Senate Session - February 4, 2014

The Senate convened to resume work on H.R. 2642, the farm bill. The House passed the measure January 31.

Speakers:
Time
Action
  • 10:00:28 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    TO ORDER. THE CHAPLAIN RETIRED ADMIRAL BARRY BLACK WILL LEAD THE SENATE IN…

    TO ORDER. THE CHAPLAIN RETIRED ADMIRAL BARRY BLACK WILL LEAD THE SENATE IN PRAYER. THE CHAPLAIN: LET US PRAY. ETERNAL

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  • 10:00:37 AM

    THE CHAPLAIN

    GOD, THE FOUNTAIN OF EVERY BLESSING, WE LIFT OUR HEARTS IN PRAISE TO YOU,…

    GOD, THE FOUNTAIN OF EVERY BLESSING, WE LIFT OUR HEARTS IN PRAISE TO YOU, FOR YOU HAVE DONE MARVELOUS THINGS. YOU DIRECT OUR STEPS EACH DAY, GUIDING US WITH YOUR POWERFUL PROVIDENCE AND SHOWERING US WITH UNDESERVED MERCIES. YOU HEAR OUR PRAYERS AND SPEEDILY SUPPLY OUR NEEDS. BLESS TODAY THE WORK OF OUR LAWMAKERS, EMPOWERING THEM WITH UNCEASING AWARENESS AND OPENNESS OF HEART. GIVE THEM WISDOM AND COURAGE TO GLORIFY YOU THROUGH THEIR WORK. MAY THEIR THOUGHTS, WORDS AND ACTIONS BE ACCEPTABLE TO YOU, FOR YOU ARE OUR ROCK AND OUR REDEEMER. AMEN. THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: PLEASE JOIN ME IN RECITING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG. I PLEDGE

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  • 10:01:59 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

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

    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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  • 10:02:26 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    DEMOCRATIC LEADER. MR. REID: I MOVE TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 297. THE…

    DEMOCRATIC LEADER. MR. REID: I MOVE TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 297. THE PRESIDENT

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  • 10:02:28 AM

    MR. REID

    CALENDAR NUMBER 297. THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE…

    CALENDAR NUMBER 297. THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE: THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: MOTION

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  • 10:02:31 AM

    THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE

    REPORT. THE CLERK: MOTION TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 297, S. 1950, A…

    REPORT. THE CLERK: MOTION TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 297, S. 1950, A BILL

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  • 10:02:33 AM

    THE CLERK

    CALENDAR NUMBER 297, S. 1950, A BILL TO IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL…

    CALENDAR NUMBER 297, S. 1950, A BILL TO IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO VETERANS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

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  • 10:02:44 AM

    MR. REID

    FOLLOWING MY REMARKS AND THOSE OF THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, THE SENATE WILL…

    FOLLOWING MY REMARKS AND THOSE OF THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, THE SENATE WILL RESUME CONSIDERATION OF THE CONFERENCE REPORT TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2642, THE FARM BILL. THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES. THE SENATE WILL RECESS FROM 12:30 TO 2:15 P.M. TODAY FOR THE WEEKLY CAUCUS MEETINGS. AT APPROXIMATELY 2:35, THERE WILL BE A ROLL CALL VOTE ON ADOPTION OF THE FARM CONFERENCE REPORT. MR. PRESIDENT, BEFORE THE PRESIDING OFFICER -- WHILE THE PRESIDING OFFICER IS HERE, I WANT TO MAKE A BRIEF COMMENT. THE HEADLINES THE LAST COUPLE OF DAYS HAVE BEEN THE DEATH OF -- IN MY OPINION, ONE OF THE GREAT ACTORS OF OUR TIME, PHILLIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN. HE DIED OBVIOUSLY OF A DRUG OVERDOSE OF HEROIN. THE REASON I WANTED TO SAY A WORD WHILE THE PRESIDING OFFICER IS PRESIDING IS THAT THE GOVERNOR OF VERMONT WAS VERY, VERY VISIONARY IN DIRECTING HIS STATE OF THE STATE REMARKS THIS YEAR TO THE SCOURGE THAT'S SWEEPING THE NATION OF HEROIN ADDICTION. IT'S A -- REALLY A SCOURGE. WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO -- IT'S KIND OF A UNIQUE THING, ACCORDING TO EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO LEARN. WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO START OFF WITH SOME KIND OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS AND THEN WIND UP WITH THIS STUFF THAT'S BEEN PREPARED BY PURVEYORS OF EVIL. NOT KNOWING WHAT'S IN IT. THERE ARE SOME WHO BELIEVE THAT THEY PUT BABY LAXATIVE IN THIS, THEY PUT ALL KINDS OF STUFF THAT LOOKS LIKE HEROIN. IT'S A TERRIBLE SHAME. AND SO I SAY TO MY FRIEND FROM VERMONT MAKE SURE THAT -- AND I WILL SEND HIM A LETTER, BUT I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU PERSONALLY TELL THE GOVERNOR HOW HOW -- I CAN'T FIND A BETTER WORD -- VISIONARY HE WAS IN THE REMARKS HE GAVE A FEW WEEKS AGO. MR. LEAHY: MR. PRESIDENT, WILL THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA YIELD? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

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  • 10:04:58 AM

    MR. LEAHY

    SENATOR FROM NEVADA YIELD? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 10:05:00 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM VERMONT.

  • 10:05:02 AM

    MR. LEAHY

    RECORD WILL INDICATE, WHILE I WAS -- WHILE I OPENED THE SENATE, MY ROLE AS…

    RECORD WILL INDICATE, WHILE I WAS -- WHILE I OPENED THE SENATE, MY ROLE AS PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE, NOW THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM NEW JERSEY IS IN THE CHAIR, BECAUSE I WANTED TO BE ABLE TO, ONE, RESPOND, AND TWO, THANK THE DISTINGUISHED SENIOR SENATOR FROM NEVADA FOR WHAT HE SAID. I WAS IN MONTPELIER, WHICH IS OUR CAPITAL ON FRIDAY, AND I SPENT SOME TIME WITH GOVERNOR SHUMLIN, GOVERNOR PETER SHUMLIN WHO DID HIS STATE OF THE STATE MESSAGE ON THIS SUBJECT, AS THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM NEVADA HAS SAID, AND I TALKED TO HIM ABOUT IT. I WILL CALL HIM LATER THIS MORNING AND TELL HIM WHAT THE LEADER HAS SAID. I'M ALSO GOING TO, WEARING MY HAT AS CHAIR OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, DO A HEARING ON THIS. OURS IS A VERY SPECIAL AND VERY PRECIOUS STATE, BUT I THINK IT POINTS OUT THAT EVERY STATE IN THE UNION CAN FACE THIS PROBLEM. ON THE NATIONAL NEWS THIS MORNING, GOVERNOR SHUMLIN WAS GREAT TO FOCUS THE ATTENTION OF MANY STATES. I WILL JUST CLOSE WITH SAYING TO MY DEAR FRIEND FROM NEVADA I APPRECIATE HIS COMMENTS. HE KNOWS HOW PRECIOUS VERMONT IS TO ME AND TO GOVERNOR SHUMLIN, AND I WILL MAKE SURE THE GOVERNOR KNOWS WHAT HE SAID. AND I YIELD. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, ON ONE OTHER MATTER, --

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  • 10:06:36 AM

    MR. REID

    OTHER MATTER, --

  • 10:06:42 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    LEADER. MR. REID: I HAD A MEETING OF A NUMBER OF SENATORS THIS MORNING,…

    LEADER. MR. REID: I HAD A MEETING OF A NUMBER OF SENATORS THIS MORNING, AND ONE OF THE TOPICS OF CONVERSATION WAS THE PRESIDING OFFICER'S FIRST SPEECH, THE SO-CALLED MAIDEN SPEECH THAT HE GAVE LAST NIGHT.

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  • 10:06:45 AM

    MR. REID

    OF SENATORS THIS MORNING, AND ONE OF THE TOPICS OF CONVERSATION WAS THE…

    OF SENATORS THIS MORNING, AND ONE OF THE TOPICS OF CONVERSATION WAS THE PRESIDING OFFICER'S FIRST SPEECH, THE SO-CALLED MAIDEN SPEECH THAT HE GAVE LAST NIGHT. IT WAS STUNNINGLY GOOD, SUBSTANTIVE AND IT CAME FROM THE HEART, AND THAT'S WHAT MY SENATORS TOLD ME THIS MORNING, AND I AGREE. AS I TOLD THE PRESIDING OFFICER LAST NIGHT, I HAD TO GO TO A QUICK MEETING, SO I WATCHED MOST OF IT FROM MY OFFICE, BUT IT WAS A SPEECH THAT WAS SO IMPORTANT, DEALING WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE IN NEED. THIS GOOD MAN WHO IS PRESIDING OVER THE SENATE NOW IS A MAN OF STATURE. ACADEMICALLY, EXTREMELY TALENTED, STANFORD, AND DECIDED HE WOULD DO PUBLIC SERVICE, AND IN THE PROCESS OF DOING PUBLIC SERVICE, HE IDENTIFIED WITH THE PEOPLE WHO NEEDED HELP. HE MOVED INTO A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT YOU WOULDN'T THINK THE MAYOR OF A CITY WOULD LIVE, BUT HE DID THAT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO FEEL THE PULSE OF THE PEOPLE, AND IT'S OBVIOUS FROM THE SPEECH GIVEN LAST NIGHT THAT THE PRESIDING OFFICER DOES UNDERSTAND THE PULSE OF THE PEOPLE OF HIS STATE, AND WE ALL ADMIRED YOU BEFORE YOU GOT HERE AND WE ADMIRE YOU NOW EVEN MORE. MR. PRESIDENT, I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE IS A BILL AT THE DESK TITLED S. 1982, DUE FOR A SECOND READING.

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  • 10:08:26 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    BILL FOR THE SECOND TIME. THE CLERK: S. 1982, A BILL TO IMPROVE THE…

    BILL FOR THE SECOND TIME. THE CLERK: S. 1982, A BILL TO IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO VETERANS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. MR. REID:

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  • 10:08:30 AM

    THE CLERK

    IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO VETERANS, AND…

    IMPROVE THE PROVISION OF MEDICAL SERVICES AND BENEFITS TO VETERANS, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. MR. REID: I OBJECT TO ANY FURTHER PROCEEDINGS WITH RESPECT TO THIS BILL AT THIS TIME. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

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  • 10:08:37 AM

    MR. REID

    FURTHER PROCEEDINGS WITH RESPECT TO THIS BILL AT THIS TIME. THE PRESIDING…

    FURTHER PROCEEDINGS WITH RESPECT TO THIS BILL AT THIS TIME. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION HAVING BEEN HEARD, THE BILL WILL BE PLACED ON THE CALENDAR. MR. REID:

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  • 10:08:41 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    BILL WILL BE PLACED ON THE CALENDAR. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, LAST NIGHT,…

    BILL WILL BE PLACED ON THE CALENDAR. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, LAST NIGHT, I HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH THE PRESIDENT ALONG WITH MICHAEL BENNET AND -- MICHAEL BENNET AND OTHERS, AND IT WAS WORTH COMMENTING ON THAT MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT ABOUT HIS ADDRESS THAT HE GAVE A WEEK AGO TO THE CONGRESS AND TO THE NATION. HE ADDRESSED CONGRESS

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  • 10:08:48 AM

    MR. REID

    HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH THE PRESIDENT ALONG WITH…

    HAD THE GOOD FORTUNE TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH THE PRESIDENT ALONG WITH MICHAEL BENNET AND -- MICHAEL BENNET AND OTHERS, AND IT WAS WORTH COMMENTING ON THAT MEETING WITH THE PRESIDENT ABOUT HIS ADDRESS THAT HE GAVE A WEEK AGO TO THE CONGRESS AND TO THE NATION. HE ADDRESSED CONGRESS AND THE NATION AND DESCRIBED THE CHALLENGES FACING FAMILIES IN AMERICA, WAGES THAT ARE FAR TOO LOW, COST OF EDUCATION FAR TOO HIGH, AND SIMPLY THERE ARE FAR TOO FEW JOBS. EACH OF THESE CHALLENGES PLACES ANOTHER STUMBLING BLOCK IN FRONT OF AMERICANS STRIVING TO ENTER THE MIDDLE CLASS AND ALSO MIDDLE CLASS TRYING TO DO THEIR BEST TO HANG ONTO THEIR STATUS AS PART OF THE MIDDLE CLASS. THE MIDDLE CLASS IS BEING SQUEEZED, MR. PRESIDENT. THE RICH ARE GETTING RICHER. THE POOR ARE GETTING POORER. THE MIDDLE CLASS IS BEING SQUEEZED, SQUEEZED REALLY HARD. UNLESS WE OPEN THE DOORS OF OPPORTUNITY, EVERY CHILD IN THIS NATION, OUR GRANDCHILDREN WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO DO WHAT WE EXPECT OUR GRANDCHILDREN TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH. EVERY CHILD IN THIS NATION, OUR GRANDCHILDREN, WILL HAVE TO WORK LONGER AND HARDER THAN WE DID JUST TO GET BY, LET ALONE JUST TO GET AHEAD. YESTERDAY I READ WITH INTEREST THE STORY, A LONG, WELL-RESEARCHED STORY IN "THE NEW YORK TIMES." IT WAS IN THE BUSINESS SECTION. THAT PIECE ARGUED THAT THE RICHEST FAMILIES, THE MOST SUCCESSFUL CORPORATIONS IN AMERICA SHOULD BE JUST AS WORRIED ABOUT THESE TRENDS OF THE SHRINKING MIDDLE CLASS AS I AM AND AS THE PRESIDING OFFICER. THE ARTICLE DESCRIBED THE WIDESPREAD FAILURE OF BUSINESSES THAT CATER TO THE MIDDLE CLASS. I REPEAT THAT. WIDESPREAD FAILURE OF BUSINESSES THAT CATER TO THE MIDDLE CLASS. WHY? BECAUSE THE MIDDLE CLASS IS GOING AWAY. WHILE HIGH END RETAILERS LIKE BARNEY'S AND NORTH STROM FLOURISH, MID PRICE RETAILERS LIKE JC PENNEY AND LOEHMAN'S STUMBLE. WHILE POSH RESTAURANTS LIKE CAPITAL GRILL PROSPER, MORE MODEST EATERIES LIKE RED LOBSTER ARE SINKING. THE "TIMES" WROTE YESTERDAY AND I'M QUOTING -- "AS POLITICIANS AND PUNDITS IN WASHINGTON CONTINUE TO SPAR OVER WHETHER ECONOMIC INEQUALITY IS IN FACT DEEPENING, IN CORPORATE AMERICA THERE REALLY IS NO DEBATE AT ALL. THE POST-RECESSION REALITY IS THAT THE CUSTOMER BASE FOR BUSINESSES THAT APPEAL TO THE MIDDLE CLASS IS SHRINKING AS THE TOP TIER PULLS EVEN FARTHER AWAY INDUSTRY ANALYSTS SAY BUSINESSES THAT SELL LUXURY GOODS TO THE TOP 1% ARE BOOMING." AND REMEMBER, MR. PRESIDENT, DURING THE PAST 30 YEARS, THE TOP 1%, THEIR WEALTH HAS INCREASED THREE TIMES WHILE DURING THAT SAME 30-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME, THE EARNING CAPACITY OF THE MIDDLE CLASS HAS BEEN CUT BY 10%. SO THE TOP 1% ARE BOOMING. AND SADLY, BUSINESSES LIKE FAMILY DOLLAR THAT CATER TO THE GROWING RANKS OF THE POOR ARE BARELY SCRAPING BY. THAT IS, THE PEOPLE WHO USE THOSE STORES. BUT DOLLAR STORES, FAMILY DOLLAR, THE BUSINESS, THEY ARE THRIVING. WHY? BECAUSE, MR. PRESIDENT, NORDSTROM'S, GREAT PLACE, I LOVE THEM. THEY HAVE A GREAT RETURN POLICY. I'M GLAD THEY ARE DOING WELL. BUT FAMILY DOLLAR, THEY'RE THRIVING BECAUSE MANY PEOPLE WHO WERE MIDDLE CLASS ARE NOW POOR. FAMILIES AREN'T GOING OUT FOR SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS. THEY AREN'T EVEN GOING OUT FOR HAMBURGERS LIKE THEY USED TO. THEY AREN'T BUYING THEIR KIDS NEW JEANS OR BACKPACKS. THEY PASS THEM DOWN. FROM CHILD TO CHILD. MR. PRESIDENT, -- THEY PASS THEM DOWN FROM CHILD TO CHILD. MR. PRESIDENT, I CAN REMEMBER -- IT'S BEEN OVER A YEAR AGO. I WENT TO THIS PROGRAM IN NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA. A LOT OF POOR PEOPLE IN NORTH LAS VEGAS. THEY WERE GIVING AWAY BACKPACKS WITH SOME PENCILS IN IT. IT WAS BEFORE SCHOOL STARTED. SOME PENCILS AND SOME PAPER. MR. PRESIDENT, THOSE BACKPACKS WERE SO -- I DON'T WANT TO DENIGRATE THE WONDERFUL THINGS THAT PEOPLE DO. THEY WERE SO CHEAP. THEY WERE BACKPACKS THAT HAD NAMES OF BUSINESSES ON THEM. AND THESE CHILDREN LINED UP WITH THEIR PARENTS FOR AS FAR AS YOU COULD SEE. THEY WERE DESPERATE FOR A BACKPACK. NOT A VERY GOOD ONE, BUT THEY DIDN'T HAVE ONE. SO THEY WEREN'T BUYING THEIR KIDS BACKPACKS LIKE THEY USED TO. PURCHASES THAT ONCE SEEMED LIKE MODEST TREATS HAVE BECOME UNAFFORDABLE LUCKARIES -- LUXURIES. WHILE THE ECONOMY IS GROWING DESPITE OF THIS TREND, ECONOMISTS WORRY THIS GROWTH IS UNSUSTAINABLE. ONE ECONOMIST TOLD THE "TIMES" -- QUOTE -- "IT'S GOING TO BE HARD TO MAINTAIN STRONG ECONOMIC GROWTH WITH SUCH A LARGE PROPORTION OF THE POPULATION FALLING BEHIND. WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO MUDDLE ALONG, BUT CAN WE REALLY RECOVER." " THAT'S A QUESTION. IN OTHER WORDS, OUR FORTUNES ARE BOUND TOGETHER. THE SHRINKING MIDDLE CLASS ISN'T JUST A PROBLEM FOR FAMILIES IN THE MIDDLE. IT'S A PROBLEM FOR BUSINESSES LARGE AND SMALL. IT'S A PROBLEM THAT SHOULD WORRY THE TOP 1% OF WEALTH IN AMERICA AS MUCH AS IT WORRIES THE 99% WHO ARE UNDER THAT 1%. CAN WE REALLY RECOVER WHEN SO MANY ARE FALLING BEHIND? IT'S A FAIR QUESTION AND AN EXTREMELY TROUBLING QUESTION, MR. PRESIDENT. OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY IS AT RISK AND AS WE ACT TO GROW AND PROTECT THE MIDDLE CLASS WHOSE PURCHASE POWER IS THE BACKBONE OF OUR ECONOMY AND HOW DO WE DO THAT, CREATE JOBS, WHICH WE AS A CRONG HAVE NOT DONE BECAUSE EVERY TIME WE TRY THERE'S OBSTRUCTION FROM THE REPUBLICANS. BUT TO ACHIEVE AND PROTECT AND GROW THE MIDDLE CLASS, PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLED FOR COMMONSENSE INVESTMENTS IN OUR FUTURE. INVESTMENTS IN 21st CENTURY INFRASTRUCTURE. YOU KNOW, THOSE OLD FASHIONED THRIENGS ROADS AND BRIDGES AND DAMS. AND THE NEW -- RENEWABLE ENERGY PROJECTS. SOLAR, WIND, GEOTHERMAL, CREATE LOTS AND LOTS OF JOBS. CUTTING-EDGE TECHNOLOGY. LIKE THE NEWS THELER VEHICLE -- TESSLER VEHICLE, ALL-ELECTRIC VECT. ELON, HE'S TALKING ABOUT BUILDING ANOTHER BIG FACTORY SOMEPLACE IN THE WEST. INVESTMENTS IN UNIVERSAL PRESCHOOL. SO IMPORTANT. OTHER COUNTRIES ARE DOING IT. WHY DON'T WE HAVE IT MANT MANDATORY FOR EVERY 4-YEAR-OLD? AND AFFORDABLE COLLEGE. MR. PRESIDENT, SEATED NEXT TO ME IS THE ASSISTANT LEADER. HE HAS IDENTIFIED A PROBLEM YEARS AGO THAT KIDS ARE BEING BURDENED WITH DEBT, TRYING TO GO TO COLLEGE. AND, FRANKLY, A LOT OF THE MONEY THAT THESE YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN BORROW GOES TO SCHOOLS THAT DON'T PRODUCE ANYTHING. INVESTMENTS IN MEDICAL RESEARCH. YOU HEARD MY COUGH -- ME COUGH. I FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE A COUPLE WEEKS AGO GOT THE FLU. I'D NEVER HAD THE FLU BEFORE. I WASN'T NEARLY AS SYMPATHETIC WITH PEOPLE WHO MISSED WORK BECAUSE OF FLU AND I AM NOW SYMPATHETIC. THE FLU IS DEVASTATING. I WAS SO, SO SICK. AND MY HOME IN SEARCHLIGHT WE DIDN'T HAVE A THERMOMETER. BY THE TIME WE HAD SOMEONE BRING ONE OVER FROM VEGAS, MY FEVER WAS VERY HIGH. AND I STARTED THE MEDICATION, TAMIFLU NOT AS EARLY AS I SHOULD AND IT WENT INTO BRONCHITIS. THE REASON I MENTION THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, AGAIN TALKING ABOUT MY FRIEND, THE THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS, WENT YESTERDAY TO N.I.H., THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. I WENT THERE A NUMBER OF MONTHS AGO. WHAT WE HAVE DONE AS A CONGRESS TO N.I.H. WE SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED. WE'VE CUT THEM. AND THE REASON I MENTION MY FLU IS BECAUSE WHEN I WENT THERE, THEY ARE SO CLOSE TO HAVING A FLU SHOT THAT COVERS ALL FLU. EVERYTHING. THEY'RE SO CLOSE. WHAT DO THEY NEED TO GO THE EXTRA MILE? MORE MONEY. THAT DEVASTATION OF SEQUESTRATION HAS HURT THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH SIGNIFICANTLY. CHAIRMAN MURRAY DID SOME THINGS TO HELP THE THE FUTURE BUT THAT MONEY THAT WE'VE LOST BECAUSE OF SEQUESTRATION IS GONE. WE NOT HAVE BEEN FAIR TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, THOSE ARE LIFE SAVING THINGS THEY'RE DOING THERE. AND OTHER COUNTRIES ARE TRYING TO MATCH WHAT WE HAVE DONE WITH THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. THEY CAN'T, WE'RE WAY AHEAD BUT WE'RE NOT GOING TO REMAIN AHEAD UNLESS WE PUT SOME MONEY INTO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. WE NEED TO HELP COMPANIES THAT BUILD THEIR PRODUCTS HERE IN AMERICA. I GO OUT OF MY WAY, MR. PRESIDENT, TO BUY NEW BALANCE SHOES. RUNNING SHOES. WHY? THEY'RE MADE IN AMERICA. THE SUIT THAT I'M WEARING, MADE IN AMERICA. I'M PROUD OF THAT. THE PRESIDENT ALSO CALLED ON CONGRESS TO INCREASE THE FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE TO $10.10 AN HOUR. A HUGE STEP TOWARD GUARANTEEING NO AMERICAN WORKING FULL TIME LIVES IN POVERTY AS THEY NOW DO AND AS THE PRESIDING OFFICER SO WELL ILLUSTRATED LAST NIGHT. THIS PROPOSAL RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE HAS BEEN ENDOARDZ BY SEVEN NOBEL PRIZE WINNING ECONOMISTS. I DON'T KNOW THE POLITICAL PERSUASION OF THESE NOBEL PRIZE WINNING ECONOMISTS BUT THEY'RE ALL PERSUADED THAT WE HAVE DONE TO THE WORKING POOR IS WRONG AND WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. THE PROPOSAL WOULD RAISE MILLIONS OF FAMILIES OUT OF POVERTY AND GIVE TENS OF MILLIONS OF CHILDREN A SHOT AT GRADUATING FROM COLLEGE, SECURING A HIGH-PAYING JOB AND JOINING THE MIDDLE CLASS. THERE'S SOMETHING ELSE CONGRESS SHOULD DO THIS WEEK TO PREVENT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS FROM DESCENDING INTO POVERTY. EXTEND THE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. IN THE MONTH THAT WE HAVE CUT OFF THESE BENEFITS BECAUSE OF OBSTRUCTION BY MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES, OPPORTUNITY HAS LOST MORE THAN $2 BILLION IN PURCHASING. THE STATE OF NEVADA, $30 MILLION. SO WE COULD DO SOMETHING NOW TO PREVENT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS FROM DESCENDING INTO POVERTY. A 57-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, I READ PART OF HER LETTER HERE YESTERDAY, SHE SAID HOW DO YOU THINK I FEEL? GOING FROM FRIEND TO FRIEND TO SLEEP ON THEIR COUCH. COUCH SURFING, WE CALL IT. SHE SAID THAT ONLY LASTS SO LONG. I'M SELLING EVERYTHING I HAVE, I DON'T HAVE A HOME, I'M TRYING TO SELL EVERYTHING I HAVE SO IF I GET AN OPPORTUNITY FOR A JOB INTERVIEW I CAN BUY GAS FOR MY CAR. WE MUST EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, 1.6 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE BEEN OUT OF WORK FOR MONTHS. THESE ARE -- BESSMENTS WILL ENSURE MORE THAN 2.3 MILLION CHILDREN HAVE NUTRITIOUS MEALS AND A SAFE PLACE TO SLEEP WHILE THEIR PARENTS HUNT FOR JOB. IT WILL PREVENT AMERICANS WHO WORKED HARD TO GET AHEAD ARE FROM LOSING THEIR GRIP ON THE LADDER OF SUCCESS. RESTORING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS ARE NOT ENOUGH TO SECURE OUR SHRINKING MIDDLE CLASS BUT IT CERTAINLY A GOOD FIRST STEP.

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  • 10:23:02 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

  • 10:23:03 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    LEADER. MR. McCONNELL: OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS I'VE OFTEN COME TO THE…

    LEADER. MR. McCONNELL: OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS I'VE OFTEN COME TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE TO TALK ATTENTION TO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S RADICAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA, AND THE DEEPLY HARMFUL EFFECTS IT IS HAVING ON THE PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY.

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  • 10:23:08 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

    YEARS I'VE OFTEN COME TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE TO TALK ATTENTION TO THE…

    YEARS I'VE OFTEN COME TO THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE TO TALK ATTENTION TO THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S RADICAL ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA, AND THE DEEPLY HARMFUL EFFECTS IT IS HAVING ON THE PEOPLE OF KENTUCKY. THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY'S WAR ON COAL IS THE MOST OBVIOUS AND TRAGIC EXAMPLE. TODAY I'D LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT THIS ADMINISTRATION'S ENVIRONMENTAL AGENDA AT PERHAPS ITS MOST ABSURD. AND AT THE HEART OF OUR STORY IS A TWO AND A HALF INCH MINNOW, TWO AND A HALF INCH MINNOW. CALLED THE DUSKY TAILED DARTER. A TWO AND A HALF INCH MINNOW CALLED THE DUSKY TAIL DARTER. LAST WEEK THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SIDED WITH THIS MINNOW OVER THE ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE IN SOUTHEASTERN KENTUCKY WHO LIVE NEAR OR DEPEND ON LAKE CUMBERLAND AS A MAJOR DRIVER OF COMMERCE, TOURISM, AND RECREATION. OBAMA ADMINISTRATION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DID THIS BY DETERMINING THAT THE PRESENCE OF THE DARTER IN THE LAKE'S TRIBUTARIES MEANT THAT THE RAISING OF THE LAKE'S WATER LEVEL MUST BE FURTHER DELAYED. NOW, LAKE CUMBERLAND IS A SIGNATURE TOURIST DESTINATION IN MY STATE AND ONE OF THE ECONOMIC PILLARS OF MCCRERY, CLINTON, RUSSELL AND PULASKI COUNTIES. THE WATER LEVEL OF THE LAKE WAS LOWERED BACK IN JANUARY OF 2007 DUE TO PROBLEMS WITH THE DAM WHICH FEEDS THE LAKE. THE PAST SEVEN YEARS HAVE REDUCED WATER LEVELS HAVE NOT ONLY HURT SMALL BUSINESSES THAT RELY ON TOURISM BUT HAVE ALSO STRAINED LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AS LOCAL TOWNS HAVE HAD TO LOWER THEIR WATER INTAKE. MARINAS HAVE HAD TO SPEND VALUABLE DOLLARS ON BOAT RAMP UPGRADES AND DOCK RELOCATIONS. DOLLARS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN SPENT ON GROWING BUSINESSES, HIRING NEW WORKERS, AND ENHANCING LOCAL COMMERCE. IN ADDITION, TO THE DRAWDOWN OF WATER HAS DETERRED TOURISM AS A MISPERCEPTION HAS BEEN CREATED AMONG POTENTIAL VISITORS THAT THE LAKE IS NO LONGER SUITABLE FOR BOATING, FISHING, AND WATER SPORTS. EVERY YEAR LAKE CUMBERLAND BRINGS TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY $200 MILLION IN ECONOMIC ACTIVITY AND EMPLOYS ON AVERAGE 6,000 PEOPLE. UNDERSTANDABLY THOSE IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY HAVE BEEN ANXIOUS TO SEE THE WATER LEVELS RETURN BACK TO THEIR NORMAL LEVEL AFTER SEVEN YEARS OF REDUCED WATER LEVEL. 2014 WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A GREAT YEAR FOR LAKE CUMBERLAND. AS KENTUCKIANS WOULD MARK THE END OF SEVEN YEARS' OF REPAIRS TO THE DAM AND THEREFORE REDUCED WATER LEVELS AND FEWER VISITORS. NOW SUDDENLY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THE WATER LEVEL CANNOT BE RAISED BECAUSE IT COULD -- COULD -- POTENTIALLY -- HAVE A HARMFUL EFFECT ON THIS MINNOW THE DUSKY TAILED DARTER WHICH IS ON THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST. MR. PRESIDENT, THE ABSURDITY OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION'S POSTURE ON THIS ISSUE IS MANIFEST. FIRST, THE ADMINISTRATION IS PROTECTING A FISH FROM WATER? LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. PROTECTING A FISH FROM WATER? THE RADICAL ENVIRONMENTALISTS IN THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DON'T WANT THIS FISH TO BE EXPOSED TO TOO MUCH WATER? WHAT'S NEXT? PROTECTING BIRDS FROM TOO MUCH SKY? SECOND, THE ADMINISTRATION TOOK THIS ACTION BECAUSE RAISING THE WATER COULD -- COULD, NOT WOULD -- POTENTIALLY -- POTENTIALLY -- HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THIS POOR LITTLE MINNOW. OF COURSE, ANYTHING IN THE UNIVERSE COULD HAVE AN ADVERSE EFFECT ON THIS MINNOW. BUT TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTHEASTERN KENTUCKY, THE PRESIDENT'S YEAR OF ACTION IS APPARENTLY BENEFICIAL ONLY IF HAVE YOU GILLS. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, THE STORY OF THE DARTER WOULD BE HUMOROUS IF IT WEREN'T SO HARMFUL TO THE ECONOMIC WELL-BEING OF THOUSANDS OF SOUTHEASTERN KENTUCKIANS. THIS MISGUIDED POLICY WILL HAVE DEEPLY HARMFUL CONSEQUENCES FOR THIS REGION OF KENTUCKY. CAROLYN MOUNTS, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROMOTING TOURISM AT LAKE CUMBERLAND AT THE SUMMER SET PULASKI COUNTY VISITOR BUREAU PUT IT BEST WHEN SHE SAID BUREAUCRACY RUN AMOK. BUREAUCRACY RUN AMOK, SAID CAROLYN MOUNTS. SHE JUST RETURNED FROM ATTENDING TOURISM AND TRAVEL SHOWS IN CINCINNATI AND LOUISVILLE TWO WEEKS AGO. SHE SAYS THE SHOWS WERE CROWDED, PEOPLE WANTED TO TALK ABOUT LAKE CUMBERLAND, THEY WERE EXCITED ABOUT THE LAKE RETURNING TO NORMAL OPERATION, AND NOW THIS. J.D. HAMILTON, WHO OPERATES LEE'S FORD RESORT MARINA IN NANCY, KENTUCKY, WAS ALSO DISAPPOINTED TO LEARN OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT. DISAPPOINTED IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT AS HIS BUSINESS HAS BEEN STIFLED BY THE LOWERING OF WATER OVER THE LAST SEVEN YEARS. IN RESPONSE TO THIS ANNOUNCEMENT HE SAID THE CORPS IS KEEPING ITS WORD TO THE FISH BUT NOT TO THE ECONOMY. SO YESTERDAY MY FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE SENATOR RAND PAUL AND I ALONG WITH OUR COLLEAGUES IN THE HOUSE, CONGRESSMAN ROGERS AND CONGRESSMAN WHITEFIELD, WROTE THE ADMINISTRATION CALLING FOR AN END TO THIS INTOLERABLE FURTHER DELAY. I HOPE THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION WILL TAKE HEED AND CONCERN ITSELF MORE WITH ENENDANGERED JOBS AND LIVELIHOODS OF ACTUAL KENTUCKIANS AND AMERICANS THAN WITH THE POSSIBLE ENDANGERMENT OF THIS APPARENTLY WATER-AVERSE MINNOW. NOW, MR. PRESIDENT, ON ANOTHER SUBJECT, MR. McCONNELL: I WANT TO SPEAK ABOUT A YOUNG MAN FROM MY STATE TO GAVE HIS LIFE WHILE SERVING THIS NATION IN UNIFORM.

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  • 10:30:21 AM

    MR. McCONNELL

    ABOUT A YOUNG MAN FROM MY STATE TO GAVE HIS LIFE WHILE SERVING THIS NATION…

    ABOUT A YOUNG MAN FROM MY STATE TO GAVE HIS LIFE WHILE SERVING THIS NATION IN UNIFORM. LANCE CORPORAL ADAM D. PEAK OF FLORENCE, KENTUCKY, WAS TRAGICALLY KILLED BY AN IMPROVISED EXPLOSIVE DEVICE IN HELMAND PROVINCE ON FEBRUARY 21, 2010. A MEMBER OF THE U.S. MARINE CORPS, HE WAS 25 YEARS OLD. FOR HIS SERVICE IN UNIFORM, LANCE CORPORAL PEAK RECEIVED MANY MEDALS, AWARDS AND DECORATIONS, INCLUDING THE AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN MEDAL, THE IRAQ CAMPAIGN MEDAL, THE NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL, THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM SERVICE MEDAL AND THE NATO INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ASSISTANCE FORCE MEDAL. BORN ON AUGUST 30, 1985, ADAM WAS A NATIVE OF FLORENCE WHERE HE GREW UP WITH A REPUTATION AS A PERFORMER WHO MADE HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY LAUGH WITH HIS QUICK WIT. HE AND HIS OLDER SISTER SARA WOULD QUOTE MOVIE LINES BACK AND FORTH TO EACH OTHER IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE, AND ADAM ESPECIALLY LIKED TO ENTERTAIN HIS YOUNGER SISTER ANGELA. ADAM WAS SARCASTIC WITH A DRY SENSE OF HUMOR AND COULD GET PEOPLE TO LAUGH ALL THE TIME, SAYS ADAM'S MOTHER DIANA. I GUESS WHAT I LOVED MOST ABOUT HIM WAS HIS LOVE FOR HIS SISTER WHO WAS BORN WITH DOWN SYNDROME. HE HAD UNLIMITED PATIENCE WITH HER, AND I KNEW THAT WHEN HIS DAD AND I WERE GONE, HE WOULD TAKE CARE OF ANGELA. ALTHOUGH ADAM DID NOT GET A CHANCE TO HAVE A FAMILY OF HIS OWN, HE LOVED KIDS. HE WAS LIKE A SECOND FATHER TO A LOT OF OTHER MARINES' KIDS, SAYS HIS SISTER SARA. ADAM'S MOTHER CERTAINLY AGREES. HE LOVED KIDS AND THOUGHT THAT SOMEDAY HE WOULD HAVE A LARGE FAMILY, SHE SAYS. HE PLAYED SANTA EVERY YEAR FOR HIS FRIEND'S FAMILY, AND THE KIDS LOVED HIM. ADAM ATTENDED BOONE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL WHERE HE GRADUATED IN 2002. HE THEN ATTENDED THOMAS MOORE COLLEGE IN CRESTVIEW HILLS, KENTUCKY. IN SCHOOL, HE WAS ACTIVE IN A FRATERNITY, THE SAINTS CLUB AND THE PLAYERS THEATER CLUB. HIS MOTHER DIANA PARTICULARLY REMEMBERS ADAM'S INTEREST IN THEATER. HE DEVELOPED A LOVE FOR THE STAGE WHILE IN COLLEGE AT THOMAS MOORE, SHE SAYS. HE STARTED OUT BEHIND THE SCENES BUT HIS FRIENDS GOT HIM ON STAGE FOR A PLAY AND HE LOVED IT. HE APPEARED IN MANY PRODUCTIONS WHILE AT SCHOOL. RICHARD SHUEY, A BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION PROFESSOR AT THOMAS MOORE, TAUGHT ADAM IN THREE CLASSES. ADAM WAS ONE OF THOSE REAL NICE, CLEAN-CUT NORTHERN KENTUCKY KIDS, RICHARD SAYS. ALWAYS POLITE, INTERESTED IN DOING WELL, OBVIOUSLY A TRUE PATRIOT. ONE OF ADAM'S FRATERNITY BROTHERS REMEMBERED HIM AS A BIG-HEARTED, FREE-SPIRITED, FUN-LOVING GUY WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR ANYBODY. AFTER GRADUATION FROM THOMAS MOORE, ADAM ENLISTED IN THE MARINE CORPS IN JULY OF 2007. BY DECEMBER OF THAT YEAR, HE HAD BEEN PROMOTED TO THE RANK OF LANCE CORPORAL. ADAM'S YOUNGER BROTHER SEAN ENLISTED IN THE MARINES AS WELL, AND THE TWO BROTHERS SERVED TOGETHER IN THE SAME UNIT IN IRAQ IN 2008. THEIR PERSONALITIES WERE NIGHT AND DAY, SAYS ROBIN PEAK, ADAM'S SISTER-IN-LAW, BUT THEY ALWAYS HAD EACH OTHER'S BACKS AND WERE THERE TOGETHER. IN OCTOBER, 2009, ADAM AND SEAN WERE DEPLOYED TO AFGHANISTAN, BOTH AS MEMBERS OF THE SECOND BATTALION, SECOND MARINE DIVISION, TWO MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE BASED OUT OF CAMP LE JEUNE, NORTH CAROLINA. SEAN ACCOMPANIED HIS BROTHER BACK HOME FOR BURIAL, AND ADAM WAS LAID TO REST WITH FULL MILITARY HONORS IN TAILOR MILL, KENTUCKY. MR. PRESIDENT, WE'RE THINKING OF ADAM'S LOVED ONES TODAY, INCLUDING HIS PARENTS, BRUCE AND DIANA, HIS BROTHER SEAN, HIS SISTERS SARA AND ANGELA, HIS SISTER-IN-LAW ROBIN AND MANY OTHER BELOVED FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS. THE LOSS OF LANCE CORPORAL ADAM D. PEAK IS TRAGIC, AND INDEED IT IS ONLY APPROPRIATE THAT THIS UNITED STATES SENATE PAUSE TO HONOR HIS SERVICE AND RECOGNIZE HIS SACRIFICE. I HOPE THAT HIS FAMILY CAN TAKE SOME COMFORT FROM THE FACT THAT BOTH THE COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY AND THE COUNTRY AS A WHOLE ARE GRATEFUL FOR AND HONORED BY THE HEROISM AND COURAGE ADAM DISPLAYED IN HIS ENTIRELY TOO SHORT LIFE, AND THE EXAMPLE HE SET FOR HIS LOVED ONES AND HIS COUNTRY WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 10:35:38 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

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

    PREVIOUS ORDER, THE LEADERSHIP TIME IS RESERVED. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE WILL RESUME CONSIDERATION OF THE CONFERENCE REPORT TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2642, WHICH THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: CONFERENCE REPORT TO ACCOMPANY H.R. 2642, AN ACT

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  • 10:35:55 AM

    THE CLERK

    ACCOMPANY H.R. 2642, AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE REFORM AND CONTINUATION OF…

    ACCOMPANY H.R. 2642, AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR THE REFORM AND CONTINUATION OF AGRICULTURAL AND OTHER PROGRAMS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE THROUGH FISCAL YEAR 2018, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY

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  • 10:36:09 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ORDER, THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED…

    ORDER, THE TIME UNTIL 12:30 P.M. WILL BE EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES. MR. DURBIN: MR. PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE ASSISTANT MAJORITY LEADER. MR. DURBIN:

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  • 10:36:19 AM

    MR. DURBIN

  • 10:36:20 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    LEADER. MR. DURBIN: MR. PRESIDENT, BEFORE I ADDRESS THE FARM BILL, I WOULD…

    LEADER. MR. DURBIN: MR. PRESIDENT, BEFORE I ADDRESS THE FARM BILL, I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE TWO OTHER POINTS, AND THE FIRST IS I WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND THE PRESIDING OFFICER. YESTERDAY,

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  • 10:36:22 AM

    MR. DURBIN

    I ADDRESS THE FARM BILL, I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE TWO OTHER POINTS, AND THE…

    I ADDRESS THE FARM BILL, I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE TWO OTHER POINTS, AND THE FIRST IS I WOULD LIKE TO COMMEND THE PRESIDING OFFICER. YESTERDAY, HE GAVE HIS FIRST SPEECH ON THE FLOOR OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE. ABOUT 20 OF US WERE HERE AND LISTENED CAREFULLY, AND I'M GLAD I DID. IT WAS TIME WELL SPENT. IT WAS A SPEECH WHICH THE PRESIDING OFFICER CLEARLY NOT ONLY WORKED ON BUT BELIEVED IN, AND IT SHOWED. YOU ADDRESSED THE PLIGHT OF WORKING AMERICANS AND PARTICULARLY THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS AND THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THIS CONGRESS AND THIS NATION TO STAND BY THESE FAMILIES WHILE THEY ARE IN TRANSITION LOOKING FOR NEW OPPORTUNITIES. AS I SAT HERE AND LISTENED AND WATCHED AS YOU SPOKE TO THIS SUBJECT ADDRESSING SPECIFIC PEOPLE THAT YOU HAVE MET IN YOUR STATE WHO TOLD YOU THEIR STORIES, AND I THOUGHT TO MYSELF I HAVE MET QUITE A FEW IN ILLINOIS IN LIKE CIRCUMSTANCES, AND I WISH THAT EVERY MEMBER OF THE SENATE WOULD DO WHAT YOU HAVE DONE -- VISIT THE TOWNS, THE RESTAURANTS, THE VETERANS' CENTERS AND OTHER PLACES WHERE UNEMPLOYED PEOPLE GATHER AND LISTEN TO THEM. THE POINT THAT YOU MADE SO CONVINCINGLY WAS THOSE WHO DISMISS THE UNEMPLOYED AS JUST LAZY PEOPLE HAVE NEVER MET THEM. THEY'RE NOT LAZY. THEY WERE WORKERS WHO WANT TO WORK AGAIN. WHAT THEY'RE ASKING FOR IS A HELPING HAND, AND YOU MADE THAT POINT SO ELOQUENTLY YESTERDAY. WHAT WAS PARTICULARLY GOOD FOR ME, HAVING SERVED IN THE SENATE FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS, WAS TO HEAR A NEW MEMBER OF THE SENATE IN HIS FIRST SPEECH REALLY REACH BACK TO THE VALUES WHICH INSPIRED MANY OF US TO RUN FOR THIS POSITION. IT'S EASY TO BECOME JADED AFTER YOU HAVE BEEN HERE FOR A WHILE AND ENGAGED IN THE PETTY POLITICAL FIGHTS THAT TAKE PLACE HERE WITH SOME FREQUENCY. IT'S EASY TO FORGET WHY YOU ASKED YOUR FAMILY TO STAND BEHIND YOU WHEN YOU RAN AND WHY YOU SACRIFICED TO TRY TO COME TO THIS PLACE AND WHY EACH OF US SOME 1,200 OR SO WHO HAVE HAD THIS DISTINCT HONOR TO SERVE IN THE SENATE, SHOULD NOT MISS THE OPPORTUNITY TO BRING OUR VALUES AND PASSIONS TO THE FLOOR EVERY SINGLE DAY. SO I THANK THE SENATOR FROM MISSOURI, OUR PRESIDING OFFICER, FOR AN EXTRAORDINARY MAIDEN FIRST SPEECH ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE. IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST. SECONDLY, I'D LIKE TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE THAT WAS RAISED BY MY COLLEAGUE FROM THE STATE OF KENTUCKY. THE STATE OF KENTUCKY IS JUST SOUTH OF ILLINOIS. WE HAVE COALFIELDS, TOO. ALMOST 75% OF OUR STATE HAS COAL UNDER THE GROUND. WE MINE THAT COAL, NOT LIKE WE USED TO, BUT STILL MINE IT AND USE IT, AND WE HAVE COAL MINERS AND COAL COMPANIES AND COAL IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE ILLINOIS ECONOMY. THE SENATOR FROM KENTUCKY CAME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO REALLY TAKE EXCEPTION TO A DECISION BY THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AS IT AFFECTED COAL COUNTRY IN KENTUCKY. I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE THRIX OF HIS COMPLAINT INVOLVING THE CUMBERLAND LAKE AND THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, SO I WON'T ADDRESS THAT, BUT I DO WANT TO ADDRESS ONE MORE GENERAL TOPIC. TO ARGUE THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY IS THE ENEMY OF COAL COUNTRY IS TO COMPLETELY IGNORE WHAT'S BEEN IN THE NEWSPAPERS FOR THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS. THERE ARE 300,000 PEOPLE IN THE STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA WHO ARE AFRAID TO DRINK THE WATER BECAUSE OF A LEAK FROM A TANK THAT HAD A CHEMICAL SOLUTION USED FOR CLEANING COAL. THESE PEOPLE WORRY THAT DRINKING THIS WATER, COOKING WITH THIS WATER, EVEN BATHING IN THIS WATER IS A DANGER TO THEM, AND WHERE DID THEY TURN FOR SOME INDICATION OF SAFETY FOR THEIR FAMILIES? THIS PART OF AMERICA, WEST VIRGINIA, COAL COUNTRY, JUST LIKE KENTUCKY AND ILLINOIS, TURN TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY. OF COURSE THEY DID. IS IT SAFE? CAN MY CHILD DRINK THIS WATER SAFELY? CAN I USE IT FOR COOKING? SO TO ARGUE THAT THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AGENCY IS THE ENEMY OF COAL COUNTRY IS TO IGNORE THE OBVIOUS. THEY COULD MAKE WRONG DECISIONS, WE ALL DO, AGENCIES DO, BUT TIME AND AGAIN, WHEN WE'RE IN TROUBLE, WHEN IT COMES TO SOMETHING AS BASIC AS THE SAFETY OF OUR DRINKING WATER, WE TURN TO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY AND THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND ASK THEM TO HELP US DETERMINE WHETHER THAT WATER IS SAFE. AND LET ME ADD PARENTHETICALLY, MR. PRESIDENT, YOUR PREDECESSOR, SENATOR FRANK LAUTENBERG OF NEW JERSEY, WAS A LEADER AND I WAS HAPPY TO BE HIS PARTNER IN TRYING TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE DANGER OF MANY OF THESE CHEMICALS. MOST AMERICANS MISTAKENLY BELIEVE THAT THIS GOVERNMENT REVIEWS THE TOXICITY ORDAINING OF ALL THE CHEMICALS IN USE IN THIS COUNTRY. IN FACT, ONLY A SMALL SERNLG ARE EVER REVIEWED BY -- SMALL PERCENTAGE ARE EVER REVIEWED BY THE GOVERNMENT. WE IN FACT TRUST THOSE WHO MAKE AND SELL THESE CHEMICALS TO DO THE RIGHT THING, AND MANY TIMES THEY BETRAY THAT TRUST AND SELL SOMETHING DANGEROUS ON THE MARKET WHICH WE DISCOVER LATER AFTER THE DAMAGE HAS BEEN DONE. SO AGAIN, THE ROLE OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL, THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN MONITORING THESE CHEMICALS FOR THE SAFETY OF BUSINESSES AND FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS ACROSS AMERICA IS ESSENTIAL, WHETHER YOU LIVE IN THE CITY OF NEWARK OR CHICAGO OR COAL COUNTRY, U.S.A. SO IF WE'RE GOING TO GO TO WAR AGAINST THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, LET US AT LEAST BE HONEST ABOUT THE CRITICAL ROLE THEY PLAY, AND I HOPE THAT THAT IS REMEMBERED AS WE REFLECT ON SOME OF THE THINGS SAID ON THE FLOOR THIS MORNING. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS IS THE CONFERENCE REPORT FOR THE AGRICULTURAL ACT OF 2014, AND SENATOR STABENOW WAS ON THE FLOOR EARLIER. SHE STEPPED OFF NOW. SHE HAS POURED HER HEART AND SOUL INTO THIS DOCUMENT AND INTO THIS WORK. TWO YEARS AGO, WE PASSED THE FARM BILL ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE, TWO YEARS AGO. SHE DID IT WITH SENATOR ROBERTS OF KANSAS. I VOTED FOR IT. I THOUGHT IT WAS AN EXCEPTIONAL EFFORT ON HER PART. IT WENT TO THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AS IS THE CUSTOM UNDER THE CONSTITUTION, TO WITHER AND DIE TWO YEARS AGO. AND THEN A YEAR AGO, THEY SAID LET'S TRY AGAIN. LET'S PASS THE FARM BILL AGAIN IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE IN THE HOPES THAT THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES WILL TAKE IT UP, A YEAR AGO. MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK TO -- IF YOU RESTORE ORDER IN THE SENATE CHAMBER. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. MR. DURBIN: SO A

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  • 10:43:20 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IN ORDER. MR. DURBIN: SO A YEAR AGO, SENATOR STABENOW AND SENATOR ROBERTS…

    IN ORDER. MR. DURBIN: SO A YEAR AGO, SENATOR STABENOW AND SENATOR ROBERTS SENT THIS MEASURE TO THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR CONSIDERATION, AND AGAIN IT LANGUISHED. IT MAY HAVE

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  • 10:43:24 AM

    MR. DURBIN

  • 10:55:54 AM

    MR. FLAKE

  • 10:55:55 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ARIZONA.

  • 10:55:59 AM

    MR. FLAKE

    TO THE FARM BILL CONFERENCE REPORT, MY THOUGHTS TURN TO THE WILD WEST TO…

    TO THE FARM BILL CONFERENCE REPORT, MY THOUGHTS TURN TO THE WILD WEST TO PUT ITS PROVISIONS IN CONTEXT. FRANKLY, IT'S 950 PAGES LEND THEMSELVES TO TALKING ABOUT THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE JUST PLAIN UGLY. I MENTION THE GOOD BECAUSE WHILE THIS FARM BILL FALLS FAR SHORT OF GAINING MY SUPPORT, IT'S NOT ENTIRELY WITHOUT PROVISIONS WORTH HIGHLIGHTING. CONFEREES INCLUDED A ONE-TERM EXTENSION OF THE PAYMENT IN LOU OF TAXES OR PILT PROGRAM. THAT GIVES TEMPORARY PREDICTABILITY AT LEAST FOR COUNTIES WITH LOW TAX BASES DUE TO FEDERAL LANDOWNERSHIP AND PROVIDES CONGRESS WITH TIME TO CHART A LONG-TERM SOLUTION IN THIS REGARD. IN ADDITION THE BILL AUTHORIZES PERMANENTLY THE STEWARDSHIP CONTRACTING AUTHORITY, THIS IS A CRITICAL LAND MANAGEMENT TOOL THAT ALLOWS US TO PROACTIVELY REDUCE THE RISK OF CATASTROPHIC WILDFIRES, ONE I'VE LONG CALLED FOR WHILE REFORMS TO THE LIABILITY REQUIREMENTS ARE INCLUDED, THE REPORT FAILS FAILS TO INCLUDE NEXT FLEXIBILITY ON CANCELLATION SEETION CEILINGSES AND THAT'S SOMETHING I'LL WORK ON IN THE FUTURE. WHEN IT COMES TO THE BAD THERE'S NOT ENOUGH TIME TO LIST ALL THE ITEMS THAT SHOULD MAKE ANY LAWMAKER CRINGE WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT OUR CRUSHING NATIONAL DEBT OR THOSE OF US TRYING TO REFORM AGRICULTURE POLICY. RATHER THAN TRUTHFULLY TRIMMING THE GENEROUS AGRICULTURAL SAFETY NET TAXPAYERS SHOULD PREPARE FOR ANOTHER ROUND OF ENTIRELY NEW ALPHABET SOUP SUBSIDY PROGRAMS. THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS EXPLAINED VERY WELL THE CROP INSURANCE PROGRAM THAT IS SO HEAVILY SUBSIDIZED. 62%, I THINK ALL OF US WITH ATO INSURANCE OR OTHER INSURANCE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THAT CONTRIBUTION FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THIS REPORT DOESN'T EVEN PROVIDE COMMONSENSE REFORMS THAT LIMIT WASTE AND LARGESS TO SUSTAIN -- TWO SUSTAINED HALLMARKS OF AGRICULTURE SUBSIDIES. IT FAILS TO LIMIT PAYMENTS TO THOSE WHO ARE ACTUALLY INVOLVED IN FARMING. IT CAN'T EVEN PROVIDE A REASONABLE INCOME LIMIT, AS WAS DISCUSSED BY THE SENATOR FROM ILLINOIS, FOR THOSE WHO ALREADY RECEIVE CROP INSURANCE SUBSIDIES. INCOMPREHENSIBLY, ANY RECOGNITION OF THE ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN CROP INSURERS AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD BE REQUIRED TO BE REVENUE NEUTRAL DESPITE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN TAXPAYER SAVINGS HAVING BEEN FOUND IN PREVIOUS RENEGOTIATIONS. THIS BILL IS PURPORTED TO BE FISCALLY CONSERVATIVE BECAUSE IT SAVES $16 BILLION OR SO IN TAX DOLLARS. BEFORE WE PAT EACH OTHER ON THE BACK IN THIS REGARD WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT CONGRESS HAS A DISMAL RECORD OF KNOWING HOW MUCH FARM BILLS ARE GOING TO COST. ACCORDING TO TAXPAYERS FOR SEQUENCE COMMONSENSE "THE LAST TWO FARM BILLS SHALL ARE ON PACE TO EXCEED THEIR CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SCORE BY $400 BILLION. THERE IS NO ASSURANCE THIS FARM BILL WILL BE ANY DIFFERENT." NOW LET'S GET TO THE UGLY. FOR YEARS DIRECT PAYMENTS HAVE BEEN ONE OF THE CLEAREST SIGNS OF WHAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED IN FEDERAL SPENDING. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN HANDING OUT $5 BILLION A YEAR REGARDLESS WHETHER THEY ARE FARMING THE LAND. I PAY TRIBUTE TO THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN WHO HAS FOUGHT TO END THESE DIRECT PAYMENTS AND THE SENATE DID A PREGDZ JOB THERE BUT THE HOUSE DID NOT. I MYSELF HAVE LONG SOUGHT TO END THESE DIRECT PAYMENTS. I WAS ENCOURAGED WITH THE SENATE ACTION TO END THESE PAYMENTS OUTRIGHT. BUT DESPITE OUR FISCAL SITUATION THE BEST WE CAN GET IN THE HOUSE WAS ALLOWING DIRECT PAYMENTS TO CONTINUE ALBEIT SLIGHTLY REDUCED FOR COTTON FOR 2014 AND 2015. THIS CONFERENCE REPORT PURPORTS TO END DIRECT PAYMENTS BUT ENDS THEM IN NAME ONLY FOR COTTON. LET'S BE CLEAR, IT SIMPLY RENAMES DIRECT PAYMENTS FOR COTTON FOR TWO YEARS. THEY'LL NOW BE CALLED TRANSITION PAYMENTS. COTTON GROWERS WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE PAYMENTS UNTIL -- WAIT FOR IT -- THE OTHER NEW SUBSIDY PROGRAMS CREATED IN THIS REPORT COME ON LINE. PERHAPS INSTEAD OF WESTERN MOVIES I SHOULD HAVE CONJURED UP IMAGES OF SHAKESPEARE TO DESCRIBE THIS FISCAL TRAGEDIES. A GOVERNMENT FUNDED HANDOUT BY ANOTHER NAME IS STILL A GOVERNMENT HANDOUT. IT'S WORTH RECALLING THAT WHEN ORIGINALLY CREATED IN 1996, IN THE 1996 FARM BILL, DIRECT PAYMENTS WENT BY THE NAME AMTA PAYMENTS OR AGRICULTURAL MARKET TRANSITION PAYMENTS. IT WOULD APPEAR FOR SOME COMOPTS THERE WILL ALWAYS BE A TRANSITION FOR SOMETHING -- FROM SOMETHING TO SOMETHING ELSE THAT WILL RESULT IN A TAXPAYER FUNDED HANDYOUT. ACCORDING TO THE C.B.O. SCORE, IT WILL TAKE A ZERO COST FROM THE SENATE PROPOSAL AND THE $443 BILLION COST FROM THE HOUSE PROPOSAL AND COMPROMISES AT A HIGHER COST OF $556 BILLION IN 2015. THAT'S SOME COMPROMISE TO GO WELL ABOVE BOTH THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE NUMBERS. WHILE THE TEN-YEAR SCORE FOR THE TRANSITION PAYMENTS IN THE REPORT IS LOWER THAN THE HOUSE PROPOSAL, THE FIRST-YEAR COSTS ARE ACTUALLY HIGHER. IT IS AT THIS POINT THAT ONE CAN SIMPLY STOP BEING SURPRISED AT WHAT WILL HAPPEN WHEN IT COMES TO FARM SUBSIDIES. SADLY, RATHER THAN A BLOCKBUSTER OF FISCAL SANITY, TAXPAYERS ARE GOING TO BE SADDLED WITH WHAT LOOKS LIKE TO BE ANOTHER RERUN OF MISSED OPPORTUNITIES TO REFORM FEDERAL AGRICULTURE POLICY. ALTHOUGH LIVESTOCK GROUPS HAVE DECRIED THE ABSENCE OF FIXES AND ONGOING REGULATORY PROBLEMS AND FISCAL CONSERVATIVES ARE CHAFING AT THE CONTINUED WASTE OF SPENDING IN THIS REPORT, THIS REPORT IS STILL LIKELY TO BE ADOPTED. THERE ARE OTHER ISSUES ADDRESSED THAT I'M PLEASED -- I'M PLEASED THAT SOME OF THIS WILL END UP ON THE PRESIDENT'S DESK, BUT I CANNOT SUPPORT THIS CONFERENCE REPORT AND I'LL CONTINUE TO PUSH FOR REAL FISCAL DISCIPLINE IN FEDERAL AGRICULTURE POLICY. I SHOULD NOTE I REMEMBER WHEN I FIRST GOT TO CONGRESS OR JUST ABOUT A YEAR AFTER I CAME TO THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE TO RAIL AGAINST THE -- THE FARM BILL AT THAT TIME IN 2002, THE REAUTHORIZATION. WE HAD GONE IN THE 1990'S FROM THE FREEDOM TO FARM ACT TO THE FARM SECURITY ACT. NOW, FOR THOSE OF US CONSERVATIVES WHO TALK ABOUT MOVING FROM FREEDOM TO SECURITY AND ALL THAT MEANS, THAT WAS ACTUALLY IN THE TITLE OF THE BILL, AND WE HAVEN'T IMPROVED MUCH SINCE THAT TIME. THAT WAS MORE THAN A DECADE AGO. AND I HAVE TO SAY THAT WE SHOULD HAVE MADE PROGRESS THAT IS SIMPLY NOT MADE IN THIS BILL. WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM OHIO. MR. BROWN: THANK

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  • 11:02:46 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM OHIO. MR. BROWN: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS…

    FROM OHIO. MR. BROWN: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I RISE TODAY TO DISCUSS LEGISLATION I THINK THAT BENEFITS ALL AMERICANS, AND THAT IS THE -- PARTICULARLY MY HOME STATE OF OHIO, THE FARM BILL. I

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  • 11:02:49 AM

    MR. BROWN

    TODAY TO DISCUSS LEGISLATION I THINK THAT BENEFITS ALL AMERICANS, AND THAT…

    TODAY TO DISCUSS LEGISLATION I THINK THAT BENEFITS ALL AMERICANS, AND THAT IS THE -- PARTICULARLY MY HOME STATE OF OHIO, THE FARM BILL. I APPRECIATE SENATOR FLAKE'S COMMENTS. I HAVE ADMIRED HIS INTEGRITY AND HIS FOCUS ON WASTE IN GOVERNMENT FOR THE DECADE OR SO THAT I HAVE KNOWN HIM, LONGER THAN THAT. I THINK HE MAKES SOME GOOD POINTS IN THIS LEGISLATION. WE COME DOWN ON DIFFERENT SIDES IN THE END. SOME OF THE THINGS HE TALKED ABOUT, ELIMINATING A LOT OF THE DIRECT PAYMENTS, WERE ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT, CAME OUT OF LEGISLATION THAT SENATOR THUNE AND I DID. I THINK THIS IS AN ONGOING PROCESS TO IMPROVE THIS BILL EVERY YEAR, AND I HOPE THAT EVERY FIVE YEARS I'M HOPEFUL WE CAN DO THAT, BUT I THANK SENATOR FLAKE FOR HIS COMMENTS. THIS BILL IS BIPARTISAN. IT REDUCES THE DEFICIT. IT HELPS FARMS, IT HELPS FAMILIES, IT HELPS OUR ECONOMY, IT HELPS OUR ENVIRONMENT. IT SAVES $23 BILLION, TAXPAYER DOLLARS. IT PROVIDES CERTAINTY AND SUPPORT TO ONE OF THE NATION'S LARGEST JOB CREATORS, AGRICULTURE. AGRICULTURE-RELATED BUSINESSES LIKE FOOD PROCESSING EQUIPMENT, FERTILIZER FEED SALES, CONSTITUTE OHIO'S LARGEST INDUSTRY. FOOD AND AGRICULTURE TOGETHER ARE ABOUT ONE IN SEVEN JOBS IN OHIO. I WANT TO THANK SENATOR COCHRAN, SENATOR STABENOW FOR GETTING US TO THIS POINT. THEY HAVE BEEN DOGGED IN THEIR SUPPORT FOR OUR NATION'S FARMERS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES. I THANK THEM. I HAVE SPOKEN WITH OHIO'S CORN AND SOYBEAN GROWERS AS WELL AS MEMBERS OF THE OHIO FARM BUREAU. I SPOKE ON FRIDAY AND MET WITH A GROUP OF 300 FARMERS, UNION MEMBERS IN COLUMBUS ON FRIDAY. THEY HAVE TOLD ME THE IMPORTANCE OF PASSING A FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL. THEY ESPECIALLY EMPHASIZE THE CERTAINTY FINALLY OF THIS BILL THAT PEOPLE CAN MAKE THE PLANNING DECISIONS THAT BUSINESS PEOPLE, -- PLANNING AND PLANTING DECISIONS THAT BUSINESS PEOPLE AND FARMERS NEED. I HAVE TRAVELED ACROSS OHIO'S 88 COUNTIES AND LISTENED TO FARMERS FROM MINSTER TO MILLERSBURG WHO HAVE TOLD ME THEY WANT A LEADER, MORE EFFICIENT, MARKET-ORIENTED FARM SAFETY NET. TAXPAYERS DESERVE THAT, TOO. THIS BILL IS A REFORM BILL. IT ELIMINATES DIRECT PAYMENTS. IT LINKS CROP INSURANCE TO CONSERVATION COMPLIANCE. IT HAS ALL IMPORTANT THINGS IN AGRICULTURE POLICY. OHIO FARMERS ARE CLEAR THEY WANTED A FARM BILL THAT ELIMINATED THOSE DIRECT PAYMENTS AND PROVIDED THE RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS THEY NEEDED WHEN TIMES ARE BAD WITHOUT THE MARKET-DISTORTING POLICIES THAT ENSURE FARMERS ARE PLANNING FOR THE PROGRAM AND NOT THE MARKET. UNFORTUNATELY, THAT WAS HAPPENING FAR TOO OFTEN. IN THE LAST SIX OR SEVEN YEARS IN THE SENATE LEADING UP TO THE 2007-2008 FARM BILL ON THE 2014 -- 2013 AND 2014 FARM BILL, IF YOU WILL, I HAD ROUNDTABLES WITH FARMERS AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT PEOPLE AROUND MY STATE. WORKING WITH COLLEAGUES SENATOR THUNE AND SENATOR DURBIN, WE WERE ABLE TO STREAMLINE THE FARM SAFETY NET AND MAKE IT MORE MARKET ORIENTED. IT'S THE BASIS FOR THE AGRICULTURAL RISK COVERAGE PROGRAM WHICH WAS INCLUDED IN THE COMMODITY TITLE BY REFORMING COMMODITY PROGRAMS TO BETTER ALIGN WITH THE MARKET INSTEAD OF SIMPLY SENDING OUT CHECKS EVEN WHEN TIMES ARE GOOD. IN MANY CASES TO FARMERS WHO DON'T NEED THEM. THIS BILL WILL PROVIDE FARMERS WITH IMPROVED RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS WHILE IMPROVING THE INTEGRITY OF THESE PROGRAMS. THE BILL INCORPORATES MANY PORTIONS OF THE LOCAL FARMS, FOOD AND JOBS ACT THAT I INTRODUCED. WE KNOW TOO MANY FARMERS STRUGGLE TO FIND LOCAL PRODUCTS FOR THEIR MARKETS AND TOO MANY OHIOANS STRUGGLE TO ACCESS FRESH AND AFFORDABLE FOOD. THIS LEGISLATION HELPS TO PUT THEM TOGETHER. WE KNOW WHAT -- WE KNOW WHAT'S HAPPENED IN RURAL AMERICA IN TERMS OF DEVELOPMENT WHILE AGRICULTURE PRICES HAVE BEEN SUCH AND FARMERS HAVE BEEN PROSPEROUS ENOUGH THAT WHILE MANY IN RURAL AMERICA ARE DOING OKAY, RURAL DEVELOPMENT IS STILL AN ISSUE AS PEOPLE MOVE OUT OF THESE COMMUNITIES LOOKING FOR JOBS. WHETHER IT'S BRINGING BROADBAND TO SOUTHEAST OHIO OR WATER AND SEWER PROJECT TO HENRY COUNTY OR LOW INTEREST LOAN TO BUCKEYE POWER, THIS BILL WILL MAKE SURE RURAL COMMUNITIES HAVE THE TOOLS AND THE PROGRAM AND THE CAPITAL THEY NEED. MY STATE'S HOME TO APPROXIMATELY 130 COMPANIES THAT USE AGRICULTURAL CROPS TO MAKE NEW PRODUCTS RANGING FROM NATURAL PET FOODS TO BIOBASED PAINT TO SOY INK TO TONER TO PLASTICS. LAST WEEK, SECRETARY VILSACK AND I TOURED A PLASTICS FACTORY WHERE THEY ARE WORKING TO MAKE MORE OF THEIR PRODUCTS WITH BIOBASED FEED STOCKS INSTEAD OF OIL. WE KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY IN OUR STATE. WE ALSO KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF HELPING YOUNG FARMERS. YOU GO TO ANY FARM ORGANIZATION MEETING, FARMERS ARE TYPICALLY IN THEIR 50'S, 60'S AND 70'S. WE DON'T SEE ENOUGH IN THEIR 20'S, 30'S AND 40'S. IN THIS LEGISLATION, WE WILL HELP TO RECRUIT AND TRAIN AND RETRAIN THE NEXT GENERATION OF FARMERS. THAT'S PART OF THIS. USDA NEEDS TO REDOUBLE ITS EFFORTS, PARTICULARLY IN MAKING CAPITAL AVAILABLE TO ENSURE THAT NEW FARMERS ARE ABLE TO SUCCEED. THE BILL STREAMLINES USDA'S CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. THAT IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE WESTERN LANGUAGE EERIE BASIN OF THE GREAT LAKES. WE HAVE SEEN WHAT'S HAPPENED WITH ALGAE BLOOMS SORT OF EAST OF TOLEDO ALONG PLACES LIKE PORT CLINTON AND SANDUSKY AND REACHING AS FAR EAST AS LORAIN AND THE PROBLEMS THAT CAUSES TO WATER QUALITY AND RECREATION AND TO DEVELOPMENT ALONG THE LAKE THAT'S SO IMPORTANT. THE HOUSE WANTED -- ON THE SNAP ISSUE, THE HOUSE WANTED TO SLASH FOOD STAMPS BY $40 BILLION. WE FOUGHT BACK. OUR CONFERENCE COMMITTEE REJECTED EVERY PROPOSAL PASSED BY THE HOUSE TO CUT OFF ASSISTANCE TO WORKERS AND THEIR FAMILIES WHO HAVE FALLEN ON VERY HARD TIMES. THIS LEGISLATION -- WHEN YOU COUPLE WHAT SOME IN THIS BODY WANT TO DO WITH CUTTING UNEMPLOYMENT -- FAILING TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE TO FAILING TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO CUTTING, MAKING HUGE CUTS IN FOOD STAMP PROGRAMS, THIS WAS A HUGE VICTORY IN OUR CONFERENCE COMMITTEE. THIS BILL NEEDS TO PASS. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO PASS IT AND SEND IT TO PRESIDENT OBAMA SO HE CAN SIGN THIS BILL AT THE END OF THIS WEEK -- THIS WEEK OR THE BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK. MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 11:09:12 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WILL CALL THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

  • 11:09:18 AM

    Quorum Call

  • 11:15:10 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM OKLAHOMA.

  • 11:15:13 AM

    MR. INHOFE

    CONSENT THE QUORUM CALL IN PROGRESS BE VITIATED. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:…

    CONSENT THE QUORUM CALL IN PROGRESS BE VITIATED. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. INHOFE:

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  • 11:15:16 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. INHOFE: MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT SENATOR…

    OBJECTION. MR. INHOFE: MR. PRESIDENT, IT'S MY UNDERSTANDING THAT SENATOR BENNET IS GOING TO BE DUE HERE SHORTLY.

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  • 11:15:18 AM

    MR. INHOFE

    UNDERSTANDING THAT SENATOR BENNET IS GOING TO BE DUE HERE SHORTLY. I…

    UNDERSTANDING THAT SENATOR BENNET IS GOING TO BE DUE HERE SHORTLY. I SHOULD BE THROUGH BY THAT TIME SO I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT I TAKE SENATOR CORNYN'S TIME, ABOUT 15 MINUTES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

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  • 11:15:31 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION.

  • 11:15:33 AM

    MR. INHOFE

    JANUARY OF 2014 MAY GO DOWN IN RECORD AS THE COLDEST OF THE MONTHS IN…

    JANUARY OF 2014 MAY GO DOWN IN RECORD AS THE COLDEST OF THE MONTHS IN UNITED STATES HISTORY. BETWEEN THE POLAR VORTEX STORMS OF LAST WE'RE FREEZING TEMPERATURES MUCH OF THE NATION EXPERIENCED COLD WEATHER AND RECORDS, AT LEAST ONCE OR TWICE. AND THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON NOW FOR THE LAST THREE YEARS. SO WHILE WE WON'T HAVE OFFICIAL NATIONWIDE TEMPERATURE DATA FOR JANUARY FOR A FEW MORE WEEKS, WE DO HAVE PRELIMINARY FIGURES. THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE MONTH OVER 2,387 DAILY COLD TEMPERATURE RECORDS WERE SET AROUND OPPORTUNITY, MANY OF THOSE WERE IN MY STATE OF OKLAHOMA. AT LEAST 49 OF THESE DAILY RECORDS OCCURRED ON JANUARY 6 AND 7 WHEN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE POLE HAR VORTEX HIT. POLAR VORTEX HIT. YESTERDAY IN TULSA IT WENT DOWN TO TWO BELOW ZERO. THAT WAS A RECORD BREAKER THAT HAD HELD SINCE 1912 WAS THE LAST TIME IT GOT THAT COLD. THE SAME DAY IN ENID, OKLAHOMA, DOWN TO MINUS THREE AND BARTLESVILLE, MAYBE THIS IS WRONG BUT THE FIGURES SHOW IT WAS ACTUALLY MINUS 14 MAKING IT EVEN COLDER THAN THE SOUTH POLE WHERE IT WAS ONLY MINUS 11. THE COLD WEATHER IS CONTINUING INTO FEBRUARY. MANY SCHOOLS CANCELED CLASSES TODAY AROUND THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA BECAUSE OF THE COLD WEATHER. IT SNOWED MORE THAN TWO AND A HALF INCHES IN TULSA YESTERDAY, 5.2 INCHES IN LYNETTEA JUST SOUTH OF TULSA AND YESTERDAY IT WAS SO COLD -- THERE'S AN ARTICLE IN THE DAILY OKLAHOMAN THAT SAID -- THEY HAVE A GREAT ZOO BUT THE GRIZZLY BEARS REFUSED HE REFUSED TO GO OUTSIDE OF THEIR HABITAT YESTERDAY BECAUSE IT WAS TOO COLD. MANY IN THE MEDIA CRY FOUL WHEN I TALK ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING WHEN IT GETS COLD OUTSIDE BUT IS THIS REALLY ANY DIFFERENT THAN WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID, WAS TALKING ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING ON A HOT DAY IN JUNE LAST YEAR WHEN HE ANNOUNCED HIS CLIMATE ACTION PLAN. NO ONE SEEMED TO MIND THAT BUT IT SEEMS TO BE A DIFFERENT SET OF RULES WHEN WE TALK ABOUT HOW COLD IT'S BEEN, WHICH IT'S BEEN FOR THE LAST -- THE LAST THREE YEARS. WHEN WE EXPERIENCE EXTREME COLD LIKE THE LAST FEW WEEKS, I THINK EVERYONE IN THEIR RIGHT RITE MIND SYSTEMS BACK AND WONDERS IS GLOBAL WARMING REALLY HAPPENING. WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE FACTS YOU JUST HAVE TO WONDER. CONSIDER THIS QUOTE FROM THE JOURNAL "NATURE" WHICH STATED OVER THE LAST 15 YEARS -- THIS IS A QUOTE -- THE OBSERVED TEMPERATURE TREND IS NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FROM ZERO AND SUGGESTS A TEMPORARY HIATUS IN GLOBAL WARMING. WE GO BACK, AND THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN A PATTERN FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. I CAN RECALL AND I'M GOING FROM MEMORY NOW, FROM THE TIME THAT THEY STARTED KEEPING THESE TEMPERATURES, WE STARTED THE FIRST COLD SPELL OF RECENT HISTORY IN 1895, THAT LASTED TO 1918, 1918 TURNED INTO ANOTHER WARMING ERA, THAT WENT TO 1945, 1945 TO 1975 THEY -- AGAIN, THEY USED -- THAT WAS ANOTHER COOLING SPELL AND, OF COURSE, FROM 1975 TO 2000. SO WE KNOW WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING. NOW, THE PRESIDENT HAS NOT ACKNOWLEDGED THIS FACT. IN FACT, ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS HE HAS SAID -- THIS IS A QUOTE HE'S USED OVER AND OVER AGAIN -- THE TEMPERATURE -- THE TEMPERATURE AROUND THE GLOBAL IS INCREASING FASTER THAN WAS PREDICTED EVEN TEN YEARS AGO. UNFORTUNATELY, FOR HIS TALKING POINTS, THE DATA HAS BEEN REPORTED IN "NATURE" MAGAZINES, THE ECONOMIST AND EVEN IN THE UNITED NATIONS I.P.C.C. REPORT SHOW IT'S SIMPLY NOT TRUE. TWO WEEKS AGO IN A HEARING WE HAD IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE, MY FRIEND SENATOR SESSIONS PRESSED THE E.P.A. ADMINISTRATOR, GINA McCARTHY ON THIS POINT ASKING HER WHETHER OR NOT THE PRESIDENT'S STATEMENT WAS TRUE. AND SHE ULTIMATELY SAID AFTER RUNNING AROUND THE QUESTION FOR A FEW MINUTES I JUST CAN'T ANSWER THAT. AND YOU MAY NOT THINK THAT THIS IS IMPORTANT, BUT IT IS. THE PRESIDENT'S ENTIRE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN AND EFFORTS TO REGULATE CARBON DIOXIDE AND OTHER GREENHOUSES IS BUILT ON THAT GLOBAL WARMING IS HAPPENING AND WE'LL DIE IF WE DON'T DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. WE NEED TO BE AWARE THAT THE IMPACT OF THE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN WHEN IMPLEMENTED WILL BE STUNNING. IT WILL COMPLETELY ADOPT GLOBAL WARMING POLICIES AND THE IMPLEMENTATION OF REGULATIONS LIKE CAP-AND-TRADE. THE PRESIDENT HAS ALREADY DONE A STUNNING AMOUNT OF THIS WORK ALREADY. WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO UNCOVER THAT IN THE FIRST FOUR YEARS THAT HE WAS IN OFFICE HE ACTUALLY HAD SPENT AND PEOPLE ARE NOT AWARE OF THIS, $110 BILLION OF TAXPAYERS' MONEY ON THE GLOBAL WARMING-RELATED ACTIVITIES. THE CAP-AND-TRADE LEGISLATION THAT WE DEBATED FOR OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS CARRIES A PRICE TAG OF $300 BILLION TO $400 BILLION A YEAR. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN AMERICAN HISTORY. SOUNDLY DEFEATED A BILL IN THE SENATE BUT THE CLIMATE ACTION PLAN, THE PRESIDENT IS NOW TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH, IS BY REGULATION WHAT HE COULDN'T ACHIEVE THROUGH LEGISLATION. YOU'VE HEARD THE TEAM USED RECENTLY, THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENT, AND I THINK IF YOU SAW WHAT WAS STATED IN THE STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE WAS HE'S TALKING ABOUT, AND THESE ARE THE WORDS HE SAID, WE'RE GOING TO SET NEW STANDARDS ON CARBON POLLUTION FROM POWER PLANTS. WHAT HE'S SAYING IS WE SOONT PASS IT FOR 12 YEARS, WE HAD FOUR BILLS TO DO THAT, CAN'T GET MORE THAN 25% OF THE PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR IT, SO WE'RE GOING TO DO IT THROUGH REGULATION. THE FIRST ROUND OF GREENHOUSE REGULATIONS WERE FIRST PROPOSED IN THE FIRST WEEK IN JANUARY. THESE REGULATIONS IF FINALIZED WOULD IMPOSE STRICT REGULATIONS ON NOW POWER PLANTS THAT WOULD MAKE IT IMPOSSIBLE TO 3WEU8D A COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT. AND YOU MAY WONDER DO WE REALLY NEED COAL ANYMORE WITH ALL THE NEW ENERGY WE HAVE COMING ON THE MARKET? WITH THE NATURAL GAS AND THE SHALE DEPOSITS AND ALL THAT. THE ANSWER IS YES. BEFORE I GO INTO THAT DISCUSSION, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT A PROBLEM WITH THE TIMING OF THE NEW RULES PROPOSAL. I HAVE A CHART HERE THAT I DON'T HAVE WITH ME RIGHT NOW BUT WHEN I WAS RANKING MEMBER OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE, THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN WAY BACK IN OCTOBER OF 2012, WE RELEASED A REPORT HIGHLIGHTING THE ADMINISTRATION'S ACTIONS TO DELAY THE FINALIZATION OF COSTLY ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS UNTIL AFTER THE 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS. WHETHER IT WAS THE FARM DUST RULE OR THE OZONE STANDARD, THE PRESIDENT PUNTED THE REGULATION AFTER REGULATION UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTION AND -- TO MINIMIZE THE INFLUENCE ON VOTERS. IT APPEARS THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY WITH THE FIRST ROUND OF GREENHOUSE REGULATIONS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF NEW POWER PLANTS AS WE KNOW, UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT, NEW RULES FOR POWER PLANTS MUST BE FINALIZED WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE PROPOSAL'S PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER. THAT'S WHAT KICKS IT OFF, WHEN IT'S WRITTEN IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER. OR THE PROPOSAL PROPOSED RULE IS INVALIDATED. THIS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE AFTER ANNOUNCING HIS CLIMATE ACTION PLAN THE PRESIDENT ORDERED THE E.P.A. TO -- QUOTE -- "ISSUE A NEW PROPOSAL BY NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 20, 2013. THE E.P.A. PROPOSED A NEW RULE ON SEPTEMBER 20 BUT IT DID NOT PUBLISH IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER UNTIL JANUARY 8 OF 2014. THIS PAST JANUARY. NOW, HAD THE E.P.A. PUBLISHED THIS RULE IN THE REGISTER ON THE SAME DAY PROPOSED IT ON SEPTEMBER 20 OF 2014, IT -- 2013, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN FORCED TO FINALIZE THE RULE BY SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 WHICH WOULD BE SIX WEEKS BEFORE THE 2014 ELECTIONS. NOW, THIS REVEALS AN ASTOUNDING DOUBLE STANDARD AND IS CONSISTENT WITH THE REMARKS AT THE STATE OF THE UNION. ON THE ONE HAND THE PRESIDENT SAYS WE DON'T HAVE TIME TO DELAY ACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING, WE MUST ACT BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE BUT ON THE OTHER HAND IT'S OKAY TO WAIT TO FINALIZE RULES THAT WILL HARM THE ECONOMY UNTIL AFTER THE ELECTIONS. ULTIMATELY THIS HYPOCRISY REPEALS THAT THE ADMINISTRATION IS FULLY AWARE THAT THE E.P.A.'S GREENHOUSE REGULATIONS WILL PUT A DRAG ON THE ECONOMY AND WE'RE STARTING TO SEE STRAINS OF OUR ELECT MARKETS, THE COST IS BECOMING REAL TO CONSUMERS. CONSIDER AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER, ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S LARGEST ELECTRIC COMPANIES AND THEY'RE THE ONES WHO SUPPLY THE POWER FOR MY STATE OF OKLAHOMA. LAST WEEK DURING THE RECENT COLD WEATHER THEY REPORTED THAT THEY WERE RUNNING 89% OF THE COAL GENERATION IT'S SCHEDULED TO RETIRE IN 2015. BUT THESE COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS WHICH ARE CRITICAL TO KEEPING HOMES WARM DURING COLD TEMPERATURES ARE GOING TO BE SHUT DOWN BECAUSE OF OBAMA'S ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS. THE AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER SAID -- THIS IS A QUOTE -- HE SAID WHAT IT SHOULD MAKE -- WHAT IT SHOULD MAKE EVERYONE THINK ABOUT IS WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WHEN THE GENERATION IS NOT AVAILABLE. WE NEED TO BE THINKING ABOUT RELIABILITY AND RESILIENCE IN EXTREME EXTREME TIMES, NOT JUST THE STATUS QUO. IF THIS RECENT COLD WEATHER OCCURS IN A YEAR OR TWO FROM NOW ONCE THESE PLANTS ARE SHUT DOWN THERE WILL NOT BEING ENOUGH ELECTRICITY AVAILABLE TO KEEP HOMES AND BUSINESSES WARM. IF COLD WEATHER PUSHES ELECTRICITY DEMAND UP TO THE POINT WHERE REMAINING POWER PLANTS ARE OVERLOADED, THE ONES THAT HAVEN'T BEEN SHUT DOWN BY THE PRESIDENT, IT COULD RESULT IN MASSIVE BLACKOUTS AND WHEN AMERICANS NEED THEIR ELECTRICITY, IT WON'T BE THERE. IT WOULD BE AS IF WE WERE LIVING IN THE 1600'S AND EVERYONE WOULD BE COLD. AGAIN, THE ANNUAL COST OF THIS WOULD BE IN EXCESS OF $300 BILLION TO $400 BILLION THAT WOULD BE A HID ON THE GFD AND NOT EVEN BEGIN TO MEASURE THIS EFFORT -- G.D.P. AND MR THAT WE WOULD BE ABLE TO EXPERIENCE. THE PRESIDENT LIKE WITH OBAMACARE MAY SAY THE PLANTS CAN STAY OPEN AND WON'T ENFORCE THESE RULES HE'S CREATED. BUT I DON'T THINK THAT'S REALISTIC. THE AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWERS WARNING COMES IN THE WAKE OF REGULATIONS THE PRESIDENT HAS ALREADY FINALIZED. THE NEW ONES THAT ARE BEING DEVELOPED WILL MAKE THINGS EVEN WORSE BY MAKING COAL-FIRED POWER PLANTS IMPOSSIBLE TO BUILD OR KEEP OPEN. WHAT HAS BEEN A STEADY SOURCE OF CHEAP ELECTRICITY WILL BE GONE IN A FEW SHORT YEARS. I'VE LONG SAID THAT THE CLEAN AIR ACT WAS NEVER INTENDED TO REGULATE GREENHOUSE GASES EMISSIONS, ONLY IRE POLLUTANTS, NOT CARBON DIOXIDE AND OTHER GREENHOUSE GASES. EVEN SOME DEMOCRATS ARE STARTING TO PUBLICLY AGREE WITH ME. CONGRESSMAN JOHN DINGELL FROM MICHIGAN, A STAUNCH DEMOCRAT SAID LAST WEEK AT AN ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE IN THE HOUSE --THIS IS A QUOTE FROM JOHN DINGELL -- LIKE MOST MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE I THINK THE SUPREME COURT CAME UP WITH A VERY MUCH ERRONEOUS DECISION ON WHETHER THE CLEAN AIR ACT COVERS GREENHOUSE GASES. LIKE MANY MEMBERS OF THIS COMMITTEE --THIS IS JOHN DINGELL TALKING -- I WAS WRENT PRENT WHEN WE WROTE THAT LEGISLATION AND WE THOUGHT IT WAS CLEAR ENOUGH THAT WE DIDN'T HAVE TO CLARIFY IT. THINKING THAT EVEN THE SUPREME COURT WAS NOT STUPID ENOUGH TO MAKE THAT FINDING. THAT WAS JOHN DINGELL. THAT'S A DIRECT QUOTE THAT HE MADE. SO I WISH THE SUPREME COURT WOULD HAVE SIDED WITH CONGRESSMAN DINGELL AS THINGS STAND THE E.P.A. IS POISED TO PUT THE NATION OUT OF BUSINESS WITH GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATIONS THAT WOULD COST THE ENTIRE ECONOMY SOME $300 BILLION TO $400 BILLION. YOU KNOW, I PUT THAT -- I ALWAYS CALCULATE EVERY YEAR THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN MY STATE OF OKLAHOMA THAT FILE FEDERAL INCOME TAXES. THIS $300 BILLION TO $400 BILLION COST WOULD MEAN ABOUT $3,000 FOR A -- PER FAMILY FAMILY THAT FILES A FEDERAL INCOME TAX. IT WOULD BE THE LARGEST TAX INCREASE IN HISTORY. OUT OF THIS CONCERN I'M INTRODUCING A COMMONSENSE BILL TODAY, THE ELECTRICITY RELIABILITY AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT ACT WHICH WILL ALLOW STATES TO KEEP THEIR POWER PLANTS OPEN IF THEY BELIEVE IT'S NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN ELECTRICITY RELIABILITY AND AFFORDABILITY. IN OTHER WORDS, THE STATES CAN OPT OUT. THE AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWERS ANNOUNCEMENT SHOULD CAUSE ALL OF US A GREAT CONCERN BUT THE E.P.A.'S NOT LISTENING. STATES HAVE LONG PROTECTED AND CONSERVED THEIR ENVIRONMENTS WITH GREAT SUCCESS, AND STATE GOVERNMENTS ARE IN A MUCH BETTER POSITION TO DETERMINE WHICH POWER PLANTS SHOULD AND SHOULD NOT REMAIN OPEN DESPITE THE REGULATIONS. THE LAST THING I WOULD SAY BECAUSE I KNOW MY FRIEND FROM COLORADO IS IS WANTING TO GET THE FLOOR, IS THAT IN THE STATE OF THE UNION MESSAGE WHEN HE MADE THE STATEMENT, THE PRESIDENT MADE THE STATEMENT HE'S GOING TO GO AHEAD AND DO IT REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT WE HAVE KILLED THIS LEGISLATION FOUR TIMES OVER THE LAST 12 YEARS, AND I WAS TALKING ABOUT $300 BILLION TO $400 BILLION IS THE COST. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN THE COST IF THIS HAS BEEN LEGISLATION BECAUSE LEGISLATION SPECIFICALLY TALKED ABOUT, AS IN THE LIEBERMAN-WARNER ACT AND SOME OF THE OTHERS THAT IT WOULD REGULATE SOURCE WES AT LEAST $10,000 TONS OF Co2 EMISSIONS. HOWEVER, IF YOU DO IT BY REGULATION AND NOT LEGISLATION THAT WOULD HAVE TO BE UNDER THE CLEAN AIR ACT WHICH WOULD REGULATE SYSTEMS OF 250 TONS OF Co2 A YEAR. SO WHILE THE LEGISLATION WOULD HAVE REGULATED THE Co2 EMISSIONS FOR POWER PLANTS, REFINERIES, AND MAJOR FACTORIES, IF HE'S ABLE TO DO IT THROUGH REGULATIONS, THAT WOULD COVER EVERY SCHOOL, EVERY CHURCH, AND EVERY APARTMENT HOUSE IN THE NATION. SO IT'S VERY SIGNIFICANT AND I KNOW RIGHT NOW WE'RE ON THE FARM BILL BUT WE'VE GOT TO REMIND PEOPLE THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN JUST ANNOUNCED THAT THEY'RE GOING TO BE DOING AND THIS IS SOMETHING BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION WILL WIND UP WITH THIS, I CAN REMEMBER WHEN LISA JACKSON WAS THE DIRECTOR OF THE E.P.A. SHE WAS APPOINTED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AND I ASKED HER THE QUESTION THAT IF WE EVEN DO THIS, IF WE WERE TO REGULATE THIS -- AND ONE OF THESE BILLS WOULD PASS, WHICH WOULD MEAN WE'D BE REGULATING Co2 EMISSIONS, WOULD THIS HAVE THE EFFECT OF REDUCING Co2 WORLDWIDE? SHE SAID NO, BECAUSE THAT WOULD ONLY APLAY TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THAT'S NOT WHERE THE PROBLEM IS. THE PROBLEM IS IN INDIA, CHINA, MEXICO AND OTHER PLACES. SO I REMIND US -- MY FELLOW MEMBERS THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S VERY SERIOUS THAT'S GOING TO BE -- THAT'S WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION AT THIS TIME. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:31:14 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    COLORADO. MR. BENNET: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TODAY…

    COLORADO. MR. BENNET: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TODAY BRIEFLY ABOUT THE FARM BILL, A MEASURE THAT, THANKS TO MONTHS AND MONTHS, ACTUALLY YEARS OF TIRELESS WORK BY CHAIRMAN -- CHAIRWOMAN STABENOW, RANKING MEMBER COCHRAN, AND THE OTHER CONFEREES ON THE BILL, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, THANKS TO ALL OF THAT WORK WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO PASS THIS BILL THIS AFTERNOON.

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  • 11:31:18 AM

    MR. BENNET

    I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TODAY BRIEFLY ABOUT THE FARM BILL, A MEASURE THAT,…

    I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TODAY BRIEFLY ABOUT THE FARM BILL, A MEASURE THAT, THANKS TO MONTHS AND MONTHS, ACTUALLY YEARS OF TIRELESS WORK BY CHAIRMAN -- CHAIRWOMAN STABENOW, RANKING MEMBER COCHRAN, AND THE OTHER CONFEREES ON THE BILL, DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS IN BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS, THANKS TO ALL OF THAT WORK WE'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO PASS THIS BILL THIS AFTERNOON. THERE'S 16 MILLION PEOPLE, MR. PRESIDENT, WORKING IN AGRICULTURE IN OUR COUNTRY TODAY. THESE WORKERS IN OUR RURAL COMMUNITIES ARE DEMANDING THE CERTAINTY THAT COMES WITH A LONG-TERM BILL, AND I'LL PLEASED TO SAY THAT WE ARE PATCHING PASSING NOT A TWO-MONTH EXTENSION, NOT A 10-MINUTE EXTENSION, NOT A "I HOPE WE GET IT DONE TOMORROW BEFORE WE LEAVE TOMORROW" STERNTION BUT AEXTENSION, BUT A GENUINE EXTENSION. THIS BILL GUARANTEES DIRECT PAYMENTS TO FARMERS AND FRIERS WHAT IS WORKING FOR PRODUCERS, NAMELY CROP INSURANCE. I'VE SPOKEN ABOUT COLORADO'S BATTLE AGAINST HISTORIC DROUGHT CONDITIONSMENT SOME OFCONDITIONS. SOME OF OUR FARMERS HAVE LOST HALF THEIR CORN YIELDS IN 2012. IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE ANY BUSINESS LOSING HALF ITS PRODUCTION IN ONE YEAR, BUT THAT'S WHAT'S HAPPENED TO MANY COLORADO CORN PRODUCERS. 2013 WAS A LITTLE BETTER FOR CORN IN OUR STATE, BUT IT'S HARD TO CELEBRATE WHEN PRODUCERS STILL FACE SIGNIFICANT LOSSES FIGHTING AGAINST THIS DRY SOIL. THE CROP INSURANCE PROGRAM IS WHAT'S KEEPING THESE FARMERS AND RURAL ECONOMIES IN BUSINESS IN THESE TOUGH TIMES, AND THAT'S WHY IT'S A PRIORITY. THAT'S WHY WE SHOULD HAVE PASSED IT A YEAR AGO, TWO YEARS AGO. BUT TODAY WE FINALLY HAVE THE CHANCE TO DO IT. BEYOND CROP INSURANCE, ANOTHER KEY HIGHLIGHT OF THIS BILL IS ITS CONSERVATION TITLE. I SPOKE LAST WEEK ON THE FLOOR ABOUT THE REVAMPED EASEMENT PROGRAMS AND IMPORTANT LINKAGE BETWEEN CONSERVATION PRACTICES AND CROP INSURANCE THAT HAS BEEN PRESERVED IN THIS CONFERENCE AGREEMENT. BEYOND THOSE HIGHLIGHTS, THE BILL PLACES A NEW EMPHASIS ON WATER CONSERVATION, WHICH IS SO IMPORTANT TO THE WEST. PROGRAMS LIKE EQUIP AND THE REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM ARE GOING TO BE CRITICAL AS THE WEST FACES RECORD DROUGHT CONDITIONS BROUGHT ON BY CLIMATE CHANGE. NEW CONSERVATION TOOLS COUPLED WITH CROP INSURANCE TO HELP HEDGE RISK WILL HELP OUR PRODUCERS AS WE MOVE INTO A NEW NORMAL OF A DRIER AMERICAN WEST. THE CONSERVATION TITLE PROGRAMS HELP PRODUCERS, BUT THEY ALSO HELP THE FISH IN OUR RIVERS AND THE WILDLIFE ON OUR LANDS. HERE'S A GOOD ILLUSTRATION, MR. PRESIDENT -- HERE'S A GREAT ILLUSTRATION OF WHY SPORTSMEN GROUPS SUPPORT THIS BILL. THIS IS A PHOTO TAKEN OF MY FRIEND JOHN GALE HUNTING IF HE IS SONS IN YUMA COUNTY, COLORADO. C.R.P., A PROGRAM REAUTHORIZED THROUGH THIS FARM BILL, PROVIDES IMPORTANT HABITAT FOR PHEASANTS AND OTHER UPLAND BIRDS ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE LAND SURD LAND SURROUNDING THIS PHOTO IS ALL C.R.P. LAND. THE PROGRAM HELPS HIGHLY ERODIBLE SOILS IN PLACE, LIKE THE SOIL IN BACCA COUNTY, COLORADO, WHERE OVER 250,000 ACRES ARE ENROLLED IN C.R.P. AS YOU MAY KNOW, BECKET COUNTY WAS THE EPICENTER OF THE DUST BOWL IN THE 1930'S. MR. PRESIDENT, HEALTHY GRASSLANDS, HOPE LANDSCAPES, AND ABUNDANT WILDLIFE ARE A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF WHAT IT IS TO BE IN THE WEST, TO BE A PART OF THE WEST. AND WE NEED TO PRESERVE THOSE GRASSLANDS, THOSE OPEN SPACES, AND OUR SPECIES. AND THAT'S WHAT THE CONSERVATION TITLE OF THE FARM BILL DOES. A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT IT. IT IS A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF THE FARM BILL. AS A RESULT, THIS FARM BILL IS SUPPORTED BY OVER 250 CONSERVATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, GROUPS LIKE DUCKS UNLIMITED, PHEASANTS FOREVER, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION, ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION, AND THE NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION, AMONG OTHERS. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS LEGISLATION NOT ONLY ENSURES THAT WE HAVE HEALTHY CROPLANDS AND GRASSLANDS BUT ALSO PRIORITIZES THE HEALTH OF OUR FORESTS, AN ISSUE OF HUGE IMPORTANCE TO WESTERN STATES AS WE DEAL WITH OUR MASSIVE WILDFIRES. HERE YOU CAN SEE THE WALDO CANYON FIRE FROM 2012. I CHAIR THE AGRICULTURE SUBCOMMITTEE ON FOREST CENTURY, AND WE DID A HEARING ON WILDFIRES NOT TOO LONG AGO. WE LOOKED AT THE TERRIBLE FIRES THAT HAVE RAGED ACROSS THE WEST AND THE BUDGETARY NIGHTMARE THAT THEY HAVE CAUSED AND WASHINGTON'S INABILITY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WE'RE ACTUALLY FACING OUT THERE. MY CLEAREST TAKEAWAY FROM THIS HEARING IS THAT WHEN IT COMES TO OUR FORESTS, AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE. WE PRIORITIZED THE FUEL MITIGATION WORK ON THE FRONT END, WE WILL SAVE ON FIRE SUPPRESSION AND RECOVERY COSTS ON THE BACK END. AND IF WE DON'T, WE WILL BREAK OUR BUDGET AND NOT PRESERVE OUR FORESTS. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS FOUND THAT FOR EVERY $1 WE INVEST IN FORTUNATE FOREST HEALTH, WE SAVE $5 IN COSTS ASOSHTED COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH WILDFIRES. THIS GIVES THE FOREST SERVICE NEW TOOLS TO TREAT AREAS IN NEED OF RESTORATION AND MITIGATION. THIS BILL MAKES COMMONSENSE REFORMS, MR. PRESIDENT. THIS BILL REDUCES THE DEFICIT. AND IT WILL BRING CERTAINTY AND CONTINUED PROSPERITY TO RURAL AMERICA. IT PASSED THE HOUSE LAST WEEK WITH BROAD, BIPARTISAN SUPPORT. I STRONGLY URGE A "YES" VOTE WHEN WE GET ON TO THE FARM BILL CONFERENCE REPORT LATER TODAY. WITH ALL THE UNCERTAINTY THAT OUR FARMERS AND RANCHERS ARE FACING IN THESE TOUGH TIMES, IN THESE DROUGHT TIMES, IT'S THE LEAST THAT WE CAN DO. WITH THAT, MR. PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:37:48 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM ARKANSAS. MR. PRYOR: MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE AND…

    FROM ARKANSAS. MR. PRYOR: MR. PRESIDENT, I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND FROM COLORADO FOR HIS WORDS ABOUT THE FARM BILL. HE AND

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  • 11:37:52 AM

    MR. PRYOR

    MY COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND FROM COLORADO FOR HIS WORDS ABOUT THE FARM BILL.…

    MY COLLEAGUE AND FRIEND FROM COLORADO FOR HIS WORDS ABOUT THE FARM BILL. HE AND I ARE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW THIS BILL IS IMPORTANT TO EVERY REGION OF THE COUNTRY. HIS KIND OF FARM SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT THAN OUR KIND OF FARMING, BUT THEY ARE A EQUALLY IMPORTANT -- BUT THEY'RE EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO OUR STATES. I RISE TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE FARM BILL. MR. PRESIDENT, THIS BILL IS A LONG TIME IN COMING. THERE'S BEEN BACK AND FORTH BETWEEN THE CHAMBERS, THE TWO CHAMBERS, THE HOUSE AND SENATE, BETWEEN VARIOUS REGIONS AND PROBABLY MOST FAME FAMOUSLY, SOUTH VERSUS SOUTHWEST FARMING. IT MAY BE SUGAR OR MILK OR SOYBEANS OR CORN OR WHO KNOWS WHAT IT IS GOING TO BE, BUT NONETHELESS, MR. PRESIDENT, I'M HAPPY TO REPORT THAT FINALLY THIS BILL OVERCAME THE PARTISAN GRIDLOCK WE'VE SEEN HERE IN WASHINGTON. I'M SORRY IT TOOK SO LONG. I KNOW THAT LAST YEAR THE HOUSE BASICALLY BLEW UP THIS BILL ON KIND OF THE BASIS OF MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY POLITICS. I THOUGHT THAT WAS VERY, VERY UNFORTUNATE. BUT HERE WE ARE TODAY WITH A BIPARTISAN FARM BILL, ONE THAT GOT A HUGE VOTE IN THE HOUSE AND I HOPE IT'LL GET A HUGE VOTE IN THE SENATE. AND I'M GLAD THAT THIS CUT, CUT, CUT IDEOLOGY DID NOT PREVAIL, BECAUSE WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS BILL AND HOW IMPORTANT IT IS -- NOT JUST TO MY STATE BUT TO EVERY STATE IN THE UNION -- SO IMPORTANT TO THE U.S. ECONOMY, THIS BILL IS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE NATION'S ECONOMY AND TO THE FUTURE OF OUR NATION. AGRICULTURE IS SOMETHING, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT WE DO IN THIS COUNTRY BETTER THAN ANYBODY ELSE IN THE WORLD. WE DO A LOT OF THINGS GREAT IN THIS COUNTRY AND WE SHOULD BE PROUD OF THOSE. BUT NO ONE DOES AGRICULTURE BETTER THAN THE GOOD OL' UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. OUR FARMERS, OUR PRODUCERS, OUR AGRIBUSINESS, THEY DO INCREDIBLE WORK. WE LITERALLY ARE THE ENVY OF THE WORLD. IT IS A CORE STRENGTH OF THE U.S. ECONOMY. IT IS CRITICAL TO KEEP OUR NATION'S ECONOMY STRONG THAT WE HAVE A STRONG AGRICULTURE SECTOR. IT IS CRIT KRALL TO CRITICAL TO OUR NATION THAT WE HAVE STRONG RURAL COMMUNITIES BU AND THAT IS A LOT OF WHAT THIS BILL IS ABOUT IS HELPING RURAL COMMUNITIES. NOT EVERYONE IN THIS COUNTRY LIVES IN THE BIG CITIES OR LIVES IN THE SUBURBS. THIS BILL WILL HELP EVERY AMERICAN, NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE, WHETHER IN THE BIGGEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY OR THE SMALLEST TOWN OUT IN THE COUNTRYSIDE. THIS WILL HELP EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN IN LOTS OF WAYS. BUT IT WILL ALSO HELP MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF HARDWORKING PEOPLE AND THEIR FAMILIES IN RURAL AMERICA. AND WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD WE WANT TO LET IDEOLOGICAL FIGHTS AND PARTISAN BICKERING JEOPARDIZE THIS ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE THAT WE'VE BUILT FOR OURSELVES? BUT, NONETHELESS, TODAY WE'VE OVERCOME THAT. THIS LEGISLATION IS A WIN-WIN FOR EVERYONE. WE'VE SEEN DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS, FOLKS FROM ALL REGIONS OF THE COUNTRY COME TO THE FLOOR TO TALK ABOUT THIS FARM BILL AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO THEP AND TO THEM AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE PASS IT. THERE'S MARKET PREDICTIONS PROTECTIONS FOR OUR FARMERS AND RANCHERS. THE PILT PROGRAM THAT IS SO CRITICAL TO A LOT OF WESTERN STATES BUT A LOT OF COUNTIES IN ARKANSAS, THERE IS THE PAYMENT IN LOU OF TAXES. MANY WE HAVE COUNTIES WHERE NEARLY HALF OF THEIR LAND OR MORE IS IN FEDERAL LAND AND THEY CAN'T GET ANY TAX BASE OFF OF THAT. SO PILT HELPS TO FIX THAT. THE CATFISH INSPECTION PROGRAM -- WE DON'T SUBSIDIZE CATFISH, BUT WE DO THE INSPECTION PROGRAM HERE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE IMPORTED CATFISH MEETS U.S. STANDARDS. THAT'S CRITICAL. WE WANT THAT SAFE AND GOOD FOOD SUPPLY HERE. THERE'S A BIG EMPHASIS HERE, MR. PRESIDENT, ON EXPORTS THE AND WE ALL KNOW THAT WE HAVE A TERRIBLE TRADE DEFICIT. OUR TRADE DEFICIT WOULD BE HORRENDOUS IF IF WASN'T FOR AGRICULTURE. AND OF COURSE THERE'S NUTRITIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR HARDWORKING FAMILIES HERE IN THIS COUNTRY. AND LET ME TELL YOU, WE HAVE THE RICHEST, MOST BOUNTIFUL, MOST BLESSED NATION IN THE WORLD, IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. AND WE HAVE PEOPLE HERE WHO ARE HUNGRY, AND THOSE NUTRITION PROGRAMS IN MANY CASES ARE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE AND DEATH. THIS BILL ALSO FOCUSES ON CONSERVATION. NOT EVERYONE IS A FARMER. BUT THERE ARE LOTS -- THERE ARE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE ALL OVER THIS COUNTRY THAT LOVE TO ENJOY THE GREAT OUTDOORS. THEY LIKE TO GO HUNTING, FISHING, AND ALL THESE OTHER ACTIVITIES. THOSE CONSERVATION PROGRAMS ARE CRITICAL TO KEEP THAT HABITAT WHERE IT IS AND CRITICAL FOR LARGE SECTIONS OF OUR ECONOMY. THAT HUNTING AND FISHING, THAT'S A HUGE PART OF OUR ECONOMY, NOT JUST IN ARKANSAS BUT ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. AND A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS. THE RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS ARE ESSENTIAL FOR RURAL AMERICA. WE KNOW THAT THERE'S EVERYTHING FROM WASTE WATER PROGRAMS IN THERE TO RURAL HOUSING TO ALL KINDS OF THINGS. BUT THOSE RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS ARE CRITICAL FOR THE QUALITY OF LIFE IN RURAL AMERICA. MR. PRESIDENT, I STAND HERE TODAY, AND I WON'T BE THE FIRST TO TILL, THIS BILL ISN'T PERFECT. I THINK ALL OF US AGREE THAT THIS IS A SERIES OF COMPROMISES. THERE'S PROBABLY THINGS THAT EACH ONE OF US COULD CHANGE IF WE COULD CHANGE A PROVISION IN THE BILL. BUT IT IS A GOOD BILL. IT IS GOING TO PROVIDE AND STABLIZE GOOD JOBS AND ECONOMIC DISIEWRTSECURITY FOUR FOR OUR COUNTRY. OUR AGRICULTURE PRODUCERS NOT ONLY FEED US AND CLOTHE US, BUT THEY FEED AND CLOTHE THE WORLD. AND WE HEAR EVERY DAY IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE FROM THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY. THEY WANT MORE STABILITY. THIS BILL PROVIDES THAT IN THE AGRICULTURE ECONOMY. OUR FARMERS AND OUR PRODUCERS AND OTHERS, THEY DESERVE THAT SAME CERTAINTY AND STABILITY AND THIS BILL PROVIDES THAT. MR. PRESIDENT, IN CLOSING, I JUST WANT TO DO A QUICK PASSAGE FROM JAMES 5:7. I WILL GO AHEAD AND READ IT IN THIS KIND OF PARAPHRASED EDITION EDITION. "BE PISHT MY BROTHERS. SEE HOW THE FARMER WAITS FOR THE PRECIOUS FRUIT OF THE EARTH. BEING PATIENT UNTIL IT RECEIVES THE EARLY AND LATE RAINS." OUR AGRICULTURE PRODUCERS HAVE BEEN PATIENT LONG ENOUGH. THEY HAVE A WAITED AND WAITED AND WAITED ON THIS LEGISLATION. I SINCERELY HOPE THAT ALL OF US WILL GIVE THIS BILL STRONG CONSIDERATION. THIS IS A BILL THAT'S PROVIDED GOOD COMMON GROUND. IT PROVIDES ECONOMIC SECURITY. IT CONTINUES THE SAFE AND ABUNDANT FOOD SUPPLY THAT WE HAVE IN THIS NATION, AND I HOPE THAT MEMBERS OF BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WILL JOIN ME IN VOTING "YES" FOR THIS TODAY. MR. PRESIDENT, WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 11:44:56 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM NEBRASKA. MRS. FISCHER: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I, TOO, RISE TODAY…

    FROM NEBRASKA. MRS. FISCHER: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I, TOO, RISE TODAY TO SPEAK ON THE FARM BILL.

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  • 11:44:58 AM

    MRS. FISCHER

    I, TOO, RISE TODAY TO SPEAK ON THE FARM BILL. LIKE MANY NEBRASKANS, I AM…

    I, TOO, RISE TODAY TO SPEAK ON THE FARM BILL. LIKE MANY NEBRASKANS, I AM RELIEVED IN A FINAL CONFERENCE AGREEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED WHICH WILL PROVIDE MUCH-NEEDED CERTAINTY FOR BOTH PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS. THIS LEGISLATION ACCOMPLISHES A GREAT DEAL. IT PROVIDES RISK MANAGEMENT AND DISASTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. IT PROMOTES ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP. IT BOLSTERS EXPORT OPPORTUNITIES. IT ENCOURAGES RURAL DEVELOPMENT, ADVANCES RESEARCH, HELPS BEGINNING FARMERS AND RANCHERS, AND DELIVERS NUTRITION ASSISTANCE TO OUR NEEDY FAMILIES. WHILE THE BILL IS NOT PERFECT, IT IS THE RESULT OF COMPROMISE AND A LONG COLLABORATIVE LEGISLATIVE PROCESS. ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING ISSUES FOR LAWMAKERS WAS ADDRESSING NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. THAT COMPROMISES 80% OF THE FARM BILL'S TOTAL SPENDING. WITH ONE IN EVERY SEVEN AMERICANS RECEIVING SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE, IT IS IMPORTANT TO STRENGTHEN THE PROGRAM'S INTEGRITY AND ITS ACCOUNTABILITY WHILE BETTER TARGETING PROGRAMS TO SERVE THOSE IN NEED. I'M ALSO PLEASED THAT THE BILL EMPOWERS STATES TO HELP CAPABLE ADULTS ENROLL IN WORK PROGRAMS TO REDUCE RELIANCE ON TAXPAYER ASSISTANCE. THE BILL PROVIDES TOOLS TO REDUCE WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE, INCLUDING CRACKING DOWN ON TRAFFICKING THROUGH DATA MINING, TERMINAL I.D. AND OTHER MEASURES. WHILE THESE ARE ALL STEPS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, IT IS DISAPPOINTING THAT THE BILL WILL NOT ACHIEVE ADDITIONAL SAVINGS FROM NUTRITION PROGRAMS WHICH ARE PROJECTED TO COST MORE THAN $756 BILLION OVER THE NEXT DECADE. TRUE FARM PROGRAMS, THE COMMODITY PROGRAMS AND CROP INSURANCE ONLY COMPROMISE ABOUT 14% OF ALL THE FARM BILL SPENDING. BUT THEY ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN HALF OF THE SAVINGS UNDER THIS PROPOSED BILL. IN FACT, THE COMMODITY TITLE CONTRIBUTES MORE SAVINGS THAN ANY OTHER TITLE IN THE ENTIRE FARM BILL. THE LEGISLATION MAKES SIGNIFICANT REFORMS TO FARM POLICY. DIRECT PAYMENTS ARE REPEALED AND REPLACED WITH RISK MANAGEMENT. THAT OFFERS PROTECTION ONLY WHEN WARRANTED BY SIGNIFICANT PRICE OR REVENUE DECLINES. IN NEBRASKA, AGRICULTURE IS OUR NUMBER-ONE INDUSTRY AND IT'S ONE THAT WE ARE VERY, VERY PROUD OF. OUR FARMERS AND RANCHERS TAKE ON AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF RISK. THEY ENDURE THE ELEMENTS EVERY DAY AS THEY WORK TO FEED THE WORLD AND RESPONSIBLY TAKE CARE OF OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. I'M PLEASED THAT THIS FARM BILL MAINTAINS AND STRENGTHENS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS FOR OUR FARMERS, AND THAT IS CROP INSURANCE. THIS IS A VERY SUCCESSFUL PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP THAT HELPS FARMERS INVEST IN THEIR OWN RISK MANAGEMENT BY PURCHASING INSURANCE POLICIES SO THEY ARE PROTECTED FROM ADVERSE WEATHER OR MARKET CONDITIONS. THIS LEGISLATION ALSO PROVIDES NEEDED DISASTER ASSISTANCE TO LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS. UNFORTUNATELY, THE LIVESTOCK FORAGE PROGRAM AND LIVESTOCK INDEMNITY PROGRAM BOTH EXPIRED IN 2011 UNDER THE LAST FARM BILL. IN 2012, LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS EXPERIENCED THE MOST DEVASTATING LOSS OF PASTURE, RANGELAND AND FORAGE IN DECADES DUE TO WIDESPREAD DROUGHT, AFFECTING APPROXIMATELY 80% OF OUR COUNTRY. AND THEN IN OCTOBER OF 2013, AN UNEXPECTED EARLY FALL BLIZZARD KILLED MORE THAN 20,000 CATTLE, SHEEP, HORSES AND BISON IN THE DAKOTAS AND IN MY STATE OF NEBRASKA. WHILE THOSE ACTED BY THESE HARDSHIPS HAVE BEEN WITHOUT ASSISTANCE FOR MORE THAN TWO YEARS, THIS FARM BILL WILL NOW HELP PRODUCERS TO REBUILD THOSE HERDS AND SUSTAIN THEIR RANCHING OPERATIONS. I ALSO APPRECIATE THAT THIS FARM BILL CONTINUES OUR COMMITMENT TO STRONG CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. THE BILL CONSOLIDATES AND IT STREAMLINES THOSE PROGRAMS, PROVIDING LANDOWNERS WITH INCENTIVES AND ASSISTANCE TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE OUR LAND, OUR WATER AND OUR AIR. AGRICULTURE CONTINUES TO BE A BRIGHT SPOT FOR U.S. TRADE, THANKS IN PART TO THE SUCCESSFUL EXPORT PROMOTION PROGRAMS, AND THOSE ARE REAUTHORIZED IN THIS BILL AS WELL. AN INDEPENDENT STUDY CONDUCTED FOR USDA IN 2010 FOUND THAT FOR EVERY DOLLAR EXPENDED BY GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY ON MARKET DEVELOPMENT, U.S. FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS INCREASED BY $35. THROUGH THE MARKET ACCESS PROGRAM AND FOREIGN MARKET DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, WE CAN EXPECT INCREASED DEMAND FOR U.S.-GROWN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS AND COMMODITIES. THIS FARM BILL ALSO CONTINUES DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT -- CONTINUES INVESTMENT IN RURAL DEVELOPMENT, PROVIDING ASSISTANCE TO COMMUNITIES TO BUILD THAT VERY, VERY CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND ACCESS TO CREDIT TO HELP GROW SMALL BUSINESSES. ALSO SUPPORTED BY THIS FARM BILL ARE CRITICAL AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH INITIATIVES WHICH ALLOW AMERICAN PRODUCERS TO INNOVATE, TO BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND PRODUCTIVE WITH FEWER AND FEWER RESOURCES. MOREOVER, THE BILL ALSO PROVIDES SUPPORT FOR DEVELOPING TECHNOLOGIES THAT REDUCE OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL. FINALLY, THIS BILL PROVIDES SOME NEEDED REGULATORY RELIEF FOR THE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY. I WAS VERY PLEASED THAT THE BILL INCLUDES AN AMENDMENT THAT I OFFERED TO FIX BUREAUCRATIC HURDLES IMPACTING FARMERS' ACCESS TO SEEDS. THIS BIPARTISAN AMENDMENT COSPONSORED BY SENATOR CARPER ENSURES THAT E.P.A. DOES NOT TREAT BIOTECH SEEDS AS PESTICIDES WHEN THOSE SHIPMENTS ARE IMPORTED. I WAS DISAPPOINTED, THOUGH, THAT THE CONFERENCE DID NOT INCLUDE LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS ONE OF THE WORST REGULATORY CHALLENGES CONFRONTING FARMERS. E.P.A.'S OVERREGULATION OF ON-FARM FUEL STORAGE UNDER ITS SPILL PREVENTION CONTROL AND COUNTERMEASURE PROGRAM. THE HOUSE FARM BILL INCLUDED NSPC RELIEF PROVISION AND THE SENATE UNANIMOUSLY PASSED A SIMILAR AMENDMENT THAT I COSPONSORED TO REDUCE FARMERS SPCC COMPLIANCE BURDENS DURING CONSIDERATION OF THE WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT. THERE'S BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE DOME THAT THIS REGULATION NEEDS TO BE FIXED. THE FARM BILL DID PROVIDE, I THINK, THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY THAT WE COULD GET THIS RELIEF ENACTED INTO LAW, BUT THAT CHANCE WAS MISSED. HOWEVER, I DO STAND READY TO WORK WITH MY COLLEAGUES TO ENSURE THAT WE DON'T MISS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THIS ISSUE, TO FIX THIS ISSUE. AND WE CAN DO THAT DURING THE WRDA CONFERENCE. AS I SAID, THIS BILL IS NOT PERFECT, BUT ON BALANCE THIS FARM BILL GOES A LONG WAY IN PROMOTING OPPORTUNITY AND PROVIDING CERTAINTY FOR BOTH PRODUCERS AND CONSUMERS. I ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES TO JOIN ME IN SUPPORTING THE FINAL PASSAGE OF THE FARM BILL. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR:

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  • 11:53:41 AM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IOWA. MR. GRASSLEY: I COME TO THE FLOOR FOR THE THIRD TIME TO EXPRESS MY…

    IOWA. MR. GRASSLEY: I COME TO THE FLOOR FOR THE THIRD TIME TO EXPRESS MY OPPOSITION TO THE FARM BILL, OBVIOUSLY NOT IN ITS TOW TOW BUT CERTAIN -- NOT IN ITS TOTO BUT CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF IT, PARTICULARLY PROVISIONS THAT I HAD A HAND IN WRITING, AND TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT ONCE AGAIN. I

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  • 11:53:46 AM

    MR. GRASSLEY

    THE SENATOR FROM SOUTH DAKOTA.

  • 12:01:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 12:01:35 PM

    MR. THUNE

  • 12:11:52 PM

    MR. CORNYN

  • 12:11:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WHIP. MR. CORNYN: MR. PRESIDENT, ONCE AGAIN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED…

    WHIP. MR. CORNYN: MR. PRESIDENT, ONCE AGAIN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS FAILED TO MEET THE STATUTORY DEADLINE TO PROPOSE A BUDGET. IN FACT,

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  • 12:12:00 PM

    MR. CORNYN

    ONCE AGAIN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS FAILED TO MEET THE…

    ONCE AGAIN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HAS FAILED TO MEET THE STATUTORY DEADLINE TO PROPOSE A BUDGET. IN FACT, HE'S MISSED THE DEADLINE SO MANY TIMES THAT PEOPLE HARDLY NOTICE ANYMORE. FAILURE SEEMS TO BECOME THE RULE, NOT THE EXCEPTION. THE PRESIDENT HAS NOW MISSED THE BUDGET DEADLINE FIVE TIMES SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE IN 2009. BY COMPARISON, HIS THREE WHITE HOUSE PREDECESSORS MISSED THE DEAD LANE A TOTAL OF FOUR TIMES -- DEADLINE A TOTAL OF FOUR TIMES IN 20 YEARS. FIVE TIMES UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA. FOUR TIMES IN 20 YEARS UNDER HIS THREE IMMEDIATE PREDECESSORS. IT IS NOW THE 18th TIME THAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS MISS ADD LEGAL DEADLINE RELATED TO THE FEDERAL BUDGET. I GUESS THE PRESIDENT AND HIS ADMINISTRATION CONSIDER THE LAW PURELY AND ADVISORY MATTER, NOT BINDING ON THEM. THE LAW IS FOR OTHER PEOPLE, NOT FOR THIS PRESIDENT AND FOR HIS ADMINISTRATION SEEMS TO BE THEIR ATTITUDE. NOW, THE REASON THIS IS SO IMPORTANT IS BECAUSE, AS WE ALL KNOW, WHETHER IT IS THE FAMILY BUDGET OR A BUDGET FOR YOUR BIRKS BUSINESS, SETTING SETTING A BUDGET IS WHERE YOU SET PRIORITIES FOR YOUR BUSINESS. THINGS YOU'D LUKE TO LIKE TO HAVE, THINGS YOU PUT OFF AND THOSE THINGS YOU CAN'T REALLY AFFORD. BUT IF YOUR BUDGET INCLUDES MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF NEW SPENDING ALONG WITH FIRM OPPOSITION TO MAJOR REFORMS, WELL, YOU'D HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO ASK FOR A HUGE TAX INCREASE. AND THE PRESIDENT I DON'T THINK WANTS TO PUT HIMSELF ON RECORD AGAIN LIKE HE DID LAST YEAR FOR ANOTHER HUGE TAX INCREASE, NOR DOES HE WANT HIS PARTY'S MEMBERS WHO ARE RUNNING FOR ELECTION IN 20 TO HAVE 14 TO HAVE TO CAST THE HARD VOTE ON THE PRESIDENT'S OWN BUDGET. LAST YEAR HIS 2014 BUDGET PROPOSAL WOULD HAVE RAISED TAXES BY ROUGHLY $1 TRILLION. $IS TRILLION TAX INCREASE. THAT'S ON TOP OF $1.7 TRILLION THAT TAXES HAVE GONE UP DURING THE LAST FIVE YEARS UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION. WELL, IT LOOKS LIKE THE PRESIDENT'S PRIORITIES ARE MORE TAXES, MORE SPENDING, AND MORE DEBT. BUT, YOU KNOW, IF THOSE SORTS OF PRIORITIES LED TO ROBUST ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION, WE'D SEE ONE OF THE STRONGEST ECONOMIC RECOVERIES IN AMERICAN HISTORY. BUT THE TRUTH IS, MORE TAXES, MORE SPENDING, AND MORE DEBT ARE NOT A RECIPE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION; JUST THE OPPOSITE. WE'RE SEEING THE EVIDENCE OF THAT RIGHT NOW. WE ARE SUFFERING THROUGH THE WEAKEST ECONOMIC RECOVERY SINCE THE GREAT RECESSION IN MODERN HISTORY, ACTUALLY WE'RE SEEING THE WEAKEST ECONOMIC RECOVERY SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. RIGHT NOW. AND THERE ARE A LOT OF REASONS, BUT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAYS, HAS GIVEN US SOME REASONS THAT I WANT TO TALK ABOUT JUST BRIEFLY. THEY TALK ABOUT OBAMACARE AND ITS IMPACT ON JOB GROWTH AND ECONOMIC GROWTH. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, THE PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE LEGISLATIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAID THE NUMBER OF FULL-TIME WORKERS WILL GO DOWN BY TWO MILLION IN THE COMING YEARS AS A RESULT OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. SO IN ADDITION TO PEOPLE GETTING CANCELED POLICIES OR STICKER SHOCK AND FINDING OUT THAT THEIR HEALTH CARE COSTS DIDN'T GO DOWN, THEY WENT UP; OR FINDING IF YOU LIKE YOUR DOCTOR, YOU CAN'T KEEP THEM, WHAT WE'RE FINDING IS THESE SAME PEOPLE MAY FIND THEMSELVES OUT OF WORK AS A RESULT OF THE POLICIES OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE LOOKED PRIMARILY AT HOW EMPLOYERS WOULD RESPOND TO A NEW PENALTY FOR FAILING TO OFFER INSURANCE TO EMPLOYEES THAT WORK MORE THAN 30 HOURS. THAT RESPONSE WOULD INCLUDE CUTTING PEOPLE'S HOURS, HIRING FEWER WORKERS AND LOWERING WAGES FOR NEW JOBS. I KNOW MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE AGREE WITH THE PRESIDENT WHEN HE SAID WE OUGHT TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE. ONE OF THE PROBLEMS IS THE PRESIDENT'S OWN HEALTH CARE POLICY THAT THEY ALL VOTED FOR IS KILLING FULL-TIME WORK AND PUTTING PEOPLE IN PART-TIME WORK, MEANING THAT THEIR WEEKLY WAGES HAVE BEEN DEPRESSED. FOR THEM, THE ANSWER IS NOT TO DEAL WITH THE SOURCE OF THAT PROBLEM, WHICH IS OBAMACARE, BUT TO FIX WAGES AT 40% HIGHER THAN THEY CURRENTLY ARE PER HOUR, WHICH WE KNOW ECONOMISTS TELL US AND IT IS INTUITIVELY TRUE IS GOING TO PUT MORE PEOPLE OUT OF WORK, PUT MORE PRESSURE ON WORKERS. PERHAPS ONE OF THE MOST DISTRESSING THING ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE REPORT TODAY IS WHAT THEY SAID, WHAT THE PROSPECTS LOOK LIKE FOR THE PRESIDENT'S REMAINING TERM IN OFFICE. THE BUDGET OFFICE DOES NOT SEE UNEMPLOYMENT FALLING BELOW 6% FOR THE REST OF PRESIDENT OBAMA'S TERM. SIX PERCENT FOR THE REMAINDER OF HIS TERM. YET DESPITE ALL OF THIS, THE PRESIDENT STILL WON'T GET BEHIND GENUINE PROGROWTH REFORMS, WON'T SUPPORT REFORMS OF OUR EXISTING PROGRAMS LIKE MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY THAT WILL SUSTAIN THEM AND PUT THEM ON A SUSTAINABLE PATH. HE HAS NO PLAN FOR CONTROLLING OUR NATIONAL DEBT. I WENT BACK AND LOOKED, MR. PRESIDENT, THE LAST TIME CONGRESS CAME WITHIN ONE VOTE OF PASSING A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT, YOU KNOW WHAT THE NATIONAL DEBT WAS THEN? $4.85 TRILLION. YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS TODAY? IN EXCESS OF $17 TRILLION WITH NO END IN SIGHT. SO THE TRUTH IS, MR. PRESIDENT, THAT REPUBLICANS HAVE PUT FORWARD IDEAS FOR STREAMLINING FEDERAL REGULATIONS, FOR MITIGATING THE NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, AND FOR REPLACING OBAMACARE WITH PATIENT-CENTERED REFORMS THAT WOULD CUT COSTS, BROADEN QUALITY INSURANCE COVERAGE AND IMPROVE PATIENT ACCESS. BUT SO FAR THE MAJORITY LEADER AND THE PRESIDENT HAVE SHOWN ZERO INTEREST IN TRYING TO WORK WITH REPUBLICANS TO SOLVE OUR NATION'S MOST SERIOUS ECONOMIC CHALLENGES WHICH ARE HAVING A DIRECT IMPACT ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. INSTEAD THE PRESIDENT SAID HE'S GOING TO GO IT ALONE. HE'S GOT A PEN, HE'S GOT A PHONE. BUT AS I SUGGESTED BEFORE, ONE OF THE THINGS HE COULD DO THAT WOULD PUT AMERICANS BACK TO WORK ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AND MAKE US MORE NORTH AMERICAN ENERGY INDEPENDENT WOULD BE TO SIGN THE KEYSTONE X.L. PIPELINE. MR. PRESIDENT, I KNOW MY TIME HAS EXPIRED, AND I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE THREE ARTICLES I WAS REFERRING TO ON THE C.B.O. REPORT BE MADE PART OF THE RECORD FOLLOWING MY REMARKS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

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  • 12:19:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. THE SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON. MS. CANTWELL: MR. PRESIDENT, I…

    OBJECTION. THE SENATOR FROM WASHINGTON. MS. CANTWELL: MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO JOIN MY COLLEAGUES IN ASKING FOR THE PASSAGE OF THE FARM BILL THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A VOTE ON HERE SHORTLY. AND I WANT

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  • 12:20:01 PM

    MS. CANTWELL

    MY COLLEAGUES IN ASKING FOR THE PASSAGE OF THE FARM BILL THAT WE'RE GOING…

    MY COLLEAGUES IN ASKING FOR THE PASSAGE OF THE FARM BILL THAT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A VOTE ON HERE SHORTLY. AND I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE, THE CHAIR OF THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE FROM MICHIGAN, FOR HER UNBELIEVABLE WORK ON THIS VERY IMPORTANT POLICY FOR AMERICA. I KNOW SHE UNDERSTANDS THESE ISSUES WELL BECAUSE WHILE EVERYBODY THINKS OF MICHIGAN AS A MANUFACTURING STATE, IT ALSO IS A VERY BIG AGRICULTURAL STATE AND WE SHARE A LOT OF SAME CROPS BEING KIND OF ON A NORTHERN PLATEAU, SO APPLES AND WINE AND A VARIETY OF THINGS. I WANT TO CERTAINLY THANK HER FOR HER HELP AND SUPPORT ON GETTING AN IMPORTANT NEW PROGRAM IN OUR SCHOOL LUNCHES FOR VERY NUTRITIOUS PEAS AND LENTILS AND TO THANK HER FOR HER HELP ON THAT. MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THE FARM BILL BECAUSE IT IS A JOBS BILL FOR OUR NATION. TWO YEARS AGO I JOINED MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR JOHANNS FROM NEBRASKA, AND SENT A BIPARTISAN LETTER WITH 44 SENATORS SAYING IT WAS TIME TO ACT ON THE FARM BILL BECAUSE WE THOUGHT IT WAS SO IMPORTANT FOR OUR ECONOMY AS WE WERE STILL STRUGGLING, COMING OUT OF A RECESSION. AND SO TODAY IT'S FINALLY HERE, THAT OPPORTUNITY TO PUT ALL THAT HARD WORK INTO A BILL THAT GOES TO THE PRESIDENT'S DESK. AGRICULTURE EMPLOYS 16 MILLION AMERICANS AND IT PRODUCES EXPORTS WORTH $115 BILLION WORTH OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS TO MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD. I DON'T THINK WE ALWAYS FOCUS ON THAT. A LOT OF TIMES WE COME OUT HERE AND WE TALK ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL CROPS IN OUR STATE OR THE INDIVIDUAL FOCUS. BUT WHAT WE REALLY NEED TO UNDERSTAND IS THAT IT IS A VERY BIG PRODUCT FOR THE UNITED STATES. AND WE LIVE IN A VERY COMPETITIVE GLOBAL ECONOMY, AND ONE OF THE BIGGEST ADVANTAGES THAT WE HAVE IN THAT GLOBAL ECONOMY IS THAT WE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA KNOW HOW TO GROW THINGS. SO THE EMERGING MIDDLE CLASS AROUND THE WORLD CAN NOW AFFORD TO EAT HIGHER QUALITY PRODUCTS. THE U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE C.E.O. TOM DONOHUE, I THINK PUT IT BEST IN A SPEECH THAT HE GAVE ABOUT THE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE LAST YEAR. HE SAID -- QUOTE -- "YOU PLAYED YOUR STRENGTHS, YOU LEVERAGE YOUR ADVANTAGES AND THEN YOU FIND WAYS TO IMPROVE THEM, AND ONE OF THE GREATEST STRENGTHS IN AMERICA IS AGRICULTURE." END QUOTE. MR. DONOHUE SAID THOSE REMARKS AS AN ADVANTAGE OF WHAT INNOVATION IS DRIVING IN AMERICAN AGRICULTURE AND HE'S ABSOLUTELY RIGHT BECAUSE NOT ONLY DO WE KNOW HOW TO GROW THINGS, WE ALSO KNOW HOW TO INNOVATE AND THERE IS A LOT OF INNOVATION GOING ON IN THE AG ECONOMY. IN FACT, THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST THAT SAY NOW THERE'S AS MUCH INVESTMENT GOING INTO NEW INNOVATION IN AGRICULTURE AS THERE WERE RECENTLY IN HIGH-TECH OR EVEN GREEN ENERGY. SO PEOPLE GET IT, IT'S A GREAT INVESTMENT. I'VE SEEN IN WASHINGTON STATE CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH DONE AT OUR LABS IN PROSSER, A NEW WHEAT ROTATION CROP TO SAVVY ENTREPRENEURS MAKING CONNECTIONS LIKE GETTING CHERRIES INTO THE NORTH KOREAN MARKET. THIS IS A TKPWROEBG OPPORTUNITY FOR -- GROWING OPPORTUNITY. AMERICAN FARMERS AND BUSINESSES ARE SEEING DEMAND FOR THEIR PRODUCTS RISE ON TWO FRONTS. FIRST, AMERICAN CONSUMERS WANT TO BUY THEIR PRODUCTS DIRECTLY FROM THE FARMS IN THEIR COMMUNITIES, SO THAT MEANS THAT THE FARMS ARE CREATING PRODUCT FOR EXACTLY WHAT THEIR END CUSTOMER WANTS. AND BECAUSE THEY'RE DOING THAT, THEY CAN MAKE MORE MONEY ON DELIVERING TO THE END CUSTOMER EXACTLY THE KIND OF PRODUCT THAT THEY WANT. AND SECONDLY, A RISING MIDDLE CLASS IN PLACES LIKE ASIA TO SOUTH AMERICA WANT TO USE THEIR NEWFOUND SPENDING POWER ON PURCHASING OUR PRODUCTS AS WELL. SO THIS FARM BILL HELPS ON BOTH OF THOSE FRONTS, AGAIN, THANKS TO THE CHAIRWOMAN FROM MICHIGAN. IT HELPS GET MORE GOODS TO THE MARKET. AND WHETHER THAT'S A FARMERS MARKET AROUND THE CORNER FROM YOUR LOCAL SUPERMARKET OR WHETHER THAT'S A NEW MARKET IN SOUTH KOREA. IN 2030, CHINA'S MIDDLE CLASS WILL HAVE ONE BILLION PEOPLE. THAT'S UP FROM 150 MILLION TODAY. AND INDIA'S MIDDLE CLASS WILL GROW BY MORE THAN 800%. AND MAYBE BECAUSE WE SIT ON THE PACIFIC, JUST LIKE THE PRESIDING OFFICER, YOU KNOW HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO GET PRODUCTS TO THOSE MARKETPLACES. IN 2012 THE UNITED NATIONS REPORTED THAT THE WORLD WILL NEED 70% MORE FOOD BY THE MIDDLE OF THE CENTURY. THIS IS A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY, BUT ONLY IF CONGRESS ACTS TODAY AND PASSES THE FARM BILL. WE NEED TO MAINTAIN OUR INVESTMENT IN RESEARCH AND EXPORTS SO AMERICAN FARMERS CAN THRIVE AND WIN IN THE EXPANDING GLOBAL MARKETPLACE. I'M CONFIDENT IF WE DO THAT, OUR FARMERS AND OUR BUSINESSES, AND WE MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD, IF THEY DO, THEY WILL WIN. BUT OTHER COUNTRIES ARE PLAYING FOR KEEPS TOO. EVERY FARMER AROUND THE WORLD WANTS ACCESS TO THAT RISING MIDDLE CLASS. THE EUROPEAN UNION SPENT $700 MILLION ON EXPORT PROMOTION FOR FOOD PRODUCTS IN 2011. THAT'S NEARLY THREE TIMES AS MUCH AS AMERICA SPENT. AND CHINA IS PLANNING TO BOOST ITS AGRICULTURE INVESTMENT OVER THE NEXT DECADE. IT'S A SENTIMENT THAT I HEARD IN OCTOBER WHEN I VISITED ONE OF OUR WHOLESALERS WHEN HE WAS TALKING TO AN OVERSEAS CLIENT. HE WAS TALKING ABOUT EXPORT AND AGRICULTURAL LEADERS IN WASHINGTON STATE AND HOW OTHER COUNTRIES WERE STARTING TO USE PARTICULARLY THE APPLE MARKET TO TRY TO OPEN NEW OPPORTUNITIES. SO THAT'S WHY WE NEED TO INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE FARM BILL AND TO MOVE FORWARD ON TRADE DEALS THAT HELP OPEN THE DOOR TO NEW AGRICULTURAL MARKETS. THAT WILL HELP UNLEASH AN ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT THAT WE REALLY NEED TO BE AGGRESSIVE ABOUT. MANY PEOPLE HAVE HEARD OF WALLA WALLA OR MAYBE YOU HAVEN'T OR MAYBE YOU THOUGHT THAT WAS A TERM. IT IS A GREAT COMMUNITY IN OUR STATE WITH 30,000 PEOPLE AND IT IS DEEPLY, DEEPLY TIED TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMY. IT HAS WINE AND WHEAT AND PEAS AND LENTILS AND THE FARMERS THERE, I KNOW, ARE VERY APPRECIATIVE OF THE COLOMBIA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT. THEY THANKED ME MANY TIMES FOR MAKING SURE THAT GOT PASSED. I CAN TELL YOU MANY OF THOSE FARMERS WENT TO BOGOTA TO TRY TO SELL AMERICAN WHEAT TO THE GROWING COLUMBIAN CLASS AND THAT IS WHAT ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN AMERICA IS ALL ABOUT. CONGRESS MUST NOT DAMPEN OUR ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT. FARMERS NEED TO START THIS SEASON AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY CAN PUT LONG-TERM PLANS IN PLACE. THEN THE SEEDS THAT WILL BE PLANTED, THE FIELDS THAT WILL BE HARVESTED, THE CROPS THAT WILL BE SHIPPED, THE SMART TARGETED TOWARDS THOSE NEW INTERNATIONAL MARKETS WILL BE DONE. THAT'S WHAT THIS FARM BILL IS ABOUT. THE BILL, I CAN TELL YOU, IS A COMPROMISE. AGAIN, I THANK THE CHAIRWOMAN FOR HER HARD WORK BECAUSE I KNOW HOW HARD SHE WORKED ON FORGING THOSE COMPROMISES. I CAN TELL YOU IT CUTS THE SNAP PROGRAM FAR MORE THAN I WOULD HAVE CUT IT. I WAS ONE OF 26 SENATORS WHO VOTED FOR THE AMENDMENT MY COLLEAGUE FROM NEW YORK OFFERED TO RESTORE THOSE CUTS. BUT IT IS TIME THAT WE MOVE FORWARD. I'D LIKE TO TAKE A SECOND TO JUST TALK ABOUT THE DETAILS OF THREE REASONS WHY PEOPLE SHOULD BE FOR THIS FARM BILL. FIRST, AS I TALKED ABOUT, IT CONTINUES TO EXPAND THE EXPORT PROGRAMS THAT ARE SO IMPORTANT FOR AMERICA'S NEW MARKETS. AND WHILE I MIGHT HAVE BEEN FOR A MORE ROBUST PROGRAM, SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES OBVIOUSLY HAVEN'T QUITE UNDERSTOOD WHY THIS IS SUCH A GREAT BENEFIT TO MARKET U.S. PRODUCTS AROUND THE GLOBE, I THINK SOME PEOPLE THINK A BIG GLOBAL CORPORATIONS AND THINK WHY DO YOU NEED THAT. WELL, I CAN TELL YOU WHEN I'M TALKING ABOUT APPLES OR CHERRIES OR PEARS, THESE AREN'T BIG CORPORATIONS. THEY'RE A COLLECTIVE OF HUNDREDS OR THOUSANDS OF FARMERS WORKING TOGETHER. AND WHEN THE MAP PROGRAM HELPS TARGET GETTING PEOPLE IN THE ASIAN MARKET TO CONSUME THOSE PRODUCTS, IT IS A WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR AMERICA. SECONDLY, THIS BILL FUNDS RESEARCH MAKING OUR CROPS STRONGER AND HEALTHIER AND MORE COMPETITIVE. AND THIRD, IT STARTS INITIATIVES ON PRODUCTS LIKE THE PULSE CROP THAT I THINK COULD BE SO BENEFICIAL TO US OVER THE LONG RUN WITH NEW, AS I SAID, SCHOOL LUNCHES, BUT JUST HEALTHIER PRODUCTS. OUR NEW FARM BILL WILL DO THE RESEARCH ON SPECIALTY CROPS THAT ARE SO IMPORTANT FOR US IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN THIS FARM BILL THAT THE REAUTHORIZATION MAKES LONG-TERM DEVELOPMENT IN SPECIALTY CROP BLOCK GRANT PROGRAMS AND SPECIALTY CROP RESEARCH INITIATIVES. AGAIN, I WANT TO THANK THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM MICHIGAN FOR HER HELP ON THAT UNDERSTANDING HOW IMPORTANT THESE SPECIALTY CROPS ARE. THEY ARE NOT -- I THINK EVERYBODY IN AMERICA KNOWS, AND AROUND THE WORLD KNOWS THE BRAND OF WASHINGTON APPLES. I CAN TELL YOU, I'VE BEEN IN THE CHINESE MARKETPLACE AND SEEN HOW PEOPLE TOOK OFF THE WASHINGTON LABEL, PARTICULARLY ON FUJI APPLES AND TRIED TO STICK IT ON OTHER APPLES BECAUSE THEY KNEW IF THAT STICKER WAS ON THAT APPLE EVERYBODY IN CHINA WOULD CONSUME THOSE APPLES EVEN THOUGH THEY WEREN'T REALLY WASHINGTON FUJIS. WHAT THIS SPECIALTY RESEARCH INITIATIVE DOES IS SAY WE ARE GOING TO NOT LET APPLES, PEARS AND CHEER REUS BASICALLY CONSTANTLY FALL OFF THE RADAR AS IT RELATES TO RESEARCH BUT WILL BE A PERMANENT PART OF A PROGRAM FOR RESEARCH AND HAVE A BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM SO THAT THEY CAN BASICALLY CONTINUE TO DO THE RESEARCH THAT'S NEEDED. AGAIN, IF ANY OF MY COLLEAGUES HAVE EVER HAD A CHANCE TO VISIT THE RESEARCH FACILITIES WITHIN THEIR STATE, THEY'LL KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. IF YOU HAVEN'T, YOU SHOULD GO AND DO IT. BUT WHEN YOU ARE FIGHTING AGAINST -- OR BEING ON A COMPETITIVE FIELD WITH AUSTRALIA OR CHINA OR ANYBODY ELSE WHEN IT COMES TO APPLES, WE HAVE CONSTANTLY -- WE CONSTANTLY HAVE TO ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT PHYTOSANITARY ISSUES, WE HAVE TO CONSTANTLY TALK ABOUT VARIOUS WAYS TO GAIN ACCESS TOO THOSE MARKETPLACES AND THE RESEARCH, JUST SCIENCE AND RESEARCH, IS THE ONLY WAY WE CAN FIGHT DOWN SOME OF THESE TRADE BARRIERS THAT EXIST WHEN OUR PRODUCTS CAN'T GET INTO THESE COUNTRIES. SO WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT THAT. AND LASTLY I JUST WANT TO SAY, I'M VERY PLEASED BY THE FACT THAT POST CROPS -- PEAS, LENTILS, THINGS LIKE CHICKPEAS, I'M SURE A LOT OF PEOPLE ATE A LOT OF HUM MUST OVERMUS OVER THE WEEKEND, WHICH HAS EXPLODED OVER 500%. IT IS A PRODUCT THAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONSUMING ALL OVER THE WORLD BUT WE IN THE UNITED STATES ARE STARTING TO CONSUME MORE OF IT AND THE FACT THAT THAT PRODUCT HAS BEEN SUCH A HUGE INCREASE HAS GIVEN OUR FARMERS IN WASHINGTON STATE GREAT OPPORTUNITY. BUT THIS PRODUCT IS ALSO A VERY HEALTHY PRODUCT AND ONE THAT WE FOUGHT HARD TO MAKE SURE WOULD BE INCLUDED IN A NEW SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM, SOMETHING WHERE STUDENTS COULD GET ACCESS TO A HIGH-PROTEIN, HIGH-FIBER PRODUCT THAT CERTAINLY IS MORE AFFORDABLE TOWER SCHOOLS. SO WE THINK BETWEEN THE RESEARCH THAT'S GOING TO GO ON ON POST CROP DERIVATIVES AND THE FACT THAT SCHOOL LUNCHES WILL NOW HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE THESE CROPS AGRESSSIRVELINGS WE'RE VERY, VERY EXCITED ABOUT THIS PROGRAM BILL. I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUES IN THE SENATE, SENATOR CRAPO AND RISCH AND MY COLLEAGUE FROM SOUTH DAKOTA, FOR ALSO HELPING WITH THIS, BECAUSE THIS CERTAINLY -- AND NORTH DAKOTA, SHOULD I SAY, BOTH STATES WERE VERY, VERY BIG ON THESE PULSE CROPS, AND CERTAINLY HELPED TO MAKE SURE THAT THIS STATE STAYED -- MAKE SURE THAT THIS STAYED IN THE CONFERENCE REPORT. PLEASE VOTE FOR A BILL THAT WILL REALLY HELP OUR ECONOMY, THAT WILL REALLY HELP US TACKLE THAT GROWING MIDDLE CLASS AROUND THE WORLD AND KEEP AMERICA PUTTING GREAT PRODUCTS ON THOSE MARKET SHELVES AND HELPING CREATE MORE JOBS IN THE UNITED STATES. I THANK THE PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. MS. STABENOW:

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  • 12:32:45 PM

    MS. STABENOW

  • 12:32:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 12:32:47 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    I HAVE 10 UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUESTS FOR COMMITTEES TO MEET DURING TODAY'S…

    I HAVE 10 UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUESTS FOR COMMITTEES TO MEET DURING TODAY'S SESSION OF THE SENATE. THEY HAVE THE APPROVAL OF THE MAJORITY AND THE MINORITY LEADERS. I WOULD ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THESE REQUESTS BE AGREED TO AND THAT THESE REQUESTS BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MS. STABENOW: I WOULD ASK SECONDLY UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT A FURTHER STATEMENT REGARDING ISSUES IN THE NUTRITION TITLE BE SUBMITTED INTO THE RECORD ON MY BEHALF.

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  • 12:32:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 12:33:01 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    CONSENT THAT A FURTHER STATEMENT REGARDING ISSUES IN THE NUTRITION TITLE…

    CONSENT THAT A FURTHER STATEMENT REGARDING ISSUES IN THE NUTRITION TITLE BE SUBMITTED INTO THE RECORD ON MY BEHALF.

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  • 12:33:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MS. STABENOW: THANK YOU. AND I'D LIKE VERY MUCH TO TAKE JUST A…

    OBJECTION. MS. STABENOW: THANK YOU. AND I'D LIKE VERY MUCH TO TAKE JUST A MOMENT, MR. PRESIDENT, AS I KNOW

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  • 12:33:11 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    TO TAKE JUST A MOMENT, MR. PRESIDENT, AS I KNOW WE'LL BE CLOSING FOR LUNCH…

    TO TAKE JUST A MOMENT, MR. PRESIDENT, AS I KNOW WE'LL BE CLOSING FOR LUNCH IN JUST A MOMENT, BUT THERE'S SOME VERY IMPORTANT PEOPLE THAT I NEED TO THANK TODAY. AND I WANT TO TAKE THIS MOMENT BEFORE WE HAVE THE FINAL VOTE TO DO THAT. I KNOW, LISTENING TO OTHER COLLEAGUES AS WE COME TO MAJOR PIECES OF LEGISLATION AND AT THE END, THEY TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF THEIR STAFF. I HAVE COME TO REALIZE, MR. PRESIDENT, JUST HOW POWERFUL THOSE WORDS ARE, AND I HAVE BEEN BLESSED WITH AN INCREDIBLY TALENTED, HARDWORKING STAFF THAT REALLY ARE THE REASON THAT WE ARE HERE TODAY. -- HERE TODAY TALKING ABOUT THE AGRICULTURAL ACT OF 2014. AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM SHOULD BE VERY, VERY PROUD OF OF THEIR CONTRIBUTION, AS I AM PROUD OF THEM. AND THIS CERTAINLY STARTS WITH OUR STAFF DIRECTOR CHRIS ADOMA. II THINK WE'VE BEEN ON SPEED DIAL FOR SO LONG. I'M NOT SURE... WEIL BE DOING -- WE'LL BE DOING THAT ON HABIT FROM HERE ON IN. HIS INCREDIBLE LEADERSHIP AND TENACITY AND TALENT AND HARD WORK IS JUST INCREDIBLE, AND CHRIS DESERVES A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF CREDIT FOR LEADING US HERE WITH HIS TEAM. AND I WANT TO THANK HIM VERY MUCH. ALSO JOE SHUTTLE, SCHULTS, OUR CHIEF ECONOMIST. WHETHER IT IS THE COMMODITY TITLE OF CROP INSURANCE OR DAIRY WHEN AT THE VERY END IT BECAME CLEAR THAT AFTER THREE YEARS OF HARD WORK AND PASSING DAIRY POLICY, IT WOULDN'T GET THE SUPPORT OF THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS AND WE WERE GOING TO HAVE TO REWRITE IT IN A WEEK AND A HALF, WHICH WAS NO SMALL THING, AND JOE CONTINUED TO GIVE US THE RIGHT KIND OF ADVICE, AND I'M PROUD TO SAY THAT WE STARTED WITH A COMMITMENT TO HAVE $23 BILLION IN DEFICIT REDUCTION COUNTING OUR SEQUESTRATION SPENDING CUTS, AND WE'VE ENDED WITH $23 BILLION IN DEFICIT REDUCTION, SPENDING REDUCTIONS IN AGRICULTURE. A UNDERSTAND JOE HASAND JOE HAS BEEN A HUGE REASON WHY WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO GET THERE. AND ALSO JONATHAN CORDONE, OUR CHIEF PROCESSOR. AN IMPORTANT ISSUES LIKE PAYMENT REFORM, ANY NUMBER OF LEGAL ISSUES HE HAS BEEN INCREDIBLY VALUABLE AND IMPORTANT. RUSS BEVMENT NHAM, OUR SENIOR COUNSEL ON REGULATORY ISSUES, SOME OF TOUGHEST ISSUES WE HAD TO ADDRESS RELATED TO REGULATORY ISSUES, FORESTRY ISSUES. WE ARE VERY, VERY PROUD THAT IN THIS BILL THERE IS AN AGRICULTURE ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO THE E.P.A. MOVING AFFORD ON RULES, WHICH IS EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT TO HAVE AGRICULTURE'S VOICE INVOLVED WITH THE E.P.A. IN A FORM WAIL. AND THIS AND SO MANY OTHER AREAS, RUSS HAS BEEN VERY, VERY SIGNIFICANT. TO OUR CONSERVATION TEAM, TINA MAY, WHO IS AMAZING AND IS GOING BACK TO THE USDA NEXT WEEK TO HELP -- TO LEAD THE IMPLEMENT TAKERS WHICH GIVES ME CONFIDENCE THAT THIS IS REALLY GOING TO BE DONE AS WE INTENDED, BUT TINA MAY'S BRILLIANCE AND STRATEGY AND NEGOTIATION AND COMMITMENT ON THESE ISSUES IS UNMATCHED, I THINK. AND WITH HER TEAM, KEVIN NORTON AND HANNA ABUDE, THE AREAS OF CONSERVATION ARE REALLY LANDMARKING REFORMS AND PROTECTING OUR LAND AND WATER, CONSERVATION COMPLIANCE, AND SETTING REAL STANDARDS AROUND STRONG CONSERVATION PRACTICES. FORESTFORESTRY AS WELL, IMPORTANT AREAS THAT WE HAVE DREFD IN FORTUNATETORY AND INTERNATIONAL FOOD AID. AMERICA'S OPPORTUNITY TO FULFILL OUR VALUES AROUND THE WORLD AND CREATING MORE FLEXIBILITY FOR US TO HELP FEED A HUNGRY WORLD. KARLA TEMAN, AGAIN ON SPEED DIAL. I THINK THE VERY LAST PHONE CALLS WE WERE MAKING AND E-MAILS BEFORE WE WROTE AND FINALIZED THE CONFERENCE REPORT WERE WITH KARLA AND CHRIS. OUR ENERGY TITLE IS ABOUT JOBS. IT IS ABOUT ENERGY EFFICIENCY. I'M SO PROUD OF WHAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO, LANDMARK ENERGY TITLE. LIVESTOCK DISASTER ASSISTANCE, ALL OF THE AREA TO SUPPORT LIVESTOCK AND, AGAIN, DAIRY. KARLA WAS OUR LEAD ON DAIRY, AND I THINK WE FINALLY MAY HAVE STOPPED WAKING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT DREAMING ABOUT DAIRY POLICY. I AM NOT SURE. BUT WE ARE GETTING THERE. COREY CLAUSON, I'M SO PROUD WE'VE ADDED OUR VETERANS TO THE SUPPORT THERE AND THANK COREY SO MUCH. BRANDON McBRIDE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, QUALITY OF LIFE IN RURAL AMERICA. AND BRANDON LED OUR EFFORT TO MAKE SURE WE WERE STRENGTHENING TOOLS FOR BUSINESSES AND LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT AND AWFUL THOSE WHO COUNT ON -- AND ALL OF THOSE WHO COUNT ON RURAL DEVELOPMENT. AND RESEARCH, A NEW RESEARCH DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION. A COMMITMENT TO RESEARCH WE HAVE NOT SEEN BEFORE. THANK YOU TO BRAN DOEN FOR LEADING THAT EFFORT. AND OF COURSE ON NUTRITION AN FRUITS AND VEGETABLES, JACQUELINE AND KATIE, WHO LED AN EXTREMELY COMPLICATED AREA. JACQUELINE HAD TO NEGOTIATE SOME VERY, VERY DIFFICULT NEGOTIATIONS. L I'M PROUD TO SAY THAT WE WE REJECTED EVERY HARMFUL POLICY IN THE HOUSE BILL. AND BECAUSE OF JACQUELINE AND KATIE'S EFFORTS, WE HAVE A STRENGTHENED COMMITMENT TO ORGANICS AND FARMERS' MARKETS AND FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES FOR CHILDREN IN SCHOOLS, AND SO MANY OTHER AREAS IN WHICH WE ARE BEGINNING TO CHANGE THE PARADIGM ABOUT LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS AND STRENGTHENING OPPORTUNITIES FOR LOCAL MARKETS FOR OUR FARMERS. GRANT COLVIN, WHO HAS WORKED SO HARD ON COMMODITIES, AS WELL AS LIVESTOCK AND TRADE YOU, AND OF COURSE EXPORT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US. IT IS AN AREA OF IMPORTANCE TO CORN. I WANT TO THANK GRANT FOR HIS EXPERTISE. ALEXIS SANCUHK AND CARL VARNER, WHO HELPED WITH THE ENTIRE TEAM. THEY HAVE BEEN THERE TO HELP US ON EVERY SINGLE PROJECT, EVERY SINGLE EFFORT THAT WE NEEDED HELP WITH. I WANT TO THANK ALEXIS AND KYL. JESSE WILLIAMS AND McCOAL WHO ARE CLERKS AND THEIR ENTIRE TEAM WHO KEPT THINGS TOGETHER AND MADE SURE WE WERE DOING THE RIGHT THING, ON POINT. I WANT TO THANK JESSE AND NICOLE AND THEIR TEAM AS WELL. FINALLY, MY PERSONAL STAFF, IMIL SWEENY, MY CHIEF OF STAFF WHO HAS BEEN WITH ME IN A MULTITUDE OF CAPACITIES. FROM HE WILLING IT THE STORY ON THE FLOOR WITH OUR CHARTS TO MAKING SURE THAT WE HE HAD A COORDINATED TEAM BETWEEN THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE STAFF AND ALL OF THE TALENTED PEOPLE ON MY PERSONAL STAFF AS WELL AS WONDER WONDERFUL STRATEGIC ADVICE, BILL IS, I'M PROUD, MY CHIEF OF STAFF AND HAS BEEN INVALUABLE IN THIS PROCESS. MATT VANKIKEN, WORKING EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. OUR PRESS TEAM WHEN WE LOOK AT TELLING THE STORY OF THE NEW FARM BILL APPROACH, BEN BECKER AND ALEX AND WILL AND MATT WILLIAMS TELLING THIS STORY, GETTING THE FACTS OUT EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. MY STATE TEAM LED BY MY STATE DIRECTOR TERESA POHETKA, KELLEY FOX, BRANDON FUENS AND COREY HALL, JEREMY HOSKING AND ADRIAN WALKER, MAKING SURE THAT MICHIGAN'S VOICE WAS HEARD IN EVERY PART OF THIS BILL. A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF HARD WORK. AND THIS BILL IS BETTER CERTAINLY FOR MICHIGAN AS A RESULT OF ALL OF THEY'RE EFFORTS. QUASI GILLETTE INCASEY GILLETTE, TIM MITCHELL AND ALL OF OUR FLOOD STAFF FOR THEIR PATIENCE AS WE HAVE PASSED THIS ONCE, TWICE, AND FINALLY PASSED THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE AS WE WILL DO -- I SHOULDN'T GET AHEAD OF MYSELF -- WILL PASS THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE THIS AFTERNOON. LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL MICHELLE JOHNSON WE'DER AND GARY ENDICOTT. I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO SENATOR COCHRAN'S STAFF. THEY HAVE LED THAT EFFORT AND WE WANT TO THANK THEM FOR THEIR PARTNERSHIP AND EXCELLENT WORK. AND FINALLY OUR SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, SECRETARY VILSACK IN THE USDA, THE TECHNICAL EXPERTISE THAT WE HAVE RECEIVED ON EVERY SINGLE SECTION HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE AND WHEN IT CAME TO THE FINAL DAYS ON DAIRY, THE SECRETARY PLAYED A VERY, VERY CRITICAL ROLE IN HELPING US GET THE COMPROMISE THAT WILL ALLOW US TO MEET THE GOALS AND ADDRESS FARMERS ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, WHO WE CALLED ON DAY AND NIGHT, AND WE APPRECIATE THEIR EFFORTS. SO, MR. PRESIDENT, I APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE IN ALLOWING ME TO DO THIS AT THIS TIME. I WANTED TO MAKE SURE WE HAD A CHANCE TO SAY THANK YOU TO A LOT OF FOLKS THAT DESERVE, AS USUAL, A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF CREDIT FOR GETTING THIS DONE. THEY'RE THE FOLKS BEHIND THE SCENES THAT HAVE MADE THIS HAPPEN. AND I'M VERY, VERY PROUD OF EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM.

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  • 12:43:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE STANDS IN RECESS UNTIL 2:15 P.M. WE'LL TAKE…

    THE PREVIOUS ORDER, THE SENATE STANDS IN RECESS UNTIL 2:15 P.M. WE'LL TAKE A FINAL PASSAGE VOTE ON THE FARM BILL. YOU CAN SEE LIVE COVERAGE OF THE SENATE WHEN MEMBERS RETURN HERE

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  • 02:17:52 PM

    MS. STABENOW

  • 02:17:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MICHIGAN. MS. STABENOW: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. WE HAVE HEARD A LOT…

    MICHIGAN. MS. STABENOW: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. WE HAVE HEARD A LOT FROM COLLEAGUES OVER THE LAST TWO DAYS ABOUT JUST HOW IMPORTANT THIS FARM BILL IS, AND THAT'S BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH MORE IN THIS BILL THAN WHAT WE WOULD CALL A FARM BILL. REALLY, 12

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  • 02:17:55 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    HEARD A LOT FROM COLLEAGUES OVER THE LAST TWO DAYS ABOUT JUST HOW…

    HEARD A LOT FROM COLLEAGUES OVER THE LAST TWO DAYS ABOUT JUST HOW IMPORTANT THIS FARM BILL IS, AND THAT'S BECAUSE THERE IS SO MUCH MORE IN THIS BILL THAN WHAT WE WOULD CALL A FARM BILL. REALLY, 12 DIFFERENT PIECES OF LEGISLATION FROM FARM TO RESEARCH TO FRUITS AND VEGETABLES TO ENERGY ACROSS THE BOARD ALL PUT TOGETHER IN SOMETHING WE CALL THE FARM BILL. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANTLY A MAJOR BIPARTISAN JOBS BILL THAT MAKES SURE THAT 16 MILLION PEOPLE WHO WORK IN AGRICULTURE FROM MICHIGAN TO MISSISSIPPI TO OKLAHOMA AND EVERYWHERE IN BETWEEN HAVE THE SUPPORT THEY NEED. THIS IS AN EXPORTS BILL THAT WILL HELP EXPAND OPPORTUNITIES FOR AMERICAN AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS. ONE OF THE FEW AREAS WHERE OUR NATION MAINTAINS A HEALTHY, ROBUST TRADE SURPLUS. THIS IS A RESEARCH BILL THAT WILL MAKE A PERMANENT LONG-TERM COMMITMENT THROUGH A NEW PUBLIC-PRIVATE FOUNDATION AND OTHER INVESTMENTS THAT WILL ALLOW US TO FIND SOLUTIONS TO PESTS AND DISEASES AND FOCUS ON INNOVATIONS FOR THE FUTURE. THIS IS AN ENERGY BILL THAT WILL HELP CREATE THE NEXT GENERATION OF BIOFUELS TO REDUCE OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL AND WILL HELP FARMERS AND RURAL SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS GENERATE THEIR OWN POWER TO IMPROVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND LOWER THEIR COSTS FOR THEIR BUSINESSES. THIS IS AN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BILL THAT WILL HELP RURAL BUSINESSES AND COMMUNITIES GET BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS SO THEY CAN FIND NEW CONSUMERS AND -- CUSTOMERS AND COMPETE AND CONNECT AROUND THE COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD. THIS IS A CONSERVATION BILL THAT HELPS FARMERS AND RANCHERS PROTECT OUR PRECIOUS LAND AND WATER RESOURCES. THIS IS OUR COUNTRY'S LARGEST INVESTMENT IN CONSERVATION ON PRIVATE LANDS THAT WE MAKE AS AMERICANS, AND MOST OF OUR LAND IS PRIVATELY OWNED, AND IT INCLUDES AN HISTORIC NEW AGREEMENT BETWEEN COMMODITY AND CONSERVATION GROUPS THAT TIES CONSERVATION COMPLIANCE WITH CROP INSURANCE SO THAT WE ARE BEING THE BEST POSSIBLE STEWARDS OF OUR LAND. IT WILL SAVE TAXPAYERS MONEY AND CONSERVE OUR LANDS AND WATERS FOR YEARS TO COME BY PRESERVING MILLIONS OF ACRES OF WILDLIFE HABITAT WHICH IN TURN HAS HELPED REBUILD POPULATIONS OF DUCKS AND QUAIL AND PHEASANTS, AMONG OTHERS. THAT'S WHY THE BILL HAS THE STRONG SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION, DUCKS UNLIMITED, THE NATURE CONSERVANCY AND PHEASANTS FOREVER AND THE WORLD WILDLIFE FUND, WHO ARE ONLY A HANDFUL OF THE MORE THAN 250 CONSERVATION GROUPS WHO HAVE ENDORSED THIS FARM BILL. THIS IS A NUTRITION BILL THAT MITIGATION SURE -- MAKES SURE FAMILIES HAVE A SAFETY NET. THE SAVINGS AND FOOD ASSISTANCE COMES SOLELY THROUGH ADDRESSING FRAUD AND MISUSE, WHILE MAINTAINING AND CORRECTING CRITICAL BENEFITS FOR THOSE WHO NEED HELP, MOST OFTEN TEMPORARILY TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE FOR THEIR FAMILIES WHILE THEY GET BACK ON THEIR FEET AFTER HAVING LOST A JOB. IT STRENGTHENS THE INTEGRITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY OF SNAP, MAKES SURE THAT EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR GOES TO FAMILIES IN NEED WHILE THEY GET BACK ON THEIR FEET, AND IT GIVES OUR CHILDREN MORE HEALTHY FOOD OPTIONS IN SCHOOLS AND WILL HELP BRING MORE HEALTHY LOCALLY GROWN FOOD INTO OUR COMMUNITIES. THIS IS A DEFICIT REDUCTION BILL THAT WILL SAVE TAXPAYERS $23 BILLION. ALL TOGETHER WE HAVE CUT SPENDING, A PORTION OF IT, ACCOUNTS THROUGH SEQUESTRATION, THE REST ADDITIONAL SPENDING IN THIS BILL WHERE WE HAVE VOLUNTARILY -- AS I HAVE OFTEN SAID VOLUNTARILY AGREED TO CUT SPENDING IN OUR OWN AREA OF JURISDICTION, WHICH BY THE WAY THAT $23 BILLION IS MORE THAN DOUBLE THE AMOUNT OF AGRICULTURAL CUTS RECOMMENDED BY THE BIPARTISAN SIMPSON-BOWLES COMMISSION. AND THIS IS A REFORM BILL THAT CONTAINS THE GREATEST REFORMS TO AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS IN DECADES. WE HAVE FINALLY ENDED DIRECT PAYMENT SUBSIDIES WHICH ARE GIVEN TO FARMERS EVEN IN GOOD TIMES. INSTEAD WE MOVE TO A RESPONSIBLE RISK MANAGEMENT APPROACH THAT ONLY GIVES FARMERS ASSISTANCE WHEN THEY EXPERIENCE A LOSS. THIS FARM BILL IS FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE, NOT THE PAST. THIS BILL IS TAKING A CRITICAL STEP TOWARD CHANGING THE PARADIGM OF AGRICULTURE AND THE BROAD RANGE OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN THIS COUNTRY. AND THIS BILL HAS THE SUPPORT OF OVER 370 GROUPS AND COUNTING FROM ALL PARTS OF THE COUNTRY AND IDEOLOGICAL BACKGROUNDS. THAT'S BECAUSE AS WE WROTE THIS BILL, WE WORKED HARD TO FIND COMMON GROUND, TO DEVELOP A BILL THAT WORKS FOR EVERY KIND OF AGRICULTURE PRODUCTION IN EVERY REGION OF OUR COUNTRY. WE WORKED HARD AND TOGETHER, AND I WANT TO THANK MY RANKING MEMBER, THE DISTINGUISHED SENIOR SENATOR FROM MISSISSIPPI FOR HIS LEADERSHIP AND PARTNERSHIP IN THIS EFFORT. WE HAVE INCLUDED VALUABLE INPUT FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE AND FROM THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE. I WANT TO THANK ALL OF OUR COLLEAGUES FOR THEIR IDEAS, FOR THEIR WILLINGNESS TO PUT PARTISANSHIP ASIDE AND WORK TOGETHER. THIS REALLY IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW WE CAN GET THINGS DONE, AND I HOPE THAT IT'S JUST ONE STEP OF A PRODUCTIVE YEAR COMING FORWARD. AND THANKS TO ALL THAT WORK, WE HAVE ARRIVED AT A FARM BILL THAT WORKS FOR ALL OF AMERICA, FOR FAMILIES AND FARMERS, FOR CONSUMERS, FOR THOSE WHO CARE SO DEEPLY ABOUT PROTECTING OUR LAND AND OUR WATER, AND THIS BILL WILL STRENGTHEN AGRICULTURE FOR YEARS TO COME. IT'S TIME TO PASS IT. IT'S TIME TO GET IT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE. EVERY SINGLE SENATOR IN THIS CHAMBER HAS CONSTITUENTS WHO WORK AND BENEFIT FROM AGRICULTURE AND CERTAINLY JUST COMING FROM LUNCH TODAY, WE SHOULD EACH BE THANKING A FARMER FOR THE SAFEST, MOST AFFORDABLE FOOD SUPPLY IN THE WORLD. AND AFTER 491 DAYS WITHOUT A FARM BILL, OUR CONSTITUENTS NEED US TO GET THIS DONE. SO, MADAM PRESIDENT, I WOULD URGE COLLEAGUES TO JOIN TOGETHER IN A BIPARTISAN WAY AS WE HAVE THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS, TO VOTE YES ON THIS FARM BILL, AND TO GIVE OUR FARMERS, OUR RANCHERS AND THE REST OF THE 16 MILLION PEOPLE WHO WORK IN AGRICULTURE THE FARM BILL THAT THEY DESERVE. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. MR. COCHRAN: MADAM PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM MISSISSIPPI. MR.

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  • 02:25:13 PM

    MR. COCHRAN

  • 02:25:14 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 02:25:16 PM

    MR. COCHRAN

    OF ALL WANT TO COMMEND THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN FOR HER…

    OF ALL WANT TO COMMEND THE DISTINGUISHED SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN FOR HER OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP OF THE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE. AS WE PROCEED FROM THE HEARINGS TO REVIEW THOSE SUGGESTIONS BEING MADE FOR CHANGE AND MODERNIZATION OF OUR AGRICULTURE ACT TO THE FINAL DAYS OF COMMITTEE HEARINGS AND NOW FULL DEBATE IN THE SENATE AND IN THE HOUSE, AND NOW IT COMES TO THIS FINAL VOTE. LAST NIGHT, THERE WAS A DECISIVE VOTE OF 72-22 TO END DEBATE ON THE FARM BILL. THAT REFLECTS THE APPRECIATION AND REFLECT THE COMMITTEE -- THE SENATE HAS FOR THE WORK OF THIS COMMITTEE LED BY OUR DISTINGUISHED CHAIRMAN, THE SENATOR FROM MICHIGAN. I WANT TO THANK HER AS WELL AS OUR HOUSE COMMITTEE COUNTERPART, FRANK LUCAS OF OKLAHOMA, AND RANKING MEMBER COLIN PETERSON OF MINNESOTA AS WELL AS THE MEMBERS OF THEIR STAFF AS WE WORKED OUR WAY THROUGH THE CONFERENCE BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP. I WANT TO THANK, TOO, OUR MAJORITY STAFF DIRECTOR, CHRIS ODOMO AND ALL OF CHAIRWOMAN STABENOW'S STAFF FOR THEIR HARD WORK IN DEVELOPING THIS FARM BILL. OUR COMMITTEE CLERK JESSE WILLIAMS AND HER STAFF HAVE ALSO PROVIDED GREAT ASSISTANCE THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS. THEY HAVE WORKED DILIGENTLY AND COMPETENTLY AND THOUGHTFULLY ON THIS LEGISLATION. THEIR DEDICATION TO DEVELOPING THE BILL IN THE CONFERENCE REPORT LED TO LONG DAYS, MANY WORKING WEEKENDS, AND WE DO OWE THEM A VERY STRONG DEBT OF GRATITUDE AND COMMENDATION FOR THIS WORK PRODUCT. MY STAFF DIRECTOR T.A. HAUCKS HAS BEEN AT THE JOB IT SEEMS LIKE DAY AND NIGHT FOR A LONG TIME TO HELP MAKE SURE WE PASSED A BILL THAT REFLECTED THE SENTIMENT AND THE SUGGESTIONS FOR THIS CONGRESS FOR MODERNIZATION OF OUR AGRICULTURE LEGISLATION. JAMES GLICK ALSO WORKED CLOSELY WITH T.A. HAUCKS AND HAS BEEN A TRUSTED ADVISOR. I'M GRATEFUL FOR HIS GOOD HELP AS WELL. ALL OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS HAVE DONE GREAT WORK IN HELPING MOVE THE FARM BILL TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION, AND THE APPROVAL BY THE SENATE OF THIS WORK. MADAM CHAIRMAN, MY PERSONAL OFFICE AGRICULTURE L.E. DANIEL ELMER ALSO WAS INVOLVED IN THE WORK OF THIS COMMITTEE AND ADVISING ME PERSONALLY AS WE WORKED OUR WAY TO THE CONCLUSION OF OUR RESPONSIBILITIES. HE WORKED VERY CLOSELY WITH THE COMMITTEE TO HELP DEVELOP THE FARM BILL, AND LIKEWISE THE CHIEF OF STAFF BRUCE EVANS AND LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR ADAM TELL, LEGISLATIVE AIDE BENNETT MINES OR OTHERS FROM MY STAFF WHO ADDED VALUABLE INPUT INTO THIS PROCESS, AND I APPRECIATE THEIR GOOD WORK. MADAM PRESIDENT, WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 02:28:57 PM

    MS. STABENOW

  • 02:28:58 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MICHIGAN. MS. STABENOW: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I REALIZE THAT WE WILL…

    MICHIGAN. MS. STABENOW: THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I REALIZE THAT WE WILL BE HAVING THE VOTE AT 2:35, SO LET ME JUST TAKE ONE MORE MOMENT TO STRESS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE RECOGNIZE THAT THIS REALLY WAS AN EFFORT IN GOOD FAITH BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. I,

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  • 02:29:00 PM

    MS. STABENOW

    THAT WE WILL BE HAVING THE VOTE AT 2:35, SO LET ME JUST TAKE ONE MORE…

    THAT WE WILL BE HAVING THE VOTE AT 2:35, SO LET ME JUST TAKE ONE MORE MOMENT TO STRESS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE RECOGNIZE THAT THIS REALLY WAS AN EFFORT IN GOOD FAITH BETWEEN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE AND REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. I, TOO, WANT TO JOIN WITH MY RANKING MEMBER, SENATOR COCHRAN, IN THANKING THE CHAIRMAN IN THE HOUSE, CHAIRMAN LUCAS. WE -- HE AND RANKING MEMBER COLLIN PETERSON WERE TRUE PARTNERS WITH US AS WE MOVED THROUGH THIS PROCESS. WE ACTUALLY STARTED ABOUT TWO AND A HALF YEARS AGO WHEN THE SUPER COMMITTEE ON DEFICIT REDUCTION ASKED EACH COMMITTEE TO COME UP WITH A WAY TO REDUCE THE DEFICIT TO CUT SPENDING IN THEIR AREA OF JURISDICTION. WE DECIDED TO DO IT A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. CHAIRMAN LUCAS AND I TALKED AND WE DECIDED THE FOUR OF US WOULD GET TOGETHER AND ACTUALLY COME UP WITH A HOUSE-SENATE DEMOCRAT-REPUBLICAN RECOMMENDATION THAT WOULD BE SOLIDLY SUPPORTED BY ALL SIDES. SO IT REALLY WAS A PRENEGOTIATION ON THE FARM BILL THAT WE WERE GOING TO BE DOING IN THE NEXT YEAR. SO IN AUGUST, JULY, AUGUST OF 2011 WE SAT DOWN AND STARTED GOING THROUGH WAYS WE COULD SAVE DOLLARS, WE ALL AGREED THAT DIRECT PAYMENT SUBSIDIESED COULD NO LONGER BE JUSTIFIED AND NEEDED TO BE ELIMINATED. WE KNEW IT WAS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A SAFETY NET FOR OUR FARMERS, DISASTER ASSISTANCE FOR OUR RANCHERS AND FARMERS AS WELL AND WE NEEDED TO HELP THEM MANAGE THEIR RISK AND CAME UP WITH AN APPROACH THAT TOOK PART OF THE DOLLARS THAT -- PUT IT BACK INTO STRENGTHENING RISK MANAGEMENT TOOLS LIKE CROP INSURANCE, WHICH IS, BY THE WAY, JUST LIKE ANY OTHER INSURANCE, YOU PAY A PREMIUM, YOU GET A BILL, NOT A CHECK, AND YOU DON'T GET ANY KIND OF HELP UNLESS YOU HAVE A LOSS. BUT WE ALSO TOOK A LOOK AT OTHER AREAS OF THE FARM BILL. WE FOUND THAT THERE WERE 23 DIFFERENT CONSERVATION PROGRAMS. EVERY TIME SOMEBODY HAD A GOOD IDEA WE ADDED A NEW PROGRAM. WE THOUGHT LET'S GO BACK AND REALLY TAKE A LOOK AT THIS AND IF WE WERE STARTING FROM SCRATCH HOW WOULD YOU PUT TOGETHER THESE PROGRAMS AND DO IT IN A WAY THAT WAS NOR USER FRIENDLY FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT WORK ON LAND AND WATER PRESIDENTS' DAY VAITION. WE WENT FROM 23 TO 13 PROGRAMS AND PUT IT IN FOUR DIFFERENT BUCKETS, AS WE CALLED IT OR SUBJECT AREAS. AND WE SAVED MONEY. SO THEN WE LOOKED AT EVERY PART OF THE FARM BILL AND I ASKED OUR STAFF NOT TO TALK ABOUT PROGRAMS BUT PRINCIPLES. WHAT SHOULD WE BE DOING, WHAT SHOULD THE FARM BILL BE DOING FOR AGRICULTURE, FOR FARMERS, RANCHERS, CONSUMERS, RURAL COMMUNITIES, JOB CREATORS. LET'S NOT PROTECT PROGRAMS, LET'S LOOK BROADLY AT PRINCIPLES. AND SO WE DID THAT AND WE ENDED UP ELIMINATING ABOUT A HUNDRED DIFFERENT AUTHORIZATIONS OR PROGRAMS. CONSOLIDATING, CUTTING DOWN ON DUPLICATION, REALLY DOING WHAT I THINK TAXPAYERS, WHAT AMERICANS ARE ASKING US TO DO IN EVERY PART OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. NOW WE THEN TURNED AROUND TO SET PRIORITIES ABOUT WHERE TO INVEST BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST CUTTING FOR CUTTING'S SAKE. IT'S TRYING TO MAKE THINGS WORK BETTER, BE MORE EFFECTIVE, SAVE PRECIOUS DOLLARS, BUT AT THE SAME TIME INVESTING IN THE FUTURE, INVESTING IN THOSE THINGS THAT WILL STRENGTHEN AGRICULTURE, CREATE JOBS, STRENGTHEN RURAL COMMUNITIES, NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE BROAD ARRAY OF PRODUCTION, WHAT CONSUMERS ARE ASKING FOR IN ORGANICS, LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS AND SO ON. SO WE BASICALLY PUT TOGETHER A PLAN THAT STARTED WITH THE DEFICIT REDUCTION PROCESS, THE SUPER COMMITTEE, AND WE MADE A RECOMMENDATION OF $23 BILLION IN CUTS, IN DEFICIT REDUCTION. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE BROADER DEFICIT REDUCTION PROCESS DID NOT PROCEED, BUT WE DECIDED TO KEEP THE COMMITMENT TO THAT $23 BILLION. AND SO WE HAVE. WE HAVE MOVED FORWARD, PART OF THOSE CUTS NOW THAT WE HAVE PUT INTO PLACE HAVE BEEN ACCOUNTED FOR BY THE BUDGET OFFICE AS PART OF SEQUESTRATION, MOST HAVE NOT BUT WHEN YOU ADD IT ALL UP, IT'S STILL $23 BILLION THAT WE STARTED WITH BACK IN 20112011 WHEN WE DECIDED, THE FOUR OF US TOGETHER TO SIT DOWN AND LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER, FIND COMMON GROUND AND MAKE SOME TOUGH DECISIONS ABOUT HOW WE COULD DO THINGS BETTER IN THE AREA OF AGRICULTURE AND THE FARM BILL. SO AS WE COME TO A CLOSE I AGAIN WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUES WHO HAVE GIVEN SUCH VALUABLE INPUT AND BEEN INVOLVED EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. I HOPE EVERYONE WILL FEEL A SENSE OF PRIDE THAT THIS IS SOMETHING WE HAVE DONE TOGETHER, THAT PEOPLE EXPECT US TO DO TOGETHER, WHICH IS DO OUR JOBS. AND TO MAKE DECISIONS AND TO GOVERN, AND TO OPERATE IN A WAY THAT ALLOWS US TO LISTEN TO EACH OTHER, FIND COMMON GROUND, AND GET THINGS DONE. I WOULD YIELD THE FLOOR. I WOULD YIELD BACK ALL REMAINING TIME. AND I WOULD ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. UNDER THE PREVIOUS

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  • 02:34:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, ALL POSTCLOTURE TIME HAS EXPIRED AND…

    OBJECTION. UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER, ALL POSTCLOTURE TIME HAS EXPIRED AND THE QUESTION OCCURS ON THE ADOPTION OF THE CONFERENCE REPORT. IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE: VOTE:

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  • 02:35:17 PM

    Senate Vote 21 - On the Conference Report (Conference Report to Accompany HR 2642)

    Farm bill

    Conference Report Agreed to (68 - 32)
    Yea
    Nay

    Vote Details: Yea - 67
    Democratic - 43
    Republican - 22
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Nay - 32
    Republican - 23
    Democratic - 9

  • 03:01:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    TO CHANGE HIS OR HER VOTE? IF NOT ON THIS VOTE THE YEAS ARE 68. THE NAYS…

    TO CHANGE HIS OR HER VOTE? IF NOT ON THIS VOTE THE YEAS ARE 68. THE NAYS ARE 32. AND THE CONFERENCE REPORT IS GRATE TO -- THE CONFERENCE REPORT IS AGREED TO. MR. REID: MADAM PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER. MR. REID:

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  • 03:01:56 PM

    MR. REID

  • 03:01:57 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:01:58 PM

    MR. REID

    PLEASE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE SENATE…

    PLEASE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. THE SENATE WILL BE

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  • 03:02:05 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    IN ORDER. THE SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER.

  • 03:02:10 PM

    MR. REID

    OFFICER TELL ME THE PENDING BUSINESS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE BE MOTION…

    OFFICER TELL ME THE PENDING BUSINESS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE BE MOTION TO PROCEED TO CALENDAR NUMBER 297, S.1950.

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  • 03:02:22 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    MADAM PRESIDENT, DID WE MOVE TO RECONSIDER AND LAY ON THE TABLE THE…

    MADAM PRESIDENT, DID WE MOVE TO RECONSIDER AND LAY ON THE TABLE THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE VOTE?

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  • 03:02:29 PM

    MR. REID

    WE MOVE TO RECONSIDER AND LAY ON THE TABLE THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT OF…

    WE MOVE TO RECONSIDER AND LAY ON THE TABLE THE PRECEDING ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE VOTE?

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  • 03:02:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:02:40 PM

    MR. REID

  • 03:02:42 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:02:46 PM

    MR. REID

    TO CALENDAR NUMBER 297 IS THE PENDING BUSINESS; IS THAT RIGHT? THE…

    TO CALENDAR NUMBER 297 IS THE PENDING BUSINESS; IS THAT RIGHT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MAJORITY LEADER IS CORRECT.

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  • 03:02:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:02:54 PM

    MR. REID

    TO PROCEED. WHAT IS NOW PENDING BEFORE THE SENATE? THE PRESIDING OFFICER:…

    TO PROCEED. WHAT IS NOW PENDING BEFORE THE SENATE? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: S.1845 WHICH THE CLERK

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  • 03:03:03 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WILL REPORT.

  • 03:03:06 PM

    THE CLERK

    NUMBER 265, S.1845 A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXTENSION OF CERTAIN…

    NUMBER 265, S.1845 A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXTENSION OF CERTAIN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. MR. REID: I ASK THE PENDING MOTION TO COMMIT BE WITHDRAWN.

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  • 03:03:19 PM

    MR. REID

    WITHDRAWN.

  • 03:03:22 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO WITHDRAW THE PENDING…

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO WITHDRAW THE PENDING AMENDMENT NUMBER 2631.

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  • 03:03:24 PM

    MR. REID

    IS THERE OBJECTION?

  • 03:03:27 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE OBJECTION?

  • 03:03:29 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    TO OBJECT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE REPUBLICAN LEADER.

  • 03:03:31 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:03:33 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    ORDER IN THE CHAMBER.

  • 03:03:35 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. MR. McCONNELL: WE HAVE A NUMBER OF IDEAS ON THIS…

    SENATE WILL BE IN ORDER. MR. McCONNELL: WE HAVE A NUMBER OF IDEAS ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION, AND WE WOULD LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT THESE IDEAS.

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  • 03:03:37 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    IDEAS ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB…

    IDEAS ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC GROWTH AND JOB CREATION, AND WE WOULD LIKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO OFFER AMENDMENTS TO IMPLEMENT THESE IDEAS. FOR EXAMPLE, SENATOR PAUL HAS AN AMENDMENT TO CREATE ECONOMIC FREEDOM ZONES TO HELP STRUGGLING AREAS OF OUR COUNTRY TO RECOVER FROM ECONOMIC DOWNTURN. SENATOR TIM SCOTT'S SKILLS ACT WOULD IMPROVE JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR THE VERY LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYED. HIS EXTENSION IS ACTUALLY DESIGNED TO HELP. IN ADDITION, SENATOR AYOTTE, COLLINS, PORTMAN AND OTHERS HAVE BEEN WORKING VERY HARD. SENATOR COATS AS WELL; TO COME UP WITH A PATH FORWARD ON A MEANINGFUL OFFSET THAT WOULD EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS WITHOUT ADDING TO THE DEFICIT. THEIR IDEAS HAVE SO FAR BEEN BLOCKED. SO I'D LIKE TO ASK THE MAJORITY LEADER TO MODIFY HIS REQUEST TO PROVIDE FOR AN ORDERLY PROCESS FOR AMENDMENTS. I ASK CONSENT THAT THE PENDING AMENDMENTS AND MOTIONS BE WITHDRAWN AND THAT THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY SIDES BE PERMITTED TO OFFER AMENDMENTS IN ALTERNATING FASHION SO THAT THESE IMPORTANT IDEAS CAN BE CONSIDERED. MR. REID: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT, MR. PRESIDENT. THE

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  • 03:04:47 PM

    MR. REID

    OBJECT, MR. PRESIDENT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: DOES THE MAJORITY LEADER SO…

    OBJECT, MR. PRESIDENT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: DOES THE MAJORITY LEADER SO MODIFY THE REQUEST? MR.

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  • 03:04:51 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    LEADER SO MODIFY THE REQUEST? MR. REID: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. MR.…

    LEADER SO MODIFY THE REQUEST? MR. REID: RESERVING THE RIGHT TO OBJECT. MR. PRESIDENT,

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  • 03:04:55 PM

    MR. REID

    OBJECT. MR. PRESIDENT, WHEN WE LAST DEALT WITH UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, I…

    OBJECT. MR. PRESIDENT, WHEN WE LAST DEALT WITH UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, I OFFERED A UNANIMOUS CONSENT REQUEST AT THAT TIME THAT WOULD HAVE ALLOWED UP TO 20 RELEVANT AMENDMENTS. 20. MR. PRESIDENT, MY FRIEND, THE REPUBLICAN LEADER, IS AGAIN THROUGH A LOT OF WORDS SAYING WE DON'T WANT THIS AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU PASS IT. THERE'S MORE THAN ONE WAY TO FILIBUSTER A BILL. PROVIDING FOR ENDLESS NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS IS ONE OF THE WAYS TO KILL THIS BILL. MR. PRESIDENT, WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO HERE IS OFFER A FULLY PAID FOR THREE-MONTH EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE. IT'S SIMPLE AS THAT. SIMPLE AS THAT. EITHER -- THAT'S WHAT THE REPUBLICANS SAID THEY WANTED, AND WE AGREED TO DO IT. WE WILL NOT AGREE TO AN UNLIMITED NUMBER OF AMENDMENTS. I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES IF THEY HAVE A PROPOSAL THAT'S DIFFERENT THAN THIS, WHICH IS A, AGAIN, A DIFFERENT WAY OF SAYING WE DON'T CARE ABOUT UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION AS IT'S NOW FOCUSED, AND WE'RE NOT GOING TO SUPPORT IT. IN THE MEANTIME, I OBJECT TO AN ORDER PROVIDING AMENDMENTS WITHOUT LIMIT AND WITHOUT ANY COMMITMENT TO VOTE ON PASSAGE OF THE BILL. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: OBJECTION IS HEARD.

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  • 03:06:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION IS HEARD. OBJECTION IS HEARD. MR. REID: I MOVE TO TABLE THE…

    OBJECTION IS HEARD. OBJECTION IS HEARD. MR. REID: I MOVE TO TABLE THE PENDING AMENDMENT NUMBER 2631. MR.

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  • 03:06:39 PM

    MR. REID

    PENDING AMENDMENT NUMBER 2631. MR. McCONNELL: AND I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND…

    PENDING AMENDMENT NUMBER 2631. MR. McCONNELL: AND I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

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  • 03:06:43 PM

    MR. McCONNELL

    THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND?…

    THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. THE CLERK WILL

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  • 03:06:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THERE APPEARS TO BE. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL. VOTE: VOTE: VOTE:

  • 03:07:23 PM

    Senate Vote 22 - On the Motion to Table (Motion to Table Amdt No 2631)

    Relating to extension and modification of emergency unemployment compensation program.

    Motion to Table Agreed to (98 - 0)
    Yea

    Vote Details: Yea - 97
    Republican - 44
    Democratic - 51
    Independent - 2

    Vote Details: Not Voting - 2
    Republican - 1
    Democratic - 1

  • 03:30:13 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WISHING TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE OR VOTE? IF NOT, ON THE MOTION TO TABLE THE…

    WISHING TO CHANGE THEIR VOTE OR VOTE? IF NOT, ON THE MOTION TO TABLE THE AYES ARE 98, THE NAYS ARE ZERO, THE MOTION TO TABLE IS APPROVED. THE MAJORITY LEADER. MR. REID: ON BEHALF OF SENATOR REED OF RHODE ISLAND I HAVE AN AMENDMENT AT THE DESK. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE

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  • 03:30:26 PM

    MR. REID

    ISLAND I HAVE AN AMENDMENT AT THE DESK. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK…

    ISLAND I HAVE AN AMENDMENT AT THE DESK. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE CLERK:

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  • 03:30:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    REPORT. THE CLERK: THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA, MR. REID,

  • 03:30:32 PM

    THE CLERK

    NEVADA, MR. REID, FOR MR. REED OF RHODE ISLAND, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT…

    NEVADA, MR. REID, FOR MR. REED OF RHODE ISLAND, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2714. MR. REID: I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS ON THAT AMENDMENT, MR.

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  • 03:30:40 PM

    MR. REID

    THAT AMENDMENT, MR. PRESIDENT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A…

    THAT AMENDMENT, MR. PRESIDENT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? APPEARS TO BE. THE YEAS AND NAYS

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  • 03:30:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SUFFICIENT SECOND? APPEARS TO BE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE ORDERED. THE CLERK…

    SUFFICIENT SECOND? APPEARS TO BE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE ORDERED. THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

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  • 03:31:04 PM

    MR. REID

  • 03:31:06 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA, MR. REID, PROPOSES AN…

    WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA, MR. REID, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2715 TO AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2714. MR. REID: I

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  • 03:31:08 PM

    THE CLERK

    AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2715 TO AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2714. MR. REID: I HAVE A…

    AN AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2715 TO AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2714. MR. REID: I HAVE A CLOTURE MOTION ON THE REED AMENDMENT I'D ASK BE REPORT HE. THE PRESIDING

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  • 03:31:16 PM

    MR. REID

    THE REED AMENDMENT I'D ASK BE REPORT HE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK…

    THE REED AMENDMENT I'D ASK BE REPORT HE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE CLOTURE MOTION. THE CLERK:

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  • 03:31:21 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE CLOTURE MOTION. THE CLERK: CLOTURE MOTION, WE THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS…

    THE CLOTURE MOTION. THE CLERK: CLOTURE MOTION, WE THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE THE DEBATE ON THE REED OF RHODE ISLAND AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2714 TO S. 1845, A BILL

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  • 03:31:23 PM

    THE CLERK

    UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE…

    UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE THE DEBATE ON THE REED OF RHODE ISLAND AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2714 TO S. 1845, A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXTENSION OF CERTAIN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. SIGNED BY 17 SENATORS AS FOLLOWS -- REID OF NEVADA, REED OF RHODE ISLAND, GILLIBRAND, WHITEHOUSE, SCHATZ, BOXER, CASEY, CARPER, WARREN, MURRAY, BEGICH, BROWN, MERKLEY, KING, SCHUMER, NELSON, COONS.

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  • 03:32:11 PM

    MR. REID

    COMMIT S. 1845 WITH INSTRUCTIONS.

  • 03:32:15 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WILL REPORT.

  • 03:32:18 PM

    THE CLERK

    MOVES TO COMMIT THE BILL TO THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO…

    MOVES TO COMMIT THE BILL TO THE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO REPORT BACK BEING AMENDMENT NUMBER 2716. MR. REID: ON THIS, MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

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  • 03:32:29 PM

    MR. REID

    I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT…

    I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE A SUFFICIENT SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. MR. REID: I HAVE AN AMENDMENT

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  • 03:32:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. MR. REID: I HAVE AN AMENDMENT TO THE…

    SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. MR. REID: I HAVE AN AMENDMENT TO THE INSTRUCTIONS AT THE DESK. THE PRESIDING

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  • 03:32:37 PM

    MR. REID

    INSTRUCTIONS AT THE DESK. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.…

    INSTRUCTIONS AT THE DESK. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: THE SENATOR

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  • 03:32:40 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    REPORT. THE CLERK: THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA, MR. REID, PROPOSES AN…

    REPORT. THE CLERK: THE SENATOR FROM NEVADA, MR. REID, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2717 TO THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE MOTION TO COMMIT.

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  • 03:32:42 PM

    THE CLERK

    REID, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2717 TO THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE MOTION…

    REID, PROPOSES AN AMENDMENT NUMBER 2717 TO THE INSTRUCTIONS OF THE MOTION TO COMMIT.

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  • 03:32:59 PM

    MR. REID

  • 03:33:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SECOND? THERE APPEARS TO BE. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE ORDERED.

  • 03:33:06 PM

    MR. REID

    AT THE DESK. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:33:08 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:33:10 PM

    THE CLERK

    NEVADA, MR. REID PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2718 TO AMENDMENT NUMBERED…

    NEVADA, MR. REID PROPOSES AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2718 TO AMENDMENT NUMBERED 2717. MR. REID: I HAVE A CLOTURE MOTION AT THE DESK.

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  • 03:33:17 PM

    MR. REID

  • 03:33:18 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: CLOTURE MOTION, WE THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN…

    WILL REPORT. THE CLERK: CLOTURE MOTION, WE THE UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE THE DEBATE ON S. 1845,

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  • 03:33:20 PM

    THE CLERK

    UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE…

    UNDERSIGNED SENATORS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF RULE 22 OF THE STANDING RULES OF THE SENATE HEREBY MOVE TO BRING TO A CLOSE THE DEBATE ON S. 1845, A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE EXTENSION OF CERTAIN UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, SIGNED BY 17 SENATORS. MR. REID: WAIVED. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. REID:

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  • 03:33:40 PM

    MR. REID

  • 03:33:41 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:33:42 PM

    MR. REID

    CALENDAR NUMBER 298, S. 1963. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL REPORT.

  • 03:33:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    REPORT.

  • 03:33:49 PM

    THE CLERK

    CALENDAR NUMBER 298, S. 1963, A BILL TO REPEAL SECTION 403 OF THE…

    CALENDAR NUMBER 298, S. 1963, A BILL TO REPEAL SECTION 403 OF THE BIPARTISAN BUDGET ACT OF 2013. MR. REID: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE MANDATORY QUORUM UNDER RULE 22 BE WAIVED FOR THE CLOTURE MOTION JUST FILED AND ON BETTE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5 COUNT AS AN INTERVENING DAY. THE

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  • 03:33:58 PM

    MR. REID

    CONSENT THAT THE MANDATORY QUORUM UNDER RULE 22 BE WAIVED FOR THE CLOTURE…

    CONSENT THAT THE MANDATORY QUORUM UNDER RULE 22 BE WAIVED FOR THE CLOTURE MOTION JUST FILED AND ON BETTE WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 5 COUNT AS AN INTERVENING DAY. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: IS THERE OBJECTION.

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  • 03:34:10 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 03:34:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME TAKE JUST A MOMENT TO EXPLAIN…

    OBJECTION. MR. REID: MR. PRESIDENT, LET ME TAKE JUST A MOMENT TO EXPLAIN WHERE WE ARE. OVER THE

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  • 03:34:13 PM

    MR. REID

    A MOMENT TO EXPLAIN WHERE WE ARE. OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS WE'VE BEEN…

    A MOMENT TO EXPLAIN WHERE WE ARE. OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS WE'VE BEEN STRUGGLING TO TRY TO FIND A WAY TO HELP SOME DESPERATE PEOPLE IN OUR COUNTRY. IT'S HARD TO FIND A WAY TO CONVINCE OUR REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES THAT THESE PEOPLE ARE IN DESPERATE SITUATIONS AND JOINING WITH US IN EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR 1.6 MILLION OF OUR FELLOW CITIZENS. LAST MONTH WE TRIED TO PASS A BIPARTISAN BILL THAT WOULD SIMPLY EXTEND THOSE BENEFITS ON A SHORT-TERM BASIS FOR THREE MONTHS. ALL BUT A FEW REPUBLICANS VOTED AGAINST PROCEEDING TO THAT MEASURE. REPUBLICANS COMPLAINED THAT WE HAD NOT PAID FOR THE EXTENSION SO WE OFFERED THEN A PAID FOR 11-MONTH EXTENSION. EVERY REPUBLICAN VOTED AGAINST CLOTURE ON THIS AMENDMENT. EVERY REPUBLICAN. AND ALL BUT ONE REPUBLICAN VOTED AGAINST CLOTURE ON THE BIPARTISAN THREE-MONTH EXTENSION. SO TODAY WE'RE TRYING YET AGAIN. WE'RE OFFERING AN AMENDMENT THAT EXTENDS -- EXCUSE ME. BENEFITS FOR THREE MONTHS AND PAYS FOR THAT EXTENSION. NOT A DISPUTED, CONTROVERSIAL EXTENSION. AND CERTAINLY NOT A CONTROVERSIAL PAY-FOR. OUR ALTERNATIVE INCLUDES SOMETHING SENATOR COBURN HAS BEEN TALKING ABOUT FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, AN AMENDMENT TO PREVENT MILLIONAIRES FROM GETTING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. BECAUSE IT HAS HAPPENED. A PERSON WON A LOTTERY AND WAS STILL DRAWING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. SO THURSDAY WE'RE GOING TO CLOAT ON CLOTURE ON THAT AMENDMENT. ONE THAT'S PAID FOR AND WOULD TAKE CARE OF THIS ISSUE FOR LOTS OF PEOPLE. AND AFTER THAT WE'LL VOTE ON CLOTURE ON THE BILL AS AMENDED IF WE AMEND IT AND IN THE MEANTIME I'M HAPPY TO CONTINUE DISCUSSION WITH SENATORS ABOUT SETTING UP VOTES ON RELEVANT AMENDMENTS. BUT, MR. PRESIDENT, THE REPUBLICAN LEADER'S PROPOSAL IS ABSOLUTE ABSURDITY. I MEAN I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY DON'T COME OUT AND SAY WE'RE NOT GOING TO DO THIS. WE'RE NOT GOING TO EXTEND UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. BUT THEY HAVE ALTERNATING AMENDMENTS AND THEY WANT AMENDMENTS RELATED TO -- I MEAN IT'S JUST A GEORGE MITCHELL, WHO WAS THE DEMOCRATIC LEADER FOR A PERIOD OF TIME THAT I SERVED HERE, A WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING, HIS STATEMENT WAS DON'T DEPEND ON THE REPUBLICANS. THEY'LL BREAK YOUR HEART EVERY TIME AND THAT'S WHAT THEY'RE DOING. THEY'RE BREAKING OUR HEARTS AND THE 1.6 MILLION PEOPLE, THEIR HEARTS ARE BROKEN. THE MAIN PROPONENT OF THIS BILL HAS BEEN JACK REED FROM RHODE ISLAND. JACK REED AND I HAVE A CONTEST, I WISH WE DIDN'T, AND THAT IS WHICH STATE, RHODE ISLAND OR NEVADA HAS THE HIGHEST UNEMPLOYMENT. WE CARE ABOUT THIS GREATLY. BUT OTHERS CARE ABOUT THIS. I'M SURE THERE ARE SOME REPUBLICANS THAT CARE ABOUT IT BUT WHY ARE THEY HUNG UP ON THIS FOOLISHNESS THAT THEY CAN ONLY DO IT IF ONE TIME THEY HAVE ALTERNATING AMENDMENTS, THEY WOULDN'T TAKE 20 AMENDMENTS, MR. PRESIDENT, THEY ARE -- THERE'S A HANDFUL OF REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE TRIED REALLY HARD, WORKED IN GOOD FAITH WITH SENATOR REED OF RHODE ISLAND. BUT THE PROBLEM IS THEY HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE TEA PARTY DRIVEN REPUBLICANS THAT MAKE UP MOST OF THIS REPUBLICAN CAUCUS. MR. REED:

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  • 03:38:08 PM

    MR. REED

  • 03:38:09 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ISLAND. MR. REED: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT. WE ARE AT A CRITICAL…

    ISLAND. MR. REED: THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MR. PRESIDENT. WE ARE AT A CRITICAL MOMENT. IT HAS

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  • 03:38:11 PM

    MR. REED

    WE ARE AT A CRITICAL MOMENT. IT HAS BEEN 38 DAYS SINCE EMERGENCY…

    WE ARE AT A CRITICAL MOMENT. IT HAS BEEN 38 DAYS SINCE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION EXPIRED FORCING NOW NOT 1.6 MILLION BUT 1.7 MILLION AMERICANS OFF AN ECONOMIC CLIFF. AND ALSO DRAINING $2.2 BILLION FROM STATE ECONOMIES AND THESE ARE ACCORDING TO ESTIMATES AND DATA FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND THE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE. SO THIS HAS HAD A HUGE IMPACT ON FAMILIES AND A HUGE IMPACT ON THE ECONOMIES THROUGHOUT THIS COUNTRY. AND CONGRESS SHOULD BE DOING EVERYTHING IT CAN TO FOCUS ON CREATING JOBS AND IMPROVING OUR ECONOMY. THEERK WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY -- THIS WEEK WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO THAT. THAT'S WHY WE SHOULD VOTE TO RENEW U.I. AND HELP PUT MORE AMERICANS BACK TO WORK AND RESTORING THESE BENEFITS IS AN IMPERATIVE. WE MUST DO IT. WE

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  • 03:46:35 PM

    MS. AYOTTE

  • 03:46:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE. MS. AYOTTE: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I COME…

    SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE. MS. AYOTTE: THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE ATTACK ON OUR CONSULATE ON SEPTEMBER 11 OF 2012. I AM HERE TO

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  • 03:46:38 PM

    MS. AYOTTE

    I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE ATTACK ON OUR CONSULATE ON…

    I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY TO TALK ABOUT THE ATTACK ON OUR CONSULATE ON SEPTEMBER 11 OF 2012. I AM HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT FOUR BRAVE AMERICANS WERE MURDERED THAT DAY BY AN ACT OF TERRORISM, AND ONE OF THEM WAS OUR AMBASSADOR TO LIBYA. WHEN THOSE FOUR AMERICANS WERE KILLED IN BENGHAZI AT OUR CONSULATE. AND I WANT TO TALK ABOUT REALLY WHAT I WAS -- WHAT I BELIEVE IS A PATTERN OF MISINFORMATION, MISIMPRESSIONS, AND, FRANKLY, MISLEADING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THERE AND DURING AN ELECTION SEASON WHAT WAS REPRESENTED ABOUT THE ATTACK ON OUR CONSULATE ON SEPTEMBER 11. LET ME WALK THROUGH SOME OF THE SITUATION AND THE TANGLED WEB THAT WAS REALLY WEAVED HERE. FIRST OF ALL, RIGHT AFTER THIS ATTACK THAT OCCURRED, WE KNOW THAT ON SEPTEMBER 16, AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE APPEARED ON BEHALF OF THE ADMINISTRATION ON EVERY MAJOR SUNDAY TELEVISION SHOW, AND DURING THAT TIME PEOPLE RIGHTLY WANTED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. THIS WAS A BIG DEAL. AN AMBASSADOR HAD BEEN MURDERED, THREE OTHER AMERICANS IN LIBYA, WHERE WE HAD GONE IN TO REMOVE, WORKING WITH OUR NATO PARTNERS, TO GET RID OF QADHAFI AND REALLY HAD ESTABLISHED ALLIANCES WITH LIBYA. AND HERE WE HAVE A MURDERED AMBASSADOR ON SEPTEMBER 11. AND THAT DAY AMBASSADOR RICE DURING THE CONTEXT OF A PRECEDENTIAL ELECTION, WENT ON EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY SHOW. AND WHEN SHE WAS ASKED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY, SHE BLAMED THIS ON THE SPONTANEOUS REACTION TO A HATEFUL VIDEO. WELL, RECENTLY THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE DID SOME VERY GOOD BIPARTISAN WORK, LOOKING AT WHAT HAPPENED ON THE ATTACK OF THE CONSULATE, AND IN THAT REPORT IS SOMETHING VERY, VERY TELLING. IN THAT REPORT, THE REPORT FOUND THAT "CONTRARY TO MANY PRESS REPORTS AT THE TIME, EYEWITNESS STATEMENTS BY U.S. PERSONNEL INDICATE THAT THERE WERE NO PROTESTS AT THE START OF THE ATTACKS. " IN FACT, THE THEN-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE COULD I RECEIVED AN E-MAIL SENT FROM THE C.I.A.'S CHIEF OF STATION IN TRIPOLI TO HIM ON SEPTEMBER 15, FOUR DAYS AFTER THE ATTACKS OCCURRED, AND IN THAT E-MAIL, THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A., MIKE MO MORELL, WERE TOLD THAT THE ATTACKS WERE NOT AN ESCALATION OF PROTESTS. "NOT AN ESCALATION OF PROTESTS." WHY IS THAT IMPORTANT? IT IS IMPORTANT FOR MANY REASONS BECAUSE WHAT ENDS UP HAPPENING DURING THIS PERIOD IS THAT AMBASSADOR RICE IS GOING ON THE SUNDAY SHOWS TO TALK ABOUT THIS. SHE'S DESIGNATED TO DO THIS ON BEHALF OF THE ADMINISTRATION, AND WE'VE ALWAYS WONDERED WHY -- WHY DID SHE GO ON AS OPPOSED TO SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINE CONTINUE OR PERHAPS -- SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON OR PERHAPS. SHE HAS SAID THAT THIS WAS A DIRECT RESULT OF A HEINOUS VIDEO. PROTESTS THAT CAME AS A RESULT OF THIS VIDEO. YET THE DAY BEFORE THE THEN-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. HAD ALREADY GOTTEN AN E-MAIL FROM THE PEOPLE ON THE GROUND, EYEWITNESS STATEMENTS BECAUSE THERE WERE SURVIVORS, PEOPLE WHO SURVIVED THIS ATTACK THAT WERE INTERVIEWED TO FIND OUT LIKE IN ANY SITUATION WHERE YOU'VE HAD A TERRORIST ATTACK OR A MURDER CASE, YOU'RE GOING IT TALK TO THE EYEWITNESSES ON THE GROUND. AND THERE WERE EYEWITNESSES. THEY WERE SPOKEN TO. AS A RESULT OF THOSE EYEWITNESS INTERVIEW, THE DAY BEFORE SHE GOES ON THOSE SUNDAY SHOARKS THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. IS TOLD, THERE WAS NOT AN ESCALATION OF PROTESTS, THAT WHAT HAS BEEN REPORTED, THAT'S NOT THE CASE. YET SHE WENT ON THE SHOW AND SAID THAT ANYWAY. WHAT IS EVEN MORE TROUBLING IS THAT THIS INFORMATION IS COMMUNICATED TO THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. AND SOMEHOW THERE'S TALKING POINTS PREPARED THAT DON'T REFLECT THIS INFORMATION. MOREOVER, WREF THE PRESIDENT OF -- WE HAVE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND SOMEHOW THIS INFORMATION THAT WAS GIVEN TO THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A., NOBODY TELLS THE PRESIDENT. I DON'T KNOW. OR THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE STORY THAT THEY RECEIVED BECAUSE DURING THAT PERIOD OF TIME, IF YOU LOOK AT THIS ON SEPTEMBER 11, THE PRESIDENT GAVE MANY MEDIA INTERVIEWS DURING THIS PERIOD. IT WAS A PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. AND ON SEPTEMBER 18, WHICH IS SEVEN DAYS AFTER THE ATTACKS ON THE CONSULATE, TWO DAYS AFTER SUSAN RICE WENT ON THE SUNDAY SHOWS, THE PRESIDENT IS ON THE DAVE LETTERMAN SHOW. WE'VE ALL WATCHED THE COMEDY, "THE DAVE LETTERMAN SHOW." ANTS DAVE LETTERMAN ASKS HIM ABOUT THE ATTACKS. AND ON THAT SHOW, HE BLAMES IT ON -- HE TALKS ABOUT THE VIDEO, THIS VIDEO BEING A CAUSE OF THE ATTACK ON THE CONSULATE. YET ON SEPTEMBER 15, THE THEN-DENYTYDEPUTY DIRECTOR ALREADY HAD SOME INFORMATION, THIS THE NOT AN ESCALATION OF THE PROTESTS. THERE WERE INTERVIEWS OF SURVIVORS ON THE GROUND. YET A WEEK LATER ON THE DAVE LETTERMAN SHOW, IN FACT THEE DAYS AFTER THIS INFORMATION IS RECEIVED BY THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A., YOU HAVE THE PRESIDENT TALKING ABOUT THE VIDEO. BUT IT ET GOES WORSE. -- BUT IT GETS WORSE. NINE DAYS AFTER THE ATTACK AND IN FACT -- SO ON SEPTEMBER 20, THE PRESIDENT GIVES ANOTHER INTERVIEW AT THE UNIVISION TOWN HALL. THIS IS FIVE DAYS AFTER THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. IS GIVEN THIS INFORMATION, APPARENTLY COMING FROM THE SURVIVORS. WHAT DOES THE PRESIDENT SAY? WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THAT THE NATURAL PROTESTS THAT AROSE BECAUSE OF THE OUTRAGE OVER THE VIDEO WERE USED AS AN EXCUSE BY EXTREMISTS TO SEE IF THEY CAN ALSO DIRECTLY HARM U.S. INTERESTS. WHEN HE'S ASKED ABOUT THE ATTACK ON OUR CONSULATE. AND SO HERE WE HAVE NINE DAYS AFTER THE ATTACK, FIVE DAYS AFTER THIS INFORMATION GIVEN TO MIKE MORELL, THE THEN-DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A., AND YET WE HAVE ANOTHER INTERVIEW ON "THE VIEW," ANOTHER POPULAR SHOW SHOW, 13 DAYS -- ALMOST TWO WEEKS -- AFTER THE ATTACK ON THE CONSULATE. AND AGAIN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES TALKS ABOUT THIS BEING ABOUT THE INDIVIDUAL I DID NOT. -- ABOUT THE VIDEO AND A REACTION TO THE VIDEO. AND SO HERE WE HAVE, I THINK, THE WORK THAT WAS DONE ON THIS, CLEAR MISINFORMATION ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY. AND VERY TROUBLING PATTERN IN THE CONTEXT OF AN ELECTION WHERE ON THOSE SUNDAY SHOWS AMBASSADOR RICE MADE SURE TO TELL EVERYONE, AL QAEDA HAS BEEN DECIMATED BECAUSE THAT WAS THE NARRATIVE DURING THIS TIME PERIOD, THAT AL QAEDA HAS BEEN DECIMATED. AND IF THIS IS A TERRORIST ATTACK, THAT'S GOING TO BE PROBLEMATIC TO THAT NARRATIVE. IN FACT, RECENTLY THE PRESIDENT -- NRVETION WE-- IN FACT, WE HAD TESTIMONY BEFORE THE SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE FROM THEN-SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PAN NET TAVMENT HE SAID THERE WAS NO QUESTION INTO MY MIND THAT IT WAS A TERRORIST ATAFNLGT WHEN I APPEARED BEFORE THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE THREE DAYS AFTER THIS I TOLD TOLD YOU IT WAS A TERRORIST ATAFNLGT BUT SECRETARY PANETTA TOLED MADE CLEAR THAT HE KNEW IT WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK. YET THE PRESIDENT, AGAIN ON SEPTEMBER 12, WHEN EVEN THOUGH THE DAY OF IT HE SAID WE WON'T TOLERATE ANY ACT OF TERROR, HE'S ACTUALLY ASKED DIRECTLY BY THEN THE INTERVIEWER MR. CROFT FROM "60 MINUTES," MR. PRESIDENT, THIS MORNING YOU WENT OUT OF YOUR WAY-TO-A I HAD VO THE USE OF THE WORD "YOU HAVE TERRORISM IN CONNECTION WITH THE LIB A TAFNLG DO YOU BELIEVE THIS WAS A TERRORISM ATTACK? THE PRESIDENT SAID, "WELL, IT IS TOO EARLY TO TELL EXACTLY WHO THIS CAME ABOUT, WHAT GROUP WAS INVOLVED, BUT OBVIOUSLY IT WAS IT WAS AN ATTACK ON AMERICANS." REFUSING TO CALL IT WHAT IT WAS. WHEN HIS OWN SECRETARY OF SECRETARY OF KNEW THAT IT WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK BECAUSE WOULD YOU KNOW THAT THE NARRATIVE WAS THAT AL QAEDA HAS BEEN DECIMATED. IF IT WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK, IT DIDN'T QUITE FIT WITH THE NARRATIVE. IN FACT, RECENTLY, THE PRESIDENT GAVE AN INTERVIEW ON FOX NEWS WITH BILL O'REILLY ON FEBRUARY 2, AND WHAT HE SAID IS, WHEN HE WAS ASKED ABOUT THE ATTACK ON THE SKULL LARKTS HE SAID, "WE REVEALED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EXACTLY WHAT WE UNDERSTOOD AT THE TIME. THE NOTION THAT WE WOULD HIDE THE BALL FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES WHEN A WEEK LATER WE ALL SAID IN FACT THERE WAS A TERRORIST ATTACK TAKING PLACE THE DAY AFTER I SAID IT WAS AN ACT OF TERROR, THAT WOULDN'T BE A VERY GOOD COVER-UP." WELL, I GUESS THE PRESIDENT WHEN HE TOLD MR. O'REILLY THIS, THAT HE FORGOT ABOUT THE INTERVIEW THAT HE GAVE. IN FACT ON "THE VIEW," WHICH WAS ALMOST TWO WEEKS AFTER THIS EVENT, 13 DAYS AFTER IT, OBAMA ALMOST TWO WEEKS LATER WHEN IN FACT HE WAS ASKED ABOUT MS. BEHAR, "I HEARD HILLARY CLINTON SAY IT WAS AN ACT OF TERRORISM. IS IT? WHAT DO YOU SNAI WELL, HE SAYS, "WE'RE STILL DOING AN INVESTIGATION. THERE'S NO DOUBT THAT THE KIND OF WEAPONS THAT WERE USED, THE ONGOING ASSAULT, THAT IT WASN'T JUST A MOB ACTION." THIS IS IN THE CONTEXT WHERE OF COURSE HIS SECRETARY OF DEFENSE SAID HE KNEW RIGHT AWAY IT WAS AN ACT OF TERRORISM. HE CAME TO THE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE THREE DAYS AFTERWARD AND SAID IT WAS AN ACT OF TERRORISM AND AGAIN WITHIN A WEEK HE ISN'T SAYING IT IS AN ACT OF TERRORISM WHEN HE IS DIRECTLY ASKED, WAS IT AN ACT OF TERRORISM? NOW, IN THIS RECENT INTERVIEW WITH MR. O'REILLY, THE PRESIDENT TALKED ABOUT THE SECURITY AT THE CONSULATE. IN FACT, THERE WAS A STRONG REPORT RECENTLY DONE BY THE SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE ON A BIPARTISAN BASIS. IN FACT ONE OF THE ISSUES THAT THEY RAISED DEEP CONCERNS ABOUT IT IS THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT SHOULD HAVE INCREASED ITS SECURITY POSTURE MORE SIGNIFICANTLY IN BENGHAZI, BASED UPON A DETERIORATING SECURITY SITUATION ON THE GROUND AND THAT THE THREAT REPORTING ON THE PRIOR ATTACKS AGAINST WESTERNERS IN BENGHAZI, THERE WERE MANY CABLES LEADING UP TO THIS THEREAFTERTHAT HAVEBEEN MADE PUBLIC, THEY WARRANTED THAT THERE WAS SUFFICIENT WARNING THAT THE SECURITY SHOULD HAVE BEEN INCREASED AT THE CONSULATE AND THE PRESIDENT ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IN HIS RECENT INTERVIEW WITH MR. O'REILLY, WHERE HE SAID "IN THE AFTERMATH WHAT BECAME CLEAR WAS THAT THE SECURITY WAS LAX, THAT NOT ALL THE PRECAUTIONS THAT NEEDED TO BE TAKEN WERE TAKEN." THAT'S CERTAINLY CONFIRMED BY THE BIPARTISAN SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE. IF THAT'S THE CASE, YES IS IT THAT AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE WAS ON THE SUNDAY SHOWS ON SEPTEMBER 16 WHERE SHE SAID ON THE SHOWS TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THAT DAY. AND SHE IS DIRECTLY ASKED BY CHRIS WALLACE IN AN INTERVIEW, HE SAYS, "TERROR CELLS IN BENGHAZI HAD CARRIED OUT FIVE ATTACKS SINCE APRIL, INCLUDING A BOMBING AT THE SAME CONSULATE IN JUNE. SHOULD U.S. SECURITY HAVE BEEN TIGHTER ON THAT CONSULATE GIVEN THE HISTORY OF TERROR ACTIVITY IN BEN GAS DISMI" WHAT'S HER RESPONSE? "WELL, WE OBVIOUSLY DID HAVE A STRONG SECURITY PRESENCE." BUT NOT ONLY THAT. ON OTHER INTERVIEWS SHE GAVE THAT DAY -- SHE WAS ON SEVERAL SHOWS. ABC WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS. SHE WAS ON "FACE THE NATION" WITH BOB SCHIEFFER. SHE WAS ASKED ABOUT THE SECURITY AT THE CONSOLATE AND SHE ALSO DESCRIBED IT AS SUBSTANTIAL, SECURITY AT THE CONSOLATE THAT DAY. WHAT WAS THE BASIS FOR THAT? DID ANYBODY GIVE HER INFORMATION THAT THE CONSOLATE THAT DAY, SECURITY WAS SIGNIFICANT, SUBSTANTIAL AND STRONG? BECAUSE THERE WAS ABSOLUTELY NO EVIDENCE OF THAT. IN FACT, EVERYTHING FOUND IN THIS INVESTIGATION HAS SHOWN THAT SECURITY WAS ABSOLUTELY LAX AT THAT CONSOLATE, UNACCEPTABLY SO GIVEN THE PRIOR HISTORY OF INTELLIGENCE AT THE CONSOLATE, GIVEN THE PRIOR ATTACKS THAT HAD BEEN MADE NOT ONLY ON THE BRITISH, ON THE RED CROSS. AND THIS REALLY WAS UNFORTUNATELY A DEATH TRAP. AND SO WHY IS SHE THEN, IN THE CONTEXT OF AN ELECTION NOT ONLY PUSHING THE VIDEO STORY -- THE PRESIDENT AS WELL -- BUT ALSO SAYING THE CONSULATE SECURITY IS STRONG, IT WAS SIGNIFICANT WHEN THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF THAT. IN FACT, IT ALL GOES TO THE CONTRARY. FINALLY, YOU KNOW, THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF DISCUSSION ABOUT THE FACT THAT THE -- ABOUT THE VIDEO. AMBASSADOR RICE WENT ON THE SUNDAY SHOWS. SHE TALKS ABOUT THE VIDEO. SHE TALKS ABOUT THE CAUSAL EFFECT OF THE VIDEO IN TERMS OF OF THE ATTACKS ON THE CONSULATE. IN FACT, WHAT SHE SAYS ESSENTIALLY IS THIS WAS THE DIRECT RESULT OF A HEINOUS VIDEO THAT WAS WIDELY DISSEMINATE AND WHICH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH WHICH WE HAVE MADE CLEAR IS REPREHENSIBLE AND DISGUSTING AND MADE CLEAR IN SAYING THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR VIOLENCE AND CONDEMNED IT IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS. THIS DIRECT RESULT OF A HEINOUS VIDEO WHICH SHE SAID ON ALL THE SUNDAY SHOWS, WHICH THE PRESIDENT THEN ALSO TALKED ABOUT IN THE INTERVIEWS THAT I HAVE JUST REFERENCED, THE INTERVIEW A WEEK LATER ON DAVID LETTERMAN, THE INTERVIEW NINE DAYS AFTER THE ATTACK ON UNIVISION, THE INTERVIEW TWO WEEKS LATER ON "THE VIEW" WHERE THEY'RE STILL TALKING ABOUT THE VIDEO. I THOUGHT IT WAS FASCINATING FROM THE BEGINNING THE TALKING POINTS. THE TALKING POINTS WERE CREATED FORDICE SEPL NATION. IN FACT -- FOR DISSEMINATION. AMBASSADOR RICE WAS GIVEN THESE TALKING POINTS, SAID SHE RELIED UPON THEM AND THERE WAS SERIOUS DEFICIENCIES WITH THESE TALKING POINTS. EVEN SO, I CHALLENGE PEOPLE TO FIND ANY REFERENCE TO A VIDEO IN THESE TALKING POINTS. I LOOKED AND I LOOKED AND I LOOKED, AND I COULDN'T SEE THE WORD "VIDEO" IN THESE TALKING POINTS ANYWHERE. YET WE HAVE AMBASSADOR SUSAN RICE ON BEHALF OF THE ADMINISTRATION ON SEPTEMBER 16, EVERY SUNDAY SHOW TALKING ABOUT THE VIDEO, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES ON DAVID LETTERMAN A WEEK LATER TALKING ABOUT THE VIDEO, THE PRESIDENT NINE DAYS LATER AFTER THE ATTACK ON UNIVISION TALKING ABOUT A VIDEO, ALMOST TWO WEEKS LATER, 13 DAYS LATER ON "THE VIEW" TALKING ABOUT A VIDEO. AND YET THERE ISN'T A REFERENCE TO A VIDEO IN THESE TALKING POINTS. I'VE NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHERE DID THE VIDEO STORY COME FROM. DO YOU THINK WE'LL EVER GET THE ANSWER TO THAT? BECAUSE I THINK WE DESERVE AN ANSWER TO THAT, ESPECIALLY NOW THAT BECAUSE OF THE RECENT INTEL REPORT, WE KNOW THAT THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A., THE DAY BEFORE AMBASSADOR RICE FIRST APPEARED ON THOSE SUNDAY SHOWS TO TELL THE STORY, THAT HE RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL THAT REPORTED THAT THE ATTACKS WERE NOT -- NOT AN ESCALATION OF PROTESTS. SO IF IT'S NOT AN ESCALATION OF PROTESTS, LET'S LOOK AT THESE TALKING POINTS AGAIN. THESE TALKING POINTS DON'T REFER TO A VIDEO. WE'RE NOT SURE HOW THAT STORY GOT TOLD. BUT THEN WHY IS IT THAT THE TALKING POINTS THAT DID GO OUT SAY THAT AVAILABLE CURRENT INFORMATION SUGGESTS THAT DEMONSTRATIONS IN BENGHAZI WERE SPONTANEOUSLY INSPIRED BY THE PROTESTS AT THE U.S. EMBASSY IN CAIRO AND EVOLVED INTO A DIRECT ASSAULT AGAINST OUR U.S. DIPLOMATIC POST IN BENGHAZI AND SUBSEQUENTLY ITS ANNEX AND THAT THEY WERE PARTICIPATING IN VIOLENT DEMONSTRATIONS. SO HOW COME WHAT HE LEARNED THE DAY BEFORE WASN'T TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT IN TERMS OF WHAT WAS REPRESENTED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE? AND I THINK A BIGGER QUESTION IS HOW IS IT THAT THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. CAN RECEIVE RELEVANT AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION, AND THAT INFORMATION NEVER GETS TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AS LATE AS NINE DAYS LATER? BECAUSE ON SEPTEMBER 24 ON "THE VIEW" HE'S STILL TALKING ABOUT THIS VIDEO. YET, IT TURNS OUT THAT THE VIDEO NEVER HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS. YOU KNOW, IT JUST -- IT REALLY RAISES SO MANY QUESTIONS IN TERMS OF THE TANGLED WEB OF THIS WHOLE SITUATION. AND I HAVE YET TO TALK ABOUT WHAT WAS AN INCREDIBLE CHANGE IN THESE TALKING POINTS WHICH WAS THE REMOVAL OF THE REFERENCE TO AL QAEDA. THE ORIGINAL SET OF TALKING POINTS, BEFORE THEY WENT THROUGH VARIOUS MODIFICATIONS TALKED ABOUT AL QAEDA OR THE POTENTIAL OF AL QAEDA AFFILIATED GROUPS BEING INVOLVED IN THESE ATTACKS. OF COURSE THAT NOW HAS BEEN CONFIRMED BY THE BIPARTISAN SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT RECENTLY REVEALED. BUT AT THE TIME THE REFERENCE TO AL QAEDA WAS REMOVED FROM THESE TALKING POINTS. AND IT WAS REMOVED FROM THESE TALKING POINTS, AND AMBASSADOR RICE WAS FREE TO GO ON THE SUNDAY SHOWS SEPTEMBER 16, AND SHE SAID AL QAEDA HAD BEEN DECIMATED. IMAGINE IF THE TALKING POINTS HAD REFERRED, KEPT THE REFERENCE TO AL QAEDA. DO YOU THINK THAT SHE WOULD HAVE GONE ON EVERY SUNDAY SHOW AND SAID AL QAEDA HAD BEEN DECIMATED? I WOULD HOPE NOT BECAUSE IT WAS NOT TRUE THAT AL QAEDA HAD BEEN DECIMATED, AS EVIDENCED BY THE ATTACKS ON OUR CONSULATE. WE STILL DON'T KNOW HOW, WHY THAT, WHO REMOVED THE REFERENCE AND WHAT HAPPENED WITH THESE TALKING POINTS. BUT WHAT REALLY TROUBLES ME ALSO IS THAT THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE C.I.A. WHO IS SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT SAYS RECEIVED THIS E-MAIL ON SEPTEMBER 15 THAT SAID THE ATTACKS WERE NOT AN ESCALATION OF PROTEST, HE WORKED ON THESE TALKING POINTS. HE WAS PART OF THE GROUP THAT ACTUALLY HAD FEEDBACK ON THE TALKING POINTS THAT WENT OUT THE DOOR. AND YET, SOMEHOW THIS WASN'T INCLUDED. THE AL QAEDA REFERENCE WAS REMOVED. AND APPARENTLY NO ONE, EVEN AFTER RECEIVING THE ACTUAL EYEWITNESS INTERVIEWS OF WHAT HAPPENED ON THE SCENE, EVER THOUGHT TO GO TO THE ADMINISTRATION, WHAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES -- AND CORRECT HIM, BY THE WAY, WE'RE NOT SURE THIS VIDEO REALLY, THIS PANS OUT, THAT IT'S A DEMONSTRATION, THIS IS A PROTEST IN RESPONSE TO A VIDEO. YET SOMEHOW THAT DOESN'T GET UP THE CHAIN OF COMMAND? WE GOT BIG PROBLEMS IF THAT KIND OF INFORMATION IS NOT GETTING UP THE CHAIN OF COMMAND. AND THAT'S NEVER BEEN ANSWERED AS TO WHY THAT WOULD HAPPEN AND WHY THOSE REPRESENTATIONS WERE MADE WHEN THERE WAS INTEL THAT CONTRADICTED IT. FINALLY, MOST OF ALL, THE PRESIDENT SAID THAT HE WAS GOING TO BRING THE INDIVIDUALS THAT COMMITTED THESE ATTACKS TO JUSTICE. NO ONE HAS BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. AND FOR THE FAMILIES WHO LOST LOVED ONES BECAUSE OF THE TERRORIST ATTACK ON OUR CONSULATE, THEY DESERVE TO HAVE THESE TERRORISTS BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. AND IN FACT, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE'VE SEEN IN SOME OF THE REPORTS, THE INTEL COMMITTEE ITSELF ESSENTIALLY IDENTIFIES THAT MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER THE BENGHAZI ATTACKS THE TERRORISTS WHO PERPETRATED THE ATTACKS HAVE STILL NOT BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HAS IDENTIFIED SEVERAL INDIVIDUALS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ATTACK. THE ATTACKS, I SHOULD SAY, BECAUSE THESE WERE MORE THAN ONE ATTACK. AND SO THE INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY HAS IDENTIFIED THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE ATTACKS. AND, IN FACT, SOME OF THESE INDIVIDUALS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED WITH A STRONG LEVEL OF CONFIDENCE. SO WHY HASN'T ANYONE BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE? WHY HAVEN'T WE PURSUED THIS TO PICK THE PEOPLE WHO COMMITTED THESE TERRORIST ATTACKS UP TO GET THEM TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE? THE VICTIMS DESERVE JUSTICE, AND THEY HAVE NOT SEEN JUSTICE. AND I HOPE THAT WE WILL GET THOSE INDIVIDUALS, THESE TERRORISTS THAT MURDERED OUR AMBASSADOR AND THREE OTHER BRAVE AMERICANS ON SEPTEMBER 11 OF 2012 AND BRING THEM TO JUSTICE, BECAUSE IT IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE THAT THAT HAS NOT HAPPENED RIGHT NOW. AND IN FACT, WHAT REALLY BOTHERS ME IS WE HAVE SEEN PRESS REPORTS OF PEOPLE LIKE ABU KHATTALA WHO HAS BEEN ASSOCIATED, REPORTED TO HAVE ESTABLISHED ANSAR AL SHARIA, AN AL QAEDA AFELL EDUCATED GROUP -- AFFILIATED GROUP, THAT THEY IDENTIFY HIM AS A PRIOR COMMANDER OF THE GROUP. THAT WITNESSES AT THE ATTACK IDENTIFY THIS MAN AS BEING THERE THAT NIGHT DURING THE ATTACKS ON OUR CONSULATE. AND YET, WE HAVEN'T PICKED HIM UP OR ANYONE ELSE. IN FACT, HE'S GIVING PRESS INTERVIEWS, SITTING AT CAFES AND PRESS IN THE UNITED STATES ARE ABLE TO FIND HIM, INTERVIEW HIM, TALK TO HIM. AND YET, WE HAVEN'T BROUGHT ANYONE IN. WE HAVEN'T BROUGHT HIM IN. THERE'S BEEN REPORTS THAT THERE MAY BE A SECRET WARRANT FOR HIM IN SOME OF THE NEWS REPORTS. YET, HE HASN'T BEEN BROUGHT IN. SO WHERE IS THE ATTENTION TO THIS? I'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS TANGLED WEB THAT HAS BEEN WEAVED THAT IS REALLY TROUBLING IN TERMS OF THE MISIMPRESSIONS AND MISLEADING NATURE OF HOW THIS HAS BEEN MISREPRESENTED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. BUT I WOULD HOPE THAT WE WOULD ALL FOCUS ON BRINGING THE PEOPLE WHO COMMITTED THESE TERRORIST ATTACKS TO JUSTICE, BECAUSE THE VICTIMS OF THESE TERRORIST ATTACKS DESERVE JUSTICE. AND BY THE WAY, THE TERRORISTS THAT COMMITTED THESE ACTS AGAINST OUR CONSULATE, THEY NEED TO KNOW THAT WE'RE COMING AFTER THEM, THAT WE'RE GOING TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE. YOU COMMIT A TERRORIST ATTACK AGAINST OUR COUNTRY, AND YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN A POSITION TO BE OUT DRINKING COFFEE IN A CAFE. YOU NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE SO THAT WE CAN SEND A MESSAGE TO OTHER TERRORISTS, DON'T MESS WITH THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. AND RIGHT NOW THEY'RE GETTING THE OPPOSITE MESSAGE, WITH NO ONE BEING HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE ATTACKS, THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON OUR CONSULATE ON SEPTEMBER 11 OF 2012. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

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  • 04:13:59 PM

    MR. CRUZ

  • 04:14:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    TEXAS. MR. CRUZ: I'D LIKE TO COMMEND THE SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE FOR…

    TEXAS. MR. CRUZ: I'D LIKE TO COMMEND THE SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE FOR HER STIRRING REMARKS ON THE TERROR ATTACKS IN BENGHAZI AND URGE WE PAY HEED TO THE WORDS SHE JUST SAID.

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  • 04:14:03 PM

    MR. CRUZ

    FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE FOR HER STIRRING REMARKS ON THE TERROR ATTACKS IN…

    FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE FOR HER STIRRING REMARKS ON THE TERROR ATTACKS IN BENGHAZI AND URGE WE PAY HEED TO THE WORDS SHE JUST SAID. IT IS STRIKING THE SENATOR FROM NEW HAMPSHIRE HAS SAID MORE ABOUT THAT TERRORIST ATTACK THAT OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF HAS EVER SAID. MR. PRESIDENT, WE'RE AT A TIME WHERE THE CLASSIC "THE HOBBITT" IS ONE OF THE BEST SELLING, MOST POPULAR MOVIES IN THE COUNTRY. THE HOBBITT IS A FANTASY STORY, AND IN WASHINGTON WE WERE VISITED WITH FANTASY LAST WEEK IN THE PRESIDENT'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS. I'D LIKE TO TALK TODAY ABOUT THE CONTRAST CONCERNING FOREIGN POLICY BETWEEN THE FANTASY THAT WAS PRESENTED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE COLD HARD REALITIES OF THE DANGEROUS WORLD IN WHICH WE LIVE WHICH IS ONLY GETTING MORE AND MORE DANGEROUS. IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS LAST WEEK, PRESIDENT OBAMA GAVE SOME REVEALING CLUES AS TO HOW HE BELIEVES THE UNITED STATES SHOULD INTERACT WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD. ON THE WHOLE, HIS REMARKS ENCOURAGED AMERICANS NOT TO WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT INTERNATIONAL CHALLENGES. AS HE SUGGESTED THE SITUATIONS IN SYRIA AND IRAN ARE BEING DEFTLY MANAGED BY AMERICAN DIPLOMATS, THAT AL QAEDA IS NOW A REGIONAL SUESANCE THAT CAN BE OUTSOURCED TO SURROGATES, THAT OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH ISRAEL IS DEFINED BY THE PALESTINIAN PEACE PROCESS, WHICH WILL ALSO BE RESOLVED IN SHORT ORDER THROUGH AMERICAN DIPLOMACY, THAT OUR INTEREST IN UKRAINE IS TO EXPRESS SUPPORT FOR THE ABSTRACT PRINCIPLE THAT ALL PEOPLE SHOULD PEACEFULLY PARTICIPATE IN THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS. IN THIS ROSY SCENARIO, DIFFICULT CHALLENGES SUCH AS THE DEADLY TERRORIST ATTACKS ON BENGHAZI ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2012, OR THE LONG AND PAINFUL ORDEAL OF PASTOR SAYED ABIDINI IN AN IRANIAN PRISON SIMPLY DO NOT EXIST. I WISH WE ALL LIVED IN THE UTOPIAN WORLD THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA PAINTED LAST WEEK, BUT IN JUST A WEEK, PICKING UP THE NEWSPAPER, NUMEROUS NEWS REPORTS HAVE COME OUT TO SUGGEST THAT THAT PICTURE BELONGS FAR MORE IN THE WORLD OF FANTASY THAN REALITY. IN THE INTEREST OF BEING HONEST WITH THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHICH I WISH OUR COMMANDER IN CHIEF HAD DONE, I WOULD LIKE TO CONTRAST REALITY WITH WHAT WE WERE TOLD LAST WEEK. ON SYRIA, IN THE STATE OF THE UNION, THE PRESIDENT CLAIMED -- QUOTE -- "AMERICAN DIPLOMACY BACKED BY THE THREAT OF FORCE IS WHY SYRIA'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS ARE BEING ELIMINATED, AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO USHER IN THE FUTURE THE SYRIAN PEOPLE DESERVE, A FUTURE FREE OF DICTATORSHIP, TERROR AND FEAR." TRULY A ROSY SCENARIO, AND YET WHAT IS THE REALITY? ON SUNDAY, JUST FOUR DAYS AFTER THE PRESIDENT DELIVERED THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY REPORTEDLY TOLD A CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION THAT THE ADMINISTRATION'S SYRIA POLICY IS ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE. SYRIA'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS ARE PURPORTEDLY BEING DESTROYED THROUGH THE INTERVENTION OF VLADIMIR PUTIN IN WHAT WAS A MAJOR DIPLOMATIC VICTORY FOR THE RUSSIAN STRONGMAN, BUT WE HAVE LEARNED IN RECENT DAYS THAT THIS PROCESS HAS NOT PROCEEDED AS PROMISED. THE SYRIANS HAVE IGNORED THEIR DEADLINES, AND ONLY 4% OF THE STOCKPILES HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED. UNDOUBTEDLY BECAUSE ASSAD KNOWS THAT THERE IS NO COMPELLING REASON FOR HIM TO COMPLY. AS FOR WHAT THE SYRIAN PEOPLE DESERVE, AFTER THREE YEARS OF RUTTERLESS U.S. POLICY, OVER 130,000 ARE DEAD. MILLIONS ARE REFUGEES DISPLACED ACROSS THE REGION. AND THE OLDEST CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES ON THE PLANET ARE THREATENED WITH EXTINCTION. ASSAD IS ENTRENCHED AND AL QAEDA IS IN CONTROL OF THE OPPOSITION. SADLY, AS A RESULT OF THE PRESIDENT'S MISMANAGEMENT, TODAY WE HAVE NO GOOD OPTIONS IN SYRIA, AND YET NOT A WORD OF THAT MADE IT INTO HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS. ON IRAN, THE PRESIDENT CLAIMED -- QUOTE -- "IT IS AMERICAN DIPLOMACY BACKED BY PRESSURE THAT HAS HALTED THE PROGRESS OF IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM. THE REALITY, MR. PRESIDENT, IS QUITE DIFFERENT. NO ENRICHED URANIUM HAS BEEN DESTROYED, NOT A POUND, AND NO CENTRIFUGES HAVE BEEN DISMANTLED. THE IRANIANS QUICKLY REFUTED THE PRESIDENT'S CLAIM IN THE STATE OF THE UNION, ANNOUNCING QUITE PUBLICLY THAT THEY HAVE NOT HALTED THEIR PROGRESS IN THE SLIGHTEST. AMERICA'S CLOSEST ALLY IN THE REGION, THE NATION OF ISRAEL, HAS CALLED THIS A -- QUOTE -- "VERY, VERY BAD DEAL. INDEED, PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU HAS REFERRED TO IT AS AN HISTORIC MISTAKE. AND YET THE PRESIDENT PROCEEDS ON AND THE UNITED STATES SENATE REFUSES EVEN TO ALLOW A VOTE ON REI AM POSING SANCTIONS TO PREVENT IRAN FROM ACQUIRING NUCLEAR WEAPONS CAPABILITY. THERE HAS BEEN NO RENUNCIATION OF IRAN'S STATE SPONSORSHIP OF TERRORISM THAT KILLED AMERICANS IN LEBANON AND SAUDI ARABIA AND AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ, AND THE MUSCLE LAS -- MULLAHS HAVE GONE ON A HANGING SPREE, EXECUTING SOME 40 PEOPLE IN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF JANUARY ALONE. MEANWHILE, BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE FLOWING INTO THE COUNTRY, BOTH THROUGH RELAXED SANCTIONS AND IRAN'S RE-EMERGENCE AS A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS PARTNER BECAUSE OF THIS ADMINISTRATION'S MISGUIDED DEAL. INDEED, IRANIAN PRESIDENT ROUHANI MIGHT ALMOST BE FORGIVEN FOR PUBLICLY GLOATING THAT -- QUOTE -- "THE GENEVA DEAL MEANS THE SURRENDER OF THE BIG POWERS IN FRONT OF THE GREAT NATION OF IRAN." MR. PRESIDENT, I WISH HE WERE NOT SPEAKING THE TRUTH, BUT THAT REALITY DID NOT EMERGE ON THE HOUSE FLOOR LAST WEEK. ON THE HOUSE FLOOR, THE PRESIDENT CLAIMED -- QUOTE -- "IF JOHN F. KENNEDY AND RONALD REAGAN COULD NEGOTIATE WITH THE SOVIET UNION, THEN SURELY A STRONG AND CONFIDENT AMERICA CAN NEGOTIATE WITH LESS POWERFUL ADVERSARIES TODAY. THE REALITY IS THAT THE CLAIM THAT WE ARE NEGOTIATING WITH IRAN FROM A POSITION OF STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE IS A BLINKERED VIEW OF REALITY BECAUSE IT ISN'T EVEN CLEAR OUR PRESIDENT IS NEGOTIATING TOWARDS ACTUAL VICTORY. CAPITULATION IS NOT VICTORY. PRESIDENT OBAMA ANNOUNCED IN THE STATE OF THE UNION THAT IN ORDER TO KEEP NEGOTIATIONS GOING, HE WOULD VETO ANY ADDITIONAL SANCTIONS CONGRESS MIGHT PASS TO PRESSURE IRAN TO ACTUALLY STOP PURSUING NUCLEAR WEAPONS, A POSITION THAT IS SUPPORTED NOT ONLY BY HIS CURRENT ADMINISTRATION BUT EXPRESSLY BY HIS FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON. IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JABAD ZARIFF HAS GOOD REASON TO ANNOUNCE PUBLICLY THAT HE HAS -- QUOTE -- NO FEAR OF CONGRESS. WHEN RONALD REAGAN NEGOTIATED WITH THE SOVIETS, DEIT FROM A CLEAR STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE OF WE WIN, THEY LOSE. STANDING FOR U.S. NATIONAL INTERESTS, HE WAS FACING AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT THAT HE DEFINED AS AN EVIL EMPIRE. THERE WAS NO DANGER OF MISUNDERSTANDING WHAT THE GOAL WAS OR WHO WAS GOING TO BE DOING THE SURRENDERING, AND AS A RESULT OF HIS LEADERSHIP, THE COLD WAR WAS WON WITHOUT FIRING A SHOT. TODAY, MR. PRESIDENT, ON IRAN, WE ARE TRAGICALLY REPEATING THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST. IN PARTICULAR, THE MISTAKES OF THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION IN RELAXING SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA FOR THE SAME EMPTY PROMISES THAT THEY WOULD CEASE DEVELOPING NUCLEAR WEAPONS ONLY TO HAVE NORTH KOREA USE THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS WE SENT TO THEM OR ALLOWED TO GO TO THEM TO DEVELOP NUCLEAR WEAPONS. THE DIFFERENCE IS THE NORTH KOREAN LEADER IS MOTIVATED BY STAYING IN POWER, WHICH MEANS SOME FORM OF RATIONAL DETERRENCE IS HOPEFULLY POSSIBLE. IN IRAN, THE SUPREME LEADER HAS MADE CLEAR HIS DESIRE TO DESTROY THE NATION OF ISRAEL, AND AS A RESULT OF THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS GOING TO IRAN RIGHT NOW, THE RISK IS UNACCEPTABLY HIGH THAT WE DISCOVER THE SAME THING THAT HAPPENED IN NORTH KOREA HAPPENED IN IRAN, EXCEPT THAT WE DISCOVER IT BECAUSE IRAN IN PURSUIT OF JIHAD DETONATES A NUCLEAR DEVICE OVER TEL AVIV OR NEW YORK OR LOS ANGELES. NOT A WORD OF THAT WAS ACKNOWLEDGED IN THE PRESIDENT'S SPEECH. ON AL QAEDA, PRESIDENT OBAMA CLAIMED -- QUOTE -- "WE HAVE PUT AL QAEDA'S CORE LEADERSHIP ON A PATH TO DEFEAT. THE THREAT IS INVOLVED AS AL QAEDA AFFILIATES AND OTHER EXTREMISTS TAKE ROOT IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD. IN YEMEN, SOMALIA, IRAQ AND MALI, WE HAVE TO KEEP WORKING WITH PARTNERS TO DISRUPT AND DISABLE THOSE NETWORKS. THE REALITY, MR. PRESIDENT, WHATEVER PATH AL QAEDA IS ON, IT DOES NOT CURRENTLY APPEAR TO BE TOWARD DEFEAT. THE RECENT ASSERTION BY A STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESWOMAN THAT ZAWAHIRI ZAWAHIRI IS THE -- AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI IS THE ONLY CORPSMAN LEFT IS FALSE. FOR STARTERS, ZAWAHIRI IS NO MERE ABSTRACT THREAT. HE SPECIFICALLY CALLS FOR ATTACKS ON THE UNITED STATES ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2012, THE DAY BEFORE THE TERRORIST ATTACK THAT CLAIMED THE LIVES OF FOUR AMERICANS IN BENGHAZI, INCLUDING THE FIRST U.S. AMBASSADOR KILLED ON DUTY SINCE 1979. AND ZAWAHIRI IS ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN DIRECTING AL QAEDA GROUPS THAT ARE ACTIVE IN SYRIA. BUT CORE OR NONCORE, WHATEVER THAT MEANS, THE REALITY IS THAT AL QAEDA HAS BEEN AT WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES, AND THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001, ARE ONLY THE MOST SPECTACULAR OF A SERIES OF ATTACKS AND ATTEMPTED ATTACKS LAUNCHED AT US. TRYING TO PARSE THIS THREAT TO MAKE IT SEEM LESS DEADLY TO MAKE IT SEEM LIKE LESS OF A THREAT TO AMERICANS WILL NOT MAKE IT SO. WE NEED TO CONFRONT WHAT ATTACKED US IN 2001. YOU CANNOT DEFEAT RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM WHEN THE PRESIDENT SEEMS UNWILLING TO UTTER THE TERMS RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM. AND INDEED, THE RECENT SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE DOCUMENTED THAT WHAT ATTACKED US IN LIBYA IN 2012 IS THE VERY SAME THING THAT ATTACKED US ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001. WE SHOULD NOT AIM SIMPLY TO DISRUPT OR TO DISABLE AL QAEDA TERRORISTS. WE SHOULD AIM TO DEFEAT THEM. ON ISRAEL, MR. PRESIDENT, THE STATE OF THE UNION, THE PRESIDENT HAD ONE MENTION OF ISRAEL IN THAT SPEECH. HE SAID -- QUOTE -- "AMERICAN DIPLOMACY IS SUPPORTING ISRAELIS AND PALESTINIANS AS THEY ENGAGE IN DIFFICULT BUT NECESSARY TALKS TO END THE CONFLICT THERE, TO ACHIEVE DIGNITY AND AN INDEPENDENT STATE FOR PALESTINIANS AND A LASTING PEACE AND SECURITY FOR THE STATE OF ISRAEL, A JEWISH STATE THAT KNOWS AMERICA WILL ALWAYS BE AT THEIR SIDE. THE REALITY, MR. PRESIDENT, IS SADLY MUCH DIFFERENT. OVER THE WEEKEND, WE SAW A DIPLOMATIC SPAT PLAY OUT IN THE PRESS OVER ALLEGATIONS THAT SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY IS ACTIVELY WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES TO ENCOURAGE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO THREATEN ISRAEL WITH BOYCOTTS IF THE ISRAELIS DON'T AGREE TO WHATEVER FRAMEWORK MR. KERRY WILL PROPOSE IN TWO WEEKS. RATHER THAN THREATS FROM THE U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE AND RATHER THAN TWEETS FROM NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR SUSAN RICE CRITICIZING ISRAEL, INSTEAD THE UNITED STATES SHOULD STAND UNEQUIVOCALLY WITH OUR FRIEND AND ALLY, THE NATION OF ISRAEL. WE SHOULD REAFFIRM ISRAEL'S UNIQUE STATUS AS A STRONG DEMOCRATIC ALLY IN THE MIDDLE EAST, A UNIQUELY JEWISH STATE, AND THAT THE UNITED STATES APPRECIATES THE EXCRUCIATINGLY DIFFICULT SECURITY SITUATION IN WHICH ISRAEL FINDS ITSELF WITH THE THREAT OF A NUCLEAR IRAN, AND THAT THE UNITED STATES WILL VIGOROUSLY DEFEND ISRAEL FROM ATTACKS FROM INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS, FROM LEGAL ONSLAUGHTS AND FROM ATTEMPTS TO UNDERMINE ISRAEL'S ECONOMY THROUGH PUNITIVE BOYCOTTS. AND THAT THE UNITED STATES IS UNSHAKEABLY COMMITTED TO PRESERVING ISRAEL'S SECURITY, REGARDLESS OF THE STATUS OF THE PEACE PROCESS. MR. PRESIDENT, I WOULD COMMEND TO YOU THE RECENT REMARKS CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER STEVEN HARPER GAVE IN ISRAEL. THOSE ARE THE REMARKS OF AN ALLY STANDING STRONG WITH ISRAEL AND APPRECIATING THE INCREDIBLE VALUE THAT ISRAEL PROVIDES TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND TO PEACE IN THE WORLD. I WISH THAT OUR PRESIDENT COULD SPEAK WITH A FRACTION OF THE CLARITY AND SOLIDARITY WITH ISRAEL THAT THE CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER RECENTLY PROVIDED. ON UKRAINE, THE PRESIDENT CLAIMED -- QUOTE -- "IN UKRAINE, WE STAND FOR THE PRINCIPLE THAT ALL PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES FREELY AND PEACEFULLY AND TO HAVE A SAY IN THEIR COUNTRY'S FUTURE." THE REALITY, MR. PRESIDENT, IS THE DAY AFTER THE STATE OF THE UNION, UKRAINE'S FORMER PRESIDENT SAID THAT THE COUNTRY TEETERS ON THE BRINK OF CIVIL WAR. PROTESTERS HAVE BEEN BRUTALLY TORTURED AND MURDERED. INDEED, ONE OPPOSITION LEADER DESCRIBED HOW HE WAS RECENTLY CRUCIFIED. THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TRAMPLED. THIS FORMER SOVIET REPUBLIC HAVE BEEN WRENCHED AWAY FROM AN AGREEMENT WITH THE E.U. AND A PATH TOWARD NATO MEMBERSHIP AND THRUSHED BANG INTOI BYE A CORRUPT AND AUTOCRATIC LEADER DEPRIVING THE UNITED STATES OF AN IMPORTANT SECURITY PARTNER. WE NEED TO TELL THIS STORY. WE NEED TO LOOK FOR CONCRETE ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW TO DEMONSTRATE REAL SUPPORT FOR THE OPPOSITION, TO DEMONSTRATE REAL SUPPORT THAT UKRAINE IS WELCOMED BY THE WEST AND THAT WE WILL NOT ACCEDE TO PUTIN'S EFFORTS TO REASSEMBLE THE OLD SOVIET UNION AND PLACE UKRAINE UNDER ITS DOMINATION. WE CAN START BY IMMEDIATELY OFFERING A FREE TRADE AGREEMENT TO UKRAINE AND PARTNERSHIPS TO HELP THEM BUILD NATURAL GAS INFRASTRUCTURE SO THAT THEY NEED NOT REMAIN DEPENDENT ON RUSSIA WHICH USES NATURAL GAS TO BLACKMAIL THEM. AND WE COULD IMMEDIATELY RELEASE EXPORTS OF LIQUID NATURAL GAS FROM THE UNITED STATES IN CONJUNCTION WITH HELPING WITH THAT INFRASTRUCTURE. SURELY THE PEOPLE GATHERING IN THE FROZEN SNOW OF MADEN SQUARE CRYING OUT FOR THE FREEDOM OF THE WEST DESERVE MORE FROM THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD THAN MERE BLANDISHMENTS ABOUT ABSTRACT UNIVERSAL RIGHTS. IF YOU'RE STANDING IN THE FROZEN STREETS OF KIEV BEING BEATEN, BLEEDING, NAKED AS ONE OPPOSITION LEADER WAS AND YET STANDING PROUD FOR FREEDOM, EMPTY GENERALITIES FROM THE PRESIDENT DO YOU VERY LITTLE GOOD. ON BENGHAZI, THE PRESIDENT CLAIMED NOTHING. WE ALL REMEMBER LAST FALL DURING THE DEBATES IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, JUST OVER A YEAR AGO. WHEN THE PRESIDENT EMPHATICALLY STATED NO ONE CARED MORE ABOUT THE TERRORIST ATTACK THAT HAPPENED IN BENGHAZI THAN HE DID. AND YET IN THE YEAR AND A HALF THAT HAS FOLLOWED, THE WORD "BENGHAZI" SEEMS NEVER TO LEAVE HIS LIPS. THE REALITY IS WE HAVE FOUR AMERICANS MURDERED IN A PREVENTIBLE ATTACK AND THAT'S WHAT THE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CONCLUDED IN A BIPARTISAN MANNER, THAT THIS WAS PREVENTIBLE, BY AL QAEDA TERRORISTS, AND MORE THAN 16 MONTHS LATER, NO ONE IN WASHINGTON OR LIBYA HAS BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE. CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND PARTICULARLY THE FAMILIES OF THE FALLEN DESERVE THE ANSWERS THAT ONLY A JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE OF CONGRESS COULD GET AND YET SADLY, MR. PRESIDENT, THE MAJORITY LEADER AND DEMOCRATS IN THIS CHAMBER ARE BLOCKING A JOINT SELECT COMMITTEE. WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE, FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON SAID. IT MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD TO ASCERTAIN THE TRUTH. I WILL NOTE EVEN THOUGH HE SAID NOT A WORD ABOUT BENGHAZI IN THE STATE OF THE UNION, HE WAS FORCED TO SAY SOMETHING THIS WEEK WHEN HE WAS INTERVIEWED BY BILL O'REILLY. DURING THE HALFTIME OF THE SUPER BOWL, WHEN BILL O'REILLY ASKED ABOUT BENGHAZI, WHAT IS STRIKING, I WOULD URGE EVERYONE TO GO AND WATCH AND LISTEN TO WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID. BILL O'REILLY ASKED HIM, DID SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LEON PANETTA TELL HIM THAT NIGHT THAT THE ATTACKS WERE THE WORKS OF TERRORISTS? MR. PRESIDENT, O'REILLY ASKED THAT QUESTION, AND YET THE PRESIDENT OVER AND OVER AGAIN REFUSED TO ANSWER A SIMPLE YES OR NO, DID LEON PANETTA TELL HIM IT WAS THE ACT OF TERRORISTS. HE DID NOT WANT TO ANSWER THAT QUESTION AND INDEED, HE DID NOT. FOR THOSE OF US THAT HAVE SPENT SOME OF OUR CAREER IN A COURT OF LAW, THE TECHNICAL TERM FOR HIS ANSWER WAS NONRESPONSIVE AND WERE A JUDGE THERE, HE WOULD HAVE DIRECTED THE PRESIDENT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT WAS PUT TO HIM. NOR DID THE PRESIDENT SAY ONE WORD ABOUT WHY THE TALKING POINTS WERE SCRUBBED TO ERADICATE ANY MENTION OF TERRORISM AND THE AL QAEDA AFFILIATES INVOLVED. MR. PRESIDENT, WE NEED ACCOUNTABLE. WE NEED ACCOUNTABLE FOR THOSE FOUR BRAVE AMERICANS WHO LOST THEIR LIVES TO TERRORISM. AND WE NEED TO KNOW WHY NO ONE HAS BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT, NOR THAT ANY OF THE TERRORISTS WHO COMMITTED THAT ATTACK HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE. AND, MR. PRESIDENT, SAID BE A ADEANY, THE AMERICAN PASTOR BRUTALLY IMPRISONED IN IRAN, PRESIDENT OBAMA IN THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS SAID NOTHING. THE REALITY IS AN AMERICAN CITIZEN HAS BEEN WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED IN IRAN FOR MORE THAN A YEAR SIMPLY FOR PROFESSING HIS CHRISTIAN FAITH. ALL OF US ARE BLESSED TO LIVE IN A LAND WHERE THE CONSTITUTION GUARANTEES US RELIGIOUS LIBERTY YET A CHRISTIAN PASTOR GOING TO IRAN PROFESSING HIS FAITH WAS THROWN IN A PIT OF A JAIL. THERE IS NO MORE COMPELLING EVIDENCE THAT THE SUPREME LEADER IN TEHRAN REPRESENTS THE VERY SAME REPRESSIVE ISLAMIST REGIME TODAY THAT HE HAS FOR SO MANY YEARS. AND THAT HIS GOAL IS NOT PEACEFUL REPROACHMENT WITH THE WEST, BUT THE PRESERVATION OF HIS OWN POWER. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SHOULD BE STANDING UP AND DEMANDING PASTOR SAID ABADINI'S RELEASE, NOT MAKING HIS CAPTORS INTO DIPLOMATIC PARTNERS. INDEED, IT IS NOTABLE IN THE MIST OF -- MIDST OF OUR NEGOTIATIONS IN GENEVA, THE NATION OF IRAN TRANSFERRED THE PASTOR FROM ONE HORRIBLE PRISON TO AN EVEN WORSE PRISON WHERE THEY KEEP THEIR DEATH ROW, WHERE THEY SEND PEOPLE TO DIE, AND HE DID SO ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF IRAN'S TAKING AMERICANS HOSTAGE, WHAT IS REFERRED TO IN IRAN AS "DEATH TO AMERICA DAY." MR. PRESIDENT, THAT WAS NOT ACCIDENTAL. THAT WAS MEANT TO THUMB THEIR NOSE AT OUR NATION AND THE PRESIDENT INSTEAD OF STANDING UP FOR AN AMERICAN WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED FOR PREACHING HIS CHRISTIAN FAITH, THE PRESIDENT INSTEAD CHOSE IN THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS TO SAY NOT A WORD. THE PRESIDENT CONCLUDED HIS SPEECH ON FOREIGN POLICY BY SAYING -- QUOTE -- "FINALLY, LET US REMEMBER THAT OUR LEADERSHIP IS DEFINED NOT JUST BY OUR DEFENSE AGAINST THREATS BUT BY THE ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITIES TO DO GOOD AND PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING AROUND THE GLOBE TO FORGE GREATER COOPERATION, TO EXPAND NEW MARKETS, TO FREE PEOPLE FROM FEAR AND WANT. AND NO ONE IS BETTER POSITIONED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE OPPORTUNITIES THAN AMERICA." MR. PRESIDENT, THE REALITY IS IF THIS PAST WEEK HAS PROVEN ANYTHING, IT IS THAT AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IS NOT DEFINED BY GLOBAL OPPORTUNITIES TO DO GOOD AND PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING. AMERICAN LEADERSHIP IS DEFINED BY DEFENDING AND PROMOTING THE VALUES THAT HAVE MADE OUR NATION GREAT. WE DON'T DO THIS BY IGNORING UNPLEASANT REALITIES, REFUSING TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN BENGHAZI, SENDING ADMINISTRATION OFFICIALS OUT TO CLAIM IT IS NOT A TERRORIST ATTACK BUT THE RESULT OF AN INTERNET VIDEO, OR REFUSING TO STAND FOR AN AMERICAN WRONGFULLY IMPRISONED IN IRAN FOR PREACHING HIS CHRISTIAN FAITH. AND WE DON'T DO THIS BY REFUSING TO ADMIT FAILURE BUT BY STANDING UP AND FACING OUR CHALLENGES, ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS, AND SPEAKING OUT WITH A CLARION VOICE FOR THE FREEDOMS WE ENJOY. FREEDOMS THAT SHOULD BE THE ASPIRATION OF EVERY MAN AND WOMAN ON THE PLANET. LEADING FROM BEHIND DOES NOT WORK. AS A RESULT OF THIS ADMINISTRATION'S MISGUIDED FOREIGN POLICY, THE WORLD HAS BECOME A MUCH MORE DANGEROUS PLACE IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS. U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY INTERESTS HAVE BEEN ENDANGERED DRAMATICALLY. WE SEE NATIONS LIKE RUSSIA INCREASING THEIR SPHERE OF INFLUENCE WHILE THE THREATS TO THE SECURITY OF MEN AND WOMEN THROUGHOUT AMERICA GROW AND MULTIPLY. STANDING STRONGLY WITH LIKE-MINDED ALLIES, AND ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO SEEK FREEDOM IS NOT DISINTERESTED DO-GOODING. IT IS VITAL WORK THAT WILL PROMOTE THE SECURITY AND PROSPERITY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. SOMETHING THAT I BELIEVE IS ULTIMATELY IN THE INTEREST OF ALL MANKIND. I WISH WHEN THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES STOOD ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO ADDRESS THE NATION AND ADDRESS THE WORLD, THAT WHEN HE SPOKE OF FOREIGN POLICY THAT HE HAD NOT EMBRACED A FOREIGN POLICY FANTASY THAT DISREGARDS THE COLD, HARD REALITY OF THE DANGEROUS WORLD WE LIVE IN AND THE CONSEQUENCES OF RECEDING U.S. LEADERSHIP. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 04:40:49 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM MINNESOTA. MS. KLOBUCHAR: MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO ADDRESS TWO…

    FROM MINNESOTA. MS. KLOBUCHAR: MR. PRESIDENT, I RISE TODAY TO ADDRESS TWO ISSUES, THE FIRST BEFORE US, THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION EXTENSION ACT, AND THE SECOND IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE BEFORE PUS, AND THAT IS THE CONFIRMATION OF THE U.S. ATTORNEY

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  • 04:40:52 PM

    MS. KLOBUCHAR

    TO ADDRESS TWO ISSUES, THE FIRST BEFORE US, THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT…

    TO ADDRESS TWO ISSUES, THE FIRST BEFORE US, THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION EXTENSION ACT, AND THE SECOND IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE BEFORE PUS, AND THAT IS THE CONFIRMATION OF THE U.S. ATTORNEY FROM MINNESOTA, THIS WILL BE THE THIRD TIME IN A FEW DAYS THAT I HAVE SPOKEN ON THIS WHICH I WILL CONTINUE TO DO UNTIL THIS GETS DONE. I RISE TODAY IN SUPPORT OF THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ACT. I KNOW WE'RE MAKING PROGRESS ON A PROPOSAL THAT EXTENDS FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION FOR THREE MONTHS AND IS FULLY OFFSET. I'VE SPOKEN ABOUT THE NEED TO EXTEND FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND I THANK SENATOR JACK REED AND DEAN HELLER FOR THEIR BIPARTISAN LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE. UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PROVIDES A CRITICAL LIFE LINE. WORKERS PAY INTO THE PROGRAM SO IT WILL BE THERE WHEN THEY ARE LOOKING FOR WORK. UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE HELPS FAMILIES PAY THE MORTGAGE OR RENT AND PUT GAS IN THE 257BG. FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE IS CRUCIAL FOR THOSE AMERICANS WHO EXHAUST THEIR STATE FUNDED BENEFITS AND ARE STILL LOOKING FOR WORK. THROUGHOUT MY TIME AS THE SENATE CHAIR OF THE JOINT COMING COMMITTEE, I'VE FOCUSED ON THE CONTINUING PROBLEM OF LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT. LAST MONTH I ISSUED A JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE REPORT THAT MAKES THE CLEAR ECONOMIC CASE FOR EXTENDING FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WHICH KEEPS THOSE AMERICANS AFLOAT, THOSE AMERICANS WHO ARE CONTINUING TO SEARCH FOR WORK. THE LONG-TERM UNEMPLOYMENT RATE NOW STANDS AT 2.5%, NEARLY TWICE AS HIGH AS WHEN THESE BENEFITS EXPIRED DURING THE LAST RECESSION. WE ALREADY KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES OF ALLOWING THE FEDERAL BENEFITS TO EXPIRE ARE NOT GOOD. AT TEND OF LAST YEAR 1.3 MILLION WORKERS LOST ALL UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND ANOTHER 3.6 MILLION JOBLESS WORKERS COULD LOSE THEIR BENEFITS THIS YEAR. IN MY HOME STATE, ROUGHLY 9,200 PEOPLE LOST BENEFITS AT THE END OF LAST YEAR AND ABOUT 65,000 WORKERS COULD LOSE THEIR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE BY THE END OF THIS YEAR. NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR CONGRESS TO CUT OFF EXTENDED UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FOR THOSE HEEM WHO HAVE BEEN ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR WORK FOR MORE THAN 26 WEEKS. THESE ARE NOT THE PEOPLE, MR. PRESIDENT, AS YOU KNOW WHO BENEFITED FROM THE UPTICK IN THE STOCK MARKET OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. THEY DON'T HAVE STOCK PORTFOLIOS. THEY'RE NOT CHECKING THE STOCK RATES. THEY HAVEN'T NOTICED IT'S GONE DOWN A LITTLE BIT RECENTLY, HAVEN'T NOTICE IT WENT -- NOTICED IT WENT UP LAST YEAR. THEY'RE TRYING TO PUT FOOD ON THEIR TABLES AND KEEP A ROOF OVER THEIR HEAD. THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN OUR STATES WHO ARE OUR NEIGHBORS. I'VE HEARD FROM COUNTLESS MINNESOTANS WHO ARE SHARING THEIR STORIES WITH ME ABOUT HOW UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE IS A LIFE LINE FOR THEIR FAMILIES AND THAT ENDING FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR THE UNEMPLOYED WOULD BE DEVASTATING. I'M SHARING SOME OF THESE LETTERS BECAUSE THEY TELL THE STORIES OF HARDWORKING AMERICANS WHO ARE DOING THEIR BEST TO LOOK FOR WORK AND SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES. LINDA FROM LITTLE FALLS, SHE WROTE, SHE SAID DEAR AMY, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE FIGHT TO EXTEND THE EMERGENCY UNEMPLOYMENT PAST THE END OF THE YEAR. MY HUSBAND AND I ARE BOTH STILL UNEMPLOYED THROUGH NO FAULT OF OUR OWN AND ARE BOTH OVER 55. WE'RE HAVING A VERY DIFFICULT TIME FINDING UNEMPLOYMENT AND TO STOP THIS PROGRAM WOULD BE DEVASTATING FOR US AND MANY OTHERS THAT WE KNOW. MY HUSBAND WAS AT HIS JOB FOR 37 YEARS, AND THEY CLOSED THE DOORS. AND I MADE MORE THAN SOME OF THE MORE JUNIOR PEOPLE IN MY OFFICE, SO I WAS LET GO FIRST. THINK OF THAT. A COUPLE. THE MAN WORKING AT HIS JOB FOR 37 YEARS. THE WOMAN MORE SENIOR, SAYING SHE WAS LET GO BECAUSE SHE MADE MORE MONEY THAN OTHERS IN THE OFFICE. SHE ENDS BY SAYING PLEASE HELP TO GET THIS EXTENDED. I FEEL LIKE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL LEFT JOBLESS ARE BEING FORGOTTEN. THANK YOU. SECOND LETTER, DONNA FROM PRYOR LAKE SAYS THIS, HAVING WORKED FOR OVER 30 PLUS YEARS OF MY LIFE, I AM CURRENTLY UNEMPLOYED. I HAVE APPLIED FOR OVER 300 POSITIONS DURING THE LAST SIX MONTHS. I DO NOT EXPECT A HANDOUT BUT I WAS REALLY DISAPPOINTED WHEN I FOUND OUT YOU COULD NO LONGER RECEIVE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AFTER THE 28th OF DECEMBER. IT IS NOT THAT I AM NOT TRYING TO WORK OR THAT I AM NOT LOOKING FOR A POSITION BUT I AM 55 YEARS OLD AND MY FULL-TIME JOB RIGHT NOW IS TO FIND A JOB. I'M LOOKING FOR TEMPORARY FULL-TIME, PART-TIME, CONTRACT WORK, I LIKE TO KNOW THAT MY CONGRESSPEOPLE ARE DOING THE SAME FOR ME. DONNA, 30-PLUS YEARS OF WORKING. SHE'S 55 YEARS OLD. SHE IS APPLIED FOR OVER 300 POSITIONS. THAT'S WHO WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE, MR. PRESIDENT. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THIS KIND OF LONG-TERM EXTENSION OF UNEMPLOYMENT. AND I THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT I HOPE MY COLLEAGUES WILL KEEP IN MIND AS WE MOVE FORWARD AND GET THIS DONE AND GET THIS PASSED. NOW, I'D LIKE TO TURN TO ANOTHER MATTER -- AND THE ONLY THING THESE TWO THINGS HAVE IN COMMON ARE THEY BOTH ARE KIND OF VICTIMS OF STALLED-OUT SITUATIONS OF GRIDLOCK. THE SIEGED ONE SECOND ONE IS ABOUT ONE PERSON, BUT IT IS REALLY ABOUT A SYSTEM OF JUSTICE AND IT IS REALLY ABOUT A DECISION ON THE PART OF THE UNITED STATES, PART OF OUR FOUNDING FATHERS, PART OF OUR CONGRESSES GOING WAY, WAY BACK THAT WE WOULD HAVE A U.S. ATTORNEY IN MOST PARTS OF THIS COUNTRY, THAT WE WOULD HAVE A U.S. ATTORNEY THAT WOULD BE CHARGED WITH ENFORCING THE FEDERAL LARKS THAT THETHEFEDERAL LAWS, THAT THE CONGRESS WOULD HAVE A ROLE IN DECIDING WHO THAT U.S. ATTORNEY WOULD BE, THAT THE PRESIDENT WOULD RECOMMEND -- WOULD APPOINT SOMEONE AND THEN THE CONGRESS HAS THE JOB OF SIMPLE DISPLIEDINGDECIDINGIF THAT PERSON IS QUALIFIED FOR THE JOB. BUT IT IS NOT EELLY ABOUT REALLY ABOUT ONE PERSON. IT IS ALSO ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT WORK IN THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, OVER 50 PEOPLE WORKING AS PROSECUTORS IN THE OFFICE WHO DECIDE TO HAVE A FULL-TIME LEADER IN THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S JOB. FOR TWO AND A HALF YEAR, MR. PRESIDENT, 888 DAYS -- I COUNT EACH DAY -- MINNESOTA HAS NOT HAD A FULL-TIME U.S. ATTORNEY. IT'S A MODERN-DAY RECORD. DURING THOSE YEARS FROM AUGUST 2011 TO 2013, B. TODD JONES HAD TWO JOBS, THE MINNESOTA U.S. ATTORNEY, AS THOSE OF YOU INVOLVED IN THE LONG VOTE THAT LASTED OVER EIGHT HOURS, HE WAS ALSO THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS, AND EXPLOSIVES. THEY HADN'T HAD A FULL-TIME CONFIRMED DIRECTOR FOR SEVEN YEARS, SO HE WENT IN AFTER THE MESS WITH "FAST AND FURIOUS" AND WAS WILLING TO BE THE ACTING DIRECTOR WHILE AT THE SAME TIME HE WAS A U.S. ATTORNEY FOR MINNESOTA. WELL, AS YOU CAN IMAGINE, THERE WAS A LOT OF WORK AND CLEANUP TO DO AT THE A.T.F. SO THAT WAS WHERE HE WAS FOCUSED. THAT WAS WHERE HE WAS FOCUSED FOR MOST OF HIS TIME. MEANWHILE, THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN MINNESOTA KEPT GOING. BUT AT SOME POINT, AFTER TWO AND A HALF YEARS, YOU CAN'T KEEP GOING ON YOUR OWN. OVER THE SUMMER, THE SENATE FINALLY CONFIRMED TODD JONES AS DIRECTOR OF THE A.T.F., LEAVING THE MINNESOTA U.S. ATTORNEY'S POSITION FINALLY OPEN FOR GOOD. EVEN BEFORE THE CONFIRMATION OF TODD JONES, SENATOR FRANKEN AND I, UPON THE RECOMMENDATION OF OUR BIPARTISAN U.S. ATTORNEY ADVISORY COMMITTEE, HAD ALREADY RECOMMENDED ANDY LUGAR, A RESPECTED LITIGATOR AND FORMER U.S. ASSISTANT ATTORNEY. IN NOVEMBER PRESIDENT OBAMA NOMINATED ANDY LUGAR TO BECOME THE NEW U.S. ATTORNEY AND THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE APPROVED HIS NOMINATION UNANIMOUSLY ON JANUARY 9. OUR COLLEAGUE FROM TEXAS, SENATOR CRUZ, HAD NO OBJECTIONS TO THIS NOMINATION. WE HAD NO OBJECTIONS ON THE COMMITTEE, WHICH IS SAYING A LOT BECAUSE WE HAVE A LOT OF DIFFERENT PEOPLE FROM DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND DIFFERENT POLITICAL VIEWS ON THE COME. USUALLY WHEN PEOPLE SPEAK ON NOMINATIONS ON THIS FLOOR, IT IS BECAUSE THEY'RE FIGHTING TO GET SOMEONE THROUGH BECAUSE THERE IS OBJECTIONS. THIS IS NOT AT ALL THE CASE IN THE CASE OF ANDY LUGAR, WHO'S TRYING TO BE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF MINNESOTA. WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST CASES WITH U.S. ATTORNEYS? WELL, OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS, FOUR OF MINNESOTA NOMINEES TO BE U.S. ATTORNEY'S A POINTED BY REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTS ALIKE WERE CONFIRMED WITHIN A DAY OF WHEN THEY PASSED OUT OF THE COMMITTEE AND DURING THIS TIMEFRAME, ALL OF THE NOMINEES WERE CONFIRMED WITHIN AN AVERAGE OF 9 1/2 DAYS OF BEING VOTED OUT OF COMMITTEE. IT HAS BEEN 26 DAYS SINCE MR. LUGAR WAS APPROVED BY THE COMMITTEE. IT IS TIME WE DO THE RIGHT THING BHAIKING SURE THAT MINNESOTA HAS ITS HIGHEST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER? PLACE. I WANT TO THANK SENATOR GRASSLEY FOR HIS HELP ON THIS. HE ACTUALLY ALSO HAS A U.S. ATTORNEY THAT'S PENDING FOR THE DISTRICT OF IOWA. SO WHY IS A U.S. ATTORNEY IMPORTANT? I THOUGHT OUR PAGES WOULD BE INTERESTED IN THIS FACT, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING TO BE TALKING A LOT ABOUT A U.S. ATTORNEY OVER THE NEXT WEEK, IF THIS KEEPS GOING ON. THE POSITION OF U.S. ATTORNEY IS A LAW ENFORCEMENT POST THAT THE FOUNDERS REGARDED AS SO VITAL THAT THEY CREATED IT DURING THE VERY FIRST CONGRESS DURING THE JUDICIARY OF 1789. THIS IS THE SAME ACT THAT CREATED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE SUPREME COURT AND THE LOWER COURTS. ACCORDING TO THE ACT, EACH JUDICIAL DISTRICT WOULD BE PROVIDED WITH -- QUOTE -- "A PERSON LEARNED IN THE LAW TO ACT AS ATTORNEY FOR THE UNITED STATES WHOSE DUTY IT SHALL BE TO PROSECUTE IN EACH DISTRICT ALL DELINQUENTS FOR CRIMES AND OFFENSES, COGNIZABLE UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALL CIVIL ACTIONS IN WHICH THE UNITED STATES SHALL BE CONCERNED." THE U.S. ATTORNEY IS A POSITION SO NECESSARY THAT PRESIDENT ZACHARY TAYLOR APPOINTED HENRY MOSS -- THERE WAS A NAME YOU MAY NOT HAVE HEARD OF BEFORE -- ZACHARY TAYLOR APPOINTED MR. MOSS TO THE POST WITHIN TWO DAYS OF MINNESOTA BECOME AGO STATE. SO BACK THEN SOMEHOW THEY WERE ABLE TO GET IT DONE IN TWO DAYS. I DON'T KNOW. WE'VE BEEN WAITING 888 DAYS. BUT IN TWO DAYS THEY WERE ABLE TO GET A U.S. ATTORNEY IN THE JOB WHEN MINNESOTA FIRST BECAME A STATE. SINCE 1849, THE DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA'S 31 U.S. ATTORNEYS HAVE UPHELD THE RULE OF LAW, THE CONSTITUTION, AND THE RIGHTS OF OUR STATE'S CITIZENS AND TIRELESSLY PURSUED JUSTICE ON THEIR BEHALF. THIS QUICK ACTION BY PRESIDENTE LORE AND THE SPHEED WITH SPEED WITH WHICH THE SENATE HAS CONFIRMED THE PAST ATTORNEYS FOR MINNESOTA SHOWS HOW MUCH OUR GOVERNMENT HAS HISTORICALLY VALUED THIS POSITION. THESE PEOPLE HAVE NOT BEEN USED AS PAWNS IN A FIGHT OVER OTHER ISSUES. THEY HAVE SUMLY SIMPLY BEEN CONFIRMED. AND I THINK WE CAN ALL GREARKS GIVEN WHAT WE'VE SEEN WITH THE CASES WE'VE SEEN ON THE RISE ALL OVER THE COUNTRY IN JUST THE LAST FEW MONTHS THIS HAS CERTAINLY COME TO OUR ATTENTION. IN HENNEPIN COUNTY, 60 HEROIN-RELATED CASES IN JUST SIX MONTHS OF THE YEAR. SO I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS POSITION IS NO LESS IMPORTANT THAN IT WAS IN 1789, WHEN THIS JOB WAS CREATED. SINCE THE FOUNDING OF THE COUNTRY, WE HAVE RECOGNIZED A GREAT AUTHORITY PLACED IN THE HAND OF U.S. ATTORNEYS TO UPHOLD THE RULE OF LAW, TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS, AND TO EXERCISE THEIR POWER RESPONSIBLY AND ONLY FOR JUSTICE ENDS. A 1935 SUPREME COURT DECISION CALLED BURGER v. UNITED STATES HAS GAINED ICONIC STATUS FOR THE DESCRIPTION OF A PROSECUTOR'S DUTIES TO FOLLOW THE RULE OF LAW, SERVE JUSTICE, AND PLAY BY THE RULES. JUSTICE SOUTHERLAND SO APPLICANTLY WROTE, "THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY IS THE REPRESENTATIVE OF NOT AN ORDINARY PARTY BUT OF A SOVEREIGN 2EU WHOSE OBSTACLES TO GOVERN IMPARTIALLY IS AS COMPELLING AS ITS OBSTACLES TO GOVERN AT ALL. HIS INTEREST THEREFORE IN A CRIMINAL PROGRESSION IS NOT THAT IT SHALL WIN CASE BUT THAT JUSTICE SHALL BE DONE. AS SUCH, HE IS IN A PECULIAR AND DEFINITE SENSE A SERVANT OF THE LAW. THE TWOFOLD AIM OF WHICH GUILT SHALL NOT ESCAPED OR INNOCENCE SUFFER." HE MAY PROSECUTE WITH EARNESTNESS AND VIGOR. WHILE HE MAY STRIKE HARD BLOWS, HE IS NOT AT LIBERTY TO STRIKE FOUL ONES. IT IS AS MUCH HIS DUTY TO REFRAIN FROM IMPROPER METHODS CALCULATED TO PRODUCE A WRONGFUL CONVICTION AS IT IS TO USE EVERY LEGITIMATE MEANS TO BRING ABOUT A JUSTICE ONE." THAT'S A TIMELESS STATEMENT THAT RINGS AS TRUE TODAY AS IT DID NEARLY 80 YEARS AGO. THE MEN AND WOMEN, MR. PRESIDENT, IN THE MINNESOTA U.S. ATTORNEYS OFFICE EMBLEMLYIFY THE PROFESSIONALISM, HIGH ETHICAL STANDARDS AND UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO THE RULE OF LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY THAT WE EXPECT OF PROSECUTORS. THEY WORK TO PROTECT PUBLIC SAFETY BY FOCUSING ON OFFENDERS WHO HARM OUR COMMUNITIES, TERRORISTS, THE WORST OF THE WORST, VIOLENCE VIOLENT CRIMINALS AND MAJOR FINANCIAL FRAUDSTERS. THEY ALSO WORK CLOSELY WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT TO ENSURE THAT LOCAL AND FEDERAL RESOURCES ARE USED EFFICIENT LID AND EFFECTIVELY TO PREVENT CRIME AND LOCK UP CRIMINALS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE OFFICE WON A CONVICTION IN A $3.65 BILLION PONZI SCHEME CASE. THE SECOND-BIGGEST UPON PONZI SCHEME IN U.S. HOAMPLET THIS WAS ORIGINATED WHEN THEY HAD A FULL-TIME U.S. ATTORNEY AND MOST OF THE PROSECUTIONS DID TAKE PLACE WHEN THEY HAD A FULL-TIME U.S. ATTORNEY IN THE OFFICE. OF COURSE WITH A MAJOR CASE LIKE THIS, YOU WOULD WANT A FULL-TIME U.S. ATTORNEY THERE TO MAKE CRITICAL DECISIONS. ALSO THE OFFICE HAS A NONTERRORISM INVESTIGATION THAT HAS LED TO CHARGES AGAINST 18 PEOPLE FOR AIDING A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION AL SHAH ABOUT A, EIGHT OF WHOM HAVE BEEN CONVICTED, SOME RECEIVING SENTENCES OF UP TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON. SO AS SOME POINT AS THIS INVESTIGATION CONTINUES, ONE HUANGDERS WHYHUANGDERSWONDERS WHY THE UNITED STATES WOULD WANT TO HAVE AN OFFICE OPEN WITHOUT HAVE A FULL-TIME U.S. TO EN. I DO WONDER IF THIS WOULD EVER HAPPEN IN NEW YORK CITY OR THE CITY OF CHICAGO, AND I HOPE PEOPLE KEEP THIS IN MIND AS THEY LOOK AT THE SITUATION. OTHER MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE OFFICE INCLUDE OPERATION HIGHLIGHT, A MAJOR DRUG TRAFFICKING INVESTIGATION INVOLVING MORE THAN 100 LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS THAT RESULTED IN 26 INDICTMENTS, 25 GUILTY PLEAS, AND SENTENCES UP TO 200 MONTHS IN PRISON. OPERATION BROTHERS' KEEPER, A SUCCESSFUL INVESTIGATION IN PROSECUTION OF A RICO CASE INVOLVING A REGIONAL 200-MEMBER GANG WHICH TOOK 22 DANGEROUS CRIMINALS OFF THE STREET. THIS DOESN'T SOUND LIKE A CASE THAT SHOULD BE HANDLED BY AN OFFICE THAT DOESN'T DESERVE A FULL-TIME U.S. ATTORNEY. THAT WOULD BE THE PROSECUTION OF A RICO CASE INVOLVING A REGIONAL 200-MEMBER GANG. OR HOW ABOUT OPERATION MOLVARDE, WHICH RECEIVED NATIONAL ATTENTION AND WAS THE PROSECUTION OF 27 DEFENDANTS ASSOCIATED WITH A MEXICAN DRUG CARTEL INCLUDING THE APPREHENSION OF THE CARTEL'S REGIONAL LEADER AND SENTENCES AS HIGH AS 20 YEARS IN PRISON. THE OFFICE ALSO RECENTLY PLAYED A KEY ROLE IN SHUTTING DOWN A MAJOR SYNTHETIC DRUG SELLER IN DID HE LUGE. THIS WAS A MAJOR PROBLEM. THEY WENT AFTER THIS HEAD SHOP, PROSECUTED THE ORIENTATION THE OWNER WAS -- HIS HOUSE WAS FOUND PLASTICS BAGS AND THEY WON THE CASE. THESE ARE FEW OF THE MAJOR CASES THAT THE OFFICE HAS WORKED ON THIS RECENT YEARS. AND I WILL BE TELLING YOU MORE IN THE DAYS TO COME. AFTER 888 DAYS WITHOUT A FULL-TIME BOSS, THESE HARDWORKING PEOPLE DESERVE A LEADER AND MR. LUGAR IS THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB. AGAIN, I AM NOT UP HERE SPEAKING ABOUT THIS BECAUSE NING IN THE SENATE -- ANYONE IN THE SENATE OBJECTS TO MR. LUGAR FOR THE JOB. IT IS TIME WE VOTE ON MR. LUGAR'S NOMINATION. IN THE PAST, AS WE KNOW, THESE U.S. ATTORNEYS' NOMINATIONS HAVE SIMPLY GONE THROUGH ON VOICE VOTE, WITHOUT MUCH HUER HURRAH, WITHIN A FEW DAYS AFTER THEY GO THROUGH THE COMMITTEE. MR. LUGAR IS A DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVANT AND HAS THE BREADTH OF COMMITMENT AND COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE THAT MAKES HIM A WELL-QUALIFIED CANDIDATE TO SERVE AS MINNESOTA'S NEXT U.S. TO EN. I HAVE NO DOUBT THAT HE WILL UPHOLD THE PRINCIPLES JUSTICE SOUTHERLAND ASTRONAUT THAT OPINION IN SOUGHT IN THAT OPINION. I URGE HIS CONFIRMATION AND FINALLY GIVE THE U.S. MINNESOTA ATTORNEY'S OFFICE THE FULL-TIME U.S. ATTORNEY THAT THEY DESERVE. THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. I NOTE THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

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  • 04:58:33 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    ROLL. QUORUM CALL: QUORUM CALL: MR.

  • 05:00:42 PM

    MR. FRANKEN

  • 05:00:43 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 05:00:44 PM

    MR. FRANKEN

    QUORUM CALL BE VITIATED. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.

  • 05:00:47 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. FRANKEN: MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING…

    OBJECTION. MR. FRANKEN: MR. PRESIDENT, I ASK TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS. THE

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  • 05:00:50 PM

    MR. FRANKEN

    ASK TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT…

    ASK TO SPEAK AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR.

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  • 05:00:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. FRANKEN: MR. PRESIDENT, I'M VERY PLEASED THAT WE'RE ABLE TO…

    OBJECTION. MR. FRANKEN: MR. PRESIDENT, I'M VERY PLEASED THAT WE'RE ABLE TO VOTE ON AND PASS A BADLY NEEDED AND LONG OVERDUE FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL TODAY AND THAT WE ARE FINALLY ON THE VERGE OF ENACTING THE LEGISLATION INTO LAW WITH THE PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE.

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  • 05:00:55 PM

    MR. FRANKEN

    PLEASED THAT WE'RE ABLE TO VOTE ON AND PASS A BADLY NEEDED AND LONG…

    PLEASED THAT WE'RE ABLE TO VOTE ON AND PASS A BADLY NEEDED AND LONG OVERDUE FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL TODAY AND THAT WE ARE FINALLY ON THE VERGE OF ENACTING THE LEGISLATION INTO LAW WITH THE PRESIDENT'S SIGNATURE. WITH ONE IN FIVE JOBS IN MINNESOTA CONNECTED TO AGRICULTURE, PASSING THIS BILL HAS BEEN A TOP PRIORITY OF MINE. I'VE BEEN WORKING ON IT FOR OVER TWO AND A HALF YEARS ALONG WITH A LARGE NUMBER OF MY COLLEAGUES, AND I'VE GONE ALL AROUND MINNESOTA TALKING TO FARMERS AND BUSINESSES, AND THEY TELL ME NOT ONLY DID THEY WANT A FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL, BUT THEY NEEDED A FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL SO THAT THEY COULD PLAN FOR THE FUTURE. WELL, WE FINALLY HAVE GOTTEN IT DONE. THERE ARE SO MANY IMPORTANT PIECES TO THIS BILL, MADAM PRESIDENT, AND I WANT TO SPEAK ABOUT A FEW OF THEM TODAY. WHEN I MEET WITH LEADERS AND VISIT FARMERS ACROSS MINNESOTA, I HEAR ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF PROVIDING FARMERS WITH A STRONG SAFETY NET. THERE IS A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY WHEN IT COMES TO FARMING. ONCE A FARMER PUTS HIS CROP INTO THE GROUND, CROPS ARE VULNERABLE TO DROUGHT, TO TOO MUCH RAIN, TO DISEASE AND DIFFERENT KINDS OF PESTS AND TO OTHER NATURAL DISASTERS. IN 2012, FOR EXAMPLE, WE WITNESSED A TERRIBLE DROUGHT THAT DEVASTATED THE NATION'S CORN AND SOYBEAN CROPS AND FORCED RANCHERS TO CALL -- CULL THEIR LIVESTOCK. ALL THESE SAFETY NET PROGRAMS IN THE BILL ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY PROTECT OUR FARMERS AND RANCHERS, AND THEY ALSO PROTECT AMERICAN CONSUMERS BY MAKING SURE FAMILIES HAVE A RELIABLE DOMESTICALLY PRODUCED SUPPLY OF FOOD. THE BILL PROVIDES DISASTER ASSURANCES FOR LIVESTOCK PRODUCERS. IT CONTAINS A DAIRY PROGRAM SO THAT OUR DAIRY PRODUCERS HAVE THE CERTAINTY THAT THEY NEED. THIS CONTAINS A SUGAR PROGRAM TO HELP PROTECT OUR SUGAR GROWERS, AMERICAN SUGAR GROWERS. MINNESOTA IS HOME TO A LARGE NUMBER OF BEET SUGAR GROWERS, AND THE SUGAR INDUSTRY PROVIDES THOUSANDS OF GOOD-PAYING JOBS, AMERICAN JOBS, AND BILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THE ECONOMY OF OUR REGION. I FOUGHT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE KEPT THIS VITAL PROGRAM IN PLACE. THIS BILL ALSO INCLUDES CROP INSURANCE SO FARMERS HAVE THE CERTAINTY WITH RESPECT TO THEIR PLANTING DECISIONS. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THE FARM BILL DOES WHICH IS REAL IMPORTANT TO ME AND TO SO MANY PEOPLE IS TO LINK THE CROP INSURANCE PROGRAM TO CONSERVATION. MINNESOTA FARMERS ARE GOOD STEWARDS OF THE LAND AND UNDERSTAND HOW CRITICAL CONSERVATION IS. SO DO OUR HUNTERS AND OUR ANGLERS. WITH THIS PROVISION IN THE FARM BILL, WHEN OUR FARMERS RECEIVE CROP INSURANCE BENEFITS, THEY ALSO AGREE TO IMPLEMENT CONSERVATION PRACTICES THAT ARE GOOD FOR OUR LAND AND FOR OUR WATER. IN ADDITION TO A STRONG SAFETY NET AND THE CONSERVATION PROVISIONS, THE BILL CONTAINS MANY OTHER PROGRAMS THAT ARE REAL IMPORTANT TO MINNESOTA AGRICULTURE. FOR EXAMPLE, I PUSHED TO INCLUDE PROVISIONS TO SUPPORT BEGINNING FARMERS WITH THE AVERAGE AGE OF FARMERS IN MINNESOTA APPROACHING 60, WE NEED TO INVEST IN A NEW GENERATION OF FARMERS AND RANCHERS, AND THAT'S WHY THE BEGINNING FARMER AND RANCHERS PROGRAM HAS BEEN A PRIORITY OF MINE. THIS IMPORTANT PROGRAM WILL SUPPORT TRAINING AND EDUCATION FOR BEGINNING FARMERS AND WILL HELP NEW FARMERS OVERCOME THE STEEP FINANCIAL HURDLES THAT THEY OFTEN FACE WHEN JUST STARTING OUT. I'M ALSO REALLY PROUD OF THE COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY TITLE OF THE BILL WHICH I HELPED TO AUTHOR. THE ENERGY SECTOR IN AGRICULTURE PRODUCES JOBS AND SUPPORTS RURAL COMMUNITIES IN MINNESOTA AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY. THE ENERGY TITLE INCLUDES PROGRAMS LIKE THE RURAL ENERGY FOR AMERICA PROGRAM, OR REAP, WHICH PROVIDES FARMERS AND RURAL BUSINESSES WITH LOANS AND GRANTS SO THEY CAN INVEST IN ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY TO REDUCE THEIR ENERGY BILLS. IT ALSO INCLUDES PROGRAMS TO HELP RURAL AMERICA DEVELOP ADVANCED BIOFUELS THAT WILL HELP WEAN THE NATION OFF OF FOREIGN OIL. IT ALSO INCLUDES PROGRAMS TO HELP MOVE THE NATION AWAY FROM A PETROLEUM-BASED ECONOMY TO ONE WHERE PRODUCTS ARE INCREASINGLY MADE OUT OF HOMEGROWN RENEWABLE BIOMASS. THOSE ARE JUST SOME OF THE IMPORTANT THINGS THAT I FOUGHT FOR IN THE BILL, AND THE BILL DOES ALL THESE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT THINGS. WHILE ALSO REDUCING THE DEFICIT BY BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. LIKE ALL BIPARTISAN COMPROMISES, THE BILL IS NOT PERFECT. IN PARTICULAR, I AM NOT HAPPY WITH THE CUTS TO THE NUTRITION PROGRAM IN WHICH SO MANY LOW-INCOME FAMILIES RELY. I AM SOMEWHAT RELIEVED THAT IN THE END THESE CUTS WERE CLOSER TO WHAT WAS IN THE ORIGINAL SENATE BILL THAN THE DRACONIAN CUTS THAT THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAD CALLED FOR IN THE PAST IN THEIR BILL. I APPRECIATE THE TOUGH JOB, THOUGH, THAT MY COLLEAGUES HAD ON THEIR HANDS TO ARRIVE AT A FINAL COMPROMISE. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT PIECE OF LEGISLATION THAT I AND MANY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE HAVE BEEN WORKING TO GET OVER THE FINISH LINE. I'M PLEASED THAT WE HAVE FINALLY COME TOGETHER TO PASS A BIPARTISAN FIVE-YEAR FARM BILL THAT WILL MAKE NEEDED REFORMS AND GIVE FARMERS THE CERTAINTY THEY NEED TO PLAN FOR THE FUTURE. THE BILL WE HAVE PASSED WILL NOT ONLY SUPPORT RURAL AMERICA, BUT OUR ENTIRE NATION. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT, AND I WOULD SUGGEST, UNLESS THE SENATOR FROM WYOMING WOULD LIKE TO PICK UP RIGHT NOW. WOULD YOU, SENATOR? MR. BARRASSO: MADAM PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM WYOMING.

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  • 05:08:00 PM

    MR. BARRASSO

  • 05:08:01 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 05:08:02 PM

    MR. BARRASSO

    PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK PRESIDENT OBAMA CAME TO CONGRESS AND…

    PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK PRESIDENT OBAMA CAME TO CONGRESS AND DELIVERED HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS. HE ADMITTED THAT UNDER THE OBAMA ECONOMY, TOO MANY AMERICANS ARE STILL OUT OF WORK. NOW THE PRESIDENT DIDN'T ADMIT THAT HIS POLICIES WERE TO BLAME, BUT HE DID PROMISE TO ACT. HE SAID WHEREVER AND WHENEVER I CAN TAKE STEPS WITHOUT LEGISLATION TO EXPAND THE OPPORTUNITY FOR MORE AMERICAN FAMILIES, HE SAID THAT'S WHAT I'M GOING TO DO. THAT'S WHAT THE PRESIDENT PROMISED ALL OF US, PROMISED THE COUNTRY LAST WEEK. I BELIEVE, MADAM PRESIDENT, THE PRESIDENT COULD START BY COMING CLEAN ABOUT HOW HIS HEALTH CARE LAW IS HURTING JOBS AND HARMING MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS. JUST THIS MORNING THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE PUT OUT THEIR ESTIMATE THAT THE PRESIDENT'S HEALTH CARE LAW WILL REDUCE THE NUMBER OF FULL-TIME WORKERS BY 2.3 MILLION PEOPLE THROUGH THE YEAR 2021. THAT INCLUDES PEOPLE WHO WILL LOSE THEIR JOBS, PEOPLE WHO WILL HAVE THEIR HOURS CUT AND MOSTLY PEOPLE WHO WILL JUST DECIDE NOT TO WORK. THIS IS ONE OF THE PERVERSE INCENTIVES IN THIS TERRIBLE LAW. IT ACTUALLY ENCOURAGES ABLE-BODIED PEOPLE TO NOT WORK. WE'RE ALREADY FACED WITH THE LOWEST LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION RATE WE'VE SEEN IN 35 YEARS, AND THIS NUMBER THAT THEY'VE COME OUT WITH, OVER TWO MILLION FEWER JOBS IN OUR ECONOMY, YOU KNOW, WHEN WE WERE DEBATING THE HEALTH CARE LAW HERE IN THE SENATE AND THE C.B.O. CAME OUT WITH THEIR ESTIMATE BASED ON THE WAY THEY READ THE LAW BEFORE IT WENT INTO EFFECT, THEY SAID, WELL, THIS COULD NEGATIVELY IMPACT JOBS AND THE ECONOMY TO THE TUNE OF 800,000. NOW WE'RE AT TWO AND A HALF TIMES THAT MANY, OVER TWO MILLION FEWER JOBS. AND AS A RESULT, SPECIFICALLY OF THE HEALTH CARE LAW. WE SHOULD BE DOING ALL THAT WE CAN TO INCREASE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION. THE HEALTH CARE LAW ACTUALLY PUSHES IT IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ALSO SAID THIS MORNING THAT THE HEALTH CARE LAW WILL PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE TO TWO MILLION FEWER PEOPLE THIS YEAR THAN PREVIOUSLY ESTIMATES HAD EXPECTED. AND ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS DEMOCRATS INSISTED THAT THEY NEEDED TO PASS THIS LAW IN THE FIRST PLACE WAS TO COVER UNINSURED PEOPLE. NOW THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE DOESN'T EVEN EXPECT IT TO DO THE JOB THAT THE DEMOCRATS INTENDED IT TO DO VERY WELL. THE LAW IS RAISING COSTS. IT IS HURTING MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS AND NOT EVEN HELPING THE PEOPLE THAT THE DEMOCRATS TOLD US IT WAS GOING TO HELP IN THE FIRST PLACE. PRESIDENT OBAMA PROMISED LAST WEEK TO ACT AND TO DO SOMETHING TO CREATE JOBS. SO WHAT WE SEE IS HIS HEALTH CARE LAW IS ACTUALLY REDUCING JOBS AND REDUCING THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WORKING. THERE ARE OTHER THINGS THAT THE PRESIDENT COULD DO TO HELP CREATE JOBS. THE FIRST THING, THOUGH, WOULD BE TO WORK WITH REPUBLICANS TO REPEAL THE HEALTH CARE LAW AND COME UP WITH REFORMS THAT WILL ACTUALLY WORK. HE COULD ALSO LOOK AT A NUMBER OF THE OPTIONS ON THE ENERGY FRONT THAT WOULD HELP THE PRIVATE SECTOR CREATE JOBS. NO GOVERNMENT MONEY NEEDED. THE PRESIDENT SAYS HE WANTS TO DO THINGS THAT DON'T REQUIRE LEGISLATION. WELL, WITHOUT ANY LEGISLATION AT ALL, THE PRESIDENT COULD APPROVE THE KEYSTONE X.L. PIPELINE AND EXPAND OPPORTUNITY FOR THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN FAMILIES. OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS A SMALL NUMBER OF LAWYERS, CONSULTANTS, BUREAUCRATS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS HAVE MADE A LIVING OVER HAGGLING ABOUT THE PIPELINE. MEANWHILE, THE PRESIDENT HAS TURNED HIS BACK ON MIDDLE-CLASS PEOPLE WHO ARE IN NEED OF JOBS, DESPERATE NEED OF JOBS, PEOPLE LIVING IN MONTANA, SOUTH DAKOTA, KANSAS, OTHER STATES. TRANS-CANADA SUBMITTED ITS APPLICATION FOR A PERMIT TO BUILD THE KEYSTONE X.L. PIPELINE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AGO. EVER SINCE, PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS WASTED AMERICA'S TIME AND MONEY GRASPING FOR EXCUSES IN ORDER FOR HIM TO BE ABLE TO REJECT IT. HIS STATE DEPARTMENT'S LATEST ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW CONFIRMS YET AGAIN THAT THE PIPELINE WILL NO LONGER -- SHOWS NO SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT AND IT WILL SUPPORT MORE THAN 42,000 JOBS. LAST SUMMER THE PRESIDENT SNEERED AT THOSE JOBS. HE SAID THEY WERE -- QUOTE -- "JUST A BLIP RELATIVE TO THE NEED." FOR OUT-OF-WORK AMERICANS, THOSE JOBS ARE MORE THAN A BLIP. FOR THEM, THIS IS MORE THAN A PIPELINE. IT'S A LIFELINE. IT IS WAY PAST TIME FOR PRESIDENT OBAMA TO QUIT STALLING AND TO FINALLY DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THOSE AMERICANS. THEY SAY THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS. YET, THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WE'VE HAD A DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. WE'VE HAD A SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT AND WE'VE HAD A FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. THEN WE HAD A DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. AND FRIDAY WE HAVE THE FINAL SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, PEOPLE AT HOME LISTENING TO THIS WOULD SAY WHY WOULD IT TAKE TWO YEARS -- AND IT DID, IT TOOK TWO YEARS TO GO FROM THE SUPPLEMENTAL DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT TO THE DRAFT SUPPLEMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT. IT MAKES NO SENSE AT ALL. THIS IS THE FIFTH REPORT BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT, AND THE CONCLUSION IS ALWAYS THE SAME. THEY COULD DO THIS REPORT ANOTHER 5 TIMES OR ANOTHER 50 TIMES. THE RESULT IS STILL GOING TO BE THE SAME. IT IS A SIMPLE COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS. THE COST IS NO SIGNIFICANT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. THE BENEFITS, AT LEAST 42,000 JOBS AND A CHANCE TO REDUCE OUR DEPENDENCE ON OVERSEAS OIL. SO NOW THAT THE COMPLAINTS FROM THE FAR LEFT ENVIRONMENTAL EXTREMISTS HAVE BEEN DEBUNKED, WHAT DO THEY SAY? WELL, ACCORDING TO THE NEWS REPORTS, SOME WILL HAVE PROTESTS AND SOME ARE PLANNING LAWSUITS. "THE WASHINGTON POST" HAD A STORY THIS SUNDAY TITLED "FOR PIPELINE, THE GUT CHECK MOMENT." IT TALKS ABOUT SOME OF THE FAN NATIONAL CAL ANTIENERGY -- FANAT ICAL ANTIPROTESTERS. HERE A QUOTE FROM THE GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTE AT TUFTS UNIVERSITY WHO CONTRIBUTED TO SENATOR KERRY'S PAST CAMPAIGNS. THE ARTICLE QUOTES HER AS SAYING I'M WORKING WITH AN INFORMAL NETWORK OF POLITICAL DONORS THAT WILL BE PUSHING KERRY TO DO THE RIGHT THING. POLITICAL DONORS AND ACTIVISTS ON THE LEFT ARE COMMITTED TO KILLING THIS PIPELINE, REGARDLESS OF THE SCIENCE, REGARDLESS OF THE MIDDLE-CLASS JOBS AND REGARDLESS OF WHAT'S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE COUNTRY. I FIND IT ASTONISHING THAT FORMER ENERGY SECRETARY STEVEN CHU SAID YESTERDAY ON THIS VERY POINT ABOUT -- WHAT ABOUT THE SCIENCE, WHAT ABOUT THE COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS. PRESIDENT OBAMA'S FORMER SECRETARY OF ENERGY SAID YESTERDAY -- QUOTE -- "THE DECISION ON WHETHER THE CONSTRUCTION SHOULD HAPPEN WAS A POLITICAL ONE, NOT A SCIENTIFIC ONE." SO MUCH FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SAYING THE DECISION WOULD BE BASED ON SCIENCE. THE PRESIDENT'S ACTIVIST BASE WILL BE MOBILIZING AND FIGHTING AGAINST GOOD AMERICAN JOBS. SO WHAT DOES THE ADMINISTRATION ITSELF SAY? IT SAYS IT WANTS TO WAIT FOR SOME MORE OPINIONS. THE WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF SAID SUNDAY THAT THE PRESIDENT WANTS OFFICIALS FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THE ENERGY DEPARTMENT AND OTHER AGENCIES TO TELL WHAT THEY THINK. WELL, I KNOW WHAT THE FORMER SECRETARY OF ENERGY THOUGHT. HE SAID THE DECISION ON WHETHER TO -- THE CONSTRUCTION SHOULD HAPPEN WAS A POLITICAL DECISION, NOT A SCIENTIFIC ONE. YOU DON'T NEED TO LOOK ANY FURTHER. LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF THE PROJECT. TRANSCANADA APPLIED TO BUILD THIS PIPELINE MORE THAN FIVE YEARS AGO. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION HAS SET DEADLINES AND SAID THAT IT WOULD MAKE A DECISION. FIRST IT WAS THE END OF 2011. THEN IT WAS AFTER THE ELECTION IN 2012. THEN IT WAS AT THE END OF 2013. SO PRESIDENT OBAMA PROMISED REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHEN HE MET WITH US LAST MARCH. THE ADMINISTRATION HAS MISSED EVERY DEADLINE, BROKEN EVERY PROMISE, AND IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE THE LAST TIME THE SENATE VOTED ON THE SUBJECT, 17 DEMOCRATS JOINED EVERY REPUBLICAN TO SUPPORT THE PIPELINE. THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS STILL TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO EVADE AND TO AVOID HAVING TO MAKE A DECISION. YOU KNOW, THIS REALLY OUGHT TO BE EMBARRASSING TO AN ADMINISTRATION. PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS ELECTED TO MAKE DECISIONS. THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED. THE PRESIDENT SHOULD BE EMBARRASSED WHEN HIS FORMER SECRETARY OF ENERGY SAYS THE DECISION ON WHETHER THE CONSTRUCTION SHOULD HAPPEN WAS A POLITICAL ONE AND NOT A SCIENTIFIC ONE. ANY OBJECTIONS HAVE BEEN HEARD, THEY HAVE BEEN ANSWERED. THERE ARE NO MORE EXCUSES. IT'S TIME FOR THE PRESIDENT TO MAKE UP HIS MIND, IS HE GOING TO FOLLOW THE SCIENCE OR JUST THE POLITICS. HE SHOULD APPROVE THE KEYSTONE X.L. PIPELINE. HE SHOULD DO IT NOW. HE SHOULD DO THE JOB THAT HE WAS ELECTED TO DO SO MIDDLE-CLASS AMERICANS CAN DO THE JOBS THAT THEY DESPERATELY WANT TO DO. THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I YIELD THE FLOOR. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM VERMONT. MR.

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  • 05:17:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, WHAT IS THE PARLIAMENT…

    FROM VERMONT. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, WHAT IS THE PARLIAMENT SITUATION? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S.

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  • 05:18:06 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    PARLIAMENT SITUATION? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE MOTION TO PROCEED TO S.

  • 05:18:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    PROCEED TO S. 1963. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK CONSENT THAT I…

    PROCEED TO S. 1963. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, I WOULD ASK CONSENT THAT I BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK UP TO TEN MINUTES AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS.

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  • 05:18:19 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    WOULD ASK CONSENT THAT I BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK UP TO TEN MINUTES AS IF IN…

    WOULD ASK CONSENT THAT I BE ALLOWED TO SPEAK UP TO TEN MINUTES AS IF IN MORNING BUSINESS.

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  • 05:18:26 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK, ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC…

    OBJECTION. MR. LEAHY: MADAM PRESIDENT, LAST WEEK, ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER APPEARED BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.

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  • 05:18:28 PM

    MR. LEAHY

    ERIC HOLDER APPEARED BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. HE REMINDED US…

    ERIC HOLDER APPEARED BEFORE THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE. HE REMINDED US OF SOMETHING THAT SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO BE REMINDED, THAT WE SHOULD SUPPORT OUR NATION'S LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS. NOW, THERE IS ONE VITAL PROGRAM THAT PROVIDES, SUPPORTS T FAMILIES OF FALLEN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND OTHER FIRST RESPONDERS. THAT'S THE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS' BENEFITS PROGRAM, THE PSOB. I AM PROUD TO HAVE AUTHORED LEGISLATION THAT HAS EXPANDED AND IMPROVED THE PSOB, LIKE THE HOMETOWN HEROES SURVIVORS BENEFITS ACT, AND THE THE DALE LONG PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS BENEFITS IMPROVEMENT ACT. WE HONOR THE SERVICE OF THESE DEDICATED FIRST RESPONDERS. WE EXERCISE CONSIDERABLE OVERSIGHT TO MAKE SURE THE PROGRAM WAS ADMINISTERED FAIRLY AND EFFICIENTLY. WE WISHED THAT WE DIDN'T NEED THE PSOB PROGRAM BECAUSE IT'S A REMINDER TO AMERICANS ABOUT THE DANGERS LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FACE EVERY DAY, BUT BECAUSE THEY DO FACE THOSE DANGERS, WE NEED THE PROGRAM. IN 2013, THE NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS MEMORIAL FUND REPORTED THAT 111 LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN THE UNITED STATES WERE KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. EVERY SINGLE LINE OF DUTY DEATH REPRESENTS ENORMOUS TRAGEDY FOR THE FAMILIES BUT ALSO FOR THE COMMUNITIES OF THESE OFFICERS. FOR DECADES, CONGRESS HAS BEEN STEADFAST IN ITS SUPPORT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. AS ONE WHO HAD THE PRIVILEGE TO SERVE IN LAW ENFORCEMENT FOR EIGHT YEARS, I AM SO PROUD OF WHAT WE HAVE DONE IN THE PAST. BUT NOW FOR SOME REASON, THERE ARE SOME IN CONGRESS WHO DO NOT BELIEVE THE SUPPORT OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS CAN BE A FEDERAL RESPONSIBILITY. I DISAGREE. I REMAIN COMMITTED TO FIGHTING FOR ALL OF OUR STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS. LAST FALL, THE SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE REPORTED TWO IMPORTANT BILLS TO SUPPORT OUR NATION'S LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. BOTH BILLS WOULD HELP PROTECT THE LIVES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. BOTH HAVE BEEN IMPROVED IN -- APPROVED IN THIS BODY FOR IMMEDIATE PASSAGE BY EVERY DEMOCRATIC SENATOR. UNFORTUNATELY, THERE ARE SOME REPUBLICAN SENATORS WHO CONTINUE TO OBSTRUCT PASSAGE OF BOTH BILLS IN THE SENATE. I WORRY THAT SOME ARE PUTTING IDEOLOGY AHEAD OF THE SAFETY OF OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. MORE THAN A DECADE AGO, REPUBLICAN SENATOR FROM COLORADO, SENATOR BEN NIGHTHORSE CAMPBELL AND I JOINED FORCES -- AGAIN, BECAUSE BOTH OF US HAD THE LAW ENFORCEMENT BACKGROUND, WE AUTHORED THE BULLETPROOF VEST PARTNERSHIP GRANT ACT. WE WORKED ACROSS THE AISLE, GOT BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS TO SUPPORT US. WE CREATED A GRANT PROGRAM THAT HAS ASSISTED STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN PURCHASING MORE THAN ONE MILLION PROTECTIVE VESTS. IN FACT, MADAM PRESIDENT, I REMEMBER A POLICE OFFICER THAT TESTIFIED BEFORE THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TELLING US HOW MUCH HE LOVED LAW ENFORCEMENT AND WHAT HE LOVED EVEN MORE WAS HIS FAMILY, HIS PARENTS, HIS WIFE, HIS CHILDREN, AND WHEN HE TALKED, HE SAID I CAME WITHIN A SECOND OF NEVER BEING THERE WITH THEM AGAIN. HE SAID THIS IS WHAT SAVED ME, AND HE PULLED UP FROM UNDER THE DESK A BULLETPROOF VEST. YOU COULD SEE THE SLUGS STUCK IN IT. HE SAID I WAS AMBUSHED, I HAD A CRACKED RIB, BUT LATER THAT DAY I SAW MY FAMILY. WITHOUT THIS VEST, WITH THIS BULLETPROOF PARTNERSHIP ACT, I WOULD HAVE NEVER SEEN MY FAMILY AGAIN. BETWEEN 2000 AND 2010, THE BULLETPROOF VEST PARTNERSHIP HASN'T EVEN REQUIRED CONTROVERSY. IT'S BEEN REAUTHORIZED THREE TIMES BY UNANIMOUS CONSENT. THE BULLETPROOF VEST HAS SAVED THE LIVES OF MORE THAN 3,000 LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS. THESE ARE OFFICERS WHO PUT THEIR OWN LIVES ON THE LINE. THEY DON'T STOP AND SAY WAIT A MINUTE, HOW DID PEOPLE VOTE ON THE BULLETPROOF VEST ACT? THEY RESPOND WHEN THEY ARE CALLED. BUT UNFORTUNATELY, SINCE 2012, A FEW REPUBLICAN SENATORS HAVE BLOCKED PASSAGE OF THIS BILL. I'M DISAPPOINTED WE CAN'T ALL COME TOGETHER TO PROMOTE THE SAFETY OF OUR NATION'S LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHO PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE EVERY DAY TO ENSURE OUR SAFETY. MADAM PRESIDENT, I REMEMBER WALKING DOWN THE STREET IN A TOWN IN COLORADO. A POLICE OFFICER IN UNIFORM WALKED UP TO ME AND SAID ARE YOU SENATOR LEAHY? I SAID I AM. HE TAPPED HIS CHEST. YOU COULD HEAR THE THUNK OF THE BULLETPROOF VEST. HE SAID I WANT TO THANK YOU AND I WANT TO THANK SENATOR CAMPBELL. THAT'S ALL HE SAID. I CHOKED UP LISTENING TO THIS. THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE ALSO REPORTED THE NATIONAL BLUE ALERT ACT. THIS IS A BIPARTISAN BILL THAT PASSED THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BY AN OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS. THE NATIONAL BLUE ALERT ACT WOULD CREATE A NATIONAL ALERT SYSTEM TO NOTIFY ALL STATE AND FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WITH CRITICAL INFORMATION WHEN AN OFFICER IS INJURED OR KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. I'M A PROUD COSPONSOR OF IT. IT IS SPONSORED BY SENATOR CARDIN AND SENATOR GRAHAM. KEY DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. IN RECENT WEEKS, SOME SENATORS HAVE EXPRESSED CONCERN FOR THE SAFETY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN THE CONTEXT OF A DIFFERENT SET OF CONFIRMATION PROCESS. I DO NOT QUESTION THAT THESE SENATORS ARE AS CONCERNED AS I AM ABOUT THE SAFETY OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, BUT I INVITE THOSE WHO EXPRESS CONCERN BEFORE THE CAMERAS FOR THE WELL-BEING OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO COME HERE AND SUPPORT THE TWO BILLS I HAVE DISCUSSED TODAY AND THE NEEDLESS OBSTRUCTION ON THIS PROVEN COMMONSENSE LEGISLATION. DO YOUR PRESS CONFERENCES IF YOU WANT, SAY YOU'RE IN FAVOR OF LAW ENFORCEMENT, WHO IS GOING TO BE AGAINST LAW ENFORCEMENT WITH IMPROVEMENT. LET'S GET THIS PASSED. I'M PROUD THAT EVERY MEMBER, EVERY DEMOCRATIC MEMBER SUPPORTED IT. MOST REPUBLICANS DO. THOSE FEW WHO ARE OPPOSED, LET US VOTE. IN COMING WEEKS AS THE SENATE MOVES CLOSER TO RECOGNIZING OUR NATION'S FALLEN LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS DURING NATIONAL POLICE WEEK IN MAY, TELL THEM TO COME TO THE FLOOR. I WANT TO SEEK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO PASS THESE LONG-STALLED BILLS. IF SENATORS WANT TO OPPOSE IT, FINE. VOTE AGAINST IT. BUT THEY OUGHT TO BE WILLING TO JOIN ME ON THE FLOOR TO EXPLAIN TO THE THOUSANDS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FAMILIES THAT SOON GATHER IN WASHINGTON TO HONOR THOSE WHO MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS WHY THEY OPPOSE THESE PIECES OF LEGISLATION THAT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SO NONCONTROVERSIAL. OUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS RISK THEIR LIVES EVERY DAY TO KEEP US SAFE. THEY DESERVE A CONGRESS THAT DOES MORE THAN JUST TALK ABOUT THEIR SERVICE. THEY DESERVE PROTECTION. ONE OF THE SADDEST DAYS I EVER SPENT AS STATE'S ATTORNEY WAS GOING TO THE FUNERAL OF A POLICE OFFICER KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY. A SNOWY DAY IN VERMONT. SNOW WAS FALLING GENTLY FROM THE SKY, AND FOR SEVERAL MILES OF POLICE CARS AND BLUE LIGHTS REFLECTED AGAINST THE WHITE SNOW. SUCH A PEACEFUL SCENE, BUT NOT FOR THE FAMILY OF THAT POLICE OFFICER. I SAID TO MYSELF I WILL DO EVERYTHING I CAN TO PROTECT THEM. AND I APPRECIATE THOSE REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS WHO JOIN ME ON THIS. SO LET'S -- I CALL ON MY FRIENDS FROM ACROSS THE AISLE. JOIN ALL THE REST OF US AND YOUR FELLOW REPUBLICANS WHO HAVE ALREADY JOINED TO PROTECT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, AND LET'S IMMEDIATELY REAUTHORIZE THE BULLETPROOF VEST PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM, AND LET'S PASS SENATOR CARDIN AND SENATOR GRAHAM'S NATIONAL BLUE ALERT BILL. IT IS A GOOD WAY TO HELP THOSE OF US WHO -- WHO KEEP US SAFE. WE HAVE -- WE HAVE MANY, I KNOW, IN MY OFFICE WHO WORK ON THIS. I MENTIONED ONE WHOSE BACKGROUND WAS AT THE VERMONT LAW SCHOOL THAT SOME IN THIS BODY ARE WELL AWARE OF, LIKE OUR DISTINGUISHED SENATE PARLIAMENTARIAN. BUT I ALSO APPRECIATE ALL THOSE POLICE OFFICERS -- AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEIR POLITICS ARE -- WHO COME AND SAID THANK YOU TO THOSE OF US WHO SUPPORTED THIS. IT'S SUCH AN EASY THING TO DO. IT SHOULD BE NONCONTROVERSIAL. LET'S GO BACK TO THE DAYS WHEN WE HAVE SOMETHING NONCONTROVERSIAL. LET'S JUST PASS IT. LET'S MAKE THESE OFFICERS SAFE AGAIN. MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR AND -- OH, I YIELD TO MY DEAR FRIEND, SO I WILL NOT SUGGEST THE ABSENCE OF A QUORUM. I YIELD THE FLOOR AND I YIELD BACK WHATEVER TIME I HAVE. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT?

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  • 05:28:58 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR FROM INDIANA. MR. COATS: MADAM PRESIDENT, I RETURNED TO THE SENATE…

    SENATOR FROM INDIANA. MR. COATS: MADAM PRESIDENT, I RETURNED TO THE SENATE IN 2011 TO TACKLE WHAT I BELIEVED TO BE THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FACING OUR COUNTRY, AND I HAVE DEVOTED MUCH OF MY FIRST THREE YEARS IN THIS RETURN TERM WORKING TO ACHIEVE A DEBT REDUCTION AGREEMENT THAT WOULD PUT OUR NATION ON A PATH TO FISCAL HEALTH AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. I HAVE

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  • 05:29:03 PM

    MR. COATS

    TO THE SENATE IN 2011 TO TACKLE WHAT I BELIEVED TO BE THE GREATEST…

    TO THE SENATE IN 2011 TO TACKLE WHAT I BELIEVED TO BE THE GREATEST CHALLENGE FACING OUR COUNTRY, AND I HAVE DEVOTED MUCH OF MY FIRST THREE YEARS IN THIS RETURN TERM WORKING TO ACHIEVE A DEBT REDUCTION AGREEMENT THAT WOULD PUT OUR NATION ON A PATH TO FISCAL HEALTH AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH DISCUSSIONS FOR ENDLESS HOURS AND DAYS AND MONTHS WITH MY COLLEAGUES FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, WITH OUTSIDE GROUPS. WE'RE TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER A LONG-TERM DEBT REDUCTION PLAN, DEFICIT AND DEBT REDUCTION PLAN THAT WILL PUT US ON THE PATH TO FISCAL HEALTH, TO FIND A WAY FORWARD TO DEAL WITH OUR EVER-MOUNTING DEBT. I'M COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH MY COLLEAGUES AND THE ADMINISTRATION ON THIS ISSUE BECAUSE I BELIEVE ULTIMATELY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WE CAN DO FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR COUNTRY, FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS, THE MOST IMPORTANT LEGACY WE CAN LEAVE DURING OUR TERM OF SERVICE HERE IS TO SOLVE OUR NATION'S FISCAL CRISIS. NOW, RECENTLY WE'VE HEARD RELATIVELY LITTLE ABOUT THIS, DESPITE EFFORTS THAT HAVE BEEN ONGOING FOR THE LAST FOUR TO SIX YEARS, WE NOT HAVE COME TO A RESOLUTION. WE'VE NOT COME TO AN AGREEMENT, WHICH PUTS US AT THE BEGINNING OF A PATH TO RESOLVE THIS PROBLEM. AND YET EACH YEAR IT MOUNTS, IT DRAMATICALLY INCREASES, OUR DEBT INCREASES, WE CONTINUE ON DEFICIT SPENDING, AND EVEN THOUGH WE'VE MADE A FEW EFFORTS TO REDUCE THAT DEFICIT SPENDING, TO HALF OF WHAT IT'S BEEN AT LEAST FOR THIS COMING YEAR, BASED ON THE SEQUESTER AND THE IMPLICATION OF THAT, IT'S ALSO CLEAR THAT THIS IS TEMPORARY AND IT'S ALSO CLEAR THAT WHETHER WE REDUCED IT IN HALF OR NOT, THE OTHER HALF STILL AMOUNTS TO MORE THAN HALF A TRILLION DOLLARS OF EXCESS SPENDING, DRIVING OUR DEBT HIGHER AND HIGHER. NOW, I'M PRIVILEGED TO SERVE AS THE SENIOR REPUBLICAN SENATOR ON THE JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE, AND SO WE SPEND A FAIR AMOUNT OF TIME LOOKING AT WHAT THE PROJECTIONS ARE FOR THE FUTURE AND HOW IT OUGHT TO SHAPE OUR ACTIONS HERE IN THE CONGRESS AS WELL AS HOW WE SHOULD WORK WITH THE ADMINISTRATION IN TERMS OF DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE. I WAS ANXIOUSLY AWAITING THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, NONPARTISAN GROUP, DEALS WITH NUMBERS, NOT WITH POLITICS, AT LEAST IT'S SUPPOSED TO. THEY BRING ABOUT THEIR ANNUAL BUDGET AND ECONOMIC OUTLOOK. THAT WAS RELEASED TODAY, AND LOOKING AT THAT IS SHOCKING. NEVER HAS MY CONVICTION BEEN STRONGER THAN TODAY WHEN I READ THIS OUTLOOK THAT WAS JUST RELEASED. IT ADDRESSES ISSUES THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US. WHEN I READ THIS REPORT I WAS STUNNED AT THE RESULTS AND I'M JUST GOING TO TALK ABOUT THE TOP TEN HERE. BUT IF THIS DOES NOT -- IF THIS IS NOT A SIREN CALL TO US TO REFOCUS OUR EFFORTS ON THIS ISSUE, WE'RE GOING TO REGRET TO THE END OF OUR LIVES NOT HAVING TAKEN ACTION TO BEGIN THE PROCESS OF GETTING THIS COUNTRY'S FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY AND HEALTH BACK IN ORDER. LET ME SHARE THESE FINDINGS. AGAIN, THIS IS THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, A NONPARTISAN GROUP ESTABLISHED BY THIS BODY TO DEAL WITH NUMBERS AND GIVE US FACTS AND PROJECTIONS FROM ECONOMISTS, WHO GIVE US THE OPPORTUNITY THEN TO LOOK AT HOW WE SHAPE POLICIES. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WOULD THE SENATOR PICK UP ANOTHER MICROPHONE, PLEASE.

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  • 05:33:30 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    SENATOR PICK UP ANOTHER MICROPHONE, PLEASE.

  • 05:33:36 PM

    MR. COATS

  • 05:33:37 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    TO MAKE SURE WE'VE GOT THIS. MR. COATS: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I'M GLAD YOU…

    TO MAKE SURE WE'VE GOT THIS. MR. COATS: THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I'M GLAD YOU WEREN'T ABOUT TO SHUT ME DOWN. THE PRESIDING

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  • 05:33:41 PM

    MR. COATS

    GLAD YOU WEREN'T ABOUT TO SHUT ME DOWN. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: NOT AT ALL.…

    GLAD YOU WEREN'T ABOUT TO SHUT ME DOWN. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: NOT AT ALL. THANK YOU. MR. COATS:

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  • 05:33:44 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    YOU. MR. COATS: LET ME GO BACK JUST A LITTLE BIT. AS

  • 05:33:47 PM

    MR. COATS

    LITTLE BIT. AS I SAUCE SAYING I WAS STUNNED BY THE C.B.O. REPORT AND I'D…

    LITTLE BIT. AS I SAUCE SAYING I WAS STUNNED BY THE C.B.O. REPORT AND I'D LIKE TO SHARE THE SHOCKING FINDINGS AND I HOPE EVERY MEMBER OF THIS CONGRESS WILL LOOK AT THIS, I'M GOING TO DISTRIBUTE IT ON BEHALF OF THE JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE SO WE HAVE ACCESS TO THIS. BUT IT OUGHT TO SEND A SHOCK WAVE THROUGH ALL OF US AND IT OUGHT TO PROVIDE US WITH THE COURAGE AND THE WILL TO STEP UP AND DO WHAT I THINK WE ALL NEED -- KNOW WE NEED TO DO. FINDING NUMBER ONE, THE NATIONAL DEBT HAS EXPLODED OVER THE LAST SEVERAL YEARS. GROSS FEDERAL DEBT IN 2014 IS PROJECTED TO REACH $17.7 TRILLION, WHICH IS A FIGURE LARGER THAN OUR ENTIRE ECONOMY AND AN INCREASE OF OVER $7 TRILLION IN JUST THE LAST FIVE YEARS UNDER THIS PRESIDENT. AND POINT NUMBER TWO, AN ADDITIONAL TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEFICIT SPENDING WILL OCCUR, AND WHILE C.B.O. HAS LOWERED THIS YEAR'S DEFICIT PROJECTION SLIGHTLY, IT EXPECTS A CUMULATIVE DEFICIT OF -- TO BE $1 TRILLION LARGER THAN LAST YEAR'S PROJECTIONS. LAST YEAR WAS STARTLING ENOUGH. NOW WE LEARN AFTER A YEAR OF SEQUESTRATION HOLDING DOWN SPENDING, SPEECHES ON THIS FLOOR SAYING WE'RE GETTING CONTROL OF THIS, C.B.O. COMES ALONG AND SAYS THE CUMULATIVE DEFICITS OVER THE NEXT -- FROM 2014 TO 2023 WILL BE A TRILLION DOLLARS LARGER THAN THEY THOUGHT JUST LAST YEAR. SO WHILE WE'RE CONGRATULATING OURSELVES FOR HOLDING DOWN SPENDING, WE'RE TOLD THAT WE'RE ADDING A TRILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN WAS EVEN PROJECTED, ANTICIPATED LAST YEAR. NOW, WE'RE DEALING WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, OR SO-CALLED AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, YET TO BE PROVEN TO BE AFFORDABLE. C.B.O. SAYS THAT OBAMACARE WILL REDUCE THE NUMBER OF FULL-TIME WORKERS BY 2.3 MILLION PEOPLE THROUGH 2021, AT A TIME WHEN THIS WAS SOLD AS A PLAN TO PUT AMERICANS BACK TO WORK, AS SOMETHING THAT WOULD REDUCE OUR DEFICIT BECAUSE WE WOULD GET CONTROL OF OUT-OF-CONTROL HEALTH CARE SPENDING, WE ARE TOLD BY THE C.B.O., CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, THAT THE NUMBER OF FULL-TIME WORKERS WILL DECREASE BY 2.3 MILLION, AND THIS, AGAIN, IS A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE FROM THE LAST ESTIMATE OF 800,000 DURING THE SAME TIME PERIOD. SO WE'VE GONE FROM 800,000 PROJECTION, NOT THAT LONG AGO, TO 2.3 MILLION. POINT NUMBER FOUR. MANDATORY SPENDING, PARTICULARLY OUR HEALTH AND RETIREMENT SECURITY PROGRAMS, ARE CROWDING OUT ALL OTHER PRIORITIES. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE ONCE AGAIN HAS SAID THAT AS WE LOOK AT OUR TOTAL BUDGET, THE MANDATORY SPENDING CONTINUES TO CROWD OUT ALL OTHER SPENDING PRIORITIES. THIS FIGURE STOOD OUT AND STUNNED ME BECAUSE IT'S THE FIRST TIME I'VE SEEN SUCH AN EXTRAORDINARY JUMP IN THE MANDATORY SPENDING PERCENTAGE OF OUR TOTAL SPENDING. MANDATORY SPENDING, C.B.O. SAYS, AND INTEREST ON THE DEBT IS PROJECTED TO CONSUME 94% OF ALL FEDERAL REVENUES TEN YEARS FROM NOW, SQUEEZING OUT FUNDING FOR ALL OTHER PRIORITIES. SQUEEZING OUT? ELIMINATING. WE'RE ENTERING THE SEASON HERE WHEN INTEREST GROUPS FROM OUR STATE COME, MANY WITH CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE IDEAS, AS TO HOW THEY COULD BETTER SPEND OR SPEND MORE MONEY ON THEIR PARTICULAR PROGRAM. AND I HAVE TO TELL THEM WHEN THEY COME IN AND SAY, YOU KNOW, WE NEED -- WE'RE HERE TO ENCOURAGE YOU TO INCREASE FUNDING FOR THE N.I.H., THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, OR WE'RE HERE TO HAVE YOU UNDERSTAND HOW IMPORTANT THE SCHOLARSHIP GRANTS, THE PLINGS AND OTHERS -- PELL GRANTS AND OTHERS ARE NECESSARY FOR ENROLLMENT OF STUDENTS IN OUR STATES. WE'RE HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE NEED TO IMPROVE OUR INFRASTRUCTURE, TO SAFE OR ROADS AND FILL POTHOLES AND REPAIR BRIDGES AND ESTABLISH NEW INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE MOVEMENT OF WATER AND SEWAGE TREATMENT AND ON AND ON IT GOES. AND YOU CAN GO RIGHT DOWN THE LIST OF LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF REQUESTS AS TO HOW TAX DOLLARS OUGHT TO BE SPENT TO BETTER IMPROVE OUR STATES, TO BETTER IMPROVE OUR HEALTH, TO BETTER IMPROVE OUR EDUCATION, TO BETTER IMPROVE A WHOLE NUMBER -- A WHOLE RANGE OF THINGS INCLUDING SUPPORT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY. AND I HAVE TO LOOK THEM IN THE EYE AND SAY, YOU KNOW, EVERY YEAR WE HAVE A SMALLER POT OF MONEY PERCENTAGEWISE OF OUR BUDGET TO APPLY TO ALL THESE DISCRETIONARY SPENDING PROGRAMS THAT CONGRESS HAS TO APROOF EVERY -- APPROVE EVERY YEAR. I SAID I'M REALLY NOT HERE TO ARGUE ABOUT WHETHER MONEY TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MONEY TO EDUCATION GRANTS OR MONEY FOR INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT OR ANY OTHER ENDEAVOR THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS INVOLVED IN. I SAID BECAUSE ALL OF THESE ARE GOING TO BE -- EVERY YEAR FACED WITH LESS MONEY TO FUND THESE PROGRAMS. NOW, SOME OF THESE OUGHT TO RECEIVE LESS AND SOME OF THEM OUGHT TO BE CLOSED, AND THE WASTE AND FRAUD OUGHT TO BE ELIMINATED BUT NEVERTHELESS THERE ARE ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS THAT NEED TO BE FUNDED. AND THEY WON'T BE ABLE TO BE FUNDED ADEQUATELY AND WILL CONTINUE TO SHRINK AS THE MANDATORY SPENDING RUNS OUT OF CONTROL. BUT TO THINK THAT OF ALL THE REVENUE, ALL THE TAX DOLLARS THAT COME INTO THE TREASURY, TEN YEARS FROM NOW WILL ACCUMULATE AND BE SPENT 94% OF WHICH WILL BE SPENT ON PROGRAMS THAT WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER, AND WON'T BE AVAILABLE FOR ANY OF THE THINGS I MENTIONED AND DOZENS IF NOT HUNDREDS OF MORE PROGRAMS, IS SIMPLY UNSUSTAINABLE. 94%. 6% LEFT TO PROVIDE FOR OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND NATIONAL DEFENSE, OUR INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, EDUCATION, INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT, MANUFACTURING INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, YOU NAME IT. C.B.O. ALSO SAID SOCIAL SECURITY IS IN JEOPARDY. THEY PROJECT THAT SOCIAL SECURITY WILL CONTINUE, I'M QUOTING, TO RUN CASH FLOW DEFICITS EVERY YEAR DURING THE NEXT DECADE AND THE DISABILITY INSURANCE TRUFERS WILL BE IN-- TRUST FUND WILL BE INSOLVENT THEY SAID BY 2017. THAT'S THREE YEARS AWAY. LET ME REPEAT THAT. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAID AT THE CURRENT RATE, SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY INSURANCE TRUST FUND WILL BE INSOLVENT IN THREE YEARS. THEY ALSO SAID MANDATORY SPENDING ON HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS IS EXPLODING. WE'VE HEARD IT SAID ON THIS FLOOR AND WE'VE SEEN IT MENTIONED IN THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS AND BY THE ADMINISTRATION NUMEROUS TIMES THAT WE'RE GETTING CONTROL OF OUR EXPLODING HEALTH CARE COSTS THROUGH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. IN 2013, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENT $861 BILLION ON MEDICARE, MEDICAID AND OTHER MAJOR HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS. THIS YEAR, THE COLLECTIVE COST IS EXPECTED TO REACH $933 BILLION. AND THEN NEARLY DOUBLE BY THE YEAR 2024 TO $1.8 TRILLION. I DON'T CALL THAT GETTING CONTROL OF OUR HEALTH CARE COSTS. BUT YET THIS MANDATORY SPENDING PART OF OUR BUDGET WILL CONTINUE TO GROW TO THE POINT WHERE WE SIMPLY HAVE NO MONEY LEFT FOR ANY OTHER FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT. ALL THIS IS BASED, OF COURSE, ON INTEREST RATES AND THE ASSUMPTION AS TO WHAT THEY WILL BE. C.B.O. SAYS OUR SPHW INTEREST ON OUR DEBT IS SET TO DOUBLE, ANNUAL INTEREST PAYMENTS ARE SET TO DOUBLE FROM 1.3% OF OUR GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT IN 2014 TO 3.3% OF G.D.P. IN 2024. AND WE KNOW THAT IN THE PAST, ESTIMATES OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH INTEREST RATES WILL DRIVE THAT RATE HIGHER, PARTICULARLY AS OUR FISCAL CRISIS GETS MORE DESPERATE. POINT NUMBER EIGHT. AGAIN, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAID WE'VE GOT A SPENDING PROGRAM AND NOT A TAXING PROGRAM, PROJECTED REVENUES WILL EXCEED, THEY SAY, THE 40-YEAR HISTORICAL AVERAGE OF GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, WILL EXCEED THAT THIS YEAR AND OUTPACE GROWTH IN OUR ECONOMY OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. SO THE PROBLEM ISN'T TOO LITTLE REVENUE, THAT'S GOING TO CONTINUE TO POUR IN HERE AS WE CONTINUE TO RAISE TAXES. BUT YOU CAN'T RAISE TAXES FAST ENOUGH OR ADEQUATE ENOUGH WITHOUT, ONE, DESTROYING OUR ECONOMY OR LIMITING OUR ECONOMY BUT SECONDLY, TO KEEP PACE WITH THE SPENDING. WHICH WILL HIT ITS PROJECTED AVERAGE OF 20.5% THIS YEAR AND OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS OUTPACE ECONOMIC GROWTH TO A GREATER DEGREE. C.B.O. NOTES THAT AFTER 2024, THE LONG-TERM PARATRAJECTORY OF SPENDING WILL DRIVE UP DEBT TO NEARLY UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS. LET ME REPEAT THAT, THIS IS A QUOTE FROM THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, THAT AFTER 2024, THE LONG-TERM TRAJECTORY OF SPENDING WILL DRIVE UP DEBT TO NEARLY UNPRECEDENTED LEVELS. C.B.O. STATES THAT, AND I QUOTE, SUCH AN UPWARD PATH WOULD ULTIMATELY BE UNSUSTAINABLE. POINT NUMBER FINE NINE OUT OF THE TEN, LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION WILL CONTINUE TO DECLINE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL YEARS. C.B.O. IS PROJECTING THAT LABOR PARTICIPATION WILL DROP TO 62.5% BY THE END OF 2013 SH 2017 FUELED IN PART BY THE MANDATES IN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND NEGATIVE IMPACT ON JOB CREATORS AS A RESULT. HERE'S THE TOUGHEST THING. NUMBER TEN. THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE SAYS EVEN THESE DIRE PROJECTIONS MAY BE OVERLY OPTIMISTIC. C.B.O. PROJECTS REAL ECONOMIC GROWTH OF 3.1%, WHICH IS NOTABLY HIGHER THAN THE PRIVATE SECTOR HAS PROJECTED, THEY PROJECTED 2.4% OR THE INTERNATIONAL MONT TAXPAYER FUND PROJECTS 2.8%. SO, AS C.B.O. SAY, IT WOULD PROBABLY TRIM ITS PROJECTION OF GROWTH IN 2013 BASED ON 2013 DATA. SO THE NUMBERS WE ARE DEALING WITH TODAY MAY BE OVERLY OPTIMISTIC. AS DIRE AS THIS REPORT IS, IT MAY BE THAT WE'RE UNDERESTIMATING THE DAMAGE THAT WILL COME FROM OUR ABILITY -- INABILITY TO CONTROL SPENDING AND PUT US ON A PATH TO FISCAL HEALTH. NOW, THIS JUST ISN'T ANOTHER SIREN ALERTING WASHINGTON TO THE STARK REALITY OF OUR COUNTRY DESPERATELY NEEDING A REAL DEBT-REDUCTION AGREEMENT. THIS IS A 5-ALARM FIRE. OUR FISCAL HOUSE IS ENGULFED IN FLAMES, AND THE QUESTION IS, WHEN ARE WE, WHO'VE BEEN GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY THAT THE -- GIVEN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PEOPLE WE REPRESENT, WHEN ARE WE GOING TO STAND UP AND HAVE THE CCURRENCE COURAGE DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS, TO PUT OUT THE FIRE? WE CANNOT OVERLOOK THE FACT THAT OUR COUNTRY IS FACING RECORD DEFICITS AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE. WE ARE CAREENING ON AN UNSUSTAINABLE FISCAL PATH. WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK TO ADDRESS THIS NOT TOMMING, NOT -- NOT TOMORROW, NOT AFTER THE NEXT ELECTION -- HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE HEARD, AFTER THIS NEXT ELECTION? WE NEED TO TAKE ON THIS CHALLENGE. WE NEED DO THIS NOW BECAUSE THE THREAT IS NOW. THE CREDIBLE LONG-TERM PLAN TO REDUCE OR DEBT AND PUT OUR COUNTRY BACK ON THE PATH TO FISCAL HEALTH AND ECONOMIC GROWTH AND OPPORTUNITY REALLY IS THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN PRESERVE THE AMERICA THAT WE ENJOY TODAY -- OR HAVE ENJOYED IN THE PAST. THE ONLY WAY TO PRESERVE THAT FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. SO I THINK WE HAVE A GENERATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY HERE THAT IS AS IMPORTANT AS ANY DEBT THAT WE HAVE FACED BEFORE. MANY SAY THAT OUR LEGACY RESTS 00ON WHAT WE DO HERE -- MANY SAY THAT OUR LEGACY RESTS ON WHAT WE DO HERE. WHETHER THAT'S TRUE, WE'LL BE MEASURED BY WHAT WE DO OR DON'T DO. THIS IS NOT A REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVE STANDING UP AND SAYING, THIS IS HOW I SEE THINGS. I'M SIMPLY RECITING HOW THE BODY WHICH WE TURN TO, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, A NEUTRAL BODY WHICH JUST DOES THE MATH AND THEN DRAWS CONCLUSIONS FROM IT -- ACTUALLY, WE DRAW THE CONCLUSIONS, THEY PUT THE NUMBERS DOWN. THIS IS WHAT THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS TOLD US. THESE ARE STUNNING NUMBERS, MUCH MORE THAN ANY OF US ANTICIPATED. I THINK WE'VE WE'VE BEEN IN A LITTLE LULL HERE, THINKING WE'VE DONE SCEFORTS. NOW WE'RE -- THINKING WE'VE DONE SCEFORTS. THOUSAND WE'RE BACK TO REGULAR ORDER. REGULAR ORDER IS CONTINUING TO SPEND HALF A TRILLION MORE THAN WE BRING IN REVENUE. RAISING TAXES ACCORDING TO C.B.O., THAT'S NOT GOING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM. THAT JUST HINDERS ECONOMIC GROWTH. AND SO THOSE OF US BOTH -- ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS BODY HERE THAT HAVE WORKED TO ADDRESS THESE ISSUES -- NOW, NOT LATER -- THOSE OF US THAT HAVE WORKED WITH THE ADMINISTRATION -- AND IFERS PART OFIWAS PART AFTER SMALL GROUP WORK WORKING OVER A SMALL PERIOD OF TIME WITH THE PRESIDENT AND HIS TOP ADVISORS TO TRY TO PUT SOMETHING IN PLACE, AS MODEST AS IT WAS -- OR AS IT ENDED UP BEING -- AND NOT EVEN BEING ABLE TO COMPLETE THAT. THAT BURDEN, THAT RESPONSIBILITY, THAT LEGACY RESTS ON OUR SHOULDERS, THAT DUTY RESTS ON OUR SHOULDERS TO ACKNOWLEDGE THESE FACTS, ACKNOWLEDGE THESE NUMBERS, AND TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IMPACT IT'S GOING TO HAVE ON THE FUTURE OF THIS COUNTRY, OUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN, EVERYBODY'S CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN, AND PERHAPS EVEN OUR GENERATION. AND SO I WILL BE DISTRIBUTING THIS REPORT FROM THE JOINT ECONOMIC COMMITTEE, WHICH IS A BIPARTISAN COMMITTEE. I HAPPEN TO BE THE SENIOR REPUBLICAN SENATOR. BUT IT'S EQUALLY STAFFED AND EQUALLY LED BY THOSE FROM THE OTHER PARTY. SO I'M HOPING WE CAN WORK TOGETHER. I'M HOPING THIS SENDS OUT YET ANOTHER ALARM AND WE JUST WON'T SIMPLY REST ON THE FACT THAT WE MADE A BABY STEP HERE IN TERMS OF GETTING SOME CONTROL OVER OUR SPENDING. BUT AS WE TURN AROUND, LIKE A LITTLE GRASS FIRE OVER HERE THAT WE PUT OUT ACROSS THE STREET, WHILE THE 5-ALARMER IS BURNING AWAY, BLAZING AWAY, AND WE'RE SAYING, WE'LL DEAL WITH IT LATER. WE CAN'T DEAL WITH IT LATER. WE MUST DEAL WITH IT NOW. MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT?

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  • 05:50:54 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM CONNECTICUT.

  • 05:50:58 PM

    MR. MURPHY

    CONSENT THAT I BE ABLE TO ENGAGE IN A QUOLL QUEY WITH THE SENATOR FROM --…

    CONSENT THAT I BE ABLE TO ENGAGE IN A QUOLL QUEY WITH THE SENATOR FROM -- IN A COLLOQUY WITH THE SENATOR FROM HAWAII FOR UP TO 20 MINUTES. OFFICER 123ER WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. MURPHY: THANK YOU, I AM DOWN HERE WITH MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR SCHATZ FROM HAWAII, THE COLLEGE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND INNOVATION ACT, WHICH WE INTRODUCED ALONG WITH SENATOR MURRAY OF WASHINGTON AND SENATOR SANDERS OF VERMONT.

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  • 05:51:09 PM

    MR. MURPHY

    WITH MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR SCHATZ FROM HAWAII, THE COLLEGE AFFORDABLE CARE…

    WITH MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR SCHATZ FROM HAWAII, THE COLLEGE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND INNOVATION ACT, WHICH WE INTRODUCED ALONG WITH SENATOR MURRAY OF WASHINGTON AND SENATOR SANDERS OF VERMONT. AND BY WAY OF FRAMING THE CONVERSATION THAT WE'LL HAVE TODAY, MADAM PRESIDENT, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT ONE PARTICULAR COLLEGE THAT MAYBE PAINTS A PICTURE OF THE CRISIS THAT WE ARE IN TODAY WITH RESPECT TO THE MOUNTING COST THAT CONFRONTS KIDS AND FAMILIES WHEN THEY WANT TO GET A COLLEGE EDUCATION AND THE VARIETY OF OUTCOMES, THE FRANKLY SURPRISING OUTCOMES THAT STUDENTS ARE GETTING WHEN THEY SHOW UP AT THE DOORS OF INSTITUTIONS OF PUBLIC -- EXCUSE ME, INSTITUTIONS OF EDUCATION, PARTICULARLY INSTITUTIONS OF FOR-PROFIT EDUCATION. CORINTHIAN COLLEGE IS A PRETTY BIG COLLEGE, ABOUT 100 CAMPUSES ON 25 DIFFERENT STATES. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME STATISTICS ABOUT CORINTHIAN COLLEGE. AFTER ABOUT A YEAR, OVER HALF OF THE STUDENTS WHO ENROLL DROP OUT OUT. WHEN THEY'RE FINISHED WITH THEIR EDUCATION, WHETHER IT BE TO A DEGREE OR NOT, ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF ALL STUDENTS WHO GO TO CORINTHIAN DEFAULT ON THEIR STUDENT LOANS. IF 56% ISN'T A BAD ENOUGH NUMBER IN TERMS OF ONE-YEAR DROPOUT RATES, AFTER FOUR YEARS, ONLY 6% OF ALL THE KIDS THAT WALK IN THE DOORS OF CORINTHIAN COLLEGE GET A DEGREE. FOORMTAFFORDABILITY IS AN ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR. DOWN THE STREET YOU COULD GET THE SAME DEGREE FOR $2,,,500. 35% DEFAULT RATE, 6% FOUR-YEAR GRADUATION RATE, DEGREES THAT CAN COST 14 TIMES AS MUCH AS COMPARABLE LOCAL SCHOOLS. THE AND GUESS WHAT? THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REWARDS THIS SCHOOL WITH $1.6 BILLION IN FEDERAL AID EVERY YEAR AND $500,000 -- $500 MILLION, EXCUSE ME, IN PELL GRANT MONEY EVERY YEAR. THE AND SO THIS EXAMPLE -- WHICH FRANKLY CAN BE REPEATED OVER AND OVER AGAIN, ESPECIALLY IN THE FOR-PROFIT WORLD -- SPEAKS TO THE CHALLENGE THAT WE HAVE. WE HAVE DONE A REALLY CREDIBLE JOB OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST FEW YEARS IN KEEPING DOWN THE INTEREST RATE THAT WE CHARGE STUDENTS WHO WANT TO TAKE OUT LOANS TO GO TO SCHOOL. NO ONE HAS WORKED HARDER ON THIS ISSUE INSIDE THIS BODY AND OUTSIDE THIS BODY THAN THE PRESIDING OFFICER. BUT WE ALSO HAVE TO HAVE A CONCURRENT CONVERSATION ABOUT THE STICKER PRICE OF COLLEGE, BECAUSE IT CAN'T BE ENOUGH THAT WE ARE FACILITATING STUDENT BORROWING. WE ALSO HAVE TO TRY TO ENGAGE IN A REAL EFFORT USING FEDERAL LEVERS, FOR THE FIRST TIME PERHAPS IN OUR HISTORY OF FEDERAL HIGHER EDUCATION POLICY, TO PUSH THE COST OF TUITION DOWN IN THE FIRST PLACE. AND THAT'S WHAT THE COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AND INNOVATION ACT SEEKS TO DO. AS SENATOR SCHATZ WILL TALK ABOUT, THERE AREN'T A LOT OF ISSUES THAT ARE MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO THE MIDDLE CLASS THANK THE COST OF A HIGHER EDUCATION. WE BOTH KNOW THAT, WE BARNED PARTNERED ON THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION IF IN PART IS NOT ONLY ARE WE NOT THAT FARAWAY FROM THE TIME OF OUR LIVES WHEN WE WERE IN COLLEGE, WE'RE SAVING PAYING FOR OUR SAVING FOR OUR KIDS' EDUCATION AS WELL AS PAYING FOR OURS U I'LL. WE THINK IT IS TIME FOR A LITTLE BIT MORE INNOVATION WHEN IT COMES TO THE WAY COLLEGE IS STRUCTURED. THERE IS NO MAGIC TO THE FACT THAT TODAY YOU HAVE TO SIT? A CLASSROOM FOR FOUR YEARS, TAKING A REQUITS AMOUNT OF CREDIT -- A REQUISITE AMOUNT OF CREDITS IN ORDER TO GET A DEGREE. THERE ARE A SMALL SUBSET OF SCHOOLS SAY, WAIT A MINUTE. MAYBE THERE IS A DIFFERENT WAY TO DO IT. THE MAYBE WE SHOULD AWARD A DEGREE BASED ON THE COMPETENCES YOU GET, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU NEED TWO, THREE, OUR OR FOUR YEARS TO GET THE DEGREE. OR MAYBE WE SHOULD REWARD STUDENTS WHO SHOW UP AT THEIR FRESHMAN YEAR OF SCHOOL WITH PRIOR LEARNING WITH CREDIT FOR THAT, WHETHER YOU GOT THAT STUDYING AT A HIGH SCHOOL OR IN THE WORKFORCE OR IN THE MILITARY. SOME STUDENTS DON'T HAVE TO START AS A FRESHMAN. SOME CAN START AS A SOPHOMORE OR JUNIOR. OR MAYBE IT'S A RENEWED EFFORT TO CONSOLIDATE GRADUATE PROGRAMS WITH UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS. I THINK PRESIDENT OBAMA IS RIGHT. YOU DON'T NEED SEVEN YEARS TO BECOME A LAWYER IN THIS COUNTRY. DOESN'T MAKE A LOT OF SENSE THAT YOU HAVE TO SPEND 10 TO 15 YEARS IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING TO BECOME A DOCTOR. WE CAN CONSOLIDATE GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAMS. BUT WHATEVER WE DO, WE HAVE TO ADMIT THAT ONE OF THE EASIEST WAYS TO REDUCE THE COST OF A DEGREE IS TO REAL ESTATE DUCE THE TIME -- REDUCE THE TIME THAT IT TAKES TO GET A DEGREE. THE FIRST PART OF OUR BILL FOCUSES ON GIVING SOME GRANTS IT A SMALL NUMBER OF SCHOOLS TO BUILD OUT THE RIGHT WAY TO DO COMPETENCY-BASED DEGREE PROGRAMMING OR INITIATIVES TO GIVE GREATER CREDIT FOR PRIOR LEARNING OR CONSOLIDATIONS OF GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE DEGREES. WE INTRODUCED THIS PIECE OF LEGISLATION BECAUSE WE THINK IT'S TIME TO START HAVING A REAL CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CAN DO TO CONTROL AND LOWER THE PRICE OF COLLEGE EDUCATION. IT IS BREAKING THE BANK FOR FAMILIES. AND WE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. IF WE DIDN'T HAVE ANY TOOLS AT OUR DISPOSAL, MAYBE THIS WOULDN'T BE A WORTHWHILE CONVERSATION. BUT WE GIVE OUT MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FEDERAL AID EVERY YEAR AND IT IS ABOUT TIME WE STARTED DEMANDING ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THAT MONEY, WHETHER FOR COST OR FOR QUALITY. IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE FOR TAXPAYERS TO BE SENDING $1.6 BILLION A YEAR TO A SCHOOL WITH A 6% GRADUATION RATE, A 38% LOAN DEFAULT RATE, AND PRICES THAT ARE SIMPLY NOT COMPETITIVE IN THE LANDSCAPE OF COLLEGE EDUCATION. SO I'M PLEASED TO BE DOWN HERE ON THE FLOOR WITH A WITH MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR SCHATZ, AND I AM HAPPY TO TURN THE FLOOR OVER TO HIM. SHATT-AL-ARABMR. SCHATZ: I THANK THE SENATOR FOR HIS LEADERSHIP. WE ARE HAPPEN HAPPY TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF SENATOR MURRAY AND SENATOR SANDERS. BUT THIS REALLY IS THE MIDDLE-CLASS ISSUE OF OUR TIME. AND IT DOESN'T JUST BELONG TO COLLEGE-AGED STUDENTS. IT BELONGS TO ALL OF US. SENATOR MURPHY TALKED ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IT IS FOR THOSE OF US WHO HAVE YOUNG CHILDREN AND ARE BEGINNING THE PROCESS OF TRYING TO SAVE UP FOR OUR CHILDREN'S COLLEGE EDUCATION. BUT IT ALSO BELONGS TO THE GRANDPARENTS' GENERATION. SO MANY PEOPLE ARE THINKING ABOUT WHETHER THEY CAN HELP THEIR KIDS TO AMELIORATE THEIR EXISTING STUDENT LOANS OR THEIR GRANDKIDS TO BE ABLE TO AFFORD COLLEGE. AS SENATOR MURPHY MENTIONED, WE SPEND ALMOST $150 BILLION IN SOME FORM OR FASHION ON FEDERAL FINANCIAL AID FOR INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING. THAT'S A GOOD THING. THAT IS A MATTER OF NATIONAL STRATEGY. THAT IS ABOUT THE AMERICAN DREAM. THERE IS ATHAT IS ABOUT THE PREMISE THAT IF YOU WORK HARD AND PLAY BY THE RIEWCIALTION YOU CAN MOVE UP THE ECONOMIC -- AND PLAY BY THE RULES, YOU CAN MOVE UP THE ECONOMIC LADDER. HIGHER EDUCATION IS ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO DO THAT. IT ALWAYS TO BE IN THE USE OF AMERICA. HERE'S THE PROBLEM. AND THE SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT TALKED ABOUT AN INDIVIDUAL EXAMPLE. BUT LET ME GIVE YOU THE AGGREGATE DATA. OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS WE HAVE SPENT 20% MORE AND WE HAVE GOTTEN 25% LESS. WE ARE SPENDING 20% MORE AND WE ARE GETTING 25% LESS. THAT MEANS THAT ALTHOUGH OUR INVESTMENT IN HIGHER EDUCATION AND THEORETICALLY IN COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY, THE NET COST FOR STUDENTS HAS GOWN BY 25% -- HAS GONE UP BY 25%. WE NOW HAVE MORE THAN $ $1 TRILLION IN STUDENT LOAN DEBT, THE SECOND TO MORTGAGE DEBT. THIS IS A REAL CRISIS NOT JUST ON THE CONSUMER LEVEL BUT AS A MATTER OF ECONOMIC STRATEGY FOR OUR NATION BECAUSE TO THE DEGREE AND EXTENT THAT YOUNG PEOPLE OR PEOPLE WHO WANT RETRAINING OR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO GET A CULINARY DEGREE OR BECOME A MASTER CARPENTER OR BECOME AN ARCHITECT OR DOCTOR START TO EVALUATE HIGHER EDUCATION AND DECIDE IT IS NOT A GOOD VALUE ANYMORE, THAT DOESN'T JUST IMPACT THEIR INDIVIDUAL FAMILY OR THEIR INDIVIDUAL COMMUNITY, BUT IT IMPACTS OUR NATIONAL ECONOMIC STRATEGY. COLLEGE IS NO LONGER AFFORDABLE. FOR MANY, MANY PEOPLE AND THAT IS DESPITE THE FACT WE ARE SPENDING MORE IN RAW DOLLARS AND IN INFLATION-ADJUSTED DOLLARS THAN EVER BEFORE. SENATOR MURPHY TALKED ABOUT THE INNOVATION PORTION OF THIS LEGISLATION. WE ALSO HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY PORTION OF THIS LEGISLATION. HERE'S THE BASIC PREMISE. AS AN INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION, IF YOU'RE A FOR-PROFIT, IF YOU'RE A NOT-FOR-PROFIT OR EVEN IF YOU'RE A PUBLIC INSTITUTION, IT'S NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S JOB TO DETERMINE WHAT YOUR MISSION MAY BE. AND CERTAIN IF YOU'RE A PRIVATE FOR-PROFIT, WE'RE NOT HERE TO DICTATE YOUR ORGANIZATION'S MISSION. BUT A FOR-PROFIT INSTITUTION HAS NO SPECIAL RIGHT TO FEDERAL FUNDING. AND IF YOU'RE GOING TO RECEIVE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN FEDERAL SUBSIDIES, WE THINK IT'S REASONABLE AS WE ENDEAVOR TO REAUTHORIZE THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACT THAT WE TIE SOME REASONABLE PUBLIC POLICY STRINGS TO THOSE DOLLARS. AND ALL WE ARE SAYING IS THAT WE WANT INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING, AND ESPECIALLY THEIR LEADERSHIP, TO WAKE UP EVERY MORNING AND THINK NOT FIRST ABOUT PROFITS, NOT THINK FIRST ABOUT HOW THEY'RE GOING TO MARKET TO FIND MORE CUSTOMERS, BUT THINK ABOUT ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY. AND WHAT WE'RE SAYING IS THAT DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS MAY HAVE DIFFERENT MISSIONS. A COMMUNITY COLLEGE HAS A DIFFERENT MISSION FROM A TRAINING INSTITUTE AND A FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTION HAS A DIFFERENT MISSION THAN A GRADUATE INSTITUTION. AND THAT'S ALL FINE. AND THAT'S WHY WE'VE ESTABLISHED IN THIS LEGISLATION AN INDEPENDENT COMMISSION COMPROMISED OF EXPERTS TO DETERMINE WHAT MATRIX OF INCENTIVES AND POSSIBLE PENALTIES WOULD BE APPROPRIATE FOR EACH INSTITUTION. BUT HERE'S THE BOTTOM LINE. WE ARE SPENDING MORE AND GETTING LESS, AND WE ARE SPENDING $150 BILLION. THIS SYSTEM IS NOT WORKING, AND WE'RE PLEASED TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF SEVERAL OF OUR COLLEAGUES. WE'RE GOING TO BE ENLISTING THE SUPPORT OF MANY OTHERS, AND I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO CONTINUING THE CONVERSATION WITH THE SENATOR FROM CONNECTICUT. MR. MURPHY: THANK YOU, SENATOR SCHATZ. HERE'S

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  • 06:02:35 PM

    MR. MURPHY

    SCHATZ. HERE'S ANOTHER STATISTIC TO THINK ABOUT. IT WASN'T SO LONG AGO…

    SCHATZ. HERE'S ANOTHER STATISTIC TO THINK ABOUT. IT WASN'T SO LONG AGO WHERE WE RANKED FIRST IN THE NATION WITH RESPECT TO 25-YEAR OLDS TO 35-YEAR OLDS WITH COLLEGE DEGREES. AND THAT WAS NOT ONLY A SOURCE OF IMMENSE PRIDE FOR THIS COUNTRY, BUT REALLY THE GENESIS OF OUR ECONOMIC GREATNESS THAT WE TURNED OUT MORE COLLEGE-EDUCATED YOUNG PEOPLE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. IN A VERY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME WE HAVE SLIPPED FROM FIRST TO NOT SECOND OR THIRD OR FOURTH BUT TO 12th. WE ARE NOW 12th IN THE WORLD WITH RESPECT TO THE NUMBER OF 25- TO 35-YEAR OLDS WITH COLLEGE DEGREES. PART OF THE REASON FOR THAT IS A LOT OF OTHER COUNTRIES HAVE CAUGHT UP TO THE UNITED STATES. BUT THE CRISIS IN THIS COUNTRY IS NO LONGER JUST A CRISIS OF ACCESS. THAT WAS THE BUZZWORD FOR A LONG TIME, THAT WE NEED TO INCREASE ACCESS TO COLLEGE. WE NOW HAVE A CRISIS OF COMPLETION IN WHICH MILLIONS OF STUDENTS ARE STARTING SCHOOL AND NOT FINISHING IT FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS, BUT LARGELY BECAUSE OF THE ASTRONOMICAL COST. TODAY THE MAJORITY OF STUDENTS ARE NOT GRADUATING IN SIX YEARS, AND SO THE ISSUE ABOUT AFFORDABILITY IS NOT JUST ABOUT ATTRACTING MORE KIDS INTO THE DOORS OF COLLEGE, BECAUSE I'LL TELL YOU, AS I'M SURE YOU DO, SENATOR SCHATZ, I TALK TO A LOT OF KIDS WHO GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL AND DON'T APPLY TO SCHOOL IN MY STATE BECAUSE THEY ARE SCARED OFF BY THE COST AND THEY DON'T BELIEVE THEY'RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO PUT TOGETHER THE FAMILY RESOURCES TO PAY FOR IT. BUT WE ALSO ARE LOSING A GENERATION OF WORKERS BECAUSE IT'S TAKING YOUNG PEOPLE NOW SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT YEARS TO COMPLETE A DEGREE. AND OFTEN MANY OF THEM ARE NEVER COMPLETING THAT DEGREE WHILE STILL TAKING ON LOAN AFTER LOAN AFTER LOAN AND GETTING STUCK IN THE WORST POSSIBLE SITUATION, WHEREBY THEY HAVE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN DEBT AND NO CERTIFICATE TO BRING IN TO THE WORKFORCE. AND SO OUR EFFORT HERE IS AN EFFORT TO ADDRESS COSTS BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT ACCESS, BUT IT'S ALSO AN EFFORT TO ADDRESS COSTS BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT COMPLETION. AND THAT'S ONE OF THE BIG PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE IN OUR SYSTEM TODAY. MR. SCHATZ: I THINK YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT ABOUT THAT ONE. LET ME GIVE

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  • 06:04:55 PM

    MR. SCHATZ

    ABOUT THAT ONE. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME DATA. IN 2011 ONLY 38% OF…

    ABOUT THAT ONE. LET ME GIVE YOU SOME DATA. IN 2011 ONLY 38% OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS IN A FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTION GRADUATED ON TIME. WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE COST OF COLLEGE, YOU THINK ABOUT THE PER-YEAR COST. BUT IF IT'S TAKING SIX OR SEVEN YEARS, THEN THE PER-YEAR COST IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS HOW REALISTIC IT IS FOR YOU TO FINISH ON TIME. AND THIS ISN'T -- JUST TO BE CLEAR, THOSE DATA COULD BE SKEWED BY THE FACT THAT THERE ARE PART-TIME STUDENTS AND ALL THE REST OF IT. THAT'S NOT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE. IT IS SIMPLY HARD TO FINISH ON TIME. BUT THERE IS HOPE ON THE HORIZON. THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII HAS UNDERTAKEN A PROGRAM CALLED 15 TO FINISH. THE BASIC IDEA IS THAT STUDENTS ESPECIALLY IN THEIR FRESHMAN YEAR NEED TO KNOW THEY NEED THOSE 15 CREDITS. THEY NEED HELP FROM THEIR COUNSELORS SO BY THE TIME THEY ARE IN THEIR SOPHOMORE YEAR THEY ARE WELL ON THEIR WAY TO COMPLETING THEIR MAJOR OF CHOICE IN THAT FOUR-YEAR PERIOD OF TIME. THE CHALLENGE NOW IS GIVEN LEGISLATORS HAVE CUT FUNDING TO INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING AND AS A RESULT OF FEWER COUNSELORS AND FEWER PEOPLE TO ASSIST IN THE STUDENT SERVICES OFFICE, OFTENTIMES YOU DON'T GET REAL COUNSELING WITH RESPECT TO WHAT YOU NEED UNTIL IT'S TOO HRAEUFPLT AND THEN YOU FIND -- UNTIL IT'S TOO HRAEUFPLT THEN YOU FIND YOU'RE ON A FIVE- OR SIX-YEAR PLAN. YOUR FAMILY MAY NOT HAVE MADE THE FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS THAT PUT YOU IN A POSITION TO BE ON A FIVE-YEAR PLAN. FROM A REVENUE STANDPOINT IF YOUR MISSION AS AN INSTITUTION, FOR PROFIT OR NOT FOR PROFIT, IS JUST TO FILL THOSE SEATS AND GENERATE THOSE DOLLARS, THAT DOESN'T MATTER TO YOU. BUT THE CHALLENGE WE HAVE RIGHT NOW IS THAT THE INSTITUTIONS HAVE -- THE PUBLICLY CAP AND TRADED ONES HAVE -- THE PUBLICLY TRADED ONES HAVE PRESSURE TO GENERATE PROFITS. EVEN THE PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS, THE UNIVERSITIES OF HAWAII AND THE UNIVERSITIES OF CONNECTICUT HAVE HAD THEIR FUNDING REDUCED BY THE LEGISLATURES. THEIR C.F.O.'S ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT NEW REVENUE STREAMS. AS LONG AS THEY CAN KEEP ENROLLMENT UP, THAT ENABLES THEM TO GO BACK TO THEIR LEDGES SLAYER TOUR AND SAY -- LEGISLATURE AND SAY WE'RE IN THE BLACK. WE'RE NOT ASKING YOU TO BE IN THE BLACK. WE UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO BE FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE. WE UNDERSTAND THE NEED TO GENERATE TUITION REVENUE. HERE'S THE THING, THE POINT OF HIGHER EDUCATION IS FOR STUDENTS TO BE ABLE TO MOVE UP THAT ECONOMIC LADDER. AND TO THE EXTENT THAT NOT ONLY IS IT NOT ACCOMPLISHING THAT GOAL BUT IT IS ACTUALLY DOING THE OPPOSITE FOR SOME OF OUR STUDENTS. THEY END UP WITH A MOUNTAIN OF DEBT AND EITHER NO DEGREE OR A DEGREE THEY FIND DOESN'T MAKE THEM EMPLOYABLE IN THE MARKETPLACE. THAT IS A NATIONAL SHAME AND THAT'S WHY WE HAVE TO ADDRESS THIS. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE BELIEVE WE ARE SPENDING A SUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF MONEY ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL SO THAT WE CAN EFFECTUATE THESE CHANGES JUST BY SAYING IF YOU WANT TO RECEIVE FEDERAL DOLLARS FOR YOUR INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING, THEN WE ARE ASKING YOU TO FOCUS ON ACCESS AND AFFORDABILITY. I WANT TO GIVE YOU ONE LAST PIECE OF DATA BECAUSE IT ACTUALLY SHOCKED ME, EVEN AS MUCH AS I'VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS ISSUE. THE FOR-PROFIT INSTITUTIONS COMPROMISE ABOUT 12% OF THE STUDENTS. AND 30% OF THE FEDERAL DOLLARS. 12% OF THE STUDENTS AND 30% OF THE FEDERAL DOLLARS. AND SO WHILE THERE ARE INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE FOR PROFIT THAT ARE DOING GREAT WORK, AND THERE ARE NOT FOR PROFITS AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS THAT HAVE TO DO A LOT BETTER, LET'S CALL IT LIKE IT IS. ONE OF THE MAJOR CHALLENGES HERE IS WE HAVE TO WRAP OUR ARMS AROUND UNDUE PROFITS AND PUBLICLY TRADED COMPANIES THAT ARE GENERATING PROFITS AND SPENDING FEDERAL DOLLARS ON MARKETING TO STUDENTS AND NOT PROVIDING VERY MUCH IN THE WAY OF VALUE. MR. MURPHY: LET'S BE CLEAR ABOUT WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT HERE.

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  • 06:08:52 PM

    MR. MURPHY

    TALKING ABOUT HERE. WE BELIEVE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A PRETTY LIGHT HAND OF…

    TALKING ABOUT HERE. WE BELIEVE WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A PRETTY LIGHT HAND OF ACCOUNTABILITY IN THE SENSE THAT WE ARE REALLY GOING AFTER THE TRUE OUTLIERS. YOU TALK ABOUT THE WORK HAPPENING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAII OR UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT. WE DON'T IMAGINE THAT ANY FLAGSHIP UNIVERSITY IS GOING TO RUN AFOUL OF THESE ACCOUNTABILITY STANDARDS. I FRANKLY DON'T BELIEVE MANY PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES AT ALL ARE GOING TO RUN AFOUL OF THESE STANDARDS. WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THE HAND FULL OF OUTLIARS THAT HAVE ABYSMAL RETENTION RATES, GRADUATION RATES, DEFAULT RATES OR TUITION INCREASE RATES. AND WE'RE ALSO TALKING ABOUT WE THINK A PRETTY NUANCED PROCESS BY WHICH TO TRY TO BRING THOSE SCHOOLS AROUND BEFORE THEY WOULD LOSE ELIGIBILITY FOR FUNDING. OUR BILL SAYS THAT IF YOU'RE NOT MEETING THESE STANDARDS, YOU HAVE PRETTY LONG PERIOD OF TIME IN WHICH YOU'D BE ON PROBATION WITH NO PRACTICAL EFFECTS IN WHICH YOU COULD SET UPON AN ACTION PLAN TO IMPROVE YOUR AFFORD ABILITY OR OUTCOMES. IF YOU WEREN'T HITTING THOSE BENCHMARKS YOU WOULD LOSE SOME FEDERAL AID. THAT IS PLENTY OF TIME FOR A UNIVERSITY TO CORRECT. BUT IF A SCHOOL THAT IS STARTING OUT WITH A 6% GRADUATION RATE CAN'T IMPROVE THAT OVER FIVE YEARS, WHY ON EARTH WOULD WE CONTINUE TO SEND $1 BILLION TO THAT SCHOOL WHEN IT COULD BE USED FOR STUDENTS WHO ARE ATTENDING SCHOOLS THAT CARE A LOT MORE ABOUT QUALITY EDUCATION? MR. SCHATZ: I THINK YOU'RE EXACTLY RIGHT. WE

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  • 06:10:34 PM

    MR. SCHATZ

    RIGHT. WE HAVE THE SENATOR FROM INDIANA TALKING ABOUT DEBT AND DEFICITS…

    RIGHT. WE HAVE THE SENATOR FROM INDIANA TALKING ABOUT DEBT AND DEFICITS AND MAKING SURE THAT WE SPEND EVERY FEDERAL DOLLAR INTELLIGENTLY. RIGHT NOW WE'RE SIMPLY NOT SPENDING THIS MONEY IN THE MOST EFFICIENT AND EFFICACIOUS WAY POSSIBLE. AND THAT'S WHAT THIS LEGISLATION IS ABOUT. IT ACTUALLY -- SENATOR MURPHY AND I TALKED ABOUT HOW IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN A LITTLE BIT MORE POLITICALLY SATISFYING IN THE SHORT RUN TO PUT HARD CAPS ON COLLEGE TUITION AND PRECIPITOUS GOALS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN VERY EASY FOR US TO ARTICULATE. BUT THE FACT IS GIVEN THAT YOU HAVE DIFFERENT INSTITUTIONS WITH DIFFERENT MISSIONS AND YOU HAVE GREAT WORK BEING DONE AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE LEVEL, AT THE CERTIFICATE LEVEL AND AT THE HIGHER -- AND AT THE FOUR-YEAR AND AT THE GRADUATE LEVEL, THAT WE WANTED TO ACCOUNT FOR THE DIFFERENT MISSIONS AND WE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE DIDN'T CREATE THE KIND OF INCENTIVE PROGRAM THAT, FOR INSTANCE, WOULD PREVENT AN INSTITUTION FROM WANTING TO TAKE A KID IN WHO IS FROM A LOWER-INCOME AREA AND MAYBE STATISTICALLY SPEAKING MORE LIKELY TO DEFAULT ON HIS OR HER LOAN. WE REALLY WANT AS A MATTER OF POLICY TO FOCUS ON ACCESS. IT'S ACCESS. IT'S ATPOBLT. IT'S THE -- AFFORDABILITY, CONSISTENCY WITH THE MISSION. HERE WE ARE SPENDING $150 BILLION MORE THAN WE EVER HAVE ON THIS NATIONAL PRIORITY, AND OUR RESULTS ARE WORSE THAN EVER. SO THE STATUS QUO CANNOT STAND AND I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO WORKING WITH MY COLLEAGUE ON THIS IMPORTANT ISSUE. MR. MURPHY: AS WE WRAP UP OUR TIME ON THE FLOOR HERE, WHEN MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER CAME TO THIS COUNTRY, HE KNEW WITHOUT A COLLEGE EDUCATION HE COULD GET A JOB PRETTY EASILY THAT WOULD BE ABLE TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE, HAVE DECENT HEALTH CARE FOR HIS FAMILY, EVEN PROVIDE HIM WITH A LITTLE BIT OF A PENSION THAT WOULD TAKE CARE OF HIM. HIS SON,

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  • 06:12:08 PM

    MR. MURPHY

    HERE, WHEN MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER CAME TO THIS COUNTRY, HE KNEW WITHOUT A…

    HERE, WHEN MY GREAT-GRANDFATHER CAME TO THIS COUNTRY, HE KNEW WITHOUT A COLLEGE EDUCATION HE COULD GET A JOB PRETTY EASILY THAT WOULD BE ABLE TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE, HAVE DECENT HEALTH CARE FOR HIS FAMILY, EVEN PROVIDE HIM WITH A LITTLE BIT OF A PENSION THAT WOULD TAKE CARE OF HIM. HIS SON, MY GRANDFATHER, FOLLOWED HIM INTO THAT SAME PROFESSION WORKING FOR A BALL BEARING FACTORY IN NEW BRITAIN, CONNECTICUT. WHILE THOSE JOBS STILL EXIST, THEY'RE GETTING RARER AND RARER. FOR THE NEXT GENERATION TO SUCCEED, WE KNOW THEY NEED ACCESS TO A COLLEGE DEGREE. THEY ARE NOT GETTING THAT ACCESS TO COMPLETION BECAUSE WE HAVE BEEN WOEFULLY INADEQUATE IN USING THE TOOLS AT OUR DISPOSAL AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL TO TRY TO PUT PRESSURE ON COLLEGES TO DELIVER ON BOTH AFFORDABILITY AND OUTCOMES. AND WE HOPE THE INTRODUCTION OF THE COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY AND INNOVATION ACT WILL ALLOW US TO OPEN UP A NEW FRONT IN THE DEBATE ON HIGHER EDUCATION TO PROMOTE THE IDEA OF REDUCING THE STICKER PRICE OF COLLEGE. I THANK MY COLLEAGUE FOR JOINING ME, AND I YIELD THE FLOOR. MR.

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  • 06:13:27 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

  • 06:13:28 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM RHODE ISLAND. MR. WHITEHOUSE: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO SPEAK FOR 15…

    FROM RHODE ISLAND. MR. WHITEHOUSE: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO SPEAK FOR 15 MINUTES, PERHAPS AS MANY AS 17 MINUTES.

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  • 06:13:30 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    SPEAK FOR 15 MINUTES, PERHAPS AS MANY AS 17 MINUTES.

  • 06:13:34 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. WHITEHOUSE: THANK YOU SO MUCH. I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY…

    OBJECTION. MR. WHITEHOUSE: THANK YOU SO MUCH. I COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY FOR THE 57th CONSECUTIVE WEEK THAT THE SENATE HAS BEEN IN SESSION TO URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO WAKE UP TO WHAT CARBON POLLUTION IS DOING TO OUR ATMOSPHERE AND OCEANS.

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  • 06:13:36 PM

    MR. WHITEHOUSE

    COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY FOR THE 57th CONSECUTIVE WEEK THAT THE SENATE HAS…

    COME TO THE FLOOR TODAY FOR THE 57th CONSECUTIVE WEEK THAT THE SENATE HAS BEEN IN SESSION TO URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO WAKE UP TO WHAT CARBON POLLUTION IS DOING TO OUR ATMOSPHERE AND OCEANS. I HAVE DESCRIBED CONGRESS AS SURROUNDED BY A BARRICADE OF LIES. TODAY I'LL BE MORE SPECIFIC. THERE ISN'T JUST LYING GOING ON ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. THERE'S A WHOLE CAREFULLY BUILT APPARATUS OF LIES. THIS APPARATUS IS BIG AND ARTFULLY CONSTRUCTED. PHONY BALONEY ORGANIZATIONS DESIGNED TO LOOK AND SOUND LIKE THEY'RE REAL, MESSAGES HONED BY PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERTS TO SOUND LIKE THEY'RE TRUTHFUL. PAYROLL SCIENTISTS WHOM POLLUTERS CAN TROT OUT WHEN THEY NEED THEM. AND THE WHOLE THING, BIG AND COMPLICATED ENOUGH THAT WHEN YOU SEE ITS PARTS, YOU COULD BE FOOLED INTO THINKING THAT IT'S NOT ALL THE SAME BEAST. BUT IT IS. JUST LIKE THE MYTHOLOGICAL HYDRA. MANY HEADS, SAME BEAST. SO THIS SPEECH IS GOING TO BE ABOUT THAT BEAST. A RECENT RESEARCH ARTICLE PUBLISHED BY DR. ROBERT BRULE, A PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AT DREXEL UNIVERSITY, DESCRIBES THE BEAST. HE JOINS A TRADITION OF SCHOLARSHIP IN THIS AREA, INCLUDING WORK BY NAOMI ARESCIS, AARON McWRIGHT AND REILLY DUNLAP, EACH OF WHOM HAS STUDIED THE FORCES BEHIND CLIMATE DENIAL. AND DAVID ROSNER AND JARED MARK OWE WITNESSES, WHO -- MARKOWICZ WHO EXPLORED CAMPAIGNS TO DECEIVE AMERICANS ABOUT THE DANGERS OF THOSE PRODUCTS. THE INTRICATE INTERCONNECTED PROPAGANDA WEB AND FUNDING NETWORK OF THIS CLIMATE DENIAL BEAST ENCOMPASSES OVER 100 ORGANIZATIONS. INCLUDING INDUSTRY TRADE ASSOCIATIONS, CONSERVATIVE THINK TANKS AND PLAIN OLD PHONY FRONT GROUPS FOR POLLUTER INTERESTS. IT HAS EVEN CO-OPTED MEDIA OUTLETS, A PHENOMENON I CHRONICLED IN AN EARLIER SPEECH ABOUT "THE WALL STREET JOURNAL" EDITORIAL PAGE BECOMING A TOOL OF POLLUTER PROPAGANDA. SO LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THIS CLIMATE DENIAL BEAST AND HOW POLLUTER MONEY AND DARK MONEY FLOW THROUGH ITS VEINS. THIS CHART FROM DR. BRULE'S REPORT SHOWS THE COMPLEX INTERCONNECTION OF THE BEAST'S MAJOR PLAYERS. THE GREEN DIAMONDS ARE THE BIG FUNDERS, THE COKE AFFILIATED FOUNDATIONS, THE SCAFE AFFILIATED FOUNDATIONS, THE AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE AND SO ON. AND THE BLUE CIRCLES ARE THE WHO'S WHO OF CLIMATE DENIAL GROUPS. THE HEARTLAND INSTITUTE. THEY ARE THE GROUP THAT COMPARED FOLKS CONCERNED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE TO THE UNABOMBER, JUST TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF WHAT SORT OF PEOPLE THEY ARE. THE AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE RIGHT HERE. THE HOOVER INSTITUTION, THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION, THE CATO INSTITUTE, THE MERCADA CENTER, JUST TO NAME A FEW. THE PURPOSE OF THIS NETWORK, TO QUOTE THE REPORT IS, AND I WILL QUOTE, A DELIBERATE AND ORGANIZED EFFORT TO MISDIRECT THE PUBLIC DISCUSSION AND DISTORT THE PUBLIC'S UNDERSTANDING OF CLIMATE. TO MISDIRECT AND DISTORT. THE COORDINATED TACTICS OF THIS NETWORK, THE REPORT SHOWS, AND I WILL QUOTE AGAIN, SPAN A WIDE RANGE OF ACTIVITIES INCLUDING POLITICAL LOBBYING, CONTRIBUTIONS TO POLITICAL CANDIDATES AND A LARGE NUMBER OF COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA EFFORTS THAT AIM AT UNDERMINING CLIMATE SCIENCE. THAT IS THE BEAST. AND BIG MONEY FLOWS THROUGH IT. MORE THAN HALF A BILLION DOLLARS. THE DIRECTION HE WILL UNIVERSITY -- THE DREXEL UNIVERSITY REPORT CHRONICLES THAT FROM 2003-2010, 140 FOUNDATIONS MADE GRANTS TOTALING $558 MILLION TO 91 ORGANIZATIONS THAT ACTIVELY OPPOSE CLIMATE ACTION. IT LOOKS LIKE A BIG BEAST TO BUILD JUST TO PROPAGATE CLIMATE DENIAL. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT CARBON EMISSIONS FROM FOSSIL FUELS, WHICH IN 2011 E.P.A. ESTIMATED TO BE OVER 5.6 BILLION METRIC TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE. SO TAKE 5.6 BILLION TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE AND THEN MULTIPLY THAT BY THE SOCIAL COST OF CARBON, THE ECONOMIC AND HEALTH COSTS THAT THE POLLUTERS CAUSE AND INFLICT ON THE REST OF SOCIETY, WHICH O.M.B. RECENTLY SAID -- SET AT $37 PER METRIC TON OF Co2. 5.6 BILLION METRIC TONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE EMITTED, $37 PER METRIC TON OF Co2 IN SOCIAL COST OF CARBON. JUST ONE YEAR'S EMISSIONS WILL COST ROUGHLY $200 BILLION -- WITH A B, ONE YEAR'S. SO THE STAKES ARE PRETTY HIGH FOR THE POLLUTERS IF THEY WERE TO PAY FOR THE HARM THAT THEY'RE CAUSING. HALF A BILLION DOLLARS THROUGH THE BEAST OVER SEVEN YEARS TO GET AWAY WITH $200 BILLION OF HARM EVERY YEAR? IT'S A BARGAIN. AND MORE THAN THAT, A LOT OF THIS MACHINERY WAS ALREADY BUILT. THE BEAST DID NOT SPRING UP AT ONCE FULL GROWN. IT GREW OVER TIME IN INDUSTRY-FUELED CAMPAIGNS TO OBSCURE THE DANGERS OF CIGARETTE SMOKE, OF ACID RAIN, OF OZONE DEPLETION. WHO KNOWS? THERE ARE PROBABLY PARTS OF IT THAT GO BACK TO FIGHTING THE BENEFIT OF REQUIRING SEAT BELTS AND AIR BAGS IN CARS. LOOKING BACK ON THE EFFECTS OF THESE INDUSTRY-FUNDED CAMPAIGNS OF DENIAL, WE SEE THAT REAL PEOPLE WERE HURT. BUT THE DENIAL MACHINERY STALLED ACTION AND MADE THE WRONGDOERS MONEY. IT WORKED. SO NOW THE CLIMATE DENIAL MACHINE, THE BEAST, IS CALLING PLAYS FROM THE SAME PLAY BOOK AND EVEN USING MANY OF THE SAME FRONT ORGANIZATIONS. SO WHO IS BEHIND THIS BEAST? UNFORTUNATELY, FOR PROPONENTS OF TRANSPARENCY, A LARGE PORTION OF THE FUNDING IS NOT TRACEABLE. MUCH OF THE MONEY FUELING THE BEAST IS LAUNDERED THROUGH ORGANIZATIONS WHICH EXIST TO CONCEAL DONOR IDENTITY. SOME OF THE ORGANIZATIONS EXAMINED BY DR. BRULE GET OVER 90% OF THEIR MONEY FROM HIDDEN SOURCES. INDEED, MORE THAN A THIRD OF THESE ORGANIZATIONS GET OVER 90% OF THEIR MONEY FROM HIDDEN SOURCES. THE BIGGEST IDENTITY LAUNDERING SHOP IS DONORS TRUST AND DONORS CAPITAL FUND. INDEED, IT IS BY FAR THE BIGGEST SOURCE OF FUNDING IN THIS WEB. THESE TWIN ENTITIES REPORTED GIVING A COMBINED $78 MILLION TO CLIMATE DEANER DENIER -- DENIER GROUPS BETWEEN 2003 AND 2010, AND THEY REFUSE TO IDENTIFY THEIR FUNDERS. ACCORDING TO THE DREXEL REPORT, THE DONORS TRUST, DONORS CAPITAL FUND OPERATION DOES DOUBLE DUTY. IT IS THE -- QUOTE -- CENTRAL COMPONENT AND -- QUOTE -- PREDOMINANT FUNDER OF THE DENIER APPARATUS, AND AT THE SAME TIME IT IS THE -- QUOTE -- BLACK BOX THAT CONCEALS THE IDENTITY OF CONTRIBUTORS. INTERESTINGLY, ANONYMOUS FUNDING FLOWING INTO THE BEAST THROUGH DONORS TRUST AND DONORS CAPITAL FUND HAS GROWN IN TANDEM WITH DISCLOSED FUNDING FROM FOSSIL FUEL POLLUTERS DECLINING. ANONYMOUS DOLLARS UP, DISCLOSED DOLLARS DOWN. AS WE SEE HERE, DONORS TRUST AND DONORS CAPITAL DONATIONS TO THE BEAST WENT FROM 3% OF ALL FOUNDATION FUNDING IN 2003 TO MORE THAN 23% IN 2010. AT THE SAME TIME, FOR EXAMPLE, THE KOCH BROTHERS AFFILIATED FOUNDATIONS DECLINED FROM 9% OF ALL FOUNDATION FUNDING IN 2006 DOWN TO 2% BY 2010. AND THE SAME IS TRUE FOR OTHER POLLUTER-BACKED FOUNDATIONS. THE EXXONMOBIL FOUNDATION, FOR INSTANCE, WOUND DOWN ITS DISCLOSED FUNDING OF ORGANIZATIONS IN THE CLIMATE DENIER NETWORK AND BASICALLY ZEROED OUT BY 2007. IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. WHY WOULD THE KOCH BROTHERS AND EXXON COME UNDER FIRE FOR OBVIOUSLY FUNDING CLIMATE DENIAL, WHEN DONORS TRUST AND CAPITAL CREATES A MECHANISM FOR POLLUTERS TO SECRETLY FUND THE BEAST. PLUS THE PHONY BALONEY FRONT ORGANIZATIONS WITHIN THE BEAST, THEY CAN PRETEND THEY ARE NOT FUNDED BY POLLUTER MONEY. EVERYBODY WINS IN THIS IDENTITY LAUNDERING CHARADE, EXCEPT THE PUBLIC, OF COURSE, WHOM THIS ELABORATE CONSTRUCTION IS DESIGNED TO FOOL. THE PRODUCT OF THIS APPARATUS IS A COMPLEX RUSE TO DELEGITIMATIZE THE SCIENCE OF CARBON EMISSIONS FOISTED ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WITH ALL THE FINANCING AND FANTASY OF A HOLLYWOOD BLOCKBUSTER PRODUCTION. HERE IS DR. BRULE DESCRIBING WHAT YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK BEHIND THE ACTORS WHO APPEAR IN THE MEDIA SPOTLIGHT. I WILL QUOTE -- "THE ROOTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL GO DEEPER, JUST AS IN A THEATRICAL SHOW, THERE ARE STARS IN THE SPOTLIGHT, IN THE DRAMA OF CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL, THESE ARE OFTEN PROMINENT CONTRARIAN SCIENTISTS OR CONSERVATIVE POLITICIANS. HOWEVER, THEY ARE ONLY THE MOST VISIBLE AND TRANSPARENT PARTS OF A LARGER PRODUCTION. SUPPORTING THIS EFFORT ARE DIRECTORS, SCRIPTWRITERS AND MOST CERTAINLY A SERIES OF PRODUCERS IN THE FORM OF CONSERVATIVE FOUNDATIONS. FRANKLY, MADAM PRESIDENT, THIS APPARATUS IS A DISGRACE. WHEN THE INEVITABLE HAPPENS AND THE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE REALLY STARTS TO HIT HOM PEOPLE WILL WANT TO KNOW, AMERICANS WILL WANT TO KNOW, PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WILL WANT TO KNOW WHY, WHY WE DIDN'T TAKE PROPER STEPS IN TIME. IT'S NOT AS IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE OUT THERE FOR US TO ACT. WHY NOT? THIS DENIAL OPERATION, THE BEAST, WILL THEN GO DOWN AS ONE OF OUR GREAT AMERICAN SCANDALS. LIKE WATERGATE OR TEAPOT DOME. A DELIBERATE, COMPLEX SCHEME OF LIES AND PROPAGANDA THAT CAUSED REAL HARM TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND TO OUR COUNTRY. ALSO THAT A SMALL GROUP OF PEOPLE COULD MAKE MORE MONEY A LITTLE LONGER. AND THE FACT THAT ONE OF OUR GREAT POLITICAL PARTIES IS IN ON THE SCHEME WILL BE TO ITS LASTING SHAME. THERE IS AN OLD HYMN THAT SAYS TURN BACK O MAN FOR SWEAR THY FOOLISH WAYS. IT IS TIME FOR OUR DENIER COLLEAGUES TO TURN BACK AND FORESWEAR THEIR FOOLISH WAYS. IF THEY DON'T, THERE WILL BE A DAY OF RECKONING AND A HARSH PRICE TO PAY. EVERY DAY, MORE AND MORE AMERICANS REALIZE THE TRUTH, AND THEY INCREASINGLY WANT THIS CONGRESS TO WAKE UP. THEY KNOW CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL. AS THE PRESIDENT SAID IN HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, THE DEBATE IS SETTLED. CLIMATE CHANGE IS A FACT. SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL ONCE SAID THIS -- OWING TO PAST NEGLECT IN THE FACE OF THE PLAINEST WARNINGS, WE HAVE NOW ENTERED UPON A PERIOD OF DANGER. THE ERA OF PROCRASTINATION, OF HALF MEASURES, OF SOOTHING AND BAFFLING EXPEDIENCE, OF DELAYS IS COMING TO ITS CLOSE. IN ITS PLACE, WE ARE ENTERING A PERIOD OF CONSEQUENCES. WE CANNOT AVOID THIS PERIOD. WE ARE IN IT NOW. END QUOTE. WELL, WE ARE NOW IN A PERIOD OF CONSEQUENCES. WE HAVE GOT TO BREAK THE BACK OF THE BEAST AND BREAK THE BARRICADE OF BRANDISHMENTS AND LIES THAT BEAST HAS BUILT AROUND CONGRESS. THIS CAMPAIGN OF DENIAL, THIS BEAST IS AS POISONOUS TO OUR DEMOCRACY AS CARBON POLLUTION IS TO OUR ATMOSPHERE AND OCEANS. WITH MONEY AND LOBBYISTS AND THREATS, IT HAS INFILTRATED ITSELF IN AN UNSEEMLY WAY INTO INFLUENCE OVER OUR GOVERNMENT. FOR THE SAKE OF OUR DEMOCRACY, FOR THE SAKE OF OUR FUTURE, FOR THE SAKE OF OUR HONOR, IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT?

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  • 06:30:00 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    FROM UTAH.

  • 06:30:03 PM

    MR. HATCH

    TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO TALK ABOUT OUR NATION'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE…

    TO TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO TALK ABOUT OUR NATION'S INTERNATIONAL TRADE POLICY. SPECIFICALLY I WISH TO DISCUSS EFFORTS TO RENEW TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY OR WHAT WE CALL T.P.A. THE MOST RECENT AUTHORIZATION OF T.P.A. EXPIRED NEARLY SEVEN YEARS AGO. SINCE THAT TIME REPUBLICANS HAVE BY AND LARGE EXPRESSED SUPPORT FOR RENEWING IT. IN AUGUST, 2010 THE U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE, RON KIRK, TESTIFIED THAT THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION NEEDED T.P.A. TO CONCLUDE ONGOING TRADE NEGOTIATIONS. HOWEVER, AFTER THAT TIME LITTLE WAS DONE TO MOVE THE BALL FORWARD ON RENEWING T.P.A. SO IN SEPTEMBER, 2011, MINORITY LEADER McCONNELL AND I OFFERED AN AMENDMENT ON THE SENATE FLOOR TO RENEW TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY FOR OBAMA. UNFORTUNATELY, DESPITE STRONG SUPPORT FROM THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS, A NUMBER OF DEMOCRATIC SENATORS ACTIVELY OPPOSED OUR EFFORTS AND IT RECEIVED VIRTUALLY NO DEMOCRAT SUPPORT. AS A RESULT, OUR EFFORTS FAILED. IN MARCH, 2013, THEN ACTING USTR MORAN IT'S AGAIN EXPRESSED THE ADMINISTRATION'S SUPPORT FOR RENEWING T.P.A. AND PLEDGED TO WORK WITH CONGRESS TO GET IT DONE. IN JUNE, 2013, USTR -- UNITED STATES TRADE REPRESENTATIVE -- MICHAEL FRELMAN DURING TESTIMONY BEFORE THE U.S. SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE FORMALLY REQUESTED ON BEHALF OF OBAMA THAT -- PRESIDENT OBAMA THAT CONGRESS RENEW T.P.A. THROUGH MOST OF 2013 I WORKED WITH CHAIRMAN BAUCUS AND CHAIRMAN CAMP OF THE HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS TO CRAFT A BIPARTISAN BILL TO RENEW T.P.A. THAT COULD PASS THROUGH BOTH HOUSES AND THE SENATE. WE INTRODUCED INTRODUCED THE BILL IN JANUARY. LAST WEEK IN THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS PRESIDENT OBAMA ASKED CONGRESS TO PASS T.P.A. LEGISLATION SO HIS ADMINISTRATION COULD COMPLETE NEGOTIATIONS ON TWO VERY AMBITIOUS AND IMPORTANT TRADE AGREEMENTS. WHILE I THOUGHT PRESIDENT OBAMA COULD HAVE SPOKEN MORE FORCEFULLY ON THIS MATTER, HIS CALL FOR T.P.A. RENEWAL WAS CLEAR AND UNAMBIGUOUS. YET SO FAR CALL APPEARS TO BE GOING UNHEEDED SINCE -- SHOULD I SAY AMONG DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE. WHY IS T.P.A. SO IMPORTANT? TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY. I THINK SOME ADDITIONAL CONTEXT IS NECESSARY HERE. THE ADMINISTRATION IS CURRENTLY IN THE MIDST OF NEGOTIATIONS ON THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP OR T.P.P., AN ASIA PACIFIC TRADE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE UNITED STATES AND 12 OTHER COUNTRIES INCLUDING SOME OF THE LARGEST ECONOMIES SUCH AS JAPAN, CANADA AND MEXICO. THE ASIAN PACIFIC REGION REPRESENTS MORE THAN 40% OF THE WORLD'S TRADE. AND AS A GROUP, T.P.P. COUNTRIES REPRESENT THE LARGEST GOODS AND SERVICES EXPORT MARKET FOR OUR COUNTRY, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD THE U.S. IS NEGOTIATING A BILATERAL TRADE AGREEMENT WITH THE 28 COUNTRIES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION. THIS IS CALLED T TIP. THE UNITED STATES AND THE E.U. GENERATED OVER HALF OF THE WORLD'S ECONOMIC OUTPUT. TOTAL GOODS TRADE ALONE, HOWEVER, -- BETWEEN THE U.S. AND E.U. AMOUNTS TO OVER $1 TRILLION A YEAR. INVESTMENT FLOWS REPRESENT ANOTHER $300 BILLION ON TOP OF THAT A YEAR. TOGETHER THESE TWO TRADE AGREEMENTS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO GREATLY EXPAND ACCESS FOR U.S. PRODUCTS IN THE FOREIGN MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THEY WOULD HELP TO GROW OUR ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS HERE AT HOME. THESE TWO SEPARATE TRADE AGREEMENTS AND NEGOTIATIONS REPRESENT WHAT IS THE MOST AMBITIOUS TRADE AGENDA IN OUR NATION'S HISTORY. WHILE EVERYONE KNOWS THAT I'M A PRETTY OUTSPOKEN CRITIC OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION I BELIEVE THE ADMINISTRATION DESERVES CREDIT ON THIS FRONT BUT IF THESE NEGOTIATIONS ARE GOING TO SUCCEED, CONGRESS MUST APPROVE T.P.A. BECAUSE OF THE UNIQUE STRUCTURE OF OUR GOVERNMENT, OUR COUNTRY NEEDS T.P.A. OUR TRADING PARTNERS WILL NOT PUT THEIR BEST DEAL ON THE TABLE UNLESS THEY KNOW THAT THE UNITED STATES CAN DELIVER ON WHAT WE PROMISE. T.P.A. EMPOWERS OUR TRADE NEGOTIATORS TO CONCLUDE GLEAMENTS AND PROVIDES -- AGREEMENTS AND PROVIDES A PATH FOR PASSAGE IN CONGRESS. THAT'S WHY EVERY PRESIDENT SINCE F.D.R. HAS SOUGHT TRADE PROMOTION AUTHORITY. NO ECONOMICALLY SIGNIFICANT TRADE AGREEMENT HAS EVER BEEN NEGOTIATED BY ANY ADMINISTRATION AND APPROVED BY CONGRESS WITHOUT IT. PUT SIMPLY, IF CONGRESS DOES NOT RENEW T.P.A., THE T.P.P. NEGOTIATIONS AND THE TTIP NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY FAIL. THAT IS WHY IT IS SO DISCONCERTING TO ME TO SEE HOW SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE HAVE RESPONDED TO THE PRESIDENT'S CALL FOR T.P.A. RENEWAL. T.P.A. IS ONE OF THE FEW ISSUES WHERE BOTH PARTIES CAN AND SHOULD BE ABLE TO WORK TOGETHER TO ACHIEVE A COMMON GOAL. I KNOW THAT I ALONG WITH MY REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES STAND READY AND WILLING TO WORK WITH THE ADMINISTRATION TO APPROVE T.P.A. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I THINK I HAVE A REPRESENTATION OF WORKING ACROSS THE AISLE AND BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER. THIS IS ONE I'D LIKE TO BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER ON AND SHINT HAVE TO ARGUE ABOUT IT, BUT I DO. I BELIEVE THE BIPARTISAN BILL CHAIRMAN BAUCUS AND I RECENTLY INTRODUCED TO RENEW T.P.A. WOULD RECEIVE STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IN THE SENATE IF IT WERE ALLOWED TO COME UP FOR A VOTE. INDEED I AM CONFIDENT THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF MY COLLEAGUES WOULD JOIN ME IN SUPPORTING THE BILL. BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS. THE PROBLEM IS, REPUBLICANS ARE NOT IN THE MAJORITY IN THE SENATE. IT IS THE DEMOCRATS THAT CONTROL THE AGENDA. AND, UNFORTUNATELY, THE PRESIDENT'S CALL TO RENEW T.P.A. DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE A PRIORITY FOR SOME OF THE DEMOCRATS. CERTAINLY THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DEMOCRATS. THE QUESTION IS, WILL SENATE DEMOCRATS WORK WITH THE PRESIDENT ON THIS ISSUE. I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THAT QUESTION BUT I HAVE TO SAY THAT THINGS DON'T LOOK VERY GOOD TO ME. INSTEAD OF ROBUST SUPPORT FOR THE PRESIDENT AND HIS TRADE AGENDA, THE RESPONSE WE'VE SEEN FROM SOME DEMOCRATS HAS RANGED FROM AWKWARD SILENCE ON T.P.A. TO OUTRIGHT HOSTILITY. NEEDLESS TO SAY, I'M EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED BY THIS. MADAM PRESIDENT, THE ISSUE HERE IS FAIRLY SIMPLE. IF WE WANT TO GROW OUR ECONOMY THROUGH TRADE-TRADE, THE CONGRESS MUST APPROVE T.P.A. AND DO SO SOON. THE PRESIDENT CAN PLAY A UNIQUE AND KEY ROLE HERE BY FORCEFULLY ADVOCATING FOR T.P.A. RENEWAL, HE CAN HELP TURN SOME OF THE SKEPTICS IN HIS PARTY AROUND. RECENTLY THE FINANCIAL TIMES PUBLISHED A POWERFUL EDITORIAL WHICH OUTLINED THE NEED FOR T.P.A. AND THE ROLE THE PRESIDENT MUST PLAY FOR T.P.A. TO SUCCEED. ACCORDINGLY THE EDITORIAL -- QUOTE -- "20 YEARS AGO, PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON PULLED OUT ALL THE STOPS TO PUSH THROUGH APPROVAL OF THE CONTROVERSIAL NORTH ATLANTA FREE TRADE AGREEMENT AGREEMENT WITH MEXICO AND CANADA. HE WAS ABLE TO SQUEAK THROUGH A NARROW VICTORY BY DEFT LOBBYING AND MADE A STRONG CASE TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. MR. OBAMA IS LAGGING BEHIND HIS PREDECESSOR ON BOTH CASE COUNTS. THE CASE FOR TTIP AND T.P.P. ARE BOTH STRONG. THE TIME FOR MR. OBAMA TO MOVE THE ARGUMENTS HAS ARRIVED. HE HAS EVERY INCENTIVE TO SUCCEED. FAILURE TO SECURE T.P.A. WOULD BE A GRIEVOUS BLOW TO HIS PRESIDENCY"-- UNQUOTE. NOW, I UNDERSTAND THERE ARE SOME POWERFUL POLITICAL FORCES THAT LEAD SOME OF MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE TO OPPOSE INTERNATIONAL TRADE. HOWEVER, LET'S BE CLEAR. IF WE FAIL TO APPROVE T.P.A., WE WILL BE DOING OUR NATION AND OUR ECONOMY A GREAT DISSERVICE. INTERNATIONAL TRADE IS GOOD THING FOR OUR COUNTRY. IT IS ONE OF THE FEW TOOLS CONGRESS HAS TO GROW OUR ECONOMY THAT DOES NOT ADD TO THE FEDERAL DEFICIT. MADAM PRESIDENT, AS I MENTIONED, SENATOR BAUCUS AND I ALONG WITH CHAIRMAN CAMP HAVE NEGOTIATED AND INTRODUCED A BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL T.P.A. BILL. IT IS IN MY OPINION THE ONLY T.P.A. BILL THAT STANDS A CHANCE OF GETTING PASSED IN BOTH THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. MY COLLEAGUES ON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE HAVE A CHOICE. THEY CAN EITHER WORK WITH THE REPUBLICANS TO PASS OUR BILL AND EMPOWER OUR COUNTRY TO COMPLETE THESE IMPORTANT TRADE AGREEMENTS, OR THEY CAN THROW UP MORE ROADBLOCKS AND DAST MORE UNCERTAINTY ON THE PRESIDENT'S TRADE AGENDA. AS I STATED, REPUBLICANS STAND READY TO WORK WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA ON THESE ISSUES AND TO HELP THESE TRADE NEGOTIATIONS TO SUCCEED. FOR THE SAKE OF OUR COUNTRY AND OUR ECONOMY, I SINCERELY HOPE MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES AND FRIENDS HERE IN THE SENATE ARE WILLING TO DO THE SAME. MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT? THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATOR FROM KANSAS.

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  • 06:39:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    KANSAS.

  • 06:39:51 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    I COME TO THE FLOOR TO DISCUSS THE RECENT REPORT BY THE CONGRESSIONAL…

    I COME TO THE FLOOR TO DISCUSS THE RECENT REPORT BY THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE, THE C.B.O., WHICH CONTAINS UPDATED ESTIMATES OF THE INSURANCE COVERAGE PROVISIONS OF THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT ALSO KNOWN AS OBAMACARE. IT WAS JUST ON SUNDAY THE PRESIDENT TOLD BILL OWE LISLELY, FOX NEWS IN FRONT OF ALL AMERICA, SUPER BOWL SUNDAY, THAT HIS HEALTH CARE BILL IS WORKING. TODAY, THE CONGRESSIONAL BUDGET OFFICE HAS CHANGED THAT TUNE. WE LEARN FROM THE REPORT THAT OBAMACARE WILL NOW COST US $2 TRILLION. $2 TRILLION. YOU MAY RECALL PRESIDENT OBAMA TOLD THE COUNTRY HIS BILL WOULD COST LESS THAN $1 TRILLION. WE ALSO LEARNED THAT WE ARE EXPECTED TO LOSE -- WE'RE EXPECTED TO LOSE 2.5 MILLION FULL-TIME JOBS OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. AND FINALLY THE C.B.O. SAYS EXCHANGE SUBSIDIES UNDER THE A.C.A. WILL REDUCE INCENTIVES TO WORK. LET ME GO OVER THAT AGAIN. PRESIDENT OBAMA TOLD THE COUNTRY HIS BILL WOULD COST LESS THAN $1 TRILLION. NOW C.B.O. SAYS IT WILL BE $2 TRILLION. WE'RE EXPECTED TO LOSE 2.5 MILLION FULL-TIME JOBS OVER THE NEXT TEN YEARS. AND FINALLY, C.B.O. SAYS EXCHANGE SUBSIDIES UNDER THE A.C.A. WILL REDUCE INCENTIVES TO WORK. IF THIS IS WORKING, WHAT IS BROKEN -- WHAT DOES "BROKEN" MEAN TO THIS PRESIDENT? AS I AM READING THE REPORT AND ACCOMPANYING REACTION, THE MOST RECENT UPDATES SOUND HAUNTINGLY FAMILIAR. IN FACT, I BELIEVE THIS IS SOMETHING I AND MY COLLEAGUES SPOKE ABOUT EVERY DAY DURING THE DEBATE ON HEALTH CARE REFORM. WE QUESTIONED AT THAT TIME WHETHER THE C.B.O. ESTIMATES ACCURATELY REFLECTED THE IMPACT OF OBAMACARE ON THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHICH LEADS TO WHY I AM HERE ON THE FLOOR AS OF THIS EVENING. THIS IS ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY, FOLKS. DURING THE DEBATE WE QUESTIONED WHETHER THE SCORING DONE BY THE C.B.O. WAS FRAUGHT WITH GIMMICKS OR AN UNREALISTIC BELIEF THAT MEDICARE WOULD ACHIEVE SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS IN THE FUTURE. I HAVE SERIOUS CONCERNS WITH THE ACCURACY OF THE SCORING DONE ON OBAMACARE AND ITS PORTRAYAL OF THE IMPACT OF THIS LEGISLATION VERSUS THE STATED BENEFITS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE CANNOT KEEP DOING THIS. THERE ARE PEOPLE'S LIVES AT STAKE. PEOPLE'S LIVES THAT WE'RE DEALING WITH HERE. C.B.O. PROJECTIONS DURING THE HEALTH CARE REFORM DEBATE SEEMED TO SIGNIFICANTLY UNDERESTIMATE THE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF OBAMACARE. AND BECAUSE OF THOSE PROJECTIONS SUPPORTS WERE -- SUPPORTERS WERE ABLE TO JAM IT THROUGH, ONE VOTE, EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT THAT VOTE, AND NOW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE TO PICK UP THE TAB ON THE C.B.O.'S ERRORS. TODAY, I AM CALLING FOR HEARINGS IN THE FINANCE COMMITTEE UPON WHICH I SIT TO DEMAND C.B.O. COME BEFORE THE COMMITTEE AND EXPLAIN TO CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHY AND HOW ITS SCORES WHICH LED TO THE PASSAGE OF OBAMACARE DID NOT TELL THE WHOLE STORY. THIS IS ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY FOR PAST ACTIONS AND WE MUST ASK THE QUESTION. THE DIFFICULT QUESTION. AN FORTUNATE QUESTION. WAS THIS POLITICAL? WERE THE BOOKS COOKED? C.B.O. NEEDS TO TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THEIR PROJECTIONS AND THE MOST RECENT UPDATES JUST RELEASED AS OF THIS MORNING. WE MUST HAVE ACCURATE ESTIMATES ON THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF THE LEGISLATION SO WE CAN DO OUR JOBS. THIS SHOULDN'T BE ABOUT POLITICS OR GAMING THE SYSTEM. THIS IS ABOUT PEOPLE'S LIVES. AND IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO GET THAT RIGHT. LET THE HEARINGS BEGIN. LET THE C.B.O. PROVIDE ANSWERS. C.B.O. MUST ANSWER THIS CONGRESS AND AMERICA. I YIELD BACK, MADAM PRESIDENT.

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  • 06:44:46 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    KANSAS. MR. ROBERTS: IT APPEARS TO ME AFTER CAREFUL INSPECTION THAT A…

    KANSAS. MR. ROBERTS: IT APPEARS TO ME AFTER CAREFUL INSPECTION THAT A QUORUM CALL IS NOT PRESENT. THE PRESIDING

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  • 06:44:49 PM

    MR. ROBERTS

    AFTER CAREFUL INSPECTION THAT A QUORUM CALL IS NOT PRESENT. THE PRESIDING…

    AFTER CAREFUL INSPECTION THAT A QUORUM CALL IS NOT PRESENT. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL CALL THE ROLL.

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  • 06:44:53 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK TO DISPENSE WITH…

    THE ROLL. QUORUM CALL: A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT, I ASK TO DISPENSE WITH THE QUORUM CALL. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. A SENATOR:

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  • 06:45:03 PM

    Quorum Call

  • 06:55:24 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. A SENATOR: I ASK THAT THE SNEAT PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING…

    OBJECTION. A SENATOR: I ASK THAT THE SNEAT PROCEED TO A PERIOD OF MORNING BUSINESS WITH SENATORS PERMITTED TO SPEAK FOR UP TO TEN MINUTES EACH. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. BOOZMAN: I ASK

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  • 06:55:32 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION. MR. BOOZMAN: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT AT A I --

  • 06:55:35 PM

    MR. BOOZMAN

    A I --

  • 06:55:37 PM

    MR. DONNELLY

    CONSENT THAT HAT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED BY THE MAJORITY LEADER WITH THE…

    CONSENT THAT HAT A TIME TO BE DETERMINED BY THE MAJORITY LEADER WITH THE CONCURRENCE OF THE REPUBLICAN LEERKD THE SENATE PROCEED TO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING NOMINATIONS: CALENDAR NUMBER 629, THAT THERE BE 0 E6 MINUTES FOR DEBATE EQUALLY DIVIDED IN THE USUAL FORM, THAT UPON THE USE OR YIELDING BACK OF TIERNLG THE SNA THE PROCEED TO VOTE WITHOUT INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE ON THE NOMINATION, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE MADE AND LAID UPON THE TABLE, WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE, THAT NO FURTHER MOTIONS BE IN ORDER, THAT ANY RELATED STATEMENTS BE PRINTED IN THE RECORD, THAT THE PRESIDENT BE IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED OF THE SENATE'S ACTION AND THE SENATE THEN RESUME LEGISLATIVE SESSION. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

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  • 06:56:19 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION.

  • 06:56:21 PM

    MR. DONNELLY

    CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF S. RES. 344,…

    CONSENT THAT THE SENATE PROCEED TO THE CONSIDERATION OF S. RES. 344, SUBMITTED EARLIER TODAY. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

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  • 06:56:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    REPORT. THE CLERK: S. RES. 3 44, CONGRATULATING THE PENN STATE UNIVERSITY…

    REPORT. THE CLERK: S. RES. 3 44, CONGRATULATING THE PENN STATE UNIVERSITY WIMS VOLLEYBALL TEAM FOR WINNING THE 2013 NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. THE PRESIDING

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  • 06:56:33 PM

    THE CLERK

    PENN STATE UNIVERSITY WIMS VOLLEYBALL TEAM FOR WINNING THE 2013 NATIONAL…

    PENN STATE UNIVERSITY WIMS VOLLEYBALL TEAM FOR WINNING THE 2013 NATIONAL COLLEGIATE ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THERE OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. DONNELLY:

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  • 06:56:45 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. DONNELLY: I…

    OBJECTION TO PROCEEDING TO THE MEASURE? WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. DONNELLY: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER:

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  • 06:56:49 PM

    MR. DONNELLY

    THAT THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO, THE MOTION TO…

    THAT THE RESOLUTION BE AGREED TO, THE PREAMBLE BE AGREED TO, THE MOTION TO RECONSIDER BE LAID ON THE TABLE, WITH NO INTERVENING ACTION OR DEBATE. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: WITHOUT OBJECTION.

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  • 06:56:59 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OBJECTION.

  • 06:57:02 PM

    MR. DONNELLY

    THAT' 1996 INTRODUCED EARLIER TODAY BY SENATOR HAGAN IS AT THE DESK AND I…

    THAT' 1996 INTRODUCED EARLIER TODAY BY SENATOR HAGAN IS AT THE DESK AND I ASK FOR ITS FIRST READING. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE CLERK WILL READ THE TITLE OF THE BILL FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE

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  • 06:57:11 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    OF THE BILL FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE CLERK: S. 1996, A BILL TO PROTECT AND…

    OF THE BILL FOR THE FIRST TIME. THE CLERK: S. 1996, A BILL TO PROTECT AND ENHANCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR RECREATIONAL HUNTING, FISHING, AND SHOOTING AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. MR. DONNELLY:

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  • 06:57:16 PM

    THE CLERK

    AND ENHANCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR RECREATIONAL HUNTING, FISHING, AND SHOOTING…

    AND ENHANCE OPPORTUNITIES FOR RECREATIONAL HUNTING, FISHING, AND SHOOTING AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. MR. DONNELLY: I NOW ASK FOR ITS SECOND READING AND OBJECT TO MY OWN REQUEST.

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  • 06:57:25 PM

    MR. DONNELLY

    READING AND OBJECT TO MY OWN REQUEST.

  • 06:57:29 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    HEARD, THE BILL WILL BE READ FOR A SECOND TIME ON THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE…

    HEARD, THE BILL WILL BE READ FOR A SECOND TIME ON THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE DAY. MR. DONNELLY: I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY, IT ADJOURN UNTIL 9:30 A.M.

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  • 06:57:35 PM

    MR. DONNELLY

    THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY, IT ADJOURN UNTIL 9:30…

    THAT WHEN THE SENATE COMPLETES ITS BUSINESS TODAY, IT ADJOURN UNTIL 9:30 A.M. ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2014, THAT FOLLOWING THE PRAYER AND PLEDGE, THE MORNING HOUR BE DEEMED EXPIRED, THE THE JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS BE APPROVED TO DATE, AND I THINK TIME FOR THE TWO LEADERS BE RESERVED FOR THEIR USE LATER IN THE DAY. THAT FOLLOWING ANY LEADER REMARKS, THE SENATE RESUME CONSIDERATION OF S. 1845, THE UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE EXTENSION ACT WITH THE TIME UNTIL 11:00 A.M. EQUALLY DIVIDED AND CONTROLLED BETWEEN THE TWO LEADERS OR THEIR DESIGNEES, AND THAT THE FILING DEADLINE FOR FIRST-DEGREE AMENDMENTS TO S. 18 45B 9:45 A.M. AND THE FILING DEADLINE FOR SECOND-DEGREE AMENDMENTS TO THE REED AMENDMENT NUMBER 2714 AND S. 1845 BE 10:45 A.M. ON THURSDAY. FINALLY, THAT THE CLOTURE VOTE ON THE REED AMENDMENT BE AT 11:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY.

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  • 06:58:36 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

  • 06:58:37 PM

    MR. DONNELLY

    NOT BE IN SESSION TOMORROW TO ACCOMMODATE ISSUES CONFERENCES FOR EACH…

    NOT BE IN SESSION TOMORROW TO ACCOMMODATE ISSUES CONFERENCES FOR EACH CAUCUS. THERE WILL BE UP TO TWO ROLL CALL VOTES AT 11:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY. WE ALSO EXPECT TO CONSIDER THE NOMINATION OF SENATOR BAUCUS TO BECOME AMBASSADOR TO CHINA. IF THERE IS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE THE SENATE, I ASK THAT IT ADJOURN UNDER THE PREVIOUS ORDER. THE PRESIDING OFFICER: THE SENATE STANDS ADJOURNED UNTIL 9:30 A.M. ON

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  • 06:59:02 PM

    THE PRESIDING OFFICER

    UNTIL 9:30 A.M. ON

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115th Congress - Senate
Total Hours: 1933 (After 630 days)
  • Debate1140 Hours
  • Quorum Calls447 Hours
  • Votes321 Hours

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Source: Resume of Congressional Activity (senate.gov)