Senate Passes Resolution Opposing Russian Offer to Question U.S. Officials, 98-0
Senate Session - September 24, 2009
Speakers:
Time
Action
  • 09:29:49 AM

    none

    WEEK. THE SENATE NEXT TURN TO 2010 DEFENSE SPENDING AND HEALTH CARE TO BE…

    WEEK. THE SENATE NEXT TURN TO 2010 DEFENSE SPENDING AND HEALTH CARE TO BE ON THE FLOOR SOMETIME IN OCTOBER. LIVE NOW TO THE SENATE HERE ON C-SPAN2.

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  • 09:31:38 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. TODAY'S OPENING PRAYER WILL BE…

    OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL COME TO ORDER. TODAY'S OPENING PRAYER WILL BE OFFERED BY THE REVEREND MAC RICHARD, SENIOR PASTOR OF LAKE HILLS CHURCH IN AUSTIN, TEXAS.

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  • 09:31:55 AM

    THE GUEST CHAPLAIN

    LET US PRAY. OUR LORD AND OUR GOD, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAVOR AND YOUR…

    LET US PRAY. OUR LORD AND OUR GOD, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR FAVOR AND YOUR GOODNESS TO OUR NATION. LORD, IN THIS ROOM WHERE DECISIONS ARE MADE ON BEHALF OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, WE PAUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR POWER AND TO THANK YOU FOR THE GIFT OF GOOD GOVERNMENT. THANK YOU, LORD, FOR EACH WOMAN AND MAN WHO HAS CHOSEN TO SERVE AND LEAD IN THIS PLACE. I ASK THAT YOU WOULD BLESS THEM. BLESS AND PROTECT THEIR FAMILIES WHO ALSO SACRIFICE SO THAT THEY MIGHT SERVE. FATHER, WE COME TO YOU AND ASK THAT YOU WOULD GRANT WISDOM IN THIS PLACE. GIVE OUR LEADERS EYES TO SEE WHAT MIGHT BE AND THE COURAGE TO TRULY LEAD OUR NATION. LORD, YOU HAVE BLESSED US WITH SO MUCH PROSPERITY, SO MUCH OPPORTUNITY. MAY WE BE FAITHFUL WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY THESE BLESSINGS CARRY. THANK YOU FOR THE PROMISE OF THIS NEW DAY, FOR THE FREEDOM TO APPROACH AND WORSHIP YOU, AND FOR THE ULTIMATE LIBERTY WE ENJOY IN RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU. FATHER, I ASK THIS PRAYER IN THE POWERFUL NAME OF JESUS. AMEN.

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  • 09:33:02 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

    PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE 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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  • 09:33:27 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL READ A COMMUNICATION TO THE SENATE.

  • 09:33:31 AM

    THE CLERK

  • 09:33:48 AM

    MR. REID

  • 09:33:49 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 09:33:50 AM

    MR. REID

    FOLLOWING LEADER REMARKS #-RBGS THERE WILL BE A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS…

    FOLLOWING LEADER REMARKS #-RBGS THERE WILL BE A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS FOR UP TO ONE HOUR. SENATORS WILL BE PERMITTED TO SPEAK FOR UP TO 10 MINUTES EACH. MR. PRESIDENT, WE WILL HAVE THE MORPG HOUR EXTENDED UNTIL 10:30 -- THE MORNING HOUR EXTENDED UNTIL 10:30, SO DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS CAN DIVIDE UP THAT TIME BECAUSE QUEEF A CLOTURE VOTE SET FOR 10 -- BECAUSE WE HAVE A CLOTURE VOTE SET FOR 10:30. THE REPUBLICANS WILL CONTROL THE FIRST HATCH-WAXMAN THE DEMOCRATS WILL CONTROL THE SECOND HALF. FOLLOWING MORNING BUSINESS, THE SENATE WILL RESUME THE INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL. MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE SPOKEN TO THE NECESSARY PARTIES THIS MORNING. I THINK WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO WORK OUT AN AGREEMENT AND WILL NOT HAVE TO HAVE THE CLOTURE VOTE. I HOPE THAT'S THE CASE. IF IN FACT THAT'S THE CASE, WE WILL VITIATE THE CLOTURE VOTE. AND WHAT WE'LL DO, BECAUSE OF THE HEAVY WORKLOAD OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE -- I'VE SPOKEN TO THE NECESSARY FOLKS IN THIS REGARD -- WE'LL SCHEDULE A TIME THIS AFTERNOON TO HAVE A BLOCK OF VOTES SO THEY CAN JUST COME OVER ONCE AND NOT HAVE TO KEEP GOING BACK AND FORTH. WE HAVE TO WORK THAT OUT. WE MADE PRONG THIS LEGISLATION YESTERDAY. -- WE MADE PROGRESS ON THIS LEGISLATION YESTERDAY. AND IF WE CAN GET THIS BLOCK OF AMENDMENTSAMENDMENTS OUT OF THE WAY, WE'LL MOVE ON TO THE NEXT DAY, WHICH WOULD BE THE DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS BILL, WHICH COMES AT A VERY TIMELY TIME IN OUR COUNTRY, WITH THE SITUATION IN IRAQ AND THE SITUATION WE HAVE DEVELOPING IN AFGHANISTAN. MR. PRESIDENT, YOU CAN ANNOUNCE MORNING BUSINESS NOW.

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  • 09:35:26 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

    UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS FOR ONE HOUR WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK THEREIN FOR UP TO 10 MINUTES EACH, WITH THE TIME DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES WITH THE REPUBLICANS CONTROLLING THE FIRST HALF AND THE MAJORITY CONTROLLING THE SECOND HALF.

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  • 09:35:48 AM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT? I FAILED TO ANNOUNCE, SECOND-DEGREE AMENDMENTS FILING…

    MR. PRESIDENT? I FAILED TO ANNOUNCE, SECOND-DEGREE AMENDMENTS FILING DEADLINE IS AT 10:30 THIS MORNING.

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  • 09:36:06 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE.

  • 09:36:07 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE.

  • 09:36:08 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    I THANK THE PRESIDING OFFICER. MR. PRESIDENT, LAST NIGHT WE HAD -- I SEE…

    I THANK THE PRESIDING OFFICER. MR. PRESIDENT, LAST NIGHT WE HAD -- I SEE THE MAJORITY LEADER STILL ON THE FLOOR. I WANT TO THANK HIM AND THE REPUBLICAN LEADER FOR ORGANIZING LAST NIGHT A RECEPTION HONORING HENRY CLAY, A GREAT UNITED STATES SENATOR WHOSE PORTRAIT IS -- WILL BE HANGING IN THE STAIRWAY OUTSIDE HERE. THERE WAS A TIME IN THE UNITED STATES HISTORY WHEN HENRY CLAY AND DANIEL WEBSTER, JOHN CALHOUN WERE BETTER 0 KNOWN THAN THE PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES. THAT WAS IN THE 1850'S BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR, AND IT WAS GOOD TO TAKE A MOMENT ALL TOGETHER, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, AND THINK ABOUT THAT HISTORY AND HONOR THE MAN WHO WAS KNOWN AS "THE GREAT COMPROMISER," WHO DURING A TIME WHEN OUR THAITION WAS COMPLETELY SPLIT OVER THE CIVIL WAR -- WHEN OUR NATION WAS COMPLETELY SPLIT OVER THE CIVIL WAR ON THREE DIFFERENT OCCASIONS FOUND A WAY TO TRY TO BRING IT TOGETHER AND OF COURSE DIED BEFORE THE GREAT WAR. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT DURING THE REPUBLICAN MORNING BUSINESS TIME, THAT I BE PERMITTED TO ENTER INTO A COLLOQUY WITH MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR McCAIN, SENATOR COBURN, SENATOR BROWNBACK, SENATOR THUNE, SENATOR MURKOWSKI, WHO WILL BE HERE SHORTLY.

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  • 09:37:32 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 09:37:34 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, HEALTH CARE REFORM IS THE AGENDA FOR…

    YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, HEALTH CARE REFORM IS THE AGENDA FOR THE NATION, AND IT OUGHT TO BE. WE ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE WANT HEALTH CARE REFORM. WE SEE -- BUT WE WANT THE RIGHT KIND OF HEALTH CARE REFORM. OUR FOCUS IS ON COST. OUR FOCUS IS ON THE COST TO EACH AMERICAN AS HE OR SHE BUYS THEIR HEALTH CARE POLICY. OUR FOCUS IS ON THE COST OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WHICH EACH AMERICAN HAS A RESPONSIBILITY TO PAY FOR. AND WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS TO REDUCE COSTS TO MAKE IT EASIER FOR AMERICANS TO AFFORD THEIR HEALTH CARE AND TO AFFORD THEIR GOVERNMENT. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US KNOWS THAT UNLESS WE REDUCE THE COST OF THE INCREASE IN HEALTH CARE THAT WE WON'T BE ABLE TO PAY OUR BILLS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. WE'RE IN THE MIDST OF APPROPRIATIONS BILLS. THERE'S WELL-MEANING DEBATE HERE ABOUT WHETHER WE SHOULD SPEND MORE MONEY FOR NATIONAL PARKS AND FOR SAFE DRINKING WATER AND OTHER NEEDS, URGENT NEEDS THAT WE HAVE. THAT'S THE BILL THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY, CLEAN AIR. WE SHOULD SPEND MONEY ON THOSE YOUURGENT NEEDS. AMERICANS WANT US TO DO THAT. BUT WE CAN'T HAVE THOSE DOLLARS, AS THE SENATOR FROM ALABAMA POINTED OUT YESTERDAY, IF WE CONTINUE TO INCREASE THE DEBT, TRILLIONS IN DEBT, AND RUN UP THE INTEREST RATE BILL. WE'RE HEADED TOWARD A SITUATION WHERE BY THE END OF THIS DECADE, WE'LL BE SPENDING $8 BILLION A YEAR -- $800 BILLION A YEAR ON DEBT, MORE THAN WE SPEND ON NATIONAL DEFENSE, EIGHT TIMES AS MUCH AS WE SPEND IN WASHINGTON ON EDUCATION THIS YEAR. SO THOSE DOLLARS COULD EITHER BE IN THE POCKETS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, FOR THEM TO SPEND FOR THEMSELVES, OR WE COULD BE SPENDING THOSE DOLLARS TO CLEAN THE AIR, TO RELIEVE TRAFFIC CONGESTION, TO PROVIDE PELL GRANTS AND STUDENT LOANS SO AMERICANS CAN GO BACK TO SCHOOL. THOSE ARE WHAT THE GOVERNMENT OUGHT TO BE SPENDING MONEY FOR, NOT ONLY INCREASING DEBT. SO THE HEALTH CARE REFORM IS FIRST ABOUT COST, THE COST TO AMERICANS OF THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE POLICIES AND THE COST OF THEIR DEBT. THE PRESIDENT NOTICED THIS THE OTHER NIEVMENT HE SAID IN HIS REMARKS TO US AND TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT THE HEALTH CARE BILL COULDN'T HAVE -- COULDN'T ADD ONE DIME TO THE DEFICIT. THAT'S REASSURING BECAUSE THE PRESIDENT'S PROPOSALS ARE ALREADY ADDING $9 TRILLION TO THE DEFICIT OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS. HE'S DULLING OR TRIPLING -- HE'S DOUBLING OR TRIPLING THE SENATE DEBT WHICH MEANS HE'S ADDING MORE TO THE DEBT BY A FACTOR OF TWO AND THEN THREE THAN ALL THE 0 OTHER PRESIDENTS PUT TOGETHER SO SURELY WE DON'T WANT TO ADD MORE TO IT WITH A HEALTH CARE REFORM BILL. BUT WHEN HE PRESIDENT SAID THAT HE COMPLETELY WIPED OUT ALL THE DEMOCRATIC HEALTH CARE BILLS THAT HAVE BEEN PROPOSED SO FAR FROM THE HOUSE AND FROM THE SENATE. THE SENATE "HELP" COMMITTEE, THE SEVERAL BILLS IN THE HOUSE, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS SAID THEY ALL ADD TO THE DEBT IN THE FIRST TEN YEARS AND IN THE YEARS AFTER THAT, SO THEY SHOULD BE OFF THE TABLE ACCORDING TO THE PRESIDENT'S OWN STANDARDS. AND SO NOW WE'RE LOOKING AT THE FINANCE COMMITTEE IN THE SENATE TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN DO. SENATOR BAUCUS, THE SENATOR FROM MONTANA, HAS WORKED VERY HARD IN A GOOD-FAITH, BIPARTISAN WAY TO TRY TO DEVELOP A BIPARTISAN BILL, A COMPREHENSIVE BILL. BUT, AS WE READ THE BILL, THERE ARE A GREAT MANY THINGS TO BE WORRIED ABOUT. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU DON'T BUY A MECHANIC PLAN, THE -- IF YOU DON'T BUY A HEALTH CARE PLAN, THE I.R.S. WILL TAX YOU. NOW, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS ON HIS SUNDAY SHOW -- AND PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS ON EVERY SUNDAY SHOW -- WERE TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE. I SEE THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA HAS COVMENT I WOULD SAY THROUGH THE CHAIR THAT WE RECEIVED PERMISSION FROM THE CHAIR TO ENGAGE IN A COLLOQUY BETWEEN YOU AND OTHER REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO MIGHT COX I'VE ALREADY POINTED OUT THAT THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF HAS DISQUALIFIED ALL THE PLANS THAT OUR COMMITTEE WORKED ON BECAUSE THEY ALL ADD TO THE DEBT. NOW WE SEE THE BAUCUS PLAN COMING FORWARD. I WONDER IF THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA HAS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO LOOK AT -- OF COURSE THAT'S NOT A BILL YES. WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT. IT'S JUST CONCEPTS. AND WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE HAVE TIME TO READ THE BILL AND TO KNOW WHAT IT COSTS. I WONDER IF THE SENATOR FROMS A HAS HAD AN OPPORTUNITY YET TO FORM AN OPINION ABOUT WHETHER THE BAUCUS BILL DOES WHAT WE HOPE -- WHICH IS REDUCE THE COST TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OF WHAT THEIR INSURANCE COSTS AND REDUCE THE COST TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE OF THEIR GOVERNMENT IN WASHINGTON?

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  • 09:42:36 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    I THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM TENNESSEE ON THE GREAT WORK THAT HE HAS BEEN…

    I THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM TENNESSEE ON THE GREAT WORK THAT HE HAS BEEN DOING. FIRST OF ALL, I WOULD ASK MY FRIEND IF HE HAD THE SAME EXPERIENCE THAT I'VE HAD AT TOWN HALL MEETINGS THAT ONE OF THE HANDDONE -- NOT PRINTED SIGNS -- BUT ONE OF THE HAND-DONE SIGNS IS, HAVE YOU READ THE BILL? AND ONE OF THE FIRST QUESTIONS AT THE TOWN HALL MEETINGS, HAVE YOU READ THE BILL? AND OF COURSE THAT IS AN IMPOSSIBILITY FOR MINUTE TO READ THE BILL BECAUSE THERE IS NO BILL BEFORE THE FINANCE COMMITTEE. IT IS ABOUT 200 PAGES OF A -- QUOTE -- "FRAMEWORK" -- AND I THINK THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE AND I ARE VERY KEENLY AWARE THAT MANY TIMES THERE IS A COMMA, A WORD INSERTED HERE, A WORD TAKEN OUT THERE, WHICH CHANGES THE ENTIRE LEGISLATIVE IMPACT. YOU KNOW, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE A LOT SMARTER THAFN WE THAN WE GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR. THEY KNOW THAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, MANY TIMES LEGISLATION IS WRITTEN AND TURNED INTO THE KIND OF LEGISLATION THAT FRANKLY UNLESS YOU GO THROUGH THIS PAGE BY PAGE, WORD BY WORD, THAT YOU REALLY DON'T KNOW THE FINAL IMPACT. SO THE FIRST POINT I'D LIKE TO MAKE TO MY FRIEND FROM TENNESSEE IS THAT APPARENTLY THE FINANCE COMMITTEE IS WORKING TO TURN OUT A LEGISLATIVE PACKAGE THAT'S NOT IN LEGISLATIVE FORM. SO I'M CURIOUS HOW THE MEMBERS WOULD REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT'S IN IT. AND I GUESS THE SECOND POINT IS THAT THERE IS -- THERE IS STILL NO SERIOUS CONSIDERATION OF A COUPLE OF THE FUNDAMENTALS: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE OR MEDICAL LIABILITY REFORM, OR OBVIOUSLY, THE ABILITY TO GO ACROSS STATE LINES TO PURCHASE INSURANCE, AND ALLOWING SMALL BUSINESSES TO POOL THEIR ASSETS SO THAT THEY CAN COMPETE FOR HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES THAT LARGE CORPORATIONS ARE ABLE TO. SO -- AND I OTHER QUESTION I WOULD ASK, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT MY FRIEND FROM TENNESSEE HAS HAD MANY ROLES IN HIS LONG POLITICAL LIFE: HAS THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE HAD AS A FORMER GOVERNOR, HAD ANY CONTACT WITH THE GOVERNORS AND THEIR ORGANIZATIONS AS TO HOW MUCH ADDITIONAL COSTS WOULD BE LAID ON THOSE STATES WHICH ARE IN DIRE SHAPE -- CERTAINLY MINE IS -- IN THE FORM OF ADDITIONAL MEDICAID COSTS? I NOTICE THAT THE MAJORITY LEADER AT FIRST COMPLAINED ABOUT THE BILL AND THE COSTS THAT IT MIGHT ACCRUE TO HIS STATES -- HIS STATE OF NEVADA. BUT I GUESS THAT HAS BEEN FIXED TO HIS SATISFACTION. I DON'T THINK THAT THE OTHER STATES, A STATE LIKE MINE THAT IS STILL LOOKING AT OVER A $1 BILLION DEFICIT, CAN PROBABLY -- WOULD BE EAGER TO ABSORB DRAMATICALLY INCREASED MEDICAID COSTS. I WONDER IF MY FRIEND, FORMER GOVERNOR, FORMER CABINET MEMBER, FORMER CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT -- FORMER DOG CATCH -- EXCUSE ME. MANY, MANY ROLES IN AMERICAN LIFE WOULD RESPOND TO THAT.

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  • 09:46:02 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    FRIEND SAID TO ME AFTER I WAS GOVERNOR, ROOSTER TODAY, FEATHER TOMORROW.…

    FRIEND SAID TO ME AFTER I WAS GOVERNOR, ROOSTER TODAY, FEATHER TOMORROW. I'M AFRAID I'M IN THE FEATHER DUSTER CATEGORY. THE SENATOR MADE A TERRIFIC POINT. I WANT TO GO TO THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA WHO JUST ARRIVED, ONE OF THE PHYSICIANS IN THE SENATE -- ON THE FIRST POINT WE NEED TO READ THE BILL, AND THERE'S NO BILL. THE REPUBLICANS YESTERDAY TRIED TO GET THE FINANCE COMMITTEE TO SAY ONCE THERE IS A BILL THAT AT LEAST FOR 72 HOURS IT BE ON THE INTERNET. AND THEN WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT COSTS. EVEN AS THE PRESIDENT SAID, IT CAN'T ADD -- McCAIN McCAIN WE'RE ON THE INTERNET --

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  • 09:46:39 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    ON THE INTERNET FOR 72 HOURS, AMERICANS WOULD BE ABLE TO READ THE BILL…

    ON THE INTERNET FOR 72 HOURS, AMERICANS WOULD BE ABLE TO READ THE BILL THEMSELVES.

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  • 09:46:45 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    LET US KNOW WHAT THEY THINK OF IT. THEN WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT COSTS. AS…

    LET US KNOW WHAT THEY THINK OF IT. THEN WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT IT COSTS. AS TO MEDICAID, EVERY GOVERNOR IN AMERICA IS WORRIED ABOUT THIS. THE DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS AND REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS HAVE SAID IF YOU WANT TO EXPAND THE MEDICAID PROGRAM, YOU PAY FOR IT BECAUSE WE CAN'T RAISE STATE TAXES OR RAISE TUITIONS OR CUT THE HIGHWAY PROGRAM TO DO THAT. I WONDER -- THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA HEARD SENATOR McCAIN'S QUESTION. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA AND SENATOR BARRASSO, WHO -- THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA DELIVERED THOUSANDS OF BABIES. THE SENATOR FROM WYOMING IS AN ORTHOPEDIC SURGEON. THEY HAVE BEEN TOURING THE COUNTRY IN CONNECTION, LISTENING TO LOTS OF DOCTORS, PHYSICIANS AND MEDICAL PERSONNEL. I WONDER IF YOU HAVE A REACTION, SENATOR COBURN, TO SENATOR McCAIN'S QUESTIONS.

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  • 09:47:34 AM

    MR. COBURN

    LET ME SAY MY BIGGEST CONCERN FOR MY PATIENTS IN THIS WHOLE DEBATE IS WILL…

    LET ME SAY MY BIGGEST CONCERN FOR MY PATIENTS IN THIS WHOLE DEBATE IS WILL THE AMERICAN CONSUMER STILL HAVE THE POWER AND THE ABILITY TO SELECT WHO IS GOING TO GIVE THEM THIS MOST PERSONAL OF ALL CARE WHEN THIS IS OVER. AND THE ANSWER TO THAT IS NO. THAT'S -- IT'S NOT "NO" FOR EVERYBODY, BUT IT'S "NO" FOR HALF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS.

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  • 09:48:08 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    WOULD IT BE "NO" FOR THE INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS EMPLOYER-BASED HEALTH CARE AND…

    WOULD IT BE "NO" FOR THE INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS EMPLOYER-BASED HEALTH CARE AND THAT EMPLOYER THEN OPTS FOR THE SO-CALLED PUBLIC OPTION, WHICH WOULD BE A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH PROGRAM? COULD THEN THAT EMPLOYEE SEE THE SAME DOCTOR?

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  • 09:48:26 AM

    MR. COBURN

    BUT MOST LIKELY HALF OF THEM WON'T. THE WHOLE DEBATE OUGHT TO BE HOW DO WE…

    BUT MOST LIKELY HALF OF THEM WON'T. THE WHOLE DEBATE OUGHT TO BE HOW DO WE GET MORE VALUE OUT OF THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM THAT WE HAVE TODAY RATHER THAN HOW DO WE ADD MORE MONEY TO THE COST OF HEALTH CARE TO COVER MORE PEOPLE. THE REASON MY PATIENTS HAVE TROUBLE GETTING CARE IS COST. RIGHT NOW THEY HAVE CHOICE EXCEPT IF THEY'RE IN MEDICAID. AND THEY HAVE SOME CHOICE IF THEY'RE IN MEDICARE BECAUSE WE'RE SEEING A LARGER AND LARGER PERCENTAGE OF DOCTORS WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO TAKE THE MEDICARE REIMBURSEMENTS. BUT CAN THEY AFFORD THE CARE? THIS BILL DOES NOTHING TO LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS. IT DOES NOTHING TO LOWER HEALTH CARE COSTS.

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  • 09:49:10 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    IS IT TRUE IN FACT THAT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS SAID THAT…

    IS IT TRUE IN FACT THAT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS SAID THAT THESE INCREASED COSTS, AT LEAST HALF OF THEM WILL BE PASSED ON TO THE INDIVIDUAL?

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  • 09:49:21 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    I WOULD SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA, THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT. THE…

    I WOULD SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM ARIZONA, THAT IS EXACTLY RIGHT. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE DID AN ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OF SENATOR BAUCUS' PLAN ON INSURANCE PREMIUMS. IT SHOWED THE PREMIUMS FOR THOSE IN THE INDIVIDUAL MARKET WOULD GO UP. SO TO THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA'S POINT -- TO THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA'S POINT, ONE OF THE EFFECTS OF THE ONE REMAINING BILL THAT IS BEING CONSIDERED HERE AT A TIME WHEN WE'RE TRYING TO REDUCE THE COST TO AMERICANS OF THEIR POLICIES AND THEIR GOVERNMENT IS THAT PREMIUMS WOULD GO UP.

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  • 09:49:49 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    IMPORTANT QUESTION. THERE IS NO ONE WHO HAS LED THE FIGHT AGAINST WASTE,…

    IMPORTANT QUESTION. THERE IS NO ONE WHO HAS LED THE FIGHT AGAINST WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE MORE THAN DR. COBURN. DR. COBURN, THE PRESIDENT KEEPS SAYING THAT WE WILL ELIMINATE ALL THIS FRAUD AND ABUSE AND WASTE. IF WE CAN, WHY DON'T WE START TOMORROW?

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  • 09:50:06 AM

    MR. COBURN

    I TKPWRAEFPLT WE'VE OFFERED FOR YEARS A COUPLE OF WAYS TO DO THAT. I THINK…

    I TKPWRAEFPLT WE'VE OFFERED FOR YEARS A COUPLE OF WAYS TO DO THAT. I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO KNOW HOW MUCH THERE IS. THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES ESTIMATED IN 2007 -- THAT'S THE LAST YEAR THAT THEY HAVE NUMBERS FOR -- THAT $62 BILLION WAS IMPROPERLY PAID OUT OF MEDICARE. THE G.A.O., WHEN THEY LOOKED AT THAT REPORT SAID, NO, YOU'RE WAY OFF. IT'S AT LEAST $85 BILLION, AND WE THINK IT'S HIGHER. IF YOU LOOK AT THAT, THAT'S ALMOST 20% -- 20 CENTS OUT OF EVERY DOLLAR THAT MEDICARE PAYS OUT IS LOST TO FRAUD. WHY WOULDN'T WE FIX THAT FIRST RATHER THAN SAY IF WE FIX IT, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE IT FROM MEDICARE AND PUT IT SOMEWHERE ELSE WHEN THE TRUST FUND, THE H.I. TRUST, THE HOSPITAL INSURANCE FUND, IS GOING TO BE BELLY UP IN 2017?

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  • 09:51:07 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    ISN'T IT TRUE UNDER THE BAUCUS PLAN, ABOUT HALF OF IT WOULD BE PAID FOR BY…

    ISN'T IT TRUE UNDER THE BAUCUS PLAN, ABOUT HALF OF IT WOULD BE PAID FOR BY MEDICARE CUTS, WHICH WOULD THEN BE SPENT ON A NEW PROGRAM?

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  • 09:51:14 AM

    MR. COBURN

    THAT'S RIGHT. AND MEDICARE IS ALREADY UNSUSTAINABLE. SO WHAT'S GOING TO…

    THAT'S RIGHT. AND MEDICARE IS ALREADY UNSUSTAINABLE. SO WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN? THERE'S ANOTHER FACTOR IN THERE, IS WE HAVE IT FIXED THAT WITH THIS BILL THERE WON'T BE A BIG CUT TO THE PAYMENTS TO DOCTORS UNDER MEDICARE. BUT THE YEARS THAT FOLLOW THAT, THERE WILL BE A 25% CUT. NOW, IF ACCESS IS A PROBLEM FOR MEDICARE PATIENTS TODAY, IT'S GOING TO GET WORSE. IT'S PART OF THE LACK OF TRUTH IN THIS BILL, IS THEY DON'T ADDRESS WHAT WE HAVE SET IN MOTION TO TAKE DOLLARS AWAY FROM THE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY.

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  • 09:51:53 AM

    MR. McCAIN

    COBURN AGAIN. F. WE START TOMORROW, WHAT CAN WE DO?

  • 09:51:57 AM

    MR. COBURN

    THING YOU DO IS PUT UNDERCOVERED PATIENTS IN THE MEDICARE SYSTEM. AND YOU…

    THING YOU DO IS PUT UNDERCOVERED PATIENTS IN THE MEDICARE SYSTEM. AND YOU PUT PEOPLE IN JAIL WHO ARE DEFRAUDING MEDICARE. IF 30 OR 40 DOCTORS WENT TO JAIL YOU'D LOWER MEDICARE COSTS BY 10% BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY WOULD START THINKING ABOUT I CAN'T SKIRT THIS, I CAN'T PLAY THIS GAME. THE RISK IS TOO HAWAII HERE'S ONE OF THE THINGS -- THE RISK IS TOO HIGH. IN FLORIDA THE DRUG DEALERS HAVE SWITCHED FROM BEING DRUG DEALERS TO MEDICARE SUPPLIERS BECAUSE THEY CAN MAKE MORE MONEY DEFRAUDING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. IT'S HARDER TO GET CAUGHT. THE PENALTIES, IF YOU ARE CAUGHT, ARE LESS THAN IF YOU'RE DEALING DRUGS. CONSEQUENTLY WE HAVE ALL THESE PEOPLE IN THE BUSINESS OF DEFRAUDING MEDICARE, AND THERE HASN'T BEEN A PLAN THAT HAS BEEN EFFECTIVE IN CUTTING MEDICARE FRAUD BECAUSE NOBODY KNOWS. AND THE GOVERNMENT IS ALL ABOUT MEDICARE. SO IT IS DESIGNED, BY IT'S VERY DESIGN IT IS DESIGNED TO BE TKWAUDED. WE SHOULD MAKE -- DEFRAUDED. WE SHOULD MAKE STRUCTURAL CHANGES SO IT'S NOT. PAY FOR OUTCOMES RATHER THAN PAYING THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION TO USE THEIR C.T.P. CODE.

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  • 09:53:16 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    SENATORS FROM SOUTH DAKOTA AND KANSAS JOINED US. SENATOR McCAIN IS LEADING…

    SENATORS FROM SOUTH DAKOTA AND KANSAS JOINED US. SENATOR McCAIN IS LEADING A COLE CAN I ON THE -- A COLLOQUY ON THE BAUCUS BILL AND HEALTH CARE. I WONDER IF YOU SEE THE BAUCUS BILL -- IT IS NOT A BILL YET -- IS LIKELY TO REDUCE COSTS.

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  • 09:53:36 AM

    MR. THUNE

    I THINK THAT IS THE BIG QUESTION ABOUT ALL OF THESE VARIOUS PIECES OF…

    I THINK THAT IS THE BIG QUESTION ABOUT ALL OF THESE VARIOUS PIECES OF LEGISLATION THAT WE'VE HAD IN FRONT OF US, IS WHAT DO THEY DO TO REDUCE COSTS. EVEN THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS SAID REPEATEDLY THAT IN THIS BILL IN PARTICULAR, THE BAUCUS BILL, THE MOST RECENT VERSION OF A HEALTH CARE REFORM PROPOSAL HERE, IS $1.7 TRILLION COST OVER TEN YEARS WHEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED. AND THAT IF YOU ACTUALLY LOOK AT WHAT IT DOES FOR MOST PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY, THEY'RE GOING TO SEE THEIR HEALTH CARE COSTS NOT GO DOWN, BUT GO U UP. THE PREMIUMS ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO INCREASE. AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS MANY OF THE TAXES IMPOSED IN THE BILL TO HELP PAY FOR THE COST OF THE $1.7 TRILLION EXPANSION ARE GOING TO GET PASSED ON. SO THE PEOPLE WHO GET HURT BY THIS ARE HARD-WORKING AMERICANS WHO ARE EXPECTING THAT IF CONGRESS IS ACTUALLY REFORMING HEALTH CARE, THAT THAT WOULD MEAN THAT HEALTH CARE COSTS, THAT THE COSTS THAT PEOPLE PAY FOR PREMIUMS FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE COVERAGE WOULD ACTUALLY GO DOWN. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, UNDER QUESTIONS THAT WERE RAISED YESTERDAY BY SOME OF OUR COLLEAGUES, RESPONDED THAT DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR, THOSE ADDITIONAL, THOSE TAXES THAT WOULD BE IMPOSED TO PAY FOR THIS WOULD ACTUALLY BE PASSED ON AND YOU WOULD SEE HIGHER HEALTH CARE COSTS. THERE HASN'T BEEN ANYTHING IN THIS ENTIRE DEBATE YET OR ANY OF THE BILLS THAT HAVE BEEN PUT BEFORE VARIOUS COMMITTEES AND THAT EVENTUALLY WE ASSUME WOULD BE CONSIDERED ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES THAT HAVE ACTUALLY IMPACTED COSTS IN A WAY THAT THEY GO DOWN, THAT IT REDUCES THE OVERALL COSTS FOR PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY. FURTHERMORE, AND I'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS, AND THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE, WE HAD THIS DISCUSSION ON THE FLOOR YESTERDAY, IS THAT MANY AMERICANS, THOSE THAT I HEARD FROM IN MY STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DURING THE MONTH OF AUGUST AND IN ANY CONVERSATION THAT I HAVE OUT THERE, ARE VERY CONCERNED. AND THEY'RE CONCERNED REALLY ABOUT TWO ISSUES. ONE IS CONTROL. ONE IS COST. WHO IS GOING TO CONTROL THEIR HEALTH CARE? IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOING TO DO IT? IS IT A BUREAUCRAT IN WASHINGTON, D.C. ARE WE SEETHE MORE AND MORE, IN THIS CASE ONE-SIX OF OUR ECONOMY, MORE AND MORE CONTROL TO WASHINGTON, D.C. THE BAUCUS BILL, IF IT CONTAINS THE GOVERNMENT PLAN, STILL ASSUMES A HIGH LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT, GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION, GOVERNMENT WOULD DETERMINE WHICH HEALTH CARE PLANS WOULD HAVE TO APPROVE, WHICH ONES WOULD MEET THE STANDARDS THAT THE GOVERNMENT SET. AND SO YOU'VE GOT A HIGH LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION WITH THIS PLAN AS YOU HAVE HAD WITH ALL THE OTHER PLANS. BUT PERHAPS EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY -- AND THIS IS THE ISSUE THAT I THINK MOST AMERICANS ARE REALLY HOMING IN ON -- AND THAT IS THE COST. WHAT IS THE COST TO ME AS A TAXPAYER? IN THIS CASE $1.7 TRILLION OVER A TEN-YEAR PERIOD WHEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED. AND DOES IT REDUCE MY COST OF HEALTH CARE? SO I'M GOING TO HAVE -- THEY'RE GOING TO LOOK AT IT TWO DIFFERENT WAYS. ONE, WHAT MANY I GOING TO HAVE TO PAY IN THE FORM OF HIGHER TAXES TO FINANCE THIS? SECONDLY, HOW IS IT GOING TO IMPACT THE COST OF HEALTH CARE FOR ME IN TERMS OF THE PREMIUMS THAT I PAY? AND I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT BASED ON -- IT'S NOT WHAT WE'RE SAYING. IT'S WHAT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS DETERMINED. THAT ACTUALLY THE COST OF HEALTH CARE FOR A LOT OF AMERICANS UNR THIS PROPOSAL, THE BAUCUS PROPOSAL, IS GOING TO GO UP.

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  • 09:56:55 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    SENATOR THUNE, I SEE THE SENATOR FROM KANSAS IS HERE. I WONDER IF SENATOR…

    SENATOR THUNE, I SEE THE SENATOR FROM KANSAS IS HERE. I WONDER IF SENATOR BROWNBACK OF KANSAS OR YOU IN SOUTH DAKOTA HAVE BEEN HEARING FROM YOUR CONSTITUENTS ABOUT THE POSSIBILITY OF SHIFTING COSTS FROM WASHINGTON TO THE STATES. BECAUSE WE IN WASHINGTON SAY IT'S A GREAT IDEA TO EXPAND MEDICAID, AND THEN WE SHIFT SOME OF THE COST OF THAT TO THE STATES. STATE TAXES GO UP, OR STATE SERVICES GO DOWN. I WONDER IF YOU'VE HEARD ANYTHING FROM THE PEOPLE IN KANSAS ABOUT THAT, SENATOR BROWNBACK.

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  • 09:57:28 AM

    MR. BROWNBACK

    I CERTAINLY HAVE. AND I APPRECIATE THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE LEADING THIS…

    I CERTAINLY HAVE. AND I APPRECIATE THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE LEADING THIS DISCUSSION AND ALSO ASKING THAT QUESTION AS A FORMER GOVERNOR; HE'S DEALT WITH THESE ISSUES. HE KNOWS WHEN WASHINGTON DICTATES SOMETHING -- OR TOO OFTEN WASHINGTON WILL DANGLE A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY OUT HERE AND SAY WE WOULD LIKE FOR THE STATES TO DO THIS AND HERE IS A LITTLE MONEY TO GET IT STARTED AND THEN THREE YEARS IN THE PROGRAM, FIVE YEARS IN THE PROGRAM MONEY IS PULLED AWAY AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL AND THE STATE IS LEFT TRYING TO FUND THIS. IT'S ON TWO LEVELS THAT I GET IT AT THE STATE LEVEL. NUMBER ONE IS TRYING TO DRIVE SO MANY MORE PEOPLE INTO MEDICAID. AND THAT'S BY RAISING THE AMOUNT OF COVERAGE OF PEOPLE IN MEDICAID THAT IT THEN GETS A BIG PRICE TAG WITH IT AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL INITIALLY AND AT THE STATE LEVEL AS WELL. STATE BUDGETS ARE REALLY STRAPPED RIGHT NOW. I WAS JUST TALKING WITH SOME STATE LEGISLATORS YESTERDAY AND ARE LOOKING AT A MULTIPLE, HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS HOLE NEXT YEAR. THAT ALONE, WITHOUT ADDING ADDITIONAL MEDICAID REQUIREMENTS FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ON TOP OF THAT. AND THAT'S CLEARLY A HUGE PROBLEM FOR THEM. YOU'RE GOING TO ADD A COST AT A TIME WHEN THEY DON'T HAVE THE FUNDS. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, MUCH OF IT IS SAYING WE'RE GOING TO PAY FOR IT INITIALLY. THE PROPOSALS UNDER BAUCUS ARE TO PAY FOR MOST OF IT INITIALLY. BUT I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY QUESTION BUT THAT THEN OVER TIME THE STATES GOING TO HAVE TO ASSUME A BIGGER ROLE OF THAT, AND THAT'S GOING TO BE UP TO STATE RESPONSIBILITY.

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  • 09:58:59 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN OF VERMONT SAID ALL DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS AS…

    GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN OF VERMONT SAID ALL DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS AS WELL AS ALL REPUBLICAN GOVERNORS SAID DON'T SHIFT IT TO US. IF YOU WANT TO EXPAND MEDICAID FROM WASHINGTON, PAY FOR IT FROM WASHINGTON.

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  • 09:59:17 AM

    MR. BROWNBACK

    40% OF OUR PHYSICIANS IN KANSAS ARE SAYING THEY'RE NOT TAKING MORE…

    40% OF OUR PHYSICIANS IN KANSAS ARE SAYING THEY'RE NOT TAKING MORE MEDICAID PATIENTS. THAT'S 40% NOW. NOW YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT EXPANDING MEDICAID, THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN MEDICAID WHEN 40% OF YOUR DOCTORS ARE SAYING WE AREN'T TAKING THEM. YOU'RE SAYING WHY WON'T THE DOCTORS TAKE IT? IT'S NOT THAT THEY DON'T WANT TO HAVE MEDICAID PATIENTS, BUT IT'S THESE REIMBURSEMENT RATIOS THEY GET. LISTEN TO THESE NUMBERS FROM ME DPAC ARE SAYING MEDICAID PROVIDER REIMBURSEMENT RATES ARE FROM PRIVATE INSURANCE. 80% OF THAT IS MEDICAID. MEDICAID IS 72% OF MEDICARE. YOU'RE CUTTING IT EVEN BACK FURTHER TO THE POINT THAT PHYSICIANS ARE SAYING I JUST CAN'T AFFORD TO TAKE MORE --

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  • 10:00:06 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    IS THE LARGEST GOVERNMENT PROGRAM WE HAVE TODAY BIGGER THAN MEDICAID. IT…

    IS THE LARGEST GOVERNMENT PROGRAM WE HAVE TODAY BIGGER THAN MEDICAID. IT HAS LOW-INCOME AMERICANS IN EVERY STATE. THE BAUCUS PROPOSAL, I BELIEVE, PLANS TO ADD ABOUT 15 MORE LOW-INCOME AMERICANS TO THIS PLAN THAT 60% OF -- 40% OF DOCTORS WON'T SEE PATIENTS --

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  • 10:00:22 AM

    MR. BROWNBACK

    WON'T SEE THEM. NOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS DRIVING PEOPLE INTO A SYSTEM…

    WON'T SEE THEM. NOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING IS DRIVING PEOPLE INTO A SYSTEM THAT'S A VERY LOW REIMBURSEMENT SYSTEM, THAT PHYSICIANS ARE ALMOST HALF SAYING WE WON'T TAKE ANY MORE. SO MY CONCERN HERE IS THAT YOU'RE GOING TO DRIVE PEOPLE INTO A SYSTEM WHERE THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET HEALTH CARE, THAT THEY'RE NOT GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET HEALTH CARE AT ALL BECAUSE OF THESE REIMBURSEMENT RATES. BECAUSE OF THE REIMBURSEMENT RATES THAT THE PHYSICIANS ARE HAVING UNDER MEDICAID. SO I THINK THAT'S A REALLY DEAD LYNN PIECE OF THIS OVERALL PROPOSAL. IT IS THE COST ON THE STATE, AND THEN IT'S ALSO THAT YOU'RE DRIVING PEOPLE INTO AN AREA WHERE PROVIDERS ARE FLEEING AND HEADING OUT OF IT.

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  • 10:01:02 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    I WONDER, SENATOR THUNE -- I THINK WEAVE A COUPLE OF MINUTES LEFT AT THIS…

    I WONDER, SENATOR THUNE -- I THINK WEAVE A COUPLE OF MINUTES LEFT AT THIS POINT? WE HAVE FIVE MINUTES LEFT. WELL THEN, GOOD. WE'LL GO TO SENATOR THUNE AND THEN MAYBE LET SENATOR BROWNBACK WRAP UP 0 OUR TIME. MEDICARE CUTS -- I MEAN, THOSE ARE SCARY WORDS TO MOST AMERICANS. AND SOME PEOPLE SAY, WELL, YOU REPUBLICANS ARE JUST TRYING TO SCARE THE SENIORS OF AMERICA WHEN YOU SAY THE WORD "MEDICARE CUTS." ISN'T IT A FACT THAT THE BAUCUS PLAN WOULD CUT MED DARE BY ABOUT $500 MILLION AND USE IT FOR A DIFFERENT PROGRAM UNSTEAD OF SHORING UP THE MEDICARE PROGRAM?

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  • 10:01:38 AM

    MR. THUNE

    WE KNOW FOR FACT THAT THE MEDICARE TRUSTEES HAVE SAID THAT THE MEDICARE…

    WE KNOW FOR FACT THAT THE MEDICARE TRUSTEES HAVE SAID THAT THE MEDICARE PROGRAM IS DESTINED TO BE BANKRUPT IN THE YEAR 2017. SO MEDICARE SLR ON AN UNSUSTAINABLE PATH. IT NEED TO BE SHORED UP. WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT DOING IS GETTING SAVINGS, IF YOU WANT TO CALL THEM THAT -- OR CUTS, I WOULD SAY, OUT OF MEDICARE TO CREATE A WHOLE NEW ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM HERE IN WASHINGTON INSTEAD OF FIXING AND MAKING MORE SUSTAINABLE THE MEDICARE PROGRAM THAT, AS I SAID, IS DESTINED FOR BANKRUPTCY BY THE YEAR 2017. I THINK MOST SENIORS AND MOST PROVIDERS AROUND THE COUNTRY ARE GOING TO BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE IDEA OF HAVING THEIR CUTS TO THE MEDICARE PROGRAM -- $500 BILLION, AS THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE HAS MENTIONED -- GO TOWARD PAYING FOR THIS NEW ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM, WHICH AS I SAID EARLIER, OVER A TEN-YEAR PERIOD IS GOING TO COST $1.7 TRILLION. SO YOU'VE GOT -- I THINK NOT ONLY ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE, US A MENTIONED, A LOT OF -- AS YOU MENTIONED, A LOT OF PROVIDERS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT CUTS. I THINK YOU'LL HAVE AN AWFUL LOT OF SENIORS CONCERNED ABOUT HOW THEIR BENEFITS ARE GOING TO BE IMPACTED BY THIS PROPOSAL. I KNOW THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE'S GOVERNOR HAS CALLED SOME OF THESE MEDICAID EXPANSIONS THE MOTHER OF ALL UNFUNDED MANDATES. MY GOVERNOR OF SOUTH DAKOTA -- I HAVE HAD NUMEROUS CONVERSATIONS WITH HIM ABOUT THIS -- IT WOULD COST OUR STATE ABOUT $45 MILLION A YEAR, NEW REVENUES THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO RAISE, JUST TO MEET THE MATCHING REQUIREMENTS UNDER THIS EXPANSION OF MEDICAID. AND IN MY STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, THAT'S REAL MONEY. I KNOW THAT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A LOT OUT HERE IN WASHINGTON, D.C., BUT THAT REALLY ADDS UP. SO HE'S VERY CONCERNED, AS ARE ALL GOVERNORS, ABOUT THE IMPACTS, NOT JUST ON FEDERAL BUDGETS BUT ON STATE BUDGETS, AND OF COURSE, AS THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE AND THE SENATOR IN KANSAS HAVE POINTED OUT, MEDICARE AND I MIGHT ADD, I LOVE THE QUOTE THAT THE C.E.O. OF MAYO, WHICH THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE HAS MENTIONED, REQUEST, IF THE PUBLIC PLAN LOOKS LIKE MEDICARE, THEN THE PUBLIC WOULD GO BROKE." THAT'S THE PROBLEM THAT WE RUN INTO WHEN WE TRY TO BUILD UPON A FOUNDATION THAT IS ALREADY CRUMBLING. WE ARE AREA TALKING ABOUT ADDING A WHOLE NEW ENTITLEMENT. INSTEAD OF TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO PLOW SOME OF THE SAVINGS BACK INTO TO MEDICARE AND MAKE IT MORE SUSTAINABLE, WE'RE ALREADY BUILDING UPON A FOUNDATION THAT'S ALREADY CRUMBLING.

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  • 10:04:06 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    I WONDER, SENATOR BROWNBACK, IF YOU WANT TO CONCLUDE OUR --

  • 10:04:11 AM

    MR. BROWNBACK

    PUT IT IN KANSAS-TYPE SAVINGS, IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT TAKING SAVINGS FROM…

    PUT IT IN KANSAS-TYPE SAVINGS, IF YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT TAKING SAVINGS FROM MEDICARE TO START A WHOLE NEW ENTITLEMENT PROGRAM, THAT'S LIKE WRITING A BIG BLANK CHECK ON A PROGRAM TO BUY A NEW CAR. WHO WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT? WHEN YOU'RE SAYING THAT'S WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS LOOKING AT DOING IN THIS PROPOSAL THAT SENATOR BAUCUS HAS PUT FORWARD. MEDICARE IS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE. IT IS NOT FISCALLY SOWFNLTDZ YOU'RE GOING TO WRITE AN OVERDRAFTED CHECK ON THAT TO START A WHOLE NEW PROGRAM THAT YOU DON'T HAVE THE WHEREWITHAL TO DO, THAT MOST AMERICANS DON'T WANT TO SEE YOU DO BECAUSE THEY WANT TO SEE YOU FIX THE CURRENT PROGRAM AND GET IT ON A SUSTAINABLE BASIS. SO IT REALLY DOESN'T MAKE SENSE. IT'S OUT OF THE STREAM OF THOUGHT OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. WE REALLY OUGHT TO BACK UP, STOP, AND GO WITH THIS ON INCREMENTAL CHANGES TO GET COSTS DOWN AND MORE PEOPLE COVERED THAT DON'T DRIVE COSTS UP, THAT DON'T DO A BIG FEDERAL TAKEOVER OF THE SYSTEM.

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  • 10:05:11 AM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 10:06:03 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 10:06:08 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

    I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 10:13:06 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

    THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 10:13:07 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

  • 10:15:36 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 10:30:46 AM

    MR. REID

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 10:30:47 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 10:30:48 AM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE CALL OF THE QUORUM BE TERMINATED.

  • 10:30:52 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:30:54 AM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:31:00 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:31:02 AM

    MR. REID

    MADAM PRESIDENT, FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF ALL MEMBERS, WE'RE VERY CLOSE TO…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF ALL MEMBERS, WE'RE VERY CLOSE TO BEING ABLE TO WORK OUT AN AGREEMENT ON THE FINALIZING INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS BILL. THERE IS SOME LANGUAGE THAT WE'RE WORKING ON NOW. WE SHOULD HAVE A SERIES OF AMENDMENTS. THERE COULD BE AS MANY AS SEVEN OR EIGHT AMENDMENTS. WE'LL TRY TO DO THOSE IN A BLOCK OF TIME. WE HAVE 23 MEMBERS WHO ARE TRYING TO WORK OUT SOMETHING IN THE FINANCE COMMITTEE RELATED TO HEALTH CARE. WE'D LIKE TO HAVE THOSE VOTES IN A BLOCK OF TIME SOMETIME THIS AFTERNOON. WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE A CONSENT AGREEMENT THAT WILL BE APPROVED BY SENATOR McCONNELL AND ME IN THE NEAR FUTURE. NOTEI NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 10:31:55 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

  • 10:31:57 AM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:32:00 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:32:01 AM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:32:08 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 10:32:18 AM

    MR. REID

    THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 10:32:19 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 10:32:36 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 10:47:35 AM

    MR. BOND

    THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI.

  • 10:47:36 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI.

  • 10:47:37 AM

    MR. BOND

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH.

  • 10:47:41 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    YES, WE ARE.

  • 10:47:46 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WE ARE.

  • 10:47:47 AM

    MR. BOND

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO CALL FOR THE TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS OF…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO CALL FOR THE TESTIMONY BEFORE CONGRESS OF OUR TOP MILITARY COMMANDERS IN AFGHANISTAN, GENERAL STANLEY McCHRYSTAL AND GENERAL PETRAEUS. CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR DIRECTLY AND AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FROM THE GENERALS TO ENSURE THAT POLITICAL MOTIVATIONS IN WASHINGTON DO NOT OVERRIDE THE VITAL NEEDS OF OUR COMMANDERS AND OUR TROOPS ON THE GROUND. ORDINARILY I DON'T LIKE THE IDEA OF CALLING GENERALS AWAY FROM THEIR DUTIES IN THEATER, BUT, UNFORTUNATELY, IN THE OFTEN SURREAL WORLD OF WASHINGTON POLITICS, ALL OF THE HARD WORK BY OUR MILITARY AND INTELLIGENT PROFESSIONALS ON THE BATTLEFIELD IN AFGHANISTAN CAN BE UNDONE QUICKLY. UNFORTUNATELY THE LATEST VERBAL WAEFRG BY THE ADMINISTRATION AND SOME IN CONGRESS CAN DO THAT. LAST NOVEMBER WHEN I SENT MY REPORT "THE ROAD MAP TO SUCCESS" TO SOUTH ASIA TO THEN-PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA, I OUTLINED THE IMPORTANCE OF MESSAGING TO OUR OVERALL SUCCESS IN AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN. FOR TOO LONG THE UNITED STATES HAS FLAILED ABOUT WITH AN UNCOORDINATED COMMUNICATION PLAN. IN OTHER WORDS, WE'VE BEEN OFF MESSAGE. UNFORTUNATELY, THE ENEMY HAS CONTINUED TO HONE ITS OWN MESSAGE. RADICAL ISLAMIST TERRORISTS HAVE STAGED SUICIDE ATTACKS FOR MAXIMUM PUBLICITY, PROPAGANDIZING THEIR MESSAGE ON THE INTERNET AND TO CONVINCE THEIR FELLOW TERRORISTS AND ARMS THAT THEY WILL DEFEAT THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY. NEGATIVE AND INDECISIVE COMMENTS BY THE PRESIDENT BROADCAST WORLDWIDE HAVE NOW GIVEN THE ENEMY A BIG WIN IN THE PUBLIC INFORMATION BATTLE. ON CNN THE PRESIDENT QUESTIONED, ARE WE PURSUING THE RIGHT STRATEGY? ON NBC'S "MEET THE PRESS," THE PRESIDENT WAS EVEN MORE DISTURBING SIGNALING A COMPLETE LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN HIS EARLIER STRATEGY. THE PRESIDENT SAID -- QUOTE -- "IF AN EXPANDED COUNTERINSURGENCY STRATEGY IN AFGHANISTAN CONTRIBUTES TO THE GOAL OF DEFEATING AL QAEDA, THEN WE'LL MOVE FORWARD. BUT IF IT DOESN'T, THEN I'M NOT INTERESTED IN JUST BEING IN AFGHANISTAN FOR THE SAKE OF BEING IN AFGHANISTAN OR SAVING FACE OR SENDING A MESSAGE THAT AMERICA IS HERE FOR THE DURATION." COMMENTS LIKE THESE CALL INTO DOUBT AMERICA'S COMMITMENT TO AFGHANISTAN. THEY HAVE GIVEN HOPE TO THE TERRORISTS, HOPE THAT AMERICA'S RESOLVE IS NOT REAL AND THAT THEY ONLY NEED TO WAIT US OUT TO WIN THE WAR. THE PEOPLE OF AFGHANISTAN GET THE MESSAGE THAT WE'RE LEAVING SOON. THE IMPLIED MESSAGE IS THAT YOU BETTER WORK WITH THE TALIBAN AND AL QAEDA BECAUSE THEY'LL BE HERE AFTER AMERICA LEAVES. THIS IS A PUBLIC BONANZA IN DIPLOMACY FOR OUR TERRORIST ENEMIES. AT THE SAME TIME THESE COMMENTS HAVE DONE A GREAT DISSERVICE TO OUR MEN AND WOMEN SERVING IN HARM'S WAY. THESE HEROES NEED OUR COUNTRY'S UNWAVERING SUPPORT, NOT VACILLATION BECAUSE OF POLITICAL PRESSURES. PRESIDENT OBAMA'S RECENT COMMENTS PRESENT A STARK AND DANGEROUS CONTRAST TO HIS EARLIER RESOLVE, RESOLVE THAT I APPLAUDED ON THIS FLOOR AND PUBLICLY, PROUDLY SUPPORTED. WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA COMMISSIONED GENERAL McCHRYSTAL'S ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN, I BELIEVED THAT HE WAS GENUINELY INTERESTED IN RECEIVING THE GENERAL'S EXPERT ON-THE-GROUND INFORMED OPINION OF WHAT STRATEGIC AND TACTICAL CHANGES WOULD BE REQUIRED FOR SUCCESS. UNFORTUNATELY, IT NOW APPEARS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS DEVELOPED A SUDDEN CASE OF BUYER'S REMORSE. IT SEEMS INCREASINGLY CLEAR TO ME THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS INCLINED TO REJECT THE COUNTERINSURGENCY STRATEGY RECENTLY RECOMMENDED BY GENERAL McCHRYSTAL AND ENDORSED BY THE HEAD OF U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS AND ADMIRAL MIKE MULLEN. IN A BEWILDERING TWIST, THIS IS THE SAME COUNTERINSURGENCY STRATEGY THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF ENDORSED JUST THIS PAST MARCH. I'VE BEEN A STRONG AND VOCAL SUPPORTER OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S NEW STRATEGY IN AFGHANISTAN, SO I WAS PARTICULARLY DISAPPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT'S SUGGESTION THIS PAST SUNDAY THAT HE'S RECONSIDERING THE AMERICAN COMMITMENT TO THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. I'M ALSO DEEPLY DISTURBED BY A PRESS REPORT IN A DEFENDS SECRETARY GATES WILL DELAY SENDING GENERAL McCHRYSTAL'S TROOP REQUEST TO THE WHITE HOUSE BECAUSE THE WHITE HOUSE IS NOT READY TO RECEIVE IT. GIVEN THE PRESIDENT'S RESOLVE THIS SPRING, I'M SOMEWHAT PUZZLED BY THE STRANGE TREATMENT OF GENERAL McCHRYSTAL'S ASSESSMENT AND TROOP REQUEST. UNNECESSARY DELAY IS NOT OUR FRIEND IN THIS WAR. THE CLEAREST REASON FOR THIS DELAY SEEMS TO BE THAT THE PRESIDENT IS CONSIDERING NOT GRANTING GENERAL McCHRYSTAL'S REQUEST. INSTEAD WE ARE NOW HEARING THAT HE MAY INSTEAD PUSH FOR A MORE AGGRESSIVE COVERT WAR AGAINST AL QAEDA IN PAKISTAN. WE ALL WANT TO ELIMINATE THE AL QAEDA LEADERSHIP THAT PLOTTED AND PLANNED THE ATTACKS THAT CLAIMED MORE THAN 3,000 AMERICAN LIVES ON SEPTEMBER 11. AND DEPENDING ON THE DETAILS, MORE AGGRESSIVE ACTION IN PAKISTAN MAY BE A GOOD THING. BUT SUCH ACTION SHOULD BE IN ADDITION TO, NOT A SUBSTITUTE, FOR GIVING OUR TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN ALL THE RESOURCES AND SUPPORTING PERSONNEL THEY NEED TO SUCCEED WHILE DENYING AL QAEDA AND TALIBAN MILITANT SANCTUARY IN THE BORDER REGIONS OF PAKISTAN IS CRITICAL, A COUNTERTERRORISM ONLY APPROACH FOCUSING ON ONE PART OF THIS REGIONAL CONFLICT WILL ULTIMATE LY HELP THE WORLD'S MOST FEARED TERRORISTS. THIS KIND OF COUNTERTERRORISM STRATEGY ONLY APPROACH FAILED US IN IRAQ AND HAS FAILED US IN AFGHANISTAN FOR THE LAST SEVEN YEARS. I HAVE CONSISTENTLY CALLED FOR AND PRESIDENT OBAMA HAD PROMISED A COMPREHENSIVE COUNTERINSURGENCY STRATEGY DESIGNED TO MEET A SET OF CLEARLY DEFINED GOALS FOR THE AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN REGION. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS RIGHTLY CHARACTERIZED THE PROBLEM AS INVOLVING BOTH OF THESE TWO PROBLEMS. BUT RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A PLAN ONLY FOR ONE COUNTRY. I'M NOT SUGGESTING THAT IT IS GENERAL McCHRYSTAL'S JOB TO SET THE WIDER STRATEGY. AS DIRECTED BY THE PRESIDENT AND BY OUR NATO ALLIES, WHOM HE REPRESENTS AS COMMANDERS OF ISAP, THE GENERAL HAS LAID OUT A GOOD STRATEGY FOR SUCCESS IN AFGHANISTAN, AND THAT STRATEGY INCLUDES A REQUEST FOR MORE BOOTS ON THE GROUND. I UNDERSTAND THERE IS A LOT OF HAND WRINGING ON THE GROUND ON THE GROUND. THE POLITICAL COURAGE SHOWN BY THE WHITE HOUSE AND CONGRESS TWO YEARS AGO PROVED TO BE SUCCESSFUL. TODAY WE MUST MARSHAL THE SAME COURAGE AND GIVE GENERAL McCHRYSTAL WHAT HE NEEDS TO GET THE JOB DONE. AMID THE REPORTS OF WAVERING AND HAND WRINGING, AN IMPORTANT QUESTION COMES INTO MIND: WHAT'S CHANGED? DURING THE CAMPAIGN AND AFTER HIS INAUGURATION, THE PRESIDENT SPOKE REPEATEDLY ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF WINNING THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. FOR EXAMPLE, ON MARCH 27, 2009, WHEN HE ROLLED OUT HIS COMPREHENSIVE NEW APPROACH FOR AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN, THE PRESIDENT DECLARED -- AND I QUOTE -- "TO SUCCEED, WE AND OUR FRIENDS AND ALLIES MUST REVERSE THE TALIBAN'S GAINS AND PROMOTE A MORE CAPABLE AND ACCOUNTABLE AFGHAN GOVERNMENT. OUR TROOPS HAVE FOUGHT BRAVELY AGAINST A RUTHLESS ENEMY. OUR CIVILIANS HAVE MADE GREAT SACRIFICES. OUR ALLIES HAVE BORNE A HEAVY BURDEN. AFGHANS HAVE SUFFERED AND SACRIFICED FOR THEIR FUTURE. BUT FOR SIX YEARS AFGHANISTAN HAD BEEN DENIED THE RESOURCES THAT IT DEMANDS BECAUSE OF THE WAR IN IRAQ. NOW WE MUST MAKE A COMMITMENT THAT CAN ACCOMPLISH OUR GOALS." I WAS HEARTENED BY THESE WORDS. I AGREED WITH THE PRESIDENT ON THE NEED FOR A FULLY-RESOURCED COUNTERINSURGENCY CAMPAIGN AND A SOLID COMMITMENT TO ENSURE THE SECURITY OF THE AFGHAN PEOPLE AND OUR OWN VITAL INTERESTS. I APPLAUDED HIS RECOGNITION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF WINNING THIS WAR WHEN HE TOLD OUR VETERANS, THE V.F.W., THIS PAST AUGUST -- QUOTE -- "THOSE WHO ATTACKED AMERICA ON 9/11 ARE PLOTTING TO DO SO AGAIN. IF LEFT UNCHECKED, IF TALIBAN INSURGENCY WILL MEAN AN EVEN LARGER SAFE HAVEN FROM WHICH AL QAEDA WOULD PLOT TO KILL MORE AMERICANS." SO THIS IS NOT ONLY A WAR WORTH FIGHTING. THIS IS FUNDAMENTAL TO THE DEFENSE OF OUR PEOPLE." CLOSE QUOTE. CLOSE QUOTE. OUR TROOPS IN THE FIELD, MADAM PRESIDENT, HAVE NOW BEEN WAITING OVER SIX MONTHS FOR THE PRESIDENT TO FOLLOW THROUGH ON HIS PROMISES. AS GENERAL McCHRYSTAL'S RECENTLY LEAKED ASSESSMENT POINTS OUT, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE AND WE CANNOT AFFORD MORE STALLING BY THE ADMINISTRATION ON THIS VITAL NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE. THE GENERAL SAID THE NEXT 9 TO 12 MONTHS ARE CRITICAL, AND THAT'S WHY WE NEED A DECISION NOW. I CALL ON THE PRESIDENT TO HEED HIS OWN WORDS FROM THIS PAST WEEKEND. LET'S IGNORE THE POLITICS OF THE MOMENT AND FINISH THE JOB IN AFGHANISTAN. I RECOGNIZE THAT WE HAVE NOT YET SEEN ANY OFFICIAL NUMBERS ASSOCIATED WITH GENERAL McCHRYSTAL'S TROOP REQUEST, BUT I'M VERY ENCOURAGED BY THE GENERAL'S EMPHASIS OF PUTTING MORE OF AN AFGHAN FACE ON OPERATIONS. I BELIEVE OUR ULTIMATE SUCCESS DEFENDS ON OUR ABILITY TO HAND RESPONSIBILITY FOR SECURITY OVER TO AFGHANS. I WAS ALSO GRATIFIED TO SEE THE REPORT'S STRONG EMPHASIS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF SMART POWER TO ACHIEVING SUCCESS. WHILE THE ASSESSMENT DOES NOT ACTUALLY USE THE TERM, THE CONCEPT IS WOVEN INTO THE CORE OF THE REPORT. GENERAL McCHRYSTAL AND OTHERS HAVE BEEN CLEAR THAT TRADITIONAL KINETIC MILITARY EFFORTS ALONE WILL NOT ACHIEVE THE SUCCESS WE NEED. SUCCESS WILL BE ATTAINABLE ONLY IF WE MAXIMIZE THE ABILITY OF NONMILITARY AGENCY OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT TO WORK WITH AFGHAN INSTITUTIONS TO ACHIEVE STABILITY, RECONSTRUCTION IN THE RULE OF LAW. AS I'VE SAID REPEATEDLY ON THE FLOOR, THE EFFORTS BY THE NATIONAL GUARD LED BY MY OWN MISSOURI NATIONAL GUARD TO BRING AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS, FULL-TIME FARMERS IN AGRICULTURE WHO ALSO SERVE AS TRAINED MILITARY SOLDIERS, WHO HAVE GONE INTO NAGANHAR PROVINCE AND IN ONE YEAR TRANSFORMED THE AGRICULTURE OF AFGHANISTAN SO THEY COULD MAKE A GREATER PROFIT FROM RAISING LEGITIMATE CROPS AND TAKING AFGHANISTAN'S NAGANHAH PROVINCE FROM THE NUMBER-TWO POP HAD I-PRODUCING PROVINCE -- POPPY PRODUCING PROVINCE IN THE NATION DOWN TO ALMOST ZERO. SIX MORE NATIONAL GUARDS FROM DIFFERENT STATES ARE THERE NOW. MORE ARE COMING. TWO WEEKS AGO I CHALLENGED ALL OF THE NATION'S NATIONAL GUARD, THEIR COMMANDERS AT THEIR MEETING IN NASHVILLE TO COMMIT TO SEND A NATIONAL GUARD UNIT FROM EVERY STATE TO AN APPROPRIATE PROVINCE WHERE THEY COULD HELP AND THEY COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THAT'S PART OF SMART POWER. THEY NEED TO BRING THE ECONOMIC RESOURCES AND THE STRUCTURES AND THE INFORMATION, THE EXPERIENCE WE HAVE PROTECTED BY SOLDIERS AND AIRMEN OF THE NATIONAL GUARD WHO CAN DEFEND THEMSELVES AND THOSE THEY ARE WORKING WITH. THAT'S SMART POWER. IN THE McCHRYSTAL REPORT, THE AFGHAN DEFENSE MINISTER REJECTED THE POPULAR MYTH THAT AFGHANISTAN'S A GRAVEYARD OF KPWAOEURS AND WE'RE -- EMPIRES AND WE'RE DESTINED TO FAIL THEM. I COULDN'T AGREE MORE. AS GENERAL McCHRYSTAL CONFIRMED IN HIS REPORT, WHILE THE SITUATION IS SERIOUS, SUCCESS IS STILL ACHIEVABLE. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND CONGRESS MUST EACH DO OUR OWN PART TO GIVE OUR TROOPS THE RESOURCES AND TIME THEY NEED TO MAKE THAT SUCCESS A REALITY. LET'S NOT SNATCH DEFEAT FROM THE JAWS OF VICTORY IN AFGHANISTAN JUST BECAUSE A FEW PUNDITS ARE PEDDLING POLITICAL PESSIMISM IN WASHINGTON. ALL THE EXPERTS, INCLUDING GENERAL McCHRYSTAL, AGREE WE NEED A PROPERLY RESOURCED COUNTERINSURGENCY STRATEGY, AND WE NEED IT NOW T.'S TIME TO LISTEN TO OUR COMMANDERS ON THE GROUND, NOT THE EVER-CHANGING POLITICAL WHIMS WEUS -- WINDS WHISPERING DEFEAT IN WASHINGTON. MADAM PRESIDENT, I THANK THE CHAIR. I YIELD THE FLOOR. I SUGGEST AN ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 11:00:13 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 11:00:39 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 12:00:14 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 12:00:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 12:00:17 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 12:00:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 12:00:20 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 12:00:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 12:00:35 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I YIELD THE FLOOR, AND I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 12:00:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 12:03:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 12:03:45 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 12:03:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 12:03:50 PM

    MR. REID

    FIRST OF ALL, MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE A CONSENT AGREEMENT HERE THAT'S TAKEN…

    FIRST OF ALL, MR. PRESIDENT, WE HAVE A CONSENT AGREEMENT HERE THAT'S TAKEN A LOT OF WORK. I REALLY APPRECIATE THE WORK OF THE TWO MANAGERS, SENATOR FEINSTEIN AND SENATOR ALEXANDER. IT'S NOT EASY BUT THIS IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION, AND I THINK IT'S GOOD FOR THE BODY. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT -- AND I -- I HEARD MY FRIEND -- I'LL BE REAL QUICK. I KNOW WE'RE IN A HURRY, COMMENTING A LITTLE BIT TODAY ON THE DINNER WE HAD LAST NIGHT WITH HENRY CLAY. I THINK THAT WAS SUCH A TIMELY FORTUITOUS EVENT THAT WE HAD WHERE THE SENATORS GOT TOGETHER TO IN EFFECT CUT THE RIBBON ON A PICTURE OUT HERE. 147 YEARS OLD. I DIDN'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT HENRY CLAY OTHER THAN HE WAS A FAMOUS MAN, BUT A GREAT COMPROMISER. HE SAID EVERYTHING LEGISLATIVELY YOU NEED TO DEVELOP A CONSENSUS. LEGISLATION IS HARD TO COMPROMISE. THIS IS A SMALL EXAMPLE. IT'S NOT THE HENRY CLAY TYPE OF STUFF, BUT IT'S GOOD STUFF. AND I APPRECIATE THE TWO MANAGERS FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HENRY CLAY AND WORKING THIS OUT. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT FOLLOWING -- THE FOLLOWING ONLY BE FIRST-DEGREE AMENDMENTS AND THE ENSIGN MOTION TO RECOMMIT OTHER THAN THE PENDING AMENDMENTS REMAIN IN ORDER TO H.R. 2996, THAT NO SECOND-DEGREE AMENDMENTS BE IN ORDER TO ANY OF THE LISTED AMENDMENTS PRIOR TO A VOTE IN RELATION TO THE AMENDMENT EXCEPT AS NOTED WITH RESPECT TO THE HE COBURN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2511, THAT A MANAGERS AMENDMENT BE IN ORDER CLEARED BY THE MANAGERS AND LEADERS. AND IF THE AMENDMENT IS OFFERED, THEN THE VOTE ON ADOPTION TO THE AMENDMENT OCCUR IMMEDIATELY AND IF IT IS AGREED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE. THE AMENDMENTS CARPER NUMBER 2456, PENDING TO BE WITH BRANAGH ONCE THE MANAGERS AMENDMENT IS AGREED, COLLINS 2498, ISAKSON AS MODIFIED PENDING, ENSIGN MOTION TO RECOMMIT, COBURN AMENDMENTS 2463, 2480, 2466, 2483, 2468, AND 2511 WITH FEINSTEIN SECOND-DEGREE AMENDMENT IN ORDER TO 2511. FEINGOLD 2522 TO BE WITHDRAWN ON ADOPTION OF THE MANAGERS AMENDMENT, REID AMENDMENT 2493 WITH MODIFICATION, SENATORS MURKOWSKI AND THUNE BE PROVIDED UP TO 25 MINUTES AND SENATOR BOXER UP TO 30 MINUTES. ALL AMENDMENTS AND MOTION TO RECOMMIT, SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT BE AGREED TO, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID ON THE TABLE. THAT THE BILL AS AMENDED BE READ A THIRD TIME AND THE SENATE VOTE ON PASSAGE OF THE BILL -- PASSAGE OF THE BILL. THAT THE SENATE REQUEST A CONFERENCE WITH THE HOUSE AND THAT THE CHAIR BE AUTHORIZED TO APPOINT CONFEREES ON THE SENATE. THAT ENWAY AND BOND BE APPOINTED CONFEREES, THAT IT BE IN ORDER FOR ANOTHER SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT TO BE OFFERED MINUS THE OFFENDING PROVISIONS, PRIOR TO THE POINT OF ORDER. AND NO FURTHER AMENDMENTS BE IN ORDER, THAT THE NEW SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT BE AGREED AND THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE BE CONSIDERED MADE AND LAID ON THE TABLE. THANTD REMAINING PROVISIONS BE ON THE ADOPTION OF THE SUBSTITUTE AMENDMENT REMAIN IN EFFECT. IF THERE IS A SEQUENCE OF VOTES, AFTER THE FIRST VOTE, THE SUCCEEDING VOTES BE LIMITED TO 10 MINUTES AND ONCE THIS AGREEMENT IS ENTERED -- THE CLOTURE MOTIONS BE WITHDRAWN.

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  • 12:07:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. MORNING…

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. MORNING BUSINESS IS CLOSED UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER. THE SENATE WILL RESUME THE CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 2996, WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

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  • 12:07:58 PM

    THE CLERK

    H.R. 2996, AN ACT MAKING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR.

  • 12:08:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 12:08:04 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

  • 12:08:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 12:08:07 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, AS PART OF THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO…

    MR. PRESIDENT, AS PART OF THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT ENTERED INTO THIS MORNING BY THE LEADER, A MANAGERS' PACKAGE OF AMENDMENTS TO THE INTERIOR BILL IS IN ORDER. I'D LIKE TO PROCEED TO THAT BUSINESS NOW. BECAUSE OF YESTERDAY'S FILING DEADLINE FOR ALL FIRST-DEGREE AMENDMENTS, EACH OF THESE AMENDMENTS, WHICH CONSTITUTE THE MANAGERS' PACKAGE, HAVE BEEN FILED AT THE DESK. THEREFORE, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE AND THAT THE FOLLOWING AMENDMENTS BE CALLED UPON AND CONSIDERED EN BLOC AND WHERE NOTIFICATIONS ARE NOTED, THAT THOSE MODIFICATIONS BE AGREED TO: BINGAMAN AMENDMENT 2496, RISCH AMENDMENT 2501, CARPER AMENDMENT NUMBER 2505, ROBERTS AMENDMENT NUMBER 2509, FEINSTEIN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2518, FEINSTEIN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2519, FEINGOLD AMENDMENT NUMBER 2522, WHITEHOUSE AMENDMENT NUMBER 2534, AS MODIFIED, BINGAMAN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2491, AS MODIFIED, SCHUMER-DURBIN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2459, TESTER CRAPO AMENDMENT NUMBER 2507, AND BINGAMAN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2493 AS MODIFIED. LET ME MAKE ONE NOTE WITH RESPECT TO THE CARPER AMENDMENT, NUMBER 2505, THE AMENDMENT BEING INCLUDED IN THE MANAGERS' PACKAGE IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE PENDING CARPER AMENDMENT NUMBER 2456. BUT THE VERSION WE'RE ADOPTING NOW IS THE VERSION THAT'S BEEN AGREED TO BY BOTH SIDES. AT THE PROPER TIME, THEN, I BELIEVE WE WILL BE IN A POSITION TO WITHDRAW THE PENDING CARPER AMENDMENT NUMBER 2456. IN ORDER TO COMPLY WITH SENATE RULE 44, WHICH REQUIRES MEMBERS TO CERTIFY THAT THEY HAVE NO FINANCIAL INTEREST IN CONGRESSIONALLY DESIGNATED SPENDING ITEMS, I ALSO ASK CONSENT TO HAVE PLACED IN THE RECORD FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE LETTERS ASSOCIATED WITH AMENDS 2501 AND -- AMENDMENTS 2501 AND 251-A.

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  • 12:10:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: -- 2518.

  • 12:10:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 12:10:35 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, ALL OF THESE AMENDMENTS HAVE BEEN CLEARED ON BOTH SIDES. I…

    MR. PRESIDENT, ALL OF THESE AMENDMENTS HAVE BEEN CLEARED ON BOTH SIDES. I BELIEVE THAT WE'RE IN POSITION TO VOICE VOTE THE PACKAGE. BEFORE VOTING, THOUGH, I WOULD YIELD TO THE DISTINGUISHED RANKING MEMBER FOR ANY COMMENTS HE MAY WISH TO MAKE.

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  • 12:10:54 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, I CONCUR WITH THE REMARKS OF THE DISTINGUISHED…

    PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, I CONCUR WITH THE REMARKS OF THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE. I BELIEVE THEY'RE GOOD AMENDMENTS, WE'RE ABLE TO CLEAR THEM WITH THE RELEVANT MEMBERS AND THEIR STAFF. I SUPPORT THEIR ADOPTION. BEYOND THAT, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY TO THE CHAIRMAN, I APPRECIATE HER WILLINGNESS TO ACCOMMODATE THE AMENDMENTS AND THE POSITIONS OF A LARGE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO HAVE IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT WE'LL HAVE A CHANCE TO VOTE ON AND TO INCLUDE US IN THE PROCESS. I THANK HER FOR THAT. AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO THE REST OF THE DAY AND TO CONCLUDING -- CONCLUDING WORK ON THE BILL.

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  • 12:11:30 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    A VOICE VOTE, MR. CHAIRMAN.

  • 12:11:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE MANAGERS' PACKAGE. ALL IN FAVOR SAY AYE. THOSE…

    THE QUESTION IS ON THE MANAGERS' PACKAGE. ALL IN FAVOR SAY AYE. THOSE OPPOSED, NAY. THE AYES APPEAR TO HAVE IT. THE MANAGE -- THE AYES DO HAVE IT. THE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, AMENDMENT 2456 AND 2522 ARE WITHDRAWN.

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  • 12:12:13 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    PRESIDENT, I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 12:12:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 12:12:34 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 12:17:25 PM

    MR. REID

    THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 12:17:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THE SENATE IN A QUORUM CALL?

  • 12:17:28 PM

    MR. REID

    IT IS.

  • 12:17:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THANK, MR. PRESIDENT. I ASK CONSENT THAT IT BE TERMINATED.

  • 12:17:30 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT. I ASK CONSENT THAT IT BE TERMINATED.

  • 12:17:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 12:17:40 PM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDENT?

  • 12:17:42 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    AMENDMENT 2522 WAS NOT WITHDRAWN. IT WAS PART OF THE MANAGERS' PACKAGE.…

    AMENDMENT 2522 WAS NOT WITHDRAWN. IT WAS PART OF THE MANAGERS' PACKAGE. THE MAJORITY LEADER.

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  • 12:17:53 PM

    MR. REID

  • 12:27:39 PM

    MR. DURBIN

  • 12:27:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 12:27:42 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA.

  • 12:39:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA.

  • 12:39:22 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    MR. PRESIDENT, I'M NOT SO SURE THAT GIVEN WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE COUNTRY…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I'M NOT SO SURE THAT GIVEN WHAT IS HAPPENING IN THE COUNTRY THESE DAYS, THAT IT WOULD BE VERY EASY TO ENACT A MEDICARE PROGRAM HAD WE NOT DONE SO PREVIOUSLY. THE MEDICARE PROGRAM WAS ENACTED AT A TIME WHEN ONE HALF THE SENIOR CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY HAD NO HEALTH CARE, NONE. AND THAT'S NOT SURPRISING BECAUSE THE FACT IS INSURANCE COMPANIES DON'T GO RUNNING AFTER OLD PEOPLE TO SEE, CAN I PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE TO YOU? I KNOW THAT YOU'RE IN YOUR 70'S OR 80'S, AND I KNOW YOU'RE PROBABLY GOING TO NEED MAXIMUM HEALTH CARE FOR VARIOUS THINGS IN THE YEARS AHEAD AND WE'D LIKE TO PROVIDE THAT COVERAGE. THAT WASN'T HAPPENING IN THE 1950'S AND BEFORE. AND SO IN THE EARLY 1960'S AND MID 1960'S, THIS COUNTRY AND THE CONGRESS SAID PEOPLE IN THEIR ELDERLY YEARS SHOULDN'T HAVE TO LAY THEIR HEAD ON THEIR PILLOW AT NIGHT AND HAVE TO WONDER IF TOMORROW MIGHT BE THE DAY WHEN THEY BECOME ILL, HAVE A DISEASE, HAVE AN ACCIDENT AND GO TO A HOSPITAL WITH NO HEALTH INSURANCE TO COVER THEIR NEEDS. THIS CONGRESS DID SOMETHING VERY, VERY IMPORTANT. AND IT'S USUALLY THE CASE WHEN IT CREATED MEDICARE. THERE WERE PLENTY OF PEOPLE SAYING, DON'T DO IT. IT WON'T WORK. IT'S SOCIALISM. IT SHOULDN'T HAPPEN. BUT IT DID HAPPEN WITH BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, THERE IS A HEALTH CARE BILL WRITTEN IN THE FINANCE COMMITTEE. I'M NOT PART OF A GANG OF TWO OR A GANG OF SIX OR A GANG OF EIGHT. I'M PART OF A GANG OF 99 SENATORS AS OF TODAY WHO WILL CONSIDER WHAT WHATEVER IT IS THEY WILL COME OUT. WITH I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT IS I'D LIKE TO SEE ALL OF IT BEFORE I MAKE A JUDGMENT ABOUT ITS MERITS. I WOULD SAY THIS: EVEN AS IT IS BEING WRITTEN, WE HEAR OF EFFORTS TO COLD CALL INTO HOMES SENIOR CITIZENS AND TELL TEM THAT -- TELL THEM THAT WHAT IS HAPPENING IS AN ATTEMPT TO INJURE AND TAKE AWAY SERVICES FOR MEDICARE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS. IT IS NOT TRUE. IT JUST IS FALSE. IT'S HARD TO MAKE THE CASE, IT SEEMS TO ME BUT SOME ARE TRYING, THAT IF YOU TRY TO REDUCE THE COST OF MEDICARE BY GETTING RID OF WASTE AND FRAUD AND ABUSE, THAT SOMEHOW THAT RESULTS IN LESS HEALTH CARE SERVICES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS. AND, YET, THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IS BEING REPRESENTED BY SOME. NOW, I'VE WATCHED VERY CAREFULLY, AND HAVE BEEN VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE ISSUE OF WASTE AND FRAUD AND ABUSE IN MEDICARE. AND I WANT TO SAY THAT ONE OF THE LESSONS OF THE ISSUE OF HIGH FINANCE AND THE COLLAPSE ON WALL STREET AND ELSEWHERE THAT STEERED THIS COUNTRY INTO THE DITCH IN THE LAST DECADE WAS THAT WHEN REGULATORS DON'T REGULATE, WHEN THEY SAY: DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. WE WON'T LOOK. THIS IS A FREE-MARKET SYSTEM. CATASTROPHE RESULTS. IT'S NOT JUST IN FINANCIAL SERVICES. IT'S ALSO IN HEALTH CARE. WE HAD PEOPLE THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING IN MEDICARE. THERE SHOULD BE AGGRESSIVE OVERSIGHT, AGGRESSIVE REGULATION AND PROSECUTION WITH RESPECT TO THOSE WHO ARE PROVIDING MEDICARE BENEFITS TO SENIOR CITIZENS. THERE IS WAY TOO MUCH FRAUD. AND IF ANYTHING COMES FROM THIS HEALTH CARE EFFORT, MY HOPE IS AND MY UNDERSTANDING FROM WHAT IS BEING WRITTEN AT LEAST ON THE PIECE WITH RESPECT TO ENFORCEMENT IS THAT IT'S GOING TO BE A NEW DAY. THERE'S GOING TO BE A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN WITH RESPECT TO BE DETERMINING YOU'RE GOING TO BE WATCHED. YOU WANT TO DECIDE UP AS A PROVIDER TO GET THE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS, YOU BETTER PROVIDE THE SERVICE. ALL TOO OFTEN THAT'S NOT BEEN THE CASE. WHEN WE DECIDE WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO CUT WASTE, FRAUD AND ABUSE IN A SERIOUS AND IN A RELENTLESS AND AGGRESSIVE WAY, WE HAVE PEOPLE STAND UP AND SAY, WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO IS INJURE SENIOR CITIZENS. IT IS NOT GOING TO INJURE SENIOR CITIZENS AND THE DELIVERY OF HEALTH CARE AND THOSE ENTITLED TO IT IF WE TAKE ON THE WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE AND PUT THE CROOKS IN JAIL. THAT'S NOT GOING TO HURT SENIOR CITIZENS. THAT'S GOING TO HELP AMERICA'S ELDERLY. NOW, LET ME JUST DESCRIBE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. AT A TIME WHEN THERE'S TOO LITTLE EFFORT BY REGULATORS, WHO WE PAY TO REGULATE, TO TAKE A LOOK AND WATCH WHAT'S HAPPENING AT A TIME WHEN THERE'S TOO LITTLE OF THAT, IN 2007, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RANDOMLY VISITED 1,600 DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT SLIES THAT -- SUPPLIERS THAT BILL MEDICARE. THEY FOUND THAT ONE-THIRD OF THE BUSINESSES DIDN'T EXIST. THINK OF THAT. THEY RANDOMLY VISITED 1,600 DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS THAT PROVIDE SERVICES TO BENEFICIARY, WE ARE TOLD, THEY'RE BILLING THE GOVERNMENT FOR IT, AND THEY FOUND OUT THAT ONE-THIRD OF THEM DIDN'T EXIST. THEY WERE MAILBOXES TO COLLECT FRAUDULENT CHECKS. THEY BILLED MEDICARE WITH A COMBINED $237 MILLION IN 2007. PUTTING THOSE PEOPLE IN JAIL DOESN'T INJURE MEDICARE, IT SLENGTHENNING -- STRENGTHENS IT. IT DOESN'T HURT SENIOR CITIZENS, IT STRENGTHENS THEIR UNDERSTANDING THAT MEDICARE IS HELPING, NOT DEFRAUDING PEOPLE. A MAN NAMED MR. PRESIDENT GARCIA WAS SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON -- NAMED MR. GARCIA WAS SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON. SO WE CAN GIVE HIM CREDIT FOR WHAT HE DID. EIGHT YEARS IN PRISON AFTER HIS MEDICAL EQUIPMENT COMPANY MADE MADE $7 MILLION IN FALSE -- -- $10.7 MILLION IN FALSE MEDICARE CLAIMS. MR. THOMAS FIORI, INDICTED WITH 10 OTHERS ON RACKETEER CHARGE, A SOUTH FLORIDA IDENTITY THREAT -- EXCUSE ME -- IDENTITY THEFT AND MEDICARE FRAUD AND MUCH, MUCH MORE. MR. PRESIDENT, APRIL OF THIS YEAR, JUST MONTHS AGO, OFFICIALS IN OREGON WRAPPED UP NEARLY -- I SHOULD SAY A LENGTHY FRAUD CASE AND, AGAIN, JUST TO GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE, THIS IS A MAN NAMED RICHARD VANDAS RCHURE. HIS WIFE AND SON CLAIM TO BE FULL-TIME CARE PROVIDERS. HIS MOTHER CLAIMED TO BE WEEKEND BACKUP ASSISTANT. THEY PROVIDED PAYMENTS FOR HOME HEALTH WHILE HE RECEIVED DISABILITY BENEFITS. HIS MOTHER -- THIS PERSON'S MOTHER WAS EMPLOYED AS A FRAUD INVESTIGATOR FOR A STATE AGENCY IN THE STATE OF OREGON AT THE TIME. HERE IS HIS WIFE, JUST TO MAKE SURE SHE GETS PROPER CREDIT. AND YOU DON'T WANT TO LEAVE OUT THE KID BECAUSE THEY WERE ALL INVOLVED IN THIS TRYING TO FLEECE THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS AND DEFLAWED THE AMERICAN GOVERNMENT AND INJURE THE MEDICARE PROGRAM. NOW, MY POINT IS VERY SIMPLE. MY POINT IS THAT WHEN WE TAKE ON WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE -- AND THERE IS A NEW DAY; THIS IS NOT PART OF THE DECADE, THE LOST DECADE IN WHICH REGULATORS WERE SAYING, WE'RE NOT GOING TO SPEND MUCH TIME LOOKING AT ALL OF THESE THINGS -- AND WE HAD A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE FLEECING THIS PROGRAM. WHEN WE DO THAT, WHEN WE CUT DOWN ON THE WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE, AND REDUCE THE COST OF MEDICARE, IT IS NOT REDUCING MEDICARE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS. I WAS IN A LITTLE ICE CREAM SHOP ABOUT SIX WEEKS AGO IN A LITTLE TOWN IN NORTH DAKOTA, AND TWO ELDERLY WOMEN CAME UP TO ME AND SAID, "BYRON, PLEASE DON'T LET THEM TAKE MY MEDICARE BENEFITS AWAY. I UNDERSTAND THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO TRY TO DO." I SAID, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO DO THAT. WHO TOLD YOU THAT? THEY SAID, "WE GOT TELEPHONE CALLS FROM SOME ORGANIZATION THAT SAID YOU GOT TO BE AWARE THEY'RE TRYING TO TAKE YOUR MEDICARE PROGRAM AWAY." I SAID, THAT'S NOT TRUE. THEY SAID, "WELL, WE GOT THE TELEPHONE CALLS." I SAID YOU MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN THE CALLS, BUT IT IS NOT TRIEWVMENT IT IS FALSE. BUT WHAT'S HAPPENING AROUND HERE -- I DON'T KNOW AGAIN WHAT THE HEALTH CARE PLAN WILL BE THAT COMES OUT OF THE FINANCE COMMITTEE. BUT I'LL GUARANTEE YOU THIS: YOU WHATEVER IT IS, IT WOULD NOT HAVE A GHOST OF A CHANCE OF PASSING THIS CHAMBER IF IT BEGINS TO CUT MEDICARE PROGRAMS FOR ELDERLY, FOR THE ELDERLY IN THIS COUNTRY. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT PROGRAM. WE'RE THE ONES THAT CREATED MEDICARE. WE BELIEVE IT'S IMPORTANT. THOSE NAYSAYERS, THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE ALWAYS OPPOSED EVERYTHING FOR THE FIRST TIME -- AND THERE ARE PLENTY OF THEM, BY THE WAY -- THEY'RE THE ONES THAT ARE SAYING, WELL, IF YOU CUT WASTE, FRAUD, OF AN ABUSE, YOU'RE GOING TO CUT "X" DOLLARS. THRUFER A CUTTING BILLIONS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS. THAT IS FALSE. THERE ARE GROUPS MAKING COLD CALLS INTO HOMES TRYING TO SCARE SENIOR CITIZENS. THE FACT IS, MED COMPARE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PROGRAM. -- THE FACT IS, MEDICARE IS A VERY IMPORTANT PROGRAM. IT HAS ENRICHED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS IN THIS COUNTRY. DO WE WANT TO GO BACK TO A TIME WHEN HALF OF THE SENIOR CITIZENS REACH THE POINT IN THEIR LIVES WHERE THEY WERE FINISHED WITH THEIR WORK LIFE, DIDN'T HAVE MUCH IN ASSETS, AND THEN SAT AROUND THINKING, OH, MY GOD, I HOPE I DON'T GET SICK BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE HEALTH CARE AND I CAN'T FIND AN INSURANCE COMPANY THAT WANTS TO COVER ME BECAUSE THEY KNOW WHAT I KNOW, THAT WHEN YOU GET OLDER SOMETIMES YOU HAVE THOSE HEALTH ISSUES THAT ARE MOST ACUTE? MR. PRESIDENT, THIS NORTH DAKOTA I MET RECENTLY A 111-YEAR-OLD WOMAN NAMED MARY, 111 YEARS OLD. SHE'S ACUTELY AWARE OF EVERYTHING, CAN VISIT WITH YOU ABOUT EVERYTHING. SHE DESCRIBED TO ME WHEN THE BARN BURNED DOWN IN 1904 WHEN SHE WAS SIX YEARS OLD. THAT IS WONDERFUL, REMARKABLE WOMAN, ONE OF THE OLDEST -- CERTAINLY THE OLDEST PERSON IN MY STATE. I ASSUME ONE OF THE OLDEST PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRY. BUT THINK OF WHAT SHE HAS EXPERIENCED IN 111 YEARS. UNBELIEVABLE THINGS. THE AUTOMOBILE, THE AIRPLANE, WALKING ON THE MOON, YOU NAME T BUT THEN THINK OF THIS: IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL OF THIS, AFTER SHE WAS WELL INTO HER 60'S, MEDICARE WAS PROVIDED TO SAY TO AMERICA'S SENIOR CITIZENS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE FRIGHTENED ANYMORE. WE'RE GOING TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE IN YOUR OLDER YEARS. AND NOW 99% OF THE SENIOR CITIZENS IN THIS COUNTRY HAVE HEALTH CARE. THEY ARE OUR PARENTS, OUR GRANDPARENTS, THOSE WHO RAISED US, THOSE WHO LOVED US, THOSE WHO CARED ABOUT US. AND THIS COUNTRY THEN PROVIDED A PROGRAM CALLED MEDICARE, WHICH SAID, YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AFRAID IN YOUR OLDER YEARS. YOU'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET HEALTH CARE. AND THAT'S WHAT MEDICARE IS ABOUT. IS IT PERFECT? NO, IT IS NOT PERFECT. IS THERE WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE? YES, THERE IS, AND WE ARE DETERMINED TO SHUT IT DOWN. BUT IT WON'T BE SHUT DOWN BY REGULATORS THAT ARE WOEFULLY BLIND -- WHICH WE'VE SEEN IN RECENT YEARS. IT'LL BE SHUT DOWN WITH THE RIGHT KINDS OF PLANS AND PROGRAMS THAT SAY, WE WILL NOT ALLOW IT ANYMORE. IF YOU TRY TO CHEAT THE MEDICARE PROGRAM, WE ARE GOING TO AGGRESSIVELY PROSECUTE. I WANT TO MAKE SURE AGAIN THAT EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS. WHEN WE HEAR PEOPLE SAY, IF YOU REDUCE THE COST OF MEDICARE BY GETTING RID OF WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE, YOU ARE HURTING SENIOR CITIZENS AND YOU ARE DETERMINED TO CUT SENIOR CITIZENS' BENEFITS, THAT IS FALSE AND IT OUGHT TO STOP. IT IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW AND IT OUGHT TO STOP. IT IS ORGANIZATIONS DOING COLD CALLS INTO HOMES OF SENIOR CITIZENS AND IT OUGHT TO STOP. AND IT IS PARROTED BY POLITICIANS AND OTHERS WHO THINK IT IS SOME KIND OF AN INTERESTING MESSAGE TO SCARE SENIOR CITIZENS. IT OUGHT TO STOP. LET ME FINISH AS I STARTED: I DON'T KNOW WHAT KIND OF HEALTH CARE BILL IS GOING TO COME TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE, AND I WANT TO SEE IT B.I.F. DECIDE HOW I EVALUATE IT. IT IS IMPORTANT. IT IS IMPORTANT TO EVERYBODY. BUT I DO KNOW THIS: THE MEDICARE PROGRAM IS SOMETHING THAT HAS VERY SUBSTANTIAL SUPPORT IN THIS CHAMBER. AND I DON'T BELIEVE THERE'S ANYTHING BEING WRITTEN IN ANY ONE OF THE COMMITTEES IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE THAT WOULD BEGIN TO UNWIND, DIMINISH, OR IN ANY OTHER WAY WEAKEN MEDICARE COVERAGE FOR AMERICA'S SENIOR CITIZENS. IF IT WAS THE CASE, IT WOULDN'T HAVE A GHOST OF A CHANCE OF GETTING THROUGH THIS UNITED STATES SENATE. AND THAT IS A FACT. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. I HAVE A UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION OF S.1707, INTRODUCED EARLIER TODAY.

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  • 12:52:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 12:52:25 PM

    THE CLERK

  • 12:52:37 PM

    MR. DORGAN

  • 12:52:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION WITH PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE?

  • 12:52:42 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE BILL BE READ THREE TIMES AND PASSED, THE…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE BILL BE READ THREE TIMES AND PASSED, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION FOYER DEBATE, AND ANY SPHAIMENTED RELATED TO THE BILL BE PLACED IN THE RECORD AT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE AS IF READ.

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  • 12:52:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 12:53:03 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 12:53:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA.

  • 12:53:06 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    PRESIDENT, AT THIS TIME I WOULD ASK CONSENT TO MODIFY THE PREVIOUSLY LIST…

    PRESIDENT, AT THIS TIME I WOULD ASK CONSENT TO MODIFY THE PREVIOUSLY LIST OF AMENDMENTS WHICH WOULD INCLUDE MY AMENDMENT 2350 AND TO SET ASIDE THE PENDING EEMENTS SO MINE MAY BE CALLED UP FOR CONSIDERATION. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS --

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  • 12:53:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS --

  • 12:53:28 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    SOCKS IS HEARD.

  • 12:53:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: SOCKS IS HEARD.

  • 12:53:31 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU. I DO BELIEVE THAT IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT WE ARE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THANK YOU. I DO BELIEVE THAT IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO CONSIDER THIS AMENDMENT. THE AMENDMENT THAT I WAS HOPING TO BE ABLE TO BRING UP AND TO CONSIDER IS ONE THAT WOULD PROHIBIT THE USE OF FUNDS THAT HAS THE EFFECT OF MAKING CARBON DIOXIDE A PLEW STANT SUBJECT TO THE -- A POLLUTANT SUBJECT TO THE REGULATION UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT FOR ANY SOURCE OTHER THAN A MOBILE SOURCE. IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT THE MAJORITY WILL NOT ALLOW US TO CONSIDER THIS AMENDMENT. THE PROBLEM IT SEEKS TO ADDRESS IS SIGNIFICANT, AND I DON'T BELIEVE IT IS GOING TO GO AWAY IF WE JUST CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT. AND AS DISAPPOINTED AS I AM, THIS AMENDMENT HAS CLEARLY RECEIVED CONSIDERABLE ATTENTION, SO I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE THIS TIME THIS AFTERNOON TO FULLY EXPLAIN ITS INTENT, MY EFFORTS TO ENSURE ITS BIPARTISAN NATURE, AS WELL AS THE REASONS THAT I BELIEVE IT'S SO INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT FOR THE SENATE TO BE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF ITS ADOPTION, IF NOT NOW THEN AT SOME OTHER POINT. IN WRITING THIS AMENDMENT OVER THIS PAST WEEK, I'VE LISTENED TO THE CONCERNS OF MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES, THE CONCERNS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNITY, AS WELL AS THE CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY THE ADMINISTRATION. AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE MY WORD FOR THIS. LOOK AT THE TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT AND SEE HOW IT REFLECTS -- I THINK IT REFLECTS VERY SERIOUSLY -- THE COMMENTS AND THE CRITICISMS FROM THOSE WHO HAVE WEIGHED IN. SO ALL I WOULD ASK AT THIS TIME IS THAT FOR THE NEXT FEW MINUTES MY COLLEAGUES AND MY CRITICS RETURN THE FAVOR AND LISTEN TO WHAT I HAVE TO SAY ON THIS. FOR CONTEXT, LET'S START BACK AT THE BEGINNING. BACK IN APRIL OF 2007, THE SUPREME COURT DECLARED IN THE CASE OF MASSACHUSETTS v. E.P.A. THAT CARBON DIOXIDE IS A POLLUTANT THAT CAN BE RECREATED UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT -- THAT CAN BE REGULATED UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT. THE COURT HELD THAT E.P.A. MUST BE REGULATE EMISSIONS FROM MOBILE SOURCES -- MEANING VEHICLES -- IF THE AGENCY DETERMINED THAT CARBON DIOXIDE POSED A THREAT TO PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE. IN THE WAKE OF THAT DECISION, THE E.P.A. BEGAN TO LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR FEDERAL REGULATION OF GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS. AND THROUGH ITS PROPOSED ENDANGERMENT FINDING, THE AGENCY HAS SOUGHT TO CONFIRM THAT GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS ARE INDEED A THREAT TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE. THAT PROPOSAL IS NOW UNDER REVIEW AND MOST EXPECT THAT IT WILL BE FINALIZED IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE. THE E.P.A. HAS ALSO RELEASED ITS DRAFT RULE TO REGULATE MOBILE SOURCE EMISSIONS, AS REQUIRED BY THE SUPREME COURT. AND THIS WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH A DUAL STANDARD THAT INCLUDES INCREASED VEHICLE FUEL ECONOMY AND REDUCED TAIL PIPE EMISSIONS. MR. PRESIDENT, I AM NOT PUTTING THE BRAKES ON THAT PROPOSAL, DESPITE SOME ASSERTIONS TO THE CONTRARY. BUT I AM DEEPLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE REACH THAT IT MAY ULTIMATELY HAVE. YOU SEE, UNDER THE PREVENTION OF SIGNIFICANT DETERIORATION PROVISIONS WITHIN THE CLEAN AIR ACT, ANYTHING FOUND TO BE A POLLUTANT UNDER ONE SECTION WILL BE SUBJECT TO REGULATION UNDER ALL OTHER SECTIONS OF THE STATUTE. SO WHAT EXACTLY DOES THIS MEAN IN PLAIN ENGLISH? THE E.P.A.'S DECISION TO REGULATE CARBON DIOXIDE LEGALLY COVERS NOT ONLY MOBILE SOURCES BUT ALSO STATIONARY SOURCES AND WE TEND TO THINK OF POWER PLANTS PLANTS WHEN WE THINK OF STATIONARY SOURCES BUT ALSO THINK OF OFFICE BUILDINGS, HOSPITALS, SCHOOLS, APARTMENT BUILDINGS, GO ALONG THAT LINE. YOU'VE GOT THE RIGHT IDEA HERE. VERY CLEARLY, STATIONARY SOURCES MUST REDUCE EMISSIONS IN ORDER TO BRING OUR NATION TO ITS CLIMATE GOALS. BUT FORCING THEM TO DO SO THROUGH THE CLEAN AIR ACT WOULD BE ONE OF THE LEAST EFFICIENT AND MOST DAMAGING WAYS TO PURSUE THAT GOAL. IT WOULD BE RIFE WITH UNINTENDED CONSUENCES, AND I BELIEVE POTENTIALLY DEVASTATING FOR OUR ECONOMY. YOU SEE, UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT, ANY STATIONARY SOURCE THAT EMITS MORE THAN 250 TONS OF POLLUTANTS EACH YEAR IS SUBJECT TO REGULATION. AND UNLIKE OTHER POLLUTANTS, PRETTY MUCH EVERY FORM OF ECONOMIC ACTIVITY GENERATES SOME LEVEL OF CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS. SO THESE ADD UP RELATIVELY QUICKLY. IN FACT, THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE HAS LOOKED AT THIS VERY CLOSELY. THEY BELIEVE THAT MORE THAN 1.2 MILLION BUILDINGS THAT HAVE NEVER BEFORE BEEN REGULATED UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT WOULD COME UNDER THIS REGULATION, IF CONGRESS DOES NOT INTERVENE AND IF E.P.A. MOVES FORWARD. THE 250-TON THRESHOLD WOULD ENCOMPASS MORE THAN JUST OUR MAJOR EMITTERS. CAUGHT IN THE SAME NET THAT WE'RE TRYING TO GO AFTER THE MAJOR EMITTERS WOULD BE ESTABLISHMENTS LIKE DRY CLEANERS, RESTAURANTS, THE LOCAL BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSTORE. REALISTICALLY, WE ARE PROBABLY TALKING ABOUT ANY FACILITY THAT IS HEATED OR COOLED BY CONVENTIONAL MEANS THAT'S MORE THAN 65,000 SQUARE FEET IN SIZE. NOW, I THINK THERE'S SOME VERY GRAVE CONCERNS ABOUT THE PATH THAT THE E.P.A. WOULD LEAD US DOWN. I THINK THAT THEY'RE APPARENT. I THINK OTHERS ARE SEEING THIS AS WELL AND ARE EXPRESSING THEIR CONCERNS. JUST THIS WEEK I RECEIVED LETTERS FROM OVER 11 DIFFERENT AGRICULTURAL GROUPS, INCLUDING THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION. I'VE RECEIVED LETTERS FROM THE AMERICAN COUNCIL OF ENGINEERING COMPANIES, FNFIB, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MANUFACTURERS, AND THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK CONSENT THAT THE LETTERS FROM THESE ORGANIZATIONS BE INCLUDED AS PART OF THE RECORD.

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  • 12:59:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 12:59:36 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:12:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THANK YOU. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:12:39 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    YOU. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:12:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 01:12:44 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:19:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:19:05 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:28:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    AND I THANK THE PRESIDENT, AND I YIELD THE FLOOR.

  • 01:28:21 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:28:24 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:28:25 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA.

  • 01:28:27 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    MR. PRESIDENT, UNDER THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT, I APPARENTLY HAD 30…

    MR. PRESIDENT, UNDER THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT, I APPARENTLY HAD 30 MINUTES. CAN YOU TELL ME IF I HAVE ANY TIME REMAINING ON THAT?

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  • 01:28:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA HAS 11 MINUTES REMAINING.

  • 01:28:39 PM

    MS. MURKOWSKI

    WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LET ME --

  • 01:32:41 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    WELL, FIRST OF ALL, LET ME --

  • 01:32:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:32:46 PM

    MR. INHOFE

    TO BE HERE TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA AND SENATOR THUNE FOR BRINGING…

    TO BE HERE TO THANK THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA AND SENATOR THUNE FOR BRINGING UP THIS -- TRYING TO BRING THE ATTENTION TO THE ISSUE OF THE ENDANGERMENT FINDINGS. I'VE BEEN DISCUSSION THE INCOMING ECONOMIC TRAIN WRECK THAT COULD RESULT FROM THESE REGULATIONS SINCE THE MASSACHUSETTS v. E.P.A. WHICH WAS DECIDED IN 2007. THE REGULATION COULD GO ANYWHERE, JUST ABOUT ANY ACTIVITY THAT MEETS THE MINIMUM THRESHOLDS. CLEAN AIR ACT. DESPITE THE ATTEMPTS TO DRAFT AN EXEMPTION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES BY THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA, THIS EFFORT WOULD BE HOLLOW, AT BEST. UPON ISSUANCE OF MOBILE SOURCE REGULATIONS, THE E.P.A. HAS PROPOSED IN ITS LIGHT-DUTY VEHICLE GREENHOUSE EMISSIONS STANDARDS, THE FARMERS AND SMALL SOURCES STILL RETAIN THE OBLIGATION UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT. AND THIS OBLIGATION IS ENFORCEABLE THROUGH CITIZEN SUITS, WHICH WE HAVE CONFIRMED THROUGH ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS WILL FOLLOW. SO WE KNOW THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. AND I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT, SINCE THE RANKING MEMBER ON THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE, THE MORE WE GET INTO THIS THE MORE COMPLICATIONS WE FIND. IN THE PROCESS OF COMING UP WITH SOME TYPE OF AN ENDANGERMENT FINDING, WE FIND THAT THE INFORMATION, SCIENCE HAS BEEN SUPPRESSED. WE KNOW THE CASE OF DR. ALAN CARLIN WHO CLAIMS THAT HIS ASSESSMENT OF THE LATEST SCIENCE OF GLOBAL WARMING WASN'T CONSIDERED IN THE ENDANGERMENT PROPOSAL. SO WE HAVE THE ENDANGERMENT PROPOSAL -- SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE OF HOW THIS PROCESS WORKS -- THAT ULTIMATELY IF THE FINDINGS ARE THERE, THAT'S WHEN THEY REACH INTO EVERY LIFE IN AMERICA. HOWEVER, THIS -- DR. CARLIN HAS BEEN WITH THE E.P.A. FOR A LONG PERIODS OF TIME, AND HE WAS UPSET THAT HIS INFORMATION WAS INTENTIONALLY SUPPRESSED. THEN WE FIND OUT THE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE ECONOMICS, SUCH AS WE FOUND THROUGH THE U.S. TREASURY'S ASSESSMENT WHEN THEY WERE TRYING TO SAY DURING THE CONSIDERATION OF THIS -- PERHAPS THIS MODIFIED BILL THAT IT WOULD BE THE COST OF A POSTAGE STAMP A DAY, THAT IN FACT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SOME $1,761 PER FAMILY EVERY YEAR. NOW, WE TRY TO RELATE THAT BACK TO WHAT KIND OF A TAX INCREASE THIS IS. IF YOU REMEMBER BACK IN THE YEAR 1993, WE HAD THE CLINTON-GORE TAX INCREASE, LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN BINGED DIDS. IT WAS -- IN DECADES. IT WAS THE LARGEST -- EVERY KIND OF TAX IMAGINABLE. IF YOU ADD THAT UP, IT WAS ADS 32 BILLION TAX INCREASE. THIS WOULD BE ALMOST 10 TIMES THAT MUCH. SO I THINK AS WE PROGRESS ALONG THE LINES OF THE ENDANGERMENT FINDING, WE KNOW HOW IT'S GOING TO BE LIFE-CHANGING FOR EVERY ELEMENT OF OUR SOAVMENT AND SO I SOCIETY. AND SO I REALLY APPRECIATE HOW SENATOR MURKOWSKI AND SENATOR THUNE BROUGHT THIS TO THE FOREFRONT. I DON'T KNOW THAT IT'S THE BEST IDEA TO TRY TO GET A ONE-YEAR MORTGAGEMORATORIUM BECAUSE THIS MIGHT EXPOSE HOW BAD THIS IS TO THE PUBLIC. SOYSO I APPRECIATE HER DONATING A SMALL AMOUNT OF TIME TO ME, AND I WOULD YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 01:36:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA. -- LOUISIANA, EXCUSE ME.

  • 01:36:34 PM

    MR. VITTER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:37:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:37:03 PM

    MR. VITTER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, AT THIS POINT I CALL UP AMENDMENT…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, AT THIS POINT I CALL UP AMENDMENT 2549.

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  • 01:37:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 01:37:17 PM

    THE CLERK

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO WAIVE READING OF THE WHOLE.

  • 01:37:23 PM

    MR. VITTER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:37:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 01:37:29 PM

    MR. VITTER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:48:41 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:48:42 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:48:44 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:51:50 PM

    MR. VITTER

    PRESIDENT?

  • 01:51:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PERHAPS I SHOULD --

  • 01:53:05 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    I SHOULD --

  • 01:53:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:53:09 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT. PERHAPS I CAN ENGAGE SENATOR FROM…

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT. PERHAPS I CAN ENGAGE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA CANDIDLY, I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE WORDING OF THE AMENDMENT. LET ME READ IT. YOU HAVE READ IT AND I APPRECIATE THAT. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE TO ME. HERE'S HOW IT READS. "NONE OF THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE BY THIS ACT MAY BE OBLIGATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES FUNDED BY THIS ACT." SO TPH-PB OF THE FUNDS MAY BE -- NONE OF THE FUNDS MAY BE OBLIGATED FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEPARTMENTS OR AGENCIES FUNDED BY THIS ACT AND LED -- IT SAYS LEAD, I THINK THAT'S A MISSPELLING -- "BY SENATE-CONFIRMED APPOINTEES IMPLEMENTING POLICIES OF THE ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR ENERGY AND CLIMATE CHANGE." I DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS ON ITS FACE.

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  • 01:54:04 PM

    MR. VITTER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:54:49 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    PRESIDENT?

  • 01:54:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:54:54 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:55:51 PM

    MR. VITTER

    THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:55:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:55:54 PM

    MR. VITTER

    TO WRAP UP, MR. PRESIDENT, MY AMENDMENT SAYS NONE OF THAT. MY AMENDMENT…

    TO WRAP UP, MR. PRESIDENT, MY AMENDMENT SAYS NONE OF THAT. MY AMENDMENT DOESN'T PREVENT THIS CLIMATE CHANGE CZAR FROM INTPOPLG AND ASSISTING THE PRESIDENT -- INFORMING AND ASSISTING THE PRESIDENT. MY AMENDMENT DOES NOT PREVENT CONVENING MULTIAGENCY AND MULTIDEPARTMENT MEETINGS. MY AMENDMENT DOESN'T SAY ANY OF THAT. IT SIMPLY PREVENT HER FROM ORDERING THE E.P.A. HEADED BY A SENATE-CONFIRMED APPOINTEE, TO DO CERTAIN THINGS. WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD BACK THE FLOOR.

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  • 01:56:26 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    IF I MAY, I'D LIKE TO RESPOND TO THAT. LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. THE…

    IF I MAY, I'D LIKE TO RESPOND TO THAT. LET ME GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE. THE C.I.A. IS HEADED BY A SENATE-CONFIRMED DIRECTOR, LEON PANETTA. HE CARRIES OUT POLICIES FROM THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL LED BY GENERAL JONES, A NONCONFIRMED OFFICIAL. DOES THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA BELIEVE THAT THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADD ADVISOR TO THE -- NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT SHOULDN'T HAVE ANY ROLE IN INTELLIGENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY MATTERS? WHAT'S SAUCE FOR THE GOOSE IS SAUCE FOR THE GANDER.

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  • 01:57:01 PM

    MR. VITTER

    IS NO. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT. MY AMENDMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT. BY…

    IS NO. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT. MY AMENDMENT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT. BY THE WAY, THAT POSITION IS CREATED BY STATUTE. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 01:57:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:57:13 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:59:43 PM

    MR. BOND

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 01:59:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 01:59:46 PM

    MR. BOND

    MR. PRESIDENT, THROUGH THE CHAIR, I THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM THE DAKOTAS,…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THROUGH THE CHAIR, I THANK MY COLLEAGUE FROM THE DAKOTAS, SENATOR THUNE, FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK FOR A FEW MINUTES ON A CONCERN WE BOTH SHARE. WE AGREED TO DO THIS RATHER THAN TO OFFER AMENDMENTS THAT I INTENDED TO PROPOSE TO THIS BILL BECAUSE I WANT TO MAKE SURE EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS A CONCERN THAT MANY OTHERS AND I HAVE HAVE, AND THAT IS THAT THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY POTENTIAL EFFORTS TO PUSH THROUGH BACKDOOR COLLEGE REGULATIONS WHICH THEY CANNOT ACHIEVE LEGISLATIVELY ON THE FLOOR. E.P.A. OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS MAY ATTEMPT TO IMPOSE TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW ENERGY TAXES. THAT WILL KILL MILLIONS OF JOBS. OF COURSE IT WILL SAY THAT'S NOT THEIR INTENT. THEY WANT TO CONTROL THE FILING. BUT THAT WILL BE THE IMPACT OF THE REGULATIONS OVER THE YEARS TO CONTROL EMISSIONS. EXPERTS HAVE CALLS THAT THE HOUSE-PASSED MARKEY LEGISLATION CAN KILL 2.4 MILLION AMERICAN JOBS AND IMPOSE NEW ENERGY TAXES ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. EVEN PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS PREVIOUSLY CONFIRMED THAT UNDER HIS PLAN FOR CARBON EMISSION MANDATES, ELECTRICITY PRICES WILL NECESSARILY SKYROCKET. QUOTE -- "NECESSARILY SKYROCKET." CLOSE QUOTE. THOSE ARE THE PRESIDENT'S WORDS. NOW, IN THE E.P.W. COMMITTEE, I PRESENTED INFORMATION FROM THE MISSOURI UNIVERSITY FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL POLICY RESEARCH INSTITUTE WHICH DETERMINED THAT THE WAXMAN-MARKEY LEGISLATION WOULD RAISE FARM PRODUCTION FOR AN AVERAGE FAMILY-RUN COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION FARMER WHO GROWS CORN AND SOYBEANS BY ABOUT $11,000 IN 2020, RISING TO OVER $30,000 BY 2050. ESPECIALLY IN THIS TIME OF SUFFERING WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE ARE OUT OF WORK AND SO MANY FAMILY BUDGETS ARE STRETCHED THIN, I CANNOT IN GOOD CONSCIENCE STAND BY AND REMAIN QUIET WHEN THERE IS A POTENTIAL THAT SUCH NEW ENERGY TAXES WOULD BE IMPOSED ON AMERICAN FAMILIES, FARMERS, AND WORKERS. IT IS NO WONDER THAT THE SENATE IS PAUSING BEFORE WE JUMP OFF THE CLIFF. SENATORS, ESPECIALLY FROM MANUFACTURING AND COAL-DEPENDENT HEARTLAND, LIKE I'M FROM, KNOW HOW MUCH THIS BILL WILL PUNISH THE MIDWEST, THE SOWRNLINGS AND THE GREAT PLAINS. THIS SPRING E.P.A. BEGAN T PROCESS TO START LIMITING CARBON EEMISSIONS THROUGH REGULATION. AND THEY WILL DO IT THROUGH EXPENSIVE PLANT-BY-PLANT CONTROL REGULATIONS, NOT A CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEM. SOME SAY WE COULD LIMIT THIS BY NOT REGULATING SMALL EMITTERS. THAT'S NO DIFFERENT THAN WAXMAN-MARKEY. IT'S JUST LIKE WAXMAN-MARKEY'S NATIONAL ENERGY TAX, REGULATIONS THAT EXEMPT SMALL EMITTERS WOULD STILL IMPOSE A NATIONAL ENERGY TAX AND KILL MILLIONS OF JOBS. EVERY FAMILY WILL BE HIT BY HIGHER ELECTRICITY PRICES WHEN THEY GO AFTER THE LARGE ELECTRICITY-PRODUCING COMPANIES. THEY'LL FLEECE MORE MONEY FOR HEATING, MORE MONEY FOR GASOLINE, MORE MONEY FOR DIESEL FUEL, IF YOU'RE ON THE FARM, MORE MONEY FOR ALMOST EVERYTHING THEY BUY THAT IS PRODUCED WITH ENERGY, WHICH IS JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING THAT ISN'T IN THE I.T. WORLD, ALTHOUGH THERE WILL BE COSTS THERE, TOO. BUSINESSES WILL FACE LARGE INCREASES IN BACKDOOR COSTS PUT ON THEM BY HIGHER PRICES THEY MUST PAY, EVEN IF THEY FALL BELOW THE THRESHOLD. THESE COSTS, THE BACKDOOR IMPACT OF THESE COSTS WILL BE FELT ON FAMILIES, ON WORKERS WHO COULD LOSE THEIR JOBS. THAT'S WHY I PROPOSE TWO AMENDMENTS TO PREVENT E.P.A. FROM IMPOSING BACKDOOR CARBON REGULATIONS. WHEN THEY RESULT IN LOST AMERICAN JOBS OR RAISE COSTS UNACCEPTABLY FOR FARMERS. I WAS GRATIFIED WHEN THE SENATE EARLIER PASSED A VERSION OF MY JOBS AMENDMENT DURING THE BUDGET DEBATE, BUT THE LEADERS ON THE MAJORITY SIDE STRIPPED THE JOB PROTECTION AMENDMENT OUT OF THE BILL, LEAVING WORKERS VULNERABLE AGAIN. THEY AGAIN, DURING THIS DEBATE WILL NOT ALLOW US TO PROTECT WORKERS FROM JOB-KILLING CARBON PROPOSALS, BUT WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO EDUCATE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ON HOW MUCH THEY WILL SUFFER UNDER PROPOSED CARBON REGULATION. I HAVE TO ADD ONE LAST WORD. WITHOUT MY FRIENDS ANTS MAJORITY COLLEAGUES, SENATORS KERRY AND BOXER, THERE CONTINUE TO BE REPORTS THAT THEIR BILL WILL NOT INCLUDE IN WRITING BEFORE ANYBODY VOTES ON IT CRUCIAL SECTIONS ON HOW THEY WOULD DISTRIBUTE THEIR PROGRAM CARBON ALLOWANCES. THIS REGRETTABLY WOULD HIDE NOT ONLY FROM US BUT FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE TRUE COST OF THE ENERGY TAXES THEY PROPOSE TO IMPOSE. IF MY SENATOR FRIENDS FROM MASSACHUSETTS AND CALIFORNIA BELIEVE TRULY IN WHAT THEY'RE DOING, THEY SHOULD NOT HIDE FROM US THE PROVISIONS. THEY SHOULD GIVE US THE TIME AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THE TIME THEY NEED TO DETERMINE THE BILL'S IMPACT. WITH MILLIONS OF JOBS ON THE LINE AND TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAX INCREASES AT STAKE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE NO LESS. I CALL ON MY COLLEAGUES TO STAND UP FOR THE SUFFERING PEOPLE OF AMERICA WHO ARE BURDENED ALREADY BY ENERGY COSTS AND COULD PAY MUCH MORE. AND I CALL ON PEOPLE WHO MAY BE AFFECTED TO LET THEIR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS KNOW HOW THEY FEEL. NOBODY IS GOING TO PUT OUT A MANDATE SAYING THAT WE CAN'T ENCOURAGE THEM TO SPEAK. NOBODY -- NO CZAR IS GOING TO COME DOWN AND SAY, YOU CAN'T EXPRESS YOUR OPINION. I'VE EXPRESSED MINE. I'VE FOUND A LOT OF PEOPLE -- ALMOST EVERYBODY I'VE TALKED TO -- RAISED THE SUBJECT IN MY STATE OF MISSOURI AGREES. I THANK THE CHAIR AND YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:05:59 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

  • 02:06:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:06:03 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 02:06:43 PM

    MR. THUNE

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 02:06:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THEDJOURN SENATOR FROM SOUTH ZACH -- THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM…

    OFFICER: THEDJOURN SENATOR FROM SOUTH ZACH -- THE JUNIOR SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA IS RECOGNIZED. THUNE ON THAT I WANT TO SPEAK --

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  • 02:06:55 PM

    MR. THUNE

    OBJECTION IS HEARD.

  • 02:17:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION IS HEARD.

  • 02:17:04 PM

    MR. THUNE

    MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME BRIEFLY SPEAK TO THIS AMENDMENT BECAUSE IT SIMPLY…

    MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME BRIEFLY SPEAK TO THIS AMENDMENT BECAUSE IT SIMPLY ADDRESSES THIS SUBJECT IN A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT WAY. AND IT'S VERY CLEAR THAT THE MAJORITY DOES NOT WANT TO HAVE A VOTE ON EITHER THE MURKOWSKI AMENDMENT OR MY AMENDMENT BECAUSE THEY GET AT THE HEART AND THE FUNDAMENTAL ISSUE HERE, WHICH IS WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A DEBATE HERE IN CONGRESS ABOUT REGULATING Co2 EMISSIONS OR WHETHER WE'RE GOING TO ALLOW AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY, A BUREAUCRACY DOWN AT THE E.P.A. TO DO THAT FOR US. I UNDERSTAND MY AMENDMENT, WHICH HAS BEEN OBJECTED TO, IS NOT GOING TO HAVE A VOTE. WE KNOW WHERE THE VOTES ARE ON THIS RIGHT NOW. BUT LIKE THE MURKOWSKI AMENDMENT, WHAT MY AMENDMENT IS DESIGNED TO DO IS TO SHED DAYLIGHT ON HARMFUL REGULATIONS THAT ARE TAKING SHAPE BEHIND THE CLOSED DOORS OF THE E.P.A. THIS AMENDMENT, MY AMENDMENT, IS DESIGNED TO GIVE OUR CONSTITUENTS A GREATER SAY IN CLIMATE CHANGE REGULATIONS. THE AMENDMENT IS ALSO DESIGNED TO FORCE THE E.P.A. TO CONSIDER THE DRAMATIC IMPACT THAT THESE NEW CLEAN AIR ACT REGULATIONS AND Co2 WILL HAVE ON ELECTRICITY AND GASOLINE PRICES. IF THESE REGULATIONS MOVE FORWARD, I'M CONCERNED THAT MANY FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO RELY ON COAL-GENERATED ELECTRICITY, WILL SEE SKYROCKETING ELECTRICITY BILL. I'M ALSO CONCERNED FOR FAMILIES AND TRUCK DRIVERS WHO COULD SEE GASOLINE AND DIESEL PRICES GO UP DRAMATICALLY. E.P.A. REGULATION OF CARBON DIOXIDE WOULD AMOUNT TO A TAX ON MILLIONS OF WORKING-CLASS FAMILIES. DURING DEBATE OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE BILL, PROPONENTS OF THE CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEM CLAIM THAT LOWER-INCOME FAMILIES WILL BE MADE WHOLE BY GIVING LOCAL DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES FREE ALLOWANCES TO MEET THE NEW CARBON REGULATIONS. ASIDE FROM WHETHER THIS MECHANISM WOULD ACTUALLY LIMIT THE IMPACT ON WORKING FAMILIES, IT IS CLEAR THAT SUCH A SAFEGUARD IS SIMPLY NOT POSSIBLE UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT. CARBON REGULATIONS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT WOULD EFFECTIVELY BE A HUGE NEW TAX ON ELECTRICITY AND GASOLINE PRICES THAT WILL BE PAID BY FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES. ADDITIONALLY, NEW TAXES UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT WOULD ALSO APPLY TO OIL AND ETHANOL REFINERIES. IN MY HOME STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA, WE PRODUCE APPROXIMATELY A BILLION GALLONS ANNUALLY OF ETHANOL. IF THE E.P.A. MOVES FORWARD WITH CARBON CAPS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT, 12 ETHANOL PLANTS IN SOUTH DAKOTA WILL BE SUBJECT TO THIS NEW TAX. ADDITIONALLY, WE'LL HAVE A LARGE SOYBEAN PROCESSING FACILITY IN THE HOPES TO SOON PRODUCE BIODIESEL THAT WOULD ALSO BE COVERED BY THIS NEW TAX. NOT ONLY WILL THESE COSTS BE PASSED ON TO CONSUMERS, MR. PRESIDENT, IN THE FORM OF HIGHER PRICES AT THE PUMP, BUT THE NEW REGULATIONS WILL BE A MAJOR SPWABG TO RENEWAL FUEL PRODUCTION IN THE UNITED STATES. AND IN THE END, THE ENERGY SECURITY BENEFITS OF DOMESTIC RENEWABLE FUEL PRODUCTION WILL BE GREATLY IMPACTED, NEGATIVELY IMPACTED BY THESE NEW REGULATIONS. MY AMENDMENT NUMBER 2540 SIMPLY ASKS E.P.A. TO CONSIDER THESE COSTS AND THE ADVERSE IMPACTS THESE REGULATIONS WILL HAVE ON OUR ECONOMY BEFORE MOVING FORWARD WITH AN ENDANGERMENT FINDING. MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S CLEAR THAT NEITHER THE MURKOWSKI AMENDMENT NOR MY AMENDMENT WILL BE VOTED ON, BUT I WILL TELL YOU THIS ISSUE IS NOT GOING AWAY. THE E.P.A. IS MOVING FORWARD. THE HOUSE HAS ACTED ON THIS ISSUE. THE SENATE DOESN'T WANT TO TAKE THE HARD VOTES ON THIS ISSUE, THE TOUGH POLITICAL SROEUTS, AND SO THEY HAVE SORT OF PUNTED IT TO THE E.P.A. THE E.P.A. IS MOVING FORWARD BY REGULATION TO DO WHAT CONGRESS DOESN'T HAVE THE COURAGE OR THE WILL TO DO. AND THAT'S TO HAVE A DEBATE ABOUT THE RELATIVE COSTS AND PERHAPS BENEFITS OF CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION. AND IT IS WRONG TO ALLOW FOR US TO ALLOW THE BUREAUCRACY AT THE E.P.A. TO MOVE FORWARD WITH THESE REGULATION -GS THAT COULD BE SO HARMFUL TO OUR ECONOMY, SO HARMFUL TO JOBS, SO DISASTROUS WHEN IT COMES TO THE ENERGY PRICES THAT ARE PAID BY FAMILIES AND SMALL BUSINESSES ACROSS THIS COUNTRY. AND SO THIS ISSUE WILL BE BACK. SENATOR MURKOWSKI WILL BRING IT BACK. I WILL BRING IT BACK. OTHERS OF MY COLLEAGUES WHO CARE ABOUT THE IMPACTS OF THIS PARTICULAR REGULATION ON SMALL BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES IN OUR STATES WILL BE BACK TO DEBATE THIS ISSUE EVEN THOUGH THE DEMOCRAT MAJORITY WILL NOT ALLOW US TO GET A VOTE ON IT TODAY. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 02:21:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:21:29 PM

    MS. LANDRIEU

    I --

  • 02:21:30 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 02:21:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 02:21:39 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    I THINK MEMBERS ARE INTERESTED IN BRINGING THIS BILL TO A CONCLUSION. I…

    I THINK MEMBERS ARE INTERESTED IN BRINGING THIS BILL TO A CONCLUSION. I WANT TO SAY THERE ARE A NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS THAT WERE LISTED IN THE CONSENT ORDER, UNANIMOUS CONSENT ORDER. I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THAT MEMBERS COME TO THE FLOOR TO CALL UP THEIR AMENDMENTS SHORTLY. SENATOR COBURN HAS A NUMBER. SENATOR REED, SENATOR COLLINS, SENATOR ENSIGN HAS A MOTION TO RECOMMIT. SO IF THESE MEMBERS COULD COME TO THE FLOOR, PLEASE, AND CALL UP THEIR AMENDMENTS, IT WOULD BE APPRECIATED. WE'D BE ABLE TO HOPEFULLY CONCLUDE THE BILL.

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  • 02:22:23 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    WOULD THE SENATOR YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

  • 02:22:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 02:22:30 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    TO JUST MAKE A FEW COMMENDS ADDRESSING THE POINTS RACED BY SENATOR THUNE…

    TO JUST MAKE A FEW COMMENDS ADDRESSING THE POINTS RACED BY SENATOR THUNE AND OTHERS, SENATOR MURKOWSKI. THEY WERE GOING TO OFFER AN AMENDMENT AS YOU KNOW.

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  • 02:22:43 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    PURSUANT TO THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT.

  • 02:22:45 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    AT WHAT POINT WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO USE THAT TIME?

  • 02:22:50 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THINK DIRECTLY FOLLOWING SENATOR LANDRIEU.

  • 02:22:53 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    THAT'S FINE. HOW LONG, SENATOR LANDRIEU?

  • 02:22:56 PM

    MS. LANDRIEU

    TEN MINUTES.

  • 02:22:59 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? SO ORDERED. THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA IS SO…

    IS THERE OBJECTION? SO ORDERED. THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA IS SO RECOGNIZED.

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  • 02:23:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE OBJECTION? SO ORDERED. THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA IS SO…

    IS THERE OBJECTION? SO ORDERED. THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA IS SO RECOGNIZED.

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  • 02:23:09 PM

    MS. LANDRIEU

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 02:31:32 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:31:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:31:37 PM

    MRS. BOXER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 02:36:10 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:36:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM RHODE ISLAND IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:36:13 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    MR. PRESIDENT, FIRST, LET ME THANK MY DISTINGUISHED ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC…

    MR. PRESIDENT, FIRST, LET ME THANK MY DISTINGUISHED ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN, SENATOR BOXER, FOR HER PASSIONATE DEFENSE OF THIS STATUTE WHICH HAS IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE AND QUALITY OF OUR AIR FOR A GENERATION NOW OF AMERICANS AGAINST THIS ASSAULT. AND I APPRECIATE THAT SHE'S GIVEN ME A FEW MOMENTS TO DISCUSS THE BILL -- THE AMENDMENT THAT WAS OFFERED BY THE SENATOR FROM ALASKA. IT HAS NOW BEEN WITHDRAWN, BUT NEVERTHELESS, I FEEL WE NEED TO RESPOND GIVEN THE MESSAGE THAT THAT AMENDMENT SENDS TO THIS BODY, TO THE NATION, AND TO THE WORLD REGARDING AMERICA'S POSITION ON THE NEED TO CURB GLOBAL WARMING AND OUR MOVE TOWARDS A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY. THIS AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE TIED THE HANDS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AT THE VERY TIME THAT WE NEED ITS HELP TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN PUBLIC FROM THE DANGERS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. DANGEROUS TO AMERICA'S PUBLIC HEALTH, TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY, AND TO OUR ECONOMY. MR. PRESIDENT, A LITTLE HISTORY IS IN ORDER HERE. IN 2001, THE UNITED STATES -- 2007, THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT OVERRODE THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND RULED IN A CASE CALLED MASSACHUSETTS V. V.E.P.A. THAT THE CLEAN AIR ACT REQUIRES THAT THE CLEAN AIR GAS EMISSIONS AS POLLUTANTS. IF THE AGENCY DETERMINED THAT GREENHOUSE GASES POSED A DANGER TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH. AND THE COURT FURTHER ABLIEJED THE E.P.A. TO GO AHEAD AND MAKE THAT DETERMINATION, YES OR NO. THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, OF COURSE, DID EVERYTHING IN ITS POWER TO AVOID DUTY ORDERED BY THE SUPREME COURT AND IT WAS ONLY THIS APRIL THAT THE E.P.A., UNDER ADMINISTRATOR JACKSON, FINALLY ISSUED ITS PROPOSED ENCONTAININGMENT FINDING. THE FINDING, UNSURPRISINGLY, ACKNOWLEDGED WHAT EVERY REASONABLE SCIENTIST, IN FACT, EVERY REASONABLE PERSON, HAS KNOWN FOR YEARS, THAT CARBON DIOXIDE AND OTHER SO-CALLED GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS CAUSE OUR PLANET'S ATMOSPHERE TO WARM AND POSE A THREAT TO THE PUBLIC HEALTH. THE CONCLUSION THAT THESE GASSES SHOULD BE REGULATED UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT LOGICALLY AND INEVITABLY FOLLOWED AS REQUIRED BY LAW FROM THE DETERMINATION THAT THESE POLLUTANTS THREATEN PUBLIC HEALTH. THANKFULLY THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS ALREADY BEGUN THIS IMPORTANT WORK. SENATOR MURKOWSKI'S AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE REQUIRED E.P.A. TO TAKE WHAT WAS CALLED A TIMEOUT WHILE CONGRESS CRAFTED A LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION TO GLOBAL WARMING. UNFORTUNATELY TIME IS NOT ON OUR SIDE AS WE RACE TO PROTECT OUR PLANET FROM THE EFFECTS OF CARBON POLLUTION. JUST YESTERDAY OUR PRESIDENT SPOKE BEFORE THE UNITED NATIONS ABOUT THE CHALLENGES TO ALL NATIONS FROM UNCHECKED GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. AND OPPORTUNITIES WE HAVE TO REVIVE THE WORLD ECONOMY THROUGH THE ADVANCEMENT OF CLEAN ENERGY AND CLEAN ENERGY JOBS. THE WORLD COMMUNITY NEEDS THE UNITED STATES TO BE A LEADER IN THIS EFFORT AND THE WORLD IS WATCHING OUR ACTIONS CLOSELY. PRESIDENT OBAMA PLEDGED THAT OUR STEP SO FAR, INVESTMENTS IN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY, EFFICIENCY MEASURES, TOUGHER FUEL STANDARDS, AND OUR STEPS TO COME, HE SAID, REPRESENT A HISTORIC RECOGNITION ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENT. HE SAID: WE UNDERSTAND THE GRAVITY OF THE CLIMATE THREAT. WE ARE DETERMINED TO ACT AND WE WILL MEET OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO FUTURE GENERATIONS. FORCING THE E.P.A. TO TAKE A TIMEOUT NOW WOULD HAVE SENT EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE MESSAGE. WOULD TELL THE WORLD THAT WE DON'T TRULY CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. WE'RE NOT READY TO STEP UP, LET ALONE LEAD. WOULD SAY THAT WE'D PREFER TO LEAVE A POLLUTED WORLD TO OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN, A WORLD FAR WORSE OFF THAN THE WORLD OUR PARENTS AND GRANDPARENTS LEFT TO US. ANY TIME-OUT NOW WOULD HAVE DAMAGED OUR INTERNATIONAL PROGRESS AND OUR LEADERSHIP. MOREOVER, A TIME-OUT OF THE SORT PROPOSED IN THE MURKOWSKI AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE HURT OUR LEGISLATIVE EFFORTS. SUPPORTERS OF THE TIME-OUT IDEA PROFESS TO WANT A LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE. WELL, MAYBE, BUT DOING SO WOULD HAVE SET BACK THAT VERY GOAL. TO THE EXTENT SOME OF THE BIG POLLUTERS ARE WORKING WITH US IN THIS LEGISLATIVE PROCESS, IT IS BECAUSE THEY FEEL THE HOT BREATH OF THE FUTURE ON THEIR NECKS AND THEY KNOW THAT THEY HAD BETTER PARTICIPATE OR BE BE LEFT TO THEIR FATE. GIVEN AN ARTIFICIAL REPRIEVE FROM THOSE CONSEQUENCES, REAL CONSEQUENCES OF SCIENCE, OF FACT, OF LAW, AND OF NATURE AND THEIR MOTIVATIONS WOULD CHANGE. DELAY WOULD BECOME THEIR FRIEND, INDEED, THEIR PURPOSE. BECAUSE OF THE ARTIFICIAL FALSE STATUS QUO THAT A TIME-OUT WOULD CREATE FOR THEM. LET ME TELL YOU HOW THESE POLLUTERS AFFECT RHODE ISLAND, MY HOME. AND LET'S START BACK IN 1972, WHEN E.P.A. AUTHORIZED THE USE OF TALL SMOKE STACKS INSTEAD OF EMISSIONS LIMITS. BY THE MID 1970'S FOUR DIFFERENT CIRCUIT COURTS OF APPEAL HAD RULED THAT THE CLEAN AIR ACT REQUIRED REAL EMISSION CONTROLS, AND NOT JUST INCREASED STACK HEIGHTS. A TALL SMOKE STACK ONLY CURBS LOCAL EMISSIONS, BUT IT SPREADS THE POISONS WIDELY. IN 1977, CONGRESS ENACTED SECTION 123 OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT WHICH BARRED THE CONSTRUCTION OF SMOKE STACKS TALLER THAN CALLED FOR BY GOOD ENGINEERING PRACTICE. NOTWITHSTANDING, MIDWESTERN POWER PLANTS CONTINUED TO INCREASE THE HEIGHT OF THEIR STACKS. THE AVERAGE SMOKE STACK HEIGHT INCREASED FROM 200 FEET TALL IN 1956 TO OVER 500 FEET TALL IN 1978. IN 1970, THERE WERE TWO SMOKE STACKS IN THE UNITED STATES TALLER THAN 500 FEET. BY 1985, 180 SMOKE STACKS STOOD TALLER THAN 500 FEET. 23 OF THESE WERE OVER 1,000 FEET. ONCE YOU GET OVER 1,000 FEET TALL, YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO PUT THAT SMOKE STACK ON THE AVIATION SAFETY MAPS BECAUSE IT BECOMES A HAZARD TO AVIATION. LOCAL INTERESTS, OF COURSE, WERE HAPPY BECAUSE LESS OF THE SMOKE STACK EMITTED POISONS FELL LOCALLY AND MORE WERE SPREAD ABROAD. WELL, WHAT DID THIS MEAN FOR DOWNWIND STATES, SUCH AS, MY STATE OF RHODE ISLAND? WELL, ALL OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, THE TALLER THE STACK, THE FARTHER THE POISONS TRAVEL. AND ACCORDING TO A 2001 REPORT BY THE CLEAN AIR ACT TASK FORCE ENTITLED "POWER TO KILL, DEATH AND DISEASE FROM POWER PLANTS CHARGED WITH VIOLATING THE CLEAN AIR ACT" POLLUTION SPEWED FROM JUST 51 PLANTS SHORTENED THE LIVES OF AS MANY AS 5,000 PEOPLE NATIONWIDE ANNUALLY. INCLUDING ABOUT 1,500 TO 2,100 IN OUR DOWNWIND STATES LIKE RHODE ISLAND. THESE PLANTS ALSO CAUSED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF ASTHMA ATTACKS EACH YEAR AND HUNDREDS JUST IN RHODE ISLAND. AND THIS IS JUST FROM 51 PLANTS. PHYSICIANS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY HAVE ESTIMATED THAT ALL COAL PLANTS IN THE UNITED STATES TOGETHER CAUSE ABOUT 23,600 PREMATURE DEATHS AND 554,000 ASTHMA ATTACKS EACH YEAR. THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL TELLS US THAT BETWEEN 190 AND 1995, THE INCIDENCE OF CHILDHOOD ASTHMA INCREASED OVER 25%. IT MORE THAN DOUBLED FROM 3.6% TO 7.5% OF ALL CHILDREN. BY 2005, NEARLY 9% OF ALL CHILDREN ARE REPORTED TO HAVE ASTHMA. AND AFRICAN-AMERICAN -- IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN THE RATES SOARED TO 19.2%. NEARLY ONE IN FIVE AFRICAN-AMERICAN CHILDREN. MASSACHUSETTS, MARYLAND, AND MY STATE OF RHODE ISLAND ALL DOWNWIND STATES WERE AMONG THE FIVE STATES WITH THE HIGHEST INCIDENCE OF A ASTHMA THE RHODE ISLAND LUNG ASSOCIATION ESTIMATES THAT 15,000 CHILDREN -- 15,000 CHILDREN IN MY STATE OF LESS THAN ONE MILLION POPULATION HAVE ASTHMA NATIONALLY, EVERY YEAR, MORE THAN 40 KIDS FOUR YEARS OLD AND UNDER WILL DIE FROM ASTHMA. ANOTHER 115 KIDS 5 TO 15 YEARS OLD WILL DIE, AND NEARLY 400 MORE, AGED 15 TO 34, WILL DIE EVERY YEAR. THIS IS WHAT UPWIND POLLUTERS HAVE HELPED CAUSE. WHEN I WAS ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND, I JOINED E.P.A.'S LAWSUIT AGAINST AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER FOR ITS ILLEGAL MODIFICATION OF 16 PLANTS. IN 2508, THE UTILITY COMPANY SETTLED THE -- IN 2008, THE UTILITY COMPANY SETTLED THE LAWSUIT BY INSTALL BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF POLLUTION-CONTROL EQUIPMENT WHICH SLASHED KNOTS AND S SOME OF THE 2 EMISSIONS BY 813,000 TONS OF POLLUTION EACH YEAR. AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER ALSO PAID A $15 MILLION PENALTY, NEARLY FIVE TIMES WHEKS SON MOBILE HAS PAID SO FAR FOR THE EXXON VALUE DECEMBER OIL SPILL IN 1990, AND IT INVESTED ANOTHER $60 MILLION IN ENVIRONMENTAL MITIGATION PROJECTS. SO DON'T TELL ME THINGS CAN'T BE DONE. BUT IN RINCHTS THE DANGER CONTINUES -- BUT IN RHODE ISLAND, THE DANGER CONTINUES AND STILL EVERY SUMMER IN RHODE ISLAND THE MORNING RADIO ANNOUNCES SEVERAL DAYS THAT ARE UNSAFE AIR DAYS. WHEN INFANTS AND SENIORS AND PEOPLE WITH BREATHING DIFFICULTIES ARE TOLD THAT THEY SHOULD STAY HOME, THAT THEY SHOULD STAY INDOORS BECAUSE THE AIR -- THE SUMMER AIR IN RHODE ISLAND -- IS NOT SAFE. AND ONE OF THE PRIME REASONS IT ISN'T SAFE IS BECAUSE WE ARE DOWNWIND. SO DON'T EXPECT A LOT OF SYMPATHY FROM ME FOR THESE POLLUTERS WITH THEIR BELCHING SMOKESTACKS WHO WANT A FREE PASS TO ENDANGER THE PUBLIC. TIMEOUT OR NOT. HERE IS A LITTLE DESCRIPTION OF SOME OF HOW THESE STACKS GO. THE TALLEST BUILDING IS WILLIS TOWER IN CHICAGO. A LOT OF THE RADIO TOWERS ON THE TOP. BUT IT IS STILL HEALTH CARE OF IT IS STILL A HECK OF A BIG BUILDING. OUR STATUTE OF LIBERTY IS 5 305 FEET. IN WEST VIRGINIA, A SMOKESTACK, 450 FEET TAIL. IN JEFFERSON, OHIO, THERE IS A SMOKESTACK EXACTLY 1,000 FEET TALL. NO KNOW IF THAT HAS TO GO ON THE AVIATION SAFETY MAPS OR NOT. IT IS JUST ON THE BOUN DRIVMENT WHAT THESE THINGS DO IS SOLVE THE LOCAL PROBLEM OF POLLUTION BY PUSHING THE POISONS SO FAR UP INTO THE ATMOSPHERE THAT THEY DON'T FALL IN WEST VIRGINIA, IN INDIANA, IN OHIO, BUT THEY MOVE ELSEWHERE. AND THEY LAND OFTEN IN RHODE ISLAND AND WE FACE THE HEALTH CONSEQUENCES EVERY DAY. SO, IF ANYBODY IS LOOKING FOR A SYMPATHETIC EAR FOR THESE POWER PLANTS, THEY'VE COME TO THE WRONG PLACE, IF THEY'VE COME TO RHODE ISLAND. TODAY WE'RE FACING PERHAPS THE GREATEST ENVIRONMENTAL THREAT OF OUR TIME: GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE TRIGGERED BY INCREASED CARBON DIOXIDE IN OUR ATMOSPHERE. WE ARE SUPERSATURATING OUR ATMOSPHERE WITH CARBON DIOXIDE AND IT IS HAVING AN EFFECT. COAL-FIRED PLANTS SHARE THE BLAME. 40% OF ALL CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS COME FROM COAL POWER PLANTS. AND THE POLLUTERS WILL FIGHT. THEY ARE FIGHTING ANY EFFORT TO CONTROL THEIR CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS. THE POLLUTER OPPONENTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE WHO ARE RESISTING OUR CHANGE TO A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY ARE STRONG AND WEALTHY AND THEY WILL STOP AT NOTHING. WE HAVE EVEN RECENTLY SEEN FORGED LETTERS TO CONGRESS OPPOSING CLIMATE CHANGE LEGISLATION IN THE NAMES OF GROUPS THAT NEVER AUTHORIZED THE LETTERS. JUST LIKE THE POLLUTERS FOUGHT THE CLEAN AIR ACT IN THE PAST, JUST LIKE THE POLLUTERS BUILT TALLER STACKS RATHER THAN MAKING WHAT COMES OUT OF THE STACKS CLEANER, JUST LIKE THE POLLUTERS MANIPULATED THEIR FLUNKIES IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION, TODAY THE POLLUTERS WANTED A TIMEOUT. WELL, THEY MAY SAY THAT THEY SUPPORT A LEGISLATIVE SPLIEWTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE, BUT IF THEY COULD HAVE FOOLED US SO THAT WE DEFUNDED AND STOPPED AND WEAKENED ALL THE OTHER AVAILABLE TOOLS FOR POLLUTION CONTROL, THAT WOULD NOT HELP PASSING A CLIMATE BILL. THAT WOULD GIVE THOSE POLLUTERS EVERY INCENTIVE IN THE WORLD TO DEEFFECT, TO DELAY, AND ULTIMATELY TO -- TO DEFECT, TO DELAY, AND ULTIMATELY TO DEFEAT THE EFFORTS BY THIS COUNTRY TO MOVE TOWARDS A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY. TO STOP SUBSIDIZING THEIR POLLUTION OF OUR AIR AND OUR EFFORTS TO START SOLVING THIS 0 PROBLEM OF OUR DAY. TO PROTECT OURSELVES, MR. PRESIDENT, MADAMCHAIR, WE HAVE TO KEEPUAL OF OUR TOOLS AVAILABLE, ALL OPTIONS FOR CURBING GREENHOUSE EMUGSES WORKING TO PROTECT US. I THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YIELDING ME SOME TIME AND LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU AS WE CONTINUE ON THIS IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:51:08 PM

    MRS. BOXER

  • 02:58:29 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

  • 02:58:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENIOR SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE IS RECOGNIZED.

  • 02:58:32 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    THANK YOU. IN JUST A FEW MINUTES, THE SENATOR FROM MAINE WILL HAVE THE…

    THANK YOU. IN JUST A FEW MINUTES, THE SENATOR FROM MAINE WILL HAVE THE FLOOR, AND THE SENATOR -- AND SENATOR FEINSTEIN HAS ASKED THOSE SENATORS WHO HAVE AMENDMENTS WHICH ARE PART OF THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT TO COME ON OVER AND CALL THEM UP. I THINK SENATOR COBURN IS PROBABLY COMING FOLLOWING SENATOR COLLINS FROM MAINE. I LISTENED CAREFULLY TO SENATOR WHITEHOUSE AND TO THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE, AND I JUST WANT TO MAKE AN 0 OBSERVATION, IF I MAY, WHICH WILL TAKE ONLY THREE OR 0 FOUR MINUTES, NOT PROLONG THE DEBATE. NUMBER ONE WHAT SENATOR THUNE AND SENATOR MURKOWSKI WERE SAYING IS THAT THE QUESTION OF CLIMATE CHANGE IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE IN THE CONGRESS OUGHT TO DEAL WITH IT NOT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. THAT'S THE POINT OF THE AMENDMENT. AND, SECOND, I AM ONE SENATOR WHO BELIEVES WE NEED TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE. AND WHO BELIEVES HUMANS ARE CONTRIBUTING TO IT AND THAT CARBON -- WE NEED TO STOP STUFFING SO MUCH CARBON INTO THE OTOMASSTHEATMOSPHERE. BUT WHILE MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OFTEN SPEAK IN GREAT RHETORICAL FLOURISHES ABOUT CARBON, THEY ARE CONSPICUOUSLY SILENT ABOUT THE INCONVENIENT SOLUTION, WHICH IS NUCLEAR POWER. EVEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WENT TO NEW YORK THIS WEEK AND MADE AN ENTIRE SPEECH TALKING ABOUT OUR COMMITMENT TO CLIMATE CHANGE AND LECTURING THE OTHER COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD, THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE, WHEN THEY'RE AHEAD OF US ON NUCLEAR POWER AND THE PRESIDENT IN HIS ENTIRE REMARKS DIDN'T MENTION IT ONCE. AND I SIMPLY THINK THAT OUGHT TO BE NOTED IN THE MIDST OF THIS DEBATE. I MEAN, THE LARGEST CONTRIBUTORS TO CARBON IN THE AIR ARE CHINA, THE UNITED STATES, RUSSIA, INDIA, AND JAPAN. THERE ARE 44 NUCLEAR REACTORS UNDER CONSTRUCTION THIS MINUTE, ALMOST ALL OF THEM IN ASIA. CHINA HAS FOUR REACTORS UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND HAS ANNOUNCED PLANS FOR 130 REACTORS MORE. WHY? BECAUSE NUCLEAR POWER IS CARBON FREE. THE UNITED STATES HASN'T BUILT A NEW NUCLEAR PLANT IN 30 YEARS. RUSSIA INTENDS TO BUILD TWO REACTORS A YEAR IN ORDER TO REPLACE THE 30% OF ELECTRICITY THEY GET FROM NATURAL GAS SO THEY CAN SELL THAT GAS TO EUROPE AT A BIG PROFIT. JAPAN IS BUILDING TWO NUCLEAR REACTORS A YEAR. THEY ALREADY GET 36% OF THEIR ELECTRICITY FROM NUCLEAR. SOUTH KOREA GETS NEARLY 40% OF ITS ELECTRICITY FROM NUCLEAR AND PLANNING EIGHT MORE REACTORS BY 2015. INDIA IS DEVELOPING THORIAM REACTORS INSTEAD OF URANIUM. FRANCE IS 80% NUCLEAR AND IS SELLING ELECTRICITY TO GERMANY, THE ONLY MAJOR EUROPEAN COUNTRY THAT IS STILL RENOUNCING NUCLEAR POWER. AND HERE WE SIT WORRIED ABOUT ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE HAVING 130 REACTORS THAT PRODUCED 20% OF OUR ELECTRICITY, BUT 70% OF OUR CARBON-FREE ELECTRICITY. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES DOESN'T SAY ONE WORD ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER. HE WANTS TO BUILD 130, 50-STORY WIND TURBINES THAT WILL OPERATE PART OF THE TIME AND NOT AT ALL IN OUR PART OF THE COUNTRY. INSTEAD OF TAKING PERHAPS THE GREATEST TECH LODGAL ADVANCE OF THE LAST CENTURY THAT WE ALREADY USE TO PRODUCE 70% OF OUR CARBON-FREE ELECTRICITY AND SAY, LET'S DO MORE OF THAT. SO I'M HOPEFUL AS THIS DEBATE PROCEEDS, THE PRESIDENT WILL SAY LET'S DOUBLE OUR NUCLEAR PRODUCTION. LET'S BUILD 100 NEW NUCLEAR PLANTS IN THE NEXT 20 YEARS. WE SHOULD AGREE ON BUILDING NUCLEAR PLANTS AN ELECTRIFYING OUR CARS AND TRUCKS. IF WE DID THOSE TWO THINGS, WE WOULD MEET THE KYOTO PROTOCOL BY 2030 YET WE DON'T HEAR ANYTHING OF THAT. BRING UP THE INCONVENIENT OF CLIMATE CHANGE. LET'S BRING IT UP. BUT LET'S BRING UP THE INCONVENIENT SOLUTION TO NUCLEAR POWER GOES. THE CHIEF SCIENTIST IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, THE NOBLE PRIZE WINNER SAYS THAT NUCLEAR POWER IS SAFE AND NUCLEAR WASTE CAN BE SAFELY DEALT WITH FOR THE NEXT 40 TO 60 YEARS BY HAVING IT STORED ON SITE WHILE WE HAVE A MINI MANHATTAN PROJECT FOR THE NEXT 20 YEARS TO FIND THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY TO RECYCLE THE USED NUCLEAR FUEL IN A WAY THAT DOESN'T USE PLUTONIUM. THIS IS A GOOD PLAN. I'M GLAD THAT THE SENATORS HAVE COME TO THE FLOOR. THIS IS AN APPROPRIATE AMENDMENT ON WHICH TO HAVE A DISCUSSION. THE POINT OF THE REPUBLICAN AMENDMENTS WERE, ONE, LET'S DO IT IN CONGRESS, NOT IN THE AGENCY. MY POINT IS IF WE'RE GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE INCONVENIENT PROBLEM, LET'S TALK ABOUT THE INCONVENIENT SOLUTION, NUCLEAR POWER, WHICH TODAY PROVIDES 70% OF OUR CARBON-FREE ELECTRICITY, WHICH IS WHAT WE'RE DEBATING.

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  • 03:04:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 03:04:47 PM

    MR. REID

    AT THE DESK, NUMBER 2531, I ASK TO BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE SENATE.

  • 03:04:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE AMENDMENT.

  • 03:04:57 PM

    THE CLERK

    FROM NEVADA, MR. REID, PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBER 2531.

  • 03:05:01 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:05:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:05:05 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT, I GREATLY APPRECIATE MY FRIEND FROM MAINE ALLOWING ME TO…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I GREATLY APPRECIATE MY FRIEND FROM MAINE ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES PRIOR TO HER BEING RECOGNIZED. MR. PRESIDENT, THE AMENDMENT I JUST CALLED UP ALLOWS -- NOT DIRECTS, THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR TO USE $500,000 IN THE FUNDS FOR PRELIMINARY PLANNING TO INSTALL THE AGENCIES AND OFFICES AND LABS IN LAS VEGAS INTO ONE HIGH-PERFORMANCE GREEN BUILDING. IT THE DOESN'T MAKE A -- IT DOESN'T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE TO CONTINUE SPENDING MONEY ON AGING FACILITIES IN NEED OF REPAIR AND REHABILITATION, PARTICULARLY WITH LEASES THAT AREN'T FAR FROM ENDING. CURRENT COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THESE FACILITIES, LEASES AND THEIR OPERATION EXCEED DZ 5DZ .5 MILLION ANNUALLY. CONSOLIDATION WOULD IMPROVE ADMINISTRATIVE EFFICIENCY AND REDUCE AGENCY ENERGY AND WATER AND OTHER COSTS OVER TIME. DEVELOPING A MORE PRECISE ESTIMATE WILL BE PART OF THE PRELIMINARY PLANNING ESTIMATE. THE PEOPLE IN THE OFFICES AND LABS SHOULD BE CONSOLIDATEED BECAUSE IT WOULD GREATLY BENEFIT FROM THEIR BEING ABLE TO WORK MORE CLOSELY TOGETHER GIVEN THEIR EMISSIONS AND ACTIVITIES. THIS INCLUDES THE NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESOURCE LABORATORY, THE URBAN EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM, THAT'S WHEN SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS WITH A NUCLEAR DEVICE, THEY'RE ABLE TO MOVE OUT ON THAT, THE RADIATION IN-- AND INDOOR ENVIRONMENT'S NATIONAL LABORATORY, FINANCIAL LABORATORY CENTER, HUMAN RESOURCE CENTER, NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCE CENTER AND VARIOUS LABORATORIES AN TECHNICAL REFERENCE CENTERS. AS WE KNOW, THE ENERGY INDEPENDENT SECURITY ACT IN 2007 AND RECOVERY ACTS HAVE THE -- HAS THE GOVERNMENT AS A LEADER IN BUILDING TECHNOLOGY. THE E.P.A. SHOULD BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST GIVEN ITS IMPORTANT ROLE AND I THINK ITS LABS AND FACILITIES IN LAS VEGAS SHOULD SERVE AS A SHINING EXAMPLE IN ENERGY THAT SAVES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AN TAXPAYERS MONEY. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO INSERT IN THE RECORD FOLLOWING MY STATEMENT A COPY OF MY LETTER TO THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE REGARDING THIS REQUEST IN COMPLIANCE WITH PARAGRAPH 9 OF RULE 46.

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  • 03:07:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:07:32 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 03:08:12 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    THE SENATOR FROM MAINE.

  • 03:08:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM MAINE.

  • 03:08:16 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT IS THE PENDING AMENDMENT?

  • 03:08:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL READ THE REID AMENDMENT. THE PENDING AMENDMENT IS THE REID…

    THE CLERK WILL READ THE REID AMENDMENT. THE PENDING AMENDMENT IS THE REID AMENDMENT.

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  • 03:08:36 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, PRIOR TO SENATOR REID OFFERING…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. MR. PRESIDENT, PRIOR TO SENATOR REID OFFERING HIS PROPOSAL, THE PENDING BUSINESS BEFORE SENATE WAS AN AMENDMENT THAT I OFFERED EARLIER THIS WEEK, WHICH WAS DESIGNED TO PROMOTE BETTER TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND OVERSIGHT WITHIN OUR GOVERNMENT. I'M DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED THAT A PROCEDURAL TACTIC WILL PREVENT AN UP OR DOWN VOTE ON MY AMENDMENT WHICH IS DESIGNED TO BRING THE PROLIFERATION OF CZARS UNDER THE NORMAL PROCESS. MR. PRESIDENT, THE AMENDMENT THAT I PROPOSED WOULD HAVE ENSURED THAT THE 18 NEW CZAR POSITIONS APPOINTED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION COULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE CONGRESS -- COULDN'T BE HELD -- COULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE TO CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE PROLIFERATION OF CZARS UNDER OF CURRENT ADMINISTRATION TO MANAGE SO OF THE MOST COMPLEX AND MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES FACING OUR COUNTRY HAS CREATED SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN OVERSIGHT, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND TRANSPARENCY. IT IS OF GREAT CONCERN TO ME, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT THESE POSITIONS CIRCUMVENT THE CONGRESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR OVERSIGHT. THEY CIRCUMVENT THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS BY WHICH THE SENATE IS SUPPOSED TO GIVE ADVICE AND CONSENT TO MAJOR POLICY POSITIONS WITHIN OUR GOVERNMENT. MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE A LIST OF 18 NEW CZAR POSITIONS THAT HAVE BEEN CREATED BY THIS ADMINISTRATION THAT I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT BE MADE PART OF THE RECORD.

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  • 03:10:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 03:10:44 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    CZARS ON THIS LIST SEEM TO EITHER DUPLICATE OR DILUTE THE STATUTORY…

    CZARS ON THIS LIST SEEM TO EITHER DUPLICATE OR DILUTE THE STATUTORY AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES THAT CONGRESS HAS ALREADY CONFERRED UPON CABINET-LEVEL OFFICIALS AND OTHER SENIOR EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIALS WHO GO THROUGH THE NORMAL CONSTITUTIONAL PROCESS WHEREBY THE SENATE GIVES ITS CONSENT TO THESE NOMINEES. AS I SAID WHEN I FIRST INTRODUCED THIS AMENDMENT, I DO NOT CONSIDER EVERY POSITIONS THAT BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A CZAR IN VARIOUS MEDIA REPORTS TO BE PROBLEMATIC. SOME OF THOSE POSITIONS ARE ESTABLISHED BY LAW. SOME OF THEM ARE SUBJECT TO SENATE CONFIRMATION. RATHER MY AMENDMENT IS CAREFULLY TAILORED TO COVER SO THAT IT WOULD NOT -- SO THAT IT WOULD NOT COVER, IT WOULD NOT APPLY TO POSITIONS RECOGNIZED IN LAW OR SENATE -- SUBJECT TO SENATE CONFIRMATION. FOR EXAMPLE, THE PROPOSAL THAT I HAVE WOULD NOT APPLY TO THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, TO THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, TO THE HOMELAND SECURITY ADVISER, TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE RECOVERY ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY BOARD, TO THE SO-CALLED INFORMATION OR REGULATORY CZAR WITHIN O.M.B. THESE POSITIONS, BECAUSE THEY ARE RECOGNIZED IN LAW OR THEY ARE SUBJECT TO SENATE CONFIRMATION, SIMPLY DO NOT RAISE THE SAME KINDS OF CONCERNS ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPAINS, OVERSIGHT -- TRANSPARENCY, OVERSIGHT AND VETTING. INSTEAD, MY AMENDMENT HAS BEEN CAREFULLY TAILORED TO COVER OFFICIALS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAS UNILATERALLY DESIGNATED AS RESPONSIBLE FOR SIGNIFICANT POLICY MATTERS. IT WOULD NOT HAVE COVERED THE PRESIDENT'S CHIEF OF STAFF, FOR EXAMPLE, AND IT -- IT WOULD NOT COVER LESS SENIOR WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS DESPITE SOME MISINFORMATION TO THE CONTRARY. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, BECAUSE THE WHITE HOUSE HAS RAISED SO MANY OBJECTIONS TO MY AMENDMENT, I HAVE OFFERED TO SIT DOWN WITH THE WHITE HOUSE COUNSEL AND NARROW THE SCOPE OF THE AMENDMENTS STILL FURTHER TO ADDRESS ANY CONCERNS THAT THE WHITE HOUSE MIGHT HAVE. UNFORTUNATELY THE WHITE HOUSE FAILED TO PROVIDE ANY MODIFICATIONS TO THE TEXT OF MY AMENDMENT. INSTEAD THEY JUST SAID THAT THEY DID NOT WANT ANY OF THESE OFFICIALS TO BE CALLED TO TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS. AND LET ME EXPLAIN EXACTLY WHAT MY AMENDMENT WOULD HAVE DONE SO YOU CAN SEE, MR. PRESIDENT, HOW MODEST, INDEED, THE AMENDMENT WAS. IT SIMPLY WOULD HAVE REQUIRED THAT THE PRESIDENT CERTIFY TO CONGRESS THAT OFFICIALS IN THESE IMPORTANT POSITIONS WOULD RESPOND TO ALL REASONABLE REQUESTS TO TESTIFY BEFORE OR PROVIDE INFORMATION TO CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES WITH JURISDICTION OVER THE ISSUES AT -- INVOLVED. SECOND, IT SIMPLY WOULD HAVE REQUIRED THESE OFFICIALS TO SUBMIT A BIANNUAL REPORT TO THE CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEES WITH JURISDICTION DESCRIBING THE ACTIVITIES OF THE OFFICIAL AND HIS OR HER OFFICE AND ANY RULE, REGULATION, OR POLICY THAT THE OFFICIAL PARTICIPATED OR ASSISTED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF POLICY. MR. PRESIDENT, THAT'S IT. THAT'S IT. HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY BE AGAINST THAT KIND OF ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY, AND OVERSIGHT? IT IS OUR JOB AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO CONDUCT SUCH OVERSIGHT. WE CAN'T DO SO WHEN THE ADMINISTRATION SETS UP A STRUCTURE WHERE THERE IS AN ENERGY CZAR, AN URBAN AFFAIRS CZAR, AN ENVIRONMENTAL CZAR, A CYBERSECURITY CZAR. THE LIST GOES ON AND ON AND ON. AND IT CREATES, MR. PRESIDENT, CONFUSION OVER WHO IS IN CHARGE, WHO IS MAKING POLICY. LET'S TAKE THE AREA OF HEALTH CARE. IS THE TOP POLICY POSITION IN THIS ADMINISTRATION NANCY-ANN DIDDePARLE, WHO IS THE HEALTH CARE CZAR WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, A PERSON, BY THE WAY, FOR WHOM I HAVE THE GREATEST RESPECT? OR IS IT SENATE-CONFIRMED KATHLEEN SEBELIUS, THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES? WHO'S IN CHARGE? WHO DO WE HOLD ACCOUNTABLE? WHAT THE PRESIDENT HAS DONE BY CREATING SO MANY CZAR POSITIONS WITHIN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT APPEAR TO DUPLICATE THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH OFFICIALS THAT ARE SUBJECT TO SENATE CONFIRMATION IS TO BLUR THE LINES OF AUTHORITY, AND THAT IS NOT GOOD FOR OUR SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT. AND IT IS NOT IN KEEPING WITH THIS ADMINISTRATION'S PLEDGE TO BE THE MOST TRANSPARENT ADMINISTRATION EVER, A PLEDGE FOR WHICH I SALUTE THE PRESIDENT.

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  • 03:17:01 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    WILL THE SENATOR YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

  • 03:17:03 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    I WOULD BE HAPPY TO YIELD.

  • 03:17:05 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE SENATOR ABOUT HER AMENDMENT. AND THE FIRST THING I…

    I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE SENATOR ABOUT HER AMENDMENT. AND THE FIRST THING I WOULD LIKE TO ASK IS, YOUR AMENDMENT DOES NOT SPECIFY HOW MANY CZARS -- I THINK THAT'S THE TERM YOU USED ON THE FLOOR -- HOW MANY CZARS THERE ARE IN THE ADMINISTRATION OR WHAT YOU THINK THEIR TITLES ARE? CAN YOU TELL ME HOW MANY CZARS WE ARE GOING IT TRY TO IMPACT WITH YOUR AMENDMENT?

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  • 03:17:29 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    I WOULD BE HAPPY TO. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD SAY TO MY FRIEND THAT I HAVE A…

    I WOULD BE HAPPY TO. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD SAY TO MY FRIEND THAT I HAVE A LIST OF THE 18 POSITIONS WHICH I'VE TALKED REPEATEDLY ABOUT AND WHICH I HAVE INSERTED INTO THE RECORD, AND I HAVE, AS -- AS I HAVE SAID, I'M NOT ONE WHO HAS HAS USED THIS TERM IN THE WAY SOME HAVE TO INCLUDE INDIVIDUALS WITH BROAD AUTHORITY ACROSS CAREIOUS -- ACROSS VARIOUS AGENCIES LIKE THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE, BUT THAT IS A POSITION THAT IS ESTABLISHED OR RECOGNIZED IN LAW AND IS SUBJECT TO SENATE CONFIRMATION. I DID NOT INCLUDE THOSE AND IN FACT IN THE LANGUAGE OF MY AMENDMENT I SPECIFICALLY SAY IT DOES NOT APPLY TO POSITIONS ESTABLISHED IN LAW.

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  • 03:18:19 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    IF THE SENATOR WOULD YIELD AND CAN SHARE COPY THAT HAVE LIST WITH ME, I…

    IF THE SENATOR WOULD YIELD AND CAN SHARE COPY THAT HAVE LIST WITH ME, I WOULD APPRECIATE IT. BUT IN THE MEANTIME, I MIGHT ASK THE SENATOR, IT SEEMS THAT THE CZAR WATCHERS ON YOUR IDEA OF -- ON YOUR SIDE OF THE AISLE, SENATOR HUTCH SORNINGS FOR EXAMPLE, SHE FOUND 32 CZARS WHEN SHE WENT LOOKING. AND ONE OF THE ADVISORS TO SOME POLITICIANS -- AND I WON'T INCLUDE THE SENATOR FROM MAINE; SHE CAN SPEAK FOR HERSELF -- THE NOTED GURU GLENN BECK HAS IDENTIFIED 32 CZARS AS WELL. SO I'D JUST LIKE TO ASK THE SENATOR FROM MAINE BEFORE WE GET INTO THE PROPRIETY OF HER AMENDMENT UNDER THE SENATE RULES, WHO IS GOING TO DEFINE WHO IS COVERED BY YOUR AMENDMENT? IF YOUR COLLEAGUE FROM TEXAS FOUND 32, GLENN BECK FOUND 32, YOU FOUND 18.

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  • 03:19:11 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    PRESIDENT, I'D BE GLAD TO RESPOND TO THE QUESTION OF MY COLLEAGUE. MY…

    PRESIDENT, I'D BE GLAD TO RESPOND TO THE QUESTION OF MY COLLEAGUE. MY COLLEAGUE DID NOT HAVE THE BENEFIT OF BEING ON THE FLOOR WHEN I FIRST PRESENTED MY AMENDMENT, AND I ADDRESSED THIS VERY ISSUE. I WAS VERY CAREFUL IN DRAFTING THIS AMENDMENT TO MAKE CLEAR THAT I WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT POSITIONS THAT ARE RECOGNIZED IN LAW. SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES, LEGITIMATELY, HAVE TAKEN A DIFFERENT APPROACH. BUT THAT IS NOT THE APPROACH THAT IS BEFORE THE SENATE NOW. RATHER, I HAVE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT THE ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED BY MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, SUCH AS SENATOR BYRD, WHO CERTAINLY KNOWS MORE ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION THAN I N.I.H. OF US -- THAN I THINK ANY OF US WHO ARE SERVING AT THE PRESENT TIME, WHO HAS EXPRESSED CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROLIFERATION OF CZARS. I HAVE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT CONCERNS EXPRESSED BY SENATOR FEINGOLD, BY SENATOR FEINSTEIN, AND I'VE DONE A CAREFULARROWLY TAILORED AMENDMENT THAT DOES NOT AMENDMENT TO SWEEP IN POSITIONS THAT ARE RECOGNIZED IN LAW NOR DOES IT SWEEP IN POSITIONS THAT ARE SUBJECT TO SENATE CONFIRMATION, AND THAT'S WHY IT'S SO DISAPPOINTING TO ME THAT MY COLLEAGUES ARE NOT UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTING MY AMENDMENT, WHICH IT LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE GOING TO DO EARLIER THIS WEEK BEFORE THE WHITE HOUSE WEIGHED IN, BECAUSE I DID NOT TAKE A BROAD SWEEPING APPROACH. I TOOK A VERY NARROW, CAREFUL APPROACH THAT AIMED AT THE PROBLEMS I'VE TALKED ABOUT: IRK THE LACK OF OVERSIGHT, TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

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  • 03:20:58 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    IF THE SENATOR WOULD YIELD FURTHER FOR A QUESTION, I'D LIKE TO ASK THE…

    IF THE SENATOR WOULD YIELD FURTHER FOR A QUESTION, I'D LIKE TO ASK THE SENATOR, I HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT USING THE DEFINITION OF "CZAR" THAT MR. BECK, THE POLITICAL ADVISOR TO SOME, SENATOR HUTCHISON AND EVEN YOU USE, THAT UNDER PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH GEORGE BUSH, THE PREVIOUS REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION, ONE COULD CHARACTERIZE HIS OFFICIALS AND ADVISORS IN THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENCY AND OTHER AGENCIES AS AN AFGHANISTAN CZAR, AN AIDS CZAR, A DRUG CZAR, A FAITH-BASED CZAR, AN INTELLIGENCE CZAR, A MIDEAST PEACE CZAR, A REGULATORY CZAR, A SCIENCE CZAR, SUDAN DISARKS A TARP BAILOUT CZAR, A TERRORISM CZAR, AND A WEAPONS CZAR UNDER THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION. AND I WOULD LIKE TO ASK THE SENATOR FROM MAINE IF SHE PRODUCED THIS AMENDMENT, PROPOSED THIS AMENDMENT UNDER A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, WHO CLEARLY HAD HIS OWN STABLE OF MUSCOVITE CZARS, OF A LOT OF DIFFERENT VERSIONS?

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  • 03:22:00 PM

    MS. COLLINS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I AGAIN WOULD BE HAPPY TO ATTEMPT TO CLARIFY THIS ISSUE FOR…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I AGAIN WOULD BE HAPPY TO ATTEMPT TO CLARIFY THIS ISSUE FOR MY COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND -- AND HE IS MY FRIEND -- FROM ILLINOIS. AND I REALIZE THAT HE HAS HIS ROLE TO PLAY IN THIS DEBATE. BUT THE FACT IS, HE'S JUST LISTED SEVERAL POSITIONS THAT ARE ESTABLISHED BY LAW -- THE INTELLIGENCE CZAR IS THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTEL GENERALS, DENNIS BLAIR. JOE LIEBERMAN AND I WROTE THE LAW THAT ESTABLISHED THAT POSITION IN 2004, AND HE IS CONFIRMED BY THE SNAVMENT THE REGULATORY -- - BY THE SENATE. THE REGULATORY CZAR, CASS SUNSTEIN AND JOHN GRAHAM IN THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION, IT IS ESTABLISHED BY LAW AND PART OF THE OFFICE OF INFORMATION AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS WITHIN O.M.B. I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT THOSE POSITIONS. AND NOIN NO MATTER WHOSE ADMINISTRATION IT IS. AND I AM TALKING ABOUT PERHAPS OTHER POSITIONS ON HIS LIST, REGARDLESS OF 0 WHOSE ADMINISTRATION THEY'RE IN. I WOULD APPLY THE SAME STANDARDS. NOW, THE SENATOR WOULD THEN SAY, WELL, WHY DIDN'T I OFFER THIS AMENDMENT IN THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION? THE ANSWER IS, WE DIDN'T HAVE THIS PROLIFERATION OF CZAR POSITIONS IN THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATION. BUT, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD SAY TO MY COLLEAGUES, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER IT IS A DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT OR A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, A DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS OR A REPUBLICAN CONGRESS, I THINK THIS IS AN INSTITUTIONAL ISSUE, AND I THINK ALL OF US, AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, SHOULD BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURES THAT MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO CONDUCT EFFECTIVE CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT, THAT INSULATE THESE OFFICIALS WHO HAVE SIGNIFICANT POLICY RESPONSIBILITIES FROM EVER COMING TO TESTIFY, FROM GOING THROUGH THE VETTING AND THE CONFIRMATION PROCESS. I THINK THAT'S A PROBLEM REGARDLESS OF WHO THE PRESIDENT -- WHO THE PRESIDENT IS, AND I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO THINKS IT. THAT'S WHY SENATOR ROBERT C. BYRD WROTE TO THE WHITE HOUSE, WROTE TO THE PRESIDENT TO -- AND THIS PRESS RELEASE SAYS, "QUESTIONS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION ON THE ROLE OF WHITE HOUSE CZAR POSITIONS BECAUSE," AS HE SAYS, "TOO OFTEN I'VE SEEN THESE LINES OF AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY BECOME TANGLED AND BLURRED, SOMETIMES PURPOSELY TO SHIELD INFORMATION AND TO OBSCURE DECISION MAKING. "QUIMG NOTE SAYING THAT THIS IS PART OF A PLOT TO OBSCURE INFORMATION. BUT WHAT I'M SAYING IS, WE HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO EXERCISE OUR CONSTITUTIONAL DUTIES, AND THE PROLIFERATION OF THESE UNACCOUNTABLE POSITIONS IN ANY ADMINISTRATION MAKES THAT IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO DO SO. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, IF I COULD COMPLETE JUST THE END OF MY STATEMENT BEFORE WE GOT INTO THIS BIT LITTLE COLLOQUY -- AND I DOOPPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CLARIFY WHO MY AMENDMENT WOULD COVER, WHOM WOULD BE COVERED BY IT AND WHOM WOULD NOT -- AS I SAID, I WAS WILLING TO WORK WITH THE WHITE HOUSE TO MAKE THIS EVEN CLEARER, IF NEED BE. MY STAFF WAS HERE MANY HOURS LAST NIGHT. I HAD CONVERSATIONS WITH WHITE HOUSE OFFICIALS AND, UNFORTUNATELY, AT THE LAST MOMENT THEY DECIDED NOT TO TRY TO PROPOSE REVISIONS TO THE TEXT. NOW, I AM NOT GOING TO SEEK TO OVERTURN THE CHAIR'S RULING ON THIS AMENDMENT, WHICH WILL BE FORTHCOMING, AND I KNOW HOW IT WILL GO. BUT I DO THINK IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT A PROCEDURAL TACTIC IS BEING USED TO BLOCK A VOTE ON THIS AMENDMENT. AND I DO WANT TO TELL MY COLLEAGUES THAT I THINK THIS IS A REAL ISSUE, AND I'LL VERY PLEASED THAT THE HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE, UNDER CHAIRMAN LIEBERMAN, IS GOING TO HOLD A HEARING TO EXPLORE THIS ISSUE, BECAUSE IT DOES HAVE CONSTITUTIONAL RAMIFICATIONS, AND IT DOES INVOLVE THE BALANCE OF POWER BETWEEN THE EXECUTIVE AND THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH. BUT THE RULING THE CHAIR GOING MAKE IS NOT GOING -- BUT THE RULING THE CHAIR IS GOING TO MAKE IS NOT GOING TO BE THE LAST WORD ON THIS SUBJECT. THE ADMINISTRATION NEEDS NEEDS -- ANY ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO FULLY EXPLAIN THE RESPONSIBILITIES AND AUTHORITIES OF THESE CZARS, AND UNTIL ALL OF THESE CZARS ARE MADE AVAILABLE TO TESTIFY BEFORE AND PROVIDE INFORMATION TO CONGRESS, UNTIL CONGRESS IS FULLY CONSULTED ON THE DECISIONS TO CREATE THESE POSITIONS IN THE FIRST PLACE, I WILL CONTINUE TO PRESS FORWARD ON THIS ISSUE. I BELIEVE THAT THE AMENDMENT THAT I DRAFTED WAS A VERY REASONABLE, BALANCED ONE, AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A SIGNIFICANT STEP TOWARD ESTABLISHING AN OVERSIGHT STRUCTURE FOR THESE POSITIONS THAT WOULD PROVIDE THE TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND OVERSIGHT OUR NATION EXPECTS FROM ITS LEADERS. AND I AM DISMAYED THAT THE SENATE IS ABOUT TO CHOOSE A POINT OF ORDER OVER THESE PRINCIPLES. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT.

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  • 03:27:53 PM

    MR. DURBIN

  • 03:27:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS.

  • 03:27:56 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I WONDER IF THE SENATOR WOULD YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

  • 03:34:49 PM

    >>

    WOULD YIELD FOR A QUESTION?

  • 03:34:52 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I WOULD BE HAPPY TO YIELD.

  • 03:34:56 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    DISTINGUISHED ASSISTANT DEMOCRATIC LEADER, I WONDER IF HE'S AWARE THAT THE…

    DISTINGUISHED ASSISTANT DEMOCRATIC LEADER, I WONDER IF HE'S AWARE THAT THE MANUFACTURING CZAR IN PRESIDENT BUSH'S TIME WAS APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT AND CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE AND TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE? ASK I WONDER IF HE IS ALSO AWARE THAT THE AIDS CZAR WAS APPOINTED BY THE PRESIDENT AND CONFIRMED BY THE PRESIDENT AND TESTIFIED BEFORE THE SENATE? AND SENATOR COLLINS HAS BEEN CAREFUL, I BELIEVE HE IS AWARE -- OR I WONDER IF HE AWARE THAT SENATOR COLLINS HAS BEEN CAREFUL TO SAY THAT SHE'S NOT TALKING ABOUT ANY CZARS WHO WE CONFIRM AND THE PRESIDENT APPOINT AND WHO TESTIFIES. SHE IS ONLY TALKING ABOUT THE 18 NEW CZARS UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, JUST AS SENATOR BYRD DID IN FEBRUARY? I WONDER IF THE SENATOR IS AWARE OF THOSE?

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  • 03:35:45 PM

    MR. DURBIN

    I THANK THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE FOR THE QUESTION AND I AM AWARE OF THAT…

    I THANK THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE FOR THE QUESTION AND I AM AWARE OF THAT FACT. AND I WOULD RESPOND TO HIM, THAT IS WHY I WAS TRYING TO CLARIFY HOW MANY CZARS ARE IN THIS MUSCOVITE CONSPIRACY, BECAUSE ONE OF HIS COLLEAGUES FROM TEXAS, SENATOR HUTCHISON, IDENTIFIED 32, AS DID MR. GLENN BECK, AND THEY INCLUDED 16 -- PARDON ME, SEVEN OF THESE SO-CALLED CZARS ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE -- PARDON ME, NINE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED BY THE SENATE. SO IT APPEARS THAT SOME OF YOUR COLLEAGUES DO NOT SHARE YOUR DEFINITION THAT SENATOR COLLINS -- PARDON ME, SENATOR COLLINS REFERRED TO ON THE FLOOR. THE POINT I'M TRYING TO MAKE IS, THIS IS A LEGITIMATE INQUIRY. IT'S AN IMPORTANT INQUIRY. IT HAS BEEN MUDDLED BY STATEMENTS MADE BY SOME MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND CERTAINLY BY THOSE IN THE POLITICAL COMMENTARY REALM. THE GOOD NEWS IS THIS. FOR SENATOR ALEXANDER AND SENATOR COLLINS AND EVERYONE ELSE CONCERNED ABOUT THIS ISSUE, A TRUSTED FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE, SENATOR JOE LIEBERMAN, CHAIRMAN OF THE HOMELAND SECURITY COMMITTEE, HAS PROMISED A HEARING ON THIS ISSUE. AND I KNOW HE WILL ENGAGE SENATOR COLLINS, HIS RANKING REPUBLICAN MEMBER IN IT, AND SERIOUS QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE BEEN PRESENTED WILL BE CONSIDERED BY SENATOR LIEBERMAN. WE RESPECT HIM IN THAT CAPACITY. AND SO THE REASON THAT I'M OBJECTING TO THIS AMENDMENT ISN'T BECAUSE I THINK THAT SENATOR COLLINS DOESN'T HAVE AT LEAST A LEGITIMATE INQUIRY, BUT I THINK IT SHOULD BE TAKEN IN THE REGULAR ORDER OF THINGS AND NOT CONSIDERED IN THIS FASHION ON THE APPROPRIATION BILL. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, I MAKE A POINT OF ORDER THAT THE COLLINS AMENDMENT NUMBER 2498 VIOLATES RULE 16, PARAGRAPH 4, LEGISLATIVE -- LEGISLATION ON APPROPRIATIONS BILL. SORRY. I MISSED ONE PROCEDURAL STEP. I CALL FOR REGULAR ORDER ON THE PENDING COLLINS AMENDMENT.

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  • 03:37:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE AMENDMENT IS NOW PENDING.

  • 03:37:45 PM

    MR. DINNER

    THE POINT OF ORDER IS SUSTAINED.

  • 03:37:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 03:37:54 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 03:37:55 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE AMENDMENT FALLS. THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE.

  • 03:37:58 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK THE ASSISTANT DEMOCRATIC LEADER FOR HIS COMMENTS,…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I THANK THE ASSISTANT DEMOCRATIC LEADER FOR HIS COMMENTS, AND I WANT TO ESPECIALLY THANK THE SENATOR FROM MAINE. THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS SUGGESTED THAT THE WATERS HAD GOTTEN MUD I DIDDED BECAUSE SOME OF -- MUDDIED BECAUSE SOME OF US DIDN'T COUNT VERY WELL IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER OF CZARS WHO MIGHT EXIST IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. THAT'S WHY WE'RE SO FORTUNATE TO HAVE THE SENATOR FROM MAINE, WHO IS ALWAYS CAREFUL, ALWAYS THOUGHTFUL, ALWAYS EXPERIENCED. AND WHAT SHE HAS DONE IS GONE BACK TO SENATOR BYRD'S FIRST LETTER IN FEBRUARY IN WHICH HE EXPRESSED HIS CONCERN ABOUT THE CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES HERE AND THEN SHE'S COUNTED 18 NEW CZARS IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. AND HER LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF SEPTEMBER 14 IS LIMITED AND THOUGHTFUL AND RESPECTFUL, AND SHE SIMPLY ASKS THAT THE PRESIDENT IDENTIFY THE SPECIFIC AUTHORITIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THOSE POSITIONS, THE PROCESS BY WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION EXAMINES THESE PEOPLE, WHETHER THEY'RE WILLING TO TESTIFY BEFORE US. AND SHE IS RANKING MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE THAT SENATOR LIEBERMAN CHAIRS AND WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY DURING THE HEARING TO EXPLORE THIS. SOME OF US ARE CONCERNED THAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS TOO DEDICATED TO TOO MANY WASHINGTON TAKEOVERS AND THE UNUSUAL NUMBER OF NEW CZARS IS THE MOST VISIBLE SYMBOL OF THE LARGE NUMBER OF WASHINGTON TAKEOVERS. BUT I THINK WE'RE FORTUNATE THAT WE HAVE A THOUGHTFUL SENATOR LIKE THE SENATOR FROM MAINE AND AN INDEPENDENT SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT, JOE LIEBERMAN, WHO WILL LOOK INTO IT. I'M SURE SENATOR BYRD WILL WANT TO WEIGH IN. SENATOR FEINGOLD MAY HOLD A HEARING. AND WE'LL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TO -- TO HAVE A THOUGHTFUL RESOLUTION OF THIS. SO I THANK THE SENATOR FROM MAINE FOR HER -- FOR HER AMENDMENT AND HER LEADER LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING MORE FROM HER ON IT. MADAM CHAIRMAN, IF I COULD SAY TO THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA, THE SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO HAS BEEN WAITING AND THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA HAS BEEN WAITING. SO LET ME --

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  • 03:40:01 PM

    MR. VITTER

    THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA.

  • 03:40:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM LOUISIANA.

  • 03:40:04 PM

    MR. VITTER

    COULD I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT FOR TWO MINUTES OF RECOGNITION BEFORE WE…

    COULD I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT FOR TWO MINUTES OF RECOGNITION BEFORE WE MOVE AWAY FROM THIS ISSUE?

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  • 03:40:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE AN OBJECTION? WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 03:40:16 PM

    MR. VITTER

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'LL BE BRIEF. I JUST WANT TO COMPLIMENT MY…

    THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I'LL BE BRIEF. I JUST WANT TO COMPLIMENT MY DISTINGUISHED SENATOR -- COLLEAGUE FROM MAINE ON HER AMENDMENT. I THINK IT WAS VERY WELL-TAILORED AND VERY CAREFULLY PUT TOGETHER. I DO THINK IT'S A SHAME THAT IT WON'T BE ABLE TO COME TO ANY VOTE BECAUSE OF THIS PROCEDURAL MOVE BY THE ASSISTANT MAJORITY LEADER. I WANT TO UNDERSCORE THREE POINTS. NUMBER ONE, YOU KNOW, MAYBE WE CAN TALK ABOUT SOME OTHER UNIVERSE WHEN WE DEBATE THE BECK AMENDMENT BUT WE'RE NOT DEBATING THE GLENN BECK AMENDMENT TODAY. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE COLLINS AMENDMENT. WE'LL GET TO VOTE ON THE VITTER AMENDMENT. AND WHAT ALL OF US HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT ARE APPOINTEES OF THE PRESIDENT WHO WERE -- WHOSE OFFICE WAS NOT CREATED BY STATUTE IN ANY WAY AND WHO WERE NEVER SENATE CONFIRMED. NUMBER TWO, I ALSO WANT TO UNDERSCORE THE POINT THAT THIS IS CLEARLY A BIPARTISAN CONCERN, AS EVIDENCED BY SENATOR BYRD'S LETTER FROM FEBRUARY AND SENATOR RUSS FEINGOLD'S RECENT COMMENTS. IT'S A VERY SERIOUS AND VERY BIPARTISAN CONCERN. NUMBER THREE, WE WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO VOTE ON THIS ISSUE TODAY UNDER MY AMENDMENT. THE CLIMATE CHANGE CZAR IS ONE OF THOSE 18 AND SHE CLEARLY THREATENS TO SUPERSEDE AND OVERSHADOW SENATE-CONFIRMED CABINET MEMBERS LIKE THE HEAD OF E.P.A. AND SO MY AMENDMENT IS REAL SIMPLE. IT SAYS E.P.A. SHOULDN'T HAVE TO CARRY OUT ORDERS OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE CZAR WHEN IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE HEADED BY A CABINET MEMBER MEMBER, SENATE-CONFIRMED APPOINTEE DIRECTLY AT E.P.A. SO, AGAIN, I COMPLIMENT THE SENATOR FROM MAINE IN HER EFFORTS AND CERTAINLY PLEDGE ONGOING SUPPORT ON THE ISSUE AND CERTAINTY THROUGH MY AMENDMENT. I YIELD BACK MY TIME. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 03:42:12 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO. A SENATOR: THANK YOU, MR.…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO. A SENATOR: THANK YOU, MR. MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO OPPOSE THE MURKOWSKI AMENDMENT. THE MURKOWSKI AMENDMENT WOULD PROHIBIT THE E.P.A. FROM USING FUNDS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT TO DEAL WITH CLIMATE CHANGE.

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  • 03:42:24 PM

    MR. UDALL

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 03:50:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 03:50:17 PM

    MR. COBURN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:51:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:52:00 PM

    THE CLERK

    FROM OKLAHOMA, MR. COBURN, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2463.

  • 03:52:05 PM

    MR. COBURN

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ, AND I'D ASK…

    UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ, AND I'D ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE AND THE AMENDMENT NUMBER 2523 BE CALLED UP. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

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  • 03:52:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:52:36 PM

    THE CLERK

    FROM OKLAHOMA, MR. COBURN, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2523 --

  • 03:52:41 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I'D ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THAT AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ. I ASK…

    I'D ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THAT AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT AS WELL THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE AND THAT AMENDMENT 2483 BE CALLED UP.

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  • 03:52:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:52:58 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA, MR. COBURN, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2483.

  • 03:53:03 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED READ. I ALSO ASK…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED READ. I ALSO ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE AND AMENDMENT 2482 BE CALLED UP.

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  • 03:53:12 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:53:21 PM

    THE CLERK

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THIS AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ AND THAT…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THIS AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ AND THAT IT BE SET ASIDE AND AMENDMENT NUMBER 2511 BE CALLED UP.

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  • 03:53:26 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THIS AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ AND THAT…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THIS AMENDMENT BE CONSIDERED AS READ AND THAT IT BE SET ASIDE AND AMENDMENT NUMBER 2511 BE CALLED UP.

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  • 03:53:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE --

  • 03:53:37 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MAY, IF THE SENATOR WOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH TO MENTION…

    MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MAY, IF THE SENATOR WOULD BE GOOD ENOUGH TO MENTION THE SUBJECT OF THE AMENDMENT AS YOU READ THE NUMBER, IT WOULD BE APPRECIATED. WE COULD KEEP IT STRAIGHT THAT WAY.

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  • 03:53:48 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THIS IS THE LAST ONE, AND I WILL TRY TO DO THAT. THESE ARE ALL IN THE…

    THIS IS THE LAST ONE, AND I WILL TRY TO DO THAT. THESE ARE ALL IN THE AGREEMENT THAT YOU AND I HAD THAT I WOULD BRING UP, AND THIS IS THE LAST ONE.

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  • 03:53:56 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    GOOD. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHICH ONE YOU'RE SPEAKING ON WHEN YOU'RE…

    GOOD. I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHICH ONE YOU'RE SPEAKING ON WHEN YOU'RE SPEAKING.

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  • 03:54:01 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I WILL BE HAPPY TO DO THAT. 2511.

  • 03:54:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE AMENDMENT.

  • 03:54:16 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THIS AMENDMENT IS AS MODIFIED WITHOUT THE SECOND-DEGREE, WITH THE…

    THIS AMENDMENT IS AS MODIFIED WITHOUT THE SECOND-DEGREE, WITH THE AGREEMENT OF THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE. AND YOU SHOULD HAVE THE MODIFIED AMENDMENT AT THE DESK. THIS IS ON -- WE NEED THE CONSENT? ALL RIGHT.

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  • 03:54:37 PM

    THE CLERK

    FROM OKLAHOMA, MR. COBURN, PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2511.

  • 03:54:42 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THIS AMENDMENT BE AS MODIFIED, AND I WOULD…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THIS AMENDMENT BE AS MODIFIED, AND I WOULD YIELD TO THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE.

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  • 03:54:48 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, WITH RESPECT TO AMENDMENT 2511, SENATOR COBURN AND I HAVE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, WITH RESPECT TO AMENDMENT 2511, SENATOR COBURN AND I HAVE COME TO AN AGREEMENT. THEREFORE, THERE IS NO NEED FOR ME TO OFFER A SECOND-DEGREE. THEREFORE, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COBURN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2511 BE MODIFIED WITH THE CHANGES AT THE DESK AND THAT THE AMENDMENT AS MODIFIED BE AGREED TO AND THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID UPON THE TABLE.

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  • 03:55:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT.

  • 03:55:16 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT.

  • 03:55:19 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 03:55:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 03:55:25 PM

    MR. COBURN

    DO THIS TO SAVE US THE TIME IN THE SHORTEST AMOUNT OF TIME PERIOD I CAN. I…

    DO THIS TO SAVE US THE TIME IN THE SHORTEST AMOUNT OF TIME PERIOD I CAN. I WANT TO ALSO THANK MADAM CHAIRMAN THIS HAVE COMMITTEE FOR WORKING WITH ME. THERE ARE SEVERAL AMENDMENTS I DIDN'T OFFER. I WANT TO SPEND A COUPLE OF MINUTES TALKING ABOUT THOSE BECAUSE I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO HEAR ABOUT THEM. LESS THAN A BLOCK FROM THIS BUILDING IS THE BELMONT HOUSE. IT'S A BEAUTIFUL BUILDING. IT HAS $4 MILLION IN THE BANK, THE FOUNDATION DOES. THERE'S AN EARMARK IN THIS BILL AT THIS TIME OF $1.8 TRILLION DEFICIT, OF A 16% INCREASE IN THIS BILL. THE SENATOR, SENATOR LANDRIEU FROM LOUISIANA, IS SENDING $1 MILLION TO THAT BUILDING. THEY HAVE THE MONEY IN THE BANK, BUT WE'RE STILL GOING TO TAKE $1 MILLION FROM OUR GRANDKIDS AND SEND IT THERE. I'M NOT OFFERING THAT AMENDMENT IN CONJUNCTION WITH HAVING THE PLEASURE OF THE CHAIRMAN CONSIDER MY OTHER AMENDMENTS, BUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW THAT KIND OF STUFF'S GOING ON. IT'S ABSOLUTELY NOT INDICATED. WHO USES THAT BUILDING? WE DO FOR FUND-RAISERS. WE DO FOR EVENTS. WE DO FOR SOCIAL EVENTS. AND IN FACT, THERE'S A HIGH PRICE PAID WHEN YOU RENT IT. BUT WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO, WITHOUT REGARD TO WHAT OUR FISCAL SITUATION IS, IS WE'RE GOING TO TAKE AND SEND ANOTHER $1 MILLION LIKE IT'S A PEANUT, AND SEND IT TO THAT BUILDING. THAT'S ALL I'LL SAY ON IT. BUT TO ME, IT'S ONE OF THE THINGS, THE REASON WHY THIS CONGRESS AND WE IN PARTICULAR AS MEMBERS OF THE SENATE LACK THE RESPECT OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THE OTHER AMENDMENT THAT I'M NOT GOING TO OFFER THAT WAS OBJECTED TO BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE RESOURCES COMMITTEE IS FOR US TO KNOW WHAT KIND OF LAND WE OWN. AT A MINIMUM, WE DON'T KNOW SINCE 2005 HOW MUCH LAND OR WHERE WE OWN IT. NOW, SUPPOSEDLY B.L.M. PUTS OUT SOMETHING, SUPPOSEDLY THE GEOLOGICAL SURVEY PUT SOMETHING OUT. BUT THERE IS NOT A CONCISE LIST NOR AREA OF THE LAND THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OWNS, AND IT'S SOMEWHERE IN EXCESS OF A THIRD OF ALL THE LAND IN THIS COUNTRY, AND IT'S 650 MILLION ACRES. IN THIS BILL IS ANOTHER $300 MILLION, ALMOST $400 MILLION TO BUY MORE LAND AT THE SAME TIME THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE HAS A BACKLOG OF $11 BILLION. WE DON'T HAVE ONE NATIONAL PARK THAT DOESN'T HAVE SIGNIFICANT FACTORS OF EROSION AND DILAPIDATION THAT IS NOW PUTTING BOTH THE EMPLOYEES AND PARK VISITORS AT RISK. AND YET WE'RE GOING TO SPEND $400 MILLION TO BUY MORE LAND, TO REQUIRE MORE OF THEIR SERVICES TO TAKE CARE -- RATHER THAN TO TAKE CARE OF WHAT WE HAVE. IT DOESN'T FIT WITH COMMON SENSE. THERE'S NO WAY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AS A WHOLE WILL EMBRACE THAT KIND OF STUPIDITY, YET THAT'S IN THIS BILL. WE'RE GOING TO BUY MORE LAND, TAKE MORE LAND OFF THE TAX ROLLS. WE'RE GOING TO HURT THE STATES. WE'RE GOING TO LIMIT THE ABILITY OF PROPERTY OWNERS. AND WE'RE GOING TO CONTINUE. THE PARK SERVICE THIS YEAR, THEIR BACKLOG GREW BY OVER $400 MILLION. WE'VE GOT CARLSBAD CAVERNS WHERE WE HAD SEWAGE LEAKING INTO THE CAVERN. AND I WON'T SPEND THE TIME TO GO THROUGH THE HUNDREDS OF EXAMPLES THAT THE PARK SERVICE HAS GIVEN US THAT THEY CANNOT MAINTAIN THE PARKS BECAUSE WE WON'T SEND THEM THE MONEY TO DO IT. WE'D RATHER SPEND IT ON AN EARMARK OR BUY MORE LAND. PRIORITIES HERE ARE AMAZING. NOW, LET ME TALK ABOUT AMENDMENT 2511. I'LL SPEND A VERY SHORT PERIOD. THAT'S A COMPETITIVE BIDDING AMENDMENT. WE HAVE CAREFULLY CRAFTED THAT WITH THE CONCERNS OF BOTH STAFF AND THE CHAIRMAN AND RANKING MEMBER OF THIS COMMITTEE. AND WHAT IT SAYS IS WE'RE GOING TO USE COMPETITIVE BIDDING MUCH LIKE THE PRESIDENT CAMPAIGNED WHEN WE GO TO BUY THINGS THAT ARE APPROVED IN THIS BILL. WE VERY CAREFULLY EXEMPTED THE SECTIONS OF THE NATIVE AMERICANS WHERE THEIR SOVEREIGNTY REINS, WHERE -- REIGNS, WHERE WE WOULD NOT STEP ON THEIR SOVEREIGNTY. ALTHOUGH I'M NOT SURE WE SHOULDN'T REQUIRE THEM TO COMPETITIVELY BID, BUT WE AGREED NOT TO DO THAT. HERE'S WHAT WE DO KNOW. THAT IF YOU TAKE DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, ABOUT 5% OF THE COSTS ARE EXCESSIVE BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE COMPETITIVE BIDDING. IF YOU TAKE THE PENTAGON, IT'S ABOUT $20 BILLION A YEAR BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE COMPETITIVE BIDDING. IN THE INTERIOR IT'S MUCH SMALLER. BUT ANY PENNY THAT WE CAN BUY IN TERMS OF ENHANCING THE VALUE OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS' DOLLARS BY SAYING WHAT WE BUY IS GOING TO BE COMPETITIVELY BID, WE OUGHT TO DO THAT. WE OUGHT TO GET THE BEST VALUE WE CAN. WE MAY NOT ALWAYS GET GREAT VALUE. BUT WE'LL HAVE A COMPETITIVE BID AND WE'LL HAVE EVERYBODY IN THAT THAT'S QUALIFIED TO HAVE A SHOT AT THAT BUSINESS. IT'S A TWO-FER, IT IS BETTER VALUE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND ALSO OPENING UP TO EVERYBODY WHO HAS A SERVICE FOR WHEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SELLS THIS. WITH THAT, WE HAVE AN AGREEMENT. AND I APPRECIATE THE CHAIRMAN ACCEPTING THAT AMENDMENT. AMENDMENT 2463 IS AN AMENDMENT THAT PUBLICIZES ALL OF THE REPORTS REQUIRED BY THIS BILL. IF, IN FACT, THAT WILL NOT IN ANY WAY COMPROMISE NATIONAL SECURITY. I THINK WE'VE WORKED OUT AN AGREEMENT ON THAT AMENDMENT TO WHERE THAT'S GOING TO BE ACCEPTED AND PROTECTED. IT'S ABOUT TRANSPARENCY. WE OUGHT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE GET TO SEE WHAT WE'RE DOING. AND IF WE ASK FOR A REPORT THAT WILL NOT IN ANY WAY ENDANGER SECURITY OF THIS COUNTRY THAT COMES BACK TO US, THERE'S NO REASON THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BE ABLE TO SEE THAT. AND MAKE IT AVAILABLE TO THEM SO THEY CAN MAKE A JUDGMENT TO JUDGE US ON WHAT WE'RE DOING AND WHETHER OR NOT WE'RE RESPONDING APPROPRIATELY TO PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED IN SUCH REPORTS. SO I'M VERY THANKFUL FOR THE CHAIRMAN IN TERMS OF SETTLEMENTING THIS AND I LOOK FORWARD TO OTHER COMMENTS ON -- ACCEPTING THIS AND I LOOK FORWARD TO HER COMMENTS ON THIS. SHOULD WE DO THE SAME THING WITH THIS AMENDMENT AS WE DID WITH THE LAST ONE, MADAM CHAIR?

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  • 04:02:12 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    YES. I'D BE HAPPY TO DO THE SAME THING. MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MAY, SENATOR…

    YES. I'D BE HAPPY TO DO THE SAME THING. MR. PRESIDENT, IF I MAY, SENATOR COBURN'S AMENDMENT, NUMBER 2463, HE AND I HAVE COME TO AN AGREEMENT. THERE IS NO -- I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COBURN AMENDMENT BE AGREED TO AND MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE.

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  • 04:02:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:03:08 PM

    MR. COBURN

    SWITCH NOW TO AMENDMENT 2523, WHICH IS A PROHIBITION ON FUNDS BEING SPENT…

    SWITCH NOW TO AMENDMENT 2523, WHICH IS A PROHIBITION ON FUNDS BEING SPENT IN THIS ACT THAT WOULD ACTUALLY LIMIT THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE HOMELAND SECURITY DEPARTMENT IN TERMS OF SECURING OUR BORDERS AND PROTECTING US. THIS AMENDMENT IS BASICALLY TO ENSURE THAT THE WILDERNESS AREAS AND OTHER PUBLIC LANDS ARE PROTECTED FROM CRIME AND POLLUTION. I KNOW IT'S NOT SEEN THAT WAY. BUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IS A VERY BIG AND SAD STORY ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR WILDERNESS AREAS. BORDER VIOLENCE AND TRAFFICKING IS AT AN ALL-TIME HIGH. OUR PUBLIC LANDS ALONG THE BORDER ARE BEING EXPLOITED BY DRUG AND HUMAN SMUGGLERS. WILDERNESS CONCERNS HINDER LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS. HOW DO WE BALANCE PROPERLY OUR CONCERNS FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND STILL SECURE OUR BORDERS AND STILL PROTECT OUR POPULATION FROM BOTH DRUG SMUGGLING AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING? WILDERNESS AREAS ARE ALSO BEING DESTROYED BY THESE VERY SMUGGLERS BECAUSE WE DON'T ALLOW THE ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ACCESS TO BE ABLE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE HAVEN'T ACTED ON IT. WE HAVEN'T ACTED ON IT IN THIS BILL. AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE'S THE PROPER BALANCE BETWEEN PROTECTING OUR WILDERNESS AREAS AND PROTECTING OUR COUNTRY AND OUR CITIZENRY. WE'VE SOUGHT TO ADDRESS IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS OUR BORDER SECURITY CONCERNS BY APPROPRIATING A LARGE INCREASE IN FEDERAL FUNDS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FOR SIGNIFICANT LEGISLATION TO CONSTRUCT INFRASTRUCTURE ALONG THE SOUTHERN BORDER. IN THE SECURE ACT -- FENCE ACT IN 2006, CONGRESS SOUGHT TO AND SURE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WAS ABLE TO TAKE THE ACTIONS NECESSARY THAT IS NECESSARY AN APPROPRIATE TO ACHIEVE OPERATIONAL CONTROL OVER THE ENTIRE INTERNATIONAL LINE OF -- AND THE MARITIME OF THE UNITED STATES. TO PREVENT ALL UNLAWFUL ENTRIES BY TERRORISTS, INSTRUMENTS OF TERRORISM, NARCOTICS AND OTHER CONTRA BAN. IT HASN'T HAD THE DESIRED IMPACT. IN LARGE PART TO THE UNWELCOMED INCREASE OF ILLEGAL HUMAN AND DRUG TRAFFICKING THROUGH OUR PUBLIC LANDS ALONG OUR SOUTHERN BORDER. SO WE HAVE A CONFLICT OF DESIRES BY AGENCIES TO DO THEIR JOBS. AMENDMENT 2523 WOULD PROHIBIT ANY FUNDS WITHIN THE APPROPRIATIONS BILL TO BE USED TO PROHIBIT OR RESTRICT THE ACTIVITIES OF HOMELAND SECURITY ON PUBLIC LANDS TO SECURE OUR BORDERS. THE EFFECT OF THIS AMENDMENT WOULD BE TO ENSURE THAT D.H.S. IS ABLE TO FURTHER SECURE OUR BORDERS FROM TERRORISTS AND OTHER NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS AND PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT OF THESE LANDS. NOW, I KNOW THERE'S SOME CONCERN ON THE OTHER SIDE WITH THE LANGUAGE THE WAY WE'VE WRITTEN IT. AND I'M MORE THAN WILLING TO WORK WITH THE CHAIRMAN OF BOTH THE -- THE -- THE RESOURCES COMMITTEE, THE INTERIOR COMMITTEE AND THE APPROPRIATION COMMITTEE TO TRY TO PUT THAT IN A WAY THAT PROPERLY BALANCES IT. I KNOW THIS IS A TOUGH AMENDMENT. I DON'T DENY THAT. BUT WHEN YOU HEAR THE TESTIMONY -- AND I'M GOING TO ASK THAT THIS BE SUBMITTED FOR THE RECORD -- THIS IS FORMER BORDER PATROL OFFICERS AND FIELD SUPERVISORY PATROL AGENT THAT TESTIFIED IN CONGRESS LAST APRIL ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON IN OUR WILDERNESS AREAS. DO YOU REALIZE THESE PEOPLE BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THERE, THEY'RE SETTING FIRES IN OUR WILDERNESS AREA TO DISTRACT US TO THE FIRE SO THEY CAN SMUGGLE CONTRABAND AND HUMANS WHILE WE'RE ADDRESSING THE FIRE. OUR WILDERNESS AREAS ARE BEING DEFILED. NEAR McALLEN, TEXAS, IT RELATES, WHEN A WILDERNESS AREA OR REFUGE IS ESTABLISHED NEAR THE BORDER, THE CRIMINAL ELEMENT MOVES IN AND TRASHES IT BECAUSE THE REFUGEE STATUS EFFECTIVELY PREVENTS ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT FROM EFFECTIVELY WORKING THE AREA. NOW, THIS IS BORDER PATROL. IN OTHER WORDS, REFUGE OR WILDERNESS DESIGNATION SERVES TO PUT THE ENVIRONMENT AT A GREATER RISK OF BEING DAMAGED AN DEFACED. LAW ENFORCEMENT MUST HAVE COMMON, UNRESTRICTED FREE ACCESS TO ALL LANDS NEAR THE U.S. BORDER. AND HE GOES ON TO CLARIFY THAT IT NEEDS TO BE AT LEAST 50 MILES. THE OTHER THING THAT WAS ESPECIALLY TELLING AND WHICH IS HORRIFIC IS THE COMMENTS ABOUT WHAT'S GOING ON ALONG INTERSTATE AND INTERSTATE 10 IN ARIZONA. NUMEROUS REPORTED RAPE TREES HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED NEAR AND IN THE CURRENT WILDERNESS NEAR THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER. RAPE TREES MARK THE LOCATION WHERE DRUG AND ALIEN SMUGGLERS HABITUALLY ASSAULT ILLEGAL ALIEN FEMALES BROUGHT INTO THE UNITED STATES ACROSS THE MEXICAN BORDER. IT IS MARKED BY THE PERPETRATORS WHO PROMINENTLY DISPLAY AND HANG -- AND I WON'T USE THE WORD THAT HE DOES -- THE UNDERWEAR OF THE WILLIAMS ON A TREE. I VISITED ONE REPORTED TREE ON MARCH 27, AND NOTICED 30 SETS OF UNDERWEAR. THESE RAPE TREE TRAILS BEGIN AT THE MEXICAN BORDER AND TRAVEL THROUGH THE PAHARITA WILDERNESS. IN SOUTHERN ARIZONA WE EXPERIENCED INCREASED INTENTS OF WILDFIRE FROM TWO SOURCES. THE FIRST SOURCE IS ILLEGAL ALIENS THAT CROSS IN ILLEGALLY, THE SECOND IS OTHER ILLEGAL ALIENS ENGAGED IN OTHER THAT START WILDFIRES SO THAT THEY CAN SMUGGLE THINGS INTO OR OUT OF THE UNITED STATES. YOU CANNOT DENY THE FACT THAT WE'RE HAVING A CONFLICT BETWEEN DEPARTMENT OF INTEAR INTERIOR AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY IN TERMS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT ALONG OUR BORDER. AND THE TRAGEDY IS THAT THE INTENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR TO PROTECT OUR ENVIRONMENT IS ACTUALLY MADE WORSE BY THEIR POLICY OF NOT ALLOWING LAW ENFORCEMENT EFFORTS, I.E., THE BORDER PATROL, INTO THOSE AREAS. SO THIS AMENDMENT IS INTENDED TO DO A COUPLE OF THINGS. NOW, LET ME TALK ABOUT WHAT THE CLAIMS AGAINST THIS AMENDMENT ARE FIRST, AND THEN I'LL TALK ABOUT WHAT ULTIMATE -- AND I'M MORE THAN WILLING TO TRY TO WORK OUT A SENSIBLE AGREEMENT. WHAT IS DRIVING ME NUTS IS THAT THOSE TWO DEPARTMENTS HAVEN'T WORKED OUT A SENSIBLE AGREEMENT THEMSELVES. WE SHOULD HAVE SIGNIFICANT OVERSIGHT HEARINGS ON THE FACT THAT WE'RE HAVING TO DO SOMETHING THAT THEY SHOULD BE TAKING CARE OF. THE CLAIM IS IF THIS IS PASSED, IT WILL DEVASTATE THE ENVIRONMENT AND GIVE THE -- NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. THE INTERPRETATION OF CONGRESSIONAL INTENT THAT WE CURRENTLY HAVE HAS LED TO THE DESTRUCTION OF MUCH OF OUR WILDERNESS AREAS BECAUSE HUMAN AND DRUG SMUGGLERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO USE THESE LANDS AS MAJOR THOROUGHFARES WITHOUT FEAR OF LAW ENFORCEMENT. ADDITIONALLY THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WILL STILL BE OBLIGATED TO CONDUCT ITS LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES IN A MANNER THAT SEEKS TO MINIMIZE OR MITIGATE ANY NEGATIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. DO YOU REALIZE IN ARIZONA THEY'RE CUTTING DOWN 150-YEAR-OLD CACTUSES TO BLOCK THE ROAD TO INHIBIT ANYBODY FOLLOWING THEM. AND THE FACT THAT WE DON'T HAVE SIGNIFICANT LAW ENFORCEMENT, I.E., BORDER PATROL THERE, THESE MAJESTIC, 100-YEAR-OLD CACTUSES, WHICH ARE PROTECTED, ARE INTENTIONALLY BEING DESTROYED TO PROTECT THE SMUGGLERS. IN THE PAST WHEN THE SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY WAIVED 30 ENVIRONMENTAL AND OTHER LAWS ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONSTRUCTION OF TACTICAL INFRASTRUCTURE, ALONG THE SOUTHWEST BORDER IN COMPLIANCE WITH FEDERAL LAW, HE STILL REQUIRED THE DEPARTMENT TO PRACTICE RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP OF NATURAL AND CULTURAL RESOURCES. THE U.S. CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL IS ALSO COMMITTED TO DO THAT. I'LL STOP WITH -- WITH -- WITH THIS. I DO WANT TO PUT INTO THE RECORD A LETTER FROM THE NATIONAL BORDER PATROL COUNCIL, WHICH IS THE AFL-CIO REPRESENTATIVES OF OUR BORDER PATROL AGENTS WHO FULLY ENDORSE THIS AMENDMENT BECAUSE THEY'RE THE PEOPLE THAT ARE ACTUALLY ON THE GROUND THAT ARE SEEING THE PROBLEM AND WE'RE NOT ALLOWING THEM TO DO THEIR JOB. AND SO I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT FOR THAT TO BE IN THE RECORD AS WELL AS A COUPLE OF OTHERS. AND I WOULD YIELD TO MY CHAIRMAN.

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  • 04:12:39 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:12:43 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:12:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM KAL CATTLE.

  • 04:12:47 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    IF I MAY THROUGH THE CHAIR TO THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN FROM OKLAHOMA,…

    IF I MAY THROUGH THE CHAIR TO THE DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN FROM OKLAHOMA, THE MANAGER AND I ARE PREPARED TO TAKE THE AMENDMENT. MOREOVER, WE ARE PREPARED TO CONVENE A MEETING BETWEEN THE TWO DEPARTMENT HEADS. HAVE YOU PRESENT SIT DOWN AND -- HAVE YOU PRESENT, SIT DOWN AND SEE WHAT WE CAN WORK OUT.

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  • 04:13:07 PM

    MR. COBURN

    PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE TO ME. I WANT THE PROBLEM SOLVED. AND I THINK…

    PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE TO ME. I WANT THE PROBLEM SOLVED. AND I THINK SECURITY IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS PROTECTION OF OUR ENVIRONMENT AND WE'VE GOT TO NOT ALLOW ONE TO TRUMP THE OTHER.

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  • 04:13:18 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WHICH AMENDMENT?

  • 04:13:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE PENDING AMENDMENT.

  • 04:13:28 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THE PENDING AMENDMENT.

  • 04:13:30 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    2523 IS THE PENDING AMENDMENT, I BELIEVE.

  • 04:13:35 PM

    MR. COBURN

    PENDING AMENDMENT, I BELIEVE.

  • 04:13:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 04:13:40 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 04:13:45 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MADAM PRESIDENT, REGRETFULLY, I HAVE TO OPPOSE THIS…

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. MADAM PRESIDENT, REGRETFULLY, I HAVE TO OPPOSE THIS AMENDMENT. THE FACT OF IT IS THAT WE WOULD LOSE OPPORTUNITIES TO CONSERVE VALUABLE LANDS, BECAUSE WITHIN NATIONAL PARKS, WITHIN OTHER THINGS, THERE ARE INHOLDINGS, AND INHOLDINGS THEN WHEN THEY COME AVAILABLE -- IN OTHER WORDS, THESE ARE PRIVATE PROPERTIES THAT PEOPLE OWN, AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUYS THEM AND ADDS TO THE PUBLIC LAND. AND LET ME JUST NAME A FEW. IN GEORGIA, I'M TOLD THAT CHATTAHOOCHEE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA WOULD BE INVOLVED. IN MANY STATES, CIVIL WAR BATTLEFIELD SITES. IN OHIO, THE CAN I CUYAHOUGA NATIONAL PARK. IN WASHINGTON, THE MOUNT RANIER AND OLYMPIC AND SAN JUAN NATIONAL PARKS. IN TEXAS, BIG THICKET NATIONAL PRESERVE. IN INDIANA, THE HOOSIER NATIONAL FOREST. IN UTAH, DIXIE NATIONAL FOREST. IN SOUTH DAKOTA, THE BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST. AND THE POINT I WANT TO MAKE IS THIS. ON OCCASION, YOU HAVE FAMILIES THAT HAVE LARGE LAND HOLDINGS, AND THESE ARE VALUABLE, PRISTINE LAND HOLDINGS. AND THEIR FIRST PREFERENCE MIGHT BE TO HAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUY THESE LANDS TO HOLD THEM FOR THE FUTURE AND TO CONSERVE THE LANDS. IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN'T DO THAT, THE LANDS GO ON THE MARKET GENERALLY FOR THE HIGHEST AND BEST USE. AND I THINK WITH SOME OF OUR PRIZED AND TREASURED POSSESSIONS, THAT'S NOT THE WAY TO GO. SO I WOULD HAVE TO OPPOSE THIS AMENDMENT. AND I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THE RANKING MEMBER WISHES TO SPEAK ON IT. SO THAT AMENDMENT I'M SURE WILL GO IN THE LINEUP FOR A VOTE.

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  • 04:20:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 04:20:36 PM

    MR. COBURN

    WOULD YOU YIELD?

  • 04:23:33 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    I WOULD BE HAPPY TO.

  • 04:23:35 PM

    MR. COBURN

    TO.

  • 04:23:36 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THE GENTLEMAN THAT YOU ARE. MADAM PRESIDENT, I JUST HAVE TO SAY, WHEN WE…

    THE GENTLEMAN THAT YOU ARE. MADAM PRESIDENT, I JUST HAVE TO SAY, WHEN WE DID THE STIMULUS TO THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA, WE PUT IN THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT THAT THE DEPARTMENTS COULD USE FOR MAINTENANCE AND REHABILITATION. WE HAD AN ALLOCATION. AND I'VE GOT THE BREAKDOWN HERE. IT'S HARD TO ADD IT ALL UP QUICKLY, BUT, I MEAN, I CAN GIVE YOU SOME IDEA. BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT DEFERRED MAINTENANCE, $35 MILLION. RECREATION MAINTENANCE, $25 MILLION. TRAIL MAINTENANCE, $20 MILLION. ABANDONED MINE SITE REMEDIATION, $30 MILLION. HABITAT RESTORATION, $25 MILLION. AND IT GOES ON. AND WHAT I -- AS I RECALL AS WE DID THIS, WHAT WE WERE TOLD BY OUR STAFFS IS THAT WAS THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT THAT THESE DEPARTMENTS COULD ABSORB IN THE LENGTH OF TIME COVERED BY THE STIMULUS. SO I WOULD JUST LEAVE THAT -- LEAVE YOU WITH THAT.

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  • 04:24:44 PM

    MR. COBURN

    THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR IT. I'D BE HAPPY TO HAVE A U.C. ON THIS AMENDMENT…

    THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR IT. I'D BE HAPPY TO HAVE A U.C. ON THIS AMENDMENT THAT WOULD EXCLUDE THE INHOLDINGS FROM IT IF THAT WOULD SATISFY THE CHAIRMAN, BECAUSE, IN FACT, THE INHOLDINGS ARE A VERY SMALL AMOUNT OF THIS $400 MILLION. IT'S NOT ALL -- IT'S A VERY SMALL AMOUNT OF THE MONEY THAT'S IN THIS FOR LAND ACQUISITIONS IS INHOLDINGS. SO I WOULD BE HAPPY TO ACCEPT A A -- A SECOND-DEGREE THAT WOULD EXCLUDE THE INHOLDINGS FROM THIS.

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  • 04:25:12 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    NO. I CANNOT -- I APPRECIATE THAT. BUT I CAN'T ACCEPT THAT BECAUSE WE…

    NO. I CANNOT -- I APPRECIATE THAT. BUT I CAN'T ACCEPT THAT BECAUSE WE BELIEVE THAT THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND IS WORKING AS IT'S SUPPOSED TO. IF ANYTHING, IT'S BEEN UNDERFUNDED. THIS -- THIS BILL PROPOSES TO APPROPRIATE $420 MILLION OF THE $900 MILLION THAT IT'S AUTHORIZED TO DO. NOW, THAT'S LESS THAN 50%. SO, I MEAN, THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND WE BELIEVE IS EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT. WE WOULD TRY GET IT HIGH FUR WE COULD BUT WE CAN'T. -- HIGHER IF WE COULD BUT WE CAN'T.

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  • 04:25:53 PM

    MR. COBURN

    I THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR HER COMMENTS ON THAT. I'M SURE IT IS IMPORTANT,…

    I THANK THE CHAIRMAN FOR HER COMMENTS ON THAT. I'M SURE IT IS IMPORTANT, BUT I WOULD ALSO TELL YOU, IT'S IMPORTANT TO PRESERVE WHAT WE'VE GOT. AND YOU CAN'T GO TO ONE NATIONAL PARK AND TALK TO THE PARK RANGERS AND TALK TO THE PERSON IN CHARGE WITHOUT HEARING THEM TALK ABOUT THE DECLINING STATUS OF THEIR INDIVIDUAL PARKS. SO WE HAVE TO START MAKING SOME CHOICES, AND WE'RE GOING TO REFUSE TO DO THAT. AND SO NEXT YEAR, INSTEAD OF IT BEING $11 BILLION, IT'S GOING TO BE $11.6 BILLION. AND THEN IT'S GOING TO GROW. AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW IS WE'RE SHUTTING OFF PARTS OF OUR PARKS. WE'RE SAYING, SINCE IT'S DANGEROUS OR IT'S IN DISREPAIR, WE CAN'T LET PEOPLE GO AND EXPERIENCE IT. AND I WILL PUT INTO THE RECORD HUNDRED -- I WON'T TAKE THE TIME NOW TO READ ALL OF THEM -- HUNDREDS OF EXAMPLES WHERE THAT'S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW, THAT WE'VE RESEARCHED THAT THE PARKS HAVE TOLD US THAT THEY'RE LIMITING ACCESS BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF MAINTENANCE FUNDS AND FUNDS FOR REPAIR OF REQUIRED THINGS IN THE PARKS. AND WITH THAT, I'LL MOVE ON. AND I'D ASK FOR -- TO YIELD ARE BACK FOR A MOMENT AND ASK FOR A -- NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 04:27:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 04:31:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED.

  • 04:31:35 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK THE QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED.

  • 04:31:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:31:40 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENT BE SET ASIDE AND AMENDMENT NUMBER 2504 BE CALLED UP.

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  • 04:31:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IT IS ISAKSON.

  • 04:32:01 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    ISAKSON.

  • 04:32:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE AMENDMENT IS PENDING.

  • 04:32:04 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU. MADAM PRESIDENT, THERE IS A FURTHER MODIFICATION AT THE DESK,…

    THANK YOU. MADAM PRESIDENT, THERE IS A FURTHER MODIFICATION AT THE DESK, AND I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE AMENDMENT, AS MODIFIED, BE AGREED TO. THIS MODIFICATION, WHICH HAS BEEN AGREED TO ON BOTH SIDES, ALLOWS THE SECRETARY OF INTERIOR TO MAKE $200,000 AVAILABLE FOR PRESENTATION OF THE MARTIN LUTHER KING PAPERS. IT IS AN AMENDMENT PRESENTED BY SENATOR ISAKSON. I FULLY SUPPORT THE AMENDMENT.

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  • 04:32:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 04:32:38 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM PRESIDENT.

  • 04:32:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    AND AGREED TO.

  • 04:32:41 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 04:32:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

  • 04:35:06 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:35:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:35:11 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK TO CALL UP AMENDMENT NUMBER 2535.

  • 04:35:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 04:35:21 PM

    THE CLERK

    FROM CALIFORNIA, MRS. FEINSTEIN, FOR MR. BARRASSO, PROPOSES AMENDMENT…

    FROM CALIFORNIA, MRS. FEINSTEIN, FOR MR. BARRASSO, PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBERED 25356789.

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  • 04:35:27 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THIS AMENDMENT HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY BOTH SIDES. I ASK…

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. THIS AMENDMENT HAS BEEN ACCEPTED BY BOTH SIDES. I ASK FOR ITS UNANIMOUS ADOPTION.

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  • 04:35:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS ADOPTED.

  • 04:35:40 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I CALL UP AMENDMENT NUMBER 2527.

  • 04:35:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 04:35:48 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA, MRS. FEINSTEIN, FOR MR. BENNETT, PROPOSES…

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA, MRS. FEINSTEIN, FOR MR. BENNETT, PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBER 2527. ON PAGE 2240 BETWEEN LINES 13 AND 14 -- SPHIEN SPHIEN I ASK THAT THE READING BE SUSPENDED. I ASK FOR ITS IMMEDIATE ADOPTION.

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  • 04:36:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE AMENDMENT IS ADOPTED.

  • 04:36:09 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU. I YIELD THE FLOOR. I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 04:36:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:36:30 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 04:44:42 PM

    MR. MENENDEZ

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:44:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY.

  • 04:44:46 PM

    MR. LAUTENBERG

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:44:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY.

  • 04:44:49 PM

    MR. LAUTENBERG

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT FURTHER CALLING OF THE ROLL BE DISPENSED WITH.

  • 04:44:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 04:44:53 PM

    MR. LAUTENBERG

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE FLOOR BECAUSE WE'RE LOOKING AT AN AMENDMENT…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE FLOOR BECAUSE WE'RE LOOKING AT AN AMENDMENT -- WE WERE LOOKING AT AN ARMETTIER TODAY THAT WOULD -- AN AMENDMENT EARLIER TODAY THAT WOULD HAVE STOPPED THE E.P.A. FROM EXERCISING ITS OBLIGATION TO COMBAT 0 GLOBAL WARMING POLLUTION. NOW, THERE ARE THOSE HERE WHO WOULD CHOOSE TO DEFER TAKING ACTION TO DEAL WITH THIS ENORMOUS THREAT THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS' LIVES AND WELL-BEING WOULD BE AT RISK. BUT THE TIME FOR DELAY IS A LUXURY THAT WE DON'T HAVE. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO WAIT ANY LONGER, AND WE CANNOT AFFORD TO LIMIT OUR OPTIONS. EVERY DAY THAT SCIENCE MAKES IT MORE CLEAR THAT WE ARE ON A DANGEROUS COURSE. IN FACT, THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY HAS RECENTLY HAD TO REVISE ITS OWN ESTIMATES BECAUSE RISING TEMPERATURES ARE DESTABILIZING OUR PLANET FASTER -- FAR FASTER THAN ORIGINALLY EXPECTED. IT WAS JUST TWO YEARS AGO SCIENTISTS WARNED US THAT SUMMERS IN ALASKA IN THE ARCTIC WOULD BE COMPLETELY ICE-FREE BY 2050. NOW THEY'RE SAYING SUMMERS IN THE ARCTIC WILL BE COMPLETELY ICE-FREE IN JUST THREE YEARS. TWO YEARS AGO THEY SAID SEA LEVELS WOULD RISE LESS THAN TWO FEET BY THE END OF THIS CENTURY, AND NOW IT'S BEING SAID THAT SEA LEVELS WILL RISE BY SIX FEET. THE RISKS OF INACTION ARE JUST TOO GREAT TO TAKE. SO WE HAVE TO LOOK ALSO AT THE NATIONAL SECURITY RISKS THAT WE FACE BY CONTINUING TO DO NOTHING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. ACCORDING TO THE C.I.A.'S NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE COUNCIL, IF WE FAIL TO ACT, NEARLY A BILLION PEOPLE MAY FACE WATER AND FOOD SHORTAGES IN THE NEXT 15 YEARS. THESE SHORTAGES WILL SET THE STAGE FOR CONFLICT AND BREED CONDITIONS FOR TERRORISM. AT THE SAME TIME WITH 20% OF THE WORLD'S POPULATION LIVING IN COASTAL ZONES, RISING SEA LEVELS AND STRONG HURRICANES COULD DISPLACE MORE THAN 150 MILLION PEOPLE BY 2050. NOW WHEN IT'S EXPRESSED IN PERCENTAGES LIKE THAT AND TALK ABOUT NUMBERS THAT ARE ALMOST BEYOND THE IMAGINATION, IT SOMETIMES LOSES ITS IMPACT. BUT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT ARE PEOPLE SEEKING HIGHER-LEVEL PLACES TO TAKE THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES SO THEY'RE NOT OVERWHELMED BY FLOODS AND THE WATER PRESSURES. BORDER PRESSURES CREATED BY THESE MASS MIGRATIONS WILL INCREASE TENSIONS AND LAY THE GROUNDWORK FOR ARMED CONFLICT. THE UNITED STATES NAVY HAS LOOKED AT THIS PROBLEM IN THE PAST AND ISSUED A REPORT THAT AT THE END OF THE 21st CENTURY, BY THE END OF THE 21st CENTURY, OR RATHER, IN THE LAST HALF OF THE 21st CENTURY, WE COULD BE LOOKING AT A DIFFERENT STRUCTURE FOR NAVAL ENGAGEMENTS WITH SMALLER BOATS, HIGHER SPEED AND SO FORTH TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM FLOODING OUR SHORES BECAUSE THEY'RE TRYING TO GET AWAY FROM HIGHER WATER. NATIONS WILL LOOK TO US, TO THE UNITED STATES, AS A FIRST RESPONDER IN THE AFTERMATH OF THESE MAJOR NATIONAL EMERGENCIES AND HUMANITARIANS DISASTERS. RETIRED GENERAL ANTHONY ZINNI PUT IT THIS WAY: THAT IF WE DON'T BEGIN REDUCING CARBON EMISSIONS NOW, WE WILL -- AEUPBD QUOTE HIM HERE -- "PAY THE PRICE LATER IN MILITARY TERMS, AND THAT WILL INVOLVE HUMAN LIVES." MADAM PRESIDENT, DELAY IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE FOR CONFRONTING THIS GROWING PROBLEM. IT'S NO SURPRISE THAT MANY OF US WHO WANT TO SHOW -- MANY OF THOSE -- FORGIVE ME -- MANY OF THOSE WHO WANT TO SHOW THE CLEAN AIR ACT, STOP E.P.A. FROM DOING ITS DUTY ARE THE SAME ONES WHO CLOSE THEIR EYES TO THE OVERWHELMING SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE THAT SAYS WAKE UP. HEAR THE ALARM. THEY DISMISS THE OMINOUS FORECASTS OF LIFE CHANGING FOR PLANTS, ANIMALS AND HUMANS. AND THEY CALL GLOBAL WARMING -- AND I QUOTE HERE -- "THE GREATEST HOAX EVER PERPETRATED ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE." THE HOAX IS A JOKE. THAT'S A BAD JOKE. LET'S NOT FORGET THE E.P.A.'S POWER TO CURB GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT WAS RECENTLY AFFIRMED BY THE SUPREME COURT. MADAM PRESIDENT, THE CLEAN AIR ACT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE GREAT SUCCESS STORIES OF OUR LIFETIME, AND IT'S ONE OF THE FEW TOOLS THAT WE HAVE TO OVERCOME CLIMATE CHANGE. FOR THE LAST 40 YEARS, THIS LAW HAS LED TO CLEANER SKIES AND HEALTHIER CHILDREN. IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE CLEAN AIR ACT, 225,000 AMERICANS WOULD HAVE DIED PREMATURELY, ACCORDING TO AN E.P.A. STUDY. WE WOULD HAVE LOST 225,000 PEOPLE IF IT WEREN'T FOR THE CLEAN ACT. WHILE THE GAINS HAVE BEEN ENORMOUS, THE COST TO POLLUTERS HAS BEEN MINIMAL. IN FACT, THE TOTAL BENEFITS TO OUR ECONOMY HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED AS HIGH AS $49 TRILLION. PUTTING THE BENEFIT AT 100 TIMES GREATER THAN THE COST FOR ACTION. AND SO, HISTORY SHOWS THAT OPPONENTS OFTEN DRAMATICALLY OVERSTATE THE COST OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPROVEMENTS. THE LAST TIME WE STRENGTHENED THE CLEAN AIR ACT, OUR ADVERSARIES RANG THE ALARM THAT THESE CHANGES WOULD COST TOO MUCH AND DAMAGE THE ECONOMY. BUT AS IT TURNED OUT THE ACTUAL COSTS WERE LESS THAN ONE-FIFTH OF WHAT THESE OPPONENTS ESTIMATED. TODAY EVEN THOUGH E.P.A. HAS A PROVEN TACK RECORD OF PRODUCING TRILLIONS IN BENEFITS FOR OUR ECONOMY AND THE COUNTRY UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT, WE'RE HEARING THE SAME KINDS OF WARNING. IT MAKES NO SENSE. MADAM PRESIDENT, THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT OUR OPPONENTS PREFER TO ENDORSE INACTION AND WILL REWARD FAILURE. THAT'S WHY I URGE MY COLLEAGUES, STAND UP TO THE SPECIAL INTERESTS, STAND TO THE PUBLIC INTERESTS. IT'S TIME TO SAY FROM OUR HEARTS THAT WILLING TO STAND FIRM AGAINST THOSE WHO CLAIM THE OVERSTATED COST OF CHANGE OUTWEIGHS THE RISK OF DISAPPEARING SPECIES, POOR HEALTH, AND INTERNATIONAL UNREST. WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

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  • 04:52:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 04:53:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ARE WE IN A QUORUM CALL?

  • 04:53:25 PM

    MR. COBURN

    YES, WE ARE.

  • 04:53:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: YES, WE ARE.

  • 04:53:29 PM

    MR. COBURN

    MADAM PRESIDENT? DOES THE SENATOR VITIATE THE QUORUM CALL?

  • 04:55:31 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    MADAM PRESIDENT? DOES THE SENATOR VITIATE THE QUORUM CALL?

  • 04:55:34 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA.

  • 04:55:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA.

  • 04:55:53 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:57:14 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT?

  • 04:57:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 04:57:17 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    IN THE INTEREST OF MOVING THINGS ALONG, MEMBERS ARE IMPATIENT. WE'VE BEEN…

    IN THE INTEREST OF MOVING THINGS ALONG, MEMBERS ARE IMPATIENT. WE'VE BEEN ON THIS BILL FOR A LONG TIME. WE'D LIKE TO CONCLUDE. IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT BOTH SIDES ARE AGREEABLE TO TAKE THE DORGAN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2441. I'D ASK FOR UNANIMOUS CONSENT.

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  • 04:57:37 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    MADAM PRESIDENT, THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA HAS ASKED TO BE PRESENT WHEN WE…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA HAS ASKED TO BE PRESENT WHEN WE DO THAT. SO I WONDER IF IT MIGHT NOT BE POSSIBLE, SPEAKING TO THE SENATOR THROUGH THE CHAIR, TO TAKE UP OTHER AMENDMENTS AT THIS TIME.

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  • 04:58:10 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I WITHDRAW MY PRIOR REQUEST, AND I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, I WITHDRAW MY PRIOR REQUEST, AND I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AT 5:00 TONIGHT THE SENATE PROCEED TO VOTE IN RELATION TO THE FOLLOWING AMENDMENTS AND MOTION TO RECOMMIT REMAINING IN ORDER TO H.R. 2996, THE INTERIOR APPROPRIATIONS ACT, IN THE FOLLOWING ORDER: THE VITTER AMENDMENT 2549, THE ENSIGN MOTION TO RECOMMIT, THE COBURN AMENDMENT 2482, THE COBURN AMENDMENT 2483, AND THE REED AMENDMENT 2531. THAT THE REMAINING PROVISIONS OF THE PREVIOUS ORDER ARE STILL IN EFFECT.

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  • 05:00:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 05:00:46 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    I YIELD BACK THE TIME REMAINING ON THE VITTER AMENDMENT 2559 AND PHRAOUF…

    I YIELD BACK THE TIME REMAINING ON THE VITTER AMENDMENT 2559 AND PHRAOUF MOVE TO TABLE IT, AND I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS.

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  • 05:00:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS…

    IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE A SUFFICIENT SECOND. THE QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION TO TABLE, AND THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE:

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  • 05:01:23 PM

    Senate Vote 295 - On the Motion to Table (Motion to Table Vitter Amdt No 2549)

    To ensure that the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change (commonly known as the "White House Climate Change Czar") is not directing actions of departments and agencies funded by this Act.

    Motion to Table Agreed to (57 - 41)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 57
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2
    Republican - 1

    Vote Details: Nay - 40
    Republican - 39
    Democratic - 1

  • 05:26:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO CAST A VOTE? DOES ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO CAST…

    ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO CAST A VOTE? DOES ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO CAST THEIR VOTE? IF NOT, ON THIS MOTION THE YEAS ARE 57, THE NAYS ARE 41, AND THE MOTION TO TABLE IS AGREED TO. WITHOUT OBJECTION. A SENATOR:

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  • 05:27:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MAY WE HAVE ORDER, PLEASE, FOR THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA. WILL THE SENATOR…

    MAY WE HAVE ORDER, PLEASE, FOR THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA. WILL THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA SUSPEND FOR A MINUTE UNTIL WE GET SOME ORDER IN THE SENATE AND THE CONVERSATIONS THAT ARE TAKING PLACE IN THE WELL OF THE SENATE QUITEN. -- QUIETEN. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT, I HAVE A MOTION AT THE DESK.

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  • 05:27:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 05:27:38 PM

    THE CLERK

    NEVADA, MR. ENSIGN, MOVES TO RECOMMIT H.R. 2996, TO THE COMMITTEE ON…

    NEVADA, MR. ENSIGN, MOVES TO RECOMMIT H.R. 2996, TO THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS --

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  • 05:27:45 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THERE ARE TWO MINUTES EVENLY DIVIDED.

  • 05:27:48 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. THERE ARE TWO MINUTES EVENLY DIVIDED.

  • 05:27:51 PM

    MR. ENSIGN

    MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS A VERY SIMPLE MOTION. IT JUST SAYS THAT AT THIS…

    MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS A VERY SIMPLE MOTION. IT JUST SAYS THAT AT THIS TIME OF RUNAWAY DEFICITS, OF OUT OF CONTROL FEDERAL SPENDING, WE'RE GOING TO TRY TO DO A LITTLE SOMETHING MUCH WE'RE JUST GOING TO TAKE THIS APPROPRIATION BILL AND SAY LAST YEAR'S LEVEL, WHICH WAS INCREASED FAIRLY SUBSTANTIALLY, WE'RE JUST GOING TO FREEZE IT TO LAST YEAR'S LEVEL AS STATE BUDGETS, LOCAL BUDGETS, FAMILY BUDGETS ARE ALL BEING CUT, TRIMMED, TIGHTENED AROUND THE COUNTRY, WASHINGTON JUST SAYS, YOU KNOW WHAT? WE'RE GOING TO PRINT MONEY. WE'RE JUST GOING TO BORROW FROM OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND CONTINUE TO PRINT MONEY AND PRINT MONEY AND PUSH IT OFF ON TO THE NEXT GENERATION. WELL, MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S TIME FOR THIS BODY TO SHOW SOME FISCAL RESTRAINT. SO LET'S CUT $4 BILLION OUT OF THIS SPENDING BILL, BRING IT BACK TO LAST YEAR'S LEVEL. LET THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE DETERMINE WHERE THAT SPENDING IS, BUT LET'S ACTUALLY SHOW SOME FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.

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  • 05:28:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 05:28:56 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 05:28:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 05:29:00 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    PRESIDENT, I URGE A NO VOTE. I'M GOING TO MOVE TO TABLE AT APPROPRIATE…

    PRESIDENT, I URGE A NO VOTE. I'M GOING TO MOVE TO TABLE AT APPROPRIATE TIME. IF WE ADOPT THE ENSIGN MOTION, WE CUT PARK SERVICE DOLLARS, INDIAN HEALTH DOLLARS, TAKE -- PARTICULARLY WAT INFRASTRUCTURE. $2.05 UNTIL IN THIS BILL IS FOR SEWER GRANTS. $1.8 BILLION IS FOR FIRE SUPPRESSION. IT'S THE FIRES TIME WE HAVE MET THE FIRE SUPPRESSION NEED FULLY SO THAT THEY DON'T HAVE TO TAKE FROM OTHER ACCOUNTS TO FIGHT FIRES. SO I MOVE TO TABLE THE MOTION TO RECOMMIT.

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  • 05:29:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE A SUFFICIENT…

    OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE A SUFFICIENT SECOND. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 05:29:53 PM

    Senate Vote 296 - On the Motion to Table (Motion to Table Ensign Motion to Recommit HR 2996 to the Committee on Appropriations)

    Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010

    Motion to Table Agreed to (64 - 34)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 64
    Republican - 8
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Nay - 33
    Republican - 32
    Democratic - 1

  • 05:44:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: DOES ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO VOTE ON THIS MEASURE? IF…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: DOES ANY SENATOR STILL WISH TO VOTE ON THIS MEASURE? IF NOT, ON THIS MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER THE YEAS ARE 64, THE NAYS ARE 34. AND THE MOTION TO TABLE IS AGREED TO.

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  • 05:45:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA. MAY WE HAVE ORDER FOR A…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA. MAY WE HAVE ORDER FOR A MOMENT FOR THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA. WILL THE SENATE BE IN ORDER. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

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  • 05:45:28 PM

    MR. COBURN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 05:46:04 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 05:46:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 05:46:06 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THE SENATOR IS CORRECT. WE ARE PREPARED TO ACCEPT THE AMENDMENT.

  • 05:46:14 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    IS CORRECT.

  • 05:46:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: IF THERE IS NO OBJECTION, THEN WITHOUT OBJECTION THE…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: IF THERE IS NO OBJECTION, THEN WITHOUT OBJECTION THE AMENDMENT WILL BE MODIFIED AND AGREED TO AS MODIFIED.

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  • 05:46:23 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU. A COROLLARY PART OF THAT IS A DORGAN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2441,…

    THANK YOU. A COROLLARY PART OF THAT IS A DORGAN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2441, WHICH ALSO MOVES ALONG WITH THIS. SO, WE ARE PREPARED TO ACCEPT DORGAN 2441 AS WELL.

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  • 05:46:39 PM

    MR. DORGAN

    MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME SAY THAT I THINK THIS HAS BEEN…

    MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME SAY THAT I THINK THIS HAS BEEN CLEARED BY BOTH SIDES. IT DOES HAVE A CONNECTION TO THE PREVIOUS AMENDMENT, AND I APPRECIATE THE COOPERATION OF THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA AND THE SENATOR FROM TENNESSEE AND THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA. AND I SKAO FOR THE IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL -- AND I ASK FOR THE IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION AND APPROVAL.

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  • 05:46:58 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 05:46:59 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM NORTH DAKOTA, MR. DORGAN, PROPOSES AMENDMENT 2441.

  • 05:47:04 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MOVE TO RECONSIDER.

  • 05:47:13 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    TO RECONSIDER.

  • 05:47:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 05:47:21 PM

    MR. COBURN

    OTHER AMENDMENT I HAVE IS AMENDMENT 2483. IT WAS NOT AGREED TO. WE COULD…

    OTHER AMENDMENT I HAVE IS AMENDMENT 2483. IT WAS NOT AGREED TO. WE COULD NOT WORK OUT AN AGREEMENT. I WANT TO SPEND A MINUTE OR TWO, SINCE WE DON'T HAVE A TIME AGREEMENT ON THIS, TALKING ABOUT THIS AMENDMENT. WHAT 2483 WILL DO IS ADDRESS --

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  • 05:47:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE IS TWO MINUTES EVENLY DIVIDED ON THIS AMENDMENT.

  • 05:47:43 PM

    MR. COBURN

    WAS PRESENT. WE HAVE A UNANIMOUS CONSENT IN THAT REGARD? I SHOULD HAVE…

    WAS PRESENT. WE HAVE A UNANIMOUS CONSENT IN THAT REGARD? I SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE TO OBJECT. WE HAVE $11 BILLION BACKLOG IN THE NATIONAL PARKS. IT GREW BY $400 BILLION THIS YEAR. $400 MILLION. THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION ACT OF 1965 WASN'T MEANT JUST TO BUY LAND. IT WAS MEANT TO TAKE CARE OF THE BACKLOGS AND THE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH OUTDOOR RECREATION ENJOYMENT BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. THERE'S ALMOST $400 MILLION IN THIS BILL TO BUY MORE LAND RATHER THAN TAKE CARE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE TODAY. THIS AMENDMENT SIMPLY MOVES THAT TO TAKE CARE OF THE BACKLOG AT EVERY NATIONAL PARK THAT WE HAVE. IF WE DON'T DO THAT, WE'RE GOING TO BE SOON AT $12 BILLION, SOON AT $13 BILLION --

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  • 05:48:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE IS NOT IN ORDER. MAY WE HAVE ORDER, PLEASE,…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE IS NOT IN ORDER. MAY WE HAVE ORDER, PLEASE, FOR THE SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

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  • 05:48:46 PM

    MR. COBURN

    IS IT'S COMMON SENSE. EVERY AMERICAN KNOWS THAT YOU DON'T GO BUILD A…

    IS IT'S COMMON SENSE. EVERY AMERICAN KNOWS THAT YOU DON'T GO BUILD A GARAGE ON WHEN YOUR FRONT PORCH IS FALLING DOWN AND THAT'S THE ONLY WAY TO GET IN YOUR HOUSE. THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENING TO OUR PARKS. I KNOW THERE'S INCREASED FUNDING FOR THE PARKS. THE FACT IS THEY'RE FALLING DOWN. WHETHER

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  • 05:49:16 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I DO.

  • 05:49:17 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 05:49:18 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 05:49:19 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE OPPOSE THIS AMENDMENT. WE OPPOSE IT BECAUSE IT TAKES THE…

    MR. PRESIDENT, WE OPPOSE THIS AMENDMENT. WE OPPOSE IT BECAUSE IT TAKES THE $420 MILLION OUT OF THE LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION FUND. WE OPPOSE IT BECAUSE THE COMMITTEE IN THE STIMULUS BILL PUT AS MANY DOLLARS AS WE BELIEVE THESE DEPARTMENTS COULD ABSORB IN THE PERIOD OF TIME FOR MAINTENANCE. I MOVE TO TABLE. I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS.

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  • 05:49:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE A…

    PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE A SUFFICIENT SECOND. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE ORDERED, AND THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 05:49:53 PM

    Senate Vote 297 - On the Motion to Table (Motion to Table Coburn Amdt No 2483)

    To help preserve America's national parks and other public land treasures by reducing maintenance backlogs that threaten the health and safety of visitors.

    Motion to Table Agreed to (79 - 19)
    Yea

    Vote Details: Yea - 78
    Republican - 22
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Nay - 19
    Republican - 18
    Democratic - 1

  • 06:05:56 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 06:06:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 06:06:23 PM

    MR. REID

    OF MYSELF. I'VE GOT SOME MORE BUSINESS TO DO HERE.

  • 06:06:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE QUESTION IS ON THE REID AMENDMENT 2531. THE SENATOR FROM…

    OFFICER: THE QUESTION IS ON THE REID AMENDMENT 2531. THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

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  • 06:06:34 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEININ

    I YIELD BACK ALL TIME ON THE REID AMENDMENT. IT HAS BEEN CLEARED ON BOTH…

    I YIELD BACK ALL TIME ON THE REID AMENDMENT. IT HAS BEEN CLEARED ON BOTH SIDES. I ASK FOR ITS UNANIMOUS CONSENT.

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  • 06:06:42 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM --

  • 06:06:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:06:53 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 06:06:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 06:06:56 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:09:29 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:09:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 06:09:33 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

  • 06:10:03 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    VERY MUCH.

  • 06:10:04 PM

    MR. ALEXANDER

    MR. PRESIDENT? I WOULD LIKE TO THANK SENATOR FEINSTEIN. I WOULD LIKE TO…

    MR. PRESIDENT? I WOULD LIKE TO THANK SENATOR FEINSTEIN. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK MY COLLEAGUES FOR MOVING THIS ALONG. SENATOR COCHRAN AND INOUYE, REID AND McCONNELL HAVE BEEN TERRIFIC. THE STAFF MEMBERS, PETER AND RACHEL AND SCOTT, AND OUR SIDE LEE, REBECCA, RACHEL AND GRANT, WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR HARD WORK.

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  • 06:10:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE -- A SENATOR: I SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 06:10:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. MRS.

  • 06:12:08 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

  • 06:12:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM CALIFORNIA.

  • 06:12:13 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:12:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:12:18 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    NOTWITHSTANDING THE ADOPTION OF THE SUBSTITUTE, THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 06:12:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATOR FROM --

  • 06:12:30 PM

    THE CLERK

    SENATOR FROM --

  • 06:12:32 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:12:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:12:36 PM

    MRS. FEINSTEIN

    THIS AMENDMENT HAS BEEN CLEARED ON BOTH SIDES. WE SUGGEST THAT IT BE VOICE…

    THIS AMENDMENT HAS BEEN CLEARED ON BOTH SIDES. WE SUGGEST THAT IT BE VOICE VOTED.

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  • 06:12:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO. THE CLERK WILL READ THE…

    WITHOUT OBJECTION. THE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO. THE CLERK WILL READ THE BILL FOR THE THIRD TIME.

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  • 06:12:47 PM

    THE CLERK

    ACT TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND SO FORTH AND…

    ACT TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND SO FORTH AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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  • 06:12:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. THE CLERK WILL…

    OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 06:12:59 PM

    Senate Vote 298 - On Passage of the Bill (HR 2996 As Amended)

    Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010

    Bill Passed (77 - 21)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 76
    Republican - 20
    Democratic - 54
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Nay - 21
    Republican - 20
    Democratic - 1

  • 06:27:50 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: ANY SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE THEIR VOTE? SEEING OR…

    OFFICER: ANY SENATORS WISHING TO VOTE OR CHANGE THEIR VOTE? SEEING OR HEARING NONE, THE FINAL VOTE ON H.R. 2996, AS AMENDED, 77 YEAS, 21 NAYS. THE BILL AS AMENDED IS PASSED.

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  • 06:28:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:28:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CHAIR APPOINTS THE FOLLOWING AS CONFEREES ON BEHALF -- ON THE PART OF THE…

    CHAIR APPOINTS THE FOLLOWING AS CONFEREES ON BEHALF -- ON THE PART OF THE SENATE.

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  • 06:28:20 PM

    THE CLERK

  • 06:28:37 PM

    MR. REID

  • 06:28:38 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 06:28:40 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT UPON DISPOSITION OF H.R. 2996, THE SENATE…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT UPON DISPOSITION OF H.R. 2996, THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF CALENDAR NUMBER 159, H.R. 3326, THE DEFENSE DEPARTMENT APPROPRIATIONS ACT. ONCE THE BILL IS REPORTED, THE SENATE THEN PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS AND THE MANAGERS' STATEMENTS WITH RESPECT TO THE DEFENSE BILL BE INSERTED IN THE RECORD.

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  • 06:28:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:29:11 PM

    MR. CHAMBLISS

    WILL THE SENATOR SUSPEND.

  • 06:29:12 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WILL THE SENATOR SUSPEND.

  • 06:29:15 PM

    THE CLERK

    THE SENATOR FROM GEORGIA.

  • 06:29:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM GEORGIA.

  • 06:29:28 PM

    MR. CHAMBLISS

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:29:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:29:34 PM

    MR. CHAMBLISS

    MR. PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE FLOOR TONIGHT WITH A HEAVY HEART TO EXPRESS…

    MR. PRESIDENT, I COME TO THE FLOOR TONIGHT WITH A HEAVY HEART TO EXPRESS CONDOLENCES TO THOSE IN MY HOME STATE OF GEORGIA, AS WELL AS OTHERS ACROSS THE SOUTHEASTERN PART OF OUR COUNTRY, WHO'VE BEEN AFFECTED BY THE RECENT DEVASTATING FLOODS. IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT ONE YEAR AGO, WE IN GEORGIA WERE IN THE FOURTH YEAR OF EXTENSIVE DROUGHT, AND YET TODAY ACROSS THE METRO ATLANTA AREA AND THROUGHOUT NORTH GEORGIA, WE HAVE GONE FROM A WATER CRISIS IN THE LAST COUPLE OF YEARS TO RISING WATERS THAT HAVE TRANSFORMED NEIGHBORHOODS INTO RIVERS, BALL FIELDS INTO LAKES, AND BASEMENTS INTO DANK POOLS. RAFTS AND KAYAKS HAVE TAKEN THE PLACE OF CARS IN STREETS. IN MANY AREAS, THE ONLY DRY PLACES ARE ROOFTOPS AND TREETOPS. FOR FOUR FOR FOUR DAYS AND FOUR NIGHTS WATER POURED FROM THE SKY AND ROSE FROM RIVERS, CREEKS AND THE SATURATED GROUND TO CLAIM LIVES AND LIVELIHOODS, WORLDLY POSSESSIONS AND TREASURED MEMORIES AND FLOODED BASEMENTS, ATTICS, DRIVEWAYS AND FIELDS. RIVERS AND CREEKS SWOLLEN BY DAYS OF RAIN TOPPED THEIR BANKS WITH DEADLY RESULTS. THE CHATTAHOOCHEE CRESTED AT 30 FEET, 15 FEET ABOVE FLOOD STAGE. NEARLY 1,000 FAMILIES LOST THEIR HOMES TO FLOODING THEY NEVER EXPECTED TO SEE IN THEIR LIFETIMES. OTHERS FOUND THEIR BUSINESSES SUBMERGED. BECAUSE MOST AREN'T IN FLOODPLAINS, THEY DON'T HAVE FLOOD INSURANCE. MANY HAVE LOST EVERYTHING THEY OWN DURING ALREADY TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES. IN ADDITION TO HOMES AND BUSINESSES, THE RISING WATERS DESTROYED ROADWAYS, SWEPT AWAY BRIDGES, TAINTED DRINKING WATER AND DAMAGED SEWER SYSTEMS. IT WILL TAKE MONTHS, IF NOT YEARS, TO REPAIR THE DAMAGE. EVEN MORE HEART WRENCHING IS THE FACT THAT NINE GEORGIANS AND ONE RESIDENT OF ALABAMA ACROSS THE STATE LINE PERISHED IN THE RUSHING WATERS. WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE, MORE THAN 20 INCHES OF RAIN FELL ON GEORGIA, BREAKING 130-YEAR-OLD RECORD AT ATLANTA'S HARTSFIELD-JACKSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT. MORE THAN 30,000 PEOPLE WERE WITHOUT POWER IN THE METRO ATLANTA AREA. THE RED CROSS SHELTERED HUNDREDS RENDERED HOMELESS BY THE FLOODS. THE WORST SITUATIONS OFTEN BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE. LOCAL FIRST RESPONDERS AND EMERGENCY PERSONNEL WORKED TIRELESSLY TO PROTECT LIVES AND PROPERTY AND TO RESCUE THOSE TRAPPED BY THE WATERS. THEIR BRAVERY AND SACRIFICE IS EXEMPLARY. ALSO THE GEORGIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY WORKED AROUND THE CLOCK TO FACILITATE REQUESTS FOR ASSISTANCE. THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY WORKED CLOSELY WITH THE STATE TO ANTICIPATE AND RESPOND TO EMERGENCY NEEDS. AND COUNTLESS VOLUNTEERS GAVE TIME AND ENERGY TO ENSURE THAT EVACUEES WERE SHELTERED, CLOTHED, FED AND KPH-FRBTED. THEY -- AND COMFORTED. THEY ALL HAVE GEORGIANS AND MY PERSONAL, DEEPEST, MOST HEARTFELT GRATITUDE. I'D LIKE TO EXPRESS MY SYMPATHY TO THE FAMILY OF THOSE WHO HAVE LOST LOVED ONES, HOMES AND LIVELIHOOD TO. THAT END, SENATOR ISAKSON AND I HAVE INTRODUCED S. RES. 286 EXPRESSING CONDOLENCES TO THOSE AFFECTED AND APPRECIATION TO EMERGENCY RESPONDERS AND OTHERS WHO HELPED THEM. AND I WOULD URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO SUPPORT THAT RESOLUTION TONIGHT. ON SEPTEMBER 21, GOVERNOR IS PURDUE DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN 17 COUNTIES. I UNDERSTAND PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLED GOVERNOR PURDUE TUESDAY NIGHT TO DISCUSS THE NEEDS OF GEORGIANS AND ASSURED THE GOVERNOR THAT HIS REQUEST FOR FEDERAL AID WOULD RECEIVE PROMPT ATTENTION. AND TO THAT END, TODAY WE RECEIVED NOTIFICATION THAT FOUR OF THE 17 AFFECTED COUNTIES HAVE BEEN DECLARED DISASTER AREAS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA, AND I AM CERTAIN THAT THE OTHERS, WHEN THE PROCESSING IS COMPLETED, WILL LIKEWISE BE NAMED, BE DECLARED DISASTER COUNTIES. TOMORROW VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN WILL ACCOMPANY SENATOR ISAKSON AND MYSELF TO GEORGIA TO TAKE A FIRSTHAND LOOK AT WHAT'S GOING ON. MR. PRESIDENT, WE'RE LITERALLY UNDER WATER, GEORGIA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTHEAST NEED THE ASSISTANCE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN THIS CASE AS WELL AS THE STATE GOVERNMENT. AND TO THAT END, WE'RE SEEING THE RESPONSE IN A VERY APPROPRIATE WAY. MR. PRESIDENT, I ALSO RISE TODAY TO SPEAK IN OPPOSITION TO ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER'S DECISION TO REEXAMINE THE JUDGMENT BY CAREER PROSECUTORS AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND INITIATE A PRELIMINARY REVIEW TO DETERMINE WHETHER CRIMINAL CHARGES SHOULD BE FILED AGAINST C.I.A. OFFICERS WHO CONDUCTED INTERROGATIONS AGAINST HARDENED AL QAEDA TERRORISTS. AT THE OUTSET LET ME REMIND EVERYONE THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA PROMISED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THAT HE WOULD LOOK FORWARD RATHER THAN BACKWARD AND WOULD NOT SEEK A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION FOR INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE C.I.A.'S INTERROGATION AND DETENTION PROGRAM. NOT WITHSTANDING THIS PROMISE, HE HAS ALLOWED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, A MEMBER OF HIS CABINET WHO ANSWERS TO HIM, TO REHASH OLD GROUND DESPITE THE FACT THAT CAREER PROSECUTORS ALREADY HAVE EXAMINED THE SAME INFORMATION AND DECLINED TO PROSECUTE THE SAME INDIVIDUALS FOR THE SAME ACTIONS. BY ALLOWING THIS DECISION TO STAND, PRESIDENT OBAMA IS FAILING TO EXERCISE HIS DUTY AS CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND ENFORCER OF THE LAW. GIVEN THAT THERE ARE NO NEW FACTS TO JUSTIFY THIS ACTION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE PRESIDENT SHOULD DEMAND THAT THE LEGAL CONCLUSIONS PREVIOUSLY REACHED BY CAREER PROSECUTORS BE UPHELD. JUST LAST WEEK SEVEN FORMER C.I.A. DIRECTORS ENCOMPASSING ALL LIVING FORMER C.I.A. DIRECTORS FROM BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES EXCEPT THE TWO PRESENTLY SERVING IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, CURRENT DIRECTOR PANETTA AND SECRETARY OF DEFENSE GATES, WROTE IN A LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA THAT THE DECISION TO REEXAMINE THESE CASES -- AND I QUOTE -- "CREATES AN ATMOSPHERE OF CONTINUOUS JEOPARDY FOR THOSE WHOSE CASES THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAD PREVIOUSLY DECLINED TO PROSECUTE." NO FACTS HAVE CHANGED SINCE THEN. NO NEW FACTS HAVE ARISEN. AND IN LIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS REFUSAL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE TO PROSECUTE ALL BUT ONE C.I.A. KPHRAOE, THE C.I.A. -- EMPLOYEE, THE C.I.A. HAS TAKEN -PLT. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE FOR THESE EMPLOYEES WHO HAVE BEEN AT THE FRONT LINES IN THE WAR ON TERROR SINCE THE 9/11 ATTACKS AND WHO ACTED UNDER THE LEGAL GUIDANCE GIVEN TO THEM. IF THEY ARE TO FACE POTENTIAL PUNISHMENT MORE THAN ONCE FOR THEIR ACTIONS. WHAT IS THE MESSAGE THAT WE ARE SENDING TO OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY? REOPENING THESE CASES IS EXACTLY THE TYPE OF ACTION WHICH CREATES RISK AVERSE INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES AND OFFICERS. IF AN INTELLIGENCE OFFICER INVOLVED IN A CLANDESTINE OPERATION TODAY WORRIES THAT HE MAY BE PROSECUTED FOR IT TOMORROW, HE IS NOT GOING TO THINK TWICE ABOUT CONDUCTING THE OPERATION. HE SIMPLY WON'T DO IT. WORSE YET, IF AN INTELLIGENCE OFFICER INVOLVED IN A CLANDESTINE OPERATION TODAY WORRIES THAT HE MAY BE PROSECUTED FOR IT TOMORROW BECAUSE OF RANDOM POLICY CHANGES, IT WILL EVOKE AN EVEN GREATER SUBJECTIVE RISK-AVERSE ENVIRONMENT. CREATING SUCH AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES TODAY ARE HELD HOSTAGE TO THE POLITICAL DECISIONS OF TOMORROW IS A RECIPE FOR FAILURE FOR OUR INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION EFFORTS. AS A MEMBER OF THE SENATE SKHREBGT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE -- SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, I UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANT ROLE THAT INTELLIGENCE PLAYS IN OUR MILITARY, LAW ENFORCEMENT, AND INTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS. I SEE FIRSTHAND THE BRAVERY AND PROFESSIONALISM EXHIBITED BY OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY CADRE. PARTISANSHIP PLAYS NO ROLE IN THEIR DAILY OPERATIONS. THEY ARE GUIDED NOT BY WHICH POLITICAL PARTY MAY OBTAIN THEIR VOTE ON A PARTICULAR DAY IN NOVEMBER, BUT BY AN OVERWHELMING SENSE OF DUTY TO THEIR COUNTRY. THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY DO NOT MAKE POLICY. YET, THEY ARE OUT THERE RISKING THEIR LIVES TO GATHER THE INTELLIGENCE NECESSARY FOR POLICY-MAKERS TO MAKE AN INFORMED DECISION. SIMILARLY, PARTISANSHIP SHOULD PLAY NO ROLE IN THE DECISIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION OR CONGRESS WHEN IT COMES TO INTELLIGENCE GATHERING. I DO NOT WANT OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY PROFESSIONALS TO HAVE TO THINK TWICE ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT TO GATHER CERTAIN INFORMATION THAT WOULD INFORM ME OF FOREIGN POLICY INVESTMENTS BECAUSE THEY FEAR POTENTIAL PROSECUTION AT A LATER DATE FOR DOING SO. THESE MEN AND WOMEN NEED TO KNOW THAT THEY HAVE THE FREEDOM TO DO THEIR JOBS WITHIN THE GUIDANCE THAT IS GIVEN TO THEM AT THE TIME. EVEN THOUGH THAT GUIDANCE OR POLICY MAY CHANGE DOWN THE ROAD. THEY NEED TO KNOW THAT THE COUNTRY THEY ARE SERVING HAS THEIR BACK. SADLY, THAT IS NOT THE MESSAGE THAT WE ARE SENDING. NEVER BEFORE HAS A CHANGE IN POLICY BROUGHT THE THREAT OF POTENTIAL PROSECUTION FOR PAST SANCTIONED ACTIONS. SOME MAY ASK WHY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S DECISION IS SO HARMFUL TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. AND THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE. WITHOUT CALCULATED RISK-TAKING ON THE PART OF OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY, WE WILL LOSE THE FIGHT AGAINST NOT ONLY OUR STATE ADVERSARIES, BUT AGAINST TERRORISTS AS WELL. THIS IS NOT A TRADE-OFF I AM WILLING TO TAKE. IT IS NOT A TRADE-OFF THAT THE PRESIDENT SHOULD BE WILLING TO MAKE EITHER, PARTICULARLY AS WE CONTINUE TO FIGHT IN AFGHANISTAN. WE NEED TO LOOK NO FARTHER THAN THE EVENTS OF THE PAST WEEK, THE ARRESTS HERE ON AMERICAN SOIL OF THREE INDIVIDUALS WITH ADMITTED TIES TO AL QAEDA WHO MAY HAVE BEEN PLANNING ATTACKS AGAINST THE U.S. HOMELAND TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE THREATS TO OUR COUNTRY ARE REAL AND THAT THIS TRADE-OFF WHICH THE ADMINISTRATION HAS SANCTIONED IS A LOT CLOSER TO HITTING HOME. FINALLY, I WOULD POINT OUT THAT THE SAME REPORT, THE C.I.A. INSPECTOR GENERAL'S REPORT ENTITLED "COUNTERTERRORISM, DETENTION, AND INTERROGATION ACTIVITIES, SEPTEMBER 2001 TO OCTOBER 2003" THAT ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER CLAIMS WAS HIS REASON FOR REOPENING THIS INVESTIGATION WAS THE SAME REPORT THAT PROMPTED THE C.I.A. TO SELF-REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IN THE FIRST PLACE. LONG BEFORE THE I.G. EVEN STARTED HIS REVIEW, THE C.I.A. INFORMED THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE THAT THEY HAD RECOMMENDED AN I.G. INVESTIGATION RELATED TO THE INTERROGATION PROGRAM. ONCE THE REPORT WAS COMPLETED, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE RECEIVED IT AND CAREFULLY REVIEWED THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES DESCRIBED WITHIN IT. ONLY AFTER DOING SO DID CAREER ATTORNEYS DECLINE TO PROSECUTE. UNFORTUNATELY, PRESS REPORTS FROM THIS PAST WEEKEND INDICATE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO READ THE DECLINATION MEMOS PREPARED BY THESE CAREER PUBLIC SERVANTS. IN RECENT MONTHS THE ADMINISTRATION DECLASSIFIED AND RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC THIS I.G. REPORT AS WELL AS THE LEGAL GUIDANCE FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE. THE RECORD IS THERE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO REVIEW FOR THEMSELVES. I HAVE REVIEWED ALL OF THIS INFORMATION, AND I AM CONFIDENT THAT ANYONE ELSE WHO DOES SO WILL REACH THE SAME CONCLUSION I HAVE, NAMELY, THAT REOPENING AN INVESTIGATION IS NOT MERITED. FURTHER, IT IS WORTH NOTING THAT THE I.G. REPORT FOUND THAT -- AND I QUOTE -- "THE AGENCY'S DETENTION AND INTERROGATION OF TERRORISTS HAS PROVIDED INTELLIGENCE THAT HAS ENABLED APPREHENSION OF OTHER TERRORISTS AND WARNED OF TERRORIST PLOTS PLANNED FOR THE UNITED STATES AND AROUND THE WORLD." CLOSE QUOTE. WHERE DEVIATIONS FROM THE APPROVED PROCEDURES AND GUIDANCE OCCURRED, IT WAS AN ANOMALY AND WAS EITHER PROSECUTED OR ADMINISTRATIVELY PUNISHED BY THE C.I.A. LEADERSHIP. THE ISSUES AT THE HEART OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S DECISION HAVE BEEN EXAMINED THOROUGHLY, AND IT IS TIME FOR THEM TO BE LAID TO REST. PRESIDENT OBAMA AND THE ATTORNEY GENERAL SHOULD PUT AN END TO THEIR UNJUSTIFIED SECOND-GUESSING OF CAREER PROSECUTORS. I CANNOT IMAGINE THAT THEY WOULD BE WILLING TO EXPOSE THEIR OWN POLICY DECISIONS AND LEGAL DETERMINATIONS TO FUTURE POLITICALLY MOTIVATED PROSECUTIONS. YET, BY DOING SO WITH THEIR ACTIONS AGAINST THE C.I.A. EMPLOYEES, THEY ARE SETTING A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT WHICH I BELIEVE WILL HAVE A LASTING CHILLING EFFECT ON OUR INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY AND OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 06:42:56 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM DELAWARE.

  • 06:42:59 PM

    MR. KAUFMAN

    MR. PRESIDENT I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED…

    MR. PRESIDENT I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE QUORUM CALL BE DISPENSED WITH.

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  • 06:43:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WE'RE NOT IN QUORUM CALL.

  • 06:43:05 PM

    MR. KAUFMAN

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:43:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 06:43:09 PM

    MR. KAUFMAN

    MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 06:52:43 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 07:04:52 PM

    MR. REID

    MR. MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 07:04:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: MR. MAJORITY LEADER.

  • 07:04:54 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE CALL OF THE QUORUM BE TERMINATED.

  • 07:04:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:04:59 PM

    MR. REID

    THAT'S CORRECT.

  • 07:05:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THAT'S CORRECT.

  • 07:05:02 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO H.R. 3607.

  • 07:05:07 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:05:09 PM

    MR. REID

    BE READ THREE TIMES PASSES, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE,…

    BE READ THREE TIMES PASSES, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, ANY STATEMENTS RELATING TO THIS MATTER APPEAR AT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE IN THE RECORD AS IF READ.

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  • 07:05:17 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:05:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:05:30 PM

    THE CLERK

    158, S. 1599, A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 36, UNITED STATES CODE, AND SO FORTH.

  • 07:05:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT…

    OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE SENATE WILL PROCEED.

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  • 07:05:42 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:05:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:05:54 PM

    MR. REID

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:06:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:06:07 PM

    THE CLERK

    TO AMEND TITLE 36, UNITED STATES CODE A AND THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE…

    TO AMEND TITLE 36, UNITED STATES CODE A AND THE SENATE WILL PROCEED TO THE MEASURE.

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  • 07:06:22 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:06:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:06:33 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE E.P.W. COMMITTEE, ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE E.P.W. COMMITTEE, ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE, BE DISCHARGED FROM FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF THE FOLLOWING BILLS AND ALL EN BLOC: H.R. 2913, H.R. 1687, H.R. 2053, H.R. H.R. 2498, H.R. 2121.

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  • 07:06:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE BILLS ARE DISCHARGED FROM COMMITTEE EN BLOC.

  • 07:07:02 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE BILLS BE READ A THIRD TIME, PASSED EN BLOC,…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THE BILLS BE READ A THIRD TIME, PASSED EN BLOC, WITH THE MOTIONS TO RECONSIDER LAID UPON THE TABLE.

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  • 07:07:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:07:10 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WE NOW PROCEED TO S. RES. 286.

  • 07:07:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:07:17 PM

    THE CLERK

    RES. 286, EXPRESSING THE CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF THE INDIVIDUALS…

    RES. 286, EXPRESSING THE CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILIES OF THE INDIVIDUALS KILLED DURING UNUSUAL STORMS AND FLOODS IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA BETWEEN SEPTEMBER 18 AND SEPTEMBER 21, 2009, AND EXPRESSING GRATITUDE TO ALL OF THE EMERGENCY PERSONNEL WHO CONTINUE TO WORK WITH UNYIELDING DETERMINATION TO MEET THE NEEDS OF GEORGIA'S RESIDENTS.

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  • 07:07:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

  • 07:07:42 PM

    MR. REID

    ABSENCE OF A QUORUM.

  • 07:07:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL:

  • 07:08:00 PM

    MR. REID

    ARE WE IN A QUORUM CALL?

  • 07:08:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ASK CONSENT THAT WE VITIATE THAT ORDER.

  • 07:08:05 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:08:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:08:08 PM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDENT, REGARDING S. RES. 286, AFTER THE CHAIR ANNOUNCED THERE WAS NO…

    PRESIDENT, REGARDING S. RES. 286, AFTER THE CHAIR ANNOUNCED THERE WAS NO OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO IT, I FAILED TO PROCEED TO ASK THAT IT BE AGREED TO, THAT THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO AND THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE.

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  • 07:08:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT --

  • 07:08:40 PM

    MR. CREED

    MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT --

  • 07:08:43 PM

    MR. REID

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:08:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 07:09:01 PM

    THE CLERK

    NOMINATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, JONATHAN B. JARVIS, OF CALIFORNIA…

    NOMINATION, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, JONATHAN B. JARVIS, OF CALIFORNIA TO BE DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE.

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  • 07:09:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    I MOVE --

  • 07:09:19 PM

    MR. REID

    I MOVE --

  • 07:09:20 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE NOMINATION IS CONFIRMED.

  • 07:09:22 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:09:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:09:33 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:09:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:09:42 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND…

    I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY AND GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS BE DISCHARGED FROM PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION 704 AND THEN THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE NOMINATION NOMINATION, THE NOMINATION BE CONFIRMED AND THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, NO FURTHER MOTIONS BE INURED, THE PRESIDENT -- IN ORDER, THE PRESIDENT BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S, AS THE SENATE THEN RETURN TO LEGISLATIVE ACTION, ANY STATEMENTS RELATING TO THE MEASURE APPEAR AT THE APPROPRIATE PLACE IN THE RECORD AS IF READ.

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  • 07:10:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED.

  • 07:10:13 PM

    MR. REID

    THE SENATOR IS CORRECT.

  • 07:11:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: THE SENATOR IS CORRECT.

  • 07:11:40 PM

    MR. REID

    PRESIDING OFFICER, WERE YOU THE FIRST TO GET IT? IN YOUR CAPACITY AS A…

    PRESIDING OFFICER, WERE YOU THE FIRST TO GET IT? IN YOUR CAPACITY AS A SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF ALASKA, WHAT'S THE ANSWER?

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  • 07:11:52 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IN THE CAPACITY AS A SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF ALASKA, THE ANSWER IS YES.

  • 07:11:56 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:12:23 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

  • 07:12:25 PM

    MR. REID

    I ANNOUNCED EARLIER TONIGHT, MR. PRESIDENT THERE, WILL BE NO ROLL CALL…

    I ANNOUNCED EARLIER TONIGHT, MR. PRESIDENT THERE, WILL BE NO ROLL CALL VOTES DURING FRIDAY'S SESSION OF THE SENATE. AND ON MONDAY, WHICH IS YOM KIPPUR, THE MOST SIGNIFICANT, THE HIGHEST HOLY DAY OF THE -- THOSE OF THE JEWISH FAITH, IS ON MONDAY, AND, THEREFORE, WE WILL NOT BE IN SESSION ON MONDAY. THE NEXT VOTE WILL OCCUR AROUND 5:30 P.M. ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29. AS A REMINDER TO ALL SENATORS, PAUL KIRK WILL BE SWORN IN AS THE NEW SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS, REPLACING SENATOR KENNEDY. THAT WILL BE AT 3:30 TOMORROW AFTERNOON. IF THERE'S NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK THAT IT ADJOURN UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER.

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  • 07:13:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE SENATE WILL STAND ADJOURNED UNTIL FRIDAY, 9:30 A.M., ON THE 25th.

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Statistics

115th Congress - Senate
Total Hours: 1806 (After 565 days)
  • Debate1085 Hours
  • Quorum Calls425 Hours
  • Votes296 Hours

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Source: Resume of Congressional Activity (senate.gov)