHAT IS GOING ON IS HAVING A LASTING DAMAGE TO OUR STRATEGIC ALLIANCES. THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, THIS EXECUTIVE BRANCH, IS TREATING OUR FRIENDS LIKE ENEMIES AND IS GIVING COMFORT TO OUR ADVERSARIES. THIS IS NO WAY TO RUN A COUNTRY. WE SHOULD BE WORKING WITH OUR ALLIES TO ADDRESS OUR GLOBAL CHALLENGES, AND WE OUGHT TO BE ADVANCING OUR SHARED INTEREST, NOT JUST IN TRADE BUT NATIONAL SECURITY AND A RANGE OF THINGS. AND BEFORE WE ESCALATE THESE THINGS AND THEY GET OUT OF HAND, WE NEED TO THINK A LITTLE MORE ABOUT WHAT WE'RE DOING AND WHY WE'RE DOING IT AND IF WE'RE DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY, AND THIS SENATOR IS SAYING THAT WE ARE NOT DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY. WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WE ARE SENDING A MESSAGE THAT AMERICA IS CLOSED FOR BUSINESS. I DON'T THINK THAT'S WHAT WE WANT TO DO. I URGE OUR COLLEAGUES TO JOIN THIS SENATOR IN SHINING THE LIGHT OF DAY ON THE HARD TRUTH OF WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GO ALONG AND MAKE THINGS UP WITHOUT A CLEAR PLAN FOR SUCCESS, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS TRADE WAR IS RIGHT NOW. THAT KIND OF APPROACH DOESN'T WORK FOR U.S.A., IT DOESN'T WORK FOR FLORIDA, IT DOESN'T WORK FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF HARDWORKING, EVERYDAY AMERICANS, AND I THINK IT'S TIME TO COME TO OUR SENSES. MR. CHAIRMAN -- MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 04:05:01 PM

    MR. BLUNT

    MR. PRESIDENT, LAST NIGHT THE ALL-STAR GAME WAS HOSTED IN WASHINGTON, AND…

    MR. PRESIDENT, LAST NIGHT THE ALL-STAR GAME WAS HOSTED IN WASHINGTON, AND IN CONJUNCTION WITH THAT GAME, THE MICRO-LEAGUE BASEBALL MUSEUM HOSTED A GAME HONORING THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS, ONE OF THE TEAMS FROM THAT LEAGUE. THERE WERE GREAT TEAMS IN THAT LEAGUE. THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS HAD WON THE NEGRO LEAGUE WORLD SERIES IN 1943, WHICH WAS 75 YEARS AGO, AND THEY HAD A GREAT EXHIBIT HERE IN TOWN OF THAT TEAM AND ABOUT THAT TEAM AND ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THAT LEAGUE. THE MUSEUM, WHICH WAS FOUNDED IN 1990, IS LOCATED IN KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI. IT'S DEDICATED TO HIGHLIGHTING AND PRESERVING THAT IMPORTANT PART OF OUR HISTORY, OF OUR SPORTS HISTORY, THE HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN BASEBALL. BOB KENDRICK RUNS THAT MUSEUM, AND IT'S A MUSEUM I'D ENCOURAGE ALL OF MY COLLEAGUES TO VISIT. IT'S A MUSEUM WHEN THE ALL-STAR GAME WAS IN KANSAS CITY A FEW YEARS AGO, ONE OF THE VENUES FOR MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL WAS THERE. IT'S A MUSEUM THAT WHEN PEOPLE ARE IN KANSAS CITY PLAYING THE ROYALS, OFTEN MANAGERS AND COACHES TAKE THEIR PLAYERS, PLAYERS WHO HAVEN'T BEEN THERE BEFORE AND PLAYERS WHO WANT TO GO BACK, JUST TO HAVE A SENSE OF WHAT THAT WAS LIKE, THE SEGREGATION OF BASEBALL, BUT ALSO SOME OF THE GREAT PLAYERS THAT PLAYED THERE. THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, STEWART MEYERS, WAS HERE YESTERDAY. THE VICE CHAIRMAN AARON SACHS, WAS HERE YESTERDAY. BUT THE MUSEUM IS ACTUALLY EXPANDING. IT IS EXPANDING AND BUILDING. THE BUCK O'NEIL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER ON THE PASEO IN KANSAS CITY. BUCK O'NEIL WAS A GREAT KANSAS CITIIAN, BUT HE HAD ALSO BEEN A GREAT PART OF MAJOR -- OF NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL. IN JUNE OF THIS YEAR, VANDALS BROKE INTO THE YMCA THAT A THE LOVE MONEY HAD ALREADY BEEN SPENT ON WHERE THAT PART OF THE MUSEUM WAS GOING TO BE HOUSED, THAT RESEARCH CENTER, AND DID MORE DAMAGE THAN THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DO, UNFORTUNATELY SOME WATER DAMAGE IN THE BUILDING. BUT THAT EFFORT CONTINUES. THE NEGRO NATIONAL LEAGUE WAS CREATED THERE IN 1920 AT THAT PASEO YMCA. THERE WAS AN OWNERS' MEETING AND THE OWNERS DECIDED, YOU KNOW, IT'S TIME WE REALLY PUT MORE OF A STRUCTURE INTO THIS LEAGUE AND SO THEY ESTABLISHED A LEAGUE THAT BEFORE 1920 THESE AFRICAN AMERICAN TEAMS HAD BARNSTORMED AROUND THE COUNTRY AND PLAYED WHOEVER THEY COULD PLAY. BUT AFTER 1920, THEY COULD STILL BARNSTORM, BUT THERE WAS A LEAGUE AND THERE WAS A LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP, AND THERE WAS A STRUCTURE THAT THEY HADN'T HAD BEFORE. IN 1947, AS EVERY BASEBALL FAN KNOWS, THE BROOKLYN DODGERS DECIDED TO INTEGRATE BASEBALL AND JACKIE ROBINSON, WHO PLAYED FOR THE KANSAS CITY MONARCHS, WAS THE FIRST PLAYER TO STEP INTO THAT CHALLENGE OF INTEGRATING BASEBALL. THE LAST -- THE LEAGUE LASTED ANOTHER 13 YEARS OR SO. I THINK THE LAST TEAM FINALLY FOLDED IN 19 -- IN THE EARLY 1960'S, BUT SOME OF THE GREATEST BASEBALL AND THE MOST EXCITING BASEBALL EVER PLAYED WAS PLAYED IN THIS PARTICULAR LEAGUE. NAMES LIKE SATCHEL PAIGE WHO SAID HE WAS SO FAST THAT HE COULD -- THIS IS WHAT HE SAID ABOUT HIMSELF. HE COULD TURN OFF THE LIGHT IN THE BEDROOM AND BE IN BED BEFORE IT GOT DARK. HE WAS A GREAT PITCHER. AVENUES GREAT RUNNER. BUCK O'NEIL, SATCHEL PAIGE, COOL PAPA BELL, JACKIE ROBINSON AND 1 SEE OTHER NAMES THAT -- IN THAT LAST THREE YEARS OF THE 1940'S JOINED THE MAJOR LEAGUES, ARE ALL PART OF THAT STORY. MISSOURI TEAMS WERE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THAT STORY. THE MONARCHS -- I ALREADY MENTIONED JACKIE ROBINSON PLAYED BRIEFLY FOR THE MONARCHS BEFORE HE WENT TO THE DODGERS. BUT THE MONARCHS PLAYED FOR 37 SEASONS. THEY WON A DOZEN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS. THEY SENT MORE PLAYERS THAN ANY OTHER TEAM TO THE MAJOR LEAGUES. THE ST. LOUIS STARS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF OUR STATE, ORIGINALLY THE ST. LOUIS GIANTS, PLAYED 12 SEASONS. THEY WON THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP IN 1928 AND 1930 AND 1931. BUT THE REAL FOCUS OF THE EXHIBIT HERE THIS WEEK WAS THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS. NOW, WHERE DID THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS COME FROM I THINK I ALREADY MENTIONED THAT THEY WERE CELEBRATING THE ANNIVERSARY OF WINNING THE WORLD SERIES IN 1943. THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS WERE BASED ORIGINALLY IN HOMESTEAD, PENNSYLVANIA, JUST OUTSIDE OF PITTSBURGH. BUT IN 1940 AND 1941 AND 1942 THEY PLAYED AT LEAST HALF OF THEIR GAMES HERE IN WASHINGTON, WHEN THE WASHINGTON SENATORS WERE TRAVELING, SENATOR NELSON, THEY WOULD -- THE BALLPARK WOULD BE AVAILABLE AND THE HOMESTEAD GRAYS WOULD PLAY GAMES THERE. BY 1943 THEY WERE PLAYING ABOUT TWO-THIRDS OF THEIR GAMES IN WASHINGTON. AND GENERALLY THEY HAD MORE PEOPLE AT THEIR GAMES THAN THE WASHINGTON SENATORS HAD AT THEIR GAMES. THEY WON NINE CONSECUTIVE LEAGUE PENNANTS FROM 1937 THROUGH 19456789 THERE WAS EVEN EFFORT WHEN THE NATIONALS -- WHEN THE TEAM WAS BROUGHT HERE, THE NATIONALS, TO CALL THE NATIONALS THE WASHINGTON GRAYS. BECAUSE OF THAT TREMENDOUS TEAM THAT HAD PLAYED HERE, THE TEAM OWNERS CHOSE THE NATIONALS BECAUSE IT WAS ONE OF THE OFFICIAL NICKNAMES OF THE WASHINGTON SENATORS. BUT AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR HISTORY RIGHT THERE. WE'RE GOING TO BE CELEBRATING THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THAT LEAGUE IN 2020. I KNOW CONGRESSMAN CLEAVER ON THE THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS BUILDING AND I ARE LOOKING AT WAYS THAT WE CAN DRAW MORE ATTENTION TO THIS GREAT PART OF OUR STORY. IT'S SAD BECAUSE OF THE SEGREGATED ELEMENTS OF IT, BUT IT'S A GREAT STORY BECAUSE OF THE ENTREPRENEUR AND THE SPORTSMANSHIP AND THE COMPETITIVE NATURE OF THAT LEAGUE. AND SENATOR NELSON, HAVE YOU --

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  • 04:11:49 PM

    MR. NELSON

    AND, FURTHER, WOULD YOU BELIEVE, AS YOU CORRECTLY POINTED OUT, THAT ONCE…

    AND, FURTHER, WOULD YOU BELIEVE, AS YOU CORRECTLY POINTED OUT, THAT ONCE JACKIE ROBINSON WAS ABLE TO BREAK INTO THE MAJORS -- 1947 -- BUT IT WAS ANOTHER 11 YEARS, 1958, BEFORE THE LAST TEAM IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES INTEGRATED. AND FOR ALL THAT PERIOD OF TIME, THESE GREAT BASEBALL PLAYERS WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED SO MUCH, THEY HAD NO PENSION. AND, FURTHER, WOULD YOU BELIEVE THAT IT WAS YEARS LATER IN THIS SENATE IN THE LAST DECADE THAT FINALLY THE COMMISSION ON BASEBALL WAS BROUGHT IN FRONT OF THE COMMERCE COMMITTEE, HAVING TO FACE THE MUSIC ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE RETIRED PLAYERS THAT HAD NOT PLAYED IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL BUT IN THE OLD NEGRO LEAGUES IN AMERICA, BECAUSE THEY COULDN'T GET INTO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, EVEN WHILE THE REST OF THE TEAMS WERE BEING INTEGRATED, THAT TOOK 11 YEARS. AND FINALLY MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, THROUGH BUD ZELL I.G. FINALLY AGREED TO GIVE THEM A ONE-TIME PENSION PAYMENT. AND THIS SENATOR IS SO GRATEFUL BECAUSE THAT'S HELPED SO MANY OF THE RESIDENTS IN MY STATE THAT ARE THESE GREAT PLAYERS THAT YOU HAVE SO ACCURATELY, SENATOR, DESCRIBED THEIR CONSIDERABLE TALENTS ON THE BASEBALL FIELD.

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  • 04:13:41 PM

    MR. BLUNT

    I THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE HISTORY, SENATOR. THERE ARE A…

    I THINK THAT'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE HISTORY, SENATOR. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF PLAYERS THERE LAST NIGHT THAT HAD PLAYED IN THE LEAGUE AND OF COURSE THERE ARE FEWER OF THOSE PLAYERS ALL THE TIME. BUT I'VE HAD A CHANCE, AS YOU HAVE, TO MEET AND TALK TO THEM OVER THE YEARS AND TALK ABOUT THE EXCITEMENT OF THAT KIND OF BASEBALL, THE ABILITY TO ENTERTAIN BOTH WITH THEIR SPORTSMANSHIP AS WELL AS JUST THEIR TALENT AS SPORTSMEN, AND I THINK IT WAS A GREAT LEAGUE. IT IS A GREAT STORY. I DON'T KNOW IF YOU'VE HAD A CHANCE TO BE AT THE MUSEUM IN KANSAS CITY, BUT AS A GUY WHO KNEW THOSE PLAYERS AND APPRECIATES WHAT THAT LEAGUE WAS ALL ABOUT, I'D CERTAINLY LOVE TO GO THERE WITH YOU SOMETIME.

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  • 04:14:26 PM

    MR. NELSON

    IF THE SENATOR WOULD YIELD, AS A MATTER OF FACT, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO…

    IF THE SENATOR WOULD YIELD, AS A MATTER OF FACT, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING THAT MUSEUM. BUT IT WAS ONE OF YOUR PLAYERS, THE KANSAS CITY MONARCHS, THAT PEACHHEAD BOB MITCHELL, WHO WAS LIVING IN MY STATE RETIRED BROUGHT TO THE ATTENTION OF HIS SENATOR, THE INEQUITY THAT HAD OCCURRED IN THEM NEVER GETTING A PENSION. EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE CERTAINLY CAPABLE OF GETTING INTO MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL BUT FOR SEGREGATION COULD NOT.

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  • 04:15:07 PM

    MR. BLUNT

    I'M LOOKING FORWARD, ALONG WITH OTHERS, TO CELEBRATING THAT CENTURY OF…

    I'M LOOKING FORWARD, ALONG WITH OTHERS, TO CELEBRATING THAT CENTURY OF HISTORY. IT'S AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE STORY TO BE TOLD, AND I'M GLAD YOU HELPED ADD TO IT HERE TODAY. I ALSO WANT TO TALK FOR A FEW MINUTES, MR. PRESIDENT, ABOUT THE WORK OF THE IMPORTANCE OF GETTING THE APPROPRIATIONS BILLS TO THE SENATE FLOOR. AND I WANT TO DO THAT BY TALKING ABOUT THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC, OUR ANNUAL OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT THAT IS BOTH LEGISLATIVE AND LEGISLATIVE IN TERMS OF DECIDING HOW TO SPEND MONEY AS WE TRY TO DEAL WITH THIS EPIDEMIC THAT CLAIMS MORE LIVES THAN ANY OTHER SINGLE ACCIDENTAL CAUSE OF DEATH. CAR ACCIDENTS, FOR A LONG TIME PREDOMINATED THAT LIST. BUT IN VIRTUALLY EVERY STATE AND CERTAINLY IN THE COUNTRY, MORE PEOPLE DIE NOW FROM DRUG OVERDOSES THAN DIE FROM CAR ACCIDENTS. THERE ARE PEOPLE OF EVERY AGE, FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL CHEERLEADER WHO HURTS HER LEG IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI, MY HOMETOWN, WHO GOT MEDICINE FOR THAT LEG INJURY. IT WAS THREE YEARS LATER, AFTER THREE YEARS OF STRUGGLING WITH ADDICTION, THAT HER MOTHER FOUND HER DEAD IN HER BEDROOM OF AN OVERDOSE. EVERY AGE, EVERY RACE, THERE ARE STORIES OF INCREDIBLY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE WHO FROM THE DOCTOR, THE DENTIST GET MORE, GOT MORE PAIN MEDICINE THAN THEY NEEDED NOT BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THE DOCTOR OR DENTIST INTENDED TO DO, BECAUSE THE DOCTORS IN THE 1970'S, DENTISTS IN THE 1970'S AND 1980'S WERE TOLD THIS IS NOT ADDICTIVE. THERE IS NO REASON FOR PEOPLE TO HAVE PAIN. THEY CAN TAKE THESE OPIOID-BASED PAINKILLERS AND NOT HAVE PAIN. THAT PART WAS TRUE. THE PART THAT WASN'T TRUE WAS THE NONADDICTIVE PART. AND THE PART THAT WASN'T TRUE WAS WHAT YOU WOULD DO WHEN THE DOCTOR WAS NO LONGER GIVING YOU THAT MEDICINE OR YOU COULD NO LONGER ACT LIKE YOU WERE GETTING THE MEDICINE BECAUSE OF PAIN. YOU WERE BY THEN GETTING IT FOR SOME OTHER REASON. SO THE APPROPRIATIONS BILL THAT OUR COMMITTEE HAS VOTED OUT, THAT WE'RE EAGER TO GET TO THE FLOOR, INCLUDES $3.7 BILLION OF TARGETED ON THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC. THIS IS ABOUT 12 TIMES, IT'S A 1,300 PERCENT INCREASE OVER WHERE WE WERE FOUR YEARS AGO. AS THE CONGRESS BECAME MORE AWARE OF NOT ONLY HOW WIDESPREAD THE EPIDEMIC WAS, BUT THE INCREDIBLE HUMAN COST OF THE EPIDEMIC. THE BILL INCLUDES ALMOST HALF OF THAT MONEY, $1.5 BILLION, FOR STATE OPIOID RESPONSE GRANTS. ONE REASON WE'RE DOING THIS WITH GRANTS IS WE REALLY DON'T KNOW YET ALL OF THE OPTIONS AND WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO EVALUATE THE BEST WAYS TO DEAL WITH THIS. WE DO FEEL LIKE IN OUR COMMITTEE AND IN THE CONGRESS THAT IT'S UNLIKELY THAT THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH THIS IN ONE PLACE IS NECESSARILY THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH IT IN OTHER PLACES. MY STATE, MISSOURI, RECEIVED $10 MILLION LAST YEAR. WE'LL RECEIVE $28 MILLION THIS YEAR IF THIS GRANT FUNDING IS APPROVED. AND OTHER STATES WILL BE PROPORTIONATELY, THEY'LL GO UP EXACTLY AS WE DID. NOW WHAT DO WE DO IN MISSOURI TO USE THAT MONEY IN OUR STATE TO SEE WHAT YOU CAN DO TO DEAL WITH THIS EPIDEMIC? 1,700 PEOPLE RECEIVED EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR OPIOID USE DISORDER. 1,700 PEOPLE IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS RECEIVED THAT. MORE THAN 4,300 KITS OF NALAXONE, WHICH IS WHAT YOU TAKE WHEN YOU'VE OVERDOSED. THAT IS LESS EFFECTIVE SOMETIMES THAN IT USED TO BE BECAUSE OF THE FENTANYL, BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T HAVE ANY IDEA THAT ARE TRYING TO HELP YOU, WHAT YOU'VE PUT INTO YOUR SYSTEM, AND YOU DON'T EITHER. AND SO OCCASIONALLY NOW YOU'LL GET THAT SHOT TO RELIEVE YOU FROM THE OVERDOSE AND THINK THAT'S HAPPENED, AND THEN SUDDENLY WHAT YOU HAVE PUT IN YOUR SYSTEM OVERWHELMED EVEN THAT NORMAL CURE IF YOU GET IT ON TIME OR AT LEAST THAT CURE MIGHT BE THE WRONG WORD BECAUSE ALL IT DOES IS SAVE YOU THAT ONE TIME. AROUND 4,000 PEOPLE HAVE RECEIVED TRAINING ON WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF AN OVERDOSE. ABOUT 10,000 PEOPLE HAVE RECEIVED TRAINING IN OUR STATE ON TOPICS FROM TREATMENT TO PREVENTION TO RECOVERY. FOR A STATE LIKE OURS, THE RATE OF OPIOID DEATH HAS INCREASED. OPIOID OVERDOSE DEATHS HAS MORE THAN QUADRUPLED IN THE PAST 15 YEARS. THAT WOULD NOT BE AN UNUSUAL NUMBER FOR STATES TO SEE. IN WEST VIRGINIA, SENATOR CAPITO AND I WERE HERE ON THE FLOOR TALKING ABOUT THIS EARLIER THIS YEAR. THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY AN URBAN PROBLEM. IN FACT, IN MOST CASES IT'S MORE OF A RURAL PROBLEM PER CAPITA THAN AN URBAN PROBLEM PER CAPITA. AND WE'VE SET ASIDE MONEY TARGETED FOR THOSE RURAL COMMUNITIES. OF THE $135 MILLION TARGETED FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES BASED IN DIFFERENT THINGS THAT APPEAR TO BE NEEDED MORE IN RURAL COMMUNITIES THAN OTHER COMMUNITIES, A CUM HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS DISINTO COMMUNITY HEALTH? -- GOES INTO COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS TO SUPPORT PEOPLE AND THEIR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CONCERNS AND MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM BEFORE YOU GET ADDICTED TO OPIOIDS, YOU HAVE ONE ONCE YOU'VE GOTTEN ADDICTED TO OPIOIDS. AND SO WHAT HAPPENS THERE IN TERMS OF TRYING TO DEAL WITH THAT, SENATOR STABENOW AND I INTRODUCED A BILL A FEW YEARS AGO, THE EXCELLENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH ACT, AND EIGHT OF OUR STATES NOW HAVE SITUATIONS WHERE THEY'RE TREATING IN THAT EIGHT-STATE PILOT WHERE THEY'RE TREATING BEHAVIORAL HEALTH LIKE ALL OTHER HEALTH, THAT PARTICULARLY STEPS UP SOMEBODY WITH AN OPIOID ADDICTION PROBLEM HAS A BEHAVIORAL HEALTH PROBLEM, THEY WOULDN'T HAVE HAD OTHERWISE, AND THERE'S NO LIMIT, JUST LIKE THERE WOULD BE NO LIMIT IF YOU HAD KIDNEY DIALYSIS, THERE'S ALSO NO LIMIT IN THOSE EIGHT STATES FOR YOUR BEHAVIORAL HEALTH ELEMENT. THERE IS NO 28 DAYS AND IF YOU HAVEN'T QUIT THIS IN 28 DAYS, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THIS AS A UNIQUE PROBLEM, DEALING WITH MENTAL HEALTH AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH IN THE SAME WAY MATTERS IN ALL CASES. BUT IT PARTICULARLY SEEMS TO APPLY AS PEOPLE TRY TO BEAT THIS ADDICTION. THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES BILL INCLUDES $60 MILLION FOR CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT WHAT HAPPENS IN FAMILIES WHEN SOMEBODY IN THAT FAMILY GETS INTO AN ABUSE SITUATION. THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT BECOME ADDICTED NEEDS TO CHANGE, BUT ALSO HOW WE DEAL WITH PAIN NEEDS TO CHANGE. AND SO SOME UNIQUE MONEY AVAILABLE TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH TO TRY TO DEVELOP A PAIN MEDICINE THAT'S NONE ADDICTIVE, $500 MILLION, AND TO THAT EFFORT. MR. PRESIDENT, I JUST SAY THAT IN ALL OF THESE CASES, WE FEEL LIKE WE'VE PRODUCED A GOOD BILL OUT OF OUR COMMITTEE. IT HAS ABOUT A THIRD OF ALL THE MONEY IN IT AFTER DEFENSE IS TAKEN OFF THE TABLE, SO IT'S A BIG BILL WITH LARGE JURISDICTION. BUT, MR. PRESIDENT, EVERYBODY IN THE SENATE DESERVES A CHANCE TO BE PART OF THIS DEBATE. EVERYBODY IN THE SENATE DESERVES TO LOOK AT HOW THE APPROPRIATORS WITH A VOTE WITH, I THINK IT WAS 33-1 VOTED FOR THIS BILL, HOW THE APPROPRIATORS DECIDED TO SPEND THE MONEY MAY BE THE WAY EVERYBODY DECIDES TO SPEND THE MONEY. BUT EVERYBODY OUGHT TO HAVE A CHANCE ON THIS FLOOR TO SAY, NO, I THINK THIS MONEY WOULD BE BETTER SPENT HERE THAN HERE, BETTER SPENT THIS WAY THAN THAT WAY. AND FOR EVERY SINGLE SENATOR TO BE ABLE TO BE PART OF THAT DISCUSSION. IF WE CONTINUE THIS PROCESS THAT WE HAVE BEEN IN FOR A FEW YEARS, ONE BIG BILL THAT NOBODY EVER GETS TO VOTE ON, THAT MEANS THAT THE SENATORS WHO AREN'T ON THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE DON'T HAVE A SAY IN ESTABLISHING OUR NATIONAL PRIORITIES. IT'S AN IMPORTANT TIME TO DO THAT. THESE BILLS ARE ALL OUT OF COMMITTEE AND HAVE BEEN FOR ALMOST A MONTH NOW. WE HAVE HAD THREE OF THEM ON THE FLOOR ALREADY. I THINK WE PLAN TO HAVE FOUR OF THEM ON THE FLOOR NEXT WEEK, AND MAYBE DEFENSE AND LABOR H. NOT TOO LONG AFTER THAT. BUT THESE ARE BIG ISSUES THAT EVERY SENATOR SHOULD HAVE A SAY IN, AND THE ONLY WAY THAT HAPPENS IS IF THESE ISSUES ARE DECIDED RIGHT HERE ON THE FLOOR. AND SO, MR. PRESIDENT, HOPEFULLY THAT WILL, WE'LL SET SOME RECENT RECORDS AT LEAST OF HAVING ALL THOSE BILLS ON THE FLOOR AND DEBATED. AND I WILL YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT.

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  • 04:24:38 PM

    MR. TOOMEY

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WANT TO REFLECT ON SOME OF THE DATA COMING IN…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WANT TO REFLECT ON SOME OF THE DATA COMING IN WITH RESPECT TO OUR ECONOMY ON TAX REFORM AND DEREGULATORY PUSH. BEFORE I DO, I WANT TO COMMEND MY COLLEAGUE FROM MISSOURI AND THANK HIM FOR HIS LEADERSHIP AND WORK IN THIS JUST INCREDIBLE CRISIS THAT WE'RE DEALING WITH WITH OPIOIDS. IT'S NOT A UNIFORMLY NATIONAL CRISIS. IT'S MORE CONCENTRATED REGIONALLY. MY STATE OF PENNSYLVANIA IS AFFECTED AS BADLY AS ANYPLACE IN THE COUNTRY. I'M PLEASED WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO TAKE A NUMBER OF CONSTRUCTIVE MEASURES, BUT WE'VE GOT A LOT OF WORK LEFT TO DO AS WE TRY TO DEAL WITH THIS SCOURGE. SO I WANT TO THANK HIM FOR THAT. ON THE TAX REFORM, BEFORE I GET INTO SOME OF THE MACRO AND STATISTICS THAT ARE REALLY, REALLY INCREDIBLY ENCOURAGING, I JUST WANT TO TOUCH ON A COUPLE OF CONSTITUENT COMPANIES AND THEIR EMPLOYEES AND HOW OUR TAX REFORM IS AFFECTING THEM. ONE IS A COMPANY CALLED GLASS AND SONS COLLISION CENTER. THEY'RE LOCATED IN READING, PENNSYLVANIA, WHICH IS IN THE EASTERN PART OF OUR STATE. AND THEY RECENTLY ANNOUNCED THAT THEY'LL BE PAYING $1,000 TAX REFORM BONUSES TO ALL OF THEIR EMPLOYEES. $1,000. THIS IS A SMALL BUSINESS. IT'S A FATHER AND SON BUSINESS. THE OWNERS CHARLES AND TREVOR GLASS, THEY MADE THE DECISION TO PAY THE BONUSES RIGHT AFTER THEY MET WITH THEIR ACCOUNTANTS AND THEY LEARNED HOW MUCH THEY'RE GOING TO SAVE AS A RESULT OF THE TAX REFORM. THE FIRST THING THEY DID IS SAID WE'RE GOING TO SHARE THIS WITH OUR EMPLOYEES. A TERRIFIC DEVELOPMENT FOR EVERYONE INVOLVED. THERE'S ANOTHER COMPANY, THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STATE OUT IN SOMERSET, SOUTHWESTERN PART OF THE STATE, A COMPANY CALLED THE GUY CHEMICAL COMPANY. THEY RECENTLY AN ANNOUNCED THAT NOT ONLY ARE THEY INCREASING WAGES AND BONUSES, BUT THEY ARE ALSO MAKING NEW INVESTMENTS INCLUDING A NEW FORKLIFT, UPDATED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT, NEW SOFTWARE AND BUILDING A NEW LAB FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FIVE TIMES THE SIZE OF THEIR OLD LAB. THEY'RE DOING THIS BECAUSE OF THE TAX REFORM AND THE CONFIDENCE THEY HAVE IN ECONOMIC GROWTH THAT'S OCCURRING IN THIS REFORMED ENVIRONMENT. BUT IT'S NOT ONLY INDIVIDUALS WHO WORK FOR COMPANIES THAT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO PAY HIGHER WAGES AND BONUSES WHO BENEFIT FROM TAX REFORM. IT'S JUST ABOUT EVERYONE. ABOUT 93% OF ALL THE FOLKS THAT I REPRESENT AND ALL THE FOLKS THAT WE ALL REPRESENT, WHEN THEY FILE THEIR TAX RETURN FOR THIS YEAR'S INCOME, THEY'RE GOING TO PAY LESS IN FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. THE DIRECT SAVINGS FOR, ACCORDING TO THE TAX FOUNDATION, FOR A PENNSYLVANIA FAMILY WITH AN INCOME IN THE $50,000 TO $70,000 RANGE, IT WILL BE ABOUT $1,400 IN SAVINGS. AND IN ADDITION TO THE DIRECT SAVINGS FROM THE LOWER FEDERAL TAX BILL, BECAUSE OF THE SAVINGS THAT PENNSYLVANIA UTILITIES HAVE ON THEIR FEDERAL TAX BILL, THEY'RE REQUIRED TO PASS THAT ON TO THEIR CUSTOMERS, AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THEY'RE DOING. THERE IS SO FAR A COMBINED $320 MILLION IN ANNUAL SAVINGS TO PENNSYLVANIA CONSUMERS IN THE FORM OF LOWER UTILITY BILLS AS A RESULT OF OUR TAX REFORM. SO THERE'S NO QUESTION, TREMENDOUS DIRECT PERSONAL INDIVIDUAL BENEFITS ACROSS THE BOARD. BUT RELATED TO THAT IS THE FACT THAT THE ECONOMY IS JUST TAKING OFF. THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN ON FIRE. THIS YEAR IT'S BEEN TREMENDOUS. AND NOTHING REFLECTS THE STRONG ECONOMIC DATA BETTER THAN THE EMPLOYMENT PICTURE. IT'S FAIR TO SAY, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT THE EMPLOYMENT PICTURE IN AMERICA MAY NEVER HAVE BEEN THIS GOOD. AND I KNOW THAT'S MAKING A VERY BOLD STATEMENT, BUT STAY WITH ME HERE. WE GO THROUGH SOME OF THIS DATA. THE MONTH OF MAY, WE HAD THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE SINCE 2000. THE LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN 18 YEARS. AFRICAN AMERICAN UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HIT AN ALL-TIME RECORD LOW. IT HAS NEVER BEEN MEASURED AS LOW AS IT WAS IN MAY OF 5.9%. LIKEWISE, HISPANIC UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, ALL-TIME RECORD LOW, 4.6% IN JUNE. SMALL BUSINESS OPTIMISM, SECOND-HIGHEST LEVEL ON RECORD EVER THIS PAST MONTH OF MAY. DIVIDENDS PAID FROM OVERSEAS SUBSIDIARIES OF U.S. MULTINATIONALS, DIVIDENDS PAID BACK HOME, MONEY THAT'S SITTING OVERSEAS AND INVESTED BACK IN AMERICA REACHED AN ALL-TIME RECORD HIGH IN THE FIRST QUARTER BECAUSE WE CHANGED THE RULES TO DIMINISH THE PENALTIES THAT WE USED TO HAVE WHEN AN AMERICAN COMPANY BROUGHT INCOME THAT WAS EARNED OVERSEAS BACK HOME. WELL, ONE OF THE THINGS WE WANTED TO HAVE HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF OUR TAX REFORM, WE WANTED TO SEE MORE CAPITAL EXPENDITURES, MORE COMPANIES PUTTING MONEY TO WORK, BUYING PLANTS, EQUIPMENT, TECHNOLOGY, TOOLS. GUESS WHAT? FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR, TREMENDOUS GROWTH IN CAPITAL EXPENDITURES BY AMERICAN BUSINESSES. IT'S UP OVER 7%, WELL ABOVE EVEN THE AMBITIOUS ESTIMATE THAT CAME OUT BY THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE LATE LAST YEAR. ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING STATISTICS, I THINK, ABOUT THIS WHOLE EMPLOYMENT PICTURE, IS WHAT HAPPENED IN MARCH. WE SAW IN THE MONTH OF MARCH, AGAIN, THE FIRST TIME EVER THAT I'M AWARE OF, THE NUMBER OF JOB OPENINGS, THE NUMBER OF AVAILABLE JOBS THAT NEED TO BE FILLED IS GREATER THAN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE LOOKING FOR JOBS. THINK IT ABOUT THAT -- THINK ABOUT THAT. THERE ARE MORE JOBS AVAILABLE IN AMERICA THAN THERE ARE PEOPLE LOOKING FOR JOBS IN AMERICA. THAT'S TERRIFIC FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED WORK. THE JOBS ARE OUT THERE. THE NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS, THAT'S AMERICA'S LARGEST NETWORK OF SMALL BUSINESSES, THEY WERE SURVEYED IN JUNE. 63 ARE%, ALMOST -- 63%, ALMOST TWO-THIRDS, WERE REPORTED TO TRY TO HIRE OR WERE HIRING. AND 87% OF THOSE WHO WERE TRYING TO HIRE OR ACTUALLY HIRING PEOPLE WERE CONCERNED THERE WERE TOO FEW PEOPLE OUT THERE TO BE HIRED. SO WE'VE, IN A WAY, THE ECONOMY IS GROWING SO ROBUSTLY THE JOB OPPORTUNITIES ARE EXPANDING SO QUICKLY THAT WE HAVE A SHORTAGE OF WORKERS WE HAVE -- WORKERS. WE HAVE TOO FEW PEOPLE AVAILABLE TO MEET THE DEMANDS OF ALL OF THESE JOBS. IT'S THE RIGHT DEMAND TO HAVE. WHAT HAPPENS AS A RESULT OF THAT? IT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE PREDICTED. PEOPLE WHO HAD DECIDED TO LEAVE THE WORKFORCE, TO GIVE UP ON WORK, PEOPLE WHO WERE WORKING AGE AND HEALTHY BUT DECIDED, FOR WHATEVER NOT TO WORK, THEY ARE COMING BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE IN BIG NUMBERS. IN THE MONTH OF JUNE OVER 600,000 AMERICANS WHO HAD WORKED IN THE PAST BUT THEN HE HAD HAD STEPPED OUT OF THE WORKFORCE FOR WHATEVER REASON, OVER 600,000 CAME BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE. THE BIGGEST PROPORTION OF THESE FOLKS ARE PEOPLE WHO HAD NEVER GONE TO COLLEGE BUT THEY HAVE A RENEWED CONFIDENCE AND OPTIMISM ABOUT THE ECONOMY AND A CONFIDENCE THAT OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE TO THEM, DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY DON'T HAVE A COLLEGE INCOME, THAT THEY HAVE DECIDED THEY ARE GOING TO REENTER THE WORKFORCE, AND IN THE PROCESS, START TO IMPROVE THEIR STANDARD OF LIVING. AND, BY THE WAY, THE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION ROSE REALLY ACROSS, I THINK, ALL ETHNIC GROUPS, WOMEN, MEN, AFRICAN AMERICANS, HISPANICS, IT'S UP ACROSS THE BOARD. SO SO FAR THIS YEAR OVER A MILLION WORKERS WHO HAD LEFT THE WORKFORCE ARE BACK IN IT. THAT COMPARES TO ABOUT A HALF MILLION WORKERS IN THE FIRST HALF OF LAST YEAR AND ABOUT 600,000 IN 2016. SO A BIG SURGE IN THE NUMBER OF WORKERS COMING BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE. AND THEY ARE FINDING JOBS. IT'S IMPROVED OUR OVERALL POPULATION, OUR OVERALL PERCENTAGE OF WORKING AGE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING, AND IT IS ACROSS ALL DEMOGRAPHIC GROUPS AND CONTRIBUTING ENORMOUSLY FIRST AND FOREMOST TO IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF THEIR LIVES AND THEIR FAMILY'S LIVES AND OUR OVERALL ECONOMIC GLOWTH. WHAT -- GROWTH. WHAT ELSE DO WE GET FROM THE JUNE JOBS REPORT? IN JUNE ALONE 213,000 JOBS ADDED. THAT IS A RAPID PACE. THESE NUMBERS ARE ALWAYS REVISED. IN JUNE WE GOT THE REVISION FOR APRIL AND MAY. IT TURNS OUT IT WAS BETTER THAN WE THOUGHT. ALL TOGETHER THERE WERE 37,000 MORE JOBS WHEN WE REVISED THE APRIL AND MAY NUMBERS THAN WE HAD ORIGINALLY FIGURED. A MODEST UPTICK IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE, BUT DON'T BE FOOLED BY THAT. THAT IS BECAUSE SO MANY ADDITIONAL PEOPLE ENTERING THE WORKFORCE AND WE'RE COUNTING FAR MORE PEOPLE NOW IN DETERMINING THAT. ONE OF THE TRULY EXCITING THINGS ABOUT THIS, MR. PRESIDENT, IS, YOU KNOW, FOR MANY, MANY YEARS WE'VE HAD STAGNANT WAGES. WAGES JUST WEREN'T RISING VERY RAPIDLY. IT'S BECAUSE PRODUCTIVITY WON'T GROWING. THAT, I THINK, WAS BEING DRIVEN BY THE FACT THAT THERE WASN'T GROWTH IN CAPITAL EXPENDITURE. NOW THAT WE CHANGED THAT DYNAMIC, CAPITAL EXPENDITURE IS GROWING AND WAGES ARE STARTING TO GROW. I'M NOT SATISFIED WITH THE GROWTH YET BUT IT IS ENCOURAGING THAT THE DIRECTION IS POSITIVE. THE AVERAGE HOURLY EARNINGS GREW ABOUT 2.9% IN THE FIRST QUARTER, THAT IS THE FASTEST PACE IN A DECADE, AND THE HOURLY WAGE FOR MANAGERS ROSE AT ITS FASTEST RIGHT. AND 3.8% WHICH IS CLEAR INDICATION THAT EMPLOYERS ARE FORCED TO BID UP WAGES BECAUSE THEY NEED TO HIRE WORKERS AND THEY ARE HAVING TROUBLE FINDING THEIR WORKERS. THIS WHOLE DYNAMIC IS VERY, VERY ENCOURAGING. IT MEANS WAGES ARE GROWING AND LIKELY TO GROW MORE. I SHOULD ALSO POINT OUT THERE'S A FEATURE IN THE ARITHMETIC THAT SUGGESTS THAT WE -- IT COULD MASK THE EXTENT TO WHICH WAGES ARE GROWING. AND WHAT I'M REFERRING TO IS WHEN I SAY THAT WAGES ARE GREENHOUSE GAS, THE AVERAGE WAGES ARE GROWING BY 2.8%, IT'S TRUE. BUT KEEP IN MIND WHEN YOU GET A SURGE OF NEW PEOPLE IN THE WORKFORCE, MOST OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE COMING IN AT THE LOWER END OF THE WAGE SPECTRUM. MAYBE IT'S THEIR FIRST JOB OR MAYBE THEY HAVE BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR A LONG TIME OR MAYBE, AS I POINTED OUT, THEY DON'T HAVE THE SAME LEVEL OF EDUCATION OR SKILLS AS THOSE IN THE WORKFORCE, SO THEY ARE STARTING AT A LOWER-THAN-AVERAGE WAGE AND SO ALL THINGS BEING EQUAL, IT WOULD BRING IT DOWN. PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN CONTINUOUSLY EMPLOYED, THEY ARE GETTING EVEN BIGGER GROWTH IN THEIR WAGES. SO THIS IS VERY, VERY ENCOURAGING. I THINK IT'S LIKELY TO CONTINUE. IT'S EXACTLY WHAT WE WERE HOPING WOULD HAPPEN AS A RESULT OF OUR TAX REFORM. BUT THERE'S ANOTHER WHOLE DEVELOPMENT, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT'S NOT DIRECTLY ABOUT WAGES, BUT WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. WITH ALL OF THESE PEOPLE FINDING WORK, WITH ALL OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORK, PEOPLE COMING BACK INTO THE WORKFORCE, GUESS WHAT. THERE'S A REDUCTION IN DEPENDENCY ON GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO EARN THE INCOME TO SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES. SO, FOR INSTANCE, THE FOUR-WEEK AVERAGE, ONE OF THE THINGS WE MONITOR CLOSELY, THE FOUR-WEEK AVERAGE OF UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT CLAIMS, PEOPLE COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT, THAT NUMBER HIT A 45-YEAR LOW OF 213,000 IN MAY. 45 YEARS. YOU HAVE TO GO BACK 45 YEARS TO FIND SO FEW PEOPLE WHO ARE REQUIRE -- WHO REQUIRE UNEMPLOYMENT FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME, WHICH IS REALLY AMAZING WHEN YOU CONSIDER HOW MUCH BIGGER A COUNTRY WE ARE TODAY THAT WE'VE GOTTEN DOWN TO A NUMBER THAT WAS MATCHED ONLY 45 YEARS AGO. AMAZING. OR YOU COULD LOOK AT DISABILITY BENEFITS. ACCORDING TO THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, FEWER AMERICANS APPLIED FOR DISABILITY BENEFITS LAST YEAR THAN AT ANY TIME IN 2002. SO 16 YEARS SINCE WE'VE HAD A NUMBER THIS LOW. OR TAKE THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM. TWO MILLION PEOPLE HAVE COME OFF FOOD STAMPS BECAUSE THEY ARE WORKING AND ARE WORKING ENOUGH THAT THEY DON'T NEED IT OR THEY DON'T QUALIFY FOR IT ANYMORE. THESE ARE ENCOURAGING TRENDS. BECAUSE THE DRIVER IS A NEW SET OF INCENTIVES WITH CAPITAL EXPENDITURE AND PRODUCTIVITY GROWTH, I THINK THIS WILL CONTINUE. THE MACRO NUMBERS REFLECT THIS AS WELL. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE -- LAST YEAR THEY ESTIMATED THAT GROWTH FOR 2018 WOULD BE 2%, THEY RESIZED -- REVISED THAT UP TO 3.3%. FOR THE QUARTER THAT JUST ENDED, THE ESTIMATES ARE THAT GROWTH WAS EQUAL AND MAYBE EVEN MORE THAN 4%. SO TRE MUND WHYS GROWTH. WE ALREADY HAD -- SO TREMENDOUS GROWTH. WE ALREADY HAD A GREAT QUARTER RELATIVE TO OTHER QUARTERS, THE SECOND QUARTER VERY, VERY BIG. IF THIS GROWTH IS SUSTAINED, NOT ONLY WILL WE CONTINUE TO HAVE GOOD EMPLOYMENT NUMBERS, LIKE WE HAD, WE WILL ALSO HAVE GOOD FEDERAL NUMBERS. OUR GOVERNMENT IS DRIVEN BY HOW STRONG OUR ECONOMYAND EVERY COMPANY THAT -- ECONOMY IS AND EVERY COMPANY IS PAYING TAXES SO REVENUE COMING INTO THE GOVERNMENT IS LIKELY TO BE VERY STRONG. SO I AM TRE OPTIMISTIC -- I AM VERY OPTIMISTIC. I BELIEVE THE COMBINATION OF PUSHING BACK ON REGULATIONS AND PRO-GROWTH TAX REFORM HAS LED TO THIS GROWTH. I SHOULD WARN. I THINK THERE IS A BIT OF A CLOUD ON THE HORIZON. I HOPE IT DOESN'T DEVELOP INTO A BIG STORM. RIGHT NOW IT'S JUST A BIG CLOUD, BUT THAT CLOUD IS TRADE POLICY THAT COULD REALLY START TO HINDER ECONOMIC GROWTH. IT'S INTERESTING WE HAD TESTIMONY AT THE BANKING COMMITTEE YESTERDAY FROM THE FED CHAIRMAN, CHAIRMAN POWELL, AND I POINTED OUT THAT THE MINUTES OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE'S OPEN MARKET COMMITTEE, THE MINUTES FOR THE JUNE MEETING, HAD A DISTURBING REFERENCE. AND I WILL QUOTE BRIEFLY. THE FOMC MINUTES FOR JUNE STATED SOME DISTRICTS INDICATED THAT PLANS FOR CAPITAL SPENDING HAD BEEN SCALED BACK OR POSTPONED AS A RESULT OF UNCERTAINTY OVER TRADE POLICY. THAT'S A WARNING. THAT'S A WARNING TO US. IF WE SPIRAL DOWN INTO A FULL-BLOWN TRADE WAR, AND WE'VE CERTAINLY GOT A LOT OF SKIRMISHES GOING ON. IF THIS SPIRALS OUT OF CONTROL, BUSINESS WILL START TO PULL BACK. THEY WILL LOSE THE CONFIDENCE THAT THEY HAVE HAD THAT COULD LEAD TO DIMINISHED CAPITAL EXPENDITURES WHICH WILL START TO REALLY DIMINISH THE TREMENDOUS GROWTH THAT WE HAVE SEEN. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, SO FAR THIS YEAR THE ECONOMIC PICTURE HAS BEEN EXTREMELY ENCOURAGING, BENEFITS VERY BROAD BASED, ECONOMIC GROWTH BROAD AND STRONG, UNEMPLOYMENT NUMBERS THAT WE HAVEN'T SEEN IN DECADES, AND I BELIEVE THIS CAN CONTINUE. IT'S MUCH MORE LIKELY TO CONTINUE IF WE AVOID A DAMAGING TRADE WAR. WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 04:41:52 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, I'M GRATEFUL TODAY TO BE JOINED BY SENATOR KING FROM THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I'M GRATEFUL TODAY TO BE JOINED BY SENATOR KING FROM THE GREAT STATE OF MAINE TO SPEAK ABOUT THE TROUBLING CHANGES THAT WE ARE SEEING IN THE OCEANS AND HOW CLIMATE CHANGE IS RESHAPING OUR STATE'S FISHERIES. THE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE CULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS RECOGNIZES AND I QUOTE, CLIMATE CHANGE IMPERILS THE STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION OF ALREADY STRESSED COASTAL AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS. AND FOR THE RECORD, MR. PRESIDENT, MAINE AND RHODE ISLAND ARE, INDEED, AQUATIC. THE OCEANS HAVE ABSORBED APPROXIMATELY 30% OF THE EXCESS CARBON DIOXIDE THAT WE'VE PUMPED INTO THE ATMOSPHERE SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. THAT IS CHANGING THE OCEAN'S CHEMISTRY. THE OCEANS HAVE ALSO ABSORBED ROUGHLY 90% OF THE EXCESS HEAT TRAPPED IN THE ATMOSPHERE BY THOSE GREENHOUSE GASES. AS A RESULT OF THAT EXCESS CARBON DIOXIDE AND THAT EXCESS HEAT, OUR OCEANS ARE WARMING AND THEY ARE RISING AND THEY ARE LOSING OXYGEN AND THEY ARE GROWING MORE ACIDIC. THIS PUTS MARINE LIFE COASTAL COMMUNITIES AND THE GLOBAL OCEAN ECONOMY ALL IN JEOPARDY. COMMERCIAL FISHING IS AN IMPORTANT ECONOMY IN THE UNITED STATES AND BOTH MAINE AND RHODE ISLAND CELEBRATE OUR LONGSTANDING FISHING TRADITIONS. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL MARINE FISHERY SERVICE, OVER 9.6 BILLION POUNDS OF WILD SEAFOOD VALUED AT AROUND $9.3 BILLION WAS COMMERCIALLY LANDED IN THE UNITED STATES IN 2016. ACROSS NEW ENGLAND AMERICAN LOBSTER WAS OUR MOST VALUABLE FISHERY, BRINGING IN $633 BILLION, TWO-THIRDS OF A BILLION DOLLARS OF LOBSTER TO SHORE. SADLY RHODE ISLAND'S FISHERY IS BADLY KNOCKED DOWN BY WARMING OCEAN WATERS. NOAA NOTES, THE LOBSTER INDUSTRY IN NEW YORK AND SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND HAS NEARLY COLLAPSED. SO MAINE DOMINATED THE CATCH, BRINGING IN NEARLY 85% OF THE LOBSTER LANDED IN THE REGION. ACCORDING TO NOAA, FROM 1994 TO 2014, MAINE'S LANDING SURGED TO MORE THAN 124 MILLION POUNDS. THE LOBSTER POPULATION IS SHIFTING NORTH, AWAY FROM RHODE ISLAND AND NEW YORK AND CONNECTICUT AS WATERS WARM, LEAVING RHODE ISLAND AND OTHER SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND LOBSTER TRAPS EMPTY, BUT MAINERS ARE TAKING NOTICE TOO AS WARMING WATERS ARE DRIVING LOBSTERS NORTHWARD ALONG THEIR ROCKY COASTS. A P REASON STUDY OF 7 -- A RECENT STUDY OF 700 MARINE SPECIES PREDICTED LOBSTER POPULATIONS COULD MOVE 200 MILES NORTHWARD BY THE END OF THE CENTURY AS WATERS CONTINUE TO WARM. SENATOR KING CAN REPORT WHAT 200 MILES DOES TO THE COAST OF MAINE. LOB SISTER IS -- LOBSTER IS NOT THE ONLY FISHERY FEELING THE HEAT IN NEW ENGLAND. A STUDY FOUND THAT THE GREATER NORTHEAST REGION IS ANTICIPATED TO WARM FASTER THAN OTHER REGIONS OF THE WORLD. ACCORDING TO THE CLIMATE SCIENCE SPECIAL REPORT, A FEDERAL REPORT THAT WILL FORM THE SCIENTIFIC BASIS OF THE FOURTH NATIONAL CLIMATE ASSESSMENT, AND I QUOTE IT HERE, THE NORTHEAST HAS WARMED FASTER THAN 99% OF THE GLOBAL OCEAN SINCE 2004. WE ARE A GLOBAL OCEAN HOT SPOT OFF OUR COAST. THE NORTHEAST IS ALSO EXPECTED TO SEE HIGHER THAN GLOBAL AVERAGE SEA LEVEL RISE, PUTTING OUR PORTS, FISHING DOCKS, AND COASTAL INFRASTRUCTURE ALL AT RISK. FISHERMEN HAVE NOTICED THEY ARE KEENLY AWARE OF THE MYRIAD OF WAYS CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALTERING THE WATERS. GENERATIONS OF THEIR FAMILIES HAVE FISHED THESE WATERS, AND THEY SEE THE DIFFERENCE. AS FISHERMEN IN RHODE ISLAND HAVE TOLD ME, SHELDON, THINGS ARE GETTING WEIRD OUT THERE. SHELDON, IT'S NOT MY GRANDFATHER'S OCEAN. THEY SHARE ANECDOTES OF CATCHING INCREASING NUMBERS OF TROPICAL FISH EARLY IN THE SUMMER SEASON AND SEEING FISH THAT RARELY FREQUENTED RHODE ISLAND WATERS UNTIL RECENT YEARS. AS NEW FISH MOVE IN AND TRADITIONAL FISH MOVE OUT, FISHERMEN ARE LEFT WITH MORE QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS. IN SOUTHERN NEW ENGLAND, BLACK SEA BASS HAS BECOME THE POSTER FISH FOR SHIFTING STOCKS. AS YOU CAN SEE IN THIS GRAPHIC, THE 1970'S HAD THE HUB OF BLACK SEA BASS HERE, WITH THIS AS THE CENTER AND THEN A SLIGHT REACH UPWARDS, BUT BASICALLY OFF THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST. THIS IS 2014, THE CENTER OF ACTIVITY HAS MOVED UP CLOSER TO RHODE ISLAND. WE ARE RIGHT HERE. AND OF COURSE BLACK SEA BASS POPULATIONS IN OUR REGION HAVE INCREASED CONCOMITANTLY. THE BLACK SEA BASS CAN REPRESENT RHODE ISLAND REPLACE THE ADDITIONAL SPECIES WHICH ARE GROWING MORE SCARCE, LIKE WINTER FLOUNDER, THE FISH MY WIFE STUDIED FOR HER GRADUATE WORK, WHICH HAS CRASHED AS WINTERS WARM. THE CURRENT FISHERIES MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE, HOWEVER, FORCES RHODE ISLAND FISHERMEN TO TOSS THE INCREASINGLY ABUNDANT AND VALUABLE BLACK SEA BASS OVERBOARD. NOAA SCIENTISTS CALL THIS NORTHWARD TRANSIT OF THE BLACK SEA BASS COMING YEARS AGO, BUT REGULATORY CATCH LIMITS DID NOT KEEP UP. THEY ARE GENERALLY BASED ON HISTORICAL CATCHES AND STATES ARE HESITANT TO GIVE UP QUOTA EVEN AFTER THE FISH HAVE MOVED NORTHWARD AND LEFT THEIR SHORES. SO STATE-SPECIFIC QUOTAS BADLY LAG THE CHANGING DISTRIBUTION OF THE FISH. A FORMER MID-ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL SCIENTIST ACKNOWLEDGED THAT FISH LIKE SUMMER FLOUNDER ARE MOVING NORTH, TELLING NPR SOME OF THE SOUTHERN STATES ARE HAVING TROUBLE CATCHING THEIR QUOTA, AND STATES TO THE NORTH HAVE MORE AVAILABILITY OF FISH. DAVE MONTE IS A FRIEND WHO IS A CHARTER BOAT CAPTAIN IN NORTH KINGSTOWNE, RHODE ISLAND. DAVE SAYS, AND I QUOTE HIM HERE, THERE IS NO DOUBT THE WATERS HAVE WARMED AND BLACK SEA BASS HAVE MOVED IN. THE QUOTAS HAVEN'T DONE A GOOD ENOUGH JOB AT FIGURING IN CLIMATE CHANGE YET, END QUOTE. MR. PRESIDENT, I'D LIKE TO SUBMIT FOR THE RECORD AN ARTICLE FROM THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL DESCRIBING THE CHANGES THAT CAPTAIN MONTE SEES AND REPORTS AND ARE LOCAL EFFORTS TO DEAL WITH THESE CHANGES.

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  • 04:49:24 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE GOT TO FIX THIS. TO USE THE BLACK SEA BASS EXAMPLE,…

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE GOT TO FIX THIS. TO USE THE BLACK SEA BASS EXAMPLE, THE SPECIES IS COMANAGED BY THE MID-ATLANTIC FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL AND THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION. RHODE ISLAND ONLY HAS A SEAT ON THE ATLANTIC STATES COMMISSION. IT DOES NOT HAVE A VOTE ON THE MID-ATLANTIC COUNCIL. THAT MEANS THAT MY STATE IS NOT FULLY REPRESENTED IN THE DECISION-MAKING PROCESS AND PERFECTLY GOOD BLACK SEA BASS KEEPS BEING THROWN INTO THE SEA BY FISHERMEN WHO OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO BRING THAT CATCH HOME. IN 2016, NOAA SCIENTISTS ASSESSED THE VULNERABILITY OF THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE OF OVER 80 COMMERCIALLY VALUABLE SPECIES IN THE NORTHEAST, SO THIS IS NOT JUST A STORY ABOUT BLACK SEA BASS OR ABOUT LOBSTERS. THIS NORTHEAST CLIMATE VULNERABILITY ASSESSMENT RANKED SPECIES BASED ON CLIMATE RISKS AND SENSITIVITIES TO CHANGING OCEAN CONDITIONS. HERE IS THE CLIMATE RISK VECTOR OR GRAPH. AS YOU WILL SEE, ALL, ALL 80 SPECIES SCORED IN THE HIGH OR VERY HIGH RISK OF CLIMATE EXPOSURE CATEGORIES, ALL 80 COMMERCIALLY VALUABLE SPECIES THEY STUDIED FACING HIGH OR VERY HIGH RISK. THIS IS A RED FLAG FOR OUR FISHERIES. MAINE IS THE PLACE FOR LOBSTER. IN RHODE ISLAND, SQUID IS KING. IN 2016, 56% OF THE LONG FINN SQUID CAUGHT ON THE EAST COAST WAS LANDED IN RHODE ISLAND. ACCORDING TO NOAA, THIS CATCH WAS VALUED AT OVER $28 MILLION, ACCOUNTED FOR NEARLY -- ACCOUNTING FOR NEARLY 30% OF OUR LANDING VALUE IN 2016. BUT CLIMATE CHANGE IS PUTTING OUR CAL A MARCH I -- CALAMARI AT RISK. ITS CARBON COUSIN, OCEAN ACIDIFICATION, IS THE HAZARD. LIKE ITS SHELLFISH VETERANS, SQUID REQUIRE CALCIUM CARBONATE. FOR SQUID, IT'S TO GROW THE HEART BEAKS THEY USE TO FEED. ACIDIC WATERS DECREASE THE AVAILABILITY OF THIS NECESSARY COMPOUND IN THE SEAWATER AND CAN EVEN DISSOLVE CALCIUM CARBONATE ORGANISM SHELLS UNDER EXTREMELY ACIDIC CONDITIONS. ON THE WEST COAST, SHELLFISH FARMERS HAVE BEEN DEALING WITH OCEAN ACIDIFICATION SINCE THE MID-2000'S. DR. RICHARD FEELEY IS THE RESEARCHER WHO FIRST IDENTIFIED OCEAN ACIDIFICATION AS THE CAUSE FOR OYSTER SPAT FAILURES IN THE NORTHWEST BACK IN 2005. HE NOTED IN A RECENT NPR ARTICLE THAT THE ACIDIFICATION PROBLEM IS ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE. QUOTE, THE ACIDIFIED WATER WELLING UP IN THE OCEAN FLOOR NOW CONTAINS CARBON DIOXIDE GAS EMITTED 50 YEARS AGO, HE EXPLAINED. CARBON EMISSIONS ARE WORSE SINCE THEN. SOME HATCHERIES IN THE NORTHWEST ARE ALREADY MOVING OPERATIONS TO LESS ACIDIC WATERS OFF HAWAII, AND OTHERS ARE LOOKING TO BUFFER THE WATER WITH SEA GRASSES TO ABSORB CARBON AND LOWER ACIDITY. SHELLFISH FARMERS IN RHODE ISLAND ARE FACING THE CHALLENGE OF ACIDIFYING WATERS AS WELL. AT THE SAME TIME, MARINE SPECIES ARE FACING DEOXYGENATION, INCREASED HARMFUL ALGAE, AND OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF A WARMING AND ACIDIFYING OCEAN. THE SYMPTOMS OF CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE OCEAN ARE EVERYWHERE. A RECENT STUDY IN GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY WARNED REDUCED OXYGEN AVAILABILITY COULD LIMIT THE GROWTH OF FISH AND OTHER SPECIES. WELL, FISHERMEN CAN'T MAKE A LIVING OFF SICK AND TINY FISH. CALIFORNIA'S LUCRATIVE DUNGENESS AND ROCK CRAB SEASON WAS CUT SHORT IN 2015-2016, DUE TO A HARMFUL ALGAE BLOOM. OUR GREAT LAKES ARE HIT, TOO. I WENT OUT ON LAKE ERIE AFTER THE HORRIBLE ALGAE EVENT THERE, AND THE FISHERMAN WHO -- FISHERMEN WHO TOOK ME OUT SOUNDED LIKE RHODE ISLANDERS. ONE OF THEM SAID EVERYTHING I LEARN FROM FISHING A LIFETIME ON THIS LAKE IS WORTH NOTHING NOW BECAUSE IT'S ALL CHANGING SO FAST. IF, MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE AN OPEN BIPARTISAN DEBATE ON A STRONG MAGNUSON STEVENSON OPERATION, I URGE MY COLLEAGUES NOT TO OVERLOOK THE TOLL CLIMATE CHANGE IS TAKING ON OUR FISHING INDUSTRY. THE CHANGES THAT ARE HAPPENING IN OUR OCEANS DO NOT CARE WHETHER OR NOT YOU BELIEVE THEY EXIST. THE PHYSICS, THE CHEMISTRY, AND THE BIOLOGY DRIVING THESE CHANGES WILL HAPPEN ANYWAY, AND OUR FISHERMEN ARE DEPENDING ON US TO GIVE THE SCIENTISTS AND THE MANAGERS THE TOOLS AND RESOURCES THEY NEED TO MEET THE CHALLENGES CLIMATE CHANGE IS BRINGING TO OUR SHORES. AND I NOW YIELD TO MY FRIEND FROM MAINE TO GIVE THE PERSPECTIVE FROM HIS ROCKY SHORES.

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  • 04:54:54 PM

    MR. KING

    MR. PRESIDENT. FIRST I WANT TO THANK SENATOR WHITE HOUSE FOR THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT. FIRST I WANT TO THANK SENATOR WHITE HOUSE FOR THE INFORMATION THAT HE -- SENATOR WHITEHOUSE FOR THE INFORMATION THAT HE SHARED. IT WAS COMPELLING, IMPORTANT, AND I THINK VERY WORTH OUR DEEP CONSIDERATION. TO TALK ABOUT RENEWING THE MAGNUSON STEVENSON ACT WITHOUT TALKING ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE EFFECTS ON THE WATER ITSELF WOULD BE, I THINK, AN ENORMOUS MISSED OPPORTUNITY. FIRST I WANT TO COMMEND SENATOR WHITEHOUSE, THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND, FOR HIS LONG-STANDING COMMITMENT TO THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE, THE WELL-WORN POSTER, TIME TO WAKE UP. THE WORK THAT HE HAS DONE OVER THE YEARS TO FORCE US TO PAY ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE. I AM, AS HE INDICATED, GOING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE GULF OF MAINE, BUT I WANT TO BROADEN THE DISCUSSION JUST FOR A FEW MOMENTS TO TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE OF CLIMATE CHANGE AS A BROADER QUESTION BEFORE US. THIS ISN'T SOME ENVIRONMENTAL DREAM, IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT WAS INVENTED BY SOMEONE. IT WAS DISCOVERED BY SCIENTISTS, AND IT IS DOLLARS AND CURRENTS. IT IS THE MOST -- DOLLARS AND CENTS. IT IS THE MOST PRACTICAL PROBLEM THAT WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH. I'M ON THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT MILITARY BASES ALL OVER THE WORLD, SOME AS CLOSE AS RIGHT DOWN IN THIS REGION AND THEN DOWN TOWARD NORFOLK, VIRGINIA, THAT ARE UNDER A SEVERE THREAT FROM RISING SEA LEVELS THAT IS GOING TO COST US BILLIONS IF NOT TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO UPGRADE AND MAINTAIN BECAUSE OF RISING SEA LEVELS. THIS ISN'T SOMETHING ABSTRACT, THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S HAPPENING TODAY, AND IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT IS GOING TO HAVE AN ENORMOUS COST, AND THE LONGER WE PUT OFF PREVENTING AND DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE, THE HIGHER THAT COST IS GOING TO BE. THERE IS A SECOND REASON THAT THIS IS A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE, AND THAT IS THE AGGRAVATION OF CONFLICT AND THE INITIATION OF MIGRATION. THE NUMBER OF REFUGEES FROM SYRIA WHICH HAS DISRUPTED THE POLITICS OF EUROPE AND DISRUPTED MANY OF THE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AND INDEED HAS HAD A REFLECTION HERE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE ROUGHLY THREE TO FOUR MILLION PEOPLE. THE ESTIMATE FOR REFUGEES FROM CLIMATE CHANGE FROM EXTREME TEMPERATURE, FROM DROUGHT, FROM FAMINE, IS IN THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS. IN THE HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS AS OPPOSED TO THREE TO FOUR MILLION FROM SYRIA, IMAGINE THE DISRUPTION TO ALL OF THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD THAT ARE DESTINATIONS FOR THESE REFUGEES THAT ARE FLEEING PLACES THAT HAVE BECOME UNINHABITABLE. THIS ISN'T A QUESTION THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO ADDRESS AND AS OUR MILITARY CHARACTERIZES, IT IS A THREAT MULTIPLIER, BECAUSE WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE MOVING FROM ONE REGION TO ANOTHER, YOU HAVE CONFLICT. FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL, CONFLICT HAS LARGELY BEEN BASED ON THINGS LIKE ACCESS TO WATER AND ACCESS TO ARABLE LAND. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT AN ENORMOUS ACCELERATOR OF THAT ACROSS THE WORLD. WELL, NOW LET ME TALK ABOUT THE EFFECTS IN MY HOME STATE. FIRST THE GOOD NEWS. LOBSTER LANDINGS IN MAINE ARE UP. WE HAVE RIDDEN A LOBSTER BOOM OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS. SINCE THE 1980'S, THE POUNDAGE OF LOBSTERS HARVESTED IN MAINE HAS GROWN 500%. WHEN I WAS GOVERNOR, A GOOD HARVEST OF LOBSTERS WAS 50 MILLION TO 60 MILLION POUNDS. TWO YEARS AGO, IT WAS 127 MILLION POUNDS. MORE THAN DOUBLE. THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS. THE BAD NEWS IS IT'S STARTING TO CHANGE, AND WE MAY HAVE SEEN THE TURNING POINT IN THIS BOOM. WE DON'T KNOW THAT, BUT THE LAST TWO YEARS HAVE BEEN DOWN SUBSTANTIALLY FROM THE PEAK IN 2016. WE WILL SEE WHAT HAPPENS THIS YEAR. HOPEFULLY IT'S A BLIP AND NOT A TREND. BY THE WAY, ONE OF THE REASONS THE LOBSTER INDUSTRY HAS SURVIVED AND FLOURISHED IN MAINE IS NOT ONLY THE FAVORABLE IMPACT OF GRADUAL INCREASES IN TEMPERATURE, BUT BECAUSE OF THE CONSERVATION ETHIC OF THE LOBSTERMEN THEMSELVES WHO VOLUNTARILY THROW BACK EGG-BEARING FEMALES. THEY CUT A V-NOTCH IN THEIR TAILS SO THEY WON'T BE CAUGHT AGAIN. IF THEY ARE TOO SMALL OR TOO LARGE, THEY THROW THEM BACK. AN AMAZING ETHIC OF CONSERVATION THAT HAS BEEN IMBUED IN THE CULTURE OF LOBSTERING AND ALSO IN OUR LAWS FOR MANY YEARS. SO THE FACT THAT WE STILL HAVE A LOBSTER FISHERY AND THAT IT'S AS VIGOROUS AND PRODUCTIVE AS IT IS IS DUE IN LARGE MEASURE TO THE CREATIVITY AND CONSERVATION ETHIC OF OUR LOBSTERMEN. NOW, HERE'S THE BAD NEWS. THE BAD NEWS IS WHEN WATER TEMPERATURE GETS TO ABOUT 68 DEGREES, IT'S LIKE TURNING A SWITCH. AND IT STRESSES THE LOBSTER POPULATION TO A POINT WHERE THEY CAN'T SURVIVE. THE GOOD NEWS IS GETS WARMER AND THEY MULTIPLY. THE BAD NEWS IS, ONCE IT REACHES A CERTAIN CRITICAL POINT, THE SPECIES COULD COLLAPSE AND, INDEED, THAT IS WHAT HAS HAPPENED AS THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND HAS INDICATED TO THE ONCE PLENTIFUL LOBSTER POPULATIONS OF NEW YORK, MASSACHUSETTS, AND RHODE ISLAND. THE PROBLEM IS OVER RECENT YEARS -- AND I TALKED TO A LOBSTERMAN FRIEND TODAY, JUST THIS AFTERNOON -- THE CENTER OF GRAVITY OF LOBSTERING ALONG THE MAINE COAST IS STEADILY MOVING NORTH AND EAST. HE TOLD ME IT'S MOVED ABOUT 50 MILES IN THE LAST TEN YEARS. THE OTHER PROBLEM THAT'S OCCURRING IS THAT THE LOBSTERS ARE GOING FURTHER OFF SHORE TO SEEK COOLER WATER, WHICH MEANS THE LOBSTERMEN HAVE TO GO FURTHER. THEY HAVE TO HAVE BIGGER BOATS. THEY HAVE TO MAKE MORE OF AN INVESTMENT IN ORDER TO MAKE A LIVING. RIGHT NOW WE'RE IN GOOD SHAPE. BUT THE TREND IS NOT GOOD. WE'RE SEEING OTHER CHANGES THAT HAVE MAGNIFIED BOTH THE BOOM AND WHAT WE'RE WORRIED ABOUT IS THE BUST. WE'VE SEEN CHANGES DECLINE IN SOME FISH SPECIES LIKE THE COD THAT FED ON BABY LOBSTERS BUT NOW, AS SENATOR WHITEHOUSE MENTIONED, WE ARE SEEING A GROWTH OF A FISH THAT WAS NEVER SEEN IN MAINE IN THE RECENT PAST, THE BLACK SEA BASS. WE'VE ALSO -- MY FRIEND TELLS ME TODAY THEY'RE CATCHING TRIGGER FISH IN THE GULF OF MAINE WHICH ARE A NORTH CAROLINA SPECIES. THEY'VE EVEN CAUGHT SEA HORSES IN LOBSTER TRAPS. THIS IS A DRAMATIC CHANGE AS THE WATERS WARM. AND AS I MENTIONED, IF THEY GET CLOSE TO THE 68-DEGREE LEVEL, THEN THE LOBSTER POPULATION IS IN TROUBLE. BUT IT'S NOT ONLY LOBSTERS. BY THE WAY, LOBSTER LOBSTER IS A SERIOUS BUSINESS IN MAINE. HALF A BALANCE DOLLARS JUST IN THE LAND VALUE, A BILLION AND A HALF IN THE OVERALL ECONOMIC IMPACT OF THIS SPECIES TO OUR STATE. BY THE WAY, MR. PRESIDENT, BEFORE I LEAVE THE QUESTION OF LOBSTER, I HAVE TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE COMMENTS MADE BY THE SENATOR FROM PENNSYLVANIA EARLIER WHEN HE WAS TALKING ABOUT THE ECONOMY AND HE FLASHED A WARNING LIGHT AT THE END OF HIS REMARKS ABOUT TRADE AND TARIFFS. WE ARE ALREADY SEEING THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF WHAT I CONSIDER ILCONSIDERRED TARIFFS ON CHINA, THE FIRST PLACE THEY RETALIATED WAS AGAINST LOBSTERS. 20% OF THE ENTIRE LOBSTER CATCH IN MAINE IS SOLD AND EXPORTED TO CHINA. IT'S OUR FASTEST GROWING MARKET. AND IF THE CHINESE TARIFFS THAT THEY'VE ALREADY ANNOUNCED ARE IMPOSED AND FULLY IMPLEMENTED, IT COULD CUT THAT TO ZERO. BECAUSE CANADA DOESN'T HAVE THOSE TARIFFS. CANADA IS NOT ENGAGING IN A TRADE WAR WITH CHINA. CANADA AND OTHER COUNTRIES ARE MOVING INTO THE VACUUM THAT WE'VE CREATED. SO THE IDEA THAT WE CAN IMPOSE TARIFFS ON OTHER COUNTRIES WITHOUT ANY ILEFFECTS HERE JUST ISN'T TRUE. RIGHT NOW IT LOOKS LIKE THE LOBSTER INDUSTRY, SOYBEANS IN THE MIDWEST, MAPLE SYRUP IN VERMONT, OTHER AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE GOING TO BE COLLATERAL DAMAGE IN AN INCIPIENT TRADE WAR THAT I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHERE IT'S GOING. I'D LIKE TO KNOW WHAT THE STRATEGY IS, WHAT'S THE END GAME, WHERE DOES THIS GO? AND SO FAR I HAVEN'T SEEN ANY INDICATION OF THAT. WHAT I HAVE SEEN AN INDICATION OF IS SEVERELY DANGEROUS IMPACTS ON OUR ICONIC INDUSTRY. ANOTHER PART OF OUR OCEAN ECOSYSTEM IS CLAMS. A MASSIVE DECREASE IN HARVEST MOSTLY BECAUSE OF -- TWO REASONS. ACIDIFICATION AS THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND INDICATED. 30% OF ALL THE CARBON DIOXIDE THAT'S BEEN EMITTED DURING THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION HAS ENDED UP IN ACIDIFICATION IN THE OCEAN. AND ALSO NONNATIVE GREEN CRABS WHICH ARE EXPLODING BECAUSE THEY LIKE THE WARMER WATER. THEY'VE BEEN AROUND FOR A HUNDRED YEARS, BUT THAT POPULATION IS GROWING ENORMOUSLY AND THEY ARE JUST DEVASTATING THE CLAMS. GREEN CRAB CAN CONSUME 40 HALF HALF-INCH COLLAPSE A DAY. THOSE CRABS HAVE DECIMATED BLUE MUSCLEMUSS -- BLUE MUSSELS AND CLAMS AND WE'RE CONCERNED BABY LOBSTERS COULD BE NEXT. WARM WATER SHIFTING PREDATORS AREN'T THE ONLY CHALLENGES THAT WE FACE. MORE CARBON DIOXIDE INTO THE ATMOSPHERE ABSORBED INTO THE OCEAN, ONE QUARTER WHAT'S EMILTED GOES INTO THE OCEAN. THE OCEAN THEN BECOMES MORE ACIDIC. ANY KIND OF SHELLED ANIMALS, LOBSTERS, CLAMS, OYSTERS EXPEND EVER MORE ENERGY MAINTAINING THE PH BALANCE IN THEIR BODIES AND THAT MEANS THEY CAN'T GROW AND REPRODUCE. THE WORLD'S OCEANS HAVE BECOME 30% MORE ACIDIC SINCE THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. OYSTERS. OYSTERS HAVE BECOME A GREAT NEW PRODUCT FOR MAN. WE'RE -- FOR MAINE. WE'RE GROWING THEM IN OYSTER FARMS. YOU CAN GO TO FANCY RESTAURANTS AND SEE THE OITS TERES AND THEY'RE WONDERFUL. BUT MY FRIEND BILL WHO IS ONE OF THE PIONEERS OF THE OYSTER INDUSTRY IN MAINE HAS HAD TO MOVE THE INCUBATION OF HIS OYSTERS OUT OF THE OCEAN, OUT OF THE NATURAL RIVER, ON SHORE, INTO TANKS SO HE CAN BUFFER THE WATER TO MINIMIZE THE ACIDIFICATION AND THEN PUT THEM BACK IN THE WATER TO GROW OUT. THAT'S A PURE RESULT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND ACIDIFICATION OF THE OCEAN. FRESH WATER RUNOFF IS ANOTHER ISSUE THAT INCREASES THE ACIDIFICATION. WE'VE HAD AN ENORMOUS INCREASE IN THE AMOUNT OF FRESH WATER RAINFALL IN THIS COUNTRY AND IN MAINE THAT HAS INCREASED THE ACIDIFICATION OF THE OCEANS. SO WHAT DO WE DO? WHAT DO WE DO? THE FIRST THING WE DO IS ADMIT THERE'S A PROBLEM. YOU CAN'T SOLVE A PROBLEM IF YOU ACT LIKE THERE'S NOTHING WRONG. SO THE FIRST THING WE HAVE TO DO IS ADMIT THERE'S A PROBLEM, AND I THINK MORE AND MORE PEOPLE ARE COMING TO THAT CONCLUSION. WHEN THIS ADMINISTRATION WAS NOMINATING PEOPLE, THE REFRAIN I HEARD IN ALL OF THE HEARINGS WAS, CLIMATE IS CHANGING. MAN HAS AN IMPACT OF IT BUT WE DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH. WELL, THAT'S PROGRESS. AT LEAST IT'S ADMISSION THAT SOMETHING IS HAPPENING. SO WHAT DO WE DO? WE ADMIT THERE'S A PROBLEM. I THINK WE'RE CLOSE TO REACHING THAT POINT. THE SECOND THING WE HAVE TO DO IS MORE RESEARCH. WE HAVE TO CONTINUE TO FUND THE SCIENCE TO DO THE RESEARCH TO UNDERSTAND WHAT'S HAPPENING, TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE CAN DO TO MITIGATE THESE RISKS. SO RESEARCH AND SCIENTIFIC DATA IS CRUCIAL. AND FOR SOME OF OUR GREAT AGENCIES THAT HAVE THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN RESEARCHING THIS FOR YEARS, TO BE SUPPRESSING THE RESEARCH OR NOT SUPPORTING IT OR BURYING IT IS NOT A SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY. RESEARCH IS CRUCIAL. WE NEED THE FACTS. WE NEED THE DATA. WE NEED MITIGATION STRATEGIES. WE ALSO NEED TO PAY ATTENTION TO THE UNDERLYING CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE WHICH IS THECOMBUSTION OF FOSSIL FUELS AND ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF CARBON DIOXIDE THAT'S BEING ADDED TO THE ATMOSPHERE. THIS IS A LONG-TERM CHALLENGE. IT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT WE CAN SOLVE IN THE NEXT ONE OR TWO YEARS. AND SOME PEOPLE SAY, WELL, IT'S SUCH A LONG-TERM CHALLENGE. WHY ARE WE DOING IT BECAUSE IT MAY NOT BE SOLVED FOR 50 YEARS? MR. PRESIDENT, IN MY OFFICE IS EDMOND MUSKY'S DESK. I SIT BEHIND EDMOND MUSKY'S DESK, ONE OF THE GREATEST SENATORS OF THE 20th CENTURY AND ONE OF THE GREATEST CITIZENS MAINE HAS EVER PRODUCED. AND 50 YEARS AGO, TWO YEARS FROM NOW, 1970, EDMOND MUSKY LED THE PASSAGE OF THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND THE CLEAN AIR ACT, TWO OF THE GREATEST AND MOST IMPORTANT PIECES OF LEGISLATION PASSED IN THIS BODY IN THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS. THE FIRST REAL RECOGNITION THAT WE HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO THE ENVIRONMENT, THAT WE HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN, AND BY THE WAY, MR. PRESIDENT, ASTOUNDINGLY, THE CLEAN WATER ACT PASSED THE UNITED STATES SENATE UNANIMOUSLY, UNANIMOUSLY. CAN YOU IMAGINE? WE CAN'T AGREE ON THE TIME OF DAY UNANIMOUSLY IN THIS BODY. BUT IN 1970 UNDER ED MUSKY'S LEADERSHIP, THE CLEAN WATER ACT WAS PASSIONED UNANIMOUSLY. -- WAS PASSED UNANIMOUSLY. THE POINT I WANT TO MAKE IS, THE STEPS THAT THEY TOOK ALMOST 50 YEARS AGO HAVE CLEANED UP OUR RIVER, HAVE CLEANED UP OUR ATMOSPHERE, HAVE MADE PARTS OF OUR COUNTRY BLOSSOM AGAIN. IN MAINE WE'RE WORKING ON OUR RIVERS. THE TOWNS THAT TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THE RIVERS ARE NOW TURNING BACK TOWARD THE RIVERS BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN FISH, SWIM, AND ENJOY THE RIVERS WHEN ED MUSKY STARTED HIS LONELY CRUSADE IN THE LATE 1960'S, THE RIVERS WERE ESSENTIALLY OPEN SEWERS. 50 YEARS AGO ED MUSKY STARTED THAT WORK. WE SEE THE BENEFIT OF IT TODAY. WE SHOULD BE DOING THE SAME THING. THE FACT THAT IT MAY NOT COME TO FRUITION FOR 20, 30, 40, 50 YEARS IS NO REASON TO NOT START NOW. WE HAVE TO START. THIS ISN'T PIE IN THE SKY. THIS ISN'T SOMEBODY TRYING TO IMPOSE NEW REGULATIONS. THIS ISN'T SOMETHING THAT'S MADE UP BY ENVIRONMENTALISTS OR PEOPLE THAT JUST DON'T WANT TO SEE ANY DEVELOPMENT. NO. THIS IS LIVES AND LIVELIHOOD. THESE ARE FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES. IT'S RESPONSIBILITY STEWARDSHIP AND JUST PLAIN COMMON SENSE. THERE'S A LOT OF SCIENCE AND THERE'S A LOT OF COMPLEXITY TO THIS ISSUE. BUT IT SEEMS TO ME WE CAN TAKE INSPIRATION FROM ED MUSKY AND HOWARD BAKER AND ALL THOSE OF A GENERATION AGO THAT BUILT THE EDIFICE UPON WHICH WE HAVE A CLEANER, HEALTHIER, STRONGER ECONOMY AND STRONGER SOCIETY. AND THE GREAT DEBATE -- I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS. THE GREAT DEBATE WAS PAYROLLS VERSUS PICK ROLL. YOU COULDN'T HAVE PAYROLLS IF YOU PRESERVE THE PICK ROLL. IT TURNED OUT TO NOT BE TRUE. WE'VE DEVELOPED ONE OF THE STRONGEST -- THE STRONGEST ECONOMY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD AND YET WE PAID ATTENTION TO THE ENVIRONMENT. WE PAID ATTENTION TO OUR RESPONSIBILITIES TO OUR CHILDREN AND TO OUR GRANDCHILDREN, AND WE'VE CREATED THE ECONOMY AT THE SAME TIME -- AT THE SAME TIME WE WERE ABLE TO CLEAN UP THE ENVIRONMENT. AND AT THE TIME -- I REMEMBER THOSE DEBATES. THEY WERE BITTER. YOU CAN'T DO IT. IF YOU DO THIS, YOU'RE GOING TO PUT EVERYTHING OUT OF BUSINESS. THERE WILL BE NO ECONOMY. THAT WAS THE ARGUMENT. IT HASN'T HAPPENED, MR. PRESIDENT. IT HASN'T HAPPENED. AND FINALLY, YOU CAN TALK ABOUT THE SCIENCE. YOU CAN GET CAUGHT UP IN ALL THE DATA, BUT TO ME THERE'S A REALLY EASY RULE THAT MAKES THIS EASY TO UNDERSTAND. AND WHAT OUR RESPONSIBILITIES ARE. I CALL IT THE MAINE ROTOTILLER RULE. MANY PEOPLE IN MAINE HAVE GARDENS. BUT IT'S A SMALL GARDEN. IT'S IN YOUR BACK YARD SO IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE FOR EVERYBODY TO BUY A ROTOTILLER. THE MACHINE YOU USE ONCE OR TWICE A YEAR TO CLEAN OUT YOUR GARDEN AND TILL OVER THE GARDEN AND BEGIN TO PLANT. SO YOU BORROW ONE. I USED TO BORROW ONE. THE MAINE ROTOTILLER RULE GOES LIKE THIS. WHEN YOU BORROW YOUR NEIGHBOR'S ROTOTILLER, YOU RETURN IT TO THEM IN AS GOOD AS SHAPE AS WHEN YOU GOT IT WITH A FULL TANK OF GAS. THAT'S ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP. BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT? WE'VE GOT THE PLANET ON LOAN. WE DON'T OWN IT. WE DON'T -- WE OWN A PIECE OF LAND FOR A GENERATION. BUT WE HAVE IT ON LOAN FROM OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND THEIR GRAND CHILDREN. WE HAVE A SACRED RESPONSIBILITY TO TURN OVER THE PLANET TO THEM IN THE SAME OR BETTER SHAPE THAN WE FOUND IT. THAT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY. VERY SIMPLE. YOU BORROW SOMETHING FROM YOUR NEIGHBOR, YOU RETURN IT IN AS GOOD A SHAPE AS YOU FOUND IT AND THAT'S WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING TODAY. WE CAN DO THIS. THERE WILL BE COSTS, BUT THE COSTS OF NOT DOING IT WILL DWARF THE COST THAT WE CAN UNDERTAKE TODAY TO PROTECT THE GULF OF MAINE, THE COAST OF THE UNITED STATES, THE FIELDS OF AFRICA, THE FORESTS OF NORTH AMERICA, AND THE LAND AND WATER AND AIR THAT OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN DESERVE TO HAVE PASSED ON TO THEM IN BETTER SHAPE THAN WE FOUND IT. MR. PRESIDENT, WE CAN DO THIS. WE CAN START TODAY. AND WE MAY NOT LIVE TO SEE THE RESULTS, BUT WE WILL KNOW THAT WE'VE DONE SOMETHING IMPORTANT, SOMETHING MEANINGFUL, SOMETHING THAT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF GENERATIONS THAT WE DON'T KNOW. AND THEY WILL KNOW WHAT WE DO OR WHAT WE DON'T DO. I MYSELF CHOOSE THE SIDE OF ACTION RECOGNIZING THE PROBLEM, ANALYZING IT, UNDERSTANDING IT. AND ACTING TO MITIGATE THE HARMS THAT OTHERWISE WILL BEFALL OUR CHILDREN. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 05:15:19 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, AS SENATOR KING AND I YIELD THE FLOOR, FIRST LET ME THANK…

    MR. PRESIDENT, AS SENATOR KING AND I YIELD THE FLOOR, FIRST LET ME THANK HIM FOR JOINING US AND, SECOND, WITH SENATORS PRESENT HERE FROM LANDLOCKED STATES, LET ME MAKE THE REQUEST TO BOTH OF YOU THAT WHEN WE COME BEFORE THIS BODY WITH CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR OCEAN ECONOMIES, WHICH I THINK ARE SHARED BY EVERY COASTAL SENATOR THAT IS SEEING THESE CHANGES, THAT YOU VIEW OUR PLEAS WITH THE SAME COURTESY AND RESPECT THAT WE SHOW YOU WHEN WILDFIRES BURN THROUGH UTAH AND WE COME TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS ADEQUATE EMERGENCY RESPONSE OR WHEN OKLAHOMA FACES HURRICANES OR CYCLONES AND TORNADOES, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE SENATE RALLIES TO THE RESPONSE OF THOSE WHO ARE EXPERIENCING THE PAIN OF THAT IN YOUR STATES. OUR FISHING COMMUNITIES AND OUR COASTAL COMMUNITIES HAVE A VERY DIFFERENT DISTRESS, BUT I HOPE YOU WILL SEE IT AS AN EQUAL DISTRESS AND PACE THE COURTESY OF YOUR -- AND PAY US THE COURTESY OF YOUR YOU DON'T CONSIDERATION. THANK YOU. WE YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 05:16:56 PM

    MR. LANKFORD

    MR. PRESIDENT, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF CONVERSATION AGAIN OF LATE ON…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF CONVERSATION AGAIN OF LATE ON ELECTION SECURITY. IT SEEMS TO BE A FREQUENT CONVERSATION IN THE HALLWAYS THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS, AND IT IS AN ONGOING ISSUE THAT I THINK SOME PEOPLE HAVE LOST TRACK OF, BUT WE HAVE NOT. MYSELF, AND AMY KLOBUCHAR HAVE WORKED MONTHS QUIETLY TRYING TO GET THE LANGUAGE RIGHT AND TO BE ABLE TO WORK THROUGH THE PROCESS OF WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE ABLE TO SECURE OUR ELECTIONS FOR 2018, 2020 AND BEYOND, LEARNING A LESSON FROM 2016. BUT I DO WANT TO REMIND THIS BODY THAT THE ELECTIONS ARE NOT SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS THIS NOVEMBER. IT'S ALREADY ONGOING. MANY STATES' PRIMARIES HAVE ALREADY BEEN CONDUCTED. LAST NIGHT THERE WAS A COUNTRY-OFF PRIMARY THAT HAPPENED IN ALABAMA. GEORGIA HOLDS THEIR RUNOFF PRIMARIES NEXT WEEK. TENNESSEE THE WEEK AFTER THAT. KANSAS, MICHIGAN, MISSOURI, WASHINGTON, ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 7. IT IS ALREADY ONGOING. SO WHILE WE WATCH THE INDICTMENTS THAT JUST CAME DOWN FROM THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION ON G.R.U. OFFICERS FROM RUSSIA THAT WERE TRYING TO INTERFERE IN OUR ELECTIONS IN 2016, AS WE'VE SEEN THE SANCTIONS AND INDICTMENTS THAT HAVE COME DOWN ON SOME OF THE OLIGARCHS FROM RUSSIA AND FROM THE INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY FOR WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN SOCIAL MEDIA TRYING TO BE ABLE TO INTERFERE WITH OUR ELECTION IN 2016, I THINK IT MAY BE IMPORTANT FOR US TO DO A QUICK LOOK-BACK TO WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND TO WHAT IS STILL GOING ON AND WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS. LET ME GIVE YOU A QUICK LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN MY STATE, IN OKLAHOMA. IN OKLAHOMA IN THE 2016 CYCLE, THE F.B.I. AND OTHERS BEGAN TO DISCOVER THAT THERE WERE ISSUES WITH THE ELECTIONS IN SOME INTERFERENCE FROM WHAT THEY AT THAT TIME CALLED BAD ACTORS IN JUNE OF 2016. LATER THAT SUMMER IN AUGUST OF 2016, THE F.B.I. ISSUED A NATIONWIDE, WHAT THEY CALL, FLASH ALERT TO EVERY STATE DEALING WITH A THREAT FROM A, QUOTE-UNQUOTE, BAD ACTOR. THE OKLAHOMA STATE CYBER COMMAND DIRECTOR RECEIVED THAT WARNING, AS DID EVERYONE ELSE, BUT AT THAT TIME THE F.B.I. DIDN'T SHARE ANY DETAILS BECAUSE NO ONE IN MY STATE WAS GIVEN SECURITY CLEARANCE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT KIND OF CLASSIFIED CONVERSATION WITH THE F.B.I. IT WASN'T UNTIL SEPTEMBER 22 OF 2017, A YEAR AND A LEGAL ALIEN BIT LATER, THAT D.H.S. ACTUALLY NOTIFIED MY STATE AND OUR STATE ELECTION AUTHORITIES THAT WE HADN'T JUST BEEN TARGETED BY A BAD ACTOR; WE HAD BEEN TARGETED BY THE RUSSIANS. A YEAR LATER. BECAUSE NO ONE HAD CLEARANCE AND THERE WAS NO ONE ENGAGED. D.H.S. TOLD THE OKLAHOMA ELECTION BOARD SECRETARY, WHO WAS DOING A GREAT JOB, THAT THERE WAS EVIDENCE OF THE RUSSIANS LOOKING INTO THE VULNERABILITIES OF THE STATE COMPUTER NETWORK BUT DIDN'T GET INTO THE ELECTION BOARD COMPUTER NETWORK AND DIDN'T GET INTO ANY OF OUR EQUIPMENT. THEY BASICALLY CAME TO CHECK IF THE DOOR WAS LOCKED AND THEY FOUND OUT IN OKLAHOMA THE DOOR WAS LOCKED AND THE RUSSIANS COULD NOT GET IN. THEY DIDN'T PENETRATE INTO OUR SYSTEM, THOUGH THEY TRIED. BUT IT WAS A YEAR AFTER THE ELECTIONS BEFORE WE WERE EVEN NOTIFIED THAT THE RUSSIANS WERE TRYING TO PENETRATE OUR SYSTEM. A SUBTLE FLASH WARNING IS ALL THAT WE RECEIVED IN THE SUMMER OF 2016. OKLAHOMA IS A GREAT -- OKLAHOMA HAS A GREAT SYSTEM FOR ELECTIONS. OUR SYSTEM IS CONSISTENT ACROSS EVERY SINGLE COUNTY. WE'VE OPTICAL SCANNERS WITH A PAPER BALLOT BACKUP SO WE CAN VERIFY THE COMPUTER COUNT WITH A HAND COUNT, IF NEEDED OF THE AND WE'VE HAD A VERY GOOD SYSTEM. THAT SYSTEM WAS TESTED BY THE RUSSIANS WHEN THEY EVALUATED THE COMPUTER NETWORKS, AND THEY WERE ALSO NOT ABLE TO GET IN THIS GREAT THANKS TO SOME OF THE CYBER FOLKS IN OKLAHOMA. BUT NOT ALL STATES HAVE THE SAME PRACTICES. SOME STATES FROM COUNTY TO COUNTY, THEIR ELECTION SYSTEMS ARE DIFFERENT. FROM TOWNSHIP TO TOWNSHIP THEY MAY HAVE DIFFERENT SYSTEMS WITH DIFFERENT COMPANIES AND DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. THEY MAY NOT HAVE THE SAME KIND OF SYSTEM THAT THEY GET A CHANCE TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT THEIR CYBER SYSTEMS. WE SAW THAT IN 2016 WHEN THE RUSSIANS WERE ABLE TO PENETRATE SOME OF THE STATES AND ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO HARVEST SOME OF HER TO VOTER REGISTER ROLLS. THEY WEREN'T ABLE TO CHANGE ANY VOTES. THEY WEREN'T ABLE TO AFFECT THE VOTING THAT DAY. BUT THEY DID A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF ISN'TING THROUGH SYSTEMS TO SEE WHERE THERE WERE VULNERABILITIES, WHAT THEY CAN LEARN ON OUR ELECTION SYSTEMS AND HOW THEY COULD ENGAGE FOR A FUTURE TIME. I THINK WE SHOULD LEARN A LESSON FROM THAT AND BE AWARE THAT THE RUSSIANS ARE TRYING TO BE ABLE TO PENETRATE THAT SYSTEM. AND LEARNING AS MUCH AS THEY COULD. AT THE SAME TIME THAT THEY WERE HACKING INTO DIFFERENT SYSTEMS AND TESTING THEM OUT TO SEE IF THEY COULD GET IN, A DIFFERENT SET OF FOLKS FROM THE RUSSIAN GROUP THE INTERNET RESEARCH AGENCY, THEY WERE TRYING TO PUT OUT SOCIAL MEDIA DISINFORMATION. 200,000 OKLAHOMANS SAW FACEBOOK AND TWITTER POSTS THAT RUSSIANS PUT OUT AS FALSE INFORMATION. THEY WEREN'T ALL ON ONE CANDIDATE. THEY WERE ON MULTIPLE CANDIDATES AND MULTIPLE ISSUES. SOMETIMES ON HILLARY CLINTON, SOMETIMES ON DONALD TRUMP, SOMETIMES ON BERNIE SANDERS, SOMETIMES ON JILLSTEIN. SOMETIMES JUST ON IDEOLOGICAL ISSUES. BUT OVER 200,000 OKLAHOMANS SAW THOSE POSTS FROM DIFFERENT RUSSIANS, NOT KNOWING THEY WERE RUSSIAN POSTS AT ALL. THEY WERE RUSSIANS PRETENDING TO BE AMERICANS AND THEY WERE PUSHING THAT INFORMATION OUT. SO WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS? ONE IS THE MOST SIMPLE OF THOSE THINGS -- YOU SHOULDN'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE ON THE INTERNET. IT IS NOT ALWAYS AN AMERICAN. IT IS NOT ALWAYS WHO THEY POST TO BE AND IT IS NOT ALWAYS TRUE. IT SHOULD BE THE MOST BASIC INFORMATION THAT WE SHOULD LEARN ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE INTERNET AND WHAT'S ONLINE, INCLUDING FACEBOOK AND TWITTER. BUT THE OTHER LESSON THAT WE NEED TO LEARN IS A LITTLE MORE COMPLICATED. WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE BETTER COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND STATES, BETTER CYBERSECURITY SYSTEM AND THE ABILITY TO BE ABLE TO AUDIT THAT. THAT IS WHY SENATOR KLOBUCHAR AND I HAVE WORKED FOR MONTHS ON A PIECE OF LEGISLATION CALLED THE SECURE ELECTIONS ACT. THAT PIECE HAS WORKED ITS WAY THROUGH EVERY STATE LOOKING AT IT IN THEIR ELECTION AUTHORITIES. WE'VE WORKED IT THROUGH MULTIPLE COMMITTEE HEARINGS, IN FACT RECENTLY JUST IN THE LAST MONTH TWO DIFFERENT HEARINGS WITH THE RULES COMMITTEE. IT ISOUS IN READY TO BE MARKED -- IT IS NOW READY TO BE MARKED UP. IT AFFIRMS THAT STATES RUN ELECTIONS. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT TAKE OVER ELECTIONS NATIONWIDE. IN FACT, THAT WOULD MAKE A BAD SITUATION WORSE. STATES NEED TO BE ABLE TO RUN ELECTIONS AND BE ABLE TO MANAGE THOSE. BUT IT QUALIFIES SEVERAL THINGS. ONE IS IT GETS SECURITY CLEARANCE TO A PERSON IN EVERY SINGLE STATE SO IF THERE IS A THREAT FROM A HOSTILE ACTOR, THERE'S NOT SOME VAGUE WARNING THAT COMES OUT. THERE IS AN IMMEDIATE ADDRESS FROM WHAT'S HAPPENING IN COMMUNICATION WITHIN THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL TO INDIVIDUALS WITH CLEARANCE ON THE STATE LEVEL. RIGHT NOW THE D. H.S. IN ABSENCE OF THIS LEGISLATION HAS STARTED IMPLEMENTING IT ANYWAY. EVERY SINGLE STATE HAS AT LEAST ONE PERSON WITH SECURITY CLEARANCE NOW, INCLUDING MY OWN. AND THEY'RE WORKING TO HAVE AT LEAST THREE IN EVERY STATE TO DO BACKUP SYSTEM. WE ALSO NEED TO BE ABLE TO AFFIRM THAT EVERY STATE CAN AUDIT THEIR ELECTION. THAT THEY WOULD DO WHAT'S CALLED RISK-I WANT WILLING AUDITS AFTER THE -- RISK-LIMITING AUDITS AFTER THE ELECTION TO MAKE SURE THEIR RESULTS ARE CORRECT. BUT THE ABILITY TO AUDIT IT AS THE ELECTION IS GOING ON. SO IT IS NOT JUST COUNTING ON A MEASURE, BUT THERE'S ALSO SOME WAY TO BACK IT UP. NOW STATES HAVE A VARIETY OF WAYS THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY DO THAT. BUT IF ELECTIONS ARE TRUSTING THAT THE ELECTRONICS ARE GOING TO WORK AND NOT BE HACKED INTO AND NOT BE AFFECTED, WE SHOULD HAVE LEARNED THE LESSON FROM 2016 THAT THERE ARE OUTSIDE ENTITIES TRYING TO BE ABLE TO ATTACK THESE SYSTEMS AND TO FIND VULNERABILITIES AND THEY WILL. SOME WAY TO BE ABLE TO BACK IT UP, TO BE ABLE TO AUDIT THE ELECTION WHILE IT IS HAPPENING. RISK AUDITING AFTER THE FACT. SECURITY CLEARANCES IN STATES AND RAPID COMMUNICATION STATE-TO-STATE AND STATE TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. ALL HELP MAINTAIN THE INTEGRITY OF OUR LICKS. -- OF OUR ELECTIONS. THAT'S WHAT WE DO IN THE SECURE ELECTIONS ACT. THAT'S WHY I THINK IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE TRY TO RESOLVE THIS AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. I ENCOURAGE THIS BODY TO FINISH THE MARKUP IN THE RULES COMMITTEE, TO BE ABLE TO BRING IT IT TO THE FLOOR AND HAVE A CONSISTENT, BIPARTISAN VOTE, TO BE ABLE TO SUPPORT THE WORK THAT WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO DO TO BE ABLE TO PROTECT OUR ELECTIONS IN THE DAYS AHEAD. OUR REPUBLIC IS ONE THAT MAINTAINS ITS STABILITY BASED ON THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS. I HAVE ZERO DOUBT THE RUSSIANS TRIED TO DESTABILIZE OUR NATION IN 2016 BY ATTACKING THE CORE OF OUR DEMOCRATS. OF OUR DEMOCRACY. ANYONE WHO BELIEVES THEY WILL NOT DO IT AGAIN HAS MISSED THE BASIC INFORMATION THAT IS HOW DAY AFTER DAY AFTER DAY IN OUR INTELLIGENCE BRIEFINGS. BUT THE RUSSIANS HAVE DONE IT THE FIRST TIME. THEY SHOWED THE REST OF THE WORLD THE LESSON IN WHAT COULD BE DONE. IT COULD BE THE NORTH KOREANS NEXT TIME. IT COULD BE THE IRANIANS NEXT TIME. IT COULD BE A DOMESTIC ACTIVIST GROUP NEXT TIME. WE SHOULD LEARN THAT LESSON, CLOSE THAT VULNERABILITY AND MAKE SURE WE PROTECT OUR SYSTEMS IN THE DAYS AHE AHEAD. THE STATES NEED TO TAKE A LEAD ON THIS. THIS IS SOMETHING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO. WE ARE VERY CLOSE TO BEING ABLE TO GET IT DONE. I WANT TO TELL THIS BODY THAT WE ARE VERY CLOSE. LET'S GET THIS DONE IN THE DAYS AHEAD. WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. AND I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 05:26:21 PM

    CALL

  • 05:30:12 PM

    CALL

    #. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT.

  • 05:30:13 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 05:43:39 PM

    MR. MORAN

    THE LEADERS IN BRUSSELS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP,…

    THE LEADERS IN BRUSSELS, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP, SIGNED A DECLARATION REAFFIRMING THE PURPOSE OF THE ALLIANCE, COLLECTIVE DEFENSE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF ARTICLE 5 WHICH REGARDS AN ATTACK AGAINST ONE ALLY AS AN ATTACK AGAINST ALL OTHERS. THERE MAY BE A GROWING SENSE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES THAT NATO IS NO LONGER USEFUL TO OUR INTERESTS AND IT'S A BURDEN THAT IS NOT WORTH THE COST. I RECENTLY TRAVELED TO MOSCOW, TO OSLO AND TO HELSINKI WITH MEMBERS OF THE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, MANY OF US ON THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON DEFENSE. WE HAD MEETINGS WITH U.S. EMBASSY OFFICIALS, OUR AMBASSADORS AND WITH FOREIGN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS, PEOPLE WITHIN THE MINISTRIES OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, MINISTRIES OF DEFENSE AND WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS IN THAT REGION. MY MEETINGS IN MOSCOW, WE WORKED TO BEGIN A DIALOGUE WITH RUSSIAN COUNTERPARTS. EVERYTHING I HEARD IN THOSE MEETINGS REINFORCES MY BELIEF THAT RUSSIA REMAINS A THREAT TO EUROPEAN STABILITY AND THAT A UNITED NATO IS ESSENTIAL TO COUNTERING THE THREAT AND PRESERVING AMERICAN PEACE AND PROSPERITY. TWO WARS IN EUROPE LAST CENTURY RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN LIVES WHO FOUGHT THE FORCES OF TYRANNY. TO PREVENT A THIRD WAR AGAINST THIS COMMUNIST MENACE, WESTERN EUROPEAN POWERS FORMED AN ALLIANCE WITH AMERICA AND CANADA TO DETER THE SOVIET UNION MASSIVE FORCES FROM INVADING WHAT BECAME THE EASTERN BLOCK. NOT ONLY DID NATO SUCCESSFULLY DETER THE SOVIET UNION UNTIL ITS COLLAPSE, AND IN MY VIEW NATO CONTRIBUTED TO THE SOVIET UNION COLLAPSE, BUT IN THAT PROCESS THESE ALLIES WERE ABLE TO RECOVER FROM THE WAR ECONOMICALLY, STRENGTHEN DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCES AND ENABLE THEM TO STOP FEARING ONE ANOTHER. WE WOULD BE NAIVE TO BELIEVE THAT THREATS CRITICAL TO NORTH ATLANTIC SECURITY HAVE FADED ALONG WITH THE SOVIET UNION. MY RECENT INTERACTIONS WITH EUROPE IS THAT RUSSIA IS INTENT ON CONTINUING ITS DISRUPTIVE ACTIVITIES IN EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST AND HERE AT HOME IN THE UNITED STATES. IN EVERY MEETING I ATTENDED, I MADE CLEAR THAT RUSSIANS MUST END THEIR ELECTION MEDDLING HERE IN THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE IN ORDER TO OPEN UP DOORS TO REBUILDING OUR RELATIONSHIPS. I BROUGHT UP RUSSIA'S DESTABILIZING SUPPORT FOR SEPARATISTS IN UKRAINE AND ITS ILLEGAL SEIZURE OF CRIMEA AFTER UKRAINE'S DEMOCRATICALLY SOUGHT A PRESIDENT WITH CLOSER TIES WITH THE WEST. SUPPORTING AND ADMITTING THEY SHARE INTELLIGENCE WITH THE TAX BILL UNDERMINES THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT IN AFGHANISTAN AND UNDERMINES OUR NATION'S MILITARY AS WE CONTINUE TO FIGHT THE TAX BILL ALONGSIDE THE AFGHAN NATIONAL SECURITY FORCES. IN EACH CIRCUMSTANCE OF THOSE CONVERSATION, RUSSIAN OFFICIALS, INCLUDING THE FOREIGN MINISTER, CONTINUE TO OUT RIGHT DENY ANY RESPONSIBILITY. HOWEVER THOSE MEETINGS LEFT ME UNCONVINCED THAT RUSSIA IS PREPARED TO CHANGE ITS BEHAVIOR. IN SUBSEQUENT TALKS IN NORWAY A NATO MEMBER, AND FINLAND, A NATO PARTNER, THE CONCERNS RELAYED TO ME BY THESE EUROPEAN LEADERS UNDERSCORE THE FEAR OUR EUROPEAN FRIENDS HAVE BEEN RUSSIAN ACTIVITIES. MY COLLEAGUES AND I REASSURED THEM OF AMERICA'S COMMITMENT TO OUR JOINT SECURITY DURING OUR MEETINGS THAN THE COMMITMENT FROM THE ENTIRE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT MUST NOT WAIVER. -- WAVER. THE FIRST SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER IN EUROPE OVERSEEING ALL EUROPEAN OPERATIONS WAS KANSAS' OWN DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER. AS PRESIDENT HE DECLARED BEFORE OUR NATO ALLIES THAT WE MUST, QUOTE, REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO DISPELLING THE SHADOWS THAT ARE BEING CAST UPON THE FREE WORLD. IN ADDITION TO ONGOING RUSSIAN SUBTERFUGE, THERE ARE THREATS TO DATA INFORMATION REQUIRES STRONG CYBERSECURITY MEASURES AND THE SCOURGE OF HUMAN DRUG TRAFFICKING DEGRADE SOCIAL STRUCTURES. ON THESE AND OTHER ISSUES, NATO ALLIES ARE COORDINATED AN CONTRIBUTED TO THE SECURITY OF OUR OWN COUNTRY, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. IN PARTICULAR, LET'S RECALL THAT ONLY ONCE HAS NATO INVOKED ARTICLE 5 IN THE AFTERMATH OF 9/11 ATTACKS ON OUR COUNTRY. THE ONLY TIME THE NATO ALLIANCE HAS BEEN ASKED TO RESPOND HAS DECLARED A WILLINGNESS TO RESPOND TO THE ATTACK ON ONE AS AN ATTACK ON ALL WAS WHEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WAS ATTACKED ON 9/11. WHEN WE WENT TO WAR AGAINST AL QAEDA AND ITS TAX BILL HOST IN AFGHANISTAN, WE WERE NOT ALONE. THE UNITED STATES HAS NEARLY 15,000 TROOPS SERVING IN AFGHANISTAN AND THEY ARE SERVING WITH NATE HE COULD -- NATO COALITION PARTS IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE TAX BILL AND ISIS WHICH HAS SEIZED STRATEGIC TERRITORIES IN RECENT YEARS MANY WE ARE APPROACHING 17 YEARS OF SUPPORT FROM OUR NATO ALLIES IN AFGHANISTAN, SUPPORT THAT HAS COME EVEN AT THE EXPENSE OF THE BLOOD OF THOSE WHO SERVE. JUST LAST WEEK, SADDENED TO SAY, THAT TWO U.S. ARMY SOLDIERS PAID THE ULTIMATE ARMY SACRIFICE AND WERE KILLED WHILE SERVING IN AFGHANISTAN AND TWO WERE WOUNDED FROM INSURGENT ATTACKS. AND THERE IS A DESTABILIZATION THAT IS POSED. THE E.U., DISTINCT FROM NATO BUT A BENEFICIARY OF THE SECURITY PROVIDED, IS AMERICA'S LARGEST TRADING PARTNER. SO QUESTIONING WHY WE SHOULD COME TO THE DEFENSE OF A SMALL NATO MEMBER DAMAGES THE ALLIANCE AND IT HURTS OUR ALLIANCES ELSEWHERE. IF WE WON'T HONOR A TREATY IN EUROPE, FRIENDS MIGHT WONDER WHY WE WOULD HONOR A TREATY IN ASIA. PREDATORS CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR PERCEIVED INDIFFERENCE, THAT IS, IN PART, WHAT LED TO THE WAR. IN ADDITION TO OUR NATO CONTRIBUTIONS, THE UNITED STATES CONTINUES TO INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING ON OUR MILITARY PRESENCE SUPPORTING OUR PARTNERS WITH MORE THAN $6 BILLION IN F.Y.-2018 APPROPRIATED, AND ANOTHER $97 BILLION. PRESIDENT TRUMP IS ABSOLUTELY RIGHT TO URGE FELLOW ALLIES TO INCREASE THEIR DEFENSE SPENDING, AND I ECHOED THAT MESSAGE ON OUR TRIP TO NORWAY WHEN WE VISITED WITH THOSE ALLIES IN OSLO. TO THE CREDIT OF OUR ALLIES, THEY INCREASED SPENDING BY MORE THAN $40 BILLION IN THE PAST YEAR AND FIGHTING ALONGSIDE US IN AFGHANISTAN, WHERE THEY CONTINUE TO SERVE BESIDE US TODAY, UNFORTUNATELY MORE THAN 1,000 EUROPEANS HAVE DIED. NATO IS STRONG AND IT'S GETTING STRONGER. I BELIEVE THE STRENGTH OF NATO REMAINS ON REMAINING UNIFIED. WORDS MATTER AND WHAT AMERICANS SAY CAN BOLSTER OR SHAKE CONFIDENCE IN THE UNITED STATES. I WILL CONCLUDE ON THIS PERSONAL NOTE. I THOUGHT OF THE FORCE FOR GOOD THAT OUR COUNTRY PROVIDED AS I STOOD IN OUR EMBASSY ON JULY 4, OUR INDEPENDENCE DAY, WATCHING THE MARINE CORPS HONOR GUARD PRESENTATION OF THE COLORS AS OUR NATIONAL ANTHEM WAS SUNG. IT'S DIFFICULT FOR ME TO SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM WITHOUT CHOKING UP WHEREVER I AM, BUT IT WAS ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT ON THAT DAY WHEN I LOOKED AT THE COURSE OF MY LIFE WHEN KIDS PRACTICE GETTING UNDER DESKS TO AVOID MISSILES, OVER THE PAST 70 YEARS, IT IS AMERICA THAT HAS SAFEGUARDED FREEDOM FOR OUR PEOPLE AND FOR THOSE WHO LIVE ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD. ALONG THE WAY OUR VISION OF A FREER, MORE PROSPEROUS WORLD ATTRACTED ALLIES WHO SHARED OUR DREAM. OUR FOREMOST RESPONSIBILITY IS TO PROTECT AMERICANS ALL THE TIME AND TO PROMOTE OUR VALUES AROUND THE WORLD. WE CAN DO THIS BETTER. WE CAN DO THIS WITH OUR ALLIES. WITH THEM WE WILL HAVE A BETTER FUTURE. MR. PRESIDENT, I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 05:53:00 PM

    CALL

  • 05:53:01 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 05:59:53 PM

    CALL

    A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT.

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    Quorum Call

  • 06:06:19 PM

    MR. ROUNDS

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION FOR THE CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR 942, THAT THE NOMINATION BE CONFIRMED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE, WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE, THAT NO FURTHER MOTIONS BE IN ORDER, THAT ANY STATEMENTS RELATED TO THE NOMINATION BE PRINCIPLED IN THE RECORD, THE PRESIDENT BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S ACTION, AND THE SENATE THEN RESUME LEGISLATIVE SESSION.

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  • 06:07:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IF THERE IS NO FURTHER DEBATE, THE QUESTION IS ON THE PASSAGE OF THE BILLS…

    IF THERE IS NO FURTHER DEBATE, THE QUESTION IS ON THE PASSAGE OF THE BILLS AS AMENDED. ALL IN FAVOR SAY AYE. ALL THOSE OPPOSED SAY NO. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE BILL AS AMENDED IS PASSED.

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  • 06:09:45 PM

    MR. ROUNDS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY, IT ADJOURN UNTIL 10:00 A.M. THURSDAY, JULY 19. FURTHER, THAT FOLLOWING THE PRAYER AND PLEDGE, THE MORNING BUSINESS BE DEEMED EXPIRED, THE JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS BE APPROVED TO DATE, THE TIME FOR THE TWO LEADERS BE RESERVED FOR THEIR USE LATER IN THE DAY, AND MORNING BUSINESS BE CLOSED. I ASK THAT FOLLOWING LEADER REMARKS, THE SENATE PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION AND RESUME CONSIDERATION OF THE BOUNDS NOMINATION. FURTHER, THAT ALL TIME IN RECESS, ADJOURNMENT, MORNING BUSINESS, AND LEADER REMARKS COUNT AGAINST POSTCLOTURE TIME.

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  • 06:10:49 PM

    CALL

    QUORUM CALL:

  • 06:15:44 PM

    MR. COONS

    MR. PRESIDENT, ON THIS DAY, A CENTURY AGO, AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE BEGAN…

    MR. PRESIDENT, ON THIS DAY, A CENTURY AGO, AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE BEGAN THAT WOULD CHAIRVE THE LIVE -- CHANGE THE LIVES OF MILLIONS OF OTHERS. A HUNDRED YEARS AGO DANNELSON MANDELA WAS BORN IN THE COUNTRYSIDE OF GRASS-COVERED ROLLING HILLS IN THE EASTERN CAPE OF SOUTH AFRICA. THAT DAY BEGAN A 95-YEAR JOURNEY OF ONE MAN WHO LED THE SOUTH AFRICAN PEOPLE TO LIBERATION AND WHOSE LEGACY CONTINUES TO REVERBERATE THROUGH TIME. OVER THE COURSE OF HIS LIFE, NELSON MANDELA KNOWN BY HIS NICKNAME BECAME VENERATED AS A GLOBAL ADVOCATE FOR JUSTICE BY MILLIONS. ARGUABLY MORE THAN ANY OTHER POLITICAL FIGURE OF OUR TIME. POLITICAL ACTIVISM AND RESISTANCE, HE LED A REVOLUTION BY SHEPHERDING HIS PEOPLE FROM RACIAL DIVISION, HATE, AND SUBD SUBJEW GAITION TO FREEDOM, TOLERANCE AND DEMOCRACY. ONE OF THE MOST STRIKING ASPECTS OF HIS LEADERSHIP AS THE FIRST PRESIDENT AS A TRULY FREE NONRACIAL, NONSIXIST SOUTH AFRICA WAS HIS ENORMOUS CAPACITY FOR FORGIVENESS AND HIS ABILITY TO OPEN HIS HEART TO THOSE WHO WERE ONCE HIS BRUTAL OPPRESSORS. 20 YEARS AFTER HE WAS RELEASED FROM A LIFETIME IN PRISON, NELSON MANDELA INVITED TO DINNER AT HIS OWN HOME ONE OF HIS FORMER JAILERS, A MAN WITH WHOM HE'D BECOME CLOSE FRIENDS. SAYING THAT THEIR FRIENDSHIP REINFORCED HIS BELIEF IN THE ESSENTIAL HUMANITY OF EVEN THOSE WHO HAD KEPT HIM FOR SO LONG BEHIND BARS. HOW LONG? 27 YEARS, SIX MONTHS AND ONE WEEK. DESPITE ALL THOSE YEARS, MONTHS, AND DAYS OF CONTINUOUS IMPRISONMENT, NELSON MANDELA NEVER HIMSELF BECAME A PRISONER TO HATE. HE SET THE EXAMPLE OF HEALING, FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION THAT ULTIMATELY ALLOWED SOUTH AFRICA'S RAINBOW NATION TO EMERGE FROM THE ASHES OF BRUTAL RACIAL OPPRESSION. HIS EXAMPLE IS PARTICULARLY TIMELY AND POWERFUL IN LIGHT OF THE POLARIZATION, DISTRUST, AND DIVISION IN OUR WORLD AND EVEN OUR OWN NATION TODAY. HISTORY REMINDS US, THOUGH, THAT THIS RECONCILIATION, THIS OPENNESS IS NOT A NEW PHENOMENON 52 YEARS AGO THIS SUMMER IN JUNE OF 1966, THEN-U.S. SENATOR ROBERT F. KENNEDY DELIVERED A MEMORABLE SPEECH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN IN SOUTH AFRICA. SPEAKING TO A NATION THEN DEEP IN THE THROES OF THE CRUEL INJUSTICES OF APARTHEID, SENATOR BOBBY KENNEDY BEGAN HIS SPEECH BY DESCRIBING, AND I QUOTE, A LAND IN WHICH THE NATIVE INHABITANTS WERE AT FIRST SUBDUED BUT RELATIONS WITH WHOM REMAIN A PROBLEM TO THIS DAY. A LAND WHICH DEFINED ITSELF ON A HOSTILE FRONTIER, A LAND WHICH WAS ONCE THE IMPORTER OF SLAVES AND MUST NOW STRUGGLE TO WIPE OUT THE LAST TRACES OF THAT FORMER BONDAGE. KENNEDY THEN PAUSED BEFORE FAMOUSLY CONCLUDING, I REFER, OF COURSE, TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THEN AS NOW, THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH AFRICA ARE SIGNIFICANT. YET AMERICANS AND SOUTH AFRICANS SHARE MORE THAN WE MIGHT RECOGNIZE OR WANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE. ON THE POSITIVE SIDE, WE SHARE REMARKABLE CONSTITUTIONS, INSPIRING FOUNDATIONAL DOCUMENTS IN SOUTH AFRICA'S FREEDOM CHARTER AND OUR OWN DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE WHOSE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES ARE PROFOUND AND INSPIRING BUT WHOSE LIVED EXPERIENCES HAVE SO FAR FALLEN SHORT. WE ALSO SHARE A DEEP COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY. SOCIETY'S GROUNDED IN THE RULE OF LAW, A VIBRANT FREE PRESS, A CAPABLE AND DEPENDENT JUDICIARIES. WE ARE ALSO MULTILINGUAL, MULTIFAITH DEMOCRACIES, FEDERAL REPUBLICS THAT HAVE INCREDIBLE HUMAN HISTORIES AND DEEP AND RICH NATURAL RESOURCES. BOTH SOUTH AFRICA AND THE UNITED STATES HAVE DEMONSTRATED HOW IMPORTANT CIVIC INSTITUTIONS ARE ON TO SUSTAINING DEMOCRACY AND PRESERVING THE PROGRESS OF HUMANITY. TODAY ON WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN KNELL ZAHN MANDELA'S -- NELSON MANDELA'S 100th BIRTHDAY, THE UNITED STATES ITSELF IS FACING SERIOUS CHALLENGES TO THE VERY INSTITUTIONS THAT UNDERPIN AND PRESERVE OUR HARD-WON DEMOCRACY. AS WE WEATHER THESE CHALLENGES TOGETHER AS A NATION, LET US FIND INSPIRATION IN MANDELA'S LIFE AND LEGACY. LET US REMEMBER THAT ON HIS LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, NELSON MANDELA TAUGHT THE NEED TO STUDY NOT ONLY THOSE WITH WHOM WE AGREE BUT ALSO THOSE WITH WHOM WE DISAGREE AND TO BE WILLING TO COMPROMISE AND FIND COMMON GROUND. IN HIS WORDS, IT IS EASY TO BREAK DOWN AND DESTROY THE REAL HEROES ARE THOSE WHO MAKE PEACE AND BUILD. IN THE YEARS TO COME, IT'S MY HOPE THE UNITED STATES AND SOUTH AFRICA WILL LOOK TO EACH OTHER AS BOTH NATIONS CONTINUE TO STRUGGLE AGAINST THE LEGACY OF RACIAL INJUSTICE, REVERSE OUR GROWING ECONOMIC INEQUALITY, AND PROTECT OUR EVOLVING EXPERIMENTS IN DEMOCRACY. NELSON MANDELA VENTURED TO SHAPE THE WORLD AS IT SHOULD BE. HE SHOWED US THAT VALUES, SUCH AS FORGIVENESS, RESPECT, AND TOLERANCE ARE NOT JUST WORDS BUT CONCRETE ACTIONS WE CAN ALL TAKE. I'M INSPIRED BY MA DIVA'S EXAMPLE TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR A BETTER AND MORE JUST WORLD HERE IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE AS I WAS FIRST INSPIRED IN THE FALL OF 1986 WHEN I TRAVELED TO SOUTH AFRICA TO VOLUNTEER FOR THE SOUTH AFRICAN COUNCIL OF CHURCHES DURING THE ANTIAPARTHEID STRUGGLE. JUST TWO YEARS AGO I HAD A CHANCE AS A NOW SENATOR TO REVISIT JOHANNESBURG AND CAPE TOWN WITH A DELEGATION THAT INCLUDED SENATOR KENNEDY'S DAUGHTER KERRY KENNEDY AND A WHOLE HOST OF THE KENNEDY CLAN. OUR OWN CONGRESSMAN JOHN LEWIS, A LEADER IN AMERICA'S CIVIL RIGHTS STRUGGLE, AND MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE CONGRESSMAN STENY HOYER AND TWO SURVIVORS OF THE RACIALLY MOTIVATED SHOOTING IN A CHURCH IN DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON, POLLY SHEPHERD AND FELICIA SAMUELS, THERE TO SERVE AS A LIVING EXAMPLE OF THE CHALLENGES AND THE DIFFICULTIES OF RECONCILIATION, OF FORGIVENESS, AND OF GRACE. WE HAD REMARKABLE EXPERIENCES. WE MET WITH DESMOND TUTU, MY FORMER SURVIVOR AT THE COUNCIL OF CHURCHES DECADES AGO, WINNER OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AND SOMEONE WHO HELPED LEAD THE PEACE AND RECONCILIATION PROCESS IN SOUTH AFRICA. AND WE HEARD FROM TODAY'S CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, NELSON MANDELA'S WIDOW AND OUR REFLECTIONS WERE INTERRUPTED BY STUDENT PROTESTERS DEMANDING A MORE JUSTICE IN TODAY'S SOUTH AFRICA, A JARRING REMINDER THAT EVEN THE GREATNESS OF THE REMEMBRANCE OF BOBBY KENNEDY AND NELSON MANDELA IS NOT ENOUGH TO STILL THE RELENTLESS YEARNING FOR MORE, MORE JUSTICE AND MORE EQUALITY BY THE YOUNGEST AMONGST US. -- AMONG US. I STILL TODAY BELIEVE IN NELSON MANDELA'S VISION FOR THE WORLD, A WORLD GOVERNED BY JUSTICE AND QUALITY AND PEACE. BUT IT'S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER JUST HOW MUCH WE HAVE TO DO TOGETHER AS A GLOBAL COMMUNITY, TO HEAR EACH OTHER, FORGIVE EACH OTHER AND GET THERE. NELSON MANDELA ONCE FAMOUSLY SAID I'M NOT A SAINT UNLESS YOU THINK OF A SAINT AS A SINNER WHO JUST KEEPS TRYING. SO TODAY LET US REMEMBER NELSON MANDELA'S RELENTLESS TRIUMPH, HIS HISTORIC CONTRIBUTION TO SOUTH AFRICA AND THE WORLD. THE EXAMPLE OF HIS SPHRUGLE TO PROMOTE HUMAN RIGHTS AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. MADIBA'S SERVICE IS A REMINDER OF WHAT IT MEANS TO PLACE THE GOOD OF A NATION'S PEOPLE ABOVE ONE'S OWN NARROW INTEREST. I'M PLEASED TO CELEBRATE THE 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF A GIANT OF HISTORY AND HONOR NELSON MANDELA'S LIFETIME OF EXTRAORDINARY SERVICE WITH A BIPARTISAN RESOLUTION INTRODUCED TODAY. SO TODAY LET US REDEDICATE OURSELVES TO HIS VISION FOR OUR WORLD AND TOGETHER WORK TIRELESSLY TO MAKE IT A REALITY. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. WITH THAT I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 06:24:39 PM

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Statistics

115th Congress - Senate
Total Hours: 1800 (After 561 days)
  • Debate1084 Hours
  • Quorum Calls422 Hours
  • Votes294 Hours

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Source: Resume of Congressional Activity (senate.gov)